“Prisoner forever” review: Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary explores how the United States compromised its values ​​after September 11

Gibney (again dubbing the film) managed to interview several key figures in the fight against terrorism, and meticulously recorded the extent to which the government had breached the established guardrails in the name of safety and security.

Lawrence WilkersonColin Powell’s former chief of staff said that the shocking nature of the September 11 attack “made us stupid.” The film pointed out that the general view is that when dealing with the perpetrators, all the bets are gone because their behavior “has opted out of humanity.”

Gibney argued that the terrorists thus effectively angered the US government to “abandon the democratic principles on which we claim to survive.” The nature of how these principles were distorted fell directly on Zubaida, who was the first detainee to be called enhanced interrogation techniques by bureaucracy.

Although the former FBI agent Ali Sufan Indicating that more traditional interrogation methods are beginning to yield results in breaking Zubaida’s resistance, the plan is advanced in a more brutal way. (Gibney Sue the CIA In order to cancel and edit parts of Soufan’s book “The Black Flag: How Torture Derails the War on Terrorism after 9/11,” he was unable to discuss them publicly before. )

“Prisoner forever” described the waterboarding conference in detail and included an interview with CIA contractor James Mitchell about such practices. Although some officials objected to describing the policy change as permitting torture, the documentary explained the suspicions at the time. The former head of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, Ser Rodriguez, told his subordinates, “Don’t write down your legal issues. No. help.”

Found in the damn revelation Senate Intelligence Committee Report In the show, but also dramatized in the movie “That report,” Emphasize government actions.Twenty years later, Zubaidah is still being held at Guantanamo Bay, which prompted Gibney-his most recent HBO documentaries include “Crimes of the Century” with “Agent of Chaos” – Question: “How can we imprison a person for the rest of their lives for free?”

In this way and other ways, “Prisoner forever” not only asks the right questions about Zubaidah, but also asks the right questions about the wider prosecution of the war on terrorism. As the movie shows, it turns out that this is an elusive answer.

“Prisoner forever” premiered on HBO at 10 PM Eastern Time on December 6, HBO, like CNN, is a division of WarnerMedia.

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