ISBN-10: 0802158935
ISBN-13: 9780802158932
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publish Date: 05/09/2023
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 5.90" W, 1.50" H

The Forever Prisoner: The Full and Searing Account of the Cia’s Most Controversial Covert Program


Price: $22.00


  • Equally propulsive as a narrative, The Forever Prisoner goes way beyond Jane Mayer’s powerful and revelatory 2008 bestseller, The Dark Side, which initially revealed the torture program. Mayer had no access to the protagonists themselves nor to thousands of recently released FOIA documents, so her riveting account was necessarily limited in its scope.
  • The torture program remains an existential threat to the reputation of the CIA, which is why they have done everything possible to prevent the story Scott-Clark and Levy tell from leaking out.
  • The authors’ investigation was a primary source for the feature length documentary also titled The Forever Prisoner, directed by award-winning Alex Gibney, to be released on December 6, 2021. It will get wide coverage, setting up the book, which has much more depth and dimension, for major media. Described by Esquire as “the most important documentarian of our time,” Gibney has directed, among many others, Taxi to the Dark Side, which won the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature, and most recently The Crime of the Century, chronicling the opioid epidemic.
  • The Forever Prisoner will appeal to anyone who has read the bestselling titles The Forever War by Dexter Filkins, Ghost Wars by Steve Coll, and Manhunt by Peter Bergen.
  • In 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence determined the CIA was guilty of torture, murder, and deception, and that these transgressions had produced no high-value intelligence. The Forever Prisoner chronicles many details behind these charges that the Senate committee was unaware of in 2014.
  • Many believe the torture program began and ended in the 2004 scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Rather, as the authors show, this was an inevitable outgrowth of the program James Mitchell devised, which metastasized when the military appropriated it. The program then ran for four more years after Abu Ghraib.
  • We will have blurbs from bestselling journalist/authors Lawrence Wright and Peter Bergen, from Alex Gibney himself, and from a range of high-profile writers and public figures the authors know.
  • The 2015 success of Guantanamo Diary, by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a former Guantanamo detainee, and of the 2021 film on which it is based, The Mauritanian, underscores the strong appetite for understanding the darkest corners of the “war on terror” and how America reached a point where torture was deemed acceptable.

  • Editor: George Gibson
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Praise for The Forever Prisoner:

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"Comprehensive . . . Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy–who have published several previous books on similar themes–interweave the stories of captive and interrogator, showing how fatally unprepared they were to understand each other . . . Impressively thorough."–Robert F. Worth, New York Times Book Review

"British journalists Scott-Clark and Levy team up again to take a hard look at the CIA's program of rendition and torture after 9/11 . . . Building on The Exile, the authors deliver an impressively researched investigation of government malfeasance and ineptitude. A forceful book that demands greater oversight of the nation's intelligence services and justice for the wrongly imprisoned."–Kirkus Reviews

"Journalists Scott-Clark and Levy chronicle the CIA's post-9/11 torture program in this disturbing and deeply reported history . . . A crucial record of how the U.S. government betrayed its ideals to wage the war on terror."–Publishers Weekly

"The Forever Prisoner is a powerful investigation into the origins of the US official policy of torture. Focusing on the case of Abu Zubaydah, the 'patient zero' of the CIA's 'enhanced interrogation' techniques, Scott-Clark and Levy manage to get to virtually everyone, which allows them to tell a riveting tale and the authoritative account."–Alex Gibney, acclaimed documentarian and winner of the Academy, Emmy, and Grammy awards

"A deeply reported and well written account of Abu Zubaydah's descent into the darkest reaches of the war on terror and of Jim Mitchell who engineered the CIA's coercive interrogation program. It is a key account of the post-9/11 era."–Peter Bergen, author of The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

"Being kidnapped and tortured as an innocent person, the prospect of never seeing my family again, was the worst feeling in the world. The nightmare became a reality after the death of my mother. Eventually, I did win my freedom, however. Abu Zubaydah is still held incommunicado, along with others. This book gives him a voice for the first time and gets to the heart of what it is like to be a forever prisoner."–Mohamedou Ould Slahi, author of Guantanamo Diary

Praise for The Exile:

"[Scott-Clark and Levy] set out to do what few had done before in the West: to see the September 2001 terror attacks and their aftermath from the other side. They traveled widely in the region, listened intently, interviewed aggressively, read newly released accounts and government documents deeply (and wrote lengthily). The result is a breathtaking tale." –Boston Globe

"Remarkable . . . They have produced the best account yet of what happened to al-Qaeda after 9/11: it is an astonishingly good piece of work." –Guardian

"A tour de force and the first detailed account told by al-Qaeda members themselves, making good use of the diaries of Abu Zubaydah, the captured al-Qaeda facilitator, as well as extensive interviews with one of its religious thinkers . . . It tells us lots of things we knew, but in far more detail." –Sunday Times


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ISBN-10: 0802158935
ISBN-13: 9780802158932
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publish Date: 05/09/2023
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 5.90" W, 1.50" H
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