New HBO Documentary on CIA Torture Has a John Le Carré Vibe
Alex Gibney’s ‘The Forever Prisoner’ plumbs CIA desperation to discredit FBI methods
The issue of torture has long resided in the realm of religion. Does it work? Is it efficient? Is it moral? A crime against humanity? People are going to believe, it seems, what they want to believe.
In poll after poll since the 9/11 attacks, a slim majority of Americans has said torture can be justified either “often” or at least “sometimes,” because, they believe, it produces valuable intelligence. The views of many, no doubt, have been reinforced by such popular fare as Zero Dark Thirty and 24, to name just two. Few seem to notice that the bad guys always crumble under torture, our guys rarely do.
Despite piles of studies, books, the congressional testimony of on-scene FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan and a 6,700-page Senate Intelligence Committee report that found CIA interrogation program ineffective at best and dissembling at worst, the pro-torture consensus has hardly budged. Maybe a new and unsettling documentary from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney will move the needle.…