The Convenient Terrorist

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“The riveting story of the man in the center of a historic crisis that cost America her moral authority and her claims to exceptionalism. A courageous spy’s heartbreaking dissection of the milestone incident that marked devolution of American idealism.”– Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.NY Times bestselling author of Framed


“Who is Ali Zubaydah? What did he really have do with 9/11? Who did the Bush regime take so much bureaucratic trouble just to torture him, and then keep torturing him? And why has he been locked up at Guantanamo, incommunicado, for over 15 years? Such are the questions posed by this disturbing book, which should enlighten anyone who thinks that ‘1984’ did not arrive in the United States until the Age of Trump.”– Mark Crispin Miller, bestselling author of Fooled Again and The Bush Dyslexicon


“A fascinating and important history well told.”– Oliver Stone


” The Convenient Terrorist depicts the dark story behind the capture of Abu Zubaydah and the broader issue of American values sacrificed in the War on Terror. It is a must-read for anyone trying to understand our post 911 world and the murky forces at play shaping it and the lives of us all.”– J. Malcolm Garcia, author of The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul and What Wars Leave Behind: The Faceless and the Forgotten


“In The Convenient Terrorist, Joseph Hickman and John Kiriakou provide a fascinating insider’s account of the policies that defined George W. Bush’s war-on-terror — as well as a reminder of their ongoing human toll. For anyone looking to understand this toll and its complexities, there is no better place to start than the story of Abu Zubaydah’s career, arrest, torture, and 15 years of confinement without due process.”– Alexander Zaitchik, author of The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump’s America


“Welcome to the Dark Side of America’s ‘War on Terror.’ Aside from the fact that it is impossible to fight a war against an abstract noun like ‘terror, ‘ just consider this: If you waterboard a person long enough, they will confess to anything. ‘Enhanced interrogation’ is nothing more than torture – and America is supposed to stand for something better than that. The well-qualified authors of this book do a great job of exposing this fiasco, an international embarrassment of American foreign policy.”– David Wayne, NY Times bestselling author of Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination


“News headlines haven’t done justice to the story of Abu Zubaydah. The Convenient Terrorist makes clear he’s not one of the good guys. But the authors also show Zubaydah didn’t deserve the torture he’s suffered at the hands of the American government, and deserves a fair trial after 15 years in American custody. This book goes beyond the scattered news reports about Zubaydah, and will help you better understand the US war on terror.”– Bill Sanderson, author of Bulletins from Dallas: Reporting the JFK Assassination


“After you read this book, you will never look at Homeland the same way again.” — Gregg Stebben, author of White House Confidential


” The Convenient Terrorist is a unique, compelling, first-hand account by Joseph Hickman and John Kiriakou who lived the life of Abu Zubaydah to the hilt. Fortified by tenacious research and intimate involvement in black side of this case, no other authors could come close to telling this roller coaster ride through America’s War on Terror and the major role Abu Zubaydah has played in this war. This book pulls no punches and exhibits total courage. The “water boarding” section reminded me of what I have come to hate in a lifetime in the criminal law: confession by torture. Not only is it beyond the boundaries of human decency but, worse yet, it more likely than not produces a false confession, a serious danger to those inflicting the torture. Every sentence in The Convenient Terrorist is packed with corroborated facts than add up to aiming a spotlight at the War on Terror. It is an essential read.” — William Martin, editor of The Crime of the Century


“Who is Abu Zubaydah? A monster? A ‘high value detainee’ indefinitely imprisoned in Gitmo without charge? Or collateral damage in an undeclared but unending war–a human being transformed into moral dark matter by uncomprehending national leaders and their unquestioning agents? A former CIA officer and one of Zubaydah’s original captors, John Kiriakou served thirty months in federal prison during 2013-2015 essentially for revealing that Zubaydah was tortured. Together with coauthor Joseph Hickman, he now reveals all the inconvenient truth behind the captivity of this ‘convenient terrorist.’ It is a story for our time, and I know three American presidents who will not want you to read it.”– Alan Axelrod, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to American History and Patton on Leadership


“This book describes the horrific, prolonged and illegal torture by the CIA and the Department of Defense of Abu Zubayadah at Guantánamo. Coauthor John Kiriakou was imprisoned for blowing the whistle on this. Bush, Cheney, and their complicit underlings should have served time instead. They didn’t and now Trump wants to use torture again. Read this book. And stop him.”– Michael Steven Smith, cohost of Law and Disorder and coauthor of How the CIA Killed Che


” The Convenient Terrorist will grab you from the very start. It reads like a spy novel but has the benefit of being all too real. Told by John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who blew the whistle on CIA torture, and by Joseph Hickman who worked in military intelligence on Guantanamo Bay, it is the story of CIA ineptitude, cruelty, cover-up, and terrible blowback. It is the tale of a rogue agency which has compromised our safety and security while in the process shredding our Constitution and the international laws that should govern us. This book will make you wonder what this War on Terror is all about and question the bizarre methods being used to wage it. This is a book of conscience and courage, and is a must-read for every American.”– Dan Kovalik, author of The Plot to Scapegoat Russia

Hardcover, 160 pages

John Kiriakou is a former CIA operative and senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A target of the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers, he remains the only US official to serve time behind bars after revelations of CIA “enhanced interrogation” practices, despite openly opposing the torture program. He maintains that his case was about exposing torture, not leaking information, adding, he “would do it all over again.” He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia, with his family.

Contributor Bio:  Hickman, Joseph
Joseph Hickman spent most of his life in the military, first as a Marine, then as a soldier in both the Army and the National Guard. He has deployed on several military operations throughout the world, sometimes attached to foreign militaries. The recipient of more than twenty commendations and awards, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal while he was stationed with the 629th Military Intelligence Battalion in Guantanamo Bay. He is currently working as freelance journalist covering national security issues, and corporate fraud. He is also an independent researcher, and Senior Research Fellow at Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Policy and Research. His revelations about the abuse of prisoners at Gitmo resulted in a National Magazine Award-winning story in Harper’s magazine and a 2015 book, Murder at Camp Delta. He has also written for NewsweekTIMEVICE News, and Al-Jazeera America.

Contributor Bio:  Talbot, David
David Talbot is the New York Times bestselling author of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and The Devil’s Chessboard. He is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon and has written for the New YorkerRolling Stone, and Time. He lives in San Francisco.

Additional information

Weight 13.6 oz
Dimensions 9.1 × 6 × .9 in