"He's good," one official said of Zubaydah. "He's very good."
And very tough. Another official said Zubaydah was "blowing smoke" and deliberately exaggerating al Qaeda's capabilities.
There are nearly 600 prisoners being held by the U.S. in Afghanistan and at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged that members of al Qaeda are tough to crack.
Other officials said no prisoner of any real significance is cooperating. Most of them are sticking to cover stories, like "I came to Afghanistan to teach the Koran."
Only when confronted with evidence collected from al Qaeda hideouts and caves in Afghanistan do they reveal their real reasons.
It has been five months since the first prisoners were taken, and as one military officer put it, "We haven't scratched the surface in getting things out of these folks that we need."