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If not for U.S. President Barack Obama's bold, unexpected diplomatic breakthrough with Cuba, the last weeks of 2014 would have been relentlessly unkind to America.Indeed, according to one recent analysis, young African-American males are 21 times more likely than young white males to be fatally shot by the police.Then came the release by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of 528 pages of its report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program, established following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. Our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and it is to avoid another attack against the United States".For their part, some current CIA officials continue to insist on the value of America's "enhanced interrogation" program (which Obama halted), despite the Senate report's conclusion that the techniques it employed yielded no valuable intelligence.Indeed, other accounts of America's "global war on terror" also make it clear that many of the people who were detained and tortured were not threats to America's security – at least not until U.S. actions made them so. In each case, U.S. institutions and officials held other U.S. institutions and officials to account.
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