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Last week's report on the CIA is hardly the last word on America's harsh interrogation tactics in the aftermath of September 11. Even former CIA agents disagree. And the Obama White House is using the same legal authority to justify drone strikes against suspected terrorists.

Also, assessing the outcome of the climate talks in Peru, and the shooting death of a 12-old black boy by a white cop in Cleveland has been officially ruled a "homicide."

Photo: Former Vice President Dick Cheney discusses the CIA torture report on NBC's Meet the Press, December 14, 2014

Assessing the Outcome of the Climate Talks in Peru 6 MIN, 20 SEC

Expectations were low for the latest Climate Change conference with 200 countries in Lima, Peru.  But, after marathon negotiations over the weekend, a kind of breakthrough was achieved — a signed pledge by nations, rich and poor, to cut back on emissions.  Robert Stavins, professor of business and government at the Harvard Kennedy School, is just back from Lima.

Robert Stavins, Harvard Kennedy School (@RobertStavins)

CIA Torture: Partisanship — and Accountability 35 MIN, 50 SEC

Last week, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 400-page report on what they called CIA "torture" of imprisoned suspects in the aftermath of September 11. Yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press, former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the program. "We got the authorization from the president and authorization from the Justice Department to go forward with the program. It worked. It worked now for 13 years. We've avoided another mass casualty attack against the United States and we did capture Bin Laden and we did capture an awful lot of the senior guys of Al Qaeda who were responsible for that attack on 9/11. I'd do it again in a minute."

One-time POW John McCain is one of few Republicans to agree with Senate Democrats that American values were endangered along with national security. "There were violations of the Geneva conventions for the treatment of prisoners, there were violations of the convention against torture which Ronald Reagan was a primary signatory of, and I think in retrospect some of these practices fly in the face of everything America values and stands for."

Former CIA insiders blame inexperienced agents and outside contractors, along with orders from Washington to "get tough" with prisoners. What are the prospects for accountability 13 years later?

Jane Mayer, New Yorker (@JaneMayerNYer)
Patrick Skinner, Soufan Group (@SkinnerPm)
Reuel Marc Gerecht, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@followFDD)
Robert Baer, former CIA field officer and author
Marcy Wheeler, independent journalist (@emptywheel)

Pew Research Center on division over CIA interrogation techniques
Jane Mayer on the CIA report, why torture may be hard to stop
Skinner on why the CIA leadership decided to outsource interrogation to unqualified contractors
Wheeler on Bush's torture program, Obama's drone war

The Dark Side

Jane Mayer

Tamir Rice Highlights Cleveland PD Pattern of Excessive Force 7 MIN, 31 SEC

The shooting death of Tamir Rice in Cleveland has been lumped with the killings of black men by white police officers in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.  The 12-year old was playing with a toy air gun when Timothy Loehmann arrived on the scene with a fellow police officer.  Within seconds, Rice was shot dead.  Friday, the Coronor in Cleveland ruled the incident “homicide.”  What does that mean in terms of possible accountability?

Afi Scruggs, a former columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, is now an independent journalist writing about the Tamir Rice case.

Afi Scruggs, independent journalist (@aoscruggs)

Justice Department report on pattern of excessive force by the Cleveland Division of Police

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