March 2nd, 2009
03:47 PM ET

92 interrogation tapes destroyed by CIA

CIA Chief Leon Panetta inherits the issue of the destroyed interrogation tapes. Panetta says he does not plan to use coercive interrogation techniques on terrorist detainees.

CIA Chief Leon Panetta inherits the issue of the destroyed interrogation tapes. Panetta says he does not plan to use coercive interrogation techniques on terrorist detainees.

Pam Benson
CNN National Security Producer

The CIA destroyed 92 videotapes of detainee interrogations, according to a court document filed by the government on Monday. The disclosure marks the first time the specific number of tapes has been made public.

The tapes were made in 2002 and showed the interrogations of two suspected al Qaeda leaders, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. According to former CIA officer John Kiriakou, some of the videos showed harsh interrogations including the use of waterboarding, which is said to simulate drowning and is considered by most people to be a form of torture.

Government officials have said the tapes were destroyed in November 2005 at the orders of Jose Rodriguez, the then head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, with the approval of NCS lawyers.


Filed under: 360° Radar
March 2nd, 2009
12:58 PM ET

Stay calm. Make it a priority.

David Gewirtz | BIO
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to, almost universally, people are stressed out. Many of you are terrified you're going to lose your jobs, many of you have lost some savings, a shocking number of Americans have lost their homes. The news is unfailingly bad and the outrages seem to keep piling up.

While the world seems to be spinning out of control, there is one area of your life you can take absolute control over: your state of mind. Stay calm. Make it a priority.

Stay calm and get resourceful.

Most of us can survive almost anything if we don't freak out. Stay calm. Freaking out hurts, physically. It also hurts the people around you and it interferes with your ability to think. Ever watch a James Bond movie (or MacGyver)? When faced with challenge, our favorite heroes stay calm and get resourceful, not crazy.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy
March 2nd, 2009
12:26 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: AIG’s record-setting loss

AIG lost more than $60 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

AIG lost more than $60 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Stunning losses, billions more in bailout money and thousands of layoffs… and it’s only Monday.

Overwhelmed by ongoing deterioration in the credit markets and charges related to its restructuring, AIG reported a $62 billion quarterly loss this morning - the biggest quarterly loss in U.S. history. And for the full year, the insurance giant’s loss was even more dramatic: $99 billion.

Government officials also unveiled their latest efforts to prevent the firm from collapsing by redrawing the terms of its bailout and pumping in up to $30 billion more in exchange for non-voting stock.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil • Wall St.
March 2nd, 2009
11:16 AM ET

What kind of regulation czar?

Business Week
John Carey

Tucked within the Office of Management & Budget in Washington is the most powerful agency most people outside the Beltway have never heard of. It's the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), home to a regulatory czar who sits in judgment of most proposed government rules, especially those for environment, health, and safety. "OIRA is crucial—it's the only gatekeeper in the city," says William L. Kovacs, a vice-president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The gate was very friendly to business during the Bush years. It clanged shut on most proposed rules—about air quality, for example—that companies said would be too costly. Kovacs and others in the business community feared President Barack Obama would fling open that gate, letting the regulatory agencies run amok. So there was huge relief when Obama picked friend and former University of Chicago Law School colleague, Cass R. Sunstein—currently a professor at Harvard Law School. "He is the best we could have hoped for from this Administration," says Iain Murray, senior fellow at the right-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute.


March 2nd, 2009
11:02 AM ET

Rush Limbaugh's CPAC Speech

Randi Kaye and panelists discuss Rush Limbaugh's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Filed under: Randi Kaye • Raw Politics • Republicans
March 2nd, 2009
10:57 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Winter Blast

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

A winter snowstorm has paralyzed travel across the northeast and is causing a ripple effect across the nation as there are delays in major airports. Up to a foot of snow is expected in some places. It’s pretty wild out there.

Other headlines today: The US government threw a $30 billion lifeline to American International Group as the insurer reports the biggest quarterly loss in corporate history. The total loss this year is a staggering $99 billion.

This loan is the 4th time the government has stepped in to save AIG. AIG provides insurance to small businesses, cities, 401k plans, and some Fortune 500 companies. What do you make of this loan? Ali will have more tonight.


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
March 2nd, 2009
09:53 AM ET

Poll finds U.S. Muslims thriving, but not content

The New York Times
Laurie Goodstein

A Gallup poll of Muslims in the United States has found that they are far more likely than people in Muslim countries to see themselves as thriving.

In fact, the only countries where Muslims are more likely to see themselves as thriving are Saudi Arabia and Germany, according to the poll.

And yet, within the United States, Muslims are the least content religious group, when compared with Jews, Mormons, Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Gallup researchers say that is because the largest segment of American Muslims are African-Americans (35 percent, including first-generation immigrants), and they generally report lower levels of income, education, employment and well-being than other Americans.


Filed under: Islam • Middle East • Religion
March 2nd, 2009
09:43 AM ET

Freddie Mac CEO to resign

CNN Money
Aaron Smith

Freddie Mac's chief executive, installed last year after the government took over the troubled mortgage finance company, is resigning, the company and its regulator said Monday.

David Moffett will step down by March 13. Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) said it would announce a successor by then.

Moffett said that he planned to return to the financial services sector. He served as chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp from 1993 until 2007.

"We are very sorry to see David go," Freddie Chairman John Koskinen said in a statement. "He made valuable contributions to Freddie Mac as the company transitioned into conservatorship."


Filed under: Economy
March 2nd, 2009
09:30 AM ET

Dear President Obama #42: School dazed

Reporter's Note: President Barack Obama would like Americans to give him ideas on how to improve the country. So armed with a keyboard, a roll of stamps, and tenacity, I am writing a letter a day to the White House.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Your Education Secretary Arne Duncan made me wake up in a cold sweat last night, screaming “No!” like a Twilight Zone character who hears a puppet whispering in the closet. Take me back, magic shoes, to those halcyon days of learning, amid chalk dust and gym class; remind me of the youth I was, and let my voice roar: Longer school years are a terrible idea.

Well, ok, I’m getting a little carried away. Maybe it’s not terrible. Maybe not even bad. But certainly the idea warrants skepticism. Your basketball playing pal believes we are being driven off of the court educationally by other countries like China and India where the school years are longer. He says, “Where students have longer days, longer weeks, longer years; that’s making a difference.”


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