April 16th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/16/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Gov. Sarah Plain is back in the spotlight tonight. She's giving her first speech this year in the lower 48. That has people talking about whether she'll run for the White House in 2012. Do you think she should? Share your thoughts below.

And, don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on Sarah Palin and tonight's other headlines during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
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And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (498 Responses)
  1. Lori from IL

    @ Erica - Love that David Gergen and Jeff Toobin are in the house!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  2. Wayne

    CIA released documents will prove to be a huge mistake.

    Obama will regret it.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  3. Gilbert Cavello

    I think Bush should be prosecuted! No one is above the LAW!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  4. Heather

    The tactics mentioned on your program, including waterboarding, are tactics that are trained by the US Military to use in extreme measures. Soldiers are put to the test using these tactics and have to be able to handle these pressures before they are allowed to go into battle.
    Torture typically equate to physical abuse. Phsycological warfare is much different and these tactics have been accepted since WWI.
    From your report, torture (physical injury) was not present.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  5. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Erica...how can you stand all the amazing-ness of David, Jeff and AC? All you need now is the Velsh-man...but then the cameras might not be able to capture all the awesomeness! 🙂

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  6. M Frances

    Yes, torture is cruel but if that is what it takes to find out information that will protect innocent people then it is a necessary evil. Example: if the US was holding prisoners who had insight into upcoming terrorists attacks then I say do what you have to find out the facts so that they can be prevented.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  7. Pat

    Remember who these prisioners were and what they were planning to do against the U.S. These were not nice people. I agree with David Gergen you have to put things in perspective. It is easy to critizice now 8 years later.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  8. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Mike..."We’ll never know how many attacks were prevented.”:

    If any. This comment simply supports the Bush administration scare tactics and fabricated hype. Sounds like you support torture.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  9. Wayne

    David Gergen is totally wrong about the only attack on the White House.

    Remember Dolly Madison fleeing with the Washinton portrait?

    The British in vaded and burned Washington.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  10. Jay Ouellet

    What is wrong with the USA ?
    It is so stupid to release the CIA torture techniques
    All countries have 'torture' techniques. But they are smart enuf not to admit it.
    The Islamists cut off hands and heads daily but you guys never report it.
    Our interrogations are what saves us.
    By handcuffing the USA, what do you want, another 911 ?


    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  11. Michelle

    Of course George Bush is lying.
    Just look at what is in the memos.
    They knew they were torturing.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  12. Lori from IL

    @David Gergen — I do believe the White House came under attack in 1814 when the British “burned Washington” — however, I will give you that September 11, 2001 was the first time in our lifetimes, that the White House was under attack — (sorry, I couldn’t let that slide!)

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  13. Cindy

    The US isn't the only ones torturing people. The way you all are talking you act like we are!


    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  14. Steve - southern Illinois

    I have a lot of respect for David Gergen. But I strongly disagree that the sanctioning of torture by the Executive Branch of the United States government is "understandable."

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  15. sharon

    Torture is possibly a sad reality of interigation. I do not believe we crossed the line. How torturous it must have been to be in an airplane on 9/11 crashing into a building on 9/11 or jumping out a window of a World Trade Tower to avoid burning to death. Now that is torture.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  16. Bea

    Yes David Gergen, Bush was lying when he said we don't torture. Bill Clinton was lying. Bush was lying.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  17. Douglas

    Tactics used for gaining information should remain unknown to our adversaries. Select military members are subjected to all these practices (mentioned) in preparation to prevent disclosure if captured. I think both acts are hurtful to the nation (action and disclosure).

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  18. David, Indiana

    Hi Anderson great to see you back, hi Erica, everyone. I do feel the the US and Mexico partnering more closely will begin to stem the violence along the border. The dialogue at this point seems already further along.

    What about job losses in Mexico due to Nafta? Does that contribute to the problem?

    Everything on that list is torture. Yes, first admin to have to deal w the 9-11 terrorist attacks, but the Geneva Convention expressly prohibits even mistreatment of prisoner of wars.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  19. ericacnn

    "What is lying?"


    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  20. Patrick

    I was raised that there were things that others did but we would never do because we were better than that. And that our country was better than that. Because we stand for something

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  21. Jasmine-Spokane, WA

    @Erica, tells you how much of a geek I am that the first follow I had was CNN....I've been plugging it all the time at school!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  22. Lori from IL

    Oaky — this whole torture thing is really unsettling — if the “US doesn’t torture” why is the CIA trained in these tactics?

    The Attorney General (that signed the memos) needs to be prosecuted!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  23. Vanessa, TX

    Erica...he passed CNN! SO PLZ join now! lol

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  24. Rebekah

    @Cara, very good point. haha that way Obama would win reelection by the largest margin ever seen in a presidential election! he could make history again!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  25. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Susan Boyle is much like Paul Potts who back in 2007 did the same thing and knocked Simon out with a beautiful rendition of "Nessun Dorma."

    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  26. Maureen T, Canada

    I hate to admit it but waterboarding is torture...

    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  27. Cindy

    @ Erica..Ashton has passed CNNbrk!


    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  28. Beth - London, England

    @Erica Kutcher has taken you – come on guys step it up!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  29. Steve Ostrander

    Why dont we give George Bush a call and ask if he will respond?

    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  30. zack

    well i think we need to ask the people that lost love ones on 9/11.
    you need some of the tactics to get the info you need to protect america.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  31. Dulcie - Denver

    I agree with J. Toobin – those techniques are certainly torture! But I also agree with D. Gergen (as always). Not to whitewash what was done, but I'm proud of my country that the memos were released.

    Oddly enough, I don't have much passion for prosecuting the participants. They were working under orders. While it doesn't absolve what was done, I think we'd be doing a disservice by charging them with a crime for following orders.

    It's a complex issue, that's for sure.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  32. Shaylyn

    I think that the Obama administration's decision to release these memos now is nothing more than a stunt to distract from the mess he has going on right now. Bottom line, whatever you may think, there was not one attack post-9/11 under the watch of President Bush and for that the American people should be grateful.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  33. Esma

    I am hiding from Sarah Palin...why does she keep coming back here?!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  34. Anthonia-California

    Heeeey Yalll! Happy Thursday 🙂

    Are American troops also torturing terrorist at Guantánamo Bay too?

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  35. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Anderson, I am not surprised at anything the Bush/Cheney Regime did in the name of their warped sense of justice. I am breathing a sigh of relief that Pres. Obama is now trying to repair all of the damage done in the eight years that those two were in office. Shame on them and the entire Republican Party for turning a blind eye and condoning their behaviors!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  36. Susan, Sequim WA

    Obama is wrong on this one. We need to go after those that approved torture and those that committed it. It is horrid to think this happened in our names! No provocation justifies it and we will not set it right with the world by just, "moving on." We MUST hold people accountable!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  37. Doug

    In my opinion any tactic that saves a US life is worth it. Does everyone have short term memory loss and forgotten that only a few years ago we could watch video of terrorist cutting heads off.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  38. Bea

    I agree with Obama's decision but I'm sorry it had to come out that way. This is a political problem and Congress could have stood in Bush's way. They didn't.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  39. Tabi Ntoung

    Hi Anderson! Lets take a moment to reflect on this: Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is:“ any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental.............

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  40. Ashley - Hamlin, NY

    Good Thursday Cooper, Hill, Gergen, contributers, correspondents, panel, and staff.

    I’m quite glad that Toobin was on tonight – I always appreciate his lawful explanation and insight. And Gergen as well. I always love to hear his opinions.

    I would love to know who actually decided that to use these tactics on detainees. Was the order specificly given by a Bush adminstration member or did someone just ok it?

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  41. Brian

    How come we cannot keep documents secret anymore? Torture is needed!! We have the right to do whatever we need to be keep our country safe. Terrorist do not hold talks or summits. Their religion says kill all that are non-belivers!! Torture and get the info we can to stay safe!!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  42. Sabrina

    Welcome back Anderson, glad to have you back. Thanks for talking about the torture memos. We are opening up all the secrets that were withheld from us over these past 7 1/2 years.

    Gergen- I undersand fear but our leaders are not suppose to act out of fear they have to remain level headed and make the best choices. No excuse for torture.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  43. Joe

    I went to Sere school as a service member and all that you deacribe was done to me as training. This is nothing compared to the torture that you can download on you tube that the men that this is done to have authorized.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  44. Donna

    Poor President Bush and Vice President Cheney. They were so scared that they decided to turn into mindless bullies and break our own laws?

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  45. Dave

    I think that this torture has to be abolished. It is horrible to think that things like this have ever happened under the eyes of the government. I wonder, though, what law allowed torture to go on for so long without reform until just recently?

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  46. Cherry B - Ms

    Hi everyone! Great to have Mr Gergen and Mr Toubin tonight. On the issue of the prosecution of these people, as abhorrant as these techniques are, weren't these CIA operatives directed to do this?

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  47. Nattada, Houston TX

    CIA torture tactics are cruel. I think they still use some of the torture tactics in taking out information somewhere. Just nobody talks about it.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  48. ericacnn

    Important reminder – WE NEED YOU! Ashton Kutcher is gaining on us – help @cnnbrk get to 1 million followers on Twitter first. If you're not already following, this is a good time to start.

    Now... back to business on the blog 🙂

    April 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  49. Sushmita

    Terrorists are inhuman. Torture is probably what will work with them and what they deserve.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  50. Maureen T, Canada

    Good evening Anderson. Welcome back...Great to see David Gergen and Jeffrey Toobin in the studio!

    April 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
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