April 23rd, 2009
09:49 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/23/09

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soundoff (419 Responses)
  1. denise silverman

    torture should be only allowed under one condition. If there was an iminent attack in the next 24 hours and the prisoner held knows who what and when

    April 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  2. gail

    No, The Geneva Conventions are the guidelines that the United States of America signed on to to keep our soldiers safe from torture. It has nothing to do with whether a person is a uniformed combatant or not it has to do with showing that we are a decent nation that realizes that behaving like the animals of 9/11 that we abhor is not how to rally people to our cause. It is the very idea that the ends justify the means that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations use to justify their brutality. I will not accept that from the country that I love .

    April 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  3. Glen Pickersgill

    Bill Bennett,
    So this man actually admitted that the US takes great efforts in human torture. Even on the US Troops and is proud of it. This coming from a man who was the Executive Director of the National Humanities Center? Perhaps he should get in line with rest for the Hague.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  4. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    @ Tom

    Terrorists do not care what we did (whether we “tortured” or not) They will do what they Want to do! It is nice to have a moral code, but the terrorists do not care about our morals...

    April 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  5. Anna

    If all those procedure dealing with prisoners were not torture then why Bush and Cheney let prosecute soldiers for Iraq Abu Grab prison debacle. They did not say this is not torture instead they said it is few bad apples. We can not have it both ways.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  6. Parth from Jersey

    See now Zakaria looks like a guy who knows stuff. Love that guy.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  7. Laura - Va

    @James – If the Taliban take over Pakistan, Osama bin Laden will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons at his disposal. If a million people die in New York, I think torture would happen.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  8. Lynn

    The worst part of this are the people in prison right now who participated in Abu G. were victimized as an "aberration" while the higher ups that approved it got off svot free. They let down their own men.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  9. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Water boarding is not OK ... such techniques were used by Nazi Germany and Russia under Stalin to obtain forced signed confessions. Torture physical or psychological should never be used. EVER.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  10. dan

    Terrorists not in uniform are not covered by the Geneva convention which is not a one way street. The agreement was designed to introduce basic rules of war for all parties, not simply the nation that takes prisoners. The captives who have been "tortured" do not meet the criteria outlined in the convention.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  11. Sue

    Nancy Pelosi isn't going to be happy until Bush is drawn and quartered. When are our political leaders going to start concentrating on current problems instead of some kind of political payback?

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  12. Jon

    It's entertaining to watch individuals try to defend horrific acts like waterboarding, and do it with a straight face.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  13. Jen

    The argument that we put our soldiers through "torture" techniques is not the equivalent to using it on our enemies. We do it to our soldiers to help prepare them for the atrocities that they may face from people we consider to be less than just. That does not make it O.K. to then behave like them. The practice may or may not be a necessary evil, but don't just use the excuse that "they do it, so we should too".

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  14. Rafael Bronx,NY

    I have a feeling that these photo of the abuse prisoners victims should not be release.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  15. Mike Syracuse, NY

    @Caroline, Los Angeles "The detainees never know when it will stop."

    Exactly why it works. If you know there's an end in sight you can just tough it out. The idea is to break them and make them talk.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  16. Dennis

    Are you kidding me. One of your guest just compared Army training to Torture. The difference is in the army you can quit and be sent back to your old unit. I served 20 years in the Military and if you could'nt stand the training you could quit, and go back to your old unit. These tactics were only used for specialty units. IE Special Forces/Lrrps, (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols).
    A prisoner or a "terrorist" cannot quit and must subcum to what ever his captures want. I'm tired of Republicans defending other Republicans breaking the Law. Hell, Cheney even stated he agreed with it, and condoned it because of information we gathered from torture. Show me the information from torture, there has not been one shred of evidence that torture revealed anything to keep our country safe. Ask our prisoner of all the Wars if the torture they received was just, bedside's all they were trying to do was to get intelligence. How ironic and hypocritical the Republican party is, I'm tired of the Right.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  17. Eric walker,Miami fl

    I would personally like to thank the prior Administration for keeping us safe and ridding that desert of a place Afghanistan of the taliban and sending them into a safer haven country with nuclear weapons. Thanks.......

    April 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  18. Steve - southern Illinois

    Torturing people only created millions of more potential terrorists and made us less safe.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  19. Moe Simpson

    If a 4 year old child little girl had information that would save lives would it be ok to water board her 180 times six times a day. torture is torture no matter how you slice it.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  20. Dale

    Let's see what B O does when the United States falls under attack.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  21. Zoee - Canada

    Is there any other way to get useful information from prisoners?

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  22. Stephen, Missouri

    Bill Bennett has no credibility. Unlike Bush who claimed 'US does not torture' President Obama was careful when he spoke...he said from the beginning CIA officers were protected. He never promised he would lean on Holder not to do his work...like all Republicans never listen to what Obama says, only to claim later that he changed his mind.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  23. Lori from IL

    Pakistan, as we know it, seems to be shrinking daily. How sad for the little girl - looking forward to the second hour tonight. Thanks for bringing us this very important story.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  24. gail

    @ Greg
    It has already been defined and waterboarding is a part of the definition. The truth is that the Bush?Cheney administration let the terror of being attacked on 9/11 lead them down a path in which we started and illegal war and used torture techniques to try to gain justification for it. They panicked and let fear lead them to tarnish the reputation of the United Sates. Just goes to show that their is nothing worse than a false tough guy. They will get you killed and don't admit its their own failure of courage that has done the damage.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  25. Lynne from MO

    Torture is torture, no matter the information obtained. Have we not learned any lessions from World War II and the Viet Nam War? Why is it torture when inflicted on our troops, but acceptable when we use it on others? I see not difference, and our leaders who authorized it should be treated as the war criminals they are.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  26. Mike Syracuse, NY

    @Gary, I agree. Pelosi's denial was carefully worded. She absolutely knew.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  27. Sabrina

    @Lynne – Thanks so much for saying that. Obama's CIA guy said torture is not worth it and it did more harm to our saftey. I wish there was more push back on that.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  28. Sharon Hastings

    Do the ends justify the means? This is an age old question. In many instances I would say no. However, ask the victim's families from 9/11 if they would be in favor of waterboarding if it could have been used to prevent that attack. The more close up and personal the issue the more perspective changes. Situation ethics. Torture sounds terrible unless by its use it could save your son, daughter, husband, wife, mother, father.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  29. Dane Kinsey

    You are only damageing a country this is not tortur our own solders go through this
    Why don't we just invite them for tea and biscuts you make us look week in the eyes of the world thanks

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  30. Chris Perry

    Water boarding, sleep deprivation. These practices can not be labeled torture in a vacuum. To what extent and for how long? What were the circumstances? Some cases would be considered terrible, some needed to prevent much worse and larger tragedies.
    Either way, it is atrocious to convict military personelle that were doing there jobs in harms way. Is there no honor that is not for sale for political gain?

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  31. DON

    This waterboarding situation is something we needed to do. How many Americans will we lose before we realize this. We could play like all the terrorists, what fairs for them is never fair for all.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  32. Lauren--NY

    Evening, everyone.

    It's interesting to me that no one seems to have answered one of Anderson's earlier questions...if the United States declared waterboarding torture when Cambodia did it, why is it not torture when the United States does it?

    I don't buy the conservative argument that it takes an expert to determine what torture is. Anything that can result in permanent brain damage is torture–that includes both waterboarding and sleep deprivation.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  33. Kristin (Buffalo, NY)

    Mike in Syracuse, re: saving your child's life, that assumes that waterboarding is the only way to save your child's life and that you are certain that waterboarding will prevent it. Neither of those has yet been proven to be the case here.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  34. Larry

    Isn't this the time to ask the rest of the world to step up to the plate and let them assist in Pakistan. This is the time to remind them if you don't want to stand behind our troops feel free to stand in front of them.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  35. Cristy Kirssin

    I want to go out to eat with the Obama's in D.C! I would suggest Adam's Morgan or anywhere really!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  36. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Yes Isabel,
    that is so horrible for her, she don't want marry old man, she want free herself.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  37. Matt

    I am in the military and have done resistance training. I have been waterboarded. Waterboarding is torture. It makes me sick that our government has used this "technique" in our names.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  38. Roseline

    Hi Anderson, I dont know who to believe in regards to waterboarding, everyone points to the other.

    The Taliban is so scarry, how in this modern age can we have such neanderthals, such ignorance, un God like behavior.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  39. David

    All I heard from Mr. Bennett is that it is OK to break our laws, ignore our values and brush off our constitution if it means keeping us safe. If we would do that with the 2nd Amendment then the US would be a great place!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  40. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Once again, the Geneva Convention only applies to uniformed members of a county's armed forces, not terrorists.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  41. Dave

    There is no way to rate this objectively. The press as usual is only sharing a part of the story.

    The thing I find interesting is the same people that jump on the wagon to call this torture will be the first to complain when their country is unsafe. I agree this is a slippery slope but the past administration including liberal congress members approved the interrogation method. Now those same members want to back track and prosecute. You can't have it both ways.

    As usual we have politians in Washington and not representatives of the people.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Isabel

    @ Caroline, Los Angeles

    Yes. And long term effects include panic attacks, depression and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

    About waterboarding some patients couldn’t take showers, and panicked when it rained.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Caroline, Los Angeles

    @Jeepdriver-we invaded their country. Justified or unjustified, that's not going to make us popular with the zealots. We captured their family members. We killed their children (accidentally).

    I think they have enough reason to hate us. Don't you?

    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    @ Mike Syracuse, NY
    Declassifying would only allow Americans to understand what the rest of the world already knows.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Mike M, Kansas City, MO

    @Mark, Its just not the conservatives that only hear what they want. The Democrats are just as guilty of the same thing. It seams to be a "Washington" thing.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  46. dan

    Here is what noted right winger Alan Dershowitz said about torture in 2001: "Everybody says they're opposed to torture. But everyone would do it personally if they knew it could save the life of a kidnapped child who had only two hours of oxygen left before death. And it would be the right thing to do," said Dershowitz. Can we please put the interrogation policies into the context of 2001.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  47. Heather - Spokane, WA

    You would think that Islam would take notice about pairing very young girls to marry much older men especially after that little girl burned herself purposefully to protest the marriage

    April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  48. Lynn

    To compare waterboarding in the training of troops who are in a safe, friendly environment to the repeated waterboarding of a prisoner is like comparing apple and oranges.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  49. Katt from Citrus Co. FL

    I don't understand the people who are mad because it was "leaked" What would be better, NOT to know? So if you aren't caught, then it's OK?
    Yes, AC, it doesn't matter if it works or not, thanks for asking that important question!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  50. maximaju

    Can we believe anything Mr. Chaney may say. The end does not justify the means

    April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
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