April 23rd, 2009
09:22 PM ET

Politics of 'torture' heating up in Washington

Read the "torture memos" obtained by the ACLU: #1, #2 , #3, #4

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/23/torture.politics/art.capitolday.gi.jpg]

Ed Hornick
The CNN Wire

Who knew what, and when?

Those questions - focused on recently released Bush-era CIA memos detailing "enhanced interrogations" of suspected al Qaeda members - are now being posed inside the Beltway, as calls for an independent investigation into torture allegations have become louder.

House Minority Leader John Boehner said Thursday that the release of what he described as the "torture" memos is politically motivated. "Last week, they (Obama administration) released these memos outlining torture techniques. That was clearly a political decision and ignored the advice of their director of national intelligence (Dennis Blair) and their CIA director (Leon Panetta)," Boehner said.

The Ohio Republican pointed out that he saw a partial list of the number of members of the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans "who were briefed on these interrogation methods and not a word was raised at the time, not one word."

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan - also blasted concerns being raised by Democrats. "Only now that we have a new administration are people coming out who were aware of these programs, saying, 'wait a minute, these were terrible programs,'" he said. "In reality, two, three years ago, they signed off on it, they voted for legislation that funded these programs, and now all of a sudden these are terrible practices."

But when asked whether she had raised objections to the interrogation measures at the time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - then a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee - vehemently said, "We were not, I repeat, we were not told that waterboarding or other enhanced methods were used."

"What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel ... but not that (the methods) would (be used)," the California Democrat added. "...Further, the point was that if and when they would be used, (the administration) would brief Congress at that time."

President Barack Obama has said that waterboarding - which simulates drowning– is torture, and has defending releasing the CIA memos.

One memo showed that CIA interrogators used waterboarding at least 266 times on suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected planner of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Earlier this week, Obama left open the possibility of criminal prosecution for former Bush administration officials who drew up the legal basis for aggressive interrogation techniques many view as torture. He said it will be up to Attorney General Eric Holder to decide whether to prosecute the former officials. Prosecutions of CIA interrogators carrying out Justice Department orders would not, however, be prosecuted, according to Obama and Holder.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller said he agreed that CIA operatives shouldn't face prosecution, but is "not prepared to say the same for the senior Bush administration officials who authorized or directed these policies in the first place."

But, the West Virginia Democrat added, "The focus for right now should be on finding the facts." Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he wants a commission of inquiry to look into the matter.

"We must take a thorough accounting of what happened, not to move a partisan agenda, but to own up to what was done in the name of national security, and to learn from it," he said. But the Senate's top Democrat said Thursday that it's important for both Democrats and Republicans to take a step back and let the appropriate investigation take place. Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said that while he doesn't support an independent "truth commission" to look into the matter, he does want the Senate Intelligence Committee to take the lead.

"It would be very unwise from my perspective to start having commissions, boards, tribunals until we find out what the facts are. I don't know a better way to get the facts than through the intelligence committee," he said. "Justice must be served. Retribution ought not be what were talking about," he added.

Earlier this week, the Senate Armed Services Committee released a 230-page report detailing interrogation tactics used at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the methods employed at Guantanamo Bay. The report showed that top Bush administration officials gave the CIA approval to use waterboarding as early as 2002.

"These are 230 pages of facts as to how abusive techniques were used, (and) what I consider to be abominable legal opinions were written to justify those techniques," committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, told CNN.

Levin now wants the Department of Justice to investigate exactly what happened - something Obama called for on Tuesday. On Thursday afternoon, Holder told a House committee on the memo prosecution question, "I will not permit the criminalization of policy differences."

But, he said, "it is my responsibility as the attorney general to enforce the law. It is my duty to enforce the law. If I see evidence of wrongdoing I will pursue it to the fullest extent of the law and I will do that in an appropriate way."

Other Democrats, nonetheless, are calling for criminal inquiries to be held. "It is the duty of the United States under the law to at least have an investigation," said Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York. Democratic leadership sources said, however, that strong Republican resistance makes that a hard sell. And that resistance has begun to show - coming from a top Senate Republican.

Sen. John McCain - who was tortured as a Vietnam War prisoner of war - has been a vocal opponent of the practice. But on Wednesday, he told reporters that it's important for the country to move forward. "If we prosecute individuals for providing their best recommendation to the president of the United States, it will have a chilling effect from now on," the Arizona Republican said.

McCain - along with Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina - on Wednesday sent a letter to Obama strongly urging him not to prosecute government officials who provided legal advice related to detainee interrogations.

"Pursuing such prosecutions would, we believe, have serious negative effects on the candor with which officials in any administration provide their best advice, and would take our country in a backward-looking direction at a time when our detainee-related challenges demand that we look forward," they said in the letter.

– CNN's Dana Bash and Time's Mark Thompson contributed to this report.

Filed under: Raw Politics • Torture
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Victor

    This torture talk is such a waste of time. There are so many more important things to worry about and focus on.

    Why are we so willing to release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay yet want to hunt down those that put them there to begin with?

    I could care less if some terrorists were roughed up a bit. Daniel Pearl was tortured by terrorist and in case you forgot he was beheaded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was then water boarded...which was harsher form of punishment? Mohammed still has his life while Daniel Pearl's wife and son remain without a father.

    April 24, 2009 at 1:26 am |
  2. steve coffman

    As far as waterboarding and getting information about the terrorists and feeling like we abused their rights, try looking at those 9/11 video of people jumping out of windows to escape the flames and hitting the buildings below them. Try looking at the video of the beheadings by the terrorists or the butchered bodies of Americans they hung on bridges and smiled for the camera in front of the tortured and mutilated bodies. Guess the ACLU does not think that qualifies for their politically correct left siided viewpoints? I watched as the towers collapsed, trapping thousands inside them including emergency personel. Do I feel good about waterboarding? No, but if it saved a single innicent American life, it was worth it. Let some of the complainers "donate" some of their families to the terrorists and let them say waterboarding is not worth the information received from it after their loved ones are returned in mutilated pieces. People forget who started this "war", it was not the USA. It is sickening to listen to the politcially correct whiners complain, especially when you never heard the outrage when the videos of Americans being tortured, beheaded, mutilated, showed up on the screen.
    These people who are against getting terrorists plots unveiled do not deserve to be called patriots, they need to be called traitors.

    April 24, 2009 at 1:25 am |
  3. patti b

    Please start a cause to stop our government. leave our CIA and security intelligence of the past alone. don't they realize how the enemies and terrorists are laughing at us.
    their intelligence committee should be spend time on hackers hacking into our electrical grids and our new fighter plane and protecting our borders

    April 24, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  4. Dolly

    It appears that barak obama will not be happy until this country is destroyed. He focuses on derision of American values, tearing down America's defenses, quieting all American opinion, eliminating all American religions. This nation was founded on freedom "of" religion, not freedom "from" religion. American citizens are now enemies of the state while terrorists are allies. May G-d help us all. It's as if he is asking repeatedly "Is Paris Burning?"

    April 24, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  5. Lisa Lalich

    I think that it is a travisty that they would want to prosecute the previous government officials for the torture that was inflicted on the terrorists. The present government should be moving forward and trying to straighten out the mess our country is in because of all of the incompetent individuals both Democrats and Republicans that put us in this economic turmoil. It is soo stupid to waste time and money(but I guess we can always print more) on something that has already happened...move on...concentrate on the now and the future and try not to make the same mistakes.

    April 24, 2009 at 1:15 am |
  6. Lorraine

    The people who were tortured were not in uniform. not from a country not under Geneva conventions. They screamed "death to America and cut off heads. We are morally wrong, so as Obama says..lets move on. We have lots of other things to do

    April 24, 2009 at 12:16 am |
  7. Sam Buick

    If there is no pursuit of justice and punishment for the vile offenses of the Bush Administration, including the conduct of the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, then there is nothing noble and good about the United States, as it will have proven itself to be culpable of war crimes and arrogant and defiant in matters of international law.

    If there is to be a restoration of American stature in the world, the Bush administration will have to answer for breaking international law and treaties and committing war crimes. Until then it is all mockery and a disgrace.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  8. rick

    Waterboarding and other forms of torture have always been illegal in America. That was until Bush and company came to Washington.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  9. Courtney Priester

    Anderson, this will get dirty when those who definitely had knowledge about these tortures are really exposed . Politicians in Washington don't want trials because things will become dirty with Senators turning on Senators, bringing others down if they fall. Sadly, some in Washington don't really care. Some are just waiting for all of this to simply blow over when a better distraction occurs.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  10. Rolando

    I find it disturbing that politics is getting injected into the on going war against terrorism. I believe right after 9/11, both Republicans & Democrats were gungho about going after the terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers and almost came close to destroying the Pentagon. Americans and the rest of the democratic world should realize that we are at war and this war has no fronts and the enemy does not follow the rule of law. Sometines we have to be in the gutter with these people to find what they are planning to do. I'm getting tired of these liberals who think they are the only ones who are rightheous and law abiding citizens. Let me remind you about World War II – America dropped two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maybe Mr. Eric Holder should go backwards in history and find out if this action was legal and if not , then investigate, prosecute and punish those who were responsible.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  11. Patrease Henson

    i have mixed feelings about the waterboarding.
    I am anti-torture, but if it saved one life, it was all worth it.
    Torture was the people who died in the Twin Towers.
    No one died from waterboarding.
    These radical terrorists are the same people who stone their own people to death.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  12. Desiree Jordan

    Ironic isn't it? That under the Bush Aministrstion we Americans actually flew the USA flag after 9/11 for TORTURE-not FREEDOM!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  13. Courtney Priester

    Anderson, some think President Obama jeopardized "a crucial technique used in the protection of our national security " but it's all about him exposing the truth for what it is. Bush, Cheyney and Polossi all told the world that the United States does not tolerate torture. They knowingly lied to the people. This is torture. Despite the fact that our military uses waterboarding, they don't use it as often as 83 times. What's important for everyone to remember is the reason why President Obama exposed this truth. It was not to undermine the Bush Administration, but to hold true to the virtues and principles that our country was founded upon. The United States promotes and protects people's civil liberties. By overlooking this particular violation due to our country's fear, the world will view America as a nation of undisputed hypocrisy and would make us no better than our enemy's or the Nazi's. The President only wants the People to know that he will not violate people's basic civil liberties which are granted by The Constitution of the United States, and that is where the real beauty of this country truly lies.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  14. shel

    I love how the president claims to be able to change all these things in our country...including our economy. Except he's focusing on things that happened in the past instead of moving forward. We will get nowhere fast moving backwards!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  15. Mark Thomas

    Torture, how ignorant can we the American people be. We don't give slingshots to the military people to go fight a war, do we? The American people expect the government to keep them safe, right? So how is the CIA suppose to get important information from people that are trying to kill us. Do the American people think if we offer them a whopper or a slice of pizza that they are going to spill all the information they know. Lets be serious about this, they don't care about us and they are willing to die to kill an American. This so called torture should have stayed behind doors, this coming out to light is all political. Someone tried to gain from this coming out to light but what they did not consider is that its at the lost of all Americans. Any chance of getting information to save American life's is worth it, right.....(we are not killing these people, they are already getting treated better than they treat us) I just got out of the military and I might go back in....So this is not my real name. It may or it may not be torture .....but the American people need it and want it whether they know it or not!!!!!!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  16. Glynn Bower

    Brutality in retribution "no matter what the excuse" will never be acceptable. To the Bush and Cheny "mein kampf" mentality, you are absolute failures as human beings and belong to the worst of the worst in hell. You are Hitler's children!

    "The Nazis might have learned from the last war the impossibility of breaking men's spirit by terrorism. Instead they develop their "lebensraum" and "new order" by depths of frightfulness which even they have never approached before. These are the acts of desperate men who know in their hearts that they cannot win. Frightfulness can never bring peace to Europe. It only sows the seeds of hatred which will one day bring fearful retribution."

    Franklin Roosevelt


    April 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  17. mickie

    I'm a veteran and the spouse of a disabled war-time veteran. I am sickened by the blatant torture tactics that were made into policy by the Bush Administration. Further, it does not matter whether those that signed off on such policies were republican or democratic. Torture has no party affiliation. Therefore, those engaged in making the policy should be punished.

    Also, this news about the military using such tactics on their own is deceptive. Military personnel are taught resistance techniques and our faces are protected while we go through a simulated waterboarding or when we are being gassed. Plus, not one service member I know of has ever been waterboarded 183 times! I have never been stripped naked and placed in a cage.

    Have we forgotten why the Saudi Arabians attacked us on 9/11? They hated our values, our way of life, and our refusal to bow down to their level. The US does not sink to such low-life and thuggish tactics regardless of the information being sought. We have integrity and honor. We always win in the end because we don't sink to the demoralized ways of our enemies! The memos and picture of the US using torture resemble something out of Adolf Hitler’s memoirs!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  18. Lionel Dodson

    I was too young to serve in the military during WW2, but I did serve in the Marines in the Korean Conflict. My father and his brothers did defend our nation in WW2. I have a nephew that has had 2 tours of duty in iraq. Do these people who are criticising the use of so called torture or waterboarding not realise how petty these claims of abuse are in terms of our national security? Our nation should not take the claims of such subversive groups as the ACLU serious. These claims are all detrimental to the security of our great nation .

    April 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  19. Nancy

    Why does it not surprise me that the ACLU would have pictures of torture that the USA used on prisoners to gain info to keep us safe. Do they have any of American soldiers being beheaded? Or maybe they have some of Americans on 9/11 jumping to their deaths from the twin towers? I think not because those are images we are not allowed to see, if we did maybe we would remember that these are terrorists who want to hurt us, they are not playing!!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  20. Marvin Elam

    The Bush administration tortured and they should held accountable all the reports and stories are true. No President should be able to make his own laws and determine what is legal and what isn't. The Republicans are trying to protect any political capitol they have left.

    People think Obama has waffled, but he said in his first press conference that no one is above the law but he would prefer to move forward.

    The Justice Department is an independent agency and should seek justice when crimes are committed, regardless of which political party the accused is affilitated with.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  21. jack

    shut your eyes and remember what you were feeling the day the towers came down. the world changed in an instant. i dont think there were many americans who would have objected to more aggressive interogations of an enemy that attacked civilians. the terorists do not play by the same rules as the rest of the civilized world. people who are willing to die to kill americans, wear civilian clothes, kill woman an children, cut the the heads of captured americans..........and you are woried about water boarding? get real! None of this will matter anyway once the taliban gets a hold of the pakistani nukes and gives a couple to iran and n korea! Maybe the new prez can play everybody in a friendly game of B-ball. winner takes all!!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  22. Carolyn

    I am so dismayed with this whole story. Your enemies must be laughing. They just sit there and watch you eating each other alive when you should be focusing on the real job America must do. The Bush era is over move on!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  23. Max

    Maybe it's not right to torture individuals, but in the name of national security i think the government should do what ever is in their power to interrogate suspected criminal or terrorist who could be a danger to millions of americans. i think president Obama maybe think it's the right thing to do but it's not, and that might come back and bite him in the ass.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  24. janet

    Please! Anderson. Let's concentrate on how to save this country's economic crisis. We do not need to spend any more air time on the legality of waterboarding our enemy in the past. Please looking forward, no more looking backwards like President Obama said himself. Thank you.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  25. Adams

    To me and obviously, is totally unfair to let go this matter without a proper and polite judgement. For the best way and to give the repect look of USA, I think the people involved should be prosecuted

    April 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  26. Ron

    Are people of the US so stupid as to believe that these terroists that we have captured are simply going to tell us what they and their coharts are planning through good care and casual conversation?? And now we are trying to accuse the people, who supposedly tortured these captors to gain what might be critical information to help the US, of crimes?? Let's all just lay down and tell the terroirsts, El Quaeda, and whomever else would like to do harm to the US to come on over; do what you like - we promise not to hurt you in any way!!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  27. Mike

    It was pathetic to see bill benet defend one of the most darkest chapters in American history. Torture is wrong, and i can't believe some are actually defending it. I have an idea Anderson have that same debate between Bill & Tucker, but post a picture of some the torture scenes on the your big screen. Just so we know exactly who stands for what!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Reggie T

    Anderson, it seems to me, that this is not a political issue, but a legal issue that is being politicized. Since this is a violation of law issue, to say that you don't take sides but report opposing views and then have Carvel and Bennet debate the politics appears disingenuous. The media obfuscation of the issue by euphemistic expressions such as "enhanced interrogations methods" is sophomoric and insulting to your audience or at least to me. Let's call the legal investigation into what the Bush Administration approved regarding toture of detainees what it is– an investigation into possible war crimes in violation of domestic and international law.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  29. Henry

    It is shocking to see that so many people in the US - the beacon of freedom - actually seem to be in doubt whether to classify this as torture. Sad that morale and human rights are dragged down to the same level as security and patriotism. Maybe media (like the show 24 and apparenty ever increasing violence on tv and in movies) has desensitized people...

    April 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  30. Tony

    I can't believe Congress wants to hold hearings on "torture"! In the days after 9/11, most Americans wanted to nuke Afgahnastan! Alkaida & the Taliban hang, behead & torture people for for minor crimes. I'm not sudgesting that we stoop to there level. I'm just saying that water bording & other relitivly minor forms of torture have helped keep this country safe since 9/11!! Lets not be hipocrites! Torture is the very mildest punishment most Americans wanted for suspected terorists immediatly following 9/11!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  31. Jennifer E. Marshall

    The very term "enhanced" interrogation scares me. It smacks of a very dangerous mentality that has a justification for any heinous act.
    I am sure that if Albert Einstein was given the task of PROVING that WATERING BOARDING work, that he would expose that it is the same dangerous "logic" used by psychopaths justifying their crimes.
    Just because truths were extracted during torture does not mean truths could only be extracted by committing crimes against suspected criminals. What we are seeing now is ugly and demented and the more excuses that are made for it, the worse it looks and smells.
    -Jennifer Marshall
    Twitter Name @LadyLE

    April 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  32. Jo Anne from Ocala

    I am disgusted and outraged by this, i.e., the tortures that were done to prisoners by us. It's unimaginable that our troops were trained to do this. I want all responsible to be punished–starting with Cheney as he's aready acknowledged that he thinks is okay. I will write my congressmen ASAP. Thanks–love your show AC and hope you live forever!!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  33. Donald Nellans

    It is easy to criticize waterboarding now. We did not water board anybody until Islamic extremists killed nearly 4000 innocent American men, women and children. As far as I am concerned, that changed the rules. How can it be worse to waterboard people in an attempt to get information from these people to save innocent American lives than extremists killing thousands of innocent people. This is nothing more than a Democratic witch hunt.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  34. King George , Va

    If waterboarding has been illegal for so many years than who's bright idea was it to some how find a reason to over look the law and permite it to happern and shame this nation.

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

    I just got through watching the segment with James Carville and Bil Bennett. Exactly what planet is Mr Bennett living on? I just lost any and all respect for him. Isn't he keeping up with the information that has already been released?

    What part of WATERBOARDING IS AND HAS BEEN DEEMED TORTURE IN THE U.S. SINCE 1898 does he not grasp>?
    What part of the facts concerning the so-called plot against the Library Tower in Los Angeles has he missed? That so-called plot doesn't follow the time-line of the post-memo's period.

    Sigh. The Republicans are grasping at straws. WORSE, they seem to be willing to engage in the same "ends justify the means' ideology that the Bush lawyers did.

    Sad day if ANYONE listens to...and believes...Bill Bennett on this subject, OR ANYONE who espouses this distortion of the facts.


    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  36. Dianne

    Doesn't anyone remember September 11th anymore? The tragic and senseless deaths of 3,000 Americans....I applaud President Bush and his administration for keeping us safe during the time he was in office. Obama should be as concerned about the safety of our homeland and Americans. Terrorists don't deserve rights....their only goal....is to KILL AMERICANS. They laugh in our faces when they watch us fighting among ourselves in situations like this. They want to kill us.....why can't anyone seem to grasp that point? All these bleeding hearts who think "oh, the poor little terrorist....he doesn't really mean to be bad!" No....wake up America....they want to slaughter you and will have no remorse. Bush and his administration should be applauded not dragged into a court room.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |

    Why do we have to justify our war tactics, when the people we waterboard would'nt think twice about cutting off one of our soldiers head with a dull knife blade for the whole world to see on the computer!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  38. Robert

    Do we really want to act like today we did not know, without a doubt, this was happening? C'mon America – and you Democrats! This is probably payback for Kenneth Starr; and we will pay dearly for investigations that will tell us what we already know.

    The election of Barack Obama was the judgement on this behavior. If he and his legislature believe we will benefit- maybe the millions of dollars will be "stimulus spending" for a bunch of legal aides and lawyers. Heck, we may even pay the Bush Administration to come and testify. But the end result will be no more than all these other previous Republican led investigations - Oh, that's right.. We can impeach President Bush.. Can we?

    Take the high road you Democrats said you would take. No more politics as usual! Right?!!!! We'll see.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  39. Uwe Pickering

    Sometimes it appears that CNN is clearly uninformed. I remember the Los Angeles incident and at the time it was quite evident that this was never going to happen. This was 6 months before the torture began. They never got any evidence from Abu Zubaydah using torture.

    American soldiers were convicted of torture. Do you homework before you allow Mr. Right Wing Bennet to lie.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  40. wayne

    Shame on all of you that attempt to justify torture or deny it.
    Politicians are elected to uphold the law not to abuse it for any reason.
    Mr. Bennett should be replaced by CNN,

    April 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  41. Tim in Columbus, Ohio

    I wonder if any of those who support "enhanced interrogation" are willing to try a little waterboarding themselves? Let's start with the Republican apologist who appeared on the show tonight.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  42. Inez Austin

    If we expect others to honor the Geneva Convention in letter and spirit then we (the USA) must also. I am sure the Nazi's were able to put spin on the murder of the Jews, Gays, Gypsies, etc. Many were caught and tried in Nuremburg, and some are still sought. Frankly, I think waterboarding and other forms of torture should be considered a crime against humanity by the World Court with the attendant criminal penalties, no matter who you are. Wheither they knew or participated (just like the driver of the car in a robbery). Otherwise we are the hypocrites the world thinks we are.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  43. Mark Porter

    The means do not justify the end, no matter what you want to believe. We want the Turkish government to fess up to the genocide of the Armenians, yet we are unwilling to acknowledge the fact that our own government authorized torture?

    April 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  44. Elizabeth Traylor

    You want to show torture. Let's see the beheadings of Americans in Afganistan and Iraq. Dare you do that.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  45. Joe

    The gentle man on ac360 just now repeating "Do we torture our own men? Do we torture our troops? It's not torture." ... I would like to point out something to this bloated idiot. Our troops *volunteered* to be tortured. They said "Please use water boarding as a tool in my education."

    The prisoners did not.

    Miami Beach, FL

    April 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  46. John Brewer

    Concerning torture you need only ask one question, If another country was doing this to your citizens would you consider it torture. As to culpability do you believe that we should have said let bygones be bygones following world war 2.

    John from Thunder Bay, Canada

    April 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  47. King George , Va

    I'm a military veteran and lets not forget that there are soldiers in jail for some of the same methods used by the CIA and if our fighting soldiers can go to jail then so should anyone who had anything to do with these methods used to gain any information to keep us safe.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  48. cyndie lou

    man cannot effectively rule man no form of human government throught all of mankinds history has ever been able to rule effectively ...what government can change peoples hearts to not hate, stop greed, feed the starving, dont they think they are above the law? they not only ignore... but hate gods law on matters the gov. will turn against religion in the future it will fulfill bible prophecy. isnt it heading that way now?

    April 23, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  49. Myra Boyd

    The only reason the GOP is whining and complaining about the "memos" being brought out is that they do not want the embarrassment the previous administration will have to admit to! The type of torture they were involved in was not necessary by any standards, other means could have been used. Bush's henchmen were the perfect pick to administer the torture tactics, it was right up their alley. It's time they were all made to answer for not just this but for all their misdeeds. It'll never happen tho'. The stench of the Bush crew will continue on until there's no one left that could be made to answer for it.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  50. Michael C. McHugh

    I think that if EVERYTHING came out, it might make the US look very bad indeed, even though I have no sympathy for Bush-Cheney in this or any other matter. Would the public really want to know all of it? It goes beyond torture–and way beyond waterboarding.

    April 23, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
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