May 13th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/13/09

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Tonight, we'll take you live to Arizona State University where President Obama will address the graduating class. His visit drawing controversy when the school refused to grant him an honorary degree, saying he basically hadn't accomplished enough. We'll also look at Pres. Obama's controversial speech at Notre Dame this weekend. Some believe a Catholic university should not honor a president whose views on abortion and stem cell research run counter to church. Text us your questions on this topic. Just put the initals A-C, your name, location and question in the text and send it to 94553.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on Pres. Obama's college tour and tonight's other headlines during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (496 Responses)
  1. Kristen - University Park, PA

    Who cares if a non-Catholic goes against Catholic principles. I think its just ignorant for people to be so intolerant of others and their view points.

    I don't think Obama is coming to Notre Dame to sell people on his beliefs. They should be honored to have a sitting President giving their commencement address.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  2. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Oh boy! people are protest against Abortion at Notre Dame!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  3. gail

    Every President since FDR has been invited to Notre Dame. GWB is a proponent of the death penalty and war and spoke at the school. This is the height of hypocrisy. And I agree with the Rev., the Catholic Church looks afraid. The President should speak. Period.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  4. starr formerly known as vincent

    Good evening Anderson ET AL

    Good evening bloggers (sorry i'm late, tech prob's)

    I support keeping the photos under wraps for the time being. it will stir up Anti-American sentiment. Now is not the time for that.

    I think we should let congress continue their investigations to see what (if anything) should be done to the leaders of the Bush Adminstration that seem to have gone over the line (meaning broke the law).

    May 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  5. kayjonescnn

    Just had an interesting conversation with Bill Donohue. Looking forward to his discussion with Father Thomas Reese shortly.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  6. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    I will be more than willing to admit it if I'm wrong...but I highly doubt President Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame will be about abortion...he's not gonna try and convert you...so why does it matter? I for one would be honored if the Pres was at my University!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  7. Esma

    ASU doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to accomplishments (they have a 92% acceptance rate), and Notre Dame is making me want to move out of Indiana. I'm so sick of weak, shock-and-awe arguments.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  8. Larry

    We're so concerned over terrorist detainees than over the rights of the unborn - is it any wonder why our country is in the mess it is

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  9. Cessy, Chicago

    were there any other presidents that was not given an honorary degree for being in office in such a short time? I'm curious...

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  10. PeggyAnne

    only a gifted man could get an award from Notre Dame and have support from NARAL. Obama is a pro!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  11. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Why shouldn't he be able to speak at the graduation? The vast majority of everyone in the U.S, including catholics, voted for him. Not everyone is against him

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  12. Joahnn

    If releasing the photos reveals additional suspects then I say release them. If not, then let it be. Everyone already knows that it was ugly....

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  13. Fay - California

    I would guess that becoming the first African-American President of the United States is an accomplishment worthy of an honorary degree – are the ASU students still upset that McCain lost?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  14. Miss J

    Those Notre Dame students need to be more worried about finding a job after they graduate.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  15. Mike N, Nashville TN

    Torture photos...America is becoming a nation of hippocrits. Change we can believe in...Only when its convienient...

    May 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  16. Sarah, Naperville IL

    I'm not sure I understand the controversy over President Obama's commencement speech at Notre Dame. I had always thought the university was a center of learning–there's always room for openmindedness in academic institutions, right?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  17. Bridget, TX

    @Jon, thank you for serving and may God protect you and all our service personnel. I don't believe one life should be lost or harmed, just to prove what we already know–GW and Cheney broke the law daily.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Kathy, Andover

    The ACLU is the organization that stood up for that lunatic in KS that is against homosexuals and took it out on our military, ie military funerals. That attorney represents the ACLU and supposed rights. The ACLU is a screwball organization, to say the least!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  19. gail

    Thank you for your service . Because I have a family member whose step son was killed in Iraq in 2007, I believe that the safety of our troops is paramount. Perp walking Dick Cheney is not worth the life of one of our militarythat could be cause in a backlash over those photos. Period.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  20. Jonathan Wilson

    I don't believe we need to see the photos, however the President does not seem to be a man of his word. Why is it he is flip flopping on so many things?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  21. Sandra Robertson, GA

    Good evening Anderson. In reference to interrogation techniques, torture, and abuse of detainees, I doubt we will ever know the entire details including the number of deaths.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  22. Lori from IL

    I'm somewhat puzzled by President Obama's flip flop on the release of the photos. Given his track record of listening to all sides of an issue and then really thinking before taking action, I want to believe that he received new information that made him change his mind. If this is the case, then I'm happy, that he's just not charging forward and is willing to reverse these types of decisions when new information becomes available.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  23. Krasi, Houston, TX

    We do live in a dangerous world, but I am not quite sure that everyone is used to living dangerously...

    May 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  24. Jasmine-Spokane, WA (Spokandyland)

    @Lori....if you can you should take some pix, safely of course! 😛

    May 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  25. Minou, New York City

    I think you are right about that, except who was responsible for ordering the abuse in the first place? The very person who sent you into this war.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  26. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    @Jon, thank you so much for your service, i appreciate all that you do!

    i didnt think about the release of the photos endangering our troops, i understand your concern, and i do share it from that aspect.

    be safe.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  27. Lynn

    President Obama is NOT following the Bush foreign policy. He is ending the war in Iraq, he is accelerating the right was against the people who attacked New York and he is vigorously using diplomacy to try to solve problems.

    Bush and the neocons used hate, threats and war that only inflamed the situation and in EIGHT years solved no world problems.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  28. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass.

    I think the photos should be shown.We see photos of every sort these days,in seconds news is flashed around the world via cellphone cameras etc. Thieves are caught and exposed...It's time to show our worst behavior ,as a nation,if only to hope to change the future.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  29. Dulcie - Denver

    Very interesting conversation about release of the photos. I can see both sides, though I think it's more or less okay for Pres. Obama to not release them. Of course, people want to see them, but if they're stipulating that abuses happened, I'm not sure what releasing the photos is supposed to accomplish.

    Once the photos are out, nothing in the universe can pull them back. Erring on the side of prudence doesn't seem like a terrible thing to do. Of course some people are outraged because the photos were dangled and now pulled back.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  30. Miss J

    Ok – I know Anderson had to have asked this already but what is different about these photos from the others ones we've already seen?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  31. Bridget, TX

    @Heather is there anyone who doesn't know Cheney's administration lied daily to us? I want those guilty to pay but my first priority is the safety of our troops. I personally would rather all the evil doers went free then to lose one life or endanger the safety of one miliatary person by releasing the pictures.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  32. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Those pictures reveal skeleton in the closet taken by the last administration.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  33. anthonia-california

    Heeey Peeps 🙂

    greaat stories i want to see tonight !

    May 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  34. Cristina

    Cool you are showing Obama's speech live..What will he be talking about?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  35. gail

    @ Mike
    No need to smear the ACLU and say they are the same as Al-Qaeda. Civility is needed for dialogue.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  36. Daniel

    I agree with Pres. Obama on not releasing the photos. The military would be in a far worse threat than we already are in.. I know there is a freedom of press, but alot of issues of war don't need to be put out publicly. We have a job and we do it well.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  37. Paula, Colorado

    Hi! It's great to see you are on live for two hours tonight.
    –I can understand Pres. Obama's decision on the photos. Though they are a result of past military actions–and should be investigated–it doesn't seem necessary to provoke those who would be highly–or irrationally–sensitive to their viewing.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  38. David, Indiana

    Evening Anderson, Erica, everyone. Wow, didn't know that there were tornadoes in Missouri today, hope every out there is all right.

    I don't think former vp Cheney's arguments have any impact in this situation. The President is being cautious. I respect his decision, but I don't like torture, don't want to see it continue or possibly continue and feel like these photos should be released.

    Photos are specific evidence directly relevant, not necessarily conclusive, to documenting abuse and mistreatment of prisoners. I disagree with Kevin Madden on this.

    Amrit Singh is right about the need for accountablity. National Security is important as Kevin Madden notes, but both National Security and accountabilty are "essential."

    Anderson, I do agree, though, the question of inflaming passions in sensitive war zones is the hard part of this issue.

    Eventually though the photos have to be released.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  39. Jasmine-Spokane, WA (Spokandyland)

    Did water torture as an experiement..didn't think it would do anything....right......it drives you MAD

    May 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  40. James in TN

    Evening A/C, Erica, David, and bloggers

    You know the President will give a great speech as usual and as far as inspiring, can you say h*ll yea on here. Least it's not Bush or Chaney.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  41. Lynn

    A university, even if it is a Catholic University, should be a place of vigourous discussion and study of all sides of an issue. If you leave university only accepting one side, you are not a critical thinker.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  42. Miss J

    The photos will probably eventually come out. I actually want to see them.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  43. Esma

    Ms. Singh's argument is much more sound, but then again, I have one of those sympathetic hearts.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  44. Cessy, Chicago

    On what basis did the Pres. decide to release the detainee photos back then? I forgot....

    May 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  45. Lori from IL

    Tornado video a little too scary as I sit here with our area under a tornado watch and severs thunderstorm warnings for the next two hours. All the lightening and thunder is a nice natural "special effect!"

    May 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  46. Minou, New York City

    Anderson, thanks for discussing the prisoner abuse issue! Too many things are ignored or not followed up about by the press and therefore the American people stay ignorant about what their own leaders do (and order others to do).

    May 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  47. Jon

    I am a soldier who’s been to Iraq and will leave again within the next week. Everyone’s screaming about transparency and accountability, but at what cost … my life. We know these photo's will be used against us, US Citizens and soldiers. Where is the accountability in that?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  48. Bridget, TX

    Hello Anderson, CNN team and bloggers.

    I disagree with the ACLU attorney that releasing the pictures are a necessity for Americans to see. I wanted to see the pictures but if the Generals and those who are in charge of the lives of our men and women say it will endanger our troops, I say lets take their word for it.

    The ACLU doesn't appear to have any concern for our miliatary troop. Those who need to see the pictures to determine who goes to court can and make a decision about charges.

    Does Singh care at all about the safety of our troops?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  49. Rebekah

    evening Anderson and Erica!

    wish i could stay up and watch the second live hour of AC360 tonite but i sadly have 2 AP Econ tests to take tomorrow bright and early so i'll only get to see hour one, so put as much as you can into that first hour, will ya? =]

    great to hear more coverage on the torture memos. keep asking those tough questions, Anderson, let's get to the facts of this.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  50. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    @Kay...I didn't even attend my commencement...but I promise, if President Obama had been giving the commencement address I would have been there!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
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