August 10th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Criminal investigation of CIA detainee treatment?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

At long last, we may start getting some answers. The Obama administration may be getting ready to launch a criminal investigation into the CIA's treatment of detainees during the Bush years.

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The Los Angeles Times reports that Attorney General Eric Holder is "poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor" to look into the alleged abuses of terror suspects.

One Justice Department official says it would be a narrow investigation focusing on whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized in Bush era memos. Some say that criminal convictions would be hard to come by because the quality of the evidence is poor and this stuff has never been tested legally.

A prosecutor could potentially investigate waterboarding. 9-11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was reportedly waterboarded 183 times in one month, and al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in one month. Also, there are reports of prisoners being threatened with bodily harm, buried alive and threatened with a gun during interrogations.

Pres. Obama has left the door open for prosecution of those who broke the law. Both the president and Holder say they believe waterboarding is torture.

The real question is whether the administration will go after top Bush officials who may have authorized this behavior or just set out to prosecute those who carried out the orders.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Obama administration launch a criminal investigation of CIA treatment of detainees?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: CIA
August 10th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Pelosi & Hoyer: Town hall protests 'un-American'

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer write in a USA Today op-ed that opponents of the debate "are afraid not just of differing views - but of the facts themselves". They claim that "drowning out the facts" is how this country has failed many times at overhauling health care.

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Although they say dialogue is at the heart of democracy. These Democrats describe the protests as an "ugly campaign" that misrepresents reform and disrupts the discussion. They point to tactics that have included: hanging in effigy one Democratic congressman, holding a sign that showed a tombstone with the name of another lawmaker, and shouting "Just say no" over those who wanted to have a real discussion on reform.

Pelosi and Hoyer insist that despite the disruptions, members of Congress will listen to their constituents and explain the reform. They say they're confident that their health care plan will stand up to any critics.

Meanwhile, Republicans insist the protests are legitimate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls complaints from Democrats "absurd". He says attacking people for expressing their opinions "may indicate some weakness in their position." McConnell says the fact is Americans are concerned about health care reform, and the Democrats need to deal with that.

Here’s my question to you: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer call the town hall protests against health care reform "Un-American." Are they?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care • Nancy Pelosi • Steny Hoyer
August 10th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should House cancel $550 million order for new jets?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/06/art.jet.jpg caption="A group of Democratic and Republican senators are opposed to spending more than $550 million on new jets."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In an update to a story we brought you last week in the Cafferty File:

A group of Republican and Democratic senators is now saying "not so fast" to the House's plans to spend more than a half a billion dollars on new jets.

The Wall Street Journal reports that these senators - along with the Pentagon - are critical of the $550 million plan to buy 8 new Gulfstream and Boeing planes for government officials and VIP's to fly around in.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill says, "The whole thing kind of makes me sick to my stomach" adding that the move paints members of Congress as "out of touch”, spending money like it's Monopoly money. Several senators are planning to oppose the purchase when they take up the bill in the fall.

Originally the administration wanted $220 million to buy 4 jets to replace older planes. But - before the House left town on vacation - they doubled the order to 8. The measure was part of a larger defense-funding bill.

In a masterful bit of rationalization, supporters in the House claim buying eight new jets would actually save money later on because the new planes are cheaper to operate than the older ones. They say it's not a question of whether or not the planes will be bought, but when they'll be bought.

More rationalization: Those who approved this extravagance claim these jets are mostly used by the military, and that members of Congress only use them 15% of the time. So I guess that makes it all OK.

UPDATE: Late Monday, the House dropped plans to spend $550 million on these jets. Instead they're asking for $220 million, the original amount requested by the Pentagon.

Here’s my question to you: Should the House cancel its order for $550 million worth of new jets?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?