May 5th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Does getting Osama bin Laden justify enhanced interrogation techniques?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Leon Panetta, head of the CIA, said earlier this week that intelligence collected from detainees who were waterboarded provided clues that helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden.
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Waterboarding, which is the simulated drowning of prisoners to get them to spill secrets, is no longer legal, thanks to President Obama. It was one of Obama's first acts as president.

The Bush Administration before him had been harshly criticized for what some said was legalizing torture. Panetta in the past has said that enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding is torture and is morally wrong. However, he also said the debate about the use of these techniques will continue.

Some former members of the Bush Administration and a handful of other Republicans were quick to defend the practice in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Justice Department official John Yoo and Congressman Peter King from New York have all said in interviews this week that information obtained through enhanced interrogation techniques used on prisoners, like waterboarding, was key to the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistani hideout.

However, none of these men is really in the position to know this for sure. And there's been no official statement or any proof that any information gained from prisoners by using these interrogation techniques ultimately led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Here’s my question to you: Does getting Osama bin Laden justify the use of enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


May 5th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Should killing of Osama bin Laden be an issue in '12 presidential race?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

After hovering around all-time lows in the polls, President Barack Obama is getting a boost in his approval ratings following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

A new Gallup poll finds the president's approval rating jumped from 46% to 52% after Sunday's successful raid of the bin Laden compound.

Issues such as the deficit and the economy have been weighing on Obama's approval and putting his 2012 bid for re-election in jeopardy. His indecision over acting in the recent Middle East uprisings didn't help his cause either. But getting bin Laden - that was big. And somehow people suddenly forget how inexperienced and ineffective he seemed on foreign policy as recently as a few weeks ago.

You can be sure that the economy, things such as jobs and the skyrocketing national debt and deficits will still likely dominate the 2012 race. But for now - for this week– foreign policy and the war on terror have taken center stage. And President Obama is looking pretty good all of a sudden.

But that's also in part because of his lack of competition. The potential field of Republican candidates is pretty awful, consisting of mostly current or former governors and a few current or former House members. Plus a lot of people who have already run for president and lost.

But like I said, we have a tendency to forget pretty quickly, and once conversation switches back to the $14 trillion debt ceiling we're fast approaching and how we're going to cut next year's budget, the bin Laden "get" will likely hit the rear view mirror in a hurry.

Here’s my question to you: Should the killing of Osama bin Laden be an issue in the 2012 presidential race?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2012 Election • Election Process • Elections • Osama bin Laden