American Morning

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April 24th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen!

Here’s your daily recap of the best feedback we got from YOU today. Continue the conversation below. And remember, keep it brief, and keep it clean. Thanks!

American Morning viewers remained divided regarding the torture memos released by President Obama. Those for exposing the information and prosecuting the former administration felt that “no matter how misguided the terrorists are, they are human beings and when they are in our custody, we still uphold the law of our land.”

  • Bernadette: With all due respect to Sen. McCain his political career has been based on the fact that he was captured during the Vietnam War, held prisoner and tortured. We have been constantly reminded of his sacrifice and suffering at the hands of our then enemy. To my way of thinking he is covering his political rear end, the Bush/Cheney administration and his Republican party. It seems that when we do the dirty stuff to others and hide behind legalities it is okay, but when other countries do it to us we have to retaliate! Doesn't seem like quid pro quo to me.
  • Tony: Terrorism is not only fought by guns and bombs but also on moral ground. Torture of human beings in the custody of our authorities is illegal in our country as well as immoral by any religious or human rights standard. No matter how misguided the terrorists are, they are human beings and when they are in our custody, we still uphold the law of our land. If they are actively fighting us, we kill them just as the enemy at war. People who used their authority to break this country's law and perpetrated torture of detainees not only fueled the hatred against our nation but also made us indistinguishable from the rogue terrorist states. What sets US apart from the dictatorships and terrorist organizations is that we lead our lives in freedom and no one is above the law of the land, not even the presidents and their staff. Authority corrupts and absolute authority corrupts absolutely. Bush administration officials governed as if that during war times they have absolute authority. Now they do not want to be tried for breaking the law of the land. Only the constitution is absolute authority in our nation and every citizen has rights and obligations to uphold its authority.
  • Linda – Lou: People can come and attack our country killing thousands of people, take into custody civilians cut them, drown them, break bones, drag their bodies through town, cut their heads off and we should be against torture? I AM NOT OPPOSED TO TORTURE to gain information that will better position our troops in times of war. Should we invite them to tea?
  • Jeremy: This torture or water boarding issue is getting blown way out of proportion. Does everyone remember that a lot of these terrorists they were dealing with were and are fine with chopping off heads and blowing people up on TV to show everyone? Should we just ask them nicely to tell us when the next attack will be or maybe we could say please?

Where do you stand on the issue of torture? Are we no better than our enemies if we implement such actions to gain information? Is the issue of torture “getting blown way out of proportion” as the first last viewer believes, or is there a double standard for the United States as viewer one believes when she says that “It seems that when we do the dirty stuff to others and hide behind legalities it is okay, but when other countries do it to us we have to retaliate!” Give us your opinion on this controversial issue.

Credit card users shared their stories of “abuse” by banks and credit card issuers, including rate increases and fee hikes for such things as paying bills by phone.

  • Sy: I am starting to send [credit card offers] back to them, the postage paid envelopes they send to me empty. I am sealing the envelopes and writing on the envelope my disgust of their new fees. Now they can help the postal service out.
  • Lori & Jeff: We have a very small business. 2 part time family members. We use our credit cards a lot. We keep getting notices on our credit cards of increased rates. Which I feel is totally wrong. Then if my due date is getting close I will pay by phone to avoid late fees or increased rate. Now some of them are charging $ 14.95 to pay by phone.
  • Mr. Ed: I basically think the banks need to be clamped down as what the President is doing. My wife and I have had outstanding credit and pay each bill off at the end of the billing cycle, have since 1998. Now you got Mr. Lewis, which I'm calling him a Jerk! They are punishing the good people for doing nothing wrong. But taking bailout money, giving big bonuses and big parties on our money, then raising the rates is wrong. Tag the people that abuse credits, but support customer that manage their credit right.

What’s your history with credit cards; have you been fairly treated or do you have similar stories to the viewers above? Do you believe that a person who gets in trouble with credit card debt should be held responsible, as the banks contend, and required to pay higher fees, or is this the banks’ way of increasing their bottom line? Tell us how you feel.

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Tom K

    Terrorists are nasty people who murder randomly, chop off peoples heads, hands, etc. They use torture, bombs and are suicidal. We on the other hand, only use bombs randomly and torture. We are definitely NOT suicidal. I guess that makes us better that the terrorists. Or does it?

    April 27, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  2. Margaret Harris

    I do believe, America has to find a middle ground,of dealing with our enemies. We must also be mindful, that the new enemies we face today,don't abide by any of our moral standards. We are now faced with dealing with a group of forces, that won't and do not hesitate to behead, there captives to make their point. So what do we do, against an army of vipers, who don't mine dying for their irrational cause. And how much true intelligence,do we really obtain by torture, when these man and women sign-up for the sole purpose to die!

    April 27, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  3. Sue


    April 26, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  4. Paul Bob

    Alina Cho, in her report about Bo, the Obama's Portuguese Water Dog, reported that Bo "was gift from Senatgor Kennedy who didn't want him any more". That's not true. Her report is either based on ignorance or was perhaps a misguided attempt at humor. In either case, as a reporter, seems to me that she has an obligation to get her facts straight before she reports them to the viewers.

    April 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  5. Phil

    At first I thought that, these guys should be tortured to gain information critical to the security of our country. Why no, they have no problem blowing up our building, killing thousands of people, costing us billions of dollars, Posting decapitations, roadside bombings, torture, etc… I think the best thing to do with those seeking harm to us and our allies, is to –

    April 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  6. Mitchel

    In regards to prosecuting Bush and Cheney and all the former administration for the decisions that they made after 9/11, it is a really bad idea. I know that some people hate Bush and Cheney so much that they would love to have them publicly hanged, but this will hurt our country on the domestic and foreign policy level for years to come. I think our country is becoming ever more seduced and run by extremist on both ends of the political, and ideological spectrum. Before I say what the end result is, let me say that in defense of Bush...he did what he thought was best for our safety at the time. We can argue all day about whether it was right morally, and its' affects on foreign policy, but we must remember how all of us were furious at the people who made this against us. We ALL wanted revenge. I remember lots of Muslim hate at the time too. He is human, and was in charge of protecting us all. Mistakes were made, but we were no worse than many
    countries in the past or even the present.

    All countries do nasty things for "needs of state". It's a dirty business, and we seem to love to "air" our dirty works- unlike China, Russia...pick any country you want- and pass judgment, as if we are somehow Saints. All countries have done, and are doing, and will continue to do, nasty things to keep their countries intact, and the population happy and safe. Or in the case of more Authoritarian counties, they do it to keep their power.

    Humans live under certain Darwinistic principles, and to ignore them is to become extinct. It is a "jungle" out there, and no one cares about us really. They all only really care about their own "needs of state". Other countries love how we are now masochistic in our behavior, because it makes us their "whipping boy", and gives them "justified reasoning" to hurt us in the future. We are actually weakening our country now by this desire to play "Monday morning Quarterback". It will have a profound affect on our ability to make sound foreign policy decisions, and have respect among other nations ( Not to mention our safety. ). It is time to move forward folks, not backwards.

    I wish the sane moderates in this country would finally stand up, and say ENOUGH~! Let's not let the extreme left and right run us into the ground. Because, if we let them, then they will surely do it.

    God bless America, and take care all.

    April 26, 2009 at 2:21 am |
  7. JohnWinNC

    It is interesting that some people describe how horrible the terrorists are and how barbaric they behave. Then, they recommend that it's OK for us to be just like them! It's OK for America to be horrible and barbaric? I have just one question: What is the difference between them and us? OK, two questions. Why do we call them "terrorists"? Perhaps we should just call them "enhanced interrogation technicians."

    April 25, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  8. Scott C. Palmer (Independent)

    I think President Obama is funny.

    During his campaign for President he said that he wouldn't increase 'taxes' on anyone earning less then $ 250,000 year, within a month of him becoming President he increased the 'tax' on cigarettes by $ 1.60 per pack.

    A pack per day = $1.60 x 365 day a year = $ 584.00 a year.

    So he really did lie.

    Everyone earning less than 250,000 a year that smokes cigarettes had their taxes increased by $ 584.00 a year.

    Oh yea, at a time when 600,000 people are losing their jobs every week.

    April 25, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  9. Kieryn Graham

    Yes, the banks need all the adult supervision we can provide, because they clearly do not play nicely with their friends and neighbors on the financial playground.

    Meanwhile, however, most of us can wake-up from our credit card nightmares if we simply remember Grandma's #1 wisdom: "Kieryn, dear," she said, "do NOT spend money you don't have." My credit card comes out only in emergencies–and, no, the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale isn't quite an emergency.

    April 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  10. Mike Heffernan

    I find CNN / Josh Levs' "Presidents and Promises" pieces on it's 'AM' and "Weekends" news shows to be fundamentally dishonest. For President Obama to have broken a promise, he would have first have had to make one. Those issues you say he broke his promise on – did he actually say I PROMISE to....? Or did he merely state his intent? A promise is a specific, special statement, and I don't recall him making any of the "promises" you state he's made. In an effort to appear unbiased towards the new President, CNN has distorted the truth.

    April 25, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  11. David West

    I am sick of one party after the other criticizing and arguing with the other. No matter which party is in power, it is the same old game – play the politics. Won't they ever learn that compromise is in the best interests of the American people. For example, the present idea by the Bush Haters that the previous Administration should be persecuted and put on trial for torturing prisoners. The American people are not stupid. We know that this is all politics and is just a way to try to hurt the party out of power. Both sides would be more representative of our needs if they spent their time and energy working to help out the American people.

    April 25, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  12. James

    As far as the claims that credit card companies are making trying to say that the fees they charge will hurt the economy goes that is pure bull.I remember when years ago I got credit cards you only paid intrest and if you missed a payment they never charged a late fee. This all started with a toe in the water frist which was the charge for ATM fees and it has slowly went to adding a new twist on fees for any reason.
    I think we need to have protection from card companies ,but I also think we need a investigation into the shady things that some of them have done in the past and they should be made to repay people the money they got from people.

    April 25, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  13. Mitchel

    I am going to send this to you all, and news organizations not listed on my friends list. I want to make sure they all get it, and hopefully "get the message" without taking offense at the way in which I write it. After all, "Dammit Jim, I'm a history major, not an English major!". ( Loll. Ode to Star Trek. ). Let's be clear, that I'm not saying it is all "Rosy", and that it is not real, but it is exacerbated by watching TV and cable news, which is on all the time.

    Okay, I have a theory, and it is based on a few important points. First point is that consumer spending represents between 65-70 percent of our GDP. Second point is that consumer spending per capita is at an all time low ( In relation to inflation of course.). Darn, that rhymes...I should start writing poetry. Loll. Third point is that consumer confidence is at an all time low for any time in which we were able to measure by modern methods.

    My theory is that TV and cable news are a contributing factor to the continued fear in consumer confidence, and that the continued negative news coverage is like "a self-fulfilling prophesy". Now, what that percentage is...I'm not sure, but I'm sure it is a contributing factor.

    I will lay out my reasoning. First of all, during the last major recession ( 1975-76 ), we did not have cable TV, and hence 24 hour news. Even during the 1982 recession, cable TV was in its' "infancy", so it did not have the same affect as it does now on our psyche.

    Now, we have lots of news channels that are on 24/7, 365 days per year, so everything is instant and constantly updated and in our face to assess. So, as a result, we are barraged by negative news all the time, and this just continues to feed the fear factor in consumer confidence.

    I recommend that news organizations quit dwelling on all the negative news about the economy, and start showing positive aspects of businesses, and businesses that are growing and/or thriving in this economy. If they don't do this recommendation, then I propose we all seriously reduce our viewing TV and cable news programs. After all, my best analogy of their constant harping about our bad economy is like a dad constantly telling you that you will never amount to anything! Loll. Hopefully you never had this problem!

    I'm sure that if a proper study was done by qualified psychologist- those who specialize in testing and measurement-. it would prove my theory.

    So, in the interim, I recommend less TV, and more time getting outside and enjoying life. God bless us all to recover in a timely way. Take care.

    April 25, 2009 at 12:23 am |
  14. Joseph Daniel Brian Lawlor

    Why not have all nations clearly state they will do anything within their powers to extract information from a prisoner of war during a time of war. Get out of that state of denial all seem to be in with this issue with the transparancy yet to be delivered in action and truth.

    April 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm |