Friday, December 01, 2006
The Cafferty File: Scoring Travelers?

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Should the U.S. government keep terrorist profiles on travelers for 40 years?

With millions of illegals jumping across the Mexican border with hardly a yawn from the government, why do we have this super sophisticated system to track all the legitimate travelers?
Al, Merrick, New York

Why not? The Pentagon still has the files on Vietnam era protesters after 40 years.
Paul, Eads, Texas

Keep terrorist records for 40 years? Could anyone still find the data 40 years later? Not likely. Little chance of being still valid, unless someone did a huge job of monitoring & cross-checking them.
Ben, Frankfort, Kentucky

Are you willing to pass through an X-ray machine at airports that will leave virtually nothing to the imagination?

Absolutely not. I have worked on TSA security projects before and "backscatter" is a complete and utter invasion of privacy. You notice they don't show examples of a man don't you? I bet the FCC wouldn't allow it on television!

No, I wouldn't fly if it required my exposing myself on an x-ray machine. In fact I would hope to see any airline or other business go bankrupt if they required such a violation.
Jimmy, San Pedro, California

I don't care about the scanner. Anyone who gets his or her jollies by looking at my body needs their heads examined. If I flew weekly I might be worried about too much radiation; but I haven't looked into this technology.
Ira, Lowell, Massachusetts

I'd walk through the airport totally naked if it means bringing our troops back home.
Tom, Camden, South Carolina

Do you believe that nearly all U.S. combat units will be out of Iraq by early 2008?

I hope and pray our troops will be out of Iraq even sooner. The most morally-bankrupt thing that we can do is to keep sending more of our troops to die in Iraq just because others have already died there. Sacrificing more of our young people to a botched war is no way to honor those who have already made the ultimate sacrifice.
Joe, Atlanta, Georgia

Yes. The only way a Republican has a shot at the White House is to get our troops out of harm's way. It's sad that the only way this administration will do the smart and the right thing is for political gains. They should have as much respect and concern for our troops as this administration does for stem cells.
Mike, Wethersfield, Connecticut

The only thing for certain is this president and his inept administration will be out in '08.
Roger, St. Louis, Missouri
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 12/01/2006 05:56:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Cafferty File: Re-examining Free Speech?

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Can the United States win the war on terror without "re-examining" the First Amendment?

The day we "re-examine" or make any changes to the First Amendment is the day we will have lost the war on terror.
Kathleen, Chula Vista, California

Jack, I just want to say $%#@& Newt Gingrich before it's illegal to do so.
Bryan, Haworth, New Jersey

Of course we can. The war on terror isn't really anything new. There have always been those who would do us harm. We were effectively able to fend of espionage during several previous wars. Certainly Germany and Japan made every effort to do damage within our country during the Second World War. The threat was even more serious then, but we survived, and we prevailed. During the cold war, we had to fend off some of the most sophisticated spying in history, but we prevailed.
Michael, Redwood City, California

I certainly hope so. If not, then the terrorists have won. The President says they hate us for our freedoms. I guess the plan is to reduce the number of freedoms we have so they won't hate us anymore?
Ed, Port Aransas, Texas

Did the meeting between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki change your mind about Iraq?

Yes, I've decided not to vacation in Anbar Province this summer.
Steve, Olmsted Falls, Ohio

Yes, now I am convinced that neither America nor Iraq has a leader that can save their country.
Jack, Sewickly, Pennsylvania

Yea, we set a land speed military record getting to Baghdad. I would suggest we set a new record going home. It's time for the USA to let these folk eat our dust and figure it out for themselves.
Linda, Bella Vista, Arkansas

What recommendations would you make to the incoming Congress in January?

Simple question, I would recommend that all the members who were in the 109th Congress retire or quit, they have already proved to be incompetent.
Doug, Bay City, Michigan

I'd recommend minimum wage adjustment, significant alternative energy incentives for business and home owners (solar, wind, etc.), simplification of Medicare Part D so that a person with a high school diploma can understand it.
Marilyn, Denton, Texas

Eliminate or reduce taxes on retained earnings on small business and really watch the economy grow.
Joe, Longwood, Florida

The Congress should require itself to repeal a law for every new one it passes. Sure, it would take years to clear away the nonsense currently on the books, but eventually they would have to make real choices.
Steve, Clearwater, California
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/30/2006 05:47:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Spy fallout, citizen exam, meth awareness

British Home Secretary John Reid heads a government committee looking at the health risk from the radiation.

The Poison Trail
As fallout from the mysterious death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvenenko continues, British Airways and the British government are keeping the public updated online with information on the latest flights and sites around London possibly contaminated by the radioactive substance Polonium-210.

Name a famous battle from the Revolutionary War
You just might have to if you are hoping to become a U.S. citizen. This is just one of the 144 draft questions (and answers) posted online today by the Dept. of Homeland Security. The revamped exam is intended to give prospective citizens a better understanding of America. Applicants for citizenship will need to get 6 out of 10 questions right. Would you pass the test?

Anti-Meth Awareness
To coincide with National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, the government releases a new state-by-state report (PDF) on its new Web site. The bottom line is a positive one according to the government: There have been significant declines in national methamphetamine production and use.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.

Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 11/30/2006 04:59:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Cafferty File: What Next?

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

If the Bush administration has no confidence in Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, where do we go from here?

The Bush administration never had a plan for Iraq; they had a fantasy. Now that reality has asserted itself, they are left with neither a plan nor a dream. Everything they have done or said concerning Iraq for three years has been P.R. spin concocted for domestic consumption.
Cy, Arlington , Virginia

The only sane course of action is to punish Saddam appropriately and give him his old job back and our most profound apologies.

It becomes more clear, with each passing day, that the only way to stop this insane, unconstitutional meddling in Muslim governments of foreign countries by President Bush is to remove him from office
Samuel, Weare, New Hampshire

How does "Go home, yankee" strike you?
Linda, Bella Vista, Arkansas

Will the division over the war prevent any sort of bipartisanship with the new Congress?

The term bipartisanship was just invented after the November elections by this administration, or so it would seem. Sadly, it is just one more "catch phrase" used, or soon-to-be overused, by this administration. Talk is cheap. Let's see the president walk it like he talks it.
Randle, San Antonio, Texas

Will the Iraq War prevent bipartisanship? I certainly hope so. I didn't vote for "the opposition" so that they could "buddy up" to our current regime. I want someone to oppose the reigning dictator, not "climb in bed" with him politically.
Brett, Seattle, Washington

Bipartisanship in Congress has a great chance in succeeding especially since we all agree on impeachment.
Jack, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rep. Tancredo, R-Colorado, called Miami a "Third World country." Do you agree?

Anyone not believing that statement needs to make a trip to Miami. I do business there regularly, and I learned the hard way. I got lost once in south Miami and stopped several times to ask for directions, but not a single person I spoke to could speak a word of English. It was the most surreal experience of my life. Now, whenever I make that trip to south Florida, I take a translator and save myself the headache.
Mitch, Searchlight, Nevada

As a resident of Florida, I do not agree with the statement that Miami is a third world country. Maybe the rep from Colorado should focus his attention on his own state's problems.
Michael, Florida

Miami, a third world country? Miami is a beautifully diverse city, a microcosm of the American dream really. A bustling middle class, a glitzy upper class...Personally, if my state produced Ted Haggard, I wouldn't be casting stones.
Mike, St. Paul, Minnesota

Come on Jack. Calling Miami a Third World country is insulting to all the real Third World countries in the world. Miami has a long way to go before they qualify for that high status.
Al, Camarillo, California
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/29/2006 05:46:00 PM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The Cafferty File: Under Review

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Why is the Justice Department suddenly concerned about the legality of the National Security Agency program?

Perhaps I am being cynical but the "investigation" would give them cover so that they could actually get their stories straight amongst themselves before a real congressional investigation is initiated.
Jim, Atlanta, Georgia

They knew it wasn't legal but now will not have the Republican majority to cover their lawless butts.
Ivory, Houston, Texas

This is nothing more than a smokescreen. The Congress needs to hold hearings with administration personnel under oath to get to the bottom of all this. And I hope they do it in January.
Tony, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Suddenly, the persons who will be subpoenaed to publicly testify about their actions concerning this illegal eavesdropping program can hear the approach of heavy footsteps. The rats are abandoning the ship.
W.W., Magnolia, Texas

Is the Christian right losing its edge?

I believe the Christian right is realizing that they have been taken advantage of for purely political reasons. I think they realize that certain Christian values are neither right nor left, and on some issues the left might be more in tune with their views and on other issues the right might provide a better fit.
Matt, Little Rock, Arkansas

The "edge" was the help they gave Republicans in taking control of government so they could give big business and the wealthy what they want. Without the GOP rubber stamp in Congress, the Christian right may now receive confirmation that its agenda was never really all that important to the big business Republicans after all. They were used.
Barry, El Cajon, California

Ever since the evangelical empire hijacked the Republican Party both have become losers. Lost their touch? How about lost their direction, their purpose, their minds and their ideals.
Toni, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Jack, from your mouth to God's ears!
Leah, New York, New York

What does it mean for U.S. troops when the rest of the coalition starts to leave Iraq?

It means that other leaders care about their troops. Ultimately, it means that we will go it alone because our "leader" is too stubborn to admit his colossal mistake.
Claudia, Savannah, Georgia

It means that President Bush is in denial, and our troops are left to fend for themselves. He is the only one who thinks our troops should stay in Iraq in the middle of a civil war.
Sue, West Hartford, Connecticut

To call it a coalition, when we make up 95% of the force, is a joke. It's a term used by this administration to disguise the true unilateral make-up of the force. The only effect will be to strip the false name from the force, and call it like it is.
Phil, Ludlow, Vermont

Sadly, it means that no longer will U.S. troops be able to trade "Meals Ready to Eat" for those tasty British banger sausages. (Send tabasco sauce immediately!)
Andy, Fairfax, Virginia

Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/28/2006 05:56:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Spy poison online?

Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko is photographed at his home in London in a May 2002 file photo.

Spy poison made to order?
The radioactive substance that may have killed former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has brought the shadowy world of espionage to newspaper front pages worldwide. But is polonium-210 as rare and hard to come by as originally thought? We investigate whether obtaining it is only a few mouse clicks away.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for this story and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 11/28/2006 04:26:00 PM ET | Permalink
Monday, November 27, 2006
The Cafferty File: Summit on Iraq

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

What do you think will come out of the meetings this week in Jordan between Nuri al-Maliki and President Bush?

He might as well meet with you. He would get the same results-nothing. Nuri al-Maliki is caught between a rock and a hard place. Bush needs to meet with Iraq's neighbors and try to persuade them that it is in their interest to help stop the violence in Iraq.
William, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

Perhaps it would be best if Nuri al-Maliki did not meet with President Bush. It would show the Iraqi people that he can stand up for himself, and for what the people of Iraq really want, as well as building unity and an alliance with his own country.
John, Lexington, South Carolina

I would assume or at least hope that al Maliki won't show up. That would be the ultimate slap in the face to this warmongering President and his Administration. It's going to take half a century to undo the mess he has created.
Jim, St. Petersburg, Florida

I think the meeting will result in nothing. If we could fight a war with guns and bombs, like the Iraqi's are doing, instead of with paint brushes and hammers and nails, maybe we could win the blasted war, and get our people home.
Kathy, Pembroke, Georgia

Will former Brig. Gen. Karpinski's claims about Donald Rumsfeld fall on deaf ears in Washington?

Who knows? It's a toss-up whether Karpinski or Rumsfeld has the least credibility, and obviously neither has any integrity. Rumsfeld clearly endorsed torture, and Karpinski clearly implemented it. She's paid for it to the extent of her demotion and cut in benefits. He hasn't and never will. There ought to be a way to punish both of them for their criminal behavior.
Gina, Naples, Florida

You betcha. General Karpinski was the chosen scapegoat for Abu Ghraib. When the Democrats won the Senate and House, Donald Rumsfeld was quickly dispatched so that he will not have to testify, under oath, before Congress. Now, the Bush Administration will simply run out the clock.
Libby, Burnsville, Minnesota

It is not the ears of Washington that matter. The rest of the world will be listening.
Ben, Saint Mary's City, Maryland

Jack, is a bluebird blue? You know the White House would hear the lady general's comments, about as much as they would hear you.
Rick, Lufkin, Texas

Why does the White House refuse to call what is happening in Iraq a civil war?

It seems clear that the Bush administration does not want to call the situation in Iraq a "civil war" due to its implication that if true, our policies in Iraq thus far would be shown to be a clear and obvious failure. Not only can we not "win" the war in Iraq, but we cannot even control the country in the most basic ways.
Michael, Chicago, Illinois

Because "civil war" is the term that describes our failure in Iraq. The administration uses words to sway the public. Insurgents are terrorists. Our main intent in Iraq is to create democracy, even though that was not our first reason for destroying the Saddam regime. They will deny the term "civil war" until the very end, even as our troops are so overwhelmed that withdrawal is the only policy left.
Eileen, Alexandria, Virginia

The answer is as obvious as the reason we went to Iraq in the first place: It would make all the politicians that voted for us to go to war over "weapons of mass destruction" seem like the highly paid fools they were to vote to go to war in the first place. We were lied to from the beginning; why should they begin telling the truth to the American people now?
Alan, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Arrogant pride Jack, just arrogant pride. To admit Iraq has fallen into a civil war is the same as admitting that the only thing that held Iraq together was Saddam Hussein. We have to accept our defeat and allow Iran, Syria and the rest of the neighboring countries to take over and try to restore Iraq to something near what it was before we invaded.
Toni, Myrtle Beach, California
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/27/2006 06:02:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Iraq violence and CIA recruiting

Iraqis watch cars burning after a string of bomb attacks Thursday in Sadr City, a Shiite stronghold in Baghdad.

Baghdad message boards: "Defend Yourselves"
With sectarian violence in Iraq at an all-time high, a Web site popular among Iraqi Sunnis is urging people to prepare themselves for bloody reprisals from Shia militias and to report sectarian violence as it happens. Among the frantic messages posted online, it is difficult to distinguish fact from rumor. Most of them linked here are from Sunnis. This Iraqi blog offers its English translations of some of the posts, among them, messages desperately urging residents to help defend their neighborhoods from Shia militias.

The CIA Wants You
The CIA is looking for a few good spies. Their latest recruiting technique: a humorous online personality quiz aimed at luring young, new agents. Are you a "daring thrill-seeker" or an "impressive mastermind"? Find out, take the quiz.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.

Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 11/27/2006 04:07:00 PM ET | Permalink
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