This morning, "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" is live at 7am Eastern. Today, Soledad talks with panelists TheBlaze.com contributor Will Cain, political comedian John Fugelsang and Actress Meredith Baxter. Our panel will be talking about the following top stories:
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[UPDATED 7:06am ET] Senior political scientist Seth Jones says that the most important message America can send to the Afghans is that the United States will not abandon the country after 2014. Regarding the speech President Obama made yesterday, Jones asserts that Obama should have stressed that al Qaeda is not a defeated organization.
[UPDATED 7:41am ET] Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty reiterates Mitt Romney's reaction to President Obama's speech in Afghanistan, saying that the candidate feels that the trip was "fully appropriate" but that the focus should have been on strategic, on the ground objectives rather than a timetable for U.S. action. Pawlenty also says that Obama has been a "disaster of a president" in terms of his handling of the economy.
[UPDATED 7:52am ET] Jose Rodriguez, former director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, calls the enhanced interrogation techniques outlined in his new book, including waterboarding, "pretty wimpy."
[UPDATED 8:07am ET] Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Rep. Peter King says that he agrees with former CIA director Jose Rodriguez that the information obtained from the use of enhanced interrogation techniques has proven to be "extremely helpful" in the fight against terrorism.
[UPDATED 8:37am] New York Times bestselling author Grant Cardon, who recorded an iPad video on the Delta flight that had to make an emergency landing after birds got into one of the plane's engines, calls the FAA's warning letter to him about the use of his electronic device "ridiculous." Cardon insists that if these electronics are really dangerous to the American public, then they should be banned.