Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Americans Divided on Senate Torture Report

A host of new polls cast doubt on support for many conclusions in the Senate torture report. In general, a majority of the public believes that torture can be justified under certain circumstances, namely dealing with terrorists, and that the Senate report’s claim that the techniques do not produce useful information is not credible.

Large percentages also believe the report was unfair toward the CIA and a majority believes its release could hurt national security.
  • 59% said CIA methods were justified, majority believes it produced valuable intelligence and torture of suspect terrorists can be justified “often” or “sometimes.” 53% believe produced intelligence could not have been acquired any other way. (Washington Post/ABC News poll, Dec. 14, 2014)
  • 47% say report unfair to CIA and 52% say wrong to release it (Washington Post/ABC News poll, Dec. 14, 2014)
  • 51% believe “harsh interrogation practices on suspected terrorist” were “acceptable under the circumstances” (Wall Street Journal/NBC News, Dec. 14, 2014)
  • Only 28% said they were wrong and only a similar 28% said they should not be used, 45% said it was okay to continue them (Wall Street Journal/NBC News, Dec. 14, 2014)
  • 80% of Republicans said it was acceptable and 32% of Democrats
  • 58% disagree with the Senate report’s conclusion that practice didn’t provide useful intelligence to stop terror attacks (Pew Research, Dec. 14, 2014)

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