News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Most Americans Support Torture: Pew Research Survey

Friday, November 18, 2005

Most Americans Support Torture: Pew Research Survey

According to a Pew research study, most Americans support the use of torture against terrorists. This report has been skewed in the mainstream media to emphasize the isolationism question. The following analysis from provides links to the original survey results.

Related Article: CIA agents reveal interrogation tactics
War In Context Comment

Pew's latest survey (PDF) of American opinion leaders and the general public has been reported in many ways. Most US newspapers, like the New York Times, focus on the increased level of isolationism and choose to bury the issue of the public approval of torture. (The Times leaves it the final sentence.) Even among the foreign media that highlight the torture numbers, most, like South Africa's News 24, highlight the lower number (the combination of 15% who says that torture should often be used on terrorist suspects and 31% who say it should sometimes be used). Yet the stark fact is that among those Americans polled only 32% say that torture should never be used on terrorist suspects. Discounting the "don't knows" that means -- with differing degrees of frequency -- 63% accept the use of torture. No doubt, Dick Cheney and his advisors will take heart from these numbers. ... Read more

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