American Public Opinion on Torture

Source: Christian Science Monitor, April 1

A new poll shows nearly two-thirds of Americans see torture as a justifiable way to interrogate terrorism suspects, despite the fact that a diverse group of intelligence experts say so-called enhanced interrogation is not the best way keep America safe.

A Reuters/Ispos poll Wednesday showed that 63 percent of Americans felt “the use of torture against suspected terrorists” was “often or sometimes justified.” The levels of support are roughly equivalent to Nigeria, which is enduring a seven-year insurgency, and Kenya which has been hit with a number of large-scale attacks by Al Shabaab in recent years, Reuters noted.

Following terrorist attacks in Paris; San Bernadino, Calif.; and Brussels, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has continually said if he becomes president he will lift President Obama’s ban on waterboarding and “make it much worse.”


5 responses to “American Public Opinion on Torture

  1. Michael Gundy

    Fact: Torture does NOT work AND it destroys the moral compass of the peoples that condone it.

  2. Fred Langan

    Everyone should take a Valium. Candidate Trump will get the worst shellacking since George McGovern or Barry Goldwater.

    • Doubtless true, and applicable to whomever ends up with the thankless task of being the GOP nominee. But while the Repubs keep losing the big prize, they keep winning by mounting a permanent obstructionist opposition in the Congress, while snagging more state governorships and bigger majorities in state legislatures. Not a pretty picture, and (with respect) not one that Valium can handle!

  3. mike holliday

    The civilised world is at war – for the hearts and minds of the people living in the civilised world.
    The users of terrorism know that one of the greatest bulwarks of the civilised world is its inherent belief in the rule of law and the dignity of people.
    They know that these qualities support the civilised world and attract thinking people the world over.
    If, by terrorism, they can destroy the civilised world’s standards and ideals, they have gone a long way to winning their war.
    People should put aside their distrust of `experts’ and listen to those people who say that torture – however and whenever it is applied – is not the best way to gain reliable information.
    It’s the other side of the same coin. If you diminish facts and learning and support demagoguery and emotion, you help destroy the rational integrity and therefore the strength of the civilised world.
    It is human nature to hit back at and hurt those who hit and hurt you, but overriding that is a survival imperative that means using the best weapons to combat terrorists, not those weapons that actually weaken your position.