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Old 12-06-2005, 10:29 PM   #1
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Poll finds broad approval of terrorist torture

Poll finds broad approval of terrorist torture
Most in U.S., Britain, France, S. Korea say torture justified in rare instances

Updated: 9:29 p.m. ET Dec. 6, 2005
WASHINGTON - Most Americans and a majority of people in Britain, France and South Korea say torturing terrorism suspects is justified at least in rare instances, according to AP-Ipsos polling.

The United States has drawn criticism from human rights groups and many governments, especially in Europe, for its treatment of terror suspects. President Bush and other top officials have said the U.S. does not torture, but some suspects in American custody have alleged they were victims of severe mistreatment.

The polling, in the United States and eight of its closest allies, found that in Canada, Mexico and Germany people are divided on whether torture is ever justified. Most people opposed torture under any circumstances in Spain and Italy.

“I don’t think we should go out and string everybody up by their thumbs until somebody talks. But if there is definitely a good reason to get an answer, we should do whatever it takes,” said Billy Adams, a retiree from Tomball, Texas.

In America, 61 percent of those surveyed agreed torture is justified at least on rare occasions. Almost nine in 10 in South Korea and just over half in France and Britain felt that way.

Accusations of torture, reports of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and claims of shadowy flights carrying terrorist suspects have further strained U.S. relations with some European countries.

Mariella Salvi, who works for a humanitarian organization in Rome, said: “Human beings, as well as their rights, have to be defended, no matter what individuals are suspected of, or charged for.”

The disagreements make cooperation on law enforcement and counterterrorism more difficult, said Lee Feinstein of the Council on Foreign Relations, a group of scholars and other specialists in foreign policy.

During a visit to Germany on Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was peppered with questions about U.S. anti-terrorism policies, including the five-month imprisonment of Lebanese-born Khaled al-Masri and reports of secret CIA prisons and use of European airports and airspace to move terrorist suspects.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the United States had admitted making a mistake in the case of al-Masri, a German who contended in a lawsuit in Alexandria, Va., on Tuesday that he was wrongfully imprisoned by the CIA and tortured.

Officials with the European Union and in at least a half-dozen European countries are investigating reports of secret U.S. interrogations in Eastern Europe.

Rice defends tactics
Rice aggressively defended U.S. tactics against terrorism as tough but legal. She has refused to comment publicly on the reports of secret CIA prisons.

In the poll, about two-thirds of the people living in Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Spain said they would oppose allowing U.S. officials to secretly interrogate terrorist suspects in their countries. Almost that many in Britain, France, Germany and Italy said they felt the same way. Almost two-thirds in the United States support such interrogations in the U.S. by their own government.

The Bush administration has taken the position that some terrorism suspects are “enemy combatants” not protected by the Geneva Conventions, international treaties on the rights of prisoners of war.

“The Bush administration policy is against torture of any kind; it’s prohibited by federal criminal law,” said John Yoo, a University of California-Berkeley, law professor. As a Justice Department lawyer, he helped write internal memos in 2002 designed to give the government more leeway in aggressive questioning of terrorist suspects.

“The debate is whether you can use interrogation methods that are short of torture,” he said. “Some who have been critical of the Bush administration have confused torture with cruel, inhumane treatment.”

McCain seeks outright ban
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is among those pushing to ban the use of torture as well as “cruel and inhumane treatment.” His legislation was approved in the Senate by a wide margin and will be considered in House and Senate conference committees as an amendment on two defense bills.

The polls of about 1,000 adults in each of the nine countries were conducted between Nov. 15 and Nov. 28. Each poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10345320/
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:30 PM   #2
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Awesome, let's torture!
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:42 PM   #3
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wow.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:50 PM   #4
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this isn't anything new. if it's the whole "ticking bomb" situation, the CIA and whoever else are going to use any means possible to extract relevant info from a suspect...regardless of what some poll says (or the geneva convention for that matter). that's a reality most people accept and I can't say I'm completely opposed to it.

John McCain has also accepted that reality in interviews I've seen with him, yet continues to push for the anti-torture legislation. why? because he believes, and I think he makes a great point, that it's better to set a clear precedent that may end up getting overlooked in an extreme case, than to create a confusing one that could very likely lead to widespread abuse beyond its intended purpose.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:52 PM   #5
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I don't agree with the majority of people on most things, why am I not surprised I don't agree with it on this?
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:54 PM   #6
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this disgusts me to no end.

why am i not surprised that this was posted by the biggest visitor to the whore Madame Rosie Scenario when it comes to the Iraq war.

yes, let's tell them to democratize over breakfast, then torture after lunch.

neauseating.

no wonder we've lost Iraq. the people in charge have screwed over our troops from the beginning and disgraced the values of our civilization. when will the WH understand that the decision not to torture has nothing to do with the terrorists and everything to do with our values and who we are as a civilization?!?!?!?!

it's not about them, it's about us.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:16 PM   #7
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Humans for the most part are vengeful, blood thirsty beings, and facts won't get in the way of this.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:30 PM   #8
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Yep let's roll on with the torture guys! The majority of people are always right! *


* Except when they vote for Al Gore. Then their decision can be set aside.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:32 PM   #9
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Oh yeah and hey the majority of Germans approved of Hitler in 1941.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
this disgusts me to no end.

why am i not surprised that this was posted by the biggest visitor to the whore Madame Rosie Scenario when it comes to the Iraq war.

yes, let's tell them to democratize over breakfast, then torture after lunch.

neauseating.

no wonder we've lost Iraq. the people in charge have screwed over our troops from the beginning and disgraced the values of our civilization. when will the WH understand that the decision not to torture has nothing to do with the terrorists and everything to do with our values and who we are as a civilization?!?!?!?!

it's not about them, it's about us.
Is the personal comment necessary?

I posted the article because I found several of its results surprising, especially the polling results for the French.

I tend to support McCain on the issue because I'm uncertain about how effective torture is in gaining accurate and useful intelligence. Some may laugh at this, but there is evidence to suggest that befriending captives in certain ways
can be very effective in gaining intelligence.

But then you have the extreme cases and its difficult in those circumstances to rule out certain interegation methods when everything else has failed and the clock is ticking.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:51 PM   #11
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yeah, the ma7ority of germans "favoured" hitler too.

what a fucking 7oke. how LOW can they go?! i really thought the floor would have been found by now.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I posted the article because I found several of its results surprising, especially the polling results for the French.
I'm on the floor laughing uncontrollably.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
the decision not to torture has nothing to do with the terrorists and everything to do with our values and who we are as a civilization?!?!?!?!

it's not about them, it's about us.

Exactly.
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
John McCain has also accepted that reality in interviews I've seen with him, yet continues to push for the anti-torture legislation. why? because he believes, and I think he makes a great point, that it's better to set a clear precedent that may end up getting overlooked in an extreme case, than to create a confusing one that could very likely lead to widespread abuse beyond its intended purpose.


If anyone is interested in seeing the full statistical breakdown, it can be downloaded from http://www.ap-ipsosresults.com. Open it as an Adobe file.

The story above, while not inaccurate, is somewhat misleading in that it conflates three data categories (can often be justified, can sometimes be justified, and can rarely be justified) into one for purposes of comparison to the single category "can never be justified". (There was also a "not sure" category.) "Can never be justified" drew more "votes" than any other single category, in all 9 countries polled.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland



If anyone is interested in seeing the full statistical breakdown, it can be downloaded from http://www.ap-ipsosresults.com. Open it as an Adobe file.

The story above, while not inaccurate, is somewhat misleading in that it conflates three data categories (can often be justified, can sometimes be justified, and can rarely be justified) into one for purposes of comparison to the single category "can never be justified". (There was also a "not sure" category.) "Can never be justified" drew more "votes" than any other single category, in all 9 countries polled.
I don't think its misleading because the results show that there is broad support for some level of torture in various circumstances. The number of people ruling out torture in all circumstances is in the minority in every country except Italy and Spain. Even in Italy, nearly 40% of the populations would consider using torture given the right circumstances.

I always thought a slight majority of Americans were actually against torture in all cases and that in Europe the total against torture in all cases would be 80% to 90% in most countries. Italy does have 60% against torture in all cases, I wonder if there is a country with a higher percentage than that?

Interesting that in South Korea, only 10% would rule out torture in all cases compared to 36% in the United States.
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