Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poll: 55% of Americans Say Yes to Waterboarding

How many polls have you seen lately where the numbers support the man but not his policies? Talk about a disconnect.

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds 51% of Americans in favor and 42% opposed to an investigation into the use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects during the Bush administration. At the same time, 55% of Americans believe in retrospect that the use of the interrogation techniques was justified, while only 36% say it was not. Notably, a majority of those following the news about this matter "very closely" oppose an investigation and think the methods were justified.

While a slim majority favors an investigation, on a relative basis the percentage is quite low because Americans are generally quite supportive of government probes into potential misconduct by public officials. In recent years, for example, Americans were far more likely to favor investigations into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys (72%), government databases of telephone numbers dialed by Americans (62%), oil company profits (82%), and the government's response to Hurricane Katrina (70%).

Support for an inquiry into the Bush-era interrogation policy may be relatively limited because a majority of Americans believe the use of the techniques for questioning terrorism suspects was justified.

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