This is disheartening, although to be honest not surprising.
A new national poll indicates that most Americans don’t want to see an investigation of Bush administration officials who authorized harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, even though most people think such procedures were forms of torture.
Six in ten people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday believe that some of the procedures, such as water boarding, were a form of torture, with 36 percent disagreeing.
But half the public approves of the Bush administration’s decision to use of those techniques during the questioning of suspected terrorists, with 50 percent in approval and 46 percent opposed.
“Roughly one in five Americans believe those techniques were torture but nonetheless approve of the decision to use those procedures against suspected terrorists,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “That goes a long way toward explaining why a majority don’t want to see former Bush officials investigated.”
Fifty-seven percent of those questioned don’t want Congress to investigate Bush officials who authorized those harsh interrogation procedures, with 42 percent calling for action by lawmakers. Fifty-five percent also don’t want a similar investigation by an independent panel.
60% of Americans think the Bush administration tortured, nevertheless 50% think it’s ok. I’m assuming that most of that 50% comes out of the 40% that don’t think what we did was torture…but still, there’s an overlap. There are people who agree that we tortured, and think “Hey, it’s cool that we tortured people.”
I don’t know if the media’s defense of torture is shaping the public opinion…I haven’t had the “luxury” of tuning into American media lately, although I wouldn’t doubt they have been spinning this not as a debate of “Torture, right or wrong”, but rather of “Torture, who cares if it’s wrong, does it work?”
I’ve mentioned in the past, being from New York, I have noticed a lot more support for Bush national security policies among Democrats and liberals than others have seen…Perhaps as a result of directly being effected by 9/11. In New York on election night, I was watching election returns with local Democrats…one woman, upon seeing Obama win, commented that he hoped he wouldn’t “listen to bleeding heart liberals and continue to make the terrorists suffer.” A comment others in the room nodded their heads in agreement to. She continued; “There are 3,000 reasons to make these terrorists suffer.” (I was forced to swallow my words; yes, this woman, this Democrat, wanted America to torture in the name of those who died on 9/11…and not even to get information, just to make them suffer.
50% support torture…I guess we can look at this as a glass half full type of thing. Half the country doesn’t think we should torture, but do 50% of Americans support other countries torturing? Or is our country divided…between those who want to take the moral highground versus those who think we are better when we are immoral, barbaric and cruel. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, that same attitude existed in the imperalist societies of the past.