These poll numbers were released earlier today by Rasmussen Reports -- "an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information."
58% Favor Waterboarding of Plane Terrorist To Get Information
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% oppose the use of such techniques, and another 12% are not sure.
Men and younger voters are more strongly supportive of the aggressive interrogation techniques than women and those who are older. Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party favor their use more than Democrats.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters think the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim to blow up the airliner as it landed in Detroit should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Only 22% say it should be handled by civilian authorities as a criminal act, as is currently the case.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been forced to backtrack on some of her earlier assurances about the quality of the government response to the incident, and news reports have revealed that U.S. intelligence had prior warnings about the bomber. Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters now rate the government's response to the attempted bombing as good or excellent, but 35% say the response has been poor.
All these findings are explained in part by the belief of 43% that when it comes to national security the U.S. legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights. That's up four points from November.
Just 17% say the system is too concerned about protecting national security at the expense of individual rights. Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe the balance between the two is about right.
A couple of years ago, the number who believed the system worried too much about national security was roughly the same as the number who thought it was too worried about protecting individual rights.
But since April there has been a shift away from the view that the legal system is too worried about national security .
The Detroit bomber was on a flight coming from Amsterdam, and 34% say airport security in other countries is not as strict as it is in the United States.
Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters say the United States should take full control of security measures at foreign airports so that anyone flying here would have to go through U.S. security. Twenty-nine percent (29%) oppose that idea, and 16% are undecided.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) now think it is likely there will be another terrorist attack in the United States in the next year. That's a 30-point jump from the end of August when just 49% of Americans felt that way.
In the wake of the Christmas Day incident, belief that the terrorists are winning the War on Terror is at its highest level in over two years, and nearly half of U.S. voters say America is not safer than it was before 9/11.
In August, 65% said it is at least somewhat likely that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques helped secure valuable intelligence information from suspected terrorists.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters said in April that the Obama administration's release of CIA memos about the harsh interrogation methods used on terrorism suspects during the Bush years endangered the national security of the United States.
Forty-nine percent (49%) disagree with the Justice Department's decision to investigate the treatment and possible torture of terrorists during the Bush administration.
Thirty-six percent (36%) agree with Attorney General Eric Holder's naming of a veteran prosecutor to probe the CIA's handling of terrorists under the previous administration.
As part of President Obama's plan to shut down the terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, the United States has been sending some of its detainees to other countries. News reports indicate that some of those sent to Yemen have since returned to terrorist activities and may have helped train the Detroit bomber.
Support for closing the Guantanamo facility has been dropping since the president announced it just after taking office, and most voters are now opposed. In August, 75% were at least somewhat concerned that dangerous terrorists would be set free if the Guantanamo prison camp is closed and some prisoners are transferred to other countries.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters oppose the Obama administration's decision to try the confessed chief planner of the 9/11 attacks and other suspected terrorists in a civilian court in New York City rather than before a military tribunal at Guantanamo. Twenty-nine percent (29%) think the civilian trials are a good idea.
Most voters also said the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas by a Muslim Army officer should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act rather than by civilian authorities as a criminal act.
Sixty-three percent (63%) say political correctness prevented the military from responding to warning signs from Major Nidal Malik Hasan that could have prevented the Fort Hood shootings from taking place.
Confidence in Obama's handling of national security issues has suffered since the Christmas Day bombing attempt.
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To view the original report, please use this link: Burn, Baby Burn!