Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Poll: Torture the Bastards!

Although a sizeable majority of Barack Obama's most feverent supporters want to see President Bush swinging in the gallows for smacking around the leadership of al-Qaeda, it seems as if most Americans actually approve of Bush's less-than-gentle handling of terrorists:

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.

Investigations of the military and intelligence personnel who actually used those techniques during interrogations are even less popular...

This is a CNN poll, so add another five percentage points to every pro-Bush question....still, it shows that Americans are quite aware of what is going on here. Only 20% of all surveyed classified waterboarding as torture (as opposed to "a form of", which is a pretty loose definition - for me, seeing Obama's fascist mug is a form of torture; can I have him tried and jailed?), with at least 50% believing it was OK to smack these murderous thugs around a bit.

And this is almost eight years after 9/11, mind you. Imagine what a survey would have said eight weeks or months after the attack.

Seems like Obama has backtracked on his initial wavering on whether or not Bush administration officials would be indicted for torture. Still, he gets no praise here. To float a horrific idea, and then retract it weeks later, is not quite the genius-level intellect the media was selling us here.

Creating a negative, then removing it, is not a positive. Pointing a gun at someone's head, then lowering it, does not make you a hero. Breaking someone's leg with intent, then splinting it, is not a good deed.

Obama has already poisoned the well with his ugly trial balloon. He'd better hope it doesn't blow up in his face when the new administration takes charge in 2013 with their own scores to settle...

Related: From Obama's election website:

"The secret authorization of brutal interrogations is an outrageous betrayal of our core values, and a grave danger to our security....Torture is how you create enemies, not how you defeat them. Torture is how you get bad information, not good intelligence..."

Seems like at least 50% of Americans disagree with you, Baracky, as well as Dennis Blair, your hand-picked national intelligence director, who claimed high-value information was obtained with these techniques.

The blind leading the clueless....


MCB said...

...and if I understand the issue correctly, these guys were not under Geneva Convention rules anyway, as they were at war illegallly.

The JerseyNut said...

You understand perfectly, MCB. I always thought they would best be described as "irregulars":

"An irregular military organization is a military organization which is not part of the regular army organization of a party to a military conflict.

Irregulars are soldiers or warriors that are members of these organizations, or are members of special military units that employ irregular military tactics.

Irregular warfare is warfare employing the tactics commonly used by irregular military organizations. This involves avoiding large-scale combats, and focusing on small, stealthy, hit and run engagements."

- seems like a good description, right?

And of course, irregulars are not subject to the Geneva Convention, and historically have been shot on sight, or executed after capture.

Seems like when viewed against history, Bush's treatment of these captured terrorist ringleaders is quite humane...

Anonymous said...

well argued. Worth a post of it own.

MCB said...

I agree with anonymous - that is an excellent explanation and I don't think many people know that side of the issue. Thanks for clarifying.