Poll: Americans Say Release of 'Torture' Report Hurts US More Than 'Torture' Itself

Guy Benson
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Posted: Dec 12, 2014 3:36 PM
Poll: Americans Say Release of 'Torture' Report Hurts US More Than 'Torture' Itself

Via Allahpundit, a stark finding from YouGov's new poll released in the wake of Senate Democrats' deeply flawed report on CIA tactics after 9/11.  By a wide margin, Americans believe that airing this dirty laundry -- setting aside its accuracy -- is more harmful to US interests than the actual application of controversial 'enhanced interrogation techniques' or EIT's themeselves:


Take special note of which gender is more likely to pick option A on that menu.  Women, in this case, are more hawkish than men.  I suppose this overall result shouldn't be all that surprising, considering that seven in ten Americans believe that "torture" is at least sometimes justified, even when that loaded and debatable term is employed in the question wording.  YouGov also asked respondents whether or not certain forms of EIT's are acceptable, resulting in a yawning partisan divide on almost ever technique listed:


Majorities of Republicans favor every option, with the exceptions of (a) placing detainees in a coffin-sized box for days, and (b) the overwhelmingly-rejected practice known as, um, "rectal feeding."  Most Democrats reject every single option as unacceptable, including sleep deprivation.  Just so we're clear, four in ten Democrats furrow their brows and give a humanitarian thumbs-down to denying someone like 9/11 mastermind KSM adequate rest as we try to extract crucial intelligence from him -- yet almost six in ten Democrats are a-okay with instantaneously blowing KSM (and those around him) to kingdom come with a weaponized drone.  Because of "our values," or something.  Again, only about one-third of Democrats say slapping a terrorist is acceptable in the pursuit of actionable intel, but a strong majority are down with a summary execution, which provides no opportunity to glean valuable information.  Just one-in-five Democrats support waterboarding, a rarely-used technique that 'broke' two of the highest-level AQ terrorists we've ever had in our custody.  Forcing Abu Zubaydah and KSM into compliance helped lead us -- finally -- to take out Osama Bin Laden, a raid for which Democrats have not been shy about showering praise upon President Obama. Honestly, the only explanation for this incoherent disconnect that I can muster is adolescent partisanship.  "Torture" = Booooosh.  Drones = O.  Ergo, door number one is bad, bad, very bad, while door number two is a tough, necessary application of American force.  Bravo, guys. Party of science.

The Pew poll we mentioned earlier found that seven in ten Americans say "torture" is justified at least in "rare" instances.  But in today's YouGov poll, a 47 percent plurality believe the US can successfully prosecute the war on terror without using EITs at all.  Hmm.  I'll leave you with a hypothetical scenario: If, God forbid, we get hit again, and we've got one of the attack's masterminds in custody, and we know that he knows a lot more than he's willing to volunteer on his own or under traditional interrogation methods...how might Americans feel?  Should that terrorist be waterboarded or Mirandized?  Reminder: EIT's, independent of their moral acceptability, do work.  Here's a man that Dianne Feinstein and company didn't bother to interview while assembling their "exhaustive" findings: