Americans on Torture

From moderate Democrats to white Evangelicals, nearly every demographic group believes torture can be justified

According to a new poll released Tuesday by The Washington Post and ABC News, a majority of Americans believe that torture of suspected terrorists can be justified — even in the wake of graphic revelations by a Senate Intelligence Committee report of exactly what such tactics look like.

  • minuteman

    How you treat your enemy is dependent on how your enemy treats you. As wars go the battles between allied forces and German forces were relatively civilized. The battles between the Russian forces and the Germans were not. Likewise the battles against the Japanese. When the enemy is savage, you are pretty much compelled t be savage back. I think smart people realize this.
    Whether or not torture is effective or not is another matter. I don’t personally think it is, most of the time. Good intelligence people have lots of other ways to get information from prisoners without pulling out fingernails.

    • tom_billesley

      Torture is rarely productive, but I leave that to the judgement of those protecting me, and I’d not second-guess them.

    • Germans executed Canadian prisoners in Normandy, Canadians retaliated in kind, as did the Americans, war is not civilized, we cannot expect it to be.

      • minuteman

        Agreed, but these events were the exception rather than the rule. Germans didn’t take Russians as prisoner and vise versa, and when they did the outcome was usually bad. It is estimated that 1 million Germans died in Russian custody, and it was probably even worse the other way around. In the Pacific war it is basically accurate to say that prisoners were not taken.

      • minuteman

        And as you state, “Canadians retaliated in kind”. Our behaviour is governed by the behaviour of our enemies.

  • tom_billesley

    There’s no response to the poll from muslims. That would have required torture.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Torture has been so watered down in definition so far, that when it was seen how little we we doing, many wished we were doing more.
    Most of these people should have been interrogated and then executed.

  • Xavier

    Something tells me we’re headed for a kingly “no means no” and “yes means yes” decree covering information extraction.

  • jontalaliqua

    CIA cited Israeli Supreme Court rulings to justify torture, Senate report says

    ‘Israeli example’ cited as possible
    justification for use of torture when interrogating terror suspects
    ‘where there is no other available means to prevent the harm’ they might

  • Minicapt

    The ‘report’ was a product of the Democrat staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as instructed by the head of the Committee Democrat Senator Feinstein, of San Fransisco. It has been deemed “bipartisan” because Senator Collins of Maine was the token Republican signatory.