Mixed opinion on torture’s roll in killing of bin Laden
The 1st poll conducted after the killing of Osama bin Laden shows that public opinion on torture, and the role it played (or didn’t play) is mixed:
At first glance, the toplines in the poll — which was conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute — do look good for torture opponents. It finds that 49% of Americans agree that torturing suspected terrorists to gain important information is never justified, compared to 43% who disagree. And it finds that only 27 percent think torture gained info “critical” to the killing of Bin Laden.
But the internals of the poll — sent my way by the Institute — tell a somewhat different story. The 49 percent who say torture is never justified is broken down into 25 percent who “completely agree” and 24 percent who “mostly agree.” That latter group may be open to the argument that it might be justified on certain occasions. Only a quarter rule it out entirely.
Meanwhile, though only 27 percent say torture produced “critical” information in getting Bin Laden, another 17 percent say it extracted “important” info, for a total of 44 percent. Only 37 percent say it produced little or no info. Not great.
The Fox/talk radio/blogosphere propaganda machine went into high gear the day after the killing, once again showing how dangerously effective it is. *sigh*