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Poll: Non-criminal Bush inquiry favored

Feb. 12, 2009 at 9:41 AM

PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Most U.S. adults appear to support an investigation into possible Bush administration wrongdoing but fewer than half want a criminal inquiry, a poll indicates.

The USA Today/Gallup poll of Jan. 30-Feb. 1 said 6 in 10 respondents favored some sort of investigation into controversial interrogation techniques and possible abuse of the U.S. Justice Department. Only 41 percent favor a criminal probe, the poll said.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., called for a special commission to investigate possible government wrongdoing by the Bush administration earlier this week.

The poll indicates 62 percent of respondents favor some type of investigation into the possible use of torture when interrogating terrorism suspects. Seventy-one percent support investigating possible attempts to use the Justice Department for political purposes, and 63 percent favor an inquiry into the possible use of telephone wiretaps without a warrant.

U.S. President Barack Obama has been reluctant to pursue such investigations.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,027 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2009. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the maximum margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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