Poll: Enhanced interrogation beats torture

Feb. 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. adults are somewhat more accepting of "enhanced interrogation techniques" than they are of "torture," a poll released Tuesday indicates.

More than half, 55 percent, of those surveyed by Angus Reid Public Opinion said terrorism suspects should not be tortured. But 57 percent said "enhanced interrogation techniques" are acceptable.

For the poll, 1,010 adults were surveyed online Friday through Sunday. Half were asked about "torture" and half about "enhanced interrogation techniques."

While 30 percent of the first group said torture is never justified and 25 percent said it should be rare, 21 percent said it is justified most of the time and 13 percent, always justified. In the second group, 26 percent said enhanced interrogation is justified always; 31 percent, most of the time; 19 percent, rarely, and 15 percent, never.

The term "enhanced interrogation techniques" was adopted by the Bush administration to refer to methods like waterboarding.

Nearly half, 49 percent, said waterboarding is not acceptable and 33 percent said they felt strongly about the issue. But 39 percent said the technique is acceptable when questioning terrorism suspects.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Angus Reid is a worldwide polling firm based in Canada.

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