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AP Poll: Most Say Torture OK in Rare Cases
AP via Tampa Bay Online ^ | Dec 6 2005 | WILL LESTER

Posted on 12/06/2005 1:41:37 PM PST by Ben Mugged

Most Americans and a majority of people in Britain, France and South Korea say torturing terrorism suspects is justified at least in rare instances, according to AP-Ipsos polling.

The United States has drawn criticism from human rights groups and many governments, especially in Europe, for its treatment of terror suspects. President Bush and other top officials have said the U.S. does not torture, but some suspects in American custody have alleged they were victims of severe mistreatment.

The polling, in the United States and eight of its closest allies, found that in Canada, Mexico and Germany people are divided on whether torture is ever justified. Most people opposed torture under any circumstances in Spain and Italy.

"I don't think we should go out and string everybody up by their thumbs until somebody talks. But if there is definitely a good reason to get an answer, we should do whatever it takes," said Billy Adams, a retiree from Tomball, Texas.

In America, 61 percent of those surveyed agreed torture is justified at least on rare occasions. Almost nine in 10 in South Korea and just over half in France and Britain felt that way.

(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: confused; polls; torture
Bet this doesn't get a lot of MSM coverage......
1 posted on 12/06/2005 1:41:37 PM PST by Ben Mugged
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To: Ben Mugged

Just put'em in solitary....they'll talk..you don't need to torture them, you dumb axes.


2 posted on 12/06/2005 1:43:50 PM PST by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys-Reagan and Bush)
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To: Ben Mugged

Not suprising. We are a mean people.

parsy, the disgusted.


3 posted on 12/06/2005 1:44:17 PM PST by parsifal
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To: Ben Mugged
AP Poll: Most Say Torture OK in Rare Cases

If anyone can listen to Hillary's voice, then torture is a cakewalk.

4 posted on 12/06/2005 1:44:28 PM PST by beyond the sea (Murtha: Redeployment - What .......Surrender? // “Victory is not a strategy”)
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To: Ben Mugged

Hmm. I have no problems with torture of criminals, as well, but it must be prescribed by a judge.


5 posted on 12/06/2005 1:45:15 PM PST by ConservativeMind
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To: Ben Mugged

I wish they would tell us what 'torture' they are doing; are we talking sleep deprivation/drugs or tearing out thumbnails


6 posted on 12/06/2005 1:49:11 PM PST by SF Republican
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To: Ben Mugged

Torture is an instrument of necessity, not consensus, which waxes and wanes.
After a couple more 9/11's, everyone would support it. The problem is that the next 9/11 may look more like Hiroshima, and our government can't afford to wait.


7 posted on 12/06/2005 1:57:15 PM PST by Spok (Est omnis de civilitate.)
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To: Ben Mugged

It seems to me that if the people support it, then there is no reason to pussyfoot around and open prisons in Romania.

Change the federal law that prohibits it, close GTMO, and fly the intended victims right into the States.

I would have been interested to see the numbers for Germany.

It doesn't surprise me that the Italians and Spanish are strongly opposed to torture under all circumstances, while majorities of the French and British support it when necessary. I believe that I saw death penalty statistics that were similar, with the Southern Europeans outright opposing it, and majorities of the British and French both supporting it.

I would be interested in seeing the statistics for Germany.


8 posted on 12/06/2005 1:58:09 PM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: ConservativeMind

"I have no problems with torture of criminals, as well, but it must be prescribed by a judge."

You're kidding, right? This is sarcasm, right? Like a judge has any idea whatsoever of the real world.


10 posted on 12/06/2005 2:04:01 PM PST by hsalaw
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To: SF Republican
I wish they would tell us what 'torture' they are doing

Naked pictures of Bella Abzug

11 posted on 12/06/2005 2:04:17 PM PST by Sociopathocracy (Real men know the significance of the following numbers: 383, 426 and 440.)
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To: Spok
Nuke 9/11 is what is driving this need for flexibility on this issue. No one in the administration wants to face the consequences of not having done everything possible to stop nuke terror and the slaughter of millions. The reality of how very close we have come to this frames the administration's position, but they have, to their credit, not used this reasoning publicly, hoping that thinking people understand it anyway.

Having said that, implementing and carrying out aggressive interrogation is tricky and has major PR implications that can swing the many negative ways, as well as the basic issue of surrending the moral high ground. Condi was hinting at this. Supervised and stepped procedures and great caution should be used in applying force to the most uncooperative and high value suspects.
12 posted on 12/06/2005 2:18:32 PM PST by Wiseghy (Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. – Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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To: Ben Mugged
AP Poll: Most Say Torture OK in Rare Cases

I think it should be well done myself.

13 posted on 12/06/2005 2:21:54 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey hey ho ho Andy Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Wiseghy

And I think we must do some things in private which we deny in public.


14 posted on 12/06/2005 2:21:55 PM PST by Spok (Est omnis de civilitate.)
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To: Ben Mugged

AP Poll: Most Say Torture OK in Rare Cases........Mel Gibson to make million dollar movie.......


15 posted on 12/06/2005 2:32:45 PM PST by maestro
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To: Ben Mugged
So our elected Republican "leaders" capitulate to who? Us? (nope) The French? (nope) The British? (nope again) The South Koreans? (bzzzz! 'wrong answer, Hahns'!)

Our Republicans capitulate to only the Democrats.

16 posted on 12/06/2005 4:17:27 PM PST by manwiththehands ("Attack (Democrats) until they stop twitching and then attack some more." -J. Peter Mulhern)
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To: Ben Mugged

To date I have not heard a single allegation that any US forces tortured anyone.

Nothing that rises above the level of a fraternity initiation has been alleged.


17 posted on 12/06/2005 5:26:14 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: Vicomte13
Change the federal law that prohibits it

Unnecessary. "Illegal" is not a synonym for "impossible".

18 posted on 12/07/2005 1:07:20 PM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: steve-b

"Change the federal law that prohibits it"

"Unnecessary. 'Illegal' is not a synonym for 'impossible'."

True, but you still need to change the law. Because if you do not, whoever commits the torture is guilty of a felony and can be prosecuted for it. If the victim dies, the torturer, whether acting from necessity or not, is guilty of premeditated first degree murder under any state or federal law, and can be prosecuted just about anywhere, for the rest of his life. There are plenty of people who oppose torture so adamantly that if you simply allow government agents to torture on a "necessity" basis, but without giving them legal immunity for doing it, those agents will be exposed to prosecution and blackmail by enemies of torture for the rest of their lives, and if they ever come into the possession of such authorities, there is no law that can protect them.

Massachussetts, for example, could arrest and prosecute a military person passing through the Commonwealth, were Massachussetts state law to prohibit torture and allow prosecution in Massachussetts regardless of where the crime was committed. And if torture were not legal by a superseding US law, the US government would have no jurisdiction at all to remove its servicemen from Massachussetts prisons.

Also, having a law that says one thing, but allowing a whole secret society of torturers to exist, above the law, in government is another thing. A bad one. It sets a clear precedent. If THAT can be justified by a loose and unspecified doctrine of necessity, so can anything else.

The laws need to be clear, and enforced.


19 posted on 12/07/2005 1:38:07 PM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13
True, but you still need to change the law. Because if you do not, whoever commits the torture is guilty of a felony and can be prosecuted for it.

So? You do what you gotta do, and take the consequences. That's the only way to limit it to cases of true dire necessity.

...if you simply allow government agents to torture on a "necessity" basis, but without giving them legal immunity for doing it....

Since I reject any notion of legal immunity, this argument is irrelevant.

...allowing a whole secret society of torturers to exist, above the law, in government is another thing...

Who said anything about them being above the law? If somebody believes that it's genuinely necessary to do something illegal, then the subsequent trial and punishment is simply part of the price, just like the risk of disfigurement and death is part of the price of defending the nation in more conventional ways.

20 posted on 12/07/2005 1:48:07 PM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: steve-b

"Since I reject any notion of legal immunity, this argument is irrelevant."

In ANY circumstance?
No immunity from arrest for Congressmen?
No grants of immunity by the prosecutors in order to get evidence to convict someone more prominent and dangerous?


21 posted on 12/07/2005 1:55:13 PM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

I mean in the context of this discussion, obviously.


22 posted on 12/08/2005 6:24:57 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: steve-b

But why limit it to this discussion?

I mean, if we are going to give legal immunity to public officials who are not making life or death decisions, and we're going to give legal immunity to scumbag criminals in order to get indictments of more important people, why shouldn't we bite the bullet and give legal immunity to our security officials who are presented with the "do or die" situation of getting information from a terrorist to stop a big attack? Why should we require themselves to become eventual martyrs to the legal system because we won't extend immunity to them for doing something we think is NECESSARY.

Let's be clear: not giving immunity means that if I have in my possession a terrorist who has planted a nuclear bomb in New York, and I am not in New York and don't have anyone close to me in New York, you're asking me to risk life in prison or even the death penalty in order to extract information from him through torture, but you're NOT willing to bend the legal system to grant me the protection from the destruction of my life by the legal system I'm trying to protect?

The "right" thing to do in such a circumstance?
Obey the law.
New York burns and 11 million people die.
Don't want that result? Then change the law.
If I've taken an oath to the law and the Constitution, then I'm going to follow the law and the Constitution unless there is some compelling PERSONAL reason for which I am willing to become a death-row bound felon. The Constitution and the law are clear as a bell: no torture.
So, if I decide to be a criminal and torture, it would only be because of a personal stake in the matter.
No personal stake, I obey the law, and I cannot be prosecuted.
Don't like that result? Then protect me and I'll protect you.


23 posted on 12/08/2005 6:35:24 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13
doing something we think is NECESSARY

Because the only way of limiting it to cases where it is NECESSARY is to require the guy making the decision to consider the possibility that if he can't convince a court of law (or the President) that it was indeed necessary, he's going to spend his days as the Sweetheart Of Cellblock 13.

(Don't waste my time arguing that the legal system can be trusted to empower Federal agents only when they legitimately need such powers, unless it's on a thread titled "Lon Horiuchi Begins Prison Term".)

Why should we require themselves to become eventual martyrs to the legal system

Why should we require our soldiers and sailors to die and be maimed?

That's life. Life ain't fair.

but you're NOT willing to bend the legal system to grant me the protection from the destruction of my life by the legal system

The legal system already has all that you need -- IF you can make a legitimate case for yourself -- in two forms: "jury nullification" and "presidential pardon".

So, if I decide to be a criminal and torture, it would only be because of a personal stake in the matter.

If you make these decisions on the basis of personal gain, then you are unfit for the job in any case, and any negative consequences that may ensue may be laid at your feet and the feet of whoever let such an unfit person get into that position.

24 posted on 12/08/2005 6:52:06 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: Vicomte13
Don't want that result? Then change the law.

The world is full of examples that prove that there is no need to change the law.

We don't want someone to starve to death because he genuinely has no way to get food other than to steal it. We don't change the laws against theft -- but we decline to prosecute people in situations like the recent Katrina debacle.

We don't want to let a political party bent on the defeat of America get into power. We don't change the laws against political corruption to make sure they don't win -- but we can always find a G. Gordon Liddy who will do what he considers necessary and go to prison for it without whining.

25 posted on 12/08/2005 7:00:00 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: steve-b

Interesting interpretations of the law and the oath.

I've taken a few of these oaths myself, more than once.

The oath is to a Constitution, a system of law.
There's no override in the law.

The difference between the situation of the soldier potentially being killed on the battlefield and the torturer is that the soldier is not prosecuted for murder doing his job, if he succeeds, and is not shot by his own side for expedience.
But you are saying that the torturer should be.
Indeed, you've held up G. Gordon Liddy as a ROLE MODEL for what a good agent of the government should be!

Nowhere to go with that other than to disagree.
When one takes an oath, there isn't a "necessity" exemption from the terms of it.


26 posted on 12/08/2005 7:41:46 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13
There's no override in the law.

And yet people don't starve in situations like Katrina -- they loot survival supplies, and the authorities let it slide (if they genuinely were looting for survival rather than for luxuries).

Similarly, someone who deals with a genuine ticking-time-bomb scenario by pulling a few fingernails would be off the hook -- the jury would refuse to convict, or the President would issue a pardon -- but the law would remain in place, and thus prevent the otherwise inevitable abusive use of a legal free pass.

Indeed, you've held up G. Gordon Liddy as a ROLE MODEL for what a good agent of the government should be!

Liddy erred in supposing that the Democratic Party in 1972 was a threat to the Republic (for one thing, they couldn't have won the election in any case). If there had been such a genuine threat, then he was a man who did what had to be done.

27 posted on 12/08/2005 8:19:08 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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