Most Americans do not believe Congress should investigate officials in the previous administration for authorizing the use of harsh interrogation procedures, including waterboarding, a poll released Wednesday found.
The poll by CNN television and the Opinion Research Corporation found that 60 percent of those surveyed believed the procedures constituted torture, but were sharply divided over whether they approved of their use.
President Barack Obama has left the door open to investigations of officials in the administration of former president George W. Bush, but the issue remains a contentious one.
Fifty percent of those surveyed said they approved of the Bush administration's decision to approve the methods, which included a form of near drowning known as waterboarding.
Another 46 percent were opposed and three percent had no opinion, according to the results of the survey of 2,019 adult Americans, which was conducted April 23-26, 2009.
When asked "regardless of whether you approve or disapprove of the use of those procedures, do you think any of those procedures were a form of torture, or don't you think so?," 60 percent said that indeed they were.
Thirty-six percent answered "no" while three percent had no opinion, the poll said.
But as to whether Congress should investigate, as some lawmakers are urging, most of those surveyed -- 57 percent-- said "no." Another 42 percent said yes, and one percent had no opinion, the poll found.
Asked if an independent panel should investigate, 55 percent said "no", 42 percent "yes", and two percent had no opinion.
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