Tags: obama | terror | trials

Only 20% Strongly Support Obama Terror Trials

Tuesday, 24 Nov 2009 10:00 AM

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The Obama administration’s decision to move the trial of five accused 9/11 terrorists, including confessed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to a federal court in New York is decidedly unpopular with American voters, according to a new Zogby International/O’Leary Report poll.

The poll, which surveyed 3,616 Americans on Nov. 17-20, all of whom voted in the 2008 presidential election, asked: "Do you believe your congressman and senators should support or oppose granting American Constitutional rights to foreign enemy combatants accused of being involved in the 9/11 attacks so they can be tried in federal court in New York?"

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  • Only 20 percent of American voters “strongly support” granting constitutional rights to foreign enemy combatants, while 53 percent “strongly oppose” it. An additional 11 percent “somewhat support” granting such rights to accused foreign terrorists, and 5 percent say they are “somewhat opposed.”

  • Just 18 percent of Independent voters “strongly support” the Obama administration’s move, while 53 percent “strongly oppose” it. An additional 11 percent say they “somewhat support” the move, and 9 percent are “somewhat opposed.”

    The Zogby/O’Leary Poll also asked: "Do you support or oppose the efforts of Attorney General Eric Holder to move the jurisdiction for the 9/11 trial from a military tribunal at a military base to a federal court in New York City?"

  • Only 25 percent of those who voted in the 2008 presidential election strongly support Holder’s efforts to try the accused terrorists in a federal court as opposed to a military tribunal, and 50 percent “strongly oppose” his effort. An additional 11 percent “somewhat support” Holder on this, and 6 percent “somewhat oppose” him.

  • Just 21 percent of Independent voters “strongly support” Holder’s decision, and 52 percent “strongly oppose” the decision. An additional 12 percent “somewhat support” the decision, and 7 percent “somewhat oppose” it.

    The Zogby/O’Leary Poll asked: "Based on the cost of some terror-related trials in other countries, it is estimated that about $10 million could be spent on a trial of the 9/11 terror suspects in federal court, versus about $1.5 million for a military tribunal. Knowing this, do you agree or disagree that the additional cost for a federal trial vs. a military tribunal are acceptable?"

  • Only 19 percent of American voters “strongly agree” with the additional cost of a federal trial versus a military tribunal, and 54 percent “strongly disagree” with the added cost. An additional 14 percent of voters say they “somewhat agree” with paying more for a federal trial, and 7 percent say they “somewhat disagree.”

  • Just 19 percent of Independent voters “strongly agree” with the additional cost of a federal trial for terror suspects while 55 percent “strongly disagree.” An additional 11 percent of Independents “somewhat agree,” and 10 percent “somewhat disagree.”

    “These numbers show the White House’s decision to grant foreign enemy combatants constitutional rights and try them in federal court is strongly and unambiguously opposed by a majority of voters,” said Brad O’Leary, publisher of The O’Leary Report.

    The poll and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.7 percentage points.

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