Tags: Barack Obama | Polls | CBS Poll | Americans | report | waterboarding | torture

CBS Poll: Most Americans Think Waterboarding Is Torture

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 09:15 AM

After the Senate Intelligence Committee released a damning report on the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation tactics, a large majority of Americans say they consider waterboarding to be torture, a new poll has found.

According to a CBS News poll conducted Dec. 11-14 of 1,003 adults, 69 percent say they believe waterboarding is torture, though 49 percent think the practice, along with other enhanced interrogation techniques, is sometimes justified. Thirty-six percent think that the practices are not justified in any circumstance.

The survey also found that 57 percent of Americans think some interrogation tactics are effective in eliciting reliable information that helps prevent future terrorist attacks in some cases, even though the Senate report concluded that they are not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

A majority, or 52 percent, think that the release of information about the CIA's interrogation practices poses a threat to U.S. security, the poll found, but a third does not believe it will have an impact, CBS News reported.

Following the report's release, American embassies and other U.S. interests abroad were braced for a potential international backlash and heightened security risks.

The survey also found a partisan divide on the question of whether the interrogation tactics constituted torture. Specifically, 73 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of independents said they think the techniques are sometimes justified while 54 percent of Democrats think they are not.

And the poll showed that those who have heard or read a lot about the report are more likely than Americans overall to say the tactics are justified, CBS News reported.

The Senate's report detailed a number of different aggressive interrogation tactics used by the CIA on terrorism suspects. In additional to waterboarding, which is a simulated drowning process, large majorities of Americans believe a number of the other tactics fall under the category of torture, among them, threatening to sexually abuse a prisoner's mother, forcing detainees to stay awake for up to 180 hours, and forced ice water baths.

President Barack Obama banned the use of waterboarding and several other interrogation methods in January 2009, but the poll found that 57 percent of Americans think some of these practices are still being used by the CIA.

The Senate report also concluded that the CIA's directors lied to the president and Congress about its interrogation tactics and their effectiveness. In the poll, just 18 percent said they believe the agency was truthful about the interrogation program, while 44 percent said they think the CIA was mostly truthful but hiding something.

Seventeen percent of people surveyed said they think the CIA was mostly lying about its treatment of prisoners, CBS News reported.

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After the Senate Intelligence Committee released a damning report on the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation tactics, a large majority of Americans say they consider waterboarding to be torture, a new poll has found.
CBS Poll, Americans, report, waterboarding, torture
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2014-15-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 09:15 AM
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