"Center Right" America Opposes Torture "No Matter The Circumstances"

Via Glenn Greenwald, WaPo must have been shocked that their slanted poll question on torture did not produce a pro-torture result:

Q. Obama has said that under his administration the United States will not use torture as part of the U.S. campaign against terrorism, no matter what the circumstance. Do you support this position not to use torture, or do you think there are cases in which the United States should consider torture against terrorism suspects?

By a wide margin -- 58-40% -- Americans say that torture should never be used, no matter the circumstances. Let's repeat that: "no matter the circumstance."

"Center Right" America has spoken, Newsweek and WaPO -- time to end your Extreme Right Wing campaign to continue the despicable Bush/Cheney torture policies.

Speaking for me only

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    Center Right opposes torture . . . (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:22:10 PM EST
    . . .  I'm pleasantly shocked, but delighted.

    This should not suprise (none / 0) (#20)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:42:37 PM EST

    Most folks think torture refers to practices such as Hamas uses on Fatah, such as gouging out eyes, crushing hands, shooting kneecaps and the like.  Most would not consider torture anything people routinely voluntarily submit to.  That includes loud music, non-life threatening cold, sleep deprivation and the like.

    IMHO, the opposition to torture would be even higher if the meaning of that word had not been stretched of late to cover humiliation or merely the unpleasent.


    sleep deprivation and the like (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 06:22:46 PM EST
    The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

    Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on your health in the form of physical and mental impairments. Inadequate rest impairs our ability to think, to handle stress, to maintain a healthy immune system and to moderate our emotions. In fact, sleep is so important to our overall health that total sleep deprivation has been proven to be fatal: lab rats denied the chance to rest die within two to three weeks.

    Impair immune system. If you know anyone with an impaired immune system you might understand. The word fatal surely gets you attention.

    As for the definition of torture. This is what the US has agreed to:

    any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.



    It seems clear (none / 0) (#34)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:07:50 AM EST

    It seems clear that this comes down to difference in degree rather than kind.  

    An hour or two of less sleep a night is far different than no sleep for a month.  Calling both torture just makes the word "torture" meaningless.

    When I served in submarines, once in a while I would stand watch for 6 hours, play poker for 12 hours, stand watch for 6, play poker for 12 hours, stand watch for 6 and then sleep for 12.  

    Perhaps thats what one does when young and foolish.  OTOH, using the same word to describe that and gouging out an eye is just silly.


    What's silly is (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 12:03:33 PM EST
    pretending the deprivation is/was minimal especially when the Bushies have already conceded torture has been committed. You are otherwise correct it is a difference of degree.

    Approach this with an open mind.


    I have (none / 0) (#36)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 01:33:04 PM EST

    The point is that the definition of torture posted earlier is vague enough that reasonable people can differ in say, how long without speet is torture.  All we have heard so far are opinions without supporting facts.  That is, no one has said something like Ramsey el Kaboom was kept awake 34 days and 15 hours straight.

    Its more that sleep deprivation can be torture so therefore any sleep deprivation is torture.


    Given that Bush, Cheney, Haydon, Judge Crawford (none / 0) (#37)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:44:21 PM EST
    all have conceded that torture did occur, and that it occured on Bush's say so,  and that Cheney said he thought it was the right thing to do, do you concede that torture occured? Or do you doubt these witnesses?

    If you concede torture/war crimes occured, don't you think something should be done about it?


    Conceded? (1.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:14:26 AM EST

    I don't recall either Bush or Cheney conceding any such thing.  

    More to the point, if one were to opine that torture had been committed, that is not the same as a concession.  


    Speaking only for me too (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 10:46:34 AM EST
    okay then. . . what do we propose we do about people who want to hack our heads off or foreign enemies who want to kill us at every opportunity they can get right here in the U.S.A.

    We're going to need to talk about it.

    I dunno (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Steve M on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 11:35:43 AM EST
    but I would suggest using interrogation techniques that don't involve torture.  That's my recommendation.

    Treat them like Nazis (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by eric on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:22:59 PM EST
    That is, treat them with respect and don't sacrifice your humanity.



    It's just those silly women (none / 0) (#2)
    by esmense on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 10:53:37 AM EST
    who skewed the results. Who is going to take that seriously? Given their extreme macho insecurities, I predict no end to the beltway establishment's "Extreme Right Wing campaign."

    It's a human rights thing (none / 0) (#3)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 10:56:05 AM EST
    January 22, 2009

    BEIJING -- Chinese courts sentenced two men to death and three other defendants, including a top dairy company executive, to life in prison on Thursday for endangering public safety in a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six children, according to state-run news media.

    This is shaping up (none / 0) (#4)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 10:57:05 AM EST
    to be a real nasty news day.


    It would be interesting to see... (none / 0) (#5)
    by EL seattle on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 11:27:57 AM EST
    .. if the poll results would be different if the phrase "extreme measures" was substituted for the word "torture" in the question.

    Or if a poll listed the whole range of individual "extreme measures" that have been used and asked the poll participants which they considered to be  "torture", and which they don't.

    Are most of them experts (none / 0) (#28)
    by sallywally on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 06:35:45 PM EST
    on extreme methods or torture? Or even to know how the methods take place? In order to accurately define whether they are torture, I mean. I don't think so.

    Those who are experts pretty much agree on what is and is not torture, and that torture does not work.


    Ask the question like this (none / 0) (#6)
    by bocajeff on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 11:33:27 AM EST
    "Do you think it's ok to use any means against terrorists in order to stop either another 9/11 or nuclear attack?"

    My gut is telling me that the results would be different.

    Also, Gallup had a poll out yesterday showing a plurality don't want Guantanemo closed...

    Personally, I'm against all torture unless I'm personally threatened.

    How Nostalgic (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:14:25 PM EST
    My gut is telling me....

    I guess that there will be imitators for a certain time. Kinda like the reflex actions of a corpse.


    Funny how the Right (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:44:18 PM EST
    that seems to love these (certain) hypotheticals, never asks "would you rob a bank to keep your home?", or "would you steal to feed your kids"?

    The hypotheticals almost always seem to be about whether "we" should blow people up and, or torture to protect ourselves.


    Not only do they favor the ... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 01:22:13 PM EST
    hypotheticals of this sort but also the never-theticals, i.e. hypotheticals that would never happen.

    Jondee, (none / 0) (#24)
    by bocajeff on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 03:02:21 PM EST
    You're absolutely right...So under my hypothetical, do you approve of waterboarding?

    Under the hypothetical you pose, would you rob a bank to pay your mortgage or steal food - well, there are other options such as work, family, friends, church, and social services - that should take care of the . If all else fails, then whatever it takes.

    Again, though, paying a house isn't the same as life and death....


    Food and shelter are ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 03:19:32 PM EST

    Getting questionable intelligence from an alleged terrorist is not.


    I dunno, its well known that (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 07:26:54 PM EST
    an anti-torture liberal is a conservative who has been water-boarded

    saw another poll (none / 0) (#15)
    by DFLer on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:30:50 PM EST
    51% in favor, 47 against closing

    CNN national poll


    We all want to frame (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:34:49 PM EST
    the questions to achieve our already arrived at answers. Seemingly.

    In sure alot of people are against terrorism unless they're personally threatened, too.


    Actually, I'd like someone to (none / 0) (#29)
    by sallywally on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 06:42:07 PM EST
    stop the person who is about to push me off the cliff from doing it...

    Obama signs executive order to close Gitmo (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 11:58:46 AM EST
    CNN - first presidential press (none / 0) (#9)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:05:15 PM EST
    briefing coming right up in less than 1/2 hour.

    And...George Mitchell will be a special envoy to the mideast re Israel/Palestine.  Good news.

    George Mitchell (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Steve M on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:08:34 PM EST
    "Israel has a state, but its people live in unbearable anxiety, so security for the people is an overriding objective. The Palestinians don't have a state and they want one, an independent, economically viable and geographically integral state; that is their overriding objective. I believe that neither can attain its objective by denying to the other side its objectives. Israelis are not likely to have sustainable security if the Palestinians don't have a state, and Palestinians will never achieve a state until the people of Israel have some security."

    Wow! (none / 0) (#25)
    by bocajeff on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 03:03:58 PM EST
    sixty years to get to such an amazing discovery. Why don't they just click their heels three times...

    Now that the obvious has been stated for the milliointh time, the question is how to resolve it...


    I must confess (none / 0) (#31)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 08:02:01 PM EST
    that I am surprised. I would have thought that -- especially the way it has been framed by right wing news organisations -- most people would approve of EITs.

    Wow, 58% against torture... (none / 0) (#32)
    by pmj6 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:19:54 AM EST
    ...under all circumstances! I would not have guess that, given the tenor of the MSM coverage. But it's nice to be a member of the new Silent Majority...

    um, still center-right (none / 0) (#33)
    by blogname on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:21:01 AM EST
    Why does this survey dispel the reality that the country remains center-right. I assume you find that assessment problematic, given you inclusion of the term in quotation marks.  The US has long banned torture, and just about 1/2 of self-identified conservatives in the poll agreed.  McCain sponsored the Detainee Treatment Act, which outlawed abusive treatment of detainees.  And countries like Angola, Iran, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and the Sudan are signatories of the Geneva Convention. Opposing torture is not Leftist. Bush was more thuggish than conservative.