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Many Americans are OK with torture after the release of the CIA’s report

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

After the release of the CIA Torture Report, many politicians are defending the report or analyzing the results, but the American public seems unchanged from the findings.  In fact, many Americans are alright with torture and have not bothered by torture for some years.

A 2009 Pew Research poll found 71 percent of Americans were fine with torture on some level as long as it was justified by obtaining important information which could save American lives or similar reasons.

A similar study in 2012 by YouGov yielded similar results.  And more recently, Amnesty International published a study in early 2014 showing the U.S. is the most supportive western country of the use of torture against those deemed enemies.

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Now, CBS held a poll in the wake of the release of the torture report showing 57 percent of those polled think the tactics outlined in the report had extracted reliable and important information.  Some of the tactics mentioned in the report were waterboarding, forcing a prisoner to stay awake for 18 hours, threatening sexual abuse against the prisoners family, and forced ice water baths.

The poll also found 57 percent of Americans believed the CIA when they said these torture tactics were effective.

However, while many Americans believe the use of torture was a helpful asset, the committee responsible for compiling and releasing the report found, “The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.”  The report itself also says the effectiveness of the strategies to extract information were exaggerated.

The site Hot Air points out this should not be a surprise though.  The site contends the rise of ISIS has many Americans valuing security rather than civil liberties.

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