Well, what else could we expect? If people are fine with presidential drone assassinations, what's a little waterboarding and rectal rape-feeding and sleep deprivation? From the Washington Post:
A majority of Americans believe that the harsh interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were justified, even as about half the public says the treatment amounted to torture, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
By an almost 2-1 margin, or 59-to-31 percent, those interviewed support the CIA’s brutal methods, with the vast majority of supporters saying they produced valuable intelligence.In general, 58 percent say the torture of suspected terrorists can be justified “often” or “sometimes.”The pollsters didn't ask, however, whether torture would be justified if practiced by our government upon white American citizens suspected of plotting homegrown domestic terrorism. Nor did they inquire whether respondents consider Muslim victims of torture to even be members of the human race. They didn't bother ascertaining whether supporters of torture had actually read the Senate report, whether they had watched Creepy Veepy Cheney defend his psychopathic self on the Sunday shows, whether they were fans of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "24," and if so, if they believed the propaganda fell into the category of documentary film, reality TV, aspirational fiction, or porn.
They should have also asked the people who believe that torture is justified and useful whether they think that child abuse and cruelty to animals is also sometimes justified and effective. I'm willing to wager that most of the self-proclaimed pro-torture crowd would swear they'd give their last nickel to save an abused dog from being euthanized at the kill shelter down the street.
Whatever. This poll, like so many skewed others, is sure to be misinterpreted by focus group-conscious politicians as a bona fide plebiscite. It's just the P.R. ticket for Obama, the CIA, and the small j justice department to sweep the war crimes under the rug and move on, look ahead, and wave the flag. Because The Randomly Selected People Have Spoken.
The fact that pollsters made sure to inquire of the respondents' political party affiliations, and then found that acceptance of torture is essentially bipartisan. is sure to strike Christmas joy into the heart of the Consensus Builder-in-Chief. It's not a red torture-loving America, it's not a blue torture-loving America, it's the United American Torture Lovers of America. (Pay no attention to those purist extremist outliers on the left.)
Views on the CIA’s tactics break down sharply along ideological lines. Liberal Democrats are most disgusted with the agency’s actions, while conservative Republicans are most likely to defend it.
Democrats who identify as moderate or conservative are more supportive of the program, joining majorities of independents and Republicans who say it was justified. (my bold) For example, 38 percent of liberal Democrats say the CIA’s actions were justified compared with 82 percent of conservative Republicans who say so.
In a CBS poll released Monday, nearly seven in 10 considered waterboarding torture, but about half said the technique and others are, at times, justified. Fifty-seven percent said harsh interrogation techniques can provide information that can prevent terrorist attacks.That a third of self-described liberals feel that torture was justified kind of gives a whole new meaning to the word "liberalism," huh? (I am tolerant of anal rape if it keeps me safe.) So does the finding that a majority think that the actual release of the report endangers national security. They apparently believe that the torture victims -- not to mention the friends, families and countrymen of the torture victims -- had no earthly idea of the abominations they suffered until they read about them in the papers or watched the coverage on TV.
So bring out the chips, dips, chains and whips. Sing tidings of comfort and joy, and drink of the groggy grog. Exceptional America has gone astray, and each of us has turned to our own way.