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Rasmussen: 58% want underwear bomber waterboarded

By Muriel Kane
Thursday, December 31, 2009 17:42 EDT
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The latest Rasmussen poll indicates that a majority of Americans support hard-line attitudes towards the would-be terrorist who attempted to blow up an airliner on Christmas day.

Of those polled, 71% would like to see the crime investigated by military rather than civilian authorities, and 58% believe that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should be subjected to “aggressive” interrogation techniques in order to gain information. Men, younger voters, and Republicans were most strongly in support of the use of harsh methods.

In addition, 79% expect another terrorist attack in the United States during the next year — a huge jump from the 49% who held that opinion last August — and 30% believe the terrorists are winning.

Hard-line sentiments were also reflected in the answers to questions about airport security — 54% would like to see the United States take control of boarding procedures at foreign airports — closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and probes of CIA torture during the Bush administration.

Liberal blogs have been skeptical all year about Rasmussen polls which show President Obama with an approval rating far lower than any other polling organization, and polling analyst Nate Silver in particular has recently subjected Rasmussen to fierce mockery. This latest poll is likely to only increase the controversy.

The results of the poll have already been proclaimed by conservative blogs. A blogger at Weasel Zippers exulted, “Obama’s bleeding-heart liberal approach to national security issues is failing. The Left is pushing their insane agenda too far for most Americans.”

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air headlined his version of the story “58% prefer the Cheney option on EunuchBomber,” and explained, “I just call it the Cheney Option because it recalls a time when we treated terrorists as unlawful combatants rather than defendants. Apparently, a healthy majority of Americans agree with that approach.”

Liberal blogger Greg Sargent, however, headlined his own reaction, “Cheney Camp Rejoices That Majority Wants To Torture Bombing Suspect

“Michael Goldfarb, presumably speaking for the Cheney camp, is really, really psyched about a new Rasmussen poll finding that a majority wants to torture the plane bombing suspect,” Sargent writes. “The fact that the Cheney camp is grabbing onto this one poll as vindication says more about the degree to which Cheney has lost the overall national security argument than it does about anything else.”

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
 
 
 
 
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