WASHINGTON — Americans find US anti-terror policies too lax, and believe that the government should err toward increasing security over individual privacy, a new survey found Thursday.
More than six respondents in ten to a Quinnipiac University poll — 63 percent to 25 percent — said US anti-terror policies lean too far toward protecting civil rights rather than national security.
A poll released earlier this week also showed that, by and large, Americans appear to prefer security over civil liberties, but the results were slightly lower in favor of the former.
By 84 to 13 percent, respondents in the Quinnipiac poll said they support greater use of airport body scanners, despite the privacy concerns voiced by some opponents. And by 86 percent to 11 percent, they said they would support new airport security measures even if it led to longer travel delays.
The poll also found that public support for the war in Afghanistan has risen and now is at 59 percent in favor and 41 percent against, measurably stronger than in just December when it was at 51 percent in favor and 41 percent against.
Respondents said they disagreed with President Barack Obama’s plan to try suspected terrorists in civilian courts, expressing a preference for military tribunals by 59 to 34 percent.
But 48 to 44 percent, Americans polled said they support Obama’s overall handling of terror.
The American public struck a decidedly more hawkish tone in the weeks since the failed Christmas Day bombing plot against a US airplane, saying by 52 to 44 percent that law enforcement should be able to single out people who look Middle-Eastern for screening and questions,
More than three out of four said they believe it very likely (35 percent) or somewhat likely (43 percent) that there will be a terror attack with a large number of casualties in the United States in the near future.
The survey of 1,767 registered US voters was conducted from January 5 to 11 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.