Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% oppose the use of such techniques, and another 12% are not sure.
Men and younger voters are more strongly supportive of the aggressive interrogation techniques than women and those who are older. Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party favor their use more than Democrats.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters think the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim to blow up the airliner as it landed in Detroit should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Only 22% say it should be handled by civilian authorities as a criminal act, as is currently the case.
As my old boss, Secretary Rumsfeld used to say, Americans have a pretty good “inner gyroscope.” It likely would not be necessary to use the waterboard to get Abdulmutallab to talk — only three terrorists underwent it and only 30 had any enhanced techniques used at all. But the vast majority of Americans have it right: You don’t put an enemy combatant who just committed an act of war into the criminal-justice system — and you certainly don’t give him a lawyer and tell him, “You have the right to remain silent.” You make him tell you what he knows so you can prevent new attacks.
– Marc Thiessen’s new book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama In Inviting the Next Attack, will be published in January by Regnery.