An Associated Press-Ipsos poll shows that most Americans approve of torture as an interrogation tactic under some circumstances, the news agency said Tuesday.
The polling, in the United States and eight of its closest allies, found that in Canada, Mexico and Germany people are divided on whether torture is ever justified. Most people opposed torture under any circumstances in Spain and Italy.
“I don’t think we should go out and string everybody up by their thumbs until somebody talks. But if there is definitely a good reason to get an answer, we should do whatever it takes,” said Billy Adams, a retiree from Tomball, Texas.
In America, 61 percent of those surveyed agreed torture is justified at least on rare occasions. Almost nine in 10 in South Korea and just over half in France and Britain felt that way. — Associated Press
Several people have come forward recently and said that the U.S. mistakenly captured and tortured them using a process called extraordinary rendition, where subjects are secretly captured and flown to another country where they can be tortured. The U.S. has admitted making a mistake with respect to Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen who was flown to Afghanistan and held for five months, even though the government knew it had the wrong person.
Expert interrogators in the Central Intelligence Agency have said that torture is rarely effective at obtaining useful intelligence, as people under torture will tell interrogators anything they want to hear in order to stop the torture.