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58% of Americans Say Waterboard the Nigerian

10:27 AM, Dec 31, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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On Monday I posted a question from a friend and suggested Scott Rasmussen might want to put that question to the American public. Here's the question as it was emailed to me:

Do you think most Americans prefer that this guy is A) Watching cable tv is a warm cell funded by taxpayers and enjoying his right to remain silent (i.e, BHO reality); or B) At an undisclosed location being waterboarded to learn about his little friends back in Yemen and their plans to kill us. I'd say 65% + of Americans would prefer B.... But just a guess.

Ask and ye shall receive. Rasmussen releases a poll today showing that 58 percent of Americans "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." My guess was off by a few points, but then again Rasmussen probably framed the question a little bit differently than we did above.

Perhaps most startling, just 30 percent of Americans oppose the use of such enhanced interrogation techniques, but among those 30 percent is the President of the United States, who allowed law enforcement to arrest the Nigerian and read him his rights, including the right to remain silent, though somehow we are supposed to be comforted by the fact that even after he was told of his right to remain silent, law enforcement can still try and interrogate him. Not surprisingly, that turns out to be an ineffective approach. As the Washington Post reported yesterday, "Abdulmutallab remains in a Detroit area prison and, after initial debriefings by the FBI, has restricted his cooperation since securing a defense attorney, according to federal officials."

Other interesting numbers from the Rasmussen poll:

Should the attempt to blow up the airliner be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act or by civilian authorities as a criminal act?

71% By the military as a terrorist act
22% By civilian authorities as a criminal act
7% Not sure

Only 22 percent believe that this should be handled by law enforcement! This isn't even an argument anymore, the Cheney view is now the dominant view among the American public.