Americans Love Torture and the Idea of Nuclear War Because the TV Tells Them To

Picture: wizardryo (PD)

James writes at My Bloggity Blog:

In a shocking new poll it was revealed that American’s are more like 24’s Jack Bauer than ever before in their mindset about torture and ways to eliminate terrorists. This poll which was conducted for Foreign Policy revealed that American’s are much more in favor of torture and specific torture methods than they were during the Bush administration which put nearly all of these measures into place and when these torture methods were legal. The kicker is that American’s are also increasingly more in favor of using nuclear weapons to eradicate terrorists regardless of the harmful effects to the environment. It should also be noted that most terrorists don’t even congregate in large enough numbers to justify even a 2,000lb bomb never mind a nuclear bomb.

A quarter of all Americans are willing to use nuclear weapons to kill terrorists. No joke. This was among many surprising findings in a new national poll that YouGov recently ran for me on hot-button intelligence issues. (The poll, conducted between Aug. 24 and 30, 2012, surveyed 1,000 people and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points).

To be honest, I threw in the nuclear bomb question on a lark, not expecting to find much. Boy, was I wrong. Aside from learning that 25 percent of Americans would stop the next terrorist plot with a several-hundred-kiloton atomic bomb, the poll numbers suggest that Americans have become more hawkish on counterterrorism policy since Barack Obama became president.

In 2007 only 27% of American’s surveyed said that the government should torture suspected terrorists and 53% said that the government should not. Today though 41% of American’s would like terrorism suspects to be tortured and only 34% said the government should not. Those numbers are pretty shocking when you take into account that America is now only at war with one country and most terrorists we find, we kill rather than capture.

Sure, the devil is in the details. Poll responses are highly susceptible to question wording. So I had the pollsters ask some of the exact same questions in the exact same way that appeared in a January 2005 USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, the most detailed pre-Obama poll on interrogation techniques that I could find. It turns out that Americans don’t just like the general idea of torture more now. They like specific torture techniques more too.

Techniques such as the controversial waterboarding are gaining more support from Americans but the real interesting thing is that far less people are saying they’re against such methods which were highly controversial when they were announced. Now only 51% say they are against such methods which is a 28 point drop from 2005. Other “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as uncomfortable positioning while naked, religious humiliation and the use of dogs are also gaining support in America and the resistance to such techniques is also steadily declining. The only technique that American’s don’t really care for now is oddly one of the more common techniques; sleep deprivation. It’s ok to waterboard a terrorist as long as he’s getting his 8 hours!

Read more here.

, , , ,

  • Thom

    Actually all this really tells us is that %25 of America are trolls. Oh wait. Shit.

  • Thom

    Actually all this really tells us is that %25 of America are trolls. Oh wait. Shit.

  • DetainMeYouFascists

    I watched “The Avengers” over the summer. I really need to stop listening to most people’s movie recommendations. What a terrible film. Anyway, I’ll ruin the ending to this trite blockbuster. None of the various assembled superhero’s can beat the bad guy. UNTIL a nuclear warhead joins the team.

    Like Popeye and spinach those hero’s perked right up. And, like Popeye, they were invented to sell a product.

  • DetainMeYouFascists

    I watched “The Avengers” over the summer. I really need to stop listening to most people’s movie recommendations. What a terrible film. Anyway, I’ll ruin the ending to this trite blockbuster. None of the various assembled superhero’s can beat the bad guy. UNTIL a nuclear warhead joins the team.

    Like Popeye and spinach those hero’s perked right up. And, like Popeye, they were invented to sell a product.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    first, consider the source of this poll
    Foreign Policy (magazine) > Washington Post Company > Elite Families

    > A quarter of all Americans are willing to use nuclear weapons to kill terrorists. No joke.
    Bullshit. This is a blatant attempt to sell this point to the herd.
    It’s not the content of TV, Mass Media, InterTwit ect
    that drives people crazy
    it’s the friggin’ technology itself

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    first, consider the source of this poll
    Foreign Policy (magazine) > Washington Post Company > Elite Families

    > A quarter of all Americans are willing to use nuclear weapons to kill terrorists. No joke.
    Bullshit. This is a blatant attempt to sell this point to the herd.
    It’s not the content of TV, Mass Media, InterTwit ect
    that drives people crazy
    it’s the friggin’ technology itself

    • David Howe

      “The tone of the hallucinations

      is determined by the tone of the tape’s imagery.

      But the Videodrome signal, the one that does the damage,

      it can be delivered under a test pattern, anything. ”

      http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/v/videodrome-script-transcript-david-cronenberg.html

    • David Howe

      “The tone of the hallucinations

      is determined by the tone of the tape’s imagery.

      But the Videodrome signal, the one that does the damage,

      it can be delivered under a test pattern, anything. ”

      http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/v/videodrome-script-transcript-david-cronenberg.html

    • Andrew

      So the poll is a psyop, but TV shows and movies aren’t psyops.  The content of the poll counts, but not the content of movies or TVs.  The source of the poll counts, but not the sources of TV shows or movies.

      The poll is being delivered over the InterTwit.  This site is on the InterTwit.  So by reading this you’re driving yourself crazy.

    • Andrew

      So the poll is a psyop, but TV shows and movies aren’t psyops.  The content of the poll counts, but not the content of movies or TVs.  The source of the poll counts, but not the sources of TV shows or movies.

      The poll is being delivered over the InterTwit.  This site is on the InterTwit.  So by reading this you’re driving yourself crazy.

  • Ryan Kerr

    Fancy that. Americans are stupid. I love spy and non-procedural crime movies, games & shows but am against torture and assassination as are most everyone I know and I live in a very red state. I think the results are sensational at best.

  • Ryan Kerr

    Fancy that. Americans are stupid. I love spy and non-procedural crime movies, games & shows but am against torture and assassination as are most everyone I know and I live in a very red state. I think the results are sensational at best.

  • kowalityjesus

    I still remember the time I was driving across the state listening to NPR in about 2004-05.  They wer discussing middle east-policy and taking callers.  

    Host: “Caller you’re on the air” 

    Southern accent: “Yeah I got a question: why don’t we just nukular bomb them all?”  

    Host: *ahm sputter err* (continues discussion)

  • kowalityjesus

    I still remember the time I was driving across the state listening to NPR in about 2004-05.  They wer discussing middle east-policy and taking callers.  

    Host: “Caller you’re on the air” 

    Southern accent: “Yeah I got a question: why don’t we just nukular bomb them all?”  

    Host: *ahm sputter err* (continues discussion)

21