Saturday, December 10, 2005

Eight Countries Reject U.S.-Backed Secret Interrogations

::.Angus Reid Consultants.::

– Many adults around the world are against allowing the United States to covertly question suspected terrorists inside their countries, according to a poll by Ipsos-Public Affairs released by the Associated Press. At least 60 per cent of respondents in Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain and South Korea reject the idea. Conversely, 63 per cent of Americans believe the practice is warranted.

Last month, the Washington Post reported on the existence of secret U.S. prisons for purported terrorism suspects located in Eastern Europe. On Nov. 7, U.S. president George W. Bush declared, "Anything we do to (protect the American people), any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture." The Bush administration has neither confirmed nor denied the report.

The reports of the so-called "black sites" have caused diplomatic tension in Europe, as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is believed to have covertly transported detainees by private charter between locations, in a possible violation of a country’s airspace.

This week, U.S. state secretary Condoleezza Rice responded to European questions about the secret prisons issue, by saying that the actions of the U.S. have "prevented attacks in Europe" and "saved innocent lives." Rice added, "We cannot discuss information that would compromise intelligence, law enforcement and military operations. We expect other nations share this view."

At least two-thirds of respondents in Italy, Spain, Canada, Britain and Germany believe the use of torture against suspected terrorists to obtain information about terrorism activities is rarely or never justified. France was next on the list with 65 per cent, followed by the U.S. with 59 per cent, Mexico with 58 per cent, and South Korea with 43 per cent.

Polling Data

Would you support or oppose allowing the United States to secretly interrogate suspected terrorists in (Country) to try to obtain information about terrorist activities?

Support

Oppose

United States

63%

32%

France

36%

60%

Germany

36%

60%

Canada

35%

63%

Italy

35%

55%

Britain

34%

62%

South Korea

25%

71%

Spain

22%

66%

Mexico

13%

78%

How do you feel about the use of torture against suspected terrorists to obtain information about terrorism activities? Can that often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Never

United States

11%

27%

23%

36%

Italy

9%

14%

14%

60%

Spain

7%

14%

16%

54%

Canada

9%

19%

21%

49%

Britain

9%

21%

21%

48%

Germany

8%

22%

20%

48%

France

12%

20%

25%

40%

Mexico

9%

22%

18%

40%

South Korea

6%

47%

33%

10%

Source: Ipsos-Public Affairs / Associated Press
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 8,964 adults in the Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, South Korea and the United States, conducted from Nov. 15 to Nov. 28, 2005. Margin of error for each sample is 3.1 per cent.



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