The release of the CIA torture report elicited a wide range of polemic responses from both the political left and right. Were the CIA torture techniques justified? Did the United States intelligence community gain reliable information from such techniques? Questions about CIA torture abound but answers seem fleeting, at best. But Pew Research went looking for answers amongst public opinion and found that US citizens are largely divided over key questions concerning the controversial 'enhanced interrogation techniques' employed by the CIA.
The Pew Research Center conducted a national survey between December 11-14 — among 1,001 adults and found some interesting results. Researchers asked three key questions about the "enhanced interrogation techniques." Were CIA interrogation methods following 9/11 justified? Did the interrogation methods provide intelligence that prevented terror attacks? Was the decision to release the Senate committee report the right decision?
Just over 51% of respondents claim the CIA's interrogation methods were justified while only 29% claimed the methods were "not justified." 56% of respondents believe the interrogation methods provided intelligence which 'prevented terror attacks' and 28% believe the techniques garnered no intelligence that prevented potential terror attacks. The public is most divided on the question about the decision to release the committee report. 43% of respondents believe it was the "wrong decision" while 42% believe it was the "right decision." Unsurprisingly, breaking down the results by partisanship is quite revealing. Overwhelmingly, Democrats and Republicans disagree on every question.
What do you think? Were the interrogation techniques justified?