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A significant majority of Americans responding to this week's Research 2000 poll want to see some kind of investigation into the Bush administration's abuses of power.

Asked whether they would prefer a criminal investigation, independent panel, or neither in the use of the Justice Department for political purposes, torture, and warrantless wiretaps, strong majorities in every instance approved some kind of investigation, either in a truth commission type panel, or a criminal probe.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 4/27-30. Registered voters. MoE 2%. (No trend lines)

Question: As you may know there have been allegations that the Bush Administration used the Department of Justice for political purposes. Which of the following would you favor the most: a criminal investigation into those allegations or an investigation by an independent panel or neither?

Independent Panel 36
Criminal Investigation 29
Neither 18

Question: There have also been allegations that the Bush Administration engaged in torture in terror investigations. Which of the following would you favor the most: a criminal investigation into those allegations or an investigation by an independent panel or neither?

Independent Panel 31
Criminal Investigation 22
Neither 22

Question: There have also been allegations that the Bush Administration used telephone wiretaps against American citizens without court warrants. Which of the following would you favor the most: a criminal investigation into those allegations or an investigation by an independent panel or neither?

Independent Panel 33
Criminal Investigation 23
Neither 21

Those are significant majorities in every category for some kind of accounting into Bush administration abuses.

From the crosstabs, what is particularly notable is the number of self-identified Independents who would like to see some kind of investigation: 68 percent in Justice Department activities, 52 percent for torture, 55 percent for warrantless wiretapping--even higher numbers than among self-identified Democrats. That suggests that for many, the issue of government accountability is less partisan than many, including the traditional media, would have us believe.

Note as well, the importance of calling "torture" just that: "torture" in public polling and in media reports. Greg talks about how important it is.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:22 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yesssssssssh! (9+ / 0-)

    If you love Austin .....Please!!!! Watch this video: http://strikeproductions.com/brackenridge-field-laboratory.html

    by TexMex on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:25:21 PM PDT

    •  The wording of this poll is better than most (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TexMex

      But there's still a couple of problems. One is this part of one of the questions...

      "There have also been allegations that the Bush Administration engaged in torture in terror investigations."

      That's close. But we know now that it was far more than for "terror investigations". We know that, at a bare minimum, it was sometimes used to try to find links between Iraq and Al Qaeda in order to help justify Bush's war. And some of it, particularly like stuff in Abu Ghraib, it appears to have been used more for punishment and himiliation than anything else. So I imagine if that question was changed to take those things into account, the majority wanting investigations would be alot higher.

      The other thing is it left out a whole category of possible investigations. That being how Bush twisted and created intel in order to lie his way into the Iraq war. Of course the torture investigations will very likely morph into something involving the war in general... but it would be nice if there was more talk specifically about that.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Fri May 01, 2009 at 04:42:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could this be added (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    On The Bus, buhdydharma, elwior

    to the poll banner on the homepage? I would like to watch this number grow.

  •  Higher on DOJ subversion than torture/wiretaps? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    On The Bus

    That is somewhat surprising to me.  I've always seen what was done to the DOJ as incredibly sleazy, but not necessarily criminal.

    But both torture and warrantless wiretaps violate the law.  

    Oh well, majority approval of investigations on all 3.  

    •  Don't forget there are a lot of undecideds (5+ / 0-)

      Those undecided voters are likely to be swayed to favor investigations once they have more information about exactly what went on.

      •  Totally agree. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, ratmach, Jasonhouse

        If this poll had been taken six months ago, the numbers supporting some sort of investigation/action would have been lower.  Most of the American public was truly unaware of the extent or the gravity of the harm that has been caused by the Bush Admin.'s actions.

        As new information is released, the numbers will rise.  There is no doubt in my mind about that.  

        "in the wake of Sept. 11, a frightened nation betrayed one of its core principles -- the rule of law -- for the fool's gold of security." Leonard Pitts

        by gulfgal98 on Fri May 01, 2009 at 03:48:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My theory is that, in the context of the war (5+ / 0-)

      people are more ambivalent on that. The other issues are totally gratuitous law breaking, and easier to condemn.

      •  These numbers should serve as a cold shower... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen

        to all those Kossacks who think a clear majority want people to go to jail for torture.  Only a measley 22% want an actual criminal investigation at this time, and that's after we've known about the waterboarding going on for YEARS.  Even AFTER the news reported on KSM being waterboarding 183 times in a month and on the torture memos, it's ONLY 22%??

        Sorry, but that's just pathetic.

        And on wiretapping, even adding those two together, only 56% want ANY kind of investigation?  We couldn't even get a supermajority to say they were angry about possibly being spied on?

        Pathetic.  Downright pathetic.

        •  It's a start (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ms Citizen

          It's rare that a clear majority actually want, as opposed to being willing to acquiesce, to anything complicated and undercovered.  I'm heartened by these numbers: over 70% of the 75% expressing an opinion want either prosecutions or investigations (that I'm confident would lay the groundwork for prosecutions) and that 25% that has no opinion is up for convincing.  We just need to keep working.

          They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

          by Seneca Doane on Sat May 02, 2009 at 10:28:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think it was Gonzo's doing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bosdcla14, Clarknt67, Jyrinx

      His appearances before Congress showed him to be inept and dishonest, broadcasting for all to see that something was rotten at the DoJ, though we never DID get to the bottom of it.

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:37:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank goodness for DK/R2K polls (8+ / 0-)

    So that we don't have to listen to people make sh*t up about "what Americans think".  

    Vote No to the Spending Cap in California (Prop 1A) - Don't Make the Budget Madness Worse

    by PeteB2 on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:29:55 PM PDT

    •  Still waiting for a properly phrased poll though (4+ / 0-)

      I'm STILL waiting for a poll that adds the operative word here... "illegal"... It was illegal to torture. It was illegal to wire tap. And it was illegal to use DOJ resources for political purposes.

      The laws requiring investigation of such possible crimes are already on the books. The court precedents already exist. All we need is for government to simply do its job and find out what in the hell was going on.

  •  Republicans can dish it out but they can't take i (6+ / 0-)

    After spending most of the decade of the 90s on the charade of Whitewater (remember Whitewater?  Didn't think so) and getting all huffy about consensual sex in the White House, the GOP now wants to cut and run from any real investigation into real crimes.

    Republicans are always soft on crime... when it's theirs.

    The shame of being a conservative has never been greater.

    "What doesn't have credibility today is the truth." -- Bill Moyers, The Daily Show 6/22/05

    by Baron Dave on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:30:56 PM PDT

    •  In their arrogance, they really believe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, Wolf Of Aquarius

      that crimes are not crimes when they commit them.  

      They've been like that for a long time now.  That's where Bush's doctrine of Presidential Immunity to Everything comes from.  You can take it back to Ayn Rand and Nietzsche if you feel like it.  Ultimately, it comes from the idea that might makes right -- which is the cornerstone of right-wing philosophy.  

    •  And Democratic president (0+ / 0-)

      who engaged in a comparable eight long years of utter lawlessness would be absolutely excoriated by the left.  Hell, there are even people who argue passionately that principle and the rule of law should have compelled Clinton to resign, no matter the witch hunt nature of his impeachment.  I can't even imagine the Democratic party giving a Bush-like POTUS such a pass.  Notable dissenters notwithstanding, the GOP is official a party without principle.

      With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

      by GN1927 on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:10:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, I think they KNOW these are major crimes (0+ / 0-)

      They're gonna pretend they don't, of course. But I think they KNOW... which is exactly why they're freaking out so much. They KNOW that, unlike Clinton looking at impeachment and possibly a year in jail, Bush and his buddies are looking at rotting in prison for LIFE. And that'll be in the history books for the next two hundred years. They are TERRIFIED they're gonna be looked back on by their great-great-great grandchildren with absolute derision.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Fri May 01, 2009 at 04:53:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's criminal or it's nothing. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole

    That's the law?

    Casualty is the first truth of war. (-6.00,-7.03)

    by Foreign Devil on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:31:17 PM PDT

  •  I think that if (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, rlochow, elwior

    people doing these polls don't call it what it is, torture, it's like the whole Fox "fair and balanced" concept. And I don't want to have fair and balanced poll results, I want to know what people really think.

    Also, I'm glad people are talking about investigating ALL these things, not just torture, because the OLC gave legal cover to all of these activities. They need to be re-evaluated and probably ended immediately.

    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:31:29 PM PDT

    •  Their torture crimes were horrific (3+ / 0-)

      But just the tip of the iceberg really, part of a much larger pattern of lawbreaking, deceit, and abuse of power.

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:42:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, really. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        And what's even more incredibly fucked up is all these things were done "because we're in a post-9/11 world" but these exact same people have been wanting to do these exact same things for 30 years at least. Cheney and a bunch of others in the Bush administration now have hated FISA since it became law because it 'took power away from the executive,' and they've all supported unilateral, pre-emptive war and NSA spying and torture since the '70s.

        I think it's really sick that they wouldn't just come out and explain what their beliefs are, that they'd actually use the deaths of 3,000 Americans to fulfill their political agenda.

        "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

        by indiemcemopants on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:46:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think their beliefs fall under (2+ / 0-)

           the general heading of Fascism.

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:58:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fascism id such a jaded term. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            island in alabama

            Let's go back to source.

            Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

            Benito Mussolini

            Casualty is the first truth of war. (-6.00,-7.03)

            by Foreign Devil on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:02:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I actually sincerely (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, island in alabama

            think that is an appropriate word.

            - they oppose FISA because it limits the executive branch that they didn't like, they wanted to stop its passage and they wanted to illegally wiretap Seymour Hersh in the '70s. - they created the Intelligence Identities Protection Act when some CIA agents were speaking publicly about the CIA's involvement in helping right wing dictators. They wanted a law that would punish the people protecting dictators by punishing whistleblowers. - the same people who wanted the law passed in order to punish whistleblowers and protect fascists ended up almost being charged under that same act for outing a CIA agent for political reasons. - Cheney has said multiple times that he would prefer if the president would not even ask congress for authorization for war. - instead of asking congress for much of anything, Bush has bypassed them multiple times and has written executive orders for what he wanted. - Bush has circumvented the courts, not only setting up his own tribunals when he felt like it, but removing the American Bar Association from reviewing a judge's credentials, and then appointing conservative nutjobs to lifetime appointments in the courts.

            They have no use for any branch of government except the executive branch and they've been propping up corporations for decades, partly to make money and partly because it's easier to keep third party contractors from having to deal with convictions and trials and all that noise.

            So, fascism is pretty apt.

            "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

            by indiemcemopants on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:14:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Insannity on FAUX tried to get McCain to change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    his mind on torture but the old goat wouldnt budge..
    Guess republicans want everyone to go as low as they are...its getting lonely at the bottom.

  •  Kewl indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine

    The independents, who just want their government to work, want to have someone check into all this stuff.

    If Obama's paying attention (ya think?) look for movement forward on all these issues.

    Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

    by blue aardvark on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:32:03 PM PDT

  •  Instead of a indy panel or criminal investigation (0+ / 0-)

    let's just waterboard the alleged criminals to get to the truth.

    ;-)

  •  I can't help but notice that the % of people (5+ / 0-)

    who are against either investigations or prosecutions are roughly the same % of batshit insane people present in any population.

    The true measure of a man's character lies not in how he treats his friends, but in how he treats his enemies.

    by FunkyEntropy on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:34:29 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FunkyEntropy, island in alabama

      that's why these polls don't really tell us anything that we don't already know.
      Republicans have isolated themselves from the rest of the country.  Let's stop trying to ignore the obvious.  You could do 100 different polls about 100 different subjects and you will get the same results.  20% of the country are die-hard right-wing Republicans and they all vote the same way on every issue.

      " They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

      by djbender on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:44:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think this could be a very powerful meme if (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        djbender, island in alabama

        presented properly.

        I think we need to frame it so that it is they who are playing politics with the law.  The reason they're against investigations and prosecutions is because nobody wants to go on record as having supported war criminals.  They're against investigations/prosecutions because they have to cover their own asses.

        The true measure of a man's character lies not in how he treats his friends, but in how he treats his enemies.

        by FunkyEntropy on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:41:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here We Go Again... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Foreign Devil

    again, I don't mean to sound snarky, but c'mon:

    Independents who would like to see some kind of investigation

    "some kind" of investigation? that leaves it nice and vague for congress.. very adept at "investigations" and "studies" going nowhere.

    are you implying congress is going to respond to this poll?

    WELCOMING the Al Franken Decade!!

    by Superpole on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:36:39 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this info. An accountability (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ms Citizen

    bandwagon would be a great thing to see heading down the road!

    Has someone done a diary that lays out the pros and cons of the various methods of investigation that might be used?  I'm all in favor of whatever method makes the greatest amount of information available to the public--in this country and around the world.  I don't want some phony 9/11-style commission that fails to ask and answer all the questions or secret hearings with unsworn testimony and redacted transcripts.

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

    by CKendall on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:38:01 PM PDT

    •  I'd like to read a diary like that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CKendall

      I have seen comments to the effect that appointing a special prosecutor would mean that less information would be available to the public, and if that's true, it's a reason to avoid that route.

      I'm not so confident in the Congressional investigations... there's some committee, somewhere, working on a report, but it'll be another 8 months before it's done? Why?

      I hope Holder is putting together evidence in order to bring charges on a bunch of people.

      •  I don't have much confidence in Congressional (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen

        investigations either.  Too many conflicts of interest, too much to hide or protect.  I'm even suspicious of members of Congress who call for investigations or hearings or whatever.  Every time I've signed one of their so-called "petitions" I see no result other that a flurry of their campaign fundraising e-mails.

        Sorry state of affairs, isn't it?  

        "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

        by CKendall on Sat May 02, 2009 at 03:34:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interstng. I just saw some d-bag on the (0+ / 0-)

    teevee saying that Americans were in general upset these memos and report were released and that Americans are in general in favor of torture or enhanced interrogation techniques if they preserve our security.... I didn't think it was true...

    ... the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

    by Tirge Caps on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:39:27 PM PDT

  •  But...but...but ... (4+ / 0-)

    ...surely all these Americans agree with the sensible, reasonable, pragmatic folks here and elsewhere in punditland and wwwLand that these would be a distraction from getting done "what really matters."

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." -Flannery O'Connor

    by Meteor Blades on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:40:41 PM PDT

  •  Can I call bullshit on one of our polls? (3+ / 0-)

    I'm all for investigations, trials and imprisonment.

    That said, I call bullshit on this poll somewhat.  

    We criticize polls by right wing groups in the manner the question was asked, and this poll has the same flaws.

    The questions are leading -- they should have been phrased:

    Do you support investigations?
       If yes:   How?  (a) Independent Panel, (b) Criminal Investigation

    The poll as it written does not give the respondent a chance to say NO INVESTIGATION, and mixes a "No Investigation" with "Neither Independent Panel nor Criminal Investigation", so "Neither -- just hang the jackholes!" is mixed in with "No investigation".

    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. -- Abraham Lincoln

    by dad2jac on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:40:59 PM PDT

    •  Yes exactly! This poll is utterly worthless... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm disappointed that the editors of this site would so utterly and ridiculously prime the pump on a poll just to get the result they want.  This poll is complete garbage.  But most importantly, it could lead to questions regarding ALL the polls released here and the credibility of the editors.  Bad, bad precedent to set, and not worth one "favorable" poll result.        

      Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

      by MatthewBrown on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:37:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So much for investigations being about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Moody Loner

    'vengeance' or 'political retribution,' as even a few of our fellow Kossaks enjoy spouting off about.

    •  I'm very conflicted by that accusation (0+ / 0-)

      because I'm totally guilty of wanting vengeance and political retribution.  

      I happen to believe as well, in all sincerity, that criminal trials of these people are exactly what the country needs; that they would serve not merely my craven political passions, but the causes of justice and history; that they would help restore the good name of the United States, and also its self-respect.  I really believe those things.  

      But that said, if Bush & Cheney & Rumsfeld & Addington & Woo & Rove & Gonzales (to name just the ones I hate most) ever come to trial, the political animal in me will be glued to the TV or the transcript, hooting and cheering like a banshee at every point introduced against them.  

      It won't be pretty.  Those Iraqis who attended Saddam Hussein's hanging will likely look like models of quiet decorum compared to me.  

  •  I don't get the focus on polls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djbender

    because Democrats control both houses and presidency.  If the party wants an investigate, nothing is stopping them.  Why the delay?

  •  I vote for Jessie Ventura. (0+ / 0-)

    Smart, ariculate, and he can spell. Plus he probaly knows where some of the bones are buried.

    If you meet me have some sympathy, have some courtesy, and some taste. Hope you guess my name.

    by ghett on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:44:06 PM PDT

  •  Methodology question (0+ / 0-)

    Were the potential responses rotated?  

    It doesn't say so in the crosstabs, so I'm not sure.  Thanks.

  •  Poorly worded questions (0+ / 0-)

    These questions seem awfully loaded, and don't give respondents the option of disagreeing with the premise.

  •  This is all very well, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabuhrer

    We haven't even seen Rove show up for his testimony.

    Toothless threats are worse than no threat at all.

    WereBear
    Pootie fan? Me too! Check out my cat advice blog.
    The Way of Cats

    by WereBear on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:47:05 PM PDT

  •  I don't want investigations. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd love to see the Bush administration fry, but to me this seems like a wedge issue that will make it harder for the current administration to get our nation's policies on track and fix this broken country. When I think about health care and some of the HUGE obstacles we have ahead of us, I don't think we will be able to get anywhere if we give conservatives a reason to perpetuate the bullshit culture war.

    •  Re: I don't want investigation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabuhrer

      I agree with you. I would rather have universal health care, green jobs and improved economy rather than divide our country even further.

      •  Yes, because those issues aren't divisive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andydoubtless

        or anything.

        Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

        Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

        by Jyrinx on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:09:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the point... (0+ / 0-)

          these issues ARE divisive...and we'll need all the momentum we can get to win these battles. The real conservatives are self destructing and driving away moderates. If progressives burn up what little momentum and good will from moderates we currently have by fighting an ideologically polarizing battle, we'll never make real progress. And what would investigations accomplish? IMO - not much compared to things like health care and other reforms that could fundamentally improve life for regular Americans. The upcoming battles over health care, the environment, financial regulation, etc. will define day to day American life for the next generation. I would like to see some substance and real change, ala The New Deal, rather than the appeasements and compromise of an administration faced with a crazed, energized, ever present ideological opposition, ala Clinton.

          •  Yours is a craven, evil mindset. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Foreign Devil, andydoubtless

            You're saying as long as we have our comforts, you don't mind if we commit crimes against humanity.

            Besides, what is more fundamental than the rule of law? Half the reason things are so fucked up is that the ruling elites have seen that there are no consequences for them. Their contempt for law and government allows untold abuse. And as long as they're allowed to get away with murder, changing the laws (if they let us succeed) isn't going to do shit. They'll just be ignoring the new laws instead.

            Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

            Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

            by Jyrinx on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:31:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know it's over your head (0+ / 0-)

              but I'm trying to tell you that the investigations aren't going to accomplish anything. Nixon walked free. Oliver North walks free to this day. These people never end up facing any meaningful consequences (as you implied - despite the fact that it refutes your argument). Investigations and prosecutions don't accomplish anything, they just divide us and halt progress.

              What minuscule accomplishments we could potentially make are going to be pissed away in the wind by political bickering.

              I wouldn't expect you to understand the kind of movement building it takes to actually accomplish something in this country - for god's sake, you called me "evil" because I disagree with you on one issue even though I undoubtedly agree with you on many others and assuredly sit very close to you on the political spectrum. Anyway, have fun in juvenile idealistic fantasy land; the rest of us have work to do.

              •  I know it's over your head, but... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jyrinx

                Imagine if a family member of yours was murdered. Imagine if the district attorney of whatever county you live in decided that rather than prosecute your family member's death even though the perpetrator was well known, available to the police, and in fact took credit for the crime publicly, that he could find a better use of the resources that would benefit a greater number of people.

                Now, a spin on the same story: imagine if the reason the district attorney offered for not prosecuting your loved one's death was that this perpetrator was an upstanding member of society who made big donations to charity? Obviously, pragmatically society might be benefited by keeping him free to write those checks.

                Wouldn't you feel outraged? More to the point, do you see how this wrongheaded application of pragmatic (I would actually call it cynical) reasoning undermines fundamental notions of what constitutes a just society?

                In a sense, this reasoning is actually worse than Cheney himself. Cheney at least articulates some bizarre wrongheaded notion of the good and acts in furtherance of it. You are willing to cohabitate with, and nurture, behavior that you advertise you consider wrong. In the end, you protest the other commenter calling you evil, but do nothing to persuade me that the mindset you're arguing for is not evil.

                "It's like we weren't made for this world, But I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was." --Of Montreal

                by andydoubtless on Fri May 01, 2009 at 04:54:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  NIXON WAS PARDONED. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                See, there WAS no criminal investigation of Nixon. That proves nothing except that when you DON'T prosecute, surprise! Presidents keep holding themselves above the law.

                I didn't call you evil. I said you had an evil mindset, and that's absolutely true.

                Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

                Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

                by Jyrinx on Fri May 01, 2009 at 05:15:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  we can talk and chew gum at the same time... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow, andydoubtless, Jyrinx, sullivanst

      a precedent has to be set.

      if not, the next Repthug admin will do whatever it wants since it knows it wont be persecuted.

      if we dont uphold our own to these laws how can we participate in international courts where we judge torturers.

      where is our credibility ?

      "Four seconds is the longest wait " -Sleater-Kinney

      by delphil on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:01:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, but FYI... (0+ / 0-)

        we opted out of the international court where they now judge torturers (the ICC).

        They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

        by sullivanst on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:06:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, EVERYONE gets to judge torturers. (0+ / 0-)

          That's what universal jurisdiction is. That's what Spain is doing.

          Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

          Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

          by Jyrinx on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:10:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a distraction. We're not in the ICC (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ms Citizen

            which has jurisdiction over:

            genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot currently exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression)

            Besides, universal jurisdiction such as what Spain's doing kicks in only if the accused's host nation does not prosecute. If we launched a prosecution of the Bush officials, and Spain has confirmed this, they would immediately have to stop their investigation. The fact that we're not investigating hardly enhances our credibility when it comes to the possibility of future prosecutions of non-Americans who commit crimes against us.

            They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

            by sullivanst on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:15:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think that if it's handled sensitively, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jyrinx, sullivanst

      it can absolutely enhance the other primary goals you mention.  And even if it isn't, it's an essential part of "fixing this broken country," because what's been broken is our heart.

      The conservatives will wage their stupid culture war no matter what we do anyway -- it's all they've got left.  Their newfound irrelevance is an opportunity for us to puruse this absolutely vital part of restoring our democracy.

    •  This sounds like the Blair argument (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Foreign Devil, andydoubtless, Jyrinx

      that helped make Iraq happen.

      We can't ever use our powder, because we might need it later.

      It's BULLSHIT.

      Torture eats at the very core of what it means to be American. To allow a President to torture, and for there to be no consequences - not even a sternly worded letter - sets this country on a path to far worse things than a bad economy and crappy health coverage. It sets us on a course to totalitarianism, genocide and ruin.

      They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

      by sullivanst on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:05:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too the fuck bad. (3+ / 0-)

      Laws were broken. That means there will be investigations. Anything less is cowardice.

      And by the way, I'll betcha a few high-level convictions would definitely put a dent in the culture war.

      Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

      Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

      by Jyrinx on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:09:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you ! Why dkos polling is so crucial./ (0+ / 0-)

    "Four seconds is the longest wait " -Sleater-Kinney

    by delphil on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:49:37 PM PDT

  •  The negatives are amazing. (0+ / 0-)

    For issues as hot as this, and given the historic aversion to using legal power to take national leaders to task, the roughly 20 percent "neither" vote strikes me as the most stunning finding in the poll. Such a tiny minority opposed to possible prosecution of a president and his associates has to be unprecedented in the modern age.

    The contrast between what that number says about what people are willing to see happen and the spin by even "moderate" media yappers reveals a disconnect of a magnitude I can't remember ever seeing before. Is there any chance that THIS will gives Dems the guts to do the right thing?

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:56:04 PM PDT

  •  I find that surprising. (0+ / 0-)

    Not completely, of course.

    I don't believe that Americans condone torture, and the question is a bit squishy.  For example, that "for political purposes" clearly raises some hackles that don't get raised if it happens in the course of a terrorist investigation.

    Interesting.

    The scope, makeup, power, and consequences of an "independent panel" also leaves a lot of room to play.

    Clearly, the vast majority of respondents oppose criminal investigations, but I wonder if that would change,say, if an independent panel found reason to believe that were doing really bad things -- Saddam Hussein like things, stuff that goes beyond waterboarding and into mutilation, etc.

    I also wonder what the use of "Bush Administration" does to the numbers?  Makes the question seem awfully political to me.  Much more interesting if the question read "Americans" instead of "The Bush Administration".

    Ah well.  Another day, another meaningless poll.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:00:19 PM PDT

  •  One thing that just struck me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    island in alabama

    and this is slightly O/T, but it's from the same poll as the investigation questions...

    That poll also asked about secession, check this:

    QUESTION: Do you think the state that you live in would be better off as an independentnation or as part of the United States of America?

    United StatesIndependentNot Sure
    WHITE 74 6 20
    BLACK 95 1 4
    LATINO 88 2 10
    OTHER/REF 89 2 9

    and

    QUESTION: Would you approve or disapprove of the state that you live in leaving the United States?

    ApproveDisapproveNot Sure
    WHITE 5 77 18
    BLACK 1 98 1
    LATINO 1 91 8
    OTHER/REF 1 92 7

    Seems like minorities across the board love the United States. The secessionist traitors are disproportionately white.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by sullivanst on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:01:25 PM PDT

  •  I'm really not surprised by this (0+ / 0-)

    the Bush administration and the GOP for that matter have spent so many years appealing to the lowest common denominator, absolute worst tribal instincts in Americans, that I truly believe that they cynically didn't understand that this country is actually better than they assumed.

    Just as a majority of Americans viewed the torture in Bush's Abu Ghraib prison camp with anger and disapproval, it's actually not surprising to me that the American people at large are not really inclined to give the Bush administration a free pass for their additional abuses.  And as the narrative continues and grows, I suspect that outrage will grow as well.

    With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

    by GN1927 on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:02:46 PM PDT

  •  Americans want to be proud to be Americans again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jyrinx, sullivanst

    Imagine that!

    " ... or a baby's arm holding an apple!"

    by Lavocat on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:05:20 PM PDT

  •  Can anyone dismiss this theory? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Foreign Devil

    We can all recall many whose actions infuriated the wrong people and suffered severe consequences as a result (or in some cases, a near miss).  

    Certainly, the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy come to mind.  

    Then there are the plane crashes of Mel Carnahan (D-MO) in late 2000 or Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota) in 2002.  

    Of 535 members of the House and Senate, the two recipients of anthrax-laden letters, Tom Daschle (D-SD), Senate majority leader and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senate Judiciary Chair, more specifically the two individuals who were in the best position to slow the rushed approval of the so-called PATRIOT Act serve as another case in point.

    Dennis Kucinich's younger brother suddenly dies on December 19, 2007, eight days after his announcement in San Francisco that he was putting the finishing touches on articles of impeachment for George W. Bush.  

    How about the fatal single-passenger plane crash on December 19, 2008, of Republican operative Michael Connell, who had been called to testify in federal court regarding a lawsuit in which it was alleged that he took part in tampering with Ohio's voting results in the 2004 election.  According to a Cleveland CBS affiliate, he was warned that his plane might be sabotaged prior to this most unfortunate event.

    Or Kenneth Lay, who suddenly died shortly before he might have been motivated to testify against others to reduce his own prison sentence.  

    Or the Deborah Jean Palfrey, the DC Madame, who could have embarrassed some "very important" people in Washington, DC, in addition to David (aka Diaper Boy) Vitter, R-LA?

    I know, I know.  Unless one believes that all of the preceding were purely coincidental (in addition to the many other similar examples), they will be buried in an avalanche of tinfoil hat accusations.

    But setting that aside for a just a moment, briefly imagine the following unimaginable scenario:  During Obama's first day in office, he is taken to a highly secure location where he is afforded a private viewing of the Kennedy assasination -- from the vantage point of the grassy knoll.  Then, imagine what Obama's actions might be in the aftermath of receiving such an "education."  And then contemplate how he might proceed with regard to matters such as investigating the Bush Administration, torture, taking on the rich and powerful financial interests in this country, etc.

    And the final question:  How have Obama's actions differed from that which might be anticipated under the preceding scenario?  

    Does this provide evidence of proof?  Not in the least.  

    Does this provide cause for at least mild concern?  You decide.

  •  Ya but... those are just the black people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, JC from IA

    they only count for 3/5ths.

  •  This is great news. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ms Citizen

    I get tired of this lie that nobody wants anything done, or that to do something would rip apart the country.  Seems like Bush & Co. ripped apart the country when she was asleep for the last eight years; so I don't really see why an investigation would cause irrevocable harm.

    Having said that, I think Obama's played his cards perfectly thus far.  He knows that he can't be the one to bring down the hammer - at least not at this point - because the spectacle of the first black commander-in-chief prosecuting his predecessor within his first 100 days in office is politically untenable.

    Therefore, he released the memos to bolster political support for future investigations, and to compel individuals who've suffered these abuses to litigate the matter in the courts.  I have every confidence these bastards will eventually be brought to justice.

    We're so lucky to have Obama.

    Blagojevich/Palin '12.

    by fou on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:17:17 PM PDT

  •  Seems the 'Neithers' are hovering (0+ / 0-)

    around 20-21%.  Now, where have I seem that number recently?

  •  Polling is virtually meaningless (0+ / 0-)

    Remember this is the same public that doesn't know much about history and government.

    David W. Moore points out in his new book that when he was polling for Gallup they found the public largely uninformed about the major issues of the day.
    Gallup's job along with the corporate media was to mask that reality so they could use results devoid of the large number who were uninformed or just don't care, to shape public opinion.

    We really should stop guiding our efforts based on polls.  And of course we should strive for schooling based on critical thinking and actively engaged citizenry rather than Obama/Duncan testocracy that only promotes boredom and multiple choice thinking.  And, finally, media reform.  In a perfect world Amy Goodman would be the newscaster of choice not the corporate news repeaters.  But you have to develop a public that is  interest, informed and wants to hear the actual news.

    Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

    by formernadervoter on Fri May 01, 2009 at 03:11:02 PM PDT

  •  Your wording and three choices skew the results (0+ / 0-)

    Investigation without prosecution seems like the "moderate" position.  I suspect it captures a lot of people who really don't care or haven't thought about much it.

    Here's the poll I'd like to see:

    Should former United States government officials be investigated and/or prosecuted for the alleged torture of suspected terrorists?

    IMHO If team Obama thought this polled as a 65% "Yes", it would have already happened. Unfortunately, this is how the MSM will frame the debate.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Fri May 01, 2009 at 04:34:22 PM PDT

  •  Quibbles about question wording aside (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ms Citizen

    (and some of the comments above make valid points, though I don't consider them damning), it is wonderful to see the site engaged in this sort of effort.  By trying to do it right, you force the "competition" either to follow suit or to eat your dust.  It makes me proud to be associated with the site.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Seneca Doane on Sat May 02, 2009 at 10:37:31 AM PDT

  •  a little misleading... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ms Citizen

    Good stuff, but this part is misleading:

    From the crosstabs, what is particularly notable is the number of self-identified Independents who would like to see some kind of investigation: 68 percent in Justice Department activities, 52 percent for torture, 55 percent for warrantless wiretapping--even higher numbers than among self-identified Democrats. That suggests that for many, the issue of government accountability is less partisan than many, including the traditional media, would have us believe.

    These independents numbers are not even close to the self-identified Democrats, who near unanimously support either an independent panel or criminal prosecutions on all three issues, so there is still a clear partisan trending on this issue, though it's obviously good news that independents are supporting accountability.

    free the information

    by freelixir on Sat May 02, 2009 at 12:00:36 PM PDT

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