The World Can’t Wait Torture Survey Results

 World Can’t Wait recently conducted a survey on its web site about prosecution of Bush Regime war criminals. The results from the first 600 participants in the survey, seen below, were compiled and summarized by a student at Cal Poly Pomona.

Question 4467: Do you favor prosecution of those who tortured during the Bush administration? Why or why not?

“Yes” Summary
The Nuremburg Trials established clarity in that war criminals, no matter the moral plea, must be tried before a court. By prosecuting these criminals it will deter future torture in America. While there is a large majority in favor of prosecution, they are split between punishing the generals and legislators while only reprimanding CIA agents, and punishing all involved. If they are not prosecuted then precedence will be established for future leaders. If we’re breaking the laws then this will lead other nations to do likewise.
“No” Summary
People who voted no were polarized. One group felt only the top heads should be prosecuted, not those acting on orders since they were not responsible for setting up the programs. The second group felt that if prosecution occurs then media coverage will cease on all other issues in society.
Question 4468: Do you feel the release of the torture memos/Senate report, and the heightened media coverage of the torture issue during the past week, has changed the political climate in this country? If so, how so? If not, why not?

“Yes” Summary
Many feel that only slight change has occurred. The change has only brought forth a few new activists, but not nearly enough. Others feel that the release of the memos refocuses the debate in the country, while showing that Obama will be transparent. Many want accountability from the previous administration.
“No” Summary
Many responses indicated that they felt the law is meaningless in Washington. Second they felt the media is dominating how people feel, leading to a cover up of issues; e.g. the swine flu being covered instead. Third, the release of the memos and Senate report has only further polarized the country. Responses show that they feel awareness has been raised, but not to any significant levels.
“Undecided” Summary
Most undecided only had a statement but no verifiable stance. Feel unable to raise their voice in the political climate.
Question 4469: Have the above mentioned developments around the torture issue changed the way you personally view the political situation in this country? Why or why not?

“Yes” Summary
Personal views aligned upon revulsion of societies members, mainly on their apathy for attending to the issues facing society. The torture memo release solidifies these stances. Disgusted by the fact of how tortures were multitudinal in orders, instead of just ordered once or twice.
A second set of viewpoints centered upon the current administration. Some feel hope for Obama, that he will not be doing “business as usual.” Others feel they are no longer served by government, and instead government serves money and power. They are also frustrated with Obama sitting on the fence and not prosecuting.
“No” Summary
The majority of no answers were along the lines of: already in the know before the memos were released. Unique answers differentiated upon a reinforcing of previous feelings, wondering why double standards in society exist regarding the law, and that the political situation is unchanged while what occurs in that situation is changing. A few even expressed revolutionary ideas.
“Undecided” Summary
Most undecided were blank answers.
Question 4470: Do you draw a distinction between the "deciders (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft, Tenet)," the legal team (Yoo, Bybee, Addington, Feith, Haynes, Gonzales), and the CIA agents who did the torture?

“Yes” Summary
There are two crowds in this response set. The first group is based upon a hierarchy of punishment, in that those with more power need more punishment. The second group feels those acting on orders are innocent while those giving orders are completely guilty. The second group was very much a minority. Their justification was: “Agents were manipulated like the American public, via the media, into torturing in order to preserve safety.”
“No” Summary
Majority response referred to Nuremberg Trials as precedence for war crimes. The generals, officers and soldiers were all put on trial for the Nazi Concentration Camps and other war crimes committed. Due to America setting this precedence we should hold ourselves to the same standard. All are accountable for their actions.
Question 4471: Why do you think broader numbers of people have NOT, thus far, stepped forward to demand an end to torture carried out openly by our government?
Main issue with not stepping forward is the fear of retaliation from the government. Secondary issues, which the minority held, are: apathy, media brainwashing, lack of awareness on issues, overload of issues, survival in rigorous times. A unique response was that most American families, facing a dual income household, lack the time and resources to become politically active.
Question 4472: What do you think we should do to bring about justice and prevent current and future US governments from using torture?
Summary A good minority of responses indicated some sort of revolution to fix the government. The majority of answers are: prosecuting the law breakers, keep making noise so the issue does not die, protest and put pressure on political heads, hold all accountable.
Total Response (N) = 630
Q 4467 (N) = 622, Error = 1.26%
Q 4468 (N) = 583, Error = 7.46%
Q 4469 (N) = 621, Error = 1.42%
Q 4470 (N) = 615, Error = 2.38%
Error is measured in missed responses. Each response was tallied via Yes/No. If a Yes/No response was not present then subjective analyzation of response led to a tally.


Main Torture The World Can’t Wait Torture Survey Results


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.