Majority of Americans think Snowden was right to leak


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75 percent of Americans support the use of torture:

Would be interesting to talk to the folks in the overlapping circle of “support torture” and “support Snowden.”


From the article:
Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists who may know
details about future terrorist attacks against the US is…?
Always justified
Sometimes justified
Rarely justified
Never justified
Not sure

Three of the five choice give you “Torture is Justifiable”. Random answers and eliminating the ‘not sure’ gives you a 75% approval… Bad poll question, bad! Down boy!


The poll was taken from employed Americans, and the article noted that disapproval of Snowden’s actions rose markedly with age. Eliminating the most negative results, and claiming “a majority of Americans” thinks he was right is disingenuous.

It’s still not a cheery thought when you compare percentage of Americans who think he was right with percentage of everyone else in the world.


You should wait to actually read the poll result along with the question(s) before commenting on whether the articles was disingenuous.

/But actually came to say: "So, I’m sure that the politicians will let these polls results guide their decisions. Yeah…


It isn’t the article I’m taking issue with, it’s the click-bait title Doctorow chose to use, despite, (I’m speculating here), having the intelligence to extrapolate from the two statements I cited from his source article, and realize that an age-biased poll that ignores a large demographic, (retirees, 13% + of the US population, and at the negative end of that age bias), can’t be broadly applied to the whole population.

The poll sounds perfectly legitimate. Employed people are a demographic, and unless something fishy popped up, I’ll generally give a study the benefit of the doubt. The source article was fine, too. A title like “A Large Segment of the US Population Supports Snowden” would have been appropriate. When you claim a majority, and don’t have it, though, “disingenuous” is the polite word for that.

With respect to the title - and indeed, to the premise - why is it even relevant whether a majority of the US public supports Snowden? Unless a sufficient supermajority can be found to amend or repeal the constitutional protections whose violations he revealed, the public ought to continue to enjoy those protections - they cannot abrogate them by a simple majority in a plebiscite.

Indeed, to the extent to which the story is “about” Snowden, it’s a distraction. In the race to shoot the messenger or defend him from the shooters, we lose sight of the message.


Much as I like this result, I doubt it and would kind of like to see the methodology. We’ve had mainstream media calling Snowden a traitor for a year.

Also, be careful calling titles click-bait around here. People will call you bad names.

Also also, hear hear @kennykb.

In the race to shoot the messenger or defend him from the shooters, we lose sight of the message.

It should be noted that boing boing has far more posts on the content of the leaks than on Snowden himself. I also appreciate the Snowden posts for a number of reasons. Future potential whistleblowers are intently watching his treatment. Also, I find his ongoing struggle interesting and I care about his wellbeing because… gratitude.

That said, I see your point that the major focus should be on the content of the leaks and the continued actions to protect and/or restore our civil rights.


Also, be careful calling titles click-bait around here. People will call you bad names.

I just roll my eyes and ignore the rest of the post nowadays.


75 percent of Americans support the use of torture

I don’t know how accurate that poll is, but too many Americans are absorbed in fantasy instead of facts. Too many TV shit-shows like 24 glamorize torture and too many lies from assholes that make propagandistic movies like Zero Dark Shitty that falsely allude to torture as an effective interrogation tool. Not to mention all the bullshit pundits on TV that promote the false premise as well.


Fantastic analysis. Are you trained in survey research? Seriously, because that is a great critique.

The other thing I was thinking was sampling populations… are the samples of either study big enough, stratified enough through the demography of the country, to accurately portray opinion? Also the bias of time… if the torture poll was the same month or even year as the Snowden poll, I’d say that’s valid. But to be displaced temporally more than by a year, I’d say they can’t compare even if they were the exact same populations.

I care about his well-being because of gratitude, and also TORTURE. I believe our threshold for calling torture torture in this country is FAR TOO LOW.

Throwing someone into solitary for more than a few hours (like, 6 MAX) is TORTURE. Depriving them of normal Maslow things, is TORTURE. Yes, criminals should be punished. But criminals are not criminals until they are convicted, in my book. The Chelsea Mannings, illegal immigrants and Ed Snowdens of the world don’t deserve to be treated as criminals before their trials. They get TORTURED and PUNISHED well before any determination of guilt or sentencing. THAT IS WRONG.

So, I care about his well-being because he did the right thing, but also on humanitarian, humane grounds. Just like if I had a family member being charged with a crime, I would want them to be held in a safe jail, free from psychological anguish, not deprived and able to freely move about and keep a normal schedule and life, even if incarcerated. What we have now is a corporatist HELL, and it’s WRONG. MORE CAPITAL LETTERS JUST BECAUSE.





Given an American administration, who, along with the acquiescent American news media, has distorted the meaning of some many words and concepts and for so long, I’m not sure what the survey questions and the results meant.

For one, I’m trying to understand the difference between ‘sometimes’ and ‘rarely’. If the polling company had called me, I would have asked the poller just what that means. (Yes, when I come across stupid poll questions, I call the pollers out on it.)

Does ‘rarely’ mean once every millennium, or on alternate weekends? Does ‘sometimes’ mean the next time a real Hitler comes around (no, Putin doesn’t quite qualify at all - read Robert Parry’s articles about the Ukraine/Crimea/Russia/USA clusterfark), or whoever the American news media have decided is the Hitler of the week or ‘is like Nazi Germany’.

Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein (after they turned their backs on the US administration),  Slobodan Milosevic, Vladi­mir Putin, and who else?, standing in for Hitler and Pol Pot.

Taking turns being Nazi Germany: Nicaragua, North Korea (more like Airstrip One, if you ask me), Iran, Iraq (after Hussein turned his back on the USA), the War on the Rich, and even America.

More importantly, from the same HuffPost article: Most Americans (54 percent to 24 percent) also said it is possible to fight terrorism without using torture (Aside to the audience: “Why wasn’t THIS the headline? Oh yeah, my first paragraph.”)

At least 7% (54% who think it wasn’t necessary - 47% who think it’s justified) of Americans “support” unnecessary torture. THAT should have been the HuffPost headline.
And the article should consisted of a list of people who think “torture’s fine, just walk it off’”.


Let’s play design a good research question.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 100% of the time, how justifiable is torture as an interrogation technique? (circle ONE)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 100% of the time, please circle ONE response. In the course of the US military’s mission to secure the world from the threat of terrorism, how justifiable is torture as an interrogation technique?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 100% of the time, how justifiable is using torture to get vital information out of a hardened terrorist?
(circle ONE)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

OK, we will ask you once again: how often is it useful to use torture to get vital information out of a hardened terrorist, when lives are at stake and the threat is imminent and real?
(circle ONE)

God I hate surveys.

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I would think that “7% of American poll-takers are psychopaths and trolls” would make great click bait…

But, but, but, you need to start that survey by asking:

1: Do you think torture works?
☐ Yes
☐ No

2: Why I know my answer to #1 is right:

Note: any answer to Q #1 will be disregarded if you leave this box blank.

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