Skip to main content Accessibility help

U.S. Public Opinion on Torture, 2001–2009

  • Paul Gronke (a1), Darius Rejali (a1), Dustin Drenguis (a1), James Hicks (a1), Peter Miller (a2) and Bryan Nakayama (a1)...

Many journalists and politicians believe that during the Bush administration, a majority of Americans supported torture if they were assured that it would prevent a terrorist attack. As Mark Danner wrote in the April 2009 New York Review of Books, “Polls tend to show that a majority of Americans are willing to support torture only when they are assured that it will ‘thwart a terrorist attack.’” This view was repeated frequently in both left- and right-leaning articles and blogs, as well as in European papers (Sharrock 2008; Judd 2008; Koppelman 2009; Liberation 2008). There was a consensus, in other words, that throughout the years of the Bush administration, public opinion surveys tended to show a pro-torture American majority.

Hide All
Benjamin, Mark, and de Yoanna, Michael. 2009. “Coming Home: Death in the USA, the Army's Fatal Neglect.”, February 9.
Cleveland, William S. 1979. “Robust Locally Weighted Regression and Smoothing Scatterplots.” Journal of the American Statistical Association 74: 829–36.
Danner, Mark. 2009. “US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites.” New York Review of Books 56 (6): 76.
Hafner-Burton, Emily, and Ron, James. 2009. “Seeing Double: Human Rights Impact through Qualitative and Quantitative Eyes.” World Politics 61 (2): 360401.
Judd, Brothers. 2008. “Review of Torture and Democracy.”, March 3.
Koppelman, Alex. 2009. “Obama Reframes the Torture Debate.”, April 29.
Lee, Tien-Tsung. 2005. “The Liberal Media Myth Revisited: An Examination of Factors Influencing Media Bias.” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 49 (1): 543–64.
Liberation. 2008. “L'Essor Inquiétant du ‘Supplice Propre’ en Démocratie” Liberation, December 12.
Miller, Peter. 2010. “Torture and Social Modernization.” Paper presented at the 2010 Western Political Science Association Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 1–3.
Montgomery, Michael, and Phillips, Joshua E. S.. 2009. “What Killed Sergeant Gray: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” American Radio Works.
Phillips, Joshua E. S. 2010. None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture. New York: Verso.
Rejali, Darius. 2004. “Of Human Bondage.”, June 18.
Rejali, Darius. 2007. Torture and Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Rejali, Darius. 2009. “Ice Water and Sweatboxes: The Long and Sadistic History behind the CIA's Torture Techniques.”, March 17.
Ross, L., Greene, D., and House, P.. 1977. “The False Consensus Phenomenon: An Attributional Bias in Self-Perception and Social Perception Processes.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 13 (3): 279301.
Sharrock, Justine. 2008. “Am I A Torturer?Mother Jones 42 (2): 4249.
World Public Opinion.Org. 2009. “Majority of Americans Approve Complete Ban on Torture.” World Public Opinion.Org, June 24.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed