By Somini Sengupta | 8 December 2016
THE NEW YORK TIMES — (UNITED NATIONS) Nearly half of Americans in a global survey said they believed an enemy fighter could be tortured to extract information, according to results released Monday. That finding puts respondents in the United States in contrast with citizens of many countries and at odds with international law, which prohibits torture under any circumstances.
The results were part of a poll (pdf) carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which surveyed 17,000 people in 16 countries, including many nations in conflict or recovering from conflict, to gauge public opinion about the laws of war.
The findings on torture were among the starkest. Among Americans, 46 percent said torture could be used to obtain information from an enemy combatant, while 30 percent disagreed and the rest said they did not know. On a more general question, one in three said torture was “part of war,” just over half called it “wrong,” and the rest said they did not know or preferred not to answer. […]
To Learn More:
People on War: Perspectives from 16 Countries (International Committee of the Red Cross) (pdf)
Int’l Criminal Court Considers War Crimes Probe of U.S. Military and CIA Torture in Afghanistan (by Mike Corder, Associated Press)
One-Third of Americans—and Nearly Half the People around the World—Fear Torture if Taken into Custody (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Doctors Working for U.S. Military Took Part in Detainee Torture, and Army Field Manual Still Allows It (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Obama: Torture Okay if Just Following Orders (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)