In a recent discussion of the Senate CIA report detailing enhanced interrogation procedures used on terror suspects during the Bush administration, CNBC anchor Joe Kernen cited a recent poll showing that more than half of Americans believe such techniques were warranted in the aftermath of 9/11. By contrast, just 28 percent believed the tactics went too far or constituted torture.
Nevertheless, he confirmed, Senate Democrats released a document critical of such practices and, as a result, news outlets including the New York Times have seized on the report as a way to condemn the U.S. intelligence community and the Bush administration.
“Yesterday was like the fifth day in a row where torture was in the headline on the right side of the paper,” Kernen said of the Times.
Advertisement – story continues below
He went on to cite an allegation that if the paper “can occupy a position of moral superiority,” they will do so.
“But I wonder if they know they’re talking to a country that’s at 51-28” in favor of the techniques being discussed, he continued.
Network correspondent John Harwood chimed in, explaining that it is clear “the American public does not share the sense of outrage that Senate Democrats did” in compiling and releasing the controversial report.
Advertisement - story continues below
He went on to note that previous studies have shown “the American people favor a forward-leaning approach to this, which is what the Bush administration did.”
Though public sentiment “doesn’t mean that what the Bush administration did was right or wrong,” Harwood said it is “an indication that Democrats have only so far that they can push on this issue as a political matter.”
Kernen concluded that, while Bush’s interrogation policies are criticized in some circles, the Obama administration has perhaps engaged in an even more divisive approach to the threat of terrorism.
“The president himself — we’ve dropped a few drones where there may have been some unintended consequences as well. And the guys we do drop them on, we weren’t just trying to waterboard them, we’re trying to kill them, are we not?”
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.