An overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans thinks that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence should make public its comprehensive report on the CIA’s detention and torture of terrorism suspects after 9/11, according to a new poll released by The Constitution Project on October 1.
Nearly 70% of all registered voters think a declassified version of the report should be made public so we can learn from past mistakes, while only 22% think the report might be so damaging or embarrassing that the committee should not release it. Support for releasing the report cuts across party lines, with 71% of independents, 69% of Democrats, and 67% of Republicans saying the report should be made public.
The poll also shows that there is a strong sense among voters that it is important to evaluate whether the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques — or torture — was necessary or effective, with 52% of respondents saying they think it is important for the report to be released in order to help answer this question, compared to only 39% who consider it to be unimportant.
“President Obama came into office promising unprecedented government transparency, and has said repeatedly that he supports declassifying the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report so that the American people can understand what was done in their name. His administration’s apparent efforts to obscure key portions of the report through redactions undermine both commitments,” said TCP President Virginia Sloan in press release.
The survey of 898 registered voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling from September 26 to September 28. The margin of error is +/-3.3%. Full survey results are available here.
In April 2013, TCP’s own bipartisan blue-ribbon Task Force on Detainee Treatment found that the treatment of many suspected terrorists in U.S. custody after 9/11 constituted torture, which was authorized at the highest levels of government. The Task Force called for declassification of the SSCI report with minimal redactions.