The Poll Archive RSS

lock_issues
(06/29/06) -

Public Support for Guantanamo Drops in U.S.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Fewer Americans agree with their government’s operations at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, according to a poll by TNS released by the Washington Post and ABC News. 57 per cent of respondents support holding suspected terrorists without trial at the United States military prison, down eight points since September 2003.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Fewer Americans agree with their government’s operations at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, according to a poll by TNS released by the Washington Post and ABC News. 57 per cent of respondents support holding suspected terrorists without trial at the United States military prison, down eight points since September 2003.

In May 2005, a 308-page report by Amnesty International criticized the U.S. government for its handling of prisoners in several detention centres, including one at Guantanamo Bay where more than 400 “enemy combatants”—most of them from Afghanistan—are being held. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have urged the federal administration to close the prison.

Earlier this month, three Guantanamo prisoners were found hanging from the ceilings inside their cells. U.S. officials described the situation as “the first successful suicides” after repeated attempts. Spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Jose Diaz declared, “It was a very, very tragic event. It was not completely unexpected that this would happen.”

On Jun. 21 in Austria, U.S. president George W. Bush discussed the situation, saying, “I’d like to end Guantanamo. I’d like it to be over with. One of the things we will do is we’ll send people back to their home countries. We’ve got about 400 people there left—200 have been sent back—400 are there, mainly from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Yemen. (…) There are some who need to be tried in U.S. courts. They’re cold-blooded killers. They will murder somebody if they’re let out on the street. (…) I’m waiting for the Supreme Court of the United States to determine the proper venue in which these people can be tried.”

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose the federal government holding suspected terrorists without trial at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?

Jun. 2006

Sept. 2003

Support

57%

65%

Oppose

37%

28%

No opinion

5%

7%

Source: TNS / Washington Post / ABC News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted from Jun. 22 to Jun. 25, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)