After being told that the CIA used “harsh interrogation practices on suspected terrorists,” 51 percent of those surveyed say the practices were “acceptable under the circumstances” in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Twenty-eight percent say the interrogations were wrong and 20 percent say they don't have an opinion.
President Obama ended the practice, known legally as “enhanced interrogation,” early in his presidency. But 45 percent of those polled say the CIA should continue to use the techniques, and 28 percent they are wrong and shouldn't be used.
Even with graphic descriptions of the way detainees were treated becoming public for the first time last week with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on post-9/11 CIA interrogation techniques, most people say the practices were justified to stop terrorist plots.
A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 58 percent of Americans believe the practice provided intelligence that prevented terrorist attacks; the Senate report states the opposite.