Clay Ramsay

Americans Oppose Torture Somewhat


Clay Ramsay of discusses their new poll out about world public opinion on torture, how only 53% of Americans oppose torture in all circumstances, the vast politicization of the torture issue in America, how most Americans would rather conform with the law than basic morality, American opinion in favor of talking with Iran over war and Iranian perspectives on their own regime.

MP3 here. (19:54)

YouTube here.

Clay Ramsay, Director of Research at PIPA and a CISSM fellow, co-founded PIPA in 1992. He regularly appears in the US and international media providing analysis of public opinion. With a background in history and psychology, he has focused on the study of ideology and mass psychology. He received his Ph.D. in History from Stanford University, has taught at Oberlin College, and is the author of The Ideology of the Great Fear (Johns Hopkins University Press). He is a faculty member of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland.

7 thoughts on “Clay Ramsay”

  1. I wonder what percentage of Americans supports abducting innocent Arab peasants who were turned in as ‘terrorists’ by locals for reward money, and then torturing them until they admit to being al-Qaeda fighters so Bush has someone to put before his secret kangaroo courts and so Fox News has material to scaremonger with?

    That would make a great poll question!

  2. Well there have been such polls. In the latest 13% says that they wouldn’t mind at all. They approve of torture, no questions asked, period. A further 31% wouldn’t object to torture in cases where reality would turn into a script for a B-movie, which apparently they believe more often than not occurs. About 53% still remember that they are supposed to be representing a civilization that has made some progress since 1478 AD. The other half sadly really are that backward.

  3. It’s the old “she’s a witch, Seh looks like one.” AFter all Poeple confessed to witchcraft to after enough torture. We no 100% of those confessions were false.

  4. Actually, in the sense that the Inquisition understood the crimes for which they tortured people to confess to, many people who suffered the wrath of the Catholic Church and the Spanish State (in no particular order) actually really were criminals.

    If we would see that and the witch-hunts in the proper historical context we could really learn much more than by simply condemning it and feel morally superior.

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