Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2001

Poll: Majority endorse new rules

November 29, 2001


— Most Americans broadly endorse steps taken by the Bush administration to investigate and prosecute suspected terrorists and express little concern that these measures violate the rights of U.S. citizens or others caught up in the ongoing probes, according to a survey by The Washington Post and ABC News.

Six in 10 agree with President Bush that suspected terrorists should be tried in special military tribunals and not in U.S. criminal courts.

Seven in 10 Americans believe the government is doing enough to protect the civil rights of suspected terrorists. An equally large majority believes the government is sufficiently guarding the rights of Arab Americans and American Muslims as well as noncitizens from Arab and Muslim countries.

Taken together, the survey findings reflect a wellspring of public support as the Bush administration continues even its most controversial investigative methods in order to bring suspected terrorists to justice.

Nearly three out of four of those surveyed also agree that it should be legal for the federal government to wiretap conversations between suspected terrorists and their attorneys. An even larger majority 79 percent supports plans by federal prosecutors to interview about 5,000 young men here on temporary visas from the Middle East. And nearly nine in 10 believe the United States is justified in detaining about 600 foreign nationals for violating immigration laws.

A total of 759 randomly selected adults were interviewed Tuesday night for this Post-ABC News poll. Margin of sampling error for the overall results is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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