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New Poll Finds 57 Percent of Americans Think Obama’s Assassination Program Is Unconstitutional
March 1, 2013, 8:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

New Poll Finds 57 Percent of Americans Think Obama’s Assassination Program Is Unconstitutional:

A
new Reason-Rupe poll finds
that a majority of Americans think

President Obama’s targeted killing program
, which famously
allowed the CIA to assassinate an American-born Muslim cleric
living in Yemen as well has his American-born teenage son, to be
unconstitutional.
When asked if they thought it was “constitutional or
unconstitutional for the president of the United States to order
the killing of American citizens who are suspected of being
terrorists,” 57 percent of respondents said they thought it was
unconstitutional, including 65 percent of Republicans, 64 percent
of independents, and 44 percent of Democrats.
Thirty-one percent of respondents said it was constitutional for
the president to kill Americans suspected of being terrorists,
including 40 percent of Democrats, 27 percent of Republicans, and
28 percent of independents.
As evidenced by several different questions, Americans have
strong negative feelings about drones. One question asked, When it
comes to the use of drones, how concerned are you that the
government may abuse its power…a lot, some, not too much, or not
at all? In response, 32 percent of respondents said “a lot,” 27
percent said “some,” 19 percent said “not too much,” and only 17
percent said “not at all.”
Forty percent of respondents, including 34 percent of Democrats,
36 percent of Republicans, and 47 percent of independents, said
they were very worried that local police would use drones to invade
their privacy; only 21 percent of respondents said they were “not
at all” worried about police using drones to invade their
privacy.
Respondents were evenly divided over this question: If a drone
flew over your house and was recording you and your property
without your permission, do you think should have the right to
destroy it, or not? Forty-seven percent said yes, 47 percent said
no, 4 percent didn’t answer, and one percent said, “It
depends.”
What Reason-Rupe
found
about Americans’ sentiments about targeted killing
of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism contradicts a recent
WSJ/NBC poll
which found
that “[a] solid majority, 64%, favored the U.S.
policy of targeted assassinations of suspected terrorists by the
use of drones in countries such as Yemen and Pakistan.”
There’s a pretty simple explanation for the conflicting
responses, and you can find it in the questions. Reason-Rupe
asked:

Do you think it is constitutional or unconstitutional for the
president of the United States to order the killing of American
citizens who are suspected of being terrorists?

While NBC/WSJ asked:

As you know, the United States has been targeting and killing
suspected members of Al Qaeda and other terrorists in countries
such as Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries.  Many of these
killings have been conducted using unmanned aircraft that are
controlled remotely, also known as drones.  Do you favor or
oppose the use of unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, to kill
suspected members of Al Qaeda and  other terrorists? If you
don’t know enough to have an opinion on this issue please just say
so.

The NBC/WSJ poll question doesn’t distinguish between
foreign-born terrorists and Americans suspected of being
terrorists. That distinction, as Reason-Rupe found,
matters. 

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