Though this new interrogation unit will be located at the FBI, the White House National Security Council will exercise direct oversight over the unit
Washington, DC (Vocus) September 8, 2009
The Obama administration stunned national security experts recently with the creation of a new terrorism interrogation unit that will be overseen by the White House, thus stripping the CIA of its oversight in interrogating key terror suspects. The new White House interrogation unit will be supervised by President Obama's National Security Council. According to a just-released Zogby International/O'Leary Report Poll, a majority of American voters, including a majority of Independents, think President Obama's decision is a "bad idea."
The Zogby/O'Leary Poll surveyed 4,518 voters August 28-31 and has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points. The sample was weighted to reflect the exact outcome of the 2008 Presidential Election (i.e. 53 percent Obama voters and 47 percent McCain voters. The Poll asked:
The Obama administration has moved the responsibility for interrogating terrorists from the CIA to the White House, where the National Security Director will oversee interrogations. Do you think this move is a good idea or a bad idea?
A majority of American voters (52 percent) think Obama's move is a bad idea, while only 29 percent think it is a good idea (19 percent are not sure). A clear majority of Independent voters (56 percent) think the Obama administration's move is a bad idea, and just 25 percent think it is a good idea. A plurality of young voters age 18-29 (48 percent) think it is a bad idea, and 28 percent think it's a good idea.
According to Brad O'Leary, author and publisher of The O'Leary Report (http://www.olearyreport.com) the majority of Americans opposed to this recent move by the Obama administration also likely reflects their opposition to the Administration's decision to hire a special prosecutor to go after CIA interrogators.
"These interrogators helped keep America safe from terrorist attacks for the past eight years," said O'Leary. "That the President and his administration would treat them like criminals, and go so far as to strip them from their duties, clearly doesn't sit well with most Americans."
O'Leary is also concerned that putting a high-level terror interrogation unit under the direct supervision of the White House sets a bad precedent by injecting politics into a serious national security matter.
"Though this new interrogation unit will be located at the FBI, the White House National Security Council will exercise direct oversight over the unit," O'Leary explained.
"No longer will CIA experts be supervising crucial interrogations with terror suspects, but rather, President Obama's close advisors will be making those calls. Competency is certainly a big issue, but so is the possibility that high-level terror interrogations will now be subject to White House politics."
Brad O'Leary is publisher of "The O'Leary Report," a bestselling author, and is a former NBC Westwood One talk show host. His latest bestseller on the looming threats to free speech in America, "Shut Up, America! The End of Free Speech," (http://www.EndofFreeSpeech.com) is available now in bookstores. To see more poll results, go to http://www.olearyreport.com. To interview Brad, contact Shawna Shriner at (703) 272-1500 or shawnashriner(at)pm-direct.com.
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