May 19th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Democrats and Repulicans agree on photos

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It isn't often that Democrats and Republicans see eye to eye. But on the thorny question of whether photos of U.S. military personnel allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners should be released, a new national poll suggests Democrats and Republicans appear to agree.

Nearly three out of four Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday do not believe the U.S. government should release the photos.

The poll suggests that 87 percent of Republicans are against the public release of the photos, as are 62 percent of Democrats. Three out of four independent voters would also prefer for the photos to stay under wraps.

"Obama has been getting some pressure from the liberal wing of his party to release the photos, but six in ten liberals in the poll say that the photos should not be made publicly available," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Last week, President Obama reversed course on the issue. The White House now says it no longer supports the release of the photos, which allegedly show prisoners allegedly being abused by U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he told government lawyers to object to a court-ordered release of Defense Department photos showing alleged abuse of detainees because the release could affect the safety of U.S. troops and "inflame anti-American opinion."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN Polls
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Tom Knox


    May 19, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Nestor, Austin, TX

    Good. The photos would only be used as propaganda by our enemies. This is one of the rare occasions when I can support our president. Thank you Mr. President for listening to reason on this issue.

    May 19, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. I don't need no stinkin' poll

    This administration HOLDS WEEKLY POLLINGS and every Wednesday night they sit down and analyize the polls so they can "know how to think for the next week" and this is WHY Obambi changed his mind on the photo's, THE ONLY REASON.

    A poll driven President who can only read pre-written text (by someone else) with the aid of his binkyprompter.

    This is progress and smart thinking?

    Keep the change.

    May 19, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Bubba

    Again, seriously I do not not what's best here. My gut says transparency is usually best, but on the other hand the Arab world has it's Limbaughs and Roves too, just looking for any flimsy pretext to inflame the qaeda. What if someone gets shot up over the pictures? What if we look bad for withholding them? That's why we pay presidents the big bucks, folks.

    May 19, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. New Yorker

    Originally, Obama thought the photos should be released. Further proof that he, along with at least 4 out of 10 liberals, don't have a clue as to what is good or bad for this country. Or maybe the problem is that they do know but could care less.

    May 19, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. John in Tampa

    After what we have seen already, I would agree new photos would simply be fanning the embers. How more ugly do we need? Obama has shined a light on the memos-the thinking-behind this. And it is appropriate that we all think this through: what would you personally be willing to do? That needs public examination, not as confessional but as development of public policy. It is time though to think this through intellectually, and I do not see that more images are needed for that.

    PS, registered Independent.

    May 19, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Good - No Pelosi Partisan Attacks

    Pelosi wants to release the photos She would rather sacrifice homeland security and our reputation for the ability to use the photos to attack the Bush administration.

    Now maybe if Pelosi were in those photos, more Americans would want them released

    May 19, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. DOC

    Let them keep their "dirty little secrets". The rest of the world already knows the crimes committed.

    May 19, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Thebes

    Hmmm. You know what...

    I believe CNN is lying. Whether by wording the survey to predetermine the outcome or else choosing a biased sample. I don't know anyone who thinks that these photos should remain censored.

    May 19, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. John

    The pictures will be released years from now when they are declassified. This will the "history" that will judge George W Bush.

    These pictures, released in 10-15 years, will end any arguments about what kind of adminstration the Republicans ran.

    May 19, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. John

    Its not up to the Dems or Repub, its up to the American people if they want to release those pics.Remember, We, The People. After all, you all work for them, or don't you? Or is this another dictatorship like the last one?

    May 19, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. S.M

    Maybe they should not be released but it doesn't require our enemies to have a high I.Q. to know that the Bush administration were responsible for authorizing the mistreatment of prisoners.

    If they go forward to prosecute the four stooges; Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsvillian, than those photos will more than like be released in order for the prosecuters to prove their case.

    May 19, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Lesley Anne

    I agree that the photos should not be released to the public but I am adamant that the Bush administration be held accountable for its actions while in office. There are so many violations of the public trust and breaking of laws that it would be a huge mistake to just let it all go without investigations, not just into torture but into the myriad unjustifiable actions taken while Bush was in the WH. I don't think not releasing the photos should be linked to not investigating the Bush administration as a whole. One thing has nothing to do with the other. This makes Watergate seem like child's play.

    May 19, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Dick Andrews

    Not a bad idea not to realse those photos

    May 19, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Randolph Carter

    No we don't. Have a nice day!

    May 19, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Steph

    I would like more of the memos released so we know who exactly is responsible for the horrible treatment of detainees. We need to find out who ordered the torture. I don't need pictures. We all know the pictures must be gruesome.

    May 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Boudin

    This was the smart thing to do. They should not have water boarded the terrorist. They should have beheaded them on national tv, just like they did the Americans they captured.

    May 19, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. JB

    Some people are finally waking up... It's a bit late though.. Wait til you see who is in the White House...

    May 19, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Chip

    ... but six in ten liberals in the poll say that the photos should not be made publicly available ...

    So four in ten are the noisemakers. Thus proving the old axiom, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease!".

    We've been ruled by the minority in this country for far too long. How much legislation do you think has been passed in the last 100 years simply in order to shut a group of lunatics up? I bet the number would be staggering.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    May 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Interesting

    Then why were liberals so pressed to see things like this when Bush was in office? I guess since Obama is opposed the sheep are opposed as well. Or, could he be seeing in his freshman presidential year that his daddy Bush was right on foreign policy all along? Gitmo, tribunals anyone????

    May 19, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. MD

    I consider myself a liberal and I don't want the photos released either. I enjoy watching and listening to the more liberal host on CNN and MSNBC but it's time for all of them to move on. Seems the public has spoken on this particular topic...

    May 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Shadysider

    It seems to me that the world at large, and especially the Muslim world will see the objection to release the photos as more evidence that America is unwilling to move forward. Unless these photos are as horrible as one can imagine I think they should be released. And if they are that horrible we need to have full investigations.

    May 19, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. JR

    Americans don't mind our government torturing people, they just don't want to see the graphic results., Americans are sensitive that way.

    May 19, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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