Surprise! Poll shows more public concern that fight against terrorism goes too far than not far enough!
THIS seems a bit counterintuitive:
The White House announced today that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not be held as an “enemy combatant,” and will instead be tried in civilian court. This is a direct rebuff to four Republicans — Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, and Pete King — who had been clamoring for him to be held indefinitely without trial or tried under laws of war in a military commission. Tsarnaev will be charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against people and property in the United States, resulting in death.
You can expect GOP attacks on the decision to continue in coming days. Meanwhile, civil libertarians such as Glenn Greenwald continued to slam the Obama administration for its decision not to read the accused his Miranda rights. The administration has proclaimed the right to indefinitely detain anyone who it believes has given “substantial” support to Al Qaeda and its affiliates.
Defending the civil liberties of suspected terrorists is generally not considered a popular position. And yet, in a bit of a surprise, a new poll released today finds that a plurality worries more about government trampling constitutional rights while battling terrorism than it does about government not doing enough to fight it. From the Post:
Which worries you more: that the government will not go far enough to investigate terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights, or that it will go too far in compromising constitutional rights in order to investigate terrorism?
Will not go far enough: 41
Will go too far: 48
Interestingly, despite the fact that the push for Tsarnaev to be held as an enemy combatant is coming from GOP officials, Republican respondents to the poll are even more strongly tilted towards worrying about government compromising constitutional rights, by 56-34. Conservatives tilt this way by 46-41. Democrats also agree by 48-43.
On top of this, the poll was taken from April 17-18 — well after the bombings had taken place, on April 15th.