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My name is _____________. I'm calling for Retro Poll,
a non-profit public interest group.
Are you willing to take a few minutes of your time to respond to our poll?
The general topic is the impact of the war on terrorism on the rights of the American people.
Are you 18 or over?
Thank you

1. In your personal opinion, how would you describe the impact of the U.S. Government's War on Terrorism upon our civil rights here in the United States:

a) having little or no impact on civil rights.
b) protecting our right to dissent and strengthening civil rights.
c) removing important rights and Constitutional guarantees.
d) not sure.

In this poll, we are interested in exploring whether Americans agree with each other on the impact of the USA Patriot Act. You will notice that the first part asks for factual information and the second part for your opinions. In the first part it is better to say you don't know than to guess the answer to any question. Few people will know all the answers. Please try and be honest and complete the poll. We'll tell you where to find the right answers later.

2. Can you name the 3 branches of the U.S. government established by the Constitution?
a) (3 correct) b) (2 correct) c) 1 correct d) don't know
Correct answer: Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches.
(See the U.S. Constitution)

The Bill of Rights, passed in 1791, includes the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and provides for most of our civil rights. Which of the following are part of the Bill of Rights:

3. Guarantees accused persons the right to a speedy and public trial.
Correct answer: Yes.
Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
(See The Bill of RIghts )

4. Provides that accused persons shall not be coerced into testifying against themselves.
Correct answer: Yes
Amendment V.
"No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."
(See The Bill of RIghts )

5. Authorizes the Government to detain suspects indefinitely and punish them as it sees fit.
Correct answer: No.
Amendment VI.
There is no amendment authorizing the government to detain suspects indefinitely. Article I, section 9 of the constitutions forbids congress to suspend the right to a writ of habeas corpus except in the cases of rebellion or invasion. Habeas corpus is the right to be freed unless convicted and sentenced to prison. Authorization for indefinite detention has been absent from U.S. law for over 200 years until 2001 when President George W. Bush issued an executive order permitting indefinite detentions of suspects without a requirement that they be charged, tried in a court, found guilty or innocent and sentenced. Though heinous, the crimes of September 11, 2001 do not constitute either a rebellion or an invasion. Indefinite detention also violates Amendment VIII of the bill of rights, which states: "excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted."
(See The Bill of RIghts)
Hundreds of people, largely Middle Eastern men, have been detained in the past 2 years and none has been charged with or tried for terrorist acts.
(See: WABC Report: Report Finds Many Detained In Wake Of 9/11 Are Denied Basic Rights)

6. Protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures by the Government in our private lives and homes.
Correct answer: Yes.
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
(See The Bill of RIghts)

7. Upon entrance into World War II the United States seized over 110,000 people of Japanese descent and placed them into concentration camps for up to 7 years. About 70% of these people were citizens of what country?
a) Japan b) U.S.A. c) China d) don't know
Correct answer: U.S.A.
The majority of those interned were U.S. citizens, many of whom owned extensive real estate, particularly in California, all of which was expropriated. On March 18, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive order 9102 which established the War Relocation Authority. It ordered the establishment of this agency in the Office of Emergency Management to manage the evacuation. The Authority quickly began planning the building of ten relocation camps that would house over 110,000 people, more than 2/3 of them were U.S. citizens. In 1988, President Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The purpose of the law was to acknowledge and apologize for the wrongs done to these people that were forced to live in the detention camps. To date, restitution has been paid to approximately 80,000 Japanese-Americans, yet the federal government still considers the evacuations as "voluntary."
(See: Japanese American Internment)

The relocation camps of World War II are not the only detention camps planned by the U.S. government. (See: Civilian Detention Camps).

8. In the 1980s which nation provided the money and military training to the terrorist Osama Bin Laden and his Islamic fundamentalist followers to build them into a fighting force against the Russian Army in Afghanistan?
a) U.S.A. b) Iraq c) Cuba d) don't know
Correct answer: U.S.
To read about the U.S. support of Osama Bin Laden, read John Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. Pluto, 1999, 2001. Noam Chomsky, 9-11. Seven Stories Press, New York, 2001, pp. 82-84.

Please answer yes or no to the following questions:

9. Did Iraq invade Kuwait in 1990?
(y, no, dk)
Correct answer: Yes
To read about Iraq's invasion of Kuwait,
(See BBC News, Timeline: Iraq)

10. Is there evidence Saddam Hussein worked with the 9/11 Terrorists?
(Yes or No) (y,n,dk)
Correct answer: No
For analysis showing the lack of contact between Iraq and Al Qaeda,
(See: FPIF: Seven Reasons to Oppose a U.S. Invasion of Iraq)

In the 1950s did Senator Joe McCarthy use information obtained from paid informers who had been found guilty of perjury?
(y, n, dk)
Correct answer: Yes.
Joseph McCarthy was an undistinguished and obscure Senator until Feb., 1950, when he won national attention with a speech at Wheeling, W.Va., in which he charged that the State Dept. had been infiltrated by Communists. Although a Senate investigating committee under Millard Tydings exonerated the State Department and branded the charges a fraud and a hoax, McCarthy repeated his claims in a series of radio and television appearances. Challenged to produce his evidence, he refused and instead made new accusations. When the Republicans assumed control of Congress in 1953, McCarthy, who had been reelected in 1952, became chairman of the Senate permanent investigations subcommittee (Government Operations Committee), a post in which he wielded great power; he used his position to exploit the public's fear of Communism. Through widely publicized hearings, the use of unidentified informers, and reckless accusation, McCarthy doggedly pursued those whom he classified as Communists and subversives. Careers were ruined on the flimsiest evidence, and his methods came under increasing attack by the press and his colleagues. Finally, after several years, his peers denounced him and the Senate condemned his behavior.
(See: Senator Joe McCarthy)


A Florida court has ruled that before the 2000 presidential election, Florida Governor Jeb Bush illegally removed the names of over 90,000 registered voters, mostly African Americans, from the voter rolls. In depositions before Judge Alan Gold in this Florida court, Database Technologies, the company hired by Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush to disenfranchise voters before the 2000 election, revealed that 94,000 voters were removed from the rolls. Of this number, 91,000 were legal voters, mostly African Americans and overwhelmingly Democratic.
(See Greg Palast on electoral fraud in Florida in the 2000 elections,
Deb Cupples on Florida's pre-election voter-roll purging: Threats to voting rights
Review of Greg Palast's The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
, and
NAACP class action suit against Katherine Harris and other Florida election officials

12. What impact did that action have on the outcome of the Presidential race?
a) none b) some, but not enough to change the outcome c) helped assure the election of his brother, George W. Bush c) don't know
Correct answer: Helped assure the election of his brother because George W. Bush won Florida by about 500 votes when the recount was suspended; he would probably have lost by at least 20,000 votes had these voters not been purged illegally from the voter roles. (See above citation.)

13) What penalties or punishments did the court decide upon for Governor Jeb Bush?
a) none b) a million dollar fine c) ordered him to do community service d)don't know
Correct answer: None.
There were no penalties administered by the Court, which ruled that those illegally deprived of their votes should have those rights restored to them. Governor Jeb Bush argued that it would have been impossible to restore those rights in time for the 2002 election.


The following questions ask for your personal opinion. If you have no opinion please so state.

14) Will the suspension of or denial of civil rights in the U.S. help stop terrorism?

15) Is there now a general climate of fear in the U.S?

(Ask 16-22 only if "yes" to 15)
Please state how much each of the following contribute to the general climate of fear:
(much, some, little, none)

a. Specific terrorist threats and actions (16)
b. U.S. government color code and homeland security alerts (17)
c. Media encouraged hype and exaggerations (18)
d. Failure to catch Osama Bin Laden (19)
e. Poor U.S. relations with other governments, such as North Korea (20)
f. Saddam Hussein and the Government of Iraq (21)
g. Failure to find the American anthrax attacker (22)

Do you support or reject the following elements of the USA Patriot Act?
For a summary of the elements of USA Patriot Act of 2001
(See Bill of Rights Defense Committee)

23) Government officers can enter your home without your knowledge, copy your computer files or any other information without telling you they've been there.
(s, r, dk)
See USA Patriot Act, Sec 213; contrary to Bill of Rights, Amendment I

24) Government officers may require that librarians provide records of books you've borrowed and they are forbidden from telling you.
(s, r, dk)
See USA Patriot Act Sec 215; contrary to Bill of Rights, Amendment I

25) The government may monitor your phones, e-mails, and internet activity without probable cause.
See USA Patriot Act Sec 203, 215; contrary to Bill of Rights, Amendments I and IV

Do you Support or Reject including the following elements in a war on terrorism.

26) The U.S. should support international attempts to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The United States refused to sign on, support or ratify the International Criminal Court designed by the world's nations to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. On September 30, 2002 upon pressure by the U.S., the European Union granted special exemptions to U.S. military and civilian leaders so the U.S. (only) will not be subject to extradition orders by the Court for trial on such war crimes.

27) Lengthy detention for anyone, citizen or not, who the U.S. government decides to arrest without providing criminal charges, proofs or trials.
International law and standards provide that all persons who are arrested or detained should be informed immediately of the reasons for the detention and notified of their rights, including the right of prompt access to and assistance of a lawyer; the right to communicate and receive visits; the right to inform family members of the detention and place of confinement; and the right of foreign nationals to contact their embassy or an international organization. These rights are contained, inter alia, under article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by the USA in 1992; and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons Under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly in 1988. The Human Rights Committee has stated that Article 9(1) is applicable to all deprivations of liberty, including ''immigration control.''
(See: UNHCHR Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Unfortunately, long detention, often in solitary confinement is being done to noncitizens as well as US citizens under President Bush's military order designating "enemy combatant." This order allows a committee (Atty. General, Sec. of Defense, and CIA director) to label citizens and noncitizens as "enemy combatants" and place them in military custody, holding them in detention indefinitely, interrogating them, and denying them communication with outsiders or judicial review. USA PA Sec 412 also allows mandatory detention of suspected terrorists without judicial review. Federal officials are also using the material witness statute to detain US citizens during investigations without charge or communication with family or friends, as in the case of Michael Hawash Under the U. S. constitution and U.S. law, all of these detainees must be presumed innocent of any crimes because none have been charged, tried or found guilty. The Bush administration claims the right to indefinite detention without trial as a security issue. This government action to abridge the constitutional guarantees is not a claim that has been made or sustained by the United States at any time in its previous history.
(See Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Free Mike Hawash)

28) The use of outlawed interrogation techniques such as torture.
The question itself makes clear that torture is outlawed, yet some American citizens do support its use. The use of torture for any purpose constitutes a violation of international law and is construed as a crime against humanity and, under conditions of war, as a war crime. Endorsing such action by the U.S. government could be construed as complicity in terror. It is also a violation of the Bill of Rights, Amendment VI.
(See: UNHCHR Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

29. A requirement that the U.S. government must prove accusations against nations before attacking them.

30. War against Iraq or other countries the U.S. labels as "supporting terrorism" when they are not attacking anyone.
(s, r, dk).
Unfortunately, many countries of the world, including the U.S., harbor and support terrorists and terrorism. If the U.S. were to attack every country that has in any way supported terrorism the U.S. would be at war with many or most of the nations of the world, including many allies. Just for example, today a leading terrorist lives in New York under U.S. protection, despite extradition orders from the government of Haiti. His name is "Toto" Constant and he led a network of death squads that killed thousands of Haitian citizens during the Duvalier and subsequent dictatorships. We at Retro Poll do not believe there are "good" terrorists and we also have heard the adage about living in glass houses and not throwing stones.

31. Where do you get most of your information on current events?
a) Major TV networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox)
b) Daily newspaper
c) Public Broadcast System (PBS TV and NPR)
d) Alternative media (Pacifica, local community stations, Internet)
e) Major radio stations


Please provide your
City (34)______________
Highest educational level completed(37)_____

Thank you so much for participating in our poll and for caring enough to share your views. For answers to the factual questions please check our Web Site at The poll results will appear there on May 1, 2003.

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