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My name is _____________. I’m calling for Retro Poll.
This is not a sales call; we do public opinion polling, and your number was chosen at random for a brief interview. Would you be able to take a few minutes of your time to respond to our poll on current U.S. government policies?
Are you 16 or over?
Thank you

In your personal opinion which statement best describes the impact of the U.S. Government's War on Terrorism:
a) It prevents terrorism
b) It has had little impact on terrorism
c) It tends to create support for terrorism
d) none of the above/ not sure

In the rest of this poll, you will notice that the first half asks for factual information and the second half asks 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 so don’t feel bad about saying you don’t know. But please try and be honest and complete the poll. We’ll tell you where to find the right answers to the factual questions later. Ok?

2. Is there evidence that Saddam Hussein worked with Al Qaeda? (y/ n/ d) (y=yes; n=no; d=don’t know)

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)
For more recent comments see:

The U.S.A. Patriot act and newer provisions strike down which of the following Rights from the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights, passed in 1791:

3. The guarantee that accused persons have the right to a speedy and public trial. (y/n/d)

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 Bill of Rights)
See ACLU, Summary of the USA PATRIOT Act and Other Government Acts

4. The right to be charged with specific crimes or be released.(y/n/d)

Correct answer: Yes

The right of habeas corpus ensures that no person can be jailed without being charged with a crime. It also gives convicted criminals the right to challenge their convictions and sentences based on possible violation of their right to due process. This right is guaranteed by the Constitution (Article One, Section Nine, Paragraph Two). Also implied and related rights in Amendments VI, IV, and V

(See Bill of Rights)
See ACLU, Summary of the USA PATRIOT Act and Other Government Acts

5. The right to take up arms against the government. (y/n/d)

Correct answer: No

Amendment II
This was not an issue covered by the Patriot Act or its newer provisions. The right to bear arms is protected by Amendment II of the Bill of Rights, which states that a well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. But the Bill of Rights says nothing about taking up arms against the government.
(See Bill of Rights)
This issue is covered by the Declaration of Independence, however, which states that when a government becomes despotic, the people have a right and duty to throw it over.
See the Declaration of Independence

6. Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures by the Government in our private lives
and homes. (y/n/d)

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 Bill of Rights)
See ACLU, Summary of the USA PATRIOT Act and Other Government Acts

7. The right of the people to peaceably assemble anywhere to express political views (y/n/d)

Correct answer: No

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (See Bill of Rights)

8. The torture of people held in captivity is a war crime under U.S.
law and international treaties which the U.S. has signed? (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: True

FindLaw summarizes all the relevant memos on torture

Human Rights Watch provides a summary of international law and U.S. laws relevant to torture

The War Crimes Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. § 2441) makes it a criminal offense for U.S. military personnel and U.S. nationals to commit war crimes as specified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. War crimes under the act include grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. It also includes violations of common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; …outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.

A federal anti-torture statute (18 U.S.C. § 2340A), enacted in 1994, provides for the prosecution of a U.S. national or anyone present in the United States who, while outside the U.S., commits or attempts to commit torture. Torture is defined as an “act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.” A person found guilty under the act can be incarcerated for up to 20 years or receive the death penalty if the torture results in the victim’s death.

Military contractors working for the Department of Defense might also be prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-778), known as MEJA. MEJA permits the prosecution in federal court of U.S. civilians who, while employed by or accompanying U.S. forces abroad, commit certain crimes. Generally, the crimes covered are any federal criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. The MEJA remains untested because the Defense Department has yet to issue necessary implementing regulations required by the law.

9. The International Committee of the Red Cross (in confidential reports to the United States Government) charged that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion tantamount to torture on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: true

10. Torture of prisoners within prisons in the U.S. is a) absent b) rare c) not uncommon d) don’t know.

Correct answer: C, not uncommon.

The sadistic abuse and sexual humiliation by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison has shocked most Americans, but in American prisons today, wanton staff brutality and degrading treatment of inmates occur across the country with distressing frequency.

11. Since the death penalty was restored in the U.S. over 115 convicted murderers awaiting execution have been later proven innocent and set free. If death penalties were quickly and efficiently executed in a timely fashion most of these innocent people would have a) been set free b) had their cases re-opened c) been executed d) don’t know

Correct answer: C) been executed.

12. The controlling relationship of Israel over the lives of millions of Palestinians is exemplified by the separation wall. Is it true or false that this wall is condemned by the International Court of Justice and the United Nations as violations of international law but is endorsed by President Bush? (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: True.

The separation wall has been condemned by the majority of the countries of the world, the UN, and the International Court of Justice. In a vote on July 20, 2004 the General Assembly demanded that Israel abide by the ruling of the International Court of Justice and tear down the separation wall. The vote for the resolution was 150 in favor, 6 against, with 10 abstentions.

The decision of the International Court of Justice on the separation wall

Letter from President Bush to Prime Minister Sharon, April 2004

13.A top secret process called rendition has been used by the CIA to fly suspects to Egypt, Morocco, Syria, or Jordan, each of which is known to use torture in their interrogations. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: True

A top secret process called “extraordinary rendition” has been used since 2001 by the CIA to fly more than 150 persons to Egypt, Morocco, Syria, or Jordan “each of which is known to use torture in interrogations.”,,2089-1357699,00.html

The practice of “extraordinary rendition” is contrary to U.S. laws that ban expelling or extraditing persons anywhere “where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

The whole process has been described in detail by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker.

14. Over 367 cities and towns and 4 states have passed resolutions concerning the USA Patriot Act. Do these resolutions a) call for vigorous law enforcement of the Act b) ask that it be strengthened c) call for the removal of key provisions because they violate our democratic rights d) don’t know

Correct answer: C

373 cities and counties and 4 states have signed resolutions against the patriot act as of today, representing more than 57 million citizens, that demand removal of key provisions of the USAPA because they violate our democratic rights.


15. The mainstream corporate media such as NBC, ABC, CNN and the New York Times are owned by a) independent news organizations b) a group of rich liberals c) major U.S. corporations d) don’t know

Correct answer: C

The mainstream corporate media are, in fact, owned by a small number of major U.S. corporations.
For the balance sheet for GE, see: For a partial list of GE’s assets, see:

For the balance sheet for the NY Times, see:
And for a partial list of its assets, see:

NBC is owned by General Electric:
ABC is owned by Walt Disney Co.
CBS is owned by Viacom
CNN is owned by Time Warner


The corporate media are supposed to be providing objective presentations of the facts, but they have deep conflicts of interest as a result of their financial commitments and interconnections, see:

The following questions ask for your personal opinion. If you have no opinion or your opinion is not among the choices, please so state.

16. Should the U.S. fully withdraw its troops from Iraq? (y/ n/ d)

17. U.S. soldiers and private contractors have tortured prisoners in prisons in Iraq, Cuba and Afghanistan. Do you believe that these are the acts of a few bad apples? (y/n/d)

Rather than “a few bad apples,” increasing evidence suggests that torture is a systemic part of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba, and elsewhere. See, for example:,2763,1206725,00.html

More than 400 legal scholars in the U.S. "asked Congress to identify everyone who should be held accountable for the torture at Abu Ghraib prison, and determine what sanctions are appropriate. The sanctions, they said, could include "impeachment and removal from office of any civil officer of the United States responsible."

The President and other high officials appear to be involved in the decision to torture prisoners, despite efforts by lawyers in the administration to justify such actions.

18. A legal review in California showed 76 system problems in death penalty procedures (similar to 85 problems found in an Illinois review) that led to unjust convictions. Should other states do as Illinois has done and put a moratorium on executions until unfairness in application of the death penalty has been addressed? (y/ n/ d)

The legal review of the California system Acrobat PDF File

19. In your opinion the US government is currently a) having no impact on our civil rights b) protecting our right to dissent and strengthening civil rights c) removing important rights and Constitutional guarantees d) not sure

20. Do you approve or disapprove of the appointments of John Negroponte as National Intelligence Chief and Albert Gonzales as Attorney General in view of their support for the use of torture?
(a/ r/ d) a=approve r=disapprove d=don’t know

For background on John Negroponte, see,

For background on Gonzales, see
Gonzales played a key role in developing legal arguments for the use of torture and placing Bush above the law.

And see:

Gonzales and torture
FindLaw summarizes all the relevant memos on torture

21. Do you support or oppose the U.S.A. Patriot Act provision requiring the cooperation of local business people and professionals to turn over records of their clients and customers to federal agents and be sworn to silence about their actions? (s/ o/ d) s=support, o=oppose, d=don’t know

If you wish to review the Patriot Act, and commentary about the impact of the Patriot Act, see:

22. The Federal Bureau of Prisons issued an emergency surveillance order permitting conversations between prisoners and their lawyers to be recorded without a warrant. Do you support or oppose this removal of confidentiality rights? (s/ o/ d)

For background on this topic, see;

23. Do you support or oppose the USA Patriot Act authorizing government agents to enter your home and otherwise investigate you without cause, recording and copying any materials they wish to, and never telling you? (s/ o/ d)

If you wish to review the Patriot Act, and commentary about the impact of the Patriot Act, see:

24. Should Israel abide by the United Nations resolutions that require Israel to return all Israeli settlers to within its UN established borders? ( y/ n / d)

Israel is the target of at least 65 UN resolutions whereas the Palestinians are the targets of none:

25. Today Israel controls the lives of over 3 million Palestinians most of whom are not its citizens, have no basic human rights and can not vote in Israeli elections. Is this relationship consistent with democratic government? (y/n /d)

For information on Palestinian rights in Israel, see Haaretz Daily

Do you support or oppose that the following policies be carried out by the U.S. government:

26. Creation of a national health fund providing total health care coverage for every American at all medical institutions, with the elimination of health insurance company profits and out of pocket patient costs. (s/ o/ d)

For information about a national single payer health care bill, see:

For information about the health care act proposed for California, see:

27. The U.S. should support international attempts to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. (s/ o/ d)

28. Lengthy detention for anyone whom the U.S. government decides to arrest without their providing any criminal charges, evidence, proofs or trials. (s/ o/ d)

29. Expanding the U.S. global war to attack more nations such as Iran, Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba. (s/ o/ d)

Please provide your
age (30)____;
sex (31)____;
highest educational level(32)_____
(G=grades 1-11, HS=high school grad, SC=college without a degree, AA=2 year degree, BA=any 4 year degree, AD=Advanced or professional degree);
City (33)_______;
State (34)___;
Ethnicity (35)____
(NA=Native American, AP=Asian/Pacific Islander, AA=African American, LA=Latin American, CA=European-American, DS=Decline to State, BR=Biracial)

Thank you so much for participating in our poll and for caring enough to share your views. For answers and links to the factual questions please check our web site at any time. Final poll results will be posted on May 5, 2005.

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