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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 17 or over?
Thank you

1. The Government and the Mass Media advocate a U.S. war on terrorism.

From the following statements choose the one that best represents your own understanding of the meaning of terrorism.
a) violent and random tactics used by enemies of the U.S. to attract attention to their cause and create chaos.
b) the use of violence against civilian populations, with the intent of causing fear, chaos, and social disorganization for political ends
c) murder and mayhem based on religious fervor
d) none of the above.

For a definition of terrorism, see:

2 - 10. Major TV, radio networks and large city newspapers provide most public information on national and international events. But do they present the facts honestly?

For each of the following news outlets that you have some experience with, give your opinion as to whether each presents the truth
a) usually
b) mostly when it suits their interests
c) half the time or less
d) don't know.

2. CNN (national) _________

3. New York Times _______

4. Fox News network _______

5. MSNBC ________

6. CBS__________

7. Clear Channel Radio network_______

8. NBC________

9. The Washington Post _______

10. Newsweek _____

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?

11. True or false: In the United States, the presidential candidate who gets the most popular votes of citizens always wins. (t/ f/ d=don't know)

Correct answer: False.

Every four years in November, almost 90 million US citizens vote for the presidential candidate of their choice, then in December, the president is elected by only 598 citizens who are "electors" of the Electoral College. In fact, the candidate chosen by the voters can, and has, lost more than once.

12. A year and a half after hurricane Katrina, the number of displaced people who are still unable to return to their lives in New Orleans is
a) about 10,000
b) about 50,000
c) over 150, 000
d) d/know.

Correct answer: c) over 150,000.

In fact the people displaced by hurricane Katrina are not refugees, as often stated in the commercial media, rather they are internally displaced persons, like nearly 2 million people in Iraq and are protected specifically under international law. The victims of hurricane Katrina who had to flee their homes have neither left the United States nor lost any of their human rights vis--vis the U.S. government. However, they have left their homes involuntarily and thus are internally displaced persons within the meaning of the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. The Guiding Principles describe such persons as "persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State [international] border" (preamble, paragraph 2).'s_Displaced_Persons:_Purging_the_Poor

13. True or false: The administrative costs of major health insurance companies are significantly lower than those of the Federal Government's Medicare program. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: False.

A major reason for the high cost of health care in the US is the exorbitant administrative costs of the major health insurance companies. Another reason is the high rates of profits taken out of health care dollars spent.


14. True or false: The U.S. government opposes and does not teach, sanction or engage in torture. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: False.

The U.S. government does teach, sanction, and engage in torture.

In fact, authorization for the use of torture is based on the highest authority, emanating directly from the White House:

15. After 4 years of U.S. military occupation of Iraq, the number of people displaced from that country or their homes is about
a) 50,000
b) 150,000
c) 3 million or more
d) don't know

Correct answer: c) at least 3 million civilians have been displaced within and out of Iraq.

Also see answer to question 12, above.

And see:

16. True or false: Italy has filed criminal charges against 26 US CIA agents for the kidnapping from Italy and torture of a suspect. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: True.

17. True or false: Research costs to develop new drugs are responsible for higher costs of drugs in the U.S. than in Canada. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: False.

See Paul Krugman, Op Ed, NY Times, May 2005:

And for a direct comparison of prices for commonly prescribed drugs in Canada and the US, see:

18. True or false: Israel, the U.S. and the European Union are committed to begin unconditional peace talks with Palestinian leaders that could soon end the decades long military occupation of Palestinian lands. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: False.

For background on the Palestinian leaders, see:

For statements by Secretary of State Rice on the preconditions for talk with Palestinian leaders, see:

19. True or false: In 2007, Josh Wolf was imprisoned longer than any other journalist in US history for refusing to testify concerning his video recordings and observations of a political protest in San Francisco. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: True.

20. Who is Maher Arar?
a) heavy weight champion of the world who protested the Iraq War
b) Canadian citizen awarded $11 million for being tortured under the U.S. extraordinary rendition
c) one of the 9/11 hijackers
d) none of the above or don't know

Correct answer: b) Canadian citizen awarded $11 million for being tortured under the U.S. policy of extraordinary rendition.

21. True or false: Iran threatens to become the only nuclear power in the Middle East. (t/f/d)

Correct answer: False.

Israel has had hundreds of nuclear weapons and strike capability for more than 20 years, and has refused international inspections. Pakistan and India also have nuclear arsenals and missiles.

22-28. Which of the following are true regarding the Bush Administration:

22) fabricated intelligence to start a war with Iraq (t/f/d)

Correct answer: True.

23) seeks peace with Iran but found Iran unwilling to negotiate (t/f/d)

Correct answer: False.

In fact, Iran requested direct talks with the U.S. a year ago:

24) effectively responded to the tragedy of New Orleans after Katrina showing the value of the Homeland Security Administration in dealing with domestic disasters (t/f/d)

Correct answer: False.

25) improved the world's trust and admiration of the U.S.A. (t/f/d)

Correct answer: False.

26) used the 9/11 events for their own political ends (t/f/d)

Correct answer: True.

27) enacted laws and used signing statements to accumulate unrestrained powers over us (t/f/d)

Correct answer: True.

28. True or false: President Bush carried through on his promise to fire anyone in his Administration who was involved in leaking the name of a secret CIA agent to the media. (y/n/d)

Correct answer: False.

29. True or false: immigration raids by government agents have left hundreds of U.S.-born children homeless, parentless, or in detention. (t/ f/ d)

Correct answer: True.

The following questions ask for your personal opinion. If you agree with more than one answer choose the one that best represents your view. If you have no opinion or your opinion is not among the choices, please say so.

30. Should the U.S. immediately withdraw all its troops and military bases from Iraq in a safe and orderly fashion? (y/n/d)

31. The many people who cross into the U.S. without permits and stay here to live and work are:
a) a terrorist threat
b) a natural result of enforced economic inequalities between nations
c) criminals who are taking advantage of our country
d) don't know

32 Should the Congress impeach and remove from office President Bush and Vice President Cheney for the Iraq War or other offenses? (y/n/d)

33. A single payer system for health care would be similar to a Medicare insurance package extended to everyone. Do you believe such a system should be implemented in the U.S.? (y/n/d)

34. Should the U.S. Congress cut off funding for the ongoing occupation of Iraq, except for funding an orderly and supported withdrawal? (y/n/d)

35. Do you oppose the use of torture by the U.S. government? (y/n/d)

36. Have you spoken out against or otherwise protested against the use of torture by the US? (y/n/d)

37. The most likely reason why Iran might want nuclear weapons is:
a) Israel has accumulated hundreds of nuclear weapons, refuses inspections and won't participate in discussions to eliminate nuclear weapons from the region
b) Iran is intent on conquest of others
c) the U.S. has attacked Iraq-which had no nukes-but didn't attack N. Korea, which does
d) none of the above or don't know.

38. If Israel continues the construction of a separation wall within the occupied Palestinian territories that was condemned by the International Court of Justice should the U.S. cut off aid to Israel? (y/ n/ d)

39. Recent immigration police raids and roundups of thousands of people in communities and workplaces across the U.S. by the government are mainly:
a) necessary to prevent terrorism
b) the type of scapegoating Hitler used to unite the German people behind war
c) unfortunate but necessary to protect our jobs
d) don't know

40. Do you agree or not agree with the government's assertion that people seized and detained at Guantanamo are presumed dangerous terrorists or they would not have been seized in the first place? (y/ n/ d)

41. Who can you depend upon most to protect your rights?
a) the U.S. government and military
b) yourself, family and friends
c) the general public
d) civil rights lawyer
e) talk radio hosts
f) none of these.

Please provide your
age (42)___________;
gender (43)______(use small f/ m);
highest educational level (44)______ (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 (45)___________(begin with capital letter);
State (46)_____ (use 2 letter abbreviations in capitals)
Ethnicity (47)______________(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 3rd, 2007.


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