Sympathy For The Devil

Steven Thomma at McClatchy Newspapers writes Friday December 10, 2010 of the depressing (and predictable?) results of a new public opinion poll conducted for McClatchy by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The poll results indicate that “Americans overwhelmingly think that WikiLeaks is doing more harm than good by releasing classified U.S. diplomatic cables, and they want to see the people behind it prosecuted”

Thomma’s article notes that…

The survey found that 70 percent of Americans think the leaks are doing more harm than good by allowing America’s enemies to see confidential and secret information about U.S. foreign policy.

Just 22 percent think the leaks are doing more good than harm by making the U.S. government more transparent and accountable, the stated goal of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

and that…

The poll also found that 59 percent of Americans think those who publish secret U.S. documents should be prosecuted, while 31 percent said the publication of secrets is protected under the First Amendment guarantee of a free press.

Attitudes about freedom of press-versus-prosecution change with age:

  • Among those age 18 to 29, 52 percent said the publishers were protected by the First Amendment and 47 percent said they should be prosecuted.
  • Among those age 30 to 44, the numbers shifted to 37 percent for First Amendment protection and 50 percent for prosecution.
  • Among those age 45 to 59, it was 25 percent for protection and 65 percent for prosecution.
  • And among those 65 and older, it was 20 percent for protection and 68 percent for prosecution.

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  1. And again I say unto you, ye must . . . become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God

  2. Since when does the majority always know what is best for them. It’s the main reason we have a Federalist style government. Our Founding Father’s didn’t trust us to get it right all the time.

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