Americans say Obama worse or no better than Bush at protecting civil liberties, finds poll
Washington, Feb. 12 : A majority of Americans believe that President Barack Obama is either worse or no better at protecting civil liberties than former President George W. Bush, a new poll has found.
The poll conducted by The Hill found that while 44 percent of Americans said that Obama has bested Bush in balancing national security and civil liberties, 37 percent said he has done a worse job.
The poll also revealed that a majority of Americans support killing non-Americans whom the government believes to be terrorists or imminent threats, the Huffington Post reports.
Respondents also voiced strong support for the use of unmanned drones in foreign countries.
The Hill reported that 'the results cannot be fully explained as party line responses. More than one in five self-identified Democrats, 21 percent, assert that the Obama administration has not improved upon Bush's record. So do 23 percent of liberals'.
As Obama faces scrutiny over the sharp increase in drone strikes during his presidency, the issue of protecting Americans against terrorism while maintaining civil liberties has been hotly debated, the report said.
According to an international news agency, the Justice Department promised to provide information on the drone programme to Congress after demands arose to see the 'classified legal advice providing the government's rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaida abroad'.
The demands grew when the unclassified 'white paper' revealing information on drone strikes was leaked.
The Senate Judiciary Committee also demanded on Friday to see the classified papers as members of Congress question whether the drone strikes are constitutional or legal.
In the weeks preceding the leak, the Obama administration rejected Freedom of Information Act requests to release the 'white paper', the report added.