What Do Americans Think About Torture?

Andrew Gelman parses contradictory polling:

...how do I make sense of these polls? I guess I'll have to step back and say that there are few absolutes in people's opinions. In the abstract, torture is to be ruled out, but once you bring in "terrorism" (even "terrorism suspects," which is really pretty vague), people start to change their minds.

Terror breeds terror. But the job of civilization - and of statesmen - is to stop the cycle, not accelerate it.