i am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together
see how they run like pigs from a gun
see how they fly
Rasmussen Reports is not a reputable polling firm. But the results it obtained when it queried the American people on whether they approved of subjecting Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab to waterboarding and other forms of torture—58% said yes, while 12% were “not sure”—sound about right.
To begin to understand why, we can start with the news release on the poll from Rasmussen itself. There, Mutallab is not once mentioned by name. Instead, he is referenced variously as the “plane terrorist,” “the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day,” “the Nigerian Muslim,” “the bomber,” and “the Detroit bomber.”
Neither was Mutallab identified by name by the Rasmussen pollsters when they queried respondents. Instead, Mutallab was referenced solely as “the suspected bomber.”
These people, then, were not really considering whether or not to torture an individual human being. They were focused instead on an act. In the Rasmussen survey Mutallab was rendered an unperson—stripped even of his name—and reduced but to a thing that he did. And history shows that when once you succeed in dehumanizing a person, you make it possible to do to him anything at all.