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51% Say Leaking of U.S. Secrets Is Treason

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Most voters believe public release of U.S. secret and confidential documents hurts national security, and they consider the leaking of such information to be an act of treason.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 72% of Likely Voters say that when media outlets release secret government documents, they are hurting national security rather than providing a public service.  Only 14% believe the opposite is true and that the media is serving the public. Just as many (14%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In August, following the publication of secret U.S. documents related to the war in Afghanistan on the WikiLeaks Internet site, 67% of U.S. voters said the release of this kind of information hurts national security, while 19% believed it provided a public service.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters consider the leaking of these classified documents an act of treason.  Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree and do not think leaking such information is treasonous.  Another 21% are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted November 29-30, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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