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63% Say Media Should Not Publish

UTICA, New York - More than three quarters of likely voters (77%)  say the release of classified documents by the organization WikiLeaks is a national security threat, and 76% believe their release endangers the lives of U.S. military, a new Zogby Interactive Survey finds.

And while 63% of likely voters say they do not want U.S. news organizations to publish the documents,  most (73%) believe the U.S. often keeps secrets to save embarrassment for itself and other governments

The Zogby Interactive poll of 2,084 likely voters was conducted from Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2010. Respondents were provided six statements about WikiLeaks and asked their level of agreement or disagreement with each.

 

The combined percentages of voters who somewhat or strongly agree with each statement are shown in the table below.

Strongly or somewhat agree

%

WikiLeaks is a threat to U.S. security

77

Release of WikiLeaks may endanger lives of U.S. military

76

Much of what U.S. classifies is kept secret to avoid government embarrassment

73

U.S. news organizations should not publish WikiLeaks materials

63

U.S. should consider WikiLeaks a terrorist group and deal with it accordingly

52

U.S. government is exaggerating risk posed by WikiLeaks

31

 

The most significant differences among demographic groups are based on political ideology and age, with older and conservative voters agreeing in much higher percentages about the threat of and the need to suppress WikiLeaks than are younger and liberal voters. For example:

Among voters age 65 and older 73% agree news organizations should not publish WikiLeaks and 65% agree the government should consider WikiLeaks a terrorist organization. Among the First Global generation born since 1979, the percentages agreeing with those statements are 35% and 30% respectively

Among conservatives, 80% agree WikiLeaks should not be published by the news media and 76% agree the government should consider WikiLeaks a terrorist organization. Among liberals, the percentages agreeing with those statements are 37% and 19% respectively.

Agreement levels are consistent among all major demographic groups on the question of whether much of what the U.S. government keeps secret is done to avoid embarrassment.

The Nov.29-Dec. 1, 2010 interactive poll consisted of 2,084 likely voters and has a margin of error of +/-2.2%.  A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate.  Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender and education to more accurately reflect the population.

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