- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 19, 2002

From combined dispatches
Nearly half of Americans believe President Bush did everything he should have done to respond to the clues received before the September 11 terrorist attacks, as against a smaller number of people who believe he did not do enough.
Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said Mr. Bush did all he should have, while 39 percent said he did not, according to a Newsweek poll released yesterday. The remaining 13 percent were undecided.
On the other hand, a solid majority of Americans at least in part blamed former President Bill Clinton, with 59 percent saying his administration did not do everything it could to detect and prepare for possible terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
The greatest amount of ire, though, was aimed at U.S. intelligence agencies.
Nearly three-quarters of those polled criticized the pre-September 11 conduct of the FBI and CIA, with 39 percent saying they blame the agencies "a lot" for failing to identify and stop terrorist plots, and 35 percent saying they must assume "at least some" responsibility.
In addition, the poll showed strong support for ethnic profiling. Seventy-seven percent said the FBI should have investigated all Arab nationals taking pilot training in the United States and 85 percent said the government should have put Arab pilots under observation after the FBI had raised questions about some of them.
Support for Mr. Bush's handling of the war on terrorism was strong at 76 percent, while 71 percent approved of his domestic anti-terrorism efforts. Mr. Bush's personal approval rating was at 73 percent. Those numbers are down from their winter high points, but it is not a significant change from the figures of recent weeks.
Fifty-five percent said the Bush administration should have issued public warnings about possible hijackings, although 67 percent said such warnings would not have prevented the terrorist strikes that killed more than 3,000 people.
The survey was conducted Thursday and Friday among 1,002 adults and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.


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