SOURCE: Intelligence Squared U.S.

March 12, 2008 11:45 ET

Intelligence Squared U.S. Audience Rethinks Tough Interrogation Techniques

Crowd Opinion Flips After Hearing Both Sides of the Argument

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 12, 2008) - Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford style, three-on-three debate series sponsored by The Rosenkranz Foundation, announced the results of Tuesday night's debate on the motion, "Tough interrogation of terror suspects is necessary."

A sold out audience at Asia Society and Museum, New York City voted 40% for the motion and 53% against at the conclusion of the debate. 7% were undecided.

Intelligence Squared U.S. polls its audience on each motion before and after the debate. At the start of Tuesday's debate, the audience voted 46% for the motion that "Tough interrogation of terror suspects is necessary," with 35 % against and 19% undecided.

Speaking for the motion were David Rivkin, partner in the Washington office of Baker & Hostetler LLP, a visiting fellow at the Nixon Center, and a contributing editor of the National Review and National Interest, Rick Francona, Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who has served with the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency, and Heather Mac Donald, John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal. Speaking against the motion were Jack Cloonan, a 25-year veteran of the FBI and an internationally respected security expert, John D. Hutson, a retired Rear Admiral, having served as the Navy's Judge Advocate General from 1997 to 2000 and current president and dean of Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire, and Darius Rejali, professor of political science and chair of the political science department at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon and 2003 Carnegie Scholar and the author of "Torture and Democracy."

"It's the challenge of any debate to affect the opinions of the audience and our debate did just that," said Robert Rosenkranz, chairman of The Rosenkranz Foundation. "With the president vetoing a bill on tough interrogation techniques just last weekend, this could not have been more timely a topic."

Subsequent motions for the Intelligence Squared U.S. Spring 2008 season are:

--  Islam is dominated by radicals - April 15, 2008
--  We should legalize the market for human organs - May 13, 2008
    

Intelligence Squared U.S. debates can be heard on over 150 National Public Radio stations nationwide.

About Intelligence Squared U.S. and The Rosenkranz Foundation

Intelligence Squared U.S. is a New York-based initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation; the executive producer is Dana Wolfe. Designed to raise the level of public discourse, the Oxford style, three-on-three debate series is the U.S. version of a London-based program. Since September 2006, the series has attracted sold-out crowds in New York City. Intelligence Squared U.S. provides a forum for intelligent discussion and encourages the recognition that the opposition has intellectually respectable views. For more information about Intelligence Squared U.S., please visit www.intelligencesquaredus.org.

The Rosenkranz Foundation was established in 1985 to encourage the highest level of achievement and innovation in public policy, higher education and the arts. It seeks to promote fresh and effective intellectual perspectives. The foundation is committed to promoting intellectual diversity in public policy discourse and higher education. For more information about The Rosenkranz Foundation, please visit www.rosenkranzfdn.org.

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