"People are going to think that this school is producing torture machines."
"Enjoy your holidays with your family and your nice lil paycheck...the real warriors will be just fine viewing your ignorance and insults from half way across the world. ...You don't deserve to call yourselves Americans, and I hope, truly, to meet you face to face one day."
"You're welcome for your freedom of speech and press."
That's just a sampling of the [critical] feedback we're getting on what turned out to be a provocative feature story in the current Seven Days, about the views of some Norwich University cadets on national security issues and life during war time. There will be more in this week's issue, on the "letters to the editor" pages.
For the piece "Corps Confessions," we surveyed 486 ROTC scholarship recipients at Norwich about their views on torture, government eavesdropping and a host of other military, political and national security questions. We wanted to know what some of our future military leaders think about the hot-button issues of the day.
The results were very interesting — as was the feedback.
Much of it noted a mischaracterization we made in the piece. We said the survey went out to all 486 students enrolled in the Corps of Cadets. That was inaccurate. In fact, the survey went only to the 486 ROTC scholarship recipients — those cadets who receive college tuition from the armed forces, and are commissioned for eight years of military service upon graduation.The full Corps of Cadets is much larger. (12/10) A further clarification: Of the 486 who were sent the survey, 144 cadets took it.
We made another goof in our print version of the piece due to a production error. We printed identical results for three of the questions. The two survey questions with incorrect results, and their corrected responses, are as follows:
- Do you consider waterboarding a form of torture? Yes 54.3%, No 31.9%, Don't Know/Unsure 13.8%.
- Do you think the government should we allowed to wiretap the phones of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism without first obtaining a warrant? Yes 46.3%, No 48.5%, Don't Know/Unsure 5.1%
A correction clarifying both points will run in this week's Seven Days.
Meanwhile, have your say. What do you think of the survey? What jumped out at you from the cadets' answers? Were you surprised about how they view Obama's handling of the war on terror, sending more troops to Afghanistan or 9/11 conspiracy theories?
Leave a comment here, or send a letter to the editor using our online form.
File photo by Jay Ericson.