Is Saddam Gaining Info from News Reports?

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A large majority continues to support ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein through U.S. military operations, and many people worry news reports on U.S. invasion plans could jeopardize those operations.

While a majority believes Saddam already knew the information about U.S. invasion plans before reading it in The New York Times, an even larger majority is worried news reports could possibly give away secrets. Results from the current FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll show that 24 percent of Americans think Iraq gains valuable information from press reports, compared to 65 percent who think the info is already in the Iraqi leader's hands.

However, fully 72 percent say they are either "very concerned" (35 percent) or "somewhat concerned" (37 percent) that continued reporting on military planning documents could compromise U.S. military operations or national security. Thirteen percent say they are "not very concerned" and nine percent say "not at all concerned."

"This is a warning shot by the American people to the press to be responsible in their reporting of military activities in this new environment," said Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.

The number of Americans who say yes to taking U.S. military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power continues to remain high. Today, with only some political party and almost no gender differences, 72 percent of the country supports removing the Iraqi leader. Republicans (79 percent) and Independents (72 percent) are more supportive of the military action than Democrats (66 percent).

The most striking difference in support levels is among age groups. Fully 81 percent of those under age 35 endorse removing Saddam compared to just 50 percent of those over age 70.

Polling was conducted by telephone July 9-10, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.

1. Do you support or oppose U.S. military action to remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein?

* Wording: " . . .action against Iraq and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein

2. Do you think news reports like the recent New York Times article about U.S. plans to attack Iraq give Iraqi President Saddam Hussein new information, or do you think Hussein already has the information in U.S. news reports?

3. How concerned are you that continued news reports on U.S. plans to attack Iraq could compromise U.S. military operations or national security?