Santorum explains how torture ‘works’ to McCain

To his credit, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been vocal in his recent criticism of torture. As members of his own party try to credit Bush-era torture policies for Osama bin Laden’s demise, McCain has been a voice of reason on this.

For his trouble, the Republican senator is now getting pushback from the likes of Rick Santorum.

John McCain has been on something of a crusade this week on the question of how we found Osama bin Laden, giving speeches and writing op-eds outlining his position that it was not torture of detainees that led the U.S. to its man.

Now comes presidential candidate and “enhanced interrogation” supporter Rick Santorum arguing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that McCain simply “doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works.” Yes, he’s talking about the same John McCain who, in his five and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, was interrogated during a program of beatings and torture.

It would have been annoying enough if Santorum had just parroted the party line and said bin Laden’s demise was the result of torture. Indeed, Santorum did parrot that line, and it’s wrong.

But then he had to go further and argue that McCain — unlike Santorum — just “doesn’t understand” torture. As Santorum sees it, “I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative.”

Except McCain has first-hand experience with the subject matter, and know that even after the breaking point, those being tortured can and do feed bogus information to their torturers.

Maybe now would be a good time to note that Santorum has no national security experience, never served in the military, and didn’t serve on any of the relevant committees (Intelligence, Armed Services, etc.) during his Senate tenure.

And yet, Santorum wonders why people struggle to take him seriously.