1:05pm

Wed May 18, 2011
It's All Politics

McCain Aide Has One Word For Santorum On Enhanced Interrogation

"Who?"

That was the one-word diss by an aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who was asked by the Washington Post's Greg Sargeant to respond to a comment by Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, to the effect that McCain "doesn't understand how enhanced interrogation works."

Santorum's comment was a response to McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, who recently has very publicly been debunking the argument of fellow Republicans that intelligence derived from Bush-era harsh interrogations of Muslim detainees led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Many people, McCain included, say such interrogations were torture,

A fight over enhanced interrogation with McCain, who was severely tortured as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, is one most people would probably avoid.

Not Santorum who is exploring a run for the GOP presidential nomination.

On Hugh Hewitt's radio show earlier this week, the former senator had the following exchange with Hewitt:

HH: Now your former colleague, John McCain, said look, there's no record, there's no evidence here that these methods actually led to the capture or the killing of bin Laden. Do you disagree with that? Or do you think he's got an argument?

RS: I don't, everything I've read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation. And so this idea that we didn't ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he doesn't understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they're broken, they become cooperative. And that's when we got this information. And one thing led to another, and led to another, and that's how we ended up with bin Laden. That seems to be clear from all the information I read. Maybe McCain has better information than I do, but from what I've seen, it seems pretty clear that but for these cooperative witnesses who were cooperative as a result of enhanced interrogations, we would not have gotten bin Laden.

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