McCain camp laughs off Santorum torture comments

By now you may have heard that Rick Santorum has now responded to John McCain’s claim that torture didn’t lead to Bin Laden’s death by insisting that on the subject of torture, McCain has no idea what he’s talking about:

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.

McCain, of course, has direct experience of this process. He has even written that he did not become cooperative under “enhanced interrogation” at all, and in fact gave his tormentors false information to get them to stop.

So I asked McCain spokesperson Brooke Buchanan for a response to Santorum. She emailed a one word reply:

Who?

This exchange perfectly captures how unmoored from reality the debate over torture has become. One of the primary practical arguments against torture — as opposed to moral ones — is that it produces unreliable information. That’s a case that McCain’s personal story has left him very well equipped to make. But some on the right are so heavily invested in their own fantasy version of torture — or are just reflexively defending it because they can’t fathom a world in which Bush doesn’t get credit for killing Bin Laden — that McCain’s actual experience of it simply doesn’t figure into the debate in any way.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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