Rick Santorum, idiot.
Yesterday Rick Santorum made some very bad headlines in his effort to overcome being little more than an Internet joke and get some attention for his crazy-as-they-come extreme politics by attacking his party's most recent presidential nominee
. Here's what happened
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.
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.
Yes. John McCain. The guy who was tortured and who has written about how he would tell his torturers outrageous lies just to make it stop. Greg Sargent followed up with McCain's office.
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:
McCain aide Mark Salter was a bit more acerbic: "Ron Paul may be the wackiest candidate in the GOP field. But for pure, blind stupidity nobody beats Santorum. In my 20 years in the Senate, I never met a dumber member, which he reminded me of today."
Stung by the criticism, and possibly aware of just how phenomenally stupid this pronouncement was, Santorum tried to fix it today. And didn't.
"I disagree with Senator McCain's view that the enhanced interrogation techniques used on a select few high-value terrorist detainees were unsuccessful nor do I believe they amounted to torture," Santorum said in a statement Wednesday. "For anyone to infer my disagreement with Senator McCain's policy position lessens my respect for his service to our country and all he had to endure is outrageous and unfortunate."
Look, when the guy who was tortured says it's torture, it's torture. And when he says it doesn't work, he's speaking from first-hand knowledge. The problem isn't that Santorum disrespected McCain's service. The problem is he's an idiot. Keep digging, Rick.