Santorum: McCain Doesn’t Understand Interrogation

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday that Sen. John McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years enduring brutal treatment at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors, doesn’t know how effective waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques can be. The Republican presidential contender insisted the tactics led the United States to Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden.

McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a speech last week that waterboarding Al Qaeda’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not provide information that led to bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

McCain said he asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and that the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, came from a detainee held in another country.

“Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information,” McCain said.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday, Santorum said McCain was wrong.

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