"It’s not torture! Hell, we had elk tacos and wine afterwards."

What: Tim Kennedy, a Green Beret and a former MMA fighter, waterboarded himself on Saturday in support of Gina Haspel, whose nomination to lead the CIA has drawn criticism due to her past involvement in enhanced interrogation, 

The video: Kennedy, who described Haspel as an “amazing hero," sought to show waterboarding is not really torture. 

"The reason we're doing this," said Kennedy, "is for us to have a conversation."

In a livestream of the experiment, Kennedy is seen lying on a foldable table with a towel over his face as a friend sprays him with a garden hose. The full version of the video is over 41 minutes.

"It was a baptism in freedom," Kennedy wrote on​ a Facebook post. "It’s not torture! Hell, we had elk tacos and wine afterwards. Wake up people.”

“If I can change one person’s mind about what torture is and what I would do to protect American freedom, I will do this for years," he said at the end of the livestream.

In a tweet, Kennedy emphasized that he doesn't support torture, but views waterboarding as nothing more than a discomfort.


Malcom Nance, a former counterterrorism and intelligence officer chided Kennedy's watered down version of waterboarding. 

“[Waterboarding] is a Nazis/Commie torture," Nance wrote. "Deal w/it.”

But Kennedy responded to critics.

"I'm pretty sure I know how it's done," he tweeted.

Why: While many see in Haspel a patriot with an immaculate record of public service, Senator John McCain, over 100 diplomats, and a number of Senate Democrats have claimed that Haspel's​ unwillingness to condemn torture renders her ​morally unfit to lead the CIA.