"It’s not torture! Hell, we had elk tacos and wine afterwards."
What: Tim Kennedy, a
"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.
We did this yesterday for almost 45 minutes. The average pour was anywhere from 10 to 60 sec. You can try to hold your breath but the water pools at the back of your sinuses running down your eyes and nose. Plain and simple. It’s not torture. #CIA #GinaHaspel #waterboarding pic.twitter.com/XtFLYoUgsw— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) May 12, 2018
In a tweet, Kennedy emphasized that he doesn't support torture, but views waterboarding as nothing more than a discomfort.
I absolutely oppose torture!!! I’m simply saying that waterboarding simply isn’t torture. I am in favor or getting asshole terrorists to talk.— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) May 13, 2018
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.”
Wrong. That’s not how it’s done. You’re just holding your breath. As a former SERE instructor & #Waterboarding qual’d resistance team member I can tell you it’s about aggression, intent, tiedown, pour technique, rate of flow & other factors. It’s a Nazis/Commie torture. Deal w/it https://t.co/YRYY5HIniD— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) May 12, 2018
But Kennedy responded to critics.
Pretty sure I am intimately familiar with how it is done. I promise keeping your hands willingly out of the equation is much more difficult. Do in a basement, with little sleep, with crap food, it’s still just water in the face from a bucket, on a slope. https://t.co/Zexfzn0poD— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) May 12, 2018
"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.