Green Beret Tim Kennedy live-streamed himself being waterboarded in his backyard by friends in order to demonstrate his belief that the procedure is not “torture,” as some claim. He’s now a UFC fighter and he made the video to protest those who oppose Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee for director of the CIA.
It all comes down to what your definition of torture is. Waterboarding leaves no tangible physical effect and therefore is not technically torture. Haspel has been criticized for her work at a CIA black site in Thailand where “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding were used in the aftermath of 9/11.
Waterboarding is not torture.
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) May 10, 2018
Green Beret sniper Tim Kennedy wholeheartedly supports Haspel’s nomination, calling her an “amazing hero.” In 2016, Kennedy made headlines after receiving a barrage of death threats for his role in fighting radical Islamic terrorism. While Kennedy said he gets death threats all the time from enemies of the United States, these threats were so menacing that the FBI investigated them. In response, Kennedy calmly quipped: “ISIS can send anybody they want as long as they don’t want them back.”
Let me just state that I am actually in favor of torture and even if we say we are not doing it, we farm it out. Having said that, we even put our soldiers through waterboarding to train them for the risks of being captured and interrogated. Haspel has said that she wouldn’t reinstitute waterboarding, which is unsurprising since it was banned by an act of Congress in 2015. “The reason we are doing this … is for us to have a conversation. Right now, an amazing hero has been appointed to be director of the CIA and because of that, some of the things she has done are being attacked,” Kennedy said.
In 2005, then-head of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service (NCS), Jose Rodriguez, allegedly asked Haspel, who was his chief of staff, to write a cable directing personnel to destroy 92 tapes which are said to have shown the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Rodriguez claims that he ordered the destruction of the tapes because the faces of CIA agents could allegedly be seen. Haspel agreed with the reasoning for destroying them. To not do so would be putting operatives at risk. It’s a no-brainer.
Haspel was cleared of wrongdoing after a “disciplinary review” in 2011. In the review, then-Deputy Director of the CIA Mike Morell writes: “Ms. Haspel claims that she believed — incorrectly as it turned out — that Mr. Rodriguez was going to obtain approval from then (CIA) Director (Porter) Goss before releasing the cable.” Again, in my opinion, there should have been no question of wrong-doing here. This is a leftist witch hunt.
Morell has released a statement that reads in part, “Ms. Haspel did not destroy the tapes, she did not oversee the destruction of the tapes and she did not order the destruction of the tapes … She drafted a cable, under instruction from her boss, Mr. Rodriguez, that he sent — under his name and authority — ordering that the tapes be destroyed.” But Rodriguez said something different in an interview with ProPublica. He said that “he told Haspel directly that he was going to take matters into his own hands, and that she responded by saying she was worried about the consequences that he might face for such a brash act.”
ProPublica then quotes Rodriguez directly: “She didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ She may have thought I was going to talk to more people about it before hitting ‘send,’ but I had made up my mind that I was going to follow through.” The AP says that, “Little else is publicly known about her work with the program [black site in Thailand].”
Gina Haspel has 33 years experience in the CIA. She worked her way up from being an operative. There is no one more qualified for the job than Haspel. She does not apologize for or waiver on her past actions. She shouldn’t have to. And the left should note this isn’t an inquisition.
At the beginning of Kennedy’s video (2:46), which lasts about 42 minutes, he states, “I just want everybody to understand what waterboarding is. Waterboarding is an opportunity for us to get information, useful information, out of somebody we’re questioning. There is no permanent damage, and it’s just the fear of water that scares people.” Later (23:37), Kennedy asks the live-stream audience: “Does this look like torture to you guys?” although he did admit that it’s highly uncomfortable. Well, it’s not supposed to be a walk in the park. At about 24 minutes into the video, they move up to the “CIA” level, pouring water over Kennedy’s towel-covered face for longer periods of time. Kennedy joked that after he had his “baptism of freedom,” he and his pals enjoyed a nice meal of tacos and wine.
“We did this yesterday for almost 45 minutes. The average pour was anywhere from 10 to 60. They wouldn’t tell me when they were going to put the towel on they would just smash it on my face and start pouring. You can’t hold your breath while they do it because the water runs down your sinuses. The water run through your eyes, down your nose, and pools at the back of your throat.
It was a baptism in freedom. It’s not torture!!!! Hell we had elk tacos and wine afterwards. Wake up people.”
Kennedy was also outraged over the fact that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged as one of the men who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, requested to testify before Congress regarding Haspel’s nomination. “The terrorist is supposed to tell us who should run the CIA, that is an endorsement in my book,” Kennedy said regarding Mohammed’s seeming opposition to Haspel’s nomination. Reports say that Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times over 15 sessions as part of his detention. “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,” Kennedy said in the video.
Haspel has been slammed by Senator John McCain and (other) Democrats who oppose her nomination, citing her role in the use of waterboarding to extract key intel from radical Islamic terrorists after the 9/11 attacks. Most of their accusations by the way are lies. Haspel is on her way to getting confirmed as the first female CIA director in history, thanks to her nomination by President Trump. It’s historic and she’s just the leader for the job.
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
We did this yesterday for almost 45 minutes. The average pour was anywhere from 10 to 60. They wouldn’t tell me when they were going to put the towel on they would just smash it on my face and start pouring. You can’t hold your breath while they do it because the water runs down your sinuses. The water run hrough your eyes, down your nose, and pools at the back of your throat. It was a baptism in freedom. It’s not torture!!!! Hell we had elk tacos and wine afterwards. Wake up people. #waterboarding
Posted by Tim Kennedy on Saturday, May 12, 2018
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 9, 2016
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