May 14, 2018

Having a national conversation over whether waterboarding is torture seems like déjà vu all over again. But it’s come up once more because of the opposition to Gina Haspel’s nomination to head the CIA. I won’t rehash all the details of that because it was in the news all last week. I just wanted to direct you to an interesting new development:

Tim Kennedy was a Green Beret sniper in Afghanistan and is a former UFC fighter. He doesn’t believe waterboarding is torture, so to prove it, he shot a 41-minute video of himself being interrogated while being waterboarded, under the supervision of a special ops veteran.

I won’t give it away, but let’s just say that his reaction to being waterboarded didn’t change his mind about it. As of Sunday morning, the video had already racked up over 80,000 views. If you've ever wondered exactly what waterboarding it, you can read more and see it yourself at the link, although I warn you: it’s not for the squeamish.

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  • Paul Phaneuf

    05/15/2018 09:11 AM

    I believe that a terrorist plotting a violent act is in fact the initial torturer. Torture is physical and psychological. Holding a nation or region hostage to a threat of imminent destruction is psychological torture. That's why it's called "terror."

    If we use enhanced interrogation, the "victim" can immediately end the "torture" session by deciding to end his own act of terror which is torturing his intended victims. Extreme measures to end imminent destruction is not torture, it's self defense. e.g. McCain was tortured not for info but to punish and humiliate. That's torture.

    I do believe that nothing short of ending imminent extreme violence (terror) is the only legitimate use of measured, deliberate, tested enhanced interrogation. If we can put our own warriors through it as training, it's rough, but under extreme circumstances, is it torture? I don't think so.

  • Bob Bullington

    05/14/2018 10:14 PM

    I just researched the definition of "immoral". Merriam-Webster defines it in this manner: "Definition of immoral: not moral; broadly : conflicting with generally or traditionally held moral principles". Now, to begin with, I was always taught that you cannot define a word by using the word or a form of it in the definition, which you can see Webster didn't follow that rule. Secondly, who determines morality? The official definition being what it is, wouldn't that leave defining the word up to the individual that is trying to define it?

    I see during this "witch hunt" interrogation of Trump's CIA nomination, that this word is being used extensively. Now, I am sort of wondering how "water-boarding" differs so much (morally) from the 30+ hours of intensive interrogation (badgering) to which Congress is subjecting this woman.

    Immoral interrogation is subjective. What is immoral to one person, is not immoral to another.

    I also sort of wonder why any nominees are subjected to this anyway. The members of the panel know before the interrogation begins which way they are going to vote, so why waste the time and torture the nominees?

    Now as you can see, I am not a fan of the process of approving nominees, however, I do understand the need for the process. The process needs to be adhered to in the manner to which it was intended. When watching the hearings, I get the feeling of "good cop, bad cop" trying to force a confession out of a suspect. You badger (subjective to your definition) a person until they give up.

    This partisan questioning procedure needs to be re-evaluated.

    It was also brought to my attention that Webster defines one form of the word, but will not "re-define" it in its various variations. But either way, the definition is subjective to the individual using it.