Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

UFC's Tim Kennedy Waterboards Himself to Prove 'It's Not Torture'

UFC's Tim Kennedy Waterboards Himself to Prove 'It's Not Torture'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that the U.S. should restart the enhanced interrogation practices used on terror suspects after 9/11, adding that Senate should confirm Central Intelligence Agency nominee Gina Haspel.

Haspel's comments may help to persuade skeptical Democrats to support her confirmation, which appears all but assured now that two Democratic senators have publicly said they will vote for her.

One Republican senator at last Wednesday's public hearing for Haspel before the Senate Intelligence Committee took the measure of this Democratic Party hypocrisy, asking Haspel sarcastically, "If Hillary Clinton had won and nominated you to be CIA director, how many votes do you think you would have gotten?"

McCain said last week he found it "disturbing" that Haspel had a role overseeing torture and could not back her nomination.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, with Vice President Pence able to break any tie vote. John McCain, Arizona Republican, is not expected because he is home battling cancer.

CIA director nominee Gina Haspel, who would be the first woman to lead the spy agency, is expected to pass a key committee vote that a congressional source told Reuters is now set for Wednesday.

An undercover officer for most of her career, Haspel in 2002 served as CIA station chief in Thailand, where the agency conducted interrogations at a secret prison using methods including waterboarding, which is widely viewed as torture.

Democrats and some Republicans have expressed concern about Haspel's involvement in the post 9/11-era interrogation and detention programs.

Despite his own misgivings with President Trump, Brennan has signaled his support for Haspel on Twitter.

"She's (Haspel) is very highly regarded within the intelligence community" Heitkamp said.

As for Mr. Paul, he has expressed deep reservations about Ms. Haspel since earlier this spring when Mr. Trump nominated her to replace Mike Pompeo, who became secretary of state. "Someone who has been an active participant and enthusiast for torture is not someone who should represent America", he said in an interview.

At one point, Kennedy welcomed the waterboarding, saying, "I'll do this for years".

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