These are important questions worthy of consideration, especially in light of Haspel's pledge not to restart the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" programs during her May 9 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. And a few days later, an Army Green Beret turned UFC Fighter offered up his little contribution to this moment of reflection:
"This wasn’t an attempt to demonstrate bravado," Kennedy wrote on Twitter. "Just trying to show people what this is."
That's a commendable impulse, sure — except that getting waterboarded in a controlled setting, voluntarily, in a familiar setting, surrounded by buddies who will stop any time, without the terror of extraordinary rendition, solitary confinement, stress positions, and sleep deprivation that define the CIA's broad interrogation program.
I guess? Whatever Kennedy's doing in his backyard with his pals — well, that's objectively not the same as what we're talking about, regardless of the broader ethical context (Speaking of: A 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report characterized CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques broadly as extraordinarily vicious, but fruitless in yielding any “unique” intelligence that could be obtained by other methods. And 109 retired military leaders want the Senate to block Haspel's nomination simply over the torture issues. So there's that).
I am 100% in favor of other forms of waterboarding, though ...
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.
Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.