Waterboard weasel Sean Hannity pretended his pledge to undergo waterboarding to prove it’s not torture was merely a liberal talking point. But Hannity made that offer on his own television show and now he’s too chicken to undergo a procedure he called “dunking.”
April 22, 2019 was the 10-year anniversary of Hannity’s unfulfilled promise. Here’s what I wrote then:
On April 22, 2009, actor Charles Grodin challenged Hannity about his "fascist mentality" and his insistence that waterboarding is just dunking.
GRODIN: Would you consent to be waterboarded? We can waterboard you?
GRODIN: Are you busy on Sunday?
HANNITY: I’ll do it for charity. I’ll let you do it. I’ll do it for the troops’ families.
Keith Olbermann responded by offering $1,000 for every second Hannity lasted. "We'll see if he's anything but a gasbag," Olbermann said.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a confirmed gasbag.
On Saturday, Hannity appeared with James Carville for a discussion at Politicon about Donald Trump and the 2020 election. Near the end, the moderator took questions from the audience. The first question was about Hannity’s promise. It was hard to hear most of it, but one can make out the astute questioner noting that Hannity made his original promise in 2009, then asking “Are you going to get waterboarded for the troops and their families and donate that money to charity?”
Of course, we had presumed by now Hannity would not go through with what he claimed was no biggie. But now we have Hannity on the record as a weasel. Here's hw he responded to the question:
HANNITY: I love your little talking point. Let me tell you what I did do for the troops. … I partnered with more country music stars, we did more concerts, we raised millions and millions of dollars for scholarship funds, for the troops and I’ve proudly donated, I like to keep my donations private.
The answer to your question is, you can take your Keith Olbermann talking point and run away.
But I will tell you, I don’t believe waterboarding is torture.
There was a sickening smattering of applause for that last line.
Hannity went on to falsely claim that there were only three people who underwent “enhanced interrogations” and that “the only reason we ever got bin Laden is because Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was waterboarded.”
FACT CHECK: The Republican talking point that only three terror suspects were waterboarded has been refuted by the Senate’s torture report that found at least 13 were subjected to “water dousing,” as The Guardian reported in 2015. “Those familiar with their cases and an interrogator cited in the Senate report consider water dousing’s departure from waterboarding to be ‘a distinction without a difference,” the article stated.
Hannity’s “we wouldn’t have gotten Bin Laden without torture” has also been debunked.
Yet Carville said nothing to push back on Hannity’s hideous BS.
And speaking of hideous BS, Hannity proved himself a liar right then and there when he said he doesn't believe waterboarding is torture. Because if that's the case, wouldn't he be willing to show everyone? Just think what that would do for a procedure he endorses! No, what he clearly meant is that he doesn't think waterboarding is improper torture.
“I’ll continue to raise money in a multitude of ways for the troops,” Hannity said. Translation: he’s too cowardly to get “dunked.”
Watch Hannity all but explicitly acknowledge that waterboarding is torture below. If that video should not work, you can watch the clip via C-Span. Also below is Hannity’s 2009 promise to undergo waterboarding and Keith Olbermann’s dare, via our friends at Crooks and Liars.
(H/T Richard W.)