CIA rejected Bill Nelson's request to be waterboarded?

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One such volunteer was the late Christopher Hitchens, who famously wrote about the experience in Vanity Fair back in 2008. The encounter was also videotaped.. A Creative Loafing staff writer also voluntarily submitted to waterboarding; in his 2008 Urban Explorer column, "Waterboarded," Alex Pickett said "unequivocally, yes" that the practice amounted to torture.

Another brave soul who wanted to experience the "sensation" or whatever you want to call it was Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

That's according to a passage in the new book written by former CIA official Jose Rodriguez, who has been all over the media in the past couple of weeks with the publication of his memoir, Hard Measures ? How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, where he strongly defends the use of waterboarding.

But according to an excerpt released in the Washington Post, Rodriguez writes that ?the agency decided that it would not be wise to accommodate the senator?s thirst for knowledge,? Rodriguez writes. And while Nelson, known for liking to do his homework, ?appeared to be in great shape,? he was in his mid-60s at the time.

?Even though we would have had medical personnel standing by, we wondered what would happen? if Nelson had a heart attack and well, expired.

Pretty interesting, huh? Who knew Florida's leading Democrat was so intellectually curious?

CL requested comment from Senator Nelson on Thursday asking for confirmation. We have yet to hear back from him or his aides.

In 2009 it was learned that the U.S. had waterboarded two al-Qaeda terror suspects a total of 266 times.

Documents revealed at the time that waterboarding was used 183 times on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who admitted planning the 9/11 attacks, and 83 times on alleged al-Qaeda senior commander Abu Zubaydah.

After taking office, Barack Obama banned waterboarding and overturned a Bush administration policy that it did not amount to torture.

But during the years after 9/11, when reports first surfaced that the U.S. was committing to such practices that many alleged was torture, there were a few intrepid souls who undertook the practice, to see for themselves whether or not it constituted a cruel and unusual act.

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