Matt Damon and Chris Matthews Discuss Waterboarding Dick Cheney
Chris Matthews’ interview with actor Matt Damon, which was recorded last week, was aired on Monday’s “Hardball”. Apart from what was reported here Saturday, Damon also made some disparaging remarks about Dick Cheney (video available here), while Matthews addressed what it would be like to waterboard the Vice President...I kid you not.
Conceivably the most amazing part about this interview was the whole idea that Chris Matthews was actually discussing the war in Iraq with an actor as if Damon was some kind of expert on geopolitics. For instance, after Damon suggested that the entire war was a “PR battle,” Matthews asked the audience if they agreed. This met with great applause. When it died down, Damon said: “There’s no other reason to rush that fast to war unless you know you don’t have it. They didn’t have it.”
Matthews followed this up as if he was questioning Colin Powell: “You think the war was fought because of the reasons they sold it? Was it about WMD, was it about Mideast politics, was it about ideology?” Damon, in a somewhat roundabout way, declared “…it keeps changing.”
That's when the fun started:
Matthews: Do you think guys like Cheney – I love to pronounce his name correctly by the way. Do you think guys like – it’s like a Dickensian name, Cheney. Do you think he knew he was saying stuff that wouldn’t turn out to be true, or was he just mad dog to fight the war?
Damon: I’d like to see him under oath.
Matthews: I would, too. I’d like to see him with you. Do you think if you waterboarded Cheney, like in the movie, that you'd get a different truth out of him?
Damon: Well, there's two answers to that question. One is he doesn't strike me as the kind of person who has any real personal courage. When it was his turn to go, he didn't go. He deferred six times…..The second part to the answer is that I believe that if you waterboard anybody, they'll tell you anything and that torture is completely impractical, on top of being dishonorable. It's completely impractical because you can -- I mean, if you torture a normal person, if you torture anybody, they're going to tell you whatever you want them to tell you. So if you're getting information that you're going to then use and you get it by torturing them...