There’s so much to love about the smack down Hugh puts on O’Donnell, but my favorite part is when Hugh asks him to back up some claims he made to Liz Cheney on waterboarding. You know the expression “silence is deafening?” Well, that expression applies perfectly here. You have to listen to whole exchange to really appreciate it, but here’s an excerpt:
HH: Okay, Larry, let’s get to the big debate you had with Liz Cheney on waterboarding a few days back.
HH: You said people have been prosecuted for exactly this. Did you mean for waterboarding?
LO’D: Well, we’ve done it, you know, this country has prosecuted that, that, torture method before.
LO’D: Um, I don’t know, what’s…I think it is was…umm, I don’t know. I…you know, I’ve…I know that we’ve done it, and I don’t have the research in front of me as to exactly when we’ve prosecuted who for it and which conflict.
HH: Because you told MSNBC, “This government has prosecuted people in the past for doing exactly this.”
LO’D: Yeah, let me, I’ll get the internet fired up. I’ll find it for you.
HH: And for waterboarding specifically?
HH: You’re sure about that?
LO’D: Well, let’s…come on, we’ve got all the time in the world here with the internet. We’ll find it.
HH: But if you’re wrong…
LO’D: Oh, if I’m wrong, then I’ll be corrected.
Needless to say, he was wrong, and he was corrected (after trying to use Wikipedia as a source). Hugh wrote on his blog after the interview:
During the break he consulted wikipedia, and referred my audience to the case of Major Edwin Glenn, prosecuted for his conduct during the Spanish-American War, but after O’Donnell had departed, Lileks sent me a note pointing out the fact that Glenn had been prosecuted for using the “water cure,” not waterboarding. Intentional misinformation, or just Larry’s inability to navigate wikipedia at high speed?
The other juicy part of the interview comes when Hugh asks O’Donnell what the last book he read on terrorism was. You’ll have to listen to the interview to find out his response, but I can almost guarantee that his answer won’t surprise you.