updated 6/30/2005 9:10:15 AM ET 2005-06-30T13:10:15

Guest: Ellen Tauscher, Tom Cole, David Boies, C. Boyden Gray, Billy Graha

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Tonight on HARDBALL, behind the scenes with Billy Graham on his last crusade. 

Let‘s play HARDBALL. 

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews in Nashville to prepare for tomorrow night‘s HARDBALL Church Tour and town meeting reaction to President Bush‘s national address on the war in Iraq. 

But, first, Billy Graham ended what may be his final American crusade Sunday before an estimated 90,000 faithful in New York.  In a moment, my interview with Billy Graham before yesterday‘s rally. 

Let‘s begin with my exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Billy Graham‘s New York crusade. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  The amazing thing about meeting the Reverend Billy Graham, when you first meet him today, on Sunday, in 2005 here in New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Right here.  That‘s it.  Thank you. 

MATTHEWS:  Is that he looks very much like did he back in the 1950s.  The guy is amazingly preserved.  In fact, when I first saw him in his sunglasses, I thought it was Billy Graham from 1957. 

REVEREND BILLY GRAHAM, EVANGELIST:  If the harvest would be past, the summer would end.  The day of opportunity would be gone and you had not given your life to Jesus Christ. 

MATTHEWS:  Hi, Reverend Graham. 

GRAHAM:  Good to see you.

MATTHEWS:  It‘s great to see you.  It‘s an honor.  Chris Matthews. 

GRAHAM:  Well...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I would like to think so. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  It‘s great to meet—you look like you did 50 years ago here.  Hi. 

Are you a great grandson? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m a grandson. 

MATTHEWS:  Oh, a grandson.  God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is a great grandson.

MATTHEWS:  Hi.  How are you?  Chris Matthews. 

MATTHEWS:  .. nice.

Well, it‘s one of those great historic opportunities to be here for the final crusade of the Reverend Billy Graham, perhaps the best known evangelist in history, since the Christian era.  And he talked to me right before he went on stage.  He was quite a gentleman.  He took some time with me and he talked about the war in Iraq and the people who are going to die over there and have died.  He talked about—oh, he talked about heaven and what it is going to be like, his looking forward to . 

Do you think that God plays hardball?  

GRAHAM: With some people, he does.  In a way, that‘s some of the things I‘m going to say at this service today. 

MATTHEWS:  Good luck.  (INAUDIBLE) Good luck out there.

MATTHEWS:  Thank you.  Break a leg.  It‘s a big night.  Thank you. 

I‘ve seen big crowds before, but this is the biggest religious crowd I‘ve seen.  Very religious people here coming in this case to be saved, not just to observe, but to participate.  It‘s pretty strong medicine. 

Also, the diversity of the crowd.  As Reverend Graham pointed out, there are like 100 languages spoken within the near—just in the nearby area here. 

You know, when you talk about going to heaven, it almost sounds to me like one of those guys that win the NBA playoffs and say they‘re going to Disneyland. 

GRAHAM:  Well, I don‘t know about that.  I‘ve never interviewed anybody in the NBA playoff, but I‘ll tell you how I feel.  I feel wonderful about it.  I‘m looking forward to going to heaven. 

Just a few moments ago, I was talking to Chris Matthews.  And he asked the same question about death.  What happens when you die?  Are you looking forward to death?  Yes.  I‘m looking forward to death.  I‘m not looking forward to being dead.

MATTHEWS:  Everybody thinks of evangelism as being kind of a rural thing, kind of a country religion.  And I think one of the messages that they wanted to demonstrate here was that evangelism is very big in a big city like New York, because, you know, we don‘t always get along in this country.  And I was watching some white people and black people and different colored people all being just as emotional about this chance to be saved.  It is very dramatic. 

It kills your cynicism to see personal expressions of faith in a world that is pretty secular.  And I think that‘s what separates this from another kind of public event here in the Big Apple. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  What a feeling out there. 

Before yesterday‘s rally in New York, I sat down with HARDBALL fan, the great Billy Graham. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  Reverend Graham, it is great.  You‘re about to go out to this incredible audience here in Queens, New York.  Your last, maybe your last ministry in the country, how does it feel? 

GRAHAM:  It feels great.  I‘m feeling good.  And I feel stronger now than when I began a few days ago. 

MATTHEWS:  Really?

GRAHAM:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think you might be able to do some more after this? 

GRAHAM:  Well, I told one of—I think Brian Williams or somebody the other day that I will never use the word never. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

GRAHAM:  Because that‘s a bad word. 

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM:  I may have to revise that someday.  I don‘t know.  But I feel fine. 

MATTHEWS:  The word is that, over in London, they‘re hoping you‘ll return to the beginning of your...

GRAHAM:  Well, I‘m meeting some London pastors tonight after I finish here today. 

MATTHEWS:  Are you going to go to London after New York? 

GRAHAM:  I don‘t know.  I‘ll wait and pray about it and think about it and see what interest there is.  I‘ve received a lot of letters. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, when you talk about going to heaven, it almost sounds to me like one of those guys that win the NBA playoffs and say they‘re going to Disneyland. 

GRAHAM:  Well, I don‘t know about that.  I‘ve never interviewed anybody in the NBA playoff, but I‘ll tell you how I feel.  I feel wonderful about it.  I‘m looking forward to going to heaven. 

I‘m looking forward to death.  But I feel like Larry King, who says, I don‘t want to be there when it happens.  There‘s a mystery about death. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  What do you think it like, heaven? 

GRAHAM:  Oh, it‘s gorgeous.  The 21st chapter of Revelation describes in it detail, no more tears, no more suffering, no more death, not even a sun or a moon, because God is the light of heaven. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think there will be a lot of people in heaven, do you think? 

GRAHAM:  Oh, yes.  I think there will be a lot of people.  And a lot of people won‘t be there, too, that you expect to be there. 

MATTHEWS:  Really?  Do you think that God plays hardball? 

GRAHAM:  With some people, he does. 

In a way, that‘s some of the things I‘m going to say at this service today, that God is also a God of judgment.  He‘s a God of love and mercy and forgiveness, but he also is a God of judgment.  And this other—that the whole thing revolves around Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.  And then God raised him from the dead.  So, I think that Jesus today is alive and I‘m looking forward to seeing him. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think people can be churchgoers and not be saved? 

GRAHAM:  Oh, yes, definitely. 

MATTHEWS:  How does that happen?

GRAHAM:  I was a churchgoer.  I went to church all—every Sunday.  But when I received Christ, that was the first time I really surrendered myself to him. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think that people like the late pope, John Paul II, do you have any sense of whether he accepted Jesus? 

GRAHAM:  Oh, I know he was a—I‘ve talked to him three separate times.  I just love him.  And I followed his suffering and his death.  He taught us how to suffer.  He taught us how to die.  He taught us about Christian living. 

I never knew a more wonderful man than Pope Paul II.  I think the new pope is going to be the same way. 

MATTHEWS:  Really?  Do you think you‘ll meet him in heaven? 

GRAHAM:  Oh, absolutely.  I‘m looking forward to it. 

MATTHEWS:  Really?

GRAHAM:  Maybe he‘ll come to see me.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, because someone said to me that you‘re very good in your ministry over these last decades of understanding the connection between religion and popular culture.  You were on Broadway.  Somebody told me you just would name out the names of the plays and have a... 

GRAHAM:  Some.  If it‘s “Phantom of the Opera” or something like that, or many, many different things.

My wife and I watch videos every day, because she‘s an invalid and she watches videos day and night.  And we have a film that we love, Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in “An Affair to Remember.” 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

GRAHAM:  And Cary was a friend of mine.  So, I like to watch him.  He was always Cary Grant wherever he was. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about today.  It seems that Hollywood puts millions of dollars into creating pretend religions, like “Star Wars” and the Force and “Lord of the Rings.”  Do you think that‘s trying to satisfy people‘s need for spirituality? 

GRAHAM:  Yes.  I think there is a spirit—there is a longing in people‘s minds and hearts for purpose and meaning in their lives.  And I think that “Lord of the Rings,” for example, was very much in that direction.  I think “Star Wars”—I‘m going to talk a little about “Star Wars” tonight. 

MATTHEWS:  Is that a distraction from Jesus? 

GRAHAM:  No.  I don‘t think so.  I hope it‘s going to be a stepping stone to Jesus and the cross and the resurrection. 

MATTHEWS:  If a person—well, millions of Americans see these movies every night.  If people go to movies like “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings,” how is that a stepping stone to appreciating Jesus Christ? 

GRAHAM:  Well, that helps them to think about God and right and wrong and the need for something else, which is found in Christ, I think.  I may be wrong, but I think. 

MATTHEWS:  I wonder, are we creating false gods?  I mean, I—I grew up with movie stars.  I love Cary Grant, but he was a movie star. 

Is Hollywood today creating people that are, like, bigger than movie stars?  They‘re almost like icons, like Madonna Angelina Jolie and people like that?  Are they distractions? 

GRAHAM:  To some extent.  There is a lot of furor around Tom Cruise right now and the Scientology. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

GRAHAM:  All of that.  I think that causes people to think and discover for themselves.  And I hope they‘ll go on thinking and come to the point where they need to realize that they need Jesus. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think that Scientology is a religion? 

GRAHAM:  I don‘t know.  Tom Cruise is trying to explain it to everybody. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, a lot of people think it has a lot to do with people‘s success in Hollywood, is being into that religion sometimes. 

GRAHAM:  Well, I don‘t know about that. 

MATTHEWS:  You don‘t know.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  Coming up, I asked Billy Graham whether some presidents were better moral leaders than others. 

And tomorrow night, two big HARDBALL events, both here in Nashville, at 7:00 Eastern, the HARDBALL Church Tour.  We‘ll host what I predict is going to be a debate about the role of religion and religious leaders in American politics.  Should pastors preach values, tell us how to vote or both? 

And, at 9:00 Eastern, a town hall reaction to President Bush‘s national address tomorrow night on the war in Iraq.  We‘ll hear from the people here in America‘s heartland on what the president has to say about the continued bloodshed in Baghdad. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Coming up, Billy Graham tells me about his role as  spiritual adviser to America‘s presidents when my exclusive interview continues on HARDBALL.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK) 

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Billy Graham has been a spiritual adviser to every president since Dwight Eisenhower.  I asked him about his relationship with America‘s presidents. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about the presidents.  I don‘t want to get political.  But I know you loved Ike.  A lot of people liked Ike.  Do you think some presidents were better moral leaders than others?

GRAHAM:  In spiritual things? 

Well, I think Eisenhower was.  He very strongly believed that we need to turn to God—for spiritual awakening in this country.  And a lot of his speeches indicate that, a lot of the things he said.  I knew him before he became president.  He asked me to come to Paris to see him when he was supreme commander. 

I flew over with my wife.  We had two or three hours with him.  And then he thought I could help him write speeches.  So, when he was nominated, he asked me to come to Chicago and then later to Denver.  And I did.  I spent quite a bit of time with him.  And that was one of the things that was on his heart.  He wanted a spiritual awakening in this country.  And I think going to church as faithfully as he did, he went to the church that I recommended to him. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

GRAHAM:  And he was just one great man. 

MATTHEWS:  I always thought that Henry Cabot Lodge and people like Tom Dewey talked him into running.  Now I hear that you helped talk him into running.  Did you encourage General Eisenhower to run for president?

GRAHAM:  No. 

MATTHEWS:  You didn‘t.  

GRAHAM:  No.  I can‘t say.  I‘m not sure. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you...

GRAHAM:  But I did write a letter to a friend in Texas, who sent the letter to him in Europe.  And that was one of the reasons he invited me there.  But I wrote why any man in that position should offer himself if enough people—I didn‘t know whether he was a Democrat or Republican. 

MATTHEWS:  No, but he did...

MATTHEWS:  A lot of people didn‘t know what Eisenhower was, except he was from Kansas, which was an indication he was probably a Republican. 

Let me ask you about the crisis we‘re in today.  In nonpolitical terms, we‘re at war.  And we‘ve lost 1,700 Americans, mostly men, some women.  Just the other day, we lost three women service people in Iraq.  And the president is going to be trying to deal with the country, the spiritual way that we deal with those losses, especially the families. 

What is your spiritual reaction to what we‘re facing now? 

GRAHAM:  But, you see, on the day of Normandy, we lost 5,000 people on that one day.  And battle after battle we‘ve lost.  At Gettysburg, for example, between the North and the South, we lost thousands of people that day, in one day.  I had both my grandfathers in that battle.  One lost his leg and his eye.  And the other one had shrapnel next to his spine. 

And so, we‘ve had these battles throughout history.  And this has been televised.  Everything is beyond explanation to the average person. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

GRAHAM:  They think that‘s the only war that‘s ever been fought. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think war is inevitable, that it is always going to be part of human history? 

GRAHAM:  You know, it‘s an interesting thing. 

War does not increase death.  You think that over.  Everybody is going to die.  It‘s appointed unto man once to die and, after that, the judgment, the Bible says.  And we‘re all under the sentence of death.  And war doesn‘t increase that. 

MATTHEWS:  It speeds it up. 

GRAHAM:  It speeds it up for some people.  It sure does and brings a lot of sorrow and a lot of sadness.  But that will all happen anyway, if they live long enough. 

MATTHEWS:  But what do you say to the families who lose people in war? 

GRAHAM:  That God loves them and that we don‘t understand.  I don‘t understand all about war and why we went to war or why we‘re doing what we‘re doing. 

But I pray for President Bush every day that God will lead him and direct him.  And that‘s the hardest job in the world.  I‘ve known—I‘ve stayed at the White House enough with other presidents to know the terrible responsibility they have.  And I pray for him all the time. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you. 

GRAHAM:  Thank you, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Billy Graham.  It‘s an honor.

GRAHAM:  And God bless you. 

MATTHEWS:  It‘s a great honor to be with you. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  Up next, a look back at Billy Graham‘s life, from North Carolina to New York‘s Madison Square Garden, from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, from the civil rights movement to 9/11. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL on MSNBC. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  As you‘ve already seen tonight, Billy Graham has the unique ability to inspire and lift up tens of thousands of people at a time.  It‘s what he‘s been doing his whole life. 

HARDBALL correspondent David Shuster reports. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID SHUSTER, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  At 86 years old, Billy Graham is now quietly suffering from prostate cancer and Parkinson‘s disease.  And yet, his humor is still intact.  Asked last week about the promise of heaven:

GRAHAM:  And I hope I‘ll meet all of you there, and bring your camera. 

(LAUGHTER)

SHUSTER:  The cameras have been following Billy Graham since the 1950s.  Born in North Carolina and raised as a Presbyterian, Graham graduated from Wheaton College during World War II and then he began traveling as an evangelist.  His fiery, but welcoming approach was a hit. 

GRAHAM:  You out there tonight can give your life to Christ.  Just bow your head and say yes to Christ right now. 

SHUSTER:  And, in 1957, this mission at New York City‘s Madison Square Garden ran nightly for 16 weeks. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is a crusade for the soul of the world‘s greatest city. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “MEET THE PRESS”)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Our guest, ladies and gentlemen, is the world famous evangelist, Reverend Billy Graham. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Does this mean that you expect eventually the whole world will be Christianized, Dr. Graham? 

GRAHAM:  I should say that we welcome them to our services, but we‘re trying to get them to receive Christ and become Christians. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHUSTER:  John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, was the first president Graham became close to.  Both men seemed to bond over their drive and sense of purpose.  And, on that awful day in 1963, it was Graham who seemed to speak for a nation in mourning. 

GRAHAM:  Tonight, I watched on television as they wheeled the casket out of the plane in Washington.  And I thought how quickly life is snuffed out.  There is but a step, the Bible says, between me and death.  The president is in eternity tonight. 

SHUSTER:  During Vietnam, Graham visited the troops in the field.  Then he came back and urged President Nixon publicly and controversially to end the war. 

GRAHAM:  I personally want to see us get out.  I want to see peace.  I think it has gone on far too long.  And the people are getting discouraged with it. 

SHUSTER:  If Graham was ever a thorn in the side of our nation‘s leaders, they never let it show.  His spiritual guidance was embraced by presidents of both parties, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and President Clinton. 

In 1995, he joined the president in Oklahoma City for a memorial service to those killed in the bombing of the federal building.

GRAHAM:  Any child that young is automatically in heaven and in God‘s arms. 

SHUSTER:  Graham was also a source of comfort following the 9/11 terror attacks. 

GRAHAM:  September 11 will go down in our history as a day to remember. 

SHUSTER:  In recent years, however, there was a controversy over Billy Graham.  When the National Archives released some of President Nixon‘s audiotapes, Graham could be heard, along with the president, disparaging Jewish reporters and editors. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: “Newsweek” is totally -

·         it‘s all run by Jews and dominated by them in their editorial pages. 

“The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” totally Jewish, too.

GRAHAM:  This stranglehold has got to be broken or this country is going to down the drain.

NIXON:  Do you believe that?

GRAHAM:  Yes, sir.

(END AUDIO CLIP) 

SHUSTER:  Graham said he regretted the remarks, but waited several days before issuing a formal apology. 

Soon enough, though, Graham was forgiven.  He spent most of his life working to improve Christian-Jewish relations.  He also spoke out early for civil rights and he always crusaded for peace and political tolerance in the United States and around the globe. 

Now, in the twilight, Billy Graham says he welcomes the end.  Death, says Graham, is part of life.  And this evangelist says his has been a life fulfilled. 

I‘m David Shuster for HARDBALL in Washington. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, David.

Tomorrow night, I‘ll be at Two Rivers Baptist Church here in Nashville for the HARDBALL Church Tour, as we examine religion and politics in America. 

When we come back, where you can and can‘t display the Ten Commandments.  We‘ll hear how the Supreme Court ruled yes to Texas and no to Kentucky. 

This is HARDBALL in Nashville, only on MSNBC. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

This week, MSNBC is taking a closer look at the right and wrong of the stories we cover, what we‘re calling the ethical edge.  Is it ever OK for a reporter to break promises they make to protect the identity of their sources? 

Today, the Supreme Court ended its 2004 term rejecting an appeal by “New York Times” correspondent Judy Miller and “TIME” magazine‘s Matt Cooper in the CIA White House leak case and let stand a ruling that the two journalists could go to jail for refusing to name their sources. 

C. Boyden Gray was White House counsel to former President Bush.  And David Boies was the lead counsel to Vice President Al Gore in 2000 Florida recount.  He‘s the author of “Courting Justice.”

Boyden, you first. 

How do you explain the Supreme Court rulings today in two separate cases?  In Texas saying it is OK to display the Ten Commandments on public property.  In Kentucky, it is not.

C. BOYDEN GRAY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL:  Well, I think the answer is the purpose behind the original displays.  I think that gets very hard to parse for the future, to project into the future.  But I think it is OK to display the Ten Commandments, as long as it is part of a historical review. 

And that would preserve the display in the Supreme Court itself.  I don‘t think you should read too much into these—these opinions.  I think it is going to be OK in the future to display the Ten Commandments. 

MATTHEWS:  But why, in the Kentucky case, David Boies, was it decided by the Supreme Court in another 5-4 decision it was not OK to display the Ten Commandments in a courthouse?

DAVID BOIES, AUTHOR, “COURTING JUSTICE”:  Well, what the court says is that they can tell that, in Kentucky, it had a religious purpose.  And, in the Texas case, essentially, the court holds in the concurring opinion, which is necessary to get the 5-4 majority, that it had been there for 40 years, and nobody had really objected, so it couldn‘t have a substantial pro-religion effect. 

I think—I disagree a little bit with Boyden.  I think this shows the confusion and divisiveness on this particular issue.  There are 10 separate opinions in these two cases.  I don‘t think the court has a core decision as to what is the proper role of historical religious documents like the Ten Commandments. 

MATTHEWS:  I was impressed by the dissenting opinion by Justice Stevens against the majority that said it was OK in Texas to put the Ten Commandments up in line with other displays of historic legal decisions and legal documents.  He said that the courts should not ever decide in favor of religion or irreligion.  Even on the general question of religion, the court shouldn‘t take a position. 

What did you make of that dissenting opinion, Boyden? 

GRAY:  Well, I think it‘s—I think it‘s—it goes too far.  And I think that you can‘t—I mean, the religious clauses in the First Amendment are difficult to deal with, establishment vs. free exercise.  But to say that you can never honor something like the Ten Commandments, which has become totally nondenominational, is to me really beyond the pale and beyond anything that the Constitution requires. 

MATTHEWS:  David?

BOIES:  I like the dissent in the Kentucky case, because what the dissent in the Kentucky case is saying is that these are documents that have an undeniable historical relevance to our government.  And it‘s entirely appropriate for them to be reflected.

And I think when you try to draw the kind of distinctions that the majority in the Kentucky case tries to draw between pictures of the Ten Commandments in the Supreme Court and display of the actual Ten Commandments in a state court, I don‘t find that persuasive. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, David, the majority opinion in the Kentucky case said you can‘t have a phrase, I am the lord thy God, thou shall not have strange Gods before me, without it saying something religious, in fact, pointedly Judeo-Christian. 

BOIES:  But, if you have in God we trust, that‘s pointedly religion.  You have it on our dollar bills.  You have it in the Supreme Court.  You have it when you go into the Supreme Court.  When you go into courts, they call upon God.  When you go in to take an oath as a juror, you put your hand on the Bible. 

You can‘t divorce religion entirely from public life.  And the line is a very difficult line to draw.  I think these opinions indicate that the court is having a lot of difficulty with it. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, let‘s talk about the new appointment.  If we get a vacancy this summer, either because of Rehnquist or Sandra Day O‘Connor, the fact that these were 5-4 decisions seems to suggest the importance of even one change in the court.

David?

BOIES:  I think that‘s right.  I think this points out the importance of even one judge.  And although I believe that the swing vote here was not one of the judges who is going to be up. 

MATTHEWS:  It was Justice Stephen Breyer, as you pointed out earlier.

BOIES:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s right. 

BOIES:  But, nevertheless, if you change just one of the other judges, you would have changed one of the other opinions. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

BOIES:  So, just one judge here makes a tremendous amount of difference in this case and in a lot of other ones. 

MATTHEWS:  Boyden, do you think the president is likely to pick somebody who would take the consistently pro-God, if you will, position here? 

GRAY:  Probably, yes, not because he singled that issue out, but because the person—the pool from which he is likely to pick would all sort of say it‘s OK to do this in public life. 

I mean, you talk about picking a new Supreme Court justice.  I came from a confirmation, an ambassadorial confirmation this afternoon, where the ambassador was sworn in on a Bible.  If you take this so far, you have to take the Bible out of the confirmation.  I mean, that is, I think, going way too far. 

But I would like to interject here that I think a more important decision was really the decision last week in the New London case, 5-4 also, where I think Kennedy really is the swing, not—Justice Kennedy, not Justice O‘Connor or the chief or Justice Breyer.  To me, that has a greater impact, some real-life impact. 

MATTHEWS:  And what decision was that?  Remind us of that. 

GRAY:  Well, it‘s that—that a city could take land, take a house from house owner A and basically give to it Pfizer Corporation for a cut rate and relieve Pfizer of having to bid on the open market to buy the piece of property if it wanted to develop it. 

And I think that is going to have a huge impact nationwide.  People are going to wake up and say, gee, whiz, this could be my house.  This could be my equity.  This could be my...

MATTHEWS:  This eminent domain case, was it—was—was that a conservative or a liberal ruling?  How would you...

MATTHEWS:  .. that up?

GRAY:  I would view it as a liberal ruling, myself.  I don‘t know how David would, but I would call it a liberal ruling, where a liberal—the liberals are lining up with a big corporation.  And I think it is a very, very serious case myself. 

MATTHEWS:  David, that‘s traditional, that liberals would take a strong position on eminent domain, right?

BOIES:  I think it is.  And I think Boyden is partly right about that. 

And I also am troubled by that decision.  On the other hand, I think it is also fair to note that this has been the law for decades.  For decades, the eminent domain power has been used in urban redevelopment to take property that was then turned over for private purposes.  So, this is not a radical change in the law, although, frankly, I was more persuaded in the New London case by the dissent than I was with the majority opinion. 

MATTHEWS:  We only have a minute or so.  It looks like there‘s no press shield.  The court refused to give cert, having elapsed all their time this year, in the case of Matt Cooper and Judy Miller, who are fighting to stay out of jail in the leak case, the FBI—the CIA leak case.  Do you have we have a press shield in effect now, Boyden, or is it gone? 

GRAY:  Well, I don‘t think the shield, the immunity, the privilege has never been absolute. 

And, in this case, I‘m not even sure that the sources are—have not released these two reporters.  It is not clear to me that the sources are demanding that they keep the sources secret. 

MATTHEWS:  Of course, what the reporter would say, speaking for reporters, that if the source releases the reporter under pressure of public scrutiny, when they‘re almost forced to do it, it is not really releasing them. 

But, anyway, your thoughts, David.  Are reporters going to have any more protection in protecting sources legally now, after this failure to get cert from the Supreme Court? 

BOIES:  I think they‘re going to have less protection.  Cert denied is not necessarily a decision on the merits. 

And I would hope the Supreme Court would revisit that issue.  But right now...

MATTHEWS:  Are these folks going to jail? 

BOIES:  I think they probably are. 

MATTHEWS:  Is that your view, Boyden, they‘re going to jail, the reporter for “The Times” and “TIME” magazine are going to jail because they won‘t say who in the White House basically broke the law by giving them the identity of a CIA operative?

GRAY:  It depends on how—how—how strongly they feel about this.  I‘m not sure.  I think probably they are.  But I think maybe both will testify, rather than—rather than—rather than face a jail sentence. 

MATTHEWS:  I don‘t think you‘re right. 

BOIES:  They‘re not going—they‘re not going to testify. 

MATTHEWS:  I don‘t think they‘re going to testify.

By the way, Bob Novak, the so-called prince of darkness, says the president better not name Alberto Gonzales as attorney general.  Do you think that is true?  Your thoughts, Boyden? 

GRAY:  Oh, I think that‘s a trial balloon that has been run up because of rumors that Sandra Day O‘Connor was going to retire before the chief.  And I don‘t think that is going to happen.

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much, C. Boyden Gray and David Boies.

BOIES:  Thank you. 

MATTHEWS:  When we return, we‘ll talk to two members of the House of Representatives who, over the weekend, visited the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. 

This is HARDBALL on MSNBC. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Coming up, what congressional fact-finders are saying about Guantanamo Bay.

HARDBALL continues after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Sixteen members of the House of Representatives, including some who sit on the Armed Services Committee, got a tour of the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists down in Guantanamo Bay over the weekend.  They wanted to see for themselves the prison that has become an image problem for the United States after allegations of abuse and torture of inmates there. 

Joining us are two who took part in the delegation, Democratic Representative Ellen Tauscher of California and Republican Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma. 

Congresswoman Tauscher, what surprised you down there that was different than what the P.R. had suggested it would be down there at Guantanamo? 

REP. ELLEN TAUSCHER (D), CALIFORNIA:  Well, Chris, I didn‘t go down there and expected to see a prison that was below subpar and not treating people humanely.  What I saw was a fairly new prison that‘s been built in the last two years that is up to American prison standards and pretty humane treatment for the inmates, who are, by the way, very, very dangerous members of al Qaeda, who need to be prosecuted.

And I hope that we will move more quickly to doing the prosecutions, so that we can maintain the high ground and the rule of law. 

MATTHEWS:  Could you tell, in facing these guys, that they were dangerous customers, that they were hard cases? 

TAUSCHER:  No.  I could not.  But, frankly, we only saw them from a very far distance and we didn‘t see anybody in the maximum security area, where the dirty 30, who are some of bin Laden‘s closest associates and where Mr. Kahtani, who is the alleged to be the 20th hijacker, was housed. 

But, you know, what we could see were people that were treated fairly humanely.  And that‘s what I expected to see.  But I think we really to have get to the issue of how do we clear the record and how do we get this besmirched reputation that we‘ve—that we‘ve earned by not clearing the record to the American people and to the world community.  And that‘s why I think we need to have a presidential commission that does a thorough investigation of these very serious allegations about abuse at Camp X-Ray, which has been closed about two years, and Guantanamo. 

MATTHEWS:  Congressman Cole, I want to ask you the same question.  Was your expectations different than what the reality was down there at Guantanamo? 

REP. TOM COLE ®, OKLAHOMA:  No.  I agree very much with Ellen‘s observations. 

All of—actually, one of the things that struck me was how much abuse, frankly, the guards take from some of the detainees.  You know, I had a number of them tell me that their lives had been threatened, that people had told them their families would be kill.  Any number of them had had excrement or urine thrown on them or they had been spit at. 

And, you know, of course, their job is to maintain their professionalism in the face of those kinds of provocations.  And I think they do.  So, there are certainly two sides to the story.  But, frankly, we saw I think a very professionally run system, where people are treated exceptionally well, given the danger they pose to this country. 

MATTHEWS:  Where are they headed?  Do you have a clear sense that we are going to let some of them go after five years?  We are going to keep some of them in perpetuity?  Are we going to execute some of them?

COLE:  You know, that...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  What are we going to do to them, Congressman, eventually, all these people at Gitmo? 

COLE:  Well, I think that‘s a really—that‘s a tough issue. 

You know, these are enemy combatants.  These are not normal criminals.  And you‘ve got to make sure you don‘t let them out, so they can do more harm.  Indeed, we‘ve had cases.  Over 200 people have been released from the facility.  And someplace between 12 and 28 instances, we‘ve been able to identify them participating in hostile activities against American forces and coalition forces. 

So, they‘re very, very dangerous.  It is hard to know when to let them go because a state of war between al Qaeda and the United States effectively exists.  So, it is not like you can serve three years and then you get out, any more than you would get out of a prisoner of war camp when a war was still going on.  These are very dangerous folks that need to be kept incarcerated for the most part. 

MATTHEWS:  Congresswoman Tauscher, let‘s talk about the length of the war. 

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld put out some very disturbing numbers this weekend.  He talked on “Meet the Press,” I believe it was, about a war of insurgency that could go as long as 12 years.  Does that concern your constituents? 

TAUSCHER:  Of course it does. 

I‘ve been very critical about what I consider to be rosy projections out of the Rose Garden for well over a year.  You know, we turned power over to the Iraqis a year ago.  And they‘ve had a couple of false starts.  They‘ve had an election, but it has taken them a very long time to get this latest government up and ready.  They only have about 50 days to get a constitution ready for ratification.  They have to have elections in December. 

And we need a political solution that comes forward and that is credible, so that the Iraqi security forces being trained right now actually will stand up and die for that government.  We need them to stand up and die for the government, so that they can be exchanged for us one for one. 

But the dozen years that—I saw that yesterday on “Meet the Press.”  I was stunned, because he—Secretary Rumsfeld appeared before our committee just last week and never said a dozen years.  I think that what‘s happening is that the rise of the insurgency and its ferocious nature and its lethality are causing the administration to really, I think, be more sanguine about how dangerous things are and how we have never really contained the operations in Iraq to a place where we have delivered any kind of long-lasting security. 

MATTHEWS:  I have got to go to Congressman Cole. 

Same question.  Will your constituents down in Oklahoma support a war that we‘re supporting, even if we‘re not out to front—out in front in the war?  We‘re in the war in some way that might go as long as three presidential terms. 

COLE:  Well, I think they recognize this is going to be a generational struggle. 

And other societies have had to deal with these kinds of problems.  The Israelis obviously come to mind immediately over a very long period of time.  The real question is, do we maintain the same level of commitment in Iraq as we do today?

You know, I would suspect the secretary didn‘t mean we were going to be there in these number a dozen years.  But I certainly wouldn‘t be surprised to see us still dealing with these people a dozen years down the road.  They‘re very fanatical.  They‘re very tough.  And they‘re very determined.  And, frankly, they doubt the staying power of the American people. 

That‘s really—the real battlefield to me is the one of political opinion back in this country.  Frankly, if we don‘t stay for the long haul, we‘ll be seeing more 9/11s down the road.

MATTHEWS:  Well, we‘ll hear from the president tomorrow night.  Thank you very much, Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher of California, Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma.

COLE:  Thank you. 

TAUSCHER:  Thank .

MATTHEWS:  Tomorrow on HARDBALL, it‘s the HARDBALL Church Tour live from Two Rivers Baptist Church here in Nashville, Tennessee.  We‘ll be joined by religious leaders and also by Judge Roy Moore, who had his own battle over a display of the Ten Commandments in his Alabama courthouse.

That‘s tomorrow on the HARDBALL Church Tour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Tomorrow, our HARDBALL Church Tour is live from Nashville.

With over 800 churches, this city has the highest number of houses of worship per capita in the United States.  It is also home to the largest Christian music and book publishers in the country. 

Here‘s a preview of the Christian influence of what is called the third coast, as we get ready to play HARDBALL on religion and politics tomorrow night right here in Nashville. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Fifteen past right out here.  Right now, here‘s Sonicflood with “I Want to Know You.”

MATTHEWS (voice-over):  Coming through loud and clear from the belt buckle of the Bible Belt is 88.7, WAY-FM. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Lots of sunscreen if you‘re coming out to that free brown-bag concert at noon today. 

MATTHEWS:  Nashville is home to this powerhouse radio station that plays Christian music 24/7 and reaches a potential audience of seven million people in nine states.

DAVID SENES, DIRECTOR, WAY-FM:  The mission statement for WAY-FM is to encourage youth and young adults through the music and then also introduce nonbelievers to Christ. 

MATTHEWS:  Here on a sweltering June Friday afternoon in Franklin, Tennessee, 1,000 fans turn out to meet one of the latest hot Christian music bands for free.  The musicians of Sanctus Real are described as rockers for the lord.  And they, like other modern Christian bands, connect with their audience through uplifting and spiritual songs. 

SENES:  Very early on, Christian radio was hymns and people preaching and getting up on a pulpit and kind of—it had very much of an agenda feel to it.  And now it is much more about reflecting the lives of our listeners. 

MATTHEWS:  Listeners who are willing and able to put their money where their heart is.  Christian music is big business.  Here in Nashville‘s famous music row, where most country hits are born, are some of the nation‘s largest Christian labels; 20 years ago, religious music was a cottage industry.  Today, it reigns supreme in and out of the house of the lord. 

ROD RILEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING, WORD ENTERTAINMENT:  We‘re at $700 million in sales as far as Christian music.  And that‘s defined through the Gospel Music Association.  And we are about 6 percent of all music sales in the U.S.  And that‘s larger than classical and jazz combined. 

MATTHEWS:  No wonder big-name artists like Amy Grant and Randy Travis continue to cross over from pop and country to play music in the name of Christ. 

RILEY:  Randy Travis was a country icon, had been there for more than 20 years and had a great career, unbelievable sales.  And now he is doing a country album in one hand, doing a Christian album of praise and worship songs in the other, and has this great ministry, where he is able to play at a casino one evening and a church the next morning. 

MATTHEWS:  And in those churches, you‘ll find Bibles. 

While Nashville has the beat on Christian music, it also cornered the market on God‘s printed word as well.  Thomas Nelson Publishing makes fresh Bibles daily and it is the largest publisher of Christian books in the world, combined sales at almost $200 million last year. 

MICHAEL HYATT, PRESIDENT, THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHING:  Last year, we sold 8.9 million Bibles.  The prior year, we sold 8.1 million Bibles.  So, it is still a growing segment. 

MATTHEWS:  And while the King James version of the Bible continues to be a best-seller, Thomas Nelson is reaching out to the youth market with specialized Bibles that look like fashion magazines.  There‘s even one for the hip-hop crowd called “Real.”

HYATT:  It is a large and growing segment of the population.  It is not just black urban people, but it is also a lot of the young white teenagers and so forth listen to that kind of music as well.  And so, this is designed specifically for them. 

MATTHEWS:  Nashville also has the best Christian blue-light specials in the country. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Four ninety-seven, everything on the table.

MATTHEWS:  Recently, this city hosted the Southern Baptist Convention;

16,000 faithful flocked to exhibit halls for the latest in everything from spiritual neckties to Bible covers.  Music and books are the staples of the convention and lines are long to meet celebrated authors. 

Dan Miller, author of “48 Days to the Work You Love,” explained why the Christian themed book market is booming. 

DAN MILLER, AUTHOR, “48 DAYS TO THE WORK YOU LOVE”:  I mean, two plus two is four, whether you‘re an agnostic or a Bible-thumping Christian.  Truth transcends those kinds of denominational distinctions.  And everybody is looking for that.  Everybody is looking for purpose and meaning. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  Join me tomorrow for the HARDBALL Church Tour.  I‘ll be at the Two Rivers Baptist Church here in Nashville with religious leaders to debate the role of religion in politics.  That‘s the HARDBALL Church Tour tomorrow at 7:00 Eastern. 

And then, at 8:00 Eastern tomorrow, full coverage of President Bush‘s national address tomorrow night on the war in Iraq.  And, at 9:00, a special edition of HARDBALL, town-hall reaction to the president‘s speech from right here in Nashville.

Right now, it‘s time for “COUNTDOWN” with Keith.

END

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