Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 15, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

FISHY....Like Belle Waring, I don't generally have much patience with the conspiracy theory school of political blogging and unlike Belle, I think this usually stands me in good stead. Despite that, my instinct lines up with Belle's when it comes to Shotgungate: "Something is fishy in this whole Cheney story." Quite so. Nobody, not even Dick Cheney, could act so phenomenonally stupid unless he had something to hide. Just saying.

Kevin Drum 11:59 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (270)

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Something is fishy in most of what goes on with these guys. Why are they always trying to hide stuff?

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Stone drunk is the functional scenario. What does the Ambassador to Switzerland say?

Posted by: cld on February 15, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Dick unloads on friend's face.

What could be fishy about that?

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on February 15, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Have you ever noticed how you never see Dick Cheney and a human being in the room at the same time? Fishy, no?

Just sayin'...

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Dead-Eye is going to let it all hang out on, none other (drum roll please), the Repug Network, FAUX at 2 PM EST.

Goebbels had UFA - Cheney has FAUX

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 15, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bwa!

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Whither Drudge?

Posted by: cld on February 15, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

On NPR this morning we were told that "supporters of the Vice President" were speculating that he didn't tell anyone "in order to give the family some time without any publicity" - which doesn't make an ounce of sense, given that we were also being told that the guy wasn't really hurt. NPR did not report that "critics of the VP" were speculating that he'd been drinking. The fix is clearly in very deep.

Posted by: JR on February 15, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Is the "injecting" humor into the situation going to play any better than when Bush looked for WMD's under his desk? Have they no shame?

Posted by: K on February 15, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Something is fishy in this whole Cheney story.

Fishy? *Snicker*. Since you're a liberal and don't know anything about hunting I will explain it to you. As a conservative I hunt a lot. Shotguns are used to shoot at animals not people. Getting shot at is very normal during hunting. Avoiding getting shot is one of the normal things one learns when one learns how to hunt. Hunters often give out a loud shout right before they shoot so that others will know that and can avoid being shot. If the other hunters don't get away in time it's their fault because they've already been warned by the shouting. It's best to stay away from the hunter just as he's about to shoot so you can avoid being shot. The reason it was Whittington's fault he was shot was because he didn't stay away. The fact he was so close to Cheney means it's almost certainly Whittington's fault. That is by far the most logical explanation instead of the liberal conspiracy that Dick Cheney was drunk.

Posted by: Al on February 15, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Whittington was about to blow the cover on Dick's close ties with Enron setting the stage for the huge oil royalty giveaway that, if it's looked into carefully, will benefit Osama Bin Laden to the tune of about half a billion dollars.

Intermediaries tried to get the two of them in a nice neutral situation to try to defuse the problem. Whittington had a "senior moment," didn't think it through, and agreed.

The only reason he's alive is that Dick misjudged and hit him at 15 yards instead of 5.

The only question now is, does he have a "heart attack" after an unannounced visit by some of Porter Goss' trusted staff, or can they keep his mouth shut until he's been out of the hospital long enough for the story to die down?

Has anyone been checking on where all of Whittington's relatives are? What about that grand-niece he's so fond of? Why hasn't she been in class for a whole week...?

Posted by: bleh on February 15, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

And if Mr. Moneybags dies, will there be a grand jury? Or will nothing happen?

Posted by: K on February 15, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

If Armstrong really saw this, where was she? Supposedly she was in a car by the road behind Cheney. How far? If she was close enough to observe, why wasn't Cheney concerned about swinging around and shooting in her direction?

Either:

1) she was too far behind to really see what happened;

2) she wasn't behind him at all, or

3) Dick was too impaired or just plain reckless to care about her safety or Whittington's.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on February 15, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

The arrogant prick doesn't have to be drunk to behave so stupidly. It's his sober persona not to take responsibity.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 15, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Best Al post yet.

Posted by: Donkey_Punch on February 15, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Here's hoping Kevin Drum will spend several hours a day posting about "Birdshotgate" - like he did for several months last year on Rove/Plame.

Posted by: BigRiver on February 15, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

As a liberal who hunts with my uncle in the Hill Country of Texas, I can tell you that what Al says is true: conservative hunters shoot each other a lot.

Posted by: Shecky Blue on February 15, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe that our side is blowing this one again. We always overshoot our hand.
This was a pretty good story, but then our media friends got carried away and made themselves the story. All anyone is really talking about is David Gregory (who I think was well within his rights to say what he did) and Dana Milbank (who did his cause no good at all by looking like a fool).
Last week there was some pressure on the Administration on the whole NSA caper. That is now gone, and I assure you, it's not coming back.

I have no doubt that Bush and the Repugs will get a bump in the polls from this, our side will go and cower in a corner, and we will have missed yet another amazing opportunity go by.

How many times can we overplay our hand?

Posted by: Depressed Democrat on February 15, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

As a conservative, I hunt a lot.

Posted by: Grover Norquist on February 15, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Dead Eye Dick is going to make his first public comments this afternoon on ...FauxNews.

That should be very hardhitting journamalism.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on February 15, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid waited three days to reveal his stroke.

Hillary waited 30 hours to revealed Foster suicide note.

Cheney waited 14 hours to call press....
Hmm..Cheney hiding something

Posted by: patton on February 15, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

As a liberal who hunts with my uncle in the Hill Country of Texas, I can tell you that what Al says is true: conservative hunters shoot each other a lot.

Natural Selection at work. Who says Darwin was wrong?

Posted by: Night Owl on February 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Pretty weak effort, patton. And you forgot to press the Caps-Lock key. I'm disappointed.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

There are days when I wonder if Kinky, of "Texas Jewboys" fame, doesn't sneak in ovah here.

Other days I'm almost sure of it.

When he's not over at Katz's We Never Klose...

Posted by: CFShep on February 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Secret Saddam WMD Tapes Subject of ABC Nightline Special

- Secret audiotapes of Saddam Hussein discussing ways to attack America with weapons of mass destruction will be the subject of an ABC "Nightline" program Wednesday night.

Posted by: Patton on February 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Having become something of a collector of Republican mendacity and double standards over the past five tragic years, I'm astonished that so many of these so-called "conservatives" -- in practically the same breath with touting their hunting experience -- give a free pass to Cheney for not making sure he knew where and what he was @#$%^&*! shooting. The shooter is the one responsible for ensuring he or she has a clear shot, period. That the GOP apologists are so quick to rewrite this basic rule of gun safety in order to excuse Cheney is a feat of truly Orwellian proportions.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

What would have made this whole thing go away was "I screwed up. I'm sorry" right after it occurred. But that doesn't seem to be in the DNA of the administration.

(I believe there was a period of "can we get away with not reporting this?" followed by "can we get away with blaming it on someone else?"

I wouldn't speculate that he was drunk. But even if he had had one beer he'd know that would be the story.)

Our democracy works because no matter what action a person takes, s/he has to explain and justify it to others. You have to convince someone else to sign on to your idea. The Senate advises and consents, the judicial branch reviews, the President vetos or signs........America works through persuasion. The fact that you *have* to persuade someone encourages compromise, and consideration of the opinions of your opponents.

Once you can get away with not explaining, once you are no longer in danger of being held to account, our system fails. This adminstration has used all the good will given them on 9/11 to stop explaining themselves.

That's why this story has legs. It's the "don't explain or apologize" and "rules are for other people" in microcosm. Bill Clinton would have been pilloried for not having a license to hunt what he was hunting ("rule of law").

"I screwed up. I apologize." Should have been that simple.

And maybe going with the guy to the hospital instead of sitting down to dinner.......people sitting around their kitchen tables talking about this are still trying to wrap their heads around that one....

Posted by: zmulls on February 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Given the obvious gravity of the situation, there's only one thing to do:

CHIMPEACH!

Posted by: Doofus on February 15, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Depressed Dem is right -- the shooting gives the Repukes perfect cover to nix the NSA inquiry.

Hooray for the new Dictatorship.

PS -- I agree -- best Al post yet. RU-486 -- horrible monstrous crime; shooting old man in face -- just another fun day at the canned 'hunt.'

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on February 15, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Drunk. Of course, Darth Cheney imbibes on human blood, but he was drunk nonetheless.

Posted by: w on February 15, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney shot an old man in the face and tried to hide it.

I have not responded to trolls here in years, but I finally have to say: you are sick, disgraceful humans.

Cheney shot an old man in the face and tried to hide it. Then blamed the victim, a 78...year...old...man.

What filthy disgusting creatures Republicans are.

Posted by: paradox on February 15, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Depressed:

I think you've got a case of the vapors ... buck up.

As MSM narratives go, this is about as good as it gets for Democrats. The whole thing is a beautiful metaphor for everything we dislike about this Administration: secrecy, belligerence, incompetence, "bad intelligence" :), blaming the victim, refusal of responsiblity, hypocrisy, the arrogance of the idle rich pleasuring themselves violently. No working class shot-and-a-beer weekend hunter is going to be fooled by this. They see right through it: Cheney fucked up, Big Time -- end of story !

The analogies to WMD, invading iraq, even Gannon ("Dick unloaded a big wad all over his buddy's face") make it comedian-fodder for months ...

Overplayed our hand? Shit, the victim's hovering at Death's door ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 15, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum,

This is the first real indication I have seen that you have gone off the deep end. I have noted such behaviors in many of your readers, but you seemed quite rational, even if I often disagreed with you. Good luck hunting that white whale. You have now joined the illustrious company of Travelgate, FBIFileGate, and Mena Airport lunatics.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 15, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Shecky Blue on February 15, 2006 at 12:12 PM:

conservative hunters shoot each other a lot.

Would that be due to an arrogant over-condfidence in their abilities or an almost subliminal sense of self-loathing?

Posted by: grape_crush on February 15, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

If I were as conspiracy minded as you folks I would think the MSM blew this out of proportion to avoid asking how much the bin Laden family paid Gore to accuse the US of "rounding up" Arabs and detaining them in the US. The story is invisible in the MSM.

The only serious question is how the pellet got near the heart. If the range was much less than the original version, there may be a story. However, the Bush Derangement Syndrome has pretty much killed off any serious question except among the usual suspects.

"How many times can we overplay our hand ?" How many opportunities are there ?

The one unresolved matter is asking Helen Thomas to describe the Burr-Hamilton shooting. After all, she was an eyewitness.

Posted by: Mike K on February 15, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

My theory: there's a woman involved. And it ain't Lynn.

Just my theory.

Posted by: Harpo on February 15, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

No conspiracy here. The VP was just practicing shooting at close range for his upcoming assignment as a foot soldier in the war on terror in Iraq.

The lawyer was a willing participant as he understood that it was his patriotic duty.

Posted by: lib on February 15, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

And patton has waited months on end to divulge any sign of her/his intelligence.

Posted by: stupid git on February 15, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney hasn't said anything to the press about it yet. It's the ranch owner who spoke to the press on Sunday.

Posted by: cld on February 15, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

This story is a huge problem for the White House right now. I know Depressed Dem and others can't believe it - why this and not spying, or Iraq or something else?

But counter-intuitively, it's got traction because it's small, because almost everyone can understand it. It's a small scale story that almost everyone can visualize. It's very similar to the Schiavo story in that way.

And I'd argue that Schiavo made more damage to Bush that almost any stories, because people just felt it wasn't right.

For the Democrats it's a huge opening. Because the story replicates so many larger story line.

Incompetent blunder followed by
1) non-disclosure, then
2) Cover-up and made up stories,
3) Blaming the victim,
4) Distraction, etc.

The question is whether the Democrats will really use it. You know Limbaugh would, don't you?

Posted by: Samuel Knight on February 15, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I tend to agree. Don't understand how any rational person could come up with this strategy, unless there's something to hide.

We shall see over the next several weeks what the cats bring us.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett on February 15, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

PowerlineBlog has an interesting side comment on Cheney's upcoming interview today on FOX.....

Powerline observes Cheney will drive the Dems and Moonbats even crazier by going on FOX.

(Cheney knows how to play the crazy Dems like a fiddle!)

Posted by: Monkey See on February 15, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

1) They had been drinking.

2a) Cheney was exceedingly careless either in handling his shotgun (wandering around with the barrel up and the safety off.

2b) Cheney was exceedingly careless and took a shot before the covey had got very far off the ground (which is also considered unsportsman-like, big surprise), and Whittingham just happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is Cheney's Chappaquiddick. The differences being that no one really likes him, and everyone knows that he's incapable of telling the truth about anything.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Repugs shoot each other all the time.You go AL.

Posted by: rico swava' on February 15, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't buy the conspiracy here. Dick is just handling this like he handles everything else, with as much secrecy as possible. He doesn't trust the media so he tries to hide everything which just makes it worse. But it has worked for him and Bush this long so why change things up.

And it's not like the VP shooting someone has happened too often in U.S. history. He probably had no idea how this would play so tried to figure out some way to keep it under wraps. When he figured out that was impossible, he came clean.

Or he was drunk and only missed the guy cause he couldn't shoot straight. That does make a better story so I say we run with it.

And why is everybody picking on Dana. That was damn funny stuff. McClellon and Jeb made virtually the same joke. The VP accidently shooting someone is comedy heaven.

Posted by: kj on February 15, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Kos has a great piece on the Cult of Bush at http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/2/13/113252/771

I'd grown accustomed to being called a liberal by folks who were themselves somewhere to the right of Attila but I wasn't aware that this is now solely a matter of the degree of one's willingness to blindly follow Dear Leader off a cliff.


And be sure to check out the growing portfolio of Cheney-goes-hunting cartoons at Slate.

Posted by: CFShep on February 15, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, here's a conspiracy for you:

Cheney has become a major liability for the Prez and wasn't going to run in 2008 anyway. The R's desperately want to avoid a bloody primary fight. So, THEY (the caps are essential to the argument, of course) engineer a scandal which forces the VP to resign. Bush appoints Condi Rice VP, and then resigns in mid -2007, leaving a popular and electable incumbent in place for the next election.

Now, is that good enough for talk radio? cable access? the zanier beyond-the-orbit-of-Pluto blogs, both left and right?

Posted by: Karen on February 15, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the thing that seems fishy to me: according to a column in the Caller-Times yesterday, Katherine Armstrong called a reporter named Jaime Powell at 8 a.m. on Sunday to report the shooting. Then, when Powell didn't respond, Armstrong waited three hours and then called the main newsroom. Why in the world didn't Armstrong call anyone else between 8 and 11? Couldn't the Vice President's press office have cobbled together some kind of statement in the intervening hours?

This calculated strategy seems the weirdest part of the whole incident to me.

The Caller-Times story is here:
http://www.caller.com/ccct/opinion_columnists/article/0,1641,CCCT_843_4465572,00.html

Posted by: Patience on February 15, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

While Cheney and friends have insisted on blaming the victim here, let me just make one pretty obvious point.

As best I have been able to make out, it seems pretty well granted that Cheney swung about 180 degrees around before he took his shot, and shot level to the ground.

What does that mean? That, for all practical purposes, Cheney was willing to shoot level to the ground in ANY direction. If you can go up to 180 degrees in either direction, then EVERY direction is covered.

Yet Cheney knew, or clearly should have known, that Whittington was elsewhere. But, given that Cheney was shooting level to the ground, whereever Whittington might have been, he would have been in danger from Cheney's shot. Cheney effectively acted as if he need not concern himself at all with the danger of shooting Whittington; he was willing to shoot ANYWHERE.

Tell me how THAT could be the behavior of a hunter with ANY sense of safety or responsibility?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Shotgungate"?!!!!

You're kidding, right?

Jeez, you guys would want to impeach Bush if he forgot to zip up his fly, for Chrissakes!

Look, Cheney pulled a bonehead move, no question. I'm a conservative and an avid hunter of deer and fowl, and there's no WAY I'm going to defend Cheney's actions. You've caught him red-handed in a stupid move. All of that was good for the Dems.

But if your side keeps pushing wild "conspiracy" theories, it's going to backfire on you, big time. This rabid craziness really turns off average Americans.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hunters often give out a loud shout right before they shoot so that others will know that and can avoid being shot. If the other hunters don't get away in time it's their fault because they've already been warned by the shouting. It's best to stay away from the hunter just as he's about to shoot so you can avoid being shot. The reason it was Whittington's fault he was shot was because he didn't stay away.

hmm ... I wonder if Mr. Cheney shouted loudly before shooting. None of the scenarios I have read mentioned that.

I also wonder about the angle of Mr. Cheney's shot. I have always practiced not shooting at birds until they reached a certain altitude, mostly to avoid possibly hitting anything (or anyone) on the ground.

Finally, I don't know about Mr. Cheney, but I have always taught my kids that the person shooting is the only one responsible for what happens next.

And I'm not even a conservative, whatever that means these days. Go figure!

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on February 15, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

CynShep: There are days when I wonder if Kinky, of "Texas Jewboys" fame, doesn't sneak in ovah here.

That's funny; I had the same thought after reading the post you're referring to.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is a wedge issue between real sportsman and Republican bootlickers.

I still don't believe Cheney intended to shoot this guy. He's got much much better ways of 'getting his point across,' if you know what I mean.

And birdshot in or around the heart? If it came in from the front it had to penetrate awfully deep through the ribcage or sternum. The heart is actually fairly well protected. If the birdshot migrated through a vein it still had to penetrate pretty deep. Anyone who has ever gotten an IV knows that few veins are very near the surface. Did the shot penetrate the jugular? Yikes.

All this slow news is simply giving the story legs. It is actually a very big story and could be very very damaging to Cheney.

Posted by: Tripp on February 15, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

It seems this is another brilliant Rove ploy. I mean the timing is perfect. We have Iraq and Afghanistan in ruins, Iran ready to deliver a nuke to NYC and Israel, the economy is in depression, WH embroiled in NSA, Katrina, Cartoongate, Plame affair, Abramoff scandals left and right, not mention the Alito blow W has taken... what were to happen to all the press coverage of all the failings of the administration if, say a certain VP were to shoot someone in a hunting accident and refuse to talk about it? Doesn't it meake perfect sense? Has Rove done it again? It's as if the world is an orchestra, and Rove is the conductor.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 15, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Please, make sure one of your non-wingnuts tunes into Fox today at 2pm EST so we can get the lowdown on what Cheney has to say about it ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 15, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

The dirty little secret that Dick Chaney is trying to hide is that he is incapable of handling a gun--contrary to his aura of a temple-pulsing red-meat fighting son-ofa-bitch. What kind of tough guy can't even pop off cage-fed quail without blasting his buddy in the face?

Every hunter knows that only one man is responsible for discharging his weapon, and thats the one holding the trigger.

So long as the opposition continues to yammer on about secrecy rather than incompetence, Chaney is able to deflect the more damaging fact that he can't keep us safe; any safer than he can keep his own hunting party.

(Full disclosure: I think the Chaney house of secrets is ruining our democracy, but our ruinous foreign policy will lead to more dead Americans.)

Posted by: Jon Karak on February 15, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and for the record, anyone saying that this is somehow the fault of anyone but the shooter is also crazy. When you carry a firearm, you know your target and beyond. Rule #1. Any outdoorsman knows that.

I say that as a conservative.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

MikeK,

The only serious question is how the pellet got near the heart.

You don't care that the local police weren't notified for 18 hours? Does that go for all hunting accidents or only those involving the current administration?

I just want to know if your position is that its okay to delay notifying local law enforcement when a shooting accident occurs. If so, I'm sure there will be lots of hunters out there who will be happy to hear that.

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Jack,

hmm ... I wonder if Mr. Cheney shouted loudly before shooting. None of the scenarios I have read mentioned that.

What?! Cheney neglected to yell 'fore?' Why that is a bird of a different color!

In case anyone really thinks that was Al or anything he said is true let me state very clearly that is BS.

No hunter anywhere is taught that is is the victims responsibility get out of the way.

Posted by: Tripp on February 15, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I say that as a conservative.

That means, he says it with his face burrowed in Bush's crotch.

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, what this whole hullablaoo shows that when it somes to a simple hunting accident, the media can jump all over it and make it into a metaphor for all kinds of questionable behavior (Monicagate, anyone?)

Unfortunately, when an actual narrative has to be constructed and laid out for the public (e.g, systematic lies, distortions, and refusal to present facts open and honestly) in the case of a historically wrongheaded act of foreign policy, i.e., the Iraq War, the media is AWOL.

As usual, the Daily Show said it best: "After years of trying to dig up dirt on these choirboys, we've finally got something we can hang them with!"

Posted by: brewmn on February 15, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan079,

I say that as a conservative.

I say that as a liberal who hunts. Actually I am a conservative regarding hunting, but by that I mean I support proper land management and property rights to preserve and protect the sport of hunting for me and future generations.

Posted by: Tripp on February 15, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

There's an article at Huffington Post suggesting that Cheney had/has a relationship with the fourth member of the hunting party, Pamela Willeford. She's an ambassador--to Switzerland, I think--and according to her picture, a most attractive woman.

Posted by: BWR on February 15, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

The only serious question is how the pellet got near the heart.

I've got a crazy idea?

Maybe because that's where it entered and how far it penetrated when shot?

I mean, duh?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

It's a desperate move to keep the bubblehead media chattering about something -- anything -- while they give away as much of the rest of the store as they can before the whole house of cards collapses.

The Secret Service knew exactly where Whittington was. Of course they did; these are guys hanging around the Vice President with loaded weapons for crying out loud.

Dick had an earpiece, the SS spotter said "now," and Dick wheeled and fired. They already had medical teams ready and waiting. They then went into a carefully timed huddle, keeping the story just barely alive enough to send the media into a feeding frenzy. McClellan, Whittington, and pretty much all the other players, were completely in the dark.

And note, not a word since yesterday about the massive oil royalty giveaways.

Another genius sleight-of-hand move by Karl and Dick, Master Puppeteers of Evil.

Posted by: bleh on February 15, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Does anybody, ANYBODY, believe the medical doctor in Texas who was pretending that the injuries in this incident were no big deal?

Is there integrity anywhere in Texas among the "authorities"? ANYWHERE?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Favorite bumper sticker to date:

"I would rather hunt with Cheney than ride with Kenedy"

props to MM

Posted by: happy glimore on February 15, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Powerline observes Cheney will drive the Dems and Moonbats even crazier by going on FOX

The coward simpers over to the GOP house organ? Doesn't drive me crazy at all -- I expected nothing less.

Of course, it could hardly be viewed as anything but a tacit admission that Cheney's story won't stand up to even casual scrutiny.

Drive Democrats crazy? Au contraire -- I'm vastly amused.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

The only serious question is how the pellet got near the heart. If the range was much less than the original version, there may be a story. Posted by: Mike K

It's a given that they've lied about the range. 28-gauge bird shoot is not going to penetrate your chest at 30-yards. At thirty yards you'd be lucky to bring down a quail.

Most important, look at these spread patterns for various choke (in inches). Even if Whittingham had been thirty yards away, Cheney was still essentially shooting at him.

Choke 10 Yards 20 Yards 25 Yards 30 Yards 40 Yards

Spreader 23 37 44 51 66

Cylinder 20 32 38 44 57

Improved
Cylinder 15 26 32 38 51

Modified 12 20 26 32 46


Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Just to respond to Kevin's remarks, yes, it does seem fishy.

We already know that this gang has no respect for the truth, but simply dishes out PR as it sees fit. That being the case, it is curious that this story makes Cheney look so bad. I wonder what the actual truth is, that they had to concoct something so damaging to Cheney to take its place.

The one who really looks like an idiot is the property owner, who treated the story like Whittington had taken a hard hit in a touch football game. Getting shot through the chest wall (or, at the least, into the vasculature) is quite different.

By the way, the argument that it is normal experience to get hit with a shotgun blast every now and then while hunting looks like a non-starter. I notice a lot of non-NRA people with firearms experience contributing here, and we recognize how over the top that argument is.

Posted by: Bob G on February 15, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I say that as a conservative.

That means, he says it with his face burrowed in Bush's crotch.

You excerpted this from a post where I was actually agreeing that the shooter is responsible. I guess you can't even agree with people like you without getting some snide BS in return? You must be really proud of yourself.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Prediction (just to go out on a limb): Brit Hume is going to take Cheney down.

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 15, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

One would think that if Dead-Eye needed a heart transplant doner, he would have picked a younger person.

Not that far from Baylor Medical.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 15, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

> I think this usually stands me in good stead

Served you really well on the whole Iraq war / WMD issue, eh?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 15, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

You don't care that the local police weren't notified for 18 hours? Does that go for all hunting accidents or only those involving the current administration?

The sheriff's office was notified about an hour after the accident.

Given the Washington media's somewhat exalted view of their own position in things, I'm not surprised that there's confusion between notifying the police and notifying reporters.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 15, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Well, one fishy thing is that Cheney has been discovered to be shooting a $7500 Italian-made Perazzis. That's some real manly non-elitist shootin' right there, son. What, the Vice President can't shoot a Remington like a real American?


Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, here's the take that Powerline has on the incident:

Almost all of us hunters have been peppered with shot at one time or another. Mostly it's inconsequential and the wind plays a big part. But I will say this: lots of us have quit a hunt when we realize that the next guy is an idiot. And this, too: knowing what I think I know about Cheney, there is no one in North America who I'd rather hunt with.

The nickname "PowerTool" was never better earned.

Yeah, the wind was the problem. Or is it the hot air?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of people! Cheney only tried to kill one person! He's still better than Saddam!

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

You excerpted this from a post where I was actually agreeing that the shooter is responsible.

I know. I'm so ashamed.

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

"I would rather hunt with Cheney than ride with Kenedy"

I prefer the bumber sticker that says

"I would rather hunt with Cheney than drive in the same intersection as Laura Bush."
Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

My prediction: Cheney is going to be contrite and humble and express great regret for the injury he caused his friend. He's going to take the NRA line and admit that he made a bad judgment call.

I mean, there's just no other way to play this to an audience with a goodly chunk of NRA members.

I'm not saying Cheney's going to come off well or avoid charges of arrogance. Cheney is, after all, Cheney. But he's going to try the ol' Will Rogers self-deprecating Western frontier demeanor.

I don't think he has any other choice.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 15, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

MikeK,

The only serious question is how the pellet got near the heart.

You don't care that the local police weren't notified for 18 hours? Does that go for all hunting accidents or only those involving the current administration?Posted by: Edo

Even in the case of an accidental shooting, I believe hospitals are required to notify the police when someone is brought into emergency with a gun shot wound. So, it's apparent that all these GOP law and order types (the same people that killed federal funding for maintaining the police increases spearheaded by the Clinton administration) made sure that the hospital did not follow the rules.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, the more I'm hearing about this and the more the facts aren't lining up the more I'm tending towards the "second vice presidential shooter" theory. Probably shooting from a grassy knoll.

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney wasn't hunting, he was skeet shooting with birds. Boring rich old white men do this all the time, rather than actually go out in the wild and hunt like a real hunter would, instead they stand there with their guns waiting for someone to open a cage. What an accomplishment. Then they can brag to their other rich boring old crusty white men friends about how much game they bagged today.


Posted by: Mummy on February 15, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

My prediction: Cheney is going to be contrite and humble and express great regret for the injury he caused his friend. He's going to take the NRA line and admit that he made a bad judgment call.

Sure, but since he'll be wearing the parka, the effect will be somewhat muted.

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Dead-Eye in Jackson Hole den with Lynne,

"Well, honey, I have plenty of Rocky Mountain goats, one Grizzly, a couple of antelopes, two poodles, never did like those Frenchies anyway - we do have room for two more heads - George lost the coin flip, so I get to have Saddam's - but there is room for one more over there."

Posted by: stupid gitl on February 15, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz,

As is often said, "always click the link"

7:50 p.m.: The head of the Secret Service office in McAllen, Texas, calls the Kenedy County sheriff to report the accident. The sheriff asks to speak to Cheney, and they schedule an interview for 9 a.m. Sunday.

forgive my misstatement regarding notification of the local law enforcement as opposed to actually being interviewd by local law enforcement.

I'll rephrase my question, in light of this critical aspect:

You don't care that the local police didn't interview the shooter in the accident for 18 hours? Does that go for all hunting accidents or only those involving the current administration?

cue crickets...

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Though I haven't spent much time thinking about this Cheney incident, or considering it at all important, and initially dismissed the "Cheney was drunk" talk as mean-spirited and opportunistic, if Cheney had been drinking it would explain the situation, in terms of the silence, delays, contortions, etc., as well as the odd and seemingly wishful Dorothy-style positive pronouncements (he will be back "as God intended" and what not), on the shot man's condition, which seems to be worse than letting on.

Cheney has not been a stand up guy about this, and one can only guess there is something to hide. Alcohol would be a good guess, because one never really knows how to respond in such instances, since they are so unexpected, and the law often so unforgiving when it comes to alcohol-related accidents. In a sense, I'd even sympathize with Cheney about this crazy situation, if there was alcohol involved, but he needs to be a stand up guy about it, if even after the fact, or even pretending to be a stand up guy for chrissakes (to cover up whatever prevents him from really being a stand up guy).

I would have to imagine that the Secret Service detail will, if called upon, accurately testify about whether Mr. Cheney had been drinking. There would be no excuse for their lying about it, as that is not their job.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

But if your side keeps pushing wild "conspiracy" theories, it's going to backfire on you, big time. This rabid craziness really turns off average Americans.

How do average Americans feel about shooting a 78 year old man in the face and chest while you're drunk and then trying to cover it up?

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

People ask me how I do it
And I say there's nothing to it
Just stand there looking cute
And when something moves, I shoot!
And there are ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now:
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow
-- "The Hunting Song" by Tom Lehrer

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 15, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

So why did Cheney get the extra special treatment to wait until the next day to be interviewed by the local authorities? Maybe to sober up? Maybe to get the paramour safely out of view?

He shoots his own friend, goes home and has dinner and doesn't even bother to want to set the record straight with the cops? Shit, I'd feel fucking awful if I shot my friend and I'd want everyone to know what happened as soon as possible, as I wouldn't have the luxury of going home to have dinner.

I guess Cheney had to get his story straight first.

Posted by: Mummy on February 15, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Eh, I don't think it's a big conspiracy. It's just that when this administration doesn't have anything important to lie about, they just lie to stay in practice.

Posted by: Mike Jones on February 15, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and for the record, anyone saying that this is somehow the fault of anyone but the shooter is also crazy. When you carry a firearm, you know your target and beyond. Rule #1. Any outdoorsman knows that.

So the people in the Vice President's office and on Fox News who are blaming this on Whittington are crazy. Thanks for acknowledging that.

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

But if your side keeps pushing wild "conspiracy" theories, it's going to backfire on you, big time. This rabid craziness really turns off average Americans.

Oh, thanks so much for your advice! I'm sure you're VERY concerned for us that we might turn people off with this!

But, you know what? I think we'll push at this story all the same, OK? Just to see where it goes? Silly us!

But again, thanks for the helpful suggestion!

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Almost all of us hunters have been peppered with shot at one time or another. Mostly it's inconsequential and the wind plays a big part. But I will say this: lots of us have quit a hunt when we realize that the next guy is an idiot. And this, too: knowing what I think I know about Cheney, there is no one in North America who I'd rather hunt with.
Posted by: frankly0

Actually, franklyO, this tool proves the point that Cheney was grossly negligent. Being "peppered" by wind blown shot considering 'ol Whitt's wounds, shows that he was a lot closer than 30-yards, which given the load, is all that might have happened at that alleged distance if the shot was at proper height. But a pellet wound to the chest (remember, the shot in this load is smaller than a BB, therefore carrying almost no mass) is clearly indicative of Whitt being much closer than 30 yards. Again, I'd say it was more like 30 feet or even less.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Our elected officials have a 200 year history of shooting lawyers, and it is time to put a stop to this.

I suggest the Lawyer Endangered Species Act.

Posted by: Matt on February 15, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I don't think he can get away with trying to blame Whittington in a live interview. It's one thing when surrogates do it. It's even one thing when Whittington himself makes the excuse.

But for the guy who shot the friend to do it -- it just looks completely awful. That's why you have all that ginned-up false humility in these "gentlemanly" situations.

I dunno if I'll be able to see this this afternoon -- but I sure hope some of you watch it and report back.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 15, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm wrote: I would have to imagine that the Secret Service detail will, if called upon, accurately testify about whether Mr. Cheney had been drinking. There would be no excuse for their lying about it, as that is not their job.

It is not the job of the Secret Service to arrest people with Kerry bumper stickers on their cars, or harass high school students who have spoken critically of Bush, or get one of the Bush daughter's drunken boyfriends out of jail, but they've been doing that sort of thing regularly. The Bush White House has thoroughly perverted the Secret Service into their own secret political police. I can't imagine why you would imagine that they wouldn't lie about this incident if ordered to do so.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 15, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

This rabid craziness really turns off average Americans.

tell it to Dobson, Coulter, Savage, Hannity, Limbaugh, Robertson and the rest of the professional wingnuts.

Posted by: cleek on February 15, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Adding to Edo's point, tbrosz, a sheriff's deputy showed up at the ranch to interview Cheney Saturday evening and was turned away. He was told that they could talk to Shotgun Sammy in the morning. You know, after his BAC dropped and they got their version of events straight.

LOL. You should be more careful about what you think you're defending.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

A little perspective on Cheney's hunting accident.


Ted Kennedys car has killed more people than Dick Cheneys rifle.

Just saying.


Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Tensions have been building between Bush and Cheney for some time. Cheney has too much power, and a lot of the damage he's caused is rubbing off on Bush and on the rest of the GOP. Old Man Bush knows that Junior is no match for Big Time. So Old Man Bush called in a few favors from his days running CIA.

They bided their time. Dick stopped for a beer at one point, and handed his weapon to the nearest agent. The agent signaled his colleague who was shadowing Whittington -- they never let these guys out of their sight around the VP -- and the colleague told Whittington the VP wanted to see him right away.

Up he trots, and the agent lets loose with Dick's weapon.

All is carefully organized confusion for a while. The agent, who of course was wearing gloves, quietly strips them off, and with them the evidence that he fired the weapon. The VP is hustled some distance away, and in the process shotgun residue is scattered on his clothing.

Dick -- with beer on his breath -- is now prima facie the shooter of an innocent man.

He blusters and threatens, of course. The tantrums at the White House are legendary. Nothing happens for 18 hours while he squirms and twists, and yells and charges. But the legendary Bush loyalty holds. Dick did it.

Back in Kennebunkport, Old Man Bush smiles and takes a slow sip of whiskey. Still a few tricks up his sleeve...

Posted by: bleh on February 15, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

7:50 p.m.: The head of the Secret Service office in McAllen, Texas, calls the Kenedy County sheriff to report the accident. The sheriff asks to speak to Cheney, and they schedule an interview for 9 a.m. Sunday.

What time is sunset in that part of Texas this time of year? Around 6:00, maybe? So was Cheney shooting after dark? And if he was shooting in the daytime, why did it take them over two hours to notify the police? How long does it take to make one phone call?

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan079: But if your side keeps pushing wild "conspiracy" theories, it's going to backfire on you, big time. This rabid craziness really turns off average Americans.

Since you are a Bush supporter, by definition you have no idea what "average Americans" think.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 15, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Mummy; didn't see your post until now.

Cheney won't be blaming Whittington himself. That's the job of the Bushco minions. However, 100 clams says he "misses" the opportunity to tell people to stop blaming the victim.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz. Another knucklehead who can't stay on topic. Or in the present century.

Posted by: Ace Pumbo on February 15, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

You excerpted this from a post where I was actually agreeing that the shooter is responsible.

sportsfan, I agree that the remark was out of line. My apologies -- as you may have gathered from the comments of the GOP apologists, we aren't used to honest conservatives criticizing this Administration.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

The First ladies car has killed more people than Cheney's rifle.Just saying.

Posted by: rico swava' on February 15, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Most of the comments are typically ignorant about hunting or I already answered them (Distance issues, for example).

"And birdshot in or around the heart? If it came in from the front it had to penetrate awfully deep through the ribcage or sternum. The heart is actually fairly well protected. If the birdshot migrated through a vein it still had to penetrate pretty deep. Anyone who has ever gotten an IV knows that few veins are very near the surface. Did the shot penetrate the jugular? Yikes."

That's my most likely scenario if, indeed, the heart was reached by a pellet. The jugular (external) is very superficial in the neck and the face and neck are almost always the site of injury because the rest is covered by clothing and pellets won't penetrate clothing at that distance.

For the idiot who is trying to argue the distance can't be that much because it was a 28 gauge, if you knew what you were talking about, you would know that pattern density is the difference in gauges, not distance. The other factor is pellet size which was 7 1/2 in this case.

"All this slow news is simply giving the story legs. It is actually a very big story and could be very very damaging to Cheney."

It could have been if the arrogant jerks in the WH Press Corps hadn't made themselves the story with a temper tantrum. The heart arhythmia is what made it a story.

Posted by: Tripp

Police don't interview people in hunting accidents unless there is something suspicious. There wasn't.

Posted by: Mike K on February 15, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

The Cheney/Hume interview will be taped at 2 PM ET, but not broadcast until 5 PM ET, leaving time for the Ministry of Truth to review it.

And going just on Fox is just going to make competiting journalists pissed off and more willing to follow their instincts.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on February 15, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

About the Secret Service agents, I'm not suggesting that they wouldn't help cover something up to help Cheney, but if called upon to make actual statements under oath, or to answer questions asked directly from law enforcement agents, they might feel compelled to tell the truth.

I suppose Cheney's people could persuade the Secret Service superiors in question that Cheney being indicted would be bad for the nation, and they let it be known informally that anyone who tells the truth or cooperates with an investigation will no longer have a plum assignment or even job with the Secret Service, but unless this were the case, and the Secret Service guys felt threatened, I would expect them to tell the truth, especially under oath.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

What time is sunset in that part of Texas this time of year? Around 6:00, maybe? So was Cheney shooting after dark?

There was some speculation on this yesterday at...oh, I don't remember where. The shooting was between 5:30-6:30, depending on who's reporting. Sunset is around 5:30. So it would appear he was already outside the accepted limit...and the law, yes? Hunters?

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Back in Kennebunkport, Old Man Bush smiles and takes a slow sip of whiskey. Still a few tricks up his sleeve... Posted by: bleh

Great imagined narrative except that the Bushes don't do winter. Bush the Elder and Babs are probably in Houston (of all the places a filthy rich person could choose to live . . .). Kennebunkport is a summer resort. There's likely to be snow on the ground there right now.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

In the NY Times there's an article that says it's basically impossible for a shot roughly the size of a BB to flow through a vein to the heart. Veins are tiny things. The pellet near his heart got there the old fashioned way: it was shot there. Whittington was a LOT closer than they've let on.

Rational speculation (as Peggy Riefenstahl Noonan sez, it would be unreasonable NOT to speculate) here offers a target rich environment of duplicity, mendacity, negligence, hubris, and general mopery. The clincher is that Cheney has behaved entirely as his worst critics portray him: callous, arrogant, indifferent, reckless, and stupid. (His worst critics have pointed out that Cheney, while always garnering the trust of powerful people has always done The Stupid Thing.)

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 15, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Hunters often give out a loud shout right before they shoot so that others will know that..."

Cheney (in a loud voice): Harry where is your sorry ass, I want to shoot you in the face."

"But if your side keeps pushing wild "conspiracy" theories, "

I keep telling you, Harry Whittington took over the funeral commission to cover up bribery when George was guv. This is actually true.

"When you carry a firearm, you know your target and beyond."

Dick at least knew his target, but beyond? How many other lawyers were on the field that day?

"Cheney is going to be contrite and humble and express great regret for the injury he caused his friend."

Well, I guess, he will also promise to finish the job next time.

"The only serious question is how the pellet got near the heart."

I think we have established the cause here. Dick wheeled and fired a load of buckshot at that lawyer. What's to discuss?


Posted by: Matt on February 15, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Police don't interview people in hunting accidents unless there is something suspicious. There wasn't.

were you there? i didn't see your name on the police report.

Posted by: cleek on February 15, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

But if your side keeps pushing wild "conspiracy" theories, it's going to backfire on you, big time. This rabid craziness really turns off average Americans.

Thanks for the sincere advice, sportsfan. I know "your side" has only the welfare of the Democratic Party and our republic in mind.

We'll heed your advice and let you know how we end up appealing to "average Americans."

Run along, now!

Posted by: Holdie Lewie on February 15, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Police don't interview people in hunting accidents unless there is something suspicious. There wasn't.

Why did the police want to talk to Cheney then, and why was a meeting set up in the morning?

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

From the angle of the wounds
I believe there was a second gunmen!


..It came from somewhere behind the grassy knoll..

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Even in the case of an accidental shooting, I believe hospitals are required to notify the police when someone is brought into emergency with a gun shot wound.

Probably. Hospital personnel are hardly in a position to determine whether a gun-shot would is accidental.

Posted by: raj on February 15, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

That's my most likely scenario if, indeed, the heart was reached by a pellet. The jugular (external) is very superficial in the neck and the face and neck are almost always the site of injury because the rest is covered by clothing and pellets won't penetrate clothing at that distance.

From the NY Times article on the subject:

Although the public was told for the first time yesterday that a shotgun pellet from a hunting accident had lodged in the lawyer's heart, one of his doctors said that "we knew that he had some birdshot very close to the heart from the get-go," but not its precise location.

Such evidence would have come from standard chest X-rays and a CT scan if one was performed shortly after his admission to a hospital in Corpus Christi, Tex.

Earlier accounts described as minor the pellet wounds that the lawyer, Harry M. Whittington, suffered in the face, neck, chest and ribs.

Mr. Cheney sprayed Mr. Whittington, 78, with 6 to 200 pieces of birdshot, the doctors said yesterday. One pellet apparently moved to damage his heart, causing two problems: an abnormal heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation, and a minor heart attack that were detected early yesterday morning, the doctors said in a news conference at Christus Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi.

Their account left open the source of the birdshot that migrated to the heart and how it got there.

Dr. O. Wayne Isom, the chairman of heart and chest surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, said it was unlikely that a pellet would migrate to the heart through the bloodstream, as some have assumed from the account of the Texas doctors.

The reason, Dr. Isom said, is that the pellet would have to enter a vein, travel to and through the lung vessels that go to the heart, and then lodge in heart tissue, not in one of its chambers. The pellets were approximately five millimeters, about the size of a BB, and larger than most blood vessels, said Dr. David Blanchard, director of emergency services at the hospital.

A more likely explanation, Dr. Isom said, is that the pellet lodged in or touched the heart when Mr. Whittington was shot.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Bush's car has also killed as many people as Kennedy's.

Posted by: Wombat on February 15, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

The Cheney/Hume interview will be taped at 2 PM ET, but not broadcast until 5 PM ET, leaving time for the Ministry of Truth to review it.Posted by: hopeless pedant

I wonder if Cheney will be wearing pants, as it's a cinch Hume will have on his vice presidential knee pads.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Even in the case of an accidental shooting, I believe hospitals are required to notify the police when someone is brought into emergency with a gun shot wound.

Probably. Hospitals are hardly in a position to determine whether a gun-shot wound is accidental.

Posted by: raj on February 15, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Police don't interview people in hunting accidents unless there is something suspicious. There wasn't.

But since the police DID interview Cheney (granted, only after he'd had time to sober up and come up with a cover story) then by Mike K's own admission there was something suspicious.

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Which just makes the line from F Troop from many years ago all the more fitting, given the original spin put on the story by the lying Texan doctors:

"It's just a flesh wound. Fleshy part of heart."

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: sunset on Saturday in Austin was very close to 6:30, so it's going to be about the same in Corpus Christi. That is a long gap between shooting someone bad enough to lodge pellets in his chest and liver. Yesterday, Talking Points Memo had an interesting discussion about how far away the Veep in order to have a spread pattern matching the one in the incident report. Probably a good bit closer than 30 yards. Finally, the first aid for 'getting peppered' involves Neosporin and a Band-Aid at the most, not several days in the ICU. Mr. Whittington was shot.

Also, I had a perfectly good conspiracy theory earlier and can't even get one person to respond to it! This is terrible.

Posted by: Karen on February 15, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

The guy must have looked terrible, if he was shot by the Cheney in the face and chest at such close range.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

What time is sunset in that part of Texas this time of year?

I think it's about 1865 in Texas year-round.

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Laura Bush's car has also killed as many people as Kennedy's."

I would like to get fat Teddy (all 500 pounds of blubber) and cram him into a car. Put Sweet Laura in another car, on an isolated road and see how long it takes for them to kill each other.

Just for sport, we could line up some lawyers along side the road, see if we get any of those too.

Posted by: Matt on February 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Karen: Stefan: sunset on Saturday in Austin was very close to 6:30, so it's going to be about the same in Corpus Christi.

The Secret Service called the sheriff's office at 7:50 PM. So either they called right after the accident, in which case Cheney was shooting in the dark and therefore illegally, or he was shooting in daylight and they waited over an hour and a half to call the police, even though they all had phones and should have called almost immediately. Neither scenario looks good for him.

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Karen, it's plausible.

With Cheney on the ropes anyway due to the Plame thing, and perhaps Bush himself on the ropes due to that scandal or the NSA one (or just the totality of all the scandals), it might be considered a good insurance policy for the GOP to get Cheney out of there now, and put someone electable in there at VP, not only for the 2008 elections, but possibly even as president if Shrub gets knocked out at some later stage based upon level of scandal we haven't seen yet.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't generally have much patience with the conspiracy theory school of political blogging."

Please tell me this was intended as a joke.

Posted by: sunbeltjerry on February 15, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, thanks so much for your advice! I'm sure you're VERY concerned for us that we might turn people off with this!

But, you know what? I think we'll push at this story all the same, OK? Just to see where it goes? Silly us!

Hey, it's YOUR funeral.

I just thought your side might be getting tired of losing elections!

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Chicks and ducks and donors gonna run
When they see Dick out with his gun
When they see Dick out with his gun
With a flask on top!

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

In general, if a pellet of 5mm penetrates large enough a vein that it can possibly move up that vein, wouldn't that very penetration create absolutely massive bleeding? I mean, if you DID penetrate the jugular, wouldn't having the pellet travel up the vein be the just about the last of your worries?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Appologies if anyone already addressed this, I just skimmed this lively thread.

Have we seen the last picture of a politician on a staged hunt trying to look good for the NRA voting bloc?

Serious hunters, men like my father-in-law, scoff at these city fools tromping through the mud with their $15K shotguns in their manicured hands, pretending they are "real men" and hunt for the escargot on their plates, while they shoot at cookie-fed deer and quail that have had their wings clipped!

They look foolish. They have always looked foolish, and please, please, let this be the end of that particular sickening farce that we see every election cycle.

Posted by: Global Citizen on February 15, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan, I agree that the remark was out of line. My apologies -- as you may have gathered from the comments of the GOP apologists, we aren't used to honest conservatives criticizing this Administration.

Fair enough. But i submit that for every GOP apologist on this board, there are 20 far, far, far left nutjobs.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody mentioned that Dick shot that lawyer to get off the ticket and get a new VP.

So, using that math, how many lawyers need to be shot to get a new president?

Posted by: Matt on February 15, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

That said, I don't think this particular incident is such a plot, as shooting somebody in the face from close range with a shotgun is pretty harsh. From here on out though, we may see the GOP figuring out how to ditch Cheney.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, Madame Armstrong herself told reporters it was getting dark and they were just getting ready to come in. It's anybody's guess whether that was because the twilight or Dick's inebriation had advanced too far for them to continue.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I just thought your side might be getting tired of losing elections!

My God, and if we point out how Cheney drunkenly shot a 78 year old man in the face and chest and then tried cover it up we might lose another election! Oh no! Let's all ignore this and hope the American electorate forgives us for ever even bringing it up! Please, forget we ever said anything!

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Simple: the bearer of a firearm is 100% responsible for its use. One cannot avoid that responsibility in any way, regardless of the actions of others. Cheney shot Whittington. Everyone says it was an accident. Ipso facto Cheney wasn't careful and very likely negligent. No ifs, ands, or buts. Whittington was badly injured and is still in ICU and in danger of death. The serious consequence of Cheney's action remains the sole, unwavering, issue.

If, heaven forbid, Whittington does die, Cheney is on the hook for a negligent homicide charge at the very least. Even if he was stone-cold sober. Even if all of the hunting license requirements were in order. I'll repeat: if Whittington dies, Cheney is liable to a charge of negligent homicide.

Now, should that happen, Cheney very well may not be charged, or, if charged, be acquitted; but I'm certain there would be some form of additional official inquest.

In any event Cheney will have to live with this moment of personal inattentiveness for the rest of his life. Just as Ted Kennedy and Laura Bush have. Cheney may also lose his hunting license or be prevented from getting a hunting license for a period of years. The political fallout may force him to resign the Vice Presidency.

This is very serious business. The stakes are huge. You can't spin it. Not with my responsible friends and relatives in the firearm-hunting culture. Not with anyone who truly believes in personal responsibility for one's own actions. For all of them, this is a very bad business, as it gives their philosophical opponents ample amounts of metaphorical ammunition.

This event and its backdrop are horribly embarrassing to much of Cheney's political base. And I think that is why Cheney and his office are so very quiet.

Posted by: Dave Alway on February 15, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

The Abraham Zapruder home movie of the Cheney "hunting accident"/ attempted assassination is the only known film of the entire incident. It is a silent, 8mm color record of the Cheney quail hunting trip just before, during, and immediately after the shooting.


And get this guys Cheney was hunting for quail right?

Well.. George Herbert Walker Bush, the first of the Bush presidencies (and also an employer of one Dick Cheney to a high level administration post) OWN vice president was named ,,,none other than Dan Quayle

No.. Joke Im not lying Gods honest truth

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon people, the whole thing will be explained when Cheney submits to the tough interrogation of of Brit Hume this afternoon .

If there was ever any doubt about Faux News being the Bushies propaganda outlet, it's gone now.

Posted by: Jim on February 15, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, Armstrong admitted that there had been drinking. This was first revealed in a quote on MSNBC that has now gone down the memory hole (Repeat after me What liberal media?).

http://blogs.philly.com/blinq/2006/02/was_there_beer_.html

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

How do average Americans feel about shooting a 78 year old man in the face and chest while you're drunk and then trying to cover it up?

I can answer that. "Average Americans" wouldn't like that at all... if it were true.

The part where you start to lose the "Average Americans" is when you assert:

1) Drunkedness, and

2) Cover-up

all without a shred of proof.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Nobody, not even Dick Cheney, could act so phenomenonally stupid unless he had something to hide. Just saying."

I don't think that's necessarily true. Keeping things under wraps is just SOP for this administration, and Cheney is the king of keeping things under wraps. Their last instinct is to publicize anything that they haven't vetted and stage-managed to death. An accidental shooting, whatever Cheney's level of culpability, forces this group to keep the lid on for a long time before, say, schedulign an appearance on Fox. Which is too long to hide before the legit media pick up on the story.

This administration is an oligarchy. The part of it where the electorate is involved consists of hating gays, cheering the indiscriminate killing of people who have the same skin color as the 9-11 hijackers, and getting bought off with $300 checks. THIS part falls more on the side of running the country, and the Oligarch's Deal that they signed with America is "we'll do all that stuff you like re gays, foreginers and taxes; in return, you shut the fuck up and mind your own business. We know what's best here."

It's just SOP. Doesn't bear on culpability. They just truly believe that this is no one's business but their own, and there wasn't enough time to properly stage-manage the reaction.

Posted by: KPatrick on February 15, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Two kids in my child's 4th grade got into a fight a week ago right before school let out. One got pretty bloodied up. The ambulance arrived and was immediately followed by two police cars. Also the police showed up to investigate after a friend's child was karate kicked and had to go the ER. But hair-trigger Dick shoots a man, has dinner and goes to bed.

Posted by: Chrissy on February 15, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Three words: Cheney was drunk!

Count on it!

Posted by: Fred Flintrock on February 15, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

But i submit that for every GOP apologist on this board, there are 20 far, far, far left nutjobs.

sportsfan, you're losing credibility fast. as far as blogs go, there are relatively few far lefties here. the discussions in these threads are far more thoughtful and undoctrinaire than blogs where you may find far lefties.

in these blog threads, there are just a handful of regular "lefties", and just a few "far lefties", with most of the folks being partisan Democrats (some doctrinaire and more with an independent streak). the mainstream democratic party is not "far left".

there are others of us who subscribe to no party, or partisanship, like myself, who are strictly independent.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: I agree that either they were shooting in the dark or took an unconscionably long time to call about the incident. I should have made that clearer originally.

Jimm: The scary thing is that, on reflection, what I intended as completely insane DOES sound so plausible.

Posted by: Karen on February 15, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Good God people figure it out.Dick put gun on shoulder with barrel facing backwards.Dick talking to man next to him about the last birds they saw Bam shotgun goes off shooting the man behind Dick.Any wrong doing,No,just a lot of bad judgement.Always know where your rifle is pointed,Always keep saftey on untill your ready to shoot.NEVER DRINK AND HUNT,NEVER!

Posted by: rico swava' on February 15, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

But i submit that for every GOP apologist on this board, there are 20 far, far, far left nutjobs.

Submission denied.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Apparently, Armstrong admitted that there had been drinking. "

Cheney got the lawyer liquored up before he blew him away. Makes for easy shooting, like killing birds in a cage.

Posted by: Matt on February 15, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody mentioned that Dick shot that lawyer to get off the ticket and get a new VP.

So, using that math, how many lawyers need to be shot to get a new president? Posted by: Matt

Way too many to get down to where a decent person would be constitutionally in line for the job. It might look, even to the unwashed (completely disinterested) masses, a bit untoward.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

i submit that for every GOP apologist on this board, there are 20 far, far, far left nutjobs.

There we disagree, sportsfan, unless you'd care to cite 20 examples. I doubt, however, that I'd find your definition of "far, far, far left nutjobs" very persuasive.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm..

Are you really "strictly independent"

Or are you really...Lee Harvey Oswald!!!!

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

The part where you start to lose the "Average Americans" is when you assert: 1) Drunkedness, and 2) Cover-up, all without a shred of proof. '

OK, then please come up with a reasonable scenario to explain

1) how Cheney was able to shot a grown man, who'd been standing behind him, at chest level at closer than 30 feet away if he was sober, and

2) why they waited at least an hour and a half to call the police and why, when the police showed up that night to interview Cheney, they were told to come back the next morning, delaying the interview until about 18 hours after the shooting.

Please lay out your rational, logical explanation for how this happened. Moreoeve, please explain why Armstrong, the owner of the ranch, herself admitted they were drinking -- was she lying? And if so, why?

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

My God, and if we point out how Cheney drunkenly shot a 78 year old man in the face and chest and then tried cover it up we might lose another election! Oh no! Let's all ignore this and hope the American electorate forgives us for ever even bringing it up! Please, forget we ever said anything!

Stefan, I'm noticing how smoothly "drunkenly" and "cover it up" just seem to work their way into all the posts on this thread, even though they are totally untrue.

That is how it must be with all of the lies from the left wing.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Dick talking to man next to him.."

There is some truth here. Dick, as we all know, turns his head away from his audience and generally mumbles lies from the far side of his mouth.

So, you can picture Dick, turning his head away from the listener, starting to mumble incomprehensible lies. But the gun, in reverse momentum turns the opposite direction, and Dick, so absorbed in mumbling a bunch of lies accidently pulls the trigger.

Is it possible? Is he really innocent!

Posted by: Matt on February 15, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, Madame Armstrong herself told reporters..

I have a vision... wait, it's coming to me...

Yes! It's Madame Armstrong, knitting, knitting, always knitting, as the lawyers were taken out to "hunt" with the Vice President.

It was, indeed, the best of times.

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Remember Occam's Razor.

A simple, credible, explanation for the info black out: legal advice.

Immediately after the shooting, it was clear that there was a significant injury to an old man. Any public explanation of the event and causality, or any comments made to WH staff could end up being part of the official record used by an ME or DA in front of a grand jury

Say as little as possible until we know an accurate prognosis.

Weve been told that there were voices in the WH calling for an immediate statement, but the lawyers (those not in the line of fire) won out.

So they waited til the next day, and used a source who was somewhat impeachable.

Posted by: Keith G on February 15, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

MikeK,

Police don't interview people in hunting accidents unless there is something suspicious. There wasn't.

9 a.m.: Kenedy County sheriff's deputies interview Cheney

Uhh...we're still waiting to hear your response to this little...what's the word again?...oh yeah: FACT.

Again, as a policy matter, are you (you too Tbrosz) okay with 18 hour delays in interviews with local law enforcement for all hunting accidents or just those that involve members of this administration?

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

That is how it must be with all of the lies from the left wing.

sportsfan, I retract my earlier defense of you.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

That is how it must be with all of the lies from the left wing.

Please enumerate these. No wait, I'll do it for you:
- we lied about Weapons of Maximum Distraction. Oh no, wait, that was you
- we lied about prisoners being tortured. Shoot, that wasn't us either
- we lied about the cost of the Medicare bill. Damn, sorry! You guys!

Oh, I could go on like this all day, but fuck, why bother? I was genuinely sorry I took the cheap shot way up post, but now, I see that you actually earned it.

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes! It's Madame Armstrong, knitting, knitting, always knitting, as the lawyers were taken out to "hunt" with the Vice President.

Driving up to the game in their new Jeep "Tumbril" SUVs....

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

As Dead-Eye was approaching the Armstrong mansion, he was heard singing,

"I shot the lawyer, but I did not shoot the deputy"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 15, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Word has it; to deflect blame, Cheney will explain the injury was caused by a Red Rider Carbine-Action BB gun, "You'll shoot your eye out Dickie"

Posted by: truwest on February 15, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Edo:

forgive my misstatement regarding notification of the local law enforcement as opposed to actually being interviewd by local law enforcement.

Such "misstatements" result in the kind of story drift we see on these things, like "over 200 pellets." in a previous post. Cheney and the sheriff scheduled an interview for the following morning. Apparently the sheriff didn't think it was particularly urgent either.

For all those speculating on sunset times, please note that the timeline I posted gave all times in Eastern Time. Texas time would be an hour earlier, which puts the time of the accident at 5:30 Central. Sunset in that area on Feb. 11 would have been around 6:00 Central, or 7:00 Eastern.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 15, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

all without a shred of proof.

Armstrong already admitted there was drinking at the party before the guys went out to hunt, and then apparently retracted that statement, so there is reason to ask why that part of the story has now disappeared, as the link above demonstrates.

Even stranger is Armstrong's own attempt to spin the beer drinking at the pre-hunting party as being done by people not going on the pre-hunting party. Now, I haven't been at too many parties where the alpha males weren't drinking beer, but the women were, so this would have to be explained.

For all we know, maybe the Secret Service would forbid people from drinking before hunting with Cheney. Who knows? But would they forbid Dick from throwing down a few? Maybe Dick doesn't drink?

But this disappearing part of the story about the alcohol, and the strange and contorted reaction by Cheney and the White House the past few days would be explained by the accident being alcohol-related. What else would explain the odd circumstances and silence?

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan,

Stefan, I'm noticing how smoothly "drunkenly" and "cover it up" just seem to work their way into all the posts on this thread, even though they are totally untrue.

"all the posts"? Generalize much?

care to chime in with your opinion on whether or not you are okay with 18 hour delays in interviews with local law enforcement for all hunting accidents or just those that involve members of this administration?

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, I'm noticing how smoothly "drunkenly" and "cover it up" just seem to work their way into all the posts on this thread, even though they are totally untrue.

Totally untrue? So you have the results of Cheney's BAC test? No, wait...they didn't give him one, did they?

And again, if you're not trying to cover something up, and you shoot a man at around 6 in the evening, is it normal practice to wait until two hours later to call the police and then, when they show up to interview you about the shooting, tell them to come back later the next morning? If you shot someone is that what you'd do?

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan, I retract my earlier defense of you.

No problem, Gregory. We might as well make it a clean sweep, anyway. I don't expect to get much understanding from anyone on this board. I've been reading them for a while, and I realize that they're about 7 or 8 notches to the left of the actual American public.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

all without a shred of proof.

No. In fact there is evidence.

1) None of the VP's party contacted the police for a good long time and they put off an actual face-to-face with the VP for a very long time. That's a fact and that's very unusual for a "simple" accident.

2) Whittington's wounds don't match the VP's explanation. That's not good.

3) The White House's explanation of a "simple" accident was grudging, partial, and late. That's evidence.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 15, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

In all seriousness I posted this yesterday under Darth Cheney

Well.. Im a hunter (upland & waterfowl)
Yep, sounds about right! He shot the guy.
Cheney reminds me of my Brother, a rather intense guy who's out there to bag something, pure & simple. (and will be pissed that he got "skunked" if he cant bag anything)
Anyway... those type of guys seem to get real excited and go for ANY shot when a bird flushes.
Almost got shot more than once, never got peppered.. and its always the same A-holes.

Hunter #1. Damn, #@%*@#$ I missed again!!! @#$%#$ Cant believe I got skunked ...this sucks.
Hunter #2. A bad day hunting is better than a good day working.
Im an #2, my brother and Cheney are #1
So he shot the guyand the police are involved.. all SOP.. The only way there will be any serious investigation is if the guy dies or presses charges. (I doubt Cheney will even lose his hunting license)

If he dies/presses charges It could get pretty serious, negligent homicide/sever bodily injury
Or the guy can sue him civilly - probably settle out of court for medical expenses ect.
Those are the only real angles I can think that will keep this story alive.

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

For all those speculating on sunset times, please note that the timeline I posted gave all times in Eastern Time. Texas time would be an hour earlier, which puts the time of the accident at 5:30 Central. Sunset in that area on Feb. 11 would have been around 6:00 Central, or 7:00 Eastern.

If it was at 5:30 PM then they waited almost two and a half hours to call the police, even though they all had phones on them. What were they waiting for?

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"For all we know, maybe the Secret Service would forbid people from drinking before hunting with Cheney.."

You know those secret service guys, what cards!

I can see them now, telling Harry to walk up to Dick, "go talk to him", they say, "Dick wants to talk", giggling in the background.

Of course, the SS knows old Dick is a lunatic and liable to shoot anyone within sight, after all, they have been on the shoot-outs with Dick before.

Posted by: Matt on February 15, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I don't buy the more complex conspiracy theories, but it does seem pretty obvious that Dick was drunk or at least impaired, got stupid, shot the guy (and from the shot pattern in the police report, came within about three inches of catching him dead in the middle of the head, which would have blinded him at best.) And the 'witness' was also clearly lying, since her story is internally non-consistent.

Posted by: tavella on February 15, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

One thing to pay careful attention to in Cheney's account tonight: how close he claims he was to Whittington.

If he says 30 yds, that's almost certain to be contradicted by the clear physical evidence of the type of wounds Whittington sustained.

I don't see how you get a pellet lodged in heart tissue at 30 yds.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Are you really "strictly independent"

Strictly.

Of course I lean in any given case, based upon performance and adherence to principles, which is why I have no faith in the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I've been reading them for a while, and I realize that they're about 7 or 8 notches to the left of the actual American public.

Again, examples? IMO, apart from a single comment in which you noted, correctly, that the shooter is responsible for the safety of the shot, your comments haven't garnered a lot of credibility.

However, I think I, for one, do understand you, and I beleive now that craigie did too, which is why I now state that my defense of you was unwarrentedand his opinion of you was, essentially, correct.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

"I would have to imagine that the Secret Service detail will, if called upon, accurately testify about whether Mr. Cheney had been drinking. There would be no excuse for their lying about it, as that is not their job."

You would think. But then again you could've said the same thing before they lied about George H.W. Bush's whereabouts on certain days in 1980.

Posted by: chaboard on February 15, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'll repost this, sportsfan, in case you didn't see it the first time:

OK, then please come up with a reasonable scenario to explain

1) how Cheney was able to shot a grown man, who'd been standing behind him, at chest level at closer than 30 feet away if he was sober, and

2) why they waited at least two and a half hours [corrected from an hour and a half] to call the police and why, when the police showed up that night to interview Cheney, they were told to come back the next morning, delaying the interview until about 15 [corrected from 18] hours after the shooting.

Please lay out your rational, logical explanation for how this happened. Moreoever, please explain why Armstrong, the owner of the ranch, herself admitted they were drinking -- was she lying? And if so, why?

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

"The fact he was so close to Cheney means it's almost certainly Whittington's fault."

30 yards doesn't sound all THAT close to Cheney. But then the really small bird shot being used penetrated close to the victim's heart, so maybe he was closer than the witnesses reported.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 15, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I could go on like this all day, but fuck, why bother? I was genuinely sorry I took the cheap shot way up post, but now, I see that you actually earned it.

Oh BS. If you were "genuinely sorry", you would've said so. C'mon man, at least if you're going to hate on all conservatives, be a man and own up to it.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, please don't criticize sportsfan's hero.

It's mean.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Should a man with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator really be handling a loaded weapon, let alone shooting in an open area around other people?

Posted by: Mary R. on February 15, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, from the point of view of how easy it is to see someone, even 30 yds -- the exact distance between bases in baseball (how hard is it for the first baseman to see the batter?) -- makes it very hard not to notice someone, even wheeling around. And if it's only, say, 15 yards, which the physical evidence may well entail, then it becomes very hard to believe that anyone might make that kind of mistake while in full command of their faculties.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it just occurred to to me that we don't really know where Cheney was in late November 1963.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 15, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why, if Dr Mikey K were Vice President, he would fire those Secret Service wusses for calling the Sheriff.

As Stefan has noted on another thread, perhaps another "grassy knoll", another second spitter, er shooter theory.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 15, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

if you're going to hate on all conservatives, be a man and own up to it

Being a conservative is one thing. Being a Bush cultist is quite another and, indeed, practically contradictory. craigie may or may not have jumped the gun -- sorry -- gone off half cocked -- oops -- been a bit hasty in his characterization at first, but you've provided more than enough evidence by now to put you down.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Oh BS. If you were "genuinely sorry", you would've said so. C'mon man, at least if you're going to hate on all conservatives, be a man and own up to it.

No I wouldn't. Apologizing is a sign of weakness. I learned that from the Vice President.

So now I'm curious - what is a "notch" when applied to political opinion?

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan

I'll taken sports fans place and answer your questions

reasonable scenario to explain
#1. He spun around to shoot a flushing quail.

#2. Secret service were already on the scene, first concern was medical care ect.. only later did they follow up with local law enforcement just to be sure.

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'll repost this again, sportsfan, in case you didn't see it the first two times:

OK, then please come up with a reasonable scenario to explain

1) how Cheney was able to shot a grown man, who'd been standing behind him, at chest level at closer than 30 feet away if he was sober, and

2) why they waited at least two and a half hours [corrected from an hour and a half] to call the police and why, when the police showed up that night to interview Cheney, they were told to come back the next morning, delaying the interview until about 15 [corrected from 18] hours after the shooting.

Please lay out your rational, logical explanation for how this happened. Moreoever, please explain why Armstrong, the owner of the ranch, herself admitted they were drinking -- was she lying? And if so, why?

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it would have been a lot easier for Cheney to get away with this before "C.S.I." and all the other forensics shows were on the air....

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it would have been a lot easier for Cheney to get away with this before "C.S.I." and all the other forensics shows were on the air....

And I think not a small portion of the great interest in this story is the uncovering of the mystery.

We have lying doctors and ladies of the manor, we have two guys out with two gals not their wives, we have the VP of the US, for Christ's sake, and we have a gazillion inconsistencies.

What's not to like?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 15, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz, the Secret Service are there for protection, not to investigate incidents. If they were going to call the police at all, ostensibly to report the incident (obviously not for police protection), it doesn't make much sense they'd wait 3 hours to do so, since neither Cheney or the Secret Service guys are doing the first aid after the initial moments.

I would guess that the police found out about this through the hospital, due to the nature of the injuries, and Cheney learned about this "around the way", and then contacted the police. The police may have heard about it through emergency radio too when he was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Does anyone have the facts on this assumption?

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

If it was at 5:30 PM then they waited almost two and a half hours to call the police, even though they all had phones on them. What were they waiting for?

You have to correct ALL the times for the time zone. The local sheriff was notified by the Secret Service an hour and twenty minutes after the shooting.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 15, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

reasonable scenario to explain
#1. He spun around to shoot a flushing quail.

Fitz, you poor dope, if you think that spinning to shoot behind him, at ground level, without first clearing his @#$%^&*! lane of fire is a "reasonable scenario," you GOP apologists are further off in La-La Land than I thought.

The one thing even sportsfan got right is that it's the shooter's responsibility to ensure the safety of the shot, period. At a minimum your "reasonable scenario" is an indictment of Cheney's recklessness.

Meanwhile, tell us more about cocaine in the '70s. You provided loads of laughs in the other thread!

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK


Oh Stephen ..
#3. ""Armstrong, the owner of the ranch, herself admitted they were drinking --""
part (a) was she lying? - NO
And (part b) if so, why? - Not applicable

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

First question from Brit Hume: "Mr. VP, aren't you aghast at how this incident has been blown all out of proportion by the liberal media?"

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 15, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

And remember to ask him why he was shooting a gun after dark.

Posted by: cld on February 15, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry if this has been said, but I cannot believe what a fucking coward Cheney is to not do this interview live. Fox will be running "excerpts" throughout the afternoon and the "full (y edited) interview" at 6:00.

You know, I never use the P word, because I know for a fact that they're highly useful things and feel they should not be maligned, but if I were ever to call someone Ps these would be the guys who deserve it.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

OK, then please come up with a reasonable scenario to explain

1) how Cheney was able to shot a grown man, who'd been standing behind him, at chest level at closer than 30 feet away if he was sober, and

2) why they waited at least two and a half hours [corrected from an hour and a half] to call the police and why, when the police showed up that night to interview Cheney, they were told to come back the next morning, delaying the interview until about 15 [corrected from 18] hours after the shooting.

OK, here goes.

1) This answer is easy. Poor judgement and bad hunting practice. That doesn't look good at all for Cheney. And you'd think people (on this board) would be happy to just condemn him for that and call it a day. But no, they also want to allege that he was drunk, womanizing, covering up, being controlled by aliens, etc..

2) I heard an hour and a half. And the obvious answer is that they brought him out of the woods and started making calls to the authorities and others (including some calls for damage control, I'm guessing). To anyone who's hunted in the woods, this makes sense, and doesn't add up to the next Watergate. About the 18 hours, I haven't seen that in print, and I don't buy it. When you take a man to the hospital, the authorities are involved.

I think alot of people on this board are confusing the MEDIA with the AUTHORITIES.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: The local sheriff was notified by the Secret Service an hour and twenty minutes after the shooting.

Oh, well, that's no problem, then. [rolls eyes]

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Moreoever, please explain why Armstrong, the owner of the ranch, herself admitted they were drinking -- was she lying? And if so, why?

Stefan, it's obvious the women and children must have been the ones drinking beer at the party, not the burly men preparing to combat nature on the hunt.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Dick Cheney's war has killed more innocent women (and children) than Ted Kennedy's car.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 15, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Good try Fitz, but bzzzttt! Sorry. Nice effort, though.

#1. He spun around to shoot a flushing quail.

So to shoot a quail which was flying up in the air and away from him he turned around 180 degrees and shot at chest level behind him without clearing his field of vision -- that seems to be criminal negligence, right there.

#2. Secret service were already on the scene, first concern was medical care ect.. only later did they follow up with local law enforcement just to be sure.

That's no explanation for why, when the sheriff's deputy showed up that night, he was told to come back later the next morning, about twelve hours later. And what, they were ALL engaged in tending to Whittington's medical care (but I thought the talking point was that he wasn't badly wounded?) Not ONE person could pick up a cell phone and dial 911 in all that time?

Want to try again? And remember --it has to be reasonable and logical.


Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

It's clear to me now that the Vice President killed Vince Foster.

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

You have to correct ALL the times for the time zone. The local sheriff was notified by the Secret Service an hour and twenty minutes after the shooting.

If so, this would be more reasonable, but I would still wonder how the police wouldn't already have known about this through either the hospital or emergency radio channels.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm watching the fair and balanced network and they are saying excerps of the Cheney interview may be shown at anytime with the full interview to be shown at 6pm Pacific Coast Time. They did show a hit pattern on Whittington's body-it looks like that it is on his left shoulder, chest and face and partially on his upper left arm. Although they didn't allow time for a count I would guess that it would be between 100 and 200 hits. They made a real point in stating that he was hit by birdshot, not buckshot. They made great effort in indicating that birdshot was smaller than buckshot. They saying Whittington is setting up and feeling well but under observation. In a wild turn of events they are considering "privacy" to be important. How weird can that be, huh?

I can't watch much longer-it makes me feel all icky inside somehow.

Posted by: MRB on February 15, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry if this has been said, but I cannot believe what a fucking coward Cheney is

Oh, shortstop, it's certainly been said -- he is, after all -- but I said it in this particular context earlier in this very thread.

Needless to say, I agree.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, it's obvious the women and children must have been the ones drinking beer at the party, not the burly men preparing to combat nature on the hunt.

I NEVER drink alcohol when hunting or using firearms or bow.

ever.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I never use the P word,

How amusing. Everyone has their room 101, I guess.

A friend of mine runs screaming if we say "cunt" - to her, it's like fingernails on the blackboard.

So of course, we look for as many ways as possible to work that into the conversation. What fun we liberals have!

Posted by: craigie on February 15, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, tbrosz chose not to address the fact that Cheney's peeps turned away the deputy and told them to come back the next day. Huh. And Tom is usually so honest.

And sportsfan is the last on the planet to learn Cheney refused a personal interview with the cops until Sunday morning, and therefore we can't speculate on the alcohol factor. No fair getting ahead of the slower kids in the class.

If we didn't have such a huge budget deficit, we could purchase smarter trolls.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory

Have you ever been quail hunting?

You know how fast and small those little bastards are?
He was using a 28 gauge?

He spun around and shot... big deal..
was it reckless (yes I think so, by definition - hell he shot a guy)

Is it criminally negligent? - only if someone presses charges.

Is it civilly negligent and actionable? - hell yes SOP. (and they will settle out of court- watch)

Is it the scandal you guys on this thread have made it into? -No (your in the fever swamps)

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I never use the P word, because I know for a fact that they're highly useful things and feel they should not be maligned, but if I were ever to call someone Ps these would be the guys who deserve it. Posted by: shortstop

I agree! Why drag my favorite flower through the mud? They make such lovely borders, pansies do.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

I heard about an hour and a half. And the obvious answer is that they brought him out of the woods and started making calls to the authorities and others (including some calls for damage control, I'm guessing). To anyone who's hunted in the woods, this makes sense, and doesn't add up to the next Watergate.

First of all, they weren't "in the woods." They were in a field that they drove up to in their cars where the brush is about ankle deep. They didn't have to "bring him out of the woods", they merely had to carry him about ten fee to a car. Second, they had a full Secret Service contingent equipped with the full range of communication technology -- you think those people are ever out of touch for even one second? They could have called the instant this happened -- this wasn't a hunting trip with some buddies deep in the woods, this was a drive-up canned hunt out in some field with a full Secret Service detachment with satellite and cell phones.

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Yancy Ward wants to know where Cheney was in November 63.

No, he wasn't in Dallas - But he was hanging around Caspar, going to Caspar Community College. After flunking out of Yale, and getting two DUIs in 62, he was trying to get over his drunken rowdy days. Did he succeed? Stay tuned at 6 PM today.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 15, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I've never said drinking happened, at least by Cheney, but just noting that alcohol would be the simplest reason for all this silence, contortions, failure by Cheney to be a "stand up guy", blaming the victim, and what not over the past few days.

Mix in the disappearing alcohol reference in the news story and it all comes together.

I can easily imagine Dick never drank a thing (maybe he doesn't drink at all with his health condition), and the pressure to remove the alcohol reference in the news story was just to try and "cleanse" the PR aspect of the story.

Maybe we'll find out, and maybe we won't.

As I mentioned in my first comment, I've never really considered this a big deal, though it's got more fishy each day.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I heard about an hour and a half. And the obvious answer is that they brought him out of the woods and started making calls to the authorities and others (including some calls for damage control, I'm guessing). To anyone who's hunted in the woods, this makes sense, and doesn't add up to the next Watergate.

First of all, they weren't "in the woods." They were in a field that they drove up to in their cars where the brush is about ankle deep. They didn't have to "bring him out of the woods", they merely had to carry him about ten fee to a car. Second, they had a full Secret Service contingent equipped with the full range of communication technology -- you think those people are ever out of touch for even one second? They could have called the instant this happened -- this wasn't a hunting trip with some buddies deep in the woods, this was a drive-up canned hunt out in some field with a full Secret Service detachment with satellite and cell phones.

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Yancy Ward wants to know where Cheney was in November 63.

No, he wasn't in Dallas - But he was hanging around Caspar, going to Caspar Community College. After flunking out of Yale, and getting two DUIs in 62, he was trying to get over his drunken rowdy days. Did he succeed? Stay tuned at 6 PM today.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 15, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Sunset Corpus Christi, TX 11 feb 6:18 pm.

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/aa_pap.pl

Posted by: cld on February 15, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, don't get me wrong. I use the P word all the time. I just don't use it to describe spineless people when we've got the perfectly good "dickless." Hee.

Gregory, I meant sorry if it's already been said that Cheney's ducking a live interview. I know I'm neither the first nor the last to comment on these guys' cowardice. Sorry if that was unclear.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK
The Virginia General Assembly is considering a bill to impose strict blood alcohol limits on hunters, angering gun enthusiasts who say the legislation unjustly targets their right to bear arms.
Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Cheney and the sheriff scheduled an interview for the following morning. Apparently the sheriff didn't think it was particularly urgent either.

Yeah, indifference on the county sheriff's part -- that's the likeliest explanation. All he was doing was trying to question one of the most powerful men in the country, known for his ill-temper and secretiveness, who's visiting the largest land-owner in the county, who could make sure the sheriff soon becomes an ex-sheriff.

No way any of that could possibly influence the sheriff's actions, right?

And, c'mon -- yeah, it was a shooting accident serious enough to hospitalize the victim for four days and counting. But does that mean the sheriff is supposed to hurry out there and investigate the incident? Try to find out exactly what happened? It's not like that's standard policy in every law enforcement agency in the country.

Seriously, tbrosz, you've degenerated from smug and arrogant to fatuous and stoopid. Not a good look for you.

Posted by: vetiver on February 15, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

He spun around and shot... big deal..

Yes, actually, it is. Small and fast though the quail may be, there's no excuse for taking a shot you don't know is safe, period, full stop.

It was incompetent recklessness regardless of whether he hit anyone.

I forget who brought this point up -- sorry -- but someone on these threads noted that even apart from Cheney's truly appaling PR instincts, the recklessness of his shot shows Cheney to be an incompetent boob to a significant slice of his own base, the NRA/hunting contingent. Again, one thing I will say for sportsfan is that even he acknowledges Cheney's fault in this incident. The defenses of Bush cultists like you, Fitz, are as pathetically feeble as your claims about cocaine in the other thread, without being nearly as funny.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

After flunking out of Yale, and getting two DUIs in 62, he was trying to get over his drunken rowdy days. Did he succeed? Stay tuned at 6 PM today.

Fantastic, Paul!

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry if that was unclear.

No worries, shortstop, I was having a bit of fun at the expense of Cheney's cowardice. ;)

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

cld:

And remember to ask him why he was shooting a gun after dark.

See how "story drift" works? The mythology runs off with the issue, and the facts are left behind. I don't suppose anyone actually read the shooting report, which described the conditions.

***

Stefan:

That's no explanation for why, when the sheriff's deputy showed up that night, he was told to come back later the next morning, about twelve hours later.

From the AP timeline:

Saturday evening: Cheney and the rest of the hunting party sit down for dinner at the ranch. At some point, sheriff's deputies who heard reports of the ambulance responding to an accident at the ranch stop at the front gate to see if anyone needs help, but are told no one needs assistance. The Secret Service earlier had said the deputies were seeking to interview Cheney, but on Tuesday they said that was not the case.

Look, you guys are having fun writing your own story the way you want it to be. Have fun with that.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 15, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it would have been a lot easier for Cheney to get away with this before "C.S.I." and all the other forensics shows were on the air....

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 2:18 PM

Not only that, but how long do you guys think it's gonna take for CSI or Law&Order to put out an episode based on this? Maybe with the Las Vegas governor, or the NY mayor...

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 15, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK
Family Seeks Law Against Hunting While Drinking

A former Missouri couple has petitioned the state Legislature to stiffen the laws against hunting and drinking.

Their 18-year-old son, David McQuinley of Lebanon, Mo., died four years ago when his friend's father - who had been drinking - shot him to death on a deer-hunting trip.

The man, William Ludlow of Waynesville, told authorities he drank three beers that day.

Ludlow, who is stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, aimed his rifle at what he said he thought was a wild pig. He shot McQuinley, who died instantly.

Obviously, people do drink and hunt. Not everyone, but enough.

Meanwhile, a Texas report on hunting accidents from a year or two back explains the reason behind most hunting accidents:

The primary reason for Texas hunting accidents remains swinging on game outside a safe zone of fire. This happens when a person points a firearm at another hunter while following a moving target, such as a flying game bird. Hunter education teaches people to set up safe zones of fire where a gun can be safely pointed whether the target is moving or stationary.

Careless firearm handling remains another primary factor in many accidents.

Careless handling incidents almost always involve three factors: pointing a loaded firearm muzzle at yourself or someone else with the safety off and with your finger inside the trigger guard, Hall explained. Hunter education courses teach ways to safely handle firearms, including how to carry them in the field and pass them from one person to another.

Some statistics seem to defy stereotypical expectations. Most accidents do not happen under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Most of the people involved had more than 10 years of hunting experience. Most were in light to open cover with clear visibility in good weather.

Other findings verify what might be expected. Most people involved did not attend a hunter education course or wear any type of hunter orange clothing. Most accidents violated a cardinal rule of hunter safety, were situated in or around a vehicle or stand, and occurred toward dusk and involved fatigue as a factor.

Cheney easily could fit into this category of having violated a "cardinal rule" without any alcohol involved. Were they wearing orange?

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

In a criminal case the victim does not need to press charges. Merely reporting the crime can initiate criminal proceedings. That's why murdered victims that cannot press charges develop into criminal cases.

Police investigations always occur when a shooting happens whether accidental or not. The investigations can result in criminal cases if the DA decides to pursue it.

Posted by: MRB on February 15, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Greg

I though I made it clear in my original post that Cheney was an A-hole for taking a shot.
Never the less, lots of A-holes go hunting and take shots they should not.
Cheney is that guy, but all this parsing makes it sound like he banged his intern or something.
Relax kids - no charges will be brought, story will fizzle.

As for cocaine- yes it was not popular until the late 70's early eighties.
(is it possible that bush was a cutting edge druggie like hunter S. Thompson...yes, Is it probable...No)

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the word on the street is that all states require mandatory blood-alcohol tests in the case of accidental shootings.

Anyone care to confirm or dispute this?

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz
Yes- they have entered the fever swamps and been sloshing around in there for awhile now.

Jimm
"""The primary reason for Texas hunting accidents remains swinging on game outside a safe zone of fire. This happens when a person points a firearm at another hunter while following a moving target, such as a flying game bird. Hunter education teaches people to set up safe zones of fire where a gun can be safely pointed whether the target is moving or stationary."""

This seems the likely scenario..
I had several near misses with my over enthusiastic buddies precisely when hunting upland birds (quail, woodcock, grouse pheasant)
Thats why this all seems so hum drum..
Meanwhile, I dont think anyone around here has ever been hunting.

This is less of a problem with waterfowl when everyone is basically lined up.

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Saturday evening: Cheney and the rest of the hunting party sit down for dinner at the ranch. At some point, sheriff's deputies who heard reports of the ambulance responding to an accident at the ranch stop at the front gate to see if anyone needs help, but are told no one needs assistance. The Secret Service earlier had said the deputies were seeking to interview Cheney, but on Tuesday they said that was not the case.

So anyone who repeated the story of Cheney turning away sheriff's deputies is guilty of taking the word of the Secret Service. Yeah, what a bunch of left-wing lunatics.

Note also that this makes it clear that no one from Cheney's party called law enforcement. And not because they were too busy attending to the victim, as has been claimed; they were too busy with their chateaubriand and Merlot.

Posted by: Boots Day on February 15, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

If we didn't have such a huge budget deficit, we could purchase smarter trolls. --shortstop


Paraphrase: If you don't want the President impeached, you're a troll! Get off our board!!

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz,

Apparently the sheriff didn't think it was particularly urgent either.

Apparently. Perhaps because the secret service said, you can see him tomorrow, but not tonight. And for some odd reason the local law enforcement deferred to the Secret Service.

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well, dishonest paraphrasing (I'm looking at you, tbrosz) is certainly the mark of a troll.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Is it criminally negligent? - only if someone presses charges. Posted by: Fitz

I'm sure Cheney, who normally has no problem with killing human beings, even if it's just through proxies, has gotten religion real fast and is praying that 'ol Whitt don't croak.

However, even if he doesn't, the police are the ones who would press charges. Of course, this being Texas, and seeing as how the sheriff wants to stay employed long enough to get his pension, I wouldn't count on law enforcement to do its job in the instance.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Paraphrase: If you don't want the President impeached, you're a troll! Get off our board!!
Posted by: sportsfan079

Oh, I don't care if he's impeached. He can be hit by a meteorite, get run over by a bus or, if all else fails, go hunting with Prick Cheney.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

A friend of mine runs screaming if we say "cunt" - to her, it's like fingernails on the blackboard.

So of course, we look for as many ways as possible to work that into the conversation. What fun we liberals have! Posted by: craigie

I bet she doesn't go in much for contemporary British comedies.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Note also that this makes it clear that no one from Cheney's party called law enforcement. And not because they were too busy attending to the victim, as has been claimed; they were too busy with their chateaubriand and Merlot.

Actually, they did call law enforcement, but they arranged for the by-then-sober Cheney to be interviewed on Sunday morning, and the sheriff's office agreed--probably not, as tbrosz no naively or disingenuously argues, because they were "okay with it," but more likely because they had little choice in the matter.

Had I just shot a guy in the face, I personally would have wanted to speak to the deputies immediately so as to head off any rank speculation as to why I couldn't be interviewed right away, but that's just me.

Then later that evening, the other deputy or deputies showed up and were, according to the Secret Service, turned away. By Tuesday, the Secret Service had decided they were misremembering this and the deputies never asked to talk to the veep that night. A couple of days of pressure can do that to your memory, I guess.

Posted by: shortstop on February 15, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

This is certainly going to be an interesting night. One of two things is going to happen:

1) Some type of further misconduct (drinking, etc) will come to light, Cheney will be in BIG trouble, you guys will be beside yourselves with ecstacy, and I will be very worried about the mid-terms, or

2) Nothing will happen. The Cheney press release will go by uneventfully. You guys will swear to high heaven it was a cover-up, and that will be the end of it.

The next day or two will decide it all.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 15, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm II

I dont think the local DA or Sheriffs office spend a lot of time prosecuting hunting accidents unless
#1. their on State land &
#2. the negligence is obvious (drunk, ect) &
#3. The parties dont know each other and one insists on pressing charges.

This goes for Texas or any other State.
I suspect that (when the parties are friends/acquaintances) Even if the fellow died, it would be a civil suit (with any criminal charges being used to buffet the civil suit)

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

So Fitz,


#2. the negligence is obvious (drunk, ect) &

Just to be clear, you are okay with 18 hour delays before shooters are interviewed by local law enforcement when hunting accidents occur. Right?

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Edo

18, 24, 48, 6 weeks later- whatever

If no one is pressing charges, sure.

Why waste the valuable time of law enforcement?

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

If no one is pressing charges, sure. - posted by Fitz

But can people really decline to press charges on such a serious incident? Isn't the DA entitled to make this decision?

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 15, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz,

are you serious? what if there were only two people hunting and one of them died. how would the deceased press charges? Less hypothetically, who would you expect to press charges in this particular episode? Whittington? He was in an ICU.

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

After reviewing some records and Texas statutes, I'm skeptical that Cheney would have faced a mandatory blood-alcohol test until proven otherwise. Texas has pretty lax gun and hunting laws.

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

I am curious, what is the story here going to be when Whittington is released from the morgue.. er...the hospital and waves to the reporters tells them that considers Cheney a friend, and that the incident was a complete accident for which they are each partly to blame?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 15, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Why waste the valuable time of law enforcement?

indeed, why bother them at all when someone is shot in the face and chest.

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

2) Nothing will happen. The Cheney press release will go by uneventfully. You guys will swear to high heaven it was a cover-up, and that will be the end of it. Posted by: sportsfan079

It's already being covered up. It was covered up from the beginning. There is the time delay in notifying the public. We still don't know everyone that was in the "hunting" party. Why did Cheney not talk to the local authorities until the next morning? Why have the doctors been so evasive with the actual extent of 'ol Whitt's wounds? If Cheney talked to 'ol Whitt yesterday (ya, right, while he's fully sedated in the ICU), why hasn't he been interviewed to give his version of events to clear his dear buddy, Dick?

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Brazil

Yes- thats his perogative.
But since this is a hunting accident and no one is pressing charges...
Then most DA's spend there time on ...well..robbery, rape, intentional battery..
this type of thing.


(yes, you can shoot your friend and get away with it ...if he's a good friend & it was an accident)

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Check it out...

http://www.politopics.com/uploaded_images/cheney-741933.JPG

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

yancey,

what is the story here going to be when Whittington is released from the morgue.. er...the hospital and waves to the reporters tells them that considers Cheney a friend, and that the incident was a complete accident for which they are each partly to blame?

maybe the story will be "given the completely innocent nature of this accident to which both people are to blame, why did the Vice President of the United States, not just say that at the earliest possible moment? He is not a private citizen, he is a public servant and is thus accountable to the entire citenzry."

just maybe.

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

fitz,

that is one funny collage. If only you didn't defend the right of people who accidently shoot other people to delay their interviews with local law enforcement personnel, you'd probably be seen as a reasonable person.

Posted by: Edo on February 15, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Edo
Federal agent's were on the scene

Posted by: Fitz on February 15, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Edo
Federal agent's were on the scene
Posted by: Fitz

No. The Secret Service was "on the scene." They have no law enforcement jurisdiction whatsoever. Their job is strictly to protect members of the executive branch and their families, i.e., they are body guards.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK
No. The Secret Service was "on the scene." They have no law enforcement jurisdiction whatsoever.

That's not what they seem to think.

Now, as a federal law enforcement agency, the Secret Service clearly wasn't the appropriate law enforcement agency, so their presence in no way reduced the need to notify local law enforcement. But the Secret Service, just as clearly, is a law enforcement agency with a protective mission, not a protective agency with no law enforcement jurisdiction.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 15, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

all this parsing makes it sound like he banged his intern or something

How amusing that in Fitz' world -- you know, the world where "cocaine ... was not popular until the late 70's early eighties" (see the In the Bunker thread for more comedy gold from Fitz) -- shooting a man in the face is less a problem than a consensial sex act.

Amusing, did I say? Disgusting, more like.

Posted by: Gregory on February 15, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

But the Secret Service, just as clearly, is a law enforcement agency with a protective mission, not a protective agency with no law enforcement jurisdiction. Posted by: cmdicely

So, that's the truth! Dangerous Dick was chasing counterfeiters with the SS. Makes sense as they were so close to the border and all. I bet there were some DEA guys around as well.

As I wrote before, the SS has no law enforcement jursidiction, applicable to the situation.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 15, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Have you ever been quail hunting? You know how fast and small those little bastards are?

Quail hunting is for pussies. (There! I said it!) You ever hunt skeet? Those little sons of bitches can move, I tell you what. And they're vicious when cornered....

Posted by: Stefan on February 15, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

sportsnut, care to comment on dick's admission that he did drink before going on the hunt, and apparently poured himself a cocktail afterwards?

if he just had one beer, no big deal, depending on how soon after they went on the hunt. but we all say "one beer" or "two beers" when the cops are involved, don't we?

if dick had drank alcohol earlier in the day, but only one, why would he not want to meet the police and demonstrate he was sober? as part of PR due diligence and all? or did he plan on never mentioning the beer part, until armstrong let it slip accidentally?

Posted by: Jimm on February 15, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the word on the street is that all states require mandatory blood-alcohol tests in the case of accidental shootings.

Not Texas, better find a new street.

Posted by: Keith G on February 15, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

I already retracted that statement Keith G after researching Texas law and regulations. Hope you still feel smart...

Posted by: Jimm on February 16, 2006 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, in the Best of Show for Humor.

Most appropriate (funniest) citation of existing satirical work goes to:

And there are ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now:
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow
-- "The Hunting Song" by Tom Lehrer
Posted by: SecularAnimist
****
Best adaptation from popular cultural reference:

Chicks and ducks and donors gonna run
When they see Dick out with his gun
When they see Dick out with his gun
With a flask on top!
Posted by: shortstop
*****
Over the top cultural reference with top spin:

Yes! It's Madame Armstrong, knitting, knitting, always knitting, as the lawyers were taken out to "hunt" with the Vice President.

Driving up to the game in their new Jeep "Tumbril" SUVs....
Posted by: Stefan
******
Overall funnier than shit:

Word has it; to deflect blame, Cheney will explain the injury was caused by a Red Rider Carbine-Action BB gun, "You'll shoot your eye out Dickie"
Posted by: truwest

DQ'd: Sportsfan on the grounds of demonstrating lack of a discernible sense of humor

Posted by: CFShep on February 16, 2006 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, you quoted me from before I corrected myself on that point.

Posted by: cld on February 16, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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