Monday, February 13, 2006

The Most Incredible Thing About Cheney's Shooting

Ok, so the vice president accidentally shot someone while on a hunting outing South of San Antonio, Texas. Accidents happen all the time, right? And besides, it's not like he offed someone during a liquor-store hold-up. So what's all the fuss about you ask? It's simple. It took the Bush administration almost 24 hours to issue any sort of statement about the accidental shooting which occurred 5:30 PM Saturday. The vice president of the United States shoots someone, even accidentally, and all we got was a statement released by the ranch owner, Katharine Armstrong, to a small town newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that Armstrong called the paper. She did not notify the national media or the White House press corps. The vp's office commented thereafter.

In keeping the public and the press in the dark for so long, Cheney's general disdain for average Americans and the media was never more evident. It's incredible to me that he felt it was acceptable to have as the only reporting of the episode a private citizen's tip-off to a local newspaper. That Cheney did not think he owed the public and the press an immediate direct statement and explanation only further demonstrates the secrecy with which this administration operates, and its general belief that it operates above the law. This was a shooting, for craps' sake, involving the vice-president of the Unites States; the person next-in-line for the presidency. It's truly unfathomable how the news was broken, and by whom.


Melinda Pillsbury-Foster said...

Is the rumor that Cheney has asked Bush to go hunting with him fact or fantasy?

Anonymous said...

The more this administration drags it feet in honest and timely reporting of anything concerning them (Bush, Cheney, Rove, Brownie, Chertoff, Rice, etc, etc,) the more it looks like they are dishonest. Or is that an understatement?

Anonymous said...

Same old same old. It's not what happened, but how they handled the release of information about it.

I can never trust them.


Anonymous said...

As long as Cheney keeps hunting Republicans, it's okay with me. POW! I don't care if it takes him a year to report them as long as his aim is true.

Also, this means that it's unlikely that many of our new Supreme Court justices will join Scalia on Cheney's future outings.

I'm with Alan Simpson. It was the victim's fault. He was sneakin' up on him. I grew up near a woods where people hunted. This kind of incident happened quite often.. never happened once. I'm sure hunters will totally sign onto the idea that the fault was all with the guy who got shot.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is why Whittington didn't shoot back.

I just love being alive because you just couldn't make this stuff up about the White House and I keep wondering what tomorrow will bring.

Have you had ENOUGH YET?

Anonymous said...

Since we'll tolerate Bush and Cheney we'll willingly forfeit our country to them. For letting them simply take the U.S. from us, we deserve everything they do to us. Killing our kids. Methodically legislating and taxing us farther into poverty. Everything. All of it.

Please, what has gone so wrong with America and with us?

Unknown said...

Why isn't the press corps asking the obvious question; where was Lynne Cheney while Vice was out shooting with another woman? They would be asking if it were Bill Clinton or Gary Hart.

Anonymous said...

Yes, not only did they forceably keep the local authorities AWAY from Cheney until Sunday so he could sober up, they also were probably waiting to see if the man would DIE, seeing as how he was shot in the heart, and suffered a heart attack as soon as he was let out of ICU and had to be put back into Intensive Care.

Anonymous said...

personally, I now look back fondly on the days we read about oral sex and the meaning of the word "is"

does anyone else agree?

Anonymous said...

Agree! I'll take a blow job anytime
over anything these crook do. Besides,
I really doubt they could get a bj.

Jeff said...

The official story is nonsense, the gun Cheney was using can't do what it's accused of doing at the range it's alleged to have done it. It's simply not possible.

I'll try to get a comprehensive Post up tonight explaining it to the firearms-impaired.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Agree! I'll take a blow job anytime
over anything these crook do. Besides,
I really doubt they could get a bj.


Bush did have his homosexual prostitute Gannon/Guckert visit the White House quite often.

LiberalPride said...

Something is definitely fishy about this whole Cheney shooting incident.

Just a couple of points:

1) Where are all the lawyers??? If I didn't know better, I'd believe that Mr. Whittington was the only lawyer involved...and he was the one shot and rushed to the hospital.

To clarify, I will use an example. You are in a car accident. You are a prominent businessman, or whatever. You contact the authorities to report the car accident. You contact your insurance company from the scene or later from home. Oh, wait, some legal issues may be involved in the car accident (like DUI or recklessness) since the other car's occupant has been severely injured and taken to the hospital emergency room in an, of course, you DON'T immediately call your attorney for legal advice.

Thus, the Case of the Strange Quail Hunting Accident now becomes the Case of the Missing Attorneys.

In other words, as soon as Mr. Whittington was tended to and carried off to the nearby hospital in the ambulance, probably every member of the non-injured, non-hospitalized Cheney hunting party would have been in contact with their personal attorney, or their family's attorney. This could also be one of the primary reasons for the long delay in reporting the incident to the American public. The discussions among all the attorneys involved would have taken time. And because of the seeming antipathy between the president's office and the vice-president's office, President Bush would have been left in the dark. Scott McClelland would have been left in the dark. I can imagine that the attitude of the people at the Armstrong Ranch was that the fewer people involved, the better.

2) The adjustment of the incident time from 5:30 p.m. CST to 5:50 p.m. CST is interesting. In Texas, as elsewhere, the setting sun can be quite glaring when driving, walking or turning toward it. And a twenty minute difference in time while the sun is setting can mean the difference between it being above the horizon, or sinking below the horizon into twilight.

Do you see it?? Or have you been blinded by the setting sun??

Supposedly in the cover story being offered for us to swallow, Mr. Whittington, with the setting sun to his back, approaches the other hunters from behind, unannounced. Mr. Cheney, also with the setting sun to his back (which is good hunter policy that close to sunset), tracks the flight of a quail with his raised shotgun, pivots 180 degrees, and turns his head, eyes and shotgun toward the glaring setting sun and fires, wounding Mr. Whittington.

Maybe Mr. Cheney had on prescription sunglasses which reduced the glare?

But the only thing that can be honestly said about any hunter turning into the blinding light of a setting sun and firing a shotgun is that it was DUMB. Which makes their concocted cover story even worse than what probably actually did happen.

3) The first account of Mr. Whittington's injures (from Ms. Armstrong, I believe) was that he was injured on his "right" side above the waist, encompassing the "right" side of his head and neck, his "right" arm and the "right" side of his chest including his "right" ribs. And she stated that Mr. Whittington was fortunate that none of the buckshot had hit his eyes, which I take to mean his "right" eye since all the damage seems have to been only to his "right" side.


Mr. Whittington walked up on the forward hunting party from behind. In essence, he was "facing" their backs. Cheney spun around, fired his shotgun, and hit Mr. Whittington only on his "right" side???? No, no, no. That shotgun blast would have been from the front of Mr. Whittington and would have sprayed his front, not just his "right" side.

And as a sidebar, Mr. Whittington must not have been wearing hunting safety goggles or glasses since Ms. Armstrong stated he was fortunate not to have lost an eye(s) to the shotgun blast.

The entire scenario of the cover story being told just doesn't make any sense. Unless, of course, Cheney is that reckless and that incompetent a hunter.

So, let's give Cheney the benefit of the doubt...that he isn't a reckless and incompetent hunter.

Another scenario presents itself for scrutiny:

The hunters were walking abreast in a line through the brush, approximately 25 yards apart (as quail hunting parties usually do), with Cheney to Mr. Whittington's RIGHT. Cheney drew a bead on a flushed quail and turned to his LEFT approximately 90 degrees, fired his shotgun and hit Mr. Whittington on his RIGHT side.

(Think like a criminal detective and sketch a mental map of the crime scene).

This scenario would explain Mr. Whittington being injured on only his RIGHT side. It would also explain why the blast didn't take out one, or both, of his eyes, since the angle of attack wasn't from the front, but from the side. And it would explain why a hurry-up bogus cover story was hatched, since what Cheney did was both reckless and incompetent.

Oh, it doesn't really matter, does it? Whether my theory is true or their cover story is true, in both instances, Cheney displayed a complete lack of knowledge about gun etiquette. And because of this, he recklessly endangered the lives of those hunting with him.

Another sidebar:

Current news media accounts of Mr. Whittington's injuries now mention his face, his chest, his shoulders (?s?) and his ribs, implying that the shotgun blast was from his front. This story has changed from the earlier accounts that included his "right" arm (no mention of his left arm). In other words, someone at Spin-Central is slowly shifting the angle of attack on Mr. Whittington from his "right" side to from in front of him. Odd. Unless my theory about what happened is what actually did happen.

Boy, would I love to see the doctor's notes on the extent of Mr. Whittington's actual injuries and their exact locations.

Anonymous said...

The real story is already emerging, if you're willing to do a little digging. Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives), there was some drinking, and Whittington wound up shot. Armstrong didn't see the incident but claimed she had, Cheney refused to be questioned by the Sheriff until the next morning, and a born-again evangelical physician has been downplaying Whittington's injuries since they occurrred.
Neither the press nor law enforcement seems inclined to investigate.

Before the right-wing commenters howl - there's documentation for all of these statements. Let's take them one by one: In addition to Cheney and Whittington, the hunting party included Katherine Armstrong (who was in the car at the time of the shooting: more on that later). After lots of evasive comments that only referred to a "third hunter," we now know her identity: Pamela Willeford, the US Ambassador to Switzerland.

Then there was this Armstrong quote on MSNBC and picked up by Firedoglake (later dutifully scrubbed, but preserved on Google cache): "There may be a beer or two in there," (Armstrong) said, 'but remember not everyone in the party was shooting.'"

Interestingly, Armstrong's playing with words here. She later said that she (Armstrong) hadn't had anything to drink, so at least one of the other three must have been drinking - and the other three were shooting. So while her statement was literally correct ("not everyone ... was shooting"), it gives the false impression that nobody drank and shot.

Then there was this item (courtesy kos):

Armstrong said she saw Cheney's security detail running toward the scene. "The first thing that crossed my mind was he had a heart problem," she told The Associated Press.

In other words, she didn't see the accident. All of her statements, replete with colorful sidebars about getting "peppered pretty good," gave the false impression she was an eyewitness. She wasn't.

And what about Dr. David Blanchard, who made such light of Whittington's injuries? Before the heart attack occurred, Blanchard gave no indication that pellets had entered Whittington's torso or major organs (we now know that at least one other pellet entered his liver). I found an interesting quote. After asserting that spiritual beliefs help people recover more quickly (which studies have suggested may be true), Blanchard said this of people with out of body and near death experiences:

"These people do quite well in their disease processes," he said. "The Lord wasn't quite ready for them yet . . . It makes believers out of them."

It's likely that Blanchard is also the same "Dr. David Blanchard" who is listed as Vice Chairperson of World Hope International, a Christian evangelical aid group.

Blanchard's certainly entitled to his own beliefs, and World Hope International (if he's the same Blanchard) has done some good work, albeit with a proselytizing bent. But most evangelicals in this country are ardent supporters of the Bush/Cheney Administration. This may explain the otherwize puzzling word choices Dr. Blanchard made to play down Whittington's injuries, especially before the heart attack made that more difficult to do.

So was Cheney drinking, and was there anything inappropriate about this hunting party? We don't know, and nobody's investigating. There's reason to be suspicious. We do have the suggestion that drinking was taking place, we have inconsistencies and a pattern of deception in Armstrong's statements, we have a shooting injury that's far more serious than originally claimed ... and a Sheriff's Department and national press that have already proclaimed the VP innocent of all wrongdoing.

I was right to call this Cheney's Chappaquiddick. The parallels get stronger every day. Of course, Chappaquiddick happened almost forty years ago, and Ted Kennedy's turned his personal life around. Cheney's actions happened this weekend. There's reason to be suspicious of the Vice President's behavior, starting with the cover-up itself.

They're trying to spin it as just a badly handled case of press relations, but it's could be a whole lot more than that.

Anonymous said...

From 30 yards w/ a 28 guage? and it did that? Hah..hah...B*S#...15 yds max...he wishes it was 30 yds...

"I'll have what e's drink'n...wha?hunters don't exagermatate"

Wild Bill said...

The entire explanitation of the Cheney hunting "accident" is all a bunch of B.S. I've hunted quail in Florida many times and things just don't happen the way the liars are spinning this. The stuff about Mr. Whittington being partially at fault because he was behind Cheney and the other hunter is absurd. When a hunter falls behind the others in the line it's the ones in front of him that are in danger because if the lagging hunter shoots he'll be shooting over the heads of those in front on him. Here's why. When hunting quail you use dogs that are trained to find the birds that are on the ground in thick brush. The hunters follow behind as the dogs look for the birds. When the dogs find the birds they "point" and remain still until the hunter in charge of the dogs signals and the dogs flush the covey of quail. The birds fly up and away from the dogs and the hunters not behind them. The hunters select a bird that's up in the air and take a shot. Since the birds fly up and away from the dogs and hunters, there are no birds laterally to shoot. Since the birds are flying, they aren't parallel to the ground they're up so the shots are up toward the sky.

brisa said...

You can tell when members of this administration are lying....their lips are moving. How anyone can believe anything they say is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

This is just one more example of cheney and bushie thinking they are above the law, I truly believe these fascists will not stop until they have stolen our democracy, and it seems there is still no outrage from the public. Where are our collective cohones? THIS IS HISTORY IN THE MAKING, AMERICA....we need to WAKE UP AND TAKE OUR DEMOCRACY BACK!!!!

CDW said...

I would interpret Cheney's response as fear rather than distain.
It was a child's response to a problem to try and hide what had transpired and to avoid responsibility.
I agree that Cheney has a problematic relationship with the American people. His policies reflect an unhealthy combinbation of paranoia and twisted logic.
However,a man that behaves as he did has little self confidenct and no self respect.
Carol DW

Fuzzflash said...

Excellent analysis liberalpride. Cheney shot Whittington on Whitto's RIGHT side. The human heart(even in lawyers) is located on the LEFT side of the chest cavity. So for a pellet one tenth of an inch in diameter to lodge adjacent to his heart, the pellet(s) must have destroyed a heap of his right lung tissue and thoracic wall in transit. I have no doubt that the reason the announcement was delayed till the following day was because Cheney was heavily under the influence of alcohol when he shot the lawyer, and therefore guilty of a felony. Having trashed the "goddamn piece of paper" that is the Constitution, these swine can get away with whatever they like because no one on the hill has the fortitude to effectively challenge them. Sieg Heil The Chief.

Anonymous said...

most comments are here because it is linked from

Henceforth this poor chap will be known as "Duck! Cheney"

(message from England, but not a USUKer warcrim.)

Anonymous said...

An accident? Hardly! Deliberate is the only conclusion.

I was a rifle range coach in the marine corp. Trained, experienced shooting is all habit. Pick up a piece, you automatically check to see if its loaded. No one on any firing line at the range, on the line in combat, or a hunting line as for quail ever turns their piece to the left or right over 75 degrees let alone 90 degrees and fires a round off. NEVER!.

Mr Cheney has gone quail hunting 100s of times. Quail break cover and fly out in a star burst pattern so some are always flying towards and through the hunting line. Suddenly after 100s of hunting trips to do a complete 180 degree pivot and fire behing the firing line in violation of all his ingrained and trained habits. BS.

Everyone on a line knows that behind the line is safe. thats why no announcement distracting other shooters when you take a piss, pick up a bird, or reload.

200 shot in the head and shoulder could only mean 15 yards. Trained good ahooters always pick up the target first before squeesing off the round, a ingrained habit. Acquire target, shoot second.

Deliberate is the only possible conclusion. He was almost certainly dirinking, which gave him the dutch courage to Deliberately' shoot Mr. Whittingham.

Why, I don't know what Mr. Whittingham told him. Perhaps asking him to stop the illegal wiretaps. somethiong enraged Cheney, and deliberate hunting accidents are always between old friends.

Cheney is truly a sociopath.

Anonymous said...

It's alot worse than anyone in the media is saying. At least four Bush biographers have committed suicide, a statistical impossibility.

Harry Whittington was not only involved in the FUNERALGATE cover-up in Texas, which had then Governor Bush's Chief of Staff, Joe Allbaugh (appointed after the 2000 election to head FEMA bringing Michael Brown from Edmond, OK. with him) and Attorney General John Cornyn intervening for SCI, Service Corporation Inc. home to not only key Iran-Contra assets (remember that 18 planners of Iran-Contra have been resurrected to Bush's administration including the indicted John Poindexter and Elliot Abrams) , but SCI is also home to Al Gore's former campaign manager, Tony Coelho, a leading offender in the House Post Office scandal (THIS AIN'T REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT...IT PERVASIVE...REMEMBER THAT IRAN CONTRA NEEDED CLINTON'S APPROVAL TO USE BARRY SEAL'S AIRPORT AT MENA, ARKANSAS). SCI was manipulating the funeral industry and has a history in Florida and Texas of dispicable practices. Whittington was also a member of the Texas Department of Correction's Board whose healthcare program had about a $16,000,000 dispute. Prisoner healthcare was split between UT and Texas Tech Medical Schools in Galveston and Lubbock. Ambassasor to Switzerland, land of secret bank accounts, is Pam Willeford, whose husband was appointed to the Dept of Correction's health care commmittee overseeing prison medicine in May, 2000.

So you can see the problem.

The sheriff of Kenedy County deferred to his predecessor, former Sheriff Medellin who lives on Ambassador Armstrong's ranch. Kenedy County like most of the counties in the Nueces Strip, between the Nueces River and Rio Grande, are a moral no man's land. People get very rich from what crosses the grasslands....and it ain't all cattle. It was in Whittington's Goliad County (he has a ranch there on I-35 where his daughter is married to one of the County Constables. The Minute Men recently assembled because of complaints by ranchers that the county is a launch site for smuggling illegal aliens north to Houston up the famous Corridor 69 created by GATT/NAFTA).

Kenedy County is home to the Sarita Kenedy Foundation which has been a focal point of bitter disputes and dark intrigue. The foundation was in the news not long ago when Texas Catholic Bishops were angry over the use of Foundation funds, which were susposed to spread around the state, but were horded by the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Rene Gracida, a former USN aviator who delivered the benediction at the Thursday night of the 2004 Republican National convention when Zell Miller told Chris Matthews on HARDBALL that he'd like to shoot him..."I wish I lived in the time when we still had duels."

Hey, Zell. WE DO! You go hunting with Cheney next time!