By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 1/20/2020
Posted: 2/13/2006
Topics/Keywords: #DickCheney Page Views: 3830
We're all in trouble when Republican blow-hards actually fire weapons.

Anyone can have an accident, right?

What separates the men from the boys is how quickly a man owns up to it.

Saturday afternoon, "around 5:30 pm" vice president Cheney was "hunting" with friends and accidentally shot one of them. I have no reason to think the shooting wasn't an accident. If Cheney had wanted his friend dead, he wouldn't have done it himself. So this posting isn't about Cheney being a bad shot, or how this proves guns should be outlawed, or how is it possible to catch game with a man who is flanked by heavily armed Secret Service agents.

What it's about, is character.

The first thing that's odd, is that the news didn't pick up on this story Saturday evening. Cheney's "friend," Harry Whittington, was hit by the blast of a shotgun fired by Dick Cheney while they were hunting on a ranch located about 60 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas. They were also accompanied by Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch.

Hunting accidents are rare in Texas, perhaps because Texans with true bloodlust can simply monitor the executions carried out by the state's Department of Capital Punishment. What is rare is not reporting these accidents to the police.

While most of the media is wondering why the media wasn't informed—didn't the vice president know his shooting a man would be news?—they seem to be missing the fact that any shooting, whether fatal or not, must be reported to the police. Local media outlets always monitor the police "blotter" for hot items exactly like this one.

Now, in an accidental shooting, it is understandable if the shooter is distracted by trying to actually care for the victim. But, in this case, Whittington had been rushed to a local hospital to have the shotgun pellets removed from his face. The hospital was required by law to report the incident to the police. We can deduce that this didn't happen simply because no local media read it on the police blotter (which is supposed to contain entries from all calls—many police blotters are now kept online).

Ms. Armstrong was the one to report the story to a friend who is a political reporter, Jaime Powell of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. That was on Sunday. It's hard to imagine the delay wasn't intentional, to give time for a suitable cover story that would make vice president Cheney look good (or as not stupid as possible, given the circumstances).

So what story did they come up with?

We've been told that Whittington had just shot a quail (they were quail hunting) and came up behind the vice president while looking for it. Meanwhile, Cheney had spotted a quail of his own; and while tracking it, wound up aiming at Whittington's face and firing before he realized that it wasn't a quail.

What Dick Cheney was aiming at.

What Dick Cheney shot.

Now, over the past six years we've had many, many "news" items come forth from the Bush/Cheney spin factory. And there are two startling features such items always have:

  1. They contain many easily-spotted inconsistencies and discrepancies that prove the story presented as fact is a lie; and

  2. Bush's "base" believes them anyway, ignores all evidence that they are not true, and calls those presenting the evidence unpatriotic traitors.

Nevertheless, I am compelled to point out a few of these inconsistencies, beyond the previously-mentioned failure to notify the police (which must extend to include pro-actively preventing the hospital from doing so).

  • I can't believe the Secret Service would allow an armed man, no matter how close a friend, to sneak up behind the vice president with a loaded weapon without at least yelling, "Look out behind you, Mr. Vice President!"

  • Whittington, according to the story, had just shot a quail. As anyone who's ever hunted knows, once a shot is fired the quail scatter like FEMA workers in a hurricane. Cheney couldn't have been tracking a "quail of his own" so soon after Whittington's shot.

Cheney doesn't have a reputation as a good hunter, anyway. A few years ago he attended a "canned hunt" in Pennsylvania where he bagged at least 75 pheasants. No self-respecting hunter would kill more than he and his family can eat.

But then I guess Cheney's greed has never been under question.


Cheney's Chappaquiddick