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The other day I posted a diary that began:

It will come as no surprise that during today's White House press briefing, Dick Cheney's hunting adventure was the hot topic.  Are you thinking, "boring," or, "I'm sooo tired of this story?"  That's where I was...but after Scott's performance this afternoon?  I'm now wondering if the Dick-shot-man story will be going away soon.

And in the course of the discussion in that diary, I jokingly wrote:
I (barely) resisted the urge to say Scott's story was full of holes.

And now, (barely) three days after the shooting story broke, I've realized how many holes in the story there truly are. What follows is a compilation of the conflicting statements of just one person...Dick Cheney's friend and alibi, Katharine Armstrong.  

Let's begin with Katharine Armstrong, Dick Cheney's witness-in-chief, and ipso-facto press secretary.  It is her version of events that has been disseminated around the world, she was the only witness cited on the accident report, and it was of Armstrong that Scott McClellan said when asked about the circumstances of the shooting, "You ought to check with her."  So, what happened that day, according to Armstong?

Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong said.

"The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

But what is left out of that now familiar quote is this important detail:

From what Armstrong said she saw as she sat in the hunt vehicle about 100 yards from Cheney and the other hunters...

Think about that.  Armstrong was sitting in a car that was parked the length of a football field away, yet she not only could see that Whittington didn't signal, she knew that he didn't announce his return. Even accepting the story that she could see the events clearly from that distance, she certainly wouldn't have been able to hear what Whittington did or didn't say.

And what about Armstrong's repeated efforts to downplay Whittington's injuries?

"It broke the skin. It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that.

Fortunately, the vice president has got a lot of medical people around him and so they were right there and probably more cautious than we would have been."  [...]

"...bruised more than bloodied, and his pride was hurt more than anything else."

But how does that casual dismissal square with this?

The medical team that travels with Cheney immediately began ministering to Whittington, who was bleeding profusely from wounds to his face, neck and chest, witnesses said.

Or this?

"Sally (Whittington) May said her father does not recall a lot of the incident, nor was he involved in how or whether information about the incident was released: 'He didn't know at the time if he was going to the hospital or the mortuary.'"

And as the focus intensified on why the announcement about the shooting was delayed for 22 hours, so did Armstrong's story on what she was focused on that night:

"Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong said no one discussed notifying the public of the accident Saturday because they were so consumed with making sure [Harry] Whittington was OK.

They were consumed?  With what?  I thought that it was only Whittington's pride that was hurt.  

And of course there is the burning question; was alcohol a factor in the shooting?  According to the ever-accomodating Armstrong:

None in the hunting party was drinking alcohol, Armstrong said.

"No, zero, zippo and I don't drink at all," she said. "No one was drinking."

When someone starts throwing around "zippo," you know they must be serious, right?  But one must ask about the now scrubbed MSNBC story where Armstrong said:

...she believes no one that day was drinking, although she says there may have been beer available during a picnic lunch that preceded the incident. "There may be a beer or two in there," she said, "but remember not everyone in the party was shooting."

From zero and zippo to beer being available...not that anyone was drinking it.  By the way, did I mention that it was only Whittington's pride that was hurt?  After all, Katharine Armstrong said so.

It was this model of consistency that was chosen to annouce to the world that the Vice President of the United States shot a man.  And when did Ms. Armstrong decide to break the story to a local paper?  On Saturday.

Armstrong said Cheney had spoken with her Saturday evening about disclosing the incident to the public. "We knew word would get out," she said. He urged her to tell friends and family first, before word leaked out to the media.

No, check that, it was on Sunday:

...Armstrong said that she, her mother and her sister, Sara Storey Armstrong Hixon, decided on Sunday morning after breakfast to report the shooting accident to the media...We felt -- that the information needed to go public. It was our idea," Armstrong said.

Wait, it was on Sunday, but it was her decision

Katharine Armstrong said she made the decision to inform the Corpus Christi Caller Times about the accident on Sunday.

So let's recap the many statements made by Cheney's alibi; from the inside of a car, 100 yards from the scene, Armstrong neither saw nor heard Whittington announce his approach, he was "more bruised than bloody," and he was "bleeding profusely," he was "fine," and he didn't know, "if he was going to the hospital or the mortuary," there was "no drinking" and there was, "beer available," Cheney "urged" her tell her story on Saturday, and it was her family's "idea" on Sunday, except when it was her idea on Sunday.  

As clear as mud, isn't it?  Bear in mind, this is just one person's conflicting and contradictory statements in the ongoing-saga of how the Vice President of the United States shot a 78 year old man in the face.

Update: Thanks to emptywheel for pointing this out:

There's a paragraph in the now-scrubbed beer story that makes it clear that she didn't see the accident.
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.
This is Armstrong admitting that the first evidence she saw that alerted her that something was wrong was the Secret Service running to help. And that she thought it was Cheney who was in trouble.

This says, to me at least, that she did not see the accident at all.

I'm very curious why no one has asked Ms. Ambassador to Switzerland about the accident, seeing as how she was supposedly standing right next to Dick.

Thanks, emptywheel

Update II: I've posted Part II of this diary at ePluribus Media.

Originally posted to Barbara Morrill on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:15 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This was getting too long... (4.00)
    ...but I have a lot on the Sheriff's Department too, but this diary was already approaching epic length...a diary for another day.  ;-)

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:17:02 AM PST

    •  Kinda makes it clear . . . (4.00)
      why Cheney hasn't talked.

      Very compelling.

      •  Marty Kaplan at Huffington Post asks: (4.00)

        UPDATE 3: PAGING DR. FRIST! PAGING DR FRIST! Could a superficially implanted pellet, traveling through hunting clothes, actually have migrated into the patient's heart? Or was the gun closer to the victim than we've been led to believe? Only one person is qualified to make the long-distance diagnosis. Mr. Majority Leader, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

        •  Also CNN now reporting that family . . . (4.00)
          has said "no more updates" from hospital.

          Now, I wonder has family been told by the regime there will be NO FURTHER updates.

          •  Why do I get the feeling... (4.00)
            that this means very bad news for Mr. Whittington?

            "Lies, lies, lies, ye-ah... they're going to get you." --The Thompson Twins

            by modchick65 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:32:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I cut the family a little slack (4.00)
            There are none of here without sin, so regardless if Whittington or the family did anything wrong here (and by that I mean not tell a straight story), I do not blame them for saying "Reporters, leave us the hell alone" as the man is most likely fighting for his life - that is more than understandable and ought to be respected.

            That said, Cheney's sorry ass, Armstrong and Miss Swiss Ambassador ought to be raked over the coals for information as too much does not add up and Whittington can't speak for himself right now.  

            George W Bush - Plame Duck President

            by T u g on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:02:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I wonder if (none)
              Mr. Whittington can or will ever tell the story. It doesn't seem as though anyone anticipates the story to be told by the victim. Is it too far-fetched?
              •  Is anyone else wondering (none)
                if perhaps the silent lady ambassador might have pulled the trigger instead of Cheney? Just wondering. At first no one would even reveal her identity, and since the incident, she hasn't said a word. Well, neither has Cheney, of course, but that is SOP for him. Her silence seems quite odd, and getting the story (however shifting) together could account for the overnight wait.

                "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

                by martyc35 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:24:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  The all-seeing Dr. Frist is quite capable (4.00)
          of making medical diagnoses of patients at a great remove from his own physical presence.  There is ample precedent to demonstrate his prescience.

          Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

          by DCDemocrat on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:21:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  As for the migration story (4.00)
          It appears to me from reading this story that because of the limitations of technology, the doctors never knew the starting location of the shot that now may be lodged in the wall of his heart. It may have been there all along.

          Doctors believe that a 5-millimeter birdshot is lodged in his heart muscle.

          "The birdshot was not ever in the chamber of the heart," said Peter Banko, the hospital's administrator.

          The doctors say a high-tech, 3-D heart scanner won't pinpoint the birdshot because it is metal and will blur the image.

          "If they have the machine, which they say they do, why not try it?" Johnson said."It's a benign test, very quick."

          Johnson, btw, is an ABC News medical contributor, who contributed to the story.

          •  X-Ray (4.00)
            If they can't use an MRI because the guy is full of metal objects, wouldn't this be a perfect situation for an old-school X-ray?
            •  Of course! (4.00)
              The same X-ray they trot out anyone is suspected of having any fracture or solid object anywhere in the body.  All they would have to do is stabilize Whittington enough to take shots from several angles through the chest cavity.  It would be easy to determine if the plelet in his heart muscle was consistent in appearance with the others in him.

              An old injury?  "It may have been there all along"?  If this is an angle the Cheney team is pushing, it's eerily reminiscent of an Al Franken bit about how Republicans react to a problem (paraphrasing): "A Republican borrows a dish from you.  When you get it back, it's broken.  His response?  'I never borrowed the dish.  When I borrowed the dish, it was already broken.  When I returned the dish, it was in perfect condition.'"

              Whittington just became a dish in Republican hands.

            •  Of course! (none)
              The same X-ray they trot out anyone is suspected of having any fracture or solid object anywhere in the body.  All they would have to do is stabilize Whittington enough to take shots from several angles through the chest cavity.  It would be easy to determine if the plelet in his heart muscle was consistent in appearance with the others in him.

              An old injury?  "It may have been there all along"?  If this is an angle the Cheney team is pushing, it's eerily reminiscent of an Al Franken bit about how Republicans react to a problem (paraphrasing): "A Republican borrows a dish from you.  When you get it back, it's broken.  His response?  'I never borrowed the dish.  When I borrowed the dish, it was already broken.  When I returned the dish, it was in perfect condition.'"

              Whittington just became a dish in Republican hands.

          •  imaging catch-22 (none)
            I think any metal will scatter the beam for ionizing radiation (X-rays, CT scans)

            you can't use MRI if it's a steel shot or any ferromagnetic metal -- the magnets will tear the pellet right out of his body

            I don't know much about echocardiograms but I'm guessing it's the only way they have any idea at all of just where the pellet is relative to the heart (i.e., in the wall, not in a chamber or the pericardium)

            •  Not a problem (3.00)
              Cheney uses depleted uranium loads.

              I wonder why there's no mention of the eye damage Whittington suffered when Cheney decided to skull fuck him afterwards?

            •  I had heard it was lead shot (none)
              which would be OK for scanning, since it's nonmagnetic.

              But then again, it's hard to know what the hell really happened, because no-one is saying anything beyond the standard cover-up stories.

              congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

              by bartman on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:55:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That isn't a problem for x-rays (none)
              X-rays are absorbed and scattered by metal, but that's the point -- the metal makes a shadow in the beam as it passes though the body. Standard x-ray images show these shadows, and CT scans are a fancy way of looking at 2D shadows from lots of angles and figuring out the 3D structure.
              •  half right (none)
                I've seen CTs of people with rods in their spine... there was a scatter pattern which amounted to rays emanating from the metal object.  But you're right, metal or anything dense enough will just block the beam on standard Xrays and show up white on the film.

                They're not doing cardiac MRI for some reason -- I don't think it was lead shot.

          •  Radiology will do the job (none)
            as  well as ultrasound
          •  migration story is bogus, he was shot in heart (4.00)
            see my diary HERE.

            An election does not make a democracy.

            by seesdifferent on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:37:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Huffington has a big story--a rumor, but . . . (4.00)
          Everyone stay calm. It's a rumor, but we can hope, can't we?

          More from Huffington Post. It's getting richer and richer:

          Was Cheney Hiding His Lewinsky?
          Sirius radio's Alex Bennett just broke a rumor that the delay in reporting the news that Cheney shot an old man in the heart was due to an effort to hide or spin Cheney's female companion.

          Pamela Willeford (shown right), ambassador to Switzerland and -- yes -- Liechtenstein, was part of the hunting excursion with Cheney and Whittington. And according to Willeford's account, Cheney and the ambassador were side-by-side when the shooting of Whittington took place.

          The vice president's Secret Service detail had to decide what to do with Willeford by way of perhaps covering up her relationship with Cheney, and thus the delay in reporting the news.

          The rumor goes that Lynn Cheney isn't happy with Cheney's close relationship with Willeford.

          Again, just a rumor.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

          •  Think THIS story could be obfuscation (none)
            I saw that story on Huffpo too - but can't see how having a mistress (which is not a CRIME)  could be as significant as the VP shooting and possibly critically injuring someone.

            What the REAL question should be is if Cheney shot Wittington on purpose.

            If that is the case - a sex scandal could serve to deflect attention away from the more serious issue

            •  If this rumor has a grain of truth . . . (none)
              it's monumentally signficant. This is the value values crowd.

              Just stay tuned and stay calm.  I'll bet where there's smoke there's fire.

            •  Not a crime-? (4.00)

              If it was supposedly the ultimate act of decadence, immorality, and criminal abuse of office, which threatened to bring an end to western civilization as we know it and violate all laws of jurisprudence, for Bill Clinton to have a few instances of mere sexual foreplay, then why is it that the married Dick Cheney, who hails from the "values" party, having a mistress not a major story here-?
              •  IOKIYAR (4.00)
                Move along.

                "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

                by ogre on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:23:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Scandal vs. crime (4.00)
                Sorry - I understand what you're saying - but as much noise as cons like to make about Clinton's infidelities - everybody knows he would have been re-elected in a landslide if he had been able to run again.

                Which is to say - the scandal was not POLITICALLY fatal to Clinton's career.

                The Pubs have a good understanding of how to maximize their enemies scandals and minimize their own (Bush Sr. probable infidelities, Bush Jr. going AWOL - probable antics of the Bush twins).

                But CRIME is not the same thing as scandal. If Cheney is guilty of a crime he could go to JAIL.  Sorry - but looking at the big picture - even the religious right wouldn't consider a sexual scandal as being a bigger deal then some form of homicide.

                •  maybe a b.j. is worse than murder? (none)
                  I understand what you are saying, but basically this group in office is functioning outside the constitution, maybe if he was getting a b.j. while he shot someone, there'd be some momentum to impeach someone. just a thought.
            •  I think Cheney constituents (4.00)
              would rather him shoot someone than cheat on his wife. Weird group.

              ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

              by Tirge Caps on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:03:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  When Ms. Willeford went to Europe to be (4.00)
            an ambassador, her hubby stayed behind in Texas. Close couple. Then when she comes back for a quick visit with hubby she instead spends her time quail hunting with Unka Dick. Go figure. It ain't hard.

            -6.88/-5.64 * You know what's happening. Fight it.

            by John West on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:31:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I heard.... (4.00)
            Lynne was angry because she had the hots for Willeford too .....

            There is a silver lining to this:  It proves you can be Republican AND have a heart.

          •  Maybe they were boffing in the brush (none)
            Whittington came up, saw what they were doing, made a snide remark and got it.
          •  Which side? (none)
            If you have two hunters side-by-side, then that's two people that didn't recognize the motion BEHIND the hunting party. If Cheney is right handed, and turned to his left, then there is a weak-side shot, which has a slightly different protocol for aiming and shooting than a strong-side shot. See gun mag sites.
        •  if not Dr. Frist (none)
          then definitely Jessica Fletcher.  Let's bring her down from Cabot Cove.  I bet she'll have this case knocked out in an hour.

          If she's not available, why not try Hercule Poirot.  I wonder how Republicans feel about Belgians.

          Progressivism: be on the right side of history.

          by deep6 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:13:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Cheney within feet of shooting victim (none)
          Distance of several feet, not 30 yards, between Cheney and shooting victim:Whittington was standing in low-lying area or bed of dried pond "several feet downhill from Cheney" - "With the wind gusting and the sun setting behind where Whittington was walking, it could have been hard to see and hear him."

          Patriot Daily

          •  in that case... (none)
            how could he possibly use the argument that he left it up to his hostess to break the story since she was an eye witness. if she was still in the car, how could she possibly see someone that cheney could barely see?
            one other thing, if harry was in a low-lying area, how low did cheny have to aim in order to hit him? are you supposed to shoot at the birds while they are close to the ground or when they are in the air?
            maybe dickieboy needs to take up fishing instead. we'll get him some fish and a barrel and let him keep his gun. i would think that scenario would be just as sporting as a ranch purposely overstocked with animals so that rich people can have the pleasure of blowing them to pieces.

            I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

            by nonnie9999 on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:19:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Were they shooting captive quail? (4.00)
        One thing that also doesn't make sense is when Armstrong says "another covey was flushed".  Flushed by hunters, hunting dogs, or by remote control that opens the cage?

        In past hunting trips Dictator Dick shot 50-70 pheasants and his party 417 out of 500 released that day at a game farm.  

        Thank you Barb for these additional details, does anyone know if these were tame birds released from cages?  That might complicate Dictator Dick's story even more since someone in the hunting party would be triggering the release.

        Dictator Dick is a cruel cretin, he and Bush sure are good at finding sycophants and toadies to cover up for them- but the liars usually contradict themselves, especially when they don't have the years of lying practice that Dictator Dick does.

        •  i've only (none)
          been hunting once (and i'm from texas!) and my brother-in-law released several quail in a general area. they were still "coveyed" together an hour later roughly in the same spot. so this might not impact the story.

          I dream of cherry pies, candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies. We used to microwave, now we just eat nuts and berries.

          by sadair on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:44:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's not hunting (4.00)
            I don't know exactly what to call what these upper-class twits are doing--target practice with live targets, maybe--but it's laughable and insulting to call it "hunting".  
          •  They "covey" together (4.00)
            because they've spent their entire lives in cages.  They're released into the wild, the first time they've ever seen, much less been in, the outdoors.  Like most birds, they huddle together for protection, especially when released into a strange and frightening environment.  And there they are when Cheney and his bloodlusting minions roar up in SUVs, sloshing beer and spilling heavy armaments everywhere.  Two minutes later, there's nothing left but a huge, gory mess, the SUV roars on to the next destination, and the hired help comes along later with the plastic bags to clean up.

            Now why isn't this an issue with the media?

            •  That sounds like... (none)
              ...it would be a pretty accurate description, although I wouldn't know for sure.

              But man, that just makes me feel ill.

              The chips are down. Find your outrage.

              by sj on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:26:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  This reminded me of another tyrant (4.00)
              Nicolaus Ceaucescu, and a show I saw years ago about his obscene slaughtering of bears.

              Had to look it up. One article here:

              http://www.bookcase.com/...

              Wouldn't it be something if a parallel was drawn to the quail slaughters and presented in the MSM.

               

            •  Nice extended metaphor for the (none)
              political life of the Bush administration, Black Max.

              Novus Ordo Seclorum. Since 1776.

              by Ignacio Magaloni on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:04:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Cleanup: the Wringers (none)
              And within that gory mess, of course, are a number of live, injured birds. It's the wringers' job to wade into those heaps of blood and feathers and find the "floppies"--birds still moving or lopsidedly walking and even those merely stunned and trying to fly away--and snap their necks. The floppies are then stuffed into plastic bags along with the rest of the bloody carcasses--the birds who were "lucky" enough to get shot dead and put out of their misery right of the (literal) chute.

              Unfortunately shooting birds sprung from cages isn't a practice exclusive to idiotic wealthy "elite." Lots of everyday folks have the desire to "play hunter" for a day.  Many midwestern communities and elsewhere throughout the US organize summer festivals with live shooting ranges of this sort as the major attraction--it's been going on for decades. The job of "wringer" traditionally falls to the children of the community, usually eight and nine-year-old boys. It's considered a manly rite of passage.

              I'm working on a diary on the subject; look for it.

              Is nothing secular?

              by aitchdee on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:29:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's Totally Staged (4.00)
          Have another bird, Mr. Vice President.
        •  "50-70 pheasants" is a misquote (none)
          It was 50-70 peasants.

          Sixteen scandals in my heart will glow: click "A is for Abramoff"

          by Major Danby on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:43:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  At this point he has no idea which direction (none)
        to spin his lies.
    •  A diary for TODAY (4.00)
      I need to hear more...would you consider giving the material to someone else and letting them post it as a diary today, crediting you? This is just too good. Thank you for this.

      Of course if you wait a full day - that means a whole day's worth of lies and inconsistencies for you to pore through, which makes even better reading material. So either way...

      Thanks again. I'm going to forward this to all my friends.

    •  CSI (4.00)
      George Gorgola, a photographer from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times did a simulation with a paper target.  Photo is here

      To see what the injuries might have looked like, Caller-Times photographer George Gongora, an avid shooter, simulated the accident Monday morning at Corpus Christi Pistol & Rifle Club. He fired at a paper target 30 yards away with his 28-gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot shells.

      "We can pretty much see that at least over 200 BBs have touched this area right here," Gongora said, motioning to the face and torso area of the target.

      At least over 200 BBs.  And the media is reporting 6 to 200.  Six?  I wonder whose guesstimate that is.

      "...no weapons of mass destruction over there, but Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here." -Rev. Lowery

      by Cecile on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:14:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I look forward (4.00)
      to your next one on the sheriffs.  Really.  I'm obsessed with good mysteries (real and fictional both) and you make a fine detective.

      This diary reads like a Colombo episode:

      Colombo: "Thanks, Mrs. Armstrong, sounds like a minor hunting accident, these things happen.  I'm just sorry a fine upstanding lady such as yourself has to go through all this ugly police procedure.

      Mrs. Armstrong (graciously):  "You're most welcome, Detective, I've told you everything I remember."

      Colombo:  "I'll be going, then, thanks for the tea and by the way, those were the best cucumber sandwiches I've ever had...but don't tell Mrs. Colombo."
          (Columbo moves toward the door. He looks down at his notebook, starting to close it.Then he turns.)

      Colombo:  "Oh, just one more thing, Mrs. Armstrong.  I can't seem to read my handwriting on my notes here.  Was it Saturday or Sunday that you and Mr. Cheney decided to inform the press about the incident?  You did say it was his idea, right?  Or did you say it was your idea?  If I can't read 'em now, I'll never be able to type them up back at the station...

      Mrs. Armstrong stiffens but smiles blandly.  Her hand trembles as she lifts her tea cup, because she doesn't drink alcohol.  Zero.  Zippo.  Except for those few beers at the picnic....

      "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

      by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:26:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  need more about the time (4.00)
      first it was before 5pm; then it was as the sunset, then "dusk" and now the MSCM is reporting that the shot was fired "as night fell".
      •  But doesn't the official report (none)
        filed by the Sherrif's Dept. say it was "sunny"? Clear, yeah, I can see that. But you can't classify twilight or "as night fell" as being a "sunny" condition.
        •  98% full moon that night (4.00)
          which helps account for part of the confusion.

          The Naval Observatory has a GUI-based solar calculator page that will give sunrise, sunset, civil twilight, etc. for anyplace in the world. According to this page, for Corpus Christi (closest city I could find in the news reports), sunset on Feb 11th was at 6:18 pm, with civil twilight ending 6:42 pm. The nearly-full (it was full the following night) moon rose at 5:07 pm. So, there was light outside, especially if the skies were cloud-free.

          Radarlady

          •  Yabbut (4.00)
            let's say the moon rises early, and it's full, on a clear evening. If it's past sunset, or close to sunset, regardless of how bright the moonlight is, I'm not gonna call it a "sunny" day. I'm going to say it's clear out, maybe note that it's a bright and nearly full moon, but "moony" and "sunny" are two entirely different things.
            •  Agreed (none)
              The police report is probably incorrect to call the ambient lighting "sunny" in its field report. "Approaching dark" or "cloud-free evening sky" would have been more accurate.

              Your post caught my attention because I remember the shadow of our house cast by the moon on ths snow (I live in the Maryland suburbs of DC, where we had gotten an inch or so on the ground, and were in a dry gap at the time) was exceptionally bright Saturday night. While there was no snow in Texas, it's all the same moon.

              Note, too, that sunset was at least a half an hour after the latest lie about the time of the shooting. So, while the shooting probably happened while the sun was up, the aftermath happened in moonlight. I could easily see how there would be a half an hour or so of a great deal of confusion and shouting. Or, at least for Mr. Whittington's sake, I hope there was.

              Don't mistake what I'm saying, here, I think (at best) Cheney's secretive nature has led him astray (at worst, there's something very nefarious going on), but it wasn't just pitch black out there. What I don't understand is this: how, if Katherine Armstrong (I think was her name) was sitting in her SUV 100 yards away, did she know there were quails to be flushed? Or were there four people at the immediate scene, not three?

              Radarlady

              •  I wasn't yabbutting at you (none)
                You make good points. (I live on the other side of DC from you, in the NoVa 'burbs, and the night it snowed, as well as the night after, it was uncommonly bright outside even when it was full night.)

                But the police report should reflect not only the witness's statements, but also the actual conditions of the lighting. Like you, I call BS on Katharine Armstrong as witness; how could she know whether Whittington announced himself when she didn't even know at first what had happened? Why are her statements conflicting in several of her accounts? And why is she listed as a witness at all, given the fact that she clearly wasn't an eyewitness - why not get Cheney's statement for the sherrif's report, or the ambassador?

                Maybe the police report was reflecting that it was sunny on Sunday, the day they were actually permitted to take statements and file a report. </snark>

              •  I am certain. No! More than certain. (4.00)
                That this event is the type of event that Secret Service details routinely write reports about.  In a hospital setting it's called a "sentinel event".  You know it when you see it.  It's the kind of event that a whole lot of people are gonna have some splainin to do.

                There is no way that this shooting occurred without someone in the Secret Service recording the exact time and conditions.  And there is most certainly a record.

                If we're dumb. Then God is dumb. And maybe a little ugly on the side.

                by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:33:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Again, agreed (none)
                  There are people (and not just the Secret Service) who know perfectly well exactly what happened last Saturday. It's just that none of them are talking. Or, I should say, ONE of them will be talking, but, who trusts anything we hear on Fox News?

                  Radarlady

          •  They're lieing about the time (none)
            Not sure what Texas regulations state, but 30 minutes before sunset is typical. In that case they are real close to the close of hunting, those rules are made for a good reason I think we can all agree. That is probably why the Secret Service was sitting in their cars. They figured this thing was wrapped up. The reason the VP didn't see his victims orange gear was that it was dark. Having done some hunting there are always a few guys who keep popping away until you can't see the nose in front of your face.

            "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

            by agent double o soul on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:08:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The reported time I've seen is 5:50 PM (4.00)
        Sunset was at 6:18 PM. Temperature was 58 and it was partly cloudy. Hunting regulations restrict shooting to 30 minutes after sunset, which is about how long light remains. Still, near dusk, visibility would not have been good especially for older people. Cheney wears glasses, which means his vision is already impaired and a lot of older people don't even drive after dusk because of vision problems. Twilight is often the most difficult time for people with vision problems. Glasses also limit peripheral vision because the lens does nor wrap, although one should still be able to detect color even in the blurred peripheral area. Of course, if alcohol was a factor, then vision and reflexes would have been further impaired. At this point, we can't even be sure of the time, much less anything else.
        •  The Accident Report (4.00)
          •  The accident report says 5:30.
          •  The MSNBC timeline says 6:30.
          •  The MSNBC timeline says the victim was admitted to the hospital at 7:20. (not sure it was the first hospital or the second)
          •  The distance from the victim was 30 yards.
          •  The hunter was using size 7 1/2 shot. (It might have been barrel number two.)
          •  The anatomical graph is incorrectly filled out. The frontal diagram shows the wound on the left side.
          •  The weather is listed as sunny and clear.
          •  The victim had not completed a hunter certified safety course.
          •  The shooter's information on hunter safety was not filled in. (was Cheney actually interviewed?)
          •  The accident was listed as non-fatal.
          •  If the VP were to have suffered a heart attack, would the Secret Service have called for a medical helicopter? (of course if it was dark that might have been a problem) The victim was transferred by ambulance.

          "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

          by agent double o soul on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:56:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe (none)
            the MSNBC timeline is that of the AP, which is listed in Eastern Times....so 5:30 CST and 6:30 EST are the same.

            "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." ~George Orwell

            by Troubled on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:24:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  They are assembling the new 'Whiittington' (4.00)
          at the undiclosed location

          we can make him stronger, faster....we have the technology

          "We learn from History that we don't learn from History"

          by buhdydharma on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:57:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Great diary, Barb. (none)
      But I haven't seen anyone ask if Whittington has released a statement or if he's consented to an interview. In fact, for a lawyer, he doesn't seem to be saying much. Too weak? Too unconscious? Too dead?

      hink

      •  Mr. Whittington's condition (none)
        If Mr. Whittington were able to speak or make an appearance, he would have by now.

        I suppose it's possible that he's going to be all right but his face is disfigured enough for Cheney's people to want to keep it under wraps.  Even so, he could have done a 30-second phone interview.

        I know this is speculation, but they're not giving us much to go on.  My hunch is that Mr. Whittington is in bad shape, very unfortunately.

    •  i just don't get (4.00)
      why it is ok that Cheney talked with her about releasing it the media before she did and how folks don't realize that Cheney coached her?  I mean, c;mon.  They discussed it and decided that Cheney wouldn't be able to defend himself but if this charismatic Texas super woman can claim to be a witness she can offer up her version without any interference.  They coached her on what to say and what not to say and she loves the VP and loves covering for him so why the hell not.  Hardly her decision at all.  She wouldn't have said a word if it wasn't the VP's decision to have her do the talking.
    •  Addition (4.00)
      Cheney "urged" her tell her story on Saturday, and it was her family's "idea" on Sunday, except when it was her idea on Sunday.

      You forgot to include for "clarification purposes" that they didn't discuss releasing the information because they were worried about Whittington's condition which was either the equivalent of being snapped with a wet towel or potentially life-threatening, depended on when you asked and whether they seek to explain away the severity of the shooting or their silence about it.

      I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

      by GTPinNJ on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:33:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You can go to the LEO Agency (none)
      and request all files on the accident report.

      In the report there should be written statements.

      When you make a written or audio  statement you are swearing an oath that you are telling the truth.

      And since they are saying that the investigation is over, they cannot refuse you.

      Sacrifice! Sacrifice! We need you to sacrifice your kids and money. Meanwhile, ours will stay home and spend spend spend. That will be their greatest sacrifice.

      by ladydawg on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:44:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Quailgate (none)
      Is it too early to give this scandal a name?

      "It is possible to fool all the people all the time -- when the government and press cooperate." -- George Seldes

      by Doofus on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:50:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One criticism (none)
      Though you point to many of the obviously contradictory statements, the tone gives it a sense that there's some greater conspiracy.  What we have here is a clear case of a politician making things worse by trying to control events that are beyond their control.

      Much of your contradictory statements are over what are likely irrelevant details.  The specific time of the incident, 5:30 or 5:50 doesn't matter.  The Sheriff treated the incident as a hunting accident, which it was, and he probably deals with such things fairly routinely.  No he didn't rush over there and check Cheney's BAC, which is sloppy but not evidence of a conspiracy.

      The timing of the revelation of this to the press is not contradictory.  Cheney talks to her Saturday night and says to tell her family first.  She does, then Sunday she tells that one paper.

      The potential that Cheney was drunk at the time is significant, but difficult to proove without an eyewitness willing to spill the beans.  Anybody who was hunting with the VP is likely a friend of his and isn't going to want to bring him down over this.  

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:07:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The time of the incident COULD matter. (none)
        The lighting could be a factor; maybe 5:50 is too late to be hunting safely. I don't know one way or another, but I want to know such details.

        "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

        by Shiborg on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:07:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This truly is an example of why (none)
        telling the TRUTH right off the bat is always best.

        "Oh the wicked webs we weave

        when one is looking to deceive" Or something like that.

        "Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them"

        by Esjaydee on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:00:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Eyewitness... (4.00)
    testimony is often unreliable.
    •  And so are police reports (4.00)
      At least the only 2 I have seen had major problems. The one was an accident I was saw. It said the motorcycle hit the side of the car, but the car hit the side of the motorcycle. It was obvious as the car had damage to the front of it and not the side.

      The other was just egregiously incorrect. A friend's house had been broken into while he was home. The cops simply wrote it up as a found property incident because they found a camera when they did a perimeter search. They tried to get my friend to admit it was his camera, presumably so they wouldn't have to enter a report at all.

    •  Eyewitness testimony unreliable... (4.00)
      ... especially when the testimony comes from an enabling co-dependent defending an alcoholic.
    •  Armstrong's even more so (4.00)
      There's a paragraph in the now-scrubbed beer story that makes it clear that she didn't see the accident.

      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.

      This is Armstrong admitting that the first evidence she saw that alerted her that something was wrong was the Secret Service running to help. And that she thought it was Cheney who was in trouble.

      This says, to me at least, that she did not see the accident at all.

      I'm very curious why no one has asked Ms. Ambassador to Switzerland about the accident, seeing as how she was supposedly standing right next to Dick.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:26:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great catch! (none)
        Do you mind if I put that in an update?  

        Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

        by Barbara Morrill on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:28:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  She is the only witness listed also (4.00)
        ..sends red flags.

        http://www.thesmokinggun.com/...

        The actual wording on the police report is quite interesting because it's so minimal. Four lines , fifty-seven words to be exact.

      •  Wow (4.00)
        That proves yet another huge lie with Scotty's story.

        The White House's whole line was "Ms. Armstrong was an eyewitness and we thought it best to let her go to the press, her being an eyewitness and all"

        Yet, she wasn't an eyewitness, by her own account.

        Are we to seven figures on BushCo lies yet?

        Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

        by bawbie on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:33:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eyewitness (4.00)
          That's how I figured out that she wasn't an eyewitness. Scottie must have said she was an eyewitness 47351 times in his presser the other day. And you can always tell, when they repeat something that frequently, it's the thing they know not to be true, but wish to make true by repeating it often enough. So as soon as Scottie repeated it for the 12th time, I guessed she wasn't an eyewitness.

          And guess what? That assumption was correct!

          This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

          by emptywheel on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:09:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've misplaced my own copy of 'Blink' (none)
            If you have read Malcolm Gladwell's book, you will remember the guy who analyzes video frame by frame looking for inadvertent transitional facial expressions. He has an amazing ability to catch people in lies.

            For what it's worth, I happened to watch Katharine Armstrong in super slo-mo and noticed one very interesting 'tell' in her account. Part of that interview is archived at C&L, in the middle of a (very funny) Jon Stewart piece. Judge for yourself.

            "And I hope you'll understand if any of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you'll tend to believe us." - Senator Lindsey Graham.

            by QuickSilver on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:34:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Seven figures, hell (none)
          I thought we were in the Brazillions by now. ;-)
      •  which direction were they running... (4.00)
        toward the vp, as if he were having a heart attack, or 30 yards from the vp, where his victim was. That's what I would have asked.

        Support the project that believes in the best our community has to offer! Support YearlyKos

        by gina on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:31:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  cnn.com has a story (4.00)
    headlined "Cheney praying for hunting shooting victim."

    Oh, yeah... I bet he is. But why do I think it has more to do with his career than anything else?

    Note to Dick: If you REALLY wanted to be helpful in the situation, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SHOT HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    "Lies, lies, lies, ye-ah... they're going to get you." --The Thompson Twins

    by modchick65 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:28:24 AM PST

    •  Yes, I believe that (4.00)
      I believe the sincerity of those prayers...this from the dick whose only public reaction to the shooting for 48 hours was to send in a check for $7 for a hunting stamp.  

      But you know, when Dick heard about the heart attack, I'll bet he almost had one himself.  ;-)

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:31:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The 7$.... (4.00)
        Is a very big deal...Because he would not have sent it, if he hadn't been caught shooting a man...So how many other laws has he broken, and won't acknowledge, unless it comes up in the course of other, uh, events?

        I prefer DKos News to Google News

        by inetresearch on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:59:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What about a Human Stamp (4.00)
          Cheney was in a real rush to mail in a $7 check for the game bird stamp, but all we know about was that he baged a human rather than one of those quail.  How much does Texas charge for Human Stamps?  Oh wait, I guess a hunting license isn't needed for "self defense".  Oh wait, maybe this was a terrorist attack?  After all Wittington came up from behind in a sneaky way, unannounced.  Sounds like a terrorist attack to me. /snark!

          "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984"

          by dangoch on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:22:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  A big deal for other reasons (4.00)
          If the victim dies or decides later to pursue a lawsuit the legal implications would be dire for Mr Cheney. He would already have admitted his acts were under the law illegal because he was not authorised to be hunting at the time. It would seem a minor technicality to the rest of us but to lawyers well versed in  the law it would be a major issue, including but certainly not limited to a criminal inquest.
          •  does a Texas hunting licence (none)
            Require a hunters safety course?  

            If you take yourself too seriously, no one else will.

            by Yoshimi on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:31:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not the hook to hang him on (none)
            Going after the $7 stamp issue will reverse the momentum on this whole fiasco, IMO.  He paid over $120 in other other licenses for this outing, he had a staff member take care of it, the law hadn't been on the books for long, and most importantly, Whittington himself didn't have the stamp (sorry, I don't remember where I read that, but it was somewhere credible).

            We should keep our focus on the triumvirate: recklessness, secrecy, and unaccountability.

            •  Missing my point (none)
              This seemingly trivial detail to laypersons such as us becomes a very big deal in a court of law, should it come to that. Just the thought of a forced criminal inquest, one where Cheney and the White House might not be able to wield control because testimony would be made public is enough to cause great consternation for the White House.

              So far this has been stage-managed and bungled. If the story continues to exist for much longer Cheney will be out of the White House, without a doubt in my mind.

            •  Not specific to the outing (none)
              Cheney's hunting license wasn't specific to this outing. I submitted an open records request to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department a couple days back, and found out that his hunting license was issued back in November 2005.
        •  like becoming a resident of Wyoming.... (none)
          In the first of many assults on the consititution, Bush and Cheney were both residents of Texas. They were both residents of Texas AFTER Cheney was announced as VP.

          Having his residency moved was a mere technicality (The idea that the President and the Veep should be from different states was, I guess, opne of those quaint constitutional provisions)

          Paul O'Neill recounts the legalistic footwork (albeit in a casual, no-big-deal way) in Price of Loyalty and it certainly seems to place that change of residence right up there with getting his hunting stamp.

          (BTW Wasn't Harriet Myers the counsel who took care of that technicality?)

          The revolution will not be televised, but some unenlightened fool at The Next Hurrah will definitely condescend to it.

          by Wertz on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:10:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Funny how that wasn't a big deal at the time (none)
            in fact, did anyone report the fact that "choosing" Cheney while he was still a Texas resident was illegal? I didn't hear about until I read O'Neil's book.

            ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

            by Tirge Caps on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:21:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think that provision predates 9/11. (none)
            You obviously have a pre-9/11 mindset.

            "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

            by Shiborg on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:15:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Who was the bastard praying to? (none)
        Old Scratch obviously since Dick Cheney just has to be the spawn of Satan.
    •  praying? (4.00)
      why would a man with his connections need to pray? i thought he had the devil on retainer.
    •  "preying" n/t (none)

      I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

      by condoleaser on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:01:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure he is (4.00)
      For me, the most interesting point is how quickly this became the victim's fault.  He might be a "pioneer" from a prominent Texas Republican family, but he was thrown under the bus as fast as our wounded soldiers, 9/11 families, and anyone else whose political usefulness effectively has concluded.  In the end he was as disposable as a diaper.
  •  zippo alcohol (4.00)
    except maybe beer which people might have consumed but of course not everyone was shooting...

    That's my favorite part.  

  •  And the Secret Service -- don't forget them (4.00)
    I suppose they are only there to keep people from shooting the Vice President?  Because either they didn't know the guy was there (which is their entire job, isn't it?) or they don't care if the Vice President shoots someone.

    Plus, I'll say this here.  I don't believe that the guy didn't announce himself.  I believe he did.  I thought it was a lie from the beginning, and I believe that now.

    I did, at first believe that he was 90 feet away.  That was my mistake.  I forgot that everything these people say is a lie.    I thought he was fairly far away and that the reason he was kept in ICU was to keep the press away and because his face would look pretty bad even after a "peppering" but . . .

    It seems he was in ICU because he had to be.  

    Still -- why didn't the Secret Service stop the Vice President from shooting his friend?  

    Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

    by katiebird on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:39:16 AM PST

    •  And Why Isn't Someone (4.00)
      asking the Secret Service officers what happened?  Wouldn't they make more reliable witnesses, being trained observers and all?

      Take Back the House in 2006!

      by Rona on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:55:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The more I think the less I like it (4.00)
        The Secret Service is trained in stopping people from shooting other people.

        Yet this "accident" happens.

        It actually doesn't seem possible.

        Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

        by katiebird on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:09:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not quite (4.00)
          the SS is supposed to stop people from shooting bush and cheney. They can shoot whoever they want. An ABC story apparently reported that the SS reported the shooting to the sherriff as a pellet gun incident, a clear lie which may have legal implications for the required reporting of shootings in Tx.
          •  I agree about what they are supposed to do (4.00)
            I was just clarifying that to do that (to keep people from shooting Presidents & Vice Presidents) they are actually trained to stop people from shooting other people.  So, that means that if they didn't stop the VP from shooting his friend, it's because either they weren't supposed to (VPs can shoot who they want) or they just didn't care and didn't want to bother.

            As people trained to stop exactly what happened, they made a decision to let it happen.

            My question is how passively was that decision made.  And does it matter?  As human beings (and in a sense, employees of the victim) aren't they compelled to stop a tragedy if they are trained to do so?  

            Even if it isn't in their job description?

            Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

            by katiebird on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:22:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good points (none)
              I think it is clear that they aren't supposed to stop general tragedies, and that their humanity is more like a stain that won't come out than a qualification for the job.
              •  no they aren't good points (4.00)
                I would guess the secret service were back far enough not to get shot. Note that Mrs Armstrong said that she witnessed the SS running to the incident.

                Also the SS are trained to save the pres and vp. No one else. Period.

                If you take yourself too seriously, no one else will.

                by Yoshimi on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:41:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Note that Armstrong said . . . (none)
                  Ah, yes --  She said that the Secret Service were back at the car?  I guess, you're right, ignore everything I said.

                  It's all so clear now.  The Secret Service guys were thought the VP was safe (around friends you know) and so they were just relaxing off to the side.

                  Ok, that makes sense.  Sorry I butted in.

                  Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

                  by katiebird on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:43:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Misreporting a 911 emergency call (none)
            can cause a lot of malpractice insurance headaches for the ER Doc and the on-call responders. My guess is that they are going over their incident reports and their malpractice insurance policies right now. Somebody's got a big legal problem.
            •  BTW, liability limits were lowered (4.00)
              by half after 9-11-2001 incident. Standard EMT policies were lowered from $6 million malpractice coverage to $3 million, and you were assuming all risks ("going naked" in insurance coverage) if you responded to an incident where you were exposed to asbestos, dust from glass, and similar hazardous materials that would be commonplace in, say, ANOTHER World Trade Center attack. In other words, if you were police, fire, or EMS, and executed your moral duty to respond, you just kissed your insurance coverage good-bye.
        •  eh (none)
          I would imagine that in a situation like this, the secret service is not surrounding cheney and constantly looking out for threats, as they would be at a public event. There were likely only one or two agents there. They may not have been paying full attention. They may have been in or near the vehicle with Ms. Armstrong, etc. The secret service is not omnipotent.
          •  SS agents rest in car while VP guns down friend (4.00)
            "not have been paying full attention. They may have been in or near the vehicle with Ms. Armstrong, etc. The secret service is not omnipotent."

            That would be a handy excuse and if anyone in the media thinks to ask a direct question about the issue, I'm sure we'll hear it directly from them.

            But, if this "accident" could happen like this to a friend of the VP, then the accident could happen in the other direction as well. Unless the VP was the only one doing the shooting during this hunting session.

            It seems to me, that the Secret Service would have to be more alert during a hunting trip with all those guns around -- not less alert.  Hunting accidents do actually happen fairly frequently and wouldn't the Secret Service be accountable if it was the VP who got peppered rather than the friend?

            I like the idea that the Secret Service guy (or guys) were back at the car smoking cigarettes & flirting with Mrs. Armstrong.  But, I'm pretty sure that isn't how it was.

            Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

            by katiebird on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:36:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  imo, no (none)
              As you say, hunting accidents happen. If this was the other way around, I don't think the secret service would be to blame. What would they do? Shoot Wittington?

              In any case, some questioning from the media would certainly help.
              •  You can't be serious! (none)
                As you say, hunting accidents happen. If this was the other way around, I don't think the secret service would be to blame. What would they do? Shoot Wittington?

                No -- I believe they are supposed to tackle the VP and throw their bodies between him and the shooter.  They didn't shoot Hinckley did they?

                And wouldn't tackling the VP have helped Wittington in this situation?  Of course the indignity would probably give the VP a heart attack.  Maybe that's why they didn't.

                Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

                by katiebird on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:02:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  well (none)
                  If you assume the agents are a few steps from Cheney at all times, this is fine. However, I strongly doubt this was the case. It is a hunting trip, after all.
                •  SS doesn't sit near them all the time (none)
                  I was in a restaurant when Clinton & Chelsea came in.  The SS came in first, cased the place and gave everyone the once-over, then sat at a nearby - but not adjoining - table near the entrance.  So their proximity depends on the surroundings.  In a small, cozy group (one male friend plus two female clears throat friends would not have SS all that close.
            •  SS hiding behind car? (none)

              These guys know guns and gun safety. And they have seen Duck! Cheney shoot before (reportedly on one occasion he almost mowed down the whole entourage). So, they were probably smart enough to put the car between them and cheney. Which might be one reason the press hasn't been given access.
              Q: where were you?
              A: hiding behind the car
              Q: why were you hiding behind the car???!!!
              A: Because Dick Cheney had a gun.
              Q: Let me get this straight. You guys are paid to put yourself in the line of fire to protect the vice president...
              A: well our hazard pay only covers reasonable risks of getting shot....

              --
              -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

              by whitis on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:06:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Witnesses? (none)
        And give up a nice bonus in an envelope?

        The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel

        by Overseas on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:40:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've never been convinced he was 30 yards (4.00)
      away--those pellets managed to penetrate a lot of clothing; and likely wouldn't have at that distance. We'll never know how this all came down.

      "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." - Senator Edward M. Kennedy

      by Phil S 33 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:11:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the secret service? ha! (none)
      the secret service is concerned about threats to their protectee, period. they somehow fail to notice sexual acts by kennedy, johnson, and clinton, and actually drove the bush party girls around while they were drinking with fake IDs. remember when ken starr tried to get the secret service to testify during whitewater? he got nowhere.
    •  They stay FAR AWAY when Cheney has a gun (none)
      apparently for good reason...

      And I'll bet he doesn't listen to them anyway.

  •  You found a lobbyist lying? (4.00)
    Isn't Katherine Armstrong frequently described in news accounts as a lobbyist?  I am deeply shocked to hear that a well-connected Republican lobbyist would bend the truth for Dick Cheney's sake. </snark>

    I don't know this, but have been presuming that this is Anne Armstrong's family, long-time Republican ambassador and Texas power broker.  As Texas aristocracy, hunting on the manse would be one of their favorite pastimes.  This picture of feudal, baronial sport is as revealing to me of Cheney's real mindset as the reflexive secrecy and dishonesty of the story handling.

    -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

    by Dallasdoc on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:39:56 AM PST

    •  Yes, it's the same family n/t (4.00)

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:01:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not just a lobbyist (4.00)
      A lobbyist for Baker Botts, on behalf of one of their clients. Of course, she won't say which Baker Botts client she was lobbying for. But seeing as how Baker Botts started as an international oil and gas law firm, you might be able to guess the kind of lobbying she was doing.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:31:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't Baker Botts... (4.00)
        the bail-out team for the Bush family?

        That would explain a lot. If they have to once again get James out of mothballs and bring him to the rescue of the Bush-Cheney group... that's soooo November 2000.

        "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

        by RonV on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:37:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that a surprise? (4.00)
        Big Dick is recreating with oil and gas folk down there deep in the heart.  Have you looked into Harry Whittington's client list yet?  I can't imagine who he's been representing....

        -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

        by Dallasdoc on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:59:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Harry's Clients (4.00)
          Well, I'm still looking, but while I was doing so, I found out that he's been appointed (term to end 2007) to the scandal-plagued Texas Funeral Commission (although I don't see a list of the members anywhere on their web site. Hmmmmm...).

          But, as a member of the Texas Board of Corrections, he at least was on record as disagreeing with John Cornyn about something, which I can't help but consider to be in his favor. From the link:

          Attorney General John Cornyn ruled in 2001 that reviews of deaths in state prisons are confidential under state law. When the reporters asked Attorney General Cornyn to rule on the question of maintaining secrecy over this information, Cornyn ruled against disclosure and in favor of prison administrators.

          <... snip ...>

          Harry Whittington (as cited in Martin & Sheldon Ekland-Olson, 1987, Forward) noted, “The prison system must be in the public view at all times to prevent the same from happening in the future.”

      •  Baker Botts Every Flavor Beans (none)
        Oops, looks like Harry got the buckshot-flavored ones.  Or was that pepper?
  •  But it is clear, yet not so clar ... (4.00)
    You are absolutely correct in your thesis, that there is 'something rotten in the State of Denmark."  Cheney and his 'witnesses' are clearly lying to cover the facts.

    I will not go further than to say, that as an experience hunter, I will turn my back to you (to protect my face) and let you fire a 28 gauge shotgun wih #7 or #8 shot all day long.  There is virtually no risk of you lodging shot in my heart!

    Ergo, Cheney is a liar (as always), and the people protecting him are blatently stupid, as any hunter or gun enthusiast would know.

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:47:54 AM PST

    •  At the distance given (4.00)
      That is 30 yards, yes?

      Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

      by wgard on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:49:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One lacks the presence of mind (none)
      to turn their back to the shooter. When they've had say 5-8 drinks.
      •  Likely (none)
        As does the 'shooter' have full judgement, as well.  Yet I will tell you, IMHO, the 'shooter', the 'witnesses' all lied about distnces.  Ergo, there were lies, and lies about lies.  Need I say more?

        Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

        by wgard on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:25:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  shooting happened at 6:30?? (none)
      sunset that day was at 6:18.

      um, has anyone even mentioned this yet?

      Columbo, where ARE you?!!!?


      He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:15:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh, yes, they've mentioned it (4.00)
        Some reports say that the shooting happened at 5:50 PM. Other reports say that it happened at 5:30 PM.

        It looks like the 6:30 report comes from Eastern Time conversion. It does not appear that the incident happened at 6:30. Texas law allows hunting all the way up until one half hour after sunset, although hunting while on foot with people scattered around towards the end of that timeframe would be foolish. Texas law also states, as I believe is the case with many other states, that one need not turn on one's headlights until one half hour after sunset - try that sometimes, and see how foolish that is to wait a full half hour after sunset - it's too dark to be driving or to be hunting. But it does not look like Cheney was hunting at an illegal time, or even after sunset.

        But do we REALLY know?

        ...but not your own facts.

        by slouise217 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:03:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you are saying... (none)
          That Cheney couldn't have been hunting at 6:30...because that would have been illegal!

          Yes, I see now...LOL!

          "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

          by Shiborg on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:29:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Dick Shoots Man (4.00)
    There was no plan
    And no "boo-hoo"
    Just Silence.
    Read:
    "Fuck You."

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

    by condoleaser on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:54:57 AM PST

    •  Cheney is also saying "Fuck you" to Bush (4.00)
      Cheney has controlled this situation from the get-go; and Bush is unable to get Cheney to move forward with the answers.  No surprise there, as we all know, Darth IS the president!!!

      "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." - Senator Edward M. Kennedy

      by Phil S 33 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:16:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mixed belief (4.00)
    I'll accept that Cheney is praying ... I'm just not sure who or what he's praying to.
  •  My prediction: Cheney will resign (4.00)
    This incident provides the perfect cover for Cheney's resignation.  They may have bungled the press notice just to create a scandal.  They know that a scandal involving press sticks longer than others.  They need to get someone in there to run in 2008.  Karl Rove knew earlier than most.  Ergo the decision to wait and piss off the press.  

    So who's in the wings?  Any predictions?

    •  Rumsfeld (none)
      remember in the Bush Junta, people fail upwards, follwing Dubya's trajectory. I've been calling  Rummy to replace Darth Cheney since before the 2004 "election". I have to be right eventually.
    •  So, you kill 200,000 foreigners (4.00)
      and no one (of any consequence - sure we do) gives a damn.

      But, you kill a big time donor and your career is over.

      Interesting how the world works . . . .

    •  I guess (none)
      but its looking like the best chance the Republicans have in '08 is someone who is no where near the Whitehouse. Why would Rove want to sink one of the party's best prospects?
    •  Jeb (none)
      Saw a rumor posted on another site a few weeks ago that even then Bush & HIS people were planning on kicking Cheney out and replacing him with....Frist.

      While totally counter-intuitive, I think the fact that Rove's strategy is often to walk INTO political gunfire makes this rumor somewhat plausible.

      In any case - my money for new Veep has been Frist ever since Cheney went missing in the early days of Katrina.

      •  Frist? Uh no... (none)
        Wasn't Frist the guy who "adopted" cats from a shelter and then proceeded to perform experiments on them whilst in medical school?

        I'm sorry, that's just wrong.  If our side didn't make hay of that (even during his VP confirmation), then we are huge dumbasses.

        •  Did Frist ever perform an abortion (none)
          as part of his medical school training?

          He could be the first abortionist VP.  How would that play in the red states?

          I am willing to stipulate that Frist probably knows more about heart surgery than me (apparently he has performed 150 heart transplants) and it would be interesting to hear his take on Whittington's heart attack.  Providing he actually looks at the medical records and not just watches Faux News.

      •  Typo - meant to say I think JEB is most likely (none)
        replacement for Cheney - not Frist
    •  Even if Cheney WERE planning to resign... (none)
      he won't now, & Dubya won't throw him overboard. They will never do anything that looks like it has been coerced--that's too much like losing. Cheney would stay on just to spite the Democrats & the media, & the more pressure there is to resign, the more he will resist it.

      "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

      by Shiborg on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:34:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How far away was Wittington? (4.00)
    Among other "expert" opinions I've read in blogs in the past few days, and I can claim no exptetise for myself, is the fact that 30 yards is near the extreme range of bird shot.  Certainly, the shot has little mass, so the inertial energy can't be great.

    Now we know that Wittington's chest cavity was penetrated, through his hunting vest, heavy shirt, etc.  I really have to wonder how close he would have to be for that to happen.

    Good job pointing out the obvious discrepencies in the Grand Dame's story.  We also have to remember that Karl Rove was on the phone with her within 90 minutes of hearing about it on Saturday night.  And we're supposed to believe that they all sat around with their thumbs up thier collective ass for 12 hours while waiting to find out if it was the DICK who was shot or was in fact, the shooter.  These clowns have gotten so lazy with their complicit press that they can't even lie convincingly any more.

    •  Right, we are to believe that Andy Card (4.00)
      did not ask any questions when first told about the incident---such as, who shot who?, is VP ok?,
      is the person OK?, etc.  How stupid do you think we are???

      "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." - Senator Edward M. Kennedy

      by Phil S 33 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:27:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They can't lie convincingly (4.00)
      AT ALL - imagine again if this were an "ordinary" citizen.  

      Yet they get away with it brazenly.  And they KNOW they'll get away with it.  Who is there to stop them?  They've got everybody bugged and the "goods" on anyone who could stop them.

      "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

      by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:33:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't lie convincingly? (4.00)
        Their first big mistake was taking the lying away from the master (Rove) and putting it in the hands of rank amateurs. As payback, looks like they are just going to let Cheney swing in the breeze.
    •  No, we don't know that (4.00)
      Now we know that Wittington's chest cavity was penetrated, through his hunting vest, heavy shirt, etc.  I really have to wonder how close he would have to be for that to happen.

      No, we don't know that "Wittington's chest cavity was penetrated, through his hunting vest, heavy shirt, etc."  The pellet could have reached his heart through his circulatory system; say, a vein/artery in his neck, which aren't very deep.  This was mentioned in a couple of different reports prior to Wittington's heart problems, as a possibility the doctors were concerned about.

      Really.  I've no doubt that Cheney's story has far more bullshit than a hundred fake ranches, but let's try to remain reality-based.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

      by Bearpaw on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:10:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not possible (4.00)
        The pellet could have reached his heart through his circulatory system; say, a vein/artery in his neck, which aren't very deep.

        Not possible according to a Dr. I heard on the radio this morning.

        The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

        by TXsharon on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:37:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll second that... (4.00)
          ...in theory it is possible for a penetrated shot to reach the heart via the veins, but if it did that, the shot would have eventually lodged in a small pulmonary artery or arteriole in the lung, not in the muscle of his heart.

          Plus, a foreign body in the circulatory system (especially on the venous side) will cause clots to form and break off, eventually producing emboli that would travel to the lung and cause the symptoms of a pulmonary embolus (severe shortness of breath, reduced oxygen content of blood, etc., etc.)  AFAIK, he did not have one of these (though maybe he did and it was covered up during those missing 18 hours).

          If we are to believe what the medical staff were saying, it sounds like a shot penetrated his chest cavity and the sac surrounding his heart and lodged in the pericardial space between the sac (pericardium) and the heart muscle itself.  That's a pretty small space, and the beating of the heart within it probably forced the shot to embed in the outer surface of the heart muscle, causing irritation and inflammation, and thus the afib.

          Since he's not going to have the shot removed, and assuming there are other shot in the same area, this inflammation can spread throughout his pericardial space and trigger a fibrotic response leading to a condition known as constrictive pericarditis which requires open heart surgery to fix. (essentially, you "strip" the pericardium off of the heart)

          People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

          by viget on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:22:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not likely according to NYTimes source (4.00)
        from today's online article "Account of Doctors Raises Questions on Heart Injury" by Lawrence Altman:

        "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."

        (I have to learn how to link)

    •  My father (4.00)
      knows a hell of a lot more about hunting and guns than I every will. From the fact that a pellet penetrated deep enough into his chest to migrate into the heart, and from the spray pattern he guesses Cheney was more like 15 feet away and was certainly inside of 30 feet.

      Power is not sufficient evidence of truth. - Samuel Johnson

      by Knighterrant on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:45:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This was discussed in some detail (none)
      in ysterday's open thread.
  •  hmmmm (4.00)
    Maybe they were stoned.
  •  My Guess (4.00)
    Cheney is an insane, freakazoidal paranoid.  This man started him from behind, Cheney thought it was an assassanation attempt and he swung around and shot him.

    Remember, Cheney lives admittedly in a state of total fear of assassination.

    He lives below ground, in a bunker, in a secret location, at a higher level of security than the president of the United States.

    The news said this morning that the victim still has some 100 pieces of lead shot in his body.  That is some "peppering" from 30 yards.

    "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

    by bink on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:07:54 AM PST

    •  umm (none)
      For the most part, Cheney lives in the Naval Observatory. I also doubt he uses more security than Bush, although his motorcades down Conn. Ave. are ridiculous.
      •  I'm Not Making This Up! (4.00)
        The Vice President's house might be at the Naval Observatory, but ...

        Where most politicians seek the spotlight, Cheney is content in the shadows, spending much of his time in a secret bunker in an undisclosed location. Cheney is considered among the most influential vice presidents ever, though he rarely headlines a political pep rally. Gone are the days when Franklin Roosevelt's first vice president, John Garner, said in 1933, "the vice-presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm piss."

        http://www.cbsnews.com/...

        "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

        by bink on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:43:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well (none)
          If we want to blindly believe an unattributed quote in an article that's 18 months old, then okay. However, residents of DC can tell you that Cheney regularly commutes from the Observatory.
        •  There's an underground facility (4.00)
          thirty or forty miles outside of DC, in a mountain behind my in-laws' house. It's called Mt. Weather, and when you know what you're looking at, you can very clearly see it on the side of the mountain in horse country here in VA. You can also ride by it on a pristinely maintained road, and it's quite a complex. It is currently a headquarters location for FEMA operations, interestingly enough. The site was not known, except to government officials and locals, until a plane crash practically on top of the site revealed its existence.

          Beneath the mountain, it's alleged that there's a small city, complete with a hospital and office buildings, and a large freshwater lake. The more tinfoily people who have talked about Mt. Weather say that a shadow government operates under the mountain, and in the 70s, I think, a member of Congress indicated that also beneath the mountain is a mechanism for storing a lot of data about a lot of citizens of the US. (It's been a couple of months since I looked at the material Google turned up about the place, so I may be misremembering which decade the Congressmember came out against the records storage there.)

          Hubby and I rode by it a couple of months ago and I hastily snapped pictures - security has been known to confiscate cameras and sketch pads of people near the facility (it can also be seen from the Appalachian Trail). I've been thinking about doing a diary about the place, just for Ss&Gs, because it appeals to my inner conspiracy theorist.

          But I'd be willing to bet money - based on what is known about the place that isn't tinfoil hat stuff - that this is one of Dick Cheney's favorite undisclosed locations.

          •  I thought this place was in PA? (none)
            Or is that another one? Supposedly, there's also a Cold War recreated capitol in WV somewhere, although I think that place is no longer is use as they do tours. I always thought it would be pretty cool to rent it out for a party...

            "Lies, lies, lies, ye-ah... they're going to get you." --The Thompson Twins

            by modchick65 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:41:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are a number of facilities (4.00)
              throughout the Appalachain chain, running from WV, I think, down to NC. Maybe PA, too, but I can't recall.

              There is a cold war bunker beneath a hotel in WV. Can't think of its name right now.

              The place I'm talking about is between Middleburg and Winchester, VA. The mountain it's in is comprised of exceptionally hard granite, which is one reason it was made into a bunker complex. I've seen the place, ridden by it, researched it some, and I can assert that Mt. Weather is unequivocally in Virginia. It is also in active use by the government (on 9/11, there was a substantial caravan of official vehicles wending its way toward this facility).

              That isn't to say there isn't a facility in PA that is also in active use. I do believe the one beneath the resort in WV is no longer in use, but I believe there are some 115 facilities sprinkled throughout the Appalachian chain, and I'm sure a number of them are still active.

              I think I'll do a diary on a slower news day about this place, and others. I find it fascinating, too.

        •  shadows (none)

          "Content in the shadows"..more like " destined to a life in darkness"
    •  Considering the lack of respect (none)
      for the sanctity of life demonstrated by the regime's foreign policy, and the nature of the 'canned' hunts Cheney is known to enjoy, it is not a stretch to assume that he would harbor homicidal fantasies a la 'The Most Dangerous Game'.

      I wouldn't put it past him to have purposely shot Whittington as another test to show that he can indeed get away with anything.

      The hard push started in December when Bush declared that he would continue to violate FISA and 4th Amendment with the NSA snooping. Then the announcement of the KBR contract for detention camps. Accusing 'liberal bloggers' of a misinformation campaign during a mock internet attack exercise. It has been escalating. Nuking Iran is scheduled for March. This is so beyond the pale that they must be preparing to clamp down hard, as more people wake up to the insanity. Shooting a human, and having it treated no differently than all of the other 'scandals' of this administration is the ultimate test of power.

      •  I'm Not (none)
        I'm not able to believe that this was anything except an accident.  That being said, I do find credible that Cheney is or has become a person who instinctively looks to violent means of resolving conflict first, as in "Shoot first and ask questions later."  This certainly seems compatible with the foreign policy of the current administration.

        But contrast, he and Bush seem willing to let any domestic wound, like the Katrina damage in New Orleans, fester forever.

        "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

        by bink on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:17:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As November nears, WH must work (none)
          to keep all House GOP on a short leash:
          NSA Spying Probe in Doubt
          White House lobbying campaign has slowed Congress's effort to launch an investigation into surveillance program.-Charles Babington

          Showing that he has no qualms about shooting one of their own, nor does he apologize, is a pretty strong message.

  •  asdf (4.00)
    If it was all just an innocent accident why the big coverup? Why haven't we heard from anyone else that was there?  Why the weird answers from the doctors at the press conference.  Everyone who has talked so far has obviously been coached and just as obviously not used to lying.  They can't keep their stories straight and they aren't able to come up with good answers that jibe with the official story if it wasn't a question that they rehearsed.  This wouldn't be such a big story if the story wasn't so fully of inconsistancies and half truths.  If Cheney would just come out and actually say what truly happened (even if his gun accidentally went off) then the story would die.

    -6.13, -4.46 * 2269 *

    by BDA in VA on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:10:07 AM PST

    •  REAL question: Was shooting intentional? (none)
      My initial impression was the shooting was accidental - but the subsequent info and inconsistencies really have to make one wonder if Cheney shot Whittington in a fit of momentary pique (for lack of a better word).

      If this was in fact the case - it would explain the delay in reporting the incident so that the (many) parties invovled could be coordinated into presenting a plausable and consistent cover story.

      I don't know that much about Cheney's personality - is he known as being someone with anger-management issues?

  •  WHO INFORMED ROVE????????? (4.00)
    I heard part of scotties press briefing yesterday and something struck me as odd because no one questioned scottie on his BLARING inconsistency when asked 'who first informed karl rove"

    dont know who the gentelman was who asked this but scottie first answered ;i believe he got a call from Mrs Armstrong"

    not a minute later he was again asked 'how did karl rove first find out"  to which scottie answered........"he could have heard it from the situation room or , i think, its possible andy card called him after which HE called Mrs Armstrong....

    so which is it...did Mrs Armstrong call karl rove on the night of the shooting or did karl rove call mrs armstrong?

    and WHY didnt any of the reporters hounding Scott for answers pick up on these two dismetricxally opposed answers to the question "who told karl rove"

    but even more interesting was the ODONNELL speculation that the reason this became such a damn mess is because CHENEY WAS DRUNK on the night in question....and thats why he was kept away from the local police and thats why none of the excuses being offered now make any sense.

    so was cheney drunk and is this incident really less of a high crime against our republic then the lie about the blow job was????

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:10:40 AM PST

  •  His pride was hurt (4.00)
    "...bruised more than bloodied, and his pride was hurt more than anything else."
    Pride surgery must be very tricky if they sent him to an ICU.
    •  Pride (4.00)
      Pride is loose surgeon-jargon for "Pulmonary Vein."

      He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.

      by Patrizio on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:27:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a feeling (4.00)
        that Armstrong could give the Black Knight a good run for understating flesh wounds.
        •  Armstrong (4.00)

          Is a paid professional. A whore, if you will, but with less honor.

          Check out the deal with Botts, Baker, et al re:"secret" lobbying efforts. She does a great job with the spin. So did that reporter she first went to that was "peppering" the media with the understatements regarding the severity of the wound. ("a mere peppering, nothing to see here, move along..")

          "You fought bravely sir Cheney!!"

          He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.

          by Patrizio on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:53:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As I stated in earlier (4.00)
    It is absolutely clear that no one involved was sure this man was going to live.

    Period.  Instead of expecting responsibility, they did what they normally do.   They called Karl Rove and went into full spin mode.

    Whether he was drinking or not, the VP was seriously concerned about this man and the implications of the VP killing a man.

    Chris Matthews must apologize! --- Join the Google Bomb

    by justmy2 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:12:19 AM PST

    •  reason to worry (4.00)
      From the looks of things Cheney has real reasons to worry. I can't see Cheney surviving long if this man dies.

      I don't know if this was an accident, although I have my doubts. It will be interesting to see whaqt the new spin will be. But if Whittington's condition worsens, Cheney has overshot his hand this time.

      -7.38, -5.23 One day we ALL will know the truth about the 2000 presidential election. God help us all.

      by CocoaLove on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:17:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Man...I am still asleep (none)
      expecting = accepting

      Chris Matthews must apologize! --- Join the Google Bomb

      by justmy2 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:19:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup (4.00)
      Which explains why Bush wasn't informed until the following morning (so that, if there needed to be a cover-up, he would not have known).

      And it explains why Cheney won't go out in public, because he doesn't want to be liable for the lies he'd have to tell.

      ANd I'm wondering, too, if that's why Armstrong is the "witness," even though she didn't see the shooting. You can't fire a lobbyist, and there are limits to how far citizens can pry into her private life and lies. You can, however, fire an Ambassador, and probably have more leverage to make her talk. So, only limited witness statements from the lovely Ambassador.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:38:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  These people were convinced (none)
      Terri Schiavo was responsive decades after she was diagnosed as brain dead. Harry Whittington is forever!

      The revolution is ongoing.

      by The Gryffin on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:20:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, (none)
       Thats what I think. They were waiting to see if he was going to live.

      Imagine, the VP charged with manslaughter..

      I bet they would have cooked up a completely different story if he had died.

  •  Has the other women said anything? (4.00)
    I would think that somebody in the press would be close enought to the other woman, the ex-ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein to get an interview. She was right at the scene. Of course she will try to relate the Cheney-Rove spin but as you've pointed out, the devil is in the details.

    Also does anybody know if a blood-alcohol on the victim would have been done as matter of routine to determine the best course of treatment?

    •  Blood OH covered last night. (4.00)
      OH levels wouldn't be done as a matter of course.

      Whittington was probably admitted as a trauma, and in that case they tend to draw extra samples just in case they need them.  A properly drawn and stored sample is good up to 2-3 weeks refrigerated and several months frozen.  (So says station wagon's S.O. who was a med tech and double checked the info for us.)

      http://www.dailykos.com/...
      here's a link to the minithread that explores the question.  Alcohol metabolites can determine if a person has had alcohol but not when or how much.

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:38:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  don't want to speak for S.O., since (none)
        he's at work, but I'm pretty sure he said that a whole bunch of blood tests would be done as a matter of course, including blood alcohol and drug screens.  Won't go farther than that, but pretty sure that they would definitely have done a blood alcohol level based on what S.O. said.

        The way to disempower fearmongering autocrats is to examine them so minutely that their activity seems ridiculous and hyperactive. Patricia Taylor

        by station wagon on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:48:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's some serious CYA testing! (none)
          Or maybe they treat adult traumas differently.  We only did drug screens on kids where there was a reason to suspect drugs were involved.  That's where I learned about kids abusing cough syrup and sudafed.  Honestly, I saw more of that than illegal drugs.

          We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

          by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:56:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fabian, yes there would be a difference n/t (none)

            The way to disempower fearmongering autocrats is to examine them so minutely that their activity seems ridiculous and hyperactive. Patricia Taylor

            by station wagon on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:00:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Those irresponsible adults! ;-b (none)
              I guess the adults are worse than the kids.  Of course, if we did things logically we'd drug test the adults who were with the kids when they had accidents.  If we assume that there might have been a drug involved in any adult trauma(gun, knife, car) then we ought to assume that the responsible adult connected to a child's trauma was possibly under the influence.

              We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

              by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:22:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  this is what happens (4.00)
    when you Step Out Of Line in the Republican Party.

    Bush/Cheney04 Because it takes 8 years to Destroy the Country Download GeckosAgainstBS song

    by demnomore on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:21:56 AM PST

    •  Tinfoil or not, (none)
      that's what I've been thinking.  They've thoughtlessly (and somewhat lustily) killed over 200,000 and wounded and sadistically tortured how many more?

      What's one little "accidental gun death" to shut someone up who knows something and threatens to tell?

      "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

      by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:36:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no doubt they're capable of it. (none)
        But I cannot for one second believe that if Darth Cheney wanted someone whacked, he has to end up taking matters into his own hands.

        Incompetence, definitely.  Drunk, probably.  Inconsiderate and selfish, beyond question.  Criminally stupid?  Not Dick.

        •  My Thoughts, Too (none)
          If this were pre-meditated, why not just have Ann Coulter go down there and poison him.  Serious question!

          "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

          by bink on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:18:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do believe however (4.00)
            if Cheney drinks, he's a VERY MEAN drunk.

            And he's a hateful, hateful man who can't even control his sneer and tells congressmen "fuck you" on the hallowed floors of Capitol Hill.

            No wonder he stays in isolation.  I don't believe he can control his inner rage for long periods of time. (psychiartrists/psychologists, any insight on Cheney?)  And with a rage like that, no wonder his heart condition is so volatile.

            "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

            by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:26:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  that or an example to (none)
        other reps who are Thinking of Stepping Out Of Line

        Bush/Cheney04 Because it takes 8 years to Destroy the Country Download GeckosAgainstBS song

        by demnomore on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:11:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  isn't that called devil worshipping (none)
        somewhat lustily killed over 200,000 and wounded and sadistically tortured how many more?
  •  at the White House press briefing (4.00)
    on Monday, didn't Scott McLellan say that the White House had "worked" with Armstrong on how to release the news, but then stopped mid sentence and quickly switched to another word--to keep the impression that it was all decided in Texas about how to handle the news?  Anyone else catch that?  This was very telling to me.  The line was red hot all through the night between the W.H. and the folks in Texas, that's my impression. Very fishy.

    The way to disempower fearmongering autocrats is to examine them so minutely that their activity seems ridiculous and hyperactive. Patricia Taylor

    by station wagon on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:26:42 AM PST

    •  Yes (4.00)
      I had highlighted this when I did a diary on that press briefing:

      Q I just want to clarify one thing. Is it appropriate for a private citizen to be the person to disseminate the information that the vice president of the United States has been -- has shot someone?

      MR. MCCLELLAN: That's one way to provide information to the public. The vice president's office worked with her -- well, I should say the vice president -- the vice president spoke with her directly and agreed that she should --

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:33:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Changed from VP office to VP himself (none)
      The difference is that he clarified that it was NOT the VP's press secretary or his office, but was in fact Cheney himself is the way that I read this at the time and still read it.

      ...but not your own facts.

      by slouise217 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:12:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So Lawyers (none)
    What's the charge if Whittington dies?  Involuntary Manslaughter?
    •  IF a crime is charged (4.00)
      Negligent homicide/involuntary manslaughter would be the likely offense...testimony from the Secret Service agents would be helpful to ascertain the requisite mens rea (state of mind) necessary to obtain a conviction.  It isn't a strict liability crime.
    •  Cheney is not going to be arrested (4.00)
      the family is not going to sue him, and I doubt he will resign.

      He will, however, be forever relegated to a figure of fun, a caricature of a buffoon, an Elmer Fudd.  Like Gerald Ford was, but worse.  Which seriously defangs him, and will rankle worse with him than his own death.

      The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

      by adigal on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:43:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  my fervent wish for (none)
        Bush and Cheney has long been: obscurity.

        Now, thanks to your excellent suggestion, I beseech the Almighty for a better fate: ridicule.

        Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

        by Pondite on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:34:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My take on "She said..." (4.00)
    There was some pressure to release the story.  Maybe Whittington's family was making noises, maybe it was someone else.  So they pick someone who will get some leniency from the media and someone who was far enough away for the story to be vague.

    Armstrong is a woman and wasn't actually involved in the incident so the press will cut her some slack.  She gives a vague story and her distance away from the incident again makes her account hard to verify or discredit.

    Now why didn't the White House or Cheney didn't proactively take charge and release a brief generic statement?  You know the type - "There was an incident where VP Cheney accidentally shot Whittington.  Our deepest regrets and sincerest wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Whittington.  VP Cheney will cooperate fully with the investigation being conducted by local authorities."  Even if they lied about cooperating with the investigation, it would still be good PR.

    The official handling looks stupid and clumsy and it leads to suspicions of a cover up.

    I wonder if the Rovian spin machine is stretched to capacity these days.  They have too many scandals to deal with!

    We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

    by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:30:42 AM PST

    •  Rovian Spin Machine - (none)

      Or maybe Baker-Botts has sent the check in the mail already for her clandestine lobbying on behalf of the whitehouse?

      He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.

      by Patrizio on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:35:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Timing (4.00)
      You can rationalize Armstrong calling a local reporter (and, apparently, having a hard time locating said friendly reporter on a Sunday). So you release this news at 8 am on Sunday, without it getting national play until 4 PM Sunday. Conveniently after all the Sunday talk shows, and well after the time when we could have made Dick pee in a cup.

      If Cheney's office released the news, they'd have to release it to everyone at once, and much earlier than Armstrong did.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:41:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  quite apart from the timing issue (none)
        there's another obvious element which MoDo nailed in her latest column: you can't very well have Cheney or any admin officials out front blaming the guy he shot--regardless of the circumstantial merits, that's way too brazen to play in Dick's favor.  

        So they absolutely needed an "independent" private citizen to tee up the "it was all Whittington's fault" meme for the press to run with...that, along with all the other folksy Luntz-ese ("peppered pretty good" etc) she and Rove no doubt discussed.

        Let me state emphatically that we in the Bush administration do NOT condone torture. We sidle up to it, wink at it, and climb into bed with it.

        by turbonium on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:55:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I thought (none)
      Rove and Cheney hated each other...maybe Rove enjoys watching the Dick twist in the wind on this...maybe he (Rove) thinks this may be the way finally to get rid of Cheney?
  •  cheney or kennedy--who's the bigger ahole (2.00)
    kennedy didn't contact police either but timeline indicates only an 8 hour delay before authorities knew according to the googled site below.

    "http://www.ytedk.com/...

    "welcome to the monkey house" vonnegut

    by realheathen on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:32:05 AM PST

    •  Kennedy was young, arrogant (4.00)
      and full of entitlement.  Just like the Bushites.  What he did was unforgiveable and he paid a huge political price.  Mary Jo Kopechne paid with her life.  

      From what I've read and heard (from insiders) of the Kennedy clan and their escapades in Palm Beach until they sold the place after the Willie Smith rape trial, Teddy didn't outgrow that sense of entitlement until very, very recently.

      However, he has used his political doggedness to redeem himself - at least on the larger scale.  The Kennedy's - for whatever their arrogance and lust for power - had/have that 19th Century virtue of "Noblesse Oblige".  Very much like our Founders did.  

      The Bushites have only disdain for the "common people."  Really, I honestly believe they would be happier without a middle class at all in America.  Not only economically, but in terms of retaining their power.  You can lift someone from tough circumstances and maintain the myth of Americans "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" - but if you lift them, they owe you forever, don't they?  

      The middle class, to them, just get in the way and whine a lot.

      "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

      by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:47:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush/Cheney are responsible (none)
        for the deaths of 2300 Americans, and many more seriously wounded Americans in a war of their choosing. Their choice was premeditated while they were sober.

        This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

        by Agathena on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:37:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am confused? Is this diary and comments about (4.00)
      Ted Kennedy and something that happened decades ago or about Vice President Cheney and something that happened last weekend?

      In any case comparing Cheney's actions to Kennedy's shows how serious this is and how damaging to Cheney. This should dog him the rest of his life and make you think about what kind of man he really is.

      So it's clear to you that there is a coverup going on?

      In both cases I expect there was drinking going on. Cheney of course had a gun not a car, so perhaps it is more comparable to the Presidents drunk driving incidents or even the motor vechicle death caused by the Presidents wife. I mean killing her ex boyfriend by accident?

      •  my main concern is (none)
        that all politicos in wash. dc are arrogant and entitled.
        the repubs for all these years think they hold the high ground.  i initially wanted to see the timeline to satisfy myself as to who was more of a jerk.  i think its a draw.

        "welcome to the monkey house" vonnegut

        by realheathen on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:39:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  what about laura? (3.50)
      If we're going to drag in Ted Kennedy's ancient incident, can we also mention how a young Laura Bush killed her boyfriend in a traffic accident?

      "Instead of asking what you could do, you ought to have been asking what needs to be done."

      by khaavren on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:08:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please stop bringing up Laura Bush (4.00)
        Her's is a totally different story.

        1. She's NOT a politician.
        2. There is NO evidence that he was her BOYFRIEND.
        3. There's NO evidence that anything was covered up - there are people, every day, killed in car accidents where no one is charged.
        4. At the speeds they were reportedly travelling (not certain, but somewhere close to 50 mph), the boy would have been in the intersection for about 1/5th of a second or less. Therefore, there's no way that Laura Bush planned to hit this guy's car from some distance away and was able to calculate the speed he was travelling to determine the exact fraction of a second he would arrive at the intersection, and then figure out the exact speed she needed to be travelling at in order to collide with his car. And none of that takes into consideration the fact that people do NOT attempt to commit homicide and potentially commit suicide in their cars by hitting another vehicle at 50 mph with another innocent person sitting in the car. That whole scenario just is totally implausible.

        It was an accident, when she was barely 17 years old, and was likely because she was distracted by talking to her girlfriend in the car with her. That's why they do not allow young drivers today to have a lot of distracting people in the car along with them while driving - here in Texas, anyway.

        Bringing up this story makes one look craven, insincere, less than honest, and uninformed. There certainly are conspiracy theories out there that are valid. There certainly are many questions that need to be answered about the Cheney/Whittington shooting that have not been addressed by the Bush White House. But to bring up Laura Bush's accident when she was 17 years old, in my opinion, should stop today and NEVER happen again.

        ...but not your own facts.

        by slouise217 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:30:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  as long as we're on the subject (none)
          http://www.snopes.com/...

          seems to discuss the points and cites sources.

          FWIW, I heard that she had become pregnant by the boy, her boyfriend, and he refused to marry her.  She was devastated, and, well, hell hath no fury....  I have no basis for believing this.  (Of course, I find it hard to believe that someone could accidentally run a two-way stop sign in/near her hometown at 50 mph...)

          But whatever really happened, I'd say that a prior vehicular homicide by a current resident of the White House is fair game for reasonable inquiry.  This may not be the thread on which to discuss it, but I disagree that it is beyond the scope of reasonable discussion.

          Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

          by Pondite on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:46:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree, (none)
            I think that this puts you in rigtht wing conspiracy territory.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:59:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  well (none)
            1. The snopes page is the same one that a previous poster linked us to I believe.

            2. You're right, there is NO reason to believe ANY stories about Laura Bush being pregnant by this guy.

            3. Being a member of a politician's family is NOT the same thing as being the politician. Something that happened half a lifetime before you even MET that politician is NOT the same as doing something WHILE you are a member of that politician's family.

            4. You find it hard to believe that a 17 year old might be distracted by talking to her friend, and while driving on a straight country road in the dark might miss a stop sign? People miss stop signs and red lights in broad daylight every day! They've passed laws in some states because cell phones distract drivers, and you don't think that a 17 year old driver might be distracted by a girl friend in the car while driving at night?

            5. If you are talking about biographical information about Laura Bush, then sure, it's appropriate to talk about this. But in a conversation that suggests that there are ANY similarities, or ANY analogies can be made to Ted Kennedy's incident or Dick Cheney's incident is unfair at best, and dishonest and hurtful at worst.

            6. This CERTAINLY is not the thread upon which to discuss it. Yet someone did, and I objected to it, and STILL object to it, and will ALWAYS object to it. Factually there is no evidence to support ANY of these conspiracy theories about anything sinister behind this accident that happened more than 40 years ago.

            ...but not your own facts.

            by slouise217 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:22:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Grand jury investigation (4.00)
    The NYT is quoting the District Attorney as saying:
    a fatality would immediately spur a new report from the local sheriff and, most likely, a grand jury investigation.

  •  The one thing that no one is talking about (4.00)
    There were at least three single women on the Ranch. Lynne wasn't there. Do grown men regularly vacation with single women sans their spouse?
    •  Political guys and big celebrities (none)
      often travel sans spouses because the spouses have obligations of their own.

      "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

      by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:49:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right (none)
        but this wasn't a business trip. The circumstances at the very least, merit investigation.
        •  It'll never happen. (none)
          Three upstanding society ladies...big Repub donors...

          ...no one but bloggers seriously investigated Jeff Gannon - full-blown (pun intended) male hooker and fake Marine in the White House, for God's sake!

          "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

          by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:22:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe. (none)
      Sometimes.  Yeah

      I've got a contract. I can't be fired

      by cheviteau on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:28:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4.00)
      I wonder how many times Pamela Willeford and Cheney were on hunting trips together without Lynne Cheney around.  Why haven't we heard an account of what happened from Ms. Willeford?  After all she was closer than Armstrong.

      -6.13, -4.46 * 2269 *

      by BDA in VA on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:19:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  from Smirking Chimp (4.00)
        Sirius radio's Alex Bennett just broke a rumor that the delay in reporting the news that Cheney shot an old man in the heart was due to an effort to hide or spin Cheney's female companion.

        Pamela Willeford, ambassador to Switzerland and -- yes -- Liechtenstein, was part of the hunting excursion with Cheney and Whittington. And according to Willeford's account, Cheney and the ambassador were side-by-side when the shooting of Whittington took place.

        The vice president's Secret Service detail had to decide what to do with Willeford by way of perhaps covering up her relationship with Cheney, and thus the delay in reporting the news.

        The rumor goes that Lynn Cheney isn't happy with Cheney's close relationship with Willeford.

        •  Correction (none)
          Ambassador to Secret Bank Accounts.

          Not, of course, that this administration or any of their associates would need or want them.  And certainly none of the billions missing in Iraq will have, um, migrated to those accounts.

          "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

          by ogre on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:04:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's a question (none)
            Who was ambassador to Switzerland during Iran-Contra? Did he or she in any way help Ollie access their bank accounts there? And help slow-walk subpoenas for the bank account records?

            Because we KNOW they were using those Secret Bank Accounts in the 1980s to hide their covert plots.

            This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

            by emptywheel on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:15:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Check out this diary on Pamela (none)

        Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

        by Shockwave on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:39:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Whole Affair Thing (none)
      A lot of the speculations about extramarital stuff going on seems sexist to me - why should men, unchaparoned by their wives, on an outing with women, uncommitted to a spouse, generate questions of infidelity?  There are so many substantial issues to sink one's teeth into here, I don't think we need to grasp for others.
      •  I sort of agree actually (none)
        and I considered that before I posted the comment. The thing is the whole vacation seems strange to me. It just doesn't seem like an innocent trip. Its probably more intuition than anything else. Its certainly not the first issue to investigate but its an idea worth considering I think.
        •  Other Temptations (none)
          Two other leads could prove "fruitful"...

          1. Who else was in the party?  I'm not satisfied that we know who all was there.

          2. Was Cheney waiting to get the alcohol out of his blood? (Dershowitz has an interesting post on Huffington).

          Now, had it been Lynn Cheney hunting with a group of women... :)
      •  As Peggy Noonan said: (none)
        "It would be irresponsible not to speculate."

        Sixteen scandals in my heart will glow: click "A is for Abramoff"

        by Major Danby on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:00:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  There Are Also Inconsistencies from the Docs (4.00)
    The NY Times pokes some holes in what Whittington's doctors have been saying about his condition and his treatment, and leaves many questions unanswered:
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Among the points the article raises:

    • The doctors keep saying that a pellet "migrated" to Whittington's heart, but medical experts say it would be impossible for a pellet to move through the blood vessels to the heart.  It is much more likely that the pellet hit the heart from Cheney's shooting.

    • The account of the Texas doctors is unclear regarding which X-ray techniques they performed and when to determine the position of a pellet in the heart.

    • The Texas doctors have not said how they determined that Mr. Whittington had had a heart attack.

    There continue to be more questions than answers with this story.  Things just don't add up.
    •  Where are our intrepid reporters (none)
      or doctors who BELIEVE in the Hippocratic Oath who will get in there and sneak out the actual hospital report, x rays and MRI's?

      Time is running short.

      "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

      by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:50:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  patient confidentiality (none)
        I'd love to know the details.  But I'm not advocating violating anyone's privacy rights to satisfy my curiousity.  I worked in a hospital and it was well understood that keeping your mouth shut was for the benefit of the patients and essential to keeping your job.  If anyone had been fired for violating confidentiality, I would have cheered.

        The medical professionals may have waiting for Whittington's condition to improve before working on removing more of the embedded shot.  Now he's had a heart attack and they have to figure out the lowest risk way of finding and removing the pellet(s) near his heart before it causes more problems.

        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

        by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:14:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think they said they weren't going to operate (none)
          because of his age.

          If God forbid he does die, does patient confidentiality expire - in terms of making a police report or doing a cause of death autopsy?

          Like the police down there would do anything to piss off the Bushites.  Pretty piss poor showing on their parts.  The administration should have no worries about Texas law enforcement enciting a rebellion.

          "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

          by hopesprings on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:20:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  criminal investigation (none)
            relies on the prosecutor, I think.  Anyone know?

            We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

            by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:24:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kenedy County (none)
              sounds like it's "owned" by powerful Republicans.  It seems unlikely that if it's up to the prosecutor -- or to any law enforcement sector, really -- there will be a real investigation.

              Maybe Geraldo can have Whittington exhumed in a few weeks?

      •  also, you've got (none)
        lots of "types" of "doctors"

        Doctors who can, and will, get you any type of "medication" you want.  If you can afford it.

        Also, doctors who are bought and paid for by their allegiance to a particular politician.

        Not to mention the EXTREME pressure a scared and pissed-off White House can apply to not only a doctor, but to an entire hospital.


        He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

        by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:59:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Clearly they've put one of their (none)
      crack God-bothering doctors on the case.

      He was taken back to the intensive care unit and remained in stable condition Tuesday, said Dr. David Blanchard, the emergency medicine chief.

      "Given the condition of his heart, his stamina, his will," Blanchard said, doctors were hopeful that Whittington would make a full recovery. After he is released, the doctor added, Whittington "will have the full life that God intended him to have."

    •  He was in ICU (4.00)
      They monitor EVERYTHING.

      If his heart rhythms changed, they'd know. If there was any indication of any change in his condition they'd know.

      He wouldn't even have to feel anything. And I doubt he could, he's probably on a bunch of pain medication.

  •  Excellent work, Barb... (4.00)
    Oh, you did a great service for me; I haven't been able to follow this story as closely as I would have liked these past few days. Now you've brought me up to speed beautifully and I thank you for that.

    You know you rock, right?

  •  This is disgusting. (4.00)
    You liberals are objectively pro-not shooting people in the face.
  •  Another problem (4.00)
    The Secret Service would not have allowed an armed man to come behind Cheney, don't you think?
    •  You have hit the crux of it. (none)
      This is what's been bothering me from the start. The SS allows nobody to be armed around the Prez-- not soldiers, nobody. Presumably the same is true of the VP.

      These people who were on the Armstrong ranch are absolute loyalists. No more Jim Brady's, who will re-evaluate their loyalties when they stare death in the face.

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:56:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Come On (none)
        Cheney goes hunting all the time. Cheney and Bush give the orders, the SS carries them out. Cheney obviously told the SS to take a break. This was a "hunting" trip after all (if you can call shooting fish in a barrel hunting), with trusted friends.

        Let's not blow this up too much. Obviously Cheney and Bush can tell the SS that certain people are allowed to carry guns around them.

        And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (chuckle) is working very well for them. (Barbara Bush)

        by Krusty on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:03:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't think so. (none)
          The are supposed to defer to the SS's judgment in security matters.

          -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

          by SensibleShoes on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:12:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  what do you mean, don't think so? (none)
            Of COURSE Dick Cheney and his friends can go out hunting. And those friends can carry guns. And in the course of carrying guns, those friends can and do walk around Dick Cheney.

            The Secret Service DOES give the President and VP advice, and typically they WOULD follow their advice.

            But to suggest that their advice would be to NOT allow fellow hunters to hold firearms would not be a thing that the Secret Service would not allow.

            Now, I expect that the Secret Service would NEVER allow Cheney to go out with hunters in general, hunters who have not been screened, whose motives are not assured, but you cannot protect everyone from everything. Hunting with a friend or a few friends seems like a risk that they would be willing to take, and they have taken that risk MANY times before.

            Security personnel make judgments about the relative risks of certain behaviors and activities all the time. If the Secret Service REALLY thought that it was ill-advised to go hunting with friends, they would think that other things, with HIGHER risks, were ALSO too high risk to do - more people, per capita, are killed on stairs and steps in the USA every year than are killed in hunting accidents, but I bet they let Cheney go up and down stairs, right?

            ...but not your own facts.

            by slouise217 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:50:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? (none)
              But to suggest that their advice would be to NOT allow fellow hunters to hold firearms would not be a thing that the Secret Service would not allow.

              Could you try that again without all the "nots"?

              "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

              by histopresto on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:59:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The "pellet migration" myth (4.00)
    On CNN just now, I saw one of the doctors (the fat, angry one) a the hospital where Whittington is vacationing say something very telling. It involves the "pellet migration" theory (hoax) being thrown about in the cable TV media and elsewhere. I'm paraphrasing here, so if someone can find the exact transcript, all the better.

    "... we knew there were pellets close to there [the heart] from the start"

    So, the theory that pellets only penetrated Whittington's flesh in a shallow way, but were magically transported deeper, to the heart, by his bloodstream... is destroyed. Very likely, the Cheney's shot "migrated" those pellets right to, or even into Whittington's heart immediately.

    Now, with what that doctor said, I don't think this can be much doubted. Obfuscated, yes. Doubted, no. So by which path did they get close to the heart, if it were not via the highway of blood?

    1. Through a lung.... soft fluffy tissue easily penetrated.

    2. From behind the lungs, tougher tissue indeed.

    If number one, how are this man's lungs doing?

    If number two, that's a pretty aggressive number 71/2 shot pellet from 30 yards.

    •  Your heart is right there (none)
      right under your ribcage.  I could see my son's heart beating when he was an infant.

      So a pellet needs to penetrate two layers of clothing, skin, flesh, and a cartilagenous membrane before coming to a rest near the heart - when shot into the front of a man.

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:28:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right... (none)
        But it was likely there microseconds after Cheney fired. It did not "migrate" there later, as is being almost unanimously reported.

        In fact, the man would be better off if the initial blast had placed the pellet(s) exactly where they are. Things moving round in the bloodstream near the heart are much much much more dangerous.

        Your point that I missed a path to the heart is taken well, though. You're correct. Directly from the front.

    •  pellet migration myth part 2 (4.00)
      I agree, and commented  on this point yesterday:

      Actually, no. Only vein that this migrating shot scenario
      could cause a myocardial infarction (blocking  blood flow through coronary arteries to heart muscle) is if shot had penetrated chest cavity and lodged in the (deep) pulmonary veins that return oxygenated blood back from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.

      Birdshot in any other upper body veins (brachial, jugular, facial etc) would move through the right heart chambers and lodge in the lung, perhaps causing a pulmonary embolism, but not a heart attack.

      A deep chest wound penetrating the lung cavity and pulmonary vein from a 28 Ga/ #7.5 birdshot blast could only happen if Cheney fired into Whittington  from much closer range than 90 feet.

      Correction

      or if the the blast pellets had penetrated the heart muscle [causing disturbances in normal heart 'pacemaker' rhythms] or major [heart] bloood vessels directly, after having passed through outer clothing and chest wall muscle, cartiledge and bone. This also could only have happened with a rather close-up blast from a 28 Ga birdshot load. Certainly much closer than 90 ft.

      Also with a shotgun wound that penetrates the chest cavity and strikes tissue within (space is mostly occupied by  spongey lung tissue)  there would also be direct damage to the lungs, and Whittington would  be coughing  up BRIGHT RED BlOOD immediately after he had been shot.

      There would be absolutely no missing that symptom by Cheney or anyone else in the hunting party. They are almost certainly lying.

      And that fat nervous little doctor [Bradford?] at the Corpus Christi medical facility is lying when he says it is hard to locate that birdshot in the Victim's body. Cardiologists and radiologists do gated/high speed CT imaging studies all the time to localize calcified plaques [deposits] in the heart. They would have no problem at all localizing the much more dense metallic birdshot imbedded in a beating heart.

      •  Maybe? (none)
        when Whittington came up behind he started the Dick and that's when he fired?  ...and at a MUCH closer range
        •  Putting on CSI hat here (none)
          It should be quite easy to determine how far Cheney really was from Whittington when Cheney shot him, based purely on the depth of the shot imbedded in Whittington's chest and upper body .

          The velocity and kinetic (pentetrating) energy of the shot drops off in a very predictable manner as a function of distance from the end of the muzzle. Knowing the gun, field load,  density/stopping power of tissue and clothing and the depth that the shot penetrated, it is  very easy to calculate a close estimate of the distance between the shooter and the vicim.

          If investigators can get Cheney's gun from around his cold undead fingers.

          •  I wonder what would happen (none)
            if CSI, Law and Order, Myth Busters or any other crime drama show did a show with very similar but 'ficticious' details and proved the implausibility of the official story.  The White House would freak out but I bet it would be a ratings winner.

            Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

            by strengthof10kmen on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:24:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And I bet you (none)
              it will be on Law and Order and/or CSI (they've done plenty of hunter accident stuff before) next season. If not before.

              I'd love to see Mythbusters do it though, they'd be MUCH more thorough.

      •  Patient Location (none)
        My theory is that they don't want to move him to a more sophisticated high-tech facility because that would concede the seriousness of his condition.
  •  CNN calling the 28 gauge shot "bb" (4.00)
    What is up with this game of words? It wasn't a bb gun, it was a shotgun. You know, the kind that blow's up entire torsos as any of us who've played Doom 3 now very well.
    •  I'm also fairly sick (4.00)
      of the phrase 'minor heart attack'.

      I'm not a doctor, but it seems to me that when you're 78 any heart attack is pretty fucking serious.

      •  minor (4.00)
        Expect the phrase "minor open heart surgery" any day now.
      •  there are minor heart attacks (none)
        A minor heart attack, that causes no damage to the heart muscle, and is not the result of an occluded coronary artery, IS a minor heart attack.

        Most health issues can be more tricky with a 78 year old, but it also depends on his relative health status too.

        And it is because of the age of the patient that he is in ICU right now - not just because potential complications from birdshot in one's body can be deadly, but because his age likely does make him more susceptible.

        But the age of the person suffering the heart attack does not affect whether or not it was a minor one.

        And there are 78 year olds that can suffer a minor heart attack. Anyone can suffer this kind of a minor heart attack.

        But maybe you were simply kidding, and you already knew this.

        ...but not your own facts.

        by slouise217 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:05:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  beebee is a spin word (4.00)
      Bird shot or pellet is more accurate a description.  BB implies a child's toy - cute and mostly harmless.

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:17:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  CNN is using the term 'BB' (none)
      because that's the term preferred by the White House. I heard Katharine Armstrong bragging about having BBs in her legs, and comparing Whittington's wounds to having been shot by her brothers with a BB gun as a kid.

      "And I hope you'll understand if any of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you'll tend to believe us." - Senator Lindsey Graham.

      by QuickSilver on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:10:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I heard one of the doctors say (none)
        on The News Hour (PBS) last night that it was a 5 mm pellet.  WTF.  That ain't bird shot.  
        •  Other prey? (4.00)
          Is there something else they could have been hunting, but shouldn't have been hunting, that would use different shot?
          That might explain why Cheney didn't have his "quail stamp",if he wasn't hunting quail; and why a lot of the cover up effort and discrepancies in reports of the type of shot and the severity of the injuries.

          Practice absurdus interruptus - Support ePluribus Media.

          by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:54:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  GOP victory (none)
    This whole thing will be a boon for the White House. Dickey will resign and DISAPPEAR down the memory hole before the whole Fitz thing drags him down.
  •  "bb" IS a shot description! (4.00)
    But it is a very large pellet load, mainly for geese and turkey. If Cheney's shell had been loaded with bb shot, the visctim would very likely be DOA.
  •  Shooting Patterns (4.00)
    This is of course inconclusive but I find it quite interesting.  The Corpus Christi Caller newspaper which broke the story ran tests to illustrate the potential severity of the shot.

    Compare this with the New York Times depiction of the injury here.

    If there hadn't been so much secrecy over the whole affair I wouldn't put much stock in the discrepency.  But the differences in the pattern suggest it was a bit closer than 30 yards.

    Economic Left/Right: -3.38 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.13

    by Preston on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:11:16 AM PST

    •  precisely (none)
      And compare the pattern above with the one in the diagram of the accident report, available courtesy of the Smoking Gun.

      The "30 yards" is bullshit. If the pattern above is at 30 yards and Whittington was struck only in the upper chest and head I would estimate (v. unscientifically) it was about 10 yards.

      This is an excellent diary, one of the best yet on this incident.

      I would be more upset if I weren't so sedated...

      by Paolo on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:58:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I dunno... (none)
      ...it's beginning to sound like it's nothing short of a miracle the poor guy didn't die on the scene. The NYT one looks like a rather fatal shooting to me. Though I'm no expert.
    •  A More Plausible Explanation (none)
      I suspect that Cheney somehow mishandled or misused his gun from relatively close rang (e.g., dropped it, absentmindedly pointed it toward the victim while walking alongside him, impulsively shot at a bird even though Whittington was clearly in his line of fire, etc.).

      His carelessness may have been influenced by a couple of beers, which is why they stonewalled the sheriffs people.

      Note that the sherriffs report on Smokinggun says that Whittington corroborated Cheney's story.

      •  Not quite. (none)
        The report says he collaborated the Veep's story.  Of course, Harry's family's comment was that he didn't remember it, so... one wonders who the collaborator was.

        "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

        by ogre on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:15:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Strange (none)
      "The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

       When someone says a covey "flushed" that means the quial are startled from thier position on the ground and fly towards the sky. A hunter will then follow the bird with the gun moving upward and finally firing.
       What is strange is how can a man on the ground have been shot if as the "witness" says the covey had already been flushed "and was following it"? These birds are very fast!
       

      (-7.50 -6.31) As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. J.F.K

      by arkdem on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:03:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The gun had a bent shaft! (none)
        Cheney was pointing it upward, but it spiraled out of the gun barrel downward. Really, I am waiting for the defective gun excuse, and think it wild, wild that he made himself a drink afterwards and refused the local officials that night.
  •  It's the liability (4.00)
    You cannot believe a word Armstrong says because she is covering up HER LIABILITY. She either allowed Cheney to shoot without checking that his license was valid or ignored that it was not valid. If Cheney was drinking, she ignored that. Gods only know what else she ignored or is covering up. She too can be sued by Whittington. No wonder she wants to make the shooting minimal and is now caught up in lies. Her lawyer and insurance company must be freaking out at this. I believe she didn't see the shooting happen at all, and after she saw the damage, tried to minimize it and make it Whittington's fault so he can't sue HER.

    The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel

    by Overseas on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:16:01 AM PST

    •  So when do the lawyers show up? (4.00)
      That's the next big step, when the principals and witnesses shut up and the lawyers do all the talking.

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:30:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Already talking probably. (4.00)
        I'm sure her insurance company's lawyers are already talking to her lawyer. Whittington's lawyer is already saying words out loud. Cheney's lawyer was at the hospital. Soon they will all be talking to each other. In my book, birdshot in my body and one heart attack so far might supplant friendship. Cheney and Armstrong as co-defendents.

        The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel

        by Overseas on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:48:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think $$$millions are already (4.00)
          offered on table, or on the gurney, as it were...

          It's my suspicion that this is what took so long to break the news publicly:   that given Mr. W survived the shooting, they needed to get to him while and whenever he was conscious through the ER ordeal, to make sure he would "cooperate" with their "coverstory".   Mr. Whittington is an attorney...soooo....even under extreme duress, no doubt he could drive a hard bargain for "settlement", so to speak.

          Think mega millions, maybe stock shares in Halliburton, a villa on whatever island in the Carribean that the thugs hang out at in their spare time or intend to retire to one day (away from all the polluting and social unrest their devastating policies have wrought), and life-time whatever primo medical care that Cheney has access to.

          And all this would've been before the heart problem became evident yesterday (or whenever it really manifested).   The settlement stakes just went waaaay up.  

          But it was necessary to insure Mr. W's "loyalty" to the cover story, and  then Ms. Armstrong could lamely trot it out as a trial balloon.

          As if I could become any more cynical about my government's credibility and operations, at this point....

          Yeah, they've always counted on us being as stupid as they really believe we are.  Now they're going after their "lowest common denominator" Bush-cult devoteds, and that faction is waking up to the insult finally, because they're also gun owners and hunters in the heartland.   Gotcha....

  •  This as reported in the NYT (4.00)
    Account of Doctors Raises Questions on Heart Injury

    "The account given yesterday by doctors caring for the Texas lawyer accidentally shot by Vice President Dick Cheney last weekend raises serious questions about how and when a pellet entered his heart and what tests were done to establish where the pellet was lodged, doctors not connected with his case said.

    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."

  •  VIDEO Cheney Hunting Accident Simulation (none)
  •  What Really Happened (none)
    Great summation of events.

    Here's what I think really happened. Cheney heard something in the bushes and shot Whittington. There was no quail he was following, etc. etc.

    Have you thought about the odds of a fleeing quail flying to exactly where Whittington was? The only way Cheney would have hit Whittington from 30 yards away was if you was aiming for him for whatever reason.

    The reason for the delay in releasing the information was that everyone could get their stories straight and they wanted to make sure that WHITTINGTON DIDN'T DIE!

    •  I think this speculating (none)
      is going over the deep end.
    •  Actually, another possible scenario (4.00)
      ...I think the delay in reporting was due to him NOT dying.

      How's this for a scenario:

      HW: Dick, thanks for coming out here today- there's something we need to talk about.

      DC: What's that, Harry?

      HW: Dick, you know I've been a loyal Republican for many years.

      DC: Yeah, and we appreciate all the cash. We always know we can count on you for that. So, what's on your mind? (starts to fidget slightly)

      HW: Well, like I said, I'm a loyal Republican. But I'm starting to get worried about all this war and spying stuff. I think you guys have us too far out on the limb.

      DC: (stiffens) So, what are you saying, Harry?

      HW: I love my country too. When I heard you had decided to bomb Iran, well, that just crossed the line.

      DC: I don't like what I'm hearing, Harry. You need to rethink this.

      HW: No, Dick, I've made up my mind on this. You guys are going to fuck things up, and it's just too high a price. I can't be a party to this anymore.

      DC: Harry, you know a lot about what's already happened. You're sounding like you're a liability now...

      HW: You've gone too far, Dick, and I won't stand for it anymore. What are you going to do, Shoot me?

      (pause. looong pause)

      DC: Harry, we go back a long ways....so I'm really going to regret this.

      HW: Huh?

      DC: BLAMMO!!!

      Hey, I mean, if they are going to leave it up to conjecture, one guess is about as good as the next, right?

  •  very odd indeed (none)
    ?

    http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

    by Soma on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:40:14 AM PST

  •  Man, Cheney did badly in the Biathalon (4.00)
    No skis and he totally missed the target!
  •  Well, now it makes sense! (none)
    Dummy up, Scooter

    Cheney shot the guy on purpose to send a message to Scooter not to testify! Godfather style...

    Awesome article.

  •  Behind the VP... (none)
    The part I can't figure out is supposedly Whittington walked up behind the VP as the birds were being released.  The VP turned and shot Mr. Whittington.  This was in the very first round of news but can't be correct.  Who would release birds behind the "hunters."  Has the placement of everyone at the time of the shooting been figured out yet?  The minute I heard this part of the story I knew it was full of pigeon poop.  

    Fringe is the new black. - Me

    by chillindame on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:48:07 AM PST

    •  I'm still not clear if the quail (4.00)
      were penned or not.  Quail flush straight up from the ground and don't achieve much height.  Sometimes they can burst up right in your face with a loud whirring noise and scatter in all directions.  So it would be entirely plausible to follow a bird while turning 180.  

      Though stupid/careless without knowing what was behind you.

      The truth always matters.

      by texasmom on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:57:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  behind, but not directly behind (none)
        The victim was apparently behind the line of the three abreast, but I doubt that Dick turned a full 180.  
      •  Can't achieve much height when wingless (none)
        These were penned, farm-raised, wingless quail raised for sport shooting.  They weren't going anywhere.  Cheney was drunk. Why else would he have waited 14 hours to report it?  That's what drunks do when there's an accident.  They get sobered up first.
  •  Hey! (4.00)
    Don't be so critical of Ms. Armstrong.  After all, she's been MUCH more forthcoming about this than anyone else.  Neither Dick nor Scottie has provided as much information as this woman has.  Granted it was all a pack of lies, but isn't that what we expect from this Administration?  

    Since she is now the designated spokesperson for the White House I  think the entire White House press corps should re-locate to southern Texas and begin doing their briefings at the Armstrong Ranch.  What better way to illustrate the absurdity of the entire thing?

    Pennacchio for Pennsylvania

    by PAprogressive on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:48:22 AM PST

  •  B.S. Alert (4.00)

     It's been a few years, but I've done my share of quail hunting.  While it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Mr. W came "up from behind" Mr. C, a covey was flushed, Cheney "picked out a bird, followed it and shot...", the story is somewhat improbable.

     1  These people would be walking roughly side-by-side in the first place, and would be fairly close together:  if you're much more that than just 10-20 yards apart, you and your hunting partner could both walk on either side of a covey and not flush it (they'd just lie low and let you pass).  So, even with waist or shoulder-high scrub between you, you're still going to have the other guy in sight, and, if you don't, then you shouldn't be shooting a damn shotgun in the first place.

     2  Quail flush in front of the hunter and fly forward, away from the hunter or dog that's flushed the covey, often tacking left or right, but coveys don't fly back behind the hunter.  At least, in the rare case that a covey actually "circles around" behind the person that flushed it, it's going to do so in a rather wide arc and, well, any quail hunter knows the first time out that you want to raise your gun, aim and shoot in a rather fast, but patient, fluid motion as soon as the covey flushes.  You're not going to train your gun on a covey for 30 seconds or a minute to watch it circle and fly back behind you and start to land behind you before firing.  That's just beyond the realm of reality.

     3  So, we've got a man who supposedly walks up behind Cheney (why would he be "behind" him"  doesn't make sense), and Cheney who shoots "behind" him when a covey flushes "behind" him or, huh?, circles back in some wide arc to land "behind" him.  This is all just non-sensical.

     Also, quail hunting is a very "social" kind of hunting where you walk and chat with one another.  Deer hunting, where you sit in a deer stand all alone and just wait to ambush a deer is its opposite.  So it doesn't make sense that you don't know where your fellow hunters are in a quail hunt.  Imagine walking from hole-to-hole in a round of golf and chatting with the rest of your foursome during and between holes -- but with shotguns poised.  Sort of like that.

     So, I very much agree that this whole "Blame the Shooting Victim" meme is a joke.  Cheney was    just.     plain.     careless.     and that's all there is to it.  Period.

     BenGoshi
    __________________

     

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:05:07 AM PST

    •  what do you think of my analysis? (4.00)
      There is a huge cover-up attempt going on but it is blowing up in thier face, they'll put this guy on life support indefinately to keep him from dying because all bets are off if he dies.  No more jokes from the White House that can't shoot straight.

      Think progress has a video that shows the effect of a 28 gauge shotgun from 30yards(90feet) on a stuffed dummy representing a human.  Pretty devastating.

      Also, the claim is that Cheney spotted a flock of birds being flushed, didn't see Wittington and fired.

      a. A pellet is about 5mm in diameter, a non-smoker's blood vessels are about 3.3mm, capillaries are much smaller, the Aorta is about 2cm.  So for the pellet to get to the heart, Wittington was shot in the face AND chest.  The pellet went directly to the heart from the initial shooting or migrated from a blood vessel large enough to carry it(which WAS damaged by the pellet!!!! or pellets, ie 200 pellets did alot more than pepper the guy pretty good)

      b. Unless Wittington can fly, Cheney choose NOT to shoot ahead of the birds but apparently directly at the rustling he must have seen when he decided it must be birds and fired his 28gauge shotgun.  ie Cheney either didn't want to, didn't care or couldn't see exactly what he was shooting at, grossly negligent or Wittington was flying at the time.  My take, Cheney heard something in the distance, quickly and without checking what he was shooting at, pulled the trigger.  Had birds flushed like has been claimed, they would have been many feet in the air and Cheney should have been firing ahead of them.  So the pellets should have mostly overshot Wittington.

      •  You're point b (4.00)
         
         I don't know all about the med or physiology  aspects of your point a, so can't comment.

         Your point b is pretty much in line with mine.  Only thing:  one often (maybe usually) fire at quail around head-level.  They don't fly high in the first place.  It's not unusual to be aiming a little "up", but, obviously Cheney was shooting on the level -- with is typical.

         Era of Personal Responsibility

         Here's the point:  Cheney wasn't paying attention, was careless, and that carelessness with a shotgun lead to his friend's winding up scarred and in ICU.  That's a lot of trauma for the body, especially a 78 year old one.  Hunting accidents happen.  Tragic result of not paying attention to basic rules of firearms, including:  1 Know where the other persons in your party are (don't speculate or assume); 2 don't pull the trigger unless you know what you're shooting at;  and, 3 don't shoot at anything you don't intend to kill.

         In sum:   Cheney screwed up, injured someone gravely due to that screw up, and is now trying to duck responsibility and hide behind the apron strings of 2 very important women in his life -- Ms. Armstrong in Texas and Ms. McClellon in the White House Press Room.

         BenGoshi
        _________________

        We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

        by BenGoshi on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:43:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  let's see what he cops to at 2pm (4.00)
          with the lies blowing up in the white house's face and the risk of Wittington dying growing by the hour, the situation is becoming politically perilous no matter how "loyal" 35% of the population is to these turds.

          and I suspect if Wittington does ever go on Camera and publically forgive Cheney, the scars on his face won't make a pretty picture, expect a shitload of make-up.

  •  Once again, BarbinMD (none)
    hits a home-run!!

    Great to have all this info in one spot.  And bless emptywheel for being on so amazingly on top of..........well...........just about everything!!

    Is this being entered into the DKosopedia?


    He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:08:28 AM PST

  •  My theory... (none)
    The "hunters" were standing around in a group. Cheney was holding his gun pointing upward (HUnting Safety Rule Violation #1) and w/ the safety OFF (Hunting Safety RUle Violation #2).  Cheney may have moved to set the gun down or turned to fire and it went off, blasting his friend at close range in a diagonally upward direction - hence the possibilty of pellet(s) entering the heart without tearing up the lungs.  

    Wish we could see a ballistics report to see the direction of entry of those "BB's".

    OR my alternative theory:

    The two friends had a mild disagreemnt, and in a "Go Fuck Yourself!" moment, Cheney could not contain his rage...

  •  So, the entire thing... (4.00)
    Is a coverup in Washington style.

    When my Mom (who is 78) heard about the shooting, she said, "Oh, I wonder how drunk they all were".  First thing out of her mouth.

    She and I have since figured that the guy shot is probably dead, but as in typical coverup fashion, they are figuring out just HOW to let this into the general public...sort of putting your 'ducks (quail) in a row' so to speak.

    The 'preparation' of the American public has begun with that darn bb migrating to the heart.

    •  same thoughts from me (4.00)
      I told my wife, "he's already dead.  Now all that's needed sorted out is to decide "how" it all happened."

      My guess was that by Friday we would learn that Mr. Whiitington died of "complications arising from alergic reactions to medications prescribed by medical professionals."

      Yeah, that's the ticket!


      He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:14:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Whittington was fortunate (none)
      to already be in the hospital when the medical staff discovered, during routine thorough testing, a very large brain tumor which had not been detected before.  Sadly, Mr. Whittington died of this tumor late Thursday afternoon."
    •  Migrating birdshot (none)
      You know how these guys feel about immigrants....

      Sixteen scandals in my heart will glow: click "A is for Abramoff"

      by Major Danby on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:16:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Man, Harry's a busy boy... (4.00)
    As well as his memberships on the scandal-plagued (as I mentioned above) Texas Funeral Commission and Office of Patient Protection Executive Committee, Ray Sullivan (former "press advisor and spokesman to Governor and Presidential candidate George W. Bush, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and other members of Congress and candidates around the nation") considers him a "fixer" ("He's the perfect person to come in and fix a bad situation," Sullivan said.)...
  •  asdf (none)
    I'm kind of surprised they didn't pin the shooting on someone else in the party.  I bet they tried, but no one would step in to take the fall.

    -6.13, -4.46 * 2269 *

    by BDA in VA on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:23:55 AM PST

    •  Not with Whittington in the ICU (none)
      When the shooting happened, Whittington wasn't sure if he was going to the hospital or to the morgue.  I'll bet they weren't sure for quite a while.  I certainly hope that didn't spoil Cheney's enjoyment of his creme brulee at dinner.

      Party loyalty goes a long way with the 'Pubs, but I doubt any of them would have been willing to take the fall for Cheney if the victim died.

  •  ***** ONE THING ******* (4.00)
    Did any SEE the pictures on the news of the "Ranch"?

    It's scrub brush and the occasional tree, it would be darn near impossible NOT to see some one for hundreds of yards.

    •  I saw that on ABC news too (4.00)
      It was like a desert landscape, with a dead tree here and there.  Here's my take from a post below

      add to it MSNBC apparently scrubbed language that indicated alcohol present at a picnic earlier in the day at the ranch.

      Think progress has a video that shows the effect of a 28 gauge shotgun from 30yards(90feet) on a stuffed dummy representing a human.  Pretty devastating.

      Also, the claim is that Cheney spotted a flock of birds being flushed, didn't see Wittington and fired.

      a. A pellet is about 5mm in diameter, a non-smoker's blood vessels are about 3.3mm, capillaries are much smaller, the Aorta is about 2cm.  So for the pellet to get to the heart, Wittington was shot in the face AND chest.  The pellet went directly to the heart from the initial shooting or migrated from a blood vessel large enough to carry it(which WAS damaged by the pellet!!!! or pellets, ie 200 pellets did alot more than pepper the guy pretty good)

      b. Unless Wittington can fly, Cheney choose NOT to shoot ahead of the birds but apparently directly at the rustling he must have seen when he decided it must be birds and fired his 28gauge shotgun.  ie Cheney either didn't want to, didn't care or couldn't see exactly what he was shooting at, grossly negligent or Wittington was flying at the time.  My take, Cheney heard something in the distance, quickly and without checking what he was shooting at, pulled the trigger.  Had birds flushed like has been claimed, they would have been many feet in the air and Cheney should have been firing ahead of them.  So the pellets should have mostly overshot Wittington.

      •  Dan Abrams turned BRIGHT white (none)
        When one of his guests said " its not real huntin in texass unless everyones drunker than hell"  dano was scared shitless, He knows he could loose his job 4 this kinda infraction.....

        add to it MSNBC apparently scrubbed language that indicated alcohol present at a picnic earlier in the day at the ranch.

    •  especially when they (none)
      are all dressed in bright orange!!!

      a splendid time is guaranteed for all

      by KBueno on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:33:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my favorite McClellan spin (4.00)
    is of a Cheney so consumed about Whittington's well-being on Saturday night that telling the press wasn't a priority. Katharine Armstrong bolstered this story by saying Cheney was checking on Whittington on a minute-by-minute basis....

    But was Cheney at the hospital with Whittington Saturday night? No. After the shooting, Cheney sat down to dinner Saturday with his hostess and her family. He didn't appear at the hospital until the next day....

    How long would a press release have taken? Five minutes of Cheney's time?

    This tells me they were concerned about Whittington's survival, but equally concerned about keeping Cheney out of the spotlight that night. And of course you wouldn't want him around the hospital if he had alcohol on his breath....

    "And I hope you'll understand if any of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you'll tend to believe us." - Senator Lindsey Graham.

    by QuickSilver on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:25:04 AM PST

  •  Have you ever seen the show Cops? (4.00)
    Regularly, cops are shown pulling some falling down drunk from behind the wheel after a chase.  They ask them if they have had anything to drink? The drunks almost invariably respond "a beer or two."
  •  has anyone in the media (4.00)
    asked questions about the clothes Whittington was wearing at the time of the shooting? Who has them?

    The clothes will almost certainly shed some light on how far Cheney actually was from Whittington when he shot him.

    "And I hope you'll understand if any of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you'll tend to believe us." - Senator Lindsey Graham.

    by QuickSilver on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:30:26 AM PST

  •  Swiss Miss excuse (4.00)
    Apparently, Madame Ambassador was on her knees in front of Cheney when the 'accident' occurred. By the time she looked up, got the hair out of her eyes, it was too late to have seen anything. I suspect she may have been .. looking for loose change. An anonymous source at the scene mentioned something about a hummer, which may refer to the type of suv they were riding in.
    •  Swiss Miss (none)
      Cheney's got a gun,
      Cheney's got a gun,

      He's got the quail-tards on the run,
      Everybody's on the run,

      What did his Italian gun shoooot?
      It shot poor Harry clean through and through,

      They say that little Scott McClellan had to wait too long to get the new-HOOOOOS,

      Nobody was arrested and the press had many questions,
      Now the VP's in his Swiss Miss' ahhhhhh-ahhhhh-ahhhh-ahhhhrms,

      Run away, run away from the blame-hey-hey-hey-hey-hame,
      Run away, run away, run from the bla-ee-ai-ee-ai-ee-ai-ee-ai-ee-ai-ee-aaaaaammmmmme.

      Cheney's got a gun,
      Cheney's got a gun,

      Sorry.  I imagine the Aerosmith joke has probably already been done to death on this one.  Heh.

      •  Actually, (none)
        someone already recorded it...our local rock station has played it a few times...I keep catching the end, but not sure who did it!

        "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." ~George Orwell

        by Troubled on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:46:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The spin (4.00)
    is playing pretty poorly in Hicksville, Michigan.  I base my claim on a conversation that I had with my uncle yesterday.  Although he's rather apolitical, he does normally succumb to the rightwing spin (a la Fox News).  For example, Monicagate solidified his notion of Clinton as a "dishonorable man," and he bought the view of Kerry as a flip-flopper.  Although he is obviously stupid about politics, he's not stupid about hunting.  He has hunted just about everything you can hunt in Michigan, many times over.

    His analysis of this incident?  Cheneyco is lying big time, and Cheney himself is a big dumbfuck.

    I hate to capitalize on anyone's misery, but this cabal is so evil that I will embrace anything that takes them down.

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." - William Pitt

    by blueinnc on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:39:17 AM PST

  •  When I think about Cheney (none)
    I think about bitch-slap.

    When I think about bitch-slap

    I think about pretzels.

    When I think about pretzels

    I think about stupid

    When I think about stupid

    I think about Bush.

    When I think about buck-shot

    I think about critics

    When I think about critics

    I think about annoying

    When I think about annoying

    I think about you.

    "yes dear...conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:47:45 AM PST

  •  they're obviously covering something up (4.00)
    How about this? As of this morning, the most recent report still says:

    Hospital officials said they were not concerned about the six to 200 other pieces of birdshot that might still be lodged in his body. Cheney was using 7 1/2 shot from a 28-gauge shotgun. Shotgun pellets typically are made of steel or lead; the pellets in 7 1/2 shot are just under one-tenth of an inch in diameter.

    Last night on dkos, AmberJane, a Kossack who's a doctor, said this: "I've heard `More than 10' and `Up to 200'. Two hundred is more than ten - a radiograph should be able to tell you exactly how many pellets are in the patient. It'd be nice if they were clear about it."

    After all this time, with modern technology and all, how can the doctors not know whether there are 6 or 200 pellets in the man?!!?

    Additionally, how can they not know at this point whether the pellets are steel or lead? I questioned the possibility of lead poisoning, as I know that's been a problem with wildlife that were wounded by or ingested lead pellets. And AmberJane pointed out that if they're steel, it "presents another terrible complication. Unless they get it all out they can never MRI him again for any health problem he may have."

    They have to know these things by now. This shows that they're obviously choosing not to divulge this information for some reason. My guess is that it's because they know there are a huge amount of pellets in critical spots and his health is in grave danger, but they're hoping against hope he'll pull through so Cheney won't have to go on trial for some charge such as involuntary manslaughter.

    •  Good point (none)
      Probably not lead. That's been made illegal in shot shells because ducks eat the damned stuff, and curiously, while lead shot in the skin or muscles most likely won't cause lead poisoning, eating it will.

      So that leaves steel and bismuth.

      Since they haven't mentioned an MRI, I think steel is likely. I don't even want to think about what would happen with steel shot during an MRI!

      •  Lead shot is still legal (none)
        for game birds in Texas.  It is NOT legal for waterfowl or in restricted areas frequented by waterfowl.  Bird hunters use lead when possible because its greater density carries much more force.

        The truth always matters.

        by texasmom on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:37:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Vice Presidential loads (none)
        Wants greater density...?

        Hey, that's what they use DU for in Iraq.  And--as they keep telling us--there's no health risks involved in being exposed.

        "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

        by ogre on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 11:36:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  He was drunk, I'm sure (4.00)
      According to all the reports, Cheney did not talk to law enforecement for at least 14 hours after the shooting. http://www.cnn.com/...

      What kind of man waits 14 hours after a near-fatal accident before facing police?
      A man who is drunk,
      that's who. That would explain how he mistook a man in a blaze orange hat and vest for a farm-raised bird with clipped wings. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/...

      This is a man who was gets arrested TWICE for being drunk behind the wheel - and that's back in the good old days when blood alcohol levels really MEANT something.
      http://www.thesmokinggun.com/...

      They sat around for four hours drinking, etc. with women who aren't their wives when they decided as the sun set that it would be a hoot to be driven to a site where penned birds are released to take pot shots at the ground. When the accident occured, they waited 14 hours to drink coffee, sober up, and get their story straight.

    •  Whittington also... (none)
      ...will have to avoid MRI procedures, too, what with all that steel in him.

      "...and the ones that are lucky ones come home on the day after tomorrow..." -- Tom Waits

      by Newton Snookers on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:03:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  maybe they are all having too much fun playing (none)
      connect the dots on poor unfortunate Harry instead of counting them!!!

      a splendid time is guaranteed for all

      by KBueno on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:42:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Any reporters around anywhere? (4.00)
    I guess it's too much to hope that any MSM reporter will pursue the angle revealed here about what Ms. Armstrong could have seen and where she was when this happened, let alone pursue any other possible witnesses to the shooting?  Yep, I thought so.  Calling Keith Olbermann's producers - please, please, read this diary and get somebody on this story!

    My guess - (a) they were drunk (b) big time hanky panky going on involving illicit sex and/or lobbying corruption and (c) Cheney discharged his gun by accident at pretty close range to this guy's body.  

  •  Good Work, video at Rachel Maddow on shotgun blast (none)
    that shows the effect of a 28 gauge shotgun from 30yards(90feet) on a stuffed dummy representing a human.  Pretty devastating.

    Also, the claim is that Cheney spotted a flock of birds being flushed, didn't see Wittington and fired.

    a. A pellet is about 5mm in diameter, a non-smoker's blood vessels are about 3.3mm, capillaries are much smaller, the Aorta is about 2cm.  So for the pellet to get to the heart, Wittington was shot in the face AND chest.  The pellet went directly to the heart from the initial shooting or migrated from a blood vessel large enough to carry it(which WAS damaged by the pellet!!!! or pellets, ie 200 pellets did alot more than pepper the guy pretty good)

    b. Unless Wittington can fly, Cheney choose NOT to shoot ahead of the birds but apparently directly at the rustling he must have seen when he decided it must be birds and fired his 28gauge shotgun.  ie Cheney either didn't want to, didn't care or couldn't see exactly what he was shooting at, grossly negligent or Wittington was flying at the time.  My take, Cheney heard something in the distance, quickly and without checking what he was shooting at, pulled the trigger.  Had birds flushed like has been claimed, they would have been many feet in the air and Cheney should have been firing ahead of them.  So the pellets should have mostly overshot Wittington.

  •  Juicy News (none)
    yet I feel that we are missing some much larger stories by (the media) focusing so much attention on this story.

    Clearly Cheney was closer to the guy then he said.

    I am much more worried about the way this govt is doing its dirty business......budget, Katrina, private contracts, NSA. etc.

    Looking at the budget as a moral document, it is clear that it is right in line with Cheney's ethics and priorities.

    Hisssssssssssss.........on Darth Vader. A warrior  turned against his own people.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:19:47 AM PST

    •  The Story (none)
      The story, in the larger sense, is dishonesty, cronyism, incompetence, cover ups and lying to the American public.  This story is a perfect example of this.  Not only that, but it's a story easily understood by people who may not want to delve into the details of health insurance or Iran.  

      Plus, it's fun to slam the evil emperor (I'd dispute the Darth Vader comment, that man clearly has the use of force lightening).

  •  10 Questions to ask of the White House (none)
    1)    Are Mr. Whittington's wounds the result of just one, or of multiple, discharges from Mr. Cheney's shotgun?
    2)    Was anyone besides Mr. Whittington wounded in any way, however minor?
    3)    Does Mr. Cheney have any formal training in firearm use or safety?
    4)    How long has Cheney owned the gun in question, and from where did he get it?
    5)    What was served at lunch before the hunt? Any alcohol served?
    6)    Did the witness on the police report, Mrs. Armstrong, actually see the shooting?
    7)    Did members of the Secret Service witness the shooting?
    8)    How long has the Vice President known Mr. Whittington? How well do they know one another?
    9)    Has Mr. Cheney ever shot anyone before?
    10)    Cheney wears glasses, how bad is his vision? What's the script on his lenses?

    http://redglare.blogspot.com

    Bush deserves a third term ...of 20-to-life.

    by redglare on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:21:23 AM PST

    •  Aiming at Willeford (none)
      Actually, Cheney was aiming his, uh, "weapon" at Pamela Willeford, his, uh, "friend" who was next to him (on her knees?) when he was startled by Whittington and shot him.

      NOW we can impeach Cheney! Lying about blowjobs! (or does that only apply to Clinton?)

  •  all your questions will be answered (none)
    Cheney will be interviewed (on tape) by Brit Hume tonight at 6pm.
    •  Brit Hume???/ Hahahahaaha (none)
      I am stunned, simply stunned that Vice would have the courage, the unmitigated courage, to be interviewed by a renowed Fox News reporter such as Brit Hume.

      The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

      by adigal on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:26:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am stunned (none)
        that Brit Hume would have the courage to sit within 30 yards of Cheney without bright orange hunting gear on.

        It's going to be funny one way or the other to see Veep try to affect empathy and regret.

      •  Good, more lies we can pick apart (none)
        have at it Brit, this story is blowing apart because of the secrecy and lies.  The more Cheney opens his mouth the better, he can't help but lie about the situation.  

        Face it Dick, you didn't shoot ahead of a covey being flushed "behind" you, you likely turned and shot at whatever noises you heard AND kept your gun at or near ground level and NOT up in a smooth, slow motion ahead of the flushed covey.  YOU PULLED THE TRIGGER BEFORE YOU SAW WHAT YOU WERE SHOOTING AT.
        and if Cheney admits that on TV tonite I'll eat my shoe!

        my earlier post:  and another guy has a great post titled BSAlert

        Think progress has a video that shows the effect of a 28 gauge shotgun from 30yards(90feet) on a stuffed dummy representing a human.  Pretty devastating.

        Also, the claim is that Cheney spotted a flock of birds being flushed, didn't see Wittington and fired.

        a. A pellet is about 5mm in diameter, a non-smoker's blood vessels are about 3.3mm, capillaries are much smaller, the Aorta is about 2cm.  So for the pellet to get to the heart, Wittington was shot in the face AND chest.  The pellet went directly to the heart from the initial shooting or migrated from a blood vessel large enough to carry it(which WAS damaged by the pellet!!!! or pellets, ie 200 pellets did alot more than pepper the guy pretty good)

        b. Unless Wittington can fly, Cheney choose NOT to shoot ahead of the birds but apparently directly at the rustling he must have seen when he decided it must be birds and fired his 28gauge shotgun.  ie Cheney either didn't want to, didn't care or couldn't see exactly what he was shooting at, grossly negligent or Wittington was flying at the time.  My take, Cheney heard something in the distance, quickly and without checking what he was shooting at, pulled the trigger.  Had birds flushed like has been claimed, they would have been many feet in the air and Cheney should have been firing ahead of them.  So the pellets should have mostly overshot Wittington.

    •  Brit Hume is a dried up canker of a human being (none)
      How appropriate they have him interview Cheney...he actually makes Cheney look human by comparison.

      Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

      by darthstar on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:27:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  excellent work (none)
    collating the lies.  Proud to share MD with you!
  •  CNN just announces Cheney to speak (none)
    later today.

    "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." - Senator Edward M. Kennedy

    by Phil S 33 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:24:30 AM PST

  •  of course Cheney was drinking! (none)
      It is why he didn't allow the police to interview him until the next morning. We will probably never learn the facts because this is a classified issue!  I grew up on a deer, pheasant,duck hunting farm in mid- Michigan.  My family/old neighbors hunt for a bird for 1 meal and a deer for winter meat.  Not for the sport of killing/shooting indiscrimately! My family were and are conservation members and hunting is for food, not wild fun!  This type of a close- contact shooting would involve mental impairment in most cases, especially when the shooter dodged the police for 15 hours.
  •  I don't think Cheney was shooting at a bird (4.00)
    I don't even think he meant to pull the trigger.  When you're focused and shooting, you're always aware of your surroundings.  Even if you're tracking a bird in your sights, anything else in the peripheral will register mentally, and if you see someone, you'll not pull the trigger.  It's always a deliberate act.

    Now, what I think happened, and this isn't tin-foil hat, it's just human nature and bad luck, is that Cheney was turning after watching some birds go by, had the safety off as he was intending to shoot, and then accidentally pulled the trigger as he drew down...quite easy to do especailly if he had had a few beers at lunch.  In short, it was careless gun handling on his part, and still an accident.

    That, or he figured he was going to kill the bird and he just didn't care who was in the line of fire...

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

    by darthstar on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:26:09 AM PST

    •  I'm not a hunter... (none)
      but I was taught to handle guns as a boy. Your version of events sounds much more plausible than the official one.

      But is unintentionally pulling the trigger so much worse than the version Cheney's courtiers are giving?

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:50:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hated my family and neighbors shooting deer and (4.00)
      even the birds. Farmers do it to keep down the population of deer as they really do quite alot of damage to eating crops when they proliferate. My family are and were conservation members and never would shoot more than one bird for a meal or one deer for winter meat. I found it amusing with CNN, today, talking about red and green shells, the difference between buck shot and bird shot.  My father that died 5 years ago, would come running into the house, tell me to get his deer rifle and shot(he couldn't run back to the gun cabinet in the den with muddy or snowy boots) and I would intentionally bring him back birdshot and then slowly get the deer shells to foil his attempt to shoot the Big Buck!   He loved me for it days later!  His little girl foiled his hunting!  He always went to the Upper Penisula of Michigan on a yearly hunting trip and I assumed he could shoot his bucks there, not the ones in our woods and fields. I believe Cheney was drinking to shoot someone in close contact, but we will never know!
      •  If Cheney had not been under-the-influence, (4.00)
        the police would have been able to question him immediately and Cheneys secret service guys would not have delayed for 15 hours. The man lieded us in to a illegal war.  Of course, he will lie about his being innebriated and shooting a fellow hunter. He was also, within 20-30 feet of the man that he shot, with the damage and concentration of the birdshell. I practiced too much with my older brothers on various targets and understand range/concentration of the shells.
    •  This is what (4.00)
      I think too: sheer accident due to bad gun handling.  But they had to add the spin, because shooting someone because you ignored basic safety rules sounds a lot worse than shooting someone who "cale outta nowhere" when you were aiming for a quail.

      Either way, you or me or anyone else would have been taken down to the station, interviewed, breath tested, and possibly locked up before being freed, even if it was just an accident, no?

    •  Agree... (none)
      I believe the reports say that Cheney was about 30 yards away, however, looking at the spray pattern that was found on Whittington, it seems he must have been a lot closer.

      Also, Whittington was supposed to have been behind Cheney. The reaction time after hearing a noise, turning around and shooting, you would never aim or expect to aim towards level ground. The bird would already be moving up and you would track from there.

      ...Whirlpools whirl, and dragnets drag...

      by dss on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:52:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cheney's Lewinsky! (none)
    Or Cheney's Chappaquiddick. Sources have revealed that the cover-up may have been because Cheney was hunting with "the other woman."
  •  Such concern (none)
    Armstrong, Cheney, and whoever else was there were so concerned with his health that, according to the Washington Post's timeline,
    Members of the hunting party return to the Armstrong Ranch, where they make calls to check on Whittington's conditiion and then have dinner. According to Katharine Armstrong, no one suggested publicly releasing the news. At least one sheriff's deputy shows up at the ranch but is turned away. Deputies are not aware of the earlier conversation between the Secret Service and the sheriff.

    I wonder if they ate quail?

  •  I'll be expecting the victim ... (none)
    who after all is a lawyer remember, to start to harvest this situation.  It is a built in moneymaker for any attorney many whom make millions of dollars off of shit like this.  It is as natural as water flowing downhill.

    And he is a Republican lawyer which is one even more likely to be dedicated to the making of money above all else.

    When that shoe drops we will hear about how DICK was drinking or whatever.
     

    •  Unlikely (none)
      The man is a die-hard Bushite, and clearly has more money than he will ever need.  Lawyers aren't all obsessed with suing people, and if all we (ah, cat's out of the bag now) cared about was money, we'd be investment bankers or traders.

      The bigger threat is his wife, if he dies.  Cheney will have killed her husband, not sure if party loyalty will trump that.

      That said, party threats might.

      •  You are right ... (none)
        it is his family that is the big threat!  But I still think that it is a situation that is pregnant with this type of outcome.  

        If he is as old as he is and practiced in Texas all these years chances are that he started as a Democrat and that starch in his spine just might melt as his pain increases and quality of life decreases.  

        And lastly apologies to you and your profession, just so easy a target, whether merited or not.

  •  R J Eskow at HuffingtonPost has an overview (none)
    As he points out, a version of events alternative to the official one is emerging.

    To me, one of the oddest things about how this is being covered is that no news story mentions whether any attempt has been made to contact the former ambassador woman.  (Barb notes that no one has asked her about the accident, but how do we know that?) Clearly, she is off limits.

    There is a picture of her here. Is it my imagination, or does she look a bit like Anne Archer in Narrow Margin? (For those of you who haven't seen it, Archer's character witnesses a mob hit, and so herself becomes the target of hit men.)

    The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

    by Alexander on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:34:39 AM PST

  •  CNN's Breaking news (none)
     that Cheney is to speak on the "incident" on Faux News this afternoon.

    -6.13,-5.64 Our parents wouldn't allow us to have an easy button, but they did give us state-of-the-art bullshit detectors.

    by imabluemerkin on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:34:52 AM PST

    •  At 2:00 PM n/t (none)

      -6.13,-5.64 Our parents wouldn't allow us to have an easy button, but they did give us state-of-the-art bullshit detectors.

      by imabluemerkin on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:36:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure he'll be-moan the Dems politisizing event (none)
      and how all the left wing blogs are exploiting a terrible accident.

      Nothing like the exploitation of 150,000 Americans that are walking around Iraq with targets on their backs

      or the $1.6 billion taxpayer dollars spent from 2001-2005 by the white house for "PR" nope, neither of those are exploitation! nope, nada

    •  Cheney to comment (none)
      So he is to speak out on Pox News - oh well thats alright then.  We will learn everything there is to know because Pox News will question him thoroughly and in-depth (not).

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by brit librarian on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:18:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More total bizarreness... (none)
      In any other administration, Cheney, as vice president, or an official representative would be giving an official press conference. Especially since all Scott McClellan says is to check with the VP's office.
  •  Let's play "telephone" (none)
    Remember, in elementary school, you played "telephone" which was a story is read (told) to the first person who whispers it the second person,who then whispers to the third person, who...  Let's play--you could try to be factual, or fictional, or O'Reillyish, or whatever.  No matter what you try, it will be funnier than it already is.  Here goes:

    Someone approaches Cheney with a loaded gun, from the rear, with the secret service watching, the shot is fired, the old man is down, bleeding, 3 hours elapse before he's airlifted to a hospital, no one tells president or news corps (why wasn't the photographer there for an obvious photo-op?), local sheriff's deputy not allowed to see Cheney to take blood test for alcohol, sheriff claims that therefore alcohol not involved, meanwhile, victim is blamed for stopping the bullet, is described as very stable--yet in icu, then has heart attack, possibly caused by a pellet from the estimated 6-200 pellets (kinda rough estimate) in his body, Cheney quits the scene and the state asap.  Where would I be if I were the shooter?--in jail or at his bedside praying the poor bastard doesn't die?

  •  This incident needs a proper investigation. (4.00)
    There is too much conflicting information coming out of even one woman!  This Katharine Armstrong can't keep her story straight.  Right from the outset when she said she saw and heard the incident from the car, that sounded unlikely.

    This tissue of lies will fall apart under a proper police investigation.

    In the meantime, although it galls me that so many other important stories are getting less airtime than they should because of the time being spent on this... well, at least the fancy of the public and the press has been captured by this.  It's a fairly easy one to stay interested in.  And since it's a metaphor for all their other failings, I am reluctantly content to let this story stay at centre stage and do a lot of necessary exposure of this cabal of criminals.

  •  Peppered (none)

    Well-behaved women seldom make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    jc's designs

    by jaysea on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:43:00 AM PST

  •  God, this is so typically Republican! (none)
    The party of personal responsibility absolutely refuses to take any! From the war to their own personal crimes, to even "accidents" nothing is ever their fault!
    How can Americans believe a friggin word they ever say?
    Everybody sing:
    You're a lying sack of crap,
    you're a lying sack of crap,
    You're a lying, stinking, scheming, nasty sack of liquid crap!"

    (thanks Stephanie Miller)

  •  I can't help but think of (none)
    the Monte Python short of the hunting lodge of English nobles (can't think of the title of the sketch - The Hunters' Holiday?).  Guns going off at every inopportune moment, every which way.  Really bizarre, funny and right on.

    "I'm an insect who dreamed he was a man and loved it. But now the dream is over..." - Charles E. Pogue, "The Fly".

    by edsdet on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:49:14 AM PST

    •  Getting out there with a gun, slaughtering (none)
      Yes, pity really, I always preferred the outdoor life. Hunting, shooting, fishing. Getting out there with a gun, slaughtering a few of God's creatures - that was the life. Charging about the moorland, blasting their heads off.
          Cut to a large country house. A number of sportin' gentlemen dressed in huntin' tweed and carrying shotguns come out, casually firing the guns at random. They climb into a land-rover and drive off. Cut to huntin' country. A line of beater moves towards the camera; as they do so several young couples leap up out of the undergrowth and run away. Shots of hunters stalking their prey and shooting. One of them breaks his gun into two pieces. Another fires into the air. An egg lands on his head. Cut to two duellists (with pistols) and a referee standing between them. They fire; the referee falls dead. A huntin' gentleman fires into the air, falls over backwards; a young couple gets up from close behind him and run away. Another huntin' gentleman is arguing defensively with a pilot who has just landen by parachute. A hunter fires into some bushes; a Red Indian pops up and runs away in alarm. They all return to the house, legs and arms variously in plaster and bandaged. Two of them carry a pole between them from which is slung a very small bird. The picture of the outside of the house freezes and we pull back to reveal that it is a photo on a stand, by which stands the knight in armour, expectantly flexing his raw chicken. The floor manager comes up to him. -Episode 9
  •  Why is no one disc. the funeralgate-SCI connect? (none)
    I don't have time to research this now, but I have been thinking that Cheney may have tried to kill Whittington, to keep him quiet in the wake of Brownie's singing on Katrina mishandling.  Remember that the company that was at the forefront of funeralgate in Bush country was SCI, and Whittington was involved in the cover-up of that.

    Over 3000 bodies are missing in New Orleans, and SCI was brought in very early to suppress the death total numbers...my theory.

    Let's take a closer look at this, and keep an eye on what Whittington's friends are going to spill.  This is sick!!

    Here is the history of the Funeralgate scandal...
    -------------------

    salon.com > News Aug. 20, 1999
    http://www.salon.com/...

    Keep up the good fight!!

    Styve

    REVOLUTION is in the air!!

    by Styve on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:17:57 AM PST

  •  came out from behind, and was 30 yards away (none)
    Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong said.

    "The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

    This just doesn't make sense. If he came out from behind him, and then walked 30 yards in front of him...it's not like it was a surprise that he was in front of him. Wouldn't he see him walking the 30 yards ahead?

    Support the project that believes in the best our community has to offer! Support YearlyKos

    by gina on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:20:03 AM PST

  •  You left out another hole (none)
    What were two older men doing on a hunting trip with two younger women, not their wives?

    How many men do you know who go on hunting trips with women not their wives unless they're having an affair?

    And why was Pamela Williford not listed on the accident report as a witness when she was standing right next to Dick?

    Dick didn't go public with this b/c he didn't want Lynne to know he was playing hide the quail with Pamela.

    Louisiana... they're trying to wash us away... they're trying to wash us away.

    by Bidabunch on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:20:34 AM PST

    •  what (none)
      what color dress was pam wearing?  /snark
    •  And here is the difference (none)
      between Republicans and Democrats.  If this were Al Gore, say, or God knows Clinton, there would be an orchestrated campaign to force this "affair" possible issue into the open.  They wouldn't wear gloves on this, of course! No doubt about it.  They would have absolutely no problem insinuating this or asking "innocent" questions in a thousand media outlets.  They would not pull punches at the last second out of ignominy or a feeling of hypocricy.  They just don't have those feelings.  And if the campaign turned out to pressure some kind of confession or confirmation from anyone in the know, they would press that for all it was worth. Until victory.  Whereas Democrats have at least some class and sense of privacy ... and lose boxing match after boxing match to seasoned bare-knucklers.  When one side is not prepared to be ugly, it's a lopsided bout.
  •  maybe (none)
    I Think Dick of Death was just trying out a new social security and medicare reform program. Canned Human Hunting.  
  •  Cheney was within 20-30 feet, (none)
      My understanding of what birdshot does, as a young girl learning to shoot at various targets with my big brothers!
  •  Getting static from Cheney apologizers (none)
    that say because of HIPAA requirements, Baghdad Scottie couldn't release information about Whittington's heart attack even if he knew about it.

    I'd hate to have to accept that as fact.

    People talking in movie shows, People smoking in bed, People voting Republican, Give them a boot to the head!

    by trojanrabbit on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:27:06 AM PST

    •  If that were the case, he would have just said (none)
      that's why he couldn't release the info. A pretty lame attempt from the apologists.
    •  Medical World News was a pioneer (none)
      in getting presidential candidates and their running mates to release their medical conditions to the public, so people could make an informed opinion in their votes. Some of Cheney's remains secret, contrary to previously accepted practise. Robert Scheer pointed this out in an article July 3, 2001, calling for the vp to resign, based on his fragile medical condition. A fuller discussion of Cheney's medical condition, and presumptive medications,, can be found, with copious footnotes, at the website DoctorZebra.com.
         Among the fascinating details: the veep suffers from exercise intolerance, shortness of breath, and swelling of the ankles. Just a year ago, Jan. 2005, the vp was involved in a curious incident at a memorial ceremony at Auschwitz, where everyone else was dressed in funeral black, except for the veep, who was in a green parka, with warm lining, and boots to keep his feet warm. Veep took lots of PR heat at the time for bad manners in the clothing and haberdashery department (as they said in Truman's day).
        Veep's diet reportedly relies on fish, buffalo and salad, prepared by Navy Stewards.
         There may be two medical angles insufficiently explored in the current Texas shotgun shooting incident: the veeps problem with bad knees, which have been treated in what has jokingly called heart attacks of the knees; and drug interaction. DoctorZebra.com's site gives an impressively sourced list of drugs presumably taken by the veep. Some of which are statin drugs for arteriosclerosis, which can cause--drum roll--"severe irritability." Good thing the drug companies had a legislative appendectomy of pesky liability issues, so those mean trial lawyers couldn't bring frivolous lawsuits, eh?
        Meanwhile, there is a previous quote from the veep on health issues that now seems should be ressurrected for its sheer predictive value: "If there is a problem, when I felt I couldn't serve, I'll be the first to say so, and step down." United Press International interview, May 3, 2003. That would be a flip-flop, now, wouldn't it?
         
  •  What if Willeford was the real shooter ... (none)
    and Cheney is taking the blame so as to not call attention to Willford being at the ranch with him.
  •  this is the best diary on this topic (none)
    that I've seen so far.  lays it all out...all the lies.  thank you.

    It's a new day. We angry denizens of the fever swamps have emerged from the slime to fight back. - Digby

    by marjo on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:42:21 AM PST

  •  In a story with so many lies, (none)
    even the truth is suspect.  No doubt the VP's office is controlling the information to as great a degree as possible; but I have to wonder about why some info has come out at all.  The biggest question is why is the shooting being pegged on Cheney in the first place?  With the assortment of sycophants & cronies present, it would be a simple matter for some toady to take the fall for the shooting.  The Swiss ambassador probably even has diplomatic immunity and could plonk civilians at will.  Who know, maybe it was her who shot Whittington; but her "connection" to the VP may be too close for scrutiny, so it's better if she just stays in the shadows.

    It's natural to ask who's lying and about what.  I'm also curious who's telling the truth and why?  It's surely not Armstrong.

  •  We need to hire a P.I. (none)
    to go down there an investigate this.

    Talk to the picnic goers... see who was drinking.

    Talk to little miss aryan princess Switzerland. Snoop their friends, family, etc.

    Cause lord knows the Texas police/attorney general aren't legitimate.

    Cheney shot a guy cause he is old, sick, and was probably drinking. Our Vice President. With his fingers on the trigger of OUR nuclear arsenal (not his).

    And the American people aren't entitled to know why our Vice President shot a guy in the face?

    Just another sign of our fascist state.

    •  can anybody say... (none)
      special prosecutor!
    •  I'll stand up for the game wardens (none)
      The Texas Parks and Wildlife guys (and ladies) are legitimate.  They spent weeks working rescue and recovery in Louisiana and the Texas gulf coast after the hurricanes.  Several have spent more than a week looking for a local drowning victim this month.

      They have been authorized to give warnings on violations with the new game bird stamp introduced in Sept., 2005, but I can't imagine them fudging an investigation.

      I think that is why they were among those denied immediate access to the hunting party.

      The truth always matters.

      by texasmom on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:35:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  except that (none)
        Katharine Armstrong used to run the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, Willeford's husband is currently a member of the Private Lands Advisory Board of Texas Parks and Wildlife (and, incidentally, the National Park System Advisory Board), and all of those positions have been used as a reward for generous Bush cronies.
      •  the accident report is full of inconsistencies (none)
        the report was submitted by the sheriffs department to Texas Park and Wildlife. the front facing body diagram shows pellet marks on the left side of the face and chest. the caption says right side of the face and neck. the diagram shows pellets in a pattern covering the shoulder and upper rib cage, and incidentally the facial area. if the pattern area is correct, Whittington took the shot pretty much frontally
        the weather was listed as sunny and clear, but visibility was only fair? the contact time was 5:30, not 5:31, or 5:29.
        the summary states that while Whittington was out of the hunting line another covey was flushed. they hunt in lines of three evidently, alternating. so Whittington did not step forward, because then the box marked stepped into the line of fire would have been checked. the account says he went to retreive the bird. no mention of which way he went. Ah what you can say when you don't really want to say anything.  
        Katherine Armstrong, who was 100 yards away was listed as the only witness. Now someone might have been a bit closer, don't you think?

        "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

        by agent double o soul on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:08:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Everyone keeps saying (none)
    "two old guys and two young women -- not their wives."

    But do we really know who was on that hunting trip? I haven't read anywhere where it was JUST "two old guys and two young women -- not their wives." Cuz that would sure be suspect.

    Kinda like when you're a teenager and you take the old man's new 'Vette out for a jaunt to impress your friends and you just happen to back into a tree. It's Karma.

  •  yKos activity inspiration: hunting gallery (none)
    Stops: Cheney, WMD, what else?
  •  hmmm (none)
    The first thing I thought was that he'll resign over this "accident" and not over one of the myriad horrid things he should resign over - despicable.
  •  From my digging around it looks like the county (4.00)
    consists of little more than the King Ranch, the Armstrong Ranch, and the Kenedy Ranch. The population is only a few hundred people and over 90% are Mexican American. That leaves a county run by the white folk who own the three ranches. Guess who tells the County Sheriff what to do and how to do it? Oh, and the Armstrong lady is the former head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (game wardens.)

    -6.88/-5.64 * You know what's happening. Fight it.

    by John West on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:38:28 AM PST

    •  Oh, and the Armstrong lady is a DC lobbyist (none)
      and her mother is a former ambassador in the Ford Admin. These folks got some powerful mojo in Kenedy County.

      -6.88/-5.64 * You know what's happening. Fight it.

      by John West on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:45:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  She is (none)
        also the daughter of Anne Armstrong, who was on the Board of Directors of Halliburton when Dick Cheney was hired in 1995. source

        My, my, Texas tea roots grow deep!

        "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." ~George Orwell

        by Troubled on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:13:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops. I firgot to include the fact that mom was on (none)
          the Halliburton bd.. Apparently there are oil wells all over the county. These are the folks who have the hats and the cattle, and the oil wells. There's an awful lot of money and power here. Maybe that's why daughter thought she could get away with such superficial lies about the shooting. We'll see if she can.

          -6.88/-5.64 * You know what's happening. Fight it.

          by John West on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:31:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Whittington - Blood alcohol level? (4.00)
    At the hospital press conference, doctors refused to divulge the results of the test.

    It's becoming more obvious that Whittington, Cheney and the girls were drinking in the car while driving around looking for coveys of quail to kill. They sighted one, stumbled out of the car and then Cheney mistook Whittington for a bird and shot him in the face.

  •  Pellet size (none)
    The following graphic from Discover the Outdoors shows that 7 1/2 shot is .095 inches (2.41 mm) in diameter not 5 mm as some media reports have stated.

    Could someone confirm this? Why would there be a discrepancy in the reports. A doctor has been quoted as saying that the pellets in Whittington's body are 5 mm yet the Texas Parks and Wildlife report says 7 1/2 shot.

    •  It's steel not lead shot (none)
      and they are now refering to BB's, so it may be the .18 size your graph shows, although birds get 'ruined' when hit with bigger size shot like that, and the 28 guage doesn't handle the large shot anyways.
      I believe it was 8 to 9 using the lead chart.
      •  But that's at odds (none)
        with the report on the Smoking Gun, which so far is the only official report we have access to.
      •  Can't believe it. (none)
        I hunt often and can't believe they were shooting steel shot.Steel is for waterfowl and most government owned land. Lead is so much more efficient than steel. On private land I'd bet 100 bucks they were using lead. And it would have been 8 or 7 1/2 size shot. I don't have a clue why the doctor said 5mm. Geese are the only birds I know of that you would use BB or larger shot. Here in Missouri most turkey hunters use 2 or 4 sized shot.
    •  71/2 shot (none)
      71/2 or 6 shot for small birds. You would'nt use anything near as large as 5mm.
  •  Great Part 2 of this diary.. (none)
    ...on ePluribus Media.

    With all the other comments here, the two diaries pull the whole thing together very comprehensively. Great work. BarbinMD

  •  ICU privacy (none)
    The hospital spokesman says Mr. Wittington is in the Intensive Care Unit "not because of his condition, but for his privacy".....
    In my limited experience, a private room is more private than the ICU.
    •  VIP Suites (none)
      Any hospital of appreciable size or reputation has very special rooms for sick and important people.

      The doctor's story is a lie, ICU beds are too expensive and valuable to use for "privacy".  Not to mention that they are the least private part of any hospital.

      •  Hospital's website indicates recent (none)
        building of 20 new ICU beds. It's hard to believe that even one would be used merely for privacy. On a revenue basis, that one bed is worth about $175,000 a week to the hospital. And as of today, Mr W. has 5 days in the bed, and apparantly another 6 more ahead of him. So this is looking to be roughly a $350,000 stay at this juncture, and by the way, the usual time for worst cases of gunshot wounds statistically clocks out at around 5 days. Oddsmakers would not be going long on this action.
          And, at the risk of repeating myself, the news cycle still has not noted that the hospital system's own website notes that they have the most amputations in the USA! If any family members care about the informed consent issue, this would be at the top of my list if he were in my family!
  •  Magnificent diary-important-recommended-thanks (none)
  •  30 yards away - or point blank? (none)
    Doesn't a shotgun's pellets disperse fairly widely over a distance?

    If this guy was "peppered" mostly from his heart to his face, and the shot went in deep enough to penetrate his clothes and skin (maybe his chest all the ay to his heart), doesn't that suggest that he was shot at point blank range?

    I don't know squat about guns, but I can't help but wonder if this wasn't a shot at effectively zero distance.

    That little detail would contrast quite a bit with the "official" reports.  It would also make deadeye Dick look a lot less "manly"....

    •  Little info on safety equipment either (none)
      Official reports indicate that the hunting party was wearing safety orange. However, once you look into the statistics and background on the use of safety orange, the less likely it seems that the hunters were actually in compliance with the law.
         Notice there are no pictures of the party and what they were wearing that day. How many people go out with a high-profile figure and don't snap a picture for their den or office?
         If you go to the New York State website on hunter orange and accident safety, it becomes immediately obvious that the vast majority of accidents happen when groups of two are NOT wearing hunter/flourescent orange. NYS statistics show that 76 percent of the accidents of this nature involve those who do NOT wear hunter orange.
         If you want to get a little more technical, researchers in the eye doctor community, at the Southern California School of Optometry, have done a study of the relative safety of 100 percent hunter orange versus the mixture of 50 percent hunter orange/50 percent camouflage pattern, called camouflage orange. Tests showed that 100 percent Hunter Orange was much safer, highly visible in most cases, using a 100 percent orange over an area of 210 square inches, the size of the average hunter with a coat on. Visibility tested out to 100 yards, in increments of 10.
         Given the clear, dry conditions, if Whittington had been wearing 100 percent hunter orange, statistical chances were about 80 percent greater that there would be no accident within 100 yards of the shotgun. With the camoflage orange pattern, risk of an accident becomes less preventable, in the range of 50-60 percent that there should be no accident.
         Thus, the optomotrists lean very heavily in the direction of use of 100 percent hunter orange for safety.
         One wonders if the thing being concealed here is the lack of use of safety orange? In the military, each operation is supposed to have a risk profile. It raises the question whether the secret service is doing the routine things needed to protect the veep? Just another piece of the puzzle that just doesn't seem to fit.
  •  Geeee, Daffy Dick is accepting responsibility (4.00)
    I`m sure Daffy Dick is getting the questions in advance, and there going to edit the crap out of the interview, But hey, NO problem with that...he'll get chewed to ribbons next time he talks to the REAL press

    How to tell If Daffy Dick is lying Tonight:

    1. No eye contact. His eyes will look away. If the room has a means of egress - that's where they'll look.
    2. Crossing of arms and/or legs (a protective instinct).
    3. The pupils of the eyes will narrow. Lying is stressful.
    4. Hands on the face, especially the mouth. They are "covering" the lie.
    5. Talking fast. A liar wants to get it over with.
    6. Sometimes the head will nod a "no" when answering a "yes" question or visa versa. This is a subconcious movement.
    7. Mispronouncing the words or mumbling. A liar kinda thinks he is not lying when he pronounces words incorrectly or mumbles.
    8. Overstated friendliness/laughing. He wants you to believe and he wants you to like him so you will believe him.
         9. He says "911" over and over again.

          Gesssh.. this means i`m going to have to watch FOX tonight....  God Help me.

  •  Cheney Had A "Beer" (none)
    It's being reported in Freepland that Cheney admitted during the interview that he had a "beer" during the lunch prior to the shooting...
  •  ewww.. props to Cheney (none)
    I hate to say it!  he almost sounds sincere and contrite... and to most of the world, he will seem so.

    At least he does say "it's not Harry's fault".
    "I'm the guy that pulled the trigger.

    however much he's lying about the circumstances, at least we need to give him this

    clips at www.foxnews.com

  •  UPDATE THIS (4.00)
    On another diary, I say. FiredogLake has clip transcripts up from the Fox interview.

    Cheney directly contradicts Armstrong's contention that "... he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open..." Cheney says he tried to talk to him but Whittington did not respond.

    You didn't do it.

    by Earl on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:29:02 PM PST

  •  Was he STANDING? (none)
    I don't think so. He can barely catch his breath, walks with a cane, and had been drinking? He was Sitting!
  •  Just to Add (none)
    to your updated information on EPluribusmedia...here's another interesting angle that someone (with more time than me at work!) might want to look into and compare.

    Yesterday, CNN's Situation Room ran a video of reporters asking questions to Sheriff Ramon Salinas (bold emphasis mine)...I thought this was interesting:

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you determine it was an accident if you didn't interview any witnesses until the day after?

    SALINAS: We didn't interview them, but speaking to them and interviewing them is two different things, we didn't officially interview them until the morning but did speak with people that were there. I know some people personally that were on the hunting trip. I know, they're friends of ours. We're all -- a small community and we know each other. That's how we got the knowledge it was an accident.    

    Here's the full transcript from the show.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." ~George Orwell

    by Troubled on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:34:05 PM PST

    •  wow. i'm getting lynching flashbacks. (none)
      i didn't know people still pulled that excuse out of their *.

      who was it, earlier, who said that this sheriff person was in these guys pockets?

      isn't writing a report based on wishful thinking and 'knowing' the people who were there... wishful thinking?  you're not supposed to commit wishful thinking to a report, or a press release, or anything official.

      no wonder so many innocent people are in jail in texas.  they don't bother to follow procedures; whatever they want to be the truth is the truth.

    •  Meanwhile, the silence from the FBI is (none)
      deafening. I guess everybody's busy cross-training on eavesdropping.
  •  They were so consumed with poor Harry (none)
    that while they wre having dinner afterward, they recieved updates from the hospital by his family.

    Now I can understand why DICK didn't want to go to the hospital - his visit would cause huge security problems. But please, y'all weren't "consumed with making sure [Harry] Whittington was OK" if you could sit down for dinner.

    No doubt they were pretty "consumed" with how to spin the story.

    •  Excellent point! (none)
      If they were so consumed with Whittingham's health, and Dick Cheney had nothing to hide (like a high BAC), then why the hell wasn't Dick sitting in the waiting room or by his friend's bedside at the hospital?  Everything we learn about the events that unfolded on Saturday makes this alleged "accident" seem more fishy.  
  •  How many beers??? (none)
    So they say he had a beer, which is technically true.  But in the usual linguistic trickery of this administration, what they fail to tell us is that after he had a beer...

    he likely had another beer,
    and another,
    and another,
    and perhaps another.

    How many did he have?
    Why did he delay the police from testing his blood alcohol level?
    Was the delay merely to:
    1.  Get his BAC level down.
    2.  Get his story straight.
    3.  Both.
    ?

    I tend to think it's #3.

  •  LIARS (none)
    What do you expect from a bunch of pathological liars?  It is what we have been putting up for the last five years.  I really hope this administration ends before its time.  Now, it certainly is obvious what is going on and what has gone on.  Let's get rid of this whole bunch who have deceived the country from the start when they stole the election in 2000.
  •  The General (Patriot Boy, of course) (none)
    has specific concerns as to the projectory of the 200+ bullets which apparently did more damage than could be explained. He has thoughtfully written Arlen Spector - the originator of the magic bullet theory - for a confirmation as to how that lil' devil got lodged in the heart. With pictures and diagrams, yet. http://patriotboy.blogspot.com

    "Trying to make it real compared to what." Gene McDaniels/Les McCann

    by Sprinkles on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:56:55 PM PST

  •  To put it mildly (none)
    "It does seem odd - and at variance with reports - to hear that the shooting victim has shot lodged near his heart and that he's still in the hospital. But something's out of kilter in the reports and the public's not liking it one bit." Sure wish I knew how to put quotations in those little colored boxes some people use.
  •  Question (none)
    I've been wondering - what was Cheney doing in Texas, anyway?  Was he on official business?  Did he fly there on Air Force One (or Two?)  Who accompanied him?  Who were other other people that he met with that day - at lunch, etc.? ----  Seems like these questions would have been answered already, but I haven't seen it.
  •  He accepted respnsibility (none)
    which we know means "It wasn't my fault, but I'm nobly taking the blame." End of story. This is the frame. Will the media support it?

    "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition" - Monty Python

    by MadRuth on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 03:24:30 PM PST

    •   Caught In Fat Lie, Cheney Eats His Hat (none)
       Caught In Fat Lie, Cheney Eats His Hat

       how about Cheney also taking responsibility for lying about not being responsibile and blaming the victim??

      He has been caught in a HUGE lie in front of the whole nation and we should not let him forget it.

      The initial statement Cheney released thru his office spokesperson Matlin said he did nothing wrong AND that it was all Whittingtons fault.

      Is he retracted only the "Whittingtons fault" part? Has he admitted he was actually WRONG to have shot in that direction? There is a difference

      -if the Armstrong ranch quail hunting rules* are "that hunters must move forward three abreast. The person on the right side should shoot to the right, the person in the center should shoot to the front, and the person to the left should shoot left."
      ( http://www.slate.com/... )
      then were they in such a line? and if so then which position did Cheney have in the line and which way did Cheney shoot relative to that line and relative to shooting rules

      *( http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/... shotsafe.phtml )
      (I bet that Cheney was center and Whittington fell back to get a bird, and Cheney shot into Whittingtons area assuming whittington was still in back, so not only did he cause the damage but was wrong to shoot in the direction of Whittingtons area.)

      does anyone have a link to the Vice Presidents office spokesperson Mary matlins initial statement that Cheney did nothing wrong, I cant find it?

  •  Since they continue to be secretive.. (none)
    I am beginning to wonder whether Cheney shot the guy on purpose after an argument of some sort.

    Thank you John Kerry

    by diplomatic on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:42:37 PM PST

  •  Someone explain how this could be. (none)
    Mary Matelin just said Cheney is going through all the regular HUMAN BEING things.  Whaaaa..?
  •  from wyoming (none)
    In ten years of living in Big Horn County, Wyoming, how many times have I heard:  "we have no murders... only hunting accidents."

    A time-honored tradition in Dick Cheney's home state of Wyoming, these hunting accidents.

  •  What I Wrote About Cheney (none)
    on Kos's drinking thread can be said of Karen (daughter of Halliburton Anne) Armstrong as well:

    I call this kind of truth corporate relativism.

    It's the kind of thinking that corporate management personnel must make their own in order to face themselves in their jobs on a day to day basis.

    For men like Dick Cheney, (and women like Karen Armstrong, I gather) there is no universal truth.  Everything is relative.

    Because of the fluid nature of what they consider the truth, and their avid and frequent use of the concept of plausible deniability and stovepiped information, stovepiping both to themselves and others in order to build in that plausible deniability to all their actions, men like Dick Cheney (and women like Karen Armstrong) live in a gray world of non-absolutes, amoral equivocation, and shifting and revisionist histories of events.

    In Cheney and Armstrong's world, the corporate world, all means 90%, nothing means 10%, never means only sometimes and always means most of the time.

    It's a terrible way to live.  When men and women live like that, terrible things happen - like the war in Iraq, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the endless war we wage now on terror - and shooting the guy hunting next to you in the orange vest.  All these events are connected.

    The problem, as I see it, is that not enough people in America have a problem with this relativism.  They see it as a benefit.  So they implicitly reward and support the little lies, the grim but somehow slightly faceless tragedies, and the increasingly deep quicksand beneath their own feet in their day to day lives.

    We can only go on for so long in this way, America, before reality will have its unyielding with with us, with Dick Cheney, and we will face the consequences of what we choose to avoid in listening placidly to the half-truths or part lies of what stands for leadership in America today.

  •  NPR reported the press conference today (4.00)
    The attending physician, who was happily answering questions from reporters, abruptly cut off the conference and fled when asked "Was Wittington's blood alcohol level checked at the hospital?"

    They ran.

    Refused to answer.

    Stopped the conference.

    So there ya go.

  •  Is everything bigger in Texas? (none)
    One aspect little examined is how the veep could possibly mistake a 6 foot tall Texan for a 5 inch quail? If my calculator is operating properly on its Chinese batteries, that would make Harry Whittington the size of 14 and 2/5 quails. Since the fraction is more than pi, let's round it up to 15 quails high!
    And, as the average male in profile presents a silouhette of about 18 inches, at the very least it presented as about 3.6 quails across, so round it up to 4. So a silouhette reduced to area in quails is: 15 x 4 = 60 quails square. (q 2?)
       Another disturbing aspect of the official story seems to be that the hunting party stepped out of the vehicle, and the veep turned around to fire the shot, which could indicate that the driver and any passengers could theoretically have been in some danger from the line of fire. Even if the SUV/vehicle was completely bulletproof, the discharge could have made people instinctively duck inside the vehicle, and thus dramatically reduce their utility as potential witnesses.  
       
  •  Now Cheney says that (none)
    his victim was unable to speak immediately after he shot him. So much for being lightly peppered.

    This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

    by Agathena on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:31:03 AM PST

  •  So why don't they ask the damn Secret Service (none)
    agents what happened? It's like they were invisible in all this. And ask all those doctors and nurses who came running after the shot. These people were all there. They are all witnesses.

    -6.88/-5.64 * You know what's happening. Fight it.

    by John West on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:59:31 AM PST

  •  I just dare you to click me: (none)

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by kovie on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:18:17 AM PST

  •  too bad harry ,shouldn't have dicks for friends (none)
     i believe darth vader had way more than a beer at lunch and avoided the law until his blood alcohol content dissapated to ensure he didn't gat reported as having been intoxicated. secondly, i also believe the delay in the reporting was to see if whittington died- if he had died i think that the story would NEVER gotten out, period.i'd also bet money that if he had died, as rabidly rethug as those at the ranch were, would gleefully had covered up the truth, probably claiming that it was the work of muslim terrorists that hate freedom and thus prove the need for domestic wiretapping.fuck bushs' dick, fuck dick's bush, and profusely fuck all that support either of their ilk.

    impeach-it does the body good

    by playtonjr on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:46:25 AM PST

  •  Oh pricky dick (none)
    Oh pricky dick..Your digging deeper and deeper..Try the truth..
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