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February 12, 2006

Comments

"[T]his shooting took place in an apartment owned by Lynn Cheney, and the body was then taken to the ranch."

B-b-but... Lynn Cheney couldn't've shot Harry Whittington while having an affair with him in her apartment! Everyone knows she's a lesbo!*

*And so would I be, and so would any woman be, who woke up one morning and discovered she was married to Dick Cheney.

See the previous thread for my link to an older historical perspective, though a less funny one.

rilkefan, what's even funnier about the Aaron Burr ref is that Howard Dean compared Cheney to Burr on FTN this morning - SFAIK, before news of the shooting got out.

hilzoy, you aren't following the Rules of the Game.

Nah, my first reaction was a worry that if and when something serious or suspicious happens, your analysis and commentary will be devalued by this post, but heck, I lost my sense of humor in 1968.

Oh, and I don't link or explain many of my ironic allusions. Altho that one is easy, and not so good.

Casey - yep - that's noted in my link. (I'm not quick enough to have thought of that otherwise.)

is it irresponsible to speculate? it's irresponsible not to.

(fwiw, i came up with that line without any help from the lovely and talented TBOGG).

The accident is the CIA's fault, actually. On the basis of bad intelligence, Cheney believed Whittington was a quail.

The jokes just write themselves, don't they?

Well, no apartment and such, but enough threads to pull at. Me, I'm just happy I can now use my encyclopedic knowledge of Elmer Fudd lines.

Sorry moonbats, but this accidental shooting, while unfortunate, is going to be a good for the GOP politically. One, it brings up gun rights, which is a great issue for us, and two all of your tasteless jokes about it will turn voters off the same way that the King funeral did.

this accidental shooting, while unfortunate, is going to be a good for the GOP politically.

Well, if that's the case then Dick should shoot a few more.

Bob M: next you'll be saying that this will discredit any economic arguments I ever make. It's a risk I'm willing to run.

hilzoy, why do you hate freedom?

This is obviously the first shot in the liberation of Texas.

Well, Leonidas, you will probably want to avoid this link, though I do hope they find a donor to give you a sense of humor. (assuming they are able to find a place with all that swelling faux outrage)

Leonidas shouldn't be shy about linking to the far earlier comment Leonida made here, which needs no further comment:

The good news is that the guy is okay, that this will help shore up support with the NRA, and that the loony left has already made asses of themselves with various insensitive statements about it. This could be good for the elections in November....
That's the third in a series of such comments Leonidas made on that thread alone. It appears Leonidas has a lot of outrage to vent.

Must... not... comment... further.

I made my initial comments on the shooting about six and a half hours ago here.

As I observed a bit later:

Am I the only one who is faintly disturbed that the Vice-President of the United States can shoot someone, and it can go unreported for approximately a full day? Imagine that he'd, say, had a heart attack. Not that that's remotely likely. (I expect that I will certainly not be the only one slightly disturbed.)
However, I just got back a bit ago from Chris Mooney's little talk, and having not relaxed all weekend, will wait until morning to do a small write-up.

There's a joke in here somewhere about not quailing in the face of terror.

And not to suggest that anyone here feels otherwise, but I do feel bad for the guy who got shot in the face. I would feel bad for Cheney, who I'm sure is feeling pretty awful right now, if not for the number of far deadlier misjudgments he's already made.

Should have put this comment here, really.

But speaking of lack of the most even elementary, child-level, gun knowledge, I find it disturbingly typical of a problem with Democratic activists that Josh Marshall has ask a bunch of people stuff like this, rather than just write off-the-cuff about something so utterly basic about guns and hunting (and, mind, I've never gone hunting for animals in my life, and the last time I fired a gun I was 12 years old, and, 35 years ago, and that I was raised and have lived most of my life in NYC).

This is emblematic of a cultural problem the vast majority of Democratic activists and suporters have, I'm afraid.

Similarly that he has to rely on a report that the victim is still in ICU, rather than just know what happens when you're hit in the face, throat, and side, at a distance of a few feet/yards from a shotgun blast with birdshot suitable for quail. Duh.

Even in the face of knowing absolutely nothing about guns or shotguns or bird-hunting, a minutes googling should be sufficient clue and citing. But knowing that little in the first place is the cultural/political problem.

I hope Marshall isn't offering much advice to Wyoming and western, or other rural, Democrats on how to win votes.

Man, Hillary's ninja's are amazing. She's really showing Laura what's 'out of bounds'.

Or maybe, just maybe, Dick is trying to send a message to his old hunting pal Scalia. Go with Thomas, Roberts and Alito, or go with God...

Something definitely odd - the guy's still in the ICU, says JMM. Maybe if you go to the hospital at 78, there's some chance they'll find something unrelated to your gunshot wounds that needs dealing with - Neil Young's anyeurism was discovered while he was being checked for something else. Still, odd.

VP Elmer Fudd

Wolcott reminds us that our President is also a crack shot and expert hunter. Not sure if the pattern is Republicans or Texans, tho. Our State Motto ain't:"Let God sort em out." fer nuthin. I didn't follow to Wolcott's source, but I'm betting on Molly.

Note the ICU thing is about serious/not serious. Saw a report claiming the guy didn't think he needed care. Presumably the question would be, how much of the core of the blast did he take? Three pellets at glancing incidence?

Another interesting point - if hunters know this is by definition Cheney's fault, why would Cheney's spokesperson cast the blame toward the guy sneaking up on the VP? Surely that will just make Cheney look like a trigger-happy tyro or a man can't accept responsibility.

No doubt funny if you've seen the movie.

We trust these Idiots Because

Marcotte, the Austin lady, is definitely getting a mixed response in comments from actual hunters. Most say idiocy.

This movie I assume everyone's seen.

Oh and here I was hoping that Lynn Cheney would be involved with a forty-something Italian stud rather than a 78 year old hunter. And that the Italian had something to do with the Nigerian Yellowcake forgeries. {Sigh} It sucks when reality intrudes.

Gary Farber: But speaking of lack of the most even elementary, child-level, gun knowledge, I find it disturbingly typical of a problem with Democratic activists that Josh Marshall has ask a bunch of people stuff like this, rather than just write off-the-cuff about something so utterly basic about guns and hunting (and, mind, I've never gone hunting for animals in my life, and the last time I fired a gun I was 12 years old, and, 35 years ago, and that I was raised and have lived most of my life in NYC).

I can't tell if you are being serious here, Gary. Are you?

E&P on the delay in reporting the incident, which is in fact quite odd. Not odd as in nefarious, but odd as in "who are these people?'

"The more than 18-hour delay in news emerging that the Vice President of the United States had shot a man, sending him to an intensive care unit with his wounds, grew even more curious late Sunday. E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occured and called Vice President Cheney's office for confirmation.

The confirmation was made but there was no indication whether the Vice President's office, the White House, or anyone else intended to announce the shooting if the reporter, Jaime Powell of the Corpus Christ Caller-Times, had not received word from the ranch owner. (...)

In an odd disparity, Armstrong told the Houston Chronicle that Whittington, 78, was "bruised more than bloodied" in the incident and "his pride was hurt more than anything else." Yet he was airlifted to a hospital and has spent more than a day in an intensive care unit.

The Chronicle also reports Monday that hunting accidents are amazingly rare in Texas. In 2004, it said, the state's 1 million-plus hunters were involved in only 29 hunting-related accidents (19 involving firearms), four of which were fatal."

Bob, I haven't visited Pandagon's comments for a while--is it normal that my browser (Firefox) should render the whole thread black with comments rendered a drak shade of gray? I've tried accessing the site and then the comments to your linked post, in case that's your next question.

Yep, make that "not-even-spokesperson" above.

Mark Kleiman (quoting an anonymous friend):

"* The Attorney General claims that the Vice President was granted the power to shoot lawyers under the resolution allowing use of force in Afghanistan.

* Cheney is refusing to cooperate with local investigators but has briefed four senior members of Congress.

* The Pentagon claims that there are already sufficient supplies of body armor for wealthy Texas lawyers but will be expediting existing contracts.

* Based on a report from an Iraqi exile group, a special White House intelligence group had advised the Vice President that the lawyer was Osama bin Laden in disguise. (...)"

"I've tried accessing the site and then the comments to your linked post"

I just tried it twice off the posted link and it looked great. Comments black on white background. Using IE x.x something. Clicked thru to be certain I was out of cache. Anybody else got problems?

I thought there was no such thing as "not Firefox friendly"

Over to FireDogLake, they're speculating whether Cheney might catch a shiv over this. Seems crazy to me, but whatever.

That site looks fine to me with FF running on XP.

rilkefan: God does not love me that much. To, um, coin a phrase.

Is everyone who reads ObWings on broadband, and I'm the only one on dialup? Just curious.

Tee hee hee: someone doesn't take my advice and click the links...

Thanks for cheerying me up Ann --I like the idea that Cheney got off atleast one round to command some self-respect from a lawyer who just couldn't keep his hands to himself. But was it Lynne? Generally, I needed this distraction from this other debacle:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/09/politics/09delay.html?pagewanted=all

Gary: I dunno. I'm on broadband as of about two years ago. It was a bit of an adjustment: I kept my house clean by doing little tasks while waiting for pages to load, and it took a while for me to realize that I couldn't count on a certain level of cleanliness just happening without my ever thinking about it any more. Somehow, though, I have learned to cope.

"Tee hee hee: someone doesn't take my advice and click the links..."

That is funny. We can only hope that blog has a large right readership that spends many pixels refuting these vicious rumours.

Bob: I read some of his other posts. I'm rather taken by this one, in which he points out that Carter did warrantless wiretapping as well, in 1977, and says:

"The position of the Carter administration was that the FISA law permitted exactly the sort of activity that President Carter inapproriately attacked at Mrs. King’s funeral."

But before recasting a quote from the Carter administration as being about FISA, he doesn't bother to check and see when FISA was actually passed. (1978).

All in all, not the sharpest needle in the pincushion.

"I can't tell if you are being serious here, Gary. Are you?"

Sure. Knowing what happens when you fire a shotgun with birdshot at someone a few feet away isn't some esoteric bit of gun-knowledge.

What do think happens if a piece of shot hits you at that distance in, or very close to, your eyes, for instance? It's not as if the reports said Whittington was hit in the ass. The very first report specified "face, neck, check," and the distance of "came up from behind the vice president." That's a bit vague, but it seems to clearly indicate not more than some few yards.

The reports that Whittington is in the ICU (intensive care unit) also seem unsubtle clues (Marshall quoted this in his post).

I've added yet more addenda to my post.

BradBlog (no link because the graphics nearly gave me epilepsy) is saying that the incident was at 5:30 but W wasn't admitted to the hospital until 8:15. So that's odd wrt the ICU.

Looking forward to the biathalon competition in the Olympics...

"E&P on the delay in reporting the incident, which is in fact quite odd."

I'm baffled why every blogger posting on the story wasn't on this point in the first few hours.

"E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occured and called Vice President Cheney's office for confirmation."

"E&P has learned"?

Yeah, great reporting, to get that at 10:20 PM ET, when ABC News's tv lead story reported it at 6:30 p.m. ET (and obviously had it earlier), not to mention, *cough*.

See my latest addenda for more. E&P's first story was at 4:30 p.m. Rocky Mountain Time. Not precisely a scoop, though, to be sure, simultaneous with ABC and two whole minutes before me.

"I thought there was no such thing as 'not Firefox friendly.'"

Where did you get that notion from, Bob?

Hilzoy: "Gary: I dunno. I'm on broadband as of about two years ago."

Well, yes, I never had any doubt that you, and most folks here, can afford it. I was inquiring if I was the only exception here.

...he doesn't bother to check and see when FISA was actually passed. (1978).

All in all, not the sharpest needle in the pincushion.

It's also crucial to remember that, after all, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln engaged in warrantless surveillance during wartime, as AG Gonzalez reminded us last week. Those precedents' are entirely relevant, we must all keep in mind.

I forget who it was who suggested that electric eels may have been somehow involved in one or another precedent, perhaps. Or perhaps Washington called on Dr. Franklin, and asked his advise on FISA.

Gary: I was just adding my own tiny datapoint...

I should also say that my snicker in the general direction of the blogger who didn't know about FISA was partly due to his "jeez, these dumb liberals" attitude. As far as I'm concerned, poking fun at people on the grounds that they don't know when FISA was passed is only OK if they have in some way opened themselves up for it, e.g. by adopting a tone of superiority while failing to do basic fact-checking.

Sort of like when I used to play space invaders: the space invaders machine was near where I wrote my undergrad thesis, and so, naturally, I got good at it. After I graduated, there was a machine near my bus (subway?) stop, and I would play while waiting, sometimes. Every so often, some guy would come up and say something like: hey, let me teach you how to do this -- apparently assuming that since I am female, I must have no idea how to play video games. (Wrong.) On these, and only these, occasions, I would take real delight in beating them by very large margins.

Jane Hamsher (who, peculiarly, two years after Blogger enabled links-with-words, hasn't enabled them) refers, curiously, to Katherine Armstrong as: "...that Armstrong woman'" and to her as "some Texas housewife."

Wouldn't we, um, tend to be a tad critical of that if it came from a man, or a rightwinger? It's not as if Anne Armstrong, her mother, wasn't fairly famous as the first female U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, as I immediately pointed out (although Jim Henley also referred to K. Armstrong as "the spokeswoman for the ranch" and Chris Mooney stared at me blankly early this past evening when I mentioned Anne Armstrong, so maybe it's all an age and not-knowing-much-about-the-Reagan-era thing; not that that would explain the "housewife" characterization).

"On these, and only these, occasions, I would take real delight in beating them by very large margins."

I take your point.

Thanks for the feedback: more evidence that I need to buy a new computer. Ah, long may we dream...

JM, which FF are you running? 1.5 might render differently than some older versions...

JM: "...is it normal that my browser (Firefox) should render the whole thread black with comments rendered a drak shade of gray?"

"...more evidence that I need to buy a new computer."

That seems like quite the immense leap. What you using? More to the point, which iteration of Firefox? rv:1.8.0.1, I hope? Which Extensions? And which OS?

Gary,
as a devoted reader of firedoglake, there is a bit of anger there. I love the blog, but I do worry about self-combustion. There is also the question of why she is the spokesman (don't they have secret service people around?) I cringed a little when I read that, but there is a question of why she and not someone else ended up making the first announcement. That jane might have used too large a bore on her shot puts her in the same category as our vp ;^)

As for Josh Marshall, I thought that the info he wanted was who was generally at fault in these situations, a kind of 'what are the rules of the road' rather than thinking that a shotgun isn't going to hurt someone. In fact, I probably would be extra careful even if I did hunt, but it wasn't hunting quail because there is a culture involved. I remember a story from several years ago when a pregnant out of state woman in a Northeastern state went out and was wearing white gloves and no orange and was killed by a hunter. Also, there was the incident where a man (I believe from Laos), attacked and killed several people in a hunting party in a dispute over posted land. I think Josh is just using due diligence, FWIW.

Also, it occurs to me that it allows Josh to get in touch with a constituency that he might normally not have a lot of contact with.

As an occasional quail hunter, I can echo the comments of Josh's correspondents regarding responsibility. First rule of hunter safety is to know what you're shooting at. If events were as described and Whittington was coming up behind Cheney, Cheney's bird must have broken low, and Cheney followed it some distance, probably missing with the first barrel and taking a shot with the second well after he should have given it up. You don't chase a low-breaking bird for just that reason - it takes your field of fire into an area you haven't cleared and where various things you don't want to shoot might be (dogs, hunting partners, etc...). I can only assume that Cheney was so intent on the kill that his bloodlust clouded his judgement (hmmmm....has that ever happened before?) Personally, I lost all respect for him as a hunter after reading about his duck and pheasant hunting trip a couple years ago where he personally baggged ~70(!) birds. Now that's sporting! Screw the thrill of the chase, let's just cut straight to the killing.

Thanks hilzoy. I originally assumed it was a suicide attempt - suicide by VP. I figured Whittington either had been photographed near Abramoff at the million man march, or had been in possession of Hillary's lawfirm papers. Your cat like journalistic instincts give me a real Rush!

Gary - Actually, the CNN report suggested that the lawyer was like 30 feet away, and, presuming that Cheney was using birdshot and not buckshot, it was by no means a given that the victim would need to go to the ICU. Josh's questions seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

That said, I'm going to steal Paul's joke at 10:33 last night and use it all day, pretending that I made it up myself. Sorry Paul, that's the price of anonymous genius.

Gary Farber: Sure. Knowing what happens when you fire a shotgun with birdshot at someone a few feet away isn't some esoteric bit of gun-knowledge.

First, what LJ said above. And from what I've been reading, this point is actually in dispute, with some folks trying to downplay the potential for damage. In any case, I find it a little peculiar to see you criticizing someone for being hesitant to talk out of his ass.

Gary, you're not alone on dialup. Worse, the sixty-year-old rural phone lines force my modem down to 28.8. So I very rarely even listen to audio online, much less click on videos.

Cheney shouldn't feel too bad; everybody's liberal about something ®. Nobody's not liberal about anything.

It was obviously a dress rehearsal for his upcoming hunt with Scooter that went tragically awry.

I have nothing to add, just wanted to play games with the "Recent Comments" sidebar...

As someone who grew up and lives in a rural area where hunting and guns are very, very ordinary, and hunting accidents are not rare: I want to defend the right of anyone, Democratic pundit or otherwise, not to know the first freaking thing about guns and never to have touched one. Even if they're running for office.

Surrounded by self-proclaimed rednecks for much of my life, including the present, I'm completely fed up with the assumption that anyone who has anything to say about politics has to be or pretend to be a good old boy. Screw that!! Good old boys may or may not be the problem, but I'm here to tell you they're not the solution. And pandering to them is just about as attractive as pandering to gangstas.

I'm going to steal Paul's joke at 10:33 last night and use it all day, pretending that I made it up myself.

To each according to their need; from each according to their ability. :-)

This seems apropos, somehow.

OK, one from the vaults (with apologies to Chas, but the Nell's comment brought the line up in my head)

We need to fight an intelligent intelligence-led campaign with realistic objectives and stop stumbling around like a bunch of drunken red necks on duck hunt.

Hilzoy --- you wrote:

"But before recasting a quote from the Carter administration as being about FISA, he doesn't bother to check and see when FISA was actually passed. (1978).

All in all, not the sharpest needle in the pincushion."

I was well aware of when FISA was passed during the Carter administration. My quote still stands (and had you bothered to click all my links, you'd have understood why).

As it was, Carter's attorney general Griffin B. Bell, when testifying in favor of FISA, told Congress that while the measure doesn't explicitly acknowledge the "inherent power of the president to conduct electronic surveillance," it "does not take away the power of the president under the Constitution."

The position of the Carter administration was that the FISA law permitted exactly the sort of activity Carter is attacking President Bush for.

But ya'll knew that, didn't you?

You don't suppose the Veep might have had one too many Budweisers before heading out with his shotgun?

Oh Dick, oh Dick, what has thou done,
Thou hast shot proud Whittington!
He stood behind a bunch of thistle,
And you shot him with a great hoss pistol!

Gary:

What's so ignorant about someone who doesn't see a guarantee of life-threatening injury in getting hit at an unspecified distance with an unspecified amount of shot from what was possibly a quail load -- one of the lightest shotgun loads, in terms of powder load and total shot weight?

I grew up in Arkansas owning and using a shotgun, and it wasn't clear to me, either, that this was a guaranteed trip to the ICU. Shotguns are curious beasts.

You don't suppose the Veep might have had one too many Budweisers before heading out with his shotgun?

Surely Busch Beer? Surely....

I do believe the involvement of alcohol may indeed be the underlying hubbub. Quick...to the Mystery Machine!

I got this off of World Net...they are saying anything but an accident. The story is still developing, but there was an investigation done, and now authorities are suspecting that Cheney knew that Harry Whittington (the one that was shot) was in his area of shooting...and basically unloaded.

Robbie -

So you knew the state of the FISA law when you wrote this:

Well, why are we not surprised to find out that former President Carter authorized warrantless surveillance for national security purposes when he was President in 1977?

Well, from the Washington Times article to which you linked:

"in 1977, Mr. Carter and his attorney general, Griffin B. Bell, authorized warrantless electronic surveillance used in the conviction of two men for spying on behalf of Vietnam . . . The Truong case, however, involved surveillance that began in 1977, before the enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which established a secret court for granting foreign intelligence warrants."

So, Carter's DOJ's pursuit of Truong, which you cited for evidence that Carter indulged in the same behavior as that for which he criticized Bush, was performed before the passage of the law Bush has been accused of violating. In other words, your post was contradicted by the article you linked to. Try again, please. Perhaps with a link to the congressional testimony you mentioned. A little context there might help.

TeddyBear:

I saw the article on the World Net site, and appearently, the timestamp came out a little after 12:00 (eastern standard time). AND THIS IS A DRUDGE LIKE SITE THAT IS REPORTING THIS!!! So if they are talking, I believe the mainstream news will pick up on this!

KevinG and TeddyBear - I think you guys are full of it!

Can you guys post a link to the WorldNet article? It all sounds highly improbably to me.

"McClellan did not know about a report that the Secret Service prevented a deputy sheriff from interviewing Cheney."

To my misreading of Hilzoy's post, I have posted the following on my site:

Ok — I’m wrong and owe someone (Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings) an apology. Her post (from whence the above comments came from) were intended as satire, rather than legitimate tinfoil hattery. Though I’ve been accussed of not clicking all the links in her post — I did. I just didn’t get it. My humor meter wasn’t (and — sadly still isn’t) working. At least not in satire mode. I retract and apologize for my "this nut" comment.

Good on you, Robbie.

it wasn't clear to me, either, that this was a guaranteed trip to the ICU.

For a 78-year-old, there may be other risk factors than just superficial damage and blood loss. Sorry, I know it's no fun dragging common sense into this.

"incident was at 5:30 but W wasn't admitted to the hospital until 8:15. So that's odd wrt the ICU."

Not necessarily. If they were somewhere relatively remote, the ambulance ride might have taken an hour or more of that time. Also, most ERs in trauma centers are set up to do the initial treatment for severe trauma cases and a person in the ER isn't usually considered to be "admitted" yet, so he was probably being worked on in the ER for some time before going up to the ICU.

As far as why he needs an ICU, I don't know, of course, but in a 78 year old, even minor blood loss and trauma might provoke a heart attack. Or they may be just being particularly careful because he's a VIP, ie putting him in the ICU for monitering, so as not to embarrass themselves by having a high profile death at the hospital.

I cant imagine how the NRA or actual hunters are going to be thrilled with Cheney.

He violated Gun Safety Rule Number 1 in not shooting unless you know it is ok.

Plus, real hunters arent going to have much respect for that game of slaughtering captive birds just for fun. That certainly isnt hunting.

"Sorry, I know it's no fun dragging common sense into this."

Snark however is always welcome.


"If they were somewhere relatively remote, the ambulance ride might have taken an hour or more of that time."

I thought they called in a helicopter, but true. It's a bit surprising that Cheney could be that far from a hospital, though.

"a person in the ER isn't usually considered to be 'admitted' yet"

Quashes my comment.

Will: I cant imagine how the NRA or actual hunters are going to be thrilled with Cheney.

He violated Gun Safety Rule Number 1 in not shooting unless you know it is ok

Oh yes.

I imagine this is why Cheney is not going to talk to the media about it if he can possibly avoid it. Caught between never wanting to publicly acknowledge a mistake - the credo of the Bush administration - and knowing that if he himself tries to blame Whittington, he's going to look bad to any real hunters/NRA enthusiasts. Better simply to avoid the issue completely: Cheney's gotten clean away with bigger crimes.

For a 78-year-old, there may be other risk factors than just superficial damage and blood loss.

Well, that would speak to my ignorance of geriatric medicine, rather than firearms effects, wouldn't it?

Italics off?

He violated Gun Safety Rule Number 1 in not shooting unless you know it is ok.

I thought the rule was never use anything less than #3 buck on another human.

Although, as far as some of you are concerned, another might be in dispute.

"CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer reports Texas authorities are complaining that the Secret Service barred them from speaking to Cheney after the incident."

This just confirms what the Great Helmsman has told us: "All power grows from the barrel of a gun."

I think it's become rather obvious that he had something to drink before heading out; could have been just one beer.

To me the big story is not that the WH withheld the story; ir is that our crack WH MSM press corps had not a clue for 24 hours what was going or where Cheney was or that there was a situation.

Worthless, don't ask anything of them, they are not capable of being more than stenographers.

Hmm....

Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said that about an hour after Whittington was shot, the head of the Secret Service's local office called the Kenedy County sheriff to report the accident. "They made arrangements at the sheriff's request to have deputies come out and interview the vice president the following morning at 8 a.m. and that indeed did happen," Zahren said.

At least one deputy showed up at the ranch's front gate later in the evening and asked to speak to Cheney but was turned away by the Secret Service, Zahren said. There was some miscommunication that arrangements had already been made to interview the vice president in the morning, he said.

Gilbert San Miguel, chief deputy sheriff for Kenedy County, said the report had not been completed Monday and that it was being handled as a hunting accident. He said his department's investigation had found that alcohol was not a factor in the shooting.

Link.

Nothing to see here, I guess....

Robbie:

As it was, Carter's attorney general Griffin B. Bell, when testifying in favor of FISA, told Congress that while the measure doesn't explicitly acknowledge the "inherent power of the president to conduct electronic surveillance," it "does not take away the power of the president under the Constitution."
Please give us a link to the full statement from AG Bell, so the context of what "power of the president" is made clear. Thanks.

"He said his department's investigation had found that alcohol was not a factor in the shooting."

yes. Because at 8 am the next day, Cheney did not appear to be drunk.

I do wonder what would have happened if he died. Would Cheney have taken the fall?

hahahahaha h Yea...right.

"The position of the Carter administration was that the FISA law permitted exactly the sort of activity Carter is attacking President Bush for."

While you're at it, Robbie, please quote us the paragraphs, with a link to speech, in which former President Carter was "attacking President Bush." Thanks.

Robbie: thanks for the clarification.

"If they were somewhere relatively remote, the ambulance ride might have taken an hour or more of that time."

Whittington was treated at Cheney's stand-by ambulance, and then loaded onto helicopter for transport to the hospital. Note also the size of the Armstrong Ranch (Texas, remember?): 50,000-acre. (I'll cite further if there's a question, but otherwise won't bother.)

Will: "Plus, real hunters arent going to have much respect for that game of slaughtering captive birds just for fun."

Do you have a cite for your assertion that the quail in question in this incident were "captive birds"?

Ugh: "I think it's become rather obvious that he had something to drink before heading out...."

Cite?

I'm still going with my theory that Whittington was dressed-up to look like the Constitution and that's why Robo-dick shot him

Gary -

No cite, just speculation (probably should have said "rather obvious to me"). Seems plausible that the veep had a couple beers (or whatever he drinks, martinis?) before heading out to do a little hunting and then this happens. Keep the local cops away until morning, veep has no more alcohol in his system, even if he wasn't drunk.

Other things that come to mind (some noted on this thread):

1. Waiting to see if the guy dies.
2. Cheney was even more of a doofus (had safety off, dropped gun and it discharged).
3. Something more nefarious.

In any event, it truly is bizarre the way this story got out, with the ranch owner calling the local paper.

"In any event, it truly is bizarre the way this story got out, with the ranch owner calling the local paper."

See here for my most recent wrap-up, if you or anyone likes.

I should have said "which addresses that point, and many others."

Why were two men on a hunting weekend at a remote Texas ranch...

with two women not their wives?

"Do you have a cite for your assertion that the quail in question in this incident were "captive birds"? "

Gary:

I wasnt referring to this incident but the other ones.

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