Adam Ash

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

US Diary: listen, Cheney must've been drunk, it's the only explanation for (a) mistaking a grown man for a bird and (b) sitting on the story

Cheney says he saw his friend fall down after he shot him. How come he didn't see his friend standing up? Because he was two sheets to the wind. Obviously.
Isn't it amazing how everyone blamed the victim for getting shot? Jeez, this administration is so intent on blaming everyone else for their fuckups, they even blame a poor guy who gets shot by the Veep.
Quite frankly, I don't think anyone in this administration should be allowed to walk around shooting at things. They're such fuckups, this was bound to happen.
BTW, isn't it amazing how nobody gets fired for incompetence? How come Chertoff still has his job? How come Rumsfeld still has his job? The Busheviks only fire people who speak the truth to their incompetent power.

Cheney, "A Beer or Two," and A Gun -- by John Nichols

Vice President Dick Cheney, who was forced to leave Yale University because his penchant for late-night beer drinking exceeded his devotion to his studies, and who is one of the small number of Americans who can count two drunk driving busts on his driving record, may have been doing more than hunting quail on the day that he shot a Texas lawyer in the face.

Katherine Armstrong, the wealthy Republican lobbyist who is a member member of the politically-connected family that owns the ranch where Cheney blasted his hunting partner, acknowledged to a reporter for MSNBC that alcohol may have been served at a picnic which was served Saturday afternoon on the dude ranch where Cheney shot Harry Whittington.

According to an MSNBC report that appeared briefly Tuesday on the network's website, Armstrong peddled the line that she did not believe that alcohol played a part in the shooting accident. But, she admitted, "There may be a beer or two in there, but remember not everyone in the party was shooting."

The MSNBC story, which appeared only briefly before the website was scrubbed for reasons not yet explained, has been kept alive by the able web investigators at and other progressive blogs. And so it should be, as the prospect that alcohol may have been involved in the Texas incident takes the story in a whole new direction.

By any reasonable measure, Armstrong's attempt to downplay the presence of "a beer or two" raises more questions than it answers about an incident involving a vice president who, like George W. Bush, was a heavy drinker in his youth, but who, unlike Bush, never swore off the bottle.

As with her over-the-top efforts to blame Whittington, the victim, for getting in the way of Cheney's birdshot blast, Armstrong's line on liquor smells a little more like an attempt to cover for the vice president than full disclosure.

This is where the hunting accident "incident" becomes a serious matter. The role played by the Secret Service in preventing questioning of Cheney on the evening of the shooting becomes takes on new significance. If Cheney was in any way impaired at the time of the shooting, it was certainly to the vice president's advantage put off the official investigation until the next morning.

Cheney may be able to say, unequivocally, that he was not in an impaired condition when he shot Whittington. But he does now need to start speaking to this precise issue and to all of the other questions that have been raised -- and, no, it is not enough for the vice president to take a few softballs on Fox News, the administration's house network, as the White House crisis management team arranged for him to do at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday.

When legitimate questions arise regarding the role that the Secret Service might have played in undermining the investigation of a shooting in order to protect the vice president from embarrassment, and possible legal charges, those issues have to be addressed fully and completely. And they must be addressed in a setting where reporters are able to press the notoriously cagey Cheney to actually answer all of the questions that are asked.

Up to now, the whole "hunting-accident" controversy has been little more than a diversion from more serious matters involving Cheney -- not least among these, the investigation into whether the vice president authorized the release of classified information as part of a scheme to discredit critics of the administration's rush to war. But if Cheney used his Secret Service unit to prevent a necessary and proper official inquiry at a time when it might have uncovered relevant information regarding his condition when he shot a man, then the vice president has abused his office in a most serious manner.

The prospect that such an abuse occurred requires Cheney and any White House aides who were involved in "managing" the story -- put Karl Rove at the top of this list -- to stop stonewalling and provide a detailed explanation of their actions in the hours that followed the shooting incident. This is certainly not the only issue on which the vice president needs to come clean, but it is no longer a joking matter -- or, more precisely, it is no longer merely a joking matter.

(John Nichols's newest book, "The Rise and Rise of Richard B. Cheney: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Most Powerful Vice President in American History" is described by Publisher's Weekly as "a Fahrenheit 9/11 for Cheney," and Esquire magazine says it "reveals the inner Cheney.”)


At 2/15/2006 10:03 PM, Blogger Krisco said...

That is outrageous and amazing, and would explain a whole lot.

I thought they delayed only because of course it would be embarassing. (As in, what else can they f*** up?)

But this makes way more sense.

(And now I will probably have my phone line tapped for this comment.)

At 2/16/2006 9:19 AM, Blogger Chromatius said...

Wish I could remember the URL, but I saw an interesting suggestion that it was Cheney's 'companion' who shot him (she's an ex-ambassador described as Cheney's 'companion' for the weekend).

Noting among other things, that there was aone other hunter with Cheney when it happened, and the 28 Gauge is considered a woman's weapon.

That might be more embarrassing.

At 2/16/2006 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohmigod, you've just boggled my mind. Wish I had that url. Now there's an interesting suggestion: it would also explain a lot. It's totally bizarre to me that the Administration would outsource this hard news to someone else talking to a local paper. This is a better explanation than many.
Chromatius: didn't I just read a great piece by you on Blogcritics?


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