Monday, February 13, 2006

Veep in deep

The Veep "accidentally" shoots a fellow hunter.

From here on there is absolutely nothing good about this story. It stinks like curdled milk and three-day-old fish on a summer's day in Dallas. How do we even begin to count the ways in which this reeks?

The 22-hour gap: WTF? There's absolutely no excuse for this, we can all agree on this point. But why? Was a key person in this story under the influence of a substance that would take a day to clear? Were they trying to get their stories straight? Heck, could they not come up with a story? Or was the victim not in the clear for that long?

The "group" of hunters: Why did it take even longer than the 22-hour gap to identify the third hunter? Why is the media repeatedly using the word "group" to describe two people (Dick Cheney and Pamela Willemore)?

The composition of the party: A divorcee ranch owner. An older man who does not appear to be married at this time. A woman sans spouse. The Veep, sans spouse. Which begs the question: where's Lynne Cheney? And why haven't we heard from her about all this?

The scenario: The initial stories make it sould like it was purely the victim's fault; the ranch owner, Anne Armstrong, says that the victim walked up from behind and spooked Cheney because he did not announce himself. Huh? If Whittington had announced himself, he'd have spooked the birds before the hunting dogs did. Later reports said the president was blinded by the sun; then why did he take a shot? Armstrong may have been watching from a nearby vehicle; then why did it take so long to get an ambulance on site (20+ minutes reportedly)? And why wasn't the Veep's personal ambulance right there at the ranch -- or was it? Why are there conflicting reports about the distance between the Veep and the victim? One early report says 30 feet, others say 3o yards; what is it?

The victim's condition: Why would a simple showering of birdshot require two nights in ICU? I can understand HIPAA laws requiring a patient's privacy to be protected, but a constant report of "stable" throughout two days in ICU?

The Veep's condition: There are some rumors circulating that it's really him in the ICU and not the hunting victim, and that this was an effort to keep people from demanding he step down for health reasons. There are other speculations that his combo defibralator-pacemaker "jolted" him in the field, causing him to reflexively shoot and hit the victim. Others wonder whether Cheney had a health crisis, perhaps a fainting spell, tripping and shooting the victim. He's not appeared on television since the incident. So what's his status?

The report: The Office of the Vice President let a civilian -- the ranch owner -- handle reporting this story. Huh? I can't imagine why the administration that prides itself on message control didn't take control of this instead of letting a civilian handle this. The civilian tried to position this as something that happens all the time, just a few tiny beebees exchanged between friends. As if.

The aftermath: Reporting has been all over the map on this event. Some of the handling by the OVP appears to be responding to reactions from the public, rather than simply reporting the truth.

The worst part of this debacle is that this is a little thing, no offense to the poor victim. But a Republican committee issues a harsh and unstinting report this week on this administration's response to Katrina. RawStory is breaking a report that Valerie Plame was working on IRAN; her outing by the OVP damaged considerably intelligence gathering on Iran's nuclear program. The NSA domestic spying hearing is still not complete, and the New-and-Improved Patriot Act is pending approval. Nor have we seen the documents that were demanded by Senator Harry Reid during his Rule 21 closed session back last quarter of 2005. All this is so much more threatening to us than a little bird shot and a Veep that can't shoot straight.

But here we are, hijacked by this story that stinks to high heaven, waiting once again for truth that will never come out of this administration.

Definitely, there is the scent of a more soap-opera-like story here. I was wondering the same things about the make-up of the hunting party.

I did a quick search w/ google and found that Willemore had hosted a party for Cheney in Switzerland a little while back...?
My first thought was these old geezers are too old to be hunting anymore for safety reasons, but they're Republicans and they feel like they're entitled to anyway because they have the right to bear arms, blah blah blah. Dumb asses.
Whoa...Karen, if you head back here, pop me a copy of that link. I think Willemore is one of two doges that didn't bark in the night, the other being Lynne Cheney. We should stick on this just as the right did with every little scrap that never turned up a prosecutable lead under Clinton; unlike Clinton, these folks have actually done some illegal stuff like outing a CIA operative. Cripes, what chutzpah, to expect a victim to apologize like Whittington did today!

Hey Neva!! Damned good to see you!! hope you're feeling better these days!
doges = dogs Damn, can't type today!
Rayne ~ I'm including two links, both for the same story (just in case one of them disappears)
I may have been reading too much into it.
Hi Rayne -

Took me a while to track you down. Finally followed the comments on the last radio post to this site. Glad you're back up and running. Sorry you went through such an odyssey.
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