Monday, February 13, 2006

Deadeye Dick Plugs Man of 78

Apparently our neo-conservative Vice President is just as careless with his own personal firearms as he is with the government's weapons and his corporate financial records. Veep Dick Cheney has plugged a 78 year-old man during a weekend "quail hunting trip," and as per usual with this murky administration, there seems to be some confusion surrounding exactly what happened. On the bright side, the man Deadeye Dick plugged was a lawyer, so there will be no loss to society if he dies.

Harry Whittington, aged 78, an attorney from Austin, Texas, was "resting well last night," after being shot in the chest and the face with a shotgun blast at close range, said Peter Banko, hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital. He was fortunate to be hit only with light birdshot from a 28-gauge weapon; double-ought buck would have blown his head off. Banko said he did not know when Whittington could be released.

The two men and an unidentified third party were allegedly hunting quail in rural Kenedy County, Texas. I was unaware there was anything in that part of south Texas to hunt except for armadillos and illegal Mexicans swarming across the border, but presumably there are some birds down there somewhere in the scrub.

Deadeye Dick is fortunate in that the Kenedy County sheriff, Ramon Salinas, appears to be a politically appointed Mexican hack and disinclined to put himself to the trouble of investigating shootings that occur in his bailiwick when they involve powerful neo-con politicians. There seems to be some question as to whether anyone even bothered to call the police and report the shooting. As of Monday the local prosecutor's office had not even been contacted by the sheriff, said district attorney Carlos Valdez, which would be normal procedure in a shooting. Looks like the coverup is already beginning; this little incident is going to be swept so far under the carpet a team of cave divers couldn't find it.

The accident was not reported publicly by the vice president's office for nearly 24 hours, and then only after the Corpus Christi Caller-Times received an anonymous tip from someone in the Vice President's entourage and reported it in the Sunday newspaper. One has to speculate as to whether or not the episode would have been reported at all, if the victim wasn't lying in a hospital where his gunshot wounds couldn't be denied.

Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday that Bush and senior aides were told Saturday night by the staff of the White House Situation Room that somebody in the Cheney's hunting party was shot, but he said he was not told until Sunday that Cheney was the shooter and not the victim, which sounds pretty bizarre--the President is told on Saturday, "One of those guys down in Texas with Cheney got shot," and then a day later they get around to telling him, "Oh, by the by, it wasn't the Vice President who got shot yesterday"--huh? Makes you wonder how sober Jug-Ears himself is on the weekends these days.

Reporters at White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's Monday morning press "gaggle" peppered him with questions about the 24-hour delay. They got squat by way of answers.

Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong said each hunter was wearing a bright orange vest, and Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Steve Lightfoot said Cheney had a valid hunting license obtained in November. No blood or breathalyzer test was carried out to determine Cheney's state of sobriety at the time of the alleged accident.

Matt Cooper, the Time magazine reporter, said on CBS's "The Early Show" today, "It does appear to be an accident, but the fact that the White House didn't release this information, that it sat around for almost a day is in itself bizarre." In an online chat at the Washington Post site, the paper's White House reporter Peter Baker said reporters in D.C. are "flabbergasted" by the shooting. He indicated that the Post was looking deeply into whether it was even reported to the local sheriff at all, and the exact condition of the victim.

The last time a Vice President shot anyone in this country was in 1804, when Vice President Aaron Burr killed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel in the New Jersey.


Blogger samrocha said...

Nice Cheney hunting post! I got here on a Blog search, I have just posted on this story with the Aaron Burr connection too. Check it out at:

12:29 PM  

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