I've been hunting a number of times in my life. While duck hunting I've been showered with spent pellets several times. Those are usually from so far away you don't even know where they came from. No more impact than moderate hail. I've accidentally discharged a weapon, brutally wounding the bed in the travel trailer I lived in my first year of community college. (If our old family friends to whom we gave the trailer still have it, I could show you the hole in the wooden slat for the bed.) Terribly embarrassing, and I immediately made abject apologies to my hapless victim, Mr. Shasta Trailer. He was unmoved.
I'll be up front about my feelings. I despise Dick Cheney as a man. His statements about Vietnam and his vicious attacks on people who did think fighting for their country was important, displays an arrogant cowardice. The circumstantial evidence abounds, and I believe the man has and will enthusiastically sell his soul and integrity to Halliburton, big oil, or anyone else willing to pony up. Sadly, he is still getting premium value for those used up resources. When Dick Cheney and truth meet it is a coincidence, a chance meeting between strangers.
Despite feeling Dick is the vilest sort of scum the human gene pool and modern culture can produce, I saw his hunting accident as nothing more than bad timing and and a minor lapse of judgment. A simple accident of the type we've all experienced many times throughout our lives. It was more dire, but no more nefarious than accidentally plugging my mattress. End of story. Or it should have been. The prolonged silence, which I didn't believe was a cover-up, but certainly produced the appearance of one, giving people a reasonable cause for thinking there was indeed an attempted cover-up.
The facts dribbling out indicate the prolonged silence was calculated. Wait and see how people react to the story, so statements can be made with the most effective spin.
The reaction to blaming Mr. Whittington for getting himself shot was immediately hammered by both ends of the political spectrum as disingenuous and a metaphor for how the administration demonizes those whom they hurt. Oops, that wasn’t according to plan, you'd better take responsibility on this one.
Had Dick apologized and taken blame for his actions immediately I would have believed him. Instead he 'allowed' Katharine Armstrong to disclose the incident to the local press. She was the one who test-blamed the bright orange clad Mr. Whittington who came up BEHIND for getting himself shot. There are lots of problems, all of which had been discussed in the press. First, the victim was well out of Dick’s shooting range which is the area in front of you. Second, the one responsible for where ordnance goes is always the responsibility of the shooter. Third, Ms. Armstrong did not even witness the event. She was sitting in a car, and commented she thought the medical folks were rushing out to assist Dick, guessing his heart needed another jump start. Then the silly bitch spent her credibility insisting an incident she did not witness was the victim’s fault. Her fifteen minutes of fame was being Dick’s sacrificial lamb. Poor lamb. There are more inconsistencies, but these are the most blatant and consitently reported.
Dick admitted to having a beer with lunch. Excuse me? Who really cares about everything else? A responsible hunter does not drink a freaking drop before picking up a firearm. Period. You don't imbibe until you have set the deadly weapons aside for the day. I'm sure alcohol was not a legal factor, even if the sheriff had the hutzpah to do a blood alcohol I assume it still would have been within 'legal' limits. So, how big was the beer? Was it a Good-Ole-Pal Super Gulp 800? After all, everything is bigger in Texas. And as anyone who ever drank in college, or listened to a problem drinker knows, an admission to one beer is a lie of omission almost all the time, as it avoids mentioning the other two or three which went along with it.
There was also expert conjecture on the distance. The pellet density is too high and penetration is too deep for the thirty yard scenario. This I'd say is debatable as we don't know if steel shot, or the heavier lead shot was used. Still, it sounds like the victim likely picked up more pellets than you'd reasonably expect at that distance. I wonder if beer makes judging distance difficult?
Most of these observations came from statements made by Cheney and his supporters. (Google the news stories if you doubt.)
Chertoff has copied Cheney’s example of belated assumption of responsibility. He like Dick, realized the bilateral public reaction to his actions was so adamant against him he came up with his own delayed and nearly identical 'heartfelt' response.Chertoff called Katrina a storm of ``unprecedented magnitude'' and ``one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences of my life.''
I can’t help wondering about the dead and displaced people in the South. They didn’t need to face a senate hearing months later, they knew it was one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences in their lives when it actually happened.In the interview with Fox News, Cheney accepted blame for the shooting and said it was "one of the worst days of my life."
Again I can’t help but make the obvious comment. Unlike Dick, I bet Mr. Whittington knew it was one of worst days of his life the same day it happened.