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February 14, 2006

Still more questions for Cheney

14cheney583_1
NYT photo of what appears to be the Vice President pissing on a fence. I hope he's aiming more carefully these days.

Now the official story is that the victim, Harry Whittington walked into a hail of bird shot:

Ms. Armstrong and Ms. Willeford said the accident was largely the fault of Mr. Whittington, who had reappeared alongside two of his hunting companions without giving proper warning. Mr. Cheney, who was carrying a 28-gauge shotgun, had already begun to fire and sprayed Mr. Whittington. [NYT permalink, fixed]

Later on, the same article informs us that Mr. Whittington has "accepted responsibility" for the accident.

Ms. Willeford, whose husband was also at the ranch, said in an interview after visiting the victim at the hospital that Mr. Whittington accepted responsibility for the accident. "He understands that he could have handled it better," Ms. Willeford said. "Harry should have let us know he was back there."

I wonder how long they had to pinch the morphine drip to get Whittman's "confession"?

Of course, Cheney is responsible. Any gun owner will tell you. If you pull the trigger and hit someone, it's your fault. You're supposed to be looking where you're shooting. I find it hard to believe that Whittington dove into a stream of oncoming fire, especially if he initially came up behind Cheney.

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» If I shoot a guy in the face, is it my fault? from Scott Paeth's Semi-Daily Blog
Not to minimize this, because it's very important, and the circumstances are very grave, but what kind of a threshhold for moral (not to mention legal) responsibility ought we be holding our high elected officials to? Since Dick Cheney shot [Read More]

Comments

Yeah, 78 year old men are known to be quick on their feet. No problem whatsoever for him to just clumsily dash in front people shooting.

nice touch with the picture

When someone gets shot, there needs to be accountability for all parties involved. The shooter needs to be held accountable for shooting, and the shot needs to be held accountable for getting shot.

I *thought* that Whittington would soon be blamed, but I thought that it would come from the sludgiest parts of the right-wing blogosphere, not from Scott McClellan.

Couple of things... this sounds like it may be similar to the case of people who are just too old to drive- ie the Veep doesn't have the motor skills to "over-ride" his trigger finger, once he's locked on to his bird (even if he wants to)... and I wonder if he was using ecologically correct steel shot (instead of the lead that has traditionally been used). The fact that they're planning to leave some of the shot in the lawyer's face says to me that, IF the guy was REALLY 30 yards out, then it was probably a high-base load-and may have been lead. In this situation, a "gentleman's" preferred shell would have been a low-base round (although with the smaller caliber weapon, that might be too great a trade-off, given the expected responses of our Veep-- but maybe that pacemaker has a "quick-reflex" option). I'm guessing that, for quail, he was shooting size 7 or smaller shot, which shouldn't have much penetrating power on a leathery old TexaS lawyer's hide at 30 yards... Maybe our Veep has one of those magnums, though, that takes a 3" shell, instead of the standard 2¾"- so it might carry a bit more powder & shot. Leaving the shot in the victim + intensive care + weapon (& game) involved implies to me that the lawyer was closer than 30 yards out...
Yes- the maxim from my long-ago Hunter Safety course is that one does Not pull the trigger until one has a clear shot at the target. Shotguns are fired with Both eyes open- so there really was no excuse for this- no matter who is making apologies... ^..^

If Whittington 'reappeared alongside two of his hunting companions', wouldn't that nescessarily be a safe place to be? What's unsafe about moving to stand beside two other already-positioned people. Cheney would have endangered them all if he endangered one of them.

I'd have a lot more respect for Cheney if he'd just accept responsibility and apologize. We all make mistakes, and saying that he had mishandled his gun wouldn't impact his popularity one iota. I think that trying to diffuse blame is just a reflex for him and his flaks in the White House.

I think we've all been in situations in which we don't feel we were completely at fault, but took responsibility anyway. Cheney never grew up enough to do this.

Posted by: gordo | February 14, 2006 at 11:48 AM

right. What's with the cover up and spinning around? I think Cheney knows it's not a simple mistake. (probably the drinking thing is true.)

Somebody better get that guy blood and urine sample now!

"reappeared alongside" is interesting. IIRC, all the initial reports had him 30 yards "behind".

Trying to find a link to Armstrong's initial interview.

Could it be that Whittington simply had a last-minute change of heart on the concept of hunting and was selflessly trying to save some innocent birds? That would be just adorable.

Posted by: Artfan | February 14, 2006 at 11:54 AM

WT: dick.....don't shoot.....don't shoot the little birdies...

have mercyyy....

DC: *grawl* move away or I'll shoot.

WT: No...save the berdie...don't shoot. please dick. can't you see their cute twinkling eyes..?

DC: *bang*

Molly Ivins quotes Cheney spokesperson Mary Matalin as saying, "He was not careless or incautious [and did not] violate of any of the [rules]. He didn’t do anything he wasn’t supposed to do." To which Molly replies, "Of course he did, Ms. Matalin, he shot Harry Whittington."

I believe it is ranch policy to shoot Harry Whittington. In retrospect, it was pretty foolish of him to hunt there, but the VP can clearly not be blamed.

BTW, if Cheney's short of things to piss on, we've got some lovely third rails here in NYC.

Update:

Wittingtons is back in ICU. (They say it's heart attack) I'd say. okay whatever.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/14/13222/4345

Also see this photo of dispersion of gunshot pellet spray at the said "distance' (yikes)

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/2/14/13222/4345/84#84

I think the NYT link is incorrect - at least, I get an error message.

"Wittingtons is back in ICU. (They say it's heart attack) I'd say. okay whatever."

According to my information, heart attack caused by birdshot moving into the heart.

Can we stop with the jokes now?

Is Deadeye Dick in the photo wielding a weapon as lethal as a 28 gauge shot gun?

Was that a photo of Dick on the outside of the fence pissing in? It brings to mind LBJ's tent story, but from the wrong position. I believe LBJ said you should keep your enemies on the inside of the tent pissing out.

"NYT photo of what appears to be the Vice President pissing on a fence"

I would imagine that he does not so much piss as pour these days.

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