If you watched yesterday’s Scotty McClellan press briefing you saw reporters attempt, with mounting frustration, to tease a simple chronology of events out of the press secretary. Transcript at Raw Story —
Q But when did the president specifically know that the vice president had shot somebody?
MR. MCCLELLAN: I’m sorry?
Q When did the president know that the vice president —
MR. MCCLELLAN: He was learning additional details into that evening, on Saturday —
Q (Off mike) — it was the vice president that pulled the trigger —
MR. MCCLELLAN: Yeah, but we didn’t know the full details. But I think he was informed because Karl —
Q (Off mike) —
MR. MCCLELLAN: — I think his deputy chief of staff had spoken with Mrs. Armstrong and provided him additional update in that evening. So there were more circumstances —
Q The deputy chief of staff —
MR. MCCLELLAN: — more circumstances known Saturday evening, so the president was getting more information about who was involved, and that was in — that was late Saturday evening.
Q Scott —
Q So he knew — so he knew Saturday evening —
Q Scott, definitively, did the president know —
MR. MCCLELLAN: Some additional information, yes, and that the vice president —
Q — (inaudible) —
MR. MCCLELLAN: — and that the vice president was involved, but didn’t know the full facts of what had occurred.
Q How is that possible?
At one point, a frustrated reporter asked, “Was the vice president immediately clear that he had accidentally shot his friend or not, or did that information become available later?” One wonders.
Today Maria Newman reports in the New York Times that President Bush did, in fact, learn that the veep had shot someone. He learned it about 8 pm Saturday, from Karl Rove.
Now, Scottie, was that so hard?
Reading on, however, we find that Karl Rove got his story not from the Secret Service or the veep’s staff, but from Katherine Armstrong, the lady on whose property The Incident took place. The veep didn’t bother to report this to the President himself, or direct anyone on his staff to make a report. Hmmm. Then we learn from Jim VandeHei and Sylvia Moreno at the Washington Post that
… the White House allowed Cheney to decide when and how to disclose details of the shooting to the local sheriff and the public the next morning.
So, who’s in charge here? And does the President serve any actual function beyond smirking?
Cheney, in fact, has yet to make a public statement about The Incident. VandeHei and Moreno continue,
Cheney, who had a private White House lunch with Bush yesterday, did not comment on the shooting. Late yesterday, he issued a statement that did not mention the shooting but acknowledged not having paid $7 for a permit that allows him to shoot upland birds; it said he is sending a check to the state. Cheney said he expects to be issued a warning by state authorities for not obtaining the permit.
Further, local law enforcement could not interview Cheney until Sunday morning, about 14 hours after the shooting.
I can think of only three possible explanations for the veep’s behavior: (1) He’s hiding something; (2) he was so emotionally unhinged by The Incident he cannot deal with it; or (3) he doesn’t give a rat’s behind about accountability to the public or the law. Any one of those possibilities disqualifies the Dick from being a heartbeat away from the presidency. And, of course, all three explanations could be true.
An editorial in today’s New York Times says Dick’s behavior is juvenile:
The vice president appears to have behaved like a teenager who thinks that if he keeps quiet about the wreck, no one will notice that the family car is missing its right door. The administration’s communications department has proved that its skills at actually communicating are so rusty it can’t get a minor police-blotter story straight. And the White House, in trying to cover up the cover-up, has once again demonstrated that it would rather look inept than open.
Also true to form, the White House is blaming the wounded Mr. Whittington for the shooting.
Time for a Bush quote!
In a compassionate society, people respect one another, respect their points of view. And they take responsibility for the decisions they make. The culture of America is changing from one that has said, if it feels good, do it, and if you’ve got a problem, blame somebody else, to a new culture in which each of us understands we are responsible for the decisions we make in life. If you are fortunate enough to be a mom or a dad, you’re responsible for loving your child with all your heart. (Applause.) If you are concerned about the quality of the education in the community in which you live, you’re responsible for doing something about it. If you’re a CEO in corporate America, you’re responsible for telling the truth to your shareholders and your employees. (Applause.)
And in this new responsibility society, each of us is responsible for loving our neighbor just like we would like to be loved ourselves. We can see the culture of service and responsibility growing around us.
Oooo, but this responsibility thing is haaaaaard work. We don’t wanna do it ourselves. That’s what the help is for.
And if Dick’s a weenie, but the President defers to his bad judgment, doesn’t that make the President a worse weenie?
No one with integrity of honesty could possibly be a spokesman for this gang of lying thieves. Also if the pandering journalist had any guts whatsoever, they would all boycott the Presidential Press Briefings. Any journalist that sits there and has his intelligence insulted by the lies that are told, should have his credentials revoked.
The question is how hurt was Mr Whittington? He is still in the hospital! when you have a baby you don’t stay 24 hours. When you have abdominal surgery you stay about 5 hours and this man has been there for 3 days now.
I say this without a doubt in my mind: If Al Gore had shot someone as veep, in a nanosecond, Frist or the equivalent would have been finger tapping a podium somewhere, “demanding an explanation be provided to the American people on what happened.” Such rampant hypocrisy. One set of rules for them; another set of rules for everyone else. They’ve got to be shaking in their boots on the possibility that his attorney-friend may tragically, not make it. The poor fellow is 78.
Well, McCellan is earning every penny he’s paid. I might not like what he does,but I do acknowledge the skill in which he does it.I imagine it’s a difficult job to deflect questions with the ease and consistency he seems to do it.
seriously, all these questions were answered on 9/11.
and like a hollywood movie formula, we get it over and over with different actors and storylines. the ending is the same though, abject failure.
Cheney is not just a weenie – he is a Cocktail Weenie – you know the small ones that are served at cocktail parties. It is a fitting name for him since he probably had a Cocktail and he is a weenie.
$7.00 Upland Game Stamp is a small amount. What about a NON-Resident license plus the $7.00 stamp fee. If his legal residence is Wyoming, he needs a NON-Resident license. SO, there would be a penalty for his not having a license, PLUS you can be charged for each “bird” that he shot that he wasn’t licensed to hunt.
Additionally, he was hunting close to the border and if he shot a White-Winged Dove, this is a Federal Bird and is a violation. It is a Federal bird because it flies across the border. I am married to a hunter and we used to live in Houston.
It will be interesting to learn how much he sends to The State of Texas. He thinks that he can do whatever he wants and, of course, he has been getting away with it.
His illegal hunting – without proper license is small compared to shooting a man.
What about Mrs. Armstrong, Ranch Ownder & Former Ambassandor to Great Britain? Why isn’t she checking to ensure that hunters are properly licensed?
Let’s hope that the NRA doesn’t trot out this cocktail weenie/Loon again!
Laws and rules and permits are for the little people, dontcha know?!
What really gets to me is the tenacity of the press corp on this relatively minor incident yet where were they with the lies of 9/11, WMD, OBL, Saddam, Katrina, billions of $$$ being wasted, etc.?!?
I suspect that the reason the sherriff was not alllowed to interview Cheney until the following Sunday was booze. This gave Cheney time to sobor up and get his ducks in a row.
Why was Whittington at The Armstrong Ranch with Cheney last Saturday? I asked this the other day in connection with the Cheney dragon photo at this website.
In other words, “What is the Story Behind the Story”? This is more than just a shooting and lack of an Upland Duck Stamp.
Ms. Armstrong, Ranch Owner is a Lobbyist. She first registered in 2003. In 2004 she registered as a Lobbyist for Parsons.
Parsons is an Engineering & Construction firm in Iraq. They have a contract in excess of $100,00. Ms Armstrong’s business partner is Karen Johnson who is or was a lobbyist who has procurred numerous government contracts.
This was reported 2/14/06 in The New York Times. Title, “No End to Questions in Cheney Hunting Accident”. The authors: Kornblutt & Blumenthal.
All this going on in TX with this group together just after the Abramoff scandal tells you there are no rules for the people at the top. Check out the New York Times Story today. Also, Ms Armstrong and the other female at ranch who was hunting and is Swiss Ambassador reported that Mr. Whittington is assuming total responsibility for the accident.
I ask the question on my Blog : Tale of the Privileged citizen
*** Social Security Numbers Required by Law: The collection of the Social Security Number is mandated by the Federal Government and is required regardless of age. TPWD has no option but to comply with Federal Law and collect the numbers from the purchasers of licenses. TPWD cannot force you to provide your social security number; however, under Federal Statute, we cannot sell you a license. Your social security number is required to be collected for the purpose of child support collection enforcement under Federal Statute 42 U.S.C.A. 666 and Texas Family Code, Section 231.302. If you are buying a license for another person, the law requires that the purchaser provide the social security number of the person who will be holding the license. ***
Is the reason VP Cheney didn’t purchase the needed licenses because he refused to divulge his Social Security number as mandated by Federal Law?
Federal Statute 42 U.S.C.A. 666
Texas Family Code, Section 231.302
Latest report is saying that the Man Shotgun Cheney wounded is now suffering from a [Heart-Attack]…God almighty, you can’t make this stuff up. Could it be that the poor man was shot to death and we could see a charge of MANSLAUGHTER on our VP ????
Of course, it’s booze behind the story. Why else was it handled so badly? The participants had to protect Cheney from himself, figure out their story, and then relay it to Whittington at the hospital before they went public. But, why go public the way they did? We have been told that President knew Saturday night and so did his aides. But, they didn’t tell the press. Were they ever going to tell the press? It’s all about booze.
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