Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
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Cheney Was Drunk When He Shot Whittington Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A couple of things came out today regarding Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting incident. The official report issued by the Kenedy County Sheriff's office rules the shooting an accident. The official affidavits are the basis of this determination although Sheriff Salina did no official investigation. He merely went on the word of the the parties involved. Case closed right. Right?

Maybe not. Of course there will be no investigation because being drunk and shooting somebody, even accidentally would get most folks arrested. Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue seemed to think otherwise.

Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Dick Cheney when he shot Texas lawyer Harry Whittington on a hunting outing two weeks ago say Cheney was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting.

Agents observed several members of the hunting party, including the Vice President, consuming alcohol before and during the hunting expedition, the report notes, and Cheney exhibited "visible signs" of impairment, including slurred speech and erratic actions.
According to those who have talked with the agents and others present at the outing, Cheney was drunk when he gunned down his friend and the day-and-a-half delay in allowing Texas law enforcement officials on the ranch where the shooting occurred gave all members of the hunting party time to sober up.

We talked with a number of administration officials who are privy to inside information on the Vice President's shooting "accident" and all admit Secret Service agents and others say they saw Cheney consume far more than the "one beer' he claimed he drank at lunch earlier that day.

"This was a South Texas hunt," says one White House aide. "Of course there was drinking. There's always drinking. Lots of it."

One agent at the scene has been placed on administrative leave and another requested reassignment this week. A memo reportedly written by one agent has been destroyed, sources said Wednesday afternoon.

Cheney has a long history of alcohol abuse, including two convictions of driving under the influence when he was younger. Doctors tell me that someone like Cheney, who is taking blood thinners because of his history of heart attacks, could get legally drunk now after consuming just one drink.

If Cheney was legally drunk at the time of the shooting, he could be guilty of a felony under Texas law and the shooting, ruled an accident by a compliant Kenedy County Sheriff, would be a prosecutable offense.

But we will never know for sure because the owners of the Armstrong Ranch, where the shooting occurred, barred the sheriff's department from the property on the day of the shooting and Kenedy County Sheriff Ramon Salinas III agreed to wait until the next day to send deputies in to talk to those involved.

The deal is, as in many place, there are political consequences. Salinas owes his future to Ms. Armstrong and her ranch as they are the largest employers in the county. So what we have here is a drunken vice president and a bunch of his supporters telling a story. Nice story. Cheney needs to be brought on charges like any of the rest of us would and then prosecuted. If he's found guilty, send him to jail.

But it will never happen as even Whittington's blood alcohol report was snatched up by the Secret Service. Can't have the drunken fools looking bad. Then they'd be no different than any other drunken rednecks with shotguns. Besides, everybody knows you get tanked before hunting in Texas.

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posted by Stithmeister @ 11:31 PM

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Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.

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