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Thursday, February 16


So, Dick Cheney had a beer at lunch. But his host claimed only Dr. Pepper was served. She said she doesn't drink, which contradicts her earlier statement that, "there might have been a beer or two."

Was the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland's husband around that weekend? At first the host, Katharine Armstrong, declined to name who was in the party until the Austin American-Statesman found out that the U.S. Ambassador was there. But once the pesky press found out that Dick Cheney was there and wasn't alone, the names poured forth. If there is an investigation, the police will ask the following people how they arrived, when they arrived, where were they when the shooting started, how was dinner, did they sleep well, did they call anyone else while they were there, and how much Cheney had to drink at lunch. According to the New York Times,

the other guests were Ms. Willeford, the ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and her husband, George, a physician in Austin; Ben Love, a West Texas rancher whom Ms. Armstrong called her "beau"; her sister, Sarita Hixon, a Houston museum chairwoman, and her husband, Bob, an insurance executive; Nancy Negley, an art philanthropist whose family once controlled Brown & Root, now a part of Halliburton; and Mr. Whittington, a 78-year-old Austin lawyer, Republican stalwart and presiding officer of the Texas Funeral Services Commission, and his wife, Mercedes.

Well, that was an impressive guest list that can now alibi each other.

After the incident, Cheney admitted he made himself another drink back at the house. And why not? He wasn't going to talk to the sheriff's department until the next day!

Criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz said that alcohol needs about fourteen hours to clear a person's system. Do other medications have any impact on that? What about the combination of other medications and alcohol on vision and judgment?

Dershowitz says that the delay in speaking to the press or to the sheriff's department was going to be questioned so we should consider if what he gained in not speaking to police or the press was more valuable than talking to the police and to the press?

Not talking to the police under the influence of alcohol is certainly valuable.

As for the Secret Service in all this: they will not talk to the sheriff's department or to the district attorney, God forbid, if Mr. Whittington dies and his death was caused by this accident. While the courts have stated that there is no Secret Service privilege and presidents have fought against having the Secret Service make statements to the press or law enforcement, it remains to be seen if they can be required to testify in a criminal matter.

No one runs to a someone they just shot and says, "I had no idea you were there." Wouldn't he say something like, "Goddamnit, I didn't see you, Harry! Harry? Can you hear me? Call the ambulance, get a doctor!" I don't believe that he said, "I had no idea you were there" although I do believe that he had no idea Harry was there.

Cheney told Fox New's ass-kisser Brit Hume that he would delay informing the press again because, "this is a complicated story." No, Joseph Wilson going to Niger on assignment from the CIA to investigate rumors of yellowcake purchases by Saddam Hussein is a complicated story. Outting Wilson's wife and CIA agent Valerie Plame, who was gathering intelligence on Iran's nuclear program, is a complicated story. One that Cheney may tell if he appears before a federal grand jury investigating Scooter Libby's leaking Plame's identity to reporters.

Why wasn't the White House told immediately when they were notified of a shooting in Cheney's hunting party that it was Cheney who did the shooting? And if they weren't immediately told, something that doesn't sound believable, why didn't they call Cheney?

Dick Cheney doesn't believe he should provide answers to these questions. He doesn't believe he owes anyone any explanations. He doesn't believe that delaying the release of information to the press was wrong and he said as much. For Cheney the story is over and the moral of the story is the privileged are different from you and me.

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