Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cheney shooting affidavits...

MSNBC has the affidavits of [warning pdf file] the witnesses of the Cheney hunting accident.

Pamela Willeford gives us the following self contradictory statement:
There was no alcohol consumed in the afternoon of the hunt in the field. I did consume a glass of wine at lunch, approximately 4 - 4 1/2 hours earlier.
The time of the shooting is given as between 5:45 and 6 pm. By definition then Ms. Willeford drank the afternoon of the hunt in the field. The only way to possibly get around this contradiction is to parse Ms. Wittington's statement in such a way as to make it appear thusly. 'There was no drinking in the field during the afternoon of the hunt'. In other words they could be excused for drinking at the ranch that afternoon, because under this parsing it was not in the field. This is reminiscent of what the meaning of is is...

This also places another type of alcohol at the ranch. Vice president Cheney admitted that he had a beer at lunch when he was interviewed on Fox. Katherine Armstrong says that after the accident vice president Cheney mixed himself a cocktail. Now Ms. Willeford says she had wine at lunch. Far from the original reports that this was a party comprised of teetotallers, it is now apparent that the bar at the ranch was well stocked with many types of alcohol. Indeed the notion that Mr. Cheney would mix himself a drink after the accident but before being interviewed by the police seems to indicate that he could hardly have tried harder to appear under the influence the night of the accident.

On to another aspect of the affidavit that Kieth Olbermann is sure to notice: The contradiction of the original reports from Ms. Armstrong and what she says in the affidavit. According to Ms. Armstrong when speaking to the media after the accident:
Armstrong said she saw Cheney's security detail running toward the scene. "The first thing that crossed my mind was he had a heart problem," she told The Associated Press.
In the affidavit Ms. Armstrong testifies thusly:
I saw the Vice President rush towards Mr. Wittington and almost in the same instant the Vice President's security detail was rushing to his side as well."
I suppose we can make these two stories fit if we are to think that once the horrible impact of what just happened dawned upon Ms. Armstrong that she assumed the trauma of shooting a hunting partner had caused the vice presidential ticker to give out and that all the security detail were just doing their jobs of protecting the veep. But that would simply be silly thinking... It is pretty clear that Ms. Armstrong's story changed.

I for one have no doubt that this truly was a classic hunting accident. An unfortunate truth here however is that the use of alcohol is all to often a factor in these accidents. Law enforcement was not given permission to interview the shooter until any chance of finding alcohol in his system was well past. Mary Matalin's reflexive invocation of national security as the reason for not allowing law enforcement to interview the vice president is simply absurd. Is there any other time that can be thought of in which a person is known to have shot another person, and as soon as law enforcement became aware of the occurence did not gain immediate access to the shooter? This is just another example of how this administration considers itself to be above the law, and one must wonder the true reason for this obvious deviation from the norm.

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