Plays Well With Others

VP Shoots A Guy, But Don’t Tell…

Yesterday I posted a link to a story about the Vice President shooting a guy he was hunting with. I figured that it was just a quick link and there wasn’t much to it. Reading up today, though, there’s more below the surface than what we’d read.

The most concerning part is that the shooting happened on Saturday and the news wasn’t “informed” until Sunday. Erm. If the VP had been shot, the news would have been disseminated in seconds, but when the VP shoots someone, it takes about 24 hours for the news to get out. And not only that, but if we left it up to Cheney’s office, the news would probably have NEVER gotten out. It appears that the only reason news outlets were informed is because the ranch owner called a friend of hers at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and informed them.

As the Chicago Times put it:

When a vice president of the U.S. shoots a man under any circumstance, that is extremely relevant information. What might be the excuse to justify not immediately making the incident public?

The vice president is well-known for preferring to operate in secret….Some secrecy, especially when it comes to the executing the duties of president or vice president, is understandable and expected by Americans.

But when the vice president’s office, or the White House, delays in reporting a shooting like Saturday’s to the public via the media, it needlessly raises suspicions and questions of trust. And it may just further the impression held by many, rightly or wrongly, that the White House doesn’t place the highest premium on keeping the public fully and immediately informed.

My concern lies more in the fact that they attempted to hide it and then once the story did come up, made light of it and managed to blame it on the victim saying, “Whittington came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn’t signal them or indicate to them or announce himself.” Then made other comments like, “The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good.” And finally, “It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn’t get in his eyes or anything like that.” Well thank God.

On a lighter note though, this little tidbit has been dug up from Time.com’s website:

If Cheney now finds himself criticized or lampooned, he’ll ironically be in the same position he himself put Senator John Kerry in during the final days of the 2004 Presidential campaign, though the circumstances then did not involve a potentially deadly accident. At the time, Cheney used his widely-known experience as a hunter to mock a duck-hunting foray in Ohio in which Senator John Kerry ended up shooting a goose. “The senator who gets a grade of ‘F’ from the National Rifle Association went hunting this morning,” Cheney reportedly said, to hoots. “I understand he bought a new camouflage jacket for the occasion, which did make me wonder how regularly he does go goose hunting.” As the Texas incident shows, experience does not make hunters immune to accidents, which is why hunting advocacy groups put such a relentless focus on safety as the top priority.

Gosh, Mr. Vice President, makes me wonder how often you go hunting at all if you can’t even follow the most basic of rules: “Don’t just focus on the target, but what’s BEHIND the target as well.” Of course, Cheney probably got a deferment from actually attending a gun safety class, so he wouldn’t actually know the rules.

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