Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bush Is Satisfied With Cheney's "Firearms Mishap," But Questions Remain ... For Tucker Carlson?

"The President is very satisfied with the way this matter has been addressed. I think that at this point, what we are doing is looking forward to the future, not looking back to the past," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, at this afternoon's press briefing.

Apparently, President Bush is satisfied that Vice President Cheney's shooting accident was disclosed in a timely fashion. When asked, McClellan offered the above. Asked again, he advised the reporter to ask Bush himself.

The White House is moving on, and people shouldn't expect otherwise. The four days that it took for Cheney to speak publicly on the subject were long days for Washington Republicans.

Yet, in some circles, questions remain. And while the empty conservative spin is to suggest that this entire episode has been caused by a Cheney-hating White House press corps, none other than conservative pundit Tucker Carlson remains bothered by those unanswered questions.

Bush may not be curious, but Carlson, on last night's edition of his MSNBC show The Situation, was very straightforward in when talking with former Bush deputy assistant Brad Blakeman.

Carlson's beef: the beer Cheney told Fox News Channel's Brit Hume he ingested at lunch, roughly four hours before he accidentally shot 78-year-old GOP fundraiser Harry Whittington.

Here's a piece of the transcript:

CARLSON: (T)he question of whether the vice president was drinking before he shot, even one beer, I think is significant, because you‘re not supposed to do that.

BLAKEMAN: Well, that‘s not so. It‘s—it‘s a situation where the—the vice president admitted he had one beer at lunch five hours prior to the incident. And as a matter of law and as a matter of science, that one beer could not have had an impact on the vice president one way or the other.

CARLSON: I don‘t know that we know it was five hours before the incident. I don‘t think in his interview today, unless you‘ve spoken to him separately, I don‘t think he was that specific. But we don‘t — and of course, because you know, we don‘t have a blood alcohol reading from the vice president after the shooting, we don‘t know exactly what was in his blood. But we do know that it is considered totally unacceptable — and I‘m sure you know this and I can tell you if you don‘t — to drink before shooting. People just don‘t do it, and they don‘t do it because it‘s a very dangerous sport and it gets more dangerous if you drink.

BLAKEMAN: It depends when you ingested the drink. And if you ingested the drink five hours or four hours even before shooting, one beer, it cannot have an deleterious effect on you as a matter of science. It‘s completely out of your system.

CARLSON: That‘s interesting. I don‘t think that that‘s settled science. And I ...

BLAKEMAN: I have it right here with me.

CARLSON: Let me just finish my sentence. I don‘t think that we know that what medications the vice president is on. I think we know that he is on some medications to respond to the coronary problems that he‘s had. And it‘s not clear what effect the mixture of beer with those medicines has. And I guess my question to you, Brad, is why take the chance? The reason people don‘t drink before they hunt — and they‘re really uptight about it in most hunts. I mean, they say you can‘t drink period until you put the gun down for the rest of the day. And the reason they do that is why take the chance? Why did he take the chance? Why do this?

***

Is Carlson on a (no pun intended) wild goose chase? Or is this story worth pursuing?

Consider that Katharine Armstrong -- who Cheney allowed to break the story via the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, rather than via a statement from his office to the White House press corps -- offered three different versions of what alcohol was available to the Cheney-Whittington hunting party.

She told Scripps Howard News Service: “No one was drinking.”

She told NBC News: “There may be a beer or two in (the coolers), but remember not everyone in the party was shooting.”

CNN reported that she never saw Cheney or Whittington “drink at all on the day of the shooting until after the accident occurred, when the vice president fixed himself a cocktail back at the house.”

Of course, none of those quite match up with what Cheney told Fox News Channel.

Meanwhile, the sheriff's report claims that when Whittington was interviewed on Monday, the interviewing officer said Whittington “explained foremost there was no alcohol during the hunt.” Today, Whittington’s doctors again had “no comment” about whether blood tests have revealed any alcohol in his blood. No blood test was ever given to Cheney.

So, while Bush is "very satisfied" with the information available, questions remain. And if the White House has its way, those questions will remain unanswered.

13 Comments:

Blogger Dave Nalle said...

David, are you no longer posting your articles to Blogcritics? I hate to think I have to come to a whole 'nother site just to keep up on the left-wing spin of the right-wing spin of the media's take on the small semi-irrelevant nuggets of truth they deign to notice.

Dave

11:56 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

The Sheriff did not believe alcohol played a factor, despite the fact he did not conduct his investigation until some hours after the incident.
That was the Sheriff's call for whatever reason. It will be hard for anyone to counter these findings.
We will never know the truth, unless someone outside of this present cast of players steps forward.
Maybe an investigative reporter will want to go after this. But any such attempt would be immediately destroyed by the ugly conservative gnomes roaming those parts of Texas.

I think it's time to move on.

If only the Tucker Carlsons had the same curiosity towards the Bush Administration's (a) acknowledged lack of prewar planning for Iraq (b)big role in the slow Katrina recovery (c) construction of a WMD case around a predetermined policy to attack Iraq (d) failures to take actions to stop 9-11 despite all the repeated documented warnings (e) flagrant lies to the media about Katrina ("no one anticipated the breech of the levees") warrantless spying ("no spying is being done without a warrant") etc. (f) assurances the air in downtown Manhattan was safe after 9-11 despite newly revealed overwhelming evidences to the contrary. (g) endorsing torture and holding prisoners without due process at various overseas prisons, etc.

If one wants to make a case for
Bush Administration's reckless disregard for human life and the truth, there are plenty of other places to probe outside of this Texas ranch.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous ABLE DANGER said...

FYI: The ABLE DANGER hearings entered their second day yesterday. One of the highlights was a discussion on a classified report that claimed President Clinton approved the release of M. Atta from an Isreal prison about a year before he flew a plane into the Twin Towers. I guess the media didn't find that important enough to write about. But I thought the JAABS Bush basher should know.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

OMG! I'm away two whole days and come back only to find that this pathetic obsession with what was obviously a very unfortunate, run-of-the-mill hunting accident, is still going strong. Empty speculation abounds.

Or is this all just a continuation of the original parody???

12:46 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

ABLE DANGER said...
"FYI: The ABLE DANGER hearings entered their second day yesterday.


You're right, AD! The whole Able Danger expose is huge. No surprise that MSM doesn't want to cover it. PA Congressman Curt Weldon has done yeoman's work trying to put this incredibly important story out there.

Or how about this? Four and a half years after 9-11, our government has decided to turn over the airport security management of six of our most vital ports to Dubai Ports World? Think that's worth discussing?

Yep. If we do nothing to prevent it, the security of the ports of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore and New Orleans will be contracted out to the United Arab Emirates, which, btw, just happens to be the country where most of the financing and operation planning for the 9-11 attacks occurred.

Should that be of interest to anyone living in the U.S.? Nah! Let's speculate about a hunting accident that occurred on the VP's own private downtime.

Let's get all bent out of shape because the snooty elitists that comprise the White House Press Corps didn't get first dibs on the story. Talk about jerks! There was an entire roomful of them.

I'd be outraged, if only I could bring myself to take these self-absorbed blowhards seriously.

1:16 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

"Run of the mill" hunting accident?
Such accidents are rare, and rarer still when they involve the vice president of the U.S., who is supposed to be setting an example for the country in terms of safety, competence, and timely reporting of an incident.
The incident has given rise to yet another conservative falsehood, so completely implausible and ridiculous that any newspaper repeating it should be immediately relegated to dog cage flooring: The Washington D.C. press corps are merely retaliating because Cheney's people allowed the story to be broken by the Corpus Crispy Times, whatever.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
" "Run of the mill" hunting accident?
Such accidents are rare, and rarer still when they involve the vice president of the U.S., who is supposed to be setting an example for the country in terms of safety, competence, and timely reporting of an incident."


Oh please, just stop, twot. Such accidents are quite common actually, especially in bird hunting. Most are never even reported, because the injuries are not usually as bad as in this case.

But no, a hunter catching a birdshot spray is not unusual. I agree with you that since the accident involved the VPotus, it is definitely newsworthy.

However, I disagree with you that VP Cheney was, as you suggest, incompetent or even necessarily careless. There is hunting protocol to follow, which does help to prevent these accidents. Any deviation from that protocol, no matter how slight, could be very risky, as has been demonstrated in this incident.

http://www.caller.com/ccct/local_news/article/0,1641,CCCT_811_4462927,00.html

And please stop spreading misinformation by claiming that the accident did not get reported in a timely manner. It most certainly did. It was reported to the police within mere minutes of it having occurred. Do your fact-checking before talking trash.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/2/17/74543.shtml

2:16 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"The incident has given rise to yet another conservative falsehood, so completely implausible and ridiculous that any newspaper repeating it should be immediately relegated to dog cage flooring: The Washington D.C. press corps are merely retaliating because Cheney's people allowed the story to be broken by the Corpus Crispy Times, whatever."


It's only completely implausible and ridiculous to those who hold the same left-wing mindset as yourself, twot.

Their self-righteous outrage was so patently obvious to anyone watching that press briefing, I feel no need to even argue with you. Their knickers were all in a bunch because they were not informed first. If you cannot see it, you cannot see it. Your blindspot. Not mine.

I also think they might even suspect that Cheney, whom they cannot stand, fully reciprocates their feelings. I got a good chuckle out of it, actually. :)

2:30 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Am I to deduce from your comments that neither the "Able Danger" nor the "United Arab Emirates" stories interest you very much?

2:32 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, I'm following the Able Danger hearings about as closely as I am John Conyer's attempts to initiate impeachment hearings for Bush.
So we are turning over security of our airports to the same countries that attacked us?
So why then, doesn't your president, Bush
take on a leadership role for a change and stop it. In order to do that, I suppose Bush would have to investigate his own administration's financing of those terrorist countries.

And what I meant by timely reporting of an incident, I meant contacting the media and the sheriff's delay for whatever reason to investigate.

That hunting protocol nonsense does not warrant a response.

And I stand by my criticism of the baseless conservative talking point about the "vindictive" press corps.
I'm stepping aside here to let others discuss JABBS posting here.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"So we are turning over security of our airports to the same countries that attacked us?"


I hope not, twot. Actually, in my rush to comment on this, I think I had a bit of a reading comprehension problem myself, and misstated the problem. I think the "airport" part was only a hypothetical that I had read. The part about the ports of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore and New Orleans referred to our seaports, not our airports.

So why then, doesn't your president, Bush
take on a leadership role for a change and stop it.


First of all, just like Clinton was "our" president, so also is Bush "our" president. As far as why he won't stop this transaction, shockingly enough, it seems that everyone who has been involved in the decision appears to be all right with it.

Granted, I do not have any indepth knowledge of what the thought process was that went into this deal, but my initial reaction to it is certainly not a positive one.

As is required, this type of foreign purchase of American assets needed to be approved by the secret Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS, which is chaired by the Treasury Department. They are in favor of the deal.

In any case, I don't like it. I heard Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, speak about it yesterday, and I know he has gone to see senior White House officials and spoken to them about it on Wednesday.

I now see that Senators from both parties and Republicans from the House yesterday have voiced their concerns to the White House as well. If there ever was a time for Congressional oversight of something, I believe that this is it.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Run of the mill" hunting accident?
Such accidents are rare..."


Twot, I just wanted to add some data to support my contention that this particular type of hunting accident is quite common, and not "rare" as you have claimed.

Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident last weekend, where he sprayed friend Harry Whitington with birdshot, is a common experience for those who indulge in the sport, hunters say.

In a poll sponsored by South Dakota's Sioux Falls Argus-Leader newspaper, 883 South Dakota bird hunters were asked, "Have you ever been peppered with shotgun BB's?"

More than half, 55 percent, said they had. Forty-one percent said "they were wearing orange vests when sprayed."

The poll was taken before Cheney's accident by Pheasant Country, a web site sponsored by the South Dakota paper, according to the Washington Times.


http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/2/18/112449.shtml?s=ic

3:03 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, this survey you reference is worthless because it fails to disclose how many "peppered" with buck shot actually received any injuries to speak or, or at least anywhere near the extent of those suffered by Cheney's victim.
Such a finding would reflect a very small percentage.
Consider.
You could likely contrive a similar false analogy for kids who play with BB guns. Like me, I was shot many times with those little steel balls when my friends and I fooled around with BB guns in the woods.
If you were to take a poll of how many reckless kids like me who played with BB guns had ever been hit, the percentage would likely be similarily high.
But the percentage of those kids who actually caught a BB in the eye or had one lodged in the skin, or otherwise injured, would be very low.
We also played with fireworks as kids. I recall one time burnt the hair off my arm lighting off one of those things that spun around in circles shooting off flames.
If you took a poll of how many reckless kids like me had been "injured" by firecrackers or other forms of minature fireworks, a large portion of them would say they had been injured. Serious enough to require medical care? A small percentage.
We must remember that Cheney is no kid, yet often acts dumber than one.
Yes, my hypothetical surveys may be unproven. If I wanted to I could likely conduct some research to validify my belief.
But, it's hardly worth the time in a bid to defeat another feeble argument of a Bushie who would resort to any fallacious data to curiously try to defend these incompetents sitting in the White House.
One more thing, you appear to think it's worth considering that the President should take responsibility for the homeland security problem you yourself brought up. Then you suggest Congress should take the lead here.
I am sick of you Bushies and Bush himself always trying to shift blame for failed leadership of historical portions at the executive branch onto Congress.
THIS IS WHAT I HAVE SAY TO YOU BUSH. BE A PRESIDENT. TAKE THE INITIATIVE. STOP WORRYING ABOUT UNBORN FETUSES, HOMOSEXUALS, AND BRAIN DEAD PEOPLE ON LIFE SUPPORT. DO SOMETHING AND MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL, DUMMY.

10:14 PM  

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