OK, if they didnt serve tea and crumpets, they should have, in keeping with the spirit of Brit Humes genteel questioning and the blue blood hunting party under discussion.
Lets face it, if you or I put somebody in the hospital while hunting, the good folks down at the local sheriffs department wouldve been out in force just to make sure there was no hanky-pankysay, open beer, no hunting after hours, no excessive trophy-bagging, no carelessness with firearms or who knows what? Also, they mightve questioned a few of the discrepancies, such as those that began emerging earlier in the week in the official story.
Ben Brabson knows he wouldve asked some questions. Maybe youve heard of Ben. The retired Sevier County attorney and former Navy intelligence officer is also a gentleman farmer and quail hunter, and he thinks Cheneys official story doesnt quite pass the sniff test.
Another hunter, who asked to remain anonymous, pointed out Whittington was supposedly standing in a three-foot gully, which raises the question of why Cheney was aiming so low. In South Texas you dont shoot low, out of fear of hitting another mans dog. Those dogs are incredibly expensive and you just dont take a chance on that. Something dont smell right.
Almost every aspect of this case is open to speculation, because there was no immediate investigation of the kind that wouldve ensued had you or I pulled that trigger. Apparently a deputy sent to investigate was turned away at the gate of the Armstrong Ranch, where the shooting occurred, near Corpus Christi.
Nobody in their right mind would go into the bush on foot to pick up a dead bird--the danger of rattlesnakes is too great and thats what trained bird dogs are for. That and flushing out the prey.
You turn the dogs loose and they crisscross in front of the vehicle until they point or set a covey, Ben explained. When a covey flushes, it rises to a height of 20 to 30 feet and then settles. By the time it drops below 10 feet you have no shot because of the underbrush.
Ive heard other hunters mention a horizon rule--you dont shoot at birds below the horizon.
Brabson has other questions, and so do I.
* Why did the Cheney team haul the bleeding Whittington an hour and 20 minutes north to a branch of the Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Kingsville, rather than have him flown directly to the more resourceful parent hospital in Corpus Christi where he wound up about three hours after the event?
* Why did guards turn away a deputy who drove out to interview the hunting party? In other words why did no authorities take a statement from Cheney until some 14 hours after the incident?
* Why did Katharine Armstrong, who phoned the local newspaper, say there was no--zero, zippo drinking before Cheney acknowledged having a beer with his lunch?
* Why did the Secret Service not know the position of everyone with a loaded gun in the vicinity of the vice-president?
* Why three versions of how the news broke? One in which Armstrong claims she made the decision to phone the local media, one in which Cheney asked her to phone the paper, and, finally, Cheneys answer to a question from Hume, suggesting Karl Rove played a role in handling the media?
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