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The Friendly Fire of Dick Cheney

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Vice President Dick Cheney sprayed his hunting companion with shotgun pellets, injuring him in the face, neck, and chest on Saturday. Rumors have it that Cheney was pretending he landed on an aircraft carrier announcing an end to major combat when the incident occurred. He simply got a bit disoriented. All that Texas brush confused him. For a few minutes, he slipped into a past of guilt-driven, macho, soldier-wannabe, fighting spirit.

The news didn't break for 24 hours. Why? Because the incident wasn't reported. Finally, Katharine Armstrong, owner of the property in Texas where Cheney and his friend were playing with guns, called the media with the information that the Vice shot Harry Whittington, a generous contributor to George Bush and the Republican Party. He was "knocked silly," said Armstrong.

Whittington, a Texas lawyer, was hunting with Cheney when the latter aimed at a bird and, instead, shot his pal. The 78-year-old just happened to be in Cheney's sights.

Thank whomever that Dick Cheney received deferment after deferment to avoid the Viet Nam conflict or the casualties there would have been even higher. Friendly fire is not only collateral damage, it's an embarrassing shoot 'em up.

But this is what I'm wondering: Is Lynne Cheney saying about her husband, this is not a good man? I doubt it. Because Dick was seriously apologetic. This is a side of the Vice we've never seen. An apologetic Cheney. Hard to imagine.

Good thing for Whittington that Dick's own health is so poor. The Vice is in such bad shape that he travels with a veritable hospital of physicians and an ambulance. Can you believe it? Our troops in Iraq don't have proper body armor, but Dick has his own personal ambulance. And that's why Harry Whittington received instant medical attention. Whittington might not be in stable condition right now if Dick were in stable condition right now.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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