Monday, February 13, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006 6:46 PM
(UPDATE - I made a huge mistake in this post, as pointed out by a commenter...regarding the time when the President was notified...more at the very bottom)
From the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website:
Legal Shooting Hours for all Game Animals and Nonmigratory Game Birds: from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Time of sunset on Saturday, February 11, 2006 according to Old Farmer's Almanac (link): 6:15 PM.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife hunting accident and incident report form, Vice President Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington at 5:30 PM on Saturday.
Oddly enough, this Associated Press article written by Nedra Pickler claims:
President Bush was told about Cheney's involvement in the accident shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday — about an hour after it occurred — but the White House did not disclose the accident until Sunday afternoon, and then only in response to press questions.
But "shortly before 8 p.m." is close to 2 1/2 half hours after the accident purportedly took place (UPDATE NOTE: I stupidly forgot about different time zones when I wrote this...as noted at the top and the very bottom of this post...so if indeed President Bush did find out in between 7:30 and 8 p.m. est then it would be 1 to 1 1/2 hours after the incident).
And there still is no explanation why Whittington wasn't admitted to Christus Spohn Hospital until 8:15 PM Saturday night.
If Vice President Dick Cheney shot Austin lawyer at 6:46 PM or later then he broke yet another law during his hunting party (neither Cheney nor Whittington had a required upland game bird stamp at the time...no word on whether the third hunter, United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Pamela Willeford had the required documentation).
Also according to Pickler:
Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said that about an hour after Cheney shot Whittington, the head of the Secret Service's local office called the Kenedy County sheriff to report the accident.
The exact time that phone call was made - if learned - may shed more light on when exactly the incident did occur, as the 5:30 PM time seems to be based on the word of those who were there at the time, and who have reason to fudge the time a bit.
But an article written by Tom Baldwin for Times Online UK suggests that the Kenedy County Sheriff's department is not being entirely helpful on the matter:
The local sheriff’s office in Kennedy County was saying as little as possible. “We have no information to release,” Sandra Guzman, the sheriff’s assistant, said. When did they know about the incident — and what did they know? “I can’t say, an investigation is going on,” Ms Guzman said. Are you investigating to see if a crime was committed? “I’m not sure,” she replied and then hung up.
I still haven't finished reading the 101 questions asked of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan about the "Cheney Hunting Party Shooting" at today's contentious press conference but Brad Friedman from the indispensable Brad Blog noted this exchange which he writes was "tacked...on to the bottom" sometime later in the day:
Q So when did the President definitively know that the Vice President had shot somebody?
A Chief of Staff Andy Card called the President around 7:30pm EST to inform him that there was a hunting accident. He did not know the Vice President was involved at that time. Subsequent to the call, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove spoke with Mrs. Armstrong. He then called the President shortly before 8:00pm EST to update him and let him know the Vice President had accidentally shot Mr. Whittington.
Associated Press has gotten so many things wrong in the past I wouldn't be surprised if they just screwed up the length of time after the incident in which the President was notified (NOTE - They didn't I did...see bottom). But if they're right - and Bush found out about an hour after the Vice President shot a man - then Cheney broke another law.
As pointed out by George Bright in my comment section - rudely, but probably deservedly for the stupid mistake I made:
If Bush was informed at 7:30 PM EST then the time in Texas was 6:30 PM CST. Assuming it took at least twenty minutes for news of the shooting to travel from Texas to Washington (a not unreasonable assumption considering the first ten minutes were probably pretty hectic) and that puts the shooting at 6:10 PM CST at the latest.
Of course, he's right that I didn't take time zones into consideration. But the 2 and 1/2 hour time delay in bringing Whittington to the hospital still smells and we've been lied to before by the White House (just the other week we were told by the press secretary that Bush only met Abramoff at holiday functions, the other year that Rove had nothing to do with outing Plame, and...uh...Iraq)...and this was a speculative piece to begin with. My intention was to theorize why the time might have mattered.
But one other thing to add (and one other thing I might have to end up retracting heh) is that another excuse for Cheney shooting Whittington is that the sun was behind him (according to Willeford). Since the sun set at 6:15 officially...that seems kind of strange. But I've never been to Texas - except for a layover at the Ft. Worth Airport - so only a Texan would know if the sun's positioning at that time of day could serve as a believable excuse.
(Click here to go to the Why Are We Back In Iraq? homepage)
New Post: Were local cops guarding Cheney?
I'm adding this from Byron York at the National Review, though I'm skeptical. Armstrong's stories don't seem to match up. There have been a few inconsistencies with her stories...and with stories from the White House.
According to an administration official familiar with the accident, there was no ambulance on the scene where the hunting was going on, but there was an ambulance with the vice president's detail on the 50,000-acre Armstrong ranch. Katherine Armstrong said it took about 20 or 25 minutes for the ambulance to reach Whittington. "We don't have paved roads," she said. "It's going to take a little bit of time...the distances are pretty great out here."
Whittington was first taken to a small-town hospital not far from the ranch. He was later taken by helicopter to a hospital in Corpus Christi.
But if anyone has seen another story to back up the small-town hospital visit...please leave a link.
And if this story is true...does that mean that if Vice President Cheney was the one shot, and if the wound were more grievous than Whittington's or at least in more need of immediate medical attention, that the Vice President may have died because it would have taken an ambulance 20 or 25 minutes to reach him?