Subject: [RUL] Was Cheney Drunk?
From Capitol Hill Blue
Secret Service agents say Cheney was drunk when he shot lawyer
By DOUG THOMPSON
Feb 22, 2006, 07:35
Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Dick Cheney when he shot
lawyer Harry Whittington on a hunting outing two weeks ago say Cheney was
"clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting.
> Agents observed several members of the hunting party, including the Vice
> President, consuming alcohol before and during the hunting expedition, the
> report notes, and Cheney exhibited "visible signs" of impairment,
> slurred speech and erratic actions.
> According to those who have talked with the agents and others present at
> outing, Cheney was drunk when he gunned down his friend and the
> day-and-a-half delay in allowing Texas law enforcement officials on the
> ranch where the shooting occurred gave all members of the hunting party
> to sober up.
> We talked with a number of administration officials who are privy to
> information on the Vice President's shooting "accident" and all admit
> Service agents and others say they saw Cheney consume far more than the
> beer' he claimed he drank at lunch earlier that day.
> "This was a South Texas hunt," says one White House aide. "Of course there
> was drinking. There's always drinking. Lots of it."
> One agent at the scene has been placed on administrative leave and another
> requested reassignment this week. A memo reportedly written by one agent
> been destroyed, sources said Wednesday afternoon.
> Cheney has a long history of alcohol abuse, including two convictions of
> driving under the influence when he was younger. Doctors tell me that
> someone like Cheney, who is taking blood thinners because of his history
> heart attacks, could get legally drunk now after consuming just one drink.
> If Cheney was legally drunk at the time of the shooting, he could be
> of a felony under Texas law and the shooting, ruled an accident by a
> compliant Kenedy County Sheriff, would be a prosecutable offense.
> But we will never know for sure because the owners of the Armstrong Ranch,
> where the shooting occurred, barred the sheriff's department from the
> property on the day of the shooting and Kenedy County Sheriff Ramon
> III agreed to wait until the next day to send deputies in to talk to those
> Sheriff's Captain Charles Kirk says he went to the Armstrong Ranch
> immediately after the shooting was reported on Saturday, February 11 but
> both he and a game warden were not allowed on the 50,000-acre property.
> called Salinas who told him to forget about it and return to the station.
> "I told him don't worry about it. I'll make a call," Salinas said. The
> sheriff claims he called another deputy who moonlights at the Armstrong
> ranch, said he was told it was "just an accident" and made the decision to
> wait until Sunday to investigate.
> "We've known these people for years. They are honest and wouldn't call us,
> telling us a lie," Salinas said.
> Like all elected officials in Kenedy County, Salinas owes his job to the
> backing and financial support of Katherine Armstrong, owner of the ranch
> the county's largest employer.
> "The Armstrongs rule Kenedy County like a fiefdom," says a former
> Secret Service officials also took possession of all tests on
> blood at the hospitals where he was treated for his wounds. When asked if
> blood alcohol test had been performed on Whittington, the doctors who
> treated him at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial in Corpus Christi or the
> hospital in Kingsville refused to answer. One admits privately he was
> ordered by the Secret Service to "never discuss the case with the press."
> It's a sure bet that is a private doctor who treated the victim of
> reckless and drunken actions can't talk to the public then any evidence
> shows the Vice President drunk as a skunk will never see the light of day.
> (Updated at 7:21 p.m. EST to reflect new information)
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