Was Cheney Close To
Turning An Accident
Into Murder?
By Joseph Ehrlich
Sender, Berl & Sons Inc.
Before going to the central thesis of this article, it is imperative that the reader understands some salient preliminary facts. According to the Mr. Cheney, Vice President of the United States of America, he shot Harry Whittington at dusk, Saturday, February 11, 2006, using a Perazzi Brescia 28 gauge shotgun. Hunters shooting quail are more apt to use a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun. These lower gauge shotguns use larger ammunition cartridges, having more pellets, to take down the game. The higher gauge shotguns use smaller casings, which lessen the chance of a successful shot against the game but the benefit is that the gun has less recoil, which makes a 28-gauge shotgun the preferred shotgun choice for women.
The ammunition for a 28 gauge also has a smaller effective range than the ammunition used for the 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. Thus, when Katherine Armstrong claimed that Mr. Cheney and Ambassador Pamela Pritzer Willeford were shooting at quail 100-150 yards out, it didn't make sense. Mr. Cheney an experienced hunter and shooter would know that he had little to no chance of downing quail at that range with a 28 gauge shotgun. Instead of correcting or commenting on this reported inconsistency, Mr. Cheney in his single interview with Brit Hume of Fox News, confirmed that Mrs. Armstrong was the authorized spokesperson to report the events of the day, doubly verifying her status to do so by attesting that she was an experienced hunter and shooter herself who witnessed everything that transpired. So we were in fact getting first hand statements regarding the events connective to the shooting of Mr. Whittington by Mr. Cheney.
Another anomaly in play is that Mr. Whittington was hit with shotgun pellets focused on the right side of his face, neck and chest. Mrs. Armstrong and Mr. Cheney both reiterated that Mr. Whittington was 90 feet away from Mr. Cheney when he shot Mr. Whittington. Shotgun pellets used by a 28 gauge shotgun would disperse within the first 90 feet as to negate the pellet pattern and injury reported and sustained by Mr. Whittington. Experienced hunters and shooters have made it clear in numerous Internet postings that Mr. Whittington would have had to have been shot at close range to sustain the injuries he did sustain and such injuries were dynamically impossible from a shot emanating 90 feet away with a 28 gauge shotgun.
The original story line from Mrs. Armstrong included that Mr. Whittington wasn't that seriously injured, that she admonished him for walking up from behind the Vice President and the Ambassador without announcing himself (albeit Mr. Whittington at that time was on the ground bleeding and in some degree of shock), and that Mr. Whittington was expected to go home from the hospital in a day or two. News reports included that Mr. Whittington had as few as five pellets in his skin.
What turned this accident around against Mr. Cheney is that Mr. Whittington suffered what was reported as a heart attack at the hospital. This required numerous tests and scans and the cat was out of the bag. Suddenly, Mr. Cheney seemed to join the rest of the country in being taken back by the number of pellets that struck Mr. Whittington and that his injuries were far more serious than first imputed. This caused Mr. Cheney to decide to break his own strong preference to avoid speaking to the press, especially no doubt about anything that could implicate him directly. His instincts were quite correct.
While he did an ace job in painting the reality that suited him and played consistent as possible with Mrs. Armstrong's original account of what took place (where she left out all smaller details and issues including the name of the other party shooting with Mr. Cheney, who else was there, outriders, hunting dogs, the name of the other guests, and of course a picnic lunch where Mr. Cheney admitted to having a beer ­ a necessary admission in that MSNBC got caught scrubbing a story advising that Mrs. Armstrong said as much), Mr. Hume did direct some poignant points and questions to Mr. Cheney. Several of these questions opened up a portal to the truth of what happened that Mr. Cheney and those preparing him missed in the story line.
The transcript of the Cheney interview with Hume reads in pertinent part:
Q: His eyes were open when you found him, then, right?
A: Yes. One eye was open. But they got him in the emergency room in the small hospital at Kingsville, checked him out further there, then lifted him by helicopter from there into Corpus Christi, which has a big city hospital and all of the equipment.
Q: So by now what time is it?
A: I don't have an exact time line, although he got there sometime that evening, 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m.
Q: So this is several hours after the incident?
A: Well, I would say he was in Kingsville in the emergency room probably within, oh, less than an hour after they left the ranch.
Mr. Cheney travels with an ambulance and on information and belief a helicopter. Thus there is an ambulance right there with him with the rest of his extensive Secret Service entourage. While he has with him people who are trained to take care of him pending any needed hospitalization, Mr. Cheney knows that if he falls ill, as he has in the past, he must get to a hospital quickly. Moreover, the Armstrong family knows that if anyone becomes seriously ill there or becomes injured when at the ranch, speed is often important to getting an injured family member or guest to the hospital.
Mr. Cheney in his interview stated he got back to ranch headquarters at 7:00 PM. Thus, without the hospital admission time stamp, it would be fair to say that Mr. Whittington got the hospital later than 7 PM and before 8 PM according to Mr. Cheney. The problem is that this is quite a long time from the time of accident.
What took so long?
The Secret Service originally reported the time of the accident at or about 5:30 PM. When the Vice President himself shoots someone and there is an ambulance right there how does one explain an inordinate amount of time getting someone shot to a hospital?
Sender, Berl & Sons Inc. raised that very issue and point. The only explanation for that inordinate delay is that Mr. Cheney got on his secure phone line seeking advice on how to handle the situation. Once Mr. Whittington went to any hospital then it would be an open matter with world publicity and the type of glare Mr. Cheney lives to avoid.
The person who best makes the point of the true nature of the discussion that must have taken place, while Mr. Whittington was lying there for quite some time after being shot, is Mr. Whittington's own daughter who remarked as follows to a news reporter after seeing her father in the hospital:
Whittington was in stable condition at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial. His daughter said after he was shot, the 78-year-old Republican supporter was unsure whether he was being taken to the hospital or the morgue. Emphasis added.
This is a serious interpretation. Thus, stand aware of what happened to minimize the point and issue raised by SenderBerl.
First, the Secret Service to the surprise of many raised the timeline of the shooting to 5:50 PM Central Time. Nightfall was at approximately 6:11 PM. Thus, by raising the timeline of the incident the Secret Service was essentially saying that the Vice President was hunting with others minutes before nightfall. This brought Mrs. Armstrong's contention that the quail were 100-150 yards away onto center stage. At that point of nightfall, Mr. Cheney would not even be able to see the quail at that distance, shooting no less with a shotgun that could not hit the target, assuming that he did see it. However, by raising the timeline to 5:50 PM, twenty minutes was shaved off the open time line between Mr. Whittington being shot and reaching the hospital in Kingsville.
Second, in an act that speaks against the realities attendant to Mr. Cheney's own standards and rigid expectations, reports were released that it took the ambulance 30 minutes to get to Whittington. This is so patently ridiculous that addressing the point gives the assertion a dignity it ill deserves. Further, if it were Mr. Cheney who was accidentally shot he would have been helicoptered to the hospital in Corpus Christi within the same 30 minutes it allegedly took the ambulance to get to Mr. Whittington. Mr. Whittington wound up in the hospital in Corpus Christi three hours or more after the time of the shooting. He subsequently had while hospitalized there what the media reported was a heart attack.
However, by moving up the time line 20 minutes for the shooting and then declaring a 30-minute time line for the ambulance to arrive, Cheney shaved off right here up to 50 minutes off the time frame. However, should we assume a 5:30 shooting and no delay for the ambulance how and why did it take 1-_ hours to get Mr. Whittington to Kingsville? Further, he was directed no doubt to Kingsville because the original storyline was that his injuries were believed to be relatively minor, which assertion was undermined by the decision at Kingsville to helicopter him over to Corpus Christi, where he should have been helicoptered by Armstrong or Cheney in the first place after being shot by the Vice-President.
Third, the cover up of this significant and telling time delay is further highlighted by a New York Times timeline, which served to plug these major holes against what was really taking place after Mr. Whittington was shot. The New York Times timeline dated February 16, 2006 asserted:
They saw the ambulance, bearing Whittington, speeding toward them and tried to flag it down for his wife, but it sped away, Love said. He and Mrs. Whittington, Dr. Willeford and Hixon then made their own way about an hour and 20 minutes north to the Christus Spohn hospital in Kingsville. Emphasis added.
The New York Times timeline puts forth that it would take one hour and 20 minutes to get to the hospital at Kingsville. Well then, if that is true, when you put this on top of the Secret Service 5:50 PM time line and the 30 minutes it took to get the ambulance there, there is no room any longer for negative inferences regarding the time it took to getting Mr. Whittington to a hospital. Not so.
The truth of the matter is that the hospital in Kingsville is some twenty miles from the Armstrong Ranch. It is more a twenty-minute drive than a one hour and 20 minute drive.
All this misinformation is intended to mask what was really going on after Mr. Whittington was shot. While the later versions of the story line has Dr. Willeford, Ambassador Willeford's husband, whom she returned to the US to see, hunting in another field, the New York Times story inadvertently confirms that Dr. Willeford, believed certified in internal medicine and GI, was not called by Mr. Cheney or Mrs. Armstrong to attend to Mr. Whittington. This also conveniently explains why a medical doctor present at the ranch did not accompany Mr. Whittington on the ambulance. Since one of the other anomalies of the day is that it appears that Dr. Willeford is with Mrs. Whittington, it also explains why Mrs. Whittington is also not with her husband in the ambulance. It is clear that both of them were not advised immediately of the accident.
It is apparent that even central parties about the incident were kept in the dark until a decision was made whether Mr. Whittington would even get to a hospital. It appears that Mr. Whittington, according to his daughter, was confused and concerned himself as to his ultimate destination. The reason for the delay is obvious when one considers all the other anomalies that speak to the truth that the story line, regarding how Mr. Whittington was shot, is a complete fabrication. That Mr. Whittington might confirm it and whether the sudden release of identities of guests present might also confirm many asserted truths, the facts speak that Mr. Whittington was shot at close range and thus once this is understood the entire Cheney/Armstrong story line, even when buttressed by the now disclosed slew of other people present, must be seen as false to protect the disclosure of a truth certain VIP parties do not want to be known: ever.
Conclusion: Aside from the fact that Mr. Cheney as an experienced hunter and shooter knows he could not shoot quail 100-150 yards out at dusk with a 28 gauge shotgun, he still himself and via Katherine Armstrong, his authorized spokesperson, confirmed that he was using a 28 gauge shotgun when he tracked a quail making him turn in a manner an experienced hunter knew should not turn to follow its flight right into the sun when he shot Mr. Whittington. With the type of behavior Mr. Cheney exhibited he long ago would have been banished by his fellow shooters as reckless and ostracized accordingly. However, here he is admitting to reckless behavior and malfeasance and even admitting to using a gun that one wouldn't think he would admit to using.
If all this wasn't bad enough, when Mr. Whittington had the reported heart attack and the truer extent of injuries became known, then it also became apparent that the shot must have come from a short distance not the one reported. Thus, Mr. Cheney pushed through the same type of position deployed with 9-11: expecting that the public accept it as true (why not-- the victim is not hollering (he's even apologizing) and the Vice President even admits to pulling the trigger ­thus, it must have been as Cheney and Armstrong described it).
However, the story line is false. The time delay involved that Cheney and others are working to mask does show that a decision whether to have Mr. Whittington go to a funeral home rather than a hospital was in play. Since Whittington was full of shotgun pellets, there could be no cover-up that he suffered a heart attack or a stroke. Since the pellet pattern was vertically dispersed, no argument could be made that he decided to take his life that day. After taking another day to fess up to what happened at the ranch via Mrs. Armstrong, the details of the story line were put forth and then the players willing to sign on the dotted line were first identified. Suddenly we have Mrs. Armstrong's family there, Dr. Willeford there, Mrs. Whittington there ­ but no Lynne Cheney. But a report was issued that she was invited to be there.
We don't know for sure whether the 28-gauge shotgun identified was in fact the weapon used ­ we only know the pellets in Mr. Whittington are consistent with such a shotgun. Since we know that Mr. Cheney did not shoot Mr. Whittington as he described from 30 yards out, then we don't even know he was the shooter. We do know that aside from all the anomalies described that when Mr. Cheney pulled the trigger his gun was pointing all the way down according to the story line he wants everyone to buy. Hunters and shooters don't shoot with their weapons pointed in that direction, but alas the reason he hit Mr. Whittington in the head neck and chest is because Mr. Whittington was in a gully, otherwise, according Mr. Cheney himself, he would have shot Mr. Whittington in the foot or leg.
Why did Mr. Cheney need to make such a statement to the police? From the police point of view an accidental shooting usually involves injury but one that winds up in a narrow line of the victim's head, neck and chest carries an insignia of suspicion. If someone calls in to police that an accidental shooting took place and the bullet winds up right there between the eyes of the shooting victim, police rightfully are going to have serious questions for the shooter. The concentration of shotgun pellets in Mr. Whittington's head, neck and chest area is bona fide evidence of a potential deliberate attack. Thus, Mrs. Armstrong's observation that the quail was 100-150 yards out, allows a low line of sight to target, the victim's area of injury explained and buttressed by Cheney having Mr. Whittington standing in a gully to explain how the shot wound up in his head neck and chest.
From Cheney/Hume Interview:
A: Just two of us at that point. The guide or outrider between us, and of course, there's this entourage behind us, all the cars and so forth that follow me around when I'm out there. But the bird flushed and went to my right, off to the west. I turned and shot at the bird, and at that second, saw Harry standing there. Didn't know he was there ...
Q: You had pulled the trigger and you saw him?
A: Well, I saw him fall, basically. It had happened so fast.
Q: What was he wearing?
A: He was dressed in orange, he was dressed properly, but he was also ... There was a little bit of a gully there, so he was down a little ways before land level, although I could see the upper part of his body when ... I didn't see it at the time I shot, until after I'd fired. And the sun was directly behind him Å\ that affected the vision, too, I'm sure.
When SenderBerl heard that Mr. Cheney shot Mr. Whittington with a 28-gauge shotgun it didn't sit right. Moreover, as per the above, Mr. Whittington surely was not shot in the field per the Cheney/Armstrong story line. Thus, the dynamic is open whether Mr. Cheney was in fact the shooter. If not, who carries the weight for Mr. Cheney, the sitting Vice-President of the United States of America, to take the blame? In this regard, one cannot disregard how Mr. Whittington was treated and handled, that he first and foremost stood before the press to apologize to Cheney and Cheney's family and that he referred to the incident taking place on Friday rather than Saturday. One medical doctor advising SenderBerl wrote "medically speaking, I find it very hard to accept that a man who had shot lodged n his heart that caused a heart attack 2- days ago, would be discharged this quickly. I would think that they would want to make sure that his cardiac enzymes started to go down first, and that there wasn't any damage to coronary vessels before discharging him. Either his injuries and clinical course wasn't as indicated, or his treatment is as shoddy as that received by Sharon."
Mr. Cheney is a man who has longed to see himself as a Knight of the Royal Court. After the success in suppressing the truths regarding 9-11, he encounters only one force that has the weapons and will to pierce his armor: his wife, Lynne Cheney. Mr. Cheney may have to give up his white horse and retire his armor. US troops in Iraq no doubt can better use the armor.
Addendum: Source:
In the first days after the vice president wounded attorney Harry Whittington while shooting at quail last Saturday in Texas, blame was placed on the victim for not announcing his presence to fellow hunter Cheney.
"The vice president did everything right," Katharine Armstrong, the ranch owner approved by Cheney to disclose the accident, said Monday. Whittington, 78, should have shouted that he was rejoining the hunting group after drifting off to retrieve a downed bird. "The mistake exposed him to getting shot," she said. "It's incumbent on him. He did not do that."
The White House picked up on that theme the same day in attempting to deflect any responsibility from the vice president. "If I recall," Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said of Armstrong, "she pointed out that the protocol was not followed by Mr. Whittington, when it came to notifying the others that he was there."
The about-face came Wednesday when Cheney made his first public comment on the accident.
"It was not Harry's fault," he said. "You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend."
In the rush to assure everyone Whittington was "just fine," some important details were left out.
Initial reports had him treated at the scene, then taken by ambulance to the hospital, where in no time he was cracking jokes with the nurses. It turned out that after being taken to the emergency room of a local, small hospital, he was flown by helicopter to the intensive care unit of the larger hospital in Corpus Christi.
According to Armstrong's initial account of the accident scene: "He was talking. His eyes were open." Later, Cheney said that when he rushed up to the stricken man and talked to him, Whittington had one eye open and did not respond. He was, however, conscious.
Doctors said Tuesday that Whittington suffered a mild heart attack while in the hospital when one of the pellets migrated to his heart. He was released Friday.
Whittington statement to press February 17, 2006
We all assume certain risks in whatever we do, whatever activities we pursue. And regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen ­ and that's what happened last Friday.
MSNBC was caught scrubbing an article revealing a remark by Karen Armstrong that there was beer at the picnic that day. Cheney subsequently admitted that he had a beer during lunch. That experience is disconcerting enough but below is an excerpt from a news article that attests to what SenderBerl itself heard Mr. Whittington say: "My family and I are deeply sorry for everything Vice-President Cheney and his family had to deal with." The text from the MSNBC link above does not show this statement by Mr. Whittington. The only related reference states: "My family and I are deeply sorry for all that vice president Cheney has had to go through this past week." It leaves out "and his family." Thus the offered and published transcript does not accurately reflect what Mr. Whittington in fact said. Whether or not Mr. Whittington and his daughter have broadcast subtle messages for us to pick up on, the manipulation of the media by Cheney is egregious and unacceptable.




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