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Cheney’s Chappaquiddick

February 19th, 2006 | by Ken Grandlund |

The following thoughts were e-mailed to me today by an acquaintance. I have not had time to verify the information, so am only submitting it here as ‘food for thought.’ With a little digging, this information can probably be either verified or not. But the info is at the least illuminating. - Ken

Cheney’s Chappaquiddick
The real story is already emerging, if you’re willing to do a little digging.

Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives), there was some drinking, and Whittington wound up shot. Armstrong didn’t see the incident but claimed she had, Cheney refused to be questioned by the Sheriff until the next morning, and a born-again evangelical physician has been downplaying Whittington’s injuries since they occurrred. Neither the press nor law enforcement seems inclined to investigate.

Before the right-wing commenters howl - there’s documentation for all of these statements. Let’s take them one by one: In addition to Cheney and Whittington, the hunting party included Katherine Armstrong (who was in the car at the time of the shooting: more on that later). After lots of evasive comments that only referred to a “third hunter,” we now know her identity:

Pamela Willeford, the US Ambassador to Switzerland.

Then there was this Armstrong quote on MSNBC and picked up by Firedoglake (later dutifully scrubbed, but preserved on Google cache): “There may be a beer or two in there,” (Armstrong) said, ‘but remember not everyone in the party was shooting.’”

Interestingly, Armstrong’s playing with words here. She later said that she (Armstrong) hadn’t had anything to drink, so at least one of the other three must have been drinking - and the other three were shooting. So while her statement was literally correct (”not everyone … was shooting”), it gives the false impression that nobody drank and shot.

Then there was this item (courtesy kos):

Armstrong said she saw Cheney’s security detail running toward the scene. “The first thing that crossed my mind was he had a heart problem,” she told The Associated Press.

In other words, she didn’t see the accident. All of her statements, replete with colorful sidebars about getting “peppered pretty good,” gave the false impression she was an eyewitness. She wasn’t.

And what about Dr. David Blanchard, who made such light of Whittington’s injuries? Before the heart attack occurred, Blanchard gave no indication that pellets had entered Whittington’s torso or major organs (we now know that at least one other pellet entered his liver). I found an interesting quote. After asserting that spiritual beliefs help people recover more quickly (which studies have suggested may be true), Blanchard said this of people with out of body and near death experiences:

“These people do quite well in their disease processes,” he said. “The Lord wasn’t quite ready for them yet . . . It makes believers out of them.”

It’s likely that Blanchard is also the same “Dr. David Blanchard” who is listed as Vice Chairperson of World Hope International, a Christian evangelical aid group.

Blanchard’s certainly entitled to his own beliefs, and World Hope International (if he’s the same Blanchard) has done some good work, albeit with a proselytizing bent. But most evangelicals in this country are ardent supporters of the Bush/Cheney Administration. This may explain the otherwize puzzling word choices Dr. Blanchard made to play down Whittington’s injuries, especially before the heart attack made that more difficult to do.

So was Cheney drinking, and was there anything inappropriate about this hunting party? We don’t know, and nobody’s investigating. There’s reason to be suspicious. We do have the suggestion that drinking was taking place, we have inconsistencies and a pattern of deception in Armstrong’s statements, we have a shooting injury that’s far more serious than originally claimed … and a Sheriff’s Department and national press that have already proclaimed the VP
innocent of all wrongdoing.

Ii is right to call this Cheney’s Chappaquiddick. The parallels get stronger every day. Of course, Chappaquiddick happened almost forty years ago, and Ted Kennedy’s turned his personal life around. Cheney’s actions happened this weekend. There’s reason to be suspicious of the Vice President’s behavior, starting with the cover-up itself.

They’re trying to spin it as just a badly handled case of press relations, but it’s could be a whole lot more than that.

  1. 31 Responses to “Cheney’s Chappaquiddick”

  2. By Jersey McJones on Feb 17, 2006 | Reply

    Wow.  This is the first thing I’ve read on this that really makes some hay - and it does it well. 

    JMJ

     

  3. By ChosenOne on Feb 17, 2006 | Reply

    Nothing but bunch of B.S.!!!!!!!!!

  4. By ken grandlund on Feb 17, 2006 | Reply

    Chosen One-

    As I said, I did not verify this, but there are ample portions of this post that could be verified, including some that is already common knowledge. (Beer, hunting, heart attack)

    Instead of just crying BS, perhaps you could offer some refutations with your own sources to sway people to your side of the argument. If not, your objections are hollow and meaningless.

  5. By windspike on Feb 17, 2006 | Reply

    I dont’ think you folks are crying wolf here.  Their behavior directly after and following up is rather spurious to say the least.  Why was there no BAC test immediately thereafter?  No criminal investigation?  I hadn’t heard the theory about hunting with non-spouses, that’s very interesting.

     

    Their behavior speaks volumes about their moral and ethical character.  And, by the way, did any one see the pic of poor harry released from the hospital today?  He doesn’t look so good.

     

    Just a quick question:  Do you think Harry or the Big Dick will suffer from PTSD?  Or both?  And how will that affect the Big Dick’s job performance?  You can tell today from his speechifying in Wyoming that he’s very good and continues to preach to the choir. 

  6. By Pia Savage on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Ken you know how everything that goes wrong is blamed on Bill Clinton?  Like the Republican party secret mantra must be “when in doubt blame it on Bill?”

    Can’t blame this on Bill.  But they have something even better; an amazing ablility to spin anything away from them.

    If Dr Blanchard is an ardent supporter of the Bush/Cheney admin, he should have stepped away and had a doctor without partisan biases take over.

    Because as long as everybody involved is a Bush/Cheney supporter we will never know the truth.

    As I remember the woman, who was killed in Chappaquidiks. family first supported Ted Kennedy and then changed their song.  It’s late I’m not going to look it up, but the information is easily found on any search engine. 

    Believe I did link it in a BIO post several months ago, but can’t remember which post

    This whole thing badly stinks and does cry out for an investigation.  Unfortunately we have learned that this government, despite Bush’s proclamation about “anybody being investigated will be sidelined,” some years ago now, doesn’t investigate. 

     Think Karl Rove.  I try not to, but…

    Until there is an impeachment hearing we will never know the truth about anything.  If our president and his admin are so into the moral/values that they so loudly proclaim, they should welcome an investigation in the Cheney shooting.  They should welcome an impeachment hearing because they have nothing to hide

    But they dont….great post Ken, much too think about

     

  7. By Jon on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    You start off your post with an outlandish supposition and then you continue to add more conspiracy theory. Nothing you said means anything at all without proof. This is exactly how you liberals work, you toss out accusations and you expect the target of your accusation to prove you wrong, instead of you actually offering the actual proof. Just because they were there with two women that aren’t their wifes you are making an assumption that they were doing something sinister. By the way Cheney didn’t refuse to talk to the authorities until the next morning, the Secret Service detail set the time for them to arrive. Then you go after the doctors claiming some conspiracy to downplay the injuies. You offer no proof of your accusatory post and this is exactly what most of you liberal Anti-Bush people do.

  8. By rimone on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    conspiracy theory? Forbes doesn’t think so.

  9. By rimone on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    sorry for the above, copy and paste please:

    http://www.forbes.com/technology/ebusiness/feeds/ap/2006/02/18/ap2537023.html

     

     

  10. By rimone on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    LOL, oh my…

  11. By ken grandlund on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Jon- I made no assumptions, and in fact prefaced this post witha disclaimer. If you had read this you would see that I am merely offering some bits of information that may shed more light on the reasons for Cheney’s secrecy in this situation. Indeed, I readily admit that I am “only submitting it here as ‘food for thought.’

    And if you really think that Cheney’s Secret Service detail calls all the shots, you need to wake up. The man is the VP, and could have insisted on talking to the police right away had he wanted to.

    As for “us liberals” making accusations with no proof, “conservatives” are the same. In fact, when you have an administration so mired in secrecy like this, just because you don’t hold a smoking gun does not mean that hypotheses are invalid. The onus of truth does rest with those involved. It is up to you to ask yourself if the situation, as reported by Cheney, seems credible. To me, there is too much about this that is “wishy-washy” to accept the version of the VP as the” clear and salient truth.”

     

  12. By Dr. John on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Today you earned two red dragons. But good ducking of any real responsiblity. The old unamed friend did it m not me. I just shared it.

  13. By Michael Redford on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    A person was shot and there’s no investigation of facts and circumstances.  Only a politically-blinded apologist can dismiss this fact.  This country needs critical thinking to get back on track and allowing laws to be broken or side-stepped, is destructive.  Just because you don’t want the VP to be guilty, just because you don’t want the President to be guilty, just because you don’t want Rove to be guilty, just because you don’t want whomever to be guilty, you should still be willing to support our rule of law.

  14. By Callen Damornen on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    I think the neo-con group is doing enough to vilify themselves without having to add conspiracy theories to it.

    These are people in a world of their own and follow their own rules.

  15. By Jon on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Ken,

    This whole first paragraph is filled with innuendo and assumptions. You accuse the doctor of down playing his injuries, you accuse the sherrif’s department of not investigating. Cheney said he had a beer earlier in the day and you make it sound like it was much more than that, but I guess you have some proof of that no one else knows about. It sure sounds like I was right on the mark with my comment.

    “Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives), there was some drinking, and Whittington wound up shot. Armstrong didn’t see the incident but claimed she had, Cheney refused to be questioned by the Sheriff until the next morning, and a born-again evangelical physician has been downplaying Whittington’s injuries since they occurrred. Neither the press nor law enforcement seems inclined to investigate.”

    Why do you people want to think that there is some is some sinister coverup or something? I can’t beleive that you want to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Just because the Washington Press corp didn’t get the scoop everyone wants to make it like it was some big deal.

  16. By Jon on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Ken,

     

    Just because I don’t readily question everything that comes out of the administration doesn’t mean I don’t have a clue. Sorry but the onnus is on the person making the accusation to prove their claim and not the person they are accusing. What happened to innocent until proven guilty, or does that only apply to everyone but Bush and his administration.

  17. By Eagle on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    The delay on the part of the police department says it all,if it had been a regular civilian we would have been hauled down town,and a blood test done on whether we were drunk or not. I know that we can not say this because of the botched investigation,my question is why this was not done? The second thing that is unnatural is shooting at a quail less than 6 foot off the ground,very unnatural indeed and I say that from hunting quail and other game birds myself. Besides it all I believe these birds were hand raised to be well,,like shooting fish in a barrel this is something I never have done,but to each his own. What really happened down there will never be known,I am simply making an assumption by knowing how many lies this administration has told. If you know that people are prone to lying then you will expect a lie. Good post Ken…

  18. By ken grandlund on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Dr. John- You can question the veracity of the post itself all you want. But I take objection to your questioning my own veracity in the preface. I make it a point to take full credit for anything I research and write on my own. I don’t hide behind anonymity and I don’t falsely attribute anything to fake acquaintances. I could easily provide the name, including the necessary e-mail routing to the person who sent me this information. So take your dragons for a ride somewhere else.

    Michael- Nicely said. But sadly, lost on those who blindly accept anything from this administration as truth or honesty.

    Callen- As I said, just food for thought. IMHO, the only conspiracy going on here though, is the one that prevented an actual investigation. And in their secrecy, these guys just exacerbate the suppositions that go ’round the bend.

    Jon- The doctor did originally play down the injuries- X-rays could better determine the number of pellets to a more accurate number than “somewhere between 5 and 200.” The sherrif department did not conduct much of an investigation. And a whole lot of people stopped for erratic driving and later shown to have been intoxicated say “I only had one beer, officer.” And talk about making a mountain out of a molehill? Wasn’t the Republican stock in trade for much of the ’90’s? Not much room to talk there if you ask me.

    “What happened to innocent until proven guilty, or does that only apply to everyone but Bush and his administration. “ Hmmm….whatever happenned to following the law? Or applying the law fairly to everyone, despite their position in government? If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    Eagle- Careful using any logic here with some of these guys. You’ll probably get accused of being a dirty liberal.

  19. By Jon on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Ken,

    Why do you insist on saying that just because we aren’t accusing the White House of some sort of wrong doing that we are blindly believing what ever the administration says. I think for myself and just because I am not prone to conspiracy theories like so many of the liberals are doesn’t mean I believe everything that they say. I don’t do anything blindly and I get pretty tired of hearing that just because I don’t think like the liberals do.

  20. By windspike on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Dear Jon, Just ask Karl Rove the same questions will you? Thanks.

  21. By ken grandlund on Feb 19, 2006 | Reply

    Jon- In your first comment you said, “This is exactly how you liberals work, you toss out accusations and you expect the target of your accusation to prove you wrong, instead of you actually offering the actual proof.”

    And now you cry foul because I made the comment that conservatives seem unable to examine the words and deeds of this administration and appear to take anything they say at face value?

    I did not specifically paint you in that light anyhow in any comment, so it appears to me that you are protesting a bit much here. Comments to this post have been directed at me to accuse me of being at best a conspiracy theorist and at worst a flat out liar, when in reality, I am only passing along some interesting bits and pieces that were forwarded to me. Yet you don’t see me crying about being targeted. This post offers some explanations for all the secrecy involved in this supposed ‘molehill.’ If you feel unfairly singled out somehow, I would suggest you not assume that all pokes at conservatives are directed towards you specifically, but at the stereotypical, but often justified image conservatives have garnered for themselves through their irresponsible leadership and trash talking pundits.

  22. By Michael Redford on Feb 20, 2006 | Reply

    Ken: Exasperatin’, isn’t it?  Just know, your efforts are appreciated and you’re doing a good job.  Thanks.

  23. By Wadena on Feb 20, 2006 | Reply

    Hey.  I have all the goods on ballistics at my blog, including links to some interesting……and maybe unintentionally funny tests that have been done.

  24. By Jon on Feb 20, 2006 | Reply

    Ken,

    It is your opinion that the doctor down played his injuries and by the way what difference does it make if the two ladies that were with Cheney and Whittening weren’t their wives if you were implying something. Just because Cheney admitted to drinking a beer earlier in day doesn’t mean alcohol played any part in the accident.

    What is wrong with taking the VP at his word instead of automatically looking for conspiracy theories? Do you actually believe that a majority of the hunting accidents even get reported to the authorities unless it involves a person actually dying. I yet to see any statistic that bears out that this accident would have gotten anymore attention by the authorities had it been just your average hunter.

    It is easy for people to say it would. but that would be sheer spectulation and not based on any facts. If someone has a source that proves me wrong I will admit I was wrong.

     

  25. By windspike on Feb 20, 2006 | Reply

    Jon,

    I enjoyed your speculating on the fact that folks might be speculating.  Especially, I enjoyed your speculation that ” a majority of the hunting accidents even get reported to the authorities unless it involves a person actually dying.”

     I heard another of my favorite lines repeated in the Boondocks the other day - “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”  If the proof were there, it would remove the doubt, but certainly, in most states - including texas - hunting accidents are treated very seriously.  The fact that you present inuendo as speculation is brilliant.

    Thanks for the comments.

  26. By Jon on Feb 20, 2006 | Reply

    Wind spike,

    The very fact that you even mentioned Karl Rove proves my point that you people on the left will always look for negatives in anyhting that happens involving the Bush Administration even if it doesn’t exist. By the way what is so wrong with taking the Vice President at his word? If you aren’y going to listen to what he says why would you even care if he held a press conference and talk about what happened.

  27. By windspike on Feb 20, 2006 | Reply

    Dear Jon,

    Are you completely satisfied with the results of the W, Rove and Co? Just wondering.  Sounds to me like you are just another of the W, Rove and Co apologists.

    When a person fails to come clean as close to such an incident and then gets treated completely different than an ordinary citizen, the onus of proving innocence is on him.  I’m afraid to say, I don’t trust the W, Rove and Co as far as I could toss the Big Dick Cheney.  And, you know Jon, it’s not my fault for not trusting them.  They have not earned my trust  - trust takes a life time to earn and a moment to break.  And as a matter of fact, they have broken my trust numerous times over.  I have every right to be suspicious of them.  Aren’t you?

    P.S. why did you not address any of my questions or line of query instead of attacking my character?  Fact of the matter is that you don’t know me.  I do listen to these people, but I don’t follow by faith.  I question becuase I know that these folks are not influnced by me, but by their pals such as Abramoff and others working in the corpretocracy. 

    In particular, when some one on the right complains that an argument is bankrupt based on speculation and then offers only innuendo as proof, the logic is broken and the argument not believable.  Come back when you actually have an argument based on logic, and perhaps then we can discuss how you might be able to change my mind.  But as of this point, you have not.  And most certainly, I have a hard time believing anything you type becuase you haven’t backed up anything you have concluded with anything but exactly the same kind of rhetorical problems you suggest are bad behavior.

     

    Thanks for playing, but try again.

  28. By ken grandlund on Feb 21, 2006 | Reply

    Michael- Thanks, and yes, it can be a bit trying at times. But the spirit of debate is what keeps us going.

    Wadena- Thanks for providing the links to the accompanying ballistics testing. Based on the reads, 20-30 yards does seem plausible. But this is juat a part of the story. No one that I know of has claimed that this was an intentional shooting or anything other than accidental. The real questions are about the handling of the accident, the secrecy involved with the condition of the injured party, and the neglect in reporting and/or meeting with authorities in a timely manner.

    Jon- “Just because Cheney admitted to drinking a beer earlier in day doesn’t mean alcohol played any part in the accident. ” You’re right- drinking and hunting do mix. Every hunting safety class advocates drinking prior to shooting loaded shotguns in the woods. My mistake.

    “Do you actually believe that a majority of the hunting accidents even get reported to the authorities unless it involves a person actually dying.” In nearly every state, firearm wounds are reportable by law, and certainly it has been established that in Texas, that is the law. To not report is a crime. Period. To delay a report inplies that someone is trying to hide something.

    “Wind spike, The very fact that you even mentioned Karl Rove proves my point that you people on the left will always look for negatives in anyhting that happens involving the Bush Administration even if it doesn’t exist.” And you blame me of overgeneralizing and stereotyping?

    Windspike- Great comments and refutations to Jon. Thanks for getting my back. I’d be certain to take you as a hunting partner (if you or I hunted) before I’d take Jon or Cheney.

  29. By Jon on Feb 21, 2006 | Reply

    Ken,

    He admitted to having one beer earlier in the day and you are acting like he admitted to being drunk. This is what I mean by you are assuming a heck of a lot with your posts.

    Excuse me the incident was reported within the hour by the secret service detail or are you going to call the sherrif a liar.

    What refutation, he didn’t refute anything. When someone make outlandish unsubstantiated accusation against someone and then demands the target of their accusations to prove themselves innocent is BS.

  30. By ken grandlund on Feb 21, 2006 | Reply

    Jon- If he only had one beer, why the delay with meeting with police? Surely a man in his position could have forseen the firestorm over this incident and would have wanted to dispel any such speculation and/or innuendo before it even got out of the gate. So his delay is curious, to say the least, and yes, in light of that, I have to question the veracity of the “I only had one beer” statement.

    Yes, the SS did call the sheriff within the hour, but they refused (or Cheney directed them to refuse) any meetings until the next day. Again, why?

    “When someone make outlandish unsubstantiated accusation against someone and then demands the target of their accusations to prove themselves innocent is BS. “ Not to be glib, but isn’t this the exact tactic used by the Bush Justice Department via some provisions in the Patriot Act? Or similarly, akin to their statements (paraphrased) that American citizens who question the authority or decisions of the administration are not ‘real Americans’ or are ‘traitors’ or are ‘helping the enemy?’

     

  31. By Jon on Feb 21, 2006 | Reply

    Ken,

    So just because the secret service arranged for the authorities to arrive the next morning that automatically means he was drunk. Again this is why I made my original comment that you are making assumptions and engaging in conspiracy theories. I really don’t care if the authorities show up 5 or 20 hours after the fact I am not going to accuse the Vice President of the United States of covering anything up just because of that. The firestorm as you call it is being created by all of the Anti-Bush Administration people and not by the majority of the American people. How do you know that they refused any attempt from the sherrifs department to arrive earlier than they actually arrived. I didn’t read in any news source that the sherrif was refused access to the ranch before the Secret Service would allow them. I know you really seem to want to believe that there is something more sinister lurking about that we don’t know about, but I guess you are entitled to your opinion about that.

    You are going to think what you want about this whole non story and it is very sad that you chose to think this poorly of our VP.  I think we have been beaten this dead horse enough and it is time to move on. Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this issue. If I didn’t already know what your thoughts are of Vice President Dick Cheney before this whole thing started, I most certainly do now.

    I don’t remember anyone making statements even remotely like that, except for Democrats like Hilary Clinton during one of her screaming tiraded in front of a mob (a little humor, so don’t jump on me) of supporters.

  32. By windspike on Feb 21, 2006 | Reply

    Jon,

    I don’t know about you, but would you go hunting with some one who was having “just one,” beer?  Under the influence and legally drunk are two different things.  In the alcohol education program I was a part of, we would always say to folks who decided to drink that it mattered not how much you had - once you started the first beer, you were under the influence.  Now as to whether or not Cheney was legally drunk, or slightly impaired, we will never know, now will we?   Becuase he refused any scrutiny for a long gap - at least enough for the liver to process whatever amount of alcohol he ingested on that day.  So, it negated the need for a BAC test, which I would argue he should have had to put this question off the table.  If he was not under the influence, have it. It proves your innocence.  If he was, then have it and it proves his guilt.  Either way, there is a direct benefit to having conducted the test, and rightly or wrongly, he avoided it.  It’s rather spurious to say the least, no? 

     

    Incidentially, before I leave this horse, I went directly over to the NRA web location to see if I could find some hunting guidelines to see if I could find a statement about hunting and drinking acoholic beverages.  Strangely, I couldn’t find any.  But I did find an ethics statement for shooting coaches that perhaps the W, Rove and Co might consider for adoption into their opperating proceedures.  It would be an improvement over this culture of corruption they are supporting. 

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