Friday, February 17, 2006

The sheriff got spun

And see if you can spot the Star Trek connection:
"The department also issued a detailed account of its inquiry. Sheriff Ramon Salinas III said he had learned of the incident at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, moments after it happened, in a call from Capt. Charles Kirk, who said that he had been told of it — in a way not explained in the report — and that he was on his way to the ranch. Eight to 10 minutes later, the sheriff said, a Secret Service agent called him to report a shooting involving Mr. Cheney.

Then, the account went on, Captain Kirk called to say he had been turned back at the ranch gate by a Border Patrol agent who said 'he didn't know anything about the accident.'

Sheriff Salinas said that he then called a former sheriff who was working at the ranch, Ramiro Medellin Jr., and that Mr. Medellin said, 'This in fact is an accident.' The sheriff said he confirmed that with another unnamed 'eyewitness' and decided to send his chief deputy to the ranch the next morning."
So a "Captain Kirk" was turned away by a Border Patrol agent when he arrived at the ranch. Border Patrol? Highly illogical. What is a Border Patrol agent doing in this story? Is this a common thing in that part of Texas for Border Patrol to be on guard at a ranch? Does a Border Patrol agent outrank, jurisdictionally, a local sheriff's official? Impolitical just doesn't know how this fits in.

Anyway, "Captain Kirk" is turned away so the sheriff relies on two people who tell him it's an accident. One source is a former sheriff working at the Armstrong ranch. This little fact may provide some insight about the dynamics of this story and why the sheriff might have been inclined to wait until the next day to interview . The Armstrong Ranch appears to be a privileged place in this community and there's perhaps a tad too much deference at play here. Any bets on who the unnamed "eyewitness" was? Impolitical thinks it just may have been the ubiquitous ranch owner, Katharine Armstrong, who's been quite available with the press throughout the course of this story and quite vocal about this being an accident.

Sheriff Ramon Salinas III, maybe there's a job for you waiting at the Armstrong Ranch some day - providing security for high-powered Republican weekenders - when you're finished your now infamous run with the Kenedy Sheriff's Department....