Wednesday, February 15, 2006

There's something wrong here

Update in the Times this morning doesn't settle any more questions, although the Veep's footmen are certainly trying to put issues to rest:Fellow Hunter Shot by Cheney Suffers Setback - New York Times.

was interviewed by local law enforcement the day after the Saturday shooting, on Sunday. It had been reported that a local sheriff's deputy had shown up at the ranch on the evening of the shooting, Saturday, to interview Cheney. This doesn't look good. So the Secret Service is on the job, trying to clarify what happened:
After some initial confusion about what steps the local police had taken to investigate the shooting on Saturday, Secret Service officials said on Tuesday that they had offered to make the vice president available for an interview as quickly as possible but that the local sheriff had agreed to wait until Sunday.
So it was the local sheriff who "agreed to wait until Sunday"... now it may be just me, but it sure sounds like the sheriff was asked to wait, what do you think? I just don't buy it that the sheriff decided to wait until the next day and that this was his freely taken, independent decision, uninfluenced by the Secret Service or anyone else. Do we really think the sheriff was running this operation? Just smacks of ignored procedure in favour of the Vice President. Evidence can go cold by the next day. If this truly were an accident as reported, then there was absolutely no reason to wait overnight for the interview to occur. None that have been suggested make any sense.

And there's another point of contention now between the Secret Service version and the local law enforcement:
Eric Zahren, a Secret Service spokesman, said the shooting occurred at 5:50 p.m. Central time, slightly later than the White House had said at first. After helping Mr. Whittington into an ambulance, the agents in Mr. Cheney's security detail returned to their command post on the hunting ranch by 6:30 p.m. The Secret Service supervisor in McAllen, Tex., had called the sheriff in Kenedy County to tell him about the shooting by 7 p.m., Mr. Zahren said.

The Secret Service supervisor arranged with the sheriff for Mr. Cheney to be interviewed at the ranch at 10 a.m. Sunday, Mr. Zahren said. But the vice president's office changed the time to 8 a.m.

While there were reports, some from the sheriff himself, that a deputy had been dispatched to the ranch on Saturday night and been turned away, Mr. Zahren said that some local police officers had heard about the shooting on a scanner when an ambulance was sent to pick up Mr. Whittington. They showed up at the ranch unsolicited. Private guards, not Secret Service agents, Mr. Zahren said, turned the police away because they did not know anything had occurred.
The "sheriff himself" as a source that a deputy had been dispatched to the ranch on Saturday night and had been turned away. Versus the Secret Service reporting that local police heard about it on a scanner and showed up "unsolicited." Like they're unwanted guests or something! Portrayed as gawking at the scene of an accident, like any other bystanders I guess. And turned away by the conveniently ignorant private guards on hand to provide unaccountable private security.

Private guards. Are there private security guards frequently on detail when the Vice President is visiting a private residence? Doesn't seem too secure to me, especially since these are dangerous, Al-Qaeda-lurking-in-every-shadow, fearful, terror-ridden times, as someone who shall go unnamed likes to frequently remind us...you'd think the crack Secret Service would be responsible for the entire security force for the Vice President, wouldn't you? But, let's accept for a moment that they were using private guards. Then shouldn't these guards be informed that there was a shooting on the premises that day that involved the Vice President? Seems to be an important detail to tell the hired help, my friend.

And, to break it down even more, as this is quite interesting to do - if the guards did not know of the incident, then if the police show up - wouldn't they be more inclined to let them in? Nah, sounds like they sure had their orders down pat.

Sorry, not buying any of it you unfortunate, dragged-into-it Secret Service lackeys...