The Administration and the Law

Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, has found himself back in the news over the last few days, thanks to reports like the National Journal's indicating that his defense against criminal charges will claim that Vice President Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials had encouraged and authorized him to share classified information.

If that turns out to be the case, it suggests a tidy little double standard: the same administration that went ballistic at the leak of its spying program has a history of encouraging leaks of classified information.

Such a contradiction wouldn't surprise those who have followed the warrantless surveillance controversy. Consider Bush's statement in 2004 that "a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so." Of course, it turned out that as early as 2002 he had authorized wiretapping of Americans without said court order.

The administration's defense is a constitutional one: The president is constitutionally obligated to do whatever it takes to keep the country safe. As we've discussed here before, however, the Constitution delegates that particular power to Congress, while the president is required to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

So between the disclosure of classified information and the warrantless spying on Americans, a law or two may have been violated. Will there be a thorough investigation? Will the transgressors be held accountable?

Over at Delaware Watch, Dana Garrett is already anticipating Cheney's early exit from the vice presidency. Steven H Silver agrees that "it doesn't look good for Darth Dick," but, he says, "I don't trust any investigation of the current administration to actually do its job with even a quarter of the intensity Ken Starr brought to his investigations."

In a diary entry at Daily Kos, Spider Jerusalem explains his theory of how the right has been desensitized to lawbreaking. It's worth reading the whole analysis, but the crux of Spider Jerusalem's contention is that Rush Limbaugh, by constantly making assertions like this one -- "the left is looking at that court as God and church and sanctuary with abortion as the sacrament" -- has equated following the law with liberal godlessness.

The truly insidious nature of this particular law-as-liberal-religion meme is that it frames the incredibly basic concept of OBEYING THE LAW as being both outside the mainstream AND sacrilegious! It is breathtaking in its audacity, really -- instead of just meekly suggesting that breaking the law isn't that big a deal, it argues that respecting the law is actively bad. It equates a deference to the law with the worship of a false religion.

Debaters, what do you think? Has lawbreaking become passé? Is it acceptable for the president to defy the law in the name of national security? How about for the vice president to break the law to further the president's agenda? Or has all this talk about lawbreaking been overblown?

P.S. Why is it that when I look for information about Cheney's hunting accident, a spoof item from the Huffington Post appears under Yahoo News?!? Methinks Yahoo needs to do a better job of recognizing satire.

By Emily Messner |  February 13, 2006; 8:16 AM ET  | Category:  This Week's Issue
Previous: Debaters Speak Out on Cartoons | Next: Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



See, U.S. v. CHENEY: The Indictment
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/10/105540/799

Allegations made public that the Vice President "authorized" his aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to disclose classified CIA documents to the media may form the basis for indictments under several distinct federal statutes.

Those charges may include:

COUNT 1: Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 93 > Sec. 1924.

COUNT 2: Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 37 > § 793

COUNT 3. "Conversion" of Public Records
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 31 > § 641

COUNT 4. Conspiracy United States Code TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 19 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States


Given that these facts were presented to a federal Grand Jury, we should expect that Dick Cheney will, in fact, be indicted.

These are the crimes with which the Vice President will most likely be charged, based on what is publicly known about evidence held by Patrick Fitzgerald and testimony given to the Grand Jury.

The essence of the crime which Cheney stands accused is involvement in a conspiracy to unlawfully disclose classified documents. Specifically, we learned from a letter filed yesterday by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that Cheney had told Libby to leak a classified CIA National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) related to Iraq's WMD programs. Murray Waas, The National Journal, "Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Disclose Classified Information." http://nationaljournal.com/...

Following alleged instructions from Cheney, Libby testified that beginning with NYT reporter Judith Miller on July 8 2003, he released secret information contained in that document to members of the news media in order to bolster the case for going to war and in order to cast doubt on the accuracy and character of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame. The identity of Plame as an undercover CIA Officer was first published by columnist Robert Novak six days later.

According to a short inside pages New York Times report published this morning, Mr. Libby revealed the classified details of the NIE to Ms. Miller ten days before that document was declassified. See, "Ex-Cheney Aide Testified Leak Was Ordered, Prosecutor Says"
http://www.nytimes.com/...

By NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: February 10, 2006
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 -- I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, told a grand jury that he was authorized by his "superiors" to disclose classified information to reporters about Iraq's weapons capability in June and July 2003, according to a document filed by a federal prosecutor.

The document shows that Mr. Libby, known as Scooter, was actively engaged in the Bush administration's public relations effort to rebut complaints that there was little evidence to support the claim that Saddam Hussein possessed or sought weapons of mass destruction, which was used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

The document is part of the prosecutors' case against Mr. Libby, who has been indicted on charges that he lied about his role in exposing the identity of a C.I.A. operative to journalists.

The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, said in a letter to Mr. Libby's lawyers last month that Mr. Libby had testified before the grand jury that "he had contacts with reporters in which he disclosed the content of the National Intelligence Estimate ('NIE')," that discussed Iraq's nuclear weapons capability. "We also note that it is our understanding that Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors."

It should be noted about that Times story that neither the headline nor the lead paragraphs mention Cheney as anything other than Libby's former boss. One must read down to the bottom of the story to learn:

"Mr. Fitzgerald said in his letter that Mr. Libby discussed the contents of the classified report in a July 8 meeting -- 10 days before it was declassified -- with Judith Miller, then a reporter at The Times. Ms. Miller, who spent 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify in the leak case, has told the grand jury that Mr. Libby told her about Ms. Wilson at the same meeting."

The Washington Post reports that Libby met with Miller on that date in a downtown Washington, DC hotel, not in his office. According to the Washington Post, "On July 8, Libby met Miller, the reporter, for breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel at 16th and K streets. Asking that she attribute the information to a "former Hill staffer" -- he had once been legal adviser to a House select committee -- Libby criticized CIA reporting of Wilson's trip and "advised reporter Judith Miller of his belief that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA," the indictment states."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/29/AR2005102901478_pf.html

MORE:

Posted by: leveymg | February 13, 2006 10:10 AM

Emily, your quoting of Rush Limbaugh has a ringing significance of its own. The very fact that he is in a position where he continues to be quoted in the mainstram press is reflective of the dumbing down of American culture in general.

Limbaugh made his reputation trashing drug addicts, welfare moms and "feminazis" (as he caricatured the feminists. He has not been a voice of reasoned debate but a hate filled bomb thrower, an uneducated zealot and a character assassin of the first order. He has pretended to a moral superiority while at the same time engaged in questionable behaviour of his own.

In the fall of 2004, Limbaugh admitted his addiction to the painkiller drug Oxycontin, along with a number of other drugs he had been taking illegally for years ostensibly for back pain. Odd that this condition has not affected his ability to swing a golg club.

Soon after this announcement, it was revealed that Limbaugh was under investigation for "doctor shopping"--obtaining his drugs surreptitiosly by going to several doctors at once unbeknownst to them, a crime in the state of Florida. Presumably, these pills were all in addition to the ones he received skulking about in parking lots and paying for in the underground.

I point out this brief history of Limbaugh's nefarious activities not simply to embarrass him. He is quite obviously beyond embarrassment. No, I point it out as a marker in the sad reality of America's cultural decline. It is part and parcel of the same decline in respect for decency, civility and the rule of law that has been the hallmark of American life in recent decades.

The very fact that men like Limbaugh and O'Reilly are still being quoted and rewarded in spite of glaring failures in their moral character, and the fact that the American public seems to have become completely jaded to the malfeasance and lawlessness of the present administration and Congress, is emblematic of the failure of American national character in general and is among the reasons why America has lost its preminent position in the world as a moral beacon.

A public that tolerates--even lionizes--the mean and pedestrian activities of men like Limbaugh and O'Reilly, is indicative of a culture that no longer believes in the higher ideals of its Founders.

It saddens me to have to say this, but I see this tendency on the part of the people to allow charlatans like these two men to continue to be held up as serious spokesmen for a serious political movement, as Exhibit A in the case for the Decline and Fall of America.

Posted by: Jaxas | February 13, 2006 10:19 AM

"Will the transgressors be held accountable?"

Will the American public care or will they fall under the Rovian spell of "spying on our own citizens is an unambiguously GOOD thing?" Jaxas has it right: During any kind of public debate, Rove's obvious double-standard won't be able to penetrate the public's pitiful attention span much less generate the kind of moral outrage it deserves.

Besides, as we found out in 1998 only Republicans can generate a consistent message of moral outrage. Democrats have a habit of being too democratic (imagine that!) to stay on message.

Control of both houses has lead to levels of corruption unimaginable within the Clinton WH due to the politically-driven levels of rabid oversight that existed at that time. It's obvious that radical change is needed and WON'T be forthcoming from the GOP after the swift, overwhelming retreat from Hastert's proposals.

Is our historic system of government effectively dead?

Posted by: lpdrjk | February 13, 2006 10:38 AM

Way to go Jaxas!

I have yet to hear one convincing arguement for why the President should have the authority to obtain warrantless wiretaps with absolutely no accountability or oversight. If you have one let's hear it.

But don't bother with:
1. Other Presidents did it - Because Lincoln may have done it in an emergency, but when he went to Congress he said "fix this problem", not "how dare you limit my power". Truman may have done it but SCOTUS got the last word. ANd Nixon sure did it - enough said.
2. It would tip off the terrorists, Congress can't keep a secret - this is the biggest load of BS I've ever heard - the President says we're only spying on calls from al Qaeda. But the terrorists know we can get warrants to spy on them. Duh. Even if Bush lied to AMerica (again), and this is a data mining operation against all Americans not just those we suspect to be terrorists, the terrorists would still have to assume we might know who they are. If they believed they could speak freely would they be communicating with phrases like "the match is set for tomorrow"? Pulleeze.
3. The Constitution gives him power to protect the US in times of war. We've debated this before. Ad nauseum. I'll wait for SCOTUS to rule.
4. This is a different kind of war - it certainly is. One we're botching badly and that has no discernable end. I'm not willing to hand any president a blank check forever for a war that only he/she can decide when it ends and that he/she can keep going forever if desired. I personally think we'll be seeing more little scares like the sensor in the Capitol last week just to keep the fear pot stirred. I'd sure like to see the security footage around that sensor, but I bet I never will.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 13, 2006 11:02 AM

When the indictment of Libby was first made public I claimed that both Cheney and Rove were involved in this sad state of affairs. This Bush administration is so riddled with scandal that far too many of them get swept under the carpet as new ones find the light of day...for instance, what happened in the whole Christian Bailey and the Lincoln Group Iraqi Press Gate Scandal, and how come the media has allowed it to drop off their radar screen?

Double standards are the norm for a Rebublican Congress and Senate gone bad under the dictatorship by Republican consensus under the Second Reich of King George...do we all forget the 40 billion in benefit cuts to programs like medicare, no child left behind and college tuition help pass in December while the Repblicans were giving themselves a HUGE RAISE? Will congress use the typo made by a staff hero to take a Muliigan on that poor decision by changing their mind, and not giving Dick (weed) Cheney a chance to cast another tie breaking vote?

The NSA spying scandal is simple...if Congress needs to change the law, then the president broke the law and should be impeached. For that matter, it would simply add to the LONG list of impeachable offenses committed by him and his administration.

Pinto Bean

http://www.blogcharm.com/beltwaypintobeans/

http://pintobeans.iblogs.com/

Posted by: PintoBean | February 13, 2006 12:13 PM

that the problem is a specific class of people think they don't need to respect the law, because frankly the law can't touch them.


Wouldn't it be nice if people like Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, George Bush Sr. and Junior had to face the idea that their estates would be confiscated and sold if they were found to have initiated a "war" that was actually a fraud....


costing the united states how many billion dollars, so that they could be sure that there oil profits stayed predictable.....


how many people have died on both sides?


and the money placed in the general fund....


maybe the next *sshole that thought that conning the american public would be a little slow to start making up tales...


look: former national gaurds man who joins the gaurd to avoid fighting, makes sending the national gaurd to Iraq a normal thing...


hint: the national gaurd was formed to protect the nation, at home.....


it's illegal.


the administration, congress, don't give a rats ass about you.....their kids aren't over there....your factories are closed...


THEY HAVE YOUR MONEY INVESTED FOR THEMSELVES>>>>>take it back.

Posted by: Well, personally, it seems to me... | February 13, 2006 12:30 PM

Considering the string of command and plural use of "superiors", Scooter only has two men who are his superiors, Dick Cheney and George Bush. And of course taking into account Scooter is telling the truth this time. I wonder if Karl will use the same defense?

By NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: February 10, 2006
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 -- I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, told a grand jury that he was authorized by his "superiors" to disclose classified information to reporters about Iraq's weapons capability in June and July 2003, according to a document filed by a federal prosecutor.

Posted by: David F. | February 13, 2006 12:36 PM

take their estates, and deposit the money in the General Fund....that's where they stole it from....do it.

nothing cures the "lack of caring in the affluent like not being there."


what was that Dan Acroyd, Eddie Murphy movie?


put them on the streets at street level....do it.

Posted by: flipping burgers for the rest of their lives.... | February 13, 2006 12:39 PM

HEE HEE HEE...


"REMBER Silverado!!!!"

Posted by: Let their estates become your retirement fund.... | February 13, 2006 12:44 PM

The nine billion dollars lost that was transported on the flatbed trucks in Iraq must be tracked. I cringe when Bush demands more monetary investment in this-- "cause"---when this administration has already shown us how how blatantly careless they can be with taxpayers money. "Trust" them? After so much! Nine billion would go a long way to the Katrina victims. I hate the thought of their business buddies getting richer off of this.

Posted by: JoeyD | February 13, 2006 12:53 PM

Jaxas: Remember that picture of Rush standing next to Newt at the inauguration of The Contract (for)on America? He's an integral piece of the Rep. message. It's all too much, too much. Perhaps a new department has been created called "Maybe this will work" as the WH seems to continually throw out nonsense in hopes that it will fly. Are we living the theater of the absurd? Or is this a brilliantly planned diabolically maneuvered plot aimed at eliminating the Dem. party forever, deep-sixing the Constitution along the way. Rove has openly admitted that as THE PLAN.

Posted by: felicity smith | February 13, 2006 01:00 PM

You! Put them there.

Posted by: EB | February 13, 2006 01:02 PM

internal comment of lawyerease....that means that if you buy something that has been sold to you fraudulently that somehow that makes you....


the buyer...


well no it doesn't...

there are lemon laws for cars and fraud is still fraud...


Look at what george will has to say about tom coburn, senator from oklahoma:

Coburn came to the nation's attention last October when he proposed taking the $223 million earmarked for Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" and using it to repair a New Orleans bridge destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Because this threat to Alaska also threatened Congress's code of comity -- mutual respect for everyone's parochial interests -- his proposal lost by 67 votes.

now, that's my kind of replacement for corruption....


and hey arrest the senators that were commiting "comity" and sell their estates too....


thanks so much, could you get back to me by noon tomorrow?

Posted by: There is a certain amount of denial in your statement that elicits an | February 13, 2006 01:10 PM

... . there are 100 senators in congress....


67 voted against giving the money for Alaska Bridge to Nowhere to Katrina victims...


the care about you..

Posted by: in case you don't understand. | February 13, 2006 01:21 PM

When you think of how this administration reacted to Katrina- the force, time and place being announced in advance, will they look like the Stooges if we do have a terror attack again like in NY? The fact that all the experienced national security and terrorism experts have resigned because they haven't been able to work with this administration - have they been replaced with Bush cronies like Michael Brown, no experience - just connections? These NSA people had worked for the agency during several administrations. What level of experience do we know have to protect us against the terror attacks that Bush1 tells us about every day?

Posted by: Dorothy | February 13, 2006 01:41 PM

the current administrations work to address the weaknesses found during the assessment of ability to withstand or respond to a terrorist threat....


...borders on the criminal....


zilch, nada.

they have no fear, they have lunch with the terrorists everyday, they sleep with them at night, sometimes they even buy them clothes...."they" are "them."

Posted by: according to the 9/11 Commission.... | February 13, 2006 01:48 PM

Emily -

"Debaters, what do you think? Has lawbreaking become passé? Is it acceptable for the president to defy the law in the name of national security?"

As far as anyone knows, revealing Plame's name did not violate any law because she was not a covert agent. The Special prosecutor declined to charge anyone on those grounds. Though it is nice to know that Emily supports arresting others that commit crimes and obstruct justice. We will see her ardor tested when the Justice Dept comes a knocking about stories the WP and NYTimes broke about the CIA planes, the redention network, and the NSA spying...not only to get leakers that harmed national security far more than housewife Plame's being revealed as helping her ambitious but not so truthful husband - but the possibility exists that the NYTimes may be charged by a grand jury for violating the Espionage Act.

The Leftist media insisted on a full-bore witch hunt and special prosecutor for the trivial Plame Affair. And didn't like it at all when reporters were called in to grand juries as fallout from their zeal to "get the Bush-Hitler". Now they are hoist on their own petard.

Emily - " The administration's defense is a constitutional one: The president is constitutionally obligated to do whatever it takes to keep the country safe. As we've discussed here before, however, the Constitution delegates that particular power to Congress."

Evidently you didn't pick up on arguments that:

1. A FISA law passed does not trump the Constitution.
2. That the reason we have a Constitution is primarily because the Articles of Confederation failed. That a key driver was that Congress was utterly unable to run a foreign policy or manage quick decisive action against foreign maneuvers or foreign agents here. That is why the Constitution ensured we had a strong executive to negotiate treaties, act as commander in chief, and keep primary duty to defend the people against foreign foes or foreign agents here.
4. Foreign agents include US citizens. Just being a US citizen does not mean you are somehow immune from being watched out for if you are a foreign agent and traitor. In my book, a traitor like Ames or Pollard is worse than an unlawful combatant like Atta previously protected by the FISA "Wall" that the Patriot Act tried to fix.
5. Anytime you think the Congress is the agency that has primary reponsibility to manage America's defence and security structures, I request you reread the Constitution again Ms. Messner. If you still believe that after a reread, then we should eliminate Congressional oversight and give direct management of war-fighting, and agencies like the FBI, Coast Guard, NSA, US Army directly to the relevant Committees in the House and Senate to run day to day....

================================
On Cheney's hunting accident, it is noteworthy that he is the first sitting VP to shoot someone since Aaron Burr.

Other Presidents and VPs have personally killed people. Even nominee John Kerry shot a wounded VC in the back. But not a sitting Prez or VP since Burr. Of course, Presidents give orders that end up killing people. Perhaps the last one who didn't was Warren Harding. Even the wuss Jimmah gave commands that killed.

Cheney might be held partially at fault, but still just a rare hunting accident. Since Cheney is an experienced hunter, there will be a welcome focus on more hunting safety and maybe more people will be interested in the sport. Of course urban gay guys and silly housewives will blame it on the shotgun and renew their fatuous demands that only government employees should be allowed the right to a firearm...
On the other hand, the guy he shot was a lawyer and a Democrat most his life - so Cheney's poll numbers might go up.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 13, 2006 01:58 PM

big talk from a little schamlkin...

Posted by: speaking of wussis.... | February 13, 2006 02:04 PM

are you for or against holding people responsible for calling an operation a war?


Is deception to make a few already deeply reiche people more deeply riche acceptable or unacceptable to you as long as it increases homophobia?

Posted by: let's put it this way.... | February 13, 2006 02:07 PM

how much are you getting paid to post this schmaltz?

Posted by: or this way.... | February 13, 2006 02:28 PM

should your estates be sold and paid to the people of the united states too?

get back to me.

Posted by: If you're commiting treason as a way of protecting your people... | February 13, 2006 02:45 PM

I heard Cheney once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

Posted by: D. | February 13, 2006 03:09 PM

Chris Ford-

In response to your points (thanks for numbering them).

1. "1. A FISA law passed does not trump the Constitution."

Response: And that same Constitution makes clear the neither Chris Ford nor the President determines whether laws enacted by Congress are unconstitutional. Declaring that "The Constitution trumps FISA" would require the Supreme Court to rule on FISA, which it has not (I guess because FISA was legislated a mere 27 years ago)

2. "That the reason we have a Constitution is primarily because the Articles of Confederation failed. That a key driver was that Congress was utterly unable to run a foreign policy or manage quick decisive action against foreign maneuvers or foreign agents here. That is why the Constitution ensured we had a strong executive to negotiate treaties, act as commander in chief, and keep primary duty to defend the people against foreign foes or foreign agents here."

Response: Interesting interpretation of "main reason" there. I'd say tyranny under the British and self-determination had more to do with the Constitution than the failed Articles of Confederation, but ok. No one is disputing that we need a strong Executive. Did anyone say the President should not be the commander in chief?

4. "Foreign agents include US citizens. Just being a US citizen does not mean you are somehow immune from being watched out for if you are a foreign agent and traitor. In my book, a traitor like Ames or Pollard is worse than an unlawful combatant like Atta previously protected by the FISA "Wall" that the Patriot Act tried to fix."

Response: Your first sentence is wrong. Current United States Law makes clear that, according to TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 36 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 1801 Definitions (b) "Agent of a foreign power" means--
(1) any person other than a United States person... It that distinction is unclear to you, please make that argument (but don't assume it).

Your reply might be that the law is incorrect, but you are welcome to make that case to a Legislature.

No one is suggesting that American Citizens are therefore immune from electronic surveillance. Police issue surveillance over Americans every day, so long as they secure evidence that the American poses threat. This might be why FISA makes explicitly clear the distinction between warrantless wiretaps on foreign agents (that CANNOT include American Citizens) and warrant-required wiretaps on American citizens.

5. "Anytime you think the Congress is the agency that has primary reponsibility to manage America's defence and security structures, I request you reread the Constitution again Ms. Messner. If you still believe that after a reread, then we should eliminate Congressional oversight and give direct management of war-fighting, and agencies like the FBI, Coast Guard, NSA, US Army directly to the relevant Committees in the House and Senate to run day to day...."

No one has argued that Congress is the sole or even most responsible party for America's defense. The most important/effective oversight mechanism has not been, nor is proposed to be, Congress. It has been the judiciary. Why demanding more oversight from the Judiciary, namely warrants for Citizen wiretaps, amounts to demanding that Congress be given sole power over the FBI, Coast Guard, NSA, and US army, is on you to explain. I'd love to hear your rational.

Hope you had a good weekend.

Posted by: Will | February 13, 2006 03:21 PM

in a related story..

France has surrendered to Dick Cheney!

===========

Meanwhile Noble Algore, in Saudi Arabia meeting with wealthy Saudi clients, was well-paid for his speech denouncing America for "Arab abuse" starting the day after 9/11 as "inexcusable". Alternately shouting and weeping, Algore seized on the Cheney incident as positive sign that Cheney would also shoot Arabs without trial, just one slippery slope second away from shooting Texas lawyers.

A pair of Mullahs, Shahir bin-Indrah, and Abdullah al-Shuraf, said they were enormously aided and comforted by Gore's kind words of America being at fault after 9/11. Both discounted the idea that Cheney would shoot Arabs.."Cheney is more discrete, but still a loyal retainer".

Shahir said Gore's apologies were a helpful start, and hoped that the Clintons and Carter ("your A-Team Democrats") would tender additional apologies to Arabs for "grave post-9/11 insults". Abdullah was less mollified, pointing out that his cousin's Wall Street Penthouse was gravely contaminated with "American indidel filth" after three WTC jumpers spattered body parts all over the roof and portions of the front facade of the Penthouse. "It has been over 4 years", Abdullah ranted. "No apology for the defilement of my cousin's property with unclean body parts, and no payment for filth removal." Abdullah waved his ceremonial dagger.."I am getting very, very angry about this.. rudeness...despite that strange, portly American's denunciations of America.."

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 13, 2006 03:32 PM

"Do What Dick Cheney Says And Nobody Gets Hurt."

Al Gore's been in a tailspin since 2000. I once liked the guy, know I just cringe every time he opens his mouth.

Posted by: D. | February 13, 2006 03:46 PM

2 + 2 = 5

PLAME WAS WORKING ON IRAN, INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS SAY
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Outed_CIA_officer_was_working_on_0213.html
By outing Valerie Plame, the White House removed the prime source for real facts about Iran's nuclear energy programs that might contradict the war-propaganda.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/

"If revealing classified information is illegal, then it's a crime, right? "And George W. Bush promised that 'If somebody committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration,' right?
"Now it comes out that 'Scooter' Libby has testified that his 'superiors' authorized him to reveal classified information in an attempt to discredit Joseph Wilson's account of his trip to Africa and thus to defend the idea that the Administration had a basis for claiming that Saddam Hussein had been trying to buy uranium in Niger. "Libby's boss was Dick Cheney; Libby was Cheney's chief of staff. His only other 'superior' would have been . . . George W. Bush. "So either Cheney or Bush (or both) ordered the release of classified information, which according to Bush is a crime. And anyone who commits a crime has to leave the administration. "So which is it? Is Bush going to ask for Cheney's resignation, or offer his own?"

WTF? Can El Presidente Order a Killing on U.S. Soil?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11180519/site/newsweek
In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States. Bush claims he has the power to order anyone inside the US killed, without a court, without a judge, without a jury of the accused's peers, without evidence of wrongdoing, without a public record, without appeal... BANG, you are dead. By any possible definition of the word, Bush is a dictator.

Posted by: 1,610 days since GWB said he'd catch UBL 'Dead or Alive!' | February 13, 2006 06:41 PM

George WMD Bush has been in a tailspin since he was appointed El Presidente in 2000. I once liked the guy, know I just cringe every time he opens his mouth.

TAR AND FEATHER THE WAR PARTY
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/lies.mp3
REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS

Posted by: Zionist Hoodlum | February 13, 2006 06:42 PM

You guys really crack me up!!!! A bunch of pseudo intellectual, liberal, cowards!!

My only problem with this administration and wire taps to find subversives is it is a waste of time. Read this Blog. That's where the real anti American fervor is being preached!!

In the mean time....Emily, as far as your ongoing quest for some intestinal out-sourcing is concerned I suggest the following:

Eat a bran muffin and wash it down with some prune juice.

Aside from the mid-morning, "Editorial Staff Restroom Only" howls it should cause (worthy of another Howard Dean stump speech), I'm sure it will cause a creative "movement" worthy of you, this Blog's contributors, and the Washington Post!!!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 13, 2006 07:47 PM

Any he was fully in his powers as Vice President of the United States during a time of war to shoot first and ask questions later.

To almost quote the elder Bush "if it looks like a Dick, walks like a Dick, and talks like a Dick, it must be a Dick (Cheney).

Posted by: Jamal | February 13, 2006 07:50 PM

When D. Cheney shot his hunting partner
last Saturday only diplays another example of very poor judgement from
the VP of America.
D.C. should resign his post for committing
the irreparable act.

Posted by: Concerned American | February 13, 2006 09:49 PM

What never ceases to amaze me is the swaggering, do-no wrong bravado with which the current administration continues to do business, despite persistent "questionable" and potentially illegal deeds. The majority of the American people no longer trust Dubya and his minions--- t

hough Dubya is so incompetent when left to his own devices, it's quite a compliment to say that the man is capable of controlling minions.

Can a man lead a country when he describes a large segment of his own constituents as "Hispanos?" Wretched!

He took his country to war in a virtually unilateral wave of his hand, setting up the only respectable member of his administration to lie in front of the United Nations, sending young men and women to their deaths, and sending our economy into a downward spiral--- yet he is re-elected. Will he suffer because of Libby's assertions? Hardly. But I guarantee that decades from now, when historians have had the chance to delve deeply into the machinations of this administration, his legacy will be one that shames the institution of the presidency in the United States of America.

Posted by: gkc | February 13, 2006 10:20 PM

FYI--- I know those comments are venomous and have little utility, but at this point I think there's little hope of reparations regarding the administration. And I'm simply waiting til the end of its days, and praying that the next administration can repair the damage and restore the face of honor that this nation once earned within its own borders and beyond them.

Posted by: | February 13, 2006 10:22 PM

I think I'll take a pass on mocking the accidental shooting of another human being. For one, the man who was shot was seriously wounded, and could have died; I don't find that humorous. For another, Dick Cheney nearly killed somebody by accident, and one would expect that he is not taking such an incident lightly; I realize he's hardly 'Mr. Sensitivity' but that doesn't excuse callously mocking him or being insensitive to what he's going through. To make light of the situation is unfair to both the vice-president and the 78 year old man he accidentally shot. People and the press who want to behave like superficial children in regards to this matter are going to do just that, but I for one am going to refrain from acting so petty and immature in response to the VP's hunting accident.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 13, 2006 10:26 PM

Thank you ErrinF

He committed crimes while CEO of Halliburton. There is evidence he committed crimes as VP.

And for these he gets a free pass, yet raked over the coals for at most negligence? Enough already.

I'm more than happy to go after the lying traitorous sonofabitch. But not for this.

While we're on the topic of breaking the law, I came across this today. I have no reason to believe its not genuine.
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001995631

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 13, 2006 10:47 PM

The current president has claimed authority he does not have, even in war. The VP is a posterboy for conflict of interest, with his firm Halliburton in line for no-compete contracts in war and in peace; while he slanders those who would dare question the probity of the choices he and the president have made for our nation - aid and comfort to the enemy?

how it must have relaxed Osama Bin Laden when our government pulled away troops hunting him down in Afghanistan to go run over that secular fascist running Iraq - and they dare to say dissenters give aid and comfort to the enemy through free political speech?

and right wing posters use alleged quotes from aint-US terrorists to show that the right wing in the US is correct? how strange a country this has become - the right wing commentators trust anti-US terrorists to tell the truth about US government actions ....

rule of law? no. i see the right wing running our country as rule by nonsense, non-sequitor, and utter indifference to the future of the nation - the bigger the line of bs put out by the leaders of our federal executive branch, the more intensely the right wing loyalists try to rationalize it

my children's children will look back on this period of conservative republican rule (2000-now) as a total suspension of reason and thought, lost to inflammatory, deceiving political leadership, aided and supported by the least critically thinking loyalists since the dems were monopolists of government in the late 1960's.

pathetic

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | February 13, 2006 11:23 PM

Mr. Cheney felt so bad about shooting the elderly gentleman that he conferred with the owner of the ranch to have her report the shooting to the police. After the ranch owner/VP meeting it was reported it was the victims fault and Mr. Cheney did nothing wrong. Sound familiar? A hunter is always responsible for identifying his target. So much irony in this incident, who's to blame for almost 20,000 total casuties in his war in Iraq.

Posted by: Jamal | February 14, 2006 12:00 AM

As time goes on, the New Left attitude of the 60s, the attitude of continual outraged protest, of always taking the critical, outsiders' stance, seems more and more obsolete and dysfunctional. The culture wars of the 90s were fun, but that was a mere family quarrel compared to the threats that now face our whole civilization, a civilization that university-educated people, for a generation now, have been trained to condemn while idealizing all others...

gkc professes amazement: "What never ceases to amaze me is the swaggering, do-no wrong bravado with which the current administration continues to do business, despite persistent "questionable" and potentially illegal deeds. The majority of the American people no longer trust Dubya and his minions--- "

Yet he was reelected, gkc. And the main reason is a public that sees serious deficiences in Bush sees greater deficiencies in Democrats. Simply, they are controlled by their Lefty base. They are hellbent on crafting a Bill of Rights for the enemy, obsessed with the privacy rights of terrorists, and prone to have idiots like Algore go into the heart of Islamofascism and give speeches in front of Al Qaeda's main benefactors denouncing America for "Arab abuse".

Until Democrats get serious about Islamoids and their new religion of radical Islam/Islamofascism - Republicans can be inept bumblers, even corrupt, and still win elections. Apologists for the enemy never have gotten much gain in American poltics from being pro-enemy, from the Loyalists to the Copperheads to the German Bund to the Soviet Apparachniks.

The undying love Lefties have for FISA, which created the Wall the 9/11 Commission said blinded us to Islamoid attacks - strikes me as rather strange. The fact that 95% of Islamoid targets are in reliably Democrat, Blue areas of the country makes the enemy rights advocates possibly subject to blowback from their own people if and likely when another Islamoid attack hits. Be it - "Jew York", "Zionist and black slave dominated DC", "Israel's Boston", "Chicago, the Heartland of the Great Satan", "Homosexual filth-ridden San Francisco", "Satan's City - Las Vegas", or "Los Angeles, center of Jewish media Islamophobia".

It's a question of when, not if, another Islamoid hit happens, as the 9/11 Commission said. And the odds favor a bunch of dead "blue people". So if Democrats wish to kill their own in favoring enemy rights or liberties, that is - unfortunately - better than killing Americans who are actively fighting the enemy or who contribute to the enemy being killed in some fashion. It seems fair in fact as most of our troops are "red state, red-blooded" that their sacrifice will be balanced by sacrificed blue state civilians still on a learning curve.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 14, 2006 12:04 AM

So ... by C Ford's reasoning, it's not the fault of Islamic terrorists that people in urban areas may be killed, it's the lefties in this country who are at fault ....

and I thought people like him accused the left of blaming America first, rather than the terrorists themselves ....

strange world we live in ... viewed thru lenses like his ...

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | February 14, 2006 12:17 AM

would be helping just so he could say I told you so...


well like I told you, with assholes in charge pissing everyone off, and you making sure that everyone knows it's the right thing to do....who would be surprised.

but since your buttlikin prez aint done nothing about it....I suggest you quit licking his, pull your head out of yours and say...


MISTEER PREZIDENT:
shouldn't you be protecting your people at home?

shouldn't you be instituting a draft and bringing home the national gaurd...

shouldn't you be talking about the 9/11 Commission Report and their avowal that the inaction since 9/11 to take effective measures to address the terrorist threat in-country bordered on the criminal...

do you think pointing away from a real problem while you cry wolf isn't treasonous?

Posted by: if there's a strike against the us...I would assume chris ford... | February 14, 2006 12:20 AM

Patriot1957,

Thank you for bringing this up:

"But don't bother with:
1. Other Presidents did it - Because Lincoln may have done it in an emergency, but when he went to Congress he said "fix this problem", not "how dare you limit my power". Truman may have done it but SCOTUS got the last word. ANd Nixon sure did it - enough said."

Over the past few weeks I've seen the Lincoln suspending Habeas Corpus example used numerous times to justify what Bush is doing with wiretapping now. Suspension of Habeas Corpus was about arresting and imprisoning people indefinitely without charges. Wiretapping is a different issue. Still there is a general comparison that can be made about how executive power is to expand in times of conflict under the constitution.

The biggest difference in my mind, between how Lincoln handled his situation and how Bush is handling his, is that Lincoln was transparent throughout. He took the controversial action while Congress was not in session, but put the matter before them when they came back into session. He had full knowledge and acceptance that they could renounce his actions. Eventually Congress passed a law in 1863 called the habeas corpus act that gave the president authority to suspend habeas corpus during "the present conflict"

Is this what President Bush has done? No! He has done the opposite. He has allowed this secret program to go on for years, all the time avoiding independent review by a legal authority that could tell him no. He has only informed a few outside of the executive branch and always on his own terms and sworn them to secrecy.

He relies on his own Justice Dept. interpretations of the Constitution, and avoids submitting those interpretations for examination by other branches. In short he seeks to subvert one of the key principles of the Constitution -that of checks and balances. The secret nature of the programis used as an excuse, but the whole structure of the FISA court is based on conducting review while maintaining secrecy.

See the following website for an excellent discussion of Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus: http://www.csulb.edu/~crsmith/lincoln.html

The Constitutional article used as justification for suspension of Habeas Corpus is Article 1 section 9

"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

It is interesting to note that the clause says rebellion or invasion. It does not say war. The determination of whether we are in a state of either rebellion or invasion (we certainly were in the Civil War) now could be debated.

Posted by: DK | February 14, 2006 12:37 AM

ErrinF wrote..
I think I'll take a pass on mocking the accidental shooting of another human being.

I approve of that Errin. Took courage too.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 14, 2006 01:41 AM

Emily wrote:
Or has all this talk about lawbreaking been overblown?

Yes it has. Bush has had not one, but two "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" moments. Minus the the finger wag.

One was when he calmly said a warrant was required to tap a US persons phone call so don't worry about your civil liberties.
At the time he knew he was lying, twice. He knew he was taping US persons phone calls without a warrant. He knew a warrant was not required because his lawyers told him it wasn't.

Thoroughly disgusting and it doesn't matter if a law was broken or not.

Two was when he sat at that table with Rove in the background and said he didn't know who leaked, wanted to know who leaked, and would take care of it if he found out who leaked.

He knows Rove leaked. He has not taken care of it, the bugger is still there.

Thoroughly disgusting. It doesn't matter whether Rove broke a law. Rove lied to Scott McClellan and he either lied to the President or Bush lied to me.

Yup, he sure brought integrity back to the White House all right. What is it Errin says....GMAFB

Modern politics stink and Clinton was no better. Hell, he lied under oath!

Sorry....these things get my goat.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 14, 2006 04:09 AM

These people believe they are serving the only law that counts: God's law. Further they believe they're entitled to exploit any instruments of civil society including the bending, twisting, and and breaking of any law to serve those ends. In their twisted mindset, Jesus would be cool with the killing and torturing of innocent people so Halliburton can still millions and the super rich can benefit from tax cuts. In that vain they will preach about a "culture of life," while regular folk can't have access to proper medical care. And while we're at it, what about this so called "hunting" Dick Cheney was doing? It wasn't sport. More like killing fish in a barrel - that's what shooting of quail really is. And this someone who has the power to influence war and peace and life and death? These are the people who lecture to the rest of us about a culture of life? And you people in the stenographer corporatist press, such as your disgraceful ombudsman, empower them.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | February 14, 2006 08:28 AM

Chris Floyd is so wrapped up in his Islamo Fascist Talking Points he can't add 2 + 2!

"It's a question of when, not if, another Islamoid hit happens?"

"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified."
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/spyring.html

Bush Says Iraq War Is Good for Israel
http://www.forward.com/articles/7020

Attack Iran the Day Iraq War "Ends", Demands Israel
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1105-02.htm

Cheney makes plans to nuke Iran
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/270705nukeiran.htm

Outed CIA officer was working on Iran, intelligence sources say
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Outed_CIA_officer_was_working_on_0213.html

Posted by: 1,611 days since GWB said he'd catch UBL 'Dead or Alive!' | February 14, 2006 09:27 AM

I'm not a Democrat or Republican, I'm an American, a very pissed off American. Our leaders take an oath to god to protect and defend the US Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic, not Israel, not George WMD Bush, not Hillary. I think we are going to need a lot of rope for the traitors in the US Government and its Corporate State Controlled Media. There is nothing conservative about staging terrorist attacks on your own people, looting the Treasury, lying to start wars, big tyrannical government. The Non Violent Revolution is coming. Good luck with that!

Posted by: Tar and Feather the Liars - Republican AND Democrat | February 14, 2006 09:36 AM

I know this is now old news and it's sad a human being was shot. Republican Texas attorney Harry Whittington most likely does not want the media attention. In hunting safety, the person pulling the trigger is totally accountable for clearly identifying the target and no exceptions, so as not to shoot a person(s) or other unintended target(s). All were very experienced hunters, including Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong and knew hunter safety.

Then it is highly questionable why the initial report from Katharine Armstrong vindicated Vice President Cheney and placed fault on Harry Whittington. Why can't Mr. Cheney state I made a mistake or had an error in judgment? The only issue is not admitting fault and initially trying to cover the incident up. The cover up only created another incident.

Fortunately for Mr. Cheney all witness were secret service, loyal staff, or devoted Republican Party members.

Posted by: Jamal | February 14, 2006 09:39 AM

Why hasn't there been another Terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Could it be the terrorists believed 911 would hurt not only the United States, but also the Bush Presidency with the American public? Did it back fired and propel him at one point to be a "super star" president? Perhaps they see NOT attacking in the U.S. hurts Bush more. And attacking Bush and the U.S. in Islamic countries is more politically correct to achieve their goals. And Iraq has become a god send to the terrorists? If 911 never happened, would Bush have been re-elected?

Posted by: Jamal | February 14, 2006 09:55 AM

Intrepid Liberal wrote:
"These people believe they are serving the only law that counts: God's law."

I find it amazing that even liberals continue to call Bush a christian man who believes in God. Yet everything Bush has done shows he is not. This man lied to start a war, is not be bothered by a mass murder like OBL, comissioned the writing of the torture memo and boldly lies to everyone about how swimingly the Iraq conflict is going. He is now allowing FEMA to kick huricane survivors out of their hotels. Are these the actions of a born-again christian?

No wonder everyone is agast that this christian man could allow these things to happen. If you understand that christian people, real christians, do not lie to the extent Bush has lied or would have ordered the things he has ordered, you will then begin to see that Bush is also lying about his faith. Why even liverals do not think he is lying about his faith is beyond me. It seems more than obvious.

Why lie about his faith? Can you say 30% of the vote?

If Bush wants to be called a christian, it is high time his actions showed he's a christian and not just his words or church attendance. In the meantime, call him for what he is, unchristian and unAmerican.

Posted by: Sully | February 14, 2006 10:15 AM

Thank you for again mentioning the fact that the administration gladly reveals classified information, if it is in their self interest, while using its prosecutors to persecute citizens, accused of exactly the same acts though the small fry are usually motivated to act for the public good.

No one seems to have noticed that Homeland Security has stated that its job does not include protecting New Orleans' levees.
As a city in the US and especially as an important city, and most importantly as a major port city, New Orleans should be among the juiciest targets for terrorists. The levees are such an easy target.
Homeland Security has just revealed to any terrorist, domestic or foreign, that it is not protecting a very significant target.
How can that not be a breach of National Security, a leak of highly classified military information, and an act that aides and abets an enemy?

Posted by: Margaret Barton | February 14, 2006 10:28 AM

I continue to be astonished that there are people out there who seem to be completely inured to the Bush administration's consistent track record of foul-ups, mix-ups, dust-ups and general f#*k-ups.

Apparently, there is a core of about 40% of the people in this country--probably a mix of evangelicals who still cling hopefully to the addled notion that Bush was Providentially selected for the office of President, fiscal ideologues who still clutch to their breats the old, discredited Hayek-Friedman supply side economic theories, and run-of-the-mill sycophants in the punditry who fell for the nonsensical rubbish that Bush was a "tranformational visionary" whatever that means. The idea that this bumpkin is any sort of visionary is flat out laughable.

The rest of the country has come out of the emotional narcosis visited upon themon 9-11 and come to the transparent conclusion that George W. Bush was simply not up to the job and has indeed led us into a black hole that we might never emerge from.

Josh Marshall said it best in the wake of Bush's most recent f*#kup--not paying attntion to the fact that a live microphone was on when he dismissed the press corp and talkied off the record to his republican supporters. Astonished reporters thought they would get a taste of the real Bush, not the scripted klunk that has so much difficulty stringing together coherent sentences. What they learned (in Marshall's read of the fiasco) was that unlike Reagan--who was never really the amiable dunce the press described him as--Bush is as muddled and out of it in private amonst his sycophantic supporters as he is in public.

The difference is that while he is certainly a dunce, the private George W. Bush is anything but amiable, often coming off as brittle, thinskinned and vengeful toward anyone who disagrees with him even mildly.

Posted by: Jaxas | February 14, 2006 10:42 AM

Intrepid Liberal shares the general ignorance of the sport of hunting so common in Lefties:

"And while we're at it, what about this so called "hunting" Dick Cheney was doing? It wasn't sport. More like killing fish in a barrel - that's what shooting of quail really is."

No, quail hunting is actually very challenging. They can flush fast, almost explosively with no warning like a pre-flight rustle or before a dog alerts on point, and can go in any direction and are a small, quick target.

Jamal, another person not knowledgable about hunting, proclaims his ignorance of the responsibilities of each person in a hunting party.

"In hunting safety, the person pulling the trigger is totally accountable for clearly identifying the target and no exceptions, so as not to shoot a person(s) or other unintended target(s). All were very experienced hunters, including Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong and knew hunter safety."

Mighty white of Jamak to say there is an absolute law with no exceptions, but in quail, grouse, pheasant hunting the bird flushes and you have 0.3 to 2 seconds to square on the target, lead it, take your shot. This is not a leisurely several minute long target ID like in deer or duck hunting. Safety is foremost the responsibility of each hunting party member to maintain position and if going out of position, forward or back or around an obstacle covering them from other hunters, to alert each hunter on their flank(s). If someone leaves, it is a safety backup for other members to ask where they are, but when someone drops back or takes a new position in cover, they may not know the hunter is out of position. A minimal role of responsibility, the onus in hunting is on the member moving into other's line of fire w/o their knowledge.

"Peppering" is not uncommon and generally provides a good lesson for the person goofing up. Fatalities are rare because of the limited penetration of birdshot unless the range is short - which is another reason for spacing and each person knowling their "zones". In many cases, people getting "peppered" don't bother with medical care or filling a formal hunting incident report out, especially in dick-headed anti-gun states which suspend or revoke licenses for any incident, whether or not fault exists.

Jamal chants "coverup! coverup! whitewash!"

"Then it is highly questionable why the initial report from Katharine Armstrong vindicated Vice President Cheney and placed fault on Harry Whittington. Why can't Mr. Cheney state I made a mistake or had an error in judgment? The only issue is not admitting fault and initially trying to cover the incident up. The cover up only created another incident."

The incident was reported to the local sheriff's office within 1/2 an hour. Some coverup! The investigating deputy found no criminal fault likely and termed the shooting an accident. The next morning, Cheney and other people hunting at the ranch filled out their statements and were asked further questions. The White House press corps was mighty miffed since they consider it the White House obligation to immediately report golf balls hitting people, bike spills, blowjobs, pretzel incidents, or hunting accidents to them. Too bad no such obligation exists other than a notion of "courtesy" to a most uncourteous crowd that lives to ambush and bring down any sitting person in the Executive - ever since the JFK honeymoon ended over 40 years ago. They were in near-apoplexy as well over the "insult" that the hunters reported it to a mere local Texas paper rather than to them - the "media elite". The White House Press Corps hurt feelings, anger, and outrage were indeed about the only funny thing about the accident, though I have already laughed at a few great Cheney jokes about it..

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 14, 2006 10:43 AM

Chris Ford, you are obviously an intelligent and articulate spokesman for what you believe. Thus, it mystifies me that you insist on turning a legitimate inquiry into this administration's quirky methodology in releasing important, vital information to the press into some pathetic, humdrum monologue on the protocols involved with the hunting of fowl.

This isn't about hunting, gun control, tradition or hunter safety or any of the other distractions brought up by the right in attempts to change the subject. It is about the habitual, hunker down approach that this administration uses when information that might be politically embarrassing is about to be divulged.

It is more about this tendency toward selective secrecy that so abounds in this administration. The Bush adminstration has zealously attempted all manner of questionable tactics in order to control the information the public receives. Even a brief recital of the litany of examples of how the administration has sought to distort the normal processes of information dessemination is instructive here--the payoff of sympathetic pundits to write favorable articles, disguising administration PR efforts as news articles for release to local news outlets, the appointment of cronies who seek to stifle any dissent from the Bush worldview in reports and studies that the administration commissions, the selective release of classified information to go after administration critics, and the misuse of the Homeland Security Alert system when it is advantageous to the administration to change the subject.

That is what this is really about Chris and you should be as upset about it as even the President's harshest critics.

Posted by: Jaxas | February 14, 2006 11:11 AM

Why can't you people understand??????

This Blog is the just a collection of journalistic human waste and each one of you serve as the bile that holds it together!!!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 14, 2006 11:17 AM

Lawbreaking is only passe when the branches of government charged with maintaining checks and balances abdicate their responsibilty. Please Emily, tell us how many subpoenas the congress has issued to the white house during this administration and compare it with the number issued during the Clinton presidency.

The oath of office of the president precludes breaking laws. As the chief executive the onus is upon the president to enforce the laws of the land, not break them for any reason. Once again, the responsibilty to ensure presidential accountabilty is in the hands of the legilature and the courts.

The vice president has repeatedly broken his oath of office. While this should be alarming in itself, it is no suprise that the congress hasn't invoked its duty to protect us from executive branch lawbreaking. One can only imagine republican wrath had these events occurred under a democratic administration.

Overblown?? While everyone understands that a lot of what happens in Washington is politically motivated, one should again remember the ourage that led to the last impeachment. In that case, the opposition party made the case that the slightest prevarication on a very personal subject should require removal from office. While it is no trifling matter that led to impeachment, it is amusing to see those same people appologizing about the behavior of their own.

Somehow though, it seems that lying about an affair should be less of an issue than fixing intelligence and cherry picking items to sell the people, the congress and the United Nations on a war like you would do in introducing a new box of corn flakes.

This president , in his State of the Union message, admonished us to "trust me" on the wiretap issue. Trust me? This from a man who twisted intelligence deliberately to go to war with a country that had NOTHING to do with the attacks of 911?? A man who has said that anyone who had anything to do with the leaks will be fired? What about his vice president and his chief of staff?

This, the same president who "takes responsibilty" about the prewar intel. If there is no accountabilty, then there is no resposibilty. Once again he has spoken meaningless words. Sound familiar? How about "Mission Accomplished", "bring it on", "A wiretap requires a court order".

How many lies must we endure from this administration before we finally get it. The President has, and continues, to break the law and not enforce the constitution.

The president has alluded many times in the last months that no terrorist attacks have occurred on our soil since 911. Could it be that due to his illegal war in Iraq that the leadership of Al qaeda prefers he stay in office? This president has provided our enemy with the finest recruitment tool they have ever had! In addition, the war is Al qaeda's version of West Point.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Ben Frankin

Posted by: Dennis | February 14, 2006 11:18 AM

Chris Ford wrote:
"The White House Press Corps hurt feelings, anger, and outrage were indeed about the only funny thing about the accident, though I have already laughed at a few great Cheney jokes about it.."

Excellent analysis Chris...I quite agree. The WHPC are truly a pompous bunch when cut out of the loop. They will get their revenge, however. Meanwhile it is hilarious.

Jaxas, it was simply an accident incidentally involving a public figure in a private setting and one not emblimatic of anything else. ErrinF understands that, why can't you?

Jamal, I believe Mr. Whittington, the 78 year old attorney is a Democrat, not a Republican. I'm still waiting for some nutcase to defend Cheney on the basis that Whittington was Howard Dean's secret assasin and the VP shot him in self defense.

Give it a break and lets get back to public policy.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 14, 2006 01:04 PM

I just came out of a site called "Ranburger" which features a group of people with viewpoints on point with Mr. Chris Ford.

I was banned from the site recently because I was pointing out to them the absurdity and unmitigated gall of their claims that the Democratic Party is a threat to the security of the U.S., critics of President Bush on Iraq/GWOT are anti-american traitors who aid abett the enemy and that Democrats are weak of National Security and only Republicans can "protect and make safer"
the country.

They view President Bush as being above the law and accountable to no one as long as he "wins the GWOT" by any means neccessary. They are preaching hatred of all Islamic Muslims.

Their hateful rhetoric reveals that they would really prefer a fascist state of one party government in which they and only they rule. They would have control of the so-called MSM and only their approved propaganda would be broadcast and reported. All critics or non-supporters of President Bush and republicans would be banished. The Democratic party would destroyed and its leaders exiled or executed.

These people are dangerous and should be watched closely.

Posted by: Left Angle | February 14, 2006 01:06 PM

Emily - Just an idea.

Since its pretty obvious the majority of folks who post to this blog are pretty much anti-Bush and anti-Republican in general, why not post a debate topic about ex-presidents and former vice presidents going overseas and lambasting the current administration from such sunny locals as UAE and Saudi Arabia? I used to think that it was a given that "politics stopped at the waters edge". Its pretty obvious that whatever topic is raised here will devolve into Bush=Hitler! rants, so why don't we take it from the other side?

Posted by: MS | February 14, 2006 01:15 PM

Left Angle - The internet is a wild place, you'll find all sorts of nuts who believe all sorts of things. Ever check out Daily Kos and Democratic Underground? Put those fruitcakes on your watchlist while you're at it.

Chris Ford - Thanks for educating some of our non-hunting friends on the specifics of hunting quail and of the ethics of responsible hunting in general.

Posted by: D. | February 14, 2006 01:27 PM

MS Wrote:

"Since its pretty obvious the majority of folks who post to this blog are pretty much anti-Bush and anti-Republican in general, why not post a debate topic about ex-presidents and former vice presidents going overseas and lambasting the current administration from such sunny locals as UAE and Saudi Arabia? I used to think that it was a given that "politics stopped at the waters edge". Its pretty obvious that whatever topic is raised here will devolve into Bush=Hitler! rants, so why don't we take it from the other side?"

I'll tell you why Emily doesn't,MS!!

Because the only topic Emily is going to post is one guaranteed to stir up the "We know the Republican Party is for College Educated Nazis" crowd.

Besides, Emily is convinced that her chronic colonic blockage can only be relieved by a daily "I hate Bush" enema!!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 14, 2006 01:34 PM

D. and Chris Ford-

Don't just assume that Whittington is totally responsible. I know you are both being insincere if you really want to argue that this is all Whittington's fault (who certainly deserves blame) and not Cheney's. Anytime a hunter fires a gun at another hunter, they've made a huge mistake.

Both errors were preventable, yet I know that Cheney hasn't taken the now mandatory hunting-safety training course in Texas (because of his age) so it is unlikely that Whittington had either. Maybe it's time the two of them took the course.

Posted by: Will | February 14, 2006 02:35 PM

Futile though it may be, I'm going to ask this question again, hoping that Emily will actually answer it.

RE: http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/thedebate/2006/02/cartoon_controv.html

I've been a fan of Ms. Messner's blog here for awhile, but this statement in her post has had me thinking for a day:

"The New York Times today published a photo (page B8) of the Virgin Mary surrounded by elephant manure, in a surprisingly blatant display of what Anne Applebaum calls the "hypocrisy of the cultural left." "

Emily, are you defending Anne A.'s characterization of this as "hypocrisy of the cultural left"? You addition of the words "surprisingly blatant display" makes me wonder.

Seems like a loaded statement to add to the quote.

It's one thing to say "It's sort of hypocritical to do this but not that", another to agree with some partisan hack saying "see? This is all the hypocrisy of the left/right/up/down/strange/charm"

Posted by: Curious T | February 14, 2006 02:46 PM

Will-

You're absolutely right. No disagreement on this end. These types of accidents are actually quite common, even among experienced hunters.

Posted by: D. | February 14, 2006 03:00 PM

Here is the Texas law... it doesn't say that the shooter can report to police when convenient (perhaps alcohol was involved).

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 161.041. Mandatory Reporting of Gunshot Wounds
A physician who attends or treats, or who is requested to attend or treat, a bullet or gunshot
wound, or the administrator, superintendent, or other person in charge of a hospital,
sanitorium, or other institution in which a bullet or gunshot wound is attended or treated or in
which the attention or treatment is requested, shall report the case at once to the law
enforcement authority of the municipality or county in which the physician practices or in
which the institution is located.

This is serious business about equality under the law and accountability and it is offensive to have it diminished with breezy talk of "peppering" and intimations that it was the victims fault really. It is a case of unfortunate negligence and should be treated as such.

Hal

Posted by: Hal | February 14, 2006 03:08 PM

D.-

You are being loose with how common these are. I've never been peppered in the face while hunting. I've never met a hunter who has taken or given a face full of birdshot to a human.

This certainly isn't extraordinary (perhaps maybe the way it was handled) though, I agree. It happens maybe 50 times a year here in Texas? If that?

These incidents have decreased substantially because of the mandatory hunter's safety course law. Again, I would urge both the Vice President and his unfortunate victim to take it.

Posted by: Will | February 14, 2006 03:12 PM

I laugh at the total liberal slant of this paper, and its commentators.

Posted by: russ_esq | February 14, 2006 04:02 PM

The "slant" is due to Emily being doubled over with lower abdominal pain that stems from her inability to have a healthy one!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 14, 2006 04:20 PM

D:

I'm well aware there are people who are just as radical on the left as there are on the right. That is a given.

What I am finding out by visiting conservative websites like Rantburger and Polipundit, is that right wing radical conservative ideology is becoming the mainstream for republicans from President Bush on down to the grassroots. Even within the Republican party moderate/liberal republicans are considered outcasts. The conservatives set the agenda for the Republican Party and dissension is not allowed without retribution by the "base". In each of these sites the "talking points" are almost exactly the same with pre-approved canned "talking points" to rebutt lib/dem
policy positions.

What is ironic is that in those websites I mentioned, they promote themselves as arbiters of "civil discussion". What they actually are is conduits for bashing of dems/libs and expression of right wing propaganda & talking points into a robotic group think.

When someone comes in the site and force fully defends the left politically, they are quickly labeled a "troll" as if that person is trying to inflame the debate in a illogical way. What's really funny to
me is that repub group think and their hateful rhetoric of the left reveals them to be no more than a bunch of "trolls"
congregating in right wing websites to "high five" each other.

Posted by: Left Angle | February 14, 2006 04:48 PM

Chris Ford Wrote:
"Mighty white of Jamak to say there is an absolute law with no exceptions, but in quail, grouse, pheasant hunting the bird flushes and you have 0.3 to 2 seconds to square on the target, lead it, take your shot. This is not a leisurely several minute long target ID like in deer or duck hunting."
Chras, you are in error. Everyone in a hunting party is accountable for safety, but the person pulling the trigger in ultimately responsible above all others.
Chras, doesn't seem like you've done much hunting or shooting. You CAN tell the difference between a full grown man in an orange vest and a small quail in 0.3 to 2 seconds. If it takes you and Veep several minutes, then God save us all! And please tell me what hunting course you went to, so I can avoid being "peppered" by some one that also attended it? Seems like veep took the same hunting safety course as you.

Posted by: Jamal | February 14, 2006 04:49 PM

"Is it acceptable for the president to defy the law in the name of national security?"

Congress is the only body that can hold El Jefe accountable, and they don't care to impeach. Perhaps they consider it a victimless crime, like smoking pot?

Posted by: Turnabout | February 14, 2006 06:34 PM

Now Chris Ford, seeker of truth, aren't you being uncharitable when you wrote "Even nominee John Kerry shot a wounded VC in the back."? Nobody really knows what happened in An Xuyen Province on 28 February 1969. The Navy says he earned his Silver Star and that's good enough for me. Tut, tut!

Posted by: Turnabout | February 14, 2006 06:51 PM

Pack it Lonemule and be on your way.....

Posted by: Concerned American | February 14, 2006 08:13 PM

You would have to incredibly naive to believe that VP Cheney will be forced to resign. This administration along with the reactionary right they represent is completely convinced of its own recitude. They completely believe there own propaganda that liberals control the media, education and the government. That there actions are mearly rebalancing the hoodwinking of the nation by liberals and that their ends justify whatever means they employ. Rush Limbaugh and the mass of reactionary talk radio spill out demonization of liberals in every breath. To oppose anything liberal is to virtualy oppose the devil. The law in such a context borders on the irrelevant. Anyone who is surprised by the increasingly lawless behaviour of this administration either supports this world view or is blind.

Posted by: kchses | February 14, 2006 08:28 PM

1st Jamal said: "In hunting safety, the person pulling the trigger is totally accountable for clearly identifying the target and no exceptions, so as not to shoot a person(s) or other unintended target(s)."

Then Jamal continued his absolutist cant: " Chras, you are in error. Everyone in a hunting party is accountable for safety, but the person pulling the trigger in ultimately responsible above all others.
Chras, doesn't seem like you've done much hunting or shooting."

No, in the case of some shooting incidents, and we don't know for sure with the Cheney accident, responsibility goes with the person that walks into the line of fire as the shooter fires at an identified target. This plays out even more gruesomely in war as now and then a soldier walks right in front of a machine gun his buddy is firing at enemy positions. Responsibility falls on the out of position soldier, not the gunner.

And I'll maintain you have an ignorance of hunting methodology and responsibilities and perhaps could use a little hunting school refresher on firing arcs, responsibilities of each person on a line of shooters, and what stepping in the line of fire signifys.

Bottom line is that it appears to have been an accident and no negligence claim will be laid on Cheney.

Turnabout - "Now Chris Ford, seeker of truth, aren't you being uncharitable when you wrote "Even nominee John Kerry shot a wounded VC in the back."? "

No, it was a legitimate war kill. The best 2 opportunities to really decimate an enemy force is via encirclement or killing a retreating force when they are out of cover and not in a position to effectively fight back. And we should actually be emulating John Kerry and stop pretending that gourmet meals and ACLU lawyers are the way to deal with Islamoids. Unlawful combatants have no Geneva protections. But 9/11 isn't enough to get past present squeamishness. Nor Beslan. But another big one will definitely begin shutting the Lefty enemy rights advocates up.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 14, 2006 09:52 PM

Chris Ford:

You wrote:

"It's a question of when, not if, another Islamoid hit happens, as the 9/11 Commission said. And the odds favor a bunch of dead "blue people". So if Democrats wish to kill their own in favoring enemy rights or liberties, that is - unfortunately - better than killing Americans who are actively fighting the enemy or who contribute to the enemy being killed in some fashion. It seems fair in fact as most of our troops are "red state, red-blooded" that their sacrifice will be balanced by sacrificed blue state civilians still on a learning curve."

______________________________________________

You seem awfully "red state" to me. How come you're not fightin' and dyin'? (please don't be offended at my assumption that you are qualified for military service - in my mind's eye, you're the perfect demographic, but I could be way off.) Even if you don't qualify, if you were a real patriot, you'd finance your own suicide mission to take out some of them nefarious A-rab types ("Islamoids").

I think that most people in the military initially joined for the educational benefits or economic necessity. Nothing at all to do with red, or blue, or liberal, or conservative, or Democrat, or Republican (not that their indoctrination into our armed services didn't have some impact on their assessment of the world and their place in it). None of these groups has a valid claim to being the sole repository for patriotism, values, morals, intelligence, character, truth, honor, courage, or any other thing of importance. (If the blue states take the hit, it's because that's where the money, power, and population is located). The bases for your distinctions are false. The frame of your argument is askew.

I also think that the percentage of soldiers that disagree with the policies that imperil their lives - thus disagreeing with Bush and the Cabal - is vastly underrepresented in the media. There is a history of staged events by this admin. There's more to all the rootin' and a'cheerin' than meets the eye.

The next terrorist attack might not be carried out by Islamic radicals (:Islamoid"}. It might be a good ol' militarily-trained "red state" patriot.

Lastly, we're all Americans. Even you.

Posted by: smafdy | February 14, 2006 09:57 PM

Cayambe,
I'm not sure what you're referencing to determine Mr. Whittington is a Democrat.

Numerous internet sites refer to him as a Republican.

For example from the
From the site: http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2006/02/accidents-will-happen.html
"Reportedly this was the first occasion for the victim, Austin "millionaire attorney" Harry Whittington, 78, to go hunting with Cheney. Naturally enough he's a Republican, and not surprisingly he's a Bush appointee: a few years ago, then-Governor George Bush named him to the Texas Funeral Services Commission. If that means anything to you, it probably means Funeralgate. TFSC was the investigating body on the case of Service Corporation International, headed by Bush family friend Robert Waltrip, which had been "recycling graves" and throwing corpses in the woods. Eliza May was the director of the TFSC when the investigation began, and was fired, she claimed, on account of pressure from the Governor's office to help his friend at SCI. Her replacement? Harry Whittington. (As we've noted, SCI has gone on to better things, like being tasked to disappear the dead of Louisiana.)"

And you're correct, this is straying away from the subject of comments on "The Administration and the Law" or maybe not?

Posted by: Jamal | February 14, 2006 10:10 PM

For Chris Ford:

From the National Rifle Association, how can any conservative argue with the NRA?

Chris, you could change it from "Think first. Shoot second." to "Shoot first. Think second." then it would follow your rather lengthy, but wrong argument.
http://www.nrahq.org/education/guide.asp

"Know your target and what is beyond.
Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second."
also
"Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns."

Posted by: Jamal | February 14, 2006 11:26 PM

circumstances point your gun at someone else...

I've seen men drop their gun when "following" a target so strongly is this felt....


but these were not hunters they were live meat shopping...

that being said, who cares....


Halliburton dentention centers, $385 million dollars of them in the United States.

who will they detain, you aunt edna?


this is like Tom Delay,

broke his oath of office twice in congress, everyone ignores it...
1. talks of using legislative and executive branch to control the judicial system.
2. talks of using the church, from a pulpit on national television, to control the electorate.

and no one in the legislative or executive branch says dick.


does something...."over there" to the tune of $20,000 and suddenly he's a criminal....he's been a criminal the whole time...as has Cunnin ham, Cheyney, Bush(es), the Royals and several hundred NSA, CIA and FBI people.....


you wouldn't know a coup if it stole your medicare benefits....


come on people....

Posted by: first rule of thuhb for any hunter is never underany | February 14, 2006 11:38 PM

You know, now that I've heard more I take back my pass on this for Cheney.

Who besides a Bush crony could send the police away for 12 hours when they come to investigate a shooting? This is from the people whose mantra in the 90's was "Rule of Law". Its appalling.

Next time I accidentally run over someone with my car on a dark and stormy night, when the police come to question me I'll tell them to come back tomorrow. If the VP can do it, why can't I?

Now as far as who's at fault. Here is the story as it was eventually reported: "Katharine Armstrong, the ranch's owner, told The Associated Press that the accident occurred after Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of a car to shoot at a covey of quail.

She said Whittington went to retrieve a bird he shot. Cheney and the third hunter, whom she would not identify, walked to another spot and discovered a second covey of quail.

Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," said Armstrong, who was in the car.

"The vice president didn't see him," she said. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good" end quotation

Hmm. Whittington left the group for his bird, and the group moved on without him. As he came up behind them, they turned around and shot behind them? They shot backward knowing they had left a companion behind?

And if Armstrong was in the car, and the hunters walked to the second covey, how could she see what happened? Did she follow the hunters in the car to the second covey? How far away was this second covey?

Tell me hunters, when you go to pick up a bird and your group moves on ahead without you, do you call out "don't shoot, don't shoot, don't shoot don't shoot" with every step until you find your group again? How do the quail react to your calling out to announce yourself as you catch up to the rear of your companions?

If the situation was reversed, and some Joe Shmoe knew he left hunters behind him, walked ahead and then turned around and shot behind him, and hit the VP, he'd have charges of reckless endangerment slapped on him so fast his head would be spinning.

I am sure it was an accident. And most accidents are the result of a series of small errors reaching critical mass - were they dressed in orange? Did they observe routine hunting protocols (like do you move ahead when one of your group has gone to collect prey and leave him behind and then shoot behind you)? Should you wait for the trailing member to catch up before shooting? Is such a trailing companion supposed to shout "here I am" until he finds his group again? Aren't you supposed to tip the gun up to shoot birds? (above the brush? at 30 feet away if you were shooting above the brush into the air could the outside of the shot burst pattern penetrate the chest wall or penetrate into a deep/large enough vessel to be carried to the heart?)

The police thing did it for me. But sadly, I'm not surprised at such contempt for the law.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 15, 2006 01:39 AM

We're in need of some expert insight from hunters and doctors. The latest round of news raises this question: Would the weapon and ammunition Dick Cheney shot have the force to imbed pellets near Whittington's heart at 30 yards? A hunter wears a decent amount of clothing over the chest, remember. So these pellets would have to have pierced his clothing, his skin and then lodged inside the body cavity, somewhere near or around his heart. The shot came from the right and the heart is on the left so that might add to the amount of tissue needing to be traversed -- but without more specifics that's hard to know for sure. That takes a decent amount of force at 30 yards. Any thoughts from TPM hunters and clinicians?

Posted by: justacomment | February 15, 2006 01:59 AM

Don't worry Chris Ford knows his points make no sense-he is an apologist for the Bushies, and that can never make sense.

Posted by: | February 15, 2006 08:04 AM

Before breaking the law, the training ground for the social or economic elite is violating rules and bending regulations.

I began seeing it clearly emerge in the corporate world (investment banking) about a dozen years ago. Professional people were strictly trained from day one that your word is your bond in securities transactions, and that while you will be allowed to lose money in learning, you will be out the door on the first instance of breaking your word or telling a lie. I was astonished in the last half of my career to see a replacement morality taking root as newly hired employees were installed. I was further aghast that it had the apparent positive reinforcement of senior executives.

Suddenly, people were lying and ignoring clearly articulated honest practices, plus receiving rewards and being advanced for consistently doing so. It became so pervasive in the industry as it blossomed, and so blatantly transparent, that I knew a generational change with horrid consequences was in the making.

My point is that deception by professionals and by public officials has advanced in tandem, and gotten to be so ordinary that the honest person is confused and at a practical disadvantage. It is a sad and entrenched trend in our culture, and there is no visible way to recover.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 15, 2006 08:13 AM

Plantation makes a good point but his dire prediction that there is no visible way to recover is not true. This is not the first time business and government in the USA has gotten off the high road. It happened in the 1920s, 1970s, and again now. Maybe it is generational. Anyway, what typically happens is the law breaking and corruption gets to the point where it is visible and obvious even to the most unobserving person. More importantly, the corruption is percieved, rightly or wrongly, as hurting people and their neighbors and friends. So what is hurting you today that is caused by this corruption? Some examples:

-High gas prices with windfall profits for the oil companies.
-Lots of hurt if you live in the Gulf coast with local companies shut out of recovery bidding.
-Sky high housing costs.
-Have you looked at your heating and electric bills lately?
-If you have a relative or friend in Iraq, you are not hearing good things from them.

The president's approval rating shows that people are taking stock of what is happening. Its not the market place. Its government approved corruption and cronism. And the lies that have kept the Bush administration looking good are crumbling. Its actually going beyond the Bush administration to the right wing conservatives in general. Ralph Reed for example is in trouble for his part in the Indian Tribe casino scandals of Jack Abramoff.

The tipping point is near. The hurt has reached the average American and Bush and republicans are no longer trusted as the polls show. It will only take a single scandal to push the republicans out of office. I believe that is why Bush is putting on a campaign style push to justify the NSA eavesdropping. But other scandals will happen. The corruption is too entrenched for them to stop. Now that people are taking notice and getting upset, more will come to light. Then we will see the democrats take over, laws enacted to prevent the corruption and law breaking, and then another 40 years of realtive corruption free and honest corporate behavior, until the next generation figures out how to subvert the new laws and it all begins again.

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2006 09:12 AM

The entire initial story of the shooting accident is full of holes, no pun intended. For the shot to penetrate clothing, skin, rib cage or sternum, and then to the heart with a 28 gauge at 30 yards is difficult to believe.

Ted Kennedy had Chapaquitic and now Cheney has "Chaneyquitic". The similarities, the 12 hour delay in reporting to perhaps sober up......You can't throw that one up in Ted Kennedy's face anymore.

Cheney staff members just released a statement on the accidental shooting:
http://www.travisandjonathan.com/cheney.html

Posted by: Jamal | February 15, 2006 11:52 AM

Sully, I have been hearing that the tipping point is near for some time now. Yet slightly over half of Americans still say its OK for Bush to stomp on the fourth amendment to "keep them safe" " and believe him when he says he is only listening to al Qaeda. Are people really that baaasically stupid?

We will just keep seeing more events like the sensor "false positive" at the Capitol recently. More "cartoon riots". Whatever it takes to make people afraid. More brouhaha over movies like Brokeback Mountain, whatever it takes to make people see cultural degeneracy.

And all this tipping point will be for naught anyway if we don't solve our elections problems. How many states have passed laws requiring a paper trail for electronic ballots?

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 15, 2006 11:53 AM

It is amazing how much time and taxpayers' money is spent by some federal agency officials in avoiding taking responsibility for their own screw-ups.
Case in point: I had a house built under Rural Development's Rural Home Loan program. The contractor was a smooth talker who knew how to play the system. Inept Rural Development officials looked the other way while he ruined the house and got an enormous government windfall in the process. After stupidly approving faulty construction, paying him off illegally despite my adamant objections and accepting and approving a worthless builder's warranty, these nitwits told me it was my problem.
When I persisted in trying to get the assistance under their construction defects grant program that I had a right to under their regulations, they changed their stories denying the problems existed and when I still persisted they changed their stories again to make it appear I was responsible for the defects.
They also expended a great deal of time and effort slandering me to their supervisors, USDA officials and the media so no one would help me and they wouldn't have to take any responsibilty. This is commonly referred to as "victim-bashing."
The time and taxpayers' money they wasted trying to evade responsibility for their mistakes could have been better spent repairing the house, but they have yet to realize that.
For an administration that prides itself on "family values" and morality, I think the Bush Adminstration should encourage federal agency officials to set a good example and take responsibilty for their own actions. When you make a mistake, admit it and make amends. That will gain the administration immeasurable support and admiration of the American people and countries around the world. But it takes mature, healthy adults to do those things and unfortunately, some people in positions of power don't have much in the way of such leadership qualities. They're just bullies.

Posted by: Robin Ferruggia | February 15, 2006 11:57 AM

The most efffective weapon in the arsenal of terrorists is our own president and his clueless cronies.

I can see it now - Ben Laden putting out a no-hit contract of GWB - Ben-Laden's best best for survival is keeping Cheney's mindless mental midget minion in power.

Hey one way to look at the whole "quayle" hunting affair is to that God that Cheney was a five-time draft-dodger, think of all the American lives that were saved by Cheney not doing his duty.

It's so sad - America has lost it's honor, it's moral authority, and we continue to fiddle while America burns.

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, I'm just disgusted.

Posted by: MC | February 15, 2006 12:08 PM

talk to your Senator...


Or you can advertise, or get someone to wear a wire and out him...


I would think misuse of federal funds might call for an FBI investigation...


You can also do forensic auditing to see if the builder and bureaucrats know each other....


talk to your senator.

Posted by: Actually, if you have a paper trail... | February 15, 2006 12:40 PM

Robin Ferruggia wrote:
"... some people in positions of power don't have much in the way of such leadership qualities. They're just bullies."

Well this supports my theory as to who these people are in the Bush administration. Most people are honest. Most people will point out not only wrongdoing, but also a poor job being done. Yet this administration seems to be lying, cheating, obfuscating and lying some more to avoid accounting for its mistakes. So who are these people? How come YOU don't know any people like this?

Its because you do not associate with them and they avoid you. You grew up with them though.

In high school they were the kids who cheated off your test. They tried to get you to do their homework and generally did not want to work. If they got a bad grade, it was the teachers fault. They bullied other kids and formed clicks.

In college they were the ones who set up "study groups" and then did not do their part of the work. They were the ones who kept bothering you to help them with their homework not caring that you had an 8am exam the next day. They were the ones who would stalk the campus library looking for classmates to "study" with and only copy their notes. They were the ones who would not show up at the lab where your group was performing an experiment, but did show up to get the results, the write up and conclusions.

In the workplace they are the ones who know they cannot compete with you and your co-workers. They kiss butt and otherwise try to latch on to whomever they can to get ahead. They blame their mistakes on everything from the "stupid computer" to other people but never their bosses or themselves. If they make management they only hire people who are loyal and are not capable of taking their job or criticizing them. They scream, yell, threaten subordinates jobs and have hissy fits to get others to do their work. They cannot stand failure or disloyalty from anyone. When they make a mistake they will blame their subordinates or anyone else but never themselves. They cannot admit even the most obvious mistakes.

These people are basically insecure and selfish, not caring for anyone but themselves or anything but their continued income and self satisfaction. They hope for the best and do not prepare for the worst. They believe laws are for other people. They cheat on their taxes. They borrow tools but "forget" to return them. They will split the dinner tab when they got the special. They will dent your car and not leave a note.

Many have said Bush is a bad president but is a nice guy and wouldn't mind him as a neighbor. I really doubt it.

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2006 12:49 PM

"Cheney to Discuss Shooting on Fox"

Alternate Headlines:
"Cheney to Discuss Shooting In Echo Chamber"
"Cheney to Be Told What a Good Job He's Doing on Fox"
"Cheney to Use the Word 'Pepper' 27 Times on Fox"
"Cheney to Lie Some More on Fox"
"Cheney to Issue a Totally Insincere Apology In Echo Chamber"

Posted by: Judge Crater | February 15, 2006 01:01 PM

Obviously another episode from "the gang that couldn't shoot straight".

More seriously, where are the reports on the police investigation of this shooting. Is Cheney under investigation for reckless endangerment, discharging a firearm in an unsafe manner, etc. etc.? When was this incident reported to the police? Where does the investigation stand? From Cheney we need accountability before the law, not an apology.

Posted by: Eric Yendall | February 15, 2006 06:06 PM

Come on people wake up!!! Chris Ford and Lone mule fall on the left side of the bell curve as is evident by their illogical reasoning. The Republicans will never impeach one of their own, so if Bush and cronies are to be impeached for their crimes both houses will need to become Democrat. The corruption runs so deep in the Republican Party as is evident by their lack to institute real reform in the Lobbying practices in both Houses of Congress, yet the public at large refuses to see it. I'm waiting till America wakes up and throws another "TEA PARTY"!!!!!!!!

Posted by: A Concerned Citizen | February 21, 2006 03:03 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.