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Phil's Rambling Rants

February 16th, 2006

February 16th, 2006
04:18 pm

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I'm sorry.  There IS an issue here.
Other people -- people I consider intelligent, whose opinions I respect -- have said on other journals that the Cheney hunting accident has been blown way out of proportion and we need to stop worrying about it.  They say that it was only an accident, that Cheney has done the right thing by apologizing and taking responsibility, and we're all done here. They say there is no evidence of a cover-up.  Some imply that the only reason to continue the discussion is a political desire to score points against the administration.

With all due respect, I cannot agree.

  1. While the shooting was certainly not intentional, it does raise questions of whether it was truly unavoidable given that the group was going hunting in the first place, or whether there was real negligence involved.  When legitimate questions about whether alcohol was involved are met with the kind of a stern "no comment" that really looks like an admission of guilt, and when it comes to light that the Vice President didn't care enough about following the rules of hunting to have the proper license, I do not think it is unfair to wonder whether this was a genuine accident, or a case of recklessness.

  2. Cheney has apologized and taken responsibility, but when he waits three days before he does it and does it by an exclusive interview with a network so friendly to him that half of the country does not consider it a reliable news source, he only gets a "C" in my "doing the right thing" book.  He passes, but not with a praiseworthy performance.

  3. The White House has a large staff whose job is to work with the press on getting important information out to the public in a timely fashion.  It is not right that the story came out through the owner of the ranch talking to an obscure newspaper in a minor city, rather than through the channels the White House uses when they consider the story important.  I truly cannot imagine any motivation for this other than the hope that nobody would notice the story so they could avoid a scandal.  Cover-up?  Maybe not really.  But certainly an attempt to hide it.

  4. There are more important issues before the country, such as the President's illegal wiretap program and Iran working as fast as they can to develop nuclear weapons.  It would be nice if the news media could cover an important, timely, but not top-of-the-heap issue like this without making it the only topic of discussion.  But I do believe we need to talk about the real problems I outlined above.  It should not continue to be front page news just because it is embarrassing to the Administration, but it also should not be dropped or suppressed just because it is embarrassing to the Administration.

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