Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Drunken Dick?

Here's Alan Dershowitz speculating on why Vice Preznit Cheney delayed for 14 hours before talking to the proper authorities about the accidental shooting of a 78 year acquaintance of Cheney's during a quail hunt:

This belongs completely in the realm of speculation, but it is speculation based on my own experiences as a criminal lawyer. Why would a media-savvy and clever man like Dick Cheney delay notifying the press and the police about an accident when a) he knew it would eventually be covered by the press and b) he knew he would be criticized for delaying release of the story?

A simple cost/benefit analysis suggests that he (or those advising him) must have believed that there was more to be gained than lost by a 14 hour delay that would eventually be made public. It is likely, therefore, that something happened during that 14 hour period which was worth the negative costs of the delay.

What is the most likely thing to happen during a 14 hour delay that is worth the negative publicity? One possibility is that it takes approximately that period of time for alcohol to dissipate in the body and no longer be subject to accurate testing. It is fairly common for people involved in alcohol-related accidents to delay reporting them until the alcohol has left the body. There is no hard evidence that this is what happened here, but we are entitled to a better explanation. We should be told whether Vice President Cheney's victim had alcohol in his system when he was taken to the hospital. Was there any alcohol at or near the hunting area? Were any in the hunting party carrying flasks (which is apparently common among hunters)? What was Cheney doing just before he went hunting? Did anyone in the hunting party have a drink? We do know that Cheney had two drunk driving convictions when he was in his early 20s, but he has apparently been clean since then.

There are certainly other explanations for the 14 hour delay, but simply postponing the inevitable publication of a damaging story is not one of them. Nor is the fact that Cheney is, by nature, a secretive man. The burden of proof has now shifted to the Vice President to explain why he made this stupid, or very clever, decision. We're waiting for his explanation.
So was Dick drunk from lunch when he sprayed his pal Harry with a 28 gauge? Did he want to sober up before he spoke to the sheriff about the incident? Lots of people on the blogosphere seem to think this is one good possibility. And I have to admit, it makes the most sense, especially considering Kathleen Armstrong, the lobbyist/ranch owner who first disclosed news about the shooting, first said there was no alcohol involved in the hunt, but today Cheney told Britt Hume of FOX that he had consumed a beer at lunch that day.

So how big was the beer? What time was lunch? How does alcohol react to the medication that vice preznit is taking for his pacemaker and other health ailments?

Lots of questions, few answers. Like Jack Cafferty said today on CNN, Cheney needs to go before all of the press and answer some questions. Talking to FOX, fielding a couple of softballs and looking remorseful isn't enough.

But of course Cheney will never tell the truth about this, just the way he won't come clean on Iraq, Katrina, energy task force, etc.

Why is there so little outrage about Vice President being entertained at an exclusive luxury ranch by a registered Federal lobbyist? Isn't this how Jack Abramhoff 'bought' influence with Congressional leaders?
Good point.

Maybe that's why Cheney was so secretive about the shooting incident: It was actually an energy taks force meeting, not a hunting trip.
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