Monthly Archives: February 2006

Our Man Hadley

From Holden:

Stephen Hadley, the current National Security Advisor who took the blame for sixteen of the lies in Chimpy’s 2003 State of the Union address and is up to his eyeballs in the criminal conspiracy to reveal Valerie Plame’s status as a covert CIA agent participated in a press briefing late Friday regarding Chimpy’s upcoming trip to India and Pakistan.

Regarding the decision to turn over 21 US ports to the Emirate of Dubai, Hadley revealed that the Assministration’s decisoin is final and the 45-day review requested by DPW is just for show.

Q I need to ask about port security and the delay that Dubai Ports World has now proposed, in cooperation with the White House. Can you tell us what that delay is for and what it is not for?

MR. HADLEY: My understanding is that the company is proposing an arrangement whereby some additional time occurs before they take control of the ports, the U.S. ports that are at issue.

[snip]

Q You realize that lawmakers have suggested that the time should be spent with an additional extra review. Is that what it is not for?

MR. HADLEY: Well, in terms of the administration and executive branch process, that process has been completed. There was a lot of work that was done before the company filed its notice through — it was then a review conducted in the 30-day period. And at the end of the day, no agency indicated that they had a national security problem, and therefore, the company was informed that the administration’s process would go no further. So that process is over. But, of course, there are questions raised in the Congress, and what this delay allows is for those questions to be addressed on the Hill.

Q They can discuss it, but you’re not going to reopen it?

MR. HADLEY: There’s nothing to reopen. In terms of the CFIUS process, it’s been completed.

And his views on Guantanamo? Simply disgusting.

Q Just before leaving to India, President Bush will receive for breakfast Prime Minister Berlusconi. Which is the meaning of this visit for President Bush? And will President Bush have announcement to the request yesterday by Prime Minister Berlusconi to close Guantanamo?

MR. HADLEY: The significance is that the Prime Minister was going to be in town and asked to see the President. Italy and the United States are strong allies, and the President and the Prime Minister are good friends and have a good relationship. And he was going to be in town, and the President, of course, wanted to see him.

In terms of Guantanamo, obviously, this is something known to all of you. This is something that is an element of the war on terror, and people have said publicly, at the end of the day we hope there can be no Guantanamos. That would certainly be a good thing. But we have a war on terror, and the President is committed to fighting and winning.

Thank you very much.

Bush Destroys The Guard

From Holden:

It was just over two weeks ago the National Guard Association dedicated a bust to the man who destroyed the Guard.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Governors of both parties said Sunday that Bush administration policies were stripping the National Guard of equipment and personnel needed to respond to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, forest fires and other emergencies.

[snip]

The governors said they would present their concerns to President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Monday. In a preview of their message, all 50 governors signed a letter to the president opposing any cuts in the size of the National Guard.

“Unfortunately,” the letter said, “when our National Guard men and women return from being deployed in foreign theaters, much of their equipment remains behind.” The governors said the White House must immediately re-equip Guard units “to carry out their homeland security and domestic disaster duties.”

Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, a Republican and chairman of the governors association, said: “The National Guard plays an incredibly valuable role in the states. What we are concerned about, as governors, is that when our troops are deployed for long periods of time, and their equipment goes with them but does not come back, the troops are very strained, and they no longer have the equipment they were trained to use.”

Nearly one-third of the American ground forces in Iraq are members of the Army National Guard.

[snip]

In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said that “extensive use of the Guard’s equipment overseas has significantly reduced the amount of equipment available to governors for domestic needs.”

Since 2003, the report said, the Army National Guard has left more than 64,000 pieces of equipment, valued at more than $1.2 billion, in Iraq. The Army has not kept track of most of this equipment and has no firm plans to replace it, the report said.

[snip]

Two other Democrats, Govs. Tom Vilsack of Iowa and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, said the strength and resources of Guard units in their states were being depleted.

“We are not only missing National Guard personnel,” Ms. Sebelius said. “We are also missing a lot of the equipment that’s used to deal with situations at home, day in and day out.”

Despite assurances from top administration officials, Mr. Vilsack said, “many of us are very concerned about what we’re hearing, that the Pentagon, the administration, might reduce the resources for the National Guard so they can redirect resources to pay for more boots on the ground, more full-time military.”

David M. Walker, the comptroller general of the United States, who heads the Government Accountability Office, said the governors had some basis for their concerns.

“The Army cannot account for over half the equipment that Army National Guard units have left overseas,” Mr. Walker said. “And it has not developed replacement plans for the equipment, as Defense Department policy requires.”

Our People

Someone, give me something here. Someone, human, divine, give me words to rail against this because I see it, I read it, I look, and I don’t even have the breath to gasp at the casual savagery of it:

If we’re looking at an Islamic civil war, then vast numbers of good people will die, from Libya to Oman. Luckily, they won’t have to be our people. In the very worst-case scenario, the Middle East could blow up – and we could bug out, pronto. “This is the good news?” you ask. Yes, and I’ll explain why.

Our people. Tbogg quotes the rest of it, and gives the appropriate imagery in response. I can’t. I can’t get past that one little bit. Our people.

It’s … I think this might be it. Our people. Simpler than “five in the noggin,” with a crystal clarity missing from “Muslims in America” and a sort of stirring call to unity absent from all the justifications of torture and inhumanity that have gone before it. It draws such lovely distinctions, such wonderfully pragmatic conclusions. We care, precisely this much. About our people.

I’ve got the shakes now, from the chill of it. Our people. They won’t be our people, the dead. They won’t be mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, they won’t die bleeding, they won’t seek vengeance, and they sure as hell won’t see the sort of hysterical almost — God — laughter in the question when it comes: why do they hate us? In another fifty years, we’ll ask, my future grandchildren will come home and ask, why do they hate us? Perhaps this is the answer, as well as the impetus for the question. They’re not our people. They hate us and so we hate them and on and on, forever and ever. For Thine is the kingdom. Your God and his rules for you and mine for me, and each of us, for our people.

My father took me to see the Merchant of Venice when I was 12 years old. If you poison us, do we not die … Hath not Iraqis senses, affections, passions? Hath no one these things, I think is the better question, if Mister Shakespeare’s modern counterpart were to take up the question. If you prick us, we do not bleed. Not for one another, not anymore.

They won’t be our people. Whose people are they, then? And, a scarier question, whose people, then, are we?

A.

Sunday Night Fun

Flea’s running a contest: disgusting meals you love anyway. The prize is truly awesome.

Go. Read. Gag. Enter.

A.

How late it was, how late

From Tena:

raq’s death squads: On the brink of civil war

Most of the corpses in Baghdad’s mortuary show signs of torture and execution. And the Interior Ministry is being blamed. By Andrew Buncombe and Patrick Cockburn

Published: 26 February 2006 Hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by death squads working from the Ministry of the Interior, the United Nations’ outgoing human rights chief in Iraq has revealed.

John Pace, who left Baghdad two weeks ago, told The Independent on Sunday that up to three-quarters of the corpses stacked in the city’s mortuary show evidence of gunshot wounds to the head or injuries caused by drill-bits or burning cigarettes. Much of the killing, he said, was carried out by Shia Muslim groups under the control of the Ministry of the Interior.

Much of the statistical information provided to Mr Pace and his team comes from the Baghdad Medico-Legal Institute, which is located next to the city’s mortuary. He said figures show that last July the morgue alone received 1,100 bodies, about 900 of which bore evidence of torture or summary execution. The pattern prevailed throughout the year until December, when the number dropped to 780 bodies, about 400 of which had gunshot or torture wounds.

“It’s being done by anyone who wishes to wipe out anybody else for various reasons,” said Mr Pace, who worked for the UN for more than 40 years in countries ranging from Liberia to Chile. “But the bulk are attributed to the agents of the Ministry of the Interior.”

Coupled with the suicide bombings and attacks on Shia holy places carried out by Sunnis, some of whom are followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qa’ida’s leader in Iraq, the activities of the death squads are pushing Iraq ever closer to a sectarian civil war.

Mr Pace said the Ministry of the Interior was “acting as a rogue element within the government”. It is controlled by the main Shia party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri); the Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr, is a former leader of Sciri’s Badr Brigade militia, which is one of the main groups accused of carrying out sectarian killings. Another is the Mehdi Army of the young cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who is part of the Shia coalition seeking to form a government after winning the mid-December election.

Many of the 110,000 policemen and police commandos under the ministry’s control are suspected of being former members of the Badr Brigade. Not only counter-insurgency units such as the Wolf Brigade, the Scorpions and the Tigers, but the commandos and even the highway patrol police have been accused of acting as death squads.

The paramilitary commandos, dressed in garish camouflage uniforms and driving around in pick-up trucks, are dreaded in Sunni neighbourhoods. People whom they have openly arrested have frequently been found dead several days later, with their bodies bearing obvious marks of torture.

[snip]

This was the sort of killing that touched off Lebanon’s civil war in 1975. Already an exchange of populations is taking place in Baghdad as members of each community move to districts in which they are in the majority.

The ability of the US occupiers to influence the situation is not only limited, but some of their actions are seen as making things worse.

[snip]

from The Independent online.

I read this article and then went back and forth between the admin page here and the article. I find it so horrifying that I wasn’t sure I wanted to post it. I knew this was happening, but it’s as bad as I could possibly imagine.

It’s hard to know what to say about the brutal cynicism that has created this. Or to express the depth of the betrayal of the people of Iraq

They told us that Freedom was on the march in Iraq. The only thing on the march on the roads of Iraq is Death.

George W. Bush is a war criminal. Richard Cheney is a war criminal. Condoleeza Rice is a war criminal. Donald Rumsfeld is a war criminal. Colin Powell is a war criminal. And until these people are brought to justice, this is a criminal country. A rogue state.

What You Wish For

I admit. I think about the abortion issue as little as I can. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m deathly sick of abortion being the barometer by which we judge all servants in all branches of government. I think it’s a poor test of governing skills and it’s criminally shortsighted to base one’s assessment of a person’s fitness to govern, ie to do a job that encompasses national security and tax policy, on whether they’re willing to sentimentalize infants. We’re not hiring National Doctors in our elections, no matter what Bill Frist thinks. There need to be far, far more queries on the questionnaire.

And I think about this issue as little as I can because I’m a middle-class married girl at present obsessed with conception, not its contra. I have the luxury of not having to fear pregnancy, of viewing it with hope and not horror. That’s a privilege, and don’t think for one minute I don’t recognize it as such. Don’t think for one minute I’m going to use that to justify telling any other woman how to live her life.

But what it does mean is that I’m looking at what happened in South Dakota in a very bloodless way. And since my drug of choice is right-wing hypocrisy, since what I really like parsing is just what on earth these people are thinking, I’m looking at South Dakota and wondering if all those people who walk up and down outside the women’s clinic are happy now, if they’re satisfied.

I wonder what’s in their heads. They got what they wanted. Did they toast with champagne? Is this a moment of rejoicing for them? Could they, who’ve spent hours upon hours oppositing abortion and must have done some kind of studying, must have accrued some knowledge, truly think that this is all they had to do? Is this it, are they done? And if the Supreme Court convened tomorrow and approved South Dakota’s law as the law of the land, what would they do on Monday?

Where would they next turn their attention? Would it be to eradicating poverty? Perhaps we should ban that, perhaps a law would take care of that as well. Maybe we should ban hunger, ignorance, fear, selfishness, greed. That would be a strong statement about our society’s values. Where would they go from here? Would they build societal structures that would address the huge numbers of poor and desperate women who now don’t have this way of dealing with their circumstances? Would they do this, these upright pro-life activists who stand outside clinics and scream “sinner” and “whore?” Comfort the whore, take the sinner’s hand? Listen to their little plastic Jesus and actually act?

I suspect a few of them might, actually, really I do. My faith in humanity is not that crushed, not yet. However, I suspect most of those who live their lives screaming condemnation at top volume would rather bask in their victory, send out fundraising letters. Reward our successes. Help us pay our telemarketers. Fall for our act one more time, $25 for the chance to feel righteous. What are the chances they’d look around, see what else society is willing to sanction, actually see what would lead a woman to the clinic door, and go to work on that as well? Really, tell me, what are the odds?

Or would they wake up Monday, the prayers of their preachers still ringing in their heads, and feel their lives empty without this crusade? In the throes of adrenaline hangover, you reach out for the hair of the dog. Birth control, certainly, that’s already begun. Divorce, maybe? Sex before marriage? There’s some things it’s easy to punish. Cowboy up. The fight’s not over. And all around the country people who opposed abortion rights because the slogans are just so shiny, just so impossible to resist (pro-life, it’s a child, not a choice, abortion stops a beating heart, adoption not abortion), because the bumper stickers look so damn good on the car, will look on in horror at the people who played them like pawn shop violins. They’ll look around and see the beautiful society they were promised has not, in fact, come to pass as a result of a change to this law, and they’ll wonder how these crazies got to be in charge.

By then, of course, it’ll be too late.

A.

Selling The Controversy

Go read Thers.

The problem I had with the DaVinci Code was the same problem I had with The Passion of the Christ. It SUCKED. The fanfiction term for the lead character is a Mary Sue (or, since the character is male, Marty Stu): a blatant self-insert. C’mon. Tweedy professorial type who nonetheless gets all the chicks with his dashing derring-do? Yawn. Forget the revelations-that-aren’t. It’s amateurishly written, and its being viewed as anything other than one of a slew of cheap thrillers is a triumph of marketing, not literature.

As I told my Catholic mother one day when I was ranting about it, the marketing of the book as “controversial” presumes a level of ignorance among Catholics about their own church that verges on the total. I’ve been hearing about Jesus dallying with Mary M. since high school, there’s nothing shocking there for me or anybody else who was paying attention. But just as with The Passion, people who love to hear themselves talk now had another opportunity to use their vocal chords. And with all the restraint of Backstreet Boys fans, church groups jumped on it, going way over the top to discuss it in sermons and treat it as if it was serious scholarship and not pop culture bullshit. Archbishops gave interviews about it. And then there were books about the DaVinci Code book, spinoffs upon spinoffs, and Dan Brown’s laughing all the way to the bank.

I don’t get too worked up about crap writers like Nicholas Sparks making bazillions off things I wouldn’t use to light my fire. It’s too easy to get into that “anything on the best seller list is shit” elitism, and hey, I have to admire the ability of bullshit artists to separate rubes from their money. But I do get annoyed with people who are supposed to be serious treating a pop novel as scholarship just because the author says it is. Eventually, the denials and denouncing and hysteria just makes the whole thing a bigger story than it ever would have been had the Catholic Church as a whole looked at the book, said “Eh,” and let it sink to the bottom of the remainder bin.

A.

Tweety’s No Boo Radley Either…..

From Scout:

Thersites at Metacomments made me aware of the fact that Chris ‘Tweety’ Matthews compared Mr. Bush to my daddy Atticus Finch for his stand on the port deal.

Now my first reaction was to split my knuckles to the bone on Tweety’s teeth and call him “whore lady” like I did to Francis but then I thought the better of it because of Atticus.

scout peck

See Atticus was a courageous man who would stand up for his principles even if he stood alone. And he took time to understand each and every person by walking around in their skin. Now I suppose that is where Tweety got the notion that Mr. Bush is like Atticus. Mr. Bush is alone on the port deal and he’s trying to tell us the best about the UAE. Now not to be mean but that is a simpleton understanding of Atticus.

See Atticus didn’t latch onto One Principle when it was convenient. Rather he lived by a whole sytem of values and a code of conduct that derived from those values. He lived his beliefs each day in all his actions with all sort of people. He didn’t just voice them. To do otherwise would have been hypocricy. And Atticus was no hypocrit.

And see that is where Tweety is so wrong. Mr. Bush has said things for almost 5 years now about Arab people to make everyone afraid of them because it served him well especially at the polls. But now he says something else. See in my book (which Tweety should read again) that would be like Atticus calling people the “n” word chapter after chapter and THEN defending Tom Robinson. If that happened Atticus surely wouldn’t be a great hero and today Mr. Cheney would be freely shooting Mockingbirds (he may be anyway but you get my meaning)

You see Atticus lived each day by a code of conduct that requires understanding, empathy and consistency with all people. Mr. Bush does not and if anything his stand on the port deal exposes exactly how he is NOT like Atticus because of his hypocricy. So I think I’ll leave it at that. I wish Mr. Matthews would make more sense but I remember what Atticus once said to Jem…….

There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.

Saturday Reading List

Go lookit this.

Mike goes on a bender.

Somebody called me a commie after this column ran. Mom would be so proud.

You can’t vote in the Koufax Awards yet, but you can go read all the nominees for “Most Humorous Post” and spend your day cleaning coffee off the monitor.

A.

Love In The Asylum: Galactica Thread

What the frack, only two episodes left? This show is too short. Spoilers within.

Continue reading

Olberman Video

From Scout:

Olberman answers Bill ‘Falafel Boy’ O’Reilly’s petition to get Keith fired….

Friday Cat Blogging

From Scout:

Here are a few old pics of Teddy….for the Peeps

teddy peeps 001

teddy peeps 2 002

Where There’s Smoke…

From Holden:

Neilsy and the UAE:

For the last several years, [Neil] Bush’s main business interest has been Ignite!, the educational software company he co-founded in 1999. To fund Ignite!, Bush has raised $23 million from U.S. investors (including his parents), as well as businessmen from Taiwan, Japan, Kuwait, the British Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shoulda Listened to the FBI

From Holden:

More war crimes fodder.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at Guantnamo Bay warned military interrogators that some aggressive interrogation techniques were illegal, according to documents released on Thursday.

[snip]

According to a May 2003 memo, FBI agents in late 2002 believed DIA interrogators were using tactics that were of “questionable effectiveness”.

“Not only are these tactics at odds with legally permissible interviewing techniques used by US law enforcement agencies in the US, but they are being employed by personnel in GTMO [Guantnamo] who appear to have little, if any, experience eliciting information for judicial purposes,” the memo said.

Another memo documents how DIA interrogators used techniques such as showing pornographic videos and wrapping prisoners in the Israeli flag. It also alleges that the interrogators sometimes posed as FBI agents.

According to the May 2003 memo, FBI agents complained that the US military officer overseeing interrogations at Guantnamo “blatantly misled” the Pentagon into believing that the FBI had endorsed some of the more aggressive techniques.

The report said Major General Geoffrey Miller, overall commander of the prison from late 2002, who was later sent to Abu Ghraib to improve the flow of intelligence from interrogations, “favoured” the more aggressive techniques “despite FBI assertions that such methods could easily result in the elicitation of unreliable and legally inadmissible information”.

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle Summary

From Holden:

Scottie had to correct himself in the morning gaggle, according to TalkRadioNewsService.

In trying to clarify his remarks from earlier in the week, McClellan announced that President Bush received word on the ports deal from White House Chief of Staff Andy Card on Thursday, February 16th, not during the weekend as had been previously reported.

Then it was back to fantasy land.

McClellan rejected the characterization that there is a civil war in Iraq.

Your President Speaks!

From Holden:

Chimpy dragged his tired old ass in front of the American Legion today:

Secondly, I’ve set a clear doctrine: America makes no distinction between the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. If you harbor a terrorist, you’re just as guilty as the terrorists, and you’re an enemy of the United States of America.

Later, he was heard to add, “Except if you are the United Arab Emirates.”

So Dubai is Our Bestest Friend Forever

From Tena:

Dubai’s Port of No Return

Don’t jump to conclusions, but there are ties between the UAE, bin Laden, and the Taliban by James Ridgeway

February 22nd, 2006 9:42 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C.—No matter what Bush and his supporters say, there is indisputable evidence of tight connections between the United Arab Emirates and leadership of both the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The country is the center of financial activity in the Persian Gulf, and has next to no laws controlling money laundering.Two of the hijackers came from the UAE and hijacker money was laundered through the UAE. The details are spelled out in documents in the government’s case against Moussaoui.

The ties with bin Laden and the Taliban reach far back into the ’90s. Prominent Persian Gulf officials, including members of the UAE royal family, and businessmen would fly to Kandahar on UAE and private jets for hunting expeditions, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2001. In addition to ranking UAE ministers, these parties included Saudi big wigs like Prince Turki, the former Saudi intelligence minister who now is ambassador to the U.S.

</p.
General Wayne Downing, Bush's former national director for combating terrorism, was quoted on MSNBC in September, 2003 saying, "They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses. One noted visitor is Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktum, United Arab Emirates Defense Minister and Crown Prince for the emirate of Dubai.''

from the Villagevoice.

I’m having a bitter reaction to this entire thing. In the first place, I find it infuriating that the same people who have exhorted this country to see Muslims as our enemies who “hate us for our freedoms,” are now trying to claim the moral high ground and accuse everyone who raises questions about this deal with Dubai as racists. Maybe I should be amused by it, but I’m long past being amused by this kind of shit. Katrina still seethes in me. This bunch has no right whatsoever to play the race card in any situation. They sure as shit have no right when it comes to the people they have labeled “Islamofascists.”

I’m fed up with being called a traitor for opposing blowing up every single middle easterner who looks at the USA cross-eyed. To now be called a traitor for raising security concerns over selling control of our ports to the UAE is too much.

There are serious questions this pending deal is now raising that have little if nothing to do with xenophobia. The administration tried to slide the deal in under the radar – and that alone tells me they knew going in that this wasn’t going to be a popular decision. So there have to be reasons why Commander CooCoo Bananas insisted at the start that he’d veto any attempt to stop the deal. I want to know what those reasons are. The Bush Family’s ties to the big money in the middle east are a legitimate consideration here, and they need to be discussed in detail right this fucking minute.

Who Is Locked Up At GITMO?

From Holden:

Last week Little Scottie said:

We know that these are dangerous terrorists that are being kept at Guantanamo Bay. They are people that are determined to harm innocent civilians, or harm innocent Americans. They were enemy combatants picked up on the battlefield in the war on terrorism.

Now, thanks to a federal judge’s order, we will find out how many of those detained in Cuba are “dangerous terrorists” and how many are shepherds, taxi drivers, and shopkeepers sold to US forces by Afghan warlords.

A federal judge ordered the Pentagon on Thursday to release the identities of hundreds of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to The Associated Press, a move that would force the government to break its secrecy and reveal the most comprehensive list yet of those who have been imprisoned there.

[snip]

The military has never officially released the names of any prisoners except the 10 who have been charged.

Most of those that are known emerged from the approximately 400 civil suits filed on behalf of prisoners by lawyers who got their names from family or other prisoners, said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, which represents about 200 detainees.

“They have been very resistant to releasing the names,” Ratner said. “There are still people there who don’t have a lawyer and we don’t know who they are. They have disappeared.”

[snip]

The Defense Department said it would obey the judge’s order. “The DOD will be complying with the judge’s decision in this matter,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.

Law experts said the case has wide-ranging implications.

“The government has tried to maintain Guantanamo as a black hole since they opened it,” said Jonathan Hafetz of the New York University School of Law. “This is bringing it within the mainstream of the justice system and says we’re not going to have secret detentions at Guantanamo.”

Drunk, Drunker, Drunkerest

From Holden:

The Smoking Gun has all the Cheney shooting witness statements up now. I was struck by the statements of Pam Willeford, US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and Sarita Armstrong Hixon, co-owner of the Armstrong Ranch with her sister, Republican Lobbyist Katharine Armstrong.

Both Willeford and Hixon completed their statements on February 15, the same day Dick Cheney admitted to Brittney Hume that he had been drinking beer that day.

Pam Willeford concluded her statement by saying:

There was no alcohol consumed during the afternoon of the hunt in the field. I did consume a glass of wine at lunch, approximately 4-4 1/2 hours earlier.

Maybe I’m picking nits here, but if Whittington was shot at 5:30 PM and she had a glass of wine at lunch “4-4 1/2 hours earlier” then she must have had her glass of wine at 1 or 1:30 PM, which in my book was “during the afternoon of the hunt”. She adds the qualifier, “in the field”, which I suppose means they were drinking before they piled into the car to shoot the caged birds.

Sarita Armstrong Hixon did not mention alcohol at all in her original statement. But later that same day (again, Feb. 15) she felt the need to supplement her statement with the following:

To my knowledge none of the members of my shooting group the afternoon of February 11, 2006 at Armstrong Ranch consumed any alcoholic beverage.

I wonder why she felt the need to add that, and I also wonder if she knew Cheney had admitted to drinking that afternoon before she felt the need to add to her statement.

Hixon also claimed:

I was quail hunting on the Armstrong ranch the afternoon of Fenruary 11, 2006 and was an eye-witness to the shooting of Harry Whittington on that date.

Yet later in her statement she says:

The shooters swung their shotguns following the bird, I heard a shot and saw Mr. Whittington fall to the ground. I learned a few minutes later that the Vice President had fired the shot.

Funny, isn’t it, how an “eye-witness” did not know which of the two hunters had fired his shotgun. Seems like that would be something an “eye-witness” would know right away and not have to be told “a few minutes later”.