Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The quail hunt that went awry

There are a few things to be learned from Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting partner this past weekend. The first thing is that hunting accidents happen. The injury of Harry Whittington is the sort of incident that happens when people go hunting. Accidental shootings is the reason I've never been too keen on the idea of hunting trips.

I think the best commentary I've seen on the hunting incident is that from last night's episode of "The Daily Show." In the segement "We Got 'Em" Jon Stewart cuts to a montage of pundit commentary and reporting with incessant references to the near 24-hour delay in the story's release and other expressions of investagatory zeal ("Will Mr. Cheney resign?"). As Jason Jones hilariously comments on this unprecedented vehemence towards the Bush Admin:
For the last five years these guys have been choir boys. They've done absolutely nothing wrong! Nothing for any reporters to investigate or sink their teeth into.

If there's anything this press corps should know after five years of the Bush Administration is that these people try to conceal everything. Though I don't like Cheney, and though he is clearly at fault for giving this man Whittington a heart attack, it is clear that he had no intention of shooting this man--that this is an awful accident.

What Cheney has intentionally done is committ thousands of American troops to a dangerous war in Iraq that has killed nearly 3,000 men and women already. Cheney should not be torn apart for this accidental shooting; he should be strongly challenged for committing troops to a perilous and ill-conceived, ill-planned war in Iraq.

While it is relevant that the White House tried to conceal this incident, it is mainly so because this drive to hide and conceal to the extreme from the American public has been the defining pattern of this presidency. In this case, it was a mistake, as Cheney is finding, to have tried to conceal his own mistake, but it just reveals how the White House's penchant for hiding any and all incriminating information can get them in the end. Just ask Richard Nixon.

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