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What if Cheney Wasn't the Shooter?

02/16/2006 04:00 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On the fifth day of the cover-up we get into speculation I'm not sure I even believe. But the less the Vice President answers, the more questions we have. This hypothesis seems a little unlikely, but it's still significantly more likely than the official story - and certainly a question worth asking:

What if Cheney wasn't the shooter?

Here's an excerpt from the Vice President's "interview" today with Brit Hume:

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, probably 10 people. We weren't all
together, but about 10 guests at the ranch. There were three of us who
had gotten out of the vehicle and walked up on a covey of quail that had
been pointed by the dogs. Covey is flushed, we've shot, and each of us
got a bird. Harry couldn't find his, it had gone down in some deep
cover, and so he went off to look for it. The other hunter and I then
turned and walked about a hundred yards in another direction --

Q Away from him?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Away from him -- where another covey had been
spotted by an outrider. I was on the far right --

Q There was just two of you then?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Just two of us at that point.

So, has anyone asked if it might have been the "other hunter" who actually shot Harry Whittington? It's clear that Katharine Armstrong didn't actually see the shooting. She said that she was first worried that the Vice President had a heart attack when she saw people rushing towards the scene. That doesn't sound like someone who saw the Vice President shooting someone else.

The "other hunter" is Pamela Willeford, former ambassador to Switzerland, and current companion to Dick Cheney on this weekend getaway. She was apparently his "hunting partner."

Now, I am clearly not the first person to suggest that the Vice President might have been hunting a little more than quail with Pamela Willeford. For the record, I'm not even really suggesting it, I'm just offering up a possibility - a possibility that has gained more credence because of Cheney's cult of secrecy. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

But what's clear is that Willeford's name didn't arouse much attention until the fourth day of the cover-up. Now imagine the kind of attention she would have received if she was the shooter.

There would have been a lot of questions directed at her. Who is she? What was she doing there? Why is the Vice President on a weekend get together with this woman? What is the history of their friendship?

A lot of news story have described the 28 gauge shotgun as a smaller, less powerful gun. Some have called it a woman's gun. What if it was? What if Willeford was less experienced with a gun or if she was the one that was drinking a little too much?

It's possible that the only thing more damaging than the Vice President shooting someone might be his mistress shooting someone. I know this is terrible. Sheer speculation. How dare I? I'm a bad, bad man.

None of these questions would have even come up if all of the evidence were turned over to the sheriff's office right away. If the Vice President and the "other hunter" had talked to the authorities that night and undergone breathalyzer's tests, then there would be no doubt. Is the Vice President not savvy enough to realize this? Of course, he is. Then, it is perfectly natural to ask what he was trying to hide in the meanwhile.

Has anyone ever even looked at the guns the two hunters on the scene were carrying? Which one was the shooter's gun? Whose fingerprints were on it? Where did they shoot it from? Where did Mr. Whittington get shot?

Who had gun residue on them that matched the Whittington shot? Monica's blue dress got Bill Clinton in trouble. Would Willeford's orange hunting vest done the same for Cheney?

It's possible that the least damaging story is the one where the Vice President simply made an honest mistake during the hunt. It's possible that the most damaging story in politics is always the sex scandal. It's one thing to shoot a guy, but God forbid you should be sleeping around. Especially, after all you said about Bill Clinton.

In some ways, Dick Cheney better hope it was him who shot Harry Whittington. Otherwise, he might be in bigger trouble than he already is.

UPDATE: I just read RJ's piece where Tucker Carlson confronted him with the "fact" that Willeford's husband was also on the ranch. First of all that's pretty kinky, Dicky. Second of all, how do we know they didn't chopper the dude in after the quail hit the fan? Third of all, this theory was fun while it lasted -- which by the way was a record low one and a half minutes.

Nonetheless, it proves the point that it is always better to be upfront than it is to hide facts -- it only gets you in bigger trouble and causes more speculation about what's actually happening. So, you see how I was right while I was wrong. And it didn't even take me five days to admit it.