WHERE IS OLIVER STONE WHEN WE NEED HIM?
The investigation into shooter, Richard Bruce Cheney, Vice President of the United States, president pro tem of the Senate, and potential future ruler of "the Federation", continues amid the possibility of a host of charges, including: assault, criminal negligence, and Excessive Grimacing. It's safe to say that the random violence that Richard Bruce Cheney committed last weekend may forever change his life, his wife's life, and let's not forget, the life of his daughter, Mary, who, according to Democrat sources, is a lesbian.
The Armstrong ranch is now a crime scene. As Congressmen and other GOP officials scramble frantically to cancel the plans they had made to go hunting with the Vice President, investigators are still trying to piece together this unprecedented shooting, And it certainly is unprecedented, as you have to go back to 1804- when Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton- to find anything similar- although there were rumors that in 1972 Spiro Agnew had shot at and narrowly missed H.R. Haldeman during some casual gun-play in the West Wing.
The investigation is focusing on the possibility that Mr. Cheney did not fire the shots. According to sources, the lead investigator has said there are significant questions surrounding the shooting. Forensics experts have focused on the fact that the victim, prominent Republican Attorney, Harry Whittington, was shot on his right side, but that Mr. Cheney had been standing off about 100 feet to the left. This means that the buckshot would had to have circled around Mr. Whittington before striking his left chest and then ricocheting into his right cheek. The remaining buckshot would have had to have somehow turned, in mid-air, in order to strike Whittington in his neck.
Investigators are looking into the possibility of a second quail-hunter, an idea that has gained traction as witnesses have reported seeing a shadowy figure holding an umbrella on the grassy knoll behind the duck blind in which Richard Bruce Cheney had been standing. These witnesses have told investigators that the unidentified man was not among the guests at the ranch, appeared to be approximately 330 pounds, was eating a kielbasa, and bore a striking resemblance to filmmaker Michael Moore.
A team of photographers from a periodical called Quail Hunting Today was at the scene and fortuitously videotaped the entire incident. In slow motion, the video, shot by a man called Abraham Zapruder, Jr., shows Mr. Whittington walking towards Mr. Cheney who turns towards him with his rifle, apparently uttering some words. If you stop at frame 302 you can see Mr. Whittington being struck, but it appears that he's been hit in the chest because he's recoiled to his left. By frame 313, his head violently moves to the right, clearly as a result of a second gunshot. It's quite a dramatic piece of video, especially when Mrs. Whittington frantically scrambles away from her husband on her hands and knees towards the secret service agents.
Mr. Cheney, a former CEO of a conglomerate too big to mention by name, has made no secret of his disdain for the legal profession or for lawyers, such as Mr. Whittington, and at least one unreliable witness has come forward claiming that right before Cheney allegedly fired his rifle, he yelled, "Hey Whittington, do you want to see my plan for ending this country's litigation crisis?" Nobody really believes this, however, when asked about it, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan would not unequivocally deny it, telling reporters simply that "there is an on-going investigation and I cannot comment."
Before it is all over, it looks like Mr. Cheney will be arraigned, finger-printed, tried, convicted, and likely sentenced to life in prison where he will take up sports that do not involve shooting at birds or people. Eventually, there will be the Hollywood adaptation, and I see a more mature Keanu Reeves in the role of Cheney. There will be pleas for clemency as Mr. Cheney turns his life around, writing books that urge children to stay out of politics. He'll be fine.
(Thanks to Paul Lauricella for his fine investigative reporting for the above.)
Follow Michael Smerconish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/smerconish