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February 23, 2006

Claim: Secret Service Agents Say Cheney "Clearly Inebriated" At Time Of Shooting

According to Capitol Hill Blue.

Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Dick Cheney when he shot Texas lawyer Harry Whittington on a hunting outing two weeks ago say Cheney was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting. Agents observed several members of the hunting party, including the Vice President, consuming alcohol before and during the hunting expedition, the report notes, and Cheney exhibited "visible signs" of impairment, including slurred speech and erratic actions.

According to those who have talked with the agents and others present at the outing, Cheney was drunk when he gunned down his friend and the day-and-a-half delay in allowing Texas law enforcement officials on the ranch where the shooting occurred gave all members of the hunting party time to sober up.

We talked with a number of administration officials who are privy to inside information on the Vice President's shooting "accident" and all admit Secret Service agents and others say they saw Cheney consume far more than the "one beer' he claimed he drank at lunch earlier that day.

"This was a South Texas hunt," says one White House aide. "Of course there was drinking. There's always drinking. Lots of it."

One agent at the scene has been placed on administrative leave and another requested reassignment this week. A memo reportedly written by one agent has been destroyed, sources said Wednesday afternoon.

If you buy Capitol Hill Blue, that is. Which I'm not sure I do.

Usually, I'd say that I tend to buy Bill Maher's line, "Every rumor is true."

But Mark in Mexico runs down Doug Thompson's reportage. Let's just say he's not exactly Woodward & Bernstein.


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posted by Ace at 12:22 AM

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