"several members of the hunting party, including the Vice President, consuming alcohol before and during the hunting expedition".
According to inside sources at the Whitehouse, one of the Secret Service agents in question requested reassignment this week and another was put on administrative leave. I can understand why they would no longer want Mr. Cheney's detail. They expect they might have to take a bullet FOR the Vice President but they should never have to worry about taking a bullet FROM him.
This in particular is why this is such an important issue:
Cheney has a long history of alcohol abuse, including two convictions of driving under the influence when he was younger. Doctors tell me that someone like Cheney, who is taking blood thinners because of his history of heart attacks, could get legally drunk now after consuming just one drink.
If Cheney was legally drunk at the time of the shooting, he could be guilty of a felony under Texas law and the shooting, ruled an accident by a compliant Kenedy County Sheriff, would be a prosecutable offense.
But we will never know for sure because the owners of the Armstrong Ranch, where the shooting occurred, barred the sheriff's department from the property on the day of the shooting and Kenedy County Sheriff Ramon Salinas III agreed to wait until the next day to send deputies in to talk to those involved.
As I pointed out when this story broke, something about it stinks. Mr. Cheney was obviously getting special treatment that no other American citizen could ever expect.
Now that the details are coming out we are finding that it was worse then we imagined.