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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wiggum's Predecessor Works for Armstrong, How Cozy

Well, now isn't this cozy?
Minutes later, Salinas got a call from a U.S. Secret Service agent.

"He said the reason he was calling was to officially notify the sheriff's department that the vice president was involved in that shooting accident."

Soon after, Salinas said, Kirk called him from the Armstrong Ranch gate. He told him he was there with a U.S. Border Patrol agent who didn't know what was going on.

"I told him don't worry about it. I'll make a call," Salinas said.

Salinas called Ramiro Medellin Jr., a former sheriff who lives on Armstrong Ranch and works as a ranch hand. Medellin called Salinas back and confirmed the incident was an accident.

It was at this point that Salinas decided to wait until the next morning to send an officer to investigate the incident....

San Miguel said the case was not investigated as a criminal incident. He also noted that there were no 911 calls or radio transmissions between dispatchers and deputies because the calls went to the sheriff's home.

San Miguel and Lt. Juan Guzman interviewed Whittington at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial on Monday, San Miguel said. He wouldn't divulge details of that interview until the report was complete but said Whittington was in good spirits.

Salinas and San Miguel said no one told them not to make details of the incident public, nor were they told how to investigate.

The department has not released an incident report, but will do so, Salinas and San Miguel said. The crush of national media has slowed the department, he said. (emphasis mine)
Yes, it is all the media's fault that the local Sheriff's department decided to take the word of people who might, oh, I don't know, have an interest in covering the Vice President's butt, and who told you that there had been no alcohol involved in the incident whatsoever (despite the Veep's admission to the contrary in yesterday's Fox News interview wherein he said he had "a beer" and Katherine Armstrong's statements to the contrary to MSNBC, or her statement that the Veep went back to the ranch and made himself a cocktail).

Call me crazy, but didn't Scooter Libby just get indicted for lying to investigators to form a firewall for the Veep? Seems like a M.O. for the folks who hang around with Dick Cheney, doesn't it?

It is all the media's fault that you got no breathalyzer and no blood sample for alcohol or prescription medication levels testing, against almost every police protocol that I've ever seen after a hunting incident. Why didn't you immediately go to the scene and observe the shooter yourself -- or send a deputy? Because he was the Vice President and he and his friends and your sheriff predecessor told you not to worry your pretty little head about it?

Oh wait, some of your deputies did go over, and security people wouldn't let them in that night. How silly of me to think this is anything but the media's fault.

It's all the media's fault that you relied on the eyewitness account of Katherine Armstrong who was around 100 yards away from the scene and admitted to initially suspecting that the Veep had a heart attack, from watching the Secret Service run toward the scene. (And who knows if you talked with the Swiss Ambassador at any time, given that you have not released any police report whatsoever to the public. You'll pardon me at this point if I take your word for absolutely nothing without some documentation.)

And sure, it's all the media's fault that you can't finish your police report. Because that generally takes all of a coupla days at the most to type up on the pre-printed form. Or is it that you and Ms. Armstrong and everyone else are still working on the official version?

You know, I don't want to go all conspiracy theory on this, but the fact that you, Sheriff Salinas, relied on the statement of a person who worked for Katherine Armstrong over your own officers' immediate observations really calls into question your level of competence. Or maybe that's what Katherine Armstrong and the Veep had in mind in the first place.

(Hat tip to reader Holden for the link on this story.)