Fri Feb 17, 2006 13:52

FEBRUARY 15, 2006. Buckle up for this one.

An alert reader emailed me and wondered what medical drugs Cheney was on while he was hunting in Texas.

I subsequently found an interesting site, doctor zebra, which is run anonymously by a person who says he is a doctor but is obviously and admittedly using a fake name.

You can read his assessment of Cheney's health:

My reaction is, this man is a doctor or has lots of conventional knowledge of conventional health issues.

Zebra offers a list of likely drugs Cheney has been taking for his heart condition and associated problems.

Here are some:

Zestril; Lipitor; Tenormin; Trental; Lasix; Digoxin; Inspra; Zyloprim.

Now, if the standard info on any ONE of those drugs gives a caution against operating machinery or driving a car, that would be more than suggestive, since Cheney was operating a machine called a shotgun, in the vicinity of other humans.

Well, guess what?

ALL of these drugs issue that type of warning.

Yes. All of them. Which compounds the potential problem.

You can Google them by typing in the name of the drug and then "operating machinery." You'll find the references.

For example, under Zestril, at, we have this: "Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities...may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Also use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position."

As I wrote yesterday, I'm not accepting as fact any part of the scenario about the shooting. There are too many questions. But assuming that the event went off more or less as reported, we have a situation here. Cheney is likely to have been on a number of these drugs, all of which warn against exactly the kind of hazardous behavior Cheney was engaging in: firing a shotgun.

Several of the drug reports mention that drinking alcohol would exacerbate the dizziness and light-headedness that can be associated with these compounds.

If I had the actual list of drugs Cheney has been taking, I would use those, but information on the drugs has been held back from the public for some time.

You might want to get this article around. It's information worth sharing.



FEBRUARY 16, 2006. The other day, I raised this question: can a load fired from a 28-gauge shotgun (reported as the weapon Cheney used) strike a man at 30 yards, then penetrate through a vest, other clothing, and lodge a pellet in the heart muscle? Does this small gun have that much stopping power?

Here is a quote from Lakewood Lodge, a hunting business (  ):

"How about the "little guns" -- the 28-gauge and .410 bore? When used in grouse woods, the 28 is a crippler. It is simply inhumane to fire the 28's petite 3/4-ounce shot charge at ruffed grouse in heavy cover; too often, only one pellet gets through to the bird when two or three are necessary."

This, I know, is not absolutely definitive. But it suggests that the 28-gauge is not the sort of weapon that would carry that distance and end up in the heart muscle of Harry Whittington.

I also found these safety comments at the same site. They're very interesting to read. Keep in mind that we are told there were three hunters at the Armstrong ranch in Texas last Saturday.

"In grouse hunting, two is company and three is definitely a crowd. It's difficult enough for two hunters to stay organized in thick cover; gang hunts involving three or more hunters are dangerous. Hunt alone or with one trusted partner and follow these rules:

"Communication: Grouse cover is thick; sometimes you will have trouble seeing a hunting partner who is only 20 yards away. Make a simple hunting plan and stick to it: Determine who will be on the right and left, which way you will go, and how far you will go before stopping or turning.

"Cooperation: The only safe and effective way for two hunters to work grouse cover is to advance together along parallel lines about 20 yards apart. The hunter on the left will shoot at birds flying ahead or to his left, but will not shoot at birds flying to his right, and vice versa for the hunter on the right. When a shot is fired, all hunting stops until the fate of the bird is known...

"Caution: 'Be sure of your target and what is beyond it before you shoot' is the cardinal rule of safe hunting. But being sure of what's beyond a speeding grouse in the thick cover they inhabit is practically impossible. Safety under these conditions requires rigid adherence to two commandments:
1. In heavy cover, grouse hunters must shoot only at birds that are at least eight feet above the ground. Don't shoot at low birds that could have a hunter or a dog behind them!
2. Wear blaze orange clothing and stay in visual contact with your partner at all times. If you lose sight of your partner, stop hunting, call and listen until you locate each other."

For moment, forget the deeper aspects of this Cheney story. Have you seen the major networks interview even ONE hunting expert who declared these rules of safety? No? That should give you the clue that the networks are walking around the edges of the story with padded feet, very quietly---while screaming about the delay in getting the story out to the national press.

On another note: if you read the transcript of Cheney's interview with Brit Hume at FOX (CNN has that transcript), you'll find Cheney repeatedly mentioning Katharine Armstrong as an eyewitness to the shooting. And yet, as I pointed out yesterday, Armstrong has changed her story. Her latest version (for AP)
reveals that she was thinking security people were rushing around suddenly because Cheney may have had "a heart problem." How could an eyewitness to the details of the shooting wonder why security people were suddenly running across the ground?

In the same interview, Cheney states he had a beer at lunch before the group went out shooting. Refer to my story of yesterday on the exacerbating effects of alcohol on the types of heart medications Cheney is most certainly taking: greater likelyhood of dizziness and light-headedness...



FEBRUARY 16, 2006. So what do we have so far?

The only supposed witness to the shooting who has talked to the press, Republican lobbyist Katharine Armstrong, has changed her tune. At first, she made it sound like she had a front-row seat at the event itself. Then she said (to AP) that she at first thought the security people were running toward Cheney because he had a heart problem---which means she didn't see the shooting.

Then we have my earlier piece from today---the likely medications Cheney has been taking for his heart condition ALL carry warnings about operating machinery, since they can cause drowsiness and light-headedness. AND alcohol can exacerbate those effects in the case of at least several of those medications.

Meanwhile, mainstream reporters studiously avoid these obvious factors, which are corrosive to the official scenario. Instead, they keep screaming about the poor handling of communication lines in getting the story out to the national press. They refuse to ask WHY the delay occurred.

Are the cops in Texas grilling Armstrong about changing her story? Of course not.

The overwhelming majority of Americans don't care about the delay in getting the story out to the press. They view this issue as nothing more than some cooked-up jive by the press itself. It will go nowhere.

For the last 15 years, I have broken story after story about drug factors being involved in violence. I've worked various connections, and have seen a few of these stories reach the mainstream charts---but mostly they lie on the side of the road and die. I don't hold out much hope in getting the Cheney-heart-drug story out there...unless a few readers decide to get busy and become relentless.

Why does it matter? Because the sitting vice-president played a major operational role in handling the "response" to 9/11, because he was instrumental in pushing for a failed and obscene war in Iraq, and because he is an operational power behind the throne in the White House. You can name a dozen other good reasons yourself.

This story could put him on the ropes. They don't usually get the villains for the biggest things. But sometimes they get them for an isolated event---like the one at the Armstrong ranch in Texas.





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