Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Birdshot Privacy

I called it Buckshot which shows you how much this writer knows about hunting – zero.  I don’t really approve much of it either which might tempt me to say flippantly in the words of the philosopher George Carlin, “shit happens.”  But not liking hunting and not caring about a human being’s health would be totally inconsistent, hypocritical in fact.  I wish Mr. Whittington, who it now appears suffered some heart injury, a complete recovery.  The Vice President on the other hand has gotten himself into a big hole with his refusal to come clean about what probably was far less than he has now made it appear to be.  Many commentators (and politicians including Republicans) have said so and that’s not what makes me write another blog so soon.

The rationale of Cheney’s silence is that what happened on that Texas ranch in private time is a private matter.  In fact, from the day he took the second highest office in the land, the Vice President has made it clear to one and all that his private life is none of our business.  Having argued that Bill Clinton’s sex life was none of our business, I would generally have to agree.  But in the case of people in this administration who, while to a lesser degree, all insist on their privacy there is something very “wrong with this picture”, something blatantly ironic.

Dick Cheney who insists on his privacy is the same man who told Jim Lehrer in that interview last week, that the government’s invasion of our privacy was essential in fighting the so-called war against terrorism.  So let me get this straight the Vice President of the United States, a public official of the highest order has an absolute right to privacy away from the office but ordinary citizensI don’t if they happen to call someone overseas in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or the like.  If you’re reading this Mr. Cheney please take note that I personally don’t know anyone in those countries and was brought up in an old fashioned household where you just didn’t make a lot of expensive long distance much less overseas calls.  In any event, when I said not wishing for Mr. Whittington’s full recovery would be hypocritical on my part, it seems to me that Mr. Cheney and the Administration’s protesting an invasion of their privacy does me one better, by a long shot.

Privacy, that’s the point Mr. Vice President.  You want it and we think the Constitution guarantees that we get it unless of course a judge can be convinced the invasion is in the public interest.  And, Mr. One Heart Beat Away, most of what you do in private (except in your bedroom) especially when it merits a police report, is in the public interest.  We want to know.  Remember no one forced you into this job and as far as I’m concerned it would have been better if your penchant for privacy had kept you from seeking it in the first place.  Yes, we would all be better off if everything you did was really in private – back in the private sector.

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