On February 17, Harry Whittington left the hospital. Amazingly, when he left the hospital, he issued a statement in which he apologized to Dick Cheney.
“My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week,” said Whittington. “We send our love and respect to them as they deal with situations that are much more serious than what we had this week.”
Notice how Whittington downplays the seriousness of what has happened to him. Notice how he implies that Cheney and his family had suffered more during the past week than he and his family. The only way this statement makes sense is if Cheney never shot Whittington to begin with. In that case, Whittington would have never been in any danger while Cheney could have had been charged with a crime he didn’t commit.
Presumably, our government told Whittington to issue this statement. Presumably, they wanted other governments to know that the whole episode was nothing more than political theater. Cheney never shot Whittington. Our government faked the shooting because they wanted to make it seem like they might use this incident to get rid of Dick Cheney.
Often, the best way to change a policy direction is to get rid of the people who support the current policy. That was the promise of Shotgun-gate. America had the chance to rid itself of Dick Cheney. Cheney was a hawk who pursued a hard line on Iraq and the war on terrorism. Europe hated him and Rumsfeld. I am sure they would have liked to see Cheney leave the administration. Our government could have used Shotgun-gate to force Cheney to resign. That would have happened, presumably, had the local police charged Cheney with a crime. Presumably, something like that would have happened had Europe given us what we wanted, whatever that was. But, apparently, they didn’t.
In an apparent protest of our refusal to get rid of Dick Cheney, in the next few days, something would happen in Iraq that would plunge the country into a new level of violence.