I just landed at Vail airport, right next to the Vice President’s Gulfstream jet (actually, there were two Vice Presidential planes, not one... how much of an entourage does one VP need?). He’s here to speak at the World Forum at Beaver Creek, sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, and held, of course, behind closed doors. The guy sent to pick me up by the Vail Valley Institute (where I’m speaking) told me that he had seen the VP’s motorcade speed towards the local hospital. Being an intrepid HuffPost reporter, I asked him to take me straight there. Upon our arrival, we encountered a high level of security -- and a lot of zipped lips: “We cannot tell you anything,” “No comment,” “That information is not available...” But one hospital staffer, obviously not schooled in the secretive ways of Cheney, let it slip: “He’s no longer here”. And since you cannot “no longer” be someplace you’ve never been, we can deduce -- though not confirm -- that Cheney did, in fact, pay a visit to the local hospital. The reason? Over to you AP...
UPDATE: Cheney’s Health: What is the White House Hiding?
VAIL -- Why is the White House still insisting that the only health issue Vice President Cheney dealt with today is an old football injury to his knee, visiting renowned orthopedist Dr. Richard Steadman? At the Vail Valley Institute dinner tonight, I kept asking what those in the know here knew. Little by little, here is the story I pieced together: After the Secret Service secured the Vail Valley Medical Center, including the parking lot, the Vice President arrived under his own power and checked in at the orthopedic center under the name “Dr. Hoffman”. He was immediately whisked to the adjacent cardiac unit, suffering from what was described to me as “an angina attack”. The security was so high that a Secret Service agent wouldn’t let an ER nurse out of the bathroom that she had gone into just before the Veep arrived. “Get back in there,” the agent told her. Confounded, she called her husband on her cell phone, telling him “something big” was going on. And indeed it was… but you wouldn’t know it from the White House. It appears that not only doesn’t the public deserve to know what is really going on in Iraq (“last throes”?) we don’t deserve to know what is going on with our Vice President’s health.
NOTE ON COMMENTS
For more on the long history of the the administration's obfuscation regarding Cheney's heart condition, read my March 7, 2001 column.