Dick Cheney Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Washington, D.C., August 9, 2006 -- Vice President Dick Cheney has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced today. Cheney thereby joins the ranks of other top-level officials whom Bush has honored with the prestigious award, including former Iraq CPA head L. Paul Bremer, General Tommy Franks, and former CIA director George Tenet. Vice President Cheney issued no public response to the honor and has been unavailable for comment.

"We think Cheney should be pretty pleased, though," said Mr. McClellan. "Cheney's always been a straight shooter who's not afraid of absorbing a little collateral damage if it will help him hit whatever goals he's targeting."

Cheney's Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the two highest civilian awards in the United States, is unprecedented for a sitting vice president. Some observers believe the award may be related to the shooting incident last February in which Vice President Cheney, hunting quail in light cover on a clear, sunlit afternoon, mistook 78-year-old Harry Whittington, a Texas attorney, for a small, low-flying bird and shot him in the face.

"That's the kind of can-do, no-questions-asked, take-no-prisoners attitude we're looking for, and that's what the president is rewarding," said Mr. McClellan. "It's pretty much standard procedure for this administration and represents the same thinking that led President Bush to grant the awards to L. Paul Bremer, General Franks, and George Tenet. We reserve the Medal of Freedom for the kind of gargantuan incompetence that can otherwise only be papered over by a sudden, unexpected death."

"General Franks, for example, was supposed to invade and secure Iraq, but instead ignored the advice of his colleagues and left the country wide open to looting, chaos, and long-term insurgency," McClellan continued. "Tenet was supposed to take the fall for Bush's false WMD justification for the Iraq invasion, and he fell like a ton of bricks. And L. Paul Bremer was supposed to take billions of dollars of American taxpayer money and scatter them randomly and ineffectually around Iraq, and that's exactly what he did. They're all winners in my book."

In Cheney's case, Mr. McClellan explained, the award is "a bit more general".

"The president has decided to make Cheney's Medal of Freedom not for any one thing in particular," said Mr. McClellan. "It's kind of an all-purpose, 'you're doing a heck of a job' kind of thing. It's certainly not meant to help whitewash any lingering embarrassment from the Texas shooting incident or the pathetic attempt at a cover-up. Although I would put it to you that we still don't know whether or not Harry Whittington, the man whom Cheney allegedly shot, was in fact connected to al-Qaida, or if he were somehow the missing link connecting Osama bin Laden with Saddam Hussein, and I believe several intelligence agencies overseas may still be looking into that connection. Until we know for sure, we can just be thankful Vice President Cheney had the foresight and the will to take preemptive action before that smoking gun had the chance to turn into a mushroom cloud."

Vice President Cheney, who has been unavailable for comment since early 2001, remains unavailable for comment.

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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