Immediately following 9-11, during the days when the world was told that Vice President Cheney was holed up for security reasons, and we were left with assumptions that he was hammering out the plans that would define our strategy for stopping terrorist attackers, he was instead killing pheasants at a posh killing resort in Poughkeepsie NY, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Wildlife Watch offices.


By Elizabeth Lynch, Poughkeepsie Journal

Vice President Dick Cheney was in Dutchess County Monday, hunting at the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club in Union Vale.

”There’s security all over,” said Union Vale Supervisor Lisette Hitsman. ”You can’t drive 500 feet on Clove Road without running into a police car.” Cheney’s press secretary, Juleanna Glover Weiss, would not say why the vice president was in the region. Citing security concerns, Weiss only would say that Cheney was at a private event at an undisclosed location.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the vice president location has often been kept secret. News of his appearance spread fast in Dutchess County. ”You can’t have something going on in a small town and not have just about everybody know about,” said Hitsman.

Cheney was in town Sunday and Monday. He stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in the Town of Poughkeepsie Sunday night. Nathan Rice, a manager at the hotel, declined to comment. Town police provided extra security at the hotel, Police Chief Peter Wilkinson said. ”Yes, the vice president was in the Town of Poughkeepsie,” Wilkinson said. Several residents complained about the traffic local roads created when several were closed for security Sunday….Monday the vice president was at the rod and gun Club on Clove Mountain Road for several hours. It wasn’t clear what Cheney was hunting for; hunters at the private club generally shoot pheasant and ducks.
At the club, which is hidden from view from Clove Valley Road, there were at least a half-dozen New York State Police cars, an ambulance and several black vans or sport utility vehicles, some with license plates from the State of Maryland. Men inside the vehicles wore jackets with an American flag on the sleeve and the words ”Secret Service” on the breast. Others wore high-laced boots and black clothing, with the words ”Police Secret Service” on the back. The area was mostly quiet, except for the chirping of birds and the rustle of leaves. By mid-afternoon, the echo of gunshots could be heard in the distance.
The Union Vale Fire Department’s Clove Station and the ambulance crew, which is down the road from the gun club, were on standby Sunday and Monday. ”We made sure we had enough people on to cover our equipment,” Assistant Fire Chief Loren Pickney said. They were not called on. The closest the volunteers got to the vice president was watching his motorcade drive by. ”It was an easy detail,” Pickney said.

Following that there were letters to the editor. No one came to Mr. Cheney’s defense, how could they? It was indefensible. We didn’t do an investigation to find out how much money his hunting trips are costing the American taxpayer, but we have to assume that whatever they would have cost us ante9-11, there is a huge increase post9-11. Letters to the Editor: letters@poughkee.gannett.com.


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