Washington, DC (UPSI) - Hours after touching down aboard Air Force two following what the White House has described as a extremely successful Asian trip, Vice President Dick Cheney was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Bush in recognition of his heroism in surviving an assassination attempt by a suicide bomber yesterday in Afghanistan. Mr. Cheney was recognized for his unprecedented valor and calm demeanor in the aftermath of the explosion which Taliban forces in Afghanistan have claimed responsibility for in an attempt to assassinate the vice president.
"'Is everyone okay, are we still alive?', These were the first words that came from the mouth of this self-sacrificing American patriot," stated President Bush. "After he made sure that he and everyone around him were okay, he insisted that the dead and wounded be taken care of immediately by the Afghan government." The suicide bombing apparently resulted in the deaths of 14 people including one American serviceman.
Critics of the Bush administration later pointed out that an act from Congress was necessary in order for the awarding of the Congressional medal of honor, and that it was strictly limited to men and women who had served or were serving in America's armed forces.
The Bush administration claimed that it was well within its rights in awarding the medal strictly through the executive branch without congressional approval. They cited recent amendments attached to a congressional pay raise bill passed last year by the Republican controlled Congress in which both the Senate and House of Representatives agreed to cede all authority on the matter. It was argued that this would make it easier for the president to reward heroism in a much more rapid fashion in the ongoing war on terror. The White House revealed that the vice president had also been secretly commissioned as a general in the United States Army three years ago, with a specialization in intelligence gathering.
The White House went on to relate the recent awarding of the Medal of Honor to retired Army Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall, whose heroism was portrayed by actor Greg Kinnear in the movie "Once Were Soldiers", almost 41 years after the Vietnam War, as evidence for the need for reform in the award process.
The White House later stated that their gravest suspicions had been confirmed and that evidence personally obtained by Vice President Cheney after the blast in Afghanistan showed clear involvement by the Iranian government. They stated that a closed cabinet meeting had immediately been convened after the award ceremony in order to consider responses to the Irani aggression, with the administration debating the possibility of cutting off covert funding to Sunni extremists charged with countering Shia influenced forces in the region.