So, how exactly did Mike Huckabee's son David kill that dog, back in the day when he was a Boy Scout?
Here's the barebones story of how 17-year-old Mike Huckabee's son, David, and 18-year-old Clayton Frady killed a dog when they were Boy Scouts, and got fired for it.* From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 1998 (as quoted in DogBlog):
[David Huckabee,] the younger son of Gov. Mike Huckabee and another teen were fired last month from jobs at a Boy Scout camp after the killing of a stray dog.
So, why were they fired? For violating Scout Law.
Marcal Young of Texarkana, scout executive of the Caddo Area Council that operates the camp where the dog was killed, said this week that two boys violated a Scout law, “A Scout is kind.”
So, how and why did David Huckabee (and Clayton Frady) kill the dog?
How did Huckabee and Frady kill the dog?
The original story isn't clear in the lead (the admissions and the details come as you read down). Still from the Democrat Gazette:
The dog was killed [passive voice] July 11 at Camp Pioneer near Hatfield.
But Scout executive Marcal Young and then-Governor Huckabee won't say how:
Both men declined to say how the dog had been killed or who did it.
Odd, that. However, there was additional contemporaneous material:
An anonymous, unconfirmed report describing a particular process of killing the dog and naming young Huckabee as a participant was sent by fax machine this week by an organization against cruelty to animals to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. That report was described by Young and the governor as inaccurate.
(Miller County, Arkansas) Two boy scout counselors, 17 year old Clayton Frady and 18 year old David litickabee, the son of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, have admitted to catching a stray dog during their summer session at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, AR, and hanging the dog by his neck, slitting his throat and stoning him to death.
Why do I believe that this post came from the fax? Because "litickabee" for "Huckabee" is exactly the kind of error you'd get if you ran a fax through your scanner to get it into your computer for posting.
Now, that's a pretty gruesome "particular process." Could it be true? Again, the adults don't give details. Frady's father says:
... the younger Frady helped "put it out of its misery."
But that doesn't say how Huckabee and Frady did it. However, in our earlier thread on killing dogs, consensus seemed to be that at least in the country dogs, when "put out of their misery," are generally shot, if no animal control officer is available.
Now, for whatever reason, Huckabee and Frady didn't decide to call animal control (or any of the 65 staff members at the Camp), and it's unlikely they were carrying guns. (There's no indication that they were getting merit badges in rifle or shotgun shooting that day.)
More plausibly, Huckabee and Fraly could simply have used the tools that came to hand: Their (Boy Scout) knives, for the throat-slitting; a (Boy Scout) belt or rope, for the hanging; and surface rocks, for the stoning. So there you are. Frankly, when I started this post, I thought that the Utopia Animal Rescue post just had to be over the top, but as soon as you ask yourself How did they kill the dog with no adult supervision and no gun, it becomes much, much more plausible.
No, I wouldn't call their actions "kind."
Why did Huckabee and Frady kill the dog?
Still from the Arkansas Gazette, Marcal Young:
“They felt it [the dog] was ill and what have you..."
The elder Frady (though not, oddly, the elder Huckabee) gives a little more detail--detail which contradicts Young's account:
The elder Frady said his son told him he came upon one or more Scouts who had the dog “hung over a limb and choking” [This is "ill"?] so the younger Frady helped “put it out of its misery.” [with, as I argue above, the tools that came to hand].
All of which looks like a rather transparent attempt to shift responsibility for starting the incident to other Scouts. After all, Huckabee and Frady were responsible for the other Scouts; they were on the camp staff. So the camp kids somehow got away from supervision and hung a dog up on a tree? In any case, clearly Young gave this story no credence, since putting an animal in agony "out of its misery is at least arguably "kind," but Huckabee and Frady were not kind.
And indeed, torturing an animal to death is not kind.
Why do people torture animals? I wish I knew.
Why this story is important
We’ve got Rick Santorum’s obsession with “man on dog” sex, we’ve got Bill “Hello Kitty” Frist stealing cats from the pound, treating them like pets, and only then dissecting them, we’ve got George Felix Allen “shoving” a severed deer’s head into a mailbox, we’ve got Bush himself blowing up frogs by shoving firecrackers up their ass and lighting the fuse, we've got one Janet Rowland comparing gay marriage to a man marrying a sheep, and of course, we've got Willard Mitt Romney strapping his dog Seamus on top of his car until a "brown liquid" ran down the back window.
And now we've got the son of likeable Mike Huckabee, Republican candidate for President, killing a dog using a "particular process" that was, to say the least, not "kind." Makes you wonder how these guys bring up their kids, doesn't it?
Here in The Mighty Corrente Building we view Republican and Conservative abuse of power as a seamless garment. It is not a coincidence that the Party that normalized torture for humans is also the party of many (including Dear Leader) who abuse animals. Not to mention pages. And boys.
NOTE Oh, and this wouldn't be a Mike Huckabee story if it weren't for the petty personal retribution. The Arkansas Gazette story (April 27, 2007, via Nexis) on David Huckabee getting stopped for taking a gun through airport security has this little nugget:
Allegations in [the dog-killing] incident played a role in the resignation five months later of the director of the state police. John Bailey quit in December 1998 after learning that the governor had lost confidence in him for several reasons, including because Bailey did not make clear to prosecutors that state police typically don't investigate animal deaths.
Yes, but maybe Bailey didn't make that "clear" because it wasn't true. From the original Gazette-Democrat story:
Polk County Sheriff Mike Oglesby said neither he nor his deputies had heard of the incident. A complaint** should have been made, he said.
Prosecuting Attorney Tim Williamson of Mena said cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Nice. I think Huckabee will fit right into the Village, once they come to know him a little better.
NOTE * Bud, from Legal, insists that I add the word "allegedly" here.
NOTE ** Interestingly, the Utopia link includes the names and numbers of Arkansas officials to file complaints with. It would be interesting to find out if those numbers were, in fact, called. Eh? [We learn today that Arkansas officials were bombarded with calls.
NOTE Thanks very much to Shane-O (in order of appearance), Sarah, and farmer for links and articles on this issue. Hat tip to Digby for getting me started on looking into the story, and answering the question asked in the headline.
NOTE Of course, there's plenty, plenty more.