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Cheney Shotgun Victim Suffers Heart Attack

Posted on Feb 14, 2006

Harry Whittington, the 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident, has a birdshot pellet in his heart and had “a minor heart attack” Tuesday morning. He is back in intensive care. | story

The ER chief at the Texas hospital, asked if the birdshot could endanger Whittington’s life, responded: “When birdshot is in your body, there’s always the risk they can move. We’ll watch very closely for any migration.”

Continuing Coverage:

  • Account of Doctors raises questions on heart injury

  • Think Progress: Scott McClellan concealed the heart attack from the press.
  • A White House spokesman cracked jokes on the record about the incident (before Whittington suffered the heart attack).
  • The Smoking Gun surfaces the Texas hunting accident report. (hat tip: Huffington Post)
  • The lowdown on what hunting rules Cheney broke.
  • Slow Leak: Time publishes an inside account of why Cheney didn’t publicly disclose news of the accident for 24 hours.
  • Unloading on Cheney: Comedians take aim at the vice president.

  • More Below the Ad


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    By M Jenkins, February 16, 2006 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr.Whittington was interviewed on his bedside and based on his state he said; ” I was hunting with the vice president and a Secret Service agent yelled out ” DUCK !!!” and I said; ” There aren’t any ducks around here “. Next thing I knew I was here in this hospital “.

    Report this

    By Max Entropy, February 15, 2006 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    We used to have Bush and Quayle. Things changed, and now we have Bush and Quail.

    Report this

    By Doug Taylor, February 15, 2006 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I wonder if anyone is asking why Katherine Armstrong, a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, was allowing people to hunt on her property who were not properly licensed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department?  Any other unlicensed hunters on her ranch?  Any other public officials?  Is this a new thing or a pattern of behavior?

    This of course is what a good member of the press would look into, but our press is lazy and corrupt, so I don’t expect any answers.  Of course the rich and powerful don’t need to have licenses, do they?  Lawyers and government officials don’t have to obey the laws, do they?

    Those license fees and bird stamps pay for wildlife conservation efforts in Texas.  I imagine we will hear that they are cutting back yet again on the TP&W budget because of lack of funds.  Just blame the Republicans.

    Report this

    By Kevin, February 15, 2006 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Perhaps Cheney dranks too many beers at the picnic prior to the canned hunt. Being sprayed with shot doesn’t add up when a pellet makes its way to the guys heart, more likely shot at much closer range after Dick probably fell down, discharging his weapon nearly killing his hunting buddy. The delay and major faux pas in notifying the press leads one to believe that Cheney was drunk as the Secret Service did not allow the local sheriff to interview Dick and give a mandatory blood/alcohol test after any hunting accident until he had time to sober up. The references to beer at the picnic have been scrubbed from many web sites. This is what makes the most sense in trying to explain what happened. The cover up is crude and obvious. The modus operandi is consistent with these people. Lying is all they know. Creating their own reality is what they do. If only the press would do their job, Cheney would fall.

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    By Snarkley, February 15, 2006 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I continue to maintain that Whittington was merely a disgruntled or rogue fellow hunter.

    Report this

    By Lillian, February 15, 2006 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Doesn’t it make you feel so very good that Cheney is a heart beat away from being president?

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, February 14, 2006 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Pardon my naivete but… what, exactly, does Mr. Cheney need a quail for?

    I mean, perhaps 200-300 years ago, when bagging a quail might have meant the difference between eating and going hungry, fine.

    But look at the photo! There’s Cheney, holding a shotgun that I’m sure would be “top of the line,” dressed in only the best hunting gear, including ear protection (although I haven’t the foggiest notion of why he’d need to protect his ears… he doesn’t listen to anyone). His equipment and outfit alone would buy all the quail one could eat in a lifetime!

    So I repeat… what does he need to kill a bird for? And if he doesn’t need to destroy that little life, why is he doing it?

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    By Eleanore Kjellberg, February 14, 2006 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Did Cheney shoot his hunting partner with the antique gun given to him as a gift from the NRA?  They say 150 pellets sprayed a 78 year old Texan pretty good.  I guess Cheney was practicing that old adage shoot first and ask questions later.

      Supposedly, Whittington is a prominent Republican attorney from Austin, who was a generous contributor to Bush’s campaign.  Perhaps, Cheney was not going after quail, maybe he was hunting for “bucks.”

    Oh well things took a turn for the worse, when the doctors noticed some pellets lodged in Whittington’s chest and a minor heart attack ensued.  What a way to spend Valentines Day; heartbroken—I hope, Cheney was thoughtful and did not forget to send his friend a box of chocolates and dozen red roses. 

    It’s the making-up after an accidental shooting, which is so romantic.

    Report this

    By Betty Stewart, February 14, 2006 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This incident and the v.p.‘s refusal to take responsibility reminds me of an old joke about a southern sheriff who is looking down at the body of a man shot in the back and says:
    “Darndest case of suicide I ever saw.”

    Report this

    By Roger Drowne EC, February 14, 2006 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Cheney HUNT KILLER image at

    Copy & Pass It On

    Thank U,

    Report this

    By civitas, February 14, 2006 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It is indicative of what seems to be happening in our country under the current administration that I hesitated, but only for a moment, to identify myself before submitting the following half-jestful comment:  It’s too bad the accidental shooting accident was not the other way around, i.e. Cheney being the recipient of the shotgun pellets.  With his heart condition, whatever that is, it might have removed him from his position in the present administration.

    Report this

    By harold brown, February 14, 2006 at 11:51 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    In order to grow up, become an adult, one must learn empathy.  Neither Cheney or Bush have any.  Others killed or suffering make no impact on them.  Hunting accident….pshaw.

    Report this
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