February 14, 2006


First Doctor to Treat Cheney Victim Tells Texas Paper He Wanted to Send Him Home (Joe Strupp, February 14, 2006, Editor & Puvblisher)

While news reports from The New York Times to the Austin American-Statesman have been describing the injuries to Harry Whittington, the victim of Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting, as more serious than first believed, as he remains hospitalized today, the tiny Alice [Texas] Echo-News Journal will offer a different version later today, E&P has learned.

According to the afternoon daily, located about 60 miles from the shooting site, the first doctor to treat Whittington immediately after the Saturday shooting contended that his wounds were superficial and not in need of further hospitalization.

"If it were just a normal citizen, he would have sent him home with antibiotics," said Ofelia Hunter, Echo-News Journal editor, who talked to the doctor. "He felt that it was more royal treatment that he was getting."

David Gregory got out of bed to cover this?

Hunter Shot by Cheney Has Heart Attack (AP, 2/14/06)

The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President
Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had a "minor heart attack," a hospital official said Tuesday.

Peter Banko, the hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, said Harry Whittington had the heart attack early Tuesday while being evaluated.

He said there was an irregularity in the heartbeat caused by a birdshot pellet, and doctors performed a cardiac catheterization. Whittington expressed a desire to leave the hospital, but Banko said he would probably stay for another week.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2006 1:55 PM

Keep watching this space.

Tiny shot pellets can enter the bloodstream, migrate to the heart, and, oh, well.

If the guy keels, then we are in manslaughter country.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 14, 2006 2:07 PM

Lou. Awesome, dude!

Fox News: Birdshot Pellet Migrates to Heart of Man Shot by Cheney.

I hope the Secret Service is keeping tabs on Dick Gregory to make sure he isn't casting any nasty spells.

Posted by: erp at February 14, 2006 2:31 PM


I have to defend Lou here. If you hit someone with a car and he lingered for a bit before dieing from a complication of the injuries caused by your car, it would be exactly the same thing. If Whittington dies as the direct result of injuries inflicted by Cheney, manslaughter is plausible, just as in a traffic accident.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 14, 2006 3:36 PM

When Dick "Shotgun" Cheney shoots you, you stay shot. I was wondering how the evil Republicans were going to work in a new VP in time for '08 presidential run. Now I know. I'll bet Karl Rove planned this.

Posted by: AllenS at February 14, 2006 3:58 PM

AOG, I hope you don't think you have to defend Mr. Gots from me. I love the guy and totally agree with his assessment. He's brilliant and as knowledgeable on so many subjects as anyone I've known. What in my comment led you believe otherwise?

Should the shooting victim die, even if it has nothing to do with the shooting, it would be terrible for him and his family and great distraction to the administration.

I actually fault the Secret Service who were at the scene and should have made doubly sure Cheney was safe from both doing harm and being harmed.

Posted by: erp at February 14, 2006 4:01 PM

Well, there would still have to be some showing of fault.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 14, 2006 4:02 PM

And an indictment.

Posted by: Bob at February 14, 2006 4:51 PM

My BS-o-meter says that in their eagerness to "get" the VP, the press has garbled at least one major point in all this, as well as getting several minor facts wrong. Which is why anyone would be wise to withhold judgement until it's over.

(Off hand, I'd like to know more about the mechanism by which birdshot pellets travel "through the bloodstream" and "lodge in the heart", and how common this is.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 14, 2006 5:12 PM

Do the MSM know that Cheney is not running for the presidency in '08? Don't they know their time would be better spent on puffing up a Democrat wannabe, or attacking a Republican?

Posted by: ic at February 14, 2006 5:26 PM


Well, if the pellets were tiny, and one of them penetrated a major neck artery... er, it would end up lodged more-or-less harmlessly in the lungs.

Now that you mention it, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me either.

Posted by: Mike Earl at February 14, 2006 5:28 PM

EC, they don't even seem to realise that GWB won't be running either.

In Master and Commander the ships Marine C.O. shot the ships surgeon while leading a seabird with a musket. Stuff happens. Ask Kerry.

Posted by: Genecis at February 14, 2006 6:29 PM


Having been the recipient of several of Mister Remington’s Number Six High Brass opportunities, I believe that I have a bit bragging rights here.

Twelve years old – DO NOT walk behind a palo verde in Arizona (here comes the caveat…) without telling your hunting partner where you are.

I take a really interesting chest x-ray today. Having said so, Remington managed to chill the shot (hence – no lead poisoning).

From the dusty West…


Posted by: Dusty_West at February 14, 2006 8:28 PM

Mr. Cohen;

Clearly, which is why I used "plausible" instead of a stronger adjective.


Woops! I am surprised that the level of interpersonal skills I owe to my engineering background failed me so badly :-).

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 14, 2006 9:03 PM

I've been reading Lou's comments here the past few days. Bit whiny. Look, people who are well-trained and knowedgable and safety-conscious make mistakes and have accidents. It's not an accident if they weren't trying to avoid mishaps to begin with.

That said, I can't take from this whether Cheney is any of those things, but my assumption is he is.

Posted by: RC at February 15, 2006 1:29 AM

The literature definitely warns that fine birdshot may migrate as stated. Given that the Vice President was useing a 28 gauge gun, it is likely that the shot in question was as small as number 9, which is .08" in diameter.

We note that human anatomy has not changed since all of us learned about the circulation of the blood in high school. The systemic loop, carrying blood to and from the tissues and organs of the body ends by depositing de-oxegenated blood from all the veins of the body through the superior and inferior venae cavae directly into the right atrium of the heart. It is by this path that a small, round foreign body can migrate to the heart.

The pulmonary cycle, to and from the lungs, whereby the blood is re-oxegenated, is separate from the systemic cycle: the pellet would have done its damage before the lungs were ever involved.

I do plead guilty to being a bit whiney about this case. What is worse, my motives are less pure than concern only for potential gun accident victims. Plenty of people want to shut our ranges down, and even more want to tamper with our celebration of the hunting portion of the Noetic covenant. We need not provide the gun-grabbers and animal-worshippers with "ammunition" by reflexively defending unsafe hunting practices.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 15, 2006 7:30 AM

If a pedestrian bolts into traffic, the resulting accident is not the driver's fault.

In any event, I expect they'll start calling him "Richard Bruce Cheney", "the shooter who acted alone".

Posted by: Noel at February 15, 2006 8:33 AM


No one is defending shooting your hunting partner in the face. But harshly attacking people for accidents doesn't, in my opinion, help hunters and gun owners. Save the venom for people comitting crimes with guns.

Posted by: RC at February 15, 2006 10:20 AM

AOG, Perhaps the failure in communicating my meaning in the first comment above is because I used the phrase, "awesome dude." We have a lovely young new bride in our family who uses that expression liberally.

I interpreted it as an affirmation, but perhaps I was mistaken and it really means something else entirely. If so, I apologize and make sure I know what I'm talking about before using unfamiliar phrases again.

Posted by: erp at February 15, 2006 11:29 AM

Wyatt, AOG, Lou,

Awesome Dude works as intended.

We all slip up at times ... even Cheney.

Posted by: Genecis at February 15, 2006 12:47 PM