Cheney Shooting Victim Has Heart Attack

Posted on February 14, 2006

The Associated Press is now reporting that 78 year old attorney Harry Whittington, who was shot by Vice president Dick Cheney during a hunting trip, has had a heart attack because some of the birdshot is lodged too close to his heart.

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. Whittington, a prominent Republican attorney from Austin, was accidentally sprayed with shotgun pellets when Cheney was aiming for a quail Saturday. Whittington had initially been placed in intensive care. He had been moved to a "step-down unit" Monday after doctors decided to leave several birdshot pellets lodged in his skin rather than try to remove them.


The wildlife department issued a report Monday that found the main factor contributing to the accident was a "hunter's judgment factor." No other secondary factors were found to have played a role.

CNN is reporting that Mr. Whittington has just had an angiogram procedure to evaluate his condition. Reports indicate that he has never had heart trouble before being shot by Vice president Cheney.

After all the jokes about the incident by comics on late night television last night, the White House had decided to play along with the jokes this morning. Even Jeb Bush cracked a joke at Cheney's expense. But after Whittington had a heart attack, Scott McClellan turned serious this afternoon. This is a PR nightmare for the White House, but it will have to get in line for top spin doctor treatment.

After all, Scooter Libby just testified that his bosses (e.g., Cheney) told him it was ok to lead undercover agent Valerie Plame's name to the press and the CIA has confirmed that Plame was undercover at the time, working on the Iran-nuclear weapons case. That's not good news for Dick Cheney or the White House.

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