Dick Cheney Shoots Hunting Companion in Head and Chest
2/12/06 re:VP Cheney shoots friend in head while quail hunting in Texas yesterday.
THE RANDI ROADS SHOW EXPOSES
CHENEY / PAM WILLEFORD HUNTING TRIP!
SCIENTIFIC PROOF CHENEY'S SHOOTING STORY A LIE
Harry Whittington Shooting Ballistics Tested, Cheney shot at Whittington from 15 feet not 90 as claimed
Infowars | February 16, 2006
By Alex Jones
American Patriot Friends Network
Pellets Likely to Stay in Man Cheney Shot
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , 02.14.2006, 05:14 PM
Despite the heart problem of the man wounded by Vice President Dick Cheney, doctors say removing the shotgun pellet from his chest probably won't be necessary - and digging it out could do more harm than good.
It's not unusual to live with shrapnel or other foreign objects in the body, even the heart, and specialists said it's likely the pellet will scar over rapidly without causing further problems for Texas lawyer Harry Whittington.
Hospital officials in Corpus Christi announced Tuesday that Whittington had suffered a "minor heart attack" and was returned to the intensive care unit.
It wasn't a traditional heart attack - no artery was blocked. In fact, the 78-year-old Whittington's doctors called his arteries healthy, and he felt no pain or other symptoms.
What apparently happened: Doctors noticed an irregular heartbeat Tuesday morning and took Whittington in for an exam to see exactly what was going on inside his heart.
One of the pellets from the 28-guage shotgun that Cheney had fired had migrated to the heart, either touching or embedding into the heart muscle near its top chambers, called the atria. That irritated those chambers to cause the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.
But doctors also spotted inflammation - which always occurs when something foreign invades the body - that was causing a temporary block in blood flow, by touching or pushing the heart, explained Dr. David Blanchard, chief of emergency care at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial.
That's what he termed a "silent heart attack."
A pellet striking the heart can cause those problems, but it's not normally thought of as a heart attack, said Dr. Samin Sharma, chief of interventional cardiology at New York's Mt. Sinai Medical Center.
"What probably happened is the pellet hit the heart and the heart released some enzymes" associated with a heart attack, he said. "It usually has a very good prognosis. ... It's not as significant as a heart attack."
Anti-inflammatory drugs will soothe the inflammation, and the pellet should scar over in time, he said.
Digging it out could cause more damage, specialists agreed.
Removal probably would be necessary only if the pellet had penetrated a heart chamber, something Whittington's doctors said didn't happen, added Dr. Soumitra Eachempati, a trauma surgeon at New York Presbyterian/Weil Cornell Hospital.
As for the atrial fibrillation, it's not immediately dangerous but must be treated because if left uncontrolled, it can spur blood clots. Most cases can be corrected with medication. Hospital officials didn't say Tuesday whether Whittington's heart was beating normally again, or if he was being medicated.
Until Tuesday's complications, physicians had said Whittington had been progressing well after being struck by birdshot in Saturday's hunting incident - and that they were not concerned about the six to 200 pieces of birdshot that might still be lodged in his body.
Whittington was about 30 yards away from Cheney when shot.
"At this distance he's peppered with lot of small holes," said Dr. J. Wayne Meredith of the Wake Forest School of Medicine, who has seen similar injuries.
A report filed with Texas Parks and Wildlife said the vice president was using size 7 1/2 shot. A three-quarter ounce load of that size shot would normally contain more than 250 pellets. Each pellet is about the size of a small letter "o" in newspaper print.
Birdshot is usually made with steel or lead, but even lead pellets left in the body wouldn't pose a danger of lead poisoning, said Dr. Renae Stafford, a trauma surgeon at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine.
"People speak of lead poisoning, but in reality it's not something we see," agreed Dr. Maurizio A. Miglietta of the New York University School of Medicine.
AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.
Marty Kaplan: We Are All Harry Whittington Marty Kaplan
No sooner had the White House decided that the best strategy to deal with Cheney's Chappaquiddick was to make self-deprecating jokes about it than his Texas hospital inconveniently revealed that birdshot in Harry Whittington's body had migrated to his heart and caused atrial fib -- turns out he had a heart attack. He's back in the ICU. Worse, there's no reason that other shot can't now migrate into additional internal organs.
Does this mean ix-nay on the jokes, Scottie?
Now that the White House press corps has learned firsthand what Pat Leahy must have felt like to get the full Cheney treatment, Harry Whittington's predicament threatens to become a metaphor of what's happened to America under Bush/Cheney. Profound injury has been inflicted on us. The damage could worsen at any moment. And the only response from those responsible is silence, arrogance and misdirection. With their short-lived comedy offensive in disarray, how long do you think it will be before they return to tried-and-true 9/11 fearmongering?
UPDATE: Turns out that Scottie knew about the heart attack before doing his White House press corps briefing today. He later explained that he didn't mention it at the time because it was more appropriate for that information to be released later on by, um -- hey, how 'bout those Longhorns, huh?
UPDATE 2: That distinguished gentleman, Senator Norm Coleman, just told Wolf that -- instead of fighting about how the White House was handling this thing -- what we should all be doing is feeling sympathetic toward the Vice President, on account of what a heavy "burden" he must be feeling after what happened.
3rd hunter Pam WillefordTue Feb 14, 2006 03:10
Molly Ivins: The buck stops... where?
Again, the White House can't face up to a mistake
Tuesday, February 14, 2006; Posted: 12:39 p.m. EST (17:39 GMT)
Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old Texas lawyer, is a longtime Republican activist.
AUSTIN, Texas (Creators Syndicate) -- Of course the jokes are flying all over Texas -- what's the fine for shooting a lawyer? -- and so forth. Dick-Cheney-shooting-Harry-Whittington is fraught, as they say, with irony. It's not as though the ground in Texas is littered with liberal Republicans. I think the vice president winged the only one we've got.
Not that I accuse Harry Whittington of being an actual liberal -- only by Texas Republican standards, and that sets the bar about the height of a matchbook. Nevertheless, Whittington is seriously civilized, particularly on the issues of crime, punishment and prisons. He served on both the Texas Board of Corrections and on the bonding authority that builds prisons. As he has often said, prisons do not curb crime, they are hothouses for crime: "Prisons are to crime what greenhouses are to plants."
In the day, whenever there was an especially bad case of new-ignoramus-in-the-legislature -- a "lock 'em all up and throw away the key" type -- the senior members used to send the prison-happy, tuff-on-crime neophyte to see Harry Whittington, a Republican after all, for a little basic education on the cost of prisons.
When Whittington was the chairman of Texas Public Finance Authority, he had a devastating set of numbers on the demand for more, more, more prison beds. As Whittington was wont to point out, the only thing prisons are good for is segregating violent people from the rest of society, and most of them belong in psychiatric hospitals to begin with. The severity of sentences has no effect on crime.
Texas still keeps the nonviolent, the retarded, senior citizens, etc. locked up for ridiculous periods -- all at taxpayer expense. If we could ever get to where we spend as much per pupil on education as we do per prisoner, this state would take off like a rocket. In 2003, we spend nearly $15,000 per prisoner, while average per-pupil spending was just over $8,000.
I am not trying to make a big deal out of a simple hunting accident for partisan purposes -- just thought it was a good chance to pay tribute to old Harry, a thoroughly decent man. However, I was offended by the never-our-fault White House spin team. Cheney adviser Mary Matalin said of her boss, "He was not careless or incautious (and did not) violate of any of the (rules). He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do." Of course he did, Ms. Matalin, he shot Harry Whittington.
Which brings us to one of the many paradoxes of the Bush administration, which claims to be creating "the responsibility society." It's hard to think of a crowd less likely to take responsibility for anything they have done or not done than this bunch. They're certainly good at preaching responsibility to others -- and blaming other people for everything that goes wrong on their watch.
Of course the Cheney shooting was an accident.
But is it an accident if your home and your life are destroyed by the flood following a hurricane? Especially if the flood was caused by failed levees, a government responsibility?
Is it an accident if you are born with a clubfoot and your parents are too poor to pay for the operation to fix it? Is there any societal responsibility in such a case?
Is it an accident when your manufacturing job gets shipped overseas and all you can find to replace it is a low-wage job at the big-box store with no health insurance, and your kid breaks his leg, and you can't pay the bill, so you have to declare bankruptcy under a new law that leaves you broke for good, with no chance of ever getting out of debt? Or was all of that caused by deliberate government policy?
Cheney is much given to lecturing us about taking responsibility. When and where does societal responsibility come in?
Cheney has a curious, shifting history on issues of blame and responsibility. He was vice chair of the congressional committee that spent 11 months investigating the Iran-Contra affair and author of its minority report. As John W. Dean highlights in a recent essay, the 500-page majority report concluded the entire affair "was characterized by pervasive dishonesty and inordinate secrecy." But Cheney's report said the Reagan administration's repeated breaking of the law were "mistakes ... were just that -- mistakes in judgment and nothing more."
Those of you who saw Cheney's interview with Jim Lehrer last week may recall the passage on Darfur that ended with this:
Lehrer: "It's still happening. There are now 2 million people homeless."
Cheney: "Still happening, correct."
Lehrer: "Hundreds of thousands of people have died, and -- so you're satisfied the U.S. is doing everything it can do?"
Cheney: "I am satisfied we're doing everything we can do."
His head still tilts over more to the right when he lies.
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