News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecabal-elitew-administration — Viewing Item

Grand jury investigation if cheney gunshot victim dies { February 14 2006 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

February 14, 2006
Hunter Shot by Cheney Suffers Mild Heart Attack

The 78-year-old lawyer who was accidentally shot by Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday suffered a mild heart attack today after bird shot migrated to his heart, doctors in South Texas said.

Doctors said Mr. Whittington was moved back into the intensive care unit after his heart monitors detected an irregular beat this morning. After consulting with cardiologists in Corpus Christi, Tex., where he is being treated, and with those on the White House medical team, his doctors decided to perform a cardiac catheterization around 10 a.m. Eastern time to determine the extent of the damage.

Peter Banko, the administrator of Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi, said that the procedure, which sends a dye into the blood vessels all the way to the heart, detected one BB size pellet in his heart that was causing his heart to quiver.

"Some of the bird shot appears to have moved and lodged into part of his heart, causing the arterial fibrillation, in what we would say is a minor heart attack," Dr. Banko told reporters this afternoon at a news briefing outside the hospital.

He said Mr. Whittington was in stable condition now, and alert, but that he would remain in the hospital for at least another week to make sure that pellet and any others did not continue to move to other vital organs.

But Dr. David Blanchard, the hospital's chief of emergency, said the pellet "does not appear to be mobile."

In Washington, Mr. Cheney's office said the vice president was told when he arrived at the White House this morning that doctors had decided to perform the catheterization on Mr. Whittington.

They also said the vice president had called Mr. Whittington at about 1:30 p.m., after the procedure, and had spoken with him.

"The vice president wished Mr. Whittington well and asked if there was anything he needed," the statement said. "The vice president said that he stood ready to assist. Mr. Whittington's spirits were good, but obviously his situation deserves the careful monitoring that his doctors are providing.

"The vice president said that his thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Whittington and his family," the statement went on to say.

This was the first official statement from the vice president that mentioned Mr. Whittington, who suffered birdshot wounds to his face, neck, chest and rib cage from the pellets sprayed at him from 30 yards away by Mr. Cheney's shotgun.

The two had been among a group of friends who gathered for a weekend of quail hunting at the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas.

The turn for the worse in Mr. Whittington's health changed the White House response to the hunting accident as well as the response of local law officials in Texas. Officials there said that they were monitoring the case and Carlos Valdez, the district attorney in Kleberg County, said a fatality would require a new report from the local sheriff and, most likely, a grand jury investigation.

The White House has been grappling with questions and criticism about why it took the better part of a day to disclose that Mr. Cheney had accidentally wounded his fellow hunter on Saturday afternoon and why even President Bush initially got an incomplete report on the shooting.

As recently as this morning, the administration appeared to be adopting a more light-hearted tone about the accident, with President Bush's spokesman, Scott McClellan, making a joke at a White House news briefing. The news of Mr. Whittington's setback altered the tone of the administration's reaction.

Dr. Blanchard, at a news briefing with reporters outside the hospital, said that with birdshot wounds, the first 24 to 72 hours were important because that is when the pellets are settling themselves in the body. Dr. Blanchard said that doctors could not determine exactly how many pellets were in Mr. Whittington's body, but that it was "more than the fingers of my two hands, but less than 150 or 200."

He said that only one pellet appeared to have reached Mr. Whittington's heart, and that doctors, believing it would not move, decided, in consultation with Mr. Whittington's family, not to remove it through surgery.

"As far as I know the BB is in a fixed position; it's not mobile," Dr. Blanchard said.

"There's tens of thousands of people that go around with shrapnel in their body every year," he said. "We know the general area that it's in. We know what it's doing.

"Some people can have some problems and difficulties, but certainly that's why we're watching him closely," he said.

Mr. Whittington, a prominent 78-year-old Austin lawyer and longtime Republican supporter, has been described by family and friends as being in strong physical shape.

"We are very, very optimistic that with Mr. Whittington's strong heart, his personality, his stamina, the will, that he will do very well and we're prepared to deal with anything that may develop," Dr. Blanchard said.

The shooting has made Mr. Cheney the butt of late-night comics' jokes that have circulated quickly through the Internet and water cooler chat. On Monday, Mr. McClellan was put on the defensive by White House reporters for the way the matter was disclosed.

Instead of an official notification by the press offices of either the White House or the vice president, the news was disclosed when Katherine Armstrong, one of the owners of the ranch, who had been on the hunting trip, called a reporter at The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, her local newspaper, around noontime on Sunday.

The Caller-Times posted an article on its Web site by early afternoon, and reporters elsewhere began questioning the White House about the matter after that.

Today, the topic continued to dominate in Washington circles. At least before news of Mr. Whittington's mild heart attack, the White House and other top officials seemed to share in some of the humor that others were finding in the matter.

When President Bush greeted the championship University of Texas Longhorns at the White House this morning, Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, made note that orange was the university's school color.

"The orange that they're wearing is not because they're concerned that the vice president may be there," Mr. McClellan said. "That's why I'm wearing it."

And in Tampa, Fla., the president's brother, Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, slapped an orange sticker on his chest from the Florida Farm Bureau that read, "No Farmers, No Food," and referred to the shooting.

"I'm a little concerned that Dick Cheney is going to walk in," the governor said on Monday.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Administration admits increase of terror
Administration made fake news segments praising new medicare law { March 15 2004 }
Apa supresses story of mental screening
Britney supports bush
Bush concentrates power veteran advisors { May 29 2003 }
Bush corporation contracts non profit { May 10 2003 }
Bush defends selling ports to arabs { February 16 2006 }
Bush ends transatlantic dispute farce
Bush loves his european friends in war on terror
Bush meetings with top aids scripted { August 11 2003 }
Bush moves ahead with world war plans { March 19 2003 }
Bush proposes cutting social security benefits { January 4 2005 }
Bush smears french relations with iraq and hides US relations
Bush urges americans want tax cuts { May 12 2003 }
Cheney supreme court justice scalia hunting trip
Confederates support bush by marching as yankee soldiers
Conservatives no longer support republicans { April 2006 }
Democrats score in 2005 governor elections { November 8 2005 }
Estrada takes name out of ring { September 4 2003 }
Florida count jobs
Giuliani to launch anti terror fund
GOP differences over illegal immigration
GOP stance on trial lawyers { May 2 2004 }
Grand jury investigation if cheney gunshot victim dies { February 14 2006 }
Homeland security issues white house approved terror warnings { May 28 2004 }
Iraq contracts close to bush { May 24 2003 }
Kennedy calls ehrlich a nazi { September 21 2002 }
Lieberman interest { August 23 2002 }
Lieberman thinks hes kennedy { June 15 2003 }
Mccain says bush spending like drunkin sailor
Newt fires state dept { April 22 2003 }
No expense spared at 2004 inauguration
Panel choice aids gay plague { January 23 2003 }
Pentagon easter graham islam wicked { April 12 2003 }
Potholes in road finally fixed for reagan funeral { June 15 2004 }
President bush pushes do not call list
Republican connecticut charged with bribing bid rigging
Republicans played down brit downing street memo { July 23 2002 }
Republicans warned not air democrat ad { July 20 2003 }
Rights group assails US over abuse of suspects { January 19 2006 }
Senator warner says base closures rigged { August 24 2005 }
Thousands of documents secretly reclassified
Thousands of government documents shredded
US markets to shut down friday for reagan funeral { April 13 2004 }
Whiney insecure kids grow up to be conservatives
White house alters transcripts of press briefing { November 9 2005 }
Wisconsin stations air democrat ad on bush
World frightened for bush second term

Files Listed: 48


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple