The Guy Cheney Shot

Harry Whittington still has birdshot pellets lodged in his eye socket and forehead, a reminder of the day in 2006 when Dick Cheney shot him. His voice warbles slightly, because one of the little lead pellets pierced his larynx and is still sitting there. One, near his heart, is too deep to remove. But, Whittington jokes, at least he can still get through a metal detector, despite the 30 bits of metal inside him. The then-vice president accidentally shot Whittington on a quail hunt in South Texas, but his entourage kept it secret until the next morning, despite Whittington’s injuries being serious enough to require his transfer to a bigger hospital after the incident. The ranch’s owner blamed Whittington for walking into Cheneys line of fire, a version of the story the White House press secretary repeated, and Cheney didn’t bother to publicly address the issue till four days later. He did not apologize. The shooting introduced chaos into Whittington’s life, as he was seized on my reporters for weeks. His injuries were far more serious than previously reported.