Harry Whittington: Shot by a vice president

It’s been almost five years since Dick Cheney shot Whittington while quail hunting on a friend’s South Texas Ranch.

Harry Whittington never did get an apology from Dick Cheney, said Paul Farhi in The Washington Post. It’s been almost five years since the former vice president shot Whittington while quail hunting on a friend’s South Texas Ranch. “All I remember is the smell of burning powder,” says Whittington of the incident. “And then I passed out.”

He woke in a hospital in Corpus Christi to find his face, neck, and chest swollen and peppered with birdshot. Immediately, Cheney’s friends and the White House pinned the blame on Whittington, saying he’d stepped into the vice president’s line of fire. Whittington apologized to “Mr. Cheney and his family” for all the adverse attention caused by the shooting; Cheney, who never contacted him directly, publicly conceded that he’d “pulled the trigger,” but he never apologized.

Though the media characterized Whittington and Cheney as “old friends,” Whittington says they barely knew each other. Today, the 82-year-old Texas lawyer still has about 30 pieces of birdshot lodged in his eye socket, forehead, hand, and larynx—which makes his voice shaky—and near his heart. Still, he reckons himself lucky to have survived. “Sometimes I wonder why I got all these extra years,” he says.

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