Many Americans have been waiting for an apology from former Vice President Dick Cheney for his machismo-induced decisions that helped launch this country on a downward trajectory.
But one Republican is waiting for a more personal apology: Harry Whittington, Cheney’s willing hunting partner one fateful day in February 2006, never received an “I’m sorry for being the Vincent Vega to your Marvin” from the man who unloaded 200 lead birdshot pellets into his face and body, 30 of which still remain nearly five years later.
The Washington Post today published an extraordinary, must-read profile of the now 82-year-old Texan. In addition to the mental anguish that comes with having your scarred splashed on Page One of every newspaper across the country, The Post describes the previously unreported physical trauma Whittington endured as a result of the misfired shot:
“His facial lacerations were the most dramatically bloody, but the injuries to his neck and chest were the most serious. Four days after being hit, the birdshot near his heart prompted it to beat erratically, forcing him back into the intensive care unit. Doctors said Whittington suffered a mild heart attack; he thinks it was something less, a heart ‘event.’
“Still, the injuries were more dire than previously disclosed. Whittington suffered a collapsed lung. He underwent invasive exploratory surgery, as doctors probed his vital organs for signs of damage. The load from Cheney’s gun came close to, but didn’t damage, the carotid artery in his neck. A rupture could have been fatal, particularly since it took the better part of an hour to transport him from the vast Armstrong ranch to the Kingsville hospital.”
Whittington inexplicably apologized to the then-vice president following the incident, but he has not received a reciprocal gesture from Cheney. Here’s what Whittington said when he left the hospital:
The full profile is long, but it’s worth a read. And maybe by the time your finished Cheney will have picked up the phone and said “sorry” for his poor aim and callous apolog-apathy.