Vice President Dick Cheney “accidentally” shot long-time friend Harry Whittington while on a quail hunting trip today in Texas.“Harry was talking some shit about how CIA agents shouldn’t have their cover blown for political reasons, so I shot him,” said Cheney. “Accidentally.” The vice president travels with a full medical staff so responders were there within minutes. “The Secret Service did a tremendous job,” Cheney went on. “They got me to the hospital in under 10 minutes.” There, as doctors checked the vice president’s shoulder for bruises from his recoiling shotgun, Cheney joked: “I hope you’re all neo-cons.” “It’s a tribute to the vice president that at such a critical time he could remember a funny thing Ronald Reagan once said and then repeat it back, while changing it a little to keep it fresh,” said VP spokeswoman Lee Anne McBride. “That shotgun recoil was strong. And it was just inches from his heart.”When pressed by reporters about the shooting, the vice president said, “Look, we’re at war. And when you’re at war, people get hurt. Harry knew the risks of criticizing me. It’s a risk he chose to take. Accidentally.”Democrats called for an investigation. “Dick Cheney should not be allowed to take someone into a field and shoot them,” said Senator John Kerry (D-MA). White House spokesperson Scott McClellan disagreed, calling Kerry’s criticism “out of bounds.” “The country voted and we won,” said McClellan. “If the vice president wants to accidentally shoot someone, then that’s what he’s going to do.” Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) agreed. “We’re at war and I believe that it is a just war,” said Lieberman to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “Everyone should just back off and let the vice president shoot who he needs to.”A Washington Post/Gallup insta-poll offered good and bad news for the White House. When asked: “Do you think the vice president should be allowed to take someone into a field and shoot them?” only 45 percent of respondents said “yes.” But when asked: “Do you think the vice president should be allowed to take someone into a field and shoot them, keeping in mind that we’re in a war against terrorism,” an overwhelming 75 percent agreed.Senate Republican leader Bill Frist, a physician well known in the medical establishment for his ability to make diagnosis’s based on pictures, said that from the photographs he’s seen of the incident, Mr. Whittington was clearly at fault. “His wounds are in his back, as though he said something hurtful to the vice president then jumped in front of him just as he was about to shoot.” Mr. Whittington could not be reached for comment. A woman answering his home telephone and identifying herself as his wife said that Mr. Whittington was on a hunting trip with the vice president and hadn’t yet returned home.
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