UK & World News
Cheney Feared 'Homeland-Style' Death Plot
Dick Cheney has said he once feared terrorists may try to kill him using a device near his heart - similar to a plot in the Homeland TV show.
The former US vice president said he was concerned someone could attempt to hack into his implanted defibrillator.
So he had his doctor turn off its wireless function in case they tried to send a fatal shock to the heart.
Mr Cheney, who has a history of heart trouble, had the device put in six years ago to replace an older one.
The defibrillator can detect irregular heartbeats and control them with electrical jolts.
Mr Cheney, 72, said his doctor, cardiologist Jonathan Reiner, disabled the wireless function over the terror fears.
A few years later, the politician watched an episode of the Homeland, starring British actor Damian Lewis, in which such a scenario was part of the plot.
He told CBS' 60 Minutes: "I was aware of the danger, if you will, that existed, but I found it credible.
"Because I know from the experience we had and the necessity for adjusting my own device that it was an accurate portrayal of what was possible."
Mr Cheney, who was vice president from 2001 to 2009, suffered the first of five heart attacks at age 37.
He underwent a heart transplant last year at the age of 71.
Mr Reiner said he was worried that Mr Cheney could not stand the pressure that came from the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Medical tests seen that morning showed he had elevated levels of potassium in his blood, a condition called hyperkalemia, which could lead to abnormal heart rhythms and cardiac arrest.
The medic said he watched news coverage of the day's events on television and thought: "Oh, great, the vice president is going to die tonight from hyperkalemia."
Mr Cheney underwent numerous heart-related procedures over the years, including angioplasties, catheterizations and a quadruple bypass operation.
However, he said the health problems never affected his job performance during his eight years as vice president in George W Bush's administration.