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Biden, bin Laden, and the Real Issue Worth Addressing

The Washington Examiner ran a piece recently detailing leading Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s humiliating flip-flop regarding the role he played in the critical Navy SEALs mission to kill Osama bin Laden.  Jerry Dunleavy notes,

After initially saying that he opposed the operation and told President Barack Obama not to do it, the 2020 Democratic front-runner changed his account to say he hedged in front of other officials but privately told Obama to go ahead.

Every other account of the decision-making process indicates that the former vice president’s first version was true and his later accounts were not. In 2012, he said his advice was, ‘Don’t go.’ By 2015, he had settled on saying he’d privately told Obama to ‘go.’

It really isn’t too difficult to see what’s happened here.  In 2012, Biden’s role was to make President Obama look good.  So he told a story that made Obama look gutsy, tough, and willing to stick his neck out to protect the country.  By 2015, Biden was thinking about a run for the presidency himself, and so it was necessary to tweak the story a bit.  As Dunleavy points out, every bit of evidence we have indicates that Biden’s first story was the true one.  This includes the testimony of Obama himself:

During a presidential debate with Mitt Romney on Oct. 22, 2012, Obama made it clear that Biden had opposed the raid, telling Romney that “even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique as you did.” 

So Joe is ham-handedly trying to save face.  Given his history, that’s hardly news, though it is yet another cautionary tale for Democrat voters to consider as they inch closer to nominating him in 2020.  The real story that deserves far more attention than Biden’s heroic rewrite though, is actually buried in the very last paragraph of Dunleavy’s piece.  Quoting the book Duty: The Memoirs of a Secretary at War, written by Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, he records,

Gates said of Biden: “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

If the Democrat Party is seriously considering nominating Joe Biden to be the country’s next Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and Chief Diplomat for the country, the fact that the Secretary of Defense who served with him makes such an assessment is surely worth considering.  And when you do, the evidence certainly seems to back up the former secretary.

Biden praised the Ayatollahs takeover in Iran back in 1979 saying it would lead to improvements in human rights.  He couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Biden opposed the B-1 and B-2 Bombers, as well as the MX missiles.  He couldn’t have been more wrong as their development proved to precipitate the downfall of the Soviet Union thus ushering in an end to the Cold War.

Biden opposed President Bush’s “surge strategy” in the Iraq War, favoring the idea of dividing up Iraq and nation building.  He couldn’t have been more wrong as the surge worked effectively to quell violence and hasten the end of American involvement.

The list keeps going.

So as we all shake our heads and laugh as Biden’s depiction of the Osama raid goes from him being opposed, to him favoring, to him piloting the Black Hawk helicopters, to him strapping on the night vision goggles and leading the storming of the compound himself, we might want to remember that his bid to become the U.S. military’s next boss is no laughing matter.

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