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While in Iowa on Friday, Joe Biden outright lied about his past opposition to the raid that ultimately resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Here’s a transcript of the conversation.
Q: If you were ever handed a piece of intelligence that said you can stop an imminent attack on Americans but you have to use an airstrike to take out a terror leader, would you pull the trigger?
BIDEN: Well, we did. Guy’s name was Osama bin Laden.
Q: Didn’t you tell President Obama not to go after bin Laden?
BIDEN: No, I didn’t. I didn’t.
But, here’s the problem, Biden’s opposition to the raid has never been a secret. In fact, in 2012, he literally told the story of how he advised Obama to NOT order the raid.
“The president, he went around the table with all the senior people, including the chiefs of staff, and he said, ‘I have to make a decision. What is your opinion?’ He started with the national security advisor, the Secretary of State, and he ended with me,” Biden recalled. “He said, ‘Joe, what do you think?’ And I said … ‘Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go.’”
Barack Obama confirmed Biden’s opposition to the raid during a debate with Mitt Romney. “When it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, you said, well, any president would make that call. But when you were a candidate in 2008 … you said we shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get one man, and you said we should ask Pakistan for permission. … And even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique as you did,” Biden said.
Jay Carney, who was White House press secretary at the time., confirmed the account. “I know that he’s speaking accurately,” Carney said, in response to a question about Biden’s statement. This even prompted John Hudson of The Atlantic to muse that “one can’t help but look at the scoreboard of foreign policy decisions Biden has gotten utterly wrong over the last 20 years.”
As many as six Obama administration officials, including Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, and Robert Gates, also say Biden opposed the raid.
So why would Joe Biden lie? Because his opposition to the bin Laden raid reflects poorly on his judgment and tells people that if he were ever commander-in-chief he wouldn’t be capable of making tough decisions in the name of protecting our country. Marc Thiessen of the Washington Post wrote just last week about the significance of Trump greenlighting the operation that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “If things had gone horribly wrong, Trump would have been blamed,” Thiessen wrote. “That risk is why former vice president Joe Biden advised President Barack Obama not to carry out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Trump did not hesitate the way Biden did.”
President Trump has shown he has both the leadership and the judgment Biden lacks to make big decisions, like taking out al-Baghdadi and General Soleimani.