“HANOVER, N.H. — Joe Biden painted a vivid scene for the 400 people packed into a college meeting hall. A four-star general had asked the then-vice president to travel to Kunar province in Afghanistan, a dangerous foray into “godforsaken country” to recognize the remarkable heroism of a Navy captain.
Some told him it was too risky, but Biden said he brushed off their concerns. “We can lose a vice president,” he said. “We can’t lose many more of these kids. Not a joke.”
The Navy captain, Biden recalled Friday night, had rappelled down a 60-foot ravine under fire and retrieved the body of an American comrade, carrying him on his back. Now the general wanted Biden to pin a Silver Star on the American hero who, despite his bravery, felt like a failure.
“He said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the damn thing!’ ” Biden said, his jaw clenched and his voice rising to a shout. “’Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!’ ”
The room was silent.
“This is the God’s truth,” Biden had said as he told the story. “My word as a Biden.”
Except almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect. Based on interviews with more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders and Biden campaign officials, it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened. …
The upshot: In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony. …
Three weeks later, stumping for Jason Kander, an Afghan War veteran running for the Senate in Missouri, Biden told both the Iraq and Afghanistan versions back to back in a single speech. First it was the Navy captain who rappelled down the ravine in Kunar. “He died. He died. I don’t deserve it,” Biden quoted the medal recipient as saying. Then he segued to the Army officer, the burning Humvee and Iraq. “This is the God’s truth,” Biden said. “As I approached him in a full formation .?.?. ‘Sir,’ he whispered to me, ‘Sir, please don’t. Please don’t pin that on me. He died, Sir. He died. I didn’t do my job. He died.’ ” …
The frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president is your average senior citizen in a Florida retirement home. It is so bad that The Washington Post is trying to get rid of him. What do they know that the public doesn’t know that would prompt them to run a story like this?