As he campaigns for president, Joe Biden tells a moving but (totally) false war story
The Dem Knives are out for Forgettin' Slow Joe. If not, they'd be burying this. This is Neil Kinnocks' Bio Plagiarism V2.0
[Houston Chron] 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 video is cringeworthy. What a tool.
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.
Biden visited Kunar province in 2008 as a U.S. senator, not as vice president. The service member who performed the celebrated rescue that Biden described was a 20-year-old Army specialist, not a much older Navy captain. And that soldier, Kyle White, never had a Silver Star, or any other medal, pinned on him by Biden. At a White House ceremony six years after Biden's visit, White stood at attention as President Barack Obama placed a Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for valor, around his neck.
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.
One element of Biden's story is rooted in an actual event: The vice president did pin a medal on a heartbroken soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman, who didn't believe he deserved the award.
In a statement, Biden's campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said Workman's valor was "emblematic of the duty and sacrifice of the 9/11 generation of veterans."
The campaign did not dispute any of the facts in the Post report.
In an interview with Washington Post opinion columnist Jonathan Capehart after the report was first published, Biden suggested he was telling Workman's story in New Hampshire, although almost none of the details he offered matched what actually happened to Workman.
"I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we've lost," he said. "I don't know what the problem is. What is it that I said wrong?"
Biden, 76, has struggled during his presidential campaign with gaffes and misstatements that hark back to his earlier political troubles and have put a spotlight on his age. In 1987, Biden dropped out of the presidential race amid charges that he had plagiarized the speeches of a British politician and others.
Posted by: Frank G 2019-08-30