Monday, January 30, 2012
Joe Biden admits he told Obama not to kill Osama Bin Laden.
Vice-president Joe Biden has admitted that he told Obama not to launch a raid to kill Osama bin Laden.
Speaking to a gathering of Democrats from the House of Representatives in Cambridge, Maryland on Friday, the Mr Biden offered one of the most complete accounts so far of the counsel given to Obama by his closest advisers.
In video obtained by Fox Nation, Mr Biden praised President Barack Obama as having a 'backbone like ramrod'.
He gave an insight into the discussions held about whether or not to carry out the SEAL raid, giving credit to his boss.
During his speech, Biden took the hushed audience through what happened.
The President, he went around the table with all the senior people including the Joint, the Chiefs of Staff.
He said, 'I have to make this decision what is your opinion?'. He started with the National Security adviser, the Secretary of State and he ended with me.
Every single person in that room hedged their bet, except Leon Panetta.
Leon said, 'Go'. Everyone else said 49, 51, this...It got to me.
Joe what do you think? I said, 'You know I didn't know we have so many economists around the table.
We owe the man a direct answer. Mr President, my suggestion is don't go. We have to do two more things to see if he's there'.
Panetta was then CIA director. Bob Gates, Panetta's predecessor as Pentagon chief, has previously
said that he had serious reservations about whether to launch the raid without the certainty bin Laden was in the compound near Abbotobad.
Biden continued: 'He walked out and said, 'I'll give you my decision'. The next morning he came down to the diplomatic entrance getting in the helicopter, I believe to go to Michigan, I'm not positive about that, and he turned to Tom Donilon [the National Security Adviser]and said, 'Go'.
The raid went ahead in May last year and bin Laden was killed after Navy SEALs stormed the compound.
Biden said that 'not just the lives of those brave warriors, but literally the Presidency' was at stake when Obama made the decision.
In addition, Biden said, the judgement of history would have been harsh because 'knowing that as loyal as everyone is around that table' later on books would have been written stating: 'I didn't tell him to do that.'
Pushing back on the Republican critique of Obama based on an ill-advised advisor's description of the President's technique as 'leading from behind'.
Biden said that Obama 'pulled the trigger....he doesn’t lead from behind, he just leads.