This Thursday, during a press conference in which Joe Biden addressed the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the American president tried to take credit for the operation that killed Osama bin Laden during the Obama administration, after having opposed it at the time.
“We went [to Afghanistan] for two reasons,” Biden said, forgetting the course of his sentence for a few seconds. “One, to take Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, as I said at the time,” he continued with a chuckle. “The second reason was to eliminate al-Qaeda’s capacity to deal with more attacks against the United States from that territory,” he added. “We have already achieved both of those objectives.”
That statement is not entirely accurate. At the House Democratic Retreat in 2012, then-Vice President Biden admitted that he opposed the bin Laden raid. In his own words, when asked by Obama for his opinion on the matter, Biden replied, “Mr. President, my suggestion is that you don’t go.”
According to his own statements that day, Biden was opposed to the operation because he was still not sure that bin Laden had been correctly located by the American troops.
Later, after the uproar that his statements caused in the media, he wanted to clarify his position and pointed out that what he really wanted to suggest to then President Obama was to “go one more time” with another drone to make sure that they were venturing into the correct location.
Even Barack Obama himself wrote about it in his memoirs: “Joe intervened against the raid”. This is what he states in his book A Promised Land, regarding the Navy Seals mission carried out in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on the night of May 1 to 2, 2011.
Beyond the details of his statements, what is certain is that the credit for that raid does not go to Joe Biden, but to a decision of the military and intelligence teams during the Obama Administration.