[guest post by JVW]
Here is a companion piece to Dana’s excellent post from earlier this afternoon. Remember Joe Biden’s laughable gaffe three weeks back?
It turns out that maybe there is something to the notion that Dinosaur Joe does prefer “truth” over facts. Jack Crowe at National Review Online has the story:
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday, Joe Biden fabricated an emotional story about pinning a medal on a reluctant Navy captain in honor of his daring attempt to rescue a downed comrade in Afghanistan.
Addressing a crowd of over 400, Biden recalled how the captain rappelled down a 60-foot ravine under fire to rescue the body of a fallen American soldier only to resist when then-vice president Biden tried to pin a Silver Star on his chest to honor his efforts.
“He said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the damn thing!’ ” Biden shouted, recounting the apocryphal event. “’Do not pin it on me, sir! Please, sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!’”
“This is the God’s truth,” he added. “My word as a Biden.”
“God’s truth.” “My word as a Biden.” Interesting constructions, those. Now, as Paul Harvey liked to say, the rest of the story, as it appears in the Washington Post:
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 J. 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.
This is nothing new for the former Senator turned Vice President, as the WaPo traces the story of Dinosaur Joe’s fable back to the 2016 campaign when he took to the stump on behalf of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. The 2016 version of the speech was set in Iraq, featured an Army Captain pulling a dead soldier out of a burning Humvee, but once again included the reluctant and anguished hero trying to refuse the honor. Later in the campaign, the then VP stitched the two stories together in his own inimitable way:
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 Bezos Bugle being the Bezos Bugle, they naturally try to let Slow Joe off easy at the end, wondering if the current President’s impulse for tall-tales and urban myths might make voters more understanding of Mr. Biden’s penchant for malarky and flapdoodle. We’ve reached peak mindlessness when the debate boils down to “our candidate’s bullshit is less offensive than your candidate’s bullshit,” but welcome to 2019. They also track down an army enlisted man to whom VP Biden presented a bronze star, and manage to pull a quote from him that is favorable to the old codger.
But I think the moral of the story is that “my word as a Biden” is pretty much worth squat.