The mainstream media are busy today en masse analyzing and dissecting Joe Biden’s megagaffe, which might not have been the case if the Washington Post hadn’t been the one to break the story. But as the tall tale was first reported on there, the flub has metastasized into the 800-pound gorilla on the campaign trail, and everybody and his uncle is feeling the need to weigh in.
For those who missed the “vivid scene” that “Biden painted,” as the Post describes it, the video follows (beginning at 0:23):
Unfortunately for the former vice president, Post writers Matt Viser and Greg Jaffe declare in their column that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.”
Even Biden couldn’t avoid addressing the royal mess, which he attempts to defuse here, beginning at 0:07. Here’s the transcript:
I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we’ve lost. And so, I don’t know what the problem is. What is it that I said wrong?
The may well be, but the story, as Biden tells it, is also one of personal valor and selflessness. As Viser and Jaffe recount it:
A four-star general had asked the then-vice president to travel to Konar 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.” [Emphasis added]
It’s perhaps highlighted quote more than any other detail — the bogus intimation of bravery and self-sacrifice — that make the lie so problematic. Biden told this war story not just to “point how courageous” our fighting men and women are but as a means of self-aggrandizement. And that is unforgivable.