Joe Biden tells FALSE war story during campaign event about giving a reluctant hero Navy captain a Silver Star in Afghanistan and gives ‘my word as a Biden’ it’s ‘God’s truth’ – but gets nearly every detail wrong
- Biden told a campaign audience what turned out to be an invented story about awarding a medal to a U.S. serviceman in Afghanistan
- Said in New Hampshire that he went to Kunar province to give a silver star to a Navy captain who rappelled down a cliff to retrieve a fallen comrade
- Claimed the trip happened while he was vice president, and the naval officer said he didn’t want the medal because his compatriot had died
- Biden visited a different area of the country while still a senator in 2008 and gave a lesser award to an enlisted Army sergeant
- The soldier had raced into a burning car to try to save his platoon-mate, and said he didn’t want the bronze star because he was too late and he died
- The cliff-rappelled was a different man, who received the Medal of Honor from President Obama in 2014
- Biden’s invention of a story from parts of real anecdotes comes as campaign-watchers are concerned about his mental abilities at age 76
An expressive and heartfelt war story Joe Biden told a New Hampshire crowd last week was almost entirely fabricated, or a combination of unrelated memories, according to an analysis published Thursday.
The Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner told a crowd at Dartmouth College that during his time as vice president he traveled to Kunar Province in Afghanistan, to award a combat medal to a U.S. Navy captain who had rappelled 60 feet down a treacherous cliff to retrieve a fallen comrade’s body.
Poised to pin a silver star on the serviceman’s uniform, in Biden’s version, he stopped when the sailor told him he didn’t deserve it.
‘He said, “Sir, I don’t want the damn thing!”,’ he said last Friday. ‘”Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!”‘
Biden added: ‘That is God’s truth, my word as a Biden.’ it was false.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden told a war story during a campaign event at Dartmouth College last Friday that turned out to be almost entirely a work of fiction adapted from other anecdotes
Biden pinned the Bronze Star Medal for Valor on U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman at Forward Operating Base Airborne in eastern Afghanistan, on Jan. 11, 2011; the experience forms one part of the tale the now-presidential-candidate assigned to a naval officer in a different part of Afghanistan, getting a different medal for a different act of bravery
The Washington Post tracked down the players in the dramatic chronicle and determined that the former vice president got the soldier’s rank and military branch wrong, along with the type of medal involved, the location and timeframe of the crucial moment, and the act of bravery that he was rewarding.
Biden visited Afghanistan’s Wardak province in 2008, when he was still a U.S. senator, and bestowed a bronze star on an Army enlisted man. He did not personally pin a silver star to a naval officer – not a senior naval officer.
The recipient, Staff Sgt. Chad Workman, apparently did protest that his bravery wasn’t worthy of recognition. He had run into a burning vehicle to save a friend’s life, only to discover that his body was already ‘melting.’
Biden’s invention of a story from parts of real anecdotes comes as campaign-watchers are concerned about his mental abilities at age 76
The cliff-rappelled in Biden’s story wasn’t a Navy captain; it was Army Sgt. Kyle J. White, who received the Medal of Honor from President Obama in 2014
‘I tried to get out of going’ to the medal presentation, he told the Post.
The Pentagon has no record of any Army captain receiving a Silver Star during the period of time covered by Biden’s anecdote.
The daring cliffside descent in Biden’s campaign story was that of another man, Army Ranger Kyle J. White, according to the Post. He got his medal at the White House years later – a Medal of Honor – from President Barack Obama.
News that Biden conflated several military stories to fabricate his own emotional tale comes as Republican critics are questioning the 76-year-old career politician’s mental faculties.
If he were elected president, Biden would be 82 years old when he finished his first term.
He has told fictionalized versions of his hero’s tale before, during a 2016 World War II commemoration in Australia and later that year during a campaign speech in support of then-presidential-nominee Hillary Clinton.
In Australia’s retelling, a navy captain ‘climbed down about 200 feet’ to rescue his fellow serviceman. On the campaign stump for Clinton, the gallant daredevil was an Army captain who made the mad dash for his compatriot in a burning car.
‘He died. He died, Mr. Vice President,’ Biden recalled hearing from the Army officer, ‘I don’t want the medal.’