Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Tailgunner Joe" Biden Forced Down in Helicopter - Harrowing Details to Follow

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The One Man Gaffe Machine picked a perfect running mate!

Warner Todd Huston has the details:

Back on September 10 in a visit to Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden seemed to hint that al Qaeda forced down a helicopter he was traveling in when he was visiting Afghanistan in February of 2008. He made the claim again on September 22 in a campaign stop at the National Guard Association. The truth, however, is not exactly what Biden may be trying to allege.

"The superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down...John McCain wants to know where Bin Ladin and the gates of Hell are? I can tell him where. That's where Al Quaida is. That's where Bin Ladin is. It's not in the country of Iraq."

Wow. Forced down was it? Biden says this as if it were some attack that forced his helicopter down, doesn't he? However, immediately after that September 10 campaign stop, it came out pretty quickly that Biden's helicopter was not forced down by enemy weapons fire. No, it was a snow storm in the mountains that "forced" the aircraft down and then only because the pilot thought the better decision would be to err on the side of safety. He had generals and Senators in his craft, after all. You can imagine how nervous the pilot was in that case.

Now, let's face the truth here. Biden would not be using the words "forced down" without explaining that it was weather that forced him down unless he meant to convey that he was forced down in some extraordinary circumstances, as if he'd been fired upon. If he didn't mean to mislead the audience into imagining that weapons fire "forced" his craft down he would say that "when the weather forced down my helicopter." If he didn't mean to give his helicopter ride more gravity, the "forced down" part was meaningless to the greater point.

After all, Biden linked the war, the hunt for bin Laden, al Qaeda and his helicopter going down in one story as if they were all directly linked. But, in truth, the helicopter going down had absolutely nothing to do with al Qaeda, bin Laden, or the war. It was all because of a little snow and THAT could have happened right in Delaware.

Nice that Biden has his own little "Tuzla moment" to match Hillary's isn't it? Maybe Viet Nam war veteran John Kerry, who was on the trip with Biden, could add some blood curdling details?

“We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs, but we didn’t have to do it…Other than getting a little cold, it was fine.”

Do you hear that people of America? Joe Biden got cold in defense of freedom! Let's get this man a medal!

Update: Ed Morrissey has more:

However, this has more similarities than differences to Hillary’s fable of coming under fire, and it’s the second time this year Biden has pulled a myth of his personal courage out on the campaign trail. Perhaps he feels the need to overcompensate for his lack of military service while attempting to run against a genuine war hero like John McCain, but clearly Biden’s trying to impress people through wild exaggerations of both his knowledge and his courage.

Update II: Come to think of it, I've been in dozens of planes and helicopters that were "forced down"...by gravity... whenever the pilots decreased the engine thrust. Fortunately for me, there was typically an airport conveniently close by! There was snow at some of those airports, too!(I wonder if Obama needs a new running mate for 2012?)

Hat tip Sister Toldjah
Cross Posted at Say Anything

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