It’s not really a lie; you can embellish and create facts as long as the “essence” is true, according to Joe Biden. This approach to the truth would be worrisome in any individual, but in someone who wants to ascend to the highest office in the land, it is quite alarming. The “essence” of the facts should be enough for anyone, according to Biden, who was accused this week of stretching the facts and making up parts of a war story.
The story was about the war in Afghanistan, and Biden invented some emotional components that never actually happened. According to the Washington Post, a story Biden relayed about awarding a medal to a Navy officer is not really true. Biden was swift to speak out, stating that the general idea was correct and that we need to move on.
The questionable story detailed a Navy captain’s heroic deeds, including rappelling down a dangerous ravine while under fire and carrying a deceased American soldier on his back. Biden was to present a medal, which the officer then refused, because the soldier died during the mission. Biden’s emotional account was moving – but mostly made up, according to the Washington Post. The paper reported that almost every detail Biden shared was incorrect or invented. Biden responded that it did not matter:
“I don’t understand what they’re talking about, but the central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said,” Biden told South Carolina’s Post and Courier “He refused the medal. I put it on him, he said, ‘Don’t do that to me, sir. He died. He died.’
Biden’s story is riddled with inaccuracies, the most glaring include:
- Biden claimed to have performed this act as a vice president; he was a senator at the time.
- The soldier being awarded the medal was in the Army, not the Navy.
- The soldier was a young 20 year old specialist, not a grizzled Navy veteran like Biden described.
- Biden never pinned a medal on this soldier, but Barack Obama did awarded him the medal of honor.
After listing all the inaccuracies, the Washington Post determined that Biden was confusing or combining three separate events.
“In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony,” the paper charged.
Biden brushed off the criticism, stating that the actual facts did not matter so much as the “essence” of the story and denied that he had confused multiple stories or exaggerated his role for emotional effect. This is not Biden’s first “confusion” on the campaign trail — and likely won’t be his last, if his past history is any indication.