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The Audacity of Hype: Biden and Bin Laden

The Obama campaign must have thought it was giving Vice President Biden a job that even he couldn’t mess up. All he had to do was go out to fundraisers and remind everyone how impressive the bin Laden raid was.

It sounds simple enough in concept. Then again, this is Biden we’re talking about here:

Vice President Joseph Biden on Monday night upped the ante around the already quite-dramatic assassination of Osama bin Laden.

From the pool report of Biden’s comments during a fundraising event in New Jersey come these quotes.

“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.”

Not to take anything away from the bin Laden raid, which certainly carried its own risks, but seriously? Never a more audacious plan in 500 years? National Review’s Daniel Foster reminds Biden of a few he apparently overlooked:

Arguably, Operation Desert Storm — with pre-invasion coalition casualties projected into the thousands and fears of a protracted maneuver war and the deployment chemical/biological weapons — was more audacious. Unarguably, the Inchon landing and the breakout of the Pusan perimeter were.

In World War II alone: Overlord. The British commando raids. The miracle at Dunkirk. Okinawa. Jimmy friggin Doolittle.

Five hundred years is a long time. From Patton to Napoleon, John Paul Jones to Sir Francis Drake. I’m sure all you history buffs out there can think of another battle plan at least in the running to be more audacious than Operation Geronimo.

At New York Magazine, Dan Amira writes, “By the time the election season is over, Biden will be calling the bin Laden raid the ‘single most incredible feat performed by a sentient being, here on Earth or throughout the cosmos, at any time in the last 15 billion years.’”

Nobody should diminish Obama’s decision to order the raid on bin Laden’s compound. But that’s exactly what Biden ended up doing – unintentionally – by hyping it to the extreme. The raid was a success in its own right, and needs no additional embellishment.


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