Joe Biden defended his story about a genuine war story he told last week to a New Hampshire audience because it is his & # 39; essence & # 39; correctly received after an analysis of it had shown that it was completely fabricated, or a combination of unrelated memories.
The former vice president swept one Washington Post report showing that he had many details wrong when he talked about awarding a Navy war hero a Silver Star.
& # 39; I think it's ridiculous. The essence – that I said something about that, was not the essence of the story. The story was that he refused the medal because the guy he tried to save and saved his life died. That is the beginning, middle and end. The rest of you can take it and do whatever you want with it, & he told the Palmetto Post and courier when he campaigned in South Carolina on Thursday.
& # 39; The central point is that it was absolutely accurate what I said. He refused the medal. I laid it on him, he said, "Don't do that to me, sir. He died. He died," Biden remarked.
He said he didn't think & # 39; that he had the story wrong.
& # 39; No, I don't think so, but I didn't see the article & # 39 ;, he said in reference to The Washington Post analysis.
Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden told a war story last Friday during a campaign event at Dartmouth College, which turned out to be almost entirely a fictional work adapted from other anecdotes
Biden pinned the Bronze Star Medal for Valor to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman at Forward Operating Base Airborne in Eastern Afghanistan on January 11, 2011; the experience is part of the story that the now-presidential candidate assigned to a naval officer in another part of Afghanistan, gets a different medal for another act of courage
The presidential leader of the Democratic Party 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 US Navy captain who was 60 feet past a treacherous cliff had been gathered around the body of the fallen comrade.
Ready to pin a silver star on the soldier's uniform, in Biden's version, he stopped when the sailor told him he didn't deserve it.
& # 39; He said: & # 39; Sir, I don't want that damn thing! & # 39 ;, & # 39; He said last Friday. & # 39; Don't pin it on me, sir! Here you go sir. Do not do that! He died. He died! & # 39; & # 39;
Biden added: & # 39; That is God's truth, my word as a Biden. & # 39; It was false.
The Washington Post traced the players in the dramatic chronicle and found that the former vice-president was wrong in the rank of the soldier and the military branch, along with the type of medal, the location and the time frame of the crucial moment and the act of courage he was worth it.
The main elements of the story were a naval captain who received the silver star from Biden in Kunar province for an act of courage involving abseiling.
Biden visited the Afghan province of Kunar in 2008, when he was still an American senator, and was there when Major General David Rodriguez donated a bronze star to a man-specialist Milez Foltz recruited by the army.
That is the only medal ceremony in Kunar province that matches his story.
But then he went to Wardak Province in 2011 – where he donated a bronze star to a reluctant hero.
The recipient, Staff Sgt. Chad Workman, apparently, protested that his courage was not worthy of recognition. He had come across a burning vehicle to save a friend's life, but discovered that his body was already melting & # 39; used to be.
In Afghanistan: Joe Biden (third from the right) was in Kunar Province in 2008, not in 2011, and saw a medal ceremony – he did not spell the medal himself. Also present were Senator Chuck Hagel (left) and John Kerry (right) and (second left) Major General David Rodriguez, who gave the bronze star to a soldier on duty, not a naval captain
The cliff in Biden & # 39; s story was not a naval captain; it was Army Sgt. Kyle J. White, who received the honorary medal from President Obama in 2014
& # 39; I tried to get away & # 39; to the medal presentation, he told the Post.
But Workman was not at all in the elevator, did not receive the silver star and was not with the navy, and was assumed, not a captain of the army.
In fact, the Pentagon has no information about an army captain who received a Silver Star during the period covered by the Biden anecdote.
The daring cliff descent in Biden's campaign story was that of another man, Army Ranger Kyle J. White, according to the Post.
He received his medal years later in the White House – an honorary medal – from President Barack Obama.
That means that Biden assembled at least three stories that took place over six years and brought about a change of branch and the hero moved out of military service.
Challenged after the Washington Post published his analysis, he told his columnist Jonathan Capehart: & # 39; & # 39; I made clear how brave these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels that we have lost.
& # 39; I don't know what the problem is. What did I say wrong? & # 39;
The news that Biden merged different military stories to come up with his own emotional story comes as Republican critics question the mental abilities of the 76-year-old career politician.
If he were elected president, Biden would be 82 years old when he completed his first term.
He has previously told fictional versions of his heroic story during a 2016 World War II commemoration in Australia and later that year during a campaign speech in support of the then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
When retelling Australia & # 39; a naval captain & # 39; about 200 feet down to save his fellow soldier.
On the campaign stump for Clinton, the brave daredevil was an army commander who made a crazy dash for his countryman in a burning car.
& # 39; He died. He died, Mr. Vice President, & # 39; Biden recalled the Army Officer: & # 39; I don't want the medal. & # 39;
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