Report: Biden the only Obama adviser to oppose bin Laden raid

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Vice President Joe Biden was the only adviser to oppose consistently President Obama’s decision to raid Osama bin Laden’s compound, according to a Vanity Fair story based in part on interviews with the president.

Per Vanity Fair:

Bowden contradicts reports that many of the president’s top advisers opposed the raid. “Nearly everyone present favored it,” he writes. “The only major dissenters were Biden and Gates, and before the raid was launched, Gates would change his mind.” According to Bowden, Leon Panetta told Obama that he ought to ask himself this question: “What would the average American say if he knew we had the best chance of getting bin Laden since Tora Bora and we didn’t take a shot?”

The story does note that Obama and his advisers knew they had no better than a 50 percent certainty that it was actually bin Laden’s compound they were looking to raid.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says that any president would have made the same decision. “I say any president, Jimmy Carter, anybody, any president would have obviously under those circumstances done the same thing,” McCain told Fox. Reminded of Biden’s opposition to the raid, McCain replied, Biden has — has been consistently wrong on every national security issue that I’ve been involved in in the last 20 years or so. So, I wouldn’t use Biden as a bellwether.”

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