Not Biden’s Tuzla Dash, but getting closer

posted at 7:37 am on September 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this cycle, Joe Biden told a tall tale about personally coming under fire in Iraq during a presidential debate, an exaggeration that The Hill discovered in August.  While not anywhere near as blatantly false as Hillary Clinton’s Tuzla Dash — Biden did visit Iraq seven times while the Green Zone was generally taking fire — it demonstrated again Biden’s propensity for puffing up his resumé. And according to Jake Tapper, a check on another Biden-under-fire story looks like the Democratic VP candidate is edging closer to Tuzla territory:

“Ladies and gentlemen, where are we now? Where are we now?” Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said to the National Guard Association today, talking about the war in Afghanistan.

“If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” Biden said. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.”

Biden said that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., “says he’ll follow them to the gates of hell. You don’t have to go to hell. Just go to Pakistan. Just go to that area. That superhighway of terror that exists between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Tapper searched through media reports and discovered the incident, which occurred this past February on a trip he took with John Kerry and Chuck Hagel.  No one was injured, and more importantly, no one saw hide nor hair of the Taliban.  Kerry described the incident to the Associated Press, and unlike the implication that the Taliban forced down the helicopter, it actually was bad weather:

“The weather closed in on us,” Kerry told the AP at the time in a phone interview from Turkey. “It went pretty blind, pretty fast and we were around some pretty dangerous ridges. So the pilot exercised his judgment that we were better off putting down there, and we all agreed…We sat up there and traded stories.”

Kerry joked, “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.”

This gets closer to Tuzla Dash territory.  The difference is that Hillary’s trip to Tuzla not only didn’t feature the sniper fire she claimed, it was a well known safe zone, which explains why Bill Clinton allowed his wife and daughter to fly into it.  Afghanistan doesn’t have that kind of safe zone, and it takes some courage to tour the area by helicopter.

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.  Barack Obama hasn’t felt that need and hasn’t tried a Geraldo Rivera-like “My life was actually in danger” ploy, to his credit, but his running mate seems intent on proving something about himself that requires exaggeration or outright lies.

Even discounting the Al-Qaeda Snowstorm, Biden’s logic in telling this fable relies on a notion that al-Qaeda can’t be in two or more places at the same time.  No one disputes that AQ is in Pakistan, but AQ is also in Iraq (and getting beat there), in Yemen, and perhaps a few more places as well.  In 2000-1, AQ was in the United States, too, while also being in Pakistan, although not to the extent they existed in Pakistan.

Biden tried to explain his 1987 lies about his standing in law school and his scholarship as exaggerations that occur when he gets angry.  This demonstrates that Biden hasn’t learned anything in over 20 years.  He still wants to exaggerate to make himself look like the smartest and toughest guy in the room.  What else will he “exaggerate” in his campaign stops?


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In fairness, Biden is an incredible douchebag.

RightWinged on September 23, 2008 at 7:42 AM

btw, hot off the presses

Pakistani Army Says 60 Suspected Militants Killed

RightWinged on September 23, 2008 at 7:43 AM

We sat up there and traded stories.”

Why does that not surprise me?

BigD on September 23, 2008 at 7:44 AM

Like I said on the other page…

“Ladies and gentlemen, where are we now? Where are we now?” Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said to the National Guard Association today, talking about the war in Afghanistan.

“If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” Biden said. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.”

OMG! I can’t believe he said this again! Jake Tapper reported this Uber-Gaffer Biden is characterizing his Bill and Teds excellent adventure in OEF as a “Forced Landing” again.

The 101st replaced my unit in OEF (Afghanistan) I still get e-mails from the aviation unit that’s there. That helicopter wasn’t forced down. The crews landed the helicopters because of bad weather. Weather the crews warned the good Senators about. They stated there was a good deal of command pressure from the VIPs to conduct the mission. So they got stuck in the moutains close to Bagram. I certainly wouldn’t back from where they landed, but it’s not like the Konar Valley or Helmant down South. They had to move the pax by ground vehicles the 10-15 miles back to Bagram, but those helicopters were most certainly not forced down. In our way of describing events like that, being “forced down” means either landing due to enemy fire or mechanical damage. Landing due to weather is a PL or Precautionary Landing. It wouldn’t be a big deal if he didn’t keep making it sound like such a life-threatening event. The real danger would have been punching into weather they had no business flying in.

IIMC in the Mountains = Bad!

Joe Overseas stories = Whoppers!

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 7:44 AM

I wonder if this behavior in Biden is a character flaw or if his two brain aneurysms have something to do with it (or both)? Either way he is not a good candidate to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

csdeven on September 23, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Biden has an inflated self-image. He thinks himself more valuable to the process then he is. The hair plugs is evidence enough for me, all the truth stretching just reinforces what is already known: that he brings very little to the table.

But hey, them dems think we voters are just stupid and can’t see through their obvious self-righteousness. They are a “smoke and mirrors group” that will be defeated in November.

jbh45 on September 23, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains

He makes a point of telling us just how important the passengers were. I guess we are supposed to be outraged because the people on board that helicopter are more important than just plain old regular American soldiers. God love ‘em.

bloggless on September 23, 2008 at 7:45 AM

The Senators weren’t even driven back to base in Humvees–just armored SUVs.

WolkingsWorld.com on September 23, 2008 at 7:46 AM

Leave biden alone until it’s too late to dump him from the ticket.

peacenprosperity on September 23, 2008 at 7:46 AM

I hate to think that Obama might be just an aneurysm away from the Presidency.

bloggless on September 23, 2008 at 7:46 AM

bloggless: LOL. That is a great line. Can I steal it for my workmates later today?

jbh45 on September 23, 2008 at 7:48 AM

jbh45 on September 23, 2008 at 7:48 AM

By all means, go ahead.

bloggless on September 23, 2008 at 7:53 AM

Barack Obama hasn’t felt that need and hasn’t tried a Geraldo Rivera-like “My life was actually in danger” ploy, to his credit, but his running mate seems intent on proving something about himself that requires exaggeration or outright lies.

That’s because Obama hasn’t been anywhere long enough or without enough protection even in a surge-strengthened Iraq to actually come close to taking any fire. That is, unless he’s walked the streets in his hometown of Chicago lately.

rotorhead on September 23, 2008 at 7:55 AM

When Kerry starts to sound more down to earth than someone else, that’s scary.

Hening on September 23, 2008 at 8:01 AM

Sen. McCain should make a point of this in the debate Friday:
“So Joe, your helicopter was forced down in Afghanistan, was it due to bad weather or enemy fire? Did you have any angry villagers beat you up afterwards?”

rbj on September 23, 2008 at 8:02 AM

AH..Whats new with good old Uncle Joe. These Dems couldn’t stop lying about their paper thin courage even if you waterboarded them.

- 2012 Sarah & Bobby -

Dritanian on September 23, 2008 at 8:06 AM

We sat up there and traded stories.”
Why does that not surprise me?

BigD on September 23, 2008 at 7:44 AM

Yeah really. I wonder if the pilots with Kerry asked him, “Remeber the time you said we were terrorizing women and children in the dead of night? You care to take that back before I leave your sorry ass up here Senator?”

TheHat on September 23, 2008 at 8:06 AM

Hening at 8:01 AM

When Kerry starts to sound more down to earth than someone else, that’s scary.

Hahaha!! :-)

fluffy on September 23, 2008 at 8:07 AM

They have beef up the machismo quotient in their resumes. They are running against John Mccain after all.

promachus on September 23, 2008 at 8:10 AM

“It went pretty blind, pretty fast and we were around some pretty dangerous ridges. So the pilot exercised his judgment that we were better off putting down there, and we all agreed…We sat up there and traded stories.”

It’s not surprising that a helicopter pilot might have better judgement than a politician, but why are these morons risking their lives instead of trusting the assessments of the commanders on the ground begs the question: what other military personel were put in jeopady to satisfy the egos of these “fact-finding” politicians?

What were the dangers and cost of allowing Pelosi to have her fifteen minutes of fame with Syrian leaders?

Rovin on September 23, 2008 at 8:11 AM

I suggest Biden tries this during his debate with Palin – could be very effective:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.

And it’s not like he’s averse to a bit of plagarism…

EnglishMike on September 23, 2008 at 8:12 AM

So what’s new about Uncle Joe in this? Libs can’t stop lying about their paper thin courage.


-Sarah and Bobby 2012-

Dritanian on September 23, 2008 at 8:14 AM

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.”

Are you saying we’re close to his incept date? ;-)

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 8:15 AM

“It went pretty blind, pretty fast, and we were around some
pretty dangerous ridges”.

Someone should tell Kerry,that playing Top-gun
around rocky ridges in a helicopter is a good
way to get killed! a hem!

canopfor on September 23, 2008 at 8:20 AM

John McCain was bayonetted in the groin, while Biden and Kerry pass bags full of bullshit back in forth inside a helicopter.
STFU, Biden.

hippie_chucker on September 23, 2008 at 8:22 AM

“Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains..”

..and where armed with only a pack of bubble gum and a pea shooter, and with both my legs broken, I singlehandedly defeated over 100,000 bloodthirsty Al Qaeda warriors!

And that includes bin Laden!”

Yes, Col. McBragg is alive and well and on the campaign trail.

pilamaye on September 23, 2008 at 8:23 AM

Biden is a Delaware redneck. Period.

volsense on September 23, 2008 at 8:25 AM

I’m a tad interested in GaffeBidens forced landing,
if my math is right,thats 2 miles straight up,so,
me thinks at 2 miles and your heading quickly to
the ground,that might be your life flashing before
your eyes so to speak!!

And,I wonder if Gaffebiden,had snipers fireing upon
him,during his forced landing!!

Talk about Liberals dreaming up stories,just look at
Bill Clinton,as he debuted his “Fairy Tale” theory
during this election!!

canopfor on September 23, 2008 at 8:31 AM

How incredibly insulting to our men there who actually put their lives in jeopardy– doing their jobs, not just to have a story to tell.
Is it any wonder so many folks DE are embarrassed having Slo-Joe as a representative?

dinobalz on September 23, 2008 at 8:33 AM

“We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs,” Kerry admitted their level of fear considering they were under cover of a blizzard and no Taliban would be so foolish to be out and visible waiting to get spotted as these Senators Biden, Kerry and Hagel to scout and investigate the situation with the blizzard coming full force. That’s brilliant JUDGMENT, as dumb as it gets. Furthermore, we are unwilling accomplices as taxpayers bankroll these ludicrous field trips, forced by the whim of the mighty farts to provide the least capable minds from Capitol Hill “insight” from which to vote.

I have a suggestion: MICHAEL YON TUTORIALS, no independent Congressional field trips. 1. Take and pass a YON online prep-course. 2. All interested Congressmen and Senators go as a body together on one flight paid for by taxes. 3. Any other field trips are paid for independently by the legislator, NOT PAID FOR BY TAXES.

maverick muse on September 23, 2008 at 8:37 AM

http://www.floppingaces.net/2008/09/23/who-is-the-real-reformer-obama-or-mccain/

This tells the entire story of a man telling the truth for ONCE!

Mercy4Me on September 23, 2008 at 8:51 AM

It looks like he will be dumped by Obama. I am certain with a couple more DRUDGE headlines, will do him in.

jencab on September 23, 2008 at 9:18 AM

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

It doesn’t have a darned thing to do with McCain. He’d do it if he were running against my 3 yr old.

MamaAJ on September 23, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Biden is a phony, embarrassing, hair plugged puke.

rplat on September 23, 2008 at 9:26 AM

While the MSM is investigating every stupid rumor about Palin, they’re ignoring the disturbing facts about Plagiarizin’ Joe.

jgapinoy on September 23, 2008 at 9:29 AM

He fragged 300 charlies with his beretta, and carried a fatally wounded John Kerry to safety on his back while teaching the orphans how to sing.

Joe Biden. American Humanity’s Hero.

snickelfritz on September 23, 2008 at 9:32 AM

I wonder if this behavior in Biden is a character flaw or if his two brain aneurysms have something to do with it (or both)?

RightWinged had it correct, Joe is simply an absolute douchebag…

GeneSmith on September 23, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Just waiting for Joe to slip up and talk about growing up in Tredegar, Wales and being the son of a coal miner.

He’s already stolen part of the speech, he might as well go all in.

moxie_neanderthal on September 23, 2008 at 9:36 AM

personally coming under fire in Iraq during a presidential debate

Those presidential debates sound pretty dangerous, too.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on September 23, 2008 at 9:40 AM

We must be pretty desperate to rely on “Christmas in Cambodia” Kerry to debunk a Biden blooper. But maybe we can ask the three-star general for confirmation.

Bring on Sarah. She ain’t afraid of snow.

Steve Z on September 23, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Afghanistan doesn’t have that kind of safe zone, and it takes some courage to tour the area by helicopter.

Ed, thank you for giving credit where credit is due. I appreciate your perspective and sense of what’s fair. You would not get that on a leftist blog.

/no sarc

Mr_Magoo on September 23, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Poor old Joe. Forced down by God using weather as a weapon.

TooTall on September 23, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Actually Ed your wrong – This the 2nd time Biden has said his helicopter was forced down and BOTH times Media Blog caught it.

Media Blog – September 10th “Biden’s Tulza Moment?”

And yesterday before Tapper

Re: Biden’s Tuzla Moment [Greg Pollowitz]

Tapper was just yanking on another publication for publishing something a exclusive like when the it had already been caught, and in this case googled.

Topsecretk9 on September 23, 2008 at 10:57 AM

“Afghanistan doesn’t have that kind of safe zone, and it takes some courage to tour the area by helicopter.
Ed, thank you for giving credit where credit is due. I appreciate your perspective and sense of what’s fair. You would not get that on a leftist blog.

/no sarc

Mr_Magoo on September 23, 2008 at 10:30 AM”

While there is no completely safe area in any of those countries, I have to beg to differ on the idea that there is anything brave about being a pax on a short mission like that. The area they landed was most dangerous because of the terrain and not the enemy. (Not to mention the weather those crews were pressured to fly in) I flew out of Bagram for 13 months. All missions in OEF except for training close to major airfields has to be done, multi-aircraft. You have to have at least two helicopters to conduct a mission. But up to 13 miles from Bagram, you could be single-ship for training missions. We had even discussed the relative safety of single-ship missions in between Kabul and Bagram. That’s about 40 miles or so. So no matter how you crack it, Biden is embellishing big-time.

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 11:02 AM

I think I found what forced Joe’s helicopter down. I seem to recall first seeing this mountain living devil in this grainy video:

Seriously, someone should ask Joe if AQ can only be in one place at a time, where they all in the US on 9/11/01?

clghitis on September 23, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Biden tried to explain his 1987 lies about his standing in law school and his scholarship as exaggerations that occur when he gets angry.

What is this? The liberal version of The Hulk?

geckomon on September 23, 2008 at 11:21 AM

I also just saw a Drudge headline that said Obama “scolds” Biden on AIG Flip-Flop. “Joe should have waited.”

Does anyone else wonder how the senior statesman feels being “scolded” by the one of the most junior senators in his party?

“Scold” me? I’ll give you the same what-for I gave those Tali-bannie dudes JK and I mixed it up with. Indeed!

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 11:23 AM

This is typical. We would get VIPs who came down to El Sal and wanted a taste of “action”. We would dread getting sentenced to the dog and pony show that took them out side the wire. We’d take them to the quietest and safest corner of our AO, sit in the swamp, get chewed up by the mosquitos and take them back before dark (on our effing day off) so they could go home with their war story.

Alden Pyle on September 23, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Alden Pyle on September 23, 2008 at 11:40 AM

I’ve carried a few DC strap-hangers out of Illapango myself.

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 11:45 AM

I read a book once about Copter pilots in Vietnam. When they were in the officers club they would start each story with “There I was 10000 feet, out of gas, out of ammo, and had to pee”.

I really believe that the Obummer has some polling data, that shows they’ve already lost big time and it really doesn’t matter what Biden says at this stage of the game.

BruceB on September 23, 2008 at 11:49 AM

“I read a book once about Copter pilots in Vietnam. When they were in the officers club they would start each story with “There I was 10000 feet, out of gas, out of ammo, and had to pee”.”

It also goes, “There I was at 10,000 feet unable to see through my chin bubble because of all the grenade pins.”

Or, “There I was at 10,000 feet, up-side down not able to see because of the air medals dangling in my face.”

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 11:54 AM

I’ve carried a few DC strap-hangers out of Illapango myself.

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Maybe you gave me a lift, brother; my chauffeurs were TAD from Hood and Panama. I also operated out of San Miguel, sorta like Ilopango, but no spa or concierge.

Alden Pyle on September 23, 2008 at 12:14 PM

Kerry joked, “We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs…

Ouch. How humiliating, getting b*tch-slapped by John”I served in Vietnam” Kerry. Probably the funniest thing Lurch has said in years.

Don Carne on September 23, 2008 at 1:08 PM

“Maybe you gave me a lift, brother;”

If there was a San in front of it I flew there.

Salvador,
Miguel,
Vicente.

hawkdriver on September 23, 2008 at 1:41 PM

I wonder why McCain doesn’t feel the need to make up stories about being shot at….hmmmmm…

I wonder…..

29Victor on September 23, 2008 at 3:15 PM