Millions of Americans around the world huddled around television sets on May 1, 2011, as then-President Barack Obama addressed the nation with major news – Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden had been killed by Navy SEALs.
That was exactly 10 years ago.
Joe Biden, Obama’s vice president at the time, had opposed the move, arguing in high-level meetings that they should wait for more additional intelligence on bin Laden’s whereabouts before greenlighting the strike.
Biden has since distanced himself from those claims, telling Fox News’ Peter Doocy earlier this year the opposite.
"As commander-in-chief, if you were ever handed a piece of intelligence that said you could stop an imminent attack on Americans — but you have to use an airstrike to take out a terror leader — would you pull the trigger?" Doocy asked.
"Well, we did," Biden, then the president-elect, replied. "The guy’s name was Usama bin Laden."
"Didn’t you tell President Obama not to go after bin Laden that day?" Doocy countered.
"No, I didn’t," Biden said.
But even Obama himself disputed the claim in his 2020 memoir, "A Promised Land."
"Joe weighed in against the raid, arguing that given the enormous consequences of failure, I should defer any decision until the intelligence community was more certain that bin Laden was in the compound," Obama wrote, recounting the national security meetings that led up to the 9/11 mastermind’s demise.
Biden himself, on multiple occasions over the years, has admitted to opposing the raid, at least initially.
In the weeks after the strike, he said he and other Cabinet members had advised caution about the raid but praised Obama’s decision "to launch the daring action," according to The New York Times.
A year later, in an interview with NBC, he began claiming that he had privately told Obama to trust his instincts after the meeting in which he expressed opposition to the raid.
Obama and Biden have both said that Biden dropped his early opposition to the raid and ultimately supported the 44th president’s decision to go forward and kill the man responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that left 2,977 people dead that day, over 6,000 injured and more than 10,000 survivors and first responders exposed to carcinogenic debris.