After the invasion, Biden continued to support the war. At the end of July 2003, four months after the war began, he said in a speech at the Brookings Institution: "Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today. It was the right vote then and it would be a correct vote today."
After another year had gone by, Biden wrote a magazine article that tactically criticized how the war was being waged while still defending his role in helping to launch it: "A year and a half ago, I voted to give President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. I still believe my vote was just -- but the president's use of that authority was unwise in ways I never imagined."
As the Washington Post recently noted, "Not until November 2005 did Biden acknowledge that his vote was a mistake." Even then, on NBC's "Meet the Press," Biden tried to shift the blame onto President Bush for turning out to be unworthy of his trust. "In hindsight," the interviewer asked, "knowing everything you know now about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, was your vote a mistake?" Biden replied: "It was a mistake. It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly."
Only one of Biden's opponents for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination was in Congress at the time of the Iraq war resolution. Bernie Sanders (who I'm actively supporting) voted no.
This summer, Biden has spun out with new mendacity about the Iraq invasion. On the debate stage at the end of July, he upped the dishonest ante by claiming: "From the moment 'shock and awe' started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress." The historical record shows that claim to be preposterous.
And backwards timing is not the only major flaw in Biden's claim that he voted for the war resolution to increase the prospects for U.N. weapons inspectors to get into Iraq. An underlying problem with his current narrative is the reality that going to the United Nations Security Council for authorization to launch a war on Iraq was always a quest for a fig leaf to cover U.S. plans for naked aggression.
New York Times pundit Thomas Friedman was unusually candid when, on November 13, 2002 -- one month after Biden had voted to approve the war resolution -- he wrote in a column: "The Bush team discovered that the best way to legitimize its overwhelming might -- in a war of choice -- was not by simply imposing it, but by channeling it through the U.N."
It was this bogus push to supposedly legitimize the pending invasion that Katharine Gun took such a huge personal risk to expose, informing the world about the intense surveillance underway to gain illicit leverage over U.N. Security Council delegations.
"Gun's revelation showed that the U.S. and British governments were not only lying to get to invade Iraq, they were engaging in outright violations of international law to blackmail whole countries to get in line," Institute for Public Accuracy senior analyst Sam Husseini wrote. He told me: "The insidiousness of Biden is that he's effectively saying that Bush should have manipulated the U.N. better."
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