Vice President Joe Biden should not be trusted with nuclear codes (or anything else)
The job of vice president of the United States as president-in-waiting, if (please no!) a president dies or is otherwise seriously incapacitated while in office, is obviously important. So why is Joe Biden vice president? Can he be trusted not to reveal important information?
Based on past evidence, the answer is "absolutely not!" He blithely exposed the role of SEAL Team 6 in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, although obviously it was, until then, top secret. As Time Magazine reported at the time:
Can you confirm that it was a SEAL team?
…to which the senior defense official, who under the ground rules of the briefing cannot be further identified, responded:
Not going to comment on units or numbers.
How tough was that? Apparently too tough for two of the nation’s top leaders. Later the same day, May 3, Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag. While the press had been reporting SEAL Team 6 carried out the mission, no one in government had confirmed that fact.
But at a fancy dinner in honor of the Atlantic Council’s 50th anniversary, where U.S. NATO chief Adm. James Stavridis was honored, Biden couldn’t contain himself.
Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees. Admiral James Stavridis is the real deal. He can tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.
(Feel free to ignore the fact that the SEALs killed bin Laden on Monday.)
Biden, never one known for verbal reticence, then repeated his gaffe:
Folks, I’d be remiss also if I didn’t say an extra word about the incredible events, extraordinary events of this past Sunday. As Vice President of the United States, as an American, I was in absolute awe of the capacity and dedication of the entire team, both the intelligence community, the CIA, the SEALs. It just was extraordinary.
(If you’ve every been to one of these shindigs, you know how boring they can be — so credit goes to Biden for livening things up.)
Not only did Biden say it twice, he got confirmation that same evening from a pretty good source: CIA director Leon Panetta, who told PBS that the decision to shoot bin Laden “was all split-second action on the part of the SEALs.”
Back at Lejeune on Thursday, Gates surrendered on the operational details — including the unit involved. He retreated, and set up a new line of defense:
The one thing I would tell you, though, is that I think there has been a consistent and effective effort to protect the identities of those who participated in the raid, and I think that has to continue. We are very concerned about the security of our families — of your families and our troops, and also these elite units that are engaged in things like that. And without getting into any details, I would tell you that when I met with the team last Thursday, they expressed a concern about that, and particularly with respect to their families. As you say, I can’t get into the details in this forum, but we are looking at what measures can be taken to pump up the security.
Those steps, in addition to providing some additional physical protection to SEALs and their families, will also include cyber defenses, to protect their online life, defense officials suggest.(snip)
That should make things easier for tourists…and terrorists.
On Monday, at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden once again made "things easier for terrorists." Projecting his own inadequacies onto Donald Trump, Biden screeched that Trump was unqualified to know the nuclear codes that are part of the presidency.
"No major party nominee in the history of the United States of America ... has known less or been less prepared to deal with our national security than Donald Trump, and what absolutely amazes me, what absolutely amazes me, that he doesn't seem to want to learn it," Biden said in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, as he campaigned with Hillary Clinton for the first time.
The vice president said the Republican presidential nominee is "not qualified" to know the nuclear codes and added he would have stopped his late son, Beau, who was in the Delaware Army National Guard, from heading into a conflict zone if Trump had become president while he was alive.
"He can't be trusted!" Biden said. "My son Beau served for a year in a Iraq, came back a highly decorated soldier. I must tell you, no I must tell you, had Donald Trump been president I would have thrown my body in front of him. No, I really mean it. To keep him from going if the judgment was based on Trump's decision.
And then Biden revealed the identity of the person carrying the nuclear codes.
Yes, Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, actually identified the "the guy" with the nuclear codes on national television!
Well, at least he didn't reveal that the code was abcdefghijk! I hope now that "the guy" has more than enough agents protecting him and his family now that every crazed person in the world knows whom to target for the codes.
Vice President Joe Biden "is not qualified to know the codes!"