Behind The Scenes

Biden Opposed bin Laden Raid

In a speech to House Democrats, Vice President Joe Biden gave a detailed—and dramatic—look at the administration's debate over killing Osama bin Laden. It turns out Biden, along with other senior officials, opposed the raid, but they were overruled by President Obama. In the Situation Room, Obama polled his staff on whether they should go ahead with the raid. “Every single person in that room hedged their bet except Leon Panetta,” Biden recalled. “Leon said go. Everyone else said, 49, 51.” Obama then asked Biden, who said, “You know, I didn’t know we had so many economists around the table. We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.” The next morning, Obama gave the go-ahead.