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Joe Biden Opposed Osama Bin Laden Raid (VIDEO)

First Posted: 01/30/2012 6:09 pm Updated: 01/31/2012 12:14 pm

Vice President Joe Biden says he advised against the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

In a speech delivered over the weekend at a Democratic congressional retreat, Biden recalled the moment when President Barack Obama asked his advisers for their opinions. "Every single person in that room hedged their bet except Leon Panetta. Leon said go. Everyone else said, 49, 51."

"He got to me. He said, 'Joe, what do you think?' And I said, 'You know, I didn't know we had so many economists around the table.' I said, '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,'" said Biden, not elaborating on what more proof he needed to see.

Biden said the next morning Obama gave National Security Adviser Tom Donilon the go-ahead.

Biden used the anecdote to praise the president's leadership. "It says less about bin Laden than it does about character about this guy leading from behind--this guy doesn't lead from behind, he just leads," he said.

The possible raid was so secret that the president did not tell his wife before it happened.

President Obama closed his State of the Union address last Tuesday by recounting the Bin Laden raid. "One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get Bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn't matter," he said, "Just like it didn't matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates -- a man who was George Bush's defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president. All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves."

Earlier on HuffPost:

See how world leaders reacted to bin Laden's death:
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  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

    "Getting rid of bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods -- the violent methods -- that were created and encouraged by bin Laden and others in the world," Palestinian Authority (PA) spokesman Ghassan Khatib is <a href="" target="_hplink">quoted</a> by Reuters as saying.

  • Palestinian Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh

    "We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior," Ismail Haniyeh told reporters,<a href="" target="_hplink"> according</a> to Reuters. "We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood."

  • Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari

    "Osama bin Laden's death illustrates the resolve of the international community including Pakistan to fight and eliminate terrorism. It constitutes a major setback to terrorist organizations around the world," the Pakistani government said in a statement. "It is Pakistan's stated policy that it will not allow its soil to be used in terrorist attacks against any country. Pakistan's political leadership, parliament, state institutions and the whole nation are fully united in their resolve to eliminate terrorism."

  • Saudi Arabia King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz

    Saudi Arabia said it hopes the killing of militant leader and former Saudi citizen Osama bin Laden will boost efforts to fight terrorism. <a href="" target="_hplink">According</a> to the Associated Press, the Saudi Press Agency carried an official statement Monday expressing hope that bin Laden's death with be a "step that supports the international efforts against terrorism."

  • Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf

    "America coming to our territory and taking action is a violation of our sovereignty. Handling and execution of the operation [by U.S. forces] is not correct," Musharraf <a href="" target="_hplink">reportedly</a> said in an interview. "The Pakistani government should have been kept in the loop...foreign troops crossing the border into Pakistan will not be liked by the people of Pakistan. U.S. forces should not have crossed over into Pakistan."

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai

    "Once again I call on NATO to say that the war on terror is not in Afghanistan. Osama was not in Afghanistan: they found him in Pakistan," Karzai said said of the discovery that the world's most wanted man was holed up in a garrison town in Pakistan, <a href="" target="_hplink">according</a> to the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>. "The war on terror is not in Afghan villages, the war on terror is not in the houses of innocent Afghans, the war on terror is not in the bombardment and killing of Afghan children and women, but in the safe havens of terrorism outside Afghanistan."

  • Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari

    "We, like many people in the world, are delighted to see an end to his mentality and his devious ideology," Zebari is <a href="" target="_hplink">quoted</a> by the BBC as saying. "Iraqis suffered a great deal at the hands of this man and his terrorist organization. Thousands of Iraqis were murdered and killed because of his ideologies. We as Iraqis have suffered enormously as a result of Al Qaeda and its leader."

  • Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

    Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood condemned Osama bin Laden's killing as an "assassination." A statement released Monday said the group "is against violence in general, against assassinations and in favor of fair trials," <a href="" target="_hplink">according</a> to the Associated Press.

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron

    "Of course, it does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terror. Indeed, we will have to be particularly vigilant in the weeks ahead. But it is, I believe, a massive step forward," Cameron is <a href="" target="_hplink">quoted</a> by Haaretz as saying in a televised statement, while noting that bin Laden's death would be "welcomed right across our country."

  • Turkish President Abdullah Gul

    Gul said the news should serve as a warning to terrorist leaders elsewhere, <a href="" target="_hplink">according</a> to the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>. "This news shows that the fate of terrorists and the leaders of terrorist organizations is to be caught in the end, dead or alive," he said. "That the most dangerous and sophisticated [terrorist] leader was caught this way, should be a lesson to everyone."

  • Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

    "The Kremlin welcomes the serious success the United States achieved in the war against international terrorism," Medvedev said in a statement,<a href="" target="_hplink"> according</a> to the AFP. "Retribution inevitably reaches all terrorists." He went on to say Russia was "ready" to step up its cooperation with the U.S. in the fight against international terror networks: "Only a joint and united fight against global terrorism can achieve substantial results. Russia is ready to step up this type of cooperation."

  • Former U.S. Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice

    "This clearly shows that the president and his team did a superb job of pulling all of this together," Rice is <a href="" target="_hplink">quoted </a>by the AFP as saying."I'm very grateful to them for closing this chapter." She went on to call the successful weekend military strike on bin Laden's compound "a good story for continuity across two presidencies...what it really shows is that the United States will be persistent and patient. Our reach is long. You may be able to harm us, but you will ultimately not defeat us."

  • Former U.S. President George W. Bush

    "This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001," Bush said in a statement as <a href="" target="_hplink">quoted</a> by CBS. "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

  • Former U.S. President Bill Clinton

    "This is a profoundly important moment not just for the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in Al Qaeda's other attacks but for people all over the world who want to build a common future of peace, freedom, and cooperation for our children," Clinton said in a statement, <a href="" target="_hplink">according</a> to <em>USA Today</em>. "I congratulate the President, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous Al Qaeda attacks."

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    Merkel described the event as a "decisive strike against Al Qaeda," via her spokesman Steffen Seibert, <a href="" target="_hplink">according</a> to Dow Jones. "Last night, the forces of freedom were successful." Still, international terrorism "has not yet been defeated", and "we will all have to remain alert."

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy

    "The scourge of terrorism has suffered a historic defeat but it's not the end of Al Qaeda," Sarkozy warned in a statement, <a href="" target="_hplink">according</a> to Haaretz. "The combat against the criminals who claim to form part of it should continue without respite and unite all the states who are victims of these crimes."

  • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

    "I welcome the death of Osama bin Laden," Gillard <a href="" target="_hplink">said</a>. I welcome this news." She went on to confirm the government is updating travel advisories, warning Australians abroad to "exercise enhanced vigilance in terms of their personal security."

  • Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram

    The killing of Osama bin Laden near Islamabad is proof that "terrorists belonging to different organizations find sanctuary in Pakistan," Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram is <a href="" target="_hplink">quoted</a> by the BBC as saying.

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Filed by Luke Johnson  |