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The President-elect was targeted by a series of scathing Republican advertisements during this year’s highly contentious US election, which claimed Mr Biden, 77, was completely against the decision to raid, and kill, bin Laden. It had become a stick with which Republicans, such as current President Donald Trump, used to swing the public against the Democrat, despite conflicting reports about Mr Biden’s actual thoughts of the 2011 attack. But Mr Obama, who was President between 2009 and 2017, admitted that Mr Biden “weighed in against the raid”, although he backed his colleague when the decision was ultimately made.
Mr Biden argued that Mr Obama should take longer to make a decision as “enormous consequences of failure” would hang large over the administration, if the Navy Seals’ May 1 mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan was not a success.
In his latest memoir, A Promised Land, Mr Obama said that his Vice President believed he “should defer any decision until the intelligence community was more certain that bin Laden was in the compound” the US was set to raid.
He added: “As had been true in every major decision I’d made as President, I appreciated Joe’s willingness to buck the prevailing mood and ask tough questions, often in the interest of giving me the space I needed for my own internal deliberations.”
Republican claims that Mr Biden was fully against the raid, which would eventually see the al-Qaeda leader killed, therefore appear false as the Democrat wanted Mr Obama to wait a bit longer to ensure bin Laden was definitively tracked.
Reports from the White House in 2012 explain that while in the Situation Room a year before, where the order to kill bin Laden was delivered, Mr Obama “went around the tables with all senior people… asking for opinions”.
Mr Biden added: “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.’”
Mr Biden, or those closest to him, have never exposed exactly what the “two more things” he wanted to do were, but his plea to wait was ultimately heard by Mr Obama, who would order the raid the following day.
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This account was also backed by former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who described Mr Biden as “sceptical” in her 2014 book Hard Choices.
Bin Laden’s death came ten years after the 9/11 terror attacks, described as the “single deadliest terror attack in human history”.
Nearly 3,000 lives were claimed over four separate attacks by Islamist group al-Qaeda, causing more than 25,000 injuries and billions of dollars worth of damage in infrastructure across the nation.
The terror organisation’s leader initially denied being responsible for the attack, but then later said in a chilling 2001 video: “What the United States is tasting today is nothing compared to what we have tasted for decades.”
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He added in 2004: “As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way: to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.”
Despite this apparent division over the raid on bin Laden, Mr Obama and Mr Biden spent their time together in office securing their legacy with policies such as Obamacare – a universal healthcare system for Americans.
Although their administration was highly praised, they weren’t always successful as history paints them out to be, especially as they answered a plea from then-Prime Minister David Cameron to wade into the 2016 EU referendum.
Both had been enlisted to speak out against Brexit, urging British voters to back Remain in the poll.
Here, they agreed on the benefits of staying within the European Union, with Mr Obama even warning that should the UK quit the bloc, they would “go to the back of the queue” in terms of any future trade agreements with the US.
Mr Biden, of Irish heritage, also chimed in by claiming he would have voted Remain in the Brexit poll.
He added: “Had I been a Member of Parliament, had I been a British citizen, I would have voted against leaving.
“From the US perspective, US interests are diminished with Great Britain not being an integral part of Europe and being able to bring influence.
“There’s growing awareness that Britain played a role in Europe the last 30 years that went well beyond the notion of open borders and trade, being able to influence attitudes.”
A Promised Land is published by Penguin Random House and is available here.
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