Battlin' Joe Biden Claims He Came Under Enemy Fire in Bosnia

Bosnia joins Afghanistan and Iraq among the countries in which Vice President Biden claims to have come under enemy fire.

In a speech yesterday before lawmakers in Sarajevo, garrulous Vice President Joe Biden made yet another eyebrow-raising assertion: That he came under fire in Bosnia when visiting the country in 1993.

But Times reporter Nicholas Kulish didn't question Biden's claim (reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's debunked claim to coming under fire in Bosnia) in his Wednesday story on the vice president's visit to Sarajevo, "Biden Warns Bosnians About 'Old Patterns.'"

Mr. Biden has also been engaged on the Balkan issue since the early 1990s, when he was an outspoken advocate of the Bosnian cause. During his speech, Mr. Biden recalled his trip to the country in 1993, and how, flying in at the time, his plane was fired upon, and bombed-out homes with snipers inside could be seen.

Speaking of "old patterns" - Biden sure got fired on a lot as a Democratic senator, didn't he? During the presidential campaign he claimed his helicopter was "forced down" in Afghanistan. (Turns out it was "forced down" by a snowstorm.)

In September 2008, Jim Geraghtyat National Review Online summarized all the places Biden claimed to have come under fire, linking to a story in The Hill newspaper showing Biden backing off on multiple claims to have been fired upon in Iraq:

When asked for a detailed account of the experience, Biden described three incidents on two separate Iraq trips in which he felt that he was shot at or might have been shot at. Only one of them took place inside the Green Zone, he said, and involved a "shot" landing outside the building where he and other senators were staying. He added that the vehicle he was traveling in the day before might also have been hit.

Biden said the incident happened in the morning while he and at least one other senator were shaving. Although he said it shook the building, he wasn't rattled enough to duck and cover.

"No one got up and ran from the room - it wasn't that kind of thing," he said. "...It's not like I had someone holding a gun to my head."

Thinking about it now, he said, a more accurate comment would have been: "I was near where a shot landed."