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September 05, 2008

Biden Lied, His Family Died -- UPDATED

More to the point, he lied about how his wife and daughter died.

Since his vice presidential nomination, Joe Biden's 2007 statement that a "guy who allegedly ... drank his lunch" and drove the truck that struck and killed his first wife and daughter has gained national media traction.

Alcohol didn't play a role in the 1972 crash, investigators found. But as recently as last week, the syndicated TV show Inside Edition aired a clip from 2001 of Biden describing the accident to an audience at the University of Delaware and saying the truck driver "stopped to drink instead of drive."

The senator's statements don't jibe with news and law enforcement reports from the time, which cleared driver Curtis C. Dunn, who died in 1999, of wrongdoing.

So what we have here is a bald-faced lie in an attempt to drum up sympathy and votes -- and perhaps obscure the fact that investigators indicated that the accident may well have been caused by Neilia Biden's own negligent driving. One of the things that the official reports reject is the notion that Dunn was driving drunk.

What's more, Joe Biden knows it. He has for at least seven years, and likely for 36 years. How do we know he knows? Because the family raised this issue with him the last time he made this false statement in public, back in 2001.

After reading a News Journal account of Biden's 2001 speech at UD, Hamill sent Biden a letter on behalf of her father. The newspaper story included Biden's description of getting the call that his wife and daughter had died, but not his comments about Dunn.

Hamill said her note to the senator described how Dunn was affected by the accident.

Printed on the senator's letter head and dated Oct. 11, 2001, the response from Biden reads:

"I apologize for taking so long to acknowledge your thoughtful and heartfelt note," Biden wrote. "All that I can say is I am sorry for all of us and please know that neither I nor my sons feel any animosity whatsoever."

One could argue that the failure to dispute the Dunn family's claims indicates his implicit acceptance of their validity. Even if one does not want to go that far, it is clear that Biden should have known that there was serious question about his account of the incident, and that he ought to more fully research the issue before making the claim again.

And besides, there is plenty of documentary evidence that Mr. Dunn was cleared of any wrong-doing in the accident.

Apparently Biden lacked the decency to do so. But then again, we've all known that Biden is "integrity challenged" for a couple of decades now. But that the Obama campaign did not catch this matter earlier raises serious questions into the opposition research and vice presidential vetting conducted on Joe Biden. For that matter, it also raises questions about the willingness of the press to look into family issues that Biden has referred to on the campaign trail and used to solicit votes. After all, doesn't this relapse into dishonesty and cynical abuse of his family call for the same sort of hard-hitting coverage as Bristol Palin's pregnancy? Where the hell is Andrew Sullivan on this one?

How much longer can this dishonest man continue as the Democrat's candidate for Vice President? And what does his selection say about the judgment of Barack Obama?

H/T Malkin

UPDATE: Reading through the comments at the N-J, I came across this one that is striking.

I remember the 1972 accident well.I knew the Bidens then as they shopped in the butcher shop where I worked at that time. Let me make something very clear here. The accident happened at Tim's Corner & Limestone Road. Mrs Biden had a stop sign. Mr Dunn, traveling on Limestone Road, did NOT have any stop sign or any other traffic signal. He had the right of way. The speed limit on Limestone Road was 50 MPH. Mrs Biden either ran the stop sign or pulled away from the stop sign without looking or seeing the oncoming truck.

Those involved with altering the facts of this tragic event should be ashamed. My heart goes out to Mr Dunn's family that something like this is reported as "news". I'm sure there wasn't a day in his life (may he rest in peace) that he did not think of the accident. A car pulled directly in front of him and there was nothing he could have done to prevent what happened.

In other words, not only would this have been a situation in which Mr. Dunn was not at fault, the conclusion has to be that Mrs. Biden either didn't look, didn't see, or didn't care that the truck was coming and had right-of-way. Which means, of course, that the accident was most likely due to her own negligence or error. I understand that this may be an uncomfortable reality for the Senator to acknowledge, but for him to peddle the lie that Dunn was drunk -- especially after being told it was untrue -- is reprehensible and inexcusable.

And remember that the investigation, which was headed by an official who was a friend and neighbor of the Bidens, concluded there was no evidence that Dunn "was speeding, drinking or driving a truck with faulty brakes." Under the circumstances (a politically connected associate of a newly-elected senator investigating the death of the senator's wife), it is safe to conclude that no evidence against Dunn would have been overlooked, and that any evidence of wrong-doing on his part would have been used as grounds to file charges against him in a wreck that killed the wife and child of a senior elected official.

Also, while some may argue that this is an unfair attack on Senator Biden's family, I'd argue that it is a reasonable examination of Senator Biden's integrity. Regardless of the cause of the accident, I still feel an aching compassion for the man over the loss of two precious lives. But his pain is no excuse for bending the truth to the breaking point in his public statements -- while he is welcome to believe what he wants in the privacy of his own heart to deal with the anguish over a tragedy that must always be with him, he has no right to make public accusations that inflict pain today upon the family of a man who was cleared of wrongdoing and can no longer defend himself from such charges.

UPDATE 9/9/2008: MVRC is commenting on the story now. Her questions:

1. If Sarah Palin had this kind of “memory lapse” or told this kind of whopper, how likely would it be that she would get away with it?

2. Biden’s sons were in the vehicle. They were in the hospital for weeks. He took his oath of office at their hospital bed. From then until they got out, he left them alone at the hospital to go to DC to do the senator thing. How is Palin’s bringing her family to DC any worse?

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT The Virtuous Republic, No Apology, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Rosemary's Thoughts, Right Truth, Dollar Traveler, Shadowscope, , Leaning Straight Up, Cao's Blog, The Amboy Times, NN&V, Democrat=Socialist, Pet's Garden Blog, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Allie is Wired, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, DragonLady's World, Walls of the City, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.





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My father was killed by someone who reportedly had been drinking and speeding in similar circumstances. In this crisis, I never bothered to confirm this -- we were busy dealing with the horrible consequences (my siblings had to be raised by my sister who was only 23 at the time, etc.). To this day I tell people that a Vietnam Vet who was probably drinking killed my dad. I'm sure a psychiatrist would say it eases the pain. Mr. Dunn, the truck driver, could just as easily have been drinking but not legally drunk, and would certainly never admit it if he were. I am sure his daughter eases the pain also by believing what she was told.

For those who call this a deliberate lie -- Walk a mile in these shoes first!

|| Posted by Concerned, September 20, 2008 10:21 AM ||

Response to "Concerned." All due respect please refer back to this paragraph:

"And remember that the investigation, which was headed by an official who was a friend and neighbor of the Bidens, concluded there was no evidence that Dunn "was speeding, drinking or driving a truck with faulty brakes." Under the circumstances (a politically connected associate of a newly-elected senator investigating the death of the senator's wife), it is safe to conclude that no evidence against Dunn would have been overlooked, and that any evidence of wrong-doing on his part would have been used as grounds to file charges against him in a wreck that killed the wife and child of a senior elected official."

Mr. Dunn, who is now deceased and can not speak for himself, apparently was tested and WASN'T DRINKING! If he had been drinking, he would have been charged with 2 counts of vehicular homicide (or whatever the equivalent was in the State of Delaware at that time). I guarantee you that the powers that be, would've gone after him like a dog after a bone for the deaths of a Senator's wife and daughter.

Regarding your comments: "To this day I tell people that a Vietnam Vet who was probably drinking killed my dad. I'm sure a psychiatrist would say it eases the pain. Mr. Dunn, the truck driver, could just as easily have been drinking but not legally drunk, and would certainly never admit it if he were. I am sure his daughter eases the pain also by believing what she was told." Maybe now that you are an adult you should do some investigating into the accident that killed your father and see if you, yourself, have been doing an injustice to the other driver. Maybe he wasn't drinking or drunk and yet your whole life you've believed and accused him of such. If he was, then your accusations were right. BUT, if he WASN'T DRINKING, then you have misrepresented the truth about your father's death all these years. Maybe you would rather believe that he was drinking in order to continue to hold the beliefs that you have in your heart toward the other driver. Otherwise you may have to face the possibility that he wasn't drinking, therefore you have no creedance to what you've always told people.

A footnote...it is common practice that blood be drawn in a forensic, clinical setting, in a timely manner from all involved parties when there has been a fatality accident. Testing of the blood determines whether there is alcohol and/or drugs in the blood.

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