August 16th, 2007
06:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Biden's son to be deployed to Iraq

Biden said his son will be deployed to Iraq.

(CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair Thursday that his son will be deployed to Iraq.

Beau Biden, Delaware’s attorney general, is a captain in the Army National Guard. His unit has been notified that it should be prepared to deploy in 2008.

“He’ll go…I don’t want him going,” the Delaware senator told the crowd. “But I don’t want my grandsons or granddaughters going back in 15 years. So how we leave makes a big difference.”

The Delaware senator’s son was in attendance as Biden addressed the crowd in Des Moines.

Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Duncan Hunter also have sons who have either served or have been called for duty in Iraq.

UPDATE: The Biden campaign tells CNN his son’s unit was placed on the activated list 2-3 weeks ago. There is no firm date for him to report yet.

UPDATE II: Delaware National Guard's Col. Len Gratteri confirms to CNN that Sen. Joe Biden's son, military lawyer Beau Biden, is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq in the early months of 2008.

Captain Biden is a Judge Advocate General in the 261st signal brigade of the Delaware National Guard.

Col. Gratteri was unsure of what kind of mission Biden would be doing, but said that his unit is preparing to deploy to Iraq.

– CNN's Mark Norman and Katy Byron


Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    In light of all the mudslinging, posturing, and pettiness between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, stories like this remind us of what is truly important. I really hope Biden is able to get some traction and overtake his rivals for the Democratic nomination. He has more experience than Obama, Edwards, and Clinton combined and is a powerful speaker. Making gaffes about "articulateness" and being "clean" pale in comparison to gaffes about nukes.

    Best wishes to Sen. Biden, his brave son, and his family.

    August 16, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Adam, Clearwater, FL

    No information has been released regarding the Captain's assigment in Iraq. How exactly are they going to find him? Systematically search all of the army bases in Iraq?

    Maybe he annouced it because he is proud of him?

    August 17, 2007 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    Best to you and yours Capt. Biden. Hopefully, you'll be home sooner, rather than later.

    <quoteLet's resume the air war, flatten that rat trap, and let our people come home safe. If we have 155,000 people in Iraq, then there are exactly that number of people that I give a darn about.

    Everyone keeps wondering about the right exit strategy will further a lasting peace. History shows us that the ten day plan we employed in Japan in August 1945 seemed to do the trick. If we are going to have to fight this War, let's try to win it.
    Posted By C. Diesel, Raleigh, NC : August 16, 2007 3:53 pm

    As dead set against this war as I am, I can only agree with C. Diesel. This thing could be over by labor day.

    August 17, 2007 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. tim Toast N.C.

    Best wishes to Presidential Candidate Biden's son. But, why has Candidate Biden as well as all the other candidates both Republican and Democrat, the present Congress, and President himself not spoken out about the deplorable story on CNN the other night concerning our troops losing their jobs upon return from their deployment? I hope Candidate Biden's son is able to return to his job upon his return. It is an atrocity that major corporations are the main culprits behind the firing of employees who are being deployed to Iraq. Why are our leaders not screaming about this situation? What is a "leader" anyway, if they refuse to speak out about this type of abomination being done to our brave men and women who serve our country?

    August 17, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  5. C.N. - Lowell ,IN

    By Biden saying

    I don't want my grandsons and granddaughters going in 15 years

    he's saying he recognizes that we need to go and finish the job.
    Right on Joe

    August 17, 2007 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  6. Tom Gawronski griggs county,N.D.

    Biden is nothing but a east coast hot head , who is not worth the job he has.

    August 17, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  7. Glenn Coyne Medina, Ohio

    It's great to see a man of character and integrity stepping up to the plate.

    America needs leadership.

    We need a leader who will be able to address the problems we face without alienating us with the rest of the world.

    We need a leader who sincerely believes America is a country established 'by the people, for the people'. We need someone who strongly supports making it easier for ALL of America's citizens to weigh in and be heard regarding the issues we face as a nation.

    Yes, we elect our representatives, but all to often we see their votes don't coinside with the majority opinion of the voters they represent.

    Why is that? Why do we allow people to get elected who don't truly serve the people they represent? Why isn't each individual state able to hold their representatives accountable for the way they vote. To me, each vote our representatives make should reflect the will of the people they represent.

    I think it's important for all Americans to serve the country in some way during their life. Whether it's in the military, or the peace corp should not matter, but all of us should serve. Having a draft for some type of required service right after high school would be good for America and the world as a whole.

    I like what I'm hearing from Senator Biden.

    Of course, I'd like to hear more about what he believes America needs, and how he would go about addressing those needs.

    To me, I believe there is still power in public opinion and as Americans we must never lose sight of that fact.

    The 2008 presidential election could easily be a positive turning point in our history, or it can be more of the same.

    The key to having a positive outcome from the 2008 election is voting for the person with most character, integrity and passion for the citizens of America.

    My question to Senator Biden:

    Are you ready to lead?

    August 17, 2007 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  8. Jason, MI

    Strider, the man isn't a frontline soldier, he's a JAG officer, which basically means he's a military attorney. As far as "operational security" goes, that's pretty far from a breach, and would have become public knowledge as soon as Beau Biden had to leave his current job. He will not be on the frontlines (no chance of capture) and will not be in any military operations (operational security). If they want to kidnap Beau, the insurgents are going to have sneak into a U.S. military compound to grab him, and frankly, the chances they won't make are so good no insurgent is going to risk them simply to get the son of a lower-tier candidate.

    August 17, 2007 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. JB, Boston MA

    While I applaud Senator Biden for not "pulling strings" to get his son out of his tour, this discussion is one of the most stupid I have ever heard. Politicians DO NOT have to have a child involved in a war to make sound judgements. You tell me that speaking with the parents of those who have died isn't going to bring the reality of war home for a President. What happens if you don't have children? Should you impregnate someone, so that you can run for office? What happens if your son or daughter go, and push paper in a back office? Does that count? This is a non-issue. I would be pissed as hell if I was a Romney boy and people criticize me for not going. The Romney boys didn't choose their Dad and should not have a future predetermined because their Dad wants to be President. Next story!

    PS- I bet Hillary never played with Army men when she was little, so, she must have less experience with War, therefore not qualified to be the President. About as good an indicator as whether or not your child is there.

    August 17, 2007 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  10. Steve, Houston TX

    JON-Sacramento,

    Do you or have you ever served in the military? Do you have children, parents or a spouse serving as we fight this war. If you have, have you or they been deployed to Iraq to fight in this war? If you have then you should know what it's like to have someone say that they will continue to deploy you or your loved ones indefinately to fight in a senseless war, while saying that their sons' driving an SUV to campaign for them is supporting our troops who are dying daily in Iraq and you should know better. However, if you or any of your kin have never served in this war, as I suspect is the truth, then you're just joining a long list of Americans not making any personal sacrifices in this war, yet the first to jump up in its support, in that case I suggest you shut your mouth on anything regarding the war and just sit back and enjoy the ultimate sacrifices that others are volunteering to make for you and your children. The day that you or anyone in your family enlists and deploys to Iraq, you can then offer opinions on the war. Thank you.

    August 17, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  11. David, Arlington, VA

    To Steve,

    While I've disagreed with almost everything Jon has said on this blog, are you saying that anyone who hasn't served, or who has not had family members serve, does not have the right to voice their opinion about the war? For that matter, should every presidential candidate have served, or have family members currently serving, in order to be able to lead the country during a time of war? I don't think the historical record supports a clear answer either way but to say that those who have not served aren't capable of offering an educated opinion on the issue, based on the facts, seems shortsighted.

    August 17, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Sue, Reno, NV

    I agree withTom-Dedham. But Why a press conference to make a political announcement out of it? His volunteered for the military years ago. Now Dad is attempting to gain political benefit from it. Besides, son is in 'legal' position NOT combat position.

    August 17, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. captain crunch

    His son is a JAG and doesn't know the war is illegal? That's too bad...

    August 17, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. Jon, Sacramento ~ CA

    Steve ~ Houston,

    You asked, "Do you or have you ever served in the military? Do you have children, parents or a spouse serving as we fight this war. If you have, have you or they been deployed to Iraq to fight in this war? "

    If you really want to know – my grandfather died in WW2. My father did 3 tours in Vietnam and retired from the Marines as a Gunny and continued working Civil Service for another 20 years. I grew up on Military bases (Camp Pendleton, Philadelphia Naval yard, Camp Butler in Okinawa, Japan).

    Although NONE of that matters because most importantly I am an AMERICAN citizen who (last time I checked) has the right – predicated on the 1st amendment – to voice my views. Your approach of 'shut up unless you're serving' is the last salvo when you've run out of ideas.

    What's even more odd is your suggesting I 'shut it' – because I SUPPORT the military??

    "Failure", "Illegitimate War", "The surge isn't working", "We're killing innocent women/children", those poor Iraqis. Do YOU know what impact the storm of negativity from left-leaning politicians and anti-war activists have on our good men and women in the military and their families?

    If you did... YOU would shut up! I know first hand how a good soldier (serving in Vietnam) feels when he – my dad – was called "baby killer" or Jane Fonda goes off to North Vietnam.

    Go ahead and continue joining the chorus of the anti-war and adopt the politics of Cindy Sheehan. I for one will not shut-up, and I will continue supporting the valiant effort our troops are making in Iraq – protecting the innocent, killing insurgents, and giving the people of Iraq the chance to form a cohesive representative government after decades of brutality under Saddam.

    August 17, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Anonymous

    steve,
    so thats a no on jon's military service.

    funny how someone who loves war, thinks war will solve our problems
    and is vocal as all hell about how peachy keen war is, just decides to stay home, flap his gums but let others go and do the actual dirty work that his father and grandfather did.

    im sure you make 'em real proud, Jon!

    its also funny he cant get the point of how people would be so pissed at romney for comparing his brave son trying to get him elected to a 19 year old rolling in an unarmored humvee in 125 degree heat.

    he also cant see why people, when comes to this point would actually hold a pro-war hawk to a different standard than you would a anti-war dove.

    August 17, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. mike, hooksett nh

    steve,
    so thats a no on jon's military service.

    funny how someone who loves war, thinks war will solve our problems
    and is vocal as all hell about how peachy keen war is, just decides to stay home, flap his gums but let others go and do the actual dirty work that his father and grandfather did.

    im sure you make 'em real proud, Jon!

    its also funny he cant get the point of how people would be so pissed at romney for comparing his brave son trying to get him elected to a 19 year old rolling in an unarmored humvee in 125 degree heat. just cant see it.
    he just cant ever seem to see republican hypocracy even when its put right under his nose.

    he also cant see why people, when comes to this point would actually hold a pro-war hawk to a different standard than you would a anti-war dove.

    jon....

    by the way nobody is telling you to shut up. its just that 90 percent of the people here totally disagree with you and call you out on your skewed opinions.

    get used to it. you have the right to believe and state your opinions no matter how out of touch you are with reality. at the same time the other 90 percent of us have the right to tell you how wrong you are and the many, many, many reasons we believe that to be true.

    i know i cant be easy reading on here that all but a very small minority believes you or will defend you or your opinions.

    ps your idea of what we are doing over there in iraq is a prime example of your lack of a grasp upon reality.

    would an insurgent be someone who want to expel an invader/occupier?

    would cutting the amount of electricity and water and raising infant mortality be considered giving the people of Iraq the chance to form a cohesive representative government?

    what would you do if someone decided we were a threat and came here and did away with our entire way of life?

    as a big rough, tough wannabe, pseudo military man, wouldnt you fight?

    as usual i dont expect an answer or a rational arguement from you. after all you dont have one.

    August 17, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Mike ~ Hooksett, NH

    Talk about gutless – you posted your message as anonymous and then reposted the same message as Mike. (I see you're still having difficulty understanding how to use this message board as you've done this same thing before).

    You expose yourself, Mike, when you ask, "would an insurgent be someone who want to expel an invader/occupier?"

    You think our troops are "invaders" and "occupiers". Ok Osama Bin Hooksett, thanks for your contribution.

    If I held your views, I guess I would post anonymously too.

    August 17, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Bob, Nowhere, CA

    Does this mean that when someone like Harry Reid or John Murtha start talking unsubstantiated bull crap he might correct them?

    Oh and CNN I love your headlines of stories, particularly ones like this: "U.S. troops kill woman insurgent in 24-hour battle." We trying to see how much sympathy we can build here? The sex of the people fighting against the US and Iraqi government in Iraq is irrelevant.

    August 17, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Steve, Houston TX

    TO DAVID, ARLINGTON, VA
    I regret that my "shut up" comment came off as it did, I'm just tired of people who haven't, who aren't even in the military, never have, never will, thinking they know all about what's going on there, who we're fighting and what will happen if we pull out – people like Jon. On your point on presidents who haven't served in combat, my only take on that is two-fold: a president that has ever served in combat and has seen the horrors of war will most likely hesitate before taking young lives to die in war unless it was absolutely necessary – Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, no links to Al Quida and even though he massacred his own people, he didn't do it to Americans. If his killing innocent Iraqis is one of the reasons we deposed and hanged him, why aren't we in Sudan to depose the current president for officiating genocide? Why is Ugo Chavez still in power in Venezuela? It seems to me that even after the initial reasons for going into Iraq proved to be lies, the ones that we're are now proposing (such as democratizing the middle east and helping Iraqis have a better future) are all falacious too. It's no secret that even the majority of Iraqis believe that their lives were better off under the tyrant Saddam, at least then they didn't get blown up, kidnapped and executed on a daily basis. Sad, but true.....

    August 18, 2007 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  20. Lila

    When are we going to stop this insanity?! How much more sacrifice do Americans have to make because of the mistakes and arrogance of this administration? Bush and Cheney - they are not fit to serve this country. Our Congress has failed us in allowing them to continue "business as usual!!!"

    August 18, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  21. Steve, Houston, TX

    TO JON, SACRAMENTO
    Fine, you're right, you have the right to say whatever you want, it's a free country. But when it comes to this war, people like you should be the last ones to say a thing. Granted, your ancestors served in past wars, some of which should have taught you that some wars are not worth any American loss of life, what did fighting in Vietnam do for America? I know I asked you whether anyone in your family had served in war, but I guess I was really getting at you Jon. You've detailed your ancestors' appreciated service to this country in war,the only name missing on that list is your own Jon, what service have you given in the war that you so support?? Huh?

    You castigate Mike, (Hooksett, NH) as lacking the gutts to put his name on his comments, where are your GUTTS Jon, why haven't you enlisted and deployed to fight your glorious war, or do you think typing up rosy comments of "I support our troops" cuts it? It doesn't cut it Jon, do you think our troops in the streets of Baghdad read the Political Ticker as a matter of routine? They don't, but if you signed up and joined them down there, I bet you they'd appreciate an extra hand in a gun fight. Where do you come off calling Mike-hacksett NH "Osama bin Hooksett" just because he holds differing views on the war.

    Your question; "Do YOU know what impact the storm of negativity from left-leaning politicians and anti-war activists have on our good men and women in the military and their families?" is almost laughable seeing that because you've never served or been deployed to war, you have absolutely no way of having a clue as to how our troops or their families are affected by ANYTHING. So I guess what I really wanted to say was not shut up, but rather don't make comments or give opinions on things that you couldn't possibly know unless you were one of the troops CURRENTLY at war or a family member.

    So you say that you're going to continue supporting our valliant troops in Iraq huh? How exactly are you going to do that? By pushing to have them keep fighting a war they cannot win? By Advocating extended tours of duty there? By stretching them so thin to the point of breaking the military? By overlooking the dire consequences of indefinate war; higher suicide and divorce rates in the military?

    I'll end by quoting Mike-Hooksett: "Funny how someone who loves war, thinks war will solve our problems
    and is vocal as all hell about how peachy keen war is, just decides to stay home, flap his gums but let others go and do the actual dirty work that his father and grandfather did."

    I'm sure you make 'em real proud, Jon!

    August 18, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  22. Rich, Amherst NH

    To Mike in Hooksett,

    As a fellow New Hampshire-ite, I am disappointed and ashamed at your post, position, and the very fact that you continue to suck down some of this free air in the "Live Free or Die" state.

    Jon is not wrong nor is he in the minority, but part of a larger group who silently (not blindly) goes about the business of winning a war. Get this straight – we fight to win wars, and I think if memory serves there was an extremely high percentage of us who agreed to go into Irag. Please "cut it," as it seems you're one of those "do-over" types that doesn't like where we are now and wants to cop out and go back in time to secure the moral high ground, claiming "Bush is evil and duped me" ("...and changed me into a newt!").

    Or maybe you’re right that you're in the majority as you've certainly studies both positions before re-selecting the easier one. Et tu Mike? BTW have you served?

    Listen, everyone has a right to free speech and there are some of us who have worn the flag to defend that right for those who feel obliged to post anonymously, it's safe to come out from under the sofa ... Darth Bush and Chaney won't hurt you.

    This war effort involves all of us – you too Mike. And it’s not good enough to simply say you support the troops, when all of your efforts negatively impact our morale and national will to wage and win this war. Perhaps that is your objective and you think this is nothing more than some academic challenge – it’s a war so either help win it or start rooting for the other side … so maybe our enemies can enjoy the benefit of your support as we have. Thanks … and don’t worry, you’re still a patriot in my eyes!

    Rich

    August 18, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. Steve, Houston, TX

    To Rich, NH

    Your piece towards Mike is full of talk about winning this war, we've been fighting it for over 5 years now with no sight in end. What I'd like to know from you, and the minority of Americans who are still under the illusion that anything good is coming from our being in Iraq is, what exactly do you call victory? Seriously, explain to me, without any ambiguities like "when the Iraqis have a government capable of sustaining and protecting its citizens" or "when we've defeated Al Qaida". Tell me what this victory you so talk about is. Surely, you must know that this war cannot go on forever, and if you do, then you must be able to point out when we can claim victory and what shape, form or size that victory will be.

    Your argument seems to be, that since we're at war, we must fight to the very end, never mind the repercussions of it. Ofcourse no one wants defeat, but when victory cannot be defined in definite terms, because doing so would translate into our troops being in Iraq till kingdom come, then whatever rationale we had for attacking a sovereign country, with no connection whatsoever to an enemy we are sworn to fight, goes out the window.

    By the way, contrary to what you may want to believe, this is no longer a war we're fighting, the war ended a long time a go after we toppled Saddam, that is what Congress authorized the president to do, now we are just an occupying force refereeing a civil war.

    You say this: "Get this straight – we fight to win wars, and I think if memory serves there was an extremely high percentage of us who agreed to go into Irag." If memory serves anyone right, I believe that we supported the occupation of Iraq because we had been falsely led to believe that Saddam had WMDs and links to Al Qaida, so don't blame Mike for waking up and smelling the coffee and opposing the war based on the fact that lies were fed to him to ellicit his support, it's called human nature. You also say, "it’s a war so either help win it or start rooting for the other side …" Do you know how ridiculous you sound for suggesting that if Mike is not for the war then he must be against America? You defend Jon's freedom of speech but Mike cannot express his position because you don't share it? You mention your service in our military and I'm grateful for that, but I'm also grateful to people like Mike who support the troops by opposing a flawed and unwinnable war so the troops can come home from extended back-to-back deployments and the daily threat of unnecessary death. That's supporting the troops and I challenge you to tell me how it's not.

    August 19, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. Burden, NY NY

    "Biden's son to be deployed to Iraq"

    Not only should his son go to Iraq; his grandson, granddaughter and other family members should also go Iraq. And in turn, wiser American families could have the Bidens take their family members place.

    All those politicians and others who refuse to see an IMMEDIATE END to the wasteful sacrificing of American lives and limbs in Iraq should have their family members displace more worthy Americans who are FORCED to be in Iraq.
    Rommeny's children, bush's daughter, Hillary's daughter, etc, etc should be shipped off to displaced better Americans who are duped into being in Iraq.

    If they would go to Pakistan's Tora Bora mountains to bring back maniac muslims, then they get much support.

    August 20, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Steve ~ Houston

    Do you know what the term one-note-johnny means?

    You have repeated your opinion over and over as though you need convincing it means something. Here are your highlights,

    "Jon, what service have you given in the war that you so support?? Huh? "

    "Jon, why haven't you enlisted and deployed to fight your glorious war"

    "don't make comments or give opinions on things that you couldn't possibly know unless you were one of the troops CURRENTLY at war or a family member."

    Funny – you haven't mentioned YOUR branch of service and how long you've been fighting in Iraq, Steve. You certainly have opinions about 1) who can speak on this issue, 2) whether our soldiers can win this war or not, and 3) have out-smarted the Generals and have the plan all laid out (that would be the cut-and-run plan, right?)

    We'll all be waiting to hear your resume' Steve before passing judgement on whether you're full of BS or not. I have my hunch... a texas saying (All hat no cattle). And we'll assume NO response is just you bein' yellow-bellied.

    PS – I called Mike "osama bin hooksett" because he suggested our soldiers were "invaders" and "occupiers" – the SAME langauge Osama Bin Laden used to describe the men and women fighting to protect the iraqis and giving them a chance to form a representative government.

    August 20, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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