December 3rd, 2008
04:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden told WMD attack 'more than likely' before 2013

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden was told Wednesday that a WMD attack is ‘more than likely’ somewhere in the world before 2013."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security-designate Janet Napolitano received a bi-partisan commission briefing Wednesday on potential attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. The commission’s chairman, former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, didn’t mince words when he told the two members of the incoming administration that “it is more likely than not that between now and the year 2013 there will be a weapon of mass destruction used someplace in the world.”

After reviewing the 'World at Risk' report from the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, Biden said that the government is not doing all it can to prevent a possible WMD attack.

“The answer that jumps out very starkly is no, we’re not doing all we can or should. And we’re not doing all we can to prevent the world’s most lethal weapons from winding up in the hands of terrorists,” said Biden. “But this report is, in my view, more than a warning about what we’re doing wrong, it’s a pragmatic blueprint how to get it right...”

Graham and Sen. Jim Talent led the bi-partisan commission that was established by Congress as a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. Talent focused his comments Wednesday on steps they believe the government needs to take, including regulating work on biological pathogens and Pakistan’s nuclear elements because the country is “the nexus of all these threats right now and it’s deteriorating.”

Talent joked that he and Graham flipped a coin to see who would deliver the bad news, a duty that clearly fell to Graham as he told Biden, Napolitano and his fellow members of the Commission that terrorist groups are progressing, are more nimble and the ease of acquiring a biological weapon has increased.

“This leads us to the conclusion, one, that we have been losing ground and we are less secure today that we have been in the recent past,” said Graham. “Number two, that the threat is that it is more likely than not that between now and the year 2013 there will be a weapon of mass destruction used someplace in the world. And third, that it is more likely that that weapon will be biological than nuclear.”

Gov. Napolitano kept her remarks brief but reiterated that “the threat, whether nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological is a very real one indeed.” The Arizona governor said she would act on the commission’s recommendations in the Department of Homeland Security “with the urgency called for by the nature of the threat that confronts us.”

After the foursome made their introductory remarks to the press, reporters were ushered out so the group could continue to discuss the commission’s findings in private. Asked by CNN if his role in the administration had been clearly defined, Biden ignored the question.

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    Can we stop this WMD crap, I have more chance of being hit by lightning then get attacked by WMD. Ever since the "Cold War" we have had somebody to "fear"


    December 3, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Let's all pray that this report is proven wrong.

    December 3, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. bob

    scare Americans!

    December 3, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Ben

    Not to mention, this story as 4 comments. The beard story has 313. Good job America.

    December 3, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. Rush Lameduck

    Thanks for the rosey news.Now why have we left the borders and ports wide open since 9/11?

    December 3, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Ben

    Not to mention, this story as 4 comments. The beard story has 313. Good job America.

    December 3, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. Lauren

    Scary,,,, isn't it. How something like this article has hardly no comments, but Richardsons beard gets over 300 comments.

    And then we wonder what is worng with this country,,,,

    December 3, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |

    are these people palm readers or psychic they here chatter oh they can speak more than one language

    December 3, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. TimMN

    Oh! Joe Biden kinda forgot about him.

    December 3, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. No Hillary = No Obama

    It would be just like the devious, diabolical mind of a psychopathic terrorist to pull the rug right out from under Obamamania and Obama the President when everyone thinks he walks on water –

    December 3, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. Smart Move

    Is Joe Biden smart enough to actually know what WMD even means?

    December 3, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  12. 2young2vote

    Wooohhh, 9 comments now! If we keep this up, we are doomed... This should be a headline article, but I gotta say the beard one was interesting. I hope Pres. Elect Obama and his whole team are prepared to go through some hell, cause there are issues to be solved left and right these day. I'll be able to vote in 4 years, and I hope I'll be re-electing a succesful administration.

    December 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. Anonymous


    December 3, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Jenn

    Pakistan is turning out to be a huge headache for America, too bad we wasted tons of resources in Iraq. As for Biden being too dumb he actually said a few years ago the problems of terrorism were going to end up in the Pakistan area and spread into India. I guess he was more on then our last VP, Cheney.

    December 3, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. MikeNJ

    Wait.....Now there are WMDs???? would you Dems please get this for the last 8 years there weren't any WMDs now all of a sudden there are......idiots

    December 3, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. Tom in Delaware

    Biden looks like he ate too much Burger King...Home of the WMD.

    December 3, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. Scott Tucson

    The only good thing about Napolitano being the DHS secretary is that she's would be out of our hair and maybe, we will get someone that can fix the illegal immigration problem on our border instead of wanting to look the other way or grant the illegals amnesty.

    December 3, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Sunny South

    Maybe if Americans insisted upon buying goods made in the USA, instead of shipping so much of what we consume in from India, China, Pakistan, Vietnam etc on container ships, we might have a fighting chance to secure our ports.

    December 4, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  19. Theresa

    GOP will do whatever to install and continue to infiltrate FEAR in America's veins. Let OBAMA and his team take control and the world will be a safer place. Simple.

    December 4, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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