US officials have revealed that Osama bin Laden’s diaries contain the rather startling conclusion that he didn’t think Vice President Joe Biden was worth bumping off (hat tip: a tweet from my New York colleague Jon Swaine).
According to ProPublica, the Obama administration is briefing that Barack Obama was bin Laden’s the “top target” (no surprise there) while “military chiefs like the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the defense secretary” were also major scalps.
But Joe Biden’s scalp (hair plugs and all)? Apparently, not so much. A counterterrorism official said: “There is a note indicating that the vice president is not an important target because that position has less weight.”
To be fair, it seems that Uncle Joe was not mentioned by name and the al-Qaeda leader tied the comment to the constitutional weakness of the vice-presidency rather than the antics of the garrulous current occupant.
But one does suspect that bin Laden might have rather liked to have got Dick Cheney.
Given the manner in which the al-Qaeda chief was sent to his maker, taking out George W. Bush’s veep might have been a prudent measure. As Jay Leno quipped: “Osama bin Laden was apparently shot twice in the face. It looks like Dick Cheney may have been involved.”