I contacted the Vice President’s office, asking about Biden’s statement in his speech in Kosovo:
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.
Biden’s office referred me to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee trip report from the 1993 trip. To Biden’s credit, it does appear his delegation was passing through some dangerous territory on that trip. However, it doesn’t quite line up with his statement that his plane was fired upon.
After an initial flight to Sarajevo could not land and was forced to return to Zagreb due to fighting at the Sarajevo airport on April 8, the delegation flew to Sarajevo on April 9 on a United Nations Protected Force personnel shuttle. In accord with a Pentagon policy that has sought to discourage congressional travel to Bosnia – a policy the Clinton Administration has carried over from the Bush Pentagon – Codel Biden was refused permission to fly to Sarajevo on a United States relief flight.
If the plane had been fired upon, wouldn’t it have been mentioned in the report? Doesn’t that seem to be a big detail to get left out?
Still, the fact that the plane couldn’t land suggests that there was significant fighting there, so it is possible that those doing the fighting fired at Biden’s plane. Again, I couldn’t find any previous quote from Biden telling this story, which seems a bit unusual. But for now, I’ll leave the Senate report before readers and let them draw their own conclusions.