Just hours before the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, former President Bill Clinton was giving a speech to a group of Australian businessmen and the topic of Osama Bin Laden came up during a discussion on international terrorism.
Recordings of the speech were released Wednesday night by Michael Kroger, who previously headed up the Liberal Party in the Australian state of Victoria.
“He’s very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him,” Clinton said of Bin Laden that night. “And I nearly got him once.”
I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him, Clinton continues. And so I didn’t do it.
The fact that the U.S. opted to forgo an attempted strike against Bin Laden is nothing new. The 9/11 Commission Report outlines how a missle strike was ruled out in Dec. 1998 because of concerns about civilian casualties.
But the words that Clinton spoke on Sept. 10, 2001 are especially chilling, knowing what transpired just hours later.