On 9/10, Clinton Said He Could Have Killed bin Laden
He decided against strike that would have killed civilians
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2014 12:37 AM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2014 4:00 AM CDT
Former President Bill Clinton gestures while delivering the keynote speech at the 16th Telugu Association of North America conference.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – On the day before the 9/11 attacks, Bill Clinton spoke openly about having passed up a chance to kill Osama bin Laden, according to a tape unearthed by Sky News Australia. "I'm just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden—he's a very smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him—and I nearly got him once," Clinton says on the tape. "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. And so I didn't do it."

When the recording was made, just 10 hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center, Clinton was speaking to a group of business leaders in Melbourne, NBC reports. The talk was reportedly recorded with Clinton's permission, and the tape surfaced this week after one of the business leaders at the lunch remembered he had it. The 9/11 Commission found that the Clinton administration decided against a strike in Kandahar in late 1998, reports the New York Daily News, which notes that Kandahar isn't a "little town" but a city of more than 400,000 people—and one that is now very familiar to US troops.

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Showing 3 of 136 comments
haggrr
Aug 3, 2014 4:49 PM CDT
Sudan offered bin Laden to Clinton, but Clinton argued the United States didn't have legal standing to take bin Laden into custody! And, Mr. Clinton, belonging to the party that believes all one needs to do is be nice and the world will love ya, watched while a man who was telling all who listened he wanted to destroy the United States.
TheJman
Aug 3, 2014 4:32 PM CDT
That depends on what the definition of "could have" is!
Devo74
Aug 3, 2014 2:41 PM CDT
It was all Clintons fault PEROID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!