Just 10 hours before the attacks of September 11, 2001, where nearly 3000 innocent people perished at the orders of Osama bin Laden, ex-President Bill Clinton was in Australia saying he had a chance to take the former al-Qaeda leader out — but passed.
At the time, bin Laden was lesser known to the general public but was on the FBI's Most Wanted list for his role in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Clinton was in Melbourne, speaking to a small group of business leaders on Sept. 10, 2001, and he was asked about terrorism.
"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 in the recording. "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 just didn't do it."
The recording was lost and forgotten about until last week, when Michael Kroger, the former head of the Liberal Party in the Australian state of Victoria, remembered he had the tape, and Sky News in Australia played it on Thursday.
— Hasani Gittens
First published July 31 2014, 5:11 PM