A recording of former President Bill Clinton discussing, hours before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, how he could have, but didn’t, kill Osama Bin Laden surfaced Friday. Clinton made the remarks on Sept. 10, 2001, eight months after leaving office. He was speaking at J.T. Campbell & Co., a private equity firm, in Melbourne, Australia that day.
“Well I’m just saying, you know if I were Osama Bin Laden, he’s a very smart guy,” Clinton says. “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him, and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have gotten, I could have killed him, but I would have had 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.”
It’s unclear when Clinton had the chance to kill Bin Laden, who was added to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list in 1999 for allegedly masterminding the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. There was a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. Bin Laden was killed by U.S. commandos nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks on May 2, 2011.