Politicians have made some surprising admissions over the years, but perhaps none will startle Americans as much as the recent revelation about President Bill Clinton. Today, reports surfaced that just 10 hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, he told a group of Australian businessmen that he had a chance to kill terrorist Osama bin Laden but declined to take it. Of course the immediate question that comes to mind is "Why?" For some, the explanation will be unsettling.
In a recording, the former President said:
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. 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.
Of course he had no idea the weight those words would carry one day. Though now it's bone chilling to hear when you think about bin Laden's vicious attack on American soil. Some 2,753 souls were taken during the plane bombing of the Twin Towers. The attack on the Pentagon took 125 more.
Living here in New York at the time was indescribable. I had been in the city just two years when it happened, and it was a terrifying place to be. We didn't know if more was to come in the days immediately following. We felt as though we were risking our lives just by hopping on the subway or walking near a landmark. And the rubble. The memory of that pile of twisted steel and debris still gives me nightmares.
So to think that Clinton could have taken that monster out! How would our world have been different if he had? Would all of those lives have been spared? Would the old New York landscape still be intact? Would all of those devastated families still be whole?
Though, I must admit, Clinton was a very smart, adroit leader and I have every confidence he did what he felt was right. As he said, killing all those innocent people in Kandahar would have been its own form of terrorism I suppose.
Even if he had chosen to assassinate bin Laden, that was no guarantee that the 9/11 attacks would not have happened. As the saying goes in the world of terrorist cells, cut off the head and another one grows in its place.
What do you think about Clinton's admission?
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