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Clinton on September 10, 2001: I Chose Not to Kill Bin Laden Because of Concern for Civilian Casualties

7:59 PM, Jul 31, 2014 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald reports:

Ten hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, Bill Clinton allegedly told a group of businessmen in Australia that he had a chance to kill Osama bin Laden, but passed because it would have meant killing hundreds of innocent civilians. That’s according to never-before-released audio of remarks made public by Australian media on Wednesday. [...]

“And I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden — he’s very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him — and I nearly got him once,” Clinton is heard saying. “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.”

A spokesperson for the former president did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to The Washington Post, Clinton was paid $150,000 to speak to J.T. Campbell & Co. Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne that day.

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