Eerie Recording Of Bill Clinton Discussing Bin Laden, Hours Before 9/11, Surfaces — LISTEN

A decade after al Qaeda orchestrated the September 11 attacks, the U.S. Navy's Seal Team Six raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan and killed the man responsible for the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history. On Friday, a newly unearthed recording captures former President Bill Clinton saying, "I could have killed [bin Laden]" just hours before the 9/11 attacks. The reason he didn't, according to the recording, is because he didn't want to end of the lives of 300 innocent civilians.

On Sept. 10, 2001, Clinton was in Melbourne addressing a group of businessmen at the offices of investment banking firm J.T. Campbell & Co. Somehow, the topic of bin Laden came up, and Clinton was recorded nonchalantly musing about how he could have killed the al Qaeda founder. The timing is eerie, and the way in which the former president talks about sparing the lives of innocent civilians comes in stark contrast to the devastating attacks that would occur just hours later.

According to the Washington Post, Clinton's comments were recorded by Michael Kroger, former president of the Victorian division of the Liberal Party. They were released by Australia's Sky News.

The recording starts with Clinton remarking that catching bin Laden is often on his mind:

And I'm just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden … He's a very smart guy. I spent a lot of time thinking about him. And I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him.

Then, Clinton reveals why he didn't go through with capturing bin Laden:

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.

We may never know what would have happened if President Clinton did "get him," but it's possible that Clinton could have rewritten history. Then again, it's entire possible that another al Qaeda leader could have sprung up in bin Laden's place, perhaps one of the many co-conspirators like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as the "principal architect of the 9/11 attacks."