Terrorism: A Tale of Two Presidents

October 29, 2019    By Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

It was just hours before two hijacked planes cut through the New York sky on that bright September day. Former president Bill Clinton was in Australia, talking to a group of businessmen, when the topic turned to terrorism. “I spend a lot of time thinking about him,” the 42nd president said about Osama bin Laden. “I nearly got him once,” he admitted. “I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but… I didn’t do it.” Turns out, the world didn’t need that confirmation. The next day, it had its own: 2,977 people, dead at the hands of the terrorist mastermind.

History is a harsh judge. Long after they leave office, our presidents don’t just answer for the decisions they made—but the ones they didn’t. When Bill Clinton had a chance to rid the world of Osama bin Laden, he worried more about the political fallout of taking the risk than the real-life consequences of ignoring it. “I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan,” he told the room in Melbourne, “and kill 300 innocent [people].” Little did he know that three years later, the shot he didn’t take would lead to the worst attack on U.S. soil in American history.  More…

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