MSNBC must have been recently acquired by Fox News and the well-known right wing conspiracy that keeps targetting Bill Clinton. They, too, are blaming the Clinton Administration for neglecting to take action that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks when, as the video described below demonstrates, they had Osama bin Laden in their sights.
NBC News has obtained top-secret video shot by the U.S. government. It illustrates an enormous opportunity the Clinton administration had to kill or capture bin Laden — critics say a missed opportunity.
In the fall of 2000 in Afghanistan, un-manned, un-armed spy planes — called Predators — fly over known al-Qaida training camps. The pictures are transmitted live to CIA headquarters, showing al-Qaida terrorists firing at targets, conducting military drills, then scattering on cue through the desert.
Also that fall, the Predator captured even more extraordinary pictures of a tall figure in flowing white robes. Many intelligence analysts believed then and now it is Osama bin Laden.
We showed the video to William Arkin, a former intelligence officer and now military analyst for NBC, and asked him why U.S. intelligence believes it’s bin Laden.
“You see a tall man. You see him surrounded by — or at least protected by — a group of guards,” says Arkin.
Bin Laden is 6’5″ tall — the man on the tape clearly towers over those around him — and seems to be treated with great deference. Another clue — the video is shot at Tarnak Farm, the walled compound where bin Laden is known to have lived. The layout of the buildings in the Predator video perfectly matches secret U.S. intelligence photos and diagrams of Tarnak Farm obtained by NBC News.
“It’s dynamite — it’s putting together all of the pieces and that doesn’t happen every day. I guess you could say we’ve done it once — and this is it,” says Arkin.
The tape proves the Clinton administration was aggressively tracking al-Qaida a year before 9/11. But that also raises one big question — if the U.S. government had bin Laden and the camps in its sights in real time — why was no action taken against them?…
Gary Schroen — a former CIA station chief in Pakistan — says the White House required the CIA to attempt to capture bin Laden alive, rather than kill him.
“It reduced the odds from, say, a 50 percent chance down to, say, a 25 percent chance that we were going to be able to get him,” says Schroen.
A Democratic member of the 9/11 commission says there was a larger issue: the Clinton administration treated Bin Laden as a law enforcement problem.