Lt. Col. Cowan: Clinton Missed Other Opportunities to Take Out Bin Laden
Bill Hemmer discussed the new Bill Clinton audio tape this morning with Fox News military analyst Marine Lt. Col. Bill Cowan (Ret.). In the newly released clip, Clinton is heard telling Australian business leaders on Sept. 10, 2001 that he could have killed Usama bin Laden, but chose not to because of potential civilian casualties in a missile strike.
Earlier on Fox and Friends, Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Usama bin Laden unit, pushed back against Clinton's recollection, saying the strike could have been precise enough to just take out bin Laden and Taliban associates.
Cowan said it's "interesting" that it took so long for this tape to become public, but he would tend to cut the former president some slack. He noted that the U.S. military did not have the intelligence or targeting capability that it does now.
"We did not have the ability to very precisely identify a target, pick it out and in a matter of minutes, put a drone missile on top of it," said Cowan, arguing that even if bin Laden had been taken out, the 9/11 attacks "probably" would have taken place.
"Bin Laden was one part of a bigger structure that was determined to strike the United States and ultimately did."
Cowan noted that Clinton had other opportunities to capture or kill bin Laden outside of 1998 in Kandahar, but that the "urgency" was not present in Washington because al Qaeda had never struck inside the U.S.
Watch the full analysis above.