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Since the September 11 Attacks author and screenwriter Lawrence Wright has dedicated much of his life to trying to find out.
What motivates people to take the lives innocent civilians through terrorism.
Now writes one -- show has been turned into a documentary called my trip to al-Qaeda.
Which is now available on HBO on demand -- And it was right reporting about the failure to get Osama bin Laden during the Clinton administration that sparked this famous dust up.
With Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday.
Do you think you didn't answer no because I didn't get right but at least I tried that's a difference in the sound.
Including all the right wingers who are attacking me now they ridicule me for trying they had eight months to try they did not try.
-- track so I tried and failed.
When I fail I lift and comprehensive.
Anti terror strategy and the best and the country Dick Clark could not -- among.
Let's go through the exchange Bill Clinton explodes.
Chris Wallace -- -- is you're part of it.
You know -- I felt.
My book was fair to both sides of this you know that the Clinton administration and the Bush Administration both had many things answer for and I -- Probably Clinton -- blew his top unnecessarily.
-- I want I always wondered and exchanges this wasn't.
A little bit theater on Bill Clinton's part but that that's -- suspicion.
You'd think -- political figure would be theatrical moment yeah yeah yeah that's your house indicting there.
Well you know there's there's a lot of things here.
My biggest problem with Clinton is how many times bin Laden was offered to the United States by the sedan.
I chronicled this I wrote about this I talked about this at length.
And Clinton passed -- and even we there was a tape that nobody paid attention to even the nine elevenths commission report.
This drove me nuts -- Clinton was on Long Island speaking any actually so I couldn't tell you this he had broken any laws and and then all of you know the tape which -- referring.
And the -- nobody would release that tape.
But I had a -- I had an audio version.
My feeling is we lost our best opportunity when he was in Sudan and it was a terrible mistake.
You know and win.
The Sudanese -- -- -- our instruction.
They know -- them -- they stole everything had they took all his money.
And it was only a couple weeks after that that he declared war on America.
So that wasn't terrible moment and.
-- -- this -- in foreign policy but he says he knew that he was a threat to America and any knowledge is that.
But -- -- acknowledges what we didn't have a legal justification.
This is the guy they can thread the needle legally you know would -- of defining the definition of is.
And the word alone and I found that justification.
You know somewhat suspect.
There was another lost moment there were two other -- moments during that administration and there were many in the Bush Administration is well.
Clinton asked his chief of staff.
Wouldn't it be great for dissent -- hinges in two bin Laden's camp in Afghanistan.
And just wipe them out.
And they were the military was horrified by this but.
That's what these people are special forces are trained agenda and we never actually put them into -- -- military was afraid to do that at that point.
There was a there was a lost moment and then we didn't retaliate for the USS Cole.
In October 2000 -- -- send a message a weakness that did.
And that's that's -- ledger on the Clinton side and the bush side has a lot to answer for what.
Wolf -- to begin with Condi Rice didn't even know about al-Qaeda she didn't understand the threat you've repeatedly warned.
About the -- -- by Richard Clarke or national security I don't like.
Connecticut -- asked Richard Clarke has no credibility.
Richard -- Clark has become a political partisan and frankly bit of a political -- to me.
And I found his claims didn't in his writings in this commentary.
Dubious and contradictory.
I don't agree with you and you work for both administration I know but you know what he he certainly develop the political agenda you can't tonight.
-- -- -- -- -- you -- he -- for the Obama campaign to death while they off -- just doesn't have credibility with me and I'm I'm not disparaging -- missed.
US and interest -- moral dilemma maintaining objectivity.
As you report on Islamic terror explained you know.
The foundation of that the difficulty the quandary that the that you experienced in in going through this -- Sean I've talked to a lot of bad people in my career.
But after 9/11 what are you talking a -- for how -- -- have to talk any liberal friends because that's.
Like all Americans after 9/11 I was wounded -- I was grieving I was angry.
And and I went to report this story.
In an environment where there's a lot of anger at America a lot of denial.
And -- that was infuriated me.
So I sometimes just lost it as a as a reporter you don't want to do that you wanna get the information you want to.
Have a comfortable relationship with your sources and get them to get staring evil in the -- It's hard to say this but when you have a really good source.
You mainly want to get the information out of them and you try to.
Put what they've done out of your mind like this in the documentary you'll see this -- -- series.
Who is one of those of one -- man he was a part of Al Jihad which was a terror group in -- He tried to assassinate the prime minister he put a car bomb.
Near girls -- -- killed the little girl twelve years old Shane.
Is a very dangerous man with blood on his hands no doubt.
But he was a terrific source for me and he's a kind of historian of this movement and I needed that information.
Yes I knew who I was talking.
And I had to kind of put that out of my mind in order to milk from the information out of them when I got home.
-- in a different experience I had a bit process that.
I I I guess mighty I don't know instinctive reaction is it is a problem staring evil EI.
I want to destroy it.
Well I face that I mean I thought about a fight -- suppose I got an interview with Osama bin Laden who.
Yeah and that's not crazy because western I'd try to kill.
As an American I want him out here who as a journalist I -- story.
So I did contemplate if I had that opportunity would I.
One of the included would you take him out.
Try would try to get the story and then killing these people are trying to -- -- Are right Lawrence thanks surveillance is -- John thank you very much.
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