From The Melbourne Age:
“Open borders to all:” ClintonSpeaking of disappearing down the memory hole, my assumption when reading this article on 9/11/2001 on a prominent Australian newspaper’s website was that it would become an instant classic illustration of ruling class cluelessness.
by Garry Barker
“[Bill Clinton] discussed the immigration issue in Australia and he took a position on it,” said Tom Hogan, president of Vignette Corporation, host of the exclusive forum. “The [former] president believes the world will be a better place if all borders are eliminated – from a trade perspective, from the viewpoint of economic development and in welcoming [the free movement of] people from other cultures and countries,” Mr. Hogan said. Mr. Clinton showed an understanding of the political problems Australia faced, but said he supported the ultimate wisdom of a borderless world for people and for trade.
September 11, 2001
But that just shows how out of touch I am. I have this amazing anti-viral touch where much of what strikes me as ironic and symbolic doesn’t register on most people at all.
Fourteen years later, there’s only a little evidence left on the Internet that this article ever existed at all.
Update: No, I was probably not hallucinating this article into existence. [Archive.org link]
Here’s a 2014 video of from the Australian TV show Paul Murray Live of Michael Kroger, currently head of the right-of-center Liberal Party in Australia, playing Kroger’s muffled audio tape of Clinton speaking in Australia ten hours before the World Trade towers came down. (This is very likely the same speech in which Clinton made his ultimate wisdom of a borderless world comment, but it’s possible that Clinton made more than one speech on September 10, 2001.)
They’re focusing on Clinton talking — the day before 9/11 — about how he could have had Osama bin Laden killed but decided not to.
From Paul Murray Live:
On September 10, 2001, Clinton was speaking to a group of about 30 businessmen in Melbourne, including Michael Kroger, the former head of the Liberal Party in the Australian state of Victoria. The event was recorded with the former president’s permission, according to Kroger, but the audio never released — until Wednesday night, when Kroger appeared on Sky News with host Paul Murray to unveil it. Kroger said he had forgotten about the recording until last week.It would be interesting if Kroger and Murray would also play Bill Clinton’s comments about immigration policy on that date so history can find out exactly what he said about that important topic. The paragraph above is quoting the host of the speech relaying the guest of honor’s remarks, so it’s not presented as a direct quote. But Mr. Kroger’s tape could presumably set the record straight as to exactly what Mr. Clinton said.
At the event in Melbourne, which took place not long after the end of Clinton’s term in office, the former president was asked about international terrorism.
“And I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden — he’s very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him — and I nearly got him once,” Clinton is heard saying. “I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have 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.”
A spokesperson for the former president did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to The Washington Post, Clinton was paid $150,000 to speak to J.T. Campbell & Co. Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne that day.
Then it would be interesting if somebody would ask the former President if he’s learned anything since 9/10/2001 or if he, and the Mrs., stand by his remarks in Australia.