Tuesday, March 16, 2004 10:26 p.m. EST NBC: Clinton Ordered bin Laden Spared A secret CIA videotape shows that the Clinton administration had pinpointed the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden a year before the 9/11 attacks, but declined to kill him because of White House orders that he should be taken alive. The video, obtained and broadcast by NBC News, "illustrates an enormous opportunity the Clinton administration had to kill or capture bin Laden," the network reported Tuesday. Images filmed in Afghanistan by CIA Predator Drones show a man clad in white robes who towers over his entourage. (Bin Laden is 6' 5" tall.) The film was shot over Tarnak Farm, the walled compound where bin Laden was believed to live at the time. The layout of the buildings in the Predator video perfectly matches previous photos and diagrams of Tarnak Farm prepared by U.S. intelligence. The clip left CIA analysts convinced they had located the man who in 1998 had bombed U.S. embassies in East Africa and whose agents, four years earlier, had detonated a bomb in the parking garage of the World Trade Center. "Its dynamite. Its putting together all of the pieces, and that doesnt happen every day," said William Arkin, a former intelligence officer and now military analyst for NBC. Though President Clinton has boasted repeatedly that he issued orders to kill bin Laden, no action was taken when the White House finally got its chance. Why not? Gary Schroen, a former CIA station chief in Pakistan, told NBC that the White House had in fact ordered the CIA to do just the opposite - take bin Laden alive or not at all. The order "reduced the odds from, say, a 50 percent chance down to, say, 25 percent chance that we were going to be able to get him," Schroen told the network. The directive effectively killed the plan and, along with it, the U.S.'s best chance to prevent the 9/11 attacks.