TV star Jon Snow considered killing ‘murderous b*****d’ dictator on private jet
Channel 4’s Jon Snow has revealed that he considered taking the gun of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and shooting him while on board his private jet.
Amin reigned as president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. During the leader’s bloody dictatorship, there was considerable unrest and human rights abuses, with hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed.
Snow, who will be stepping down from presenting Channel 4’s news output this Christmas, managed to interview the despot in 1977 during his time as leader.
And, speaking to the BBC’s Media Show, Snow has shared the story of his time sharing a private jet with Amin, and confessed that he even considered killing him for the evil acts he had committed.
Setting the scene, the presenter explained that he had been sent to Uganda on a press trip to hunt down and challenge Amin for the “terrible things he was doing.”
And, recalling how he had managed to get so close to the dictator, Snow put it down to his time spent in Uganda on voluntary service after he had left school.
So, he remembered: “Amin was rather taken with the fact that I knew Uganda and that I’d lived there, that he thought, ‘well he’s on my side’.
“He invited us on his presidential jet to fly to the north of the country. And there I was with my crew, with him, and with a rather burly looking air hostess, who clearly had a gun at her hip."
But, despite Amin’s gracious welcome, Snow was well aware of the leader's atrocities as a result of his time covering Africa as a journalist.
The dictator had been a military officer earlier on in his career, and earned the nickname ‘The Butcher of Uganda’ for his violence after overthrowing the elected government and declaring himself president in 1971.
Once in power, he began a campaign of religious and racial persecution, expelling Uganda’s Asian population, which significantly damaged the country’s economy.
And, Snow remembered that when faced with the opportunity to get up close to the vile leader, he considered the possibility of taking action against the misery Amin had caused.
“As we continued our journey, it became clear that he had gone to sleep. And I was sitting next to him, and I saw this pistol hanging off his belt, ‘I thought, should I shoot him?’,” he continued.
“I don’t think it was serious but I thought also, ‘me, pistol, him, murderous b*****d. Me, brave, courageous, looking for the truth. It’s time I did something about this.’
“But then I thought, ‘Jon for goodness sake grow up. He may not even be asleep, he may be pretending to be asleep’. I looked at the holster and it was undone. I could have just pulled the gun up and gone…’"
Snow didn’t snatch the weapon in the end, and although Amin’s reign of terror was to continue for a couple of years after their encounter, he expressed no regrets at not taking action.
“Thank god I didn’t, what a stupid thing to do,” he added.
Earlier on this year, Snow announced that he had welcomed a baby boy to the family at the age of 73, before declaring that he would be leaving Channel 4 at the end of the year shortly after.
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