Skip to comments.Ron Brown Could Tell Tales From the Grave
Posted on 05/23/2004 5:27:07 PM PDT by Peach
Ron Brown could tell tales from the grave
By DAWN HARRIS Special to The Star
You'd think that after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, we'd have learned our lesson. We didn't.
As with JFK's murder in 1963, two recent events have been marked by conspiracy theories and bungled investigations: the crash of TWA Flight 800 and the plane crash that killed then Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.
But don't count Kansas City author Jack Cashill as a garden-variety conspiracy theorist. Although the title of his new book suggests both the conspiratorial and the partisan, Cashill bends over backward to include the most benign of explanations to a most disturbing case.
Ron Brown's Body: How One Man's Death Saved the Clinton Presidency and Hillary's Future will be like salt in wounds for many of Bill Clinton's defenders, yet not nearly salty enough for his adversaries. In it, Cashill paints a human and sympathetic portrait of Brown, Clinton's Secretary of Commerce.
Cashill depicts Brown with the help of details provided by Nolanda Hill, Brown's longtime business partner and lover, also the subject of numerous investigations related to Brown's activities. Hill seems to have poured out her heart and her recollections to Cashill because she became convinced that he wanted to discover what really happened to Brown and his doomed 1996 flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The tale is a twisted one. At times, especially early in the work, Cashill seems to have six synapses firing at once and doesn't know which one to follow. But as the narrative unfolds, that sense gives way to riveting storytelling.
Brown made frequent trade missions to foreign countries, often with leaders of industry in tow. His aim was to smooth the way for these Americans to conduct business with other countries.
Cashill reports that the way for an American businessman to get a seat on one of those missions was to make a substantial contribution to the Democratic National Committee, which was producing ads at the time for the presidential campaign in an effort to get around campaign contribution and spending limits. Once these businessmen made such contributions, they expected something in return something Brown was expected to deliver.
As the 1996 election approached, Brown was sent on more of these trade missions. On the ill-fated trip, he was to be accompanied by executives of Enron Corp. But those executives traveled to Dubrovnik on a plane that landed about an hour ahead of the time at which the secretary was to arrive.
He never made it. On April 3, the plane on which he was traveling with 34 other people veered off course and crashed into St. John's Peak. Investigators did not locate the wreckage until hours later, and the one woman to survive impact died on the way to the hospital.
The story might have ended there. But there was something odd about Ron Brown's lifeless body. He had suffered a circular wound in the top of his head. Some military investigators and photographers noticed what appeared to them to be a bullet hole. But strangely, no mention of the symmetrically shaped cylinder appeared in any report on the crash, and although an Air Force doctor examined Brown's body, a full autopsy was not ordered.
This is the nexus at which a conspiracy is born. Had investigators simply performed an autopsy, all the questions could have been answered. But they didn't.
Cashill has a theory about exactly what happened to Ron Brown (which I leave for the reader to discover) and why it happened. The why involves Brown's apparent knowledge of the Clintons' involvement in using international means, including ties with China, in what may have been blatant circumventions of campaign finance law. Cashill goes to great pains to make clear the difference between what has been documented and what he surmises from the evidence.
Cashill meticulously researched this work, consulting with experts on everything from campaign finance law to aircraft navigation systems to encryption technology to Ron Brown's life, personal and professional.
In scrupulous detail, the author chronicles Brown's life as the young lawyer made his way through Washington and became entwined in Democratic politics. He connects the dots between Brown and President Clinton. But he does not lay blame at Clinton's doorstep, as some might expect. Cashill doesn't let Brown off the hook for getting himself entangled in a life of power grabs and money lust. He does view Brown as a tragic figure, someone who had potential but who was spoiled by license and largesse.
We don't know if fate or force brought that plane down in Dubrovnik. Cashill emphasizes that it is entirely possible that what happened to Ron Brown was an accident riddled with unfortunate coincidence. But Cashill, who holds a doctorate in American studies, knows a conspiracy is hard to come by without someone acting as if someone had something to hide.
After living through the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, one would think that, in similar circumstances, all possible leads would be followed so that the ghosts that haunt us from that fateful day in Dallas would not multiply but be cast into the light and disappear. But because of the action (or inaction) of investigators, questions linger over Brown's death.
Cashill also recently investigated the crash of TWA Flight 800, and because this book comes on the heels of that, some might dismiss him as just another too-eager conspiracy theorist. That would be a harmful oversimplification. Many others have taken issue with the official findings on Flight 800, including Cap Parlier, a respected former Navy test pilot who co-wrote a book on the crash.
As for Ron Brown's Body, the book does sound shrill notes now and again and takes a partisan shot here and there. But if half of what Cashill writes is true, all Americans, regardless of political affiliations, should demand a full investigation into Ron Brown's activities as Commerce Secretary and into the circumstances of his death.
Cashill at Unity
Jack Cashill will discuss and sign Ron Brown's Body: How One Man's Death Saved the Clinton Presidency and Hillary's Future, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St. For more information call Rainy Day Books at (913) 384-3126.
Ron Brown was about to blow the lid on a bunch of Clinon crimes (some of which we probably still don't know about), so the Clintons had him killed. Its just that simple. And President or not, there is no statute of limitations on murder.
I'd also like to know more about the death of Barbara Wise, Commerce Department staffer.
Wise worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. She died November 29, 1996, her bruised, nude body found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.
Her death was attributed to "natural causes."
I'd forgotten that. You have a good memory.
I'm not big on conspiracy theories but the Ron Brown story is begging for truthful investigation. There are too many major facts that point to his murder.
There's a good bit about her at the link I posted in post #4
Well, I never knew quite what to make of Brown's unfortunate death, along with so many others! But this is a fair sounding review of the book.
Here's some more on Ron Brown. The circumstances of his death are even more curious considering the full extent of his involvement in the Clinton administration.
That an autopsy was not done is quite interesting in itself.
Also, my aunt lives across the street from Ron Brown. Arafat was a regular visitor and I think she told me Brown's widow received his condolences sometime after the funeral as well.
BTW, my aunt is a high school principal in Washington, DC and as committed a leftist as I've ever met and didn't see anything strange with Arafat visiting Brown so frequently. LOL
Thanks for the links.
Mark for later read.
...The week RON BROWN's plane entered a mountain and a bullet entered RON BROWN's head...
...JUDICIAL WATCH was scheduled to depose RON BROWN about the money he received and forwared from Comunist Vietnam and China.
...Only a last minute phone call from JANET RENO to LARRY KLAYMAN asking for a one week delay in RON BROWN's deposition for some suddenly "Pressing" business in Bosnia stopped the CLINTONS from being publically exposed by JUDICIAL WATCH.
The Enemy is now Within...
and always has been.
I never did quite understand what reason a Commerce Secretary had to be in Bosnia in the first place.
From Alamo Girls' report at this link:
What you say makes sense, but what if there's more? He said something to the effect that he wasn't going to prison to protect the Clintons, maybe he knew of something more sensational than campaign laws. Also, it made more sense to kill him in Bosnia (a war zone), where any investigation could be influenced to point away from the Clintons.
WHY did Arlington National Cemetary Director BROWN, a Staff/Sgt at the 1965 Battle of the IA DRANG Valley's Landing Zone Falcon, permit the burying of RON BROWN at Arlington...
...when he had no business being buried there at all..?