Skip to comments.N.Y. Times continues to avoid TWA 800 connection (Richard Clarke & Jamie Gorelick)
Posted on 08/19/2005 5:27:07 AM PDT by Libloather
N.Y. Times continues to avoid TWA 800 connection
Posted: August 18, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that State Department analysts had warned the Clinton administration in July 1996 about the dangers of Osama bin Laden's impending move to Afghanistan.
Deep in the article, the Times reports that the State Department assessment was "written July 18, 1996." Nowhere in the article does the Times mentioned what happened the day before.
What happened on July 17, 1996, is that TWA Flight 800 exploded on a beautiful summer night only 12 minutes out of JFK along the affluent well-populated south shore of Long Island. By all accounts, this crash threw Washington into a virtual war footing. A State Department assessment produced on July 18, 1996, was as likely to have been routine as one produced on Sept. 12, 2001.
On July 18, the last day of official honesty, Times reporters were all over the place, and they were pressing for the truth. On that day, unnamed "government officials" most likely the FBI told the New York Times that air-traffic controllers had "picked up a mysterious radar blip that appeared to move rapidly toward the plane just before the explosion."
These officials and the Times unequivocally linked the radar to the multiple eyewitness sightings and the sightings to a missile attack. According to the Times' sources, "The eyewitnesses had described a bright light, like a flash, moving toward the plane just before the initial explosion, and that the flash had been followed by a huge blast a chain of events consistent with a missile impact and the blast produced by an aircraft heavily laden with fuel." As one federal official told the Times that first morning, "It doesn't look good," with the clear implication of a missile strike.
This was the last day these officials were open with the media about the possibility of a missile. Once they changed the story, so did an oddly quiescent Times. The words "radar" and "eyewitness" would all but disappear from the Times' reporting after the first day. Nor, inexplicably, would the Times investigate the role of the military in the downing of TWA 800, not one paragraph, and not one word about satellites and what they might have captured.
As it happens, the Atlanta Olympics opened on July 19, the day the above stories were reported. Were the White House to acknowledge that an attack from outside the plane had caused its destruction, the Federal Aviation Administration might well have been compelled to shut down aviation on the East Coast. Accordingly, all missile talk ceased on that day. The investigation was forced into a false dialectic between bomb and mechanical. And the government, especially the FBI, would make the Times its unwitting messenger.
The day of the president's visit to Long Island eight days after the crash would prove to be something of a milestone. On that same day, for the first time, unnamed "law enforcement officials" most assuredly the FBI told the New York Times that they "supported the theory that the plane was destroyed by a bomb." At a separate briefing that day, FBI honcho James Kallstrom reinforced the theory. "We know there was a catastrophic explosion," he admitted, "It was caused by some kind of bomb, obviously, explosion." Yet, there was never any evidence of the same then, nor would there ever be, at least not a conventional bomb within the plane.
Besides, by this time the FBI had already interviewed hundreds of eyewitnesses pilots, vacationers, fishermen, surfers and they were all telling the same story. A typical sighting came from a Westhampton school parking lot, where school principal Joseph Delgado saw an object like "a firework" ascend almost vertically. The object had a "bright white light with a reddish pink aura surrounding it." The tail, gray in color, "moved in a squiggly pattern." From Delgado's perspective, the object "arced off to the right in a south-westerly direction."
Delgado saw a second object "glitter" in the sky and the first object move up toward it. He thought at first it was "going to slightly miss" the glittering object, TWA 800, but it appeared to make "a dramatic correction at the last second." Then Delgado saw a "white puff." Delgado and at least 750 other people and probably thousands watched as the plane's fuel tanks exploded, and Flight 800 morphed into what Delgado described as a "firebox" and others as a "fireball." Amazingly, the New York Times would only speak to one eyewitness, and not one of the 270 who saw the object's ascent.
To its credit, the FBI pushed to the terrorist side of the equation and pulled the Times with it. The Times' article on Aug. 14 "Fuel Tank's Condition Makes Malfunction Seem Less Likely" was the most provocative yet.
According to the Times, investigators "concluded that the center fuel tank caught fire as many as 24 seconds after the initial blast that split apart the plane, a finding that deals a serious blow to the already remote possibility that a mechanical accident caused the crash." One official was quoted as saying that parts of the tank were in ''pristine condition.'' Said another official who insisted on anonymity, ''It is clear that whatever set off the tank did not severely damage the tank. Something else, most likely later, blew up the tank.''
There was more. Investigators told the Times that the pattern of the debris "persuaded them that a mechanical malfunction is highly unlikely." From their analysis of the debris field, these investigators concluded the following, a summary that still has all the appearance of unvarnished truth:
The blast's force decapitated the plane, severing the cockpit and first-class cabin, which then fell into the Atlantic Ocean. The rest of the plane flew on, descending rapidly, and as it did thousands of gallons of jet fuel spilled out of the wings and the center fuel tank between them. At 8,000 feet, about 24 seconds after the initial blast, the fuel caught fire, engulfing the remainder of the jetliner into a giant fireball.
"Now that investigators say they think the center fuel tank did not explode," read the Times account, "they say the only good explanations remaining are that a bomb or a missile brought down the plane."
And then Richard Clarke got involved. About four weeks after the crash, based on his own rough timeline, Clarke visited the site of the investigation on Long Island. There he casually stopped to talk to a technician. Their presumed conversation, reported in Clarke's "Against All Enemies," is so utterly disingenuous it needs to be repeated in full:
"So this is where the bomb exploded?" I asked. "Where on the plane was it?"
"The explosion was just forward of the middle, below the floor of the passenger compartment, below row 23. But it wasn't a bomb," he added. "See the pitting pattern and the tear. It was a slow, gaseous eruption, from inside."
"What's below row 23?" I asked, slowly sensing that this was not what I thought it was.
"The center line fuel tank. It was only half full, might have heated up on the runway and caused a gas cloud inside. Then if a spark, a short circuit ..." He indicated an explosion with his hands.
The technician goes on to tell Clarke that these "old 747s" have an "electrical pump inside the center line fuel tank" and lays the blame on the pump. In fact, almost everything about the conversation is wrong. The tank was not half full, but virtually empty. The evening was a cool 71 degrees. The plane's pumps were all recovered and found blameless, and the fuel pump wiring is not even inside the tank. The National Transportation Safety Board admittedly never did find the alleged ignition source.
But pride goeth before a fall. In this one chance encounter, Clarke manages to sum up the essence of the "exit strategy" months if not years before the NTSB does, and he takes all credit for it. That same day, Clarke tells us that he returned to Washington and shared his exploding fuel-tank theory with chief of staff Leon Panetta and NSA Director Tony Lake, even sketching the 747 design.
"Does the NTSB agree with you," Lake reportedly asked Clarke? Clarke's purported response speaks to the priority politics would take over truth in this investigation "Not yet."
Jamie Gorelick took the ball and ran. On Aug. 22, 1996, the deputy attorney general called the FBI's Jim Kallstrom to Washington and effectively put the TWA Flight 800 investigation to bed. Now, it was just a question of how best to explain away the explosive residue and the eyewitnesses.
It's funny to hear Clinton complain that if he had only knew this or that he would have done something. He had so many opportunities to lead this country to defeat, or at least combat terrorism, that it is comical. I remember the left lamenting how they wished 911 would have happened on his watch so he could have been great. Well Bill, you had the chance but you were too busy trying to pretend you were great to actually be great...and image only lasts as long as the truth doesn't come out.
Bill's term in office and his precious legacy will continue to deteriote and make Jimma carter look like a competent pro.
I believe TWA 800 exploded on its own because my mind is being controlled by those black helicopters hovering above my house. Oh wait! Nevermind, that's a ceiling fan.
Look at the composite of john doe. Now look at the picture of the dirty bomber, padilla. Now look at mcveighs wifes maiden name. padilla.
Good points...I was wondering the same things.
Great point. The plane would have been topped off with fuel.
has anybody claimed credit for 9/11?
That's true, but the tanks would be pressurized to some extent, otherwise the more volatile compounds in the fuel would boil off into the atmosphere, leaving behind a more 'sludgy' fuel mixture.
Think of the gasoline you keep on hand for your lawn mower. It's in a closed container, and after a few minutes, or hours depending on the temperatures, it has a pressure built up.
That said, I've believed it was a missle from the very beginning. I just never knew about the Gorelic involvment in the cover-up. Those people were hip deep in things during the whole eigth years.
I was about to post about the same book. Great one!
"Nobody, as far as I know, ever claimed credit for shooting down an American airliner. From a terrorist's viewpoint, what is the point of successfully pulling off the most spectacular terror attack in history (till then) if people generally think it was an accident?"
One answer is that they took out the wrong plane. An El-Al 747 (bound for Israel I think) identical to the TWA was supposed to be taking off of that runway at that time, but the schedule had been bumped a few minutes. If they were after the dirty Jewish infidels and accidentally killed a few hundred Americans, they might not celebrate so loudly.
"Good points...I was wondering the same things."
A potential answer in post #59
Agreed, and no one will ever change my mind on this!
Your writing is tickling my memory...
Early on, the Clintons went around the national media and had little soirees with hometown newspaper reporters, wowing them with all of the glitz and glamour of the White House. The national media was furious and frustrated. (I think its in Ambrose Evans what's-his-name) After these smacks on the nose, it wouldn't surprise me if the Clintons let it be known that they would include them in the future, but only IF they toed the Clinton line.
Just like interviewers are afraid to ask Hillary the hard questions, because they fear they'll have no future access if she were to be president because they pissed her off.
Washington is full of wannabes. And they can't be A List if they don't get access. How Conveeenient for the Clintons.
Thanks for the reminders.
The tanks aren't pressurized when they are empty. Nor when they are full.
Because they didn't need the fuel so why carry "deadweight" at the expense of revenue generating passengers?
All commercial flights have to land with one hour's worth of additional fuel on board or they are in trouble with the FAA, so you can be sure the plane had what it needed, but there is no point in carrying any more, The additional fuel tank would be used on long haul flights over the Pacific.
Hmmm. Good point.
No, of course not.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Doesn't sound right.
One theory is that one of our own missles hit it. I haven't heard much about that theory lately though.
The NTSB set up tests over in England, conveniently out of sight, where they tried to recreate the fuel explosion scenario. They failed. Eventually they had to fake them in the the manner of the GM truck fiasco to get any results that they could allude to.
Jet A is like kerosine, it vaporises at about 185 degrees and even then does not explode like gasoline.
I'm not familiar with aviation practices, but you are saying can't be true.
Even your car has a pressurized fuel tank, and for good reason. Otherwise all that would be left after a few months of non-use would be a sludgy-sticky liquid that would clog the injectors. Pour a little gasoline in an open dish and leave it outside, in the shade, for a few hours to see for yourself.
An unpressurized fuel tank at 30,000 feet would lose many of the key fuel ingredients within a few minutes, leaving behind a low grade fuel.
Im not a chemical engineer either, but my guess would be that the fuel would be closer to a diesel fuel grade (energy wise) after an hour or two at 30-35,000 feet than even a gasoline grade, and certainly not something that would burn efficiently in a jet engine. It probably would clog the fuel system even before it got to the engine itself.
Bottom line, the tanks are probably pressurized to at least sea level.
It would be helpful to get someone with aircraft experience to chime in.
Good thing GOD won't give him a pass. He has a lot to answer for.
Changes were made to operating procedures to address the "found" (or fabricated) cause of ignition. I don't recall exactly what the changes were, but may have been to never have an empty center fuel tank.
I heard a while back that people thought it could have been one of our own missles (Navy 'wargames' going on nearby) that shot it down. Of course they want to cover THAT up.
Exactly! It's been reported that there was an Iraqi involved with McVeigh and could very well have been behind this terrorist attack as well.
read "THE 3RD TERRORIST" amazon.com
"Why would a plane bound for Paris have an empty fuel tank?"
Shhh...you're ruining it. Only a minute percentage of NYT readers would catch that.
I heard that, too. Hmmm.
My husband and I were talking about his legacy just yesterday. He says he was appalled at the President getting BJ's in the White House and I said, YEAH, IN OUR LIVING ROOM! She ruined her reputation as well. Now we all know what a "lewinsky" is!
Fantastic Book....especially the ending....
Look at the reaction when we downed the Iranian passenger plane by accident, then figure the costs to re-imberse for this flight, as well as, law-suits, bad pr, firings, etc.
On the other hand, if it was a terrorist, then Bubba would have to explain how it happened, why he hadn't done anything to prevent it, and would have to do something other than lob a few cruise missiles at someone. He avoided the "big" issues as much as possible, and this might have been too big for him.
Somebody knows, and the truth - if it wasn't the fuel tank explosion - might someday come out. If the cover-up wasn't too thorough.
"I believe TWA 800 exploded on its own because my mind is being controlled by those black helicopters hovering above my house. Oh wait! Nevermind, that's a ceiling fan. "
I never used to believe in the black helicopter, Clinton era stuff either. Then I read Jayna Davis' book, "The Third Terrorist" about the OKC bombing. Davis was a local reporter for the local TV station. I was very surprised at the specific, overwhelming credible evidence it presented that a number of Islamic individuals were involved in the bombing, in addition to McVay. Evidence such as multiple eyewitness accounts, all of which were aired on her local OKC TV station.
I used to think there would be no way to coverup something that big, with so many FBI and military people involved. Just no way to keep all those people quiet. It dawned on me, though, it really isn't that hard, especially if all the people at the top of the coverup are on the same page.
If the Attorney General, or someone else high up in the DOJ says we're convinced that McVay's our man, shut down all other lines of inquiry and focus on the McVay angle, the rest of the FBI will fall in line. What choice do they have? Rogue FBI agents exist only in spy-ficition novels. Real FBI agents are government employees with families and pensions. If only one or two agents come out with information, they will easily be discredited and destroyed.
Besides, probably no one agent has enough information by himself to present a "smoking gun". He may have a piece of the puzzle, but not the whole thing. His piece of the puzzle might make you think, but not make you conclude there is a coverup. So he keeps what he knows to himself, and keeps his job. No, it would be pretty easy for the government leadership to twist an investigation the way they want it.
If the Clinton Justice Department covered up OKC, then they might very well have covered up TWA 800, and/or Vince Foster. I'm not sure about TWA 800 and Foster, merely because I haven't read enough evidence about those things. It certainly makes sense. Anything that could be termed as difficult, or politically unpopular, Clinton swept under the rug. This was his greatest failing, and why we must never let another Clinton in the White House.
Geez, I spelled missiles wrong twice! Forgive me.
Do you have a link to the Iranians taking "credit", which I missed? The Vincennes incident was not a deliberate attack on civilian aviation, and the U.S. Government offered compensation to the victims' families, actually the exact amount specified in the Warsaw Convention for aviation accidents. If the Iranians did that, it is an overt act of war and Congress should have declared war on Iran.
Immediately after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks in the United States, the United States government named bin Laden as the prime suspect. He claimed in an interview shortly after the attacks, "I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States nor did I have knowledge of the attacks," and suggested the attacks were the fault of Jews or of the CIA. But in subsequent statements and interviews he expressed admiration for whoever was responsible. He took credit for "inspiring" what he calls the "blessed attacks" of September 11th in several public statements.
Per Wikipedia, He only says that the attackers were inspired by his Jihadic message. Not that he planned, funded and organized the attack.
Hmmm....please note my tagline of Aviator. I have been flying professionally for 35 years. Since you are not familiar with aviation practices and you are not a chemical engineer, you are indeed shooting in the dark.
I have met Cashil numerous times and I like him. He's smart and he's fun. However, I grow tired of his conspiracy nonsense. I heard him say that a small propellor plane was flown into Flight 900, this on the heels of his pathetic defense of the Slepian killer.
I always thought John Doe #2 looked like Padilla, but I didn't know McVeigh had a wife, much less one named Padilla!
This surprises who?
Hmm, I'm not so sure about that but then, what do I know, sitting in my comfy office here at the university?
OK, I make this a direct question, since (in spite of my lack of degrees) I am will to go out on a limb and state that I am positve you are wrong.
My question: Do the fuel tanks on the large airplanes (737 747 etc) operate at whatever elevation pressure the plane happens to be at?
By way of refinement, when the plane is on the runway in LA what is the internal pressure of the tank relative to the outside air pressure? When that same plane climbs to an altitude of 35,000 feet, what is the pressure of the tank, relative to the outside air pressure at 35,000 feet?
Your lack of common experience is showing. Give me a day or two (like most I have a life out FR) an I'll have a more technical answer.
I fueled commercial jets for years to pay my way through college.
Your right I have no "common experience".