James Sanders in his book Downing of TWA Flight 800 says terrorists intended to ram a airliner departing JFK with a smaller plane packed with explosives. US intelligence learned of the plot and alerted the US Navy. The Navy attempted to shoot down the smaller plane with two missiles but the plane was closing fast on TWA800. One missile hit TWA800, which explains the propellant residue, and the other hit the smaller plane, which explains the large, non-fuel explosion external to TWA800, but close enough that the concussion destroyed it. That senario is plausible and is consistent with all of the evidence.
Anyone who has spent any time in the navy would tell you that the scenario is implausible and down right iidiotic. Why would they turn to the Navy and not the Air Force? An F-16 or F-15 would be better equipped to intercept a small airplane. And then there sheer insanity of firing missiles into an airspace populated by dozens of commercial aircraft and expecting both of them to hit one small target. Do you honestly think that the military leadership of this country is that stupid?
posted on 09/21/2007 10:48:53 AM PDT
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You are right. An F-16 or F-15 would be better equipped to intercept a small airplane. Perhaps the Air Force was oriented more towards external threats, like they were on 9/11, and the decision was to use the Navy instead. In any case, we will probably never know what kind of intelligence the government had and how it figured into any tactical decisions regarding this threat, if indeed, this is how events unfolded that day.
I do not think it was insanity to fire missiles at a target that was seen as a bona fide threat. No, I do not think the military leadership is stupid, but they do have to operate in this real world of limited information and opportunities.
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