An open letter to John Ashcroft


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TWA Flight 800





© Jack Cashill
August 10, 2001 -

Dear Mr. Ashcroft,

If my memory serves me, I have voted for you at least four times. I have staked your signs in my yard. I even shared a dais with you last year and a meal. I spoke to the audience that evening on the Elian raid and the demise of the Department of Justice. Little did either of us expect that you would soon be heading up that same department.

Like millions of Americans, I cheered you through the confirmation process. Though not overly mystical, I saw a divine hand in the torturous process that brought you there, and I still do. I think you are at Justice for a purpose.

Your staff, however, must not. They are serving you badly. From the beginning of my involvement in the investigation of TWA Flight 800, I have been sending a key member of your staff all relevant information. He has been encouraging, if a bit patronizing, and has even called me a “good citizen.” This information he has referred on to the Criminal Division.

Knowing how Washington responds to pressure, my partner in this investigation, James Sanders, and I have been encouraging the readers of our WorldNetDaily series to contact your office and that of Dan Burton. We believe that of all the agencies in Washington your respective offices are the only ones from which we can hope for justice.

A few days ago, we saw for the first time how the Criminal Division was responding to these letters, and we were appalled. I did not know that WorldNetDaily would publish that letter before I had a chance to discuss it with your office privately, but now that they have, I think it best to respond openly.

“The [WorldNetDaily] articles have been reviewed in this Section,” wrote Executive Officer Gwendolyn L. Turner, “and we have found no credible evidence in them to substantiate Mr.Cashill's conclusion that the federal agencies attempting to ascertain the cause of the destruction of TWA Flight 800, including the National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB], were engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.”

Might I ask you, Mr. Ashcroft, to inquire as to exactly what kind of review took place? I have been working on this project for six months. James Sanders has been working on it for five years, as have hundreds of aviation professionals. How much time did the Criminal Division spend? A day? A few hours? Why did no one at Justice contact any of us? I am sure you can understand how dismissive and insulting this letter sounds to all of us.

If you choose to redirect the energies of the Criminal Division, you might have them address the following questions:

  • Why did the FBI illegally seize control of the investigation from the NTSB?

  • Why was the NTSB not allowed to interview eyewitnesses?

  • Why was the Justice Department lawyer not disciplined, fired or prosecuted for ordering the NTSB to violate Title 49 and cease all efforts to interview witnesses – this within the first 72 hours of the crash?

  • Why did the CIA or FBI manufacture the single most important witness statement, the one on which the CIA animation is based?

  • Where is the 302 for that witness statement?

  • Why is the NTSB rejecting FOIA requests to show how the CIA/NTSB created that animation, the one that effectively discredited all the eyewitness testimony?

  • Where are the 30 missing eyewitness drawings?

  • Who instructed Dr. David Mayer to falsely malign every key eyewitness at the August 2000, NTSB hearings?

  • Why were no eyewitnesses ever allowed to testify in public or in private?

  • Who at the FBI created the false story of the St. Louis dog sniffing exercise to explain away the explosive residue found all over the plane?

  • Why did the NTSB knowingly send NASA a bogus glue sample to test the residue found on certain seat backs when it had the real sample in its hands?

  • Why were sections of the radar data deleted and other radar data suppressed?

  • Who deleted the last four seconds of the flight data recorder and why?

  • Why is the NTSB withholding studies on the cockpit voice recorder?

  • Why was the FBI removing Flight 800 parts from the Calverton hangar at 3 a.m.?

  • Who in the investigation dramatically altered physical evidence to minimize the appearance of a likely missile blast?

  • What is the identity the large ship that abandoned the scene and why did the FBI deny its existence for six months?

  • Why has the FBI not been investigated for losing all, yes all, of the thousands of documents related to the shrapnel removed from 89 of the victims of Flight 800?

  • Why was no one disciplined, fired or prosecuted for seizing a journalist's computer without a warrant or subpoena, in violation of the FBI/Justice Department guidelines and case law?

  • Why was Justice Department lawyer Valerie Caproni not disciplined, fired or prosecuted for seizing a journalist's phone records in violation of CFR 50.10, then lying about it in violation of Title 18, section 1001?

Every salient bit of evidence in this investigation has been compromised or corrupted. As you can see, these are questions that some still within Justice might not want raised, let alone answered.

To be sure, Ms. Turner does acknowledge in her letter that “the cause of the explosion in the wing tank may never be determined to a mathematical certainty.” But she fails to share with the readers the New York Times revelation, four weeks after the crash, that analysis of the recovered center wing tank and the debris field, as well as the finding of explosive residue all over the plane, “deals a serious blow to the already remote possibility that a mechanical accident caused the crash.”

The Times also reported that “by keeping open the possibility of a malfunction, safety board investigators can continue to pursue all possibilities, no matter how remote.” Four years and $40 million later that possibility was even more remote still. No “mathematical certainty” indeed.

Mr. Ashcroft, I feel deeply that you have been sent to Justice for a purpose. I don’t presume to know what that purpose is, but I am hopeful that if you give Mr. Sanders and myself two hours of your time, it might just become clear.

– Jack Cashill




Special Note:

Jack Cashill and James Sanders' First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America is now available. First Strike explains how a determined corps of ordinary citizens worked to reveal the compromise and corruption that tainted the federal investigation. With an impressive array of facts, Jack Cashill and James Sanders show the relationship between events in July 1996 and September 2001 and proclaim how and why the American government has attempted to cover up the truth.

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