TWA 800 revelation:
What the president knew


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TWA Flight 800





© Jack Cashill

 March 25, 2003 -

Based on the evidence of the debris field and the structural damage to TWA Flight 800, neither of these two colliding objects was likely TWA Flight 800. We believe instead that one was a plane and one was a missile and that the plane was packed with high-energy explosives. Based on Nugent's observations, the unknown plane may have been struck more than once. TWA Flight 800, we argue, was passing close above this "mid-air," as Baur describes the collision, and was destroyed in the massive blast that followed.

We have no quarrel with those who believe that missiles were involved, but who dissent from our final scenario. For all their cumulative value, the eyewitness observations are too sketchy and imperfect to allow for complete certitude on the details. Our mutual quarrel should be with those who knew exactly what happened that night and who have withheld the full range of evidence.

We refer specifically to the Clinton White House. We have recently learned that the president himself was aware of the flying bomb scenario in the summer of 1996. This information comes from the entirely credible account of retired Lt. Col. Robert Patterson, U.S. Air Force in his compelling new book, "Dereliction of Duty."

Patterson carried the "nuclear football" for the president during that fateful summer and, as such, had almost total access. One morning that Patterson identifies only as "late-summer" 1996, he was returning a daily intelligence update to the NSC when he noticed the heading "Operation Bojinka." As Patterson relates, "I keyed on a reference to a plot to use commercial airliners as weapons." As a pilot he had a keen interest in the same.

Obviously, after Sept. 11, the idea of using airplanes as flying bombs to attack American targets no longer seems far-fetched. In the way of omen, Islamic terrorist Ramzi Yousef was on trial in New York on the day of July 17, 1996, for his role in Bojinka (Serbo-Croatian for "loud bang"). The publicly known part of this plot was Yousef's plan to blow up 11 American airliners over the Pacific.

A lesser-known element of Bojinka – the one Patterson stumbled upon – we detail in "First Strike." The following excerpt comes from a classified Republic of the Phillippines intelligence report. It was based on information stored in Yousef's seized computer, and it shows that Islamic terrorists had plans to use small planes as flying bombs as early as 1994.

The document [from Yousef's computer] specifically cited the charter service of a commercial type aircraft loaded with powerful bombs to be dive-crashed by SAEED AKMAN. This is apparently intended to demonstrate to the whole world that a Muslim martyr is ready and determined to die for the glorification of Islam.

To be sure, Patterson makes no connection between Bojinka and TWA Flight 800. He was not in a position to. The knowledge of what happened the night of July 17, 1996, has been kept remarkably tight. To read the insider memoirs which cover that summer, or the histories, or even Senate intelligence reports, one gets the eerie sense that TWA Flight 800, the biggest news story of 1996, was unworthy of anyone's attention.

What Patterson does learn from seeing the president's hand-annotated response to this intelligence report on Bojinka is that Clinton had read it carefully. "I can state for a fact that this information was circulated within the U.S. intelligence community," Patterson writes, "and that in late 1996 the president was aware of it." That Clinton was reviewing this information in the immediate aftermath of TWA Flight 800's demise suggests more than mere coincidence.

Patterson also relates in chilling detail the president's "ambivalent, indecisive way of dealing with terrorism." He is not the first to do so. It is just this ambivalence and indecision we argue in "First Strike" that leads ultimately to the need for a cover-up of the true cause of TWA Flight 800's demise. Yes, a forceful president can enhance his popularity through a firm response to a terrorist act. But President Clinton was neither firm nor forceful.

The case for "prior knowledge," at least loosely understood, demands a serious look by the major media. One good place to start is with an honest look at TWA Flight 800. To this point, the sad excuses offered by "journalists" for not doing so diminish what little faith we have in the so-called "free press."



Posted: Jan 2006

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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