Did 'friendly fire' bring down TWA Flight 800? (fwd)

marta rodriguez (rmarta@world.std.com)
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 02:31:38 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 20:55:26 -0400 EDT
From: Workers World <ww@wwpublish.com>
To: Workers World Service <workers-l@wwpublish.com>
Subject: Did 'friendly fire' bring down TWA Flight 800?

-------------------------
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Sept. 19, 1996
issue of Workers World newspaper
-------------------------

QUESTIONS ABOUT TWA FLIGHT 800:
DID "FRIENDLY FIRE" BRING IT DOWN?

By Gary Wilson

Did "friendly fire" bring down TWA Flight 800? That
question keeps coming back, despite official denials by the
Pentagon.

Did an increase in military exercises lead to this tragic
accident? War preparations seem to be escalating though no
war has been declared. There have been several reports of
fatal military accidents during the last year, as the
Pentagon has geared up its forces.

The charge that TWA Flight 800 was brought down by a
missile fired by U.S. Navy ships has been heard since the
time of the crash.

Shortly after the crash, the Jerusalem Post reported on
the possibility of a missile. It said that the French
Defense Ministry had concluded that only the U.S. military
had such a capability.

Hand-held Stinger missiles like those used by CIA-trained
counter-revolutionaries in Afghanistan could not cause the
kind of destruction suffered by Flight 800. But the U.S.
Navy or Army have missiles big enough to do this sort of
damage, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Since that time, the question of "friendly fire" downing
the TWA jet has been kept alive by TWA workers, airport
workers and a lively discussion on the Internet.

Many TWA and airport workers believe a Navy missile did
it. They say so-called anti-terrorist measures by the
Clinton administration and Congress are political posturing,
and they resent the difficulties the new laws impose.

These measures will mean more work for airport employees,
more hassles for passengers and blatant police-state-type
repression, including invasion-of-privacy security checks on
both workers and passengers. And yet there is still no proof
a bomb caused the TWA crash or that any bomb has gone
through already heavy airport security.

On the Internet, the "friendly fire" theory has produced
many credible reports. A popular one is by a "747 captain"
who is "a former safety chairman of the Airline Pilots
Association." This report has been cited in several news
reports and quoted by the Associated Press. The Navy has
even had to respond to it.

The 747 pilot says: "TWA Flight 800 was shot down by a
U.S. Navy guided missile ship which was in area W-105 about
30 miles from where TWA Flight 800 exploded. W-105 is a
warning area off the southeast coast of Long Island and is
used by the military for operations including missile
firing."

Several Internet discussions have focused on the fact that
U.S. military training often involves civilian targets "in
order to practice aiming at something live." The U.S. Navy
routinely uses planes leaving JFK for practice targets for
surface-to-air missile training.

The 747 pilot backs up his assertion of a Navy role by
pointing to the fact that "the first announcement [of the
crash of Flight 800] came from the Pentagon" and that the
Navy "immediately sent a captain who was replaced the very
next day by a one-star admiral from Norfolk." The Navy's
Aegis-class cruisers are based in Norfolk, Va.

A U.S. Navy Aegis-class cruiser--the USS Vincennes--fired
the missile that destroyed an Iranian civilian airplane over
the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988, killing all 290 aboard.

The Navy has confirmed that the Aegis-type cruiser USS
Normandy was in area W-105 at the time of the crash of TWA
Flight 800, the Associated Press reported Sept. 4.

As if to underscore the fact that such an accident is
possible, an American Airlines pilot reported that he
sighted a missile off the right wing of his 757 as he flew
near NASA and Navy facilities in Virginia on Aug. 29. The
Dow Jones News Service reported Sept. 8, "The report fits a
scenario that is one of the theories under consideration in
the TWA case--that a missile brought down the jumbo jet July
17, killing all 230 people aboard."

Could the Pentagon attempt to cover up such a tragic
accident? Consider another passenger jet that was brought
down by "friendly fire." On June 27, 1980, an Italian DC-9
exploded over the Mediterranean. At the time, the media
blamed a "terrorist bomb." Yet no proof of a bomb was ever
found.

Finally, earlier this year--over 15 years after the
incident that killed all 81 people on board--Italian
military officials revealed what they had believed all
along. The passenger airplane was shot down by a U.S. or
French aircraft, both of which were chasing a Libyan fighter
flying over the Mediterranean at the time.

To this day the Pentagon cites "national security" as its
reason for refusing to turn over evidence to an Italian
court that is investigating the shootdown.

- END -

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