TWA Flight 800
December 1, 2006 - WND.com
© Jack Cashill
by Jack Cashill
Editor's note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series.
Please read Part I before proceeding.
Part I of this exploration led from the first World Trade Center bombing in February 1993 to the destruction of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996. The culprits behind both, perhaps indirectly in the TWA Flight 800 case, were likely an elite crew of Baluchi terrorists—WTC I mastermind Ramzi Yousef and 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) being most notable--that sold its services to both al Qaeda and Iraq.
- In February 1998, President Clinton warned of “the very kind of threat Iraq poses now—a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists.”
- Six days later, Osama bin Laden issued a fatwah against America, citing its “continuing aggression against the Iraqi people” as a principle reason for the call to “kill all Americans.”
- In the spring of 1998 the Clinton Justice Department indicted bin Laden. Justice cited an understanding between bin Laden and Saddam “that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq.”
- In January 1999, anti-terrorism czar Richard Clarke would tell the Washington Post of the intelligence that connects al-Qaeda to the “Iraqi nerve gas experts.” He was one of six Clinton officials to insist publicly on an al Qaeda-Iraqi tie to justify the destruction of al Shifa chemical plant in the Sudan, America’s retaliation for al Qaeda’s bombing of two American embassies in Africa in August 1998.
- In June 2000, chief 9-11 operative Mohamed Atta arrived in the United States—from Prague. He had traveled to Prague twice in the previous month. Although in Triple Cross Peter Lance reports on the presence of both Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and Atta in the Czech Republic, he does not tell us why either went there.
- Czech officials report that Atta met with Iraqi intelligence on a return trip to Prague in April 2001, but the American media have done everything in their power to discredit these highly credible reports.
- In August 2000, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a 37 year-old Iraqi with embassy connections, helped arrange the well documented and photographed 9-11 planning summit in Kuala Lumpur. Shakir disappeared days afterwards.
- Despite their extensive reporting on this critical summit, neither Lance nor Lawrence Wright in The Looming Tower makes any mention of Shakir. Again, to do so, would be to acknowledge possible Iraqi involvement in 9-11. Two of the participants at the summit would man planes on September 11.
- In September 2003, Tim Russert asked Vice President Cheney if there were a connection between al Qaeda and Iraq, specifically in regard to September 11. Cheney responded, “We don’t know” and cited some of the evidence presented here. His honest answer created a media firestorm. They were apoplectic over Cheney’s failure, in the words of the Boston Globe, “to dismiss a widely discredited claim: that Saddam might have played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks.” If the administration seems unwilling to defend itself, this is why.
- At the 9-11 Commission hearing in spring 2004, the first question asked of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was whether anyone had briefed her before 9-11 in regard to terrorists “using planes as bombs.” She said no. In his least objective thrust, Lance chides Rice repeatedly for this and implies that she is lying.
- Lance makes no mention of what Clarke had told the same commission before Rice testified. Under questioning, Clarke admitted that the "knowledge about al-Qaeda having thought of using aircraft as weapons" was relatively old – "5-years, 6-years old." He asks that intelligence analysts "be forgiven for not thinking about it given the fact that they hadn't seen a lot in the five or six years intervening about it."
- There are only two reasons why Clarke might not have shared any of this information with the incoming administration. One was incompetence. The other was to remove TWA Flight 800, which exploded five years before 9-11, from the conversation. The evidence points strongly to the latter.
- Clarke had help keeping this all under wraps. Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who suppressed the TWA 800 investigation, was likely placed on the 9-11 commission for no other reason. She had been in a position to kill the OKC investigation as well.
- U.S. attorney Valerie Caproni, a Clinton appointee, managed the Roma sting, prosecuted Scarpa, orchestrated the illegal FBI take-over of the TWA 800 investigation, and then oversaw the prosecution of James Sanders and his wife, Elizabeth, for Sanders’ investigation of the TWA 800 cover-up. In August 2003, she was appointed to the top legal job within the Federal Bureau of Investigation – that of general counsel.
- And then there is Sandy Berger. If his boss on the night of July 17, Tony Lake, remained in his own office, the highly political Berger was with the president. In his pilfering from the National Archives, Berger may well have been looking for Clinton's hand-annotated review from the summer of 1996 on Yousef's "planes as missiles" plan, a legacy-killing document if ever made public.
- "It remains unclear," asked the Washington Post, "why [Berger] destroyed three versions of a document, but left two other versions intact." The answer is not that complex: the president's handwritten notes on a document make one version entirely more dangerous than an identical document without those notes.
- The Bush Justice Department took no political advantage of Berger’s fix. Just the opposite. Justice announced the punishment in the year’s greatest media vacuum—the afternoon on which Terri Schiavo died and the day before the Pope did.
- On that same afternoon, acting on a four-week old tip from Scarpa, the FBI uncovered an explosives cache underneath Terry Nichols’ former home in Herington, Kansas.
On March 21, 2004, Richard Clarke publicly declared, “There’s absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda ever.” It was this kind of treacherous double talk that led to 9-11 and that has emboldened the bad guys to keep on fighting. Let the hearings begin.
Is there still room at Guantanamo?