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TBR News July 14, 2018

Jul 14 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8

Washington, D.C. July 14, 2018:” Once, when the public wanted news, they had only newspapers to rely on. Then came radio and television followed. This meant that all news was able to be controlled by various factions wishing to do so. But with the advent of the Internet, all of this changed. The public could find legitimate news cheek by jowl with fantastic lies but all of it was free. As a result of this, the print media started a downward course that had yet to stop; television consists of actors reading the lines their corporate employees give them and news magazines look like supermarket tabloids. And  corporate entities, coupled with various government agencies, support pervericating bloggers in order to hype official lies. The truth is there, on the Internet, but to get at it, one must wear rubber hip boot to wade through immense heaps of rotting cow dung.”


The Table of Contents

  • The Broken Encirclement Plan: Nato in Eastern Europe
  • Let’s drop the euphemisms: Donald Trump is a racist president
  • Trump’s Biggest Lie of All
  • What Ben Bradlee Would Think of Donald Trump
  • Is Alex Jones’s Empire In Trouble?
  • Fantasy Followers
  • The Real Truth about Planet X!
  • The Great 9-11 Plot
  • Laser Beam weapons and the collapse of the World Trade Center 
  • TWA Flight 800


The Broken Encirclement Plan: Nato in Eastern Europe

by Christian Jürs

The first serious, and successful, U.S. direct interference in Russian leadership policies was in 1953. An ageing Josef Stalin, suffering from arteriosclerosis and becoming increasingly hostile to his subordinates, was poisoned by Laverenti P. Beria, head of his secret police. Beria, was a Mingrelian Jew, very ruthless and a man who ordered and often supervised the executions of people Stalin suspected of plotting against him, had fallen out of favor with Stalin and had come to believe that he was on the list of those Stalin wished to remove. With his intelligence connection, Beria was contacted by the American CIA through one of his trusted agents in Helskinki and through this contact, Beria was supplied dosages of warfarin  The first drug in the class to be widely commercialized was dicoumarol itself, patented in 1941 and later used as a pharmaceutical  potent coumarin-based anticoagulants for use as rodent poisons, resulting in warfarin in 1948. The name warfarin stems from the acronym WARF, for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation + the ending -arin indicating its link with coumarin. Warfarin was first registered for use as a rodenticide in the US in 1948, and was immediately popular; although it was developed by Link, the WARF financially supported the research and was assigned the patent.

Warfarin was used by a Lavrenti Beria to poison Stalin. Stalin’s cooks and personal bodyguards were all under the direct control of Beria. He acknowledged to other top Soviet leaders that he had poisoned Stalin, according to Molotov’s memoirs. Nikita Khrushchev and others to poison Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Warfarin is tasteless and colorless, and produces symptoms similar to those that Stalin exhibited. Stalin collapsed during the night after a dinner with Beria and other Soviet leaders, and died four days later on 5 March 1953.

Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, in his political memoirs (published posthumously in 1993), claimed that Beria told him that he had poisoned Stalin. “I took him out,” Beria supposedly boasted. There is evidence that after Stalin was found unconscious, medical care was not provided for many hours. Other evidence of the murder of Stalin by Beria associates was presented by Edvard Radzinsky in his biography Stalin. It has been suggested that warfarin was used; it would have produced the symptoms reported.

After the fall of Gorbachev and his replacement by Boris Yeltsin, a known CIA connection, the Russian criminal mob was encouraged by the CIA to move into the potentially highly lucrative Russian natural resource field.

By 1993 almost all banks in Russia were owned by the mafia, and 80% of businesses were paying protection money. In that year, 1400 people were murdered in Moscow, crime members killed businessmen who would not pay money to them, as well as reporters, politicians, bank owners and others opposed to them. The new criminal class of Russia took on a more Westernized and businesslike approach to organized crime as the more code-of-honor based Vory faded into extinction.

The Izmaylovskaya gang was considered one of the country’s most important and oldest Russian Mafia groups in Moscow and also had a presence in Tel Aviv, Berlin, Paris, Toronto, Miami and New York City. It was founded during the 1980s under the leadership of Oleg Ivanov and was estimated to consist of about 200 active members (according to other data of 300–500 people). In principle, the organization was divided into two separate bodies—Izmailovskaya and Gol’yanovskaya  which utilized quasi-military ranks and strict internal discipline. It was involved extensively in murder-for-hire, extortions, and infiltration of legitimate businesses.

The gangs were termed the Oligarchy and were funded by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Israeli-owned Bank of New York all with the assistance of the American government.

The arrival of Vladimir Putin as the new leader of Russia was at first ignored in Washington. A former KGB Lt. Colonel who had been stationed in East Germany, Putin was viewed as inconsequential, bland and colorless by the purported Russian experts in both the Department of State and the CIA.

Putin, however, proved to be a dangerous opponent who blocked the Oligarchs attempt to control the oil fields and other assets, eventual control of which had been promised to both American and British firms.

The Oligarchs were allowed to leave the country and those remaining behind were forced to follow Putin’s policies. Foreign control over Russian natural resources ceased and as both the CIA, various foreign firms and the American government had spent huge sums greasing the skids, there was now considerable negative feelings towards Putin.

The next serious moves against Russia came with a plan conceived by the CIA and fully approved by President George W. Bush, whose father had once been head of the CIA.

This consisted of ‘Opertion Sickle’ which was designed to surround the western and southern borders of Russia with states controlled by the United States through the guise of NATO membership. Included in this encirclement program were the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia and a number of Asiatic states bordering southern Russia. It was the stated intention of the NATO leadership to put military missiles in all these countries. The so-called “Orange Revolution” funded and directed by the CIA, overthrew the pro-Moscow government in the Ukraine, giving the United States theoretical control over the heavy industrialized Donetz Basin and most importantly, the huge former Soviet naval base at Sebastopol.

The Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP) was an American-sponsored 18-month, $64-million program aimed at increasing the capabilities of the Georgian armed forces by training and equipping four 600-man battalions with light weapons, vehicles and communications. The program enabled the US to expedite funding for the Georgian military for Operation Enduring Freedom.

On February 27, 2002, the US media reported that the U.S. would send approximately two hundred United States Army Special Forces soldiers to Georgia to train Georgian troops. The program implemented President Bush’s decision to respond to the Government of Georgia’s request for assistance to enhance its counter-terrorism capabilities and addressed the situation in the Pankisi Gorge.

The program began in May 2002 when American special forces soldiers began training select units of the Georgian Armed Forces, including the 12th Commando Light Infantry Battalion, the 16th Mountain-Infantry Battalion, the 13th “Shavnabada” Light Infantry Battalion, the 11th Light Infantry Battalion, a mechanized company and small numbers of Interior Ministry troops and border guards.

Eventually, responsibility for training Georgian forces was turned over to the US Marine Corps in conjunction with the British Army. British and American teams worked as part of a joint effort to train each of the four infantry battalion staffs and their organic rifle companies. This training began with the individual soldier and continued through fire team, squad, platoon, company, and battalion level tactics as well as staff planning and organization. Upon completing training, each of the new Georgian infantry battalions began preparing for deployment rotations in support of the Global War on Terrorism

The CIA were instrumental in getting Mikheil Saakashvili, an erratic politician, pro-West, into the presidency of Georgia but although he allowed the country to be flooded with American arms and “military trainers” he was not a man easily controlled and under the mistaken belief that American military might supported him, commenced to threaten Moscow. Two Georgian provinces were heavily populated by Russians and objected to the inclusion in Georgia and against them, Saakashvili began to make threatening moves.

The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War (in Russia also known as the Five-Day War) was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other.

During the night of 7 to 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a large-scale military offensive against South Ossetia, in an attempt to reclaim the territory. Georgia claimed that it was responding to attacks on its peacekeepers and villages in South Ossetia, and that Russia was moving non-peacekeeping units into the country. The Georgian attack caused casualties among Russian peacekeepers, who resisted the assault along with Ossetian militia. Georgia successfully captured most of Tskhinvali within hours. Russia reacted by deploying units of the Russian 58th Army and Russian Airborne Troops in South Ossetia, and launching airstrikes against Georgian forces in South Ossetia and military and logistical targets in Georgia proper. Russia claimed these actions were a necessary humanitarian intervention and peace enforcement.

When the Russian incursion was seen as massive and serious, U.S. president George W. Bush’s statement to Russia was: “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.” The US Embassy in Georgia, describing the Matthew Bryza press-conference, called the war an “incursion by one of the world’s strongest powers to destroy the democratically elected government of a smaller neighbor”.

Initially the Bush Administration seriously considered a military response to defend Georgia, but such an intervention was ruled out by the Pentagon due to the inevitable conflict it would lead to with Russia. Instead, Bush opted for a softer option by sending humanitarian supplies to Georgia by military, rather than civilian, aircraft. And he ordered the immediate evacuation of all American military units from Georgia. The huge CIA contingent in the Georgian capital fled by aircraft and the American troops, mostly U.S. Marines, evacuated quickly to the Black Sea where they were evacuated by the U.S. Navy. British and Israeli military units also fled the country and all of them had to leave behind an enormous amount of military eqipment to include tanks, light armored  vehicles, small arms, radio equipment, and trucks full of intelligence data they had neither the time nor forersignt to destroy.

The immediate result of this demarche was the defection of the so-called “NATO Block” eastern Europeans from the Bush/CIA project who saw the United States as a paper tiger that would not, and could not, defend them against the Russians. In a sense, the Russian incursion into Georgia was a massive political, not a military, victory.

The CIA was not happy with the actions of Vladimir Putin and when he ran for reelection, they poured money into the hands of Putin’s enemies, hoping to reprise the Ukrainian Orange Revolution but the effort was in vain

Let’s drop the euphemisms: Donald Trump is a racist president

Trump is a walking contradiction – but his nativism is consistent. On his UK tour, he has threatened the safety of migrants worldwide

July 13, 2018

by Richard Wolffe

The Guardian

Watching this pinball president ricochet around Europe, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s no method to Donald Trump’s madness.

Nato is both a rip-off and very strong. Theresa May’s Brexit plan is both pathetic and terrific. Trump’s interview with the Sun was both fake news and generally fine. Trump has all the consistency of Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold, except when it comes to two things: immigrants and Vladimir Putin.

Immigration is where Trump’s journey begins and ends: the message running all the way through this stick of rock. Trump told the Sun that immigration in Europe was “a shame”. Why such concern? “I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.”

Don’t worry, Mr President. We didn’t think you meant it in a positive way. There was a time when politicians like you preferred to use a dog whistle, but those days seem quaint now. There’s something to be said for using a foghorn to blast your racism across the continents. At least we all know what kind of politics you represent.

But just in case anyone had any doubts, Trump took his explicit nativism several steps into more sinister territory on Friday while standing next to the British prime minister. When asked about his “fabric of Europe” comments, Trump began by talking about terrorism, before explaining his thinking.

“I just think it’s changing the culture. I think it’s a very negative thing for Europe. I think it’s very negative,” he said, as if we didn’t hear him the first time with the foghorn. “And I know it’s politically not necessarily correct to say that. But I’ll say it and I’ll say it loud. And I think they better watch themselves because you are changing the culture.”

They better watch themselves because you are changing the culture. There’s a polite way to say this, but the time for good manners has long gone. The president of the United States just threatened the safety and security of immigrants the world over.

Not just in Europe, he made clear, as he continued to talk about American immigration. “We have very bad immigration laws and we’re, I mean, we’re doing incredibly well considering the fact that we virtually don’t have immigration laws,” he explained.

So now we know. The reason Trump ordered the separation of thousands of immigrant children from their parents – some never to be reunited again – was because they better watch themselves. They are changing the culture and it better stop or else they’ll get hurt.

Trump has mused before about how good it would be to deport people without judges messing things up. He doesn’t consider his own country’s ample immigration laws to be actual laws that he respects. It’s one short step for a president – but one long step for democracy – to go from disrespecting the laws to ignoring them.

This is the language and mentality of so many extreme-right and neo-Nazi parties in Europe. So in the Trump spirit of saying it loud, it’s time to drop the euphemisms: Trump is today’s first major government to be led by the racist far right. It’s not some kind of new populist politics; it’s the old National Front.

It’s more than “not normal” – the media’s favorite phrase for expressing disapproval with the way Trump is blowing up the old norms. Trump personifies the kind of extremist policies that were the wet dreams of the John Birch Society and George Wallace.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. This is a president who started with racist conspiracies about the birthplace of America’s first black president, before launching his campaign with a racist rant about Mexican rapists. Once elected, after losing the popular vote, he rushed out his Muslim travel ban and has since unleashed his long-promised deportation force on anyone looking faintly Latino.

At this point, there are many previously respectable leaders – at home and overseas – as well as administration officials and journalists who have fooled themselves into thinking they are some kind of moderating influence. They have failed. They are a cheap veneer of respectability on an explicitly and punitively racist president.

The moral choices that Trump poses to anyone with a conscience or love of country are only made more clear by the ludicrous irony of his own story.

The grandson of a German immigrant, Trump has married not one but two immigrants. He knows full well how hard it is to be an immigrant: his family was so ashamed of its German roots through two world wars that Trump continued to pretend he had Swedish roots at the time he put his name to The Art of the Deal.

As any TV psychologist might observe, it was a continental-sized giveaway when Trump lied about his immigrant roots to the press after trashing Nato on Thursday. “I have great respect for Germany,” he said, after attacking the German government for months. “My father is from Germany.”

Fred Trump, father to Donald, was born in the Bronx.

If you make a herculean effort, you can just about understand what Trump means when he complains that the culture is changing. It’s true: the world is becoming more integrated and diverse right before his eyes.

That diversity is not just a source of talent for America and Europe, but has long been the core test of our decency: the standard by which we judge ourselves. America’s founding freedoms were in part to protect religious minorities persecuted elsewhere: the kind of people we’d call asylum seekers today.

Or, as Theresa May gamely put it on Friday: “The UK has a proud history of welcoming people who are fleeing persecution to our country. We have a proud history of welcoming people who want to come to our country to contribute to our economy and contribute to our society. And over the years, overall immigration has been good for the UK.”

Even the Brexit-leading prime minister, after an anti-immigrant Brexit campaign, has to admit the obvious. Another foreign leader might recognize those words as a rebuke. But not this president.

Trump is the kind of person who digs around the darkest corners of the extreme-right internet to come up with some England First nonsense. “You don’t hear the word England as much as you should,” he told the Sun, spouting the kind of drivel that gives skinheads a bad name. “I miss the name England,” he said.

If he read one of his many unexamined briefing papers, he might know that one of the likely conservative successors to Theresa May is the immigrant-sounding Sajid Javid, born Muslim in the north of England. His family shares a Pakistani heritage with the immigrant-sounding Sadiq Khan, the left-leaning London mayor Trump thinks is a terrorist sympathizer.

Perhaps next time Trump visits London, he’ll have to remember whether the bad guy is called Sajid or Sadiq. That’s the problem when the culture changes. You better watch yourself, Donald.


Trump’s Biggest Lie of All

June 20, 2018

by Nancy LeTourneau

Washington Monthly

The fact-checkers have tallied that Trump tells about 5-6 lies per day on average, and as Ashley Parker pointed out, that number has been growing lately. One way to avoid getting trapped in the whack-a-mole cycle of taking on those lies is to step back and think about this president’s biggest lie of all.

In countless ways every day, Donald Trump paints a picture of this country in which we are all as ignorant, weak and cowardly as he is. He reaches back to some mythological past in which America was great and plays up the politics of resentment because this country no longer dominates the globe, whites no longer dominate people of color, Christians no longer dominate those of other religions and men no longer dominate women. In other words, Trump’s view of America is his biggest lie of all.

I am reminded of the time a few years ago when right wingers accused Obama of not loving this country. His answer to that question was delivered via a speech at the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma. In it, he described what it means to be an American.

…what could be more American than what happened in this place?

What could more profoundly vindicate the idea of America than plain and humble people – the unsung, the downtrodden, the dreamers not of high station, not born to wealth or privilege, not of one religious tradition but many – coming together to shape their country’s course?

What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this; what greater form of patriotism is there; than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?

Since this whole family separation policy took center stage, I’ve heard a lot of back and forth between people who say, “that’s not who we are,” and those who rightly point out that we have done things this horrendous many times over the course of this country’s history. There is some truth in both of those positions.

Trump’s lie is wrapped up in a mythological past as an excuse to keep making the same mistakes. Obama suggests that we’re strong enough to be self-critical and, as citizens, have the power to more closely align this country with our highest ideals.

The question before us today is whether we will live out the lie or utilize our strength to continue perfecting our union.




What Ben Bradlee Would Think of Donald Trump

My late husband would not have been impressed. Nor intimidated. He believed the truth mattered.

July 13, 2018

by Sally Quinn

here is a big, white, two-story wall in the center of the newsroom at the Washington Post directly across from the glass-walled Ben Bradlee Story Conference Room. On the wall in bold letters in Post font is this quote from my late husband: “The truth, no matter how bad, is never as dangerous as a lie in the long run.”

What Ben believed — that lies are degrading and corrosive to the deceiver no less than the deceived, that truth is liberating for both individuals and societies — is something that at bottom every journalist I know believes. Ben knew Donald Trump slightly but died in 2014 before his emergence as a political leader whose words and values have consequences that echo around the globe.

Amid the daily (make that hourly) torrent of deceit in the Trump era — Trump lies on average 6½ times a day, according to one tally, and made 29 false or misleading statements in just one speech last week — I can’t help but wonder how he would be viewing the spectacle.

Ben would not be hyperventilating about Trump, as some journalists are. He encountered plenty of politicians who tried to disguise self-interest as national interest, who suggested that exposing domestic blunders or national security embarrassments was unpatriotic. Trump has broken historic new ground for an American president in calling journalists “the enemy of the people.” But Ben would have exuberantly accepted the challenge, as many top editors are doing today, to assert the independence of the news media and to defend and vindicate the highest values of our profession. He believed to his core that lies might work for presidents for a while, but that there is always a price to be paid, that the truth emerges eventually.

Anyone watching the accelerating descent of American public life in recent years would be fair in asking: Was Ben wrong?

I still believe he was right. But it’s an argument that, for the moment, rests as much on faith as fact. The reality is we need a searching national discussion about the fundamental value of truth. The core issue is not Trump’s deceptions but the public’s self-deception: Why do we tolerate levels of deceit in political life that we would never find acceptable in our personal lives as parents, as friends, as neighbors and colleagues, and as law-abiding citizens?

The answer, I believe, is that as our politics has reached such a state of remorseless combat that many people seem to regard telling the truth as a fashion choice — you can choose to do it, or not, as mood and circumstance vary.

We won’t change this dynamic — we won’t have the revival of democracy the country urgently needs — until people across the political spectrum are as outraged when someone whose views they support tells a lie as they are when someone they oppose does it. President Trump knows that many of his own backers don’t care when he lies. Many applaud it as a show of fighting spirit.

Here’s why I am optimistic that this will change eventually: The instinct for truth is ingrained deeply in us. It is one of the first things parents teach children: Don’t lie. How many parents, Trump voters or not, would tell their children that if they learned to be a fabulous liar they could grow up one day to be president?

No responsible parent would teach that. No child who learned that would ever have self-respect or the respect of peers. The logic to me is clear: Eventually our public values as they are expressed in the political realm will come back into convergence.

For now, however, American politics is in a state of radical divergence — between ideals that we celebrate in principle but shred in practice.

One place to look for guidance in rehabilitating the integrity of politics is the U.S. military, which polls show is the rare outlier among public institutions (unlike Congress, the presidency or the news media) in still commanding respect from a majority of Americans. My father went to West Point, and one of my earliest memories is of my father reciting to me and my siblings the Cadet Honor Code. We were expected to live by it: “A cadet will not lie, steal, or tolerate those who do.” (New York Military Academy, the boarding school Trump attended as a young man, follows the exact same code.)

The West Point definition of lying is this: “Cadets violate the Honor Code by lying if they deliberately deceive another by stating an untruth or by any direct form of communication to include the telling of a partial truth and the vague or ambiguous use of information or language with the intent to deceive or mislead.”

Few politicians in history could clear a bar set that high. What seems truly unprecedented to me now — after nearly 50 years in Washington — is how many people don’t seem even to go through the motions of meeting that standard and seem genuinely without shame about it.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a fascinating and baffling case. She is the daughter of a devout Christian pastor and former presidential candidate. She herself is an evangelical Christian. I don’t doubt that people who know her in nonpolitical contexts regard her as a good person. Yet she deceives for a living. Defending her boss, she runs roughshod every day over one of the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” In other words, “Thou shalt not lie.” She’s very good at what she does. But how does she separate her personal morals from what she does in her job? What does she tell her children at night?

Perhaps she asks colleagues for advice. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway would have made Ron Ziegler (the Nixon press secretary who famously declared that his previous false statements from the White House podium were henceforth “inoperative”) with her straight-faced statements invoking “alternative facts.” In his role as one of the president’s legal defenders, Rudy Giuliani warned that his boss might unwittingly commit perjury because “truth is relative.”

A Washington summer with a president’s credibility under challenge and a special prosecutor hot on the trail inevitably sends my mind back to the most exhilarating period of Ben’s professional life. In the summers of 1972, 1973, and 1974 almost every day gave those of us by his side in the Post newsroom another occasion to say, “You won’t believe the latest!”

Perhaps in the Trump years the examples of presidential mendacity have piled up so high and fast that we have lost the capacity to be shocked. The important thing is we don’t lose our capacity to be vigilant.

One encouraging sign for me is that popular audiences, far from seeing journalists as the enemy of the people, plainly are inspired by stories of reporters and editors painstakingly pushing through confusion, obfuscation and intimidation to find the truth.

Many people have seen the movie “All the President’s Men” about Watergate in which Jason Robards plays Ben, Robert Redford plays Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman plays Carl Bernstein. This fall, Steven Spielberg produced “The Post” about the Pentagon Papers (a sort of prequel) in which Tom Hanks plays Ben and Meryl Streep plays Katharine Graham. Both films are about lying. The Pentagon Papers were about the president’s lying about Vietnam and how Nixon tried to stop the papers from publishing the documents. Watching it with an audience was gratifying as everyone cheered for the good guys to win, which they did. The whole movie took place over a two-week period.

“All the President’s Men” was a much longer slog — an important distinction. Nixon was relentless in vilifying the press and at times it seemed as if the Post would never prevail and may actually be put out of business. In both cases, the truth won. Nevertheless, it was a scary and painful process. (And yes, I thought both Robards and Hanks nailed it, giving different performances of Ben at different periods and in different circumstances of his life.)

It is important to reflect on those 26 months between the Watergate break-in and the Nixon resignation and remember that the outcome was far from a foregone conclusion. From the time of the break-in on June 17, 1972, until Oct 27, 1972, no other major news organization covered the story, or at least not aggressively. Katharine Graham kept saying to Ben, “If this is such a great story, why isn’t anyone else covering it?” Not until CBS anchor Walter Cronkite on Oct. 27 and 31 decided, after a conversation with Ben, to go with the story did others pick it up. Nixon resigned nearly two long years later – on Aug. 8, 1974.

It wasn’t just a vigilant press and prosecutors who brought about this moment of accountability. Nixon knew his time was over when Republicans told him his lies and abuse of power were unacceptable. It was conservative hero Barry Goldwater, the senator from Arizona, who led a delegation of GOP colleagues to the Oval Office to confront Nixon. As it happened, Goldwater at the time was living with my parents. Ben and I spoke with him frequently during these climactic final months of Watergate. Nixon was from his own party, but this did not dull his outrage over presidential lying.

Where are the Goldwaters in the modern Republican Party? The only senators who seem willing to embrace the role are facing death, like John McCain, or retiring, like Bob Corker or Jeff Flake. Privately, many prominent Republicans are open in expressing their disdain; publicly, they are profiles in appeasement.

Woodward told me he wonders whether we still have the same commitment to accountability in our political culture: “Lying is bad public policy and bad for human relations but it doesn’t always have the consequences it should. That’s the problem … the penalties for lying are insufficient in many cases.”

Nor is he rushing to make oversimplified comparisons between Watergate and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and Russian manipulation of the 2016 election. With Watergate, he says, “there was clarity. There were the tapes. He resigned. There was closure.” In this case, so far, “there is none of this.”

I am not venturing predictions about what will or should happen with the law enforcement process or whether Trump will or won’t remain in office or be re-elected in 2020.

I am optimistic, however, that there will be accountability of some kind for systematically uttering falsehoods and trying to bully the conscientious and responsible efforts by journalists, lawmakers and investigators trying to find the truth.

History justifies hope. In his brilliant new book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” the writer Jon Meacham recounts previous traumatic periods in our national life, from the brutality of Jim Crow segregation to the hysteria of McCarthyism. The civil rights bills of the 1960s were preceded by decades of effort and setback. It was four years between McCarthy’s notorious red-baiting speech on Feb. 9, 1950, in Wheeling, West Virginia, and his Dec. 2, 1954, censure by the Senate. Meacham quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “The mills of God grind slowly.”

But they do keep grinding.

Ben was fond of quoting the great columnist Walter Lippmann, whom he had known since boyhood. Lippmann wrote that the full truth is rarely available to reporters all at once. It emerges piece by piece, often slowly, and the journalist’s job is to keep pushing for more.

People often ask me what Ben would do today. I think he would say: “Get the story. Get it first, but get it right.” He’d be encouraged by how many good examples of that are being published every day. And he would keep pushing for more.

Like Ben, I’m an optimist. The truth will emerge. And it will matter


Is Alex Jones’s Empire In Trouble?

The Infowars creator is at the peak of his influence but faces lawsuits and potential bannings from social media. Does any of that mean anything?

April 20, 2018

by Dan Solomon

Texas Monthly

In 2009, Alex Jones was doing pretty well. He was earning something in the neighborhood of $1.5 million a year peddling conspiracy theories about 9/11, vaccines, and the New World Order. Nine years later, his entire business model is transformed: These days, according to estimates from New York magazine (and based on some rough math), he could be pulling in as much as $25 million. Infowars, the website Jones founded to promote his media empire, doesn’t focus on selling subscriptions to his videos or DVD copies of the documentary films he used to make anymore. Rather, its business is marketing dubiously useful dietary supplements to an audience that has ballooned in size as Jones’s profile has increased.

Jones’s stature grew during the Obama years, as the number of “patriot” groups spiked and a certain subset of Americans, looking to make sense of the world, turned to theories like “Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery,” which Jones was keen to spout. In Obama’s second term, Jones began marketing products like “Super Male Vitality” (a combination of roots, bark, and fruit extract) and “Survival Shield X-2” (just simple iodine) to his listeners and viewers. It seems a fairly logical jump for the host and his audience: If there’s a super-secret “them” out there waging war on your mind and turning the frogs gay, then you’ll need products like “Brain Force Plus” and “Secret 12” to protect you. Selling those products is insanely profitable—as anyone in media can tell you, monetizing subscribers to a website at $5.95 a month is a challenge, while selling iodine as Survival Shield X-2 for $29.95 an ounce (a 500 percent markup over the same product, without the dramatic name, which is available on Amazon) seems to be like printing money.

And so Jones has been flying high—indeed, to unprecedented heights—over the past few years. He’s making big money, reaching more people than he would have ever dreamed in his Austin public access days, and has had the ear of the president of the United States (even if, this week, he seems to feel betrayed by him). Last year, he even managed to escape the most severe consequences of a high-profile custody trial, with the judge effectively overruling a jury’s decision to grant Jones’s ex-wife their children’s primary residence.

But lately, there’ve been rumblings that Jones’s run of success may be encountering some real trouble.

Jones and Infowars went on the offensive against Marjory Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg, accusing the 17-year-old school shooting survivor of being unable “to remember his lines” in a TV interview following the massacre. It was an accusation that mirrored claims Jones had made in the past regarding the parents of children murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Two videos accusing Hogg of being a “crisis actor” were flagged by YouTube, which put the Alex Jones Channel in real jeopardy. The site runs a three-strikes policy for its content, and if Jones receives a third, he could find himself banned from the site. If that were to happen, Jones would have to find another way to keep in touch with the 2.2 million subscribers the site currently enjoys. Shifting to a free content model has worked out well for Jones, because it gives him access to a customer base hungry for his supplements—as well as revenue from the service’s robust affiliate advertising program—and losing YouTube could cut him off from millions of viewers. (A number of the more mainstream advertisers who found their ads placed on Jones’s channel fled after the beef with Hogg began.)

Jones responded to the YouTube strikes by urging Hogg to “support the First Amendment” and come on his show to debate him—an offer the student initially expressed interest in, then declined, citing Jones’s record of attacking Sandy Hook parents.

That’s not true; the initial identifications were made by photographs, but the bodies were then released to the families for funerals. De La Rosa recalled asking to see the body—and asking Connecticut governor Dan Molloy to look at it—in a 2013 interview.

Because of the statute of limitations, these are the only of Jones’s statements that ended up in the current lawsuit—but they’re not the only things he’s said that suggested that the parents of the Sandy Hook victims might be lying about what happened to their children. The Austin American-Statesman‘s Politifact team has a detailed post from 2016 tracking Jones’s statements about Sandy Hook over the years. In early 2015, he said on the air, when talking to a caller, “Yeah, so, Sandy Hook is a synthetic completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids. And it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors.”

A month earlier, he said, “[I]t took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake. I mean, I couldn’t  believe it. I knew they jumped on it, used the crisis, hyped it up. But then I did deep research—and my gosh, it just pretty much didn’t happen.”

This became an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, after Hillary Clinton called out the relationship between Jones and Donald Trump, citing what he’d said about Sandy Hook. Jones, in response, argued that he’d never made such statements: “[Clinton] lied… that I say that no children died at Sandy Hook and they were all actors. I’ve never said any of those things.” (Audio of Jones saying some of those things appears at the Statesman post.) He insisted that “conspiracy theorists” around the shooting don’t like him because “I don’t buy into that.”

Then, of course, a year later, Jones’s company published a video in which an employee says that Heslin lied about holding his child’s body. Jones himself replayed the clip and similarly insinuated that Heslin lied, and also declared that De La Rosa participated in a faked interview with CNN.

That could be trouble for Jones as the lawsuit unfolds. Under the law, the plaintiffs in the suit would only be entitled to punitive damages if they’re able to prove that Jones acted with “actual malice”—that is, if he made his statements knowing they were false, or “exercising a reckless disregard for the truth.” According to former UT law professor David Anderson (who also used to represent Texas Monthly, prior to his retirement), Jones’s history of making conflicting claims about the Sandy Hook shooting could put him in jeopardy. “What I understand is that he’ll say these things at one point, and then later on, he’ll say, ‘Of course I know that wasn’t true,’” Anderson says. “If he says things, and then says he knows it wasn’t true, he’s in trouble. If he consistently says, ‘I never claimed that to be true,’ then he’s probably on more solid ground.”

Assuming the case gets to that point, that’d be up to a jury to interpret. The last time Jones faced a jury trial, over the custody of his children, the judge in the case made it a firm policy in her courtroom that Jones’s show was not to be discussed except under extremely limited circumstances, all of which required preapproval. Jones and his attorneys understood that his on-air persona might play poorly before a jury. (Indeed, Jones’s attorney stirred up a controversy by describing his client as a “performance artist” in a pretrial hearing—a statement that led to overblown allegations that Jones didn’t believe what he said.) Infowars wasn’t on trial in that case—and the jury ruled against him anyway. Should the suit against Jones proceed, Infowars and Jones’s on-air persona would be on trial.

Jones has been relatively careful, lately, when it comes to his legal liability. For the first two decades of his career, apologies and retractions were rare. But now, the suit from the Sandy Hook parents isn’t the only one he faces. Houston attorney Mark D. Bankston, who represents the families in that suit, also represents a man named Marcel Fontaine in a suit against Jones and Infowars, who for five hours was identified on the Infowars website as the shooter in the Parkland massacre despite being 1,200 miles away from the school at the time it occurred and having never visited Florida. In that instance, the website affixed an editor’s note that explained that it had previously “showed a photograph of a young man that we had received and stated incorrectly that it was an alleged photo of the suspected shooter.” Fontaine says he’s been harassed and threatened as a result of being misidentified by the site.

Last May, Jones also settled a lawsuit from yogurt company Chobani after making comments about the company’s policy toward refugees in its hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho. As part of the settlement, Jones explained that, “During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong. The tweets and video have now been retracted, and will not be re-posted. On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.” Two months earlier, Jones apologized again, this time to the owner of Comet Pizza in Washington, D.C., which Infowars had claimed was involved in a bizarre child-sex ring, again under threat of litigation.

Jones, in other words, is in the spotlight like never before. That’s given him an audience whose size would have seemed unimaginable a decade ago, plus access to real political power after a career spent railing against people who have it. But it also means that his approach to the news—namely, wildly speculating about people in it—might not be viable for much longer. Defamation suits are notoriously difficult to win, but Jones presents a unique kind of defendant: He’s self-contradictory and exercises little caution in making bold, speculative claims about individuals and companies, and has been known to go after grieving parents and other people juries are likely to find sympathetic—and he’s made himself a fortune in the process.

So far, Jones has responded to the Sandy Hook parents’ suit with defiance. He insisted that he only questioned the PR around Sandy Hook in 2012—which doesn’t comport with his 2014 and 2015 statements—and that examples to the contrary were taken out of context, while he was just “playing devil’s advocate.” (Those who want the full context for one of his statements can watch this episode of his show, in which the Sandy Hook comments begin at around 1:18:00 in the broadcast, and judge for themselves.) That’s likely to prove a winning strategy with his fans, who tend to see criticism of Jones as proof of the righteousness of his claims, and lawsuits as attempts to silence him. Whether it’s a sustainable strategy before the courts, though, is another question.

And that means that the stakes have gotten much higher for Jones over the past couple of years. He’s built a platform and an empire that few would have guessed him capable of—it’s just that now, he may also be accountable to more than just his fans for what he uses it to say.

YouTube may never issue a third strike against Jones. The content that’s been flagged by the hosting site isn’t much different from material that it seems to find acceptable, so it’s fair to question whether YouTube is interested in taking such dramatic action, which would certainly come with some serious blowback from Jones’s supporters. But regardless of what happens with YouTube, those Sandy Hook parents represent another, different, potentially serious issue for Jones.

This week, three of them—Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, parents of a 6-year-old named Noah, and Neil Heslin, father of a 6-year-old named Jesse—filed suit against Jones, alleging defamation for his insistence that the parents were lying about what happened to their children, and his claims that the media faked elements of its coverage with their participation.

Texas has a one-year statute of limitations for defamation claims, so the suit filed this week by Pozner, De La Rosa, and Heslin refers to a few specific instances of Jones talking about them on his program. In a segment from last April—just before the statute of limitations would have expired—that lives on YouTube under the title “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed,” Jones claims that a CNN clip of De La Rosa talking with Anderson Cooper in downtown Newtown was faked, insisting that an effect that appears on Cooper’s nose proves that the interview was taped in front of a green screen. (CNN explained that it was a common compression artifact, which happens often in video encoding.) Heslin’s standing, meanwhile, comes from comments Jones made on his show that disputed an interview Heslin gave to NBC in which he said, “I held my son with a bullet hole through his head.” An Infowars staffer claimed in a video that Heslin lied, and that parents identified their children via photos. According to the New York Times, Jones replayed the video and claimed that, “the stuff I found was they never let them see their bodies.”


Fantasy Followers

July 14. 2018

Lt.Col Harold R. Krieg, AUS ret

A number of incidents attract the interest of people who become fascinated with various theories and then go to enormous trouble to attempt to construct elaborate support structures in support of them. History is replete with such alternative theories.

There is the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor that precipitated the Spanish American war. An expansionist party in America that chanted about Manifest Destiny, was eager to expand America in various global  areas and warmly supported a war with the decayed Spanish Empire. Insurrection in the Spanish colony of Cuba gave these jingoists an excuse to press for war. When the Maine blew up while on a show-the-flag visit to Cuba, war was a foregone conclusion. The sunken battleship was subject to extensive investigation after the war and it was discovered that the massive explosion occurred from inside the ship. In all probability it was the explosion of very volatile coal dust but it could also have been a bomb. Since the battleship was manned at the time, neither Spanish nor Cuban revolutionaries could be held accountable. The remains of the Maine were towed out into the Caribbean and sunk in a very deep area, precluding further examination.

Then there was the sinking of the Lusitania in May of 1915. The fast Cunard passenger liner was carrying a mixed cargo of explosives, military equipment, fused shells, a draft of Canadian volunteers and over a thousand passengers. The ship was sent, without escort, into an area where German submarines were known to be operating and one of them fired one torpedo into her bows. The first explosion very obviously ignited something in the cargo and the second explosion blew out much of her bows underwater and the ship sank in less than twenty minutes with a heavy loss of life. In the intervening years, the controversy has raged about the nature of the Lusitania’s cargo and many theories have been postulated about coal dust, ruptured steam pipes and multiple torpedo hits but the plain fact is that the Lusitania was listed in official books as an armed auxiliary cruiser, was carrying military contraband making her a legitimate military target and her sinking had been expected in London circles to draw a neutral America into the European war.

Apologists for the British in general and First British Sea Lord, Winston Churchill in specific have made extensive attempts to finesse the facts but in the final analysis, the Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo that ignited her illegal cargo. That British authorities knowingly permitted civilians to travel on a ship full of explosive contraband was cynical at best and criminal at worst.

There is then the great Pearl Harbor controversy. One side of the issue claims that President Roosevelt had foreknowledge of the attack through American intercepts of secret coded Japanese diplomatic and military radio messages. Others have maintained that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, of Lusitania fame, informed the American President in advance of the attack and Roosevelt merely permitted it to happen. This school of thought claims that Roosevelt, eager to fight his arch-enemy Hitler, pushed the Japanese until they responded with a military attack that opened a war in the Pacific that enabled Roosevelt to have his war in the Atlantic. The government apologists have claimed that no one had any foreknowledge of the attack and that such high-minded men as Roosevelt and Churchill would never have plotted to begin a war for their own ends.

There is no doubt whatsoever that a plethora of secret Japanese messages were decoded but not a great deal of evidence that official Washington was fully aware of the pending attack. That Japan planned to attack the United States is beyond question, Roosevelt supporters to the contrary, but it is not known the degree or extent that these plans were either known, or if known, comprehended in either the White House or official Army and Navy circles. Circumstantial evidence, not direct evidence, would indicate that the attack was not a surprise to the military chiefs and the President.

No article on conspiracy would be complete without the myths and legends surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The obvious prevarications of the infamous Warren Commission were so blatant that an enormous forest of theories, suppositions and postulations flooded the bookshelves of America. These books ranged from the very serious and academic through the interesting to the ludicrous.

A recent book by Gregory Douglas, “Regicide,” contains a wealth of official documentation and is probably the best and most logical explanation of the killing

This aspect of the 9/11 attack is interesting but inherently implausible. Too many have watched the original impacts and the many reruns of them to accept that what struck the WTC buildings were not commercial aircraft. Stories of mysterious blasts inside the building, of special drones used for the attack and other theories do not hold water because they presuppose an enormous conspiracy that under no circumstances could be kept quiet…unless all the many participants were silenced and then one must consider what would happen to the assassins of the dangerous witnesses.

Not even the tightly controlled American press could be counted upon to conspire to maintain utter silence in such matters so while the writer of this article has articulate views, they represent more wishful fantasy than actual fact.



The Real Truth about Planet X!

July 14, 2018

by Joseph Rumpelsberger III

The truth must be made known about Planet X! The reason for not announcing it is due to religious beliefs it would cause the world to go into physiological panic. It was discovered by NASA probes Pioneer 10 and 11 and was announce on the Paul Harvey news cast as a possible 10th planet but when our government realized the implications of an incoming body which has its unique elliptical orbit around two suns.  It has turned into a national security issue, our government knows and is afraid of panic.  The whole story of planet X (Nibiru) one of many names for Planet X comes from ancient clay tablets 4000 BC describing a tenth planet and its life on it. They were called The Anunnaki which means in Summerian language they who came from heaven to Earth.  They taught us math, building techniques, farming and etc.  The Summerian land is where IRAQ is now.  The word NIBIRU means planet of crossing.  It has a history or else I would take this as all BS.  These Anunnaki were giants they were 8 to 10 feet tall.  They used the inhabitants to dig for gold they needed for there atmosphere.  I believe in UFOs and the possibility that these aliens was the cause of all religions. This is what our government is afraid of us finding out the real truth.

I have been studying Planet Xes history on xfacts.com and zetatalk.com for four years now.  Planet X orbits two suns about every 3657 years and is in our solar system now it is four times the size of Earth and it’s mass = 23 Earths. Planet X has many names from most countries, the most common name is Nemesis. This is what’s causing the Earth changes and disasters were seeing today. Our planet weighs nothing in space any magnetic disturbance will have disastrous affects on weather and tectonic plates and volcanoes. Planet X caused the Great Flood there was a pole shift that melted the poles. They said that this coming pole shift will be worst the Earth’s outer crust not the oceans will rotate 90 degrees because the Earth will line up with Nemesis as it crosses our skies. The Bible calls Planet X (Wormwood). The Incas called Planet X (Hercolubus), The Babylonians called Planet X (Marduk), the ancient Hindu astronomers named Planet X Treta Yuga and the destruction it causes Kali Yuga. So it has a history which makes it real.  Almost every time it comes into our solar system it affects the surface of every planet it crosses. It’s coming in from our blind side (sun side). There seems to be a Government cover-up on this subject matter. WHY? Do they fear panic? We must warn people for survival reasons if theirs a fighting chance to survive we must take it.


The Great 9-11 Plot

The Plasmoid Cloud  & Seismic Spikes

Investigative reporter Christopher Bollyn produced an article in August of 2002 in which he stated that an unnamed German scientist claimed a “secret plasmoid cloud” brought down the twin towers. Six months later, however, we learn from the same source that the buildings actually were blown up by charges placed in the basement. Next, one will no doubt learn that Chinese Communist-trained pigeons equipped with mini-A-weapons were the actual culprits. The Chinese PRC, as is well known in certain circles, maintains a large military force on the border between Mexico and the United States and it was from their secret base in the Mexican desert that the deadly pigeons were launched on their fateful mission.Mr. Bollyn subsequently fled the country when arrested for claiming the Mafia and the Mossad were peeking in his Hoffman Estates, Illinois home and plotting to kill him. Bollyn attacked responding local police, was subdued and jailed. He has continued his fearful revelations from the Baltic area. And he was also sacked from the American Free Press for submitting “false and misleading” articles.


Laser Beam weapons and the collapse of the World Trade Center 

by Christopher Bollyn

American Free Press

February 14, 2002

Directed-Energy Weapons

A former East German physicist who studied Soviet infrared technology and plasmoids during the 60s and 70s, and who was directly involved in a demonstration of a Soviet laser beam weapon in 1991 for the U.S. Air Force in Weimar (DDR), told AFP that there is evidence that a directed-energy weapon using “deep infrared” radiation was used to bring down the WTC. Although infrared weapon technology is not widely discussed in the West, the Soviet infrared beam weapon is nothing new and was already used during a Soviet dispute with China in 1969 to destroy “a wall” at the Ussuri River, which separates Manchuria from Russia’s Far East, according to the physicist.

The physicist told AFP, “From my experience as a physicist and research scientist with the GRU (Russia’s Central Intelligence Agency)* I have enough experience to judge that the WTC towers have been burning too quickly, too hot, and too completely to have been caused by the kerosene [jet fuel] fires that resulted from the crashes. Furthermore, the demolished buildings nearby [the 47-story Salomon Bros. Bldg.] are an indication that there was a plasmoid cloud involved, which probably affected the buildings nearby.”

A plasmoid cloud is a heated and ionized gas that can be created and projected using far infrared thermal waves. Plasma occurs when a gas is heated so that some electrons have been separated from their atoms or molecules. Ball lightning is considered by experts to be a plasmoid phenomenon.

The physicist told AFP that he believes that a plasmoid may have been projected onto the towers before the planes struck. “The planes may have had a plasmoid in front of them. Just two or three seconds before the planes hit the towers, a plasmoid on the towers would have caused the Faraday cabin effect, like a car being hit by lightning.”

* The GRU was actually Soviet Military Intelligence, dealing with military matters.

Comment: Unfortunately, the reader of this stunning piece is not informed of the name of the “former East German physicist,” so that he might learn more about credentials of the man who has revealed the background of the astounding ‘plasmoid cloud’ that brought down the WTC towers.

The collapses of the Twin Towers generated seismic disturbances that were recorded by a half-dozen seismic recording stations within a 20-mile radius of Manhattan. Numerous websites have repeated an erroneous interpretation of the seismic recordings as evidence that bombs in the basements of the towers severed the core columns at the onsets of the collapses. One source of this error is an article by American Free Press reporter Christopher Bollyn, reprinted in Serendipity.

To the contrary, there was nothing strange about the seismic spikes recorded by the Palisades station. As the video and photographic evidence shows, the towers exploded into expanding clouds of rubble that were about 400 feet from top to bottom by the time they reached the ground. Those rubble clouds contained virtually all of the mass of towers — thousands of tons of rubble falling from as high as 1000 feet. That could certainly be expected to produce pronounced seismic waves.

In fact the seismic evidence from the Palisades station comports well with the sequence of destruction evident in photographs and videos: each tower was consumed by a wave of destruction that started near the crash zone and moved downward as it generated an expanding cloud of rubble. It took about ten seconds for the bottom of this cloud to reach the ground and another eight seconds for its top to reach the ground. Likewise the seismic records show small disturbances lasting for about ten seconds, followed by large spikes lasting for about eight seconds.

There appears to be no basis for the claim that the large spikes preceded the collapses, nor that the energy indicated by those spikes was more than could be accounted for by the approximately 110 megawatt-hours of gravitational energy stored in the elevated mass of each tower. And there is strong evidence contradicting the idea that the seismic spikes indicated underground explosions including:

  • There is no support in the large body of photographic and video collapse evidence for the idea of powerful explosions in the towers’ basements at the onset of the collapses. Instead they show waves of destruction proceeding methodically downward from the crash zones to the ground.
  • Underground explosions would have produced strong P waves, but the seismic stations registered only strong S waves. P waves oscillate horizontally — parallel to the direction of travel; whereas S waves oscillate vertically — perpendicular to the direction of travel.

An analysis of the timeline of the North Tower collapse on the 9-11 Research site corroborates the idea that the large seismic spikes were produced by rubble reaching the ground.


TWA Flight 800

On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747-131 registered as N93119, took off  from John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York) en route to Charles De Gaulle International Airport (Paris).

The aircraft was flying more than eight miles off the cost of East Moriches, New York (part of Long Island) when the fuel tank exploded. The aircraft banked and the front part of the aircraft broke off. The wind pushed the aircraft into a climb. Then, the aircraft went into a dive, causing the wings to break off the aircraft. Pieces of the aircraft plummeted down into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 passengers on board.

After what has been billed as the longest and most expensive accident investigation in American aviation history, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation found that the flammable fuel/air mixture of the center wing fuel tank probably ignited due to electrical failure in the center fuel tank, causing the plane to explode in flight. The FBI agreed that there had been no criminal act after examining all the plane’s wreckage that had been recovered. In May of 1997, mechanics discovered a fuel leak in a Boeing 737-200 that they believed was caused by the kind of electrical arcing suspected of causing the TWA Flight 800 fatal explosion. NTSB investigators believed that the same kind of arcing from the wiring in the center fuel tank of TWA Flight 800 sparked the explosion that brought the plane down. As a result of extensive and very through testing, the NTSB issued an “airworthiness directive” requiring the immediate inspection of the wiring of older 747s. In April, it recommended further inspections and design changes in the wiring of 747s and in Boeing 707s and C-130 transport planes, as well. Eight years after the crash, in February 2004, the FAA indicated that it would start the process of ordering airlines to install a fuel tank inerting system in most of their aircraft. It was stated that the order would probably actually be issued within two years, and then the airlines would be required to install the devices over the subsequent seven years. The FAA stated that, including the TWA Flight 800 crash, there had been three fuel tank explosions in airliners over the previous 14 years (the two others having occurred on the ground),

Various groups and individuals continue to maintain that the plane was downed by a bomb or missile, and that there was a subsequent cover-up to disguise the real cause of the crash.

The “terrorist theory” was, as usual, one of the first to be mentioned, especially due to the fact that the accident happened during the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, where a bomb exploded ten days later (see Centennial Olympic Park bombing). In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, these alternate explanations have been revisited, as some officials and commentators have mentioned this disaster among lists of terrorist attacks. One such theory can be found in Mohammed Samir Ferrat

Cmdr. William S. Donaldson, a retired naval officer who conducted an independent investigation, disagrees with the official theory. According to Commander Donaldson, “jet airliners built by the American aerospace industry have logged at least 150 thousand years of flight time. Not once has there ever been a spontaneous fuel tank explosion on any fuel tank while airborne” (Letter to NTSB 11-14-97).

Donaldson concluded that the airplane was shot down by missiles. He interviewed hundreds of witnesses and said he reconstructed the flight paths of these missiles by triangulating the eyewitness accounts. Soon after, a photo that a passenger of a North American Airlines plane arriving at JFK supposedly took, seemed to support the missile theory because the “photo” showed a “missile” missing the NA Airlines jet narrowly.

Pierre Salinger, a former White House press secretary to President John F. Kennedy and ABC News journalist, prominently and repeatedly claimed he had proof that the flight was downed by a missile from a U.S. Navy ship. The documents on which he relied were later found to be rumors that had been distributed over Usenet, with attributions only to many “unnamed experts”. Some people briefly gave the name of Pierre Salinger Syndrome to the tendency to believe things that one reads on the Internet.

One such theory has the US Navy conducting tests of submarine-to-air missiles, accidentally hitting Flight 800, and then covering up the fatal error. After initial denials, the U.S. Navy later admitted that USS Wyoming (SSBN-742), commissioned only days before, was conducting sea trials in the area, and that USS Trepang (SSN-674) and USS Albuquerque (SSN-706) were conducting unspecified operations in the area. It should be noted that all three of these submarines lacked any surface to air missile armament as part of their standard munitions loadout (as do all submarines). It is possible that any of the three subs could have been carrying MANPADS missiles, however all three subs were more than 50 miles (80 km) away from the crash site, very far outside the range of any MANPADS missile in the world. One suggested possibility is that the type of missile involved may be classified. Another possible alternate theory involving the US Navy is that a missile was fired from the USS Normandy (CG-60), operating 185 nautical miles (340 km) south of the TWA 800 crash site. This is well outside of the range of currently deployed Standard Missiles carried by US ships, almost double the range of the current Block IIIB versions, and just within the future Block IV ER versions. Even if this were a test of a Block IV version, although there is no evidence for this, at the extreme range in question the engine would have long burned out and the warhead would be gliding. This contradicts the main claim that a missile was involved, which is a number of eyewitness accounts claiming to have seen a missile trail almost vertical under the explosion site. Furthermore, inventories of USS Normandy’s missile complement immediately following the crash of TWA 800 showed no missiles missing from the inventory, according to the US Navy

Regardless of the possibility of any number of missiles and missile launch platforms being in the vicinity of TWA 800 at the time of the accident, no evidence of a missile impact exists within the recovered wreckage according to a study conducted by the Department of Defense’s Office of Special Technology

However, at least one individual involved at higher levels with the FBI’s portion of the recovery operations has stated publicly that he saw during his involvement predominant evidence in the state of the wreckage, the form of the wreckage field, the state of the victim’s remains, public and confidential actions by the airlines, investigation officials, and the Navy following the event, and other factors that convinced him the crash was the result of an accidental missile strike

For instance, the following affidavit, dated Jan 2003 (and which looks very much like information that was passed around the internet shortly after the crash), is being listed as one of the articles of evidence in recent FOIA suits pressed by Captain Ray Lahr against the National Transportation Safety Board: [1]. This document states he viewed radar tapes and took part in phone conversations which convinced him Flight 800 was a victim of friendly fire, and that he later passed on this information to Pierre Salinger (Note such anomalies as the doubling of every statement in the affidavit, the second half being a reworded version of the first half).  Elaine Scarry, in a number of articles [2] in the New York Review of Books has raised the possibility of electromagnetic interference being responsible for the accident

A number of alternate theories surrounding TWA 800 rely on eye witness accounts as collected by the FBI. However, very few of the witnesses were within five miles (8 km) of TWA 800 at the time of the accident, according to a witness map provided by the NTSB. The vast majority of the witnesses were too far away from the accident scene to discern any significant details, and some witnesses describe events that are well beyond the visual acuity of humans

Fired CBS Investigator Kristina Borjesson, (email: FKLB@aol.com) and co-workers (including Oliver Stone) were on a documentary project for ABC, until it was aborted. Ms. Borjesson also worked on a documentary about the scores of eyewitnesses who claimed  they saw “something streaking from the ocean toward the plane.” This documentary was for a show, Declassified, that was being produced by Oliver Stone and slated to air on ABC. But the Stone connection grew controversial, and ABC canceled the program. CBS dissociated itself from Ms. Borjesson. Josh Howard, a senior producer at 60 Minutes, said, “Her official relationship with CBS ended before she pitched that story. (About mythic ‘rocket fuel’ being found on a strip of cloth alleged to have come from one of the passenger seats on Flight 800) She had maybe a month to go on her contract. She was anxiously looking around for other projects to prolong her employment

One of the usual “reliable eyewitnesses” was a Malvina Tidwell of Long Island who claimed she and her husband, Oscar, (since deceased) “positively identified” an Arab submarine, firing rockets, from their vantage point of the beach where they were looking for driftwood. “I knew it was an Arab sub,” Tidwell said, “because they had men with beards running around the deck and a green flag with Arab writing on it.” Mrs Tidwell is legally blind and her husband, who also gave a long interview to the alternative media, was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s Disease and believed that he was the illegitimate son of Harry Truman.

The flight number was retired and replaced with flight 924 after the crash, although TWA continued to operate flights between New York and Paris. In spring 2001, TWA merged with American Airlines.


One response so far

  1. Planet X and “Sorcha Faal” are invented. There is not now, and never was, a Planet X. “Sorcha Faal” is a computer programmer named David Booth.

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