Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Handling the Truth

The TWA 800 documentary officially airs tonight.  Some of the reviews are coming in already:
If you need to get a person’s attention fast, just whisper, “There’s something the government isn’t telling you.” Works every time.
When the story first broke last month the mainstream media gave it some surprisingly non-judgmental air time, probably due to the six former investigators involved, but that tide turned weeks ago.  It's unlikely the movie will change that narrative (assuming there's any significant coverage today--and checking the main news websites there is not).

What it has done is bring to light some rather obscure stories that touch on flight 800 that for some reason 60 Minutes missed.  Such was the case with Mail Online this past week, whose report basically dismisses a missile and brings in a bomb, which was actually a working theory reported by the New York Times for weeks after the event.  The Mail story centers around FBI 302 reports detailing conversations between cellmates Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the first WTC bombing in 93, and mobster Greg Scarpa, where Yousef allegedly predicted the plane would be taken down while schooling Scarpa on how to make the kind of micro-seat bomb used in a previous terrorist attack against a Philippine Airlines 747 a few years earlier.

There seems to be just as much circumstantial evidence of that occurring as with the missile theory, including several Democratic talking heads mentioning a 'bomb' during live 9/11 TV coverage.  It's compelling, very compelling, but not conclusive (been there, done that).  Besides, the bomb theory doesn't comport with the missile theory as to evidence.  One rules out the other and these former investigators are claiming a missile.

The various essays ask a logical question about it--why? Why cover it up?  The most obvious reason is the Clinton machine.  Would Bill Clinton have had reason to cover up such a thing?  Well maybe, considering it was before his approaching reelection against a war hero, especially if said attack was state-sponsored.  Clinton is not like Obama in almost any way except wanting to focus on domestic social policy instead of foreign policy.  The economy was rolling and nobody wanted a war, especially with Iran or Iraq.  Yet the cover-up of such an attack, especially with 9/11 to follow, would certainly do some serious legacy damage.  And if Yousef was actually involved--and the FBI had a heads up--there could be many angry questions and scores of congressional investigations.

Even if it was a horrible military mistake it would have overridden the cheery, sunny headlines his political advisors (like Dick Morris) were trying to project for November.  So yes, it's not hard to imagine someone wanting to kick the investigation down the road in a straightjacket of electrical engineering nuance.  Obama is trying to do with his own scandals now.  It takes a willing and helpful media to succeed, but Clinton enjoyed such as does O.  Of course there's another Clinton preparing herself for 2016 as well.  It's doubtful she could get away with scolding anyone about what difference it makes. 

But saying there's a reason isn't the same as someone actually doing it.  Conspiracies are hard to manage and this one would require people in the NTSB, FBI, CIA, NSA, ex White House staffers, assorted technical people and others to remain dummied-up.  Indeed people point to nobody coming forward in 17 years.  Well, they are coming forward now.  And some of the players mentioned above keep quiet for a living. So while there are some unexplained problems with the conspiracy theories they generally number less than the unanswered questions brought up by the movie.   Still, disproving an established narrative is a tall order.   

When all is said and done most people want to trust their government.  It's more comforting, especially when it comes to things like air safety.  That's why the spark theory works.  That's why the dog training exercise and the 'zoom climb' theories worked when they were reported--people forgot that both theories were basically discarded in the final report but they produced a sigh of relief at the time and allowed the press to move on to their normal liberal advocacy journalism.       

So while the movie might be interesting it will take someone of stature, like a president or a presidential release of official documents, to ever confirm anything as highly controversial as TWA 800, or for that matter any other sensational theory such as JFK or UFOs.  And there's really no reason to upset any apple carts. As Bush likes to say there are few objective historians at this juncture. 

MORE 7/19/13

I don't have the EPIX channel but you can go online to their website and sign up for a 14 day trial and watch the film.  Which I did. 

It was a well-done production overall.  As many reviewers have noted it did not focus strongly on the new evidence, which appears to consist of radar data showing high velocity ejecta from the plane and a trace of nitrates found splattered on the top of the CWT that a main forensic investigator (interviewed) didn't seem concerned about (he failed to send it off for further testing at the time).

The main thrust was to hit on the overarching weirdness associated with the investigation, consisting mainly of a phony-baloney propaganda movie from our main intelligence agency attempting to explain away witnesses and the FBI's bullying of said witnesses (and the exclusion of them in final hearings).  Those things are more than enough in and of themselves to keep a conspiracy going even if nothing else is brought forward.   But they are not enough to get a new investigation or change public opinion. 

No comments: