Meanwhile, CNN's most trusted liberal-leaning terrorist expert weighs in on 'conspiracies' already attached to this flight by pointing out past crashes and their conspiracy theories. First of all, there are no conspiracy theories on this event yet because no official government body in the region has come out and said anything conclusive other than they don't know what happened. When one of them makes a proclamation a theory can be hatched, but until then it's mainly goofy/zany speculation.
Going back to his examples of the past, he mentioned Pan Am 103, which some believe was a CIA plot, Egypt Air 990, where the conspiracy theory actually came from Mubarak's government, and of course TWA 800. In particular, this:
The conspiracy theories that developed around TWA 800 were caused by unreliable eyewitness accounts and Internet rumor-mongering.Interesting, considering the FBI and NTSB contracted the CIA to produce a cartoon video that made some unreliable physics assumptions about the breakup of the aircraft in an effort to dismiss those unreliable witnesses. Not to mention the traces of explosive residue found on the aircraft, explained away by either a dog or combat boots weeks earlier.
And not mentioned at all by Bergen were the former NTSB investigators and several others who recently came forward to challenge the official finding.
Here's a crazy theory. Bergen doesn't care about EgyptAir 990 or Pan Am 103. The former was fairly straightforward because there were CVR tapes and we heard the pilot yelling Allah Akbar or somesuch. Even if AQ brought it down it was still a crazed Islamist either way. As to Pan Am 103, it happened a long time before Bill and Hillary came to power.
No, chances are he says things like "we should be careful not to allow.." with TWA 800 in mind because if MH370 turns out to be an admitted terrorist attack or military shoot-down, the same things the media once said about 800, some might start getting interested in the old story again--just as Hillary prepares to run.
Nobody is talking about the court trial of Abu Ghaith going on right now in Manhattan. Here's some activity from today's session:
On Monday, prosecutors played two videos from October 2001 in which Abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti and son in law of Osama bin Laden, is seen warning of further attacks in the wake of 9/11. "There are thousands of young Muslims who look forward to die for the sake of Allah," Abu Ghaith said in one video.
"The storm of airplanes will not stop."
At another point, Abu Ghaith warns Muslims "not to board aircraft and we advise them not to live in high rises and tall buildings." Also on Monday, prosecutors questioned via a video feed a convicted al Qaeda operative linked to "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who testified that he was planning shoe-bomb attacks on airplanes around the same time that Abu Ghaith was warning of additional attacks. The implication was that Abu Ghaith was aware of these planned attacks.As Mr. Bergen knows, Ramzi Yousef was on trial for the Bojinka plot when 800 crashed. Not that it means anything, but there's absolutely no question the counterterrorism people are watching this closely.
CONSPIRACY TIME 3/11/14
Repeating, when government officials are just as clueless as everyone else and don't make any definitive statements about what happened to the plane, then crazy explanations like aliens or stealth tractor beams are just crazy speculation. But when officials start talking. in specifics..
But local newspaper Berita Harian quoted Malaysian air force chief Gen. Rodzali Daud as saying radar at a military base had detected the airliner at 2:40 a.m. on Saturday near Pulau Perak at the northern approach to the strait, a busy waterway that separates the western coast of Malaysia and Indonesia's Sumatra island. A high-ranking military official involved in the investigation confirmed the report to The Associated Press on Tuesday and also said the aircraft was believed to be flying low. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.
A Malaysian military official who has been briefed on the investigations, who spoke to Reuters Tuesday, also said the country’s military believes the plane was last tracked by radar over the Malacca Strait. "It changed course after Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Strait," said the official, who was not named. Kota Bharu is a city on Malaysia’s east coast...then later other officials come out and pour cold water on the previous stories..
A senior Malaysia air force official Tuesday rejected media reports that military radar had picked up signals from the jet over the Strait of Malacca. The official said the plane dropped off radar midway between Vietnamese and Malaysian airspace as it was apparently turning back from its original course. The official said that searches near the strait, which is much farther west, were mostly precautionary...that's what generates the conspiracies. Just keep in mind competence, job security, local politics, graft, corruption, even sexual liaisons can come into play with big stories like this suddenly thrust on previously anonymous officials. So while the conspiracies will get flowing it's still too early to make any concrete assumptions in my book. Still just a bizarre mystery.
Re the above, it's one thing to say "I was misquoted" after telling the press that the search area had been extended to the western shore of the Malay peninsula 'out of caution'. It's quite another to say "I was misquoted" after telling the press specific details, such as the last point the radar blip was seen or that it was flying low, etc. And when several officials confirm such a thing---then go back later and claim they were all misquoted-- it can only lead to two conclusions. One, they suffered a temporary lapse of honesty before higher-ups (for whatever reasons) told them to rein things back in. Or two, the government is incompetent.