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U.S. Stinger chief suspect

Posted By David M. Bresnahan On 04/29/1999 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

TWA Flight 800 was most likely shot down with a U.S. missile made available to terrorists because of a policy set by President Clinton, says an independent investigator.

U.S. Stinger missiles were provided to the Mujahadin for use against the Soviet Union in the Afghan war, according to numerous press reports at the time. Attempts to buy back 100 or more remaining missiles failed when the Clinton administration decided not to make the purchase. Some press reports claim an attempt was made to give the missiles back, an offer that was also refused by the Clinton administration.

The Stinger is very effective as a “point and shoot” weapon which can bring down low-flying aircraft. Very little training is needed to effectively use it. The CIA was able to train the Mujahadin fighters very quickly, and effectively. They used the Stinger to bring down hundreds of Soviet aircraft, from helicopters to MIG fighters.

Milt Bearden, CIA veteran of the agency’s clandestine services, detailed the CIA training and use of the weapon by the Mujahadin in his book, “The Black Tulip.”

The help given to the Mujahadin fighters may have been a political success at the time by President Reagan, but the failure to retrieve the remaining missiles by President Clinton may prove to be a major disaster now.

When the U.S. failed to recover the remaining missiles, they were sold at international arms bazaars to the highest bidders. The buyers included surrogates for rogue states like Iran, according to reliable military sources and press reports.

One of those missiles may have found its way back to the U.S. There are some who claim just such a missile was used to shoot down TWA Flight 800 July 17, 1996.

“After two years now in this investigation, after pursuing every lead that I could, I’ve come down to the conclusion that the aircraft in fact was shot down,” Cmdr. William Donaldson, III told WorldNetDaily. “There’s no question that it was hit in the left wing. The missile appears to have been one in a series of what they call MANPADS missiles. That’s a man portable air defense system. Common name is ‘shoulder-fired missile.’”

Donaldson heads a group known as Associated Retired Aviation Professionals. That group has spent the past two years independently investigating the cause of the controversial crash. Some members of the group are former government investigators who believe the true evidence of the crash is being purposely covered up.

The U.S. press has not provided any attention to the fact that 26 commercial airliners have been shot down in various parts of the world by missiles, according to Donaldson and his group. The White House is very much aware of this fact, even if the public is not, he added.

“The United States, up until Flight 800, had never lost an airliner to a hostile missile,” Cmdr. Donaldson explained. “Now what the American public is not aware of is — but the White House was very much aware of before this had happened — that there had been 26 civilian airliners shot down worldwide since the ’80s when these missiles began coming on line. A lot of these shoot-downs occurred in Africa and Asia where civil wars are going on. They’d shoot down a troop airplane or whatever.”

Although the planes shot down were not American planes, many were made by Boeing, an American company. Often the planes are used to move troops and as a result become the target of hostile forces.

There is a level of communication between the White House and rogue governments that does not get portrayed to the public. It’s a form of communication the administration does not talk about and the press has not covered, according to Cmdr. Donaldson.

In 1994 he believes a strong message was sent to the Clinton administration in a way it could not ignore, but apparently did.

“In 1994 there was a French Mistral missile that was fully loaded ready to fire on its tripod. One man carries the missile and another man carries the tripod and it’s an extremely potent point defense missile,” explained Cmdr. Donaldson.

“The Maryland state police found it alongside a country road near Westminster, Md. At first you would jump to the conclusion that someone set it up, got scared and ran. I am learning now that it may have been set up there to specifically be found and reported as a warning that we are now, whoever that entity was, capable of shooting down an American airliner. You didn’t catch this coming across your border. That’s the kind of intelligence the White House would get,” he described.

The Mistral and the Stinger are similar. Both are heat-seeking missiles. Once they lock onto a target, they do their job well. Civilian aircraft are sitting ducks with no ability to avoid being hit by such a weapon once it locks onto them, Donaldson explained.

The downing of Flight 800 began when President Clinton sanctioned Iran through executive orders. That action angered Iran, a country that considers themselves to be at war with the U.S.

“That was the setup,” explained Donaldson. “One of their surrogates bombed a business complex at a military location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in November of 1995. We lost a handful of soldiers. I think it was 6 or 8. As that was going on, this thing just feeds on itself because then Congress apparently lumped Libya and Iran together in the Iran/Libya Sanctions Act of 1996. This was not reported in the media for some reason, but it happened. The president signed the act, which severely economically sanctioned Iran. The Iranian Council was going berserk. They knew, obviously, what was going on, and they threatened that this would be considered an act of war. Well, Clinton signed it, and it goes into effect.

“The Iranians call a meeting and call in surrogates from nine terrorists that they fund and essentially control in nine surrounding countries. (Osama) bin Laden is typical of one of the attendees. They come into the Iranian Council, meet with the Iranian president behind closed doors, they adjourn, and within the month the massive attempt of an attack on Khobar Towers went down.”

In that incident a terrorist drove a bomb-laden truck up to the security gate. When he was not allowed to pass he raced the truck along a fence as close to the barracks as possible and detonated the high-explosives killing 19 Americans. If he reached his intended target between the two buildings, the death toll would have been closer to 500.

“Now if you remember, the FBI was dispatched to go look at that and a year and a half later they came back with no results,” said Donaldson. “That was three weeks before flight 800 was shot down.”

About the same time as the attack on Khobar Towers, a civilian on Long Island, N.Y., captured a MANPADS missile on video. He was testing his new video camera when suddenly he noticed a missile launch from the water on Long Island Sound behind his home. He caught the image on video and called the FBI.

“The FBI gets that tape and in ensuing months take it to military experts that I’ve talked to that saw it,” described Donaldson of his investigation. “There’s no question there was an attempt made then. The aircraft was probably out of range or whatever. There was no hit,” he explained.

Only weeks before Flight 800 went down there were two events intended to send a very specific message to President Bill Clinton in response to sanctions he placed against Iran. Khobar Towers and the Long Island missile were warnings that went unheeded. An explicit warning of another missile attack on a commercial flight was received in London and Washington, a warning that taunted Clinton.

Donaldson’s investigation has found over 100 eyewitnesses who saw the actual missile fly up and hit TWA flight 800. He has found FBI documents that detail their efforts to locate pieces of a missile under the ocean — a search that cost $5.5 million. He has also found significant evidence that a concerted effort has been made to cover up the missile evidence by the government.

“The witnesses’ testimony essentially says it was a MANPADS missile. It was fired out in front of the aircraft. We have radar contact on a vessel that the FBI failed to identify that was almost precisely in that position,” detailed Donaldson.

One female witness detailed to the FBI how she saw the missile launch, go up for six seconds, and actually saw it hit the aircraft on the left wing.

“Just after the TWA Flight 800 went down, President Clinton made a call to the FBI command post at the Atlanta Olympics. I think the quote I got from the guy was, ‘We are at least 80 percent certain that Flight 800 was shot down by a shoulder-fired missile.’ The implication is, be alert. You’re next,” described Donaldson of his investigation interview with a former FBI agent who took the call from the president.

The military and FAA worked together to change flight paths into and out of Atlanta after the TWA Flight 800 disaster. They believed a missile threat existed to more commercial flights, he explained.

“I think the whole thing is political motivation. If the general public knew that there was a threat ahead of time, that the White House knew there was a threat ahead of time and there was no warning given. If they’d warned the FAA controllers in New York, you could have randomly vectored the departing aircraft and recovering aircraft. That airplane was on the same track every other airplane had departed on for the previous hour — targets going by at exactly the same position at a regular interval. You just sit out there, you get in range, wait for the next one and you bag them,” described Donaldson, who was once a qualified air controller himself.

“If the general public even had a hint of background knowledge. (Such as) either the hostility that’s in Iran and that part of the world towards us and the fact they’re trying to find any d— way they can to stick us to the point that we’ll back off the oil and pull our culture away from their religion. They’re going to do it,” he warned.

Donaldson says he expects his investigation to continue, and the government cover-up to continue as well. The evidence he has compiled is already enough to bring indictments against many highly placed government officials, he adds.

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