The CIA could have prevented terrorists from obtaining over 100 U.S.-made Stinger missiles, but chose not to do so, according to one man who tried to prevent the acquisition from occurring.
Former Federal Aviation Administration investigator Rodney stich warned the U.S. government in writing almost a year before the 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash that a commercial airline would be shot down using a U.S.-made missile. After the TWA disaster, the government was forced to cover up the real cause of the crash because it could have been prevented, said stich.
Independent investigators and journalists have claimed that TWA Flight 800 was shot down by a missile launched by terrorists stationed on a boat in Long Island Sound. The government has denied that claim, despite significant evidence and eyewitness accounts. WorldNetDaily has reported previously the efforts by Cmdr. William Donaldson to expose an alleged government cover-up regarding TWA Flight 800.
Now Donaldson claims the government has good reason to hide the truth. He told WorldNetDaily that if the truth were known, it would force the government to answer many questions that would be too difficult to respond to, and would embarrass the Clinton administration.
stich agrees with Donaldson, and both say the government will never admit the truth.
The negotiations in question occurred in Los Angeles about nine months before TWA Flight 800 went down. Afghan rebels were offering 30 to 40 Stinger missiles at no charge — after all, the U.S. had given the weapons to the Afghans during that nation’s war with the Soviet Union. The Afghanis provided the serial numbers of the weapons so there would be no doubt that they had them, and also offered an additional future delivery of missiles, which would have brought the total number to over 100, according to stich. All the Afghanis wanted in return was the release of Mohammed Akbar from prison.
Although Akbar was serving a sentence on a federal drug charge at the Terminal Island prison in California, the Afghanis claimed he was innocent and had been set up as retaliation by Russians.
WorldNetDaily has received documentary proof that the U.S. government had the opportunity to prevent surface-to-air missiles from falling into the hands of terrorists, but chose not to do so. A letter of agreement between a CIA attorney and Akbar has been obtained by WorldNetDaily and is presented here. Additional documents regarding the negotiations have also been received.
“It was known that terrorists were bidding on the missiles. If the CIA and FBI officials in L.A. turned them down, the missiles would get in the hands of the terrorists,” explained stich, who helped to bring the parties together for the negotiations. He and his CIA contact were shocked when the government refused to accept the negotiated deal, he said.
In an effort to prevent the missiles from falling into the wrong hands, stich sent a letter explaining the situation to Sen. Arlen Specter, R.-Penn., and all members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. stich hoped that quick political intervention could restore the negotiated agreement that had been made.
“I got the documents on what was going on,” he said, “and I wrote to Sen. Specter and the others describing these things, and urging them to immediately contact me and my CIA source to prevent the missiles from getting into the hands of the terrorists.”
stich was surprised that not one of the congressmen even had a staff member call him for further information. A staff member in Specter’s office told WorldNetDaily he was unaware of stich’s letter and would look into it.
“Not one of them even responded. If the public knew about this and recognized the significance of this, it could be very embarrassing to them,” said stich.
“There is a strong probability that one or more of these rejected missiles will be used to shoot down commercial airliners. If this occurs, not only will the carnage be horrendous, but it will inflict severe financial havoc upon the aviation industry and upon air travel,” stich wrote in his letter to Congress.
The warning was ignored and not quite a year later TWA Flight 800 was indeed shot down, possibly by one of those Stinger missiles, according to Donaldson, who has extensively investigated the crash.
Donaldson had identified the Afghan missiles as the likely weapon used to take down the flight in a previous exclusive WorldNetDaily report. He too expressed astonishment that the U.S. did not take advantage of an opportunity to prevent such dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
“Recent information provided to me by one or more of my many contacts in the CIA community describes the dates, places, and people involved in offering the missiles to the United States, and the rejection of this offer,” described stich in his letter. “These sources provided me with precise details of the negotiations to give the missiles to the United States, the agreement by Afghan rebel leader, Gen. Rashid Dostom, and a CIA attorney.”
The letter to Specter described how the CIA first ignored the request for a negotiation meeting, but then reluctantly agreed to participate in discussions only after a former CIA agent insisted.
The deal was not an unusual one. Gen. Dostom previously had turned over 20 Stinger missiles to the U.S. in a separate negotiation, according to stich.
“The general agreed to turn over the missiles without cost to the United States,” explained stich, “and simply requested the release of an Afghani being held in federal prison on a drug charge arising from a possible KGB setup. At the same time that the Afghan general was offering to give these missiles to the United States, these same missiles were being sought by terrorist groups who bid large amounts of money for them. One obvious possible use for these missiles in terrorist hands would be to shoot down commercial airlines,” warned stich.
Over 100 missiles have now been obtained by enemies of the United States as a result of the refusal to accept the negotiated agreement, according to stich and Donaldson. Both believe the threat to commercial aviation is very real.
Such a policy enables the U.S. to avoid probing questions by the media, and demand for action by citizens.