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A police officer-turned-investigative reporter who was arrested and jailed because his investigation into the mysterious crash of TWA Flight 800 exposed flaws in the government’s official probe – and who co-authored an explosive new book on the subject – has found vindication after his five-year legal nightmare.

Journalist James Sanders is the author, along with Jack Cashill, of “TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America,” published by WND Books.

In December 1997, Sanders and his wife, Elizabeth, a TWA flight attendant and trainer who knew Flight 800′s pilots and had trained many of its flight attendants, were arrested for conspiracy to steal government property after receiving material from a whistleblower within the Flight 800 investigation.

Although Sanders and Cashill have always maintained the charges were trumped up by the government so as to chill and discredit Sanders’ investigation into what really happened to Flight 800, it has taken years for official vindication to come.

In an exclusive analysis of the case in today’s WorldNetDaily, co-author Cashill traces Sanders’ legal battle back to March 10, 1997, eight months after the July 1996 destruction of the TWA jumbo jet that took 230 lives. California’s Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper published a story titled “New Data Show Missile May Have Nailed TWA 800,” which cited Sanders as an “investigative reporter” and described his private investigation into the FBI and NTSB Flight 800 investigation over the preceding five months.

The problem, explains Cashill, an Emmy-Award-winning writer and producer, is that Sanders’ investigation “created a significant problem for the Justice Department. The article’s text confirmed that Sanders was on the trail of potential criminal activity within the Flight 800 investigation.”

Explaining how the Clinton Justice Department went into gear and “used its considerable powers to thwart Sanders” by denying his standing as a journalist, Cashill notes that under President Bush, the Justice Department now admits its predecessors “conspired to print factually false information in a Justice Department letter to deprive [James Sanders] of his civil rights …” The current Justice Department also now concedes it “fabricated a defense where none existed” in earlier opposing the Sanderses’ civil action, writes Cashill. “It also concedes there is no defense for the 32-counts of federal lawlessness committed in pursuit of destroying a journalist and his wife.”

Cashill, who has created documentaries for regional PBS and national cable channels, and who hosted daily talk radio shows for five years, sums up the importance of the Sanders case:

“In so conceding” its previous railroading of Sanders, “the Justice Department tacitly acknowledges that yes, the TWA Flight 800 investigation has been corrupted, and no, we are not prepared to contest this fact.”

Sanders tells WND the government’s time to respond actually ran out in early February — after two warnings.

“The big thing that forced the government to stop responding,” Sanders told WND, “was that they got caught fabricating a defense. Once that happened, there are rules in civil court that say if they don’t cease and desist, they are in big trouble. They knew it was coming again, and they had nothing to say.”

“There were two constitutional issues, and they fabricated a defense for each one of them,” Sanders added.

Cashill calls the case “among the most egregious violations of a reporter’s constitutional rights in the history of American journalism.”

What comes next in the case? Sanders tells what should happen next in his view: “The judge should make a summary judgment ruling in my favor.”

In their groundbreaking expose “First Strike,” Sanders and Cashill uncover substantial new information – including a terrorist connection – about the fate of TWA Flight 800.

Sept. 11, 2001, they claim, did not represent the first aerial assault against the American mainland. The first came July 17, 1996, with the downing of TWA Flight 800. Their book looks in detail at what people saw and heard on that fateful night.

The book also shows the relationship between events in July 1996 and Sept. 2001, and proclaims how and why the American government attempted to cover up the truth.

Read Jack Cashill’s exclusive commentary about the Sanders case in today’s WorldNetDaily.

“TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America” is available from WorldNetDaily’s online store, ShopNetDaily.

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