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Rush quotes WND, grabs TWA 800 tiger by the tail

Posted By Jack Cashill On 03/30/2004 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Yesterday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh quoted a WND article at length on the subject of how Al Gore sold out the post-TWA 800 safety and security commission he headed for the sake of campaign cash. Rush made the good and obvious point that this failure on Gore’s part should have been reviewed by the 9-11 commission.

Rush needs to take this argument one step further. Like others in the conservative media, however, he works under a self-imposed limitation – an understandable one: He cannot afford to endorse a presumed “conspiracy theory” unless the major media do the same.

Those who have followed the fate of this disaster know that TWA Flight 800 is the 600,000 pound gorilla in the 9-11 commission’s room. As we have previously documented, at least two of the stars of this commission – panelist Jamie Gorelick and former CSG head Richard Clarke – played key roles in the suppression of the true story of the plane’s demise.

As we have also documented, however, Sen. John Kerry has on two occasions described the downing of TWA Flight 800 as a terrorist act. If Rush wants to remain agnostic on the plane’s fate, all he needs to do is quote Kerry. Allow us to repeat Kerry’s record on this for Rush’s easy access.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Sen. Kerry appeared on the “Larry King Show.” Kerry’s honest admission to King bears scrutiny:

We have always known this could happen. We’ve warned about it. We’ve talked about it. I regret to say, as I served on the Intelligence Committee up until last year. I can remember after the bombings of the embassies, after TWA 800, we went through this flurry of activity, talking about it, but not really doing [sic] hard work of responding.

If Kerry talked about the fate of TWA Flight 800 before Sept. 11, he does not seem to have done so in his role on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The committee’s annual report for 1996 does not breathe a word about the disaster, even to dismiss it as an accident.

Throughout the year of 1997, the CIA worked on the creation of the now notorious video animation designed to discredit the eyewitnesses. Again, one would think this a likely topic for the Intelligence Committee’s next report, the one covering the period Jan. 7, 1997, through Oct. 21, 1998. But again, not a word.

After Kerry’ remarks to Larry King on Sept. 11, at least one person called his office for a clarification. After some back-and-forth, she was told she must have misunderstood.

On Sept. 24,2001, there was no mistaking the meaning of Sen. Kerry’s remarks. I personally watched him say the following to Chris Matthews on “Hardball.”

You know, we’ve had terrorism for a long time now. We’ve had the Achille Lauro, the Munich Olympics, the pipe bomb at the Olympics in Atlanta, the TWA 800, the bombing of embassies, and it’s not going to disappear overnight.

On Sept. 20, 2001, one mainstream newspaper broke the story of how the so-called Gore Commission failed conspicuously to address airline safety. The paper claimed this failure “represents the clearest recent public example of the success that airlines have long had in defeating calls for more oversight.” That newspaper just happened to be John Kerry’s hometown Boston Globe, which has now, not surprisingly, endorsed Kerry for president.

Of course, it is possible that Sen. Kerry merely misspoke about a terrorist attack against TWA 800 on two occasions, and it is possible, too, that the Globe’s entrance into the fray was merely coincidental. It’s just not likely. In our book, “First Strike,” James Sanders and I make this arguably prophetic comment:

John Kerry seemed to have his sights on Al Gore’s Achilles’ heel. After the events of Sept. 11, the story of how Al Gore helped subvert the investigation into TWA 800 and undermine airport security may yet prove to be a career-killer. Kerry’s “slips” may put Gore out of the race even before he gets in.

Two weeks after advanced copies of “First Strike” started circulating around Washington, Gore withdrew from the presidential race. It would be presumptuous of us to believe that these accumulating revelations caused Gore to withdraw. But if not, what did?

“We went through this flurry of activity, talking about it, but not really doing [sic] hard work of responding,” said Kerry on Sept. 11. The shameful thing is that, even today, while he pounds Bush for his presumed lack of credibility, Kerry continues to play political games with the one event that may well have anticipated that horrific day.

Rush, sir, please take it from here. You’ve got the tiger by the tail.


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