Sept. 20, 2001 was not good day for Al Gore. Just nine days after the horrific attack on America, a major media source chose to reveal his role in the disaster.
The story in question, “Airlines Fought Security Changes,” by Walter Robinson and Glen Johnson, served up exquisite detail on how the so-called Gore Commission, formed in the wake of the TWA Flight 800 disaster five years earlier, failed conspicuously to address airline safety.
The reporters traced that failure to a series of campaign donations from the airlines to the Democratic National Committee in 1996, donations likely solicited by Al Gore himself. They minced no words in denouncing Gore, calling his sellout “the clearest recent public example of the success that airlines have long had in defeating calls for more oversight.”
Although their story was accurate, Robinson and Johnson have been the only major media reporters to discuss Gore’s scandalous role in the unraveling of the TWA Flight 800 affair either before or since. It should come as no surprise that Robinson and Johnson write for the Boston Globe.
So does Michael Kranish.
Kranish has most recently made the news for attempting to finesse a recantation – later denied – out of swiftboat veteran and Kerry critic, Capt. George Elliot. The controversy has shed a good deal of unwanted light on Kranish’s versatility. Not only is he the Globe reporter on the Kerry beat, but he is also Kerry’s biographer and – much more troubling – the author of the official campaign book, titled “Kerry-Edwards.” This stunning conflict of interest suggests that the Boston Globe has been serving as little more than a publicity arm and rapid response team for the Kerry-Edwards campaign.
When James Sanders and I wrote First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America, we speculated that the timing of the Globe hit on Al Gore in September 2001 was not coincidental. What raised our suspicion was that Sen. John Kerry twice that month referred to TWA Flight 800 as a terrorist act, the first time on the “Larry King Show” on Sept. 11, the second time on “Hardball” with Chris Matthews on Sept. 24. I saw the latter. I have the transcripts for both. These were not slips of the tongue. The Globe hit fell in between.
The recent Kranish revelations greatly strengthens our case that the Globe reporters were working in conjunction with Kerry’s people. Their inspiration, after all, had to come from somewhere. Kranish and Glen Johnson often team up on political articles. In a recent Washingtonian article, veteran observer Harry Jaffe singles out Kranish, Johnson and Robinson for “early campaign coverage awards.” He cites Johnson for his work exposing Howard Dean, Robinson for his work revealing George Bush’s National Guard record, and Kranish, more benignly, for his “seminal Kerry stories.”
“After the events of Sept. 11,” Sanders and I wrote in First Strike, “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.”
In mid December 2002, right after he had made a powerful re-entry into the political scene, Gore “surprised” political analysts by dropping out of the presidential race. Advanced copies of our book hit Washington two weeks before.
I don’t really believe our book put Gore out of the race. I am more inclined than ever to give that credit to Kerry and his friends at the Boston Globe. Scarier still, the Globe is wholly owned by the New York Times.
“First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America” by Jack Cashill and James Sanders explains how a determined corps of ordinary citizens worked to reveal the compromise and corruption that tainted the federal investigation.