- “Motive causing the commission of the crime is ofttimes
helpful in tracking the fugitive. Motive may be said to include the
elements of gain, sex, revenge, anger, homicidal mania, and sex
perversion. ‘Cherchez la femme’ — ‘Seek the woman’ — is an axiom that
has been followed successfully in tracking criminals in many cases.
Many acts of criminals before and after the commission of a crime, as
well as in supplying the motive for a crime, have been done at the urge
of or on account of a woman.” — Modern Criminal Investigation, by Dr.
Harry Soderman and John J. O’Connell, Funk and Wagnalls, 1935, p.35.
By any account, John F. Kennedy Jr. possessed the necessary name
recognition — the political capital of our day — to mount a serious
race for high-level political office. Media reports following his demise
in a small plane crash indicate that he had already made “discrete
inquiries” regarding that possibility.
In an age devoid of popular leaders, one could safely suggest that
JFK Jr. would have been an electoral “shoo-in” for any number of
offices. Maybe even for the U.S. Senate seat in New York State: the
subject of his discrete inquiries.
Air travel has most assuredly changed the way we live. It has also
changed the way we die. Nearly a dozen years ago, on July 16, 1987, a
low-level CIA operative involved in arming the Nicaraguan
Contras, climbed into a small plane with a Jewish man he knew as Max
Weber. “I don’t trust these little airplanes, I’m sorry it’s, how do you
say, a phobia,” Weber told Terry Reed (Compromised:
Clinton, Bush, and the CIA, by Terry Reed and John Cummings, S.P.I.
books, New York, 1994).
Mr. Reed’s account of how the CIA’s aircraft returning from Nicaragua
began carrying drugs into Mena, Ark., is a fascinating excursion, but
it’s not our destination today. Yet even as Congress was revving up to
impeach Ronald Reagan for the scandal that Reed asserts George Bush was
running, and then-Gov. Bill Clinton skimming profits from, Max Weber
offered this observation:
- We don’t think your country has a democracy any longer. … We
think your country has had a very quiet, internal coup. Look at the
evidence, it’s all there (p.359).
As the pair discussed that evidence, the impending death of
Soviet communism, and the geo-political balance of power, Weber offered:
- Think about China. … Who will replace the USSR as the power
base of all of Asia if Russia collapses? China will (p.360).
Their conversation at 13,000 feet was the last the two men ever
had with one another. They landed safely that day. But one week after
the election of President George Bush in November of 1988,
Max Weber — also known as Amiram Nir, the Israeli Prime Minister’s
advisor on combating terrorism — died over Mexico in a crash aboard one
of the “little airplanes” he so feared.
One never knows, of course. Accidents happen. Equipment malfunctions.
Pilots make mistakes. But more sinister things also happen. Explosives
are sometimes planted on aircraft. Luggage can
house a bomb. Instruments and fuel can be tampered with. Missiles home
in on their targets.
JFK Jr. radioed the airport at Martha’s Vineyard at 9:39 p.m. on
Friday, July 16, for his final approach. He told the control tower
operator that he was 13 miles from the airport and ten miles
from the coast. Triangulation would give a rough location of the
aircraft. “Moments later, radar operated by the Federal Aviation
Administration showed the plane went into a dive and dropped 1,200 feet
in just 12 seconds,” ABC news reported.
“A reporter for the Vineyard Gazette newspaper told WCVB-TV in Boston
that he was out walking Friday night about the time of the crash and saw
a ‘big white flash in the sky’ off Philbin Beach,”
UPI reported. Visibility was eight miles, adequate for landing
visually. But, as JFK Jr. himself reported, he was 10 miles from the
coast — too distant for the reporter’s unaided eyesight to
recognize more than a “big white flash in the sky.”
UPI said that “Kennedy did not file a flight plan.” Like his
inquiries into the U.S. Senate race in New York, it seems JFK Jr. liked
to keep his whereabouts discrete. Pity, that like the American B-52
pilots who triangulated themselves for the North Vietnamese communists
with their call signs and landmarks during the war, and never made it
home, JFK Jr. didn’t fly quite far enough below the radar, either.