On Monday, President Donald Trump held a rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.
Not many people have heard of Montoursville, a pleasant little town of fewer than 5,000 people. But those who have include the CIA analysts, FBI honchos and Clinton White House operatives who orchestrated the cover-up of the TWA 800 crash.
On July 17, 1996, the ill-fated 747 was shot down off the coast of Long Island, almost surely by accident, killing all 230 people on board.
Among the dead were 16 French-club students from Montoursville High School and five of their chaperones. I have been to Montoursville and spoken with people who lost their children. They are still waiting for answers.
Many people are waiting for answers, including the hundreds of TWA veterans with whom I have spoken, most recently at a heavily attended LAX event led by retired TWA Capt. Al Francis.
The TWA vets lost 53 of their colleagues on board that plane. If there is one among them who buys the government line that a rogue spark blew up the center fuel tank, I have not met him or her.
A question I have heard often, and I suspect Capt. Francis has too, is whether President Trump can or will reopen the investigation, there being no riper example of deep state treachery than the TWA 800 investigation.
I am not optimistic, but Monday’s rally gave me a glimmer of hope. In the special congressional election held the following day, Republican Fred Keller did not need the president’s help: he won by a greater than 2-to-1 margin.
Presuming that the election inspired the trip, the obvious site of the rally should have been the nearby and much larger Williamsport, the county seat and celebrated home of the Little League World Series.
Indeed, there are many towns in Pennsylvania’s 12th district larger than Montoursville. But the president chose Montoursville.
If they do not know this already, here, in brief, is what Trump’s people need to know.
- According to an air traffic controller at NY TRACON, “A primary radar return (ASR-9) indicated vertical movement intersecting TWA 800,” and then TWA800 disappeared.
- As anti-terror czar Richard Clarke tells it, he immediately called a high level meeting in the White House situation room.
- Illegally, but publicly, the FBI seized control of the investigation from the NTSB within hours of the crash.
- According to CIA documents, “The DI [Directorate of Intelligence] became involved in the ‘missile theory’ the day after the crash occurred.”
- The CIA’s George Tenet told the 9/11 Commission in March 2004 that a “wall” prevented the CIA and FBI from cooperating on national security issues.
- As the CIA documents prove, the CIA and FBI collaborated uneasily on the TWA 800 investigation for the next 16 months, wall or no wall.
- According to the CIA, within two weeks of the disaster, FBI agents had interviewed 144 “excellent” eyewitnesses to a likely missile strike and found the evidence for such a strike “overwhelming.”
- The CIA analyst boasted of discouraging the FBI from releasing its missile report. He seems to have succeeded.
- Two weeks later, the FBI permitted the New York Times to interview one and only one eyewitness. He saw the event out of the corner of his eye and thought it was a bomb.
- The NTSB eventually identified 258 eyewitnesses who had seen a glowing object streaking towards TWA 800. At least 56 had followed the object from the horizon.
- The Times interviewed none of 258.
- The eyewitnesses were not easily explained away. With the NTSB illegally shut out of witness review, the FBI turned the task over to the CIA.
- Working with just one-third of the witness statements, the CIA concluded that the eyewitnesses saw the aircraft ascend more than 3,000 feet after a spontaneous explosion blew off the plane’s nose.
- In April 1997, the head of the FBI missile team, Steve Bongardt, bucked the brass and demanded to know why the CIA failed to account for the eight witnesses who saw an object “hit the aircraft.” The CIA blew him off.
- Instead, the CIA created a specious animation to promote its exploding fuel tank theory. The FBI showed the animation once, when it closed the criminal case in November 1997.
- To sell this lie, as the CIA documents prove, the CIA created at least three critical witness statements from whole cloth and flagrantly corrupted more than 200 others.
- The deputy attorney general who successfully oversaw the investigation, Jamie Gorelick, left the Justice Department in 1997 to take a job with Fannie Mae. She would make more than $25 million over the next six years.
- In 2004, Gorelick left Fannie Mae to become a member of the 9-11 Commission.
- In April 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft testified to the 9-11 Commission, “The single greatest structural cause for Sept. 11 was the wall.”
- “Full disclosure,” Ashcroft continued, “compels me to inform you that its author is a member of the commission.” Yes, that commissioner was Jamie Gorelick.
- As the nation learned in the aftermath of 9/11, the “wall” that was breached all too easily to protect the secrets of TWA 800 held much too firmly when it came to the secrets of our enemies.
Those responsible for the cover-up had to sleep just a wee bit uneasily Monday night. They know what “Montoursville” means. Here’s hoping the president does too.