Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 7, 2009


Sam Smith - The mysterious Air France Flight 447 disappearance brings to mind the last great unsolved plane crash: TWA 800. Although the government concluded it was caused by structural problems, hundreds of eyewitnesses claimed to have seen a fiery and/or smoke trailed object headed for the plane. Further, it was the TWA 800 crash that led to the Gore Commission, whose investigation would launch our present era of hyper aviation security. If, in fact, the plane went down because of structural problems, why was there such a need for the heightened security that followed? And why this statement by Gore at a time when, as John Cashill reported, there hadn't been an attack on an American plane in eight years:

"When terrorists attack an American airliner, they are attacking the United States. They have so little respect for our values - so little regard for human life or the principles of justice that are the foundation of American society - that they would destroy innocent children and devoted mothers and fathers completely at random. This cannot be tolerated, or allowed to intimidate free societies. There must be a concerted national will to fight terrorism."

If in fact, the TWA 800 was brought down by a missile, it could have been a misguided weapon accidentally launched by the US military or it could have been the work of a terrorist. The latter possibility, if true, would completely rewrite the history of 9/11 and the so-called war on terror.

None of this, of course, explains what happened to Flight 447 but it reminds us to be extremely careful in believing what the government tells us in such situations.


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