September 11, 2001, did not represent the first aerial assault against the American mainland. The first came on July 17,1996, with the downing of TWA Flight 800. This book looks in detail at what people saw and heard on this fateful night.
First Strike explains how a determined corps of ordinary citizens worked to reveal the compromise and corruption that tainted the federal investigation. With an impressive array of facts, Jack Cashill and James Sanders show the relationship between events in July 1996 and September 2001 and proclaim how and why the American government has attempted to cover up the truth.
For conspiracy buffs and skeptics alike, Cashill and Sanders' reconstruction of the investigation into the July 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 is a real page-turner. The authors, who also produced the video Silenced: Flight 800 and the Subversion of Justice, contend that the U.S. government, from the White House to the NTSB, FBI and CIA, systematically tried to obscure the real cause of the explosion with a false theory of mechanical failure. The cover-up, the authors maintain, was motivated by then-incumbent President Clinton, who decided that "only a catastrophe...could prevent his reelection in November. He would not let Flight 800 be that catastrophe." Cashill and Sanders make use of evidence from FBI witness summaries, transcripts of agency meetings and reports, conflicting press coverage, scientific data and their own interviews with witnesses and experts to conclude that TWA Flight 800 was brought down by a Navy missile, whose intended target was a terrorist plane on a collision course with the passenger aircraft. Throughout the book, the authors make much of what they cast as the mainstream media's collusion with government agencies in parroting the official (read: Democratic) party line on the investigation, such that "no newsroom more influential than the Riverside, California, Press-Enterprise would dare to look beneath the surface." But Cashill and Sanders are by no means above politics, and often cannot conceal their contempt for Clinton and his sympathizers: "Two decades spent abusing the power with which had been entrusted had permanently corroded his character," they write. Whether such sentiments enhance or detract from the authors' argument depends on the personal leanings of the reader, of course. But sadly, whatever one's political views, in a post-9/11 world, a terrorist-related theory regarding Flight 800 sounds much less far-fetched than it may have to many in the comparatively innocent days of 1996.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The most accurate book written about TW800
As a Boeing 747 pilot and Flight Engineer, I was at JFK when TW800 was shot down on July 17, 1996. For almost a week, I stayed at the same hotel where the families of TW800's passengers and crewmembers were sequestered.
Later, I viewed a videotape 4 times an hour, 24 hours a day for 12 days (a video of the airliner being shot down that the American people have never seen, and never will): my wife viewed the same video with me for several days. Jack has it right, and as far as I have been able to learn, his facts are accurate without exception.
As a member of ALPA, I was one of several people brought into the building where the recovered aircraft wreckage was brought in and fitted together after the last of the pieces were retrieved. Nothing can prepare you for seeing the devastated aircraft. Nothing. This, and Jack's follow-on book about TW800, will give you a chilling glimpse of the truth.
Having worked at Boeing for 7 years, trained on the nuts-and-bolts asssembly-line construction of the aircraft, and studied for over a year to be a tour guide at the Boeing Everett 747 assembly plant; while I am not an airframe and powerplant mechanic, I have been a Turbojet Flight Engineer and pilot for years on Boeing 747-100 and -200 series aircraft; seeing the actual video of the aircraft being engaged and destroyed by a missile; and, seeing the fitted-together wreckage of the TWA airliner, I assure you of this one fact: the aircraft was shot down.
It was not a fuel tank explosion.
Jack has it right.