THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
Release Date: July 29, 1996
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: http://www.twf.org -- Press Contact: Enver Masud

TWA Flight 800: Predictably, Media Turns On Muslims

WASHINGTON, DC, July 29 -- Predictably, the US media has turned on Muslims in the Middle East as likely terrorists who bombed TWA Flight 800.

CNN in its reporting today may be the first to do so, but other media pundits can't be far behind. Mr. Kallstrom, the FBI investigator in charge, says that in forty-eight hours, perhaps, the FBI may be prepared to say whether it was a bomb or missile that brought down TWA Flight 800. Does CNN know something that the FBI doesn't as to what caused the TWA plane to blow apart?

Certainly, Middle East groups should be suspect. But what about Christians in the Middle East? Christian Arabs, generally, are united with Muslim Arabs in resisting US supported Israeli domination of the Middle East. And why blame "Muslims?" The bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City did not elicit media voices against Christians. Muslims from the Middle East were initially blamed. The Tokyo subway gassing did not elicit media voices against Buddhists. Blame was narrowed to a "cult." Why is it that Muslims, again, are demonized?

And are Middle East groups the only ones who had the means, motive, and opportunity to bring down the TWA plane? We don't think so. If the FBI determines it was a missile that shot down the TWA plane, it is less likely, according to French authorities, that such missiles are possessed by Middle East groups.

In fact the media have been remarkably silent about coroner reports as to cause of death, and US military activity in the area of the crash. In his book, The Fire This Time, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark says that the US government bears prime responsibility for the Gulf War which was planned in Washington long before the first Iraqi soldier entered Kuwait. This was done, says Mr. Clark, to protect oil company profits, control oil supplies to Europe and Japan, and to bolster US military spending. Former Defense Secretary McNamara had testified that this spending could safely be cut in half.

Could it be that an accidental shoot down of the TWA plane by the US military is being seized upon as another opportunity to revive the bogey of Islamic fundamentalism (see Leon T. Hadar's The Green Peril: Creating The Islamic Fundamentalist Threat, and Michael Klare's Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws), and to bolster defense spending? Or is it an opportunity for an attack on Libya or Iran? Just a few weeks ago the US threatened to drop a nuclear bomb on an alleged Libyan weapons factory which Libya claims is an irrigation tunnel, and the Israelis have been trying to enlist US support against Iran.

A responsible media should be making sure that all who had means, motive (either to commit the crime, or to conceal an accident), and opportunity to down the TWA plane are thoroughly investigated. They should not be demonizing Muslims.



[Newly disclosed evidence ``points to a missile'' as the cause of the explosion that killed all 230 people aboard TWA Flight 800 off New York's Long Island, The Press-Enterprise reported today. The evidence includes reddish residue found on several seat backs that laboratory analysis showed to be ``consistent with solid missile fuel'' ingredients, the newspaper said.--The Associated Press, March 10, 1997]

["TWA 800 Eyewitness Alliance," in a full-page ad, said: "We saw TWA Flight 800 shot down by missiles, and we won't be silenced any longer."--The Washington Times, August 15, 2000]

[The National Transportation Safety Board said... "of the sources evaluated by the investigation, the most likely was a short circuit outside of the center wing tank that allowed explosive voltage to enter it through electrical wiring associated with the fuel quantity indication system."--The Washington Post, August 24, 2000]

"Seconds From Disaster: TWA 800," National Geographic Channel, December 27, 2005

AUDIO: "TWA Flight 800: Searching For Truth," NPR On Point, June 24, 2013

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