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First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Januar 2003


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b1cf864) von 5 Sternen 57 Rezensionen
47 von 52 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9ab8a0d8) von 5 Sternen Blow-up 16. Dezember 2004
Von Rick Darby - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
One of my criteria for an important book is that it changes my mind about something that matters. By that standard, this is an important book.

I have always been a little uneasy about some aspects of the TWA 800 investigation. First, more than 200 witnesses reported seeing a missile, bright light or something that left a trail rising toward the airliner; second, the event was unique: aircraft accidents fall into certain categories, which become numbingly repetitious if you look into large numbers of them. Blowing up in midair is not one of those categories.

But my doubts were more or less put to rest, if not utterly eliminated, by the NTSB final report. The idea that what all those witnesses saw was not a missile rising toward the aircraft but burning fuel falling from it as the center and/or wing fuel tanks exploded -- well, it seemed a little odd that so many people couldn't tell the difference between up and down; but it's true that eyewitness testimony is notoriously inaccurate, as any police detective or judge will tell you. Physical evidence is generally more reliable.

But the main reason I more or less accepted the official probable cause was simply that I could not conceive that the NTSB, FBI, and CIA would or could collaborate on a deception in such a high-profile case.

Cashill and Sanders's book has convinced me that the most probable cause of the TWA 800 explosion was an external event, most likely a missile strike or nearby detonation. They have even convinced me it's probable that NTSB and FBI did reach a politically dictated, foregone conclusion that the airliner's destruction was caused by an explosion in the center fuel tank, set off by a hypothetical electrical spark whose source even the final NTSB investigative report acknowledges can only be guesswork.

I won't review the detailed arguments here; that's what the book is for. I will say that the book's tone is argumentative but factually based, that the controversial points (with one exception, which I'll get to) are reasonably documented and that much of the damning evidence comes from sources within the investigation or from qualified specialists.

In fairness, NTSB's accident-investigation methods are thorough, sound and painstaking. Under ordinary circumstances, I believe that there is no better agency in the world for determining probable causes of aircraft accidents. Doubtless many within the agency went about their work in the TWA 800 investigation honestly and expertly, and it's not their fault that their best judgment was overruled. But read Cashill and Sanders and tell me you don't believe the fix was in.

The last chapter contains a good summing up of why the official story doesn't hold together, but the authors should have left it there. Unfortunately, they proceed to dramatize a scenario involving a terrorist conducting a suicide mission involving a small commuter airplane loaded with high explosive. In a fiction-like device, we're treated to the terrorist pilot's history as well as his thoughts and speech as he heads his plane toward the B-747. "First strike" in the Islamic terrorism war, get it? (Actually, Islamic terrorism had already struck the World Trade Center in the attack of 1993 and Khobar Towers, shortly before TWA 800.)

Maybe it happened that way, but the evidence for that interpretation is sketchy. In what is otherwise a rational book, the authors plunge here into melodrama.

Aside from that lapse of judgment, though, the writers have made their case well. At the very least the book is worth your time, and if you come to accept its premises, I daresay you'll find the implications upsetting.
62 von 71 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9a97b690) von 5 Sternen Excellent! 13. März 2003
Von Joyce Mucci - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
While hundreds of Long Island residents prepared for their evening cookout with friends, and some were enjoying those last few hours out on the water before dark, the passengers and crew of TWA Flight 800 were boarding for a routine flight to Paris. Little did the residents of Long Island or the passengers and crew of Flight 800 know that their lives would become inexorably entwined on the evening of July 17, 1996.

Their story and the case against the federal investigatory process are the subjects of a new book, First Strike.
For the record, First Strike is not a conspiracy book. It is, first and foremost, a book about people: What they saw, what they did and what they didn't do.
In a perfect world - where everyone does the right thing - this book would not have needed to be written. But, because of the people involved, it had to be written.
Authors Jack Cashill and James Sanders expertly fill in the blanks of the massive disaster that befell the passengers and crew of Flight 800. The evidence presented against the Clinton administration and the federal authorities- whose job it was to find and then tell the truth to the American people -is factually detailed in a dispassionate orderly fashion.
Important as well is the authors skill in placing the reader into the lives of the defenseless: the victims and their surviving families, the eye witnesses, and the technical experts that - still to this day - challenge the government's conclusions.
Without question, airplane disasters are not pretty. They are grisly, painstakingly detailed work that should have one goal in mind: to find out what happened.
But in the case of Flight 800, the investigation (and the investigators) and the subsequent government conclusions were missing a key element - the truth. Moreover, they went out of their way to invent new ones to explain away what was obvious to most.
For example, a FAA radar tape is usually a useful tool in the investigatory process of airline crashes. Usually.
"When Ron Schleede of the NTSB first saw the data, he exclaimed, 'Holy Christ, this looks bad.' He added later, 'It showed this track that suggested something fast made the turn and took the airplane.'"
That was Schleede's reaction on the night of July 17, 1996. On July 18, the New York Times reported that an "unnamed government official revealed that air traffic controllers did pick up a mysterious blip that appeared to move rapidly toward the plane just before the explosion. The officials and the Times linked the radar to eye-witness sightings to a missile attack.
However, "By July 19, the government had gotten its story straight." In the end, what was obvious to everyone (radar experts, eye-witnesses and even the New York Times) was explained away.
Throughout the book the authors use of federal investigator's own words, official reports, and the curious behavior of administration operatives draws the reader into the political maze of the Clinton administration's refusal to publicly acknowledge what it knew about the demise of Flight 800.
Equally important, the book brings home the message that qualified experts (decorated war pilots, honest law enforcement personnel and experienced mariners) are not to be trusted where politics and approval ratings reign supreme.
In the end, the politics of the day dictated how an airplane disaster of this magnitude was to be investigated. The truth about Flight 800 was secondary to expediency, and the surviving families derived little comfort from the far-fetched explanations of the federal government. The authors come to the entirely damning conclusion that had Clinton told the truth on July 17, 1996, September 11, 2001 would have been just another day.
First Strike is the tale of the people who perished, of the people who watched them perish and of the people who refused to acknowledge the truth.

It was, after all, an election year.
46 von 52 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9ab8ac3c) von 5 Sternen Very Good, But Flawed 19. März 2003
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is a very well written introduction to James Sanders investigation into TWA Flight 800. I especially recommend this book to people who have not been following the various alternative investigations being conducted by independent researchers and the alternative press.
Unfortunately, however, this book is not a comprehensive summary of all of the evidence for/against various variations of the hypothesis that a missile brought down Flight 800, or a comprehensive summary of all of the evidence for/against the NTSB's center tank theory. Such a book, while much longer, more detailed and infinitely more difficult to write, is what someone who has followed the investigation is really looking for. Commander William Donaldson's preliminary report, available at [...] is more like what we need at this point. An examination of that report, Sanders' earlier books, and "First Strike" reveal one of the problems researchers have created for themselves, undermining their ability to get Congress or other public officials to pay attention to them -- their hypothesis about what brought down Flight 800 keeps changing: Navy SAM, terrorist controlled ship-based SAM, terrorist controlled shoulder-fired SAM, etc.
In "First Strike," it is no a secret that Sanders and Cashill have concluded that both an accidental hit by a Navy missile and a high-explosive laden private jet brought down Flight 800. This is an entirely new hypothesis, and as other have pointed out, Sanders and Cashill have seriously weakened "First Strike" by presenting this hypothesis without spending the appropriate amount of time examining the evidence for/against it. The big objection is, of course, that no debris from a second plane was ever found. Now, maybe there is an explanation for that, but Sanders and Cashill don't present it. Similarly, they apparently haven't done any work to determine whether a small 6-seat jet plane went missing in July 1996. Or to determine the identity of the 6-seat plane spotted on radar prior to the crash. Maybe there is some aviator out there who can stand up and say, "Hey, that was me." Have they looked for him? It doesn't appear they have.
These sorts of questions seem basic to the hypothesis. Not having run them down seriously undermines the credibility of this work. This book may open some people's eyes (i.e., those who accepted the NTSB explanation but are willing to reconsider our government's response to terrorism in the 1990s in light of 9/11), but it's not going to change the minds of anyone in government who might actual do something about re-opening the investigation. And that's really too bad, because the country deserves an honest answer to the question of what happened to Flight 800.
31 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9a97d708) von 5 Sternen Another JFK type Cover-up? 1. Dezember 2005
Von Freddie Venezia - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
As a person that worked as a mechanic for TWA for almost 35 years, I can say that the US Government's explanation of the cause for TWA 800 to fall from the sky is highly suspect. I worked on the aircraft in question; 17119, 100's of times and many times on the systems that the government claims to have malfunctioned. It did not happen the way the government claims.

How it did happen is spread before you like a fictional mystery novel by the author in "First Strike". It is tragic that it is not fiction, because once again, our elected government has seen fit to lie to the electorate.

If the truth had been released about TWA 800, maybe 911 could have been averted. We will never know. I do know some things: More than a hundred people saw the missiles headed for TWA 800 and airplanes do not gain altitude after being blown up. The government's case relies on saying that all those people had simultaneous illusions of rising streaks of light and then asks you to suspend physics in order to make their case plausible.

The authors of "First Strike" tell you what really happened.
32 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9a97dc30) von 5 Sternen an eye-opener 7. März 2003
Von Scott T. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The weight of evidence is overwhelming that the official version of what happened to TWA 800 is beyond belief. The authors make a compelling case that evidence supportive of a missile (physical, radar, satellite, voice recorder, data recorder, eye-witness) was routinely "lost", classified or destroyed. I find it a shame that these facts are not more widely reported. The national media have certainly not done a very good job of dispassionately analyzing the crash. By and large they have reported the official version which, as the book makes clear, is completely contrary to aerodynamics, the history of 747's and eyewitness accounts. I highly recommend this book because it is a well-researched, footnoted, convincing case that the accepted version of what happened on July 17, 1996 is bunk. I have some faith that the major media will one day tackle the issues raised in this book, but it seems most people (journalists and readers) have forgotten or no longer care about the suspicious nature of the crash. Buy this book, the more people are aware of the documented facts about TWA 800, the more likely that mainstream journalists will revisit what exactly happened back in 1996.
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