cj#645> TWA – Intentional Fire scenario


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

Recall the list of possible scenarios from cj#643:
        Bomb                       5% (evidence should have surfaced by now)
        Terrorist Missile          0% (can't go high enough)
        Spontaneous Combustion     5% (could be, I suppose)
        Other mechanical failure   3% (none seriously proposed as yet)
        Accidental Friendly Fire  60% (consistent with all known facts)
        Intentional Friendly Fire  5% (this would be a whole new topic)

The percentages, though highly imprecise, are meant to be a best-guess as
to how probable each scenario seems to be, based on the information and
analysis available.  Such a rating system minimizes the emotionalism -- the
competitive prove vs. disprove rhetoric -- in an investigation, allowing
the various possibilities to be examined rationally.

The idea isn't to prove any particular scenario to be true, but rather to
maintain a summary of the pro & con arguments for each scenario.  As new
information comes to light, it is used to update the pro & con arguments
for each of the scenarios -- leading to updated ratings.

When one is trying to prove or disprove a certain position, then one tends
to ignore or skip over contra-evidence -- after all, why should one waste
time looking at arguments which are "known" to be misinformed?  Thus an
investigator tied to a pre-conclusion is self-blinded to much of the
evidence -- as when the FBI field agents (apparently) systematically
ignored missile testimony.  When one proceeds by using "scenario analysis",
then all evidence is of interest, and one develops a broader intuitive
understanding of the whole picture.

Thus as I "paint the Intentional-Fire Scenario", you understand that I am
not "proposing an Intentional-Fire Theory".  The idea is to systematically
explore all possibilities, and that can only be accomplished if the
possibilities are carefully identified and their implications adequately

There are two threads of evidence, admittedly sketchy, which initially led
me to grant the intentional-fire scenario some scant measure of
plausibility.  Those threads were (1) the timing of the TWA incident vis a
vis the pushing through of "anti-terrorist" legislation, and (2) the
existence of that same pattern in earlier events, notably the bombings at
the World Trade Center and in Oklahoma City.

Recall the measures in the TWA case:
        1: a return to pre-Watergate rules on wiretaps and secret police
        2: authority for the US government to prosecute anyone posting
           material on the Internet that might, allegedly, be used for
           criminal purposes; and
        3: authority for the FBI to begin computerised tracking of every
           US citizen who flies...

These are measures that one would normally expect to be highly
controversial, with widespread protests by civil-liberty and libertarian
lobbies, and with perhaps some hesitation on the part of politicians to
espouse such repressive measures and perhaps some embarassment on the part
of the President in signing them.

But in the hysteria and emotions of a "terrorist downing" of TWA 800, the
measures flew through like a breeze, the political downside having been
eliminated by seemingly unforseeable events.  No one will ever have to
apologize for being "against terrorism".

In this regard, we have very close parallel scenarios in what I called
thread number two.  In the case of the World Trade Center bombing, which
also created an hysterical emotional climate, the government was able
expand the scope of conspiracy prosecutions to Orwellian proportions.  If
simply being a member of a certain Muslim congregation makes one a
co-conspirator, then the same argument can be applied to members of trade
unions, student organizations, anti-logging groups, etc.  Again,
civil-liberty-oriented public debate was effectively silenced by the
emotional climate.

An intentional-bombing scenario suggested itself in the WTC case because of
the bizarre role of an FBI "informant".  This fellow was reporting
regularly on a bombing plot when he purportedly "failed to report" at the
critical period leading up to the bombing.  Thus we have both Motive
(conspiracy prosecutions) and Opportunity (pretend not to notice bomb
preparations) for the scenario that the FBI purposely allowed the bombing
to occur so that advances could be made in the judicial war-chest available
in the "war on terrorism".

With the Oklahoma bombing we again have reasons to entertain an
intentional-bombing scenario.  In this case the emotional climate was of
monumental scale, and was exploited to pass an "Anti Terrorism" Bill which
amounted to a repeal of major portions of the Bill of Rights.  We also had
credible evidence (several independent seismograms) of a much-larger second
explosion (which suggested military-grade explosives), and we saw the
physical evidence bulldozed into rubble before any independent
investigation could be carried out.

What I'm sketching here is a meta-scenario -- a cirumstantially suggested
Modus Operandi on the part of our government.  In this scenario, the
government is actively seeking, over a period of time, to drastically
increase its ability to suppress dissent, control public information, and
prevent activist-style organizing against government policy.

In this scenario, the rubric under which the government power-grab is being
carried out is "anti terrorism", and the hardball tactics employed include
government-manufactured deadly acts of phony-terrorism.  These acts are
then exploited to pass legislation and achieve precedent-setting
prosecutions whose primary demonstrable effect is to nullify the Bill of
Rights, and whose effectiveness against actual terrorism is highly

One begins to wonder, when musing on this scenario, whether International
Terrorism itself might be largely a fiction made necessary by the
exit-stage-right of our erstwhile cold-war "enemies", which exit threatened
(shudder) the continuation of our immense military expenditures and foreign

A brief case for an intentional friendly-fire-shootdown scenario re: TWA 800

(The case for _a_ friendly-fire scenario has been made in earlier posts.
What we have here is a sub-case: IF friendly fire was the case, THEN how
likely is it that the friendly fire was pre-meditated?  Read on...)

PERP:           U.S. Federal Government
MOTIVE:         greater power of repression
MODUS OPERANDI: use of manufactured terrorism to justify repressive legislation

OPPORTUNITY:    On that Tuesday morning last July, according to the reports
I've seen, there was only one mistake made by anyone, leading up to a
friendly-fire shootdown.  It wasn't the commercial pilot: he was given
special clearance to descend below normal altitude into the missile-test
airspace -- and presumably this must have happened on previous occasions
without incident.  It wasn't the military pilot: he was instructed to
shootdown targets in his reserved airspace, and that's what he was doing.

                Not even the protective rules & procedures were faulty
(although more of such would undoubtedly be an improvement): there were
notification procedures in place whereby the military would be informed of
any commercial planes following an unusual flight path.  The only "mistake"
made, if my memory of the accounts is correct, was that the air-traffic
controller involved "forgot" to notify the military that TWA 800 was in
fact flying low that day.

                Thus, if some high-level or even renegade conpiratorial
group in government wanted to create this incident, they would have needed
to recruit only a single primary operative -- that one air-traffic
controller.  No one else outside the high-level co-conspirator group need
have any knowledge: eveyone else simply did what they were supposed to do.

                People involved in the cover-up would not need to be told
about the original conspiracy: their support could be marshalled by the
rationales of "avoiding public panic" and "minimizing public speculation
until the investigation is completed", not to mention: "following orders".
Again, this is standard government/media behavior in the face of
potentially embarrasing disasters (exploding space shuttles, melting
nuclear power-plants, etc.)

                Thus no elaborate plot was necessary, involving lots of
agents with dark glasses and flaslights.  Only a single air-traffic
controller needed to be instructed to "don't bother" informing the naval
facility under some specified set of circumstances -- a flight to Paris?
any flight to Europe?  -- which fit into the planned terrorist cover story.
This adds up to what I'd call "Adequate Convenient Opportunity".

                Perhaps the perps assumed the missile would have been
outside visual range and didn't expect a helicopter to be in the vicinity.
In that case, the original "terrorist bomb" story might have held,
reprisals might have been carried out against Iran, etc.  In this regard,
we might suspect the conspiracy plans went somewhat awry.  But the primary
objective, the repressive legislation, came through on the money.

Remember this is only my dutiful attempt to create a case for a
hypothetical scenario, I am not putting forward a theory.  I wonder what
probability rating any of you might want to assign to this scenario?

In Memorium Sherlock Holmes,

Posted by Richard K. Moore - •••@••.••• - PO Box 26 - Wexford, Ireland
  Cyberlib:  ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib        (USA Citizen)