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Who's on First, What's on Second, I Don't Know is on Third.

The CIA, the FBI, and the NTSB

(The Naughty Nineties  - Abbott and Costello)

"There's no use trying, " Alice said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen.
"When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Lewis Carroll


Before the game began, the government's team knew it had a problem on its hands .....

July 23, 1993    Los Angeles Times
Intelligence Agency requests $55 million to buy back Stingers given to rebels in the 1980s.

July 24, 1993   The New York Times
U.S. increases fund to outbid terrorists for Afghan missiles.

November 3, 1996 The Electronic Telegraph.
A race between terrorists and the Western powers for control of a huge cache of missiles is underway in the arms bazaars of Afghanistan. The hunt, that has pitched the resources of intelligence services against terrorist groups and pariah states, is for an arsenal of shoulder-launched Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The weapons were sent into Afghanistan by the CIA during the Soviet occupation and were a key factor in tipping the balance of firepower against the Red Army. Now the West fears that, if they fall into the wrong hands, the Stingers could turn the tables in future conflicts or prove devastating if used by terror groups against civilian aviation. ..... The CIA has spent more than £70 million in a belated and often bungled operation to buy back the missiles. As a result, the weapons are fetching up to £200,000 each on the Afghan black market - 10 times their official "retail" price - and have proved lucrative investments for their current owners, a mixture of warlords, black marketeers and drug barons. .... There is evidence that Afghan military commanders have been only too eager to sell them to embassies in Kabul such as the North Koreans' and the Iranians'. The two pariah states are believed to have bought 40. .... "The Stinger is a status symbol weapon and would be a significant weapon for any terrorist group," said Damon Bristow of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies. "With little training it can bring down any aircraft. The CIA has botched its shopping trip in Afghanistan." When the CIA first sent covert shipments of missiles to Afghanistan through Pakistan in June 1986, it kept a check of their serial numbers and distribution. But at least 1,000 had been sent by April 1988 and the Americans now admit to having no idea what became of most of them. ..... "The Stingers do need to be maintained, and would need battery packs and trigger mechanisms checked," said Tony Cullen, editor of Jane's Land Based Air Defence. "But if they have been kept properly the weapons will still function. They were designed to be portable and withstand rough treatment. Their other attraction is that they are simple to use. You aim and fire. " "The Israelis found Stingers held by Hizbollah, American Special Forces found the wreckage of some in Iranian patrol boats destroyed in helicopter attacks in the Gulf war and the Tamils have used them in the Sri Lankan civil war." The FBI is still unsure whether a heat-seeking missile might have brought down TWA flight 800, the civilian airliner that crashed earlier this year in the sea near New York.

And when disaster stuck at the top of the first ......

July 17, 1996     TWA 800 downing.
Scott Holleran and his family who had missed the fatal TWA 800 flight arrived later at the TWA gate for their flight back to the U.S..... The flight attendant said: "Look, this is what we think happened. Everyone at TWA thinks it was a missile."

The government team knew the opposing pitchers had some very fast, and hard balls......

July 19, 1996     ABC News Reports
Government sources were quoted as saying the explosion was a "deliberate criminal act", possibly an act of sabotage or the result of a hit by a "small missile".  Again, quoting unnamed government sources, it was stated that infrared imagery from an orbiting satellite may have detected a missile fired at the aircraft.
In the absence of explanations, theories abounded. One focused on a fax sent Wednesday to an Arabic language newspaper in Beirut warning of an attack. State Department and CIA officials confirmed they had received copies of the fax Thursday. The message said "tomorrow morning we will strike the Americans in a way they do not expect and it will be very surprising to them," according to one official. A counterterrorism source familiar with the fax said that it was sent at 11 a.m. New York time Wednesday, more than nine hours before the bombing. But a CIA source said that the agency "does not attach too much significance" to the fax.

At the end of the first innings a very unusual thing happened ... the crowd was asked to stand for a "moment of silence" in empathy for the top of the goverment's batting order whose teammates prevented them from taking the field with their bats .....

March 16, 1997    The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)    Issue 660
An internal memo from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), dated November 15, complains that sensitive radar tapes were given to the White House before they were provided to crash investigators. According to the document, the radar data indicated that a missile was converging on the Boeing 747 seconds before the aircraft broke up off the coast of Long Island ......The document goes on to say the NTSB was not allowed to take notes when it was shown witness statements prepared by the FBI - which admits that 34 people deemed “credible” said they saw a missile heading for the plane. The FBI’s preferred theory in public is that vapours set off an explosion in a central fuel tank.

December 15, 1997     Aviation Week and Space Technology
NTSB efforts to elicit potentially vital information from witnesses to the flight and crash of TWA Flight 800 were stymied for months by FBI agents who blocked any attempts to interview the witnesses, according to a copy of a safety board report obtained by Aviation Week & Space Technology. The witnesses included .... 96 ... witnesses who claimed to have seen a streak of light rise from the surface prior to the 747-131's crash. ...... Two days after the July 17, 1996, crash, as the witness group was preparing to start interviewing witnesses, an FBI agent informed NTSB officials that the bureau "was not prepared to share any information outside the NTSB, so parties [to the safety board investigation] could not be involved," the witness group report states. The NTSB had named one of its investigators, Bruce Magladry, to head the witness group, ..... On July 21, 1996 .... Assistant U.S. Attorney Valerie Caproni informed Magladry and Norm Wiemeyer, head of the Flight 800 probe's operations group, "that no interviews were to be conducted by the NTSB." Safety board investigators could review FBI-supplied documents on the witnesses, "provided no notes were taken and no copies were made." The next day, FBI and NTSB officials reached an agreement that safety board officials could conduct interviews "under the direction and in the company of the FBI, and all information would be kept private with no notes taken." Concerned that this interfered with the NTSB's mandate to make public the information gathered in its investigations, Magladry withdrew from the witness group two days later. The NTSB's efforts to glean information from witnesses did not resume until mid-November 1996. ... The report said there were 458 witness interviews provided by the FBI. Of those, 183 reported seeing a streak of light and 102 provided information on the origin of the streak. The report stated that six witnesses said the streak originated in the sky and 96 said it rose from the surface. It is not clear whether the accounts of the 96 witnesses were included in the 244 analyzed by the CIA for the FBI. The analysts concluded that the witnesses did not see a missile strike Flight 800.

And then they had their pleas of "foul play" rejected by an umpire.......

May 30, 1997    The Press-Enterprise
The Federal Aviation Administration has rejected a plea by the National Transportation Safety Board to reverse its radar analysis that a missile may have hit TWA Flight 800 and caused the July 17 crash that killed all 230 aboard. ..... The NTSB had asked the FAA to renounce its early analysis, in part to contend with potential public or media inquiries about the findings.

But back to the game .... "intelligent sources" were soon confiding their scouting reports that the opposing teams pitchers may have been using illegal Iranian balls ....

August 12, 1996    TIME Magazine
A well-placed U.S. intelligence source has told TIME that calls and transmissions tracked by the CIA out of Tehran "have raised suspicions" that there is an Iranian connection to the crash. The CIA is also looking at intelligence on a meeting of terrorist leaders in Iran the month before the crash to see if any green light was given for the attack. "There is a hard look being taken at the Iran possibility," says a senior U.S. intelligence official. However, he adds. the intelligence gathered so far is "vague, nothing solid." Even so, he says, it is "tantalizing". the Iranian links to terrorism were further highlighted last week when Defense Secretary William Perry, in a National Public Radio interview, hinted that an ongoing Saudi investigation of the June 25 bombing of a U.S. military complex in Dhahran may "possibly" point to Iran's involvement. He suggested that the U.S. might have to consider "strong action".

September 26, 1998    The New York Times
Federal authorities charged Friday that a person described as a senior deputy to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile suspected in last month's bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, made significant efforts on behalf of the bin Laden group in 1993 to develop nuclear weapons. ..... The allegations, concerning Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, also assert that bin Laden had an official agreement with the Iranian government and with Sudan's ruling party to oppose the United States, and suggested that the United States had penetrated the bin Laden organization and learned detailed information in 1996. .... The government also asserted for the first time in court papers that the Iranian government had entered into a formal three-way "working agreement" with bin Laden and the National Islamic Front of the Sudan to "work together against the United States, Israel and the West." The front is the ruling party in Sudan. Members of bin Laden's organization, al Qaeda, sent emissaries to Iran and some of its members received explosives training in Lebanon from Hezbollah, the terrorist group backed by the Iranian government, prosecutors said in court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The government also said that during the time when the working agreement was being negotiated, Salim met with an Iranian religious official stationed in Khartoum and also traveled with al Qaeda members to Tehran to arrange for training by Iran in the use of explosives. The allegations against Iran come at a sensitive time, since Tehran is currently trying to improve its relations with the West and is also at odds with the Taliban, the dominant group in Afghanistan, which is protecting bin Laden. .... The authorities also acknowledged for the first time .... that the FBI had won the secret cooperation of an admitted terrorist in al Qaeda as early as 1996, and obtained extensive information about the group from the asset, who was not identified. .... The document does say that the information from the source was provided to the FBI in the late summer and fall of 1996, raising questions about how much the government knew about the bin Laden group in the months leading up to the bombings. ...

The coach considered protesting the game but then nodded off.   Confirmation of the connection continued to come from the opposing pitchers who kept signalling the government batters that all of the fast balls were indeed coming from the mound ......

July 19, 1996     Reuters
Attorney General Jane Reno said she was unaware of any threats before the crash but there were "some calls'' afterward claiming responsibility. ABC News reported that an Arabic newspaper received a warning of an attack on an American target Wednesday from the same group that claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that killed five Americans in Saudi Arabia in November. But the State Department said it had viewed the warning letter as a political tract and not as a specific threat of an extremist attack. "To us it seemed to be a general political tract. We don't see it as a specific threat,'' State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said of the letter sent to Al Hayat, an Arabic language newspaper published in London.

July 23, 1996    The London Times
The Tel Aviv paper Yediot Ahronot disclosed yesterday that Israel had been asked by the CIA to check the Athens-New York passenger list of TWA Flight 800. The involvement of Mossad, Israel's secret service, emerged after it was made known that the Israelis warned US Intelligence before the disaster that an American aircraft would be the target of "sabotage or hijacking" by Islamic extremists. "The American intelligence agency gave Mossad the passenger list of the TWA plane from Athens to New York and asked that it check the passengers' backgrounds to reveal if one of them had connections to a terror group," reported the paper, which has closelinks to the Israeli security services. .... Earlier this month, a Mossad officer monitoring Middle East terrorist groups passed an unspecific warning to his American counterpart in TelAviv. The officer said: "The threat of sabotage or a hijacking against an American plane was analysed and considered serious enough for us to pass on to the Americans. It was then up to the Americans to assess the dangers and decide whether to pass it on to their airlines."

July 19, 1996     New York Times.
A specific warning about the flight had been sent by an extremist Saudi organization called the Movement of Islamic Change, the organization that claimed responsibility for blowing up US military personnel in Saudi Arabia last November. "Late this morning we got a copy of a letter in Arabic that we then had translated, and got it to the FBI" said a State Department spokesman ... "It's a ... statement that seems aimed at the Saudi regime or the American presence in Saudi Arabia"......... Officials said they were reviewing a telephone call placed to a Tampa, Florida television station yesterday morning from a man who identified himself as a member of a jihad and claimed responsibility for the crash.

Slim Doubleson, looking for a believable story for Time Line Live, insisted that the pitcher from Florida was a member of the Marlins!  The spectators knew he was from the Middle East .....

July 21, 1996     New York Times.
Officials of Al Hayat, a prominent Arabic-language newspaper, said they had received faxes in London and Washington early on Wednesday, warning of a planned attack on an American target. The letter was signed by a group identifying itself as the Movement of Islamic Change, the Jihad wing.

Up in the broadcast booth Ran Blather, noticing all of the spectators peering to the East, declared that the United States was under attack from the West by El Nino! Nobody seemed to pay any attention since some thought was being given to doing something about Iran out there on first base, and US intelligence in the dugout had started supplying the supporting evidence .....

April 17, 1997   International News Electronic Telegraph    Issue 692
American intelligence officials tried to sabotage a Russian weapons deal with Iran yesterday by leaking details of two meetings monitored in Moscow in which arms shipments were agreed. These included the transfer to Teheran of 500 advanced shoulder-launched "Igla" anti-aircraft missiles. The US is indicating that the shipments are being organised by Russian brokers acting separately from Rosvooruzheniye, the state arms exporter, and offering discount prices. Other older surface-to-air systems were also discussed, as well as the transfer of T-72 tanks and Mi-17 transport helicopters. ... Washington fears that the missiles are destined for use by Hizbollah, the Teheran-backed terrorist group. With a range of 10,500 feet, they could be used in Lebanon against Israeli aircraft.  Any new arming of Hizbollah is alarming to Washington because of the growing suspicion that it provided the logistics for last summer's bombing in Dharhan, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 US airmen and injuring 500. A group opposed to the Iranian regime, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, gave reporters in Washington what they called conclusive evidence yesterday that the bombing was directed by Iranian intelligence. The attack, it was claimed, was masterminded by Brig Gen Ahmad Sharifi, a commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The bombers were allegedly trained at the Imam Sadeq base near the Iranian city of Qom, a Shi'ite religious centre where Ayatollah Khomeini taught before his overthrow of the Shah.

August 5 1996    Electronic Telegraph   Issue 442
The Clinton administration is drawing up detailed plans for military strikes against Iran to punish the Islamic regime for backing terrorist attacks against US targets.
.... William Perry, US Secretary of Defence, has already briefed the British and French governments "in general terms" about a plan of attack - expected to be a missile and bombing strike on carefully selected targets. But hawks in Washington, eager to seize the opportunity for a crippling blow to Iran's growing military power, are pushing for a Pearl Harbour-style attack to annihilate the entire Iranian navy and the nuclear weapons programme of the outcast regime. Newt Gingrich, the House Speaker, called it "intolerable" that America could only wait while up to 5,000 terrorists were being trained for attacks on Americans. "We have every right as a nation to defend ourselves by saying to the Iranian government either you close those camps down or we will," Mr Gingrich said. "We do know that international terrorism is almost entirely subsidised by Iran, and that means that Iran is engaged surreptitiously in acts of war against the United States." Mr Gingrich spoke as if offering Mr Clinton the support of the opposition, but his comments could also be read as a challenge. If evidence mounts of Iran's sponsorship of international terrorism, and especially in regard to the TWA Flight 800 crash, Mr Clinton could find himself forced to act by the weight of public opinion. Mr Perry said that the detonator and type of explosive used to bomb a US barracks in Saudi Arabia last month were from military stocks, which suggested a foreign government's involvement. It was well known that Iran was at the forefront of attacks on American interests, he said, and promised "strong action" if Teheran is found to be behind the bombing which killed 19 American servicemen. However, he played down the likelihood of an imminent military US operation against Iran..The severity of an attack on Iran could depend on the outcome of the investigation into TWA Flight 800 .... FBI agents say they are actively looking to see if there is a link between the Saudi bomb and the mid-air destruction of the TWA aircraft. If sabotage is confirmed, the crash would be the most deadly act of terrorism ever committed in the US. Any shred of evidence that indicated an Iranian role in the disaster would elicit a ferocious response from the American military machine. Mr Perry has already announced that Iran is the "leading candidate" for the recent wave of terrorist acts against US targets. He said he would elaborate once he received the Saudi government's report - to be completed later this week - outlining foreign sponsorship of the Iran-backed terrorist groups operating in the kingdom. Iran's official news agency accused the US of trumping up terrorism charges to justify an attack. Iran's permanent mission at the United Nations accused Washington of trying "to make political gain" from the fate of Flight 800. "Our power comes neither from training terrorists nor supporting terrorism, but from our unshakeable commitment to fight [US] domination," the statement said. There are no doves in Washington when it comes to Iran. Both Democrats and Republicans are agreed that devastating action is needed.

April 20, 1997   The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)     Issue 695
Hard-liners at the US Defense Department are pushing for a massive strike against Iran to punish the mullahs for their alleged role in the bombing of a US barracks in Saudi Arabia last year..... there is also strong pressure within the Pentagon for a broader attack to cripple the growing military power of the Islamic regime. Sources say that this would include a Pearl Harbor-style strike to annihilate the Iranian navy before it can become a threat to US naval operations in the Gulf, and heavy bombing raids to set back Iran's nuclear weapons programme. The Clinton administration has been weighing its options for several months, waiting to see whether there is conclusive evidence of Iranian involvement in the Khobar Towers bombing. But US intelligence has now linked a top official in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier Ahmad Sherifi, to a bombing suspect arrested in Canada last month. "Iran was the organizing force behind the attack," said a senior US official. ....Analysts argue that US policy provoked fury in Teheran and prompted a strategic decision by the Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani to launch a campaign of terrorism against the Great Satan. Bill Clinton now has to decide how far to ratchet up the cycle of escalation in the most dangerous and volatile region in the world. ......"The worst possible response would be a silly missile attack in the middle of the night that stirs up a hornet's nest without doing any real damage," says Ken Timmerman, editor of the Iran Brief in Washington. "If you are going to hit them, you've got to do it so hard they spend the next 10 years recovering." This view is widely shared at the Pentagon, which has watched with alarm as the Iranians acquired three Russian Kilo-class submarines with quiet diesel engines that are hard to detect. Iran has also been buying advanced C-802 cruise missiles from China which could pose a serious danger to US warships in the Gulf. Hard-liners see retaliation for the Khobar Towers bombing as an opportunity to deal with the Iranian military before it has the means to choke the Straits of Hormuz, the source of 12 million barrels of oil a day, a third of the industrial world's oil supply....... Military analysts are afraid that the Clinton policy of "dual containment" of both Iran and Iraq is becoming a dangerous fiction. Herb Meyer, former vice-chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, warns that Iran and Iraq may join forces to drive the US out of the Gulf and seize the Saudi oil fields, with consequences that are almost unthinkable. It is a nightmare waiting to happen ........

But no runs were scored and so the game went into the next innings with a Saudi dissident ready for ball one .....

March 29, 1997    The Telegraph    (U.K. Electronic Edition)     Issue 673
A Saudi dissident with links to Iran took part in the Dhahran bombing that killed 19 US airmen and injured 500 others last summer, according to Canadian intelligence authorities. Hani al-Sayegh, 28, was arrested while working at a grocery in Ottawa. ...... They claim he is a member of a terrorist organization called Saudi Hizbollah and that he spoke about the bombing in phone calls to Iran tapped by the intelligence services. The details match the Saudi version of the blast. If proved conclusive, they would force President Clinton to act against Teheran, either through a military strike or sanctions.....Sayegh arrived in Canada last August, carrying an international driving permit issued by Syria in 1994. On it, he gave his permanent address as Damascus. The Canadians said that Hizbollah was building a haven for its members in North America.

June 19, 1997     New York Times
A Saudi dissident who says he will cooperate in the investigation of the bombing that killed 19 Americans in Dhahran last year will plead guilty ... in an earlier plot to kill Americans. The first plot was never carried out. ...This brought him one step closer to a deal under which he would provide evidence about the June 1996 truck bombing in Dhahran in return for not being extradited to Saudi Arabia. .... The federal grand jury indictment ... says Sayegh was paid by an unnamed terrorist organization as part of a plot to "kill nationals of the United States residing and working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in 1994 and 1995. ..... Sayegh, 28, says he is a member of Saudi Hezbollah, the Party of God, a branch of a terrorist organization based in Lebanon and backed by Iran. He was deported on Tuesday from Canada, where he had arrived last August, about six weeks after the Dhahran bombing.

June 18, 1997    The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)    Issue 754
A Saudi dissident was being deported to the United States by Canada last night for FBI questioning about his role as a "look-out" in the bombing that killed 19 Americans in Dhahran last year. CIA sources say that, two years before the blast, Hani al-Sayegh, 28, secretly met Brig Ahmad Sherifi, the top official in Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Sherifi's duties include organising Hizbollah cells in Arab countries around the Gulf. If Sayegh provides conclusive evidence of Iranian involvement in the attack, President Clinton will come under heavy pressure to retaliate against Teheran with a military strike. Canadian intelligence sources said he spoke about the bombing in tapped phone calls to Teheran.

The CIA tried some curved balls ..... but the batter refused to swing ....

July 31, 1997    New York Times
In a setback to FBI efforts to solve a 1996 bombing that killed 19 American servicemen in Saudi Arabia, a Saudi man pleaded not guilty here Wednesday in a separate plot to scout out American targets in the kingdom for terrorist attacks. The not guilty plea unhinged a deal in which the Saudi man, Hani Abdel Rahim Hussein al-Sayegh, who was deported here in June from Canada. Under the arrangement, law-enforcement officials say, he had agreed to provide information about the deadly bombing at the Khobar Towers, a military housing complex in Dhahran used by American Air Force personnel. ..... Law-enforcement officials said Wednesday that while the not-guilty plea did not represent a fatal blow to their efforts, it did provide yet another disappointment in the Khobar Towers case, which has seen little progress. Sayegh was the first witness whom federal agents considered able to shed light on one of the core questions in the bombing -- whether Iran played a role in underwriting the attack. Saudi intelligence officials have said that Sayegh met with Iranian intelligence officials and later acted as a lookout in the attack, on June 25, 1996, in which a truck bomb ripped the face off an apartment building.

And so it was decided to give him a walk.....

September 9, 1997           New York Times
The Justice Department said Monday that it would drop criminal charges against a Saudi dissident who has been a central figure in the government's efforts to investigate the truck bombing that killed 19 American airmen in Saudi Arabia last year. The department, in effect, acknowledged the collapse of its effort to obtain the cooperation of ... Hani Abdel Rahim al-Sayegh .... Government officials said they might try to deport Sayegh, who remains in custody. Officials said they would oppose any application for asylum. .... when he was deported to the United States in June, officials expressed hope that he could answer some of the most puzzling questions in the Khobar Towers case, among them whether Iran had played a role in the attack. .... Saudi intelligence officials had identified Sayegh as a driver of a scout car that signaled the driver of an explosives-laden truck to the site of the blast. But despite three trips to Saudi Arabia by the FBI director, Louis Freeh, U.S. efforts have been stymied by Saudi resistance and refusal to allow access to suspects in custody there.

Saudi resistance arose because the FBI got 'baseball' confused with 'bull fighting' .....

June 10, 1998          ABC Nightline
Khobar Towers was a turning point for the United States. Nineteen american servicemen came home in coffins. Within the military there were two frightening realizations - that it could have been much worse - and almost certainly would happen again. In Saudi Arabia, once considered safe for Americans, the landscape changed overnight .... A sometimes difficult relationship with the Saudis becomes even tougher on certain types of intelligence - they have yet to come clean with the U.S. on who they believe conducted the Khobar Towers bombing and who trained them. It came as a bit of a shock to the Saudis to find out how many Saudi young men had been trained overseas by the so-called Afghani in extremist or potential terrorist roles. Further tensions were created by the way the FBI handled itself in Saudi Arabia. In the view of the Saudis the FBI tried to "muscle" them. The Saudis simply stopped talking. The image of the FBI is "a forensic bull in an arab china shop - and a bull that can't speak the language and doesn't understand the culture"

Back in the broadcast booth Ran Blather, noticing all of the spectators still peering to the East, declared again that the United States was under attack from the West by El Nino!!! He suggested that the government should plan to do something about it!! Nobody seemed to pay any attention since in the next "at bat" the CIA caught a line drive from Pakistan. The batter was upset over his father's death and had earlier rushed the mound and killed two of the government's players.....

June 19, 1997    The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)    Issue 755
CIA agents have captured the Pathan tribesman that they have been hunting for four years after he allegedly came to America from Pakistan to shoot two of their leading intelligence operatives. The murders were thought to be his revenge for the death of his father during the spy agency's 1980s covert operation to undermine the Soviets in Afghanistan. Mir Aimal Kansi, 33, was tracked down after America put a $2 million (£1.2 million) reward on his head. He was held by what officials described as "Afghan individuals". A CIA team working out of Peshawar, Pakistan, received information from the Afghans and the handover was supervised by .... an FBI official .... Kansi's father, Abdullah, was a prominent leader in Quetta, Pakistan, which was used by the CIA as a way-station for the shipment of arms to Afghan guerrillas. The father died after working undercover for America and Pakistan. Kansi .... fled to Pakistan. The FBI has wondered if he was connected to Ramsi Yousef, the mastermind of the World Trade Centre bombing in New York, who escaped by the same route to Islamabad before disappearing a month later.

November 11, 1997      The New York Times
A Pakistani immigrant was convicted of murder Monday night for killing two CIA employees stuck in morning rush-hour traffic outside the intelligence agency's Virginia headquarters nearly five years ago.... Mir Amal Kansi, 33, faces a possible death sentence. .... Kansi was captured in June after a four-and-a-half-year search that reached from Washington's suburbs to the mountains of Afghanistan and to the deserts of Pakistan. He was the lone suspect in the killings from the moment he fled the United States after the shootings, which injured three other people on Jan. 25, 1993, outside the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters in Langley, Va. ... His motive, as best it could be determined, was anger at American foreign policy in the Middle East. He was especially furious over the Persian Gulf war and the treatment of Palestinians by Israel, said Special Agent Bradley Garrett of the FBI, who helped arrest Kansi at a cheap hotel in Pakistan and testified against him last week. Kansi, whose surname is also spelled Kasi, gave a detailed confession to the FBI team as they flew to the United States from Pakistan, Garrett testified. Kansi said he believed that the United States and the CIA had too much power over Islamic nations like Pakistan. His hometown was a base for a $3-billion CIA paramilitary operation that was designed to arm the Afghan guerrillas who were fighting off Soviet occupiers during the 1980s. Garrett said Kansi told him he chose the CIA headquarters as a target to "convey a message to the United States." ..... He was tried under Virginia law, not federal terrorist statutes. Legally speaking, because Kansi appeared to have acted alone, and not as part of a terrorist group, it was a simple case of murder.

The "out" so angered some of the batter's supporters that they attacked and killed four spectators thought to be supporting the other team.

November 12, 1997   Associated Press
Four American businessmen and a Pakistani are dead today after gunmen ran their car off a road in Karachi and riddled it with bullets. Police say they've launched a manhunt for the attackers. The Americans were auditors for the Houston-based oil company, Union Texas Petroleum. The company says it is evacuating all of its 30 personnel in the country immediately. The shooting comes two days after a Virginia jury convicted a Pakistani man of killing two CIA employees. The State Department has warned Americans in Pakistan and elsewhere to be wary of possible retaliatory attacks.

Which brought Ramsi Yousef to the plate where he too was struck out.  After the game, in a conversation with one of the government's players, he blamed his poor performance on his distaste for another team in the government's division....

October 23, 1997    New York Times
As smoke billowed from the towers of the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993, after a huge blast had torn through the center's garage, a man watched intently from the Jersey City waterfront. The man, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef ..... said  "it was in retaliation for U.S. aid to Israel," Parr testified at one point. "I asked, why not select Israeli targets?   He said Israeli targets were too difficult to attack. He said if you cannot attack your enemy, you should attack the friend of your enemy." ... "He related to us that during World war II the Americans had dropped the atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 250,000 civilians, and he said that the Americans would realize if they suffered those types of casualties that they were at war,"  Yousef said he had received financing for the bombing from family members and friends, though he would not elaborate.

But he didn't have to ..... He lived in his teammate's, Osama bin Laden's, house and though bin Laden doesn't own a baseball team he has nearly enough money to do so.

Bin Laden did well at bat .....

July 17, 1997      New York Times
A Federal grand jury in Manhattan is investigating whether a renegade Saudi millionaire .... has been funneling money to terrorist groups in the United States.......Mr. bin Laden ... is believed to be living in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. An official ... said that the money had been delivered to groups in Detroit, Jersey City and Brooklyn ....He was ... linked to Ramzi Ahmed Yousef the three years before the attack on the Trade Center, Mr. Yousef lived in Pakistan in a house paid for by Mr. bin Laden, the State Department report said. .......Federal investigators have information that shows Islamic fundamentalist groups, consisting mostly of legal noncitizen immigrants from the Middle East, have received money from Mr. bin Laden. "the level of terrorist activity within the United States is really very low, ..... groups typically do not want to trigger the type of response that an attack in America would bring ..... Osama ... may not have the same constraint."

July 15, 1997       CNN Web posted at: 6:05 p.m. EDT (2205 GMT)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating connections between a maverick Saudi Arabian multimillionaire and his followers in the United States, who may be planning terrorist attacks on U.S. targets. Federal agents have identified followers of Osama Bin Ladin in Brooklyn, New York; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Detroit, Michigan, to determine whether they are preparing to carry out attacks, CNN has learned. Bin Ladin ..... has been linked to the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia ....Now living among followers in Afghanistan, Bin Ladin ... has gone on record as being a bitter enemy of the United States. In an interview with CNN last month for the TV newsmagazine "Impact," Bin Ladin said, "We declared a Jihad -- a holy war -- against the United States government because it is unjust, criminal and tyrannical."....Federal sources say a grand jury is investigating Bin Ladin..... According to federal sources, agents investigating Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York began looking into the activities of Bin Ladin's followers in this country... ..In particular, agents have been tracing money transfers from Afghanistan and Pakistan ....  Bin Ladin's power base ..... through London to his followers in the United States....Bin Ladin communicates with his adherents though audiotapes, but he also spreads his fundamentalist beliefs through Web sites on the Internet. The FBI wants to know if Bin-Ladin is financing any religious or political activities in the United States. So far, sources say, Bin Ladin has not been linked to any illegal activities in this country, but the investigation continues.

He takes his baseball seriously! ...With Kansi, and Yousef back in the dugout was Osama bin Laden next on the strikeout list?....

June 25, 1997 MSANEWS Mohammad Jalal-Abadi - On behalf of Bangladeshi Muslim Literary Circle in Great Britain, London.
The stage is now set for the Mossad and its lackeys in the CIA to use Pakistani military intelligence and their "expertise" and the intermediaries to abduct Sheikh Osama bin Laden whom the Zionist entity and American State Department have declared 'world's number one terrorist'! .....Pakistanis who are accusing Mr Sharif of compromising national sovereignty and abandoning Islamic honour are not "Islamic terrorists" as claimed by the Zionist terrorists and their puppets in the White House.

December 10, 1997    The New York Times
The Clinton Administration is putting pressure on Pakistan - "very strongly" in the words of one American diplomat - to use its influence on the Taliban .... to get them to moderate their behavior ..... The United States' major concerns in Afghanistan are human rights, drugs and terrorism .... Among the suspected terrorists living in Kandahar, where the Taliban have their headquarters, is Osama bin Ladin .... In a recent interview, the Taliban Governor .... acknowledged that Mr. Ladin was there but answered with a terse "No" when asked if he would be handed over to the United States or any other government.

The government team tried hard and even had a little help from the in-field but bin Laden kept getting on base....

August 2, 1997    Electronic Telegraph   Issue 799
A leading associate of a sworn enemy of the West is now in custody in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he is providing information about his former boss's Islamic fundamentalist activities. Details have been passed to MI6 and to the CIA at Langley, Virginia. United States intelligence sources yesterday named the informant as Abu Fadel, the terrorist alias for Sidi Tayyib. He handled the distribution of Osama bin Laden's vast wealth as the "godfather" of anti-American terror groups. ... There is also a report that a second aide to bin Laden, said to go by the name of Jallud, is helping the Saudis after being arrested. Exiled from Saudi Arabia, bin Laden, 44, who has an inherited fortune estimated at £154 million, is zealously committed to striking at American interests. He is a towering figure in Islamic circles, where he gained heroic status in the Eighties, fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan..... Cairo believes that in association with the blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, he was behind some of the murders of Western tourists in Egypt. America believes that bin Laden was the patron of Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the 28 year-old Pakistani on trial in Manhattan for allegedly masterminding the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing..... A State Department report labels him as "one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world today". It is thought to be no coincidence that two alleged suicide bombers, Abu Mezer, 23, and Lafi Khalil, 22, carrying Jordanian passports, were captured two days ago making pipe bombs in a flat in Brooklyn, New York. They were apparently plotting to blow up a subway train. American sources say the information being given in Riyadh by Tayyib relates to the distribution of money to Arab communities in Brooklyn, Jersey City in New Jersey, and Detroit. Tayyib has apparently given details of bin Laden's bank accounts in Pakistan and Afghanistan from which money has been sent to London and Detroit for passing on to individuals. His information is thought to have been the reason a federal grand jury has been secretly convened in New York to examine the financing of terrorism in America. The CIA believes that bin Laden had advance knowledge of two Saudi bombings that killed 24 US servicemen. He is thought to have provided the money, with Iran supplying the muscle through Hizbollah.

But later the same in-field, claiming that a fly ball from another big hitter had become lost in the lights, permitted what should have been an easy "out" to become a "double"....

October, 1997     Los Angeles Times
Saudi Arabia thwarted American efforts .... to seize a man authorities believe is one of the world's most wanted terrorists, U.S. officials said.... The man they had hoped to arrest had been hunted for a decade for his reputed roles in the 1983 car-bombing that killed 241 U.S. servicemen in Lebanon and for a 1985 Trans World Airlines hijacking in which one American died. FBI officials were secretly sent overseas to prepare to take custody of the suspect, a leader of the militant Muslim group Hezbollah, on a stopover in Saudi Arabia during an April 7 Middle East Airlines flight headed from Khartoum, Sudan, to Beirut. But before they could carry out this operation, Saudi Arabia decided not to cooperate and refused to allow the plane to land. The Clinton administration ...delivered a formal diplomatic protest to Saudi Arabia for its unwillingness to help the FBI. The incident underscored the limits of cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which admitted American troops onto its soil in 1990 to help defend the kingdom following the Iraqi invasion of neighboring Kuwait. The suspect sought by the FBI, who was secretly indicted in the United States in 1985, is said to have been the Hezbollah security chief in Lebanon who was in charge of American hostages taken in the hijacking of TWA flight 847 from Athens to Rome. One American, Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, was killed during that hijacking. Although authorities refuse to give the suspect's name, he is believed to be Imad Mughniyah, whom a top FBI official described several years ago as "the single most dangerous terrorist at large today." Mughniyah is said to have been one of the masterminds not only of the TWA hijacking but also of the 1983 suicide bombing that killed 241 American military personnel in Beirut. And he was a leader in the abduction of a series of American hostages in Lebanon in the early 1980s.

Meanwhile up in the broadcast booth Ran Blather, noticing that all of the spectators were continuing to peer to the East, declared again that the United States was under attack from the West by El Nino!!!!  Still nobody seemed to pay any attention apparently preferring to watch Sheikh Rahman's visits to the plate which were accompanied with warnings to the government pitchers about what would happen if he were struck out ......

September 22, 1996      The New York Post
More than 150 credible witnesses - including several scientists and business executives - have told the FBI and military experts they saw a missile destroy TWA 800. "Some of these people are extremely, extremely credible," a top federal official said. "When we asked what they saw and where they saw it, the witnesses out east pointed to the west, and the people to the west pointed to the east, " ...FBI technicians mapped the various paths - points in the sky where the witnesses said they saw the rising "flare-like" object - and determined that the triangulated convergence point was virtually where the jumbo jet initially exploded. Struck by the number and confidence of the witnesses, the FBI sat down many of the witnesses with U.S. military experts, who debriefed them and independently confirmed for the FBI that their descriptions matched surface-to-air missile attacks. "The military experts told us that what the witnesses were describing was consistent with a missile," a federal official acknowledged. "They told us, 'You know what they are describing is a missile' "... Investigators are reviewing an anonymous threat received after the October 1, 1995 conviction of radical sheik Omar Abdel Rahman .... the threat was that a New York airport or jetliner would be attacked in retaliation ........

Rahman had a plan ... swing hard and hope to hit the stuff that the CIA pitchers were sending his way back to the mound at great velocity ....

August 25, 1996      Times of London
U.S. officials are investigating reports that Islamic terrorists have smuggled Stinger ground-to-air missiles into the United States from Pakistan. Senior Iranian sources close to the fundamentalist regime in Tehran claimed this weekend that TWA flight 800 was shot down last month by one of three shoulder-fired Stingers of the type used by Islamic guerrillas during the Afghanistan war. The sources said the missiles arrived in America seven months ago after being shipped from Karachi via Rotterdam and on to the Canadian port of Halifax. They claimed an Egyptian fundamentalist group backed by Iran was responsible for smuggling the weapons across the Canadian border into the United States. The group, the Gama'a al-Islamiya, comprises followers of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric jailed in the United States over the 1993 New York World Trade Center bombing.  A senior White House official responsible for counter-terrorism told The Sunday Times this weekend that he had seen a report that a Stinger missile had been smuggled into the United States from Pakistan. The official, who is involved in collating intelligence relating to the TWA inquiry for the White House, said investigators were aware of reports that Stingers may have been smuggled into the country.... "If a Stinger was the cause of this, our first theory would be that it came from Afghanistan." The official was commenting on reports from Tehran that claimed several groups funded by the religious authorities in Iran are active in the United States. The reports claim one previously unknown underground group called Falakh may have as many as 50 highly trained terrorists in the country.

Since the downing of an American civilian aircraft should more properly be dealt with as an "act of war" than as a "criminal act", the FBI handed the government's ball to the CIA bullpen and suggested it stop further home runs .....

September 18, 1997     The Associated Press
The FBI, which is responsible for determining whether the disaster was the result of a criminal act, and the CIA are still doing "a sophisticated and detailed'' analysis of 200 witness accounts, Kallstrom said. He said this involves new interviews with some of them and "correlation of the witness locations and what they described seeing and hearing with known information, such as the radar trackings the aircraft and the information from the cockpit recorders.'' The analysis would take an additional 30 to 45 days, he said.

The CIA bull pen struggled with shrapnel-like hits all over the field trying to figure out something "intelligent" to explain the eyewitness accounts by the bottom of the ninth ...

September 22, 1997    Aviation Week & Space Technology
CIA analysts assisting the FBI have spent more than seven months culling eyewitness acounts ... of TWA 800.......

And they figured out a brilliant strategy to win the game ..... they would make an animated video of what should be seen on the field and play it on the ballpark screen!

September 25, 1997     The Press-Enterprise
Central Intelligence Agency analysts have concluded that a missile did not trigger the mid-air explosion of TWA Flight 800 in July 1996, a CIA representative said Wednesday. "There is no way a missile brought down the plane," CIA spokeswoman Carolyn Osborn said. She said CIA analysts had spent 14 months investigating missile theories after being asked to do so by the FBI. Officials of that agency were concerned early on that foreign terrorists might have caused the crash of the Paris bound-jetliner. The CIA's involvement in the investigation was disclosed during a congressional hearing Sept. 5 by the FBI's lead investigator, assistant director James Kalstrom, who said the intelligence agency's analysis should be completed by mid-October. "Based on analysis using 244 eyewitness reports, radar data, infrared data and cockpit recorder information, CIA analysts have determined that the eyewitness sightings thought to be that of a missile actually took place after the first of several explosions on the aircraft," Osborn said. "Our technical analysis concludes that what these eyewitnesses saw was in fact the burning (Boeing) 747 in various stages of crippled flight, not a missile."  The CIA's Osborn said the agency joined the investigation shortly after the crash. "Missile analysts of the CIA have been working closely with the FBI during or over the past 14 months to examine the possibility that a missile was used to bring down TWA Flight 800," she said. "The Central Intelligence Agency became involved because of the possibility that it was an act of foreign terrorism. The particular concern to the FBI were reports from several eyewitnesses who recalled seeing an object, usually described as being a flare, ascend toward the plane and that these witnesses believe what they saw was a missile destroy the aircraft." After reviewing factors such as speed of sound and light, trajectory, and acoustical data collected by the cockpit voice recorder, CIA analysts said they believed witnesses saw later, not earlier, events in the plane's breakup.

"Earlier" became "later".   An insightful observation from an organization possessing "nothing" and having no direction in which to go!  Yet based on "nothing" .....

July 19, 1996     CNN Web posted at: 10:50 a.m. EDT
The CIA's Counter-terrorism Center also has begun a worldwide search for any clues that terrorism may have been involved in crash. But so far, a CIA official said, "We have nothing that points us in one direction or another." There was some speculation that a surface-to-air missile, perhaps fired from a boat off the coast of Long Island, could have brought the plane down. A top Pentagon intelligence official told CNN such a possibility has been ruled out.

.... a missile had been "ruled out" within thirty six hours of the downing.

After the game was over the spectators were completely at a loss as to who had won. The third innings had apparently taken place before the second innings or had it occurred after the seventh innings which came before the fourth innings?   They had seen a lot of fast projectiles and good strikes.  But the players 'without the bats' told the press that what the spectators thought they saw was wrong. They had a better animated video to prove this .....  

March 12, 1997    The Associated Press
An Air National Guardsman who witnessed the explosion of TWA Flight 800 repeatedly told authorities he thought a missile had struck the plane .... After searching for survivors the night of the crash, Capt. Chris Baur, a helicopter pilot, returned to his base and "told officials immediately he thought he saw a missile" ... A NTSB investigator who interviewed Baur said that what the pilot saw could be explained by mechanical malfunction that might have created "a tongue of flame coming from the aircraft".

One confused and irate spectator was removed from the stadium for threatening scatological action against the President's desk ....

October 20, 1997    The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA.
William Gallagher, a commercial fisherman, had just finished trolling for squid when he saw a reddish light in the sky. "I'll lay my ass on the table and tell the president or the FBI, and someone can hypnotize me: There was no way that red light was descending," Gallagher said. "It was ascending. It made contact with what turned out to be that airplane and made a white bright light and then split in two." He thinks something is wrong with the investigation. "If I were in a courtroom and the prosecutor says I've got an eyewitness, then I become a trump card," he said. "We're not just one witness but 135 or more strong. I saw something hit the right side of the plane, my opinion was it blew the wing off on impact. I assumed something went through the airplane, like behind first class and into the wing. My honest opinion, my gut feeling, is that we have the most brilliant people in the world and the best technology. If they've been on scene for a year and they've not come up with something, as a critical thinker I have to ask, could they be covering up something?"

Most of the spectators were unable to understand that when a ball was curving up it was actually curving down .....

October 20, 1997     The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA,
A meteorologist. A commercial fisherman. A commuter airline pilot. Three eyewitnesses to the fiery midair breakup of TWA 800 share one clear recollection -- an ascending object struck the jumbo jet. Yet when federal investigators reinterviewed 244 of the more than 400 eyewitnesses to the crash, no agency -- not the FBI or the CIA, not the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board -- conducted a follow-up interview with any of the three, whose accounts have not been widely published. Their initial recollections, given within hours of the disaster July17, 1996, remain part of the classified record of the second most deadly aviation crash in U.S. history. "I find it all very intriguing," said Paul Beaver, an editor and missile specialist with Jane's, a British publishing and research group. Military organizations worldwide use the prestigious 100-year-old company's information for training and to keep track of each other. "From Jane's perspective, we would like to say this leaves the whole question of what happened to TWA 800 in the balance," Beaver said in an interview. The accounts are "an indication that it may be something more than a catastrophic (mechanical) event..... FBI and CIA officials say they have reinterviewed and analyzed reports of 244 witnesses and determined that what the people saw happened after the initiating event and was "the burning (Boeing) 747 in various stages of crippled flight, not a missile." Some investigation analysts say witnesses mistook pressurized sprays of flaming fuel going downward for something that looked like a missile or emergency flare headed upward. All of the witnesses interviewed by The Press-Enterprise said they were never reinterviewed by the FBI or CIA and what they saw started before the midair explosion, not after. Neither the FBI nor the CIA would discuss their guidelines for deciding whom to reinterview or how they categorized witnesses' reliability.

And so the bull pen refused to explain which way was "up" or which way was "down", or why "before" was "after" and "after" was "before".   But when Slim rushed over they promised to discuss it on Time Line Live after he said that this winning strategy was very "intelligent".

Yet the crowd streamed out of the stadium knowing that the government had lost the game when...

March 7, 1994   Washington Post
CIA falters in program to buy back .... missiles from Afghan rebels.

While up in the broadcast booth Ran Blather, noticing all of the spectators were leaving still peering to the East, repeated what he had heard on the news ..........

November 13, 1997   CBS Evening News
... "in the great turtle-spawning grounds of Nicaragua, warmer than normal El Nino sea currents ... have cut into the birth rate and survival rate of this year's new-born population of sea turtles"

And CBS News hired a man who had no further interest in looking to the East ....

June 15, 1998    The Associated Press
CBS News has hired the chief investigtor into the TWA Flight 800 explosion
to be a law enforcement consultant, the network said Monday. James Kallstrom, the former FBI assistant director in charge of the New York City office, retired from the FBI after 28 years last December. He headed the probe into the Flight 800 disaster, which killed 230 people in July 1996. "He will add significant insight to CBS News' coverage of stories and issues involving law enforcement and will be a major asset in our dedication to enterprise reporting in that area," said Al Ortiz, CBS vice president and Washington bureau chief. Kallstrom is currently senior executive vice president of MBNA America Bank.


Note to the reader:  Extreme sensitivity by the major news media to any view providing evidence that a missile attack brought down TWA 800 continues to this day as evidenced by this lame excuse .....

November 7, 1998   The New York Times
Citing the potential for confusion among viewers between "fact-based entertainment and hard news," executives of the ABC television network said Friday that the network had dropped plans to broadcast a prime-time special, produced by the film maker Oliver Stone, about the theory that long-range missiles caused the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800 off Long Island. The decision came after several ABC journalists had expressed dismay to their superiors about the proposed program, called "Oliver Stone's Declassified," fearing that viewers would perceive it as an ABC News report, ABC News has reported that the missile theories are groundless. "Clearly, Oliver Stone is a gifted writer-director with a strong record of producing compelling dramatic movies," a statement issued by ABC said. "On reflection, we believe this genre may not be appropriate for a television network with a strong news record and identity." .... Assorted theories about bombs and missiles have been widely discredited since the crash of T.W.A. Flight 800, on July 17, 1996, in which 230 people died. Most aviation experts believe a spark of unknown origin in the center fuel tank caused the plane to explode over Long Island Sound. The National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency have all said there is no evidence to support the theory that the crash was caused by a missile or missiles. But several former military officers, citing witnesses' accounts of streaks of light in the sky before the plane exploded, insist that the missile hypothesis has never been adequately examined. Some people have accused the F.B.I. of suppressing evidence.