Time: Fri Dec 12 17:22:26 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Brown And Coverups...
Bcc: sls

>                         RON BROWN REDUX
>              Was A Bullet Hole Found In His Head?
>By Edward Zehr
>Here we go again folks. After spending virtually the entire  year
>muckraking,  I  was  about  to  do a piece on global warming when
>Chris Ruddy weighed in with an  expose  of  yet  another  bungled
>Ruddy's story is about the April 3, 1996, crash of an  Air  Force
>jet   carrying  Commerce  Secretary  Ron  Brown  and  34  others,
>including 14 business executives on a trade mission  to  Croatia,
>as  it  approached  Dubrovnik  airport. Brown and the others were
>killed in the crash. The Air Force  issued  a  massive  22-volume
>report  in  June  of the same year that "confirmed" their initial
>surmise that the crash  resulted  from  pilot  error  and  faulty
>navigation  equipment. Ruddy has never been one to bury his lead,
>so I will just quote the opening sentence  in  his  article  that
>appeared last Wednesday in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
>  "A circular hole in the skull of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown
>  could  have  been  a  gunshot wound and certainly should have
>  prompted an autopsy, according to  an  Air  Force  lieutenant
>  colonel  and  forensic  pathologist  who investigated the jet
>  crash in which Brown died."
>That,  as  Bill  Buckley  would  say,  is  the  gravamen  of  the
>complaint.  Because  the  responsible authorities failed in their
>duty to conduct a thorough investigation and resolve the issue at
>the  proper time, questions of a highly scandalous nature are now
>being raised, and it is altogether proper that they should be.
>Needless to say, the bloviated gasbags who  represent  themselves
>as  a  "free  press"  in  this  country  will  attempt  to  blame
>everything on the messenger who brings the bad  news.  In  truth,
>the blame rests heavily on their own shoulders.  For decades they
>have been able to suppress such information and get away with it,
>but  now  their  power  to  manipulate the minds of the public is
>slipping away from them, due to recent  advances  in  information
>technology,  and  they  don't like it one little bit. On Thursday
>evening ABC "News" carried a TV special on the  scandals  of  the
>Kennedy  administration.  Most  of  the  scandals had been common
>knowledge for oh, the past twenty years or so, to anyone who  had
>the  initiative  to  question  the conventional wisdom. This at a
>time when ABC was still feeding the public the obligatory  pablum
>about  Camelot  and  suppressing the scandalous truth about those
>Kennedy boys and Marilyn Monroe. The pony express was  lightning-
>fast compared to our dauntless newshawks. Instead of dealing with
>the problem, they krex and whine like a bunch of  "two-year-olds"
>(to  use  Peter  Jennings'  simile),  spewing  venom at those who
>undertake to do the  job  they  refuse  to  do,  whether  out  of
>arrogance, treachery, cowardice or plain stupidity.
>No doubt those who turn to the Internet to get the news that  the
>newsies refuse to report will now be subjected to a fresh barrage
>of personal insults and puerile namecalling. To cut a long  story
>short,  why  don't  I just take a quick run through the litany of
>feeble  vituperation  that  comprises  the  repertoire   of   the
>mainstream  press?  We  are  a  bunch  of "conspiracy theorists,"
>right? We are animated by the "paranoid  tradition"  of  American
>politics  as  we  work  our way up the "right wing food-chain" of
>"conspiracy consciousness," is that correct? We are, in short,  a
>bunch  of  "right  wing-nuts,"  "crazies," "loonies," "nutballs,"
>"weirdos," "whackos," and "wigouts,"  n'est  pas?  Now  that  the
>infantilism of the mainstream media has been indulged, can we get
>on with the part of the program of interest to grown-ups?
>Cybersnitch Matt Drudge heralded the article late  Tuesday  night
>with  an  announcement  on  his  Web site that Ruddy was about to
>break a story that would "hit the internet harder than just about
>anything in its history."
>Well, that remains to be seen. Drudge  is  heir  to  a  tradition
>(Walter Winchell, Jimmy Fiddler) that uses hyperbole as freely as
>most of us use salt and pepper. Nevertheless, the  story  clearly
>has caused quite a stir. By Thursday morning it was reverberating
>in the European press -- the London  Telegraph  carried  a  story
>that quoted an Air Force deputy medical examiner as saying, "Even
>if you safely assumed accidental plane crash, when you  have  got
>something  that  appears  to  be  a  homicide,  that should bring
>everything to a screeching halt."
>It goes without saying that the American  mainstream  press  have
>primly  averted  their  gaze  and pretended not to notice Ruddy's
>story. What else is new? The mere fact that the story has  gained
>currency on the Net is enough to relegate it to the category of a
>non-event in their jaundiced eyes. How did the Boston  Globe  put
>it?    "...the  Internet  realizes  the  anarchist's  dream of an
>unmediated conversation between each and all."
>So don't be too hard on them -- they are only trying to  save  us
>from  "anarchy."  Of  course, they were quick to add, "Government
>must not censor that conversation..." if only to demonstrate that
>they  are  truly  on the side of the angels. But then there is no
>need for the  government  to  censor  anything.  In  the  supreme
>hypocrisy of their guilty silence, the mainstream press take care
>of the censorship themselves.
>Drudge announced that Ruddy's piece would deal with a participant
>in  the  investigation  of  the  late  Secretary of Commerce, Ron
>Brown's plane crash in Croatia. The participant, Lt.  Col.  Steve
>Cogswell,  is  a doctor and  deputy Armed Forces medical examiner
>with the Armed Forces  Institute  of  Pathology,  His  discovery,
>according to Drudge was that "essentially... Brown had a .45 inch
>inwardly  beveling circular hole in the top of head, which  is...
>the description of a .45-caliber gunshot wound."
>That, at least, is Drudge's interpretation. Others have expressed
>doubt that a gunshot wound caused by a large caliber weapon would
>fit the description given by  Cogswell,  or  by  Air  Force  Col.
>William Gormley, described by Ruddy as "an assistant armed forces
>medical examiner with approximately 25  years'  experience,"  who
>said  that  Brown's  death  "was  caused  by multiple blunt force
>injuries as a result of an aircraft mishap. The manner  of  death
>is accidental." It should be noted that Cogswell did not actually
>examine Brown's body, as did Gormley, but based his  opinions  on
>discussions he had with colleagues who had examined the body "and
>on reports, records, photographs and X-rays," according to Ruddy.
>Gormley admitted that the wound  did  seem  disturbing  at  first
>glance,  "A  perfectly round, nearly round .5-inch hole makes one
>think, 'Tell me more about this gunshot wound,' right?"
>But he nevertheless  maintained  that  Brown  had  probably  been
>struck  on  the  head by "a metal fastener or rivet," although he
>acknowledged that nothing had been found in the wreckage  of  the
>aircraft that would explain the wound.
>A half-inch rivet in the sheet-stringer structure of a  passenger
>aircraft?  A fastener that size might be found in a bridge girder
>or an oil rig, but not in the structure  of  an  aircraft  cabin,
>which is made of thin sheet metal.
>Still, the notion that the wound on the top of Brown's  head  was
>caused by a large caliber bullet presents certain problems. Ruddy
>wrote that Gormley did not believe that the wound could have been
>caused by a bullet because it had failed to penetrate the skull.
>Cogswell disagrees, however. After examining photographs  of  the
>wound,  he maintained that brain matter could be seen, suggesting
>that the hole did penetrate the skull, and  not  just  the  upper
>layer,  as suggested by Gormley. He also said that examination of
>into  the  head  when  the skull was penetrated by a "cylindrical
>This is not characteristic of a gunshot wound caused by  a  large
>caliber  weapon,  which  would more likely scatter bone fragments
>inside the head.  Also, Gormley observed a wide area  of  denuded
>scalp  at  the  top of the skull where the wound was located, but
>made no mention of flash burns or powder residue which  might  be
>expected  if a gun had been fired in close proximity to the head.
>Of course, the weapon might have been fired from a distance,  but
>why  then would there be "a wide area of denuded scalp at the top
>of the skull"?
>Perhaps the most puzzling detail is Cogswell's  observation  that
>the  frontal  head  X-ray that shows the defect at the top of the
>head, also reveals "something perhaps more sinister." Within  the
>left  side  of  Brown's  head, in the area behind his eye socket,
>"there are multiple small fragments of white  flecks,  which  are
>metallic  density  on  X-ray.  That's what we might describe as a
>'lead snowstorm' from a high-velocity gunshot wound."
>The  Pittsburgh  Tribune-Review  claims   to   have   copies   of
>photographs  and  X-  rays  that  show the wound on Brown's head.
>Cogswell has said that at least one of the  original  X-rays  has
>"disappeared,"   but  Ruddy  says  that  the  Tribune-Review  has
>obtained a photograph of it.  About all one  can  really  say  of
>these  descriptions  of  Brown's  head  wound  is  that  they are
>inconsistent.  Unfortunately, the responsible authorities did not
>see  fit  to  conduct  a post-mortem examination on Brown's body,
>although, as Cogswell observed, the presence of a  circular  hole
>in Brown's skull, that could have been a bullet hole, should have
>triggered an autopsy.  Cogswell  was  not  alone  in  noting  the
>resemblance  of  the hole to a gunshot wound. Kathleen Janoski, a
>photographer with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP),
>was  said by a source of Ruddy's to have taken a look at the head
>wound and exclaimed, "Wow! Look at the hole in Brown's  head.  It
>looks like a bullet hole."
>The possibility exists that Brown, and other potential survivors,
>were killed by being struck with blunt objects while lying on the
>ground after the crash.  The London Telegraph article noted  that
>Croatian  soldiers were already at the scene when the US military
>arrived, "and there is evidence that the site had been looted."
>Ruddy noted that Cogswell and others at AFIP describe the  mishap
>as  a  "relatively  low-impact crash." Hugh Sprunt, a graduate of
>MIT and Stanford who  is  also  a  qualified  pilot  (though  not
>current)  wrote last year in an article for Media Bypass that the
>crash was survivable, contrary to the opinion of  the  Air  Force
>Accident Investigation Board.
>Cogswell also mentioned that this was the first aircraft accident
>investigation  in  his  experience in which the Air Force did not
>follow its usual two-step investigative process. The first  step,
>known  as  a  "safety  board," which treats all crashes as though
>they were suspicious, was skipped. The possibility of  foul  play
>is considered in this first phase of the investigation.
>There is no way to resolve the differences  without  an  autopsy.
>The authorities will not reopen the matter unless somebody lights
>a fire under them -- and who  would  do  that?  The  press?  They
>evidently  do  not  perceive  covering  events  that  might prove
>embarrassing to the Clinton regime to be part of their agenda  --
>at least, not if they can avoid it. The fact that nine out of ten
>Washington reporters are liberals who supported Clinton  in  1992
>has  nothing  to  do  with  it,  of  course.  They  are  far  too
>professional to allow their  judgement  to  be  colored  by  such
>paltry considerations as passionate ideological commitments.
>I don't doubt their professionalism. The only question in my mind
>is  what  the  specialty  of  most mainstream editors truly is. I
>would guess that most of them practice a profession that is  said
>to  be  far  older  than  journalism. The thing that they need to
>understand is that they do not own the news. It belongs to all of
>us.  The  withholding  of  information  from  the  public  out of
>consideration for  the  cosmetic  appearance  of  public  figures
>favored  by  the  press represents an arrogant betrayal of public
>What gives this story impact is the fact that Clinton's  Commerce
>Secretary   Ron   Brown   had  become  an  embarrassment  to  the
>administration,  and  was  said  to  be  facing  indictment   for
>financial  crimes.  The indictment of such a high-ranking cabinet
>officer could have proven disastrous in  an  election  year,  and
>many   believe  that  Brown's  death  is  all  that  averted  his
>indictment. Of course, this may represent nothing more than pure,
>blind luck on Clinton's part, but there have been other deaths of
>people closely connected to the  Clinton  administration,   under
>circumstances that leave much to the imagination.
>For example, Barbara  Wise,  a  48-year-old  Commerce  Department
>employee  whose  bruised,  nude  body was found inside her locked
>office on November 30, (the Friday after  Thanksgiving)  of  last
>year. It was explained that Wise had a drinking problem and often
>spent the night in her office. The bruises were explained as  the
>result  of  recent cancer surgery. Maybe so, but some find it odd
>that anyone would be sleeping over at the office  on  the  Friday
>after  Thanksgiving.  Larry  Klayman  of  Judicial Watch recently
>pointed out that John Huang and Barbara Wise occupied   the  same
>suite of offices at the Commerce Department and that Ms. Wise may
>have had access to some of the documents that are known  to  have
>been  shredded  immediately following Ron Brown's death. Judicial
>Watch is conducting its own investigation into Wise's death.
>And then there was Admiral Boorda, who is said to have  committed
>suicide   out   of   chagrin   after  being  accused  of  wearing
>unauthorized combat decorations. One  of  his  accusers,  retired
>Col.  David  Hackworth,  who  was a columnist for Newsweek at the
>time, was himself later accused of  wearing  unauthorized  combat
>decorations.  If so, it hardly seems likely that Hackworth did so
>deliberately, since he is said to be the most decorated  American
>veteran  still  living.  The  problem  would  seem to be that the
>regulations governing the wearing of certain decorations  are  so
>ambiguous  that  it  is  easy  to misinterpret them. All of which
>gives one pause to wonder if this is really a credible reason for
>an officer of such senior rank as Boorda to kill himself.
>Not long before Boorda's death former Navy secretary  James  Webb
>delivered  a  scathing  address  at the Naval Academy in which he
>faulted the Navy brass, and by implication Boorda, for failing to
>stand up for career officers who had been caught in the crossfire
>of sexual politics and political correctness.  In  particular  he
>mentioned Stan Arthur, who had been ordered into early retirement
>because, as vice chief of naval operations,  he  had  approved  a
>report  upholding  a  decision  to wash out a female officer from
>flight school.
>There is evidence that Boorda had  come  to  regret  the  mocking
>sobriquet,  "little  Mikey," that his acquiescence had earned him
>from contemptuous naval officers. Washington Times columnist John
>McCaslin  told  of a conversation that he says took place between
>Adm. Boorda and retired Adm. Bobby Ray  Inman,  a  former  Deputy
>Director  of  Central  Intelligence,  in which Boorda told of his
>differences with the White House and complained  that  they  were
>not  interested  in  the  military. At that point, according to a
>witness, "Adm.  Inman pointed  his  finger  at  Adm.  Boorda  and
>admonished him against resigning."
>Is it possible that resigning from the Clinton administration  is
>not  as straightforward a procedure as it may seem to be at first
>glance? Is that perhaps what Vince Foster had in mind when he  is
>said  to  have become so "depressed" that he just cried and cried
>at dinner, although he seemed quite capable  of  planning  family
>outings with his children at the same time?  Wouldn't resignation
>have made just a bit more sense than committing  suicide  on  the
>very day his sister, whom he had invited to visit himself and his
>family in Washington, was flying up from Little Rock?
>Ask yourself what each of these people had in common. Is  it  not
>just  possible  that, in every case, their deaths averted extreme
>embarrassment, or worse, to the Clinton  administration  and  its
>leader,  a sociopath who is said to have lain on the floor of his
>car, mortified and ashamed to show his face, after losing his bid
>for a second term as Governor of Arkansas?
>Then again, perhaps these deaths (with the exception of Foster's,
>the official version of which is just too phony to be believed by
>anyone  but  a  congenital  idiot  or  a  mainstream  journalist)
>occurred  much  as  has been reported. How are we to know, if the
>official investigation is conducted in a superficial  manner  and
>the  result is treated as a foregone conclusion in order to avoid
>embarrassment to the president? Who is going  to  tell  us  these
>things  --  our craven, cowardly castrato press whose taste these
>days runs to licking the boots of the power elite? (Not that this
>is  really  such  a  recent  trend,  as  witness their nauseating
>sycophancy toward the Kennedy family).
>Make no mistake about it, Ron  Brown  was  in  a  whole  heap  of
>trouble,  and  not just nickel-and-dime stuff either. (What is it
>about Clinton that attracts him to such freebooters as Brown  and
>James McDougal?) According to Brown's "business" partner, Nolanda
>Hill, Brown had made a deal with the government of Vietnam to use
>his   influence to facilitate the normalization of relations with
>that country in return for $700,000 up  front.  Hill  told  ABC's
>Brian  Ross,  "He was considering it. He saw it as an opportunity
>to afford to be Commerce Secretary."
>When the story surfaced  in  the  press,  Brown  denied  it,  but
>according  to  Hill, he lied. He was tipped off that the FBI were
>aware of what he was doing and quickly withdrew from negotiations
>with  the  Vietnamese government. FBI agents who had been working
>on the case told ABC  News  that  they  had  suspected  as  much.
>Congressman  Dan  Burton  (R-Ind) says that the FBI abandoned its
>investigation of Brown, citing "budget cuts" as the reason.
>But Nolanda Hill's most serious allegation against Brown  is  her
>charge   "that  two  big  Democratic  contributors, Nora and Gene
>Lum... actually did pass money to Ron Brown when he was Secretary
>of   Commerce,"  according to Brian Ross. They did this by hiring
>Brown's 28-year-old son Michael into a well paid job  with  their
>Oklahoma  gas  company,  Dynamic  Energy Resources.  According to
>Hill, Michael then transferred much of the money to  his  father.
>Brown  later  maintained  that his son was merely paying him back
>for his college tuition.  When  Hill  suggested  that  Brown  use
>another  explanation since the story was not true, Brown replied,
>"Well, nobody can prove that."
>And then there was the strange business deal  whereby  a  company
>owned  by  Nolanda Hill continued to pay a company owned by Brown
>$12,000 a month interest on a loan of $875,000,  even  as  Hill's
>company was going bankrupt.  Rep. Burton is about the only person
>who has been so awkward as to ask where Brown got  the  $875,000.
>According  to  Burton,  the  FBI  confirmed  that  "there  was an
>electronic transfer from the Government of Vietnam to  this  bank
>in  Singapore,  and  here  all  of  a sudden we have a mysterious
>$875,000 turning up that was invested into this corporation."
>All of this and more were  explained  in  greater  detail  in  my
>previous  column,  "Ron  Brown's  Booty." None of it has elicited
>much comment from the mainstream press -- and then they  ask  why
>nobody   seems   to   care   about  the  sleaze  in  the  Clinton
>administration, as though the reason were some kind of deep, dark
>As Nolanda Hill, who was left holding the bag when Brown died put
>it, "The press jump-started his sainthood when he died. And quite
>frankly, I resent the hell out of being  left  with  the  cleanup
>Last summer The American Spectator charged  that  ninety  minutes
>before  the  White  House  announced  that  Ron Brown's plane had
>disappeared, just after the Commerce  Department  had  heard  the
>news, two secretaries entered Brown's office, opened his safe and
>shredded some documents that he kept there. Two  large  cardboard
>file  boxes,  filled  with  documents, were also removed from his
>office. Sound familiar? The only difference is that Vince  Foster
>was not under criminal investigation as was Ron Brown.
>When the New York Post reported that Newt Gingrich had  mentioned
>the  Spectator article at a closed meeting of Republican bigwigs,
>White House flack Michael McCurry immediately accused Gingrich of
>making  "an  outrageous  suggestion."  White House chief of staff
>Leon Panetta said it was "racist" as well. Interestingly,  nobody
>from  the administration actually went so far as to deny that the
>documents were removed or destroyed. The  name  of  the  game  is
>Spinball.  The  White  House  press corps know the rules and play
>right along. When it comes to Clinton's White  House  spin  their
>complacency (or is it complicity?) knows no bounds. These are the
>guys who staked out Reagan aide Richard  Allen's  house  after  a
>cheap gift watch was found in his office safe, remember?
>John Corry, writing in the August  American  Spectator  mentioned
>the  "Ron  Brown  defense,"  citing  the response of the New York
>Times Washington bureau chief R.W.  Apple,  a  panting,  wheezing
>lump  of  profane corpulence who could pass for the reincarnation
>of Sidney Greenstreet, to a query from the London Spectator as to
>why  the  Times  now  seemed  "reluctant to follow up leads which
>discredit the President."
>Apple replied, 'Who do you think broke the [bleepbleep] story  in
>the  first  place?'  adding,  'Do  you want us to go round giving
>credibility to every piece of dirt thrown at the  president  like
>those [bleepbleeps] at the American Spectator?'
>Comparing Apple's comment to the  defense  Panetta  used  against
>Gingrich,   Corry  commented:  "Apple  could  not  deny  anything
>reported in the  Spectator;  he  just  did  not  want  it  to  be
>But what was in those documents that provided  the  raw  material
>for  this  particular batch of Clinton confetti? In mid-September
>U.S. District  Judge  Royce  Lamberth  ruled  that  the  Commerce
>Department   employees   suspected  of  shredding  the  documents
>following Brown's death can be  deposed  by  the  public-interest
>group Judicial Watch.
>The group's chairman, Larry Klayman, has alleged that Brown  sold
>seats  on  his  various  trade  trips to executives who kicked in
>contributions of  $100,000  or  more  to  the  Democratic  Party.
>Judicial  Watch  was  also  given  the authority to question Jude
>Kearney, the presidential confidant who is said to have  overseen
>the  task  of  awarding  seats  on the trade trips to well-heeled
>Kearney, who had been a Clinton aide in Arkansas, and  is  now  a
>deputy assistant secretary of commerce, was quoted as saying in a
>Commerce  Department  memo,  "As  a  political  appointee,   [Mr.
>Kearney]  would  push  those that were politically connected" for
>places on what came to be known as the "Ron Brown Express"
>Although Kearney has since denied  making  the  statement,  other
>Commerce   Department  memos  make  abundantly  clear  the  close
>correlation between political  contributions  made  by  corporate
>executives and flying express via Ron-air.
>Judge Lamberth also directed the Commerce Department  to  produce
>"any communications with the Democratic National Committee and/or
>White House which refer or relate to plaintiff's FOIA  requests."
>Andy  Thibault  of  the  Washington  Times wrote that Klayman has
>accused the Commerce  Department  of  holding  out  on  his  FOIA
>request,  citing  reports  that  Brown's secretaries had shredded
>documents on the day of his death.
>Judge Lamberth brushed aside the efforts of  Commerce  Department
>lawyers  to  explain  the  department's  failure  to  produce the
>records, saying, "The search was either inadequate  or  documents
>were destroyed.  That's the only conclusion."
>It would seem that a score and more of those corporate execs  who
>booked a flight on the Ron Brown Express got a bit more than they
>had bargained for -- a once-in-a-lifetime  chance  to  ride  that
>plane  to  glory.  However,  it  appears  that  not  all of their
>survivors are entirely satisfied with  the  service  provided  by
>Ron-air.  Attorneys for more than half of the 35 people killed in
>the crash have filed suit against  the  Air  Force  for  wrongful
>death.  An  Air Force spokesman told UPI last August that it will
>probably settle with many of the  plaintiffs  if  they  determine
>that it was a "valid claim."
>The Air Force's position would  seem  to  be  a  shaky  one.  The
>accident investigation found that:
>  "...command failures, pilot error and poorly designed airport
>  approach procedures were responsible for the deadly accident.
>  Investigators  determined  that  the  CT-43,  the  Air  Force
>  version  of  a  Boeing 737, was almost 2 miles off course and
>  that pilots trying to  land  during  a  violent  thunderstorm
>  brought the plane in too low and too fast."
>The  UPI  got  it  wrong,  of  course.  There  was  no   "violent
>thunderstorm."  That  bit of misinformation (disinformation?) has
>been repeatedly corrected on Internet, yet the  mainstream  media
>continue  to  repeat  the  error.  The  pilots had been making an
>instrument approach and the hilly terrain was obscured  by  cloud
>What the Air Force actually did wrong was to have  only  one  ADF
>(Automatic  Direction Finder) receiver on board when the approach
>procedure called for two in order  to  conform  to  the  relevant
>regulations.  The rather antiquated navigational aids used at the
>Dubrovnik airport comprised  two  non  directional  beacons,  one
>designated  "CV",  located 1.9 nautical  miles from the Runway 12
>threshold, and the other, designated "KLP", located 11.8 nautical
>miles from the Runway 12 threshold.
>The Air Force Accident Investigation Board (AIB) report indicates
>that  Brown's Air Force T-43 was using the KLP beacon at the time
>of the accident, which perhaps explains why the aircraft  was  so
>far  off  course. In order to conform to Air Force regulations it
>would have been necessary that two receivers be used,  one  tuned
>to  the  KLP  beacon  and  the  other tuned to the CV beacon. The
>latter beacon would have alerted the flight crew  that  they  had
>missed  the  approach, allowing them to turn to the right, toward
>the Adriatic, in time to avoid the high terrain.
>Ruddy wrote that, "Questions about the ground beacons were  never
>fully  resolved."  It  seems that a few days after the crash, the
>person responsible for maintenance at Dubrovnik airport was found
>shot to death -- "an apparent suicide."
>The latest word, even as I write this, is that a  gag  order  has
>been placed on Cogswell, and his home has been searched. The name
>of the game is Whack the Whistleblower. You can always tell  when
>the  bureaucracy is becoming rattled -- the benign "liberal" mask
>slips, ever so slightly, and the ugly, fascist countenance shows,
>just  a  bit.  But don't worry -- they are only trying to save us
>from our own flawed nature. If we knew  the  terrible  truth,  we
>wouldn't  be  able  to  handle it, you see. Why, we might man the
>barricades, stop listening to Larry King, cancel our subscription
>to  The  Washington  Post.  (Of  course, the wife would sure miss
>those supermarket coupons). Anything could happen -- free  speech
>might  even  break  out. (That would spell anarchy and the end of
>civilization as we know it).
>So, that's all there is to that -- or is it? Will ABC run another
>special  30  years from now, telling us what really happened? You
>know, just fill in a few of the missing details as they did  last
>week  with  JFK  --  such  as  the  fact  that  he stole the 1960
>presidential election with a little help from the Mafia? Or  that
>he  shared  a mistress with Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana, whom
>they also used as a courier to send messages back and  forth?  Or
>that  JFK  was a speed freak who took Dr. Feelgood along with him
>to Vienna to provide his daily  fix  while  he  met  with  Soviet
>leader  Nikita  Khrushchev?  (That  was just before he and Mr. K.
>nearly  incinerated us all in a nuclear war).  You  know,  a  few
>little arcane tidbits of possible interest to buffs.
>So  why didn't they tell us this already? Well, gosh --  I  guess
>they didn't know about it until just the other day when they read
>Seymour Hersh's book. That's odd,  I  knew  about  all  of  those
>things  20  years  ago,  at least. Aren't they supposed to be the
>The bottom line would seem to be that  if  you  know  about  such
>things  too  soon, that makes you a "conspiracy theorist." And if
>you find out what is going on 30 years or more after it ceases to
>matter,  what  does  that  make  you?  An  historian -- or just a
>  Published in the Dec.  8, 1997 issue of The Washington Weekly
>  Copyright 1997 The Washington Weekly (http://www.federal.com)
>          Reposting permitted with this message intact

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