More On The "Friendly Fire" Theory / Salinger Style -

Pierre Salinger, who was once John F. Kennedy's press secretary and later an ABC correspondent in Paris for 15 years retiring in 1993, has a fondness for conspiracy theories.

In the early 1980s, Salinger claimed the Carter administration bungled opportunities to free the American hostages who were held in Iran. Later he charged that the United States tricked Iraq's Saddam Hussein into invading Kuwait in 1990. And he floated a theory that Pan American Flight 103 had been blown up over Scotland in 1998 because a U.S. drug-enforcement sting had gone bad, allowing terrorists to place a bomb on the plane.

In the fall of 1996, in a speech to aviation executives in Cannes France, Salinger, 71, claimed the crash of TWA Flight 800 in July of '96 was the result of accidental "friendly fire" from a U.S. missile cruiser. Later he showed off a document and said he had "very, very strong" proof. Because the charge came from Salinger, people listened to it. Suddenly there were worldwide headlines, though the stories were skeptical. His claim was denied by the Navy and rejected by the FBI, which interviewed him at length and called it "nonsense." Despite this, Salinger stuck by his story. Salinger stated, "I acknowledge I could be wrong. If I do turn out to be totally wrong, It will be a very embarrassing thing for me."

When the dust had settled, his "very, very strong" proof turned out to be a memo that had been circulating on the Internet since August, '96. The memo, which purported to be a copy of an actual document "proving" friendly fire brought down TWA Flight 800, was vigorously discredited by the Navy, though many in the public still believe it to be true. Interestingly enough, Salinger, had previously claimed that his "proof" was NOT limited to the Internet memo. I guess the truth changes.

Despite America's First Amendment, and despite the fact that TWA Flight 800's crash is not a matter of National Security, rumor has it the Navy pressured and/or threatened the private citizen who posted the"memo" on the Internet into removing it. Food for thought, free thinkers.

In the fall of 1996, Salinger dug his teeth into the story, vowing to pursue it. He stated, "I want to see If I can come up with more information for the FBI."

As this is written, in May of 1998, Salinger is apparently still in the process of gathering additional data.