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First Strike : TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 5, 2003

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, March 5, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For conspiracy buffs and skeptics alike, Cashill and Sanders' reconstruction of the investigation into the July 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 is a real page-turner. The authors, who also produced the video Silenced: Flight 800 and the Subversion of Justice, contend that the U.S. government, from the White House to the NTSB, FBI and CIA, systematically tried to obscure the real cause of the explosion with a false theory of mechanical failure. The cover-up, the authors maintain, was motivated by then-incumbent President Clinton, who decided that "only a catastrophe...could prevent his reelection in November. He would not let Flight 800 be that catastrophe." Cashill and Sanders make use of evidence from FBI witness summaries, transcripts of agency meetings and reports, conflicting press coverage, scientific data and their own interviews with witnesses and experts to conclude that TWA Flight 800 was brought down by a Navy missile, whose intended target was a terrorist plane on a collision course with the passenger aircraft. Throughout the book, the authors make much of what they cast as the mainstream media's collusion with government agencies in parroting the official (read: Democratic) party line on the investigation, such that "no newsroom more influential than the Riverside, California, Press-Enterprise would dare to look beneath the surface." But Cashill and Sanders are by no means above politics, and often cannot conceal their contempt for Clinton and his sympathizers: "Two decades spent abusing the power with which Clinton had been entrusted had permanently corroded his character," they write. Whether such sentiments enhance or detract from the authors' argument depends on the personal leanings of the reader, of course. But sadly, whatever one's political views, in a post-9/11 world, a terrorist-related theory regarding Flight 800 sounds much less far-fetched than it may have to many in the comparatively innocent days of 1996.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James Sanders, a police officer turned investigative reporter, has written two prior books on this subject, The Downing of TWA Flight 800 and Altered Evidence. In December of 1997, he and his wife, Elizabeth, a TWA attendant and trainer, were arrested for conspiracy to steal government property after receiving material from a whistleblower within the Flight 800 investigation.

Jack Cashill has written for The WSJ, Washington Post, Weekly Standard, and regularly in the American Thinker and WorldNetDaily. Recent books include Hoodwinked, Sucker Punch, and What’s The Matter With California. Jack has a Ph.D. from Purdue.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0785263543
  • ASIN: B0009A2OFK
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,814,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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60 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Mucci on March 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
While hundreds of Long Island residents prepared for their evening cookout with friends, and some were enjoying those last few hours out on the water before dark, the passengers and crew of TWA Flight 800 were boarding for a routine flight to Paris. Little did the residents of Long Island or the passengers and crew of Flight 800 know that their lives would become inexorably entwined on the evening of July 17, 1996.

Their story and the case against the federal investigatory process are the subjects of a new book, First Strike.
For the record, First Strike is not a conspiracy book. It is, first and foremost, a book about people: What they saw, what they did and what they didn't do.
In a perfect world - where everyone does the right thing - this book would not have needed to be written. But, because of the people involved, it had to be written.
Authors Jack Cashill and James Sanders expertly fill in the blanks of the massive disaster that befell the passengers and crew of Flight 800. The evidence presented against the Clinton administration and the federal authorities- whose job it was to find and then tell the truth to the American people -is factually detailed in a dispassionate orderly fashion.
Important as well is the authors skill in placing the reader into the lives of the defenseless: the victims and their surviving families, the eye witnesses, and the technical experts that - still to this day - challenge the government's conclusions.
Without question, airplane disasters are not pretty. They are grisly, painstakingly detailed work that should have one goal in mind: to find out what happened.
But in the case of Flight 800, the investigation (and the investigators) and the subsequent government conclusions were missing a key element - the truth.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Rick Darby on December 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
One of my criteria for an important book is that it changes my mind about something that matters. By that standard, this is an important book.

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

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

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

Cashill and Sanders's book has convinced me that the most probable cause of the TWA 800 explosion was an external event, most likely a missile strike or nearby detonation.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a very well written introduction to James Sanders investigation into TWA Flight 800. I especially recommend this book to people who have not been following the various alternative investigations being conducted by independent researchers and the alternative press.
Unfortunately, however, this book is not a comprehensive summary of all of the evidence for/against various variations of the hypothesis that a missile brought down Flight 800, or a comprehensive summary of all of the evidence for/against the NTSB's center tank theory. Such a book, while much longer, more detailed and infinitely more difficult to write, is what someone who has followed the investigation is really looking for. Commander William Donaldson's preliminary report, available at [...] is more like what we need at this point. An examination of that report, Sanders' earlier books, and "First Strike" reveal one of the problems researchers have created for themselves, undermining their ability to get Congress or other public officials to pay attention to them -- their hypothesis about what brought down Flight 800 keeps changing: Navy SAM, terrorist controlled ship-based SAM, terrorist controlled shoulder-fired SAM, etc.
In "First Strike," it is no a secret that Sanders and Cashill have concluded that both an accidental hit by a Navy missile and a high-explosive laden private jet brought down Flight 800. This is an entirely new hypothesis, and as other have pointed out, Sanders and Cashill have seriously weakened "First Strike" by presenting this hypothesis without spending the appropriate amount of time examining the evidence for/against it. The big objection is, of course, that no debris from a second plane was ever found.
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