Bob's Links and Rants

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Thursday, November 21, 2002

A medical examiner in Minnesota has determined that the pilots in the crash of Sen. Paul Wellstone's plane were killed by the impact, according to AP. Actually, from reading the article it appears that he arrived at this conclusion by ruling out just two other possibilities: they were killed by the fire (no soot in windpipes) or they were shot (no bullet holes). While I am somewhat encouraged that he at least considered the possibility of foul play, I don't see that he ruled out my
poison gas theory or something else that quickly incapacitated the pilots. Neither does it rule out some sort of sabotage which caused the plane to lose its radio and control systems at the same time. The fire would likely destroy all evidence of poison and make finding evidence of sabotage very difficult. Maybe I'm going overboard with the conspiracy stuff, but from what I've read about TWA 800 and American flight 587 the results of investigations into mysterious, high-profile air crashes are affected much more by politics than by evidence (see for MUCH more on this). And one of the best senators has been replaced by Dick Cheney's hand-picked minion, giving control of the Senate to the Republitrons, and even the temp appointed by Jesse Ventura not only voted for the Homeland Security bill, he also voted to keep the pork in it. I don't think anyone can doubt what Wellstone would have thought of that.

One further note: the article states that "NTSB spokesman Paul Schlamm said the medical examiner's report does not affect the board's investigation." Huh? You're investigating a crash and you don't care how the pilots died? That only makes sense if you already know what your conclusions are going to be. I remember when AA 587 crashed in New York (11/12/01). Around noon, three or so hours after the crash, Ari Fleischer answered a reporter's question by saying he didn't know if it was a terrorist attack or not; too early to tell. (A rare seemingly reasonable answer from Ari.) About an hour later, Secretary of State Colin Powell made a statement saying it wasn't terrorism. And that has been the official line ever since, no matter what the evidence shows or witnesses say.