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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Even more suspicious than yesterday

From the NY Times, on the crash of a Cypriot airliner in Greece on Sunday (emphasis added):
Autopsies began on the victims to seek clues on the two main theories about the crash: that the plane suffered a loss of pressure or that toxic fumes, perhaps from a faulty air-conditioner, overwhelmed those aboard.
The article says that autopsies show that passengers were still alive when the plane crashed, and adds this:
The story of the crash took another twist on Monday as a man who said he had received a cellphone text message from a cousin aboard confessed that his claim was a hoax. He was arrested. The message reportedly said: "The pilots have turned blue. Farewell cousin, we're frozen."
Since the fighter pilots reported seeing a "lifeless cockpit," that suggests to me that the windows were not frosted over like they were in the Payne Stewart crash in 1999.

And here's some convoluted logic that I missed from yesterday's article on the crash:
In Athens, a senior Defense Ministry official said: "We're not ruling out anything. But that the plane was not shot down by armed F-16 jet fighters suggests that this may not have been a terrorist attack."
By that reasoning, I guess only Flight 93, the 757 which crashed in Pennsylvania, could possibly have been a terrorist attack on 9/11--surely the two planes which hit the WTC were not shot down!

This line of thinking suggests that someone raised the bar for terrorism on 9/11. In the past, bringing down an airliner full of people, like Pan Am 103 or the 1976 Cubana Airlines crash attributed to Luis Posada Carilles, would generally be considered a dastardly act of terrorism. But now it seems to be that if nobody tried to crash the plane into a building, it can't be terrorism. But to me, releasing a knockout gas into a plane's cockpit, disabling the crew and causing the plane to crash eventually, is a terrorist act just as much as blowing the plane up with a bomb or crashing it into a building. And it seems like something that would be relatively easy to do: have a crew member, passenger, maintenance worker or security personnel--basically anyone with access to the plane--place a small package in a hidden spot on the plane, triggered by timer or GPS or altitude or radio or whatever. Have the package be highly flammable or else indistinguishable from other containers on the plane, so it can't be detected after the crash. (The Wellstone coverup was facilitated by a massive fire following the crash.)