“American Assassination – The Strange Death of Paul Wellstone” – by Four Arrows and Jim Fetzer, 2004
Are you a ‘conspiracy nut?’ This is the bourgeois media’s eternal phrase for anyone who believes conspiracies are possible. Intellectually, of course, conspiracies are very possible. Intellectually, of course, the ruling-class media is allergic even to the phrase “intellectual.” So is their analysis of the impossibility of conspiracies based on facts? No. Only on oft-repeated myths or cherry-picking.
Since the 60s the U.S. CIA/FBI has operated death squads – and not just in foreign countries. Overseas, most observers agree the CIA and their trained henchman made/make death squads and assassination normal tools of political life. In Iraq right now death squads have been operating for years, outside the military purview, under the control of the U.S. secret services, using Iraqi para-militaries. This is no different from the bloody CIA Phoenix program used in Vietnam. The well-documented involvement of the secret services in the deaths of Lumumba, Che and attempts on Castro are the tip of the foreign iceberg. But for anyone conscious, the deaths of Malcolm X, the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King were all government hits – carried out by a conservative group within the CIA/military under the control of James Jesus Angleton and J Edgar Hoover, with help from the mob and local police departments, and, as these authors argue, with heavy influence from the Bush family and other ruling-class entities.
Assassination is an essential tool of the armed bourgeois state's political rule. You will notice that the overwhelming majority of targets are those on the liberal or left side of the spectrum – something mathematically impossible based on the laws of probability. As of 2004, there were 47 ‘accidental’ deaths by plane crash or some other method for U.S. politicians or whistleblowers, also illustrating a mathematical impossibility of 2-1 majority of liberal or ‘troublemakers’ having ‘accidents.’ If Obama strays off the ranch, he too will be the target of assassination. Recently, the Secret Service refused to arrest a gun-toting Republican at a "town hall' anti health-care reform rally, held right outside the site of Obama's appearance.
The recent 2009 revelation that Dick Cheney had set up an assassination squad ostensibly limited only to Al Quaeda is no surprise. Since killing Al Quaeda members has been official public policy for years, this secret Cheney hit squad had something more about it than the supine major press wants to delve into. After all, why would it be secret, even to the Congress, if it was only duplicating U.S. policy? The key lies in revelations by journalist Seymour Hersch, who has information that this unit was actually operating on domestic terrain too.
We are all familiar with how the FBI ‘loses’ much crucial evidence over and over again, in various politically sensitive cases, from the Kennedy assassinations onward. What is interesting is the involvement since 1996 of an ostensibly 'objective' agency, the NTSB – the National Transportation Safety Board – in covering up evidence in controversial crashes. The present head of the NTSB, Carol Carmody, is a former CIA officer. Within hours of a few crashes, this supposedly ‘scientific’ NTSB head has rushed to microphones to assure people that the crash is ‘only an accident.’ Prior to any scientific investigation, the legendary ‘forte’ of this supposedly neutral government agency. How does she know? You may well ask.
Now to the specifics of this book:
- The Sheriff of St. Louis County confirmed that Minneapolis FBI was on-site at Wellstone's plane crash site, just below Eveleth in northern Minnesota, between 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. The crash site was publicly identified at 10:50 a.m. One of the controllers at the airport thought the FBI was there by at least 1:00 pm. No one has claimed they notified the FBI of the crash. It is impossible to get from Minneapolis to Eveleth, even by air, in that time period, without already being on the road. (The FBI claimed they used the Duluth airport, not the Eveleth airport, which necessitated a car rental and drive as well.)
The FBI claimed it got there at 3:30 p.m., and verified it was a Minneapolis evidence crew. Washington D.C. Capitol Police got on-site at 4:00 p.m. The NTSB, the ‘official’ investigators, got there at 8:00-9:00 p.m., also from Washington.
Around 6:00 P.M. the FBI announced there was no ‘terrorist’ connection about the crash to the national news – 2-3 hours before the arrival of the NTSB, the official investigators.
It is NTSB policy that ONLY the NTSB can investigate a crash. The FBI is supposedly not allowed to investigate crashes until the NTSB determines they are criminal matters. The NTSB had not done so.
Carmody announced the initial NTSB focus was recovering the ‘voice data recorder.’ There was none required on this plane, but sometimes they are installed. A voice data recorder might reveal it was not an accident, and could have accounted for the speed of the FBI intervention, and Carmody’s concern. No voice recorder was found, or, if found, was made public.
Weather was blamed by the media for the accident. However, many other similar planes were flying. Visibility was around 2-5 miles, temperatures on the ground were 36 degrees, winds were light to non-existent, the clouds were higher than normal, and icing was not a major problem for any other plane in the area. Local reporters and weather experts said weather was not a factor – only the national news and some government types floated these ideas.
Dick Cheney personally told Wellstone that “There will be severe ramifications for you and the State of Minnesota’ if he continued to oppose the Bush administration on the war. Wellstone was enemy number one in the Senate for the White House across many fronts – asbestos, the Iraq War, the control of the SEC, the Homeland Security and Patriot acts, labor issues and tax cuts.
The guidance system at the airport and the planes mechanical condition were fine, and the NTSB agreed with this finding.
The NTSB said they only have public hearings in ‘high profile cases.’ No hearing was held in the Wellstone crash. They have hearings in almost 50% of cases.
It was known for several days that Wellstone was going to fly up north instead of appearing with Ted Kennedy for a fundraiser. Wellstone used the same pilot 12 times. While the Wellstone boys later sued the aviation firm over an ‘unqualified’ pilot - one has to ask why Wellstone used this same ‘unqualified’ pilot 12 times, if he was so incompetent?
The FBI and Capitol Police were omitted from the listed parties to the investigation by the NTSB. This in spite of the fact that the FBI were the first one’s on the scene after emergency personnel, and later ruled it ‘an accident’ several hours later. The Capitol Police also arrived before the NTSB, and also began investigating.
- Carmody much later agreed it was “an accident” too, before her 11 month investigation closed, although NTSB rules indicate no verbalization of cause can be made before a report is officially issued.
First responders were ordered by the FBI not to take photos of the wreckage.
The plane turned almost 180 degrees before it crashed, and was last known going 85 knots -- and hit the ground at a 30 degree angle. A stall is at 69 knots. Stalling was later blamed for the crash. Why would a 'stall' make a plane turn 180 degrees?
Two witnesses heard the plane’s engines going ‘on and off’ and ‘quiet.’ One witness said they heard a ‘bang’ while the plane was in the air. A witness aid they saw fire and blue smoke in the tail. On the ground, it was confirmed the tail was burned, though gas tanks are in the wings. KSTP reporters said the fuselage was a ‘fire pit.’ Mechanics did not understand why the fuselage or tail would burn, when the fuel was in the wings, which were separated at the crash site. Instead of black smoke for fuel, the smoke from the fuselage was blue, which means electrical smoke.
Cell phone call in the immediate area broken up at 10:18 a.m. At 10:19 a.m. the Wellstone plane started its unexplained turn and plunge. The NTSB says it is not aware of ‘electro-magnetic pulse’ weapons. However, electro-magnetic impulses have lead many planes to crash. According to Fetzer, weapons that produce these pulses exist, and they can bring down planes. Time magazine reports their use in Iraq. Rayethon holds many of the patents, some developed in 1993. That is why individuals cannot use electronic devices during takeoff and landing of an airplane.
The NTSB never considered a ‘non-accident’ scenario. This from a supposedly ‘scientific’ body. Not considering sabotage as one scenario is a political decision. It underlines their investigations of nearly every other recent plane crash.
Carmody also worked on the plane crash of Democratic Senator Carnahan in Missouri, who died 2 years earlier, a few days before his senate election in Missouri against John Ashcroft. The NTSB also ruled that crash an accident. What is interesting is that Carnahan's widow took his place and won against Ashcroft. This time, Sheila Wellstone was also on the plane with Wellstone, and died too. So she could not take Wellstone's place on the ballot. This is either an 'accident,' or it implies that this time that option would be unavailable.
The assassination of Wellstone was predicted by a website, Vox Fux, which said it would relate to a tight electoral contest, and look like the Carnahan crash. This web-site was taken down by the government later. A former CIA contact with close ties to the CIA/FBI asserted to the authors that the Wellstone crash was not an accident.
The lead pilot, Conry, was a careful, experienced flier, especially concerned with weather issues. The FAA had re-certified Conry two days before the crash. The co-pilot was also very experienced, and could have easily taken over from a sleepy pilot. The Star Tribune concentrated on the ‘sleepy pilot’ theory, of course.
Both electrical communication and control of the airplane ended at the same time. Hitting a flock of birds or some other ‘catastrophic’ event would normally have been reported, as all power would not be out. Instead all electrical systems failed simultaneously.
Logs of planes arriving in Duluth that day have disappeared. From what I can tell from the book, the car rental logs have also not been found. The FBI said they landed in Duluth and rented a car.
The official NTSB report blamed pilot error for causing the plane to stall, not weather, and not the plane. They highlighted Conry’s prior felony conviction. His felony does not, of course, explain why the plane turned, instead of just dropping down. Nor does it explain why the pilots let the plane stall, in spite of a very loud ‘stall’ horn. It is only useful in a campaign of character assissination.
NTSB simulations of the stall failed to duplicate what happened to Wellstone’s plane.
Opponents of the authors assert that some ‘unexplained event’ caused the crash, not sabotage or the official NTSB explanation. But they cannot verbalize what ‘unexplained event’ that would be.
2 of the 5 NTSB members are HW Bush appointees. Only one is an actual aviation expert. One, again, is a former CIA agent. A real police investigation would start with the questions 'who had the motive, ability, and the most to gain' from the death of Paul Wellstone. The tentative answer here, of course, is Dick Cheney and those around him.
Why, as a radical, would anyone care what happens to Paul Wellstone, a left-liberal in the capitalist Democratic Party? Well, for those whose vanilla schematic of the world is that there are no divisions within the ruling class, or that the Democratic Party is one completely uniform body, that makes sense. However, when divisions arise between the rulers, or a few Democratic Party members stray from the 'path,' then we are left blind to the consequences if conflicts erupt. Leaving out facts, and replacing them with political generalizations makes Marxists into preachers, not scientists. And we are, above all, scientists.
Essentially, Four Arrows and Fetzer argue that the most logical and explanatory answer to what happened to Wellstone’s flight was that it was not an accident, but was sabotage of some sort – an electro-magnetic pulse, small plane-attached bomb, or some combination. This is the only thing that scientifically explains the long string of facts and strange, fraudulent or contradictory happenings concerning this somewhat simple event.
And I bought it at MayDay Books!
Red Frog, 8/12/2009