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On July 16, Lori Aratani wrote a lengthy article for the Washington Post detailing the NTSB’s decision to destroy the remains of TWA Flight 800, “the Paris-bound jetliner that crashed shortly after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport 25 years ago Saturday killing all 230 people onboard.” This much Aratani got right, but that is about all. On Monday, July 19, I started skimming the article with the expectation that Aratani was simply going to recirculate the party line of twenty or so years’ standing. She did not disappoint. “The crash made headlines for years, the tragedy of the loss compounded by suspicions the plane may have been the target of a terrorist attack,” Aratani wrote. “Ultimately, after a four-year investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded the cause was an explosion in the plane’s center fuel tank, the result of a flammable mix of fuel and air ignited by a spark.” Standard nonsense. There were, in fact, “suspicions” the plane may have been the target of a terrorist attack, but there was overwhelming evidence the 747 was the unfortunate victim of friendly missile fire.

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