Associated Retired Aviation
Follow the Money
For anyone still in doubt about whether or not TWA Flight 800 was shot down by a missile, all you have to do is follow the money trail.
In the 9 years since Flight 800 crashed, the FBI, NTSB and FAA have all pointed to an unknown spark in the center fuel tank of Flight 800 as the "probable cause" of the center fuel tank explosion. They have issued numerous press releases pointing to the potential problem and have adamantly denied any link to a missile attack, despite over 100 eyewitnesses who saw a missile. This has resulted in a blizzard of media over the years discrediting the missile theory and pointing instead to an undiscovered spark. However, they have not followed their rhetoric with action or funding.
Thus far, there has not been a single grounding of a US airliner related to "fixing or inspecting" the supposed center tank design flaw. They have proposed a relatively inexpensive inerting system that would use nitrogen to reduce the risk of an explosion, but guess what, it would also reduce the explosion risk in a missile attack too.
Oh the other hand, the Government has, all the sudden, gotten religion with respect to Airline anti-missile systems after the undeniable attacks against an Israeli Airliner and the hit on the DHL Airbus in Iraq. They have spent millions on the development of an anti-missile system and may spend up to $6 Billion to equip the US Airliner fleet. See USA Today:
It is understandable that the government would want to play down the risk to the flying public after the devastation to the airline industry caused by 9/11, however, the act of covering up the Flight 800 shoot down, likely led to the lax security that allowed 9/11 to happen in the first place. If the government had been upfront with the American people in 1996, we may have been much more vigilant in 2001. Sure, the truth is scary, but the American people can handle the truth.