Skip to comments.It's time for Obama to talk about Brown
Posted on 04/07/2008 12:06:50 AM PDT by peggybac
In early December 1997, after eighteen months of successful damage control by the White House, the black community in Chicago finally learned of the anomalies in the death of Ron Brown.
Bill Clintons Secretary of Commerce, Brown had dreamed of becoming Americas first black president from the time he was a little boy. And although he was, as Joe Biden might have put it, as articulate and bright and clean as Barack Obama, he never got the chance.
Brown died on April 3, 1996--twelve years ago today--when the USAF plane in which he and 34 others were flying crashed inexplicably into a Croatian mountainside near Dubrovnik.
As reported in the Chicago Independent Bulletin, a group of black pastors, led by Rev. Hiram Crawford of the Israel Methodist Community Church on Chicagos south side, blasted local black legislators for their apparent silence in this matter.
The Bulletin article does not specify whether the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was among the pastors or whether then Illinois state senator Obama was among the lblasted.
Given the proximity of Crawfords south side church to Wrights church and Obamas senate district, however, the pair had to have at least known about the protest.
As the Bulletin article reported accurately, Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell, a doctor and deputy medical examiner with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), had gone public with his concerns.
When you get something that appears to be a homicide, that should bring everything to a screeching halt," Cogswell was quoted as saying of Browns death.
Cogswell was referring to the .45-inch inwardly beveling circular hole in top of [Browns] head, which he described as essentially the description of a 45-caliber gunshot
wound. Cogswell argued that at the very least the wound should have prompted an autopsy, but it did not.
So troubled were the Chicago pastors by what they saw as a conspiracy to divert justice that they called for the impeachment of President Clinton along with the opening of an investigation into Browns death.
Had the pastors known about the likely sabotage of the Dubrovnik airports aviation systems, the death by gunshot wound to the chest of the manager of those systems, the purloining of Browns head x-rays, or the lead snowstorm visible in the photos of the same, they would have been more outraged still.
There was something else the pastors did not know: Brown was desperate after his son Michael had been targeted by an independent council.
Nor did they know that Brown had threatened to reveal the still buried details of the China fundraising scandal when President Clinton refused to intervene on Michaels behalf.
After Cogswells revelations, White House troubleshooters went into overdrive. They had the AFIP imposed a gag order on Cogswell while military police escorted him to his house and seized all of his case materials on the Brown crash.
The following day, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post did what the mainstream media routinely did during the Clinton yearsattacked the presidents critics.
Cogswell never actually examined the body, Kurtz snickered about Cogswell, who had covered the Croatian end of the crash. Kurtz then added with preposterous certainty, There definitely was no bullet because there was no exit wound.
If the Post or the White House thought the outbreak had been contained, they were in for a surprise. In a refreshingly noble gesture, Lt. Col. David Hause, a pathologist who had been present for the Brown examination, went public in support of Cogswell.
To Kurtzs claim that there was no exit wound, Hause and Cogswell both agreed a bullet could have traveled down the neck and lodged elsewhere in the body. They knew too that given White House pressure, there had been no time to search for an exit wound, let alone perform an autopsy.
The pressure from the black community continued to grow. On December 18, the head of the NAACP, Kweisi Mfume, took the Brown case to the White House and demanded answers.
On Christmas Eve, veteran activist and former comedian Dick Gregory staged a protest and prayer vigil at the AFIP headquarters in Washington that culminated in the TV-friendly gesture of wrapping yellow crime scene tape around the area.
We are not going to allow this to pass, Gregory vowed. There is very strong evidence the AFIP found a gunshot wound on Browns head and decided to cover-up this evidence.
The mainstream media largely ignored Gregory, just as they had Mfume. But there was one black leader neither the media nor the White House could ignore.
That was Chicagos own Jesse Jackson, and he came forward on January 5. With Jackson on board, reporters finally raised the Brown question at a White House press conference on that same day. They obviously struck a nerve.
Its time to knock this stuff off, snapped press secretary Mike McCurry. Im not going to talk about this further or take any further questions on the subject.
But the questions would not go away. A week later a third AFIP pathologist came forward, Air Force Maj. Thomas Parsons. He agreed the hole was suspicious and unusual and worthy of an autopsy.
The chief forensic photographer who had first discovered the hole, Kathleen Janoski, offered public confirmation and support as well.
With momentum still building in the black community, the Washington Afro-American ran a lengthy front-page story on January 17, 1998.
At this moment in time, the story had enough substance and bi-racial support to breach the firewall the mainstream media had constructed around the White House and shake Washington to its foundation, but this was not to be.
On that very same January 17, Bill Clinton was about to swear under oath that he had no idea who Monica Lewinsky was. True to form, Newsweek tried to suppress the Lewinsky story as the Washington Post had successfully done earlier.
The Internet, however, now made suppression all the more difficult. Matt Drudge ran with the story and forced the major media to follow. By January 21, the Monica tale had inundated the land and left every other news story gasping for breath.
Jesse Jackson and other ambitious black politicians had a choice to make. They could either pick away at the administration on a story that had just lost its legs or exploit the presidents Monica problem to their own best advantage.
Jackson chose to exploit. Dick Gregory continues his protest to this day. The three pathologists and the photographer had their careers destroyed, and it is unlikely that in his visit to Croatia this week President Bush will vindicate them.
As to Obama, he has kept his powder dry. Apparently, he feels no need to talk about Browns death unless he has to.
And unless he does, there will never be an investigation.
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I thought the way the story was told in those days, Brown’s problems themselves were about to become a problem for him and the White House, as of the date of the crash in 1996. There was some woman involved whose name escapes me.
Nolanda Hill, if I recall correctly.
thanks, that sounds right.
Cannot forget Barbara Wise as well; and her ‘strange’ demise inside the Commerce Department. . .a few months later.
By this investigation; one might think that Clinton had already begun Brown's deconstruction; thinking Brown might be easily compromised/controlled. (Personal challenges always a plus for those joining Clinton, Inc.) But of course, Brown himself offered that if he did go down; he would not go alone.
And he was right. . .
Relying on memory here and not google so. ..loosely, Brown told Nolanda. . .if something happened to him; it would not be suicide. And he was right again.
Michael Brown had his own problems. Have no idea of course if this is what Cashill is speaking about.
Why do I suddenly find myself wondering of Obama few in an aircraft when he vacationed in The Bahamas this year?
I don’t know,I’ve heard Obama can walk on water.....:))
All I’m going to say is that Barack Obama does not have the Dem nomination yet and don’t put anything past the Clintons.
Whenever michael brown is on tv supporting the clintons the way he does, I wonder just how can a man defend the very people responsible for his father’s death.
I actually ordered the video of the Ron Brown funeral from C-SPAN 12 years ago, for some reason I can’t remember. I remember that the daughter responded very coldly to Bill Clinton’s attempt to give her a hug. The look she gave him would have turned a normal man—one who’s NOT a sociopath, I mean—to stone.
My questions have always been about what happened in the aircraft, how was the deed done, what about the AF personnel in the aircraft, and mostly if someone did the deed and then was willing to go down with the plane?
Anyone have insight to those questions?
You’re right. ‘Ballot-box-bingo’ and other election day shenanigans are certainly on the Clinton agenda... as usual. Anyone who does not believe that... is too guliible for words. WHY do you think she is killing herself to stay in a losing race? She know the fix is in!
Crash site. 7:20 P.M.:
Four hours and 20 minutes after the crash, the first Croation Special Forces search party arrives on the scene. They fund only stewardess Kelly surviving. They call for a helicopter to evacuate her to the hospital. When it arrives, Kelly is able to get on board without assistance from the medics.
But Kelly never completes the short hop. She dies an route. According to multiple reports given to journalist/editor Joe L. Jordan, an autopsy later reveals a neat three-inch incision over her main femoral artery. It also shows the incision came at least three hours after all her other cuts and bruises.
This creates in your mind a horrifying scene in the back of the chopper, as one Special Forces operative holds down the struggling woman while another slice her leg.
Further autopsies of other passengers probably will not be made. Clinton ordered the cremation of all victims - it's hard to perform autopsies on ashes.
How could clinton order all the bodies cremated? Would’nt next of kin make that call?
Connection between Ron Brown and Bodies and Evidence - Jul 16, 1999 "The survivor. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Shelley Kelly, a stewardess, survived the crash for some four hours. Kelly and another stewardess had been seated in a jumpseat at the very rear of the 737. That area was found basically intact after the crash. According to the Air Force, she received first aid from Croatian rescuers but died on the way to a nearby hospital. Her autopsy report states that Kelly died of a broken neck... At this writing, Clinton has ordered the cremation of all victims."
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