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TWA 800 Missile Topic:
President Clinton's Executive Order 13039

Bill Clinton

Without fanfare on March 11, 1997 President Clinton signed into law Executive Order 13039. That week in history missile theorists went public , the FBI confiscated an independent investigator's copy of an FAA radar tape AND was seeking another investigator for questioning.

Executive Order 13039 specifically provides for "Exclusion of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group From the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program". This program provides a mechanism for workers to report wrongdoing without fear of reprisal.

Naval Special Warfare was part of the TWA 800 recovery team. Some have wondered if this Executive Order was issued to keep some recovery activity a "National Secret".

Others believe there was a "classified operation" going on at the time of the TWA 800 crash. See The Unidentified Ships Near the TWA 800 Explosion and Something to do with a classified operation.

Is the timing of this Executive Order only a coincidence? Maybe, but why THEM and why THEN?

In the following you can read:
  1. In the News That Week
  2. What is an Executive Order?
  3. A Past Executive Order
  4. A Recent Controversial Executive Order 13083 "Federalism."
  5. Executive Order 13039 "Naval Special Warfare Exclusion"
  6. Who does Executive Order 13039 cover?
  7. What does Executive Order 13039 have to do with TWA 800?
  8. Conclusion

In the News That Week

  • Richard Russell's copy of the FAA radar tape was seized by FBI agents
  • Images from the radar tape were published in a Paris magazine
  • Pierre Salinger's Missile Press Conference in Paris
  • The FBI is seeking James Sanders for questioning, just a few weeks before the release of his book "The Downing of TWA flight 800"
  • The NTSB is still admitting missile theory is possible

From CNN on March 11, 1997 NTSB: "No physical evidence" missile brought down TWA 800 FBI seizes tape purportedly showing object speeding toward jet. From the article:
"The statements come a day after the FBI seized a videotape that purportedly shows an object speeding toward the jet seconds before it exploded."

..."The FBI has launched a criminal investigation into two people who claim they have government materials and crime scene evidence showing that a missile was responsible for the explosion, a top law enforcement source told CNN."

"In Florida, retired United Airlines pilot Richard Russell says FBI agents came to his Daytona Beach home Monday and seized a videotape. Russell claims the video is a copy of a Federal Aviation Administration radar tape showing a missile speeding toward the Boeing 747 aircraft minutes before the plane exploded. "

"...The tape, according to the source, shows a radar blip clearly marked "TWA 800," but FAA tapes only identify planes by their transponder codes, not commercial carrier names." [This is not true. I wonder who told CNN this and why.]

"In addition to Russell, the source says, the FBI hopes to question James Sanders, an author and retired police officer from California who claims to have acquired a piece of the doomed plane's seating material. The FBI is investigating this because people are claiming to have government property," the source said, "and if they do have this property it is a crime, obstruction of justice."

"Hall testified that the FBI collected samples of the residue last fall but had not tested it because it believed the residue to be an adhesive material. He said the FBI is conducting tests of the residue now."

"The NTSB knows that an explosion in the center fuel tank caused the plane to crash, but investigators do not know what caused the explosion. Loeb said one theory being studied is the possibility that a missile fragment hit the plane, causing fumes in the plane's center fuel tank to explode."

From CNN on March 13, 1997 Salinger 'totally sure' TWA 800 missile theory is true From the article:

"...At the news conference, Salinger and Mike Sommer, an investigative reporter and former Salinger colleague at ABC News, showed radar images they said were taken from an air traffic control video from John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the flight took off. "

"...At the news conference, Salinger and Sommer claimed the 'missile was fired during a "super-secret" U.S. Navy exercise off Long Island and was meant to target a Tomahawk missile, but hit Flight 800 instead when it "lost its lock on its original target."

"...Investigators say three possible crash theories remain -- a bomb, a missile or mechanical failure -- but they insist the investigation has ruled out an errant missile strike by the U.S. military.

"...The FBI this week launched a criminal investigation, hoping to stop missile theorists. On Tuesday, agents seized a videotape that former pilot Richard Russell claimed was FAA tape showing radar images of a missile near the doomed plane. "

"...The FBI also has been trying to question a former California police officer [James Sanders] who said he obtained and did tests on an actual piece of the wreckage. "

What is an Executive Order?

An Executive Order allows the President to write laws. I bet you thought only Congress could do that.

From THE EXECUTIVE ORDER is a Presidential Power not designated by the Constitution By Harry V. Martin with research assistance from David Caul. From the article:

"Article I, Section 1 of the United States Constitution is concise in its language, "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." When the Constitution was proposed, those opposed to a strong central government, the anti-Federalists, argued that there was no Bill of Rights to protect the people and that a centralized government would become too powerful, usurping the rights of the individual States."

"...Today, the executive branch of the government is immensely powerful, much more powerful than the founding fathers had envisioned or wanted. Congressional legislative powers have been usurped. There is no greater example of that usurpation than in the form of the Presidential Executive Order. The process totally by-passes Congressional legislative authority and places in the hands of the President almost unilateral power. The Executive Order governs everything from the Flag Code of the United States to the ability to single-handedly declare Martial Law. Presidents have used the Executive Order in times of emergencies to override the Constitution of the United States and the Congress. "


A Presidential Executive Order, whether Constitutional or not, becomes law simply by its publication in the Federal Registry. Congress is by-passed. Here are just a few Executive Orders that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.
Without Congressional approval, the President now has the power to transfer whole populations to any part of the country, the power to suspend the Press and to force a national registration of all persons. The President, in essence, has dictatorial powers never provided to him under the Constitution. The President has the power to suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in a real or perceived emergency. Unlike Lincoln and Roosevelt, these powers are not derived from a wartime need, but from any crisis, domestic or foreign, hostile or economic. Roosevelt created extraordinary measures during the Great Depression, but any President faced with a similar, or lesser, economic crisis now has extraordinary powers to assume dictatorial status. "

From the Executive Orders webpage:

"A series of Executive Orders, internal governmental departmental laws, unpassed by Congress, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 and the Violent Crime Control Act of 1991, has whittled down Constitutional law substantially. These new Executive Orders and Congressional Acts allow for the construction of concentration camps, suspension of rights and the ability of the President to declare Martial Law in the event of a drug crisis. Congress will have no power to prevent the Martial Law declaration and can only review the process six months after Martial Law has been declared. The most critical Executive Order was issued on August 1, 1971. Nixon signed both a proclamation and Executive Order 11615. Proclamation No. 4074 states, "I hereby declare a national emergency", thus establishing an economic crisis. That national emergency order has not been rescinded. "
"That's ridiculous" you say. "That could never happen in the United States." Read on.

A Past Executive Order

Was this an abuse of power?

The United States actually created concentration camps during World War II. 110,000 Japanese Americans were removed from their homes and jobs on the West Coast and relocated to "guarded camps in the interior". "These camps were like prisons with barbed wires and machine gun towers."

Dorothea Lange, WRA -- Manzanar Relocation Center -- July 3, 1942

From the book Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans:

"Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, was the instrument that allowed military commanders to designate areas from which any or all persons may be excluded. Under this order all Japanese and Americans of Japanese ancestry were removed from Western coastal regions to guarded camps in the interior. Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, who represented the Department of Justice in the "relocation," writes in the Epilogue to this book:
The truth is -- as this deplorable experience proves -- that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves...Despite the uneqivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment's command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066..."

Executive Order 9066 From the article:

"General DeWitt advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt that internment was a "military necessity." Based on erroneous information, on Febuary 19, 1942 FDR signed Executive Order 9066 which took effect in March of that year. 110,000 Mainland Japanese were evacuated into camps located in isolation. A few sites on the mainland were known as Manzanar, Tule Lake, and Camp McCoy. They were instructed to pack just a few bags. Their homes, belongings, land and businesses were lost and sold for a fraction of their actual value. These camps were like prisons with barbed wires and machine gun towers."
From Japanese Americans Internment in Concentration Camps:
"The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 began providing eligible [still alive after more than 45 years] Japanese Americans with an apology from the U.S. government and $20,000 in reparations for the loss of liberty and destruction of property suffered at the hands of U.S. officials."
All is well that ends well. Right?

More on the Japanese Internment can be found at The Japanese American Internment page.

Clinton's controversial Executive Order 13083 "Federalism."

Did you hear about this one?

Bill Clinton

From Power Grab by Executive Order by Phyllis Schlafly dated August 5, 1998:
"The President who got by with issuing Presidential Decision Directive 25 asserting his authority to assign U.S. troops to serve under foreign commanders -- without any uproar from Congress or the public -- apparently now thinks he can get by with an even bigger grab for power. On May 14, [1998] Bill Clinton quietly issued Executive Order (EO) 13083 called "Federalism."

"It's unclear why he issued this EO in Birmingham, England, unless he did it to minimize media coverage. Clinton has been issuing what the press has variously called a "blizzard" or a "blitz" of executive orders. "

"Written in broad and ambiguous language, Clinton's EO amounts to a bold and overreaching attempt to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, especially the Tenth Amendment, and sets up a framework under which federal bureaucrats can meddle whenever they think they have more "expertise" than the states."

Here are more sources on Executive Order 13083:

But you knew this already, you heard about this on the news. Right?

Executive Order 13039 "Naval Special Warfare Exclusion"

Exclusion of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group
From the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program

Bill Clinton

Executive Order 13039 can be viewed at the White House site at: or at

Here's the text of Executive Order 13039


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release March 12, 1997



By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7103(b)(1) of title 5 of the United States Code, and having determined that the Naval Special Warfare Development Group has as a primary function intelligence, counter-intelligence, investigative, or national security work and that the provisions of Chapter 71 of title 5 of the United States Code cannot be applied to this organization in a manner consistent with national security requirements and considerations, Executive Order 12171 of November 19, 1979, as amended, is further amended by adding the following at the end of section 1-205:

"(i) Naval Special Warfare Development Group."



March 11, 1997."

From Clinton Muzzles The Naval Weapons People by Mike Rivero.

"Just as the radar images were being published in Paris Match, Clinton signed the following Executive Order. The Federal Labor-Management Relations Program provides a mechanism for workers to complain of inappropriate treatment, or to report wrongdoing without fear of reprisal. Interesting timing, isn't it? "

Who does Executive Order 13039 cover?

The Naval Special Warfare Development Group is also known as DEVGRU. More info at Special Operations.Com

A list of Navy units assigned to the TWA 800 recover effort can be found at:
TWA Flight 800 Navy Support to the Recovery Efforts

Interestingly three units of Naval Special Warfare covered by Executive Order 13039 were part of the TWA 800 Recovery Effort. Thy are:

  1. Special Warfare Group Two (US Navy Seals)

    US Navy Seals

  2. SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two "The SDV is a "wet" submersible operated by SEALs to either conduct 100% long range submerged missions or to clandestinely deliver SEALs and other agents onto enemy territory from a submarine or other vessel at sea."

    SEAL Delivery Vehicles

    Click on the above for a large out of water image.

    More info on SDV's can be found at Special Operations.Com SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV)

  3. Special Boat Unit Twenty (Seal Support) "SBU-20 operates 14 two-craft RIB (Rigid inflatable boat ) dets (detachments) and two (soon to be four) MK 5 (Patrol Boat ) dets (detachments) with 21 officers and 250 enlisted personnel. (Their) job involves inserting and extracting SEAL Team personnel to and from mission objectives, …"

    Mark V Special Operations Craft

    More info on Seal Mark V Special Operations Craft can be found at US Navy Fact File.

What does Executive Order 13039 have to do with TWA 800?

Executive Order 13039 was signed for reasons of "National Security". Is information about the TWA 800 crash being withheld for reasons of "National Security"? Two possibilities are:
  1. Something to do with the recovery effort:

    • Were the black boxes recovered earlier than we have been told? From the article by Mike Rivero:
      "There are numerous indications that the "black boxes", or flight recorders, may have been recovered from the wreckage of TWA 800 earlier than has been reported. This aspect of the investigation is preliminary, but already some strong indicators are beginning to surface. The official story is that the locating pingers on the black boxes BOTH failed, which made it difficult to locate them until several days after the actual crash. Local boaters had reported hearing the pingers the first night. The crucial data was discovered in the Sound Spectrum Group's report included in the recent NTSB report. It stated that when the CVR pinger was returned to the manufacturer, it was found to be in perfect working order."

      black boxes

    • Removal of Evidence by the Navy and FBI From the article by J. Greg Miller:
      "I believe that the Navy used a long series of excuses to prevent divers (even most of their own) from entering the water for 4 days following the destruction of TWA flight 800. This was done to conceal the work of the divers from SEAL Team Two as they collected and modified or destroyed all evidence that would connect the destruction of the airplane to the live fire missile exercises that were going on the night of 7/17/96."

      "All missile remains were removed, and the black boxes were retrieved, modified, and later returned to the scene. Meanwhile, on the surface, the FBI took complete control and ownership of all evidence brought ashore and assured that every small scrap was inspected thoroughly by their own people before it was turned over to the NTSB. "

      Miller's article refences Special Weapons and Tactics of the Navy Seals , Popular Mechanics November 1995

      Combat swimmers get a ride on SEAL Delivery Vehicle Mark VIII.
      Currently, mixed-gas operations are taught only at SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) units. The SDV Mark VIII-known to SEALs as the Eight Boat -- is a submersible that carries combat swimmers and their cargo inside a fully flooded compartment. The vehicles launch and return to dry-deck shelters installed on host submarines. Inside an Eight Boat, the only vision comes from obstacle-avoidance sonar and standard Doppler radar.
    • From RECOVERY OF THE FLIGHT DATA RECORDERS page 30 (click to view) and page 31 (click to view) of the Donaldson Report:
      "...The pingers from the Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder were heard [the] night of the crash. By the next day the pingers suddenly stopped. They were not recovered for another 7 days."

      "Professional marine divers and salvage personnel enjoy full civil and personal rights while on or off the job. Navy divers and military personnel do not. The military chain of command, including the Commander-in-Chief, can and sometimes does abridge the civil liberties of military personnel. For example, the soldier or sailor can be ordered to remain silent pertaining to classified operations under penalty of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)."

      "...Mr. Clinton apparently thought the UCMJ wasn’t quite strong enough however, after he brought in the Navy salvage effort. On March 11, 1997, Mr. Clinton signed Executive Order 13039, that removed the personnel in the Navy units assigned to the TWA FL800 recovery mission, from the protection afforded by Chapter 71, Title 5 of the United States Code. This particular law is commonly referred to as the “whistle blower protection act”. The reason cited for the Executive Order was 'National Security'."

    US Navy Divers

  2. Something to do with a classified operation:

    • Pierre Salinger claimed a "missile was fired during a "super-secret" U.S. Navy exercise off Long Island".

      Pierre Salinger

    • James Kallstrom retired former FBI TWA 800 investigator-in-charge tells Reed Irvine of Accuracy in Media on September 14, 1998 that The Unidentified Ships Near the TWA 800 Explosion were "Navy vessels that were on classified maneuvers". You can hear this for yourself. Here's a partial transcript:

      James Kallstrom

      IRVINE: Let's open up the report, lets open up the record, lets take out the secrecy. That's the point.

      KALLSTROM: Ya, I think it would be good to do that at this point now that the criminal case is not open. But it's in the hands of NTSB...

      IRVINE: Hay, the bureau [FBI] just sent [Congressman] Trafficant a letter saying they couldn't identify three vessels that were in the vicinity for privacy reasons - come on.

      KALLSTROM: Well, ya. Well, we all know what those were. In fact, I even spoke about those publicly.

      IRVINE: What were they?

      KALLSTROM: They were Navy vessels that were on classified maneuvers...

    • Commander Donaldson from page 28 (click to view) and page 29 (click to view) of the Donaldson Report:
      "However, because of the missile firing geometry observed by witnesses, one possible military scenario has not been ruled out. If unaccounted for in-shore surface combatant patrol sightings are valid, it would indicate the possibility that the Navy was in a classified Air Defense posture patrolling in the area of previous missile launchings or sightings."

      "Is it possible the 30-knot surface target was such a combatant attempting to intercept a hostile shot? The answer is yes. Missile #2 was fired about 13 seconds after missile #1 and both arrived at FL800 within 1 ½ to 3 seconds of each other. Are US Navy surface combatants capable of intercepting hostile missile fire in such short notice. The answer is yes. The yes answer is predicated on the following conditions: 1) it is AEGIS equipped, 2) the ship is expecting a hostile launch, 3) the ship is in an advanced state of alert and in range."

      See also Encounter of the Aphrodite with mysterious surface vessels posted November 8, 1998 on the Donaldson site. From the article:

      "During his [FBI] interview, Dr. Gilliam was asked not to tell anyone else about his nocturnal encounter with the mystery boats.

      ...The actions described more closely fit tactical deployment of Navy Special Warfare boats on a point defense picket line."

    Rigid inflatable boat

    RIBs Rigid inflatable boat, fiberglass keel with inflatable gunnel

    US Navy Fact File - Patrol Coastal Boats

    Patrol Coastal Boats - PC

    From US Navy Fact File

    "Patrol Coastal Boats - PC "Description: The primary mission of these ships is coastal patrol and interdiction surveillance, an important aspect of littoral operations outlined in the Navy's strategy, "Forward...From the Sea." These ships also provide full mission support for Navy SEALs and other special operations forces."

    "Background: The Cyclone class ships are assigned to Naval Special Warfare. Of the thirteen ships, nine operate out of the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va., and four operate from the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, Calif. These ships provide the Naval Special Warfare Command with a fast, reliable platform that can respond to emergent requirements in a low intensity conflict environment."


The timing of Executive Order 13039 may be just a huge coincidence. But then again maybe not, especially in light of some of the other unusual aspects of the TWA 800 investigation. See:

The FBI has long said if someone knew of a missile they would surely come forward.
Maybe they can't speak because of Clinton's Executive Order 13039.

If you feel this deserves further investigation contact your elected representative.

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