In a recent article posted at www.cleveland.com, IWP's Prof. S. Eugene Poteat contributed to the debate on the exact causes of the suspicious Smolensk Plane Crash. The April 2010 catastrophe, which transpired near the Russian city of Smolensk, killed Poland's pro-American and anti-communist President, Lech Kaczyński, along with his wife and other members of the country's political and military leadership, resulting in a grand total of 96 victims. It was thus the greatest single disaster in Poland's post-communist history, leaving in its wake many unanswered questions. Suspicions have been further fueled by Moscow's stonewalling, which created the disturbing appearance of a cover-up, and Warsaw's docility.
The article focused on the findings of Prof. Wiesław Binienda, who has been of the few scientists to challenge the official, Russian-inspired version of the crash. According to Moscow, pilot bravado caused the aircraft to strike a birch tree, which clipped the left wing and flipped over the plane. Binienda, a University of Akron engineering professor and NASA expert, conducted a computer simulation which proved clearly that the birch tree could not have significantly damaged, much less broken, the wing of a large airliner in motion.
In light of arguments that the crash was, in fact, an assassination, Prof. Poteat - who has more than fifty years of experience in aviation and military technology - stated that a circumstantial case can indeed be made: "They had the means, the will, the knowledge, the background, the assets. Everything it takes to commit a crime like that, they're past masters at it."