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MH17: The Blaming Putin Game Goes On
Who shot down MH-17? Somebody knows
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Once upon a time CIA Stations overseas received what was referred to as an “Operating Directive” which prioritized intelligence targets for the upcoming year based on their importance vis-à-vis national security. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, penetrating Moscow and preventing the KGB’s repaying the favor in kind loomed large as Russia and its allies represented the only genuine threat that could in fact destroy much of the United States. Today’s Russia retains much of that military capability but somehow the perception that you have to deal with what is important first has been lost on our policymakers, possibly due to a false impression inside the beltway that Moscow no longer matters.

A working relationship with Moscow that seeks to mitigate potential areas of conflict is not just important, it is essential. Russian willingness to cooperate with the west in key areas to include the Middle East is highly desirable in and of itself but the bottom line continues to be Moscow’s capability to go nuclear against Washington if it is backed into a corner. Unfortunately, U.S. administrations since Bill Clinton have done their best to do just that, placing Russia on the defensive by encroaching on its legitimate sphere of influence through the expansion of NATO. Washington’s meddling has also led to interfering in Russia’s domestic politics as part of a misguided policy of “democracy building” as well as second guessing its judiciary and imposing sanctions through the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012. The damage to relations has been aggravated by the ill-advised commentary from American politicians on the make, including Senator John McCain’s dismissal of Russia as “a gas station masquerading as a country.”

One should legitimately be concerned over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inflicting damage on his country’s fledgling democracy through fraud, corruption, media clampdowns and exploitation of a malleable legal system. One might also object to exactly how Russia asserted its interests using force against neighboring states Georgia and Ukraine. But that does not change the bottom line, which continues to be that functional relations between Moscow and Washington are a sine qua non. Russia’s domestic politics are none of our business and the alleged grievances of Georgia and Ukraine are undeniably a lot less purely attributable to Russian actions than the White House and Congress would have us believe, with U.S. interference in both countries clearly a major contributing factor to the resulting instability.

Assuming that one accepts that lessening bilateral tension over the Ukraine is a desirable objective, the White House might soon have a good opportunity to demonstrate that it is willing to deal fairly with the Russian leadership in Moscow. The Dutch Government’s Safety Board will in October make public its long awaited report detailing its assessment of last year’s downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over Ukraine. The investigation was conducted with the cooperation of the Ukrainian and Malaysian authorities, but did not include a thorough survey of the crash site, which was and still is considered too dangerous. According to leaks of its conclusions, the report will admit that there is no conclusive evidence regarding who is responsible for the shoot down but it will nevertheless make a circumstantial case that the pro-Russian separatists are the most likely suspects in spite of the fact that there is no hard technical or intelligence related evidence supporting that judgment. Blaming the separatists will, by implication, also blame Moscow.

At this point, the United States, which together with other interested parties has been reviewing a copy of the report in draft, does not intend to present its own findings but will instead go along with the Dutch conclusions. Among former intelligence, military and Foreign Service officers there has been considerable discussion of the significance of Washington’s standing on the sidelines regarding the findings. To be sure, there are a number of rumors and allegations circulating relating to what is actually known or not know about the shoot down.

According to some sources, the U.S. intelligence community disagrees over the likelihood of the alleged Russian role and has suggested as much privately to the Dutch. Some analysts who have looked at all the considerable body of information that has been collected relating to the downing actually believe that the most likely candidate might well be the then governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Ihor Kolomoisky, an oligarch billionaire who is an Israeli-Ukrainian dual national. Kolomoisky is known to employ Israeli mercenaries as advisers and has personally organized and paid for militias fighting the Russian separatists. He would have been strongly motivated to create an incident that could plausibly be blamed on the Russians or their surrogates and he had the means to do so. The government in Kiev acting independently also had the resources and motive to shoot down the plane and blame it on Moscow.

The dominant narrative that is still circulating widely suggests that either a direct or enabling Russian role is a given based on the claimed origin of the Buk missile, technical analysis of the plume and trajectory, and the military units that were known to be in place or moving at the time. And there was also the apparent separatist bragging on communications intercepts about shooting down a transport plane. This was the explanation that surfaced shortly after the downing, that was heavily promoted by the Ukrainian government and the media and that has been much favored by the international punditry ever since.

The third option of how to explain the shoot down is, of course, the Dutch approach: we think it was the Russians but we can’t prove it. That is an easy choice to make as it really says nothing, which is possibly why it is being favored by the White House.

But if it is actually true that there has been considerable dissent on the findings, the tacit acceptance of a possibly unreliable and essentially unsustainable report by the White House will have significant impact on relations with Russia. It constitutes a disturbing rejection of possibly accurate intelligence analysis in favor of a politically safe alternative explanation. It recalls the politicization of intelligence that included Robert Gates’ Soviet assessments of the 1980s, John McLaughlin’s tergiversation regarding Iraq, and, most recently, Michael Morell’s over the top hyping of the threat posed by political Islam. It is a return to a Manichean view of the world as “them” and “us” with the implication that intelligence professionals are willing to restrain their dissent on an important issue if it serves to advance the current war of words with Russia.

To be sure, deep sixing intelligence assessments that contradict policies that the White House is intent on pursuing anyway buys congenial access to the President and his advisers but it comes at the cost of diminishing the ability of the intelligence community to provide objective and reliable information in a timely fashion, which is at least in theory why it exists at all. Producing honest intelligence will, on the contrary, strengthen both the reputations and credibility of all involved.

If Russia is indeed to blame for the airplane shoot down it should be held accountable, but it is up to the U.S. government to put its cards on the table and be clear about what it does and does not know. The original claims that Russia was involved were based on snap judgments based on bits of information that had been obtained immediately after the event, little of which has been subsequently corroborated through either satellite imagery or electronic and signal intercepts. Since that time the German BND intelligence service has expressed its doubts that the missile used in the shoot down could have been supplied by Russia and has also claimed that photos provided by the Ukrainian government as part of the investigation had been “doctored.” There have also been reports regarding a Ukrainian fighter plane being in the area of the airliner as well as the nearby presence of Ukrainian ground to air missile units. Reported conversations among separatist claiming credit were eventually determined to be composite fakes produced by the Ukrainian intelligence services. Presumably U.S. intelligence has also taken a long and hard look at all the evidence or lack thereof but it is being quiet regarding what it has determined.

It is important to get this right because the potential damage goes far beyond the role of intelligence or even who might have been responsible for the downing of an airliner one year ago. As the relationship with Russia is of critical importance and should be regarded as the number one national security issue for the United States, it is essential that the Dutch conclusions be aggressively challenged if there is even the slightest possibility that Russia is blameless.

One does not have to be a fan of Vladimir Putin to appreciate that the nearly continuous efforts being promoted within mostly neoconservative circles to both delegitimize and confront him and his regime do not serve any conceivable American national interest. In an Independence Day phone call to President Obama, President Putin called for a working relationship with the United States based on “equality and respect,” which should, under the circumstances, be a given. Americans have been lied into intervention and war more than once over the past fifteen years and it should be clear to all that any contrived crisis based on an erroneous conclusion regarding a shot down airliner that develops into an armed conflict with Russia will have unimaginable consequences. A skeptical American public and international community must demand that any MH-17 report should reflect a full assessment, to include any dissent from its conclusions registered by the United States intelligence community. Any information at variance with the conventional view, particularly anything that suggests that there might be other interested parties who had both the means and compelling interest to shoot down a civilian airliner, must become a part of the discussion.

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  1. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    It is time. Putin should take the hard position and bring down every Jewish agent in Russia whatever the cost.

    I mean enough already.

    This has been a Jewish War on Russia from the beginning because Jews nearly all of Russia in the palm of their hands but saw it slip under Putin.

    Putin has been nice to Jews, but a lot of Russian Jews are working with American and British Jews to bring him down and turn Russia into a vassal state of Global Empire of Zion, of which US is the primary vassal state.

    Putin need not go after all Jews as there are decent patriotic Russian Jews in Russia.
    But he should go after any influential Jew in Russia who is suspected of subversion of any kind.

    The West, under Jewish control, will bitch and howl, but it’s now or never.

    There are too many Jewish fifth-columnists in Russia, and they are conspiring with the Global Empire of Zion to turn Russia into just another whore-state to own and exploit.

    It is time for Putin to become someone like Frederick the Great. No more nice guy with the Jews when so many Jews are working to turn Russia into a slave state.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  2. Kiza says:

    After reading, listening to and watching so much of the information about the shooting down of MH17 I put forward the most likely scenario and some important related points.

    1) If the Ukrainians shot it down, then it would have been a deliberate and planned act; if the Separatists did it it would have been a totally stupid mistake. Shooting down a plane which even falls onto their territory was definitely not in their interest.
    2) If MH17 was shot-down by the Ukrainians then nobody would believe that the West was not involved in this act, therefore the West has a strong incentive to defend its Ukrainians even if it knows that they have done it.
    3) It is possible that the US neocons knew of the plan to shoot down a passenger plane, but it was unlikely that this was known within the wider US Administration
    4) The Prime Minister of Australia one Tony Abbott, was screaming his head off against the Russians about 7 hours after the shoot-down; he reduced rhetoric later, but how did he know who did it so quickly?
    5) It is not impossible but it is not easy to shoot down a passenger plane flying at almost 11,000 m and at a high speed from the ground. When the USS Vincennes downed the Iran Air Flight 655, this plane was still climbing up. Other examples of shootdowns were mostly by military jets, not by Surface-to-Air missiles (SAMs).
    6) Therefore, most likely the MH17 was shot down by a military jet, because nobody saw a very visible plume from a BUK missile.
    7) It is extremely unlikely that the US does not have satellite imagery, where is it?
    8) Who directed a civilian jet over a small conflict area (50km x 80km)?
    9) Why the black boxes were never analysed and sound of the last few seconds played in the media, as it usually happens?
    10) What about news that the Ukrainian Government was given the right of veto over the investigative report’s content? This would make this report totally compromised and worthless.

    In conclusion – most information points that MH17 was shot down at the behest of the US neocons and executed by their Ukrainian proxies. The majority of the US Government has not been involved in this act, but all information has been suppressed and this is why the US intelligence professionals have been complaining.

  3. I hope I can pay a compliment about a measured piece on a still important question and ask my own questions without smoking the maddies from their holes.

    It is indeed a great pity that the US seems to have neglected to use seriously professional diplomacy with both Russia and China – a charm offensive if you will to get them working with rather than against the US. Nothing surely to be lost in trying.

    But on the MH17 might we have from PG analysis of motivation. The advantage to be gained from having Russia blamed was surely never going to outweigh the chance and consequences of being caught out, immediately or later, and the difficulty of laying the blame successfully on Russia anyway. Was it ever going to be enough to show that the weaponry was Russian sourced and maybe some of the personnel?

    So it is hard to see a state actor being involved (any more than one can imagine Russia being involved except by accident). Was the new government in Kyiv such a lot of adolescent lightweights that anything foolish might be expected from them? I presume not from all I have heard. What about the Jewish oligarch PG mentions? Needs a lot more detail and elaboration to make that more than a thought bubble.

    If the story of the recordings of excited rebels claiming to have brought down a plane are now known to be concocted by Ukrainian intelligence what of the one about the Russian TV broadcast which was changed within half an hour from being one which said the rebels had brought down a Ukrainian plane to one which had the Ukrainian air force shooting down an airliner? Whatever the truth about that, can we see somewhere all the Russian (and Ukrainian) radio and TV reports about the shooting down?

    I don’t think you PG are disagreeing with the proposition that a disastrous mistake rathet than deliberate crime is by far the most likely explanation. That being so should we be getting excited about the weaponry having been provided as part of Russia’s help to the rebels? Embarrassing for Russia to have to admit, if it was the case, that some Russian military men were involved in the stuff up. And impossible to handle decently because Putin had committed himself to the out and lie that there were no Russian soldiers in the Ukraine.

    So, assuming the US could prove (95 per cent certainty anyway) that it was Russian armed rebels that did it, can you not see reasons why the US might see no advantage in nailing down the proof? What gains would there now be for US interests if the US was not content to leave the verdict as one of probable guilt on the part if Russian backed rebels?

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    , @Bill
  4. tbraton says:

    “Americans have been lied into intervention and war more than once over the past fifteen years ”

    PG, you are being much too restrained by limiting your statement to “the past fifteen years.” We are now pretty certain that the attacks by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 never happened and were made up by the Defense Department. Those “attacks” formed the basis of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which LBJ used as Congressional authorization to wage war in Vietnam. Going back even further, we are pretty certain (according to the late Admiral Rickover) that the U.S.S. Maine was not sunk by a Spanish mine or torpedo but by ill stored munitions on board the Maine. The sinking of the Maine provided the basis for declaring war against Spain in 1898 resulting in “the splendid little war” which started the “American Empire.” Those are the two obvious examples showing that this process has been going on for more than 15 years. Other than this small quibble, another fine piece by you.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  5. The Dog That Didn’t Bark in the MH17 case is ELINT.

    The Americans would have picked-up and identified the radar emissions of the BUK/SA-11 system.

    They spend a vast amount on satellite, ground and airborne ELINT systems to maintain an up to date real-time global Electronic ORBAT. If a Russian BUK was used they would have its complete deployment history. And they would immediately have announced this smoking gun.

    Some Pentagon spokesman would have gleefully announced that the system used had last emitted in (say) Rostov on such-and-such a date and had moved there from Kaluga on such-and-such a date etc

    But the Pentagon are saying … NOTHING. And I haven’t seen this rather obvious point reported in the English language media.

    The conclusion I draw is that the BUK used was operated by the Ukrainians.

  6. annamaria says:

    The US administration (the arm of plutocracy) will continue lying and bullying when the interests of plutocracy are at stake. Do not expect the truth interfere with profit and power.
    For now, the DC strategists succeeded in 1. unifying the RF citizens around Putin (the KGB product and self-made man with knowledge and principles); 2. pushing BRICS countries to greater cooperation and thus creating a mighty constructive counterweight to the US mostly destructive “interests” worldwide; 3. endangering everything living on our planet by promoting nuclear weapon proliferation and by creating a trigger to nuclear conflict in Eastern Europe.
    The usual suspects, the mega financiers and other “haves,” face a dilemma today: Until very recently, just hundred years ago, it was OK to inflame a military conflict and to feed on it safely from afar, in a comfort of some civilized and intact country. This safety has gone. In a case of military conflict with RF, the profiteers are facing the death to their children and grandchildren and such destruction of global infrastructure, which would make obsolete both their money and their power. There are no methods to quickly clean this kind of mess. Hopefully, there are some with brains and knowledge around the “deciders” to explain the lose-lose situation.

  7. annamaria says:

    This is a great comment. By being silent on the second-by-second development of MH17 tragedy in the air, the US’ military forces and security apparatus create an impression of technological incompetence. The US taxpayers were shown a finger?

  8. Seraphim says:

    My take is that the Americans know that Kolomoisky is heavily involved. He is already declared internationally wanted and indicted in absentia by a Russian Court for using prohibited means and methods of warfare (Read more:

    His “removal” might indicate that he was given the opportunity “to pack his bags and take a hike to some ‘shitty little country’ in the Middle East, as French diplomat Daniel Bernard prefers to call it. That’s where this punk belongs anyway.”(@ Kolomoisky is a dual citizen Ukraino-Israeli. Americans can’t let Israel be dragged in this affair.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  9. Tom Welsh says:

    “If Russia is indeed to blame for the airplane shoot down it should be held accountable…”

    You mean the way the USA was held accountable for the undenied and undeniable shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes? As I recall, the officers and men of the Vincennes were subsequently honoured and decorated, and Vice President George H.W. Bush said, “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”

  10. Tom Welsh says:

    “…technical analysis of the plume and trajectory…”

    What plume? As far as I know (and I have followed this matter closely from the start) eye-witness evidence says that there was no plume. (If by “plume” you refer to the trail of smoke left by an ascending BUK missile, which stays around for at least 15-20 minutes).

  11. Tom Welsh says:

    “One should legitimately be concerned over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inflicting damage on his country’s fledgling democracy through fraud, corruption, media clampdowns and exploitation of a malleable legal system”.

    One may be concerned about those things. I personally am far more concerned about the systematic lying, cynical manipulation, and hideous violence emanating from Washington. Given a choice between trusting Vladimir Putin and pretty well any US president – including the not-so-saintly Abraham Lincoln – I would unhesitatingly choose Putin. As far as I know, for instance, Putin does not sit down with intelligence chiefs once a week to select a list of people to be assassinated.

    Consider, for instance, the opinion of ex-president Bill Clinton who said publicly a couple of years ago that Putin had never broken a promise that he knew of – something that certainly could not be said of Clinton or any other US president. Clinton also described Mr Putin as very smart and brutally blunt.

  12. Tom Welsh says:

    Thank you, Kiza – a very good and concise summary of all the factors that crossed my mind while reading the article, which mentions none of the very strong evidence that Ukraine shot down MH17.

  13. Tom Welsh says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    If it is true that one or more Donbas militiamen tweeted something indiscreet about having shot down a Ukrainian plane – and it may just be yet one more fabrication from Kiev – why assume it was sent by someone who actually shot it down? It seems very unlikely that the Novorossians ever had a BUK system, and it’s more likely that MH17 was shot down by one or more fighters (since there was no smoke plume). The crew of a BUK might be a dozen or so, whereas anyone within many miles could see a burning plane plummeting out of the sky. What would be more natural than for any hard-pressed militiaman, seeing such a thing, to assume it was a Ukrainian military aircraft? The Novorossians didn’t have any aircraft, so it couldn’t be theirs. Thus it had to be Ukrainian – the idea of shooting down a civilian airliner would not have occurred to anyone – and so it must have been shot down by some Novorossian agency. It’s reasonable that such a person would wish to express his joy at a noteworthy success by his comrades in arms.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  14. Tom Welsh says:

    “And I haven’t seen this rather obvious point reported in the English language media”.

    Exactly so. And you won’t see any other evidence that tends to exonerate Russia in the media, either. Because their job is to amplify the US government line.

  15. TST says:

    Examination of the wreckage clearly points to MH17 having been shot down by the weaponry normally carried by by a Ukrainian SU-25 attack jet.

    Details with photos and analysis may been seen at the following link:

    • Replies: @Mr. Creosote
    , @Max
  16. Tom Welsh says:

    “My take is that the Americans know that Kolomoisky is heavily involved”.

    In what way do you suppose Kolomoisky to be any worse than the lying scoundrels who make up the Kiev junta? In my experience, following the Ukrainian situation for the past 18 months, Kiev hardly ever says anything that is true. Moreover, Kolomoisky or any other oligarch acting on his own account would lack the callous brutality and the utter certainty of impunity that marks the US government’s little “projects”.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  17. Hepp says:

    Reported conversations among separatist claiming credit were eventually determined to be composite fakes produced by the Ukrainian intelligence services.

    The attached link does not provide any evidence that is the case. In fact, a Vice reporter went and talked to one of the separatists on the tapes, and he admitted it was him.

    The problem is that all the information we get on this case comes from governments, so it can’t be reliable. But this is the closest thing to third party confirmation that at least one piece of evidence released by one side is correct.

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  18. Avery says:

    {“One might also object to exactly how Russia asserted its interests using force against neighboring states Georgia and Ukraine.”}

    Somewhat tangential to the core of the story, but even Mr. GIRALDI repeats the false line about Ukraine and Georgia.

    Goaded by US Neocons (probably Cheney) Western puppet Saakashvili, having an episode of delusions of grandeur, attacked Russian peacekeeper troops in South Ossetia, killing several, and bombarded civilian targets there. West eventually acknowledged, after months of blaming Russians, that Saakashvili had in fact initiated the war. Russia could have cut Georgia in half if it wanted to. But stopped after 5 days, having achieved the objective. NATO and Israeli trained Georgian troops ran to Tbilisi like rabbits as soon as the Bear showed up.

    US initiated an illegal coup against a democratically elected president. It is on record: Victoria “F___ EU” Nuland and US ambassador were discussing which puppet to install in Kiev well before Yanukovych fled under threats from Neo-Nazis to murder him and his family.

    US has deposed governments and/or invaded countries South of US border and throughout South America under the Monroe Doctrine, that were deemed to be unfriendly or hostile to US.
    So Russia has no right to interfere in a country that is on its border and is in fact the cradle of Russia (Kievan Rus) ?
    What would US do if Chinese overthrew Mexico’s government and started arming Mexicans for Reconquista.

  19. Hepp says:

    Sorry, that’s not the right video. Go to dispatch 87 for what I was talking about.

  20. Since we all know that anything in Ukrainian airspace is tracked by not only the Uke air-traffic control and military and by Russia and the United States via satellite, then it ‘s simply a matter of reviewing radar tracks and sat-imaging.
    One glaring unanswered question is why only that particular flight out of the many other previous flights was diverted East over the dangerous contested territory and not in established safe air traffic lanes? Why would a commercial airliner fly at a lower than usual altitude unless so directed by the State ATC?

    So far there has been a thundering silence from the Ukes and the US while Russia has released information about fighter jets following MH-17 and testimony from an employee at a Uke airbase that witnessed a Uke SU-25 return without missiles.

    This would account for the holes in the cockpit fuselage that are consistent with 30mm cannonfire entering and exiting that rescue workers observed in the wreckage that have no other explanation and cannot be made by large BUK missile fragments.

    The silence seems to indicate that the rush to frame the Separatist East Ukrainians and, by proxy, Russia has failed and the evidence will clearly show that.

    • Replies: @Mr. Creosote
  21. Rurik says:

    According to leaks of its conclusions, the report will admit that there is no conclusive evidence regarding who is responsible for the shoot down but it will nevertheless make a circumstantial case that the pro-Russian separatists are the most likely suspects in spite of the fact that there is no hard technical or intelligence related evidence supporting that judgment. Blaming the separatists will, by implication, also blame Moscow

    This is 911 and Saddam’s WMD all over again.

    MH17 was riddled with bullet holes. All anyone has to do it look at the pictures of the cockpit and see the bullet holes that clearly targeted the pilot. There are bullet holes all over the thing. It was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet. Here’s a Canadian OCSE monitor talking about evidence of “very, very strong machine gun fire”

    but you don’t need him to tell you. All you have to do is look at the pictures. They say it all.

    It was shot down by Ukraine either thinking it was Putin’s jet or as a pretext to blame it all on Putin, which the controlled western media did immediately without any evidence. The leaders all piled on like the puppets they are just like they did when it was Saddam’s WMD. They’re all whores and liars, but the sad thing is that so many Western people’s are so damn uncurious and gullible to the point of cows grazing in the fields.

    Just like with 911 or the WMDs, the Dutch will be told to lie about the evidence and the controlled west will continue to foist wars for greater Israel. Even when everyone knows it’s all lies and millions of people are slaughtered in contrived wars for the fun and profit of banksters and war pigs.

    Nothing new under the sun.

  22. @Mr. Creosote

    an addendum to my previous post.
    Since most MSM reporting on both sides of this question are so loaded with self serving propaganda, it’s difficult, at best, to determine the facts, but the sheer rush to blame Russia by Western media indicates that a plan was in place to capitalize on this tragedy.

    Release all information that the Ukraine govt. ATC has in it’s possession and we’ll know exactly what was in the air in proximity to MH-17.

  23. @TST

    Excellent catch.
    This was an article I couldn’t find to add to my post below.

  24. @jimmyriddle

    The dog that didn’t bark is not quite the exact analogy; the pack of wildly baying hounds that suddenly went mute is more appropriate. Of course both US and Russian analysts had detailed sigint and high-res coverage of every square inch of Ukraine at the time, and it was only when the empire knew what the Russians knew that the fake hysteria came to an abrupt halt.

    Spycraft is fascinating, but even if you pay very close attention, the layman can only speculate on the meaning of the shadows of the quickly-passing invisible men. I believe the Russians have a distinct advantage, because Putin understands the process and our leaders do not. What they all share is the necessity of obscuring every bit of truth.

    “Our” fatal flaw is what Phil has described as the political warping of the intelligence agencies, in which objective truth is superseded by spin. Michael Morell is prime example of why “we” are losing the real and the propaganda wars; the professionals are managed by the amateurs. (I wish Michael Scheuer would weigh in on Morell’s self-inflating “The Great War of our Time”, which unwittingly illustrates this divide.)

    • Replies: @annamaria
  25. Biff says:

    My guess is when October comes we will find little to nothing new about MH17, if history is any guide.

    Take PamAm flight 800 for example which occurred in 1996, and it is still up for debate:

    The investigators – in a conference call promoting an upcoming documentary, “Flight 800” – charged the original probe ignored testimony from nearly 700 eyewitnesses and included evidence tampering.

    PanAm flight 103 is still awash in conspiracy theories being blamed on either the Libyans or the Iranians depending on who is doing the blaming:

    As revenge for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub where two U.S. personnel were killed, President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya’s capital Tripoli and the Libyan city of Benghazi in 1986. Some people think that bombing Pan Am Flight 103 was in retaliation for these bombings.

    In 1988, the USS Vincennes (a U.S. guided missile cruiser) shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing all 290 people on board. There is little doubt that this caused as much horror and sorrow as the explosion on Flight 103. The U.S. government claims that the USS Vincennes mistakenly identified the passenger plane as an F-14 fighter jet. Other people believe that the bombing over Lockerbie was in retaliation for this disaster.

  26. @Hepp

    The problem is that all the information we get on this case comes from governments, so it can’t be reliable

    You think VICE is reliable? Probably not the best judgement…

    …considering a VICE founder’s personal history (never mind he chums with such stellar ‘truth-tellers’ as Rupert Murdoch.)

    Very little commercial media (probably none in actuality) could be considered ‘reliable.’ Some is better than others, depending on the subject matter, the geography covered, the political slant of management and often out and out personal prejudices (not to mention commercial news outlets being highly valued targets and consequent coveted assets of intelligence agencies.)

    What VICE news and The Intercept (Right & Left of the spectrum respectively) share in common is anti-Russia bias due to either management or owner-bankroller geopolitical alignment. Management hiring and assignment policies will reflect those bias and you often will get fed lines of BS accordingly or outright false stories.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  27. @Biff

    And let’s not forget this story:

    The officer, who was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, is supporting earlier claims by a former CIA agent that his bosses “wrote the script” to incriminate Libya

    • Replies: @Biff
  28. Biff says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    The link was a good read. Thanks.

  29. soren says:

    Sorry, but the way Russia is acting points to the rebels being guilt party or the rebels were infiltrated so that they would take the blame(and I don’t completely discount this at all as the immediate leaks put out by Ukrainian intelligence were extremely fishy).

  30. @Priss Factor

    It is time. Putin should take the hard position and bring down every Jewish agent in Russia whatever the cost.

    I mean enough already.

    I have to say there’s something really funny about you using a Yiddish-ism like “enough already”. A guy who literally can’t stop going on and on about the influence of the Jews learnt his English at the University of Hollywood? What’s not to like?

    I think Putin has a far better feel for Jews and Jewishness than you do. He has a strong track record of practising Jew-diligence throughout his career and on behalf of his country as a whole. I think he’s going to be okay without your advice.

  31. Realist says:

    “Americans have been lied into intervention and war more than once over the past fifteen years….”

    Americans have been lied into intervention and war numerous times over the past hundred+ years…


  32. annamaria says:
    @Jeff Albertson

    “we” are losing the real and the propaganda wars; the professionals are managed by the amateurs”
    The incompetent opportunists in the US government present the real danger for the US, not some rugged freedom fighters that make a useful pretext for war profiteers. See also the excellent website of the honorable Colonel Patric Lang, which exposes the incompetent (and competent) opportunists that have been inflicting huge harm to the US interests:

    • Replies: @Jeff Albertson
  33. Bill says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    The advantage to be gained from having Russia blamed was surely never going to outweigh the chance and consequences of being caught out,

    Johnson did not pay much of a price for the Gulf of Tonkin. Bush did not pay much of a price for Iraq. Obama did not pay much of a price for Libya. McKinley did not pay much of a price for the Maine. Wilson did not pay much of a price for the Lusitania. The particular people in the Colonial Office who lost the Empire? Politicians essentially never pay any price whatsoever, in the short or long run, for their lies, malice, and malfeasance. And civil servants? It is to laugh.

    The instant case itself falsifies Wizz’s claims. At this point, anyone with any critical thinking ability at all sees that the likelihood that Russia was involved is less than 5%. Yet, what price are the US, the Kiev junta, or Kolomoiski paying? None.

    This points up a broader point about anti-conspiracy-theory arguments. They may sound good, but they only sound good because of endless repetition. They are, almost to a one, wrong, and easily seen to be wrong when critically examined. Significant, secret and quasi-open conspiracies happen all the time. Whistle-blowers are silenced or laughed off all the time. The perpetrators of conspiracies routinely get away with it, even when they are caught. Conspiracy theories are highly plausible, and if your world view does not include lots of conspiracy theories, then your world view is seriously faulty.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  34. @annamaria

    Yep, he’s great, and so is Scheuer, although Scheuer has been kind of quiet, lately, maybe tired of being right, therefore ignored. It’s weird though, I’ve only known one CIA guy, in what capacity I don’t know, could have been a janitor, who answered every question I had with “I couldn’t say.”, which I thought was the standard, rightly so, but this guy Morell is blabbing like a schoolgirl on Facebook. Maybe he didn’t sign the NDA. I wish someone, cough, Phil, would tamp the little brown-noser down.

  35. @Jeff Albertson

    Jeff – I already hammered Morell here on this site last week in an article called “Where are they now?” Every time I see him on TV with the grim expression, funky glasses and cheap haircut, I cringe.

  36. @Jeff Albertson

    Maybe you’d appreciate this bit

    Morell features as someone who’d have done well to pull his head out of his a** long ago (never gonna happen)

    • Replies: @Jeff Albertson
  37. @Philip Giraldi

    Thanks, I’ll read it again. My daughter bought me the book when he appeared at her bookstore, thought I would be interested. I can only read about five pages at a time without throwing it at the wall – sample:

    ” Alec Station* also did not get the support it needed to do its job.** Part of this was due to Scheuer’s personality. He was a zealot…also had a penchant for angering anyone who didn’t see things exactly as he did.”***

    *I’m changing my psuedo do this!
    **undoubtedly true
    ***because HE WAS RIGHT! and they had an agenda

  38. @Tom Welsh

    I didn’t know about the tweets (only what are now said to be concocted recordings of rebel radio traffic). Indeed you give a very plausible account of a someone not involved getting it wrong. What about the changed Russian TV broadcast? Anything known?

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  39. @Bill

    Good points but slightly off target for the most part. What I pointed out was that a state actor not controlled by an Idi Amin would calculate the potential pluses and minuses consistently with the calculation that Russia – equally – wouldn’t have brought down the airliner with a view to blaming the Ukrainian air force.

    Here the calculation would have to have been that Russia could be blamed for providing the means by which the rebels (with or without attached Russians) caused an appalling disaster by mistake. Not enough in that surely as some of your examples of the unpunished serve to show.

    And your examples of the (eventually) caught out but unpunished are from technologically more primitive times (and when there were e.g. Cold War reasons for things remaining obscured).

    Kolomoisky I have already indicated could be more promising to investigate. Not a state actor so little can be presumed.

    Generally, the technological advances alone since the Tonkin Gulf lies would be enough to make any rational calculation include the likelihood of recordings of just about anything you can imagine and a post Cold War Wikileaks inspired whistleblower as well.

    Libya, Iraq etc are not comparable although you are indeed right in saying they are unpunished follies, crimes or misjudgments. But the calculations involved were not in the same category as the one I posited.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    , @Bill
  40. @Wizard of Oz

    One huge difference between Tonkin and now is that during Vietnam, some within the mainstream media asked inconvenient questions.
    Media consolidation has produced an astonishingly monolithic and compliant press.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    , @Wizard of Oz
  41. Silverado says:

    That reminds me of an old neocon joke I re-heard the other day that goes like…

    George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and John McCain are all flying over New Orleans in a Blackhawk, surveying the progress that has been made in rebuilding the city and the levees. As they fly over the Ninth Ward, Cheney looks out the window, grins, and says, “You know, I could throw a thousand-dollar bill out the window right now and make one of those poor bastards very happy.”

    Bush says, “Well, I could throw ten hundred-dollar bills out the window right now and make TEN people very happy.”

    Not to be outdone, McCain chimes in, “Oh yeah? Well, I could throw a hundred $10 bills out the window and make a HUNDRED Americans very happy.”

    Hearing this, the copter pilot rolls his eyes and says, “Man, I could throw all three of you out the window and make 300 million Americans very happy.”

    We need to, as a society, start throwing these neocon criminals & their co-conspirators right where they belong – in a jail cell post haste…

    • Replies: @Kiza
  42. krollchem says:

    It seems that the “international” investigators only have rudimentary puzzle solving skills necessary to figure out how the parts fit together. From what I have read many of the critical parts were even left back at the crash site to ensure failure.

    Really disappointed that there isn’t any attempt to employ standard material science techniques to determine the composition and providence of the projectiles, based on projectile smearing on the penetration points). Why haven’t these dutch idiots contacted a decent laboratory to conduct WD-XRF (1) , GDMS and even ion-trap-MS (2)

    (1) Rigaku, ZSX Primus II Wavelength dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (WDXRF)

    (2) Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry : Trace Element Determinations in Solid Samples: Such GDMS systems are even commercially available:

    To get really fancy, a magnetic sector ICP-MS system could be used to identify the source and even batch of the munitions based on isotopic abundances.

    It is obvious that that blind, deaf and speechless are employed to ensure the investigation gets nowhere.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  43. LondonBob says:

    The obvious explanation that is was an accidental downing by the rebels has certainly become less obvious with time.

  44. @Philip Giraldi

    thanks, again. I re-read the Where are They Now piece. Is my face red! I don’t know how I missed three paragraphs on the very schmuck I’ve been wondering about. Early Alzheimer’s, I suppose.

    You about covered the indictment; he is the equivalent of a seat filler at a charity banquet. Two time “interim director” of the Agency. A temp at the clown show. Neidermeier from animal house to Tenant’s Dean Wurmer. It must be agonizing for the professionals to work for these types, but I guess the pay is good.

  45. Seraphim says:
    @Tom Welsh

    Kolomoisky was not worse than the rest of the gang. But he was more “representative”. He was too upfront with things that the others try to keep under wraps:

    “Kolomoyski is a prominent supporter of Ukraine’s Jewish community and the president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine. In 2010 he was appointed as the president of the European Council of Jewish Communities after promising the outgoing president he would donate $14 million, with his appointment being described as a “putsch” and a “Soviet-style takeover” by other EJCJ board members. After several ECJC board members resigned in protest, Kolomyski quit the ECJC and, together with fellow Ukrainian oligarch Vadim Rabinovich, founded the European Jewish Union.” (Wikipedia)

    “Oleg Rostovtsev, a spokesman for the Jewish community, which has 50 000 parishioners, supports the renaming of Dnepropetrovsk to Jerusalem-on-the-Dnieper:
    “Jerusalem for residents of Dnepropetrovsk is a city of peace, not conflict. Many of us have already visited Jerusalem, worshiped the holy places, came back and said: here it’s almost the same – next to the synagogue stands a mosque, and nearby there are churches and monasteries. We also respect our different traditions”. @

  46. @Ronald Thomas West

    Holy Schnikes, you got the goods! I’ve been hesitant about clicking on your links because it seemed you might be tooting your own horn (and the video indicates where you got the idea.) Apologies are in order; this stuff deserves attention.

  47. annamaria says:
    @Bill Jones

    Correct. The level of suspicion and disrespect towards MSM is so high among sane people, that the propagandizing scoundrels exploit a relative trust that people have towards non-MSM sources of information. The exhibit one is one Mr. Higgings (UK) that pretends to be an independent amateur journalist posting his investigative “discoveries” on his blog Bellingcat. His “information” was quoted by the US government spokespersons as the evidence against Russian Federation re MH17 tragedy and US/RF conflict in Ukraine. However, it was revealed that Mr. Higgins is no lonely and nerdy fighter for truth but a well-connected person enjoying financial help from the private (Soros) and governmental (USAid) organizations.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  48. annamaria says:

    Why the US govt’ spokespersons like quoting one Mr. Higgins (of Bellingcat notoriety).
    “USAID, working with billionaire George Soros’s Open Society, also funds the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in “investigative journalism” that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP also collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins.
    Higgins has spread misinformation on the Internet, including discredited claims implicating the Syrian government in the sarin attack in 2013 and directing an Australian TV news crew to what appeared to be the wrong location for a video of a BUK anti-aircraft battery as it supposedly made its getaway to Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.
    Despite his dubious record of accuracy, Higgins has gained mainstream acclaim, in part, because his “findings” always match up with the propaganda theme that the U.S. government and its Western allies are peddling. Though most genuinely independent bloggers are ignored by the mainstream media, Higgins has found his work touted.”

  49. @Biff

    PanAm 103 is a great example of CIA media control and coverup. It took over two decades but the evidence was so overwhelming that the British released the “terrorist mastermind” convicted of blowing up this aircraft. I wrote about his in 2007 and the article can be read here: The March 28th entry. Here is part:

    …..A 1993 book Trail of the Octopus offers details on how Iran downed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.[2] Iranian leaders were furious at the “accident” in which their Airbus was destroyed. Blowing up an American 747 would be ideal revenge. Through their contacts with the Beirut PFLP-GC revolutionary group, they were told a bomb could be placed on an American 747 if the price was right.

    Beirut is a traditional transit point for illegal narcotics, and a major station for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The PFLP-GC was also in the drug business. The DEA had arrested one of its drug couriers as he arrived in New York by air. He cut a deal for a lesser sentence and continued to smuggle heroin to New York City so the DEA could track its distribution and destroy this network. To ensure their drug mule got to New York safely, agents of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) carried his checked baggage past security in Cyprus. The DIA is a little known U.S. intelligence agency that has almost no Congressional oversight or restrictions because it is part of the Defense Department.

    The PFLP-GC learned of this betrayal about the same time the Iranians were shopping for a way to down a 747. The solution was simple. Place a time delayed/altitude triggered bomb in the bag of the drug courier. This would explode on its final leg to New York when it was mostly full of Americans, killing the snitch as well. The plan worked perfectly, killing nearly the same number of innocents that the USS Vincennes claimed. As an added bonus, they selected a flight with four U.S. intelligence officers on the passenger list: Matthew Gannon, the CIA’s deputy station chief in Beirut, Major Chuck “Tiny” McKee, a U.S. Army officer assigned to the DIA in Beirut, and two other CIA officers.[3] It seems reasonable that Major McKee was onboard to ensure the courier didn’t slip away.

    Needless to say, the DIA was in panic after Pan Am 103 blew up. They had never bothered to search the suitcase to ensure it only had heroin as they smuggled the bomb through security and on the Pan Am flight . This blunder was not good for careers, America’s image, or foreign policy. In addition, the U.S. Government would be humiliated if Iran were credited for revenge with the aid of duped American agents. It would also threaten to expose the truth behind the USS Vincennes shoot down, which Newsweek exposed four years later. Finally, the U.S. Government would find it difficult to explain why Captain Will Rogers, the man responsible for the deaths of 259 Iranian pilgrims on the Airbus flight to Mecca, and thus indirectly responsible for the retaliatory bombing over Lockerbie, was not in prison, but had been awarded a medal and a hefty U.S. Navy pension.

    This is why Libya was blamed for Lockerbie. The U.S. Government hated Libyan leader Gaddafi. This Sandhurst trained “madman,” had overthrown Libya’s Anglo-American puppet king, kicked the USA out of Wheelus Air Force Base, its premier Mediterranean air training base, and began buying Soviet equipment rather than American weapons. Worst of all, he wasted his nations oil wealth improving the lives of Libyans rather than investing profits in Western corporations…..

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  50. @jimmyriddle

    If you are right about the “not a sparrow that falls” surveillance capability that certainly demands an answer but I suspect that the surveillance isn’t as comprehensive and accurate as you suggest. If there was comprehensive worldwide coverage of every occurrence of… well what?… it would be strange indeed that the fate of the earlier lost Malaysian airliner was not recorded in any way by even a trace. I think one needs to know a lot more about the areas of focus, what is picked up and in what detail and how it is processed and stored. Still good point to a layman’s eye.

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    , @Anonymous
  51. @Bill Jones

    “Monolithic and compliant”…. maybe …though still obviously highly competitive and, for obvious reasons motivated to grab attention with something different. And that is without taking account of the animal spirits of the Western journalist who wants to be remembered for breaking stories.

    I think these days government officials (the sort who put their trenchant comments on post-it notes that can be removed at FOI time) would have Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden in mind in calculating what nefarious acts they might be able to keep covered up.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  52. @jimmyriddle

    As I said this is a point worth following up but, when you think about it, there may even be a stronger argument of opposite import. Wouldn’t the Russians be at least as likely to be monitoring minutely everything going on within a few kilometres of the Russian border where fighting is taking place and Russians, in whatever capacity, are involved (or, if you like, just pro-Russian rebels are involved)?

  53. @Wizard of Oz

    Another balance to strike is between the probability of a careless or illinformed or drunk or stupid rebel making a disastrous mistake and a professional air force pilot being sent up to shoot down a foreign passenger airliner and actually carrying it out.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  54. Rurik says:

    investigation gets nowhere.

    like 911 ?

    like Saddam’s WMD

  55. Kiza says:

    I wish I was that copter pilot, I would have gladly made 300 million Americans happy.

  56. With a sideways glance at the mainstream media to see what is being said that concerns the Ukraine I came across this in the FT which may be of some interest. The villain is the EU rather than the US.

    A few years ago, I heard an after-dinner speech from a European statesman, a person who has played a leading role not only in the political life of his own country but in the councils of the EU. The speaker that evening lauded, to general agreement, Europe’s values — its culture, its solidarity — and the quality of its institutions. He went on to stress the need for the union to propagate these values and institutions more widely.

    The discomfiture I felt was shared by some of those sitting with me at the table. My problem was that I could have put similar words into the mouths of some of the most unpleasant figures in world history. The EU that the speaker described was an imperialist project. Those who proclaimed the British empire used to sing: “Wider still, and wider, may thy bounds be set. God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.” Britons may still sing “Land of Hope and Glory” but they no longer take the words seriously. Yet the expansion of the EU embraced a similar vision.

    For the builders of modern Europe, wider union has been as important as closer union. Greece was hastily admitted in the hope of sustaining its fragile democracy after the end of military rule; Spain and Portugal followed soon after. Every post-communist state with passably honest and democratic institutions, and some without, has secured admission. The ambitious project of creating monetary union between France and Germany was extended, by lowering admission standards, to include most EU members. The principal qualification for membership of a European club has been the desire to join.

    Of course, there are big differences between the Europe of the 21st century and the empires of the 19th and 20th: notably, traditional imperialists did not seek the consent of those they colonised and they suppressed most forms of democratic expression. Yet Greeks today might not perceive these differences as being particularly large.

    So the question is whether, like so many imperialist projects throughout history, the European project has stretched its territorial boundaries beyond the limits it can plausibly sustain. That question is highlighted by the two existential problems the EU faces today: the geopolitical confrontation with Russia, and the troubled relationship between peripheral economies and the eurozone.

    The boundaries of western Europe have been pushed as far east as at any time in history, save for the best forgotten precedent of the Nazi occupation of most of the continent in 1941-42. The Ukraine crisis tests how far implied promises of political, economic and ultimately military support in that extension will be maintained when called on. The Baltic states have reasonable cause to feel nervous about the solidity of the commitment of their new allies.

    Few people can now doubt that it was a mistake to let Greece join the euro in the first place. And this is not just a matter of economics — the fudged data, profligate spending and unpayable debts. The central Greek problem is that the country’s political institutions are not sufficiently mature to effect competent administration or economic management, or to engage in a responsible manner with the institutions of western Europe. And Greece is not the only member state of the EU to which that critique could be applied.

    The empires of history have generally collapsed from overstretch, which led to restive populations on the peripheries, and then to doubts about the wisdom of the project in the home country itself. These symptoms are recognisable in Europe today. The EU has achieved its successes by always pushing integration a little further and faster than its institutions would easily support or its populations readily accept. Perhaps that ambitious strategy has now been taken a step too far.

    [email protected]

  57. @Ronald Thomas West

    You think VICE is reliable? Probably not the best judgement… considering a VICE founder’s personal history (never mind he chums with such stellar ‘truth-tellers’ as Rupert Murdoch.)

    Yup. I should also point out that Rupert Murdoch is a now a part-owner of VICE Media–yet another reason to distrust it.

    As far as The Intercept is concerned, I believe that Glen Greenwald has been doing a good job so far. But I really don’t trust the owner, Pierre Omidhyar. He’s been known to collaborate with George Soros on some of the latter’s “democracy promotion” schemes. Handle with care.

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  58. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    One need to know a little about ground based air defense to make such a cliched conclusion: “a drunk separatist”. Shooting down a fast moving plane at 11 km altitude does take quite a bit of skill, attention, effort and even a bit of luck. But, a Russian separatist drank two bottles of vodka and then he leaned on the missile launch button would not be much worse than the majority of other stories that the West has put forward so far. This emphasizes that so far, the West has put forward only the rhetoric/stories and almost no evidence at all.

    I personally do not believe that anyone was trying to shoot-down Putin’s plane, I believe that the shooting down of MH17 was a carefully planned act, not dissimilar to Maidan sniper shootings and similar false flags employed before. The circle of people involved in this act was small, but now the whole Western establishment: the politicians, the MSM and the heads of intelligence services have a strong interest to defend the perpetrators and little cost of doing so.

    I wrote when it happened a year ago – “We will never know the real truth for certain” and I maintain this. The shooting down of MH17 has joined the realm of conspiracy theories (which thrive when the “official explanation” is poorly supported by facts): Kennedy assassination, 911 and so on.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  59. @Carlton Meyer

    Very interesting, especially to me, as a family member made one of the first serious MSM TV docos on the Lockerbie air crash a very long time ago and wouldn’t have the slightest problem in revising completely what was then concluded. I think the conclusion they came to then was later regarded as not the truth. I can’t remember the detail but would be pleased to be able to follow up with the maker of the original program. What I need to know is what the now received mainstream version is if you can point to that. And also the best authenticated sources for the presumably not quite fully accepted alternative you propound which is not just that it was really the Iranians that did it but that it has been covered up in particular ways for reasons such as you give (i.e. involving embarrassment plus to the CIA).

    I was fascinated at the idea that Muamur Gaddafi, rather than his fifth son Khamis might have been trained at Sandhurst (I don’t think the son got there btw) but that doesn’t seem to be true. If so, your assertion about a Sandhurst trained madman suggests a deficiency of knowledge of Libya which undermines your claim to be taken seriously on the subject.

    I was interested in what you had to say but you have a bit of ground to make up on credibility as I see the matter at present.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  60. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    jimmyriddle is obviously a professional or someone with a very good knowledge of sigint (signals intelligence). Essentially, every anti-aircraft radar costs a lot of money and there is a limited number of them in the World. All militarily advanced countries of the World, especially former USSR and US, have always collected electronic signatures of each radar. This has many uses but I do not want to digress. It is practically impossible to shoot down a plane from the ground or from air without using a radar, at least during some part of the action. It is totally impossible that neither Russia nor US have monitored electronic emissions in a conflict zone in which both had their special forces. None of this sigint is very secret, where is the US sigint from the day? Neither satellite images, nor sigint info have been made public, nada, zilch, zero.

    The MH370 loss is not comparable because this plane was not lost in the hottest military zone on Earth – Eastern Ukraine.

    The Russian military have made public some of their info, this was on the activity of four Ukrainian ground based anti-aircraft units on the day of the shootdown. But the Russians never said that those units launched any missiles on the day, only that their targeting radars were active. The Russians asked why when the Separatists had no aircraft. Whilst the rotating surveillance radars are on all the time (unless the enemy has launched a radar-honing missile), the targeting radars are turned on only for an aircraft (practice or real attack). There must have been some target for the targeting radar to be turned on. Could it be that these Ukrainian targeting radars were tracking an unknown military jet which was in the general vicinity of MH17? If the shootdown was a secret action, the military jet’s flight would not have been announced to the Ukrainian air defense and the military brass may have suspected it was an enemy (Russian) military jet.

    But the main issue is the pattern of own behavior which the West has established:
    1) too much rhetoric from the zero hour of shootdown,
    2) quoting of youtube and twitter “evidence”
    3) instead of even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets and intelligence focused on Eastern Ukraine.

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
  61. @Wizard of Oz

    “it would be strange indeed that the fate of the earlier lost Malaysian airliner..”

    1/ It was lost over the Indian Ocean where there is minimal ELINT capability.
    2/ The only emissions were hourly hand-shake pulses on a comms frequency. These were picked up but are insufficient to determine the exact track of a moving emitter.

    The thousands of very loud pulse doppler emissions from a ground-based tracking radar in Europe is a completely different kettle of fish.

    • Replies: @Biff
  62. @Wizard of Oz

    “Wouldn’t the Russians be at least as likely to be monitoring minutely everything going on within a few kilometres of the Russian border”

    Not necessarily.

    Russia isn’t the USSR. Its ability to maintain EORBATS is limited – for example, Russia’s satellite-based missile early warning system is currently out of operation.

    Until recently Ukrainian air defence systems would not be a priority as conflict with Ukraine would have been considered unthinkable. So, while it seems likely that Russian ELINT/ESM systems would have detected the tracking radar, they wouldn’t necessarily have had the historical EORBAT required to prove that the system was Ukrainian-controlled.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Kiza
  63. Tom Welsh says:

    “The U.S. government claims that the USS Vincennes mistakenly identified the passenger plane as an F-14 fighter jet”.

    Another obvious, transparent, utterly brazen lie. Is there anyone so naive as to believe any part of this for even a moment? The Aegis missile ships were designed from the ground up to protect American carrier task groups from swarms of incoming Soviet missiles and/or aircraft. How the hell could they do that if they couldn’t tell the difference between an attacking jet fighter of US manufacture (hence extremely familiar) and a civilian airliner ascending along its planned and well-known flight path? Aegis was designed, I repeat, the handle dozens of incoming supersonic missiles! Yet when presented with the simplest imaginable situation – a single relatively slow, lumbering airliner (going even slower than cruising speed while it climbed) the technically expert crew and its battery of powerful computers supposedly mistook this airliner for an attacking F-14?

    This is as if to say that an expert veteran big game hunter shot dead a prize cow, at point blank range, because he mistook it for an attacking lion!

    I understand that subsequent examination of the Vincennes’ computer records showed that the computers were never deceived for a moment: they identified the Iranian Airbus as an Iranian Airbus. So presumably the crew were so pathetically panicky or staggeringly incompetent that they misread their own displays in their single-minded determination to believe they were being attacked.

    At the very least, the US government was utterly guilty of shooting down the Iranian airliner. A plea of “mistaken identity”, as well as being almost unbelievable, would also fail in principle. Someone who deliberately programs computers and sets up an elaborate weapons system is clearly responsible for all harm done by that system, faulty or not.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  64. Tom Welsh says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Sorry, I never heard about the “changed Russian broadcast”. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma?

  65. @Kiza

    You surely must recognise how little it does for your credit that you think it acceptable to represent someone as having “concluded” “that a drunk separatist” and even that he was very drunk (two bottles of vodka) and leant on a button by mistake when nothing remotely characterisable like that was said.

    Knave or fool?

    Well let what was actually said provide the test. I was simply observing that part of the reasoning in the absence of hard convincing evidence from either Russia or the US was to balance probabilities under various heads. On the one hand there was the probability of careless or incompetent people because of some combination of one or more of stupidity, carelessness, ignorance or drunkenness making a disastrous mistake and on the other the probability of a professional air force officer being given an order of more or less specificity in time and place to shoot down a foreign passenger plane and then carrying it out.

    In your solipsistic anxiety to put yourself forward – even quoting yourself on a matter where it cannot prove anything (yet, or logically on its own terms, ever) you have overlooked the hostage you gave to fate by implying that you knew something relevant about “ground based air defence”. What do you think you know? I won’t judge too harshly as I never fired anything more sophisticated than 25 pounder medium artillery. However it is as much in the matter of imagination that you show yourself up. Mild drunkenness doesn’t disable the drunk person from driving, flying, shooting, even performing operations, and it may not even preclude physical dexterity, but it may affect the judgment of appropriateness of attempting any of them.

    • Replies: @Bill
  66. @jimmyriddle

    So we are, of course, left with a clash of probabilities and our starting points in estimating them have very little hard data to go on. But another Russia centred question is why, if innocent, Russia hasn’t loudly and repeatedly in every available forum challenged the US thus: “we know of the prowess of your vaunted ELINT so tell the world exactly what information it has about the eastern Ukraine on [dates]”. If innocent what would Russia have to lose?

    • Replies: @5371
  67. @Seamus Padraig

    Just a quick observation (on my out the door on summer break, won’t be around much for awhile) – the Intercept Ukraine reporting has Omidyar stamped all over it, chase down Askold Krushelnycky and his Kiev friendly ‘color revolution’ alignment and you’ll know the Intercept reporting has been co-opted on that particular issue. I presented Greenwald with the facts and the silence was pretty loud .. (no reply)

    • Replies: @Kiza
  68. Kiza says:

    It is interesting how you and I have come up with similar points and understanding. Maybe the only difference is that you were not aware of the Russian claim that four targeting radards of the Ukrainian air-defense batteries were active on the day of the shoot-down, the information which was put on RT but was never repeated, for obvious reasons, in the Western MSM (when would the Western MSM publish anything if it is not a blatant lie?). Audiatur et altera pars, if you do not visit RT you have little idea of what the other side is saying.

    You and I tried to explain to this Character of Oz, but he prefers to throw up tantrums then to try understand:
    1) Even a tipsy person, not drunken, is much more likely not to shoot down a plane which should have been shot down, then to shoot down a passenger plane flying at 11 km, is that finally clear? Shooting down of a jet flying at a relatively high speed at 11 km altitude is a job for a highly trained, experienced and focused military team.
    2) There are no examples of a passenger plane being shot down by ground based air-defense at full altitude of 11 km and, if true, this would have been the first such event in history (I explained before that USS the Vincennes shot down a passenger plane at a much lower altitude. TWA 800 which has been suspected of being shot from the ground was also ascending when it mysteriously “exploded”.)
    3) Jimmy you are absolutely right that Russia is not USSR and its SIGINT/ELINT capabilities are not equal to USSR’s. But what is interesting is that neither side have shown evidence of SAM launch in a heavily monitored conflict area. An AA missile of military jet is much smaller and less observable, neither Russia nor US would have registered it. But the presence of a military jet would have been registered by both and this is what the Russians published.
    4) The mentioned activity of the Ukrainian air-defense (targeting radars being turned on) suggests that there was an unidentified plane or planes over Ukraine on the day. In the military no SAM is launched on a personal initiative, thus the said air-defense would have requested instructions from the command in Kiev and was likely told to stand-down. The Russians have officially requested recordings or transcript of orders passed between batteries and the command in Kiev, a request which was ignored by Kiev authorities.

    Ultimately, people choose what to believe even when many facts are available, let alone here when very few facts are available. Very few people will change their preformed opinion, especially after the vicious anti-Putin propaganda was unleashed at the time by the Western MSM. Thus I do not expect the “believers” such as the “Wizard” to accept reason.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  69. 5371 says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Russia has done just that, you shameless and disgusting liar.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  70. Biff says:

    Just a guess, but if I really wanted to find MH370 I would start my search in Diego Garcia.

  71. Kiza says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    The real propaganda is not what Fox does or what even NYT does now. The real propaganda is when a medium gets under your skin by taking your point of view and then uses your trust to turn you around on issues which really matter. Stealing shamelessly from Chomsky and Herman, I call this propaganda process – the Manufacturing of Credibility. Therefore, a medium such as The Intercept could be doing just that now.

    In other words, most Western MSM do mass lying for the masses, but the top echelon gains trust (mainly of the Internet-savvy intellectuals) and then delivers only specific and important lies to them. This is not an indictment of Glenn Greenwald, he is probably an innocent opportunist.

  72. @5371

    I had used the Skip this Commenter for you but apparently it only works for the current blog, that is one lot of comments at a time. However, as your effusion has intruded on my email inbox I have an observation and two questions.

    The first is that it takes either stupidity or being uneducated to accuse someone of lying without the slightest evidence for the morally essential premise, namely that the alleged liar knew that what was asserted was untrue. Moreover you must be uncommonly imperceptive about human behaviour if you can seriously imagine someone asserting something which many others on your view must know is a notorious untruth.

    Since you have implicitly committed yourself to the untruth of what I asserted (in the belief that it was true as I would not have expected to miss what you believe to be the truth if it were so) will you now answer my first question which is this: what sources can you give for the assertion that the Russians did what I assumed they didn’t – and nothing just vaguely in the same sphere of discourse please?

    My second question repeats my earlier inquiry about the sigificance of “5371”. Now I ask, since it is too short a number for an Auschwicz inmate’s tattoo whether it celebrates some ancestor’s tattooed number as an SS or maybe Gulag guard?

  73. @Kiza

    Why do you say you think I am a “believer”. None of it matters in the least little bit to me or stirs any emotion at all except for some bewilderment at and contempt for the deranging emotion splattered all over these comments by people like you. I just think Ron Unz’s Review deserves a better grade of commentator and I am trying to sort out the irredeemable from those merely having a bad hair day even if it only means in the end that I may be able to avoid the comments of the mad, the stupid and the uncouth without it helping anyone else**.

    You appear to claim some expertise in relevant military matters but I see no reason to accept that you are more than an enthusiastic amateur. If you are indeed asserting true facts of evidentiary relevance without giving reason to accept your expertise or candour then perhaps you can see if Dr Giraldi can be persuaded to add them to his account. We know who he is. Oh btw a drunk person can use a laser or other homing device once fuxed on a target.

    **Note to the calm and civilised who may also want to avail themselves of the Skip this Commenter feature before it is upgraded to allow the list one creates to be applied across all comment columns. It occurs to me to make a little list Mikado style and then do a quick Copy and Paste for each new Comment column even if one is only shocked into remembering to do it by the evidence that SS Lieutnant 5371 is still alive and kicking or Kiza twisting words and logic and presumptions as usual.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  74. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I have only one question for you: Which planet are you from?

    You are not even a usual Internet troll, most of your writing is hardly comprehensible. You remind me of one Dr. Binoy Kampmark, a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge, who lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is writing endless meaningless articles on the left-wing Only God knows what he and you are ever trying to say. I doubt that you two ever have a clear thought in your brains, but a constant stream of words keeps coming out.

    To paraphrase your previous tantrum “Knave or fool?”:
    too smart, or too stupid (you and I, one each).

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @annamaria
  75. @Kiza

    I am not surprised that you have a problem understanding people as you either don’t pay careful attention to what people say or have a deeper problem with language and logic (maybe, it occurs to me, a limited vocabulary). Your Humpty Dumpty attitude to usage is exemplified by the use of “tantrum” in reference to my “Knave or Fool?”. But you really are beyond the pale of intelligent conversation if you can read what I write, especially about events in the Ukraine, and suppose that I am other than an agnostic of contrarian habit. You mention Cambridge but I don’t think you ever had the benefit of the Oxbridge tutorial system.which would have required you to justify your essays against questions testing your facts, logic and precision of language. A pity. Still it might not be too late for “mature” age entry if some sort of affirmative action could be justified.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  76. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Let’s say Russia did shoot it down. What then? What would that mean? Obviously, it’d have to have been an accident, and an “escalation” of their known involvement in the civil war up to this point. But what does that import? Why is it any more meaningful, for instance, than our involvement in starting and continuing the fighting, or any number of planes, ships, pill factories, etc. we’ve accidentally hit?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    , @Wizard of Oz
  77. @Wizard of Oz

    A friend, a lawyer in San Francisco, travelled frequently to European capitals.

    On a trip to Vienna (I think) my friend said his party was cordoned away from their hotel while the Libyan entourage arrived. Police cars, motorcycles, and the magnificent vehicle of Qaddafi himself pulled up to the entry. Eventually Qaddafi emerged from his car, resplendent in gold braid and leopard skin sashes and other extraordinary paraphernalia.

    Qaddafi’s entourage entered the building, the cars drove away, the cordons were listed and my friend and his colleagues proceeded toward their meeting room.

    My friend happened to look toward a side entry where Muammar Qaddafi, in a modest business suit, no tie, and one companion emerged from a mid-size older-model sedan, walked into the building and to a back elevator.

    Machiavelli counseled the wise leader that he must always remember that he is “putting on a show.” “Many people see the Prince, or think they do, but very few people touch the prince.”

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  78. annamaria says:

    MH17 Most Likely Shot Down by Air-to-Air Missile:
    “The data that the Russian Investigative Committee possesses, confirms the testimony of Evgeniy Agapov, a witness from Ukraine who served as a mechanic in the First Squadron Brigade of Tactical Aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force… In December, a former Ukrainian airbase employee, whose name at the time was not disclosed, said he saw a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 combat jet carrying air-to-air missiles taking off, on the day of the tragedy, from an airbase in eastern Dnipropetrovsk, and later seeing the same plane return without any missiles.”

    from comments section: “Putin was actually supposed to fly that same route only an hour or so prior, but the route Putin’s jet took was altered. If you ask me, it was a case of mistaken identity. Kiev was gunning for Putin, and instead shot down the passenger jet.”

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  79. @Wizard of Oz

    “though still obviously highly competitive”

    But what are they competing over?

    Who can produce and promulgate the most depraved and destructive and statist filth.

    There is certainly no attempt to compete in the area of important and timely news.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  80. @Kiza

    But the main issue is the pattern of own behavior which the West has established:
    1) too much rhetoric from the zero hour of shootdown,
    2) quoting of youtube and twitter “evidence”
    3) instead of even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets and intelligence focused on Eastern Ukraine.

    Nail on the head.

    Regarding the RT report of Russian intercepts of Ukrainian SAM tracking radar transmissions – I completely missed this. And I follow the Ukrainian situation closely; not just RT, but Cassad, Gleb Bazov, Saker and the other side (BBC, Guardian, Kyivpost etc).

    The timings of these intercepts would be crucial. It would also be of interest if the Fire Dome (NATO designation) radar entered its CW terminal guidance mode.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Kiza
  81. @anonymous

    As you say it would have been an accident but incompatible with Russia’s claims about its non involvement. Perhaps the biggest problem for Putin would be the part of his patriotic constituency (maybe including Orthodox believers) who would be upset by his lying and by what happened to the airliner. Or??? Maybe he couldn’t tell us why except “well from the moment I thought of admitting that our clients had made a ghastly mistake and that I was appalled by the tragedy no one could suggest words that wouldn’t or mightn’t make our position worse so stonewalling and denial it had to be”.

  82. @jimmyriddle

    You seem to be unusual in knowing what you are talking about on matters relevant to the issues raised by PG so why join the majority and spoil it with such loose rhetoric as “trillion dollars per year [sic] of military assets and intelligence focused [sic] on Eastern Ukraine [sic]” ?

  83. @SolontoCroesus

    Thank you for a good story (and no doubt true) but what inferences beyond the wisdom of much of Machiavelli’s observations are you inviting us to draw?

  84. @Bill Jones

    I understand your distaste for much of the media much of the time but why sacrifice credibility to give rhetoric a fly when you know perfectly well that the overwhelmingly dominant purpose of those media business organisations is to sell whatever they can to make money?

    Now if you were to make a nuanced distinction between the very latgely commercial – e.g. Murdoch, the propagandist as in anything in English from Russia or Beijing, the largely non-commercial and semi independent like the BBC and Guardian etc etc….that could be quite interesting.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  85. @annamaria

    Well that all hangs together which makes it an unusual comment here but I repeat my incredulity at the idea that Putin’s plane was ever scheduled to be flying over Eastern Ukraine. Coming from where? Istanbul?

    Now here’s another possibility…. Both for Putin’s actual security and to smoke out the Ukrainians (or CIA or whoever) the flight was scheduled to fly over the Eastern Ukraine – or at least the appearance was given that this was so – but it was never intended to happen.

    Now one has to keep thinking and ask what the Ukrainians who were able to order the hit would have calculated what would happen if they murdered the Russian president. Think about it! Even if the name of Gavril Prinzip didn’t come to mind they must have forseen catastrophe.

    • Replies: @Avery
  86. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    At least a balanced, emotional-free and focused comment from you. Now we can discuss without calling each other fool, knave and the like.

    Do not worry about my education, I have had plenty of it, Internet is my biggest teacher now.

    If you are interested why I asked you if you were from another planet, it is because of this: “Oh btw a drunk person can use a laser or other homing device once fuxed on a target”.

    Since you are an Australian (from another planet), your comment reminded me of the news in the Sydney Morning Herald of some Bogan shining a green laser pointer at the planes taking off and landing at Sydney Airport, trying to blind pilots and cause a crash. The police said they would catch him/her and he/she would get 20 years in the cooler just for shining. Maybe this was your idea of a tipsy person shooting down a passenger plane using a laser (yes, I am putting a funny spin on your tipsy/drunken shootdown comment).

    BUK missile battery is a 60-ties technology weapon, it is not a computerized modern phased-array system, it takes a minimum of three people to operate and normally five (all drunken or tipsy, of course). There is no way in the world that the Separatists (farmers and factory workers) would have been able to get one from Russia or capture one from the enemy and then use it at all, let alone successfully within days. If Russia gave it, then Russia would have had to send a whole trained crew (not impossible). The Ukrainian planes shoot-down before were shotdown using MANPADS (shoulder-fired self-honing missiles), which even a farmer can learn to use in a few days. The way AA defense works, is that most military jets, large and small, fly below 10km because they have little business to do above and their small wings do not offer efficient lift, unlike the huge wings of passenger jets. The old AA defense (that BUK belongs to) was optimized for targets at altitude below 10km where military jets spent most time attacking ground targets and fighting other planes. Only the newest AA systems now aim for lower orbit (100 km) to catch ballistic missiles. Fighter jets and bombers now spend most time between 5km and 10km (or they hug the terrain at a very low altitude), because MANPADS can reach up to 5 km and they usually use passive sensors instead of radar, which means they are more difficult to recognize (which is why they are so very dangerous, as proven against the Russians in Afghanistan).

    Finally, MH17 route would have taken it through a short dimension of the Separatist’s territory: 50km wide. An intercontinental passenger jet at cruising speed takes a little more than three minutes to cross it. For the plane to fall-down into this 50km x 80km ellipse, it would have had to be targeted by BUK whilst well inside a Kiev controlled territory. Based on its fly route, MH17 would not have been suspicious to the Separatists because it was not coming from the zone where the Ukrainian military airports are and it was flying way too high to be any kind of threat.

    In short, a mistake, drunken or sober, makes no sense, although it is theoretically possible. This is why my most probable explanation is a planned neocon act, a continuation of the Maidan sniper deception. It is a logical next step and what happens when you do not capture the Maidan sniping perpetrators – 298 people paid for this.

  87. Seraphim says:

    It was clear from day one of investigations that the MH17 has been “pocked marked” by what it looks like “very, very strong machine-gun fire” and that “no example of missiles” has been seen, as described by Mikhail Bociurkiw, the spokesman for the Spe­cial Mon­i­tor­ing Mis­sion to Ukraine, who was the first to see the wreckage. That says all, the rest is pure obfuscation.

  88. Kiza says:

    Hello Jimmy,

    This is one article about the activity of the Ukrainian targeting radar on the day:

    BTW, in 2001, Ukraine shot down a Russian airliner with 78 passengers and crew at a lower altitude, by using a 1980s system S-200 (the last one from the Soviet Union) during military exercises.

    Russia produces a new generation SAM system about every 15 years since the SU:
    S400 (current)
    S500 in development.

    But I never considered that the Russians were saying that the Ukrainian radar was involved in the shooting down, just that it was tracking a suspicious aircraft. If an unannounced flight was indicated by surveillance radar, an air defense battery would have been activated to be ready to shoot it down, and this may have been the plane which shot down MH17 with one or more AA missiles and (maybe) the 30 mm gun. Therefore, I do not believe that Ukranian radar ever got to the “CW terminal guidance mode” and the Russians never said so, to my knowledge.

    The “CW terminal guidance mode” is the final phase in the complex operation of a targeting radar, when it illuminates the target to be destroyed with the so called, Continuous Wave, just like shining a flashlight at a shooter’s target. The detection of such radar emission mode by US or Russia would have been solid proof that a SAM shot down MH17, either Kiev’s one or Separatist’s one. When I wrote “even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets” I meant that the US never presented such elementary evidence from its expensive sigint and it would have been impossible to miss. Thus Giraldi’s “Somebody knows” in the title is justified.

  89. Avery says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I agree with you.

    The notion that President Putin’s security detail would allow his jet to overfly a conflict area where false-flag units can fire a long range anti-aircraft missile and blame it on somebody else makes no sense.

    If FSB leaked the alleged route over Ukraine, they had a very good reason and a purpose.
    They would never actually allow Putin’s jet to take such a dangerous route.
    FSB may be many things, but they are not stupid.
    And neither is Putin.

  90. @Kiza

    Well you do give a good impression of knowing what you are talking about…. I wonder if this got terminated here because I used a cheeky emoticon? I had written a lot more in agnostic mode. Anyone know the set up re emoticons?

  91. @Kiza

    Well you do give a good impression of knowing what you are talking about

    This is very odd. I saw the whole text again ain a box/window and clicked on publish again. I shall hope it reappears now and allows me to edit out the cheeky face.

    • Replies: @Realist
  92. @Kiza

    In brief I wonder how so much attention got focused on chemical effects on the brain out of all the 100 improbable causal explanations for an accident or crime that are still current. Bearing in mind the drugs and alcohol that have been used by world leaders (Churchill e.g.) it might not be particularly unlikely that some bottle friendly strong personality said “FFS, it will be gone in 30 seconds: just fire the fucking thing”. We can only guess at how that rates against an air force pilot deliberately shooting down a foreign passenger plane. An older man would know he could well end up as the scapegoat. So do we suppose it was a rookie who has been sold a lot of confusing BS?

    I am reminded of a very good “Big Ideas” address on the ABC”s Radio National by Cordelia Fine on what is now known about male and female brains. Her salient conclusion was that for all the many ways male and female brains differ for genetic and epigenetic reasons, all these average tendencies didn’t allow prediction of precise behaviours or behaviour patterns. The best that we can do in our attempts at minute analysis of the vast complex of facts, assertions and arguments on MH17 is likewise to refine our examination to the point where some of the myriad possibilities are reduced to a negligible level of probability. At least we can probably set aside altogether that Russians deliberately destroyed an airliner. Except of course if they were as wicked and clever as Mossad they could have set up the Ukrainians to appear to be trying to false flag the Russians (and did you know Osama bin Laden hired Indians for 9/11 to cover his tracks?)…..

    • Replies: @Kiza
  93. @Wizard of Oz

    Doubtless the Russians have privately made the Americans aware of the ELINT they have, and they of course also known what’s on the black box since the rebels recovered it first. This is exactly why the Americans can only offer sound bites instead of firm accusations. The Russians haven’t made this public presumably because their hand has not been forced yet and they are holding their cards until needed. Unlike Americans, the Russians understand history and wish to avoid war.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  94. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Sorry, I lost you again. What does drug taking have to do with MH17 shootdown?

    But your supporter, Avery, makes a wrong assumption and then draws conclusions from it. I never read that Putin’s plane was supposed to overfly the Separatists’ controlled conflict zone. The claim of some Russians was that Putin’s plane was supposed to fly in the vicinity of the conflict zone around the same time. There is no doubt that many in the West would gladly take credit for a Putin’s “accidental end”, but I never found this theory of the Russian yellow press for the MH17 shoot-down plausible.

    Yet, as a final comment on this topic I would like to explore the possibility that the separatists, that is the Russians, shot down this plane. As stated before, there is almost no chance that untrained separatists would have been able to operate a BUK without Russian help and shoot down a plane at such high altitude. I have actually once in my life worked on an old Russian military radar and it was definitely not user-friendly, although it was amazingly sturdy and reliable (it was a surveillance, that is a rotating, radar not a targeting radar). There is a small possibility that the Separatists could have assembled an impromptu radar crew from the civilians who did national service in air defense, but this is quite a remote possibility.

    Also, there are some Uki claims and counter claims that the Separatists had captured a BUK battery, but such claim is a bit strange because the first duty of an officer is to damage vital equipment before surrender.

    Therefore, the key scenario of a rebel shoot-down is that BUK came from Russia, with a Russian crew and was returned to Russia after (what the Uki intelligence claims). How would a professional Russian AA crew be able to mistake a civilian airliner at a high altitude for a military transport plane which can never reach such altitude is difficult to understand. 20 years ago when the Russian military were in disarray – maybe, now – hard to imagine. Also, where are the US satellite images of this movement?

    Finally, why would the US and UK keep any evidence of the Russian guilt? In international politics this is not unusual – one keeps one’s aces to deliver them at a most opportune moment, when they can have maximum effect. The West has convinced 90% of its own population through fact-free propaganda, that is through semi-mad MSM screaming, so any evidence kept secret would be useful only for the rest of the world: BRICS etc, to badly embarrass Russia in front of its current trading partners.

    As the US intelligence professionals have written in their open letter – it is impossible that US has no SIGINT/ELINT and satellite intelligence from Ukraine, so where is it?

    Therefore, the zero US evidence on MH17 can mean only one of two things:
    1) either they are waiting for the best moment to put in the public domain, or
    2) this evidence implicates the wrong side – their own side.
    Thus, if the US presents no evidence on the activity of targeting radars within another year or so then it becomes highly likely that this evidence is not opportune.

  95. Rurik says:

    just a recap

    this is the cockpit section of MH17

    it is riddled with bullet holes

    as are so many other parts of the plane

    Surface to air missiles don’t target a cockpit with bullet holes, they target the engines (heat) and cause massive, immediate catastrophic damage with shrapnel and with the force of the explosion. Not the kind of damage where passengers have time to put on oxygen masks as they did in MH17.

    The only ones that could have shot down MH17 with air to air machine gun bullets were the Ukrainian Air force, (with or without the coordination of Kolomoisky’s mercs operating in the theater).

    The bullet holes tell the whole story. All the rest is lies and subterfuge, but it’s amazing to see the width and breath of the power of the Zio/anglo/banksters as they compel all the western governments to lie in the service of their agenda. Just like they did with their lies about Saddam’s WMD.

    All military and weapons experts who look at those pictures know exactly what they’re looking at.

    30mm cannon fire

    and what the damage looks like

    All the rest are imposed lies from diplomats and war mongers

    Here is Victoria Nuland’s sister in law

    Kimberly Ellen Kagan (born 1972) is an American military historian. She heads the Institute for the Study of War and has taught at West Point, Yale, Georgetown University, and American University. Kagan has published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Weekly Standard and elsewhere.[1] She supported the surge in Iraq and has since advocated for an expanded and restructured American military campaign in Afghanistan.[2] In 2009 she served on Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategic assessment team.[2]

    This is what Wiki says about her Institute for the Study of War :

    The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a think tank founded in 2007 by Kimberly Kagan. ISW describes itself as a non-partisan think tank providing research and analysis regarding issues of defense and foreign affairs, but has been described by others as “a hawkish Washington” group[1] favoring an “aggressive foreign policy”.[2] Though it had produced reports on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, “focusing on military operations, enemy threats, and political trends in diverse conflict zones”,[3] it first gained widespread public attention in the aftermath of the Elizabeth O’Bagy scandal in which it was involved. The non-profit organization is supported by grants and contributions from large defense contractors,[2] including Raytheon, General Dynamics, DynCorp and others.[4] It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.[5]

    here’s her husband

    He’s another chicken hawk of the first order

    it’s for people like these that this young mother (and so many thousands of others) lost her life


    that’s what I have to say about all this

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  96. gruff says:

    What’s missing in your analysis is a motive. Why would the Ukrainians or the CIA or whoever take the gigantic risk of being caught falseflagging in such a despicable manner?

    Let’s say the Ukes did it. What have they gained? Responsibility is still being disputed by many, so it hasn’t been unequivocally been pinned on the Russians. And there was no massive international swing against Russia in the aftermath, nor a sudden large Uke assault to take advantage of the confusion. Months later, the whole situation is still a quagmire, only now with a frosting of Dutch corpses.

    There is no answer to cui bono here. It makes no sense for the Ukes, or the Russians, to have shot down MH17. It looks like a stupid mistake, therefore most likely the rebels were responsible.

    The guy who pressed the button is probably already dead.

    • Replies: @Bill
    , @LondonBob
  97. @Seraphim

    K-lo is indeed a major player in this. PG omits he was/is the richest man in the Ukraine and a major shareholder in Ukrainian aviation as well as having shares in several European airports. Ideally placed to know (and direct) the movements of commercial airlines through Ukrainian air-space.

    Although dual citizenship prohibits from political appointments, K-lo got the governorship of D’petrvosk by taking out a third – Cypriot.

  98. Max says:

    This site also points to a jet’s shooting down the airliner, with a Kiev-side whistleblower defecting to the Russians–the shooting down a mistake:

    • Replies: @TST
  99. JamesG says:


    Never-before-seen footage reveals Russian-backed rebels arriving at the wreckage of MH17

    by CHARLES MIRANDA in Amsterdam

    July 17, 2015 12:01AM

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  100. What’s the odds of finding out who shot down MH17 in the Ukraine, when, after 21 years, we still don’t know who fired the missile that 200-plus eyewitness observed striking and bringing down American Airlines flight 800 in New York harbor? Of course the eyewitnesses to the Flight 800 shoot-down were never interviewed by the MSM and never allowed to publically testify as to what they saw, just as the eyewitnesses who observed and heard demolition charges exploding in all three WTC building on 9/11 have never been interviewed by the MSM or allowed to publicly testify as to what they saw and heard. Yet, there are world-famed individuals like Elie Wiesel, who has been proven to be a consummate liar and fabricator, who the MSM constantly promote and parade before a victimized world as “eyewitnesses” to a holocau$t, which physical evidence, long ago, proved an absolute fraud.

    • Replies: @Bill
    , @Wizard of Oz
  101. A comprehensive eye- witness account by a local, with nary a BUK or its plume in sight:

  102. @Rurik

    “Surface to air missiles don’t target a cockpit with bullet holes, they target the engines (heat) and cause massive, immediate catastrophic damage with shrapnel and with the force of the explosion”

    This is dead wrong relating to the BUK system. Some shoulder launched ‘manpads’ are heat seekers, as well as some air to air missiles. A radar guided BUK explodes in ‘close proximity’ with high velocity shrapnel. It is NOT a heat seeking missile. That doesn’t explain bullet holes which could be a combat aircraft cannon or round shrapnel (like a claymore mine launches small round metal balls.) The Improved HAWK system I qualified in is more or less the USA’s equal to the BUK. They’re not heat seeking SAMs.

    For the record, I support the SU 25 shoot-down scenario:


    • Replies: @Rurik
  103. @tbraton

    “The sinking of the Maine provided the basis for declaring war against Spain in 1898 resulting in “the splendid little war” which started the “American Empire.”

    In reality, the American Empire began following defeat of Confederacy and subjugation of the Southern people by the US military. If the Confederate States Of America had been successful in forming their own nation, the American Empire, as we know it, would almost surely, not exist. Which would lead any rational, unbiased individual to the conclusion that when measured by loss of human life and wanton destruction of nations at the hands of the American Empire, there has probably never been a more unfortunate military defeat than that of the Confederate States Of America at the hands of the US military.

  104. Bill says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    OK, we can analyze this in the short run, if you like. The problem with that is that, right now, we don’t know who did it. At least not in a public and politically relevant way. I’d be willing to place a small bet that it was the Kiev junta, possibly at the suggestion of some neocon maniacs. Kolomoiski’s Nazi stormtroopers would be second. But we don’t know for sure. We are not likely to know until either the US, Russia, or some other power releases the relevant satellite and/or coms intelligence. This is a problem for your argument.

    Much of the advantage to blaming Russia happened. MH 17 appeared to be quite useful to the US in galvanizing Euro support for our policy. The disadvantage to getting caught out has not happened, to anyone. It may not happen for years more. Both Russia and the US presumably know what happened. Therefore, one or both of them is/are holding information adverse to their adversary because they see an advantage in it. I don’t see any possibility that the information is neutral. It was separatists, the Kiev junta, or a warlord.

    If the info is adverse to Russia, why is the US holding it? Our strategy is propaganda-centric in this conflict. Even I could be convinced that Russia did it by actual evidence, and this would change my view of the conflict. There must be plenty of people not buying the US line who would buy it with evidence. I doubt, for example, that any of the European governments buy our/their own BS on the Ukraine. It would be highly useful to the US if Russia actually was violently threatening and was perceived to be so by non-morons.

    If the info is adverse to the US, it is easy to see why Russia would hold it. It is valuable to us to be seen, at least domestically, to be both the good guys and the winners. When Kennedy was offered utter defeat in the Cuban missile crisis in exchange for appearing to win, he jumped at it. The Russians either are getting or believe they will be getting something for not telling.

    This theory also explains a lot of the strangeness which occurred right after the downing. Our side actively prevented any investigation from occurring and excluded Russia from the “investigation” which did occur. Russia signaled that they were holding aces pretty promptly after the downing. Pretty soon thereafter, the controlled media lost interest in the whole thing and now only refers to it in passing.

    At best, it was Kolomoiski. More likely, it was the Kiev junta. Least likely is an accident by the separatists. The behavior of the principals just doesn’t make sense to me on the theory that the separatists did it and everyone knows. Unless, of course, there was some deal made (very quickly) by the US not to tell in exchange for something, and everything since is theater. But who made the deal on our side? State is full of retards these days. And it is all just so much not our style.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    , @Wizard of Oz
  105. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    What? It was a war zone in Europe! It was a hot conflict, by proxy, between the two preeminent nuclear powers. Obviously, there was extensive satellite and sigint coverage by every country capable of such coverage. Obviously, the US and Russia know what happened. I assume China and Germany do, too.

    There isn’t comprehensive “not a sparrow that falls” surveillance of the whole world. But there certainly is the capability to see/hear planes flying around, missiles flying around, radio communications and etc by major powers over sections of the world.

  106. Bill says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You know the comment where you brought up the drunk separatist is still visible, right? It would help your credibility with non-morons if you backed away from your more idiotic statements with a little more, mmmmmmmm, aplomb.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  107. Rurik says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    Thanks for the clarification regarding the BUK being a radar guided missile system and not a heat seeker. I was mistaken about that. However, those are not shrapnel fragments that pierced the cockpit. Those are clearly bullet holes.

    I’ve seen plenty of bullet holes in my day and know what they look like. Especially when you see how well the pattern targeted the cockpit.

    This is what BUK shrapnel looks like:

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  108. Bill says:

    Because it is not a gigantic risk. If caught, they would just brazen it out. They control the dominant media. They would blow smoke. They would have their lackies go on TV and repeat a constantly shifting barrage of lies. They would accuse Putin of framing them. They would have someone, somewhere in the world stir up a “crisis” and point the media at it.

    How often do you hear about the USS Liberty? They brazened that one out just fine. The official story of Osama bin Laden’s death is obvious BS. They’ve brazened that out just fine, too. The government tells great whopping obvious lies all the time and gets away with it.

    If brazening it out failed (fat chance), they would offer up a scapegoat. The scapegoat would have been chosen beforehand, would have been peripherally involved in the plan, and the bad guys would either have something on him to threaten him with to keep him quiet or they would Jack Ruby him.

    It’s implausible, you say. But in the hypothetical where the US planned and executed this, we are talking about people who are willing and able to slaughter hundreds of innocents to forward their plans. That they are willing to slaughter one more is not the least bit implausible.

    There is no answer to cui bono here. It makes no sense for the Ukes, or the Russians, to have shot down MH17.

    Are you insensate? The shoot-down of MH 17 has been extremely useful to the US. We don’t need to engage in speculative fantasies about who might have thought what about cui bono. We *know* the US and the Kiev junta bono-ed.

  109. Bill says:
    @Carroll Price

    This is a great point. TWA 800 is my favorite conspiracy theory. It is utterly, blazingly obvious that it was shot down by a missile. The official story is completely retarded. The cover-up was clumsy. Multiple people have come forward since the end of the investigation, saying it was a cover-up. And they have effortlessly gotten away with it. Nothing has happened to anyone. Nothing will ever happen to anyone. Well, the whistle-blowers have taken some hits.

    Or take the mortgage meltdown. Nobody, except a tiny number of small fry, has been convicted of anything. The securities fraud in the marketing of the mortgage-backed securities is just obvious. Why is nobody in jail? Why have none of these politicians who, of course we all know, would pay the price for covering up all this crime, you know, paid any price?

    This whole “they would get caught and punished” line of reasoning is for mentally-impaired fifth graders. They never, ever get caught. They never, ever get punished.

  110. @Beefcake the Mighty

    Sounds right enough but why do you say Americans (which Americans?) want war?

    • Replies: @Realist
  111. annamaria says:

    Thank you for the voice of reason

  112. @Kiza

    “What does drug taking”etc? You are too literal. While referring to the already raised question pertaining to alcohol I simply made the logical extension to any form of chemical alteration of brain function. I could have added hypnosis and confusion caused by a punch I suppose….

  113. @Bill

    You haven’t caught up.

  114. @Anonymous

    You have more faith in technology and its deployment than I do.

    What’s your explanation for our not knowing what happened if you are so sure the US and Russia know and probably Germany and China? (Why not the UK btw as an early leader in sigint and major partner in ?Echelon?).

    • Replies: @Kiza
  115. @Bill

    Well I think that sort of exploration of the possibilities is constructive and wouldn’t quibble with much of it but I think there are contestable elements e.g. it may be true that the US sought to keep the Russians from the scene (for understandable reasons) but equally I seem to remember reports of the rebels restricting access to the crash site and removing stuff. Didn’t someone write above that the Russians have the black box. That’s huge if true. And anyway where is the bkack box has to be a central question.

    • Replies: @Realist
  116. LondonBob says:

    Cui bono? The European sanctions wouldn’t have been passed without MH17, it was a PR disaster for the rebel cause and the Kiev government forces launched a big offensive in the aftermath.

    I haven’t been able to form an opinion on it yet. I would note though that obviously the rebels would think their forces had shot down another Government military jet, this doesn’t imply that they did. A grunt on the ground or even a senior commander would assume it was a shootdown by MANPADS until they knew better.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  117. @Kiza

    More useful reasoning even if it only in the end tends to confirm the nature and extent of the uncertainty. That is actually a welcome corrective to the too common feverish assertions.

  118. @Rurik

    The Russians have pointed out there are different shrapnel patters to different explosive devises in possible play, inclusive of different models of BUK.

    I am of the opinion the round holes are of the type used by a cannon mounted on an attacking combat jet. This does not rule out the same attacking jet might have also employed air to air missiles in addition to a cannon. A BUK seems least likely, in fact the entire BUK scenario looks like a ruse. But I am careful not to draw absolute conclusions per the cockpit damage if only because I’m not a forensics expert in possession of the evidence.

    I would say to now, we have enough evidence a good lawyer using the USA civil standard ‘preponderance of the evidence’ could convince a jury of Kiev’s guilt. The more strict standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ might not get a conviction. But it’ll never come to trial by jury because it is geopolitics. It is trial by media with plenty of false testimony and sleight-of hand in play and that is where the guilty parties will work to keep it.

    • Replies: @Rurik
    , @Kiza
  119. @JamesG

    More useful reasoning even if it only in the end tends to confirm the nature and extent of the uncertainty. That is actually a welcome corrective to the too common feverish assertions.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  120. The good news is that the mainstream, mass media is simply left to grumble about the lack of consensus and progress surrounding the MH17 mass murder:

    Little Certainty 1 Year After Airliner Shot Down in Ukraine

    I’ve come to believe the flight was shot down in order to bring about a war with Russia so a headline like that in 2015 is the equivalent of one in 1915 saying: “Still no leads in the Archduke Franz Ferdinand murder investigation” rather than being about the Second Battle of Ypres. History could have taken a far darker path over the last year.

  121. WE WILL KNOW. Unless the rebels managed to remove a ver large proportion of MH17 from the crash site the investigation is bound to be able to determine whether the projectile which brought the plane down was from a BUK battery or a fighter aircraft. How could there be any doubt except as to where the BUK launcher came from?

  122. To my knowledge, the diverting of flight MA17 over a war zone has never been denied by anyone on either side of the issue, nor has anyone, to my knowledge, offered an explanation as to why the diversion occurred in the first place. With this one oddity being enough to convince me that (like 9/11) the event would have had to have been planned far in advance, so the right people could be position to do the job. When it comes to conspiracy theories and the “someone would have talked” crowd, most people are totally unaware that events like MA17 and 9/11 (to name only two of many) can be pulled off with only a very small number of “proven” individuals being involved in the detailed planning and setting up of un-suspecting “workers” into carrying out the event by simply following orders coming down from a long line of superiors, who themselves do not normally question why they are being ordered to commit deeds that fall within their normal line of work. For instance, on the morning of 9/11, US Air Force personnel (from high rank to low rank) who stood down from protecting the nation, did so because they were simply following orders from their superiors. Which in turn, means that there needed to be but one “proven” individual to issue the stand-down order to be followed by those below.

    • Replies: @canadiankid
    , @Wizard of Oz
  123. Realist says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “This is very odd. I saw the whole text again ain (sic) a box/window and clicked on publish again. I shall hope it reappears now and allows me to edit out the cheeky face.

  124. Realist says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “Sounds right enough but why do you say Americans (which Americans?) want war?”

    The Israeli lickspittles. McCain, Graham….most of the Republican Congress.

  125. Realist says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    ” Didn’t someone write above that the Russians have the black box.”

    Had the black box. It has been turned over to the Dutch.

    • Replies: @canadiankid
  126. From RT today:
    Israeli-made air-to-air missile may have downed MH17 – report

    Lots of diagrams etc in that story.

  127. Rurik says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    This does not rule out the same attacking jet might have also employed air to air missiles in addition to a cannon.

    I agree.

    I am careful not to draw absolute conclusions per the cockpit damage if only because I’m not a forensics expert in possession of the evidence.

    Fair enough. I’m not an expert either, but then that hasn’t stopped me from saying that the implosion of World Trade Center building Seven was a controlled demolition. I see the video and I just know. Steel frame buildings don’t just plop into their basements like that because of some superficial damage and a few office fires. For some things I don’t need the experts for. Especially when the official experts were the ones blaming Putin personally within hours or telling me the building imploded because of some office fires.

    But it’ll never come to trial by jury because it is geopolitics. It is trial by media with plenty of false testimony and sleight-of hand in play and that is where the guilty parties will work to keep it.

    For sure, but for now we still have the Internet to at least point out all the treachery and lies while we still can.

  128. @Carroll Price

    I had always wondered why any of the planes on 9/11 were never intercepted and taken down. They were following orders from their superiors. I missed this somehow back then. For a country who is supposed to have such great military might, they did nothing! Made no sense! But neither did little Georgie and that sheepish look on his face as he was informed by an agent that a plane hit the first tower. Just like a little kid who had been caught doing something he wasn’t suppose to be doing. And then there was the passport of one of the Arabs who were supposedly involved found on the street in good condition. And the following day when the whole of North America’s airports were shut down and the Bin Laden family was allowed to leave the country to return to Saudi Arabia.
    America is doomed by the perpetrators who run it! Democracy my ass! To many false flags, as is the case in Ukraine. My understanding of MH17 was the cockpit was riddled with 30mm cannon fire. The missle story was made up by US. It’s funny how they new right away who did it. The air traffic control records from the Keiv government and America’s satellite data have yet to be released to this day. Stinks to high heaven!
    This is all gonna bite you in the ass one day America! You are truly a doomed nation in the process of collapse.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  129. @Realist

    It was turned over to the UK.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  130. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You are barking up a wrong tree again.

    Echelon is a 5-eyes system for the surveillance of civilian communications, this is a purely military SIGINT/ELINT matter, unless some passenger from MH17 was talking on the satellite phone whilst being shot out of the sky. But, Malaysia Airlines, to my knowledge, does not even have in-flight telephones.

    It is highly likely that someone in the US is repressing both military signals intelligence and satellite imagery – I remind you this is exactly what the US intelligence community has been complaining about. They do not want the intelligence turned into a tool for propaganda again, because later they get blamed for “faulty intelligence” as in Attack on Iraq.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  131. @Anonymous

    A very good point. The below linked article proves beyond doubt that Russia has the capability of seeing relatively small missiles fired hundreds of miles away from their listening post. In the below linked case (during the standoff between O’bomber and Vladimir Putin over O’bomber’s plans to attack Syria due to the false-flag gas attack)Russia reported “seeing” a missile fired over the Mediterranean Sea. Which subsequently turned out to have been a “test missile” fired from an Israeli war plane. Which (true to form) Israel initially lied about but later admitted to when irrefutable evidence was presented by Russian officials.

  132. Kiza says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    All very good points Ronald, excellent.

    Is not MH17 shoot-down perfect material for conspiracy theories, being low on facts and high on official statements?

    Do we expect much from the investigative report, which is scheduled to be released in October?
    Do we not expect it to prompt more questions than give answers?
    Will it not be structured in a way which permits the politicians who were making baseless statements to claim that they were right all along?

    Apparently, the Dutch head of the investigation gets nice a six-figure pay, but I would still not like to be in his shoes. The wool he has to pull over the eyes of the world will be similar to a magicians act.

  133. @LondonBob

    I think the cui bono question might be rephrased as “who would have the confidence that such an execrable act would work out to their benefit with very high probability?”. Yes, it can be argued that the anti-Russian forces have benefited…

  134. @Wizard of Oz

    Wizard, if you don’t have anything intelligent to add to the conversation why don’t you just shut the hell up. Stop trying to baffle intelligent readers with your hasbara bull shit. I’ve seen your silly-ass comments on these boards for months and have yet to see one comment that makes the slightest bit of sense.

  135. denk says:

    drills that went live…

    mathias chang, legal adviser to ex malaysian pm dr mahathir,
    *mh370 flew right into the eye of a major air sea war game led by…..who else, the unitedsnake.* [1]

    *The 10-day NATO exercise code named «BREEZE 2014» has ended in Black Sea. The exercise, which included the use of electronic warfare and electronic intelligence aircraft such as the Boeing EA-18G Growler and the Boeing E3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), coincided with the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, some 40 miles from the Russian border. NATO ships and aircraft had the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under total radar and electronic surveillance. * [2]

    the interview with mathias chang


    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  136. @Carroll Price

    Why did Malaysian airlines fly over a war zone? Some other airlines did too. I seem to remember the excuse that, at a certain height it was meant to be safe and that there were quite big costs involved in rerouting. Someone’s bonus could have been at stake.

  137. @Kiza

    Not “barking up the wrong tree” on Echelon. You are being too literal. The point I had in mind about Echelon was its intelligence sharing aspect. If anyone got to share US intelligence information on the Ukraine one would expect it to be the British. As you can see I raised the question only in relation to the – to me – rather surprising suggestion that the Germans and Chinese “probably” also knew what the US and Russia knew. What do you have to say to that last suggestion btw? I note that if China could be expected to have a relevant record of what happened to an aircraft in the Ukraine why not also of the other Malaysian airliner which was heading for China before deviating and crashing somewhere? The point has been made that all sorts of electronics seem to have been switched off. And that prompts another question. Given the assumption of universal snooping and almost total coverage wouldn’t the switching off be noticed and prompt special attention?

  138. @canadiankid

    Are you serious? Do you find it difficult to understand that military officers at all levels would be more than reluctant to shoot down a US passenger aircraft over the US? Has a highjacked plane anywhere been shot down by a country a lot of whose citizens were on board?

  139. @canadiankid

    So – not aimed at you c..k.. – why all the paranoid waffle of sometimes dubious relevance when the black box (actually several “boxes” aren’t there?) must surely be critical? Is it just that it is hard to spin fairy stories about what the boxes may show definitively to be true or false?

  140. Rurik says:

    Is it just that it is hard to spin fairy stories about what the boxes may show definitively to be true or false?

    like the 911 black boxes?

  141. LondonBob says:

    Background: The fighter jet brought down this one, and our people brought down the fighter.

    Cmdr: They say the Sukhoi (Fighter) brought down the civilian plane and ours brought down the fighter.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  142. @Carroll Price

    I will allow this last response to your comments to be an answer also to your later uncouth eruption.

    Since you appear to want some kind of standards to apply to the “conversation” it is ironic that you display neither accuracy or the courtesy of reasonable care (or even apologetic disclaimer) in your confident assertions about TWA 800 which you refer to as “American Airlines flight 800” possibly because you had some memory of the much later merger – and because you don’t bother to check on your prejudices for later information once they are settled.

    After many decades of interviewing people who wanted help or wanted a job or position from the highest to lowest in academic, legal, political or administrative realms I have some basis for judgment of people’s cognitive, emotional and professional adequacy. Nonetheless I feel no obligation to offer guidance to an uncouth fellow who I am most unlikely to have anything to do with in future and who does not have the nous to follow the logic of his words and use the Skip this Commenter button to ensure that we need not waste each other’s time again.

    I am on the point of adding your name to the list which so far includes Rurik, Art and 5371. Good bye: I shall not see any reply you send.

    I do hope BTW that you are not one of the southern attorneys called Carroll Price. Knowing a lot about lawyers I would counsel anyone reading this to be very careful not to retain such an intemperate and careless person for work requiring judgment. But then, with luck, you are no danger to the public because unemployed and reconciled to being unemployable.

    I detect from your use of the word hasbara (which I only came across for the first time in the last month on the Unz Review blogs) that you are an anti-Semite which merely adds one tiny sample to my loose collection of instances of this pathology. It also serves to remind me that your claim to have read my posts for months is either untrue or evidence of your very bad memory. (There are even less flattering possibilities too).

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  143. @LondonBob

    I read the story and saw the video yesterday. It seems to be authentic at first sight. What do you make of it?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    , @LondonBob
  144. @denk

    Thank you for the Mathias Chang entertainment. My immediate response was to go elsewhere on the Internet by Googling his name.
    As I regard the Malaysian judiciary as suspect of being little better than one would expect of Russia or China by traditional NW European standards I turned first to the account of his gaoling for contempt of court. His own account could be regarded as the justified dignified expression of outrage by an upright and honest man. However, I suspect that Malaysian barristers would roll their eyes and say that virtually all the judges regarded him as an eccentric almost or actually vexatious litigant. I have seen them in other countries, sometimes in trouble with courts, sometimes with their own professional ethics committees.

    But setting that guesswork aside he does seem to be someone who has taken to fantastic circumstantial stories to make up for what a recently retired Foreign Minister nicely described as “relevance deprivation syndrome”.

    What’s your take on him?

    And do you think it has any bearing on how the panting pack of amateur theorists should interpret what is so far knowable about MH17?

  145. @Wizard of Oz

    If you have not already done so, please extend the honor of adding me to your “Skip Commenter Button” list.

  146. @Kiza

    I am surprised that you refer to the Dutch head of the (Dutch-Belgian[?]-Malaysian-Australian-Ukrainian) investigation as enjoying a nice six figure pay packet. Isn’t that what you pay a very junior lawyer or engineer who is not really in charge of anything much? I would expect a bare minimum of $5000 a day plus expenses.

    So to focus on reality: why shouldn’t the investigation be able to reach some pretty well reliable conclusions that would be hard to avoid or fudge if they have the flight recorders (“black box” has been bandied about as if knowledgeably but aren’t there at least two: one for cockpit voices and one for electronics? What does it say about the claims on this blog to technical and expert knowledge that this hasn’t been dealt with?).

    Plus of course the examination of the fuselage and determination of the nature of the projectiles which must, it is common ground, have brought it down.

    Do you seriously think that everyone from five countries who is closely involved in the investigators’ findings and report is going to be a reliable purveyor of some CIA line? (If the CIA was it, wouldn’t you expect a leak from the State Department anyway?).

    Anyone want to take a $10,000 even money bet that come October we will have a very good idea of how MH17 was brought down and almost as clearly by whom? “Why” could be a little more doubtful though I wouldn’t mind a side bet on its being a common or garden blunder.

    What I haven’t addressed is the interesting possibilities inherent in the just disclosed video and audio after the crash. It seems quite possible that there was a Ukrainian fighter in the vicinity – and that would hardly be surprising from where we stand – so that could help explain why the rebels or their Russian mates were firing at a plane. And of course it would give plausibility to hypotheses about a fighter shooting the airliner down – for the time being, but not I think for much longer.

    Another thought about who knows what but doesn’t tell all. If the US can be reasonably sure that the investigstors’ assessment of physical evidence will come to the “right” – and actually correct – conclusion why would it disclose what its sigint, satellite photos etc show? As has been pointed out Russia is already very much on the back foot over this both in terms of propaganda and in terms of sanctions. Any reasoned dissent from that from anyone?

  147. @Tom Welsh

    About the shooting down of the Iranian airliner: has anyone plausibly suggested that it was anything but an appalling blunder – perhaps manslaughter in ordinary criminal law terms but not premeditated murder at a high decisionmaking level?

    And doesn’t that make some of the feverish conspiracy theorists take a cold shower and give a bit of serious weight to stuff-up theories for other disasters?

  148. LondonBob says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    It would be an impressively quick bit of cover story being invented and then put out with uniformity of message amongst diverse actors also without being picked up by anyone else listening to the telephone calls between rebels. Too quick, too harmonised and too secret.

    Also supports the eye witnesses the BBC interviewed and certainly not a case of the rebels claiming responsibility.

    So best case scenario for the propaganda line is the rebels, if they had a functioning BUK and if they knew how to use it, shot down by accident an airliner that shouldn’t have been flying there and was being shadowed by an SU25 using it as cover for bombing raids. Not exactly the line we have been fed, so I can see the reason for the silence.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @annamaria
  149. LondonBob says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Roland Oliphant, whose reporting on the Ukraine has been a little above most Western reporting to be fair, makes a reasonable effort at explaining why the rebels would make repeated claims of an SU25 shooting MH17 down but still…

  150. @LondonBob

    Some light at the end of the tunnel perhaps.

    That a Ukrainian fighter (probably one that also bombed rebel positions) should be in the vicinity is plausible and seems to be plausibly confirmed.

    That a BUK missile was fired by rebels who were intended to target the fighter and accidentally shot down the airliner which was being used as cover for the Ukrainian aircraft also seems plausible.

    In the absence of anything to contradict this version it won’t be a surprise if the physical evidence of black box and holes in fuselage confirm it.

    You say “an airliner that shouldn’t have been flying there”. Its easy to agree that it shouldn’t have been flying there but as far as I have ever heard the Ukrainian government wasn’t about to lose the fees it gets from overflights and the reason it “shouldn’t have been flying there” was simply that it should have taken the precaution that other airlines, such as (I believe) Emirates, did and avoid Ukrainian air space. Are you suggesting that there was something illegal or sinister about its being over Eastern Ukraine? (I have to say that there’s no cloud without a silver lining, or some such cliché, because my family saved quite a few thousand dollars on air fares by choosing Malaysian last year).

    I think I’ll double my betting limit and offer a shade of odds. Any takers?

  151. Lenore says:

    It was Putin who is to blame. His terrorists shot down the plane./ It wasn’t Ukraine to blame. Russia had been participating in warfares for 24 years. I won’t accept the idea that Putin has nothing to do with boeing. It was his weapon – BUK – that killed the people.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Rurik
  152. @Kiza

    Further to

    “Apparently, the Dutch head of the investigation gets nice a six-figure pay, but I would still not like to be in his shoes. The wool he has to pull over the eyes of the world will be similar to a magicians act.”

    You have a multi-national team of investigators. Why expect them, even if bribable, to come cheaper than Olympic Games or FIFA bribed persons. Many millions would be required and even that presupposes that none care about the proof of their perfidy being still available in the shape of a fuselage with the wrong kind of holes in it.

    What a skilled negotiator it would have to be to line them all up!

    Within this realm of imagination I can’t help remembering that neat rhyme by Humbert Wolfe

    You cannot hope
    to bribe or twist,
    thank God! the
    British journalist.
    But, seeing what
    the man will do
    unbribed, there’s
    no occasion to.

    Maybe one should keep one’s mind open to anything. After all the IPCC as shown by Donna La Framboise in her marvellous book “The Delinquent Teenager – etc.” is surely an example of a multinational investigative body which is capable of almost anything.

  153. @Lenore

    Well it certainly seems probable that the perpetrator of the slaughter in Chechnya (part of Russia) would have little problem in killing airline passengers if it suited his or Russia’s interests but what evidence do you rely on?

  154. annamaria says:

    Thank you for the information (responding to WoO is an ungrateful endeavor, though).

  155. Seraphim says:

    Kolomoysky did it.

    Kolomoysky: ‘Sorry about the MH17 – but it is a trifle’ – ENG SUBS @

    • Replies: @Kiza
  156. People must never forgive and never forget that Pussy Riot was imprisoned by Putin simply for wanting to be free. Have a look at this photo of the good-looking one while she was doing time:

    It’s probably the same brand of ice cream Stalin gave political prisoners back in the day. A supporter smuggles in ice cream? Yeah that’s a real Gulag she was in.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
    , @MarkinLA
  157. Kiza says:

    I believe that Kolomoysky is joking. This does not mean that he did or did not do it, just means to show how much power he fills, that he can joke about deaths of 298 people in one of the most vile crimes the world has seen. It is a statement of his power and his impunity – it is really saying: I got friends in the high places (Israel) and servants in the right places (Obama, Clintons, Bushes ….).

  158. annamaria says:

    Hi Kiza, there was a response on a different topic, but it struck me as relevant re the bossy character (WoO) flouting his supposedly incomparable education and manners and analytical mind: “… Chateaubriand once said that he didn’t understand the fuss that was made about Talleyrand and his exquisite manners, because before the revolution there were people like him on every street corner. In the same way, a high proportion of people who went to Oxford or Cambridge at the same time as Hitchens had his ability to glibly spout nonsense about any subject whatsoever in coherent sentences and with a confident manner. It didn’t imply actual knowledge or understanding of anything at all.”

  159. The worst excesses in Chechnya occurred under Putin’s predecessor, Yeltsin, an easily controlled drunk who permitted “Western” advisors to loot and rape Russia. (Google Andrei Schleifer and his benefactor at Harvard, Larry Summers, for a bit more on this, not that the record of “American” economic advice to post-Soviet Russia should be in doubt.)

  160. RT has a new documentary on the MH17 case:
    ​MH17: A year without truth

  161. Rurik says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Now if you were to make a nuanced distinction between the very latgely commercial – e.g. Murdoch, the propagandist as in anything in English from Russia or Beijing, the largely non-commercial and semi independent like the BBC and Guardian etc etc….that could be quite interesting.

    OK then ..

    For a distinction between the controlled media of the west vs. Russian (I don’t know much about the Chinese media), I offer the following for your edification

    In the west as regards Saddam’s WMD, all we heard about was lies intended to justify attacking an innocent nation and its people based on evidence that was lied about. When it turned out to be lies, the entire western media collectively yawned and just kept the lies coming. Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman, Osama the mystery cadaver that our SEAL team heroically took down while the entire western media collectively lied about virtually every single thing mentioned without exception. And when all these vile and disgraceful lies were proven to be lies, they just tell more lies.

    I could on for quite some time about the lies our controlled western media tell. Starting of course with all the other lies that were used to foment wars and their subsequent slaughter of innocent people by the millions. Lies and the consequent wars that now in retrospect, people should be dancing at the end of a rope for telling. But are rather there, still entrenched in front of the camera telling us all more lies every day.

    Recent lies of course are the lies that are told about the events of 911. The lies and vile innuendoes that were repeated relentlessly about Saddam’s terrorism ties to 911. The lies about Afghanistan’s guilt for 911 and the lies that were told to get us into that catastrophic war. The lies about the Syrian gas attack. The lies about Benghazi and how that silly movie motivated the whole thing and caught them all off guard. Now the lies about how Putin shot down the plane.

    All these lies are told with an amazing amount of uniformity from the entire length and breath of the west, from Alaska to New Zealand. It’s as if when the wall came down, it was because the Soviet Union had now come across the wall and had taken root over here in the former West- where truth was something of value, and turned into the new west, where lies are ubiquitous, and the only thing that seems certain, is that if Tony Blair, or George Bush, or David Cameron or Barak Obama are talking, then they are lying.

    Vs. Putin who to my knowledge has not spoken one lie that I know of. (please enlighten me if you can). Who has not made one aggressive act against any of his neighbors or anyone else, but rather has been forced to scramble to the aid of his friends as international pieces of shit like John McCain and his tools like Saakashvili, (who now finds his pathetic self in Ukraine acting on behalf of the douche bag McCain once again)- start fires all over the place where Putin has to waste his time putting them out.

    Putin is forced to be the only adult in the room when he’s confronted by the west today. He’s had to deal with McCain’s BS in South Ossetia just like today’s he’s having to do the same thing in Crimea. And he’s always honest about it (that’s why his people love him), while our politicians and media only tell lies on top of lies after lies and more lies. That’s why their mistrusted and hated universally.

    Is that a little distinction for ya?

    • Replies: @geokat62
  162. @annamaria

    I immediately thought of the same guy, when I read that, except for the “coherent sentences” part. A confident manner he does possess, though.

  163. @annamaria

    Well said, but I would propose WoO has a real job, to distract and take people’s eye off the ball with a motto ‘everything/anything for the sake of empire.’

    ^ A good collection of links, here is one of the better ones:


  164. @Cagey Beast

    Yea. Kinda like the famous “death camps” which were equipped with warm barracks, swimming pools, theatres, brothels and hospitals for inmates to being “gassed” by the thousands.

  165. Kiza says:

    I absolutely agree with all three of you. Wonderful that you mentioned the late Christopher Hitchens, because he was the quintessential official public intellectual. Obama is not to be ignored either, he does in speeches what Hitchens did in speeches and in writing (or rather Obama’s speech writers do). Our WoO appears to come from the same ilk, claiming that he had connections with the rulling Liberal Party of Australia.

    I am really glad that you understood perfectly what I meant when I quoted the background of this other prolific Internet intellectual of the same kind, one Binoy Kampark. Such individuals name-drop the school-names to gain credibility which they would never deserve through the quality of their thoughts.

    Finally, everybody should have the right to express him/herself. But the issue is with the amount that WoO writes rather than just the quality. On the Internet there is a variety of trolls, and his pattern best fits the designation Diluter or Spoiler. This type of troll dilutes intelligent discussion to make intelligent readers lose interest. Maybe Ron should introduce a limit of five comments per article, or similar, because what you cannot say in five comments probably does not deserve saying.

    But then he could write five five-page comments.

  166. MarkinLA says:
    @Cagey Beast

    They were jailed for their antics in a church. If that had been a mosque, they would be dead. Tolerance isn’t devout people going to church and allowing assholes to take over the altar. It goes both ways. Want to demonstrate against the Orthodox Church – do it outside where people can ignore you if they want.

  167. TST says:

    Thank you Max.

    I had seen that also but could not recall where. “A mistake”, “the wrong plane” … I wonder what their mission was. I vaguely recall that Putin was on a flight through the same area at approximately the same time.

    I have to wonder what else the intended target might it have been?

    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
  168. @TST

    Putin quit flying over Ukraine once hostilities had broken out. However it would appear the two planes crossed paths earlier, prior to MH 17 proceeding into Ukraine airspace where Kiev air traffic control diverted the flight out of the usual flight path, causing it to pass a bit farther north than normal or directly over the rebel held area.

    One scenario could be the possibility a Ukrainian military pilot (or pilots) had been falsely informed they were assigned to shoot down Putin’s plane and actually believed this was their target when MH 17 had been engaged. This sort of cynicism is not unusual in intelligence operations, it provides the possibility to find the necessary asset (SU 25 qualified aviators) and motivation (patriotism) to pull off a deliberately engineered false flag mass murder. It would also explain the pilot’s reaction per the (defected) witness (Ukrainian aviation armaments crewman) in Russian protective custody. There had also been reports of a third possible plane (2nd combat jet) in the area, and wouldn’t it be interesting if the rebels had captured a Ukrainian pilot who’d been kept incognito to now, possibly explaining a recent video surfacing pointing to the rebels had perhaps captured a pilot from a downed combat jet not far from the area of the MH 17 debris field, shortly after the incident.

    My expectation is, this story is perhaps yet able to produce a highly unpleasant surprise for the western democracies. A sort of Gary Powers turns up alive along the lines of the Eisenhower-Khruschev U-2 incident of 1960.

    • Replies: @Andy Popov
  169. Max says:


    @Ronald Thomas West

    Also interesting–

    Note pilot found wandering in village near crash site (second plane downed, additional to the airliner)

  170. Rurik says:

    Yes, I’m afraid I have to agree with you.

    I wish I didn’t ; )


  171. Some new information about malaysian airliner MH-17 crash.
    After 12 months of the investigation we have no even one Ukrainian eyewitness who had seen the smoky trail of a launched missile “Buck” in heaven although such launching may be heard from 5 miles and may be seen from 20 miles!
    Journalists from several television stations conducted a survey of residents of several villages in the crash site. Next day after crash the correspondent BBC Olga Ivshyna visited the crash area and took interview from local dwellers. And a lot of them saw the military airplane near passenger airliner before the crash. Many residents saw the plane falling, but no one witness saw the smoky trail of a rocket “Buk” launched, although the day was a little cloudy!
    And if there is no even one confirmation of the missile launching from the Earth, from local dwellers eyewitnesses – the version about the destruction of the airliner from missile “Buk” – crumbles to dust. Also we have the statement made by military representatives of Russia next day after catastrophe, which discovered the warplane near Boeing by radar on the day of the crash.
    President USA Mr. Barack Obama promised all last year to publish the photos from American military satellite where we can see the situation. But his promise still is not performed! One unknown American specialist has sent such the photo from American satellite to Moscow last year. We can see on this photo the military jet launching the militant rocket into the passenger airliner.
    One mechanics from Ukrainian military airport Evgeniy Agapkin arrived in Moskov on December 2014 and he told the next story. This story was published in Russian newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda”. Ukrainian pilot Vladislav Voloshenko lifted in military-plane SU-24 from airdrome under Dnepropetrovsk city 17 July 2014 year and launched the rocket into the passenger airliner MH-17. When Vladislav returned to airdrome and left cabine of airplane he has said: “It was wrong airplane!” President Ukraine Peter Poroshenko has awarded pilot Voloshenko on 19 July 2014 with medal “for the courage” for killing euro-passengers in euro-airplane… If Ukraine is not guilty then why Ukrainian artillery was shooting all the time the area crash in order to prevent investigation??? Why Ukrainian artillery could not be silent in July and August 2014 when commissions of air-specialists attempted to reach the crash place?

  172. @Ronald Thomas West

    Ukrainian rebels could not reach the second military jet because they had portable rockets with maximal altitude of flying 4 kilometers…

  173. Janet says:

    Nice summary of Putin propaganda.
    You can’t dismiss the fact that the FIRST to know was PUTIN. He informed Obama.
    You simply dismiss the fact that Girkin boasted of shooting down a “bird” that hit Russian media
    You simply ignore the fact that Girkin said that “we warned them” not to fly in our sky
    You simply dismiss that Russian Media –Life News- was over the story before the rest even heard of what had happened.
    You dismiss the fact that Life News has since disavowed it’s claim about that Spanish air-controlled and admitted that they had made him up.
    You disregard that the BUK arrived from Kurks
    You ignore all the posts by those Russian Soldiers bringing that BUK to Ukraine
    You do make a good point, however. The question is why was the BUK brought into Ukraine?
    It certainly was not needed to shoot down Ukrainian military planes; so was the intent to shoot down a civilian plane? As suggested that it was meant to shoot an Aeroflot plane, which would have allowed Putin to bring his army into Ukraine.
    In other words, the author and you hopped onto Putin’s propaganda bandwagon, because you simply don’t like to face the reality
    I hope that some enterprising reporter start looking at the monies coming from Putin. He has been very generous in supporting those who support him.

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