WHO SHOT DOWN MH17? (Updated August 8, 2014)

August 6, 2014 – 5:51 pm


After Malaysia’s Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, what the world saw was the United States pointing the finger at Putin and the Russia-back forces in Ukraine. In spite of expert testimonies, Washington has yet to offer definite evidence to refute Russia’s charges of a second plane. After 20 days, Mike Whitney is still asking: Was it an accident, a premeditated act of murder or a false flag operation?

“From start to finish, the Ukraine crisis has been instigated by US imperialism. Every action Washington has taken has been directed at exacerbating and intensifying this crisis. The longer this crisis goes on, the clearer it becomes that US policy is directed not so much at Ukraine as at Russia itself. Ukraine, it would seem, is meant merely to provide the pretext for a war with Russia.”
- Bill Van Auken, “Does Washington want war with Russia?”, World Socialist Web Site

German pilot and airlines expert, Peter Haisenko, thinks that Malaysia Flight 17 was not blown up by a ground-based, anti-aircraft missile, but shot down by the type of double-barreled 30-mm guns used on Ukrainian SU-25 fighter planes. Haisenko presented his theory in a widely-circulated and controversial article which appeared on the Global Research website titled “Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile…” (“Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile””, Global Research)

Haisenko notes that the munitions used on Ukrainian fighters - anti-tank incendiary and splinter-explosive shells - are capable of taking down a jetliner and that the dense pattern of metal penetrated by multiple projectiles is consistent with the firing pattern of a 30-mm gun.

The fact that Russian radar spotted an SU 25 in the area where MH17 was attacked has persuaded many that Haisenko’s analysis is credible. Adding to the controversy, international monitor Michael Bociurkiw, who was one of the first inspectors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reach the crash site and who spent more than a week examining the ruins, also appears to be convinced that the ill-fated jetliner was not hit by a missile but downed by machine gun fire consistent with the myriad bullet-holes visible on the fuselage. Here’s what he told on CBC World News:

“There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pock-marked. It almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire that has left these unique marks that we haven’t seen anywhere else.

We’ve also been asked if we’ve seen any signs of a missile?

Well, no we haven’t. That’s the answer.” (“Malaysia Airlines MH17: Michael Bociurkiw talks about being first at the crash site”, CBC News. Note: The above quote is from the video)

The idea that MH17 was downed by a surface-to-air missile (from a BUK system) is a theory that originated with the US government and spread by the western media. The theory has been repeated thousands of times in thousands of newspapers and TV programs without a shred of corroborating evidence. Needless to say, the repetition of a fable, does not make it true. The public needs more facts to determine what really happened.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been stonewalling the investigation, preferring instead to use the tragedy to advance their own narrow political agenda by attacking Putin and smearing Russia. This strategy has clearly backfired as we can see by the fact that Haisenko’s analysis has caught on like wildfire convincing many that the missile theory is a fake.

The burden of proof now falls on Washington to produce whatever hard evidence they may have via radar or satellite imagery that will persuade the public that their story is credible. The best way to do that, would be to provide whatever relevant information and data they’ve compiled but refused to release for the last two weeks.

Moscow caught the US “red handed”. They spotted the US satellite, they know the US saw what happened, and they’re calling them out on it. Where are the photos, Obama? Where is the satellite imagery? We KNOW you have them, so pony up!

What we know about the crash, so far, is that MH17 was rerouted from the flight-path that other Malaysia “Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur” flights had been taking for the two weeks prior.

Why was the flight path suddenly changed? Why was MH17 rerouted through a war zone? Why was the pilot told to fly at a lower altitude instead of the 35,000 ft he had requested? Why was the flight path suddenly adjusted 14 kilometers north just as the plane entered the war zone?

Was MH17 outfitted with Boeing’s Uninterruptible Auto Pilot (BUAP) and, if so, was the system engaged when it suddenly flew off course and began to lose altitude? (And why hasn’t Boeing sent an investigative team to the crash site which is what they do whenever one of their planes goes down?)

The Obama administration hasn’t answered any of these questions. They’ve chosen instead to use the tragedy to bash Russia and blame Putin without providing any solid evidence or data to support their claim that MH17 was downed by a missile launched from a BUK system. As a result, public confidence in their allegations has steadily eroded. This situation can only be remedied by taking concrete steps to show the administration is serious about the investigation and genuinely wants to get to the bottom of what happened on July 17.

Here’s what Obama should do.

First, he should demand that the Kiev government hand over the Air Traffic Control cockpit tapes that were recorded on the day the flight went down. That’s number one. That will clarify why the pilot veered “off course” 14 kilometers and why the plane suddenly lost altitude. (Once again, we ask: Was the Auto Pilot override system engaged or not?)

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) seized the recordings shortly after MH17 crashed and they haven’t been seen since. Why? Why hasn’t this critical piece of  evidence been handed over to the proper authorities, the EU’s team of investigators? Does anyone really believe that Kiev’s US-backed lackey regime made this decision by themselves or that Washington ordered them to grab the tapes to prevent the public from knowing what really happened in the final minutes of the flight?

Second, Obama should come clean and provide whatever radar and satellite data he has that will shed light on how the plane was downed. Most of what we know so far has been provided by Moscow from a news conference that was moderated by Russian air force chief Lt Gen Igor Makushev. Naturally, the western media blacked out most of what Makushev had to say. Surprisingly, however, the right wing Wall Street Journal published an excellent article on the press conference which covered most of the important details. Here’s a brief excerpt from the article:

“On Monday, Gen Makushev said that the two Russian radar stations near Russia’s border with Ukraine observed the presence of the second aircraft over a period of four minutes on the day of Flight 17′s crash…

Gen Makushev said that Russian radars could only spot the aircraft at the point of its ascension because the on-duty radars only detected objects at above 5,000 meters. Russian radars spotted the unidentified plane patrolling in the vicinity of Flight 17, “controlling the development of the situation,” he said…

The defense ministry also said it registered the SU-25 fighter jet ascending within close range of several civil aircrafts, including the Malaysia Airlines jet…

Another top military official, Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, said at the same news conference that the jet came as close as 1.8 miles to Flight 17, which is well within the range of the air-to-air missiles it is usually equipped with…

The suggested version of events echoed much of what has been reported on Russian state television in recent days, which has suggested that Ukraine could have shot down the plane, possibly via one of its fighter planes.

US officials dismissed the Russian government’s claim that a second plane was present when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down last week as “desperate” propaganda.” (“Russia Presents Its Account of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash”, Wall Street Journal)

Russia’s findings appear to support the Bociurkiw-Haisenko theory that MH17 was gunned down by Ukrainian fighters. It’s up to the Obama administration to prove otherwise.

Here’s more from the WSJ:

“Similarly, Gen Makushev said the Malaysia Airlines plane deviated from its course by close to 9 miles near Donetsk but then attempted to return to its course, crashing shortly after. Russian radars spotted the Flight 17 rapidly descending 32 miles away from the Russian border, Russian officials said… He said Russia is prepared to hand all of the information it has to the European authorities, which included satellite imagery and data from its own radar.” (WSJ)

Why? Why was the pilot driving the gigantic 777 through a warzone like an intoxicated high-schooler out on a joyride? Does any of this sound suspicious to you, dear reader?

So far, the Obama administration hasn’t even admitted that they had a satellite overhead, preferring instead to stick with their pathetic propaganda strategy. Fortunately, CounterPunch has published an invaluable article by journalist Andre Vltchek that provides a translation of the Russian press conference to which the WSJ refers. Here’s an excerpt:

“According to our records from 17:06 till 17:21 Moscow time on the July 17 over the Southeastern territory of Ukraine, a US space satellite flew overhead. This is a special device of the experimental space system designed to detect and track various missile launches. If the US party has photos made by the satellite, please let us ask them to show them to world community for further investigation… (Note: The US satellite system MUST work, because just days later it detected the launching of  three ballistic missiles by the Ukrainian government.)

Is it a coincidence or not? However, the time of the Malaysian Boeing-777 accident and the time of the observation done by the satellite over the Ukrainian territory are the same. In conclusion, I would like to mention that all the concrete information is based on the objective and reliable data of the different Russian equipment, in contrast to the accusations of the US against us, made without any evidence…” (“The New Cold War - MH17 - Sacrificed Airliner”, Andre Vltchek, Counterpunch

In other words, Moscow caught the US “red handed”. They spotted the US satellite, they know the US saw what happened, and they’re calling them out on it.

Where are the photos, Obama? Where is the satellite imagery? We KNOW you have them, so pony up!

Now ask yourself this: Where does this line of inquiry lead? And does it really matter if the Malaysia 777 was shot down by a warplane or blown up by surface-to-air missile?

Of course it matters. It makes all the difference in the world. If MH17 was shot down by an Ukrainian SU-25, then we need to know who gave the order and whether the people who stand to benefit from the incident were directly involved or not. And who does benefit from the downing of MH17? That’s what we need to establish. Just like we need to know why the Obama team has been so cock-sure that Moscow was involved in the incident. Why all the fingerpointing? Why the need to make Putin look like a homicidal maniac? How does that help to reveal the truth?

Finally: Was the downing of Malaysia Flight 17 an accident, a premeditated act of murder or a false flag operation?

We need to know.

Addendum: On Sunday, BBC reports: “Fresh fighting in eastern Ukraine has forced an international forensics team to halt operations in part of the vast crash site of Malaysian flight MH17. Observers had to withdraw from one village when they heard artillery fire although work is still continuing across much of the area.” (“Ukraine crisis: New fighting hampers MH17 crash probe”, BBC.)

Kiev has restarted hostilities realizing that if the Dutch inspectors find any shell casings or fragments that can be traced back to the SU-25s, the administration’s missile theory will collapse.

Note: Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected] The above article was posted at CounterPunch.

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Updated August 8, 2014

MALAYSIA AIRLINES SHARES SUSPENDED AS STATE BUYOUT IS ANNOUNCED

Malaysia Airlines shares have been suspended and the beleaguered company will be taken entirely into state hands after it was hit by two disasters (MH370 and MH17) that killed hundreds of people. Trading of shares in Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS) was suspended on August 8 and the company soon afterwards announced it would be removed from the stock market. The suspension of shares is the first step in plans by Khazanah Nasional Bhd to take MAS private as the first step in a major restructuring. The state investor already owns 69 per cent of MAS. MAS’s closing price on Thursday (August 7) was 24 sen (US$0.07). - The Guardian

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INTEREST IN MH17 FADES AS SANCTION AND WAR EDGE CLOSER

By Tony Cartalucci

It is abundantly clear that a truthful resolution to the tragedy of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was never the goal of Washington, London, and Brussels. Citing baseless accusations surrounding the tragedy, the West has leveled a series of incrementally expansive sanctions against Russia while using the tragedy to justify increased military support for Kiev’s military forces even as they wage total war against their own population including the use of ballistic missiles, airstrikes, artillery barrages, and tanks.

Clearly the goal then was to exploit the air disaster as long as possible before the truth began to emerge - and when that truth did emerge, to ensure the subject of MH17 altogether faded from the collective consciousness of the general public.

Surely if the facts surrounding the disaster tallied with Washington, London, and Brussel’s initial and baseless accusations, it would make the subsequent moves by the West to sanction Russia while propping up the regime in Kiev, Ukraine, all the more poignant. Instead, the West appears to be intentionally playing down the actual investigation and pushing forward its gains made - wrought from the tragedy and hailed as a “game changer” in a conflict the West was decidedly losing.

As the Truth Trickles Out…

In the propaganda firestorm following the downing of MH17 the West was careful to cherry pick certain aspects of the disaster and spin it relentlessly as it accused Russia and eastern Ukraine. But even amongst the West’s own investigators a story far from conclusive emerged casting serious doubts on the narrative being peddled from behind podiums in Washington. In an interview with Canada’s CBC News, Michael Bociurkiw, a Ukrainian-Canadian monitor with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) claimed to have seen what looked like machine gun holes in the fuselage and no evidence he could see of a missile.

While Bociurkiw would admit he lacks the trained eyes to discern what actually may have downed MH17, his eyewitness account sows doubt among the feigned certainty the West used to push through sanctions and to justify military aid to Kiev. The West has utterly failed to provide any evidence at all to either explain Bociurkiw’s observations, or any aspect of their own official narrative. Bociurkiw’s observations do however corroborate certain aspects of Russia’s rebuttal to the West’s accusations.

Russia disclosed radar information and satellite images that contradicted the West’s accusations. The Russian data would also indicate the presence of a Ukrainian SU-25 jet in the vicinity near MH17 before it went down. The SU-25 possesses a 30 mm cannon that would inflict damage like that observed by Bociurkiw. While far from conclusive, it is a much more viable explanation as to what happened to MH17, based on physical evidence, than what has thus far been put forth by the West.

In addition to Bociurkiw’s account, there are many other witnesses and experts who have suggested an SU-25’s 30 mm cannon as the possible culprit behind the downing of MH17 - and as these accounts and analysis begin to reach a crescendo, the West’s interest in ascertaining the truth behind the disaster appears to be at an all time low. So much emphasis was initially placed on the theory of a surface to air missile downing the aircraft that other possibilities were defacto ruled out. However these alternative possibilities were ruled out without any proper investigation or demonstrable evidence to justify doing so.

Sanctions And War In Lieu Of An Investigation

Just as the West had attempted to rush to war against Syria based on tenuous, suspicious circumstances surrounding the gassing of thousands on the edge of Damascus, the West now seeks to punish Russia economically and edge itself and Europe ever closer to an expanded proxy war with Moscow. It would be later confirmed that the sarin gas attack in Damascus was the work of NATO itself through its terrorist proxies - and similarly as evidence trickles out regarding MH17 - it appears the West and its proxies were not only the greatest benefactors of the tragedy, but the prime suspects as well.

Once again the West has advanced its agenda forward by disingenuously leveraging tragedy to sell otherwise unjustifiable and undesirable measures against a member of the international community. Stronger European sanctions against Russia had just failed in the days prior to the downing of MH17, but in the wake of the disaster, passed with ease. Likewise, providing Kiev with weapons and training was becoming increasingly unthinkable as their human rights record and their affiliations and proclivities toward Nazism became increasingly difficult to cover up or spin.

Now it appears the West has been able to work around these otherwise insurmountable obstacles and move the region closer toward war and further away from a settlement that would have surely left the West in an undesirable position in relation to Moscow. And as the West moves forward toward what it believes is a more desirable outcome, ascertaining the truth behind what downed MH17 will become an inconvenience.

While the West used the memories of those lost in the tragedy to portray Russia and eastern Ukraine as heartless and indifferent to the suffering of innocent lives lost - it is the West who is now demonstrably obstructing justice for these people while shamelessly exploiting it to advance their geopolitical agenda both in Ukraine and against Russia.

For all the promises the West made in regards to seeking the truth behind MH17 - what we see today is memories and enthusiasm fading, the victims forgotten, and the tragedy all but buried - leaving us with sanctions against Russia and binding agreements made by the West to arm, fund, and train militants fighting for the regime in Kiev. If one were to believe the West’s rhetoric about Russia being the “bad guy,” what then, considering the current priority of MH17 within the West’s agenda, does that make Washington, London, and Brussels?

Note: Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. The above article was posted at landdestroyer.blogspot.

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  1. 3 Responses to “WHO SHOT DOWN MH17? (Updated August 8, 2014)”

  2. Nice article but too bad that this so called expert is full of shit. I will bet that this “expert” is actually an accident scene reporter for some podunc tv station that wouldn’t know the difference between a bird strike and fender bender. Initial photos of the wreckage clearly showed turbine blades and fuselage skin penetrated by the type of shrapnel created by a proximity explosion. I suppose the fighter pilot managed to strafe the side of the aircraft and then turned around and fired into the engines. You should actually proofread what you print from some of the half wits that write these columns.

    By nobsartist on Aug 6, 2014

  3. This is the second time in a few months that I have felt compelled to write and beg you to check over the stories you run.
    The quest for sensational “news” is leading you to run extremely dubious journalism from some very dodgy operators.
    As a lifelong journalist who now teaches journalism I can assure you that my BS detectors are highly tuned and well practised.
    Post-mortem examination of the recovered bodies may show signs of the projectiles that caused the damage. Some of the wreckage recovered may, after scientific examination, reveal more precise information.
    So far, however, recognised experts who do NOT have a pro-Moscow axe to grind have identified to damage visible in photos as being consistent with a SAM proximity blast.
    The information from the black box also, from the initial analysis, suggests a missile blast, not cannonfire, which probably would not have caused the instantaneous and catastrophic break-up of the aircraft.
    And of course, the Kremlin apologists fail to mention that the SU25, even the most advanced variants, could not have got close to MH17 flying at 33,000 feet. The SU25 ceiling, fully laden with armaments, is At Least three kilometres lower than the MH17’s path.
    Please, Mr Whitney and all the other socialist nutters weaving these conspiracy theories, show me an SU25 that can achieve such close cannonshell grouping at 3km. It is in any case likely, IF shells from an SU25 had got anywhere near MH17 after travelling three kilometres, there would have been random holes from the nose to the tail, not a narrow grouping of holes that an Olympic marksman would be proud of at 400metres.
    Please, BigO - stop retailing these ludicrous farragos of shite by biased writers.
    Intelligent people will wait until the international experts have gathered whatever information they can, and analysed it properly, rather than jump to conclusions.
    Then, if the cause WAS some form of Ukrainian action, there will be intelligent commentary to back it up. Until then I will continue to distrust Mr Putin and his propaganda machine. And the crap journalism you have started publishing.

    By the original tony on Aug 9, 2014

  4. “Intelligent people will wait until the international experts have gathered whatever information they can, and analysed it properly, rather than jump to conclusions.”

    Exactly…. why all the bile? All countries have propaganda machines, like the BBC and CNN.

    I ‘don’t trust Putin’ is just silly. I don’t necessarily trust him– still less Obama, a partly fascist government in the Ukraine, or the ludicrous Cameron.

    By Jon on Aug 22, 2014

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