Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

MH17 Probe – Perpetual Smear Job on Russia

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | June 22, 2019

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with probing the Malaysian MH17 airliner disaster in 2014 is a travesty of legal due process and justice. It is a politically motivated vehicle for smearing Russia. A vehicle designed to run and run for years to come.

Despite its grand-sounding legal title, the JIT is a mockery of jurisprudence. It has, for example, included Ukrainian police in its “fact finding” while excluding Russia. That has ensured bias in the investigation in favor of a party – the Ukrainian state – which should have been treated as a suspect.

The Dutch-led investigation is also infused with a NATO bias which inherently blames Russia for the Ukraine conflict that began in 2014. It is a hopelessly flawed investigation based on prejudice and preconceived notions of guilt.

As with previous reports, the JIT has openly acknowledged cooperating with the private blog site Bellingcat for its purported evidence gathering. How can a supposed official investigation into a mass murder be taken seriously when it is relying on the “expertise” of a freelance blogger-sleuth? Moreover, Bellingcat is complicit in peddling NATO propaganda concerning chemical weapons false-flag attacks in Syria and the Skripal poisoning case.

The JIT report this week into the crash in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 again draws on Bellingcat “information”. That information has been shown by other investigators to be based on fabricated video and audio material. Like previous JIT reports, the so-called “evidence” is vague and relies more on innuendo of guilt. The latest so-called report did not bring any new “evidence” to back up previous claims that Russia is culpable for the alleged shoot-down of the Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine. The investigators claimed last year that a Russian anti-aircraft brigade based in Kursk entered Ukrainian territory with a Buk missile system. The munition was allegedly used by pro-Russian rebels fighting against Kiev-controlled military to blow the Boeing 777 from the sky.

The passenger jet was on its way from the Netherlands to Malaysia when it was apparently shot down by an anti-aircraft missile while traversing eastern Ukraine. All 298 onboard were killed in the crash.

Russia and the Ukrainian separatist militia have both denied any involvement. They reject the JIT claims as “baseless”.

The videos purportedly showing a Buk missile system being transported from Russia to eastern Ukraine – which Belllingcat and the JIT rely on as evidence – have long been exposed as doctored fakes.

What Dutch-led “investigators” did this week is more PR trick. They name four suspects ostensibly to prosecute for murder in a Dutch court next year. Three of the named persons are reportedly Russian nationals, while the fourth is Ukrainian. All are said to be located presently in the Russian Federation. The JIT will request Russia extradite the alleged suspects to face trial. The JIT investigators claim that the named individuals “prove” a link between Russian military and the Ukrainian rebels.

It is extremely unlikely that Russia will extradite the persons. That is because they will not receive a fair trial given the extreme prejudice of the prosecutors. And also because the Russian state has been continually refused participation in the investigation and fair access to investigation files. Russia’s own significant evidence into the air disaster – and what could have really happened – has also been continually and unreasonably repudiated by the JIT.

The Dutch-led investigators know full well that Russia will not cooperate with their extradition requests. What will happen therefore is that the “indictments” forever hang in the air and serve as a quasi-conviction. This is the same cynical technique of the Mueller Report into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. Mueller indicted several Russian citizens for “meddling” in the elections, inferring they were serving a Kremlin-directed operation. Those accused citizens will never be extradited to face a trial in the US. Mueller knew that and didn’t expect it. The purpose was to let indictments hang in the air to serve as a perpetual smear against Russia.

Unlike the Mueller probe which wound up earlier this year after two years of meandering, empty-handed investigation into alleged “Russian collusion”, the MH17 investigation is set to trundle on for several years to come.

Wilbert Paulissen, head of the national investigative department of the Dutch police, said the investigation has much further to go, according to Radio Free Europe reporting.

“Today, we – the JIT – have taken an important step, but – as we said – our investigation will not end with the prosecution of those four people,” he said.

“There were more people who played a role in the downing of MH17. Investigation also continues into the personnel running the air-defense missile system Buk and into the people who were an important link in the Russian Federation’s decision-making process to provide military support to [separatists in] eastern Ukraine.”

Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke was also quoted as saying that Russia was involved in the “crime in one way or another.” He added, the Kremlin is “in a position to tell us what happened… I’m sure they know what happened.”

For the head of Dutch police and the state attorney to make such prejudicial statements against Russia before a court case has even been opened is an astounding contempt of due process. Russia has been convicted and condemned for the Malaysian airliner disaster without even having a chance to present an alternative narrative, never mind defense.

Moscow’s response to the latest JIT accusations this week was one of dismay. The Kremlin said it was “regrettable” and “baseless” –unworthy of a substantial response.

Russia’s own significant evidence in the MH17 catastrophe has been repeatedly rebuffed by the JIT. That evidence reportedly includes radar and air traffic control data which puts the onus of responsibility for the crash on the Ukrainian authorities in Kiev. Why was the plane apparently directed by Kiev along an air route over a war zone?

Most revealing, however, is that Buk missile evidence presented last year by the JIT inadvertently showed that the casing of the projectile allegedly involved in downing the plane indicated it was a 1986 model of that munition. That strongly suggests that the missile did not come from Russia, but rather belonged to the Ukrainian armed forces dating from the Soviet era.

Incredibly, for a so-called international criminal investigation, such highly pertinent evidence from Russia has been shunned. However, this oversight is not incredible when one considers that the real purpose of the Dutch-led JIT is not to uncover the truth and guilt over the MH17 incident. The real purpose is to serve as a NATO vehicle to frame-up Russia for an atrocity. An atrocity which in all likelihood was perpetrated by one of the investigating parties – the NATO-backed Ukrainian regime in Kiev.

June 22, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , | 2 Comments

‘Politicised From the Start’: Malaysian PM Blasts Dutch-Led MH17 Probe as Anti-Russian Witch Hunt

Sputnik – June 20, 2019

On Wednesday, investigators from the Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team (JIT) announced that they would issue arrest warrants against four suspects, including three Russians and one Ukrainian, in connection with the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in mid-2014. Moscow called the accusations “absolutely unsubstantiated.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has called the JIT’s latest claims in the MH17 case politically motivated and unproven.

“We are very unhappy, because from the very beginning it was a political issue on how to accuse Russia of wrongdoing,” Mahathir said, speaking to reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.

A day earlier, the Joint Investigative Committee (JIT) announced that four suspects, Russians Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, and Oleg Pulato and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, would be issued international arrest warrants on charges of murder, with a trial into the MH17 case set to begin in the Netherlands in March 2020.

Flight MH17 was shot down over civil war-hit eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile on 17 July 2014, with all 298 passengers and crew on board, predominantly Dutch and Malaysian nationals, killed.

The JIT accuses the men of delivering the missile system to Ukraine from a Russian anti-aircraft missile brigade stationed in the city of Kursk, not far from the Ukrainian border. Russia has categorically denied claims that it was in any way involved in the tragedy.

“Even before they examine (the debris), they already said Russia. And now they said they have proof. It is very difficult for us to accept that,” Mahathir said. “It is a ridiculous thing,” Mahathir added. “As far as we are concerned we want proof of guilt. So far there is no proof. Only hearsay,” he stressed.

Malaysian authorities have repeatedly complained of being effectively excluded from the investigation into the MH17 case, with the country’s investigators reportedly barred from studying the airliner’s black box flight recorder and other important data, despite the fact that over three dozen of the 298 passengers and crew who died in the incident were Malaysian nationals.

‘Absolutely Unsubstantiated’ Claims

Almost immediately after the MH17 crash and before a formal investigation was launched, the US and many of its European allies accused Russia of responsibility for the tragedy. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team invited Belgium, Australia, and Ukraine to join the probe, with Malaysia invited to join in late 2014, and Russia barred from the inquiry despite repeated offers to help.

Russia subsequently conducted its own probe into the disaster, with its investigation including extensive studies of forensic evidence, the unprecedented declassification of previously secret information about advanced military hardware, and a complex experiment by defence concern Almaz-Antey, maker of the Buk type air defence missile thought to have shot down the passenger jet.

Based on these studies, Russian investigators concluded that an older variant of the missile built in 1986 and belonging to Ukraine downed the aircraft, with Russia fully retiring its older stocks of Buk missiles during a broader campaign to modernise the Russian army.

The Russian side has repeatedly attempted to provide Dutch investigators with its evidence, but JIT has shown no interest in the Russian information. In late 2016, Russia sent JIT raw, unprocessed primary radar data containing evidence about the trajectory of the missile which shot down Flight MH17. JIT first complained that it could not decrypt the data, but after Russia said that it would be ready to help investigators decode it, questioned its accuracy and declined to take it into consideration. JIT’s own investigation and the presentations of its findings did not provide any concrete evidence demonstrating Russia’s guilt, instead citing ‘classified information’ which Dutch and US authorities have said they could not divulge.

On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the JIT’s latest claims in the MH17 case as “absolutely unsubstantiated,” saying that the charges were not based on evidence, and aimed only “at discrediting Russia in the eyes of the international community.”

June 20, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Sinister Choreography of the MH17 Probe to Smear Russia

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 31.05.2018

The Dutch-led probe into the 2014 Malaysian airliner disaster has the hallmarks of a psychological operation to frame-up Russia and to justify further sanctions and aggression from the NATO powers.

The so-called Joint Investigation Team (JIT) released an update last Thursday on its ongoing probe into the MH17 air disaster over Eastern Ukraine, in which all 298 people onboard were killed. The JIT’s latest release moves the accusation of culpability closer to Russia, with the team claiming that an anti-aircraft Buk missile, which allegedly shot down the plane, was brought into Ukraine by Russia’s 53rd Brigade based in Kursk, southwest Russia.

Then on Friday, the day after the high-profile JIT presentation, a news report compiled by US-based McClatchy News and UK-based self-styled online investigative website Bellingcat was published claiming to have identified a senior Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer as being involved in the transport of the missile system.

The Russian GRU officer is named as Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. The report includes a photograph of the named man, who is said to have at least one residential address in Moscow and who used the call sign “Orion”. Tellingly, the McClatchy report claims that news of identifying the Russian military officer was not known by the JIT when it made its presentation the day before. But McClatchy reported that the Dutch-led investigators now want to arraign “Orion”.

Over the weekend, the Dutch, Australian and British governments upped the ante by formally accusing Russia, and demanding that Moscow pay financial compensation to families of the crash victims. Most of those onboard the doomed MH17 were Dutch, Malaysian and Australian nationals.

What we are seeing here is a choreographed sequence trying to give the public impression that developments in the probe are taking a natural course based on “evidence” imputing blame to Russia. The same technique of media psychological operation can be seen in the Skripal poisoning affair in which Moscow is blamed for trying to assassinate a former spy in England. Allegations, purported evidence, and then sanctions (expulsion of Russian diplomats) all follow a choreographed sequence.

On the MH17 incident, Russia has vehemently denied any involvement in the passenger plane’s downing. Moscow says its own investigation into the incident points to the Kiev regime’s armed forces as being responsible, possibly using their stock of Soviet-era Buk anti-aircraft missiles. Significantly, Russia’s investigative results have been spurned by the JIT, while Moscow’s offers of contributing to the probe have been rebuffed. As in the Skripal affair, where the British authorities have also refused Russia’s offers of joint investigation, or Russia’s ability to independently verify the supposedly incriminating data.

In a dramatic twist, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that the missile casing displayed by the Dutch investigators bore features dating the weapon to 1986 when Ukraine was a Soviet Republic. The Russian military said that all such Buk models were replaced by its forces in 2011. Therefore, the alleged offensive weapon presented by the JIT last week could not have come from Russian forces. Besides, Moscow denies that any of its brigades crossed into Ukrainian territory.

The JIT, which includes investigators from Holland, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia and – invidiously – Ukrainian secret services, openly acknowledged in its presentation last week that it is cooperating with the Britain-based Bellingcat website. The latter is cited for its analysis of videos purporting to show the transport of a Russian military Buk convoy through Eastern Ukraine at around the time of the airliner being shot down. Those videos have already been exposed as fabrications.

Now it seems rather strange that the JIT was reported by McClatchy as not knowing of Bellingcat’s next “scoop” published the following day in which it claims to identify a Russian military officer, named as Oleg Ivannikov or Orion, for being involved in coordinating the transport of the Buk convoy, which the JIT says came from the 53rd Brigade in Russia’s Kursk.

The JIT and Bellingcat have collaborated in a previous update to its MH17 probe, in 2016, when the dubious videos were presented as purportedly showing the Buk convoy traversing Eastern Ukraine back to Russia. Bellingcat was cited again in the JIT’s update last Thursday.

That raises the question of why the information claiming to identify the Russian military officer was not available to JIT, even though the latter has worked closely with Bellingcat before? It was the next day when the McClatchy-Bellingcat news report came out, seemingly separate to the JIT presentation.

The sequence suggests a concerted effort to “build” a public perception that “clues” into the cause of the air crash and the incrimination of Russia are being assembled in an independent manner. When, in reality, the sequence is actually a deliberately orchestrated media campaign, to more effectively smear Russia.

Bellingcat’s media activities indicate that it is not the supposed “independent online investigative website” it claims to be. During the Syrian war, it has helped to peddle claims that videos sourced from the White Helmets are “authentic” when in fact there is strong evidence that the White Helmets have been fabricating videos of atrocities on behalf of NATO-sponsored terrorists in order to smear the Syrian government and its Russian ally.

For the Dutch-led JIT to associate with Bellingcat as a source of “evidence” is a matter of grave concern as to the probe’s professional credibility.

Moreover, what is also fatally damaging to the MH17 probe is that the Ukrainian secret services (SBU) under the control of the Western-backed Kiev regime, which came to power in the NATO-backed February 2014 coup d’état, is the source for much of the so-called evidence implicating Russia or the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine for shooting down the MH17 airliner.

The dubious videos cited by the JIT and Bellingcat were sourced from the SBU. Those videos were purportedly posted on social media at the time of the plane crash by anonymous members of the public. The Russian government has dismissed those videos as fake.

The latest claims by McClatchy and Bellingcat of identifying a Russian military officer are based on allegations that mobile phone intercepts are attributable to the man named as Orion. Bellingcat appears to have expended a lot of effort trawling through digital phone books to identify the individual. The report also relies on embellishment of Orion’s alleged secret military career in Ukraine and South Ossetia by way of lending a sense of credibility and sinister innuendo.

However, the bottom line is that McClatchy and Bellingcat both admit that they are relying on the Ukrainian secret services for their phone intercepts, as they had previously for the videos of the alleged Russian Buk convoy.

The SBU and its Kiev masters have an obvious axe to grind against Moscow. Their partisan position, not to say potential liability for the air crash, thus makes the JIT and subsequent Western media reporting highly suspect.

Such close involvement of a Western media outlet (McClatchy ) with a fake news engine (Bellingcat ) and Ukrainian state intelligence is indicative of coordinated public psychological operation to smear Russia.

The prompt responses from Western governments calling for criminal proceedings against Moscow are further indication that the whole effort is an orchestrated campaign to frame-up Russia.

May 31, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Russia ‘absolutely’ rejects Dutch & Aussie accusations it’s responsible for MH17 downing

RT | May 25, 2018

Moscow has rejected any involvement in the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine after the Netherlands and Australia declared Russia “responsible” for the deployment of a BUK missile system that downed the jet in 2014.

Moscow neither accepts nor trusts the results of an international investigation into the MH17 crash as it was not allowed to take part in it, according to the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“Of course, without being able to be a full participant, Russia does not know to what extent the results of this work can be trusted,” he said.

Peskov echoed the position of the Russian president Vladimir Putin who earlier said that, although Ukraine was included in the probe, Russia was barred from participating in establishing the truth.

Asked if he can confirm that Russia vehemently denies any involvement in the MH17 downing, Peskov replied “absolutely.”

Earlier on Friday, Amsterdam and Canberra said Russia is “responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17” following a Thursday press conference of the Dutch-led International Investigation Team (JIT). The latter concluded that a BUK missile system from a Russian 53rd brigade was transported to eastern Ukraine and used to down the passenger plane with more than 300 people onboard. The system was then said to have returned to Russia.

“The [Dutch] government is now taking the next step by formally holding Russia accountable,” Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok said in a statement. However, the Russian military earlier said that not a single weapons system crossed the border.

MH17 tragedy may be used to achieve political goals – Lavrov

The country’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that Moscow would not reject closer cooperation on the MH17 probe, but only if the data it provides is included as well. He also compared the case with the Skripal scandal, in which London made groundless allegations and pinned the blame on Moscow, but failed to provide any proof.

“If our partners have decided to speculate on this case, when it comes to the most serious human tragedy, the death of hundreds of people, to achieve their political goals, I leave it on their conscience,” Lavrov said.

Despite the JIT claiming that it conducted a separate probe, it did not move any further than the British investigative group Bellingcat – some reports of which came under fire and were refuted by Russian activists. Among other flaws in the earlier Bellingcat claims was the assertion that the Ukrainian Army had no Buk systems in the conflict area. However, in a countering statement, Russian activists presented reports from the Ukrainian media itself showing Buk missiles in the area prior to the downing of the plane.

Bellingcat’s online investigations have previously raised questions regarding their accuracy. After the group’s founder, Eliot Higgins, published one of his reports on Syria, he was asked to discuss his findings with prominent MIT physicist Theodore Postol. However, the blogger declined the debate and insulted the scientist, triggering an avalanche of criticism on Twitter.

The allegation that the missile belonged to the Russian military had earlier been debunked by the Buk manufacturer, Almaz-Antey. Its real-time experiment showed that the projectile which hit MH17 (Boeing 777) was from an earlier generation and is no longer in service with the Russian military. It was found that the plane was likely shot down using an old 9M38 missile, not the newer type 9M38M1 with distinct butterfly-shaped metal fragments, which were allegedly recovered by the Dutch Safety Board.

Moreover, Almaz-Antey’s findings, which analyzed the angle from which the projectiles entered the cockpit of the ill-fated flight, showed that the most probable location of the launch site could be only on Kiev-controlled territory. Untampered Russian radar data provided by Moscow led to similar conclusions.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Ukrainian forces kept around 20 Buk systems, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The military also stressed that Moscow has not supplied any new missiles to Ukraine since then.

Read more:

Accusations and threats, but where are the facts? – Russia challenges West on truth

May 25, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Missile that downed MH17 came from Russian military, unit of origin pinpointed – intl investigators

RT | May 24, 2018

A Dutch-led probe says the missile that hit flight MH17 over Ukraine came from a unit in western Russia. Claims about its Russian origin were made by activist group Bellingcat earlier, but it was seriously questioned back then.

The international team investigating the 2014 tragedy, in which Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, reiterated the claim that it was a Buk missile, but now claims it also pinpointed the exact unit responsible.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) “has come to the conclusion that the BUK-TELAR that shot down MH17 came from 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade based in Kursk in Russia,” the head of the crime squad of the Dutch National Police, Wilbert Paulissen, told reporters on Thursday.

The findings also claim that the missile carrier came from Russia and was returned to the country. However, the investigators have apparently failed to move any further than British online investigative activist group Bellingcat, which presented their report nearly one year ago and made the same allegations.

“We realize that the investigation collective Bellingcat has already concluded the same and published it,” Paulissen said, noting that his team carried out a separate, “independent” probe.

The conclusions were announced even though the probe is still unfinished and currently in its “last phase,” and there is still much to be done, according to JIT members. Two questions still remain unanswered – who was responsible for shooting down the plane, and why did it happen? Moreover, further evidence to back up the “revelations” is currently not available to the public.

In 2016, the Dutch-led group said it suspected around 100 people could be linked to the alleged transportation of the Buk missile system to eastern Ukraine and the missile launch. Nearly two years of investigation made their role clearer, according to Thursday’s update, but the number of people involved was narrowed down to dozens, Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said.

While the latest JIT statement hardly presents anything new, earlier Bellingcat reports were refuted by ‘Anti-Bellingcat’ activists. Russian bloggers, journalists, aviation experts, and volunteers united in a group to highlight significant flaws and inaccuracies in the Bellingcat version of the tragedy.

For example, there is the repeated claim that a Buk missile system was transported through the Russian-Ukrainian border to the place the missile was allegedly fired and then returned. The Bellingcat report used pictures and data from open sources, showing the Buk system on both sides of the border and claiming it was the same. However, the one spotted in Russia was of different modification, the activists noted, pointing out that it contains a “step” on the left side of the system.

The British group’s claims that there were no Ukrainian Buk missile systems in the conflict-zone were also debunked by their Russian peers. They provided various screen shots of Ukrainian media reports picturing the systems belonging to the Ukrainian Army in the same area.

Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that Russia provided uncut radar-location data “that cannot be faked or changed” and “clearly” shows the missile did not come from the direction the investigators claimed. However, all data on the tragedy provided by Moscow was only selectively accepted by the multinational team of investigators, Lavrov said at a joint news conference with his Dutch counterpart, Stef Blok in Moscow.

May 24, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , | 3 Comments

‘Silenced’? Ukrainian Military Pilot Accused of Attack on Boeing MH17 Found Dead

Sputnik | March 19, 2018

Vladislav Voloshin, the Ukrainian combat pilot which some Russian investigative journalists have accused of responsibility for the MH17 disaster, allegedly shot himself Sunday at his home.

According to a press release by police in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, the 29-year-old pilot’s wife heard the gunshot and called the emergency services. Voloshin succumbed to his wounds on route to hospital. According to the police, the pilot was shot by a Makarov pistol, a standard issue military and police side arm in Ukraine. The weapon has been sent for examination. Police have opened a criminal investigation.

Relatives told police that Voloshin had been in a depressed state, and had voiced suicidal thoughts. Friends and family told local media that he was suffering from problems associated with the reconstruction of Mykolaiv’s airport, where he was acting director.

Voloshin’s name came to be associated with independent investigations into the destruction of Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. In late 2014, a Ukrainian army aircraft mechanic told Russian media that the passenger airliner may have been downed by a Su-25 close air support aircraft flown by Voloshin. The Ukrainian side confirmed that the pilot was in the military at the time, but denied that he flew on the day the Malaysian airliner was brought down.

Speaking to Sputnik about Voloshin’s suspected suicide, Ukrainian politics expert Bogdan Bezpalko said that Kiev’s version aside, “one cannot help but think that the other side may have eliminated him as a dangerous witness who could have lifted the veil of secrecy over the downing of MH17, which would subsequently strengthen Russia’s position.” According to the political scientist, “it’s quite obvious that it was not in Russia’s interest to shoot down this plane, and that all this was a provocation directed against our country.”

In Bezpalko’s view, Kiev and its Western power will continue to do everything they can to see that the truth about the tragedy of flight MH17 does not surface anytime soon. “It’s possible that others who could shed light on this matter will be ‘silenced’ in one way or another. So I don’t think we will learn the truth any time soon. I would like to recall, for example, that all matters related to the flight of Rudolf Hess to Britain [in 1941] remain classified to the British people for 100 years. And I think that the circumstances of the airliner will be made known only when the urgency of the matter disappears,” the observer said.

On July 17, 2014, a Malasyia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed outside the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard.

Kiev blamed the crash on the Donbass independence fighters, who countered by saying they did not have the means to bring down an aircraft flying at such a high altitude. An inquiry by Dutch investigators concluded that the Boeing was shot down by a Buk missile system, which it alleged was delivered to the militia from Russia and then sent back. Moscow slammed the inquiry’s bias, saying that the investigators’ conclusions were based exclusively on information received from the Ukrainian side. A separate investigation by Almaz-Antei, maker of the Buk system, concluded that the Boeing was shot down from territory controlled by the Ukrainian military.

March 19, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , | 2 Comments

‘Dutch investigators incompetent, or attempting to protract MH17 probe’

RT | January 30, 2017

If Dutch investigators couldn’t decipher data from Russia, they could have asked for help, says military expert Aleksandr Tazekhulakhov. The problem here is that the Dutch have attempted to keep Russian representatives out of the MH17 probe, he adds.

Dutch investigators reportedly said they can’t read the radar images received from Russia in October as part of the investigation into the crash of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

A spokesman for the Dutch prosecutor’s office claimed the format of the data was not up to international standards and further information is needed to understand the images.

“The Dutch prosecutor’s office requested information they needed for the investigations – and we gave it to them,” says Major General Aleksandr Tazekhulakhov, the former deputy head of the Russian Army Air Defense.

“Just let me remind you how it all happened. In July 2014, a few days after the tragedy, Russia sent the Netherlands the necessary video data. Why? Objective monitoring procedures stipulate that radar screens must be recorded on photo and video. But the Dutch prosecutor’s office told us back then that that kind of data can be tampered with and requested for information in another format. There is no other internationally acknowledged and officially accepted format. Russia then gave the data taken directly from the radar station computer, and it cannot be falsified, changed or altered in any way,” he told RT.

Now, Tazekhulakhov says, “all of a sudden we see that after we officially handed over the information in question,” investigators in the Netherlands say that they cannot read it.

“This is either a matter of professional incompetence or a desire to prolong the process of the investigation as much as possible because we understand very well that involving more officials at various levels means more money,” he said.

There could be a very simple solution, according to the military expert: “If they really cannot read a regular file in a regular format, they can ask for our experts and they’ll help.”

“However, here is another problem: the Netherlands is trying to do its best to keep representatives of the Russia Federation out of the investigation. I see only one reason for this – it’s yet another attempt to put the blame on Russia for something, though it’s not even clear what it is,” Tazekhulakhov said.

Dutch journalist Joost Niemoller, and author of MH17: the cover-up deal says it’s “suspicious” it took the investigators several months to realize they couldn’t decipher the data. They claim it’s in an “unusual” format, but, Niemoller says, this is something that could be seen at the very beginning – when one first attempts to open a file.

“Why did it take so long? This makes me very suspicious. These radar images are, or the radar data now, are very important, because the Dutch authorities claim it was a Buk missile shot by the rebels, more or less together with Russians. But the only information, the only so-called proof they have is from Ukrainian secret services and some pictures on the internet,” he told RT.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

European experts ask Trump to back new independent inquiry into MH17 crash

RT | January 24, 2017

A group of European journalists and aviation experts has sent an open letter to Donald Trump asking him to back a new UN-run investigation into the 2014 crash of Flight MH17. The current Dutch-led inquiry is “neither independent nor convincing,” they said.

The open letter, signed by 25 journalists, former civil aviation pilots and researchers from Germany, the Netherlands and Australia, was posted on the website of Joost Niemoller – a Dutch journalist who publicly challenged the current investigation into the ill-fated Flight MH17, which was downed over Ukraine in July 2014.

With Trump having taken office as the new president of the United States, the letter says “there is now a real chance of resolving the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine,” and also “hope of improving the quality of the investigation into the alleged shooting down of the MH17.”

The experts suggested that the new investigation should include independent international researchers able to overcome governments’ reluctance to disclose information, and should be overseen by the United Nations. At the moment, Ukraine’s secret service (SBU) plays a major role in providing data to the Dutch investigators, while Russian investigators are being excluded from the process.

In September last year, the Dutch investigators said the aircraft was shot down with a missile from a Buk launch system that “was brought from the territory of the Russian Federation and after launch subsequently returned to the Russian Federation territory.” The investigation stopped short of accusing Russia directly, saying that “we have determined that the weapons came from the Russian Federation.”

Furthermore, the experts’ letter referred to former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who claimed in July 2014 that Washington possesses “satellite imagery” showing the trajectory of a surface-to-air missile from areas controlled by rebels in eastern Ukraine. The US should release the images or recognize that they never existed, the experts stressed.

Notably, the open letter calls for a forensic investigation into the impact holes on the fragments of the MH17 wreckage, and suggests the same damage patterns should be reproduced in a shooting test. Similar experiments have already been staged by Almaz Antey, Russia’s leading missile manufacturer, in July and October 2015, although their results were subsequently ignored by international investigators.

Almaz Antey’s experts said that judging by the T-shape strike elements, the missile was an old Buk-M1 model fired from a Ukraine-controlled area, contesting the preliminary theory by Dutch investigators. “If the Malaysian Boeing was downed by a Buk missile, it was done with an old Buk model which does not have double-T iron strike elements,” CEO Yan Novikov told a media conference in Moscow after the experiment.

The new investigation proposed by Dutch, German and Australian experts should pave the way for “an international tribunal under the auspices of the UN,” the letter said, staffed with judges from countries that are not related to the disaster.

In 2015, speaking on MSNBC, Trump contested preliminary findings of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), whose report alleged that the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was hit by a surface-to-air missile launched by eastern Ukrainian rebels.

“It may have been their weapon, but they didn’t use it, they didn’t fire it, they even said the other side fired it to blame them,” Trump said. “I mean to be honest with you, you’ll probably never know for sure.”

Read more:

Int’l MH17 crash investigation ‘politically deficient, defective by process’

January 24, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team

By Binoy Kampmark | CounterPunch | September 30, 2016

The investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over two years ago always had the flavour of pre-emption, caked with assumptions of premature adjudication. Neither side, be it the assembled Joint Investigation Team, nor those on the Russian side, was going to budge on the issue of the material. In the world of the post-factoid, what matters is the sale of what we believe to be facts.

In this marketplace of saleable facts, the issue becomes how fabulous the narrative can be. Find your audience, and the relevant pitch, and half your work is done. Discoveries are made at short notice, be it data captured by a smart phone, intercepts of conversations, or radar data of the raw sort revealed with impeccable timing.

What is lost in this agitated discussion are the bloody realities of conflict, the hideous nature of those last moments when 298 civilians lost their lives over a war zone. It took a decision, made on the spur, to end the lives of those people. What we have gotten, instead of a broader reflection of the conflict that caused those deaths, not to mention thousands of others, is a deeper quagmire, a furiously ideological joust between detractors and participants.

The cruel and broadly sobering picture of those moments in July 2014 did not seem to have much truck in the JIT display. In the presentation, the JIT makes it clear that it was presenting “the first results of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014.”[1]

This was meant to be a show by the avengers of objectivity, coming to the rescue with clarity and positivist reassurance. “The big difference with a journalistic commentary or an internet-based investigation report,” went the presentation, “is that in our case conclusions based on probability will not suffice.” There was, in fact “legal and convincing evidence.” Helped along, of course, with the bells and smells of modern animation and social media.

That convincing evidence supposedly found the culprit: “that flight MH17 was shot down… by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi).”

At that time, the area was under pro-Russian rebel control, while the BUK-TELAR had been “brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.”

For such pomp and certainty, much of the detail remained as before, with similar questions left tantalisingly dangling in the aftermath. For instance, an acknowledgment is made about the role played by the generous supply line from Bellingcat, which purports to use readily available open source material in the name of citizen journalism.

The lingering sense of a conspiratorial design to murder, a point that has been unequivocally embraced by such figures as former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was never dispersed. A hundred persons had been identified “who in one way or the other can be linked to the crash of flight MH17 or the transport of the BUK.” Their identity, the JIT noted smugly, had been established.

As Editor-in-Chief at Fort Russ explained to Russia Today, the origins behind the makeup of the JIT lay in a NATO ploy, creating an inquiry team that was always compromised for its raison d’être. What mattered was how Russia was involved, not the question of who actually pulled the trigger.[2] This very point was amply illustrated by the dominant role played by Ukraine on the JIT, when its absence might have been contemplated along with that of Russia.

Bathed in the aura of criminality, the note of the report never loses the whodunit sense, the forensic pursuit of twenty weapons systems, the perusal of five billion internet pages, the inspection of dozens of containers “with thousands of wreckage parts” all examined by an army of some 100 to 200 investigators.

Absent in the JIT presentation was one glaring elephant waiting to stomp in the room. Where, for instance, did Ukraine figure in this? This is not to even take the line, as has been put forth by the Russian Defence Ministry, that there had been no signs of a missile being fired at MH17 from rebel controlled territory. (This was deemed “raw data” newly unearthed by Almaz-Antey.)

The broad issue of Ukrainian culpability in permitting MH17 to be in the vicinity of a conflict area when there had been prior knowledge of targeted flights, was not a point the JIT considered. Ukrainian criminal law was mentioned in so far as it might be useful in prosecuting any personnel who had manned the BUK, but not the violations of an assortment of aviation conventions and protocols. What we saw instead was the relentless cold march of minutiae.

The sense of creeping under a shroud of international deception, releasing the missile with callous calculation, then moving back into Russian territory, suggested a trick of terrorist import, a mission of the damned. By the JIT conveying such a tone, the sense that a war of tragic miscalculation and foolishness, along with the bloody mistakes that came with it, and continue to do so, was lost.

Notes.

[1] https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-vliegramp/presentaties/presentation-joint/

[2] https://www.rt.com/news/360946-mh17-ukraine-fabricate-evidence/

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

September 30, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Solid facts? 5 flaws that raise doubt over int’l MH17 criminal probe

RT | September 29, 2016

An international inquiry has found that MH17 was taken down from within rebel-held territories by a BUK system transported from Russia. However, some uncertainty over it lingers – investigators withheld key evidence citing security concerns.

During the presentation of its findings, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) stated that it would not disclose all the information and evidence sources it used in its inquiry.

“We cannot and do not want to tell you everything because that can jeopardize the investigation and play into the hands of the perpetrators,” the body said.

Unnamed eyewitnesses

According to the JIT the BUK was brought into Ukraine from Russia by a low-loader and then taken to the alleged launch site near Snezhnoye. The cornerstones of this conclusion are open-source materials and “witness statements” gathered by investigators. However no people who provided the statements were named, with the JIT citing security reasons.

The inquiry also mentioned eyewitnesses who allegedly saw the smoke trail following the launch of the BUK near Snezhnoye. The Dutch-led team has not released any video accounts from these people to back up their claims.

Anonymous phone call interceptions

Apart from using eyewitnesses, the international team analyzed “intercepted telephone conversations”. The JIT said it examined “approximately 150,000” intercepted telephone calls, but during its presentation, the international team released the transcripts and audio recordings of only a handful of them. One of the phone calls in particular includes an alleged discussion about the need for a missile system and a confirmation that rebel forces had procured one.

Although the JIT provided the date for the calls it is not clear as to who exactly was involved in the conversation and who handed over the respective data. While the JIT claimed it has independently evaluated their authenticity, Russia, for instance was not included in the process.

Computer simulation vs. video evidence

While stressing that the JIT was able to track “much of the route” of the BUK missile system from Russia, investigators provided only few videos and images of the system, allegedly in Ukraine.

The main evidence on the path of the low-loader with the Buk was hence presented not with real images, but merely a computer reconstruction. It showed the alleged route of the missile system through communities in eastern Ukraine right to the alleged launch site.

The investigators also cited the importance of anonymity because of potential security issues for the people who had provided them with materials.

Radar data and satellite images

Pinpointing the exact location of the BUK missile launch was one of the key tasks for the Dutch-led team. In its report investigators cited data received from the US which purported to show that MH17 was downed by a BUK missile “launched from a site about six kilometers south of the village of Snizhne [Snezhnoye].” The images have not been attached to the report.

On September 26 Russia challenged JIT claims releasing raw data from a radar located in Russia, which registered no objects approaching MH17 from the territories held by rebels. Moscow also called on Ukraine to release its radar data, which the Russian Defense Ministry continues to point out, has still not been made public.

Missile type and flight trajectory

On Wednesday the international team reiterated that it could not specify the exact type of missile used to down the Malaysian Boeing, saying it was a 9M38-series rocket.

Yet Russian company Almaz-Antey, said it could clearly identify the missile being of type 9M38, which is already decommissioned in Russi, after carrying out experiments last year. That was not reflected in the latest JIT report.

Almaz-Antey further questioned the JIT report since it had handed over “top-secret” data on BUK missile characteristics to the investigators earlier. Yet the international team opted to study a “similar” US missile to model the impact, which according to Almaz-Antey massively differs from the Russian BUK including a different potential flight path.

READ MORE:

Int’l investigators allowed Ukraine to fabricate MH17 evidence – Russia

MH17 int’l probe’s only sources are Ukrainian intel & internet – Russian MoD

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

International investigators allowed Ukraine to fabricate MH17 evidence – Russia

RT | September 28, 2016

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that investigators probing the MH17 crash allowed Ukraine to fabricate evidence, turning the case to its advantage, while denying Moscow any comprehensive role in the inquiry.

“Russia suggested working together from the start and relying on the facts only,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement for the media  on Wednesday, commenting on the findings in the criminal probe into the MH17 crash by a Dutch-led team of international investigators.

“Instead of [working together], international investigators suspended Moscow from comprehensive participation in the investigative process, allowing our efforts only a minor role. It sounds like a bad joke, but at the same time they made Ukraine a full member of the JIT [Joint Investigation Team], giving it the opportunity to forge evidence and turn the case to its advantage,” Zakharova added.

The spokesperson also noted that the JIT bases its findings on evidence provided by Ukrainian power structures, which are “undoubtedly a party with a vested interest.”

“To this day, the investigators continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence provided by the Russian side, despite the fact that Russia is the only side that submits accurate information and constantly discloses new data,” Zakharova said.

“Russia is disappointed that the situation surrounding the investigation into the Boeing crash is not changing. The findings of the Dutch prosecutor’s office confirm that the investigation is biased and politically motivated.

“To arbitrarily designate a guilty party and dream up the desired results has become the norm for our Western colleagues,” the spokesperson said.

Read more:

Members of a joint investigation team present the preliminary results of the criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 , in Nieuwegein, on September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

“MH17 two years on”: Luke Harding’s cynical exploitation of one family’s pain

OffGuardian | July 14, 2016

If Luke Harding’s wild-eyed narcissism was less in tune with the current western agenda then his editors at the Guardian might be taking him aside and quietly suggesting counselling and medication. But things being as they are, his narratives of battling Demon Russia and its Empire of Evil tend to make the front page, however rabidly insane, libellously mendacious or simply cringeworthy they may be.

But yesterday the Guardian unleashed this:

notatallbiasedheadlinehardingmh17

Absorb the headline and the intent behind it. Something of a tour de force of moral bankruptcy even for the team that brought you the Polonium story. We don’t just get racism, warmongering and towering falsehoods here. No – we can also experience the exploitation of 20 year old Richard Mayne’s short life and tragic death and his family’s pain! So sit back and enjoy as Harding rushes in where the sane and ethical might fear to tread, boldly turning one family’s unspeakable tragedy into grist for his own Putin-hate mill.

You see, happily for Luke and the pro-war agenda, Richard was killed on board MH17, and his parents blame Vladimir Putin…

Amid their grief, the Maynes came to a grim conclusion: Richard had been murdered. The man whom they believe murdered him is Vladimir Putin. It was Putin, they believe, who gave orders for the Russian military to cross the border, setting in train a series of consequences, including the shooting down of MH17 and 10,000 dead in the conflict.

Let’s be crystal clear at this point. No one can blame this family for their anger. They’re desperate and grief-stricken and need someone to be punished for the crime that took their son. The fact Putin is their target is an understandable human response, and no one could condemn them.

But even in a world of wall-to-wall media deception there’s something freshly disgusting in the way this piece weaves saccharine “sympathy” for the tragically bereaved into a simplistic narrative of polarity and hatred, likely to produce nothing but more death, and more grieving families like the Maynes.

Here are just a few examples, starting with the least egregious:

In the previous week, the Russian defence ministry had provided the rebels with an array of heavy weaponry: tanks, artillery pieces and mortars. Plus undercover soldiers disguised as “volunteers”.

If Harding had prefaced this claim with “it’s rumoured” or “it has been claimed” he would be doing something closer to journalism. And if he also mentioned the counter-claims that NATO is supplying the Kiev government with weapons, or the evidence for NATO-backed mercenaries fighting for the Kiev government, or the claims of the Kiev government’s war crimes against its own people (including the use of white phosphorous, which is banned under UN rulings), there’d be something approaching balance here.

But of course none of this has any direct evidential bearing on the fate of MH17 anyway, since tanks, artillery pieces and mortars were not in any way involved in shooting down that plane. Harding is merely trying to evade the facts and plant a perception of guilt by associated ideas. But it gets a lot worse.

The Buk arrived after Ukrainian war planes started bombing rebel positions and government troops were taking back territory. Suddenly, Ukrainian military aircraft were being blown from the sky.

Note how he completely elides the fact that a Dutch Intelligence report stated only the UAF had the operational capacity to shoot down a jet liner at 20,000+ feet, and the only Ukrainian planes “blown from the skies” were taken down at comparatively low altitudes by ManPads or “light” anti-aircraft guns not BUK. If his sentence ran something like: “unverified claims have been made that a BUK arrived some time before July 17, but the only planes known to have been downed by the rebels before or after this date were brought down using portable Manpads or light SAMs”, it would be broadly definable as honest.

And then we get this:

Certainly, Russia has done everything it can to cover up the crime. The Kremlin used its UN security council veto to stop an international investigation similar to that carried out following the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing.

Getting into his stride, Luke abandons implications and guilt by juxtaposition in favour of his old standby – the outright lie. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how completely unfazed he is by the total absence of evidence anywhere that Russia covered up anything, or by the small detail that Russia did not veto an “international investigation”, at all but in fact supported UN Resolution 2166 that called for “efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines”. What does Luke think the Dutch Safety Board international investigation was if not – well, an international investigation? Is he not aware Russia supported it and supplied it with evidence?

We can be charitable and assume Harding means the proposal for a UN tribunal. Russia did veto that, it’s true, because – it argued – this was unprecedented and also premature to begin a second international investigation while the first was still underway. But this is not the same thing at all as vetoing an “international enquiry,” and Harding is surely aware of that. His narrative here amounts to a total reversal of known and established facts.
But he ain’t done yet…

Last October, a Dutch safety board report confirmed that a Buk missile launched from rebel-controlled territory hit MH17…

Is Luke trying to make us think the DSB directly blamed the “rebels” for shooting down MH17? Because to the unwary it might read as if that is what they did. But of course it isn’t, and Luke knows it. The DSB report concluded a BUK was probably responsible for the destruction of MH17 (though this is by no means conclusive), but it did not say which side had fired the missile because it could not pin down the probable launch area in a narrow enough corridor to make such a statement feasible. The claim of “rebel-conrolled territory” is word-fog designed to create the illusion of accusation where none exists.

The Buk’s crew appear to have fired on MH17 by mistake. At 5.50pm Moscow time, their leader Igor Strelkov, a veteran Russian intelligence officer, tweeted that his men had shot down another Ukrainian transport – or “bird”, as he put it.

All we need to do is note the weasel-words “appear to.” Another Harding trademark. They translate as “I want you to believe it but I have no evidence whatsoever that anything even remotely resembling this actually happened”. Admire also how he breezes right past the fact the DPR denied this tweet, and the account it emanated from, had anything to do with Strelkov at all.

You don’t have to believe it, Luke, but you do have to report it, particularly when you are building your story around the need of a bereaved family for justice.

I could go on. I could talk about Harding’s complete elision of the numerous uncertainties and controversies still surrounding almost every aspect of the incident in favour of a groundless certitude. His refusal to acknowledge the fact there is still no agreement over what shot MH17 out of the sky, never mind who (was it a BUK, as the corporate media claim, not a BUK, an SU-25, definitely NOT an SU-25, or something else again?). Or his absolute refusal to even acknowledge the fact the UAF is known to have had over 20 working BUK, while the rebels are only rumoured to have had one. Or the virtual impossibility of an untrained amateur crew being able to use one “acquired” BUK to take down anything. Or the Russian satellite data, all but ignored by western media, that seems to suggest very strange shenanigans immediately prior to the take-down of the plane. Or the numerous questions and accusations hanging over the DSB’s final report.

But you probably get the picture. The depth of the lie here and the fragility of their control over their own narrative is evidenced BTL. The comments were opened for less than three hours and at close the final page looked like this:

decimatedcommentsectionlukehardingmh17article

Other comments were simply airbrushed away in totality (we’ve all experienced that). One reader even tells us his account of 18 months standing was permanently disabled simply because he pointed out that Eliot Higgins’ work has been described as “propaganda.” Harding, of course, is known to fear the comments section and is rumoured to police it ferociously, demanding the instant banning of anyone who critiques him.

But however much he silences his critics BTL, the question still remains – what is Harding doing here? And, even if we accept he’s too lost in his narcissistic persecution complex to understand concepts of right and wrong or truth and fiction, what is the Guardian’s excuse? The Mayne family, like so many others, are looking for answers and solutions, not lies and propaganda. They want to know who killed their son. Who really, actually killed their son. because it’s the only thing they can do for him any more; the only act of caring and protection left available to them. And for that they need and deserve more than being used as the unwitting attack dogs for undeclared and lunatic agendas. They deserve the respect of honesty and full and truthful disclosure.

If they’d been given that would they still be blaming Vladimir Putin? Or would their anger be directed against other – possibly more deserving – targets, such as the media that has lied and continues to lie in the service of obscuring truth and promoting war?

I can’t tell and wouldn’t presume to dictate. But if one of my children had died so abominably I hope I would find someone willing to help me find the culprits rather than use me as a poster child for their own personal hate campaign.

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment