‘Fraud’ Alleged in NYT’s MH-17 Report

Exclusive: An amateur report alleging Russian doctoring of satellite photos on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 case – a finding embraced by The New York Times – is denounced by a forensic expert as an “outright fraud,” reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Forensic experts are challenging an amateur report – touted in The New York Times – that claimed Russia faked satellite imagery of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile batteries in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the day that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot out of the sky killing 298 people.

In a Twitter exchange, Dr. Neal Krawetz, founder of the FotoForensics digital image analytical tool, wrote: “‘Bad analysis’ is an understatement. This ‘report’ is outright fraud.”

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

A Malaysia Airways’ Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Another computer imaging expert, Masami Kuramoto, wrote, “This is either amateur hour or supposed to deceive audiences without tech background,” to which Krawetz responded: “Why ‘or’? Amateur hour AND deceptive.”

On Saturday, The New York Times, which usually disdains Internet reports even from qualified experts, chose to highlight the report by arms control researchers at armscontrolwonk.com who appear to have little expertise in the field of forensic photographic analysis.

The Times article suggested that the Russians were falsely claiming that the Ukrainian military had Buk missile systems in eastern Ukraine on the day that MH-17 was shot down. But the presence of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile batteries in the area has been confirmed by Western intelligence, including a report issued last October on the findings of the Dutch intelligence agency which had access to NATO’s satellite and other data collection.

Indeed, the Netherlands’ Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) concluded that the only anti-aircraft weapons in eastern Ukraine capable of bringing down MH-17 at 33,000 feet belonged to the Ukrainian government, not the ethnic Russian rebels. MIVD made that assessment in the context of explaining why commercial aircraft continued to fly over the eastern Ukrainian battle zone in summer 2014. (The MH-17 flight had originated in Amsterdam and carried many Dutch citizens, explaining why the Netherlands took the lead in the investigation.)

MIVD said that based on “state secret” information, it was known that Ukraine possessed some older but “powerful anti-aircraft systems” and “a number of these systems were located in the eastern part of the country.” MIVD added that the rebels lacked that capacity:

“Prior to the crash, the MIVD knew that, in addition to light aircraft artillery, the Separatists also possessed short-range portable air defence systems (man-portable air-defence systems; MANPADS) and that they possibly possessed short-range vehicle-borne air-defence systems. Both types of systems are considered surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Due to their limited range they do not constitute a danger to civil aviation at cruising altitude.”

I know that I have cited this section of the Dutch report before but I repeat it because The New York Times, The Washington Post and other leading U.S. news organizations have ignored these findings, presumably because they don’t advance the desired propaganda theme blaming the Russians for the tragedy.

In other words, the Times, the Post and the rest of the mainstream U.S. media want the Russians to be guilty, so they exclude from their articles evidence that suggests that some element of the Ukrainian military might have fired the fateful missile. Such “group think” is, of course, the same journalistic malfeasance that led to the false reporting about Iraq’s WMD. Doubts, even expressed by experts, were systematically filtered out then and the same now.

Dishonest Journalism

Further, it is dishonest journalism to ignore a credible government report that bears directly on an important issue, especially while running dubious Internet analyses and accepting propaganda claims from self-interested U.S. officials seeking to make the case against Russia.

Quinn Schansman, a dual U.S.-Dutch citizen killed aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. (Photo from Facebook)

Quinn Schansman, a dual U.S.-Dutch citizen killed aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. (Photo from Facebook)

For instance, the Dutch report contradicted The Washington Post’s early reporting on MH-17. On July 20, 2014, just three days after the crash, the Post published an article with the title “Russia Supplied Missile Launchers to Separatists, U.S. Official Says.”

In the article, the Post’s Michael Birnbaum and Karen DeYoung reported from Kiev that an anonymous U.S. official said the U.S. government had “confirmed that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to separatists in eastern Ukraine and that attempts were made to move them back across the Russian border.”

This official told the Post that Russia didn’t just supply one Buk battery, but three. Though this account has never been retracted, there were problems with it from the start, including the fact that a U.S. “government assessment” – released by the Director of National Intelligence on July 22, 2014, (two days later) – listed a variety of weapons allegedly provided by the Russians to the ethnic Russian rebels but not a Buk anti-aircraft missile system.

In other words, two days after the Post cited a U.S. official claiming that the Russians had given the rebels three Buk batteries, the DNI’s “government assessment” made no reference to a delivery of one, let alone three Buk systems. And that absence of evidence came in the context of the DNI larding the “government assessment” with every possible innuendo to implicate the Russians, including “social media” entries. But there was no mention of a Buk delivery.

The significance of this missing link is hard to overstate. At the time eastern Ukraine was the focus of extraordinary U.S. intelligence collection because of the potential for the crisis to spin out of control and start World War III. Plus, a Buk missile battery is large and difficult to conceal. The missiles themselves are 16-feet-long and are usually pulled around by truck.

U.S. spy satellites, which supposedly can let you read a license plate in Moscow, would have picked up these images. And, if for some inexplicable reason a Buk battery was missed before July 17, 2014, it would surely have been spotted during an after-action review of the satellite imagery. But the U.S. government has released nothing of the kind.

In the days after the MH-17 crash, I was told by a source that U.S. intelligence had spotted Buk systems in the area but they appeared to be under Ukrainian government control. The source who had been briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts said the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile was manned by troops dressed in what looked like Ukrainian uniforms.

At that point, the source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops might have been eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?”]

Subsequently, the source said, these analysts reviewed other intelligence data, including recorded phone intercepts, and concluded that the shoot-down was carried out by a rogue element of the Ukrainian government, working with a rabidly anti-Russian oligarch, but that senior Ukrainian leaders, such as President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, were not implicated. However, I have not been able to determine if this assessment was a dissident opinion or a consensus within U.S. intelligence circles.

Another intelligence source told me that CIA analysts did brief Dutch authorities during the preparation of the Dutch Safety Board’s report but that the U.S. information remained classified and unavailable for public release. In the Dutch reports, there is no reference to U.S.-supplied information although they do reflect sensitive details about Russian-made weapons systems, secrets declassified by Moscow for the investigation.

An NYT Pattern?

So, what to make of the Times hyping an amateur analysis of two Russian satellite photos and reporting that they showed manipulation. Though the claim seems to be designed to raise doubts about the presence of Ukrainian Buk missile batteries in eastern Ukraine, the presence of those missiles is really not in doubt.

A photograph of a Russian BUK missile system that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt published on Twitter in support of a claim about Russia placing BUK missiles in eastern Ukraine, except that the image appears to be an AP photo taken at an air show near Moscow two years earlier.

A photograph of a Russian BUK missile system that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt published on Twitter in support of a claim about Russia placing BUK missiles in eastern Ukraine, except that the image appears to be an AP photo taken at an air show near Moscow two years earlier.

And it makes sense the Ukrainians would move their anti-aircraft missiles toward the front because of fears that the powerful Ukrainian offensive then underway against ethnic Russian rebels might provoke Russia to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Shifting anti-aircraft missile batteries toward the border would be a normal military preparation in such a situation.

That’s particularly true because a Ukrainian fighter plane was shot down along the border on July 16, 2014, presumably from an air-to-air missile fired by a Russian plane. Tensions were high at the time and the possibility that an out-of-control Ukrainian crew misidentified MH-17 as a Russian military jet or Putin’s plane cannot be dismissed.

But all this context is missing from the Times article by reporter Andrew E. Kramer, who has been a regular contributor to the Times’ anti-Russian propaganda. He treats the findings by some nuclear arms control researchers at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies as definitive though there’s no reason to believe that these folks have any special expertise in applying this software whose creator says requires careful analysis.

The new report was based on the filtering software Tungstene designed by Roger Cozien, who has warned against rushing to judge “anomalies” in photographs as intentional falsifications when they may result from the normal process of saving an image or making innocent adjustments.

In an interview in Time magazine, Cozien said, “These filters aim at detecting anomalies. They give you any and all specific and particular information which can be found in the photograph file. And these particularities, called ‘singularities’, are sometimes only accidental: this is because the image was not well re-saved or that the camera had specific features, for example.

“The software in itself is neutral: it does not know what is an alteration or a manipulation. So, when it notices an error, the operator needs to consider whether it is an image manipulation, or just an accident.”

In other words, anomalies can be introduced by innocent actions related to saving or modifying an image, such as transferring it to a different format, adjusting the contrast or adding a word box. But it is difficult for a layman to assess the intricacies involved.

To buttress the new report, Kramer cited the work of Bellingcat, a group of “citizen journalists” who have made a solid business out of reaffirming whatever Western propaganda is claiming, whether about Syria, Ukraine or Russia.

Bellingcat’s founder Eliot Higgins also had raised doubts about the Russian photos – using Dr. Krawetz’s FotoForensics software – but those findings were subsequently debunked by Dr. Krawetz himself and other experts. While Kramer cited Higgins’s earlier analysis, the Times reporter left out the fact that those findings were disputed by professional experts.

Dr. Krawetz also found the new photographic analysis both amateurish and deceptive. When I contacted him by email, he declined an interview and noted that Bellingcat fans were already on the offensive, trying to shut down dissent to the new report.

In an email to me, he wrote: “I have already seen the Bellingcat trolls verbally attack me, their ‘reporters’ use intimidation tactics, and their CEO insults me. (Hmmm … First he uses my software, then his team seeks me out as an expert, then he insults me when my opinion differs from his.)”

If it’s true that the first casualty of war is truth, the old saying also seems to apply to a new Cold War.

[For more on Bellingcat and its erroneous work, see Consortiumnews.com’s “MH-17 Case: ‘Old’ Journalism vs. ‘New.’”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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39 comments for “‘Fraud’ Alleged in NYT’s MH-17 Report

  1. Tom Welsh
    July 22, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Although anyone closely involved in these investigations may not notice the fact, this article conclusively shows how the authorities have succeeded in putting across their version of the story. Look how long it is. Look how complicated it is. Look at all the “he said, she said”. To the citizen in the street, anything beyond a couple of paragraph of simple statements is academic and likely to be ignored.

  2. Abe
    July 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    On 21 July 2016, computer forensics expert Neal Krawetz Ph.D. showed that Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat engaged in intentional deception http://www.hackerfactor.com/blog/index.php?/archives/729-Big-Mouth,-No-Trousers.html

    On the Hacker Factor blog, Krawetz showed that the Bellingcat “reports” repeatedly used the same low quality data on different tools (FotoForensics and Tungstène) and jumped to the same incorrect conclusions.

    “Bellingcat cannot truthfully reach the conclusions based on the data they evaluated. And since these pictures form the basis for much of their report, they repeatedly reach conclusions based on faulty premises. Moreover, since they are making the exact same mistakes as they did last year, their report can only be interpreted as a work of fraud.” stated Krawetz.

    • Abe
      July 21, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Since Higgins’ is so busy servicing the Atlantic Council and doesn’t have a huge amount of time, Bellingcat’s not-Higgins “contributor” and Republican National Convention cub reporter, Aric Toler, was forced to take time out his busy schedule to insist:
      “Bellingcat didn’t do the Tungstene analysis”
      https://twitter.com/AricToler/status/756238067011387392

      No doubt this will come as a shock to Bellingcat’s not-Higgins “contributor” and Arms Control Rent-A-Wonk, Melissa Hanham, who thought that Aric thought that her “stuff” was “very neat”
      https://twitter.com/mhanham/status/591657534244556800

    • Abe
      July 22, 2016 at 3:36 am

      Didn’t even realize that Higgins did tear himself away from the Atlantic Council just long enough to Tweet Bellingcat’s new mantra:
      “Bellingcat didn’t do the Tungstene analysis”
      https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/756376917134147584

    • Abe
      July 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Bellingcat authors = Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and Arms Control Wonk

      Melissa Hanham (2015-present)
      https://www.bellingcat.com/author/melissa-hanham/

      Aaron Stein (2014-present)
      https://www.bellingcat.com/author/aaronstein/

      Jeffrey Lewis of Arms Control Wonk (2014-present)
      https://www.bellingcat.com/tag/arms-control-wonk/
      http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/4701/open-source-and-the-mh17-shootdown/

      • Abe
        July 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

        Dr. Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) is the publisher of Arm Control Wonk.

        Lewis had been a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank: a loop of “experts” offering “independent analysis” and serving as “contributors” on defense and security issues.

        Lewis is a “contributor” at ForeignPolicy.com.

        In 2013, Lewis offered an “expert” reach around for Eliot Higgins
        http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/09/05/keep-us-in-the-loop/

        It’s a revealing read.

        Lewis was very enthusiastic about how the press was “agog over a fellow named Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the name Brown Moses. Higgins has been documenting the appearance of a new Syrian artillery rocket that seems to be linked to many purported chemical weapons attacks. The Guardian, Channel 4, and CNN International have all carried stories on this man”.

        Higgins’ claims about the chemical weapons attacks in Syria were debunked by real experts.

        Nevertheless, Lewis was eager to have “private citizens to independently assess what happened in Syria” and to “mobilize a significant number of independent voices that would support the administration’s case for acting in Syria”.

        So you see, before there was Bellingcat, Lewis and Higgins were already doing it “in the loop”.

        Lewis and other “experts” at Arms Control Wonk soon became “contributors” at Higgins new Bellingcat site in 2014.

        In 2016, Lewis’ offered another “expert” reach around for Higgins
        “The James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey offered an independent analysis”
        http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1201635/mh17-anniversary/
        https://www.bellingcat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/mh17-two-years-later.pdf [page 38]

  3. David Otness
    July 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you Robert Parry and commenters here for keeping it real.

  4. Abe
    July 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    As if on cue, the latest media reach around for Eliot Higgins has appeared http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2016/07/21/can-citizen-journalists-grow-and-still-be-seen-independent-complex-story

    Furiously flogging Higgins and the not-so-independent Bellingcat, the tale told by an idiot at The Drum not-so-curiously neglected to mention computer forensics expert Dr. Neal Krawetz’ sustained criticism of Bellingcat.

    Krawetz, founder of Hacker Factor and originator of the FotoForensics digital image analysis tool, strongly criticized Eliot Higgins’ and Bellingcat’s misapplication of Error Level Analysis (ELA).

    On 31 May 2015, Higgins blogged on “How to Find Historical Imagery of Russia’s Faked Satellite Photos”. The Bellingcat report made frequent reference to the FotoForensics tool and ELA.

    The same day Higgins report appeared, Krawetz immediately stated on Twitter: “chalk this up as a ‘how to not do image analysis’ https://twitter.com/hackerfactor/status/605227247482470400

    On 2 June 2015, Krawetz underlined that he “had nothing to do with their faulty analysis”
    https://twitter.com/hackerfactor/status/605723114857586689

    On 8 June 2015, on the Hacker Factor blog, Krawetz detailed how Bellingcat had misapplied the ELA technology. He wrote that “the Bellingcat report is bogus” but cautioned that it would be incorrect to “blame the problem on ELA.”

    “It’s not the tool that is in error” noted Krawetz, “it’s the authors of the Bellingcat report.”
    http://www.hackerfactor.com/blog/index.php?/archives/676-Continuing-Education.html

    Higgins and Bellingcat, “quite active” with Atlantic Council propaganda efforts, have doubled down on their bogus analysis.

    It “heartened” Higgins to pimp out the work frauduct to not-so-independent “researchers” like the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in California.

    Higgins’ latest propaganda exercise prompted yet another response from Krawetz.

    On 17 July 2016, immediately after Higgins’ newest bogus “report” appeared, the now vigilant Krawetz stated on Twitter:
    “Bad analysis” is an understatement. This ‘report’ is outright fraud.
    https://twitter.com/hackerfactor/status/754653538395918338

    In response to the computer forensics expert, non-expert Higgins insisted that Krawetz had
    “a big mouth and no trousers in this case, not the first time he’s been wrong too”
    https://twitter.com/hackerfactor/status/754690014139731969

    Higgins has attempted to brush aside Krawetz’ criticisms of Bellingcat by gesturing to Kravetz’ forensic analysis of the Paul Hansen World Press Photo 2012 winner. However, then as now, Krawetz’ analysis was entirely accurate. See “Neal Krawetz responds to Hany Farid’s comments” at http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/16/photo-faking-controversy

    In fact, it is Higgins who has been repeatedly debunked.

    Last year, Krawetz acknowledged “one of the most thorough debunkings of the Bellingcat report” by an Australian forensic expert who “used different tools and methods than me and found other inconsistencies in the Bellingcat findings” http://www.hackerfactor.com/blog/index.php?/archives/676-Continuing-Education.html

    The Australian expert’s analysis of Bellingcat’s “analysis” is posted here:
    https://lanzone.eu/blog/2016/06/an-analysis-of-the-analysis/
    https://lanzone.eu/blog/2016/07/an-analysis-of-the-analysis-part-2/

    By now, Higgins’ cowardice in the face of criticism is very well known.

    Assiduously avoiding direct engagement with critics like Krawetz or true independent journalists like Robert Parry, Higgins launches pot shots on Twitter while “new” media lackeys like The Drum, and “old” media stalwarts like the New York Times and UK Guardian, handle the rest.

    On 21 July, Higgins ramped up his default performance as the besieged champion of truth:
    https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/756148242853879810

    Hilarity ensues.

    • Abe
      July 21, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Higgins and Bellingcat, their Arms Control Rent-A-Wonk BFF, and their Atlantic Council BFF, are “under fire” from true experts and real independent journalists.

      Expect them to issue even more bogus “reports” while frothing about Russia’s “troll army” and blaming their “nemesis”.

    • Abe
      July 21, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      Hey, the “independent” Eliot Higgins has been awarded yet another impressive title from those “regime change” enthusiasts at the Atlantic Council.

      Higgins now is “senior fellow for the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab”.

      Woo-hoo!

      Higgins admits that his work for, um, “with” the Atlantic Council is “’taking up a huge amount of my time’” http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2016/07/21/can-citizen-journalists-grow-and-still-be-seen-independent-complex-story

      When he’s not “independently” carrying water for eminent transatlantic mandarins, Higgins somehow still finds time to Tweet.

  5. July 20, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    This article and Parry’s series on MH17 are simply brilliant

  6. ltr
    July 20, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Astonishing, what reporting we have here.

  7. July 20, 2016 at 3:13 pm
  8. Joe L.
    July 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Wow, that is something else that Bellingcat uses Dr. Krawetz software and then demeans him when his analysis does not align with theirs – Dr. Krawetz being the expert and Bellingcat being the amateur. My biggest problem with Bellingcat, and the ilk, is that they are not taking a neutral position to find who was responsible but rather starting off with an assumption, which perfectly aligns with the US & NATO (along with American think tanks), and pushing information that aligns with that assumption – that’s not journalism. Even if it turned out that it was Russia or the rebels in Eastern Ukraine, I would appreciate the information if it was found from a truthful, non-biased, position which valued the truth above geopolitics. Personally, when it comes to Bellingcat though, I think I have read more than a few accounts where his information has been discredited yet the mainstream still push him as an expert. I am with Seymour Hersh, Robert Parry, Chris Hedges, John Pilger and any number of “real” journalists, and former intelligence officials, who put the truth above their careers. That being said, I have always liked the words of Orwell when he said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

  9. Akech
    July 20, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    The INSANE COVERAGE OF MELANIA TRUMP’S GOP Convention speech:

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=melania+trump&tbm=nws

    Is there any good reason why this speech must have a TOP PRIORITY plastering by every MSM all over the world? Who in the world has been damaged by this alleged plagiarism? Is this particular plagiarism worse than all the lies that have been told by Hillary? Or Tony Blair and George W. when they decided on a killing spree in Iraq ? Or why Bill Clinton’s had a meeting with Loretta Lynch on that tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona? Or all lies being told to American voters by Hillary about TPP? Or lies sold to the Americans and the world why the bankers supporting Hillary had to be bailed out after crashing the world economy????
    How do we, Americans, benefit by when we accept this kind of shallow manipulation by MSM?

  10. LJ
    July 20, 2016 at 11:47 am

    The New York Times and the Washington Post do not report News in regards to US Foreign. Policy . They spin information and ultimately disseminate disinformation. We should all know this by now. This article addresses an apparent attempt to revise past information. This should be unnecessary at this point. It’s overkill. Mission Accomplished when Obama got the EU to impose sanctions. Look at what is happening in the EU these days partly because of these sanctions and other actions that the USA has forced on the subservient Atlanticists who seem to think that their people support this phony NATO putsch, The destruction of the Airplane. and the murder of these innocent non combatants was useful in this regard. We now see the US Administration has moved on and is after Russia at all levels. Now there is a campaign to stop Russians from competing in the Olympics and Canada and Germany and England are all OK with this politicization of sports, Really, .What can anyone do about it when NATO is massing troops on Russia’s borders these days. The Truth died before the Maidan Coup. How did the Times and the Post report on that? Lockstep.

    • Bill Bodden
      July 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      The New York Times and the Washington Post do not report News in regards to US Foreign. Policy . They spin information and ultimately disseminate disinformation.

      Nothing new there. The Times of London and other British rags did the same thing during the First World War keeping the people ignorant of the slaughter taking place in France and Belgium, and the American empire’s establishment media will continue the scam as they did in the lead up to the Iraq War and are doing for WW3.

  11. Liam
    July 20, 2016 at 9:40 am

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b5c_1469017504

    The video at the above link has been ignored by the Dutch Safety Board. They have instead decided to use pop up amateur sleuth sites to ‘investigate’ the shootdown of MH17 which killed 298 people on July 17, 2014. The New York Times has recently put out a story citing the amateur sleuth site “Arms Control Wonk” which blames Russia for faking satellite evidence of Ukraine’s Buk missile systems in the shootdown zone. The video above proves beyond any doubt that the Kiev coup imposed government and military had numerous Buk missile systems in the Slavyansk area at the time MH-17 was shot down, thus, making the entire NYT/ ACW concocted ‘report’ irrelevant and show it to be a poorly reported propaganda attempt due to omission of evidence. Simply put, the western media establishment and their hastily assembled amateur sleuth sites intentionally choose to ignore all the video evidence showing Ukraine’s Buk missile systems in numerous locations throughout the war zone at the time of the shootdown of MH17. These sites only publish ‘evidence’ that fits the narrative they put forth and intentionally ignore evidence which doesn’t fit into that manufactured narrative.

    Link to You Tube video of multiple Ukrainian Buks near Slavyansk, Ukraine published on July 19, 2014.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmJpv-_Mp9M

    2nd video of 3 Ukrainian Buk systems on the highway in the first few weeks of the civil war in Ukraine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlKgbLLclBE

    Please download and save these videos to your hard drive as other videos of these Ukrainian Buks have been removed from You Tube. Proof of video removals here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bd0_1428717463&comments=1

    Note that Bellingcat, ACW and the Dutch Safety Board has never bothered to geolocate or ‘investigate’ these Buks in the video above or in the attached below Associated Press link and photo.

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/ukraine_claims_winning_ground.html The AP link shows a Ukrainian Buk missile system being towed by Slavyansk and specifically states Ukrainian government forces maneuver antiaircraft missile launchers Buk as they are transported north-west from Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky )
    PrintEmailBy The Associated Press
    on July 04, 2014 at 7:42 PM
    Additionally, the Ukrainian military personally uploaded video of one of their own Buk systems with active radar array in use in the warzone which can be seen at the 42 second mark in the following Ukrainian Armed Forces video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciUXqtM8Q7g Please download and save the aforementioned video to your hard drive also. This video of a Ukrainian Buk in action has also been ignored by Bellingcat and the Dutch Safety Board. The questions remain “why are they continuing to ignore video and photographic evidence that shows the Ukrainian regime had numerous Buk missile systems in the shootdown zone?” “And why did Ukraine have an active radar array for a Buk system when the rebels had no aircraft?”
    Link to NY Times report: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/16/world/europe/malaysia-airlines-flight-17-russia.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FMalaysia%20Airlines%20Flight%2017&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacem&_r=0
    Link to pop up amateur sleuth site ACW ‘report’ – http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1201635/mh17-anniversary/

    Robert Parry of Consortium News has reported on numerous occasions that a CIA source had informed him in the days after the shootdown of MH17, that U.S. intelligence officials had spotted Buk systems in the area but they appeared to be under Ukrainian government control. The source who had been briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts said the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile was manned by troops dressed in what looked like Ukrainian uniforms.At that point, the source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops might have been eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?”]

    Subsequently, the source said, these analysts reviewed other intelligence data, including recorded phone intercepts, and concluded that the shoot-down was carried out by a rogue element of the Ukrainian government, working with a rabidly anti-Russian oligarch, but that senior Ukrainian leaders, such as President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, were not implicated. However, I have not been able to determine if this assessment was a dissident opinion or a consensus within U.S. intelligence circles.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/07/19/fraud-alleged-in-nyts-mh-17-report/

    It should be noted also that numerous Dutch media outlets have reported that the Ukrainian authorities did not submit any radar data for the date MH17 was shot down (July 17,2014) even though they had not reported that the information was missing previously. The DSB appears to have gone ahead with the release of their preliminary animated video report in October 2015 without any raw radar imagery or data from the 3 Ukrainian radar facilities that were obviously in operation, due to the permitting of international flights traversing the country, and of course, a war going on with Ukrainian military aircraft in operation throughout the battlefield.

    Links to Dutch media reports on Ukrainian authorities stating all 3 radar systems were non operational at the time of the shootdown.

    http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/31544/Rampvlucht-MH17/article/detail/4230233/2016/01/22/Deskundigen-MH17-Vreemd-dat-radars-uit-stonden.dhtml
    Experts MH17: Strange that radars were not operational

    Piet van Genderen, Radar Expert University of Technology and Riemens, CEO of Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) during the hearing on the policy response to the research about the MH17. © Reuters. It is strange that three radar systems in Ukraine were disabled for maintenance during the disaster of flight MH17 said radar expert Piet van Genderen at TU Delft on Friday in the lower house, where among other things the report by the Dutch Safety Board on disaster of flight MH17 is being discussed.

    http://www.dagelijksestandaard.nl/2016/01/minimaal-vier-radarsystemen-moeten-beelden-hebben-van-ramp-mh17/#
    A minimum of four radar systems should have images of MH17 disaster

    By Michael van der Galien January 22, 2016

    Professor and radar expert Piet van Genderen, TU Delft, says that at least four radars should have picked up the images of flight MH17 being downed.

    That is a remarkable statement because it proves the government has no radar images and also has not been able to get their hands on them.

    During a hearing in the House, Van Genderen literally said the following:

    “The primary radar images of these four facilities are the most important because the chances are that they picked up the image of the BUK missile and it should be seen. Also, the disintegration of the aircraft is on these images, it should almost certainly be noticeable.”

    http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/25060848/___Vier_civiele_radarsystemen_bij_MH17___.html
    our radars were active for MH17 ‘
    by Paul Eldering and Jolanda van der Graaf
    THE HAGUE –
    The shootdown of down MH17 was imaged by at least four radars in the vicinity said Professor and radar expert Piet van Genderen at TU Delft during a hearing in the Parliament. “The primary radar images of these four facilities are the most important because the chances are that the they picked up a BUK missile and it should be seen. Also, the disintegration of the aircraft is on these images, it should be almost certainly noticeable. ”

    It involves three Ukrainian systems – one in the Lugansk airport and two long-range radar in the vicinity – and a fourth Russian radar at Rostov.
    “That all these facilities were all not in operation or under maintenance as Ukraine and Russia claim is not credible,” said the professor.

    Like Van Genderen, satellite expert Marco Langbroek believes that the images are crucial to the criminal investigation as to who the perpetrators are. According to Langbroek there must exist a large number of satellite images of the disaster. This includes the so-called Space Based Infrared Systems, the top-secret radar systems of the Americans. “Three of these satellites covered Ukraine at the time of the crash,” said Langbroek. “It seems to me that justice has every interest to have this information. Indeed, the evidence can thus be substantiated.”

    Link to all 3 Dutch news stories at one site: http://www.discussionist.com/1014236876

    Note that the mainstream US media apparatus has ignored these important Dutch news stories on MH17. Even Google appears to have failed to provide these links back in December 2015 when they were released.

    The real questions should be “why is evidence being ignored by the Dutch Safety Board, western powers and the establishment media?” “And why are they relying on amateur sleuth sites to supply cherry picked ‘evidence’ rather than taking responsibility themselves through certified credible government organizations that will accept proper responsibility for any evidence put forth?”

  12. F. G. Sanford
    July 20, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Twinkle, twinkle, little missile, satellites up in the sky,
    Up so high I wonder why, the analysts invite dismissal failing to explain refraction.
    Atmospheric fluctuations, barometric perturbations,
    Thermoclines bend rays of light insuring optical gradations: every single image will be flawed.
    Anomalies and artifacts distinguishing from alteration:
    Only proved by iteration, multiple exposures capture glaring variations due to adumbrated light.
    Moving objects in the sky and angled incidents defy,
    Reality is analogue, the Heisenberg response to digits blog aficionados fail to grasp:
    Images once digitized can never be legitimized,
    The product renders shade gradations classified by pixels mathematically defined.
    Binary analysis programs the thought paralysis,
    As common sense dissolves in abstract definitions ‘ones’ and ‘zeroes’ represent.
    If pictures lack a flying missile, all the talk deserves dismissal,
    So far, not a single one reveals the telltale image of a rocket’s vapor trail.
    Twinkle, twinkle, classified, I wonder what they aim to hide,
    Up there in the sky so blue, there must have been a conflagration,
    If the pictures don’t explain what bloggers claim is real and true,
    Then I suspect a fighter plane is what’s behind the constant obfuscation.

    • Abe
      July 20, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      Everything good needs replacing
      Look up, look down, all around, hey satellite

      July 15, 2014 Dave Matthews Band – Jacksonville, FL
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZqJ9nXsI64
      (see minutes 24:10-29:00)

  13. Ron Chandler
    July 20, 2016 at 6:32 am

    The Dutch Safety Board are frauds and liars. So is Bellingcat. Their evidence is worthless.
    US media is worthless, nothing but lies. Ditto, the US government, who lie, and lie, and lie.
    But all this missile debate misses the point. There was NO TRAIL. Unless someone comes up with evidence of a ground-launched missile which has no trail, it is irrelevant whether it was a Buk, an SS-20 or a MANPAD. Bellingcat offered fake photos taken nearby, but they were trails from mortars at a battle at Saur Mogila. These wisps were too thin to be Buks, which look like Cape Canaveral, visible for 20 miles to the many hundreds of people in the area. Nice try, Bellingcat!
    The dreaded BBC has a Ukrainian correspondent, Olga Ivshina who interviewed over a dozen witnesses to the shootdown. They said there was NO TRAIL, unanimously.
    http://www.sott.net/article/283284-More-evidence-suggesting-MH17-shot-at-from-jet-fighter
    All those eye-witnesses saw TWO FIGHTER JETS shadowing MH-17. They also described the airliner taking evasive action, or a U-turn, before it exploded in mid-air.
    It’s testament to the deliberate confusion generated by the media presstitutes and spies and the American killers who undoubtedly approved this mass murder, that argument over the ‘missile’ is even considered.
    It’s time to cut to the chase, that chase being to name the pilots who murdered 398 people. One is Vladislav Voloshin. The other is unknown, but a fellow worker at the Ukie air force field where they took off, loaded with ”very unusual” air-to-air rockets, likely Israeli Pythons — has given an account of this crime, after fleeing to Russia. Pravda.ru has it — or FortRuss —
    http://fortruss.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/meet-pilot-who-shot-down-malysian.html

    • andyb
      July 21, 2016 at 11:41 am

      There was no trail because the plane was brought down air-to-air. If you can find the original photographs of the wrecked fuselage you will notice the many round impact holes. As a combat vet, I can attest that these were caused by 50mm aircraft cannon fire and could not be from shrapnel from a ground fired missile.

      • Basisdemokrat
        July 21, 2016 at 1:21 pm

        *****

    • zman
      July 21, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you! I was reading these comments and wondered if anyone would bring up the obvious…where were the rocket trails from the missiles? Anyone that has ever seen a missile launch knows that there is a trail left that lasts quite a while. Many people would have seen it and surely some would have photographed it. Then there is the sat data from the US (NOT)…The US knows very well this was an air-to-air attack, as they surely have data from this area, since it was of great interest at the time. Where are the comm intercepts? Where are the airfield workers? The flight controllers? So much technology that either failed, was not enabled (Ukrn radars ALL down for service, at the same time?) or not monitored. Why would anyone believe such a line of BS? Even the sheeple are choking on this.

    • Charlie
      July 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      “The Dutch Safety Board are frauds and liars.”
      No you are!

      See how easy that line of rhetoric is.

  14. Joe Tedesky
    July 20, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I wish that those who excuse Russia of this fateful incident could point to one benefit that Russia has received because of it. What was there to be gained, by either Russia or the Donbass freedom fighters? If they had done it, it would have had to be either an act of cruelty, or a violent message, but what for?

    • b.grand
      July 20, 2016 at 4:33 am

      You meant “accuse” Russia, right?

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

        Yes, thank you.

    • Oleg
      July 20, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Why do you ask such questions? Russia is pure evil. Russians do not kill for gains or benefits. They kill because they are enemies of all humankind. They add salt to their urine and their piss leaves scratches on glass. Etc.

      Honestly, I really stopped reading MSM accusing Russia for all the evils in the world. These people are getting pretty repetitive and boring. They just show to the world how little and petty they in fact are.

      There is a Russian joke, quite old actually: Putin’s secretary comes to his office and tells him than Jan Psaki quit her job as a spokesperson for the State Department because she is pregnant. Putin replies: Do they blame only me, or the whole Russia?

      The MSM are dead. Thanks to Mr. Parry for his site and that he continues to prove that not all journalism is dead too.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 20, 2016 at 9:44 am

        I feel for the Russians. Hillary’s commercials mention how she dealt with Putin. Now he’s even a tag line. I’m sure Hollywood screened some Putin look a likes for casting villain roles. This whole type casting the Russian is definitely ‘getting old’.

    • Charlie
      July 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      “, it would have had to be either an act of cruelty, or a violent message, ”
      That is a logical fallacy.

  15. Abe
    July 19, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Research on the credentials of the authors of the Arms Control Wonk blog post http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1201635/mh17-anniversary/ offers a glimpse at the constantly revolving door between the US intelligence establishment and the private sector.

    Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, the founding publisher of Arms Control Wonk and principal author of the “MH17 Anniversary” blog post, works at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey (MIIM).

    Lewis’ main collaborator at Arms Control Wonk is Aaron Stein, a fellow at the Atlantic Council “regime change” think tank. Founded at the height of Cold War, the Atlantic Council is managed by a who’s who of Pentagon and Western intelligence, including four former Directors of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

    Eliot Higgins has been a principal co-author of multiple recent Atlantic Council “reports” on Syria and Ukraine. These propaganda documents produced by the Atlantic Council heavily rely on “digital forensics” chicanery amply supplied by Higgins and Bellingcat.

    Higgins’ fellow principal author of the Atlantic Council “reports” was John E. Herbst, United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006 (the period that became known as the Orange Revolution) and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.

    Lewis and his team of “researchers” at Arms Control Wonk have been colluding with the faux “independent investigative journalists” at Bellingcat for some time.

    In a Twitter exchange on 22 April 2016, Bellingcat contributor Veli-Pekka Kivimäki asked if Lewis was “using Tungstene now”. Lewis exclaimed in response that it was “really fun running photos through it” https://twitter.com/armscontrolwonk/status/723425393256984576

    Lewis’ MH17 blog post co-author Catherine Dill http://www.nonproliferation.org/experts/catherine_dill/ previously worked as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of America’s biggest security contractors. Dill holds an MA degree from MIIS, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

    Lewis’ other MH17 blog post co-author, Melissa Hanham https://www.linkedin.com/in/mhanham is a former Research Analyst for the George Soros founded International Crisis Group (2006-2008) http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board.aspx

    A Graduate Assistant (2010) turned Research Associate (2012) turned faculty at MIIM, Hanham is described on her “experts” bio as “a regular contributor to Arms Control Wonk and Bellingcat” http://www.nonproliferation.org/experts/melissa-hanham/

    However, Hanham’s bio linked to the Arms Control Wonk blog post http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/author/melissa/ curiously neglects to mention her multiple contributions to Bellingcat https://www.bellingcat.com/author/melissa-hanham/

    Apparently Hanham does “very neat stuff” for Bellingcat https://twitter.com/mhanham/status/591657534244556800

    Regardless of their credentials in other areas, not one of the “researchers” at Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey has expertise in digital image analysis.

    Just like Higgins and his crew at Bellingcat, the authors of the Arms Control Wonk “MH17 Anniversary” blog post are just having “fun” with Tungstene.

    • Abe
      July 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Wonder what it takes to qualify as an “Arms Control Wonk”?

      Well, getting your Masters degree last year from the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey automatically makes you as an “expert” at MIIM.

      Lewis’ remaining MH17 blog post co-author, David Schmerler http://www.nonproliferation.org/experts/david-schmerler/ started his “fun” new career as a Research Associate at MIIM in January 2016, immediately after completing his MA (2015). He holds a BA (2013) in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

    • Abe
      July 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Bellingcat innocently portrays that it merely found of “particular interest” the “independent analysis” that was “offered” by the “experts” at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2016/07/15/mh17-the-open-source-investigation-two-years-later/

      In fact, Bellingcat closely “communicated” with the “experts” at the not-so-independent MIIM.

      It appears that Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at MIIM, stepped up to rubber-stamp “Bellingcat’s own analysis”.

    • Abe
      July 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      In the comments section of the Arms Control Wonk “MH17 Anniversary” blog post http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1201635/mh17-anniversary/ “expert” author Jeffrey Lewis attempts to adjust the angle by appealing to the “expert” analysis of his “colleague” Marco Langbroek.

      On 22 January 2016, Langbroek, whose specialization is in the archaeology of the Early and Middle Palaeolithic, testified as an external “expert” at a hearing of the Foreign Affairs committee of Dutch Parliament, on the possible role of military satellite systems for the criminal investigation into the crash of MH17.

      Apart from archaeology, Langbroek is notably interested astronomy and asteroids.

      Apparently Lewis would like Langbroek to add “Arms Control Wonk” to his professional “expert” A-list.

    • Abe
      July 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm
    • Abe
      July 20, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      On 16 July 2016, defending his alleged “experts” on Twitter, Eliot Higgins declared that the Tungstène “software’s creator Roger Cozien reviewed their findings”
      https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/754303713309777920

      • Alex
        July 25, 2016 at 6:16 pm

        Perhaps Mr. Parry could contact Roger Cozien to verify Higgins’ claims on that score, note the careful wording “reviewed” which isn’t the same as agreeing with. I and a couple of colleagues have tried contacting him but have had no answer maybe a known journalist like Mr Parry can bring Mr Cozien out of hiding.

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