The Official and Implausible MH-17 Scenario

Exclusive: Another problem with the new report blaming Russia for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down is the bizarre route that the investigators say the Buk missile battery took, a wild ride that made no sense, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Without any skepticism, the West’s mainstream media is embracing the new allegations implicating Russia in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but there are key evidentiary and logical gaps including the presumed route followed by the supposed Buk missile convoy.

According to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which while “led” by the Dutch was guided by the Ukrainian SBU intelligence service, the Russians delivered the Buk anti-missile battery at a border crossing about 30 miles southeast of Luhansk on the night of July 16-17, 2014. From that point, there would have been an easy and logical route to the JIT’s claimed firing site.

Screen shot from the Joint Investigation Team's video report citing where a Russian Buk missile battery allegedly crossed into eastern Ukraine.

Screen shot from the Joint Investigation Team’s video report citing where a Russian Buk missile battery allegedly crossed into eastern Ukraine.

The convoy would have followed one of two roads west to H21 and then taken H21 southwest to the area around Snizhne before getting onto a back road to Pervomaiskyi where the JIT says the launch occurred.

Instead, according to the JIT account, the convoy took a strange and circuitous route, skirting south of Luhansk to Yenakiieve, a town that sits along highway E50, which incidentally offered another easy route south to Snizhne. Instead of going that way, according to the JIT, the convoy proceeded southwest to the city of Donetsk, stopping there before turning east on H21 passing through a number of towns on the way to Snizhne.

Not only does this route make no sense, especially given the extreme sensitivity of the Russians providing a powerful anti-aircraft missile battery to the rebels, an operation that would call for the utmost secrecy and care, but the eventual positioning of the Buk system in the remote town of Pervomaiskyi makes little military sense.

According to the JIT’s video narrative, the presumed purpose of the Russians taking such a huge risk of supplying a Buk system was to protect rebel troops from Ukrainian military aircraft firing from heights beyond the range of shoulder-fired MANPADs.

So why would the Russians position the Buk battery in the south far from the frontlines of the heaviest fighting which was occurring in the north and then have the crew shoot down a commercial airliner when, according to the JIT, there were no military aircraft in the area?

To accept the JIT’s narrative, you have to swallow a large dose of credulity, plus assume that the Russians are extremely incompetent, so incompetent that they would send a highly secret operation on a wild ride across the eastern Ukrainian countryside, ignoring easy routes to the target location (only about 70 miles from the Russian border) in favor of a route more than twice as long (about 150 miles) while passing through heavily populated areas where the convoy could be easily photographed.

Then, the Russians (or their rebel allies) would have placed the Buk system in a spot with marginal if any military value, misidentify a commercial airliner as some kind of military aircraft, and – with a sudden burst of efficiency and competence – shoot it down.

The JIT’s claim about the exfiltration of the remaining Buks has similar problems of logic. The JIT asserts that rather than take the most direct (and most discreet) route back to Russia by heading east, the missile battery supposedly traveled north to Luhansk before crossing back into Russia, a longer trip through more populous areas, another head-shaker.

Russian Fears

After the MH-17 shoot-down, which killed 298 people, I’m told the Russian government did fear that somehow one of its field operatives might have been responsible and conducted an intensive investigation, including an inventory of its equipment, concluding that all its Buk missiles were accounted for.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waits for Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, before a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. (State Department photo)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waits for Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, before a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. (State Department photo)

I was also told that at least some CIA analysts shared the doubts about Russia’s guilt and came to believe that the MH-17 shoot-down was the work of a rogue and out-of-control Ukrainian team with the possible hope that the airliner was a Russian government plane returning President Vladimir Putin from South America.

Another fallacy of the JIT’s report is to assume that in July 2014 there were fixed lines of control between the Ukrainian government and the eastern Ukrainian rebels, something like the trenches of World War I. Indeed, the fluidity of the battle lines – and Ukraine’s ability to penetrate deep into rebel “territory” – was underscored by one of the SBU’s telephone intercepts published by the JIT on Wednesday.

According to the JIT, the conversation revealed a Ukrainian military convoy passing through the town of Sabivka, which is about five miles west of Luhansk, and moving toward an airport, possibly Luhansk’s airport south of the city. If that JIT account is correct, it shows that armed Ukrainian convoys could move almost at will across much of rebel “territory.”

And that would suggest that the assumption that the Buk missile must have been fired by Russians or Russian rebels because the firing location was inside rebel “territory” is suspect. According to Dutch intelligence  (which really means NATO intelligence), the Ukrainians had several high-powered anti-aircraft missile systems in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the day MH-17 was shot down.

The JIT report makes no effort to explain where those Ukrainian Buks were positioned, presumably because Ukraine was part of the JIT investigation and thus had the right to veto the release of any information. While steering the Dutch, Australians and others toward blaming the Russians, Ukraine’s SBU was never going to allow evidence that would put the spotlight on Ukraine.

In addition, by issuing the report in video form, the JIT made it difficult for the public to focus on the logical inconsistencies in the findings, such as the alleged convoy route. Further, complicating the process of evaluation, JIT enhanced its presentation by mixing in real-looking computer graphics with images found on social media.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Troubling Gaps in New MH-17 Report.”]

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38 comments for “The Official and Implausible MH-17 Scenario

  1. Abe
    September 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    And where did the JIT get this “strange and circuitous route”?

    They did their own investigation, right?

    Nope.

    https://www.bellingcat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/mh17-two-years-later.pdf

    The JIT “communicated” with Eliot Higgins and the team of fake “citizen investigative journalists” at Bellingcat.

    • chuck b
      September 30, 2016 at 3:40 am

      the ridiculous seeds planted by the ukrainian SBU are picked up by the bellingcats, the geeks “sanitize” them over two years. the JIT gives then the official seal of approval to be published by the west’s propaganda outlets, ready for mccain and other warmongers to further the conflicts.

      i guess the only scenario that avoids legal responsibility for ukraine is the story of a weapon system to come from outside of the country. otherwise it would have pointed to ukraine – regardless of which side shot the boeing down. the rebels are still ukrainian, even if some russian mercenaries joined the fight. only outside troops could let kiev – in charge of the air space – escape legal indemnity. of course, the possibility of the western backed crime must be ruled out at all costs. it would completely turn the table for the NATO countries and their narratives on russia to libya and syria.

      the fact that not a single major western news publisher, to my knowledge, questions the verdict delivered by the main suspect – ukraine – and coup instigator – US – just shows that the mainstreet press has turned into a propaganda machine that the goebbels of the world are eager to use for ‘total war.’

      • Joe B
        September 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

        Yes, the JIT report is plainly propaganda, trying to make a certainty of no evidence at all.
        1. The purpose of the attack can only be propaganda, unless an accident or an attempt to down the Putin plane, which points to the US/Ukraine regime.
        2. The propaganda motive is not there for Russia or the rebels, because the attack was made over the war zone with uncertain origin.
        3. The US concealed its evidence on false pretenses, consistently lied about its evidence and its entire participation in the Ukraine conflict, and its “allies” gave the prime suspect powers over the investigation.
        4. The prime suspect Ukraine concealed its evidence. It diverted the plane over the war zone, concealed the ATC records and radar records, and supplied all of the social media “evidence” relied upon.
        5. The JIT report is based upon vague and highly selected phone calls, was delayed for years without cause, and was released in the election season, along with barrages of US propaganda from state controlled media. It is garbage.
        6. Finally, only the West could have known that the plane was full of gays, and likely selected the propaganda target on the basis of common military views of them.

        • Joe B
          September 30, 2016 at 11:47 am

          I should expand on the meaning of the potential purposes of the attack. The purpose may have been an accident or rogue act, an attempt to down Putin’s plane, or propaganda.
          1. An accident or rogue act could not be blamed on any nation. But neither act would require Russia to move a Buk system there, and Ukraine already had several in the area, so these cases would almost certainly be of US/Ukraine responsibility.
          2. An attempt to down Putin’s plane would certainly be of US cause, because Ukraine would fear that if it succeeded, Russia would invade.
          3. A propaganda operation would have to be of US cause, because
          (a) A shoot-down over the war zone would leave Russia a suspect whereas it could down an airliner over nearby Ukraine without greater suspicion.
          (b) Ukraine would be expected to keep civil traffic out of the war zone, so Russia would have no assurance that such a target would ever arrive.
          (c) Russia would not know when or where an airliner would be routed over the war zone, so it could not sneak a Buk to the right area at the right time, even if it knew that an airliner would be coming someday.
          (d) only a US propaganda operation would require the US to conceal satellite data, conceal Ukraine ATC and radar data, give the chief suspect Ukraine powers over the investigation, and control mass media reports.
          (e) Russia did not try to blame the US or Ukraine, but only to exonerate itself, whereas a propaganda operation would have set up and promoted some cause to blame the propaganda target. Only the US has done that.

      • Sarah Jenkins
        October 2, 2016 at 8:36 pm

        “Though the preliminary report of the Joint Investigation Team is flawed because it ignored the Russian evidence, the ultimate reason why MH17 was shot down was because Kiev recklessly allowed civilian air traffic over a war zone.

        The conclusions of the Dutch led investigation into the downing of MH-17 near Donetsk should surprise no one. The investigation set itself up to be incomplete from the onset by refusing to examine evidence that the Russian government, BUK-missile manufacturer Almaz-Antey, and apparently even the US government, were willing to provide.

        At the same time the investigators relied on information provided by Kiev, including hazy and rather meaningless pictures from social media websites.
        http://theduran.com/kiev-blame-mh17-tragedy/

  2. Yonatan
    September 29, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    The rebels allegedly only had a missile launcher. It is normally part of a battery with a long distance early warning radar, a targetting radar, a missile reloader and a C&C vehicle. Without a radr system the rebels would have to have launched the missile by eye. On the day there was about 4/8 cloud cover and medium altitiude below the aircraft flight path. The claimed launch point was also more or less in direct line with the flight path of MH17. That means the effective closing speed would be very high and the sharpnel spread consequently much larger than normal. In addition, the window opportunity for a launch giving a hit would be minimsed.

    So we have rebels inexperienced infiring a complex missile, using it for for the first time, under the most adverse targetting conditions, relying totally on visual contact on a moderately cloudy day against the target. Not only do they not blow themselves to pieces, they make an apparently ideal hit the first and only time they supposedly used the system.

    If you look at the maker’s specification for the Buk, they give about a 90-95% probablity of a hit with a single missile assuming a fully trained crew with full radar detection and targetting control. The odds alone just do not add up.

    • Kiza
      September 30, 2016 at 1:13 am

      I believe that your got your probability wrong, there is no way that a probability of hitting a fast moving passenger jet at around 10 km altitude with a single missile is 90-95% even under the perfect conditions: top trained crew etc. It is the inverse – probably around 5-10%.

      But you are absolutely right that BUK requires 4-5 vehicles and a whole unit (10-15) of highly trained people to operate. All Bellingcat/JIT videos show only one missile vehicle passing from Russia, no radar vehicle and no C&C vehicle!!! The standard complement would be one or multiple missile carrier vehicles and one of each of the other vehicles.

      Also, the rebels could have gotten such crew only from Moscow but then such professional crew would be extremely unlikely to miss-identify a target, especially because of its high altitude. The targeting radar always operates in a three dimensional space, where the altitude of the target is always the most important value, followed by the other two coordinates. All three coordinates are read to the commanding officer by the radar operator. Therefore, firstly, missing to notice the altitude of the target is simply IMPOSSIBLE. Secondly, a passenger jet moves at a constant altitude and speed, completely different to a military jet which usually changes the flight parameters and especially altitude, confusing the two is also IMPOSSIBLE. Thirdly, why would the Russians/rebels shoot-down a plane flying at a high altitude towards Russia!!! This is why I have been arguing that the shootdown could have been only deliberate, either by a military jet or by an anti-aircraft battery.

      The whole Western story of the MH17 shootdown revolves around a BUK from Russia, but such BUK would have had to be operated by a Russian crew, not the rebels. If you would like to get an idea of what the BUK command and control vehicle looks like inside you may peruse this Russian video and skip to 19:50: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nI_6dvw17U. This video also states something that every air-defense professional knows: it is much easier to shoot-down a plane by another plane then by a missile from the ground. Interestingly, JIT has reduced the number of “BUK fragments” they have in possession from four to two. Therefore, the case for the shoot-down by BUK is still soft, the military jet is still possible and likely.

      Finally, the production of a video by JIT of the delivery of a missile battery from Russia (so suggestive) is the clearest indication that the goal was not investigation then propaganda.

  3. DM
    September 29, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Curiously the JIT claim that they have reviewed the report and evidence submitted by the US and that this evidence supports JIT conclusions.

    Mr. Parry and VIPS alluded in this and previos articles that according to their sources the CIA has the evidence to the contrary.

    Any comments on that? Any insights on what was presented to JIT by the US?

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

    “… conclusion is supported by the material which the investigation team recently obtained from the United States and the European Space Agency. I will explain this briefly:

    US
    In response to a Dutch request for legal assistance, the US submitted a report in which they present their assessment of the information regarding the shooting down of flight MH17. This report can be used in court. The conclusion of the American authorities is that flight MH17 was shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile, i.e. a BUK-missile, which was launched from a site about six kilometres south of the village of Snizhne in Eastern Ukraine. This is consistent with the distance to aforementioned launch site near Pervomaiskiy. The US also explain how they reached this conclusion. In addition, they mention that they are sure of the fact that the Ukrainian air defence systems could not have done it and that an air-to-air scenario is impossible.

    The Dutch Military Intelligence Service (MIVD) and the (Dutch) National Public Prosecutor on Terrorism have been able to view the underlying state-secret (intelligence) material and based on that information and the explanation provided, they support the fact that this conclusion is drawn.

    ESA
    The European Space Agency (ESA) has aided the investigation team extensively in the search for relevant images from satellites. This has shown to be of great value: Not only did ESA obtain images of all relevant civilian satellites, but they also have experts who have assessed these images. The conclusions drawn by ESA confirm the conclusions of the investigation team with regard to the launch site.”

    • colin
      September 29, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      You seem to be for the report BUT,
      I would like the release of the following . The satellite data/photo/video of the actual launch. You know the one that Kerry went on the Sundays morning TV shows and said we saw the launch, it’s trajectory, we know where it came from…..
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78r1qAHUVwY
      Also the full intelligence report, not the white house political report. (This is where I find Obama weak/not statesmen like)
      So what purpose does the American high command (I know the connotation) have to peddle this falsehood. I know we will all be dead by 2020 instead 20XX. Well done Obama. Go make some speeches, rake in the moolar.

      • DM
        September 30, 2016 at 7:10 am

        I’m not pro or anti the report. I’m pro truth. The JIT claims that they received the report and reviewed the underlying data (state secret). I agree that it would great to know what these are.

        I’m just wondering if Mr. Parry or VIPS with their connections can shed some light on this topic.

    • Kiza
      September 30, 2016 at 1:29 am

      Well, if there is a US report which is admissible in court, then this report cannot be secret, unless it is only a US court it is admissible to (where anything pro-regime flies). This reads like a lot of typical regime innuendo without substantiation.

      I should just compare the secrecy around US intelligence on MH17 shotdown with the immediate publishing of the satellite images of the explosion on the Russian Metrojet (they were so keen to show this lapse in security and blame Putin that military secrecy was no consideration at all). What is different between the two satellites involved? Why are the satellite images of MH17 classified, but those of Metrojet were publishable?

  4. Abe
    September 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    “…die Propaganda ist gut, die zum Erfolge führt, und die ist schlecht, die am gewünschten Erfolg vorbeigeht, selbst dann, wenn sie noch so geistreich ist, denn es ist nicht die Aufgabe einer Propaganda, geistreich zu sein, ihre Aufgabe ist zum Erfolge zu führen.”

    “…that propaganda is good that has the desired results, and that propaganda is bad that does not lead to the desired results. It does not matter how clever it is, for the task of propaganda is not to be clever, its task is to lead to success.”

    – Joseph Goebbels, Erkenntnis und Propaganda (Knowledge and Propaganda) speech in 1928 to an audience of Nazi party members at the so-called “Hochschule für Politik” in Berlin.

    Leonard W. Doob was the Sterling Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University, He was a pioneering figure in the fields of cognitive and social psychology, propaganda and communication studies, as well as conflict resolution.

    Doob’s 1934 Harvard PhD dissertation, started in Germany, was a study of news propaganda. Doob served as Director of Overseas Intelligence for the Office of War Information in World War II.

    In 1950, Doob’s article, “Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda” was published in the Public Opinion Quarterly, an academic journal published by Oxford University Press for the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

    https://istifhane.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/goebbels.pdf

    Doob’s article is required reading for understanding how political propaganda functions in today’s military-industrial-media complex.

    • Abe
      September 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      “To create preconditions for an open armed conflict with Russia, Washington has launched a massive propaganda campaign, aimed at discrediting Moscow at every juncture. It’s enough to remember the so-called ‘doping scandal’ and the ‘revelations’ that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made about the alleged presence of more than 30,000 Russian soldiers and hundreds of tanks in eastern Ukraine. And no matter how ridiculous and unfounded such allegations may be, Washington would still repeat them, as if it had no means to track a couple hundreds tanks anywhere on the face of the Earth and then provide irrefutable evidence of it to the public. Moreover, we hear repeated accusations about Moscow’s alleged involvement in the downing of the Malaysian Boeing MH-17 over Donbass and many others. And the list goes on. Looking at all these steps, one can’t help but remember the genius of Nazi propaganda – Joseph Goebbels – who swayed public perception with the continuous repetition of transparent lies up to and including the day of the Nazi invasion of Russia.”

      Washington has Just Declared War on Russia
      By Martin Berger
      http://journal-neo.org/2016/09/29/washington-has-just-declared-war-on-russia/

  5. ltr
    September 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    The animosity that is being engendered towards Russia in the United States, taking President Putin as a symbol of all Russia, is truly frightening. This editorial is a perfect and fearful example:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/29/opinion/vladimir-putins-outlaw-state.html?ref=opinion

    September 28, 2016

    Vladimir Putin’s Outlaw State

    Mr. Putin’s behavior in Ukraine and Syria violates not only rules designed to promote peace but common human decency.

  6. Lisa
    September 29, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I can remember of all accounts I’ve studied in this matter, the MH-17 flew on the fatal day a much more northern route than what was usual. It was directed there by the Ukrainian air traffic control and thus the plane flew over the actual war zone. I remember seeing these different routes at least on a BBC website. It must be easy to establish which person in the Kiev air traffic control gave the order to this plane to fly an unusual route. A Russian-minded rebel in disguise?

    Now how could the Russians (or the rebels) know where exactly the plane would be at what time? They needed to place the missile system near enough the route of the plane in good time. Or was the air over the war zone full of civilian and military planes of various nationalities, so they could choose a suitable object?

    • A P
      September 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      AND MH17 was ordered to a lower flight path by Kiev Air Control. A full function BUK can easily reach standard airliner cruising height, so even if the Ukie BUK batteries were supposed to “accidentally” shoot down MH17, no need to lower it. But an older Ukie SU-24 with air-air rocket and with 30mm armour/explosive round payload can’t. The SU24 can get high enough long enough to get visual contact and fire the rockets at an upward angle to hit a plane above it’s flight ceiling. There used to be youtube vid of an experienced pilot taking an SU24 to that height. An O2 bottle and a warm flight suit can keep the pilot able to function for the short time required to fire rockets at above “official ceiling” heights. An SU24 will fly there , poorly, but the cockpit is not sealed/heated for sustained high altitude flight. As MH17 spiraled down after the initial rocket hit (an engine or wing it is conjectured), the 30mm armaments finished the job, killing the pilots and blowing the front off MH17.

      Russia, like the US had full spectrum surveillance over all of the Ukraine since at least the Maidan. Russia knows EXACTLY what happened, but only released the civilian-air-space radar which showed a second plane near MH17. But the US/Dutch prefer to quote Bellingcat…

    • john davies
      October 2, 2016 at 9:32 am

      You say how would they know where MH17 would be at this particular momemnt? It was a comercial flight and posted for all to see, but the theory of Ukraine shot it down because they thought it was Putin’s plane seems a little far fetched due to what leader of a major country posts his flight route? Not only is it too secret but changes on a regular basis for security purposes.

      • Alex Bragin
        October 4, 2016 at 7:51 am

        yes yes and consequently he was sent to the war zone, instead of what it would bypass logic 80 lvl
        what for?

  7. A P
    September 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Did the Dutch get another “WW2 safekeeping” gold repatriation shipment from the US? Coincident to the first Dutch “report”, payment was in the order of 122.5-tonnes. https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/koos-jansen/the-netherlands-has-repatriated-122-5t-gold-from-us/

    And more than passing odd is that 122 tonnes is EXACTLY the same amount as reputedly held in Canadian “safekeeping” Dutch reserves. And now that Canada has virtually zero gold reserves left of it’s own (and selling off it’s silver like crazy for US$ paper notes, now the gold is gone), it is still holding 122 tonnes of Dutch gold? Maybe US Gold Reserves really are empty… they have not been somewhat inspected, let alone fully audited since before the 1930’s. Follow the money, the best and oldest investigative maxim.

    The holes in the MH17 wreckage tell another story entirely… no BUK missile shrapnel holes, none zero. Just air-to-air munitions, particularly 30mm armour piercing and explosive rounds in the cockpit area, plus probable air-to-air rockets. From at least one so-equipped Ukraine military SU-24 which was witnessed leaving fully armed and returning without said rockets. The identity of the pilot is known. The military plane that the locals (interviewed shortly after by a BBC local-affiliate news crew) heard and saw in proximity to MH17 before it exploded.

    And Kerry sabre-rattling over Aleppo, when the US has no legal standing to be militarily or covertly in Syria at all? Fast-boat John just annoyed that the Syrian/Russian air forces bombed the illegal “information centre” the US/Saudi/Qatar/et.al had set up in Aleppo to feed military intelligence to the “moderate terrorists” the US supports?

    Obama must be some kind of desperate to get WW3 with Russia/China started before the election, now that it is apparent Clinton will lose to Trump. That way the election/Presidential Inauguration can be suspended for the duration of the war…

  8. Abe
    September 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    “Lawyers and analysts observing the presentation have expressed doubt that the secret Ukrainian and American government evidence can be admissible in court. On questioning by a sceptical Dutch journalist, Westerbeke acknowledged that all the telephone intercepts and wiretaps reported as evidence of Russian involvement in the reported missile operation originated from the Ukrainian secret service. Evidence of the missile movement, ground launch, and smoke trail from social media, photographs and videotapes, and purported witnesses presented at today’s JIT session have all appeared publicly before; much of it already discredited as fakes. […]

    “In an unusual disclosure, the JIT revealed it has confirmed only two pieces of warhead shrapnel from a BUK missile warhead in the MH17, one found in a body in the cockpit, and one in the cockpit frame. Until now, the Dutch Safety Board and the JIT have been claiming there were four pieces of shrapnel to substantiate the alleged BUK missile firing, three of them of a bow-tie or butterfly shape, and one of square shape. […]

    “The JIT briefing in The Netherlands today did not respond to the Utyos-T data. ‘They have not yet been handed over and not investigated yet’, said the Dutch police presenter Paulissen. He dismissed the Russian Defence Ministry claim that no missile firing had been detected from the Snizhne area. That, said Paulissen, ‘is incorrect.’ According to Westerbeke, ‘we are not making any statements about Russia as a country or about Russians.'”

    http://johnhelmer.net/?p=16440

  9. Brendan
    September 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    The alleged Russian Buk missile system did not just follow an inexplicable route on its way to the launch site. Its route back to Russia also took a strange scenic route, if you believe what the JIT says. In this part of the JIT video, the Russian border is marked on the right hand side:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf6gJ8NDhYA#t=9m40s

    As can be seen, the overall return journey was very circuitous, but the weirdest part of it is probably its journey through Luhansk (10:20 in the same Youtube video).

    First, there’s the idea of the missile system being driven uncovered, through a residential area of a city, in daylight, about twelve hours after it had killed hundreds of civilian passengers, and had been publicly identified by Kiev as a Buk. Why would the rebels or Russians do that, if the purpose of the trip is to hide the Buk?

    There’s also the fact that that route would have taken the Buk through an area that the Ukrainian government was able to freely move through.

    As Robert Parry says, the tapped phone call, allegedly from the previous day, is about Ukrainians making their way unhindered through “rebel territory” to Luhansk airport. If that’s true, it just confirms what was reported two years ago, about how little control the rebels had over that area of Luhansk.
    (see point no. 22) https://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2014/08/05/mh17-the-lugansk-buk-video/
    So why would the rebels or Russians drive their killer Buk through an area like that where they risked, at the very least, being spotted by Ukrainian agents?

    This bizarre road trip story on its own is enough to cast serious doubt on the JIT’s credibility as serious investigators.

  10. Bill Bodden
    September 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    This attack on Putin and Russia conforms to tried and true programs in the past to get a war going in the future against Russia:

    1. Pick an enemy: Spain by McKinley, Germany by Woodrow Wilson, Iraq and Saddam Hussein by Bush/Cheney, Gaddafi and Libya by Clinton and Obama – among many others.

    2. Vilify the enemy with propaganda consisting of lies, half-truths, fear mongering and use of double standards.

    3. Get the mainstream media on board to persuade an ill-informed and quiescent public.

    Bingo!! All three in place for Hillary to push the button.

    • war is coming
      September 29, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Yes but if Hillary pushes de button american people will have a very bad surprise a few minutes later.ICBM are not even necessary to put the US down in less than 10 days by other smarter means.
      US missiles will all be destroyed by superb S 500 and other RF secret weapons.Once again europeans US vassals will be the only canon fodders and victims in this US sponsored BS.

      Interesting article for the neocons:

      A Thousand Balls of Flame

      http://cluborlov.blogspot.be/2016/08/a-thousand-balls-of-flame.html

  11. September 29, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    i think the crucial bit is towards the end about ‘the dog that didn’t bark’…
    IF ANY other spook agency had ANYTHING metaphysically implicating the russkies in it, NO DOUBT it would have been trotted out one way or tother…
    that they don’t, tells me the spook’s evidence does NOT implicate the russkies…

    oh, and i found the -as far as i noticed- UN-NOTED use of a mixture of CGI recreation and photos to be misleading…
    while it wasn’t a high quality rendition, i bet a lot of people would be fooled: ‘no, they had VIDEO of the russkies, you idiot, i done did seen it ! ! !’

  12. Abe
    September 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    The Atlantic Council partnered with Open Russia and Bellingcat for an exclusive live town hall from Open Russia Club in London to dramatize “the unsolved crime of our age”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Yn3ckduQY

    The propaganda drive fueled by Bellingcat is designed to fabricate a body of “evidence” to compel a “Lockerbee moment”

    • war is coming
      September 29, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Bellingcat is a MI6 and Soros funded asset like the White helmets in Syria.

  13. Abe
    September 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    An old lawyer’s trick:

    Aviation attorney Jerry Skinner:
    “In the interest of time I just have one other thing I want to throw out […] uh, the U.S. denied they had satellite photos. Their satellite photo is on my desk in Cincinnati, Ohio.”
    (video minutes 1:01:05-1:01:25)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Yn3ckduQY

    We’ve had over two years of “government assessment” fiction from the U.S. State Department.

    A terse 16 July 2016 press statement by the State Department, “Marking the Second Anniversary of the Shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17” emphasizes that “Our own assessment has not changed – the missile was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.”

    The statement elaborates that “The United States continues to work with the Joint Investigation Team and law enforcement authorities. We have full confidence that these professionals are conducting an impartial, credible, and comprehensive investigation that will form the basis of an independent prosecution to bring the perpetrators of this tragedy to justice.”

    The State Department’s “full confidence” extends to the lawsuit lodged last month at the European Court of Human Rights by “friendly-faced lawyer” Jerry Skinner.

    A dramatic 17 July 2016 article by UK Telegraph online informs us that the American lawyer Skinner “speaks selectively to the media, only talking to The Sunday Telegraph after a recommendation from his friend Eliot Higgins. The Leicester-born Mr Higgins, founder of investigative journalism site Bellingcat, is famous for his use of open source intelligence to expose war crimes around the world. With his help, the American lawyer has been able to piece together the path of a launcher from Russia’s 53rd Missile Brigade into Ukraine before MH17 was shot down and then back to Russia.”

    Higgins’ “impartial, credible, and comprehensive investigation” apparently makes it an open and shut case for Skinner.

    With Higgins’ “help”, Skinner was able to “piece together” the story that Higgins pieced together.

    Lawyers are really smart that way.

    The Telegraph informs us that “this evidence that will form the backbone of [Skinner’s] legal assault on the Kremlin – demanding $10 million from Moscow for each victim. President Putin is named as personally responsible.”

    The Telegraph additionally informs us that “the Kremlin’s most high-profile adversary” is “a deeply religious man”. Mr. Skinner himself informs us that “My wife prays for me”.

  14. Michael Morrissey
    September 30, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I find it very painful to read Parry’s articles and the comments here without being able to at least hope that these facts (including the lack of them) arguments will be put together in a book (since articles are more easily ignored) that should be published as soon as possible. I understand that the commenters here may want to remain anonymous but surely that is no hindrance since, after all, they publish here. What is important is a clear presentation of the facts and debunking where necessary of the JIT report, as Parry has done, but apparently there is a lot more that could be said.

  15. Albert Valiev
    September 30, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Also please look closely on supplied photos of “So-called Russian BUK from Kurks” in report. Take a look on original picture of BUK from Kurks and picture from supposed BUK in Ukraine. And look on second wheel. You’ll see a very big difference.

  16. geradl
    September 30, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Great Asessment. But I’m missing the witnesses (tens or maybe hundreds) from the area, who unilaterally speak of two fighter jets in the very area, some say they even saw the actual attack. Why is this missing even here? You can find it on youtube either by searching mh17 bbc russia or graham phillips mh17 or mh17 billy six, and a couple of others. To me this is the most obvious flaw of the JIT report.

  17. John P
    September 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Does anyone have any idea on where Putin’s plane was at this time as pertains to the missile launching site? The major airlines had their planes avoiding the area but not Malaysian Airlines. Air traffic control must have some idea.

  18. Abe
    September 30, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Bellingcat is taking a victory lap with all the media attention after the Joint Investigation Team press conference, indirectly acknowledging that Bellingcat provided “the bulk of the presentation” by the JIT:

    “On September 28, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) held a press conference in which they presented evidence surrounding the downing of Flight MH17. Leading up to the event, the JIT made its intent clear: the weapon type and launch site would be announced, but no blame would be directly assigned. The JIT followed through on its promise, and provided new evidence that corroborates the findings of Bellingcat since its report ‘Origins of the Separatists’ Buk’ in November 2014. […]

    “While many of the revelations of the September 28 press conference confirmed previous claims made on this site and from other open source investigators, the bulk of the presentation confirmed the most significant claims of the November 2014 report ‘Origin of the Separatists’ Buk’ and subsequent reports.

    “Most importantly, the JIT confirmed that a Russian-made Buk missile was responsible for the downing of MH17.”

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2016/09/30/revelations-confirmations-mh17-jit-press-conference/

    The JIT’s entirely predictable rubber-stamp “confirmation” of the “findings of Bellingcat” was padded with a smattering of “revelations” in the form of superfluous visual materials and audio recordings designed to “corroborate” the “Major Bellingcat Investigations into the Downing of MH17”.

    Effort now shifts to the purchase of “witnesses” for the pending criminal case. Dutch National Prosecution Office spokesman Wim de Bruin has said that the testimony of “at least one” separatist fighter in Ukraine has been procured.

  19. John P
    September 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    To me it is vitally important to know where Putin’s plane was in relation to MH17 and the launch site. There must have been a significant reason for shooting down the plane ie, get Putin on the one side or embarrass the Russians and the rebels on the other. To me the latter is the weakest argument but you can’t toss it out. There must be some factual info somewhere to know Putin’s flight path. As most airlines were avoiding the area, was it just assumed that it was Putin’s plane if that was in fact the motive. .

  20. LJ
    September 30, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Parry should call Seymour Hersh and ask him do an expose. He has street cred.

    • Andy Jones
      October 2, 2016 at 6:32 am

      The neocons are trying to destroy his street cred.

  21. Andy Jones
    October 1, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Most likely the commander of a Ukrainian BUK missile battery who was on alert for Russian planes violating Ukrainian airspace. The Ukrainian government was protesting about Russian planes leading up to the shooting down of the airliner. Then they suddenly went silent over the issue.

    The theory that the Russians handed a complex missile system like the BUK to rebels is as absurd as the idea that the US would give the Patriot system to the Free Syrian Army. It takes a highly trained crew to operate that kind of system. The Russians would not want untrained people operating such a missile system on their border as it would be a danger to their planes.

    The Ukrainian army had experience with a poorly trained missile crew shooting down an airliner by accident. That was before they had mass desertions following the coup that could led to a shortage of trained missile crews willing to fight in Eastern Ukraine. Occam’s Razor suggests it was most likely a poorly trained Ukrainian missile crew on high alert that made a mistake. A neutral investigation needs to look at this. A simple matter of fact that can be checked is the shrapnel from modern BUKs, that the Russians have, and older BUKs that the Ukrainians have.

  22. stinky rafsanjani
    October 1, 2016 at 10:23 am

    so has anyone audited ukraine’s missile inventory?
    wiki says the ukes had a total of 72 9K37M1 systems as of 2016.
    how many missiles per system?

    pretty expensive little puppies for such a small country
    with a low-budget military, so they wouldn’t be pooping them
    off on a daily basis for training. no, each and every one would
    be accounted for.

    i’m sure if asked nicely, the evil and nefarious mr. putin would
    be amenable to providing a list of missile serial numbers.
    shouldn’t be too difficult to track down….oh, my!

  23. Andy Jones
    October 2, 2016 at 6:29 am

    The official report is double Dutch to me.

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