this is what you might call a complete blind alley: who the hell you gonna prosecute when you don’t know what you’re talking about?
Malaysia Flight 17 prosecution faces major evidentiary and legal obstacles
Ernesto Londoño, Michael Birnbaum, Greg Miller, Karen DeYoung, WaPo, Jul 22 2014
WASHINGTON/HRAVOVE, Ukraine – Despite mounting evidence that Russian-backed separatists downed a commercial aircraft over Ukraine last week, Western diplomats and law enforcement officials face significant obstacles prosecuting the culprits, according to current and former Usaian officials. Senior Usaian intelligence officials said Tuesday that they have not yet identified the separatists who operated the missile system that apparently destroyed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, presenting investigators with their first and perhaps most daunting challenge. But in a briefing with reporters, the officials continued to build the Obama administration’s case of Russian complicity in a downing of the jet by separatists. The officials provided intelligence material on the path of the missile, voiceprint analysis allegedly of separatists discussing bringing down a plane, shrapnel markings on the aircraft, and material from social-media sites to back administration claims. The officials also identified a Russian military installation as a training hub for the separatists and a conduit for weapons to be sent into eastern Ukraine. Even if the perpetrators are identified, determining their motive and proving their guilt would pose evidentiary and legal challenges for which there is little precedent, according to experts in international law. Establishing a venue for a trial would almost certainly entail intense diplomatic wrangling. Moreover, as crime scenes go, the area in eastern Ukraine where the plane’s wreckage fell is a prosecutor’s nightmare, with reports of looting and tampering with evidence by separatists. William Burke-White, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who served as a senior policy adviser from 2009 to 2011 to then-Sec State Hillary Clinton, said:
This is going to be one of the hardest prosecutions imaginable. Figuring out who actually launched the missile is going to be near to impossible, and any evidence that was there has probably been destroyed.
Dutch officials said Monday that the Netherlands would take the lead in investigating the doomed flight. Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said Monday in an emotional speech at the UN:
Once the investigation ascertains who was responsible for the downing of the flight MH17, accountability and justice must be pursued and delivered. We owe it to the victims. We owe it to justice. We owe it to humanity.
On Tuesday, Obama visited the Dutch Embassy in Washington to offer condolences and pledge to support the investigation. Obama said after he signed a condolence book:
We will work with them to make sure their loved ones are recovered and justice is done.
A senior White House official said:
The precise shape of an international investigation, and what prosecution alternatives might be available, is still coming together.
The official said that Usaia was encouraged by the fact that Ukraine has decided to let the Netherlands lead the investigation. The two top critturs on the House Foreign Affairs Committee called on the UNSC and the Obama administration to do more to ensure that international investigators have access to the crime scene. Ed Royce and Eliot Engel said Tuesday in a letter to Jackass Kerry:
The credibility of the investigation into this horrific tragedy already has been severely compromised.
They called the incident a “crime against humanity.” Russian ambassador to the UN Vitali Churkin pledged Monday that his country would assist the investigation, but Western officials and analysts said they suspect that Moscow will be non-cooperative, if not outright obstructionist. Burke-White said:
Pres Putin has an obvious strategy of denial. It could well be that whoever did this has gone back to Russia and is able to lay low and use the Russian government as a shield.
At first glance, the Netherlands, home to the International Criminal Court, where complex legal crimes have been tried, might seem like an ideal venue. The ICC, however, is unlikely to have jurisdiction, because Ukraine and Malaysia are not member states of the global tribunal. A UNSC referral to try the case there would require the endorsement of Russia, which holds a veto. The Netherlands may seek to try the case in its own courts, based on the number of its citizens killed, but Russia or other nations could contest its jurisdiction, unless prosecutors are able to prove that the victims were targeted because of their citizenship. It is also possible that Usaia could bring a criminal case, because one of the victims was a Usaian citizen. A prosecution in this case is almost certain to be preceded by intense diplomatic negotiation, said Phillip Reid, a retired senior FBI agent who was among the lead investigators of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which was downed over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. Reid said:
It’s going to have to be a compromise, some sort of agreement that takes place if it’s going to happen.
At the main crash site Tuesday, only two guards watched over a vast area, and they did nothing to stop onlookers from walking through wheat fields that contain the charred and twisted wreckage of the plane. In nearby villages, potentially important scraps of fuselage that appeared to be pitted with shrapnel marks, potential evidence of an anti-aircraft missile strike, lay along the side of the road. International observers have said that local workers used power tools to slice away portions of the cockpit and first-class cabins. Reid said that any forensic evidence from the crash site in Ukraine that would be valuable to investigators has probably vanished. He said:
That crime scene has been contaminated in the worst way. This is a war-torn area. There is no law.
ha ha: ben rhodes & various spooks try to walk it backwards, try to walk it sideways, & generally try to walk it out of the pear-shaped zone
Usaia: No link to Russian govt in plane downing
Ken Dilanian, AP, Jul 22 2014
WASHINGTON — Senior Usaian intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, Usaia had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia. The plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the intelligence officials said, citing intercepts, satellite photos and social media postings by separatists, some of which have been authenticated by Usaian experts. But the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia, although they described a stepped-up campaign in recent weeks by Russia to arm and train the rebels, which they say has continued even after the downing of the commercial jetliner. One official said:
In terms of who fired the missile, we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank, and we’re not even 100% sure of a nationality. There is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here.
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said that Usaia was still working to determine whether the missile launch had a “direct link” to Russia, including whether there were Russians on the ground during the attack and the degree to which Russians may have trained the separatists to launch such a strike. Rhodes said in an interview with CNN:
We do think Pres Putin and the Russian government bears responsibility for the support they provided to these separatists, the arms they provided to these separatists, the training they provided as well and the general unstable environment in eastern Ukraine.
He added that heavy weaponry continues to flow into Ukraine from Russia following the downing of the plane. The intelligence officials said the most likely explanation for the downing was that the rebels made a mistake. Separatists previously had shot down 12 Ukrainian military airplanes, the officials said. The officials made clear they were relying in part on social media postings and videos made public in recent days by the Ukrainian government, even though they have not been able to authenticate all of it. For example, they cited a video of a missile launcher said to have been crossing the Russian border after the launch, appearing to be missing a missile. But later, under questioning, the officials acknowledged they had not yet verified that the video was exactly what it purported to be. Despite the fuzziness of some details, however, the intelligence officials said the case that the separatists were responsible for shooting down the plane was solid. Other scenarios, such as that the Ukrainian military shot down the plane, are implausible, they said. No Ukrainian surface-to-air missile system was in range. From satellites, sensors and other intelligence gathering, officials said, they know where the missile originated, in separatist-held territory, and what its flight path was. But if they possess satellite or other imagery of the missile being fired, they did not release it Tuesday. A graphic they made public depicts their estimation of the missile’s flight path with a green line.
The jet’s flight path was available from air traffic control data. In the weeks before the plane was shot down, Russia had stepped up its arming and training of the separatists after the Ukrainian government won a string of battlefield victories. The working theory is that the SA-11 missile came from Russia, although Usaia doesn’t have proof of that, the officials said. Sam Power said last week:
Because of the technical complexity of the SA-11, it is unlikely that the separatists could effectively operate the system without assistance from knowledgeable personnel. Thus, we cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel in operating the systems.
Asked about evidence, one of the senior Usaian intelligence officials said it was conceivable that Russian paramilitary troops are operating in eastern Ukraine, but that there was no direct link from them to the missile launch. Asked why civilian airline companies were not warned about a possible threat, the officials said they did not know the rebels possessed SA-11 missiles until after the Malaysian airliner was shot down.
South Front Evening News
South Front Morning News
South Front Military Summary
Dzerzhinsk city administration building burns, with NatGuards trapped inside, definitely 18+:
Junta’s 25th Airmobile Brigade trapped at the Russian border near Koschevnye:
Junta troops trundling about in Dzerzhinsk
Nat Guards started to apply 300m MLRS Smerch (“Tornado”, another member of the “Buk” family)
Results of overnight shelling junta Lugansk and Lisichansk
Events in Donetsk on Jul 21 2014
Avdiivka coke plant burns in the city of Avdiivka near Donetsk. Avdiivka is Europe’s largest coke plant. It is part of the industrial group Metinvest Rinat Akhmetov. (So that’s no coincidence, then: Kolomoisky is burning down all Akhmetov’s plant – RB)
the photo allegedly showing the rebels moving a “buk” actually shows #312 being shuffled around by the junta back in march
The number plate of the “Buk” transport that the Ukies are claiming was smuggled from Russia into Ukraine and back to Russia is now known, and it belongs to Dnepropetrovsk oblast. Official Ukraine info on the number plate is here. The SBU picture of the “Buk” transport is at the very bottom of their Jul 19 announcement, here. And below is a YouTube copy of the video from which the picture was taken. It was filmed at the traffic police post at Yasynuvata (21 km north of Donetsk) on Mar 17 2014. It first appeared on Vk.com, here. Ekaterina Alexandrovna, who uploaded it, has four videos altogether of the same incident at Vk.com, all dated Mar 17. In one of them, the driver of the “Buk” transport has this dialogue with the traffic police (Crazy Ivan’s translation):
Question: Where do you drive from?
Question: And where are you driving to? I don’t know, where are you driving to?
Driver Yuchenye (Учёный)
Question: I don’t know any Yuchenye.
Woman’s voice: We weren’t notified about any Yuchenye.
Question: You don’t have to close the window. There’s no need. Just swear to the nation, swear to the nation.
We’re in junta-held territory, then. ‘Swear to the nation’ makes that clear. This is just the junta shuffling their “Buks” around, and this one, #312, turns up all over the place, always in their hands. This is the same one that appears after the Boeing shootdown, with one missile missing, supposedly scooting back to Russia. Now, here’s the video which the photo came from:
By the way, this piece of text may be relevant, but Yandex can’t understand a word of it:
18 липня о 2 годині ночі в Луганській області кордон з Росією перетнули два тягачі, на кожному з яких знаходилася пускова установка «БУК-М». О 4 ночі цього ж дня держкордон перетнули ще три тягачі — одна порожня платформа, на одній знаходилася пускова установка з чотирма ракетами, і на останній знаходилася бойова машина імовірно з модулем управління. Він наголосив, що Росія робить спроби приховати докази своєї безпосередньої причетності до теракту.
Briefing on the disaster Boeing 777 (simultaneous english translation)
Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Jul 21 2014
Colonel Cassad said of this briefing:
Apparently, too clumsy was actuated provocation. At a briefing the Ministry of Defense is quite clearly laid out its mechanism, confirming the original version that the reason of falling of liner almost certainly was an attack by air-to-air missiles.
This judgment by Colonel Cassad is completely misleading. The clear implication of the briefing is that although there was evidently a Ukrainian fighter observing the Boeing, it was shot down by a “Buk” missile from one of three detected junta-controlled ground-to-air launchers within range to do so. Below are the slides from the briefing (though not unfortunately any photos from the radar tracking displays which are also included in the second part of the briefing). The first slide shows the positions of the ground “Buk” launcher stations. Although the Boeing does an unexpected and unexplained swerve northwards out of its flight corridor, from which it then tries to return to the corridor but is interrupted by the shootdown, it remains within range of one or more of the ground-to-air “Buk” launchers throughout:
The second slide shows the behaviour of the Boeing in greater detail. There are three other airliners shown, one heading in the opposite direction. These can be ignored. Finally, there is a fighter shown just ahead of the Boeing. This is a Ukrainian Sukhoi, presumably to observe the shootdown, but not, in my opinion, to shoot the Boeing down itself. Flying above its operating ceiling, it would be a most unreliable means of doing this. In any case, use of an air-to-air-missile would be a dead giveaway, if evidence of such was detected in the debris, whereas use of a “Buk” missile is ingenious because NATO know that DPR/LPR has indeed captured one or two “Buk” launchers, see here, and in due course, NATO will triumphantly unearth this ‘evidence’:
This slide shows the number of “Buk” ground radars operating on each successive day. As you can see, they reach a peak of nine on Jul 17, the day of the shootdown, and then decline sharply:
The remaining slides show the successive positions of the “Buk” ground-to-air launchers, as observed by Russian satellites:
RT.com offer a pretty reasonable synopsis of all this, as follows:
10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, Usaia over MH17 crash
RT.com Jul 21 2014
Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash, and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and Usaia over the circumstances of the tragedy. Military officials, chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt-Gen Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt-Gen Igor Makushev, posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.
- Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor? “Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk, but then it deviated from the route to the north,” said Kartopolov.
- Was MH17 leaving the route a navigation mistake or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk? “The maximum deviation from the left border of the corridor was 14 km. Following that, we can see the plane maneuvering to return to the corridor, yet the Malaysian crew did not get a chance to complete the maneuver. At 17.20, the plane began to lose speed, and at 17.23 it disappeared from Russian radars.”
- Why was a large group of air defense systems deployed to the militia-held area if the self-defense forces have no planes? “As far as we know, the Ukrainian military had three or four air defense battalions equipped with Buk-M1 SAM systems deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk on the day of the crash. This system is capable of hitting targets within the range of 35 km at the altitude of up to 22 km.”
- Why did Kiev deploy “Buk” missile systems on the edge of militia-controlled zones directly before the tragedy? “We have satellite photos of the places where Ukraine had its air defense units deployed in the south-eastern parts of the country. The first three photos were made on Jul 14. The first photo shows “Buk” launchers 8 km northwest of Lugansk. You can clearly see a TELAR and two TELs. The second photo shows radars 5 km north of Donetsk. You can see two TARs along with other equipment and technical structures. The third photo shows air defense systems north of Donetsk. You can clearly see a TELAR launcher and about 60 military and auxiliary vehicles, tents for vehicles and other structures. The fourth photo of the same area made on Jul 17 shows that the launcher has disappeared. The fifth photo shows a battery of “Buk” missiles at the village of Zaroshchenskoye 50 km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Shakhtyorsk on the morning of the same day. The sixth photo shows the same area on Jul 18. As you can see, the battery has left.”
- On the day of the crash Kiev intensified Kupol-M1 9S18 radar activity, key “Buk” system components. Why? “Also, Jul 17 saw increased activity on the part of Ukraine’s Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are part of the “Buk” system. Here on this chart you see that there were seven radars operating on Jul 15, eight radars operating on Jul 16, and nine radars operating on Jul 17 in the area. Then, starting with Jul 18, the intensity of radar activities radically decreased, and now there are no more than two or three radars operating a day. The reason behind this is yet to be found.”
- What was a military plane doing on the route intended for civilian flights? “There were three civilian planes in the area performing their regular flights at this time. There was a flight from Copenhagen to Singapore at 17:17, there was a flight from Paris to Taipei at 17:24, and then there was the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Also, Russian monitoring systems registered that there was a Ukrainian Air Force jet, probably Su-25, climbing and approaching the Malaysian Boeing. The Su-25 was 3-5 km away from the Malaysian plane. Su-25 is capable of climbing to the altitude of 10 km for a short period of time. Its standard armament includes R60 air-to-air missiles, which are capable of locking and hitting targets from 12 km and which are guaranteed to hit the target from the distance of 5 km.”
- Why was the military jet flying at so close to a passenger plane? “At 17:21:35, with velocity having dropped to 200 km/hr, a new mark detecting an airborne object appears at the spot of the Boeing’s destruction. This new airborne object was continuously detected for the duration of four minutes by the radar stations Ust-Donetsk and Buturinskaya. An air traffic controller requested the characteristics of the new airborne object, but was unable to get any readings on its parameters, most likely due to the fact that the new aircraft was not equipped with a secondary surveillance radar transponder, which is a distinctive feature of military aircraft. Detecting the new aircraft became possible as it started to ascend. Further changes in the airborne object’s coordinates suggest that it was hovering above the Boeing 777’s crash site, monitoring of the situation. Ukrainian officials earlier claimed that there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in the area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true.”
- Where did the launcher from the video circulated by Western media, showing a “Buk” system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia, come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported? “I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems, unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia. For example, media circulated a video supposedly showing a Buk system being moved from Ukraine to Russia. This is clearly a fabrication. This video was made in the town of Krasnoarmeisk, as evidenced by the billboard you see in the background, advertising a car dealership at 34 Dnepropetrovsk Street. Krasnoarmeisk has been controlled by the Ukrainian military since May 11.”
- Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?
- Why haven’t Usaian officials revealed the evidence supporting claims that the MH17 was shot down by a missile launched by the militia? “Usaian officials claim they have satellite photographs proving the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched by the militia. But no one has seen these photographs so far. As far as we know, there was indeed a Usaian satellite flying over southeastern Ukraine on Jul 17 from 17:06 to 17:21 Moscow time. This satellite is part of an experimental system designed to track and monitor the launches of missiles of various ranges. If our US colleagues have imagery from this satellite, they should release it for the international community to examine it in detail. This may be a coincidence, but the Usaian satellite flew over Ukraine at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner crashed.”
This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed, with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes. Usaia, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Dept Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation,” but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “maybe.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”
it’s difficult not to get the feeling that the global ZOG is falling apart, and the fragments are lashing out wildly
Maybe it could be argued that what they want to do is drive Hamas out, and as much as possible destroy it, so that ISIS can move into Gaza and fill the gap. We know well enough that ISIS is a tool of USraeli/Saudi regional covert ops. In so many ways the fraud of ISIS is just a repeat of the fraud of AQ, and if we haven’t established and accepted that AQ was a fraud by now, we are reading the wrong blog. So, noting that neither AQ nor ISIS ever attack Jewish targets, though of course their rhetoric is full of blood & thunder towards Israel, we may guess that a Gaza Strip controlled by ISIS would actually be a very docile pawn. But much of what ZOG is doing currently has a lurching, imprecise quality that suggests loss of central control, maybe because Saudi and Usaia really don’t see eye to eye about ISIS. About a week ago, CIA warned Hezbollah about an upcoming ISIS attack in Lebanon, which suggests they have difficulty controlling ISIS – RB
Gaza death toll at 573 as Israel bombs homes, hospital
Al-Akhbar, Jul 21 2014, 11:41 pm
Nonstop Israeli jet, tank and naval attacks targeting homes and a hospital killed at least 56 people in Gaza Monday, bringing the death toll in a two-week-long assault on the besieged strip to 573. And the Israeli army said another seven soldiers had been killed in fighting in Gaza, raising the overall Israeli death toll to 27, including 25 troops. Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said air strikes and shelling killed 56 people across the enclave on Monday, and another 68 bodies were pulled from the rubble in areas hit by heavy fighting a day earlier. The latest deaths included six people killed in two artillery strikes, three of whom died in the southern city of Rafah and another three in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. A night-time airstrike on a residential tower block in Gaza City killed 11 people, including five children, Qudra said, and a simultaneous strike in the central Strip killed another. Of the 56 people killed on Monday, around a third of them were children, Qudra said. Seven children were among nine dead in an early air raid on a house in Rafah, and another four children were killed in another strike on a house in Gaza City that killed nine people. And Israeli tank shells slammed into the third floor of al-Aqsa hospital in the central Gaza Strip which housed an intensive care unit and operating theaters in Deir al-Balah, killing four people, among them doctors, Qudra said, indicating at least 70 people were wounded. Other shells had fallen around the hospital, he added, with officials calling on the Red Cross to help evacuate patients. Another 33 people were killed in a series of air strikes and tank shelling across the strip. Of the 68 bodies recovered on Monday, 13 were from al-Shujayeh, hiking the death toll from a ruthless Sunday attack to 74. Qudra said the vast majority were women, children and the elderly. Another 23 of the bodies were pulled from a three-story house belonging to the Abu Jamaa family in the southern city of Khan Yunis which was hit on Sunday, raising the overall death toll from a single strike to 28, Qudra said. So far, Plastelinan figures show 558 Gazans have been killed and more than 3,350 wounded since the start of the Israeli campaign (supposedly) to stamp out cross-border rocket fire on Jul 8. Later, Israeli war jets bombed the Qassas family home in the center of Gaza City, killing nine relatives, including four children. Residents reported heavy fighting in al-Shujayeh and the adjacent Zeitoun neighborhood near Gaza City. Three were killed in al-Shujayeh. Locals also said there was heavy shelling in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. 50 year-old Abu Ahmed, who said did not want to give his full name for fear of Israeli reprisals, told Reuters:
It seems we are heading towards a massacre in Beit Hanoun. They drove us out of our houses with their fire. We carried our children and ran away. It was a night of horror.
UNRWA has opened 61 of its schools to shelter more than 81,000 people who have fled their homes. MSF urged Israel to “stop bombing civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip,” noting the majority of the injured arriving in the al-Shifa hospital were women and children. Meanwhile Israeli occupation forces killed 10 Gazan fighters who had infiltrated Israeli occupied territory, with the army announcing it had lost four soldiers in that battle. Two groups of gazan fighters crossed from Gaza via two tunnels in the early morning, opening fire as they entered. Black and white surveillance footage supplied by the occupation forces, showed one group of five or six men crouching and firing in long grass. Seconds later they were hit by a large explosion, which sent a cloud of smoke and debris flying into the air. Both Hamas and Israel said that 10 Gazan fighters were killed in the operation. It was unclear if the four occupation forces killed in that operation were among the seven announced dead earlier Monday. Late Sunday, the armed wing of Hamas said it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City and West Bank cities. A spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address:
The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades.
Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor denied a soldier had been kidnapped, saying:
Those rumors are untrue.
An IDF spokeswoman said they were investigating the claim.