here’s the whole passage where marie & matt bash around this supposed “new intel” (ie, the drawing with the green curved line on it which is supposedly the SA-11’s “trajectory”)

Now, towards the bottom of this, she actually says that “having spent six years in the intelligence community,” she can guarantee that to explain the sources for this amazingly unconvincing item, of which Matt correctly remarks, “it’s a line drawn on a satellite photo with nothing to back it up,” would “compromise intelligence sources & methods” ! – RB


Q: Yesterday the intel community said they were going to lay out evidence sort of backing their assertions about who brought down Malaysia Airlines 17. They did lay out a bunch of different things, but they didn’t actually lay out the real documentation that supports those assertions. Why haven’t we seen —
A: I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for. Well, they did a couple things yesterday. They showed, they walked through an intelligence assessment case and they talked about some additional pieces of declassified information that I can walk through today that bolsters our case that we know what happened here. They also showed imagery of training facilities. They showed imageries of the site, including a trajectory based on classified information that they were able to provide that showed the trajectory of the SA-11. So those are important. So a couple things they said yesterday, which I think are significant which we had not set before, that the audio data provided to the press, and we talked a lot about these open source reports, right, these audio messages that people have said are certain people or that prove things, they were provided to the press by the Ukrainians. It was evaluated by the intelligence community analysts, who confirmed these were authentic conversations between known separatist leaders. And then another key point they talked about yesterday, and we can talk more about the rest of this, is this notion the Russians have put out there about a Ukrainian fighter jet. They’ve argued that an Su-25 fighter might have shot down the aircraft with an air-to-air missile. They have judged that engagement would be implausible for the following reasons: The Su-25 is a ground attack aircraft. The only missiles it carries are short-range, infrared-guided missiles. Ground photography from the crash site is consistent with the expected damage from a surface-to-air missile, but does not correspond, in fact is inconsistent with what we would expect to see for an air-to-air missile, as Russia claims. Third, Russia, this is a little separately here, has also released a map with the alleged locations of Ukrainian SA-11 units within range of the crash. This is another red herring they’ve put out there. We are confident that this information is incorrect. The nearest Ukrainian operational SA-11 unit is located well out of the range from both the launch and the crash site. So part of their case yesterday was not only giving more information about what we know, but giving our professional, technical assessment of some of the Russian claims that, I think, we have tried to increasingly knock down.
Q: When you said they showed evidence of this, what do you mean by that, “they showed”? I mean, did they have a presentation?
A: Well, they did. They did. They showed some imagery, they showed a number of images. They showed some maps. They showed some graphics. I’m happy for you to get in touch with DNI Public Affairs, who can probably give you that packet that they showed. They showed some… one of the maps that we actually have posted on our Facebook page and our Kiev Embassy that shows the trajectory of the SA-11 missile. That trajectory is based on classified information. I can’t detail all of what that information is, but that is based on the information we have.
Q: And some of the evidence Usaia is relying on are social media postings and videos made public by the Ukrainian Government. Have those all been authenticated?
A: Again, that’s why I said the audio data, which is part of the social media, has been authenticated by the intelligence community analysts. Social media is obviously only one part of the puzzle here. It’s something we look at, but obviously, we back everything up to the extent that we can when we can with other intelligence as well.
Q: On your three things that you say were new: one, on the audio data being analyzed and being authenticated. That was not new yesterday. That was actually in the statement that the Embassy in Kiev put out on Sunday morning, before Jackass appeared on those —
A: That the intelligence community had authenticated all of it? It’s my understanding that that was not all out there on Sunday, but I’m happy to check.
Q: Well, I believe it was. But I mean, there’s no, it doesn’t —
A: Okay. Well, I disagree with you, but I’m happy to check. What’s the next thing?
Q: Well, you can look at the statement. I mean, it says that they’ve been authenticated. So I would say that that wasn’t new.
A: Okay. Happy to check.
Q: Secondly, I’m not sure that… I know that there were some suggestions that the Ukrainian fighter plane shot down this, with a missile, but the —
A: So the Russians have basically had a couple of alternative explanations. There was the Ukrainian fighter jet. I think we, the intelligence community went to great lengths yesterday to show why that’s not the case. The other, one of the other things they said was that it was a Ukrainian SA-11 system that the Ukrainians had fired. Again, I think they made very clear why that’s not also the case.
Q: But the suggestion isn’t necessarily that the Ukrainian jet… I mean, you’ve discovered that the Ukrainian jet was in the vicinity, but it was not capable of shooting (inaudible) down —
A: No, I can’t confirm that there was even a Ukrainian – we have no confirmation that I have seen that there was a Ukrainian jet.
Q: Oh, that there was even —
A: I’m not saying there wasn’t. I just can’t confirm it. But regardless, the notion that this kind of Ukrainian jet the Russians are talking about could have done this with the kind of missile and the kind of debris we’ve seen, it just doesn’t match up.
Q: Because I think the suggestion is that whoever fired this missile may have been shooting for that plane, like what we saw today in terms of a shoot-down.
A: Which in no way makes it better.
Q: Well, I’m not saying it does. I’m not saying it does at all, but it’s not —
A: And I don’t know what the intentions are of whoever was on the ground pushing the button. I don’t. Clearly, I know the intentions were to launch a sophisticated missile and to kill people. Whether those, they were trying to kill Ukrainian military officers or civilians, we’re still waiting to find out.
Q: Yeah, okay. I’m not arguing that one is better than the other. I’m not saying that.
A: Just responding to your question.
Q: I’m just saying… And then on this trajectory thing that you said was put out by the Embassy —
A: I didn’t say that was new yesterday. We posted that a few days ago.
Q: Right. But I mean, if you just look at that, a lay person looking at it, it’s a line drawn on a satellite photo with nothing to back it up.
A: Well, as I said, it’s based on a series of classified information —
Q: Which we have to take the leap of faith to believe that, right?
A: Well, Matt, we are trying to put as much information out about this as possible. We are trying very hard to do so. It is a process that takes, I think, more time than any of us, certainly you or I, would like. But I think I would make the point that it’s much more time-consuming to declassify real evidence than to make it up, which is what the Russians have been doing for days now.
Q: Okay. Well, be that as it may, are you saying that at some point, the IC is hopeful that they will be able to put —
A: We’re working to get more information declassified and put out there as quickly as we can. It’s just a difficult process (inaudible).
Q: Okay. But do you understand that given the conflicting claims, no matter how ridiculous you say the other side’s version is and no matter how implausible it might be, but saying that you’ve put together the imagery showing the root of this trajectory showing imagery.
A: Just one piece. It’s one piece of evidence.
Q: Well, I know, but anyone can draw a line on a map. They can. I mean, I’m not saying that —
A: That’s not what our intelligence community does. That’s not what the Usaian Government does when we go out there and present a case to the world. We have to protect sensitive sources and methods. We have to, because if we don’t, we won’t be able to get this kind of information in the future if they’re compromised because of a declassification. Believe me, I want to be able to declassify more. They want to be able to declassify more. And it’s not about a leap of faith. We are laying out a very comprehensive argument based on a number of different pieces, right. So if you look at all of them in totality, look at the entire picture, it presents a very compelling case about the kind of missile, where it was fired from. Those are the two key pieces, right. The kind of missile that took down this plane we are very confident is an SA-11, we are very confident it was fired from Russian-controlled territory. We are very confident that the two alternate stories the Russians put forward aren’t plausible. Who put their finger on the trigger? We still need to find that out. But suffice to say, the Russian separatists we believe fired this, in general, could not be doing what they’re doing without the Russians. And responsibility lays at the feet of President Putin, not just for this but for every incident that we have seen throughout this conflict, period.
Q: All right. So it’s Putin whose fault this is. That’s what you’re saying?
A: I think I was just pretty clear.
Q: What you’re saying… Okay. So you say it’s a very compelling case, but it is a circumstantial case, is it not?
A: It is a case based on a number of different pieces of evidence, Matt – across the board, a number of different pieces. Whether you’re looking at what we talked about yesterday, whether you’re looking at what we’ve seen on social media, whether you’re looking at the kind of SA-11 which is a missile that essentially gets fired straight up does what it does, and that’s exactly what we saw in this case as well. So we’ve laid out a very detailed case. We will continue to declassify as much as we can. But again, we’ve been very open about our assessments here. The Russians have repeatedly lied about what’s happening on the ground. They said there weren’t troops in Crimea when there were troops all over Crimea. So there’s just no credibility on their side. And I understand the need to put out more information, but look, the notion that they’ve shot down dozens, over a dozen planes now, and this is just the one that wasn’t them, also just doesn’t pass the common sense test.
Q: Okay. Hold on a second. I understand your desire to protect sources and methods, but we have here an incredible tragedy where almost 300 people died.
A: I agree.
Q: Is protecting sources and methods are more important than getting to the bottom of who —
A: No. Well, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive here. A, if we think an investigation can go forward, then we’ll get to the bottom of what happened here. We believe we do have a good assessment about the things I’ve talked about. The investigation about who did it specifically to a person is ongoing. But look, part of the reason we protect sources and methods is because we want to be able to see these things in the future if they tragically – something like this were to happen again in the same area, the way we found out information this time. So —
Q: So you’re saying that, just to be clear, that the imagery, the trajectory imagery that you have that —
A: In that one sheet, mm-hmm.
Q: Right, right, right, exactly.
A: I think it’s the green line.
Q: That is, yes, that there are sources and methods for how you know that trajectory —
A: Uh-huh.
Q: — that people are concerned are going to be somehow tainted if —
A: Correct. Not just tainted, but compromised.
Q: That are going to be compromised if you —
A: Yes, correct. Having spent six years in the intelligence community, I know there are a variety of ways we can figure these things out, many of which are quite sensitive and many of which I think we don’t want to lose. So look, believe me, I’m pushing my colleagues at the DNI, as much as I love these conversations with you about this. We are pushing and they’re pushing, and we’ll see if we can get more.
Q: Okay. But do you – I mean, would you expect —
A: I have no prediction.
Q: — or you don’t know? You don’t expect more or you —
A: I have no idea.
Q: All right.
A: Look, I think there will be. I think we’re just working through it.

One Comment

  1. Posted July 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Basicly the conclusion is that “A” is full of horseshit.

    We should believe the lies that A represent, because “A” says so;)

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