July 18, 2014

Is MH17 Putin’s Lusitania? [Darleen Click]

Smoking guns

Intercepted phone calls purportedly between Russian military intelligence officers and members of a pro-Russian separatist group that appear to capture the moment the rebels realized the plane they shot down was a civilian passenger plane could be the smoking gun that helps prove Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed Ukraine by the insurgents.

The tapes were released by SBU, Ukraine’s security agency, and transcript was published in the Kiev Post. It appears to capture the chaotic moments after the plane was shot down — and the realization that it was a passenger plane rather than a Ukrainian transport plane, which had been targeted in recent days by the Russia-backed separatists.

“We have just shot down a plane,” says a man the SBU identified as Igor Bezler, a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. […]

The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by what U.S. intelligence sources confirm was a surface-to-air missile near the village of Chornukhine, Luhansk Oblast, some 30 miles inside the the border with Russia. […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for the downing, saying it was responsible for the unrest in its Russian-speaking eastern regions — but did not accuse Ukraine of shooting the plane down and did not address the key question of whether Russia gave the rebels such a powerful missile.

Posted by Darleen @ 7:44am

Tags: , , ,

Comments (63)

  1. If Obama pretended to be half the patriot Wilson thought he needed to pretend to be, maybe.

  2. Doesn’t look like it, the many motivations entailed in the analogy being all ajumble. Not to say widening warfare isn’t a distinct possibility of our world in general terms, but that the imperial motives of the first world war aren’t so evident in this instance, what with the United States in retreat everywhere, the EU already self-destructed, etc. I mean, have any bellicose noises arisen from the Netherlands? Any?

  3. On the other hand, I’ve been searching my memory for another signal instance of the revelation of such a deep moral depravity in the public reaction of a national leader on a level with our distinct (unique?) ClownDisaster. So far, no success.

  4. Anyone else find it more that a coincidence that the president called a press conference one day beforehand, stating he was putting in place additional sanctions? And the next day? Kaboom.

  5. I remain unconvinced that the Russians downed this airliner.

    The Ukrainian government had readied their Buk system the day previous to the crash. Putin was traveling through the same or near same airspace shortly before from a conference in Europe. It’s entirely possible that this was an assassination attempt on Putin that went wrong. Why the MA plane was over a no-fly zone is still in question.

    There are no clean hands here, is what I am trying to say.

  6. That’s an nice piece of empty jackassery leigh, but what else is the point? Is it that Ukraine has no proper role defending its borders against surreptitious foreign invasion? Or what?

  7. leigh – Savage was talking about this just yesterday. Apparently Putin’s plane crossed that exact point about an hour after the plane was shot down.

  8. Bad analogy, unless you mean to suggest that the downing of MH17 will result in Putin’s Russia temporarily abandoning it’s proxy war in Ukraine, just like the Kaiser’s Germany temporarily abandoned unrestricted submarine warfare after the sinking of the Lusitnia.

  9. I heard the same thing I Callahan heard.

  10. leigh

    Ukraine Gov got it’s BUK system 30 miles inside of Russia?

  11. So, “shortly before” and “an hour after”. Well, that’s clear as mud for assigning guilt.

  12. That would be “or what” sdferr. There are too many conflicting reports for any conclusions to be drawn as to blame. By conflicting reports, I refer to reports from the Russian ex-pats as well as the separatists and the Ukrainians. I’ll see if I can do a round up of them and link them.

    Yesterday, it was reported that there were 23 Americans aboard the MA flight, yet the State Department would neither confirm or deny that they had the flight manifest even though the manifest was available. Today the report is that one American was aboard, but still no manifest.

    I don’t listen to Michael Savage, but read independently about the path of Putin’s plane early yesterday. This is a very strange happening and there would be no reason to take down a passenger airliner unless it was mistakenly thought to be carrying the Russian president.

    Obama was just out yakking about the crash and backtracking, so who knows?

  13. There are no clean hands here . . .

    So I’m to interpret this expression as no manner of conclusion? Clean hands, I had thought, implied guiltlessness. Dirty hands, by contrast, implies complicity. But no clean hands.

  14. Darleen, the Ukrainians have 11 battalions of Buk missiles. They had armed them the day prior to the crash.

  15. . . . there would be no reason to take down a passenger airliner unless it was mistakenly thought to be carrying the Russian president.

    No reason? What became of mistaking the commercial jetliner for a Ukrainian military transport? Just *poof*, that reason disappears?

  16. Further, has anyone suggesting the hypothetical shoot-down of an airplane carrying Putin over Ukraine bothered to logically walk through the consequences to Ukraine from such a deed? Like, does annihilation come to mind?

  17. sdferr, you can do interpretive dance if that’s what you’d like. I have said that I am unclear about who is telling the truth about what. I want to gather more information before I’m convinced either way.

    I’m here in the US, just like you, surrounded by a lying, disingenuous press. A press that is telling us that the Russians deliberately downed a commercial airliner over another country.

    I’m asking “why?” Why would they do that? What is to be gained?

    Yes, I am aware of the downing of the Korean airliner in the early 80s. As we used to say in the business realm “past performance is not indicative of future results.”

  18. I’ll be back later.

  19. Hey, it’s your expression and you are here to correct any misinterpretation you may find. If my instant reaction is incorrect or simply wrong, I’m happy to receive instruction. But from where I sit, at the very least, “no clean hands” looks infelicitous in the extreme. Someone shot the missile, someone else did not.

  20. leigh

    I also point out that the Russian backed separatists were fast to rush to the site & grab the black box to return to Moscow.

  21. seeya soon miss eleanor ann!

  22. A couple of pieces which taken together say, we know what the missile was and where it was fired from.

    One thing to add is that the whole notion that the “pro-Russian separatists” are some rag tag group of soccer hooligans is bunk. From the very beginning Russian military wearing uniforms with no insignia have been all over this conflict running things with a thin veneer of the hooligans for cover.

  23. It’s good to see the Russian revanchists carefully guarding the crucial crash evidence from nasty international meddling — so to preserve the facts of the matter.

  24. Like, does annihilation come to mind?

    That would assume, were Putin to have been killed, that there would be an orderly transition of power in Moscow.

  25. From the NYT.

    Ms. Power’s assertions were substantiated by two senior Defense Department officials, who said Pentagon and American intelligence agencies had concluded that an SA-11 missile, fired from an area near the Russia border, had downed the plane.

    That conclusion is based on an analysis of the launch plume and trajectory of the missile, as detected by an American military spy satellite. But the American analysis did not pinpoint the precise origin of the missile launch, from which side of the border it was fired, or who actually launched the missile.

    Ukrainian officials, who have called the downing a terrorist attack carried out by the separatists, have referred to a different name for the missile, the Buk M1, which the Ukrainian armed forces possess and which may have been purloined by separatist fighters, was possibly responsible.

    “The analysts are still trying to get detailed granularity on that,” said one senior Pentagon official. “Those are the million-dollar questions.”

    There was also still no indication of motive, though most American analysts have concluded that the missile operators believed they were firing at a Ukrainian military plane, not a civilian jetliner.

  26. And on the thin reed that some plausible disorganization resulting in Moscow the Ukrainians ought to risk such an act of open invitation to thoroughgoing military invasion? It is to laugh.

  27. – Just to throw a bucket of gas on the fire, there’s always the possibility that the shoot down was simply an accident. A total fuckup that happened when a missile battery was conducting a training excersize using the airliner as a dummy target with no intention to actually launching and someone pushed the wrong button. A massive “oops”.

    – That would explain both the initial and ongoing “confusion” since neither side would want to admit such activities are routine using commercial aircraft as target dummies.

  28. sdferr – got any conclusions of your own?

  29. – Hey Bumblefuck….hear those sirens?…..Do you know what your Islamic buddies are doing or are you too busy campaigning to notice your highness?

    – In the mean time Hillary is out making hay and making Jug ears look like a total pussy. (and no I don’t believe that was the plan all along.)

  30. BBH, Hubs has posited exactly that: It may have been an accident. “Yuri, what does this button do? Oh, shit!”

  31. Well yes I Callahan, I have. For instance, that the Ukrainians wish to keep their eastern provinces and that the Russians wish to take them from Ukraine. Just for starters. As well, I have concluded that the Ukrainians did not shoot down the airliner. That whether the missile firers were the Russian revanchists on the ground just inside Ukraine or Russians just outside Ukraine remains to be proved, with the larger weight of evidence adduced thus far leaning toward the former. That the shoot-down, in addition to an atrocity, is an example of an enormous fuck-up, a mistake, an error of gigantic proportion on the part of whoever fired the missile. Further, that whatever measures our ClownDisaster may take in response to this abomination, those measures will not lead directly to improving the status of the national security interests of the United States and probably not directly to improving the status of the security interests of the European Union, but with the interests of Ukraine taking a place far out on a forgotten horizon. Among other things.

  32. Smart, very smart.

    Hillary: This plane thing is really Europe’s problem

    At this point in time what difference would anything make?

  33. I am not entirely sure how the Russian-supplied missile systems work, but American missiles are not something that can be launched “by accident”, requiring both an authorization key (carried by the responsible officer) and a complicated physical act (push and turn) by the operator. Nuclear weapons are much more complicated. Even the MANPADs are two-action – the battery must be activated even before lock-on can be attempted, much less a trigger squeeze to send the bird on its way.

    This wasn’t an accident, although the actual target might have been a mistake.

  34. This plane thing is really Europe’s problem

    This Archduke Ferdinand thing is really Europe’s problem.

    This Sudetenland thing is really Europe’s problem.

    This Berlin wall thing is really Europe’s problem.

    This Bosnia thing is just Europe’s problem. Oh, wait a minute.

  35. – Trust me Drum. Although your description of the firing process of such weapons is accurate anything that has an electronically controlled sequence can go off the rails in an almost endless number of ways. Included in my comment of “accident” is of course such a possibility, although human error is generally the source of such “events”.

    – The sequenced process, including the twist to set a key of a second officer is also part of a “test” in which the “firing” merely lights a series of LEDs to indicate proper operation. If someone sets the wrong program sequence, or more likely the program malfunctions and the error detect override fails there’s going to be some unhappy faces soon.

    – The safeguards make it low risk but I can see it happening in the hands of poorly trained rebels for instance.

  36. Even nice people have accidentally shot down an airliner.

    (please, I am not making a moral equivalency argument).

  37. Even nice people have accidentally shot down an airliner.

    If you are referring to the Vincennes, it was in the middle of being attacked by several Iranian gunboats, and had an Iranian F-14 inbound on the same track. Given that the Iranians could easily have opted not to send a civilian airliner on the same course in the middle of a shootout, and given their track record of not giving a damn about casualties, it is hard to rack that one up as completely an accident.

  38. There was also an Iranian P-3 (which can carry Harpoon missiles) flying around in the same area. People forget we were in the middle of a shooting phase of the (still-extant) State of War with Iran. They had been mining areas of the Persian Gulf, and we attacked several oil platforms as part of ‘Operation Preying Mantis’, and they started ramping up their military operations following the end of the Iran-Iraq war.

    Lots of conflicting testimony, and I remember reading somewhere that the bodies appeared as though they had been dead a LOT longer than merely having been killed in the shoot-down…

  39. stupid html

  40. I was just pointing out that mistakes happen in the fog of war. Postmortem of Iran 655 was treated as an accident, we paid out(settlement).

    Russians are careless jerks, what more can be said? Given their record, I assume guilt until proven innocent.

  41. This is a very strange happening and there would be no reason to take down a passenger airliner unless it was mistakenly thought to be carrying the Russian president.

    Or if it was mistakenly believed to be a Ukrainian military transport.

  42. Is there a recognizable trend, a coherent stance attributable to IWonPenPhone where it comes to the near infinite malleability or plasticity of borders? As though there exists no border which isn’t fit to violation or alteration? Georgia invaded by Russian proxies as well as Russian troops: “Everyone ceasefire!”, says the ClownDisaster. Does he object and act to remove captured Georgian territory from Russia?


    Iraq? “Hey, let the Iraqis deal with it. Or maybe the Iranians will lend a helpful hand as they scoop up whatever payment they may demand. Besides, those ISIS fucks are way creepy: we don’t want any parts of that mess.”

    Israel assaulted by missile and tunnel attacks, but when Israel acts to defend its borders, IWonPenPhone mewls with “Be careful not to kill any innocents, you guilty Jews. Better yet, why don’t you Jews just withdraw to those sometimes inviolable 1949 borders to await the next assault upon you?”

    Ukraine? “Ach, you didn’t want that Crimea pain-in-the-ass anyway. And your eastern provinces? Just let it go, Orangies. It’s just chock-a-block with nasty coal, and who would want that?”

    The United States borders? Well. The Great Obazma says “Here, somebody hold my beer! Now watch as I make these too turn to jelly.”

    The Great Obazma has been called an internationalist at times. Isn’t this a nicely particular term to explain the trend we dimly discern? He’s a OneWorldOrderMan. His world.

  43. Inter, anti, whatever.

  44. There does seem a kind of principle beneath the appearances though, right?

    To give it a name or two: change. Or, chaos. The ground of tyranny. Arbitrary herky-jerky tyranny, intentionally stirring up trouble for want of any sort of stability, while gliding along accruing power for the sake of power (i.e. to enable more instability, to accrue more power, and repeat). Like a formula.

  45. Here’s another sort of trend I believe I noticed today: IWonPenPhone has turned Putin into Bowe Bergdahl. Everyone knows what’s up, and yet no one can act on that knowledge, because forsooth!, investigation! After which forgetting and muddled mitigation, resulting in the passive acceptance of profound injustice, or the advancement of social justice as ClownDisaster is wont to put it.

  46. So is the consensus that the Ukrainian government shot down the Malaysian airliner in order to pin the blame on the Russian rebels, who, apparently, have no such capability?

    That seems like an open invitation for a full-scale Soviet Russian invasion, doesn’t it?

    The other “option” the Internet commentariat appears to be taking is that the Israelis did it to distract from their attack on Gaza.

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  48. [W]ho, apparently, have no such capability?

    Even though strangely the Russian military on the arm of their own web site and media loudly proclaimed, on June 29th, more than two weeks before MH-17 was downed, that the “Russian rebels” had stolen a complete BUK system from the Ukrainian forces. As per my 11:35 am above. Google translated version linked.

  49. bergdork’s life sucks balls

    people hate him even more than they hate chelsea manning

    man that took some doing

  50. geoffb,

    I forgot the /sarc tag. Yeah, I was aware of the BUK story.

    A lot of commenters at American (supposedly) conservative websites have become massive Putin-bots of late, vigorously defending Czar Vlad the Poisoner with every breath. As you might expect, anything bad that happens in that part of the world is the fault of “EU-Statist-Wall Street-UN-Agenda 21 Globalists” determined to defame “a great patriot who’s only trying to defend his people.”

    It’s weird out there these days…

  51. I believe I am more outraged that our news masters have decided this is a bigger story than the flood of illegals across our southern border.

  52. Indeed.

  53. The “flood of illegals” isn’t the story they cover anyway, it’s the “humanitarian crisis”.

  54. Spiny wrote: A lot of commenters at American (supposedly) conservative websites have become massive Putin-bots of late, vigorously defending Czar Vlad the Poisoner with every breath….

    I’ve noticed it in a big way [I’ve lost a few Friends In The Ether over it, including The Mad Jewess, who I had the ‘gall’ to criticize for it]. Often they make the absurd argument that:

    Putin’s a Christian, defending Christian values! Look at his laws against Homosexuality! We should rally around this Defender Of The Faith!!!

    Then they denounce the Ukrainians as puppets of the EU, who are really proxies for The Jarrett Junto.

    Is this the product of a desperation on the Right? -that they would willingly put on their blinders to avoid the Truth that Putin is a honest-to-God, in-the-flesh Fascist Thug?

    Is this the product of an appalling ignorance of Russia and Russians?

    I think it is a combination of both.

    And it brings out a bought of Melancholy when I think about it too much.

    These Dark Times demand clear thinking, the constant application of Right Reason, and these fools are making our Struggle much harder.

  55. it brings about of Melancholy – apologies

  56. Too often people forget that the enemy of my enemy is at best a temporary ally. As such he can only be trusted to pursue his own interests — and if things go badly he’ll know he doesn’t have to outrun the bear, he only has to outrun you.

    Putin’s interests have nothing to do with right principles, and only incidentally with humiliating Obama. He takes pleasure in doing the latter because he knows he can get away with it.

  57. it brings about of Melancholy

    There’s alot of that going a round.

  58. Yikes! a bout – damn medications.

  59. Bob, it’s about the inability to reason. Casting Putin as a Christian Soldier (nyet) and Obazma as a Mohammedan is just easy for binary folks.

    To whit, this piece of tinfoil hattery:

    MH17 Hauled Gruesome Cargo
    In Infected Corpses And Tainted Blood

  60. Agreed, Leigh.

    I think part of it is that they’re looking for easy explanations in a very complex and Chaotic world. Interestingly, their ‘easy’ explanations involve complex [and absurd] conspiratorial actions on the parts of the players in the drama.

    The world is what it is, and, if you avoid Reality, you end-up not helping the War Effort at all. In fact, you often hurt it.