Dutch Genuflect to US, Convict Russians for Downing MH17
On Nov. 17 a Dutch Court sentenced two Russians and one Ukrainian (all three in absentia) to life in prison. They were accused of playing supporting roles in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, killing all 298 aboard.
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. It was five months after the U.S.-sponsored coup d’etat in Kyiv and the ensuing offensive against “pro-Russian separatists” in eastern Ukraine who were unwilling to bow to the coup leaders in Kyiv.
Those pro-Russian separatists were quickly and widely blamed for the catastrophe, but the evidence has been – how to say this – elusive, and its reliability suspect from the start. On the morning-after, the NY Times pointed its finger at the separatists and, by extension, Russia, unabashedly using “intelligence” provided by Ukraine’s Intelligence Agency (S.B.U.). My assessment the same day withheld judgment, but compared the shoot-down with the shoot-down of KAL007 in 1983, when the U.S. played very loose with the evidence on whether the Russians knew KAL007 was a passenger aircraft when it was downed well into Russian airspace (they didn’t).
‘A Lot of Conjecture’
The Times article said U.S. intelligence was focused on a theory blaming pro-Russian separatists – not the Ukrainian air defense network that had Russian-made SA-series missiles in its inventory. “Everything we have, and it is not much, says separatists,” a senior Pentagon official said. “That said, there’s still a lot of conjecture.” The Times added:
“American intelligence and military officials said the plane had been destroyed by a Russi
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