While Obama demands investigation into plane attack, pro-Russian rebels attacking investigators

posted at 12:41 pm on July 18, 2014 by Noah Rothman

On Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama addressed the nation in regards to the nature of the deadly attack on a Malaysian passenger plane which resulted in the deaths of nearly 300 people, what the United States knows so far, and what steps the U.S. and its allies are prepared take to address this escalation of hostilities.

Obama revealed that one American dual citizen was killed that attack by pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine. He noted that the United States has confirmed that a surface-to-air missile was fired from rebel-held areas of Ukraine at the plane, resulting in the crash. “Moreover,” Obama added, “we know that these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia.” Much of which, he said, included financial and logistical support, as well as the transfer of sophisticated weaponry.

The president added, however, that many details of that attack were not yet known and that it was important not to rush to judgment. He stopped short of saying what steps the United States would take in order to address this escalation of tensions.

The president added that a thorough and impartial investigation into this incident was important, and that the evidence at the crash site must not be tampered with (something which may have already happened). That may prove difficult given the fact that pro-Russian separatists responsible for this attack, who the president claimed are provided with material support from Russia, were reportedly shooting at European investigators as Obama spoke.

The president opened his speech forcefully, but quickly reverted to lawyerly caveats in order to avoid presenting for the world an indictment of Russia over their clear culpability in this gross violation of human rights. The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously.

UPDATE: The OSCE could not confirm whether investigators were shot at by pro-Russian rebels, but the organization’s chairman said investigators’ access to the site was impeded:

Monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe were not able to secure an access corridor on Friday to the site where a Malaysian airliner crashed in eastern Ukraine, the OSCE’s chairman said.

“They did not have the kind of access that they expected. They did not have the freedom of movement that they need to do their job. The crash site is not sealed off,” Thomas Greminger told Reuters by telephone.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Obama is good at palavering. Action, not so much.

GarandFan on July 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Verrrrrry interesssssting …. even Fox News reports that Barry said “separatists likely to blame”

corona79 on July 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

What does Barak translate to in Russian? B!tch Putin seems to think so.

meci on July 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM

And I thought he would respond with nothing but a sternly worded letter.

Go Barry!

BigAlSouth on July 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously.

Why would anyone take this president seriously?

Agent of the Cross on July 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

The president opened his speech forcefully, but quickly reverted to lawyerly caveats in order to avoid presenting for the world an indictment of Russia over their clear culpability in this gross violation of human rights.

The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously.

Hey, Noah – you sound surprised. LOL.

Pork-Chop on July 18, 2014 at 12:50 PM

If they are shooting at the investigators, could we send Barry over to investigate??

Deano1952 on July 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

#StopShootingOurInvestigators!

Deano1952 on July 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

The looting of the crash sight is ridiculous. Wallets and purses opened up, cash missing. Valuables being pulled out of luggage, backpacks, carryons. All while leaving the bodies uncovered, in the rain.

Humanity is lost.

portlandon on July 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

The crash site is already compromised. The flight recorders have been stolen and who knows what else.

Obama is using the “investigation” to give him time for people to lose interest so he doesn’t have to do anything difficult before his vacation.

Can’t mess up the arrangements, y’know.

What a low life piece of excrement.

dogsoldier on July 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Boots on the ground to even get investigators close to the site? Tipping point?
Or more scolding?

I suspect that black box won’t have the answers on this one if everything went boom at once, but, the debris and patterns are very important.

butch on July 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

The looting of the crash sight is ridiculous. Wallets and purses opened up, cash missing. Valuables being pulled out of luggage, backpacks, carryons. All while leaving the bodies uncovered, in the rain.

Humanity is lost.

portlandon on July 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

What is the current Ringgit to Ruble exchange rate?

Deano1952 on July 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

BREAKING: Shots fired by rebels at international team of investigators (OSCE) in Ukraine as they approach plane wreckage, via @KiritRadia

— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) July 18, 2014

I don’t know anything about Twitter so this may be a dumb question, but why isn’t the KiritRadia link showing any of this if it came via @KiritRadia?

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Obama has appointed the IRS investigators to lead. Top men.

After Russia has taken over Ukraine, the report will be published.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

#dontshootdownanymoreairplanes

gonnjos on July 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

If they are shooting at the investigators, could we send Barry over to investigate??

Deano1952 on July 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

…nope!…we’ll send him over there to do something he is good at….fund raise!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 18, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Need a picture of the Hillary reset button.

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Yes, Putin can.

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously.

Hmmmmm, so now we will include words such as “suggests”
to accomplish what exactly??

ToddPA on July 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

#StopShootingOurInvestigators!

Deano1952 on July 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

#bringbackourdeadamerican

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

PC will kill all, deservedly.

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

no rush to judgement? “the russians acted stupidly”. Remember Cambridge?

warmairfan on July 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Samantha is now in charge, rejoice!

See Libya.

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

BREAKING: Shots fired by rebels at international team of investigators (OSCE) in Ukraine as they approach plane wreckage, via @KiritRadia

I hope MSNBC broadcasts this soon so the president will hear about it.

forest on July 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Yes, Putin can.

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I’ll bet she can spout diversityspeak with the best of them.

From Curtis LeMay, to this?

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

no rush to judgement? “the russians acted stupidly”. Remember Cambridge?

warmairfan on July 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Vodka summit at the White House?

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Is an NTSB “go team” on the way?

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously

…racists!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Why did the pilot of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 divert from his usual flight plan, why did he fly above restricted airspace, and just what, if any instructions, did Kiev air control give the pilot in the minutes before the tragic explosion?”

Why did Ukraine’s SBU security service confiscate recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic control officers and the crew of the doomed airliner rather than releasing them to the public?

Was the path of MH17 materially different than the last ten times this flight flew over this area? If so, why?

Is there any truth to this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28MrASx-RiM

Viator on July 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Humanity is lost.

portlandon on July 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

No, it’s not! We have always had vultures like that and people so poor in so many ways they felt it necessary to rob the dead.

Despite people like that down the ages we have also had those who were just the opposite.

Don’t give in to despair.

The site is completely contaminated and Zero doesn’t actually care about a real investigation. Not that one is necessary.

He has enough facts to blame Putin over this and I will wager Putin told him what happened yesterday in not so many word and Putin also told Zero if he didn’t like it, he could go eff himself.

Because he knows Barry only picks fights with those who can’t fight back, like retirees in a lodge wanting to see Yellowstone, or conservative non profit groups.

dogsoldier on July 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The president opened his speech forcefully, but quickly reverted to lawyerly caveats in order to avoid presenting for the world an indictment of Russia over their clear culpability in this gross violation of human rights.

More like an act of war and a war crime.

Resist We Much on July 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM

The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously.

Heck Obama doesn’t even his Presidency seriously so why should anyone else?

Johnnyreb on July 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM

#TheBearIsHibernating

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 1:05 PM

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 1:05 PM

#TheBearIsActuallyAHamster

dogsoldier on July 18, 2014 at 1:05 PM

The internal contradictions in the stories being put out by the Russians and their separatist buddies is interesting. The Russians say that the fault for the crash is Ukraine’s because each state has the obligation to maintain the safety of its own skies. Fine (though Russia, through its surrogates is keeping the Ukraine from doing just that). But, when the separatists did not know that it was a passenger plane they had shot down and thought it was a military transport they were crowing “We did warn you-do not fly in our sky”. (emphasis added)

So..whose sky it is depends upon whether a war crime was committed?

Blaise on July 18, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Sufficient evidence exists to justify a strong military response and remove many separatists from their mortal coils, but that would crimp King Putt’s busy afternoon planning his vacation and fundraising.

dogsoldier on July 18, 2014 at 1:09 PM

The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously.

No shlt, Sherlock..Where’d you leave your squad car??

bimmcorp on July 18, 2014 at 1:09 PM

The president opened his speech forcefully, but quickly reverted to lawyerly caveats in order to avoid presenting for the world an indictment of Russia over their clear culpability in this gross violation of human rights. The behavior of the separatists thus far suggests that Moscow does not take the president seriously.

Hey Noah, that bothers you deeply, doesn’t it?

BobMbx on July 18, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Putin could start publically crucifying Ukrainian citizens and Obama would respond with an infrastructure speech.

mjbrooks3 on July 18, 2014 at 1:10 PM

While Obama demands investigation into plane attack

…he’ll send the FBI in…3 months later?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

“The pilot of MH17 radioed that he ‘felt uncomfortable’ about the route he was flying while over Ukraine and fatally altered his course to hostile territory …”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696975/Putin-blames-Ukraine-loss-Flight-MH17-298-innocent-souls-DOESNT-deny-Russian-separatists-shot-missile-McCain-warns-Hell-pay.html

Pork-Chop on July 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

But, when the separatists did not know that it was a passenger plane they had shot down and thought it was a military transport they were crowing “We did warn you-do not fly in our sky”. (emphasis added)

Blaise on July 18, 2014 at 1:06 PM

That was the July 16th shootdown of an AN-26 and an SU-25 aircraft.

Translated screenshot put out by the Ukrainians…

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unian.net%2Fpolitics%2F940924-glavar-terroristov-girkin-pohvalilsya-chto-sbil-samolet-v-rayone-toreza.html&edit-text=

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Shooting down an airliner used to be a BFD.

Now, bears crawl out of their cave, have a burger, and a presser/photo-op, then crawl back to sleep.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Investigation? The Pro Russian separatists murdered almost 300 people……

World Wars were started over less……

redguy on July 18, 2014 at 1:12 PM

290 commercial airliners were scheduled to fly over Ukrainian territory yesterday

* Singapore Airlines plane pictured just two minutes before MH17 attack

* Six Heathrow flights were among 55 planes over Donetsk on same day

* Nearly 300 passengers planes scheduled to fly over Ukraine yesterday

* CAA warned pilots against certain areas, but declared others ‘normal’

* European and Asian airlines used route despite US carriers being banned

* Airspace ‘was not subject to restrictions’ according to airline industry group

* US pilot questioned why airlines were still using airspace

* International Civil Aviation Authority had advised to seek other routes

Resist We Much on July 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
3m
Wall Street Journal correspondent Paul Sonne says shots were fired in the air while an OSCE team was at the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine. He reports that the team was not being given full access. – Stephanie
see original on twitter.com
============================

https://twitter.com/PaulSonne

Paul Sonne @PaulSonne · 1h

Exhale as Obama suggests US won’t invade or strike Russia or east Ukraine : ) http://on.wsj.com/1tXlhMf #MH17

canopfor on July 18, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Separatists are looting the dead? Russians are uncivilized? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhocking.

Не-култерни!

TarasBulbous on July 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM

We have now been conditioned to allow people to shoot down jetliners with no consequences.

None. Zip. Nada.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Another American burned to a crisp.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Sooooooooooo, I ponder,…is there ANY SCENARIO,
that Hopey/Changey can imagine, that the US Military
could, er, should be used!

canopfor on July 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

If you board an international flight anywhere in the world, remember, Dear Leader grieves for you….

d1carter on July 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Does Obama suffer from ‘low T’, or did his pharmacist mix up his and Michele’s meds and give him estrogen instead?

meci on July 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/

Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, July 17, 2014
4m
OSCE says monitors did not have freedom of movement they needed at Ukraine plane crash site – @Reuters
End of alert
=============

https://twitter.com/WilliamsJon

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
5m
Pentagon: ‘Strains credulity’ that separatists in Ukraine could use sophisticated missiles to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight ‘without degree of Russian support’ – @WilliamsJon

on Williams @WilliamsJon · 12m

Pentagon: “Strains credulity” that rebels could use sophisticated missiles to shoot down #MH17 “without degree of Russian support”

Replied to 0 times

Jon Williams @WilliamsJon · 1h

Obama: At this point, Quinn Lucas Schansman, only individual with US nationality. Does nothing to lessen our outrage. #MH17 #Ukraine

Replied to 0 times

Jon Williams @WilliamsJon · 1h

Obama: If Putin makes decision not going to allow flow of fighters into Ukraine then will stop. He has most control. So far not exercised it

Replied to 0 times

Jon Williams @WilliamsJon · 1h

Obama: Can’t shoot down plane without sophisticated weapons & sophisticated training. That is coming from #Russia. #MH17

Replied to 0 times

Jon Williams @WilliamsJon · 1h

Obama: Don’t know exactly what happened yet. Do know been ticking up of violence in #Ukraine. Happening because of Russian support #MH17

Replied to 0 times

Jon Williams @WilliamsJon · 1h

Dead American on #MH17 named as Quinn Lucas Schansman. Dual U.S.-Dutch citizen.

canopfor on July 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

is there ANY SCENARIO,
that Hopey/Changey can imagine, that the US Military
could, er, should be used!

canopfor on July 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Sure as hell is…

When time comes to round up Tea-Partiers, posters on HotAir etc for re-education, the military will be deployed faster than you can say ‘Obama is a disgrace’

txdoc on July 18, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Restraint and composure are required here, but not in the reaction to the Hobby Lobby case, am I right?

LancerDL on July 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Can’t we send him on AF-1 for a low pass photo-op over eastern Ukraine?

Tell him it will make him look like he is on top of the situation.

txdoc on July 18, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Obama says “not to rush to judgement but wait till the investigation is done”. How long will that take? Every crisis he says the same thing and than the story dies. All he does is sweeps his problems under the rug and the media will help hide it too. Anyone know when the next fundraising event is?

garydt on July 18, 2014 at 1:38 PM

BBC

15:29: Ukraine’s SBU security service has confiscated recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic control officers and the crew of the doomed airliner, a source in Kiev has told Interfax news agency.

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Why am I yet another conspiracy kook who can’t handle the truh?

Viator on July 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Answer your own question.

corona79 on July 18, 2014 at 1:46 PM

And the carrion eating Russian Separatists are picking through the corpses, emptying wallets, purses, and removing rings from fingers and necklaces and bracelets from necks and arms. Then they caste lots for the clothing…

Ahhhhh..the spoils of war, and Barack Obama has just given them a pass.

Come, Jesus, come…

bimmcorp on July 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Barry is thinking, “Good thing I put those new sanctions on Russia before this happened…”

albill on July 18, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Smidgen of sanity, form unusual source.

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Any links to stories on looting of the dead?

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Any links to stories on looting of the dead?

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/heartless-looters-raid-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-crash-site-article-1.1872047

portlandon on July 18, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Any links to stories on looting of the dead?

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM

More links about wallets and purses being gone through.

portlandon on July 18, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Thank you portlandon.

Ward Cleaver on July 18, 2014 at 2:18 PM

That was the July 16th shootdown of an AN-26 and an SU-25 aircraft.

Translated screenshot put out by the Ukrainians…

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unian.net%2Fpolitics%2F940924-glavar-terroristov-girkin-pohvalilsya-chto-sbil-samolet-v-rayone-toreza.html&edit-text=

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

The AN-26 was shot down on Monday, July 14. The post cited in the translated article went up on July 17 at about 4:50 PM, about 30 minutes after the 777 was shot down. In that post, Girkin says “In the area Torrez just downed plane An-26″.

His use of the word “just” suggests he was referring to the July 17 event.

Forbes has a recording further showing these separatist guys talking to each other about shooting down a plane and later finding out that it was civilian. They make up reasons to be suspicious of it.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2014/07/18/smoking-guns-russian-separatists-shot-down-malaysian-plane/

It’s nice that you’re defending them though. Let me guess, it was an inside job, right?

LancerDL on July 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

canopfor on July 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

He did a bang up job removing Qaddafi. Look how that turned out.

dogsoldier on July 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Another American burned to a crisp.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

eight ball…in the corner pocket!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

The AN-26 was shot down on Monday, July 14.

LancerDL on July 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

It was claimed shot down on the 16th with an SU-25.

July 16, 2014 – Briefing from Igor Strelkov

At 09:20, a Ukie Su-25 was shot down over Dmitrievka.
20:00 (MSK) – We have received and now are confirming information about the shooting down of a transport aircraft (An-26) over Lugansk.

The Forbes link has a screenshot.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2014/07/18/smoking-guns-russian-separatists-shot-down-malaysian-plane/

“In the Torez region, they have destroyed an AN-26 transport plane. Its wreckage landed near the ‘Progress’ mine. This will teach them: Do not fly in ‘our skies.’ And here is the video confirming the ‘crash of the bird.’ The bird fell on open fields. It did not damage inhabited sectors. Peaceful people did not suffer. And there is information about a second destroyed plane; looks like an SU.”

Look at it.

At the end it says Cy which means SU…example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RePVe4mfikg

It is the same screenshot I posted.

It is the same claim from July 16th.

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 2:47 PM

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 2:47 PM

What you posted makes it look like they shot down both a Su-25 and an An-26 in separate incidents. Which goes along with what I was reading yesterday.

A total of three aircraft down: a Ukrainian fighter (air-to-air), a Ukrainian cargo aircraft (surface-to-air), Malaysian airliner (surface-to-air).

GWB on July 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM

A total of three aircraft down: a Ukrainian fighter (air-to-air), a Ukrainian cargo aircraft (surface-to-air), Malaysian airliner (surface-to-air).

GWB on July 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM

The airliner seems to have been shot down on July 17th.

I don’t know where the info that it was an SA-11/BUK comes from.

How do they know that? It showed up with hours or minutes of the destruction of the airliner.

How could they know that precise information so early? How do they even know it now without even looking at the plane wreckage?

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

As I have said many, many, times, and frequently on this site, Clint Eastwood was spot on and prophetic with his “empty chair”.

ultracon on July 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM

I don’t know where the info that it was an SA-11/BUK comes from.

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

A big reason is because there are very few surface-to-air systems that can hit something at 33,000 feet. And only one is in the region. And every side in this conflist has one or more.

A Ukrainian minister was the first one out with the info. But it was quickly followed by other sources (I know – bandwagon effect and such is possible).

As to the date – yes. What’s your point? The three aircraft were on three different days. There is traffic from different days that is attributed to the “separatists” related to each incident, it appears.

I’m willing to wait for facts before nailing a bad guy in this, but there’s no need to go back and muddy things that seem to have already been clarified.

I’m out of here – an early day for me.

GWB on July 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

As to the date – yes. What’s your point?

GWB on July 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

The point is that the claim has nothing to do with the Boeing 777. The An-26 and SU-25 were in fact shot down. They were not mistaken for a different aircraft.

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM

The conditions Obama set, impartial investigation and not tampering with evidence, are never, ever going to be satisfied. And so, he has justified his continuing inaction.

Esaus Message on July 18, 2014 at 4:51 PM

He will really give it to Putin now.

Obama won’t send him any more CDs of his speeches.

txdoc on July 18, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Obama is quite capable of dealing firmly, even harshly if necessary, with his enemies.

If by “enemies” you mean: Law-abiding American citizens.

Socratease on July 18, 2014 at 5:41 PM