US intel: MH17 missile an SA-11 fired from eastern Ukraine

posted at 9:21 am on July 23, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

A public briefing from US intelligence unveiled a compelling circumstantial case that the responsibility for the shootdown of Malaysia Air Flight 17 lies with Ukrainian rebels or their Russian allies. The intelligence has located the spot where the SA-11 system was fired, and has confirmed that Ukrainian rebels bragged about hitting what they thought was a military transport at the time. What the intelligence cannot determine is who fired the missile, and who gave the order to do so:

Senior U.S. intelligence officials presented evidence today that they say makes a “solid case” as to why the U.S. believes a Russian made SA-11 missile fired from separatist-held eastern Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last week.

While the leading theory is that Russian separatists brought down the plane, the U.S. intelligence community still cannot determine who pulled the trigger or why. The officials pointed the finger at Russia for having “created the conditions” behind the shoot-down and labeled as “not plausible” new Russian claims that the plane may have been brought down by a Ukrainian fighter jet.

In a briefing with reporters, senior intelligence officials pointed to a variety of evidence, including the detection of a surface-to-air missile launch from a separatist-held area of eastern Ukraine. They cited Russian training of separatists in air defense systems, though not necessarily the SA-11, and Russian separatists having used other air defense systems to bring down 12 aircraft in recent months.

They also noted images posted on social media showing an SA-11 missile system near the area of that launch and one system headed towards Russia missing at least one missile in the hours after the shoot down.

As for that Russian theory that a Ukrainian military plane attacked MH17, US intel officials deflated that rather thoroughly:

The officials discounted as “not plausible” a new Russian narrative released Monday that presented the possibility that a nearby Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet may have downed the airliner.

One official said the fighter is a ground-attack aircraft not equipped with air-to-air missiles and was flying too far away from the plane at the time. The official added that the plane would have had to travel a great distance to track the plane and then would have had to persuade Russian separatists to brag on social media that they had shot the plane down. The official described the Russian narrative as “a classic case of blaming the victims.”

Ukrainian military planes have not been armed with air-to-air missiles for a good reason — the rebels don’t have an air force. Whatever arms they would carry would address the threat for which the flights were launched, which in this case might mean air-to-ground missiles for close ground support, or more likely just reconnaissance equipment. Russia’s explanation never made much sense, and the lack of radio discipline from their allies makes the effort laughable.

Bloomberg TV also had a brief overview of the case:

So … now what? White House deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes says that the Obama administration will “continue to pull the thread” in order to determine responsibility for the mass murder:

The Obama administration has not identified a direct link between Russia and the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but it’s clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government had influence over the separatists who downed the plane, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Tuesday.

“We do think President Putin and the Russian government bears responsibility for the support that 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,” Rhodes said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “There is a direct responsibility there on Russia… and we’re going to continue to pull the thread on this case to determine exactly who we believe fired that missile,” he added.

Interestingly, though, the certainty level of the intelligence is at least high enough to assign responsibility to someone in the Russia-rebel alliance in eastern Ukraine, especially since the Kyiv government has no SA-11s in the area. This briefing should have prompted additional US sanctions on Russia to produce the suspects in this case, but at least so far Obama is only “continuing to review” its sanctions options. Reuters’ William Pomeranz finds value in ambiguity, but with Canada moving forward with sanctions linked explicitly to MH17 and the UK demanding the same from the EU, it looks more like the US is leading from behind once more.


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Heads UP:

Another AirLiner has gone down:

The Associated Press @AP · now

BREAKING: Taiwanese news agency: Plane crashes in emergency landing, killing 51 people, injuring 7.

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 9:23 AM

The latest from Pravda is that Ukraine was trying to assassinate Putin because his plane flew through that area less than 45 minutes later and they thought MH17 was his plane.

Johnnyreb on July 23, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Nothing on the GA runoff. Hmmm…..

Wigglesworth on July 23, 2014 at 9:26 AM

What the intelligence cannot determine is who fired the missile, and who gave the order to do so

I’m sure they know. I’m sure there are several reasons why they don’t want to pin it on Vlad just yet. More leverage withholding that nugget right now.

Aplombed on July 23, 2014 at 9:27 AM

and we’re going to continue to pull the thread on this case to determine exactly who we believe fired that missile

You see it?

Strange way to say that.

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 9:29 AM

We’re going to continue to pull the thread on this case to determine exactly who we believe fired that missile.

Translation: “We don’t know who done it.”

A public briefing from US intelligence unveiled a compelling circumstantial case that the responsibility for the shootdown of Malaysia Air Flight 17 lies with Ukrainian rebels or their Russian allies.

Ed knows!

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 9:30 AM

https://twitter.com/AP

The Associated Press @AP · 17s

MORE: The Sukhoi-25 fighters were shot down over an area called Savur Mogila: http://apne.ws/1sQpJLc

The Associated Press @AP · 1m

BREAKING: Defense Ministry: 2 Ukrainian military fighter jets shot down in the east of country.

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Keep pulling the sweater… eventually the whole thing will unravel

3.14159 on July 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM

https://twitter.com/NATOSource

Retweeted by NATOSource
Geoffrey Pyatt @GeoffPyatt · 4h

Here is imagery of the #Russian training facility for separatists very near the #Ukraine border. #MH17

https://twitter.com/GeoffPyatt/status/491874955588825090/photo/1

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I don’t believe a d*mn thing from the Obama administration. If they have “evidence” that the separatists fire a SAM, then I start to think that it was a European/American air-to-air missile that brought down the airliner.

higgins1991 on July 23, 2014 at 9:37 AM

In other news, US intelligence has determined that water is wet and the sun rises in the east.

“We do think President Putin and the Russian government bears responsibility for the support that 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,” Rhodes said

There’s at least on US citizen killed in this. Convene a grand jury and indict Vladimir Putin as an accessory to murder. Won’t do much, but it should hamper his travels around the world. At the very least what that would do is let us know which countries welcome him.

rbj on July 23, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Yawn. This administration won’t do anything significant to Russia other than show “flexibility.”

Deano1952 on July 23, 2014 at 9:38 AM

UK demanding the same from the EU
==================================

Oh Boy:

French lash out at British ‘hypocrisy’ over Russian oligarchs
French Socialist Party leader condemns David Cameron’s failure to act against Russian oligarchs as Paris defends helicopter deal
1:21PM BST 22 Jul 2014
======================

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10982425/French-lash-out-at-British-hypocrisy-over-Russian-oligarchs.html

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 9:41 AM

This was known day one, hour one…

mjbrooks3 on July 23, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Heads UP:

Another AirLiner has gone down:

The Associated Press @AP · now

BREAKING: Taiwanese news agency: Plane crashes in emergency landing, killing 51 people, injuring 7.

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

An Aérospatiale ATR-72 (commuter aircraft):

Accident description at ASN

Ward Cleaver on July 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM

It’s nice confirming the obvious. What is going to be done about it? You’ve got be kidding!!

MaiDee on July 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Ed said:

So … now what? White House deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes says that the Obama administration will “continue to pull the thread” in order to determine responsibility for the mass murder:

When the USA shot down the Iranian passenger plane, was that “mass murder” too?

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

This was known day one, hour one… mjbrooks3 on July 23, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Did you hear that on CNN?

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Ed said:

So … now what? White House deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes says that the Obama administration will “continue to pull the thread” in order to determine responsibility for the mass murder:

When the USA shot down the Iranian passenger plane, was that “mass murder” too?

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Fools like you cause the world to burn down.

rob verdi on July 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM

When the USA shot down the Iranian passenger plane, was that “mass murder” too?

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Totally different set of circumstances. Same holds true for a comparison with the KAL flight.

Shooting at perceived intruders is far different than willful targeting.

Happy Nomad on July 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM

US and NATO denied Ukraine the equipment last month that could have saved this plane

ConservativePartyNow on July 23, 2014 at 9:25 AM

No, generally speaking, it wouldn’t have. Not unless Ukraine was flying constant SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense) missions. In general, any ECM (Electronic Counter-Measures) equipment has to be mounted on the aircraft to be protected – sending that equipment to Ukraine wouldn’t help an aircraft fyling out of Europe.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 9:57 AM

When the USA shot down the Iranian passenger plane, was that “mass murder” too?

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

That Jet was shot down after repeated warnings on all Commercial frequencies, plus the plane’s transponder was emitting confusing signals. We don’t know anything about MH17 yet.

Johnnyreb on July 23, 2014 at 9:57 AM

White House deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes says that the Obama administration will “continue to pull the thread” in order to determine responsibility for the mass murder until its news-cycle expires.

Tsar of Earth on July 23, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Three easy things that can hit Russia where it hurts.

-Fast track approval of LNG export terminals.

-Provide stable energy for the global market
-Create economic growth US
-Increase US GDP
-Create high paying jobs

-Release federal lands/off shore for energy exploration and production

-Provide stable energy for the global market
-Create economic growth US
-Increase US GDP
-Create high paying jobs

-Increase energy infrastructure like pipelines and refinereries to get energy to market.

-Provide stable energy for the global market
-Create economic growth US
-Increase US GDP
-Create high paying jobs

All these things only require that the US adopt a pro-energy agenda. It would benefit US economically as well as be a geo-political legsweep to Russia. These are all things that are antithetical to ‘Religion of Environmentalism’ which is bank rolling the President and his political party. Therefore they wont happen.

Until we and the rest of the western world remove ourselves from the thrall of the ‘Religion of Environmentalism’ (Hello Europe…time to frack!)the west will continue to empower despots like Putin and be unwilling/unable to fight back.

abnormal_1 on July 23, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Heads UP:

Another AirLiner has gone down:

The Associated Press @AP · now

BREAKING: Taiwanese news agency: Plane crashes in emergency landing, killing 51 people, injuring 7.

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

An Aérospatiale ATR-72 (commuter aircraft):

Accident description at ASN

Ward Cleaver on July 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM

And now there’s this:

DUTCH MILITARY PLANE CARRYING BODIES FROM MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 17 CRASH LANDS IN EINDHOVEN

BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 9:58 AM

A pic shows shrapnel damage to left-front of cockpit – explaining why no distress call from pilots.

Cockpit was pointing E, S.E. Do the math.

OldEnglish on July 23, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Totally different set of circumstances. Same holds true for a comparison with the KAL flight.

Shooting at perceived intruders is far different than willful targeting.

Happy Nomad on July 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM

What do you mean “willful targeting”? Assuming the rebels are responsible, nobody sane thinks they knew it was a passenger plane. They thought it was an enemy plane carrying bombs to drop on their heads, or troops/supplies to reinforce the army which was attacking them, and exercised their right to self-defense.

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

and we’re going to continue to pull the thread on this case to determine exactly who we believe fired that missile

You see it?

Strange way to say that.

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Not sure I see it, but you get a nibble:

What I do see is that the goal in only to know who did it. Nothing more?

Tsar of Earth on July 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Not a good day for flying apparently.

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:03 AM

And now there’s this:

DUTCH MILITARY PLANE CARRYING BODIES FROM MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 17 CRASH LANDS IN EINDHOVEN

BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 9:58 AM

It did not crash, just bad wording on headline

ConservativePartyNow on July 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

“Mass murder” is a bit much.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Fools like you cause the world to burn down. rob verdi on July 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM

So when the US shoots down a plane full of civilians, we just have to like it.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

That is:

BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash(,) lands in Eindhoven.

AP can’t do English

Viator on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 9:58 AM

According to the first comment at that site, the problem is punctuation rather than flying. The claim is that it should read:

CRASH {COMMA} LANDS …

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:07 AM

It did not crash, just bad wording on headline

ConservativePartyNow on July 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Link, please? The one BobMx linked says nothing more that the headline at the moment.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:08 AM

What do you mean “willful targeting”? Assuming the rebels are responsible, nobody sane thinks they knew it was a passenger plane. They thought it was an enemy plane carrying bombs to drop on their heads, or troops/supplies to reinforce the army which was attacking them, and exercised their right to self-defense.

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

It becomes mass murder when you deny and cover up the fact you shot the plane down. It is an accident if you accept the responsibility and explain how you made the mistake.

For example if you get in a fight and push someone and the hit their head and die then you call the police and rescue services and explain the truth you are usually guilty of involuntary manslaughter i.e. an accident.

If instead you hide what you did and try to hide the evidence and refuse to accept responsibility it becomes murder.

Why are these concepts hard for people to understand? /boggle
boggle

Skwor on July 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

A second comment says the comma is not required …

… not a good day for anything. Maybe I’ll go back to bed.

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

That is:

BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash(,) lands in Eindhoven.

AP can’t do English

Viator on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

You’re not questioning the APs ability to accurately report events, are you?

BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

So when the US shoots down a plane full of civilians, we just have to like it.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Seriously the false moral equivalencies are tiresome

Skwor on July 23, 2014 at 10:10 AM

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Look at the comments. Grammatical situation is in-flux.

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Totally different set of circumstances. Same holds true for a comparison with the KAL flight. Shooting at perceived intruders is far different than willful targeting. Happy Nomad on July 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM

The US Vincennes was in Iranian waters, and the plane was in Iranian airspace. KAL 007 was off course. I think that both were “willfully targeted.”

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Link, please? The one BobMx linked says nothing more that the headline at the moment.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The “story” is only about 10-15 mins old now. In another 5 mins, it’ll most likely be deleted.

BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, July 17, 2014
11m
Photo: 1 of the 2 planes carrying bodies from MH17 arrives in Eindhoven, Netherlands – @Imeldaflattery

https://twitter.com/Imeldaflattery/status/491945073693978624/photo/1

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Clearly the plane was shot down by a YouTube video.

The Schaef on July 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

It did not crash, just bad wording on headline
ConservativePartyNow on July 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Are you in Eindhoven?

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Canada has their own oil and natural gas, so they can sanction Russia till the cows come home. The EU, no matter how much the UK “pressures” them, will do diddly squat. This is political theater.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

One of two. So maybe the other one crashed.

Not seeing it here yet though:
http://aviation-safety.net/index.php

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM

It did not crash, just bad wording on headline
ConservativePartyNow on July 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

It made a crash landing.

http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/07/23/6164634/bodies-of-malaysia-jet-victims.html?sp=/100/104/422//

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM

That article does not say that.

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Seriously the false moral equivalencies are tiresome Skwor on July 23, 2014 at 10:10 AM

The Vincennes was in Iranian waters and the plane was in Iranian airspace. So you’re right, the moral equivalence argument is weak.

“There is a direct responsibility there on Russia… and we’re going to continue to pull the thread on this case to determine exactly who we believe fired that missile,” he added.

This is about as convoluted a thing as can be said. His brother runs CBS News.

So comforting.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:19 AM

The “story” is only about 10-15 mins old now. In another 5 mins, it’ll most likely be deleted.

BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

I see their point about the story, now. I also see other stories not using that grammatical construction, but saying it landed.

It made a crash landing.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM

That article says nothing about a crash landing.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Yeah I think it was poorly worded.

“Car found in violin case.”

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

It becomes mass murder when you deny and cover up the fact you shot the plane down. It is an accident if you accept the responsibility and explain how you made the mistake.

For example if you get in a fight and push someone and the hit their head and die then you call the police and rescue services and explain the truth you are usually guilty of involuntary manslaughter i.e. an accident.

If instead you hide what you did and try to hide the evidence and refuse to accept responsibility it becomes murder.

Why are these concepts hard for people to understand? /boggle
boggle

Skwor on July 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

That’s not how it works. Covering up evidence is a different crime than murder. Someone can be innocent of murder, but guilty of a cover up. If you engage in a cover up, prosecutors may argue that is evidence that the act you are covering up was murder, but it doesn’t retroactively transform an accident into murder.

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

That article says nothing about a crash landing.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM

It does clarify that there are two planes. One Dutch and the other Australian. The AP story refers to the Dutch plane and someone has posted a picture of that plane on the runway. Both planes had the same destination and presumably the Australian one will land soon … or AP was even more confused than it seems so far.

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:23 AM

When the USA shot down the Iranian passenger plane, was that “mass murder” too?

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Jon0815:

After the USS Stark getting Boinked,..nerves were frayed.

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Why was the black box taken to Britain?

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

“Car found in violin case.”

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

“Study to include ten foot doctors”………..

VegasRick on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

The Vincennes was in Iranian waters and the plane was in Iranian airspace. So you’re right, the moral equivalence argument is weak.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:19 AM

The Iranians had attacked (by air) one of our ships and killed 37 sailors. Iranian gunboats were currently engaged in a battle with the Vincennes and another ship. And the Vincennes was in the process of escorting other ships through the Straits of Hormuz, which is not treated as “territorial waters” for the purpose of passage.

So, yes, the moral equivalence argument is not only weak, but terribly dishonest.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM

That’s not how it works. Covering up evidence is a different crime than murder. Someone can be innocent of murder, but guilty of a cover up. If you engage in a cover up, prosecutors may argue that is evidence that the act you are covering up was murder, but it doesn’t retroactively transform an accident into murder.

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Thank you! It’s refreshing to see cooler heads prevail like we were promised in 2008.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM

After the USS Stark getting Boinked,..nerves were frayed.
canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Everyone in a war zone has nerve a little frayed. But Skwor says that excuse only works for us, so I take it back.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Why was the black box taken to Britain?

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Because that’s where the European equivalent of the NTSB is located – Farnborough.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Everyone in a war zone has nerve a little frayed. But Skwor says that excuse only works for us, so I take it back.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The Iranian airliner was off the approved commercial track, flying directly at the Vincennes, and decided to begin descending from an altitude of 7,800 feet. I doubt there was any real fear that MH17 (which, even if it was descending, started at 33,000 feet) was an attacking aircraft.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Why was the black box taken to Britain?

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

.
Because that’s where the European equivalent of the NTSB is located – Farnborough.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

.
Learned something new, right there.

listens2glenn on July 23, 2014 at 10:34 AM

So, yes, the moral equivalence argument is not only weak, but terribly dishonest. GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM

The Vincennes was not engaged in a battle with Iran, though we had sunk an Iranian frigate a month before, whereas the Stark was hit a year earlier.

One of our choppers was in Iranian waters, and Iranian boats fired warning shots to ward it off. The Vincennes then shot down an Iranian plane in its normal flight path. It should in no sense be termed a battle.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

…so will Susan Rice be on all the Sunday talk shows?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 23, 2014 at 10:48 AM

The Iranian airliner was off the approved commercial track, flying directly at the Vincennes, and decided to begin descending from an altitude of 7,800 feet. I doubt there was any real fear that MH17 (which, even if it was descending, started at 33,000 feet) was an attacking aircraft.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Exactly! To put a moral equivilence on the USS Vincennes incident with MH17 is more offensive than it is absurd. That Iranian plane was not acknowledging radio calls, was where it shouldn’t have been, and doing suspicious maneuvering. Throw in the fact that the CO of the USS Stark had been removed from command for running drills when those exocets hit just a year before the Vincennes incident.

MH17 was brought down by the Russian or Russian-supported targeting of an aircraft without any attempt to determine its identity or intent.

Happy Nomad on July 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Full story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2702482/The-sad-final-journey-home-Bodies-MH17-victims-loaded-transport-plane-Ukraine-airport-begin-trip-Netherlands-painstaking-identification-process.html

Australian plane is pictured on the ground in Ukraine. It was due to fly in later than the Dutch one.

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM

It should in no sense be termed a battle.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

That’s not the point and you know it. You people are trying to make it morally equivalent to MH17. It isn’t by any stretch even if you want to parse and quibble over what constitutes a battle.

Happy Nomad on July 23, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Ukrainian military planes have not been armed with air-to-air missiles for a good reason — the rebels don’t have an air force. Whatever arms they would carry would address the threat for which the flights were launched

Sounds like they need to start carrying anti-radiation missiles.

Socratease on July 23, 2014 at 10:52 AM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Everyone in a war zone has nerve a little frayed. But Skwor says that excuse only works for us, so I take it back.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Akzed: Here,…ColdWarrior breaks it down better than me:)

canopfor on July 18, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Vincennes…not St. Vincent. Captain Will Rodgers commanding.

The airport at Bandar Abbas was used for civil and military, and yes, there were IIAF F-14′s launced from there routinely.

The Vincennes had be hassled by Iranian gunboats for a couple days, a few with F-14 overflights at the same time.

The Iranians did not use international IFF as required, (parts problems) and the flight was to be a short hop across the Gulf, to Dubai. So the plane did not have to go to upper altitude, was in a slow and low approach over the waters where the Vincennes was located.

The folks in the ops shack onbaord got overly excited…and with the time and distance factor, really can’t blame them…if they waited to get a visual, an F-14 could have acquired, locked, loaded and fired at them before they could then react.

Procedures have been changed.

coldwarrior on July 19, 2009 at 12:07 AM

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/18/quote-of-the-day-534/comment-page-3/

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM

The Iranian airliner was off the approved commercial track, flying directly at the Vincennes, and decided to begin descending from an altitude of 7,800 feet. I doubt there was any real fear that MH17 (which, even if it was descending, started at 33,000 feet) was an attacking aircraft. GWB on July 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Facts about whether Iranian Flight 655 was ascending, and sqwaking commercial, are in dispute by witnesses on the scene, but

“Yet, Aegis provides records demonstrating that its electronics never said the airplane was descending toward the Vincennes or squawking a military signal. Without Aegis, we would undoubtedly be reading for years to come articles about the great Iranian kamikaze plot.”

So accidents happen. Neither the US nor Russia had any interest in shooting down a civilian airliner.

However, we can speculate that Iran had an interest in having one of its planes shot down for propaganda purposes, and that Kiev had the same motive – except for the added advantage of there being no Ukrainians on the plane.

And in each instance there were reports that the passengers seemed to have been dead for too long, which I don’t buy for lack of evidence at this point, I’m just pointing that out.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:59 AM

That’s not the point and you know it. You people are trying to make it morally equivalent to MH17. It isn’t by any stretch even if you want to parse and quibble over what constitutes a battle.
Happy Nomad on July 23, 2014 at 10:52 AM

That’s not the point and I know it? So I’m a liar?

You people? Please define.

I am comparing the two for purposes of comparing Americans’ reactions to them. When we shot down an Iranian plane it was a tragedy and we were sorry. We acknowledged our guilt ten years later, after all.

I think a battle is when two or more groups of combatants are engaged in hostile action. A warning shot is not hostile. You say it was a battle, but we weren’t engaged in a hostile action. But I know that this doesn’t support your version of events, so we’ll just agree that words have no meanings and you’re right.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:13 AM

The Vincennes was not engaged in a battle with Iran, though we had sunk an Iranian frigate a month before, whereas the Stark was hit a year earlier.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

This is patently false. USS VINCENNES had been engaging surface targets throughout the morning prior to the shootdown. This surface engagement was initiated by Iranian gunboats firing on the VINCENNES helicopter.

BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Ukrainian military planes have not been armed with air-to-air missiles for a good reason — the rebels don’t have an air force.

In today’s report (see Noah post) of two Ukrainian fighters being shot down by rebels, the story relates that one of them was shot down (the day before the passenger jet) with an air-to-air missile. Where did it come from? A rebel in a hot-air balloon?

A similar SU-25 jet was shot down on July 17, the might before the MH 17 crash, by an air-to-air missile along the country’s border with Russia, according to the Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s national defense and security council.

Not suggesting the answer but it raises a rather obvious question. Was this a Russian jet? In combat over Ukraine?

IndieDogg on July 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Ok, but the Vincennes tape does not show that Flight 655 was descending.

That’s all beside the point though. I am more interested in the reactions to these somewhat similar events. I know that makes me a veritable russophile around here, I’ll just have to live with the consequences i guess.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

The Vincennes was not engaged in a battle with Iran

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

BULLSH!T – they were specifically engaged with three Iranian gunboats in the half hour before the shootdown. The Vincennes sunk two and damaged a third. So, yes, the moral equivalence is dishonest.

Facts about whether Iranian Flight 655 was ascending, and sqwaking commercial, are in dispute by witnesses on the scene,

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Fine. It *was* flying directly toward a US Navy ship, at an altitude that would permit engagement of said ship, off a commercial track, and the ship had been harassed by F-14s from the same airfield repeatedly. It was doing everything wrong.

MH17 was flying along at altitude, and could in no way be construed as an attacking Ukrainian aircraft.

The two “accidents” are in no way equivalent.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:18 AM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

One of two. So maybe the other one crashed.

Not seeing it here yet though:
http://aviation-safety.net/index.php

gh on July 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM

gh: Gawd, I hope theres only one!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Not suggesting the answer but it raises a rather obvious question. Was this a Russian jet? In combat over Ukraine?

IndieDogg on July 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Other sources say that is very unlikely. It was more likely a SAM. I don’t recall the arguments as to why.

The fog of war in these places is significantly higher than with US forces or modern west European forces. Which should make us leery of initial reports. (And, yes, that applies to MH17, too.)

I am more interested in the reactions to these somewhat similar events.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Whose reactions? I don’t see any disconnect at all over the two – one was an accident brought on primarily by Iranian stupidity or intransigence, the other appears to be primarily brought on by untrained or over-eager operators of the SAM. I don’t see many folks here reacting outside that paradigm (other than those desparately trying to absolve the Russians*).

*I’m willing to listen to facts. What I’ve heard from the couple I’ve encountered here were not facts. When you compare this event to a non-factual account of the Vincennes incident, you don’t give your questions a lot of credibility.

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:27 AM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Ok, but the Vincennes tape does not show that Flight 655 was descending.

That’s all beside the point though. I am more interested in the reactions to these somewhat similar events. I know that makes me a veritable russophile around here, I’ll just have to live with the consequences i guess.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Akzed: On MH-17,..why was it near a war zone,….and why did the
SeperatistGoons shoot, when it was around fifty miles away!!:)

Heres the Crash investigation,..can’t find Part 1:)

Mayday, Air Crash Investigation – S03E06 – Mistaken Identity Part 2
******

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejgPplzmVow

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 11:29 AM

gh: Gawd, I hope theres only one!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 11:19 AM

I don’t think either one has crashed. I think it was a grammatical issue. (No, you technically don’t need a comma there, but “crash land” is a common phrase so you need something to distinguish it from the other interpretation. Big difference between “No. Don’t. Stop.” and “No, don’t stop.”)

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM

This is patently false. USS VINCENNES had been engaging surface targets throughout the morning prior to the shootdown. This surface engagement was initiated by Iranian gunboats firing on the VINCENNES helicopter. BobMbx on July 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM

The helo was not fired on, warning shots were fired for its being in Iranian waters. The gunboats had left an hour before, and I haven’t seen any reports of them having been hit. The plane was slightly off course. Looking at reports on BBC, CS Monitor, Wikipedia, WaPo, NYT, they all pretty much tell the same story.

Again, not meaning to rehash the events of that day, more concerned with reactions to the two shoot downs.

Both were over areas that might have been wisely avoided in hindsight.

Witnesses to both reported bodies dead much longer than they should have been. Maybe that’s a conventional coverup, I dunno.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:34 AM

The two “accidents” are in no way equivalent.
GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I am not saying they are!

The reaction to the US shooting down a civilian plane is to give the benefit of the doubt instantly and constantly, waiting for the facts to come in etc., not the same with this incident – as if everyone is certain of the facts.

Most people get their news from outlets conservatives loathe and distrust. When FNC and MSNBC report the same things in lockstep, we should reserve judgment.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Whose reactions?

The general public, and the people it gets its news from.

*I’m willing to listen to facts. What I’ve heard from the couple I’ve encountered here were not facts. When you compare this event to a non-factual account of the Vincennes incident, you don’t give your questions a lot of credibility. GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Well I’m not trying to be obstreperous. I didn’t intend to incur the ire of posters I respect.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM

The gunboats had left an hour before, and I haven’t seen any reports of them having been hit. The plane was slightly off course. Looking at reports on BBC, CS Monitor, Wikipedia, WaPo, NYT, they all pretty much tell the same story.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:34 AM

So, you obviously didn’t look at this story:

(From the July 5, 1988 Christian Science Monitor by Warren Richey)
The aircraft was reportedly off its filed flight course by at least four miles, and was nine miles away and headed toward the Vincennes when the missiles were launched.

or this story:

Navy Missile Downs Iranian Jetliner
By George C. Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 4, 1988; Page A01
At 2:10 a.m. EDT, the Pentagon said, three Iranian Boghammar gunboats fired on a helicopter that had flown off the Vincennes on a reconnaissance mission. The helicopter flew back to the cruiser unscathed. The Vincennes and a smaller warship, the frigate USS Elmer Montgomery, a half-hour later closed on the gunboats and put them under fire with 5-inch guns, sinking two and damaging the third.

(BTW, a “warning shot” is “firing on” someone.)

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
3m

Editor’s note:

According to @Reuters, Ukraine’s Security Council has said preliminary information indicates that missiles which brought down 2 government fighter jets over eastern Ukraine were fired from Russia. This information has not been confirmed.

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The general public, and the people it gets its news from.

Well I’m not trying to be obstreperous. I didn’t intend to incur the ire of posters I respect.

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM

When you say “we” should… it tends to indict the folks to whom you’re writing – us folk here. So, a little defensiveness is natural.

I tend to agree that the LIV out there is uncritically accepting whatever the news puts out as the storyline. And that my first inclination is to distrust those sources. However, I don’t think it benefits the administration or the leftists to sell the storyline they’ve been promoting – therefore I give it more credence.

Do I doubt some of the stuff immediately put out by the Ukrainian government? Heck yeah! The problem is all their info tend to fit the facts we seem to know.

I gave my conspiracy theory when it first happened. It involved black holes, the first Malaysian airliner, and the US gov’t’s UFO folks. I thought it was a trifecta, but it got no traction. And, at the time, used just as many facts as the news articles.

As to the bodies being dead longer than the incident – I doubt it in this case. The folks who might have had any say in the matter (the “separatists” who were on-scene) didn’t have any expertise to say so. Plus, the flight left from a normal airport in a non-secretive nation, with an international passenger list. Unless, of course, my conspiracy theory is true – then it’s possible they were swapped with the bodies from MH370……..

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Monday, July 4, 1988; Page A01
At 2:10 a.m. EDT, the Pentagon said, three Iranian Boghammar gunboats fired on a helicopter that had flown off the Vincennes on a reconnaissance mission. The helicopter flew back to the cruiser unscathed. The Vincennes and a smaller warship, the frigate USS Elmer Montgomery, a half-hour later closed on the gunboats and put them under fire with 5-inch guns, sinking two and damaging the third.

(BTW, a “warning shot” is “firing on” someone.)

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM

GWB: Yup,..they were in a fire-fight, er, tense action!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 11:59 AM

http://www.breakingnews.com/

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
1m
Dutch air accident investigators say they have found no evidence that MH17 black boxes were tampered with – @Reuters
End of alert

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Dutch air accident investigators say they have found no evidence that MH17 black boxes were tampered with – @Reuters
End of alert

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM

That’s very good news. If they had been, every thing after would be suspect. (Those things are sealed specifically so you can know if they were tampered with.)

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Awright awready!

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Awright awready!

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Dangit, I was looking for a video of the scene in MIB where J shoots the target of the little girl during the “test”. Was going to say that if I owe little Tiffany an apology, I will gladly give it. :)

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Awright awready!

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Akzed: Lol,…!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

That’s not how it works. Covering up evidence is a different crime than murder. Someone can be innocent of murder, but guilty of a cover up. If you engage in a cover up, prosecutors may argue that is evidence that the act you are covering up was murder, but it doesn’t retroactively transform an accident into murder.

Jon0815 on July 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Anytime you hide evidence in a crime it is by law understood that said evidence is against your argument. As far as transforming into murder yes it can retroactively transform it into murder. For example new evidence in a case can result in changing the charges or from guilty to innocent or innocent to guilty on anything.

What exactly are you trying to argue? That an accident isn’t murder, I agree, or that MK-17 was an accident, which is probable? At this point no one knows and the actors involved are performing in a manner that is more indicative of guilty intent than accidental.

Skwor on July 23, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I was starting to feel like the pawn shop alien in MIB who kept getting his head blown off!

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM

I was starting to feel like the pawn shop alien in MIB who kept getting his head blown off!

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Hey, it grows back! Sure do sting, though! ;)

GWB on July 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM

The intelligence has located the spot where the SA-11 system was fired, and has confirmed that Ukrainian rebels bragged about hitting what they thought was a military transport at the time.

Yet Louis Lerner’s IRS communications here in the US are beyond their capabilities to recover?

RJL on July 23, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Akzed, regardless of how to slice it, the US and Iran were in military conflict at the time of the shoot down. The Malaysians and Dutch weren’t in conflict with Ukrainian separatists at the time. How can you compare the two?

corkie on July 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM