They be Backpedalling: “No Direct Evidence”


“[U.S. intelligence] officials made clear they were relying in part on social media postings and videos.”

How comforting. Foreign policy developed via Twitter, FaceBook and YouTube postings! 

Well, who didn’t see the inevitable backpedalling by everybody who was pushing direct Russian involvement in the downing of MH 17? I guess that would be everybody who jumped on the Obama/Kerry/MSM propaganda bandwagon.

A few snippets from today’s AP story (yes, I’ll quote the AP so as not to cause many of you to run away in disgust at the mention of RT).

“Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.”

Hmmm… and all of the $5b that Vicki Nuland said we invested in Ukraine didn’t have anything to do with it? Or with the millions that NED paid to “social clubs and political organizations” to help the “revolution” didn’t? How about the VP’s son joining the board of a Ukrainian oil & gas company along with John Kerry’s bundler (whose financial partners include the ex-deputy CIA director) and the ex-Polish president that hid our secret rendition (torture) prisons from the world? Any of that help with “creating the conditions” that could result in a civilian air catastrophe?

“…the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.”

Well, I suppose that the Sun will print a retraction to it’s “Putin’s Missile” edition (not).

“… [U.S. intelligence] officials said they did not know who fired the missile.” 

Sure didn’t stop all the innuendo and accusations. Nor will this little acknowledgement take back all the propaganda that was generated after the catastrophe pointing to Russians and federalists.

“In terms of who fired the missile, ‘we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality,” one official said, adding at another point, “There is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here.'”

A Perry Mason moment? Who are these guys trying to kid? Just say that you don’t know jack shit, and be done with it. Ya gotta be over 50 to even get the reference to Perry Mason. How about we have a special prosecutor moment: to look into our violations of international law with our meddlings in the world?

“The officials made clear they were relying in part on social media postings and videos made public in recent days by the Ukrainian government, even though they have not been able to authenticate all of it. For example, they cited a video of a missile launcher said to have been crossing the Russian border after the launch, appearing to be missing a missile.

But later, under questioning, the officials acknowledged they had not yet verified that the video was exactly what it purported to be.”

Yep, pure propaganda at work. And all of the MSM in the west bought it: hook, line and sinker. I would say that all of the propaganda was exactly what it was intended to be: the demonization of Russia and Putin.

When our public policy and statements on international disasters rely upon unverified social media and YouTube clips to respond with clumsy propaganda, who knows when the next shoe drops, what will happen. Let’s hope that the next time opportunity presents itself that our President doesn’t fumble “the football!”


  1. lizard19

    you beat me to it, JC. I just posted about this, but your post is better, so I took mine down.

    • JC

      Sorry about that… put it back up as a comment!

      • lizard19

        good idea. I put a portion of the post into a comment below. the rest was pretty much just what you have said regarding how the US is just as responsible (I would argue more so) for “creating the conditions” than Russia.

  2. lizard19

    At Zerohedge, the post ends with a speculative question:

    So – to sum up – having told the world that they would release details surrounding intelligence about the MH17 disaster, US officials have pulled a “trust us” moment… blamed the “terrorists” and given themselves an out with Putin… all with absolutely no public proof whatsoever…

    * * *

    Which leaves us with one question – What happened between The White House and Putin (and perhaps Merkel) that ended with this lowering the tone of the debate?

    Something significant has happened behind the scenes in the past 24 hours to change the tone. All we lowly citizens can do is wonder.

  3. I believe Russia ended up with the black boxes, if that matters. Seems they also messed up a supposed Assad chemical attack in Syria by simply remaining calm and asserting the evidence.

    Trivia question: Who was it said of the US government one time … “Do not believe the so-called evidence.”

  4. You are doing great work in keeping the focus on the big picture an all its many pieces. I’m also glad that Yves smith was courageous enough to put up a separate Ukraine post today rather than just in the links.

  5. steve kelly

    Trying to walk and chew gum. What’s the relation?

    Both stories (Ukraine and Gaza) get “the iceberg” treatment. SOP for the MSM.

    • Here’s an interesting take – it’s all about gas.


      The current Israeli offensive against Gaza has several objectives. First, the Mossad organized the announcement of the kidnapping and death of three young Israelis to prevent the Knesset from passing a law prohibiting the release of “terrorists”. [8] Then, the current Minister of Defence, General Moshe Ya’alon, used this as a pretext to launch an offensive against Hamas, applying his 2007 analysis [9].

      The new Egyptian president, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, hired Tony Blair to advise him, without the latter resigning for as much from his position as representative of the Quartet [10]. Pursuing his advocacy for British Gas, he then suggested a “peace initiative” perfectly unacceptable to the Palestinians, who refused while Israel accepted it. This manoeuvre was clearly intended to provide an opportunity for the IDF to continue its offensive to “uproot Hamas from Gaza.” It is not irrelevant that Tony Blair is not remunerated for this work by Egypt, but by the United Arab Emirates.

  6. Turner

    There have been so many deceptions by governments and media (the Bay of Tonkin, Iraq, various NSA lies) that strong skepticism about what’s said about any world event is well justified.

    In the case of the airline downing I’m suspending judgment about who’s responsible for a few weeks to see what the evidence actually shows. I’m not willing to give Putin an automatic pass, as some here seem to want to do.

    Meanwhile, I hope no one is buying the Russian claim that the Dutch packed the airplane with dead bodies then shot it down to make the separatists look bad.

    I predict that, despite our shared reservations about the reporting so far, that the MSM probably will be vindicated. After all, a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    But maybe my prediction will be wrong and I’ll been shown to be a dupe of the media and Obama.

    • Your comment triggered a memory – American newscaster Paul Harvey at the time that the USS VIncennes shot down an Iranian airliner, broadcast a story that the Iranians had deliberately loaded it with dead bodies.

      I inderstand you not wanting to give Putin a pass, reasonable. My question: Are you giving the US a pass? NATO? They, to me, virgin their histories, seem the most likely culprit.

      Also, a sad note about news coverage is that the best you are going to get happens right away, and then it gets worse. We know now all we’re ever going to know.

  7. Big Swede

    Would a blatant admission of another shoot down with a similar missile confirm the possibility of the Flight 17’s despise?

    “Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets on Wednesday, not far from where a Malaysian airliner was brought down last week in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers on board.

    A spokesman for Ukraine’s military operations said the planes were downed near Savur Mogila, a burial mound in the Shaktersky region where a memorial marks ambushes by the Soviet army on occupying Nazis during the Second World War.

    He said he did not have any information about the pilots.

    Igor Strelkov, who is now in charge of the rebel ranks in the eastern city of Donetsk, said the separatists had brought down one plane and that the pilot had ejected.”-Globe.

    • The Ukrainian jets that were shot down were not, as reported, fighters. They were Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack jets, with a service ceiling of approximately 16,000 feet when fully loaded. They might well have been shot down by shoulder mounted missiles during a ground attack pass.

    • JC

      You do realize it takes a different kind of missile system to down a low flying jet or helicopter than it does a high-flying airliner?

      It’s a civil war with ethnic cleansing in SE Ukraine. Nobody is doubting that the DPR self-defense forces have been taking out whatever weaponry they can that Ukraine’s military and mercenary armies are throwing at them — including jets & helicopters at low-mid altitudes, tanks, etc.

      And if the U.S., Euro air control, or the Ukrainians were aware of the federalists having high-altitude-capable Buk SA-11s, why would we allow international civilian air flights to flyer over this conflict zone? And why would air controllers push a plane out of a safer corridor into one with known BUK batteries under the control of oligarch controlled mercenary paramilitary outfits?

      Federalists have nothing to gain by shooting down an international air liner. If it was a mistaken shot, then that will eventually come out. If it was an attempt by paramilitary mercenaries to discredit the self defense forces and Putin, well that may get swept under the rug for a long time.

      What I know is that paramilitary forces in the area around Donetsk are controlled by one of Ukraine’s richest men, Igor Kolomoiskyi, the same corrupt oligarch that brought Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and fmr. Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski (of CIA Black Site rendition/torture prisons in Poland infamy) to the board of Burisma, which is part of Kolomoisky’s Privat Group — one of the largest business empires in Ukraine. And Kolomoisky is the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.

      Devon Archer brings his relationships with the ex deputy-CIA Director Stephan Kappes, who he sits on the board of DiamondBack Tactical with, a supplier of mercenary armaments. Devon Archer also is a buddy of John Kerry and his rich wife, having been one of his biggest bundlers in Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.

      Is it too much of stretch to see that Kolomoisky’s mercenaries have every incentive to repress the federalists as quickly as possible, under any means, so the business of Burisma’s oil & gas extraction can get underway? Oh yeah, there’s the matter of how Burisma got all of those oil & gas leases in the Donetsk area, and the politics and agreements surrounding them, but that’s a story for another day.

      Wake up Swede and others. All the goings on in Ukraine are controlled by corrupt oligarchs — Ukrainian, American, European, Russian, and Jewish. Their interests do not intersect with any of our individual notions of propriety. War is hell, and these people thrive there.

      • “You do realize it takes a different kind of missile system to down a low flying jet or helicopter than it does a high-flying airliner?”

        This kind of snark is beneath you. Or, should be.

        • JC

          My comment was intended for Swede, not you, James. I think it is an important distinction that enemy aircraft taken out with low altitude capable weaponry during a civil war is not raison d’é·tat for the downing of an uninvolved civilian aircraft.

          Not many that the propagandists are targeting understand the distinction. I don’t believe for a second that because the self-defense forces target low-mid flying enemy aircraft, that they would/could wantonly target high flying civilian aircraft.

            • JC

              “Khodakovsky said his unit had never possessed BUKs, but they may have been used by rebels from other units….

              Khodakovsky said it was widely known that rebels had obtained BUKs from Ukrainian forces in the past, including three captured at a checkpoint in April and another captured near the airport in Donetsk. He said none of the BUKs captured from Ukrainian forces were operational.

              While he said he could not be certain where the BUK system operating on rebel territory at the time of the air crash had come from, he said it may have come from Russia.

              ‘I’m not going to say Russia gave these things or didn’t give them…'”

              Again, statements full of heresay, innuendo, and equivocations. And from a guy who apparently wants to move up in the command structure. I wonder how much he was paid for this interview?

              Nice to know that Reuters is applying thoroughly the first law of propaganda which is to reinforce the message at every opportunity.

              Pretty much garbage story… even if the federalists did take down the plane.

            • JC

              Funny, you look up this Khodakovsky guy, and he had this to say to the NY Times:

              “‘We are an international battalion,’ said Aleksandr Khodakovsky, the rebel commander, who led the government’s Alfa special forces unit in the Donetsk region until he resigned after the February revolution in Kiev…

              In an interview, Mr. Khodakovsky said that he was largely autonomous, that he coordinated on some matters with other separatist military commanders and that he would even turn against the separatist government ‘if the interests of the politicians and the people diverge.'”

              Yep, was a Ukrainian military commander until 4-5 months ago.

              And he was labeled a traitor a few weeks ago for being a minion of oligarch Rinat Akhmetov — and not going along with rebel strategies — to be caught and hung.

              He’s a poseur, for sure. But you’ll believe anything written by Reuters, right?

            • JC

              MofA is all over this, including a quote from Khodakovsky denying he made the reported statements to Reuters.

              Ukraine: Reuters Interviews Benedict Arnold: “Rebels Had BUK, Downed MH17”:

              “Donetsk, July 23 – RIA Novosti. Battalion commander “East” Alexander Khodakovsky denies that he spoke in an interview with Reuters on the alleged use of militias in eastern Ukraine system “Buk”, said RIA Novosti on Wednesday a source close to the commander.

              “I did not say anything like” to Reuters “and I have a recording of conversation” ….”

              Funny how quickly the media finds a source to bolster its required story line, only to have it dashed…

  8. steve kelly

    Were “rebels” in flight-control towers too?

    How much of our “news” is generated, not investigated? “According to intelligence sources….” is pretty much going to go down the same way, time after time.

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