Murdoch’s NewsCorp Australia Blows Up the West’s Blame Game on MH17

This article originally appeared at TheBlogMire

News Corp Australia have, I believe, inadvertently released some of the strongest evidence yet as to why the official Western narrative behind the shooting down of flight MH17 is to be treated with the utmost suspicion.

Even before any new evidence, that version of events — that flight MH17 was shot down by “pro-Russian” separatists using a BUK M1 missile system supplied to them by the Russian Federation — ought to have raised a number of questions in the minds of any reasonably open-minded person seeking the truth about what happened, for the following reasons:

1. Within hours of the crash, Western governments and media had apportioned blame on both the separatists and on the government of the Russian Federation. 

Yet the fact that this rush to judgment occurred before the commencement of an investigation ought to have struck any person with a concern for the truth and the presumption of innocence as nothing short of scandalous.

It is indeed true that the rebels were possible suspects, since the plane was brought down close to an area under their control and they had been known to have downed military aircraft in the days prior to the crash.

However, it is equally true that the plane was brought down close to areas under the control of Ukrainian armed forces and, what is more, it is certain that they were in possession of the kind of missile or aircraft that could have been used to bring down a plane flying at that altitude.

Impartial observers would have clearly seen that there were at least two sets of potential suspects, yet the fact that Western governments and media have never treated the Ukrainian armed forces, or perhaps one of their “volunteer battalions”, as suspects is dubious to say the least.

2. After the initial rush to blame the separatists and the government of the Russian Federation, the Russian military gave their own presentation which was subsequently either ignored or ridiculed by the Western media.

But ignorance and ridicule are never a substitute for hard facts and there were a number of claims made in the presentation that required serious attention, yet which have never been dealt with, let alone refuted, either by Western governments, the Western media, or the Government of Ukraine. Amongst these claims were:

a) Radar readings from nearby Rostov showing the presence of a Ukrainian fighter jet (possibly a Sukhoi SU-25) within 3-5 kilometres of the Boeing when it came down

b) Satellite evidence that the Ukrainian government had BUK systems in the near vicinity of the crash area (this evidence has supposedly been debunked by the investigative website Bellingcat, but then their own study has itself been debunked fairly comprehensively by other investigative websites)

c) Evidence of increased activity of Kupol-M19S18 radars (used to coordinate BUK missiles) in the days prior to and including July 17th

Now it could be that all these claims are false, but the fact that neither Western governments nor the Kiev government have made a proper attempt to refute them, but have instead chosen to ignore them, again ought to set the alarm bells ringing in the heads of those who seek the truth.

It is also worth pointing out that whilst the Russian Federation produced these substantial claims in a presentation open to the press, the West, by contrast, has produced nothing similar and we still await the U.S. satellite evidence to be revealed to the world.

3. The flight and cockpit recorders from MH17 were taken to RAF Farnborough to be analysed, but to date the full recordings have never been made publicly available. In addition, the Air Traffic Control recordings were confiscated by Kiev and have never been released.

Had the Russian Federation taken the Black Boxes and refused to release the information … well I hardly need to tell you what the Western media would make of that, and rightly so.

4. The flight took an inexplicable diversion directly over the conflict zone. No reasonable explanation has ever been given for this, and I’ve yet to read of a Western leader demanding an answer from Kiev as to why this critical manoeuvre was made.

5. The evidence for the supposed transfer of a BUK missile system from Russia to the South East of Ukraine relies on some extremely suspect videos on social media and to date neither the U.S. nor its allies have provided any hard intelligence analysis to confirm what these films purport to show.

But even if we suspend our judgement for a moment, there is still a huge problem for the “BUK missile system supplied by Russia theory”, and that is that no witnesses have ever come forward to say that they heard the launch, saw the missile, or witnessed the smoke trail. This stretches credibility for that theory somewhat, since BUK launches are a) extremely noisy and b) leave a lengthy trail of smoke in the air.

In the case of MH17, given the trajectory involved, the column of smoke would have been something like 15 kilometres long and would have stayed in the air for some time after the missile was fired. Yet no eyewitnesses or credible photographic evidence?

On the other hand, there were eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen military aircraft in the vicinity, for example in a BBC report, made days after the crash, but which has since been taken down from the BBC website and blocked on YouTube. To my knowledge, the investigative committee looking into the accident have made no attempt to contact those alleged witnesses.

Now, a year after the tragedy, a four minute video purporting to show the separatists arriving at the crash area has just been released by News Corp Australia, along with a transcript containing not only the conversation shown in the video, but also dialogue covering another 13 minutes of video footage which they didn’t release.

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the film or the transcript. Certainly the images look genuine, but there is never any clear shot of faces and so it is possible that the film has been dubbed.

Nevertheless, there is good reason to believe that the film and the transcript are authentic. The four minute video was shown on the anniversary of the disaster purely to further vilify the separatists. That this is so is shown by the headline of the article:

“For 17 minutes, they ransacked the luggage of innocent people who had just been shot out of the sky. The full transcript of the never-before-seen footage reveals what they were looking for.” 

However, the transcript of the full 17 minutes actually serves not to bolster the Western narrative, but rather to puncture its credibility even further.

If RT, Sputnik or Tass had released the transcript, we would be right to ask questions about its authenticity. But since it was released by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and since it inadvertently works against the narrative his organisation has spun from the outset (remember “Putin’s Missile”?), I think it reasonable to assume it is indeed genuine.

So what does it show? Well, the four minute portion of the video shown by News Corp, wrenched from the context of the whole 17 minutes of footage, appears to show the separatists rummaging through belongings that had fallen from the plane (I say wrenched out of context, because the whole 17 minute transcript gives some context as to why they were doing this, and no it wasn’t because they were intent on looting).

But what is far more important in terms of what actually happened to the plane is the dialogue that takes place in the 13 minutes of footage which was not released on video.

I would urge readers to go and read the whole thing for themselves here, but the most crucial portions are the following exchanges:

Cmdr: The other plane that fell down, they are after them, the pilots.

Background: The second one?

Cmdr: Yes, there’s 2 planes taken down. We need the second.

Background: The second one is a civilian too?

Background: The fighter jet brought down this one, and our people brought down the fighter.

Background: They decided to do it this way, to look like we have brought down the plane.

Background: But there are two planes, from my understanding.

Background: And what’s the other one? A Sukhoi?

Cmdr: A Sukhoi.

The Sukhoi brought down the plane and we brought down the Sukhoi.

Is it far from here? Where did it fall?

What is the significance of this? Chiefly two things.

Firstly, it throws into doubt one of the main claims made by Western governments and mainstream media. The claim, based on (highly dubious) audio recordings posted on YouTube, was that the separatists had shot down a plane thinking it was a military aircraft, only to find out to their surprise that they had actually downed a civilian airliner.

What this new transcript does is to show that this is not the case at all. The people speaking in the transcript are in no doubt whatsoever that the plane they shot down was a military aircraft, not a civilian one, but they are also in no doubt whatsoever that it was a Ukrainian military aircraft that shot down the Boeing.

In other words, a key part of the claims of the West against the rebels is that they shot down the “wrong” plane. That is, they brought down the civilian plane believing it to be a Ukrainian military jet. But this transcript, taken moments after the crash, shows that they actually believed they had shot down the “right” plane — a Sukhoi — and that it was this plane, or perhaps even a second Sukhoi, which was responsible for the downing of the Malaysian plane.

Note that this is not to say you need to accept their claims that a Sukhoi shot down MH17 — maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. Rather, the point is that the claim made by the West — that the separatists shot down MH17 thinking it to be a Sukhoi — is simply not borne out by this transcript. They shot down a Sukhoi thinking it was a Sukhoi, and they believed it was this plane, or perhaps even a second Sukhoi, which had shot down the Boeing.

It should also be borne in mind that the conversations on the transcript occurred immediately after the crash and therefore well before the Russian military had made their claims about a Ukrainian military plane being picked up by radar at Rostov, and also well before any theories of MH17 being shot down by a SU-25 began circulating on the Internet.

Of course none of this proves who shot down MH17 or how it was shot down, but what it does show is that one of the key claims behind the Western narrative is based on a false premise.

The second point, which is closely connected with the first, is that the claim of there being at least one military aircraft in the area is — assuming the transcript to be accurate — surely now established beyond all reasonable doubt. This is not on the strength of this transcript alone. Taken on its own it would prove nothing.

However, we now have at least three independent sets of witnesses claiming that at least one (or possibly more) Ukrainian fighter jets was airborne in the near vicinity at the time that MH17 came down:

1. The eyewitnesses in the area that testified to this (and who still haven’t been interviewed by the accident investigators)

2. The radar evidence given by the Russian military in their presentation shortly after the crash (ignored by the accident investigators)

3. And now the News Corp transcript from a video shot moments after the crash showing that the separatists had seen a Ukrainian fighter jet in the area, and had apparently shot it down

Piecing these three independent witnesses together, it would seem that the evidence that there was a Ukrainian fighter (or fighters) in the area is now irrefutable.

This is not to say that the claim made by the separatists in the transcript that the Sukhoi shot down MH17 is also irrefutable. It is a real possibility, but without other evidence, nothing more than that. Yet on the strength of three independent witnesses, we ought now to be able to say that there was at least one Ukrainian Sukhoi within the near vicinity of the shoot down.

The reason this is significant is that the Ukrainian government has categorically denied this to be the case, claiming that none of their military aircraft were operating in the area at that time. But given the strength of witnesses now contradicting their claim, we can either conclude that the Ukrainian government was and still is completely unaware that one or more of their military aircraft was in the vicinity of MH17 at the time of the shoot down (highly unlikely), or that they are just plain lying.

Just to be clear, the evidence from this new transcript does not prove that MH17 was shot down by a fighter jet. What it does show, however, is that the narrative put forward by the Ukrainian government and their Western sponsors, is based on extremely flimsy evidence.

That the separatists believed that they had shot down a Sukhoi and not a civilian airliner is established by this transcript. That there was at least one Ukrainian fighter jet in the vicinity of MH17 is now shown to be beyond reasonable doubt.

It is for the Ukrainian government and their Western sponsors to tell us why the Sukohoi(s) was there and, even more importantly, why they have chosen to cover it up.

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