US State Department “Confident” MH17 “Mistakenly” Downed By Separatists, Finds No Direct Link To Russia

UPDATE: Having failed absymally with their earlier release of “information,” US intelligence officials have tried to give more information… sadly this does not include any actual evidence, just statements and confirmation of YouTube clips…

Via WaPo,

Senior U.S. intelligence officials cited sensors that traced the path of the missile, shrapnel markings on the downed aircraft, voiceprint analysis of separatists claiming credit for the strike, and a flood of photos and other data from social media sites.

 

The officials also for the first time identified a sprawling Russian military installation near the city of Rostov as the main conduit of Russian support to separatists in Ukraine, describing it as a hub of training and weapons that has expanded dramatically over the past month. The officials said that tanks, rocket launchers and other arms have continued to flow into Ukraine

 

 

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said they have ruled out the possibility that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack.

 

“That is not a plausible scenario,” said one senior U.S. official, who noted that American intelligence agencies have confirmed that Ukraine had no anti-aircraft missile system within range of the Malaysian flight at the time it was struck.

 

 

The official was one of three senior U.S. intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity during a briefing arranged for reporters in Washington

 

 

“We are seeing a full-court press by the Russian government to instruct affiliated or friendly elements to manipulate the media environment to spread Russia’s version of the story,” the official said. “What this looks like again is a classic case of blaming the victims.”

 

 

The officials also declined to provide more details on the satellites and other sophisticated sensors that enabled them to trace the path of the missile, citing concerns about compromising secret U.S. capabilities.

 

 

The U.S. officials said they have confirmed the authenticity of some of those recordings, including one in which the self-proclaimed defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Strelkov, claimed responsibility for shooting down a military transport plane at the time the Malaysian aircraft was struck.

 

Analysis comparing that audio clip to other confirmed recordings of Strelkov’s voice “confirmed these were authentic conversations,” one of the officials said.

 

 

“If you listen to Youtube you get that: ‘we’re finding civilians,’” a senior U.S. intelligence official said. Partly for that reason, the official said, “the most plausible explanation to me is [it was] a mistake.”

*  *  *
So once again no actual evidence… conjecture on ‘unknown’ recordings provided by Ukraine (ignoring for a moment the fact that the ones that have been released publicly have been proved false). Illustrations of a large Russian military base near the border of Ukraine… well is anyone surprised by that?

 

 

With a somewhat shocking lack of evidence, AP reports that US officials (on condition of anonymity) have stated that intelligence suggests Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was mistakenly shot down by separatists and can find no link to Russia.

However, the unnamed non-proof-providing officials believed Russia “created the conditions” for the downing of MH17. For now there is not even a YouTube clip to confirm this… as officials do not make the new technical evidence public…

As opposed to Russia’s detailed 30-minute press conference,

  • U.S. INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS DID NOT MAKE PUBLIC NEW TECHNICAL EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ASSERTION THAT PLANE WAS DOWNED BY SA-11 MISSILE OR THAT MISSILE WAS FIRED BY SEPARATISTS
  • U.S. INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS SAY THEY BELIEVE PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATISTS PROBABLY SHOT DOWN MALAYSIAN PASSENGER AIRLINER “BY MISTAKE”

 

As Bloomberg notes,

  • OFFICIALS DISCUSS MH17 INTELLIGENCE ON CONDITION OF ANONYMITY
  • U.S. CITES CLASSIFIED IMAGES MAKING CASE ON MH17 SHOOTDOWN
  • U.S. OFFICIALS CONFIDENT IN DETECTION OF JULY 17 MISSILE LAUNCH

AP reports,

Senior U.S. intelligence officials say they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

 

They say the passenger jet was likely felled by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and that Russia “created the conditions” for the downing by arming the separatists.

 

The officials briefed reporters Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week’s air disaster, which killed 298 people.

 

They said they did not know if any Russians were present at the missile launch, and they wouldn’t say that the missile crew was trained in Russia.

 

A senior official said the most likely explanation was the plane was shot down by mistake.

So it seems like all we have is…

h/t @BarbaraStarrCNN

Which is right in the heart of separatist-held territory…

 

Satellite image shows spread of debris from Malaysia Airlines flight

 

*  *  *

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?

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