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22 July 2014

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Castellio

Yes. And thanks for the thought regarding St. Petersburg.

Castellio

I will look into this. Thanks for the heads up.

FB Ali

All,

Anyone who hasn't read the Saker's reproduction of the full AP report on the briefing given by senior US intelligence officials on the MH17 shooting, should check it out. It is unbelievable! (I had to check the AP website to make sure it wasn't a spoof).

Comparing what US intelligence really knows with the claims made by US officials leaves one astounded. Obama-Kerry are as bad as Bush/Cheney-Colin Powell. It is pathetic!

The report is at:

http://tinyurl.com/nmeb5uy

jon

CP, what exactly is your point? I have always maintained that the likely chain of events was that a poorly trained crew mistakenly fired the SA-11 that brought down the plane. As more information is coming to light, this does seem to be the case, and contrary to what you and several others on this thread have insisted.

I went further, to mull over where the weapons may have come from, how the crew of the Buk came to have sufficient training to operate it, what level of command and control may have been present or exercised. I surmised that it was likeliest the the crew was rebel, constitued of persons previously in the military with some level relevant training, and with rather little higher level order and discipline, and little to no additional signals or intelligence assistance. Guys in a field, looking for planes to shoot down.

I mulled a little further to consider whether there could be some/any level of Russian involvement, whether informal or formal, including uniformed military presence. I believe that there is no disagreement that Russia has supplied the rebels with some amount of materiel support, advising, logistical and supply, intelligence and other supportive actions. We know that former military persons were recruited to go to the Crimea, without attribution, and participate in its seizure. We know that Rostok has been used as assembly and supply center. Today we learned that heavy weapons training for rebels is believed to be provided in Rostok and other training is being provided to the southeast of Donetsk Russia also seems to permit a rather porous border in that area, which helps to facilitate movement of troops and materiel. So Russia my hunch is that Russia supplying materiel to some degree, that they are providing intelligence and advising in a whisper-into-the-ear informal manner, and that there is no barrier being created to the recruitment of Russian nationals for the conflict.

Then I asked whether there might be further levels of Russian involvement in the rebel lines. I found it probable that there would be some presence of officers in that zone to provide advising, training, logistical and intelligence services. I thought that it would be far less likely, possibly nonexistent, that any Russian officers would be part of a missile crew or at such a site, nearly impossible for an officer to be involved in a command decision to launch a missile, and that there would be little actual oversight of unit and operational activities in general. I looked at the Russian command structure, and thought it nearly impossible to conceive of higher ranks of the military, much less the political leadership to have any detailed knowledge of specific operational activity, much less a role in directing it. I tried to weigh some of the possibilities, and came to the conclusion that divisional and higher persons likely has no role whatsoever in the downing of ML17.

Looking back, I would say that my interpretation of events is largely proving to be what transpired. More correct than some other estimations. As we learn more, this may well change. We will certainly have a fuller picture of what actually happened.

I have been trying to think through what occurred that led to the downing of ML17. I have no interest in examining events in Syria or Iraq, or wherever. I am not trying to support the purity of the US government or State Department, and certainly not the unblemished glories of the Ukrainian government or military. I have not given the pronouncements of the Kremlin press bureau the same regard and credence as others have. I have also not made rash accusations about the Russian leadership.

At the end of the day, we seem to have a hapless missile crew who shot down a civilian airliner, causing the deaths of 298 innocent persons. It would be nice to know what became of that crew and who they are, where the launcher went, and from whence it came. It would be nice to know who else might have been involved in this fiasco and facilitated the disaster. But more importantly, there is a need to bring this conflict to a rapid and lasting close, in a way that does not lead to a wider conflict, for the good of all involved.

Joe Freedom

Jon,

he Ukrainians got tired of having their military equipment stolen from their depots? If the Ukrainians can't trust the Ukrainians why the hell should we? The important question is why in God's name should the US intervene in a country on the border of the Russian Federation.

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