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27 May 2017

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Old Microbiologist

I am left wondering if any of this actually means anything at all outside the beltway. I recently returned from 2 weeks traveling in the greater southwest, an area perhaps even poorer than much of Africa, and no Americans I spoke with had a clue about any of it. They mostly seemed focused on getting along with their lives and all of this stuff was very far away from real life. One thing is for certain and that is no Congressman ever steps foot into these regions.

turcopolier

Patrick Armstrong

In re JK's supposed call to the Russia ambassador you are saying that maybe JK discussed his liaison proposal on the phone rather than at a meeting at Trump Tower with Flynn sitting there? pl

turcopolier

Patrick Armstrong

"The question was did he still; a question that I think reasonable people could disagree about" IMO there is no doubt that they (Iraq) did not still have a nuclear program, a chemical program and the bio weapons program was never anything more than research. I was still in government after the first Gulf War and was in a position to know that in conjunction with the UN inspectors we all thoroughly destroyed these programs. as I explained in "Drinking the Koolaid" the implications made by the Bush 43 Administrations as to the continued existence of these programs were known by them to completely false wen they made their lying statements on TV. The culprits being Cheney, Condoleeza Rice and many others. pl

Mark Chapman

Speaking of MH-17, Sputnik now claims that Russia has copies of SBU documents - leaked to them by an undisclosed source - which prove that Ukraine took energetic and aggressive steps to cover up what it knew was a criminal act on its own part.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201705241053929523-ukraine-mh17-documents/

Sputnik is clear that it is not vouching for the authenticity of the documents, but scans of them are available for perusal. Of course the western analysis camp will scream that they are fakes just because they are so convenient to the Russian case, but I prefer to think of them as timely reminders that once something is in writing and the possibility there may be another copy exists - either electronically or otherwise - it's never really gone no matter how energetic your efforts to destroy all traces of it. I've always believed Ukraine did it; the only question for me was if it was deliberate, or an accident which was quickly repurposed. Much hangs on the answer, especially if it is eventually made public.

Epiphanously, at about the same time, Australia and its fellow Great Democracies are redoubling their efforts to gin up an international tribunal to try Russia and Russian soldiers in absentia for the murders of the MH17 passengers and crew, with their guilt a foregone conclusion. The circling of the vultures appears to be tightening; I wonder why?

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/nations-working-to-bring-flight-mh17-killers-to-justice/news-story/c62e6d6827a097d6d860f27a2ca5c01a

On the subject of fake news, I have a similar post up at my own blog, here:

https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/it-is-what-it-isnt-fake-news-comes-of-age-as-ideology-trumps-evidence/#comments

My reference - a previous employee of Pheme, a multinational online project funded by the European Commission to define, evaluate and model fake news - walks us through an example of what he says is fake news generated by Putin apologists. I found it fascinating, not least because he appears to conclude that as soon as an opinion is injected, the item becomes 'fake news' if the opinion does not parallel western ideology.

Patrick never disappoints, and even when he writes something which already has wide acceptance, there is always some detail buried in there which was right in front of your nose, but you didn't notice. In this case, for me, it was the reminder that American satellite photography of Russian targets is nearly always razor-sharp and crisp, while its photography from inside Ukraine looks as if it had been lifted from "The Outer Limits". As he asks, rhetorically - why?

optimax

Bart

Thank you.

Patrick Armstrong

NO idea. It's the the WaPo so it's probably, at the very most stringent, just a rumour popped out by somebody who heard somebody and knows what the Bezos Blog wants to hear. I mean to say, on some subjects, the only true thing about WaPo, NYT, Economist et al is that they printed it.

Patrick Armstrong

I wasn't close to it -- I do know our guys said he didn't have it -- but my personal view was that there might well have been some. But, as it truned out, other than a few bits left over, there wasn't.

Patrick Armstrong

A Buk warhead has something like 6000 lethal fragments; if one exploded a metre and a half from the side, there would be a lot more of these fragments in the wreckage than were found. So I've never been a fan of the Buk theory.

Mark Chapman

And yet there are a lot of holes in the Ukrainian Air Force fighter theory as well; for one, and airliner is typically bopping along at over 400 knots, around 550 mph. A fighter can do that, of course, and many types have the ceiling although for some bizarre reason, defenders of the theory keep sticking with the SU-25. But most would be struggling and combat engagements at that speed would likely be limited to one pass. It's possible, but sketchy.

If an SA-11 exploded a meter and a half away from the cockpit, most of the fragments would pass right through - an airliner is pretty thin-skinned despite how strong it is, and most of whatever hit it hit the cockpit, much of which is just lexan polycarbonate and which shattered, so we do not have those surfaces to assess for holes.

The part that always bugged me was 'surprise' discoveries after the fact of 'Buk missile parts' in the wreckage. This would absolutely not be the case - the missile, as you know, disintegrates when it explodes and no part of the missile touches the aircraft except for the fragments from the exploded warhead. All pieces of the missile body, engine, stabilizer fins, whatever, as well as all the warhead fragments which did not hit the aircraft at all would fall to earth where the attack occurred. And that was miles from where the plane's wreckage hit the ground.

I'm not sure how it was done, but I am sure it was Ukraine who was responsible. And I am confident the west at least suspects it, as well, and is complicit in covering it up by letting the prime suspect chair the investigation and have unsupervised access to all the evidence.

Patrick Armstrong

OK. try this. https://www.sott.net/article/327395-MH-17-inquiry-Episode-5-It-was-shot-down-by-a-MiG
with this
http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/python-5-air-to-air-missile-aam-rafael-israel

Procopius

While I agree with this article, I think the author is confusing propaganda material being passed to the loyal government media with actual "intelligence assessments." The "assessment" of 6 January was certainly an embarrassment, but do you see any indication that anyone remembers it? If these clumsy attempts at persuasion are really reflective of the "intelligence" our "leaders" are getting, then the country is in much worse danger than we had already realized, and not coming from the incompetent clowns in the Trump administration. Unfortunately my own brief exposure to intelligence was 60 years ago and I have no way to assess the current practitioners.

Procopius

I keep trying to remember where I saw Powell's speech -- I was living in Thailand at the time (still am), so it must have been on the internet. Anyway, I was appalled, because I am retired Army and I had, prior to that, greatly admired Colin Powell for restoring sanity to military doctrine. I had also believed he was a man of integrity, which is not so often encountered in the ranks of flag officers. It was such a mish-mash of mendacity and unpersuasive argument that I have never believed either Gen. Powell or his former aide COL Lawrence Wilkerson since then.

sid_finster

A MiG 29 has a radar signature similar to that of a Su-25.

MiG 29s are in Ukrainian service.

Thomas

Interesting that Russia is beginning to finally play this card to the western public.

It is one of the explanations for the Neo Con meltdown and no holds barred (and incompetent) attempt for a Purple and Pink Cupcake coup. Their Ideal Fantasy of Global Domination is falling off the pedestal for a massive face plant. While this story is small piece to the puzzle, it is the keystone.


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