July 17, 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 on flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur plunged out of the sky in eastern Ukraine. The crash resulted in the death of all 298 passengers and crew. Malaysian Premier Najib Razak lashed out at those behind the geopolitical chess game that led to the tragedy. An independent journalistic investigation was stonewalled with strategies ranging from ignoring calls and mails to an attempt to infect our PC with mal-ware via an e-mail sent from Ukraine. All of that, of course, in the interest of an international flying public who is expected to shut up and trust that they won’t win in the lottery of death. The MH17 tragedy reeks of operation Northwoods.
The Plane, Malaysia Airlines, and Malaysian PM Najib Razak.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) stated that the 19 year-old Boeing 777-200 had a perfect maintenance and safety record. There was, in other words, no apparent reason why the plane should suddeny disintegrate in flight and plummet out of the sky with 298 souls on board. The immediate response was an international positioning and blame-game that prompted a visibly shaken Malaysian Premier Najib Razak to lash out at ”those behind the geopolitical chess game that led to the disaster”, adding:
”As a leader, there has never been an occasion as heart-breaking as what I went through yesterday. Wives losing their husbands, fathers losing their children. Imagine their feelings from such a great loss. … This is what happens when there is a conflict that cannot be resolved through negotiations, with peace. In the end, who becomes the victim? Najib Razak’s words were ominous and reflected precisely the sentiment of millions of people worldwide. People who depend on air traffic for business, for holidays, for being reunited with loved ones, and the fact that all of them are being held in the dark about what happened on that fateful day.
A lot of Speculation and very little Evidence.
Speculations ran wild from day one and both the USA, Ukraine and Russia provided what was described as “evidence”. The problem is, non of the “evidence” was made available to independent media for independent analysis. The flightaware software showed that MAS MH17 had flown a more southernly route in the days before the tragedy and that the route was changed to a more northernly route on July 16.On July 17, the route was changed even farther to the North, directly over a conflict zone and air-space that according to MAS and the Ukrainian government had been closed to an altitude of 32,000 ft. When the pilot of MH17 filed a flight plan in Amsterdam, he requested an altitude of 35,000 ft, reported MAS, adding that Ukrainian air traffic controllers had contacted the Boeing 777-200 crew when it entered Ukrainian air space and designated an altitude of 32,000 ft. The US State Department claimed that it possessed evidence, showing that so-called “pro-Russian rebels”had shot down the plane. Ukrainian authorities released Youtube videos, including one that allegedly showed rebels driving a self-propelled rocket launcher with one of the rockets missing. The Russian Foreign Ministry then released a statement showing that the video was shot in a region that was controlled by troops loyal to Kiev. The Russian Foreign Ministry also released a video showing a screen shot from a radar station in the Rostov region plus satellite images. The radar screen shot showed MAS MH17 rapidly deviating from its course in northeasterly and then again in southeasterly direction before it lost speed and disappeared from radar. The radar images also showed that a plane with primary radar return only ascended towards MAS MH17. The fact that the plane gave aprimary radar return only, led to speculation that it may have been a SU-25 from the Ukrainian air force.
The satellite images released by the Russian Foreign Ministry showed that BUK missile systems had been driven to the region in the days prior to July 17, that their radar systems had been active, and that the missile launchers were removed again after July 17 and the crash of MAS MH17. It is also noteworthy that Malaysian PM Najb Razak praised the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic for securing the so-called black boxes and for the fact that they handed them directly over to to Malaysian air crash investigators. Malaysian air crash investigators confirmed that the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder both were intact and that they had not been tempered with.
The decision was made that the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) should lead the investigation. The decision was justified by stating that the majority of the deceased were Dutch citizens. Malaysian investigators passed the black boxes on to the Dutch Safety Board which sent them to the UK for analysis.
Hitting a Wall.
The ICAO:I made some 15or more phone calls to the ICAO in Switzerland to ask which ICAO regulations would apply in the case of MAS MH17. One of the questions would for example be which part of the ICAO regulations permit that it is the Dutch Safety Board and not Ukrainian authorities or Malaysian authorities who lead the investigation. The result of the long-distance phone calls was multiple transfers from the switchboard operator to “experts”whose phones were answered by an answering machines. Another result was that the operator made several promises to assure that the ICAO would have an expert who could answer our questions call us back as soon as possible. That was in July. It is September now and and we are still waiting for their call and explanations.
The Ukrainian Authorities: We made several phone calls and wrote several e-mails to the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior. Our questions were ignored. We did, however, receive an e-mail from a Ukrainian email address associated with a Ukrainian “blogger”. The mail arrived one day after our call to the Interior Ministry and it had several files attached. Our software flagged the files as containing an aggressive mal-ware that could have ruined our computer if we had not followed our standard safety procedures.
We would, among others, have liked access to the radar data files from the Ukrainian radar stations who tracked MAS FH17 as well as copies of air controllers communications with the plane. The communications are crucial evidence. Besides knowing what communication took place between the air traffic controllers and the pilots we would have liked to sent these files to an expert who could have analyzed whether the files have been tempered with.
The Russian Authorities:The Russian Foreign Ministry, admittedly, was the one that came closest to fulfilling the publics’ need for information. However, our call to the Foreign Ministry gave no result and our e-mail in which we requested access to the raw data files from the radar stations or information whom to contact to apply for these files remained unanswered.
The US Authorities:We called the US. State Department and asked if they could help us with identifying the military authorities who allegedly had evidence for the involvement of “pro-Russian rebels”. The answer was no, and they could not send us a written explanation why it was impossible for them to do so either. We called the US Department of Defense and got the same response.
The Dutch Safety Board:We contacted the Dutch Safety Board which promised that a preliminary report was to be published in late August. We asked the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) if they could release the Comma Separated Variable (CSV) Files from the flight data recorder of MH17. The answer was that they could not do that and that any of the details of the investigation were classified.
We then asked whether the Dutch Safety Board would want to state that it is independent and asked where it receives its money from. We also asked whether the Dutch Safety Board, which was an official institution of the Netherlands which is a NATO member, wants to maintain that it can act independently. The reply was that the DSB was neither dependent on the Dutch Government nor on any “organization”. Presumably, that referred to NATO. Ironically, the Dutch Safety Board is also responsible in cases of military emergencies, already that fact seems to be inconsistent with their stetement.
We sent a copy of the declassified“Northwoods” memorandum to the DSB to explain why it was that we thought our questions were not only justified but that it was our obligation as news-media to ask questions about the DSB’s neutrality and Dutch NATO membership. For those who are unaware about the memorandum, it is a memorandum by the US Chairman of the The Joint Chiefs of Staff L.L. Lemnitzer to the US Secretary of Defense, dated 13 march 1962.
In the memorandum, Lemnitzer suggested that a US passenger plane could land at a secret US military base and be substituted by a remote controlled passenger plane which then could be shot down by fighter jets. The incident would then be blamed on Cuba, and serve as a pretext for an invasion of Cuba. The full memorandum is published here.
We sent our latest set of questions, including a copy of the Northwoods memorandum to the Dutch Safety Board on August 21 and sent two reminders to the DSB since then. We received receipts showing that the DSB received our e-mails but no reply. Apparently the DSB’s propaganda experts don’t really know how to respond to obvious questions.
NATO: We wrote to NATO and asked whether NATO could forward the contact details of a spokesperson who was authorized to answer questions pertaining NATO’s role in the Ukraine, including NATO’s operation Gladio, and the eventual implications with regard to the UNA-UNSO, Pravy Sector, their respective militants and the downing of MAS MH17. We received a series of confirmations that our e-mail has been received and read, but so far, we have not received any response.
Beyond Geopolitics. In the Interest of the General Public.
The governments of Ukraine, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands have according to a statement published by the Ukrainian UNIAN news agency agreed that any of these countries could veto the publication of evidence from the investigation into the death of 298 people and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The investigation into the incident is according to a statement by the Dutch Safety Board conducted in accordance with ICAO regulations and Dutch law.
We asked a tenured professor who is lecturing in air safety, air crash investigations, and related legislation at an internationally renown university. Speaking to us on condition of anonymity and fearing “serious repercussions”if his name is mentioned, this expert told us that there, to the best of his knowledge, was no section in the ICAO regulations that permitted countries who were potentially involved in mass murder by bringing down a passenger plane to agree on keeping the evidence classified.
The general public, especially the flying public has a need to know the truth, regardless of its geopolitical implications. The Northwoods Memorandum proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the military chiefs of NATO member states are capable of contemplating the downing of passenger jets to create a pretext for a war. The MH17 tragedy “reeks” of Northwoodsand the foul smell of cynical mass murder. The public has not only a need to know, the public has a right to know, and the right to bring criminals to justice, who ever they are. When legal systems become coopted by criminals, the public may sooner or later have to find alternative functions for lamp posts.
Dr. Christof Lehmann an independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and the founder and editor in chief of nsnbc, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.