Sinister Pretext for War with Russia, by Mike Whitney

“There is no innocent explanation for the sudden disappearance of MH17 from the media and political spotlight. The plane’s black box has been held in Britain for examination for weeks, and US and Russian spy satellites and military radar were intensively scanning east Ukraine at the time of the crash. The claim that Washington does not have detailed knowledge of the circumstances of the crash and the various forces involved is not credible.”

– Niles Williamson, “Why have the media and Obama administration gone silent on MH17?”, World Socialist Web Site

See: 11 minute you tube “MH17 – We know with 99% certainty who shot down MH17

The Obama administration has failed to produce any hard evidence that pro-Russia separatists were responsible for the downing of Malaysia Flight 17.  The administration’s theory– that the jetliner was downed by a surface-to-air missile launched from rebel territory in east Ukraine– is not supported by radar data, satellite imagery, eyewitness testimony or forensic evidence.  In fact, there is no factual basis for the hypothesis at all. It’s merely politically-motivated speculation that’s been repeated endlessly in the media to shape public opinion. The preponderance of evidence suggests a different scenario altogether, that is, that MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian fighters in an effort to frame the pro-Russia separatists and demonize Russia by implication.  This is precisely why the MH17 story has vanished from all the major media for the last three weeks. It’s because the bloody fingerprints point to Obama’s puppet-government in Kiev.

So what are the facts?

[Please Click Below to read more]

Fact Number 1: There were eyewitnesses.

According to the Oxford dictionary, an eyewitness is “A person who has personally seen something happen and can give a first-hand description of it.”  This is why eyewitness testimony is so important in criminal investigations, because what people actually see matters. In a capital case, eyewitness testimony can be just as damning as the bloody fingerprints on a murder weapon. In contrast, theories are of little or no importance at all. The administration’s missile theory is just obfuscating blabber intended to pacify the public with a soothing explanation that is entirely divorced from the facts. Eyewitness accounts help to cut through government bullsh** and uncover what really happened.

So, what did happen to MH17? Check out this blurb from a report bythe BBC:

 ”The inhabitants of the nearby villages are certain they saw military aircraft in the sky shortly before the catastrophe. According to them, it was actually the jet fighters that brought down the Boeing.

Eyewitness number one: “There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart, (Waves her hands to show the plane exploding) And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everyone saw it….

Yes, yes, It was flying under it, because it could be seen.  It was flying underneath…below the civilian plane.”

Many people saw what happened. Many people saw the Ukrainian fighter rise in a shark-on-seal type motion. Many people saw the explosion. Are these credible witnesses? Are they lying? Do they have a political agenda?

We don’t know, but we do know what they said. They said they saw a fighter (probably a Ukrainian SU 25) stalking MH17 just before it blew up.  That’s significant and it should have a bearing on the investigation.

Fact Number 2: Russia picked up the Ukrainian fighters on their radar.

According to Russian military analysts:

“Russian monitoring systems registered Ukrainian airforce jet, probably an SU 25 fighter, climbing and approaching the Malaysia aircraft. The SU 25 was between 3 to 5 kilometers away from the Malaysian plane. The fighter is capable of reaching an altitude of 10,000 meters for short periods of time. It’s standard armaments include R-60 air-to-air missiles which are capable of locking and destroying targets within a range of 12 kilometers and which are guaranteed to hit their target from a distance of 5 kilometers.

What was a military aircraft doing on a route intended for civilian planes flying at the same time and same altitude of a passenger plane? We would like an answer to this question? …

To corroborate this evidence we have a picture taken at the regional air traffic control center at Rostov….Ukrainian military officials claimed there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in that area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true”   (“MH17 Fully Exposed”, The Corbett report; Check minute 34:17 on

Repeat:   “Ukrainian military officials claimed there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in that area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true.”

Kiev lied. Not only was one of their fighters in the vicinity, but the warplane  also had the capacity to take down a jetliner.

Let’s be clear about how important this information is: We now have hard evidence (Russian radar data and eyewitness testimony) that a Ukrainian fighter was in the vicinity of Malaysia Flight 17 when it was shot down. Thus, the Ukrainian fighter very well may have played a role in the downing of  MH17.  This is a possibility that cannot be excluded if one is basing their judgments on the facts alone.

Then there the story of Carlos who worked at  Kiev’s Air Traffic Control at Borispol but who mysteriously vanished immediately after the crash. Carlos’s twitter feeds on the day of the incident have become something of a legend on the internet, so we would like to narrow our focus to just a few of his communiques.

Carlos tweets on day of MH17 crash:

“Kiev Authorities, trying to make looks like an attack by pro-Russian”…

“warning! It can be a downing, Malaysia Airlines B777 in ukraine, 280 passengers”…

(Military?) “has taken control of ATC in Kiev”….

“The Malaysia Airlines B777 plane disappeared from the radar, there was no communication of any anomaly, confirmed”….

“Plane shot down, shot down, shot down, no accident”….

“Before They remove my phone or they break my head, shot down by Kiev”…

“The B777 plane flew escorted by Ukraine jet fighter until 2 minutes before disappearing from the radar”…

“If Kiev authorities want to tell the truth, It´s gathered, 2 jet fighters flew very close minutes before, wasn’t downed by a fighter”….

“Malaysia Airlines B777 plane just disappeared and Kiev military authority informed us of the downing, How they knew?”…

“all this is gathered in radars, to the unbelieving, shot down by kiev, here we know it and military air traffic control also”…

“military control now officially [say] the plane was shot down by missile”….(“FINAL – Spanish Air Controller @ Kiev Borispol Airport: Ukraine Military Shot Down Boeing #MH17“,  Rebel’s Blog)

Shortly after posting the news on Twitter, the Military took over the tower, the SBU seized the Air traffic Control recordings, and Carlos disappeared never to be seen again.  At the very least, Carlos’s postings lend support to our thesis that one or two SU 25 fighters were in the vicinity of the Boeing 777 at the time of the incident, which is to say they were in a position to shoot it down.

So why have Obama, Kerry and the entire western media excluded the SU 25s from their analysis?  And why are they withholding the satellite and radar data (that everyone knows they have) of the area at the time of the crash?     According to the World Socialist Web Site: “The US Air Force’s Defense Support Program utilizes satellites with infrared sensors to detect missile launches anywhere on the planet, and US radar posts in Europe would have tracked the missile as it shot through the sky.”

Indeed, the US does have the capability to track  missiles launches anywhere on the planet, so where is the data to support their theory that a missile took down MH17?  Where is the satellite imagery? Where is the radar data?  What is it Obama doesn’t want the American people to know?

German pilot and airlines expert, Peter Haisenko,  thinks that Malaysia Flight 17 was not blown up by a  missile, but shot down by the type of double-barreled 30-mm guns used on Ukrainian SU-25 fighter planes.  Haisenko presented his theory in an article which appeared on the Global Research website titled “Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile….”  (“Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile””, Global Research)

Haisenko notes that the munitions used on Ukrainian fighters–anti-tank incendiary and splinter-explosive shells–are capable of taking down a jetliner and that the dense pattern of metal penetrated by multiple projectiles is consistent with the firing pattern of a 30-mm gun.

Also, Michael Bociurkiw, who was one of the first international inspectors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reach the crash site and who spent more than a week examining the ruins– appears to be convinced that MH17 was downed by machinegun fire consistent with the myriad bullet-holes visible on the fuselage.  Here’s what he told on CBC World News:

“There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pock-marked. It almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire that has left these unique marks that we haven’t seen anywhere else.

We’ve also been asked if we’ve seen any signs of a missile?

Well, no we haven’t. That’s the answer.”

(“Malaysia Airlines MH17: Michael Bociurkiw talks about being first at the crash site,” CBC News. Note: The above quote is from the video)

Now, admittedly, the observations of Haisenko and Bociurkiw could mean nothing, after all, they are just opinions. But for the sake of argument, let’s compare what they have to say to the comments made by Obama and Kerry.

Here’s Obama on the day after the crash:

“Here is what we know so far. Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine.

We also know that this is not the first time a plane has been shot down in eastern Ukraine. Over the last several weeks Russian- backed separatists have shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian helicopter, and they claimed responsibility for shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet.

Moreover, we know that these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia.

This includes arms and training. It includes heavy weapons. And it includes anti-aircraft weapons.

Now, here’s what’s happened now. This was a global tragedy. An Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies, filled with citizens from many countries. So there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened. The U.N. Security Council has endorsed this investigation, and we will hold all its members, including Russia, to their word…

Now, the United States stands ready to provide any assistance that is necessary…..

Let’s summarize Obama’s allegations:

1–MH17 was shot down in east Ukraine.

2–The separatists have shot down planes in east Ukraine before.

3–Therefore the separatists shot down MH17

Do you find that argument persuasive, dear reader? Keep in mind, Obama has never veered from his original position on the issue nor has he ever addressed the eyewitness reports or the technical data provided by Moscow. When all the media repeat the government’s version of events word-for-word, the facts don’t matter. In other words, Obama hasn’t changed his story, because he doesn’t have to. He knows the dissembling media will assist him in the cover up. Which it has.

Now let’s take a look at what Kerry had to say two days after the crash when he visited all five Sunday talk shows to blast Putin and blame the rebels for downing MH17. According to the Guardian:

 ”Kerry said all the evidence surrounding the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 points towards pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine…..

“We have enormous input about this that points fingers,” Kerry told CNN’s State of the Union. “It is pretty clear that this was a system from Russia, transferred to separatists. We know with confidence that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point of time.”…

Kerry said social media reports and US surveillance put the missile system in question in the vicinity of the crash before the tragedy.

“We know because we observed it by imagery that at the moment of the shootdown we detected a launch from that area,” he said. “Our trajectory shows that it went to the aircraft.” (“MH17 crash: Kerry lays out evidence of pro-Russia separatists’ responsibility“, Guardian)

Needless to say, Kerry has never provided any proof of the satellite “imagery” he referred to on the day of the interview. The administration’s case still depends on the discredited information it picked up on social media and on its own politically-motivated theory. It’s worth noting, that the administration used its shaky claims to great effect by convincing leaders of the European Union to impose more economic sanctions on Russia before any of the facts were known and without any legal process in place for Russia to defend itself.  The sanctions, of course, are still in effect today even though the administrations hysterical accusations have come under increasing scrutiny.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly called for a transparent and thorough international investigation, but Washington seems more eager to sweep the whole matter under the rug. Moscow is particularly interested in recovering the Air Traffic Control tapes which were seized by Kiev’s security services immediately following the crash. It’s imperative that these tapes be handed over to international inspectors to analyze communications between the cockpit and the tower. There’s no doubt that Kiev would hand over the recordings if Washington simply demanded that they do so. But Obama has issued no such order. Why is that?

Keep in mind, that the ATC recordings could be much more valuable than the black boxes because they record both sides of every communication on every frequency used by that facility (including frequencies used for communication with other ground facilities and/or agencies), and also on every land line in use at that facility.”

What does that mean? It means that ATC recorders also include communications between ATC operators and, lets say, government or military authorities. They would also have recorded the communications between ATC and any fighters that may have been in the vicinity of Flight 17. In other words, if MH17 was in fact shot down by a SU 25, there’s a good chance the communications would show up in the ATC tapes.

Is this why Obama hasn’t demanded that Kiev surrender the recordings, because he doesn’t really want the truth to come out? Now take a look at this out from the World Socialist Web Site:

“After a month during which Washington has failed to release evidence to support its charges against Putin, it is clear that the political offensive of the NATO governments and the media frenzy against Putin were based on lies.

If pro-Russian separatists had fired a ground-to-air missile, as the US government claims, the Air Force would have imagery in their possession confirming it beyond a shadow of a doubt…..

On August 9, the Malaysian New Straits Times published an article charging the Kiev regime with shooting down MH17. It stated that evidence from the crash site indicated that the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter with a missile followed by heavy machine gun fire.

While it is too early to say conclusively how MH17 was shot down, the preponderance of the evidence points directly at the Ukrainian regime and, behind them, the American government and the European powers. They created the conditions for the destruction of MH17, backing the fascist-led coup in Kiev this February that brought the current pro-Western regime to power.”

(“Why have the media and Obama administration gone silent on MH17?“, Niles Williamson, World Socialist Web Site)

The media has played a pivotal role in this tragedy, deliberately misleading the American people on critical details related to the case in order to shape their coverage in a way that best serves the interests of the government.  The MSM doesn’t care about identifying the criminals who killed 298 passengers. Their job is to demonize Putin and create a pretext for waging war on Russia.   And that’s exactly what they’re doing.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at

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9 thoughts on “Sinister Pretext for War with Russia, by Mike Whitney”

  1. A good article Mike.
    Just reeks of cover up and 2 Malaysian jets? There must be a connection somewhere. What about this?
    From an eyewitness, an Eastern Ukraine Commander………..
    These body parts, there was some kind of liquid coming out of them as shown – not blood. This is what it looked like by day; by night the liquid around bodies looked strangely green. Very little, or no blood. The bodies looked like they were stored somewhere. There was an odd concentration of bodies, seemed like they were concentrated in 2 parts of the plane. It was impossible to stand by one of the plane parts – the smell of chemicals was overwhelming, as if in a morgue. Body parts didn’t look like they came from living people. There were birds that got hit and died. I took their pictures – by contrast, their bodies looked like they were those of living things, a very different look compared to the human bodies. Again and again, stressing that there was no blood and people didn’t seem like they were just deceased.
    Most passengers seemed of Asian look, so it is unclear how so many could have been Dutch. Only 20 bodies had clothes on, the rest were stark naked. Even though it can be that their clothes got blown off during the fall, but wouldn’t at least something like a sock, or a trace of a belt on their waste, be left? Only 7 were children, not half the plane as the West was saying.
    It was curious that so many passports were left absolutely intact, with no traces of any damage. Another curious thing was that passports were also concentrated in one or two spots.Electronics mobile phones, notebooks were collected. We looked especially for dates. All private photos we found in victims’ phones were from 2013. None from 2014.

  2. Mike —

    Have long read you items over at “Counterpunch.” You and P.C. Roberts may well be my favorite reads over there. Esp. your items on the financial system.

    I’ve recently been posting over at Moon of Alabama, just there, ISIS seems the big topic of the day. Someone flagged an item from the RT’s news in brief for 6 Sept. I can’t find the posts or my comment on it (basically, “evidence” would be bogus). Nore could I find any ref. to the report.

    From RT:

    “Malaysia has stated that its intelligence reports on the MH17 flight crash are “pretty conclusive” and they are now preparing physical evidence to show in court. “First of all, we do have the intelligence reports [on] what happened to MH17 and the reports are pretty conclusive,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at a news conference with Australian premier Tony Abbott on his first official visit to Malaysia. The preliminary report on the crash is due on Tuesday. ”

    At least one poster suggested it would show involvement by the Novorossiyan militia.

    For the info. of all, New Straits Times has a report, no mention of Malaysian intelligence, only the sketchiest of findings, nothing I would call “conclusive” of anything we don’t already know.

    See the url — The headline is some late-breaking news, alright: ‘Plane lost structural integrity,’ due to what is quotes the report as calling numerous “high-energy objects.” No indication of what type — machine gun, missile shrapnel, etc.

    Most intriguing, though, it cites the ATC tapes, but only to say:

    “The pilot was in conversation with Ukraine ATC when it stopped abruptly.

    “The last transmission from the MH17 crew was ‘Romeo November Delta, Malaysian, one seven’,” he said, adding that Dnipropetrovsk ATC had tried establishing communication with MH17 between 13.20:00 hours to 13.20:05 hours, with no response. ”

    It also describes the cockpit voice recorder as indicating no emergency situations or technical problems.

    My reading suggests that the actual tapes were not released, not even the snippets they report.

    The source is not Malaysian intelligence, but a Dutch safety board. Holland is known to have the recorder; I wonder if it has all or any of the ATC tapes, or just Kiev’s account of them. Which of course would be absolutely reliable.

    NST goes on to say that the boards chair, “Tjibbe Joustra, stressed that this was only an initial report” The additional research needed “to determine the precise cause of the incident” means that the board does not expect to a final report until next July 17.

    Am I too cynical thinking that if anything at all in those materials could be somehow construed to suggest DPR/LPR or Russ. Fed. involvement, the statement — or at least the publicity — would have been stronger and the report more detailed, and the target date for the final report much sooner?

    1. @Rufus

      You are not cynical in your final assessment. In fact it is quite logical considering the prevalent trend in the mainstream press to blame it on Putin. Everything is Putin’s fault.

      I am certain that in the not too distant future we will be told how the melting of the polar ice caps is due to Russian drilling in the Arctic. And as proof we will be shown a picture of Putin half naked on a horse because nothing furthers the cause of absurdity than personal attacks from a non-existent moral high ground.

      Frankly, I do not know why Putin on a horse is such an issue. Why can a man not look like a man anymore in the “free” west? But I digress.

  3. Mike Whitney:

    Mike, your are a cricketer, musican, and TV sports commentator. You don’t have any training in military aviation, air defence, electronic warfare, information analysis, or I would suggest, sources other than existing open source media reports and commentry.

    Stick to what you are good at. There is a great deal of very technical detail that must be considered in any discussion of the range of answers to the questions of who and why shot the thing down. You need to talk to people trained in these areas, and assess what they say, before you can write a useful article.

    1. @ The Night Watchman

      While we really encourage debate and fact based discussion at the Oceania Saker, we are not fond of character assassinations.

      Firstly, I doubt that Mr. Whitney, who is a highly accomplished and widely published journalist, is an Australian cricketer. The reason we do not know is because that Oceania Saker does not restrict the parameters of journalism and opinion making to some holy passed down criteria set by some standard.

      Logic,truth and common sense stand out to everyone. To even suggest that educated,informed and intelligent individuals cannot uncover the truth by simply reading,digesting and analysing information is alarming. This is the problem with the common person these days. The idea that somehow magically someone on TV will work in your interest and give you the truth on a silver spoon is folly.

      If anything, the Ukraine crisis has shown us that the mainstream press is absolutely not reliable in any sense of the word. That leaders in the western hemisphere are actively waging war,deliberately and with full knowledge. That the MH17 tragedy investigation is an absolute farce and ongoing coverup.

      Frankly, the allegations against Mr. Whitney in your post are highly irresponsible, without foundation and arrogant to boot. Mike raises vital questions and points that need addressing. Not only that but he goes further and simply lays it bare for you to digest. How is that not a qualified assessment?

      We at Oceania Saker will continue to publish and standby all our contributors so long as they offer opinions based on facts, plausible theories and critical reasoning. Mr. Mike Whitney fits that criteria and in fact goes beyond it.

      Journalism is not a game of dancing around the truth as the official Imperial Mouthpiece BBC does. Journalism is not what the Guardian, NY Times and CNN do.

      Journalism is speaking the truth, having an opinion and taking responsibility of your words. Mike Whitney, John Pilger,Pepe Escobar, Robert Fisk, André Vltchek, Tom Mysiewicz and many others fit that criteria. And anyone with intellect, common sense and a sense of moral right and wrong can seek information,digest information,assess information and make a critically reasoned conclusion.

      Mike Whitney is not talking about quantum physics and if he was, I am confident he would seek the right information and make the most reasonable conclusion when publishing an article.

      Please read what Mike has written and judge it based on its credibility,plausibility and common sense. Make an informed opinion and do not wait for some half two bit BBC anchor to give you a biased pro-war 5 minute assessment.


  4. Night watchman,

    I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am neither a musician, cricketer or sports commentator. I am, in fact, a semi-retired landscaper who spends most of his days researching economic and political topics that I find interesting. Your confusion, I believe, is due to the fact that the photo posted above the article is not me, but the other Mike Whitney who lives in Australia. I live in Snohomish, Washington USA.

    Here’s what’s going on: The editors of this excellent blogsite lifted a photo off the internet of the Australian cricketer with the same name as me. I should have corrected the error when I saw it, but frankly it slipped my mind.
    In any event, the photo has nothing to do with my articles which readers can judge on their merits.

    As for your ridiculous and elitist assertion that only “people trained in these areas” should be able to offer an opinion on them; I challenge you to name even one journalist from the NY Times or WA Post (who has written about MH17) who is either a trained airline pilot or engineer.

    See my point?

    By the way, I don’t care if you dislike or disagree with my article. (That’s what opinion pieces are all about.) But don’t tell me that only certain people, who meet your thoroughly- arbitrary standards, have the right to have an opinion, because, well, because that kind of pisses me off.

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