Earlier today, and several times recently, I received emails accusing me of being a Russian spy and asking me how much I was receiving from RT. I find such accusations highly amusing.

Here’s the deal: Few bloggers are willing to discuss MH17 for fear of getting it wrong. Whereas I suspect nearly everything, but especially reports coming from Kiev and the US. My reasons are threefold:

  1. There are more questions surrounding Kiev and US reports than Russian reports.
  2. Kiev has been caught twice in lies and distortions
  3. While neither US nor Russia is unbiased, the extremely one-sided, jump-to-conclusion reporting from Western media suggests close consideration of competing versions of stories is warranted.

No Perry Mason Moment

A few hours ago The Guardian reported US Intelligence: Rebels Likely Shot Down Plane ‘By Mistake’.

The Huffington Post has more details in U.S. Officials: No Evidence Of Direct Russian Link To Malaysia Plane Crash.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.

The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

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.

The plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the intelligence officials said, citing intercepts, satellite photos and social media postings by separatists, some of which have been authenticated by U.S. experts.

But the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia, although they described a stepped-up campaign in recent weeks by Russia to arm and train the rebels, which they say has continued even after the downing of the commercial jetliner.

In terms of who fired the missile, “we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality,” one official said, adding at another point, “There is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here.”

Step in Likely Direction

That US admission is a step in the likely direction. Unless further information comes in, I am willing to pare my list of possibilities down by one, ruling out an accident by Russia. The list now looks like this.

  1. Ukraine did it accidentally
    1. Surface to air missile
    2. Air to air missile
  2. Rebels did it accidentally
    1. Complete accident
    2. Steered that way on purpose by Ukraine air traffic control flight deviations
    3. Steered accidentally by air traffic control flight deviations
    4. Steered that way on purpose by Ukraine military flights 
    5. Steered that way accidentally by Ukraine military flights
  3. Ukraine did it on purpose

Could rebels under outside guidance have made a mistake? Yes, but earlier today I stated outside guidance from Russia was part of scenario number 2. Now we see US intelligence makes the same assessment.

Repeating a few thoughts expressed previously …

How might Ukraine have done it accidentally?

Easy: On July 17, the New York Times reported Ukraine Says Russian Plane Shot Down Its Fighter Jet.

The Ukrainian government said on Thursday that a Russian military plane had shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet in Ukrainian airspace the previous evening, a serious allegation of direct intervention by Russia’s armed forces.

If confirmed, the confrontation would represent the first open and direct involvement by Russia’s military in eastern Ukraine since the separatist rebellion began there in April.

Scenario Fulfillment

Please note that 1b is not ruled out. Wreckage confirms missile damage of MH17 from that outside, but does not confirm that it was a Buk or even a missile from the ground.

And after accusing Russia of violating its airspace, is it that unlikely a Ukrainian soldier or pilot accidentally pulled the trigger?

For further discussion of “scenario fulfillment” please see Holier than Thou: Why Should Anyone Believe the US, Ukraine, or Russia?

Rush to Judgment

Under the “Lie When It’s Serious” thesis, there is no reason to believe any side completely. Yet many have done just that.
I am not ruling out any possibilities other than #6-Russia did this on purpose, and #5-the rebels did this on purpose.

Of the remaining scenarios, the likelihood Russia did this accidentally is remote, once again distinguishing between official actions and that of rogue citizens acting on their own.

Of the reasonable possibilities, only 2a removes some guilt from Ukraine. Even then, Ukraine turned down a ceasefire agreement, which if honored, would have prevented accidents.

Mainstream media and the US government are without a doubt involved in a rush to judgment, much like the ill-fated rush to judgment before the US invasion of Iraq. Senator John McCain and president Obama are particularly obnoxious.

There are lots of questions here, especially in regards to very sloppy video manipulations and accusations by Ukraine.

Accident the Most Likely Answer

The only non-accident scenarios involve Ukraine. Arguably the most likely scenario is “someone by accident”.

Please note that the US, Ukraine, and Russia have all shot down civilian aircraft by accident. Thus, all the hype from Obama, McCain, and others over “an accident” is ridiculous.

With direct Russian involvement now even more unlikely, the list narrows to Ukraine and the Rebels.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock