In an attempt to explain away the existence of evidence which shows Ukrainian troops firing the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Washington may be preparing to fix the intelligence by pinning the blame on a “defector” in order to absolve Kiev.
As we reported on Monday, award winning former AP and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry was told by an intelligence source that the U.S. is in possession of images which show men dressed in Ukrainian Army uniforms operating the Buk missile system which shot down MH17.
If proven accurate, such information would completely eviscerate Washington and Kiev’s already shaky narrative that Russian-backed separatist rebels were responsible for the attack.
The U.S. State Department now appears to be shifting the emphasis of its narrative to discount the possibility that Kiev itself was responsible for shooting down MH17. As the L.A. Times reported yesterday, “U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 [anti-aircraft missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.”
Blaming the incident on a “defector” would allow the U.S. to explain why the culprit was wearing a Ukrainian Army uniform when he shot down the airliner.
“That statement about a possible “defector” might explain why some analysts thought they saw soldiers in Ukrainian army uniforms tending to the missile battery in eastern Ukraine. But there is another obvious explanation that the U.S. intelligence community seems unwilling to accept: that the missile may have been launched by someone working for the Ukrainian military,” writes Parry, adding that, “We may be seeing another case of the U.S. government “fixing the intelligence” around a desired policy outcome, as occurred in the run-up to war with Iraq.”
Over the last 48 hours, the State Department’s narrative has been widely discredited because of Washington’s inability to provide hard evidence based on anything other than dubious social media posts and YouTube videos uploaded by the Ukrainian government.
During a remarkable exchange yesterday between AP reporter Matt Lee and U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, Lee backed Harf into a corner and forced her to tacitly acknowledge that the United States’ case is entirely built on little more than alleged social media posts.
The U.S. later admitted that it had uncovered no evidence whatsoever that linked Russia directly to the attack.