(NaturalNews) The narrative from the U.S. government and a number of those in Europe is that Russia is responsible, in some way, for the shoot-down recently of Malaysia Air Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
And there are a number of indicators and analyses from noted experts that would seem to indicate that that is a valid conclusion. Only, so far anyway, the U.S. government has not confirmed that conclusion, or at least, it is not saying so publicly.
This week, the government -- after President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other American officials had implicated Russian involvement in the downing -- backtracked somewhat, stating that its certainty regarding the incident was, well, less certain.
As reported by Daniel McAdams at LewRockwell.com:
This dramatic turn of events started with State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf claiming Monday that the State Department's certainty of Russian involvement in the apparent downing of the plane was primarily based on "social media" evidence.
That means with a likely budget of more than $100 billion, the US Intelligence Community is making decisions that may involve global nuclear war based on people's Tweets and YouTubes!
'We saw photos, we saw videos'
Well, that's not completely accurate, although analysts within the U.S. intelligence community certainly do collect open-source data from social media sites, as well as news, government and academic sites, to name a few. And, according to a recent analysis by The Washington Post, the annual intelligence budget, while classified, is probably closer to $50 billion.
Still, despite earlier presumptions that Russia was guilty, the State Department somewhat walked back the administration's comments after being asked by reporters about any evidence that informed the narrative that Moscow's hands were bloody.
"You saw the Secretary [Kerry] yesterday speak very clearly about our assessment that this was an SA-11 fired from Russian-backed, separatist-controlled territory; that we know -- we saw in social media afterwards, we saw videos, we saw photos of the pro-Russian separatists bragging about shooting down an aircraft," Harf said.
"Based on open information which is basically common sense, right -- we know where it was fired from, we know who has this weapon," she added.
By contrast, the Russian government has been more analytical and, seemingly, forthcoming.
The Russian military command has held a press conference in which officials laid out what they said was evidence from air traffic controllers and satellites, and then "simply asked the US to do the same to prove its assertions of Russian complicity," wrote McAdams. That said, the Russian command did not claim that the American-backed government in Kiev, Ukraine, shot down the commercial airliner, but they did ask Ukraine to explain why a jet fighter showed up on radar ascending quickly toward the Malaysian aircraft shortly before it disappeared. And Russian officials asked the U.S. to share any intelligence it has regarding its claim that Russia was directly -- or indirectly -- involved in the attack.
Indeed, an additional report in Foreign Policy magazine published July 23 observed that, five days after the downing, "U.S. intelligence officials are still not certain who fired the missile that felled the doomed airliner, nor have they conclusively linked the attack to Russian military forces, according to senior intelligence officials."
"The leading theory" at this point, said a senior intelligence official, is that pro-Russian separatists equipped and trained by Russia fired the deadly surface-to-air missile on July 17, killing all 298 passengers aboard. But U.S. analysts aren't sure whether the shooters were trained directly by Russian military forces or if they learned how to fire the missile while serving in the Ukrainian military, officials said.
And while there is a "mountain" of circumstantial evidence that points to the Russian-backed separatists, so far there has been "no Perry Mason" moment, a reference to the 1950s-1960s TV series about a defense attorney.
McAdams wonders if the current lack of confirming evidence by the U.S. government is similar to when it could not produce definitive evidence that the Syrian government was behind chemical weapons attacks on its own citizens, as the White House initially asserted. Later http://www.wnd.com, which could help explain why President Obama demurred to Congress a planned military strike against Syrian government forces.
Russia's "evidence" could be manufactured to hide its complicity, if in fact Moscow is complicit. Some expert analysts believe that Russia is deeply involved, at some level. But at least for now, on the surface it seems that hardcore evidence has proven illusive.