'Why does the US refuse to release full intelligence assessment of MH17 plane crash?'
RT: Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained the legal reasons for the veto. But US ambassador Samantha Power's message was very different. She has almost put all the blame on Russia. Why such a difference in stance here? Why is there such a different viewpoint?
Daniel McAdams: I think just watching Ambassador Power’s reaction to the expected veto shows why the veto was made in the first place. It is a pure propaganda ploy on the part of the US and those who are towing the US line on this. She essentially says: By vetoing this extraordinary proposal just confirms that Russia is guilty of the shooting. If you read between the lines- that is what she is saying. It’s just unbelievable, and… it’s clearly being used for propaganda purposes. We haven’t even seen the final report yet. Why would you go to the lengths to do something totally unusual like this?
RT: So now we know the result of the vote. What reaction can we expect from the international community?
DM: The countries that tow the US line will try to use this as further proof. But if you want to talk about what the Ambassador said: “Russia is trying to deny justice.” … We know that somebody did it: It was Russia, Ukraine or the separatists, it was an accident, or it was on purpose. But it isn’t [considered] unusual that this proposal was drafted by Ukraine, which is one of the suspects in the crime. It must be unprecedented in criminal history to have one of the suspects draft a proposal like this.
RT: You said it was unusual... What’s the legality of setting up such a tribunal even before the results of the official investigation, which we are waiting for in October?
DM: Apparently the framework for this proposal is the UN chapter that deals with global threats. I think that’s hard to justify in this context. I think they did it for Yugoslavia, and a few other places like this. It seems hard to justify when what you have is a crime - you don’t have a final report. And the reality is: if you want to talk about who is trying to deny justice, why doesn’t the US, which has extraordinary intelligence gathering capabilities - probably the best on earth - why do they refuse to release a full intelligence community assessment.
If you remember it was about a year ago that they released what they called a government assessment. And the reason why they called it that is because the intelligence community refused to sign some of the facts they used included quoted evidence from social media. So if you want to talk about who is denying justice, it is the US government.
The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which is a US group of retired intelligence analysts, pointed out in the interests of global peace it makes all the sense in the world for the US to finally release the information that it has about this horrible tragedy.
Malaysian plane: tool for US political propaganda campaign
Bruno Drweski from the National Institute of Languages and Eastern Civilizations said that there is political move behind Western attempts to create an MH-17 tribunal, and “the real question is in the balance of power between the US and Russia.”
RT: Why has Russia used its veto here, do you believe?
Bruno Drweski: I think it’s logical that Russia is using its veto because Russia did quite a lot to have information about all what happened around this plane crash. But the international cooperation was not very good and the US didn’t give their information about the plane crash. So there is something unbalanced. It’s logical not to have a tribunal, which would have to judge in a situation where we do not have all of the information.
RT: Russia's envoy Vitaly Churkin listed the legal reasons for the veto, but the US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power has a different viewpoint. She has almost put all the blame on Russia. Why such a difference in stance here?
BD: It’s political... It is already one year, and we do not have any information from the Dutch who are supposedly responsible for that. So we can suppose there is a political move behind it. The real question is not what is the truth, the real question is in the balance of power between the US and Russia. In that situation the US wants to use the Malaysian plane crash as a tool for their political propaganda campaign, I would say, in a very cynical way.
Russia has duty to use veto to block MH17 tribunal
Political Analyst Daniel Patrick Welch shared his opinion on the problem saying that Western experts are playing out a “political game to try to up the Russophobia as much as they can.”
RT: Why is Russia opposed to the UN tribunal, do you think?
Daniel Patrick Welch: Because it is a clear and outright political stunt. It’s aimed at blaming Russia for something that Russia didn’t do, and it is another in a long, long historical series of the US using the UN and all of its organs and investigative apparatus and political cover and diplomatic cover to pursue its own geopolitical objectives. Russia had no choice, and I’m glad that they had the perseverance that Medvedev did not have over Libya to use this strategic veto wisely.
RT: Many critics say that Russia used the veto because they have something to hide. What’s your response to that?
DPW: That’s a set up. I think that President Putin and the Russian Federation were clearheaded to see through that. Of course that is what it is going to look like. That was predetermined. The whole reason for the shoot down in the first place was to make the Russians look bad and to distract from the greater narrative – to force the false narrative of this downing of the plane, and distract from the greater narrative of the US-supported coup in Kiev.
RT: Russia's envoy Vitaly Churkin has explained the legal reasons for the veto. But US ambassador Samantha Power's message was very different. She has almost put all the blame on Russia. Why such a difference in stance here? Why is there such a difference in viewpoint?
DPW: Because she’s a puppet and she’s playing a political game. It is outrageous, it’s amazing to hear her talk about Russians denying justice, when again the larger image here is the US-sponsored armed coup with the muscles supplied in violence, supplied in large part by armed fascists. And that has never been allowed to be said and held to account in the Western media… The sanctions are running out of steam; all of their Russophobic propaganda is running out of steam. So this is an attempt to jump start this political witch hunt. I hope that the rest of the world sees it for what it is- a trick.
RT: Do the calls for a tribunal, in your opinion, undermine the official investigation?
DPW: Yes, but that depends on whether you think the official investigation is going to have any merit anyway. There were eyes in the sky on this. Both sides have some intelligence that they are not sharing with the other, everyone knows what happened. It’s most likely that it was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet or a BUK system on the Ukrainian side, and not by Russia. All the experts know this, and they are playing out this sort of political game to try to up the Russophobia as much as they can. That is all there is to it. There isn’t much else to the investigation. Therefore, it was in fact Russia’s duty to use this veto.
MH17 crash investigations should be separated from politics
Roslyn Fuller, research fellow, Insyte Interdisciplinary Group argues that it’s very important for the investigation to be impartial and separated from the politics.
RT: Russia vetoed the proposal to set up a tribunal? What’s your reaction on this?
Roslyn Fuller: It wasn’t an unexpected move. Russia had made quite clear for some time that they would veto this potential tribunal, this draft resolution to create a tribunal. They have been quite consistent in their reasons for that, saying that the downing of civilian plane is not a threat to international peace and security, and they would view that as an expansion of the Security Council’s role.
RT: What do you think will happen next?
RF: At this point, probably the investigation as we know is ongoing. So that will continue and hopefully deliver some clear results in October and then the states involved will have to take it from there. I think at this point what we are seeing is a kind of general impasse on many, many issues of international law that have kind of built up and haven’t been dealt with. Not only was there the tragic circumstance with MH17, there is also the situation in Ukraine in general. This is one part of that situation. At the moment, there is a preliminary examination into issues in Ukraine going on at the international criminal court. But it only pertains to a very small time period during the protests against [former President Viktor] Yanukovich.
RT: Does it have any impact on the criminal investigation that is taking place by the joint investigative team? Is that going to influence the outcome in anyway?
RF: Hopefully, it wouldn’t. We really would like to see an independent investigation that would be depoliticized. The UN itself of course is preliminarily a political organization, and I think it’s very, very important to separate investigations, and especially legally and judicially relevant investigations from politics. So we would hope that that investigation continues in a way that is impartial to the greatest degree possible. Therefore, in my view, I would like to see the least influence possible on that coming out of the political realm.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.