Open letter to the White House

assange

Several independent journalists, bloggers and MH17 citizen- investigators have sent a letter to the White House to urge president-elect Donald Trump and his new administration to use their powers to push for a reopening of the investigations regarding the crash of flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines on July 17, 2014. I signed the letter too.

First, the letter (onderaan de pagina kunt u een Nederlandse vertaling vinden):

Dear Mr. Trump,

Your election has raised hopes that easing of tensions, between U.S. and Russia, and peacemaking in Europe in general is achievable. Settlement of the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine and lifting the sanctions against Russia which is vital for the world community has a realistic chance now. With this in mind, there is also hope for a higher quality investigation into the disputed downing of MH17, as you expressed your doubts in an October 2015 interview, regarding the proof of Russian guilt:

“They say it wasn’t them. It may have been their weapon, but they didn’t use it, they didn’t fire it, they even said the other side fired it to blame them. I mean to be honest with you, you’ll probably never know for sure.“ (MSNBC)

Indeed, we agree with you, we will never be sure, with the kind of investigation we have seen over the past two years. The official investigation of the “Dutch Safety Board“ (DSB) and the “Joint Investigation Team“(JIT) was neither independent nor convincing. This kind of investigation forms a huge burden particularly to the families who lost their loved ones in the downing of MH17. They need to know the truth.

WE ARE ASKING YOU, TO PLEASE PUSH FOR A NEW INVESTIGATION. This could happen within an international framework like the U.N. comprising the following aspects:

 

(1) A team of international, independent scientists who would be able to exclude veto power for any government. This exclusion of veto is especially important, due to the overwhelming role of one of the involved parties, Ukraine. The main source of information to the DSB and JIT used for their official investigations was SBU, the Ukrainian secret service.

(2) Keeping all scenarios on the table.

(3) Declassifying and releasing “available satellite images” claimed by Secretary of State, John Kerry, on 20th of July 2014; or (if not) disclaiming their existence.

(4) Conducting forensic examination of impact holes (for metal residues) in the MH17 wreckage and reproducing the same pattern of damage by shelling tests (as usually done in crime cases). Completing key information fields, such as body forensics, voice recorder, radar data etc.

(5) Prior construction of, a clear path to an international, objective trial in the U.N. framework with judges from countries which are not connected with the crash.

 

FURTHERMORE, WE ARE ASKING YOU TO PLEASE INITIATE PEACE TALKS WITH ALL PARTIES CONCERNED (including but not limited to Russia, Ukraine, and the EU) aiming at settling the dispute and establishing a reconstruction plan for Eastern Ukraine including the compensation of the MH17 families.

 

Thank you so much in advance, for your attention to this matter.

– Independent journalists & experts on MH17 –

 

* Media spokesman – Mr. Billy Six

e-mail Billy@six-newhagen.de

facebook BILLY SIX

 

– MARK BARTALMAI, journalist & Ukraine documentaries producer, GERMANY

– DR. THIERRY BAUDET, journalist, publicist & initiator of Dutch referendum on EU/Ukraine association agreement, NETHERLANDS

– BERND BIEDERMANN, missile defense colonel ret., military attaché ret. & book author, GERMANY

– CHRISTOPHER BLACK, international criminal lawyer, CANADA

– NORBERT FLEISCHER, investigative journalist, GERMANY

– PROF. DR. ELMAR GIEMULLA, lawyer of German MH17 victims, GERMANY

– DR. HERMANN HAGENA, airforce general ret. & author of MH17 military study, GERMANY

– PROF. DSC. OTTO-FRIEDRICH HAGENA, physicist, GERMANY

– PETER HAISENKO, journalist, publisher & former “Lufthansa” pilot, GERMANY

– JOHN HELMER, longest-serving foreign correspondent in Russia, UNITED STATES

– FRANK HÖFER, journalist & film producer, GERMANY

– DIETER KLEEMANN, airforce colonel / trainer ret. & book author, GERMANY

– PATRICK LANCASTER, investigative journalist with 100s of hours on MH17 site from day one & U.S. Navy veteran, UNITED STATES

– DR. JAMES O´NEILL, barrister on human rights & geopolitical analyst, AUSTRALIA

– JOOST NIEMÖLLER, journalist & MH17 book author, NETHERLANDS

– GRAHAM PHILLIPS, investigative journalist, UNITED KINGDOM

– PROF. DR. KEES VAN DER PIJL, political scientist, peace activist & author, NETHERLANDS

– HECTOR REBAN, political analyst & blogger on MH17, NETHERLANDS

– NORBERT K. REISBERG, Lt.-Col. ret., airforce pilot ret. & military scientist, GERMANY

– DAN SHEPPARD, private MH17 researcher, AUSTRALIA

– JOACHIM SIEGERIST, journalist, publisher & author, GERMANY

– BILLY SIX, investigative journalist & book author, GERMANY

– MAX VAN DER WERFF, blogger & private MH17 investigator, NETHERLANDS

– PROF. KAREL VAN WOLFEREN, journalist, political analyst & book author, NETHERLANDS

– MOHD AZAHAR ZANUDIN, technician, supplier for army/police & blogger on MH17, MALAYSIA

 

Of course, when I signed I realized the letter and its signees would come under immediate attack as it cannot be denied a hardcore infowar is being waged in matters of this importance and every piece of information will be judged politically from a binary worldview. So the easiest way to discard the meaning of the letter is to frame it as a “pro-Russian” piece of propaganda from conspiracy theorists (“truthers” in the new lingo) with a bad reputation.

However, I wish to make some points to that. First and foremost, I signed because I care about the message.

letter

I sincerely think the JIT investigation is founded on a fraudulent narrative, contains many severe mistakes and shows even manipulations from which the impression arises the results have been aligned with a certain geopolitical agenda. For example, the way all publically known SBU tapes (calls of separatists intercepted by the Ukrainian secret service) show a narrative with many logical irregularities, technical manipulations (splicing-and-editing parts of conversations to invent a story) and guided interpretations, almost make oneself question his own sanity when he sees the JIT rubberstamping and sanctifying them.

I have written several blogposts to support my assertions. In my blogpost about the JIT presser – JIT comes up with a crap launch site (and gets away with it) – I mentioned i.e.

1. The apparent misinterpretation of a conversation between DNR commander Khmuryi and subcommander of Battalion Vostok San Sanych, allegedly about a Buk order on the evening of the 16th;

2. The logical irregularities and problems for the Snizhne Buk route emanating from an alleged conversation between an alleged Buk crew member and someone directing the transport in an opposite direction with respect to the direction of the Buk route;

3. The relocation of the alleged launch spot 300 meters away from a spot of scorched earth presumably burnt because of a Buk would have been fired, still clinging on this charred spot to account for a Buk launch.

4. The manipulations of the exact location where an alleged part of a Buk missile had been found, stuck in a grove of a cockpit window frame.

5. The JIT possibly lied about them finding a new photo of the alleged Buk launch plume only “in spring 2016 after intensive research on social media”. It appeared the photo was linked to a well-known pro-Kiev “infowarrior” who – as could be assumed – had a camera standing on a tripod rolling in a observation post on a site in Snizhne north, a place he did not live himself by the way.

These examples alone may attest to the need for another investigation.

This having said, with many of my co-signees I don’t agree on key-issues. However, the contents of the letter should prevail. Maybe a few of them hold ideas that could have been set aside a long time ago because of the emergence of falsisying facts, the same goes for the official story that many non-truthers seem to glorify as Divine Truth.

bcrap-is-truth

Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins claiming Truth makes every contester a liar. This method entails holding a binary worldview. There is only good versus evil, truth versus lies, righteousness versus evil intent. This is also called “moral absolutism”, a pretty fundamentalist way of thinking.

 

Many may hold flawed point of views, but the same goes for almost everyone who does not put as much effort in investigating this case as the few social media researchers who can call themselves experts now. (And even they can’t know what is hidden behind the screens). As for journalists, I see many holding falsified or dubious opinions, but what I ask of them is not that they know as much as the few experts on this, but that they keep an open mind and acknowledgde they might follow wrong leads.

Furthermore, the difference of opinions present in the group of signees may contend the view the group is kind of a monolithic Russian-led evil. In fact, the only thing binding the signees is comprised of their very strong doubts regarding the standing narrative – and for many this does not even rule out separatists and/or Russia were somehow involved in the causes of the crash. For sure, one can observe the state of liberty and scientific freedom a society is in by observing how it treats its dissidents.

Starting point for a critical view is the role Ukraine has in the JIT and how their possible involvements have been discarded without showing any verifications of their innocence. Most blatant example is the way JIT handles the question of the whereabouts of the Buks from the Anti-Terrorist Operation troops, especially those from the 1st and 2nd battalion of the 156th regiment.

benign-hegemon

The JIT obviously follows secret US directions the Ukrainians just “could not have done it”. What they should have done is providing an accurate order of battle of BUK launcher units on July 17 and military inventory control records of BUK missiles from July 16 and any later date after July 17 as well. An audit of the inventory by an impartial observer, or even the OSCE, could simply have put an end to speculations about their involvement. This apparently has not been done, though there are enough leads to treat Ukraine as a suspect, see i.e. my blogpost here.

And here we start to address the role the US has played in this case. Though they have influenced the investigation big time, there are many questions about their evidence. First, the official launch site would be corroborated, but with secret information, now for the JIT available in cleansed format in a report usable in court. No independent expert could ever verify the raw data of this important piece of evidence.

Second, the US intel community also played an important role in dissemination of a game-changer bolstering decisively public trust in the “track-a-trail” evidence, a trail of images and videos from an alleged 17.7.2014 Buk transport through rebel held area. However, we could use some clarifications about the issue of the Makeevka Buk video, the Stratfor satellite image to support it and the ensuing joint publication of this imagery on Google Earth and in a Bellingcat report.

It could not have taken the US intel community 22 months to come up with this new evidence, as they probably monitored separatist transports and vehicles implicated on a daily basis. Transparancy is what is needed here, and the only actor that can deliver that is the US government.

So, speaking for myself, its not about the US wielding their power to initiate a fair trial, as I believe it is not their call to do this (the UN should, as the letter holds as well). However, hopefully a new administration, one that is led less by pure geopolitical motives, can help us out here.

 

Nederlandse vertaling:

Open brief aan de nieuw gekozen president van de Verenigde Staten van Amerika

Probleem: de dood van 298 mensen van de neergestorte civiele Boeing MH-17 van Malaysian Airways, neergehaald door onbekende daders op 17 juli 2014 boven Oost-Oekraïne

Geachte heer Trump,

Uw verkiezing heeft de hoop vergroot dat verlichting van de spanningen tussen de VS en Rusland en het stichten van vrede in Europa in het algemeen, een haalbare zaak is geworden. Oplossing van het lopende conflict in Oost-Oekraïne en het opheffen van de sancties tegen Rusland, van vitaal belang voor de wereld gemeenschap, heeft nu een reële kans.

Met dit in het achterhoofd is er ook hoop te komen tot een hogere kwaliteit van het onderzoek naar het vermeende neerhalen van MH17, waarover uzelf ook uw twijfels heeft uitgedrukt in een interview. In oktober 2015 zei u namelijk met betrekking tot het bewijs van vermeende Russische schuld:

“Ze zeggen dat zij het niet geweest zijn. Het kan hun wapen zijn geweest, maar ze hebben er geen gebruik gemaakt, zij hebben het niet zelf afgevuurd. Men zei zelfs dat de andere kant het zou hebben afgevuurd om hen te beschuldigen. Ik bedoel, om eerlijk te zijn, je zal het waarschijnlijk nooit zeker weten.” (MSNBC)

Inderdaad, wij zijn het met u eens, dat we het nooit zeker zullen weten, gezien de aard van het onderzoek dat we in de afgelopen twee jaar hebben gezien. Het officiële onderzoek van de “Onderzoeksraad Voor Veiligheid” (OVV) en het “Joint Investigation Team” (JIT) was noch onafhankelijk noch overtuigend. Dit soort onderzoek vormt een enorme last, in het bijzonder aan de families die hun geliefden bij het neerhalen van MH17 verloren. Zij hebben er recht op de waarheid te weten.

Wij vragen u beleefd, om uw invloed in te zetten voor een nieuw onderzoek. Dit zou plaats moeten vinden in een internationaal kader, zoals de Verenigde Naties, waarbij rekening wordt gehouden met de volgende aspecten:

(1) Een team van internationale, onafhankelijke wetenschappers dat in staat is om vetorecht voor welke regering dan ook [op openbaarmaking van informatie uit het onderzoek] uit te sluiten. Een uitsluiting van vetorecht is bijzonder belangrijk vanwege de overweldigende rol van één van de betrokken partijen, Oekraïne. De belangrijkste bron van informatie die de OVV en JIT hebben gebruikt voor hun officiële onderzoek, was de SBU, de Oekraïense geheime dienst;

(2) Het openhouden van alle redelijk mogelijke scenario’s;

(3) Opheffen van geheimhouding en het vrijgeven van “beschikbare satellietbeelden” zoals door de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, John Kerry, werden genoemd op 20 juli 2014; of (indien niet aanwezig) afwijzen hun bestaan.

(4) Het uitvoeren van forensisch onderzoek van de intrede-gaten in wrakdelen van MH17 wrak (naar metalen residuen) en het reproduceren van hetzelfde schadepatroon door beschietingstesten uit te voeren (zoals men gewoon is te doen in strafrechtzaken). Het invullen van belangrijke informatie velden, zoals forensisch onderzoek van de lichamen, de voice recorder, radargegevens etc.

(5) Voorbereidend onderzoek voor een duidelijk pad naar een internationaal, objectief tribunaal in het kader van de Verenigde Naties en met rechters uit landen die geen verband houden met de ramp.

Bovendien vragen wij u vriendelijk vredesbesprekingen met alle betrokken partijen te initiëren (met inbegrip van, maar niet beperkt tot Rusland, Oekraïne en de EU), gericht op de oplossing van het geschil in Oost-Oekraïne en tot vaststelling van een plan voor de wederopbouw van het land, met inbegrip van compensatie voor de families die door de ramp getroffen zijn.

Dank u wel op voorhand, voor uw aandacht voor deze kwestie.

– Onafhankelijke journalisten en deskundigen op het gebied MH17 –

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3 gedachtes over “Open letter to the White House

  1. One problem with “declassifying and releasing available satellite images” is that if we’re really talking about early-warning ballistic launch detection (like SBIRS) as some have suggested, all images and details on how they were generated would be classified as Top Secret and likely above (compartmented). Showing any imagery would basically reveal some of the capabilities and even perhaps limitations of detecting incoming warheads including WMD. Such information will NEVER be publicly released to assist allies in complicated legal cases unless it would help somehow to divers a direct threat to the USA. Which is unlikely to be the case, even when the images would show certain “complications” which certainly would require analysis involving experts working on those top secret programs. I just don’t see this going anywhere in terms of creating a sense of trust or credibility beyond what’s already supplied. All other scenarios would involve incredible risk for the US defense programs.

    So I’s suggest to anyone not get your hopes up for this part of the request at least. Then again, it might not be allowed either to be used in any court case either.

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    • Of course, this has not stopped Elliott Higgins of asking the Russians to come forward with raw data from their most modern “Persona-2” spy satellite, rather than the heavily edited (“photosshopped”) pictures they showed on their press conference.

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