Published On: Wed, Sep 10th, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 reeks of Northwoods

Christof Lehmann (NEO) : July 17, 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 on flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur plunged out of the sky in eastern Ukraine. The crash resulted in the death of all 298 passengers and crew. Malaysian Premier Najib Razak lashed out at those behind the geopolitical chess game that led to the tragedy. An independent journalistic investigation was stonewalled with strategies ranging from ignoring calls and mails to an attempt to infect our PC with mal-ware via an e-mail sent from Ukraine. All of that, of course, in the interest of an international flying public who is expected to shut up and trust that they won’t win in the lottery of death. The MH17 tragedy reeks of operation Northwoods.

The Plane, Malaysia Airlines, and Malaysian PM Najib Razak.

Northwoods_NEOMalaysia Airlines (MAS) stated that the 19 year-old Boeing 777-200 had a perfect maintenance and safety record. There was, in other words, no apparent reason why the plane should suddenly disintegrate in flight and plummet out of the sky with 298 souls on board. The immediate response was an international positioning and blame-game that prompted a visibly shaken Malaysian Premier Najib Razak to lash out at ”those behind the geopolitical chess game that led to the disaster”, adding:

”As a leader, there has never been an occasion as heart-breaking as what I went through yesterday. Wives losing their husbands, fathers losing their children. Imagine their feelings from such a great loss. … This is what happens when there is a conflict that cannot be resolved through negotiations, with peace. In the end, who becomes the victim?” Najib Razak’s words were ominous and reflected precisely the sentiment of millions of people worldwide. People who depend on air traffic for business, for holidays, for being reunited with loved ones, and the fact that all of them are being held in the dark about what happened on that fateful day.

Source: Dutch Safety Board.

Source: Dutch Safety Board.

A lot of Speculation and very little Evidence.

Speculations ran wild from day one and both the USA, Ukraine and Russia provided what was described as “evidence”. The problem is, non of the “evidence” was made available to independent media for independent analysis. The flightaware software showed that MAS MH17 had flown a more southerly route in the days before the tragedy and that the route was changed to a more northerly route on July 16. On July 17, the route was changed even farther to the North, directly over a conflict zone and air-space that according to MAS and the Ukrainian government had been closed to an altitude of 32,000 ft. When the pilot of MH17 filed a flight plan in Amsterdam, he requested an altitude of 35,000 ft, reported MAS, adding that Ukrainian air traffic controllers had contacted the Boeing 777-200 crew when it entered Ukrainian air space and designated an altitude of 32,000 ft. The U.S. State Department claimed that it possessed evidence, showing that so-called “pro-Russian rebels”had shot down the plane. Ukrainian authorities released Youtube videos, including one that allegedly showed rebels driving a self-propelled rocket launcher with one of the rockets missing. The Russian Foreign Ministry then released a statement showing that the video was shot in a region that was controlled by troops loyal to Kiev. The Russian Foreign Ministry also released a video showing a screen shot from a radar station in the Rostov region plus satellite images. The radar screen shot showed MAS MH17 rapidly deviating from its course in northeasterly and then again in southeasterly direction before it lost speed and disappeared from radar. The radar images also showed that a plane with primary radar return only ascended towards MAS MH17. The fact that the plane gave a primary radar return only, led to speculation that it may have been a SU-25 from the Ukrainian air force.

The satellite images released by the Russian Foreign Ministry showed that BUK missile systems had been driven to the region in the days prior to July 17, that their radar systems had been active, and that the missile launchers were removed again after July 17 and the crash of MAS MH17. It is also noteworthy that Malaysian PM Najb Razak praised the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic for securing the so-called black boxes and for the fact that they handed them directly over to Malaysian air crash investigators. Malaysian air crash investigators confirmed that the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder both were intact and that they had not been tempered with.

The decision was made that the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) should lead the investigation. The decision was justified by stating that the majority of the deceased were Dutch citizens. Malaysian investigators passed the black boxes on to the Dutch Safety Board which sent them to the UK for analysis.

Hitting a Wall.

The ICAO: I made some 15, or more phone calls to the ICAO in Switzerland to ask which ICAO regulations would apply in the case of MAS MH17. One of the questions would for example be, which part of the ICAO regulations permit that it is the Dutch Safety Board and not Ukrainian authorities or Malaysian authorities who lead the investigation. The result of the long-distance phone calls was multiple transfers from the switchboard operator to “experts”, whose phones were answered by an answering machine. Another result was that the operator made several promises to assure that the ICAO would have an expert who could answer our questions call us back as soon as possible. That was in July. It is September now and we are still waiting for their call and explanations.

The Ukrainian Authorities: We made several phone calls and wrote several e-mails to the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior. Our questions were ignored. We did, however, receive an e-mail from a Ukrainian email address associated with a Ukrainian “blogger”. The mail arrived one day after our call to the Interior Ministry and it had several files attached. Our software flagged the files as containing an aggressive mal-ware that could have ruined our computer if we had not followed our standard safety procedures.

We would, among others, have liked access to the radar data files from the Ukrainian radar stations who tracked MAS Flight MH17 as well as copies of air controllers communications with the plane. The communications are crucial evidence. Besides knowing what communication took place between the air traffic controllers and the pilots we would have liked to sent these files to an expert who could have analyzed whether the files have been tempered with.

The Russian Authorities: The Russian Foreign Ministry, admittedly, was the one that came closest to fulfilling the public’s need for information. However, our call to the Foreign Ministry gave no result and our e-mail, in which we requested access to the raw data files from the radar stations or information whom to contact to apply for these files, remained unanswered.

The U.S. Authorities: We called the U.S. State Department and asked if they could help us with identifying the military authorities who allegedly had evidence for the involvement of “pro-Russian rebels”. The answer was no, and they could not send us a written explanation why it was impossible for them to do so either. We called the U.S. Department of Defense and got the same response.

The Dutch Safety Board: We contacted the Dutch Safety Board which promised that a preliminary report was to be published in late August. We asked the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) if they could release the Comma Separated Variable (CSV) Files from the flight data recorder of MH17. The answer was that they could not do that and that any of the details of the investigation were classified.

We then asked whether the Dutch Safety Board would want to state that it is independent and asked where it receives its money from. We also asked whether the Dutch Safety Board, which was an official institution of the Netherlands which is a NATO member, wants to maintain that it can act independently. The reply was that the DSB was neither dependent on the Dutch Government nor on any “organization”. Presumably, that referred to NATO. Ironically, the Dutch Safety Board is also responsible in cases of military emergencies, already that fact seems to be inconsistent with their statement.

We sent a copy of the declassified“Northwoods” memorandum to the DSB to explain why it was that we thought our questions were not only justified but that it was our obligation as news-media to ask questions about the DSB’s neutrality and Dutch NATO membership. For those who are unaware about the memorandum, it is a memorandum by the U.S. Chairman of the The Joint Chiefs of Staff L.L. Lemnitzer to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, dated 13 March 1962.

In the memorandum, Lemnitzer suggested that a U.S. passenger plane could land at a secret U.S. military base and be substituted by a remote-controlled passenger plane which then could be shot down by fighter jets. The incident would then be blamed on Cuba, and serve as a pretext for an invasion of Cuba. The full memorandum is published here

We sent our latest set of questions, including a copy of the Northwoods memorandum to the Dutch Safety Board on August 21 and sent two reminders to the DSB since then. We received receipts showing that the DSB received our e-mails but no reply. Apparently the DSB’s propaganda experts don’t really know how to respond to obvious questions.

NATO: We wrote to NATO and asked whether NATO could forward the contact details of a spokesperson who was authorized to answer questions pertaining NATO’s role in the Ukraine, including NATO’s operation Gladio, and the eventual implications with regard to the UNA-UNSO, Pravy Sector, their respective militants and the downing of MAS MH17. We received a series of confirmations that our e-mail has been received and read, but so far, we have not received any response.

Beyond Geopolitics. In the Interest of the General Public.

 The governments of Ukraine, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands have according to a statement published by the Ukrainian UNIAN news agency agreed that any of these countries could veto the publication of evidence from the investigation into the death of 298 people and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The investigation into the incident is according to a statement by the Dutch Safety Board conducted in accordance with ICAO regulations and Dutch law.

We asked a tenured professor who is lecturing in air safety, air crash investigations, and related legislation at an internationally renown university. Speaking to us on condition of anonymity and fearing “serious repercussions” if his name is mentioned, this expert told us that there, to the best of his knowledge, was no section in the ICAO regulations that permitted countries who were potentially involved in mass murder by bringing down a passenger plane to agree on keeping the evidence classified.

The general public, especially the flying public has a need to know the truth, regardless of its geopolitical implications. The Northwoods Memorandum proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the military chiefs of NATO member states are capable of contemplating the downing of passenger jets to create a pretext for a war. The MH17 tragedy “reeks” of Northwoods and the foul smell of cynical mass murder. The public has not only a need to know, the public has a right to know, and the right to bring criminals to justice, who ever they are. When legal systems become co-opted by criminals, the public may sooner or later have to find alternative functions for lamp posts.

Dr. Christof Lehmann an independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and the founder and editor in chief of nsnbc, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Related follow up report:

DSB Report: Malaysia Airlines MH17 Probably Shot Down – Coverup Continues

Related documents:

Preliminary Report of the Dutch Safety Board on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17
NORTHWOODS MEMORANDUM (complete text): Memorandum For the Secretary of Defense : Justification for Military Intervention in Cuba
Read all of our coverage of MAS MH17 with news, analysis and opinion, here.

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

Displaying 6 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. It’s hard to know, what to believe, but you are doing a great job. The whole story makes me sick though. But do keep up the good work.

    • Dear Margit Høgsvig.
      Thank’s for the positive feedback and yes, it is indeed sickening. You say ” It’s hard to know what to believe”. That is exactly the point; the lives and safety of millions of passengers is at risk but the public is supposed to “believe” instead having full disclosure. As as editor, as concerned citizen and as someone who depends on air traffic I say “We cannot let this stand”.

  2. You are right about jurisdiction. The Dutch have none, except what the US can bully through. Generally it is the flag state of the aircraft, the state where it crashed, and finally the manufacturer is involved but not as a regulatory agency. The kind of job the Dutch will do can be seen by their PM’s crude and ugly response to that rebel soldier holding up the child’s doll. He couldn’t wait to milk it for propaganda value. Of course he made a fool of himself, because a few seconds later the tape showed the soldier gently putting the doll back down, crossing himself and looking appropriately saddened. Did the right-wing thug they have as a PM apologize to the soldier after his crude grandstanding. What is WRONG with the people of Europe that they persistently elect these ugly Thatcherite thugs as PM! What happened to the peaceful, thoughtful people we used to have in government. Their anti-Russian mania is only hurting themselves.I’m no fan, but I’ve gotta hand it to Putin. With a weak hand he has made a fool of Obama (Worse than Bush!) and the Brussels crowd. Merkel backing Nazis! Who’d have thought it. Has she had to answer for it!

    • Dear Cpt Smith.

      QUOTE: “You are right about jurisdiction. The Dutch have none, except what the US can bully through. Generally it is the flag state of the aircraft, the state where it crashed, and finally the manufacturer is involved but not as a regulatory agency.”

      That is exactly right, according to ICAO regulations.
      That is exactly why we continue asking the ICAO and the DSB to show us the section within the ICAO regulations and/or Dutch law, which would legalize and authorize that the investigation is being conducted in the form in which it currently is being conducted. – So far, and since July, they haven’t been willing to show that passage – and they won’t be able too.

      All we want is them to admit that fact. Then we take it from there – as a journalist and newspaper should as advocate of the public’s’ interest.

  3. They Knew says:

    @Christof Lehmann, I was wondering about a screenshot of FlightAware in your article of July 18, 2014. They told me two different things about it: 1. It was a hoax, MH-17 was flying its originated course; 2. FlightAware has deleted the data, and altered it with the more northern course. Do you know what exactly has happened?

    • nsnbc says:

      They Knew – nsnbc is not in the business of publishing hoaxes or un-vettet information. We leave that to the NYT, the BBC or ETC. The data come form the same day. July 17, 2014. Vetted after contact with the provider. Fahwad Al-Khadoumi- Co-editor.

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