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“MH17 two years on”: Luke Harding’s cynical exploitation of one family’s pain

by Catte

If Luke Harding’s wild-eyed narcissism was less in tune with the current western agenda then his editors at the Guardian might be taking him aside and quietly suggesting counselling and medication. But things being as they are, his narratives of battling Demon Russia and its Empire of Evil tend to make the front page, however rabidly insane, libellously mendacious or simply cringeworthy they may be.

But yesterday the Guardian unleashed this:


Absorb the headline and the intent behind it. Something of a tour de force of moral bankruptcy even for the team that brought you the Polonium story. We don’t just get racism, warmongering and towering falsehoods here. No – we can also experience the exploitation of 20 year old Richard Mayne’s short life and tragic death and his family’s pain! So sit back and enjoy as Harding rushes in where the sane and ethical might fear to tread, boldly turning one family’s unspeakable tragedy into grist for his own Putin-hate mill.

You see, happily for Luke and the pro-war agenda, Richard was killed on board MH17, and his parents blame Vladimir Putin…

Amid their grief, the Maynes came to a grim conclusion: Richard had been murdered. The man whom they believe murdered him is Vladimir Putin. It was Putin, they believe, who gave orders for the Russian military to cross the border, setting in train a series of consequences, including the shooting down of MH17 and 10,000 dead in the conflict.

Let’s be crystal clear at this point. No one can blame this family for their anger. They’re desperate and grief-stricken and need someone to be punished for the crime that took their son. The fact Putin is their target is an understandable human response, and no one could condemn them.

But even in a world of wall-to-wall media deception there’s something freshly disgusting in the way this piece weaves saccharine “sympathy” for the tragically bereaved into a simplistic narrative of polarity and hatred, likely to produce nothing but more death, and more grieving families like the Maynes.

Here are just a few examples, starting with the least egregious:

In the previous week, the Russian defence ministry had provided the rebels with an array of heavy weaponry: tanks, artillery pieces and mortars. Plus undercover soldiers disguised as “volunteers”.

If Harding had prefaced this claim with “it’s rumoured” or “it has been claimed” he would be doing something closer to journalism. And if he also mentioned the counter-claims that NATO is supplying the Kiev government with weapons, or the evidence for NATO-backed mercenaries fighting for the Kiev government, or the claims of the Kiev government’s war crimes against its own people (including the use of white phosphorous, which is banned under UN rulings), there’d be something approaching balance here.

But of course none of this has any direct evidential bearing on the fate of MH17 anyway, since tanks, artillery pieces and mortars were not in any way involved in shooting down that plane. Harding is merely trying to evade the facts and plant a perception of guilt by associated ideas. But it gets a lot worse.

The Buk arrived after Ukrainian war planes started bombing rebel positions and government troops were taking back territory. Suddenly, Ukrainian military aircraft were being blown from the sky.

Note how he completely elides the fact that a Dutch Intelligence report stated only the UAF had the operational capacity to shoot down a jet liner at 20,000+ feet, and the only Ukrainian planes “blown from the skies” were taken down at comparatively low altitudes by ManPads or “light” anti-aircraft guns not BUK. If his sentence ran something like: “unverified claims have been made that a BUK arrived some time before July 17, but the only planes known to have been downed by the rebels before or after this date were brought down using portable Manpads or light SAMs”, it would be broadly definable as honest.

And then we get this:

Certainly, Russia has done everything it can to cover up the crime. The Kremlin used its UN security council veto to stop an international investigation similar to that carried out following the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing.

Getting into his stride, Luke abandons implications and guilt by juxtaposition in favour of his old standby – the outright lie. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how completely unfazed he is by the total absence of evidence anywhere that Russia covered up anything, or by the small detail that Russia did not veto an “international investigation”, at all but in fact supported UN Resolution 2166 that called for “efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines”. What does Luke think the Dutch Safety Board international investigation was if not – well, an international investigation? Is he not aware Russia supported it and supplied it with evidence?

We can be charitable and assume Harding means the proposal for a UN tribunal. Russia did veto that, it’s true, because – it argued – this was unprecedented and also premature to begin a second international investigation while the first was still underway. But this is not the same thing at all as vetoing an “international enquiry,” and Harding is surely aware of that. His narrative here amounts to a total reversal of known and established facts.
But he ain’t done yet…

Last October, a Dutch safety board report confirmed that a Buk missile launched from rebel-controlled territory hit MH17…

Is Luke trying to make us think the DSB directly blamed the “rebels” for shooting down MH17? Because to the unwary it might read as if that is what they did. But of course it isn’t, and Luke knows it. The DSB report concluded a BUK was probably responsible for the destruction of MH17 (though this is by no means conclusive), but it did not say which side had fired the missile because it could not pin down the probable launch area in a narrow enough corridor to make such a statement feasible. The claim of “rebel-conrolled territory” is word-fog designed to create the illusion of accusation where none exists.

The Buk’s crew appear to have fired on MH17 by mistake. At 5.50pm Moscow time, their leader Igor Strelkov, a veteran Russian intelligence officer, tweeted that his men had shot down another Ukrainian transport – or “bird”, as he put it.

All we need to do is note the weasel-words “appear to.” Another Harding trademark. They translate as “I want you to believe it but I have no evidence whatsoever that anything even remotely resembling this actually happened”. Admire also how he breezes right past the fact the DPR denied this tweet, and the account it emanated from, had anything to do with Strelkov at all:

You don’t have to believe it, Luke, but you do have to report it, particularly when you are building your story around the need of a bereaved family for justice.

I could go on. I could talk about Harding’s complete elision of the numerous uncertainties and controversies still surrounding almost every aspect of the incident in favour of a groundless certitude. His refusal to acknowledge the fact there is still no agreement over what shot MH17 out of the sky, never mind who (was it a BUK, as the corporate media claim, not a BUK, an SU-25, definitely NOT an SU-25, or something else again? ). Or his absolute refusal to even acknowledge the fact the UAF is known to have had over 20 working BUK, while the rebels are only rumoured to have had one. Or the virtual impossibility of an untrained amateur crew being able to use one “acquired” BUK to take down anything. Or the Russian satellite data, all but ignored by western media, that seems to suggest very strange shenanigans immediately prior to the takedown of the plane. Or the numerous questions and accusation hanging over the DSB’s final report.

But you probably get the picture. The depth of the lie here and the fragility of their control over their own narrative is evidenced BTL. The comments were opened for less than three hours and at close the final page looked like this:


Other comments were simply airbrushed away in totality (we’ve all experienced that). One reader even tells us his account of 18 months standing was permanently disabled simply because he pointed out that Eliot Higgins’ work has been described as “propaganda.” Harding, of course, is known to fear the comments section and rumoured to police it ferociously, demanding the instant banning of anyone who critiques him.

But however much he silences his critics BTL, the question still remains – what is Harding doing here? And, even if we accept he’s too lost in his narcissistic persecution complex to understand concepts of right and wrong or truth and fiction, what is the Guardian’s excuse? The Mayne family, like so many others, are looking for answers and solutions, not lies and propaganda. They want to know who killed their son. Who really, actually killed their son. because it’s the only thing they can do for him any more; the only act of caring and protection left available to them. And for that they need and deserve more than being used as the unwitting attack dogs for undeclared and lunatic agendas. They deserve the respect of honesty and full and truthful disclosure.

If they’d been given that would they still be blaming Vladimir Putin? Or would their anger be directed against other – possibly more deserving – targets, such as the media that has lied and continues to lie in the service of obscuring truth and promoting war?

I can’t tell and wouldn’t presume to dictate. But if one of my children had died so abominably I hope I would find someone willing to help me find the culprits rather than use me as a poster child for their own personal hate campaign.


  1. Its SHURE that Luke Harding is a LIAR,his Book,about Snowden,is a well orchestrated Fraud,made by ZIA,zionist intelligence agency,only a Fool belive in all this Circus,we have a sensationailist left wing libtards,to criticise Russia,and put a well mole,a perfect agent to infiltrate on Russia…
    if i was the Russian Government,i will send Snowden to Africa…he should helps more there with his fiction,than helps Moskva..

  2. re the article

    What to expect from this guy? I discovered Luke Harding through reading his poorly written, unprofessional hatchet job of a book, “Wikileaks.”

    “Wikileaks – Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy,” which is the last thing you want to look to Luke Harding (and David Leigh) for, is full of the ranting and twisting of facts that only someone with a “narcissistic persecution complex” could put before the public this way.

    The authors, who have a hardcore hate-on for alternative media, recount the “Collateral Murder” video that helped make Wikileaks a widely known and inspiring phenomenon, which other news orgs thought to imitate (http://bit.ly/29LazzR). Quite early in the video, when all you saw was men, including the two Reuters cameramen, casually strolling down the street, One yahoo in an Apache helicopter watching the scene from a great distance, and clearly working himself up for some killing, utters “Fucking prick.” Uh huh. That’s what I think when I see some guys casually walking around, doing NOTHING! The authors are determined to put this instance of whistleblowing in the worst light they can, deriding the title Wikileaks gave for the video as “tendentious” and leaving out of their retelling the presence of two children in the video. They were in the van that happened on the scene of carnage. It figures that these killers would be surprised to see life where they are. I also found it interesting, and disturbing, that while the murderers were chomping at the bit to kill, at no point did you see any effort by the Apache crew to determine whether there were others – soldiers, civilians, anyone – in the area who these supposed fighters, strolling quite casually, were going to engage. You don’t see anyone else and you hear NO ONE ask the question, “Where is the enemy or target or targets that these fighters are engaging?” I’m just glad that these guys fighting for my values and freedom are professionals. Not!

    The murderous Apache crew are soon looking at dead bodies from a great distance and there’s no mention of any possible targets of the supposed fighters, because all they have on their minds is killing, which I guess means a job well done and approval and acceptance. And a paying job. “Oh ya, Look at those dead bastards,” says one murderer. Another responds with “Nice.” Then more congratulations follow, as well as expressions of glee when they think they might get to fire some more. You hear someone wishing out loud for one of the later to arrive Iraqis, from the van, to pick up a gun. They are amused by one victim crawling around, unable to stand, and wish out loud for him to pick up a gun. I kid you not. And they get a real chuckle out of the apparent running over of a dead body by the Bradley armored vehicle that arrives about 8 minutes after the real fun.

    The authors like this killing too and clearly worry about public perception of the easy to understand video, because they try to shift the cruelty on display from the murderers on the scene to their far away bosses, hoping that the readers will not notice that the cruel murderers on the scene are in sync with their cruel murderous bosses elsewhere. Indeed, Anyone can be a soldier. “The cruel decision to treat the Baghdad streets as a battle-space on which all were fair game was made not by individual sadists or war criminals, but by the US military at a much higher level.” As noted, a van appeared and the courageous driver and other passengers who tried to tend to any wounded ended up dead for their trouble. The Apache that fired on the two Reuters employees and their Iraqi companions also fired on the these later arrivals when they exited the van and on the van they arrived in, wounding two children who were inside. The treating soldier who arrived in the Bradley minutes after the shooting had stopped, found two wounded children in the van and in what one ‘might’ say was the sole act of human compassion in all of this, he decided to send the children to the nearby US base called Rustamiyah. But, out of concern for the well being of these young victims of war, who were a big part of the reason the Americans were in Iraq afterall, higher command ordered that the children instead be handed over to Iraqi police (IPs in the video) who would presumably take them to an Iraqi hospital and, due to circumstances, a lower standard of care. We hear the dogs talking about it: “Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle,” says one dog. Then another responds with “That’s right!” I think if Iraqis (Pakistanis, Yemenis, Syrians) knew where ‘battles’ were going to break out, they wouldn’t be driving around in the area with their kids. But maybe that’s just my unprofessional opinion.

    Wikileaks revealed this (one) instance of the US military’s operation of liberating Iraq. For that, Luke Harding and his co-author, boosters of imperialism and their imperial bosses, can only say “This was surely what free speech was meant to be all about. In many people’s eyes, Assange deserved to be seen as a hero.” They know that they can’t get us to believe that it’s wrong to know this, but they might succeed in getting us to join them in criminalizing Julian Assange. The “many people’s eyes” clearly don’t include those of the authors.

    Collateral Murder: http://bit.ly/29Y3al2

    • Pity you missed Luke’s mistitled, ‘The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man.’ I trudged wearily the entire length of it, I’m ashamed to say, before realizing the ‘Inside Story’ contained not a single “inside” interview or original comment from the subject.

      I think I’d have enjoyed your review…

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      What Harding and the hundreds of others like him in the sewer of the Western MSM propaganda system illustrate is that forty years of total dominance by the psychopathic Right in the West has produced a ruling elite in politics, finance and other business activities, and in their MSM propaganda apparatus who are EVIL. And the process worsens every day in a Darwinian process of unnatural selection where creatures like Harding are rewarded for their service, and ANY dissent, however marginal, is extirpated, as ‘antisemitism’, ‘anti-Americanism’, ‘support for terrorism’ blah, blah, blah. The downfall of the Guardian illustrates the process in its full horror. It is totalitarianism, behind an increasingly ludicrous veil of ‘Freedom’, run by and for the likes of monsters like Rupert Murdoch.

  3. BillS says

    It should be noted that at the time of the tragedy, the Ukraine forces were losing and on their heels, calling for NATO to intervene, and the rebels while on the advance, were still in a tenuous position being both under-manned and under-equipped as well as suffering the full Western media negative propaganda treatment. So in this context, the Ukraine had everything to gain by creating a tragedy and blaming it on the rebels, while the rebels similarly had everything to lose.
    One may default to the idea that “the rebels shot it down by accident”, to which one must answer the question of needing the skillset to fire the thing (and hit somethiing), to which one may say; “well Russia supplied the skilled operators to operate it”, which would then mean that it wasn’t a mistake, it was deliberate, which brings us back to the fact that there was everything to lose by such an act… No, it was more than likely an attempt to swing world opinion toward supporting a full NATO intervention, on behalf of the same side that possessed several BUK’s and crews, and targeting radar (known to be ON at the time of the event).

  4. Luke Harding, the punk plagiarist, bends credibility yet again!

    Those that follow his writing realise it’s riddled with agitprop and rabid hatred for Putin and anything Russian. He is not a journalist but an opinion generating anti-Russian (5th) columnist and most clearly an MI6/CIA media based asset.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Rabid is certainly the word for Harding, and in my opinion this is a truly vile example of the filth he habitually produces. And I believe that his rabid acts make a devastating war with Russia more likely, thus making Harding a VERY evil bastard indeed. But he’s hardly Robinson Crusoe at the Guardian sewer, or in the Western MSM as a whole.

  5. My, my getting banned at the Guardian does seem quite easy nowadays. I did once describe ‘Comment is Free’ as a euphemism for ‘Comment is free, as long as you are a global warming fanatic, a feminist and a socialist EU-loving luvvie’ or the like. Now it seems you mustn’t be an anti-imperialist either.

    As most of the global warming, feminist, socialist, EU-loving luvvies were pretty against the Iraq war, it does make you wonder who will be left actually reading the Guardian soon………

    I never did quite work out why I was banned, other than the forcefulness of my language in disagreeing with the forceful language of the ‘in crowd’ set off a few alarm bells.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      There is no ‘fanaticism’ involved in adhering to rationality and decency and agreeing with the near unanimous consensus of scientists that anthropogenic climate destabilisation is real and deadly dangerous. There is, in contrast, a true fanaticism of truly prodigious proportions in denying it as a string of record global temperatures occurs and extreme weather events of all types occur at unprecedented rates.

  6. Eric_B says

    I find it hard to believe that the Russians somehow smuggled a Buk launcher into Ukraine, with no spare missiles, no radar vehicle, no fuel truck, command post or support vehicles.

    They seemingly couldn’t even spare a tarpaulin to cover it up. And they had to borrow a truck from Ukraine to drive it around.

    • & all weeks before 17th July & inside Kiev Junta held territory too & firing an old Kiev warhead !

      Damn clever these Chinese ….. err I mean Russians !

  7. The only truthful thing Goebbels said was:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

    I expect Luke the Spook has it hanging on the wall in front of his desk.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Hitler was the Big Lie enthusiast, and Goebbels the fan of ceaseless repetition. You can see why Madison Avenue were so keen to recruit Goebbels, admiring his techniques so much.

  8. The sad story of MH 17 bears more strange elements since among the victims were several dozens of HIV experts heading to a congress to Austarlia. Among them someone who had already made very critical remarks on the Ebola outbreak in Westafrica around a US Bio lab in Kenema. See (down in the last part of the article):
    „Ebola: Pandora´s Box Opened Since Long?“ http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/ebola-pandoras-box-opened-since-long/
    And as for the Plonium case see:
    „Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story“, http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/arafat-and-litvinenko-an-interesting-turn-to-a-mysterious-story/
    Andreas Schlüter
    Berlin, Germany

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      The first time I Googled Po 210 and overdoses, I discovered a number of sites that recorded that an early example of Po210 poisoning occurred at the Israel Dimona nuclear bomb factory. Funny old world, ain’t it.

  9. “over what shot MH17 out of the sky” – the Dutch crash investigators conclude that it was a missile & released an quite nice simulation showing roughly what they believed happened with supporting evidence. On the balance of probabilities it was Russian supplied & they made a mistake – which happens in war zones.

    • JJA says

      If it was a Buk that downed MH17 then it was definitely made in Russia and in that sense ‘Russian supplied’. But then again, Kalashnikov rifles have been used in all sorts of terrorism, wars and other violence in many parts of the world. They too are ‘Russian supplied’ but Russia does not get blamed for this.
      What balance of probabilities suggests it was a mistake? It takes proper training to fire a Buk and hit the target. Something the ‘rebels’ did not have, let alone any objective evidence (let’s forget bellingcat’s blatant propaganda peddling) that they even possessed a Buk. On the balance of probabilities, I would argue it is far more likely the plane was diverted into a hot zone deliberately by Kiev air traffic control (what other explanation other than deliberately is feasible especially as the tapes have ‘gone missing’) and then attacked either by Buk or fighter aircraft with a view to the plane crashing in the rebel held zone and the finger of blame being firmly pointed at the rebels, and ultimately, the demon’s demon, Putin.

      • A R says

        The claim that Kiev purposely directed the plane over the Donbas so it could be shot down is simply a conspiracy theory. Give proof if you have it.

        Contrary to public thought, the air space over the Donbas WAS closed, but only at 6500 ft. This value of 6500 ft was chosen because the Russian rebels/proxies had shot down 2 Ukrainian military transport planes over the past week using MANPADs, which have an operational ceiling of around 6500 ft. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian air traffic controllers did not know the rebels had a BUK in their possession, which can reach far above 6500 ft.

        As for the tapes, keep in mind Russia made the same excuse when it was asked for its own tapes at the Rostov-On-Don airport, which is extremely close to the Russian-Ukrainian border and would have had detected an SU-25, which the Russians claim they lost the radar images for!

        • Seamus Padraig says

          I don’t know about the flight route, but it is known that Kiev ATC ordered the pilots of MH17 to lower their altitude:

          The pilots of MH17 filed a flight plan asking to fly at 35,000 feet throughout Ukrainian airspace, the airline said in a statement Friday. However, upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic controllers to fly at 33,000ft.

          And that’s from NBC news–not generally regarded as a ‘conspiracy theory’ website.

          • A R says

            Your comment has nothing to do with my comment. If you read what you posted, you would see the air traffic controllers requested the plane descend from 35,000 ft to 33,000 ft, a small difference of only 2000 ft. Irrelevant.

            This makes no difference as to what I said. 33,000 ft is still far above the 6500 ft ceiling of a MANPAD, and 35,000 ft is still within the range of a BUK, so the conspiracy theory you are trying to peddle here, that the Ukrainian ATC lowered MH17 to make it easier for a false flag attack to happen, is completely false. The BUK could hit the plane at either height.

            • Richard Le Sarcophage says

              Yes, AR, but despite Western propaganda lies that you regurgitate with enthusiasm, there is no evidence from other than disinformationists like ‘Bellingcrap’ that the Donbass Anti-fascist Resistance had BUKs or the required ancillary equipment.

        • JJA says

          “The claim that Kiev purposely directed the plane over the Donbas so it could be shot down is simply a conspiracy theory. Give proof if you have it.”
          The proof will be in the air traffic controller tapes that the Kiev regime refuses to release. The fact is Kiev air traffic control ordered the plane to deviate from its original flight plan to overfly a ‘hot’ zone and also to descend. There is no ‘obvious’ reason for this change of flight plan. Until such time Kiev explains why, so-called ‘conspiracy’ theories offer a more likely explanation.

          • A R says

            More lies from Russian propaganda sources.

            Independant source Flightradar 24 shows MH17 flew on 33.000 feet (FL330) and never descended. Actually Kiev asked MH17 to climb to FL350 (35.000) but MH17 declined possibly due to the weight of the aircraft.


            The Dutch Safety Board confirms this in the transcript between ATC and MH17.


            Lastly, MH17 never deviated from its flight plan:


            If you want more debunking of Russia’s purposeful lying, to spread disinformation, please read this excellent post:


            • JJA says

              ‘More lies from Russian propaganda sources.’

              LOL. You are a bit off message, the smear you are looking for is ‘Putinbot’.
              More pertinently,
              1. why does Kiev not release the air traffic control tapes?
              2. why have the US not released their satellite data?
              So instead of smearing anyone who dares not to accept the forcefed western propaganda wholesale, why don’t you put pressure on your stringpullers to come clean and publish the data they possess?

              • Richard Le Sarcophage says

                AR is probably a Ukronazi, either in the central hive in Kiev, or in one of the infestations in the West, as in Canada and Australia. Fascism is on the march again, naked and unashamed, and murdering innocents in MH17 or in shelling the Donbass or rank butchery in Odessa is what they do best, just like their fathers and grandfathers during WW2.

          • A R says

            Whoops, looked like I posted my last comment numerous times, because I didn’t know it was being held for pre-moderation.

            Mods, please ignore the multiple-submissions I made, except for the first.

            Sorry about that!

            • For me, the most telling nonsense is the excitement generated by the report that a ‘big part of a Buk missile’ was found in the wreckage.


              Found at the crash site, they say. Let’s stay professional, shall we, and stipulate that it would be part of the SA-11 missile – the Buk is the system that fires it. What would that be doing in the wreckage, at the crash site?

              You tell me. How does the SA-11 work? Does it drive itself into the side of the aircraft, like a harpoon in a whale, and bring it down by punching a hole in it while the remainder of the missile rides the doomed aircraft to its final destination? Of course not. When it senses – through a proximity fuse – that it is close to the target and at the correct aspect, it explodes, and showers the target with high-speed fragments which pierce and shred it. The pieces of the missile fall to earth where the target was attacked and stricken.

              Was that at the crash site? Hardly. The plane and then its largest pieces flew on for another 30 miles or so before they began to fall to earth. So what’s an SA-11 exhaust nozzle doing in the wreckage? Again, you tell me. How about that? this piece was ‘found in the wreckage’ two years later, after the wreckage had been combed over and over, looking for clues.

              The Buk transporter/launcher could not attack an aircraft by itself – it has no acquisition radar. The Buk complex is meant to function as a system, incorporating an acquisition radar (which detect the target and feeds to coordinates to the four transporter/launcher vehicles and tells their radar where to look to lock on to the target) and the four launcher vehicles. All the detective work has focused on a single unidentified transporter/launcher, which could not find the target without an acquisition radar to guide it. The Dutch intelligence service has specified that the ‘separatists’ did not have a complete working system, and the Ukrainian army insisted it did not leave a working system behind.

              • Eric_B says

                The nozzle is probably from a Uragan ground to ground rocket.

            • Seamus Padraig says

              I am unaware of any pre-mod policy here. Whenever I’ve posted a message in the past, it has always appeared immediately.

              • As it says in the para above the comment box – any post with more than two hyperlinks is held back for approval as part of the spam filtering. That’s the only form of moderation we employ

        • Eric_B says

          You’re wrong on your claim that Ukraine closed the airspace below 6,500 feet. They closed it below 32,000 feet on 14th July.

          It’s also false that Ukrainian Antonov military transport planes have an operational ceiling of 6,500 feet.

          You seem to be just making things up mate.

        • Richard Le Sarcophage says

          There is NO evidence that the Donbass Resistance had a BUK, or its ancillary equipment. To assert so is disinformation.

    • Paul Watts says

      On the balance of probabilities it was also a Ukrainian operated missile.

    • Secret Agent says

      If the plane had been torn apart from a buk, one would expect to find buk shrapnel throughout the wreckage. I’ve seen lots of reports that obsfucate its absence and many more that imply its presence, but I’ve never seen one that says : look, here is buk shrapnel taken from the crash site.

      You will recall that when the report was presented to the Austalian corner it was rejected because it did not meet the standards of evidence required by law.

      And that’s what all of us sceptics want to see. Evidence that a judge would deem admissible for consideration in his courtroom.

      • A R says

        BUK missile fragments have already been found and the DSB released pictures months ago:

        Photo showing 4 of the numerous pellets stored in a BUK missile, that were found in cockpit, the bodies of the Captain, Purser, and First Officer: http://www.sott.net/image/s13/275264/full/fragments_MH17.jpg

        Photo showing BUK missile nozzle found by the DSB investigators:

        The Russian BUK manufacturer also exploded a BUK missile near a cockpit of a Boeing, and that too showed numerous tiny holes. This is because the BUK missile has hundreds of tiny pellets inside and when it explodes, these pellets are released. Many conspiracy theories and Russian disinformation agents online were saying the cockpit holes came from “SU-25 machine gun fire”, which is incorrect. They were created from the tiny pellets in the missile and this is confirmed if you watch the aforementioned recreation by the Russian BUK manufacturer.

        • Yonatan says

          The Russian Buk manufacturer also said the elements are from an old version no longer used by Russia, but used by Ukraine.

          • A R says

            Meaning the rebels/proxies captured it from the Ukrainian army. At least all this nonsense about SU-25 machine gun fire/false flag/Putin’s plane, all being peddled by Russian media to confuse people, has finally died down.

            • So, as I understand it, this is the situation (correct me if I’m wrong).

              We know the UAF had BUK. We know they had trained operators and the backup systems needed to use them effectively.

              We don’t know if the rebels had any working BUK. We don’t know if they had trained operators and can be fairly certain they did NOT have the backup system to use them effectively .

              Given this, doesn’t logic dictate a BUK attack would be far more likely to come from the UAF than the rebels? Why is this not your first assumption?

              • A R says

                If we are going to go by logic, then in my opinion, it makes sense the rebels did it. Considering that the rebels had already shot down two Ukrainian planes (one cargo and one transport) the week MH17 was shot down, albeit using MANPADs, we know they were “on alert” for Ukrainian planes.

                In addition, the Ukrainian military had no reason to shoot down a plane, as the rebels don’t have an air force. But the opposite is possible.

                As for training, I don’t think it’s a problem. All Russian and Ukrainian men are required to undergo 2 years (I might be wrong about the duration) of military training, which includes SAM operation, such as BUK systems.

                Combine that with the bizarre conspiracy theories being peddled by the Russian state media, all of which have been debunked (it was Putin’s plane they were aiming for, it was a false flag by Ukraine/CIA, it was an SU-25, they wanted to kill the AIDS researchers on it, the plane was full of corpses and the crash never happened), and it becomes obvious which side is responsible.

                As an aside, it’s rare the writer responses to comments in the MSM! Thank you for that!

                • BillS says

                  As i posted above, the Ukrainians had a lot to gain by downing the plane and blaming it on the rebels, they were begging for NATO intervention and this could have tipped the scales. While the rebels coaxing NATO to join the fight would have been disaster for them, so that is very unlikely to have been their action. This is more logical, no?
                  Best bet is that the actual satellite and Ukrainian radar data shows the Ukraine as the culprit, which is why it is still secret after all of this time. (if it showed the rebels or russia did it, we would have had it within hours)

                • Jen says

                  If you’re relying on logic, then logic should tell you that the evidence that has been made public so far is not enough to demonstrate that the Donbass rebels can be held culpable for the MH17 shoot-down.

                  There seems to be hesitation on the part of the US government to release satellite image data it claims to have on the shoot-down of MH17. The Dutch Safety Board releases interim and final reports that turn out to be little more than a waste of its time and the resources it used to produce them. Its collection of the evidence and its own investigation have been sloppy. In addition the Dutch, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine signed a non-disclosure agreement under which they can veto one another’s attempt to disclose further information about the shoot-down: this surely compromises any investigation because at least one of the signatories to the agreement has a direct interest in shaping a possible false narrative. The European Court of Human Rights refuses to hear cases brought by the families of German and Dutch MH17 passengers against Ukraine for allowing MH17 to fly through a warzone. Yet the ECHR will hear a case brought by Australian families against Russia which legal experts apparently say will fail.

                  Logic if applied correctly does not selectively consider evidence that happens to conform to one’s own biased narrative. All evidence has to be considered and the logical thing to do is to keep an open mind and to be prepared for the possibility of being proved wrong.

                • Eric_B says

                  Standard Russian and Ukrainian military training does not include SAM operation of SAM’s such as BUKs.

                  BUK operation is a highly specialised field. Buks may only be fired by trained officers.

            • Richard Le Sarcophage says

              And now you categorically reveal yourself as a liar and disinformationist working for the Ukronazi regime. There has been no report of a Ukronazi BUK being captured by the Donbass Anti-fascist resistance, at any time or place. Desperate lying.

              • Richard Le Sarcophage says

                Thanks, too, to EricB for pointing out your outright lie about BUK training.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      On the balance of probabilities it was a Ukronazi BUK, either aiming for Putin’s jet, or killing in cold blood in order to blame Russia.

      • A R says

        How ludicrous. Stop spreading these conspiracy theories. Give proof they were trying to kill Putin. Also, please don’t be racist towards Ukrainians by calling them “Uktonazi”.

          • A R says

            Calling millions of people Nazis and other names proves you are the only racist, “Seamus”.

            • JJA says

              If the Ukrainian extremists stopped waving Swastika flags and dressing themselves in SS style memorabilia, people would perhaps not think they were Nazis.

              • A R says

                You said it best yourself: “extremists”. These people do not represent all Ukrainians and to apply the Nazi epithet to all Ukrainians just because of a few extremists, is the very definition of racism and prejudice. It is dehumanizing to the normal citizens of Ukraine.

                It’s clear that the posters above us are talking about ALL Ukrainians being Nazis. That is wrong. All nations have Nazis, but that doesn’t mean I can call Australians “Austro-Nazis”.

                • The ruling junta in Kiev has profoundly disturbing neo-nazi elements, and it has enacted extremely racist and far right policies, including renewed celebrations of Ukraine’s fascist past.

                  If a new German government began naming streets after Goebbels and Hitler, wearing swastikas and endorsing groups that went marching through the streets of Polish border towns screaming abut cleansing it of Poles and Slavs – would you consider it racist to call them nazis?

                • Richard Le Sarcophage says

                  We are NOT applying it to ALL Ukrainians, you lying smearer. We are applying it to those Ukrainians, installed in power by the USA after a violent putsch, who have reproduced the atrocities of their forbears (which they OPENLY celebrate, as with the genocide of poles in Galicia in 1943-4)by murdering innocents in Odessa and the Donbass.

        • Richard Le Sarcophage says

          Ukrainian Nazis, of which group I suspect you are a member and know you are a supporter and propagandist, are ‘Ukronazis’. Anti-Nazi Ukrainians are not.

  10. I commented on this Luke Harding article at the Guardian site, expressing my disgust at the exploitation of this family’s grief and explaining that I thought I’d come to the Daily Mail by mistake. Mine was one of many comments censored by the moderators. In a way, it’s heartening to see that there were so many.

    Well done Catte! Many people would have been involuntarily holding their noses while reading Harding’s piece, but you’ve gone deeper into the nooks and crannies than most of us would and you’ve deconstructed it nicely. It remains a nauseating propaganda exercise, but as a result of your efforts, we can see more clearly why it has that effect.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Of all the reptiles that infest the now hard Right Guardian sewer, in my opinion Harding may be the worst-worse even than Cohen or Toynbee, or one of the identity politics feminazis.

      • Richard Le Sarcophage says

        I might change my mind after Cohen’s ultra-filthy hatchet job on Corbyn, Seamus Milne and the Labour membership, today. This from a creature with the blood of over one million Iraqis on his paws after his vile role in agitating for the illegal aggression in 2003.

  11. reinertorheit says

    Luke will be up for the Johann Hari Award for Journalistic Standards quite soon.

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole