Senior U.S. Intelligence Officials Admit They Have No Concrete Evidence of Russian Involvement in the Downing of MH17
July 23, 2014 • 9:37PM

Unnamed "senior U.S. intelligence officials" trotted out yesterday by the Obama administration to brief the press on purported newly declassified evidence of Russia's role in the downing of flight MH17, did nothing of the sort.

"We don't know a name, we don't know a rank, and we're not even 100% sure of a nationality [of those responsible]. There is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here," one of the officials stated, according to a widely circulated AP newswire. AP's characterization was that the officials "offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement," and that they were "cautious in their assessment," adding that "the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia."

Part of the "evidence" cited by the officials are social media postings of a video which purports to show a missile launcher crossing the Russian border after the launch, apparently with one missile missing. But, AP noted drily, "under questioning, the officials acknowledged they had not yet verified that the video was exactly what it purported to be." The best the intelligence officials could offer was their view that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" for the incident. Russia Today covered the story, noting that "The Tuesday briefing seemed to be a sharp departure from comments made by U.S. President Barack Obama a day prior," in which he pretty much blamed Russia for the downing of the plane.

There are numerous indications of strong disagreement with the Obama administration's handling of the Ukraine-Russia situation, coming from U.S. military and intelligence circles. Former top Defense Intelligence Agency official Pat Lang's blog site continues to voice strident opposition to the Obama policy. And today a retired military officer with access to the thinking at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported to this news service that there was "intense distrust" over what the White House was doing.