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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17: An ongoing Crime and Tragedy

The initial unfathomable crime of the downing of an unarmed civilian airliner with 298 souls on board has only been surpassed by its aftermath. It is difficult, if not impossible to find an event in the history of aviation or modern warfare which bears any similarity to what has occurred and continues to occur in the aftermath of the tragedy of Flight MH17. The events of the last 3 days have proven that there is seemingly no end to crimes against humanity even in the year 2014 and on European soil. 
The Initial Rebel Reaction: 
Immediately following the “successful” downing of the aircraft, Rebel Commander Igor Strelkov bragged on Twitter: “We warned you not to fly in our sky”. “Our sky” seems to be a misunderstanding fostered by Russia that the Eastern Ukraine has become part of Russia rather than the sovereign Nation of Ukraine. The callous remark shows any lack of concern for anyone who might have been on the aircraft. 
Communication intercepts made public by the Ukraine government provide evidence of the immediate need for denial and cover-up without a single word of regret over the killing of 298 innocent passengers.
When asked “are there a lot of people?” an on-scene rebel responded with “F--k! The debris was falling straight into the yards”. The “debris” were human beings, falling to their deaths. Laughing and joking jubilant rebels exclaimed: "Look at those black spots, these are parts flying ...what a blast!" The "black spots" were aircraft parts and human beings.
Removing the Evidence:
Following the discovery of their tragic error, the rebels quickly moved the most incriminating evidence, the rocket launcher, out of the country. Photographs and Video showed that the “Buk” SA-11Rocket launcher was transported across the border into Russia on Friday morning, within hours after shooting down Flight MH17.
Ukraine’s government also states it has evidence that the Russian “BUK” SA-11 missile systems was brought in from Russia and operated by Russian citizens in the days before the tragedy. The Wall Street Journal also cited US Officials that they suspect Russia supplied the rebels with SA-11 system as well as training and potentially personnel to operate it.
The next item on the list of cover up necessities were aircraft's black boxes. The Black boxes of Flight MH17 have apparently been located and removed by rebels. Initial reports claimed they were on their way to Moscow. New reports quoted on Sunday claim that they are under rebel control and would be turned over to investigators from the International Civil Aviation Organization. It seems unlikely that they would be turned over intact.
Controlling the Crime Scene:
The Rebels were among the first to go through the crash site trying to assess what type of aircraft they had shot down. Since then they have controlled who and when anyone could have access. Journalists and officials have been escorted, threatened, and removed from the site without cause or reason. The reality that separatist rebels are in charge of the crime scene is akin to someone who just committed a murder and then stays in charge of the victim and their belongings.
Some people were seen looting valuables and souvenirs from the crash site in the immediate aftermath. Others have posed with parts of the wreckage. Reports have emerged that victim's Credit Cards have been used. Another crime in this ongoing saga.
Ukranian Emergency workers are allowed limited access but cannot collect and remove evidence. Instead the collected evidence is “secured” by the rebels. Rebels continue to block full access to the crime scene, blocking the work of experts. However, hundreds of untrained local volunteers are allowed to comb the site, picking through the wreckage with sticks. “The fighers are taking away all that has been found” said Ukranian Security Council spokesman Andriy Lysensko. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai: “Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost”. Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the site as “chaotic”. Mark Rutte, Holland’s Prime Minister: “I am shocked by the images of completely disrespectful behavior at this tragic place. In defiance of all the rules of proper investigation, people have evidently been picking through the personal and recognizable belongings of the victims. This is appalling.” "It basically looks like one of the biggest, or the biggest, crime scene in the world right now, guarded by a bunch of guys in uniform with heavy fire power, who are quite inhospitable," said Michael Bociurkiw of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The Victim's Remains:
From the onset, the Rebels have shown little if any regard for the victims of their crime. Bodies and body-parts have been moved randomly with little dignity, by untrained personnel, some of whom were reportedly drunk. Many of the victims were haphazardly placed in trash bags and dumped by the side of roads. Most recently, the Rebels have seized the bodies of about 200 victims from investigators of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council at gunpoint. They were loaded on a refrigerated train, reportedly to be moved to yet another Rebel stronghold. Prior to that, 38 bodies were already taken to the morgue in Donetsk, a rebel controlled city.
The Politics:
Flight MH17's crash site is not an “accident scene”, but rather an “international crime scene”. This makes it an entirely different matter, which should place it under the jurisdiction of the countries who had passengers on the flight.  However, there is an obvious disconnect by governments who cannot separate the issue of the crime from that of politics, agendas, and the need for political capitalization on the tragedy. Governments appear to hold the crime hostage to improve bargaining positions in hopes of affecting the outcome of the regional conflict. Rhetoric expressing "outrage", "disappointment", "last chance" and so on have so far rung hollow.
The voices of the victims and families only come into play when it suits the necessary rhetoric to push current and future agendas. Who is looking out for the victims and the families? No one.
The Victim's Families:
It is impossible to image the suffering incurred by the families of Flight MH17's victims. The initial horrible blow was the news that their loved ones died an unnecessary and horrible death. Following that, there has been blow after blow: The lack of remorse on the part of the perpetrators. The cover up of the missile system and missing black boxes. The fact that the Rebels are holding the victim's remains hostage. The manhandling of the victim's remains by often drunk perpetrators. The lack of Expert Investigators on the sight. The failure of politicians to secure the remains of their loved ones, and even begin a formal investigation.
It seems impossible that any of the victim's families could even begin the process of healing and moving on from this tragedy. Their loved one's remains are still in the hands of the perpetrators. It must seem like the crime is not over yet, but continues on and on.



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