Will MH-17 be our 9/11? (11) The final report of the Dutch Safety Board

The long awaited report of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) has finally been made public. As could be expected, it is not a ‘final’ report in the sense that with its publication, all discussion has been brought to a conclusion. That was never possible because there is also a separate criminal investigation in progress to identify the perpetrators. In spite of this separation it is almost impossible not to think of certain suspects when reading the conclusions concerning the causes of the downing of the disaster plane. The DSB has made remarkably little effort NOT to make that inference. 


The report is important, but what is missing from it is at least as important as the printed contents.

Here I confine myself in the first instance to the lack of reference to the American satellite images, although these are available.

On two occasions former employees of the US intelligence services have asked President Obama in an open letter to make this information public.

A day after the shooting down of the plane Vice-President Joe Biden said the incident had been observed by the intelligence services and in his comment on the DSB report on ConsortiumNews Robert Parry once again recalled that Secretary of State Kerry, three days after the disaster, declared on NBC Meet the Press, ‘We picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing.’

Parry has contacts in the American intelligence world which in the past have proven to have supplied him with reliable information. Through this channel he has learned that researchers of the CIA earlier this year discussed the American evidence with the Dutch investigators under the obvious condition that this would remain secret.

On 13 October last Tjibbe Joustra, the chair of the DSB, was interviewd on Dutch TV and was asked what he had learned from this American satellite information about which Kerry had been so adamant. Joustra repeats a few times that this is a state secret, that he was allowed to view a few things, that what he has seen has been incorporated into the report but that he is not entitled to say what it is. Secret of state!

Instead the Americans have stubbornly relied in their public statements on images and reports from social media, mainly to attribute guilt to the rebels and by implication, the Russians. In the report there is an example on p. 188, where NATO general Breedlove cites a YouTube film, although the report does not make much of this, and rightly so.

The most important remains that the Americans possess satellite information that they don’t want to reveal.

This is confirmed in the response by the German government to questions by the opposition party, Die Linke, on 9 September 2014 (document 18/2521 Deutscher Bundestag), in which it states that it has satellite information in its possession but ‘that no further information can be supplied because that would jeopardise collaboration with allied intelligence services and that comes under an obligation of secrecy.’

From the above the conclusion can only be that the DSB keeps the most important information hidden, although Biden, Kerry, the German government, and Joustra himself admit it is available. Why then is it not in the report?

There are two possible explanations.

The least probable, but not impossible explanation is that Washington would not want to embarrass Moscow to such a degree that all contact would become impossible and an uncontrollable situation would ensue.

The most obvious explanation however is that the Americans don’t want to embarrass the pro-Western government in Kiev, whom they have helped to power in February 2014. The Dutch mainstream media have accepted this choice without a word of protest and have decided to endorse a report from which the decisive evidence is missing.

Kees van der Pijl

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