MH17 Shoot-Down Mystery Deepens since July 17
By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News
"Black Boxes Show Shrapnel Destroyed Malaysia Airlines Plane, Ukraine Says"
That headline in the Wall Street Journal of July 28 creates the immediate false impression that there is new information: shrapnel destroyed plane! Before the headline is over, the WSJ begins backtracking -- "Ukraine Says" -- a reference that yellow-flags a less than credible source. As the story continues, it reveals that there's no actual news here, starting with the sub-head: "Older Flight Recorders on Plane Likely to Provide Limited Data" -- so is there reliable data or not? Then the story reverses direction again, with this riddle-filled lede:
MOSCOW--Ukrainian authorities said Monday that data retrieved from the black boxes aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 showed the plane was destroyed by "massive explosive decompression" caused by shrapnel from a missile.
Moscow? Nothing about the story relates to Moscow, except perhaps the location of the reporter. He does not say where the "Ukrainian authorities" are, and identifies only one: "Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council." The reporter says Lysenko "revealed" the evidence of a missile explosion, although there is little possibility Lysenko has any direct knowledge of the black box contents, since the black boxes have never been in the possession of Ukraine officials.
The reporter admits he has no news, since the black boxes are in the United Kingdom and the investigators have not confirmed Lysenko's claim. In a sentence as slippery as it is empty, the reporter repeats the official American story: "The U.S. has blamed Russia for providing the Buk missile system to the rebels, a claim that Moscow denies." This is a dog whistle to those who say pro-Russians shot down the plane, but the actual accusation here is only that Russia gave the rebels a Buk missile system, which proves nothing. The possibility of an air-to-air missile goes unmentioned.
The reporter also does not mention that the Ukraine government has the same or equivalent air-to-ground missile systems, provided by Russia when the countries had warmer relations. The reporter stops short of embracing the blame-Russia scenario, but offers no alternative. As a whole, his story illustrates what he fails to say: that almost two weeks after the shoot-down, there is less certainty than ever as to who was responsible.