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Retired Spies Accuse US of Smearing Russia Over MH17

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A group of former US intelligence officials has accused Washington of prematurely blaming Russia for the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine and manipulating evidence.

NEW YORK, July 30 (RIA Novosti) – A group of former US intelligence officials has accused Washington of prematurely blaming Russia for the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine and manipulating evidence.

The group, called the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, published an open letter to US president Barack Obama in which it accused the administration of trying to “poison the jury pool” and “paint Russia black.”

“As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information. As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay,” the letter said.

“In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence. His statements seem premature and bear earmarks of an attempt to poison the jury pool.”

The letter, published in Consortiumnews.com, is signed by a number of former US intelligence officers, including William Binney, Larry Johnson, Edward Loomis, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Elizabeth Murray and Coleen Rowley.

Moscow has come under fresh sanctions and increased pressure to end its support for militia in eastern Ukraine, who Western governments believe were behind the shooting down of flight MH17, killing 298 people, on July 17.

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