WASHINGTON, July 24 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – The alleged shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over Eastern Ukraine may have been carried out to implicate the self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a former CIA officer told RIA Novosti.
“On the face of it I think it was probably the rebels who did it by mistake. But there is always the possibility that someone from that area got hold of an SA-11 [surface-to-air missile] and fired it to implicate the rebels, but you just don’t know," Robert Baer, a former CIA case officer, who served for twenty-one years.
Although it is confusing “to say who did what to whom,” most Americans accepted the narrative presented to them by the Ukrainian and US Governments without challenging US media agenda, Baer said.
“The problem in the United States is the narrative. The initial one is picked up and maintained. I think 85 percent of Americans think it was a Russian supplied weapon and that it was fired by mistake and they thought they were firing at a Ukrainian aircraft,” he said.
Baer threw doubt over the quality and reliability of intelligence material presented so far, with much of it obtained from social media rather than conventional intelligence techniques.
“I’ve been laughing at the so-called 'concrete intelligence' about what happened,” Baer told RIA Novosti.
“They are being called Ukrainian intercepts. I have never seen intercepted intelligence material like this before that were so timely and so good. It is masterful how the Ukrainians are getting these intercepts and getting the early part of the narrative and putting that out and seizing the high ground, or the low ground – whatever you want to call it,” he said.
Baer said he did not think there was American intelligence in eastern Ukraine.
"There is a social media narrative. There is no apparent American intelligence intercepts, or none that they want to publish at least. I just think the United States is blind in the Donbass region and so it leaves everybody to speculate,” Baer said.
“It’s a propaganda war at this point,” Baer said. “By the time this all settles down no one is going to remember what’s happened and no one is going to get round to looking at the facts.”
Last Thursday, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed and crashed near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, including 283 passengers and 15 crew members.
The UN has given unanimous backing to an international independent investigation of the incident.