The Dutch investigators trying to figure out who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 last year have completed their report and sent copies to the government of Malaysia and Australia — but the report is considered “top secret,” according to a report in the Australian media.
At the same time, one prominent journalist accused the United States of maintaining a wall of silence around the shutdown because, writes Robert Parry, the U.S. knows that Russia was not involved in shooting down the plane. Parry also accused Dutch investigators of denying the media access to basic evidence in the tragic crash that killed 298 people when the Malaysia Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur blew up in the skies over eastern Ukraine.
Parry, an award-winning veteran of the Associated Press, Newsweek, and other news organizations, wrote on Friday that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 investigation had become shrouded in “propaganda fog.”
This coming Friday, July 17, will mark the grim, one-year anniversary of the MH17 disaster, which is widely believed to have been caused by Russian-backed anti-government rebels in the eastern Ukraine.
But the Russian government has accused Ukraine of shooting down the Boeing 777, claiming to have a “mystery witness” who has identified the Ukraine military pilot who shot the plane down, presumably by accident.
Parry wrote on his blog that he and other journalists have repeatedly attempted to gain access to raw evidence in the investigation, but that they have been thwarted by the Dutch officials in charge of the probe.
The majority of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 were Dutch. All 15 crew members were Malaysian as well as a number of passengers, and 27 were citizens of Australia.
“The MH-17 case stands as an outlier to the usual openness that surrounds inquiries into airline disasters,” wrote Parry, who is perhaps best known for his investigative reporting on the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s.
“The Obama administration’s behavior has been particularly curious, with its rush to judgment five days after the July 17, 2014 shoot-down, citing sketchy social media posts to implicate the ethnic Russian rebels and indirectly the Russian government but then refusing requests for updates,” Parry wrote.
Parry accused the United States administration of shutting down access to information about MH17 because U.S. intelligence found “no evidence that the Russian government had given the rebels sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles capable of downing an aircraft at 33,000 feet.”
But according to Parry, the U.S. did discover links between the shootdown and pro-Ukraine “extremists.”
According to a the Australian Sydney Morning Herald newspaper earlier this month, the Dutch investigators sent their “top secret” draft report to Australian officials in June, but the contents of that report remain closely guarded.
The Malaysian government also received the draft report on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster, according to the Malay Mail newspaper, but has also declined to reveal what the report concludes.
[Image: Rob Stothard/Getty Images]