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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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July 21, 2014 - 8:49 am

President Obama added a brief statement to his schedule this morning to come to the podium and ask Russian separatists in Ukraine what they’re trying to hide at the MH17 crash site.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday that OSCE monitors were only allowed 75 minutes at the crash site Friday and fewer than three hours on Saturday, all confined to a small area. “The site is not secure, and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with. This is unacceptable and an affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve,” Psaki said.

The location of the black boxes was also uncertain, with rumors over the weekend saying that the rebels turned the flight recorders over to Moscow.

“Now, international investigators are on the ground. They have been organized. I’ve sent teams. Other countries have sent teams. They are prepared. They are organized to conduct what should be the kinds of protocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this,” Obama said on the South Lawn of the White House.

“And what they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site. They need to be able to conduct a prompt and full and unimpeded, as well as transparent investigation. And recovery personnel have to do the solemn and sacred work of recovering the remains of those who were lost,” he added.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared a demilitarized zone around the crash site, but the separatists are still hampering the investigation.

“As investigators approached, they fired their weapons in to the air. The separatists are removing evidence from the crash site. All of which begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?” Obama said. “Moreover, these Russian-backed separatists are removing bodies from the crash site, oftentimes without the care that we would normally expect from a tragedy like this. This is an insult to those who’ve lost loved ones. This is the kind of behavior that has no place in the community of nations.”

The president said that given Russia’s “extraordinary influence” over the separatists, Russian President Vladimir Putin should have greater pull in getting them to behave.

“President Putin says that he supports a full and fair investigation, and I appreciate those words, but they have to be supported by actions,” Obama said. “The burden now is on Russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full and unimpeded access to the crash site.”

“If Russia continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and to back these separatists, and these separatists become more and more dangerous and now are risks, not simply to the people inside of Ukraine but the broader international community, and Russia will only further isolate itself from the international community, and the costs for Russia’s behavior will only continue to increase,” he added.

Putin made his own address earlier today, insisting “no one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals.”

“I believe that if military operations had not resumed in eastern Ukraine on June 28, this tragedy probably could have been avoided,” Putin said. “…All those who are responsible for the situation in the region must take greater responsibility before their own peoples and before the peoples of the countries whose citizens were killed in this disaster.”

Poroshenko told CNN this morning that he doesn’t see “any differences from the tragedy of 9/11″ and the shooting down of the civilian airliner.

“We should demonstrate the same way of reaction,” said the Ukrainian leader.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Obama is against the destruction of evidence? Somebody better get that new policy over to the IRS right away!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The president said that given Russia’s “extraordinary influence” over the separatists, Russian President Vladimir Putin should have greater pull in getting them to behave."

They are already behaving exactly as Putin would have them behave.

2016 can't come soon enough.

13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (28)
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This is an eazy fix. Pootie claims that the removal of Yanukovych cancelled the treaty of Budapest because Russia had no traety with the new government. If true, the 1991 revolution that brought down the Soviet Union cancelled the UN Treaty for the Soviet Union. That means there is no UN Security Council seat for Russia to 'inherit'. So the other Permenant Security Council members need to remove Russia from that seat and put the seat up for a vote in the General Assrmbly.
That is just for punishment. To prevent future outbreaks of Russian insanity, the USA needs to withdraw from the NPT. Then we can sell nukes to Poland, Finland, the Baltic States and any other former Soviet colony that doesn't want to rejoin Greater Russia. It takes 6 months to withdraw from the NPT so Pootie will have that long to get out of the Ukraine. All of it and take your Russians with you.
First the USAF needs to run a leaflet raid on Moscow. Use stealth bombers to drop rolls of toilet paper. On one side is Pootie's picture. The other side says "This is not a nuke" Moscowvites will think it's funny. And what any despot fears most is being laughed at.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
For some reason, I can't find the satellite video and radar video that Russia has released regarding MH17. But there was plenty of "Ukrainian nonevidence" all over the place yesterday.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"This is the kind of behavior that has no place in the community of nations.”

Oh my. Was he wearing pearls and a twin set when he said that?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored “regime change,” it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.



The media has reported that the plane must have been shot down by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists, because the missile that reportedly brought down the plane was Russian made. But they will not report that the Ukrainian government also uses the exact same Russian-made weapons.



They will not report that the post-coup government in Kiev has, according to OSCE monitors, killed 250 people in the breakaway Lugansk region since June, including 20 killed as government forces bombed the city center the day after the plane crash! Most of these are civilians and together they roughly equal the number killed in the plane crash. By contrast, Russia has killed no one in Ukraine, and the separatists have struck largely military, not civilian, targets.



They will not report that the US has strongly backed the Ukrainian government in these attacks on civilians, which a State Department spokeswoman called “measured and moderate.”



They will not report that neither Russia nor the separatists in eastern Ukraine have anything to gain but everything to lose by shooting down a passenger liner full of civilians.



They will not report that the Ukrainian government has much to gain by pinning the attack on Russia, and that the Ukrainian prime minister has already expressed his pleasure that Russia is being blamed for the attack.



They will not report that the missile that apparently shot down the plane was from a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system that requires a good deal of training that the separatists do not have.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry bud. An Ageis Destroyer in the Med tracked both missiles from launch to impact. As did RADARs throughout most of Europe. You are way behind the tech curve. At night, with the right inversion layer an Ageis ship in the North sea can track airplanes tasking off and landin in Moscow. Not that they would bother, the LEO satts cover Moscow 24/7.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
we need to remember who started all this crappola in the 1st place .

we did, by fostering the coup.

and we ALL need to remember that Joe Bidens son was elected to the Board of Directors of the largest Ukraine gas company 2 days after the coup.

almost like it was............planned!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hiding a crime scene in the Ukraine over an act of war in plain sight of spy satellites is rich coming from a president who can't find a crime scene in the IRS, or the ATF, or.....
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look who's talking!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
According to Welt and Spiegel, Dutch identification specialists reached the site and viewed the bodies today, and the train with the bodies is now enroute to Ukrainian-controlled territory. The separatists have also promised to hand over the black boxes.
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/malaysia-airlines-mh17-zug-mit-leichen-setzt-sich-in-bewegung-a-982198.html
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Community Organizer will find a slum lord and negotiate a sweetheart deal for himself.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Community of Nations"

Wait. What? Community of Nations? WTH? What is Obama talking about? There is no Community of Nations. Community?

We told you this guy is a complete disaster. We told you.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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