Highlights of desinformation and active-measures campaign in mass media after the crash
Disinformation plays key role in historical propaganda – similarly to every other type of propaganda. The following techniques are applied: intoxication (denying, reversing facts); manipulation (true thesis used in such a way that leads to false conclusions); modification of motives or circumstances (describing motive or reason for particular action in a way that they become advantageous only to one party); and interpretation (particular selection of words that evoke positive or negative association among the recipients). Russian historical propaganda embraces broad spectrum of disinformation techniques. In practice, it is accomplished by thematic campaigns with participation of the Russian (as well as selected – western) mass media, including the Internet." - Aleksander Marek Szczygło died on April 10, 2010 in Smolensk, Russia
On the 10th of April 2010, the Polish military plane, Tu-154, was involved in a fatal crash in the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all the crew and passengers aboard. The deaths included the Polish President and First Lady, the last Polish President in exile, the Chief of the General Staff, Commanders-in-Chief, the Chairman of the Polish National Bank, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance, as well as a number of MP's, senators and prominent figures of the Polish elite, among the 96 dead.
This incident, which includes these prominent deaths, naturally calls for a complete and transparent investigation - the natural work of international aviation agencies with extensive experience is just such investigations. Yet, on the day of the crash, the Polish government decided to leave the investigation solely in Russian hands, without securing the rights to appeal to international organizations, aviation organizations, and relinquishing the right of an inspection, or any efficient supervision over examination procedures.
Specifically, the Polish government refused to consider any help from NATO, and did not attempt to gather any support from other European Union countries. As a result, all the evidence gathered has been left on Russian soil, including confidential military and security codes belonging to NATO's armies, "black boxes", and other flight recording devices containing all flight parameters. None of this evidence, as well as any debris of the wreckage, has ever been returned to Poland.
Above: Russian PM Putin with Polish PM Tusk at the crash scene on April 10, 2010.
Consider the record to date of investigatory procedures and government actions that incline one to suspicion:
Such capricious actions and obscured procedures, running contrary to both the scientific rigor and general Western trend towards transparency naturally invites wariness as to the methods and conclusions of the investigation. No detached observer, cognizant of the influence of loyalty to faction and party in overwhelming loyalty to the people and to the truth, would readily accept such results given the morass of Polish and Russian politics and diplomacy. Among the issues are the degree to which present sitting politicians may have cooperated with the SB (Polish Communist Secret Police), WSI, and KGB, and Polish dependence on Russian Oil. There is much to hide and much to lose through non-acquiescence.
"The MAK’s report raises many doubts. If we were to accept the credibility of this document [the MAK report] on its face value, we ought to base it on the evidence. After all, it [the evidence] is missing. What we are left with are suspicions and emotions, because we don't know any facts […] there are other unknowns as well. Why was the control tower [in Smolensk] receiving instructions from Moscow? After all, in these kinds of situations the decisions are to be made by the men in charge of the airport". Viktor Yushchenko, former president of Ukraine, interviewed by "Uwazam Rze", February 15, 2011.
The death certificates of the victims are cursory, barely containing any basic information, and some certificates are missing. There is doubt (no proof has been provided) that any post-mortem examinations were ever performed in Russia; none were undertaken in Poland, as opening the coffins was strictly forbidden. Families received the bodies of their relatives in sealed coffins, under the threat that they would be prosecuted under Russian criminal law, if coffins were opened or tampered with. No medical evidence has been produced so far.
Shortly after the funerals took place, Russia sent a number of coffins back to Poland with anonymous human remains inside, and claimed that thorough DNA examinations had been performed. Even these unidentified remains, released for burial, had never been inspected. There is no post-mortem examination data available.
All legal evidence is kept in secrecy. Polish authorities have had admittance only to some of the Russian reports, but not to the evidence itself, allegedly accumulated in Russia. The only interrogation ever performed in the presence of Polish army prosecutors in Russia has been withdrawn from files and replaced with a designated updated version, contradicting the original.
The Georgian Times: "The following is not a conspiracy theory; it is a meticulously detailed analysis of evidence from the highly placed sources and professional experience of a retired CIA officer who believes that the death of the 96 passengers aboard Polish Air Force Tu-154 was not an accident. Gene Poteat is an electrical engineer and a retired CIA scientific intelligence officer. He has served abroad in London, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Asia. He is president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), writes and lectures on intelligence matters and teaches at the Institute of World Politics graduate school in Washington.
Seven months ago Gene Poteat published an analysis of the “Russian Role in a Polish Air ‘Accident,’” under the title “Russian Image Management.” This analysis was first published on June 1, 2010 in the Charleston Mercury newspaper and was recently republished several months later in a quarterly journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies called The Intelligencer, which is prepared exclusively for the use of future, current and retired U.S. intelligence officials". Read Mr. Poteat's Polish plane crash analysis here ...
The only Polish inspections allowed were archeology and geology surveys, and these were strictly limited to narrowly outlined areas. Usage of any specialized equipment was strictly forbidden, reducing inspections to a "bare hands" retrieval method. All these survey results were confiscated by Russian officials. There were no Polish crash investigators, criminologists or explosives experts allowed to inspect the scene.
The scene of the crash investigation has not presently been secured and may have never been secured, except in regard to keeping independent investigators out. In the subsequent days and months following the tragedy, victims' relatives and mourners of the dead gathered at the nearby Polish War Memorial for murdered Polish prisoners of war, still in deep shock and pain in the acknowledgment that human remains still remain in the field where the crash took place.
The investigation in Russia is flawed, as no impartiality can be assigned. MAK (the Interstate Aviation Committee) is closely connected with the manufacturers of the crashed Tu-154 aircraft,and is responsible for certifying both the aircraft and the airfield.
The Russian Prosecutor's Office Chief, Mr. Tchayka, is the very same man who refused the British government's attempt to investigate Alexander Litvinenko's death in the Russian Federation, and curbed their attempts to extradite the suspect of politically motivated murder.
Within days following the tragedy, there was an unprecedented media disinformation campaign - in both Poland and Russia - to cover up and blur many of the facts, such as:
1. Within minutes of the crash the Russian government, with the acquiescence of the Polish government, newly headed by Bronislaw Komorowski of the opposition Civic Platform party, stated that the crash was due to "pilot error, lack of training and poor communication skills (i.e. that the pilot could not speak Russian)" After the investigation these accusations turned out to be complete false, as the captain of the aircraft was one of the most experienced, master class pilots of the regiment, with over a thousand flying hours completed on this aircraft type. He was also well versed in the specifics of the Russian airports, ground personnel habits, all the procedures, and spoke fluent Russian.
2. False reports of four abortive landing attempts were made afterwards, though only one look-and-see attempt was made.
3. It was reported that the aircraft's left wing hit a tree with a 40 cm (16") diameter trunk. This has been officially confirmed to be false.
4. Within hours after crash, and before any inspection had been completed, the Russian and Polish governments refused to consider the possibilities of either a mechanical/equipment failure or the possibility of a terrorist attack (a reasonable possibility, in this post-9/11 world, as well as Russia's penchant for blaming so many incidents on Chechen "terrorists".
5. Reports were filled with erroneous information about the exact time of the crash. The official time given by the Premier of the Russian Federation Ministers is over a dozen minutes later than it was finally set.
Examples of Disinformation & Premeditated Destruction of Evidence:
The entire landing navigation, performed by the Russian airfield ground personnel (the flight control tower), misled the crew, falsely confirming their positions, which led to the crash. This conclusion is based on the hard evidence of the flight controller's recordings, and forced the officials to admit this fact. According to military procedures (both the crew and the ground personnel were military) and have a decisive power, in permitting or disallowing an aircraft to land. In this case, all the flight controllers were Russian.
All independent inquiries and examinations show incoherency and incompatibility of the Russian version of events. There was no fuel explosion as the plane crashed ("emergency-landed") into a swampy forest ground, weakening the pressure - which was the Russian version of events. What, then, would have caused the crash?
The death of ALL the passengers on board, the total dispersal of wreckage (annihilating 40% of its mass), the unexplainable range and scale of the injuries, the carnage left from the crash, whereby most of the bodies were unrecognizable: all of these facts do not coincide with the Russian "perspective" on the crash.
In addition, there is the mysterious, unexplained phenomenon, at the Russian airport in Smolensk, between 8:20 and 9:14 Warsaw time, when the airport had no outside communication, no power supply, and no eye-witnesses present.
There are hundreds of examples of evidence being destroyed, or simply being overlooked and never considered for examination.
This whole investigation has been characterized by misinformation so prolific as to indicate intentional fabrication, and conscious disinformation, delivered through the main media by both Colonel Putin and the Polish Prime Minister Tusk.
Even the media has been forced to acknowledge the most obvious falsehoods.
Given these irreconcilable reports, accumulating in real time, independent Polish citizens have commenced their own inquiries, using on-line sources to tease out the story. Among these are pilots, flight controllers, physicians, mathematicians, engineers and scientists from several disciplines. Their efforts established that the Russian "final cockpit recordings transcript" shows signs of editing and splicing, and note that the protocol (report) delivered by the Russian Aircraft Accidents Investigation Committee contains neither technical data nor even official source documentation of the inspection. The investigation report fails to answer the questions that independent citizen inquiries have raised. Some of its crucial statements are at variance with known facts, and it is puzzling why the report met with such an easy acceptance by Polish officials assigned to review this tragedy.
The preliminary stages of this investigation revealed that the aircraft Tu-154 was deliberately driven to the outside of the landing path. There is a hypothesis that the "meaconing" (the interception and rebroadcast of navigation signals) might have been used. Russian flight controllers insisted until the very last seconds, and reassured the crew that they were "on the course and on the approach lane". This was despite the fact that the aircraft had not been on course, on the final approach lane, throughout the whole approach look-and-see procedure.
All public protests and demands for a thorough investigation and explanation of the "catastrophe" are being refused, blocked and prevented by both the Russian and Polish governments. The Polish people want to know what happened to that aircraft: the last minutes of the flight, the crash ("emergency landing"), the mysterious loss and restoration of communications - everything that occurred, up until the public was informed about the crash and President's death.
All original recordings related to this accident disappeared in Russia. There is neither any photographic evidence being presented, nor video or audio, which would assuredly provide the answers for how this flight progressed to its fatal end. There is no electronic trace of the evidence, no eye-witness testimony of the circumstances of the crash. No one saw anything; no one heard anything; no one filmed anything; and no one recorded anything with his mobile phone.
In this situation, only the world's public opinion can force the Polish government,and the government of Colonel Putin, to disclose the documents and all the evidence. Only military services of NATO, of which Poland is a member, who may possess or have access to the satellite pictures of the accident scene, can help establish the truth.
The truth is what victims deserve. The truth is what we are obliged to deliver.
Destruction of Evidence
Already during the first night of the crash, the Russians were removing the most important pieces of evidence from the crash site, that is, the remains of the Polish President’s Tupolev, TU-154M. Parts of the aircraft were transported away without any prior planning, and some of them were purposefully destroyed. Read more here
"Russian Image Management"
The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
World-renowned forensic pathologist goes on the record: "I have been doing autopsies for 50 years, and I've investigated more than fifteen, twenty airplane crashes […] I've been in countries all over the world where families think that the government is hiding something. Whether it is Zimbabwe or Israel, or Philippines, the government may not like an outside person checking to make sure they got it right. [But,] they never interfered with that. The family, the next of kin, always has the right to do what the wishes of the family are. In the 21st century, the body of the dead person no longer belongs to the state. It belongs to the family. So, it is unusual - something that I have never experienced before - where the government [of Poland] has not permitted the famil[ies]" to conduct independent forensic examinations of their loved ones' remains [...] I've never heard of a body coming back to a country and the family being unable to open up a casket. I've never heard of the family not being able to get an autopsy… Read more here
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