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With the benefit of hindsight, that Caribbean 'mystery' popularized in the 1970s now looks to have been rolled out to a credulous press and public as a convenient cover story for skullduggery in CIA and related drug-running operations by sea and air between Florida markets and South American cocaine producers.
Military secrets are not for civilian TV newsThe Malaysian government does not have the most sophisticated satellite and radar surveillance systems and it took several days for them to admit that they had indeed tracked MH370 back in a westerly direction across the Malay Peninsula.
From that last point of contact on, the Malaysian authorities have been entirely reliant on 'help' from countries with powerful military radar systems and, more importantly, the top of the technocratic food chain, satellites.
And there we are faced with a dilemma. Does the military alliance that controls these systems see Malaysia as an ally? Are they willing to reveal the peacetime capabilities of their systems to a foreign power? Ultimately do they have the technical capability to 'hack' an airliner's controls and disable avionics, even steer the plane rendering the pilot? If they can do that do they want to release that information to the world?
There seem to be two main theories emerging as to why, and by far the simplest is the demonstrated by hacker Hugo Teso who is also a commercial pilot. At the 'Hack in the Box' conference in April 2013, Teso demonstrated the ability to change speed, altitude and direction of a virtual airplane by sending radio signals to its flight-management system. He has also developed an Android app which demonstrates the vulnerability of modern computer-controlled airliners and business jets called PlaneSploit.
The US has several airbases around the Indian Ocean and South China Sea from which they operate the most advanced electronic warfare gadgetry in the world. Both from specialist warships and electronic warfare pods and installations on a variety of aircraft from the lumbering AWACS battle control planes to fighter jets.
Australian Navy ship HMAS Toowoomba is seen from the Japan Coast Guard Gulfstream V aircraft as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean as they look for debris from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 April 1, 2014. (Reuters)
Former scientific adviser to the UK Home Office Dr. Sally Leivesley was quoted by London’s Sunday Express on March 16 as saying, “hackers could change the plane’s speed, altitude and direction by sending radio signals to its flight management system. It could then be landed or made to crash by remote control.” She floated the possibility that this could be the world’s first cyber-hijack.
But Malaysia is a relatively low-tech country and not in a position to know for sure whether this happened or not. Codes of humility in the region also mitigate against the Malaysian authorities being prepared to admit they are out of their depth and lose face.
The second is that MH370’s pilot was simply called by the military on a frequency not being recorded by Air Traffic Control and told something along the lines of, “Vietnamese and other unspecified airspace is suddenly unsafe to fly in due to a military incident so please change frequency and follow instructions to a distant airstrip where we can put you down safely." The was followed by something like, "Please do not inform passengers as this may alarm them.” The pilot would then be likely to simply comply and passengers may never know that anything was wrong. So if one of these is the means, what about the motive?
The geopolitics of Malaysia & ChinaWith a constant stream of invasions and interventions and by constantly ratcheting up the arms race ever since the Second World War the USA has marked itself out, as US writer William Blum puts it, as the ‘Rogue State’ of the modern era. As a once great superpower's economy disintegrates, US behavior in world affairs with illegal 'adventures' into Iraq, Libya etc. is becoming shameless. They believe with a bit of 'soft power' news management to their domestic populations they can get away with anything.
Europe has been almost fully co-opted under US domination over decades by multinational corporations, IMF loans and the NATO military alliance. They appear to be forming a single market under the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) too now, which will weld EU and the Euro Currency to the Dollar in what will effectively be one country.
Both China and Malaysia are independently strong and that rankles in Washington. Malaysia refuses to do what it is told by the IMF and China is staunchly independent of the US 'vision' for the world in a way that has proved impossible for nations like Britain or, most recently, Ukraine to be.
One week after MH370 disappeared, China refused to back a US resolution at the UN Security Council condemning the Russian referendum in Crimea. Post-coup NATO is already signing co-operation deals with Kiev’s junta, the new ‘allies’ of the ‘free’ West, who have placed neo-Nazis in many of the nation’s key security and policing posts.
The deaths of 80 or so police and protesters in Kiev may simply have been an extension of NATO’s 1970s and 1980s ‘Operation Gladio’. In this top secret operation, exposed in a 1992 BBC Timewatch series, NATO armed fascist ‘irregulars’ took the role of terrorists and murdered countless innocent European civilians. The atrocities were blamed on leftist groups and ultimately the Soviet Union and Gladio was exposed by parliamentary enquiries in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. Like the February 22 coup in Kiev, similar killing of protesters and police/army before the coup attempt happened in Venezuela and, more recently, Syria.
A Taiwanese volunteer assisting relatives of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries as she prays for the passengers at the Lido Hotel in Beijing April 1, 2014. (Reuters)
In this context the kidnapping of 239 passengers and crew could be just another example of NATO Intelligence’s disregard for human life, seeing people as pawns in a much more important geopolitical‘game’.
The NATO countries’ answer to economic disaster, just like in the run-up to World Wars I and II, is aggression and war. As we saw with the leaked phone call in Turkey last week they are even prepared to stage events to justify an attack on an innocent neighbor. The fact that we are now in the nuclear age seems to have passed them by, but one imagines they believe, as US Strategic Air Command General Curtis LeMay said after the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 that, "...at any point the Soviet Union could have been obliterated without more than expectable losses on our side."
Both China and Malaysia have been set against each other to a certain extent in a 'blame game' and severely humiliated over the loss of MH370. Some may see this as ‘payback time’ for making bad decisions at the UNSC, suiting the all-powerful IMF as well as their affiliated, if twisted, and increasingly belligerent NATO military alliance very well.
Psychological warfare – news managementFirst on Thursday, March 13, came Rolls Royce’s surprise announcement that the Boeing 777’s two Trent engines had been running for five or so hours after the plane was ‘lost’. Then on Tuesday, March 18, came reports from a small Maldives newspaper 'Haveeru' that half a dozen islanders had first heard and then seen a ‘jumbo jet’ flying very low. To quote the paper: “They said that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it – which is what the Malaysia Airlines flights typically look like, and it was heading in a southerly direction.”
Both these stories were greeted in the international press by an avalanche of denials from government, military and other ‘expert’ sources, none of whom could possibly have known whether or not the Rolls Royce or the Maldives Islanders were correct or not. This massive and instantaneous reaction is the clear signature of an Information Operations campaign to stop publication and broadcasting of those stories to the world’s public and it largely worked.
In the case of Rolls Royce, a retraction was even extracted from the engine manufacturers which the next day was forgotten, because the evidence Rolls Royce had was so robust and watertight. Far fewer individuals are killed, so the military argue, by the use of lies to win over a population than with guns, bombs and tanks. Quite right they are too.
But what happens when journalists who are better at telling the truth than they are at lying are surreptitiously assassinated, as is widely believed to be the case with Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings? He had told the truth about US Afghan General Stanley McChrystal and got him sacked from the top post.
Hastings was about to expose the new head of the CIA director John Brennan who is an advocate for using US Army Information Operations (I-Ops) Psychological Warfare cells against domestic US journalists and politicians. It’s widely believed, including by former White House cyber-security adviser Richard Clarke said that Michael’s Mercedes was ‘consistent with a car cyber attack’, or hacked. Accelerated to breakneck speed then steered into a tree where it exploded and he died.
An artwork conveying well-wishes for the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is seen at a viewing gallery in Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 19, 2014. (Reuters)
With MH370 we have two clear examples of hard evidence where military style 'news management' or information warfare' appears to be the only explanation for cascades of malicious news stories spreading at the speed of light around the worlds news-wires designed to kill what may well be the truth stone dead.
Similarities to the 9/11 attacks and Britain's roleThe bizarre zigzag routes followed by MH370 are exactly the sort of flight path demonstrated during the September 11 attacks. On 9/11 we saw the same mysterious switching off, whether remotely or by the pilots, of transponders which should have been reporting the planes’ speed, altitude and position to air traffic control. If anything, the 777 is even more liable to cyber hijacking than the 767s involved in the 9/11 attacks. It was the first production aircraft to have no controls by which the pilot has direct influence over any part of the aircraft. It's all via the flight management system.
Britain’s role too has not been entirely as an honest broker. Private military connected firm Inmarsat have given impressive looking maps instructing rescuers where to search, but consistently failed to reveal the raw data which, they say, led to those conclusions. The UK Air Accident Investigation Branch too has given expert advice without fleshing out the full reasons for its conclusions.
On the other hand, Rolls Royce is the star of the piece, exposing an enormous flaw in the initial ‘lost plane’ theory: that MH370 flew on for over five hours. Airliners in trouble simply do not fly on for five hours and then plunge into the sea.
In the land where, as of last week, friends and family are prohibited from sending Bibles to their loved ones in prison, nothing in the way of barbarism from our real leaders across the Atlantic, now entirely contemptuous of the world and citizenry they are supposed to serve, would surprise me.
BBC, Tony Gosling