October 1, 2014

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Obama: Plane shot down by missile, 1 American dead

President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Ukraine, Friday in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Obama called for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, demands credible investigation of downed plane. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Ukraine, Friday in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Obama called for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, demands credible investigation of downed plane. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States began building a case Friday that would pin the blame for the downing of the passenger jet over Ukraine on separatist forces supported by Russia, in a disaster that could dramatically escalate the crisis in Ukraine. President Barack Obama said one American was among the nearly 300 killed and called for an immediate cease-fire to allow for an unfettered investigation.

Evidence indicates that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists, Obama said at the White House. He warned that the incident showed the crisis in Ukraine won’t be localized or contained to the region.

“This should snap everybody’s heads to attention,” Obama said.

He identified the U.S. citizen who was killed as Quinn Lucas Schansman. No other details were available on the passenger.

While cautioning that the exact circumstances of the crash were still being determined, Obama pointed his finger at Russia for providing support to separatists that he suggested enabled them to shoot down the plane. He said such an attack wouldn’t be possible without sophisticated equipment and training — “and that is coming from Russia.”

“Obviously, we’re beginning to draw some conclusions given the nature of the shot that was fired,” Obama said in a stern address at the White House. “There are only certain types of anti-aircraft missiles that can reach up 30,000 feet and shoot down a passenger jet.”

Officials from the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board were on their way to Ukraine to help determine what happened, Obama said. He warned that evidence must not be tampered with as a United Nations-backed investigation goes forward, and he said, “We will hold all its members, including Russia, to their word” in allowing access to the crash.

At the United Nations earlier Friday, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power delivered an extraordinary speech rebuking Russia and noting that the U.S. could not rule out that Russian personnel had assisted separatists in firing a missile at the plane.

“Russia can end this war,” Power said. “Russia must end this war.”

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a single investigator to Ukraine as part of a U.S. delegation to assist with the investigation.

The White House has taken the lead in forming the U.S. delegation, according to an official familiar with the effort. A command center has been set up at the State Department, where officials from agencies participating in the delegation gathered Friday morning for a briefing from the CIA on the political and military situation in Ukraine, the official said.

A second U.S. official said all available evidence, including satellite imagery, pointed to the plane being shot down by an SA-11 anti-aircraft missile fired from eastern Ukraine by Ukrainian separatist forces. The U.S. detected three discrete events associated with the shootdown, the official said: the launching of the missile from the Ukraine side of the border, the missile’s impact with the plane, and the plane slamming into the ground.

Both officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss U.S. intelligence matters publicly by name.

The attack Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations, including vacationers, students and a large contingent of scientists. At least 189 of the dead were from the Netherlands.

The plane was shot down in eastern, Ukraine, near the border with Russia, in an area where Moscow’s support for pro-Russian separatists has alarmed the U.S. and its European allies. The incident occurred one day after Obama announced broader economic sanctions against Russia for its threatening moves in Ukraine.


  • bpbatista

    No Obama is really mad — Putin made him cancel his tee time.

    • Chan

      Better than Bush Sr. being with family members of Bin Laden on 9/11 for their annual Carlyle Group meeting (which they both hold interest in).

      • bpbatista

        You win the award for non-sequitur of the day.

        • HankKwah

          Not to mention most ignorant statement of the year.

      • golfingirl

        And billionaire George Soros, has invested in Carlyle Group, and he’s not exactly a supporter of Bush!

        If fact, one of the largest contributors to the Democrat cause and the Obama campaigns.

        So, does this mean he is also aligned with the Bin Laden family?

        To think that even for a minute this implies Bush supported Osama Bin Laden is just ignorant.

        • Scout

          Golfingirl where do these people come from? Oy!

          • golfingirl

            They live in a state of denial.

            As Obama’s support erodes daily, with each new scandal or world event, there will always be a few who can never admit they made an error in judgement when they voted for him…..especially the second time.

            As long as they can point to a previous president and use their actions as an excuse for the CURRENT president’s mistakes, they feel justified in their support.

            Obama lives in a fantasy world of how he would like to see the world, not how it actually is.

          • Scout

            Ah yes, I hear the ice tinkling in the cool-aid glasses now.

          • Tim Brookes

            Kool-Aid

          • Scout

            Oh pardon me…you are correct

    • golfingirl

      Oh well, I am sure he will request the flag on the 18th green be flown at half-mast, in honor of the dead American.

  • Pablo Jones

    Is President deeply trouble and concerned about this and will he get to the bottom of what happened?

    • B4CE

      Maybe Obama will follow in Reagan’s foot steps when the Pan Am flight blew up, killing 170 ‘Mericans…. “Eh, let the next guy handle it

      • HankKwah

        Typical lib. Change the subject when cornered.

      • golfingirl

        Get over the comparisons with Bush, Reagan and any other president. This is garbage.

        Why do Obama supporters always use Bush, or another Republican president, as some sort of barometer for Obama’s actions?

        You constantly use Bush as an excuse for Obama’s mistakes. Now you even throw in Reagan.

        I suppose Obama can do no wrong, because we always have that “Bush comparison” to make.

        Bush is NOT the president now, Obama is! I am so tired of hearing ….”well, Bush did this, or Bush did that.”

        Bush’s actions do not give Obama a free pass and a convenient excuse for his administration’s ineptness.

        He is the CURRENT president. He is in charge. Time to act like it and stop acting like a child.

        Obama’s speech today had no passion and he looked half asleep. It was an embarrassment to America!

        Anything that Bush, or any other president did, does not excuse Obama’s inaction, on this, or any other issue.

      • Starryeyes63

        And lets not forget Johnson send 58,000 young men to their death in Vietnam……….

        • golfingirl

          Oh yes, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution!

          The indiscriminate use of Agent Orange.

          The architect of the “Great Society,” will all its entitlement programs, many of which live on today.

          He was just another filthy war mongering Republican.

          Oh wait, he was a Republican, wasn’t he?

    • golfingirl

      He could start by demanding NATO get in there and recover the black box!

  • Phil Blank

    Yesterday the IBTimes tried to report 23 dead, but with the note “U.S. State Department has yet to confirm that figure.”
    They jumped the gun on that one.

  • Phil Blank

    Malaysia Airlines Customer Refunds: Airline Offering 100% Refunds Following MH17 Plane Crash
    on July 18 2014 11:15 AM
    I guess they hope they won’t be sued for being so stupid thinking the could fly safety over a war zone.

    • golfingirl

      It was commercial airspace.

      Obama has allowed Putin to redefine the international air spaces through this action.

  • Daniel Sutter

    I’m sure there is a video on youtube to blame.

    • HankKwah

      Give the dems time to whip one up.

  • golfingirl

    I bet Susan Rice will be on the Sunday morning talks shows spewing a bunch of lies….again!

  • golfingirl

    President Obama, you are the “leader” of the Free World.

    The blame game is over…..time to put down the golf clubs, expensive family vacations, fundraising activities and get in touch with what is happening in both the U.S., and the rest of the World.

    54% of Americans no longer feel you can lead. Your actions have given them reason to believe this.

    Stop being a bystander, and become the leader America needs at this critical time.

    • SniperFire

      This feckless dolt isn’t a leader. He is simply an advocate of Leftist cause toujour.

      • golfingirl

        He has “checked out!”

  • oldruss

    The wreckage needs to be secured, to the extent that there’s any meaningful evidence remaining now that the Ukrainian Separatists/Russians have pawed through it.

    That said, it may yet be established that it was, in fact, a Russian surface-to-air-missile, and a Russian launch-crew in charge. European opinion, which up to now has been far less critical of Russian and President Putin than have we in the States, may turn. Heavy economic sanctions on Russia to rein in the Bear are probably the only feasible response the West has. No one is looking for boots on the ground, especially in that area of the world.

  • TRB SR

    All I’ve seen so far is a bunch of soviet thugs guarding and looting the scene of the crime. Those animals are probably busy picking the pockets of the dead and stripping the jewelry off of their remains.

  • Scout

    Not to mention key components of the crash remains that could prove that a missele took that plane out. Now the U.N. says they want all crash remains and the bodies…yeah ok so what U.N…. send them all to the Hague. The only one of the UN security council that had any gumption to speak up was Ms. Power (U.S. ambassador to the U.N. from the U.S) and I’m begining to think she was not speaking the White House language.

  • Tim Brookes

    Somehow I think I could find the trio of CT teabaggers here calling for impeachment…

  • Scout

    ahahaha