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‘The way US govt. released photos blaming Russia for Ukrainian strikes make me think it’s a fake’

Published time: July 28, 2014 14:18

Rescuers work at a shattered five-storey building, which was damaged by a recent shelling, in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk (Reuters / Gleb Garanich)

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The US government has been desperate to produce information to back up its claims, but it would not release important information in such an unprofessional way if it was true, the head of the Institute for Political Economy Paul Craig Roberts told RT.

On July 27 the US State Department released satellite images via email “proving” that Russia was firing rockets at Ukrainian troops across the border. The images were posted on Twitter by the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. The four-page document, titled 'Evidence of Russian Shelling into Ukraine,' contains four satellite images, all dating between July 21 and July 25/26. The slides were prepared by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and have a short description.

RT: To a non-expert there doesn't seem to be much going on in these pictures. Just some military installations and some arrows. Do they actually prove anything?

Paul Craig Roberts: No. Moreover, I can say as a former high government official and a former editor at the Wall Street Journal, I can state with complete confidence that information this important would not be released in this way. I also see that it was released at 08.45 am on a Sunday morning, this is a completely dead time in news, and many American cities are not even up yet. [In] San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle it is still the early hours in the morning. If it was released by the State Department, which I doubt, it is so unprofessional; it would mean the State Department is trying to spread propaganda about Russia on social media. The way this type of information would be released, if it was real, would be at a press conference with high-level government officials addressing the bureau chiefs of the major news organizations and it would be held in Washington and there would be experts explaining the meaning of the photographs and attesting their validity.

RT: These images come from a newsletter, distributed by the State Department. Yet there's been no official announcement. Why do you think that is?

PR: I’m not even sure the State Department sent this email because it’s an unprofessional way to release information, so it makes me believe that the information is fake. The US government has been desperate to produce information to back up its claims, [but] it would not release information in this way. Social media has no credibility; anybody can spread propaganda on social media.

RT: The State Department's Twitter feed actually says “follow Geoffrey Pyatt, who is the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, for new images of evidence of Russia firing into Ukraine.” But is it really the role of a diplomat to be getting involved in accusations like this?

PR: No. I think what the real issue here is not the photographs, it is the fact that someone is conducting propaganda against Russia misrepresenting the truth, and is content to spread propaganda via social media. This is the least credible way of presenting important information. So I don’t think this information has any credibility, it’s not believable.

RT: Those images have a copyright sign, which says Digital Globe on it. Why isn't the US government providing data from its own military intelligence, rather than pictures from a commercial company?

PR: This may be a hoax; we don’t know that this is real. We can’t assume the State Department issued this. It makes no sense to me.

Otherwise, the State Department [might] be trying to put out this information that they know they cannot get away with in front of journalists. You see, no respected journalist would take this because they would want to ask questions.

RT: And the release comes at the time when the world's still waiting for the US to reveal its data on the Malaysian plane crash. So what's happened to that evidence?

PR: Obviously, the data does not support Washington’s position. If it did, it would be instantly released. In other words, they do not release information that disproves their propaganda. This is a propaganda war that Washington is conducting; they are trying to convince the world that Russia is an aggressive and dangerous place that the Western world has to militarily unite against the Russian threat. And this is propaganda which is part of their activity.

The US government is not going to accept anything that Russia says and it is going to continue to make charges for which it presents no evidence. And this is not evidence.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.