The black box probably will tell us nothing more than that this airplane was a perfectly good airplane right up to the moment that that missile hit it…we need to go on to the intelligence forensics to figure out who did it and why.” —Stephen GanyardSpeaking to George Stephanopoulos on July 20th, next to ABC Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, Col. Stephan Ganyard (USMC Ret.) analyzed the downing of Malaysian Air Flight MH17. Ross opened by saying that the U.S. has presented intelligence that shows Russia delivered the SA-11 surface to air missile system, then tried to remove it from Ukraine after the crash. Ganyard emphasized that the SA-11 requires a significant amount of Russian training—an untrained rebel would be unable to operate it—but that three weeks ago, NATO warned it had intelligence of Russian troops training Ukrainian rebels on these tactical SAMs. The SA-11 has a range that can hit a target flying far higher than the average commercial jet at 32,000 feet. In addition, there have been four shoot downs of Ukrainian military aircraft in the past two weeks. The SA-11 can only determine Russian from non-Russian aircraft; it cannot distinguish between civilian and military aircraft. While Ganyard feels the shoot down was a mistake, he pointed out it was an unwise decision for any commercial airlines to fly over Ukraine, as many did during the week before the shoot down, despite warnings from both American and Ukrainian intelligence.
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