Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson.
U.S. Department of State – Daily Briefing: July.28.2014
‘THE WAY US GOV’T RELEASED PHOTOS BLAMING RUSSIA FOR UKRAINIAN STRIKES MAKE ME THINK IT’S A FAKE’ – 28 July – 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.
Read more: http://rt.com/op-edge/176072-us-image…
blogdog note : The images themselves do not appear to prove anything. If you look closely at the zoomed in sections in squares, it doesn’t match the main image. This basically proves right on face value that they are doctored images, crudely forged meaningless so called evidence that only serves to further discredit the Obama administration; which adds credence to the fact that they are purposefully fomenting this war and seeking a broader war with Russia based on false intelligence.
Transcript of relevant section of state department press briefing follows -
QUESTION: So let’s first of all start talking about the satellite images that were released on Sunday. Do we know where they came from, the veracity of them? Let’s start with those.
MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, we wouldn’t have put them out publicly if we didn’t feel confident about the accuracy. Obviously, we declassify information as we can to make it available to all of you and to the American public and the international community, and that was the case here.
QUESTION: Well, do we know which satellites these images came from? Who’s – who owned them, for instance?
MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to be able to get into any greater level of detail.
QUESTION: All right. Let’s talk about the timing of them being released. Why did we choose over the weekend, first of all?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think everybody works on the weekend. I think all of us do, and we felt it was important to put this information out publicly. It shows engagement by the separatists and with support from – with – of Russian artillery in this effort. As you know, we’ve been concerned about that engagement and that escalation, and this provides a further example of that.
QUESTION: And the means that they were released – as I understand it, the first time that we saw them was released on the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine’s Twitter account. Is that accurate?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we sent them out publicly for everyone to see from the State Department, so I think I – we sent them pretty broadly.
QUESTION: So what is it that the State Department is hoping to achieve from these? What kind of response, first of all, does the State Department have given the evidence that these satellite images are showing?
MS. PSAKI: Response to what specifically? Response to the satellite images, response to escalation?
MS. PSAKI: As you know, we’ve been long concerned about the fact that the Russians have been supplying, supporting, arming the separatists. We – as we have information that shows and backs up those concerns, we make that information available. We have put in place, as you know, a range of sanctions, including an additional set of sanctions last week. We fully expect the Europeans will do additional sanctions soon. And this shows the world what those concerns are and why it’s important to focus on the engagement of Russia in Ukraine.
QUESTION: So Secretary Kerry spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov over the weekend. To what detail was this – were these satellite images discussed, and how will these satellite images affect U.S.-Russia relations moving forward?
MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s not about the satellite images. The satellite images provide evidence of what we’ve been saying publicly for some time now. They didn’t discuss the satellite images. They did discuss Secretary Kerry’s concern about the Russians’ continuing assistance and support for the separatists. And the Secretary certainly made clear he doesn’t buy the claim that they are not involved and they’re not engaged in this effort. So that was a part of the discussion. They also discussed the Secretary’s trip over the past week and the situation on the ground in Gaza.
QUESTION: Jen, what exactly in those images was declassified?
MS. PSAKI: I’d have to look at the specific images, Matt. There was some information that we have from our own sources that we put out publicly for the first time.
QUESTION: But the satellites – they were Digital Globe, right? This is not U.S. spy satellites taking – they were credited to Digital Globe, which is a commercial satellite company. So those pictures in themselves weren’t subject to classification, were they?
MS. PSAKI: I’d have to look back and see what information was newly available from those satellite photos.
MS. PSAKI: Obviously, you all have the packet of them.
QUESTION: Right. No, I’m just wondering what in there was declassified? What prior to Sunday – what information in that – in those four pages was classified prior to Sunday when they were released?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, one –
QUESTION: The analysis?
MS. PSAKI: — there weren’t images released previously that I’m aware of that showed that Russian forces had fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russian – there was some, of course, that Russian-back separatists have used heavy artillery. But this was, again, further evidence and further information that we made available to – in order to show what we have concerns about. That’s why we put it out publicly.
QUESTION: Right, okay. And – so that, and I – I think everyone appreciates the fact that you’re going to efforts to put out the – to put out evidence that you say backs up the claim. But does, in fact – do, in fact, those images show Russian artillery being fired into Ukraine from inside Russia? Does it?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the images showed –
QUESTION: I mean, clearly you’re not going to have video, real-time video or whatever – or maybe you do, I don’t know – but that doesn’t show – it doesn’t show that. It shows pockmarks on the ground, and then it’s got arrows drawn in, which could – so, I mean, maybe you could have an analyst or someone come and explain exactly what this is. But, I mean, to – I’m certainly not an intelligence analyst or expert in reading what these satellite photos mean. But to the casual observer, if you just showed them the pictures without the arrows drawn on them and without the text – I mean, it just looks like there’s a bunch of holes in the ground.
MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think the images showed things such as ground scarring at a multiple rocket launch site on the Russian side of the border oriented in the direction of Ukrainian military units within Ukraine. It showed self-propelled artillery only found in Russian military units on the Russian side of the border oriented in the direction of the Ukrainian military unit. It showed a range of specifics that I think you can lead – lead you to a conclusion.
QUESTION: Okay. You’ve seen the Russian Defense Ministry came out this morning and said that basically – I mean, I guess not surprisingly, said that these are fake; they don’t show what you purport that they do show. Do you have any response to that?
MS. PSAKI: I think that strains credibility, that claim.
QUESTION: Their claim that it’s fake?
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: Okay. And so –
QUESTION: Do –
QUESTION: I mean –
MS. PSAKI: They’re photos that show clear evidence of what we just outlined, that back up what we’ve been seeing patterns of for some time. This is not the only evidence we have of Russian engagement and their support for the separatists. There’s a preponderance of evidence out there. This is just the recent images that we made available that back up and support the claims, the public comments, the information we’ve been putting out for several months now.
QUESTION: But as Matt said – I mean, I saw those images on Sunday morning and sent them to the desk saying I have no idea what these show.
MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m –
QUESTION: Because despite the fact that there are arrows drawn on it, it does just look like a bunch of holes in the ground.
MS. PSAKI: Well, it was meant to provide visuals. I’m sure we can get you both –
QUESTION: (Inaudible) visuals of anything.
MS. PSAKI: I’m sure we can get you both a briefing with the proper officials from DNI if that’s helpful.
QUESTION: That would be great. So do you know – is the process of declassifying still going on?
MS. PSAKI: Absolutely.
QUESTION: So we can expect to see more evidence?
MS. PSAKI: Should we have more to share, we certainly will.
QUESTION: All right. What do you have to say, if anything, about the latest round of fighting today, which has prevented yet again these international police delegation from getting in to secure the crash site?
MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s in everyone’s interest, I should say – not just everyone’s – the United States, the international community’s interests in seeing access to this crash site. And we support the efforts of the Malaysians, the Dutch, the Australians, and others who have offered their support to secure the site. With each day that passes, that is concerning and disappointing to us that the investigators don’t have access to the site. So we certainly call on all sides to facilitate proper security of the site and to immediately ensure access. This is something we’ve been engaged closely with the Ukrainians on as well.
QUESTION: The reports that I’ve – some of the reports that I’ve seen indicate – and these are reports coming – and the Ukrainians say this as well, that the reason that there is this fighting is because they resumed their operation in and around the zone that includes the crash site. So I’m just wondering, given the fact that you think that access to it is important, is it wise for the Ukrainian army to be resuming – or to be conducting because they resumed their operation in and around these operations in a way – in such a way that causes fighting that prevents the very people that you want to get there from getting there?
MS. PSAKI: Well, first the root cause of this is the Russian separatists, not the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians are defending their own country. The Russian separatists didn’t abide by the ceasefire that was in the area around the crash site and continued to fire on the Ukrainian forces. So they can’t stand by while that happens. If they – if all parties, including the Russians, want to see investigators reach the crash site and support a ceasefire, as was stated in the readout that Foreign Minister Lavrov’s team put out yesterday, then they can call on the separatists to step down, and I am certain that the Ukrainians would as well.
QUESTION: So you do not – President Putin the other day said that he was willing to use whatever influence he had with them to stop it. You don’t believe that that’s happened? I’m just – you don’t think that that’s happened, and you’re – and evidence of that is that the separatists are to blame for the fighting today and yesterday that has prevented the police from getting in. Is that your mind?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve seen over the last few months, Matt, that the Russians are masters of saying one thing and doing another, and this is certainly an example of that.
QUESTION: Masters of saying one thing and doing another. Say grand masters. You don’t want to say that? It would be a great quote. (Laughter.) I want to know, next, the Secretary’s call with Foreign Minister Lavrov yesterday was pretty harsh. He basically called him a liar, or the readout did. What does it mean? Did Foreign Minister Lavrov tell him, “Look, we really have nothing to do with this,” and the Secretary said, “Sergey, I don’t believe you”? Is that pretty accurate?
MS. PSAKI: I think the Secretary made clear we have a great deal of evidence showing their engagement and their involvement.
QUESTION: Okay, well, do you expect – given the apparent tone of that call, would you expect there to be more calls?
MS. PSAKI: I would.
QUESTION: In the near future?
MS. PSAKI: I would.
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