MH17 Crash Investigation Compromised From Day One

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November 1, 2014

It doesn't often happen that an investigation into a major airline crash is seriously compromised, but that is exactly what happened from the moment Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took to the Sunday morning talk shows three days after the Boeing 777-200ER was shot down, killing all 298 people onboard. Kerry said that officials who were tasked with securing the crash site were only given 75 minutes on the scene the day after crash. The next day, they were only given three hours. In other words, investigators were stonewalled from being able to do their jobs.

Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatists, whom Kerry referred to as "drunken separatist soldiers," were removing parts from the plane as well as bodies of the deceased from the crash site. Kerry noted that anything removed from the crash site compromises the integrity of the investigation.

So, what is actually supposed to happen when a crash of this magnitude occurs? The first thing investigators do is secure the scene so that only those with clearance can be present. Next, all evidence is documented and photographed. Once every piece of evidence has been properly marked, including the dirt where the aircraft was found, the wreckage is moved to a large hangar where a team goes to great lengths to reconstruct the crash aircraft and examine it more closely.

"All investigative protocol should have been left in place following an aviation disaster of this magnitude," says aviation attorney Ron Goldman. "This is an act of terrorism that demands a proper investigation. Unfortunately, the wreckage is so compromised that it appears the investigation will be tainted."

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