Tag Archives: New York Times

WikiLeaks Contributer breaks silence, accuses U.S. of lying about Iraq

Chelsea Manning, previously Bradley Manning, is a U.S. Soldier and WikiLeaks Contributor who recently ended her silence she held since her conviction. Courtesy:

Chelsea Manning, previously Bradley Manning, is a U.S. Soldier and WikiLeaks Contributor who recently ended her silence she held since her conviction.
Courtesy:

(CNN) — A U.S. soldier imprisoned for leaking documents to WikiLeaks broke her silence in a fiery editorial accusing the United States of lying about Iraq.

Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 for leaking 750,000 pages of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group.

At the time, Manning went by the first name Bradley, but later announced the desire to live as a woman and be known as Chelsea.

Manning has stayed out of the limelight since the conviction, which spared the former intelligence analyst from the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

But she was back Saturday, with an opinion piece titled The Fog Machine of War in The New York Times. In it, she accuses the U.S. media of looking the other way when chaos and corruption reigned in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan,” Manning wrote.

“I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.”

She said that during the 2010 elections in Iraq, the media duped the world into thinking that all was well.

“You might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers,” she wrote. “The subtext was that United States military operations had succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq. Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality.”

She said at the time, she got regular reports detailing security forces’ crackdown against dissidents “on behalf” of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

“I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that election,” she said. “Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media’s radar.”

Sunni militant fighters are vowing to capture cities in Iraq and threatening the government of al-Maliki. Some Iraqi security forces, most of whom were trained by the United States, have bolted their posts in areas overrun by militants.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he will not send troops to Iraq, but is considering other options.

“This is not going to happen overnight,” the President said Friday. He added that unless Iraq fixes its internal political problems, short-term military help from the United States won’t make much difference.

Pressure for the United States to provide military support to Iraq’s struggling government has increased, with conservative Republicans blaming Obama for creating a security vacuum in 2011 by pulling out U.S. troops.

GOP critics also say that Obama’s unwillingness to provide significant military backing to opposition forces in Syria’s civil war has made it easier for the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, to attack in Iraq.

Obama, however, has resisted getting drawn into another military engagement there after the ending the nine-year conflict started by his predecessor.

Manning also slammed the practice of embedding journalists with the military.

“Reporters naturally fear having their access terminated, so they tend to avoid controversial reporting that could raise red flags,” Manning wrote.

Advertisements

US conducted secret drone missions over Iraq

Even before the latest outbreak of violence and chaos in Iraq, the United States was flying secret drone missions in the country in an attempt to gather intelligence on the movements of Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the clandestine surveillance missions have been going on since last year with the consent of the Iraqi government. Senior White House officials said the program was expanded as concerns over the possibility of a rebellion grew, but they acknowledged the activity provided little useful information for both the US and Iraq.

The secret missions were reportedly run for surveillance purposes only, though it was not revealed exactly what type of drones were used.

One official, who was unnamed by the Journal, noted that whatever intelligence gleamed was shared with the Iraqi government, but added, “It’s not like it did any good.”

The news comes as militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have gained control of at least two Iraqi cities, including the country’s second-largest in Mosul. Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, has also fallen into rebel hands.

Although the New York Times reported Wednesday that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had previously asked the US to consider using airstrikes to diminish the threat of ISIS, President Obama has so far declined to do so, reluctant to recommit the American military to operations in Iraq after withdrawing back in 2011.

Now that the Al-Qaeda-affiliated ISIS is making gains in northern Iraq, however, the White House has asked the Pentagon to put together a list of available options, one of which could include an even more expanded drone program to potentially help Iraqi forces combat insurgents or make way for US airstrikes.

Additionally, increasing intelligence-sharing operations and delivering military equipment are also on the table, as well as long-range options such as training Iraqi and Kurdish troops.

“They’re looking at everything and anything and have been told explicitly by the White House to think outside the box of what is possible,” a senior U.S. official told the Journal.

As RT reported on Thursday, President Obama himself declared that when it comes to responding to the violence in Iraq, “I don’t rule out anything”

“The basic principal obviously is that we, like all nations, are prepared to take military action whenever our national security is threatened,” he said.

While Obama said ensuring that militants do not gain a foothold in either Iraq or Syria is in the interest of the US, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney later told reporters that putting American troops on the ground is not in the cards. Airstrikes, however, are a possibility.

Even if the US determines that military action is justified, many experts believe it would do little to stabilize Iraq in the long term without substantial political reform on the part of the Iraqis. Speaking with the New York Times, former CIA analyst and National Security Council official Kenneth Pollack said the Maliki government needs to establish a government that’s more open to the disaffected Sunnis who’ve lent their support to the ISIS.

“U.S. military support for Iraq could have a positive effect but only if it is conditioned on Maliki changing his behavior within Iraq’s political system,” he said. “He has to bring the Sunni community back in, agree to limits on his executive authority and agree to reform Iraqi security forces to make them more professional and competent.”

After stealing $425 million, ISIS is being called the ‘world’s richest terrorist group’

A provincial governor in Iraq says that insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) went into Mosul‘s central bank and took off with 500 billion Iraqi dinars, or $425 million.

The Washington Post reports that Atheel al-Nujaifi shared that the militants also took millions from other banks in Mosul, as well as a “large quantity of gold bullion.” With its new fortune, ISIS has more money than several small nations, including Tonga and the Marshall Islands, and can “buy a whole lot of Jihad,” Brown Moses, a regional analyst, wrote on Twitter. “For example, with $425 million, ISIS could pay 60,000 fighters around $600 a month for a year.”

The International Business Times has declared ISIS the “World’s Richest Terror Force,” but as the Post points out, it’s difficult to determine if that’s true — not everyone agrees on which organizations should be labeled “terrorist,” and it’s also hard to know the exact amount of money each group has on any given day. For some perspective, The New York Times reported that at one time, the Taliban had an annual operating budget between $70 million and $400 million, and Hezbollah worked with between $200 million and $400 million. Around Sept. 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda had an operating budget of $30 million.

Boehner : Obama ‘Taking A Nap’ as Violence Tearing Iraq Apart

John A. Boehner

John A. Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner ripped the President for not doing more in recent days to prevent Sunni jihadist militants from taking control of key Iraqi cities, including Mosul and Tikrit. Insurgents have been advancing through Iraq’s heartland with their eyes set on Baghdad, the country’s capital.

“They are 100 miles from Baghdad,” said Boehner Thursday. “And what’s the president do? Taking a nap.”

“It’s not like we haven’t seen this problem coming for over a year,” he added.

Boehner believes the U.S. should provide “the equipment and technical assistance that the Iraqis have been asking for.” The U.S. has rebuffed requests by the Iraqi government to order airstrikes in extremist areas, according to The New York Times. The Obama Administration has been reluctant to engage the recent extremist uprising as the American public largely endorsed withdrawing the last of its troops from Iraq in 2011.

Boehner said he did not know “enough of the details” to comment on whether or not the U.S. should engage in airstrikes.

Some of Boehner’s Republican colleagues in the Senate were also critical of the Obama Administration on Thursday, none more so than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). McCain told reporters that Obama’s entire national security team, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should be replaced.

President Obama said Thursday that his team is looking to identify how the U.S. can provide greater assistance to the Iraqis.

“Over the last year we have been providing them with additional assistance to try to address the problems that they have in Anbar, the northwest portions of the country, as well as the Iraqi and Syrian border,” said Obama. “That includes in some cases military equipment, it includes intelligence assistance, includes a whole host of issues.”

“What we’ve seen over the last couple of days indicates the degree to which Iraq’s going to need more help,” he said. “It’s going to need more help from us, and it’s going to need more help from the international community…So my team is working around the clock to identify how we can provide the most effective assistance to them. I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria.”

Russia withheld intel on Boston bombing suspect

People attend the Boston Marathon memorial exhibition, “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial,” at the Boston Public Library April 7, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts . View photo People attend the Boston Marathon memorial exhibition, “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial,” at the Boston

New York (AFP) – Russia declined to provide the FBI with information about one of the Boston marathon bombing suspects two years before the attack, The New York Times reported.

Three people were killed and about 260 wounded on April 15 last year when two bombs made of explosives-packed pressure cookers went off near the finish line of the marathon.

US authorities are seeking the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, then 19, for his alleged role in the blasts. His brother Tamerlan, 26, died after an exchange of fire with police after the Chechen Muslim brothers went on the run, sparking a four-day manhunt.

Citing an inspector general’s review of how American intelligence and law enforcement agencies could have thwarted the bombing, the Times said that Russian officials told the FBI in 2011 that Tamerlan “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer.”

The Russian side said that Tamerlan “had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”

But, according to The Times, after an initial investigation by FBI agents in Boston, the Russians declined several requests for additional information they had about him.

The inspector general’s report found that it was only after the bombing that the Russians shared the additional intelligence, including information from a telephone conversation the Russian authorities had intercepted between Tamerlan and his mother in which they discussed jihad, the Times said.

“They found that the Russians did not provide all the information that they had on him back then, and based on everything that was available the FBI did all that it could,” the Times quoted a senior American official briefed on the review as saying.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial begins in November.

The one-time student has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges related to the bombings, including 17 serious charges that can carry sentences of death or life in prison.

These charges include using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, as well as conspiracy and bombing of a place of public use resulting in death, and carjacking.

He is also charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the brothers’ wild overnight getaway attempt.

 Yahoo News.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Obama admin to propose end to NSA bulk phone data collection – report

te

The Obama administration will introduce legislation to overhaul the National Security Agency’s bulk telephony metadata collection program, senior administration officials told The New York Times.

The proposal would end the agency’s bulk collection program, a systematic dragnet that gathers the telephone records of millions of Americans each day. The Times’ anonymous sources said the records would, rather, stay in the possession of phone companies, which would be required to retain the information for a legally required period of 18 months. The NSA currently holds data for up to five years.

In addition, the legislation, should Congress approve, would allow the NSA to access specific records only through a newly established court order.

The new court order, crafted by Department of Justice and intelligence officials, would require phone companies to provide the US government records “in a technologically compatible data format, including making available, on a continuing basis, data about any new calls placed or received after the order is received,” the Times reported.

The revamped orders would also allow the government to look for related records for callers up to two “hops” away from the number that is being surveilled.

The current authorization for the bulk records collection – Section 215 of the Patriot Act – expires on Friday. The administration’s proposal calls on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, which approves US surveillance requests, to renew the program as is for at least another 90-day cycle, administration officials said, then the administration’s proposal would later institute new practices.

Section 215 allows the NSA to analyze associations between callers, if possible. The collection program was launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001 by the George W. Bush administration as a secret spying program that eventually received more solid legal footing from the FISA court in 2006. The Justice Department claimed that Section 215 could be interpreted as allowing the NSA to collect domestic call information that is “relevant” to an investigation.

The administration’s proposal would only pertain to telephony data and would not impact other forms of bulk collection under Section 215.

Marc Rotenberg, head of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told the Times that the administration’s new proposal was a “sensible outcome, given that the 215 program likely exceeded current legal authority and has not proved to be effective.”

President Obama announced in January a desire to reform the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic phone data, though without significantly weakening the agency’s surveillance capabilities. Thus, critics of bulk collection are hesitant to celebrate the proposal just yet.

“We have many questions about the details, but we agree with the administration that the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of call records should end,” said Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“As we’ve argued since the program was disclosed, the government can track suspected terrorists without placing millions of people under permanent surveillance.”

The administration’s proposal would join various bills in Congress that range from applying minor tweaks to the metadata program to those that would end it completely.

One bill crafted by leaders of the House Intelligence Committee calls for the court to issue an “overarching order authorizing the program” while allowing the NSA to ask for specific phone records from companies without judicial approval.

Critics of the Intelligence Committee’s bill say it is a Trojan horse for the NSA to actually expand its surveillance scope.

The bill is “not a ‘fix’ of the phone dragnet at all, except insofar as NSA appears to be bidding to use it to do all the things they want to do with domestic dragnets but haven’t been able to do legally. Rather, it appears to be an attempt to outsource to telecoms some of the things the NSA hasn’t been able to do legally since 2009,” wrote independent journalist Marcy Wheeler.

The administration’s plan, meanwhile, would also come with a provision that defines more clearly whether Section 215 could, in the future, be legitimately interpreted as sanctioning bulk data collection. Section 215 is set to expire next year unless Congress reauthorizes it.

The bulk telephony data collection program was first disclosed in June via classified documents supplied to news outlets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The US government calls the program a useful tool in its anti-terrorism operations, yet has offered few specifics on how the program has helped thwart any attacks.

Enhanced by Zemanta

China demands end to US spying activities after new Snowden leak

China has demanded that the US stop the snooping activities of its National Security Agency against Chinese officials and companies. Beijing has also asked Washington to explain the reports on the illegal spying.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, said on Monday that China is “extremely concerned” about allegations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) infiltrated the servers of Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, targeting the Chinese Trade Ministry, national banks, leading telecommunications companies and the country’s top officials.

“China has already lodged many complaints with the United States about this. We demand that the United States makes a clear explanation and stop such acts,” the spokesman stressed.

Hong cited media reports on “eavesdropping, surveillance and stealing of secrets by the United States of other countries, including China,” which were based on the revelations of the former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.

The Snowden leaks published by The New York Times and Der Spiegel on Sunday exposed the details of the NSA’s activities in China, which allegedly involved spying on the former Chinese President Hu Jintao.

China’s reaction comes amid the European trip of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met US President Barack Obama in The Hague on Monday.

The US first lady, Michelle Obama, on Saturday addressed college students in Beijing, saying that open access to online information is a “universal right.”

However, the two countries’ governments clearly had a different understanding of “open access” to the global net.

“We consistently believe internet communication technologies should be used to develop a country’s economy in a normal way, and not be used in stealing secret information, phone-tapping and monitoring,” Hong said.

Huawei Technologies is the world’s largest network equipment supplier and one of the leading mobile phone handset vendors, which employs about 150,000 specialists around the world, and made $39 billion in profits in 2013.

In 2012, the US Congress called on American firms to stay away from doing business with Huawei, justifying the boycott by a “national security threat” allegedly posed by the company to US security. NSA then used the same pretext to launch the alleged spying activities on the Chinese company. According to the leaked NSA documents, the major goal of the operation was to find proof that Huawei is closely cooperating with cyber warfare units in China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

In view of recent revelations, Huawei’s vice president of external affairs, William B. Plummer, called the alleged NSA spying an “irony.”

“If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of mis- and disinformation,” Plummer said.

Related articles

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

NSA spied on Chinese govt and telecom giant Huawei – Snowden docs

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has spied on Chinese leaders and businesses, new Snowden docs indicate. Yet it seems that China’s telecom giant, Huawei, was the core target for the NSA campaign in China.

The new portion of revelations from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, published by Der Spiegel and The New York Times, has exposed the great interest of the US secret service in obtaining data from China.

It has been revealed that America’s NSA has multiple targets in the world’s second largest economy, among them the Chinese Trade Ministry, national banks, leading telecommunications companies and the country’s top officials, like former Chinese President Hu Jintao.

But even against that background, one Chinese company received the special attention of the NSA: it is Huawei Technologies, the world’s second largest network equipment supplier, which employs 150,000 specialists around the world and can boast an impressive $38.6 in annual revenues.

The company produces a large number of electronic products, among which are cutting edge network equipment, such as WLAN routers and fiber optic hardware. For the America’s NSA, which is craving total domination in global cyberspace, full control over these technologies is decisive.

Back in 2012 the Congress called on US firms to stay away from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant snapping at the heels of America’s Cisco Systems Inc., the world’s #1 telecom equipment producer, due to a national security threat the company posed, according to them. Another Chinese telecom giant, the ZTE Corp, was also named as a threat to US security.

The documents dug up by Edward Snowden have exposed that three years prior to the US boycott of Huawei, the NSA launched a major cyber offensive against the company, an operation dubbed ‘Shotgiant’, which involved the FBI and close contacts with the White House intelligence coordinator.

Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei

The 2010 dated NSA document cited by the New York Times claims that the major goal of the operation was to find proof that Huawei is closely cooperating with cyber warfare units in China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which expand the PLA’s electronic warfare and SIGNIT (Signals intelligence) capabilities.

The NSA documents do not contain information as to whether proof of Huawei assisting the PLA has been found as a result of the special operation.

The NYT reports that the NSA is constantly tracking over 20 groups of Chinese hackers, more than half of them believed to be PLA and Navy cyber units.

“If we can determine the company’s plans and intentions,” an NSA analyst wrote back in 2010, “we hope that this will lead us back to the plans and intentions of the PRC (People’s Republic of China).”

It has also been revealed that in early 2009 US government hackers succeeded in infiltrating servers of Huawei’s central office in Shenzhen, China’s ‘industrial heart’, and straddled the company’s communications.

The NSA gained access to an unprecedented goldmine of valuable information.

Describing the breach of the Huawei servers, one of the NSA secret internal documents from the collection of Edward Snowden maintained that “We currently have good access and so much data that we don’t know what to do with it.”

The NSA was able to read Huawei’s email archives starting from January 2009, including those of the company’s top executives, CEO Ren Zhengfei and Chairwoman Sun Yafang, reported Germany’s Der Spiegel.

The NSA downloaded documentation on 1,400 major company customers, along with engineering documents on Huawei products, which ended up with the US secret service getting access to the individual source code of any Huawei products.

The breach of the source code meant that the US was able to get easy access to any network using Huawei hardware employing “back doors” in its equipment’s software.

“Many of our targets communicate over Huawei-produced products,” the NSA document said, adding that in order to “gain access to networks of interest” around the world “We want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products,” the document said, specifying that the agency was interested in “high priority targets — Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Cuba.”

According to the NSA, a potential threat posed by the widespread use of Huawei equipment is so “unique” that “the intelligence community structures are not suited for handling issues that combine economic, counterintelligence, military influence and telecommunications infrastructure from one entity.”

US President Barack Obama (L) is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping

The NSA expressed concerns that the Chinese are not only controlling an increasing amount of world data flow, a segment previously dominated by Western companies, but are effectively opening up new technology standards determined by US business, thus making American and Western firms “less relevant”.

Huawei has already issued a statement condemning the US’s activities and double standard policies towards the Chinese company.

“If it is true, the irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us,” said William B. Plummer, the Huawei’s vice president of external affairs. “The information presented in Der Spiegel and the New York Times article reaffirms the need for all companies to be vigilant at all times,” he said.

“If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of mis- and disinformation,” Plummer said.

“Huawei has declared its willingness to work with governments, industry stakeholders and customers in an open and transparent manner, to jointly address the global challenges of network security and data integrity,” said William B. Plummer, Huawei’s vice president of external affairs, in an email to The Associated Press.

Following the long-ago adopted practice, the NSA has officially refused to comment on specific alleged activities of the agency.

The NSA spokeswoman, Vanee Vines, said the agency only engages “valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements.”

“In addition, we do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of – or give intelligence we collect to – US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line,” Vines said in a statement emailed to the AP.

Another NSA spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, commented on the issue: “Our intelligence activities are focused on the national security needs of our country.”

The revelations published by Der Spiegel and The New York Times come ahead of the six-day official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Europe, where he will hold talks with EU leaders who also became victims of the NSA electronic surveillance, in particular German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On Monday, Xi Jinping will meet with President Barack Obama in The Hague.

Also, the US first lady, Michelle Obama, is currently visiting China. Addressing an audience of college students in Beijing on Saturday, she said that open access to online information is a “universal right.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

​Missing Malaysia Airlines plane was programmed to divert just before signoff – report

terterte

Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 changed direction at least 12 minutes before its co-pilot signed off, sources told NBC News. The diversion was based on a programming command to the plane’s cockpit computer used to guide the flight plan.

Follow RT’s live updates as the missing Malaysian flight saga continues to unfold

The direction change occurred prior to co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid saying, “All right, good night,” to air traffic controllers, the sources said. .

If true, the theory supports the belief of investigators – first voiced by Malaysian officials – that the flight was deliberately diverted. The New York Times  reported as much late on Monday, adding that it was not clear whether the system was reprogrammed before or after takeoff.

Yet for a Flight Management System (FMS) to contain multiple flight routes is routine, NBC News analyst Greg Feith said.

“Some pilots program an alternate flight plan in the event of an emergency,” said Feith, a former US National Transportation Safety Board crash investigator.

“We don’t know if this was an alternate plan to go back to Kuala Lumpur or if this was to take the plane from some place other than Beijing,” where the flight was due land, Feith said.

The plane was last detected by Malaysian military radar in the Strait of Malacca, south of Phuket Island, Thailand, hundreds of miles off course.

Authorities said Saturday that MH370 diverted from its path to Beijing because of “deliberate action by someone on the plane.”

Navigational instructions logged in the FMS changed the plane’s path, according to reports. The FMS transmits data to the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) that in turn sends information to the airline.

Malaysian officials believe MH370’s ACARS was still functioning when the plane’s co-pilot spoke the last words heard by ground control.

Yet MH370’s ACARS lost function around the same time that oral radio contact was cut off and as the airplane’s transponder halted, the Times reported.

Investigators are combing over radar tapes from MH370’s departure, believing the recordings would show that after the plane changed its path, it went through several pre-ordained “waypoints,” or markers in the sky. That would implicate that a knowledgeable pilot was controlling MH370 as it went through those points, as passing through them without a computer is not likely.

Meanwhile, in a press briefing on Tuesday that included little new information on the missing flight, Malaysian authorities said search efforts continue.

They defended their handling of search operations, as some missing passengers’ relatives have threatened to take part in a hunger strike for more information.

“We are doing all that we can to ensure that we are giving sufficient assistance, information and care to all the family members in Beijing,” said Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, chief executive of Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysian government officials asked the countries assisting in the search, including China and the US, to recheck their radars for any more information.

“The only one out in the open is Malaysia,” acting transport minister Hishamuddin Hussein told reporters on Tuesday, suggesting that Malaysia has been the most transparent in the search.

RT News.

Enhanced by Zemanta

​Disappeared Malaysia Airlines flight path altered by plane’s computer – report

terterte

Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 changed course on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing via the cockpit’s computerized Flight Management System, not by manual control, American officials suggested to the New York Times.

The officials said Monday that only seven or eight keystrokes would have been sufficient to change the Boeing 777’s flight path, though it was not clear whether the system was reprogrammed before or after takeoff.

Regardless, the theory supports the belief of investigators – first voiced by Malaysian officials – that the flight was deliberately diverted.

On Saturday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that investigators had reliable information that someone on the plane had “deliberately disabled” communications systems before the plane vanished. Furthermore, investigators said that it would have taken someone with pilot training to be able to switch off the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS. This system automatically sends engine data and other information to the airline.

Yet Malaysian officials retracted the ACARS theory on Monday. They believe ACARS was still functioning when the plane’s co-pilot spoke the last words heard from MH370 by ground control.

ACARS lost function around the same time oral radio contact was cut off and as the airplane’s transponder halted, the Times reported.

Investigators are combing over radar tapes from MH370’s departure given they believe the recordings would show that after the plane changed its path, it went through several pre-ordained “waypoints,” or markers in the sky. That would implicate that a knowledgeable pilot was controlling MH370 as it went through those points, as passing through them without a computer is not likely.

One waypoint was added to MH370’s planned route, according to investigators. Pilots would do this if an air traffic controller orders a different route to avoid weather or traffic. Yet the wayward point in this case was well off the path to Beijing.

American officials said that if anyone changed the course of the flight by reprogramming the Flight Management System, it would likely be someone familiar with Boeing aircraft.

Meanwhile, China has started a search and rescue operation in a northern region of its own territory, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said early Tuesday, according to Xinhua.

Indonesia and Australia said Monday they would divide between them a large section of the south-eastern Indian Ocean in the plane search. Indonesia will examine equatorial waters while Australia will focus farther south, according to the Times.

On Sunday, Pakistan became one of 25 countries participating in the search for the missing plane. UK newspaper The Independent reported that Malaysian investigators had requested permission from the Pakistani government to follow up on a theory that the missing passenger jet had landed close to the border with Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government says it has no record of the craft entering its airspace, but has told the Malaysian investigators it is ready to share all available information. In addition, The Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee has said that although the Malaysian Airlines plane could have reached Kazakhstan, their radars would have picked it up.

“No information about the Malaysian plane is available at our radar as it has not entered our airspace,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters when asked to comment on the Malaysian government‘s request. “Our radar system has no information about the Malaysian aircraft as it has never contacted our control tower.”

RT News.

Enhanced by Zemanta