CNN: US Never Apologized or Admitted Shooting Down Iranian Airliner in 1988

I was amazed to see this on CNN last night.

Erin Burnett reported on other passenger airliners that have been shot down, focusing on the 1988 shooting down of an Iranian passenger airliner by the US Navy, killing all 274 on board.

The US government worked hard to cover up the event and later to justify it. Vice President George H.W. Bush said before the UN:

“I will never apologize for the United States – I don’t care what the facts are.”

To this day, the US has still refused to apologize or to take responsibility for the deaths of 274 innocent people. Year later, the US agreed to pay $60 million to the families of the dead, without admitting responsibility.

Burnett compared the situation to the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over Ukraine last week. She then interviewed presidential worshipper and former advisor David Gergen who admitted that it was “strikingly similar” to the MH17 events, but then tried to explain it was different because we were in the region to do good, unlike Putin’s involvement with events on Russia’s border.

The segment was an unusual one for CNN and especially for Erin Burnett, who rarely questions official US policy.

Watch it here:

  • Eugene Higgins

    So does this now mean CNN is going to turn over a new leaf and give more balanced and critical reporting and analysis of U.S. policies? If we believe that ?then we can believe Fox News will become ?the most liberal news cast in ?the world and not just America.

  • John McCarthy

    Yes, I watched this segment last night with Erin Burnett. I was astonished to see Burnett say these things. I can think of no other instance when she showed such independence of thought. Normally she serves as part of the American government's bodyguard. If the President is urging war, so will she. If the neoconservatives are howling for an invasion of some country, she will second the idea.
    I can't think of the last time she spoke against any war or intervention sponsored by the American government.

    • Porgy Tyrebiter

      Even the stenographers are having doubts now. That in itself speaks volumes.

  • The US did good in Iran like Stalin did good in Ukraine and Hitler did good on Poland. The USA has killed over a million Iranians. Iran will never kill that many of anyone.

  • GeorgyOrwell

    Erin Burnett: The cutting edge of American Journalism

  • Mojo

    The downing if the Iranian plane was blamed for that a Iranian fighter jest was flying just under the passenger plane and therefore the passenger plane was shout down! Later Bush father while as US ambassador to UN announced that USG is not going to apologies the downing of the Iranian passenger plane.

    There are people that are num as a stone because of their non functioning human feelings which therefor they have no Emotion regarding other human suffering, and there are people, to some degree, their human and humanity feelings are still in tact and working. Last night CNN show with Erin Brunette is one of the example. In the other hand there are many other shows, as in Fox News, CNN, ABC, BBC, NBC, the Swedish news or the English and German etc, tabloid news where the reporter human feelings is not about other nations suffering but rather they are hired by their government or they have become reporter for the money or a ideology they support producing what will benefit the system.

  • Very interesting to watch, lets hope that such tragic events can ve avoided in the future…

    • Porgy

      As if hope had anything to do with it.

  • Element

    Oh look! The Chinese are using human shields too.

    Over half of China military airfields threatened by high-rises http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/25/us-chin

    Netanutjob would just bomb such aggressive residential apartments to gravel – solved!

  • oswaldwasaleftist

    "…David Gergen who admitted that it was “strikingly similar” to the MH17 events, but then tried to explain it was different because we were in the region to do good, unlike Putin’s involvement with events on Russia’s border…."

    Yeah, like using Saddam Hussein to fight a war against Iran in retaliation for the overthrow of the brutal Shah regime. I assume this was lost on Burnett who probably would need to be reminded that doing "good" back in those days was an alliance with a leader who became one of the universal embodiments of "evil" starting in August 1990.

    Current U.S. policy is against a democratic vote on the status of the Russian speaking majority in Donetsk and in favor of a Soviet administrative decree that made it a part of Ukraine. Clearly, the U.S. is doing "good" with this anti-democratic policy.

    Russia is providing refuge to victims of a U.S. supported ethnic cleansing campaign against ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine. That no good baby eating Putin! What other "evil" will he do before he is stopped? Finally support the democratic votes of the Russian speaking peoples of Eastern Ukraine for secession from the jackboot regime in Kiev?

    • Element

      "… Russia is providing refuge to victims of a U.S. supported ethnic cleansing campaign against ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine. That no good baby eating Putin! What other "evil" will he do before he is stopped? Finally support the democratic votes of the Russian speaking peoples of Eastern Ukraine for secession from the jackboot regime in Kiev? …"

      What I don't get is why anyone defends or concocts apologetics narratives and propaganda-cover for Putin, on the apparent basis that Washington or NATO are aggressive liars and hypocrites. Yeah, we know that. But Putin is every bit as aggressive, dishonest, hypocritical and thuggish. Any objective examination of Putin's track history makes that clear. The only arguable 'positive' of Putin's power-tripping is that his outrageous behaviors has counterbalanced and stymied the West's outrageous behaviors.

      Other than that Putin is just another petty ultra-nationalist thug deliberately creating havoc, destabilization and fear with in surrounding countries, and Russia (not just Putin) has repeatedly colonised with armed fifth columnist invaded countries then permanently annexed 'autonomous' enclaves who are 100% beholden to Moscow to continue to exist.

      The enemy of your enemy is not your friend, Putin's just the next-largest warmongering colonising empire-building scumbag who happens to have a well-oiled world-class top-shelf State propaganda machine. If people can't see something so blatant it's because they prefer narratives of liars and thugs to paying attention.

      Which is the very same reason why the world did effectively nothing about the US navy's shooting down a PERSIAN passenger jet that was flying over the PERSIAN Gulf. So who's national 'defense' force was not defending its own country, but was attacking another without any reason? Who's national-security and freedom of passage, trade and lines of communication were being strategically threatened with a violent arbitrary blockade?

      And the lack of any sane human response to what was then played to be a genuine accident was insanely vindictive. And despite that incredible aggression and unforgivable post-facto behaviors the so called evil-empire, of Bush Jr., did almost nothing in reply, even though they were justified in taking at least proportional retribution to deter a repeat – but they didn't.

      Instead they channelled their rage into building the sort of weapons which could finally remove the US navy from the Persian Gulf, if that battle is ever deliberately sought by Washington.

      Routine viciousness and a lack of any genuine apology (or leadership) and fence-mending just leads to more deadly weapons and alliances and to much more dangerous military confrontations (see Gaza and Lebanon).

      It still amazes me the US public acted all surprised that once they invaded and destroyed Iraq using entirely false pretences and intelligence that was completely fake, then led to a decade of Iranian supplied IEDs, and in large parts of Iraq as a powerful and expensive deterrent to further stupid acts.

      Every time the US attacks or bombs a country, it inevitably creates at least a decade of instability which follows, often several. And who repeatedly cashes-in on all the resulting instability? Just the rotting-corpse juice suckers like Haliburton and Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon budget scalpers, and their right-hand-man spec-op merc privateer death-squads, like Black Water, and the cowardly paranoid anti-constitutional 'intelligence' wackos, who are all universally and justifiably hated.

      If Kerry, Netanyahu, Saudis, Qatar and Turkey had gotten their way and cajoled the US to bomb Assad's military to dust, ISIS would already be controlling Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and attacking Jordan, Turkey and Israel.

      The Neocons would have produced that outcome. At best Putin and Iran stopped them from blowing their own feet off, even earlier, via rubbing-out Assad with US and IDF bombs and missiles.

      So the US/NATO simply tried to take Crimea to hobble the Black Sea Fleet, take them out of the equation, so they could keep bombing the ME and provide the conditions for ISIS to flourish. Instead they got a proxy war in Ukraine as well while dousing the fire with Jet fuel.

      Well duh! Stop trying to bomb countries all the time!

      • oswaldwasaleftist

        "…But Putin is every bit as aggressive…"

        Nonsense. The U.S. is militarily encircling Russia, not the other way around. Washington has a policy, in word and in deed, of destabilizing and destroying governments it does not like, not Moscow.

        • Element

          Moscow would do the same if it could, but it's almost land-locked for much of the year. The Russians fought WWII over plains, rivers, swamps and forests while the US and several of its allies fought WWII across several oceans simultaneously. Hence the US emerged as a genuine global naval power who can encircle any country. And Russia did not emerge from WWI as a global naval power, and it has never caught up to a similar extent and scale. Russia has the wrong geography to succeed in global naval competition. The geography also made formation of extra regional alliances more difficult, and more difficult and expensive to maintain. hence their complete collapse in the late 1980s, until recently.

          The US has (or had) allies everywhere since WWII due to being a genuine global naval power, when there really was no other. You can interpret that as a recent 'encirclement' if you wish to ignore the long-term historical reasons for how and why that came about.

          But I did point this out; "So the US/NATO simply tried to take Crimea to hobble the Black Sea Fleet, take them out of the equation, …". So I did acknowledge the US's desire to encircle the Russian fleet to limit naval access to the Mediterranean.

          But in the end the US did not invade and take over Ukraine, it was Russia that invaded and took over Crimea. Claiming Putin and Moscow are somehow more noble or above it all is more than a bit hopey. The Georgians have seen that movie before, as have the rest of the region.

          • oswaldwasaleftist

            It is the United States that is the global military Sparta Germany longed to be. Russia was invaded during World War II and suffered more in war than any nation in history. The Russian position has been a defensive one every since World War II.

            The U.S., while not directly invading Ukraine, spent $5 billion destabilizing Ukraine and put it's hand picked sock puppet in power in Kiev. Before that U.S. economists gave out all the economic advice to the former Soviet republics, and they encouraged the worst behavior among the former Communist Party leadership after the 1991 breakup of the USSR. Put your public resources into your own bank accounts, and let Western multinationals in on the loot. The nation will benefit, they told the leadership of the former USSR. It has been a complete disaster for all the former Soviet republics.

            Russia did NOT invade Crimea, period. Russian troops were legally stationed there before it became a part of Russia, AGAIN. The people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to be a part of Russia. Why is this spontaneous, democratic response to the far right coup in Kiev less legitimate than a Soviet decree sixty years ago making it a part of Ukraine?

          • GStorm

            But that gets way ahead of the immediate issue. The immediate issue is over Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine, in which given a choice a majority of people living there would prefer to be Russian than Ukranian.

          • Alfreð Georg

            "The Georgians have seen that movie before, as have the rest of the region."

            Bit of a silly example considering it was Georgia that had the brilliant idea of attacking Russian peacekeepers. That war resulted in two of it's provinces formally breaking from Georgia, a country they think they should never have been a part of in the first place. How heinous of Russia.

            I still agree with many of your points, though. I don't think anyone thinks Russia is some honourable, angelic pacifist. For example, it's own recent principled stance and policies on breakaway provinces reeks of hypocrisy considering it's stance on Chechnya and Serbia(Kosovo etc.).

            It's hypocrisy pales in comparison to the U.S.', however. We must not fall into the trap of thinking that modern Russia is just a democratic continuation of the Soviet Union (which seems to be official U.S. policy).

          • Voicum

            If you think that US has Allies the discussion is over

          • mIKEEEE

            Russia DID -NOT-INVADE-CRIMEA , and "take over the naval base" (which it first built over 200 years ago) where 4500 of its personell were stationed by a quite legal "Status of Forces" agreement, and for which they had paid over 20 years of RENT to the Ukrainian govt (their longtime ally in advance)..You are just repeating nonsense and lies…..

      • marcus

        "Any objective examination of Putin's track history makes that clear. The only arguable 'positive' of Putin's power-tripping is that his outrageous behaviors has counterbalanced and stymied the West's outrageous behaviors. "

        Make it "perfectly clear" to me. Give me just ONE equivalent example of "Putins thuggin behavior" or "Brutal Russian Agression", or whatever it is you that took you a 1000 words in the comments section to vent…go ahead…Just one example plz…

  • Rob

    I ‘m fairly sure the death toll given is wrong it was 298 people killed when 2 missiles fired from USS Vincennes brought down the Iran Air plane. Sailors on another US navy ship saw people falling including a mother clutching her baby. Strikingly similar is not right either, it was worse the war was Iran Iraq the US not involved Vincennes was several miles inside Iranian territorial waters, the US govt lied about the matter claiming shooting a fast moving target descending towards the ship- it was a slow moving target ascending away from the ship-then tried to claim the pilot was a suicidal fanatic.

  • cyrus

    The CNN report is missing the most important point: the USS Vincennes had illegally entered into Iranian waters, a fact that the US Navy tried to coverup for 3 years until a Nightline/Newsweek expose. The significance of that fact is that the US was automatically responsible. The Vincennes was the aggressor and so can't have been acting in self-defense.

  • Pingback: NATO push vs MH17 Passenger’s Justice()

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  • rwe2late

    Let us examine a prevalent propaganda spin:
    "Why does everybody love and defend Putin?"
    Russia would do if they could do, and they might do
    what the former Soviet Union did do.
    (And why do you hate the USA?)

    First, the ad hominem insinuation that critics of US policy are
    Putin lovers much like many people are and were in fact Obamaphiles.
    Not even close.

    Next, the false assertion regarding Ukraine that the US narrative and the Russian narrative
    are equally true. Therefore, to find more fault with the US narrative supposedly indicates bias.
    But can two such conflicting narratives be equally true?
    Did or did not the elected Ukraine government reject an agreement requiring IMF austerities and NATO alliance?
    Did or did not US politicians and agents then sponsor the overthrow of that elected government just before new elections were to be held?
    Does or does not stationing NATO missile bases bordering Russia upset any balance of power
    and pose a first strike threat against Russia?
    etc. and etc.

    Next, the false generalization that defending Russian government policy in one area means blanket approval of everything Russian. Or that the disapproval of certain US government policies means rejection of all about the USA.

    Last, the false analogies. Russia today is not the yesterday Soviet Union. Putin is not Stalin (or Hitler).
    Russia does not have hundreds of foreign military bases, special forces and drones executing perceived enemies throughout the world, a global network of black sites, or missile bases bordering the US. If Russia begins doing those things, I will join in protest . But until then, the realities of what is being done in the present must take priority over the fear-filled imaginings about what others might do in the future.

    The worst atrocities and crimes have historically been committed with the excuse that an imagined future is being made better. The evidence for that argument is sorely lacking.

    Shakespeare once wrote "the evil men do lives after them".
    That line appears closer to the truth.

  • Scott ffolliott

    “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.” – Thomas Pynchon

  • Bernie

    For the ones who are interested in reasonable facts about IF 655 I do recommend the wikipedia article. There was also an interesting article about the correspondence between Thatcher and Reagan after the tragedy (don't have the link anymore).

  • Yonatan

    The Ukrainians have fired three tactical ballistic missiles each with a 500 kg warhead into the zone near the crash site. Did the US provide targeting information for these missiles. The US has revealed it has satellite images of these missiles. It is not revealing the details of the targets points. "This is a military escalation". "These missiles are used for offensive purposes".

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  • vlad

    We where in the region to do good…..hahahahahahah :))))

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