Diana West

Good thing no non-partisan, international team of investigators is examining this international mystery, right? Much better that the United Nations, for example, is currently squeezing Israel for defending its lawful naval blockade on Gaza (and concurrent offers to shuttle seaborne humanitarian aid to Gaza via land). With former KGB officer Vladimir Putin having personally taken charge of the crash investigation, why worry?

Point two. The Polish newspaper Fakt reported that three days after the crash, the air traffic controller on duty during the fatal crash disappeared. The Russians say he retired -- and no, they don't know where he is.

Uh-huh.

At the website of the Institute of World Politics where he teaches, ex-CIA officer Eugene Poteat writes that Russians "stripped the 97 dead passengers of personal effects, luggage, laptop computers, flash drives, cell phones, sensitive papers, names, telephone numbers, correspondence, documents, and top secret military and diplomatic codes -- a coup for Russia's intelligence service. ... The Russians delayed for weeks before returning the less sensitive items, but kept items of intelligence value. The bodies were shipped to Moscow for `autopsies.' No Polish medical people were permitted as witnesses. ... The bodies were returned to Poland in sealed coffins for burial and families of the victims were not permitted to open the coffins."

And why was that? Some survivors are exploring the autopsy process to find out, with one parliamentarian's widow planning to exhume her late husband's corpse to learn more about the crash circumstances.

"Poland has no doubts about Russia's good will in investigating crash," read a headline from the Russian wire service Itar-Tass on Aug. 7. The story quoted a Polish minister complaining about gaps in Russia's evidence -- not that this minister for a moment doubted Russia's investigatory good will. For its part, Russia maintains it has already handed over everything to Poland. "There is nothing more to transfer," said Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.

At least nothing more that wouldn't lift the fog on this mystery.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).