Polish President, many government officials killed in plane crash

Wretchard (Richard Fernandez) discusses the story, shows examples of blatant editorializing against Kaczynski’s conservative views, points out the historical irony of this happening nearly at the exact site of the Katyn Forest Massacre, and wonders whether anyone will ever believe no foul play was involved. Go read it all.

UPDATE: Arthur Chrenkoff comes out of retirement. Some interesting stuff in the comments: “Wind Rider” (presumably the retired Air Force pilot that used to blog at Silent Running) has the following to say:

Excellent summary of internal Polish politics, but with the further revelations os circumstance coming out, the Russians are probably off the hook for this one. Reports are surfacing that the plane was waved off from three previous landing attempts due to reduced visibility from fog, and a Russian military plane was diverted for the same reasons. Apparently the pilot decided to press the approach on the fourth attempt. The Russains may take some hits for the instrumentation and NAVAIDS at the field being out of calibration, which is a possibility, as the airfield is described as ’seldom used’. A review of the previous wrecks involving this specific aircraft type don’t appear to indicate an inherent design or recurrent mechanical flaw, as most of the other tragedies appear to also be pilot error or other external factors.

Still, the Russians would do well to provide as much transparency as possible with the investigation, and two things would go a long way towards side-stepping any adverse political fallout due to mis-perceptions – first, have Vladimir Putin overcome his ‘I’ll take charge and get to the bottom of this’ approach, then literally and figuratively remain on the sidelines as an interested observer only; secondly, it would probably go along way towards heading off any wild conspiracy BS to request, no, insist upon EU participation and assistance with the accident investigation.

Naturally, that all depends upon the Russians seeing the long term political benefits as outweighing any short term huffing and puffing about sovereignty or indignation over irrelevant perceptions of competence.


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