KAL 007's Intrusion into Soviet Airspace Seen by U.S. Reconnaissance!
One of the great unknowns has always been the question of U.S. responsibility in KAL 007's deviation from course causing it to enter Soviet airspace over Kamchatka and the Sakhalin Island. This question was extremely pertinent in the light of the admitted fact that there was indeed a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft in the vicinity as KAL 007 made its intrusion into Soviet airspace over Kamchatka. What it was doing was positioning to intercept the telemetry from the Soviet test launching of the first of all mobile Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), the illegal (according to the SALT agreements) SS-25 which was to hit the Kliyuchi target range on Kamchatka. Could not the RC-135 have seen the jumbo jet and warned it of its danger, as well as informing its own command and civilian air traffic controllers? Could not it have intercepted the ground chatter from the Soviet posts along Kamchatka as Soviet MiGs were scrambled to intercept KAL 007 as it passed from the Soviet Flight Information Region (FIR) into the Soviet Defense Zone - forbidden to non-Soviet aircraft? Could not it have seen the Soviet radars along the coast lighting up as they successively captured the passenger aircraft as it dangerously made its way across Petropavlovsk on the coast bristling with its weaponry - its Pacific nuclear ICB submarine fleet, and its airfields?
These questions have never had an answer for one reason only: The U.S. courts had decided that the obtaining of this information would have compromised U.S. national security interests. The capabilities of U.S. intelligence, and in particular the capabilities of the RC-135, could not be revealed in the height of the Cold War. And so, that track was abandoned by the committee of the lawyers, and the U.S. itself as plaintiff was dropped in the ensuing litigation in both the liability cases and the cases for damages. But what if there was a way to learn what had happened that did not involve revealing the capabilities of the RC-135? What if what had happened was related by people who knew rather than by a revealing of classified technical capabilities?
That is exactly what has come to the fore now.
An RC-135 airman who flew back to Anchorage, Alaska, from Shemya Island with the RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft crew after they had returned to Shemya base from their surveillance at Kamchatka's borders tells what was told to him by the crew. The answer to the question is in the affirmative. They were aware of KAL 007, and they did know that it was entering harm's way and nothing was done about it. No reporting of the disaster about to take place. When they had returned to their base on Shemya, KAL 007 had already departed Kamchatka's airspace but had not yet entered Sakhalin's airspace where the attack would occur. There was still time enough!
Here are the words of this airman. I leave it to you to evaluate and to help us to act. His words are in the form of letters to this Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors. If they seem redundant, it is because he is clarifying statements at my request. We start with his unsolicited letter to the Committee (There are deletions made to ensure non-disclosure of identity. The possible need for this will be apparent. Perhaps, at a later stage, with the airman's permission, more information will be forthcoming.) -
My request for clarifications -
The airman's response to my request -
Can the U.S. government be somehow moved to reopen investigation into the shootdown of KAL 007 and reopen the issue of survivors of this great tragedy? Can the issues of the U.S. responsibility in not preventing this tragedy from occurring in the first place be the catalyst for the U.S. to be so moved?
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