Russian President Vladimir Putin must bear full responsibility for creating the perimeters under which in a Malaysian jetliner was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday, Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told Newsmax TV.
Hoekstra said Putin likely put the weapons used to blast the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 out of the sky into the hands of Russian separatists.
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"He has full responsibility for putting these kinds of weapons into the hands of the rebels, knowing that when you do that you're moving it to a military force that doesn't have the command and control structure that you would find in an established military,'' Hoekstra told "The Steve Malzberg Show.''
"Whether it's the Russian military, the U.S. military … you've got procedures, protocols, checks and balances all in place.
"So, Putin will bear full responsibility for giving these kinds of sophisticated weapons to kind of a ragtag outfit that potentially will be found to be responsible for this.''
As far as a motive, Hoekstra, a Republican and former Michigan congressman, speculated that whoever is responsible will claim that it was "a tragic mistake of mistaken identity.''
The jet, which is believed to have been struck by a missile at 33,000 feet, spewed wreckage over "a fairly significant area,'' Hoekstra added.
"It may have hit the engine, which means it may have torn off a wing, but the rest of the airplane could've stayed intact, although the forces of gravity probably would've done something to the plane to have it start falling apart the closer it got to the ground.''
Hoekstra also commented on the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza in response to the intense rocket attacks that have been launched by the terrorist group Hamas.
"They’re going to be able to deliver Hamas a significant setback,'' Hoekstra said. "They will not eliminate the threat from Hamas; they will severely damage Hamas' capability.''
Hoekstra believes Hamas' bold strikes against Israel are due in part to the terrorists being emboldened by a weak U.S. foreign policy.
"The U.S. [is] not being trusted by the Israeli government and by the Israeli people anymore. The Palestinians, Hamas, saw that as an opportunity to challenge Israel, events spin out of control, and now we've got this invasion by Israel … It's just one ugly mess,'' he said.
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