What’s the Consequence for Killing American Citizens?

While we don’t know every detail yet, the preponderance of what we know so far indicates that separatists in Ukraine, backed by Russia, shot a missile, destroying a Malaysian Airlines jetliner. Our Patrick Brennan summarizes:

A Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in eastern Ukraine today, killing all 285 passengers aboard, and the Ukrainian government has accused pro-Russian separatists in the area of shooting it down. A representative of the Ukrainian government claims that it was downed by a ground-to-air missile of the type that Russia has been supplying to separatists in eastern Ukraine, where the Ukrainian government has been trying to suppress militants over the past few months. The militants have denied shooting it down.

The Ukrainian government reports that 23 Americans were aboard the plane, and that more than 300 people were killed in the crash.

The Americans on the plane had no connection to Russia or Ukraine, and took no risks other than booking a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Now they’re dead. It’s quite possible pro-Russian separatists killed our fellow citizens.* What will the consequence be?

* UPDATE: As of Friday afternoon, the report is that “at least one”, not 23 Americans were killed in the attack on the plane. The magazine of Stephen Glass and Zach Scott Thomas Beauchamp seems to think citing a report from Reuters constitutes dishonesty. 

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