It’s hard to imagine receiving a worse text message than the one sent to the families of the 239 people aboard Malaysian Air flight 370.
Here’s the text message that was sent to relatives (the Chinese translation you see here is generated by the user’s phone):
The message came shortly before Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told a packed press conference that data from Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the satellite company Inmarsat indicated that the airplane went down in a remote part of the Indian Ocean and that all aboard were presumed dead.
“It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” he said.
According to Razak, this latest assessment is based on “a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort,” and while it remains unclear exactly how Inmarsat and the British investigators concluded that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean, that determination represents the most definitive official statement to date about the plane’s fate.
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| Situation Report |