empire watch, latest, Skripal case
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UPDATED: The Skripal Case: an open thread

The reality behind the alleged poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter remains murky and apparently contradictory. Six days in to the investigation and little more is known beyond the original announcements made mere hours after the supposed discovery of the crime. Questions proliferate and answers are few.

We are opening this thread as a place for posting links to aspects of the merging story. This is going to be particularly useful as the narrative develops and changes. Today’s headlines might slip down the Memory Hole tomorrow. So documenting them as they arise may be useful.

Here are a few of the questions currently outstanding that may be answered in future (or may simply vanish from the record):

What “nerve agent” was used?

Six days in and no statement about that has been made yet.

UPDATE 13/3/2018: The UK government has now claimed to know the identity of the “agent” used. It’s allegedly Novichok (“new stuff” in Russian). It was developed in the USSR in the 70s and 80s, and has never been used before – either militarily or for espionage. May also claimed that there telltale signs that this was definitely made in Russia.

The problem with this theory is two-fold:

1. Russia destroyed their chemical weapons in 2017. Reported here in the NYT.

2. Russia was not the only country to make, or have access to Novichok. It was made in Uzbekistan, and the Uzbek goverment has been working with the United States to “destroy” their chemical weapons since 1991. WikiLeaks tweeted evidence that Cuba also had access.

With these facts in mind…the following questions need to be answered:

1. How did the UK government identify the agent?
2. What proof is there it was made in Russia?
3. How is novichok manufactured? How easy is it to make?
4. What countries had the wherewithall to make it?
5. Why would the Russians use a poison that has never been used before, and could be easily traced back to them?

Where exactly were the Skripals poisoned?

a) Was the poison “sprayed” on them in the street as suggested by police March 6-7 quoted here?

b) Was it added to Sergey Skripal’s drink at a pub he allegedly visited that morning, also suggested as a police suspicion in the same article?

c) Was it in Skripal’s home as suggested March 9 here?

d) More specifically had it arrived there by “parcel” as suggested here?

e) Was it delivered in a bunch of flowers as suggested March 10 here?

At first glance it seems as if some of these theories are incompatible with each other, and it’s initially hard to see how the same evidence could point to all of them at once.

The poisoned policeman

The story of “Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey” allegedly poisoned during his investigation on March 5 remains currently another poorly defined aspect.

How was Bailey contaminated more than any other officer called to any of the scenes?

Was he poisoned while he was “attending” the Skripals on the legendary bench where they were found “collapsed” as alleged by the Telegraph on March 8? Or was he contaminated while investigating Skripal’s house as suggested by the Telegraph March 9? If the latter, doesn’t this establish beyond doubt that the Skripals were also poisoned there?

How is Bailey doing? is he currently much improved as stated by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire on March 8 (“he’s well, he’s sat up”).Or is he still “seriously ill” as stated by an unknown source two days later on March 10.

UPDATE 22/03/2018: DS NicK Bailey was apparently released from hospital on the evening of the 22nd. No photographs, videos or interviews were made available to the press or public. Instead, Keir Pritchard, the chief constable of Wiltshire police, read written statements from both Bailey and his wife. The statements requesting the press grant them complete privacy in this matter.

Bailey’s importance as a witness cannot be over-stated. We need to know HOW, WHERE and WHEN he got poisoned by the alleged nerve agent. When Bailey was first hospitalised – when he was still anonymous – it was reported he was one of the first on the scene, and that’s why he was poisoned:

Scotland Yard assistant chief commissioner Mark Rowley said the police officer who was first to the spot where Skripal was found in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon was “seriously ill” in hospital. His condition had deteriorated, Rowley said, adding: “Wiltshire police are providing full support to his family.”

This does not fit with our other witnesses – including a young doctor who treated the Skripals on the scene for over 30 minutes and “felt fine”. The Telegraph later reported that Bailey was infected when he visited the Skripals’ house. Neither has been confirmed.

Bailey’s statement implies he’s been able to talk for days – why haven’t the police made his story known? There is important clarification to be had.

1. Was Bailey the first officer on the scene, as initially reported?
2. If so, why was a detective sergeant sent to the scene of an unknown emergency?
3. Was Bailey dispatched to the Skripal house?
4. If so, when?
5. What was the condition of the house?
6. How does this tie in with the report that the Skripals were gassed in their car?
7. Was Bailey ever in/around the Skripal’s car?
8. Assuming Bailey was never sent to these locations alone, why was he the only affected?

Why was the Sarum House office block next to Zizzi’s restaurant closed off?

And who was the woman in her 40s who was taken from the office building to an ambulance? Was this one of the unnamed 18 other alleged victims?

If so, how did the office become contaminated?

The 18 other alleged victims

The claim that 21 people in total (including the two Skripals) had been”treated following Russia spy poisoning” was first made around March 8 (see the Independent and CNN for that day). According to the Mirror March 11 the figure includes “members of the public and emergency staff, some of whom have had blood tests as well as receiving support and advice.” No further information seems to have been forthcoming.

Who are they?

How did they become contaminated?

Are they hospitalised?

With all the hysterical publicity surrounding this entire event why none of the usual “human interest” details about these innocent victims? Why no names, no background stories? Why no interviews to date with any of them or their families?

UPDATE 13/3/2018: The head of the unit investigating the Skripal case, Neil Basu, has made a statement on casualties:

The latest assessments reveal that 38 people have been seen in relation to this incident. Of those, 34 have been assessed and discharged from hospital. Three remain in hospital and that is Sergei, Yulia and [DS] Nick [Bailey], and one person continues to be monitored as an outpatient but is not showing signs at this time.

To sum up, despite the claims of victims, only three people are being treated in hospital: The Skripals and DS Bailey. The question of how Bailey was affected, when no other witnesses paramedics or doctors were, is still very important.

UPDATE 21/3/2018: On March 14th the doctor allegedly in charge of the A&E dept. where the Skripals are being treated wrote this letter to the Times:

Note he emphasises there have been NO OTHER VICTIMS except the originally reported 3 (who he does not name). Rather more curiously, he seems to be saying that – though people were poisoned – none were poisoned with a nerve agent. This could be clumsy wording, but in a correction letter to a national paper, on case of international importance, how likely is that the Consultant would fudge his words?

The 240 alleged “witnesses”

The story of “240 witnesses” emerged around March 10 (see Huffpo for that day)

What are they supposed to have witnessed and where?

With all these “witnesses” (plus CCTV footage from the most closely surveilled country in the world) how are the most basic facts of the case still proving so hard to pin down?

The spy who came back from the dead?

This was the headline today in the Times print edition:

Skripal isn’t dead, or so they tell us, so what does this mean exactly?

TOXIC DAGGER Chemical Weapons Drill

Sergei Skripal was allegedly poisoned on the 5th March, just fifteen days prior UK armed forces had been doing their “biggest ever” chemical weapons training exercise, “Toxic Dagger”.

The article, linked above, clearly states that Public Health England (PHE) was a major part of this training exercise, and yet it is being reported now that UK authorities – especially PHE – were “blind sided” by the attack, and handled it badly.

These are just a few preliminary thoughts. Please go ahead and add your own in the comments together with any links or other relevant material. We will add the most relevant to the article

183 Comments

  1. John Marks says

    It seems more important than ever to get witness statements from DS Bailey and the doctor who treated the Skripals for 30 minutes without being contaminated. An appeal should be made for her to come forward.
    For justice to be seen to be done, it is imperative that these two presumably reliable witnesses be interviewed and free to comment.

  2. This just in:

    Published on 23 May 2018

    Yulia Skripal – the woman poisoned in the UK alongside her double-agent father – gives her first media interview since the incident, saying her life’s been turned upside down, and that she wants to return to Russia.

    READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/95×2

  3. There was an interview with Gary Aitkenhead, the CEO of Porton Down where he was asked about the Russians saying the Novichok had come from the UK, not Russia.

    The guy’s response was highly interesting – he didn’t at any point say there is no Novichok at Porton Down (or in the UK). Instead he talked at some length about security at Porton Down. ‘Strangely’ the interviewer didn’t seem to notice this was an odd response, and didn’t ask him if there is novichok at Porton Down.

    Curious

    Here is th moment, at 2.22 in this video: https://youtu.be/R23AQAFvZ-4

  4. Published on 6 Mar 2018

    The military and science worlds have joined forces to combat the threat of chemical weapons. Exercise Toxic Dagger brought together 40 Commando, the Defence Science Technology Laboratory and the Atomic Weapons Establishment. In the final stage of the exercise, Royal Marines must attack a building with a potential chemical threat…

    • As you can see by the date of the posting of the article in my above post, this exercise began on March 6 and not fifteen days before the alleged poisoning of the Skripals on March 5. 🙂

  5. Old Pepper says

    Completely brazen limeys continue to keep the rest of the world for idiots. The British special laboratory indicated that the origin of the poison for Skripals could not be established. Immediately not respected The Times publishes a fake that ” intelligence agencies have established that the poison was produced by the laboratory in Shihany.” It’s an old lie, the British dumped it on the allies immediately after the incident with the poisoning. First of all, this lies with reference to the data of special services was presented without any evidence. Secondly, identification of the poison may be carried out only in a special laboratory. In this way, the British continue to involve their allies in the confrontation with Russia. A crazy old mare, Theresa May, and her boyfriend-cretin Boris Johnson want the whole West bore collective responsibility for British stupid provocation. I don’t want my country to take the rap for the filthy limeys and came into collision with the Russians. I urge the West to say to the crazy old lady and her comrade-in-arms: fuck you, shut up and get out.

  6. Old Pepper says

    I am surprised by the behavior of the Russians-how long they can tolerate boorish behavior of the Brits. In place of the Russian authorities, I would recall the Ambassador for consultations.

  7. Old Pepper says

    I see the chain of “Great” Britain’s (Rothschild’s) crimes, three attempts:
    1. smear Russia with shit – clumsy theatrical production “poisoning Skripals”, don’t worry, the Russian intelligence services have already received copies of the relevant British documents on the organization of this provocation. By the way, Julia told the nurse on the phone that healthy, well and her father too. After applying a chemical warfare agent that does not happen. Especially, according to messages of the Britons Skripals wandered around the city a few hours and were fine after contact with the poison. So poisoning HIGHLY LIKELY was not.
    2. intimidate Russia – fire in Kemerovo-security guard locks the door to the cinema, turns off the alarm and smoke ventilation, and then disappeared.
    3. in which the Brits had smeared shit on himself-sent to the aid of ISIS in the Eastern ghouta own military trainers for the organization of provocative the chemical attack, which would accuse Russia and Assad, but these soldiers were captured by al-Assad together with two trucks of chemical weapons marked “made in Salisbury”.

    • Yulia talked on the phone with her cousin in Russia, not with a nurse.

      What happened in Kemerovo had absolutely nothing to do with the Brits.

      • Old Pepper says

        HIGHLY LIKELY these two incidents were the work of the Britons. According to their approach to the investigation, it is the Brits who have to prove that they are innocent.

      • What’s the basis for assuming it was most likely Yulia? I’m not saying you’re definitely wrong but from my experience of 20-30 somethings in the West it’s not really that strange on the face of it that someone in her friend group or family would know her password and check in as part of trying to figure out how she ended up incommunicado in the UK. I’ve once or twice logged in to family members’ FB accounts in semi-emergencies to check if they’ve left messages or whatever.

        • Thomas Peterson says

          was probably just the police checking her phone.

            • Lots of modern devices store passwords. If someone had her computer they could easily use a stored password option to get into her account. And if it was a boyfriend or close family member or friend they might know her pword or be able to guess it.

              I’m aware of the favorite passwords of several people close to me.

        • It would be interesting to find out who did that – VK has the means to identify who it was by identifying the computer or phone as well as the ISP. Nobody in my family knows my passwords. My impression is that it is a very small minority of people who share their passwords with family members.

  8. Whereas it is hard to discern any motive behind Putin being so dumb as to pull such a stunt, the potential motives behind this EUNATO allegation are all too obvious: ‘how can we at a stroke pump up EU donations to NATO budgets – and create enough UK collective security fear to derail Brexit?’
    We’ve surely been through enough WOMD fantasies and ‘Assad bombs his own people’ narratives to view this caper through a severely jaundiced eye. Set down the facts, and the May/Johnson case evaporates:
    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/skripal-analysis-the-collective-security-anti-brexit-motive-is-beginning-to-look-disturbingly-likely/

  9. David Matthews says

    Note the phrasing of the PHE statement … they are not using the name “Novichok” in relation to the advice they are giving to the 40,000 inhabitants of Salisbury.

    “Our risk assessment is based on knowledge of the chemical used”

    She doesn’t say Novichok.

    Jenny Harries, deputy medical director PHE
    It’s worth noting that PHE is based 7 miles from
    Where this attack took place.

    What is going on ? Certainly more than we are being told !

    I’ve lived in Salisbury for over 20 years … I’ve seen this unfolding at first hand … there are many gaps in the official story – I’m glad I found this thread as It raised many of the same questions I have.

  10. mog says

    Jeremy ‘Fuckwit’ Vine just had George Galloway on, opposite Davis Lewin (political director at The Henry Jackson Society). Lewin of course was disruptive and full of insane warmongering rhetoric.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09twf63 [1h 13min]
    This convinces me that this operation, for sure, emanated from the Neocon Anglo- Israeli alliance, most likely Mossad. The choice of Lewin by the BBC and the phrasing that he uses [‘we’ and ‘finally’], together with the context – they are enough for me.

  11. Rather than focus on what happened in a crime it’s sometimes helpful to wonder what should have happened but hasn’t – to wonder like Sherlock Holmes why the dog didn’t bark.

    Why aren’t we seeing any pictures of the victims from Salisbury Hospital? It will be said no doubt that the Russians are too ill for access to be granted, but Amber Rudd informed us that the policeman was less ill and “sitting up”. I seem to remember pictures of a clearly ill Litvinenko sitting up in hospital.

    I know it’s heresy but without pictures people are bound to cynically wonder if the three are actually in the hospital.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      no pictures, no interviews except with the policeman.

      what is the status of the victims. we are told they are ‘stable’. shouldn’t they be awake by now?

      why doesnt the Russian consul demand access to Ms Skripal, their citizen?

      • Over the last few days I have noticed reporters referring to the Skripals in the past tense. For example yesterday there was a reporter on Sky said that Yulia Skripal “lived” in Moscow and Sergei Skripal “lived” in Salisbury. Are they dead? I have never seen a doctor from the hospital give a breakdown on the state of their health. Something is very wrong with this story.

    • mail says

      He isn’t dead, he’s just stunned……pining for the fjords……pining for the steppes.

    • JJA says

      Litvinenko had his head shaved for a more dramatic effect for that famous photo, it was not a side effect of whatever he was supposed to have been poisoned with.

      • Thomas Peterson says

        Thats right. They claimed they shaved it all off for hair samples.

  12. Kaiama says

    Now Glushkov!
    Another business man / criminal.
    Looks like something is kicking off.

  13. John Gilberts says

    “In cases like the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the only way to proceed is by identifying the evidence which proves with certainty, what happened; or failing that, proves with certainty what did not happen. Perpetrator, co-conspirators, method, motive, intention – all come later, if they come at all…”

    14 1/2 Certainties About the Case of Sergei Skripal – by John Helmer
    http://johnhelmer.net/fourteen-and-a-half-certainties-about-the-case-of-sergei-skripal/

    • rtj1211 says

      John Helmer’s piece should be compulsory reading for the 650 Special Needs children in adults’ clothing who call themselves MPs…

  14. A certain Dr. Vil Mirzayanov who fled Russia in 1992 and now resides in New Jersey has opined in the Telegraph:

    “…They would have been brought into the UK and then combined inside a tiny, easily hidden aerosol spray that could be used to deliver a deadly dose and a “deliberate demonstration” to Moscow’s enemies around the world”.

    Then:

    …but said it was still so little understood that it had never been banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. Nor had it ever been declared by Russia. That made it perfect for assassinations, he said, as Russian security forces believed it could not be traced to Moscow.

    Has he thought this through? Surely if you plan a demonstration to your enemies you want it to be pretty obvious that you are the demonstrator? Can’t help feeling that Mirzayanov is taking his cue from Langley but is a bit of a novice himself at this cloak and dagger/deception malarkey.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      Novichok is fictional. They only evidence for its existence is this Vil Mirzayanov’s crackpot stories.

        • Thomas Peterson says

          Nobody can state what the formula is. The formulas for other chemical weapons like Sarin are public knowledge.

          The defector who came up with the story claims novichok is made from 2 chemicals harmless in themselves that are not listed by the OPCW. He can’t specify what they are.

          There is no known binary chemical weapon where both chemicals that combine to form the nerve gas are harmless and not listed by the OPCW.

          Nobody can be proven to have ever made any novichok and no sample has ever been seen.

          Since all the claims about it essentially come from one guy, I have to view it as mythical until proven otherwise.

            • Thomas Peterson says

              Just the fact that nobody can give the formula for alleged novichok.

              The defector who supposedly worked on it would know the formula. He doesnt provide it, preferring instead to make vague claims.

              It’s all bollocks.

              • Published on 1 Mar 2009

                Some people in Washington adviced me not include Novichok formulas in my book State Secrets: An Insider’s Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program because they could be used by terrorists. I’m explaning that this argument out of touch. Novichok chemical agents cannot be produced by any terrorists because of insurmontable difficulties of their production without highly educated personell, scientists and engineers. This argument is prventing to put Novichok agents under the Control of Chemical Weapons Convention.

  15. rtj1211 says

    So Novichoks ‘could only have come from Russia’, eh?

    This assumes:
    1) In all the years since they were developed, no nation obtained the formula to make it themselves.

    Well, as the US has helped Uzbekistan to clean up production facilities the past 25 years, you suspect that the US knew the formulae of everything they were trying to clean up, which makes it pretty certain that US chemists were either told, or dould deduce pretty quickly, what rhose formulae were.

    It also assumes that no Russian sold such information on the Black Market, no terrorists/Intelligence Agencies attempted to buy or steal such information, no final product reached Western agencies for analysis and no international agencies ever tried to stop their use.

    2) No dirty tricks departments exist in the West to fit up Russia with false flag evidence for Western purposes.

    Well that is laughter in court, is it not?

    3) There are no Western criminals looking to muscle in on Russia as a reward for getting rid of Putin.

    Bill Browder giving evidence to Parliament says otherwise, no?

    A cursory examination of how David Cameron ‘arranged’ for nuclear weapons to escape from apartheid South Africa and live in Oman, shows how simple it is for third parties to acquire WMD and for criminals to trade them on the black market.

    Pretty close to 100% certain that UK/US actors could have repeated the play book with Novichoks.

    The British Parliament is now a farce and at least 50 MPs no longer belong anywhere near public life.

  16. MichaelK says

    This whole thing is an elaborate, though fatally flawed, conspiracy theory.

  17. reenmac says

    We first hear about Novichoks on the eve of Russia signing the Chemical weapons Convention
    to scuttle Russia’s reputation?
    Mirzayunov is our chief source on what the Novichoks are about.They have never previously been used .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent

    Now, just after Russia declares the destruction ahead of time of all its chemical weapons, Novichok jumps up again , the mythical goose that has laid so many golden eggs

    https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-chemical-weapons-destruction-united-states-stockpile/28760622.html

    • Mikalina says

      There is something not quite right about that Wiki page. Is it possible to tell when it was created? It is being constantly updated, almost by the minute.

      It mentions a treason case which seems to have a link via the word ‘treason’ but this word just goes to a definition of treason. The word novichok is interspersed with details on Mirzayunov’s comments but never actually used by Mirzayunov.

      I think the whole site is new and just further disinformation.

      • It’s certainly been updated like a zillion times today. Page seems to have been started at least ten years ago though. Someone with enough free time (not me – too busy adminning!) could compare today’s updates with the text from a few years ago?

        • Jay Q says

          It’s probably best to use Wikipedia just for a cursory glance than to be taken seriously as a credible/reliable source.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      It’s all based on the claims of one crackpot defector who is unable to give any specifics about novichoks.

  18. Kaiama says

    Per Wiki
    One of the key manufacturing sites was the Soviet State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT) in Nukus, Uzbekistan.[19] Small, experimental batches of the weapons may have been tested on the nearby Ustyurt plateau.[18] It may also have been tested in a research centre in Krasnoarmeysk near Moscow.[19] Since its independence in 1991, Uzbekistan has been working with the government of the United States to dismantle and decontaminate the sites where the Novichok agents and other chemical weapons were tested and developed.[19]
    Per Wiki
    [19} Croddy, Eric A.; Wirtz, James J.; Larsen, Jeffrey A., eds. (2001). Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Essential Reference Guide. ABC-CLIO. pp. 201–202. ISBN 9781851094905.

  19. Alan says

    Thank you for providing this thread, given neither our so called representatives in parliament nor it’s obedient press are interested in anything other than vilifying Russia.

  20. Big B says

    Points not covered yet: was it even the Skripals on the bench. This hinges on whether the couple that passed the gym at 15:47 were the Skripals. They look nothing like them to me. But the ‘eyewitness’ identifying herself as ‘Freya Church’ (seen wandering arm in arm with a police officer) has said that the couple in the CCTV are “100%” the couple on the bench. Who are they?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5467051/Was-Russian-spy-poisoned-Zizzi.html?ITO=1490

    • Jay Q says

      You’re right. The man in the CCTV still looks nothing like Skripal and who is the blonde woman? Is that meant to be his daughter?

      This is such a weak story with so many holes in it.

    • O Lucky Man! says

      So here we have an eyewitness who is 100% certain the CCTV couple were the pair slumped on the bench, along with the new statement that the CCTV couple were 100% not Skripal and his daughter… Not so much a weak story with holes in it, more a super-strength kind of black-hole with the odd bit of storylne pocket fluff clinging feebly to it’s edges as it continues to expand, devouring the last traces of functional cognition in the known mediaverse

    • ItsAlreadyTooLate says

      And that doesn’t look like the Moon to me, it looks like a film studio.

  21. capsch says

    Sometime this week they will announce its Novichok class of nerve agent, case closed, as soon as Browder is involved its false flag guaranteed

    • Thomas Peterson says

      Do novichoks even exist?

      The whole novichok story seems to rest on the claims of one defector who didnt specify what the formulas were.

      • Big B says

        He did. Kudos to Mike Robinson: his source was spot on. [See comment below.]

    • Harry, I thought it was a metaphorical hint at “Rinse and Spin”…?

      Whatever, it has become a real first class example of the stupid belief the state holds in the UK. That the people will swallow any shit the elite dish them…

  22. Big B says

    (Lieutenant Colonel) Tom Tugendhat seems to have been put forward (or put himself forward) as an accomplice in forwarding Browder’s Magnitsky Agenda – which is how the Salisbury Attempted Murder (of truth) seems to be heading. He is predicting Treason May will “point the finger at the Kremlin” in this afternoons NSC meeting (at 16:30). If she does: the UK should draw up its own Magnitsky List or law, like the US’s Magnitsky Act. Bojo, Rudd, Williamson and Hammond have all taken a similar line – as did Shadow FM Thornberry last week.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/12/may-likely-to-blame-russia-for-salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-tory-mp-says

    UK Column’s Mike Robinson has just reported that he has it on good authority that the nerve agent will be imminently announced as being of the Novichok series – the most deadly ever produced by the Soviets. This stuff is 8-10X as deadly as VX: it even defeats CW/NBC/HazMat suits! If this is announced, possibly after the NSC meeting, we will know beyond all doubt we are dealing with lies, fear porn, and fabrication. Half of Salisbury should be dead.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      Having read something about novichoks i think they were just made up by a defector telling tall tales.

      • Big B says

        Very possibly: which would make it doubly interesting if the authorities claim it was a mythic substance?

        • Thomas Peterson says

          According to Theresa May, Skripal was poisoned by the likely fictional ‘novichok’ which could only have come from Russia.

          8 times deadlier than Sarin but apparently doesnt stop you going for a leisurely walk and a nice lunch before succumbing.

          • Big B says

            A likely fictional poison for a likely fictional scenario: May has given the Russians until Wednesday to disprove a fairy tale …or else!

  23. garyaz says

    Anyone watch the Dorset police led services press conference yesterday? 30 minutes press conference, with 20 minutes of PR back-slapping, mutual congratulations and arnt we-all-so-wonderful virtue signalling. Yes you are, but we dont need fuggin 20 min on repeat. Excruacting to watch-and beamed worldwide. The next 10 min was taken up simply saying they couldnt answer any questions from press for security reasons. Takes the phrase waste of time to whole new epic level.

  24. Michael Leigh says

    Of course it certainly ;ossibe, that an ‘ Internal State Agency ‘ serving their political masters ‘ designed this ‘ poison-ing plot ‘ from the start by say; discretely effecting a opiod-type drug attack as witnessed on the public bench. And then following in a military ambulance the adminstration of a more deadly type of poison-ing of the Russian family couple, and the accompaning police attendant, with a ” Porton Down Product ‘ to be actually later identified as of ‘ Russian origin and source ‘ at a later date ?

    And this treasonable plotting will please Great Britain’s North American partner Cousins!

    As well as hopefully giving Mrs May’s parliamentary government extended relief, from the real threat of an impending General election and, the right-wing fascist state-ed alternative of a much hated neo-socialist Government?

    To which all I can say is of mice and men…..!

  25. Yonatan says

    If a state intelligence agency wanted to kill someone without being caught/blamed, they would do the sort of thing that was done to Gareth Williams (the GCHQ mathematician) – make it look like a suicide at home, preferably with some kind of sexual deviance angle to further distract attention. This incident was conducted in public. It was wanted to be seen as a murder attempt. It was a staged setup for pre-determined policy.

    • Paul says

      Very good point. Most assisinations by Intelligence Agencies involve road accidents and similar events where it’s not possible to say what happened. Using a rare poison suggests publicity was sought, for whatever reason.

        • Thomas Peterson says

          Deliver a message and create a 100% predictable diplomatic disaster with the World Cup coming up and the Nordstream 2 pipeline under construction?

          Yeah, makes sense.

      • mail says

        Yes, like Princess Diana and Jorg Haider.
        This is a British speciality. They used to operate a system called “Boston brakes”, but this may be changing with electronic rather than mechanical systems in cars. There was an unexplained crash in Putin’s limousine a few years ago where it seemed to go haywire and hit a central barrier for no reason.
        Or bogus street robberies, like Seth Rich.
        The CIA has 2 specialities: air crashes (various heads of state over the years, particularly S. America), and falls from height. They conducted research to show that death was guaranteed in a fall of 70 feet on to a hard surface. CIA agents are trained to grab people by the ankles and throw them out of an open window.
        A recent report documented 2,700 known targeted assassinations by Israel (the true figure is probably a lot higher.) A lot of these involved poisons or nerve agents. The billionaire oligarchs are all Jews, with links to Israel.

  26. Quote from this article – https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-british-government-is-talking-war-with-russia-the-mysterious-skripal-incident-another-anti-russian-provocation/5631606

    “On Thursday the 8th of March the British government claimed that they had identified a “nerve agent” as the substance used. Yet the BBC quotes on the same day a woman physician who attended at the scene saying that she found Mrs. Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench vomiting and fitting. She had lost control of her bodily functions. The physician, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved the daughter into the recovery position and opened her airways as others tended to her father. The doctor stated that the she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on her face or body and that though she had been worried she would be affected by a nerve agent so far she “feels fine.”

    Yet, the British media published on Thursday a photograph of a police officer who they say attended the scene and who they claim was made ill and placed in intensive care but is now stable and recovering. The two stories do not add up, as it would seem the doctor was in closer physical contact with the two victims than the police officer yet the doctor has suffered no symptoms at all.”

    As others have said, very White Helmet production like.

    • Paul Carline says

      Seems entirely likely that the injured policeman part of the story is a fabrication (possibly the whole thing!). Police officers allegedly being killed, wounded or injured in some way while attending an ‘incident’ is surely meant to arouse public sympathy and support for our “brave security services” – a classic case is the fake story of the policeman allegedly killed by the Westminster Bridge ‘terrorist’. The whole thing was a staged false flag and the ‘dead’ policeman was seen moving, with eyes open, on the stretcher on which his ‘dead body’ had been strategically placed.
      There must be a possibility that the Skripals were actually paid participants in another clumsy false flag, with the “nerve gas” rubbish, along with the now routine “Russia did it” meme, intended to raise the fear level in the UK public. Having Skripal’s daughter involved obviously intensified the public interest – was it mere coincidence that she had arrived only a day or two before?

      • Ante Kan says

        Yvonne Fletcher redux. Tailor made propaganda for the british public.

  27. Big B says

    THE POISONED POLICEMAN: I think we can say with some degree of certainty that PC Bailey was poisoned at the infamous bench. Not least as this comes from the man himself. This raises the question of why was he selectively poisoned when the passing doctor was not?

    “A doctor, who was shopping with her husband in the city centre on Sunday, told the BBC she stepped in to help Ms Skripal after she found her on the bench.
    She said the 33-year-old was “slumped in her seat, completely unconscious” and had lost control of her bodily functions.”

    So how come this doctor is “feeling fine”: whilst PC Bailey is still “seriously ill” according to Amber Rudd?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43315636

    Further to this: why then did Ian Blair (now Lord Blair – who was the Met Chief during the Litvinenko enquiry) try to invent the house story – to try and suggest Bailey was contaminated elsewhere? A fact the Telegraph confirmed; only to be contradicted by Bailey:

    *“There are some indications that the police officer who was injured had been to the house, whereas there was a doctor who looked after the patients in the open, who hasn’t been affected at all.

    “So there maybe some clues floating around in here.”*

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/09/russian-spy-may-have-poisoned-home-police-believe/

    Could it not be that someone recognised this glaring inconsistency and tried to remedy it by suggesting Bailey was NOT poisoned at the bench?

    And as this agenda is being pushed by the Telegraph: who is the source – MI6?

    [Todays agenda: The threat of Russia means Britain must have ‘full spectrum’ defence capabilities
    GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS and GENERAL SIR PETER WALL – premium content I will not be paying to read.]

    • rtj1211 says

      If this means uk spending billions on US ‘full spectrum’ weapons, we have an open and shut case of Government corruption…..

  28. avenir says

    Another narrative at the moment is that it would have to be a state actor to make the nerve agent. The Japanese underground sarin attack would suggest otherwise, all you need is a lab and someone like a chemistry graduate to make it. There are plenty of chemistry PhDs knocking about who would have the requisite knowledge and experience to do this and manufacture it safely. Add a US billionaire oligarch owning a pharmaceutical company and you have a James Bond plot.

    My old university had a high level biological containment lab so the facilities to make both biological and chemical weapons are not as rare as one might think.

  29. mathias alexander says

    The policeman, the spy and his daughter were all in the spy’s house the previous day and all ate the same thing. Next day they are all suffering from food poisoning. The next day when they all collapse in the street the authorities panick and stert talking nerve agent. The other “casualties” are bystanders checked out in hospital as a precaution. The the media makes up a lot of lies because that’s what they do.
    If they don’t what the poison is how do they know it was a poisoning?
    The next question is “how are they going to back out of this?”

    • Paul Carline says

      Very important if true. What is the source of your information that they were all together in the spy’s house?

    • rtj1211 says

      It is not actually a crime to print factually inaccurate twaddle, unless you knowingly put others in danger by doing so.

      The media usually escape by moving on to new stories and any revenge being taken on politicians, not journalists.

  30. Dave Hansell says

    It would be useful to have some up to date scientific and technical data on the development of nerve agents. Specifically whether they have been tailored to produce a delayed effect, perhaps through some kind of dilution technique.

    Because when I did my stint in the mid seventies, which included two weeks in a voluntary capacity at a well known facility, all the training material on nerve agents emphasised that once exposed you had seven seconds. Which meant your ” buddy” had to move fast to use the auto jet syringe on you to give you any kind of chance. The objective of developing these agents, originlly for battlefield use, is to deny the opposing forces the use of personal as rapidly as possible.

    Consequently, in the absence of any technical development which slows down the effect it is logically impossible for all those involved in this incident as victims to be alive if a standard nerve agent was used. To put it another way the fact they are still alive under that proviso suggests it was not the standard nerve agent that the media are saying was used.

    This approach, in line with the one being taken on this thread, is known as the scientific method. It’s based on asking questions, analysing facts and synthisising all the information to arrive at an accurate conclusion which is congruent to the facts. At present non of the conclusions which are being propagated in the standard propaganda narrative fit the known facts.

    The international health and safety protocols for dealing with nerve agent contamination are available on line via any standard search engine. Just like the claimed nerve agent attack in Syria last year miracles appear to have occurred with scores, sometimes hundreds of people, subjected to contamination of an agent designed to kill a human being in a fraction of a minute surviving for hours and days and even not being affected. All with no NBC protective clothing.

    Those pushing the current narrative with these erroneous conclusions clearly think the average individual is stupid.

    • Big B says

      Thanks Dave: I’m aware of some of these protocols, even though I have had no formal training. The dilution or time delay modification of the nerve agent seems to be ruled out by the narrative makers (story tellers) by the reported fact that the Skripal’s table at Zizzi was “so contaminated” it had to “be destroyed”. According to the sketchy timeline: they were in Zizzi at 14:00; presumably going to the Mill pub after that; then wandering through the Maltings to the bench somewhere around 16:00 to 16:15 (contaminating everyone as they went?). [I personally do not believe the couple walking past the gym at 15:47 were the Skripals at all.] That’s a two hour delay for a fast acting ‘nerve agent’ to act? That does not seem plausible to me.

      • Dave Hansell says

        If the tables was destroyed at the time given – and presumably this is sourced from either a media report or official statement – than that represents another discrepancy with other reported facts such as the time of arrival of any official agencies onsite with NBC protective equipment and clothing and decontamination facilities.

        Because if you are dealing with a nerve agent then the international health and safety protocols, which are based on factual and rational scientific research methodology, would require whatever was done to this legendary table be carried out in extremely controlled conditions to an internationally recognised process and set of procedures. On the avaible information that the Noddy suited decontamination units did not arrive on site until some hours after the is claimed to have occurred what I want to know is why no one involved is reported dead.

        It’s just physically impossible in a practical scientific sense for the information coming out of such widespread contamination, involving a nerve agent, in an enclosed space such as a restaurant to be true. How do you destroy a table, even off site, without contaminating and killing those carrying the destruction out when they have no NBC protection.

        This is like the keystone cops meet the Three Stooges.

        • Big B says

          That table was also primary physical evidence for any future trial, unlikely that may be. The Defence lawyers may have wanted to order an independent forensic analysis – but now they can’t. Hypothetically, because it is never going to happen, that could be grounds for a mistrial.

      • Jen says

        If the table the Skripals used was so contaminated it had to be destroyed as per “My Lai” thinking, the customers who used it afterwards and the Zizzi staff who cleaned it and prepared it for the next customers must also be contacted and detained to be, er, saved.

        Not to mention that maybe the entire restaurant should be razed to the ground, the park bench where the Skripals were found should be scorched into cinders and the whole area declared a Chernobyl-styled no-go zone.

        Forgive me if I used too many upsetting metaphors just then.

  31. MichaelK says

    I listened to the BBC Today Programme a while ago… I know, but someone has to do it. Humphrey’s ‘interviewed’ two Tory MPs, one was chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. They both emphasized that they believed the Russians were behind this episode and perhaps more importantly they wanted people to see it in a broader perspective, that of Russian aggression in general. Like; the invasion of Georgia, the attack on Ukraine, threatening the Baltic States, supporting the murderous Assad regime…

    In this context one can see the outlines of a Conservative strategy to push ‘defence’ to the front of the political agenda in domestic politics shoving lots of other stuff aside, like the failing NHS and the European disaster. So this episode plays right into the hands of the Conservatives on many traditional levels; they can appear, strong, resolute and tough, ready to defend the country in the face of foreign aggression, standing alone against a powerful enemy, standing tall… just like Churchill after Dunkirk! Thank God for those two movies.

    Humphrey’s didn’t get them to come out and say they wanted the UK to boycott the World Cup though; wow, that’s a relief! But they warned Britons about the dangers of visiting Russia.

    Tellingly, when Humphrey’s wondered what Putin thought he could gain from this attack, the MPs were less forthcoming. I don’t know what goes on inside Putin’s head. But that didn’t stop them from doing precisely that earlier, when they both agreed that the Kremlin was behind the attack! It’s only when the question of motivation is difficult to fathom rationally, the massive potential negative costs of discovery, compared to the ‘modest’ benefits of poisoning an individual like this British spy… that the MPs suddenly become circumspect and evasive. This is because the official narrative really doesn’t make very much sense at all or stand up to scrutiny or examination. Still, I suppose none of that matters very much. The point is that the damage has already been done and it’s obvious who the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ are, which should really point us in the direction of who had something to gain from the events in Salisbury.

    • Antoine Bisset says

      Not least because there is no reason why conservatives and Conservatives should not push for huge increases in our defence budget. That is what we expect of Conservatives. It is why people vote for them. We expect to have a seriously strong Royal Navy, RAF and Army.
      We don’t need to justify it by play-acting in public.

  32. Big B says

    I have already deconstructed this fabricated fairy tale at some length: so if I may, I’ll cut to the chase as I commented yesterday:

    “In promoting PC Nick Bailey as the first attending selfless “hero”; the cultural myth-makers hit a narrational implausibility – how come he was so severely contaminated when others, who perhaps should have been at least as severely exposed, did not? As the story developed over the week, it has emerged that quite a crowd gathered round the Skripals (if it was indeed the Skripals?). The men and women in the hazmats did not arrive for three hours: in the meantime, local police conducted a search in normal clothing (as was photographed by local residents). An as yet unnamed hospital Registrar and passing nurse administered First Aid: clearing the Skripals airways. As PC Bailey is supposed to have been contaminated by administering mouth to mouth: then the Doctor and nurse were at least equally exposed? Yet they are “feeling fine” whilst PC Bailey has still not yet recovered from his near death experience.

    A more plausible alternative would be that PC Bailey was contaminated elsewhere – as proposed by Lord Blair on Radio 4:

    “There are some indications that the police officer who was injured had been to the house, whereas there was a doctor who looked after the patients in the open, who hasn’t been affected at all.”

    This fact was ‘confirmed’ by the Torygraph. Only to be discredited by, inter alia, Wiltshire Police and PC Bailey himself. So I know they are lying.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/09/russian-spy-may-have-poisoned-home-police-believe/
    http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/journalnewsindex/16078868.Police_officer_in_hospital_over_nerve_ag

    Further to this: If anyone lives in or near Salisbury, perhaps they could confirm what time it started raining on that Sunday evening. The best guestimate I can make is around 19:50pm. Why is this significant: because nerve agent would quickly dissipate in rain: and the hazmat crew did not arrive until 20:30 or so (in the meantime, police carried out a search in normal uniforms). Was the hazmat show pure theater? Perhaps someone could confirm or rule out my suspicion?

    • Dave Hansell says

      BigB,
      A check of the existing international health and safety protocols for dealing with nerve agent contamination are available on line via any standard search engine and they support your narrative and observations.

      For further supporting comment and observation see above.

    • Mikalina says

      Mouth to mouth? Why? Was he dead? Had his heart stopped beating? I thought modern thought was that CPR without breathing assistance was sufficient, in fact, efficient and mouth to mouth unnecessary.

      Just a thought – I still believe Mr Skripal and his daughter are sunning themselves in the Bahamas.

      • Big B says

        Mikalina: no, he was not dead. In fact, if method of transport is an indicator, he was in a better state than Yulia (Yulia was airlifted: Sergei taken by ambulance). The important thing is that, as we now know, they had been contaminated with novichok – which is 5-8x more deadly than sarin. Yet the doctor is feeling fine? I posted a reply the other day: you may well be right – do we even know if it was the Skripals? [See ‘Freya Church’ comment above]

  33. Thomas Peterson says

    And where’s the ‘KGB’ hit team?

    No footage, no photos, no photofits, no descriptions, no suspicious cars, no hotel registrations.

    The assassins were apparently invisible ninjas and the press doesn’t think this is odd.

    • rtj1211 says

      They must have installed internet-responsive poison cavities in some walls, then activated the release from Putin’s mobile phone, assuming he has one….

      How do these dastardly Russkies evade MI5/6 so easily?!

      • Mikalina says

        They have this nifty medallion around their necks which shifts time by a second and if they stand relatively still, they ‘aren’t there’. I saw it on Dr Who.

  34. After convening “COBBLERS” and the National Security Meeting

    All we know so far is… THE RUSSIANS DID IT!

    Everything else is er, a mystery…

    Remember to clean everything, especially your mind

    • Mikalina says

      Unless you are presently being educated in Yr 1 to Yr 13 of the British education system, then we are doing it for you (cleaning your minds).

  35. avenir says

    What I find very odd about this whole situation is the way the aftermath of the exposure to nerve agents(?} has been staged, and it looks staged. So we have many photos and clips of people in gas masks and chemical suits, designed to make it look as though they’re dealing with scary and dangerous stuff and then say to the general public, “oh! go wash your clothes” – ie expose yourself to the agent on your clothes as you wash them.

    In the film “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” they stage an accident with fake nerve agent, corden off an area and then wander around in chemical suits and gas masks designed to be so scary, people stay away and they can forcibly evacuate the area.

    The point seems to be scare people so it’s easy to persuade the public to approve actions that would be impossible in normal and rational circumstances. Boris attempted it by suggesting we boycott the World Cup. A number of problems with that, under FIFA rules we could be expelled and barred from the next World Cup in Qatar and perhaps resulting in our expulsion from UEFA too compromising our Champions league participation.

    We also had Sir Edward Leigh saying in parliement that if it were Russia that was the perpetrator, then that is an “act of war”. Crikey launch those missiles chaps.

    Where are they going with this? Well I suspect they”re trying to manufacture a Falklands moment for Theresa May, who in such deep shit from brexit, austerity and internal infighting they need to find a way to stay in power, and what better way than an external enemy. Anyone who disagrees with whatever retaliation they have in mind will be a traitor and unpatriotic, …blah blah… it could develop into…. we’re in such danger that we have to declare state of emergency and normal democratic processes suspended… blah blah blah.

    The problem is the government is so incompetent and such a bunch of liars that very few believe anything that comes out of their mouths. I suspect the whole thing will fizzle out as the government try to look tough, try to pin it on the Russians, who will just laugh at May and take the piss, and May’s government will become even more authoritarian.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      It’s a pantomime. It’s been raining quite heavily in Salisbury, any traces of toxic chemicals anywhere outside have long since washed away.

      • Big B says

        Thomas: see my open question above. I strongly suspect the initial hazmat scene was conducted AFTER it started raining: which would render it pointless for forensics and make it pure Kabuki theater. I don’t suppose you know WHEN it started to rain: I’d love to know?

        • Thomas Peterson says

          Not sure about the day itself but they were taking samples at the cemetary on Saturday in heavy rain.

          • Big B says

            Thanks. The whole thing is theater anyway: it would be nice to put some empiric detail to my suspicions though.

          • Big B says

            Thanks: I did, but could find nothing. The closest I found was a local weather station: but the timing was not specific. It seems 3.9mm of rain fell after 19:50: and the early BBC footage showed the forensic sweep in the rain. The “poisoned bouquet” was recovered after it had rained: this is now the main focus of the enquiry according to the Daily Heil. The whole premise of the story – i.e. Putin did it – is, as we all know beyond probable from the start. It’s just a bit of fun watching them jump through hoops to ‘prove’ the unprovable assumption.

      • Brutally Remastered says

        Oh God! “Washed away”? Which direction? Please not toward Fleet Street!

    • rtj1211 says

      Declaring war on Russia is a joke, we would last five minutes. Riding pillion on America’s war machine is our usual posturing. But that needs US to declare first and us to kiss their ass second….

  36. JJA says

    I think it is the CIA putting pressure on Britain to implement a Magnitsky act against Russia. The matter was being debated around the time of this incident.
    In this morning’s letters to the Guardian, one comes from Helen Kennedy QC and a member of the House of Lords who states:
    “Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, was acting for the banker Bill Browder when he was arrested, imprisoned and murdered in a Russian gaol; Browder has worked long and hard to see his killers and others like them brought to justice and to create legislative change in his lawyer’s memory.”

    Firstly, Magnistsky was Browder’s accountant, not a lawyer, a now widely known fact. Secondly he was involved in dodgy accounting on behalf of Browder, who was convicted of massive fraud in Russia and is now effectively ‘on the run’. Thirdly, Magnitsky was tried, found guilty and sent to prison where there is no evidence he was beaten or otherwise maltreated or that his death was not, as the Russian authorities state, anything other than natural causes, ie. heart problems.
    All this is known. Furthermore, it is known that Browder has gone to great lengths to stop the screening of a documentary about him that unearths all sorts of dodgy dealings by Browder. Browder has been all over the media since this latest ‘poisoning’ claiming Putin is a murderer etc. etc. It is sad Helen Kennedy has joined this bandwagon.
    No doubt, to ‘show him’, May and Johnson will now implement this british Magnitsky Act, as a ‘tough’ response to this so-called poisoning.
    As an added bonus for the CIA, Skripal is close to Steele and may well have had a hand in the dodgy dossier commissioned by Clinton to throw dirt at Trump. Skripal probably knows how ludicrous that dossier is and as they say, dead men don’t talk.

    • Big B says

      I think you are right: but just to clarify, we already have a Magnitsky Law – the Criminal Justice Act 2017 had a cross-party Magnitsky Ammendment added to it and is now law. As far as I am aware, this would allow “unexplained wealth orders” to be used for asset freezing and forfeiture – and I believe right of entry could be denied (I am no lawyer, but all these clauses were asked for; I’m just not totally sure they are included.) Further to this: on the day the story broke, Emily Thornberry moved to table another cross-party Magnitsky Ammendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that is currently before the Lords (“upstairs” as Thornberry put it). This, on the basis of “the issue of Russian human rights abuses”: proven beyond all doubt preceding the evidence. Quite why we need a second amendment, you’ll have to take that up with Labour. Even the Tories think is unnecessary, but would welcome it anyway according to Boris.

      https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2018-03-06b.171.0

      As you know, this is Browder’s agenda: and he just happened to be on hand as he was appearing before the Commons Select committee investigating Fake News. [O, the irony, the irony!] So, I think you are spot on: the agenda was pushed by Browder from day one and is now being picked up by, for instance, Oliver “load of ” Bulloughs article that Mikalina posted to me yesterday.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/11/softly-softly-isnt-working-sergei-skripal-litvinenko-salisbury-poisoning

      [If you follow the link “unexplained wealth orders” from within the article: it links to an earlier article, when they were pushing for the “Magnitsky law” in January 2017.]

    • Kaiama says

      The Killing of William Browder by Alex Krainer is an extremely detailed deconstruction of Browder’s situation. The gist of it is that some companies that Browder invested in, and whose tax returns he was responsible for (aidedby Magnitsky) were fraudulent. Browders attempts to get money back for his clients included, I believe forging company seals and documents in order to get his associates to organise tax refunds andspirit the refunds out of Russia (no-one has ever found the money). Browder then pinned the blame on the Russians but neglected to mention that it wasn’t the original company seals that the Russians had, but replacements manufactured by “other” people. Browder has spent aninordinate amount of timetrying to avoid appearing in curt to give testimony inrelated trials detailed in the above book and Browser’s actions certainly don’t make him lookhigh principled. PS I read the pdf book last night.

  37. https://consentfactory.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propaganda-still-works/

    The degree of Propaganda currently being pedalled & not just this story certainly suggests that max overdrive is engaged ahead of the planned offensive against Iran.

    The degree of determination to push this agenda is summed up best for me by Mc Donnels announcement that
    Labour Party will now boycott Russia Today.
    e-mail I sent to a friend.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-43363165 Looks like Corbyn and Mc Donell have sold out on a promise of power Mike. They were always likely to get corrupted or killed, Looks like corruption wins the day.

    “In a situation of manipulation, the Left is almost always tempted by a “quick return to power,” forgets the necessity of joining with the oppressed to forge an organization, and strays into an impossible “dialogue” with the dominant elites. It ends by being manipulated by these elites, and not infrequently itself falls in an elitist game, which it calls “realism.”

    Manipulation, like the conquest whose objectives it serves, attempts to anesthetize the people so they will not think. For if the people join to their presence in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in revolution…One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success. This manipulation is sometimes carried out directly by the elites and sometimes indirectly, through populist leaders.”
    ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

    • Jay Q says

      Thanks Roger for posting the quote from Paulo Freire! Reminds me of when i used to quote him and talk about this book a lot. Might just go and buy a copy today!

    • Mikalina says

      I really thought McDonnell would stand firm. Guess the Eminence Grise is more powerful than I thought and the individual soul more vulnerable.

    • mail says

      These things are done for a purpose. You have to expect something big, something soon.

      This serves a general agenda of smearing Russia, maybe trying to wreck the World Cup and Nordstream 2, disrupting the Russian elections, maybe diverting attention from planned provocations in Syria/ Ukraine.

      But I’m expecting something bigger. Not sure what. Maybe another 9/11, to justify a war with Iran. Something like that. Or maybe a direct attack on Russian forces in Syria. Difficult to say. But I would be very surprised if there isn’t a convenient big sarin gas attack in Syria very soon.

  38. I would like to look at this incident from an unusual point of view.
    I may be wrong, but still i’d like to express my thoughts. So here’s some chronology and facts:

    (1) December 2, 2010. Zurich, Switzerland. Voting at the choice of the country in which World Cup 2018 will be held, and also World Cup 2022 country.

    A very representative delegation of the UK came in Zurich – the head of the government David Cameron, Crown Prince William and ex-captain of the English national team David Beckham. But England fell out in the very first round of voting (it got just 2 voices of 22). Btw, after the announcement of the winner of the vote, David Cameron did not even congratulate Russia, and he expressed deep disappointment that England did not win.

    (2) The disappointment of the loss, of course, can be understood, but all the same, for some reason the duos Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands (which were rivals of Russia on a par with England) showed themselves quite differently. They congratulated Russia, and also welcomed the decision of FIFA. But the reaction of the UK was too “painful” and clearly not quite adequate (see below).

    (3) Dissatisfaction and reaction started almost immidiately. Thus, less than two weeks after voting – on December 14, 2010 – NGO Transparency International has sharply criticized the decision of the FIFA leadership to award Russia the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In particular, this (dissatisfaction) was stated by Sylvia Schenk, who oversees the sport in Transparency International. Actually she said then that “awarding Russia the right to conduct the World Cup 2018 was an “act of revenge” in relation to England, whose application failed miserably”.

    A short note – a “revenge”, according to Sylvia Schenk, could be for the fact that Transparency International initiated a process to identify the “facts of corruption” in the leadership of FIFA (in late November 2010, right on the eve of voting, Transparency International called for the postponement of the vote before an independent investigation into alleged corruption in the leadership of FIFA). Therefore, according to the logic of Sylvia Schenk, FIFA avenged England, choosing Russia.

    So if “FIFA avenged England, choosing Russia” (according to Sylvia Schenk), then i cunclude that Transparency International’ call to postpone the voting means that in fact it was England who made this call. How else to interpret her words? Here we must look who is funding Transparency International. Publicly available list of their sponsors is here:

    https://www.transparency.org/whoweare/accountability/who_supports_us/2

    Well, in particular (and regarding UK), Transparency International is funded by “Foreign & Commonwealth Office” and “Department for International Development” – these are STATE UK’ organistions. These are not some private companies:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations

    And, btw, regarding “Department for International Development” it said on the website of Transparency International that:

    “Transparency International receives strategic funding from DFID through a Programme Partnership Arrangement…”

    They are receiving a “strategic funding” from DFID. So, you can guess what that means.
    Btw, cooperation with this organization (DFID) has a special place for TI, and clearly more detailed than the rest.

    So, considering all this – Transparency International’ sponsors from UK’ government, as well as Sylvia Schenk’ statement that “awarding Russia the right to conduct the World Cup 2018 was an “act of revenge” in relation to England” – i draw a conclusion that before the voting England, probably, tried to “press” on FIFA in own favor. The “investigation of corruption” is a long-established and well-known instrument of pressure in world politics. You don’t have to go far. A recent example:

    On February 1, 2018 CAS justified 39 Russian athletes (28 athletes were fully justified, 11 recognized as partially justified). We all know the reaction of IOC – Thomas Bach was “disappointed”(!) by such a decision and he even stated the need to reform CAS (we can only “guess” why he didn’t want to reform CAS till the court justified Russian athletes). But it’s not the point. The point is that on THIS VERY DAY (!), i.e. on February 1, 2018, after the court’s decision became known, the US media spread the text that the FBI is launching a full-scale investigation into the “facts of corruption in the IOC, FIFA and other sports institutions”. Wow, what a “coincidence”! For some reason, the FBI did not even think about this “investigation” until the court’s decision became known.

    I repeat, on February 1, 2018, CAS justifies the athletes, then they almost immediately go to this court again with a lawsuit about admission to the Olympics. It would seem that they had every chance of winning, considering CAS’ decision of February 1… But no, 8 days later this same court makes a completely different decision on its nature – the athletes, justified just eight days earlier, have no right to go to the Olympics. IOC is satisfied, Thomas Bach is pleased. The spectacle about “fair unbiased justice” is over.

    For any adequate and normal person, the chain of decisions is completely clear and obvious. The court made an “unforgivable mistake”, justifying Russian athletes. After this “wrong decision” the FBI makes a hint of the possibility of an “investigation of corruption” in the IOC. Thomas Bach is alarmed, and he must admonish the “disobedient” court, guide it “on the path of the true”. That’s why Bach’s dissatisfaction with the court’s decision, his intention to disband and reform the court. IOC has obviously put pressure on the court. So on February 9, 2018 CAS made a “right decision” – Russian athletes (justified 8 days earlier) have no right to go to the Olympics. IOC (as well as WADA & other sport-fascists) is satisfied, Thomas Bach is pleased. The possibility of an “investigation of corruption” this time passed. Whew!

    This is a clear example of how this tool – “investigation of corruption” – works in practice.
    But… I’m a bit distracted with this, so let’s continue:

    (4) Team Talk resource reported then that “Morrisons” supermarket chain (one of the sponsors of the application of England to host the World Cup 2018) intends to demand compensation from FIFA for “dishonest voting”, following which Russia got the tournament. Interim head of the FA (Football Association of England) Roger Berden after the defeat of his country’s application refused a permanent post, saying that “he can no longer trust FIFA”.

    In the leadership of the country they clearly were offended by a loss in the “lottery” for the right to host the 2018 World Cup. And they clearly could not forgive this to Russia (this will be confirmed by subsequent events).

    (5) A small event listing:

    2015: the case of corruption in FIFA (yep, again), as a result of which Sepp Blatter resigned from his post. Btw, he accused the British of “not being able to adequately lose” after England did not win and UK’ mass media made a fuss about this. Having achieved the departure of Blatter, England in some sense took revenge on him.

    After Blatter is “removed”, there are talks about the possibility of changing the country for the 2018 World Cup.
    Guess which country is claiming the right to host the championship…

    In December 2016, Daily Mail reported that FIFA is conducting its own investigation against Vitaliy Mutko. If it proves his involvement in the use of doping by (Russian) football players, the 2018 World Cup is likely to be held in another country.
    Guess which country…
    This time they tried to use the theme of racism to discredit the World Cup in Russia. On the eve of the Sochi Olympics, the theme was “oppression of gays in Russia”.
    They fabricated tons of fakes about the upcoming World Cup in Russia – for example: fisticuffs on the Maslenitsa holiday (Russian old tradition) were pretended to be a “training of hooligans/ultras” (Daily Mirror wrote about this). Racist speech/posters in Ukraine were presented as to be in Russia (The Sun wrote about this). The Daily Star wrote that players of the English national football team must be prepared for possible “racial insults” at the World Cup in Russia in 2018. BBC made a film “Russia’s hooligan army” – a film about Russian fans who are allegedly going to make a cruel fight to English respectable fans during the World Cup. The Daily Mail wrote about the threat of bears(!!) attacking the British in Russia during World Cup. The Guardian wrote about Russian football fans team called “Orel Butchers” who “guarantee 100% of violence” (btw, “Orel Butchers”, right after film was shown on BBC, came forward with an official disproof, though i doubt The Guardian considered it necessary to publish this disproof).
    And so on and so on… fakes, fakes, fakes… to form a “public opinion” in UK negative to World Cup in Russia.

    https://s18.postimg.org/ymdnwicu1/racism0.png
    https://s18.postimg.org/3tgcrpgll/racism00.png
    https://s18.postimg.org/vtkgc1wxl/racism2.png
    https://s18.postimg.org/awo87htsp/racism6.png

    The British media actively exploit the following subjects: allegedly the absence in Russia of the necessary infrastructure and conditions for the championship, the “aggressiveness of Russian fans”, the lack of professionalism of local law enforcement agencies, the inability to guarantee the safety of foreign tourists etc.

    In this regard, a special statement was made even by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (although this topic – Sports – is not at all their specialization):

    http://www.mid.ru/en/web/guest/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3017813#17

    They tried (still trying?) to use WADA and the “doping scandal” and apply it to the World Cup in Russia. Thus, G. Rodchenkov (a.k.a. talking doll) in November 2017 suddenly announced that he has some “data” on Russian football players used “doping” during World Cup 2014.
    Well, apparently, football players from Russia use “doping” to run slower and play worse and worse…

    Also, the former head of WADA and member of the IOC Richard Pound said that “We can’t exclude such an option that some teams will refuse to come to the World Cup in 2018, which will be held in Russia, in connection with the “doping scandals”, and this can lead to depriving the Russian Federation of the right to host the tournament”.

    (6) All mentioned above shows that UK did not forget that loss when the “vile Russia” won and got the right to hold World Cup.

    I remind – the voting was in 2010(!). But all these “horrifying stories” (a.k.a. fakes) about Russia keep on going. Six(!) years have passed, seven(!) years, eight(!!) years… but the stories and attempts to deprive Russia of the championship STILL(!) keep on going.

    The point that UK still “did not forget” confirmed by the fact that all this (ridiculous stories, blatant fakes, assaults on Russia, attempts to discredit World Cup in Russia) for some reason are not made by other countries that lost that vote in 2010. Neither Spain, nor Portugal, nor Bulgia, nor the Netherlands… – for some reason, all these countries do not do anything like this against upcoming World Cup in Russia. Only the UK persistently continues to fabricate ever new “threats from Russia”.

    (7) So recently MI6 agent Skripal suddenly was poisoned in UK. ~10 days before President elections in Russia.

    Why did Boris Johnson choose exactly THIS variant to “answer Russia” – boycott of the World Cup 2018? He could say anything else. For example, that UK will impose some kind of “additional sanctions” on Russia, or that UK now (after this “awful criminal act”) will have some kind of “Magnitsky act” (btw, actually this already happened! fantastic) to “punish Russia”, or that Russian representative will be summoned to the British Foreign Office to receive a protest note, or that UK will go to court (ECHR, for example, or another court) having “irrefutable evidence of Putin’s involvement”, or that UK will deprive a certain number of Russian persons of the right to enter the UK… There’s a lot of variants.

    But he said exactly about possible boycott of the World Cup 2018. Though, as we know, the “event” just happened, there was no any kind of investigation yet, no evidence, no anything. But statement was ALREADY made. Definitely there were reasons for this.

    So, putting it all together, I conclude that they are – i mean UK’ officials, politicians, elites – clearly offended, very angry and unhappy with the fact that the World Cup will be held in Russia and that it will be a wonderful holiday for all fans of football. Multiply this by the habitual hatred of Putin (which has become a dangerous disease lately), in particular, and the entire Russian nation, on the whole.

    Against this background, the story of the poisoning of Skripal right before the Presidential elections in Russia looks VERY convenient for not going to upcoming World Cup. After all, it was impossible just to not go – nobody would understand this decision. But here we have such convenient occasion! In protest, the UK’ representatives will not go to “vile Russia” on this “damned World Cup in a terrible country”.

    Of course I’m not saying that Skripal was killed specifically to justify boycott of the World Cup in Russia. Not at all. I just notice that this is a VERY convenient excuse for the authorities of England not to go.

  39. Peter Schmidt says

    Moon of Alabama has made a good article on it. I urge you to read it. Apparently he had connections to the Steele dossier and the persons involved in it.
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/spy-posions-spy-and-the-anti-trump-campaign.html
    Also I read that there are discrepancies in the times that the ambulance came and the report of poisoning happened (officially documented difference, that can be proved). The too much hysteria is suspicious to me. The Guardian and the BBC are milking it 24/7.
    On the other hand, if it was not the Russians, we will never find out who really behind the poisoning. I cannot imagine the BBC coming out sensationally claiming that their own MI5 had carried out the poisoning.

    • Surely you meant MI 16? There is no MI5, and MI 15 no longer exists – MI15, the British Military Intelligence Section 15 (now defunct), was a department of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence, part of the War Office. It was set up in 1942 to handle aerial photography (compare with MI4). In 1943 this function was transferred to the air ministry and MI15 became responsible for the coordination of intelligence about enemy anti-aircraft facilities.

  40. reenmac says

    If its known what the nerve agent is, then it should be known how soon it takes effect.
    Surely then it can be narrowed down without all this speculation .
    If the policeman, the hero of the day can determine when he started to feel ill, that also should tell us how quickly the agent has its effect.
    There seems to be no talk of supplying the local authorities with an antidote, which I would have thought the medics would be stocking up on , seeing as how dangerous and pervasive they’re making the toxin out to be
    Goodness, evil Russians could be dispersing this dreadful poison all over the place
    I reckon Bellingcat’s all primed to go

    • Thomas Peterson says

      They must be trying to find one that would act in accordance with the fact that after being poisoned Mr Skripal and his daughter wandered around Salisbury for hours with no ill effects.

      Goos luck with that, as far as I know nerve agents are fast acting. They wouldnt be much use as a military weapon if they weren’t.

      • Big B says

        The timeline is a bit sketchy, so forgive me if I am wrong: but as far as I can make out – they were poisoned in Zizzi; went to the Bishops Mill pub; wandered back through the Maltings on their way to the bench …all over something like a two and a half hour timescale. Yet this stuff is so toxic it can linger all week through the rain and still be a threat to life?

      • Dave Hansell says

        We were taught seven seconds.

        Maybe it’s a diluted agent genetically and/or biologically engineered to produce a time delayed reaction?

        I have to go now. A squadron of pigs are flying overhead.

      • rtj1211 says

        Well true, but controlled release of nerve agent within some pill could delay action. Not the aim for mass murder, but for assassination perfectly reasonable.

        Delay by several hours is more consistent with a viral or bacterial agent: need to replicate enough to go boom! I had Salmonella once due to dodgy egg butty in Yankee coffee chain. Ten hours later I puked all over some very nice business premises!

        • Dave Hansell says

          This then begs the question as to why it is that both media and politicians are claiming that multiple locations both inside and outside are contaminated with claimed nerve agent? Either it was targeted in that way or not. Both cannot be accurate.

  41. Carnyx says

    On the first day there was a video clip of a witness describing the victims sitting on the bench, the witness described them as looking like they were on drugs, the woman slumped asleep against the man having vomitted, the man waving his arm around pointing upwards, if I remember it right. I think it would be odd to confuse a nerve gas victim with someone high on drugs, other than vomitting the witness didn’t describe symptoms of nerve agent poisoning, like blue skin, convulsions, difficulty breathing, soiling themselves, foaming mouths.

    Initial reports before Skripal was named as a victim mentioned the opioid fentanyl as the drug involved

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/salisbury-hospital-closes-ae-deals-12130467

  42. Meeres. says

    Third possibility……Internal Russian intrigue ? Does Putin have enemies in the Kremlin or elsewhere who want to embarrass him prior to the elections ?

    • Pro-Navalnys, especially abroad (Soros and Khodorkovsky being his backers and financers and who detest Putin with a vengeance), perhaps, or some Ukrainians (think the neo-Nazi factions in the Ukrainian government)? NeoCons in the US and the UK?

    • Hellen Bartholomew says

      That would make sense if it was a bigger deal over there in Russia. They don’t really care much about it. This is for domestic , meaning UK and US, consumption. It’s to pave the way for massive financial impositions that will in turn pave the way for the overthrow of Putin by driving a wedge between him and his less devoted supporters in the Kremlin and in the business world. That’s the plan, probably won’t come off but if just makes enough chaos that could be dangerous enough. Interesting times.

  43. How come those alleged 240 witnesses were not also hospitalilzed? If they were close enough to be reliable witnesses (what a huge crowd, though…), they would also have been poisoned and hospitalized…

    • It’s starting to sound like the script to one of those White Helmet fictional productions. With 21 supposed victims and 240 witnesses (where have these numbers come from?) yet no-one can pin down where it happened, when it happened or what was actually used.

  44. Kaiama says

    That no UK paper has highlighted the complete lack of any information od substance strongly suggests that information is being withheld. Primarily this has resulted in a large amount of speculation on the basis of anti-Russian input which the authorities seem perfectly happy to perpetuate. One feels that the incident is being handled for propaganda on an agenda, rather than any legitimate investigative process. After 7 days they are telling people who were in the pub and the restaurant to wash their clothes and themselves! No-one will say what the “nerve agent” was and how the poiceman was affected and when. We also don’t know how badly he was affected, nor do we know the current state of the spy and his daughter. The total lack of informationfrom “our side” is staggering.

  45. Thank you. This thread could be interesting and useful.

    I’ve just posted this in the Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/03/11/theresa-may-make-russia-link-salisbury-poisonings-comes-pressure/):

    “This is obviously a false flag event designed to further demonise Russia, which has been the ongoing Western strategy for some time.

    Nothing really adds up about this so-called dastardly poisoning. Not least the failure to account for the policeman’s alleged infection (a mystery which even confounds a former intelligence and security officer, as reported elsewhere in the Telegraph – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/11/salisbury-public-warned-wash-clothes-nerve-agent-attack/)

    The suspicion must be that the producers and casting directors (MI5/6?) thought that the critical illness/death of a dodgy Russian and his daughter wouldn’t be enough on its own to sway opinion in favour of taking a hard line against Russia. But hey, when they start messing with our police…”

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