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UPDATED: UK’s “novichok” claim exposed as lies: what is the current reality of the Skripal case?

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray has released the following information on his blog regarding Theresa May’s claims in parliament on Wednesday that Russia must be held responsible for the alleged poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter (our emphasis):

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation.

…Until this week, the near universal belief among chemical weapons experts, and the official position of the OPCW, was that “Novichoks” were at most a theoretical research programme which the Russians had never succeeded in actually synthesising and manufacturing. That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.

Porton Down is still not certain it is the Russians who have apparently synthesised a “Novichok”. Hence “Of a type developed by Russia”. Note developed, not made, produced or manufactured.

It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

Such an admission from such a source is damning, and devastating for the government’s bid to create momentum for fresh international action against Russia. We can doubt it’s a full admission, and it may well leave out much information that would even further reduce the credibility of the government’s position (it is, after all an internal Foreign Office source), but as such it is still enough to be sure Theresa May was effectively lying to the British parliament.

It’s an indication, if any more were needed, that extreme scepticism is required here. An undisclosed agenda is driving things and driving them so hard even members of the political establishment are concerned.

Until we know what the true aims are we simply can’t accept anything told to us at face value. Everything should be open to question.

So, what do we currently know with reasonable certainty?

1. We can be fairly sure a man called Sergey Skripal really exists. He has a well-documented history in Russia and in the UK prior to this event. We can equally assume he had a wife who died in 2012, a son who died in Russia, and a daughter called Yulia, who lives in Russia most of the time.

2. We can be fairly sure Yulia really was in Salisbury at the time of the incident and has been unable to communicate with the outside world since that time. If she had been in touch with friends/family in Russia they would have said so and the Russian media would have broadcast the fact even if ours didn’t.

3. We can be fairly sure two people were found in a state of distress and collapse on a public bench in Salisbury at the approximate time stated. Occam’s Razor would suggest it’s most probable these two people were indeed Sergey and Yulia Skripal, though with no photographic or film evidence that remains simply an informed assumption.

4. We know that neither Skripal has made any public appearance or statement since that time, and that they are currently alleged to be in Salisbury hospital ICU suffering from the effects of a “poisoning”. The complete lack of information about them has even led to suggestions by Yulia’s friends in Russia that she may be dead.

5. We know, thanks to a letter to the Times from a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Salisbury Hospital on March 14, that “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning.” This statement, not only completely destroys the media claims of “21” or “34” or even “4” members of the public needing treatment, it also appears to suggest that the poisoning in question is not a nerve agent at all.

6. We know the third, and only other, person to have been contaminated by the same “poison” is an alleged local policeman, named as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. Considering how many people had been in proximity to the Skripals before, during and after their collapse on March 4, the fact Bailey is the only other person to become ill is obviously highly significant. Why has everyone else, including all the first responders, all the police, everyone at the restaurant, and all passers-by in the street, not only escaped becoming ill but shown no sign of contamination at all, even in their blood tests?

The paramount question would seem to be how and where did Bailey become poisoned? Unfortunately this seemingly easily answered question has become confused and at least two conflicting versions of how it happened have been offered.

a)A story from March 8 alleges he had been one of the first on the scene at the bench where the Skripals were discovered, and had been contaminated while trying to assist them.

b)A story from March 9 suggests Bailey became contaminated while visiting Skripal’s home.

Given the fact Bailey is allegedly a detective in the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) and not a uniformed officer, the claim he was a first responder on the scene seems to make little sense. CID detectives are dispatched to investigate known crimes and crime scenes. They don’t do patrol duty and are not sent as emergency responders.

The story that Bailey became contaminated while investigating the Skripal home seems to fit better with the claim that he is an officer in the CID, however the hard evidence for either version is completely lacking.

Bailey’s condition has also been conflictingly reported.

He was described as “seriously ill” by Home Secretary Amber Rudd on March 10.

But two days earlier, March 8, the “temporary Chief Constable for Wiltshire” said of Bailey “he’s well, he’s sat up.”

Can someone be described as both “well” and “seriously ill” at the same time?

And if Bailey has been awake and alert since at least March 8, is it not a little unusual that there has been no direct interview with him yet published anywhere?

Bailey allegedly has a wife, Sarah, who has been visiting him in hospital, though there does not appear to have been any published interview with her either at this stage.

No other family member of Bailey’s appears to have been interviewed either, apart from, his alleged father-in-law who has come forward on March 16 (12 days after the alleged attack) to criticise Jeremy Corbyn for asking for evidence before blaming Russia. No photographs of or filmed interviews with said father-in-law have yet been published.

7. We know that almost immediately upon this incident occurring a media campaign of almost unprecedented intensity began to generate what looked like a pre-prepared story that the Skripals had been poisoned by Russia. This claim has been “supported” by untruths and manipulations so questionable even anonymous FCO sources are worried about the wisdom and ethics on display. It has also been used to promote a number of agendas including:

a) finally ditching Brexit (because being in the EU would allegedly protect the UK from further “Russian aggression”).

b) closing down RT in the UK

c) moving/postponing the World Cup

d) imposing fresh sanctions on Russia

e) giving Theresa May her “Falklands moment” in a bid to revive her tanking popularity.

f) putting pressure on Trump to be more pro-active in condemning Russia.

8. We know Russia has completely denied any involvement in the Skripal poisoning. And the lack of obvious motive for them to initiate such an attack has been acknowledged even by members of the Uk establishment.

9. We know the UK has refused Russia’s request to give them samples of the alleged “novichok” for analysis. No specific reason for denying the request has yet been given.

10. We know the UK has blocked Russia’s Resolution in the UN calling for a “co-operative international investigation in line with OPCW standards”. Again no specific reason or this obstruction has yet been given.

11. We know, as of March 16, that “information” about the alleged Novichok used is now being “studied” by the OPCW. Exactly what that means is unclear at present.

Can we draw any conclusions?

Clearly we currently are in no position to know what really happened to the Skripals, how it happened, where it happened or who was responsible.

Just as clearly the government and media are lying, leaping to conclusions and propagandising. Their claims about novichoks are unsubstantiated and seem to fly in the face of all published research. There is no basis in their claim that “only” Russia could produce them and no evidence that, whoever produces them, they are even effective. Their statement about this seems to be nothing but an attempt to sensationalise and to blame Russia without the delay of due process.

In addition the media are trying to work up a jingoistic anti-Russia hysteria that has no parallel in recent times. Not even the 2003 media frenzy to get pubic opinion behind the illegal war on Iraq reached these heights.

The obvious conclusion from this, if Russia were not a nuclear power, would be that the British state machine is trying to prepare the people for war with Russia. Unless the entire British government has lost its mind this specific aim would seem unlikely. However that something fairly major in terms of escalation in the “New Cold War” is being planned seems a reasonable inference at this point.

It may well be that in future days or weeks Porton Down scientists will announce they finally do have proof of Russia’s involvement in creating this still largely mythical “novichok”.

We suggest taking any such future declaration with a great deal of scepticism.


185 Comments

  1. Monica Tostig from Canada says

    mr putin he so nice, he kisses babies, changes their nappies and save them from novichok; it not true about the trolls, he turn them all into stone and put them all under kremlin; he loves freedom and not a frightened dictator, he trys really hard to help poor russian people by diverting money from corruption, assassination, cyber attack, military spend, shooting airliners down,foreign invasions, nuclear and chemical weapons plus not having feud with other countries and puts all saved funds for orphaned trolls who fight in ukraine; he has not any complex about being a short man or about russia’s not very good gini coefficient. i think he is not so cute but maybe is a bit shy

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  2. It seems clear that the Skripal poisonings were a state-organised false flag event, complete with the dastardly “Russian” nerve agent “Novichok” and all, designed to demonise Russia . The idea that individual(s) (e.g. rogue Russian intelligence agents, embittered by Sergei’s betrayal of fellow agents) were responsible is not at all likely; in their vengeance they would surely have been determined that the pair were killed outright, and used simple, conventional means to that end.

    In a false flag attack however the actual fate of any “victims” is incidental as long as the theatre and the demonisation succeeds. And it has, in spades.

    While being careful not to make the kind of shrill, evidence-free accusations of our glorious leader, when it comes to cui bono, Israel/Mossad tops my list (with or without aid from the CIA, MI6 etc.). As Craig Murray has pointed out in a recent article “Russian action in Syria has undermined the Israeli position in Syria and Lebanon in a fundamental way, and Israel has every motive for damaging Russia’s international position by an attack aiming to leave the blame on Russia.”

    Even The Times of Israel seems to be obliquely suggesting Mossad involvement by wondering if they were behind the mysterious death in 2002 of Anatoly Kuntsevich, one of the men supposedly behind ‘Novichok’ (whatever that may turn out to be).

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/did-the-mossad-kill-a-russian-general-for-peddling- deadly-nerve-agent-to-syria/

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  3. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:

    ” Until we know what the true aims are we simply can’t accept anything told to us at face value. Everything should be open to question. ”
    Makes good sense!
    Yet our Australian government take unproven claims at face value and actually act on them.
    Proof of an agenda in action. Entirely lacking any justification.
    Another sad day for Australians.

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  4. Loads of interesting facts here. Let’s look at the big picture. How do we get Joe Public interested and enraged by a political incident? Easy – football – the national pastime. Many (including a certain Lord & a sprinkling of minor royals), were enraged that Russia won the right to host the world cup. Now they can boycott it with impunity.
    JC seems to be winning the popularity stakes, so our propaganda broadcasters will photoshop a picture that will ensure he looks like a soviet sympathiser. This could seriously damage his prospects at the next ge.
    We voted to spend multi-millions on nuclear weapons and now have the ultimate justification to do so.
    There are rumours of an impending independence referendum in Scotland. Now we can shout loudly at how much safer Scotland will be under the protection of WM. Also there’s an excuse to park their nukes in Scotland when the majority of the population don’t want them.
    Sanctions against Russia, which would include their oil, will delight the capitalist benefactors of the tory party who will be able to frack the UK with impunity – even in Scotland when they seize the powers that Scotland currently have to ban fracking.
    There’s even been calls to return to conscription. That’ll take care of unemployment and give the impression that the UK is moving forward under the guidance of the tories.

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  5. Thinking aloud (and allowed here, thankfully!), it seems to me that there are two possible scenarios

    This was a real hit by Russsia and May’s startlingly quick and illegitimate accusation that Russia is likely culpable comes from a genuine anger/frustration that such an act be committed here. Also she may be privy to information not generally available. Perhaps for some reason time may be of the essence. Or Russia has so cunningly disguised its involvement that due process cannot be relied on to uncover the truth .

    The purpose of the attack may have been, for example, to provoke HMG into blaming Russia, thus contributing to Putin’s strong election win (a senior figure in Moscow has reportedly already congratulated May for aiding the victory)

    Or:

    The whole affair is a set- up and a false flag arranged by some state(s) other than Russia, possibly including the U.K. The purpose would be to demonize Russia.

    It seems that a nerve-agent wasn’t used at all, according to the consultant at Salisbury Hospital, but there was some other form of poisoning. This must surely point to scenario 2. Otherwise it’s hard to see how or why Russia would have poisoned the pair with some substance other than a nerve agent and yet somehow made it very likely that HMG would immediately react by identifying a “Russian” nerve-agent or substance as the cause.

    Of course under scenario 1 the plan may have been to use an “ordinary” poison , knowing that we would suspect Russia anyway and thus cause May et al. to invent the details, the nerve-agent, and the rest. This could be prove to be a cunning plan when the U.K. is eventually humiliated for not being able to produce said agent. or any other evidence. Against this we have to credit HMG with some minimal intelligence (I suppose): surely they would have foreseen that the evidence would be demanded sooner or later?

    My money is firmly on scenario 2.

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    • mog says

      Nothing Theresa May or any member of her cabinet have ever done in government has been even remotely ‘genuine’, as far as I can tell.
      If they really were seeing a perception management subterfuge from The Kremlin, then all they had to do to completely mangle it was to follow international law, reserve judgement on guilt, keep it quiet even. There has been very little risk to public health, the alleged poison is of questionable lethality. May could have found a scapegoat in the Russian ex-pat community and ruined ‘Putin’s re-election campaign’. The Russian government would surely have feigned indignation at the accusation and refused to co-operate, contributing to the ‘optics’ (NB Bastani) but instead they have been remarkably level headed and compliant, offering to help, demanding investigation, and an adherence to basic priciples of justice.
      There is no urgency in any of this. The police have basically said that they will be months to find anything.
      http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16099146.Salisbury_spy_poisoning_probe_could_take_months__police_warn/

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  6. Mark says

    It said on the news a few days ago there was 400 witnesses! Who the actual fuck are these people and why are they not poisoned!

  7. ThinKing back to the first couple of days of TV coverage of this,if you remember there was cctv pics of the Skripals walking toward their final seated place, perfectly well, (about 100yds further on.) I immediately thought they looked very strange, they were both looking DIRECTLY into the camera. Also, if the table at Zizzis WAS indeed so contaminated that it had to be destroyed, and it was anything so strong as it is being made out to be, they would barely have had chance to leave the restaurant before showing symptoms, let alone get to the ‘Maltings’, (I know the place well, lived there for 3 years!) All VERY suss! Would not be at all surprised if this was a murder/suicide carried out by one of themselves, (probably the daughter).

    • Gav says

      By the Father more likely, he lost his wife, was downbeat, only had his daughter left, hates Russia, killed himself and his daughter, after all they visited her grave? People do such weird things it could be very likely he killed himself, and with Spy knowledge could make it look like a Russian poisoning!

  8. Tom Welsh says

    The idea of going to war against Russia is an “interesting” one. Interesting enough that anyone who seriously proposes it should immediately be placed in protective custody and treated by a psychologist.

    As the map at the following page clearly shows, two or three Sarmats (each with multiple warheads) would suffice to render more or less the whole of mainland UK uninhabitable.

    In about 30 minutes.

    Poking a bear is always unadvisable. But particularly so when your head is already inside its mouth.

    https://www.thepoke.co.uk/2017/08/11/this-estate-agent-issues-a-guide-to-buying-a-home-outside-a-nuclear-impact-zone/

    • Lucky Joestar says

      Yeah. Theresa May’s mouth is writing checks her people can’t cash.

      It was bad enough when Phony Blair teamed up with Junior Bush fifteen years ago against Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Hussein was relatively weak, but lots of people got killed on both sides in the process. Now Theresa Mayhem is picking a fight with mighty Russia, which has over ten times as many nukes as the UK. Thankfully, we have social media spreading the word about such shenanigans and no shortage of people who still remember Operation Iraqi Quagmire and are now getting a sense of déjà vu.

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  9. RAW says

    So why is Britain and the U.S. democrats trying to hard to paint Russia as the enemy? I just don’t understand it…

    North Korea is the enemy… not Russia. North Korea is the one place you don’t want to be born. Everywhere else that’s bad, at least you can escape…

    • Dave Blackburn says

      North Korea has no involvement in the middle East. The west resents Russian involvement in this oil rich area.

      • James Scott says

        Yes I agree Dave, and Russia supplies NATO countries in Europe 30% of its gas supply and the USA wants more of that pie. The supply from Russia is set to be supplemented by the Pars pipeline which will be built from Iran and yes through Iraq and Syria and through Lebanon to Europe. NATO which only exists to enforce Euro and American trade dominance and resource stripping of Africa and the Middle East. That is why we have had the coup in Ukraine the clashes in Georgia, Afghanistan and Chechnya and the current conflict in Syria. (And soon it will be Venezuela and Iran being democratized). They are all routes of Russian oil and gas pipelines that are out performing the West and their Saudi and Arab State allies. Its all about money, hegemony and resources dressed up as bringing Democracy when the opposite is true.
        We all pay for the weapons and the redevelopment aid and the banks and armaments vultures make the profits. Our own democratic institutions are being dismantled so that Parliaments are corporate funded theatre and its a mixture of theatre of the absurd and theatre of fear and terror.
        Modern civilisation is still just a dream. Ghandi was right when asked about what he thought of Western Civilisation and he replied that it would be a good idea.

    • capsch says

      You need to read killing bill browder for the real story if you can find it. Essentially the oligarchs stole state owned resources from ordinary Russians who then lived in abstract poverty for years. Putin came to power kicked them out (who then fleed to the city of London) and improved the lives of millions, hence the approval rating.

      Bill browder and his minions want to reverse this situation and the neoscum get Syria in the process.

        • summitflyer says

          Would also like to add , that I have read it and would recommend it highly .I had no idea before I read it what the whole story was .Well written book .

      • bill says

        the Labour Party as a whole dont seem to get this – i believe theres a chapter on it in Naomi Kleins Shock Doctrine …..this book should hugely help as have read introduction tdy

      • M J BAILEY says

        Bill Browder was kicked out of Russia for money laundering and corruption. He is liar and if anyone deserved to be exposed to a deadly chemical agent – it should have been him.

      • Mikalina says

        Too simplistic. The oligarchs FUNDED by the West and many other Western interests bankrupted Russia. Browder works/worked for those western interests to prevent Russia from ‘getting its money back’ from the western ruling cabal.

        ‘abstract poverty’? Different to real poverty?

    • bevin says

      The one great advantage of being born in North Korea is that one is far away from idiots who believe that its very many difficulties and horrendous economic problems result from choices made by its government. Unless, of course, one feels, as many people do, that one’s government should roll over and show its gratitude when subjected to seventy years of genocidal attacks.

    • Derek says

      Quite simply because usa and israel and, therefore, theenglish establishment want to topple Ukraine (see documentary by Oliver Stone), invade Syria and Iran….. All supported by Russia

      • Sara Browne says

        I think you’re close to the truth here, if Russia cuts off our gas supply in retaliation for this smear by the Conservative establishment, then the Conservatives will make loads of money by convincing the British public we need to frack the British countryside. Guess whose fingers are in those pies?

    • Tom Welsh says

      I question your assumptions. Exactly how have you learned about conditions in North Korea?

      Did you know that, some 65 years ago, Washington deliberately killed over 3 million North Koreans – the overwhelming majority of them civilians – and utterly flattened the whole of North Korea’s built environment?

      Do you think that might help to explain the North Korean government’s “paranoid” attitude?

    • TerryinDorset says

      North Korea only has nuclear weapons to stop American aggression. The yanks never attack countries that can vigourously defend themselves.

    • Istvan Sollihull says

      ~> RAW – My guess is that the US sees a potential United Europe -i.e. including Russia -as serious competition.
      and further down the line ,a United Eurasia has the potential to marginalise the US’s miliraryeconomic empire.

    • TerryInDorset says

      If you have a dastardly awful enemy it gives you the excuse to get more weapons to keep the arms makers you have shares in profits up……..an arms buying pitch.

  10. M Clifford says

    What can anyone do when the government tell us something dreadful has happened but refuse to tell you anything about it!!!!????? They throw out blame, yet not only refuse to show any evidence, they don’t even clarify what exactly has happened under the cover of so-called security. This is totalitarian insanity.

    • Tom Welsh says

      What you can, and should, do is disbelieve their claims until you see convincing evidence. (Which, in the Skripal case, will be never).

  11. Sammy says

    Perhaps this policeman who is ill (initially becuase he helped, though the first responders seem ok; then becuase he interacted with the car) was the person who administered the toxin?

  12. Thomas Peterson says

    Interesting that 100% of the ‘news’ on this event now seems to consist of stories about diplomatic bluster, zero on any leads in solving the supposed crime

    • RAW says

      It’s crazy how many people are unreasonable and just want to “blame Russia” for everything…

  13. passerby says

    There are 30 times more Russians in Germany than in the UK, but somehow all the poisoned ones live in the UK. Why?

    • George Cornell says

      Maybe the sleazebag oligarch billionaires are more warmly welcomed in the UK – as long as they buy up their crap football teams and keep the price of London Mayfair/Kensington real estate high.

    • TerryinDorset says

      Because they suffered from Food Poisoning with not a ‘chemical’ in sight.

  14. mog says

    Again, just for the sake of inclusion:
    The Financial Times published a letter from Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust) on the 16th March.
    ‘Sir, further to your report (‘Poision Exposure Leaves Nearly 40 needing Treatment’), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.’
    That first sentence….carefully worded or carelessly worded?

    • Admin says

      That’s a good question Mog. The most obvious way to read that is that though three patients have been poisoned, none of them have been poisoned with a nerve agent. In fact it’s hard to see what else he could mean.

      • mog says

        Davies writes ‘…may I clarify….’
        It just made it less clear to me.
        However it is interpretted, it is deeply problematic. It is either a very slopily worded statement or one made in a very conflicted situation.
        If three (and only three) people have been affected by poisoning, treated by a doctor and paramedics, brought to a hospital and handled in the proximity of dozens of others, and nobody else has been ‘contaminated by the agent involved’ then that agent involved is clearly not a powerful nerve agent of the Novochok family.
        Likewise, we have to ask, where has the story come from that 38 people were affected?

        • He’s not difficult to find. He’s on LinkedIn – I’ve just asked him to clarify his meaning. I’ll let y’all know if he gets back to me.

        • Tom Welsh says

          On the contrary, I find it a very carefully worded letter indeed.

          It says that

          NO patient at the hospital in question has shown symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.
          Only three patients have shown symptoms of poisoning.

          The omission of “nerve agent” in point 2 is obviously intentional, and its significance is positively deafening.

          Incidentally, by far the most common symptom of nerve agent poisoning is death.

        • Sceptic says

          I have seen ABC quoted as the original source of the “38 people affected” story, but have yet to confirm or deny this. One interpretation of “affected” that would be consistent with Stephen Davies’ assertions is that the relevant authorities identified and contacted 38 people who they thought might have been in contact with the Skripals. Those people were given medical examinations and none showed any symptoms. It doesn’t take much sloppy thinking or sloppy writing for “affected” meaning ‘had to change their plans’ to become “affected” meaning ‘made ill by’. I have no evidence to support this suggestion other than frequent experience in my professional life of a clear and simple description of a set of circumstances undergoing significant transformation on its journey from the ears of a reporter to the ink on the newspaper. It is well known that most people (even reporters) are really bad at describing even a simple sequence of events clearly and accurately.

          • mog says

            Davies is replying to a Times article which he quotes the title of in his letter, so not the ABC story which came later.
            From the Times article:
            Nearly 40 people have experienced symptoms related to the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, it was revealed yesterday, as locals expressed anger about a lack of information from the authorities.

            Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who sought refuge in Britain after a spy swap in 2010, and his daughter Yulia are among 38 people who required hospital treatment for poisoning symptoms, Neil Basu, the national head of counterterrorism, revealed.

            Davies’ comments to the readers’ letter page is directly contradicting the national head of counterterrorism in saying that nobody but the three ‘significantly poisoned’ patients have shown symptoms or needed treatment.

        • Sceptic says

          You need to do a bit more chemistry.
          Most of the really toxic nerve agents are organophosphorous compounds. They are extremely toxic ONLY when administered subcutaneously (via the skin) or orally (swallowed). They are liquid at room temperature and non-volatile; they are almost without fumes and present very little threat via their vapour. Only those people who touch the poison itself are at any significant risk. The policeman who went to the Skripals’ aid was almost certainly unaware of what he was dealing with and may well have failed to protect himself. The doctor who placed Miss Skripal in the recovery position may have been alert enough to recognise the risk or may have been fortunate in the way she handled her patient, we don’t know. By the time the paramedics arrived (wearing gloves as is standard practice) it would have been clear that the Skripals had been poisoned and some standard protective measures would have been enacted – providing the medics avoid direct contact with the poison, they would be at very little risk.
          The fact that there were apparently only three people who suffered poisoning does not exclude the use of nerve agents, as I have explained above.
          The time it took for the poison to take effect (apparently much longer than expected for typical nerve agents) needs careful consideration. It is not at all clear when the poison was ‘administered’ to the Skripals, but we can be certain of when the policeman first came into contact with it and I would expect there to be a reasonable amount of information about how his symptoms progressed. I would imagine that the assailant who delivered the poison would want it to be quite slow to act (a few minutes ?) so that s/he would be well clear by the time the victim started to show symptoms. I would therefore imagine that response time would be an important part of the design specification, so nerve agents should not be ruled out unless and until it is clear that nerve agents with such response times do not exist.

          • Thomas Peterson says

            But they are claiming a solid form of novichok was used in powder form.

            • Sceptic says

              Who is they ? Where are they claiming ? Is this official comment or press speculation ?

          • OK that’s interesting. But would that be relevant in relation to point 6 in the article above?

            A while ago I had reason to investigate organophosphates and their link with failures of human and animal health. Given that wildlife in the Rockies (a testing site for OP nerve agents) began to exhibit symptoms of poisoning for quite some time after the tests (apparently) stopped suggests to me that it isn’t active merely when ingested or touched; or at least that in one way or another it lingers in the environment?

          • mog says

            This is just plain wrong.
            Sarin – the most famous compound of this type:
            ‘… has a high volatility (ease with which a liquid can turn into a gas) relative to similar nerve agents, therefore inhalation can be very dangerous and even vapor concentrations may immediately penetrate the skin. A person’s clothing can release sarin for about 30 minutes after it has come in contact with sarin gas, which can lead to exposure of other people.’ WIKI
            With VX, although less volatile ‘fatalities occur with exposure to tens of milligram quantities via inhalation or absorption through skin WIKI
            Subcutaneous means placed under the skin as far as I know. Transdermal describes a substance that is readily absorbed through the skin – a major characteristic of nerve agents for obvious reasons.

            • mog says

              That above comment was a reply to ‘sceptic’ who I thought was being misleading.
              I actually agree that the circumstances as described by Davies do not absolutely rule out nerve poisoning, and I was wrong to write it earlier.
              It does seem incredibly unlikely though, unless it was a particularly non-lethal compound (which it seems to have been seeing as nobody has died). You paint a picture of these chemicals that is at odds with the extreme measures taken to handle them or anyone affected by them. The likelihood of someone receiving standard medical A+E treatment but yet nobody involved even suffering mild effects of poisoning seems extremely remote to me.

          • Sceptic: the off duty doctor who treated Yulia for 30mins cleared her airway. It is not clear whether she had PPE: possibly not. Yulia had lost control of her bodily functions. The idea she could not have been cross-contaminated seems remote to me. As cited below, Lord Blair tried to obfuscate the reported narrative to account for this glaring inconsistency. Now in all major communiques, the inconvenient doctor has been memory-holed.

            BTW: subcutaneous means injection beneath the skin.

          • Tom Welsh says

            Is “Sceptic” really a good handle for someone who sceptically challenges those who sceptically challenge the government story?

            I would have thought that something more like “Establishment Apologist” would be more appropriate.

            • Sceptic says

              Tom Welsh – you lose. I am not and never will be an “Establishment Apologist”. I did not challenge anybody’s view. I pointed out that we should not exclude nerve agents from the list of possible poisons. No more, no less. I did not state where in the list of possible poisons I place nerve agents. Be VERY careful before ascribing motives to people you don’t know who choose their words carefully.

              • with respect Sceptic, you present as a tad disingenuous. And Yes, as an Establishment Apologist. You claim to choose your words very carefully, and I’ll take you and your words at your word …

                You offer a forced and contrived justification for false reports of 38 people allegedly affected by “nerve agents”. This both deflects from the more probable (in my opinion) explanation that the UK government is deliberately lying in order to justify it’s rising anti-Russia propaganda, and potentially undermines the significance of Davies refutation of those government lies.
                
                There seems to be some doubt as to whether Detective Sargeant Nick Bailey actually was amongst the first responders “who went to the Skrypals’ aid”. You choose to ignore this and present it as fact, with no corroborating evidence. Again choosing to support the official government narrative.
                
                Your explanation as to why the apparent time lag between possible administration of a nerve poison and collapse of the Skrypals also seems somewhat forced to me, relying on some unknown nerve agent to validate your opinion. This uncertainty I find interesting since the government, May and Johnson seem to state unequivocally that the substance used was a Russian Novichok nerve agent. Which in itself ignores the possibility that if these exist, Russia may not be the nation that has them.
                
                So yeah, sorry – you do seem to present as an “Establishment Apologist”, at least to me. And yes, indirectly at least, you do appear to “challenge” others views – both in the article and in the comments
                
          • TerryinDorset says

            If it really was ‘military grade’ poison, why are they still alive……I understand the military stuff kills instantly.

    • Andrew Burd says

      I think poor Dr Davies days are numbered. The Tories do not like Dr’s who speak truth to power.

      • Dennis says

        He wI’ll never be able to take a walk in the woods again…….

      • Sceptic says

        There is nothing in law or even in custom and practice to prevent Mister Davies from making public the information he did. It would take a bold chief executive or politician to sack a senior consultant for making statements which are easily verified by the records which the A&E department is required by law to keep and to make available for public inspection. Consultants are almost never timid creatures – if Mr Davies finds himself in trouble, I do hope that he will squeal very loudly.
        BTW, consultants are always Mister, never Doctor, for historical reasons.

    • @mog. Yes, when the news flashed I remember saying to my wife, it takes only 15 minutes to sequence the DNA so by Lunchtime we shall know its origin. Dead silence about the sequencing, so I wasn’t surprised to hear (an uncoscionably long time after) that the strain of anthrax in question was found t, have come from a US Laboratory.

  15. Michael Skoruppa says

    The first and most important conclusion to be drawn from this whole story is that Great Britain is a simple bully. I don’t know when they will start behaving like a civilized country. The pattern of the so called community with their so called western values is the same since the Iraq war. You have a country you don’t like. You want to overthrow its leader. You start telling lies about his bad and cruel behavior. You then accuse him. You don’t let himself defend him. (In this case you send him an ultimatum of which you know that anyone with a little self-respect will ignore. Afterwards you will proudly say this is an admission of guilt.) You convict him. You hang him and loot his country. The Western Value Alliance is prosecutor, judge and hangman, all at the same time. But this time an important precondition is missing: The victim of the West’s self-righteousness must be a weak state which cannot defend itself, as was the case in the Falkland war with Argentina. Maggie Thatcher started it because her approval rating was falling, and won. I think May may not have that chance. The question is why she could persuade the other people in Washington, Paris, and Berlin to come to her support. Were they decent people they could have taken her aside and told her and her foreign minister how to behave. On the other hand
    I don’t think that these people are any brighter than May. But will they really go so far as to risk a nuclear war to defend a childish bully leader and her country? There is another conclusion: in the Western value system there is no more place for the presumption of innocence. He who is accused by the Western Value System is automatically guilty. The Western Value System is now completely naked. It was always a fairy tale.

    • jimmy jitt says

      also the possibilty of oil/gas – if russia turns off the gas supply, then we have fracking and justification to continue action in the middle east, esp. Saudi Arabia.

      • Pauline Jones says

        The myth that we are dependent on Russian gas is one constantly bandied about by the pro frackers. The government’s own BEIS stated last week,
        “Great Britain benefits from highly diverse and flexible sources of gas supply. Less than 1% of our gas comes from Russia and we are in no way reliant on it.”

      • Thomas Peterson says

        They have been fracking for years in the UK and so far no viable gas well has been found.

        It was the same story in Poland.

        It may be that fracking is only effective in the particular situation of America’s oil and gas bearing rocks.

        • summitflyer says

          Correct me if I am wrong but fracking is all about extracting the last morsels of natural gas or oil out of the ground by pumping into the ground liquids .The added pressure is what does the so-called magic , but pollutes water systems along the way .There are some places where the water coming out of the ground can literally be lighted up coming out of the kitchen sink tap. All attributed to fracking in the area.I kid you not.

          • Johnny Hacket says

            this lighting tap water is not due to fracking , it is due to sulphur and other gases that are released in well bores , it’s a common problem and is dealt with by ventilating the shaft ,it has been used as a scare tactic by anti frackers .there are adequate videos exposing this as deception.

      • chrisa says

        As far as I can determine, we get just 1% of our gas from Russia. Norway, North sea, and qatar are our major suppliers.

    • John Marks says

      Excellent analysis.
      Agree with it all except the bit about the Falklands War. The Argentine dictatorship was as nasty an outfit as they get. And they had significant military clout, such as Exocet missiles, as our sailors know.
      At worst, she (Maggie) may deliberately have set the Argentine up by withdrawing the Endurance, etc., and it certainly strengthened her for the tussle with the miners.

    • Sceptic says

      I missed the bit where we looted Russia. Do please tell us more.
      The Falklands War was started by Argentine troops invading British sovereign territory. It may or may not be the case that we provoked them, but the first act of aggression was clearly and unequivocally theirs. For you to try to suggest otherwise shows that you are both ignorant and a purveyor of false news.
      It has clearly escaped your attention that with only the remnants of an empire and drastically reduced armed forces, there are very few countries which the UK can actually bully. Wales perhaps, Andorra, East Timor if we could find it. We only got a score draw with Iceland and Ireland, and Scotland has a nasty habit of raising its game against the Auld Enemy. Russia is most certainly not a country we would even dream of trying to bully, but if suits your narcissistic side to be a victim, then carry on.

      • Admin says

        I missed the bit where we looted Russia. Do please tell us more.

        Is that a real question or a rhetorical device designed to implant the idea this is not a widely known and well-documented fact even though it is?

        if the former we’ll be happy to provide a reading list. If the latter please remember this isn’t the Guardian.

          • OK, well I apologise for assuming you ignorance to be feigned.

            The question of how the West looted Russia in the 1990s is both simple and vast.

            A group of Harvard economists were invited by the Gorbachev and later Yeltsin administrations to apply what they called “shock therapy” to the post-Soviet Russian economy All economic controls were abandoned and all state-owned industries were privatised, sold off at rock bottom prices, often to consortiums of “foreign investors”.

            Most of the industry was subsequently asset-stripped and closed down (Russia lost something like 60% of its industrial base in the four years between 1991 and 1995). The oil and gas industries were soon the only remaining major producers of revenue, and these too were sold off.

            In addition the corrupt/incompetent Yeltsin government entered into exploitative production sharing agreements (PSAs) with western oil companies, that allowed Russia to pay for overheads and risks, while the foreign companies pocketed more than 90% of the revenues (see Dr Ian Rutledge’s work on the grotesquely exploitive Sakhalin PSAs, available online).

            At the same time the ending of of price controls for consumer goods and industrial goods saw prices jump a colossal 500% in a single year (1992), while inflation rose 2,000%. Domestic oil prices increased 80-fold. This effectively shut down a lot of the remaining industrial production because the fuel costs could not be met. People could not afford to heat their homes and people began to die of cold and hunger in a country that had not known such hardships in a long time.

            The asset stripping alone netted billions for many foreign “investors.” Russia became a yard sale. The vouchers issued to every Russian citizen as a guarantee against shares were sold or exchanged for food by desperate people, and bought up en masse by consortiums of westerners and Russians (the future oligarchs) who were able to purchase controlling interests for pennies in Russia’s gas and oil.

            This, in brief, is how Russia was “looted.” You’ll agree it’s a fairly accurate term.

      • bevin says

        “…with only the remnants of an empire and drastically reduced armed forces, there are very few countries which the UK can actually bully. ”
        Except of course that, as in this case, the UK uses its status as a surrogate limb of the US Empire to bully. It did the same thing in Syria, Libya and Iraq. It is doing it in Yemen.
        The UK has become worse than a bully, a cowardly hanger on who urges his bullying master to attack. As in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen…. The locals can’t feel the difference, which is merely that their anger is coloured with contempt for the sneak hiding behind his master’s coattails.

        • Sceptic says

          It’s not a very long list, is it ? Kind of supports my suggestion.
          There’s plenty of evidence that Blair expended a considerable amount of energy trying to rein in Bush’s gung-ho approach to Iraq, including a failed attempt to achieve a second UNSC resolution.
          Tell me how HMG bullies Yemen.

          • Mikalina says

            Could I recommend Web of Deceit by Mark Curtis, that is if you are really interested in factual information rather than trite soundbites.

          • Admin says

            Can you link to the evidence of Blair’s efforts to rein in Bush? Would a UNSC resolution have achieved that in your view?

            Re. Yemen – should any civilised nation be supplying arms to an absolute monarchy with a brutal criminal justice system waging an illegal war of aggression on a sovereign country?

    • always write says

      yes absolutely, I’ve thought much the same, this is about controlling the EU ,who are terrified of losing their so called energy sovereignty which is exactly what America want to do to them by extending sanctions on the EU Russian energy sectors thus forcing them onto expensive American LNG, Poland seems happy to become a new energy hub for America, of course this will cripple the German economy, therefore reducing thd EU to vassel status in energy terms and reducingvthe EU as a competitor to the Americans, they even triad this in the 80s under Reagan

      the whole thing stinks of a false flag with the purpose of forcing the EU to except a brexit deal that Britain and the USA want, i always thought that Britain would pivot to America to gain leverage over the EU, i never thought they’d stoop this low to do so

      i think Britain is playing a very high risk game, which could blow up in the Tory government face

      • Lucky Joestar says

        At this rate, the Tory government might get blown up the same way Hiroshima and Nagasaki did last century.

  16. Tom says

    Today at Muraselon news site they posted a video of a truck the SAA caught trying to smuggle weapons to East Ghouta. At the 42 second mark of the video there appears amongst all the assorted military hardware to be some kind of pressurised gas cylinder with a label on it indicating it came from of all places, Salisbury England. Perhaps they should mail it back to May COD.
    How about this for a theory. A CW is used in Salisbury and blamed on the Russians. Shortly after the Head choppers in East Ghouta claim a CW attack in East Ghouta with the same MO as the CW attack in Salisbury. Bombing of anything and everything Russian and SAA in Syria in 3,2,1…

    Far fetched you might say, but not compared to what the British government is claiming.

    • Kathy says

      Yes I have been thinking along these lines too. If the people start to believe Russia can use such weapons here in the UK in a public setting.Then of course the stories that they and Syria would use them in Syria in a war situation must be true. All set up and ready for a barbaric attack planned in Syria and the White Helmets ready to beg for more intervention from the West to perpetuate the war. The general public could be more malleable to such intervention after the Salisbury case. Bonus that it brands Corbyn as a pacifist Russian regime lover. It would also seem that another general election is imminent so Corbyn bashing is back in vogue. It also stains Trumps floundering alleged Russian collusion further in the process. Win win win for the deep state.

      • bill says

        yep that seems to cover it Kathy;Craig Murray at als brave research and article and determination to stick to principle and natural justice is being attempedly blunted by deliberate misdirection over the chemistry( where folk understandably can easily get lost) and by now using the gambit that May didnt share everything she knew with JC which seeks to let her misleading Parliament off the hook …..no serious journalist in the mainstream is examining the expression “developed by Russia” …….. Alex Thompson is pointing to a joined-up understanding of the connections and would easily acquit those currently being barbecued on media pitchforks.

        • I don’t think Craig Murrays piece is ‘brave’ whatsoever. In fact in a roundabout way he is still adding to the credibility that there was an nerve agent attack full stop. Despite no evidence that there are even 2 people in hospital or any other evidence? So called disputes in the Salisbury lab is merely taking the eye of the ball I.e show the evidence. Let’s hear from the so call victims and witnesses at least. Let’s ask why the UK refuses to adhere to international protocol concerning chemical attacks I.e what have they to hide? The Russians by their ‘sarcasm’ would suggest they know what evidence the Brits hold.

    • Alex Romanoff says

      The object from Salisbury is a white smoke grenade. Now we know what causes the smoky atmosphere in those jerky videos of “White Helmets” so-called first-responders running around the ruins carrying “rescued” kids.

    • I’ve just watched the video you refer to. The “pressurised gas cylinder” is a smoke grenade, designed to generate smoke to cover the movement of troops on the battlefield. It is not a weapon. That said, it is does appear to be British military issue and should not be there.

    • That’s an L35A1 signal smoke grenade made by Pains Wessex pyrotechnics in Salisbury. Available in several colours, you unscrew the plastic cap and pull the cord inside which ignites it like a firework and emits coloured smoke as a battlefield signal. Used them many times. Google search L35A1.

  17. Meanwhile, back in the real world.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-16/russian-nuclear-sub-quietly-traveled-us-coastline-undetected

    Remember Obomba Obombast boasting how his Exceptional People can nook Russia from their missile sites in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania? “One strike and you’re out!” Well, from the above link, I wouldn’t try that just yet; Russia might have nukes lurking even nearer to Washington than God’s Own Country has nooks near to Moscow. Perhaps even now there’s a Russian sub lurking in the Potomac — who knows? Certainly not the US Coast Guard. Quick! another $trillion to the Homeland Insecurity Budget.

  18. Fair dinkum says

    The real poisoning is that which is happening to the minds of the masses.
    Will they wake up in time?

  19. The Guardian: comment is not free but lies are sacred.

    ‘Where there is harmony, may we bring discord. Where there is truth, may we bring error. Where there is faith, may we bring doubt. And where there is hope, may we bring despair’

    This is what Margaret Thatcher really meant when she quoted St Francis of Assisi on the steps of Downing street after her election in 1979.

    The constant in this is “may”…….. the current inheritor of her legacy

  20. bill says

    thanks to the Greenville Post for this ”

    Skripal by nerve gas
    Litvinenko by polonium
    Kara-Murza poisoned not once, but TWICE, by an unknown poison, he survived!
    Markov poisoned by ricin and the Bulgarians with “speculated KGB assistance”
    Khattab by sarin or a sarin-derivative
    Yushchenko by dioxin
    Perepilichny by “a rare, toxic flower, gelsemium” (I kid you not, check the article!)
    Moskalenko by mercury
    Politkovskaya who was shot, but who once felt “ill after drinking some tea that she believed contained poison”

    The only possible conclusion from this list is this: there is some kind of secret lab in Russia where completely incompetent chemists try every poison known to man, not on rats or on mice, but on high profile AngloZionist-supported political activists, preferably before an important political event.

    Right.

    • Bill’s List seems the right place to slip in this comment on Why were they killed? The Russian Connection. Posted on the Indie by Hanwell12, 9 hours ago:
      “The connection is that they were both major international crooks who fleeced Russia of millions if not billions. Both these men were convicted of frauds and money laundering and given substantial prison sentences. On release they were granted political asylum. As most of their money was already in tax havens, mostly British, they became part of London’s glittering elites. They were very welcome! They gave genorously it’s true, including to the Tories. But the fact is that they remain crooks.”

  21. bevin says

    “.. he’s saying that the ‘attack’ was perhaps/probably carried out as a ‘false flag’ by a handful or ‘rogue’ grouping inside our security services employing foreigners from former Soviet states to do the ‘dirty work.’ This has the advantage that if the thing falls apart the link to our own security services and ‘rogue’ elements within it, is harder to establish and easier to deny or explain away. ”
    The important thing is that he identifies non-Russian actors. The plausible deniability aspect is of small importance.
    It confirms my view that the motive behind the attack was to weaken Corbyn’s position. In the short term this appears to have worked not only among the slaves of conventional media but also on the edges of the critical thinkers among us- I note that several normally reliable observers have swallowed the official; story, including The Canary. Never mind.
    The Thomson thesis seems about right-think Airey Neeve. The Security services are full of rogue operators, most of them ultra rightists who hate socialism and many of them agents of zionism.
    I suspect that the government knows very well that this was an audacious false flag attack and is acting opportunistically from within the MI Establishment. One clue is that the story is so full of holes that it cannot have a half life of more than a week (by which time the Russian election will be over).
    Bear in mind that for decades in Northern Ireland these sort of events authored by security personnel licensed to use their own initiative in the ‘war’ regularly took place.
    I can’t recollect where the trials of the perpetrators of the massacres and murders took place and where the gaol full of spooks and Tories is located.
    The beat goes on: The Establishment does what it wants. But it is, and always has been, shit scared of the many. If Corbyn is elected he will be lucky to survive but The Establishment would sooner not have to deal with that problem.

    • bevin says

      Should read:
      I suspect that the government knows very well that this was an audacious false flag attack from within the MI Establishment and is acting opportunistically.

    • John says

      Well said ,about Northern Ireland especially they murdered here for 30 years and blamed others on both sides.

  22. Sid says

    I was struck by the absence of visible family for the policeman, Bailey. They say he has a wife, but no wife has been interviewed or even named so far as I know. It’s taken five days to even hear from Bailey’s “father-in-law” and even then no filmed interview and no photos.

    That is very different from the usual way media treat these things – lots of interviews with family and friends and neighbours, all cranking up the sentiment and “blame Putin” rhetoric. Why is none of that going on?

    Has anyone seen anyone on TV or in the papers claiming to be a family member of Bailey’s?

    Come to that has the doctor who first treated the Skripals on th bench been seen in the media yet?

    It almost feels like none of these people are really there, if you know what I mean?

    • Sceptic says

      Simple explanation. HMG issues DSMA to all newspapers, tells relevant people not to talk to the press. It may also be the case that none of these people wish to talk.

      • Thomas Peterson says

        But why? What harm could being open about the events do?

      • mog says

        But does it seem unusual to you in any way?
        Sid is right that the media love to find a way round restrictions if there is a story, particularly a human interest story to tell (sell).
        Are you sceptical just one way?

        • Sceptic says

          Thomas Peterson : the realpolitik is that politicians in most countries practise “Information is Power” and routinely withhold stuff that should be in the public domain – this is done to ‘control the narrative’. I have no empathy whatsoever with this behaviour, but I do have some sympathy with the justification, which is that the general public is very good at completely misunderstanding information and situations.

          mog: Unusual ? Yes.
          I have no problem with the media trying to find out what is going on, but I do have a big problem with the way they guess and speculate, thereby spreading ideas which are inaccurate or even false.
          Sceptical about what ? It is very clear that HMG is making considerable efforts to control what is reported about Salisbury. None of us know whether this is because there are good reasons or because they are trying to create and spread a false story. I am withholding judgement until I know enough to draw well-founded conclusions.
          By the way, defying a DSMA is extremely dangerous, to both individuals and their media organisations.

          • mog says

            Any suggestion what might constitute a ‘good reason’ for blocking all interviews, all releases of information etc. ?

            I am struggling to think of any.

          • mog says

            Alex Thomson (of Channel 4 news) seems to be the only establishment media journalist who is actually asking quesitons. He tweets:
            Salisbury and Information: Public Health England say call NHS for info about Sergei Skripal’s health. NHS say call the hospital. Hospital says call the police….so it goes …</i
            I am not sure that there is any DSMA at all. Why wouldn’t any of these agencies just say that they are not able to pass on information, rather than giving Alex the run around?
            The media by and large just print press releases. No press releases, no story.

  23. MichaelK says

    Alex Thomson seems to be hinting and directing our attention towards a combination of culprits responsible for the events in Salisbury, without naming them directly, because this could have… consequences and perhaps open him to prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, which he’s signed.

    Reading between the lines of the text, he’s saying that the ‘attack’ was perhaps/probably carried out as a ‘false flag’ by a handful or ‘rogue’ grouping inside our security services employing foreigners from former Soviet states to do the ‘dirty work.’ This has the advantage that if the thing falls apart the link to our own security services and ‘rogue’ elements within it, is harder to establish and easier to deny or explain away. It’s similar to what happens in Syria where the Islamists use chemical poisons and then blame the ‘Assad regime’ and the entire western media goes nuts and demands that ‘something must be done.’

    So, he’s saying that a small, dedicated and fanatical group within the broader ‘Establishment’ is also ‘probably’ involved in this plot and that a small group of well-connected individuals, people with… ‘charism’ can steer a larger group, perhaps even the UK government too, by the use of violence and subterfuge applied at the right time and the right place in the right way. All this undermines the UK’s democratic system and doesn’t have to be directly sanctioned by elected politicians. Obviously the tail wagging the dog like this, is the last thing a weak and very unpopular PM wants getting out, so the politicians are ‘forced’ into supporting a policy of open confrontation with Russia even though they have been ‘bounced’ into it.

    • col from oz says

      MickaelK “‘false flag’ by a handful or ‘rogue’ grouping inside our security services employing foreigners from former Soviet states to do the ‘dirty work.’

      Off topic, however the semblance of this “chemical weapon’ and the ‘shoot down’ of MH 17 could possible answer a question I have long pondered? My fast facts. Ukraine had 3 Buk missile battery’s on alert which their electronic signature was captured. The recently deceased Robert Parry maintained ( correctly) sources in the American Intelligence community said that Ukraine Army soldiers were responsible (and American Intelligence ) had the satellite photos to prove BUT would Not release as it would ruin the Political objectives of Obama Government.
      MY question. Was it deliberate? Mr Parry said it was poor disciple by the soldiers which caused the MH17. I might add that a chemical /xray metal analysis of the missile would be able to be traced back too it’s owners’ which is precisely why Ukraine denies they had them because true guilt would be expropriated. So we have a sham investigation carried out by the Dutch. However seeing the level of planning which has gone into Salisbury Down incidence one may be able to deduce that MH 17 was a Ukraine Intelligence operation. That the social/Facebook spiced audio ( The Ukraine Intelligence combined two audios to make a favorable recording of supposedly guilty by the secessionist East Ukraine’s was presented 30 minutes ( President Poroshenko) after the plane destruction.
      Again with this Salisbury incidence, MH 17 could have been a deliberate action by Ukraine and ‘other’ Intelligence agencies.

      • Sceptic says

        While you’re on a roll, please could you tell us who killed JFK. The suspense is killing us.

        • Admin says

          there is no “us” here Sceptic. It’s just you. Cut the diversionary sarcasm and contribute meaningful content please.

    • archie1954 says

      9/11 worked so well that false flags have become the go to for snowing the public.

  24. Anyone remember Charley McArthy lugging his Briefcase Full of >vidpnce? The props were bigger in our day. Today’s performers bring the House down with a little vial of powdered corn starch.

    https://goo.gl/images/mEAeUk

    It’s not the prop, it’s not the gag, it’s the way that they tell it.

    • Oops! Briefcase full of Evidence. We heard later that the briefcase held not much more than a ham sandwich. It isn’t the prop, it isn’t the written material that makes a comedian, it’s the way you tell the gag.

  25. Harry Law says

    Natural justice is identified with the two constituents of a fair hearing, which are the rule against bias (nemo iudex in causa sua, or “no man a judge in his own cause”), and the right to a fair hearing (audi alteram partem, or “hear the other side”).
    These two pillars of justice have been abused by the Government, and the main stream media right from the get go. Russia has been accused by the Government and part of the opposition in the attempted murder of the Skripal’s, without either Russia or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] being given samples in order to evaluate the evidence, and ipso facto the ability to present a defence based on the facts of those findings as per OPCW procedures, and natural justice. But no, sentence first-verdict afterwards said Mrs May and Boris Johnson, also the presumption of innocence was discarded with an ultimatum given for Russia to prove its innocence within hours or face consequences. I do not claim to know what happened or who was responsible, we need a full investigation, then, and only then, can any sense [hopefully] be made of the situation. Unfortunately the Government and MSM will have been so invested in its conclusions based on circumstantial evidence that, as Churchill once said “a lie gets halfway around the world, before the truth has a chance to put its pants on”.

    • Jen says

      UN already has Nutty Nikki. Oh wait, they might make a stand-up comedy team. The Deranged Duo of Nikki Haley and Theresa May.

  26. Alex Thomson’s (a former GCHQ intelligence analyst) article should be read in conjunction with Craig Murray’s revelations. In their own way: they corroborate each other. I believe they are independently trying to tell us what they can: within the confines of the Official Secrets Act. Russians (my arse) or RUSI: are we looking at a very British coup?
    https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/skripal-russian-web-or-rusi-web

  27. Meanwhile, back in the real world.

    Posted on SyrPer 1hr ago: Maria Zakharova Official Representative Of The Russian Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Tells The World Who Is Really Behind The Salisbury Anti-Russia Propaganda Campaign

  28. I don’t understand what the end game is, it seems inevitable that Russia will ally with China which is hardly a desired outcome surely? Any explanations?

    • On the contrary, a most desirable outcome: the first European power to throw its weight behind China’s project for Eurasian unity. Germany will probably be next. And Britain has even risked displeasyng Our Special Relation by putting a foot inside the door of Bank of China.

  29. I have posted this before: but PC Bailey was contaminated at the scene – not the house. According to Bailey himself: in a statement put out by Wiltshire Police.

    “He [Bailey] also wishes to say that he was part of a group of officers and other emergency service colleagues who dealt with the initial incident.

    http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/journalnewsindex/16078868.Police_officer_in_hospital_over_nerve_agent_attack_releases_first_statement/

    The house story was bullshit put out by Lord Ian Blair when someone realised that Bailey ‘s contamination was incompatible with the doctor who attended Yulia “feeling fine.”

    “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.

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

    Blair, who was Met Chief during the Litvinenko investigation: tried to change the narrative to disguise the inconvenient truth that the doctor couldn’t possibly be feeling fine if Bailey was “seriously ill”? The Theatre of the Absurd got worse when they tried to insinuate that Novichok was used. Now the inconvenient doctor has been duly memory-holed. It’s a major glaring inconsistency Blair failed to remedy with his lies: now he’s implicated himself. A good ‘company man’s as they say.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      why were police officers responding to a medical emergency, were they just in the area at the time?

      • More importantly: why was he the only one to seriously succumb to Dr Evils Soviet super-toxin? Spooky!

    • From your two links: the article saying he was injured at the scene is dated March 10 and the one saying he was injured in the house is dated March 9. I think the house story predates the “injured at the scene” story by a day or so.

      • Exactly: PC Bailey’s statement negates Blair’s lies. Early coverage all said that Bailey was injured at the scene : for instance, this article (below) from the Torygraph from only the day before. The next day, Blair went on Radio 4 to try and change the narrative, and the Torygraph produced its contradictory story. Bailey’s later statement makes a mockery of Blair’s obfuscation: he was never at the house. So why would Blair lie if not to obfuscate a glaring inconsistency? It’s not as if Blair doesn’t have form: he had to issue a public denial to cover his lies in the mismanagement of the Menezes execution.
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/08/russian-spy-poisoning-police-officer-struck-rare-nerve-agent/

        • Mikalina says

          He was also Commissioner at the time of the 2005 bombings (7/7) in London. I have a book somewhere (really need to organise my bookshelves) which goes into the details of the VERY dodgy happenings on the day and how it was reported/covered up. Interestingly, a lot of the pages have had to be blacked out in order to get published. Given his gong in 2010 for ‘services rendered’ I guess.

          • Mikalina says

            Tried to bluff his way out of the de Menezes murder.

            “The next day Blair continued talking, leading a senior officer to tell the Guardian: “It is time for him to just be quiet. If you don’t know the full facts, don’t make out that you do.””

            “Judgement was again crucial in the fallout from the De Menezes shooting. Blair was heavily criticised by the IPCC for blocking its inquiry into the shooting for three days. The delays, the IPCC said, had given officers time to alter a surveillance log and allow conspiracy theories to develop about the shooting.”

            https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/oct/03/blair.police1
            (The real Guardian before the lunatics took over the asylum.)

          • milosevic says

            VERY dodgy happenings on the day and how it was reported/covered up

          • Sceptic says

            Actually no, Blair was given a peerage as a reward for leaving the police without making a fuss. He got into a spat with Boris Johnson and Boris allegedly offered him summary dismissal or peerage with attached NDA. He took the latter, probably a wise move.

        • Bailey isn’t a PC, he’s (allegedly) a DS (detective sergeant). Important distinction. The fact he was a detective seems to make sense of him being contaminated after being sent to investigate the house rather than trying to resuscitate the Skripals in the street. Detectives aren’t sent out to respond to emerging incidents – so why would Bailey have any reason to be at the bench? But he would have a good reason to be detailed off to check the house.

          Bear in mind we don’t know it was Bailey who said he was contaminated in the street. All we know is someone claims he said those words. Bailey hasn’t been seen or heard from directly at all.

          More than that we have no idea any of these alleged incidents happened at all. Both conflicting stories could be false for all we know. We can’t take anything on trust at all.

          • Granted: as I have also commented, we don’t even know it was the Skripals on the bench. But I am not talking about fact: I’m talking about narrative presentation which is contradictory. Blair tried to lie to rectify the flawed reported narrative: that is clear and unequivocal. ‘Bailey’s’ statement was issued by Wiltshire Police: they know his rank and where they sent him – to the bench they say. The whole thing is a pack of lies: there was no Novichok poisoning – so why are you so keen to reason Bailey went to the house? It makes no difference.

            • mog says

              Why would Blair make such a consequential statement on a live case anyway, unless interjecting a narrative from outside the investigation?
              In any real event, any such statement about evidence would be made by a co-ordinating officer in charge, not some retired Lord.
              Straight from a Lodge meeting if you ask me.

              I always try to find a reference to a statement from Blair in the aftermath of 7/7, that was something along the lines of “the security services know that there are 200 or more Islamist terror cells plotting in the UK”. I think I might have imagined it, because I cannot find it.

    • Lord Ian Blair. Who Remembers The Innocent Brazilian Killed By Police At Stockwell Tube Station? Jean Charles de Menenez died when Sir Ian’s surveillance team, specially trained in Israeli methods, held him down then pumped 11 bullets into his head.

      Blairs of a feather flock together.

    • Sceptic says

      Blair was always a clint. While we were all in a tizzy over 7/7, he and Blair (Tony) changed the police rules of engagement so that they are now allowed to shoot to kill without warning if they think it’s a good idea. This gem was sneaked through without even a memo to the House of Commons or ACPO and used almost immediately on a poor sod (Jean Charles de Menezes) who made the mistake of running a short distance for his train. Incidentally Gold Commander on that operation was Cressida Dick, now commissioner of the Met Police and famous as the only police officer in the country who has never done the obligatory two years on the beat. The transcript of events would have been hilarious had the outcome not been so awful.
      Blair (Iain) gave a public lecture on the BBC where he expressed an earnest desire to have a conversation with the public about how policing should be conducted. As soon as various (moderate) groups responded to his suggestion, he accused them of trying to interfere in police operational matters and withdrew the offer, citing bad faith on the part of everyone in Britain. I wonder what was the alternative to “take a peerage and lose yourself”.

  30. Mikalina says

    One use of nerve agent that we do know happened: Halabja 30 years ago today.

    I was in Kurdistan on 16 March one year when I heard a loud siren. I jumped out of my skin because it sounded like an “take action” alarm. I had never heard an air raid alarm but I had heard “chemical spillage” alarms when I worked in a large chemical industry.

    I found someone who spoke English and they told me that every year, on the morning of 16 March, a siren is heard all over Iraqi Kurdistan in memory of the 5,000 Kurds gassed in the town of Halabja.

    within weeks of this gassing, where people just dropped where they stood, Britain increased the arms sales credit to Iraq by millions. I see there is no mention of this 30 year anniversary in the MSM, even though “today’s topic” is nerve agents. Irrelevant, I guess.

    • Yonatan says

      Orlov refers to the incident being the same as the plot in an earlier TV drama. The same applied to at least some of the excessively theatrical executions carried out by ISIS/Daesh/Proxy ‘R US. There was a basis in some Turkish TV spy melodramas.

      Some lawyers have repeortedly raised a habeus corpus (‘show us the body’) claim in the UK courts in relation to Skirpal’s daughter. It will interesting to see how that goes.

  31. If you try to open your last post “Of a type developed by liars”, you just get “Page Not Found”.

    What a surprise!

  32. bevin says

    From the outset , the main purpose of this operation has been to attack Corbyn.
    There is a tendency, especially on the ‘left’ with its sectarianism and its tradition of talking endlessly about the correct theoretical approach to socialism, to take it for granted that a Corbyn led government would rapidly descend into the long road which used to end with Ramsay Mac and Jimmy Thomas but which we now understand circles even further into Tony Blair and, his inspiration, the former editor of Avanti..
    This cynicism is not shared by the ruling class and its Tory agents. They understand very well how unstable their system, with its enormous reliance on the media and the academy to control debate, actually is. One of the great memories that I have of the Grosvenor Square march fifty years ago was the way that most of the West End was shuttered. To us it seemed as if we were in a demonstration to the press and the ruling class it seemed that the country was on the verge of an insurrection.
    Capitalism, especially in a time of endemic economic crisis, falling living standards and a shifting of the tectonic plates under imperialism, teeters on the brink of revolution. Youth longs for change, the world of the middle aged is collapsing around them and the old no longer believe in themselves.
    Which is where Corbyn comes in: all that is needed to bring about an immense change for the better is a steady campaign building the numbers, confidence and intellectual independence of a people ‘for itself’. A people determined to use the implicit sovereignty of representative democracy to make the few, relatively mild, reforms 90% of the population want.
    And end to the dangerous and humiliating poodle relationship with the US oligarchs. And end to the waste of current defence expenditure.
    A welfare state in accordance with the Beveridge report of 1942(?) – a revitalisation of the NHS.
    Free public education with an end to the special tax treatment enjoyed by the private sector (based on the theft of the Public Schools from the people and their capture by the ruling class).
    Nationalisation under co-operative control of all the utilities and their provision of services at cost, which is to say not for private profit.
    A progressive tax system and an end to tax havens and tax avoidance/evasion. ..
    the list is long but nothing on it is particularly new: in many instances these are reforms that involve a return to the status quo pre-1970, picking up the strand of progress from the 40s.
    My point, which I apologise for stretching out so tediously, is that Corbyn and what he represents constitute the real and only alternative to the fascism which is developing throughout the EU and the US Empire- a fascism simultaneously lamented and enabled by the ‘liberal’ leadership of the ruling class. Corbyn represents the same impulse, within the electorate around the western world, that gave rise to Podemos, Syriza, Melenchon and the Independents in Ireland. Except that the threat he represents is far more serious-Labour is on the brink of power, all that stands in the way is the alliance between the Blairites and the Intelligence agencies.
    The Skripal case is often compared to the Falklands. But it wasn’t the Falklands that defeated Labour in 1983, nor was it the ‘radical’ manifesto. It was the proto-Blairites of the SDP. And the tactical squeeze that between Thatcher and Jenkins crushed Michael Foot.

    • mog says

      I just read Corbyn’s piece in the Guardian yesterday:

      ‘Theresa May was right on Monday to identify two possibilities for the source of the attack in Salisbury, given that the nerve agent used has been identified as of original Russian manufacture. Either this was a crime authored by the Russian state; or that state has allowed these deadly toxins to slip out of the control it has an obligation to exercise.’

      ‘We [Labour] agree with the government’s action in relation to Russian diplomats,’

      I can no longer support a politician who says these things.

      This is about empire isn’t it? The empire cannot back track, it must go forward to a conclusion of its ‘logic’. Global domination, control of all resources, markets, ideas. They [the Anglo-American-Israeli imperialists] cannot allow a Corbyn or a Putin.
      I cannot see a way of even modest reform being allowed without an overturning of the Establishment and the undisclosed networks of power that the Left seem unable or unwilling to really acknowledge.

      • bevin says

        In fact Corbyn’s reaction seems to be much more nuanced than you suggest. And fits in perfectly with the way in which the May story is falling apart.
        Corbyn is well positioned to expose the charlatanism to which the Tories have nailed their colours.
        We will see.

        • Labour, including Corbyn, have been pushing the “14 other deaths” dodgy Buzzfeed dossier and their own Magnitsky ammendment – which the Tories were resisting, but now have been forced to accept. Labour have been setting the agenda, they are not victims of it.

          • George Cornell says

            Sure puts 200,000 dead Iraqis into perspective, doesn’t it?

    • Harry Stotle says

      On Question Time it was impossible to distinguish between the line taken by Keir Starmer and the one taken by Chris Grayling, although both were shredded by RT’s Ashin Rattansi (from 1:20).
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09wc0lc/question-time-2018-15032018

      So there is no doubt about the first part of your analysis – Corbyn is indeed up against both the neoliberal establishment as well as tory-lites within the Labour part; fault lines which to tend to manifest themselves once ideological tensions escalate beyond a certain threshold.

      But I don’t think (and it just a guess) that the primary motive for the attack in Salisbury was to bring Corbyn down; that’s not to say it wouldn’t be an added bonus if it did, just that it didn’t start out that way.
      Perhaps the entire charade is an elbaorate form of distraction therapy given the woeful nature of May’s vacillating leadership, although the trans-national implications of the poisoning suggest the goal may transcend domestic politics, and is aimed at something more far reaching?

      My guess is the next big wave of anti-Corbynism will not gain traction until we are a bit nearer to the GE.
      Lets not forget there is already enough to be going on with given the negative associations forged in the public’s mind by our media with regard to Corbyns alleged links with the IRA, Hezbollah, and his time as a secret agent for the Czech secret service – in other words does adding the insult ‘Kremlin stooge’ provide any extra value given the already extensive list of imagined failings that have been attributed to him?

      • Mikalina says

        I think the method they are using is to slowly eat away at Corbyn’s support. By putting him into positions where he has to ‘make a stand’, EU, antisemitism, and now this, they are showing his supporters how little power he has (or might be able to have in the future to carry out his promises). He is haemorrhaging supporters.

        • Harry Stotle says

          So is the hypothesis that the Skripals were attacked by British intelligence knowing Putin would be blamed for it, ultimately leading to critcism of Corbyn because the powers-that-be had anticipated he would not be sufficiently vociferous in his condemnation of Russia (thus leaving him open to a leadership challenge)

          Such a daring plan (if true) would have the advantage of further discrediting Putin, getting Corbyn out of the way, while inducing a level of public anxiety that would make them less inquisitive about the need for yet more military intervention.

          My first thought was that it all sounds very far fetched until I started thinking about collapsing towers – but still is the establishment really that frightened of the MP for Islington North?

          • Mikalina says

            I believe that the Skripals are in the Bahamas, so ‘the plot’ never happened.

            What would happen if Jeremy Corbyn were to stand up tomorrow and say that the whole thing is a hoax and that we should all join in a gathering in Hyde Park in support of Russia/British relations? What if he made a special plea to all students to stand up for their future? What if he said we need to take action now?

            Oh, yes. The establishment are frightened of the MP who was the only reason that thousands joined or re-joined the Labour Party.

    • Betrayed planet says

      I have rarely read such an insightful and politically correct post as that.

    • milosevic says

      Corbyn and what he represents constitute the real and only alternative to the fascism which is developing throughout the EU and the US Empire — a fascism simultaneously lamented and enabled by the ‘liberal’ leadership of the ruling class. Corbyn represents the same impulse, within the electorate around the western world, that gave rise to Podemos, Syriza, Melenchon and the Independents in Ireland. Except that the threat he represents is far more serious — Labour is on the brink of power

      Syriza is actually in power. Or in office — under capitalism, real power is exercised elsewhere than the elected government. This only becomes apparent on the rare occasions when the elected officials fail to perform their assigned function of fronting for decisions made by somebody else, and imagine that they are actually in charge, as did John Kennedy and Salvador Allende.

      Anyway, how much of an alternative to fascism, or a threat to the ruling class, did Syriza turn out to be? What evidence exists that the British Labour Party, once installed in office, would act any differently than it did during the last great crisis of capitalism, in the 1920s and 1930s? Lots of people had illusions in them then, too, which enabled them to engineer a return to capitalist “normality”, if the Great Depression and World War Two are taken to be “normal”.

      An even more extreme version of this process occurred in Germany, right after World War One was actually ended by a mass revolt of the working class, which the original Social-Democratic Party was assigned the task of repressing and dispersing. Having successfully accomplished that, they handed the country over to the Nazis, to make sure there could be no recurrence.

      It’s quite true that the ruling class “rely enormously on the media and the academy to control debate”. But under conditions of extreme crisis, when all that fails, the last defence of the capitalist system is social-democratic reformism. That’s what it’s for; it isn’t usually allowed in office otherwise.

  33. Mikalina says

    A couple of further reasons:

    The announcement of a new bioweapons lab to match all the other bioweapons
    labs the US has opened around the world very recently;
    On behalf of the US, to prepare for their attack on Iran.

    • Mikalina says

      Oh, and to cover up the death of the last Russian guy ‘someone’ bumped off…..

    • Sceptic says

      For what purpose ? All areas of interest (ICU) are well locked down. Standard protocol is to place a uniformed officer at the entrance to ICU. Rumour has it that backup is hidden a few seconds away. All access to ICU revoked on door entry system except to people who work there every day. Nobody goes in without the officer’s express permission – even clinicians who are not regular visitors have to be vouched for by someone who works in ICU. This is standard practice to protect criminals, victims of crime and celebrities. It is done very quietly and very efficiently – not many people walking past even spot that its in operation. Chance of blagging your way in – zero. Chance of getting anyone to talk, even in the pub – zero. It was in place (not in Salisbury) when my team was installing a whole load of new IT kit – absolute nightmare, the rozzers never gave us an inch.
      Your other options are a carefully worded FOIA request, which will be denied, or, erm, something else, where the risk of failure starts at two years in jail. Chances of getting someone on the inside to help you with the latter – minimal, protection is massively tighter in most places since last May.

    • Joerg says

      I lead this comment in with “Humor” – to protect The Guardian from an all to fast shot

    • Harry Stotle says

      The article you link to says ‘Putin’s identity card was hidden under a leaf’ which just goes to show how difficult forensic work can be.

      I seem to recall it took a while before the perfectly formed passport of 9/11 hi-jacker, Satam al Suqami was found.

      The Manitowoc police needed 3 visits to Steven Avery’s home before a set of car keys mysteriously appeared on the floor which at least deflected attention from the blood sample that was tampered with before being matched with traces allegedly found on Teresa Halbach’s car.

      Anyway, it looks like an open and shut case now making it hard to argue the case against for an all out nuclear strike against the Soviet Union, sorry I mean t Russia, probably by 24:00hrs, Boris-time.

  34. Harry Stotle says

    Craig Murray plaintively asks ‘I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?’

    Well, I wouldn’t call it journalism, exactly, but the BEEB has certainly been doing its bit to tarr anybody who might be feeling slightly apprehensive about unleashing WWIII.

    They have depicted Corbyn in front of a Kremlinesque building looking redolent of Trotsky (from 12:10)
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09w3nps/newsnight-15032018#

    Not exactly what you’d call subtle, is it?

    As Off-G says the million dollar question is why – I would add one more item to the list of hypotheticals.
    Maybe its a US operation on UK soil (after all we are no more than a client state) in order to leverage more military action against Russia (or their proxies)?

  35. Paul says

    The anti Russia hysteria matches that of 1854 as Britain, France and Turkey decided to attack the Empire by seizing Crimea. Nothing much changes. In those days Palmerston sent cash and weapons to Jihadis in the Caucasus, the time honoured way of striking Russia in its soft underbelly. Palmerston was eventually persuaded that aiding Jihad only meant Christians were massacred.

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