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Skripal Poisoning – The UK's Case for Russian Involvement

Earlier this week, over 130 Russian diplomats were expelled from over 20 separate countries. It was billed as a “massive show of unity”, and claimed as further evidence of Russian guilt. The familiar chorus repeated, that there is “no plausible alternative explanation”.
So what was the strong evidence that the UK government shared with their allies? It must have been compelling in order to move the EU, US et al. to make moves of solidarity.
It’s a slide show.
Now, that might not sound like much. But a slide show can be very persuasive. It could have witness testimony, scientific test results, photographic evidence. It could explain motive, provide alibis for other suspects. It could be hundreds of pages of hard evidence laying out a perfect, bulletproof case.
It could be all of those things…but in this case it’s not.
We have it here, in PDF form. And here is another version. It’s five slides. That’s all, just five.

Slide 1: Timeline
An incredibly rough timeline of all the important events, skipping over the crime in one bullet point and then telling us in more detail what May said about it and when. Also there’s a map. A good start.
Slide 2: Accusations
Un-sourced accusations of Russian disinformation, a proven lie about who has access to Novichok-class agents and a scary red-tinted picture of men in bio-hazard suits.
Slide 3: What Novichok Does
A nice diagram of the human body, an incredibly basic summary of what nerve toxins do, and then the number of people who thought they might have been poisoned but weren’t.
Slide 4: Other Stuff We Blame Russia For
A long list of things Russia either might not have done, or provably did not do.
Slide 5: What We’re Going to Do About it!
This actual official PDF from the UK government has a picture of money hanging from a washing line to depict “dirty money”. What makes it even funnier is knowing some intern in the basement was given the task of doing an image search for “money laundering”, and this is all he could find. That coupled with the “UK Border” sign, because they mention the border make this slide my favourite. Also “new legislation”, when and what it’s about don’t matter apparently.

This is it. This is the totality of Her Majesty’s case for Russian guilt in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.
How compelling do you find it?
Would you accept this as proof of guilt?
Is it advisable to base important foreign policy decisions on this document?


Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: empire watch, latest, Skripal case

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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MoS
MoS

This is the government’s entire case and you know that how? Has the British government, MI5 and MI6 invited you to peruse their evidence, their studies and analysis? I’m guessing they haven’t and you’ve simply latched on, supposedly, to five slides that you posit as “the totally (sic) of Her Majesty’s case.” I’ll tell you who hasn’t made out a persuasive much less convincing case – you.

vierotchka
Mikalina
Mikalina

I LOVE your visual comments.

vierotchka

comment image

Pam Ryan
Pam Ryan

Unless you are trolling, I worry for you.

JudyJ

The point is that the British Govt et al haven’t invited the EU, EU Member States, the US or NATO to ‘peruse their evidence’. And how do I know that? Because the EU, EU Member States, the US and NATO have said so. They’ve all with one voice used the expression “We trust the UK”. Are those the words you would use if you’d seen hard evidence? I saw an interview with a Latvian rep after the UK presented the case to the EU and he said that no doubt the UK had evidence but “presumably” for security reasons they weren’t revealing it to them “…but we trust the UK”. Jens Stoltenberg was asked whether the UK had shown him the evidence: “Well no, but we trust the UK”. Not even shown NATO?? Really? Heather Nauert also confirmed that the US “trusts that the UK’s conclusions are well founded”. She hadn’t seen any supporting evidence and she couldn’t confirm whether anyone in the White House had seen any evidence. And if evidence exists why would Johnson need to resort to lying to back up the Govt’s accusations?

vierotchka

“British scientists cannot prove that the novichok nerve agent used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter was made in Russia, the military laboratory which tested it has said.
“Experts at the Porton Down research laboratory were unable to establish “the precise source” of the chemical weapon, the chief executive of the Ministry of Defence facility told Sky News. He added the government had used “a number of other sources to piece together” the conclusion that the Kremlin was responsible.”
Read more at link:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/salisbury-poisoning-russia-novichok-nerve-agent-porton-down-proof-evidence-mod-latest-a8286761.html

Runner77
Runner77

It’s interesting that The Independent is now censoring comments in the same way the Grauniad does. Early this morning (I live in mainland Europe) the relatively few comments under the article headlined “Russia warns travellers to UK face ‘provocations’ including having ‘objects placed in their luggage” almost unanimously questioned the UK government line, and this overwhelming tendency continued for around 2 hours.
Then around 10:30 BST someone called Eurominion started added numerous comments supportive of the UK government, and at the same time I and at least three other commentators further commented that our comments had either disappeared or were ‘awaiting moderation’. As of now – 11:30-ish BST – ALL my comments have been censored, and I can’t see ANY surviving pro-Russian comments!

A. J. B
A. J. B

Comments disappear often on certain topics, but I think a swarm of trolls
act in force to flag comments they don’t like. Spent a day on an Israel
topic and not only mine, but every single comment on one side of the argument vanished.
It was very clear that this was really abnormal, everyone agreeing on a contentious subject.
It would be interesting to know who these trolls are,

Hertog Jan
Hertog Jan

Demonizing Russia in order to isolate it while simultaneously demonstrating again the servility of the presstitutes and the stupidity of a significant part of the public.

Susan Cora
Susan Cora

‘presstitutes’ – excellently apt!

TJ
TJ

Now we have an interesting Clinton-Novichok connection –
“on Apr 3 2009, Hillary Clinton, as SecyState, sent instructions to US chemical weapon negotiators to “avoid any substantive discussion of the Mirazayanov book” on novichoks and “discourage substantive discussions” if issue arose. Why?”
From https://twitter.com/ClimateAudit/status/979768829969485824?s=09comment imagecomment image
https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE32931_a.html

BigB

There is more than a passing Clinton connection: unfortunately I don’t have time to detail it. Christopher Steele is the obvious link. Far from a passive mercenary purveyor of lies: his role seems much more active to me …perhaps pivotal. But as this will never be investigated: that must remain conjecture. The other link goes back to 2009/10 when HRC opposed the Magnitsky Act. In fact: WJC may have been paid to oppose it. Then she switched to back the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016. It would be interesting to discover what inducement, financial or other, led to the turnaround within the Obama regime: but they were originally hostile to the Magnitsky sanctions agenda.

vexarb

Ziad Fadel, editor of SyrPer, comments that failure of the Skripal false flag has unnerved the West’s territorial designs on Syria — an unmitigated disaster for NATZO. Clip:
“In any case, a French, an American, a British and a Zionist special operations unit has been captured in a tunnel inside ‘Ayn Turma. This is quite an embarrassment for the West seeing that they were there among fanatical jihadists giving them advice and, even, directing defensive operations. They were detected when a British-accented agent was intercepted giving instructions to an inarticulate Faylaq thug which resulted in a triangulation of the transmission by the SyrianAA-MI folks. I sure hope they don’t let these criminals just go.
Something weird just took place in Washington D.C. President Trump sent shock waves through the Pentagon and State Department by telling the media the U.S. would be out of Syria very soon. I remember Mattis, Secretary of Defense, telling the world that the U.S. would be in Syria indefinitely. Something must have happened between that statement by Mattis and the day before yesterday when Trump, characteristically, pulled the rug out from underneath Foggy Bottom and Pentagon. It might be that the new faces coming into the administration, or who are being shifted to different posts have an alternate view of the world. Perhaps the Skribal case which resulted in a catastrophic diplomatic shakeup has unnerved the West.
The Western/NATO plan for Syria is an unmitigated disaster. I can think of no strategy in recent history which has given back so little. Certainly, we are talking about some real fiascos here in Syria, where the West invested billions on cultivating an English garden of venomous takfeeri terrorists, combined with the world’s most intricate disinformation campaign – their efforts came a cropper, essentially handing over whole swathes of the Middle East to a resurgent and resilient Russia and an Iran whose true power has yet to be tested. There is no going back anymore. You don’t survive disasters like these. Ziad A Fadel.

Admin

Do you have a link?

vexarb

https://www.syrianperspective.com
Re SyrPer’s repeated allegation that there are UK sevicemen working with ISIS, and some have been captured, the Independent has now come up with its belated report of the first UK serviceman killed while allegedly “fighting against ISIS”. A brief glance BTL tells me the readership isn’t buying that story. And unlike the usual False Flag Launch events, no horde of Langley Bots spring up to cheer the Official Line. Her Majesty’s Government was caught napping over this news item. There may be more to come.

Admin

Thanks Vexarb

eddie
eddie

Posting our knowledge of obvious false-flag scenarios is not as futile as it once was.
Didn’t the Guardian recently revert to plan B: the Skripal poisoning was a result of their toxic rubber bath-tub ducks?

Harry Law
Harry Law

Here is part of the Consular Convention 1965 between the UK of GB and NI and the USSR.
Article 30
A Consular Officer shall be entitled, within the Consular district.
a/ to protect the rights and to promote the interests of the sending state and of its Nationals; The term ‘National’ shall for the purposes of this part, mean any person whom the sending state recognises as its national, including, where the context so permits any judicial entity.
Article 36.
1 [a] A consular officer shall be entitled within the consular district to communicate with, interview and advise a national of the sending state and may render him every assistance including, where necessary, arranging for and advice in legal matters.
[b] No restriction shall be placed by the receiving state upon the access of a national of the sending state to the consulate or upon communication by him with the consulate. http://treaties.fco.gov.uk/docs/pdf/1968/TS0092.pdf
The UK appear to be breaking UK and International Law.

Kathy
Kathy

It shows the ease in which the state can control the masses with the narrative. Set the scene and lay the blame. No evidence required. You can now spirit people off the streets deprive access to them All in plain sight. and immediately blame another party. Produce no evidence and get all your mates to gang up on the accused just on your say so. Meanwhile the population are bombarded with repetition and conditioned to not query the story. After all they are on the good side. All the while the puppet kings and queens and the master puppeteer inflicts pain and misery all around the globe. How often it seems that these events occur at the convenience of the system. Another drama rolls out and May manages a fist bump!. In a healthy and free society independent thought would be encouraged. Now it is becoming a subversive act.

g wiltek
g wiltek

Except more and more people are asking questions. Even the man on the street in the UK have grave doubts.
We have heard so many lies and seen so many questionable tactics we have stopped believing.

Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet

The Graun opened comments on a Salisbury story today. And closed them pretty quick!
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/01/salisbury-easter-nerve-agent-russians-skripal-tourists-frightened
Apart from a couple of trolls accusing anyone of questioning the official narrative of being Putin shills, there was pretty much consensus that the story is rubbish. It’s the same picture when the Independent opens comments on its stories. Even more remarkable, Mail commenters appear to feel the same.
The public is not buying it.

Harry Law
Harry Law

Alexander Mercouris has a good article in the Duran ‘Skripal case becomes even weirder’ He say’s non of the participants in the High Court case including the Litigating friend of the Skripals mention the 1965 Bilateral Agreement [now part of UK Law] between the UK and the USSR [Russia the successor state]. Mercouris argues that while he is no specialist on this aspect of the law, both appear to require the UK to grant consular access to the Skripals for the Russian Authorities.
“That looks to me not just a violation of due process, but based on the texts of the 1965 Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR and the 1963 Vienna Convention which I have seen also a violation of both British and international law.
This is despite the fact that both a bilateral treaty – the 1965 Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR (of which Russia is legally the successor state) – and an international treaty – the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations – both appear to require the British authorities to grant consular access to the Russian authorities to Russian citizens such Yulia Skripal who find themselves in difficulties in Britait appears that the British authorities as a matter of both international law and British law should not only have informed the Russian consular authorities of Yulia Skripal’s condition and granted them full access to her, but they should also have discussed with the Russian consular authorities the application to the High Court for the taking of blood samples from her, with the Russian consular authorities rather than the Official Solicitor representing her in those proceedings.
Mr. Justice Williams, the Judge in the High Court case, was clearly worried that the Russian consular authorities were not involved in the proceedings and that members of Sergey and Yulia Skripal’s family had not been contacted or consulted.
Note that Mr. Justice Williams does not seem to have been told by the lawyers representing the Official Solicitor and the British National Health Service about the 1965 bilateral Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR (see above) whilst the discussion which did take place seems to have been narrowly restricted to a discussion of Article 37 of the 1963 Vienna Convention – with the lawyers telling the Judge that this has not yet been made part of the law of Britain – with nothing however being said to the Judge about what look to me to be the equally important provisions of Articles 5 and 36”
http://theduran.com/skripal-case-becomes-even-weirder/

0use4msm
0use4msm

The Skripal case is already starting to fade out from the mainstream media news cycle, apart from a few commentaries on Russia’s evil retaliation for expelling diplomats. The Russian elections have passed, Putin smeared, trial by media job done: the Skripal case will soon disappear down the memory hole, rather like the 2001 anthrax letters scare, to make place for the next hyped witch hunt.

MichaelK
MichaelK

The government information presented by the UK is… very British. In the sense that it buries a real lack of solid real information, under a great edifice of style. I can’t see this stuff convincing many people in Europe, especially Germans who think differently and don’t react well to the British obsession with the surface image rather than the actual content.

intergenerationaltrauma

With the pope apparently sowing doubt about the very “existence of hell” (see link below) one cannot help but wonder where Allen Dulles and many decades worth of long dead CIA officials are holding their meetings these days? One might also wonder how the Teresa May’s and John Bolton’s of the world are supposed to provide a post-humous forwarding address for her mail? And of course one must ask – does this revelation have any significance to answering the age old question of – “how many neoliberal, neocon, psychopathic war-mongers can dance on the head of a ‘Peacekeeper’ missile?” Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/vatican-scrambles-to-clarify-popes-denial-that-hell-exists

vexarb

@IGTrauma. When it comes to Theology I would trust Dante and Aquinas against most Popes. And when it comes to burning all the dead wood in the Universe, consigning Dives to Hell, and setting up an income bar to Heaven, I would back Rabbi Yeshuah of Nazareth against all Later Authorities.

Ross Hendry

It’s patently obvious to many of us that “the Salisbury Job” was a CIA/MI6/Mossad false flag but I haven’t seen any discussion of how much May or her cabinet might be aware of this. Are they consciously taking part in the theatre of the absurd, all playing their roles, to blame Russia – or do they really believe, via ignorance and dodgy dossiers from MI6, that it was a real attack by the Russians? Neither scenario is very satisfactory but the former is more frightening

Paul
Paul

I would imagine May does know it’s a stunt. After 8 years at the Home Office she is Mrs Security. She was very quick off the blocks in this case, very much as if it was scripted. If the double spy was thinking of going for a 3rd turnaround, as has been suggested, then he might have been expendable, even more so if he did ‘help’ Christopher Steele. Relatively little harm was done; it wasn’t like releasing Sarin into the city centre; diplomats were the main casualties. But the success of the operation is seen by the way the whole narrative has been ratcheted up, isolating Russia in advance of the expected attack on Damascus. Will the Russians dare interfere? It has boosted May’s standing greatly; the media are now drooling over her patriotic flag waving. With an utterly compliant media its not hard to turn the disaster image into one of ‘Greatness’.

Susan Cora
Susan Cora

Fully agree with your analysis.
There seems to be no limit to the reprobrate machinations that May and this government will partake in for power.

Daniel Danon
Daniel Danon

Did W know Iraq’s WMD were a myth? I guess we will never know. My best bet is that no, neither W nor May knew that they were mere puppets but both saw the interest of reacting emotionally instead of asking questions and acting rationally. Then forced the other to join by the usual «are you with me ir against me? ».

vexarb

@Daniel. UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter said they were a myth. Scott Ritter was fired; from then on, no one who voted for that Unjust War — as it was called by Leaders of World Christianity — could plead ignorance.

vierotchka

I remember reading that, a few months before the Iraq invasion began in 2003, in 1995, Saddam Hussein’s two sons-in-law fled Iraq and went to Jordan – General Hussein Kamel and his brother Saddam Kamel Hassan Majid. General Hussein Kamel had been responsible for Iraq’s WMDs. When he fled, he brought two crates of documents with him in which it was confirmed that he had had all the WMDs destroyed. See:
Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were almost certainly destroyed following the Gulf War
13 March 2003
http://johnpilger.com/articles/iraq-s-weapons-of-mass-destruction-were-almost-certainly-destroyed-following-the-gulf-war

mohandeer

Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
It’s not just that the MSM have such contempt for the intelligence of their readers, it’s that they reflect the utter contempt the neoliberal government and politicians have for “thick as slurry” plebs. A case without any foundation in proof, whatsoever, is being claimed as “proof”.
WTF????? They really thaink we are that dumbed down?

milosevic
milosevic

the MSM have such contempt for the intelligence of their readers
alternative hypothesis:
The people who run the MSM are actually stupid enough to believe their own lies, and can’t see why anybody else wouldn’t, either. Whether their idiocy derives from natural talent, or required years of arduous training to achieve, is a matter for further investigation.
A worthwhile experiment is to point out the obvious false-flag nature of the 9/11 event, to some right-thinking, middle-class person who regards the MSM as serious, responsible, and credible. Observe their emotional/intellectual reaction, and the sort of arguments they deploy in defence of the Official Story. Notice how many seconds elapse before the dread words “Conspiracy Theory” are uttered, as if that had any evidentiary or probative value. After this fails to shut you up, notice how many more seconds elapse before they are reduced to outright, foaming-at-the-mouth dementia.
This exercise will provide you with valuable insights into the mental universe such people inhabit, and you will never again make the mistake of according any respect whatsoever to their intellectual abilities. THE CONTINUED FUNCTIONING OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM DEPENDS ON MILLIONS OF IDIOTS SUCH AS THIS, WHO FILL THE STAFF POSITIONS FOR PROPAGANDA, ADMINISTRATION, EDUCATION, AND MANAGEMENT.

BigB

Not long now: they will be coming …citing the proclamations of the Fusion Doctrine. First: there was the “Great Firewall of China”; designed not to contain …but to keep Westernising influence out. Now, it is as if a digital Iron Curtain has descended across Europe …not to keep the Soviets, sorry, the Eurasian super-state out: but to keep us contained within the Ingsoc ideo-cultural idiotocracy. They want full-spectrum dominance over all information flows so as to dictate our very consciousness to us. Soon enough, we will all be shown identically blank post-individuality hive-mind Excel presentations by our assigned re-educator …and required to parrot that we see what we are told to see. We are all Winston or Julia now. The only unprohibited love is the love of the state. Fuck ’em: I’d rather die a freeman!

Ross Hendry

I’m with you there. Didn’t these people read Orwell? If they did they must have thought it was describing a utopia they need to work towards.

milosevic
milosevic

Conversely, Orwell was describing these people and their imagined utopia, which has only metastasized since 1948/1984.

mog
mog

‘The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi, or the dedicated Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists’
Hannah Arendt (‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’)
[h/t Bill Owen]
Not so long, as you say.
How many Labourites will even mention the massacre of Palestinians unfolding on the Gaza border I wonder?

BigB

None: but John Mann or Ian Austin et al will still have a post-truth platform to blame the Palestinians for their own persecution no doubt?

mog
mog

MICHAEL LEIGH
MICHAEL LEIGH

If I may, try to answer your MOG question. first I would like to cite the number of the British Parliamentry people representatives who are members of the non-parliamentry Hebrew cause ? Can you tell us ?
For example how many constituency people’s parliamentry representatives have consulted their own electorate to give support, to the Hebrew State of Israel illegally occupying the Palestine territory and in breach of inumerable UNO prescriptions against the global and UNO accords ? How many peoples representatives have actuality consulted their electorate ?
Perhaps in the interests of the factuality we should be told about the influence of the Hebrews people’s upon our so called ‘ British peoples Parliament ‘ ?
Not-with-standing, the fact that many Hebrews are resident and are a long standing genuine part of the United Kingdoms people’s and electorate, even though they have also reserved for their particular sectarian rights: to claim a unique superiority over the rest of the ‘ British Peoples ‘ by their exclusive hebrew religion !

vexarb

From the Indie. I read it to gauge public opinion in its relatively uncensored C,mments BTL. Count the Likes vs Dislikes in this clip. 8 Dislikes for the one who preferred Reuters:
peopleb4profit 14 hours ago
With acknowledgment to Offguardian
“Let the jury consider the verdict” the King said. “No, No” said the Queen: “sentence first, verdict afterwards”. “Stuff and nonsense” said Alice.”
+11
Symbold 13 hours ago
“Off Guardian” Has been thoroughly discredited as a prolific source of fake news, conspiracy theories and pro-Putin propaganda.
https://wikispooks.com/wiki/OffGuardian
Quote: “In November 2016, the site was listed by PropOrNot as one of its list of 200 “Fake News” websites.”
PropOrNot ‘An Initial Set of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda’:
http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html
A typical case discussed on the Skeptics Forum:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=311955
“‘Off-Guardian’ running a “9/11″ series filled with ‘truther’ woo”
+1
Thinkandthought 9 hours ago
Offguardian a fake news pro- Putin and Russian linked media outlet. A propaganda machine for Putin. Try reading Reuters.
-8

vierotchka

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Harry Law
Harry Law

‘Highly likely’ has morphed into ‘ We are ‘without doubt’ [Paragraph 5, slide 2] that Russia is responsible. If you say that something is true without doubt or without a doubt, you are emphasizing that it is definitely true. [Collins English Dictionary]:
“This is stronger than the ‘Beyond a reasonable doubt’ The standard that must be met by the prosecution’s evidence in a criminal prosecution: that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime, thereby overcoming the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty” [The Free Dictionary].

rtj1211
rtj1211

I am sure both May and Johnson are aware that a defendant is tried under the presumption of inncence until proven otherwise and, only after guilt has been asserted are previous crimes and misdemeanours of the convicted party presented to be considered when passing sentence.
Here May and Johnson pronounced guilt before collecting evidence; directed the world to convict before Counsel for the Defence being allowed to present evidence or to cross examine prosecution witnesses; and ignored the views of the General Public jury before passing sentence.
I do hope if they are ever arraigned in a court of law for misdemeanours against international law that whichever jurisdiction puts them in a dock is equally scattergun with regard to due process; severely against the concept of examining evidence; and utterly ruthless when dishing out sentences.
It is particularly important that loss of basic human rights is the outcome for politicians racing headlong into fascism.
The ones coming after need to know there will be consequences for kissing John Bolton’s swinging ass…..

Alan
Alan

I understand the establishment and media believe Britons have the mental capacity of an average ten year old, I didn’t realise this extended worldwide.