Alleged Douma chemical weapon attack 2018, empire watch, latest, Skripal case, UK
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The Skripal case & the perils of a rush to judgment

by James O’Neill

amended to remove reference to the Spiez laboratory, which is not mentioned directly in the OPCW summary

The perils of coming to premature conclusions before all the facts are available has been starkly demonstrated by the latest developments in the alleged nerve gas attack upon the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English town of Salisbury on 4 March 2018.

Followers of this particular saga will be aware that British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have made a series of statements to the United Kingdom House of Commons and to the media. They alleged, without qualification, that the Skripals were poisoned with a nerve agent of the “Novichok” class, of a type “developed by Russia.”

That these statements were made before it was possible for the British chemical and biological research facility at Porton Down to have made an analysis and reached a scientifically valid conclusion did not matter. The object of the exercise was to demonize Russia in general and its President Mr Putin in particular.

As serious questions about the United Kingdom’s version of events were increasingly raised, the government’s explanations changed, along with increasingly bizarre allegations. The one common denominator to all of these “explanations” was that they were devoid of that troublesome substance known as “evidence.”

Very belatedly, and contrary to their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the United Kingdom made a request to the OPCW to conduct an independent investigation. While this investigation was ongoing, the propaganda continued unabated. One aspect of that was the United Kingdom persuading a number of its NATO and EU allies, plus Australia to expel Russian diplomats.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop issued a media release on 27 March that blamed the Skripal attack upon Russia, relying on

advice from the United Kingdom government that the substance used on 4 March was a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia……….. The attack is part of a pattern of reckless and deliberate conduct by the Russian state that constitutes a growing threat to international security, global non-proliferation rules against the use of chemical weapons, the rights of other sovereign nations and the international rules based order that underpins them.

Russia’s denials of culpability were disregarded.

The OPCW has now issued its report dated 12th April 2018. At the time of writing (15 April) there has been no mention of this report, much less its implications, in the Australian mainstream media. The report is in two versions. The first part, headed Note by the Technical Secretariat was released for public use. The second and more detailed version was released to all nations who were parties to the CWC, which includes Australia.

Even the two page summary report contains valuable information. The first revelation is that the samples collected by the OPCW technical team that went to the United Kingdom on 21 March 2018 (17 days after the attack on the Skripals) were of a “high purity.”

The alleged significance of this is that it could only have been produced in a very sophisticated laboratory, which almost certainly rules out any resources other than those of an advanced nation state.

The second point is that a “pure toxin” is not a “military grade nerve agent.” This latter phrase is one used by the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary and repeated in Foreign Minister Bishop’s media release. The suggestion to the contrary by Gary Aitkenhead, the CEO of Porton Down, was therefore misleading. Mr Aitkenhead is not a scientist and may not have known better, but he was relying on a statement prepared for him. The Porton Down scientists certainly knew better.

Thirdly, the OPCW summary notes that there were no additives to the substance, which would have been necessary had the substance been applied to the Skripal’s front door handle. That particular version was seriously advanced by Boris Johnson who also claimed to have evidence that Russia had been training its agents for several years in how to apply nerve agents to door handles!

Perhaps needless to add, like most of Mr Johnson’s pronouncements on this topic, this was bereft of evidence and logic, let alone scientific validity.

One of the two most important points in the OPCW summary is that the environmental samples collected by the OPCW technical team were of “high purity” and demonstrated “the almost complete absence of the impurities.” This is literally impossible if the samples related to the time when the OPCW technical team was in the United Kingdom for that purpose. Of the various nerve agents in existence, the most durable is VX, which has a durability of 2 to 3 days, not the three weeks between the attack and the collection of the samples.

The irresistible conclusion is that the places where the samples were taken had evidence planted immediately (within a few hours at most) prior to the OPCW technical team’s arrival at the locations from where the samples were collected. It defies common sense and logic to suggest that the Russians were responsible for the planting of such fake evidence. The most logical candidate is the United Kingdom government or someone acting on their behalf.

That finding alone destroys the argument of the United Kingdom government and its acolytes in the Australian government and media. There was however, a further fatal blow to the UK government’s claims. As noted, the full OPCW report was made available to all governments who were signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

There is no prohibition on any of those governments from publishing the full report or parts thereof. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has released what he claims is another key finding of the report. That is, that the agent used on the Skripals was in fact a substance known as BZ (3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate). BZ is an hallucinogenic incapacitating chemical warfare agent. It afflicts both the peripheral and central nervous systems.

The signs of its use are disorientation, tremors, ataxia, stupor and coma. It is administered by and aerosol spray. These symptoms accord with the descriptions given by eyewitnesses and Salisbury Hospital as to the Skripal’s medical conditions. BZ is not produced in Russia. It is an agent that is used by the United Kingdom and the United States.

When one puts together the now known nature of the substance, its means of delivery and the symptoms that its victims exhibit, it is a further compelling inference that they were “sprayed” at some point between leaving Zizzi’s restaurant and moving to the park bench.

Given the ubiquitousness of CCTV cameras in the vicinity it should be possible to identify the actual perpetrator. One might draw further negative inferences about the UK government and the Police investigation from the fact that no details of the Skripal’s movements at this time have been released.

The British, Australian and other governments who rushed to judgement have a dilemma. Do they attempt to rebut the information that Mr Lavrov released? To try and do so would serve to highlight the revelations and any denials would be easily rebutted by the release of the full report.

On the other hand, ignoring this new evidence inevitably raises further questions about the veracity of the government’s version of events. The details outlined briefly above have already been widely disseminated on the alternative media and at least some British mainstream outlets.

The option that appears to have been taken thus far by the Australian media is to ignore Mr Lavrov’s revelations. Bishop and Turnbull, so recently and frequently condemnatory of alleged chemical warfare misbehaviour by Russia are now completely silent.

Their rush to judgement has now been exposed for the empty propaganda that it was. It is probably too much to expect an apology and a withdrawal of their false claims. Such an apology seems the very least they can do in the light of the actual evidence revealed by the investigation which stands in such stark contrast to the hyperbole and falsehoods perpetrated by the British government and their acolytes.

James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted it


  1. he isn’t a “russian double agent”, he’s a russian who was an english double agent! and this in the time when they were all (apparently!) pals!

  2. There is a vital development today. The head of the laboratory – Spiez presumably, but they can’t say.. – says that BZ – they call it 3Q – was present in the sample because it was the control for the test. This is such a preposterous lie that it reveals both the extreme pressure the OPCW is under as well as its endemic corruption.

    Because BZ is quite distantly related to A234/novichock, the idea that it could be used as a control in mass spectroscopy tests is nonsense. Neither the substance itself nor its breakdown products could possibly be used as a control in a test, nor would it have been. Does this OPCW approved lab not have its own samples of “novichock” to use as controls, “or related agents”?

    I can say this without a shadow of doubt from simple basic scientific knowledge. How is it then possible that the head of Spiez lab could try to pass off this complete deception?

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain says

    James, it must have made you proud to be an Austfailian to see our Foreign Minister, that scrawny monument to self-denial and anorexia, joining the most lunatic Imperial boot-lickers, and arguing for a change to the UNSC to remove Russia’s veto. The hag has NO problems with US vetoes to protect Israeli mass murder of unarmed civilians, of course, and probably sees China’s veto as redundant, too. Have we ever had a more malign, socially vicious and deranged regime than that of Abbott and his ventriloquist dummy, Turnbull? They just keeping getting worse, generation after generation.

  4. IanC says

    I am entirely sold on this argument, but it’s not me that has to be convinced. The summary contains several paragraphs, which, if read together suggest the following:

    This statement

    The team was briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical identified by the United Kingdom and was able to review analytical results and data from chemical analysis of biomedical [and] environmental samples

    means the labs knew what to look for (results and data from Porton Down), because they were told (look at the task allocated to the technical secretariat – they were to confirm, not identify from scratch).

    This statement that

    The results… demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this toxic chemical

    indicates that the Skripals and the Policeman were exposed to what the UK calls Novichock.

    This statement that

    The results of analysis of the environmental samples conducted by [the labs] demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical in the samples

    indicates that Novichock was found in the samples, because of its relationship to 7., which is endorsed by 10.
    10. This statement that

    The results of analysis by the [labs] of environmental and biomedical samples… confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical

    makes it clear i.e., it was Novichock.

    This statement

    ..the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people

    makes it clear that it was Novichock that injured the three.

    Whether or not BZ was involved, or found by any lab (Spiez included), a reasonable interpretation of the summary (which is all we’ve had so far) is that Novichock was the culprit. The statements about purity (in statement 11.) are revealing and worthy of concern as presented in this article, but, it can be argued, are not the most significant points.

    That’s what we/you are up against.

    The only way forward is for the full report to be made available.

  5. Yet despite the doubts raised, Boris Johnson still claimed on the 12th that OPCW reports confirms the use of Novichok – and it’s the big Guardian headline saying as much that people believe:

    Now we have the mass media mouthing off about Russia hacking. Frankly, as a rational person, I am finding the almost seamless, relentless onslaught of this neocon propaganda terrifying. People trust newspapers like the Guardian. Proffer any doubts as to their content, and you’re labelled a conspiracy theorist and worse. We’ve been dropped into an appalling regime change scenario for every nation that doesn’t suit US/UK power-mongers, and most people are NOT paying attention.

    • rtj1211 says

      If you read BTL comment at the Guardian pre moderation, you will see they have completely lost trust of those readers bothered enough to comment. It was the same at the DT and the Spectator. The bullshit line is failing to hold…..

      People are increasingly seeking alternatives sources and many are springing up. There is not a one-stop-shop yet, but that will come.

      With blogs not corporate in nature, news can remain news.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Yet, I see that the hysterians are to close off parts of Salisbury, for NINE MONTHS, this toxin is so deadly. Why there is even a ‘trail’ of ‘poison’ from the door-knob to the park bench. Shades of the Litvinenko frame-up. Yet NO-ONE has sicked or been affected in any way, yet-NINE MONTHS. Anyone with an IQ over room temperature (Celsius) must be not just outraged at such histrionic balderdash, but sickened. These psychopaths have gone raving mad. I wonder if Putin is spiking the water at Westminster.

      • You get a good view of the lunatic view versus the polite responses of Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov, who as one point in his interview with Stephen Sakur describes it as an Alice in Wonderland scenario – final scene: the Queen of Hearts screaming punishment first, jury verdict later

    • rtj1211 says

      This should: ‘we the Ministers’…..I am sure they do stand in solidarity. That does mean their opinion is widely held….

      • rtj1211 says

        This should read: ‘we the Ministers’…..I am sure they do stand in solidarity. That does NOT mean their opinion is widely held….

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Western moral values at their finest-an hereditary Ukrainian Nazi and FANATIC Russophobe leading moggy-whipped Fidelito Trudeau by his appurtenances.

  6. FobosDeos says

    I don’t understand why Mr O’Neill is amending his article and deleting any references to the Spiez lab. The Swiss laboratory has just issued a statement saying that they cannot confirm or deny any of Mr. Lavrov’s statements last Saturday. Spiez says that everything about its relationship with the OPCW is hush hush ultra-secret, but: (a) we must assume that the Russian Foreign Minister would not be so dumb as to blatantly lie abut something like this; that out of the blue he would just happen to invent that Spiez is indeed one of the labs to which the OPCW turned for the analysis of the chemical compunds; (b) given the above, we must also recognize that if Lavrov had lied, the Spiez lab would have simply refuted his allegations; (c) the whole thing shows that someone with a conscience at Spiez or the OPCW alerted Lavrov about the BZ scandal. The trial of Russia is going beyond anything Kafka might have conceived in his lifetime. Therefore, O’Neill’s piece should reinsert and expand on the Spiez affaire, which is now the most important development in this sad story.

  7. Change corrupt Government and end war says

    It is laughable to talk about the veracity of information given accusations have been thrown about and attacks have been launched on a sovereign nation without evidence or the UN and there is a desire to create some never ending cold war. The media has been complicit in publishing material without evidence despite the farce and terrible consequences of the lies about the Iraq war. The Government has proven to be wholly unreliable and their actions to bomb a sovereign nation without the UN is not only reasonable but criminal. There should be a full independent investigation on who is responsible and there must be legal ramifications for deceiving the electorate.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      In a crumbling state like the UK, where poverty, inequality and elite wealth are all growing like topsy, where regime social savagery is unprecedented and merciless, where political ‘legitimacy’ is virtually zero given the corruption of the courts, the villainous perfidy, hypocrisy and mendacity of the media brainwashing apparatus, and the habitual lying and immoral plotting of the ruling Tories and their allies, including the Jewish elites and their filthy campaign of false accusations of ‘antisemitism’, the rulers need external enemies. The enemy is always at the gate, even if it is the gate to HIS house. The enemy has traitorous supporters within the heroic Homeland, eager to do the villains’ dirty work of confusing and demoralising the lumpen yeomen stock, comfortable and content in their brainwashed ignorance, passivity and obedience. The Homeland is endangered and ‘Carthage must be destroyed’. Sorry-‘Russia must be destroyed!’. There being no way out of such impasses under ‘demonstration democracy’ short of defeat in war or bloody revolution, we await our fate. Eventually the hyper-aggressive insanity of the West, creating enemies and suffering and misery and hatred wherever they inflict their ‘liberal values’, will cause a war to, really, end all wars, and that will be that.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        In accordance with the house rules, could you insert ‘Zionist’ in place of ‘Jewish’ in the above diatribe. While you may.

  8. The UK and US mainstream news sources are completely untrustworthy. They are just mouthpieces for complicit and disreputable governments. Nothing either the MSM or the governments say is believable. Everyone has to do a little internet surfing to figure out for themselves which version of an story is the closest to the truth. So far no one believes government propaganda for very good reason.

  9. Kaiama says

    Lavrov claims to have an original of the Spiez lab report sent to the OPCW. The lab report mentions both BZ and high purity novichok which were detected in samples taken 2-3 weeks after the event. The OPCW left out the BZ from its own OPCW report.
    Given that novichok doesn’t survive that length of time without degrading the inference is that it was planted just before the samples were taken. BZ incapacitates, acts quickly, is temporary and is not intended to kill, and was degraded so we are told, then that would make BZ the weapon and therefore not Russia at all (if they were trying to kill). Spiez have not denied anything Lavrov said. The OPCW haven’t commented yet as far as I know. The UK government have said Lavriov is talking bollocks but have not said anything about the Spiez report.
    My view:
    The Russians were framed by the UK.
    The OPCW were complicit.
    The only ones with any credibility are the Swiss.
    Question is whether the revelation will stick at the May local elections?

    • Harry Law says

      Kaiama. In a court of law, the defence need to see all the evidence, in this case exculpatory evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial that exonerates or tends to exonerate the defendant of guilt. If Lavrov has this evidence it will be very revealing.

      • Kaiama says

        How many trials have we seen collapse because such evidence was with-held? A lot. I uderstand your point, but the reality is somewhat different. People lie if they think they can get away with it.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The OPCW has been controlled, like ALL International organs, by the US and the West, for many years. Relying on the OPCW for the truth is madness. They will EVER embarrass The Empire-their families’ lives depend on it, as John Bolton emphasised years ago, when the OPCW threatened to derail the rush to war against Iraq in 2002.

      • Jon Liddle says

        Lying by omission. The OPCW were only asked if a Novickok type agent had been found. Why, yes, of course, the nice fresh stuff.
        Thank you OPCW – no further questions m’lud!

  10. Harry Law says

    How did Lavrov get the data from the Swiss laboratory? Can the data and person providing/leaking it be proven? “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said citing data from the Swiss laboratory that the BZ toxin was used in the poisoning of the Skripals, adding that the chemical has been in the possession of the US and the UK, but has never been produced in Russia. Specialists from the laboratory finished examining the samples on March 27.

    “Based on the results of the examination, traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors, related to chemical weapons of the second category in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, were found in the samples. BZ is a nerve agent temporarily disabling a person. The effect is achieved within 30-60 minutes and lasts up to four days,” Lavrov said, citing the results of the Swiss lab’s examination.

    Lavrov went on to ask why the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is investigating the poisoning, hasn’t taken the information about the BZ chemical into consideration. He also pointed out that the BZ chemical, as well as the Novichok toxin, was not mentioned in the OPCW’s final report”.

    • Kaiama says

      This is now a matter for the OPCW to say why their report omits any mention of BZ. The credibility of the OPCW is under pressure. Spiez are responsible to the OPCW not Russia or the UK. The OPCW is responsible to its members – this is how Lavrov will attack first. The real target is now the OPCW, and only then the UK. Of course they are shitting bricks right now but they will hold on and try to delay everything until after the May local elections.


        Didn’t the UK court judgement for the taking of samples stipulate that nothing could be revealed other than what was already in the public domain ? That may be the reason.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        After allowing jihadist butchers in Syria to control the chain of evidence, the OPCW, headed by a Turkish ex-NATO flunkey, has ZERO credibility, but that has been true at least since John Bolton threatened them into compliance in 2002 when they dared assert the truth-that Iraq had destroyed all its chemical weapons.

  11. jazza says

    Please let me fix something Theresa May stated in HoC today following her illegal bombing of a sovereign nature. She claimed she did the deed ‘in the interests of Britain’ when actually she meant she did the deed ‘in the best interests of herself’
    Democracy in Britain is a sham and a nation with NO co-ordinated opposition will fall even further into the mire – Britain is a dictatorship – so all the ‘fuss’ about Skirpal and the chemical weapons theatreshow is just that, a sham

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      She did it in the interests of Israel, to be precise.

      • AntonyI says

        Many Israelis won’t agree with the present anti Assad actions; It is Nethanyahoo and the Orthodox Jews inside Israel that do, apart from the main Saudi royals and Wahhabi clergy. Assad, the non Sunni running a secular government in their backyard, how dare he?

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Of course not all Jews are bloodthirsty savages, like the Israeli and Diaspora elites are. However, the Israeli elites and the stand-over thugs of the hard Right Zionist ‘antisemitism’ industry do, explicitly, assert that all Jews think and act alike in total support for Israel, so ANY criticism of Israel is an attack on ALL Jews, everywhere, so is ‘antisemitism’. It’s a transparent and dirty lie, but anyone who dares point that out, will be assailed as an ‘antisemite’. There is an almost beautiful circularity to the narrative.

          • milosevic says

            Of course not all Jews are bloodthirsty savages

            I keep hearing about these fabled non-racist Jews. One occasionally encounters a few isolated individuals who seem to fit that description, at anti-war or anti-zio-apartheid demonstrations, or similar events. The impression you might gather from speaking to them is that they are highly non-representative of that community, and in fact quite marginalized and alienated from it, as tends to happen to people who are routinely slandered as “self-hating”. One wonders why they still bother to identify themselves as “Jewish”.

            The question is, then, if non-racist Jews actually exist in significant numbers (as in more than 1%), where are they to be found? Certainly not at demonstrations opposing the Terror War For Israel. I’ve come to suspect that people who make this claim, will always explain their invisibility by saying something like, “You don’t notice them, because they don’t necessarily self-identify as ‘Jewish’, although they have some degree of Jewish ancestry.”

            — which actually explains everything, doesn’t it. The claim that many, or even most, “Jews” are not racists, is itself founded on the conception that Jewish identity is a “racial” category, something you’re born with and die with, an idea held in common by both zionists and nazis, but hardly anybody else. Having rejected this racist concept of Jewish identity, one might consider what it actually is —

            — is it an ethnic category? Not anymore, and even when “Ashkenazi” was a real ethnicity, with a characteristic language, there were multiple other Jewish ethnicities.

            — is it a religious category? It was, up until the Jewish Enlightenment two hundred years ago. Not since then, or “non-religious Jews” would be completely inexplicable.

            — is it a political category? The question that you’re never supposed to ask is, “Among people who self-identify as ‘Jewish’, what proportion are supporters of the fascist terror state of Israel and its vile policies?” The reason you’re not allowed to ask this question is that everybody knows that the only serious answer would be “Upwards of 95%.” The zionists themselves proclaim this fact constantly, but nobody else is allowed to notice it. That would be anti-semitic.

            So, the mystery is solved. “Jewish” is now a political category, and has been so at least since the Six-Day War in 1967. And the content of the politics is racism and ethnic supremacism. Among people with ethnic-Jewish ancestry, to an absolutely overwhelming degree, the racists self-identify as “Jewish”, and the anti-racists don’t. The racists naturally believe that their racial identity is a matter of “blood”, or genetics, or Chosenness, which they were born with, and could not renounce even if they wanted to, which they don’t. Conversely, the anti-racists believe that people can renounce such identities if they want to, which they do, and they have.

            Looking for non-racist “Jews” is equivalent to looking for non-racist racists. No wonder they’re invisible.

            Doubtless many anti-zionists, “Jewish” or otherwise, will find the above highly offensive. However, it’s not clear that zionists would find much, or anything, in it to object to, as far as factual assertions are concerned. Does that make it “anti-semitic”, or “pro-semitic”?

            • Mulga Mumblebrain says

              The preferred usage is ‘philo-semite’ as in ‘Lerve’. Many anti-Zionist Jews exist, many anti-racist Jews exist, and organisations like B’tselem and Gush Shalom do good work exposing Zionist perfidy. But the Zionist controlled Western fakestream media downplays their existence, pretending that all Jews are mini-Bibis, and inside Jewish communities speaking out against Israel’s crimes brings a heavy price of abuse, ostracism and even, as Norman Finkelstein has asserted was the case with Goldstone’s ghastly ‘recantation’ of his Report into Zionist butchery in Gaza (the other commissioners vociferously refused to endorse his recantation, but, being mere goyim, were ignored), straight blackmail and threats.

              • milosevic says

                Many anti-Zionist Jews exist, many anti-racist Jews exist, and organisations like B’tselem and Gush Shalom do good work exposing Zionist perfidy.

                It appears to me that all these people and organizations constitute less than a 5% minority, and probably less than a 1% minority, among self-identified “Jews”. If evidence to the contrary exists, I’d be interested to see it.

                inside Jewish communities speaking out against Israel’s crimes brings a heavy price of abuse, ostracism and even straight blackmail and threats.

                If the racists were only a 2/3 or 3/4 majority, they would be unable to exert this degree of coercion against the anti-racists, so this well documented phenomenon is yet more evidence of what an overwhelming majority they actually are.

                Again, one wonders why the anti-racists continue to self-identify as “Jewish”. There’s plenty of ex-catholics, ex-mormons, and ex-scientologists around, so they’d be in good company if they finally decided to become ex-jews, and leave the right-wing brainwashing cult that they had the misfortune of being born into.

                  • milosevic says

                    Until somebody suggests a serious answer to this question —

                    Among people who self-identify as ‘Jewish’, what proportion are supporters of the fascist terror state of Israel and its vile policies?

                    — all such slurs are really quite idle, since they don’t address the real issues.

                    But as I said above, the reason this question can never be answered, and those who even propose it routinely dismissed as “racists”, is because everybody pretty well knows what the range of plausible answers would be. And that would be the end of that game.

                    Many people dislike scientologists, for their abusive and exploitative behaviour, and the vile ideology which enables it. And yet aversion to scientology is nowhere considered to be a question of “racism”.

                    It would be difficult to argue that on a world scale, scientology and its institutions cause anything like the social harm that jewishness and its institutions do. Especially once you factor in fifteen years of Terror War and seventy years of zio-apartheid, things that cannot plausibly be attributed to scientologists.

  12. Harry Law says

    I thought the Russian Government were going to release the full report. If it has such damning evidence in it, then it should be released and scientifically torn apart. or not.

    • grandstand says

      As you are aware HL (I see your comments on a number of sites and always find them intelligent and interesting), as a signatory to OPCW, Russia is bound to keep the full report confidential. And they don’t want to upset OPCW in advance of the Syrian investigation. Even now that investigation is, according to Australian ABC, being undermined (not their words) by the US delegate claiming that the Russians might have tampered with the site. Unlike the British who never touched the doorknob (‘onest, your ‘onour) and only took two weeks to get around to asking OPCW to investigate.

  13. rtj1211 says

    One of the most interesting questions to be answered here is this:

    ‘Was BZ the ‘toxic chemical’ that OPCW asked its accredited laboratories to confirm existed?’

    The point here is that if the answer to that is ‘No, it was A-234 Novichok’, then the question arises as to how Spiez knew to look for it or was able to deduce its presence without knowing to look for it?

    I guess one could also ask if the other OPCW labs could confirm the BZ finding using whatever methodology was used in Spiez?

    The three obvious ultimate sources of such guidance might be:
    1) Those who administered the agent, whoever that might have been;
    2) The Salisbury A&E consultant, if he knew what the agent was;
    3) Porton Down scientists who had been muzzled by Boris Johnson and/or MI6 for reasons best known to BJ and/or his MI6 handlers.

    Of course, if the whole exercise were one of misdirection, those in the know might simply be reading from scripts…..

  14. stevehayes13 says

    The corporate media’s coverage of the Skripal case has become more and more absurd, as they continually need to tell new lies to try to explain away previous lies. As the official narrative has fallen apart, they have resorted to “intelligence” and anonymous sources, which everyone is supposed to take on trust, and anyone who doesn’t is obviously a propagandist for Putin.

  15. The U.K. is not going to admit to a criminal conspiracy perpetrated at the highest levels of its government. To do so would only undermine the public’s confidence in Our Democratic Institutions. This is just what Putin wants!

    Mind the Knob everybody!

  16. summitflyer says

    The UK,US and all it’s Western counterparts don’t do apologies .They are proving themselves to be snakes .

  17. Remember the OPCW samples were taken 2 weeks afer the event & the weather was wet to humid & a Novichok degrades quickly in humid conditions – this means to a blind man that Porton Down supplied a fresh sample ?

    Everywhich way it looks like Spiez Lab in Switzerland was right & it was BZ Toxin

    • Catte says

      Spiez hasn’t actually said that in public. Lavrov has claimed they say so in the full report. Spiez has neither confirmed or denied this as yet.

      • reenmac says

        Thats not what Lavrov is saying He is saying he is in receipt of a leaked report from the Spiez laboratory that DIDNT make it in to the final OPCW report.

  18. Paul Carline says

    Is there no legal – or parliamentary – means of forcing a retraction? It is painful to think that these people – especially Theresa May and Boris Johnson – can continue in office, and continue to cause more havoc in Syria, after these revelations. A united Labour Party could do so – but not one which has already treated its leader so badly and shown its true colours.

    • Betrayed planet. says

      I believe the Blairites are on a payroll, a quiet very generous payroll by the shadow Zionist state and it’s lackeys in the so called secret services. Until they are deselected Labour has very little chance of victory, they will trip Corbyn up at every opportunity.

      • summitflyer says

        A really weird system they have there , with so many of the Labour members trying so hard to trip up their party leader .At least I have never heard of it in our Canadian parliamentary system
        which is somewhat of a mirror image parliament .

        • Betrayed planet. says

          Problem here in the U.K. is we no longer have any form of democracy, under the hard right authoritarian May regime all signs of free speech are being eroded. The opposition is infiltrated with Zionists but one is not allowed to say this for fear of being called anti Semitic. I left a comment on the Guardian on Saturday suggesting one has to be careful how things are phrased these days. Unbelievably it was moderated.

        • The Labour Party was founded as a socialist party that was dragged right by Blair, who forced it to abandon socialism in favour of neoliberalism. This created a split between the senior members of the parliamentary party (PLP) that very much continued to be Blairite even after he departed, and the grassroots membership that tended to still be socialists or leftists. Corbyn is a socialist, elected by the grassroots and fiercely opposed by the Blairites, who would rather lose an election than see a socialist government in power.

        • milosevic says

          As you very well know, the existence of George Soros is an anti-semitic myth, just like the Rothschilds.

          It’s anti-semitic to believe things that actually exist, actually exist, if their actual existence might tend to show the perpetual victims of anti-semitism in a bad light.

    • bevin says

      You make a good point- the evidence now seems to be conclusive and the moment for the evildoers to be revealed and shamed for their criminality and the tsunami of falsehoods they have issued, has arrived.
      Unhappily the UK lacks a proper opposition, largely because Labour’s benches are still dominated by followers of Blair whose primary loyalty is to the United States and Israel. It is this faction which is facilitating the destruction of the last remains of Parliamentary rule and keeping the May regime in power.
      Mark Regev, the Israeli Ambassador has more power in the Labour Party than the elected leader. And he is not afraid to use it. The amazing thing about his power is that he spent years as the legendarily mendacious Israeli spokesman publicly defending indefensible crimes-such as Gaza- on TV. He is well known to be ruthless, dishonest and callous. And yet there are dozens of PLP members who act as he requires, even when doing so puts them at risk of losing the Whip.

      • Betrayed planet. says

        They’re not afraid of losing the Whip, the benefits received to date and in the future more than make up for that. It’s treason and some day if we survive the next while no amount of cash will be of any use, they will be pariahs just like Blair. History should we be lucky enough to have history will decimate this government and the hard right Labour traitors.

        • bevin says

          You are right, of course. The Blairites know that so long as the current system lasts they will be looked after. They are hewing The Establishment’s line, doing what no other group in society can do. They are the last line of defence for the neo-liberal order against the restoration of the principles of community and the protection of the weak and vulnerable which was the consensus agreed to by the majority before Thatcher’s counter revolution.
          For the neo-liberals Corbyn and his supporters represent an existential threat, against which the Tories are impotent.
          Labour has to be torn apart. And the media, increasingly discredited, is no longer able to do this on its own. That is the value of the Blairites, together with the SNP they represent the penultimate resort of the neo-liberals.
          The final resort being fascism of the sort May and Johnson are auditioning: one wonders when they will set the Palace of Westminster on fire and ‘discover’ that the arsonist was not only a friend of Putin’s but a member of Momentum.

          • bevin says

            I see that I have contradicted myself by calling the Blairite Fifth Column both the last and the penultimate resort- that is the problem with one finger typing.

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