151

What Would Sherlock Holmes Have Made of the Government’s Explanation of the Case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

by Rob Slane from The Blogmire


In an article on 3rd May, the Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, made the following rather amusing observation:

Since the Skripals were found stricken on a park bench, Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. Theresa May says it is ‘highly likely’ Moscow carried out the attack using a Soviet-made nerve agent. Only the Kremlin had the motive to kill its former officer, she argues.”

The funny part, in case you didn’t spot it, was his claim that Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. He is of course correct, but what he doesn’t tell his readers is that this one version of events has had a plethora of sub-narratives attached to it, none of which have been able to remotely support the main thesis. Sticking to one version of events is reasonable only inasmuch as that version can be supported by facts. On the other hand, if the version of events being stuck to is not supported by the facts, or if the “facts” constantly change, or if the “facts” are contradictory, then sticking to it is a measure not of reasonableness, as Mr Harding implies, but rather of absurdity, folly and irrationality.
G. K. Chesterton once cautioned us against the propensity towards indefinite scepticism:

Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

This is very true. But there is another, equally insidious, ditch which must be avoided. Let’s put it like this:

Closing your mind too quickly can be worse than nothing. The object of closing the mind, as of closing the mouth, is to make sure that when you do, you have something solid inside.”

So is the narrative that Downing Street closed on so quickly after the incident solid? Does it stand up to scrutiny? Let’s see.

The Claim

The basic claim of the UK Government is as follows:

On 4th March 2018, Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent, which had been put on the handle of Mr Skripal’s front door in Christie Miller Road, Salisbury. The substance used was A-234 (a Novichok agent), which is said to be around 5-8 times more lethal than VX (just 10 milligrams of VX on the skin can be lethal). It had been placed there by a person or persons either working on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation, or who had somehow managed to come into possession of the substance from stocks controlled by the Russian Government.

As Mr Harding implies, it’s all very straightforward. So let’s test it.

What would you have expected to happen?

The basic question one must ask is as follows: Given the scenario outlined in the Government claim, what would you have expected to happen? Here are four basic things one would reasonably have expected:

  • 1. Sergei and Yulia Skripal found dead in or near Mr Skripal’s house, followed by a coroner’s verdict stating that they had died from heart failure or suffocation, as a result of fluid secretions filling their lungs.
  • 2. Or – in the slim chance that they survived – a period of months in hospital with irreparable damage to their central nervous systems, and symptoms including cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, nerve damage and epilepsy.
  • 3. A massive manhunt, both in Salisbury and in the rest of the country, especially in respect of the couple who appeared on a CCTV camera in Market Walk, of whom it was originally claimed were the Skripals, but who were clearly not the Skripals.
  • 4. Mr Skripal’s house entirely closed off, with surrounding streets immediately evacuated, and the parts of Salisbury City Centre where the pair were known to have visited also evacuated.
  • What actually happened?

    So much for what we would have expected to see. Now, more than two months after the incident, we can ask the question: What actually happened?

  • 1. After they allegedly came into contact with the very lethal A-234 nerve agent, far from dying on the spot, Sergei and Yulia Skripal spent the next four hours driving into the City Centre, having a drink, and then going for a meal. They then sat on a bench, and at some point thereafter exhibited what appeared to be hallucinations, suggestive of poisoning by an opioid or non-lethal chemical weapon, rather than a nerve agent.
  • 2. Rather than being hospitalised for months and suffering irreparable damage to their central nervous systems, just over four weeks later, Yulia Skripal telephoned her cousin, Viktoria, and assured her several times that “Everything is okay”. Crucially, she stated that “Everyone’s health is fine, there are no irreparable things.
  • 3. There has been no manhunt, and the couple who appeared on the CCTV camera in Market Walk have not been identified publicly, nor have there been any appeals for information about them.
  • 4. Far from the streets around the house being evacuated, many photographs show police officers without any protective clothing standing just a few feet away from the door handle, which allegedly still had A-234 of “high purity” on it. Neither was the City Centre evacuated, but people who thought they might have come into contact with the substance were advised by Public Health England (PHE) to wash their clothing in a washing machine, and wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes.
  • What Would Holmes Have Made of it?

    If you laid all that out in front of Sherlock Holmes – the claims, the expectations, and the reality – and asked him what he made of it, he would no doubt reply along the following lines:

    On the assumption that the substance known as A-234 is several times more toxic than VX, which all credible references to it claim that it is, then given that the Skripals did not die on the spot, and having survived do not appear to have any of the lasting and irreparable side-effects of being poisoned by this substance, it can be stated with reasonable certainty that they were not poisoned by it. Furthermore, given the symptoms that they displayed on the bench, according to eye-witness testimony, in all probability, Mr Skripal and Yulia were poisoned by a substance which can cause hallucinations, such as the opioid, Fentanyl, or an incapacitating, but non-lethal, chemical such as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (BZ). This theory is given credence by the fact that Salisbury District Hospital originally believed the incident to be a case of Fentanyl poisoning.”

    What Would Holmes do Next?

    Having used the known facts to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the Skripals were not poisoned by A-234, what would Holmes do next?
    The obvious thing would be to interview both Sergei and Yulia Skripal, since both are apparently alive and well. He would want to gather details about their movements on the morning of 4th March 2018, and whether they saw anyone acting suspiciously either near the house, or at the bench. He would want to know why Mr Skripal apparently became highly agitated in Zizzis. And he would of course want to find out from Mr Skripal about who he had dealings with in the weeks prior to the incident.
    So what, you might ask, would he make of it if he found out that nobody, including him, was allowed to see Mr Skripal or Yulia? What, you might ask, would he make of the fact that nothing has been heard of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey since his release from hospital more than six weeks ago? What, you might ask, would he make of the fact that there has been not one single police or press report looking into any of these things?
    Holmes being Holmes, he would of course want to retain an open mind for as long as possible. But in the absence of any credible explanation for these oddities, or for the huge disparity between the UK Government claims and what actually happened, no doubt his great mind would soon start closing in on the suspicion that not only were the Skripals not poisoned by A-234, but it would appear that a cover up of what really happened has taken place.


    avatar
      Subscribe  
    newest oldest most voted
    Notify of
    vierotchka
    Reader

    Excerpt:
    “Judging by quite a few elements, the text was a translation from English and had been initially written by a native English-speaker,” the embassy said. “The handwritten letters signed by Yulia in Russian and English confirm this impression.”
    Russian diplomats must be allowed access to Yulia Skripal to know she’s not held forcibly – embassy
    https://www.rt.com/news/427580-embassy-yulia-skripal-access/

    Mulga Mumblebrain
    Reader
    Mulga Mumblebrain

    This is the ‘Rules Based International Order’, that Western psychopaths squawk like deranged parrots. A Treaty still in force between Russia and the UK, and customary International Law, that OBLIGE consular access, DESPITE any supposed ‘reluctance’ on the part of the (in this case) kidnapped victims, are simply ignored, and their existence and force either ignored by the fakestream media presstitute scum or denied with that vicious mendacity that we are so familiar with. ‘Srikpal’, if it is she, was clearly reciting a tract learned before-hand.

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    MSM is featuring poor Julia’s written statement, read out by her in a secret location.
    It convinces no-one as a “free” statement.
    Maybe we can look forward to a similar statement by DS Bailey?
    Or even the doc who gave Skripal CPR for 30 minutes yet she was not contaminated herself?
    They would be interviews of significant scientific interest . . .

    vierotchka
    Reader

    She is looking well and not stressed at all. See my post below.

    Mulga Mumblebrain
    Reader
    Mulga Mumblebrain

    Is it her?

    vierotchka
    Reader

    Yes, without a doubt.

    Mulga Mumblebrain
    Reader
    Mulga Mumblebrain

    How can you tell?

    vierotchka
    Reader

    As I wrote before, do read that whole web-page, top to bottom, and click on the links inside it.

    vierotchka
    Reader

    This just in:
    Published on 23 May 2018
    Yulia Skripal – the woman poisoned in the UK alongside her double-agent father – gives her first media interview since the incident, saying her life’s been turned upside down, and that she wants to return to Russia.
    READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/95×2

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    It’s looking more and more like the British establishment and the CIA are in cahoots against the American president.
    And the “three wise men” facilitating it – including the Skripal affair – are William Browder, Stefan Halper and Christopher Steele.

    gbrbsb
    Reader

    And don’t forget Pablo Miller who is both linked with Christopher Steele (Orbis), as well as with Sergei Skripal either as his MI5/6 handler or as one of the secret services that got him to sell his secrets to the UK.

    vierotchka
    Reader

    WHERE ARE SKRIPALS!? MI5 Is Desperately Trying To Hide Its False Flag Op – London Insider Nekrassov
    Published on 22 May 2018
    Alexander Nekrassov, political scientist.

    vierotchka
    Reader


    Published on 17 Jul 2016
    This documentary caused an uproar in Russia when it appeared in April of 2016.
    This film was made by the main Russian government news broadcasting company, Rossiya 1.
    It alleges that Bill Browder, the legendary American hedge fund manager who from 1995 – 2005 was the largest foreign investor in Russia, controlling billions of $ and a significant share of Russia’s leading companies, was in fact a CIA front.
    At one point his funds owned 7% of Gazprom, using what the film argues were illegal schemes to acquire shares
    The film argues that Browder’s whole involvement with Russia was a CIA operation to disrupt Russia politically and economically. It alleges that in 2006, Browder was instructed by the CIA to provide financial support to the rising opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, and that the two then closely cooperated for the next 5 years.
    As evidence, the film cites hacked CIA email and skype correspondence which it claims fell into Russian hands during the government upheaval in Kiev in 2014.
    When the film appeared, Browder and Navalny charged that the evidence was faked, and Navalny sued Rossiya 1 for libel. As of the translation of this video, (July 2016), the suit has not been concluded.
    Browder was expelled from Russia in 2006, after which he led a highly successful public campaign criticizing Russia and Putin. The film argues that the campaign was financed by the CIA.
    The campaign demanded sanctions against Russia for what Browder alleged was the murder of one of his employees, Sergei Magnitsky, and theft from his companies, by corrupt Russian officials.
    His campaign resulted in the famous “Magnitsky Act” sanctions against Russia, passed by Congress in 2012.
    The film alleges that this cynically misrepresents the facts. It alleges that Magnitsky ended up in jail for carrying out major fraud for Browder, and that he was on the verge of testifying against Browder when he died. It cites the hacked CIA mail as evidence that the CIA managed to orchestrate Magnitsky’s death in prison.
    The film argues that the only people with a motive for Magnitsky’s death were Browder and the CIA, because his testimony about the tax fraud would have been devastating.
    The film includes embarrassing details of tax avoidance schemes used by Browder and Magnitsky, including hiring barely literate invalids in remote corners of Russia as fake executives in order to receive tax breaks amounting to 100s of millions of $.
    The film then alleges, again citing the hacked CIA correspondence, that in 2010 Browder paid Navalny $300,000 to conduct a PR campaign in Russia in support of the Magnitsky Act.
    This documentary was never aired separately, rather appeared as a segment within the April 13, 2016 episode of the popular Russian political talk show “Spetsialnii Korrespondent” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAktn0Bhnfhkk6P-j9fP95g
    The episode consisted of an emotional 1.5 hour discussion of the film, with several people who appeared in the film present https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37GZ3Rpk4Qk (only in Russian)
    Of the 10-plus guests, all but one, an American journalist, argued heatedly that Browder had clearly committed gross financial crimes and agreed with the film.
    The comment leading into the beginning of the film is typical of the tone of the talk show, where the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s parliament compares Browder to an “intestinal tapeworm”.
    At the conclusion of the film, the talk show guests discussed the film for a further 1.5 hours. About half of the guests were also featured in the film, and they were able to go into much more detail about their knowledge of the Browder case.
    The discussion became very emotional, with some guests shouting about what they alleged are Browder’s crimes.

    Mulga Mumblebrain
    Reader
    Mulga Mumblebrain

    Browder is infamous, not ‘legendary’.

    Toby
    Reader

    Thank you for this!

    vierotchka
    Reader

    Maybe not – I am not able to find the actual documentary online.
    Here is an article by the late Robert Parry:
    A Blacklisted Film and the New Cold War
    Special Report: As Congress still swoons over the anti-Kremlin Magnitsky narrative, Western political and media leaders refuse to let their people view a documentary that debunks the fable, reports Robert Parry.
    By Robert Parry (Updated Aug. 4 with more on Magnitsky not a lawyer.)
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/08/02/a-blacklisted-film-and-the-new-cold-war/

    vierotchka
    Reader

    Published on 21 May 2018
    With the media being focused on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding, the story that Sergei Skripal was released from hospital was somehow lost in amongst the stories of the bride and groom. Former army officer and Scotland Yard detective Charles Shoebridge talks about the release with George Galloway.

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    With guys like George Galloway and Charles Shoebridge, there is hope for us yet.
    This story is bigger in the UK than Watergate for the US.
    It’s just that, nowadays, the press is ‘owned’.

    MichaelK
    Reader
    MichaelK

    It’s still… odd, actually disturbing, even given all ones misgivings about the state-corporate media in the UK; that there’s so little interest from journalists in doing a bit of investigating about this strange affair in Salisbury. What about that copper that appeared out of the blue, became a hero, and then suddenly vanished seemingly without trace? Who was he really and where is he now? This could also apply to the Skripals themselves of course. How does one get so many journalists, in what’s nominally a free and democratic state, to agree not to follow a story like this and accept, without question, the state’s version of events? Is this because our media has accepted that we’re already involved in an information war with the Russians and the stage is being prepared for the next phase, real war with Russia?

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    It’s McCarthyism II.
    Any journalist who questions the narrative is dismissed as a conspiracy theorist. In fact, in McCarthyism II, “conspiracy theorist” is the new “Red”.
    As Einstein wrote of McCarthyism I: “Unless the intellectuals of this country are prepared to unite and risk their livelihoods in non-cooperation with this tyranny, they deserve nothing better than the slavery intended for them.”

    MICHAEL LEIGH
    Reader
    MICHAEL LEIGH

    But I do think as I am sure the late Mr S Holmes would have and considered the USA connection, for the ” British spy the Col Serge Skripal ” was chosen by the USA as a prisoner exchange with the Russian Government, in exchange for the alleged Russian spies in the USA ?
    And the failure for anyone to explain the how and why, of Mr S Skripal receiving UK citizenship rather than USA hospitality as originally envisaged by the USA when requesting his exchange to the USA?
    So I think the CIA are behind this whole mystery, as I sure we learn when someone blows the whistle !

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    And, as a pensioner, Skripal seems to have afforded a new BMW and a nice suburban house on his presumably meagre pension.
    Oh and he could afford to eat out well.
    Browder’s revenge was to direct the Clinton Mob to Orbis.

    Paul X
    Reader
    Paul X

    But he would have been very well paid by the British government for revea,I got lists of spies and undercover agents. You get a head bonus for prime treachery. Presumably banked in the UK.

    tutisicecream
    Reader

    Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
    Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
    Epigram by John Harrington
    And prosper they have. The real “nerve” agents in the Skripal affair are Steele and Miller. Novichok is just a ruse. Steele and Miller those we are not allowed to talk about. And Orbis the profiteering intelligence business for pensioned off spooks and treasonous double agents, intent on earning a crust in the only way they know how -bribery, blackmail and corruption. With a contract or two thrown in when things have to be cleaned up.
    What we have observed, by accident, is the tip of a very corrupt iceberg that appears to reach the highest levels of government.

    Harry Law
    Reader
    Harry Law

    “Scientists Revise understanding of Novichok after it fails to produce expected lethal effects.”
    However, after studying the movements of the Skripals after being poisoned, we have now revised our understanding, and we now believe that one of its primary effects is to generate in its victims a strong desire to go out for a beer followed by a pizza…” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-20/scientists-revise-understanding-novichok-after-it-fails-produce-expected-lethal

    Harry Law
    Reader
    Harry Law

    One other effect novichok is causing the most excitement is the revelation that it can apparently render its victims invisible: “To be frank, this has created a huge buzz,” said the source.

    “I mean, the Skripals apparently came into contact with Novichok over two months ago, as did Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. And yet since then nothing has been seen of any of them. It’s almost as if they’ve vanished into thin air, a bit like Bilbo Baggins at his 111th birthday party when he slips the Ring of Power on.”

    And it’s not just the scientific community that is excited about the potential this might have. The Magic Circle has also a expressed an interest in knowing more about the substance, since its ability to make those who come into contact with it disappear without trace could potentially be a huge addition to the illusionist’s toolkit.
    However, any excitement that this might bring comes with considerable caution. According to a spokeswoman for the Magic Circle:

    “Of course we’re bound to be interested in the existence of a substance that can make a person disappear. However, whilst making someone disappear is great, what we’d really like to see is their reappearance at some point. Otherwise, I think it unlikely that it will ever catch on amongst our members.” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-20/scientists-revise-understanding-novichok-after-it-fails-produce-expected-lethal

    edited by admin to correct coding

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    First on the scene was a female doctor, apparently a registrar, who gave Skripal CPR for 30 mins. and yet was not contaminated!
    It shouldn’t be difficult to look up the list of junior medical staff at Salisbury and to establish her identity and request an interview.
    We might find yet another person vanished into the British gulag.
    Also, has no-one heard of, nor traced nor found DS Bailey? Nor his family? Nor his neighbours where he lived? Nor his work colleagues?
    Or has the population of the Outer Hebrides suddenly risen?

    Kathy
    Reader
    Kathy

    As bench marks go its another state land mark. How many people are going to continue to dig for truth. The majority have become so down trodden by austerity. They can barely keep their own narratives. The fact that any of this story could have happened and two people considered to be there but not there like Schrodingers cat is incredible really. As Sherlock said. There is nothing more deceptive as the obvious facts.
    He also stated this.
    “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”
    ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    Certain crimes instinctively do not ring true. like the Hilda Murrell Gareth Williams, and Dr Kelly for starters. They just seem to stay in the back of the mind. The truth is the state get away with things all the time and the people seem caught unable to untangle the web of deceit.

    Edwige
    Reader
    Edwige

    I’d guess that as a masonic creation, Holmes might notice the supposed ages of the Skripals as 33 and 66 and raise an eyebrow.

    jazthings656986293
    Reader

    i loved how he is the russian spy sergei skripal as if he’d never become an english agent in the meantime!

    MICHAEL LEIGH
    Reader
    MICHAEL LEIGH

    I assume during his trial for espionage against Russia, the Russian Court judgment would have described his adjudicated actions ” on behalf of the ” UK and the five eyes ” as that of a ” traitor or worse ” !
    Although his six years imprisonment out of a ten year prison sentence, assumes his mitigation plea, may well have included a mitigation plea of sentence for latter services rendered to the Russian Federation State?

    Tony M
    Reader
    Tony M

    I’m playing Holmes/Watson cliche bingo with this thread, so far no-one has a full-house or come even close.

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    Christopher Steele’s ‘dodgy dossier’, bought by the Clinton Mob, was to be used by Mueller and the CIA to control Trump.
    The dossier was leaked and published on 10/1/2017.
    Why do you think Sir Robert Hannigan, head of MI6 and at the height of his career, resigned with just six hours’ notice on 23/1/2017?

    Harry Law
    Reader
    Harry Law

    Nanny brings in the tea, Holmes, “Is it poison Nanny?” No it is a nerve agent called Novichok. You can send my prize to the Off Guardian appreciation society.

    Harry Law
    Reader
    Harry Law

    “Poisoned” Robert Downey Jr ‘Sherlock Holmes’ 2009. Not a patch on Basil Rathbone.

    balkydj
    Reader

    Dat’s maybe coz’ of the Royal Flush : Tony Mark-les’Mots ..

    Paul Barbara
    Reader
    Paul Barbara

    Search ‘Let Yulia Skripal speak!’ and sign petition: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Let+Yulia+Skripal+speak!&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB789GB789&oq=Let+Yulia+Skripal+speak!&aqs=chrome..69i57.1495j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    John Marks
    Reader
    John Marks

    Submit a wit for habeas corpus!

    reinertorheit
    Reader
    reinertorheit

    I fear Sherlock is simply the wrong detective for the case.
    In the final scene of my perfect version, we see Boris Johnson being led away by the police, saying:
    “Yes, and I’ve have gotten away with it, too – if it hadn’t been for these damn kids and their dog!”comment image&pos=5&rpt=simage

    Jen
    Reader
    Jen

    Even Enid Blyton’s primary school-aged kids the Secret Seven and their dog could have been more appropriate detectives.

    Alan
    Reader
    Alan

    This is more a case for Mystery Inc, I’m inclined to think old man Wickles is connected somehow.

    Howard MARKS
    Reader
    Howard MARKS

    Bottom line when actual Military Grade Nerve Agents were used at Halabja by Saddam’s Chemical Ali substances supplied by Porton Down and US lab in Maryland the victims were unable to go out to an Italian restaurant, prior to dying.
    Another comment page with NO f-ing edit mode…come on !!

    tutisicecream
    Reader

    The singularly remarkable episode of Sergey Skripal and his visiting daughter. In the strange case of the Door nob, the car ventilation or the porridge?
    Can it be Skripal that you survived the fish dish at Zizzi’s?
    That Zizzi’s [whodunit] Menu in full…
    [Now under new surveillance and management]
    Roast Beef ala BSE with British HP Sauce
    Maltings cocktail with MI6 fortune cookie
    Original BREXIT “Busted Bangers”, with a [non-Russian] Boris Sauce
    Little Englander “Empire” Trifle, finished off with custard on face
    Teresa’s Mayday, Mayday “It’s only Boris!” Etonian Mess
    Putin’s “Cool as Ice” Pavlova
    Porton Down Novi “Novichok” Mousse made to an old [decommissioned] Uzbek recipe
    Original Afternoon Polonium Tea, served [with a storm] in an English teacup [with or without an inquiry]
    N.B. All just desserts served cold
    Reservations by 36 hour ultimatum only
    All tables and chairs will be thoughtfully incinerated after every sitting

    Jen
    Reader
    Jen

    Patrons who bring their pets will be advised that restaurant policy is to deprive the animals of water while tied up.