All posts tagged: Novichok

The Skripal Case: One Year On

Dear Assistant Commissioner Basu,

It is now a year since the events in Salisbury that shocked the nation, and indeed the world. Since then, your organisation has conducted an investigation into the case, and has laid out a case about what happened in a series of statements, notably those made on 5th September (no longer available on your website), in which two suspects were formally accused, and another on 22nd November, following the screening of the Panorama documentary: Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack — The Inside Story.

The Incapacitation of Salisbury

David Macilwain This is a sequel to “The Poison Paradox – who knew?”, and a logical extrapolation of facts already established “beyond reasonable doubt” on the Salisbury poisonings. In the absence of a properly established scientific inquiry, and tribunal involving all the parties to this dispute, such “unprejudiced speculation” must suffice. It is one of the great contradictions of our society, whose essential operations are now so inextricably linked to technology, that understanding of and respect for “science” is worse than ever before. This ignorance amongst the presumably well-educated Western public extends to almost all the areas of knowledge one can imagine – it is “in-omniscient”. So instead of critical understanding of – say – the Carbon cycle or astronomy, we have the denial of catastrophic climate change and the mythology of hyper-temporal space travel. A recent report that a new planet had been discovered, whose “proximity to Australia” made it of special interest illustrates this cognitive disjunction. At only six light years from Earth it is close in astronomical terms – yet almost 400,000 …

The Poison Paradox – Who Knew?

David Macilwain NOVICHOK! It just won’t go away – even though it was never there! The Sun reports that twenty vehicles that “came into contact with the killer substance” have now been dismantled and buried in a toxic waste site. Suspend not disbelief yet – at the thought of scrappies in Hazmat suits cutting up police cars. Such Alice in Wonderland deception was nicely detailed by Rob Slane in his latest dissection of the Skripal hoax, pointing specifically at the crucial flaws in the “door-handle theory”. Slane systematically destroys the UK government’s assertion that the Skripals’ door-handle was the “source of the poisoning”, but without quite following through with the argument – that there was no such poisoning with Novichok at all, – as has been well established from other details of the event. In fact, as the UK government rests its whole case for Novichok poisoning on that door-handle, and rests its whole case against Russia on her supposed responsibility for smearing the nerve agent on it, the cutting of this Achilles Heel could …

Skripal Case: Luke Harding’s latest work of fiction

Kit Luke Harding likes writing books about things that he wasn’t really involved in and doesn’t really understand. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, that covers pretty much everything. His book about Snowden, for example, was beautifully taken down by Julian Assange – a person who was actually there. He’s priming the traumatised public for another of his works, this time about Sergei Skripal. This one will probably be out by Christmas, unless he can find someone else’s work to plagiarise, in which case he might get it done sooner. It will have a snide and not especially clever title, perhaps a sort of pun – something like “A Poison by Any Other Name: How Russian assassins contaminated the heart of rural England”. It will relate, in jarring sub-sub-le Carre prose, a story of Russian malfeasance and evil beyond imagining, whilst depicting the whole cast as bumbling caricatures, always held up for ridicule by the author and his smug readership. There’s an extract in The Guardian today. It’s not listed as one, but trust …

UPDATED: Skripal Case: Gaping Holes in New Narrative

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) named their suspects in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal et al. today. The two men – named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – entered the country on legal VISAs but are alleged to be travelling under aliases. The CPS has charged the men with a laundry list of offenses, but not applied to Russia for extradition as it is forbidden, by the Russian Constitution, for the Russian federation to extradite a citizen.

These are the new facts, but like all the previous announcements in this bizarre odyssey, they present more questions than answers.

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 6 – Tying up the Loose Ends

Rob Slane, the Blogmire Over the last five pieces (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) I have, slowly but surely, advanced a theory of what happened in the Skripal case. I must confess to having done so with a fair amount of unease. I don’t want to believe that my Government has been stating a case that is false. I don’t want to believe that the public have been lied to. I don’t want to have to think that there has been a lot of effort made to present an explanation that hides the truth. And yet, given the fact that the Government story contains self-evident fallacies, and cannot be made to add up, I don’t think that there’s much alternative than to be hugely sceptical about their claims. I stated the two main fallacies in Part 1, which are the claims that three people were poisoned by the nerve agent A-234, which is 5-8 times more toxic than VX, and that because A-234 was developed in the Soviet Union, the …

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 5 – An Educated Guess

Rob Slane, the Blogmire I want in this piece to start joining some dots together on this case, using some of the facts, clues and suppositions that I have set out in the previous parts. I said at the end of Part 4 that there would be one more piece. That has turned out to be wishful thinking on my part, and there will in fact be a further article after this one. In this piece, I want to propose a theory — or maybe educated guess is a better term — for what I think may have happened on 4th March. Then I will need one final piece to show why I think this theory helps to explain a number of other events and incidents connected with the story. Think of that final part as tying up some loose ends. So what of the theory? Back in Part 2, I made the claim that two of the most important clues in the whole Skripal case are: The people who were seen on CCTV walking …

Open Thread: The Amesbury Couple and the Reborn Novichok Saga

1. Are we supposed to believe that this “novichok” incident is directly related to the alleged poisoning of the Skripals? How so?
2. If this IS the same chemical, why is it suddenly affecting new victims four months after the initial “attack”?
3. How come the emergency services and medical personnel, who spent ten weeks treating the Skripals and DS Bailey, didn’t recognise the symptoms of novichok poisoning immediately? Why was nerve agent poisoning mistaken for drug use AGAIN?
4. Why and how did Porton Down get involved in this case? Is it usual for them to test the blood of suspected drug abuse victims?
5. And finally, what on Earth is going on?

ANALYSIS: Signs of Compromise in Yulia Skripal’s Statement

by Tony Kevin Tony Kevin’s summary responses to the MoA view that Yulia’s statement is suspect, because it was allegedly written under duress of some kind, and from a prepared English script translated into Russian. There are at least two big questions here that need to be separately addressed. MoA and many of their correspondents segue from one to the other and back again , which is not conducive to a clear understanding and quickly leads one down unproductive, hypothetical blind alleys: leaving one in the end in a not useful position of general skepticism of everyone and everything involved in the Skripal affair. One of the classic forms of deception in naval warfare is to hide what you are trying to hide by laying dummy targets behind a lot of smoke. This letter is an effort to clear away smoke and help to see the real targets more clearly. The two big questions are: 1. What were the circumstances of Yulia’s videoed statement ? Was it made under duress, Stockholm Syndrome, or coached ? …

Don’t Panic! Lighten Up! Smiley Skripal case forces scientists to revise everything they thought they knew about Novichok

Rob Slane Warning: This article is likely to contain traces of satire. In the aftermath of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4th March, scientists are currently re-evaluating their understanding of A-234 – or Novichok as it is more commonly known. Prior to the poisoning, it had been thought that the substance was around 5-8 times more toxic than VX nerve agent, and therefore that just a tiny drop would be likely to kill a person within minutes or possibly even seconds of them coming into contact with it. In the unlikely event of a person surviving, it was believed that their central nervous system would be completely destroyed, and that they would suffer numerous chronic health issues, including cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, and epilepsy before dying a premature and miserable death, probably within a year or so. However, according to an anonymous source at the Porton Down laboratory, which is located just a few miles down the road from Salisbury, scientists now believe they may have completely misunderstood the properties and …

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 …

WATCH: More Skripal-weird: even head of OPCW doesn’t seem to have a clue what Novichok is

Raising the serious possibility even the director-general of the OPCW doesn’t really know what Novichok is supposed to be, Ahmet Uzumcu, incumbent of that post, claimed May 4 that a “quarter cup to a half cup” of Novichok had been used to attack the Skripals in Salisbury. This, of course, would be enough to kill every man. woman and child in the city. This led into an even odder “clarification” from the OPCW within hours, which didn’t so much correct Uzumcu’s strange claim as pretend it had never happened and replaced it with the statement that the amount used in Salisbury was presently unknown but would be measured in “milligrams”.

The Rapidly Evolving Skripal Story: Evidence of the Destruction of an Anglo-American Plan

James O’Neill looks at the evolution and collapse of the official narrative about the alleged Skripal poisoning

UK Govt rewords ambassador’s March 22 speech – makes it appear he DIDN’T say the novichok came from Russia – but he DID & there’s proof

British Ambassador to Russia Dr Laurie Bristow briefed the international diplomatic community in Moscow on the UK Government response to the Salisbury attack, March 22 2018. The tweets have been scrubbed, spokespeople are currently lying or weasel-wording, but here are his own words. Here is the relevant section of Bristow’s words as they clearly appear in this footage and as the caption renders them: “…There is also no doubt that the Novichok was produced in Russia by the Russian state. This is how his words are being rendered on the UK government site – note the all-important missing “the”: By removing that “the”, which is beyond doubt there in the original, they are morphing Bristow’s statement from a direct accusation about “the” novichok allegedly used to poison the Skripals, into a general statement about the generic origin of the novichok class of nerve agents This looks like a flagrant lie. It looks like the real-life Minitrue in operation before out eyes, flushing reality down the Memory Hole, as we discussed earlier. It also looks like …

Skripal case: belief in Russia’s guilt looks to be based not on evidence but on a guess

by Alexander Mercouris at the Duran British authorities admit have no proof poison made in Russia; entire case against Russia based on a classified assessment On the eve of the meeting of the OPCW’s executive council – convened by Russia and scheduled for tomorrow – we have had a highly revealing succession of statements about the Skripal case from the British authorities. The one which is attracting the most attention is the admission by Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, that whilst British scientists are able to confirm that the poison used in the attack and Sergey and Yulia Skripal was a ‘military grade’ Novichok type substance (the Russian authorities say the British have told them it is A-234), they cannot confirm that it was produced in Russia. We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent. We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to Government who have then used a number …

Memory-Holing the “novichok” lie – we need to make sure that doesn’t happen

The truth, we now know beyond doubt, is the UK government and its state-controlled and corporate media provenly put the country on a war footing with a nuclear-armed country based on lies.

Skripal case: “closely related agent” claim closely examined

What does the UK govts vague claim of “a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent” actually mean? Sarin & VX could be described as “closely related” to Novichoks, but they aren’t Russian & their presence wouldn’t implicate Russia. We take a closer look at what these weasel words actually tell us

State-funded BBC lets Boris Johnson claim of Russia “stockpiling novichok” go unchallenged while UK govt’s Skripal “drama” continues to defy sense & reason

The government’s rhetoric is currently so deranged, its conduct by turns so delusional and so furtive, while the basic facts of what happened to the Skripals remain so contradictory, it’s legitimate at this stage to wonder how real any of this “drama” actually is.

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

Clearly we currently are in no position to know what really happened to the Skripals, how it happened, where it happened or who was responsible. Just as clearly the government and media are lying. In addition the media are trying to work up a jingoistic anti-Russia hysteria that has no parallel in recent times. Not even the 2003 media frenzy to get pubic opinion behind the illegal war on Iraq reached these heights.

The farcical reality behind Theresa May’s “novichok” story

We already know UK PM Theresa May misrepresented the Russian law on executing terrorists in foreign lands, in order to bolster her currently evidence-free claims of Russian culpability in the poisoning of ex-MI6 employee Sergey Skripal. Her narrative remains, as of March 15, bald and unconvincing. But it seems things may be about to get even worse for her and what some see as her bid to “Falklandise” her flagging premiership. It seems the “nerve agent” she claims was used to attack Skripal and his daughter may not actually exist