All posts tagged: Skripal case

The Framing of Russia

David Macilwain On the first of May, the UK’s National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill told MPs that the agencies he oversaw – MI6, MI5 and GCHQ – had no information on who was responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter two months earlier. Three days later police searched the room in the City Stay Hotel used by “suspects” Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, and took swabs which were “found to contain Novichok” by Porton Down. The police did not make this information public until September 6th, when they chose to break the story of the now notorious “Russian assassins”. As I have speculated before, and as is now becoming increasingly clear, the “suspects” put in the frame by the UK government were evidently known to its intelligence agencies long before Mark Sedwill’s denial, and in fact before they even reached London, on their way, we are told ad nauseum, to hit the Skripals with toxic perfume. Obviously that story is not true, but it now appears that the mission assigned to …

Further down the rabbit hole with Eliot, Boshirov, Petrov, his grandma & all

Bellingcat today released the second part of their “investigation” into the alleged real identities of Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, the two Russians accused of attempting to murder Sergey Skripal. We offer some preliminary thoughts and open the subject up for discussion.

In the land of fake news is the spin master king?

One MI6 shill selling the work of another just sums up the level of factual journalism at the Guardian. Tutisicecream Not only was Pippa Crerar one of the Guardian’s deputy editors called out for her pious tweet from the Labour conference writing: “Corbyn criticises some parts of British media, claiming they “smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”. As a journalist, makes me very uncomfortable to hear him leading attack on our free press. Dangerous, Trumpian territory.” Corbyn criticises some parts of British media, claiming they “smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”. As a journalist, makes me very uncomfortable to hear him leading attack on our free press. Dangerous, Trumpian territory. — Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) 26 September 2018 The comment got her loads of flack from the general twittering public for her attempted smear, but then today we get another implausible piece of spin from Luke Harding. The hubris at the Guardian is palpable. The reason I am writing connecting these two points is to demonstrate just how bad the standards of …

MI6 Will Be So Proud: Urban & Harding Continue The Ludicrous Skripal Narrative

Bay Kurley, DailyShocker.news Mark Urban is releasing a book on Skripal. He didn’t tell anyone he had met him during 2017 for that purpose mind you, not even his BBC bosses, until forced to, the day after Skripal was allegedly poisoned. Which would explain the intimate knowledge he demonstrated on Newsnight that evening, 5th March. It’s even stranger that Mark didn’t tell his bosses earlier, when he MUST have been aware that Skripal still met his “old” MI6 handler in Salisbury. Urban must have been aware that this handler, who was an old tanker mate of Urban, was linked to Orbis, the company Christopher Steele ran. Seems a HUGE link, to a HUGE global story, to not tell your bosses at one of the world’s largest news agencies? He didn’t admit to the public he had met Skripal until July 2018. FOUR months after Skirpal was “novichoked”. Yes, I met Sergei Skripal a few times in 2017 while working on a book project. He's a remarkable man with a dry sense of humour and a …

“Chepiga” and “Boshirov” – what does Bellingcat actually tell us?

The alleged “citizen journalist” website, Bellingcat has, of course, recently published the results of its latest piece of alleged research on the “real identity” of one of the men accused (so far without any evidence) of attempting to poison Sergey Skripal and his daughter back in March 2018.

We’ve talked about Bellingcat, and its supposed founder, Eliot Higgins, before on OffG. Bellingcat’s work has been revealed on countless occasions to be both incredibly amateurish and incredibly biased toward a certain extreme neocon/neoliberal agenda. Whether Higgins himself knows it or not, his outfit is almost certainly a front run by various intel agencies for the purpose of disseminating low grade, and often fake or corrupted, data that the agencies and associated governments do not want to be associated with directly.

Operation Nina – the Novichok Hoax

There’s no shortage of commentators in the Western mainstream telling us how Russia planned its attack on the Skripals, or how Syria planned its chemical weapons massacres. Anyone who expresses a different opinion from this accepted narrative stands condemned and belittled as a “conspiracy theorist”. But the criticism works both ways – for us it is they who are the conspiracy theorists, as well as the conspirators.

Three Point Failure: The Guardian’s racist campaign against “dirty Russian money”

by Kit Since the initial press hysteria over the Skripal case, the major political parties of the UK have been clambering over each other in an effort to scale the highest peak of moral high ground. Every paper, pundit and career minded MP only too eager to denounce the inherent badness of Russia, and everything Russia-related. RT was attacked again – despite having literally nothing to do with the Skripal case – and threatened with having its broadcasting license revoked, whilst the Tories and Labour argued over who appeared on the channel the most. The “liberal” press, and even some Labour MPs who should know better, went on the attack over “dirty Russian money” in the Tory party. Just as in the US, with the ludicrous “Russia-gate” investigation, any kind of connection to Russia was treated as an automatic taint, and MPs and journalists alike rushed to wash themselves clean and make it clear they were the most anti-Russian. The pro-Corbyn Left missed the mark to greatest degree, overly keen to smash their “soft on …

Open Thread: Skripal Suspects Interviewed on RT

For those of you who missed it – the Skripal suspects came forward, approaching RT to tell their story. The whole interview is available here and a transcript here.

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 …

Second Salisbury Alleged Poisoning: Still More Questions than Answers

James O’Neill It is symptomatic of the level of desperation being felt by the British government that the illness of two known drug addicts (Rowley & Sturgess) in the town of Amesbury, Wiltshire, only a few kilometres from Porton Down and the site of the Skripal incident in March of this year, is immediately attributed to Russia by the British Home Secretary Sajid Javid and the Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace. Speaking in the House of Commons on 5 July Javid referred to the “decision taken by the Russian government to deploy [chemical weapons] in Salisbury on March 4 was reckless and callous……. It is now the time for the Russian state to come forward and explain exactly what has gone on.” Wallace for his part suggested that Russia “fill in the gaps” of what happened to allow the United Kingdom authorities to pursue their investigation and keep people safe. What we most need to be kept safe from are the bizarre and groundless allegations made about the Skripal incident on 4th of …

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?

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 4 – The Dodgy Dossier

Rob Slane So far in this series of pieces, I have attempted to demonstrate why I believe the official story of the poisoning of the Skripals doesn’t add up (Part 1). I have then pointed to some of the most significant pieces of the jigsaw, which have either been largely ignored or quietly forgotten (Part 2). And I then went on in Part 3 to show what I believe to be perhaps the key to the whole case; that Mr Skripal became agitated in Zizzis restaurant, not because he was physically unwell and suffering from the effects of poisoning hours earlier, but rather because he had an appointment to keep. But before coming on to propose a theory of what may have happened, I need to first present a theory of why it might have happened. I emphasise the word theory, because that is all it is — neither more nor less. And of course, it could be well wide of the mark. Make of it what you will! In a recent blog, Craig Murray, …

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 3 – The Agitated Mr Skripal

In Part 1 of this series, I stated why I believe the official narrative on the Skripal case does not appear to hold water. Firstly, the nerve agent A-234 (Novichok) can and has been produced outside Russia, in a number of places, thus disproving the claim that it must have come from Russia. Secondly, the fact that the effects experienced by the Skripals — four hours of moving freely around Salisbury, followed by no irreparable damage — do not remotely fit what the scientific literature says about that substance — almost instantaneous death or a short life with irreparable damage to the central nervous system –, makes it highly unlikely that they were indeed poisoned by it. Indeed, the burden of proof is on those making the claims to show how and why the scientific literature was wrong.

Joining dots on the Skripal Case: Part 2 – Four “Invisible” Clues

Rob Slane Having stated in Part 1 why I believe the official story does not hold water, I want in this piece to take a look at four important aspects of the case. However, what is particularly remarkable about them is not so much the aspects themselves, but rather the fact that they seem to have been either: Ignored altogether or Quietly forgotten Yet in each instance they are clearly significant aspects, and so the fact that they are being ignored or forgotten, together with the official story being implausible, only goes to arouse suspicions that they may be crucial pointers to what really happened on 4th March. Below are four of what I would consider the most important aspects that fit into this category: The Invisible Mr Miller Three days after the Salisbury incident, the Daily Telegraph published an article which included the following details: “A security consultant who has worked for the company that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump was close to the Russian double agent poisoned last weekend, it has …

Joining some dots on the Skripal case: Part 1: An Official Story That Doesn’t Hold Water

I have asked a lot of questions in relation to the Skripal case and many, if not most, are still unanswered. However, I want in this piece to go further than asking questions, and to start to join a few dots together. There is much to say, and rather than doing it in one long piece, which only three people will have the attention span to sit through, I want to do it over a number of articles. Probably four or five. We shall see.

OPCW collaboration in Skripal misinformation?

We may first observe that we don’t actually know the details of the crimes committed, or even if they were committed. Yet on the basis of this alleged crime in Salisbury, and an unsubstantiated allegation of Russia’s “highly likely” responsibility for “the first use of a chemical weapon since WW2 in Europe” – NATO powers are now engaged in renewed and unrelenting aggression against Russia and her allies

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 …