Boris Johnson A Categorical Liar 1859


Evidence submitted by the British government in court today proves, beyond any doubt, that Boris Johnson has been point blank lying about the degree of certainty Porton Down scientists have about the Skripals being poisoned with a Russian “novichok” agent.

Yesterday in an interview with Deutsche Welle Boris Johnson claimed directly Porton Down had told him they positively identified the nerve agent as Russian:

You argue that the source of this nerve agent, Novichok, is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of it?

Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory …

So they have the samples …

They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, “Are you sure?” And he said there’s no doubt.

I knew and had published from my own whistleblowers that this is a lie. Until now I could not prove it. But today I can absolutely prove it, due to the judgement at the High Court case which gave permission for new blood samples to be taken from the Skripals for use by the OPCW. Justice Williams included in his judgement a summary of the evidence which tells us, directly for the first time, what Porton Down have actually said:

The Evidence
16. The evidence in support of the application is contained within the applications
themselves (in particular the Forms COP 3) and the witness statements.
17. I consider the following to be the relevant parts of the evidence. I shall identify the
witnesses only by their role and shall summarise the essential elements of their
evidence.
i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst
Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the
findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples
tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.

The emphasis is mine. This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a “Novichok”, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a “Novichok” that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a “closely related agent” could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.

This constitutes irrefutable evidence that the government have been straight out lying – to Parliament, to the EU, to NATO, to the United Nations, and above all to the people – about their degree of certainty of the origin of the attack. It might well be an attack originating in Russia, but there are indeed other possibilities and investigation is needed. As the government has sought to whip up jingoistic hysteria in advance of forthcoming local elections, the scale of the lie has daily increased.

On a sombre note, I am very much afraid the High Court evidence seems to indicate there is very little chance the Skripals will ever recover; one of the reasons the judge gave for his decision is that samples taken now will be better for analysis than samples taken post mortem.

——————————————————-

This website remains under a massive DOS attack which has persisted for more than 24 hours now, but so far the defences are holding. Some strange form of “ghost banning” is also affecting both my twitter and Facebook feeds. So please

a) Feel free to repost, republish, translate or spread this article anywhere and anyway you can. All copyright is waived.
b) If you came here by Twitter, please retweet but also in addition create a new tweet yourself containing a link to this post (or to any other site on which you have placed the information)
c) If you came here by Facebook, again please share but also in addition create a new post yourself which contains the information and the link.

The state and corporate media now have evidence of the vast discrepancy between what May and Johnson are saying, and the truth about the Porton Down scientists’ position. I am afraid to say I expect this to make no difference whatsoever to the propaganda output of the BBC.


1,859 thoughts on “Boris Johnson A Categorical Liar

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  • Tom Smythe

    “findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.”

    Yes, they’re not even saying it was a nerve agent, much less in the Novichok class of fluorophosphates, much less which among those hundred+ compounds. That fits with the Salisbury Hospital emergency room doctor’s letter to The Times in which he states exactly 3 people have been treated there, all for poisoning, with none receiving antidotes for nerve gases. I wondered about that at the time, why not say Novichok-5 like in the fume hood accident at the Russian chemical warfare plant (which was treatable with atropine).

    Here is the attending physician saying not only is the 41 bystander bit complete hooey but “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury” though the 3 were “significantly poisoned”. By what, if not a nerve agent, maybe norborene or strychnine? The latter “causes poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia.”

    March 16 2018
    The Times

    Sir, Further to your report (“Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment”, Mar 14), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.

    Stephen Davies
    Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

    n a letter to The Times Dr Davies writes that no patients experienced symptoms other than the three with “significant poisoning”. “Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed,” he adds. “None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.”

    The Guardian, flip-flopping daily between uber-patriotic chest-thumping and skepticism, actually ran a well-researched article today
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/22/andrei-zheleznyakov-soviet-scientist-poisoned-novichok
    Andrew Roth and Tom McCarthy Thu 22 Mar 2018 05.00 GMT

    “Before former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury on 4 March, the only other person confirmed to suffer the effects of novichok was a young Soviet chemical weapons scientist… Circles appeared before my eyes: red and orange. A ringing in my ears, I caught my breath. And a sense of fear: like something was about to happen,” Andrei Zheleznyakov told the now-defunct newspaper Novoye Vremya, describing the 1987 weapons lab incident that exposed him to a nerve agent that would eventually kill him. “I sat down on a chair and told the guys: ‘It’s got me.’”

    • N_

      “They got me” were also close to the last words of both Yasser Arafat and Hugo Chavez.

    • TomGard

      ” a well-researched article” – No, it is a sophisticated smear propaganda piece and if Tom Smythe would be a regular reader of this blog, he would be a categorical liar.
      At the core of the Guardian PsyOp lies the proposition, taken from the assertion of the russian defector Mirzayanov, Russia had developed a binary agent he dubbed “Novichok” which would qualify for a “chemical weapon”. This was rejected by the OPCW in 2013 and Porton Down director Robin Black in 2016, as Craig has reported, and it was further rejected some days ago by two high ranking members of the russian “Foliant”-program, Leonid Rink – whom the Guardian cites – and Vladimir Uglev, who developped two of the more recent formulas of “Foliant”.
      It is worth noting, that in a US-Congress hearing of 1994 – the year, when Uglev left the program and one year before Leonid Rink, who headed it after him, left it, because it presumably was closed – urged the US-government to clarify the status of the foliant-program before starting the disarmament process which began in 1997. The exact location of the Foliant research was named in this hearing.

      Moreover the Guardian lies by false citation:
      quote:
      “I want to state with all possible certainty that the Soviet Union or Russia had no programmes to develop a toxic agent called novichok,” said Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov last week.
      unquote.
      This is what Ryabkov really said, cited with TASS http://tass.com/politics/995224:
      quote
      “Despite the ongoing speculations, no program aimed at developing and producing chemical weapons dubbed Novichok ever existed in the Soviet Union and Russia,”
      unquote
      Further on the Guardian lies by insinuating a russian breach of a “1990 US–Soviet Chemical Weapons Accord in which each pledged to halt the production of chemical weapons”. There has been no Foliant – chemical weapon, but an unknown amount of highly toxical precursors of a possible weapon in one or more research labs.

      Additionally I want to stress, that the symptoms developped by Andrei Zheleznyakov, who was exposed to a non lethal dose of a Foliant-agent, don’t correspond to the symptoms that were related for the skripals and Det.Sg. Baileys. Especially they aren’t consistent with Justice Williams remarks indicating a possible “mental incapacitation” of the victims. This underlines the sinister aspects of those remarks.

      • DiggerUK

        @TomGard..”….the assertion of the russian defector Mirzayanov, Russia had developed a binary agent he dubbed “Novichok”…. you claim this was rejected by the OPCW in 2013.It is the first report I have seen of this rejection by the OPCW.

        Mirzayanov is demanding that Novichoks be put on the CWC list of banned chemicals. If they don’t exist then they cant be banned. Which all conflicts with reported OPCW and Iranian development of 5 variants of Novichoks in 2016.

        Have I misunderstood your contribution…_

        • TomGard

          Please tell me what is unclear with my sentence: “There has been no Foliant – chemical weapon, but an unknown amount of highly toxical precursors of a possible weapon in one or more research labs.”

          But I add the following: There is no point in adding substances to the OPCW-lists, that can be produced by any apt lab ad hoc, als we know, for example, by the testimony of Prof. Alistair Hay to BBC. You won’t suspect Hay to be on a russian payrole, would you? You put substances to the OPCW schedules, which are manageable and stable enough to weaponize them on a military scale, and the main argument of the British Government, that, what is said to “offer no plausible alternative explanation”, is the alleged “military grade” properties of the allegedly used agent.

        • DDTea

          This comment section contains cognitive dissonance and gaslighting at its finest! To simultaneously believe Mirzayanov has no credibility, but also that anyone could produce a Novichok based on his published chemical structures.

    • Resident Dissident

      The Russian Ambassador to the UK has clearly been told what the agent is as he quoted a name fro it in an interview on Putin TV.

  • Mick White

    Thanks Craig for all the excellent posts, tweets etc that you have been putting out. As per your request, I am re-posting your articles on the St Ives Labour Facebook page, and shall continue to do so.
    Keep up the fantastic work and stay safe 🙂

    Mick White
    Chair, St Ives Labour Party (Cambs)

  • No tak

    Interesting detail about illegal British war propaganda in breach of ICCPR Article 20. The panicky US blame game for the failed provocation gave Pompeo the opportunity to oust Tillerson. The US has to extract itself from the impending debacle: another public disgrace in the ICJ following the pattern of http://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/88 (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya v. United Kingdom.)

    Ultimately, Britain is not a factor in foreign affairs. Having withdrawn from the EU, they’ve vanished up the USA’s arsehölle. The US controls Britain’s Fisher-Price nuclear deterrent and their increasingly absurd veto.

    The determining geopolitical factor is Russia’s missile announcement. It re-established MAD, but that’s not all. It also created a capability for proportional response to the entire range of US force that effectively counters all US use and threat of force. There’s no more game of chicken. Russia can discipline the US with localized humiliation or global rout, without recourse to mutual destruction.

    The Russian program of coercion to peace is already taking effect:

    https://www.merkley.senate.gov/news/press-releases/amid-heightened-tension-merkley-feinstein-sanders-and-markey-press-trump-administration-to-jumpstart-new-strategic-talks-with-russia

    In these talks, Russia is in a position to impose not just nuclear disarmament but demilitarization. They’ve turned the clock back to the Eisenhower/Herter peace plan. That is a very good thing.

  • Harry Law

    The Court evidence said @17.V ZZ: Treating Consultant.
    a)Mr Skripal is heavily sedated following injury by a nerve agent.
    b)Ms Skripal is heavily sedated following injury by a nerve agent.

    This differs from the Porton Down evidence 17 i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst
    Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the
    findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples
    tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.
    Why isn’t the Consultant more precise since he must have been given the exact Porton Down evidence in order to treat them.

    • Tony Little

      Perhaps he disputes what his own medical examination is showing ir how it has been presented in the media? Has anyone in the media bothered to chase this up and clarify? If not, why not? Are they afraid the official line will be discredited f they do their job and investigate this more critically. Better to simply ignore the letter in the clear knowledge that no one in the MSM will follow through?

  • james

    amazing work craig… thank you!

    no wonder your website is under attack… there are those opposed to letting the truth slip out.. they are some of them.. boris needs to be taken out to pasture…

  • N_

    Has Nick Bailey been asked to give the OPCW a new blood sample?

    Surely he should be asked. At least there is no consent issue, since he has recovered sufficiently to be discharged from hospital and he is fully able to give his consent or withhold it if he wishes. He probably has been asked, and there is no reason why taking a sample from him should have been mentioned in the judgment about taking samples from the Skripals, but I would still like to know.

  • N_

    I hope people do circulate this post by Craig as widely as they can. But note that it is not only Boris Johnson who has directly lied. Theresa May has also directly lied – and in her case, she has lied to the House of Commons. By parliamentary convention, a minister who has lied to the House should RESIGN, as John Profumo did in 1963.

    If Jeremy Corbyn wishes to rise to the moment, he must at the earliest opportunity, which is to say TOMORROW, bring the matter of these lies to the House of Commons. He must directly accuse the prime minister of lying to the House and call on her to resign.

    He should also call for Boris Johnson to come to the House and explain why he lied to Deutsche Welt.

    • N_

      And Corbyn should of course be supported by Vince Cable, Ian Blackford, and Liz Saville Roberts.

    • Mochyn69

      Alas, dear N_, lying is unparliamentary language.

      JC will need to be much more subtle in drawing this monstrous terminological inexactitude to the attention of the House. He needs to be very, very well informed, advised and briefed, if it not to be blown back inhis face by those damned toxic tories of the May clique.

      de Pfeffel should just bow his head in shame, the shame he has brought on all of us Brits, shut up and go away.

      .

      • N_

        It is unparliamentary language insofar as it is supposed to be unthinkable that a member of one of the clubs Houses will lie to it. But the unthinkable can happen, and when it does the member must resign from the House as well as from any ministerial position that they hold. John Profumo did both. The “must resign” convention and the “mustn’t say ‘lie'” rule are part of the same idea.

        Push at this weakness. Corbyn should say it on all the media networks and on Twitter, Youtube, and elsewhere too. He is supposed to be the leader of the opposition for goodness sake. If it comes down to him saying “either you resign or I do”, let’s roll. Let all the Labour MPs who aren’t Trident-backing LFoI-member scumbags resign if necessary.

        We must stop this war. Stop it before it happens and we make history.

        25 gazillion people who might otherwise die need us.

        • N_

          I don’t doubt for a moment that Corbyn has given a lot of cack as “secret information” through the Privy Council.

          Let him reveal that too. Screw the rules. Stop the war.

          • N_

            Typo: I mean to say that Corbyn has BEEN given a lot of cack as “secret information” through the Privy Council.

    • Spaull

      That thought crossed my mind as well.

      But just as we have argued that May should have waited for the OPCW rather than going off half-cocked, I think Corbyn would be well advised to do likewise.

      • N_

        It’s interesting that according to yesterday’s judgment in the Court of Protection the leading clinician at Salisbury does not “feel comfortable going beyond their clinical role”.

        The government is pushing to the max to smear Russia and start a war, twisting the arms of scientists, medics, and even by the sound of it, a judge.

        That judgment is written like absolute cack in several ways. It has a few major points of weakness that must be pushed against. Did you get the ridiculous argument as to why Britain should disregard its obligation under the Vienna Convention?

  • AAMVN

    Boris Johnson a liar???? Whoever would have thunk that?

    Pardon my sarcasm. This is important and irrefutable evidence that the UK Government are twisting the facts to suit an agenda that is not in the interests of the general populous, but aimed at retaining their tenuous grip on power. That has always been the Conservative policy – get into power and stay in power at any price. They don’t have any answers to the problems the UK or wider world faces. They are not even looking for answers. Any solution would erode the privilege and security of their cronies and masters.

    BTW – I don’t have much less contempt for the other political parties. But the Conservatives are the most contemptible/despicable at the moment. Maybe we could start referring to the the robotic Ms May as the Contemptible Party Leader? Leader of the Contemptibles? Etc.

  • zoot

    the discrepancy between what boris johnson claims porton down told him and what they have actually said has been out in the public domain for a long time. all the journalists and producers covering this story will be aware of the discrepancy, so too many politicians. yet they have not even alluded to it.

    the foreign secretary – a notoriously shameless liar – has been given a green light to lie the uk into conflict with a nuclear power.

  • James

    Craig,
    What is your opinion.

    Should we be concerned about the latest
    EU statement echoing Theresa Mays words about it being a “Highly likely” it was Russia.

    The EU ambassador will be recalled for consultations.

    Is this diplomatic speak or is this a sign that this matter is going to escalate further?

  • Sean Lamb

    I think you may be making a bit much of the vagueness of Judge’s summary. There aren’t generic tests for Novichoks or related substances, there will only be tests for specific compounds. There are plenty of unknowns here, but I don’t think one of them is that this compound will turn out to be anything different to one of structures published by the Russian defector in 1992.

    You might like to hear Tom Tugenthat (sp?)’s interview with the ABC in Australia. He gives some hints about the intelligence Britain are putting forward behind the scenes

    http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2018/03/btl_20180322_1330.mp3

    You may think he is a liar and he may be or the intelligence is false and it may well be. But Boris Johnson won’t just be pulling what he says out of his backside.

    Ironically if you take Tugenthat literally, then the people the Russians lost control of the agent to was the British government. Basically he is saying we know Novichoks were stolen from you because we were the ones who stole it. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if these particular Novichoks were kept on the same shelf as the Trump pee tape – ie completely fictional. Anyone is allowed to make novichoks on an experimental, defensive basis – Britain, Russia, Qatar, the only prohibition is stockpiling it as a weapon. The identifications he CLAIMS have been done, identification by chemical traces, can only be done if they have located a source of the poison, pure and outside of the body. Otherwise the contaminants will just disappear into the chemical cacophony of biological fluids.

    Anyway the sad fact is, is that MI6 et al are pretty good at getting their lies inserted into the record as established truth (not very difficult when the entire media never questions you) and I don’t think this will be any exception.

    Its the law of the universe, everything goes from bad to worse.
    Things get better now and then, but then that start going downhill again.

    • Mochyn69

      An interesting discussion, thanks.

      At 1:46 the other guest Dr Sara McCormack of Leicester University says ” a crime has been committed, an ex-spy assassinated, murdered ..”

      Have we been told that??

    • Kiza

      It is not judge’s vagueness, it is what the judge copied from the deposition, unless the Russians paid the typist to change and nobody checked what is being published.

      You type: “There are plenty of unknowns here, but I don’t think one of them is that this compound will turn out to be anything different to one of structures published by the Russian defector in 1992.”

      As I wrote before, there are the believers and there are those who stick to the law. Ok we get it, you are the believer, for you the British regime is not lying. You are playing the same word game as your regime. Firstly, Marzyanov was not a Russian then Soviet defector. Secondly he is not even Russian than Uzbek. Thirdly, it appears that he misrepresented himself to his US handlers – he did not invent any of the Novichoks. And so on and so on, you quote an interview with a regime member and a huge liar (like Boris Johnson, your Conservative BSer goes beyond the May’s lies and claims that it is all proven) on Australian radio etc etc. Do I need to remind you that it was the Australian PM at the time, Tony Abbott, who knew that the Russians shot-down MH17 about seven hours after the tragedy?

      • Sean Lamb

        “And so on and so on, you quote an interview with a regime member and a huge liar”

        Do try and calm down. I quote an interview in order to point that if they are lies, then they aren’t lies just invented on the spot by politicians – as comforting a thought though that might be – because then we could live in the illusion the intelligence community are going to ride to our rescue. But the intelligence community are not going to be riding to our rescue because they are busy inventing the documentation that Boris Johnson et al are relying on. The documentation and/or intelligence may be lies or half-lies, but the existence of the documentation/intelligence will be real

        In the same way as I think we can be sure the OPCW will confirm Porton Down’s findings. I mean it might be nice to think they might have eaten a dodgy curry for another few weeks, but eventually reality will catch up.

        • TomGard

          ” … because then we could live in the illusion the intelligence community are going to ride to our rescue.”
          Well put, Sir, but clarity, not “rescue” is the item in this case, at least as long there ist no military jurisdiction installed, like in Nazi-Germany, stalinist SU, Turkeys islamofascist regime or Syrian and Israeli military despotism. All false flag operations in the Empire since 2001 stayed accessible for deconstruction. This was also the case with the false OPCW-conclusions to the Al Ghouta false flag 2013, it is refutable by it’s own dokumentation. It’s worth to act in a way, that it could stay this way, instead of spreading a PsyOp with the line: Abandon all hope, you who enter here.

        • Kiza

          As if I were naive believer in OPCW, as if they have not given false reports about CW use in Syria. Yet, even OPCW with its stained credibility has to follow the established procedures which the British government has not. Therefore, we have to wait for OPCW to give credibility to the British lies. But so far, the British government has embarrassed itself immensely with its prove-your-innocence ultimatum. They simply thought that they were dealing with Libya or Syria and not Russia. The British have been smashing up countries and stealing for too long.

    • Robyn

      It’s ages since I listened/watched/downloaded anything from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) because most of their presenters and programs merely repeat the Washington line on all foreign affairs matters. Those who follow your link to the podcast should be aware that the ABC regularly disgorges the anti-Russia/Putin, anti-Assad, anti-China line.

    • Carl

      Even by British parliamentary standards, Tom Tugendhat is one scary chicken hawk. On the day this Salisbury story broke he went on TV deriding Russian military capabilities as compared to Britain’s, suggesting that Britain could and ought to defeat Russia militarily. Any claims he’s since been making about nerve agents should be viewed in this light: as a means towards starting a WW3 he thinks Britain can win.

      • LondonBob

        Israel firster, sad because Crispin Blunt was actually pretty good on foreign policy.

    • Nicc

      Sean Lamb, I agree. Seems there is nothing spectacularly unusual with the medic report. There is no lying. There are blatant accusations without waiting to see outcome of tests, but certainly no lying. Jumping the gun is not lying. A lot of hoohah about nothing, sorry.

    • DDTea

      “The identifications he CLAIMS have been done, identification by chemical traces, can only be done if they have located a source of the poison, pure and outside of the body. Otherwise the contaminants will just disappear into the chemical cacophony of biological fluids.”

      This is totally false. There is an enormous body of research in structure determination of natural products–tiny samples extracted from some amazon plant or marine sponge–with chemical structures ferociously more complex than any organophosphate. Given that they are just being discovered, there does not exist a reference material on the planet.

      Liquid chromatography paired with tandem mass spectrometry is more than sufficient for complete structure determination of trace samples. And if they’ve recovered more material and concentrated it, nuclear magnetic resonance methods are sufficiently powerful to determine the structure.

      And if they so choose, they can undertake an independent synthesis for confirmation. They would not, at any point, have needed a reference sample beforehand.

    • Crackerjack

      Tom just blatantly lied over and over again. This is no evidence that Russia was involved in poisoning the Skripals. Just dogshit propaganda

  • Mochyn69

    EU countries prepare to follow May and expel Russian diplomats

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/22/theresa-may-struggling-win-eu-support-russia-europe

    Aha, another mischievous headline from the Grauniad. So not all EU countries, just France and Poland and the former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

    What is the plan that’s going on down here?? I think that it is far from clear that it is highly likely Russia is responsible for the Salisbury incident and that there is no other plausible explanation. In fact, it’s the least likely, and there are plenty of other plausible explanations, even without more concrete evidence on wich to base a sound judgment.

    For the moment, Mrs May, de Pfeffel and the rest of you, I am not persuaded.

    • SA

      The sad fact however is that whatever happens next this has achieved its purpose because even if there is now solid proof that Russia had nothing to do with it the narrative that Russia is bad and lawless has become established by those who have spread this story. After all they will say, we were deceived because of all the other ‘proven’ facts about Russia, none of which have been proven, but have passed into the narrative.

    • Lestek

      Mochyn, it’s usuall antirussian hysteria in Poland. If there is just a bit of shadow to get pretext, Polish authorities will use such a situation to play their overzealous pupil role.

      Belive me, they are AT LEAST the same class idiots as Johnson. They don’t care about Polish interests, they don’t care about proofs, they don’t care about anything but possibility to show their masters they are staunch and obedient stooges.

  • Vivian

    There was a drill.

    “Royal Marines donned gas masks for three weeks as they tested Britain’s ability to fight in the event of a chemical – or, worse, nuclear – attack”

    “It climaxes with a full-scale exercise involving government and industry scientists and more than 300 military personnel, including the RAF Regiment and the RM Band Service – casualty treatment was a key part of the Salisbury Plain exercise.”

    https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2018/march/06/180306-toxic-storm-for-royal-marines-in-major-chemical-exercise

  • Wandering Dutchman

    Yes, UK spooks are so busy monitoring and interfering in environmentalist et al’s online communications, that real threats to the UK have free reign.

  • William Banks

    What is it with you, I’m of the opinion that you are one Sad Individual, instead of running down the Government at every opportunity, you should be backing them, against terror in whatever shape or form it comes in, I use to think the Americans were wrong when the opened the facility at Quantanamo Bay, but now, I think we need something similar, terrorism comes in many forms, and the quicker these lunatics learn that we will not pussy foot around and be held accountable for their human rights the better off we will be, now I know politicians tell lies, but I don’t hear you bumping your gums when they go back on an election promise,

    • Zhanglan

      I take it you are referring to the current Cabinet, who on the face of it are seeking to terrorise the British public with fabricated stories of foreign deviousness, which are at the very least exaggerated and in all probability entirely fabricated; who are the terrorists in this instance, if not Theresa May and Boris Johnson?

    • Carl

      The lies of figures like Blair and Cameron did not combat terrorism, it created terrorism. If you believed and propagated their lies about Iraq and Libya then you helped abet terrorism on Britain’s streets. To follow Boris Johnson down his rabbit hole of lies and provocations could lead to something even worse than the odd terrorist incident.

  • Radio Jammor

    When I tweeted about this blog post, I noted someone pointing out in reply that the OPCW used similar language when referring to a sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria, last year. The response led to exchanged tweets and I found that we were in agreement about Porton Down and how it had drawn its conclusions, and we were otherwise coming at the matter from different angles. He wanted to ensure the science was accurately represented and I was looking at it with regard to the gap between what the Government has claimed and what the science can and has told us in actuality. I think we both learned things, so it proved to be an interesting and useful exchange.

    With regard to this Syrian attack, The BBC seems to have quoted the report, when it stated, “victims were exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39500947. This helped me find the OPCW report, which did indeed state this, at https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-director-general-shares-incontrovertible-laboratory-results-concluding-exposure-to-sarin/.

    His point was that it was sarin and that the technical language used, despite being pretty wooly, can mislead people into thinking it might not be sarin. I think therefore we should take the phrases sarin-like or novichok-like, as meaning that this is what they are, but perhaps in a slightly variant form from information held about them, by the likes of Porton Down and the OPCW.

    Whilst it seems that people are confident that Syria is behind that attack, there is much more evidence than we appear to have in the Skripal case. Oddly it seems that whilst Russia have been backing their ally, who denies using chemical weapons, some of the evidence against Syria has come from …err…Russia. It may also have come, perhaps unintentionally, or accidentally on purpose.

    As I read and understand things, Russia confirmed that the Syrian air force did bomb a target in the area (supposedly storing rebel chemicals) on the day, but not at the correct time, whereas Syria deny it happening at all. Stories not straight, m’lud.

    Russia then presented evidence of Syrian munitions to the OPCW that Syria has and could have been used in this attack, oddly to demonstrate this as evidence they were not used – as it seems at the time that there were no parts from such weapons found in Khan Sheikhoun. The trouble with that is that no one had previously had these specific specs before, and using this presentation, have identified parts which match these munitions from a previous chemical weapons attack in Al-Lataminah, where sarin was also used, and then to possibly identify parts at Khan Sheikhoun. So again, thanks for the help, there Russia, the Syrians might possibly say. That’s roughly my understanding, anyway.

    In addition, chlorine gas bombs have apparently been used by Syria, and a product called Hexamethylenetetramine aka hexamine was present at both attack sites and others. It is also apparently a declared part of Syria’s chemical weapons program, which they are supposedly disposing of. Again, this is my understanding of some fairly technical reading.

    What I take from this is that if there was some sort of chemical, or material present, or a by-product that occurs following synthesis of a nerve agent, and it could in some way be linked to Russia, then Porton Down might have been able to say so. But it hasn’t, and the UK Government would surely have screamed such evidence from the rooftops, if it was there.

    Aside from those Russians seemingly not once, but twice, doing an “Oh, silly me, did that information implicate you rather than help you?” routine on Syria, it seems Syria is quite capable of making nerve agents. But then it has no motive to attack Skripal, so I’m not seriously suggesting they are suspects, but would make the observation that they are capable of making nerve agents.

    I was also pointed to a tweet from a Dr Leo Strauss, that stated, “As both Mirzayanov & V. Uglev, from GOSNIIOKNT, have explained in public: various #Novichok strains suffer rapid decomposition, making specialized storage more difficult than creation. Novichok agents from mid 1990s long since would be inert/ineffective for use today.”

    So, in short, if you nicked it from Uzbekistan c1993-1999, it probably won’t be any good today. However, it did occur to me to ask if this information applied to the Novichok in its synthesised form, or its precursor binary form, to which the response was, “no idea”, which I thought was fair enough. I imagine it depends on what the binary agents are. It could therefore be that if the binary agents were nicked from Uzbekistan c1993-1999, its possible that they may still be useful and could be used to create a novichok today.

    Of course, none of this rules out had it been stolen back then that it could have been used to work out how to make more.

    That brings me nicely to what I think he learned from me. Whilst we agree that Porton Down probably only have analytical information rather than pre-existing samples of their own, interestingly, he pointed out that the OPCW’s OCAD database had Novichok data to compare what they have from Salisbury to. Thanks to this blog I was able to say that this probably came from Iran a year or so ago and that the OPCW were not even certain as to the existence of synthesised Novichoks in 2013.

    I then sent him links about the US going into Nukus in Uzbekistan to clear up Novichok and he commented, “it seems strange to assume no labs have sample data from old soviet programmes” – which I agree with. Why then had no one provided such to the OPCW? Certainly no one had before 2013, when the OPCW said that it didn’t have the evidence to confirm their existence and ten years after the US supposedly cleaned-up Nukus of it.

    I offer all this and hope it helps people to understand that, first of all, Porton Down’s description of the nerve agent to the judge, with regard to gaining blood/tissue samples from the Skripals, is probably as precise a language as anyone is likely to use, and it probably does mean it’s a novichok, but it may not made in precisely the same way as their theoretical knowledge and databases tell them it has been made before. But also to further indicate that whatever is known currently is far from sufficient to do anything more than suspect Russia, on top of who was actually attacked, and possible motives for doing so.

    I’ve sat on a jury more than once and I wouldn’t convict based on this evidence. There’s way too much doubt and there are other viable suspects, as well as Russia. So for our Government to go off on one at a Nuclear Power based on this evidence I can only describe as reckless and foolish, and I suspect that either it has ulterior motives, or it is being played by a foreign power.

    • Zhanglan

      ” Whilst we agree that Porton Down probably only have analytical information rather than pre-existing samples of their own, ”

      DO we agree that? I’m not signed up to that viewpoint, and I’d be surprised if I was alone in holding that opinion

    • James

      Your post regarding the OPCW report on in Khan Sheikhoun, Omits the following facts:

      The OPCW received samples collected by Turkey they had no access to the site. As it was the base occupied by Al quada.

      The chemical may well have been Sarin

      However the chain of custody could not establish that it came from Khan Sheikhoun,

      As the place is full of terrorists or moderate jihadis take your pick.

      • Radio Jammor

        Noted. This one is disputed by some people as not genuine. There was however another attack a few days earlier at Al-Lataminah which seems to be of a similar nature, with victims, eye-witnesses, etc. There are also reports of chlorine being used a lot by Syria. I can accept that perhaps one or more of the sarin attacks could have been false-flags, and I appreciate this being pointed out for me to consider, but there does seem to be a lot of chlorine attacks, and Syria has admitted to possessing CW if not to using them.

        And to be honest, the main reason for even talking about the Syrian attacks was the comparative language used in the OPCW report when referring to sarin, and to indicate that Syria is a place that has chemical weapons.

        • DDTea

          Don’t back down Radio Jammor.

          The points you have raised are absolutely valid. The Syrian government and its Russian overlord have not been truthful about Sarin, and have made demonstrably false statements.

          The attempt to say “but all the samples came from Al-Qaeda!” is their way of saying, “pretend all the positive physical evidence that unambiguously assigns blame to the Syrian regime” doesn’t exist. Because there is no meaningful counterargument other than to pretend that AQ could conjure up Sarin at will, or that Sarin faeries have been fooling everyone this whole time. But the “samples were sprinkled with sarin!” theory falls apart when you look at the Latamneh dispersal site: a huge area of withered vegetation is seen, which Sarin is known to do (based on the forensic evidence from the Matsumoto chemical attack by Aum Shinrikyo). That’s no “sprinkling”–it’s an industrial manufacturing capacity.

          None of the sarin attacks were false flags. They all have similarities that have provided additional insight to validate each other. The same sarin formulation was used (formulation = components other than sarin that are present in a mixture), which is identical to that known to be produced by the regime (and declared by the regime). Chemical signature attribution has identified impurities that are traceable to regime precursors.

    • LondonBob

      I know from US intelligence folk that the Khan Sheikhoun was a fix up. They weren’t quiet about leaking their dissension from the MSM.

      • DDTea

        Pray, tell who your “US intelligence” source is? Is it that joker who claimed that the SyAAF dropped a bomb on an AQ meeting house, that led to household cleaning chemicals mixing and creating a cloud of poison gas? Bleach, as he said it was. Because Muslims totally use bleach in their funerary rituals.

        His statement, hilariously, contradicts competing theories that “Khan Sheikhoun was not in range of any Syrian plane at the time of the attack.”

    • TJ

      “a product called Hexamethylenetetramine aka hexamine was present at both attack sites and others”

      Hexamine is used as solid fuel in camping stoves, used by civilians and military for cooking, and also used by terrorists to make explosives, so it is likely present all over Syria.

      • Radio Jammor

        “The six-page French document, seen by Reuters, and drawn up by France’s military and foreign intelligence services – said it reached its conclusion based on samples they had obtained from the impact strike on the ground and a blood sample from a victim.

        “We know, from a certain source, that the process of fabrication of the samples taken is typical of the method developed in Syrian laboratories,” Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters after presenting the findings to the cabinet.

        “This method is the signature of the regime and it is what enables us to establish the responsibility of the attack. We know because we kept samples from previous attacks that we were able to use for comparison.”

        Among the elements found in the samples were hexamine, a hallmark of sarin produced by the Syrian government, according to the report.

        It said the findings matched the results of samples obtained by French intelligence, including an unexploded grenade, from an attack in Saraqib on April 29, 2013, which Western powers have accused the Assad government of carrying out.”

        I have a healthy dose of skepticism about these things, but I don’t know why the French would make this up. I note the issue about the impact crater in the road, however I also read a young witness state that a bomb hit a building, rather than the road. There are inconsistencies here, but a previous attack days earlier on farmers in a field had a witness who survived state that there was more than one type of bomb dropped – a conventional bomb and another that they believed released the chemical weapon. I thought this was odd myself, but it could explain why there are road craters and people suffering from an apparent chemical weapons attack. It wasn’t just a chemical weapons attack. Conventional weapons were also used.

        Again, as with the above post I replied to, my references to the matter were more to do with the language used by the OPCW and that Syria had apparently been using chemical weapons, mostly chlorine based, and latterly a couple that were sarin based. Whilst I take the point that someone could be setting Syria up as an excuse for regime change, especially with the sarin, there are too many instances, at least as far as the chlorine goes, and the French involvement to my mind undermines the case for a set-up, AFAIAC. But I will keep an open mind on the matter.

      • DDTea

        Hexamine is emphatically *not* a byproduct of RDX thermal decomposition/detonation. The decomposition of RDX has been studied both experimentally[1,2,3 ] and computationally.[4] The decomposition of hexamine yields nitrogen, nitrous oxide, nitric oxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water, formaldehyde, hydroxymethyl formamide, and methylene diformamide.[3] The latter two, and polymers thereof, are the only expected non-gaseous residues. I include only a few references here, but I have looked through others as well. SciFinder shows no results for the reaction search for RDX leading to hexamine.

        And this makes intuitive sense. High explosives are molecules built like a house of cards. They’re high energy (endothermic, unstable) species that are dying to reorganize to a more stable arrangement of atoms and electrons. This is why stable gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen are the major decomposition products. If hexamine were a major product, then RDX would be a very mild, weak explosive–it simply wouldn’t release much energy on rearrangement. By analogy, the flattened deck of cards (stable configuration) looks nothing like the house of cards it started as. And by common experience, houses of cards do not fall halfway. It’s the same reason that nitroglycerin or TNT do not leave puddles of glycerol or toluene upon detonation.

        Similarly, hexamine is not going to be present as unreacted starting material from RDX synthesis. Hexamine and RDX have disparate solubilities, and separating the two is as simple as washing precipitated RDX with cold water.[5]

        So the hexamine found at these Sarin sites is for certain NOT from any explosive charge. It’s from the Sarin payload itself.

        [1] Cosgrove, J.D.; Owen, A.J. “The Thermal Decomposition of 1,3,5 Trinitro Hexahydro 1,3,5 Triazine (RDX)-Part 1: The Products and Physical Parameters” Combustion and Flame, Vol 22, Issue 1, Feb 1974, pp. 13-18 . DOI: 10.1016/0010-2180(74)90005-4
        [2] Cosgrove, J. D.; Owen, A.J. “The thermal decomposition of 1,3,5 trinitro hexahydro 1,3,5 triazine (RDX)—part II: The effects of the products”Combustion and Flame, Vol 22, Issue 1, Feb 1974, pp. 19-22. DOI: 10.1016/0010-2180(74)90005-4
        [3] T.R. Botcher and C. A. Wight. “Explosive Thermal Decomposition Mechanism of RDX.” J. Phys. Chem. 1994,98, 5441-5444
        [4] A.C. T. van Duin, J. Oxgaard, and W.A. Goddard III. “Thermal decomposition of RDX from reactive molecular dynamics” J. Chem. Phys. 122, 054502 (2005).
        [5] Hale, G.C. “The Nitration of Hexamethylenetetramine.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1925, 47 (11), pp. 2754-2763. DOI: 10.1021/ja01688a017

        • DDTea

          Wow I messed up those references. Duplicated one, and totally screwed up the inline citations (this stuff is way harder in an ASCII text window)…

          Ignore the inline citations and the duplicate Cosgrove/Owen paper. Cosgrove + Owen, and Botcher + Wight = experimental study. van Duin, Oxgaard, and Goddard = computational/theoretical study. Hale = synthesis of RDX which shows, by necessity, that hexamine is removed.

          In other words, no: hexamine would “not be present all over syria.” That’s ridiculous. And it’s very noteworthy that it has appeared literally everywhere that Sarin has been used. And it’s also noteworthy that it does not appear in the control samples or solvent blanks taken by the FFM investigators near the attack site in Ghouta.

  • Christine Revell

    The British public deserve to know the truth about the nerve agent attack. We need politicians who will react with in a strong but measured way. I live in Salisbury and agree its a horrid and worrying incident but we nerd clear, informed details not the media hysteria we are currently seeing on the streets of our beautiful city.

    • Zhanglan

      Hi Christine; as you are on the ground in Salisbury, would it perhaps be possible for you to contact the hospital and check to see whether Dr Stephen Davies is still performing his duties? I fear for that man’s wellbeing every bit as much as I do for the Skirpals’

    • jazza

      agree entirely Christine – how’s the decontamination of Salisbury going? no doubt it is causing immense problems for the people of the city, what with all that nerve gas and stuff …?

  • Ilya G Poimandres

    Tis the war drum, they got and have had a beer hand against Russia for most of its existence, so they are just playing it now, all in. I imagine.. sure looks like a beer hand and an all in. Good luck people of the world!

  • Graeme Beard

    There will be, as usual, a deafening silence from the MSM. It has become the norm.

  • Radio Jammor

    Trying to use the link from here to the Spectroscopy Now article about Iran synthesising Novichok, it seems that the page would not display correctly.

    I therefore made a note of the cached page at http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5utBrBJf9PsJ:www.spectroscopynow.com/details/ezine/1591ca249b2/Iranian-chemists-identify-Russian-chemical-warfare-agents.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&tzcheck=1

    I then archived the cached page at https://archive.is/P4j87, so that it is not lost.

  • tfs

    It woild be interesting to know if business in Salisbury has been affected by the hysteria and whether tbey can sue the Government and Media for loss of Business.

  • remo

    Nick Bailey….
    Just saying..

    Nick..nicked..in the nick of time..you’re nicked
    Bailey. Old nick. Old bailey….er rozzer gotcha coppa.

      • Zhanglan

        pure propaganda

        I thought the Ambassador was measured and “ambassadorial” in his presentation in the face of occasionally Neanderthal barracking from some of the invited attendees

        the fact that the BBC feel the need to distort and spin this surely suggests that some of it hit home

        • LondonBob

          The journalists sounded like propagandists, these are not people who are going to provide fair and balanced analysis. I actually found it quite alarming.

  • Spaull

    From the Guardian yesterday: “Pritchard also said DS Nick Bailey, the police officer exposed to the novichok nerve agent when responding to the attack, has been discharged from hospital.”

    I’m pleased and relieved for him.

    Now is there any danger of us being told how he came to be exposed, and why he and he alone, out of all the people involved, was affected?

    That just might start to give us some understanding of what the hell happened here.

    • tim bastable

      it’s a good question – we should also be asking why normal criminal investigation procedures haven’t been followed. The starting point should surely be an examination of evidence, motive and opportunity. The question “why” should be asked before fingers are pointed – and it’s very hard to find any motive for Putin to order an attack of this nature. I can think of many motives for it – but none for him. The whole affair has so many anomalies – I notice that even very upright conventional friends of mine are highly sceptical about the whole story – maybe that’s a sign of hope!

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