Of A Type Developed By Liars 746

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve agent as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.

When the same extremely careful phrasing is never deviated from, you know it is the result of a very delicate Whitehall compromise. My FCO source, like me, remembers the extreme pressure put on FCO staff and other civil servants to sign off the dirty dossier on Iraqi WMD, some of which pressure I recount in my memoir Murder in Samarkand. She volunteered the comparison to what is happening now, particularly at Porton Down, with no prompting from me.

Separately I have written to the media office at OPCW to ask them to confirm that there has never been any physical evidence of the existence of Russian Novichoks, and the programme of inspection and destruction of Russian chemical weapons was completed last year.

Did you know these interesting facts?

OPCW inspectors have had full access to all known Russian chemical weapons facilities for over a decade – including those identified by the “Novichok” alleged whistleblower Mirzayanov – and last year OPCW inspectors completed the destruction of the last of 40,000 tonnes of Russian chemical weapons

By contrast the programme of destruction of US chemical weapons stocks still has five years to run

Israel has extensive stocks of chemical weapons but has always refused to declare any of them to the OPCW. Israel is not a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention nor a member of the OPCW. Israel signed in 1993 but refused to ratify as this would mean inspection and destruction of its chemical weapons. Israel undoubtedly has as much technical capacity as any state to synthesise “Novichoks”.

Until this week, the near universal belief among chemical weapons experts, and the official position of the OPCW, was that “Novichoks” were at most a theoretical research programme which the Russians had never succeeded in actually synthesising and manufacturing. That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.

Porton Down is still not certain it is the Russians who have apparently synthesised a “Novichok”. Hence “Of a type developed by Russia”. Note developed, not made, produced or manufactured.

It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.


This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?

Erratum – I originally typed “nerve gas” and not “nerve agent” in the first line – purely my error.

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746 thoughts on “Of A Type Developed By Liars

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  • Jimbo Leighton

    Well done Craig Murray, but watch your back, the bastards will not be pleased!!

  • Eric Davies

    Craig re your BBC comment. I understand BBC news content and production is controlled by a 36 year old named Charlotte Moore. I have tried to find out about her but it seems she has no parents or direct family connection according to Wikipedia – perhaps I mistrust the BBC too much hmmm.

  • mentor

    Never underestimate the hypocrisy of the British (government)
    Connor Cruise O’Brien (Irish writer I think) Quote from his book THE SIEGE

    • Joe Kelsall

      I never have since a British civil servant referred to a Northern Ireland newspaper editor as a ‘white nigger’!
      Google that charmer!

  • Ann

    This rightwing conservative government has a lot to answer for. In the terrible malignment of the Labour leader by their conservative msm and bbc bias in favour of the tory government. And this latest of saying Russia was highly likely to be culpable: Without evidence to prove it. And refusing to give any evidence. And to be telling lies, getting other countries involved believing them is a diabolical way to behave. They are not fit to be in power!

  • Adam Clifford

    Does the phrase ‘This use of a military-grade nerve agent’ refer to the quality of of the production and purity of the nerve agent,or the type/class of nerve agent?

  • Sivali Ranawana

    Further questions
    How was the agent identified without standard samples?
    We’re atidotes uses to treat the skripals? What was their source?

    • Jed Chado

      You should actually know that the US who went to Uzbakistan to “clean” the labo where it was created and produced , took everything with them back to the US and when i say everything i meant all materials and notes , EVERYTHING ! …Craig Murray went after americains left and he found only : walls …and the creator and inventor of that nerve agent is living in the US since the fall of USSR

  • Stanford Thompson

    Bravo! I’m glad you didn’t chase ALL the FakeNews ( cannot call them journalists)
    Hacks down the Neocon ,War Monger , False Flag rabbit hole!
    My 11 year old sniffed that out.
    What has our world become ??? SMH

  • David McBain

    Ray McGovern says his old Irish grandfather once said that the reason the sun never set on the British Empire was because the Good Lord didn’t trust them in the dark.

  • ar brmeo

    The British government said that there was other evidence as to the source of the nerve agent.

  • Chris Fagg

    I’ve always suspected some freelance gangster or spook hoping to get a favour from Putin.

  • Charles M

    Thank you for being a voice of reason on this matter.

    Maybe you could also help shed some light on why france, uk and usa would attack, based on social media footage, that clearly shows the alleged victims as having no symptoms that would be expected from exposure to the chemicals it was claimed.
    Social media footage that does not fit the narrative, the super secret evidence that is so secret that I bet noone will ever find it, and now journalists on the ground at the site, interviewing the doctors seen in the footage, and noone has found a victim of the chemical attack.

    Clearly May, Macron and Trump cannot have been ignorant of all this, with the huge amounts of money they spend on experts, advisors and their respective intelligence agencies.

    IF no actual proof can be put forward, this must be a warcrime and a “crime against peace”, which afaik carries a penalty up to and including death.

    Seems to me they are trying very hard to ignite a hot war with russia, which could very likely spark a nuclear exchange and mean the death of all of us.
    Seems completely insane!

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