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.

746 thoughts on “Of A Type Developed By Liars

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  • Catnip Murphy

    It was the rush to expel diplomats that brought to mind the Yes Prime Minister episode “Official Secrets” in which Sir Humphrey explains that traditionally the best way to divert the press from an issue was to expel Russian diplomats. I looked around and wondered about the Northern Ireland/Eire border issue or Cambridge Analytica’s ‘antics’ might be the back story.

  • Mike Stallard

    No comments!
    This is really important stuff.
    eureferendum is onto it, but nobody else.
    I should have gone into the Union Jack manufacturing business!

  • julia waller

    Another very interesting article.
    Our Theresa would rather pick a fight with Putin – she doesn’t like Trump – yet she wants to cuddle up to the EU. This is all delaying tactics for Brexit with the fingerprints of the Foreign Office all over it. If the Government is found to be hoodwinking the British public May’s career will be finished.
    Watch her body language in Brussels on Thursday – what is the bet that it will be a love in?

    • Philip Wildsmith

      Sure, Brexit is going to cripple the uk, but that’s another subject…

      The government may be pleased for a bit of distraction, but I very much doubt the uk have set Russia up over this, because Mr. Putin’s warnings chime so well with it all.

  • Malcolm

    I have said this from the start. Very quick to accuse and finger point at the Russian administration before a full and thorough investigation has been finalised. It absolutely sticks of corruption by the UK government to me.

  • Wayne T Baker

    Desperation on behalf of a dead system. Since it is known this is a “hoax” of the same pedigree of “Russian interference in 2018 US Presidential election”, the reason for it is no mystery. The dynamic behind all this is no mystery. The collapse of the trans Atlantic system as represented by the ” special relationship” of the London and Wall Street elites, governed by the British System is hopelessly bankrupt. In stark contrast to Chinas beautiful Belt Road Initiative predicated on the Harmony of human creativity, the entropic British System would prefer the ugly specter of WW III.

    • Stuart

      Brilliant irony..harmony of human creativity…lol try being married to someone Chinese and get an understanding of what China is about…if you think the UK, then hello meet China

      • Rudi Liu

        Unlike you Stuart, who seems void of either humour or irony. I’ married to a Chinese, heck I m even Chinese myself. I’d really like to hear your take on “what China is about”.

        Hint: please don’t assume my position based only on my nationality disclosure above. Over to you 🙂

  • Philip Wildsmith

    Only Russia has real motive.

    In Russia media, the warnings that ‘traitors are not safe’ is very explicit.

    Seems Russians in the uk are scared of Putin, so it’s working.

    • Philip Wildsmith

      To add:-

      Seems Russia is not happy with criminals and traitors avoiding Russian justice.

      You have to see their point of view. Why can’t they be extradited?

      • Ольга

        this particular traitor did NOT avoid justice. he spent some time in prison befor being exchanged for a number of Russians.
        so, all he could tell British secret service are known to secret service of Russia. he did not posed any risk at all. and is no of any use
        besides, if it had been any need to poison him he would have been poisoned long ago… when he was in prison.
        avenge sounds so stupid.
        there are lots of traitors leaving Russia, but only those who left for GB die strangely

      • Pavel

        Only Russia had not any real motive.
        Who did? Those who overblew the scandal, without waiting for the investigation. He/she/they was/were interested in the scandal, and therefore, in a cause, reason for him. Not necessarily Therese May, rather, these are some supranational forces associated with both the US and Britain.
        There is evidence that Skripal was involved in collecting dirt on Trump on the instructions of Hillary. He knew too much about breaking the law in the course of this task
        Anyway, what Theresa May does is an indelible disgrace for Britain.
        It is quite obvious that Russia does not need this scandal and, therefore, any reasons for its occurrence.
        The fact is that Russia absolutely does not need the death of the former traitor Skripal, as well as his daughter.
        Neither the life, nor the death of this man has any value for the authorities of Russia.
        But for Britain, as we see, his death or attempt on him, as it turned out, is of enormous value and significance.
        The speed and determination with which T. May accused Russia and declared an ultimatum, say
        that this scandal is necessary for Britain (and/or someone behind).
        Hence the conclusion that the poisoning of Skripal is beneficial to Britain. And if this is profitable, then
        with a probability close to 100%, this poisoning was planned and committed by the British special services.
        This is a typical false flag operation.

        • BUDAMAX1952

          Totally agreed. Anyways i don’t think this tmay has long to go. With Corbyn roaring, tmay will be on top of yesterday’s scrap-heap soon, i believe.

        • John Damocles

          What value would the UK derive from the death of Skripal? Why would this government want to discredit Russia, especially as the Tories have accepted so much money from Russian oligarchs?

          • larry

            The British Empire is a financial Empire. If the United States join with Russia and China, then that the end or the end of British Empire, which a financial empire. There is a move in the United States for re-enactment of Glass-Seagull, which will separate the commercial banks from the Wall Street and City of London financial house of gambling from the money that will be used to rebuild the US physical economy. There is also a move to put the Federal Reserve which is basically a private bank into receivership or bankruptcy. It has a US Government Charter to function as the Central Bank or the United States. It that were to happen, the the British Financial Empire would go bankrupt. The Federal Reserve would be replaced with a Third National Bank that is owned and operated by the US Government and not by the Financial Empire that we refer to as the British Empire.

          • larry

            John Damocles, the amount of worthless paper that would disappear would be hundreds of trillions or even into the quadrillion amounts of paper floating around out there. That like $100,000,000,000,000, that one hundred trillion dollars or $1,000,000,000,000,000 quadrillion or more. Even worse than the loss of that much money, is that they would lose control over dictating on Planet Earth, which they don’t want to happen.

          • richard mullens

            The USA wants to neutralise Russia. The USA wants Syria’s Oil and wants control over the territory. Israel also wants that. The USA also wants to prevent Russia selling its gas to Europe so it can sell its shale oil gas to us.
            As we have seen before, the British government is eager to please the USA. The only exception seems to have been Harold Wilson who wisely refused to help out in Vietnam.

          • Dennis Revell


            Russian oligarchs are NOT the Russian Govt – in fact they are far more likely to be antagonistic to the Russian Govt. – so not just useful particularly to the Tories as a source of funding (though I bet they’ve been hedging their bets and contributing to “Labour” too), but ALSO as a source of anti-Russia, anti-Putin propaganda.


    • Neil Armstrong

      Israel has a motive with it’s agents Mossad & the capability & has done assassinations a number of times in the past & probably at present.

    • David Bailey


      Sergei Skripal was imprisoned in Russia for many years before being swapped and sent to Britain. Why wait till he was abroad, then use a method that actually failed, injured several other people, and created problems for President Putin just before his re-election and the World Cup? How naive do you think the British people are?

      Unfortunately there are plenty of people and nations with a motive to do this – for example, the entire arms industry depends on potential conflict in the world.

  • Johnny Jarvis


    He says a lot here asking how can traitors live happy, full lives in hiding, and how can they look at their children face to face and return to their homelands to bury their friends? Have they no conscience?

    Most of them are Russian officers who sold their soul for thirty pieces of silver. They will surely choke on it and regret being a traitor a thousand times.

    To be honest, I’m not sure I disagree with what he says…

    Strong and emotive words.

    But he says it.

    Mighty handy that others are doing Russia’s ‘dirty and dangerous’ work on their behalf, eh?

  • M

    We are fed by government organisations, which are force funded by the people (and if you don’t pay the govenment I.e. the BBC, you may go to prison) that blinker the truth from the people, with a blanket of relentless propaganda so that they may control our future.
    That’s the UK. And we are told that other countries are force feeding their citizens with propaganda?

  • Pel Wilson

    How can the “aware” western warrior classes unite to fight against the evil empire?
    I am wanting and prepared for revolution but I seem to be one of the few who are aware or furious about what our disconnected governments are doing in their own people’s names.

  • Chimik

    “That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.”

    Wrong. Not only “Novichok” agents are banned, the components of binary agents, such as Novichok are banned as well.

  • C J Bond Stormontfield , Perth , Scotland

    My Russian wife is twice as sharp as me on these matters – and is delighted to read your article. I follow the normal media and am surprised there has been no comment at all or update or reference to the present condition of the two in Salisbury Hospital – nor when the Russian Ambassador can get legitimate contact with Citizen Julia. Seems there are correct procedures to be followed but tese are purposely being delayed by us Brits. Suspicious ??

    cjb. 10.34 Mon.

    • John Damocles

      There’s nothing suspicious, and if you care to watch the so called mainstream media, there are almost daily reports on the conditions of the Skripals. C4 News had a piece on them this evening, if you care to watch.Julia is in a coma, and therefore in no fit position to be in contact with anybody apart from medics.

  • Hank Hollins

    Truth from politicians? Never happen. So we go into Russia-bashing to detract and deter citizens from thinking too much about what their government is doing against the best interests of their citizens.

  • Chimik

    “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.”

    Please, do not forget to report what they replied. They will tell you that they have a formula and method of detection. 100%.

  • Nemome Noname

    “OPCW inspectors have had full access to all known” ..and any person with a brain would know to stop here. If V.Putin tells you they have shown all the chem-weapons depots, naturally they have done so, for has any Russian leader ever been caught lying? Hi Craig, I would like to re-iterate that we agree on the following:
    Russian leadership has nothing to do with murder of Anna Politkovskaja, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, bombing of Syrian hospitals, poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, explosions in apartment blocks in Chechnya, Boris Berezovsky, with the BUK missile that downed a passenger plane over Ukraine and killed 283 civilians, poisoning Sergei Skripali, with unidentified troops in Eastern Ukraine and well, of course Crimea wanted to be a part of Russia. Because who would not want to be associated with Putin’s regime?

    At least you do. A newsflash: they don’t care about you, they will sacrifice you and you only exist to justify a deranged dictatorship who will use you and give nothing in return, denying you even if you gave your life for them. You must be a specially stupid individual.

    • Nemome Noname

      “and the programme of inspection and destruction of Russian chemical weapons was completed last year.”” Based on what evidence oh Lord this is so entertaining.

      • Andreas

        GfK Crimea Poll 2015
        German sociologists on Crimea’s choice
        A few days ago an interesting study, “The Socio-Political Sentiments in Crimea,” was released by the Ukrainian branch of GfK, the well-known German social research organization, as part of the Free Crimea initiative. Intriguingly, the primary objectives of this project, launched with the support of the governmental Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, were to “debunk aggressive Russian propaganda” and to “reintegrate Crimea into Ukraine.” Thus the researchers can hardly be suspected of being Russian sympathizers. So let’s take a look at the results.

        The attitudes of Crimeans were studied in January 2015. This representative sample included 800 respondents living on the peninsula, from all age and social categories. The poll had an error margin of 3.5%.
        In answer to the most important question: “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?” 82% of the respondents answered “yes, definitely,” and another 11% – “yes, for the most part.” Only 2% gave an unambiguously negative response, and another 2% offered a relatively negative assessment. Three percent did not specify their position.

    • Patricia Oliver

      Crimeans did want to return to Russia. It was always part of Russia and the majority of the people are ethnic Russians who lived there from before Khruschev ceded it to Ukraine.

  • Leona Semizian

    This incident is suspicious along several factors. First, the timing of this being just before Russian elections and up coming World Cup soccer games. May is already talking about boycotting. Second, if Russia wanted Skripal dead, they would have done so twelve years ago when he was first convicted. He’s been living in Britain for eight years. Why now? What was there to gain for Russia? The UK government was also reluctant to bring in the OPCW to examine the nerve agent. It did so after pressure. And finally, why don’t we se any photos or hear any updates on condition of victims?
    Too many holes.

    • Chimik

      This can be a clear message to all exiles / tractors, that they are not safe anywhere on the planet. Very plane and loud message.

      “The UK government was also reluctant to bring in the OPCW to examine the nerve agent. It did so after pressure.”

      Who told you that? What is the point disclosing the agent anyway if it would tell that UK government lied? Stupid it would be.

  • David Walker

    ” the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet”

    Mainly because they haven’t actually found any, I suspect…

    There are going to be some seriously red faces if it all transpires to have been due to a dodgy pork pie!

    • James Charles

      No one was affected by a ‘nerve agent poison’?
      ‘ . . .   he began his letter to the Times . . . with;“may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury” ‘
      “ The Times published a letter from Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust) on the 16th March. ‘Sir, further to your report (‘Poison Exposure Leaves Nearly 40 needing Treatment’), 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.’ ”

  • Vladislav

    Thank you for this article. For many in Russia it’s hard to listen to accusations of all possible horrible crimes. Yes, Putin has a tough rhetoric. Yes, Putin probably does something wrong. However, this is only a defensive reaction to a flurry of all kinds of accusations from Western countries.
    Thanks again.

    • David Bailey


      As a UK citizen, I have to say that President Putin seems to be a force for stability. For example faced with situations in Georgia and then Ukraine, in which the government of those countries was attempting to use military force against their own citizens, President Putin did the minimum possible to stabilise the situation. Crimea was also in danger of attack from Kiev at the time when it voted to re-integrate with Russia (this event is now described as an invasion!).

  • Tony

    Has anyone ever come to the conclusion that this is just FAKE and it never happened?

    • BUDAMAX1952

      Right ,what Intuitivity! Strong possibility it is Tottally Faked;it never happened, victims( good actors ). IF tmay is to be believed why don’t we have pictures of the so-called victims???

  • Alan Bulpin

    Look closer at the bad news that went unnoticed while all the hype about Russia. Universal credit cuts ESA cuts MPs wage increase

  • John A

    The Swedish statement:
    “Från svensk sida har vi noterat premiärminister Theresa Mays bedömning att nervgiftet ifråga är av en typ som utvecklats som ett kemiskt vapen i Sovjetunionen och senare övertagits av Ryssland, och att rysk inblandning i dådet ter sig som högst sannolik.”

    is worded exactly the same, …of a type that has been developed as a chemical weapon in the Soviet Union, and subsequently taken over by Russia, and that Russian involvement in the deed appears highly likely’.
    Same songsheet exactly.

  • Jane

    So Porton Down have said the actual source of the nerve agent is Russia and they categorically and there is no doubt?

  • John Damocles

    Are you suggesting there’s going to be a war over this? Really? if it’s a false flag, who could possibly benefit?

  • Kim G

    All this talk of Western values, and then a complete ignoring of them in practise. Don’t we Westerners stand for values such as:

    Due process?
    Innocent until proven guilty?
    Open and transparent investigations?
    Evidence-based accusations?
    Judicial process via institutions set up for that very purpose? (OPCW?)

    If we really think the Russians are threatening Western Values, then why is it us who are so quick to adopt their methods when this sort of thing occurs?

    And what’s to be gained, really, by ignoring all our values in the pursuit of justice? Does anyone really think that NATO is going to begin bombing Russia over this? So we ignore all the process to save time to do what, exactly?

    This whole thing makes Theresa May and her gov’t look bad. And unfortunately, Jeremy Corbin is the only one looking even half rational here, something I personally don’t like to see.

    In short, a complete mess not worthy of a so-called “democratic government.”

  • larry

    I think that the British oligarchy and Teresa May are getting in over there heads with this one. First they try to clam that Russian hack the Democratic computer and that the Russian tried to throw the election to Donald Trump favor and they called it Russia gate. Then they try to overthrow a sitting American President through bogus information and out and out lies using Christopher Steel a former MI6 British agent.and working for British Intelligence to control the American Elections. They are also using there asset inside the US to achieve there goals, which treason, because there suppose to owe there allegiance to the United State and not to Great Britain. They also have control over the US Media threw there control over the international banking cross ownership of major corporation that own the own the US Media. This is also illegal and crime, but, then that nothing new for the British Empire, which is primarily a financial Empire than a military Empire these days.

    Now Teresa May is threatening the Russian with a false flag attack on a Russian spy that they them selfies poisoned so they can try and cause a division between the United States and Russia. There using the same Christopher Steel, the same MI6 British to come up with some more false information or lies. Remember this is the same Christopher Steel that came up with false data of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction as MI6 British agent for getting the United States into a war with Iraq. Remember this is the same Christopher Steel that was involved in the 9/11 coverup of the Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attack and or British MI6 and there agents inside the US intelligence that were involved in the 9/11 attack on the New York Trade Towers. Mass murder is also a crime and we also have treason involved in this mess too, because, it was done at the behest of a foreign power, which would be Great Britain.

    Those knuckle heads don’t know when to cut there losses and give the matter up, do they?

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