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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  • bliss_porsena

    Sample you say? Sorry mate, it all got washed away in the cleanup, dinnit? Nasty stuff, that noviwhatsit. Had to flush the loo twice.

  • John Goss

    The police have just announced that Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov living in London was murdered by compression to the neck. This came a week after the Skripal case.

    Do I believe the Russians were involved in the so-called attempted murder of the Skripals? No. I believe it was a false flag set up by our government to scupper the World Cup. Do I believe that some Russian agents may have killed Glushkov? Quite possibly. That murder opens up a whole can of worms.

    It could have been done to show Theresa May how the Russian secret services commit murder. The have never used a nerve agent before and never tried to endanger anybody but the target. If this theory is right our government is to blame. Without the Skripal nonsense this murder was unneccessary. It may not be the Russians. We will never know.

    • John Goss

      The murder of Nikolai Glushkov
      The police have just announced that Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov, living in London at the time of his death, was murdered by compression to the neck. This came a week after the Skripal case in which, according to our press, there was an attempt by Russia to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Two days ago the Russian newspaper Kommersant (Businessman), owned by oligarch Usimov contained an article entitled “Strangulation on the Thames”.
      Do I believe the Russians were involved in the so-called attempted murder of the Skripals? No. I believe it was a false flag set up by our government to scupper the World Cup. Do I believe that some Russian agents may have killed Glushkov? Quite possibly. That murder opens up a whole can of worms.
      In one way it could have been done to demonstrate to Theresa May just how the Russian secret services commit murder. They have never used a nerve agent in the past and never tried to endanger anybody but the target. If this theory is correct then our government is to blame for his death. Without the Skripal nonsense this murder would have been unnecessary. Of course it may not be the Russians. That we will never know.
      As with all real murder enquiries they are rarely solved within days, like the Skripal farrago. Before an arrest is made there needs to be a suspect who can be arrested. That is where Boris Johnson, already a laughing stock on the world stage, made his big mistake claiming a 9.98 out of 10 certainty that Vladimir Putin was to blame. Come on then Boris, tell us who killed Glushkov.

      The Can of Worms

      Amid all the hype of the Skripal false-flag a real murder took place eight days after that alleged event. Glushkov’s death was formerly denoted as ‘unexplained’ and it took our police two days to say pretty much the same thing as Kommersant had claimed earlier. My purpose here is not to describe the circumstances of Glushkov’s death, though I understand that his daughter found the 68 year old’s body.
      Glushkov was a friend of Boris Berezovsky, who allegedly committed suicide. He was part of the get-rich quick oligarch fraternity of Russians who screwed their country and settled in the cesspool of London money-launderers. Some might refer to this clique as the Russian mafia. He had a top executive position with the Russian airline Aeroflot and was found guilty of large-scale fraud. He was sentenced to eight years in a penal colony for siphoning off millions of rubles belonging to Aeroflot.
      Now here’s the rub. An individual tried to help Glushkov escape from hospital and avoid justice. That individual was Andrei Lugovoi. For those who did not followi the Litvinenko farce Lugovoi was one of the two people accused of killing Alexander Litvinenko, the other being Dmitry Kovtun. According to our media, and Sir Robert Owen who pronounced in the Litvinenko Inquiry, these were KGB agents, when in fact they were small-time criminals and friends of Litvinenko, Berezovsky and other oligarchs.

      The problems this is likely to cause are massive. This murder will show that the two aforementioned Russians were not responsible for the death of Litvinenko, who was probably smuggling polonium 210 on behalf of Berezovsky. How this will eventually pan out is anyone’s guess but it will take a while and be much harder for fictional detectives like Miss Marples and Boris Johnson to solve in a fortnight. This story really could run and run.

  • Graeme Mochre

    Chemistry is a precise science. I have not detected any precision in statements issued by the government. Every chemical has a precise formula and I have little doubt that a compound like this will have documentation about it’s physiological actions and it’s toxicity. Publish the structural formula and give the chemical name of you want a scientist to believe the rhetoric, otherwise I will assume that there is mischief afoot.

    • Bill in Lexington,NC

      The structural formula … those neat little balls on sticks figures … gives no clue as to how to synthesize it. It just says “you’ll know you’ve copied it if you end up with this.”

      Like posting the formula for air … you’re a long way from making any.

      • Ben

        So the outline of formula without materials being prepared makes it a recipe for cornbread thereby harmless?

        • MikeRimnalPast

          An example:

          Butter, cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, eggs <– this is not a recipe for cornbread.

    • Henry North

      Exactly. They have Porton Down literally less than 10 miles away and they can’t tell us stuff. Its like coproxamol. We were taught in medical school that co proxamol overdoses just depress breathing and therefore are dangerous but on its own 29 co proxamol which is what they say David Kelly took would have taken 2 litres of water and would have taken at least 5-10 minutes to take. I know what Im like with pills, taking two at a time is the usual thing, How big was the water bottle found with him? No one ever told us that, because it would have exposed the lie. The moment I heard it on the radio I was sure that he had been killed. You can’t take 29 tablets with just 500 ml of water easily. Co prox tablets are rather big.

  • N_

    1) PROPAGANDA 101: use contrast

    There’s an election in Russia on Sunday, and there will be certainly be some footage of ceremonial events, and probably of Vladimir Putin crying too. The Brit posh boy elite will want to set this against some film from their side, in the minds of the British population.

    They could for example announce a death in Salisbury – probably of the police officer Nick Bailey, so that they can show police badges etc. (symbols of authority) and the reaction by his British-mative family (universal experience – human interest – honesty – sadness – grief – real people, and Brits too). Then they can switch to showing film of “defiant” and “fake” Putin (inhuman, Russian speaking, and worst of all, defiant Britain just by the way he stands, just by the Asiatic look on his face).

    Or the casualty could be Yulia Skripal – good-looking young woman, loved her dad, went to ordinary restaurant, could be you or your sister or daughter, etc.

    It’s less likely to be Sergei Skripal at that time, I think (looks like a bruiser, already been stamped with the words “Russian spy” in most British minds, even though he was a British spy).

    Switching from one type of emotional imagery to another is a powerful device.


    Who killed him? Was the weapon used in Salisbury meant to be headed for him, and the operation f*cked up, and someone had to strangle him instead? Just a thought.

    Remember that with Litvinenko, some of the polonium found its way into Boris Berezovsky’s office.

      • Ben

        Why, Yes! Yes I have noticed

        Have you noticed it’s because they have no argument in Putin’s defense?

      • Stu

        Ok the UK government has blamed Putin.

        However they have not stated where the attack took place, what the substance was or who administered the substance. So all we have is an event – the Skirpals taking ill – and the accusation. You can’t make a defence when no case has been made against you.

      • N_

        I said “(s)ome footage of ceremonial events”. Footage showing Putin with the patriarch or religious candles will probably feature. Religion is part and parcel of the Russian identity. Putin expresses or channels it a lot. He is…iconic.

  • mbiyd

    Am I right in saying that the May government in now blaming Putin for the siege at Sidney Street?

    • Sami

      Also, some of Putin’s men were seen in the vicinity the Miami bridge that collapsed!

  • Harry Law

    Natural justice is identified with the two constituents of a fair hearing, which are the rule against bias (nemo iudex in causa sua, or “no man a judge in his own cause”), and the right to a fair hearing (audi alteram partem, or “hear the other side”).
    These two pillars of justice have been abused by the Government, and the main stream media right from the get go. Russia has been accused by the Government and part of the opposition in the attempted murder of the Skripal’s, without either Russia or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] being given samples in order to evaluate the evidence, and ipso facto the ability to present a defence based on the facts of those findings as per OPCW procedures, and natural justice. But no, sentence first-verdict afterwards said Mrs May and Boris Johnson, also the presumption of innocence was discarded with an ultimatum given for Russia to prove its innocence within hours or face consequences. I do not claim to know what happened or who was responsible, we need a full investigation and then, and only then, can any sense [hopefully] be made of the situation. Unfortunately the Government and MSM will have been so invested in its conclusions based on circumstantial evidence that, as Churchill once said “a lie gets halfway around the world, before the truth has a chance to put its pants on”.

    • Bob Apposite

      I’m American. I’m used to an “Adversarial” system of justice, in which there’s no illusion that police and suspects are adversary with competing aims.

      Doing what Craig did here – showing the evidence to the suspect during the investigation – would be considered the height of folly in America, and tantamount to ruining the investigation.

      Then again, Europeans, I think have an “Inquisitorial” system of justice with different values and assumptions.
      I can’t speak to those. I just know American police would hate what Craig Murray did here, if was their investigation.

      • Pamela Storer

        It has always been part of British jurisprudence that the accused has the right to know who is their accuser and to inspect all the evidence against them.
        It’s called fairness. The disaster of so-called “American justice” is too extensive and well known to need any further comment from me.

      • Helen Marshall

        I am also from the US, and taught in Criminal Justice and Judicial Process courses in my academic career. I am having some difficulty understanding your comment. Ambassador Murray has not shown any “evidence” to the “suspect” during the investigation. He has offered some important information to help those of us trying to follow this allegation, which may lead to nuclear war. And by the way, the prosecution IS obliged to share with the defense whatever information it has, including information that clears the defendant!

        • Bob Apposite

          My point is that Craig has tipped off Russia that the Novichok can’t be geographically traced to Russia through chemical analysis.

          “The prosecution IS obliged to share with the defense whatever information it has”
          Yes, in a trial.
          This isn’t a trial. This is still the early stages of a criminal investigation.
          This is the logical equivalent of the police going into an interrogation room and giving the suspect all the evidence they collected before asking them any questions.

          Yes, American “adversarial” system isn’t perfect. But neither is your system.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Russia did not need tipping off about something that is blindingly obvious to any professional scientist.

            Any compound that Porton Down can identify speedily and definitively has a chemical formula known in the West and therefore capable of being manufactured by the West.

            These are not unique strains of virus, bacteria etc where you can insert a unique short sequence of DNA as a biological barcode. They are small molecular weight chemicals which could only be tagged by adding a non-interacting inert and stable barcode chemical tracer. Perhaps you should ask Russia if all state-manufactured chemicals in Russia carry such barcodes?

            So if the Novichoks used are so secret that no-one else knows their formula, how did Porton Down manage to detect it, analyse it and characterise it?

            ACE inhibitors are after all hardly new kids on the block (Novichok research itself is after all 40 years old). Physiological analysis of ACE inhibitor actions is old hat.

            So the question is then: what is unique about Novichoks vs older ACE inhibitors?

            It would appear to be:
            1) Ability to synthesise from basic commercial chemicals (front organisations buying harmless chemicals assemble raw materials);
            2) Two harmless components brought together to assemble deadly nerve agent (safe transportation of proto-weapon to desired target site);

            No evidence of any diference in potency, end effects etc (this may not be true, but no information yet out there).

            Obvious question: do those with advanced robotics capabilities have advantages when setting up mobile chemical weapons factories?

            After all, robots are immune to ACE inhibitors…..

      • Harry Law

        Bob Apposite, You misunderstand what has happened, the ‘trial’ has already taken place with the accused not being given the essential means i.e, evidence [natural justice] or the time to defend themselves, in effect the UK Government have acted as Judge, Jury and executioner and have carried out the sentence by inter alia expelling 23 Russian Diplomats, that is not justice in either the US or UK. Maybe Saudi Arabia.

        • Bob Apposite

          Expelling diplomats is nothing. It’s in fact – analogous to securing the scene of a crime.
          No “execution” happened. You’re silly.
          Britain is asking Russia for answers and getting stonewalled with nonsense like “how do we know the Skripals are ill?”.

          Obviously you’re never going to get any information without leverage.
          And Craig just conceded the only leverage you had.

      • Henry North

        You are aware that American Police are now being trained by the Israelis on how to be brutal?

      • Andrew Merlin

        Zadornov was right, he rest in peace – all Americans are stupid. You can judge an individual in your country, and the state can only be asked According to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons!

      • Resident Dissident


        What you have here in the main is not supporters of justice in any form – they have decided who is guilty, in fact they did it many years ago even before Salisbury, and their job is to select and misinterpret evidence in order to support their initial verdict. Their ancestors did exactly the same whitewash job when the current Tsar’s granddad was cooking tasty dishes for the then Tsar.

    • Ingwe

      Well put Harry Law.
      This so-called democracy holds, as its main pillar, the Rule of Law. This is of course until the Rule of Law becomes problematical. A defendant is entitled to know the case against them. The full case with all the evidence available. Here, we have the government, the military, the secret service etc all supporting the government’s case that Russia has carried out an unlawful act but apart from being judge in its own court, only these parties are allowed to see the evidence. As soon as the defendant or even a member of the public asks to see the evidence, we are told that it’s a matter of national security and privy only to the government, military etc. The main stream media simply churns out the government line. When someone questions this stock line, his patriotism is questioned.
      May, Johnson, Williamson et al give their findings as if it has been reached after consideration of evidence. The media bring forward so called experts to comment like Lord West or BBC foreign correspondents who just parrot the same assertions which,by virtue of their repetition, assume the mantle of truth.
      Thank goodness for Mr Murray and some other posters here!

    • N_

      WTF is Boris doing, pointing at Putin?
      Is he trying to play Senator Iselin in the Manchurian Candidate?
      (For those who don’t know, Iselin was a rabid McCarthyite US senator who was really owned by Moscow.)

    • Ingwe

      I perhaps wouldn’t expect the BBC to carry out investigative journalism given how its news/current affairs programs sound like government commiques. But it is disappointing that, so far, journalists and commentators like Robert Fisk, Tariq Ali and John Pilger appear to have remained silent. If they have published and I’ve missed it, I apologise.

      Those with th skill and a platform have a duty to counter the bullshit we’re being fed.

  • Willie Nik

    I have listened to pish coming out of politicians mouths ever since Harold Macmillan told us we’ve never had it so good, and butter and sugar were still rationed. This stream here is sadly in the minority. Forty years ago I had newsagents shop and 90% of the papers sold were the sun,the star ,the mirror ,and news of the world very small sales of the guardian or times in quite an affluent area. I thought then God help us . Not that people are bad the majority are just working to make ends meet shoes on the kids feet. Just saying we’re very much in the minority and it’s good to know there are others like me. What happened to the basic innocent till proven guilty.

    • Ben

      “What happened to the basic innocent till proven guilty.”

      It entered the Russian system of Putin justice.

      • Republicofscotland


        Yes you’re correct the Putin regime is a unjust one, however that doesn’t mean he had Skirpal attacked with a nerve agent. It would’ve been far easier to have him removed whilst in a Russian prison.

        It seems only fair to add that the American justice system, in places such as Tennessee, where legislators actively protect Neo-Nazis, is at the very least damaging to America’s image, as Putin’s is to Russia’s.


        • Ben

          No one is propounding the superiority of American Justice system but we do have speech protection based on common law RS. I believe Britain is where it came from, no?

          But you are excusing the apologists who have a greater agenda than merely protecting an oligarch. It’s unseemly.

          • Republicofscotland


            I’m not excusing anyone, I see Putin as more of a dictator than president. However if you have hard evidence that Putin is guilty of the “nerve agent attack” then by all means share it.

        • Roman

          Hi guys, i am from Russia, and situation in the world is driving me insane. I dont support Putin, but blaming him in this poisoning is very loud and weird.
          Now we dont have a right dialog with Britain and cant take part in investigation of this crime? I dont understand, why leaders of 4 countries making so aggressive statements about Russia. Now i cant see, who is real aggressor and who i should support to.

          I was think that i will get a complete picture of events if i will check all the western mass media talks about Skripal, but when i did it, it became even more incomprehensible.

          Sorry for my english, if something wrong, i had never learn it specifically

          • Jane

            Your English is good. and I understand how confused you feel.many of us feel the same.

          • Robyn

            Nothing wrong with your English, Roman. But I suggest you avoid the west mass media because their record of lying makes them unreliable. Stick with Craig Murray, and follow some of the links provided by his informed followers.

        • Pamela Storer

          In what way is the Russian Government an “unjust one”. ?
          Please note, to call it a “regime” is to state it is an undemocratic dictatorship.
          Please note the extensive controls on the current election, the oversight by 600 international observers – which is NOT allowed in in America, or I think the UK. Russia has a direct one person – one vote. No “electoral college”, no “super-reps”. Just direct voting.
          It is a modern Presidential democracy.
          And if it’s “unjust” the onus is on you to state in what ways, and provide your evidence.

  • Ben

    What’s Putin’s motive for probing cyber weakness in power grids?

    C’mon..you can speculate it was really the UK!

    • N_

      Who’s got the contract for protecting the power grids? Who did they pay off to get it? That’s how the world works.

      War has already been decided on, and is now inevitable, and in a sense it has already started. The elites of both countries are in it together – they are two sets of murdering scum

    • Republicofscotland

      “What’s Putin’s motive for probing cyber weakness in power grids?”


      The exact same motive as China probing the US or Russia probing the UK, or the UK probing China or Russia.

      To gain any type of upperhand, its not just a Russian trait now, is it?

    • jjc

      The alleged Russian hack of power grids in the US was debunked by the actual operators of such infrastructure many many months ago. It has been dredged up again by the usual evidence-free pols who tart up their public statements with emotive language and wild exaggeration. It is all meant to have a bludgeoning effect on the population, it is a propaganda campaign directed at us not the Russians.

  • Dave G

    It’s a tad hysterical for New Labour MPs to demand that Corbyn should unequivocally blame Russia given that Theresa May and Boris Johnson are not unequivocally blaming Russia. They are both coming out with the Novichuk “of a type developed by Russia” vagueness, which doesn’t tell anyone anything about where the Novichuk used in Salisbury was actually manufactured.
    And if it’s true that the chemical formula for Novichuk is in a book written by a Russian defector, then any country with a chemical weapons lab (like the one eight miles from Salisbury at Porton Down, for example) could have made it!

    • Kiza

      Uzbek defector, not Russian. The same as “of the type developed by Soviet Union”, instead of “of the type developed by Russia”. Weasel words and shifts allaround, do not fall for them.

  • krg

    As a member of the public, on the outside of the house of mirrors looking in, there is simply no way to tell truth from lie in this situation but I must acknowledge that these events feel contrived and synthetic. If it is the case that Russia are innocent of this crime however it makes no difference. Our government have chosen a path that makes it impossible for them to now acknowledge this. From here on in, regardless of what is discovered, they have no option but to coerce our intelligence, police and scientific personnel into supporting their accusations.

    • Kiza

      Likewise, if the hysteria generated by the British establishment does not result in some form of military attack on Russia (likely inside Syria), I believe that Russia can cope with accusations, sanctions, expulsions and so on. Anyone in Russia who expected any different from the enemy would have been a fool.

      It is a bit strange that many Britons who do not hold any animosity towards Russia cannot face that their establishment does. But when a shooting war starts and people on both sides start getting killed, then it will not matter how it all started and by who.

  • Bob Apposite

    As crazy as that is, I’m actually starting to like that theory.

    I mean, it was certainly odd that Trump said “it looks like Russia did it”, since he never blames Russia for anything.

  • N_

    This keeps getting stuck in the mod queue.

    As soon as Theresa May learnt she was going to be prime minister (when Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the Tory leadership contest), this is what she did. She signed a pledge to commemorate the mass murder by Germany 75 years ago of people from several countries which weren’t Britain (Russia, Poland, Ukraine etc.) who shared a certain religious background.

    And before going to get appointed as Prime Minister by the “queen”, she went to dinner at the home of a religious leader. I’ll call him “Chiefy”.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture”

    I suppose what we’d all like to know (if your source has the information) was a nerve agent actually deployed in this instance, regardless of its origins. Knowing the answer to that poser would at least clear up whether or not we should still be commenting on “the use” of one, never mind who’s to blame.

    • MJ

      “I suppose what we’d all like to know (if your source has the information) was a nerve agent actually deployed in this instance, regardless of its origins”

      Yes. Also, are the supposed victims still alive and where are they?

  • Russell Jones

    Thanks for putting this out Craig. I hope there are some reporters that will eventually pop this in sooner rather than later. I am grateful that you did go to the effort to do this. Cheers.?

  • krg

    Isn’t it odd that wee Farage, normally so vocal on all things, has said nothing about this. Perhaps this is because he would have no choice but to agree with Corbyn?

    • Kyle Weaver

      Farage has mention it on his radio show already. He hasn’t really taken any sides. Also stating that Corbyn may pay a political price for his stand. He believes its a rogue Russian element, not Putin.

    • duplicitousdemocracy

      Perhaps giyane but it’s difficult to have much sympathy for the Kurds when they have betrayed all the other Syrians by allowing the Americans to take a foothold in the region East of the Euphrates. Of course, Afrin won’t be a headline anytime soon because the Americans consider it to be to ‘their’ benefit. I’m still hopeful that the 67% Arab population will have something to say about it when they realise they are second class citizens in their own country.

      • giyane


        Thank you your interest and concern, I have more or less switched off following developments around Kurdistan since the Kurds polished off the Daesh with the help of the Iranians, UK and US armies.
        But talking to a Kurdish ( Iraqi ) brother today, he was absolutely outraged at the Turkish assault on Afrin and he told me about the Manchester and France demonstrations by Kurds against NATO ethnic cleansing in Afrin. I will investigate further, but one point to consider is France’s idea of removing the Kurds from their homeland in Eastern Turkey and shunting them down to Syria. My Kurdsish friend was emphasising to me that Afrin is a very mixed ethnic and religious population and that Afrin is highly regarded for its history and cultural significance. The town has been protected from military involvement because it is a historical and cultural gem. Afrin is now being trashed out of spite and jealousy by NATO’s Erdogan. I note what you say about the US taking the spoils of war. If Daesh do it they are medieval terrorists. If US do it, they are saving the cultural heritage for posterity. Where have we heard that before?

  • Allan Howard

    What about the possibility that this is all a False Flag op, and no one was actually poisoned, and we are all being led right up the proverbial garden path. Funny isn’t it how it led to the Tories/right-wing press/Labour ‘moderates’ et al doing a demolition job on Jeremy Corbyn as of since Wenesday.

    It was of course a set-up, and the script was written months ago, and a series of ‘events’ during the course of the past few months were contrived to manipulate the public prior to the hit job that is taking place now on JC.

    • Phil Badiz

      “What about the possibility that…” higly likely!
      What makes it so difficult to swallow for me is the “hard sell”. If this was a genuine incident, they (UK/US kissing bomb-buddies) would have followed protocol. However, what we have is two nuclear powers jumping to outrageous conclusions over a Brit double agent (who didn’t even die), bullying the German and French governments into shifting their more nuanced position, and blasting people like JC in the process. It sets off so many “false flag” alarm bells it just isn’t funny…
      Are they looking to go to war with Russia over Syrian oil, or some other such bollocks?
      And why do the Ruskies sound so much more sane than the UK government right now? I thought we won the war on fascist and Stalinist propaganda…

    • Henry North

      90% I would say. They’ve buried bad news whilst its being shouted from the rooftops….

  • Dieter

    There is one issue that hasn’t been addressed: the nerve toxin attack merely 8 miles from the UK’s chemical weapons lab at Porton Down can hardly be a coincidence. The perpetrator must have chosen that location deliberately. Skripal couldn’t have been more than a small fish and he probably was just a target of convenience. My suspicion is that the perpetrators wanted the toxin to get into the lab before it degraded. Somebody wanted to demonstrate that the Russian Novichoks exist, even though the Russians have destroyed their stockpile of other chemical weapons.

    • Henry North

      That was my first thought too. Isn’t Porton Down within a 10 mile radius of Salisbury…. Weird Coincidence I think not…..

    • Sharp Ears

      Policy Exchange is a neoconservative orientated think-tank with close ties to UK Prime Minister David Cameron. [1] It was launched in April 2002 by two former Asda executives Francis Maude and Archie Norman with Nicholas Boles as its founding director. [2] It is part of the Stockholm Network [3] a working group of European market-oriented think-tanks.

      In 2011 Montgomerie wrote, ‘the old rightwing thinktanks weren’t particularly helpful to the Tory modernisers and so they built their own. Policy Exchange helped Michael Gove develop his schools agenda. The Centre for Social Justice gave Iain Duncan Smith his poverty-fighting plans.’ [4] In 2012 he described the two think-tanks as having ‘been the most influential centre right think tank of the last decade.’ [5]


  • john ocallaghan

    It seems Jeremy Corybn is not accepting this rubbish that Russia is responsible for this and other transgressions.
    I believe it is a set up by either the British or US Govt to further their case to demonise Russia, and maybe down the track for those crazy MFs in the US military to launch an attack!

  • Phil Badiz

    The British Brainwashing Corp. hasn’t been interested in real journalism for years, so why anyone might hope for ther interest in such things at this point in time is a bit bewildering, especially under the corporate fascism that poses as government in the UK in 2018.
    Aside from that, great article (again).

  • Spencer Eagle

    What gets me is the ‘Novichok’ BS appeared in the press very quickly, almost as if it was planted as part of the ‘Russia did it’ narrative. Anyone know exactly when it was first appeared in the press?

  • Iain McLaren

    Wow, if this is anywhere close ro accurate then it’s a bombshell and the government have been playing fast and loose with the truth for personal and political purposes. Corbyn looks more the statesman by the day

    • Ben

      I think Corbin is swell but do you think he’s pandering to a Base like Trumps? I mean, political stripes don’t change, they ‘ morph’..correctomundo?

    • Henry North

      What do you expect from the Conservative party? They’ve now been in power for 8 years and they are doing a Tony Blair. I heard Cameron speak to the doctors about how he would save the NHS in 2007 and I listened to him and thought that he was spouting bullshit, the problem was that everyone lapped it up. I was a section 12(2) approved psychiatrist and I could see that the bastard was lying, hear it even. All these top politicians lie and back stab or they couldnt have got where they are currently. I don’t trust May. Her delivery of her words is suspect . There are subtle changes when people are acting, and not telling the truth…

  • Ben

    Craig circa 2007

    “I believe I may have found the way to post the original text of my Recent Mail Russian articles, without taking over the whole weblog:

    Two months ago, 51 year old Ivan Safronov, defence correspondent of the authoritative Kommersant newspaper in Moscow, came home from work. He had bought a few groceries on the way, apparently for the evening meal. On the street where he lived, as he passed the chemist’s shop in front of the cluster of grim Soviet era apartment blocks, he met his neighbour, Olga Petrovna. She tells me that he smiled from under his hat and nodded to her. After a mild winter, Moscow had turned cold in March and Safronov held his carrier bag of groceries in one hand while the other clutched the lapels of his coat closed against the snow. Fifty yards further on he arrived at the entrance to his block, and punched in the code – 6 and 7 together, then 2 which opened the mechanical lock of the rough, grey metal door at the entrance to the concrete hallway. He passed on into the gloomy dank corridor.

    The identification this week of a ‘former’ KGB officer, Andre Luguvoi, as the chief suspect in the murder in London of dissident Alexander Litvinenko, and Russia’s curt refusal to extradite him, reflects once again just how ruthless and audacious Putin’s Russian has become and how little we can do about it. But in fact there is a less obvious, but more sinister, danger from the Kremlin that threatens the future security of every British citizen.”


  • Freddy

    Lesley Doogan:
    ” … How do they go about testing the nerve gas? Is it through blood tests of the affected people? … ”

    Simple, they’d do something like this:
    “The Norfolk Germ Warfare Experiments”


    they’d do something like this:
    “Declassified Porton Down Cold War Biological Warfare film”

    If you pay attention it says “Declassified”, and should one assume that as of now there’s plenty of still “Classified” material ?

    • Bob Apposite

      Huh? So how did Murray go from “there is nothing exceptional about Putin having critics killed in 2007” to “it’s probably not Russia” in 2018?

  • Lawrence Orr

    Sir I thank you for this valuable work, you obviously have standards the British government would do well to note. The way the west has been responding to Russiafor years just provides me with divided loyalties, although to be totally truthfulI would be more willing to support an honest man Jeremy Corbyn.
    Once again-thank you. My email is [email protected]

  • krg

    A copy of the email I sent to Amber Rudd last evening

    “Dear Madam,

    I have been keeping abreast of events surrounding the nerve agent attack in Salisbury from the outset but have significant concerns that perhaps you can help allay.

    In her statement, Theresa May indicated that the Novichok nerve agent was Russian in origin and was either used by the Russian state or a third party who had somehow acquired the substance. Whilst leaving the door open on either of these two possibilities, Theresa May then proceeded by accusing the Russian state of deliberate foul play. Two days later, we now have almost every news agency in the country claiming that Russia has executed a terror attack on UK soil. As I consider the information that has been placed in the public domain, it occurs to me that there is nothing available that supports this rhetoric and this concerns me greatly.

    There is only one situation that I can conceive of that would justify the current unfolding of events in the UK: that our intelligence services have absolute evidence of willful Russian culpability in this matter and have briefed the Government privately of this. If this is the case however why has Theresa May not simply stated that the UK has absolute proof? Her refusal to make such an obvious statement, even if the evidence cannot be shared, is curiously irregular. Furthermore if the UK does have proof of willful Russian culpability why did Theresa May state, in her initial speech, that a third party may have acquired the substance and acted independently?

    As things currently stand the UK is either behaving improperly or behaving properly but withholding evidence to such a degree as to make its behaviour appear improper. Neither of these two positions inspires confidence and I would urge you to rectify the situation with some urgency.

    Yours sincerely,


    • Ben

      “Theresa May then proceeded by accusing the Russian state of deliberate foul play. ”

      When you see smoke do you think ‘fire’

      I certainly hope so.

      • krg

        Yes, I may think that but I wouldn’t start screaming FIRE! until I was certain it wasn’t just some overcooked toast.

        Also I imagine if a member of your family was being accused of a crime based on a similar level of evidence you would be demanding absolute proof from the CPS before they were locked up.

      • krg

        It doean’t matter. What matters is that these people see that a contingent of the public want to see more than unproved accusations of guilt.

    • Resident Dissident

      Of course there is a third option that the Govt is behaving properly but is withholding evidence since fairly obviously much of the evidence should not be in the public domain, it may well need to be presented in UK or international courts and the accused does have something of a history of using diversionary and distraction techniques as a means of seeking to hide its guilt.

      It is perhaps also worth noting that the Putin regime have been told something about the nature of the nerve agent – so much so that their UK ambassador is able to assign a number to its type (A-236 or similar) in his tweets.

  • J m mukhopadia

    We the public are duped all the time, eg WMD, Brexit . What is the gain to the perpetrators of these/this falsehood?

    • giyane

      Cui bono? Israel. Cui malo? I’m bored with saying it, Saudi Arabia which has been misled by NATO into thinking it can win control over Damascus through sponsoring jihad in Syria, only to find that its aspirations have been blocked by Russia. NATO needs Saudi Arabia to really really really believe NATO and Russia are not working together to frustrate Saudi aspirations. But they are. You can fool some of the people some of the time. Maybe Saudi Arabia think we have a free press because of bogs like this. The reality is that the entire MSM are putting out a rhetoric of nuclear proportions about NATO – Russia tensions. It’s all bollocks to deceive Saudi Arabia. You did ask.

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