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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      • JOML

        You’re on the button there, Ben. The UK is too bloody stupid to realise they are a dispensable pawn in the armoury of the US – stupid enough to spend £200 billion to keep US-controlled nuclear WMDs up to date. Much to my despair, these bastards have their weapons stored in my backyard and I long for the day they fuck off (US and Westminster), although I fear these oppressors may not leave in my lifetime.

  • Roland Gilmore

    Thank you for this insight Craig.
    It is regrettable that politicians and most of the audience on BBC Question Time overlooked, did not listen or did not understood the PM’s Commons statement. Apart from one article in today’s Guardian that must have escaped the censor, continued stoking of hysteria remains the order of the day in British main stream media.
    One word – Gladio.

  • Nick McBain

    Chapeau and keep up the good work for us Bedizened Little People Craig. Excellent. Watch your back too

    • giyane

      maybe the original was top duplicitor
      which it changes to duplicator
      In the interests of equal opportunities, if you had been subjected to childhood abuse by older boys , sanctioned by teaching staff, after being forecibly removed from your mother and father, you too might be a cokehead and a liar.

      • N_

        @Giyane – There is no “if” about it. I did go to a top boarding school, and I am neither a cokehead nor a liar. You are absolutely right that it damages people a lot. Moreover, that is an enormously important fact in why Britain and its elite are the way they are. Not many people understand that. It’s nice to meet someone else who does. If it were possible here, I’d send you a private message.

        Boris Johnson is a bully and a scumbag. I totally accept that his personality is the result of his experiences and that he wasn’t born like that. But that’s still what he is. He’s a right wing elitist arsehole, and he should never have been appointed Foreign Secretary. He should never have been given any position of responsibility. Don’t get me wrong – I believe in the possibility of redemption. He should be isolated from people from similar backgrounds and given lengthy re-education until he becomes decent.

        But back in the real world of here and now, here the moron is, in the runup to what looks like war, and he’s not trying to take another course than war, but he’s accusing a foreign head of government of having ordered a murder when he has no evidence. He probably has the same feelings going through his head as if he were on a “chav hunt“.

    • Sharp Ears

      Q. Who owns the Washington Post?

      A. Jeff Bezos purchased the newspaper for US$250 million in cash, completing the transaction on October 1, 2013, after announcing the planned acquisition on August 5, 2013. The newspaper is currently owned by Nash Holdings LLC, a holding company created for the acquisition and controlled by Bezos.

      Birds of a feather flock together.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      A diplomat is an employee of FCO working abroad in a UK Embassy.

      Boris Johnson is a politician parachuted into office at the FCO on the sole recommendation of the PM.

  • Dieter

    The Russian chemist who disclosed this type of toxin in 1992 said yesterday that:

    “Any chemical toxic substance decomposes, and there is no compound that retains its properties for a long time. In the first year, 2 percent is lost, in the second 3 (percent), and the resulting products of decomposition accelerate the process of disintegration. That is why the storage and disposal of toxic substances is a big problem, which, moreover, is more expensive than production.”

    Which means that a toxin that was stolen after the collapse of the SU would have lost most of its toxicity by now. However, in another interview he said that death can occur within seconds of exposure. The Skripals are still alive even though it could have been hours before they were treated correctly. Would that not indicate that they were poisoned by a toxin that was much weaker than a newly made toxin?

    • N_

      There has been little public discussion of the victims’ symptoms and why they appear to have been so fortunate in surviving an attack with a “military grade weapon”.

      This doesn’t look like the British state marketing its antidotes to nerve agents.

      Worthy of note is that when Mossad tried to kill Khaled Meshaal by squirting poison in his ear in Amman in 1997, the weapon they used was fentanyl. The op went wrong, some of the assassins got caught, and as well as having to release several Arab prisoners to buy the release of their own operatives, they also had to hand over some of the antidote so that Meshaal’s life could be saved.

      One or more elements of that story may well have parallels in Salisbury.

  • Anthony Hagger

    This shouting and screaming by the Tories reminds me of the lying that took place when the referendum concerning staying or leaving the EU took place! But far more dangerous! I’m surprised that Farage and all the other scoundrels haven’t taken front and centre yet! Buffoon Boris, of course, is there banging the ‘war drum’, arch diplomat that he is (this is sarcasm) but I’m sure that given a little more time all the others will come crawling out of the woodwork to stir what is becoming another nasty, warmongering pot even worse than Blair and the non existent WMDs!

  • Andrew Merlin

    Ivan the Terrible and his descendants were poisoned by the British – https://www.liveinternet.ru/users/4696897/post194221418/?aid_refresh=yes
    The British also poisoned Peter I, Аlexander III, killed Paul I, and Stalin was poisoned through agents MI6 Mikoyan and Maisky, in collusion with Khrushchev.
    Mikoyan was not shot with 26 Baku commissars just because the British recruited him as an agent of MI6.
    Evidence for all these facts is very easy to find in runet.
    I’m 55 years old, I’m Russian, and I do not have any doubts about the fact that MI6 destroyed Litvinenko, Berezovsky, Glushkov and Skripal, as well as 100-200 other similar agents only in the last 10 years.
    Your Theresa May is a bum, the defense minister is a pederast, and I maintain that Putin will become president again on Monday – that’s a million percent.
    My daughter at dinner asked: what, in England, ice axes from the sale disappeared? Or you, the British, full of morons – the base for recruitment in Russia is over, or there is a very valuable Russian agent in MI6. Type of our Trump in the US (a joke). But the second only complements the first.

    • Ben

      Thanks for your anecdotal proof…

      Reductive logic method:

      “The Black cat is male, therefore all black cats are male”

      You’re welcome..

      • Ventcap

        It was a Schrodinger’s cat, and therefore could have been, alive, dead, or both, and male, female, and now transgender of course, so take your pick?

      • Andrew Merlin

        The accusation of the murder of the main presidential candidate on the eve of the elections – what is this, if not a game for his victory? Look for the “boss of the Gestapo Muller” at home, approximately the way it seems your media, that he was a Russian agent. Shelenberg, by the way, also poisoned MI6 by publishing a book on his behalf after his death. He did not even read it.

    • giyane

      Not my Theresa May, sir. Just the only member of the Nasty party they couldn’t find any dirt on. We do all have bums and they are useful sometimes for talking out of when MI6 won’t let us use our mouths. If you mean by ‘bum’ an outcast member of society, a scrounger, yes I agree with you: the Nasty Party is not wanted by the electorate. Our democracy is rigged. That’s why they decided to do Brexit because they tried to rig the referendum against Leaving the EU. A bit scarey for them when even rigging gets over-powered.
      She’s probably dreaming right now about being forced out of office for lying to parliament about Salisbury. please please God if you exist get me out of power. Now where are those Novo chocolates Putin gave me last year?

    • Andrew Merlin

      PS I wildly apologize to Naryshkin, but even the CIA, Putin has long been bought – lose cruise missile with a nuclear engine … You were told in 2007 about the Bank – you do not understand. Honestly, I am a citizen of Russia, could not understand long time, why Putin will not wipe out the elite Vanguard (and the first Soros) – they are not policies, noise will not be a lot. Understand only the first of March.

    • N_

      D’you reckon Beria was MI6 as well as Mikoyan and Maisky? I’ve long thought he may have been.

      In the Russia of the first half of the 20th century, did MI6 only recruit non-Russians like the three mentioned, or what?

  • Tom

    Thank you, Craig.. It is good to know we still have public servants who are not prepared to be bullied or influenced by the government, even in such a febrile political atmosphere. I hope that between honest commentators such as yourself and the investigators we can arrive at something more truthful than the evidence-free blaming of Putin.

  • saluspopuli.org

    Thank you Mr. Ambassador for your candor and courage. The atmosphere in the US in 2002-2003 was saturated with lies and disinformation. This well orchestrated propaganda effort by the G.W. Bush administration was designed to support the coming war against Iraq. The once respected General Colin Powell lied to the world at the UN about WMD. Of course, the UN was meaningless to the US administration as the war machinery had been set in motion many months before. Tony Blair was in a state of hysteria about a 45 minute missile attack capability bringing WMD onto Europe. The Brit “Dirty Dossier” was notorious for its lies. Back then, the US press censored their news heavily and did not report, or minimized reporting, about the strong opposition in Parliament. Orwellian. Same today. Now we have the latest in the anti-Russia campaign with this nerve agent story. The present anti-Russia hysteria reminds of Palmerston and Dizzy’s anti-Russia policy of the 19th century but now in full 21st century mode. New Crimean War coming up?

  • Harry Law

    Very interesting article by Dmitry Orlov ‘The shocking Diplomatic Incompetence of Teresa May and Boris Johnson’ .. “Unlike these other professions, the successful exercise of diplomacy demands much greater attention to questions of demeanor: a diplomat must be affable, personable, approachable, decorous, scrupulous, levelheaded… in a word, diplomatic”. Does that describe you Craig?

  • Robert Goodall

    Great article, reminds me what I’m missing.
    For my tuppence worth, I can’t help remembering the Sunday golfer who died after cleaning his golf ball with spit a number of years ago. It turned out the turf had been treated with organophosphate herbicide if I remember. However this was recently reinforced when I visited my mother’s house and a huge black wasp crawled, dying out of a bunch of flowers.What had it been sprayed with and where? The strength of these chemicals is remarkable I used an ant repellant in the form of a magic marker and drew an invisible line on the kitchen vinyl only to see ants unable to cross the line. All was well until my son entered the room for dinner and almost immediately started to develop red blotches on exposed skin. I figured out what was going on and removed him from the room. My daughter was apparently unaffected like my wife and I, but that was a wake up call.
    At this time of year there is a great deal of agricultural and horticultural activity so I am not as surprised as I might have been. It may simply end up as being in contact with two chemicals that produce devastating results. Twenty years later the same son took ill after passing through pine trees that had been recently sprayed for moths if I remember correctly. Acute photoalergic reaction.

  • Matt


    in Adam Curtis’s film/documentary The Power of Nightmares he illustrated how a source of evidence for WMD in Iraq described it being stored in linked glass spheres and initially was thought to be high value intel until someone pointed out it bore a remarkable similarity to the plot of a movie ‘The Rock’


    well I’d never heard of Novichok’s before but apparently it was part of a storyline in the spy/espionage/special forces thriller type thing aired in the UK & US last year, Strike Back: Retribution, seems to kick off about episode 4,



    I wonder if Boris or Theresa were big fans of this show?

  • TomGard

    In cases of severe but non-lethal poisoning with cholinesterase inhibitors, myasthenia gravis remains due to irreversible destruction of part of the motor end plates.Look here:

    The little information about the police officer who supposedly became a secondary victim at the Skripal house, is still under treatment but communicado, is consistent with nerve-agent poisoning, the message blockade over the Scripals is not.

    Therfore I wonder, if the peculiarities of this case, including the pressure in Porton Down, of which you relayed in your post, could be consistent with the supposition, that the Skripal affair was turned into a Novichok affair in order to prevent a larger False-Flag attack with “Novichok” at another location.

    • N_

      @TomGard – Who are the players in that scenario? I mean in the two attacks, one actual, one planned but prevented, each with one real perp and one fake? Don’t you have to have at least three players to make that work – so who?

      I could just about buy the idea that one or both of the Skripals was simply carrying the stuff.

      • The Boris Support Society

        It’s not a stuff.

        It’s two separate harmless compounds which when combined are devastating.

        When it’s a stuff, you’re dead.

        That was the new thing about it.

        It was only synthesized at the point of attack.

        No need for storage of chemical weapons.

        You have commercial factories producing agricultural fertilisers and pesticides and so on, and each producing, independently of one another, components of something else they have no way of forseeing.

        That was the idea.

    • JimKirk

      This is a fascinating albeit dangerous thought. Do you care to elaborate on your thinking?

      • TomGard

        Well, Jim, there is not much to elaborate. It seems to me, there is absolutely no use for “novichok” besides false flag operations, to the opposite. VX is already far enough deadly (little more than 10mg lethal dose) and it has the convenience to be quite stable (about 40d) for area denial purpose. If you wish a less stable agent, Sarin is good enough and far less dangerous for handler and moving up friendly troops. So. If Craig Murrays informant is right and this stuff didn’t came from Porton Down, but Porton Down has had it for research purpose, where else could it have come from? Pentagon? But why establish it on british soil?
        In the timeline of events there is also the Russian warning of an imminent false flag in Syria with the purpose to attack the government- and army quarters in Damas, whereas more than 2000 NATO(!!)-troups where engaged in air defense exercises in Israel.

      • TomGard

        Perhaps I should add that quite obviously Gadi Eizenkot and parts of the intelligence community in Israel strongly oppose an all out Israel war in the Levante.

      • TomGard

        Really that dangerous? I don’t get it There might be a histoical chance that the zionist Military Democracy civilizes itself – with a little help from friends.

  • mike

    Hold on to your hats – John Bolton is tipped to be Trump’s next National Security Adviser. Won’t that be a fun ride. Now that the neocon take over of the Administration is almost complete, expect some fireworks. With guys like Bolton in the inner circle, it won’t be long before Plan D is attempted in Syria. Given Moscow’s recent warnings about another US cruise missile attack, I expect we’ll find out whether Putin was bluffing about those hypersonic weapons before too long.

    If Trump plays ball, the Dems will be dropped, perhaps with some juicy DNC “leak” to put the final nail into Killary’s kist. Why? They’ll no longer be needed: the neocon parasite will have full control of its POTUS host. Then it can inflict as much wanton savagery as the Middle East can take.

    • Bob Apposite

      “ith some juicy DNC “leak” to put the final nail into Killary’s kist. Why? They’ll no longer be needed: the neocon parasite will have full control of its POTUS host.”

      Wasn’t that always the WikiLeaks plan?

    • Andrew Merlin

      Daggers fly only 2-3-5 pieces, on the largest aircraft carriers and ships. They flew for about 5 minutes from Armavir. The remaining bases will destroy the calibers with vacuum warheads from submarines – there they are about 10-15, well, SU-30, SU-34 will be connected. The terrorists were killed by all, so all the warheads on the rockets are only with vacuum bombs. The aircraft carrier does not even sink – it turns into dust. Tomahawks even S-400 will not be needed – their Krasuha will reassure, like last year. Now there are even more, then only half was enough. The ships there are ours only for order. The next day the dollar will cost 50 kopecks, Russian tanks will stand at the borders of Poland, Trump will go around the world, and Teresa May will ask Russian citizenship for helping Putin in the elections.

  • David

    Thank you for your efforts. This whole scenario is pure idiocy and quite possibly mass-suicide conducted on behalf of the entire United Kingdom thanks to the incompetency of Parliament.

  • mike

    Interesting, TomGard, Can you unpack your final paragraph, please? I’m a little foggy on the scenario.

  • Gianni Mondonudo

    Most excellent clarification of this piece of shameless
    Anti- Russian propaganda. It is a vicious and absurd
    action perpetrated in the last spate of UK ISRAEL US
    NATO obnoxious campaign to create a fake idea of Russia as an enemy.

    • Dr. Ip

      Well, it has come to my attention that this Novichok story actually has a predecessor in the series Strike Back which was aired just recently.
      Here are the details.:

      Episode 4

      Zaryn is in fact Karim Markov, a Russian scientist who allegedly killed his colleagues with Novichok, a nerve agent they invented.

      Episode 5

      Section 20 track Berisovich’s meth lab in Turov where Markov is making more Novichok and destroy it, though Berisovich escapes with Markov.

      Episode 6

      Section 20 track down Maya, a local Muslim woman Lowry radicalised, to a local airport. When she attempts to release the Novichok, Reynolds shoots her. The Novichok is fake however, as Berisovich does not want an attack committed in his country. … Jensen traces the gas’ radiation background and learns that Markov’s lab is in Pripyat, Ukraine. By the time Section 20 arrives, Berisovich had already called in the FSB to extract Markov and confiscate the Novichok. .… They then manage to engage the FSB and contain the gas. But in the process Reynolds is exposed. Markov works on an antidote but is killed by the Russians before he can complete it. McAllister improvises and saves Reynolds, before Novin blows up the lab. Lowry uses the remainder of the gas to kill Berisovich for trying to betray her.

      • N_

        I don’t watch TV. Could some kind soul summarise what the show “McMafia” is all about and what effect has been sought 🙂

      • lissnup

        I feel events earlier this week in New Malden mean it’s relevant to include this detail from Ep. 6:
        “Yuri resurfaces to kill McAllister and Wyatt. However they turn the tables and strangle him to death.”

  • Steve Williams

    I see scientific argument and facts elude you.
    Replied to Clyde Davies yet?

  • Andrew Merlin

    You are welcome. This is самогон. I drive myself. Steeper than the Новичок.

    • Andrew Merlin

      Scientific arguments existed (there are) have Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Theresa may? A beginner is a secret development, not a weapon of mass destruction. If you have it, then show it. And if there is no, there is nothing to hump. Would you like the nuclear engine of a cruise missile to show? Or a key to give to the apartment where the money is?

  • Tom

    I’ve got one word for Theresa May and Boris Johnson and the rest of the UK parliamentarians that support this obviously set up incident to drive another spike into the Demonize Putin and Russia agenda – EVIL – none of these people should be representing UK residents – they’re all a bunch of lying criminals.

  • John Goss

    Earlier I wrote the following about the murder of Glushkov. It is my view as to what may well have happened in both the murder of Glushkov and the attempted murders of the Skripals.


    “Now here’s the rub. According to an article in OffGuardian an individual tried to help Glushkov escape from hospital and avoid justice. That individual was Andrei Lugovoi. The OffGuardian article which everyone should read says:

    “It also turns out that Lugovoi not only had a close association with Berezovsky right up to the moment of Litvinenko’s death, but was also convicted by a Russian court shortly after Berezovsky fled Russia of trying to arrange the escape of Nikolai Glushkov, one of Berezovsky’s close associates, from a hospital where he was in pre-trial detention on a fraud charge.””

    • N_

      @JohnGoss – Interesting article.

      This murder will show that the two aforementioned Russians were not responsible for the death of Litvinenko

      How will it?

      Russia have now opened investigations into the murder of one Russian citizen, Glushkov, and the attempted murder of another, Yulia Skripal. (Source.)

      I think both the British state and the Russian state have a lot that they want to keep under wraps regarding Boris Berezovsky, who was a much more important figure than Litvinenko, Lugovoi, Skripal, or Glushkov.

      • John Goss

        “How will it?”

        They were Litvinenko’s friends. They were working with him. It has never been proven they were involved. Let’s see how it pans out.

    • Resident Dissident

      You forget that Putin as a rule has no problem with corrupt oligarchs providing they pay their dues. Perhaps a little reading on Warwick the kingmaker might be in order.

    • Andrew Merlin

      I would give it a lot to rummage around in the MI6 archives about the murders of Russian tsars and general secretaries since Grozny, …, Lenin and ending with Stalin.
      Although there is no money – but you hold on.
      I understand that every new prime minister of England is given all this after the election at once in a long reference (as a special folder with us), and for a couple of days his cuckoo leaves completely.
      We are Russian, since 1990 all this has already passed, all KGB archives are almost open, we are used to it. Sudoplatov and so on.
      And Teresa May, like any normal person, immediately went off the roof – begins to understand that for the evil that England of Russia has caused for ages, this England has long ago to be erased from the face of the earth. Therefore, her uterus descended.
      And Lizka again laughs – Diana was soaked in the dark, ей хоть ссы в глаза – все божья роса.
      I wonder when they will block me here – no Russian forum for more than a day could not stand it. We will appreciate the vaunted English restraint and freedom of speech.

      • JimKirk

        You have not been blocked, I imagine, because you are very cute and keep injecting a sub-text into your postings that have one or two markers that peak the interests of one or two Analysts. That or Craig just can’t be bothered to spend the time issuing forum bans.

  • Ishmael

    It’s a pity Brzezinski is gone. America is coming apart. All the Russians have to do is pull up the popcorn and watch the show. You cannot explain reality to the NATO goons. Driving American Foreign Policy is like taking Miss Daisy for a ride.

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