Portonblimp Down – A Tale By Boris Johnson 484


“Comrade Putin, we have successfully stockpiled novichoks in secret for ten years, and kept them hidden from the OPCW inspectors. We have also trained our agents in secret novichok assassination techniques. The programme has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but now we are ready. Naturally, the first time we use it we will expose our secret and suffer massive international blowback. So who should be our first target? The head of a foreign intelligence agency? A leading jihadist rebel in Syria? A key nuclear scientist? Even a Head of State?”

“No, Tovarich. There is this old retired guy I know living in Salisbury. We released him from jail years ago…”

WARNING If you harbour any doubts at all about the plausibility of Mr Johnson’s story, you are a crazed conspiracy theorist and a traitor. Plus you will never, ever get employed in the BBC or corporate media.


484 thoughts on “Portonblimp Down – A Tale By Boris Johnson

1 2 3 5
  • Merkin Scot

    “No, Tovarich. There is this old retired guy I know living in Salisbury. We released him from jail years ago…”
    .
    Game, set and match to Murray.

    • sam

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_x8_i15LB4
      Dr Udo Ulfkotte journalist and author on RT Blows the whistle on Fake News!!
      https://www.globalresearch.ca/world-class-journalist-spills-the-beans-admits-mainstream-media-is-completely-fake/5516749
      Recently, Dr.Udo Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

      He recently made an appearance on RT news to share these facts:

      I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.

      But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.

      Dr. Udo Ulfkotte

      Dr. Udo Ulfkotte is a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades, so you can bet he knows a thing or two about mainstream media and what really happens behind the scenes.

      • Harry Law

        Sam, Thanks for those links. Unfortunately Dr Udo Ulfkotte died in January 2017.

      • Wolsto

        A quick tour of Mr Google says Udo Ulfkotte was a far right nut job and a supporter of Pegida. He also died two years ago.

      • JimKirk

        I read the messages below about Udo. I actually had some email exchanges with the guy and he was lovely. I do not think he was a nut job, just someone who went out and experienced a lot, got dosed and went into slow decline followed by doing the right thing and becoming a whistle blower.

  • Anthony

    Suddenly the liberal media is telling us that stupidest, most deluded people in the country are those that are sceptical of Bozo the Clown. They’ve been telling us the exact opposite for nigh on two years.

  • bliss_porsena

    Poor Bonkers. His Brexit Trainwreck Derangement Syndrome is erupting in mysterious ways.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Julian,

      Indeed, the lunatics have taken over the asylum, with many of them sitting Parliamentarian’s from both the UK’s largest political parties.

      The hysteria exhibited is the worst mouth foaming I’ve ever witnessed in the UK, the MSM coverage being equal too, or surpassing the Propaganda I witness on Chinese State Television.

      And we are supposed to trust these buggers. I think not!!!

  • fred

    I’m starting to wonder just where you are going with all this. Will you come out and say that you think that in all probability Russia wasn’t behind the nerve agent attack?

    Back in 2003 it was pretty obvious that Iraq didn’t have WMD any more, nobody could prove anything, there was no hard evidence but going on probabilities it was reasonable to assume the truth was being manipulated by Bush and his useful idiots.

    Looking at the facts we know and historical record I think it’s reasonable to say that the balance of probabilities point to it being Russia who tried to assassinate a man who betrayed them.

      • Martyn Wood-Bevan

        1. These chemicals were manufactured in Uzbekistan and were de-commissioned with help from the US – NYTimes and BBC.
        2. That such drugs have been traded by former employees – Reuters.
        3. OPCW does not list Novichoks, but do list Sarin, etc.
        4. That a passing GP who helped them for 30 mins on the bench had NO ill effects and just carried on.
        5. That OPCW in 2017 confirmed that Russia had NO nerve agents left.

        I could go on…

        • DDTea

          OPCW confirmed Russia’s declared stockpile was destroyed, not that it had “no nerve agents left.” Details matter.

          Whether or not the CWC bans a particular chemical weapon is immaterial. Article 1 of the chemical weapons convention issues a blanket ban on the use of toxic chemicals as weapons.

        • HateWarMongering

          1 – These chemicals were manufactures in Uzbekistan and were de-commissioned with the help from the US? What makes you so sure US didn’t take them for themselves?
          2 – “Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published” – Porton Down’s Dr Black, hence no way to check that they originate from Russia.
          3 -“The completion of the verified destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons programme is a major milestone in the achievement of the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention. I congratulate Russia and I commend all of their experts who were involved for their professionalism and dedication. I also express my appreciation to the States Parties that assisted the Russian Federation with its destruction program and thank the OPCW staff who verified the destruction.” – OPCW Director-General congragulating Russia for destroying its stockpile.
          4 – “the completion of the verified destruction of Russia’s declared chemical weapons programme.” – British ambassodor Wilson

      • geoff

        how about:
        1) 2 people are seriously ill, 1 is recovering
        2) the 2 were seen collapsed on a bench foaming at the mouth
        3) the 3 are still in hospital
        4) we have been told that it is a nerve agent and that it is russian. If they have gc and mass spec blueprints – it would be relatively straight forward to identify
        5) the uk govt are going to hand over samples to an international agency

        Have I missed anything else?

        • Mochyn69

          Yes, you’ve missed the blindingly obvious actually!!

          “of a type developed by Russia”, which in fact should be “of a type developed by the former Soviet Union” is not the same as saying the nerve agent is Russian.

          Get it now?

          .

          • geoff

            Blindingly obvious! But please read

            State Secrets
            An Insider’s Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program
            by Vil S. Mirzayanov

        • Merkin Scot

          2) the 2 were seen collapsed on a bench foaming at the mouth
          .
          You are forgetting the countless swivel-eyed loons who are still ‘foaming at the mouth’ that their ‘Get Russia’ plot is unravelling as we speak.

        • HateWarMongering

          How about:

          4) “Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published” – Porton Down’s Dr Black, hence no way to check that they are Russian using mass spec.

          • geoff

            the irony is Mirzayanov is a whistle blower like Craig. The book is a good read btw

        • Madeira

          “5) the uk govt are going to hand over samples to an international agency”

          Yes, and the OPCW will almost certainly confirm that this is a “novichok”. But what will this prove, given that:

          1. novichok could be relatively easily produced by almost anyone (see Craig’s earlier article showing that it was synthesized in Iran in 2016)

          2. there is almost certainly no reliable “chain of custody” as we, the public, will have to accept “on faith” that the sample handed over to OPCW came from the Skripals and not some other source.

    • PetrGrozny

      That ‘balance of probabilities’ was my starting point too but of its nature a ‘balance of probabilities’ verdict will sometimes turn out to be incorrect and there are just too many things about this which don’t stack up. I prefer to have uncertainty about this than false certainty.

      • fred

        Whether they turn out to be correct or not it’s always better to go with that balance of probabilities.

        It makes more sense that saying “oh look the Foreign Secretary is a buffoon therefore Putin couldn’t have done it”.

        One has to wonder who is manipulating the truth this time and who are his useful idiots.

          • fred

            We aren’t in a court. We are people in the comments section of a blog trying to make sense of the world, trying to work out what is real and what is fake.

        • Ian

          So can you explain why Putin would have done this, assuming he’s not completely idiotic?

          • fred

            Why would the IRA put a bomb under the car of a loyalist spy? Why would a gangster shoot a police informer? It’s exactly the same principal.

        • Agent Green

          This is a criminal action. ‘The balance of probabilities’ just won’t cut it. We would have to be so sure as to be certain – or sure beyond reasonable doubt.

          As it currently stands, in the absence of any evidence whatsoever, it would be impossible to reach such a level of certainty.

          • fred

            Why? We aren’t judges, juries or executioners.

            Some are allowed to offer opinions on mere speculation while others have to have solid concrete proof. Why is that?

          • gm

            Fred you keep saying we’re not jurors or executioners, etc, but the government is calling this an act of war based on, what? We as commenters may not need to know beyond the balance of probabilities but surely the government should, with such high stakes? I as a citizen expect that from my government before accusing another, in this case powerful nuclear-capable, nation state.

          • DDTea

            To the best of my knowledge, nobody has called this an “act of war.”

            They’ve called it an “unlawful use of force.”

            Let’s not exaggerate.

        • Rory O’Connor

          Actually the fact of these stories being wildly spun — “of a type developed”, “for the past decade” — IS incriminating, or at any rate raises questions, for the British security state. “The balance of probabilities”on a fair assessment does not necessarily point to Russia at all. Except in people’s minds if thoroughly propagandized. So keep holding fire.

          • DDTea

            It really does point to Russia, especially when 14 or 15 other Russian dissidents have died under suspicious circumstances in the UK. And let’s not forget the Polonium murder of Litvinenko.

            The Polonium was unambiguously traced to a Russian reactor, yet Russia denied any involvement. Their denials are cheap.

            Russia, the official successor to the USSR, is the only state known to have a Novichok program. It also has a dubious commitment to the CWC, since it seems to be able to conjure up undeclared weaponized fentanyls…

          • Dave Lawton

            DDTea
            “The Polonium was unambiguously traced to a Russian reactor, yet Russia denied any involvement. Their denials are cheap.”

            How do you work that out? I thought Polonium 210 could be bought of the internet.

          • David Habakkuk

            DDTea,

            The ‘polonium murder of Litvinenko’ – what rubbish.

            The conventional wisdom on this was the product of an ‘investigation’ which we now know to have been masterminded by Christopher Steele, whose credibility, or lack of it, was amply illustrated by the dossier published by ‘BuzzFeed.’ When the British were forced to reconvene the Inquest, the cover-up was put in the hands of Sir Robert Owen, who suppressed a mass of relevant evidence.

            Some of the critical evidence is covered in two posts by me on the ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ blog run by Colonel W. Patrick Lang, formerly in charge of the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and the creator of its ‘Humint’ service. A great deal of additional ground is covered in the exchanges of comments that followed the posts.

            My first post was put up immediately following the publication of Owen’s whitewash, the second last month.

            (See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/01/david-hakkuk-on-sir-robert-owens-inquiry.html ; http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/habakkuk-on-longtime-sources.html .)

            If you want to argue with me, please confront some of the evidence I have produced.

            For a start, you might explain why the account given by Counter Terrorism Command, and accepted by Owen, of how it was established that Litvinenko was clear of contamination when he arrived in central London on 1 November 2006, the day of the supposed ‘polonium murder’, is completely new. And you might also explain why contradicts all previous accounts I can trace, which in turn contradict each other.

            According to the version on which the notion that Litvinenko was deliberately poisoned depends, it was established on the basis of the interviews supposedly conducted shortly before his death with DI Brent Hyatt, and the record of his Oyster card, that Litvinenko had travelled on a number 234 bus and tube – with the bus being tested by Aldermaston scientists and found to be clear of contamination.

            Originally, however, we were told that Litvinenko had been given a lift by car, and that had been tested and cleared. Then it was a number 134 bus, identified by a £1.50 ticket, with both the bus and ticket cleared. Then it was a number 134 bus, identified by Oyster card, with both the bus and Oyster card cleared. Then it was a number 134 bus and tube, identified by Oyster Card, with the bus cleared.

            If you or anybody else want detailed references to support my case, I am happy to supply them.

            As to the other supposed murders, there is relevant material in my posts, and more has come out since.

            To take one example. The late Boris Berezovsky died the day after the deadline for him to provide a new witness statement to Owen’s team. At this point, the ‘Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation’ would have been salivating at the prospect of briefing a barrister to crucify him over the contradictions in his claims, as Lord Sumption had done in the case Berezovsky had brought against Abramovich.

            Moreover, it is well documented that he was negotiating for a return to Russia, with one of his ‘chips’ being years worth of ‘kompromat’ on MI6 and associated agencies.

            I am perfectly happy to consider the hypothesis that Berezovsky committed suicide. But if anyone murdered him, just about the least likely suspects are the Russian authorities.

            And as for the new notion that ‘Badri’ Patarkatsishvili was poisoned with a ‘Novochik’, just read the press conference which Litvinenko’s supposed assassin, Andrei Lugovoi, gave in his response to the request for his extradition, and have a look at what he says about this supposed victim of Putin’s. It is INQ001886 on the ‘Evidence’ page of the archived Inquiry.

            (See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

          • DDTea

            Dave, have you heard of Nuclear forensics?

            Isotopic patterns in synthetic elements are a fingerprint of the reactor that produced them.

            …Patrick Lang is bonkers. He’s made comical and unreliable statements that have zero connection to reality. His statements on Khan Sheikhoun were a total fabrication.

          • David Habakkuk

            DDTea,

            Of course I am aware of ‘nuclear forensics’, as also of ‘chemical forensics’. I also know a great deal about the fabrication of evidence, both in relation to ‘environmental’ and ‘physiological’ samples.

            I have suggested to you that the claims you make about Litvinenko are based upon fabricated evidence. You have made no attempt whatsoever to answer me.

            Incidentally, I am presuming that you are the same ‘DDTea’ who fabricated a supposed comment on Amazon.com relating to ‘Novichoks’ by General Anatoly Kuntsevich on the ‘Handbook of Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents’ edited by Hank Ellison, back in 2004?

            (See http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=1693 .)

            The supposed comment was dated 14 December 2003. The date given for Kuntsevich’s assassination, probably by the Mossad, in a ‘Times of Israel’ report two days ago was 29 April 2002.

            (See https://www.timesofisrael.com/did-the-mossad-kill-a-russian-general-for-peddling-deadly-nerve-agent-to-syria/ .)

            So it would seem that, like Christopher Steele, you are not only a fabricator, but an incompetent one.

          • DDTea

            Your accusation against me is without merit. That review was not fabricated by me. Others on sciencemadness, such as “fritz,” had seen it and referenced it (see his word document, titled INFORMATION.doc). The review was deleted shortly after I made that post. All I did was copy the original text and polish the spelling/grammar to sciencemadness discussion board’s standards. The real Anatoly Kuntsevich certainly did not write it, in any case–just someone using that internet handle. That comment was the first that I had ever heard about “Novichoks,” and fritz did a much better job of library searching than me.

          • David Habakkuk

            DDTea,

            Thanks for that explanation. I obviously need to look further at comments by ‘fritz’.

            With regard to the ‘bonkers’ Colonel Lang, perhaps you could clarify the ‘statements’ to which you are referring, as I am not myself aware of any by him or indeed anyone else on SST, apart from a few ‘trolls’, that were a ‘total fabrication.’

            As it happens, some of the posts relating to Khan Sheikhoun on the blog were my own work. Shortly after the story of Khan Sheikhoun broke, I put up a piece entitled “‘Sentence First – Verdict Afterwards’?” which set questions rather obviously raised by official British claims about responsibility for Khan Sheikhoun in the context of problems with the conventional wisdom about Ghouta and earlier incidents involving CW use in Syria.

            (See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/sentence-first-verdict-afterwards-a-revision-by-david-habakkuk-14-april-2017.html .)

            At around the same time I posted two ‘open letters’ I had sent to the members of the Commons’ Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees. The first stressed the urgent need for the release of results on tests we know to have been carried out at Porton Down on samples from Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta and earlier incidents.

            It pointed to the lack of any plausible justifications for the failure to make these public, as also the results of the analyses by scientists from the OPCW and the U.S. Army’s OPCW-certified laboratory of the Syrian government stocks of methylphosphonyl difluoride (DF), which were destroyed on board the M.V. ‘Cape Ray’ in the Mediterranean in summer 2014.

            My second ‘open letter’ second stressed the need for clarification about precisely which set(s) of test results it was being claimed by Boris Johnson and others that those from Khan Sheikhoun matched.

            (See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/habakkuk-on-urgent-need-to-release-test-results-from-porton-down-on-samples-from-khan-sheikhoun-ghouta.html ; http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/the-urgent-need-for-boris-johnson-to-clarify-by-habakkuk-.html .)

            Frankly, the report of the UN/OPCW ‘Joint Investigative Mechanism’ on Khan Sheikhoun released last October, which claimed to have identified conclusive evidence pointing to Syrian government responsibility for that incident, seemed to me to involve a rather lame attempt at papering over the contradictions I had identified.

            I was very pleased to see that this was argued in a detailed demolition of the report by Paul McKeigue, who as Professor of Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology at Edinburgh University is very much better equipped to deal with scientific technicalities than I – although he specifically disavowed any pretensions to specialist chemical expertise in his discussion. This was posted on the blog of his fellow Edinburgh professor Tim Hayward back in December.

            (See https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack-guest-blog-featuring-paul-mckeigues-reassessment/ .)

            Ironically, both his analysis, and, indirectly, my own, drew on comments made by yourself – in Professor McKeigue’s case, on posts by Hayward earlier last year, in mine, indirectly, on comments you made in the course of the discussions on the ‘Who Attacked Ghouta?’ site in the period immediately following that incident.

            Key issues involved – whether any reliance can be placed on statements by British politicians and officials, and whether the UN/OPCW process has been so corrupted that no more reliance can be placed on its productions – are obviously centrally relevant to the arguments about ‘Novichoks.’

            It is clear from his post that Professor McKeigue, who unlike me is competent to judge, has respect for your chemical expertise. So I await your clarifications on the issues he and I have raised. They could be made here, if Craig Murray is happy to have this done, or on the posts by Professor McKeigue and myself. The comments facility is, I think, still open in both cases.

          • DDTea

            David,

            We are talking about a comment on sciencemadness that I wrote as a teenager 14 years ago. It’s rather cynical to immediately accuse me of “lying” (with its connotation of deliberate deception) when there’s a discrepancy on a rather trivial detail. Perhaps your ulterior motive is to grasp at any straw to show that I’m some sort of pied piper, trying to manipulate you all for a personal profit. There’s no profit-motive to my moral positions in defense of the oppressed, and I just choose to apply my expertise in service of them as a pastime.

            There is a slimy corner of the internet where dodgy retailers reproduce Amazon content, and reviews. One of the string of comments left by the reviewer “Anatoly Kuntsevich” has been faithfully copied by such a website here: https://www.allbookstores.com/Cassidy-Run-The-Secret-Spy/9780375501531

            Now tell me: which is a stylistic match to my little word document–any of my writing (from ca. 2004) on sciencemadness, or this review by “anatoly kuntsevich” on allbookstores (and which previously appeared on Amazon before the comment was deleted)?

            Considering the minor details you latch onto to accuse me of deception, it’s an awful shame you do not apply this same lens of scrutiny to the contradictory statements proffered by the Russian government regarding the Skripal poisoning, or by the Syrian regime regarding the Sarin attacks in Ghouta, GS, Khan al-Assal, Saraqeb, Latamneh, and elsewhere.

          • David Habakkuk

            DDTea,

            The fact that we are talking about a comment you wrote as a teenager fourteen years ago is immaterial. What is relevant is that today, as an adult, you chose to misrepresent the facts about that thread of ‘Sciencemadness’, in a way that makes it impossible to have any confidence in your veracity.

            That the style of the comment purporting to be by Kuntsevich you reproduced, or the solitary other one picked up elsewhere to which you linked, do not match that of your posts on ‘Sciencemadness’ is irrelevant. Obviously, if you were forging comments, you would take care to avoid your normal style.

            However, I do not have a definite view on this. Perhaps you forged the comment, perhaps someone else did, and you simply credulously accepted the forgery. Both hypotheses require that you did not do basic Google checking, which would have established that Kuntsevich had been assassinated by the time he was supposed to have posted the comment.

            As to your other observations. You have chosen to respond to me on the thread dealing with the claims that Putin was responsible for the death of Litvinenko and can legitimately be suspected of responsibility for thirteen other deaths of people linked to Russia in Britain.

            If you care to look at what I have written about Litvinenko, you will realise that one of my central points is that the patently absurd ‘narrative’ originally disseminated by Christopher Steele in cahoots with Alex Goldfarb and the Berezovsky ‘information operations’ team about how he lived and died has been able to survive for one reason, and one reason only.

            This is that the Russian security services are quite patently just as reluctant to see the actual truth about all this emerge into public view as their Western counterparts.

            This situation has now become truly comical, with Litvinenko’s father Walter embracing his supposed assassin, Andrei Lugovoi, on primetime Russian television, and claiming that his son was assassinated by Goldfarb. What the elder Litvinenko also claimed was that Akhmed Zakayev had said that the supposed assassin was a CIA agent.

            (See https://sputniknews.com/russia/201803201062741017-litvinenko-father-lugovoy-hug-murderer/ .)

            As an exercise, you might perhaps try and work out what in this farrago is certainly false, and what might be true.

            What you have made no attempt whatsoever to do is respond to the challenge I issued. If you want to go around claiming to have refuted what Professor McKeigue has written about Khan Sheikhoun and Ghouta, then you should ‘man up’, have the courage of your convictions, and post a detailed critique of his posts as a comment on them.

            It does not contribute to advancing a serious investigation into these matters to ‘preach to the choir’ on sites where most people are going to agree with you.

            Similarly, if you want to criticise my approach to the evidence on these matters, you should have the guts to do so in comments on the pieces I have posted on Colonel Lang’s site. Likewise, if you want to go on attempting to defend the kind of drivel propagated by corrupted policemen like Brent Hyatt and Craig Mascall, and corrupt judges like Sir Robert Owen, you should produce a reasoned critique of the arguments I have made on SST.

            And incidentally, you have not clarified one small but significant issue I raised. It is clear that in trying to make sense of what kind of operator you are, we can assume that comments by ‘samosa’ are also yours. My hunch is that comments by ‘Sauron’ are also by you.

            Ironically, this is partly based upon similarities of style with comments posted under the other two ‘handles’. However, as I have indicated, one cannot built too much on stylistic evidence, so it would help if you could clarify the matter, one way or the other.

          • DDTea

            You can find every comment that I have ever written on sciencemadness under the handle “DDTea” exclusively. I’ve chimed in on that McKeigue post now. It deserved a rebuttal. I actually don’t care about Litvinenko (or MH17 for that matter) that much, and I only have time to choose the cases I care about (instances involving chemical weapons).

            I never once claimed the comment was from Gen. Anatoly Kuntsevich, just from “Anatoly Kuntsevich in moscow, russia.” You are the one who jumped to the conclusion that I attributed that internet handle to the late Gen. Kuntsevich. I cared about the content, which leads to very fruitful library searching. Whoever wrote that seemed to know what they were talking about.

            It’s interesting to me that you have yet to comment on the CONTENT of the word documents that either I or Fritz posted. Are you trying to distract or to change the subject from the USSR / Russia’s nerve agent program?

        • m biyd

          I think the legal test being applied by the Tories is the ” balance of convenience”!

          • Merkin Scot

            ‘I think the legal test being applied by the Tories is the ” balance of convenience”!’
            .
            Well said!

        • JohnsonR

          No, it’s better to admit that “we don’t know”, when we don’t know.

          In fact, of course, in order to claim as you do that “on the balance of probabilities” it was Russia, you need to swallow some pretty implausible claims and accept some yawning absences of evidence.

          That Russia chose for the first time ever to try to murder an exchanged former spy, and that it chose to do it in the way calculated to cause the maximum damage to its own interests and give the maximum hysteria and propaganda value to its enemies to use as another stick with which to beat it.

          Pretty desperate stuff.

        • Harry Law

          Fred, The balance of probabilities may satisfy a ‘civil’ trial, but as this is an attempted murder in which the leader of a nuclear armed state [Putin] has been accused without a semblance of Judicial fairness being applied i.e. [natural justice, the accused being presented with evidence and also the by- passing by the UK Gov of the protocols of the OPCW] instead we have a rush to judgement, sentence first verdict afterwards, even before all the evidence has been collected. This is a strange kind of justice, Correction, this is not justice at all, but a contrived vilification of Russia for political ends. The benchmark for trial for attempted murder is beyond reasonable doubt. If, after all the evidence is collected and the various competent agencies conclude that Russia was to blame, then we can blame and sanction Russia, but not before then.

    • Sarge

      They release the prisoner a third of the way through his sentence and pardon him in order to assassinate him on the soil of a prime antagonist, just before the WC. That would make perfect sense.

          • DDTea

            Why do you assume Russia under Putin is rational actor? Maybe they, too, are capable of miscalculations and mistakes.

          • Sarge

            What do you suggest their calculation was then? That nobody would think it was them, because ..?

          • DDTea

            That Sergei Skripal’s death would not look nearly as suspicious as it did. That there would be no collateral damage. That the police wouldn’t investigate thoroughly. And that the nerve agent would not be detected.

          • Agent Green

            They wouldn’t have sent completely incompetent Agents if that was their plan. They would have sent the best.

            Also, as Putin has pointed out, if a Russian military-grade substance had been used people would have died (in minutes and lots of them).

          • DDTea

            Putin is either lying or uninformed on details relating to nerve agent exposure and medical management thereof.

            Latent periods of several minutes to even hours before symptoms manifest are typical for nerve agent liquid contact with skin. With solids, who knows? There are very few case studies on that latter point.

            The assassins were not incompetent at all. They got their target and they got away.

        • G.Bng

          Skripal’s was an exchange but he was also pardoned, although whether the pardon came before, with or because of the exchange I don’t know.

    • TFS

      Please lay of the facts without using the words.

      In all probability, highly likely……etc etc

      • fred

        How about using the words “means” “motive” and “opportunity”.

        Am I allowed to use any of the words required to arrive at a logical conclusion?

        • Agent Green

          Of course, provided you don’t believe it constitutes evidence or anything that people should believe.

          • fred

            Deterring people from passing Russian secrets to the west sounds like an infinitely more rational motive than the “false flag to make Putin loo bad before the elections” theories bandied around here.

        • Akos Horvath

          These words belong to the area of “political science” rather than natural/actual science. Any country with a decent scientific/industrial base has the “means” to produce these agents. Likewise, any country whose citizens can travel to the UK has the “opportunity”. Finally, “motive” is based on one’s political beliefs and world view. It’s easy to come up with motives for countries other than Russia. Just to give an example, Ukraine, which was a big part of the USSR’s weapons industry, has every motive under its current regime to frame Russia in every which way. Look, I like Poirot and Columbo as entertainment, but they are just that, entertainment. You guys start the debate as a purely scientific/technical issue about who actually manufactured the agent, but when things don’t go your way, you fall back to Kojak’s “means”, “motive”, and “opportunity”. Hard to take this seriously. You could have just succinctly said, “I believe Putin did it”. Fine, you have your beliefs, I have mines. But don’t enter a scientific debate if you want to resort to unscientific methods.

    • Woke Too Late

      ….or, equally reasonably, by someone (individual, state, entity) who wanted to make it appear that Russia was responsible.

      It’s always hard to look back and remember how you perceived things at the time but as I recall the propaganda was much more convincing in 2003. Personally, (I recall) that while I did not really believe the 45 minute claim, I did believe that it was likely that Iraq did have WMD of some sort. So, I was misled by my Government and by the media. There was also a sense of inevitability about the war; nothing can be done about ‘inevitability’ because it sweeps all reason before it. However, (in my view) there is no such sense of ‘inevitability’ about the current issue (because, certainty appears to be draining away day-by-day, despite the best efforts of the government and media).

      Personally, I don’t think that Russia are responsible for the poisoning; it’s far too convenient (with all the hostility directed by media and politicians towards Russia) for there to be such an incident.

      I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank Craig Murray and, also, Moon of Alabama (http://www.moonofalabama.org/) who opened by eyes on this issue.

    • Alex

      I am Russian and can share with you what people living in Russia think about this, if anyone interested. For most, this all is a complete and laughable nonsense, and the UK government is just making fools of themselves. This hysteria is pathetic and does not even deserve any serous response.

      As many already pointed out on this blog, Putin clearly is not interested in assassinating this useless former spy, and he does not need any scandals and additional sanctions, particularly prior to the elections and the 2018 World Cup.

      So, the overwhelming consensus among Russian commentators is that this was a provocation, specifically designed to create additional tension with Russia. But who may be interested in that? It could be Israel, as discussed elsewhere on this blog. Maybe it’s Ukraine. But commenters agree that more likely than not it is driven by a desire to halt the implementation of Nord Stream 2 project, and replace Russian gas supplies with LNG from the US or other states. I am sure you will see in the upcoming days how hard the UK Government will be pushing EU countries to block the NS2 project.

      • Agent Green

        They have already started on Nordstream.

        Apparently Europe is desperate to pay the US vastly more for their gas. Even though during the last cold snap Russia was the only supplier to up gas levels to Germany, and has been a perfect supplier to Europe for many years now.

      • Jiusito

        Alex, that is very useful, thank you.

        It will also, purely by the way, greatly strengthen the hand of the fracking lobby in Britain, who have long argued that they can rescue us from dependence on imported Russian gas.

      • David Habakkuk

        Alex,

        It may be partly designed to head off the exposure of a great deal of nefarious activity on the part of Western intelligence agencies.

        The history to do with Litvinenko, which I discussed in a response to ‘DDTea’, is one example. Others are the cover-ups of the ‘false flags’ at Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun, and of the actual history of the sniper shootings on the Maidan and MH17. And, crucially, there is the plot to prevent Trump being elected and destabilise his presidency once elected.

        Last Friday, the Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division acceded to a request made last August by Ursula Ungaro, the judge in charge of the libel suit brought by Aleksej Gubarev in relation to the claims about him made in the dossier published by ‘BuzzFeed’ and supposedly authored by Christopher Steele.

        (See https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-court-steele/london-court-rules-uk-spy-behind-trump-dossier-must-give-evidence-in-u-s-libel-trial-idUKKCN1GS2L4 .)

        Accordingly, a barrister acting on behalf of Gubarev will be able to question Steele on a wide list of matters relating to the dossier. Th decision by the Senior Master, one would presume, would also clear the ground for testimony to be sought from him in relation to the suits brought against BuzzFeed by the Alfa oligarchs, Michael Cohen, and Carter Page.

        It is not necessarily accidental that the claims made in a piece published by ‘BuzzFeed’ last June, entitled ‘From Russia With Blood’, according to which every Tom, Dick and Harry linked to Russia who died in mysterious circumstances in Britain over the past few years was assassinated by the Russian security services, are now being widely recycled.

        (See https://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/from-russia-with-blood-14-suspected-hits-on-british-soil .)

        Part of the purpose of the exercise may be to try to prevent the questioning of Steele turning into a major disaster for important sections of the American and British intelligence establishments, by making his more lurid accusations sound – at least relatively – plausible.

        Such an hypothesis might help explain the extraordinary report which appeared in the ‘Mail’ this morning, suggesting that the remains of ‘Badri’ Patarkatsishvili and Alexander Perepilichny could be exhumed, to see if they were poisoned with ‘Novichoks.’

        (See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5516785/Bodies-Russian-dissidents-died-UK-exhumed.html .)

        • DDTea

          There were no false flags at Ghouta or Khan Sheikhoun, unless you’re willing to believe every actor–from the Syrian regime, the UN-OPCW JIM, to the various NGO’s present at the scene, to the victims themselves–were involved in it. I’ve seen some “false flaggers” go so far as to challenge the laws of nature and decades old scientific literature. Pathetic.

          The evidence against Assad is damning and unambiguous. These are some of the best documented and studied chemical warfare attacks in history, with volumes of actual forensic evidence. The Syrian regime has been behind every single Sarin attack in Syria. Independent analyses conducted by OPCW-validated labs have not only confirmed Sarin, but matched the Sarin used to government’s original precursor stockpile. The remains of bombs have been recovered (e.g., in Latamneh and Ghouta), and are a match to those in the Syrian government arsenal. Intact weapons (e.g., a Sarin grenade recovered in Saraqeb) have been recovered, which further match the SSRC Sarin/DFP mixture. Even Russia’s alleged “Kitchen Sarin” found in Khan Al-Assal was, in fact, found to be of this same composition. French journalists from LeMonde were poisoned by regime forces while reporting in Ghouta in 2013.

          The “evidence” or suggestions against the white helmets or armed opposition is laughably stupid, physically impossible, mutually contradictory, and without any supporting physical evidence. In other words, it’s self-cancelling noise. Every additional Sarin attack, on the other hand, has provided further evidence of the regime’s responsibility–that’s called “signal.”

      • David Habakkuk

        DD Tea,

        Nonsense. The ‘evidence’ supposed to establish that Assad was responsible for most of the incidents in Syria where sarin has been used is as much a load of old crap as that supposed to establish that Andrei Lugovoi and/or Dmitri Kovtun poured polonium into Litvinenko’s green tea in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel.

        The only possible exceptions, ironically, are the two incidents where the supposed victims were on the government side – the initial incident at Khan Al-Asal five years ago yesterday, and that at Darayya in February 2015.

        I have pointed you towards analyses by myself and Professorl McKeigue going in detail into the problems with the conventional wisdom on Khan Sheikhoun and Ghouta. It really would help if you would attempt seriously to engage with the arguments presented in these. And this is all the more so because, as I noted in my earlier response, both of us made use of your chemical analyses.

        Meanwhile, if you want to argue that my accusation that you fabricated the supposed comment by Kuntsevich on ‘Novichoks’ is ‘without merit’, I have now looked further at what ‘fritz’ has posted on ‘Novichoks’, and your case simply does not stand up.

        It is quite clear from his comments on the ‘Sciencemadness’ thread to which I linked that, contrary to what you claim, he knew nothing about the supposed ‘review’ by someone using the name Anatoly ‘Kuntsevich’ until you posted it. I further notice that you posted as ‘DDTea’, but the review is said to have been edited by ‘samosa.’

        (For anyone who wants to check that ‘DDTea’ is not being candid, the thread is at http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=1693 .)

        The initial response by ‘fritz’ to your post linking to the supposed comment reads:

        ‘Oh, nice!
        ‘This is intresting! The first time I got something special like a formula about novic hok agents!
        ‘I did so many searches about novitchok agents already but my results were not very promising. some years ago I had an intresting report about secret russian CW-agents researchs but unfortunatelly I lost it!
        ‘So I´ll try to resume my search results about and will post it here ASAP!’

        A later comment by ‘fritz’ links to the document entitled ‘Information’ which you claim contains references to the supposed Kuntsevich comment written before you posted it, making it quite clear that it does nothing of the kind:

        ‘O.k. this is the result of my researches on novichok/foliant. I also looked up some of the informations given in Samosa’s paper.
        ‘You may regard this as a first output of information being far from complete. I I will get more intresting informations on this subjects I will publish it here. And, yes Vulture there was an accident with this substances it is mentioned in one of the resources I used (I listed them in my word document)
        ‘Attachment: INFORMATION.doc (61kB)’

        • DDTea

          Let me see if I understand. You think I invented a review on Amazon.com under the handle Anatoly Kuntsevich that never existed, then wrote up the alleged statements into a word document and uploaded it to sciencemadness? To what ends? I’m pretty amused by your theory, so please continue down whatever rabbit hole you think you’ve uncovered.

          Believe what you want about the source of that word doc, and I’m flattered you think I conjured that up by myself (compare it to my other posts at that time–not nearly the same level of maturity), but the references included therein are accurate. Go on scifinder and search for those authors (especially Martynov, who was prolific on this topic up to 1972) and their coauthors. It’s easy to find over 1000 reports pertinent to toxic organophosphorus compounds. Where does your rabbit hole of accusations against me lead? Nowhere? Didn’t think so.

          I’ve engaged with every argument that McKeigue and Hayward have put forth, if not on that blog then elsewhere. McKeigue’s pseudo-mathematical approach is neither validated nor peer reviewed. It’s his bias and misinterpretations masquerading as statistical analysis. Likewise, the argument that the “plane never flew over Khan Sheikhoun” betrays a total ignorance of projectile motion (5 km, or even 10 km, is well within range of a dumb bomb without a motor). It also relies on us to interpolate a 3D flight path on 2D data points, and there are multiple ways that can be done with the public radar data. How he determined that it was “impossible” for the Syrian aircraft to drop the bomb, only he can know. He certainly didn’t share his interpolated flight path or his calculations on the matter. Moreover, this is stupid anyway: there is video evidence of bombs falling on Khan Sheikhoun at the time of the sarin attack, and you can hear the jet in the video. Wherever the plane was, it could hit KS

          Moreover, the Sarin attack at Latamneh severely undermines the claims that “traces of sarin and its metabolites were sprinkled about.” There is visual evidence, from the withered grass, of how much Sarin was dispersed–and it’s far more than a sprinkling. Additionally, many pieces of the bomb were recovered, some of which matched bomb fragments at KS, and they were in good agreement with known SyAAF chemical bombs.

          As for Khan Al-Assal, Russia’s supposed “kitchen sarin” formulation sounds an awful lot like the known SSRC sarin mixture: sarin, DFP, and hexamine as the acid scavenger. Russia interpreted hexamine as evidence of an RDX burster charge, but as I’ve mentioned repeatedly, hexamine is neither and impurity in RDX nor a decomposition product of it.

          If you can’t engage with actual data and evidence, then this is pointless. If your only argument is equivalent to “pretend all of that stuff doesn’t exist” because you don’t like the people making the claims, then you’re not being serious. You want me to get down to your level of ignorance because you cannot bring yourself up to my platform of reason.

          • David Habakkuk

            DD Tea,

            I posted this in the wrong place, so I will post it again.

            In response to my suggestion that you were the person responsile for forging the comment purporting to be by General Kuntsevich, you responded by making a claim about contributions by ‘fritz’ to the ‘Sciencemadness’ thread to which I had linked.

            When I found time to check these, it turned out that you had lied. So although the evidence is not adequate to be certain, I think it highly likely that you were the person who fabricated the supposed review.

            You now write, in relation to the post by Professor McKeigue to which I linked, that, ‘I’ve engaged with every argument that McKeigue and Hayward have put forth, if not on that blog then elsewhere.’

            As you are probably aware, McKeigue has produced three posts arguing that both Khan Sheikhoun and Ghouta were ‘false flags’ on Hayward’s blog.

            In addition the one he posted last December, to which I linked, there were two posted in August. The links are https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/how-to-weigh-a-mountain-of-evidence-guest-blog-by-professor-paul-mckeigue-part-1/ and https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/who-is-responsible-for-chemical-attacks-in-syria-guest-blog-by-professor-paul-mckeigue-part-2/ .

            On none of these have you made any attempt to comment.

            If one is concerned to respond to people’s arguments in good faith, one place it is normally appropriate to do this on the site where they have made them, so they are provided with the opportunity to answer your criticisms. Failure to do this is commonly taken as an absence of genuine confidence in the strength of the case you are making.

            So I trust that you will take up the suggestion I made earlier, and post a considered rebuttal of McKeigue’s claims on his latest post. You might also consider posting considered rebuttals to my posts on both the Syrian incidents and the Litvinenko affair on Colonel Lang’s blog.

            Meanwhile, if you can provide links to the rebuttals you say you have produced elsewhere, I will try and have a look at them when I can find time.

            As to possible motives for you to forge material, if that is what you did, I have long experience of people appearing on the internet with claims to be impartial seekers after truth which turn out on closer inspection to be spurious. Among obvious examples are Eliot ‘aka the couch potato’ Higgins, Dan Kaszeta, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, Dmitri Alperovitch, and Matt Tait, and I might also include Yuri Shvets, Robert ‘Bobby’ Levinson, and Mario Scaramella.

            Motives differ widely. Sometimes I think I can see what these are likely to be, at other times I find them very difficult to pin down. At least however with the individuals to whom I have referred, they use their actual names, which makes it somewhat easier to make informed conjectures as to why they may be doing what they do.

            But often, even then, it is still difficult to do more than speculate. So, for example, with the former GCHQ person Tait, who I see is now disseminating dubious claims about the Skripals, following on from the disinformation he produced about the identity of ‘Guccifer 2.0’, it was quite easy to establish that the consultancy he purported to be running, Capital Alpha Security, had filed ‘dormant accounts.’

            (See https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10004230/filing-history .)

            Accordingly, it was natural to suppose that he was acting as a ‘front’ for other parties, who were providing him with means of subsistence. This kind of skulking underhand subterfuge is, not, I think, what one would have expected from those who worked at Bletchley Park/GCHQ in the great days – people like Jack Good, of Frank Birch, or Mavis Batey, or, later, Michael MccGwire.

            What Tait’s motives were for engaging in this kind of dishonourable charade, however, is not a matter I am in a position to ascertain, yet at least. Perhaps he was just angling to get the kind of position at the University of Texas he now occupies, perhaps he genuinely thinks he is serving an honourable cause and believes that ‘the ends justify the means.’

            As you use pseudonyms (incidentally, are you ‘Sauron’ as well as ‘DDTea’ and ‘samosa’?) it is this even more difficult in your case to speculate about motives. If however you will tell me more about yourself, I may be in a position to hazard some conjectures.

            For one thing, it would help to have your explanation as to why you do not, as the figures I have cited do, use your own name. For another, it would help to have your account of the reasons why you are concerned with matters like Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun, and what happened to the Skripals and Litvinenko.

    • DoubleJ

      The problem with “the balance of probabilities” approach everybody keeps telling about is how to evaluate the probabilities. They will differ in orders of magnitude, depending whether one sees Mr. Putin as Marvel villain or as a human politician.

    • Crabbit Geezer

      PS This was aimed at Ferd’s original post. It somehow ended up out of sequence; so, no, I wasn’t referring to Craig. Craig’s one of the few people we can rely on for being truthful!

    • Mile

      Last time, relaying on the balance of probablities ( in translation lies and false manufactored evidence ) , government sent thousands of innocent servicemen and women to their death, as well as thousands of other innocent men, women and children in Iraq war. Do they expect to be trusted again? Would you trust Theresa May and Tories governement and send your son or daughter in the war with Russia based on the same facts if it came to that..!?

  • DDTea

    How do we know this is the first time it has been used? And given that it was developed to evade standard detection methods, that the target was uninteresting, and their previous successes assassinating Kremlin critics abroad without repercussions, the conclusion, “Naturally, the first time we use it we will expose our secret and suffer massive international blowback” is unfounded.

    Moreover, the current Russian leadership doesn’t seem to care about the world order or even its own words or statements. Their denials ring hollow, and their alternative theories are fantastical.

    • Woke Too Late

      There is no evidence at present that this ‘method’ has been used before. Why use such an elaborate method on a person who appears to be ‘uninteresting’. I am not as convinced as you are about the number of assassinations of ‘Kremlin critics abroad’ as you are, either. This is because some (many?) of these characters appear linked to other forces (e.g. gangsters, dodgy business deals). I am more concerned about the internal murders of Russian/Chechen journalists, but, as yet there is no real evidence of direct Russian/Kremlin responsibility. Russia is not the monolithic, controlled state that it once was.

      It’s just not true to say that Russia doesn’t care about the ‘world order or even it’s own words or statements’. Russia very much wants a stable world and a place within that world. Their denials don’t ring hollow to me and, as far as I am aware, Russia has not been proposing ‘alternative theories’. Russia has denied responsibility and asked for the issue to be dealt with under purview of the OPCW.

      It is easy to fall into stereotyping Russian and Russians and then to accept allegations based on those stereotypes.

    • Artsem

      A core instant of your point is ‘WHAT IF’. Yes, it might be. But, look, this kind of assasination always involves a high risk of failure and catching a killer.
      We should keep in mind a time factor. Why this particular moment? Why Putin not to wait till September?

    • David Habakkuk

      DDTea,

      Exactly. Accordingly to the ‘Mail’, it is now suspected that ‘Badri’ Patarkatsishvili and Alexander Alexander Perepilichny could have been poisoned with ‘Novichoks.’

      LOL.

      As I said in response to an earlier comment of yours, have a look at what Lugovoi said about Patarkatsishvili in the 31 May 2007 press conference.

  • Sharp Ears

    The dear old man who wrote the book had it all worked out including on Cameron and the RSPCA.

    Richard Adams: Forever animated by the life of animals
    The author of Watership Down has reached his 90th birthday and still finds himself caring deeply about the world he learned to love as a child. Paul Blezard meets Richard Adams
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/richard-adams-forever-animated-by-the-life-of-animals-1974572.html

    ‘Watership Down is a fantasy adventure novel by English author Richard Adams, published by Rex Collings Ltd of London in 1972. Set in southern England, the story features a small group of rabbits. Although they live in their natural environment, they are anthropomorphised, possessing their own culture, language, proverbs, poetry, and mythology. Evoking epic themes, the novel follows the rabbits as they escape the destruction of their warren and seek a place to establish a new home, encountering perils and temptations along the way.’

  • RogerDodger

    I don’t think it’s right to assume people will always behave rationally – especially despots and tyrants, who seem either arrive in power convinced of their godhood or become convinced of it over time. If we consider all the decisions Hitler made we’ll find many which made no rational sense at the time, much less in hindsight. Or for that matter those of Tony Blair, who help foster a disastrous war with disastrous consequences – disastrous not only the peoples of Iraq, the wider Middle East and the west, but also for him and his party – against all rational argument.

    Having said all that, I have to agree that it really doesn’t make any sense for the Kremlin to sanction such an attack at such as sensitive time. If the origins of the attack really do lie in Russia, it seems most likely that it would be someone in the Russian intelligence agencies acting without the permission of their political masters. It’s not inconceivable if we consider the type of operations the CIA carries out, often without the blessing or even the knowledge of the white house.

    Craig has raised the possible motive of a third party acting to put both the UK (and their allies) and the Russians in a lose-lose situation where the political leaders on both sides have little choice but to escalate tensions or lose face back home. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

    • giyane

      RodgerDodger
      ” the possible motive of a third party ”
      To my understanding Craig is politely telling us that Boris Johnson is a liar. The only third party is the little voice in Boris’s head.

    • aya

      OK, lets see:
      Torys
      Theresa May gets positive coverage out of this. People start loving her. WIN!
      Negative Brexit discussions fade. WIN!
      Jeremy Corbyn gets blowback. WIN!
      EU an US back UK. WIN
      Putin
      Russians close the ranks behind him. WIN!
      He wins the election decicively. WIN!
      Voter turnout increases. WIN!
      To the outside Russia looks dangerous and strong and does not seem to care about western concerns or retaliation. (We can get you at home)WIN!

      Am I the only one wondering about a possible win/win situation?

  • marvellousMRchops

    I have grown up thinking the BBC was the good guy and the Russian media was nothing more than state sponsored propaganda.
    What is being played out today is so unbelievable and brazen that I am starting to question my own sanity in regard to my ability to hold on to any kind of truth. Never mind deadly nerve agents – the real poison is coming from the BBC, ITV, SKY and this government of fools. What’s even worse is the treachery of the Labour party against Corbyn. The BLIARists are alive and kicking. Democracy is alive and kicking – ‘MY ARSE’.

    • PetrGrozny

      This is my reaction too, and I suspect that of many British people. One could almost call it an existential crisis. And I think that the reason that there are more of the reasonably intelligent public sharing our doubts is because of the implications, it takes away everything we have ever relied on. I think more people will come to question the official version, it just takes time to get past initial shock and disbelief.

    • Martin Hawes

      Wait till you start investigating 911, particularly Building 7. That’ll really turn your world inside out.

      • PetrGrozny

        I only got so far with 9/11 and someone in Russia showed a video by Dmitri Khazelov which made a lot of sense. I know some people love to see conspiracies everywhere but I resist this. Maybe it’s because I am a Brit living mainly in Moscow that I can see easily how this doesn’t stack up. And the British government’s hurry to find Russia guilty really got my suspicions up. BTW I can see how Russian reactions can be taken by some in Britain as evidence of guilt but having been here for several years theybdon’t strike me like that at all.

    • Strong and Stable

      @marvellousMRchops

      You should read ‘Exposing Lies of the Empire’ by Andre Vltchek it will turn a lot of your ‘truths’ inside out.

    • sam

      So did I but I learnt about 10 years ago this was not the case over different issues
      https://www.globalresearch.ca/world-class-journalist-spills-the-beans-admits-mainstream-media-is-completely-fake/5516749
      Recently, Dr.Udo Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

      He recently made an appearance on RT news to share these facts:

      I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.

      But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.

      Dr. Udo Ulfkotte

      Dr. Udo Ulfkotte is a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades, so you can bet he knows a thing or two about mainstream media and what really happens behind the scenes.

  • Stephen Barnes

    Great stuff Craig.surely it only you and me who have reached this conclusion. Must be traitors!!?

    • G.Bng

      Thanks for link. Being fluent in Spanish having lived there 35 years and knowing how extremely difficult it is to translate traditional expressions into another language and culture without loosing at very least some of their meaning and nuance, ever since hearing Putin had allegedly said “traitors will kick the bucket” I wondered whether the expression even existed in Russian or if it had been manipulated in translation. I now know it was manipulated. Thanks again.

    • ahimsa

      Excellent link! Thank you, I had been wondering about that quote.

      I hope Mr Murray takes a look at it.

  • TFS

    You need to concentrate on International Law and the OPCW, highlighting the UKs infringement on International Norms.

    Oh, please, please use the word Conspiracy Theory……

  • sam

    A very interesting letter was published in the Times on the 16th March, from Dr Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust):
    https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/we-must-turn-off-the-russian-gas-tap-and-get-fracking/
    “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.”

    This letter appears to imply the absence of a nerve agent, just the original three victims affected by an unnamed poison, the rest being concerned but unaffected members of the public.

    • PetrGrozny

      So what were the Skripals showing symptoms of on the park bench? Another sort of poison? Yes I am a doubter but this question needs to be addressed.

    • MJ

      We are left to assume that the three patients to whom he refers are the Skripals and the police officer, though this is not made clear. It could also be that the Skripals were indeed affected by a nerve agent but they not being treated by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

    • lissnup

      I was so focused on the “no symptoms of nerve agent poisoning” part of that letter at first, that I initially overlooked the final sentence, “No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.”
      So are the other two victims besides the police officer – let’s call them ‘the Skripals’ – not considered members of the public and if not, how should they be classed?
      A very odd yet apparently carefully-worded letter indeed.

  • PreProle

    “We actually have evidence, within the last ten years, that not only has Russia been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok itself.” Boris Johnson (18.3.18)

    What Boris failed to mention is that this actual “evidence” was being brought into the UK and provided to the UK Government by the same two Russians now lying critically ill in a Salisbury hospital… in recklessly high-risk espionage operation run by the Government itself. Two weeks ago, the operation went tragically wrong when a smuggled sample became compromised in Yulia Skripal’s suitcase… with predicable consequences. In effect, the UK Government released a deadly Russian nerve agent onto the streets on Britain – exposing its own citizens to extreme danger.

    Seen from this angle, UK Government’s subsequent – and equally reckless – anti-Russian bluster is an attempted diversion and cover-up of its own criminal ineptitude.

    • DDTea

      So the Skripals were smuggling samples of Russian nerve agent from Russia…

      Are you saying Russia is in violation of its reporting obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention?

      • PreProle

        The samples would likely have been tiny – probably only a few cubic millimetres – well concealed and therefore probably considered a “safe bet” for smuggling into the UK via the established channel. Delivered to Sergei Skripal to pass on to his contacts up the road at Porton Down.

        I have no idea if Russia (or, for that matter, Britain) is in violation of its reporting obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention – if anyone any country has been suspected of violation over the years, the CWC has had procedures in place to challenge it.

    • Kiza

      Why would Russians need CW when they have nuclear weapons? They got rid of Soviet CW before US and UK did and got certified by UK and other representatives. Because of a bad Soviet track record with chemical and biological weapons, the Russians decided to focus their limited military budget on nuclear weapons and delivery methods and they are doing a good job. This is obvious from 1 March talk by Putin.

        • Agent Green

          Yes, this is presumably why the Americans are refusing to get rid of theirs.

          Meanwhile, Russia has got rid of all of its Chemical weapons and has been certified as having done so by the OPCW.

          • DDTea

            All of its *declared chemical weapons. Cannot emphasize this enough. And that is still a commendable thing. But this incident in the UK, along with the Moscow theater crisis of 2002, raise serious concerns.

        • Kiza

          I am sure that MIC would find a lot budget needing roles that countries on a limited budget can not afford.

  • David J Crawford

    If we knew about the Russians manufacturing these chemicals for 10 years and we have a representative on OPCW why do they know bugger-all about them and have done nothing about it?

    • Agent Green

      If they have had this information they are in breach of their obligations under the OPCW treaty.

  • Kiza

    It is worth noting that when the regime managed to get the compromise phrase “of the type developed by”, this was just the beginning of an old propaganda strategy. It all starts with such ambiguous words, but then every new reading in the media gets bolder and bolder, until it does really get transformed into “manufactured by”, no doubt at all. This is working because it protects politicians from responsibility for the lies and transfers it over to the expandable presstitutes and assorted fools such as Boris Johnson. This is how the lack of facts gets transformed into certainty.

  • Brko54

    Russans like chess. Rather than examining why they would not do it, what could be their motive to do it (killing a British spy is not one of them, that’s for sure)

    • Kiza

      Mr Murray answered your question already, as you saw above. Did you not read the article you are commenting on?

      • Brko54

        Read and understood. My post was an attempt to search for possible motive, how ever speculative might be, that Russia would take the action that it alegedly did, and what would be their goal.

  • Republicofscotland

    Although I’m no fan of Putin, surely the British government and all its media acolytes, must surely understand that blaming a nation, for the Sailsbury attack without convincing evidence, is bound to get those who aren’t useful idiots asking questions.

  • Sharp Ears

    So it will be Ahmet Üzümcü v Theresa, Boris and Gavin. The latter has Porton Down in his ‘portfolio’. I put my money on Ahmet.

    Here is Steve Bell on the subject.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/mar/19/steve-bells-if-theresa-may-takes-her-pet-gavin-to-Salisbury

    and another on Gavin’s ‘Go Away and Shut Up’ ‘speech’.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/mar/15/steve-bell-on-gavin-williamsons-speech-cartoon

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now Ukriainiian fighter pilot has committed suicide for shooting down MH17 instead of Putin’s planre, as a colleague claimed, while the other Vlad was able to win overwhelmingly in the Russian Presidential election. What does Boris think about this ceath?

      • DDTea

        Do you believe Voloshin brought down MH17? Even Sputnik says MH17 was brought down a surface-to-air missile, which is where international consensus has been for years.

    • Akos Horvath

      They will claim the cunning Vlad ordered him shot in order to sow confusion in the West. Like a good theoretical physicist, they can come up with an “explanation” for everything and its opposite too.

  • JP Murphy

    Looks like the Irish Times are of the same opinions as yourself
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/unlikely-that-vladimir-putin-behind-skripal-poisoning-1.3425736
    ” September of 1993 as The Irish Times Moscow correspondent I obtained a list of chemical and biological weapons, including Novichok, that were being produced by Russia as the successor state to the Soviet Union. I brought these documents to the recognised expert at the time Dr Thomas Stock of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Dr Stock’s reaction was that Russia immediately needed western financial help to stop Novichok and other chemical and biological agents being exported illegally by criminal elements. Western help arrived eventually but was it too late. The countries of the former Soviet Union, with the exception of the Baltic nations, were in chaos at the time” Worth a read….

  • Syd Walker

    Craig – Your intervention in this saga has been wise and courageous. As so many others have said in the comments, well done and thanks!

    I notice the Daily Star had a choice piece at the weekend: “Russian assassins used MINI DRONE to poison spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter” at https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/689609/Russia-UK-Sergei-Skripal-Russian-spy-poisoning-Vladimir-Putin

    According to the author’s anonymous “intelligence sources”:

    “The drone is merely a vehicle to carry the weapon. It is entirely possible that it was used to carry the nerve agent and this would explain the almost complete lack of an evidence trail…”

    “Russia has a covert weapons programme which breaches international conventions on biological and chemical weapons.

    “The Novichok nerve agent is proof of that and it is just one of a range of very dangerous secret weapons which have been developed by the Russian state on the orders of President Putin in recent years.”

    All very scary. And all rather risible. I wonder, what is the latest cost estimate of Britiain’s so-called “intelligence” and “security” services? In plain English, how much are long-suffering British taxpayers slugged to fund their spook-infested state?

    Speaking of wasting public money, drones and the area around Salisbury… that part of the English countryside has been infested with so-called “crop circles” every summer since the 1980s.

    It’s interesting the Daily Star story mentions drones, because I’ve long considered programmed drones, run under the auspices of some part of the British “security state”, the most likely explanation for the regular appearance of sophisticated “crop circle” designs that have occurred annually since the 80s in crop fields, especially in the south-west of England. “Crop circles” is a misnomer these days; the designs became much more sophisticated over the course of the first decade or so, presumably reflecting technological advances in (military?) drone technology.

    As far as I’m aware, there have never been an official government statement about crop circles, despite the fact these extraordinary things appear frequently, often in the vicinity of UK military bases. If causation was genuinely unknown, I imagine the British State would be in apoplexy. As it is, I can’t find one instance in Hansard of a question being asked in Parliament on the subject over a 30+ year period.

    Presumably the phenomenon is a case of a joke by British spookdom that just keeps rolling, because no-one “mainstream” can be bothered to tell the truth – or even demand it. A British variant of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

    I find it very disturbing what’s happened to our society over the last generation, as systematic lying has become more and more common and sophisticated – and the public has grown less and less sure of which, if any, mainstream and official sources can be trusted.

    Incidentally, I suspect that Craig’s trolls have been especially irate with him on this occasion, because he’s helped publicise a little known yet rather significant fact: the fact that the state of Israel – along with a mere handful of other roguish states – has never joined the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons or ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.

    Making THAT a focus of mainstream public discussion is not, I imagine, infuriating to those who perpetrated this crime and who now so manically perpetuate the ‘Russia obviously did it’ hypothesis.

    Awareness that Israel is an obvious – and by its own choice, quite inevitable – suspect in cases of chemical weapons use runs counter to their preferred “blame Putin”, “blame Iran” or “blame Assad” scripts-for-sock-puppets.

    • Syd Walker

      Apologies – there’s a typo in the penultimate paragraph of my comment. It should read:

      “Making THAT a focus of mainstream public discussion is, I imagine, infuriating to those who perpetrated this crime..”

    • giyane

      Where the bee sucks there suck I. Clever clogs, that’s how you get nerve agent into the BMW ventilation system. Maybe the policeman on the beat had been told to keep a watchful eye on the meeting of father and daughter and had a saunter over to sniff round the BM. Starlings have a 30 mile daily range looking for food. plenty of places from which to launch drones on Salisbury plain.

  • giyane

    I’m getting bored of saying it. the people Boris is trying to convince that we hate Russia are, and they are much bigger liars even than Boris, the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists and Saudi Head-Choppers. Since William Hague’s promise in 2010 that Tory foreign policy would be different, these scumbag Tories have tried to get MBT + SHC to do the fighting against the Syrian people for them. They want to make a Greater Israel out of Syria.

    MBT and SHC are rather difficult people to impress because they already have the Qur’an and have taken not a blind bit of notice of it. The Qur’an forbids endangering civilians or cities or even trees in war. The Qur’an forbids making confederations , as in Libya, between themselves and the enemies of Islam. The Qur’an totally forbids the sexual or physical criminal harassment of humans..The Qur’an in other words anticipates precisely the same sort of scammy lies that Boris Johnson told us this weekend.,

    obviously it helps Boris to convince MBT and SHC that he is telling the truth because he and his predecessors have torture rendition brainwashed many of them , feeding them mind-controlling Lithium after the torture in order to programme them to mindless violence. All Boris has to do is to convince them that he is an enemy of Russia and that the wholesale failure of MBT and SHC in Syria is not because of collusion between USUKIS and Russia.

    Simples. It’s called eating your own vomit, viz how to control angry militants when they realise you have been stringing them along for a long time and working with the supposed enemy to waste their money and lives. But there again if they had the Qur’an and they took no notice of it, they must definitely be dimmer than dim.

  • Jiusito

    Craig, as a writer and editor I find a horrid fascination in the way propaganda works, so very effectively. Even in your comment threads, despite the point you have made over and over again, I see some people repeating the meme that HMG “has identified the nerve agent as Russian”.

    Likewise with your point that Johnson used the odd phrase “within the last 10 years”, which within a few hours the BBC website had twisted into “over the last 10 years”. Of course, most people will absorb the BBC version, and if ever it comes to it Johnson can always expostulate, “But that’s not what I said!” It’s deniable disinformation, isn’t it?

    Incidentally, one of the takeaways from the EU referendum campaign was that most people, whatever their opinions may be, do not arrive at them rationally but form them quickly and then actually resent it when anyone tries to reason with them. This fact was exploited by the Leave campaign, which made a practice of releasing dubious claims late at night or early in the morning, so that they would be reported but not rigorously analysed on the Today programme. By the time the claims had been rebutted on the lunchtime news, the damage was done.

    I note that Johnson, a leading Leaver, unveiled his “within the last 10 years” claim on a Sunday morning, to the (con)genial Andrew Marr. By the time it is rigorously questioned, in the Commons or the Lords or wherever, the damage will be done. Much of the public will be confirmed in their sense that there is solid proof that “the Russians did it”, and they will resent anyone who tries to argue with them.

    I can almost believe that Johnson doesn’t comb his hair on purpose, so that people will assume that nothing he says can ever be that calculated…

    • John Goss

      “I see some people repeating the meme that HMG “has identified the nerve agent as Russian”.”

      Yes it is pitiful. It is pitiful not just because it shows that the meme has sunk deeply into the subconsciousnesses of so many, but because most readers of this blog show a degree of questioning intellect to discard such a meme as the nonsense it is. There are of course those who have an agenda – whatever their origins or allegiances we all know their game. But to really believe something unsubstantiated is more ovine than the creatures on the Welsh moors. D:

  • John Goss

    Fortunately I don’t need a job with the BBC of MSM.

    Two days after the discovery of the Skripals Theresa May and Boris Johnson were blaming Russia. Johnson said that if Russia was found to have been involved that this year’s World Cup could not go ahead in the normal way. Not an iota of evidence but the script had been issued. Who makes most sense, that white-haired Eton-educated bozo of a UK foreign minister, or the recently re-elected President Putin?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hykDH37Suj0

    I was heartened to see on RT today that an Israeli spokesman said that Israel had good relations with Russia and did not share in Europe’s vilification.

1 2 3 5

Comments are closed.