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

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  • J

    I’d be minded to consider events in the near future with regard for motive in this case.

    Anyway, populations are begining to wonder why they are so relatively poor. 48 million Americans might legitimately wonder why their tap water is radicative, filled with heavy metals and yet they have no health care available to them, but their governments have spent $8.3 million per hour, every hour since 9/11, on war.

    Think about that. An average of $8.3 million per hour for fifteen years. That’s a big industry right there and not about to shrink itself voluntarily. Creating conflict is ‘active marketing’ for these indusrtries and $8.3 million per hour is a lot of pretext for making the world into a perpetual theatre of war.

    But yeah, Russia, with a mere tenth of America’s defence spending (exceeded by Saudi Arabia for example) has the biggest motive. Uhuh yeah, right.

  • alexei

    Just a thought. Is it conceivable that the attempt on the skripals was in fact “just” a personal attack. Sergei had betrayed a number of people. Maybe one of them wanted payback and had the wherewithal to get hold of nerve agent. I mean, they were a bunch of spies after all, not your average betrayee. And of course knowing that the use of nerve agent would haul up a massive false flag. Motive and opportunity are there for quite a few people. Its jut the means that stands out in particular.

    • Sopo

      Fine, but there is still, actually, no reason to conclude that the substance was ‘a nerve agent’. At the beginning, the substance was even reported as being a synthetic opioid. Regardless, as even the authorities admit, this substance has yet to cause a single fatality thus far, and the public only need to wash clothes that may have come into contact with said substance.

      • James

        There was speculation that the Skripals were drugged with synthetic opioids in the hours immediately after the story broke.

        That speculation has now been replaced by new information.

        If you are holding onto that as evidence of a conspiracy, you really are clutching at straws.

    • Kiza

      I was wondering about the expensive car that the victim was driving on HMG pension, yeah!

    • fedup

      Sticking a knife in an old decrepit man would be oooooh sooooo hard?

      Pay a couple of hundred quids and one of the local youfs would be standing next to him a couple of minutes and then just run whilst the old fart is doubled over in pain. This is Britain you know! Our hit men now ride mountain bikes (sensibly of course to keep things green and sustainable, nothing to do with rampant poverty levels) and the posh ones for a price of five hundred quid and above ride on their mopeds for a quick get away.

      No need for all this cloak and dagger theatrics.

  • FredCDobbs

    Hey DDTea….I bet “Putin’s nemesis”….Elliot Higgins must be shitting his pants….awfully quiet at bellingcrap….lol

    • DDTea

      This isn’t an investigation that lends itself to the open source methods used at Bellingcat.

    • John Goss

      I can remember when The Guardian was a newspaper commanding respect. It was called the Manchester Guardian back then.

      What saddens me is not the decline of a newspaper so much as the number of friends I have who still keep linking to it as though it still had the credibility of old.

      • Christopher Dale Rogers

        I ceased purchasing physical daily copies of The Guardian in 2003 – it was bloody expensive in Hong Kong I can assure you – I ceased purchasing the paper in its entirety on my visits to the UK in 2012. The paper in my humble opinion started its downward trajectory to a pure, spiteful propaganda rag in 2007 after its favoured Son Blair was forced to exit the Premiership.

  • Maxwell

    And it didn’t even kill anyone.

    “Most powerful nerve agent known to man”

    Zero dead

    • N_

      Yeah, and how could Porton Down be so good with an antidote unless they had some of the substance to begin with?

      But this line of thought isn’t enough, because no nerve agent was used in Salisbury. The consultant medics specialising in emergency medicine at Salisbury hospital said that “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury”.

      Theresa May lied to the House of Commons.

        • Hamish Soutar

          Mr Skripal was taken by ambulance, and his daughter by air ambulance, to Salisbury District Hospital. As a local resident, I assure you there is no doubt about this.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        In general antidotes are effective against multiple agents, because many nerve agents have common structural features. New generation weapons were designed to override antidotes but 40 years on, DSTL probably have new ones.

      • Gaynor

        Lied? Again! She said in her speech last week that the Tories supported Bevan’s birth of NHS in 1948. They most certainly did not and voted against it!

  • Phil James

    “No, Tovarich. No-one would believe the Russians would be so stupid as to compromise an expensive covert WMD programme by using the Novichok on an old retired guy living in Salisbury. We can safely employ it there knowing no-one can prove it (though our enemies will believe it was intended to send a signal to them ‘pour encourager les autres’) and no-one would believe we would be so stupid.”

    It works both ways. And even if it is true – was the incident a total false flag, or was there really novichok released? Or some other nerve agent? If so, by whom? And what would their motive be? And would they have carried out a risk assessment of the blowback if their involvement was proven. It would bring UK govt down if it was our secret/security services; if it was a state less well tooled up than Russia, UK might consider a punitive military response (whereas we’d never do so against Russia).

  • DiggerUK

    Has anybody commented on the difference in the letter to The Times from the NHS consultant in Salisbury. The difference is between ‘nerve agent poisoning’ and ‘significant poisoning’ Could be a typo, but not a bad habit I associate with a doctor.
    So if the health service isn’t claiming the poison is a nerve agent, why aren’t they…_

    The Times published a letter from Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust) on the 16th March.
    ‘Sir, further to your report (‘Poison Exposure Leaves Nearly 40 needing Treatment’), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.’

      • DiggerUK

        Given it was published in The Times, I would have thought the letters editor would have double checked everything, including the subtlety behind the implication.
        This story is a stack of Russian dolls with no enigma……we know what’s going on…_

  • Chris Abbott

    I’ve still got an open mind on this, but there are some questions to be answered. The Russians could have offed Sergei in Russia, or in UK all the time he has been living here openly under his own name, in a traffic accident or some other less obvious way. However, they apparently chose to do this with chemical weapons just when his daughter visited. She sounds as though she has contacts with Soviet Intelligence too, and has been reported as having worked at the US Embassy. I’d be looking at what she brought in her luggage with her, and what she handed over to someone in the “missing four hours” for which mobile phone tracking is apparently not available. There seems a good chance that she, rather than him, was the actual target. Thanks Mr Murray for providing somewhere for those of a sceptical mind.

  • saluspopuli.org

    Remember the April 2017 sarin thing in Syria? Sarin is an organophosphate as Novichok types are said to be. The White House, NOT the intelligence community, issued a four page paper about it, claiming sarin. Critics from the science community, such as Prof. Postel of MIT, tore it apart. The Nation ran a critical story.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-is-there-a-place-for-skepticism/

    Have the symptoms of the Skripals been fully described in the British press? Or other open sources? If so, have independent medical doctors in the UK with knowledge of nerve gas publicly gone on record with a diagnosis? If so, does the medical diagnosis suggest Novichok? Something else? On this side of the Pond, apparently no such reporting and analysis so far.

    Was there a Cataline conspiracy? Or is that just a theory made up by some dotty Classics professors? Have there never been conspiracies in history, never ever? Ever? In the UK, have their never been conspiracies against the life of a Sovereign? Never?

    Did Orwell for his classic novel, 1984, borrow from Arthur Ponsonby’s, Falsehood in War-time (1929)?

    • mog

      But in war-time the authoritative organization of lying is not sufficiently recognized….
      …The public can be worked up emotionally by sham ideals. A sort of collective hysteria spreads and rises until finally it gets the better of sober people and reputable newspapers.
      A Posonby

      ..and then some.

      We have been in a state of permanent war since Sept 2001.

      • saluspopuli.org

        Exactly.

        http://www.vlib.us/wwi/resources/archives/texts/t050824i/ponsonby.pdf

        The anti – Russia campaign in the West is orchestrated. The intention is to prevent Russian and other Great Power cooperation and working in concert on global issues. With respect to the Middle East, the main beneficiary would appear to be Israel. Great Power cooperation working in concert plus the UN could very well sort out issues there such as the Palestine Question.

        Although progressives and moderates in Israel might well welcome such diplomacy, the hardliners do not. The hardliners are in the tradition of Vladimir Jabotinsky a person known to the UK. A Nietzschean and Fascist, his private secretary was Bibi’s father. He is venerated by the US Neocons and, no doubt, by the British Neocons of the Henry Jackson Society, Milbank Tower, Westminster. One could enquire.

        Qui bono, this anti-Russia campaign?

    • Agent Green

      This is the whole point.

      There is currently zero evidence. Nothing has been presented. We have no evidence that anyone was even attacked other than the word of the British Government.

    • DDTea

      And I’ve torn into Theodore Postol multiple times. He knows what I think of him. Theodore Postol is a charlatan who has difficulty with basic reading comprehension and data interpretation. He contradicts himself on such basic details as which direction the wind blows. In no regard is he an “expert” on anything related to chemical weapons. He barely understands basic chemistry, such as acid-base reactions. His reports contradict one another in this regard, such as in 2013 when he lambasted Dan Kaszeta over the hexamine issue; but then in 2017 came around to the idea that hexamine could actually be used to scrub hydrogen fluoride in binary sarin [1]. Either Postol was wrong then or he’s wrong now, but I lean toward him being wrong in 2013 and Dan being right for 5 years.

      I’ll Postol the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s not a charlatan crank; maybe he’s just “slipping.”

      [1] Theodore Postol. “Flawed Chemical Analysis in the French Intelligence Report Alleging a Syrian Government Sarin Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Sheikhoun” https://www.globalresearch.ca/flawed-chemical-analysis-in-the-french-intelligence-report-alleging-a-syrian-government-sarin-nerve-agent-attack-in-khan-sheikhoun/5587983

      ***Note, his comprehension of chemistry is STILL wrong in this article. Hexamine does not abstract a fluoride atom! Moreover hexamine is emphatically *not* a known decomposition/detonation product in any high explosive, and there is abundant public-domain literature on theoretical and experimental studies to demonstrate this. He should have read these and cited them. But he didn’t. Because he’s a charlatan.

  • Chris Leeds

    I am forced to wonder why I would rather believe V. Putin – by all accounts a pretty ruthless operator and de facto dictator of Russia – than our own Foreign Secretary.

    • Agent Green

      Nobody is asking you to believe anything and nor should you. Let them present actual evidence first. As of the current time, no evidence has been presented. Absolutely none at all.

    • N_

      Yeah, Boris Johnson would never lie to the British people he loves so much, right? You sound soft in the head.

  • N_

    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    – Hermann Goering at his trial in Nuremberg, 1946

  • J. Brook

    It seems clear to me that Mr. Johnson is being thrown under a bus. When the whole world wants to lynch its leaders for starting another world war, Mr. Johnson will be handed over first by all of his co-conspirators, and they’ll all be shouting in unison: It was this clown who trotted out all the stupid stuff.

      • MJ

        Both of them seem way out of their depth. Putin and Lavrov are head and shoulders above them. Toytown FC v Barcelona

        • Rhys Jaggar

          In general antidotes are effective against multiple agents, because many nerve agents have common structural features. New generation weapons were designed to override antidotes but 40 years on, DSTL probably have new ones.

    • giyane

      Russia did not allow any of USUKIS non-Syrian proxies to attend the Soschi conference. Why would the instigators of war want to make peace? The aim seems to be to kill as many Muslims as possible. apparently the ratio of value for ethnicity has become even more accentuated. Two UK citizens’ and one Russian citizen’s lives are more important than hundreds of millions of Muslims who have been displaced or killed by 30 years of USUKIS warmongering. I find it quite disturbing that our prime minister displays no sense of proportion at all.

      “Will these hands ne’er be clean? Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him “

  • Barden Gridge

    Another person who harbours doubts about Johnson’s story is Paul Thomson, who is vice-chairman of “British Conservatives in Paris”.
    http://www.conservatives-paris.org/html/contact.html
    (“Our objective is to further the aims of the British Conservative Party and give members the means to support these aims from France.”).

    Mr Thomson took part in a French TV discussion about events in Salisbury.
    Speaking in French, he was critical (speaking as a private individual) of the British govt. response.
    A short video featuring some of his remarks was posted on twitter early on March 15.
    I don’t know the date of the programme. It was apparently shown on France24 – it also has the France Info label which is the news organisation of French domestic public TV and radio.

    Here is my translation of some of what he said:

    “Speaking in a private capacity, not as a spokesman for the British government, it does make one wonder, because it’s difficult to see why Russia would want to go and kill someone under these circumstances because, first of all, that would undermine the credibility of Russia as a state with regard to spy exchanges…”

    “Speaking in an entirely private capacity, I would like to express my regret that Mr Lavrov’s offer to work in cooperation with the British authorities to get to the heart of the matter was rejected by the British authorities – I happen to be a lawyer and there is the principle of “audi alteram partem” – “listen to both sides in a dispute” which is a good principle, and also there is the idea that every means possible should be used to find the truth, so that’s a course of action that it was wrong to neglect, or rather, reject, in my opinion…”

    The tweet containing the video is here:
    https://twitter.com/fandetv/status/974152523178217472

  • Dicky Rough

    Thank you, Craig Murray.

    Russia makes a convenient target, however,
    should you need extra dosh to prop up a not so secret asset
    harvesting killer chemicals by the seaside in a climate of austerity.
    Then some.

    Sincerely,

  • mog

    What concerns me is the abandonment of the processes and institutions of justice that have developed to help us determine some approximation to truth in this world. The Russian state may very well have been involved in what happened in Salisbury, but the point I have tried to stick to is that they should not be anything more than suspects until proven guilty. If we, as a society, turn away from due process or principles of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, then we are turning towards tyranny and war. We become – and arguably have become, the fascists that we fought in the 1930s and 1940s. Violence and emotionalism will start to take over completely, and like the townsfolk of Salem in Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’ we become lost in a maelstrom of irrationality and open to sinister manipulation.

    Sadly this degeneration is as true of the Labour movement under Corbyn as it is of the Tories, the SNP, the Greens, the entire media establishment, and it would seem, much of the NGO world. The only appropriate response to Salisbury is to withold any accusations until inquiries established who the perpetrators are, to follow the protocols which are well established precisely to deal with these situations. Instead we have had a political and media voice hysterically braying at anyone who even remotely suggests this usual course.
    Thinking about it, this boils down to, basically, racism. Russia has become our shaddow, a place and people where we project all that we find disgusting about the moral decline of our own society. Feel the hate.

    The view to which I subscribe is completely without representation in this country now.

    What is more, I cannot see a way of challenging the rigid hysterical pronouncements of the state/corporate media voice short of overturning ‘the whole thing’. What does a man of peace do in such dire straits?

    • MJ

      Yes. When Corbyn suggested that the response should be “evidence-based” mass hysteria ensued.

      • mog

        Theresa May was right on Monday to identify two possibilities for the source of the attack in Salisbury, given that the nerve agent used has been identified as of original Russian manufacture.
        Jeremy Corbyn, March 15th (emphasis added to question ‘evidence-based’)

      • Michael McNulty

        I think the problem for the authorities which is fortunate for us, is because they cannot involve experienced scriptwriters to create these events, many of which are atrocities with real victims, these plots have to be contrived by a committee of heads-of-unit like a boss at MI5, MI6, Special Branch, Porton Down, government ministries, a media mogul or two etc. Lots of people around a table.

        Experienced writers can see in their mind’s eye how a plot develops and where any contradictions may appear as the story unfolds, but these people writing the scripts are not trained to produce a drama. And while a former spy may be able to write a good spy novel that’s because it’s his creation alone; he doesn’t have a dozen other people insisting this plot device or that “clue” be included.

        • Shatnersrug

          I think you’re getting a bit carried away there, the only person concocting this story was a bunch of shit Tory spin doctors.

  • ZiggyM

    The Times, 16 Mar 2018
    Sir, Further to your report (“Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment”, Mar 14),******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.
    Stephen Davies
    Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
    ***********************
    Is he saying what I think he’s saying

  • Suem

    Like everyone on this blog, we are putting out, theories about this incident, but one that hasn’t, is the possibility that they were acting this incident, Skirpal is beholden to the government for taking him in the exchange,does his daughter want to join him in the UK. Mysterious woman wants to stay out of the picture, when most people would love 15 mins of fame and money offered for interviews, police officer under Government orders, even Doctors can be made to sign official secrets act. All it takes is a couple of Alka seltzer tablets and a small amount of water, voila foaming at the mouth , vacant look and slumping achieved, no access for journalists or pictures taken.Every thing kept under Government control to ramp up any mandate they want to push. Think about it ?.

    • mog

      With the current level of evidential disclosure and almost total absence of media interest in asking basic questions, this is as plausible as anything else that I have read suggested.

    • N_

      His daughter lived in Britain for five years before returning to Russia. By “mysterious woman”, do you mean the woman with blonde hair and the red bag?

      I don’t believe a nerve agent was used. The consultant medic at the hospital, specialising in emergency medicine, wrote to the Times and said exactly that. He wants to avoid getting jailed if there’s ever a trial.

      The Russian chief of staff, Valery Gerasimov, has said that the US plan to fake a chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta to use as an excuse for attacking Syrian government positions in Damascus…where Russian forces are deployed. He says if they do, Russia will strike the missiles and their carriers.

      Notice the “Beast from the East” meme that Britpropaganda is using, sometimes with a “Monster Reborn” twist as “Beast from the East 2”. Notice too that there was large-scale coverage of the British army helping people, just because there’s been a little bit of snow. Meanwhile the Tory BBC paint a Russian hat onto Jeremy Corbyn’s head and show him against a backdrop of St Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square. Possibilities such as a British cyberattack on Russia are calmly floated in the British media, as if that wouldn’t be an act of war against a nuclear power.

      All the signs point to a major war.

      Easter and Passover are coming.

      • mog

        Notice the three recent hollywood films featuring Churchill.
        Notice Boris posing in Churchill’s war room.
        Notice Churchill on the five pound note.
        Notice Churchill documentary on Ch 4…

      • Sharp Ears

        As I have said before, instead on landing a medical professional with the press dealings, the chief executive or the Trust chairman should have come out to the front of the hospital and made a statement to the media.

        The chairman is Nick Marsden

        The chief executive is Cara Charles-Barks . I see she was previously at the disastrous Hinchingbroke Hospital which was handed over to Circle Healthcare in 2011 to run under Cameron’s NHS privatisation project. So she knows about Trouble at’Mill.

        http://www.salisbury.nhs.uk/aboutus/trustboard/Pages/Home.aspx

        ‘Subsequently, Julian Huppert raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions where he said: “The decision by the last Government to put Hinchingbrooke Hospital out to tender, with the last three bids under them all led by the private sector, was deeply flawed and a massive failure. “Does the Prime Minister accept that this experiment in privatisation failed and the future of Hinchingbrooke Hospital should be fully in the NHS?”
        Circle will hand the management back to the NHS on 31 March 2015 but will leave a deficit of between £7.7m and £12m for the financial year. Circle are not liable for losses beyond £5 million under their contract and have applied to the NHS Trust Development Authority for £9.6m to maintain solvency. It is unclear what will happen to the organisation after March’.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinchingbrooke_Hospital

        An ex Conservative MP, Mark Simmonds, was taking £50,000 from Circle Healthcare but did not declare his interest in debates. He was found out and was made to make a statement of apology to the ‘Harse’. So that was OK then. A Tory trougher.

        MP apologises for failing to mention interest in health firm
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17104463
        He is now a director of African Potash. What’s that? Ripping the guts and resources out of Africa?

  • Chris Leeds

    2 things – Firstly it is hilarious that some people think our own spooks at Porton Down have not ‘developed’ precisely the same types of chemicals, and worked out methods of delivering them, and secondly that Mr. Putin needed this bizarre method of attempted execution – it is evidently a very unreliable method, and any furore would only damage his international relations (can anyone point out any advantage he has gained?) and is simply unnecessary at home either to help in elections or to scare potential enemies – he was a shoe-in, I am sure that all agents know that the Russian secret services can have anybody killed in a variety of ways at any time (as can any country).

  • mike

    This is a straight lift from the BBC report on the Skripal poisoning dated 8th March:

    “Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting. She had also lost control of her bodily functions.

    “The woman, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

    “She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal’s face or body.
    The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, but added that she “feels fine”.”

    Not a peep from this doc for last 11 days. Where is she? Was she affected by the nerve agent? Why has she not been mentioned in any other press reports?

    Answers within 45 minutes, please.

    • D_Majestic

      No answers. Apart from the fact that it all seems to be lifted from the world of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

    • Mary Paul

      I also read that this doctor said yulia skripal’s eyes had only the whites showing – which I understand to be a sign of nerve gas. I also wonder if she and her father are both in fact dead? And didn’t Hamish de Botton- Grafton finger it for a novichok gas when the first reports came in?

  • PetrGrozny

    As the Russian Embassy is now posting a picture of Poirot this is a good time and place to point out that the very first Sherlock Holmes story, ‘A Study in Scarlet’ concerns a murder, by poison, on an unspecified 4th March in the early 1880s for in revenge for something which happened many years previously in another country. The Skripals were ‘poisoned’ on 4th March. No I don’t think someone sected the date deliberately but Life sometimes has a funny way of imitating Art.
    There is a statue of Holmes and Watson outside the British Embassy in Moscow.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      ‘Johnson and May glanced at each other with an incredulous smile.

      “If this man was murdered, how was it done?” asked the former.

      “Poison,” said Sherlock Holmes curtly, and strode off. “One other thing, Johnson,” he added, turning round at the door: “`Rache,’ is the
      German for `revenge’; so don’t lose your time looking for Miss Rachel.”

      With which Parthian shot he walked away, leaving the two rivals open-mouthed behind him.’

    • Republicofscotland

      Interesting snippet, staying on Holmes his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, moved to Switzerland, due his wife’s poor health. Doyle began skiing in Switzerland, Davos, and it soon became popular to do so, after Doyle.

      Prior to Doyle skiing in Davos, very few people actually skied in Switzerland.

  • morag

    Aye well Craig, when you say it like that!!
    Bojo becoming ever more ridiculous as if that was at all possible.

  • Mary Paul

    I am struggling with who has a motive to do this and why? why now and why using a novichok, if it was one? Was the presence of his daughter a coincidence? If he was targeted why? How did his son die last year in Moscow?

    And if not a novichok, what was used? It certainly seems to have been a nerve gas, going from the symptoms described by witnesses on the day -including a passing doctor who stopped to help. Certainly the UK government feels confident enough to invite the OPCW to come and inspect.

    Not that I would entirely discount Skripal”s use to western intelligence even now he may still have useful contacts.But why not just strangle him in the night like Glushkov?And am I the only one who heard yesterday, on a passing news report, that some extra info about the incident was just passed from the US?

    • Agent Green

      And of course, ‘info’ from the US is 100% trustworthy.

      Just don’t mention the shameless lies told by the US at the UN prior to the Iraq war.

  • Made By Dom

    Craig, if you had the time you could certainly help the accusation of being a ‘crazed conspiracy theorist’ by debunking and shutting down some of the loonier theories made by your regular contributors.

    The most offensive one that keeps cropping up is the idea that a Consultant at Salisbury hospital is claiming that nobody has symptoms of nerve agent poisoning – this is total bollocks.
    The consultant wrote a letter to The Times correcting them for printing that “38 people required hospital treatment for poisoning symptoms”.
    The consultant said that nobody other than the three we know of had symptoms of poisoning. ‘Symptoms’ being the key word.

    • N_

      @Made by Dom – you are a liar. I see no possible honest reasons that might have motivated you to post what you did.

      It’s not just “a” consultant, it’s the consultant at the hospital who is the specialist in emergency medicine there. Here are his exact words, the whole of his letter. “Symptoms” is indeed a key word, because it’s part of the key phrase: “symptoms of nerve agent poisoning”.

      ***************************************
      16 March
      Sir, Further to your report (“Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment”, Mar 14), 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.
      Stephen Davies
      Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
      (emphasis added)
      ***************************************

      • Made By Dom

        Actually, I tried to warn people twice before but no one read my posts. There was talk of trying to contact the doctor which i felt was completely inappropriate.

        It’s all in the first five words, ‘Sir, Further to your report’. Hands up how many people bothered to read the article reported in The Times on 14th March?

        You can see a snippet of it here….
        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/poison-exposure-leaves-almost-40-needing-treatment-k52kd6gfm

        The first line of that article says, “Nearly 40 people have experienced symptoms related to the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning…”

        Our friend the doctor than writes to The Times to correct them by saying (and i’m just quoting your text here), “…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.”
        In a nutshell, The Times implied people had symptoms and the Doc wished to clarify that no one had symptoms. Simple.

        • Woke Too Late

          Hi Made By Dom,

          Yes, I think you may well have debunked the letter but poor wording (of the letter) misleads readers. I don’t think it’s offensive (as such) but an understandable (and unfortunate) misinterpretation of what the Consultant was probably trying to say. It is likely that the Consultant was trying to say something like (my added words in brackets):

          “may I clarify that no (other) patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning (related to the incident) in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant (nerve agent) poisoning”

          However, the Consultants statement is unclear and likely to cause continuing confusion, as well as negative reactions between those who are convinced only 3 people suffered nerve agent poisoning and those who are convinced it means no-one suffered nerve agent poisoning.

          Because the letter can be understood in two diametrically opposed ways it has no value unless and until’ the Consultant clarifies the issue (which I don’t think that is going to happen now).

          I hadn’t read your other posts on the issue but I am impressed that you interpreted the letter in the way it was (probably) intended, whereas I (unfortunately) appear to have (probably) interpreted it incorrectly.

          Finally, I don’t think Craig can be expected to vet all theories in the comments and should stick strictly to what he knows or has a good understanding of.

          Regards,
          Woke Too Late

    • MJ

      Not sure that anyone is accusing Craig of being a ‘crazed conspiracy theorist’. Your comments on the consultant’s letter seem pretty crazed: have you considered actually reading it?

    • mog

      this is total bollocks
      Do you not find it at all odd, that in this age where literally everybody who is connected to a news story appears in public to ‘tell their story’ (eg Manchester NHS staff who worked to save lives last May) – that nobody has been interviewed about the medical state of the three allegedly affected people?
      All we have is this letter from Stephen Davies which states its intention to ‘clarify’ but which does nothing of the sort.

    • Agent Green

      No. Read the letter:

      ‘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.’

      The ‘may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning’ is the salient bit.

  • N_

    Just look at the manic British foreign secretary going on about Russia concealing a “needle of truth”. He probably thinks he’s a great propagandist and that that wonderful phrase will be on all the front pages tomorrow. Probably needles are on his mind because he’s damaged his septum so much. Johnson’s whole upper body and head convulse every time he stresses a syllable. Watch the clip with the sound turned off and it’s easier to take in how fired up on drugs he looks.

  • saluspopuli.org

    By the way, Boris had a featured op ed in the very Establishment Washington Post, de riguer reading in the US capital.

    Said he: ….”It was only down to chance that more people are not lying stricken today; the perpetrators clearly did not care how many innocents were endangered. What sticks in my mind is the cavalier indifference — and sheer brazenness — of this attack.

    Our experts have identified the weapon used in Salisbury on March 4 as a fourth-generation nerve agent known as Novichok, designed to play havoc with the central nervous system and inflict a lingering death…” and

    “….The British government has drawn the only plausible conclusion: that the Russian state attempted murder in a British city, employing a lethal nerve agent banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention…..” And so on.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/boris-johnson-we-must-stand-against-russia/2018/03/14/48fa87d0-27bc-11e8-bc72-077aa4dab9ef_story.html?utm_term=.1518d2846c94

    Boris that I I can see from press reports has not said that his position is based on the conclusions of British intelligence services, law enforcement, etc.. These are the conclusions of “the government” which is to say the politicians. In the US, the word “government” used in the federal context, means our entire Federal government which is Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. In British English/usage, the word “government” can mean the PM and cabinet (Yes? No?). Boris using the phrase “British government” for a US audience, is implying that the British intelligence establishment and all other relevant agencies and Parliament have reached the conclusion about Russian involvement. Most Americans would not catch the semantic difference which is significant. Europeans with parliamentary formats would but Americans would not. Correct me if I am wrong about this phrase in British English.

    Also, Boris says “plausible conclusion”. The word plausible in front of conclusion is also interesting. He does not say there is hard evidence or intelligence to support the conclusion.

    I am waiting for the Churchill references to start coming as we saw in the run up to the Iraq War. Rumsfeld was particularly obsessed with Churchill references. In the US, the propaganda themes involved the Saddam as Hitler meme and then the Churchill took a stand against evil Hitler and saved the world, so the US should behave like Churchill and make war on Saddam. We can monitor Congress, the press, and so on for the Putin is Hitler meme.

    Boris as a Churchill poseur? Imagine he will have to increase his alcohol intake and have some good Havanas around.

    • N_

      By “government” he means the formal executive, with the cabinet at the top, chaired by the prime minister, adopting a single and unanimous view according to the principle of Leninist democratic centralism “collective accountability”, as advised by various agencies, yes, including MI6 and government law officers, but not including the judiciary, parliament, or BBC.

      • saluspopuli.org

        N, thank for this helpful clarification. From that, I take it that he is implying that the British intelligence community is in agreement anent Russia and has so advised him. Have they? Have the appropriate committees in Parliament conducted an investigation and or have been briefed by the UK IC?

        In the US, the White House can play it as in the April 2017 Syria matter. The White House issued its own cobbled together four page statement. The intelligence community apparently resisted cooking so McMaster was put in charge of the cuisine and dished out the report. During the second Iraq War, the White House pressured the intelligence community to cook a report which it then used politically to support the war.

        In the US, Britain quite naturally retains prestige despite curious oddities like Boris and bizarre figures like Tony Blair. So when a British leader pens an oped in time of international tensions that is placed in a key US newspaper it does carry some weight in DC. This is a problem and is an abuse of the special relationship.

        Boris will do the Churchill pose and US politicians and the press will swoon.

  • Squeeth

    Good afternoon Craig, saw you on someone’s telly earlier; rather good performance, thanks.

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