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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  • Sharp Ears

    BBC South Today have just reported the arrival of the OPCW team at Porton Down. This announcement was followed by a one liner – After their investigation is completed samples of the nerve agent will be sent to other laboratories abroad.


    • John Goss

      They said it could take weeks, or even months. Funny how Theresa May and Boris Johnson were blaming the Russians two days after the “poisoning”.

  • Ben

    “Per the BBC, other Russian diplomats have been pushing back against the rapidly coalescing agreement among many Western countries that the Skripal poisoning was some sort of revenge killing, part of a widely suspected campaign of actual and attempted assassinations against former Kremlin enemies living in the UK. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, for example, said that the technology behind the nerve agent could have been brought out of the collapsing Soviet Union by defecting scientists, while Russian envoy to the United Nations Vissaly Nebenzia separately claimed the UK could have staged the attack as a pretext to blame Russia.”

    No shortage of whataboutery

    Blame Russia with what objective?

    Negotiations with Gazprom over gas shipments to UK?

    POOTIE is on a roll and I don’t mean biscuits. He’s quite impressed with his gaming of the West.

      • Ben

        Well placed

        “When Magnitsky sued the Russian state for this alleged fraud, he was arrested at home in front of his kids, and kept in prison, in filthy conditions, for nearly a year until he developed pancreatitis and gall stones. In November 2009, Magnitsky, 37, was found dead, chained to his bed and lying in a pool of his own urine. Apparently, when he was dying and screaming in pain, the prison guards summoned not emergency medical help, but psychiatrists.”


        • SA

          The problem is that all of these so called Putin critics are actualy fugitives from the criminal justice system in Russia or convicted of crimes in Russia. Some of them have been given political asylum as useful political tools.
          As to Magnitsky. It is a real horror story that has to be condemned. But death in custody or due to police action is common even in ‘great’ democracies. Happens so often in US and no one blames the POTUS do they?
          If you are really interested in the Magnitsky affair, you should read the book by Alex Krainer who talks a lot about another character currently in the shadows wanting to import this Magnitsky law to U.K. , Bob Browder.

    • Pablo

      Interesting analysis/suggestion from a commentator (FBaggins) on Zerohedge
      “You are right. It is a false flag. Here are my reasons for judgment.
      If the Russians wanted Skripa dead, and did not want to take “credit” for the death, then they would not have used a weapon which could be used by the UK and the US to give them the blame. This is especially the case in a political climate with all the UK, US, Israeli hostility, false flags, fake news, and provocations against Russia, because of its support for Syria, its opposition to Rothschild-based globalism, and its opposition in the oil, gas and pipe-line wars. In this particularly volatile, political climate where there is a history of US- UK-Israeli false flag attacks in Syria using poison gas, in an effort to justify an escalation of that war, if Russia wanted Skripa dead the weapon of choice certainly would not be a messy poison gas used in the UK where other people were injured.
      It is clear from the way the UK and US authorities and the MSM are playing this that the emphasis is on the “Russian developed nerve gas” and not the death of ex-low-level-double-agent Skripa. It is all about the gas amplified with the hot air of the MI6-CIA-ridden propaganda-spewing news networks of the West.
      As for actually fingerprints, they could be that of any black ops arm of any intelligence nation on the globe, simply because the formula for making the stuff has been know to the world for years and the chemicals are readily accessible to anyone in the commercial market.
      What we do know is that this was a seemingly “sloppy” operation using a highly toxic nerve gas. The real purpose was more likely to focus on the use of the deadly gas. If it was another false flag, then the motive was clearly to discredit Russia.
      Because it was “sloppy” in using such a toxic gas to endanger others and yet did not even initially kill the target, the fingerprints do not appear to be Russian in this case, despite where the formula for the gas ordinally originated. If anything, and we wanted to remain objective, the evidence would suggest it was in effect more of a terrorist attack, but with no group taking credit. It is interesting that in fact it is being played by the UK media in exactly that way – as an attack against British people of their sacred sovereign soil. Yet, there is no evidence that even if Russia for some reason wanted Skripa out of the way, that they would have any interest or motive in doing it in such a “sloppy” way to be accused of terrorism against the British people.
      As for actual finger prints, which ever group did this clearly wanted the focus to be on the weapon and not on the victim, which is exactly what occurred. In this respect we can conclude that the “sloppiness” was deliberate. But if the sloppiness was deliberate then it was clearly not Russian hit. Therefore, what wet-work agencies are known for such sloppiness and in being so arrogant and cavalier in thinking they can commit any atrocity, and create any narrative out of it they want, and the stupid, brainwashed public will just swallow it whole? What agencies do we know who do not care if some liberated and thinking members their own public put two and two together? Why of course, the same agencies which gave us 9/11, WMD’s, Al Qaeda & ISIS terrorism, sarin gas attacks in Syria, Russian collusion, the Vegas massacre, etc.”

      • Ivan Sharkov

        Nobody actually knows toxic nerve gas has been used. That is what we have been told, yes. I might have missed it but have we seen any pictures of the victims as was the case with Litvinenko. Do we really know where they are being kept? It has only been statements and no real facts.

      • james

        thanks for sharing that pablo… i agree with the conclusions in the last paragraph..

      • Mary Paul

        I will buy that it was not Russia but if not who and why? I don’t buy false flag, we have far more pressing concerns than discrediting Putin/Russia right now, he does that perfectly well without our help. All this has done, according to yesterday’s Times, has been to boost Putin’s election victory. Seriously, who had means, notice and opportunity?

  • alwaywrite

    we have a major international incident, a crime worthy of the pure evil genius of Fu manchu, and yet no one seems to have seen the victims

    I’d suggest Mr Murray contacts the Red Cross and see if a deligation can reach these “victims” and validate their health status

      • What's going on?

        I’m stating to think that they are working together with Putin. Russia about to join the EU?

        • Shatnersrug

          Well seeing as we bought 49% of £4billion Russian bonds released on Friday, this has given putin a chance to look tough for the election *and* he has no wish to see a Corbyn government who would freeze his considerable assets in London. I’d say that there is a high chance the Tories and Puter cooked this one up together.

          Twitter post but I can’t find the website it’s patrick Wintour


    • Alexander Zucrow

      Talking of vitcims, has anybody here actually read/seen any interviews with witnesses/victims? There were allegedly all these people affected (including 38 people who required “treatment”), but so far I’ve not seen a single shred of evidence that these people are real. You’d normally expect at least a BBC interview with a victim or a relative saying “I was in the restaurant at the time” or something of that nature.

      Should I be surprised that the press doesn’t seem particularly eager to find out more about the status of the affected people, their symptoms, and their treatment?

      • Kolin Thumbadoo

        Perhaps repeating the theatrics of the White Helmets as the BBC has been holding several rehearsals in their propagandist coverage of the Missle East

  • simon

    OPCW team have indeed indeed arrived at Porton Down.
    we have just had a champagne reception followed by a cutting of the ribbon breaking of the soils for the new
    60 million pound boris bloater mayday chemi wing
    the new build made possible because of bbc truth
    will be designed by thomas spooky heatherwick famed for his 60 million boris no bridge bung and his rusting masterpiece of the big bang of the big bang and another bung buildings mean more bungs
    the portendowners would like to thank tory and the friends of tory blair for the new
    bloater and mayday wing.the wing will help team gb discover new whack chemi culls for population helpings

    the recent deaths of bullseyes jim bowen stephen hawkings and ken dodd and his diddy security men at the very least needs a screaming john sweeny bbc documentary tv putin did it tv programming show

  • Ross

    This is how crazy things have gotten; been shown the door by my sister-in-law because I dared to suggest that all may not be as it seems.

    • Naish

      Similar with me – my daughter accused me of ‘ranting’ just because I sent her the text of the A&E’s Doctor’s letter to her.

      • JohnsonR

        These kinds of response indicate how strongly the UK government’s propaganda works on an emotional level, rather than rational. It’s necessary to confront it rationally, as Craig does, but that only addresses part of the problem.

        • Herbie

          Spot on.

          It’s a world view problem.

          And data that don’t fit with the world view don’t get processed.

          So, what media is about then is creating a world view.

          • Ben

            Sounds like heuristics, or brainstorming.. only opposites fooling the normal nerve pathways to break through mere data to reach solutions.

          • Herbie

            I think they need to create the world view first.

            The view, for example, that we’re the good guys.

            NLP seems to be more for tweaking.

            And i don’t believe that it’s a case of rational people versus hysterical people.

            Rather it’s a fight between those who’ve developed their own world view and those who’ve bought the off-the-shelf media version.

            It’s only when you’ve developed your own world view that you can question and develop it.

            Those who’ve bought the media version cannot process contradictions so simply dismiss them.

    • Alexander Zucrow

      Sorry to hear that, but it’s not surprising given the jingoistic propaganda most Brits have been to exposed to recently. I mean, if the Guardian (which laughingly thinks of itself as THE left-wing broadsheet) has become a mouthpiece for May and her nationalist thugs, I’d say we’re not only up the creek without a paddle, but without a boat.

      • Shatnersrug

        We’ve crossed the rubicon now. We’re in Stasi land. Back in the days when Great Britain was a liberal country we would have seen journalists down at the hospital trying to interview doctors, rummaging though bins, you know the type of thing, but now nothing. Government propaganda is presented and it is consummed we are kept in the dark and left paranoid. This is how East Germany became, scared of its own shadow.

  • Rink

    Extremely little has been written about UNIEXPL.

    One small detail in Sergey Skripal’s past, which appears in most Russian coverage, and in fact appears even in the BBC’s Russian service coverage, has not made its way into English coverage at all: His post-GRU business interests.

    He is described as having been a co-director and 10% shareholder of Uniexpl (Юниэкспл) in the early 2000s. The company works on government contracts, primarily in explosive demolition and the clearing and destruction of munitions for civillian purposes. It’s director, V. Gavaza, graduated from the same military-engineering institutions and followed the same military career (sapper-paratrooper) as Skripal. They are about the same age. Mr Gavaza and another identified former co-director have not commented, but Skripal’s involvement with the firm was confirmed by an unnamed representative to the BBC. I mean to suggest only that the sort of business he was involved in was based on jobs for old comrades.
    After leaving the GRU, Skripal was given a job at a Moscow regional administrative Ministry, described in a Vzglad(https://vz.ru/world/2018/3/12/912102.html) article as “highly prone to corruption” and filled with ex-GRU.

    An unnamed ex-GRU agent (for Rosbalt, http://www.rosbalt.ru/moscow/2018/03/16/1689103.html) described Skripal as maintaining close relations with old colleagues from his intelligence days, and specifically of using his position at a private company (implicitly UNIEXPL) as grounds to probe sensitive areas with associates, ostensibly to gather information that would help his company to win government contracts. This quoted source underlines that his exposure as spy for the UK ruined many men’s careers and made him a hated man among a wide circle of ex-GRU, many of whom moved into business, some of whom made fortunes and may have moved to, or at least have access to, the UK.

    It’s unverifiable, and Russian language reporting tends to be as iffy as any UK tabloid, but it is not far-fetched that the web of old Soviet ex-intelligence men with grudges could be very large indeed. Skripal appears to have moved in a world of his old military and intelligence contacts amongst Moscow’s administration, old-school Russian business, and a vague position with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, only for it to become suddenly known that he was hoovering up what he could for financial reward from the UK.
    I consider it probable that this was a Russian job, but far more probable that it was independent than state-sanctioned.

    • VanZandt

      So, let see if I got this one right,

      Scripal is a British spy, not Russian!

      He’s a Russian who spied for Britain = British spy, no?

    • JohnsonR

      “This quoted source underlines that his exposure as spy for the UK ruined many men’s careers and made him a hated man among a wide circle of ex-GRU, many of whom moved into business, some of whom made fortunes and may have moved to, or at least have access to, the UK.”

      Why on earth would such a grudge not be settled in the usual ways such grudges are settled between Russian “businessmen” – with a bullet in the back of the head or a plunge from a hotel balcony?

      If we are to stipulate (highly speculatively) that there is the slightest truth in suspiciously convenient allegations by the British government that there was a secret Russian program to use Novichok agents, one thing we can surely be certain about is that it would be at stratospheric security levels and highly unlikely to be available to some mid-level embittered former spook or mini-oligarch.

      It just doesn’t seem remotely credible that your hypothetical embittered former colleague would go to all the trouble and risk of using Novichok instead of a traditional method. Apart from anything else, if he did then he’s now a hunted man by his own side, who will probably find him and put a bullet in him. Whereas the search for a routine murderer of a former spy would not have raised any effort whatsoever in Russia, and probably not here, either.

    • james

      thanks rink.. the only problem with your conclusion as i see it is being told the nerve agent is not something any ordinary person could work with – this according to The former Soviet scientist, Vil Mirzanyanov – a key player in all of this as i understand it..

      • james

        oh and the other problem – this is clearly a frame up of russia… it seems very intentional and i just don’t see a former russia agent being so pissed as to set up his own country in the process, even if it was possible for an individual to pull this off…

  • simon

    no witness
    no 8k beyond hd resolution video
    no hospital
    no wife of plod peeler a weeping
    on video
    a town full to the brim with army spooky and strolling porton downers.
    bourne,bond,palmer and friends of benji bb nuttyahoo all around.
    not to mention putin and his doubles and trebles
    and nobody saw nuffink
    when asked sas man chris ryan stated well like i was like buffing up my my mate andy mcnabs china boots andy had a bit of dirt on them he was pointing at it and we where so fixated by the dirt splash on the china leather that we missed the hole thing.
    we only realised something fishy was going on 6 days later when the telly tubbie decontamination team headed by chief bloater boris turned up.
    everything seemed normal
    apart from seeing vlad putin a couple of times at the zizi pizza shack it was a normals chicken town day

  • Anonymous

    I dont know if this has already been reported here, but this is an important letter from a medical consultant at Salisbury NHS hospital.

    “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):

    “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.”

    I hope Dr Davies does not develop suicidal feelings (as did Dr Kelly, allegedly).

    • Gideon Blackmarsh

      I wanted to exclude the possibilty that this was a fabricated letter intended to misinform, and was able to confirm today that there is indeed a consultant by the name of Stephen Davies working for Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

      I hope he or an NHS England spokesperson is able the clarify the bit that says “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning”. This reads as though the three known victims, namely the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, are suffering the effects of poisoning, but not nerve agent poisoning.

  • Iain McDermott

    Hi Craig, Thanks for regular updates of reality, among all the verbal diarrhea of the UK MSM, it makes a refreshing change.
    Also thanks for all the links you have provided to back up your articles, they have been very helpful; I have been doing a bit of research myself since the “incident” and your articles and links have helped me confirm a lot of things only only had a strong suspicion about for a number of years. I have studied Information Warfare as it effects geopolitics (as a hobby, strange I know!) for a number of years, which has included investigating the history and application of chemical / biological weapons; the UK still has a lot of hidden dirt to yet come out.
    I lived and worked through the two latter decades of the old Cold War and without breaking any “secrets”, I spent a good part of that time working underground (and no I am not talking about a coal mine!) so I was well aware of the number of times we came close to the edge, especially in the early 1980’s.

    • N_

      Are you interested in psychological warfare against the home population too, Iain? The edge seems pretty damned close in Britain. Those army lorries in the snow! Closely followed by the Oriental Monster Reborn theme, also pinned on the weather. Food shortages have been reported too, although on nothing near the scale that they will be. My tip is to hoard dried or otherwise imperishable food.

      The idea that the “cold war” continued from the late 1940s through to 1991 was invented in the 1990s. Before then, people who knew their Bay of Pigs from their Gary Powers and their Sino-Soviet split from SALT 2 agreed that it ended in the early 1960s, or at the latest a bit later. It basically lasted about a decade and a half. Its main feature was the ICBM and nuclear warhead race. I know there were scares in the mid-1980s which could have led to WW3 but that doesn’t equal a cold war. It makes me smile to read journalists write that the Fischer-Spassky chess match of 1972 happened “at the height of the cold war” when in fact it happened in the middle of détente. Détente hardly gets mentioned nowadays. Little point in telling them about the Apollo-Soyuz link-up because they wouldn’t hear. If “cold war” means “red flag over the Kremlin”, then the US and USSR must have been at cold war when they were allies during WW2.

  • N_

    Will the OPCW have any way of establishing that the sample they are given is from the substance that came into contact with the three injured people? Or do they have to take the poshboy Brits’ word for that? Because if they do, all they know about its provenance is that the British government gave it to them. They won’t be able to run any tests on it that Britain hasn’t already run.

    And can someone please summarise in at most three sentences how the OPCW has been behaving in and in relation to Syria. My understanding on a very cursory reading is that their “fact-finding mission” have worked on the question of whether CW have been used, not who used them.

    The idea of making war nicer than it would otherwise be…well it hasn’t worked, has it?

    • Herbie

      You’re correct about the OPCW.

      The thing no one seems to be addressing is why the OPCW gave the opinion that these weapons hadn’t been developed until Iran showed them that they could be developed.

      Iran wanted to get them on the banned list to protect itself from their use against Iran.

      But there’ll have been knowledge about their existence within the biochem community.

      So, was the OPCW colluding with those who had developed them to keep up a pretence that they hadn’t been developed.

      • N_

        With the developers being the same known CW power that hasn’t ratified the CWC and is the possible user that Iran is most concerned about?

        Got to wonder whether Iran will get jacketed together with the Syrian government if the US does what Valery Gerasimov warned it is planning. to do in Eastern Ghouta.

        • Herbie

          Yes indeed. That’s it.

          Israel’s secrecy about these matters is of benefit more generally to Western chums.

          There are certainly questions to be asked of the OPCW about their knowledge of these weapons, timelines and so on.

    • Alexander Zucrow

      “Will the OPCW have any way of establishing that the sample they are given is from the substance that came into contact with the three injured people? ”

      These are the sort of details that seem devilishly hard to find in the press.

      Does anyone know in what form the samples are handed over to the OPCW? I mean, would they make swabs from the victims’ airways, or do they use samples of fabric etc.? As a non-chemist, I would have thought that a liquid/gas agent would have dissipated by now, so how will they find any traces in e.g. the house or car etc. that allow them to reconstruct the transport route?
      Then again, if it was in a powder form, surely it would be quite easy to trace it back to Skripal’s daughter’s suitcase (where the Times alleges it was hidden before leaving Russia for England).

  • Ben

    Clearly Craig has reconsidered his Putin doubts since Annexation of Ukraine as have I..

    Anyone else reconsidered opinion?

  • saluspopuli.org

    Some voices in the US are raising questions about this matter. Not everyone on this side of the Pond is brain dead or Neoconized on international issues.

    Former Congressman Ron Paul, a non-interventionist Republican, just made some critical comments as did his associate on this talk video today. They are skeptical and are concerned about the anti-Russia hysteria. The conversation takes note of the US Neocons full speed ahead on this. There is a brief announcement at the beginning then they discusd the matter.


    Congressman Paul’s son is the current US Senator from Kentucky who is resisting the Pompeo to SecState and Haspel to CIA director appointments.

  • mog

    Why not write an open letter to this Stephen Davies doctor? Ask him to clarify.
    Clearly no journalist is going to ask him precisely what he meant in his letter to the Times (16th March).
    There have been no formal medical statements since the intitial admission to hospital. This is weird, no?
    In the context of everything else, don’t you agree that it simply needs clarifying?

    (I’ve suggested this to the OffGuardian editors as well.)

    • mog

      As Shatnersrug rightly says, ‘We’ve crossed the Rubicon now, we are in Stasi land’.
      So why not, what the hell, go for broke, all hands on deck, best foot forward, raise the mainsail, cut to the quick etc.

    • mog

      The Davies Letter Again..
      March 14th The Times published an article, ‘Salisbury poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment’, which starts:
      Nearly 40 people have experienced symptoms related to the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, it was revealed yesterday, as locals expressed anger about a lack of information from the authorities.
      Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who sought refuge in Britain after a spy swap in 2010, and his daughter Yulia are among 38 people who required hospital treatment for poisoning symptoms, Neil Basu, the national head of counterterrorism, revealed.


      March 16th, The Times publishes a letter in its reader’s letters page:
      ‘Sir, further to your report (‘Poision 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.’
      Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust)

      It is clear that Davies is contradicting the reporting of Neil Basu’s statement. Were there dozens of people receiving treatment for symptoms of poisoning in Salisbury, or not? If not, why is the national head of counterterrorism saying there were? If it has been misreported, why hasn’t Basu corrected the report in The Times? This is important.

      Bearing this in mind, how can we interpret the overall statement of the letter from Davies? If he sought simple clarification on this point, he could have stated that “three (and only three) people are being treated for symptoms of nerve poisoning by Salisbury NHS services”. Yet he does not say this.
      Surely this matter needs to be clarified.
      If a senior head of counterterrorism is being contradicted by the medical team in the middle of this saga, it doesn’t seem like pedantry to ask.

      • DDTea

        Quite possible many of the victims were the “worried well,” which swarmed hospitals in Tokyo after the 1995 subway sarin attack. There’s a lot of chaos in chemical attacks, and it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish those having panic attacks from those suffering from nerve agent exposure.

        The phrasing in that letter is ambiguous and I’ll await clarification.

  • Ben

    I understand some are irritated I’m grouping you folks who just hate the West, and don’t necessarily have affection for Putin, along with those who feel a similar emotion Trump enablers shamelessly express for their Dear Leader of Titanic! Cults, but it’s difficult for me to separate that chaff from wheat. My apologies.

    • Squonk


      Sounds more like the old Ben 🙂

      Still I don’t think many here “hate the west” – just its current leaders…

      • Dave Price

        Separating the chaff from the wheat is the main irritation with this comment section. I’m sure that for some commenters this is intentional, and the cleverest deliver their chaff with intelligence and style, making the sorting and sieving that much harder. Fortunately the contributions from ‘Ben’ present no such difficulty.

  • Harry Law

    The Russians are understandably angry about the way the UK Gov have handled this incident, Article 9 of the OPCW for instance makes it clear states parties first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this convention. The UK never did this in any formal way, PM May’s accusatory tirade in Parliament, as well as the summoning of the Russian Ambassador in the Foreign Office cannot serve as a substitute for the formal proceedings envisaged in the Convention for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The UK must file an official request in writing if it genuinely seeks to illicit the truth, they did not do this therefore it is the UK which is in breach of the Convention. Here is Article 9.
    Article IX. Consultations, Cooperation and Fact-Finding
    1. States Parties shall consult and cooperate, directly among themselves, or through the Organization or other appropriate international procedures, including procedures within the framework of the United Nations and in accordance with its Charter, on any matter which may be raised relating to the object and purpose, or the implementation of the provisions, of this Convention.

    2. Without prejudice to the right of any State Party to request a challenge inspection, States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this Convention, or which gives rise to concerns about a related matter which may be considered ambiguous. A State Party which receives a request from another State Party for clarification of any matter which the requesting State Party believes causes such a doubt or concern shall provide the requesting State Party as soon as possible, but in any case not later than 10 days after the request, with information sufficient to answer the doubt or concern raised along with an explanation of how the information provided resolves the matter. Nothing in this Convention shall affect the right of any two or more States Parties to arrange by mutual consent for inspections or any other procedures among themselves to clarify and resolve any matter which may cause doubt about compliance or gives rise to a concern about a related matter which may be considered ambiguous. Such arrangements shall not affect the rights and obligations of any State Party under other provisions of this Convention.

    • Mary Paul

      Given the Litvinov pollonium incident and Russia’s habit of denying events with their fingerprints all over them, then if state actors were involved, then any cooperation would not be forthcoming, just obfuscation. In good faith does not seem to have any meaning in Putin’s Russia.

  • N_

    Russian election result:
    Putin 77%, Grudinin 12%, Zhirinovsky 6%;
    turnout 68%;
    Putin got votes from 52% of electorate.

    Putin 64%, Zyuganov 17%, Prokhorov 8%, Zhirinovsky 6%;
    turnout 65%;
    Putin got votes from 42% of electorate.

    • fred

      Maybe those who suggested the poisoning was a false flag to discredit Putin before the elections could explain their logic now.

      • J

        It’s worth posting the link contents for all of those too shy to look. Thanks for the introduction to Sharmine Narwani. And to her for reporting what looks very much like a ‘moderate rebel’ chemical weapons laboratory.

        Any chemists hereabouts venture an opinion?:

        “Was in #EastGhouta today, 25 meters from a battlefront btwn Shifouniyeh & Misraba, areas recently liberated from militants. Western journalists flock to humanitarian corridor in north, but not a single one visited this makeshift chemical lab discovered by the SAA yesterday. ”

        “With the US threatening direct attacks on #Syria because of alleged chemical weapons use, and the Russians & Syrians claiming militants are using CWs to provoke a US attack…you would think western journalists would be all over this terrorist-run lab – even if to debunk it. ”

        “I couldn’t even hazard a guess at what was cooking in this terrorist-run lab in #EastGhouta. This stuff needs to be tested by independent experts, but the int’l community isn’t interested. You’d think they’d want a look before Trump starts a war over fake WMDs. ”

        “SAA says they tested these canisters immediately & found traces of chlorine. Chlorine weapons were first used in Aleppo around 2013. At the time, western-backed terrorists had taken control of #Syria’s only chlorine manufacturing plant, based in E. Aleppo and co-owned by Saudis. ”

        “Without a doubt, something was being manufactured in this terrorist-held lab. The SAA only just liberated this area in the past days – couldn’t have moved in this much diverse equipment, much of it coated in a thick layer of untouched dust. ”

        “Whatever chemicals were being manufactured in this lab, were likely created for use in warfare. To be delivered in these? There were several piles of these projectiles dumped in corners of the facility. #EastGhouta ”

        “So this is interesting. Hard to miss the one new-ish piece of equipment inside the terrorist lab – it’s a US-made air or gas compressor of some sort. A cursory Google search immediately pulled up several tenders for this device to Saudi Arabia in 2015. 1/2 ”

        “The Saudis, btw, are the main sponsors of Jaysh al-Islam – one of the main terrorist groups inside #EastGhouta, and per the photo below, the likely occupants of the lab. Saudis have been caught shipping foreign-bought equipment/arms to Syrian terrorists during this war. 2/2 ”

        “Another notable discovery during my #EastGhouta trip was the acres upon acres of crops available for the picking. Starvation siege? Not when you can trip over wheat, chickpeas, fool beans, green peas, olive trees, etc every few steps: “

        • DDTea

          This is no chemical weapons lab. Those “canisters” are, in fact, plastic carboys–totally unfit for holding pressurized gases. You can see the screw caps on them, designed for pouring. Likewise, beakers and conical flasks are not used for handling toxic gasses. I have no idea how the SAA did their supposed “testing,” but this is plainly not what they claim it is. In all likelihood, this is a lab for manufacturing high explosives.

          Also, compressed air is a basic necessity in any lab, especially on larger scales: used to transfer a liquid from one reaction vessel to another by pressurizing the headspace of the first container to push liquid through a transfer tube into a second container.

          • duplicitousdemocracy

            You have an astute eye DDTea, sadly all you ever do with it is exonerate despicable thugs who have tormented Syria in their droves for seven years. Alternatively, you can spot an empty cartridge and deduce immediately that it was President Assad who designed, constructed and fired it and in doing so harmed only women and children in Khan Sheikhoun (the White Helmets were miraculously immune).
            I think I just heard Eliot Higgins calling you to say lunch was ready.

    • saluspopuli.org

      N. Interesting comparison. Thx.
      The Russian and Chinese leaders will be governing into the 2020s providing stable leadership and continuity in policy. Meanwhile, the US 2018 midterms and 2020 election could result in considerable political volatility. Whether or not Trump is reelected in 2020, the Russian and Chinese leaders will continue their terms in power. Europe may well see considerable political volatility in some countries.
      At present, it appears that the transatlantic oligarchy will continue an anti-Russia posture and policy. One can hope for a change but given the decline and disintegration in the West that Toynbee and others saw policy change may be a long shot.

  • Je

    “The head of a foreign intelligence agency?”
    – An act of war that would invite tit-for-tat – why would they do that?

    “A leading jihadist rebel in Syria?”
    – They have bombs from planes for that. Having an assassin go in, find them, and
    escape… in Syria… ?

    “A key nuclear scientist?”
    – Why?

    “Even a Head of State?”
    – Again, an act of war that would invite tit-for-tat – which head of state, why?

    “There is this old retired guy I know living in Salisbury. We released him from jail years ago…”
    – He’s living under his own name, easy to find, unprotected in a completely open society… they still think he’s a traitor… and the government don’t really care about him (as Litvinenko’s family discovered)

    • DDTea

      It’s funny because this hypothetical exchange makes no reference to Dokka Umarov, the Chechen patriot leader who was killed by poisoning..

      • Je

        As Craig accepts the Russians were behind the Polonium attack, his argument can be show to be flawed with just some tiny edits:

        “We have also trained our agents in secret *Polonium* assassination techniques. The programme has cost *whatever*, 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?…”

        No, not a world leader.. a former spy. If he was even the first…

  • knuckles

    Channel 4 undercover on Cambridge Analytica. All the bs surrounding Russia and election inference and here its all been down to a UK company. Their Kenya campaign was pretty shocking.

    Craig any thoughts? Any beautiful young Ukrainian ladies eyeing you up lately?

    • knuckles

      I will also add the BBC newshit is doing their best to help out Cambridge Analytica explain everything………… Even start their segment blaming some Russian bloke for building an app THAT THEY EMPLOYED HIM TO BUILD (If you don’t laugh……)

      In the CH4 sting they talk up their MI5/6 connections. BBC are being very obliging. S

  • giyane

    Boris Johnson is a liar. May is a liar. Case dismissed. nobody agrees with their Hard Brexit. We’re all just sitting here waiting for the EU to close the door in their faces. Not until sanity enters No 10 will there be any point in discussing the garbage of these Tory arsewipes. Both May and Johnson have shown themselves to get angry when anybody asks them to show their hand. This is the delusion of power, that you are right.

    What is needed now is for the British government to realise that they no longer punch above their weight, or control the UN, or exercise any control whatsoever over the world. The City is a fruit machine and Thatcherism is a one-armed bandit. The only attribute of the British that the world needs right now are the attributes Craig has shown, a touchstone to the truth, humility and patience. These unfortunately are qualities from which the Tories are exempt.

    • Rod

      I’m trying to be as objective as possible in viewing the assertion led by the British Foreign Secretary that the Russian state or its president Vladimir Putin, in particular, was responsible for the personal assault using a derivative nerve agent on the ex-MI6 operative Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

      The British public have not been given proof positive that this is the case, rather it has been a series of assertions led by a serial philanderer whose reputation for journalistic inaccuracy and frequency is a matter of record; aided by his associates controlling the British rightwing press.

      Given what has been asserted : that it is only the likelihood that the Russian state is responsible and that no other actor could possibly be the culprit. If Russia or its president, Mr Putin, were in the dock in a British court of law the defence council would be declaring the British government a vexatious litigant as the judge throws the case out.

      From beginning to end this has been a Brexit distraction.

  • Gideon Blackmarsh

    Apologies for being somewhat off-topic, but I thought that this would be of interest and alarm to Craig and those posting here.

    The Independent, or one of their moderators, has gone into full-on censorship mode, deleting within seconds any comment that isn’t anti-Russia, anti-Putin, or calling anyone with anything favourable to say about Russia a “troll” or “Putinbot”. Check out this link to see how blatantly one-sided the comments are:

    It’s clear from reading through the comments that only one side of the discussion has been allowed to remain. This isn’t overzealous moderation; it’s censorship pure and simple. Someone definitely does not want the Russia bad / Putin evil narative questioned. The question is, is this a rogue moderator or has our “free” press been leant upon?

    I never thought I would see censorship as blatant as this in the UK. If I didn’t think we were being lied to and manipulated before, I certainly do now.

    • Gideon Blackmarsh

      See the comment from Mark88 (posted 9 hours ago at the time of writing this):
      “And yet you appear to be freely making public comments even now.  So how is it that you have been deprived of your free speech?”
      The comment Mark88 is replying to has disappeared, marked “This comment is awaiting moderation” (Independent-speak for “This comment will never see the light of day”) and the following reply I made has also vanished, as if to prove my point, with no indication that it was ever there:
      “Have another read through this comments section. I’ve got down as far as this and every comment remaining is anti-Putin, anti-Russia, or going on about trolls and Putinbots.

      It looks a lot like the Government has gone into full-on totalitarian mode and clamped down on the press.

      It’s not even subtle.”

    • Kiza

      Ah, The Independent from the Truth, similar to Guardian of the Lies, all dedicated to the regime.

      • Gideon Blackmarsh

        I’ve given up on the Guardian – got tired of hunting for an article with open comments (as well as the decline in quality of the journalism). These sites don’t seem to realise that the exchange of views below the line is often more interesting and informative than the articles themselves. When they close down or over-moderate the comments, they drive people away. The problem is that the British press is in such a dire state, I’m running out of places to be driven to.

      • Gideon Blackmarsh

        It’s looking more and more like it was a single highly-biased moderator on a power trip. Opposing views were eventually allowed on that article but only late into the night when, presumably, the moderator had gone to bed. But, up until that point, there had been a good twelve hours or more where public opinion was being represented by a deliberately skewed selection of comments.

        Comments on other articles appear not to have suffered a similar purge which leads me to the conclusion it was a single moderator rather than the policy of The Independent as a whole, not that there were that many other articles yesterday relating to the Skripals or Russia. I find it interesting that since Russia’s election and Putin’s win, the number of stories on this serious incident have decreased quite significantly and those that there are, are positioned way down the page.

        • Gideon Blackmarsh

          The majority of the censored comments have now been restored. I don’t know what part, if any, my kicking up a fuss had in bringing that about, but it is a victory for free speech nonetheless.

      • Gideon Blackmarsh

        As one of those regularly accused of being a Russian troll, I have to disagree. That’s certainly what a number of posters on there want you to believe though.

  • mike gibson

    The story has moved on ,US helicopters have evacuated top Daesh commanders in Syria today,bigger false flag is looming!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Whilst you are at a 3 day rock festival in the snow, you get neither the opportunity, nor the desire to catch up on any news / lies, but I’m back home now, and its even fcking colder here, than it was up north, but somehow John Ward managed to cut through al the sh1t and make me smile – and he is an anti-truther truther when it comes to anything about 2 planes, knocking down 3 buildings, but with this current disgraceful load of bollocks, from HMG, even he can’t take it seriously, except to try an spin an anti Boris ( I know he seriously dislikes him )..somewhow trying to connect the dead head of the fish – to the British General Public, who couldn’t give a sh1t either, and would quite happily go on holiday to Russia, if the Black Sea was as warm as The Med, and called The White Sea, but these colours are not allowed, cos of political correctness emaneted from the likes of the cnts supposedly in The UK Government. Talk about the lunatics taking over the assylum…

    You would get more sense if The Kop in Liverpool took on responsibility for running The UK Government. What a bunch of useless cnts, and I am not referring to The Scousers. I rather like them. Their sense of humour is seriously wicked, and their brains a lot faster than any of the [email protected] in Westminster. Put them up against the Russians and we might be in with a chance.




    “The people at the centre of the Skripal farrago are Amber Rudd, Boris Johnson, MI5, Federica Mogherini and an EU desperate to stop Brexit. Only a madman would believe anything they have to say.

    The British Government has backed itself into a corner over the Skripal case: yesterday it blocked a UN resolution calling for a “civilised investigation” into the incident – HMG’s “explanation” of which is now unravelling by the hour. Sources widely reported in the local police, at the local hospital and in the Foreign Office are fuelling not just doubts about Theresa May’s statement to the Commons last week….they are blowing the lid off an obvious propaganda scam:

    The “uniformed” policeman described by Amber Rudd as “dangerously ill” after being “first on the scene” now turns out to be fully recovered and a senior CID officer. Why was he at the scene?
    A senior FCO source has confirmed that secret service officers tried to pressure Porton Down scientists into saying that novichok is a “Russian produced nerve agent”. The Russians have never produced it, Porton Down does not believe novichok is involved, and in fact at least some scientists there think no nerve agent was involved at all.
    A senior medic at Salisbury hospital has flatly denied there are “any cases at all of nerve agent poisoning among passers-by involved in the incident”, which seems odd given that HMG said there were such cases, and one CID officer was “dangerously ill” while others are not.
    We still have no proof at all as to the condition of the Skripals. Two weeks after the incident, not a single interview with either father or daughter has been allowed.

    What we are seeing here is, in reality, several David Kelly style experts – in chemical warfare, medicine and the diplomatic service – saying the story is nothing but IABATO* hokum.

    But still the Establishment media and Western leaders insist on pushing hard on the “Putin done it” angle. In the face of growing scepticism, police have now released details of Mr Skripal’s car along with their latest theory that “the nerve agent was planted in Ms Skripal’s suitcase before she left Moscow”. This has now popped up in a Telegraph story “quoting unnamed sources”, so of course that seals it. Obviously.

    Which perhaps explains why Trump weighed in yesterday to say, “Well, it certainly looks like the Russians were behind it”, Boris Johnson told BBCNews, “We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his [Putin] decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the Second World War”, and significantly French President Macron said, “Since the start of the week, Britain has kept France closely informed of the evidence gathered by British investigators and of elements demonstrating Russian responsibility in the attack.”

    Now there’s a thing: here we are having a barney with Macron the anti-Brexit hardliner, and there he is warming to the British cause. Note in particular the collective security overtones of Macron’s closing words:

    “France shares Britain’s assessment that there is no other plausible explanation and reiterates its solidarity with our ally”.

    Right, so let’s be clear then: it certainly looks like, and is overwhelmingly likely that, and in fact there is no plausible explanation other than that, um, the Russians did it. Hence the new emphasis on Skripal Jr having just flown in from Moscow, which as we all know contains the Kremlin and good God, that nails it, what?”

    • Kiza

      Let all those who are in solidarity with their ally attack Russia together with UK, and let us see what happens. Who does not know history will need to re-learn it.

      It is just sad to observe what has been going on. As someone said – everybody around me is lying, things must be much worse than I know.

    • alan b

      the people of LIverpool thank you sir, for the above fluffy comments as regard to the present social standing of my community in relation to the rest of my fellow UK cities.
      That said,should you need any alloy wheels,car stereos,vast quantities of relatively pure narcotics etc please do drop me a line .We know a guy who knows some guy who has these people in a structure and business model not dissimilar to Cambridge Analytica.

  • James

    Dear Craig,

    I am getting extremely worried that we are being marched down the road to war. The conduct of Boris Johnson is extremely volatile and abusive towards the Russians.

    What is your assessment of the EU statement.

    “The European Union takes extremely seriously the UK Government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible.
    The European Union is shocked at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years.

    The EU welcomes the commitment of the UK to work closely with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in supporting the investigation into the attack.”

  • Dom

    Will there be mea culpas and resignations when the accepted narrative falls apart? “Forgive us, we jumped to wildly inaccurate conclusions . . . . . .ones that made little sense with rudimentary thought and investigation”. Or will it ever even be acknowledged that parliament and the media misled the public once again?

    • Herbie


      It’s precisely because they keep getting away with it that they’re emboldened to even greater abuses.

      It’s a complete failure of accountability.

      And that’s a media issue.

      The only media holding the govt to account today, is the Craig Murray blog.

      Things is that bad.

    • SA

      Did anything happen when it became clear that Blair lied to parliament and Powell to the U.N.?
      The worst that may of course happen is that there is a prolonged public enquiry that takes ages and blames some faceless agency that cannot answer back. This may be one of the reasons why some in PD are making it known through CM of what they think.

  • Ben

    “Mr Nix said they could “send some girls around to the candidate’s house”, adding that Ukrainian girls “are very beautiful, I find that works very well”. In another he said: “We’ll offer a large amount of money to the candidate, to finance his campaign in exchange for land for instance, we’ll have the whole thing recorded, we’ll blank out the face of our guy and we post it on the Internet.”


  • alan b

    A lot of people are singling Boris where as the way i see this is anything that he says will have been carefully considered by this cobra thing they have,whilst i know this is the way it works in westminster,in so much as if it transpires tomorrow morning the whole scenario is a fit up he will have to fall on his sword etc,possibly followed by St Theresa mayhem,my point is it is a group decision to come out with this anti Russian vitriol.
    What im getting to is that we,the British have been the pawns in a greater game.Again
    Orchestrated by washington/Israel is my guess as it is coming to the spoils of war time as to regard Syria.
    Statement of fact:This middle eastern proxy crap that has been going on for years has achieved on thing,it has kept all muslims very busy fighting with each other .When they are not fighting each other the only common ground they have is they hate Israel,and Israel is the focus of their hatred,sponsored by other states or not.
    The main premise of invading Iraq the 2nd time can been seen here also.Sadam says i am buying a big gun and as soon as i do Israel is getting it,We were making parts for it if anyone cares to remember.Blair goldsmith etc getting summoned to washington when by all accounts a the time having no stomach for war,suddenly change their minds?
    Anti-zionist me? perhaps anti jewish,shit no,but Israel needs to behave like the rest of the countries in the way it behaves otherwise it is very difficult to see how you can live in peace.
    Below is a very interesting Utube clip with Prof’ Moshe Amirav who was at the camp david summit with clinton,arafat,and rabin in 1993
    Prof’ Moshe Amirav put the case that they could agree everything,the settlments,refugee camps everything was not a problem.
    The main stumbling block was whos flag was going to fly over the temple mount?? Yitzhak Rabin was subsequently shot dead by Israeli right wingers. Prof’ Moshe Amirav suggests the only way the palestinian conflict will be resolved is through making the city of jerusalem independent of nationality under the administration of an international body with each faith with an interest having rights to their bit of it.
    One lesson we can take from history,the only time suni and shia elements of Islam saw eye to eye was under a kurd Saladin in the 12th century and this was to get rid of the franks as they called then,or crusaders.
    Saladin took Jerusalem without bloodshed as let all faiths carry on practising their religion,in peace.He did give they keys to the holy sepulchre to a muslim family though because the various factions of christians cannot agree with each other ,and still cant.
    I find this last part amusing.Sorry to bore, but sort out the palestinian holy land problem and we will be halfway there.

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