Russian to Judgement 426

The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s now assure you Russian “novochok” nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil. As with the Iraqi WMD dossier, it is essential to comb the evidence very finely. A vital missing word from Theresa May’s statement yesterday was “only”. She did not state that the nerve agent used was manufactured ONLY by Russia. She rather stated this group of nerve agents had been “developed by” Russia. Antibiotics were first developed by a Scotsman, but that is not evidence that all antibiotics are today administered by Scots.

The “novochok” group of nerve agents – a very loose term simply for a collection of new nerve agents the Soviet Union were developing fifty years ago – will almost certainly have been analysed and reproduced by Porton Down. That is entirely what Porton Down is there for. It used to make chemical and biological weapons as weapons, and today it still does make them in small quantities in order to research defences and antidotes. After the fall of the Soviet Union Russian chemists made a lot of information available on these nerve agents. And one country which has always manufactured very similar persistent nerve agents is Israel. This Foreign Policy magazine (a very establishment US publication) article on Israel‘s chemical and biological weapon capability is very interesting indeed. I will return to Israel later in this article.

Incidentally, novachok is not a specific substance but a class of new nerve agents. Sources agree they were designed to be persistent, and of an order of magnitude stronger than sarin or VX. That is rather hard to square with the fact that thankfully nobody has died and those possibly in contact just have to wash their clothes.

From Putin’s point of view, to assassinate Skripal now seems to have very little motivation. If the Russians have waited eight years to do this, they could have waited until after their World Cup. The Russians have never killed a swapped spy before. Just as diplomats, British and otherwise, are the most ardent upholders of the principle of diplomatic immunity, so security service personnel everywhere are the least likely to wish to destroy a system which can be a key aspect of their own personal security; quite literally spy swaps are their “Get Out of Jail Free” card. You don’t undermine that system – probably terminally – without very good reason.

It is worth noting that the “wicked” Russians gave Skripal a far lighter jail sentence than an American equivalent would have received. If a member of US Military Intelligence had sold, for cash to the Russians, the names of hundreds of US agents and officers operating abroad, the Americans would at the very least jail the person for life, and I strongly suspect would execute them. Skripal just received a jail sentence of 18 years, which is hard to square with the narrative of implacable vindictiveness against him. If the Russians had wanted to make an example, that was the time.

It is much more probable that the reason for this assassination attempt refers to something recent or current, than to spying twenty years ago. Were I the British police, I would inquire very closely into Orbis Intelligence.

There is no doubt that Skripal was feeding secrets to MI6 at the time that Christopher Steele was an MI6 officer in Moscow, and at the the time that Pablo Miller, another member of Orbis Intelligence, was also an MI6 officer in Russia and directly recruiting agents. It is widely reported on the web and in US media that it was Miller who first recruited Skripal. My own ex-MI6 sources tell me that is not quite true as Skripal was “walk-in”, but that Miller certainly was involved in running Skripal for a while. Sadly Pablo Miller’s LinkedIn profile has recently been deleted, but it is again widely alleged on the web that it showed him as a consultant for Orbis Intelligence and a consultant to the FCO and – wait for it – with an address in Salisbury. If anyone can recover that Linkedin entry do get in touch, though British Government agencies will have been active in the internet scrubbing.

It was of course Christopher Steele and Orbis Intelligence who produced for the Clinton camp the sensationalist dossier on Trump links with Russia – including the story of Trump paying to be urinated on by Russian prostitutes – that is a key part of the “Russiagate” affair gripping the US political classes. The extraordinary thing about this is that the Orbis dossier is obvious nonsense which anybody with a professional background can completely demolish, as I did here. Steele’s motive was, like Skripal’s in selling his secrets, cash pure and simple. Steele is a charlatan who knocked up a series of allegations that are either wildly improbable, or would need a high level source access he could not possibly get in today’s Russia, or both. He told the Democrats what they wish to hear and his audience – who had and still have no motivation to look at it critically – paid him highly for it.

I do not know for certain that Pablo Miller helped knock together the Steele dossier on Trump, but it seems very probable given he also served for MI6 in Russia and was working for Orbis. And it seems to me even more probable that Sergei Skripal contributed to the Orbis Intelligence dossier on Trump. Steele and Miller cannot go into Russia and run sources any more, and never would have had access as good as their dossier claims, even in their MI6 days. The dossier was knocked up for huge wodges of cash from whatever they could cobble together. Who better to lend a little corroborative verisimilitude in these circumstances than their old source Skripal?

Skripal was at hand in the UK, and allegedly even close to Miller in Salisbury. He could add in the proper acronym for a Russian committee here or the name of a Russian official there, to make it seem like Steele was providing hard intelligence. Indeed, Skripal’s outdated knowledge might explain some of the dossier’s more glaring errors.

But the problem with double agents like Skripal, who give intelligence for money, is that they can easily become triple agents and you never know when a better offer is going to come along. When Steele produced his dodgy dossier, he had no idea it would ever become so prominent and subject to so much scrutiny. Steele is fortunate in that the US Establishment is strongly motivated not to scrutinise his work closely as their one aim is to “get” Trump. But with the stakes very high, having a very loose cannon as one of the dossier’s authors might be most inconvenient both for Orbis and for the Clinton camp.

If I was the police, I would look closely at Orbis Intelligence.

To return to Israel. Israel has the nerve agents. Israel has Mossad which is extremely skilled at foreign assassinations. Theresa May claimed Russian propensity to assassinate abroad as a specific reason to believe Russia did it. Well Mossad has an even greater propensity to assassinate abroad. And while I am struggling to see a Russian motive for damaging its own international reputation so grieviously, Israel has a clear motivation for damaging the Russian reputation so grieviously. Russian action in Syria has undermined the Israeli position in Syria and Lebanon in a fundamental way, and Israel has every motive for damaging Russia’s international position by an attack aiming to leave the blame on Russia.

Both the Orbis and Israeli theories are speculations. But they are no more a speculation, and no more a conspiracy theory, than the idea that Vladimir Putin secretly sent agents to Salisbury to attack Skripal with a secret nerve agent. I can see absolutely no reason to believe that is a more valid speculation than the others at this point.

I am alarmed by the security, spying and armaments industries’ frenetic efforts to stoke Russophobia and heat up the new cold war. I am especially alarmed at the stream of cold war warrior “experts” dominating the news cycles. I write as someone who believes that agents of the Russian state did assassinate Litvinenko, and that the Russian security services carried out at least some of the apartment bombings that provided the pretext for the brutal assault on Chechnya. I believe the Russian occupation of Crimea and parts of Georgia is illegal. On the other hand, in Syria Russia has saved the Middle East from domination by a new wave of US and Saudi sponsored extreme jihadists.

The naive view of the world as “goodies” and “baddies”, with our own ruling class as the good guys, is for the birds. I witnessed personally in Uzbekistan the willingness of the UK and US security services to accept and validate intelligence they knew to be false in order to pursue their policy objectives. We should be extremely sceptical of their current anti-Russian narrative. There are many possible suspects in this attack.

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426 thoughts on “Russian to Judgement

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  • AdrianD.

    James Corera of the BBC is of the (laughable) opinion that the Orbis link can be rejected because the company themselves have denied it.

    As someone who has been closely following the investigations of the alleged Syrian chemical weapons ‘attacks’, I’d be very interested to see the wording of the reports offered by the scientists from Porton Down. Certainly for the Khan Sheikhoun incident the ‘sarin and sarin-like’ statements were highly equivocal and have not been further elaborated or open to peer review months after they were first produced. Likely we’ll be asking the same questions of their evidence on this a year from now.

    • snickid

      “James Corera of the BBC is of the (laughable) opinion that the Orbis link can be rejected because the company themselves have denied it.”

      That’s no doubt why James [=Gordon?] Corera is employed by the BBC – an organisation that knows a ‘safe’ pair of hands when they see one.

      • AdrianD.

        Yes – it’s Gordon Corera – apologies – and it was worse than I thought – it’s only ‘sources close’ to Orbis who deny his involvement – specifically he says:

        “There has even been speculation that he was somehow involved in the famous “dossier” about Donald Trump drawn up by former MI6 officer Chris Steele. But sources close to Orbis – Steele’s company – have told the BBC that it had no links with Skripal at any point.

        So what does that leave as a possible motive?…”

  • iain

    “The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s ……”

    Precisely. Also the same people who assured us that “lessons will be learned” after those WMD were found not to exist.

    • Danny

      “the guy who developed the AK-47 isn’t responsible for every death caused by an AK-47.”

      This is totally off topic, but I do consider Mikhail Kalashnikov at least partly responsible for every death caused by an AK-47. I used to work with weapons designers, and they never considered themselves the least bit culpable, some of them even convinced themselves they were Christian. Hypocrites.

      It may interest you that Mikhail Kalashnikov also blamed himself for every death caused by an AK-47. “I keep having the same unsolved question: if my rifle claimed people’s lives, then can it be that I… a Christian and an Orthodox believer, was to blame for their deaths?”

      Yes, he was. If his religion is correct then he is in hell today.

  • SandyW

    Very interesting article, Craig. I had in mind that Russia possibly did do it, with an element of punishment for Skripal’s treason and an element of deterrence to other Russian intelligence officers thinking of doing the same. (Money for info becomes less attractive if you think you, and your family, might be nerve gassed down the line). I was unaware of the ‘convention’ that swapped spies are effectively safe, but it makes sense.

    As you say, we’re expected to believe the same people that brought us Iraqi WMD and regularly assassinate threats to security abroad with drones. I don’t think so.

  • Tom

    On the Israel angle – let’s not forget that when Mossad assassinated that senior Hamas guy in a hotel in Dubai, they traveled on forged British passports. This was never the subject of any serious inquiry or investigation, so in effect the British government helped cover up for an Israeli state assassination. Would they do a similar thing here in the UK? Probably.

        • Michael Dean

          The assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai is confirmed as a Mossad operation, it will not be the first time that Israeli agents have used or tried to obtain foreign passports.
          Forty-nine-year-old Mahmoud ¬al-Mabhouh was found dead in his room at the Al-Bustan Rotana hotel last month, and within days Hamas officials claimed he had been murdered as part of a secret operation by the Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service.
          Dubai police said yesterday they were looking for 11 suspects with regard to the killing, all carrying European passports – six from Britain, three from Ireland and one each from France and Germany. Dubai’s police chief said the assassination was a foreign intelligence operation by Israel.

          • Michael Dean

            Two suspected agents were jailed for six months in 2004 in New Zealand for trying to falsely obtain a New Zealand passport. They were caught when an immigration official noticed a passport applicant was speaking with an American or Canadian accent.
            Helen Clark, then prime minister of New Zealand, criticised Israel for behaving in a way “unacceptable internationally by any country”. She said at the time: “The breach of New Zealand laws and sovereignty by agents of the Israeli government has seriously strained our relationship with Israel.

    • Michael Dean

      Agents from Mossad were caught with foreign passports, triggering diplomatic rows. In 1997, two using forged Canadian passports were arrested in Amman after trying to assassinate Khalid Meshal, a Hamas official by spraying poison into his ear!
      The agents were quickly captured & their mission backfired spectacularly. Israel was forced to hand over an antidote that saved Meshal’s life & had to release Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas spiritual leader, from prison, while also incurring the anger of key Arab ally Jordan. That operation was carried out while Binyamin Netanyahu was prime minister.

  • John Faller

    I write as someone who believes that agents of the Russian state did assassinate Putin, ?
    Is this a typo? I’ve not heard this before.

  • Je

    “From Putin’s point of view, to assassinate Skripal now seems to have very little motivation. ”

    Its sends a clear message… plus … psychopaths don’t need a great deal of motivation. Revenge for betrayal might be plenty though. Putin is a man responsible for tens of thousands of dead in Chechnya and so on – so I don’t get this soft spot or blind spot you have for him Craig.

    “If the Russians have waited eight years to do this, they could have waited until after their World Cup.”

    They expected to get away with it… not botch it up (again)… so the World Cup is not relevant.

    ” The Russians have never killed a swapped spy before. ” As opposed to a non-swapped spy like Litvinenko?

    “The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD” More like the same people who investigated the Polonium poisoning… and well that was Russia wasn’t it? And they wouldn’t use Polonium again would they after that cock up… so what would they think of next?

    The FSB must have huge grins when they read your clutching at straws Craig.

  • fred

    If someone who was in a criminal gang was a police informer and somebody shot them nobody would be in any doubt about who did it. If a member of the IRA had passed information to the security services and someone planted a bomb under their car there wouldn’t be too much doubt about who did it. The motive isn’t hard to understand, to deter others from revealing your secrets in the future. Whether is is an organised crime gang, a political movement or a state the principle is exactly the same.

  • AndyM

    I was already assuming that Putin would have nothing to do with this. He has too much to lose, while others have too much to gain. Simply looking at Syria, where the intentions of the West, together with it’s Gulf allies, have been thwarted, would be enough of a reason. This is a time chosen to do most harm to Russia, with both the elections and the World Cup imminent. I thought that May would have shown more common sense, but seems to have been easily bullied into following the ideas of the American Press, or even the Russian haters in UK. That said, there was probably also a trigger; a reason to bump him off anyway, where that was combined with the intention to cause most harm to Russian interests, (If they have to do it, then they might as well achieve the most from it.) The question is ‘Why did they have to do it and to whom was he a threat or nuisance? I really do not think that Putin gives a toss about the Skripals, and with the daughter living in Russia, Skripal was probably careful not to put her in danger. Which means it is even more unlikely to be Russia. We never do our own dirty work of course, that is what ‘special relationships’ are for.

  • Republicofscotland

    Stepping back for a moment, I’m now even more convinced that the nerve agent attack in Sailsbury was staged.

    Listening to ex-CIA agent Philip Giraldi speak about the particular nerve agent used against Skirpal, it seem clear that not only would Skripal now be dead but quite a few other people in the nearby area would also be dead, such is the potency of the named agent.

    So why has this whole event come about, is it an attempt to damage Putin’s election chances? In my opinion Putin will still win comfortably though definitely not fairly.

    Is it some sort of payback for the somewhat not proven fully attempts of Russian hacking in the US and Germany.

    If we take into account the accusations against Russia of using chemical weapons in Syria, which again were suspect. Then we can plainly see that this latest event in England, can at the very least be seen in a similar light.

    • MightyDrunken

      This is what confuses me about the incident, how was it administered and how come they are not dead?

      Novichok agents are not widely known but I did find some information from

      Apparently these agents only require a few mg to kill, being more deadly than other nerve agents. Novichok is believed to be in powder form and starts to act in seconds, with death in minutes.
      If Novichok was found in Zizzi then either the attempted murderers followed Skripal there or Skripal himself was carrying it. Unless the agent placed it in the targets food (very carefully), every other method I can think of had a large chance of killing members of the public and the agents themselves.
      As Skripal was outside when he become unconscious the most likely method is that someone walking past sprayed the powder in his face. Assuming of course it was Novichok. A slower acting agent would make things a lot easier and safer.

      • Clivejw

        Novichok is not a single substance, but the name of a class of substances.

        Until we know the precise substance that was used, it is useless to speculate what its effects “would” have been.

        There are documented cases of people surviving for some time (though severely handicapped) after coming into contact with varieties of Novichok. For example, Andrey Zheleznyakov, a scientist at the Uzbekistan lab that developed Novichok, developed cirrhosis of the liver and became a permanent invalid after poisoning himself with one of the Novichok agents, but lived on for some time.

        • MightyDrunken

          Clive you make a good point that Novichok is a class of chemicals and therefore we cannot know all of it’s properties. However nerve agents act quickly, yet according to the current timeline the poison is thought to have been placed on the car. Therefore Skripal and daughter would have been wondering around Salisbury for hours before succumbing which doesn’t fit with a Novichok agent.
          Here is how the Andrei Zheleznyakov incident was described.
          “And the poison leaked into the air. Zheleznyakov quickly sealed the leak, but it was too late. He felt the impact immediately – myosis, the constriction of the pupil of the eye.
          “‘I saw rings before my eyes – red, orange,” he later recalled. “Bells were ringing inside my head. I choked. Add to this the feeling of fear – as if something was about to happen at any moment. I sat down and told the guys: I think it has ‘got’ me.
          “’They dragged me out of the room and took me to the chief. He looked at me and said, ‘Have a cup of tea, everything will be fine.’ I drank the tea and immediately threw up.”

          Even a minute amount acts quickly. Granted, absorption through the skin will act slower than breathing in the agent. Maybe the substance was specially modified to act more slowly, but why? So to my eyes, Novichok and the current timeline do not make sense. Of course I could be wrong, there is not enough information in the public domain for any side to be sure.

  • Colliedogs

    Excellent article. The UK media and Westminster are suffering from mass hysteria again just like, as you correctly state, they did with Saddam Hussain. It seems to be a case of guilty until proved innocent.

  • GeorgeS

    The UK authorities actions in Salisbury seem either inept or suspicious. Shortly after finding Skripal and his daughter, and realising this was a nerve gas attack, I’d have expected an evacuation of the surrounding area, if not the whole town. Once they determined it was from the Novichok (spelling, Craig?) family, at least one of which is extremely powerful, it seems perhaps more likely the whole town should have been evacuated – rather than a recommendation to those in the bar and restaurant to wash their clothes etc.

    As I understand it (from Googling), the Novichuk agents are binary and the formula for one of them may be in the public domain, namely a book by this insider –
    The book, which I have not bought or read, is at

  • David Marchesi

    what is saddest about this incident is that the UK public have been infected by JamesBondism for generations, and spooks are very “sexed up” . The John Hale book “The Whistleblower” points out that “secret agents”(at least the management -grade) are similar the world over, rather as “special forces” men are surely interchangeable merely of different nationalities.So the public is receptive to a Hollywood-style scenario where truth is the first casualty. We start from the position that we are the good guys, together with our good friends, like the Yanks and the Israelis. And end at the same point. It’s a win-win situation for the media moguls and sleazy politicians, whose combined honour is about the same as the amount of whatever required to kill “x” number of double/triple/quadruple agents. A wonderful weapon of mass distraction, stage management of the highest order. Grotesque.

  • Peter wrigjt

    Thanks Craig I know why I am so proud of you as usual you give me hope , hope of decentcy in my own government , hope of hope for a better world

  • Kenneth G Coutts

    Hi Craig, the Russians have always been in Crimea, with their battle fleet, how is it an invasion when the crimean’s voted overwhelmingly to stay with Russia.
    It is a contentious issue, when it is western propaganda.
    Especially with the extreme fascist right in Ukraine
    Bolstered by Yankee money.
    The yanks, English and Israeli’s have form.
    It all fits in the bigger scheme of things.

  • MJ

    “Israel has the nerve agents. Israel has Mossad which is extremely skilled at foreign assassinations”

    I don’t know how Craig managed to sneak that one past his own modbot. Anyone else making this obvious point has had their comment deleted before you can say Jack Robinson.

    • fred

      And strange that when a senior member of Hamas turns up electrocuted and suffocated in a Dubai hotel we don’t hear any cries of “staged”.

      • Geoffrey

        And the CCTV pictures of the murderers were also fake, and maybe even the fake passports were fake fakes ? We have the names of the murderers, they were fake British and fake Irish. They even have the fingerprints of the murderers, and they are all living happily and still employed probably by the state that employed them.

  • PeteB

    Something that seems strange to me is that the OPCW verified on 27/9/17 that Russia had destroyed all of its chemical weapons A major propaganda boost for Russia, since the USA have still not destroyed all of theirs.

    So to hold Putin responsible we have to believe that a) he successfully concealed CW stock from OPCW inspectors in order to achieve certification and then b) within 6 months of doing so, reveals that he has such material by ordering it to be used to assassinate a low-value target in a way and location that guarantees the material being identified, being impossible to conceal and causing much outraged publicity. Thus losing, or at least losing credibility for, Russian compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

    • fred

      Firstly these particular chemical weapons are easily manufactured from components a country is allowed to keep under the terms of the treaty plus after destroying their stockpiles a country is allowed to keep up to a ton for research purposes.

      • PeteB

        Maybe, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that Putin choosing this particular weapon for the assassination attempt would be daft, because it would negate Russia’s recent achievement in getting destruction of CW stocks validated by OPCW – and Putin’s been called many things, but never daft.

  • Tony_0pmoc


    Brilliant article. I agree with all of that, except the bit about Crimea. The Russians were already legally there, hosting their Black Sea Fleet, where they had been since 1783. They didn’t shoot anyone, and the population of Crimea voted overwhelmingly, to again become a part of Russia. If that hadn’t have happened, Crimea’s fate would be even worse than that of the Donbass, with very heavy casualties in Sevestapol, and quite probably a hot shooting war between Russians already stationed there, and American mercenaries if not their full army. The Americans obviously wanted to take Sevastpol from the Russians, and were defeated without a shot being fired. WWIII has so fare been avoided (I hope).

    Otherwise, one of the best things you have ever written.


    • Laguerre

      The Crimea referendum vote must have been because of the economy. Remove the Russian fleet from Sebastopol, and the Crimean economy would have been up the creek, with nothing to replace it from Kiev.

      • John A

        The US were fully determined to take over Sevastopol and the naval base. So much so they had drawn up plans and for putting contracts out to tender. They would certainly have kept the Crimean economy afloat.
        Crimea was the main target for the US coup in Kiev. To deprive Russia of its Black Sea naval base.

  • graham wilson

    The first one to rule out is Russia. So blaming Russia is the game here. Could be Mossad, they would be favourites. The cold war goes on, Russia are an impediment to the West in the M/E, the key area for control of energy, the crucial big weapon as they see it. The US deep state do not trust Trump and try to smear his victory crying Russian involvement. Now they strike back and interfere in Russian elections! They won’t like his art of the deal sit down with NK, he’s off message to them. These things are all distractions for the mass of people. The BBC was primed ready to launch the Russia story on QT last Thursday, straight out the blocks…no evidence required.

    • MJ

      “Could be Mossad, they would be favourites”

      If it were Mossad I think the job would have been done properly. To me it’s got a distinctively British, naff quality, from the botched assassination attempt right up to the bumbling police response.

      • Laguerre

        “If it were Mossad I think the job would have been done properly.”

        Not at all. Mossad have botched lots of assassinations and false-flags, going back to the Lavon Affair in Cairo in 1954. In any case, the point here was not to kill the guy, but to put the blame on Putin.

  • Michael Dean

    The Crimean authorities have relied on the well-known Kosovo precedent, a precedent our Western partners created themselves, with their own hands, so to speak. In a situation absolutely similar to the Crimean one, they deemed Kosovo’s secession from Serbia to be legitimate, arguing everywhere that no permission from the country’s central authorities was required for the unilateral declaration of independence. The UN’s international court, based on Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the UN Charter, agreed with that, and in its decision of 22 July 2010 noted the following, and I quote verbatim: No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to unilateral declarations of independence.
    UN’s Int. Court No prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council regarding unilateral declarations of independence

    • Harry Law

      Michael Dean, Correct, I may add that unlike the vote in Crimea, which involved all the electorate of Crimea, the vote for Kosavan independence was by a simple majority vote of hands in the Kosova parliament.

  • kashmiri

    A very good article, Craig. Much more balanced than your earlier Facebook posts. Still, I am not convinced that the objective was to damage Russia’s international reputation (as if it had much of it) – this would be one of more cumbersome ways of doing it, I can imagine many far less risky ways of doing it on a global scale (and not on Salisbury scale).

    I am more inclined to believe that soon we will hear that the nerve agent came from the Syrian regime – or yes, even one of Syrian militant groups. Enough to justify British military deployment in Syria. Look at what US is saying today…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I’m bloody sure that we* have more to lose than to gain by offending Putin. He’s a dangerous bastard, for one thing, and our blandly-overlooked financial interest on Russian moneylaunderers close to him is too good a thing to jeopardise. While the structures of novichok (sic) agents’, or some of them, are in the public domain, details of the synthetic routes required are lacking, and they wouldn’t be first choice for making in the kitchen, even if they were harmless. The precursors may be available without ringing alarm bells, but synthesis and containment are probably more problematic for these than the ‘conventional’ CWA’s.

    Perhaps, having obtained what they could from the US decommissioning of what was left of the development facilioty in Uzbekistan, Porton Down did synthesise them. I wouldn’t know, and neither do you.

    Perhaps, having synthesised them, Theresa ordered that the Russians were to be embarrassed by a hideous attack on someone we were sheltering, in a public place, with no real concern for public safety, followed, after a delay to be attributed to the difficulty of identifying the agent (as designed in by its crerator, the Soviet Union) by a massive and expensive cleanup operation involving hundreds of troops.

    Perhaps. I don’t know, and neither do you, but on May’s previous form, it’s a bit of an effort believing it, and Occam’s Razor definitely cuts to the bone on this one. If it wasn’t Russia, it was IS. And IS aren’t that clever. Nor do they have any reason to demonstrate Putin’s assertion that the UK isn’t safe for (some) Russians.

    The Moscow chorus knows, and Putin knows, and you may well know, who did it. Putin’s not going to look like the heroic champion of Mother Russia when he is elected against carefully selected opposition, with 70% plus of the vote, next week, if Russia doesn’t know it. But he can’t admit it, obviously. Admit to a war crime? Moi? *smirks, strips to flaccid buff, wrestles tiger *

    Look, Craig, just because the leader of an undemocratic, institutionally corrupt oligarchy appears to offer aid and comfort to a breakup of the UK ( certainly in his interests) do you absolutely bloody have to sanction an attempted -probably successful- murder by means quite the equal in nastiness of anything Karimov managed? You weren’t so sympathetic to him.

    *Us. Not you, it would seem.

  • P

    Major Alert

    Britain is undefended against Chemical Attack

    Whether from False Flag, Terrorists, Russian or Israeli.

    The Threat Response demonstrated a complete shambolic readiness and zero contingency planning.

    Forget about the threat from Russia, they can turn Britain (in totality) into a smouldering radioactive waste ground. The UK cannot countermeasure this threat, it cannot defend against it and it seems the only reprisal it can take is not to send our brave footballers to the World Cup.

    Who are doing the most killings in the world? It’s not the jihadies.

    But thanks to HMG’s response to the Salisbury incident the jihadies now know how to paralyse Britain.

    Even a low grade co-ordinated Chemical Attack across multiple sites, pubs, restaurants, transport hubs, shopping centres, sports venues etc will crate chaos (terror)

    They still don’t know what the toxin was, they don’t know where it came from, who delivered it, how it was administered or why. (the why is the most important of these, fat old blokes are easy to kill – this needed to be global news).

    We do however know about the route the pair took, where they ate, drank. What flowers were put on a grave, a car recovered, a helicopter (don’t mention the helicopter spreading a chemical weapon over Salisbury). The house, the red bag the brave Detective sgt first on the scene, before uniformed constables or ambulance and his visit to the victims home.

    We know lots now but we still don’t know what, who and why but we do know how to cripple Britain

    Thank you HMG for making that known and making us less safe.

  • Michael Dean

    In 1992, an El Al Boeing 747 cargo plane crashed near Schipol airport and Avner Cohen reports that it had a shipment of DMMP, used in the manufacture of sarin nerve gas. From the Israeli government’s public reaction to this tragedy, it seems that the policy of ambiguity and opacity that surround Israel’s use and deployment of nuclear weapons, developed by Israel as a strategy to contain and threaten the Arab states without the danger of alienating US support, is also being followed in dealing with the problem of Israel’s refusal to ratify the Chemical Weapons treaty and join the Biological Weapons Treaty.

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