Russian to Judgement 453


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.


453 thoughts on “Russian to Judgement

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  • 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.

  • fredi

    .Russia has humiliated the US, UK,Israel and Saudi Arabia in the middle east with its successful support of Syria.
    This could well be an attempt at retaliation.

    Qui buno ?

    Putin?

    Lest we forget, they do this kind of stuff, but are rarely caught.

    Here was a documented and utterly undeniable false flag, inside job, with Israel/US fingerprints all over it, does anybody remember how the media howled at the time, blaming Iraq, compounding the prevalent fear so soon after 9/11. Remember how silent they were when it turned out to be yet another one of their gigantic lies.

    Anthrax: The Forgotten False Flag and the Illegal Invasion of Iraq

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP2G-cejYhI

    Another false flag lie that helped launch a war

    The Incubator Babies Conspiracy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v94WsjWKQ3U

  • Tom

    An excellent piece. The Russian scare is almost certainly nothing more than a smokescreen so the real perpetrators can get away. We have seen this tactic in all the recent terrorist attacks, complete with the huge police search that inevitably turns up nothing except red herrings, and certainly not any ringleaders.
    And leaving aside which state was behind this, why aren’t there any clues about the would-be assassins?
    I expect May knows full well it wasn’t the Russians behind this poisoning attack. The whole pantomime is necessary so they can turn a blind eye to the real perpetrators, for which our government probably gets some favour in return.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well according to FT’s correspondent in Moscow.

    “Russia will not respond to Britain’s request to explain its alleged role in the attempted murder of a former Russian spy in the UK until Moscow is allowed access to the case materials, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said.”

    https://amp.ft.com/content/42417f04-26ac-11e8-b27e-cc62a39d57a0?__twitter_impression=true

    Looks like Russia’s Foreign Minister, has called May’s bluff. But I’m pretty sure that the Tory government, see’s the production of hard evidence and supplying said evidence to Russia as a non starter.

    Its far more important to achieve a consensus from their allies, which it looks like they have, and move forward with implementing some sort of retribution, which ever form it takes.

    • MJ

      “some sort of retribution”

      Stop buying its oil and gas. Stop the City taking the money of its citizens. Stop using its space facilities. So many possibilities.

  • Red Robbo

    Another interesting post by Craig. So basically lots of states could have used Novichok, including the UK at Porton Down, just a few miles from where the young woman was treated for vomiting by a doctor who wasn’t wearing any protection.

    • Squeeth

      YES! It was the White Helmets. Now it all makes sense. The discrepancies form a pattern called British state bullshite.

  • Philmo

    The Israeli hardliners certainly have more to gain in muddying waters, causing distractions from their Palestinian atrocities and in addition tweak the Russian noses for discouraging their participation, opposing Shia elements. The Israelis could, of course, depend on support from Tories and May/Patel in particular!

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile the BBC are playing down Donald Trump’s shock removal of Rex Tillerson, whose been replaced by Mike Pompeo, as Secretary of State.

    Tillerson who was the US Secretary of State has been very vocal on the alleged nerve agent attack in Salisbury – Tillerson had no qualms about blaming Russia.

    • What's going on?

      shock removal of Rex Tillerson, I’ve been expecting it for weeks. Funny how Trump keeps shooting the American right in the gonads…

  • Sharp Ears

    Steele has three directorships. Reg address in Eastleigh which I assume is the address of solicitors or accountants. His DOB is given as June 1964.
    ORBIS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE LIMITED
    ORBIS BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
    WALSINGHAM PARTNERS LIMITED
    https://companycheck.co.uk/director/913949886/MR-CHRISTOPHER-DAVID-STEELE/summary

    Nature of business
    70229 Management consultancy activities other than financial management LOL

    His co-director is Christopher Burrows. who has four directorships – the three companies above and another registered last year, Chawton Holdings Ltd. The co-director there is also Christopher Steele DOB June 1964, but with a different address, in Wokingham, Berks.
    https://companycheck.co.uk/director/921273621/MR-CHRISTOPHER-DAVID-STEELE/summary
    Nature of business
    70100 Activities of head offices –

    The mind boggles.

    The Orbis website. Their address. .ORBIS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE LTD, 9-11 GROSVENOR GARDENS, LONDON SW1W 0BD

    In Belgravia. One of those places where you rent office space. Nicely anonymous but it won’t come cheap.
    http://www.tuckerman.co.uk/properties/archive/9-11-grosvenor-gardens/

    • Sharp Ears

      Missed out the link

      ‘Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. was founded in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals. The team now draws on extensive experience at boardroom level in government, multilateral diplomacy and international business to develop bespoke solutions for clients.

      Our tailored approach means the Directors are closely involved in the execution and detail of every project, supported by an in–house team of experienced investigators and professional intelligence analysts.

      Our global network of senior associates is made up of regional, industry and academic experts, as well as prominent business figures. We call upon their expertise and closed network of contacts to help our clients frame business decisions, protect our clients’ reputations, and problem–solve for companies facing complex issues worldwide.

      Ethical business practice is a fundamental value for the Orbis Business Intelligence team. Our documented procedures, developed in conjunction with external legal counsel, ensure compliance with relevant UK, US and EU legislation.’

      https://orbisbi.com/about-orbis/

      Sounds so clean and shiny.

  • Dec

    One of the distinguishing features of the novichok agents is that they are easy to make with chemicals and equipment in routine use in the pesticide industry. Their chemistry is published, easily accessible and replicable. It is not just that Russia need not have made them, they are designed to be easy to make by anyone.

  • Tony

    I see that Labour’s warmongers have popped up to exploit the tragedy.

    Chris Bryant MP has demanded that RT be closed down. Well, he can do that now that he does not have a book to sell.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/421111-propaganda-ofcom-chris-bryant/

    “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.”

    Yes, it is not what you say that counts. It is what people hear. That is why Blair and Bush so frequently mentioned 9/11 to justify the Iraq War. They clearly intended that people would think there was a connection.

    • Sharp Ears

      I think I drew attention to that yesterday. Three Bliarites in fact, Cooper aka Mrs Balls, Bradshaw with that beautiful coiffure and Bryant, the priest manqué.

      Bryant is at it again today, unbelievably in a Westminster Hall debate about the diplomatic service.

      ‘Chris Bryant Lab Rhondda
      But according to the Prime Minister yesterday, the biggest threat we face at the moment relates to Russia. We have been proud that, over the past few years, we have managed to go to European Council meetings and get the rest of the European Union to sign up to international sanctions against Russia. At the moment, the Prime Minister is speaking to Macron and, no doubt, Merkel and other leaders around Europe to try to get the whole of Europe signed up to a common position. That will be vital to us. It will be much more difficult for us to achieve that when in future we will not get to sit at the table when common security and defence policy is agreed. How does the hon. Gentleman think that will happen?’

      plus several other contributions. He was once silenced by the chair and made a couple more attempts to speak, failed. LOL

      He just loves to hear the sound of his own voice. Should have been in the pulpit.

      https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-03-13/debates/1927DE2C-FCB1-4F4D-9231-036859E8219A/DiplomaticServiceAndResources

  • Republicofscotland

    Of course Theresa May, might need to curb her zealous anti-Russian propaganda just a wee bit, especially when there’s party donations at stake.

    “Philip Hammond has refused a plea by the widow of murdered Alexander Litvinenko for the Tories to pay back more than £820,000 donated by Russian oligarchs.”

    “It was reported that Russian oligarchs and their associates have registered donations of more than £820,000 to the Tories since the summer of 2016.”

    “The Tories have received more than £3m from Russian billionaires and lobbyists for Moscow since their return to government in 2010.”

    “Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former Putin minister, handed the party £253,950 in the year to September 2017, Electoral Commission figures show, and bid £30,000 to have dinner with Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/russian-oligarchs-alexander-litvinenko-sergei-skripal-tory-donations-marina-philip-hammond-a8250321.html

    The British government are in my opinion, trying to instil in you and I, a dislike or hatred towards Russia, whilst they snuggle up to Russian party donors.

  • nevermind

    YCNMIU, The Donald is to phone Mrs. May to discuss her response to Russia after a pathetic ultimatum got her nowhere.
    Well thought out article, Craig, and it is prompting some very long responses from certain commenter’s here. The Orbis link looks hot, it could be a likely communication bridge between the actors in this event.

    Russias response is based on UN chemical weapons agreements. You have to share the agent with those you accuse of having used them, it is too important, and venal responses are only showing our immature resolve.

    Looking at some German papers yesterday, at the hight of another Great Game recovery boot, par excrement, there is almost no copy available, very much a storm in our teacup, alone.

    It is not in Russias interest to excite us before their elections and or world cup preps. It is not in their interest to hand us a big stick to beat them with. I agree with others that the industrial military complexes of the west are positively brimming with vigour to create another cold war situation.
    US military bases around the world make Trumps request to meddle a normality, they run the roost and we are allowed to squawk, sit and s..t in it.

  • LondonBob

    We do know that the Israelis are not the type to turn the other cheek to the shooting down of the F16, but we also know that they cannot go after Russia themselves. This makes perfect sense, and I can’t help but notice the glee with which this has been greeted by the usual suspects.

    Sure Putin is a very rich guy, he no doubt gets his hands dirty, when he needs to, but we know he is a very cautious guy who does respond to the bait.

    As regards Litvinenko remember the verdict of the public inquiry was only probably, a legal nonsense which actually means not guilty. The ‘public’ inquiry had private evidence, no defence, no jury and was presided over a clearly biased judge who had clearly had determined the outcome, and yet he could not reach a guilty verdict. The arguments for the apartment bombings are made in the paper ‘Revisiting Russia’s Apartment Block Blasts’ by Robert Bruce Ware in the ‘Journal of Slavic Military Studies’ in 2005.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13518040590914118

    There is absolutely no doubt that Putin and the FSB were not involved in the bombings in any way and that the bombings were the work of jihadi groups based in the northern Caucasus. Several of the people involved were caught and tried and are now in prison. None of the verdicts of the trials were overturned by the European Court of Human Rights, as they certainly would have been if they were unfair and there is no doubt that the verdicts are correct. I doubt this is one where the Russian security services have dirty hands, but I am sure there are many others.

    • MJ

      Like the elimination of the Polish government in 2011. The Russiaphobes never talk about that one for some reason.

    • Amy Lawrence

      “Sure Putin is a very rich guy, he no doubt gets his hands dirty, when he needs to, but we know he is a very cautious guy who does respond to the bait.”

      I love the way people breezily assert this tripe with NO EVIDENCE

      Yeah, Putin owns 20% of Gazprom, he just TOOK IT
      Putin’s got a billion dollar mansion on the Black Sea
      blah blah

      The problem with all this talk is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE for any of it
      What makes this idle chatter any better than the preposterous Pissgate dossier
      or the “Russia hacked the election” canards?

      I’m no apologist (before you accuse me of being a Kremlin stooge) but I am a stickler for facts and evidence.
      So many people are totally brainwashed when it comes to Russia and in particular Putin.

      • Jo Dominich

        Hi Amy, totally agree. Especially as it now looks as though it was Steve Bannon’s shady outfit, Cambridge Analytica who meddled in the USA, UK and Brexit elections and supported the Ukraine Government to get re-elected with their propaganda.

  • Bob Apposite

    “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”

    Unlikely. That was in the late 1990s.
    People need to stop using this simplistic meme.

      • Bob Apposite

        Well, let’s consider who you guys “are”.

        You’re the people that stole a woman’s emails, and DOXed her, GAMERGATE-style, during an election, pacing the releases to accomodate lots of misinformation and fake news stories from Russian trolls.

        So, “the same people” who did all that are now assuring me that Putin didn’t have anything to do with this attack.

        And in this case, you are *actually* the same people – since that was only a year-and-a-half ago.

        LOL.

    • zoot

      agreed, we should wipe our minds of past lies and have complete trust in what the authorities tell us.

    • TonyT16

      Perfectly valid comparison. The Brits are great at believing what the BBC, Daily Mail, Sun and Daily Telegraph tell us to believe. The WMD Iraq fiasco was a perfect example; even better than the Salisbury Saga which has more holes in it than a string vest. They told us why we should demonise Saddam, Qaddafi and Assad. They told us we should demonise everything to do with Russia and Iran. Most of us behave like nodding dogs, and our media know exactly how to pull our strings. The only country we rarely see criticised here with any scrutiny, actual or fictitious is Israel.

      Whatever you think of Vladimir Putin he is not stupid. Look at the timing. Who has benefited from this Salisbury crisis? Certainly not Putin. “Pin the tail on the donkey” is the name of the game, and Putin is unlikely to relish being labeled a donkey. The only beneficiaries are Putin’s enemies, notably Israel as Craig has noted.

      If you are looking for the greatest threat to world peace look no further than the “Blonde Bombshell” Donald Trump who is warmongering on several more fronts than sustainable.

      • nevermind

        “Pin the tail on the donkey”
        Well said, Tony and Zoot, but oh shocks, why is this a white tail? Who has pinned a white tail on to a dirty grey donkey?

  • Bob Apposite

    Craig’s column here sounds too similar to Putin’s ridiculous NBC interview where he disclaimed any knowledge of the individuals named in the Mueller indictment.

    I’m sorry. It’s unbelievable that Putin is not able to ascertain who those individuals are.

    “Someone should check that out”. Really Putin? Who’s that someone? When do you think they’ll check into it?

    LOL.

    • John A

      No putin did not disclaim any knowledge of the individuals named by Mueller. He stated that he was not a Friend of one particular person on the list, as alleged by the airhead US presenter. There is a huge difference between knowing someone and being a friend of someone. Stop muddying the waters.

    • Jo Dominich

      I should think Putin’s got better things to do than remember individuals named in the Mueller indictment.

    • Republicofscotland

      Dave Israel has form when it comes to using nerve agents. It’s also not a member of (CWC) Chemical Weapons Convention.

      https://wikispooks.com/wiki/2001_Israeli_Nerve_Gas_Attacks

      Of course it has widely been overlooked, albeit Craig has mentioned it, that Skirpal spent years in a Russian prison. Putin could’ve easily had him removed permanently then without any fuss or ado.

  • Kit Battenberg

    May have already been noted but I did some Googling yesterday and found this forum thread – http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2017/1/12/52642/4357 – from January 2017 which refers to Pablo Miller as a ‘senior analyst’ at Orbis. Skripal’s name also pops up too. I think that’s pretty conclusive – I also find it very interesting indeed that useful idiot credibility vacuum Luke Harding, who has a relationship (even if only journalistic) with Steele, has repeatedly stated on Twitter Miller never worked there. He even went so far as to suggest people with an agenda were engaging in dishonest SEO techniques to falsely connect Miller’s LinkedIn profile with Orbis in Google searches. It’s all incredibly fishy.

  • Bob Apposite

    Maybe they’re not even Russians,” he said. “Maybe they’re Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship. Even that needs to be checked. Maybe they have dual citizenship. Or maybe a green card. Maybe it was the Americans who paid them for this work. How do you know? I don’t know.”

    LOL. Craig’s recent post sounds too much like Putin’s recent dissimulation on NBC news.

    Yeah, maybe it’s one of these rogue groups.
    But probably not, huh?

  • shitstirrer1690gloriouscoup

    Perfidious Albion will extract value, somehow.

    This poor wretch thought he’d pulled a fast one – a nice life for a lot of crap his handlers had already heard elsewhere – oh well, at least he found some use as the unwitting principal of his masters staged play.

  • Harry Law

    We must get back to basics and the foundation of any form of justice…. Audi alteram partem (or audiatur et altera pars) is a Latin phrase meaning “listen to the other side”, or “let the other side be heard as well”. It is the principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them.
    On this occasion the Russians are being accused without being presented with any evidence or ability to test the nerve agent in question [Lavrov has said this is required under the Chemical weapons convention].
    The same thing happened over the claim by the US/UK of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Missiles were sent killing men, women and children before any investigation was initiated, all contrary to International law. The US/UK are behaving like rogue states, Putin must hit back hard to any further illegal actions against them or their allies in Syria, all within International Law.

    • Bob Apposite

      Putin was given an opportunity to speak “the other side” with regard to election meddling in the U.S. on NBC and he just let loose a bunch of silly b.s.

      What makes you think this would be any different?

      I guarantee if you give him the nerve agent to test they’ll conclude it “wasn’t theirs”.
      Of course they will.
      They’re never going to admit it was theirs.

  • Amy Lawrence

    Murray also writes as a man who said the victims of the Odessa massacre – where Kiev nazis burned raped shot and beat scores of Ukrainians to death – were just Russian football hooligans

    They were Ukrainian citizens including teenagers and a pregnant woman.

    “I believe the Russian occupation of Crimea and parts of Georgia is illegal.”
    Rubbish
    Which law is being broken?

  • Loony

    To all those who believe that this is the work of Putin and that Putin is the new Hitler/Saddam/Quadaffi/Assad etc etc I ask what exactly are you going to do about it?

    If you are so outraged and so morally indignant surely the very least you can do is lobby for a complete ban on Russian gas imports into Europe. Even if this lobbying is unsuccessful do not forget you retain certain freedoms and choices. You remain completely free not to use any gas at all.

    Will you do this? Absolutely not. Doing anything like this would require you to sacrifice your highest virtues – the twin virtues of narcissism and cowardice. So go ahead, carry on spewing your vacuous outrage – but not too much because, as I am certain you will not forget, the Russians can and will defend themselves. Ultimately your cowardice will trump your narcissism. You must be so proud.

  • m biyd

    It might be the Irish? The English team withdraw from the World cup and Ireland gets their place?

  • Bob Apposite

    The “World Cup” has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

    At best, it sounds like some dumb Russian talking point.

    “Oh, we would only assassinate after the World Cup”.

    Seriously? That doesn’t even make any sense.
    Wouldn’t you assassinate BEFORE a World Cup, since the Cup would bring DOWN tensions?

    Logically it’s a balls argument and shouldn’t even be an argument.
    Just more dissimulation.

    • Bob Apposite

      I understand these are the kind of dumb “talking points”, “fake news”, and “open secrets” that score big in Russia, but the rest of the world are not fools.

      I don’t know if too much RT is rotting someone’s brain, but no intelligent person is going to fall for crap about “the World Cup”. Just like no intelligent person is going to believe that Putin doesn’t know who the indicted Russians are and who they are working for (which is obviously him).

      A sucker may be born every minute, but please.

  • Merkin Scot

    “……weapons grade nerve agent…” trumpets the Government propaganda machine.
    .
    Gotta lol. Presumably this is to differentiate from the ‘normal’ kinda nerve agent we can all buy in Lidl or Home Bargains.
    .
    The Government is really confused about this one.
    Tuggenhat was on R4 telling us that Russia has, for some reason, continued producing Soviet era WMD. Oooooooh.
    Pissed myself laughing as it was obvious he knew piss all about binary weapons.
    Of course, it wasn’t helped by the interviewer misunderstanding of what the Russian MP had said. He said that the means existed in various countries.He didn’t say that 50 year old nerve agent was stockpiled in various countries.

    By the way, Tillerson has gone prematurely because it is clear that he tried to gild Hillary Clintons lily.
    Sort of, Rex and Boris sitting in a tree plus Liam and Adam Werritee.
    If the Brit ultimatum had included the words ” ……..unless we hear from them by 11 o’clock that they are
    prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Salisbury, a state of war will
    exist between us.”, I would not have been surprised.

  • abz60

    Interesting point. Everything is right until the words about the Crimea and the Caucasus. Here the author did not understand …..

    • Bob Apposite

      Soundly argued? It’s idiotic.

      1. There is no “rush to judgment”. There is an ongoing investigation by hundreds of British police & military who are collecting and analyzing evidence. (Craig Murray is not involved in any of that).

      2. The World Cup is a dumb, irrelevant talking point, not a “sound argument”. In fact, if you wanted to commit assassinations, you would logically do them before such an event, as an event like that would reduce tensions.

      • Bob Apposite

        “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 objective”

        And last year we witnessed in the U.S. the willingness of WikiLeaks to accept and validate intelligence they knew to be false in order to pursue their policy objectives.

        How far you’ve come. Not.

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