The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam 575


As recently as 2016 Dr Robin Black, Head of the Detection Laboratory at the UK’s only chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, a former colleague of Dr David Kelly, published in an extremely prestigious scientific journal that the evidence for the existence of Novichoks was scant and their composition unknown.

In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)

Robin Black. (2016) Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents. Royal Society of Chemistry

Yet now, the British Government is claiming to be able instantly to identify a substance which its only biological weapons research centre has never seen before and was unsure of its existence. Worse, it claims to be able not only to identify it, but to pinpoint its origin. Given Dr Black’s publication, it is plain that claim cannot be true.

The world’s international chemical weapons experts share Dr Black’s opinion. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a UN body based in the Hague. In 2013 this was the report of its Scientific Advisory Board, which included US, French, German and Russian government representatives and on which Dr Black was the UK representative:

[The SAB] emphasised that the definition of toxic chemicals in the Convention would cover all potential candidate chemicals that might be utilised as chemical weapons. Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to “Novichoks”. The name “Novichok” is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of “Novichoks”. (OPCW, 2013)

OPCW: Report of the Scientific Advisory Board on developments in science and technology for the Third Review Conference 27 March 2013

Indeed the OPCW was so sceptical of the viability of “novichoks” that it decided – with US and UK agreement – not to add them nor their alleged precursors to its banned list. In short, the scientific community broadly accepts Mirzayanov was working on “novichoks” but doubts he succeeded.

Given that the OPCW has taken the view the evidence for the existence of “Novichoks” is dubious, if the UK actually has a sample of one it is extremely important the UK presents that sample to the OPCW. Indeed the UK has a binding treaty obligation to present that sample to OPCW. Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.

Yet Britain refuses to submit it to the OPCW.

Why?

A second part of May’s accusation is that “Novichoks” could only be made in certain military installations. But that is also demonstrably untrue. If they exist at all, Novichoks were allegedly designed to be able to be made at bench level in any commercial chemical facility – that was a major point of them. The only real evidence for the existence of Novichoks was the testimony of the ex-Soviet scientist Mizayanov. And this is what Mirzayanov actually wrote.

One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides.

Vil S. Mirzayanov, “Dismantling the Soviet/Russian Chemical Weapons Complex: An Insider’s View,” in Amy E. Smithson, Dr. Vil S. Mirzayanov, Gen Roland Lajoie, and Michael Krepon, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects, Stimson Report No. 17, October 1995, p. 21.

It is a scientific impossibility for Porton Down to have been able to test for Russian novichoks if they have never possessed a Russian sample to compare them to. They can analyse a sample as conforming to a Mirzayanov formula, but as he published those to the world twenty years ago, that is no proof of Russian origin. If Porton Down can synthesise it, so can many others, not just the Russians.

And finally – Mirzayanov is an Uzbek name and the novichok programme, assuming it existed, was in the Soviet Union but far away from modern Russia, at Nukus in modern Uzbekistan. I have visited the Nukus chemical weapons site myself. It was dismantled and made safe and all the stocks destroyed and the equipment removed by the American government, as I recall finishing while I was Ambassador there. There has in fact never been any evidence that any “novichok” ever existed in Russia itself.

To summarise:

1) Porton Down has acknowledged in publications it has never seen any Russian “novichoks”. The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information such as impurities that can safely attribute this substance to Russia.
2) Until now, neither Porton Down nor the world’s experts at the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were convinced “Novichoks” even exist.
3) The UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW.
4) “Novichoks” were specifically designed to be able to be manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench. The Americans dismantled and studied the facility that allegedly developed them. It is completely untrue only the Russians could make them, if anybody can.
5) The “Novichok” programme was in Uzbekistan not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.

With a great many thanks to sources who cannot be named at this moment.

Please Also Read My follow-up to this article: “Bothered by Midgies”


575 thoughts on “The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam

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    • Anon1

      “Suggest he asks the Iraqi people who it was who hurt them.”

      I have ask many. Saddam and then Islamic extremists.

      • Laguerre

        “I have ask many. Saddam and then Islamic extremists.”

        I don’t think you got a truthful answer. That’s some of it, but they’re censoring themselves when talking to a westerner, or you’re talking to exiles.

  • Bob Apposite

    Counter-argument:

    Let’s assume for the purposes of argument that America reverse engineered the formula for these. Then you’ve got 2 countries that could possibly make these: Russia (who developed them), and America (who possibly reverse engineered them)

    That’s a pretty short suspect list.

    What’s wrong with Theresa May asking Russia why their nerve agents killed 2 British citizens?

    • D_Majestic

      What’s wrong with May sending the Russians a ‘Sample’ to test, then? Seems fine to me-unless something needs to be hidden.

      • Bob Apposite

        Because that will simply produce a denial.
        Russians are bull-sh-t artists. There’s no reason to give them an opportunity to bull-sht.
        What productive outcome could come from sending them a sample?
        They’re never going to admit if it was theirs.

        • Bob Apposite

          Putin wouldn’t admit the 13 hackers in the Mueller indictment were his, remember?
          Denial is how they role.

          Maybe if it was an actual trial with a seated jury that got to listen to experts and see all the evidence, but it’s not.

          • Baalbek

            > Putin wouldn’t admit the 13 hackers in the Mueller indictment were his, remember?

            It is quite amazing how almost every country the US and its stooges wish to destroy is run by an evil, omniscient foreigner with one name who is personally responsible for every action, real or alleged, taken by his country’s citizens, military or spook agencies.

        • fedup

          It’s in the bloody treaty and convention, the complainant must provide a sample of the substance to the defendant!

          American exceptionalism has crossed the pond apparently; trust us, we are telling the truth cuz we really really are, and we really really cross my heart know it is novichoks despite the fact that we have no idea what these novichoks are?

          As ever throw in a foreign word and the deal with the nation is supposedly closed; evil bastard foreigners wot done it!

          • Deb

            They concluded novichoks from process of elimination of other nerve agents. There is no proof that’s what the agent is, just that they know what it wasn’t.

        • D_Majestic

          So the Russians are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t, then? Most helpful. Thank you and good night.

        • Resident Dissident

          I think you are talking about the regime and those who do its bidding. Nearly all the Russians I have spoken to have little doubt that the regime or its friends were responsible for the poisoning even though not a few believe that attacking “traitors” in such a manner is acceptable. Nearly all Russians are able as a result of long experience able to distinguish themselves from the regime and its associates and have developed the necessary skills to avoid making the distinction when necessary.

          • Sergio

            I don’t know who was your russians, but all of my russians just ask one question: what for? Who needs that forgoten traitor except US or UK?
            U really believe Putin needs it?

      • KMG

        Read the article again —
        “Indeed the OPCW was so sceptical of the viability of “novichoks” that it decided – with US and UK agreement – not to add them nor their alleged precursors to its banned list. In short, the scientific community broadly accepts Mirzayanov was working on “novichoks” but doubts he succeeded.

        Given that the OPCW has taken the view the evidence for the existence of “Novichoks” is dubious, if the UK actually has a sample of one it is extremely important the UK presents that sample to the OPCW. Indeed the UK has a binding treaty obligation to present that sample to OPCW. Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.

        Yet Britain refuses to submit it to the OPCW.”

    • TJ

      Vil Mirzanjaov, the sole defector who claims Novichok exists (like with Curveball and Iraq WMD) wrote the formulas in his book see-

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/theresa-mays-novichok-claims-fall-apart.html

      Of course you don’t need the book the formulas are on the web such as here-

      https://alchetron.com/Novichok-agent

      So the suspect list is everyone who has read the book and everyone on the Internet, over 3.5 billion people. That’s a pretty long suspect list.

    • reiner Tor

      There’s something wrong with Theresa May asserting it was a Russian nerve agent, but failing back it up by any evidence. There is something wrong with Theresa May asserting it was Novichok, when a couple years ago British chemists have openly doubted even the existence of such an agent. How could they have tested for it?

      But the accusation is nonsense anyway. I wonder how true Wikipedia’s assertion is that a Russian banker was murdered with it, but it certainly would add Russian criminals to the suspect list.

      I would also be highly surprised if all scientists working there stayed within Russia. For example there could’ve been Jewish scientists – if so, they must’ve emigrated to Israel, where they probably could’ve found better paying jobs. (Even a lot of ethnic Russians chose to go there…) Ukrainians might’ve gone back to Ukraine. Etc.

      The substance – if exists – was specifically designed to be easy to manufacture. So, basically, if the scientists and so know-how have dispersed, probably any number of countries could’ve produced it.

      • Bob Apposite

        Well, obviously you give them an opportunity for plausible deniability.

        Let’s say, for ridiculous example, Putin’s fingerprints were lifted from the scene of a crime.
        And Russia said – well, let’s see the fingerprints.
        They’re never going to admit it was his fingerprints.

        You’re just giving them an opportunity to impugn your credibility.
        It’s a no-win scenario.

      • Deb

        They’ve insinuated no one is ill because they haven’t seen them in hospital. See where I’m going with this? Without proof, they refuse so accept liability, in their opinion, no evidence, no blame. Putin said he would get his revenge on traitors, guess he done that. Given the evidence the public know, such as putins own words, their blatant denial to comply with requests, their lack of concern over accusations… instead brushing it off and making accusations the U.K. is wrong for asking questions and wanting explanations. Russia is being accused on the basis of their own responses, or lack of decent responses, there’s a high probability Russia is involved. It’s not fact, but how they’ve reacted over this, they look guilty and this is why they’re accused. They were given an opportunity to respond adequately and instead, they chose to be awkward and remain in the playground.

        There’s nothing wrong in asking to see the evidence, but as this is a Russian-made agent, giving the accused access to sensitive information which may indicate their involvement, may just allow them to tamper with evidence/cover their tracks to then create their innocence. Don’t forget, they didn’t just ask for a sample, they asked for ALL details of the investigation, including sensitive information. That’s like allowing a criminal access to a crime scene before the police have gathered their evidence and pieced everything together. Pretty dumb thing to do with a suspect. All Russia was initially asked to do was provide information on this agent, who had access etc. Russia was given 24 hours to respond, they chose to use delay tactics instead of cooperate. Russia then chose to challenge the evidence the U.K. government held and Russia then chose to mirror sanctions imposed on them from the U.K. government due to their lack of cooperation and therefore presumed guilt. Russia haven’t exactly helped themselves here and with all the playground screaming of ‘show me the evidence’ is just pathetic, if they were innocent, they’d happily prove that, without question. It is merely their actions that bring about the accusation of guilt.

        • mark golding

          Motive Deb; Motive is blowing in the wind… and Iran? we must break that country after we have crushed Russia in Syria. But the Bear is much stronger than the fox and Britain’s got previous that invokes the power of intention.

          • Spencer Eagle

            Porton Down has previous too, it’s worth looking up the Wood Green ricin plot, they blatantly deceived both the public and Parliament for two years.

        • james

          sure deb… i will start with this comment of yours ” this is a Russian-made agent”

          it can be made anywhere.. here is a simple quote from The former Soviet scientist, Vil Mirzanjaov who wrote the recipe in his book state secrets 2008 “”Russia did it”, says Mirzanjaov, “OR SOMEONE WHO READ MY BOOK”.
          kid you not! do you really believe porton down isn’t capable of working this out? any intelligence agency could work it out… again – the onus of proof in on may /uk at present and it is sorely lacking in anything of substance.. a lot of bs and hot wind though – i will grant you that..

    • Jen

      This is Bob Apposite’s comment:
      “Counter-argument:

      Let’s assume for the purposes of argument that America reverse engineered the formula for these. Then you’ve got 2 countries that could possibly make these: Russia (who developed them), and America (who possibly reverse engineered them)

      That’s a pretty short suspect list.

      What’s wrong with Theresa May asking Russia why their nerve agents killed 2 British citizens?”

      Bob, ever thought to wonder if the US instead could have gone after Sergei Skripal and his daughter (visiting from Russia) with nerve agents, on the basis of your argument?

      And if the US reverse-engineered the formula, it could have shared its results with other countries. So several countries may now know how to make novichoks – including the British themselves.

    • Deb

      Don’t think they can clarify it and no one has mentioned how they’ve concluded it’s that agent. It’s more likely to be process of elimination and they’re left with novichok. They haven’t refused to give a sample to the OPCW, they refused to give a sample to Russia and declare all the evidence they have.

      • Baalbek

        The US/UK have it in for Russia. They have said so in no uncertain terms. Obviously this means their accusations against the Russian government are always true and there is no need to fret over the details. Because western governments and security services never lie, run false flag ops, wage aggressive war against sovereign countries or produce bogus “evidence” against leaders and states it has marked for regime change and destruction.

        • Freddy

          Nope, never.
          Only wind turbines, animal rights and the noble fight with the global warming.

      • Freddy

        1) That is not the way those agents are normally analyzed. Besides the chemical formula of the substance in question is well known.
        But if bright Porton Down people are not familiar with the formula, and if they want to save taxpayers money they may easily buy a book on the Amazon Books ($30) where a lead developer of the substance provides formulas of all components and the end product formula and a detailed step-by-step description of how one could synthesize the Novichok group nerve agent(s).
        2) Refused or not but as of now they have not submitted samples to OPCW.

    • Freddy

      The spy’s daughter is a Russian citizen
      Now what “2British citizens” are you referring to ?

  • Carl

    Be careful, Craig, we’re living in days where insistence on knowing the truth places you beyond the bounds of acceptability ….. 2003 revisited.

    • Republicofscotland

      I agree Carl, Craig’s proved the point that needed proving maybe he should back off a wee bit.

      • Paul Barbara

        Yes, great post; but I disagree that he should back off. We are in dangerous times, and the truth is more necessary then ever to ‘possibly’ avert a nuclear catastrophe.
        Craig certainly has the courage, and he is slowly coming round to a position where he could, or should, revisit the events of 9/11.
        There is a major development shortly to be finalised (at present it’s out for a six-week opportunity for people (experts of public) to input their comments/objections/queries re Professor Halsey and his team from Alaska University Fairbanks that concludes fire could not have brought down WTC 7.
        Regarding May &Co.s allegations re WMD being used on the streets of Britain, remember they and associated poodles in politics, military, MSM etc. have repeatedly blames Assad for using CW, such a stupid idea even if they weren’t au fait with the plans for the headchoppers to stage the ‘False Flag’ attacks.
        What’s his name and his ‘daughter’ may in reality be just playing along with an anti-Russian charade, not ‘poisoned’ at all (what evidence do we have?) or alternatively, they may have been poisoned by MI5, CIA, Mossad or whomever.
        One thing you can be sure of – HMG is lying. And the Beeb will back ’em up !50%

        • Paul Barbara

          ‘//One thing you can be sure of – HMG is lying. And the Beeb will back ’em up !50%’
          Obviously a typo – meant to be ‘150%’.

  • simon

    the friends of tory blair where all here here today in creepy westminister all those blackmailed freaks scripted replies shaped memes.
    it will not wash anymore we need to demand better quality scribe scribblers.
    using tired washed up bbc scriptwriters simply will not do.
    we must demand better
    we must demand finer quality matrix glue
    the wheels are coming off this zionist run horse and cart

  • Bob Apposite

    If Russia were innocent, wouldn’t they ask more questions about the investigation/ask to send their own investigators/make some affirmative effort to try to prove their innocence?

    Let’s be honest here.

    If someone, say, stole my gun and shot someone with it and I was the prime suspect…I’d probably try to find out who actually did it.

    They’re not even trying.

    i.e. They act like they’re guilt.

    • reiner Tor

      They do ask all those questions and proposed to send their investigators, but were stonewalled by the British. It’s actually the British who act like they’re just lying.

    • TJ

      The Russians have demanded that a sample be handed over to the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) as per the UKs legal obligation, which the UK government will not, so UK government is again not adhering the “International Rules Based System” as they like to put it.

      “Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

      PS It’s “act like they’re guilty” not “act like they’re guilt.” Are you a JTRIG intern perhaps?

    • What do you mean?

      So you didn’t notice when Russia offered co-operation and assistance with the investigation shortly after it happened only to have its offer turned down by the UK? Or maybe you noticed when they asked for a sample of the chemical agent for them to analyse in order to trace the source only to have their request turned down.

      You may be well advised to change your source of news as they seem to be failing to include significant events in their coverage of the story.

      • james

        why do you ask? should i be worried of being administered some ‘russian made’ novichok? you’re not on putins payroll are you? lol..

  • Bob Apposite

    If Russia’s innocent of everything (murders, election meddling, etc.) why do they always act like they’re guilty?

    Anyone notice Russia never cooperates with any investigation?

    Putin made NO effort to identify the hackers in Mueller’s indictment. None at all.
    Putin made NO effort to assist in this novichok investigation.

    Why is that, do you think?

    • Bob Apposite

      Russia always does absolutely nothing in these circumstances.

      They don’t even do the “bare minimum” to cooperate with an investigation.

      Take the 13 hackers Mueller indicted. Putin: “Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked”. LOL. Who’s going to “check”? It’s certainly not Putin.

      Same thing with the Novichok. Who’s going to “check”? It’s not Putin.
      Everyone with a brain knows that if Britain sends him a sample he’ll issue a denial, and that’s all you’ll get. Because that’s all Putin does – is deny things. He doesn’t assist investigations.

      Why? Well, maybe *gasp* he’s guilty.

      • Mark John Maguire

        This is simply wrong. Russia has indeed offered to help the British, has requested samples of the chemical agent so as to trace its origins etc. This has been refused. Putin has said that the UK should assemble its evidence and then discuss with Russia. This has been ignored. President Macron of France has also requested that the British provide evidence – the UK has provided no evidence so far. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Her majesty’s Opposition has also requested evidence: it seems a reasonable thing to ask before anyone starts pointing fingers at anyone else. He has been met with howls of fury by those who think it is enough for the UK Prime Minister to declare a matter as fact – it is not. So soon after the catastrophies of Iraq (WMDs), Libya and Syria we are entitled to take our starting position as one of “innocent until proven guilty”. It is a fine institution which many in Britain appear to have forgotten. So far all we know is that the USSR manufactured a similar chemical agent in Uzbekistan in the 1970s which was subsequently dismantled by the US in the 1990s and that a Russian man (of a dubious and unknown past) and his daughter have been poisoned in Salisbury. We also know that we have a government in the UK whose casual disregard for truth, for human life and in pursuit of dubious foreign policy objectives entitle us to question them closely and to treat all they say with utmost scepticism.

        • Bob Apposite

          That’s a pretty long paragraph that boils down to – all Russia has done is ask for a sample.

          Did Russia provide useful cooperation in the Litvinenko poisioning? No, they did not.
          Is Russia currently providing useful cooperation in the U.S. election meddling investigation?
          No, they are not.

          When has Russia ever provided useful cooperation in, well, anything?
          What makes you think they would start now?

          If Britain’s right and Russia has carried out an assassination on their soil, should they really provide them an opportunity do *more* damage?

          • Bob Apposite

            Let’s consider what Russia has *not* done.

            They have not volunteered any information about these nerve agents beyond what is already public knowledge. So – they’ve offered: nothing new.

            They have not volunteered any information about the victims beyond what is already public knowledge. In this regard: they’ve also offered: nothing new.

          • james

            bob – you posts convey you are not able to think logically or rationally.. i suppose my replying to you won’t change any of this!

      • foolisholdman

        “Maybe” is good enough for you, I take it? The Russians did ask to take part in the investigation of this crime and were refused. The 13 bods who allegedly tipped the US presidential election with some 9,00 tweets, some for and some against Hillary, were such a ludicrous idea that had I been Putin I would have ignored the request to investigate them too.

        • foolisholdman

          That reply was intended for Bob Apposite. I don’t know why it appeared where it did.

        • Bob Apposite

          Well, common sense says there are limits to what Russian participation in an investigation could look like.

          I mean, you can’t allow a *suspect* access to a scene of a crime or evidence – they’ll tamper with/destroy/alter it.

          But that doesn’t mean Russians can’t volunteer some of what they know about these nerve agents or these victims to assist the investigation.

          • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

            Is that why one set of leading foreign suspects walked all over the Lockerbie crash site?

          • What do you mean?

            So you accuse them of refusing to co-operate and then declare that they can’t co-operate because they could tamper with the evidence. Maybe if the government want information about the chemical involved, they should either talk to the government of Uzbekistan where it was made or maybe try the US agency that dismantled the lab in 1999 as they would almost certainly have helped themselves to samples.

        • Bob Apposite

          13 that Mueller knows of/was able to identify.

          Let’s be honest. The Russians were very busy and have their footprints all over every form of social media, were caught hacking state & federal electoral systems, were hacking the RNC and DNC, etc.

          Clearly it was more than 13 people.
          Those are just the tip of an iceberg.

          • Dom

            It spoils it that 13 Facebookers are all the mighty US intel agencies could come up with. Bah!

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Bob Apposite March 14, 2018 at 19:26
        Bit of a waste of time, but Russia asked for a sample to be sent to the ‘ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS’, an international body not located in Moscow, but in The Hague. And Britain has refused!
        Maybe the whole thing is a hoax, already? Russia has called Britain’s bluff and dumbos just can’t seem to get it.
        C’est la vie!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Yogendra,

    I seriously annoy a lot of people on the internet, and have done since around 1995, because I nearly always finish what I write, by posting 4 additional letters.

    I sign it. It’s annoying isn’t it?

    Bizzarely enough, so far as I am aware, no one has ever tried to pretend to be me, except once in around 1999, on a very busy website in the UK. The moderator had banned a person, who’s views were almost the diametrically opposite of mine. He may well have seriously insulted me, but I didn’t mind that. What I minded was the moderator banning him. So I contacted him – and said – you can use my handle, and my password. Write whatever you want.

    He replied, I can’t do that. So I posted my handle, and my password on this website early on a Saturday morning, and loads of people tried it – for a laugh. It was one of the funniest Saturday mornings of my life…and well, of course eventually, later that day, I got banned. I didn’t go back for 6 months. I did apologise, because had broken all the rules.

    Most people are honest. They are not trying to be someone else, and they are not trying to defraud or steal.

    Tony

  • Republicofscotland

    “Worse, it claims to be able not only to identify it, but to pinpoint its origin.”

    Ah… Now, that is a complete and utter lie, chemical weapons experts spoke on Talk Radio last night, (The James Whale radio show to be precise) and on LBC, the night before last.

    Where the conversation centred around identifying where the nerve agent came from. According to those experts, it can be identified, but only if you already have a sample of the agent from the exact same facility that it was manufactured in.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      That’s what I said at the beginning, and I am no chemical weapons expert. As in tracing where drugs come from, one has to have a sample.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes Trowbridge, you need a sample from (say a certain located Russian) laboratory, only then can you compare your sample with that one, and only then can you identify where that particular sample came from.

        So the million dollar question is, how can you say that Russia carried out the chemical attack, when you cannot identify the source of the chemical.

  • Anon1

    Panorama on now for anyone who wants to see how opposition leaders are beaten, arrested and murdered for standing up to Uncle Vlad.

    • Sharp Ears

      That s according to John Sweeney who has been plugging his Panorama for days. Even on O’Brien LBC this morning.

      ..Russian customs officers don’t crack jokes. British ones do.

      ..He could have kissed the tarmac at Heathrow when he returned.

      and so on.

      Wayback I can remember the time when he became violent on screen.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Anon1 March 14, 2018 at 19:39
      Haven’t they got the bit about how Putin personally throws their babies up in the air and catches them on his bayonet?
      ‘Pour encourager les autres’, as they say. Oh, those Russians!

  • Freddy

    “And finally – Mirzayanov is an Uzbek …”

    With all due respect he is not. He is a Tatar (both of his parents were Tatars) born in the Republic of Bashkortostan, RF.
    The man is quite something – self proclaimed “Head of The Tatar Government In Exile” (getting my drift here?)
    So that you know – The Tatar Government In Exile is now based in Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey.
    He is also an active member of Russian anti-government “Putin Must Go” movement.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Freddy March 14, 2018 at 19:47
      Useful information, but Craig did not say Mirzayanov was an Uzbek – he said ‘..Mirzayanov is an Uzbek name..’.
      But useful info re the ‘Uncle Tom’ nature of the traitor.

  • supermundane

    Here’s a thought. Could the entire poisoning be a fabrication in order to provide Skripal and his daughter with new identities? What better way to achieve this than to have the entire world believe they’re dead,not least the Russians in a most dramatic fashion. An added bonus is an opportunity to crack down on Russian media within the UK.

    • Bob Apposite

      LOL. If you were trying to covertly swap identities for former spies, I don’t think you’d make a UN Security Council case of their deaths.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Bob Apposite March 14, 2018 at 20:07
        Why on earth not, when HMG makes a Security Council case of blaming Assad for CW use, when they were obviously ‘False Flag’ ops by HMG’s mercenary headchoppers?

        • Bob Apposite

          If I was trying to do something covertly, I wouldn’t bring all eyes of the world onto it.

          But hey, that’s me.
          I’ve been told above I don’t think logically. LOL.

  • Quentin Poulsen

    The day America and Britain stop demonizing Russia is the day they will have to face up to the fact it is their own nations causing most of the destruction around the world – and that has been the case for a long, long time.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Quentin Poulsen March 14, 2018 at 20:07
      They will do it, eventually. But it will be too late to effect ‘Peace on Earth’. The only time they will spout the truth, is on the Day of Judgement.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Whilst, I did buy his book, and of course I appreciated his heroic efforts at living so long with his incredibly severe disability, I never particularly rated him, except for his recent legal challenge of The Tory Government, attempting to privatise The NHS, without any legal authority, or any democratic agreement with the people, who live in The UK. Stephen Hawking was a good man. I simply didn’t agree with some of his physics. RIP

    I have virtually no respect for the Current UK Government, and the Press and TV are even worse. I didn’t bother to see Theresa May’s latest pronouncements today, as I have been very busy. We have got a Rock Festival to go to, and it takes a while to prepare.

    However from what I can gather “We are going to expel 23 Russian diplomats, and we aren’t going to send any referees or linesmen to The World Cup, in Russia, though of course The England Team, can go, or we will be in big trouble with all The English Football supporters”, can roughly be interpreted by The Russians as…

    “We Fart in Your General Direction”

    God knows what the Americans think, but it’s good to make The Russians laugh. They are less likely to nuke us, or turn off the gas.

    Embarrassing and Pathetic.

    Tony

    • Bob Apposite

      Most Americans aren’t following this story.
      We’re narcissistic and what happens in Britain isn’t all that interesting to us.

      Our news cycle is all about Trump, special elections, and the gun/school shootings debate.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        No one sensible is taking this story seriously. Most British people, aren’t the slightest bit interested either. My wife hasn’t mentioned it, neither has my son, nor anyone I have met at the pub since it started. My main interest in it, is because Craig Murray writes so brilliantly about it, illustrating in great detail, how it is just another bunch of lies, and distractions.

        However if The Government announced that The England Football Team were not allowed to play in the World Cup in Moscow, all hell would break loose.

        As it is, almost no one could give a sh1t.

        Tony

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Tony_0pmoMarch 14, 2018 at 20:10
      So 23 (or 30 – why not up the bet, when you’ve got a winning hand?) Brits take a walk. Anyone for chess (or marbles)?

  • Sharp Ears

    The USUKISNATO axis is over-egging the pudding.

    UN Security Council meets to discuss Skripal case (WATCH LIVE)
    Published: 14 Mar 2018 | 19:25 GMT
    Reuters
    Members of the United Nations Security Council are holding an extraordinary meeting called for by the UK. It was organized to discuss the alleged nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

    https://www.rt.com/news/421320-un-security-council-poisining-meet/

  • Aleksandar Sarovic

    Who had an interest in poisoning of Mr Skripal? In 1990 the west started to conquer the eastern world. Everything went smoothly up to Ukraine and Syria where Russia resisted. I think that is all what it is about. Russia and China have become strong powers which made the west goal much harder to achieve so that the west has became desperate. I think we are watching the result of it.

    • DiggerUK

      A.S.
      At the back of my mind is a feeling that Russian in Syria is doing more than piss a few people off. Are the proposed sanctions a diplomatic power play to persuade Russia to leave the middle east alone………just asking…_

  • siberiancat

    Craig,

    Mizayanov is not an Uzbek. He is a Kazan Tartar, born in Bashkortostan.

    • craig Post author

      I state at the end of my article it is from information received from a source. It appears the article you cite has the same source. The more the merrier.

  • reliably

    This seems like a 2018 reboot of the anthrax scare in the US, a plot that was designed to further the US government’s war agenda.

        • Bob Apposite

          I’m not sure what that article is supposed to establish.

          “The meeting, along with Iraq’s stockpiles of biological weapons, have led some to question whether Atta — and Hussein — were not somehow behind the anthrax attacks in the United States.”

          Who’s “some”?

          At the end of the day the anthrax attacks were irrelevant, since Americans had no idea where they came from, and we’re all as likely to suspect domestic terrorism as foreign terrorism.

          • Bob Apposite

            There were many factors as to why the U.S. went to war in Iraq, but that was not one of them.

            I’d say the proximate causes were:

            1. 9/11
            2. Bush-Blair’s WMD narrative
            3. Bad economy: promise of oil/war economic rebound
            4. The “Democracy for Iraq” narrative
            5. Victor Davis Hanson-style military theories for battling terrorism

          • Bob Apposite

            At the end of the day, Colin Powell got on tv and presented photographic evidence of what-might-be chemical weapons, maybe, who-can-tell, they’re photos with shapes.

            And the U.S. had just the Towers blown up by terrorists.

            And any skeptics of that Powell presentation had to deal with the fact that Tony Blair and Britain ALSO confirmed the military intelligence.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Bob Apposite March 14, 2018 at 21:36
            And Colin Powell was the American Officer who tried to cover up the My Lai massacre in Vietnam; only the sh*te get promoted!

  • Sam

    There is one problem here, the scientist in question in all of this was tried for treason by Russia for releasing this information, whereby at that time Russia admitted that the chemical does exist, and we know that it is easy to fool OPCW, Iran, Syria, and others have all duped monitoring bodies, Iran was later forced to admit they tricked monitors at the UN when US spies uncovered the truth of their nuclear programme.

    • fedup

      That old chesnut!

      I have a bridge for sale too, I am sure you would find it just the right sort of investment.

    • Sam

      That old chestnut? Not really, the trial is well documented and Russia admitting it too.

    • Sam

      And again, no, the UN has definitive proof that Assad used chemical weapons in Aleppo, yet by that time the OPCW declared him free of them.

      Iran was declared free of its nuclear programme but time and time and US spies forced Iran to admit they were refining to greater and greater levels.

      With Iraq, everyone said “there are no weapons” except Bush and Blair.

      • Bob Apposite

        Good point. This idea that the intelligence services are lying all the time is simply not true.
        US intelligence said there were no WMDs.
        It was politicians who said there were. And one of those politicians was British.

        The implication that Portdon Down is just a bunch of liars is unlikely.
        They’re scientists. They’re professionals.

        • Dave Lawton

          “The implication that Portdon Down is just a bunch of liars is unlikely.
          They’re scientists. They’re professionals.”

          Yes your statement is static and shows how little you know. Professional liars yes.
          I know that to be true as I was nearly tricked by them to volunteer for research on
          the Common cold when the truth was to become a guinea pig for Sarin nerve gas tests.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Bob Apposite March 14, 2018 at 21:44
          ‘..They’re scientists. They’re professionals…’
          So are CDC, FEMA, NIST, FDA etc., but it sure as hell don’t stop ’em telling Porkies.
          (Pork pie – lie; Cockney rhyming slang).

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Sam March 14, 2018 at 21:31
        Big deal. But that didn’t save millions of Iraqis being murdered, or their country devastated.
        USA! USA! USA!

        • Sam

          TBH while I do not agree with the Iraqi war, their country was already a hell hole, many Iraqis were living in absolute poverty using devices which had not been serviced in decades (if they had those devices), and while that poverty has become more rife, due to the Shia majority government attempting to suppress the Sunni minority with a civil war and ISIS moving in, the country can be rebuilt, if the rift between Shia and Sunni is fixed, Saddam used to just shoot any Shia who used to question him.

          Millions? No, even the war with ISIS has killed about 30,000. According to counts the figure is closer to about 300,0000

    • Sam

      Did you know that, by the scientists own accounts, this weapon was specifically designed to be able to made despite the convention? Due to the way it used base chemicals and compounds it was able to be produced irrespective of the convention and easily hidden.

  • SA

    Just an observation
    The Skripals are being treated in Salisbury General Hospital. Now I do not doubt that this hospital has the most uptodate and excellent intensive care unit,, but with such high profile cases would it not have been more appropriate for them to be treated in centres of excellence known for dealing with special cases and with advanced isolation facilities? Just asking.

    • Jen

      If the Skripals were to be treated in a specialist hospital, the specialists might immediately discover what they were actually afflicted by, and the British government’s account of their being poisoned by a nerve agent could be shot down in flames.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      Well it always had the specialist ‘Common Cold Research Unit’, where friends went to study for their A-levels as paid guinea-pigs.It later emerged that it was not unconnected with Porton Down, although it seems to have been squadies who broke the first rule and ‘volunteered’.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Kerch’ee Kerch’ee Coup March 14, 2018 at 22:19
        Barrie Trower, microwave warfare expert (who now tries to expose the dangers of microwave radiation) mentioned that episode; he was in the army in Germany when the call for ‘volunteers’ went out. He actually volunteered, but his CO ripped his application up and said ‘Are you mad?’. The ‘carrot’ was extra paid leave to the UK, and I believe he said few if any of the ‘volunteers’ were still alive.

  • Loony

    Who knows what is the real truth. You can’t even be certain that the UK government is not covertly sponsoring inane conspiracy theories.

    All that can be known is the abject moral bankruptcy of the British. There are two main possibilities (i) the British are lying – probably to engender more chaos in Syria or (ii) the British are telling the truth.

    If they are telling the truth then their latest response to Russia is broadly comparable to their response to Litvinenko. Obviously that response was not sufficient to dissuade the Russians from further bizarrely complex poisonings.By making a more or less equivalent response the British are basically incentivizing the Russians to poison more people.

    If the Russians are behind this then the real answer is simple – tell them to keep their gas because we don’t want it. At the same time stop them from laundering billions through the City of London and prevent them from buying up ultra high end real estate.

    Will any of the be done? No, because that would involve the British paying some kind of price for their morality. So, no not interested mate, please feel free to poison as many people as you want, just please don’t poison me personally. The Russians must be quaking in their boots as they are snarled at from afar by a nation of cowards.

    • SA

      So tell me why would the Russians want to use such devious methods to assassinate dissidents? In the second case it even seems to be so botched up that the most deadly and persistent nerve agent, so deadly that the CMO advised people to wipe their mobile phones with baby wipes, that it has failed to kill those exposed to it instantly?
      Also why such a traceable source of radioactivity and poison?

      The perpetrators in both cases wanted to implicate Russia. If Russia wanted to do it to send signals and notify impunity then a simple card saying: the FSB did it, death to traitors, is a much more direct and less costly way.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Loony March 14, 2018 at 21:16
      (A) We do not know that the guy and his ‘daughter’ were poisoned at all, and that the whole thing isn’t a hoax.
      (B) We (or most sane folk) know that the UK, US and other ‘normal suspects’ have been blaming Assad for using CW’s, which were obviously used by their own mercenary headchoppers, with their full foreknowledge and assistance.
      (C) HMG has refused to send a sample to the OPCW, an International body situated in The Hague, though Russia has asked them to.
      (D) We know that HMG (and it’s poodle MSM) lie like troopers.
      (E) 23 Russkis get kicked out of Britain – followed by 23 (+?) Brits get chucked out of Moscow – strange brew!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnrp6o966pA

  • Hieroglyph

    I sometimes wonder how Craig survived for so long within the establishment cadres. I expect he was admired for his cleverness, but then cleverness isn’t always appreciated by liars and fools. The above is very informative of course, but, as the writer himself knows, in a way kind of meaningless. Because May isn’t interested in the truth, nor are the various deep-state bodies pushing the anti-Russia line. If we had a media worth the name, they’d be laughing at all this anti-Russia nonsense, but of course, we don’t.

    We’ve expelled some Russians, oh dear. With any luck, Putin will release information on 9/11 as revenge, see how they like them apples ..

  • Anon2

    At this stage, there is still an awful lot we don’t know. We might never know it. But some people are saying we know all we need to know because “Russia’s got form”. The title of this blog post is a reminder that western governments and media have got form as well.

    Personally, I don’t have an opinion on what happened in Salisbury because I’m not confident that I have sufficient facts to base it on. But the points made by Craig Murray are pertinent and the British people need to be given this information. I’m grateful that someone is doing the job of questioning the mainstream’s rather premature conclusions.

    Thank you Craig Murray.

  • Concerned Canadian

    I have some questions about your summary points:

    1) While I doubt the exact source of the nerve agent used has been conclusively determined, does Porton Down publicly claiming they haven’t seen Novichok agents before really preclude them from identifying them? Given the details of the case, it seems natural that forensic investigators would look for organophosphate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It should be relatively trivial for them to rule out the most common nerve agents in that class (such as VX), and instead try to identify more obscure ones, in particular those known to be developed by Russia, given who the target was. Presumably they would turn to those with knowledge of Novichok agents for guidance here, who would likely know exactly what to look for thanks to the revelations of their structure by Mirzayanov and others, as well as possible American experience cleaning them up in Uzbekistan (a site which may indeed yield a unique “fingerprint”). At the very least it doesn’t seem beyond reason that they’d be able to identify a Novichok agent as the substance used, which significantly narrows the list of suspects.

    2) If Western sources were doubtful of the existence of Novichok agents, wouldn’t that lend credence to Russia being the source if one was in fact identified as the nerve agent used?

    3) Can you cite a source that the UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW? Because The Guardian is reporting that the OPCW has been involved to independently verify the nerve agent that was used: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/14/nerve-agent-novichok-produced-russia-site-expert

    4) I don’t think any reasonable person is suggesting it’s literally impossible for anyone other than Russia to produce Novichok agents, merely that knowledge of the compounds and how to synthesize them is limited to, at best, a handful of nation states, with Russia being the only one known to actually manufacture them. So if Russia is not the source, who do you suggest is? Are you actually implying that this was some sort of nebulous false flag attack intended to frame Russia? If so, why is that the more likely explanation?

    5) Are you suggesting the Americans used the information gleaned from the cleanup of the site in Uzbekistan to develop it’s own chemical weapons program based on Novichok agents? And that Russia would’ve been incapable of continuing to manufacture Novichok agents at any of the other sites they were known to have used to develop them?

    • james

      cc – you need to look into this story further, as you are missing a lot of info… i am not sure where to began, but your questions suggest a level of ignorance on a number of key players and info that has already been brought out, not the least of which i will quote for you off moa’s article on this today…
      “The former Soviet scientist, Vil Mirzanjaov, who ‘blew the whistle’ and wrote about the ‘Novichoks’, now lives in a $1 million home in the United States. The AFP news agency just interviewed him:

      Mirzayanov, speaking at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, said he is convinced Russia carried it out as a way of intimidating opponents of President Vladimir Putin.

      “Only the Russians” developed this class of nerve agents, said the chemist. “They kept it and are still keeping it in secrecy.”

      The only other possibility, he said, would be that someone used the formulas in his book to make such a weapon.

      “Russia did it”, says Mirzanjaov, “OR SOMEONE WHO READ MY BOOK”.”

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/theresa-mays-novichok-claims-fall-apart.html#more

      • Paul Barbara

        @ james March 14, 2018 at 23:14
        Nice plug for his book – guess Jihadis worldwide will be cuing up to buy a copy!

        • james

          well, maybe those publishing houses are in cahouts with the folks egging for war 24/7.. nothing like a thriller with chemical weapons info that is so easy to access to keep the war parties happy! apparently the book is a complete bore.. here is a quote of someone who read it “State secrets is by far the most long winded and painfully slow novel on chemical weapons written by a disgruntled defected scientist from Russia I have ever read! If you want to hear an employ with delusions of grandeur moan about every person he ever worked with then this is the book for you, otherwise don’t waste your sweet time. Seriously! Nothing happens except Vil somethingkov helps make things that kill people for 30 years, gets a (sort of) conscience, defects, and constantly whinges about…..everything.” of course b is very good at digging up this kind of stuff.. makes the seriousness of all this, a wee bit lighter..

      • Bob Apposite

        And that all amounts to what?

        Let’s be honest here.
        Concerned Canadian sounds very intelligent, and has thoughtful and logical questions.

        Whereas you have cheap conspiracy-theory points.

        Let’s be honest. How is Mirzanjaov publishing the formula any different than WikiLeaks publishing hacking tricks?

        He did it to try to save lives. You guys did that to give criminals tools to commit crime.

    • Radio Jammor

      Your pdf does not open with any text and appears to be dud.

      From the US Government: “funds have also driven the safe dismantlement and destruction of a chemical weapons production plant and testing facility located at Nukus, Uzbekistan.” https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-108shrg87824/html/CHRG-108shrg87824.htm#pq=m0JTFt

      But let’s say you are right and that it was only made in Russia and transported to Uzbekistan for testing. Seeing as the US openly went into Uzbekistan and cleaned up Nukus, and reported to a US Senate Committee in 2003 that it had cleaned up the site, as “the Soviets tested and produced a small quantity of a new generation of nerve agents far more deadly than anything that is in the U.S. arsenal which is now being destroyed”, that it is reasonable to conclude from those last five words that the US had access to Novichoks and could now a) assist in identifying the substance and b) produce it itself.

      • Oliver Williams

        I downloaded it and it opens fine. Sometimes just a problem with the individual download.

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