Breaking News: Porton Down to Make Public Statement 422


The government is putting up the Chief Scientist at Porton Down to give a press interview on Sky News this afternoon on the Skripal affair.

If the government were not confident he would implicate the Russian state, they would not be doing this. But nevertheless I would be surprised if the Chief Scientist were to lie outright*, and we need to study his language very carefully. Much of course will depend on the questioning, and undoubtedly Sky News (a Fox affiliate) has been selected as unlikely to be be forensic or difficult. I have however passed to the producers, who contacted me for potential comment, the three questions I would ask given the chance:

Are you saying definitely this can ONLY be made in Russia?

How long from contact would this agent take effect?

If it is an extreme military grade nerve agent (according to Boris Johnson “novichocks” are “ten times more powerful”) then why was it thankfully comparatively ineffective?

We shall see if Sky are anything like this challenging. My fear is they will rather feed him questions like “How do you react to claims it was Porton Down that produced this nerve agent” in order to allow him to appear pained and wronged.

I shall post again after the interview. Thank you to the many people who expressed concern for my welfare at my recent sudden silence, following the rather nasty personal attacks I was encountering – I traveled last week to a family funeral at my childhood home, and was just reflecting for a few days.

*On the other hand another Porton Down scientist, Dr David Kelly, told the truth to a journalist in a broadly comparable situation and met an extremely suspicious death as a result.


422 thoughts on “Breaking News: Porton Down to Make Public Statement

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  • Hieroglyph

    Craig’s byline: “Historian, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist.”

    Not ass-kissing here, but I think Craig can, and perhaps should, add ‘Journalist’ to this list. Because this blog is one of the very few places where actual journalism occurs in the UK, and we’ve seen an excellent example in the Novichok coverage.

    The Guardian appears to have disappeared down the rabbit hole of interviews with Jess Phillips and increasingly weird Identity politics; I expect the actual journalists have been fired by Viner for being transphobic. The rest of the Oligarch Times – co-owned by various sinister forces – are just globalist stenographers. You’d probably get a greater range of views in Pravda. And the BBC? Just a disinfo channel, with a weird history of covering for paedophiles; ignore.

    • Crackerjack

      It is a great shame what has happened to the Guardian. I remember avidly reading it in my youth in the late 70’s early ‘80’s when following the exploits of the US in Central America – Nicaragua, El Salvador etc – and remember it as left leaning. Certainly a place where unbiased reporting could be found. Lost contact until recently when to my disgust I find it’s turned into some transatlantic neoliberal piece of dogturd. Shame.

    • BrianFujisan

      Hieroglyph

      Good post..Fully agree.. Craig dose Need his Show…Only on Rt of course..None of the Other Pillars of Msm Criminals ..BBC ch 4 ch 5 ect would allow it.

    • SA

      Yes I agree. Also free discussions allowed even from dissenters, and we have a few of them.
      I have stopped even looking at the Guardian ‘fearsome independent journalism, this last week. In one of the few articles open to comment on the Skripal case, all my posts were deleted and I was put on premoderation for the sin of asking questions that they found uncomfortable to leave.

  • Pyotr Grozny

    Mail coming up with a story that authorities are investigating someone who arrived on the same flight as Yulia’s and returned to Moscow a few hours later.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5575465/Russian-Yulia-Skripals-plane-Moscow-investigated-nerve-agent-attack.html

    Surely they should have identified this person and investigated them within a day of the poisoning, they had enough officers on the investigation. There was nothing to stop them telling us about this person then, why are they coming up with it now just after the statement from Porton Down? Well that’s a rhetorical question because the answer is rather obvious.

    • robt

      So the fellow traveller dropped it in her purse? Or what? Or followed her home and smeared it on the doorknob and then flew back to Moscow to report to Kommand Kontrol that the instant-kill poison should take effect in a few hours so both targets get ill after driving around town visiting a pub and having a pizza? This weapons grade 10x stronger than VX story is just getting … dumb and dumberer.
      Imagine – a Russian travelling on Aeroflot. Suspicious indeed.
      Maybe they should hook up with OJ and go to the golf course to find the real killer. Or something.

    • Sean Lamb

      “Security sources also said the searching of an Aeroflot plane that landed at Heathrow Airport on Friday – described by the Government as ‘routine’ – was based on intelligence.”

      Don’t be surprised if Porton Down has miraculously detected trace amounts of “Novichoks” in this person’s seat or carry on luggage. Its the whole Livivenko “trail of polonium” evidence all over again. It was never credible scientifically speaking, just that no one dares articulate the only plausible alternative hypothesis: that the security agencies deliberately plant false evidence.

      As Senator Chuck Schumer puts it: “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you”

  • Dr. Ip

    Perhaps the agent was mixed together thus?

    A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron. Thunder.

    Enter the three Witches (May, Johnson, Rudd).
    FIRST WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
    SECOND WITCH. Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.
    THIRD WITCH. Harpier cries, “‘Tis time, ’tis time.”
    FIRST WITCH. Round about the cauldron go;
    In the poison’d entrails throw.
    Toad, that under cold stone
    Days and nights has thirty-one
    Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.
    ALL. Double, double, toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
    SECOND WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the cauldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
    Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
    ALL. Double, double, toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
    THIRD WITCH. Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
    Witch’s mummy, maw and gulf
    Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
    Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
    Liver of blaspheming Jew,
    Gall of goat and slips of yew
    Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
    Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
    Finger of birth-strangled babe
    Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
    Make the gruel thick and slab.
    Add thereto a tiger’s chawdron,
    For the ingredients of our cawdron.
    ALL. Double, double, toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
    SECOND WITCH. Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

    Enter Hecate to the other three Witches.

    HECATE. O, well done! I commend your pains,
    And everyone shall share i’ the gains.
    And now about the cauldron sing,
    Like elves and fairies in a ring,
    Enchanting all that you put in.
    Music and a song, “Black spirits.”
    Hecate retires.
    SECOND WITCH. By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.
    Open, locks,
    Whoever knocks!

    ENTER _______________ (fill with name of choice)

  • Durak

    “Mail coming up with a story that authorities are investigating someone who arrived on the same flight as Yulia’s and returned to Moscow a few hours later.”

    Yes, along with the poisoned cereal, door handle, car ventilation… etc… all lasting about a day…. and all purely speculative, some I suspect simply made up.

    As if they’d return a few hours later…. the stupidity of it is unbelievable as are those that believe such tripe 🙂 Reminds me why they investigated an aircraft that the Russians if guilty would have simply reallocated to another route…

    • N_

      So we have a “suspect” on the same flight as Yulia Skripal who then flew back to Москва five hours later, and we have Yulia Skripal’s “friend” (who works for a “major medical company”) who flew to London with her husband on a slightly later flight than Yulia’s, bringing the porridge and bayleaves.

      Can’t the FSB or GRU afford to fly its team members to Dubai, Schiphol, Orly or JFK or somewhere first, and then get them out afterwards other than directly back to Moscow?

      Did Yulia wait at Heathrow while her “friend” stuffed the kasha and bayleaves into her pocket? Maybe her dad tried to block the view from the cameras? Or did they meet in a service station on the M3? How did the porridge actually get to Salisbury? I rather liked that story.

      I must try kasha with bayleaves – it sounds delicious.

    • G.Bng

      Well if the porridge is the culprit it must have either been contained in something like a double skinned lead-lined tin or it came in two packs with the instructions: immediately prior to eating mix pack A with pack B!

  • N_

    Anybody got any info on what Nikolai Grushkov had been up to in, say, the past year?

      • james

        the only thing we are supposed to know is that he was a putin critic and he was murdered, lol…

        obviously putin or some one for putin did it!!!
        “London police say Vladimir Putin critic Nikolai Glushkov was…”

        this story is a watered down version of the skripal story that russia was behind the novichok and etc. etc…

        the media has become so pathetic, devoid of any integrity.. at this point, it’s purely an exercise in info propaganda pushing a view a particular way – in this example – he was a putin critic, mysteriously murdered.. draw your own conclusions… brainwashing 101..

  • FraPer

    http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2018-03/fall-skripal-londoner-regierung-verbuendete-geheimdienstinformationen
    Im Fall des in London vergifteten Ex-Agenten Sergej Skripal hat Großbritannien offenbar in einmaliger Weise Geheimdienstinformationen mit seinen Verbündeten geteilt. Die britische Regierung habe ihren Partnern “Geheiminformationen von nie da gewesenem Niveau” übermittelt, teilte ein hochrangiger Regierungsvertreter in London mit. Das sei Grundlage der vielen Ausweisungen russischer Diplomaten aus mehreren westlichen Staaten.
    Roughly translated: In the case of the ex-agent Sergej Skripal who was poisoned in London, the UK apparently shared intelligence (secret) information with its allies in a never before seen manner. A high-level Government adviser in London advised, that the British Government had provided its partners with “secret information of never before seen level”. This formed the basis for the many expulsions of Russian diplomats from several western countries.”

    • lysias

      I heard an American professor in an interview say today that Russiagate is also supported by secret information . I guess they think we just have to trust them.

      • Durak

        Exactly… and trust is something most people have in short supply now.

        It will not work out well for the government and rightly so.

      • robt

        Someone during the South Seas Bubble mania offered shares to the public for a business project ‘so secret that the nature of the enterprise can’t be revealed’. And people bought it.
        I don’t think people, at least normal people, are buying this one. Professors, ‘journalists’, and politicians, maybe.

  • lysias

    What can be a worse crime than telling lies to bring about a world war, potentially a nuclear one?

    • BrianFujisan

      lysias
      it is indeed a Crime ..Promoting war ( WAR PROPGANDA ). Google Have recently been Supresing Articles So related.

  • FranzB

    Enjoyed ‘The World Tonight’ on BBC radio 4 tonight. Skripalgate was mentioned in the news headline but there was no follow up item. Also no item on Jeremy Corbyn and anti-semitism. It’s that old manufacturing consent black magic – as Chris Mason would say, repeat after me – Jeremy Corbyn … blah blah blah …. anti-semitism; Jeremy Corbyn … blah blah blah …. anti-semitism; Jeremy Corbyn … blah blah blah …. anti-semitism. They must have run out of time because of the final 8 minute piece on rich people moving to New Zealand. Laugh? I almost paid my licence fee (only joking).

    The BBC R4 midnight news did have Jonathan Arkush (BOD of British Jews) saying that the radical Jewish group Jewdas was a source of virulent antisemitism. (Corbyn broke bread with Jewdas on Monday). I don’t think he was being postmodern or ironic.

    Has the BBC gone into meltdown because an amateur journalist (CM) knows more about what’s going on than the BBC ( no. of employees 21,000; revenue £5 billion). I did enjoy Frank Gardner’s ‘yet’ adverbial interjection though. Can’t wait for today’s ‘Today’ programme.

      • Maureen

        I tell you what
        We’ve got Peter Thiel, who’s bought up huge tracts of South Island iconic land
        all the immigration rules were broken to accept him
        And most New Zealanders absolutely hate it

        • Emily

          Thanks to Win Peters and NZ First I understand the new government over there has moved to stop foreigners moving in and driving up property prices so New Zealanders cannot afford to buy and are being priced out in their own country
          Good for them.

  • Truth Seeker

    Your Excellency, Mr Murray,

    First and foremost I hope all is well with you. I’m sorry there have been personal attacks against you but honestly, I’m not surprised. Disappointed, most certainly yes, but not at all surprised. There are nasty people out there, verging on the evil, who will do anything to silence decent folk so they may murder, pillage and plunder. However, these people will never win.

    Mr Murray, thank you for your brilliant reporting. I heard your interview with the Right Honourable George Galloway and now following you here, you correctly pointed out the scientists at Porton Down have not identified this “chemical weapon” as “Novichok.” If you listen carefully to the interview from the chief at Porton Down, he was

    A) Properly nervous and shaking.

    Why? Fearing for his life?

    B) Went onto say:

    “We’ve been able to establish that it’s Novichok or from that family.”

    So that tells me that Your Excellency, you were right when you mentioned they haven’t identified it as Novichok.

    It’s a disgrace that May is even Prime Minister. Her judgement should have been called into question and she should have been disqualified to run for premiership the moment she voted for the mass murders to take place in Iraq. She followed bLiar without question and now she’s trying to hurt the Russian people through decades long and ever tightening sanctions and eventual war by some future british terrorist posing as prime minister. Mass pressure should now be heaped on these war mongerers and they be forced out of office.

    • Emily

      May, Cameron and other Tories actually crossed the floor of the House and voted through the illegal attack on Iraq – when much of the Labour Party rebelled.
      The blood is as much on their hands as Blairs.
      Thats why they have stalled and hidden and refused to act on Chilcott for years.
      Then May and Cameron went on to attack and destroy Libya and have been supporting the islamic terrorism and bloodshed in Syria,
      Her record is one of blatant war crimes.
      Pushing for the new cold war and WW3 is just icing on her cake.

  • Truthoverlies

    What strikes me about all of this is that when the government were on the attack, Theresa May and Boris Johnson were at the head of the baying pack. Now they’re in retreat, they shove the hapless Gary Aitkenhead in front of the cameras to take the flak. Such cowards and they want to create the conditions for a nuclear war.

  • Crackerjack

    Finally catching up with Newsnight and the shrivelled scrotum, arch goblin and cheif propagandist Evan Davis

    Apparently there were facists and neo-nazis on Maidan during the “revolution”. Who knew? Luckily for Evan they are finally coming out of the woodwork so he won’t look like an utter c***

    Oh hang on

  • N_

    The Russian Embassy has issued a warning to Russian people visiting or considering visiting Britain. They have warned of possible hassle at the border, interference with luggage, and possible conflicts with the local population as a result of Russophobia spread by the authorities.

    The British Foreign Office had previously issued a warning to British citizens in Russia, to which the Russian authorities responded by saying that British people are very welcome in Russia. Let us see whether the British authorities have the basic decency to say that Russian people are very welcome in Britain.

    I don’t just mean billionaire mafia boss friends of the “royal” family. I mean the many thousands of ordinary Russians who come here, whether on holiday, to work, to study, or to visit family or friends. If the British authorities do not respond by saying this, then they are by omission admitting that they are stirring up xenophobia, in this case Russophobia, which is what we have come to expect of the racist right and far right. SHAME!

    Russians, YOU ARE WELCOME HERE!

    • Crackerjack

      Well said Sir. This McCarthyite anti-Russian propaganda needs to stop. I do hope our people see the bollocks for what it is. Elements in our society need an enemy to maintain their “position”. Its 1984 mate.

  • Stonky

    You have to admire the sheer brass neck of the BBC. Having led with the Salisbury story for day after day, “Nerve agent cannot be identified” is currently in 7th place on their front page, just behind this piece of Pulitzer quality journalism:

    “Hotel forgives guest for seagull invasion – The Canadian man left a ‘tornado of seagull excrement, feathers and pepperoni chunks’ in his room”.

    If there is a more craven bunch of creeping sockpuppets on the planet, I shudder to think who they might be.

  • Durak

    Very grateful to Craig for exposing massive lies by Boris Johnson, and compliance (at the very least) by the state.

    He won’t resign of course, he has no shame.

    They have dug themselves such a hole the only option is to keep digging.

    Absence of Yulia Skripal raises disturbing questions. Is she being coached/coerced? I mean this really has gone beyond a joke into farce.

    At the very least she should have private access to Russian consular services, that she is apparently been denied these… words fail me. Are we living in a Banana republic?

  • Dan Japan

    The reality of the academic skill set of Gary Aitkinhead who has been chosen to front as the spokesperson representing Porton Down, kind of has me bemused, a very well crafted career and has obviously been successful in his employment and service, but lets not attach the designation as Sky news are that Porton Down Scientists are saying they can’t confirm the origin of source by putting the Porton Down chief executive who so far only has a tenure of 5 months, Gary Aitkinhead, formerly of Motorola chief executive of sales training etc, is now being taken at his word readily by all those who support the failing allegiance of Theresa May’s European coalition of assertions as the UK Tory parties failures continue to play around with nonsense, as Wolfgang Goethe (writer) comments “When ideas fail, words come in very handy” and then the self styled Panjandrum of Bouncy castle Boris Johnson opening his cake hole as the real Novichok substances dribble out his overbearing belching belly . Porton Down can’t associate a link, because there isn’t one, I’m sure Gary Aitkinhead is feeling the unwanted pressure of those who would like him to intimate a suggestion contrary to his scientists and boffins findings. https://www.gov.uk/government/people/gary-aitkenhead

  • SA

    Elijah J. Magnier
    @ejmalrai
    ·
    “2 Apr
    Another unfortunate issue came out of the #Syrian war: the journalism credibility is at its lowest level ever. Manipulation of information, covering the war from afar and following the “media’s policy” have been devastating on all journalists’ reputation.“

    This assessment is now sadly true if most journalism done in the MSM. The current crisis is no exception.
    I also wonder why Aitkenhead was interviwedso mildly and by SKY news rather than the Kingdom’s official state media. The questioning was very mild. Many relevant questions could have been asked:
    1. As this is a scientific ‘report’ could we please have the exact name and molecular formula of the substance that was identified to avoid ambiguity?
    2. What exactly is meant by ‘military grade ‘substance? Does this refer to the properties of the substance or the manner of delivery?
    3. If the later what if anything is known, about the possible physical state of the poison delivered, and also the possible mode of delivery.
    4. If this was ‘military grade’ would you expect that the intended victims would have died especially given the length of time from thier discovery to receiving treatment, let alone the postulate that they may have been contaminated at home or through a car ventilation system several hours previously? Would you also not have expected more widespread casualties?
    5. Could you tell us the stability of this substance? In this context how has risk of residual poison remaining that would contaminate others, been assessed? Has PD been party to any advice given to the general public on how to cope with possible contamination or how to report suspicious symptoms?
    6. You state that this agent could probably only be made by a state. How is this conclusion reached given that you have not given an exact molecular formula, merely using a generic name and in fact qualifying this also by saying or novichok-like?
    7. You state that no harmful substance could have escaped from PD because of high security. Are you also able to state that PD does not hold samples of the ‘novichoks’ If only for identification?

    • james

      they might have had better luck asking aitkenhead about cell phone coverage or something, given he was head ceo of motorola for a number of years… find something he has some expertise in, as opposed to getting him to field questions on something he probably knows next to nothing about… and, the fact boris the idiot/liar or theresa may were not put in the spotlight given all there conviction of it being russias fault, tells one all they need to know about the character of these 2…

  • Radar O’Reilly

    Powerful state controlled broadcaster BBC Radio 4, on its flagship 05:30 am ‘MaggieT’ news program thundered meekly that “the office for the prohibition of chemical weapons is holding an emergency meeting in Den’Haag today after Russia requested it. Russia accused the UK of baselessly accusing Russia for the use of a c.w.” Paraphrased slightly as I was mostly asleep, but the BBC do sometimes mention things once, before 6 a.m., then never again.

    • Stonky

      The BBC’s version of events on Today this morning has now morphed into a claim that Porton Down said it “wasn’t their job” to say where the nerve agent came from, rather than reporting the actual statement from Aitkenhead – a categorical admission that they didn’t know whether it had come from Russia.

      This has allowed them to glide effortlessly over Boris Johnson’s lie, in favour of an incoherent interview with some babbling journalist in the Hague.

      • JakeMorris

        Not effortlessly, since Johnson claimed (in his Die Welt interview) that Porton Down was the source of “categorical” information on Russian origin of the substance. He did not cite any other sources besides PD, nor did he hint at such sources.

        It’s quite a mess, and MSM are hard pressed to cover it up.

    • sibbaldi

      Yes Radar! The mention of a phial of foot and mouth virus going missing from Porton Down at the start of the foot and mouth crisis back in 2001 was mentioned in the early news prior to the 6 am news at the start of the outbreak and it wasn’t mentioned again, until I found this reference to a missing phial at the public inquiry. After that it all went quiet again.
      “Professor Michael Dower, leading the inquiry, said he was still waiting to hear from the government regarding the matter.”

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1760689.stm

  • Sharp Ears

    Sky News are so conflicted. Having produced and broadcast that interview with Aitkenhead, the contributors and the presenter of their press review last night spent much time in attempting to pin the blame on Putin and Russia for the attack.

    The presenter was the hard faced Gillian Joseph (husband an MD of a BT subsidiary so doing nicely on their joint salaries) and the reviewers were Tom Newton Dunn, political editor! of the Sun!!, and Ayesha Hazarika who used to be Miliband E’s spin doctor. She now scribbles for Gideon and Lebedev at the Evening Standard. Enough said.

    Newton Dunn of course was one of those who pushed the original lies. Hazarika was categorical that it was Putin wot dunnit. You could not make this stuff up.

    https://news.sky.com/story/wednesdays-national-newspaper-front-pages-11315980

    • BrianFujisan

      Sharp Ears Yes.. Thank you… I Have Got into trouble,,,by Experts For not Publishing things i Given them… There is a Mountain of it

  • Phil

    There’s a very interesting difference in the Guardian report of Aitkenhead’s interview compared to Sky’s. The Guardian have quoted him saying the word “probably” before “only within the capability of a state actor” – which is a significant qualification. You’d assume that Sky would get its own quotes right but I can’t find that section of the interview to check it, has anyone got a link to that?

    • Stonky

      He did say probably. There is a link to a video clip including that part of the interview in one of the earlier comments on this article.

      • meric

        I reposted the link to the sputniknews clip, and mentioned that “probably” occurred at 3mins 25secs, but my post has been removed. Why?

  • Radar O’Reilly

    For some deep-dark reason a UK production team seems to be fictionalising the death of ex-Porton Down scientist Dr. David Kelly, on FOX TV.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/fox-deep-state-spy-drama-revives-dr-david-kelly-murder-conspiracy-theories/

    Meanwhile, Bezos puts the case that everything seems to be Russian provocation.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/04/02/the-real-reason-russia-blames-britain-for-the-skripal-poisonings/
    “Democracy dies in darkness”, indeed

    • JakeMorris

      Deep State mainstreaming underway:

      “Strong said: “I’m not a conspiracy theorist but with all the stuff that’s going on in the news at the moment I think of course, the deep state does exist.”

      Can’t help thinking it is a good thing.

      • JakeMorris

        It would depend on the spin they’d put on it, of course.

        It would be outrageously risible (yet sadly unsurprising), for instance, if the show blamed “Deep State” on Russia, too. Having in mind the poltical tradition of pinning homeland failures on foreign powers “meddling” (just look at USA right now).

  • Sharp Ears

    Sky News have updated their report. It includes videos of Aitkenhead and Boris Johnson and photos of Lavrov, Porton Down, the Skripals and police in hazmat suits in Salisbury.

    Porton Down experts unable to identify ‘precise source’ of novichok that poisoned spy
    The lab’s boss says a “state actor” made the novichok and also rubbishes claims that it could have come from his facility.
    23:04, UK,
    Tuesday 03 April 2018
    Police officers in protective suits and masks at the scene of the nerve agent attack
    Image:
    Police and experts have been investigating at multiple locations in Salisbury

    By Paul Kelso, Health Correspondent

    Scientists from Porton Down have not been able to establish where the novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal was made.

    Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, told Sky News they were not yet able to prove it was made in Russia.

    He said: “We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent.

    “We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to Government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions you have come to.”

    /..
    https://news.sky.com/story/porton-down-experts-unable-to-identify-precise-source-of-novichok-that-poisoned-spy-11315387

    Included are Boris Johnson’s words –

    “As the Prime Minister has set out in a number of statements to the Commons since 12 March, this includes our knowledge that within the last decade, Russia has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents – probably for assassination – and as part of this programme has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks.

    Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views former intelligence officers as targets. It is our assessment that Russia was responsible for this brazen and reckless act and, as the international community agrees, there is no other plausible explanation.”

    • JakeMorris

      They didn’t deign to include Johnson’s claim that Porton Down was “categorical” in attributing the substance/attack to Russia. Sweeping under the rug, obviously.

  • Stonky

    Come on Craig. Get oot yer bloody bed and let’s have your comments on what was actually said!

  • Charles

    Last time a Porton Down scientist rubbished government claims regarding false allegations and warmongering it didn’t end well.

    No wonder Aitkenhead looked a bit nervous. best avoid the woods for a while.

    • Charles

      When Blair was proved to have been lying over WMD and the death and destruction had been based on pure fiction he got re-elected.

      Politicians may be evil bastards but its the public that tolerate them and put them where they are.

      You can’t blame May and Johnson, they are known quantities, they will lie and do all they can to promote another war yet the public are likely to vote for them next time.

      Pure madness

      • meric

        The public don’t just tolerate evil bastards – they prefer them, believing they will be better at getting one over on the enemy du jour.

  • mog

    I seem to remember the question being raised here and elsewhere, ‘How are they going to row back from this absurd story when the majority of people just stop believing it, or it is revealed to be bogus?’.
    I guess we are about to find out.
    If the inside info is built on SIGINT and HUMINT, then Corbyn will know this and confirm? Ditto foreign governments?
    There was some speculation that this was part of a wider plan that involved a plot that would eclipse any public attention that focused on the weakness of Uk gov’s case on the Skripals. Perhaps Syria was the proposed venue, as Russian reports of uncovered false provocations seem to indicate. Perhaps the anti-Semitism bull has taken its place.
    I find it is hard to make sense of any of this otherwise, which gives me a sense of foreboding.

    Agenda for Emergency Meeting of Alfred Robins Lodge (03/04/18)

    #1. Options for ‘clearing up the Salisbury situation’:
    (a) Find a patsy FAST.
    (b) Poison someone else with wasp killer
    (c) Stonewall inquiries like the proverbial ‘Hadrian’
    (d) Bomb someone
    (e) Blame Jeremy Corbyn
    (f) Everyone resign and run away

    • Arie Brand

      I am surprised at the British government’s view that novichok is so complicated that only states can produce it. In Dr. Vil S.Mirzayanov’s contribution to the report of the Stimson Center entitled Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia : Problems and Prospects (on the internet under that title) he says that the components of novichok-5 are ordinary organo phosphates that can be manufactured in factories for fertilisers and/or pesticides. That is one of his worries.

      He also wrote a book under the title State Secrets; an insider’s chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program, Denver, Colorado, 2009, in which allegedly the formula for novichok is provikded. One of the Wikileaks documents testifies to Hillary Clintonm’s anxiety about it. Her officials wee instructed to pretend that they didn’t know about it. See the blog of Moon of Alabama.

      Somebody might already have pointed out all of this below.

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