Government Propaganda Now Totally Bizarre 300

The increasing desperation of government attempts to “prove” the Russians responsible for the Skripal attack has become increasingly bizarre. They now claim GCHQ picked up from Troodos a message from Syria to Moscow that “the package has been delivered”, and a further one that “two people have made their egress”.

Because of course, if you were sending a cryptic message back from Salisbury to Moscow, you would naturally route it back via Syria, in the certain knowledge that all such calls from Syria are picked up from Troodos. I am sure the Russians already knew that, even before I published it in detail five years ago.

Given Russian involvement in Syria, that somebody is reporting in Syria the delivery of a package to Moscow, would not lead any sane human being to conclude it was delivered in Salisbury.

As for the phrase “two people have made their egress”, presumably this was said in Russian and I cannot understand the translation at all. Exit, egress, go out, leave to outside – there is only one Russian word to express all of these and that is phonetically from the stem “vihod”, either as noun or verb. There is no egress/exit choice in Russian.

The only possible explanation is that the person actually said “two people have left” and the British government propagandists have translated this as the weird “made their egress” to try to make it sound more sinister and more like a codeword.

Reminding me of my previous Troodos article was extremely apposite. Because the point of that article was to prove that alleged communications intercepts proving it was the Syrian government which was responsible for certain chemical weapons strikes in Syria were not genuine. I am very sceptical indeed about the claims being made today.

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300 thoughts on “Government Propaganda Now Totally Bizarre

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    • Jeremn

      From that article

      “A chemical decontamination area was set up not merely to treat ‘polluted’ commandos, but also any wounded prisoners they may have brought in; once cleansed, casualties can be treated in field/regular hospitals.” Not sure the Russians were treated there, perhaps it was for Brits only.

      Another thought. Seems excellent timing to attempt an assassination with an experimental toxin, right when the UK’s entire defensive armoury against CW is deployed. Well done, Russia.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    I will say this only once:

    “The dead cat is in the hammock, but the hamsters will not be found in their cages”.

    “When the mountain goat rises, the birds will fly”

    Now eat the paper.

  • katherine hamilton

    Hi Craig
    You’re forensic destruction of the whole Skripal case has been so instructive. Nothing like an ex-insider knowing how they work!
    Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  • barrie singleton

    “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.” Might the foregoing translate as: “Those whom malevolent forces wish to enslave, they first utterly disorientate?” #SOFT BREXIT

    • Tom Welsh

      “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

      In the case of the British government, the gods have been spared the trouble – they are all raving mad already.

      Now for the destruction… 😎

  • Patrick Mahony

    Re the Homs attack. The videos allegedly show Israeli warplanes over Lebanon, but lit up like a Christmas tree. Is that likely? Is it possible HMS Duncan fired Tomahawk cruise missiles then skedaddled to the nearest NATO port? I hear denials from everybody except HMG.

  • Peter Charlton

    This is a seriouse question Mr Murray. Do you or does anyone else reading this, have the slightest idea what percentage of the general public believe this ridiculous government propaganda. I submit this as a serious question, I have no idea of the answer but it is quite critical as it leads to the possibility which is, if quite a high percentage of the population believes or do not actually intelligently question this type of propaganda, there is no need to construct plausible lies. Any lie repeated enough times will suffice to establish a manipulation of the population as required.

    • Dave54

      I’m afraid most people do seem to believe the govt line on the skripols from my interactions with friends family and colleagues, they’d rather believe kay burley or fiona bruce than pick up an ipad and check out craig’s blog and comments… having said that the comments on the Daily Mail online are overwhemingly anti-govt. Keep up the good work Craig.

      • OAH

        Agree totally. I have raised the issue and been universally condemned as a conspiracy theorist, even by those who realise they were taken in by Blair and WMD and also have utter contempt for BoJo.

      • frances

        I agree, the DM comments, since I began reading DM in 2009, has done an almost full 180 degree turn. The majority are highly skeptical of the US and UK govts, very ready to call out an event as a False Flag and those whose opinion differ are left to mutter, “Ur Putin bots, go back to Russia.”

    • IanA

      I think anyone who thinks or has studied the story is very sceptical going by the comments I’ve read on news reporting websites.

      For the rest its background noise that they are can’t be bothered to investigate or they simply trust the MSM or the Govt. to tell them the truth.

      No idea of the percentages.

    • Tom Welsh

      Anecdotal only, but all my close friends and relatives whom I have asked believe what the government and the media say. Doubting that would perhaps be too much for their mental stability.

      • bj

        Ditto here. Even family members who in recent times acknowledged that they saw things wrong in 2003 (i.e. then supported war) again, now, swallow the MSM propaganda hook line and sinker. Sad, really.

    • Tony lee

      A recent survey on Facebook showed that 96% of respondents thought the skriple case was nonsense. I no longer have the link but if you do a search it may come up.

    • MJ

      I wouldn’t care to say who wrote this but there is a lot of truth in it:

      “…the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation”.

      • N_

        I won’t spoil it by revealing the name, but I agree with you he’s the man of the moment.

        • Syd Walker

          The selected quotation is a very carefully selected extract. Reading the preceding and ensuing paragraphs provides the necessary context, but they are almost never provided to the bamboozled reader.

          Speaking of bamboozle.. I find the words of the late and lamented Carl Sagan hauntingly relevant today..

          “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

      • MJ

        An interesting comment from casaloco on that DM thread:

        “I’m sure this message WAS intercepted. You see, the full story is it was intercepted by a listening post in CYPRUS. The message was transmitted from Syria, near Damascus. The term “package delivered” is used by pilots to indicate bombs have been dropped on target. The second intercepted message referred to a successful egress, terminology use by pilots to indicate that have left the combat zone”

    • Chris Abbott

      Well judging by the Daily Mail, around 80 to 90 percent of those who comment are highly sceptical of the government’s version of events in Salisbury and Syria. Or maybe they are all Putinbots or crazed Corbynistas. Who knows?

    • Syd Walker

      Regarding Syria (as opposed to Salisbury), Fox and Friends are running a poll on Twitter asking readers: “Should the U.S. take action against Syria for their reported use of deadly chemical weapons?” Before you groan, no, it’s not my favourite show either. However, at the time of writing, the poll is running 68%-32% against a strike, based on 41,000+ votes.


      It’s often said that Trump makes his mind up about many things by watching Fox News.. hard to believe, but then we seem to be living in very peculiar times.

      You might care to cast your vote if you’re on Twitter. It’s probably more effective than kicking the wall – and who knows, it might just help stop a war getting a lot worse, fast.

  • Sean Lamb

    “The only possible explanation is that the person actually said “two people have left” and the British government propagandists have translated this as the weird “made their egress” to try to make it sound more sinister and more like a codeword.”

    Typical Mr Murray, he overlooks the most obvious explanation. The conversation was in English but spoken with a particularly menacing slavic accent.

    Either that or they said “two people have made their egrets” and GCHQ have accidentally been snooping on a morale-boosting origami class.

  • Bob Dixon

    The Govt conflating Syria with Salisbury can only make people more suspicious that the Skripal attack was a false flag as part of the ongoing attempts by NATO to remove Russian Military from the Middle East.

    As with Iraq, if the Govt had just told the public the truth about what they were trying to do and why, most people would have gone along with it anyway.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Bob Dixon April 9, 2018 at 14:07
      ‘..As with Iraq, if the Govt had just told the public the truth about what they were trying to do and why, most people would have gone along with it anyway.’
      I don’t know how you came to that conclusion. There reason was removing Saddam Hussein and ‘Balkanising’ Iraq (a la ‘Yinon Plan’, stealing Iraq’s oil and setting up permanent US bases in the region.

      • Tom Welsh

        The point is that most British (and American and European) people really don’t care what happens to foreigners. Not at all. Not the least little bit.

        Of course they don’t like to admit that openly, as it would interfere with their virtue signalling.

  • Murray Johnson

    Viewing the footage of the children it’s alleged were gassed is quite revealing. None appear to be suffering what I’d expect to be the effects of such exposure. No irritated eyes being one observation. They seem troubled & confused (unsurprisingly) which is exacerbated by adults pulling them around & soaking them with water. Inhalers are forced into their mouths whether or not they appear to be having difficulty breathing. The adults repeatedly glance towards the camera as if they are more concerned about being filmed than treating the victims. It’s a very peculiar scene.

    • Dave54

      I thought when i saw the footage of the washing down of the of the syrians of “Capricon One” Sir Lew Grade’s film about the fake Mars landing in the seventies …

    • Radar O’Reilly

      Powerful Russian state propaganda channel Perviy Kanal was claiming at lunchtime that there was no chemical attack in Syria. They had a reporter from a hospital in the zone who was saying “what attack?; where are the casualties?”

    • Deb O'Nair

      “The adults repeatedly glance towards the camera as if they are more concerned about being filmed than treating the victims. ”

      This got my alerts going also. One chap is so focused on the camera that he is not even looking where he is placing a child that has just been ‘treated’, he might as well have said “Did you get that OK ducky?” or “Do you want me to do that again luv?”

  • Carl

    This is an effective admission that there is no evidence and that none will ever be presented. We’re in the foothills of another major national humiliation.

  • Stu

    I don’t think claims like this are supposed to be credible. They are designed to fill the news cycle and keep the less intelligent public onside.

    If there is ever any kind of legitimate inquiry they will be dismissed as tabloid nonsense. The people feeding the journalists will never be held to account and the journalists will continue to be lap dogs. It’s an international version of the DeMenzes jumped the barrier story.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ SA April 9, 2018 at 14:37
      Or of a certain Middle Eastern Intel Agency that planted a receiver and transmitter in Libya, then transmitted a message about the bombing of the German nightclub, which was re-transmited from their transmitter in Libya to implicate Qaddafi in the bombing.
      They also did a similar trick in the 1967 Six-Day War, intercepting and morphing a conversation between Nasser and King Hussein, in order for a morphed ‘voice’ of ‘Nasser’ told Hussein that he should attack I’real, and that the waves of aircraft heading for I*rael seen on the radar were Egyptian bombers headed to strike I*rael (when in reality they were I*raeli planes returning after destroying all of Egypt’s airforce).

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Crackerjack April 9, 2018 at 14:53
      Good link. It’s a pity more of us don’t post comments on newspaper comments sections – it won’t do much good, but it will enlighten a few.
      We can make short work of the bots and shills, because every stupid argument they put up, we can counter with another link.

      • Crackerjack

        Agreed Paul though its encouraging to read some of the DM comment sections linked on this site – and quite surprising!

  • Pyotr Grozny

    It would obviously be helpful if the powers that be could release the Russian original. My Russian is limited (only five years there!) I tried out egress in google translate and got ‘vihod’ but surely that means an exit on foot as opposed to ‘viezd’ a vehicle exit. My Oxford Russian/English dictionary likewise gives ‘vihod’ for ‘egress’. Is there an expression in Russian equivalent to ‘make an exit’ ? Perhaps a native speaker here can enlighten us. There’s also the question of which word might be translated as ‘package’, my dictionary has a number of possibilities.

    • Pyotr Grozny

      ‘egress’ could surely equally come from ‘viezdite’ to leave, exit, by vehicle. The Russian original would surely make clear how they left, whether on foot, or in some sort of conveyance. This is not coming across in the translation given and surely it is significant.

      Is there any indication whether this is meant to refer to the Skripals having left the house, presumably on foot – vihodite – , and hence touched the door-handle, or to two assassins having successfully fled the scene in a vehicle – viezdite?

      Come on GCHQ some of us know a little Russian.

      • Emily Tock

        I’m pretty sure it would be уехали if it were by car, unless they were exiting a car park or garage; then it would be выехали. Russian verbs of motion are notoriously tricky. If on foot, you would say ушли or вышли. The ‘у’ prefix is a bit like a ‘let’s get outta here’ type construction. It would also have a different meaning depending on if it was the perfective or imperfective form of the ‘to go’ verb ехать or ездить (by car); идти or ходить.

    • Pyotr Grozny

      The Daily Mail version talks of a ‘successful egress’ which sounds a bit more like assassins fleeing, mission accomplished. And we still don’t know whether there is a construction in Russian equivalent to ‘make an exit/egress’

      • TJ

        The word you are looking for is “exfiltration” or just exfil for short, which is used in Western military lingo. Someone probably thought they couldn’t use exfil otherwise it would be obvious it was really a False Flag so they broke out the Thesaurus and came up with egress.

        • Pyotr Grozny

          Google does give эксфильтрации, exfiltratsii, for exfiltration. The OED indicates that the process of exfiltration is surreptitious.

    • Pyotr Grozny

      If ‘successful’ meant they touched the doorknob that would indicate that someone was watching. The point of the boutique Novichok is to give them time to get away.

      • Roman_D

        Well, honestly I was not that serious mentioning the doorknob.
        In russian media they quote the message as «посылка доставлена», и два человека «успешно отправились на выход»
        But this is most likely a translation from english. I’d translate it as: “he parcel is delivered” and two persons are on their way out (are going out) As a russian speaking I can confirm that it’s an acceptabe way to say that someone died if you don’t want to say it directly.
        But anyway it still seems to be very weak evidence that “Russia did it”

        • Pyotr Grozny

          Roman, I didn’t think you were serious. I am trying to approach this for the point of view of someone who takes it seriously, usually these government stories seem plausible for a few minutes. By the way it doesn’t say much for all the foreign powers who accepted this intelligence if they didn’t want to know the original, for anything remotely cryptic you need the original language.

          • Roman_D

            Speaking of foreign powers they did not seen to go much in details. I doubt they at least asked for the original and translated it themselves. And this is the most worriing thing to me. Nobody actually cares if it’s true. They just act in line with “coalition” policy.
            As for the exact wording – in russian there is no need for any specific wording to give this “assassins fleeing”. You can say “two exited” anyhow and you can still undersatnd it as “two died” if you want to. So the exact construction will not tell you much. (Unless it’s indeed some common phrasing among military pilots, which is also possible from my (and language) point of view.)

        • lysias

          What about your earlier point — that vykhod, as opposed to vyyezd — might imply exit on foot, as opposed to in a vehicle? Anybody have any thought on that? Possibly relevant: I believe I remember, from my Cold War time in Berlin, that the Russian translation on the signs saying You are now leaving the American sector used v y k h o d. (I had to use spaces to get the word past Autocorrect.)

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Roman_D April 9, 2018 at 15:49
          ‘..But anyway it still seems to be very weak evidence that “Russia did it”
          Extremely weak, like basically out of the ball game. We are supposed to believe the lying toerags that brought us WMD’s, Incubator Babies, Qaddafi feeding his troops Viagra, and the NHS is safe with us? Pull the other one, May, Trump & Co.

      • Barden Gridge

        That Merck chlorine thing in the pics has the postcode “8011 Hohenbrunn bei München” on it.
        That’s the old pre-German-unification post code, so that item is probably getting on for 30 years old, if not more.
        I don’t know if that’s significant. Maybe it dates from the Iran/Iraq war.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Barden Gridge April 9, 2018 at 16:19
          There are other pictures of supposedly British VX shells, which if that is where they are from it shows Britain stockpiled VX, whereas they supposedly only manufactured it to find antidotes. Clearly that would be illegal under treaties signed.

      • G.Bng

        It would be extremely interesting the bit about Skripal linked with Syria and trafficking CWs, but as you note, if it’s true. I did do a cursory search on the article’s author, Gordon Duff, and he is number 636 in,”The Encyclopaedia of American Loons” which could be considered a bit loony in itself, albeit the author of Duff’s bio does note that he is sure Duff has a good heart. Who knows!

  • Pyotr Grozny

    This comment from Mail online is very interesting. Anyone know about Russian aviation lingo?

    I’m sure this message WAS intercepted. You see, the full story is it was intercepted by a listening post in CYPRUS. The message was transmitted from Syria, near Damascus. The term “package delivered” is used by pilots to indicate bombs have been dropped on target. The second intercepted message referred to a successful egress, terminology use by pilots to indicate that have left the combat zone.

  • Paul Barbara

    Forget ‘Duck and Cover’; when the balloon goes up, squat down, put your head between your legs and kiss your a** goodbye.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Oh, I remember the original Triodos thread where you made out that that Israel was behind its intercepts of messages from Syria, apparently intended to use in the origianal gas attacks to stop the US nuclear accord with Iran, and Jermand queried me endlessly about who was involved in the assassin attempts against me.

    Obama refused to take advantage of the gas attacks, and I never told Jermand anyting about British involvement in the assassin tries, the ex-pats around Caldas da Rainha, and MI6 agent Mac Falkrirk Olle Alsen, Ivan von Birken et al. around Stockholm.

    Now Trump wants to undo militarily the Shia mullahs in the ME because of more Israeli gas attacks in Syria.

    • Sharp Ears

      I have been reading through the 15 pages of comments. Tr**l infested in those days.

  • Aim Here

    Why would Russian spies be sending short messages in decryptable form anyways? It’s long been known how to send a theoretically undecipherable message, using a ‘one-time pad’, which predates even the computer age.

    Either GCHQ has just broadcast/blown the fact they’re able to read a Russian cipher (either by intercepting the one-time pad’s key, or by somehow cracking some computerised encryption algorithm), or these crack Russian spies sending a super-secret message out in the open, in which case, they’re major-league incompetent. Or possibly, this rather vague message isn’t what GCHQ claims it is.

    • Pyotr Grozny

      The report suggests that the message wasn’t encrypted in any way, the content was known before it was relayed to GCHQ.

      • lysias

        The National Security Agency and GCHQ have the means of following what keys are pressed on a device, so that they have access to the text before it is enciphered. Look up Tempest on Wikipedia.

        • Stephen

          It’s just another non-story distraction. They have the technology to create fake everything from phone calls, texts,gps locations, voices and even video to make it look like Putin is speaking.
          Every word everyone says into a phone is recorded before most is discard only when they need storage space.
          Yulia Skripal’s phone call could have been faked. She worked in the US embassy, Pepsico, Cisco and had regular contact with her dad. They had enough of her voice a million times over to have faked that.
          Here is a very simple version of the technology:

        • Patrick Roden

          Anyone who has a basic understanding of Computer security can create a ‘Key-Logger’ that can record the keys being pressed, but the data then needs to be collected from said device.

          Sounds straight forward enough, but with the ‘other side’ monitoring every message sent in and out of their devices, very very difficult.
          If GCHQ did manage to compromise an important Russian communications device with a Key-Logger, that they managed to regularly connect to to download the data recorded, then I doubt they would give this up, just to make the Russians look like the bad guys.

          It would be an intelligence goldmine.

    • Agent Green

      Because we are supposed to believe that the Russians are really stupid, even though they (apparently) hacked the US election, caused Brexit, caused the Catalan situation, intervened in the French election, freed Crimea without any Foreign power knowing what was going on etc etc.

    • Patrick Mahony

      And anyone monitoring Twitter would know there was an incident in The Maltings, air ambulance sent etc. They could assume “the package had been delivered” without an incriminating message.

  • TJ

    Ok, I’ll bite-

    “RAF listening post in Cyprus intercepted message on day of Skripal poisoning”

    How many messages were intercepted that day? Millions? Billions? Trillions? More?

    “Message from Syria to Moscow contained phrase ‘package has been delivered'”

    How do they know it was from Syria to Moscow? How do they know it wasn’t from some Jihadi terrorist to their CIA handler regarding a CIA weapons delivery ? For that matter how do they know it wasn’t just Amazon delivery?

    “It is believed to have been central to UK intelligence briefing shared with allies”

    I met someone who believed he was Jesus Christ, belief does not make it reality.

    “Yulia and Sergei Skripal are recovering following Novichok attack in Salisbury”

    Still zero evidence that they were poisoned with “Novichok” , just some BS from government flunkies.

    F- for evidence
    F- for consistency
    F- for believably

    • Patrick Roden

      Good points TJ and here’s the killer:

      Since the UK Gov, have released this ‘New Intelligence Information’ (stop laughing at the back! and it confirms that Russian (two of them) delivered a ‘package’ and then ‘egressed’ the hell outa there!

      The CCTV images from the area will no doubt show the spooks involved!
      We know that the whole of the UK is chocca-block with CCTV cameras and we know all motorways, and passport facilities are also completely covered by CCTV.
      We also know that every single person going through passport control is videoed and have every detail recorded, so I’m sure we will soon see the images of these spooks
      (didn’t this happen when Israeli spooks assassinated an Hamas arms dealer a couple of years ago?) or is British Intelligence so far behind the Intelligence services of Bahrain?
      We know that the so called assassination attempt, took place highly sensitive military establishment and will therefore have extra surveillance equipment installed in and around the area, so c’mon MI6 release the images of the assassins and let the good British public help you track them down, so that you can do just what the Bahrain Intelligence Services did, and release film of the victim/attackers ans show the world just how dastardly the Russians are.

  • Nicholas

    The Brit Gov attempt to stupefy the public has backfired so badly the stupifyer has become the stupefied.

  • Sharp Ears

    That was Bunkum’s You Gov link. Zahawi co-founded it.

    I was thinking. Five years on and nothing’s changed. Then it was Oboma and Kerry. Now it’s Trump and Bolton. Probably it’s even worse.

    Here it was Cameron and Hague. Now it’s Theresa and Boris.

  • Peter wright

    Well if you can get the personell of 13 sigs out if each others beds in Cyprus long enough to actually do meaningful sigint work you may gleen meaningful Intel . In my day every spy in the world was a licenced radio Ham and we all had key Ham related subjects to talk about that when said has covert meanings, and do not forget slow Morse training

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