Johnson and May Hide as their Lies Dissolve 302


The government has attempted to control the narrative by finally admitting, as they have known for three weeks and just ahead of the OPCW experts coming out and saying so, that there is no evidence the substance used in the Salisbury attack was made in Russia. You can see the interview with the Chief Executive Officer of Porton Down only in this tweet from Sky here.

If anyone can make a copy and send me, or make a safe permanent posting I can link to, I should be grateful (contact button top right). Only a very short clip is on Sky’s website and I am anxious to preserve it for reasons I shall explain.

In modern Tory Britain, it should be no surprise to anybody that, to be the Chief Executive of Britain’s chemical weapons establishment, they recruited a radio salesman:

Aitkenhead’s PR skills were clearly thought sufficient to get across the government’s key propaganda points, and his struggle to do this throughout the Sky interview is telling. Aitkenhead has been in an extremely difficult position for the past three weeks, standing between his scientists who are adamant they will not say the substance was made in Russia, and the government who have been pushing extremely hard for them to do so.

At 5 mins 30 sec into this interview Boris Johnson directly lies about what Porton Down had told him:

It is very plain that what Aitkenhead is saying to Sky is “the scientists cannot establish it is from Russia. But the government claims to have intelligence sources that show that it is.” His struggle to fit the formulations he has been given to parrot this sense as more effective propaganda, into answers to the pretty good questions he is being asked, is almost comic: “ummm” and “errr” come into it a lot. You have to remember that the precise forms of words to be used in official parlance had been the subject of tense negotiation between the scientists and the Porton Down bureaucrats, and then between the Porton Down bureaucrats and MOD Whitehall officials, and then between MOD officials and FCO and security service officials in the Joint Intelligence Committee, before being signed off by ministers. It is a process I know intimately from the inside. This reconciliation of conflicting interests is why at the start Aitkenhead says it is “Novichok” confidently, but at 1 min 30 sec in he says the more truthful “Novichok or from that family”, which accords with the evidence Porton Down gave to the High Court.

But the key moment comes at 3 min 27 secs in. Aitkenhead’s government minders were evidently unhappy with the interview, and the last passage is a statement, not in answer to any question, of the government’s propaganda position which is a very bad edit and clearly tacked on after the interview had finished. They get the continuity wrong – it is not only a wider shot, the camera and tripod have clearly been moved. It is in this final statement that, in a desperate last minute attempt to implicate Russia, Aitkenhead states that making this nerve agent required

“extremely sophisticated methods to create , something probably only within the capabilities of a state actor.”

Very strangely, Sky News only give the briefest clip of the interview on this article on their website reporting it. And the report is highly tendentious: for example it states

However, he confirmed the substance required “extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor”.

Deleting the “probably” is a piece of utterly tendentious journalism by Sky’s Paul Kelso. Interestingly, I have never seen such large scale and coordinated social media activity by the Tories as kicked into action immediately following Aitkenhead’s interview. Hundreds of openly identified Tory activists sprang into action using the “state actor” line – omitting the probably – and “government has other sources” line. The BBC contribution was completely to ignore the Porton Down statement and pretend nothing had happened. As part of what was clearly a coordinated PR strategy to pre-empt the OPCW and get over the hurdle of government lies while still blaming Russia, Boris Johnson and Theresa May simply lay low, unavailable to the media.

I shall post shortly a considered assessment of the wider analysis of what could have happened in Salibury. Here is my immediate reaction to Aitkenhead’s statement on Russia Today. Strangely the BBC did not invite me.


302 thoughts on “Johnson and May Hide as their Lies Dissolve

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    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears April 4, 2018 at 13:47
      It is a misleading title, par for the course for the MSM. In the clip, the Porton Down geezer does not mention that ‘Production of nerve agent required state actor’.
      And he makes it appear that assessing the ‘country of origin’ was not what they were tasked to do, which is highly unlikely given May’s intense desire to frame Russia.

    • Peter N

      I just checked the link you provide. The posted video is only 01:42 minutes long and is missing the section at the end with the moved camera which Craig mentioned in his own interview on RT. (So I think not the complete video – end section of the original interview has been cut out.)

      • Sharp Ears

        That is really very odd. I clicked on the link and the 1.42 link played. Moments later, as I was typing the message above, I looked up at my laptop screen and was surprised that the video had not ended and the expired time was showing 2mins plus and the time limit saying 16.25. I assumed that the longer video had replaced the short one. I had honestly not paid much attention to the content as I am sick and tired of Salisbury and Aitkenhead’s voice irritates me.

        What is going on? It’s a shame that News Sniffer doesn’t cover Sky News.

        It is a psyop? Is it fake news? Is it real? Did Mossad do it in the style of Meshaal? I refer to the rehearsal for a chemical attack held at the Israel Embassy reported on December 11th.
        https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/armed-police-firefighters-biohazard-suits-11672412

        Also in the Heil, the Independent and the JC.

      • G.Bng

        I just checked the link too and it is as you say 01.42 min long. Craig’s embedded video is only 01.26 mins long and isn’t even the interview merely Aitkenhead explaining something about Porton Down nothing to do with Novichok. Have Sky deleted the full interview to hide the add on? Does anyone have a link to the full interview or even just the one Craig is describing in the text?

  • Paul Barbara

    I don’t know the storage life of these agents, but a Russian scientist has admitted selling some to the Russian Mafia in the mid-1990’s which was used to murder a banker, so the the genie was out of the bottle; no matter how many gates got locked after that, the stuff was on the market. So even if markers (which the Russians say was in the nerve agents) prove it was of Russian origin, it would still not implicate the Russian government. And the Russians, who could identify the markers if they were there, and thus identify the type and origin of the nerve agents, have been denied access to specimens.
    Bit like Henri Paul’s parents being denied specimens of the blood samples ‘supposedly’ taken from Henri Paul so they could get an independent analysis by the French judge. No reason given, and indeed, what reason could be given? Why should they be denied?
    The only obvious reason would appear to be that the samples tested with huge excess of carbon monoxide and very high alcohol levels were not those of Henri Paul, but of a suicide victim allegedly present in the same morgue at the time.

    I wonder if Craig would consider asking Jeremy Corbyn for a videoed interview, covering the Skripal case, and also the anti-Semitism smears? It would be a great subject for Craig’s blog, and would give JC a chance to put his case to a non-hostile interviewer with a very large world-wide blog following.

    • Albert A

      The Khan Sheikhoun inveatigation by the OPCW was a disgrace to science. We can at besr expect a huge FUDGE this time From them No heads will roll..

    • JakeMorris

      Disregarding the drivel about chemical attacks in Syria, a few key points:

      “More than 130 people were affected by the attack.”

      This is an obvious misrepresentation. May said “130 people could have been exposed to the military-grade nerve agent”. None of them wasn’t actually affected by a nerve agent, according to Steven Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Salisbury Hospital.

      “More than 50 people, including first responders and 3 children, reported to hospital.”

      But the Hospital stated that none of the patients had nerve agent poisoning.

      “We asked Russia two clear questions: how did a Russian developed military grade nerve agent come to be used on the streets of Salisbury?”

      Of course the UK still doesn’t have any evidence that this substance came from Russia. And Porton Down confirmed that any number of sources could produce Novichok.

      “We also asked Russia to provide full disclosure of its programme to the OPCW.”

      What programme? No evidence again. Might as well explain how Porton Down came about its own stock of Novichok.

      “In light of the extraordinary, urgent and grave nature of the attack, we requested an explanation within 24 hours. We were entitled to make such an urgent request”

      No they weren’t, Convention provides for a 10-day period for response.

      “Russia failed to respond to any of those questions, and instead has generated more than 24 contradictory and changing counter narratives. They have suggested that Sweden or the US might have carried out the attack, or, according to Foreign Minister Lavrov on 2 April, the UK attacked its own people to “distract from Brexit”. These are shameless, preposterous statements.”

      Oh yeah, so a baseless accusation aimed at Moscow is right & proper, but accusation aimed at London and Washington is “shameless and preposterous”? Amazing debate skill from a British diplomat.

      “The UK – supported by many other countries – has assessed that it is highly likely that the Russian State is responsible for this attack, and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. This is based on our identification of the nerve agent used, our knowledge that Russia has produced this agent and remains capable of doing so, Russia’s record of conducting state sponsored assassinations, and our assessment that Russia views defectors as suitable targets for assassination.”

      THAT’S IT. THAT’S THE “PROOF”. There is nothing else, neither there will be. If London had any ace up its sleeve, OPCW meeting would have been the time and place to play it. THERE IS NOTHING. No “secret intelligence”, no surprise witnesses. Only a pile of same-old empty claims that are easily debunked off the bat:

      1) Even going by Porton Down’s assessment, Russia is by far not the only actor capable of producing Novichok;
      2) Other states have produced Novichok, including (highly likely) Britain itself;
      3) USA, UK, France and Israel are all far more notorious for state sponsored assassinations (“extraterritorial extrajudicial killings”) than Russia ever was;
      4) Russia had nothing to gain and everything to lose, while the above-mentioned states had both capacity and motive to do it;
      5) UK and USA have a notable track record of false flags and evidence fabrication in order to start wars.

      Going by the UK Ambassador’s own logic, UK and USA are implicated all the way.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ JakeMorris April 4, 2018 at 14:00
      From the pdf above: ‘…The Heads of State and Government of the European Union gathered in the European Council on 22 March 2018 condemned in the strongest terms the attack in Salisbury and confirmed our agreement with the United Kingdom Government assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation….’

      ‘..there is no plausible alternative explanation…’? Indeed? Have the ‘Heads of State and Government of the European Union’ never heard of False Flag operations? Specifically, False Flag operations directly designed to wrongfully blame the Soviet Union and it’s ‘puppets’?
      I suggest, then, they have a wee look through the files of the European Council for information on the ‘Gladio’ attacks against Europe, by the units set up by the CIA after WWII, initially to be ‘stay-behind’ forces in the event of a Russian invasion of Europe, but as that didn’t occur, they were used instead to destabilise Europe with a ‘Strategy of Tension’ using bombings and shootings (including Brabant, and the Bologna train station massacre – 85 killed,) which were blamed on ‘the Reds’, in order to arouse public opinion against Russia and communist or left-wing political parties in Europe, to prevent them gaining power through democratic elections.

  • DiggerUK

    May, Williamson, and Johnson have all swatted up on how Straw and Blair got away with WMD1.
    Don’t lie in, or to, Parliament. Stick to lying outside Parliament, and lie to the media.
    Then you can’t be made to resign to ‘pursue other interests’.

    Let’s see if opposition parties step up to the plate on this one…_

      • DiggerUK

        Tuesday April 17th. In my diary.
        Wednesday April 18th, PMQ, 1200 hours. In my diary.
        BBC Parliament 1201. Wednesday April 18th. In my diary.
        Popcorn on standby…_

  • Jo

    What happens when the niece visits…will she insist or Russ. Embassy accompanies her will that be permitted…will daughter apply for asylum or been told to…will she be permitted to be questioned by RF and its own criminal investigation team into this “terrorist attack on Russian citizens” as RF said it was…..will niece be permitted to visit the home and check on the pets…can RF declare that as a Russian citzen the daughter should return home for medical treatment and maybe protection as a witness….what visa does she have to visit uk…who how was her vcontakte checked out…..what more aeroflot planes will be inspected by unknown anti-terrorist forces presumable when niece flies in maybe accompanied by FSB for her protection or specialist RF Embassy staff…..????? Could RF say daughter at least is being held against her will…as there seems to be suggestions of “financial interests” she could be requested to go home for a possible financial criminal investigation by FSB…..does – is Juliya permitted access to internet for all the news or held in silence isolation from media…does she have a solicitor is she compos mentis fit to give evidence that would need a psychological assessment by doctors of both countries she could be suffering from PTS…..are nursing staff requested to sign official secrets act surely they will have been reminded of medical info confidentially….is the hospital under guard additional security surely their rooms are …by whom…?

  • JakeMorris

    List of the ongoing OPCW meeting documents:
    https://www.opcw.org/documents-reports/executive-council/documents-from-the-fifty-seventh-meeting-of-the-executive-council/

    Convocation of meeting, with Russian Representative’s letter to OPCW Chairman:
    https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-57/en/ecm5701_e_.pdf

    Note by the Director-General: Provisional Agenda for the Fifty-Seventh Meeting of the Executive Council
    https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-57/en/ecm5702_e_.pdf

    There was also apparently a draft resolution, possibly drafted by Russia, that was rejected by the EU.

  • Some Anonymous Commentator

    Don’t think the camera was moved – his head remains in line with the colour change line on the cupboard behind him. I think just the zoom angle changes.
    That said, it is a poor edit and looks to have been tagged on as you suggest.

    • JakeMorris

      Khodorkovsky himself is of course living proof that Putin is not as murderous/vengeful as he is painted by Western media. This once-richest oligarch in Russia openly defied Putin and even challenged him politically, yet wasn’t tortured or killed, but trialed for tax fraud and money laundering, in an orderly manner (even the European Court on Human Rights admitted the case was not political, even though not without irregularities), peacefully served his term (with nothing happening to him in prison), and was personally pardoned by Putin. Now Khodorkovsky enjoys the remains of his vast wealth in Europe, from time to time making anti-Putin statements and claiming to prepare some kind of opposition movement in Russia. Nobody cares, it seems.

  • JakeMorris

    From the Guardian:

    Russian spy chief says Salisbury attack was “grotesque provocation” staged by UK and US

    According to the Associated Press, Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service told a security conference in Moscow today that the Salisbury attack on Sergei Skripal was a “grotesque provocation rudely staged by the British and US intelligence agencies.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/apr/04/labour-criticises-boris-johnson-over-his-porton-downnovichok-claims-as-opcw-meets-politics-live?page=with:block-5ac4b153e4b0083f96b58881#block-5ac4b153e4b0083f96b58881

  • Bunkum

    Was deleted tweet saying it was produced in Russia bear any relation to when other countries started expelling diplomats?

    • JakeMorris

      Tweet was published March 22 (same day as the Court decision on Skripal case), expulsions started March 26.

  • Bob Jones

    DEUTSCHE WELLE WHO INTERVIEWED JOHNSON ORIGINALLY
    SAY THAT AITKENHEAD CONTRADICTED JOHNSON’S STATEMENTS IN THE DEUTSCHE WELLE INTERVIEW

    Great Britain continues to blame Russia for Skripal attempted assassination

    Aitkenhead contradicted the presentation of the British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. He had said in an interview with Deutsche Welle, Porton Down was firmly convinced that the nerve agent used in the assassination was from Russia.
    (google translate)

    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Großbritannien macht weiter Russland für Skripal-Attenat verantwortlich

    Damit widersprach Aitkenhead der Darstellung des britischen Außenministers Boris Johnson. Dieser hatte in einem Interview mit der Deutschen Welle behauptet, Porton Down sei fest davon überzeugt, dass das bei dem Attentat eingesetzte Nervengift aus Russland stamme.

    http://www.dw.com/…/gro%C3%9Fbritannien…/a-43239992

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig, The full video you requested, with the bit at the end, that you were particularly interested in, (which is not on Sky’s website)

    “Sky News Interview with Porton Down lab’s chief exec”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twh0vRUF9zY

    Thanks to Jolie as this is where I copied it from, as it was a bit difficult direct from twitter.

    Tony

    Jolie April 4, 2018 at 12:32

    Here’s another source for the Sky News interview.

    https://streamable.com/6wf49

  • Harry Law

    Boris Johnson: “They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, “Are you sure?” And he said there’s no doubt” [Deutsch Welle interview]. In my opinion it is highly likely that Johnson was lying here, there is no other plausible explanation. Also that Johnson is a moron, there’s no doubt. The Guardian [surprisingly] has a good article ‘Once again, Boris Johnson is a liability to Britain, why is he still in the job’. Ellie Mae O’Hagan. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/04/boris-johnson-liability-porton-down-russia

  • TomGard

    My take, this time machine translation is unfortunatly not very helpful. I give the intro and the paragraph, that deals with Boris Johnson.

    Boris Johnson in a familiar role – “postfactual” proclaimer of deeper truths

    “Boris Johnson lied.” The statement is a leitmotif in almost all bidden and unbidden critical comments to the interview of Gary Aitkenhead with Sky News on the eve of expected news from the OPCW. The credibility, competence, professionalism of the British government, and of the governments, that “declared their’unrestricted solidarity’ on the basis of mere claims by Theresa May” (Rötzer for TP), was questioned.
    “Just claims”? Nonsense. Macron and Merkel did nothing less than throwing the sovereignty of their countries and of the EU into the ring to stand by May’s side. This is a sovereign decision – not just an acclamation. It was based on recognizable lies, as I will show in a moment, and TP hides this on its own authority from its special audience in order to disavow, that “facts” in the Skripal case have remained sovereign facts from the very beginning.

    Boris lied unequivocally. But in the same interview he made clear that and how he conveniently lies in the service of higher or deeper truth:

    DW: Mr. Johnson, some days ago you said that it was extremely likely that President Putin personally ordered the use of a nerve agent to attack former double agent Sergei Skripal. What do you and the British Parliament have as evidence to support this view?
    Boris Johnson: I think it’s very important first of all to show that we think the culprits for this are not the Russian people, not Russia. We have no quarrel with Russia. These are issues with the Kremlin and with the Russian state as it currently is. And the reason I said what I did was that if you look at the stuff that’s been used, it is a Novichok agent, according to our scientists at Porton Down.

    No lie so far, apart from the fact that the term “Novichok” is an imaginary name. But there follows an offensive, for everyone recognizable double lie, that defines the principle of Johnson’s lying:

    You also have to consider that Sergei Skripal is somebody who is being identified as a target for a liquidation and that Vladimir Putin has himself said that traitors, i.e. defectors such as Mr. Skripal, should be poisoned. So it’s a Russian-only nerve agent.

    None of the statements are true. But the proposition:

    Skripal is somebody who is being identified as a target for a liquidation

    contains the truth within the lies. Had Zhanna Nemtsova simply asked: Identified by whom?, Boris’ answer, whatever he would have said, should have revealed the whole truth:
    ‘By me. By us.’.

    Nemtsova instead choses an improper answer to Boris by posing a question about evidence:
    Do you have any solid evidence that Putin directly ordered it?
    and receives proper information about the expediency of the lie:

    I’m afraid he’s in charge of the clattering train, as we say in the UK. Somebody has to be responsible, and we in the UK think that the evidence, the culpability points to the Russian state.

    And again this is the whole truth: With “clattering train” Boris represents the entirety of Russian statehood in its current formation.
    Boris lie I quoted at the beginning, the “categorical lie”, as Craig Muray and others like to characterize it in the best moral theological tradition, has almost been forced on Boris Johnson by Nemtsova. Johnson served her with it after she obstinately refused to take note of the open lies that had gone before. He treated her courteously as the model as which she had presented herself in the interview, an “old-young” aunty who insists, that at least fabricated forensic evidence is to enclose in authoritative verdicts, following an old fashioned tradition, that has been wiped out in the UK even longer, than in the US.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    But the government is controlling the narrative by no media discussing what Aitkenhead said, like BBC World having an article stating that it called the Russian offer for a joint consideration of evidence of the attack “perverse” while making no mention of the disclosure.

    A D-Notice must have been issued.

  • fred

    It looks to me like Porton Down have a sample of a nerve agent made in Russia and supplied to them by British intelligence.

    As scientists they would only be able to say the two samples were made in the same place, they would not be able to guarantee the sample they had actually did come from Russia. It would be down to the security services to prove that and understandably they wouldn’t want to publicise how they obtained the sample.

    • Agent Green

      Isn’t this the same as the US holding up the container of ‘WMD’ at the UN and claiming it was from Iraq?

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        That was really worse, Agent Green, as the UN weapons inspectors had denied any evidence of Iraq having WMD, and Colin Powell, the Pentagon’s manipulator of user certificates to help Iran’Contra along, said it with DCi George Tenet looking over his back.

      • Harry Law

        Agent Green the US Sec of State may not have been lying, the vial may well have, in fact was highly likely to have contained ‘sand’ from Iraq.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      if that were the case, Fred, it would be Porton Down’s job to make the comparison and report the match.

    • G.Bng

      And could the supplier have been Skripal ?

      Sounds absurd, maybe, but the way I see it the more time that passes without the investigators finding a plausible explanation of how the toxin was physically delivered onto the Skripals so as to contaminate them at the same time and how they both suffered the effects of contamination at exactly the same time even several hours later, (unless they find ground zero was either zizi’s or on or near the bench where they were found and both of which could square the two pesky circles of time and how), then it becomes more likely to me that or or other of the Skripals had the toxin all the time.

      Certainly, if the CW experts are correct nerve agents are notoriously fast acting so unless the toxin was delivered via a time delayed capsule they ate any theory that separates delivery from effects doesn’t tally with the type of agent used nor with the fact that they both fell ill at exactly the same time. Further, even if it was delivered in delayed action capsules since these are not delayed by time but by part of the digestive tract they are in and the different digestive juices that dissolve them, the question still remains of how do two people of different ages, sex, constitution, health, and metabolism, suffer exactly the same effects at exactly the same time?

    • sg

      I have read a few of your comments on here and despite huge amounts of evidence to counter your opinions you continue to push unsupported facts supporting a thoroughly discredited gov’t narrative. I have suspected you of being a bit off for a day or two now. Please provide evidence or links if you wish to look credible. I think you are here to mislead us on here.

  • DougieDoggie

    FAKE NEWS….Craig, your interview from yesterday on RT, with its backdrop of the castle against a perfect blue sky is clearly a fake. It has been raining and snowing in Edinburgh for the past 2 days solid. You have been rumbled.Apart from that, well said.

  • John Goss

    Good observations Craig. Johnson lies without batting an eyelid. Do they teach how to try and lie convincingly at Eton? Or is it innate?

    In the interview above Johnson claims that the Russian stance is becoming increasingly bizarre stating that Russia claims it never had any Novichok. “I think the Russian ambassador to the EU said that.”

    The Russian Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, was interviewed by the Andrew Marr. The BBC’s report says:

    “Mr Chizhov, also speaking to the Marr Show, said Russia had “nothing to do” with the poisoning of Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

    He said Russia did not stockpile the poison and that the Porton Down lab was only eight miles (12km) from the city.

    When asked how the nerve agent came to be used in Salisbury, he said: “When you have a nerve agent or whatever, you check it against certain samples that you retain in your laboratories.

    “And Porton Down, as we now all know, is the largest military facility in the United Kingdom that has been dealing with chemical weapons research.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43446312

    His next lie is that Russia says it stockpiled Novichoks but no longer has it. It was actually the OPCW inspectors which stated that, not Russia.

    His third contention was that Russia says it stockpiled it but no longer has it but it escaped to countries like Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and maybe America and the UK. I would like to see where he got that from.

    Bumbling Boris at his bumbliest.

  • JakeMorris

    Yet another obfuscation attempt, this time from Security minister Ben Wallace:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/apr/04/labour-criticises-boris-johnson-over-his-porton-downnovichok-claims-as-opcw-meets-politics-live?page=with:block-5ac4c7dce4b0c253ca4b7632#block-5ac4c7dce4b0c253ca4b7632

    We have to remember that Russia has very clear form on this. First of all, President Putin has said himself that traitors should kick the bucket. The Duma has passed legislation to say it’s okay to assassinate people … We know from Litvinenko that they have done the same thing in the United Kingdom.

    1) Putin’s “kick the bucket” quote was debunked long ago as fake:
    https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/40900/did-putin-threaten-to-have-traitors-assassinated
    “on the occasion in question Putin did not say that traitors would be killed. The quote comes from a March 5, 2018 broadcast of BBC Newsnight. It is a concatenation of three soundbites from a three-minute statement in which Putin says that Russia no longer kills traitors. The soundbites come from the last paragraph of his statement in which Putin paints a melodramatic picture of traitors as broken men living out their remaining days in abject misery leading to an early death.”

    2) Litvinenko case, as we know, has a very plausible alternative theory implicating CIA asset Mario Scaramella, accused by Litvinenko himself on his deathbed. In any case, it never went to trial and Russia’s involvement was never proven beyond “probably”.

    3) The Russian law in question is probably this one, adopted in 2006, which permitted “the Russian president to use the country’s armed forces and special services outside Russia’s borders to combat terrorism and extremism.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6188658.stm
    Needless to say, after 9/11 many such laws were adopted all over the world, including USA and UK.

    4) Both UK and USA, along with other states like Israel and France, are well-known for conducting assassinations on foreign soil on a massive scale.

    We also know that the Russians designed novichok, first of all to get round the existing conventions, and stockpiled it.

    1) It wasn’t Russia which “designed” novichok, it was the USSR back in the 1970’s, and the Chemical Weapons Convention that prohibited chemical weapon development was only concluded in 1993.

    2) Russia, unlike USA for instance, destroyed all of its chemical weapons stockpiles under OPCW supervision by the end of 2017.

    3) Porton Down admits any number of other countries can create novichok, and all but admits UK has its own stock.

    And don’t take my word for it; take [the word of] the former scientist who was actually involved in the programme who has been publicly out on the media saying he was involved in that programme.

    Assuming he means Mirzayanov (no idea who else it could be), then Mirzayanov’s book was about the USSR, before Russia even existed as an independent country, and way before Russia joined the Chemical Weapons Convention.

    Porton Down will be able to tell you that there are very, very, very few people in the world who can develop – first of all, who did design novichok, that was the Russians, who have developed and stockpiled it. In fact, the cast of that is reduced to one.

    He sounds like a broken record here. No semblance of logic or common sense remains. Disgraceful.

  • Jones

    regarding the bit at the end of video where camera angle has changed — i am not familiar with filming techniques but there is something curious about the way Aitkenhead turns his head and looks past the interviewer to someone else out of shot immediately after finishing his sentence.

    • TJ

      Thank you!

      “… it was that team that were able to identify that this was actually a military grade nerve agent, which you can read now as from the family known as Novichok”

      the weasel words-
      ” which you can read now as from the family known as Novichok”

      Being able to read it in a newspaper or on the web and it actually being a true statement of fact are two different things.

      “and essentially it was our people who detected that at the scene and verified that it was from that family of nerve agents”

      weasel words-

      “and essentially it was our people”

      “essentially” does not rule out other people being involved, who if any?

      “yeah well we have built up over many years deep expertise in chemical analysis using very advanced techniques that have been used over the years often in a military arena to try and then figure out what’s the chemical composition of this particular nerve agent and then they were able to from that experience identify it as Novichok”

      weasel words –

      “then they were able to from that experience identify it as Novichok”

      Just “experience” or were scientific tests used?

      When asked about whether they might be able to definitively identify the source of the “novichok”-

      “given you know we’re in the middle of a Police investigation it’s very difficult to kind of comment on that”

      If he is so concerned with not interfering with the Police investigation why is he even giving the interview, it could well prejudice any legal proceedings in the future.

      “we have been able to take samples from the scene”

      What scene is he talking about, the bench, Zizzi, the door handle etc?

      “and then used a number of advanced analysis techniques to be able to identify what the substance is, I can’t go into real detail about the particular steps we go through to get to the conclusion”

      Was any science involved at all?

      Interviewer “is that confined to the vehicles, home, the site where they were found and a restaurant and a pub is that broadly right”
      “Broadly speaking yes and we’ve isolated together with the police and the military we’ve either removed the items that were infected from the scene or we have secured those locations”

      Before he spoke of “the scene” singular and chemical weapons do not “infect”, biological ones do.

      In short, he does not say that any science was used to determine what “the substance” was merely some sort of “analysis” whatever that means, he won’t say, there is a “scene” but that could be any location and we can “read it” as being Novichok, though we still have no idea what the chemical formula is. If he was in a Police interview room my guess is he would be arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

      • SA

        Yes indeed. The fine detail here is that this very detailed analysis is indeed a whitewash. The formula or the specific compound was not given but he persistently kept calling it ‘Novichok’ or at times or novichok-like. Even these novichoks have code names and numbers.
        This was a PR excercise not a scientific exposition and I bet the scientists in PD are cringing (and at the same time relieved that they did not have to speak) at this. ‘Military grade’ what does that mean? Was it a binary?
        How can he be sure the public is safe unless they find ‘another area of contamination’ and unless they have any vague idea of where this came from and who actually administered it. Very amateurish indeed.

  • Richard Sykes

    Having claimed, at 5’30″ish, that the ‘guy at Porton Down’ said ‘there’s no doubt’, Johnson is momentarily lost for words. For somebody who rarely stops to think, but blusters and has no qualms about lying, this seems telling. It’s almost as though he realises that he has just said something which somebody else could reveal to be a flagrant lie, and that he has just put his credibility on the line (for those for whom he still has any).

    One imagines the call to the ‘guy at Porton Down’ (if there ever was such a conversation), immediately following this interview: ‘I know, I know… sorry… I know how it came out didn’t quite sound like what you said… when you said, categorically, that there was no doubt that it was a nerve agent, or similar substance, of a type developed by Russia. It just came out in the interview slightly unclear. Anyway, in the interests of national security…’

  • Morton Subotnick

    It is possible that the mythical “16-minute” version of the Sky Gary Aitkenhead interview being referred to is a misunderstanding of the time stamp in the bottom left-hand corner of the shorter videos that have already been posted multiple times.

  • Durak

    The Guy from Porton Down seems utterly petrified.. one can only wonder what pressure was put on him, as it were to add bits and pieces at the end.. one part etc…

    • CanSpeccy

      One problem he has, is not knowing what he is talking about. In the interview he twice referred to contamination with nerve agent as “infection.” Either he’s totally clueless,or he intended to make the stuff sound scarier than a mere poison.

  • Durak

    Unlike UK Journalists, the DW journalist (and she is NO fan of Putin) is very precise in her formulations and with great incisiveness, she is totally unlike the type of Journalist we see in the UK. I couldn’t believe when she stated that the accusations BJ were making against Putin “were the most direct made in history”… she went straight for the kill at every stage. No hesitation. Boris isn’t use to that in the UK where a servile media deliver softball questions.

    Of course he wqon’t resign, and the FCO, demonstrating that shame has no bounds, will just pretend nothing has happened.

    I dislike the Tories, but thirty years ago, watching politics as a child, nearly all major Politicians (many off the back of the war and had seen real harm) had serious gravitas, and they were mostly if not all honourable on resignation issues.

    Today we have none of that, it seems the majority (and I do exclude Corbyn) are simply out for themselves and f—- the rest.

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