Just Who’s Pulling the Strings? 1205


March 4 2018 Sergei and Yulia Skripal are attacked with a nerve agent in Salisbury

March 6 2018 Boris Johnson blames Russia and calls Russia “a malign force”

March 7 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in London for an official visit

March 13 2018 Valeri Gerasimov, Russian Chief of General Staff, states that Russia has intelligence a fake chemical attack is planned against civilians in Syria as a pretext for US bombing of Damascus, and that Russia will respond militarily.

March 19 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Washington for an official visit

April 8 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Paris for an official visit

April 8 2018 Saudi funded jihadist groups Jaysh al Islam and Tahrir al-Sham and UK funded jihadist “rescue group” The White Helmets claim a chemical weapons attack occurred in their enclave of Douma the previous day – just before its agreed handover to the Syrian army – and blame the Syrian government.

April 11 2018 Saudi Arabia pledges support for attack on Syria

April 14 2018 US/UK/French attack on Syria begins.

I have always denied the UK’s claim that only Russia had a motive to attack the Skripals. To denigrate Russia internationally by a false flag attack pinning the blame on Russia, always seemed to me more likely than for the Russians to do that to themselves. And from the start I pointed to the conflict in Syria as a likely motive. That puts Saudi Arabia (and its client jihadists), Saudi Arabia’s close ally Israel, the UK and the USA all in the frame in having a powerful motive in inculcating anti-Russian sentiment prior to planned conflict with Russia in Syria. Any of them could have attacked the Skripals.

Today, Theresa May is claiming -astonishingly – that the UK attack on Syria is “to deter chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the UK”. I don’t think the motive for a Skripal false flag could be more starkly demonstrated.

We do not yet know how many children and other civilians have died so far in what the media always pretend are magically “pinpoint” attacks on Syria. Denying the “collateral damage” is part of the neo-con playbook. The danger is that they will not stop but continue to push, testing how far they can go in weakening Syrian government forces to promote their jihadist allies on the ground, before they spark a real Russian reaction. That way madness lies.

It is also worth noting that the most ardent supporters of this military action, outside Saudi Arabia and Israel, are the Blairites in the UK and the Clinton Democrats in the USA. The self-described “centrists” are actually the unhinged extremists in today’s politics.

This attack on Syria is, beyond doubt, a huge success for the machinations of Mohammed Bin Salman. Please do read my post of 8 March which sets out the background to his agenda, and I believe is essential to why we find our nations in military action again today. Despite the fact the vast majority of the people do not want this.


1,205 thoughts on “Just Who’s Pulling the Strings?

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  • Mary Paul

    And for the record, I am not buying the theory which seems popular o,n here and runs along the lines of :

    MI6, having decided to bomb Syria ( following secretdiscussions with US and France), decides it needs some false flag action to stir up anti Russian sentiment and soften up Uk sentiment for aerial attack on Syria.

    So it decides to “borrow” some novichok nerve agent from Porton Down and use it to pretend to kill off a retired Russian spy living in nearby Salisbury and blame the Russians. To further incriminate the Russians. the nerve agent is smeared on his front door in a technique Russia is known to favour. .On the day the Skripaks do not appear to be succumbing so another agent is sent out to spray them with Z3 which works well They are taken into hospital when a doctor first diagnosed Z3 type poisoning but is later put right. (In an even more sinister version, they are only sprayed with Z3 initially and the nerve agent is administered later after they are in hospital, in a minute dose, but enough to be diagnosed and Russia blamed.)

    Meanwhile a local CID man is sent to their house and gets attacked by the nerve agent on the handle. However in three weeks of blundering around, the Met Police Anti terrorist squad fail to find the agent on the door handle. In the end, I am guessing, MI6 has to drop them a hint.

    The alarmed population of Salisbury are told if worried they should burn their overcoats and wipe their mobile phones with baby wipes. Noone in Salisbury has to date shown any signs of nerve gas attack. There is talk however of demolishing the Siripals house and the pub and restaurant visted by tbe Skripsls shortly before they collapsed. Meanwhile businesses are going broke In the town centre where large areas remain fenced off as the local police have no idea what to do with them.

    Meanwhile the Skrioals make a miraculous recovery. The presence of novichok is confirmed by OCpW, who being in on the act, removed all mention of Z3from it’s report. All Msm investigative reporting is suppressed

    MI6 not being happy that enough anti Russian/Syriansentiment has been stirred up to justify bombing Syria, arrange a false fire chemical gas bombing raid on some hapless Syrian children to blame on the Rrussian/Syrian/iranian axis. Then US UK France bombing raid goes ahead.

    Really?

    • SeaGreen

      By the way I think the local CID man thing is obvious. There’s a Russian double-agent in town. You’re going to have a protocol that someone relatively senior/ compeyent turns up at first sign of trouble, aren’t you? Surely no great mystery there.

    • Bayard

      Have you been reading the same blog as me? As far as I can see, apart from your first para, the rest or your “conspiracy theory” is a weird mixture of the official line (the whole doorknob saga, much derided as implausible on here), verifiable fact (what has been happening to the businesses in Salisbury, wild theories I’ve never come across before (demolishing the Skripal’s house, and a little bit of some of the theories put forward that seem a tad more likely than the official line.

      • Mary Paul

        This is not what I think happened it is an amalgam of what I read here, what many of the posters here seem to think happened wholly or partly, summarised as a plot by Mi6 to make us suspicious of Russia and therefore more receptive to the UK joining US and France to bomb Syria. The proposed demolition of properties in Salisbury was in the Daily Mail a week or so ago.

  • CanSpeccy

    According to Sergei Lavrov, the Spiez Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection have determined that the Skripals were poisoned with 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate, aka, BZ or Buzz, a recognized antimusgarinic pharmacolical agent similar in its effects to Novichok, although the mode of action is different and the toxicity is about one millionth that of Novichok. If confirmed, this finding established beyond doubt that the Skripal poisoning saga is a ridiculous charade written and carried out by buffoons with little relevant knowledge other than of how to so shape the lips, tongue and larynx as to emit a cloud of lies potentially culminating in a nuclear conflagration.

  • Billy Bostickson

    A funny comment about Novichok in a story from the Independent yesterday (mainly about our mysterious friend, Leonard Rink who was claimed to have supplied many ampoules of Novichok to Chechen terrorists):

    “One of the biggest drawbacks of novichok is that it is hydrolysed immediately,” said Mr Mirzayanov. “In retrospect, only an idiot would choose to use it for a murder in England with its 100 per cent humidity.”

    He added: “Most likely, the Skripals were saved by the British weather and its interaction with said door handle.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sergei-skripal-yulia-nerve-agent-russia-spy-poisoning-salisbury-murder-ivan-kivelidi-a8303501.html

    • TJ

      I think the Russians just asked and the full report was given to them, that’s what a scientist would do.

      • Mary Paul

        Not if it has been confidentially commissioned by another client, then the last thing the company would do would be to hand it over to a third party.

        • Hatuey

          Aren’t you glad that Russia got a copy and allowed us to see the truth?

          Nah, didn’t think so.

  • Dave G

    Did Porton Down misidentify the substance used in Salisbury (unlikely, I’d have thought), or did the UK government decide that the Russian-sounding Novichoks suited their purposes better than BZ?
    If they lied about it being a Novichok or something similar then the UK government’s whole narrative falls apart.

  • franck

    @Hatuey, Syria is the most secular country in the Middle East.
    The little village of Sabad is the only place where people still speak the old language (aramaic) the language Jesus spoke.
    When the terorists came in they surrended the people killed 50 of them, dumped the bodies in a well.
    There were no americains nor british nor french to help them but Bashar to help these Christians.
    Recently people of Aleppo celebrated Easter in their Christian church.
    The neo-cons-zionists want to divide Syria in three units with the rich oil part stay under USA, the other to Israel (Golan) third to Shiites and Alawites.
    Bashar want what the people want one unified Syria as they were before, christians, juish, muslum leaved together sharing their differences in peace.
    Seoudit Arabia and Quatar wanted under influence of USA to run an oil pipeline through Syria, Bashar refused therefore his future was selled like Sadam and Qaddafi, with the help of Russia, Iran and Hesbollah Bashar managed to free 90% of the country.
    These terrorists are not syrian nor all muslim, they are mercenaries paid and trained by the West to fight as proxy for the benefit of the West.
    This staged chemical attack came from the “white Helmets” trained by the British, financed by USA, recent video showing doctors who cared for these adults and children spoke that they treated people for fume inhallation but a stranger came in shouting it’s a chemical attack and people paniked and started using water through hose pipe to wash off chemical on their clothes.
    2White Helmets” are experience3d on this sort of false flag, this time they were pressed by MI6 because Trump had declared to get the 2000 americain soldiers out of Syria as Syria is lost to them but the neo cons had to find a way quick to keep the troups there.

    • Hatuey

      Yes, this closely resembles what I outlined. The goal is a weak Syria either way.

      I find it hard to believe anyone in the west is motivated by a desire to secure more oil fields though. Oil prices are low for a reason, and likely to get lower as more electric cars and shale oil hits the market.

      As for Israel’s share of the spoils, Golan etc., they have defacto control there anyway. Israel’s biggest fear, as I see it, is that it needs to negotiate with any of its neighbours properly, on fair and equal terms. That’s something the have never done. Easier just to dominate militarily which is what they have done. Negotiating for things you take for granted is a pain when you are accustomed to getting your way.

      I don’t doubt for a second what you say about mercenaries. But I’ve been hearing about oil pipeline explanations with every conflict since 1978. If there is a sudden desire for an oil pipeline through Syria now, I would need to wonder where that demand was in the 1970s was when oil was most profitable.

    • giyane

      Saudi Arabia is the most secular country in the Middle East. Human beings are repelled by fascism as much as politicians are attracted to it. Saudi Arabia has a large alcohol and drugs problem and a very high divorce rate, making it much more promiscuous than its enemy Shi’a Islam which allows temporary marriage.

      You become what you hate. The UK is now more obsessed with spying by corporations and other institutions than the Soviet Union KGB. Human beings are designed to resist unnecessary control over their privacy. Any foreman worth his/ her salt knows you have to let people get on with their work. Productivity is not achieved by companies monitoring people’s private lives nor is religious attendance. The more they shove their long noses into matters that no concern of theirs, the less control they exert over their minions.

      If Boris Johnson was squashed under a No 24 bus tomorrow there’d be less interest than a squashed hedgehog. A corporate liar in charge of a corporate political party of zero interest to anyone.

    • Andrew H

      What do they want?

      Are there any videos floating around showing any of these missiles being shot down? (Even in Syria there are lots of folk with phones – if there is any truth to this claim it would have to be on camera?)

      • Dennis Revell

        :

        I did see one such video, published by RT, but just one such shoot-down – pretty clear considering it was NIGHT time – the fairly fraint trail of something coming in, no sign of an interceptor – unless it was the interceptor trail I was seeing, then a pretty clear red flaring – as in a distant mid-air explosion.

        Of course like anything else were Syria is concerned, the provenance of this short clip is really wholly unknown, but I believe it (given that the source is non-Western).

        Sorry I closed the window after I watched it, and an not that interested to spend ages hunting it down. It must have been something I followed from my Fbook newsfeed – but the video’s pretty much as I described.

        .

    • Tony_0pmoc

      TJ,

      The sentence you wrote is completely correct, but your link gives the wrong impression that jaysh-al-islam have recruited May and Johnson.

      May and Johnson are paying them, and have been for some time (with our tax money) In fact at around Christmas time, Johnson for some reason, stopped paying them ( I did post the link at the time), but the people in control of Johnson (I think May is too thick to understand much of this), got very angry with Johnson, so he resumed the British funding to these Islamic headchoppers.

      I am not surprised they are not impressed with last night, nor Johnson and May, and on that, for this very one instant in time, I am actually in agreement withe the Islamic headchoppers.

      Johnson and May are rubbish, and the only way they are going to get their credibilty back with the Islamic headchoppers is to meet them again with John McCain and give them loads of money and Buzz.

      I wish them a pleasant trip.

      I hope they don’t go all cannibal again and record it on video, though they are partial to pig’s liver and heart.

      Tony

    • Crackerjack

      Andrew H

      The US say they fired 76 Tomahawks at the Syrian Scientific Research Centre compound

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-scene/syria-strike-reduces-research-center-to-smoking-rubble-idUSKBN1HL107

      Each Tomahawk has a payload of 1000lb’s of the US’s best High Explosive. Thats around 34 metric tons or the equivalent of 9 of these

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-43/B_MOAB

      All to destroy a couple of buildings some of which still had standing walls

      They did destroy the site but I think its fair to say a number didn’t get through ie the Syrian air defences got them

      Russia is now planning on selling its S300 systems to all comers and after last nights events I would imagine that would be quite a list

      https://www.rt.com/news/424113-russian-military-syria-strikes/

      And the Yanks think they can persuade North Korea to rid themselves of their only defence against US aggression?

      Yep that’s exactly what will happen. Another victory for US diplomacy!

      • Crackerjack

        PS and for fellow believers that was is all about feeding the military industrial complex for profit, thats around $100 million to blow up a couple of empty buildings

        Just sayin like

  • Strangerthings

    Interesting twitter thread
    If it’s true, as @bbcJonSopel reported on the BBC, that Theresa May pushed to attack Syria quickly to avoid having a vote in parliament, that undermines the government’s legal argument that there was an “immediate” need to prevent “extreme humanitarian distress.” It’s a scandal.
    https://twitter.com/alexnunns/status/985181622004801536

  • Christoph Jensen

    Anne Morelli has summarized and systematized the contents of Lord Ponsonby’s classic in “ten commandments of (British) propaganda”:

    We do not want war.
    The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
    The enemy is the face of the devil.
    We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
    The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
    The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
    We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
    Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
    Our cause is sacred.
    All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

    That was in 1928 (!!!)

    • Martin Kernick

      From the wikipedia page on BZ agent

      BZ is an odorless military incapacitating agent. (intended to incapacitate rather than kill).
      BZ was invented by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche in 1951.
      BZ was ultimately weaponized for delivery in the M44 generator cluster and the M43 cluster bomb, until all such stocks were destroyed in 1989 as part of a general downsizing of the US chemical warfare program.
      BZ is odorless and nonirritating with delayed symptoms several hours after contact.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-Quinuclidinyl_benzilate

  • bj

    Okay, so here is the AP report on what Lavrov said:
    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-04-14/russia-trace-of-western-made-nerve-agent-seen-in-uk-samples

    based on that:

    1. the report doesn’t say if the sample Lavrov (and Spiez) refer to was one given by ‘London’, or one collected by the OPCW itself; I don’t see that in here

    1.1
    furthermore, according to https://www.rt.com/news/424149-skripal-poisoning-bz-lavrov/
    “Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab that worked with the samples that London handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW).” [emphasis mine – bj]

    2. there was presence of A-234 in the samples; Spiez Lab remarked that that was strange, “given the substance’s high volatility and the relatively long period between the poisoning and the sample-taking”.

    3. the final OPCW rapport omitted the findings from Spiez

    conclusions:

    * premise: there actually was an attack on the Skripals, and they recovered and survived

    – the attack on the Skripals was committed with purely BZ (otherwise they would now be dead)

    – the Spiez sample(s) were samples handed over by London

    – London contaminated the samples with A-234 to implicate Russia (e.g.in a grand scheme to meddle with Russian elections and other serendipitous advantages)

    – A-234 is actually synthesized in the UK (highly likely Porton Down), but never reported to OPCW (UK in violation)
    (maybe the A-234 is manufactured on UK soil by a US company, to exploit possible loophole in OPCW requirements??)

    – OPCW omitted the Spiez findings in it report

    – it is highly likely that OPCW is now (at least partly and/or occasionally) pwned by USUK interests

    Questions:
    – who was the attacker?
    – what was the motive
    – if the attacker was not the UK, was the UK just opportunistic and seizing on the Skripals’ BZ-poisoning (to implicate Russia)?

    • franck

      @bj, connect the dots.
      May accuses Russia for poisoning the Skripal to justify the missiles month after in Syria otherwise what have Britain and France doing in Syria?

    • Steve.

      OPCW report is purely political.
      The two most important points were 10/11 I believe.
      “We agree that the chemical is of type U.K. found it to be.” No specifics though. U.K. is right.
      “Toxin was of high purity.” Meaning that it was a state actor/Russia.
      I think OPCW compromised itself. If Lavrov claim is true it will be an undeniable statement.

      • Bayleaf

        ““We agree that the chemical is of type U.K. found it to be.””

        As I posted elsewhere, the government declared to the court that the agent was “a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent”. But closely related in what sense, nobody is saying. This is typical lawyer’s manipulation and the criteria of the comparison are deliberately omitted.

        However BZ and so-caled Novichok are closely related not chemically but in that they are both incapacitating agents. Thus, nobody is lying but their “truth” is specifically designed to mislead.

        • Paul

          Bayleaf. That’s an interesting new take on “closely related”–we would be focussed on the chemistry but that statement, already vague enough, does not need to refer to a chemical relation, as you say.

          Here’s a more elaborate hypothetical narrative that I’m struggling to put together:
          @ Paveway IV — comment 98
          Paveway, I’m not sure whether you’ve seen Sushi’s instalments in the “Curious Incident” series at the Saker, but perhaps you’d consider looking at the most recent one, instalment 8, and then examining the hypothetical narrative below. It is based on an extrapolation from the fascinating series of instalments on the Scribal affair under the title “A Curious Incident” by Sushi at the Saker. The most recent, #8, is what has me started down my own rabbit hole.

          The key finding from the Curious Incident series, and in answer to an early question that Craig (I think asked) was why does everyone keep saying “weapons grade”–what does that even mean, other than sounding scary. An answer is that is does not mean highly pure or concentrated, etc. It means that it will likely have been produced in significant industrial run, which introduces impurities, and will, additionally, have been given additives to give it particular properties–viscosity levels, for example.

          The high level of purity that the Swiss lab test refers to indicates therefore that this was precisely not weapons grade, but produced in a sophisticated lab–not necessarily state level, but at the level of a very good university program at least.

          From this line of thinking, I am trying to construct a narrative that accounts for what we have plausible reason to infer, but which does not rely on any official actors (except perhaps Boris Johnson, who may not be able to help himself) demonstrably lying.

          First question:
          Am I correct in concluding that BZ and any of the Novichok / Foliant series are simply not similar enough (chemically–h/t bj) to be covered by Porton Down’s public description of the substance “in question” as being:
          a) a Novichok
          b) or from that class of nerve agent
          c) or a closely related compound

          BZ clearly isn’t a), isn’t b) a nerve agent at all, at least in the “usual” sense of the word, and c) is not closely related to any of the family of compounds that could be in any way considered a Novichok.

          Inferences:
          1) So, if the finding was actually BZ, when the OPCW confirms the UK’s findings, the OPCW is not confirming any of the statements made along lines a), b) or c) above.

          The OPCW, then, is not
          i) confirming that the substance is of a “type developed by Russia”
          and instead so it would seem the OPCW ARE either,
          ii) confirming something the Salisbury medical personnel (“UK findings”) have been quoted as saying, or
          iii) confirming the findings of some other entity that can be plausibly glossed as having official (“UK”) findings, or
          iv) are confirming UK findings not made public, which could actually be that the substance was BZ.

          Which is to say that all along there have been at least two substances in play, and a bit of a bait-and-switch game, in which “it” is presumed to be specified but the public descriptions are referring to another substance.

          For example, at times the bait is Novichoks, etc. But when we think they are referring to a substance whose metabolites are found in the Skripals’ biophysical samples, that substance may actually be bench-grade or lab-grade BZ. Some other sample–taken from a park bench, door knob, restaurant, cemetary headstone, or car ventilation system, may have been tested as containing highly pure (Porton Down lab-grade) A-234, for example.

          Each time we think they (PM May, Porton Down and now OPCW) are talking about one, they are talking about another sample, and we never really pause to re-examine which “it” they are referring to. The OPCW (and perhaps the Swiss lab) are playing along, but not actually lying.

          Not technically a lie, except perhaps what might initially seem like an “innocent” exaggeration–“weapons-grade” but actually this is a big reveal. The substance for which the OPCW is confirming the UK findings, is not weapons grade, but as they say, virtually without impurities. The key extrapolation is not to a state-level weapons production program, but to a sophisticated bench-scale / lab product (any of the OPCW labs around Europe would be candidates–including in the UK, Ukraine, US, but arguably any specialized university program or perhaps a very good illegal drug lab.

          Suggestions, anyone?

        • Wj

          Yes this is exactly right. Both sentences in the High Court decision make use of this trick.

    • IM

      You’re forgetting tha,t according to the Russians, France is directly involved in the Skripal investigation. Why would that be?

      • Jo Dominich

        IM correct and it should be remembered. One of the 14 questions Russia put to the UK was why was France involved in the investigation at all and Russia was not.

          • Paul

            Perhaps–pure guessery here–they are the source of the BZ, or of the A-234, so if Porton Down is asked directly…

          • jazza

            check out the Anglo-French accord – britain has been developing secure links with france for ages via bilateral treaties. It’s thought that british and french military will become one once britain leaves (sic) the EU – there will be no british military (there’s hardly any now, especially working) rather a united anglo-french sector of the ‘new’ EU military establishment – check out PESCO also – britain and france working together

      • Barden Gridge

        Aren’t covert operations sometimes conducted with the assistance of operatives from the security services of allied countries – for reasons of deniability? The operatives would have diplomatic immunity as well.

      • bj

        Sure, I am not saying this is the holy gospel.

        Though at present I don’t have an answer to France’s involvement in the Skripal investigation, my summary doesn’t preclude that either.

        You could shoot holes in my theory; for instance, the remark by Spiez “given the substance’s high volatility and the relatively long period between the poisoning and the sample-taking” leads one to wonder what ‘relatively long’ means. For the samples that the OPCW took, the time between poisoning and sample-taking actually is the longest, in my view, so that would invalidate my hermeneutics.

        More interesting, to me, at least now, is if there are loopholes in the OPCW accordance guidelines that would (inadverently) still ‘allow’ for country A to produce chemicals/poisons on the soil on country B, by scientists from country A (I am thinking of Porton Down US conntracts).
        I am not a jurist — any takers?

        • IM

          I think I didn’t express myself clearly: “Why would that be?” wasn’t addressed at you, but more as a “why would the French be involved in the Skripal investigation in the first place?”

          • bj

            Could be for any amount of reasons; I just read that France states that “France: Syria ‘Undoubtedly’ Used Chlorine Gas on Its People” (on TruthDig),

            If the Novichok/Implicate Russia theory (which I am prepared to let go any time) holds insofar that it was borne out of opportunism after a BZ attack occurred, France’s assistance and complicity would have to be obtained immediately, to seize the day. Just conjecture, but not unreasonable, within possible proposed theory.

        • J

          In the absence of motive, there are certainly patterns. Both UK and france suffered waves of ‘terror’ attacks before important elections which were to decide the ultimate direction of each nation, away from or toward the neo-liberal consensus. Both sets of attacks were loosely attributed to ISIS and both series of attacks turned out to be more intimately associated with their respective intelligence agencies than either state was comfortable discussing in polite society. Both countries suffered a rise in largely media driven racism during their election cycles. Trickle down racism if you will, stampeding the french liberal conservatives toward Macron and British liberal conservatives toward the Tories.

        • OhOh

          Not just PT any of the 16+ official OPCW labs and as some suggest any competent, kitted out and that has access/permission to buy the base chemical lab. The funder of the “research” could hide anywhere. What we have seen are documnets showing UK/ameristani “research”. If that situation occurs once it will be mirrored elsewhere.

    • Bayard

      “3. the final OPCW rapport omitted the findings from Spiez”
      We don’t know that, we haven’t seen the confidential part of it. The bit we have seen omits almost everything. It doesn’t even say what the poison was, except to say that it “confirmed the findings of the UK” which could mean practically anything.
      “– it is highly likely that OPCW is now (at least partly and/or occasionally) pwned by USUK interests”
      In which case why did they not just come out and say “it was A-234 wot done it” in their report? Why go through all the circumlocutions and vaguenesses?

      • bj

        @Bayard
        The question in your second remark is answered by the statement in your first remark.

      • Paul

        Better deniability to play the game–there is always a whistleblower risk, so this gives them weasel room.

        Anyone know how Minister Lavrov is said to have obtained this information from the Swiss lab?

    • Paul

      bj,
      One cavil–how does this comport with the OPCW’s statement that the substance was almost without impurities? Which is a potentially explosive disclosure in and of itself, but would be hard to square with finding traces of A-234 in the sample. Or are we talking about different samples–one from the biophysical specimens purportedly taken from the Skripals, and one sample found on scene (or at one of the scenes the OPCW was told they came from).

    • ME

      Conspiracy theory: I wonder what the designated labs are asked to do: “does this sample contain ’Novichok’?” or “does this sample contain toxic substances?”. So the OPCW could just ignore whatever findings they didn’t ask for. (And next, the Swiss lab will not get their OPCW license renewed on some technicality since they overstepped their mandate)

  • Jones

    True colours shown as lick-boots May and shoe-shine Macron help blowhard Trump puff out chest, apparently US knew of a chermical weapons warehouse, chemical weapons research centre, and chemical weapons command centre but decided to keep quiet about them until after bombing them, anyone who believes these fraudsters deserve to be treated for the fools they are. As for UK lick-boots May needs to be immediately kicked out of office for dismissing the people she pretends to serve.

    • Crackerjack

      Exactly. If true they knew this (and I don’t for one minute believe them) then our representatives should be hauled before the OPCW and demanded that they explain why they kept it secret

      I also believe the OPCW regularly inspect Syria

      • SA

        That is exactly what the Syrian delegate to the UN said. Unlike US, Syria actually has a clean verification from the OPCW.
        Also begs the question as to why the OPCW doesn’t step in and say all these things. Also the document about the Skripal poison is a political statement and not a scientific report and if cross questioned in court would expose this failure if the OPCW.

        • Ultraviolet

          The OPCW may be balancing on the one hand the damage to their reputation from such weasel words, but on the other hand the almost certainty that at least the US and possibly UK and others too would pull out of the CWC if they blew the gaff on Salisbury.

          They may, and in my view not entirely unreasonably, feel that the damage that would do to the prospects of having any control over chemical weapons would be substantially greater than the damage from them using some weasel words to accommodate the US and UK. Particularly if they also felt that the confidential report might be a fairly effective “we know what you have been doing, and so does Russia, so behave from now on”.

          Given what has happened in Syria, I am not sure any such calculation is right. That depends on whether this is a one-off, and Russia’s resolve has caused the west to back down.

  • Billy Bostickson

    In a park in Salisbury people come across a famous Russian gentleman, Mr. B.Z Naryshkin, playing chess against an obviously Younger bulldog, who is sitting on a butcher’s apron.
    They are astonished and say:
    “What a clever young bulldog!” He has used the Queen’s Gambit and exposed your flanks~!
    “isn’t he ugly though!” “What’s his name?”
    “Oh”, said the Russian gentleman, “I believe his name is “Parker”
    But the man protests, waving his hands in the air:
    “No, no, he isn’t that clever. he’s only a Beginner, I’m leading by three games to one!”

    • P

      Although I am very much in love with your British humor (In contrast with your Politics) such as this one

      “It’s Not Right And It’s Not Fair.”
      “Sounds like a black man’s left leg”

      from the movie “Evil under the sun” or the entire “Dean Spanley” of course, I could not get it.

      As far as I remember they used to call “butchers apron” the Union Jack in your former colonies but other than that it beats me.

  • BrianFujisan

    Thanks for that very interesting Timeline Craig

    Makes Me Sick.. Sociophas Mass murdering again.

    The Withering Wreckage of Intl Law, Drew it’s last breath last night.

    People are all about this decision to illegally stage an agressive strike on Syria, should first have got Parliament’s approval. But the U.K parliament Do Not have the Authority to make this decission.

    I wonder if the BBC, Gauardian, times, CNN, and the rest of the corporate media – are pleased with themselves. Callous Idiots.

    Maria Zakharova –

    ” The White house stated that confidence in the himatake of Damascus is based on “Media, reports of symptoms, videos and photos, as well as credible information”. after that statement, American and other western media must understand their responsibility in what happened. 15 years ago, the white house used a vial and his secretary of state, now instead of a test tube Washington used the media.”

    • Tony_0pmoc

      BrianFujisan,

      We sure have nearly reached the pits, but the absolute pits of despair would be a nuclear war, and not have we not got their yet, all the puppets involved have shot themselves, not only in their feet, but also in their face, and an extremely large number of people have noticed this, do not approve and think the puppets are completely mad.

      I strongly suspect, that these puppets have been set up, for this outcome, in order for them to be completely discredited.

      The reality is that most British and Americans, really do not care one way or another what happens in foreign lands..but this complete and utter total nonsense, fairy story, buzz and bollocks is waking them up.

      Historically, Dictatorships never last very long, especially when The Dictators are complete and utter morons.

      I strongly suspect that there are other powerful forces going on, who know all the real truth of the last 20 years, and they are now exposing the criminals in high places, in the subtlest way thay can, not to destroy Democracy, but to bring it back to life.

      The important thing is not to give up , on the possibilty, that there may indeed be a brighter future, if you simply hold on strong.

      I hate to think of all the people, who were already so close to the brink of dispair (especially the young) and this latest fake propagada is close to tipping them over the edge.

      Don’t give up. We will change the world yet, and get rid of these evil cretins in control. I’m not quite sure how yet, but even I will be depressed, if it doesn’t happen, before I kick the bucket, of which I have no intention, and I am very close to my sell by date…but I am still going to the gig tomorrow, with my wife, the Spanish Ambassador, and her new friend, who we also know.

      Some of us might be pensioners, but we all look dead sexy.

      So cheer up. Even us lot aren’t dead yet.

      Tony

      • BrianFujisan

        Yo Tony

        Thank for a typically Rockers Thoughtful reply..

        And you are Correct there’s life in us Ol mad rockers yet.

        And here be one or two of the very best, a video that you could jump in and out of or fast forward.. Seen Rainbow in Edinburgh..
        then Dio in Glasgow.

        Thanks again Dude

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5AEyclD0Mc

  • Robert Hopkins

    I have never believed that Russia poisoned the Skripal’s. I think it was a ruse to turn everyone against Russia and Putin. I am no fan of Putin or his regime.
    If the poison was so toxic, then why were Police officers, Fire fighters and Military personnel NOT wearing gas masks or Has.Mat suits?
    There are too many unexplained circumstances and questions that haven’t been answered.

    • Agent Green

      BZ agent was used. This is NATO agent and is designed to temporarily incapacitate, not kill – hence why nobody has died.

        • SA

          Therein is the rub. It was administered by smearing a doorknob and because we know that this is how the KGB works, it must be Russian. All other evidence pales into insignificance.

          • Bayard

            “It was administered by smearing a doorknob”
            But was it? No-one has answered the obvious flaw in the doorknob theory, which is that when two people leave a building, only one will touch the external doorknob in order to close the door.

          • N_

            No-one has answered the obvious flaw in the doorknob theory, which is that when two people leave a building, only one will touch the external doorknob in order to close the door.

            True, so perhaps for example the target was a single person and they got it on their hand but then they touched the other’s skin with their hand shortly afterwards. That wouldn’t be unusual for close family members. Or perhaps if both were targets surveillance may have shown that whenever Yulia stays with her dad she always goes out on her own at 6.30am to admire the cathedral or buy a copy of the Sun, but he likes to lock his own door when they both go out somewhere. We should assume some professionalism if we are speculating about professional assassins.

            (The door hasn’t got a knob, as much as the media may love the word “knob”. It has a handle and a Euro cylinder lock.)

          • SA

            I fully agree with you. But I think the official story is still the doorknob especially in the light of two further developments:
            1. That a manual has been discovered to show that this ingenious method is a hallmark of the KGB which patented this method and published it in a limited edition of 1 which BJ got hold of.
            2. That this toxic chemical which was found on the doorknob and confirmed by the OPCW to be of exceptional high purity because it was uncontaminated but its nature was not revealed and could be novichok or related compound or something nasty or even BZ.

  • Agent Green

    Seems to me almost certain that the Skripal attack was carried out by US/UK intelligence agencies. Latest reports even indicate the use of BZ agent, which is a NATO agent created by US/UK only.

    • Christine

      Yes and what bothers me too is the unnecessary cruelty and death of the Scripa’ls pets. One was a gorgeous black Persian cat..Some people may think this is an irrelevance but to me it isn’t.Honestly the whole set up was and still is,…sordid and disgusting. Don’t suppose there is any justice for animals?

    • SA

      That is exactly what the Syrian delegate to the UN said. Unlike US, Syria actually has a clean verification from the OPCW.
      Also begs the question as to why the OPCW doesn’t step in and say all these things. Also the document about the Skripal poison is a political statement and not a scientific report and if cross questioned in court would expose this failure if the OPCW.

      • SA

        Sorry this was in answer to someone else.
        In answer to you some of what this document says may be true but what the application of humanitarian intervention can only be enforced through the UN not by individual states as it would be against Chapter 1 of the UN charter. The document is crap.

    • N_

      It would be a bunch of cock even if those three conditions were met. Wars, civil and otherwise, are hell. The poshboys are basically saying it’s legal to intervene in other countries’ civil wars without support from the UNSC. No it is not. Member states of the UN are required to abide by the UN Charter and every assertion to the contrary is utterly specious.

    • Paul

      FM Lavrov is an experienced hand. Given that that OPCW is in Syria now is he putting them under pressure to report fairly and could this redound to his disadvantage–in offending them by seeming to presume they could unfair or subject to (his) political influence?

      Perhaps, following Galloway, Mr. Lavrov believes that the missile strike now makes it harder to come back with a negative, since it would discredit 3 permanent security council members, and, in effect, show them to be war criminals rather than just liars (pre-strike).

  • Billy Bostickson

    The trouble is mainly that Ockham’s razor really cuts both ways 😉

    The key issue is whether *simplicity* is a reliable indicator for *truth*. Ockham’s Razor is premised on this.

    But, it’s enormously difficult to a) spell out what is ‘simple’, and b) establish a correlation of any sort between simplicity and truth.

    I doubt therefore I am

    • IM

      Why the high horse, what was said by the OP seems rather clear and logical- the person doubts what is being said to them and they construct a logical argument as to why… You on the other hand dismiss him with “hidey hole bollocks.” Now, do you have anything constructive to say?

    • IM

      I would say a “simple” explanation in Ockham’s mind would’ve be one that requires fewest number of assumptions and presumptions and one that explains all evidence (or at least observable facts, cf. “things” we’re being told).

    • Charles

      We don’t know if the Skripals were attacked with nerve agent or not

      We don’t know if the couple were the Skripals

      We don’t know whoever they were what they were poisoned with poisoned with, if anything at all

      The reason we don’t know is we are being lied to

      • IM

        I think the only safe thing to assume is that Skripals are involved one way or another based on the phone call from Yulia, and I still believe that she just managed to borrow a phone off an innocent unsuspecting passer-by at the hospital.

        • Bayard

          That is, of course, if the ‘phone call was from Julia and not produced in its entirety by the Russians.

      • Bayard

        “The reason we don’t know is we are being lied to”
        That is something we do know, then.
        If you hold that true for ALL sources of information, then you have to look at what is more likely to be true, which is anything that contradicts or at least does not confirm the official narrative, whether Russian or UK and there is very little of this, the main one being the doctor’s letter and a lot of if…why…? questions.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Apparently The French dropped out at the last minute – are they cleverer than we thought? I do have some French contacts. Tony

    Non, nous n’allons pas nous mêler de cette absurdité anglaise à Salisbury et en Syrie. Tout va chier.

    From the Official Russian Ministry of Defence

    “Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy holds briefing for mass media”

    http://thesaker.is/chief-of-the-main-operational-directorate-of-the-russian-general-staff-colonel-general-sergei-rudskoy-holds-briefing-for-mass-media/

    Extract

    “The Russian air defence systems at the Khmeimim and Tartus air base timely located and controlled all naval and air launches made by the USA and the UK.

    Announced French aircraft have not been registered by the Russian air defence systems.

    It is reported that the B-1B, F-15 and F-16 aircraft of the USAF as well as the Tornado airplanes of the UK RAF over the Mediterranean Sea, and the USS Laboon and USS Monterey located in the Red Sea were used during the operation.

    The B-1B strategic bombers approached the facilities over the Syrian territory near al-Tanf illegally seized by the USA.

    A number Syrian military airfields, industrial and research facilities suffered the missile-bomb strike.

    As preliminary reported, there are no civilian casualties and losses among the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Information will be further specified and made public.

    As evident by the available data, 103 cruise missiles have been launched, including Tomahawk naval-based missiles as well as GBU-38 guided air bombs fired from the B-1B; the F-15 and F-16 aircraft launched air-to-surface missiles.

    The Tornado airplanes of the UK RAF launched eight Scalp EG missiles.

    The Syrian air defence systems, which are primarily the USSR-made AD systems, have successfully countered the air and naval strikes.

    In total, 71 cruise missiles have been intercepted. The S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat, and Osa Syrian AD systems were involved in repelling the attack.”

  • Tom Smythe

    From skimming numerous news accounts, here is the gist what Lavrov said on 14 Apr 18, with some added biomedical background:

    — the respected Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland was one of the official labs used by OPCW to process samples.

    — Spiez was sent biomedical samples taken from the Skirpals, apparently OPCW supervised chain-of-custody samples. It is not stated whether these were blood or urine, from one, both or all three affected individuals.

    — Spiez analytic chemists detected BZ [see wiki 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate] and a synthetic precursor in these samples.

    — BZ is formally called 1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]octan-3-yl hydroxyacetate; the contaminating precursor has not been named. BZ is usually made from benzilic acid methyl ester reacting with sodium metal in toluene followed by reaction with 3-quinuclidinol, so one of those two.

    — BZ is a chemical warfare nerve agent, once part of the US, UK and NATO arsenals, deployed recently in various Middle East conflicts. The US dismantled its BZ Production Facility in Swannanoa, NC in 1964 and its BZ Fill Facility at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, AR in 1999.

    — Lavrov read a section from the Spiez lab report dated March 27. He must be completely confident that Spiez will not contradict his statement.

    — the OPCW completely omitted any mention of BZ in their final document. It appears Spiez was extremely annoyed with the OPCW for this and leaked Moscow a copy of its report. The OPCW cannot very well deny that it used Spiez or trash-talk its expertise.

    — This omission is totally unacceptable scientifically and is the formal end of OPCW as an international body.

    — BZ does not target the acetylcholine esterase like A-234. Instead, it competes for acetylcholine’s receptor sites. A commonly used antidote would by phystigamine, which increases acetylcholine abundance, out-competing the BZ and restoring neurotransmission.

    — BZ is consistent with the statement of Dr. Stephan Davies. BZ would explain why the hospital has not released any clinical information — phystigamine is a far cry from atropine used for nerve agents targeting acetylcholine esterase.

    — Lavrov says “the clinical picture shows that the nerve agent BZ had been used on the Skripals.”

    — If that weren’t enough, Lavrov said the Swiss experts also found traces of volatile A-234 (a type of Novichok) in Skripals’ samples “in its original form” and in considerable quantities and purity.

    — Lavrov notes that’s chemically and physically impossible given two weeks had elapsed before collection of the samples. The amount and purity would have brought death immediately.

    — This strongly suggests deliberate tainting of samples by A-234 furnished by Porton Down.

    Wiki: In February 1998, the British Ministry of Defence accused Iraq of having stockpiled large amounts of a glycolate anticholinergic incapacitating agent known as Agent 15. Agent 15 is an alleged Iraqi incapacitating agent that is likely to be chemically either identical to BZ or closely related to it. Agent 15 was reportedly stockpiled in large quantities prior to and during the Persian Gulf War. However, after the war the CIA concluded that Iraq had not stockpiled or weaponised Agent 15.

    In January 2013, an unidentified U.S. administration official, referring to an undisclosed U.S. State Department cable, claimed that “Syrian contacts made a compelling case that Agent 15, a hallucinogenic chemical similar to BZ, was used in Homs”. However, in response to these reports U.S. National Security Council spokesman stated “The reporting we have seen from media sources regarding alleged chemical weapons incidents in Syria has not been consistent with what we believe to be true about the Syrian chemical weapons program”. The chemical was also allegedly used in the August 2013 Ghouta attacks. The U.S. Army tested BZ as well as other “psycho-chemical” agents on human subjects at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland from 1955 to 1975, according to declassified documents.

    http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/FileDownloadpublic.aspx?docid=13d94373-93f3-47a9-9822-c572b3b6aa43
    https://www.cma.army.mil/wp-content/uploads/RCMD-FPF.pdf
    https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/3-Quinuclidinyl_benzilate

    • bj

      “— Spiez was sent biomedical samples taken from the Skirpals, apparently OPCW supervised chain-of-custody samples. It is not stated whether these were blood or urine, from one, both or all three affected individuals.”

      Where is that CoC made apparent, please?

      • Tom Smythe

        >>Where is that CoC made apparent, please?

        It would eliminate a lot of reading of tea leaves if Lavrov would just put the whole Spiez report verbatim online, ditto the full OPCW report. My understanding is OPCW-accredited laboratories like Spiez do not analyze samples that lack a OPCW-documented chain of custody, as it would be a huge expense and huge effort scientifically yet be of little interest. The 27 March date of the report is quite a bit later than the arrival of the OPCW team in Salisbury though we do not know the date of the samples or when Spiez received them.

        The alternative, that the biomedical samples containing BZ were taken earlier by the English without any OPCW supervision, allows PD salting without OPCW complicity. Hypothetically, the OPCW could then say, ‘we knew about the BZ in these samples but didn’t include it in the report because we didn’t do chain of custody.’

        However that is equally damning because non-CoC samples go the opposite way — omission not inclusion, of chemical warfare agents for example by using some other patient’s fluids. BZ + precursor are inconceivable as accidental contaminants in a hospital, park bench, restaurant, pub or home environment.

    • Tom Smythe

      Here is a bit more on this astonishing development:

      — Lavrov on Saturday said the report from the Swiss lab mentioned no nerve agents by name, such as Novichok, but instead gave a long chemical formula that points to a substance that has been developed by many countries. The ‘long chemical formula’ has not been named and ‘points to’ not explained, but possibly means a ubiquitous intermediate used to make industrial organophosphate insecticides.

      — Lavrov said the Swiss laboratory also identified a high concentration of A-234 “in its initial state”. That again indicates salting (tampering) of the sample because organophosphate nerve agents are quite reactive and bind covalently to the active site serine of acetylcholine esterase, with both irreversible loss of variable leaving groups (commonly shown as R’s in chemical formulas) and separately chemical changes called aging in the case of some novichoks. In other words, A-234 might still be recognizable in a sample after two weeks but it wouldn’t still be in its initial chemical form (as Spiez reports).

      • Crackerjack

        Tom are we sure Lavrov is talking about biomedical samples? Inposted this on an older comments page

        Sorry for clarification I meant that samples are not blood samples if I’m reading the article correctly

        “Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow received the confidential information from the laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland, that analyzed samples from the site of the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.”

        The samples from the site. This means to me stuff they scraped off the door handle (or wherever)

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-trace-of-western-made-nerve-agent-seen-in-uk-samples/2018/04/14/c76a8b30-3ff7-11e8-955b-7d2e19b79966_story.html

        My point being that the OPCW may have had to rely on our samples of the actual material as we took I think 2 weeks to even invite them. By which time anything exposed to the air would have been long gone

        • Tom Smythe

          >Tom are we sure Lavrov is talking about biomedical samples? I meant that samples are not blood samples if I’m reading the >article correctly?

          I scraped about 20 news accounts to make that digest; tomorrow there may be more information. In one, Lavrov explicitly says biomedical had the BZ. Whether he was quoted correctly, whether it is a translation from the Russian, whether there additionally door handle or restaurant samples, I don’t know what all Spiez was sent, what all had the BZ and what all had the A-234.

          This is really an explosive development. BZ has been around since 1951. It is easy to make from cheap online chemicals and very well familiar to militaries/militias and well known to labs like Porton Down who couldn’t very well have missed it in their earlier analysis nor if they had aliquots (you can be rather sure of that) of the samples sent to Spiez.

          Now how will PD respond — or do they go down the same integrity black hole as OPCW? That’s not going to sit well with professional staff — a scientific reputation is very hard to gain back. Assuming tainted samples, who there actually handled the A-234 and under whose orders?

          • Crackerjack

            Agree. If true this destroys our case ( already based on the egregious lie that only Russia can make “it”)

            Whats left of this country’s reputation will be vapourised

      • Paul

        Tom,
        As to be expected with a (deliberately) incomplete public version of a confidential document, much is still unclear. Can any outsider with any confidence determine how many samples are being examined? Are the samples not just of blood / urine, but of several distinct and perhaps separate substances taken from multiple sites? (To confuse the hounds?)

        Hard to for a lay person to make sense of high degrees of purity on one hand, and mixtures of BZ and A-234 and perhaps some more garden-variety organophosphates…

        • Ultraviolet

          I have really been wondering what the reason was for the OPCW to make reference in its public summary to the “high degree of purity”.

          I am beginning to wonder whether that was their way of saying that the sample had clearly been spiked.

    • bj

      “— If that weren’t enough, Lavrov said the Swiss experts also found traces of volatile A-234 (a type of Novichok) in Skripals’ samples “in its original form” and in considerable quantities and purity. “

      Serious question: Where did you get these quotes “in its original form” [quote from Lavrov or the Lab], and “considerable quantities and purity” [quote from you], can you provide me with a reference or a link?

      • Godfree Roberts

        I believe that they are from the unreacted OPCW report, as quoted in The Saker:
        The OPCW report dated April 12th, 2018 was released in two versions. The minimal public version is available here. The full report is only being made available to State Parties and will likely make its way into the public domain at a later date.

        The OPCW public report contains a surprising amount of information if you know what to look for.

        OPCW – Key Finding

        At paragraph 11 the OPCW report states:

        The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.

        This is an explosive finding. It completely undermines the statements of the May government.

        Observation 1 – Purity

        Industrial bulk production of any product will introduce impurities into that product. The product may be 99.99% pure but removing that last .01% is either uneconomical, and / or unlikely to make any real difference to the end user.

        The same principle applies to the production of “military grade nerve agents” of the type rumoured to have been utilized in Salisbury. The fact the production process leaves minute trace evidence in the form of impurities offers a forensic method that may be used to identify the source of the material. Each unique production plant will leave unique trace evidence, or a “fingerprint,” which makes it possible to establish the point of origin of any suspect material.

        If you can identify the production location then you can identify the State Party associated with the production of that material.

        If there are no impurities in the chemical then it is not possible to identify a “fingerprint” and it is therefore impossible to associate the toxin with any specific State Party.

        Observation 2 – Lab Grade

        The absence of impurities is strong evidence of the suspect toxin not having come from a production run of toxic chemical. It is evidence of the toxin having been created in a laboratory environment. Science is based on shared universal knowledge. A key aspect of all scientific practice is ensuring the validity of any research process. This includes the necessity to remove all possible contaminants that may compromise the research.

        Materials created in a laboratory will typically exhibit a greater degree of purity than the same product derived from bulk industrial production. The “almost complete absence of impurities” suggests that the Salisbury toxin was produced in a competant laboratory, one able to work to the required high standard. This implies the availability of well trained and knowledgeable technicians, and laboratory support workers, in addition to the research scientists. It also implies a significant budget for materials, beakers, wash stations, test instruments, glove boxes, ventilation hoods, the safe disposal of any vapours, or any other waste material, a means to ensure a constant stream of filtered air, airlocks, a positive or negative pressure containment, a set of written laboratory guidelines and an enforced set of practices intended to maintain the necessary work environment.

        All of the foregoing costs money. A lot of money. The OPCW report provides confirmation that the toxin was not cooked up in a bedsit by a single individual bent on mayhem. It required a degree of resources only to be found in a sophisticated laboratory setting. Lesser university labs would be unable to create the compound without introducing impurities. A university with a strong research emphasis would have the capacity to synthesise a pure compound as would a competent state laboratory. A crime syndicate might develop a similar capability. But why spend all that time and money when a 9mm parabellum round costs under a dollar?

        Observation 3 – Military Grade

        Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Gary Aitkenhead have made repeated use of the phrase “a military grade nerve agent.” As described in Part VII a “military grade nerve agent will typically include additives intended to ensure the efficient application of the toxin, ensure stability during storage, or meet another unique military requirement.

        A “pure” toxin is not a “military grade nerve agent.” This would have been known to DSTL Porton Down. Gary Akenhead would have been aware of this fact at the time of his interview with Sky news. He acted to mislead the public.
        http://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-ix/

        • bj

          You might as well have commented by just stating the link in the first place.
          Having said that, you do realize that you’re quoting just another opinion, don’t you? With the risk of heaping interpretation upon interpretation upon….

          Maybe better to stay with what little facts and statements we do have.

          I was trying to restrict myself to more ‘official’ (FWIW) epistles, the OPCW report, the Spiez report and Lavrov’s remarks.
          There’s enough of interpretation and conjecture in them as it is, thank you.

          • Ultraviolet

            And what it doesn’t cover is perhaps the most important question of all.

            What was a highly pure agent doing in samples taken 2-3 weeks after the event? Was that plausibly in line with the official narrative, or does it necessarily mean that it was introduced at a later date?

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Godfree Roberts, Thank you for adding more detailed evidence

          Your avatar, looks rather like Major-General Jonathan Shaw – the guy who got cut off in The Sky interview when he started telling the truth – did you nick his pic – or is that a selfie???

          You are a good looking man.

          Tony

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Tom Smythe,

      Thank You, for quickly digging up all this evidence, which confirmed all my suspicians on the first day, before Craig Murray had written anything on the subject. I had written it in the previous blog the day before, on the basis of all the information that been released.

      To summarise, what wrote.. I think all this has been made up. The Press and the photographers and the guys in Hazmat suits have got there too quick, unless the event had been pre-prepared. You simply do not do that for 2 people being ill on a town bench, where the suspected drug used was Fentanyl. According to the reports, if they have been poisoned with anything, its probably LSD or something close.

      I wasn’t that far out.

      Tony

    • Bayard

      “— This strongly suggests deliberate tainting of samples by A-234 furnished by Porton Down.”
      Don’t you mean “It is highly likely that the samples were tainted by A-234….”?
      Should we now not expel our own embassy staff?

  • N_

    Unidentified warplanes have bombed a site near Aleppo in northern Syria within the past three hours, killing at least 20 people.

  • Jones

    there have been a few comments on Skripals doorknob —- what everyone seems to have missed is that it appears Skripals front door opens ”out” not in, look at photos there are three black external hinges, if it opens ”out” it is entirely possible nobody touched the doorknob at all, many people close such doors by simply pushing shut with either hand, elbow, or foot, without actually touching doorknob, especially if carrying things in hands.

    • N_

      It does open out, but for the Euro cylinder type of lock you still have to pull the handle up when the door is closed before turning the key to lock it.

      • Jones

        just to ad, outside door looks like it’s just a porch door, main door is probably inside that porch, perhaps after locking main door they didn’t bother to lock porch door, could it have just been pushed shut and left unlocked without pulling handle up on euro lock?

  • Hieroglyph

    Today, Theresa May is claiming -astonishingly – that the UK attack on Syria is “to deter chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the UK.

    I’m vaguely wondering who the audience is for this claim. Journalists and school-children is my guess. It never ceases to amaze how educated journalists appear to believe any old baloney if it comes from the voice of authority. Well, I guess it shouldn’t amaze me, if they are all just Mockingbird style infiltrators, which they probably are.

    And anyway, it’s easy to stop chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the UK. Tell the security services to stop doing them! 13 SAS soldiers are in Syria apparently, captured aiding various ISIS groups, and possibly implicated the chemical weapons false flag. Tsk Tsk, naughty.

    • SA

      Watching some of the delegates speak in the UNSC recent meetings is rather depressing because they say one thing and do another. The US, UK and France say that they are trying to uphold the rule of international law by blatantly breaking the first Chapter of the the UN charter, placing themselves above anyone else. They accuse others of impunity but forcefully act with impunity themselves. Nonepermanent members are also predictably aligned so that the Netherlands always parrots thier NATO allies line of argument. In fact the biggest single group in the UNSC is now NATO with the three permanent members, Netherlands and Poland currently. This will always be the case.
      The recent voting on the Russian resolution was particularly disappointing.

      • Paul

        Ethiopia has been a bright light in its speeches, but as a small, dependent player, tends to abstain in the votes.

        • SA

          I agree. But that is the problem, I am sure there is a lot of arm twisting behind the scenes.

        • IM

          Bolivia gives Russia’s speeches a run for its money, the man really knows how to turn the thumbscrews on the US and the UK!

    • IM

      Careful polling or dishonest respondents- recall “Hillary is bound to win according to polls,” and “Polls indicate the Leave is going to lose…” Generally, though, you always ask so that you get the “right” answer (watch in full, less than 4 mins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTUtAfzIbPU

    • SA

      If the majority of the population get thier ‘facts’ from the main MSM then that would not be too surprising. I have not looked to see how the sample was chosen but I presume it would be more likely to be people who read newspapers or watch BBC and SKY and ITV news.

      • Michael McNulty

        Polls have been as corrupted as the MSM. If you believe the polls you may as well believe the headlines in The Sun, Daily Mail etc.

    • Mary Paul

      A straw poll of My family and friends, before the recent Lavrov intervention, believe it to be the work of rogue figure Russian actors or a lower level Russian state actor who mistimed the attack.

      • SA

        Mary Paul
        You and your family should sit and discuss what motiv whoever did this , had. You must also sit down and decide who has so fat benefited. Over dinner you can then discuss the similarities between this event and the alleged chlorine attack in Syria. Over dessert you may then consider the same questions asked earlier about motiv and benefits, this time applied to SG. If you have a statistician in your family you may then ask them to see if chance alone could explain these two rogue happenings or whether a mathematical model can be constructed to show any interconnection. With the after eights you may then wish to ponder over our great strong and stable leader’s most recent speech performed in front of the Union Jack sending a clear message to all those who use CW as to what thier fate might be, linking Salisbury with Douma.
        I await the next straw poll in your family with anticipation.

    • sibbaldi

      YouGov was founded by Stephan Shakespeare and Nadhim Zahawi. I think that just about says it all.

    • Ultraviolet

      My comment: given that not believing the official line means you believe the Government and every single MSM outlet have been blatantly lying, only 61% believing the official line is astonishingly low. In a situation where the Government was being honest – or even just barely plausible – I would expect the figure to be 90-95%, with only a small fringe doubting them.

      I would also add that, given the implications of saying that you doubt the Government line, a lot of people might be reluctant to tell a pollster that they don’t, for fear of sounding like a tinfoil hat wearer.

    • Dan

      Polls also predicted a Tory landslide victory at the last election (and predicted an Ed Miliband victory in the election before that).

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