OPCW Salisbury Report Confirms Nothing But the Identity of the Chemical 540


The word “Russia” does not occur in today’s OPCW report. The OPCW Report says nothing whatsoever about the origin of the chemical which poisoned the Skripals and certainly does not link it in any way to Russia.

The technical ability of Porton Down to identify a chemical has never been in doubt, and the only “finding of the United Kingdom”the OPCW has confirmed is the identity of the chemical.

10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and
biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United
Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and
severely injured three people.
11. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is
concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.

There are scores of countries that chemical could have come from. For the BBC and other mainstream media outlets to pretend that the OPCW has in any sense endorsed Boris Johnson’s claims about Russia is to spread deliberate lies as propaganda. In fact what they have confirmed is simply the finding of Porton Down – and that finding was that it is a chemical which cannot be confirmed as made in Russia.


540 thoughts on “OPCW Salisbury Report Confirms Nothing But the Identity of the Chemical

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  • zoot

    brits and frenchies were up for a bit of precipitous, ww3-starting bombing. trump has made them look ridiculous.

    • giyane

      Mrs May sticking her blind eye to the telescope in the good old English tradition.

  • giyane

    Tony M

    I think what simeon is saying is that USUKIS and France , following the success of the Russia and Syrian government forces, have got to destroy the evidence of their bunkers, tunnels and illegal regime-change infrastructure in Syria by bombing the suburbs of Damascus, before the truth emerges about USUKIS French support for the Saudi head-choppers is exposed to the nice United Nations.

    If Russia was to expose the extent of USUKIS colonial manipulation of the war against the Syrian people, most of the heads of state in those countries would be facing long prison terms and the credibility of the West would be finished for the long term. Don’t worry, the Times published all the dirty dealings that went on in Libya after Gadaffi was overthrown. They couldn’t stop themselves from bragging and gloating how they had just destroyed the richest nation in Africa , which was planning to create an interest-free bank for Africa.

    ps
    Simeon
    ” It is said of Simeon that, “the Holy Spirit was upon him” (Lk. 2:25). This Spirit foretold to the elder his future meeting with the Messiah. And this Spirit led Simeon to the church when the Mother of Jesus had come with her Son in her arms to perform the sacred rite. The Jerusalem Temple was never empty. This was the only sanctuary, and no other Temple could ever be created by anyone anywhere. The whole of populous Israel fulfilled their vows and brought their sacrifices to this Temple. People streamed there daily from all villages and towns, not to mention on the crowded feasts, to bring their sacrifices: guilt offerings, thanksgiving offerings, offerings according to a vow. And in the midst of this throng did Simeon, led by the Spirit, easily discern Those for Whom he had been waiting so long: the Mother and Child. He came up to the Mother, took the Infant Christ in his arms, and pronounced the prayer by which we now end every day we’ve lived and with which we hope to end our lives.

    In This prayer he confessed that the promise to him had been fulfilled. “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples.” Fulfilled also are the words of the 90th psalm: “I will show him My salvation.”
    http://orthochristian.com/110728.html

    The story of Simeon is fixed in my memory from my earliest childhood. He was an early witness to the Messiah, for whom he had been waiting so long.

    • giyane

      I tell a lie. It was the Telegraph, but I have never been able to find a link to their jingoistic bragging about Cameron’s boots on the ground. maybe they erased it after complaints from him.

  • Tony M

    Giyane, with all due respect, I don’t see what relevance fairy stories from one of the another of the religious cultists big magic books could ever possibly have. They’re just some tall tales, oral fantasies warped through scores of generations engaging in a sinister form of chinese-whispers, a sort of early darkest ages mental candy-floss mind-control, the bbc of its times. Which must bear a great deal of responsibility for dividing humanity upon its present entrenched lunatic lines, perpetuated to this day, but unsuited to, infact highly dangerous in this modern post-enlightenment world in which we live.

    • giyane

      And a fine morning to you , good Sir. Post enlightenment. I wasn’t aware of any enlightenment except for 2 encounters with Hitler which produced the NHS and Welfare System. After a short but painful encounter with Putin , maybe the enlightenment of Islam might come, one day.

  • Alan

    Does anyone have a link or deeper background to the SF-held-hostage in Syria please?

    • Michael McNulty

      The US has to use the phrase ‘the exceptional nation’ because the Nazis own ‘the master race’. It’s the same with full-spectrum dominance; it’s not as snappy as world domination. The US was a few decades behind the Nazis but they’ve just about caught up now.

  • Ophelia Ball

    It is with surprise and regret that I find myself adopting the same mental processes as Theresa May (or Blackadder’s ‘Wise Woman of Putney’ – ‘Bells episode’), insofar as I am now forced to conclude that there are only two plausible explanations for all of this. Either

    1. I am raving mad
    or
    2. Everybody else in the whole damned World is raving mad

    I just watched this video https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-12/bolton-and-mattis-feud-over-syria-strike-assad-evacuates-weapons

    which contains the memorable lines

    ‘The Wall St. Journal also reports that broad plans are being crafted by the U.S., France and Britain for a military strike, while President Trump told reporters on Thursday “We’re looking very, very seriously, very closely at that whole situation, and we’ll see what happens, folks, we’ll see what happens. It’s too bad that the world puts us in a position like that.”

    and at this point, I just give up, really I do. Take me, Jesus! I’ve had enough of this crap, and I just don’t get it any more

    • Ophelia Ball

      You see, there you go! I am not even vaguely religious, but, in my hour of need, I reached out in the name of Jesus and, lo and behold, a Miracle happened

      We, Dear Readers, are not alone, because crying out in the Wilderness there is at least one other sane, rational and ever-so-slightly-tasty-if-you-are-of-a-certain-age voice, giving hope for Mankind (if not for the reptiles who masquerade as Western politicians)

      http://theduran.com/russia-maria-zakharova-talk-syria-crisis-skripal-case-rare-english-interview/

      • Ophelia Ball

        I have a very full day today and can’t invest much more time in this nonsense: here is my take on the situation and some interesting commentary from other sources:

        1. I think WW3 if OFF and that the West has blinked first. I say this for two reasons

        a. Pompeo has been trying to retain some vestige of American pride by claiming they already defeated the Russians in Syria:

        ‘Answering Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New New Hampshire), Pompeo listed the ways in which the Trump administration has confronted Russia, from sanctions and the expulsion of diplomats to the new nuclear posture review. “In Syria, now, a handful of weeks ago the Russians met their match. A couple hundred Russians were killed,” he said.’

        I think this is pretty desperate stuff, and indicates a tail-between-legs retreat, quite honestly

        b. There’s nothing to be gained from bombing Syria, because the heroic rebels have now been totally eradicated from Eastern Ghouta. Game Over, Dude. You Lost!

        Sure, we can kick off again when the Syrians try to re-take Al Tanf and the oilfields East of the Euphrates, but for the time being the moment has passed, and all the bombs in the world aren’t going to put ISIS back within mortar range of downtown Damascus

        2. I think China has been far more supportive of Russia – http://thesaker.is/china-must-walk-the-talk-and-support-russia/
        and antagonistic towards the USA – than people in the West realise: whilst our attention has been on Syria and the Skripals, the Chinese are bristling at the trade wars, about Taiwan and about the US aircraft carrier docking in Vietnam. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2141505/surprise-move-china-mount-live-fire-navy-drills-taiwan

        As I a consequence, I think XI Jinping is more ‘up’ for a direct showdown with Trump than Putin is, and, once again, the Americans are vainly trying to claim a victory, (“Confidernt our threats are working”) which will just embolden the Chinese to slap them down – https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-12/white-house-plans-more-tariffs-china-confident-threats-are-working

        3. The USA is now fundamentally discredited everywhere outside its vassal Empire, and its credibility has been squandered by muppets such as Nikki Hale, Hillary Clinton and Ronald McDonald himself, the soon-to-be-impeached fall guy Trump: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-12/us-fading-irrelevance-good-thing-world

        The Russians have called their bluff: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-12/russias-real-endgame and nobody really has any trust or confidence in “the American Way” any more: http://thesaker.is/what-price-will-mankind-have-to-pay-for-the-collapse-of-the-empire/

        In brief : I think the immediate crisis may have passed, but the losses which the USA has suffered as a consequence of this showdown will only slowly become apparent, and will endure for a very considerable period into the future

        As for the UK? – we need a new identity, and one which doesn’t involve prostituting ourselves by offering up Gibraltar to the USA, or Northern Ireland to the EU. This small nation has achieved many things – admittedly, most of them catastrophically bad for the rest of humanity – and we can do it again, but not while we have muppets like Johnson, liars like Blair and Mandelson, robots like May and children like Williams (or whatever the “Stupid Boy” Pike-like tool in charge of Defence is called) at the helm

        Enjoy your weekend, safe in the knowledge that it probably isn’t going to be your last one after all

        • Ivan

          In an odd way the Chinese benefit, since the antics of the Americans will trouble anyone in S Korea, Taiwan or Vietnam about the wisdom of relying on the Americans who have no sense of proportion about what is undertaken, in relation to the provocation.

        • Hatuey

          What a bizarre post. No reference at all to the thing that matters most, power. Israel’s airforce on its own could probably hammer Russia. Half of the world’s military budget is accounted for in US defence spending.

          • Ivan

            All the military spending in the world would not matter if things go nuclear. Israel will be a minor roadkill in that case.

          • Ophelia Ball

            Hatuey, [the nation you refer to] couldn’t even defeat Lebanon when it invaded, and is now clearly terrified of sending its aircraft into Syrian airspace

            And all that expensive American kit? – it didn’t help them much in Vietnam, and it isn’t helping the Saudi’s all that much in Yemen either

            This isn’t about military power – it’s about a supremacist mindset, and on that count the Emperor has just been shown to have no clothes at all (no matter how expensive they were)

        • Jo Dominich

          Ophelia, please don’t stop contributing to this ‘nonsense’ I for one, really enjoy your words of wisdom and your views!

        • Dave54

          Yes i agree, WW3 is off as i can see doubts creeping into the media talk of staged footage of the alleged chemical attack, even the BBC have downgraded it to the “apparent” attack. Really good reporting this evening on RT, from a medic who says he was in the ER. 9

      • anon

        The long version of Maria Zakharovas interview is well worth watching… a person of substance… the same sense you get when you listen to Putins speeches/interviews.,,, direct, not pharisaic PR formulations…. a real contrast with the hysteria in london…

  • Sharp Ears

    Cartoon in the Times.
    ‘What could possibly go wrong?’

    https://nuk-tnl-deck-prod-static.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/b4549dedf37d54509c5779715f8627fb.png

    Their front page reads:
    VIDEO
    Biggest task force since Iraq on course for Syria
    ● US-led strikes against Assad expected in days
    ● Britain will join action as cabinet backs May
    April 13 2018,
    The nuclear-powered USS Harry S Truman could be included in action against Syria after she set sail from Virginia this week Photo

    The largest US air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war was heading towards Syria last night as Theresa May won the backing of the cabinet to join in military action.

    US-led strikes after the suspected chemical weapon attack in Douma, which left as many as 40 people dead, are expected within the next three days.

    The prime minister continued yesterday to face down demands for a Commons vote on whether Britain should join the US in any punitive action against President Assad.

    Senior ministers decided it “was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged”, according to the official read-out from an emergency meeting of the cabinet yesterday. It added that they “agreed on the need to take action…

    Plus the graphic they keep printing showing the junk each side possesses. What evil.
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3be0d94e-3ebb-11e8-96da-1445aa653caf.png?crop=3000%2C2000%2C0%2C0&resize=685

    It’s just like little boys playing computer war games.

    • jazza

      Hopefully the ‘cabinet’ will get in their rowing boats immediately and take all the neo-con labour supporters with them in this ‘battle’ with evil – they should get there in a few weeks – it’s about time this henious bunch of ner’-do-wells faced up to the challenge themselves!

      • Salford Lad

        This Syrian crisis is the beginning of a NEW Religion.
        Have faith you unbelIevers and follow your prophets, Treeza and Boris.
        Chemical poisoning is the new GOD. Only those who believe in total bullshit can be saved.

  • Steve McCall

    [Mod: Steve McCall, Angus Ogg, James Devine, kindly pick one handle per thread and stick to it. Thank you.]

    Craig,
    I see from this article that you seem to be moving towards the logical conclusion of the UK Govt, in that you now accept that people have been poisoned in Salisbury by a toxin all OPCW states now have details of. Perhaps the States under suspicion should release the details of the classified report so they are absolved of any guilt?
    Anyway well done for trying, albeit extremely slowly, to keep up with the international narrative that will get to the bottom of this incident when the rest of the evidence is published.

    • IM

      Why is the state making the accusation incapable of releasing the classified report? I really don’t follow your logic…

      • Steve McCall

        [Mod: Steve McCall, Angus Ogg, James Devine, kindly pick one handle per thread and stick to it. Thank you.]

        The document is not a public one and not for discussion in a public forum. That said if any party were to disagree with it’s contents it should make them known.
        To clarify under the non-proliferation rules of the OPCW of which almost all nations are signatories in the same way components in a nuclear weapon cannot be disclosed openly it would be wrong to maker all the details public.
        All Russia needs to do is publish it all or in part,if it disagrees with it or hand it to Edward Snowden who will do it for them (post it on wikileaks)

        Additionally the full report will be published in a week or so albeit redacted to some extent.

        • Bayard

          If I read you right, then your point is that, if the classified report says that the poison was not Novichok, then it should be kept secret, but if it say it was it should be published in contravention of the OPCW’s rules, which rules are strictly to be adhered to in every other respect? I.e. the UK government can’t break these rules, but the Russians must, just to keep you happy.

        • IM

          You still haven’t answered my question: if the classified report contains irrefutable proof of the “Russian” guilt, surely it would be in the interest of the UK to make that report public *for the whole world to see*?! Why do you put the onus on the accused to prove innocence???

    • GoAwayAndShutUp

      Does “the rest of the evidence” you wish/think should be published includes all UK investigative work since day one?. Full Chain of Custody?. CCTV’s cameras footage?. All Salisbury Hospital medical records?. The testimony of whom lied to poor Boris in Porton Down about the Russian origin of the “Novichok”?. Evidence of why is in Julia Skripal best interest to keep her isolated, other than a statement written on her behalf?.

      Or you only mean the OPCW detailed report?. OPCW, whose cooperation was only requested two weeks after the March 04 event with the express UK demand that the accused do not participate. It is clear that the only evidence you like is that favors the prosecution. Would you like a case against you where the authorities hide all exculpatory evidence from you?. Is that what you wish?

      Do you think Tony Blair would be free, promoting a new war, if all evidence conducting to the Iraq would have been published? Would the UK be on the verge of another war in that case?.

      Why was all the MH17’s investigation kept secret?. Why didn’t Russia was allowed to participate if it was directly accused?. Where is the evidence for the accusations?

      In 2017, 59 Tomahawks flew to Shayrat Air Base due to “evidence” US “had” about Khan Shaykhun CWs’ attack by “Animal Assad”. 10 months later Mat Dog Mattis said there was no evidence.

      If any solid proof exists for all these cases it would have been published YEARS AGO.

      I’m all for the whole evidence in these cases to be published. Are you?.

      • Steve McCall

        [Mod: Steve McCall, Angus Ogg, James Devine, kindly pick one handle per thread and stick to it. Thank you.]

        GoAwayAndShutUp
        My post was addressed to Craig Murray,

        • nevermind

          you don’t get a private Q&A session here, especially not from one high and mighty.
          This is a blog and your points above about disclosure also includes the UK Government who acted late, showed us some unprofessional NBC procedures, accused the victims home country almost immediately, then lied, deleted tweets, and now has whisked away one of the victims who has not been seen in public alive since the incident, whilst goading and throwing Nazi jibes at Russian who have lost millions of people.

          You are an apologist, just as Andrew above.

  • Doghouse

    It would confirm what the UK government concluded precisely because it was the UK government that supplied OPCW with the samples. This does not prove this is what poisoned the Skripals, only an analysis by OPCW of their infected blood would do this, not something that was allegedly found at their home. I do not for one minute believe a blood or body fluid analysis taken directly from the Skripals under correct chain of custody would prove positive for Novichoke, Mr Stephen Davies makes this abundantly clear.

    Some have speculated that his letter may have been hastily written, I feel nothing could be further from the truth. It appears a very brave, carefully constructed letter which makes it abundantly clear that no one was poisoned with Novichoke.

    1. ‘*No patients* have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.’

    2. ‘There have only ever been 3 cases of significant poisoning.’ The absence of the words *nerve agent* prior to ‘poisoning’ is no accident. We can deduce this how? People have speculated that at (1) above, he may be referring to members of the public as opposed to the Skripals, but this cannot be because –

    3. In relation to people other than the Skripals – ‘none has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment’. In other words there have been no other *patients* than the Skripals and one other. To be in no doubt, he double confirms this –

    4. ‘No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.’ No ambiguity, there have been no patients other than the Skripals, therefore it must be the Skripals to whom he refers at (1) above. And again he further, doubly confirms it by once again omitting the word *nerve* prior to ‘agent involved’ above. Twice he indicates no nerve agent.

    There is no ambiguity, it is a very clear and brave letter. The Skripals plus one other exhibited significant symptoms of Poisoning, but it was not *nerve agent* poisoning. There were no other people treated. So whatever our duplicitous government provided to the OPCW, it wasn’t what poisoned the Skripals plus one.

    • Steve McCall

      [Mod: So do you. Steve McCall, Angus Ogg, James Devine, kindly pick one handle per thread and stick to it. Thank you.]

      GoAwayAndShutUp, you seem to have posted a reply to the question I posed to Doghouse.

      You need to work on your ability to switch between your many accounts as well as your language.

    • Doghouse

      [Mod: Contributors are unable to delete their own posts. Posts are deleted by moderation if they break posting rules, a copy of which will be put up again shortly. Unfortunately if a contribution is deleted, the replies to it are no longer visible to readers. Your “rather conceited” will be permitted to remain, as it appears to be a perfectly factual description of a person who posts under at least three different names and expects that to pass moderation. Thank you.]

      After being accused of making the above up by the rather conceited Steve McCall, I posted a link which now appears to have disappeared, presumably because said McCall deleted his own post which served no other purpose than to make him look silly. I’ll repost what I said in response to him below: –

      Mr Stephen Davies is the Consulting Emergency physician at Salisbury Hospital. On 14th March he wrote to the editor of The Times in response to an article they published in which they stated 40 people had been treated for chemical poisoning. The letter was published in The Times and all quotes above are from that skilfully constructed letter, which when read carefully makes a singular statement. A copy of the letter may be viewed here –

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/no-patients-have-experienced-symptoms-of-nerve-agent-poisoning-in-salisbury.html

    • Dave54

      …but what if the Skripals are in on this deceit, for money, revenge or a green card to the USA?

  • SA

    Below I have tried a further analysis of this summary report by the OPCW

    NOTE BY THE TECHNICAL SECRETARIAT
    SUMMARY OF THE REPORT ON ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT
    IN SUPPORT OF A REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BY
    THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
    (TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE VISIT TAV/02/18)

    1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical
    assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) under
    subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention in relation
    to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a
    nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals. The
    Director-General decided to dispatch a team to the United Kingdom for a technical
    assistance visit (TAV).

    Note: The UK G has asked for technical assistance involving a ‘toxic chemical, allegedly a nerve agent’.

    2. The TAV team deployed to the United Kingdom on 19 March for a pre-deployment
    and from 21 March to 23 March for a full deployment.

    Note: Full deployment was 15 days after the incident.

    3. The team received information on the medical conditions of the affected individuals,
    Mr Sergej Skripal, Ms Yulia Skripal, and Mr Nicholas Bailey. This included
    information on their acetylcholinesterase status since hospitalisation, as well as
    information on the treatment regime.

    Note: This statement is somewhat vague and suggests that the OPCW received selected information and did not look at the medical records. In particular the main data analysed was the acetylcholinesterase levels since hospitalisation as well as the treatment they received. In this context it is worth noting that there are many substances that cause Acetylcholinesterase inhibition, either reversible or irreversible, including some medication used in treating Alzheimer’s disease, myasthenia gravis and glaucoma, as well as insecticides and herbicides and fungicides,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648782/pdf/CN-11-315.pdf

    4. The team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals under
    full chain of custody for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory and subsequent analysis
    by OPCW designated laboratories, and conducted identification of the three
    individuals against official photo-ID documents.

    Note: This statement suggests but does not prove that a member of the OPCW did not actually collect the samples. They may have been present during collection or they may have just had signed statements as to the chain of custody. Also it is not quite clear from this statement if the OPCW team actually saw the individuals concerned or just had their identity verified through photo ID.

    5. The team was able to conduct on-site sampling of environmental samples under full
    chain of custody at sites identified as possible hot-spots of residual contamination.
    Samples were returned to the OPCW Laboratory for subsequent analysis by OPCW
    designated laboratories.

    Note: The implication here is that the team was taken to the various sites identified as possible hot spots presumably by PD or Police. Again the use of the term, under full chain of custody needs more clarification. Did the OPCW team collect the samples or were these samples vouched for by the UK authorities.

    6. The team requested and received splits of samples taken by British authorities for
    delivery to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and subsequent
    analysis by OPCW designated laboratories. This was done for comparative purposes
    and to verify the analysis of the United Kingdom.

    Note: So these are splits of the original samples taken by PD for comparative purposes and to verify the analysis. This part should be uncontroversial.

    7. The team was briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical identified by the United
    Kingdom and was able to review analytical results and data from chemical analysis of
    biomedical samples collected by the British authorities from the affected individuals,
    as well as from environmental samples collected on site.

    Note: Again relatively uncontroversial. PD told them what they found and showed them the various analyses.

    8. The results of analysis of biomedical samples conducted by OPCW designated
    laboratories demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this
    toxic chemical.

    Note: This statement is extremely problematic. It is not really a very scientific way of expressing a result by identifying that someone has been exposed to this toxic agent before you have explicitly identified this chemical.

    9. The results of analysis of the environmental samples conducted by OPCW designated
    laboratories demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical in the samples.

    Note: Again this undefined toxic chemical.

    10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and
    biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United
    Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and
    severely injured three people.

    Note: This states basically that the OPCW confirms1. That three people have been exposed to an acetylcholinesterase (ACE) inhibitor, 2. That this agent is what has been stated to be by PD. The problematic bit here is that PD said it was a novichok or something similar so that covers a lot of ACE inhibitors.

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

    Note: This is a very big giveaway. I do not think that this high purity is a result from biological tests as this is not stated above and is unlikely. What seems to have been gleaned from the biological samples is the ACH levels I suppose and therefore must be of the environmental samples. Even this is strange. Imagine a highly reactive compound being smeared on doorknobs being completely uncontaminated whilst being exposed to environmental factors including rain, oxygen contaminants such as smoke and car fumes.

    12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full
    classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.

    Note: The name and structure remains secret but I presumably available to all member states of the OPCW. It remains however to be identified as a toxic chemical.

    Note: My impression therefore is that the OPCW has failed to throw further light on this matter. Of course it will be used as a PR exercise in any way you choose, but in my opinion the report is not sufficiently versed in scientific language to be convincing.
    Below I have tried a further analysis of this summary report by the OPCW

    • irena

      I find this interesting they say the samples collected 15 days after the incident but ‘the toxic chemical was ‘of high purity’. How this could be? A body metabolizes toxins very quickly. How the samples weren’t affected ? How the toxic chemical remain in the same state of high purity?

  • Lena

    don’t you find it curious that the TAV gave the “purity” its extra bullet point? They could have integrated the descriptive adjective into a different bullet point. But they chose to elaborate with ” the almost complete absence of impurities”.
    What do they mean by that? Did they expect a carrier substance and didn’t find one? Like when you add detergent to cocain to make it last longer.
    Or were they befuddled that after 17 days of exposure, when they finally scraped off their samples onsite on March 21st, no pollen, no street dust had contaminated Skripal’s contaminated garden?

    • GoAwayAndShutUp

      There has been all this talking about how impurities are the only way to link these chemical compounds to a particular lab. I found that clarification line odd and also redundant. And, again, to which sample components they are comparing this?.

      • Doghouse

        GoAwayAndShutUp,

        FYI – I posted a link in response to McCall on my above post which linked to the letter that Mr Davies wrote to The Times. The link disappeared presumably because Mr McCall deleted his post. I have reposted the link above and the letter can be read there if you are interested…..

    • giyane

      Lena
      Good point . Means it came fresh from the laboratory, where it arrived fresh from a country that keeps these poisons. Is there any market value in failed Tory politicians caught in the act of false-flag poisoning to start a war with Russia? No? They’ve gotta be worth at least 2 quid for sticking in my Anaerobic manure digester for methane.

    • Ultraviolet

      This struck me as well. The OPCW clearly consider this to be a significant finding, but I cannot find any objective and informed source to tell me why it is significant, and what we should read into this.

  • Madeira

    Yesterday I maintained, i the face of some skepticism, that the Russians would indeed receive a copy of the “classified” report and that they would give us their reaction in due time.

    Well here is what Lavrov has said today:

    “”The OPCW merely confirmed the composition of the chemical substance. And the closed part of their report merely contains a lengthy chemical formula of said substance; it doesn’t contain any literary titles, stating instead that this substance is not listed in the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

    https://sputniknews.com/europe/201804131063512212-lavrov-johnson-salisbury-commentary/

    Hopefully someone will let us know at some point whether this “lengthy chemical formula” corresponds to Novichok, or not.

  • Leonard

    Porton Down simply showed them their own samples of “Novichok”. There was no attack in Salisbury at all.

  • sam

    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/04/08/proof-intel-drop-trump-bolton-behind-syria-chemical-attacks-confirmed/

    Last week, Russia and Syria announced the capture of British chemical weapon stockpiles in East Ghouta along with the capture of a “coalition” command and chemical weapons facility with all personnel. Taken from the combined statement censored from the western press, from March 25, 2018

    “The Syrian Arab Army and with the help of Russian captured a shipment of chemical weapons destined for the Eastern Ghouta. These were British weapons produced at Porton Down in Salisbury.

    Russian suspects that the Skripal incident is related as by their records, Skiripal was working at Porton Down as a chemical weapons trafficker in partnership with a Ukrainian firm. Russia denies attacking Skripal but admits he was under surveillance for his activities involving support of terrorism in Syria and arms trafficking.

    Russia also confirms that there are British, American, Israeli and Saudi intelligence officers who were caught by the Syrian army in one of the heavily fortified operations rooms during the invasion of the Syrian army and its allies of the East Ghouta.”

    VT asked the Syrian government for serial numbers and closeup photographs of chemical weapons used. Syria sent them to us today.

    • lysias

      That’s probably the evidence that Lavrov said today he had that the Intel service of a country leading the Russophobia campaign staged the Gouta attack.

  • Dave G

    An article on the Guardian has a quote from a letter from Sir Mark Sedwill, the UK’s national security adviser, to the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, in which Sedwill claims that Russia had tested putting nerve agent on door handles.
    So the famously efficient Russians tried all these different methods and ended up using a method which didn’t actually kill anyone? Even though they were using a nerve agent which is supposedly many times more powerful than the VX (developed in Britain) which killed the North Korean leader’s brother in minutes?
    The release of the letter is supposed to bolster the position of the UK government, but it does the exact opposite.

    • Keith McClary

      Bizarre Sedwill statement:
      “The code word used for the offensive chemical weapons programme (of which the Novichoks were one part) was FOLIANT,”
      “It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent international weapons controls.”

      So, they blew the cover on this secret program just to take revenge on a retired spy? To “send a message”, we are supposed to believe.

      And if Sedwill knew this all along, why leak the luggage, car vent and cellphone theories to the tabloids?

  • steve

    “the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom” Which findings are these? And from which organisation in the United Kingdom? Porton Down was vague. The Government and the media less so. We know no more about the chemical agent than we knew before. Such a gratuitous omission can only be political. It doesn’t take much grey-matter to establish a beneficiary.

  • Tony

    Exactly!

    TAV= Technical Assistance Visit

    Point No 11 is very logical though. The absence of impurities indicates that it was very pure!

    • lissnup

      Tony, I’m wondering if you can help answer a question that’s been puzzling me since I read the report. It’s named TAV/022018: should I assume that is because this was their 2nd TAV this year?

  • IM

    So… According to the Russian Ambassador to the UK, Russia has sent UK a request under CWC Art. 9(2) as to what is stored/produced at Porton Down …

  • PhatBastard

    I wish people would stop using the term “Novichok” to describe this alleged nerve agent. There is no such single agent as “Novichok”! The term was used to describe new types of nerve agents after some idiot thought that VX wasn’t deadly enough. There will be literally 1000’s of new organophosphate compounds that have been produced, since the invention of VX, by most countries of the world for a variety of reasons.

    http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Organophosphates

    The labelling of this agent as “Novichok” is for one reason and one only – it’s a Russian word and if the powers that be keep using it then the sheeple will see “Russian” and not the fact that ANY country can and do produce organophosphate compounds.

    Oh, and if you believe that only the U.S.S.R made “New” (see what I did there?) organophosphate nerve agents after VX, then you really are sheeple and I pity you.

  • Ross

    As the official narrative continues to fall apart, and the claims being made to rescue it become more and more ridiculous, even MSM apparatchiks are beginning to entertain serious doubts. My guess is very soon some other distracting infamy will have to be contrived in order to get this one well and truly down the memory hole.

  • Tony M

    giyane, I hope no offence was taken, I love you dearly for your erudition and wit. It causes me dismay that so much of your and so many others energies and capabilities have been mis-directed towards fruitless and diversionary dead-ends, and that for so many around the world their identity is so mixed up with as to be subsumed by their inheritied or professed religion, beyond reason. Once someone starts quoting from the aforesaid ‘holy’ books whatever their faith, my brain switches into spot-the-loony mode, my eyeballs roll up into my skull, teeth clench and I back away in pity and in fright. For most it is a minor and endearing flaw in the human make-up, for others selected and in-bred for perpetuation of this glitch it leads to exceptionally dangerous extremes such as Zionism. Emigration to the American colonies was once thought the solution to similar problems we had with protestantism gone too far, but it hasn’t worked out well, and has come back to bite us, of those who remained here many recovered and only a few pockets remain who seem incurable.

  • Jiusito

    This is old ground, but can someone tell me whether there are classifications in chemistry as there are in biology? For example, if I told a biologist I had a plant or animal that was “of a similar type” or “related” to one under discussion, she might ask whether I meant that it was of the same species (or subspecies), or genus, or family, or class, depending on how broad the discussion was.

    Do the same levels of classification exist in chemistry, or are “similar type” and “related” &c merely weasel terms that can be elastic as the lawyers might want them to be?

    Forgive me if this is a dumb question.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Open letter to Mrs Theresa May MP

    Dear Prime Minister

    Having grown up in a country which claimed to uphold the rule of law, promote democratic values and demand freedom from all forms of discrimination, I am struggling to understand the logic of your recent actions.

    Of course, it is possible that deep down you believe in none of those things, but innocent until proven guilty, I say….

    You have conducted a scandalously incompetent negotiation with the EU. Anyone would think the US had ordered you to reverse Brexit. But innocent until proven guilty, I say…

    You have overseen what can only be described as a ragtag omnishambles of incompetence where the events in Salisbury are concerned. Anyone would think you were cruising for a bruising from a Russian Bear. But innocent until proven guilty, I say.

    You have decided that Parliament will be bypassed and a 4:1 majority of the UK public overridden when deciding to go to war in Syria. Anyone would think you were interviewing to replace T. Blair as the Middle East Peace Envoy. But innocent until proven guilty, I say…..

    I can understand why you lack confidence in trusting democracy: you ran an omnishambles 2016 campaign, local elections may not make for pretty reading and you needed the Apostolic Succession approach to become Tory Leader. What a good thing Gove and Johnson enhanced Ronnie Reagan’s legacy of intellectual firepower in how they pointed loaded guns at their feet at the right moments….

    The thing is, you are not the US Ambassador to London; the overseas Director of the Mossad; nor are you Guy Verhofstadt’s side kick in the EU. You are, despite all appearances to the contrary, Her Britannic Majesty’s First Lord of the Treasury, aka Prime Minister of Her Britannic Majesty’s United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    1) Why do you start a war against a nation making no threats against the territorial waters or land mass of the UK?
    2) Why are you in such a rush to pass sentence before collecting evidence and analysing it rigorously?
    3) What possible reason can you give for Winston Churchill gassing Bolsheviks and stridently demanding to gas Coolies, whilst continuing to hail him as Britain’s greatest Prime Minister, when the mere allegation of Bashar Assad using chlorine is enough to render him an animal who must be overthrown?
    4) Why will you not present the evidence showing the nerve agent used in Salisbury was the weapon of Russian actors? Russians could have made it in Hawai’i, so where it was made is irrelevant…what matters is who was using it.
    5) Why is a blustering, bullshitting buffoon in the Foreign Office, when a forensic analytical mind is priority one right now for the holder of that Great Office of State?
    6) Why do you think you will gain international friends ripping up every protocol and organisation underpinning international law?
    7) What benefits will the underwriting taxpayer get from the Uk being a sitting duck for Russian Missiles? You working for JP Morgan earning your blood money is not of any benefit to the taxpayer…
    8) If I beat you up, threatened to kill your husband, would I be first choice to become the next Prime Minister of Syria? If so, why…..?
    9) Why are you so afraid of John Bolton? The man is a perverted psychopath. Prime Ministers worth their salt have neutralisation strategies for perverted psychopaths……
    10) Are you aware that you and Macron are being played by the Deep State USA? You are competing to be chief yap dog, chief poodle to the Whigged One…..why do you not both unite and say no? I am sure Poland and Ukraine would be better candidates….even if they lacked credibility in Europe….

    The British People have grown beyond yapdog politics. They want a life of friendship and enjoyment, not coercive sadism, BDSM politics and US blowjo(b)s.

    They want leadership of hope and realism, not conquest and Etonian thuggery.

    You are imitating Churchill in 1945, not Maggie in 1983.

    We fought for fucking Brexit, now build us a green and pleasant land. With modern fucking houses which are not fucking fire death traps…

    If not, someone else will.

    Even if they have to storm the fortress first like the Frenchies did in 1789…….

    Yours Faithfully

    A UK voter……

  • Roderick Russell

    I think it is absolutely pathetic that the world should be on the verge of a possible run up to a nuclear war because of a disagreement over Syria – if that’s the real reason. This nonsense can boomerang rapidly out of control. War is far too high a price to pay to bolster the egos of weak politicians.

    With regard to the Skripals, the public has a right to know all of the facts that are available. Yes, there is normally some right to privacy. But this is not a normal case. It’s about spies and spying, oligarchs in various competing factions, the interest of two States, not to mention its possible use as a casus belli for nuclear war. I don’t know what the truth is. I do know that the public have a right to know the facts.

  • Patrick Mahony

    The Sedwill letter is nonsense. First the same clanger as Boris, you can’t “stockpile” small amounts.
    Secondly, Nick Bailey described as “police Sergeant” when he is a CID plainclothes detective. And the “first responder” claim has zero credibility, CID is an office job, they don’t respond to 999 calls for druggies on a park bench plus they don’t work Sundays.
    Where is the 999 and police dispatch tapes? Where are they eyewitnesses to his heroics? Where is the smartphone pics and footage?

      • Kempe

        Yes he did go to the Skripal’s house which is where he was undoubtedly exposed to the nerve agent.

        • Bayard

          Are we talking about the same nerve agent as the one that doesn’t appear in the OPCW report?

          • Kempe

            10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and
            biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United
            Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and
            severely injured three people.

            Can’t put it any clearer; unless you’re in denial.

          • Bayard

            I must be blind, please point me to the words “nerve agent” in that extract, I can’t see them.

          • Kempe

            The UK, that is Porton down, defined the “toxic chemical” as a nerve agent if you remember. The OPCW are saying they agree with that conclusion.

          • Bayard

            You are missing out a vital word, let me remind you. From the report
            1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical
            assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) under
            subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention in relation
            to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a
            nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals. The
            Director-General decided to dispatch a team to the United Kingdom for a technical
            assistance visit (TAV).
            The missing word is “allegedly”
            The para 10 which you quote only says that the OPCW agree with Porton Down on what was the chemical they were asked to examine. If they had agreed it was a nerve agent, why would they not have said so and why would they use the word “allegedly” in para 1?
            Also if everything was as the UK government says it was, why is the report so mealy-mouthed and ambiguous? We all know what the UK government would want the OPCW to say clearly, i.e. yes it was a nerve agent, yes it was Novichok. So why didn’t they? There are two possible answers to this, firstly that it wasn’t a nerve agent so wasn’t Novichok and secondly that the OPCW are part of some plot to discredit the UK government and so are refusing to come out with the truth. So, unless you can think of a third, more likely explanation, I think the first explanation is the only one that survives being shaved by Occam’s razor.

  • Thomas_Stockmann

    LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AT THE GUARDIAN

    According to the Guardian’s editorial code, “Trust in the authenticity and reliability of our sources is essential.” It emphasises the importance of authentication and states that “We should be honest about our sources, even if we can’t name them.” CP Scott’s precept about the role of a newspaper is quoted: “Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted.”

    It appears from recent posts to the Guardian Syria Live Blogs that the newspaper may not always be fully transparent about the background of its sources. The first case is a post by the journalist Mona Mahmood of an interview with Yousif Al Bustani, 27, on 13th April which can be found at:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/13/syria-crisis-corbyn-accuses-may-of-waiting-for-trumps-instructions-live-updates
    Al Bustani’s words are notable for their specificity about what the USA should attack and what weapons (anti-aircraft missiles) the rebels require. According to the blog, Al Bustani “had to flee to the Aleppo countryside five days ago following the chemical attack”. It appears that this person is Yousef (with an e) Al Bustani, a media activist, 27 years old, who arrived in the Aleppo countryside a few days ago. See the links at:
    https://www.facebook.com/Yousef.albostany1/about?lst=100008788269953%3A100002537104533%3A1523633864
    https://en.sy-24.com/article/yousef-al-bustani-russia-continue-humiliating-regime-officers/
    http://syriadirect.org/news/east-ghouta-protester-%E2%80%98if-the-un-continues-to-remain-silent-it-will-be-assad%E2%80%99s-partner-in-the-killing%E2%80%99/
    In the third (Syria Direct) link, he is credited with a photo of a demonstration in which protestors complain about the allocation of aid in East Ghouta, and equate the United Nations with Assad. More telling is the second (Sy-24) link, in which he is interviewed and claims that there is no more Assad regime and that Syria is occupied by Russia. He claims that Russian officers humiliate Syrian officers. Crucially, the byline for this story is 6th April (last Friday). The story begins “Waves of IDPs [internally displaced persons] continue to arrive from Douma to northern Syria after an agreement was made between Jaish al-Islam and Russia.” Al Bustani states that no-one should question why they left, after six years of bombardment and siege, and notes that they have suffered psychological damage. All this is quite understandable. However, no mention is made of the alleged chemical attack, for the good reason that it had not yet occurred (that was on Saturday 7th). There are two crucial things that follow from this: (1) contrary to the story, emphasised by the Guardian among others, that resistance crumbled after the attack, this story shows that the agreement to evacuate had been made beforehand, completely undermining any motive for the Assad regime to launch one; (2) the Guardian blog post claims that Al Bustani had to flee to the Aleppo countryside five days before 13th April, on the 8th (after the date of the attack), but Sy-24 places him there on the 6th.
    The second post, also by Mona Mahmood, on 12th April, gives the comments of Judi Arsh, who also calls for the regime to be toppled by the USA. See: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/12/uk-russia-tensions-rise-over-syria-attack-and-salisbury-poisoning-live-updates?page=with:block-5acf767ee4b0457ba8886176#liveblog-navigation
    She is described as “a 24-year-old former resident Homs who fled to the Aleppo countryside with her family last year” but the blog does not disclose that she is a former regime detainee and journalist.
    I think both these individuals are entitled to be heard and I respect their courage. However, it seems to me there are two problems here:
    (1) The reader is left to assume that the interviewees are ordinary civilians. The reader is entitled to know if the background of the source might affect their testimony.
    (2) The date and content of the Al Bustani Sy-24 story raise grave doubts about the whole narrative claiming that Jaish al Islam withdrew because of the chemical attack, and contradict the assertion that he fled Douma following the attack.

  • uncle tungsten

    But will the Trump wake up to the fact that Theresa May and her manbag Boris are his enemy? It was the englander government after all that blatantly assisted Christopher Steele to compile his dirt dossier on Trump during the campaign. The englander government and MI6 via Sergei Skripal informed Steele in the dirt dossier and then the mysterious MI6 professor conned Papadopoulos and with the able assistance of the unbelievable Australian ambassador set up the BS about ‘Russian interference’ in US elections.

    The englander government with Theresa May backed Hillary Clinton to win and when they lost then helped play the Russian collusion card. This dirty game has crippled the first term for Trump and provided cannon fodder for the USA deep state.

    Regime change in the USA is Theresa May’s game and Trump needs to shut it down and ignore their BS and get on with cleaning house in the USA.

    • Bayard

      “The englander government and MI6 via Sergei Skripal informed Steele in the dirt dossier”
      Now that’s interesting! Do you have any backup to these assertions, because, if they are true it would show that there were other “state actors” who wanted to harm Sergei much more than Russia and go a long way to explain the bizarre antics of the UK govt. since the “poisoning”.

  • Roger Wise

    One thing that the dead will share, the lack of trial, still, May will be off to Church on Sunnday to pray to someone who lives in the sky, he may not be chuffed about all this. The need for dramatic change could not be more clear, the need to stop the few controlling our destination.

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