Portonblimp Down Episode 2 – A Tale By Boris Johnson 503

“Comrade Putin, we have successfully stockpiled novichoks in secret for ten years, and kept them hidden from the OPCW inspectors. We have also trained our agents in secret novichok assassination techniques. The programme has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but now we are ready. Naturally, the first time we use it we will expose our secret and suffer massive international blowback. So who should be our first target? The head of a foreign intelligence agency? A leading jihadist rebel in Syria? A key nuclear scientist? Even a Head of State?”

“No, Tovarich. There is this old retired guy I know living in Salisbury. We released him from jail years ago…”

“With respect Comrade Putin, are you sure he is the most important target to reveal a programme we have put so much resource into for ten years?”

“Yes. I sit here every day and I cannot concentrate on the affairs of Russia or the World as all the time am thinking of Sergei Skripal. I should never have let him out of jail to spend his life buying lottery tickets and eating in Zizzis. But you must make absolutely certain to kill him.”

“Don’t worry Comrade Putin, we have been training in secret novichok assassination techniques for ten years. We even have an detailed manual explaining our methods. We will spread the novichok on his outside door handle (fiendish laugh).”

“Are you sure comrade? Is there not a danger it will wash off or get diluted?”

“No Comrade Putin, it never rains in England.”

That is, genuinely, in every detail the official British government version of what happened in Salisbury, including the ten year programme and the secret assassination manual.

Despite this story being one of the most improbably wild conspiracy theories in human history, it is those who express any doubt at all as to its veracity who are smeared as “conspiracy theorists” or even “traitors”.

All copyright on this article is waived. Feel free to use, translate and republish as you wish.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

503 thoughts on “Portonblimp Down Episode 2 – A Tale By Boris Johnson

1 2 3 5
  • SO.

    Losing your patience Craig?

    Yeah, it’s all getting a bit Monty Python isn’t it.

    • Rose

      You’re telling me SO. It’s all falling down around their ears isn’t it? It would be tempting to say get in the beer and crisps and settle down to watch the whole hilarious shenanigans of these clowns if it wasn’t so horribly serious for us all.

      • SO.

        Personally I’d recommend an organic chemist take a close look at this:


        And tell me why the formula seems so similar to the nerve agent GV/GP on page 100 as listed in this:


        Which is in turn almost identical to the formula of Novichok’s published in vil’s book whilst the UK was doing this:

        https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09THEHAGUE205_a.html (check note 4)

        Odd indeed eh?

        Perhaps we could then go further and ask an expert in toxicological pharmacodynamics as to how 2 distinctly different individuals may both exhibit symptoms at the same (delayed time) following dangerously evil ‘door handle exposure’ but I don’t presume that’ll ever actually happen.

        • Madeira

          “Perhaps we could then go further and ask an expert in toxicological pharmacodynamics as to how 2 distinctly different individuals may both exhibit symptoms at the same (delayed time) following dangerously evil ‘door handle exposure’ ”

          We already know the answer to that. UK Security sources has informed us (via the MailOnline) that “The nerve agent used to poison former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter was specially designed to take about four hours to kill them so their assassins could flee Britain.”


          • Kiza

            Beautiful. I was always sure that regime’s capacity to invent conspiracy theories far exceeds that of anybody other. Therefore, we sit back and enjoy the firework of lies.

          • Paul

            Which is why, we presume, no attempt appears to have been made to close the borders or conduct a manhunt. What would be the point, the killers are too clever for us, except for the killing part.

          • Tatyana

            So absurd! Didn’t they feel they are touching gel? Didn’t they wash their hands before/after lunch? And what about the policeman? How could Nick Bailey fall ill then? Was he also touching the Skripal’s door handle 4 hours earlier? If so, for what f*cking reason did he do that?
            They try to convince me people were walking around the town for 4 hours and didn’t feel gel left on their hands??? Policeman doesn’t fit into this, noway.

        • jazza

          has anybody enquired as to the health of the door handle – has a social worker been round?

          • Yonatan

            Every piece of tangible evidence has been taken away to be destroyed – the bench, the door, the animals in the house, and presumably Skripal’s car. I’m not sure if I saw it on April 1, but I recall coming across a report which saaid the house itself and Zizzi’s were to be demolished – presumably just total rennovation of the interior, but who knows with these psychos.

        • Yonatan

          One other factor is the US applying for (in 2009) and gaining (in 2015) a patent for an antidote to Novichok nerve agents. That’s a useful thing to have that on hand, just in case some rogue state tries to actually use Novichok to kill people.

        • Holly

          Paralyctic Shellfish poisoning. The symptoms are a pretty good fit. Purposely served! But why then go to so much trouble just to make them very ill? How about the Russians did do it; “Sergi, heres loads of cash, plus a pardon, and knowing the temperament of the British government, they’ll have enough rope to hang themselves…

    • Baron

      The tragedy has run along Monthy Python comic fables form the start, SO, the hospital doctor Stephen Davies letter ‘nobody was treated for nerve agent poisoning, only three patients for poisoning’, the firemen walking unconcerned in areas searched by men cladded heavily in protective clothing, the miraculous recovery from an agent that’s so powerful it kills close to instantly ….. how could anyone believe it beggars belief.

      Read this, then tell us what you think, it’s the most logica, common sense, the-known-facts fitting explanation of it.


      As Rose says if it were just a score settling incident, fine, but the risk’s high it may unleash a confrontation nobody can win, everyone can only lose. Madness, sheer madness.

      • SO.

        I dunno. STX should be similar to TTX poisoning. I don’t know what the place is or what it serves or how. I suppose I could say it may be “possible” at any rate but wouldn’t consider that to be in any way reliable.

        Given the information I have from the media etc at the minute I’d suggest in all likelihood it wasn’t a dermal application.

        The apparent simultaneous onset of symptoms (in uncontrolled almost purely random circumstances) between 2 different subjects of different physical characteristics with unknown dosages of an unknown agent with a previously defined time delay of 4 hours is somewhat remote. (unless the poisoner was a genius)

        It’s much more likely the subjects were exposed to a non fatal dose of the agent in a way which result in the rapid onset of symptoms shortly before discovery. Either Inhalation or ingestion.

        • Baron

          If you add to the blacklisted article the letter to the Times from the hospital consultant (no treatment of anyone for nerve agent only of three individuals for poisoning) you are still in doubt? Hmmm

      • kgbgb

        The Blacklisted News article is a reprint from Moon of Alabama. If you follow the link there, you’ll find lots of good articles on Skripal (and many other topics). They are all written by the host, “b”, but very many intelligent and knowledgeable people comment below the line, which greatly adds value

  • Syd Walker

    Nicely put Ambassador Murray. It’s hard to think of a parallel for such a patently ludicrous story, isn’t it?

    Who would ever have guessed that a major English-speaking democratic nation could ever be taken in by such silliness? An unprecedented crime, obviously requiring thorough investigation before any conclusion as to culpability could be drawn, in which the government of the nation attacked was able to name the perpetrator on Day 1, with a chorus of mass media talking heads all chiming the same conclusion like synchronized metronomes – and with the Verdict (and Sentence!) preceding anything resembling a Trial?

    I can’t think of a single precedent.. can you?

    • Shatnersrug

      There are an awful lot of old retirees with comfortable lives that don’t have the ability to judge fact from fiction in this country.

      I’m not saying all pensioners are this way btw there is an decent lot of amazing older folks!

    • J Galt

      I can.

      I seem to remember a certain old chap called Bin Laden (I believe) being accused of a heinous act within minutes of it being carried out.

    • Boniface "Terror" Smeigh

      Who would ever have guessed that a major English-speaking democratic nation could ever be taken in by such silliness?

      Not sure which “nation” you have in mind, but if you’re alluding to Britain, I no of no one, but no one at all, who has been taken in by this farce. Even the chatter on sites like (bleah) the Mail is roundly full of scepticism, to say the least.
      (Besides,I do not think the United States and British perpetrators are at all concerned with “taking in” the powerless plebs. They are frying far more important fish.)

      • Paul

        Frankly, this is such a hatchet job that it seems as likely to me that among the intended victims were Bojo and the Tin Lady. One could just about count on their incompetence being sufficient here to get them to overcommit, in exchange for what they cunningly calculated would be a strong and stable distraction from Brexit, and an opportunity to discredit Corbyn.

        • Basil Fawlty

          That’s not a bad theory – Putin actually did do it, but in the full knowledge that May and Johnson would implode after F-ing up their response and over-playing their hand.

  • Caratacus

    I posted this elsewhere a while back but it seems relevant, even now …

    Given the blatant shortcomings of our Forrin Seckatry – so obvious to so many of us at the time – one is entitled to wonder what Machiavellian plan Mother May was working to when she loosed the straw-thatched bull into the china shop that is the FO. Watching him as he squawks about the place, crapping on everything within range of his over-productive backside I am reminded irresistibly of an incontinent cassowary I had the misfortune to have to feed many years ago. These birds are large jungle-dwelling souls, not largely gifted in the IQ stakes, but possessed of a hard impervious bony growth on top of their heads which protects them from low-hanging branches as they blunder about the jungle. Their diet – over which I shall draw a discreet veil here – ensures that they are able to decorate, lavishly and copiously, any area they pause in for more than a couple of minutes. Interestingly, they are also possessed of a pair of savage claws on their feet which can open up a boar in the blink of an eye …

  • Tom Welsh

    I see the other shoe has – belatedly – dropped, with the pathetic lies about 70 people gassed in Douma by the ghastly “Assad regime”. As usual no sources except the terrorists – even the SOHR admits there is no evidence.

    It’s tenuous, but I suppose the idea must be to establish a pattern: Putin uses poison gas. Look, he even dared to do it right in England!

    One of the most amazing things about the Skripal farce is the immense indignation of Western governments and media at the very thought that Russia might dare to kill people in our countries. It’s fine for the West to kill literally millions of Asians, Africans and Slavs – but no one must ever trespass on our sacred realms.

    • Kiza

      That is called the imperial attitude, Tom. We only dish it out, we never cop it back.

  • quasi_verbatim

    Clearly, the Novichok Barrel Bombs now allegedly being deployed in Syria are more efficacious than doorknobs. Wind up the Putin-O-Meter.

  • Ophelia Ball

    1. Russia never developed,held or used stocks of ‘Novichok’ (which is a contrived name never used even by the Soviet Union)

    2. The OPCW confirmed this in 2017; to deny this is to challenge the integrity of the OPCW, and to breach the terms of the CWC which requires signatories to draw attention to breaches

    3. It is therefore neither the case that Russia has used or lost control of ‘Novichok’, nor that it is the only possible source of such agents: rather, there is clear documentary evidence that at least the USA and Iran have been able to synthesise it

    4. There are manifest inconsistencies in the UK’s narrative of the events in Salisbury – most notably in respect of the timeline involved

    5. Skirpal was not (or at least not only) a KGB spy; he was an MI6 spy, and had been at large in the West for almost a decade. If the Russians had wished to harm him, they would surely not have released him, or would have disposed of him far sooner and far more effectively

    6. Russia has no apparent motivation to launch this kind of operation at this time, and the supposed “previous form” is at best questionable; in contrast, the UK in particular has both a very clear motive given the current Brexit situation, and a strong track record both in terms of the Iraq “dodgy dossier” and the previous activities at Porton Down.

    7. Refusal to allow Russia to play any role in the investigation and the denial of consular access raises the suspicion that the UK has something to hide; however, denial of a visa to Viktoria Skripal, and the de facto detention of Yulia Skripal is downright inhumane.

    8. At the very least, therefore, the conduct of the UK government has been intemperate, hypocritical, premature and in contravention of both Customary international law and Treaty Law whilst – since the incident in Salisbury at the very latest – Russia has conducted itself with restraint, dignity and in accordance with the norms of diplomacy and international standards.

    9. It is not possible to overlook the coincidental timing of the chemical weapons training exercise conducted by the Royal Marines, the convenient location of the chemical weapons research facility at Porton Down, the contemporaneous announcement of additional funding for that facility, the involvement of the USA in Porton Down, the repetitive pattern of events and accusations in Eastern Ghouta, or the fact that the reasons given for expelling Russian diplomats has nothing to do with the Skripal incident – if ‘spy networks’ existed, then they were not caused by the events in Salisbury, and neither was Skripal responsible for the fact that Boeing is located in Seattle.

    10. Overall, not only do we not yet know what went on in Salisbury – let alone why, or by whom – the conduct of the UK Government, the media and the circus which now passes for what was once called international diplomacy gives rise not only to severe reservations about the truth of the official narrative, but also a visceral sense that the incident is both contrived and subject to very extensive deliberate manipulation, indeed exploitation – not least to discredit Jeremy Corbyn and to mask the Government’s fundamental mismanagement of Brexit

    It doesn’t pass the Sniff Test, and quite frankly, I find the Russian version of events – and, indeed, their mode of conduct – far more convincing. I am, however, still totally baffled by the intended outcome. What is this intended to achieve, other than a lifetime of anonymity in the sun for an otherwise inconsequential 33yr old Russian woman?

    • Rod

      You are to be congratulated : that is the most comprehensive analysis one can read on this whole disgusting affair. Well done and thank you.

    • Kempe

      ” Overall, not only do we not yet know what went on in Salisbury ”

      Very true but it hasn’t stopped people around here jumping to the conclusion that it was a “false flag”.

      • Matt

        “Very true but it hasn’t stopped people around here jumping to the conclusion that it was a “false flag”.”

        I think most rational people here merely think the false flag option is the most likely.
        From my pov, it could still be the Ukrainians, or a non-state actor, or the Israelis, or indeed the Russians.

        However, based on the behaviour of the British government, and to borrow a phrase they are fond of, on the balance of probabilities, I’d say false flag is most likely.

        • Ultraviolet

          I didn’t accept the false flag option until recently. I could see that it was a theoretical possibility, but it did not strike me as likely.

          Now with the Skripals recovered, and the predicted “chemical weapons attack” in Syria, I don’t see how it could be anything else.

      • Dieter

        “Very true but it hasn’t stopped people around here jumping to the conclusion that it was a “false flag”.

        The most obvious motive is to damage Russia. Therefore, a “false flag” operation has always been the most likely explanation. So far, I have always believed that non-state actors (exiled anti-Putin oligarchs, dissidents, etc.) were responsible. However, consideration the desperate lying of the government, it can no longer be excluded that the British/American intelligence communities or Neocons are involved in one way or another.

    • Matt

      What is to be achieved? There are lots of potential motives, one of which I read shortly after this story broke, and which seems to have come true today… a chemical weapon attack in Syria with fingers pointed at Russia.

      Other benefits incude…
      increased military funding, both at Porton Down and Trident;
      a show of solidarity between Western powers to bolster support for the EU and NATO;
      economic and political pressure designed to weaken the Baltic gas pipe project in favour of USA options;
      maintain Russia as the constant bad-guy enemy to justify wars that run counter to their interests.

      I feel like I’m scratching the surface here. Who knows what other subtle gains are to be made? If people in positions of power know in advance this is coming, they can invest in the kind of business that will get a share boost when the news breaks. There’s a lot of money to be made if you can predict the news, especially big news like this.

      Ultimately, it comes down to corruption. Our government is one of, if not the, most corrupted government in the civilised world.

  • Republicofscotland

    We should add in that there’s no antidote to this military grade nerve agent that’s more deadly than Sarin or VX.


    Yet the Skripal’s found time after exposure to jaunt around town and dine at a restaurant. Even more bizarrely both Skripal’s now look set to recover from the exposure of the deadly military grade nerve agent, as did the police officer, of which there is no know antidote.

    The British evidence that it was Russia that did it, in the Skripal saga has more holes in than Swiss cheese. Throw in that there’s not been one shred of credible evidence shown by the PM and FS, and it confirms that, the bigger the lie the more people believe it, adage carries weight.

    • Yonatan

      That is not the case. The US has developed a method of treating Novichok poisoning. It is described in a patent granted in 2015.


      I wonder how long it would take a suitably equipped laboratory such as, say Porton Down, to synthesis the antodote from scratch. A few days? A week? Then test it on the cop, and give it sometime later, after OPCW has gained blood samples from the unconscious Skripals, to the Skripals themselves. Hey presto, triple miraculous recoveries all round.

      • SO.

        That’s galantaimne dude.

        Why create it from scratch when you could just pop into your local NHS pharmacy and pick it up for £120 a packet?

        It’s been used to treat Alzheimer’s for years.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Sadly, this seems a pretty comprehensive summary. The intelligence assessment currently being championed by Boris also highlights a, specific, alleged location, Shikhany, though I’m not sure that adds much, if any, weight to the evidence?

    Q: Re. Derivation of intelligence.

    An interesting article from a former GCHQ officer (below). Details how intelligence assessments are formed, and by whom. Does the process decribed here by, Alex Thompson, ring true?

    If so, it seems understandable that misuse/manipulation of intelligence, might very well lead to the confused state of affairs we find ourselves in currently…

  • Los

    Well, it looks like the Skripals have been offered the choice ofor a fat non-disclosure agreement to go off and disappear.in the US and never be met with again or otherwise a less pleasant option, because otherwise they would just be embarrasmenti.

    • Yeah

      If they accept they can start a separate MeToo movement like “MeTooWasDisappeared” – Anybody have a better name?

      • Flambard d'Quinceteth

        The Times’ URL has changed to https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sergei-and-yulia-skripal-offered-new-identities-with-cia-help-ztf896rnj from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/sergei-and-yulia-skripal-offered-new-identities-with-cia-help Maybe it’ll stick with that? Dunno.

        The what-once-was-a thunderer now chooses to not be open and public through the use of their robots.txt file which has blocked the Wayback Machine (Internet Archive) so all the Skripal story won’t appear for future historians to pore over…. This is happening a lot now by organisations that don’t want their former words to be compared to their current opinions. The Times’ robot file is here in the default location – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/robots.txt There’s a long list of articles that they don’t want search engines referencing, if you check! At the bottom are the crucial 2 lines which block the Wayback Machine’s crawler:
        Disallow: /
        User-agent: ia_archiver
        Note – it’s up to the owner of the crawler whether they obey the rules in a robots.txt file. The Wayback Machine does.

        If you do a search for “Sergei and Yulia Skripal offered new identities with CIA help” you’ll find that all the MSM block the google search cache, that is, none has the tell-tale little green drop-down arrow apart from Reuters on this search.

        So what we see is news organisations blocking news archiving, because it is not news, it’s just comment/opinion/propaganda. If it were genuine news about which they would never be ashamed or fearful of libel in the future, they’s allow it all to be cached.

    • Paul

      If they are disoriented, it may not occur to them until too late that for all intents and purposes there will be no difference between having their identities erased, and having themselves erased. All trace of them will disappear, with the latter option offering a permanent solution, and the former a permanent risk.

      It may also have been an oblique threat, to see that trial balloon floated in the media.

  • Smiling Through

    A few points on The Guardian and The Observer and the declining confidence many feel in both titles.

    1: Guardian print circulation, according the Audit Bureau of Circulations, is now below 150,000 with The Observer a little higher but well short of 200,000.

    2: Observer political editor and Jeremy Corbyn critic Toby Helm is brother-in-law of Tony Blair’s chief of staff and Corbyn critic Jonathan Powell.

    3: Helm’s partner is former Independent on Sunday political editor and Jeremy Corbyn critic, Jane Merrick.

    4: Guardian diplomatic editor, ex-political editor, New Labour supporter and Corbyn critic Patrick Wintour
    is married to Times columnist, New Labour supporter and Corbyn critic Rachel Sylvester.

    5: Guardian reporter Jessica Elgot and Labour MP Luciana Berger, both Corbyn critics, go back a long way.

  • Jones

    CIA offer of new identity for Skripal’s means we may never hear the Skripal’s version of events at all. I think the illusive motive is beginning to show itself.

    • Ophelia Ball

      ask yourself one simple question:

      why on Earth would Yulia Skripal choose to leave her home, her personal wealth, her long-term partner, her family and all of her friends, to live a life of anonymous isolation in a country where she barely speaks the language, unless that was an offer that she was unable to refuse

      common sense tells you that there is something awry here, and the refusal to allow either her family or her Government access stinks to high heaven

      • Jones

        yes it certainly does stink, one can imagine what the Skripal’s are being told, the UK/US are only concerned with saving themselves.

        • Jones

          just to add, in the phone call between Viktoria and Yulia Yulia made it clear she wanted to keep contact with Viktoria by saying ”lets talk later”.

      • Patrick Roden

        Good question Ophelia, but I think the answer lies in ‘personal wealth’ because Yulia lives in a simple two bedroom flat in Moscow, and you can bet the British Government will be offering both her and her father an extremely generous ‘financial package’ if they agree to keep shtum!

        It stinks to high heaven, as does the whole Western Government system. Full of peodo’s liars, murderers, and assorted Narcissistic creeps!

        • Kiza

          Patrick, we have a tendency to judge others by our own preferences. Not everybody wants to leave friends and cultural milieu for a few sacks of money, unless forced to. Apparently, even the old Skripal applied to return back to Russia despite the generosity of her majesty’s pension which allowed him to drive a late model BMW (LOL). As far as I remember, Yulia has not even paid off her Moscow apartment yet, not to mention that in continental Europe people gladly do live in appartments as close to the city centre as their income permits. How do you know that her flat s simple? Been there? (Actually, she bought it off a powerful pro-Western Russian businessman, which means it is highly unlikely to be “simple” whatever your statement means). Therefore, congratulations, you are wrong on every point of your comment.

          • Patrick Roden

            Oh sure Kiza,
            The idea that someone may be offered a lot of money to do something, and that they may even be tempted to except this, is so wrong of me, I don’t know why I ever thought it.

            Yes some of us do judge other by our own preferences, but then again some others of us judge people by what they have learned about them over the past weeks and by thinking about how they may be made to feel threatened (stick) and are offered a large financial package with a new identity and safety (carrot)
            Wow! I think I just discovered a new approach to persuasion, think i will dub it ‘The Carrot and the Stick Technique’ wonder if it ever takes on?

      • Dieter

        Looking at the past record of the family, they will do anything for money. As long as they are offered enough money, they will agree to a new identity. But considering that they are in the habit of swapping sides, the only sure cover up for MI6 is to make them disappear permanently, for example by incineration at Porton Down, like their poor cat.

        Perhaps that was the plan all along and it was only Yulia getting hold of a phone to call her cousin in Russia that made them go for a more elaborate story.

    • Sean Lamb

      On one level I think this needed to happen. The CIA will keep the Sergei Skripal safe from MI6 and although I think the Russian government would do their best to protect Julia Skripal, the temptation would be too strong for some of Bill Browder’s Russian Mafia mates not to try and arrange a hit on her.

      This way they both will at least be safe.

      Having said that, there is no need to totally cut them off from their Russian friends and family. There might be a need for certain protocols – eg. live in US town X, but only interact with family members/friends on holiday in US town Y – but to completely cut them entirely off from their family forever? That is simply inhumane.

      So while I think something like this had to happen, I am not under any illusion it is done in good faith.

      • Radio Jammor

        Sean, there is one big issue with your reasoning. The CIA/US should be regarded as a suspect in their poisoning.

        As I have pointed out in previous threads here, the US cleaned-up the Nukus plant in Uzbekistan (which Craig here attests to), which they claimed included cleaning it up of novichok. The NYT and BBC reported this in 1999. The clean-up was completed in 2002.

        Yet within this blog, we have also learnt that the OPCW had so little information on novichoks that it could not confirm the existence of it, or any of its properties, until Iran reported successful synthesis in 2016/2017.

        It seems that the US did not inform the OPCW of any of its supposed findings of novichok from Nukus. That begs the question why? And there are really only two answers:

        1. The US found novichok and has withheld the information for its own ends.
        2. The US never found novichok because they were misinformed – or conned – into believing it was there, and there was nothing to advise the OPCW of – and they never went public on their lack of findings to avoid embarrassing questions.

        This latter scenario would indeed raise embarrassing questions about the claims of the defecting scientists who supposedly developed it. Did they actually succeed? Did they overstate their claims to improve their chances of defection? Were they just wrong about Nukus being a novichok site?

        In 2003, the US reported to its own Senate that it had completed the clean-up at Nukus and Dr Mirzayanov was singled out for thanks for blowing the whistle on the novichok program. Yet the US has never produced public evidence of finding novichok at Nukus, including to the OPCW.

        This could be all be some bizarre cock-up. The OPCW apparently visited Nukus c1998 and didn’t think it was a production facility (The NYT reported that when it covered the US going there in 1999), so the OPCW had no reason to follow up, and the US could, for some reason, have neglected to inform the OPCW of its findings. ‘I thought you told the OPCW! No, I thought you told the OPCW…’ or something stupid like that.

        These may seem historical questions to some, but they are highly pertinent. For one thing, it confirms whether or not the novichok was successfully synthesised by the Soviets and/or by Russia. Russia claims it never made the stuff, but then Russia is not the Soviet Union. Bearing in mind the changeover from the USSR to its components states in the early 1990s, Russia was in Nukus until 1992.

        If the US never found any novichok, then it undermines the story of the defecting scientists and their claims that it was produced. However, with Iran using their theory to produce it in 2016, it certainly gives some credence to the scientists. But it still doesn’t prove that they themselves succeeded over 25 years ago.

        You might think it is ludicrous to consider the US – a supposed ally – as capable of doing this. I however would simply refer you to Iraq, where they were quite happy to drag us along. Syria is just next on the list.

        • Paul

          Recall, also, the thread of diplomatic cables including one from then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to downplay all discussion of Novichoks, to feign having no knowledge of it.

        • RAC

          I have thought all along that the anti Trump component in the US (IC) should be suspect. The Skripal fiasco feeds into the hate Russia campaign and further drives the wedge between any sort of peaceful coexistence that might have been between Russia and the US. Whether Trump is taken in by this fakery or not he is more or less forced to go along, as showing any doubt about Russian guilt would be political suicide for him. The UK is an ideal place for such a move, far enough away to avoid the direct spotlight and May is in a weak position too, upsetting a potential future important trading partner isn’t something she would want post Brexit.

        • Dieter

          I think the most likely is that:

          3. the US/UK and Russia (or the SU) both secretly developed chemical weapons similar to the Novichoks. Now, that the Russia has destroyed its known chemical weapons under OPCW control, the US/UK are trying to expose secret Russian programs while avoiding to reveal their own secret weapons programs.

          The problem is that the Russians are good chess-players, who always plan 10 moves ahead, while the Brexit government is so incompetent that it can’t plan more than one move at a time.

          PS: I think Mirzayanov is an anti-Russian activist who wants to dismantle the Russian Federation more than a serious scientist.

    • Laguerre

      I posted it on an earlier thread, but it really needs to be repeated:

      I wouldn’t think there’s any way the Brits can let the Skripals go, and certainly not back to Russia. Only too likely they may spill the beans. Likely that telephone call at least kept them alive. Otherwis they (or just the father) might have died in the coma. But a better state of health than stated was revealed, and the Brits can’t go back on that. It was just after the call that the British police suddenly released a “statement” from Yulia, saying all was well, but subtly different from the call. I imagine keeping them in permanent isolation is what will be done now, however it’s described. Confiement under new identities in the US is one possibility.

      • Dieter

        The Skripals are traitors who will do anything for money. The only way to make them shut up is to make them disappear permanently.

  • Syd Walker

    Yes indeed, Tom. The Ghouta Mark 2 false flag op is now underway.. as predicted by President Putin a few days ago. Good luck to us all, as the Irish say.

    It’s like “a puzzle in which nearly half the pieces are missing and most of the rest are heavily damaged”. Which reminds me of something..

    26 years ago, in 1992, there was a tragic disaster as a plane left Skripal Airport in Amsterdam. I’m sorry, I’ll read that again.. I meant Schiphol Airport. Anyhow, this particular plane plowed into a residential tower block near the airport, killing the crew and many on the ground. But the tragedy didn’t end there.. over the ensuing months many other people in the locality fell ill – and it gradually emerged that deadly poisonous chemical agents had been on board.

    However, unlike the Skripal case, the Schiphol disaster fairly soon dropped down the memory hole. It was as thought the Dutch Government was reluctant to assiduously investigate the incident. The mainstream western media didn’t seem much interested either. But there was an inquiry – and eventually the truth did come out – although once again, it elicited little mass media interest outside of Holland.

    Although the case of Flight LY1862 is now largely erased from popular consciousness, there are still a few references to this bizarre incident on the web – see for instance https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/flight-1862-and-israels-chemical-secrets

    I just thought it worth a mention, since we should never leave any stone unturned, eh what?

  • Charles

    Another inconsistency in the sorry tale is the 24 hours that May gave Putin to explain events when 5 weeks later her government with the assistance of the OPCW have not definitively identified the substance suspected of causing the fuss.

    At least Putin is off the hook in Ghouta, that chemical attack worked.

    • Patrick Roden

      A classic and often used tactic employed by the West is to give government leaders a specific time scale to come up with some information, knowing full well that they will not be able to do so. either because the information does not exist (USA / UK to Sadam, “If you want to prevent us attacking you, tell us where you have hidden your chemical weapons” Or it would be humiliating for the leader to comply (can you imagine how the Russians would feel if Putin ever allowed himself to be ordered about by the Maybot! This is the proud nation who gave over 20 million of it’s finest lives as it stood up to Hilter!

      The Tories/UKGove are conning us, and as George Galloway recently said “If you believe the UK Government in all of this, you are not a sheep, you are an idiot”

      • Strangerthings

        A sovereign nation does not respond to ultimatums from other countries, if they do it means they are not sovereign. The problem is the UK is too used to having an Empire and bossing other countries about that people expect other countries to do just that.

      • Harry Law

        Patrick, George Galloway said “If you believe the Government in all of this you are an idiot, you are not a sheep, a sheep is cleverer than you”
        or words to that effect.

  • Loony

    Here is a retired Russian General telling the BBC just how it could be.


    Some of the most loyal fans of the BBC seem to think that as the Russian economy is only the size of Italy (I recall that this blog prefers Spain as a comparator) then everything is going to work out just fine.

    All very odd especially given the penchant for identifying Nazi’s everywhere. The most (in)famous of all Nazi’s once took a look at Russia and concluded “kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will collapse” Try to recall how that worked out and then understand that modern day anti Nazi’s share a remarkable similarity with one Adolf Hitler.

    Most people admire their heroes. Today people despise their heroes – maybe that goes someway to explaining the epidemic of mental health issues.

    • Baron

      Comparing the size of the Russian economy to that of Spain, Italy (even to that of Macedonia) suits on occasions, but is misleading.

      The best comparison is that of GDP in PPP dollars (purchasing power parity) because one pays for a cup of tea or a tank, a loaf of bread or a sub in dollars in the US, roubles in Russia, Yen in Japan…

      On that basis, the Russian GDP is noticeably bigger than ours – see belwo. More to the point, Putin scrapped the Soviet military gear (it was mostly crap anyway), re-equip the armed forces with stuff that’s often superior to that the Americans have, which was designed in the 70s and 80s last century. That’s also partly why the agitprop shouts ‘Russia’s the biggest threat’, the American political elite has to do a serious MOT of the military hardware, can hardly convince the electorate it’s needed to fight the jihadis who have mostly AK-47s and home made improvised devices from fertiliser, they need an enemy, real or a proxy, that has missiles, tanks, subs i.e. Russia.


      • Yonatan

        Russia has one massive military advantage over the US. That is its equipment is designed to be militarily and cost effective. In the US everything is designed around maximising MIC profit and the target states are essentially defenseless. One example – the infamous US Tomahawk cruise missile has an effective strike-the-target rate of about 50%. This has not changed since it was originally designed. The Russian counterpart has about 95% strike rate. The US needs more missiles to take out a given set of targets, which means more profit for the MIC. This passes on up the chain F35 vs Tu57 etc, etc. This is not a real problem for the US when it is attacking essentially defenseless states, but will cost them dearly if they take on Russa/China. These two have missiles (costing say $1 milllion) one of which can take out a US supercarrier plus its aircraft (say $10 billion). Now that is bang per buck (10,000 to 1). It would be even better if the aircraft were all F-35s.

  • anon

    Thomas Babington Macaulay

    We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.

    “We are free, we are civilised, to little purpose, if we grudge to any portion of the human race an equal measure of freedom and civilisation.”

    The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.

    Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay (25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a nineteenth century British poet, historian and Whig politician.

  • sam sung

    Looks like those pesky Russians have dropped their leftover Novichok on Eastern Ghouta.

      • Ophelia Ball

        The following refers to the alleged 2017 Sarin attack in Syria is taken verbatim from Annex II, page 36 (of 39) of a leaked report from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) http://www.moonofalabama.org/images5/OPCW-UN_JIM_7th_Report.pdf

        “a) Certain irregularities were observed in elements of information analysed. For example, several hospitals appeared to start admitting casualties of the attack between 0640 and 0645 hours. The Mechanism received the medical records of 247 patients from Khan Shaykhun who were admitted to various health-care facilities, including those of survivors and a number of victims who died from exposure to chemical agent. The admission times of the records range between 0600 and 1600 hours. Analysis of the aforementioned medical records revealed that in 57 cases, patients were admitted in five hospitals before the incident in Khan Shaykhun (at 0600, 0620 and 0640 hours). In 10 such cases, patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 125 km away from Khan Shaykhun at 0700 hours while another 42 patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 30 km away at 0700 hours. The Mechanism did not investigate these discrepancies and cannot determine whether they are linked to any possible staging scenario, or to poor record-keeping in chaotic conditions.”

        It therefore appears that at least 23% of the alleged casualties of the incident WERE ADMITTED TO HOSPITALS BEFORE THE INCIDENT HAPPENED.

        similarly, elsewhere in that report: “An inconsistency was identified in one of the Fact-Finding Mission biomedical results from samples without a chain of custody. In sample number 133, the blood tested negative for sarin or a sarin-like substance, while the urine sample tested positive for the sarin degradation product isopropyl methylphosphonate. There is currently no explanation regarding the inconsistency.”

        The report – which was never officially published by the OPCW – has nonetheless been used at the UN Security Council to attribute responsibility for the attack on the Syrian Government. This tells me two things:

        1) The OPCW is not politically inert, but does maintain some semblance of professional integrity, even if its conclusions are selectively leaked and wilfully misinterpreted

        2) Where there is uncertainty, it is neither appropriate to rush to a conveniently damning conclusion, nor to subsequently refer to such incidents as if they were decisive or conclusive in terms of culpability – and closer to home, the obvious parallel is the undisclosed report into Litvinenko’s death (which his father has firmly attributed to the UK rather than to Russia)

        You cannot trust these people, and although it may be possible to presume the impartiality of OPCW investigations, you can be 100% certain that their conclusions will be ambiguous, selectively quoted and subject to wholesale manipulation

      • Crackerjack

        A US-based SAMS representative claimed that, while a “chlorine bomb hit Douma hospital,” another nearby building was targeted by a barrel-bomb containing a mix that included “nerve agents.”

        This seems to say that Assad fiendishly filled a barrel with Chlorine and Sarin. That would be a very clever trick – if not immeasurably dangerous

  • nevermind

    This case has clearly shown us how the Uk works and what it is commanding to keep the status quo alive. A grotesque parade of liars and dependants on the public purse are being wheeled out to perpetuate the worst lies in history, even Lord hawhaw could not have come up with fairytale shite like this.

    During my extensive time in the Luftwaffe I have been through more NBC training situations than I care to remember. It struck me that there was no care for the Salisbury community was shown, as half of Salisbury should have been evacuated to a ‘safer’ area. Highly kitted out decontamination personnel/soldiers were openly mingling with unprotected firefighters and police, possible further contamination was not explained or made public, until a week later when some half witted comments about washing your cloth and or bagging them up for destruction were offered as ‘public safety’.

    All these mistakes have strengthened my belief that the authorities knew that there was not much danger involved and that the whole novichoc story was pure bluster, unproven propaganda from the start up until now.

    By the statement of Jose Bustani, an excellent UN diplomat who had the OPCW under control until he was fired by Bully boy Bolton, the OPCW today is a tool of the western alien and unsustainable military construct, through which it is hell bent on securing as many resources as they can ge,t by any means possible. Jose Bustani is ten times more believable than any of the diplomats currently quoting children’s fables at each other, I trust him.

    The USUKIS agenda has had its sight firmly trained on Iran Libya and Russia for those reason, and for some time.

    Now they will use the false flag chemical attack by the white helmets and their terror partners of Jaish al islam/Al Quaeda, according to previous form, and connecting Russia and Assad to the ‘other poisoning’ here in Salisbury. There must have been some colluding of medical staff in the hospital, all they could do is give us hints ‘that no nerve gas poisoning was involved’ in any of the cases they are investigating.

    Then came the lies and retractions, the deleting and new angles that could confuse us some more, as well covered in knobs and knockers here.
    Today we still have a procrastinated OPCW sitting on their hands and listening to the propaganda we are offering up to their inactivities, seriously contemplating to follow this line of lies and unproven fact, they might as well abolish themselves. If the OPCW dissolves like a sugar cube in water the moment a major crisis demands impartial unbiased judgement, then we should replace this expensive body with a six year old children who have more sense and understanding then they are currently displaying.

    Foreign Secretary Boris, wannabe Churchill, de Pratter Johnson…..RESIGN. You are a danger to the realm.

  • A Prole

    In a criminal investigation the police would be keen to interview the Skripals once they were awake and talking. The fact that no new information at all has emerged following their return to life is literally incredible. It is as though no one thought it worth asking them a single question. Is there anyone in England who believes this stream of nonsense?

  • Mrs Rita Irvine

    The latest stunt is chemical attack on children in Syria. It seems this was carried out by Russian backed rebels can this be true? I thought the rebels were US backed and that Russia is open about the war on ISIS. I hate the suffering of innocent children I feel cynical about the west, and why would Russia do this at such a critical time. Please keep up the good work you are a highly respected man Craig Murray and much needed against Right Wing Sky and BBC.

  • Blair Paterson

    They are claiming that 70 odd per cent of the people believe the government side of things a poll conducted by the mori frauds they do not tell you how many they asked or where they asked them the local Tory club ???but they ask you to believe it is the opinion of 65 million Brits their lies know no bounds once again they insult our intelligence

    • Xavi

      The public has repeatedly been told by the ‘respectable’ media and the entire political class that only one explanation is conceivable.. And for most people, as John Kenneth Galbraith put it:

      “”It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.”

      Parroting the only thing they’ve heard is far preferable than engaging in even the simplest deductive reasoning.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Just had a fascinating Twitter exchange with a gentleman named Dan Kaszeta.

    I can’t see his account any more, but if anyone could trace and take a screen shot of his tweets, it might be an idea to do that (@DanKaszeta). I’ll reproduce them as best I can from memory.

    Mr Kaszeta wrote an article that reporters are directing people to. It addresses the idea that there is a suspicious delay between the administration of novichok to the Skripals and their collapse.


    Craig Murray has attacked Mr Kaszeta’s credibility, tweeting this critique of him by Theodore Postol:


    Another Twitter user (@CarlosCoke1) tweeted this link to Mr Kaszeta. His reply was, more or less:

    “I did have a spat on a different subject with an MIT physicist and I won the argument. Independent finding afterwards vindicated me. I demand that you delete that Tweet as the Cryptome article it links to is libellous.”

    Carlos Coke had his own thoughts about that, but I tweeted to Mr Kazeta:

    “Mr Kaszeta, could you possibly provide links or guidance to the independent finding you mention, and how it vindicates you? Also, have you taken any legal action regarding the document you say is libellous? Many thanks.”

    His reply to me, to the best of my recollection, was:

    “Google OPCW articles on hexamine. I’ve taken no legal action on the article because its production by an obviously deluded individual only helped my business and reputation.”

    I replied to him thus:

    “Hm. Do you understand what libel is? Libel necessarily involves injury to one’s reputation or livelihood. If the article “has only helped” your “business and reputation” then it is by definition not libellous. But thank you, I will look into that.”

    His response was:

    “I will refer your issues to my legal counsel.”

    Then he blocked me.

    Seems a touchy fellow, what? It struck Carlos Coke (likewise blocked) that it might be an idea to have a screenshot of a Tweet in which Mr Kaszeta himself affirms that the Postol article had only enhanced his business and reputation. Cheers, John

    • TJ

      I think Dan Kaszeta is referring to this bit of fake news / propaganda / BS as being the “Independent finding”-


      and the Hexamine subheading is “Hexamine may be the smoking gun”

      Now Hexamine is used as solid fuel in camping stoves used by civilians and military alike, it’s presence on a camp site or war zone is indicative of nothing, anyone who claims otherwise is a liar, a fraud and charlatan. Anyone who might think otherwise can just go on Ebay, currently 125 sellers of Hexamine solid fuel tablets on the co.uk site.

    • Republicofscotland


      Yes Boris Johnson is to star as the new Sid James in the film Carry On Up the Caucasus.

    • oddie

      either we are to believe Putin and Assad are suicidal, or we can believe what RT have been reporting was being planned:

      17 Mar: RT: US training Syria militants for false flag chemical attack as basis for airstrikes – Russian MoD
      The planned provocations will be widely covered in the Western media and will ultimately be used as a pretext by the US-led coalition to launch strikes on Syria, Rudskoy warned…
      Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly warned about upcoming chemical provocations, and have highlighted that banned warfare agents have been used by the militants. Earlier this week, Syrian government forces reportedly captured a well-equipped chemical laboratory in Eastern Ghouta. Footage from the facility has been published by the SANA news agency. The installation contained modern industrial-grade hardware of foreign origins, large amounts of chemical substances as well as crude homemade munitions ad their parts.

    • Sean Lamb

      Is it because I am getting older and wiser or is everything suddenly becoming more blatant?


      I mean I know it was always, it just seems that the MSM used to be better at doing this sort of thing – more elegant and less overt. Its like they are saying “we hold all the levers of power, why should we bother making our lies convincing?”

      • Stephen

        I agree with you 100%. I think the difference is that they have to be more blatant to convince themselves. The fact they see that they are not being trusted by the masses anymore doesn’t seem to click with them that pushing harder only makes more people see through it.
        So I have come to the conclusion that can only be pushing more and harder with more overt brainwashing techniques to convince themselves that they are still relevant and important. I think Craig’s interview with Kay Burley was a good example of this.
        They didn’t want to interview Craig to air an insightful piece about the Skripal affair. It was a desperate attempt to discredit Craig after he has exposed the fact that Sky had cherry picked the interview with the Porton Down CEO. It was also an exercise in detecting someones hubris.when watching how Kay Burley conducted the interview. She clearly came into the interview with a “I’m going to tear this so and so a new one ” but as it went on and she couldn’t trigger Craig in anyway at all she couldn’t hide her annoyance. I don’t think it was at Craig but that it was at her own inability to complete the takedown of someone she considered beneath her.

      • Boniface "Terror" Smeigh

        Sean, I believe the perpetrators of these hoaxes are using them partly (besides for their proximal geopolitical ends) as learning exercises to discover metrics such as how far they can push, not the credulousness of the citizenry, but, on the contrary, the incredibility of the enactments and the powerlessness or resignation of a knowing or suspecting citizenry. You save a lot of money and effort if your crisis cast do not have to be well-trained or convincing.

        • Kiza

          Absolutely excellent explanation. Knowing the limits, or the success rates is really important.

      • TJ

        It’s becoming more blatant, they know the truth about what they have done is going to come out, and they know they’ll suffer the consequences and now they are running scared, I’m just waiting for one of them to come out with “I was only following orders” as the whole thing unravels, that’s the moment that I will know they have lost not a battle, but the war.

  • J Galt


    As Oscar Wilde said (I think!) “If you’re going to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you!”

  • John Goss

    The purpose of wasting so much money on the Novichok placed by western security services in parts of Salisbury was originally to identify the substance as Russian then allegedly find some of it in Eastern Ghouta to try and restart the war they lost. Just as corridors were opened to let the last of the civilians out this was stopped by in-fighting among the rebels. The White Helmets are there filming this latest production of theirs.

    • Mischa

      exactly and now they tie up the loose ends with new IDs etc for victims of the so-called poison. and dead pets that are long gone.

  • Vlad

    Dear Craig,

    This is clearly a piece of anti-establishment propaganda. You have no facts, just false words.
    Maybe you should consider a new accoutrement to your wardrobe…. a foil hat!
    I think you’ll find it protects you from the Government funded mind reading programme.

    Yours faithfully,

  • NatSouth

    Pour les francophones:

    “Camarade Poutine, nous avons réussi à stocker les novichoks en secret depuis dix ans et à les cacher aux inspecteurs de l’OIAC. Nous avons également formé nos agents aux techniques secrètes d’assassinat avec Novichoks. Le programme a coûté des centaines de millions de dollars, mais nous sommes maintenant prêts. Naturellement, la première fois que nous l’utiliserons, nous exposerons notre secret et souffrirons d’un retour de flamme international massif. Qui devrait être notre première cible ? Le chef d’une agence de renseignement étrangère ? Un rebelle djihadiste de premier plan en Syrie ? Un scientifique nucléaire chevronné ? Même un chef d’État ?”

    “Non, Tovarich. Il y a ce vieux retraité que je connais qui vit à Salisbury. Nous l’avons libéré de prison il y a des années….”

    “Avec tout le respect que je vous dois, camarade Poutine, êtes-vous sûr qu’il est la cible la plus importante pour révéler un programme dans lequel nous avons investi tant de ressources pendant dix ans ?”.

    “Oui. Je suis assis ici tous les jours et je ne peux pas me concentrer sur les affaires de la Russie ou du monde, car tout le temps je pense à Sergei Skripal. Je n’aurais jamais dû le laisser sortir de prison pour passer sa vie à acheter des billets de loterie et à manger à Zizzis. Mais vous devez être absolument certain de le tuer.”

    “Ne vous inquiétez pas Camarade Poutine, nous nous entraînons aux techniques secrètes d’assassinat des novices depuis dix ans. Nous avons même un manuel détaillé expliquant nos méthodes. Nous étalerons le novichok sur sa poignée de porte extérieure (rire diabolique)”.

    “Tu es sûr camarade ? N’y a-t-il pas un danger qu’il se dissipe avec l’eau ou qu’il se dilue ?”

    “Pas de camarade Poutine, il ne pleut jamais en Angleterre.”

    C’est, dans tous les détails, la version officielle du gouvernement britannique de ce qui s’est passé à Salisbury, y compris le programme décennal et le manuel d’assassinat secret.

    Bien que cette histoire soit l’une des théories de complot les plus incroyablement déchaînée de l’histoire de l’humanité, ce sont ceux qui expriment le moindre doute quant à sa véracité qui sont dénigrés en tant que “théoriciens de complots” ou même en tant que “traîtres”.

    Tous les droits d’auteur sur cet article sont renoncé. N’hésitez pas à utiliser, traduire et republier comme vous le souhaitez.

  • Mischa

    They have to keep going with the doorknob story because otherwise the fake story of the policeman falling ill will come undone, the policeman falling ill was only brought in because no one was paying that much attention until a good old British policeman was involved which could then be spun as a national threat.

1 2 3 5

Comments are closed.