Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoning 635


UPDATE: Stupidly I had forgotten this vital confirmation from Channel 4 News (serial rebel Alex Thomson) of the D Notice in place on mention of Pablo Miller.

Back then I did not realise what I now know, that the person being protected was Pablo Miller, colleague in both MI6 then Orbis Intelligence of Christopher Steele, author of the fabrications of the Trump/Russia golden shower dossier. That the government’s very first act on the poisoning was to ban all media mention of Pablo Miller makes it extremely probable that this whole incident is related to the Trump dossier and that Skripal had worked on it, as I immediately suspected. The most probable cause is that Skripal – who you should remember had traded the names of Russian agents to Britain for cash – had worked on the dossier with Miller but was threatening to expose its lies for cash.

ORIGINAL POST: This comment from Clive Ponting, doyen of British whistleblowers, appeared on my website and he has now given me permission to republish it under his full name:

I have been reading the blogs for some time but this is my first post. Like Craig I was a senior civil servant but in the ministry of defence not the fco. I had plenty of dealings with all three intelligence agencies. It seems to me that the reason none of the MSM are doing any investigating/reporting of the Salisbury affair, apart from official handouts, is that the government have slapped a D-Notice over the whole incident and it is not possible to report that a notice has been issued.
Here is another theory as to what happened. The Russians pardoned Skripal and allowed him to leave (spy agencies have an understanding that agents will always be swapped after an interval – it’s the only protection they have and helps recruitment). In the UK Skripal would have been thoroughly debriefed by MI6 and MI5 (his ex-handler lives near Salisbury). If at some point they discovered that Skripal was giving them false information, perhaps he was told to do so by the FSB as a condition of his release, lives may have been endangered/lost. If he also was also involved in the ‘golden showers’ dossier then elements in the US would have a reason to act as well. The whole incident was an inside job not to kill him, hence the use of BZ, but to give him a warning and a punishment. The whole thing is being treated as though the authorities know exactly what went on but have to cover it up.

Addendum

I meant to add that the policeman who ‘just happened’ to be around was almost certainly the special branch ‘minder’ who was keeping Yulia under surveillance. The media are not allowed to mention the existence of a D notice.

Those of us who have been in the belly of the beast and have worked closely with the intelligence services, really do know what they and the British government are capable of. They are not “white knights”.

I would add it has been very plain from day one that there is a D notice on Pablo Miller.


635 thoughts on “Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoning

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  • Charles

    DS Nick Bailey is the dark person in the woodpile.

    Given that it is extremely unlikely by that I mean impossible that the Skripals were both poisoned to the same (time affect) degree by the door handle we must consider where they were poisoned.

    3:35 Fine but angry leaving Zizzis

    3:47 Pair captured on CCTV (30 seconds away from Zizzis) outside gym, still looking fine.

    4:15 concerned member of public calls emergency services re couple on a bench

    The rapid onset of the incapacitating substance and the time delay between Skripals involvement with door handle and bench rules out the door handle as primary cause. (only one Skripal closed the door, re-entry is a possibility)

    The pair were treated for 55 minutes at the bench before being evacuated to hospital, nerve agent would have killed them long before or in low dose caused irreparable damage without appropriate antidote(s).

    Conclusions:

    The door knob was treated with nerve agent after the Skripals left home, if Bailey was poisoned by nerve agent he was involved with the door handle after the bench incident.

    The Skripals were not suffering nerve agent poisoning at the bench. (it could have been administered later at the hospital)

    • bj

      05:00 The airliner carrying the Skripals and their UK government handlers takes off for New Zealand.
      .

      • DavidKNZ

        Nah..
        The French Govt tried that,,the gendarmes they sent to
        blow up the Rainbow Warrior got caught, tried and imprisoned.
        They were subsequently relocated to a pacific island paradise
        on the threat of backroom trade sanctions.

  • fwl

    Who gains?

    Trump appears to have made the extraordinary decision to meet with Kim on his own and contrary to advice. Why?

    Is he a) a libertarian seeking to roll back US foreign policy b) blundering away on a foreign adventure determined to show what a negotiator and statesman he is or c) has someone whispered something in his ear?

    It is an extraordinary decision because it seems to have been made made suddenly by one man but with the potential to have enormous geo-political consequences and reposition the balance of power in the Far East away from US / Japan to China / N&S Korea.

    Could S Korea have done this without Trump first offering a hand to Kim? No, probably not.

    So rightly or wrongly or for worse I don’t know, but Trump has opened the possibility of enormous change: how and why did that happen?

    Who gains?

    • bj

      “What is to be done?”

      Can the deep state (which includes HRC) toss Trump?

      If he slips in the bathroom and breaks his neck, civil war ensues.
      If he is impeached and deposed, he will write his kiss-and-tell memoirs. Civil war ensues.

      What is to be done?

      • lysias

        The police in the U.S. and the rank and file in the U.S. military, I.e., the people with guns, support Trump. The brass in the military, the people who manage the nukes and the heavy weapons, might go along with the elite, but would they win a civil war?

        • lysias

          I have mentioned before that I am a retired officer of the U.S. Navy. I should also mention that I am former enlisted (other ranks) from a working-class background with several relatives in the police. I think I have some understanding of the people with the guns.

      • Dennis Revell

        :

        Civil war in America sounds like a TERRIFICALLY good idea – may be forcing them to recall significant parts of their Mass-Murdering serial War-Criminal Jackboot military from the way too many areas of the World it has devastated and still is devastating.

        .

    • GD

      Trump is going to be in history the Accidental President and claim the fame around North Korea and South Korea meeting however if you look again at how China placed a trade embargo on North Korea and after their state visit, that is when things really changed.

    • Hatuey

      Fwl: “Trump has opened the possibility of enormous change: how and why did that happen?”

      Firstly, it wouldn’t be enormous change, not for anyone but the deprived North Koreans at least. A similar thawing of relations took place under Clinton. There was a deal in place to build North Korea nuclear reactors in return for giving up their nuclear weapons program. Sanctions were lifted then too. Congress refused to back the deal with the necessary funds and left the North Koreans feeling ripped off.

      Credit in this case though would probably go to the South Koreans who have done everything they could to defuse the tension and minimise Trump’s involvement. My guess is that Trump is trying to take the credit for something that was bound to happen anyway.

      Things have changed in the region in recent years. South Korea is probably more a natural friend of China than North Korea is, and South Korea is certainly a more natural friend of China than a friend of the US.

      What’s being celebrated as a triumph for Trump is actually another milestone in the inevitable decline of US dominance in the region and the rise of China. And it’s a victory for soft power and influence rather than the gung ho crap that the Yankee cowboys are starting to realise doesn’t work.

      • romar

        Moon is the true champion of this outcome: he won the election on his “New Northern Policy” – “sunshine” in relations with NK, China and Russia. Did the US think worsening relations with China and Russia would stop Moon’s efforts to move closer to Xi and Putin?
        Indeed, Moon was greatly helped by both Xi and Putin, who worked non-stop with both SK & NK to move the process along – with much help from Trump’s tweets, as Putin suggests tongue-in-cheek (http://www.atimes.com/putins-praise-kim-jong-un-message-trump/)
        Mercouris has documented some of the Russian side’s efforts: – http://theduran.com/russia-takes-centre-stage-diplomacy-korean-crisis/
        Reuters (28/9/17) also noted “a flurry of Russian diplomacy, with repeat visits to Moscow of NK senior diplomat Choe Son Hui. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-missiles-russia/russia-says-ready-to-work-with-north-korea-to-resolve-missile-crisis-idUKKCN1C4210
        During a Valdai Club meeting on 19/10/17, Putin got the SK and NK energy ministers together, and suggested a number of “tripartite projects”, including a gas pipeline and a railway through to SK through NK, and later explained the reconciliation effect of such tripartite projects. (Mercouris points to the significance of the railway for SK: a land bridge to Europe – and hence a trigger to US fury)
        http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55882
        Meanwhile, Putin kept referring to Saddam Hussein’s and Kaddafi’s end to explain of Kim’s nuclear effort (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55535), insisting NK should be treated with respect and not driven into a corner (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/5588)
        On 11/01/18, Putid describes Kim as a rational & efficient leader: “Kim Jong-un has obviously won this round. He has achieved his strategic goal. He has a nuclear warhead, and now he also has a missile with a global range… [And now he is open the door to] dialogue and negotiation.” http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/56639; http://www.atimes.com/putins-praise-kim-jong-un-message-trump/)
        This ground work culminated in the 9-11 April “extended consultations” between NK’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Lavrov in Moscow – http://tass.com/politics/998796. Ri also met RF Security Council Secretary N. Patruchev – on “inter-Korean dialogue” – http://tass.com/politics/998625)
        (Ri had met Wang Yi the previous week)
        It would be interesting to analyse how much Putin’s Putin’ careful and persistent diplomacy, his respectful explication of Kim’s actions, have contributed to the current happy outcome.
        It’s also interesting that the Americans never mention Russia’s role in the process, whereas in fact Putin’s “meddling” has been more significant than Xi’s, what with this rail and pipeline proposal?
        Clearly, if, in addition to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, Putin now also meddles in the Korean Peninsula, then he is the more dangerous geopolitical adversary, and countering him requires all NATO hands on deck…

        During a Valdai Club meeting on 19/10/17, Putin got the SK and NK energy ministers together, and suggested a number of “tripartite projects”, including a gas pipeline and a railway through to SK through NK, and later explained the reconciliation effect of such tripartite projects. (Mercouris points to the significance of the railway for SK: a land bridge to Europe – and hence a trigger to US fury)
        http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55882
        Meanwhile, Putin kept referring to Saddam Hussein’s and Kaddafi’s end to explain of Kim’s nuclear effort (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55535), insisting NK should be treated with respect and not driven into a corner (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/5588)
        On 11/01/18, Putin describes Kim as a rational & efficient leader: “Kim Jong-un has obviously won this round. He has achieved his strategic goal. He has a nuclear warhead, and now he also has a missile with a global range… [And now he is open the door to] dialogue and negotiation.” http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/56639; http://www.atimes.com/putins-praise-kim-jong-un-message-trump/)
        This ground work culminated in the 9-11 April “extended consultations” between NK’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Lavrov in Moscow – http://tass.com/politics/998796. Ri also met RF Security Council Secretary N. Patruchev – on “inter-Korean dialogue” – http://tass.com/politics/998625)
        (Ri had met Wang Yi the previous week)
        It would be interesting to analyse how much Putin’s Putin’ careful and persistent diplomacy, his respectful explication of Kim’s actions, have contributed to the current happy outcome.
        It’s also interesting that the Americans never mention Russia’s role in the process, whereas in fact Putin’s “meddling” has been more significant than Xi’s, what with this rail and pipeline proposal?
        Clearly, if, in addition to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, Putin now also meddles in the Korean Peninsula, then he is the more dangerous geopolitical adversary, and countering him requires all the allied hands on deck. May came up with her little stratagems, first the Skripal affair, with the pack automatically falling in line, then the Douma hoax, followed by those stupid bombardments.
        Since, apart from Macron, the latter criminal enterprise elicited decidedly less enthusiasm, we may surmise that the next will stunt will be a solo action by the US.

    • Passer

      I think Trump more or less got rolled over by North Korea and China. China must have guaranteed North Korea to protect it should go anything wrong with their mission. The mission is, plain and simply, to pull South Korea away from the US and sort of make the whole peninsula untouchable for the US. This is a bold strategic move by China and North Korea. What can Trump do? There is no way of him not accepting an invitation to a meeting that is looking for peace. What reason could he find to say no? It does not matter if North Korea denuclearizes. Believe me China is backing each and every move here. This is why it is easy for North Korea do disarm their nuclear weapons plant before the talks even; this offer was made to secure this development even more. North Korea will remain nuclearized by proxy and with his antagonistic moves towards China Trump has made sure China’s pledge will last. Kim Jong-Un went there by train (!) because whatever was discussed was so sensitive that no secured phone line or any other secured channel was believed to be secure enough (!). I also think all the missile tests last year were part of this strategy, They created a real hysteria and drove Trump into this direction. You create a big terror, then you deflate it, and wow you made a big step here, an offering in advance. This creates something like a black hole and your adversary, i.e. the US is dragged into it, irrevertibly. Did you notice how low level comments by China and Russia are?

  • Paul

    In the perverse outcomes department, one of the most bitterly ironic things is that, purportedly, in the name of “national security” (TM), the Intelligence State stages a provocation that sets up a showdown between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. If one side had not launched a Kabuki strike on Syria so that the other would not return fire, this could very well have triggered a regional, world, or world-ending war.

    These secrets must be kept from us to safeguard us from our enemies, real or manufactured.

    • Paul Damascene

      To expand slightly on this earlier comment, what I find particularly pernicious about this combination of “national security” rationale and the secrecy that it claims to justify is not just that we would be misled into support for a war with Russia (we would hope it would take better false flags than Salisbury / Ghouta to persuade any sane public to support war with Russia–except perhaps in the US today) but that in the absence of any public information much less democratic constraint, they might blunder their way into a hot war with Russia without our having a clue as to the crazy brinkmanship they were playing at.

      Fortunately we are dealing with a mature political / military counterpart in Russia. The temptation to kill a British sub or strike a British base on Cyprus must have been very great. There but for the grace…

      • romar

        “… not just that we would be misled into support for a war with Russia”
        It seems to me that matters have come to such a head that public support for military and other violent actions will no longer be sought. As you’ve seen, no one protested against bombing Syria, since Assad is an evil man who kills his own people. Ergo, nobody will protest a war with Russia, since it is an established fact in Western minds that Putin is an evil man intent on destroying “us”, and we pre-emptively strike him before he wipes us all out.
        In any case there won’t be any time to protest: the last series of events — Skripal-Douma-Hamilton (the code name of the bombing operation) — were a dress rehearsal for a sudden war, merely announced but , since it is now clear that most of the people will go along with any explanation, and will demand no justification at all.
        And since no such effort is required, there will be no obstacle to quick action…
        With a bit of lack, Trump will have time to twit another warning to Putin: “Get ready, Putin! Our nice, new, superfast nuclear bombs are coming your way.”
        The US and vassals will simply ignore the people’s views, and just keep repeating that Putin is an evil man intent on destroying us, so we have to defend ourselves.

        • Paul Damascene

          I see the logic. Chilling and not implausible. Among the casualties of the Bush Jr. regime’s wars, and Obama’s perpetuation and expansion of them (to whistleblowers, notably) seems to be mass expressions of anti-war sentiment, in the West, at least.

  • The Man Who Couldn't Come In From the Cold

    Great link from Copydude.
    http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16064166.Russian_spy_is_one_of_two_in_hospital_after_medical_emergency_at_Maltings/

    The whole thing was a scam.

    “1 hour” to take Yulia from scene in a “helicopter” to the same hospital as her father was taken to by road = Staged event. Helicopter used for dramatic effect, like at the Westminster fake terror event last year.

    “Firefighters in specialist suits then decontaminated the area” = More evidence of total government scam, in that they have just put the army back in, one month later to decotaminate again.

    The whole point of the scam was to demonise Russia, and link that to Syria. “Chemical” + “Chemical” = Bombing.

    • Kay

      I notice that the renewed and reinvigorated cleanup effort dates from not long after BZ was mentioned as the possible causative agent.

    • copydude

      Credit where it’s due. Great link was posted here first by Charles, who was on to the ‘funny’ timeline from the beginning.

      He also noticed the chopper flying first the wrong way and ‘dawdling’ . . . well, might have looked a bit sus if they’d turned up too soon. ))

      About the Decontam Scam. DEFRA’s man, quoted by the BBC, is Ian Boyd who is a Professor of Biology at St Andrews University.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_L._Boyd

      He was about to step down from DEFRA and retire, quiet life and all, and seems a nice guy who’s been dropped in it. But if you have any awkward questions, add them to the poor guy’s overflowing mailbox. I confidently expect Ian Boyd and Drs Christine Blanshard, Salisbury Hospital’s Medical Officer, to appear on a New Year’s Honours List in the near future.

      • Patrick Mahony

        I took screenshot of Wiltshire Air Ambulance call-out log. They were airborne 16.19 that is four minutes after initial 999 call. The data was later removed.
        Also nobody was “officially” choppered out, the Skripals were taken by road.
        Do you have a link to “dawdling”?

        • Charles

          Wiltshire Air Ambulance (AA) issued a very strange statement regarding the “Salisbury Incident”

          http://www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk/salisbury-incident

          In it they state “Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust continues to work closely with all partner agencies to support the ongoing investigation.”

          What ongoing investigation might that be that entails their “support”?

          The statement reads both defensive and protective of the staff involved.

          The Helicopter took 30 minutes to get to the incident a distance it could have traveled in 12.5 minutes

          Timeline includes Info gained from ADS / MLAT Flight Tracking

          4:15 Member of public calls emergency services regarding couple on a bench

          4:19 AA alerted to Incident. AA online Incident log shows call out initially, then removed, then reinstated

          4.30 AA takes off from private property (Distillery Farm) Minety (Wilts) and flies 5 minutes (15km) in wrong direction (SW).

          4.35 AA corrects direction of flight by 90 degs and flies slowly (SE) towards Salisbury but first circled over The Flying Monk Brewery at Hullavington

          4.45 AA goes off transponder tracker on Salisbury Plain (Tilshead)

          c 4.50 (from extrapolated speed and track) AA arrives Salisbury centre

          c 5:11 AA takes off and flies in opposite direction to hospital to London Road Cemetery area then turns 180 degs and flies in direction to hospital and lands.

          c 5:50 AA takes off from hospital and returns to base via London Road Cemetery

    • Paul Barbara

      @ The Man Who Couldn’t Come In From the Cold April 28, 2018 at 23:00
      That’s my take as well.

    • Bayard

      “The whole thing was a scam.”
      What militates against the whole thing being pre-planned is the shambles that it has proved to be. The whole timeline of events from then to now so strongly looks like the authorities scrambling to cover up some massive error. Something must have gone wrong, but what?

      • Doodlebug

        @Bayard 09:43

        “Something must have gone wrong, but what?”

        The Skripals being discovered ‘in the nick of time’ maybe? There again perhaps that was not an error but a contingency. It may be the case that whoever administered the toxin, Russian style, wasn’t too fussed whether they wound up in a hospital or a mortuary. The stigma would be accomplished either way.

  • giyane

    A much bigger lie than Mrs May’s government’s were the ones run by Bullingdon Bertie Cameron about the causes of the 2007 financial crash. The lie was that the Labour government of Gordon Brown was to blame for the well-known flaws in the highly leveraged system of liberal banking devised by Tories under Mrs Thatcher.

    Since it is now well understood that the US cannot retain its global dollar currency monopoly and the entire Western financial system will collapse when the dollar collapses, it is important for Mrs May to sow the seeds of blame on Russia, in order to avoid upsetting China whose financial power threatens the US.

    Thinking the unthinkable, that the West may end up looking like the photos of victims of the great Western colonial powers, in Africa, China, India, Vietnam, Japan, etc etc,, the greatest military brains can only come up with the idea of a first strike use of nuclear weapons giving our lot some advantage over their lot.
    For this daft idea to become reality it is necessary to build up a believable pretext for a first strike.

    We know , without a shadow of a doubt that the answers to the problems of neo-liberal economics can never be delivered by the false prophets of neo-liberal economics. All they are capable of is swapping our extremely deadly WMD for more billions of cash from Saudi Arabia. Craig is right to include the visit of Abdullah bin Salman in the build up to these chemical false-flags by the UK government.

    What we know now, after the destruction of NATO radar and NATO WMD launched illegally against the Assad government, is that Russian claims to have military superiority are true, and that China has made public its military support for Russia which was previously kept private.

    No amount of deliberate rushing over to the side of the school bus to overturn it going round a corner will stop the inevitable arrival at school and the difficult process of re-education and correction by the socialist entities of Russia and China who now have military and economic superiority over us. We can do it the easy way and we can do it the hard way. Either: some basic principles of socialism, such as removal of the priveledges of vampire banking capitalists will now be implemented under the banner of Jeremy Corbyn, OR. Russia and China can completely trash the whole of Western civilisation as it currently exists.

    The total woolly daftness of Boris Johnson and Theresa May’s porkies to the world and the British people is about absolute panic setting into the zombies of Thatcherism at the total and complete failure of their false god , the Market.. They need to be assisted to a place of humane asylum where they can be patiently detoxed from their ridiculous beliefs.

    • fwl

      The recognition of MBS as the legitimate 3rd generation heir to the throne of Saudi Arabia is another key one man Presidential appointment to ponder.

      I say on man, but Jared was v important in that regard and although I don’t know Kissinger’s thoughts on Saudi succession nor whether Jared and Kissinger even discussed this it has been said that during the short period when Jared was in effect an alternative one man state department he was taking advice from Kissinger. Nothing wrong with that. What is interesting is that MBS that moved v quickly and consolidated his position.

      Similarly China often patient and ponderous playing the long game has moved rapidly in response to Trump’s opening up to Kim. There was perhaps a stick waved by Trump and perhaps some may say it was the waving of the stick, which persuaded China to bring about a Korean I turn, but it might be the opposite.

      The US, China and Japan have all benefited from a rogue state N Korea. It helps justify US in the region. Leverages up Japan, who has US backing. For China N Korea is the dangerous friend. The dangerous deniable friend: we know that concept don’t we! Anyway, by Trump opening up to Kim he has offered China a pivotal moment, and what a long term game player likes is a pivotal moment. Like a frog at a pond sitting still and suddenly it moves. Not much is v clear with the Korean situation, but a door had opened. Many talk about dangers and risks, but essentially this is an opportunity for China leverage up its local position and the US to find their position weaken. That then also effects US and China’s global positioning.

      Now it may be good for the people of S Korea mot to live under threw of annihilation and for the people of N Korea to move out dictatorial poverty, and good for Japanese who worry about local war they too can perhaps relax. But US foreign policy has been to have a strong position in the Gar East. So why and how is it that Trump changed this? There are several possibilities, which I mentioned in an earlier post. I don’t know the answer, and perhaps I have missed other possibilities, but it is curious.

      • romar

        “There was perhaps a stick waved by Trump…”
        The stick helped an already ongoing process: SK’s Moon was elected on that very platform. Xi and Putin had been working on same for a while. The Olympic master stroke went so well it must have been carefully rehearsed – including the sitting arrangement in the VIP sector of the stadium.
        And Kim seems too enthusiastic about reunification for it to be a spur-of-the-moment affair.
        See my earlier post “Moon is the true champion…”

    • Hatuey

      Giyane, I think you need to relax. We’ve been hearing about the imminent collapse of the dollar for at least 30 years. When I was at university people said the euro would replace or at least eat into the dollar’s dominance —this was in the early 90s.

      The stuff you say about Global economics doesn’t even make sense, truth be told. China banks with the US and the west for the same reasons that Russians, Saudi Arabians, and you and me bank with the west. And the reason is simple, so simple that I need not explain it here.

      International politics isn’t the the game of Risk you think it is either. If it is then they are at least playing by the rules. There’s much more cooperation and interdependence in the world than you think.

      And don’t read too much into military spending; it has never as far as the US is concerned represented much more than a way of stimulating areas of the American economy that would otherwise collapse. In that sense, the Americans are the biggest Keynesians in the history of the world.

      • Reg

        On the ‘imminent’ collapse of the Dollar?
        What do you think the US have been doing for the last 30 years (and before)?
        The constant destabilization of the middle east allowed the US to maintain client kingdoms such as Saudi Arabia (and the maintenance of the Petro dollar) where the schism between Shia and Sunni was exploited as well as with Israil, this is why Saddam Hussain was central to keep Saudi Arabia in check by maintaining a balance between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, with Saudi Arabia using excess petrodollars for US military equipment. This is why Gulf War 1 made much more sense in imperialist terms than than Gulf War 2.

        The US effective defaulted by coming of the gold standard under Nixon inflicted adjustment costs of the Europeans. The Europeans then tried to recreate a limited Bretton Woods type fixed currency with the Euro. This has occurred against a background of a US policy to drive a wedge between the EU/EEC and Russia/USSR. In effect the attack in the UK and Syria was not in the main an attack on Russia, but an attack on the EU, as Russia is a relatively small economy, but with massive untapped potential in technology, oil, rare earth metal used for renewable s (as China has currently a near monopoly for these).

        The position of the UK is as a colony of the US used to destabilize the EU and drive Nato expansion, and weaken its currency.

        It is also interesting that the launch of the Euro coincided with the US bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. So the US has followed a clear strategy of driving a wedge between the EU/EEC and Russia and destabilizing the Euro since its inception. The problem is this, the EU is a bigger economy than the US, a EU working with Russia and its massive untapped potential and oil reserves would be the end of the $ as a reserve currency and US hegemony, this is why Libya and Iraq met sticky ends when trying to require payments in Euro for oil.

        Those holding large amounts of US T Bills have a problem they cannot unload without collapsing the price, so a gradual unwinding is expected rather than imminent collapse. When the $ loses reserve status the $ will collapse due to its massive trade deficit, with a large increase in imported inflation and a sharp fall in US GDP and influence, this will be a default by devaluation on US debt requiring a massive reduction in US military spending.

        It is a mistake to view this in one dimension, imperialism is not sustained with one tool, the political, the military and the economic must work together for full spectrum dominance, or what used to be called mercantilism. Each ‘fix’ causes the next collapse, for example, coming off gold standard (party due to cost of the Vietnam war), led to high inflation which Vlocker used sky high interest rates but collapsed US manufacturing and uncompetitive exports due to an appreciating $ which was blamed on the Japanese with the Plaza Accord to force it to open up its capital markets and force its currency upwards collapsing its economy.

        This is a very dangerous time the as the US is trying to maintain its dominance as a fading imperial power with its military, which is what the $ is really supported by, via the barrel of a gun. A fading empire increasingly uses its military to maintain its position (firefighting), as it no longer has the economic power or political power to pay people off and this military maintenance of power becomes increasingly expensive and lead to impoverishment at home via increasing inequality and debt. The same often happens with fading imperial powers such as with Rome/UK, with regions trying to succeed as they are no longer being paid off, but are still required to pay tribute/taxes.

        We have an unstable (and rather absurd) position with China lending money to the US so the US can afford to intimidate the China with its military to force a better trade deal.

        Imperial dominance (rather like economic crisis) takes much longer than you think to collapse, but then happens much quicker than you think. All Imperial regimes collapse, the US is no different.

        So taking the longer view, ‘Risk’ is a rather good description of the mercantilist model, I suggest you read Michael Hudson if you do not understand this more realistic economic model. I also suggest you read Yanis Varafacus ‘And the weak suffer what the must’ on the development of the EU/Euro and the collapse of Bretton Woods. Trade is a positive sum game only in situations of large amounts of spare capacity (such as after WW2), with overcapacity such as from the 1970s with Germany and Japan increasingly challenging US manufacturing dominance, it increasingly becomes a zero sum game and increasingly resembles mercantilism, with trade wars over resources, currency and the terms of trade. It is unrealistic to regard this as cooperation in trade, as war is the ultimate example of a non cooperative trade deal, and the west’s intervention in the middle east, E Europe and attempts by the US to destabilize its ‘allies’ has to be viewed as examples of this.

        http://michael-hudson.com/books/super-imperialism/
        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17836526-killing-the-host
        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24886497-and-the-weak-suffer-what-they-must-europe-s-crisis-and-america-s-econo
        https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2017/11/coming-war-china-171128124059730.html
        https://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/08/economic-history
        https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/17553/trade/mercantilism-theory-and-examples/

        • Hatuey

          You need a break. The University of YouTube never closes and its students suffer as a result.

          P.s. the EU isn’t a bigger economy than the US.

          • reg

            You really should look up the data first, as this will reduce embarrassment next time as all you have indicated is a lack of understanding.
            Generally I read books and rely on primary data rather than on youtube, I suggest you try it sometime. PS, most of what is taught as modern economics such as neoclassical micro foundations and DSGE is a half baked belief system unsupported by evidence. It is generally better to go back to classical economics in the original, then look at Keynes and the institutionalist’s in the original then look at post Keynesianism for a more realistic description of how a modern debt based economy works. I suggest reading professor Michael Hudson if you want to catch up with times.

            Yes, the EU is a larger economy than the US.
            World bank data GDP, PPP (constant 2011 international $)

            GDP PPP (constant 2011 international $) (2016 as this is the last data point for this series)
            EU $18.585 Tn
            US $ 17.27 Tn

            https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.PP.KD?locations=US-EU

          • Hatuey

            Reg, if you think anything can be learned from classical economics then you and I are on different planets. I have literally won prizes writing about Adam Smith and where he was not only wrong but misrepresented and plain stupid.

            The US is the world’s strongest economy. Its GDP was over 19 trillion in 2017. That’s more than your 18.6. They are roughly the same in those terms but try looking at GDP per capita. Here the US outperforms the EU by about 40%.

            But there’s much more to it than even all that. For one, the EU isn’t really an integrated economy. They keep adding new members, many of which are poor and a burden even if they ostensibly increase the block’s GDP as a whole. Keep adding countries and of course your GDP will grow. When the U.K. leaves, the GDP will fall. This tells us nothing.

            It in terms of strength, you need to look at wider factors. The role of the dollar, US FDI, GNP, growth rates, debt, and a million other things.

            The picture is clear.

          • reg

            Prizes do not win arguments. you only have to look at the incompetents that have won the supposed ‘Nobel prize’ in economics such as those behind the LTCM pricing formula to have no confidence in economics prizes, valid winners such as Stiglitz are the exception.

            Yes Adam Smith is widely misinterpreted, but it contained the concept of unearned income and far from proposing the self regulating market suggested the weakness of an economy to monopoly/oligopoly. This makes Adam Smith a better start for an understanding than neoclassical economics. It is the misinterpretation by Jean Baptist Say of Adam Smith and the attempt to suppress Adam Smiths more dangerous insights that are the problem here rather than Adam Smith himself. Marx took the implications of classical economics, such as the labour theory of value and unearned rentier income to its logical conclusion.

            This was the problem that led to the creation of neoclassical economics as an ideology to suppress socialist interpretation of labour exploitation via surplus value and rentier extraction. It is neoclassical theory, its illegitimate offspring and its precursors such as Jeremy Bentham and Jean Baptist Say with his non sense of all supply creating its own demand that are the problem here not Adam Smith.

            Adam Smith has his weaknesses, particularly when regarding zero sum games such as environmental restrictions, but he was writing in an almost pre capitalist phase where the battle was between industrial interests and aristocratic remanent feudal landed interests he did not forsee that landed and industrial interests would later combine against labour when it had won its battle against landed interests (such as the corn laws). In his own terms was against rentier extraction by landed and monopoly mercantile interests as these were parasitic and inhibited the development of industry.

            Per capita figures for GDP are irrelevant in this case as Iceland would be a bigger economy than the US if you use per capita figures. Of course the EU is not an integrated economy and has very limited access to its own raw materials, this is why US policy is to maintain it that way, particularly regarding collaboration with the Russian economy with its massive access to raw materials and capacity to massively expand. Economic size matters as larger economies can dictate trade terms for smaller countries, Iceland with its higher per capita income cannot do this. This is why the EEC and the US can subsidise its agriculture and dump its product on the third world, while insisting these economies open their economies.
            This is not a recommendation for unfair trade practices, it is only comment.

            You cannot look at GDP flat, as different prices, inflation rates and exchange rates make this an invalid comparison, this is why I used purchasing power parity, constant international $ rebased to 2011 for a more valid comparison. It is true that the US is the largest economy, but only in nominal terms, this is explained in the link below. Figures for GNI, PPP (constant 2011 international $) below also show the EU is a larger economy than the US.

            The other problem is capital inflows tend to massage US GDP figures (like Ireland), as these tend to be non productive rentier extraction rather than productive investment.

            https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/022415/worlds-top-10-economies.asp

            Of course you look at other factors, this what I was trying to do. The Balance of payments is a good start this however points to a weakening of US hegemony due to the massive US trade/current account deficit, and the EU trade surplus. The recent weakening in the US $ also indicates a weakening of US power, particularly as oil is starting to be priced in things other than in $ (such the move to the petro yuan). It is unarguable that the US is a diminishing economic power and China and India are growing powers. The EU is also a diminishing power, hence its attempt to expand east, but Russia has massive capacity for expansion so an integrated EU/Russian economy would have an ability for massive expansion as they supply what each other need. Europe has an overcapacity problem and a badly designed structure and limited raw materials and limited access to productive investments, Russia has these raw materials and room to expand, still needs massive investment and its economy still needs to grow. The US has increasingly unaffordable military used to police preferential trade deals funded by international borrowing also point to a diminishing of US hegemony. This US military that is10 times Russian military spending is only affordable by relying on the $ reserve status where people have to hold $ to pay for commodities and invest these in US securities, such as the petro $. China cannot unload its US securities all at once without crashing the price of these securities and the $, this would suggest a gradual divestment of US securities and a fall in the $ and a gradual fall in US influence. This was my original point, and I have seen nothing from you as evidence that undermines my initial analysis.
            The picture is far from clear.

            https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/022415/worlds-top-10-economies.asp

            https://data.oecd.org/trade/current-account-balance.htm

            https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.MKTP.PP.KD?locations=US-EU

            https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/24/petro-yuan-china-wants-to-dethrone-dollar-rmb-denominated-oil-contracts.html

          • Hatuey

            Reg, thanks for the abundant supply of information. I think you are wiggling a lot here and there but not in any serious way.

            I don’t regard Jeremy Bentham as a serious economist btw. Smith I can talk about to the cows come home. I actually think Smith and Bentham were better as moral philosophers than economists.

            Smith’s biggest error, and most relevant error to the world we live in, was to assume labour was mobile where capital was fixed. This is the exact opposite of what we have today, of course. And that’s a major error from which a lot followed.

            Apart from all that, you clearly know your stuff and I both apologise and request forgiveness.

            P.s. I didn’t win a Nobel prize. I won £50 worth of book vouchers and I got published in a journal that no longer exists —back the £50 was a lot.

          • reg

            Yes I agree that one of Adam Smiths greatest weaknesses is regarding the substitutability of labour and omitting the role of international capital flows. However international capital flows and the transference of technology became much more important after his death. This makes makes his theory of fixed absolute advantage unsound (although others may of simplified/misinterpreted his theory).

            I included Jeremy Bentham not out of respect, but as an example of a propagandist who subverted the ideas of classical economics. He after all invented the idea of price determination by marginal utility, which is the basis of neoclassical theory long before the neoclassical marginalist revolution of the 1870s. It is this neoclassical rejection of analysis by class, its rejection of market imperfections and the effects of rentier extraction of unearned income from monopoly positions and its emphasis on consumer chose creating an idealised world of supply and demand by rational individuals that is the original sin of the lie of economics. This is why Jeremy Bentham is an important figure in economics. That Adam Smith recognised most of these market imperfections in the supply demand model is also why he is important, it is not his fault his writings were misinterpreted by vested interests. Economics is philosophy, the attempt to move it out of the humanities was what led to its greatest errors. Sorry if I was a little short.

            https://capitalvolume2.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/adam-smith-on-fixed-and-circulating-capital/

            “Adam Smith’s theory of absolute advantage and the use of doxography in the history of economics”
            https://www.ejpe.org/journal/article/view/105/102

            Henry, J.F., 2012. The making of neoclassical economics. Routledge.

            On the subversion of classical economics and the role of debt and unearned rentier income.
            http://michael-hudson.com/

      • Jo Dominich

        Hatuey, You are wrong here and Giyane is right. Cast your mind back to the early 2000’s – the old greenback was in serious trouble and close to collapse and twice, had to be bailed out by the European banks. Those same banks warned that if it happened a third time, there would be no assistance. Thank God the balance of power in the world is gradually shifting away from the USA to more responsible countries. The Petroyuan has kicked off, Russia and some neighbouring satellite countries that used to be part of the USSR have joined to start a similar Union as that of the EU – and that will grow – The majority of African nations have just announced they have created an internal African Union for Tariff free trade and shared markets. I could go on. More poorer countries are moving away from the Dollar as their currency. USA foregn policy has probably never been as aggressive as it is now why – it is scrabbling to stop it’s global power diminishing – which makes it more dangerous.

        • Hatuey

          You forget one thing. There’s a massive body of American opinion that suggests it would be in the US’s interests not to be the global exchange currency. And in actual fact, the US was supportive of the Euro. It supported it in meangful ways too.

          There’s more to all of this than Alex Jones would have you believe.

    • James Charles

      “ “No return to boom and bust” was a phrase I coined when I was chancellor and we had achieved four years of growth with low inflation before Gordon took office.
      Brown has traded heavily on the credit flowing from making the Bank of England independent. But I had already reformed monetary policy; and the stable monetary framework that he inherited, with the inflation target at its heart, was the decisive change. Inflation had been defeated by the Major government.’
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/apr/25/election2005.economy

    • JMF

      Yes, it’s crucial to understand the financial system which is imposed on us and which is inimical to the interests of society to see the big picture here. The dollar is failing. People can already see at least some of the major signs, e.g. the collapse of interest rates, record high number of people not counted in the workforce, the declining marginal productivity of debt and debt rising from already unpayable levels at an accelerating rate.

  • Charles

    Anonymous person’s wife

    (to husband through intercom on isolation tent)

    “What were you thinking painting nerve agent onto a door handle?”

    Anonymous person

    “They told me it would be safe”

    Anonymous person’s wife

    “”How much compensation will we get?”

  • John Goss

    A couple of pages back Thomas Stockman linked this report from Peter Wilson.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/opcw-executive-council-meeting-18-april-update-on-the-use-of-a-nerve-agent-in-salisbury

    I am glad that Peter Wilson’s report is on the OPCW website. It is a testimony to UK deviousness. You do not need any special qualifications to see from the summary, linked in his report, that the whole lot is totally misleading. Wilson states:

    “As you know, on 4 March Yulia and Sergei Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury, England, with a chemical weapon, which UK experts established to be a Novichok. OPCW has now clearly verified those findings. This is set out in paragraph 10 of the unclassified Executive Summary.”

    It is not paragraph ten you need to read but paragraph one which states:

    “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).”

    You will find this phrase “toxic chemical” throughout the summary. But Peter Wilson is misleading when he states that: “. . .Yulia and Sergei Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury, England, with a chemical weapon, which UK experts established to be a Novichok. OPCW has now clearly verified those findings.”

    They have done no such thing because paragraph one states the incident in Salisbury involved “. . .a toxic chemical—allegedly a nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals.”

    The key phrase from this is “—allegedly a nerve agent—”. We know who is alleging it and it is not the OPCW. The OPCW does not confirm the UK allegations.

    Back to the drawing-board Peter!

    • Thomas_Stockmann

      I linked to that report because it was most convenient link I found for the conversation I was engaged in, which was about whether the full technical report has been circulated, though not published (it has been, in unredacted form). Whatever the toxic chemical is, the OPCW confirmed that it was the one identified to them by the UK, and the Russians should know its identity. I asked a question about Lavrov’s allegations and the choice of positive control substance which no-one has really answered satisfactorily. As has been said by many, even if it was a “Novichok” that was found, it by no means proves Russian responsibility, given that it is widely accepted that other countries have the capability to make one.

  • Hieroglyph

    Mr Skripal is coming across as a shady opportunist with more brass than brains. I suspect this is the norm in spook land, certainly at the lower levels. The fat controllers of course are very smart, though not exactly ethical.

    What do do with the security services? Even the most minor reforms would be fought like Stalingrad, so I’ve no idea. Some transparency would help, and those stupid D-Notices really have to go.

    • estern public

      The tenuous connection of the Skripal Affair to the Trump Dirty Dossier ,while not discounted ,does not compute.
      Too many rules of Spookery have been broken. Unwritten Laws of spooks is that you do not disrupt spook exchanges by atttacking an exchanged spy or his family . It disrupts any future cooperation and it scares existing spy assets or future recruits ,knowing that their families are at risk.
      The method used at Salisbury was too elaborate, too public, meant .to achieve maximum exposure and publicity. It was co-ordinated with a Military Chemical weapons attack exercise and elements at Porton Down. The whole town of Salisbury was frightened and panicked.
      All this to put the ‘frghteners’ on a washed up ex-British spy.?
      The Salisbury Skripal Affair ws Amateur Night at MI5/6, dreamt up in a hurry by some ex-Public school idiot with contempt for the reasoning powers of the common herd.
      There is no understanding displayed of the rules of Project Management or Failure Mode Analysis, to give plasusible deniability.
      The Skripal affair was a desperate last minute operation to rescue the failed attempt at regime change in Syria,in which close to £100 million hd been invested by the FCO and was a prelude to it, to prepare the Western public for a reprise at Douma.
      It was also a continuation of Operation Beluga, the plot to demonise Russia and Putin..
      The rapid advance of Syrian Forces into Douma and their seizure of several Chemical wapon stocks and laboratories had reduced the window of opportunity to stage another chemical weapon. ‘false flag’ to bring the Western forces and the Jihadists Air F.orce (sic) into the conflict.
      The only WMD used at Douma was a wash down water hose,
      The disclosure of Operation Beluga gives a credible understanding of the Skripal poisoning.
      French Special Ops, Policeman Paul Barrill exposes it here and ties the Litivenko, Beresovsky and Skripal affairs together..
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLI-gXJ7T5E

  • Dave G

    The first time I found out that Porton Down was only eight miles from Salisbury, I thought “Well, that’s a strange coincidence when an alleged attack with a nerve agent has just occurred, isn’t it?”, and then I found out that Skripal’s MI6 handler also lived in Salisbury (through the Daily Mail, though they didn’t name the handler) and the coincidences just kept coming. After all the lies that the UK government has told us over the last few decades, it doesn’t take many coincidences to start me doubting the official story.
    Then the three people who were all poisoned with a nerve agent which was many times more powerful than the VX which killed Kim Jong-Un’s brother in minutes all miraculously survived and the government narrative was unraveling fast.
    I have no real idea who poisoned these people (if they wee indeed poisoned at all), but I’m about as sure as I can be that nobody was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent in Salisbury, or they would be dead.

  • Colin Smith

    I read recently in reply to my post re Buster Crabb and the Soviet warship that D or DA Bitices are voluntarily adhered to, and have no force in law, a kind of gentleman’s agreement between government and media. Is this so? What would happen to a newspaper that refused to follow the D Notice?

    • Hieroglyph

      I’m of that understanding too. I assume nothing would happen to the newspaper, in the short term. After a few months, the editor would find him\herself without a job of course, after a surprise reshuffle. Wheels within wheels. Mind, the editors are hardly rebels, doubt it would occur to them to put their career under threat.

      • Keith McClary

        The remaining newspapers don’t have the ad revenues to support actual reporting or journalism. They get their “news” by calling up anonymous “officials” or “sources” in government who “leak” whatever the government wants to plant in the media without attribution. If the media get too far out of line, their news-feed gets shut off.

    • Jacob Ecclestone

      Colin Smith (post of April 29, 2018 at 01:31) asks whether D-Notices have any force in law?

      They do not. Media organisations in the UK are invited to join a committee which is always (well, for the last 100 years or so) run by senior military bods with time on their hands. The media organisations are flattered by this attention and believe that by cooperating with the military and security services they are somehow protecting freedom of the press and defending our vibrant democracy. The chaps they send along to the committee (invariably senior members of the editorial staff rather than mere hacks who might not do what they are told) solemnly agree to issue D-notices when something comes up in the military and security landscape. The process is similar in many respects to turkeys agreeing that Christmas would be a good time to have a feast. The broadcasting organisations, the newspapers and the magazine publishing companies agree to censor themselves by not referring to anything which is covered by a D-Notice. The fact that by doing so the media organisations are all betraying the public, who pay to buy the newspapers or pay the BBC licence fee, is – they believe – a minor form of collateral damage, i.e. a few civilians suffer but the state achieves its ends.

      Mr Smith asks what would happen to a newspaper “that refused to follow the D-Notice”. That is a difficult question to answer because we have so little experience of it happening. In 40 years of work in and around the British media, I do not recall a single case. What is certain is that ignoring a D-Notice carries no risk of any legal sanction. The D-Notice website hints that any breach of a voluntary D-Notice might lead to legal action under the Official Secrets Act. But they would say that, wouldn’t they? Just think about that prospect for a couple of seconds…… and consider the problem of prosecuting counsel trying to show that ignoring “advice” could be regarded as
      a breach of the law.

      As long ago as 1979/80 there were moves in Parliament for the D-Notice system to be abolished. Mrs Thatcher was having none of that.

      The real evil of the D-Notice system is that most journalists have never seen one, have never thought about how they are subject to existing D-Notices, all of which have been agreed to by higher management.

      The internet and social media offers us the chance to get rid of this pernicious form of information control. D-Notices are a stain on our society and make a mockery of all claims that we have a free and independent media.

  • Ophelia Ball

    In China the internet is often used as a “Human Flesh Engine” which pools and collates the efforts of multiple online participants to trace and identify people involved in sensational or outrageous incidents. Surely, named individuals in a small city such as Salisbury cannot simply vanish without trace?

    Who, then, are

    Jamie Paine, Georgia Pridham, 25, Graham Mulcock and Destiny Reynolds, 20 – all of whom were named and quoted in http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5470455/How-poisoned-spy-plot-unfolded-Salisbury.html and car dealer Mark Francis, quoted in https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/crime/witnesses-saw-woman-wearing-surgical-12176790

    and why hasn’t anyone interviewed them?

  • Ian

    The whole government story is unbelievable, from the fallacy that only the Russians have the capability to do it, to the door handle explanation.
    One key aspect of the whole incident is the ongoing massive clean up in Salisbury. It suggests that the door handle explanation is a lie. It is highly unlikely that an agent 10X more powerful than VX could be delivered from a door handle to two people and not have an effect for several hours. A lethal dose is around 2mg. The idea that such a small amount could require a major clean up in multiple locations is ridiculous and you would expect the government to avoid a clean up if there was no need. The clean up effort is focused on locations in Salisbury centre which the Skripals visited in the afternoon, after visiting the cemetery (declared not contaminated). It is therefore likely that this is where the Skripals were exposed to the nerve agent. They may have collected a container of nerve agent from someone (Miller?), a container that was leaking. This would explain the timing of the effect (especially if it was one of Rink’s vials prepared in the 90s and of limited potency) and the need to decontaminate Salisbury centre. Detective Bailey appears to be genuine, given press reports of his previous cases. It is possible that he became contaminated by a container of nerve agent collected as evidence at the scene. This would explain why the police evidence locker is also being cleaned up. (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/salisbury-chemical-nerve-agent-still-present-authorities-deny-mixed-messages-a8314916.html).

    • Antonyl

      The whole “Skripal clean up act” was a new low in UK theater; how far has England fallen since pinnacle Shakespeare!
      No expenses were spared trying to fool the world public. Only problem, the script was made up by a fool, the direction was foolishly way post act , the quick & firm conclusion presented in Parliament by the head Fool was pre-forensics but still swallowed by another bunch of (elected) fools.

      • bj

        ” the need to decontaminate Salisbury centre.”

        Do not underestimate the cleaning capacity of baby wipes.

        • Jo Dominich

          Likewise, do not understand why it started 7 weeks after the event – if it was that deadly and that necessary – would have been done at the time. Likewise, still think DS Nick Bailey is a highly suspect character in all of this. Perhaps I agree with Clive Ponting, he was the special branch bod in all of this – he was on the scene almost immediately, how?

    • romar

      “Detective Bailey appears to be genuine, given press reports of his previous cases.”
      An intel officer doing detective work as a cover will do detective work, of course – and do a good job of it.

    • Doodlebug

      @Ian 29.4, 01:54

      Accidental contamination is indeed a plausible scenario. Whilst the door handle may not have been a vector for poisoning the Skripals, it may nevertheless have ‘inherited’ traces of the toxin when DS Bailey visited the house after having been exposed himself.

  • quasi_verbatim

    You are no doubt correct in your update assumption and we are grateful that the hoary ‘D Notice’ regime does not extend to transnational alt media but only to legacy British MSM upon whom no-one relies for accurate information.

    We can now connect the blobs between Pee-Peegate, Salisbury, Douma and Brexit. The trail leads to one T. May. The country is thus in safe hands. Corbyn would never be able to grasp the subtleties of the matter.

  • Billy Bostickson

    Not sure if this has already been mentioned here, but anyway, what the hell:
    Skripal: A Russian web or a RUSI web?
    by ALEX THOMSON, EASTERN APPROACHES

    This report focuses our attention on the presence of at least one MI6 officer, Miller, in Tallinn in the crucial years of destabilisation of post-Soviet Russia, 1993–95. Miller is well tied in to an agenda which has since emerged through the Litvinenko and Berezovsky cases and the Fusion GPS scandal. Estonia has long been a Western, and particularly a British, bridgehead for operations against Russia, as currently evidenced by the setting-up of a NATO-allied hacking centre there and the presence of, albeit ludicrously small, British military contingents there on roulement.

    To understand this angle better, we have to turn from the western to the southern periphery of Russia, and to another small nation of equally intense patriotism. Besides this, the Chechens and Estonians have equally intense resentment of the unspeakable traumas visited upon them under Stalin. This deep well of national resentment has proven highly useful to the agenda within the West to destabilise Russia.

    The Chechen connection

    My contention is that a whole group, largely of now-former MI6 officers, which turned Skripal — and which managed previous high-profile, obsessively anti-Kremlin defectors such as Alexander Litvinenko and Boris Berezovsky — has a node of past activity in Estonia (around the peak years of 1993–95). This may overlap with the evidently-used strategy of using Chechens, and getting Estonians to use Chechens, to destabilise Russia.

    Despite FBI whistleblower (and my former desk counterpart) Sibel Edmonds’ recent unprovoked and unfounded attack on our colleagues at 21st Century Wire, I am bound to say that the entire programme of this use of Chechens is best described in her book The Lone Gladio. This book is fictionalised only to beat the censors. Rather than being a novel, it is a painstaking description of the modus operandi of a feared few within the British and American security establishments that peaked in the Nineties and Noughties. It is an ineffably harrowing account of what I believe to be one of the most reprehensible strategies ever perpetrated on a nation (in a field of stiff competition for that title). The nadir of that strategy was the repeated use of “black widow” suicide-belted female hostage-takers at venues such as the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow, and the rape and murder of high numbers of the youngest of schoolchildren at Beslan, North Ossetia.

    The aspects of this wider Chechen angle (as distinct from the black operation proper) of which I am aware from open sources and unclassified encounters are:

    • In autumn 1990, Dzhokhar Dudaev, a Chechen and the commander of a garrison of Red Army rangers in Estonia as Estonia was on the threshold of regaining its independence, disobeyed his orders to use his many men to shut down the very weakly-guarded television tower in Tallinn, which had begun broadcasting patriotic appeals to the Estonian people. He thereby gained abiding popularity among the Estonians, as did the Chechen separatist cause, and he was quickly reposted away from Estonia thereafter. Dudaev later became president of the separatist entity known as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

    I have never personally believed that Dudaev’s stand-down in Estonia was motivated by sheer noble sympathy for the national cause there. In particular, I do not believe that because of the publicly-documented, ill-concealed, heavy military support which the US- and UK-backed Shevardnadze and Saakashvili governments in Georgia provided to Dudaev’s rebel state (which I and a former housemate personally witnessed). Witness also the massive PR and celebrity support which Dudaev’s statelet (continuing years after the Russians managed to liquidate Dudaev himself) received in London, co-ordinated by the notorious PR firm (or something darker) Bell Pottinger, whose founder (Lord) Tim Bell was the brains of the Thatcher-era Conservative Party election campaigns, and which may soon be wound up after having been caught stirring the racial pot in South Africa.
    • In winter 1993–94, a Chechen who had been in Britain attempting on Dudaev’s behalf to raise funds for the entity of Ichkeria by selling its stamps to philatelists was found by Greater Manchester Police chopped up in the boot of a car. I am aware of a single contemporary BBC radio news report on this grisly find, which afterwards seems to have had a D-notice placed upon it. The story was carried at the time as a falling-out among thieves of an exotic and no doubt warlike nationality that no-one had heard of.
    • According to MI6 whistleblower Richard Tomlinson, as best summarised in the first chapter of Daniel Estulin’s The Tavistock Institute, no less a figure than future President Vladimir Putin nearly met the same fate at the hands of a clique within British intelligence in 1994 when he was almost enticed to come to Britain while in financial dire straits (following his resignation from the KGB). British intelligence contacts had allegedly offered him a job teaching German in Britain, but he got cold feet at the last minute when advised by associates that he was going to be dismembered rather than given a new life there.

    Tomlinson’s version of events is that Putin had been an asset of John Scarlett’s (later ‘C’, the director of MI6, and since knighted) since 1979. Tomlinson’s analysis is that rather than being assets for MI6 or the British Government proper, Putin and his associates had been serving private interests, among whom he identifies a senior strand of Freemasonry and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. (Tavistock can best be described as a psychological intelligence centre serving very major Western corporate and financial clients, which Dr John Coleman in his own book on the Tavistock Institute alleges have included the Bank for International Settlements, the central bankers’ central bank.) I have been assured by a measured former housemate of Tomlinson’s that while Tomlinson may be given to dramatic wording, he is no liar.
    • Also in 1994, Estonian former special forces airdropped supplies to Dudaev’s troops in the Chechen mountains on the eve of the First Chechen War. It is not evident who thought up, commanded and equipped these airdrops.
    • In 1999, on the eve of the presidential elections which brought Putin to office, there was a series of bombings of apartment buildings in Russian cities. Even Craig Murray (linked above) accepts that these were most probably perpetrated by elements of Russian intelligence. The question, however, is who instructed those elements to do so, and whether the aim was to promote Putin’s chances of election (as is usually claimed) or rather to have a hold over him.
    • In the early 2000s, Chechens, including those living overtly in Britain, were involved in supplying the “Chechen Republic of Ichkeria” terrorists. These men were now in mountain hiding and in exile, following their two resounding military defeats in the lowland cities of Chechnya (the First and Second Chechen Wars). In spring 2003, when Russian public annoyance about Georgian and Azerbaijani succour of these Chechen terrorists was at its height and was being derided by the British and American governments, I personally fell into conversation with a young Chechen in an Internet café in Baku. He frankly admitted to me that between semesters at the University of Durham, where if I recall right he had a scholarship, he came out to Azerbaijan to help his uncle treat Chechen terrorists medically evacuated from the theatre of war (a term for which Russian has a specific concept, груз-199 [‘cargo type 199’]). I subsequently verified his account.
    • In early August 2008, according to a former British soldier who spoke to me some years after the event, and who provided verifying details which satisfied me, a group of ex-military snipers including that source was taken to Tskhinvali to provoke Georgia’s war with Russia over South Ossetia. They were commanded by a former very senior MI6 officer whose name he disclosed to me. The commander in question had recently beforehand been in the direct chain of authority between Sir John Scarlett and Christopher Steele.

    https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/skripal-russian-web-or-rusi-web\

    • Hatuey

      There’s a thousand holes in that. Big ones too.

      Putin on the books since 1979? Lol okay.

      • Billy Bostickson

        Yes, after posting it I would have liked to delete the bizarre Tomlinson claims about Putin and The Tavistock institute, but no delete button…

        Anyway, I still think the Estonian/Chechen/MI6 stuff is interesting and valid.

        What’s your take on that?

        • Hatuey

          Well, people running around (or allegedly running around) using nerve agents to kill people in the murky world of intelligence is undoubtedly interesting on a certain level. But is it true? We are led to believe it is but as a weapon of assassination it’s hard to imagine one that makes the job of the assassin more difficult and risky.

          Getting hold of nerve agents isn’t exactly easy. Transporting them sounds like a nightmare. Handling them sounds like a nightmare. Deploying them without killing yourself or innocent bystanders sounds like another nightmare. And, if all that doesn’t put you off, it looks like they are very easy to trace.

          I think the suggested connection between Estonia and Chechnya is tenuous except to say that there are no doubt many in Russian intelligence who worked on both briefs.

          There’s no ideology in intelligence nowadays; agents are more or less mercenaries who offer services to the highest bidder. That said, and I think Craig would agree, there’s no way on earth that anyone in GCHQ would suggest, consent to, or take part in releasing nerve agents within the UK. They may well have no or few reservations in operations outside the UK, but that’s a different matter.

        • romar

          By most accounts, Putin was selected by the intel community as the most suitable to replace Eltsin. Since he was a relatively obscure figure, only they knew his value – and everything else about him, of course. Clearly they wouldn’t have selected him if there had been even a whiff of treasonous doings…
          As for having been approached by various people and sections for lucrative “jobs” and other avenues for bribery, even Sharon Tennison, that nice American lady who works so hard for better US-FR relations, has indirectly testified to the fact.
          She wanted to understand why “the knives were drawn [in the US and allied establishments] when it was announced that Putin would be the next president.” She could find no answer, until a former US State Dept. official told her that “No one has ever been able to come up with a bribery charge against Putin.”
          In other words, bribery in various forms had been strenuously attempted, to no avail. Hence the hatred – for an adversary who cannot be bought. https://ccisf.org/another-assessment-putin/

          • Hatuey

            I guess it’s at least one of the reasons. But I think it would take me less than 5 minutes to investigate and show Putin’s connections to organsied crime.

            If it’s hard to tell the difference between corrupt criminals and legitimate capitalists in the west, it’s basically impossible in Russia.

          • Jo Dominich

            Hatuey, that’s a grand claim – nobody has managed it to date so why would you be able to?

  • fwl

    Innovative Cooperative Partnership is what exactly?

    Anyway think I may concur with Ophelia and apply a D notice to my self for a while.

  • Billy Bostickson

    “The revelation in the Telegraph that Sergei had a Russian ex-girlfriend who still lives in the area but was too scared to come forward and in the Sunday Mirror that three children were contaminated when given bread by Sergei to feed the ducks in the Avon Playground continues to add twists and turns to this incident. ”

    – Philip Ingram MBE, a former British Army Intelligence Offficer who was based near Salisbury in the past

    http://greyharemedia.com/salisbury-sleepy-hollow-or-spooks-playground/

    That scenario fits with Sergei’s hands being contaminated. It was also alleged that Sergei Skripal met Pablo Miller on more than one occasion at the Avon Playground in Salisbury mentioned in the feeding Ducks story:

    The strange part to this story is how one of the boys allegedly eat the bread given to him instead of feeding it to the ducks.

    Also another as yet unanswered question is why Pablo Miller would also choose to frequent this particular park and like Sergei Skripal, hand out bread laced with chemicals to young boys.

    Is this why the boy ate the bread?

    Was the bread usually laced with Rohypnol or a small dose of Fentanyl?

    Labour councillor Ricky Rogers said:
    “It’s a well-used park. From 10am to 5pm there are always children there.”
    Aiden said: “It’s really frightening. I’m too scared to go out now.
    “I’m worried the bad guys may come for me. It’s not fair.”
    Mum Victoria, 33, said: “They took his clothes and burned them. Luckily his medical tests were clear.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5541823/Children-taken-hospital-Sergei-Skripal-handed-bread-feed-ducks.html

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/three-children-taken-hospital-after-12245559

    • Jo Dominich

      Why do I think the Daily Mail story is phoney? Because it reeks of convenience and is trying to support the lies the Government has told. It’s the same as the agent being delayed to give the agents 4hrs to get away, like the interrupted tornado messages – it’s all designed to support the Govt narrative – not a shred of evidence for any of it. The original story had nothing to do with Sergei visiting the Park and feeding the ducks – he would have been in hospital by then.

  • Patrick Mahony

    The is the possibility Sergei and Yulia were both active FSB agents.
    Him pottering around Salisbury Plain, visiting military museums, making friends in local pubs in a highly sensitive neck of the woods.
    She working at the US embassy in Moscow.
    So the whole plan to “disappear” them is awkward for the Russians as they cannot go public on them being live assets and are left having to pretend they don’t know they were rumbled.

    • SA

      Very plausible. I have to say it is otherwise surprising that Yulia who lived in Russia was allowed to go to and from Russia to visit openly her spy father without any reactions from Moscow or London for that matter.

      • Jo Dominich

        SA, there wouldn’t be any reaction I shouldn’t think – she had no quarrel with the Russian Federation as far as I can tell. No, I think it has much more to do with vested interested in the UK and the false flag attack on Syria – all designed to create anti-russian hysteria.

    • Jo Dominich

      Patrick, I toyed with this possibility but, having regard to all the evidence, the lies told by our Govt, too many lies as well, the ever changing narrative discount this to be true. I think it has something to do with the Steele Dossier. I also think he seems to have had an awful lot of money being he was living on a State pension. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was making demands for significant amounts of money i order to keep his silence on matters sensitive to the CIA and/or MI6.

  • SA

    OT I know but related in that the Skripal event occurred as a prelude to the Douma event and subsequent illegal bombing. In Hard Talk , Steven Sackur interviews an independent Syrian MP from Aleppo. SS reiterates all the usual mantra of the West regarding the war in Syria and the MP demolished them one by one.
    https://off-guardian.org/2018/04/28/video-bbc-interview-with-mp-for-aleppo-syria/

    At least to give SD credit he does try to present the other point of view as also with his recent interview with Lavrov.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    So when an doubly-active intelligence officer ‘retires’ such as Sergei Skripal, does he ‘retire’ as much as this next story’s elusive character?

    Intriguingly ‘former’ French intelligence officer Hervé Jaubert is reported by Cornish newspapers to be hiding in south-east UK, with the ex-director of Leeds United! ?!

    This link no-longer works, https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/cornishman-french-ex-spy-hiding-1508427

    the page used to start: “French ex-spy Jean-Pierre Herve Jaubert is currently hiding in Cornwall with former Leeds United MD David Haigh…” [DASM-notice take-down or possibly just wrong info?]

    this next link gives some background to the early March 2018 story of a Princess being “skripalled”, similarly without nervy-stuff, just the ‘usual’ torture, Special Force squirrels, obscure UAE funding, secret rendition, lack of due legal process and an american flag.

    https://www.rediff.com/news/special/did-india-apprehend-and-return-dubai-princess-fleeing-torture/20180429.htm

  • Mikael Kall

    Steele’s Orbis-company issued only a weak denial of Skripal’s involvement in the Trump dossier:

    “Sources close to Orbis, the business intelligence firm run by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who was behind a dossier of compromising allegations against Donald Trump, said Mr Skripal did not contribute to the file. But they could not say whether Mr Skripal was involved in different investigations into the US President for other interested parties.”

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/spy-posions-spy-and-the-anti-trump-campaign.html

  • Mikael Kall

    Here is good information from the connections between Skripal, Miller and Steele.
    The Clinical Services Journal, the day after the Skripal incident in Salisbury., in its original version :

    Salisbury District Hospital declared a “major incident” on Monday 5 March, after two patients were exposed to an opioid.

    It followed an incident hours earlier in which a man and a woman were exposed to the drug Fentanyl in the city centre. The opioid is 10,000 times stronger than heroin.
    On April 27, a day after the above tweet:

    Dilyana Gaytandzhiev @dgaytandzhieva – 12:12 UTC – 27 Apr 2018
    The #Skripals were exposed to #Fentanyl, not #Novichok. After I published this information yesterday (26.04.) the Clinical Services Journal redacted it today https://www.clinicalservicesjournal.com/story/25262/

    The writer can confirm that it was changed.

  • Silvio

    Seems like the plan is to offer Putin two options, surrender (and become another client state of the world’s one and only indispensible nation) or war. We know from past history how demonizing an enemy through the use of propaganda, false flag attacks, staged events etc. is often considered an essential step in preparing a war mongering country’s own population for war. In conjunction with other ongoing events (for example, see below), my take on it is that more likely than not the Skripal incident is another manufactured, anti-Russian, propaganda/false flag exercise to demonise the designated enemy of the day.

    A Furtive Glance at the US’s Ongoing War Preparations Against Russia

    While the world’s attention is riveted on Syria, the US is significantly boosting its forces in Europe. And these are not just divisions streaming in to take part in some exercises that will leave once those are over. This is a serious buildup to create a potentially offensive posture. The beefing up of the US forces is taking place amid preparations for a Russia-US summit. That’s a rather peculiar background for the event, to put it mildly!

    The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade and the 4th Infantry Division will deploy to Europe as part of its Operation Atlantic Resolve. Based in Germany, the forces will participate in multiple exercises, most of which will be held very near the Russian border in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and the Baltic States. The Army is considering deploying an entire division in a Reforger type of exercise, with troops coming over to use the pre-positioned hardware. Those forces could potentially see a surge, with a division-level deployment in late 2018 or 2019.

    The plans include the creation of a rear-area operations command to be hosted by Germany. Another command is planned that will ensure mobility in the North Atlantic shipping lanes. A “military Schengen” to allow easy movement across borders is under consideration. NATO is rotating four battalion-size, combat-ready, air-power-supported battle groups throughout Poland — which is hosting 800 American troops — and the Baltic States.In February, the US Army held the largest artillery exercise in Europe since the Cold War. The event was dubbed Dynamic Front 18 and involved seven rocket-launching systems, 94 artillery pieces, including eight German Panzerhaubitze 2000 armored howitzers, 14 British L118 light guns, and 18 US M777 155 mm howitzers.

    More:
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/24/furtive-glance-at-us-ongoing-war-preparations-against-russia.html

    • bj

      Note that in such a war, huge parts of Western Europe are likely to be destroyed.
      And yet — I can see the UK, France, Germany and all the rest, being suckered in to ‘follow the Leader’.
      Propaganda has its own dynamics.

  • Billy Bostickson

    Someone connected the dots between Skripal and Syria:

    Establishment line and use of Syria as client state for Russian chemical weapons programme

    The Times (paywall) — a Murdoch title now deliberately not made available to the peasantry because it is only meant to be an echo chamber and kite-flyer for the great and good — has carried an interview with Boris Volodarsky, an author and historian of Soviet and Russian defectors to the West who is too close to British intelligence to be regarded as impartial in his claims. I doubt that this much detail would be given in a freely-accessible newspaper intended for the masses.

    The below excerpt (emphasis added) is compelling as background, particularly if one is inclined to believe that MI6 might have sought to entice the Syrian chemists to whom the Soviets outsourced their chemical weapons programme in the era when Novichoks are said to have been developed:

    Skripal was not the only GRU [comment by Alex Thomson: military intelligence, Russia’s most hands-on spy agency] officer residing in the West, but he was its most recent acquisition. After settling in Salisbury, he remained in regular contact with MI6, lecturing at Sandhurst and Fort Monckton, a secret-service training base outside Gosport, but also helping with issues where his experience and expertise were most needed, including Syria. And Syria may be the key to why he was poisoned earlier this month.

    The Syrian government’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre, better know by its French abbreviation, CERS, was established in 1971. Certainly by 1983, and likely earlier, the USSR and its satellites had started to deliver chemical weapons to the centre together with delivery systems for choking, blister, blood and nerve agents. In the early Nineties it was reported that CERS was producing sarin, VX and mustard gas, having received the expertise, technology and materials from Russia. Early in 1992, Russia and Syria signed an agreement whereby Russia undertook to deliver new types of chemical weapons to Damascus. Among them was the infamous Novichok series of nerve agents recently synthesized at the Russian State Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology — and the very type of poison that was administered to Sergei Skripal in Salisbury three weeks ago.

    In early September 2017, Reuters and several media outlets reported an Israeli attack on a military site in Syria’s Hama province. The air strike killed two soldiers and caused damage near the town of Masyaf, the official statement said. A report from Jerusalem specified that the air strike was on CERS, after Western intelligence reports had linked the target to Syria’s chemical weapons programme. Reports from Moscow mentioned that the CERS facility was guarded by Russian Spetsnaz, the GRU’s equivalent of the British SAS, and staffed by the Russian research scientists.

    In his article in The Times earlier this month, Ben Macintyre noted that the inclusion of Skripal in the spy swap was an anomaly, since he was not an American “asset”. The CIA had agreed to include him in recognition, perhaps, of the high quality of material Britain had shared from the so-called Forthwith files. But it was not only the old files and achievements dating back to the late Nineties that made Skripal valuable to the West.

    [Skripal] was also the only source who could provide British and American intelligence with reliable estimates of [comment by Alex Thomson: or, indeed, who could spill the beans on Western co-opting or spoofing of] the Russian GRU activities in Syria. Although he didn’t know specific people and current operations, he knew the system from the inside and had practical knowledge and experience like no one else. Russia, smarting from the loss of CERS, knew that with [Skripal] gone it would be much more difficult for the British and Americans to analyse intelligence on chemical weapons coming from sources in the field

    https://www.ukcolumn.org/blogs/keeping-abreast-skripal-case-some-recommended-articles

  • Mikael Kall

    Here is some information from Pablo Miller:
    “Little was known about Miller’s life outside his public clashes with the FSB. He served in the British Army as a member of the Royal Tank Regiment and the Royal Green Jackets before he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1990. A veterans site for the Royal Tank Regiment shows a 1984 photograph of a Lt. Pablo Miller patrolling the Green Line in Cyprus, where Miller’s LinkedIn profile indicates he served.
    Diplomatic lists show Miller’s first foreign posts after joining the FCO were in Nigeria, first in Abuja and later Lagos beginning in 1992 before he took a job as first secretary at the British embassy in Estonia in September 1997. He also served as a counsellor at the British embassy in Warsaw, Poland from 2010 through 2013.” (….) In 2000, the FSB identified Miller as the “head of British intelligence in Tallinn,” Estonia and accused him of recruiting an FSB officer later identified as Valery Ojamae.”
    (Source: Daily Beast)
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/pablo-miller-the-mystery-man-who-recruited-putins-poisoned-spy?source=facebook&via=mobile

  • Jones

    i do wonder why the Skripals are actually still alive, or if dead why the security services would want us to think they are still alive. If Russia, the US, or UK, wanted them dead then they would be dead, indeed it would fit the claims made better if they were dead, the attack would not have been an amateurish botched affair leaving the target alive to spill the beans. Perhaps there is a actually a reason other than good fortune why they are still alive and being kept isolated.

    • Jo Dominich

      Jones, we will never know – I strongly suspect we will never hear from them again. I am in no doubt it was an MI6/CIA affair. It certainly wasn’t Novichock that was used otherwise they would certainly be dead. However, they are clearly being detained illegally by our security services as Yulia’s Russian equivalent of Facebook is down, her e-mails are down, her mobile telephone is down and we do not know whether her father is still in hospital or ever was – I strongly suspect he isn’t. Whatever the answer, it would appear to have something to do with suppressing information the two could provide in interviews or to the public. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were dead actually.

  • fausto bertinotti

    A possibly connected albeit tenuous input.

    Britain is Losing Our Military to European Control

    David Ellis of the Strategic Defence Initiative gives a fascinating talk on the imminent loss of control of Britain’s Armed Forces to centralised European Control. Unite with us to oppose this.

    https://youtu.be/kMfOdICj61k

  • squirrel

    I would just like to volunteer a theory as to how tests came back for novichok, which is that there may simply have been a sample switch inside Porton Down.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ squirrel April 29, 2018 at 11:34
      What, you mean like the switch of Henri Paul’s blood for a suicide in the same morgue?

  • Dave G

    The UK government want it to become a battle of legitimacy between the OPCW and the Russians about what the substance allegedly used in Salisbury was, because they think they’ll win that battle as the OPCW is in America’s pocket.
    But were the Skripals poisoned with a substance of military grade purity which would have killed them in minutes (a novichok), or were they poisoned with a substance which takes hours to take effect, makes any victim look as if they are out of their heads on some strong recreational drug, but doesn’t kill them (something like BZ)?
    The fact that all three people are still alive strongly suggests the latter rather than the former.
    The war of legitimacy between the OPCW and the Russians is a distraction. Look at the actual symptoms that the Skripals are reported to have experienced and then see what could have caused them to behave in the way that they did.

    • bj

      “The fact that all three people are still alive” suggests no poisoning took place. If no poisoning took place, and yet we’ve seen the whole theater (and still do), the two or three main characters were just that — characters.

      They weren’t even actors in this operetta. The whole thing was a stage, one without any actors at all.
      Just characters.

      We are still waiting for Godot.

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