Where They Tell You Not to Look 967

At the very beginning of the of the Skripal incident, the security services blocked by D(SMA) notice any media mention of Pablo Miller and told the media not to look at Orbis and the Steele dossier on Trump, acting immediately to get out their message via trusties in the BBC and Guardian. Gordon Corera, “BBC Security Correspondent”, did not name the source who told him to say this, but helpfully illustrated his tweet with a nice picture of MI6 Headquarters.

MI6’s most important media conduit (after Frank Gardner) is Luke Harding of the Guardian.

A number of people replied to Harding’s tweet to point out that this was demonstrably untrue, and Pablo Miller had listed his employment by Orbis Business Intelligence on his Linkedin profile. That profile had just been deleted, but a google search for “Pablo Miller” plus “Orbis Business Intelligence”, without Linkedin as a search term, brought up Miller’s Linkedin profile as the first result (although there are twelve other Pablo Millers on Linkedin and the search brought up none of them). Plus a 2017 forum discussed Pablo Miller’s Orbis connection and it both cited and linked to his Linkedin entry.

You might think that any journalist worth his salt would want to consider this interesting counter-evidence. But Harding merely tweeted again the blank denials of the security services, without question.

This is an important trait of Harding. Last year we both appeared, separately, at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Harding was promoting a book and putting the boot into Wikileaks and Snowden. After his talk, I approached him in an entirely friendly manner, and told him there were a couple of factual errors in his presentation on matters to which I was an eye-witness, and I should be very happy to brief him, off the record, but we could discuss which bits he might use. He said he would talk later, and dashed off. Later I saw him in the author’s lounge, and as I walked towards him he hurriedly got up and left, looking at me.

Of course, nobody is obliged to talk to me. But at that period I had journalists from every major news agency contacting me daily wishing to interview me about Wikileaks, all of whom I was turning down, and there was no doubt of my inside knowledge and direct involvement with a number of the matters of which Harding was writing and speaking. A journalist who positively avoids knowledge of his subject is an interesting phenomenon.

But then Harding is that. From a wealthy family background, privately educated at Atlantic College and then Oxford, Harding became the editor of Oxford University’s Cherwell magazine without showing any leftwing or rebel characteristics. It was not a surprise to those who knew him as a student when he was employed at the very right wing “Daily Mail”. From there he moved to the Guardian. In 2003 Harding was embedded with US forces in Iraq and filing breathless reports of US special forces operations.

Moving to Moscow in 2007 as the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, others in the Moscow press corps and in the British expatriate community found him to be a man of strongly hawkish neo-con views, extremely pro-British establishment, and much closer to the British Embassy and to MI6 than anybody else in the press corps. It was for this reason Harding was the only resident British journalist, to my knowledge, whose visa the Russians under Putin have refused to renew. They suspected he is actually an MI6 officer, although he is not.

With this background, people who knew Harding were dumbfounded when Harding appeared to be the supporter and insider of first Assange and then Snowden. The reason for this dichotomy is that Harding was not – he wrote books on Wikileaks and on Snowden that claimed to be insider accounts, but in fact just carried on Harding’s long history of plagiarism, as Julian Assange makes clear. Harding’s books were just careful hatchet jobs pretending to be inside accounts. The Guardian’s historical reputation for radicalism was already a sham under the editorship of Rusbridger, and has completely vanished under Viner, in favour of hardcore Clinton identity politics failing to disguise unbending neo-conservatism. The Guardian smashed the hard drives containing the Snowden files under GCHQ supervision, having already undertaken “not to even look at” the information on Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact the hard drives were not the only copies in the world does not excuse their cravenness.

We know, of course, what MI6 have fed to Harding, because it is reflected every day in his output. What we do not know, but may surmise, is what Harding fed back to the security services that he gleaned from the Guardian’s association with Wikileaks and Snowden.

Harding has since made his living from peddling a stream of anti-Assange, anti-Snowden and above all, anti-Russian books, with great commercial success, puffed by the entire mainstream media. But when challenged by the non-mainstream media about the numerous fact free assertions on behalf of the security services to be found in his books, Harding is not altogether convincing. You can watch this video, in which Harding outlines how emoticons convinced him someone was a Russian agent, together with this fascinating analysis which really is a must-read study of anti-Russian paranoia. There is a similar analysis here.

Perhaps still more revealing is this 2014 interview with his old student newspaper Cherwell, where he obvously felt comfortable enough to let the full extent of his monstrous boggle-eyed Russophobia become plain:

His analogies span the bulk of the 20th century and his predictions for the future are equally far-reaching. “This is the biggest crisis in Europe since the Cold War. It’s not the break-up of Yugoslavia, but the strategic consensus since 1945 has been ripped up. We now have an authoritarian state, with armies on the march.” What next?

“It’s clear to me that Putin intends to dismember Ukraine and join it up with Transnistria, then perhaps he’ll go as far as Moldova in one way or another,” Harding says. This is part of what he deems Putin’s over-arching project: an expansionist attempt to gather Russo-phones together under one yoke, which he terms ‘scary and Eurasian-ist’, and which he notes is darkly reminiscent of “another dictator of short stature” who concocted “a similarly irredentist project in the 1930s”.

But actually I think you can garner everything you want to know about Harding from looking at his twitter feed over the last two months. He has obsessively retweeted scores of stories churning out the government’s increasingly strained propaganda line on what occurred in Salisbury. Not one time had Harding ever questioned, even in the mildest way, a single one of the multiple inconsistencies in the government account or referred to anybody who does. He has acted, purely and simply, as a conduit for government propaganda, while abandoning all notion of a journalistic duty to investigate.

We still have no idea of who attacked Sergei Skripal and why. But the fact that, right from the start, the government blocked the media from mentioning Pablo Miller, and put out denials that this has anything to do with Christopher Steele and Orbis, including lying that Miller had never been connected to Orbis, convinces me that this is the most promising direction in which to look.

It never seemed likely to me that the Russians had decided to assassinate an inactive spy who they let out of prison many years ago, over something that happened in Moscow over a decade ago. It seemed even less likely when Boris Johnson claimed intelligence showed this was the result of a decade long novichok programme involving training in secret assassination techniques. Why would they blow all that effort on old Skripal?

That the motive is the connection to the hottest issue in US politics today, and not something in Moscow a decade ago, always seemed to me much more probable. Having now reviewed matters and seen that the government actively tried to shut down this line of inquiry, makes it still more probable this is right.

This does not tell us who did it. Possibly the Russians did, annoyed that Skripal was feeding information to the Steele dossier, against the terms of his release.

Given that the Steele dossier is demonstrably in large degree nonsense, it seems to me more probable the idea was to silence Skripal to close the danger that he would reveal his part in the concoction of this fraud. Remember he had sold out Russian agents to the British for cash and was a man of elastic loyalties. It is also worth noting that Luke Harding has a bestselling book currently on sale, in large part predicated on the truth of the Steele Dossier.

Steele, MI6 and the elements of the CIA which are out to get Trump, all would have a powerful motive to have the Skripal loose end tied.

Rule number one of real investigative journalism: look where they tell you not to look.

967 thoughts on “Where They Tell You Not to Look

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  • copydude

    By the way, I have to disagree that comments here are taken up with mindless ‘conspiracy theories’. The Government case is only built on its own theory, which they claim is ‘the only plausible explanation’.

    I’m not here very long, but I have the impression most appreciate that we will never know the truth of the matter. It’s always the same. Four years on, still no one knows the truth about flight MH 17, or who organised the snipers during the Maidan coup in Ukraine. A defining moment.

    12 years after the event, we don’t really have a satisfactory understanding of the Litvinenko affair. Even his wife still isn’t happy about the lack of transparency. One can go on, but shall we just say that it was 70 odd years before the Zinoviev letter was officially admitted as a fraud.

    When there is an obvious Gov plot afoot, it’s always worth chipping away at little pieces of the story – small details can bring down the whole house of cards. Remember the furore when Andrew Gillighan suggested the Iraq dossier might have been ‘sexed up’. It was just one line in a piece in the Evening Standard.

    Personally, I’m not not bothered whether the Skripals were poisoned with BZ, some non-responsibly sourced risotto or a sausage roll from Greggs opposite the park bench. It’s history anyway. Far better to embarrass the Gov with something they are doing at the moment, such as holding Julia hostage or offering her up for extraordinary rendition. Wriggling out of that one won’t be easy.

    I personally think the Gov are fairly weak on this issue. Everyone knows politicians play dirty and might consider Corbyn fair game. But there’s something about whacking a young girl and cremating her cat that doesn’t seem quite the done thing.

    • Doodlebug


      “Far better to embarrass the Gov with something they are doing at the moment, such as holding Julia hostage or offering her up for extraordinary rendition. Wriggling out of that one won’t be easy.”

      That would be a ‘hole in one’.

    • Patrick Mahony

      We are a hundred years after the Lusitania but the admiralty orders to the captain are still secret.

  • Sharp Ears

    An hour and a half of Javid replying to questions on Windrush.


    Followed by the DfID SoS Penny Morduant on Syria. Anti-Assad and anti-Putin rhetoric contained within needless to say. I wasn’t aware of any UK input into aid for the Syrian people apart from funding of some of the refugee camps. We all know about the UK funding of the White Helmets of course.

    ‘I want to update the House on the United Kingdom’s support for the people of Syria. I am keenly aware that Members are deeply concerned about the level of suffering experienced by millions of Syrians. The United Kingdom has shown, and will continue to show, leadership in the international humanitarian response.

    In the eighth year of the conflict, the plight of the Syrian people remains grave. The Syrian regime appears to have no intention of ending the suffering of its own people, although the opposition have placed no conditions on peace negotiations. The barbaric attack in Douma on innocent civilians, including young children, was yet another example of the regime’s disregard for its responsibility to protect civilians.’


    Pure hypocrisy from the Acting Sub-Lieutenant in the RN Reserve. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Mordaunt

    • bj

      The English regime appears to have no intention of ending the suffering of its own people,

      Expect Syrian armed forces striking Downing Street 10, Porton Down, the BBC, and other carefully selected targets any day now.

      • Fletch

        Funnily enough I was thinking exact the same, but more of the IT problems recently ‘suffered’ by TSB and just yesterday another major bank (I forget which one) suffering same. Could these be examples of the IT attacks that we have been warned about!

    • jazza

      there is absolutely no doubt anymore that TAXPAYERS money is being spent on the terrorists in Syria – not to ‘assist’ the Syrian people but to continue the destruction of the country and overthrow Assad – IS THAT WHAT TAXPAYERS WANT??? Not this one!!

      • Doghouse

        Me either.
        These people seem truly out of control. Their hypocrisy and lies are demonstrably boundless and without shame. Terribly, terribly sad.

  • Den Lille Abe

    I am very happy that Brexit has happened. Now finally we will get revenge for Nelsons blind eye in Copenhagen. I shall relish in the thought of the the British public being reduced to to serfs, by their masters, because to feeble and simpleminded to hang them.
    Enjoy, we do we are rid of you and your schemes and plotting, next that will fall is City, all the shady stuff will come out, and you will be a pariah state: Dimwitted and ignorant people with corrupt ultra-politicians.
    “People that can not rebel, deserve the long dark sleep”.

    • Laguerre

      Brexit has happened, has it? We are closer than ever to the scenario I’ve always imagined, that is government collapse over the contradictions implied in Brexit. What that means precisely is hard to say. But maintaining something which can’t be done, has to lead to something. I imagine one thing while maintaining the opposite, but I don’t know that Smogg will allow that to happen.

    • Jo Dominich

      Den, We were ill equipped to vote based on proper facts on the Brexit vote as the propaganda put out by the Brexiteers (BoJo in this case was shocking and David Cameron, leader of the Remain Group couldn’t give a damn. It is true we are rapidly becoming a poorly education and ignorant nation so sites such as these provide a welcome forum for rational and well argued dissent from the MSM and Govt propaganda. It seems to me that other countries are able to hit the streets when they wish to complain about something, I don’t understand why we cannot. There are so many things the public should be taking to the street about – but don’t. However, don’t tar us all with the same brush – the intelligent, analytical people in the nation come to these sites for like minded people.

    • John Goss

      Not encouraging. I think Radio Free Europe is a Soros-funded outlet. Most organisations with free or open in the names are suspect, the free west being the major culprit,

      By the way Copydude, and Aidworker1 if you are around, I promised to let you know about the E-petition on behalf of Yulia Skripal but you probably know it was thrown out. So I raised the same petition on Change. It has already exceeded 125 so if you have not signed yet here is the link/


      • copydude

        Thanks. Yes, I got the mail. I have some ideas how to promote this. (Not just the petition, but the whole idea behind it.) I’m going to italy for a week but perhaps we can have a chat when I get back. I don’t know about rules for posting e-mails here but maybe Craig will let you have mine?

        • John Goss

          You have a good holiday. Hope it’s a bit warmer than Birmingham so you can sit outside and down a glass or two of Chianti – if that’s your poison.

          I very much doubt that Craig would pass on email addresses and I would not ask. Mine is [email protected]

          I look forward to learning your ideas for promotion Copydude.

      • JCalvertN

        Re: “I think Radio Free Europe is a Soros-funded outlet.” Oh? Has it changed hands? It started life as a CIA weapon. Below are half a dozen excerpts from “Legacy of Ashes” the book about the CIA by Tim Weiner.
        “Wisner, Kennan, and Allen Dulles saw a far better way to harness the political fervor and intellectual energies of Eastern European exiles and channel them back behind the iron curtain— Radio Free Europe.”
        “Days after Kishi was freed from prison, Grew became the first chairman of the National Committee for a Free Europe, the CIA front created to support Radio Free Europe and other political warfare programs.”
        “For months thereafter, the secret speech was beamed behind the iron curtain by Radio Free Europe, the CIA’s $100 million media machine.”
        “On October 28, Wisner flew to Paris and convened a few trusted members of an American delegation attending a NATO conference on the question of Eastern Europe. Its members included Bill Griffith, the senior policy adviser at Radio Free Europe’s Munich headquarters. Wisner, exultant at a real revolt against communism in the making, pushed Griffith to pump up the propaganda.”
        “Beginning that evening, Radio Free Europe urged the citizens of Hungary to sabotage railroads, tear down telephone lines, arm the partisans, blow up tanks, and fight the Soviets to the death.”
        “On the morning of the Soviet invasion, Radio Free Europe’s Hungarian announcer, Zoltan Thury, told his listeners that “the pressure upon the government of the U.S. to send military help to the freedom fighters will become irresistible.” As tens of thousands of frantic, furious refugees poured over the border into Austria over the next few weeks, many spoke of this broadcast as “the promise that help would come.” None came. Allen Dulles insisted that the CIA’s radios had done nothing to encourage the Hungarians. The president believed him. It would be forty years before transcripts of the broadcasts were unearthed.”

        • lysias

          As happened later with the Bay of Pigs, the CIA thought it could create facts on the ground that would force the president to intervene.

        • Akos Horvath

          Well, RFE might have had a very minor influence on the 1956 Budapest uprising. I hadn’t yet been born then, so I don’t know. But I can tell you that in the 1970s and 1980s, it had zero effect where I lived in Hungary. We would sometimes accidentally tune in while flipping through the radio channels, but then would quickly move on. It was just plain boring and most people realised that it was a rather crude American propaganda operation. Besides, it was also pretty effectively jammed, so reception was crappy. In the post Berlin wall era, RFE tried to compete in the Hungarian market, but slithered back to the West because nobody would listen to it. These old 1956 emigrants were still yapping about the tanks in Budapest, or fighting the cold war, or interviewing Edward Teller. I mean they were a laughing stock. Seriously, anybody who believes RFE had any measurable contribution to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe is fooling himself/herself.

          • JCalvertN

            That wasn’t my point. My point was that RFE was created by the CIA in the early stages of the Cold War, as an organ of Political Warfare. So? It wasn’t very effective? That doesn’t alter the well-established facts of its genesis and raison-d’etre.

      • Stu

        ” I think Radio Free Europe is a Soros-funded outlet.”

        It’s CIA controlled.

    • Humbaba

      Having fueled their proxy war in Syria for 7 years, the Americans are now turning to fuel war in Europe. Americans barely represent 4% percent of the world’s population. They can only dominate the world by the well-proven strategy of divide and conquer of the Empire.

  • Sharp Ears

    Ever the salesman and self promoter. Tweet. Tweet. Little Birdie. Tweet!

    Luke Harding‏Verified account @lukeharding1968 · Apr 16
    I’m at @HayFestival in May, talking about #Collusion (sold out) and dark money (tickets still available). Great festival and look forward to sharing a stage with @MishaGlenny, @OliverBullough and @jane__bradley

    Luke Harding added,
    Faber & FaberVerified account @FaberBooks
    We cannot wait to see some of our authors at #HayFestival2018, including @lukeharding1968, @JohnJCrace and Simon Armitage. https://twitter.com/hayfestival/status/985789993917566981

    Luke Harding‏Verified account @lukeharding1968 · Apr 12
    I’m talking #Skripal case and #Russia at @guardianlive event on Monday June 4, with great panel including @carlanine who reported from Salisbury and was first to arrive at Sergei’s nerve agent-ed house
    Luke Harding added
    GuardianLiveVerified account @guardianlive
    Few could have expected the immediate international fallout of the Skripal poisoning. Join our panel, including @lukeharding1968, @carlanine and @markriceoxley69 for a discussion of the latest developments in this story https://membership.theguardian.com/event/newsroom-the-skripal-poisoning-45066553274

  • Doodlebug

    This sound-bite strikes me as highly suggestive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V2fg2vcqOs
    Helga Zepp-LaRouche (co-founder of the Schiller Institute) @1:15:

    “Just as Russiagate had vanished in the United States, or almost collapsed, and actually turned against the role of the British Intelligence in this whole thing, this is the moment when Theresa May launched this absolutely incredible provocation against Russia.”

    The lady’s claim that the US had taken exception to the role of ‘British Intelligence’ could be interpreted to mean that secret services involvement in the Steele dossier had been ‘rumbled’, not merely the fact that the dossier had been produced by a nominally private intelligence agency. Were that to have been the case then the panicked nature of the Salisbury charade becomes somewhat easier to understand – A hasty decision to destroy the evidence (Sergei Skripal in this instance) followed by prompt accusation of Russia.

    As others have previously intimated, it seems highly unlikely that we will see or hear from either of the Skripals ever again, with Sergei continuously prone to a sudden relapse contingent upon his daughter’s silence. If she’s able to speak that is.

  • Scottish Intelligence Service

    Radio Free Europe was a US / CIA propaganda outlet set up during the Cold War.

    The D-Notice and stuff around the Skripal event is likely just more noise. It is so obvious it was a Psyop from the start.

    Of course Guardian, BBC etc journalists are working for military intelligence. Some of the G7 / Royal photographers just happened to be on the spot during the Brussels, Westminster etc fabricated terror scams. Who would have thought….

  • EoH

    Has anyone mentioned to Mr. Harding or his editors that there is a difference between his stating a fact, on behalf of the Guardian, and his reporting that someone in the security service or secret intelligence service stated “A” was a fact?

  • EoH

    From Harding’s biography, one is forced to contemplate whether he was recruited by his Oxford tutor, presumably one of Jebedee’s successors.

  • EoH

    Regarding Sharp Ears’ comment at 14.02:

    “Your words reminded me of the Tory mantra for OUR NHS.
    Demoralize. Destabilize. Dismantle.
    It’s working out.”

    The same seems to be true regarding immigration policy at the Home Office.

  • Hatuey

    Up to a point, Craig, what you’re suggesting makes sense. But only up to a point. Everything points to a staged event with the supposed victims in on the act.

    The fact that you haven’t explored the possibility that it was all fake, but have readily explored these other more damning avenues, does your analysis no favours in my opinion.

    Once you rule out the possibility that this was a genuine attempt to silence a potential witness, which I do because it is plain to see that if they wanted Skripal silent it would have been child’s play and he would be silent, you are left with the most likely alternative motive being Syria. The timing and more supports this.

    If what you were saying was true, would the UK security apparatus be protecting Skripal now? Wouldn’t they have made sure he didn’t recover?

    I repeat my previous point; nerve agents are the last thing any assassin would want to use. The fact that Skripal is still around might just substantiate that, or it might point to the whole thing being another PR stunt aimed at whipping up anti-Russian sentiment.

    • Silvio

      ……. or it might point to the whole thing being another PR stunt aimed at whipping up anti-Russian sentiment.

      Like the anthrax filled letters sent to two prominent US politicians (actually the two politicians who were threatening to hold up passage of the Partriot Act) and several media figures a couple of weeks after the 9/11 attacks. These biological attacks were used in the immediate wake of 9/11 to reinforce the case for the immediate passage of the Patriot Act. The letters were made to appear as if they came from radical, Islamic fundamentalists, but contained anthrax spores which later turned out to be from a US lab which did work for the CIA.

      Here is an interview with Canadian Prof. Graeme MacQueen, retired Professor of religious studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and author of the book The 2001 Anthrax Deception – A Case for Domestic Conspiracy.

      From the Youtube blurb (it’s actually audio only, no video):
      The 2001 anthrax letter attacks in the United States killed five people and wounded dozens. They were widely blamed on extremist Muslims and their backers and used to support the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

      They were also used to justify and hasten the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, which was being presented to Congress just as the first anthrax victim grew ill.

      In this interview on BBsRadio.com with Steve Johnson, Professor Graeme MacQueen goes into detail about the attacks, the main players in the Anthrax false flag the cover-up and the Patsy blamed in the end. Fascinating interview.


      • Hatuey

        US politics and society after 2001 mutated into something resembling the creature from the black lagoon. I have no handle on it. It’s an unfathomable monster.

        We are talking about a country where mass murders in schools involving crackpots and automatic weapons are considered not only routine but a price worth paying for the right to bear arms. Go figure, as they say.

        US foreign policy needs to be redefined. What they have now was essentially drafted between 1943 and 1948 and it simply doesn’t address the realities that exist in the world today. It’s all still based on scaring the life out of the American people and getting them to fund high technology through military spending. It’s highly inefficient and damaging to their society, not to mention the wider world.

        Of course, it would be easier and better for almost everybody if they simply taxed people and honestly told them it’s to invest in technology. No need for Patriot Acts or any other extravagant stunts. The money they saved could be used to buy oil fairly and squarely on the market like everyone else.

    • Doodlebug

      @Hatuey [email protected]

      “Everything points to a staged event with the supposed victims in on the act.”

      Dr Stephen Davies’ letter to the Times (16 March) refers to three patients with ‘significant poisoning’. Do you seriously believe Sergei Skripal would have acquiesced to that on behalf of his own daughter?!

      “If what you were saying was true, would the UK security apparatus be protecting Skripal now? Wouldn’t they have made sure he didn’t recover?”

      We are led to believe that Yulia bounced back after a couple of weeks. Her father being twice her age would no doubt require a longer period of recovery, but it’s been 7+ weeks and not so much as a mention of him sitting up in bed.

      “nerve agents are the last thing any assassin would want to use”

      Not exactly a weapon of choice I imagine, but we do not even know that such was the case. The OPCW simply evaluated the samples given them, the origin of which was not questioned.

      “The fact that Skripal is still around….”

      And you know that for a fact, because…?

      • Hatuey

        Doodlebug, please try and follow what I am saying more attentively.

        “Do you seriously believe Sergei Skripal would have acquiesced to that on behalf of his own daughter?!”

        No. I couldn’t be clearer; I believe the whole thing was staged and nobody was harmed.

        If you are doubting that Skripal is still alive then we might factor in the possibility that he never existed in the first place. If he was dead though, don’t you think they would be keen to inform us, and keen to blame Russia? That is overwhelming.

        As you point out, unwittingly in support of my analysis, the OPCW evaluated samples given to them.

        It is quite flabbergasting to see that Craig Murray believes elements within British intelligence wanted Skripal dead, that they botched it and he is not only still alive but being protected by the very people that supposedly wanted him dead.

        The only argument for British intelligence using nerve agents in an attempt to kill someone is that it would have pointed the blame squarely at Russia — in the public’s mind that’s what Russians supposedly do, etc.

        But I don’t buy any of it and I don’t think anyone in British intelligence would consent to, approve of, fund, or take part in such a scheme on British soil, primarily for reasons of public safety. If that unravelled and news got out of that, it would compromise British intelligence to a degree that is hard to even imagine. For what?

        It’s all nonsense.

        • Doodlebug

          Hatuey, please try and base your arguments more squarely on the evidence we have to hand than your own suppositions.

          “I believe the whole thing was staged and nobody was harmed.”

          You therefore disbelieve Dr Stephen Davies, who was there at the time of the patients’ admission. You were not.

          “As you point out, unwittingly in support of my analysis, the OPCW evaluated samples given to them.”

          You’re overly sure of yourself, and, I notice, rather adept at echoing back only those of my remarks which appear to suit your argument. Having avoided the Davies quote you now omit repeating my secondary point about the samples – that the OPCW were not represented when they were taken.

          Let me make it simpler for you: What do people do if they’re passed a counterfeit banknote? Answer: Spend it (i.e., they take it on trust), essentially confirming the value of the counterfeit money in question. It has obviously not occurred to you that the OPCW might have been led down the path of simply reporting what the British authorities arranged for them to find.

          “The only argument for British intelligence using nerve agents in an attempt to kill someone is that it would have pointed the blame squarely at Russia — in the public’s mind that’s what Russians supposedly do, etc.”

          And where exactly did Bojo and Treason seek to place the blame?

          “But I don’t buy any of it and I don’t think anyone in British intelligence would consent to, approve of, fund, or take part in such a scheme on British soil, primarily for reasons of public safety. If that unravelled and news got out of that, it would compromise British intelligence to a degree that is hard to even imagine.”

          “if that unravelled and news got out of that….”

          It may have escaped your attention but meaningful ‘news’ (of the Skripals that is) has been conspicuous by its absence for weeks. I wonder why? (that’s a rhetorical question by the way).

          What you are prepared to buy into is, I’m afraid, of no more significance than the specious claims made by the sabre-rattlers in government and the media. You’re right about one thing though – it’s all nonsense.

          Is that what people vote and pay for, d’you think? To be led astray, down the road to catastrophe no less, by a government prepared to stage manage such ‘nonsense’? It’s happened once hasn’t it? It cannot be allowed to happen again. Once bitten twice shy.

          • Hatuey

            I didn’t mention Dr Stephen Davies and I don’t intend to.

            You’re attempt at making it simpler only complicated the matter.

            On the OPCW, it has been clear for at least 2 weeks that nothing they say can be trusted. For one, they may well have been misled themselves. And secondly, the procedures they claim to have employed sound highly suspect.

            Let’s not pretend any of us knows exactly what happened though. I’m not claiming to. I’m guessing that the Skripals were not exposed to the nerve agent that has been suggested because exposure would, according to the accounts I have read, almost certainly have led to their deaths.

            I’m guessing that if anyone wanted them dead, they’d probably be dead. It’s clear that they weren’t in hiding or keeping a very low profile.

            I’m guessing that British intelligence wouldn’t dare to risk public health by using chemical or nerve agents for a run of the mill assassination job on UK soil where they have complete freedom of movement.

            I’m guessing that you’d need to be quite stupid to consider using such nerve agents for the purposes of assassination. Here’s a crazy idea… why not use a gun?

            I’m guessing that the whole thing was staged and nobody got harmed in any way. Skripal was after all more or less part of the British intelligence network.

            And finally, most importantly, I think the timing suggests it was connected to Syria and they considered that it might be useful to get public opinion thinking right with regards to Russia who we may have ended up in a war against.

            I don’t think any of those guesses are implausible. I don’t think anyone takes the official story very seriously. I’ll further guess that In a year or two it will transpire that the eye witness accounts were fake too, and the eye witnesses were all on the payroll.

          • Doodlebug


            Your guess is as good as mine. All guesses are equal. But some are more equal than others (with due acknowledgement of, and credit to, George Orwell).

      • copydude

        Doodlebug, quoting Hatuey . . .

        “Everything points to a staged event with the supposed victims in on the act.”

        I rather think more points to the opposite. Yulia was expecting to return after a couple of days and had scheduled her dog in kennels for just that small time frame. She had a home, job, boyfriend of some years (5 from meeting, 2 living together), just bought a new car in Moscow, was busy investing in renovations to the apartment. Horse lover, pet lover, most unlikely to simply to abandon the pets in Salisbury.

        Sergei, possibly. But he never told his wife what he was doing when he was a double agent. He would meet the MI6 guys in holiday resorts, so they just appeared as tourists who happened to be staying at the same hotel. She never had a clue. And I serioously doubt he would put his daughter in danger.

        Besides, they were incapacitated with something, according to eye-witness reports. Commenter Tom Smythe notes, ‘no one would volunteer for that’.

        • Hatuey

          If you think about what you’re saying there’s answers. The guy had a working relationship with British intelligence. He was one of them. He was in Britain — if they wanted him dead, he’d be dead. I have no doubt that if the Russians wanted him dead he’d be dead too.

          The fact that he is still alive is physical evidence that nobody wanted him dead. And if you wanted someone dead, why on earth would you use a stupid, unpredictable, risky, difficult to source and transport, dangerous, and above all an unreliable method like a nerve agent? To make it look like Russia? That’s flimsy.

          • Doodlebug

            “The fact that he is still alive is physical evidence that nobody wanted him dead.”

            You didn’t answer me before so I’ll repeat my question: What physical (or for that matter other) evidence do you have that Sergei Skripal is still alive?

          • Hatuey

            My evidence is that he isn’t dead and we have no evidence that he is dead. If he was dead, the authorities would certainly have been eager to tell us he was dead and blame the Russians.

            In your world, what evidence do you have that he ever lived? Outside of ‘you think therefore you are’, what incontrovertible evidence do you have of anything? None.

            We can all play pseudo-philosophical games. I’m willing to go out on a limb and pretend to assume that an objective reality exists if you are…

          • Doodlebug


            “I’m willing to go out on a limb and pretend to assume that an objective reality exists if you are…”

            No thanks. I’m too old to be a practising space cadet.

  • Hieroglyph

    I wouldn’t rule out Harding being an actual spook. More likely he is just one of the favored few, like Mandelson back in the day. He’ll be editor of some well-known outlet one day, writing bad op-eds, and generally looking like a pillar of the establishment. He’ll probably get a knighthood, too.

    Nice building, btw. Can’t have been cheap …

  • mark golding

    Syrian MP Fares Shehabi confirms my information that the foreign office supports British jihadist in Syria.


    Further British ex SAS mercenaries are GPS logging Iranian assets in Syria and this Conservative government is sharing this information and more from RAF Troodos with Israel. Britain is attacking Iranian assets in oil rich Deir Ezzor. If Iran responds coercively this will be a pretext for a massive coordinated US/UK/IS/FR strike on Iran.

    • Jo Dominich

      Mark, funnily enough, I have just been looking around the Internet and I can see that today, the USA Govt, their buddies Israel and our Govt have started to ramp up the anti-Iranian propaganda – here we go again.

  • Charles

    There is evidence that the couple on the bench were not the Skripals

    There is evidence that what poisoned the Skripals is not what was identified on the door handle of their home

    There is evidence that the response to the incident was staged

    There is evidence that the government has lied regarding the incident

    I’m starting to wonder what really went on.

    • Doodlebug

      I’m worried that when I wake up tomorrow it might actually be the day before yesterday!

    • MightyDrunken

      “There is evidence that the couple on the bench were not the Skripals.”

      Is there? I am not sure the couple shown walking in the CCTV pictures are the Skripals, but that doesn’t say anything about the people on the bench.

    • Jo Dominich

      Charles, I believe without a doubt that it was the Skripals on the park bench. I do agree with the rest of what you say though

  • Dumb Unicorn

    Alexander Goldfarb.

    It may be misreporting on behalf of the newspapers, but in some of the earlier newspaper reports, they quote Alexander Goldfarb as being a close friend of Skripal’s.

    He was also a friend of Litvinenko and Glushkov – and is the person now suspected by Litvinenko’s father of murdering his son. Sounds like a dangerous friend to have 🙂

    Hmm, a microbiologist with a grudge against Putin – it could be a complete red herring, but I’d still add him to any list of suspects.

    • copydude

      Funny Goldfarb should turn up in all this . . . and quoted almost instantly by the ‘Guardian’.

      Just a snippet from my Litvinenko archives. Quote:

      “In October 2000, using false documents, Litvinenko managed to reach Turkey via Ukraine and Georgia. However, the US Embassy in Ankara refused to grant him an entry visa. The CIA officer at the embassy interviewed Litvinenko, but was not impressed by his explanations. Berezovsky sent his assistant, Alex Goldfarb, to Turkey apparently to solve the problem. Goldfarb worked out a plan to return to Moscow via London.

      Since his arrival in London in October 2000, Litvinenko reportedly received a generous grant of £60,000 per year via the Foundation for Civil Liberties, which was administered by Alex Goldfarb.”

      • N_

        Thanks for this. I didn’t know about the Skripals-Goldfarb link. Got to wonder what the Skripals’ links were with the Berezovsky organisation.

        Regarding US embassies, it was reported that Yulia Skripal had worked for the US embassy in Moscow. The US embassy responded by saying they had no record of her having worked there – which is not quite a denial.

  • N_

    I was disappointed that even though Labour increased their voteshare by 10% in the last election they didn’t win a majority of seats. I figured that in the next election the Tories, who concentrated on calling Jeremy Corbyn an “IRA supporter” and basically a traitor and a terrorist, would learn from their errors and wouldn’t be so cretinous in their campaigning. But today they come out with a poster saying “What does the Conservative Party offer a working class kid from Rochdale? They made him Home Secretary”. It’s based on one featuring John Major.

    D’you know what? That is not going to win them any votes at all. It might, if they could persuade Labour waverers that a vote for the Tories would help their children become homeowners, rather than move from a childhood of owner-occupation to an adult life of hassle with landlords, and that they could escape to better parts of town before the typhoid spreads. (To make your way up from the working class it helps to be ruthless.) Which is another way of saying it won’t. So, chins up! Maybe the Tory “strategists” will be as stupid as they were last year when they called an election in the belief that voters who had gone from Labour to UKIP would swarm to vote Tory.

    • N_

      What does the Conservative party offer a vomit-sodden filthy rich cokehead from the Bullingdon Club?

      They make him Foreign Secretary, or Chancellor of the Exchequer, or Prime Minister.

    • Hatuey

      Funny how you put so much emphasis on how the Tories might possibly adapt policy to secure victory when history suggests the onus to do that is usually on Labour.

      The Labour Party will move further to the right. When they move far enough, i.e. to the right of the Tories, they become electable.

      We are talking about English politics here. England is very different to the rest of the UK but given the numbers it’s highly unlikely that anything that happens elsewhere will matter. From memory, I think Scottish votes in general elections have affected one outcome in about 75 years.

      So, basically, if you tailor policy to appeal to a bunch of selfish old bladders who have more money than sense, you stand a chance of getting elected in England. Promise to attack foreigners (at home or abroad) and torture the poor and you’re more or less a sure thing. Welcome to middle England.

      • N_

        Your thesis makes for an interesting discussion. When you say “history suggests”, what support can you point to other than from 1997? And even then, it wasn’t just that Blair was selling Thatcherism. The Tory party was viewed as independently enmired in “sleaze”, and Labour was supported by both the Financial Times (and therefore powerful interests in the City) and the Sun. Also we have the case of the most recent general election, in which Labour’s voteshare rose from 30% to 40% on a leftwing platform. Isn’t that “history” too? The Tories did screw up in that election, but not sufficiently to lose it. Either they will learn from their errors or they won’t. Labour hinted at, but were mainly too chickenshit to voice openly, what is a major issue for millions of people (even if many of the people affected by it don’t recognise it for what it is): young people’s indebtedness to moneylenders.

        There is something in what you say about xenophobia. Labour shouting from the rooftops “We love immigration” isn’t going to win them many votes.

        As for those who want to remain in the EU, they need to find a way to get with the xenophobic and racist vibe, which may be too tall an order.

        By the time of the next election, a new party could be in the fray – a right-wing split from the Labour party, or a far right party picking up the Labour votes that came from UKIP. The ignoring of people’s real concerns about immigration that led to the Leave win in 2016 continues apace.

        There is a very clear left wing answer to one of the main problems associated with immigration. It’s this: stronger trade unions which are welcoming to immigrants. The deal being this: the immigrant workers get solidarity, rights, and equal wages and conditions, and they don’t undercut their native British brothers. Of course you’d also need the unionisation of the building industry and other sectors which are currently poorly unionised.

        But rather than talking about these real issues, much of the (fake) left would rather send “tweets” criticising a white girl for wearing a Chinese dress, without understanding that their viewpoint is pro-apartheid.

        • Hatuey

          “When you say “history suggests”, what support can you point to other than from 1997?“

          Interesting reverse logic you rely on. It takes a good education to warp reality like that.

          Since 1979, basically in the last 40 years, the Labour Party has succeeded under one leader, Blair, and that leader was not only a Thatcherite but a warmongering sociopath.

          Now, if that history doesn’t suggest that Labour can only win when they behave like Tories then it is clear to me that we are on different planets.

          We could, however, go back even further. We could go back to the very first Labour victory and Ramsay MacDonald. And if we did you’d find that the real evidence, rather than the sort of fairytale crap they tell you about people like Attlee, supports what I have argued — Labour only ever get elected when they are indistinguishable from Tories.

          Im sorry to have to break this to you but it’s best that you learn the truth. Corbyn, for the reasons I have explained, is technically unelectable. He’s moving in the right direct though, so maybe that will change.

  • N_

    Sajid Javid will be Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ideal opponent if the next leadership contest gets decided by a vote by the membership. And someone was briefing against Amber Rudd. Who might it have been?

    • copydude

      Amber Rudd was going to re-investigate many cases of dead Russians. Even planning to exhume some. There was an article in the Metro, March 29, 2018. ‘Blitz On McMafia Millions’. In the previous day’s debate, Theresa May vowed to pursue ‘corrupt elites’. (Laugh.) But Labour pointed out that not a single prosecution had ever been brought under the anti money-laundering regulations. Presumably Angela was dissuaded from this silly notion. Anyway, she is no longer ‘Forever Amber’.

  • Adrian

    Luke Harding is an obvious shill. One of the most entertaining interviews of the past year was Harding, on the book tour for his cooked-up “Collusion”, dismantling himself during an interview by Aaron Mate:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ikf1uZli4g – Where’s the ‘Collusion’?

    That such a sad-sack, counterfeit, journo could be employed by The Guardian is a much-less-entertaining reflection on the low standards of today.

    (please excuse if this is redundant – I’ve yet to read through all the eomments)

    • Adrian

      p.s. just followed from your tweet – and I see the farcical Harding interview on The Real News is already included in your main piece here. So, my post is well redundant. It’s shocking that any paper is employing the shill still.

  • flamingo

    And you MUST NOT LOOK at Orbis and SCL/Cambridge Analytica and its peculiar work in St Petersburg. Or any other work done by the nexus of these too exceptional companies. They never employed Sergei Skripal and anyone who says so is a Russian spy. So there. and stop looking!!

    • N_

      What evidence is there, circumstantial or otherwise, that Orbis or SCL/CA ever did employ Sergei Skripal, other than Pablo Miller having a house in Salisbury? It’s obvious that the head of the GRU’s personnel department, which is what Sergei Skripal was, had a lot to offer MI6, which is why they recruited him. But in what way might his skills and knowledge have assisted with the production of the Steele document?

      • Doodlebug


        “in what way might his skills and knowledge have assisted with the production of the Steele document?”

        Anti-Putin, fluent in Russian and with diverse contacts there who were no doubt in a position to furnish evidence, sorry, rumours regarding acts of a collaborative nature (Trump-Putin), especially as it concerned the approaching presidential elections. He also had a ‘phone or two. A prime candidate as a ‘call centre’ outworker therefore.

  • Sharp Ears

    We awake on May Day to hear the BBC leading on Netanyahu’s latest accusations against Iran. The item included a clip of Trump supporting the lies. WW111 is needed.

    Iran nuclear deal: UK backs deal despite US and Israel accusations

    Israel’s Iran documents show nuclear deal was lies, says Mike Pompeo

    Ditto Sky News – White House: Iran nuclear weapons claims ‘compelling’
    Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, Israel April 30, 2018
    President Trump has set a 12 May deadline to decide whether to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.


  • Elaine

    We still don’t know anything about the health or the where their are. It is all very fishy.

  • Tony

    It requires somewhat a leap of rationale to link Skripal with the Trump / Steele dossier, unless it is Yulia.
    The timeline for Sergei Skripal is wrong .

    • Doodlebug


      See my post yesterday (30 April, 21:21). I would add that the utterance in question is suggestive, not conclusive.

      • N_

        If the point of the Skripal case was to undermine Russiagate, that could be by strengthening the notion of Russia versus the West rather than relating to an involvement of Sergei Skripal in the Steele dossier. The evidence is gossamer-thin. To stand up, the Skripal-Steele thesis needs to be argued by closely looking at individuals who appear in the dossier.

        I’m sure Pablo Miller is competent enough to keep different cases on his desk separate from each other.

  • Monster

    It’s extraordinary that our security services bosses have not yet arrived in the 21st century. The internet can reveal huge amounts of information about nearly everything they are trying to cover up. Pablo Miller’s picture, address, bank and other private info is available without even going near the ‘dark’ web. I have seen lists of names, home addresses, emails and phone numbers of GCHQ employees.C and his minions seem to believe that by issuing D notices and blocking Google searches they have achieved privacy. Wrong. Google information is greatly limited; it can search only.where its crawler software is allowed. Business servers routinely block access, and chatrooms and most forums prevent access, but users have free access. And if MI6 isn’t a user, they don’t get in. One home maintenance forum revealed a handyman doing some work in Luke Harding’s kitchen. Apparently working for a famous author is good for business.

  • Charles

    Freya Church says the people in the CCTV were 100% the people on the bench

    CCTV from the gym shows 2 couples, both females had blond hair, one of them had a dog. There is another female slightly in front of one of the couples but both her and the female with dog have white / cream bags, a red bag was witnessed at the bench.

    Eye witness evidence says Yulia had dark hair earlier in the day, it is possible that (on a Sunday) she was able to find a hair stylist in Salisbury but it is not possible that Sergei had 2 stones shaved off his gut that day.


    The people on the bench weren’t the Skripals. If actors they may well have self administered a potion voluntarily. The evidence says what was found on the door handle was not what affected the bench pair.

    But would you would hope that they had found actors that had a passing resemblance to the Skripals.



    ‘100%’ the people she saw slumped on the bench on Sunday.

    But Yulia, who was visiting the UK from Russia, has reddish brown hair, not blonde, according to a witness who saw them hours before they were stricken.

    Goolge maps Street View Market Walk


    • Charles

      “But would you would hope that they had found actors that had a passing resemblance to the Skripals.”

      On reflection if the intention was to make sure that no photos of the bench pair made it to the press or TV then it didn’t matter.

      Once the gym CCTV made it into the public and Freya’s 100% Its Them remark it all started to unravel

      The Council CCTV is still being kept secret from the public

    • Tony

      The reddish/brown hair would appear to be confirmed by CCTV from Moscow airport on 3rd March

        • Doodlebug


          I’m having difficulty keeping up so pardon my shortcomings, but I understand the Constabulary’s evidence room is on the clean up list, the inference being that it has recently accommodated one or more contaminated items. DS Bailey is reported to have come into contact with something unpleasant via the Skripals’ front door, but it seems to me far more likely that he handled something (or someone) at the scene, i.e., on or near the park bench, and transferred whatever noxious agent it was to the door handle subsequently, when he visited the house himself.

          Might he have been responsible also for depositing the item(s) of evidence? Did said evidence perhaps include a handbag? And might that handbag have been the vector of the toxin?

          • Charles

            Jts not you Doodlebug, nothing makes sense and that raises suspicion.

            If at the start the authorities had corrected the story re the helicopter taking Yulia to hospital that would have been an end to it, for me antway, but they didn’t so I and others did a bit of digging and found the helicopter involvement didn’t make sense. The fact that it was called, the fact that if Yulia had been taken to hospital in it it would likely to have been contaminated. And then the route the helicopter took, the time it took, none of it making sense.

            And if the police had released some of the Council CCTV it would have answered a lot of questions but they have kept it secret.

            The nonsense of Novichock can only have come from the Russian State and Porton Down identifying the specific type in 2 days but took 2 weeks to identify the door handle source.

            The inconsistencies in the purity of the samples given to the OPCW after it must have become contaminated and degraded. The Time delay of symptoms, the symptoms matching BZ rather than Novichock, the advice that there was very little risk to the public and baby wipes could clean it up, the A&E consultant saying no one in Salisbury had been presented with symptoms of nerve agent poisoning. All complete bollocks.

            Its true that CCTV bloke had a resemblance to Miller and yes the bag could have been given to the couple on the bench and the bags contents could have poisoned them.

            But with all the deceit and secrecy all we can assume with any certainty is that this was a crap false flag and a crapper cover up.

    • kbbucks

      Interesting to see (from the picture of their house with the police standing outside in one of those links) windows open and smoke coming out of the chimney. Some-one’s feeding the stove! Must’ve been plenty of people going in & out of that front-door, I guess they were just lucky they didn’t touch the “deadly nerve agent” on the handle!

  • mike

    Maybot off the windrush hook now. BBC smoothing it all over. Rudd’s scalp has been claimed. Let’s move on.

    The Maybot is just as guilty.

  • Charles

    The blatant Skripal False Flag has been exposed.

    May and Johnson have been exposed as abject liars, incompetents and fools

    The Untrustworthiness of the British Police has been exposed

    The false accusations against Russia and Putin have been exposed

    The exposure of deliberately damaging relationships with Russia by using a fabricated event would ordinarily warrant immediate resignations of MP’s and senior civil servants including Heywood and the holding of a General Election.

    Labour could have forced this yet MP’s in Labour prefer to exploit the grim events by attacking Corbyn.

    There is no longer a Party fit to govern Britain. Never has politics sunk so low. Democracy, Rule of Law and Honesty have been driven out by the Ruling Classes.

    I can’t see how it can get worse but I am bloody sure it will.

    • BarrieJ

      “There is no longer a Party fit to govern Britain. Never has politics sunk so low. Democracy, Rule of Law and Honesty have been driven out by the Ruling Classes”.

      I think it has been this way for quite some time. Forty years of Thatcherism has seen every office and function of state corrupted, every one, no exceptions.
      Any student of recent history would see scary similarities between Britain today and Germany in the 1930’s. Quite apart from the subversion of the state we have the complicit behaviour of the media and the aggressive criticism and isolation of any dissenting voices.

      We hope for change and anticipate that an election will bring it but an establishment, press, police and security services that are prepared to behave as we’ve recently witnessed, wouldn’t hesitate to stoop to rigging the ballot.
      Not too many votes are required and in not too many constituencies for the control of Westminster to remain in the right hands.

      We need to come to terms with the fact that we’re governed by gangsters, admittedly not very competent ones but maybe there’s not going to be a lot we can legally do about it.

      Like you, I too am sure things will get worse.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    Further to the forensic demolition on Craig’s blog of the biased ‘science’ behind the red-twitter article; A young lady calls out the Sunday Times here for overtly disclosing its oligarchy supporting hidden agenda. She is annoyed!


    And I managed to find one serious article on the Skripal fuckup, but it pretends it doesn’t exist, not being a Janes Defence Weekly subscriber at present, or having the right cookies.

    Those with better credentials can browse http://www.janes.com/article/79669/west-reassesses-response-options-following-skripal-poisoning

    • Thomas_Stockmann

      She’s right. Meanwhile the Guardian runs a piece on Syria by Diana Darke, predicting the swift collapse of the Assad regime, if only Russia could be separated from him.

        • Laguerre

          You mean the Jihadis would have been all over Syria now. Netanyahu’s plan was to turn Syria into an unstable, cantonised wreck like Libya. He wouldn’t want to put Israelis themselves into Syria. That would fatally weaken Israel by an open northeastern frontier that any jihadi could pass.

          • Sergei

            Destabilized Syria ruled by Takfiri Wahhabis was meant as a mere stepping stone for an eventual humanitarian intervention by “white knight” Israel to “save people from the crazies”, leading to an annexation of large parts of Syria.

      • marvellousMRchops

        More surprising – the article is allowing comments ………………for how long.

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