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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  • Thomas_Stockmann

    Peter Hitchens at the Mail on Sunday continues to pursue his own maverick line on Douma. I can’t quite believe I am writing this about a Mail columnist, but this is a good article:
    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2018/04/waiting-for-the-opcw-how-to-read-the-next-report-on-alleged-chemical-weapons-atrocities.html
    The Reuter’s article he references is here:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-chemical-weapons/evidence-of-syria-chemical-weapons-use-not-up-to-u-n-standard-idUSBRE93P0UG20130426

    I might add the towards the article he mentions the UK’s complaint that the OPCW was delayed in gaining access to Douma. As I demonstrated in a previous post, that delay was in fact (according to the OPCW itself) caused by security issues, as determined by a UN security team.

    • Morton Subotnick

      The analyses of the libertarian right can sometimes coincide almost exactly with those from the true left (the qualifying ‘true’ performing a similar function to ‘Marxist’ Communist in the late-1960s/early-1970s when “everyone” was a ‘Communist), particularly around the question of State power. Hence some of the excellent segments on Tucker Carlson’s Fox show since the election of DT on topics from the alleged “Trump-Russia collusion” (guests Glenn Greenwald and Stephen F,. Cohen amongst others) to the continuous reactionary liberal campaign against the Second Amendment.

      • Thomas_Stockmann

        True enough. I think also that there are conservatives in both the UK and USA who are either instinctive non-interventionists or who give priority to the dangers of Islamic jihadism (or both).

  • Sharp Ears

    I found this link which I put on this blog in May last year. May cannot wriggle out of the immigration target dispute.

    ‘++But while Theresa May has staunchly recommitted to the target she, as home secretary, missed for six years in a row++, ministers have been also busy reassuring businesses they will be able to get the people they need, whether builders, bankers, or fruit pickers. If the economy needs them, they will be allowed to come.

    That doesn’t sound like a recipe for getting the numbers down to Theresa May’s preferred level. And even though we are on our way out of the EU, there is still huge scepticism over whether the target is remotely achievable. So why keep it?

    Sometimes in politics it’s useful to ponder what would happen if they did the opposite.’

    Why May is keeping immigration target
    Laura Kuenssberg
    Political editor
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39845154

    • paul

      It would appear she wished to cook the books by letting in those the employers organisations wanted (young, rootless) and deporting those they cared less for (end of working life, rooted), thereby pleasing her two constituencies.

  • certa certi

    ‘The blatant Skripal False Flag’

    Sigh. Five Eyes partners haven’t done pseudo terrorism for decades. Too risky, career and reputational damage to Ministers and senior management if botched like this has been. The botched Skripal assassination shows an absence of risk assessment, mitigation and management which rules out Five Eyes and points to a State with fewer legal restrictions, and the job could have been tasked with contractors, for whom money trumped risk. Too many commenters losing sight of Occam’s Razor.

    • Doodlebug

      @certa certi

      “Five Eyes partners haven’t done pseudo terrorism for decades”

      Since they became more expert at the real thing.

  • Luke Harding

    Dear Craig, I’ve be very happy to meet with you to discuss your post. What you write is untrue – and it would be good to sort out fact from fiction. I enjoyed Murder in Samarkand.
    v best,
    Luke Harding

    • Jack

      Luke Harding

      Can’t you do it here?

      After all, it is
      your tweets,
      your interviews,
      your quotation that Craig is using.

      Please tell us all what is so fictitious about this post by Craig?

      • Doodlebug

        @Jack

        I think you’ll find the author of the invitation is Luke Hiding.

        • glenn_nl

          I think the verdict is still out on that, Jack. Just because a Republican led committee has come up with the conclusion it was sent to give, that doesn’t mean case closed. Mueller is still working on the case, which he wouldn’t be doing if the entire thing was wrapped up.

          God only knows why so many people on this blog want to give that ignorant savage Trump a pass.

          • Jack

            glenn_nl

            Your last comment says it all, you like Luke cant differ between your own opinions about Trump and the factual world.
            The fact that you hate Trump doesnt mean there was collusion.

          • glenn_nl

            Jack, did you actually bother reading the article you quoted – even the subtitle (which said “Democrats contest findings of report citing ‘no evidence’ of Trump-Russia collusion during 2016 campaign.”)? (And for good reason too, I might add.)

            Try reading the whole thing, it will really improve your understanding of what’s going on here much more than just shouting the headline, and mistaking that for the conclusion.

            I suppose you think this is all total fantasy too : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/us/politics/questions-mueller-wants-to-ask-trump-russia.html

            That’s all “Fake News” in your opinion? Nothing to do with what you think of as “the factual world”.

          • Jack

            glenn_nl

            You are just making it worse – you need to differ, again, between your hatred for Trump vs the factual world., the wording here is “collusion”, there is no collusion, even the democrats that you bring up havent produced a single case of collusion, in fact not a SINGLE person that have been charged in this witch hunt have been charged with anything near that could be called collusion.

            Besides you are making another biased proposition, that because republicans where in majority that would ultimately lead to a certain result. Well then why are you hoping for Mueller since he is a republican?

            I dont understand why so many on the left are so positive of this witch hunt, because this witch hunt will sooner or later hit not only people like Trump but perhaps people like yourself or blogs like this that will be accused of spreading russian propaganda.

            I have no time for this nonsense and Craig doesnt want this either on his blog, so thats my last reply.

          • glenn_nl

            I like it when people make a long reply and then run off with their fingers in their ears, saying they won’t discuss another word about it. Very brave.

          • Thomas_Stockmann

            If you imply that anyone who disagrees with you is a Trump supporter (wanting to “give that ignorant savage Trump a pass”) you are bound to annoy people. I wanted Hillary to win and I doubt whether Craig is a Trump fan. As Jack quite reasonably pointed out, doubting the allegation of collusion is not inconsistent with hating Trump.

          • glenn_nl

            @Thomas_Stockmann: With all due respect, Jack didn’t reasonably point out anything. He asserted with 100% certainty that there was no collusion, and his evidence was an article he clearly hadn’t bothered reading, because that article makes considerable issue of the doubts concerning the claim of the Republican committee.

            It was then Jack who went on to assume that anyone who doesn’t like Trump believes in (what he says is) falsehoods.

            So I think your criticism of me on this one is rather misplaced.

          • Morton Subotnick

            “God only knows why so many people on this blog want to give that ignorant savage Trump a pass.”

            You, like so many others (either ‘innocently’ or meretriciously), are mistaking the person for the movement. Just as voting for Scottish Independence was not voting for Alex Salmond and voting for Brexit was not voting for Nigel Farage, so the numbers voting for Trump (and therefore against TPP, de facto unlimited immigration and all the other “good things” offered by the globalists) are explained by the ‘qualities’ of the other candidate, who couldn’t have given less of a fuck about the effects that these policies were/are having on the working classes of the ‘fly-over’ States (see a Tucker Carlson speech on the subject here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2dct9ErA_g).

            In his person, Donald Trump may or may not be some or all of the things people accuse him of being, but merely consider the fact that previous UK visits by Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, between them responsible for literally millions of deaths, passed without protest and then ask yourself what underlying agenda(s) might possibly be motivating the ceaseless attacks upon him.

        • Anon1

          “God only knows why so many people on this blog want to give that ignorant savage Trump a pass.”

          So what you are saying, Glenn, is that we should believe there was collusion (even though none has been proven) because Trump is not a very nice person. You can can go down that route if you want to.

    • Merkin Scot

      “Dear Craig, I’ve be very happy to meet with you to discuss your post. What you write is untrue – and it would be good to sort out fact from fiction. I enjoyed Murder in Samarkand.”
      .
      Hmmmmmm! A likely story.

      • labougie

        I’m sure Craig would take you more seriously if you offered have this putative meeting filmed. How about it?

    • Jo Dominich

      Luke, It looks like you’ve already had your chance for that meeting and voted with your feet. Perhaps it would be useful if you could sort out your own fiction from alleged facts you publish. That might be a good starting point for any meeting.

      • Dom

        “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”

    • Neil Robinson

      Luke, so you can’t respond to an article in writing in a public forum? No of course you can’t. Deceit and cover ups the daily life of a Guardian propaganda goon. Go find another job.

  • Doodlebug

    Back on topic – this from the Daily Mirror: “On 4 March in 2018, his body was found alongside his daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, both slumped on a bench near a shopping centre in Salisbury.”

    A Freudian slip perhaps?

        • Crispa

          Meanwhile Reuters reports today:

          “Asked by members of parliament on the British parliament’s defence committee if the suspects behind the poisoning had been identified, Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May, said: ‘Not yet'”

          But (just in case the would be assassins are still at large), security on other vulnerable potential victims is being stepped up, Sedwill also said.

          Hmm

    • John Goss

      Did you see this Doodlebug, The Times wrote they were dead and then changed its story. Fortunately OffGuardian has a copy. Scroll down to the section “The Spy Who Came Back From the Dead”.

      https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/11/the-skripal-case-an-open-thread/

      The whole story is most bizarre and the media have been complicit in publishing an absolute pack of lies. No wonder viewing figures for RT while Luke Harding’s Guardian is begging for readers. It might get some if it started telling the truth!

      • Doodlebug

        @John Goss

        Thank you John. It appears TM ‘dodged a bullet’ with respect to the ‘Windrush’ scandal. She won’t get away with this one if it breaks!

      • Resident Dissident

        Mr Goss was a visiting student to Russia during Soviet times. To my knowledge every similar student was approached by the KGB to see if they were prepared to offer their future assistance – Craig may wish to confirm that this was the normal practice. Perhaps before making accusations about spies Mr Goss can confirm if he received any approach from the KGB and what his response was?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    I have a big issue with the whole Trump collusion with Russia preposition.
    The terms everyone uses regarding Robert Mueller is that he was given a remit to investigate “illegal collusion with Russia “. It is a statement of the bleedin’ obvious that there would have to be a law in the statute book to the effect “it is illegal for a private citizen to seek assistance from a foreign entity in pursuing their attempt to gain elected office”.
    Really; at some point in the past the legislative body took the time out of their busy schedule to draft and pass something to this effect?
    Not saying that there have not been events to prompt such legislation. Nixon was rumoured to have approached the South Vietnam regime to kibosh a round of the Paris peace talks and further his chances of election. Regan was rumoured to have kiboshed early release of the Terran embassy hostages to the same ends.
    Even assuming that there is a law targeted at deterring such activity, how do you define “foreign entity”, “assistance”, “collusion”? Is it ok to talk to a non-government foreign entity but not a government? Is it ok to talk to a foreign government just as long as it ain’t Russia?
    Bribery is a thing. Blackmail is a thing. Money laundering is a thing. Collusion is in the eye of the beholder.
    To date as far as I can figure, Robert Mueller has stuck strictly to easily defined charges, with the possible exception of the mention of treason for one or two of the minor players. Christ, treason in this day and age!

    • Jack

      Indeed, good post, and it really shows why this is a witch-hunt, because it is this talking with russians that is so forbidden apparently.

    • N_

      Mueller has obtained indictments against some Russian citizens, charging them with conspiring to defraud the US “by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State in administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities“. (Source.)

      Any US citizen who helped them do it committed a crime.

      What next? Will Trump insist that the interpretation of the statement “What you did is treason” depends on what the meaning of “is” is? Perhaps Bill Clinton can advise him in return for the donation Trump made to the Clinton Foundation?

      • N_

        I have to wonder how far Trump can run in practice with the line that getting put into the president’s office by a foreign power wouldn’t be against the law even if he did it.

      • flatulence

        Trump claims to have invented the word ‘fake’, no one in history having used the word before him, according to him. So it is quite possible he also invented the word ‘is’, in which case it means whatever he wants it to.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Fair enough, there is legislation that COULD be used to make a case, but where is the level playing field?
        Everyone looks for dirt on the opposition. Surely the Steale dossier is one such example.
        The prevailing narrative is that the St Petersburg troll farm was seeking to sow discord amongst the American public. Any contribution they could have in that arena would be like taking a hairdryer outside in a category 5 hurricane.
        What comparative contribution to swaying events would St Petersburg have to say AIPAC and Tel Aviv?
        Listen, I am not trying to defend Trump, I fecking hate Trump. Ambient, orange clownfish is the best description I have read so far.

    • james

      good post vivian… it is amazing how crazy a good number of americans have gone on this very topic.. they have lost their collective marbles it would seem…

      • Jack

        james

        and this madness is spreading all over the west, every politician that doesnt toe the line of the establishment is a russian agent. This could become very dangerous.

        • james

          jack – i think the plan is to go to war with russia… everything points in this direction and all the western politicians are onside with it… it is really very crazy… demonizing russia 24/7 and what is worse – no proof for any of it, or anything – just slander, supposition and innuendo… the west has lost it’s moral compass..

          • Jack

            james

            Yes indeed, war could only be the result of this madness going on, the Red scare is deliberately used to silence oppositional views in our societies today on much deeper and pround ways than any other time during the Cold war.
            And even saying this makes one a russian agent. Its absurd!
            Rest assured the spying in the west on people like us are in full swing.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            War with Russia as an initial stance is just hyperbole. Iran first!

          • james

            vivian… why beat around the bush? it is obvious.. yes – iran first, but do you think russia is going to sit idly by? they didn’t in syria, and they won’t with iran… sorry.. i still stand by what i say… the usa/uk want a unipolar world… other parts of the planet want a multi polar one…. we are at a cross roads..

  • Thomas_Stockmann

    Some top spin from Patrick Wintour on the Guardian’s live blog, following the Government’s tactical withdrawal on records of beneficial company ownership in British Overseas Territories.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/may/01/brexit-david-davis-lords-liam-fox-tells-may-that-compromising-over-customs-union-would-be-unacceptable-politics-live
    “By introducing a Magnitsky clause & a public register of beneficial ownership in overseas territories, UK eases the hypocrisy charge as it tries this year to solidify an international coalition against Russia, & Putin’s dirty money.” Except that HM Government only agreed to the register in the face of looming Commons defeat. “Whatever was put on that door handle in Salisbury has led to a secretive world being opened in a way the perpetrator could never have envisaged !” The clear implication here, disguised by innuendo, is that Russians poisoned the Skripals, something as yet unproven. Now it is perfectly true that an exceptionally high proportion of Russian wealth is believed to be held overseas. Some of this undoubtedly belongs to Putin associates, but some of it belongs to his opponents, many living in exile. This money may or may not be dirty (much no doubt is), but Wintour conflates all Russians with the regime. Moreover, by spinning this measure as simply anti-Russian, he deflects attention from the many other countries and corporations that behave like this. Our good friends in Saudi Arabia are also believed to hold a high proportion of their wealth overseas:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2017/09/15/tax-haven-cash-rising-now-equal-to-at-least-10-of-world-gdp/#6eae7f5470d6
    Moreover, many Western corporations are playing the same game, with Goldman Sachs having over $30 billion in over 900 offshore companies:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/10/24/which-u-s-companies-have-the-most-tax-havens-infographic/#405fb8825706
    Indeed, Western financial and accounting companies are often complicit in tax evasion and worse.
    The effect of Wintour’s spin is to deflect attention from bad behaviour by capitalists in general to bad behaviour by Russians in particular.
    The legislation does not cover trusts, property, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. I look forward to the Barclay brothers campaigning in the Telegraph for these oversights to be remedied.

    • N_

      (T)o deflect attention from bad behaviour by capitalists in general to bad behaviour by Russians in particular“.
      Only some Russians 🙂 And even some of them aren’t Russian, e.g. Ramzan Kadyrov.

      • Thomas_Stockmann

        Indeed. A good example of what I mean is highlighted by this video about Glencore:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNYemuiAOfU
        Recently Glencore has been supposedly detoxifying its reputation by cutting its ties with Oleg Deripaska, now that he has been targeted with sanctions, but Glencore and its shareholders have been cheating Zambia for years through transfer pricing. Russophobia has become the deodorant with which to disguise the malodour of international capitalism.

        • The OneEyedBuddha

          good to point out Oleg, at first I wonder why they were hit Rusal as it’s so interconnected with western mining companies

          “The immediate impact was a huge selloff in shares and a spike in aluminum prices, but the wider impact is only now starting to unfurl on the global supply chain. Rusal is a central part of the global manufacturing process for aluminum — which involves crushing bauxite ore into alumina, which is then heated to temperatures as high as 950 degrees Celsius to make aluminum. Now companies like Rio Tinto Group have to turn elsewhere in a market that was already in tight supply. Rusal’s alumina is particularly integrated in the global supply chain because almost two-thirds of it is refined outside Russia, in places like Ireland and Jamaica.”
          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-20/why-aluminum-bears-brunt-of-u-s-sanctions-on-russia-quicktake

          but then I heard about the Rusal owners Oleg’s connection with Manafort, a suspect in the Russian meddling into US election investigation: –

          “Deripaska’s name has surfaced in the U.S. investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election over his business ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. ”
          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-30/mnuchin-says-u-s-doesn-t-seek-to-put-rusal-out-of-business
          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-24/mueller-says-fbi-properly-searched-manafort-storage-unit

          add that with the D-notice that Craig reported about the Skipral Poisoning and you can see one of the motives behind all of this (sure there are others too)

        • Barden Gridge

          This is probably completely irrelevant, but Glencore was going to donate the metal cladding for the now – thank goodness – cancelled Garden Bridge.I’m wondering if there’s a Boris Johnson/George Osborne/Russian connection here.
          Johnson (through TfL) and the then chancellor Osborne each made £30 m available for the idiotic project.
          Evgeny Lebedev was allegedly referred to as a “Governor” of the Garden Bridge Trust on the Trust website but that just seems to have been a vanity title. Osborne of course went on to be editor of Lebedev’s pisspoor Evening Standard.
          The Garden Bridge trust is way overdue with filing its accounts. Some £46 m of public money is unaccounted for.

      • Thomas_Stockmann

        FWIW, I think many ordinary Russians would be glad if the extensive overseas holdings of Russian wealth were exposed. Ironically, the Russian government might actually benefit in certain cases from improved detection of unauthorised financial flows (though it might dislike exposure of such flows conducted by friends of the regime).
        I suppose technically Kadyrov is a federal Russian citizen though he seems to be almost a law unto himself.

    • james

      thomas, aside from wanting to suggest reading the guardian is a waste of time and why even bother linking to it, i was going to say how we have now gotten to the point where there are good and bad oligarchs.. if they are from the west – they are all good, but if they have anything to do with russia, they must be all bad… it is fairly clear the double standards expressed which the guardian takes to a fine art, lol…. if the west is really intent on destruction of the planet, and russia – i guess we can just continue to ruminate on what the latest article in the guardian has to say on the matter.. for those of us who are no longer willing to accept the official script, it is long past time to move on..

      • Thomas_Stockmann

        Fair enough if that’s what you think, and I largely agree. I linked to it out of the habit of linking to sources; I think I made clear that I didn’t agree with what was being said. As for whether it matters or not, I think what is said in the MSM does matter, as it helps to shape public opinion and what the powers that be think is politically feasible. Sorry if it didn’t interest you.

        • james

          thomas – thanks… all good my friend… your comments do interest me and i am happy to read them.. i just wanted to add a comment of my own! cheers..

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Gordon Corera is a Mi6 hack, just look at how he handed the Mitrokhin archive in his secret history of SIS!

  • james

    luke harding.. what a perpetual loser! WOW… thanks craig.. he’s even better then mark steyn who has a similar approach..

  • Doodlebug

    Holy shit! This was broadcast live on 18 Feb. Not yet a full month before the Salisbury incident:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_NtL7lo2es “With the British Coup Against Trump Exposed, It’s Time to Consolidate the New Paradigm”

    If Treason May’s not in the house to answer questions it could be because she’s at home packing her bags.

  • bj

    Question:
    Can D-Notices be applied to (i.e. cover) governmental or judicial statements in response for requests for habeas corpus?

  • Sharp Ears

    Tories back down from opposing bill giving transparency on companies using tax havens. Loving it. Chinks of light are entering Pugin’s Palace.

    Ministers back down on tax haven company registers
    25 minutes ago
    The amendment would require overseas territories like the Cayman Islands to publish company ownership registers
    The government has agreed to calls for new measures aimed at increasing transparency in offshore tax havens.
    Facing a possible Commons defeat, ministers said they would not oppose an amendment to force British overseas territories to publish details of the true owners of companies based there.
    Campaigners say public registers make it easier to uncover corruption, money laundering and tax dodging.
    The move was backed by both Labour and Tory MPs.
    The government has also agreed to a new laws to sanction people suspected of gross human rights abuses.
    With no Conservative majority in the House of Commons, the government is vulnerable to any rebellion, and 19 Tory MPs had backed the amendment on company ownership registers.
    As MPs debated the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill in the Commons, Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan said the government had not wanted to damage the overseas territories’ autonomy by legislating directly.
    But he added: “We’ve listened to the strength of feeling in the House on this issue and accept that it is without a doubt the majority view of this House that the overseas territories should have public registers.”
    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43965546

  • Harry Law

    Does anybody know on what grounds [legislation] both Skripals are being held hostage and incommunicado? The Police say Yulia has ‘access to family and friends’, yet she does not contact them, nor can they contact her. Bear in mind that the UN Human Rights Committee has stated that all states treat all persons deprived of their liberty humanely, with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, this is not subject to derogation under any circumstances. The Committee has found that incommunicado detention of fifteen days constitutes a violation of this obligation, though shorter time periods may also be prohibited. How long have the Skripals been held hostage and incommunicado, 58 days.

    • Jo Dominich

      Good point Harry. I am beginning to think they are no longer in the land of the living otherwise, I cannot see any other explanation as to why nothing has been heard from them. Yulia was due to go back to Russia in any event. Why is she being prevented from so doing? The UN Human Rights Committee need to be asking serious questions.

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig’s article is referred to within this RT piece.

    Whatever happened to the Skripals? UK media and authorities fall silent on Salisbury poisoning
    1 May 2018 | 16:43 GMT

    Sergei Skripal, the poisoned ex-Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia dominated headlines a few weeks ago. Now they’ve vanished from the public eye, leaving many to wonder what exactly happened.

    Yulia apparently recovered enough to leave the hospital and is now thought to be in a safe house, and there have been no updates on Sergei’s condition since his daughter walked out of Salisbury District Hospital in early April. Since then, Syrian bomb attacks have dominated British headlines, followed by the Windrush scandal that ended with the shock resignation of Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Some argue the British media just had its attention diverted, but others suggest something else is at play.

    /..
    https://www.rt.com/uk/425600-skripal-poison-update-suspect/

    • Spaull

      Walked out of the hospital? When? Where are the photos from the media scrum that was undoubtedly there to get a photo of the most famous patient in the country?

      • Doodlebug

        @Spaull

        You know there’s cause for concern when RT don’t even know the exact whereabouts and status of both Sergei and his daughter.

  • Arby

    Fascinating report, Craig. I certainly agree with you about Luke. I have not followed him closely or his paper, The Guardian, but I did read his smear job book about Wikileaks. It was awful and so unprofessional. And I have already seen his revealing discussion with Aaron Mate. Later…

  • Jones

    police and intelligence agencies announce Zero suspects identified in the Skripal attack, despite Skripals being alive and conscious and able to give a full description of the attack and all people they had contact with, and despite a new £500,000 state-of-the-art CCTV system installed in Salisbury last year.

    http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community-safety-cctv

    • Dom

      It’s like when OJ Simpson said he was going to hunt down the real murderer of his missus. No matter how hard he looked, he could never find him.

      • Yalt

        Maybe some mirrors would be a more efficient tool? They could knock a few zeroes off the CCTV estimate and see just as many criminals.

    • Doodlebug

      @Jones

      Speaking of CCTV…

      “Asked by an MP at a Commons defence committee hearing if he knew the individuals responsible, he replied curtly: “Not yet.”

      “Sedwill, who coordinates the work of the MI6, MI5, the surveillance agency GCHQ and others, did not elaborate but among problems that have hampered the agencies is a lack of CCTV coverage in Salisbury compared with London. Known Russian spies based in Britain have also been investigated and ruled out.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/01/no-suspects-yet-in-skripal-nerve-agent-attack-mps-told

      • Doodlebug

        Spot the weasel in the above statement by Sedwill.

        “among problems that have hampered the agencies is a lack of CCTV coverage in Salisbury compared with London.”

        Salisbury also has fewer park benches than London. So what? The CCTV images that matter are those that would definitely have been captured by CCTV cameras very close by – the very images that have not been released to the public in any form whatsoever, such as in the context of an appeal, e.g., “If you recognize this person (or these people) contact Scotland Yard immediately!”

      • Jones

        @Doodlebug ^^

        yes, if i was a resident of Salisbury i’d be pissed off that the £500,000 spent on CCTV cameras was a total waste of money, but then again if i popped down to Salisbury tomorrow and parked on a double yellow line i’m pretty sure the cameras would miraculously come to life and snap my registration number plate.

      • Jo Dominich

        Doodlebug, here’s a totally off the wall idea so criticism will be readily accepted – DS Nick Bailey – If, as Clive Ponting says, and it does make sense, was the special branch handler/shadow for Skripal who allegedly just ‘happened to be passing by’ the bench precisely at the time the Skripals became ill and then was admitted to hospital being ‘seriously ill’ and again, has not been seen or heard of since, could be the administrator of the poison hence his becoming ill also as, if it is a deadly nerve agent as stated, the person administering it would inevitably become ill given the allegted substanace’s volatility. Just a thought. Looking at earlier posts where it would appear that Sergei Skripal was acting in a heightened state of anxiety and haste at Zizzi’s apparently very keen to pay the bill and get out, suggestive of his being late or going to be late for a meeting, I wonder whether DS Bailey was not the person he was supposed to be meeting but who had been alerted by intelligence or something like that. Anyway, just a thought and an off the wall one at that!!

        • Doodlebug

          Jo. Sorry, I’ve only just noticed your comment was addressed to me. Your thoughts are by no means ‘off the wall’. With the deliberate block on any meaningful information, any number of theories are sitting on the wall, like 10 green bottles, awaiting clearance.

  • LenkaPenka

    Harding probably gets on famously with Bill “b*llsh*tter” Browder, you see both write great fiction. The naivety Browder feigns is obvious for those with even a little experience of his area of “expertise” and Moscow. How do I know… well I was there with Bill… and his memory lapses must be a sign of some serious illness surely?

    Both see themselves and have promoted themselves as Putin Enemy number one, where in reality Putin likely sees them as not much more than an irritant.

    I avoid both of them like the plague.

  • George Hallam

    I met Jon Snow in the street this afternoon. I took the opportunity to ask him why there was nothing on Channel 4 about the Salisbury affair and why they hadn’t asked questions about D.S. Bailey.

    Snow replied that they had interviewed Bailey about two weeks ago. I was surprised as I hadn’t heard about this. Snow said that the interview was on Youtube.

    When I got home did some searches but I have been unable to find such an interview on Youtube or anywhere else on the internet.

    Did I miss something? Did Channel 4 show an interview with Bailey but haven’t put it on Youtube? Or did they interview Baily but haven’t broadcast it yet.

    Of course there is a third possibility: that Jon Snow just made it up. Call me naïve, but this seems incredible.

    1st May 2018

    • John Goss

      I can’t find it. Jon Snow is not likely to lie. However, if he, like all the others is obliged under a D-Notice not to talk about certain issues he can hardly say “I’m not allowed to talk about that” or it would prompt the next question.

      I can’t find it either. Perhaps it was like Sky’s Kate Burley interview with Craig, made but not broadcast because there was something in there the spooks did not want the general public to know. You could always send him a message and ask for a link.

  • wendy davis

    ‘Whatever happened to the Skripals? UK media and authorities fall silent on Salisbury poisoning’, may 1, RT

    “Sergei Skripal, the poisoned ex-Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia dominated headlines a few weeks ago. Now they’ve vanished from the public eye, leaving many to wonder what exactly happened.” [snip]

    A number of bloggers have spent months questioning the government’s narrative on the Skripal attack. Among them is former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray. Murray pointed out a tweet by Channel 4 journalist Alex Thomsen, who said the only “decisive public move by the authorities has been to censor MSM (mainstream media) via a D Notice… from identifying Mr Skripal’s handler living nearby.”

    https://www.rt.com/uk/425600-skripal-poison-update-suspect/

    yes to this: “Rule number one of real investigative journalism: look where they tell you not to look. and nice exposé of the ever-odious ‘story teller’ luke harding.

    • John Goss

      I’ve been looking where I shouldn’t Patrick. More to follow. I think I’ve discovered – not America – but why Americans are so paranoid that the Russians might be able to get into their accounts and change the whole face of society.

  • JT

    As long as anybody refers to Luke Harding as a journalist, journalism does not exist in the West.

  • Billy Bostickson

    Very Interesting Syrian links/SVR involving our old friend, Professor Leonard Rink:

    Rink Ринка
    ЦУР проверил ближневосточные связи автора «Новичка»

    The LRC checked the Middle East relations of the author of the “Novice”

    https://medium.com/@tzurrealism/rink-d47d9e53b16f

    Rink’s Russian Wikipedia page: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A0%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%BA,_%D0%9B%D0%B5%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B4_%D0%98%D0%B3%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87

  • John Rothery

    I am pleased that there are some critical brains examining what is happening. One of my biggest concerns is that there are so few doing this. The media are not asking the simplest of questions.
    We are in an era of huge change yet the media just blindly accept without challenge the official narrative. If by some miracle a progressive government is elected in the West then the whole facade may collapse. People are changing. There are alternative ways of obtaining information. Could it possibly be that we might pass on to our children a better world than the one we inherited.
    Keep up the good work.

    John Rothery (Tauranga)

    • Spaull

      The Independent is one of the few outlets that allows comment on Salisbury stories. The censorship on there has been shocking, but not good enough to disguise the fact that the overwhelming preponderance of the comments shows complete contempt for the official narrative, and that people have seen the link between Salisbury and Syria.

      This is scary for The Powers That Be. It proves that the MSM is no longer an effective tool for controlling what the public thinks; and never will be again. I don’t think they know how to cope.

      • Royd

        Gavin Williamson has said that more people with IT and communication skills are needed in the military to ‘get our messages’ out there! As if the MSM were not already doing that 🙂 We don’t need more PR and spin for God’s sake.

  • iangb

    I apologise in advance if this is not a particularly sophisticated or insightful post.
    Like most people who follow this blog and others that inform us whilst the MSM lie to us I find Trump to be an awful person. He is essentially a rampant capitalist interested in ‘the art of the deal’ and really little else. But.I believe his foreign policy instincts are generally isolationist in terms of warmongering especially compared to HRC.
    I think he sees Russia as a great business opportunity. Of course this is to cut the best deal for himself first and the USA second. His naivety and lack of understanding of the power of the MIC has caused him problems. Basically he wants to do deals with whoever regardless of their moral standing and has simply no grasp of the deep state desire for regime change and dominance. And would anyone try to explain this to him?

    • Jo Dominich

      Iangb -no need to apologise – It’s a valid post – opinions and ideas are welcome. There are so many issues with the Orange One – it’s hard to know what is going on really. Don’t stop posting.

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