The Silence of the Whores 829


The mainstream media are making almost no effort today to fit Charlie Rowley’s account of his poisoning into the already ludicrous conspiracy theory being peddled by the government and intelligence agencies.

ITV News gamely inserted the phrase “poisoned by a Russian nerve agent” into their exclusive interview with Charlie Rowley, an interview in which they managed to ask no penetrating questions whatsoever, and of which they only broadcast heavily edited parts. Their own website contains this comment by their journalist Rupert Evelyn:

He said it was unopened, the box it was in was sealed, and that they had to use a knife in order to cut through it.

“That raises the question: if it wasn’t used, is this the only Novichok that exists in this city? And was it the same Novichok used to attack Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

But the information about opening the packet with a knife is not in the linked interview. What Rowley does say in the interview is that the box was still sealed in its cellophane. Presumably it was the cellophane he slit open with a knife.

So how can this fit in to the official government account? Presumably the claim is that Russian agents secretly visited the Skripal house, sprayed novichok on the door handle from this perfume bottle, and then, at an unknown location, disassembled the nozzle from the bottle (Mr Rowley said he had to insert it), then repackaged and re-cellophaned the bottle prior to simply leaving it to be discovered somewhere – presumably somewhere indoors as it still looked new – by Mr Rowley four months later. However it had not been found by anyone else in the interim four months of police, military and security service search.

Frankly, the case for this being the bottle allegedly used to coat the Skripals’ door handle looks wildly improbable. But then the entire government story already looked wildly improbable anyway – to the extent that I literally do not know a single person, even among my more right wing family and friends, who believes it. The reaction of the media, who had shamelessly been promoting the entirely evidence free “the Russians did it” narrative, to Mr Rowley’s extremely awkward piece of news has been to shove it as far as possible down the news agenda and make no real effort to reconcile it.

By his own account, Mr Rowley is not a reliable witness, his memory affected by the “Novichok”. It is not unreasonable to conjecture there may also be other reasons why he is vague about where and how he came into possession of this package of perfume.

The perfume bottle is now in the hands of the Police. Is it not rather strange that they have not published photos of it, to see if it jogs the memory of a member of the public who saw it somewhere in the last four months, or saw somebody with it? The “perpetrators” know what it looks like and already know the police have it, so that would not give away any dangerous information. You might believe the lockdown of the story and control of the narrative is more important to the authorities than solving the crime, which we should not forget is now murder.


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829 thoughts on “The Silence of the Whores

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    • nick

      that would be an unnecessary large bottle to put novichok in, since one 5000th of a teaspoon full can be fatal, couldn’t a set of russian dolls have been used, with the novichockhidden in the small one that doesn’t usually open?

  • Sean Lamb

    “Mercedes with Romanian number plates seen near Skripal’s house” Daily Mail.

    Once again, Kudos to the British Police for some very agile seat of the pants improvisation. It is an excellent strategy to bring in a Romanian link (Guccifer 2.0 anybody?). The Romanians will cheerfully falsify any number of documents on request as this delightful RFE/RL smear piece demonstrates: https://www.rferl.org/a/catch-carlos-if-you-can-mh17-russia-ukraine/29065244.html
    (For those interested in the story of Carlos the Air Traffic Controller – there is no doubt that he was in the air traffic control in Kiev, albeit not as an air traffic controller. Kiev was too far away to be recording MH17’s last moments themselves, but his frenzied tweets very accurately captures the shock, disbelief and confusion in Borospils ATC in the first few hours after the crash)

    So two teams of Russian hitmen using a Romanian Mercedes….as another ‘secret source’ puts it: “The net keeps widening – they almost can’t predict what’s going to turn up next”

    The word to emphasize in that statement is “almost”

    Again, congrats to the British Police, they all thoroughly deserve their Oscars …ahem…Distinguished Service Medals that they will be undoubtedly be receiving when they put this fiasco finally to rest.

    • Sean Lamb

      Of course the inevitable Russian hacker also makes an appearance

      https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/standard/Russische-Hacker-greifen-Labor-Spiez-an/story/10982180

      Supposedly in September 2017 a malicious word document was sent to the Spiez laboratory. This is now required because we need the Russians to have hacked into the Spiez laboratory in order to learn that BZ (or BZ precursor) had been spiked into the [control….only the control] samples.

      The lies are becoming more frenetic, more absurd, more unrestrained.

      As far as it goes, I don’t doubt Spiez laboratory has had malware placed in its systems. Just not by the Russians….the obviously culprits and beneficiaries of such malware are the States who sponsoring the chemical weapons atrocities on civilians (but never jihadists) in Syria with such barely concealed glee.

      In normal circumstances the presence of this malware would not have been revealed – the BZ leak out of Spiez lab changed all that

    • Isa

      The more that they make up the easier to catch the lies . Although I agree with you , the details are getting more fantastic by the hour .

      They don’t make spies like in the older days anymore …

  • PreProle

    Some important answers to the questions raised on here.

    1) There is and has only ever been one perfume bottle. The UK authorities have known this all along (because it belonged to them).

    2) Charlie Rowley found the bottle where the Skripals discarded it on 4th March this year.

    3) Charlie broke the perfume bottle by trying to fix it for Dawn to use. It didn’t function to dispense its contents because it was never meant to – the glass bottle was bonded shut to safeguard its lethal contents – a facsimile Russian Novichok the Skipals were attempting to smuggle back to Russia.

    4) It has been impossible for UK authorities to announce its knowledge of the missing perfume bottle after 4th March (and thereby keep the people of Salisbury alert and safe) without implicating themselves in the smuggling operation (the chemical agent was prepared, packaged and supplied to the Skripals by Porton Down).

    5) By keeping its knowledge of the missing perfume bottle secret, the UK government gambled on the inevitable consequences of a member of the public finding it (GBH and death of one or many of the UK public). The UK government determined that this was the price worth paying to keep its involvement in the Salisbury affair from becoming known.

    6) The UK government knows all of its pronouncements on the Salisbury affair have lacked any semblance of credibility. But it ALSO knows it has no option… when the alternative, and more coherent, explanation of events in March would amount to its own confession.

    7) That confession – were it to be made by (or forced from) the UK government – would be of an act of war carried out by itself against the Russian State… whose President the content of the perfume bottle was intended to assassinate. Such a heinous act of aggression would justify a powerful Russian military retaliation upon the British mainland – ie, the possible onset of WWIII.

    This is why we are where we are today.

    • Sean Lamb

      “Such a heinous act of aggression would justify a powerful Russian military retaliation upon the British mainland”

      Fortunately the Russians have repeatedly said they would be happy with just an apology.

      • Igor P.P.

        Actually, not even that. Putin said that they do not expect an apology, just a stop to the damage being done to international relations.

          • Igor P.P.

            For the accusations of Russian state involvement and the diplomatic expulsions based on that.

          • PreProle

            If its involvement in the Salisbury affair is dragged out into broad daylight (and the MSM has been silenced in an effort to prevent that happening), the UK government will have far more to ‘apologise’ to Russia for that a few ill-advised words. Trying – and almost succeeding – to murder a sovereign nation’s head of state (especially when that nation is a nuclear superpower) with a banned, lethal weapon of war is an act for which one would expect – and get – military retribution as an appropriate level of response.

    • Max_B

      While that might make a good movie script… I think the simpler answer is Skripal was involved with illicit drugs to supplement his income, and somehow became contaminated with a lethal fentanyl analogue.

          • PreProle

            The ‘druggy’ squirrel has no nuts at all – it’s just that because Novichoks have well-documented extreme psychotropic impacts upon their victims (along with the physical degradation as death approaches), the Salisbury poisonings have attracted every stoner in the land the chip in their utterly predictable “He was a dealer, maaan… that was some shit he was sellin'” theories. Unfortunately for Craig, many seem to have gravitated towards his blog for want of anywhere better to go.

  • Doodlebug

    @Max_B (21:15)

    But for the phrase ‘to supplement his income’, we’re on the same page. It appears there are some rather extraordinary connections to be made between addicts and the use of bathrooms. Taking another look at Charlie’s report of Dawn’s circumstances that morning, first via his friend Sam Hobson and then directly to ITN, reveals a very serious discrepancy in his account(s):

    Sam Hobson – “Charlie came out upset and he explained what happened, he said that Dawn was complaining of a headache so she went to have a bath and then he heard a thump in there and she was on the floor having a fit and foaming at the mouth.”

    Charlie Rowley – “Within 15 mins Dawn said she had a headache. She asked me if I had any headache tablets. I had a look around the flat. In that time she said she felt peculiar and needed to lie down in the bath. At the time I thought it seemed a bit strange and I went into the bathroom and found her in the bath, fully clothed, in a very ill state.”

    Dawn cannot have been simultaneously on the floor AND in the bath. If she was IN the bath AND fully clothed, why did she bother to use the bathroom. The bedroom would have been a more appropriate place in which to lie down. If she had intended to take a bath why didn’t she take her clothes off?

    As I hinted above, I think there was a reason for Dawn using the bathroom which had nothing to do with alleviating a headache. Furthermore, in relation to your lifting the lid on the Tyler Gray episode, should Dawn Sturgess have had anything to do with Tyler’s state of health she, would be a strong candidate for the role of vector in this entire affair.

  • Isa

    Christopher Steele is undergoing a libel trial regarding the Steele Dossier . This could explain why there was a need to have Sergey beyond any possible communication . One press article said that sources close to Steele assured that he was assured his sources would not be compromised . His ( Steele ‘s ) sources . Considering he is and has been a private operator for a long time , I refuse to believe he woyid be protected by the usual ” classified ” shield .

    he opposed testifying in February 2018 , March , Skripal poisoning happens .
    https://www.google.ie/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1GS2L2

  • Max_B

    I was looking back at some of the early published witness statements, can’t find any from The Mill pub, but found one or two from Zizzi’s, which suggest Sergei suddenly needed to leave the restaurant. The Manager had to take them their main course together with the bill so they could get out of there quickly. It appears that some time after finishing the starter he became agitated, and started speaking angrily in Russian at Yulia, and began to get more and more agitated, screaming and just wanting the bill, and to get out of there quickly. Other diners seemed to think they were there for no more than 45 minutes, and were pleased to see them go, as Sergei had become some agitated and disruptive.

    To me, that seems to be around the time that he becomes aware of something that alters his mood, changes his plans for the evening, which require him to get out of there as quickly as possible, and he seems to get more and more concerned. But he doesn’t seem to want to just leave without paying. So there is a sense he doesn’t want to involve the authorities. The chairs and table they were sitting at in Zizzi’s were taken away (apparently destroyed?), so they must have been very heavily contaminated items.

    If I was to speculate, and put a narrative on it. I would say that whatever concerned him later in the restaurant, he was not aware of it when they entered, because they were happy to order, eat a a starter and have drinks. They apparently rejected the first seats they were offered in the front of the restaurant, instead they want to sit alone, away from everybody else, right at the back near the kitchen, so there is a strong sense that they wanted privacy, and were not feeling very social. I get a sense of tension and and perhaps a little anxiety. Then within a few minutes Sergei becomes aware of something, that causes his anxiety and concern to hit the roof, he loses his cool, begins to speak loudly in Russian, screaming, Yulia sit’s quietly as if being admonished, or not understanding the consequences of what he is telling her. Again to me it’s as if this is the moment he becomes aware he is contaminated. Perhaps he discovers a leaking substance, perhaps he opens the red bag to find it is soaked with liquid, and he has got the liquid on himself, starts shouting at Yulia… “Oh hell, it’s wet, it’s leaking”, “shit we have to get out of here”, “I’ve got it on my hands”, “OMG this is a disaster” etc. I mean this is all very speculative, but this is the way I can sort of try to reconcile Sergei’s change of behavior in the restaurant.

    That contamination was found at The Mill pub which they visited before the restaurant, suggests the ‘leaking’ was at least happening there too, but before they were aware of it. That contamination “appears” to have been found at their home, also suggest the “leaking” may have started even earlier, but the house isn’t quite as safe a bet as the pub and restaurant contamination.

    • Doodlebug

      @Max_B

      Whilst I applaud your diligent research and understand the need for a conceptual framework within which to pursue it, I would respectfully suggest you avoid getting too carried away, or you could open yourself to the same criticism you have levelled at others regarding ‘movie scripts’. Imagination has its place, but there are limits (I am not retaliating personally btw.)

      That said I’d appreciate a less speculative comment or two concerning ‘contamination’.

      “The chairs and table they were sitting at in Zizzi’s were taken away (apparently destroyed?), so they must have been very heavily contaminated items.” That strikes me as a non-sequitur, i.e., the opening statement may be true, the conclusion not so.

      “That contamination “appears” to have been found at their home, also suggest the “leaking” may have started even earlier,”

      Accepting your qualification as regards reliability, there is still the suggestion that the source of your postulated leak travelled with the Skripals into Salisbury. It seems improbable that neither of them would have come into contacf with said source before sitting down at either the Mill or Zizzi’s, in which case they wouldn’t have made it even that far.

      Sergei’s irascible behaviour at the restaurant needs to be explained, I grant you, but I’m not sure whether it can be attributed to internal or external factors (internal/external in relation to Zizzi’s that is). The red bag could well be of greater importance than previously supposed. As you suggest, it was conceivably the mode of transfer.

      • Max_B

        Oh, I find it fun speculating, based on my earlier ideas… why do you go for a drink, then walk to a restaurant for a meal, and partway through the meal become all agitated, shouting and screaming, and expressing the need to leave very quickly. They were gone in under 45 minutes according to some witnesses.

        • Doodlebug

          “Oh, I find it fun speculating, based on my earlier ideas…”

          And why not. Just so long as you don’t give the impression that everything you write should be taken absolutely seriously

          As for the reason behind Sergei’s impatience, I wish I knew the answer, but it would not be unreasonable to conjecture that he might have had a prior appointment in mind – one that he did not wish to be late for under any circumstances.

          Just out of interest, I was in Boots the Chemist earlier (not the Salisbury branch) having a look at their various perfume/hair care/skin-care products. As far as perfume bottles go, it is unlikely in the extreme that any of them would shatter or splinter (certainly not in the hand) unless propelled onto a solid surface, and possibly not even then. They are also conspicuously branded in one way or another.

          The same cannot be said of other products intended for personal application, which are in plastic bottles, some with a cheap and cheerful atomizer-like cap, most though of the re-fill type and equipped with a plunger/nozzle. Interestingly, the only identifiable moulding I could see (on the base of one example) said, ‘Made in China,’ which referred, obviously, to the bottle, not its contents (it was in fact empty).

          I know nothing of the Russian plastics industry, or even if there is one, but it occurred to me that early jokes of the ‘Made in Russia’ variety might have had some substance after all (no pun intended), albeit unintentionally. However, when you have French personal hygiene products actually made in Germany, the fact that a container might originate on the other side of the planet offers no genuine clue as to the source of the product it contains.

          Nevertheless, maybe it offers an explanation as to why the Met/Wiltshire police have not issued any warnings in respect of a specific brand of anything. Maybe they just don’t know what it is?

          Charlie Rowley can’t or won’t remember. The user who once identified it is dead. And the (probably plastic) bottle itself is, well, just a bottle. One thing I am as confident as Charlie about though is that the bottle he described, whether glass or plastic, did not contain a toxin.

          • Max_B

            Perhaps 20ml perfume atomizer bottles is the fashion for importing, UK sale, or dealer storage of fentanyl, and it’s analogues.

        • Jim

          I like the deductive reasoning – there could indeed be a reason why Sergei’s mood changes in Zizzis, some piece of info he gets while there. But surely the first thing you’d do on discovering the bottle of highly toxic liquid opioid you’re carrying has leaked and contaminated you is leave the restaurant in a hurry and rush off to try and get help/sort yourself out etc etc? He knows whatever the stuff is, what effect it will have, he would surely do something to try and improve his chance of surviving, not continue to eat, albeit quickly?

          • Max_B

            @Jim Quite, I was just remembering what it’s like when you find you find you’ve got dog muck on your shoe and you’ve tread it everywhere on your carpet. I know my reaction…
            If you know you’ve been contaminated by a lethal chemical, and it’s all legit, I think one would seek help immediately. But that is assuming you know just how lethal it is via skin contact, and whether you even know if it’s had contact with your skin? Carfentanil doesn’t smell, it’s clear and colorless, and water-soluble I believe.
            Then one has to consider what it might feel like if what one is doing is *not* legit, in fact so illegal that ones personal safety takes a back seat, to just getting away, but equally not leaving without paying. Of course by that time, it’s also possible he is beginning to suffer from some mental effects.

            Although we’ve seen Carfentanil in powder form, I’m just interested in an alert originally issued by finnish customs which also identifies that Carfentanil is entering the country in liquid form, diluted in some form, and supplied in small 20ml bottles

            https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/lethal_opioid_delivery_seized_by_finnish_customs/9728264

            https://www.epressi.com/tiedotteet/hallitus-ja-valtio/finnish-customs-warns-about-an-extremely-dangerous-medicinal-substance-carfentanil-merely-handling-the-substance-can-lead-to-death.html

          • Doodlebug

            @Max_B

            Once again, thanks for these links.

            Jesus H. Christ, now it’s instant death by mail order! What in the name of whatever god you might subscribe to is happening to our species? It’s like we’re on an unremitting search for the quickest way to self-destruct, as if we can’t wait for natural extinction because it takes too long.

          • Doodlebug

            @Jim @Max_B

            Could you each please do me the favour of re-visiting comments on p.7. I’ve added some remarks there addressed to each of you in the context of earlier points raised.

            Thank you.

      • intp1

        A gradual, semi-contained leak culminating in a fuss and a more messy leak goes some way to explaining contamination found at multiple locations (if that is true) before the Skripals succumbed. It doesn’t really explain the door knob but that was always a hard to believe detail.
        So, expanding on this theory, some-one recruited both Skripals to import “Novichok” which may or may not have started life in Russia.
        They are handed a non-integral package and the incident runs its course.

        The Skripals are not eliminated but knocked out of the picture for a while (which may have some purpose) and the timing suggests another, more primary? purpose of creating an international, anti-Russian, pre-World Cup, post-Douma incident.

        Dawn & Charlie are a double-down sequel, involving 2 no-bodies, publicly documented to have particular habits. Once again the timing for the saga to find more legs is perfect, on the eve of Trump/Putin summit.

    • Jo

      Confirmation of Skripal normal behaviour pattern would be good to have if only we could…was he normally cool calm collected or volatile in every day behaviours…was it this meetig with Juilya affter selling property..her engagement- marriage boyfriend situation…his increasingly ill mother…my feeling is he had been caught out in some way…was it true he had asked to return to Russia but realises his conditional living in UK under handlers and being “useful” in some way was or could be compromised eg discovery of participation in Steele dossier….one can imagine daughter saying why not return and father justifying his own lifes agenda against Putin which goes against Juliya’s personal experience that she is making her own way fairly successfully and contentedly in Russia……daughter comes across as attempting to be very understanding and patient…tolerant….but has decided to assert her own direction in life now…..family split? This e ent just feels like some family domestic to me…how could life have been different ( may be more straightforward)if only he had followed his original career and stayed true to his family and not to his double life….maybe the daughter is more switched on about modern Rusdian politics than the father who is being found out!

    • Sandra

      Your mentioning Sergei losing his cool in the restaurant: I remember a news article, soon after the poisoning, about his being angry over a seafood dish. I don’t know if this was the actual article but I have found the incident mentioned in The Sun, 9 March:

      “Skripal lost his temper after being forced to wait 40 minutes for his main course.
      A chef said: “He was very angry and being very rude. He was smartly dressed and had a thick Russian accent but he was behaving like an a******e.”
      The chef, who said Yulia had “shoulder length reddish brown hair”, added: “He was waving his hands and banging the table. She barely said a word.”
      The chef said their food could not have been contaminated but admitted drinks were vulnerable.
      He added: “If he’s been poisoned, it definitely wasn’t in the food.”
      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5759825/russian-spy-sergei-skripal-daughter-yulia-nerve-agent-poisoned-latest-doctor/

      Of course, this is before the doorknob business and, so, there was probably more speculation about their being poisoned at Zizi’s. Similarly, I noticed the article linked to a mention of the blonde woman with a red handbag:

      A blonde woman with a red handbag is being hunted after being caught on CCTV minutes before the hit

      • Doodlebug

        @Sandra

        “A blonde woman with a red handbag is being hunted after being caught on CCTV minutes before the hit”

        Well done once again.

        The colour of Yulia Skripal’s hair was once much discussed, a witness having referred to a man and a blonde on the bench. The possibility of there having been two women simply passed most people by, but taking the Amesbury events into account (much as the police took a red bag into evidence) a key question in my view would be whether Dawn Sturgess had once owned such a red bag.

        If answered in the affirmative this could place DS in the immediate vicinity of the Skripals and quite possibly on the bench alongside Sergei, albeit for a brief period of time. Interestingly we are not told whereabouts exactly the blonde woman was ‘caught on CCTV’. There is the image of a blonde walking together with a male companion of course but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that there is another of that same woman on the bench to be found among the CCTV images that were not released.

  • Tatyana

    Can anyone tell me, is English Queen’s resolution needed for expelling russian diplomats?
    Or was it all Mrs. May’s responsibility?
    Or parliament?
    What is the procedure to approve such decision?

  • john_a

    Re-quoting from Madeira’s post earlier:

    A Whitehall source said: “The net keeps widening – they almost can’t predict what’s going to turn up next. The bottle they put it in could only have been bought in Russia. … The suggestion this didn’t come from Russia is almost laughable.”
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breaking-novichok-two-bottles-salisbury-12996699

    The way I read this, it is not giving any hard information about where the bottle came from. I don’t read the Whitehall source as saying: “the bottle could only be bought in Russia, and therefore the suggestion that it didn’t come from Russia is laughable.” What s/he is actually saying is: “The suggestion that it wasn’t the Russians is laughable, and therefore the bottle must have come from Russia.”

    Thus it’s the same circular reasoning that we’ve had all the time. If there was really a Russian perfume bottle, we’d have been told the brand or been shown images of it, as it would help the authorities to make their case and would also help to reassure the public. The lack of pictures suggests that there was no bottle.

    Can someone please remind me, when was the idea of a “perfume bottle” first mooted in the media? From memory it was several days before the announcement that a perfume bottle has been found.

    BTW, for those who suggest dropping the subject, I strongly commend the recent Guardian article about the Salisbury MP:
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/27/salisbury-mp-john-glen-theres-been-an-assassination-attempt-and-someone-has-died-this-is-not-a-game

    Quote:
    “Salisbury may not be awash with novichok, but it is teeming with conspiracy theories. According to the MP, on the morning news broke of the second pair of casualties, a dozen fake online news stories were generated within hours. “We need to understand the dynamic of fake news, because it generates speculations – particularly from people who maybe are politically very sceptical of the government, full stop. We saw some quite interesting, you know, speculations. Some people question: Why would Russia do it? Or why would Russia do it now? Why would they make such a botch of it? Why would they leave stuff lying around? Of course, you can’t completely answer without getting into speculation yourself, and that’s a bit irresponsible. So, you just do the best you can.”
    and
    “They think he is trying to pull the wool over their eyes? “Well, that is what people say.” Whatever he says is dismissed by some, he explains, with: “Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?” What would they like him to say or do instead? “People want me to challenge the authorities. But I’m not going to challenge anyone based on hearsay and armchair speculation.”

    Thus, the article shows how much the affair has acquired a political dimension. It tells us that the government has dug a huge credibility hole for itself. Not only the social media don’t believe what the government says, but also the ordinary people of Salisbury don’t. And if they don’t believe the government, who in the world does? Thus, the affair is turning into an existential scandal for Theresa May’s government. That’s why it continues to be important.

    • Tatyana

      Thanks for the links, john_a.
      My impression on the second article is that the Salisbury MP tries to impress his readers with his authority. “I can’t bring proofs, but I feel it is Russia, so many other countries believe it is Russia, why can’t you just believe, it is your government telling you”.
      Manipulation.
      Here in Russia one can meet people from religious organisations, they would stop you in the street and talk about their religion with the same arguments.

    • Brendan

      “Can someone please remind me, when was the idea of a “perfume bottle” first mooted in the media?”

      6 July 2018
      (…)
      Extensive and painstaking search
      By Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent
      (…)
      The item – or possibly items – are thought to be something found and touched by the pair, possibly something as innocuous as a perfume bottle or other luxury toiletry.
      The search for this “source item” is likely to be extensive, painstaking and could last through the summer.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44733873

      That was five days before the date that the police said they found it:
      “On Wednesday, 11 July, a small bottle was recovered during searches of Charlie Rowley’s house in Amesbury.”
      http://news.met.police.uk/news/update-source-of-nerve-agent-contamination-identified-314322

      • john_a

        Thanks very much Brendan. So maybe the “perfume bottle” idea was put out there initially to see how it ran. The formulation “something as innocuous as a perfume bottle or other luxury toiletry” is highly suggestive. We’ll float the idea to get it into people’s minds, just keep it a bit vague. Once the idea of the perfume bottle has been integrated into the narrative, we then find it. From what I recall, the same technique was also employed with the “source item”. The notion that Charlie and Dawn must have touched an “item” – i.e. a container – was floated long before anything had been found. I remember it was originally going to be a vial or a syringe or some such. The narrative required the “novichok” to be contained in a “source item”, and therefore such an item had to be found – either before or after the “extensive and painstaking search”.

      • Brendan

        Whatever way we look at it, it seems suspicious. Even if we accept that Frank Gardner was just making an educated guess that turned out to be correct, we’re left wondering why the investigators took more than a week to find the bottle. If the idea of a perfume bottle occurred to him, the same idea should have popped up in their minds too at some stage. The main thing that they should have been looking out for in that particular search was a small container at the crime scene, but they missed it for all that time.

        It’s a bit like the way the investigators searching Sergei Skripal’s house didn’t notice his pets for several days, which resulted in their deaths.

        • Jo

          Yup….and a broken bottle still leaking military grade Novichuk into a whole apartement i stantly breathable by anyone coming in…or contaminated package.. basin taps…waste bins…spillages…towels…carpets lino etc…being high risks….sighs

          • Norfolk Eagle

            and of course the decontamination unit is summoned but then sent home as not needed.
            so what did happen on that Saturday? paramedics were called for Dawn in the morning but when the call went out for Charlie all the emergency services arrived. Why? They cannot have suspected poisoning from Dawn otherwise they would have turned up sooner so why for Charlie and if they suspected poisoning why stand down the decontamination unit?

      • Brendan

        Nearly three weeks after finding the bottle, the police still haven’t confirmed that it was a perfume bottle:

        “Mr Rowley told ITV News he had earlier found a sealed bottle of perfume and gave it to his partner, who sprayed the substance on her wrists.
        Police refused to confirm Mr Rowley’s claim but had previously said the substance was found in a “small bottle”. ”
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45000472

        • Doodlebug

          “High by James Blunt was played at the start of the service, and it ended with the title song from the musical Fame.”

          Says it all really.

    • Borncynical

      John,
      I agree with all your comments. You might also be interested to see my earlier comments on the Glen article in the Guardian (my post 27 July 21.42)!

      • john_a

        Borncynical:
        Yes, thanks. I completely agree. There was also an article by Will Gore in the Independent a couple of weeks ago telling us not to read “conspiracy theories” about the Skripal affair “even if we want to”. That piece, followed by this Guardian article, seem to indicate that the authorities and media are deeply rattled about their vanishing credibility. It appears to have taken them by surprise. I sincerely hope that the good people of Salisbury will continue to ask the right questions and refuse to be fobbed off. After all, their health and safety is at stake. And nobody likes being lied to….!

    • Max_B

      John Glen’s “…You may need to think about the way this sort of attack is prosecuted, and the nature of modern warfare. It’s changing…”

      It’s not changed that much, one only needs to look at the British Opium Wars with China. I’m pretty sure the establishment know exactly how that game is played, and are only pissed because horrible methods of control they subsequently devised have been reverse engineered, and are now working against them.

      I remember the days when I used to argue about climate change in the comments section underneath articles in The Guardian… until I received a temporary ban, and an email telling me to stop doing it, unless my comments addressed the article only and not the science, unless the article was a science article… But cleverly at the same time, all new Guardian science articles on Climate Change had comments disabled… so they gagged me. Nowadays I can’t find an article I can comment on in The Guardian, unless it’s in the Opinion section.

      If John Glen’s article was opened up for readers comments, he, and the government would get a right drubbing.

  • Tatyana

    The case may be simple.
    CIA developed a plan to ruin Assad and save their proxies
    MI poisoned or ‘poisoned’ Skripals
    Russia was blamed of secretly developing chemical weapons
    Message from Syria to Russia ‘intercepted’
    International support received, russian diplomats expelled, US and UK the lagest expels
    ‘Attack’ in Douma, filmed to be a nerve agent attack
    Trump blamed Putin of supporting ‘animal Assad’
    Russians warned they would strike back
    US, UK and France destroyed a couple of buildings in Syria
    OPCW got new status
    Amesbury poisoning made to support official narrative
    OPCW didn’t found nerve agents in Douma and got new director
    White Helmets evacuated from Syria
    Britain asks access for UN missions into areas controlled by Assad for humanitarian help
    Yeterday Erdogan said Turkey would like to join BRIKS
    Today UN delegation and Syrian opposition compose a list of candidates to Syrian constitutional comission, in Sochy, Russia

    One may wonder what is France interest in striking Syria? May be Lafarge company, or French weapons found with terrorists.

    • Max_B

      @ Tatyana

      I doubt the Skripal affair was an official western plan, I think it presents just as much of a risk of political scandal here in the UK which could undermine our very weak government. My suspicion is that they just had to deal with what they had, and decided to take the affair head on, and cobble together a way of dealing with the risk, by turning it to their advantage in a way that ticked the most boxes in their favour.

      I’m sure the UK/France and allies have found they can’t get very far with this at the UN, due to the permanent members veto. They have long used Chemical Weapons and WMD publicly, as a way of justifying their involvement in conflicts. Syria has seen it’s fair share of those, the August 2013 incident around Damascus being the most bizarre I can recall.

      I do think the OPCW is about to become highly politicised (if it’s not already), as a way to force action, which circumvents the permanent member veto at the UN, I think the OPCW needs only some type of majority, which gives UK/France and it’s allies a substantial advantage in numbers. I also see the potential for some degree of pressure to be applied on the new Spanish OPCW director, through pressure on Spain over the Catalonia issue, which may also be used to help the UK over the Gibraltar issue. Energy has been a major focus (perhaps the main focus) around which these Geopolitical issues like Syria tend to swirl.

      • Tatyana

        MAX_B, you will never have anti-US government, so it doesn’t matter which you have, weak or strong, this or that. Any can be sacrificed to US interests, next comes US frendly again.
        Turkish director was un-convinient, because Russia has long history of good relations with Turkey. Despite of our aircraft dawned, despite of our ambassador shot, we still build Turkish stream. Yet, Erdogan gets more and more defiant…
        We don’t know what was at stake, may be russians could reveal some very unpleasant things in Syria. Imagine it is Russia who discovered, and not a friendly ally.
        —-
        Many facts fit into this my theory.
        It is obvious they had to incapacitate Yulia too. They could not allow her take her father to Russia or to visit while ‘in hospital’ and report information to Russia.
        It can even explain their phones turned off, apparently they had ‘conversation’ or ‘rehersal’.
        It can explain why Serei was in a hurry to leave the restoraunt, he knew it was nearly time for ambulance to arrive. They have special trained personnel in their ambulances, with so many military facilities, bases around I guess half the town work there.
        As soon as Yulia found a way to call her cousin, there was no time to wait, chemattack happened the next day or two days. And in a couple of days they moved Yulia from hospital to a save place for another month and a half.
        At last, strange statements of a doctor from Salisbury Hospital, strange results of OPCW testings on Scripals.
        It can explain very rude manner of Brit govt to Russia, cutting off the investigation.
        And, it can explain one more minute detail – they used word Novichok from the very beginning, and this is American term. When Russia understood what Britain means, they revealed russian name of USSR programm Foliant, and the name of agent A-234

        • Tatyana

          And the last part confirms – they had no intelligence data on russian secret chemical programm, they even didn’t know the name of it, but several russian traitors living in US later told the name in their interviews. It was easy accessible info.

        • Max_B

          Well you’re right about the UK looking towards the Americans, but I think the UK establishment is a bit unhappy about Trump making friends with Russia, and having a go at China, (as is a large proportion of the USA establishment). For years, the plan has been to be friendly with China, and unfriendly with Russia. So Trump has turned things upside down as far as the UK/France is concerned.

          As regards the second half of your post, I think it’s too far fetched for the Skripal affair. We’ve got multiple overdose deaths, and contamination’s from fentanyl analogs in the UK, and in Salisbury. The USA has had it much worse, but it’s believed things could also be about to get much worse in the UK. Skripal is motivated by money, that’s why he spied on Russia for the UK. With his background, he’s perfect to be involved in illicit drugs. And Fentanyl’s are the next big thing, the profit is enormous.

          • Doodlebug

            Sorry to butt in here Max_B but I need to say this.

            Since you shared those links to the Finnish seizures I have suddenly become aware of the enormity of the problem. As you knew (and I hadn’t yet grasped) these toxins are being manufactured with relative ease and sent through the ‘normal’ channels of despatch. In term of associated expertise Porton Down and the likes have been completely by-passed.

            What really horrifies me is that with ‘trading’ on the dark web (whatever that is – I’ve no idea, but please feel free to explain) this kill-on-contact material is now moving around through public channels and posing a potential threat to innumerable innocent people.

            As much as I abhor deceit, especially when practised by authority figures, maybe something better can come of this affair than exposing government/police weaknesses. Maybe more widespread positive action can be taken to curtail what could become a very deadly trend, although I cannot imagine quite what off the top of my head.

            Just a ‘perhaps’ at this point – by tying the Skripal incident to Russians in particular, the government minimised the motive and the players involved. The public will not panic if they see very open and extreme measures being taken to sanitize suspected areas, followed by reassurances that the entire incident was in reality a ‘little local difficulty’.

            Contrast this with the likely outcome of any announcement to the effect that ‘two people are in the throes of death, simply on account of handling a substance we know is being imported/made/freely distributed in the UK., so don’t be surprised if you’re next – it could be anywhere (and sorry, but we cannot afford to supply hazmat suits to all postal workers)’. I think a lot more people would spit out their cornflakes under those circumstances!

          • Tatyana

            Hard to believe that British govt could involve Russia because of inner affair, like drugs or Brexit, yet weaved in Syria. I understand I am predjudiced perhaps, Russia may be of not so much importance and my country’s reputation can be easily sacrificed. It hurts to think so 🙁

          • Doodlebug

            Max_B – you were ahead of the game yet again:

            “on balance dealing with the incident in the way that they have they believe to be better… it ticks more boxes, kills more birds with a single stone”.

          • Max_B

            @Tatyana

            Oh, I can assure you Russia plays similar games, it’s been extremely successful in the area of energy. When the UK does something to Russia, Russia pushes back somewhere else against the UK. For example, in 2014 we use the Ukraine situation to put embargo’s on Russia, towards the end of 2014 Putin visits Argentina to lease them 12 MIG supersonic fighter/bombers which can threaten the Falklands, Britain has to beef up its Falkland defenses. It’s all pure self interest. The British and Russian establishments may be different, but they are both as bad as each other as far as I’m concerned. Just the Rich and Powerful seeking to maintain, or increase their money and power. It has always been thus. You and I are just serfs (Slavs), with a better standard of living. The methods of control may have been modernised, but methods of control they still are.

          • Max_B

            “The public will not panic if they see very open and extreme measures being taken to sanitize suspected areas”

            @doodlebug I have no doubt these are the sorts of concerns the UK government considers. But I fundamentally disagree with this way of thinking, I think people should be told the truth. I don’t think the ends justify the means. I can’t stand the British establishment for this way of thinking, it’s out dated, and eventually it will bite them, and everybody else in the butt.

            I also have a particular issue over drugs, I have long believed that the system of drugs control in the UK ( and the west in general) is a method of controlling the threat which the middle classes pose to the rich and powerful within the establishment. Very roughly it goes something like this…

            1. Addictive substances are prohibited.
            2. Artificially drives up price for addictive substances, and large profits provide an alternative method of income for the Criminal classes to traditional crime which normally targets the rich.
            3. Addicts conduct low level acquisitive crime to fund purchase of addictive substances.
            4. Acquisitive crime is low level shoplifting, muggings, burglaries, theft, fraud, which affects the majority of the public. Thus low level Criminal activity is distributed across the great mass of people, rather than being concentrated on the rich).
            5. Middle classes call on the government to protect them from such low level crimes, with a police force, and erosion of their civil liberties.
            6. Criminals are occasionally culled by the government to keep their numbers from getting out of control.

            Effectively, the criminal classes have been diverted away from preying on the rich. They now prey off the poor. The poor prey on the middle class to fund their addiction. The middle class scream for protection. The government grants protection in return for the middle class losing some of their civil liberties.

            The brilliant result for the rich and powerful of establishment, is that they are no longer preyed on by the criminal classes, the middle classes are prevented from challenging them, and the poor and hopeless are also controlled. It’s win win for the rich and powerful in the establishment.

            I think it is a disgusting strategy of control… I hate it with a passion… I hope one day that people see through this horrible game…

            However, I wonder if this method of control is being turned against the western establishment… ease of substance access is increasing competition for supply… prices are being driven down by powerful and cheap new narcotics… the government is throwing money and resources at trying to stop this erosion of their model, trying to restrict supply, to ensure prices stay high, and criminal numbers are controlled… but I think they are losing control.

            I really hope it eventually blows up in their face, and this disgusting strategy of control is dismantled. The criminal classes go back to preying on the rich. Addiction is dealt with as a health and social problem (not a criminal issue at all). Low level acquisitive crime figures collapse. The middle classes recover their civil liberties and begin to challenge the rich and powerful in the UK establishment. It will be painful, but it will be for the best in the long term.

          • Doodlebug

            @Max_B (13:09)

            Very well thought out. The inter-relationships are complex but there is no doubt a strategic sense to whole.

            My cynicism tells me however that, unfortunately for all of us, the model you would wish to see introduced depends on a collectively agreed protocol of openness, whereas the status quo exists courtesy of a tacit acknowledgement of self-interest, as largely endorsed by human nature. Would it were otherwise.

            Thank you for your response. I’ve no idea what led you to those Finnish announcements but it was well you unearthed them. I look forward to any more such revelations you may care to unveil.

          • Max_B

            Yes, it’s only one cog in the system, there are many others… but one has to start somewhere… as to whether it is a theoretical pipe dream… it is not… Portugal lost control of this system and was forced to adapt in 2001… for the better I think… although it is merely a start… but it points the way ahead…

            A interesting article written from an on-the-ground perspective…
            https://www.thecommononline.org/decriminalization-a-love-story/

            A more hard nosed look at the actual statistics…
            https://www.tdpf.org.uk/blog/drug-decriminalisation-portugal-setting-record-straight

          • Doodlebug

            @Max_B

            Off topic, as they say, a question out of ‘left field’ for you. Have you by any chance ever taken a keen interest in an aeronautical incident over Sheffield, England in 1997? If not I can forestall a case of mistaken identity on someone else’s part. (Sorry to appear all ‘cloak and dagger’. I’d just rather not mention people’s names).

          • Doodlebug

            Thank you Max.

            Back to the matter in hand…

            Not the most profound of thoughts I grant you, but the individual most capable of unravelling this ball of string must be Yulia Skripal, the other survivor with all her powers of speech. Of course one could say that both she and Charlie have been exposed to the media, but the circumstances were clearly different. Yulia gave a speech. Charlie answered questions. That said those questions could be seen to have had a purpose.

            Yulia’s one and only speech in Russian was crafted so that she gave nothing away. I don’t speak Russian, but it was clearly very coherent and to the point, i.e. the point she was no doubt instructed to make, not those she wasn’t.

            Somewhere along the chain of authorship Yulia must have had a significant interaction with someone who was either a native English speaker fluent in Russian, or a native Russian who spoke very good English. Moulding the thoughts of the security services into faultless Russian would have been easier for a Russian to accomplish (translation into a target language is trickier than translation into one’s own).

  • TerryinDorset

    Thank you for this rare non-msm glimpse into the real world. When this ridiculous Salisbury scare started I wondered if the Barreness Maybot was having her strings pulled again by the yankeedoodles in their effort to pick yet another fight with the forgiving Russians before the football extravaganza started ?
    I did also think it might have been to deflect attention from the total brexit hash she’s concocted ?

    • Steve

      TerryinDorset, my understanding about UK law is that if someone attempts to murder person A, but ends up killing B accidentally, then they are guilty of the murder of B. The police have launched a murder enquiry, so they must have some kind of extra information that makes them believe that people were attempting to murder the Skripals. This is dubious because no credible or compelling evidence has been presented so far; merely statements of how Russia must be responsible. There are other possibilities other than murder that warrant investigation (such as the Skirpals possible involvement in transporting Novichok in or out of the UK), many of which would not suggest any murder.

      • Doodlebug

        @Steve

        Yes. the presumption appears to be that of a third-party attacking the Skripals and, inadvertently or otherwise, Rowley and Sturgess, via the half-discharged weapon previously employed in Salisbury. As you say it is a flawed assumption. In any case, even given this paradigm for public consumption Charlie Rowley has to be interviewed as a potential suspect since he was the last to see the deceased AND handle the gun! (Someone must have put the bottle where police struggled to find it. Had it fallen from Dawn’s hand in the bathroom it would have been noticed straight away).

  • Doodlebug

    They’re joking, right?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/novichok-attack-latest-dawn-sturgess-ambulances-police-examination-safety-amesbury-salisbury-a8473641.html

    ‘Police to examine ambulances used to treat victims for novichok’

    ‘Wiltshire police said the “highly precautionary process” was designed to ensure that no onward contamination has taken place’

    Precautionary activity – after a full month has elapsed? How on earth does one plan to ensure against onward contamination in retrospect?

    These stories are now tracing an exponential line of sheer stupidity.

  • Good In Parts

    @Doodlebug

    Re ‘onward contamination’ – perhaps ‘low volatility’ really does mean ‘low volatility’.

  • RAC

    ” Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: “The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime.” The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions – though this files in the face of the UK government’s position.”
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/seymour-hersh-interview-novichok-russian-hacking-9-11-nerve-agent-attack-a8459596.html?amp&__twitter_impression=true

    • Igor P.P.

      Hersh makes it clear that he has zero evidence to support his “Russia mafia” theory. Like its only purpose is to sweeten the pill and allow him to question the UK goverment’s narrative in the MSM.

    • intp1

      @Igor PP
      Hersh is citing un-named intelligence sources which I agree are uncorroborated (and I wonder whether such as Hersh might be fed water-muddying chicken feed at times) but then by the same standard, the official story and in particular, the so-called most likely perpetrators, against which, serious diplomatic and economic retaliation decisions have been made on our behalf, has zero nada zip evidence to support it.

      When the police sequester and gag all witnesses, make no announcements of anything useful, fail to identify any suspects etc. What do they expect? People have recently been extradited, imprisoned and fed to the dogs based on secret, intelligence sources so what’s good enough for the goose?

  • Tom Smythe

    This skripal-dedicated forum segment closes on August 11th; without new developments there may not soon be another.

    There has been a small but significant new development, in that Charlie Rowley’s memory is coming round to a better recollection of where he did (rubbish bins) or did not (QE Garden) find the perfume bottle. This makes some sense as the central nervous system makes little use of acetylcholine esterase and so is not directly targeted by organophosphates such as novichok A-234 (whose chemical structure is given correctly in the Iranian paper).

    While we don’t have access to police interviews with Rowley, he has elsewhere described a thick-walled, expensive-looking, branded cardboard box containing a glass perfume-type bottle with a separate plastic dispenser inside its original plastic moulding (ie bubble wrap, not cellophane) that he had to cut open with a knife in gifting to Dawn. She had massive thin-skin (inner wrist) exposure with 15 minutes to severe onset; he had massive hand exposure but promptly washed off, still almost dying.

    There’s been no clarification of the long delay in finding the perfume bottle in Charlie’s flat. That might merely be a delay in announcement. Alternatively, there were perhaps several thousand object to be tested. Perhaps Charlie put it someplace implausible, like the nightstand or medicine cabinet.

    This has narrowed the search to two mid-sized wheelie bins located in the alley between Cloisters Pub and the Brown Street car park in downtown Salisbury. These were taken to PD at 11am on 2nd August 2018 with no results likely to be disclosed. It’s possible that other contaminated objects such as nitrile gloves, syringes or misters could still be in the dumpster. While the bins have likely been emptied during the interim, the plastic walls could still bear traces of OP.

    Even better, Charlie’s time frame for discovery has narrowed to couple of days prior to their contamination. While this could be some days off, taken at face value, it rules out an immediate discard after the attack on the Skripals four months back (many bin tips ago). It also rules out an intentional second attack, it being most improbable that someone would dumpster-dive prior to bin contents taken to a landfill. Leaving an attractive package in QEG is a different story as someone would have predictably picked that up and exposed themselves (but even then timing and with what diagnosis?).

    However it raises more questions than it answers: what are the perpetrators doing back in Salisbury four months later, with their vehicle perhaps at the Brown St car park. Were they permanent Salisbury residents, did they perhaps work at nearby Porton Down, or had they come in again from abroad?

    Were the perps hoping to finish off the Skripals with a second attack, only to give up on the news the two were now at an undisclosed location in London, still under full police protection, not returning to Sergei’s home but rather perhaps going back to Russia? Were there other Salisbury targets such as Christopher Steele or Pablo Miller that had to be abandoned as too wary or no longer a priority?

    Whatever the explanation for the very late discard, it could be a disaster forensically for the perps since they did not expect it to be recovered largely intact by the police.

    Bubble wrap packaging is a long way from flimsy cellophane or cling wrap … and it had to be tampered with in filling the bottle but how easy is it to make like new? It might be worthwhile for a State making a few hundred assassination kits to set up an authentic packaging line. After all, kits might have to be stored safely for years.

    The Ukraine was mentioned early on as having motive, as was France. (A very peculiar loose end: the UK invited France in to confirm the original novichok, this seemed a total non-sequitur and Russia objected as France had no expertise in these matters. FRUKUS could see a benefit in Syria to false-flagging Russia in a bad light. Perfume brands familiar to Dawn would likely be French; French murder of a non-combatant photographer in the Greenpeace incident shows their secret services have the necessary resolve and vast resources.

    A parallel universe to the police-level investigation has been put on hold: the political level script that determined pre-investigative guilt, had the Aeroflot plane illegally searched, cctv examined with face-recognition software, with supposedly identified perps conveniently being fresh faces and so conveniently unidentifiable other than being Russian state operatives. Of course anyone on the planet could be identified in two minutes if their face was shown on the internet but mysteriously the public’s help hasn’t be sought. This track reached a false crescendo in mid-July with leaks to the dummy at the NYTimes plus the usual UK propaganda services.

    Now they have to wait to see how the actual forensic investigation turns out, lest their farcical account be caught out. A revised narrative will follow though. The Salisbury situation veered out of control with the death of Dawn Sturgess; local murder and public safety are serious police matters unlike a staged international incident involving foreigners.

    • Max_B

      Nobody has officially released the substances chemical name, or chemical structure yet. The OPCW classified it, and the UK Government ain’t telling.

      Which suggests the UK Government might be relying on a wider definition of “nerve agent”, than the narrower definition of an Organophosphate.

      • Tom Smythe

        No. I find the endless unsupported conspiracy theories on this site tedious in the extreme; unnecessary complexity is totally at odds with basic scientific principles (starting with Occam’s razor). Murder of an innocent human being is not a game to be played. People here find reality boring. It all too often is.

        Porton Down released the name A-234. That is not a PD nomenclatural invention but rather refers to one of the five main ‘novichoks’ synthesized in the Foliant chemical warfare series. While not a systematic chemical name from which the chemical structure can be deduced, Wikipedia provides a detailed history of several closely related published structures proposed for it, including one from a Russian defector to the US who had full clearances to every aspect of the Foliant program. These structures all fall into the organophosphate category, targeting the usual AChE, BChE and HSA proteins, and are not greatly different from more familiar OPs such as sarin and VX.

        Obviously the US — which dismantled the Foliant labs by invitation — obtained authentic samples and knows the chemical structures and gc, mass spec, and nmr signatures of all the Russian novichoks including A-234. This information has been shared with the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Israel and Sweden, among others. All the OPCW laboratories require lab-grade reference samples and spectra to process unknowns. It is legal to synthesize and store small quantities under the CBW treaty.

        Because of proliferation concerns and the ease of synthesis of all the CBW OPs including the five novichoks (see Prof Collum’s directions), there is great reluctance to publish this information in the open chemical literature. However because of ambiguities that had arisen in regards to nomenclature of the five novichoks and the need for better characterization of purified fresh samples wrt modern mass spectrometers and nmr instrumentation which have greatly changed since the 1990’s, a OPCW-approved project was conducted by competent Iranian organic chemists and published in a conventional scientific journal.

        They also synthesized all five deuterated analogs, thus removing all ambiguity from the mass spectra and pmr. I suggest you read the full text of that article and earlier posts here if you wish to know which one of the five published chemical structures is A-234.

        As a practical matter, in screening field samples for novichoks, it suffices today to simply look for a gc-mass spec match to the reference spectra.

        Here it is important to note that the environmental samples (door handle) lacked chain of custody control over the first weeks and so results there lack any standing, given the distrust that secrecy has engendered. That differs from fresh blood samples from the Skripals which had full OPCW chain of custody. However we’ve heard nothing of what became of those tests.

        The novichok bit could have been a total fabrication up until Rowley and Sturgess, though the Skripals were severely poisoned by some anti-acetylcholinesterase (OP). Here again it does no good to invite OPCW back in when there’s been no chain of custody on the perfume bottle. Or rather, it’s been held over at Porton Down which is known to stock OPs including novichoks. However with ml of sample, impurity signatures, packaging, brand imitation, fingerprints and dna, it becomes vastly more difficult to fudge all the forensics. The total lack of scientific transparency has not served the UK to date.

        The only other bit of information released to date on the A-234 has been ‘lab-grade’. This is very different entity, much harder to make, and stronger than crude ‘military-grade’ which is not fit for purpose (assassination). However people like the sound of military-grade better as it is scarier woowoo.

        BZ was not reported by any of the labs in any of the samples. It causes the opposite symptoms from what bench eye witnesses reported. In the past, OPCW has intentionally spiked lab controls with a precursor, 1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]octan-3-ol, which the Spiez lab was able to find in the expected non-Salisbury samples. Quinuclidin-3-ol is not remotely suggestive of BZ ever having been present. Lavrov didn’t understand the explanation of 3QN he got from chemists on their side.

        • Doodlebug

          “unnecessary complexity is totally at odds with basic scientific principles (starting with Occam’s razor).”

          Hence, CR is a dealer, DS was a user who went into the bathroom for breakfast, not a bath (she didn’t remove her clothes). Charlie consumed the left-overs for tea. Once it had been suggested to him by the police Charlie readily took up and embellished the perfume bottle story, which cannot be confirmed or disproved by testing the wheelie bins.

          Charlie (the supplier) is thus off the hook. All the while the trajectory of the substance is Salisbury – Amesbury, the authorities can place the two stories in the same ‘novichok’ envelope. Otherwise, with DS/CR of no interest whatsoever to either the Politburo or the Russian mafia, they’d have to investigate how and why the Skripals came into contact with a highly lethal, yet freely traded, drug.

          The Russian angle suits everyone rather better.

          • Max_B

            @ Doodlebug

            Quite… and not forgetting the sudden death (apparently “not suspicious” according to the police) of a 23 y/o man in the same building where Dawn was living, just 9 days after the Skripal incident. At his inquest, the autopsy couldn’t find the cause of death, so the coroner has suspended the inquest and ordered a detailed Toxicology report.

            So nobody yet knows what killed the 23 y/o as the Coroner has ordered a toxicology report. But the police have already provided a report stating that the young mans death wasn’t suspicious (i.e. it was almost certainly ‘clearly’ drug related), and Dawn lived as the same address? H e l l o ?? what’s wrong with this picture… 😉

          • Doodlebug

            “and not forgetting the sudden death (apparently “not suspicious” according to the police) of a 23 y/o man in the same building where Dawn was living, just 9 days after the Skripal incident.”

            Indeed not. Just trying to keep things simple for adherents of Occam.

            There’s also the rather interesting case of a 24 yr. old stepfather and 17 yr old son seemingly poisoned by a ‘pesticide’ while on holiday in Spain:

            https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6918378/brit-lad-17-in-a-coma-on-family-holiday-in-spain-may-have-been-poisoned-by-cockroach-pesticide/

        • Max_B

          @Tom Smythe

          The UK government has not officially released the substances chemical name, chemical family, or chemical structure. The OPCW also classified these details about the substance in it’s public report. There has never been any official statements from the UK that the substance is an Organophosphate.

          These are just the facts Tom.

    • Doodlebug

      “two mid-sized wheelie bins located in the alley between Cloisters Pub and the Brown Street car park in downtown Salisbury. These were taken to PD at 11am on 2nd August 2018 with no results likely to be disclosed.”

      What are we to imagine the police or PD are hoping to find – Charlie Rowley’s fingerprints?

      If the putative bottle was secure before Rowley opened the package at his flat, then it would have been equally so while awaiting his recue of it from one or other bin (not both). Ergo the only thing PD are likely to detect in either receptacle is the residue of ‘takeaways’ from passers by. Rowley’s story is itself fishy (and chips).

    • Kempe

      ” Bubble wrap packaging is a long way from flimsy cellophane or cling wrap … and it had to be tampered with in filling the bottle but how easy is it to make like new? ”

      Any half way competent intelligence service should be able to open any packaging and re-seal it without leaving any trace. It might not be easy and require a specialist but it can be done.

  • Good In Parts

    Nobody seems to comment on the lack of surprise expressed by Rowley about his nice find.

    My view is that he was stealing by finding goods previously perloined from shops. Options include goods hidden in rubbish placed in or near bins by shop staff or stolen goods placed in a similar cache by habitual shoplifters while they went to steal more goods.

    Such caching spots would be useful to other actors.

  • Sandra

    I noticed posters have commented on Fentanyl and, so, just in case it has been missed the Independent today has an article about the doubling of deaths by Fentanyl in England and Wales:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/drug-deaths-record-high-statistics-opioids-fentanyl-carfentanyl-cocaine-spice-ons-laws-reform-a8479431.html

    There are links to other articles on the subject – one about a British gang who mixed and packaged the drug in Leeds and posted them nationally and internationally:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/fentanyl-uk-deaths-dark-web-business-men-jailed-leeds-alphabay-a8374781.html

    • Doodlebug

      Thanks from me too. The article confirms my worst fears. It is possibly no mere co-incidence that the pair apparently poisoned with insecticide while in Spain also come from Leeds.

    • R19a

      My first comment on this excellent board that I read regularly. I also saw the report (Guardian and later BBC news) about increased numbers dying from Fentanyl and wondered if it was a ‘coincidence’ that on the same day the Guardian exclusive was that the govt is demanding the extradition of the 2 Russian Skripal suspects. That Guardian piece was coauthored by Luke Harding and I more than agree with the many comments about Luke (whom I met occasionally) on this board!

      The ‘coincidence’ would presumably be to divert attention from what seems more and more likely, that the Skripals, and then the two in Amesbury, were caught up somehow in dealing or being dealt with Fentanyl.

    • Max_B

      As everyone knows, the substance alleged to have been involved in the Skripal Affair still remains classified, and no information has yet been made available regarding it’s proper chemical name, family, or structure.

      It seems to me that the OPCW may be somewhat concerned by the speculation this policy of concealment is causing in professional scientific publications and journals? So a little bit more information has been released by them about the substance involved in the Skripal Affair… it makes odd reading to me, because they give away little tit-bits and hints, it seems, to deflect the scientists from speculating in the wrong direction… but insufficient information to allow identification of even the substances family… it’s like some bizarre game of charades.

      They have also directed OPCW’s Scientific Advisory Board, to prepare more information, it appears to me for some upcoming battle at the OPCW.

      See what you make of it?

      ———— quote ————
      …While the Malaysia incident involved a well-known V-series nerve agent, the incident in the United Kingdom involved a highly toxic nerve agent with a structure that has appeared in open literature but has never been declared under the Chemical Weapons Convention. For the chemical identified in the United Kingdom incident, no information has been reported in peer-reviewed scientific literature…

      …the chemical identified from the United Kingdom incident is not included in the current schedules. As a result of the incident in the United Kingdom, articles are now appearing in scientific society membership publications and journals speculating on the structure and properties of the chemical used and other related chemicals that might have been developed as nerve agents. These publications have broad international distribution…

      …Given the potential relevance of new types of toxic chemicals to the Convention and with a view to preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons, a clear, factual basis will be needed for future discussions. Information is necessary as background for consideration by States Parties of possible measures to address the potential threat of hostile use of such chemicals…

      SAB directions…

      …compile a list of chemical structures that have been suggested as next generation toxic chemicals capable of acting as nerve agents that may be related to the chemical identified in the incident in the United Kingdom…

      …review patents and peer-reviewed scientific publications, to determine whether any chemicals that meet the identified structural characteristics have been reported and synthesised (regardless of whether or not they are identified as a chemical warfare agent)…

      ——— end quote ———

      https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1621-2018_e_.pdf

      • SA

        Thanks for highlighting this. It seems that this report contradicts the assertion that the material found was ‘military grade’ which in any case was a nonesense term unless the modifications made were such as to indicate this fact. But what the OPCW confirmed was a substance of great purity, more like ‘laboratory grade’ reagent.

      • Doodlebug

        As you say the clues are distributed, although the first two paragraphs give very strong hints – ‘no information has been reported in peer-reviewed scientific literature’ and ‘the chemical identified from the United Kingdom incident is not included in the current schedules’

        I may be mistaken but I don’t think Fentanyl and its derivatives are prohibited drugs even, so it’s unlikely they would have been identified or discussed in the context of chemical weapons. Later paragraphs suggest a ‘wake up call’.

    • Max_B

      Some more excellent info on fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and Novel Synthetic Opioids etc… really hard data…

      https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt8xh0s7nf/qt8xh0s7nf.pdf

      Some mumblings… makes one wonder if it’s quite as easy to be absolutely specific about the specific chemical as the layman might think using the testing techniques currently available… For blood, and urine tests there are also all sorts of metabolites in the body at different stages, and some look the same for different chemicals… then their are a whole series of unexplained and atypical symptoms… Makes one wonder if the techniques chosen to identify the chemical, can make it look similar to other chemicals identified using the same techniques. Last I read, there were over 1400 versions of these types of drugs… and they keep multiplying…

    • Doodlebug

      “Gentlemen, so good of you to come. Now if you could just please each independently sign this affidavit we’ve prepared which identifies the substance concerned as ‘novichok’ we’d be most grateful. Oh and do help yourselves to a chocolate on the way out.”

        • Doodlebug

          “Pick a card. Any card. It doesn’t matter which, they all say ‘Russia'”

          Photo caption from today’s guardian: “Charlle Rowley who police believe picked up the novichok bottle after it had been used to attack the Skripals”

          And yet good old Charlie “told ITV News he had found a sealed box in a cellophane wrapper containing a perfume bottle some days earlier, and had kept it at his Amesbury home, before handing it to his partner of two years as a gift.”

          Interviewer: “So it was a bottle of perfume…had it been open?”
          CR: ‘It wasn’t no. It was all sealed. It was all new.’

          I wonder if those nasty GRU men took their bottle back to Moscow for a re-fill (and re-seal) before leaving it to be found?

          I know I’ve become unusually suspicious in my old age, but I do get the impression someone is lying here.

  • Good In Parts

    @Doodlebug

    ‘That should offer a plausible explanation to the next generation of Ufologists at least.’

    The ‘next’ generation you say!

    The waverider design concept was first developed by Terence Nonweiler of the Queen’s University of Belfast, and first described in print in 1951 as a re-entry vehicle.

    Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waverider

  • intp1

    A site called Judicial Watch obtained FBI admin documents via FIA and outline some interesting details between redactions
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aHGO32iK1A

    * There wasn’t just one item but a steady stream of 13 reports generated by Steele over and around 2016
    * Steele was admonished by FBI and possibly later severed due to his contributing to journalistic articles admitting to working with the FBI
    * Confirmation that Steele is said to have used Russian Intelligence sources
    This is all consistent with Craig’s concept that Skripal was helping Steele, that the customer (FBI) was getting nervous about the connection.
    Did Skripal know what his input was being used for?
    When Trump unexpectedly won and the reports were used in FISA court and in Congress and all over the press, could Steele or Skripal have changed their attitude and become a problem?

    • Doodlebug

      “could Steele or Skripal have changed their attitude and become a problem?”

      You mean like Seth Rich? The question that begs is, ‘what kind of problem did Rowley and Sturgess represent?’ The shared perfume-bottle story being hogwash, there’s nothing to connect the two cases (Salisbury and Amesbury) apart from the dogged insistence of the UK authorities. They may well be correct of course, inasmuch as the four were taken out by the same substance, but the implied ‘espionage’ motive is unlikely in the extreme.

      The ‘problem’ really is that of the government’s impetuosity in hi-jacking the Salisbury scenario for political ends. BoJo and Treason could not have anticipated the Amesbury development which has, thanks to Rowley’s public admission that he handled a sealed package, made the ‘novichok’ theory untenable. That particular glove cannot now be made to fit, hence there has to be another explanation. There is, and it far less palatable than ‘Russia did it’.

    • Doodlebug

      Thanks for that Max_B. Tuesday’s Guardian (7 August) had the govt. ‘poised to request extradition’ on the front page plus pp. 6 and 7, but just three pages further on (p.10) broadcast the sinister reality: “Fentanyl drug fatalities rise by nearly a third in England and Wales”.

      I think it possible that the ‘derivatives’ issue, i.e., carfentanyl etc., is one which the administration is totally unprepared to handle – hence ‘the Russians did it’ and hope for the best on the real battlefront.

      • Max_B

        I’m now told by SJ’s Head of News, that a report about the Tyler Gray inquest was published in the Salisbury Journal today, but I’m blowed if I can find it?

        • Doodlebug

          Game on!

          http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16409235.man-23-died-after-taking-heroin-and-crack-cocaine/

          Coroner Mr Ridley said: “Tyler had been battling an addiction to class A drugs notably heroin and crack cocaine. On March 13, 2018 Tyler had been taking both heroin and crack cocaine at various times during the day.”

          He said Tyler died as a result of acute heroin and cocaine toxicity. He said previous amphetamine use with traces of MDMA and MDA found in the post-mortem indicated ecstasy use which “more likely than not contributed to his death”.

          • Doodlebug

            The toxicity of which led to his death. Which introduces your implied question – from whom did he acquire said cocaine and heroin?

            I’m sure we can agree on at least one likely candidate. Personally I’d go so far as to suggest Dawn Sturgess was the courier in the case of both Skripal and Tyler Gray.

          • Max_B

            I agree, it does seem reasonable to speculate that as Dawn was living at Charles Baker House at the time of Tyler’s death. And that Dawn was Charlie’s partner (both heroin addicts), and Charlie is a convicted dealer (http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/13951274.Man_caught_with_11_wraps_of_heroin_jailed/), who has just moved into a smart new property on the outskirts of Salisbury, perhaps Charlie was dealing again? Conceivably Tyler could have bought his Heroin, and Cocaine that day from either Dawn or Charlie?

            I’m not sure about Yulia and Sergei buying drugs for use themselves, I’ve been thinking more of Sergei as a bigger dealer. But I’m more open minded about this than I was. (People going into the pub toilets to snort a bit of coke in a toilet cubical is after all very common). It’s just Sergei comes across more like a dealer, than an addict to me, but I suppose he might use some of his product.

            Here is a Carfentanil death from Salisbury last year….

            NOVEMBER 2017:
            1) Mr Ridley concluded that Ms Wicks’ death was drug related, adding: “At some point during the previous 24 hours Michaela consumed heroin that more likely than not had the highly potent and toxic substance carfentanil mixed in with it.”
            http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/15638784.Mother_died_after_ingesting__highly_potent_and_toxic__drug/

            in this inquest, Mr Ridley, the same coroner as in Tyler’s inquest, says the heroin “…more likely than not…” contained Carfentanil. I just find that weird, they obviously didn’t test for it, yet he’s willing to speculate that it was there, some reason?

            JULY 2018
            3) Here’s the Detective Sargent’s quote from the initial Wiltshire Constabulary Press Release issued 48 hours after Dawn & Charlie are admitted to hospital. “At this stage we believe the two patients have fallen ill after using a contaminated batch of drugs, possibly heroin or crack cocaine”
            http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16327500.police-warn-drug-users-after-contamination-leaves-two-in-hospital/

            What’s interesting is that after 48 hours in Hospital, the Detective Sargent is *still* suggesting “Contaminated” Heroin and/or Crack Cocaine, exactly the same conclusions reached in Tyler’s Inquest.

          • Doodlebug

            @Max_B. Thanks for those excellent supporting links. They suggest Wiltshire Police probably know what’s what as regards Rowley and Sturgess and they are being obliged to pursue an interpretation at odds with their own (and the evidence).

          • Doodlebug

            Further to my earlier remark….

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-44882793

            ‘Coroner Mr Ridley said the results of a post-mortem examination held on Tuesday would not be revealed until more tests had been carried out.

            ‘He also confirmed swabs taken from both Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley tested positive at Porton Down for the nerve agent.

            ‘Investigators believe the incident is linked to the Novichok poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on 4 March.

            ‘Mr Ridley said: “It was initially believed that on admission both patients had been exposed to contaminated controlled drugs.

            ‘”However, it was soon established that both patients were exhibiting symptoms of organo-phosphate poisoning.

            “This was the same symptomatology exhibited by two other individuals first admitted to the same hospital on 4 March.”‘

            n.b. “investigators (not ‘Wiltshire CID) believe”

            and

            “The Metropolitan Police said 250 detectives had been involved in the “painstaking” investigation since March.”

            This is obviously a reference to the Skripal case, but gives the clear impression that it and the Amesbury poisoning have been rolled up together.

          • Doodlebug

            An added extra:

            https://news.sky.com/story/amesbury-poisoning-significant-police-activity-at-novichok-victims-home-11429198

            ‘Salisbury MP John Glen has told Sky News it is highly likely the source of the second novichok poisoning is “debris” from the first attack in March, which left former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia seriously ill.’

            ‘The Metropolitan Police said approximately 100 counter-terror officers are working round the clock alongside Wiltshire Police, adding: “The focus of the investigation remains identifying the source of the contamination as quickly as possible.”‘

          • Max_B

            From your BBC article, the same Coroner as Tyler Gray says of Dawn & Charlie:

            Mr Ridley said: “It was initially believed that on admission both patients had been exposed to contaminated controlled drugs.

            “However, it was soon established that both patients were exhibiting symptoms of organo-phosphate poisoning.

            “This was the same symptomatology exhibited by two other individuals first admitted to the same hospital on 4 March.”

            I detest the trick of 48 hours after admission and treatment for opioid poisoning, they switch the narrative to only considering measurements showing Cholinesterase inhibition, and then merely imply Organophosphate poisoning from this measurement, and then the media further implies a weapon, rather than drugs, and people start putting the word “attack” into statements.

            But if the Salisbury substance was an Organophosphate weapon, the government would have come out and said so, just like every other government has always been quick to name the substance involved in an incident whether it’s Anthrax, Ricin, Sarin, VX or Chlorine gas etc… But the British government haven’t… we even have a letter printed in The Times from the Consultant who treated the Skripals which is completely at odds with Organophosphate weapon narrative.

            A third year medical student should be able to distinguish between pesticide poisoning and opioid poisoning…

            Even on the Newsnight program @16:35 Salisbury Hospital’s Medical Director still can’t bring herself to say the substance which poisoned the Skripals was an Organophosphate…

            “I think these wouldn’t be the first patients who recovered from… for example… organophosphate poisoning, or other nerve agents”.

            I mean she has to insert “for example” in front of the term Organophosphate, because she can’t make the less ambiguous, and straight forward statement… because it’s untrue…

            “I think these wouldn’t be the first patients who recovered from organophosphate poisoning”

            https://youtu.be/CwhR6wqNEis?t=994

            You can see her trying to gather her thoughts to give the response she’s been told to give, which is why she stumbles over her words, because the form of words she had to say was very precise.

          • Doodlebug

            Excellent Max_B. Things are becoming clearer with every step. I had noticed the ‘symptomatology’ remark but declined to comment on it, not having bio-chemical knowledge. Glad you picked it up, as well as those verbal gymnastics on the part of Salisbury Hospital’s MD.

            I agree absolutely with your reference to ‘the trick’. Exactly the same techniques as led to the ‘dodgy dossier’ on Iraq that was fed to the PM (Tony Blair), basically giving him what he had asked for.

            Perhaps it’s time now to rattle a cage or two.

    • Doodlebug

      This earlier comment answers your question:

      Aidan Turner
      July 9, 2018 at 11:49

      Craig, Have you seen the BBC interview with Charlie Rowley’s Brother where he says in answer to a question about Charlie’s condition: “Oh, he’s fine. I don’t know how he got involved with that lot”. The BBC interviewer does not ask him what he means in that strange answer but to me it begs the questions: (a) Has the Brother spoken to him on the phone; (b) Who exactly is “that lot?”. See Skwakbox for clip.

  • Doodlebug

    Is anyone else experiencing bizarre interference when posting a comment? On several occasions now, when hitting the ‘post comment’ button, my screen has ‘switched’ immediately from Craig’s blog to a google presentation of Russian Perfume Brands, with the concomitant loss of my comment which I have had to re-type.

    • Clark

      I haven’t experienced that from the Ubuntu / Firefox / Plusnet ADSL system I’m using. My first suspicion would be a ‘browser hijacking’ malware script at your end. Suggestions include: try clearing your browser cache, try a different browser, try a Javascript blocker such as the NoScript add-on for Firefox, try posting from someone else’s system, try posting from a GNU/Linux operating system (you could boot one on your own hardware using a LiveUSB memory stick; Knoppix for instance), scan for malware especially if you’re using proprietary software.

      I’ll mention it to this site’s admin team in case there’s anything at this site’s end. It could also be something in between; a security breach at your ISP for instance. But a browser hijacking script picked up from the ‘web seems most likely.

      • Max_B

        I Agree with Clark… sounds like your PC is infected… you’ll have to do a clear up, bring your operating system and programs up to date, and see if you can get rid of it with a suitable malware scanner. Not necessarily in that order. What are you using?

      • Doodlebug

        Thank you both. O.K. so it’s definitely not GCHQ trying to tell me something. I’ll take a broom to the dusty corners of my laptop in due course.

  • Sandra

    On the Fentanyl possibility, I was just listening to a 30 July ‘Public Enquiry’ youtube video about the Skripal case and an article in the Swindon Advertiser regarding medics warning about Fentanyl on the streets of Wiltshire was mentioned. The article was published 24 January this year:

    http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/15893615.Doctors_warn_of_super-strength_synthetic_heroin_on_the_streets_of_Wiltshire/

    As an aside, the Salisbury Journal, 20 July, had an article about a lady dying of an overdose of Fentanyl delivered via a prescribed dose in a skin patch:

    “The 41-year-old, who lived in Benedict Court, used fentanyl patches for pain relief and had been diagnosed with a dislocated knee cap.
    An inquest at Salisbury Coroners Court on Tuesday heard the dosage of the patches had been reduced and doctors had discussed lowering it further.”….
    “Coroner David Ridley said opioid drugs can cause respiratory depression which can lead to death.
    He gave the cause of death as fentanyl toxicity and recorded a conclusion of misadventure.
    Mr Ridley said a post mortem found “potentially fatal levels” of fentanyl in Miss Gough’s blood.”….
    “It is more likely than not that the level of fentanyl had been building up in her system over the previous few days, although it is unclear as to why this was happening.”

    http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16365701.pain-relief-patches-led-to-death-of-hazel-gough/

    And, regarding Dawn’s poisoning, I was thinking that if blood capillaries can take up a lethal dose, then rubbing it on the wrists and neck, where there are large arteries near the surface, would probably get a rapid dose. Also, this drug is delivered via the mouth and nose, apparently, when patients need rapid pain relief, and if Dawn had sniffed the ‘perfume’ as well, then this may have increased the speed of any effect.

    • Doodlebug

      @Sandra. Many thanks for these details. The evidence is piling up. I think I may have come across the ‘fentanyl patch’ story previously but the Salisbury connection obviously didn’t register. In the meantime there’s also this little item:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-44633461

      A baby died after her mother’s fentanyl patch became stuck to her tummy. A tragic accidental transfer it would appear – except the little thing was apparently wearing a pyjama top at the time (?)

      Dawn Sturgess may well have sniffed something while in Rowley’s bathroom that morning, although whether it was contained in a perfume bottle is debatable.

      This spate of incidents in Salisbury strongly suggests that Wiltshire Police are being over-ridden by the Met. If so, there can be little doubt that they are the government’s ‘go to’ group where a cover-up is required, making this entire episode distasteful on many levels.

  • Doodlebug

    We are, it would appear, enduring ‘government by deceit’ (is there any other kind?).

    This from the Independent ‘6 days ago’ (i.e.,7 August, the editor(s) clearly of the opinion that a precise chronology of the published record is no longer necessary).

    “Two more people – Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley – were subsequently treated for exposure to the nerve agent after Ms Sturgess reportedly picked up a discarded perfume bottle thought to have contained the agent.”

    Is mendacious Charlie being gently written out of the script?

  • MightyDrunken

    Nikolai Glushkov murder has not been forgotten.
    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/nikolai-glushkov-murder-detectives-release-cctv-of-black-van-after-russian-found-strangled-at-london-a3910686.html

    “Police, who launched a murder investigation four days after his death, say they have obtained a total of 286 witness statements and have seized 1,086 exhibits to date.”

    They are looking for a black van that was seen the night before. No word if it had Romanian or Russian number plates yet.

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