Spy Games 932


Russia has its GRU in addition to its KGB (now FSB and SVR). The UK has its Defence Intelligence in addition to its MI6 and GCHQ. Much less high profile, Defence Intelligence is more analytical than operative – as indeed is GRU, Skripal was an analyst.

Defence Intelligence had its proudest modern moment when it refused to endorse MI6’s pack of lies on Iraqi WMD, and earned the hatred of MI6 and of Blair and Straw as a result. This was confirmed by the Chilcot report which stated that MI6 even actually hid some of the intelligence material from the Defence Intelligence Service to prevent their rubbishing it.

I hope you will forgive me for pointing out that the opposition of the Defence Intelligence to the Blair Dirty Dossier was first revealed in my memoir Murder in Samarkand, a decade before the Chilcot report confirmed it. It was one of the many reasons Straw attempted to block publication, and one of the many things revealed in my memoir – including of course the UK’s complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition – which the government claimed to be untrue, but in due course has been proved to be 100% accurate. As it should be, as Murder in Samarkand only recounts things I personally witnessed first hand.

As this is the last day of Banned Books Week, I hope you might further forgive me (and I know I am pushing it) if I mention my prequel to Murder in Samarkand, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. I view it as a much better book, and I was bitterly disappointed when my publisher, who had bravely defied the government lawyers over Murder in Samarkand, backed down and pulled the publication of The Catholic Orangemen due to libel threats from mercenary commander Tim Spicer. It thus became a Banned Book. I privately printed and sold 1,000 copies, and as technology advanced more recently made it available on print on demand. (I know, Amazon…) But it remains a real regret it has reached so few people. You are welcome to download it entirely free here.
Anyway, after that lengthy advertorial let me get back to the DIS. DIS remain rather more attached to the truth than MI6, so when Defence Minister Gavin Williamson tweeted out a thrilled endorsement of Bellingcat’s work on Colonel Chepiga, DIS urgently advised that he delete it. Which he did.

Which is not to say DIS are sure it is not Chepiga; rather they believe – as would anyone with half a brain – that the Bellingcat photo falls a long way short of proof. The British security services have been unable to stand up the ID with facial recognition technology. The experts are describing the Boshirov/Chepiga identification as “possible”.

I have this information from an impeccable Whitehall source, who told me there is a concern in the security services that runs like this. They genuinely believe Boshirov and Petrov are GRU agents and the would-be assassins. (I judge that my source themself believes the security services really do think this). Bellingcat, while they are sometimes fed security service material, did not in fact get fed the Chepiga material by the CIA or MI6, whether or not through a cutout. The security services are worried the Chepiga ID may be a blind alley fed to Bellingcat’s sources by the FSB. If the UK government endorses it, this could be followed by the Russians producing Chepiga and apparently discrediting the entire British narrative.

Hence the fact no charge has been laid against Chepiga, and the charges are still in the name of “Boshirov”, plus the fact that no British minister or official has named Chepiga, with only the fool Williamson stepping out of line and being slapped down.

Please note I am not endorsing the views and beliefs of the British intelligence services; I am reporting them.

Russia is fascinating at the moment. Komsomolskaya Pravda reports Ministry of Interior identification experts unofficially endorsing the Chepiga/Boshirov identity. Now there is no way these experts in the Ministry of the Interior – who would not be hard for the authorities to single out – would have done that for Komsomolskaya Pravda without an official nod. Either the Russians are indeed egging on the British into a false identification, or some inter-agency rivalry is afoot in Russia. This follows on the very open report in Kommersant – which is very close to Putin – that opinion was divided in Chepiga’s home village.

None of which brings us an awful lot closer to the truth of what happened in Salisbury, which I suspect is a great deal more complicated than any official narrative. But it is a fascinating peek into a shadowy world most people never see inside, with which I was once familiar.


932 thoughts on “Spy Games

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  • KnowThatYouDon'tKnow

    Interesting. I’ve been thinking lately that Boshirov and Petrov might have been put into play as decoys, by one of the two sides, or possibly even by a third player (maybe Ukraine).

    B and P were in Salisbury at the right time and there are indicatons that they were meant to be *seen* to have been in Salisbury at *exactly* the right time. Surely if theirs was a straight up assassination mission they’d either have established a more plausible cover story for their presence there, or they’d have got in and out less visibly.

    I agree with Craig that both sides appear to be lying. What is actually going on and where it’s leading is harder to decipher.

    • James Hugh

      May well be that all sides are on the same side…

      Playing carefully orchestrated games with the masses from behind the scenes, all serving the same master.

      Political and economical powers that be of all nations have a vested interest in maintaining the conflict games as it keeps people in fear and a state of division… Thus disempowering them and making sure they don’t reach their full potential as human beings.

      I reckon they just play at ‘being enemies’ for the social narrative and we never get to know of the behind the scenes agreements…

      Just a feeling

      Always the people in society who suffer as a result of wars and very rarely heads of state etc…

      • KnowThatYouDon'tKnow

        I wouldn’t rule that out. If we’re asking cui bono? then obviously the arms industry for one. But besides the general war machine apparatus, Putin and May both stand to win political capital domestically as each is seen to take “a firm stance” against the other. Is it possible they might come to an understanding over a well-timed international incident to distract from inconvenient domestic news cycles at the opportune moment (Brexit for May springs to mind)? Yes, it is at least possible that such a scenario could have been considered and perhaps even implemented.

        In addition to this, it’s quite possible that both sides had an interest in seeing their former double-agent dead or silenced, or at least no objections to an outcome of that kind. He wasn’t really “one of our own” to either side by this point – a traitor to one side’s intelligence service is not necessarily a trusted asset from the point of view of the foreign intelligence side he switched to. The Brits had his Russian secrets already, but if he is now in possession of British secrets then he could be seen a liability to MI6.

        So yeah, it’s not impossible that British and Russian intelligence worked together over this. If that’s the case we”l never know. But if the narrative plays out so as to make May look good to the average MSM consumer over here and also plays well for Putin on his home turf, then you’ve gotta wonder.

        I don’t feel safe wondering aloud about this type of scenario on the internet. Craig has balls of steel to speak up as he does.

      • Infernal Optimist

        Am I the only one to have considered the following?…

        We are currently transitioning into runaway climate change, over-pollution, over-population and the associated and ecological and social collapse. Over the course of the next lifetime or so life as we know it is going to become impossible. The people who run the world, who may be amoral but are not stupid, have concluded that the best way to deal with this problem is to conduct a limited, but large, nuclear exchange. The population (of the west at least) has been informed of the environmental problems and shown itself to be incapable of making the changes required to mitigate our impact on the biosphere. Remember, we live under a demand lead economic orthodoxy.

        A nuclear war would not only directly combat warming with what used to be called a nuclear winter, but would also drastically decrease population and therefore the need to destroy nature to provide us with burgers, cars and iPads. What we are currently seeing, the increasing friction between the great powers of the world, the apparent lust for war, is an orchestrated effort to set the stage for world war three. As has already been pointed out, the people with the power and position to bring about such a hellish scenario would most possibly live out the rest of their lives in comfort, and perhaps even pat themselves on the back for saving their world.

        I don’t necessarily believe this, perhaps it’s just that it is in the nature of life to destroy itself, but I wouldn’t rule it out. It seems likely that this world is coming to an end, one way or another.

        As for the specifics of the Skripal affair, the whole things stinks to high heaven on multiple levels. Another thought experiment…

        Perhaps the Russians did do it, and the aim was not to off a former traitor or even to “send a message” to potential traitors, but to further discredit the western propagandists in the eyes of the more skeptical portions of the western population. They executed a plot so unbelievable that people can’t believe it, and instead conclude that our media and government are lying to us again.

        I don’t believe that either. We live in a post-belief world, isn’t that what simulation theory is all about? As a civilization we can’t even believe we exist any more, let alone why who may have done what to who with a theoretical perfume bottle.

  • Komodo

    O/T:
    (Un?)-intended consequences –

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-most-of-unrwa-s-foreign-staff-in-gaza-evacuated-to-israel-after-death-threats-1.6515863

    After Trump cut funding to UNRWA, it had to lay off local staff and cut pay by 40%. Not unnaturally, the staff were aggrieved. Paid work is hard to find in Gaza, and desperation is the mood of the day. Congratulations, Donald. You just made a terrible situation worse. And, incidentally, linked it even more strongly to America.

    • Charles Bostock

      Let’s get this right – Trump cuts funding for UNRWA, so some local staff are laid off and local staff pay is cut, and so non-Gazan UNRWA staff (ie, international staff) receive death threats (not from President Trump but presumably from Palestinians/Gazans)?

      The Palestinians/Gazans – or at least their elected rulers – are really their own worst enemies, aren’t they.

      YCNMIU!

          • flatulence'

            haha Bostik the frustrated luvvie. All makes sense now. Awake sweet love, the good in the world welcomes you, and we are the majority. You are free now, no need to hide behind your hate. To that I say goodnight sweet prince, though I fear the restless slumber and the ties that bind you to the path untrue. Good tidings to you, and for the bad news too, threw and through, I wish you all the best, you are not alone.

          • Observer

            Let your flatulence flow naturally; I fear you try too hard.

            PS And as for the UNRWA, why doesn’t Saudi Arabia step in with some petty cash?

          • flatulence'

            Beware Observer. The observer of enthusiastic flatulence is doomed to be shat upon.

  • James Oliver

    Interesting that Politwoops doesn’t actually show when this tweet was posted. Either way it doesn’t actually explain whether the MOD has identified this person as “Chepiga” at all. It says “a Colonel”, or why this tweet, which was deleted a week ago took so long to come to light despite Craig capturing it within hours of it being deleted, rather than when it was originally posted.
    Other than still selling your book rather than giving it away as you have done so with the “Orangemen of Togo” what exactly is the point of this post?

    • EricsEars

      bit late to (con)descend here are you not? The free book is great, just finished. So I am now going to purchase the non-free book. What a sucker I am eh? That Craig Murray is a canny lad. And a highly entertaining purveyor of realities.

        • EricsEars

          Thank you but I’m a kind of ‘get one free buy one’ kinda guy. Like tonight my favourite bar was showcasing its new kitchen creations for free on the bar and I liked them enough to buy something off the new menu. It wasn’t brilliant and I gave feedback which I believe was taken on board. Now, as tempting as it is to click on the ‘free link’ above I like this respectful transactional practice. craigmurray.org.uk is free. I’d like to support this.

  • Sharp Ears

    Read this from Jonathan Cook today and weep for the families living in the rubble with uncertain supplies of electricity and potable water.

    Everyone Washes Their Hands as Gaza’s Economy Goes into Freefall
    Jonathan Cook
    2nd October 2018

    The moment long feared is fast approaching in Gaza, according to a new report by the World Bank. After a decade-long Israeli blockade and a series of large-scale military assaults, the economy of the tiny coastal enclave is in “freefall”.

    At a meeting of international donors in New York on Thursday, coinciding with the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, the World Bank painted an alarming picture of Gaza’s crisis. Unemployment now stands at close to 70 per cent and the economy is contracting at an ever faster rate.

    While the West Bank’s plight is not yet as severe, it is not far behind, countries attending the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee were told. Gaza’s collapse could bring down the entire Palestinian banking sector.

    In response, Europe hurriedly put together a €40 million aid package, but that will chiefly address Gaza’s separate humanitarian crisis – not the economic one – by improving supplies of electricity and potable water.

    No one doubts the inevitable fallout from the economic and humanitarian crises gripping Gaza. The four parties to the Quartet charged with overseeing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN – issued a statement warning that it was vital to prevent what they termed “further escalation” in Gaza.

    The Israeli military shares these concerns. It has reported growing unrest among the enclave’s two million inhabitants and believes Hamas will be forced into a confrontation to break out of the straightjacket imposed by the blockade.

    In recent weeks, mass protests along Gaza’s perimeter fence have been revived and expanded after a summer lull. On Friday, seven Palestinian demonstrators, including two children, were killed by Israeli sniper fire. Hundreds more were wounded.

    Nonetheless, the political will to remedy the situation looks as atrophied as ever. No one is prepared to take meaningful responsibility for the time-bomb that is Gaza.

    In fact, the main parties that could make a difference appear intent on allowing the deterioration to continue.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ignored repeated warnings of a threatened explosion in Gaza from his own military.

    /..
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/02/everyone-washes-their-hands-as-gazas-economy-goes-into-freefall/

    • Charles Bostock

      Gaza is sometimes described as an “open air concentration camp” and people have been describing the economy as in “freefall” and signalling a “humanitaran crisis” every three months or so for years now.

      But the birth rate in Gaza goes up year by year and the youths (and the not so young) rioting on the Israel-Gaza border or waving Kalashnikovs in the air at funerals, etc, seem – according to TV and video coverage, at least – to be in the rudest of health. No signs of the local population struck down by famine and pestilence, in fact. And the Hamas leadership – except for those occasionally taken out by Israel – are probably doing very well. Which is of course only natural since it keeps well underground and is content to let others fight and die for it.

      Could we be dealing here with slight “exaggerations”, one wonders?

      • nevermind

        Hamas was created by the occupying forces in Palestine.
        Thing is, they have no control over Hamas because they behaved like the murderous morons they’d become, thanks to cheerleaders like you.

        • Charles Bostock

          That may be so Nevermind but if it is, how is it that the Palestinians have not realised it and sent Hamas packing? Surely the Palestinians would have realised by now (after 20-30 years) what is alleged to have gone on and risen up against Hamas inter alia by throwing their support behind the PLA?

          • nevermind

            Because, Hamas decided to trust the Palestinians it serves, in hospitals community centres schools and in their political support.
            Hamas made up its mind and send the Zionists packing, there was no future in a cabal with them whilst Palestinian children were shot up by the IDF crossing the road.

            And you apologise such behaviour, indeed your stalking here as Habbakuk says it all, you are a shill for their actions.

          • Charles Bostock

            Nevermind, your reply is completely incoherent.

            Are you trying to say that

            (1) Hamas was originally set up by Israel

            and

            (2) it became so popular with the Palestinians that it survived the shame of having been set up by Israel?

            If you need help with any future posts just ask, I’d be delighted to advise before you press the “send” button.

        • Charles Bostock

          That’s interesting but what is its relevance to what we’ve been discussing? I am neither a student, not paid by Israel. And I protest against the facile and silly slur that anyone who defends Israel is being paid for his or her efforts. After all, do I or others who share my points accuse people like Sharp Ears, Nevermind et al of being paid by Arab states or organisations such as the PLA or Hamas?

          • Charles Bostock

            Of course it’s not, Ian. It’s just a silly little spasm experienced by someone who (1) doesn’t like people of a different opinion and (2) can find no better counter-arguments than to squeak “you’re paid by Israel!”.

          • Ian

            it’s a fact that students are paid to set up social media accounts and spout hasbara from prepared cue sheets. that compromises all the people who adopt similar poses whoever they are. Had you any actual arguments worth a candle or any acquaintance with the issues then you might have an original point. instead of disingenuous and empty waffle, posturing psuedo ‘arguments’.

          • Charles Bostock

            Ian

            Your considered response merits further comment.

            “it’s a fact that students are paid to set up social media accounts and spout hasbara from prepared cue sheets. that compromises all the people who adopt similar poses whoever they are.”

            Faulty thinking: why does the existence of students who are “paid to spout hasbara” “compromise” other people who point to the silliness of statements like “Israel is a fascist state” or “Gaza is the world’s largest open air concentration camp”? Your assertion only makes sense as a mendacious categorisation.

            ” Had you any actual arguments worth a candle or any acquaintance with the issues then you might have an original point. instead of disingenuous and empty waffle, posturing psuedo ‘arguments’.”

            Well, I was just pointing (here and previously) to various facts, eg, those violently “protesting” on the Israel-Gaza border are overwhelmingly not “boys” but young and not so young men who seem in the rudest of health. To call them “boys” is as silly as calling the majority of the London rioters (you will remember the London riots?) “boys”. But don’t take my word for it – check out the visual records of both those events.

        • JOML

          That’s interesting, Keith. Some people believe that all those who defend Israel are not paid. I’m sure many aren’t but that doesn’t mean that others aren’t paid, as your link suggests.

      • duplicitousdemocracy

        So a rising birth rate gives the Israelis licence to execute whoever they want to, does it? Protesting (but you call it rioting) INSIDE the Israeli imposed barriers justifies execution too? Losing limbs does not indicate ‘rude health’. The only thing exaggerated are your own delusions. What exactly would be your response if you were living in Gaza?

        • Antonyl

          So Gaza’s border with Egypt has vanished?

          A sharply rising population shows healthy bodies are at work but not healthy minds: many more kids is about to fastest way to impoverish yourself economically. Most dirt poor in Asia and Africa from non Abrahamic religions know this; the others are preached into a dumb multiplication race for numbers supremacy.

          • Antonyl

            The Gazans are considered sheep without any own mind or will by quite a few here. Their “eternal victim act” has born a lot of fruit till now: large amounts of money from the US, EU and oil sheiks. Now Trump has broken that spell.

            The Israelis on the other hand are blamed for anything under the sun.This is not anti-antisemitism as both groups are Semites, no it is more specific….

          • Charles Bostock

            SA

            “The impoverishment of Gaza is a deliberate Israeli policy”

            But where is the logic in that? One would have thought that Israel, having withdrawn from Gaza, had every interest in a relatively prosperous Gaza. For a start, that would save the Israelis a lot of trouble (and money). The West Bank is, I would imagine, much more “prosperous” than Gaza and one of the reasons for that is doubtlessly that Hamas is not in charge in the West Bank.

          • Clark

            Charles Bostock, 08:11:

            “But where is the logic in that?”

            Precisely. There’s as little logic in it as there is in your own comments.

      • Clark

        https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-most-of-unrwa-s-foreign-staff-in-gaza-evacuated-to-israel-after-death-threats-1.6515863

        “A report issued by the World Bank in late September noted that already in 2017, 53 percent of Gazans were living below the poverty line (compared to 38.8 percent in 2011). That number has risen since last year, after the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah cut its salary payments to PA employees in the Strip as well as welfare allowances to Gazans”

        • Charles Bostock

          That appears to be a matter for the PLA and Hamas to sort out between themselves, surely?

          • Clark

            No. Read it properly; it’s only two sentences. Poverty increased from 39% to 53% before the PA (not the “PLA”) reduced payments.

            Two misrepresentations of two sentences. Congratulations!

    • Sharp Ears

      Uri Avnery has recently died. A promoter of a Israel/Palestine peace plan but heh! let’s forget about the Occupation. A smudger.

      He is challenged here by a member of the Gloucestershire PSC.
      https://gloucestershirepsc.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/exchange-with-uri-avnery/

      ‘Joe’ quotes Herzl to him. Herzl was one of the Zionist proponents for an Israel ‘state’ and considered to be the father of modern political Zionism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Herzl

      ‘Regards Herzl, how then to explain the oft-cited entry in his diary: “We shall endeavour to expel the poor population across the border unnoticed, procuring employment for it in the transit countries, but denying it any employment in our own country”. A momentary aberration? An unfair decontextualisation, perhaps?’.

    • Paul Greenwood

      You should look to a Direct Access Barrister online – probably half a day’s work

  • Sergei

    Viktoria Skripal, the niece of poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, is holding a media conference.
    Live on RT now.

  • JMF

    @Sharp Ears
    October 2, 2018 at 13:04
    I think you will find the ‘freefall’ going global pretty soon

  • Sergei

    From Viktoria Skripal: “Father of Litvinenko called to Viki and told her that she is in big danger and maybe poisoned by MI6 too.”

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now Mark Urban, the UK’s chief reporter for covert operations, has persuaded Slripa;l thay Puton tried to kill him, like the Soviet’s assassinated Sweden’s Olof Pallme.

  • Hatuey

    I’m so sick of this skripal crap on here. It’s so bad that I look upon the comments of Sharp Ears on the plight of Palestinians as light relief.

    I can only assume that many people on here are racist. On one hand, we have Palestinians getting murdered left, right, and centre in the most awful conditions imaginable; and few here seem to care. On the other hand, we have one or two Caucasian people injured in Salisbury under mysterious circumstances and the place lights up with theories and interest.

    It’s like the 911 debate all over again except that virtually nobody died, no planes were involved, and no buildings crashed to the ground. In fact, nothing much happened at all really.

    Who cares who was behind the virtually nothing that happened in Salisbury, I ask? Oh, world peace is on the line, they tell me… I should shut up and leave the adults to save the world.

    Sorry to get in the way.

      • Hatuey

        Blunderbus, if the potential to positively influence things is such a determinant, then please explain to me how 8 million comments on the Skripal affair has helped one single person. Actually, it seems to me that people know less about what actually happened in Salisbury than they did when the story broke so many months ago. I said back then that stories involving the security services always lead to nothing and here we are…

        As for Palestine, it’s possible that by throwing some light and attention on that subject, you could actually help someone understand what’s going on. I don’t think you could say that about the Skripal stuff because, as I said, we are, after so many million theories, no closer to the truth.

        It’s like 911 all over again, without the bodies, planes, and buildings falling down. Which is to say it’s a feeding frenzy without any food.

        • Ash

          When it comes to Palestine I think we’re witnessing a sort of learned helplessness; most everyone reading this already agrees that the situation is criminal madness that needs to be stopped, but we also wonder what we can do that doesn’t seem ludicrously insignificant in comparison to the scale of the suffering there. How do we move the needle? How does one organize a mass movement that won’t be strangled in its crib by the powerful interests that guard the status quo, especially nowadays?

          I agree with you though, and don’t understand the level of fascination that this story generates. All these elaborate theories that follow from a narrative we already know to be ridiculous? Mental masturbation. Even if one takes the official pronouncements to be null hypotheses to be rejected, the answers are not knowable with the available information. I see no reason to presume these two men are criminals, or are even of any interest at all, and none has been presented. For my money, the only thing interesting about this case is the way your government have publicly conducted themselves.

          • Hatuey

            Yes, “learned helplessness” is spot on. People who believe they are helpless more or less are, as long as they believe it.

            A good dog doesn’t need a leash.

    • Robyn

      Fear not, Hatuey, most of us can care about more than one worthy cause at a time. It’s just that this is about the Skripal case, hence the number of comments about the Skripal case. Besides, the Skripal saga may well be part of a build-up to yet another disastrous war so, for that reason alone, it warrants Craig’s investigation and analysis and the contributions of all who feel they have something to add.

      • Hatuey

        Robyn, every discussion is hijacked by this armchair James Bond junk. If anyone questions it they are told world peace hinges on discussing these things, which is more or less what you are saying here.

        It’s disappointing.

    • Phill

      “I’m so sick of this skripal crap on here”

      Don’t post in a comment section on an article about the Skripals then…..

    • Paul Greenwood

      You might think of Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Yemenis in addition to Palestinians.

        • Charles Bostock

          People who keep reminding us of the “Oded Yinon plan” – which was never Israeli government policy anyway – are flogging a dead horse.

          As for the second “plan”mentioned, well, I think most people have a fairly good and sensible opinion of the absurdly-named “global research.org”‘s credibility and motivation.

          • duplicitousdemocracy

            The Oded Yinon plan had nothing to do with the flogging of dead horses and much more to do with letting the cat out of the bag. Neither you nor your fellow paid propagandists can put it back in.

          • Anon1

            The “Oded Yinon Plan” is a 1982 article from an obscure Hebrew journal that would have been forgotten were it not for internet based anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists turning it into a “plan for a greater Israel”.

          • Charles Bostock

            DD
            “Neither you nor your fellow paid propagandists..”

            Welcome to the club. I would never accuse “you and your fellow Hamas supporters” of being paid by Hamas.

          • Clark

            “internet based anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists”

            Such as Newsweek (26 July 1982, p. 32) and the Wall Street Journal (8 December 1982, p. 34)?

            “Internet based”? In 1982?

          • Clark

            “…would have been forgotten were it not for internet based anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists”

            Anti-Semites such as Holocaust survivor Israel Shahak?

            “obscure”

            as in authored by a former senior official with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and journalist for the Jerusalem Post, and published by the World Zionist Organization’s department of Information in Jerusalem?

    • Sharp Ears

      Thank you for your understanding Hatuey. Few on here get it and some are hostile. It is a case of boys with stones and burning tyres versus Israeli snipers lying on earth banks created for the purpose, using weaponry including dum dum bullets (outlawed in the C19) which wreck the limbs of the victims. In any case, the hospital doctors do not have the equipment or supplies to attempt treatment so care is usually palliative.

      The death and injury tolls in Gaza grow incrementally year by year. Those good souls who attempt to break the siege in boats carrying aid and medical supplies are attacked by Israeli gunships which ram the boats, kill, injure or capture the occupants, imprison them, steal their possessions and so on. This has happened dozens of times since Cast Lead in 2007/8 and since. I think of the Mavi Marmara. the MV Dignity, the Freedom flotilla boats including the latest which had Dr Swee Ang on board. She is the British orthopaedic surgeon from Barts hospital who co-founded MAP after she had witnessed the Sabra and Shatila slaughter.
      https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/remembering-sabra-shatila-massacre-35-years-170916101333726.html

      Here is Swee with Afshin talking about her recent experience on the Al Awda. There are subtitles but they are not very accurate!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X33iK1X_nlM
      Bless her. How dare they knock around this tiny little lady. http://www.c4ts.qmul.ac.uk/staff/dr-swee-chai-ang

      • Charles Bostock

        “It is a case of boys with stones and burning tyres versus Israeli snipers lying on earth banks created for the purpose, using weaponry including dum dum bullets (outlawed in the C19) which wreck the limbs of the victims.”

        If you look at the TV and videos of the violent protests along the Israel-Gaza border you will have noticed that the vast majority of the “protesters” are not “boys” but young men and for that matter not so young young men.

        OIf course, the talk about “boys” is deliberate and designed to make us think of innocent, rosy-cheeked ten years olds.

        The only thing that surprises me is that people think they can spin that line when there is so much TV and video fooptage available to conclusively disprove it.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Er, what about your previous post at 14:29? I.e. why should I be bothered that some Caucasians are getting clubbed when peaceful protesters in Gaza are being shot with live rounds?

        • PleaseBeleafMe

          Allright Chuck,
          The Palestenian protesters may resorting to violence but can u blame them?
          Put yourself in their place. Generations squeezed geographically and economically with no hope of a promising future.
          Any peoples on this earth would resort to violence only its slingshots and firekites against explosive bullets and tanks.
          Even if the Palestenians became ghandi followers Israel would still find a way tighten the screws.
          Judging by an earlier comment of yours its the Palestenians fault thay haven’t let themselves be bred out of existence.
          Treat a human being like a rabid dog and they will give u reason to act like one.

          • Charles Bostock

            “Judging by an earlier comment of yours its the Palestenians fault thay haven’t let themselves be bred out of existence.”

            Which comment’s that?

            Anyway, I’m not “faulting” or “blaming” the Palestinians for having a lot of children (I don’t like your use of “breeding”, it sounds unpleasantly racist), I was probably merely suggesting that it is strange that a population undergoing – allegedly – slow starvation and slow extermination in “the world’s largest open air concentration camp “keeps increasing year on year.

        • Jude 93

          Imagine the outcry from Guardianistas and Neocons like you (these two factions being increasingly indistinguishable these days), if the US police or FBI, National Guard etc shot hundreds of Black Lives Matter or antifa demonstrators, the way the Israelis shot hundreds of Palestinians a few weeks ago. Imagine the outcry if anyone dared justify such slaughter on the grounds that “the protesters were far from peaceful”. Imagine furthermore the outcry if footage existed of the security forces of ANY western state shooting at point blank range clearly peaceful, unarmed, middle-aged women demonstrating on behalf of some fashionable leftist cause such as LGBTQ. In truth it is hardly even possible to imagine such a scenario. The leader of the state in question would probably be forced to resign within hours if not minutes of such events – and might well be arrested himself or herself for complicity in human rights crimes. But nobody in the “anti-racist” media even bats an eyelid about Israeli mass culls of Palestinians. That’s how privileged the Israeli state is in western society.

      • Jay

        I dont know, maybe get onto Craig Murray and tell him from now on you decide what he blogs about?

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          After all I have written about Gaareth Williams, the Skripass, and poor Wilklie McRae et al., I don’t expect any notice from Britain’s spooks.

          • Charles Bostock

            “After all I have written about Gaareth Williams….”

            …I still can’t spell his first name properly.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            This is the first time I have misspell his name on a site which generally deletes posts it doesn’t like, does not permit correcting posts after they are posted. and is infester by posters who go along with Britain’s covert government.

        • Clarityn

          I doubt bellingcat provided the police with anything, even the defence secretary wouldn’t use the name Chepiga.

    • Clarityn

      I thought the old photos looked nothing like Borishov? I expect the other failed assassin’s old photos to be distributed on this reliable russia Twitter account too!

      • Den Lille Abe

        It is the Novichock treat ment. It works differently on men and women.
        30 ish semi fat women, wil come out very attractive, with a great weight loss. They will also have a great tast in clothing and appearance. They are not harmed at all.
        But men on the other hand , they disappear and are not heard of.
        The Dug addict got Fentanyl and so did his girlfriend.
        T. May should go for a Novichock cure. She would come out as a beautiful virgin, but still lying of course. But at least something to look at and not listen to, she could have a new career as a sex bot in Hong Kong.

  • copydude

    ‘Skripals – arencha sick of ’em?’ Hatuey has a point.

    Why indeed should anyone care about a traitorous old toerag.

    The fact is, the Gov has found that its daily hatemongering against Vlad and Jeremy has been very successful. As I walk past the tabloid rack every day to grab my Co-op muffins, the relentless propaganda hardly misses a day.

    Prior to Skripals, Mrs May was a dead duck. Now she’s ‘strong and stable’ again. And what a welcome diversion all this is from a housing crisis, high street crisis, you name it crisis and a Brexit fiasco that will turn the clock back years.

    No coincidence that this parliamentary session was even opened with the story of the ‘smirking Salisbury hitmen’. It’s a nonsense, of no relevance to anyone’s daily life. But sadly, we are an island, with an island mentality and looking at a long period of not very splendid isolation. Stories of evil Johnny Foreigner fall on fertile ground.

    However, I do think it is important to discuss why we are being bombarded with this obvious fiction. And why no one in the mainstream media has questioned it. In this respect, there is no difference between the current spin and the dodgy dossier on Iraq. More disturbing for me is that, as with Iraq, Her Majesty’s Opposition must also be complicit in the deception.

    • SA

      I agree with you and Hatuey
      The major events that will affect our future is Brexit and the other one is the major rivalry between the West and Russia. The Skripal story is being used to overshadow both events and to distract. Even very possibly serious events in Syria have not been mentioned or glossed over by the MSM and ignored in this blog. I take the point of commentators who urge people like me to go elsewhere but the importance of this blog apart from the insight provided by Craig, is that it offers a space for exchange of views by many who are also well informed and who in general are polite with one or two exceptions who write to annoy.
      But copydude I disagree with your last sentence. In general her majesty’s opposition has tried to install some commonsense by asking for the evidence with the exception of the rather low key mention in JC conference speech. But JC has to say this as he is under attack on so many other fronts and would invite so much orchestrated attacks by all sides, that I think he had to say what he said.

    • sc

      ‘Hatuey has a point.’ …. well, yes.

      But since this is a blog post about the Skripal case, why complain? Plenty else to read. For almost any story there are more important stories. The case does worry me. Because from the start lies and unlikely assertions have been used to make us, the general public, more scared of and angry with Russia. There must be a reason, and most of the press were amazingly incurious.

      Now it may be that failing fury and fear, someone is falling back on everyone feeling confusion and general boredom and OMG what next.

    • sc

      Another thing that annoys me now I’m thinking about it is the ‘Russian Hackers’ narrative. I work in IT so I’ve been taking a slight interest but I have seen no serious evidence shown to the public, things like Facebook ads and links to click on in emails, hardly high tech …. and someone mentioned Cyrillic characters in the metadata. So convincing! Cyrillic characters in their metadata and snow on their boots ….

      Yet we had SCL, a UK company with establishment ties, boasting about influencing elections in different countries. The CIA are famous for it. and Israel is known to to use social media influencing. In the old days people would (maybe still do) have undercover agents and informers and people infiltrating groups and influencing their behaviour. This is costly and potentially dangerous. Joining a few Facebook groups, putting ads or fake accounts, fake Youtube videos that go viral, all quite easy and cheap and safe by comparison. I’d be amazed if lots of countries, including us, didn’t do it. In fact I think I remember fake UK websites being mentioned in the Snowden leak.

      So if they said ‘The current online climate is full of fakes and hackers, criminals, governments, teenager in bedrooms … so we need more cyber defence, I’d agree. But they just go on about Russia. We need it to counter Russia. Why?

      • sc

        Maybe the idea is a specific enemy is needed to make us scared enough to agree to large budgets? We can’t think in generalities?

        • Paul Greenwood

          Saudi Arabia is looking to buy Russian weapons as insurance but BAe might not like the competition for its biggest customer

      • EricsEars

        “So if they said ‘The current online climate is full of fakes and hackers, criminals, governments, teenager in bedrooms … so we need more cyber defence, I’d agree. But they just go on about Russia. We need it to counter Russia. Why?”

        False flags. The attempt to subvert is from within but the blame is pointed at an outer enemy. A practice not unknown to ancient histories nor current corporate methodologies. In fact Craig Murray’s very good book about the Orange Togomen from Italy in Africa has a variety of examples of methodologies as practiced by states and private companies. I am really looking forward to my copy of Sikunder arriving in the mail next week.

        2018 is not over yet.

      • uncle tungsten

        Because Russia agreed to assist Syria to exterminate sunni murderous jihadis. That is what skripals was about: to cement the idea that Russia, Syria, Iran are ‘chemical weapon tossing’ evil people.

        How dare Russia frustrate Israel and its puppet states’ game in the middle east. What an outrage that the same people who bombed the twin towers in new york shoul be exterminated before theg get to slaughter Russians on Russian soil. That is why we have this skripal fiasco. And it is noft boring, it is deadly seriously linked to the states that condemn the Palestinians to oblivion. That is the link hatuey.

  • Sharp Ears

    I attended a very interesting illustrated talk this afternoon given by this lady, Lorraine Spindler, who is curator of Leatherhead Museum and a genealogist. She is also an author. https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Lorraine-Spindler/a/2708

    The title was Secret Spies – Surrey and I imagined she would be revealing more about the likes of those Russians who lived in Surrey such as Alexander Perepilichnyy allegedly murdered by Dmitry Kovtun, the former KGB agent, but it was mainly about the Second World war and the local activity of the SOE at Headley Court (recently in use as a rehabilitation centre for the military) and Bellasis another of their training locations.**

    She led up her talk with details of the war propaganda from the C19 and C20 – careless talk, suspicion of foreigners, etc, fear of invasion by ‘German speaking people’ to the extent that Boy Scouts were even employed to watch the Leatherhead water works at night. She sees that we are in another cold war currently. Information about the Free Czech army was given, the activities of the Canadians here in training for D Day, Heydrich’s activities and the Lidice massacre and Heydrich’s assassination. Altogether a wide ranging talk which was thought provoking.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SOE_establishments

    What has changed over the centuries?

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      I can imagine the psychological adjustments Vladmiir Skripal had to agree to when questioned by MI6’s Mark Urban:

      Urban: “Okay, Vladimir, now that you have regained consciousness, will you stop with all your pro-Putin nonsense,or should we put you back to sleep?”

    • Clarityn

      If you read it, that was when he was interviewed in 2017. You might want to delete or edit your last comment as it makes you look a bit silly.

      • SA

        Clarityn
        Urban interviewed Skripal in 2017 but the text also clearly indicates that Urban has also interviewed him since the ‘poisoning’ as from this Guardian quote
        “Skripal struggled to come to terms with his situation following the novichok attack on him and his daughter, Yulia, the author and BBC journalist Mark Urban writes.”

        So I can confirm officially that SE is in no way a bit silly.

    • Sharp Ears

      I have ploughed through the comments on that RT link. Some from the usual suspects are as moronic as some on here! ‘Silly’ is a word often found in Mr Bostock’s comments.

      These two comments are pertinent.
      ‘The book is said to be based on the 2017 interviews Mark Urban had with Sergey Skripal so I guess it’s pretty recent. Urban was on the Jeremy Vine radio show today and stated he spent around 10 hours in total with Sergey Skripal but as usual, the BBC employee failed to challenge Urban on any of the evidence. Why does that not surprise me?’

      Did anyone on here hear Urban and Vine?

      ‘The book – The Skripal Files was written by BBC editor Mark Urban. As to where the Skripals are now – that’s anyone’s guess but I’m confident the UK government knows where they are and will continue to “milk” this story for all it’s worth. What strikes me about this whole affair is that no one in the MSM has ever challenged the UK government to produce hard evidence for scrutiny.’

  • George Brennan

    Craig Murray suggested the idiot Gavin Wilkinson was told delete his tweet because Intelligence was not sure the photos were of the same man. They must certainly be unsure about something. They want a plausible narrative showing a master spy following Putin’s direct orders and so far they have not found anything like it.

    CM assumed, as one would, that Bellingcat must have done some metrics and had kept quiet about them – since at very least they fail to confirm the likeness strongly. So far so clear.

    But on Elena Evdokimov’s view they would not need to do any metrics because they knew thay had three photos of the same man, Boshirov the tourist. So Chepiga if he exists is still out there somewhere, but if the Russians ever think of producing him he will look even more different than the 20 year old Boshirov with his snub nose.

    She claims, if I have understood, that one passport was a Bellingcat forgery. The Boshirov photos came from a big cache of passport applications documents for some reason stolen in 2016. She has take on the burden of proving at least two things here, and perhaps somewhere may have done so. But it begins to resemble a conspiracy rabbit hole.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Tim_Hayward_/status/1047009337397448704?p=v

    • Den Lille Abe

      Gavin Williamson is derided as a dumb fuck. And that is polite.
      He is universally derided as a stupid Tory cunt

    • Andrew H

      I don’t think it means the intelligence services have come to any conclusion. They are just putting Gavin in line because he is a clown.

      One person who has the evidence on whether the Bellingcat information is fake is Eliot Higgins. He is still of the opinion that he is a skilled and lucky journalist. What he really needs to do is to apply his skills into re-examining his email discussions from the perspective of person who has just sent their life savings to Nigeria, and can’t understand what when wrong. I think it is likely that he will one day do this, but not today, and it’ll make another very interesting and revealing investigation. (perhaps more so than the first)

      • Clarityn

        I doubt you can be convinced then, you do know this wall appeared on state TV don’t you?

        • Igor P.P.

          I resized them, so ear to ear distance is the same and eyes are on the same level: i.postimg.cc/fR547grH/chepiga_boshirov.png Facial proportions seem obviously different to me. Perhaps that’s why RT has shown it?

    • Borncynical

      Hmmm. A number of obvious things strike me about this ‘evidence’. First, the picture is not level with the neighbouring picture – all the other pictures are precisely lined up with their respective neighbouring pictures; second, the name ‘label’ is of different dimensions and colour to all the other pictures; third, it is the only photo that doesn’t appear to have non-reflective glass. Standards are clearly dropping in Russia.

      • cimarrón

        Borncynical,

        Yes, you have nailed it there. The different-sized name panel is ridiculous and must be the work of an amateur faker.

        The producer of all the genuine small posters on the wall would have a master on file and adapt it for each new hero, changing the picture, the text and the border colour – but not changing any sizes as that would make it appear inharmonius with the rest.

        I worked, as a graphic artist, on these sort of jobs for much of my life.

      • Borncynical

        Further to my comments at 18.38, and there may be a plausible reason for this, but it also appears that ‘Colonel Chepiga’ isn’t wearing a military uniform in the photo but is in civvies with the one solitary medal evident. Why might that be?

        I also note that the group photo reportedly from the ‘gallery in 2016’ is a cropped version of the group photo reportedly found on the OK social website in March 2017. You can tell it’s the same single original photo from the identical reflections. Why would the gallery photograph especially be cropped to cut off a couple of the earlier award recipients rather than showing the full picture? Whilst that may be possible, and doesn’t present a direct reason to suggest fraud, it just sits uncomfortably with me.

        • Yeah, Right

          “I also note that the group photo reportedly from the ‘gallery in 2016’ is a cropped version of the group photo reportedly found on the OK social website in March 2017”

          The photos that I can see on the Bellingcat article are captioned “2014” and “2017”
          Which is the group photo you are referring to?

          • Borncynical

            Apologies, @Yeah,Right for not seeing your post until now – I am consciously trying to wean myself off this website! I spent today indulging in more constructive activities, getting my boiler serviced and working in the garden! Problem is, when I come back to the website I feel compelled to read every post since I last checked, so probably not saving myself any time at all.

            The gallery group photo from 2016 is accessed from Bellingcat’s para 7 (just above the wall photo in his article) where he refers to ‘gallery photo from 2016 SHOWs the Chepiga photo’. If you click on ‘shows’ which is underlined it takes you to the 2016 link. Having said that, when I checked again, I discovered that by clicking on the ‘cropped’ picture it opens up to the larger version but it still remains the case that it is the same picture as the OK 2017 photo.

      • Yeah, Right

        And one more thing: Examine Bellingcat’s “before” photo that is claimed to date from July 2014.
        Bottom row, extreme left.

        That is a photo of General Aleksandr Dvornikov.
        A man who was awarded his HoRF on….. 17 March 2016.

        Note sure how a photo from 2014 can show a medal-winner from 2016 except…. well, no, it isn’t possible.

        That photo was clearly taken after March 2016, which means that Eliot Higgins is being played.

      • Yeah, Right

        And one more thing: the caption on the photo is:
        Чепига
        Анатолий Владимирович

        That translates to:
        Chepiga
        Anatoly Vladimirovich

        Compare and contrast to EVERY OTHER photo on that wall, all of which are captioned by:
        Rank
        Surname and Initials

        Bellingcat insists that Chepiga is a Colonel in the GRU, and a graduate of the Far East All-Arms School.

        If we accept that then the photo should have this caption:
        Полковник
        Чепига Ав

        Which, very clearly, it does not.

        It’s a fake.

        • Yeah, Right

          No, on second viewing I have that wrong. It is hard to tell from the photos but it looks like Povov’s photo is captioned:
          Попов
          Александр Викторович

          Which translates to:
          Popov
          Alexander Viktorovich

          So I retract my last post.

    • Yeah, Right

      Hilarious indeed. It is obvious that the photos are lined up in chronological order of award. So this “new” photo is placed in amongst the Soviet-era award holders, rather than in the bottom row.

      Note also that Bellingcat insisted that Chepiga was awarded his HoRF simultaneously with Popov, and the photo of Popov is on the bottom row, second from last. So Chepiga’s photo should have been next to Popov’s and not, as is shown, on the row above it.

      Note also that the red border is far too thick, the yellow caption is far too big, and that photo is the only one that is highly reflective. It is clearly a fake that has been photoshopped into those photos.

      • Dailyshocker.news

        Nonsense.

        The lengths people go to, to make out things are faked is ridiculous.

        It’s a board with various images from various times, and it might not be managed that well. Other images have differences in borders etc as well.

        As for the reflection, it’s perfectly possible for that to occur.

        People are seeing what they want to see.

        • Yeah, Right

          “Nonsense.”

          Oh, well, that’s OK then…..

          “It’s a board with various images from various times,”

          Sorry, I know that statement is wrong, because Bellingcat has already pointed me to the evidence that disproves it.

          Go to their previous article and follow the link that Eliot Higgins posted to here:
          http://ussvu.mil.ru/Ob_uchrezhdenii/Istoriya

          Note the row of photos of recipients of the “Hero of the Russian Federation” down the bottom.
          Compare those photos to the photos that Bellingcat shows for “the school’s Wall of Heroes”

          They match. Clearly the school *does* care about the chronology of the photos, and the bottom row is dedicated to “Heros of the Russian Federation”, whereas the top two rows is dedicated to “Heros of the Soviet Union”.

          And…… one more thing to note: that ussvu.mil.ru link makes reference to “Colonel-General Alexander Vladimirovich Dvornikov, who was awarded this title for courage and heroism in performing special tasks in the Syrian Arab Republic.” \

          A quick search tells me that Dvornikov was awarded his HoRF on…… 17 March 2016.

          Which is odd indeed, because his photo is already on Bellingcat’s photo entitled “Last publicly available photo of the Wall of Heroes at DVOKU without Chepiga’s portrait, from a closed OK group, photo dated July 2014”.

          Extreme left, bottom row.

          So the “before” photo is clearly faked unless, of course, Eliot Higgins is able to hop into a WayBak machine with Sherman and Prof Peabody.

          “Other images have differences in borders etc as well.”

          Simply untrue. Look again at Bellingcat’s “before” photo from 2014: there is a standard size border, and a standard sized yellow caption. Now look at the “after” photo from 2017. The “Chepiga” photo is clearly different in border thickness, in caption, and in reflections.

  • Den Lille Abe

    The Skripal case has , shown to exhibit so many unexplained and deliberate wrongs that it lands near the JFK, RFK and 9/11 cases.
    Now I ask as “forriner” not inundated with propaganda , why is it when earth shattering events happen tha there are so many “unexplained” by- events, that no one can decipher, and no one can or will explain.
    In all three cases we, as the public, are asked to ” believe” the official story.
    *ole lotta believing gonna be needed” believing is what you do in a church. Acknowleding facts is what you do in science, and facts are not proven in any of the 4 cases. None what so ever has been put forward to substantiate the claims.
    IMO, the US and the UK stinks, they stink badly. They stink badly from corrupt politicians and a fourth state, that does things we are not supposed to question.

    • Mark B

      It’s really quite remarkable how much backtracking Craig is doing on the whole Skripal issue. I guess he banks on his readers having short memories.

      • Clarityn

        They do have short memories…. Remember the impossible photograph and the denials any Russians visited Salisbury? Putin himself saying thes guys are civilians rather than incompetent spies/assassins. Clearly the GRU are needing retrained and their funding cuts reversed. They don’t even deny having Chemical Weapons anymore. Pathetic and weak.

      • Anon1

        What little credibility he had remaining has slipped away I’m afraid. Outside of these blog walls he is a complete laughing stock. I did try to tell him that a lengthy period of silence followed by a change of subject was the best course of action, but to no avail.

    • Hatuey

      Den, go believe what you want on JFK, 911, and Skripal. The point I am making is that your views will come to less than nothing — less than nothing because you will get absolutely nothing in return for the investment in time and energy you make; you come out of this down, with less than you started with, guaranteed.

      We have had every theory imaginable on the Skripal stuff. Someone a few weeks ago even suggested that it was some sort of romantic love triangle that had gotten sour and nasty. I’m not joking.

      People are like computers. We can devote their processing power to utterly pointless crap or we can devote it to solving meaningful problems, throwing light on stuff. and exchanging ideas. Whilst it might be debatable that any good could ever emerge from a forum like this, we can absolutely guarantee that no good will come from it if we discuss things like 911, JFK, Woolwich, and UFOs.

      I am close to putting Skripal firmly in the same category as those things. If there’s any onus on anyone here, it’s on those who think it doesn’t belong in that category to explain why. Accordingly;

      1) Why should we believe you have a snowflake’s chance in hell of finding out what actually happened in Salisbury? When intelligence services are involved, history shows that you can count on getting nowhere every single time.

      2) Even if you did find out, what difference would it make? Do you think finding out will stop World War 3? Alternatively, do you think not finding out will make World War 3 more likely? I feel stupid even asking these questions…

      And those who are pointing out that these comments are on an article about the Skripal affair have some nerve. Every article on here over the last 6 months has been hijacked by people talking about this stuff.

      I wish Craig Murray would stop talking about this and help us understand what the hell is going on in the real world.

      • Sc

        I’d agree normally about never finding out. Till everything is declassified decades on. But enough doubt about the government line can make a difference between supporting sanctions, agreeing with bombing places, and so on, and not. This isn’t a simple mystery, it’s propaganda as well. If they’d just disappeared i’d shrug, baffled, but when you immediately get all this diplomats expelled drama you do worry what it’s for. And thinking we are being defended against dastardly enemies versus thinking usual incomprehensible rubbish might make a difference in an election. So I think worth questioning.

        • Hatuey

          Sc — it isn’t simply a mystery, it’s propaganda too… that actually made me laugh.

          But here’s a radical idea. if you want to stop them bombing places “and so on” why don’t you talk about that “and so on”?

          Call me predictable, but if someone crackpot was bashing me on the head with a baseball bat, I wouldn’t feel compelled to discuss the unsolvable question of who vandalised my neighbour’s car 6 months ago.

          I’m genuinely starting to think they may have put LSD in our tap water.

          • Sc

            Maybe you’re right. But if people don’t comment on the holes in the story, especially people like Craig Murray with inside experience, isn’t there a danger that ‘russians used chemical weapons in england’ joins ‘russian trolls influence elections’ as an thing generally believed because of repetition rather than proof?

      • Jude 93

        Hatuey: 9/11 led to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and arguably led to the attacks on Syria and Libya. So to use your own formula, believe what you want to about who or what made it happen, but it continues to be relevant regardless – just as all the other terrorism events continue to be used to justify western forces in Afghanistan, drone strikes in Pakistan and on and on. And anyway even if blog contributors here stop talking about these things, it will make next to no impact on the level of discussion about this stuff in the “real world”; the discussion will just be that much more uncontested.

        Moreover what makes you think that your own favoured topics for discussion will make any more impact on the real world? There are just as many folk out there willing to defend the Israelis with conspiracy theories about the dastardly Palestinians using civilians as human shields to lure the poor innocent Israeils into shooting them, as there are amateur Skripal sleuths, so you’re not going to escape endless pettifogging argument about details simply by moving to discussion of events that you may like to think are uncontested – but which all too many trolls are very eager to contest.

        • Hatuey

          Jude, if you think that talking about, investigating, and exchanging information about the world on here makes no difference, I won’t bore you with my reasons for thinking otherwise.

          I have benefitted hugely from reading comments on here. Just last week someone posted a link to a video that had a profound impact on my understanding of certain things. Here’s the link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=np_ylvc8Zj8&t=2708s

          Once you accept that some things matter in the world, as I do, you are faced with the immediate task of prioritising those things.

          Thus, if you were in a car that was about to go over a cliff, would you want to discuss the choice of music being played or would you consider the merits of changing direction a more important topic? This isn’t a rhetorical question; if music is important to you, talk about that in the little time you have remaining — it’s your choice. It’s pretty obvious where I stand on that one.

          • Clark

            Hatuey, I mostly agree with you about this. I have learned a huge amount from this site, a lot of it from comments.

            I have learned little from the Skripal fiasco, particularly from the comments. However, I regard Craig’s posts on this subject as important; he has been asking the questions that the “news” media have so conspicuously neglected. That has influenced political reactions to the matter; in the UK and internationally. For ordinary readers, Craig’s posts serve to illustrate what a proper media system should look like, how grossly short it falls, and how propagandistic it is. They help expose the incestuous relationship between certain journalists and the secret services.

          • Hatuey

            Clark, I’m happy also to read Craig’s comments. He has specialist knowledge on this stuff. Actually, since he worked for the foreign office, I’d say he probably has a very intimate knowledge of how the spying game works. It’s actually very difficult for me to even tell the difference between MI6 operatives and Foreign Office staff.

            But, I think Craig would agree that we are never likely to know what happened in Salisbury and so it’s all for naught. Looking at it like that, I think Craig must know that this subject carries potential risks for him with no prospect of any rewards.

            The whole narrative here is controlled by very unreliable narrators. At any moment they can invent and introduce new variables that make people look silly. There’s enough silly looking people in the world.

          • Jude 93

            Hatuey: Thanks for the very informative link. In Ireland in the late 1990s it was revealed that many politicians had secret Cayman Island accounts – but for all the media brouhaha about this revelation, no one asked the blazingly obvious question as to what the pols did in return for this largesse.

            I don’t think arguing and exchanging infomation and exchanging ideas is pointless; if it made no difference the deep states of various countries wouldn’t pay trolls to infiltrate such sites. I also see your point about Skripal and the capacity of intelligence agencies to confound sceptics by working in concert with the mass media to “discover new compelling evidence”, which is seen to make the sceptics look foolish. I have paid very little attention to Skripal – primarily because I find the media coverage of it so very infuriating, but I think our host and some contributors have done a valuable job in exposing the inconsistencies in the official story. My point is a broader one: if we avoid challenging official stories simply because the media characterise such challenges as “conspiracy theories”, we will end up with a smaller and smaller number of things we can challenge – a la the “Overton Window”. You can see this already with many Zionists and politicians now openly stating that any serious criticism of the Israel lobby is “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”, or “an anti-semitic trope” – to use the phrase of one leading Blairite.

            Also, I don’t share the view that “conspiracy theorizing” is always a dead end. I believe the rise of the much maligned internet conspiracy community, for all its many faults, has made the average joe that much more sceptical about offiical and mass media false narratives – and that can only be good in my view. Whatever one thinks of Corbyn, his election as Labour leader was, I would argue, at least partly attributable to people being informed via the internet that the Blairites and their BBC/Guardianistas allies were not representing the interests of Labour supporters. That is surely why such massive efforts are now being made to shut down dissenting voices on the net.

  • Jones

    having looked at Chepiga’s photo on the military academy wall as shown on bellingcat site today (2/10/180) my reaction was the photo portrays a large guy with wide shoulders, whereas Boshirov looks a regular medium sized guy in RT interview, this confirms my earlier post when i suggested Boshirov was a smaller guy than Chepiga, ”window shopping video” and RT interview show Boshirov as a much smaller guy than the military group and wall photos of Chepiga on bellingcat site, i don’t know if i’m right or wrong but instinct tells me the photos in links below shows a large wide-shouldered guy which Boshirov certainly is not.

    Chepiga below, big guy wide shoulders?
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/10/02/anatoliy-chepiga-hero-russia-writing-wall/
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/09/26/skripal-suspect-boshirov-identified-gru-colonel-anatoliy-chepiga/

    Boshirov below, smaller medium sized guy, normal sized shoulders?
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/26/salisbury-poisoning-suspect-is-russian-colonel-reports

  • Sarge

    Seems that the longer Bellingcat’s “revelation” is denied official credence the louder and more frantic the insistence of its authenticity by those who swallowed it without a second’s pause.

    • Albert A

      According to rhod Sharpe on radio 5 this morning c 4.20 a,m Bellingcat will be announcing the name of the second suspect soon. They don’t give up, do they ?

  • Harald K

    “Can’t stand up to facial recognition technology” my ass. That’s an area that has moved on a lot since your expert and your “standard technology”. Those of us who have paid attention in machine learning the last ten years, know

    1. Facial recognition has improved immensely.

    2. It’s still below human levels. So if people say Boshirov looks like Chepiga, you should still listen to them over any algorithm.

    In addition, what any statistician can tell you is that no system can produce an output like “2.5% chance it is Chepiga” without a prior estimate. Oh but we know what your prior is, Craig. You’ve been an embarrassment throughout this debacle, retreating from denial to denial.

    Hey, maybe you’ll trust Russian technology? It happens to be state of the art. Not very likely anything is capable of changing your mind, so we might as well have fun, right? Here’s what Faceapp makes of the pictures: https://imgur.com/a/ZHewQMA

  • N_

    Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Donald Trump’s ambassador to NATO – a TV personality and lawyer – today threatened to destroy the Novator 9M729 missiles Russia is developing, which, it is claimed, violate the 1987 treaty banning intermediate range nukes (other than sea-launched ones) and give Russia a first-strike nuclear capability, presumably against NATO countries in Europe.

    “They (Russia) are on notice,” says Hutchinson.

    The US President, Secretary of State and Defence Secretary haven’t chipped in yet. You’d have thought the US threatening war with Russia would require their input somewhere along the line. NATO Secretary General and loony Steinerite cultist Jens Stoltenberg hasn’t chipped in either. Does the US ambassador to NATO speak for NATO now?

      • Andrew H

        nothing? but you can’t really expect people to stay 100% on topic – it would get very monotonous very quickly. Even in a court trial its normally permitted to introduce background material that might be useful to judge the credibility of a witness.

      • Paul Greenwood

        I am sure it has. If you are intent of creating a context for global war this is the methodology. The fact that Trump put a very stupid woman in place at the UN and another at NATO is hardly an adequate excuse if you are overtly threatening nuclear powers capable of introducing Nuclear Winter to North America.

        There is no adequate warning for Russia of a US launch from Romania or Bulgaria or Poland or Baltic States or Norway………..the slightest error will see Bulava and Sarmat on their way to effect urban clearance in North America and UK

  • copydude

    Quote: ” Why should we believe you have a snowflake’s chance in hell of finding out what actually happened in Salisbury? When intelligence services are involved, history shows that you can count on getting nowhere every single time.”

    Once again, Hatuey nails it.

    I wasted several years over exercising my brains on the Litvinenko case.

    In this whole narrative, there is nothing that can be independently verified, nor ever will be. No material witness will ever be questioned. D-notices, reporting restrictions and the official secrets act will deter independent comment. Some characters in the story will be conveniently disappeared. Even the ‘official narrative’ – drip fed to the tabloids by anonymous ‘experts believe’ or ‘sources suggest’ – are never officially confirmed or denied.

    Yes, it’s fascinating to pick holes in the story, the timeline, the methodology . . . but these are all moving targets, without any corroboration or substantiation, or even any basis in science. The Polonium plot was even more crazy than the Novichok story. Craig’s latest piece, ‘Spy Games’, is aptly titled. It’s all about disinfo, the secret services’ stock in trade. And we are all being played. All members of the public in the UK.

    As I posted earlier, I think the Labour Party/HM Opposition are complicit in this. In the beginning, I wrote to my local Labour MP asking how someone can enter an NHS Hospital, be denied contact with relatives, be denied all basic freedoms – phone, net – and then never be seen again.

    Worth a question in the House of Commons, surely? Obviously not.

    • Andrew H

      “I wasted several years over exercising my brains on the Litvinenko case.”. What conclusion did you come to? And you are kidding me, right? Fortunately, if that’s what you did, then its probably no loss to civilisation.

    • Hatuey

      Yes, you have it, copydude… then there’s the strange case of Dr. David Kelly and a thousand other such stories. The UK Government’s policy is to tell you zilch on intelligence matters. Safely under the umbrella of ‘anything goes’ when it comes to the ‘national interest’, the security services can literally get away with murder.

      I said it two weeks ago. All we really know as far as the Skripal case is concerned is that there’s a place called Salisbury somewhere. That’s where certainty begins and ends. Beyond that there’s virtually nothing.

      Craig knows this to be true because everybody who has any understanding of these things knows it to be true. Oh, and btw, let’s stop pretending that the Russian intelligence services are any different or more scrupulous. There’s zero reason to expect that to be the case.

      And yet here we are, down the rabbit hole again where nothing is real.

      • Dailyshocker.news

        It’s about pressure.

        The more that is established, the more questions asked, the more people who question it, the more powerful it becomes.

        It’s about standing up and doing what we canto say,, doing this shit and lying to us about it is not OK.

        Otherwise what, I’ve up and be quiet?

        No thanks.

      • Andrew H

        I think we know a little more…. For example, we know the Russians did it (as our PM pointed out early on) and we know many other things besides. I am slightly misusing the word ‘we’, but then so are you. There are clearly some things that I know that you don’t, and possibly vice versa – it’s not absolute. I for example know that 7*4 = 28, but there are certainly people in this world that don’t. If you want to play the game that I don’t have “proof” that the Russians did it, I could just as well argue you don’t have “proof” that Salisbury exists, and I don’t actually have proof that 7*4=28.

        I also don’t think its actually important to know everything – if you watch a chess game, you may be able to appreciate some aspects of it without fully understanding all the details behind every move. This is a long game, but in the end noone actually gets hurt (apart from a couple of the initial players), so its more of a dark comedy than some of the other news. [Relatively speaking – in contrast, it would be kind of sick to laugh at Iraq games or Syria games].

        • SA

          Are you confused Andrew? Stating that 4*7 is 28 or that Salisbury exist are universal facts that are easily verifiable and in the case of Salisbury by visual individual verification. No one is disputing these facts although some may be ignorant of them. So your example is flawed.
          Because May told you that Russia did it you believed it is true and is in no doubt. There is where your naive trust shows. May has produced no evidence whatsoever and all this amounts to is an assertion. She may be right of course in the end if she submits the evidence but at this moment in time your statement just remains based on faith.

          • Andrew H

            I don’t have naive trust. I listen to the evidence and come to a conclusion based on probability. Just as you likely trusted your school teacher to tell you facts, I am entitled to put greater credence in information provided by generally reliable sources – its doesn’t mean I believe them outright, but the only story remaining that fits all the facts is the one the UK govt has been telling all along. (yes, I would accept there are many details that I cannot verify, but the big picture is pretty solid)

      • Iain Stewart

        “The UK Government’s policy is to tell you zilch on intelligence matters.”

        My favourite British intelligence story is the UK selling “unbreakable” Enigma cipher machines to friendly powers all over the world and not telling them until the 1970s that they could read all their secret messages.

        • Cherrycoke

          Interesting. Are you famliar with PROMIS?

          “Brian and the DOJ then resold or gave PROMIS to as many as 80 foreign and domestic agencies. (Brian adamantly denies any connection to Inslaw or the October Surprise.)

          These sources, which include ex-Israeli spy Ari Ben Menashe and a computer programmer of dubious reputation, Michael Riconosciuto, allege that PROMIS had been further modified by the DOJ so that any agency using it could be subject to undetected DOJ eavesdropping – a sort of software Trojan Horse. If these allegations are true, by the late 1980s PROMIS could have become the digital ears of the US Government’s spy effort – both internal and external.”

          https://www.wired.com/1993/01/inslaw/

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