Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative 890


I still do not know what happened in the Skripal saga, which perhaps might more respectfully be termed the Sturgess saga. I cannot believe the Russian account of Boshirov and Petrov, because if those were their real identities, those identities would have been firmly established and displayed by now. But that does not mean they attempted to kill the Skripals, and there are many key elements to the official British account which are also simply incredible.

Governments play dark games, and a dark game was played out in Salisbury which involved at least the British state, Russian agents (possibly on behalf of the state), Orbis Intelligence and the BBC. Anybody who believes it is simple to identify the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in this situation is a fool. When it comes to state actors and the intelligence services, frequently there are no “good guys”, as I personally witnessed from the inside over torture, extraordinary rendition and the illegal invasion of Iraq. But in the face of a massive media campaign to validate the British government story about the Skripals, here are ten of the things I do not believe in the official account:

1) PURE

This was the point that led me to return to the subject of the Skripals, even though it has brought me more abuse than I had received in my 15 year career as a whistleblower.

A few months ago, I was in truth demoralised by the amount of abuse I was receiving about the collapse of the Russian identity story of Boshirov and Petrov. I had never claimed the poisoning, if any, was not carried out by Russians, only that there were many other possibilities. I understood the case against the Russian state is still far from established, whoever Boshirov and Petrov really are, and I did not (and do not) accept Bellingcat’s conjectures and dodgy evidence as conclusive identification. But I did not enjoy at all the constant online taunts, and therefore was not inclined to take the subject further.

It is in this mood that I received more information from my original FCO source, who had told me, correctly, that Porton Down could not and would not attest that the “novichok” sample was made in Russia, and explained that the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was an agreed Whitehall line to cover this up.

She wanted to explain to me that the British government was pulling a similar trick over the use of the word “pure”. The OPCW report had concluded that the sample provided to them by the British government was “of high purity” with an “almost complete absence of impurities”. This had been spun by the British government as evidence that the novichok was “military grade” and could only be produced by a state.

But actually that is not what the OPCW technical experts were attempting to signal. The sample provided to the OPCW had allegedly been swabbed from the Skripals’ door handle. It had been on that door handle for several days before it was allegedly discovered there. In that time it had been contacted allegedly by the hands of the Skripals and of DC Bailey, and the gloves of numerous investigators. It had of course been exposed to whatever film of dirt or dust was on the door handle. It had been exposed to whatever pollution was in the rain and whatever dust and pollen was blowing around. In these circumstances, it is incredible that the sample provided “had an almost complete absence of impurities”.

A sample cannot have a complete absence of impurities after being on a used doorknob, outdoors, for several days. The sample provided was, on the contrary, straight out of a laboratory.

The government’s contention that “almost complete absence of impurities” meant “military grade” was complete nonsense. There is no such thing as “military grade” novichok. It has never been issued to any military, anywhere. The novichok programme was designed to produce an organo-phosphate poison which could quickly be knocked up from readily available commercial ingredients. It was not part of an actual defence industry manufacturing programme.

There is a final problem with the “of high purity” angle. First we had the Theresa May story that the “novichok” was extremely deadly, many times more deadly than VX, in minute traces. Then, when the Skripals did not die, it was explained to us that this was because it had degraded in the rain. This was famously put forward by Dan Kaszeta, formerly of US Intelligence and the White House and self-proclaimed chemical weapons expert – which expertise has been strenuously denied by real experts.

What we did not know then, but we do know now, is that Kaszeta was secretly being paid to produce this propaganda by the British government via the Integrity Initiative.

So the first thing I cannot believe is that the British government produced a sample with an “almost complete absence of impurities” from several days on the Skripals’ doorknob. Nor can I believe that if “extremely pure” the substance therefore was not fatal to the Skripals.

2) Raising the Roof

Three days ago Sky News had an outside broadcast from the front of the Skripals’ house in Salisbury, where they explained that the roof had been removed and replaced due to contamination with “novichok”.

I cannot believe that a gel, allegedly smeared or painted onto the doorknob, migrated upwards to get into the roof of a two storey house, in such a manner that the roof had to be destroyed, but the house inbetween did not. As the MSM never questions the official narrative, there has never been an official answer as to how the gel got from the doorknob to the roof. Remember that traces of the “novichok” were allegedly found in a hotel room in Poplar, which is still in use as a hotel room and did not have to be destroyed, and an entire bottle of it was allegedly found in Charlie Rowley’s house, which has not had to be destroyed. Novichok was found in Zizzi’s restaurant, which did not have to be destroyed.

So we are talking about novichok in threatening quantities – more than the traces allegedly found in the hotel in Poplar – being in the Skripals’ roof. How could this happen?

As I said in the onset, I do not know what happened, I only know what I do not believe. There are theories that Skripal and his daughter might themselves have been involved with novichok in some way. On the face of it, its presence in their roof might support that theory.

The second thing I do not believe is that the Skripals’ roof became contaminated by gel on their doorknob so that the roof had to be destroyed, whereas no other affected properties, nor the rest of the Skripals’ house, had to be destroyed.

3) Nursing Care

The very first person to discover the Skripals ill on a park bench in Salisbury just happened to be the Chief Nurse of the British Army, who chanced to be walking past them on her way back from a birthday party. How lucky was that? The odds are about the same as the chance of my vacuum cleaner breaking down just before James Dyson knocks at my door to ask for directions. There are very few people indeed in the UK trained to give nursing care to victims of chemical weapon attack, and of all the people who might have walked past, it just happened to be the most senior of them!

The government is always trying to get good publicity for its armed forces, and you would think that the heroic role of its off-duty personnel in saving random poisoned Russian double agents they just happened to chance across, would have been proclaimed as a triumph for the British military. Yet it was kept secret for ten months. We were not told about the involvement of Colonel Alison McCourt until January of this year, when it came out by accident. Swollen with maternal pride, Col. McCourt nominated her daughter for an award from the local radio station for her role in helping give first aid to the Skripals, and young Abigail revealed her mother’s identity on local radio – and the fact her mother was there “with her” administering first aid.

Even then, the compliant MSM played along, with the Guardian and Sky News both among those running stories emphasising entirely the Enid Blyton narrative of “plucky teenager saves the Skripals”, and scarcely mentioning the Army’s Chief Nurse who was looking after the Skripals “with little Abigail”.

I want to emphasise again that Col. Alison McCourt is not the chief nurse of a particular unit or hospital, she is the Chief Nurse of the entire British Army. Her presence was kept entirely quiet by the media for ten months, when all sorts of stories were run in the MSM about who the first responders were – various doctors and police officers being mentioned.

If you believe that it is coincidence that the Chief Nurse of the British Army was the first person to discover the Skripals ill, you are a credulous fool. And why was it kept quiet?

4) Remarkable Metabolisms

This has been noted many times, but no satisfactory answer has ever been given. The official story is that the Skripals were poisoned by their door handle, but then well enough to go out to a pub, feed some ducks, and have a big lunch in Zizzi’s, before being instantly stricken and disabled, both at precisely the same time.

The Skripals were of very different ages, genders and weights. That an agent which took hours to act but then kicks in with immediate disabling effect, so they could not call for help, would affect two such entirely different metabolisms at precisely the same time, has never been satisfactorily explained. Dosage would have an effect and of course the doorknob method would give an uncontrolled dosage.

But that the two different random dosages were such that they affected each of these two very different people at just the same moment, so that neither could call for help, is an extreme coincidence. It is almost as unlikely as the person who walks by next being the Chief Nurse of the British Army.

5) 11 Days

After the poisoning of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, the Police cordoned off Charlie Rowley’s home and began a search for “Novichok”, in an attitude of extreme urgency because it was believed this poison was out amidst the public. They were specifically searching for a small phial of liquid. Yet it took 11 days of the search before they allegedly discovered the “novichok” in a perfume bottle sitting in plain sight on the kitchen counter – and only after they had discovered the clue of the perfume bottle package in the bin the day before, after ten days of search.

The bottle was out of its packaging and “novichok”, of which the tiniest amount is deadly, had been squirted out of its nozzle at least twice, by both Rowley and Sturgess, and possibly more often. The exterior of the bottle/nozzle was therefore contaminated. Yet the house, unlike the Skripals’ roof space, has not had to be destroyed.

I do not believe it took the Police eleven days to find the very thing they were looking for, in plain sight as exactly the small bottle of liquid sought, on a kitchen bench. What else was happening?

6) Mark Urban/Pablo Miller

The BBC’s “Diplomatic Editor” is a regular conduit for the security services. He fronted much of the BBC’s original coverage of the Skripal story. Yet he concealed from the viewers the fact that he had been in regular contact with Sergei Skripal for months before the alleged poisoning, and had held several meetings with Skripal.

This is extraordinary behaviour. It was the biggest news story in the world, and news organisations, including the BBC, were scrambling to fill in the Skripals’ back story. Yet the journalist who had the inside info on the world’s biggest news story, and was actually reporting on it, kept that knowledge to himself. Why? Urban was not only passing up a career defining opportunity, it was unethical of him to continually report on the story without revealing to the viewers his extensive contacts with Skripal.

The British government had two immediate reactions to the Skripal incident. Within the first 48 hours, it blamed Russia, and it slapped a D(SMA) notice banning all media mention of Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller. By yet another one of those extraordinary coincidences, Miller and Urban know each other well, having both been officers together in the Royal Tank Regiment, of the same rank and joining the Regiment the same year.

I have sent the following questions to Mark Urban, repeatedly. There has been no response:

To: [email protected]

Dear Mark,

As you may know, I am a journalist working in alternative media, a member of the NUJ, as well as a former British Ambassador. I am researching the Skripal case.

I wish to ask you the following questions.

1) When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
2) You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
3) When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
4) Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
5) When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
6) Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
7) Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?
8) Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?
9) In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Craig Murray

The lack of openness of Urban in refusing to answer these questions, and the role played by the BBC and the MSM in general in marching in unquestioning lockstep with the British government narrative, plus the “coincidence” of Urban’s relationship with Pablo Miller, give further reason for scepticism of the official narrative.

7 Four Months

The official narrative insists that Boshirov and Petrov brought “novichok” into the country; that minute quantities could kill; that they disposed of the novichok that did kill Dawn Sturgess. It must therefore have been of the highest priority to inform the public of the movements of the suspects and the possible locations where deadly traces of “novichok” must be lurking.

Yet there was at least a four month gap between the police searching the Poplar hotel where Boshirov and Petrov were staying, allegedly discovering traces of novichok in the hotel room, and the police informing the hotel management, let alone the public, of the discovery. That is four months in which a cleaner might have fatally stumbled across more novichok in the hotel. Four months in which another guest in the same hotel might have had something lurking in their bag which they had picked up. Four months in which there might have been a container of novichok sitting in a hedge near the hotel. Yet for four months the police did not think any of this was urgent enough to tell anybody.

The astonishing thing is that it was a full three months after the death of Dawn Sturgess before the hotel were informed, the public were informed, or the pictures of “Boshirov” and “Petrov” in Salisbury released. There could be no clearer indication that the authorities did not actually believe that any threat from residual novichok was connected to the movements of Boshirov and Petrov.

Similarly the metadata on the famous CCTV images of Boshirov and Petrov in Salisbury, published in September by the Met Police, showed that all the stills were prepared by the Met on the morning of 9 May – a full four months before they were released to the public. But this makes no sense at all. Why wait a full four months for people’s memories to fade before issuing an appeal to the public for information? This makes no sense at all from an investigation viewpoint. It makes even less sense from a public health viewpoint.

If the authorities were genuinely worried about the possible presence of deadly novichok, and wished to track it down, why one earth would you wait for four months before you published the images showing the faces and clothing and the whereabouts of the people you believe were distributing it?

The only possible conclusion from the amazing four month delays both in informing the hotel, and in revealing the Boshirov and Petrov CCTV footage to the public, is that the Metropolitan Police did not actually believe there was a public health danger that the two had left a trail of novichok. Were the official story true, this extraordinary failure to take timely action in a public health emergency may have contributed to the death of Dawn Sturgess.

The metadat shows Police processed all the Salisbury CCTV images of Boshirov and Petrov a month before Charlie Rowley picked up the perfume. The authorities claim the CCTV images show they could have been to the charity bin to dump the novichok. Which begs the question, if the Police really believed they had CCTV of the movements of the men with the novichok, why did they not subsequently exhaustively search everywhere the CCTV shows they could have been, including that charity bin?

The far more probable conclusion appears to be that the lack of urgency is explained by the fact that the link between Boshirov and Petrov and “novichok” is a narrative those involved in the investigation do not take seriously.

8 The Bungling Spies

There are elements of the accepted narrative of Boshirov and Petrov’s movements that do not make sense. As the excellent local Salisbury blog the Blogmire points out, the CCTV footage shows Boshirov and Petrov, after they had allegedly coated the door handle with novichok, returning towards the railway station but walking straight past it, into the centre of Salisbury (and missing their first getaway train in the process). They then wander around Salisbury apparently aimlessly, famously window shopping which is caught on CCTV, and according to the official narrative disposing of the used but inexplicably still cellophane-sealed perfume/novichok in a charity donation bin, having walked past numerous potential disposal sites en route including the railway embankment and the bins at the Shell garage.

But the really interesting thing, highlighted by the blogmire, is that the closest CCTV ever caught them to the Skripals’ house is fully 500 metres, at the Shell garage, walking along the opposite side of the road from the turning to the Skripals. There is a second CCTV camera at the garage which would have caught them crossing the road and turning down towards the Skripals’ house, but no such video or still image – potentially the most important of all the CCTV footage – has ever been released.

However the 500 metres is not the closest the CCTV places the agents to the Skripals. From 13.45 to 13.48, on their saunter into town, Boshirov and Petrov were caught on CCTV at Dawaulders coinshop a maximum of 200 metres away from the Skripals, who at the same time were at Avon Playground. The bin at Avon playground became, over two days in the immediate aftermath of the Skripal “attack”, the scene of extremely intensive investigation. Yet the Boshirov and Petrov excursion – during their getaway from attempted murder – into Salisbury town centre has been treated as entirely pointless and unimportant by the official story.

Finally, the behaviour of Boshirov and Petrov in the early hours before the attack makes no sense whatsoever. On the one hand we are told these are highly trained, experienced and senior GRU agents; on the other hand, we are told they were partying in their room all night, drawing attention to themselves with loud noise, smoking weed and entertaining a prostitute in the room in which they were storing, and perhaps creating, the “novichok”.

The idea that, before an extremely delicate murder operation involving handling a poison, a tiny accident with which would kill them, professionals would stay up all night and drink heavily and take drugs is a nonsense. Apart from the obvious effect on their own metabolisms, they were risking authorities being called because of the noise and a search being instituted because of the drugs.

That they did this while in possession of the novichok and hours before they made the attack, is something I simply do not believe.

9 The Skripals’ Movements

Until the narrative changed to Boshirov and Petrov arriving in Salisbury just before lunchtime and painting the doorknob, the official story had been that the Skripals left home around 9am and had not returned. They had both switched off their mobile phones, an interesting and still unexplained point. As you would expect in a city as covered in CCTV as Salisbury, their early morning journey was easily traced and the position of their car at various times was given by the police.

Yet no evidence of their return journey has ever been offered. There is now a tiny window between Boshirov and Petrov arriving, painting the doorknob apparently with the Skripals now inexplicably back inside their home, and the Skripals leaving again by car, so quickly after the doorknob painting that they catch up with Boshirov and Petrov – or certainly being no more than 200 metres from them in Salisbury City Centre. There is undoubtedly a huge amount of CCTV video of the Skripals’ movements which has never been released. For example, the parents of one of the boys who Sergei was chatting with while feeding the ducks, was shown “clear” footage by the Police of the Skripals at the pond, yet this has never been released. This however is the moment at which the evidence puts Boshirov and Petrov at the closest to them. What does the concealed CCTV of the Skripals with the ducks show?

Why has so little detail of the Skripals’ movements that day been released? What do all the withheld CCTV images of the Skripals in Salisbury show?

10 The Sealed Bottle

Only in the last couple of days have the police finally admitted there is a real problem with the fact that Charlie Rowley insists that the perfume bottle was fully sealed, and the cellophane difficult to remove, when he discovered it. Why the charity collection bin had not been emptied for three months has never been explained either. Rowley’s recollection is supported by the fact that the entire packaging was discovered by the police in his bin – why would Boshirov and Petrov have been carrying the cellophane around with them if they had opened the package? Why – and how – would they reseal it outdoors in Salisbury before dumping it?

Furthermore, there was a gap of three months between the police finding the perfume bottle, and the police releasing details of the brand and photos of it, despite the fact the police believed there could be more out there. Again the news management agenda totally belies the official narrative of the need to protect the public in a public health emergency.

This part of the narrative is plainly nonsense.

Bonus Point – The Integrity Initiative

The Integrity Initiative specifically paid Dan Kaszeta to publish articles on the Skripal case. In the weekly collections of social media postings the Integrity Initiative sent to the FCO to show its activity, over 80% were about the Skripals.

Governments do not institute secret campaigns to put out covert propaganda in order to tell the truth. The Integrity Initiative, with secret FCO and MOD sourced subsidies to MSM figures to put out the government narrative, is very plainly a disinformation exercise. More bluntly, if the Integrity Initiative is promoting it, you know it is not true.

Most sinister of all is the Skripal Group convened by the Integrity Initiative. This group includes Pablo Miller, Skripal’s MI6 handler, and senior representatives of Porton Down, the BBC, the CIA, the FCO and the MOD. Even if all the other ludicrously weak points in the government narrative did not exist, the Integrity Initiative activity in itself would lead me to understand the British government is concealing something important.

Conclusion

I do not know what happened in Salisbury. Plainly spy games were being played between Russia and the UK, quite likely linked to the Skripals and/or the NATO chemical weapons exercise then taking place on Salisbury Plain yet another one of those astonishing coincidences.

What I do know is that major planks of the UK government narrative simply do not stand up to scrutiny.

Plainly the Russian authorities have lied about the identity of Boshirov and Petrov. What is astonishing is the alacrity with which the MSM and the political elite have rallied around the childish logical fallacy that because the Russian Government has lied, therefore the British Government must be telling the truth. It is abundantly plain to me that both governments are lying, and the spy games being played out that day were very much more complicated than a pointless revenge attack on the Skripals.

I do not believe the British Government. I have given you the key points where the official narrative completely fails to stand up. These are by no means exhaustive, and I much look forward to reading your own views.

—————————————————

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890 thoughts on “Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative

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  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    For starters. I think that the Russians would not attempt to establish any guys, good or bad, as London has no interest in seeking any truth with them.

    • Petrov

      Besides, we don’t care very much. The people here are pretty sure that these guys didn’t poison nobody, so it doesn’t matter who they really are. There’s no point in proving or disproving anything. And very few are really interested or have any concern about this funny show, staged by the British govt. I’m among these few though.

  • Brian c

    In an honest world you would be honoured by journalists for raising all these logical questions and they would demand satisfactory answers from officials.

  • Mary Pau!

    Unless it has changed, the official timeline for the Skripals published by the Met Police, excludes the duck feeding incident entirely.. Why? Also there is some evidence that the Skripals did not visit the Mill and Zizis in the order stated by the Met police. Why?

    • Tom Welsh

      “Unless it has changed, the official timeline for the Skripals published by the Met Police, excludes the duck feeding incident entirely. Why?”

      Because it would be awkward to explain.

      Also because, as we have seen, hardly anyone has called them out on it and so it has caused no political harm.

    • Iain Stewart

      Was it an incident or an episode? Perhaps a duck feeding event, even. Or perhaps a phenomenon. And on and on. And should the speculation ever end? Quack quack nam nam. Why indeed?

      • Millsy

        The whole ‘story’ is quackers ! This ‘coverup’ is so bungled , incompetent and completely unbelievable that it could only have come from this Government and its agents – surely THE most incompetent Government in living ( or dead ) memory .

  • intp1

    Good Summary, and indeed there are many more minor points but for me a number 11 is where are the Skripals?
    If the Govt. narrative were true why would it be necessary for the Skripals to have been sequestered, with no contact with relatives, friends or any media?

    To ¨keep them safe¨ is not credible. The security services have the facility to allow a non-traceable phone call or e-mail or even an interview, which they would have organized if either of them would, in any way back up the narrative.

    Therefore the conclusion must be that what the Skripals would say if they could, would certainly not back up the official narrative.

    • CanSpeccy

      The Skripals, it seems, may well have been mere actors in a government-staged drama. The authenticity of the video of Yulia Skripal speaking after her apparently miraculous recovery seems questionable. For one thing, she looks not only slimmer, than before her terrible ordeal, but also younger, a surprising consequence of Novichok poisoning. It is also odd that although she has a high-collared dress, the collar is open at the front, thus focusing attention on her unsightly tracheotomy scar. Could this not be a dubbed version of an old video taken against an unidentifiable background, with a tracheotomy scar added by a video editor? In which case, the only person poisoned may have been the unfortunate Dawn Sturgess.

  • Terry Jones

    You might like to read the following in particular on a “deplorable scam site” which shows

    Why the Salisbury nerve agent attack was not committed by Russia but by the United Kingdom
    https://www.gchq-gov.com/2018/10/22/wsb/

    Why it occurred
    https://www.gchq-gov.com/2018/09/17/not-for-publication-probably-a-confession-of-sorts/

    The confirmation from the FCO
    https://www.gchq-gov.com/2019/02/20/ja2/

    How certain accesses can be said to originate from the FCO and what they mean
    https://www.gchq-gov.com/2019/02/23/afco/

    Should the site be difficult to access then there are of course copies available on the internet archive

    • Clark

      Very funny, Terry: it’s .gov.uk not .com

      Please say hello to Mr Gilliam for me; tell him I love Brazil and Twelve Monkeys.

      • giyane

        Sorry Clark for using your comment to answer Bostick’s

        Bostick

        Craig is a very deep whistleblower

        He’s got your dots joined up or you’d be troll stew

      • Terry Jones

        It’s as stated a “deplorable scam site” and contains an explanation of how the only possible conclusion is that the British government was responsible for Salisbury.

        The fact that you try to dissuade people is a comment upon yourself and not the information upon which you have not commented

        • giyane

          Terry Jones

          You’re very welcome. Sit down. I hope you get double bubble for stretching your creative imagination here.

          Very patriotic of you to join the troll herd in their hour of need.
          Dunce et decorum east pro patria gonades dickere

          • Terry Jones

            Except well you reveal yourself to be an obvious troll because
            1) Noone has read the articles as I can see from the logs
            2) You use projection and accuse me of what you are doing which is a common technique amongst JTRİG
            3) You claim to support Craig Murray but try to deflect blame from the UK by claiming there was a link with İsrael when there wasn’t

          • David

            ‘ay up Terry,

            “The whole world is a bit strange except thee and me and i’m frankly not so sure about thee”

            some days I feel like most of the traffic here is from nice well meaning officers of rank, obeying orders, reading their nudge scripts, and building up their genuine personalities!

            some days it is entertaining

            there certainly is total information war, with trillions of dollars/roubles at stake, happening right now

            just look at what they’ve done here :-

            https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/pdf-readers-broken-digital-signatures-research,news-60036.html

            bugdoors, we call them, accidental, nope – designed to subvert society, just following orders

        • Clark

          Chill out, mate; I said it was very funny. But some of the more credulous here may have been taken in by the domain name you must have registered.

  • Charles Bostock

    “it has brought me more abuse than I had received in my 15 year career as a whistleblower.”

    Will you please stop calling yourself a whistle blower of 15 years standing. You were a whistle blower (just about) on one occasion. Since then you have been a polemicist, mainly on the internet.

    As far as this Skripal story is concerned, you are – to put it at its most generous – an investigative journalist writing in the alternative media. But not a whistle blower.

    • kula

      Nitpicker. Risking your neck to put out an unpopular message makes you a whistleblower. Craig qualifies – do you?

      • Anon1

        “But I did not enjoy at all the constant online taunts, and therefore was not inclined to take the subject further.”

        Erm, no. It was because you made a fool of yourself, very publicly. And you continue to do so.

        • Tom Welsh

          Unless you are telepathic, you do not have the right to tell everyone what Craig was or was not thinking and feeling.

          But I don’t need telepathy to sense that you have just made yourself *very* unpopular with Craig’s normal readers.

          • Anon1

            He did make a fool of himself. Clinging hopelessly to his conspiracy theory as the facts emerged. Do you not remember all the nonsense about airport security cameras? The irresponsible act of outing two men trying to conceal a gay relationship? The likelihood of Israeli culpability because, er, Israel is evil? It was painful to watch Craig carry on digging. I actually felt sorry for him.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh dear and you Anon1 are clinging hopelessly to your keyboard, which must be melting by now, in an attempt to counter Craig’s excellent article.

          • Clark

            Indeed Israel certainly did have a motive to pin it on Russia, the opposing side in the Syria conflict.

            And Brostok and Anon1 are so supportive of Israel. And now they’re positively doing somersaults. Hmmm.

      • Charles Bostock

        kula

        That is a very strange definition. of a whistleblower.

        Of course I don’t quality as a whistleblower. That’s why I don’t go around calling myself one.

    • Anon1

      I would add to that that Craig puts forward his views in a most robust, sneering and contemptuous manner, belittling anyone who would dare disagree with him. He then expects people to feel sorry for him when his conspiracy theories are (rightly) torn to shreds.

      • Dan

        “Craig puts forward his views in a most robust, sneering and contemptuous manner, belittling anyone who would dare disagree with him”

        Evidence? I’ve been reading this site on and off for a few years and have always found it both rigorous and respectful. If you want “sneering contempt”, try taking a look at Chris Spivey’s assertions that Anne Frank didn’t exist, but was a fictional character “played” by Princess Margaret…

      • Republicofscotland

        Oh dear, I can hear Jeremy Fleming screaming at his little minions like you in background, due this excellent and lucid dissection of British skullduggery.

      • Tom Welsh

        I would disagree strongly. While Craig is honest to the point of forthrightness – a traditional Scots virtue – he is usually very polite and takes care to observe the common decencies.

        Unlike you.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Will you please stop calling yourself a whistle blower ”

      Says the the person who everyone knows is in cognito.

      • Iain Stewart

        Nice paradox there, RoS, “the person whom everyone knows is unknown”.

    • Anon1

      He’s also a “human rights activist”. So much so that he went to Pakistan for three weeks and found nothing worth mentioning. But if the British state so much as farts in the wrong direction…

      • Republicofscotland

        Whatboutery, you’re definitely struggling on this one. Why shouldn’t Craig expose the hamfisted attempts of the British state to lie and deceive the British public.

    • Some Random Passer-by

      It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

      You’ll only ever be a hasbara tool

      • J

        Nicely put. Indeed, to refocus attention, habbahasbara must attack the man though by doing so, he proves he knows the message is absolutely accurate. Anon too.

  • bj

    Col. Alison McCourt was threatening to go public with some knowledge she had gained, and needed to be pacified.

  • Tony Little

    The whole affair struck me at the time as amateur night on the set of “Carry on Spying”. If these are GRU “crack spies” the UK Secret service has nothing to worry about.

    It’s like other major events in the UK where the case for the “Official conspiracy” is that every single coincidence which supports the official narrative MUST be correct, and all the counter arguments MUST be lies and conspiracy theories.

    We do not live in a democracy, and although I understand that there are things that governments can not be fully open about (genuine National Security), most of the secrecy from UK Govt. is simply that they avoid any form of scrutiny whatsoever. A compliant MSM helps, as does an apparent unwillingness by a majority of the general public to think the UK could even be the “Bad Guys”.

    • intp1

      Our Spy agencies have become propaganda machines. Craig says that if the Integrity Initiative says something you can be sure it is not true but the same can now be said of the intelligence agencies. Thirty -40 years ago MI5 or MI6 would hardly ever give out statements, only in the most embarrassing acute situations. Why would an intelligence agency ever state anything that gives a true representation of what it really knows? Does the FSB talk to the press every week? No because there can almost never be an advantage in saying anything. So when ¨facts¨or opinions are leaked there is only one possible reason, its not true or it is spin and it is a crying shame for the past integrity of our agencies that this is what we come to.
      The reason they do it is that they have realized that they don´t need evidence any more to persuade, they only need intelligence leaks which can not be expanded on because the information is classified. The public are now their concern and are targets.
      Everybody now thinks that they are entitled to intelligence and raw, out of whole context, without analysis, snippets will do. Easy to get, just order it up from some deep dark database. We now have people being convicted, Major Economic or Diplomatic and Military decisions being taken based on ¨facts¨ that never need to be corroborated.

      • Royd

        If you want some kind of steer – the answer is usually to ‘follow the money’. Look at who funded the Integrity Initiative.

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘If these are GRU “crack spies” the UK Secret service has nothing to worry about’.

      It did occur to me that the whole syndrome might be explained by a desire to depict the Russians as even more hopelessly incompetent than the British.

    • PleaseBeleafMe

      “We do not live in a democracy, and although I understand that there are things that governments can not be fully open about (genuine National Security), most of the secrecy from UK Govt. is simply that they avoid any form of scrutiny whatsoever. A compliant MSM helps, as does an apparent unwillingness by a majority of the general public to think the UK could even be the “Bad Guys”.”

      Well said TL! It’s not just the UK however that this applies to as there are many flocks of sheep the world over.
      The hiding of anything that could put a bad light on those who govern us and the smearing of anyone as “traitor” who shines that light is almost universal now in todays world. Fighting the groupthink is incredibly tiring and news equaling propaganda is only increasing. It’s a hard fight but critical in making the world a place worth living in!

  • Jon Musgrave

    A great piece of debunking of the official “facts” about the story. I too am sceptical of the UK government and its spies (just as I am sceptical of the Russian state and its spies). They are two sides of the same coin – doing what they can for themselves and their paymasters.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Jon Musgrave March 7, 2019 at 14:27
      They are not equivalent – the Russians are the good guys (not perfect!) these days, trying to avoid war. Britain, like the US, is promoting it.

    • Republicofscotland

      bj.

      In my opinion they’re definitely GRU agents, though no real connection of them and the Skripals has been forthcoming. Isn’t Salisbury and the surrounding area a hotbed for ex-Russian, double agents, spies etc?

  • Tom Welsh

    “A few months ago, I was in truth demoralised by the amount of abuse I was receiving about the collapse of the Russian identity story of Borishov and Petrov”.

    Harsh as it sounds, I would offer this alternative way of looking at it:

    “A man whose opinions are not attacked is beneath contempt”.
    – Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Professor at the Breakfast Table” (1859)

    You can tell a good deal about a person from their enemies. Judging by your enemies, Craig, you are a thoroughly decent and moral man.

    • lysias

      The troll above who says Craig is not a whisleblower helps to prove your point.

  • Tom Welsh

    ‘The government’s contention that “almost complete absence of impurities” meant “military grade” was complete nonsense’.

    Honestly, I find this one of the funniest parts of the whole uproarious farce. So “military grade” nerve agent is almost completely pure, eh? Unlike the ordinary everyday retail nerve agent one can buy at Waitrose?

    Governments, of course, are almost the only organizations that see fit to create such filthy, inhuman weapons – and to use them on fellow human beings.

    Probably even the worst criminals would refuse to do anything so horrible.

    • Michael McNulty

      Yes, it’s a bit like saying Harold Shipman killed two hundred people using military-grade morphine. It just has to be lethal, though in four out of five instances in this farce it was no such thing. If the Russians had wanted Sergei dead he’d be dead; the Coroner’s verdict would have been natural causes and probably we would have never heard of him.

    • Clark

      but her sense of taste is such that she’ll distinguish with her tongue
      – the subtleties a spectrograph would miss…

  • Jeremn

    I thought GU (not GRU for some time now) was military intelligence, as in scouting Syria, and it was the SVR who had mastered the dark arts.

    Did the government get this wrong too?

    • Tom Welsh

      HMG has apparently been getting its “creative” ideas from the realms of popular fiction – books, magazines, films, and TV. Although Ian Fleming – not to mention Len Deighton or John Le Carre – would have been utterly disgusted by the dreadful quality of what they came up with.

      Many aspects of the scenario constructed by HMG are powerfully reminiscent of absurd American TV series such as “CSI” and “NCIS”. Or the Bond films (which are vastly inferior to Fleming’s fairly decent books). See, for example, https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201804111063448533-tv-spy-fiction-helped-sell-salisbury-poisoning/

      Most people – apparently including our political masters – readily confuse espionage with counter-espionage, and both with state security and military intelligence. Thus we see James Bond, originally a counter-intelligence agent, being sent to kill inconvenient people and blow things up.

      Moreover, in the rush to condemn and vilify all things Soviet (and later, Russian), pretty well every kind of skullduggery was cheerfully attributed to the KGB and GRU. Variety is nice to have, so many thriller writers more or less alternated between the two names.

  • Republicofscotland

    Excellent analysis Craig, you clearly expose the machinations of the British state, and its media.

  • Tom Welsh

    Soon after the original news about the “Skripal case” – while the whole immensely elaborate edifice of lies and deception was still being added to daily – I came to the conclusion that we can be sure about only one thing in the whole matter.

    HMG have been lying on an industrial scale. Moreover, they have been lying with an almost unprecedented shamelessness and openness. It’s as if they have been saying to the world, “We don’t think that any significant number of British citizens are intelligent enough to see through our transparent tissue of falsehoods. Or we believe that, although they do see through them, their malice against Russia is such that they are willing to pretend belief. Or, lastly, we understand that anyone with an IQ bigger than his shoe size will know we are lying – and we ask those people: “What are you going to do about it? Do you feel lucky today?”

    So many lies have been told (many contradicting each other), and so many important facts and relationships kept secret, that we cannot even begin to guess what – if anything – really happened.

    But perhaps it doesn’t really matter very much. Were there ever such people as Sergei and Yulia Skripal? If so, are they still alive, and if so where? Was there ever any “nerve agent”? Were there ever any Russian agents of any kind? What is the connection with the equally ridiculous “Steele dossier”?

    Frankly, who cares?

    But what we do know – unmistakably, crystal clear, and indelibly – is that nothing HMG ever says can be trusted or believed.

    And that does matter. A lot.

    • Spaull

      One of the most bizarre things for me is how the Independent launched an attack on Corbyn by promoting a poll which showed that “almost half” of the people surveyed supported May’s handling, and that “almost half” believed Russia was behind the attack.

      What I took from those findings was that over half the country did NOT believe Russia was behind it, even though our Government was saying that there was “no doubt” that they were.

      And I found that both extraordinary and reassuring. Over half the country knew or suspected that the Government was blatantly lying.

      As you say, what can any of us ordinary people do about it? Not a lot, but a tipping point will be reached somewhere, somehow, soon.

    • Ross Stanford

      It does matter as something did happen.
      Was there ever Novichok…probably not. The hospital where they were treated certainly didn’t think so.
      There were at least 2 Russians and they weren’t there to kill the Skripals.
      Whatever was going to happen MI5 either set it up or got wind of it and decided to use the situation to their advantage.
      The D Notice indicates there is an Orbis and hence Trump dossier link.

      We will only ever get to best guesses unfortunately.

  • N_

    @Craig – Excellent article – clear and nicely organised and hard hitting.

    But “Borishov” should be “Boshirov”.

    Why – and how – would they reseal it outdoors in Salisbury before dumping it?

    They could have been taking a substance on its way OUT of the country. Carrying information and material inside apparently sealed small packets of cigarettes, perfume, or sweets, supposedly fresh from the shop, is standard tradecraft.

    As for dumping it, perhaps they got spotted or something else f***ed up. The release of the footage shot from inside Dauwalders’ stamp shop always struck me as a message not about the GRU but TO them. The third guy looking in the window has surely got to have been a watcher.

    Toxic Dagger was not a NATO exercise. I don’t know what other powers than Britain sent observers – I’d like to find out – but it wasn’t NATO.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Craig, you make no attempt to put the affair in the long trsditiom of Russio[jonia, and what was being done to promote it.

  • IchOdernicht

    How ironic. You claim that Kaszeta had been debunked by “real experts”, yet your source for this claim is Theodore Postol, who is not a chemist but a physicist. Also, in his piece where he allegedly “debunks” Dan Kaszeta, he relies on not his own “expertise” in the field but on Maram Susli, aka “Partisan Girl”, who regularily appears on Alex Jones and is insists on the notion that literally (I am not exaggerating, search for hear on Twitter) everything Bashar al-Assad does is right. Hence, she is a propagandist. Furthermore, Postol’s “debunking” of Kaszeta, which is your source, is dead wrong in every possible way. He claims that hexamine could not be used as an acid scavenger in Sarin. In order to “debunk” Kaszeta, he asks Professor Ake Sellström if it is possible. Sellström says yes, it is. Postol chooses to ignore that. Multiple chemists, including Dr. Ralf Trapp and the OPCW itself, have refuted his claims. In fact the JIM-report on Khan Sheikhoun notes that hexamine was in fact used to produce Sarin. Russian propaganda has admitted it as well and accused the rebels of producing Sarin because they had hexamine (a claim the OPCW denied since they had no other precursors and no suitable equipment). The latest OPCW-report on Douma again notes that hexamine is a possible Sarin precursor.

    So Kaszeta is entirely correct and Postol is entirely wrong.

    So how in the world can you post a link to that complete debacle that was Postol’s attempt at discrediting Kaszeta as evidence for Kaszeta being incompetent?

  • Dan

    All the more reason for the desperation to keep Corbyn out of Downing Street. Surely he’d blow the whistle on these Tory government and BBC lies?

    • PleaseBeleafMe

      Corbyn needs to grow a pair. As much as he’s feared he keeps folding on hard issues that he should make a stand on such as this topic. He’s just trying to get into power so he can do a “greater good”. However once he’s in (if) I believe he’d drain the swamp no better than Trump. Get a few socialist popular policies enacted and get hamstrung by Britain’s deep state and fade like a fart in a storm.

    • Dungroanin

      Privy Council bs – the Crown lays lazy as the Anglo Imperialist aristo martial bad boys and girls and their ra-ra media whores and petty propagandist trolls go screaming into historical insignificance – hear their bunker mentality, watch them drown in their own tears and rejoice as Labour gets elected with an overwhelming majority – the trutu will out then. As all these with dual passports will be forced to make a choice.

      Rejoice! Rejoice.

      • Blunderbuss

        I’m surprised the Privy Council hasn’t come out of its privy to take charge of the Brexit negotiations. Maybe next week.

  • Anon1

    “But I did not enjoy at all the constant online taunts, and therefore was not inclined to take the subject further.”.

    Erm, no. It was because you made a fool of yourself, very publicly. And you continue to do so.

    • Republicofscotland

      You’ll need to up your game, if you’re to catch the eye of Chief Parker.

  • Spencer Eagle

    If the story is a we are led to believe, I’m not convinced the house door knob would be the place to put the agent, surely placement on the drivers door handle of the car would ensure only Mr Skripal came into contact with it? If the placement was the house door knob, then the next thing Skripal touched would be very seriously contaminated. On the subject of the car, a red BMW 320, reg HD09 WAO, it was taken to a local car recovery business, where it sat without precautions in keeping with its alleged deadly potential. Incidentally, it still appears on .govs MOT and vehicle tax websites, both of which have now expired. Even more curiously a Vauxhall police car removed with great drama by the army from outside the Skripal’s (DS Nick Bailey’s car?), KN67 JYZ was re-taxed 31st August 2018, so is presumably back on the road?
    Recovered BMW https://www.spirefm.co.uk/news/local-news/2523696/russian-spy-poisoning-search-moves-to-skripals-car/
    Recovered police car https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/10/spy-poisoning-military-remove-ambulances-police-cars-testing/
    Smeared on car https://www.businessinsider.com/officials-reportedly-think-sergei-skripal-poisoned-via-car-door-2018-3?r=US&IR=T

    • Blunderbuss

      Several vehicles were buried, allegedly because of contamination fears, so why have these two survived?

  • Anon1

    “I had never claimed the poisoning, if any, was not carried out by Russians, only that there were many other possibilities.”

    Neat backtracking.

    • Republicofscotland

      Not really Craig’s just adding a bit of parity, to try and take the very bad look off the British state, that’s been caught redhanded.

      Craig’s analysis is such a good one that you lot will be working overtime tonight just to contain it never mind counter it.

    • craig Post author

      Find a single quote that shows otherwise, anon1. It is not backtracking, it is a simple statement of truth.

      • Anon1

        You are now trying to pretend that you were “only maintaining an open mind”, when all of your activity was aimed at trying to get Russia off the hook.

        • Republicofscotland

          That’s a bit unfair when Craig’s points clearly show the whole fiasco is anything but straightforward.

  • TFS

    If the Skripals had been attacked in the way described by the Government, they would be front and centre at every media oppourtunity to demonise Russia and Putin.

    How long before they succumb to their injuries?

    • intp1

      I agree. that is really their only option to avoid having to perpetually answer the question. Where are they and why can no’body hear from them?

      They must kill them off. Its their only way out.
      1st step is to announce their deteriorating health.
      Last step will be to justify a secret cremation with no Russians or in fact, anybody invited. For security reasons, naturally.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ intp1 March 7, 2019 at 15:49
        Or to stop those dastardly Russkis stealing their ashes.
        Hopefully someone with some humanity will learn of their whereabouts, and pass the info on to a reliable source (like Craig, Off Guardian etc.). Surprising it hasn’t happened by now.

        • Blunderbuss

          Well, we know Yulia was at RAF Fairford but I doubt if she’s still there.

  • Jimmeh

    You’re never going to believe this; but my vacuum cleaner broke down last week. Within minutes the doorbell rang, and there was James Dyson, asking for directions!

  • Goose

    You damaged your credibility when you were still doubting the identities despite them being plastered all over state broadcaster BBC 1 news, it was fairly obvious the authorities knew definitively who they were, otherwise it wouldn’t have been so high-profile i.e., leading the news. As you say though, that doesn’t mean the rest of the official account is accurate. They could have been here for various reasons, any of which would be too embarrassing for the Russian state to admit. So :

    They either did it as stated official narrative (problematic given timeline + numerous other problems)
    Were here conducting reconnaissance.
    Here to betray their own country or work with Sergei in some way for money.

    If they were in the act of betraying Russia, the nightmare would be Russia revealing that and announcing they were sending them here for trial.

    • Mighty Drunken

      You mean the identities of Borishov and Petrov? Well I find it strange that all the media were using Belingcat and Russia Inside as their sources, not the British government. Shurely this would be a job for the police and security services to uncover their identities, not a researcher and some Russian journalists.
      The reason for the headline news is easy to explain, it strengthens the UK narrative and paints a bad picture of Russia. I feel in the current climate that truth is optional.
      There are obvious problems with their determination; how did they come across the evidence they found? It is certainly not “open source”. You have to trust Belingcat in saying the photos are of the people he says they are. Photos of X and Y could really be photos of X and X.

      • Goose

        The interesting question would be what has happened to those two since their laughable TV interview? If(?) they were betraying Russia they’ll no doubt be singing to avoid life in jail, or worse.

        In the intervening time Russia charged an American, British, Irish and Canadian(one man with four identities) tourist with spying and on him he allegedly had a usb drive full of the identities of intel officials. No idea if this is related?

        Who was in contact with Borishov and Petrov?

        Fascinating intrigue.

  • Josh

    Craig,
    I continue to be stumped at the fact that you bring a reasonably coherent analysis, yet you show a strange belief in the Russian state’s ‘lies about the identities of Borishov and Petrov’. You base that belief on what? I have watched the interview. I have watched what the Russian state (Putin, the spokesperson Peskov, and Maria Zakharova) have said about these two. I see slight indications that the two guys did not tell the full facts of their trip. Yet I see absolutely no indication that the Russian state – in the stated persona – have lied about the identities of these two.
    Instead, you somehow believe most of the Bellingcat story. As I said from the beginning, and as is confirmed by the whole Integrity Initiative, the ENTIRE Bellingcat ‘identification’ is a hoax. You base your opinion on ‘by this time their entire identities would have been revealed’ — in other words, you are basing your opinion on the absence of evidence to the contrary – a very weak argument.
    The Mirror article about the prostitutes came after the RT interview and the subsequent discussions on Russian talk shows, which identified these guys as ‘most definitely not GRU or FSB’ and ‘most likely gay’. In particular the fact that they were most likely gay (which, I think, was also Putin’s opinion) was a defeating argument of the whole UK government saga.
    What is most likely is that the MET took 4 months not to find this footage. It is that the MET had to give their findings over to MI5/MI6, who built a myriad of options to throw out as continuous propaganda. They found 2 Russians who visited Salisbury and built a story. They throw so many fake stories out there, they are self-contradictory. They use Bellingcat. They get you to look at pictures instead of using your brain (something Rob Slane at the blogmire most definitely did use – he quite correctly completely ignores Bellingcat). They take down the roof (by now we ought to be laughing out loud). They throw a bone at the Mirror to counter the gay story.
    The best way to look at this story, in spite of the one death, is to ridicule it, ridicule May, ridicule the whole UK media establishment. Scoff at them. Because that is, at the very core, the basis for this: the UK, and its role as influencer of the EU and of the west is waning; the American empire is going through violent withdrawal symptoms as Russia and China are building and effectively blocking western hegemony; MI6 was trying to somehow get themselves back to the front seat of the western intel crowd. They built a story of chemical attack that could be married to the accusations against Russia-ally Syria: chemical attacks are the new ‘genocides’ or ‘holocaust discoveries’/ ‘red lines’ to whip up and manufacture popular consent.

    • craig Post author

      I don’t think I believe any of the Bellingcat story. If Boshirov and Petrov really existed, the hundreds of journalists searching for them (inc. Russian journalists) would have found evidence of their existence. That is all.

      • Petrov

        Well, these guys definitely exist, are they? If they had other names than B&P, then the same “hundreds of journalists” would’ve found this by now. See, your logic works the same either way here. Or rather doesn’t work. Maybe some assumption is wrong.

    • ZigZag Wanderer

      Absolutely spot on Josh ….. Who remembers that remark from a Putin aide a few years ago at a European Summit . During a spat with Cameron the Russian referred to Britain as ” a small island in the north sea that nobody listens to anymore “.

      As the British Establishment in general , and the Military Intelligence Establishment in particular struggle to stay relevant ( and well fed ) on the world stage they have set out their strategy. New cold war with Russia and the takeover of Govt. foreign policy by military intelligence interests. A US mini me .

      Private Pike meanwhile is sending the Navy to the Baltic and South China Seas on willy waving tours . Spreading British lethality was his cringeworthy punchline to a disinterested media.

      When he’s not wasting vast sums of money on pointless navy jollies he’s down at the treasury tapping the Chancellor up for £gazillions
      to combat the St.Petersburg red bloc cyber hoodie twitter mind control yoofs. A huge investment in a new cyber centre purely for the Russian threat. Over two thousand handsomely paid jobs …… Oxbridgers rejoice !

      Al aboard the gravytrain …… tickets sold out ( long ago ) .

  • Some Random Passer-by

    Re four months…

    Polonium glows with an eerie blue colour. Yet the teapot found three weeks later was “off the scale”…

    How did nobody notice a teapot that glows? Surely someone would have picked this up when opening or closing the shop over the space of 21 days?!?!

    Something smells (as usual)

  • Duncan

    Craig, like you I have no idea what actually happened and why.
    However, I do know that the narrative spun by HMG is not correct.
    The duck feed with the three boys was initially reported by Nick Pisa of The Sun. He traveled to Salisbury with a photographer and the resulting story was published on March 28th. Some 5 weeks letter The Times published a similar story, most of it being a quote from the original Pisa story.
    One of the boys, a chap called Aiden Cooper was the centre of the story.
    His mother had been shown by the police explicit video of the duck feed, clearly showing (in her words) Skripal (not Yulia) feeding the ducks and sharing the bread with the boys. One of the boys actually ate a piece of the bread.
    Some two weeks later, the police (probably the Counter Terror Team, and not Wiltshire PD) turned up and showed the clear CCTV footage to Mrs Liz Cooper.
    This led to the identification of the other two boys, and they were advised to burn the clothing from that Sunday and report to Salisbury District Hospital for tests.
    Thankfully, (perhaps not surprisingly) the boys were fine.
    Upon reading this, I wrote a formal complaint to Wiltshire Police Standards, the subject being the placement of the boys in jeopardy because of what transpired to be a 2 week delay, between the duck feed occurring and the parents informed.
    Wiltshire PD informed me after many months that it was not their investigation, and my complaint has since moved on to the Met.

    I contacted Nick Pisa, and informed him that he had a bigger story than he realised.
    The duck feed could only have taken place about 30 minutes after the alleged door handle dosing.
    The duck feed happened before Zizzi’s ( where a Novichok laden table needed incineration) and 2 hours before the park bench collapse.
    Nick Pisa at this time was preparing for the Russia World Cup and chose not to revisit his scoop.
    As you, and others have pointed out, this important duck feed incident is now off the official story-line.
    The mainstream media have only repeated and rehashed the official government line.

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