The Official Skripal Story is a Dead Duck 734

One of the striking things about the official Skripal story is the way its more wildly improbable aspects have been released to the mainstream media over a long period, so as to manage their impact. So, for example, police acknowledgement that the perfume bottle Charlie Rowley found was sealed and could not have been the container used on the Skripals is comparatively recent, and it took nine months for us to learn that, by a truly wonderful coincidence, the first person to find the Skripals ill on the bench was the Chief Nurse of the British Army.

I covered these points in full in my article on the ten points I do not believe in the official story – an article which nobody has sought to refute, other than to yell “conspiracy theory”, as though that was an argument.

But today we learn from the Guardian (quoting the New York Times) that Donald Trump was only convinced to back the UK government line after being shown photos of dead ducks and hospitalised children by CIA director Gina Haspel.

The problem is that, there were no hospitalised children. No children have been reported as becoming ill following their duck feeding with the Skripals. We have heard from one of the parents that they were shown by the police extremely clear CCTV footage of the duck feeding, which has never been made public. Surely if the child had been hospitalised, the parent would have been mentioned it?

Dr Stephen Davies of Salisbury Hospital’s letter of 16 March 2018 to the Times has been explained away as poorly written or edited, in relation to the cause of the Skripals’ illness. But be that as it may, one thing the doctor’s letter does without any shadow of a doubt, is rule out the possibility of hospitalised children.

There were no hospitalised children.

We also know that the duck feeding was the time that “Boshirov and Petrov” were physically closest to the Skripals. But this is the first time there has ever been any mention of any harm to the ducks. Dead ducks would have been noticed by the public.

Possibly the Guardian and New York Times are inventing utter drivel, as in the Manafort meeting Assange story. That would in itself be worrying. The other possibility is that the security services produced fake photographs of hospitalised children and slaughtered some ducks, in order to convince Donald Trump. If the latter explanation is true, then the entire Skripal saga looks more and more staged.


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734 thoughts on “The Official Skripal Story is a Dead Duck

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  • Mist001

    It doesn’t matter if the story’s true or not, it’s a achieved its purpose and has now become so deeply ingrained in peoples psyche that no amount of proof will change people minds about events now. It’s become essentially folklore, ‘The Russians did it!’.

  • Anthony

    Sounds like a simple reworking of the old incubator babies of Kuwait yarn. Works like a charm so long as everybody’s on board in the propaganda blitz.

    • Millsy

      Perhaps the story would have more traction if it were ” dead children and hospitalised ducks ”.

  • Antonym

    Exactly president Donald Trump should be the last person to believe stories in MSM like NYT and the Graun as Gospel truth. This happened in March 2018; his tweets show that he has “progressed” much in this field. Already he should take anything coming from the CIA (Brennan!!) with a shovel of salt.

  • mark golding

    Get rid of this reckless, mendacious Tory government who risk war with Russia. I warn the intelligence services – leave Jeremy Corbyn be or risk revolution.

    • Tatyana

      Mark, I’m not any close to government or military, but I’m sure we are not going to begin war with the UK 🙂 Skripal’s story is so absurd a narrative, to begin a war on this pretext … you would not hit a mentally retarded child, offended by his words.

      • Northern

        Hey mods – why is this comment from Charles still standing?

        There’s 3 or 4 posters on here who resolutely support the government narrative on absolutely everything. Every single time I accuse them of being in the employ of some kind of organ of the state (despite that not being an unreasonable suggestion by any stretch), my comment gets nuked in literally seconds and I get reprimanded for ‘impugning the motives of other posters’.

        So why do those same posters get away with it daily? A few times I can understand, but this occurs with such regularity that the double standards are starting to grate on me.

        • Casual Observer

          Does not debate involve opposing ideas ?

          Would you rather that CM’s blog was an echo chamber ?

        • Northern

          Casual Observer – I’m not asking for them to be banned or have their comments deleted, I’m asking why it’s acceptable for Charles to suggest Tatyana is a Russian state shill if it’s not acceptable for me to do the same in regards to him? Play the ball, not the man, as the rules state.

        • Casual Observer

          Point taken 🙂

          I’d have to think though that if there were any ‘Government’ actors commenting here, their level of sophistication would be such as to make their detection difficult ?

          I’d wager they watch though, CM’s blog regularly gets reposted in a surprising number of places depending on the content. It has immense reach.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tatyana April 17, 2019 at 11:05
        That is not the problem; the problem is the ‘West’ is hell-bent on war against Russia and China. And people in general aren’t aware of it. And the MSM just feeds their ignorance.

        • Tatyana

          I understand, that a war needs at least two parties, like tango 🙂 how can you make war alone?
          The “west” can attack weak countries, bomb them, call it “lawful military operation” etc. But it is not possible with Russia.

          • not relevant

            Economic war is happening already. Excuses are needed to put forward more “sanctions”. Excuses were needed to get rid of the embassy personal (spies) to get more excuses (use of sarin) to bomb Syria.
            Control of energy supply – that’s why.

          • Tatyana

            Economic war is a strong word, if we put emotions off, we’d use “competition for markets”. I wonder what level of desperation must they feel, to use such methods, to risk so much.

            Another idea that I was thinking about these days is – the West in general doesn’t know who Russia is, their image of Russia is wrong. Think of russian people, think why they are different from the western.

            We just went through another big change, we have no “general uniting ideology” in the country, like “patriotism and exceptionalism” in the USA, like “freedom and tolerance” in Europe, like religion in muslim states, like technical progress in China and Japan. Yet we have no “allies” to align our politics with.

            Thus, our “motives” are simple common sense and interests of Russia, minimum, we have to survive in hostile pressure, and maximum – develop and prosper.

            That is how I see my country today.

          • Tom Welsh

            Tatyana, I fear I must disagree with you. It only ever takes one party to start a war. Then the other side has two options: surrender or fight.

            You write that “…it is not possible with Russia”. But only because of Russian weapons, soldiers, and determination to remain free!

            If NATO tries to bomb Russia, Russian forces or Russian allies – Russia will not react only with angry speeches at the UN. At some point it will shoot down the offending aircraft and missiles, sinky the attacking ships or submarines, etc.

          • Tatyana

            Tom, it is my personal perception of the word, I think “war” is a situation where two enemies (equal or nearly equal) fight each other. Because if the obviously stronger fights against the obviously weaker, then this is not a war but a beating, a coercion by force.

            A war with Russia is impossible 1. because we know “кто на самом деле воду мутит” (who is to blame that the air is spoiled) 2. tension is high, I fear if someone said “ну все, пиндосы допи**лись” (I don’t know how to translate it saving the sense) then -> 3. nuclear weapons, and 4. “пиндосы” are pretty aware of 1.2. and 3.

          • Muscleguy

            Hi Tatyana, I wonder how many of these Western Chickenhawks has ever been to Russia as an ordinary person and ecountered the kind, helpful Russian people. I will never lose the images of Babuchka’s (headscarf, handbag) the St Petersburg tube getting up and offering their seats to our children. Then their hands would go into the handbag and a boiled sweet each would come out with an endearing smile.

            I must come back sometime and revisit your lovely country and people.

            Us Scots have not forgotten our history with you. The actor Brian Cox from here in Dundee did a program a while ago on the history of the Scots in Russia. The big hope is that after Independence we can foster friendly links with the sorts of countries England either likes to dominate or make enemies with.

            I grew up in New Zealand which does much business with the Middle East, both Shia and Sunni. I remember back in the early ’80s Russia had a hard currency problem but wanted NZ butter. So we did a barter deal and the NZ Dairy Board became the NZ Agents for Lada cars (the better sort). Butter for cars. That is how the world should work.

  • cimarrón

    Perhaps, one day, the ‘investigative journalists’ in the Guardian, and the rest of the mainstream media, will ask: “Why aren’t there any dead ducks or hospitalised children?”

  • Stubbs

    It was a dead duck from the moment they said the poison was on the door handle, which is just stupid. The official narrative has been a catalogue of stupidities aimed at political goals. Those who’ve taken it up are invested in the goals.
    If anyone cared what had happened, the first point of enquiry would’ve been the guinea pigs, the clue is in the name.

    OBTW Who was responsible for the clean up of Salisbury, after which Dawn Sturgess met her end ??

    • Villanelle

      I would recommend to watch a drama series called “Killing Eve”. It was written, produced and released before the Skripal saga. There is a scene where a deadly poison is administered on a door handle. Clearly it isn’t as far fetched as you suggest.

        • Villanelle

          Ha ha ha, have you ever read John le Carré?
          “It was a dead duck from the moment they said the poison was on the door handle, which is just stupid” ha ha ha, not that stupid then!

          • Tony Little

            Well it IS stupid if the time line we have been given to believe is accurate, as the Skripals did not return home to be poisoned by the door handle.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 11:36
            So that’s where HMG’s MI5 got the stupid idea!

          • kbbucks

            Villanelle, what is stupid as you call it is some-one using a scene from a fictional tv drama series to back up a supposed real-life event.
            Maybe it’s time to stop watching tv and start thinking for yourself.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        The government makes out murders as suicides, accidents from and natural causes iI;s not hard to think of it paying for films.

      • Reg

        It is fiction produced by the west, as is the Skripol poisoning. I wonder who really wrote this as the western security services have a long history of funding and supporting films and dramas supporting western military and security interests? Zero Dark 30 and 24 hrs for example. That Killing Eve (that I have never watched, and are now even less likely too) put forward this narrative before Skripol poisoning incident is suspicious in itself, and suggests the possibility of the UK security services trying to shape the narrative..

    • glenn_nl

      Don’t forget – a government minister told us (with a straight face!) that we’ve captured a special, secret Russian manual, which details just how to apply poison to door handles. Doubtless these spies had their own copy to refer to, in order to get the job done right.

      • Villanelle

        I don’t think targeting people is as far fetched as you’d think. You now know more about nerve agents than you probably new before, I would think any such manual describes safety precautions more than actual application methods.

        • pretzelattack

          yeah the guardian certainly targeted julian assange, and the intel services have certainly targeted putin. oh wait you meant in real life.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 10:59
          Surely rule No. 1 is ‘Be certain to use genuine Russian Novichoks, as that crap Porton Down stuff doesn’t work’.

        • SO.

          Actually I’m starting to doubt my own pharmacokinetics.

          Trying to use a door handle as a reliable dosing method is beyond idiotic.

        • Reg

          Almost anyone knows more about nerve agents than you do. The safety precautions needed to handle such dangerous materials are matter of public knowledge indicated by the soviet scientist whose chem suit and gas mask that sprang a leak when working with Novachuck condemning the individual to a long lingering painful death. How is it possible to apply a chemical agent, not contaminate yourself and in broad daylight in a busy close wear a full chem suit and gas mask similar to those suits worn by UK authorities that had their own air supply and decontamination suit to enable the removal of the suit without contaminating yourself. We know what was required for safe handing of a suspected nerve agent in far lower concentrations than the alleged attackers, as the UK authorities used these procedures in the supposed clean up.

      • Sharp Ears

        Was that our Gav or Failing Grayling? 🙂 Or perhaps the clown now residing in King Charles Street?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The Guardian appears to have dropped the story pretty sharply. As TheBlogmire points out, The Independent has run the story.
    There is mutual enmity between the “failing” NYT’s and Trump. The story is drivel, the prose is breathless and reads like a showbiz puff piece.
    Perhaps the intent is to sow discord between Trump and CIA Director Haspel? If Trump can’t remember where his father was born perhaps he won’t remember not being shown pictures of dead ducks a year ago.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Vivian O’Blivion April 17, 2019 at 10:34
      Sowing discord between the torturing lying trollop and the moronic lying buffoon can only be for the best.

  • Brendan

    The Guardian repeats the New York Times story of the pictures of poisoned ducks and boys, as if they were genuine, but it does not mention what the NYT says about the source of those pictures:

    “Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.”

    ‘British government’ … ‘British officials’ … If that part of the NYT article is true, the British authorities were involved in spreading yet another lie, in this case to the US president.

    • Borncynical

      Very interesting. Surely worthy of a question in Parliament. I think I shall write to my MP to seek a comment from the Government, even if it just generates a denial or, more likely, ‘we are unable to comment in relation to an ongoing investigation’. .

  • Villanelle

    What would be helpful would be a release of communiques from the UK/Russian and the EU security services that would disclose the entire case from the illness of two to the death of another along with the attempted manipulation of lab samples.
    Does anyone know of someone who could manage this? Until wikileaks breaks cover, we’ll make stuff up.

    • John2o2o

      You can make stuff up if you want Villanelle.

      I prefer reality and common sense.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    GCHQ just took over my computer. erasing the background to the Skripal case involving the Manhattan 11, and the murders of Gareth Williams, Gudrun Loftus and Steve Rawlings.

    Some free country which lets Britain have access to what its citizens are doing.

    • Villanelle

      All that effort and they have failed to delete this post on Craigs Blog. Yawn!

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        But the Manhattan 11 were taken in by Putin for scum like Skripal, and those murders did occur. I am quite persistent with my complaints. Guess nothing bothers you.

        • Villanelle

          GCHQ probably have better things to do than access your computer and remove information that is probably held on removable media anyway. Paranoia is a terribly debilitating affliction as you have demonstrated. The fact you refer to Skripal as scum speaks volumes, I would guess that you believe traitors should be shot at dawn.

          • Reg

            Snowdon and Assange prove you are lying, and that they monitor everything. If this was on MSM it would be taken down as they took down Greg Dyke and Milne the former director general of the BBC.

  • David

    It sounds true., Plus there was also the quote in either Grauniad(centre of Integrity) or Torygraph that Trump was angry with the US Spooks as he asked them to expel the same number of Russian diplos as the Europeans did.

    The US spooks narrowly interpreted this mammon speaks as being a requirement from the orange guy to match the whole of the 28 EU nations in their initiative expulsions, whereas he claims he had wanted to match the same P.N.G. quantities as each individual nation.

    I think the US Spooks might be right, (tho’ of course the resistance did it wilfully and with malicious integrity aforethought) , I’ve personally noticed that the EU28 is much bigger and better at doing things than the US, and the whole bloc is a better market, within its nascent enterprises. Hence a target from all sides Putie & US state, attacks in depth, multiple independent levels of attack, full-spectrum attacks.

    Trumpy was reportedly then angry at (being prompted to) over-react, then did not apply the sanctions that were expected to have to be applied against a state that was overtly using non-traditional agents on civilian kids and ducks.

  • Michael Droy

    My guess is that neither the NYT reporter or even Gina Haspel the Torture Queen knew that the Dead Ducks were fake.
    Rather she had just found the photos in her in tray.
    So the real questions is not about Gina Haspel lying to the President, or even CIA staff lying to Haspel.
    But why were they willing to risk placing something so stupid to convince Haspel and the President?

    Perhaps because they knew more about who killed Steele’s Russian Source than they dare admit.

  • D

    There has been a lot of publicity regarding decontaminating the Skripals house including the roof which is strange as the nerve agent was alleged to have been on the entrance door handle. There has been no comment on the decontamination of the Police Officers house even though he has spoken of how he has lost all the possessions in the house due to contamination. He is well and running in a local marathon to raise funds for the special care unit in Salisbury Hospital who treated him after contamination.

      • Borncynical


        It’s occurred to most rational-thinking people that the whole thing is a charade. But D’s observations are still valid. He is highlighting inconsistencies in the official narrative, whether any of it is to be believed or not.

    • Some Random Passer-by


      My guess is that they are looking for something. Let’s speculate…

      Skripal wrote the dodgy dossier. He was homesick, so, using his daughter, he contacted his old employers. He explained what he had done, and that he had evidence.

      Two Russians appear, with relevant travel documents for Skripal. Using a dead drop (which is why the authorities have torn Salisbury apart), they (attempted to) passed on the data/passport.

      Spooks panic, and rush to stop Skripal leaving.

      Some questions.

      1) Who is the person in the mirror taking the picture of the Skripals at the restaurant? His MI5 handler?

      2) Where are the Skripals now? Yulia is entitled to see Russian diplomats, and should be free to go.

      Smoking gun(s)

      1) The nurse allowed her daughter to tend to the Skripals. She’s forgotten more about chemical weapons than we will ever know. Why would she risk her daughter’s life?

      2) If the cop was a victim of Novichok, why wasn’t his family made to wear protective gear when visiting I’m hospital?

  • Tatyana

    So, this evil woman Haspel enters the stage… Now I’m waiting for the Ukraine, the most russia-hating state at the moment.

  • Charles Bostock

    Even if the Skripal affair WAS staged, you shouldn’t get too excited about it. In fact, you should be rather pleased because it would demonstrate that the tired, incompetent old UK is still capable of mounting an operation of which young, vigorous, competent Russia would be proud. The UK can fake events with the best of them! I would find that reassuring rather than deplorable because it’s a nasty world out there.

    • John2o2o

      I shouldn’t be anything.

      The whole thing shames the UK and is an insult to Russia and it’s people.

    • not relevant

      Any integrity left? Looking into Your mirror in the morning being proud of liars, murderers, war criminals?

    • Royd

      ‘The UK can fake events with the best of them! I would find that reassuring rather than deplorable because it’s a nasty world out there.’

      Why would one choose to be reassured by fakery? Indeed, why would one choose to be reassured by such obvious fakery?

      It is a nasty world. All the more so when nation states elect to engage in sham and fakery to reassure its people.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    The Government and the media, have not been telling the whole truth for a long time. Sometimes they blatantly lie. Most people still believe most of what they say, as there is an in-built trust of authority, for some very good historical reasons. The Skripal story, made it obvious to a large number of people, that some of it could not be true. Most still believe it or din’t take much notice. The arrest of Julian Assange made it clearer, to an even larger number of people, that the government and the media, had lost all moral authority. Still many people didn’t take much notice, or were convinced by the lies in the media, that he was a rapist and should be in jail.

    The lies and corruption from government, is now increasingly out in the open. I believe that this is deliberate. I also think that it is exceedingly dangerous for society for multiple reasons. We are conditioned to accept authority as our moral guide. They act as an example of acceptable behaviour. If society as a whole, behaved like government, all trust would break down. Virtually all functions of society are based on trust. Without such trust, nothing will work.

    Corruption of government and media, is also exceedingly dangerous, for everyone’s mental health. People begin to subconsciously know that they are being lied to, but they cannot accept it, because the lies conflict with their worldview, which quite naturally is based on trust for authority, and that nice man reading the news on TV.

    I believe this has all been pre-planned, and it will result in a disastrous effect on all society, unless something happens to bring the governments and media back to truth and sanity. I have no idea what that might be, but I expect it will not be pleasant.

    The following was an early warning of the mass insanity affecting The US Government. It has spread like a highly infectious disease.

    In 2004, Karl Rove in The Bush Government “…Guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ […] ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’


  • Villanelle

    “There were no hospitalised children.” – that doesn’t mean Trump wasn’t shown some stock photos from the CIA. We all know how close Trump is really to the Russian Federation.

    • Northern

      “We all know how close Trump is really to the Russian Federation.”

      Do we? I hope you’ve got something outside Russiagate to back that up? As far as I was aware, all we had to go off on Trump’s links to Russia was some loans for real estate and a vast amount of speculation based on Steele’s dossier?

    • James2

      No “ we” don’t know

      Please tell us the facts / not innuendo and rumour about Trump and the Russian Federation

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 11:45
      “There were no hospitalised children.” – that doesn’t mean Trump wasn’t shown some stock photos from the CIA.’
      Which would be a straight fix – you think that would be fine?
      ‘We all know how close Trump is really to the Russian Federation.’
      Well, no, most of us don’t, now you come to mention it. Maybe we don’t read the right papers.

  • Brian c

    The sanctions imposed in the wake of the Salisbury allegations are the harshest any US administration has imposed on Russia since the end of the Cold War. There has also been a ramping up in the past two years of US/NATO misslle installations and war games on Russia’s border, a vast increase in military aid to ferociously anti-Russian neo-Nazis in Ukraine, the bombing of Russia’s Syrian ally, the theatened regime change of Russia’s Venezuelan ally, and a unilateral tearing up of the INF treaty agreed between Reagan and Gorbachev.
    Yet despite all that and despite the nothingburger of the Mueller report large parts of the USUK political class, mass media and intelligentsia are persisting with the conspiracy theory that Trump is somehow Putin’s puppet. Coincidentally they are also among the people most likely to accuse others of spreading fake news and propaganda.

  • glenn_nl

    Villenelle suggested earlier that they did indeed have a manual for applying the poison, which is mostly saftey precautions.

    What might these safety precautions entail? Let’s think:

    – Don’t get any of the poison on yourself
    – Don’t get it on anyone else
    – Don’t leave the empty (or partially empty) container around for the authorities to find
    – Don’t allow the assassination target to go spreading it around half a city

    Basically, get it done with as little notice and collateral damage as possible!

    That probably means poisoning someone on their way _home_, not on their way _out_ – even allowing for a moment, that someone coming into contact with an incredibly deadly battlefield nerve agent would happily saunter around for a couple of hours.

    Maybe the KGB just can’t get the staff these days?

  • Robert Stuart

    “Chemical weapons expert” Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, repeatedly called to comment on the Skripal case by the BBC, said he was in Syria with Ian “Saving Syria’s Children” Pannell covering an earlier alleged attack in Saraqeb, contrary to Pannell’s own report:

    I have just launched a campaign, fronted by actor Keith Allen, to raise funds to make a documentary on Saving Syria’s Children:

  • Crispa

    I took note when I read that on the Guardian website late last night. What struck me was the treatment of the statement as if it could be true, but in more than one way.

    The idea that Trump was kidded along in this way with photos of suffering children is similar to that which allegedly persuaded him to bomb Syria (along with the UK and France) after the more recent also alleged Douma chemical weapons attacks. So who actually was telling him porkies and why or is this just another myth to prove Trump’s crassness – in which case there is no need to make anything up.

    Even if the story is true, the article accepts it as fact and in no way qualifies it, which is just plain misrepresentation as Craig points out.

    The reference to the two Russian operatives at that time is certainly a give away one way and another – but nothing in the article to highlight that inconsistency.

    Strange timing too for the appearance of the article too. No doubt there will be a response from the Russian Embassy.

    • N_

      Trump brings together stupidity, narcissistic mental illness and obnoxiousness such that when an official has to deal with him their attitude must surely be to tell the moron whatever gets him to do what they want as soon as possible, so they don’t have to spend any more time than necessary in a room with him. He lies all the time – the guy can’t stop lying – nobody wants to spend time with a person like that – even his wife can’t stand the sight of him – and it doesn’t matter what it is that you tell him or show him. Trump doesn’t give a toss about suffering children or suffering anyone else, so it’s not likely that he was persuaded by the kind of argument that runs from injured children to the need for US diplomatic action. The question is who was behind the anti-Russian side of the Skripal story and why. Not much progress will be made without looking at the British defence review and the huge increase in military spending that warfare interests have moved Gavin Williamson’s lips to call for.

  • N_

    “(E)xtremely clear CCTV footage of the duck feeding”? So there are fixed cameras watching where the ducks swim in Queen Elizabeth’s Park in Salisbury, are there? Because I haven’t been able to find even some lamp posts they might be secured to. (Some images.) Which is not to say the Skripals weren’t photographed. And how’s the Nikolai Glushkov inquest going?

    • Ken Kenn

      Trump forgets he lies in minutes.

      He’d not heard about Julian Assange?

      If I was reporter I would have played him his words from my laptop and ask: Mr President is this you or a fake President?

      Actually he is a fake President as most US Presidents are.

      The man’s a dunce.

      I thought after George W Bush US Presidents couldn’t get any worse but know history hits us up the backside with a banjo yet again.

      Simple realy: Show the video of the Skripal actively feeding the ducks – blank the kids faces and we’ll be able to see them in all of their pre poisoned glory.

      All this has been done before by the MS – The London Bridge attackers – 7/7 and so on.

      So why not show the video?

      Because it shows something(s) which they want to hide.

      I have my views as to why, as do others but once you start lying you have to develop a good memory and ‘ British Intelligence ‘ is a misnomer.

      It’s quackery.

    • Phil

      Rob Slane from the Blogmire interviewed the mother of the children who fed the ducks and she said she was shown “extremely clear CCTV footage”.

  • Nicholas Kollerstrom

    Let us not for one moment forget: Yulia musty be alive somewhere. I reckon they did in Sergei – serve him right for being a double (or triple) agent – but Yulia must still be around. She TOLD US in her video she was fine and getting better.
    Thank god for Craig Murray and the Off-Guardian, they have preserved our sanity over this mad story, this maddest of British Intel cockups.

    • N_

      @Nicholas – I’d advise delaying the conclusion that it was a cockup, except in the sense that in most military and intelligence operations something cocks up – until we hear what happens with British military spending plans.

  • Gerard Hobley

    Someone said to me on Twitter that confirmation of Novichock was from a Mass Spec of the nerve agent bound to some enzyme (probably acetyl cholinesterase). Is this really the official line? If so it’s rubbish. Whoever made such a claim was clearly no chemist. Acetyl Cholinesterase weighs about 66700 Daltons and the nerve agent weighed, say between 200 and 400 daltons. Firstly a mass spectrum of the protein would be that of the protein plus or minus anything upto about 300 water molecules Which makes the mass (69400 +/- 2700) and a multitude of other possible ions or other factors bound to it. The error in the mass of the protein clearly exceeds the mass of the nerve agent. Given that, because of the blinding uncertainties as to what species are actually hitting the detector in the mass spectrometer, no-one anywhere attempts to study ligands bound to proteins by mass spec and certainly not one of this size, why would they do it in this case?

    • John2o2o

      They make it up Gerard.

      Unfortunately most people are not chemists and therefore lack the required knowledge to be skeptical about such claims.

  • Casual Observer

    Apply the smell test ?

    The CIA Director tells outright lies to her boss, who as a result approves a stern national rebuke.

    In a cartoon version of life where Dick Dastardly gets to be an intelligence supremo, and a total dummy gets to be President, this would be highly likely. Needless to say, to believe such a scenario would exist in the real world requires a massive suspension of logic.

    More likely there’s something coming down the track that requires Haspel, and or the CIA, to be discredited prior to its becoming visible to the public ?

    • Northern

      What could possibly be coming down the track that isn’t comparable to what we already know about Haspel and the CIA though?

      If you can straight faced maintain support for an admitted and documented human rights abuser who heads a non accountable government spy agency that has been extra judicially torturing, assassinating and over throwing any who stands in its way for 70 years; what on earth could be about to come out that’s suddenly going to convince our bought and paid for media, and by extension the general public, that these monsters have been discredited?

  • Brendan

    UK spooks are switching to damage limitation mode, with the help of the Deborah Haynes of Sky and II:

    “Update: UK security sources say they’re unaware of children hospitalised because of #novichok or wildlife killed in #Skripal attack. May have been a photo of a dead swan though not evidence swan was killed by #Novichok. If that’s true, I wonder what these images used by CIA were! ”

  • Dom Currie

    Isn’t the real point that Trump is so dumb that he needs pictures to understand the issue? If it is, then who cares about the validity of their sources? That’s like Lassie writing “Timmy’s trapped down the well” with a pen and his owner’s first reaction being, “Where the hell did you get that pen?”

    I was one of the people trying to debunk the claims that Dr Stephen Davies letter had secret messages encoded between the lines.
    Ironically, if you just forget all the conspiracies for one moment and look at what’s written, not only does it make perfect sense (it is neither poorly worded or badly edited) but it shows us that nearly 40 people attended the hospital with concerns over poisoning. There may well have been children in that group. In which case, children were hospitalised. No ducks though.
    The problem here is that some don’t know the difference between hospitalised, sickened, symptoms and poisoned.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Dom Currie April 17, 2019 at 13:13
      ‘Fraid not, old bean. Going for a check-up does not equate to hospitalisation.

    • James2

      Your post makes no sense:


      past tense: hospitalised; past participle: hospitalised
      admit or cause (someone) to be admitted to hospital for treatment.
      “Casey was hospitalized for chest pains”

    • sc

      I don’t think you’d say hospitalised unless you were admitted, not just for attending A&E or outpatients worried about poisoning.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Doesn’t “hospitalised” mean reieving treatment in a hospital? The doctor said only three people were taken ill, none of them from a nerve agent and none of them children. The vague bit is that he left out what had made those three people ill.

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