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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  • Villanelle

    Is someone willing to explain what evidence would convince them that the Russian security services attempted, and failed to kill Sergei Skripal?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 13:27
      A hell of a lot more than the load of BS narrative served up by HMG in lieu of any evidence.
      But I’ll give you a question, as you appear to have swallowed HMG hogwash hook, line and sinker: Can you explain why neither Sergei nor Yulia have contacted their nonagenarian respective mother/grandmother for months, though she has begged HMG to allow contact?
      Given that Sergei used to phone her every week or two, and that Yulia was her loving carer?

      • Villanelle

        How do you know he hasn’t contacted her? Because the Russian Govt has said so?

          • Villanelle

            So you claim she said she hadn’t heard from Sergei and she wasn’t pressured to say so?

          • pretzelattack

            you’re the one writing fiction and quoting fiction as evidence. and then having the nerve to ask other people to refute your evidence free scenarios. this is not taking place in a vacuum, the government narrative is a shambles and contradicts itself.

        • George C

          Actually she was shown in the official BBC film, by the official BBC reporter who visited her in Moskow. She said that he had not contacted her. She was crying if I remember well.

    • Northern

      Is this not somewhat putting the cart before the horse? Last I was aware it was up to those making the accusation to prove their case. If you read the articles relating to the Skirpal case on here, you would see that most of the evidence put forward for this being a Russian assassination attempt has been widely discredited and comes from sources with dubious links to British security services. So something beyond speculation would be a start.

      If I was to indulge in such speculation, I’d say it looks most likely to me on the back of what I’ve read that Sergei was attempting to return to Russia with some kind of information or material, and this whole affair was an ill planned and on the fly attempt to stop Sergei, and pin the blame on the Ruskies as a nice bonus.

      • Villanelle

        Are you an MP? By the sounds of it, nothing would convince you to answer my question let alone believe any other version of the case.

        • Northern

          What ‘version’ of the case do you think I’m believing exactly?

          You’re way out of your depth here. Like I said before, as a supporter of the government narrative, it’s on you to provide the evidence for your theory seems how that’s the one which is being enacted upon.

          At best, you seem to have the presence of Russian’s in Salisbury on the days in question, and that’s about it?

    • David

      yes, good question.

      howsabout, say , a widely respected and trusted Foreign Minister, standing up in the mother of all parliaments and saying “I, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, will immediately instigate a full and integral inquiry upon my own initiative and once all the facts are established, following institutional statecraft, we will then make a considered response to whichever agency bounced the UK into this mess”

      see references:

      “Serial liar Boris Johnson caught lying again?” Kevin Maguire, an editor at Daily Mirror,

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/04/britains-boris-johnson-accused-of-misleading-public-over-skripal-poisoning-evidence/

      https://www.theblogmire.com/boris-johnsons-statements-analysed-by-experts-and-found-to-contain-traces-of-the-ministry-grade-swerve-agent-govichock/

      • Villanelle

        By the sounds of it, nothing would convince you to answer my question let alone believe any other version of the case….. Next!

        • pretzelattack

          where’s the evidence? where’s the novichok? how come the guinea pigs and cat survived till they starved to death?

          • Villanelle

            The OPCW pretzelattack, and in the bins at Porten Down, an organisation who you’d probably not trust anyway.

        • pretzelattack

          no the opcw didn’t say that, and porton down has been most equivocal. perhaps you can find some evidence in a movie or comic book, though.

          • pretzelattack

            so in other words there is no evidence the nerve agent, if any, was part of a russian plot or even a novichok. if you have contrary text from the opcw report please provide it.

          • Borncynical

            Villanelle (16.01)

            You’ve confused me (not for the first time). The link you’ve provided is not the OPCW report. It is a document tabled by Russian Ambassador to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin refuting what he declares to be lies spun about this case by the UK, and the context of each ‘lie’ is given in the headings to each section of the document.

    • MJ

      If the police had sealed off roads, railway stations and airports to try to capture the fleeing would-be assassin(s). If Stephen Davis had not written that letter. If an attack with a military-grade nerve agent had been successful. If the main suspects were members of a sleeper cell already based in the country and had not flown in from Russia on tourist visas for the weekend.

      • Villanelle

        All well and good MJ, but you are just recreating another version of events rather than explaining what evidence would convince you… Next!

        • Andyoldlabour

          Villanelle

          We have had so many contradictory stories from the media and government, that there is definitely something very wrong.
          The Guardian has made no attempt to contradict the concocted story that ducks died and “sickened” children had to be hospitalised – it just didn’t happen, it was “fake news” spread by the muderous gina Haspel.
          Johnson told us that only Russia could have produced Novichok, which was a complete lie.
          The policeman who was contaminated, was originally supposed to be one of the first on the scene, then he visited the Skripal’s house, supposedly wearing police isswue gloves, which later turned out to be a full Hazchem suit.
          He was put in isolation in hospital, with doctors and nurses wearing Hazchem suits, yet his wife and daughter were not required to wear them.
          The two boys feeding the ducks in the park were not hurt, no ducks died from the Skripal contaminated bread fed to them.
          When did the Skripals get poisoned?
          Was it when they left the house – how did they manage to walk around for hours before collapsing? That is definitely not how military grade nerve agents work.
          Where are the Skripals now?

          • Villanelle

            Here’s some advice, don’t read the media version of events. “He was put in isolation in hospital, with doctors and nurses wearing Hazchem suits” go on then back that up, you have made an assumption.

            What I asked is what would convince you of the UK Govt version, not why you don’t believe it.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Villanelle

            Here is the back up.

            “”One moment you’d have a nurse coming in with a sandwich for you dressed top to bottom in protective gear,” he said,

            However, they might be “closely followed” by his wife and children, who were “allowed to just walk in”.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46290989

            Villanelle, you have just come on here spouting pro government rubbish, and yet you seem to have no idea how much this case has been researched by Craig and the posters on here.

          • Villanelle

            Pro-government? OK so anything I say will be dismissed then? A bit rich from someone who relies on the Govt propaganda machine, the BBC to back up an argument
            So much for open minds Andyoldlabour?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 13:57
          If as many contend it is a UK False Flag set-up, no evidence on earth would convince me that the Russians were responsible, because they weren’t.
          But the real question should be: what evidence is there for the government narratives (plural because they change with the weather)? To portray some one or group as guilty of a crime, it is normal to provide evidence. Maybe old fashioned, but things work better that way.
          But of course, the UK has form: it went to war in Afghanistan without proof, just on Uncle Sam’s say-so.
          It bombed Syria over Chemical Weapon ‘allegations’, with no proof.
          It attacked Iraq over alleged Chemical Weapons.
          And it bombed Libya over false allegations.
          So, yep, HMG has ‘form’ at fomenting false ‘casus belli’.

          • Villanelle

            Paul Barbara, thank you, you have reinforced my opinion that many on this site have closed and blinkered opinions beyopnd any reason.

          • pretzelattack

            once again, villanelle, you don’t answer any of the points raised in the post you reply to.

        • John A

          Villanelle,
          The evidence that would convince me is Julia Skripal being freely interviewed, not under duress, and explaining what happened that Sunday. Ie. where did they drive in the morning. Did they return to the house and on leaving, both touch the door knob. Why was her father so agitated in Zizzis, and what happened immediately before they both collapsed on the bench. In other words, did someone come up to them, the fabled Russian cathedral tourists for example, or even Detective Bailey, and spray something in their faces, or had they been feeling increasingly unwell for some time and both needing to sit down on the bench, struggling for breath etc.
          Until we hear from father or daughter, all else is speculation. As it is, the official government explanation is full of holes and very hard to believe.

    • James2

      The first question is why would the Russians attempt to kill this man – and his daughter?

      I have not heard a convincing reason for this.

      -He was let go years ago from prison – so he was of no concern to them. In fact no one knew who this guy was on the Russian side.

      – the daughter was living in Russia and visiting regularly her father / why attack her in the UK?

      The whole story is built on stereotypes of malevolent Russians attacking someone because that’s what they do. It’s actually a very racist idea.

      The Russians were accused within 24hours – this in itself was suspect

      • Villanelle

        He was traded rather than let go, again you are not providing what evidence you would accept as a threshold for the UK Govts version…like the others above nobody will accept any evidence from anyone as it could have been tampered with/corrupted even left by a state actor to fool you.

        The truth is nobody trusts anyone anymore so Skripal may well be dead, may well have been killed to blame the Russian state and that is what we have to reason for ourselves without being unreasonable or show unconscious or other bias in this case.
        On the balance of probability I believe the Russian state failed to kill him, failed to corrupt the OPCW investigation and failed to prevent their operatives being discovered.

        • pretzelattack

          what evidence have they provided, specifically, that has stood up? they still haven’t even said what it was, or produced the skripals for testimony. your version seems to be just to accept what they say. you make lots of assertions, just like the government has, but don’t provide evidence.

        • Northern

          You know saying ‘on balance of probability’ doesn’t mean just whichever seems more likely to you, right? That phrase would imply you’ve done some actual calculations or assessment of the evidence. By your own words ‘don’t trust the media version of events’, so either;

          You have some inside knowledge of the events that you’re not sharing for our benefit (unlikely).
          Or
          You’re a gullible member of the public supporting the government narrative out of some knee jerk need to trust authority (more likely).
          Or
          You’re just a stooge.

          Which is it?

          • Villanelle

            Balance of probability is subjective, and that is why it is used by prosecutors as a first filter for a trial. A trial that can go either way, and with differing burdens of proof. That is a personal opinion, so your first sentence is factually wrong. You may wish to google legal definitions, it may help your understanding!

          • Northern

            Like I said in the first reply, balance of probability implies you’ve actually assessed the evidence yourself. You can’t weigh the balance of probability if you’ve not seen the evidence, you’re just guessing according to your own prejudices.

            So I want to know what evidence you’ve seen, given that you’ve already said in your own words ‘don’t trust the media’. Either you’re trusting the media to provide the evidence, despite claiming not to, or you’ve access to some privileged information the rest of us don’t? In which case, share it, so we can all be enlightened to the truth.

            You seem to be fixated on the idea that those of us who are sceptical are so because Craig told us to be?

          • Villanelle

            So I suppose likewise you can’t say it isn’t likely. I have at no point said that I have seen a cast iron case either way but presumably you have?

        • Andrew Ingram

          @ Villanelle
          “Balance of probability” might be enough in civil cases. In criminal cases it’s equivalent is “beyond reasonable doubt”. The poisoning of the Skripals is a criminal affair and the state has not born the burden of proof at all well.

          I might add that the UK state and it’s apparatus have concocted evidence in the past in order to convict persons it knew were innocent. Birmingham Six and Guildford Four spring to mind.

          • Villanelle

            Andrew Ingram – You never read my full post, “A trial that can go either way, and with differing burdens of proof.”

          • Andrew Ingram

            @Villanelle
            All trials can go either way, by definition. There is only one burden of proof and that is carried by the prosecution/state and it is up to and beyond reasonable. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Why would the Russian security services want to kill Skripal when they had written him off as a worthless Western spy? There is no evidence you seek.

      • michael norton

        Exactly Trow, if the Russkies had wanted to off, poor old Sergei, why wait till his daughter is on the scene, it is all bonkers.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          The Russians traded Skjripal for 11 American sleepers looking for Russian spies.

          Mi6 killed him, and made it look like the Russians had. done it.

          0+0=0

    • Goose

      Craig’s listed various inconsistencies…

      ·When did the Skripals return home to actually touch the door? Earliest door could’ve been coated around 12 noon. No cctv of their car returning and timeline is off.
      · Why did they both fall ill later that afternoon at precisely same moment despite different body compositions?
      ·The fact the potential assassins walked up the street in broad daylight unconcerned about any CCTV, why did Sergei’s house have no CCTV.
      ·The method – insanely risky given Skripal wasn’t hiding, living at that address under his real name with no CCTV.
      ·The fact that for days after these events police stood outside, right next to the door in question with no protective clothing, this despite an officer apparently falling ill after ‘forcing entry’ – no sign of forced entry on that door.
      · Why did Charlie Rowley and his brother insist in TV interviews he broke the bottle spilled a quantity on his hands and then wash it off? He even talked of its ‘oily’ consistency and its smell. A google search shows all the MSM reported the bottled ‘splintered’ into pieces. It’s reported the sample handed to the OPCW was 98.3% pure.
      · Ţhe fact both Skripals have all but vanished despite Yulia feeling the need to phone her cousin during her ‘situation’.

      There are many other inconsistencies.

      If these are answered satisfactorily, I guess Craig and all other querying folk will be convinced.

        • Goose

          The Skripals being allowed to speak freely may be a start.

          This idea they have to hide seems silly given how long Sergei was in jail in Russia. And no one has suggested Yulia was targeted , she is merely caught up in this. They are now very high profile, thus, even if you accept the official narrative 100%, the idea they’d be targeted again is ridiculous.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 14:09
          The following should teach you all you need to know about the OPCW – it is afraid to deal honestly in cases which go against the Western (US) narrative:
          ‘Was UK paying White Helmets to produce Syria ‘chemical weapon’ PR as cover for Jaish Al Islam?’:
          https://www.rt.com/op-ed/454205-uk-paying-white-helmets-syria-jaish/?
          And in my estimation, Syria was what was behind the Salisbury Saga. The UK wanted to get across to the public the idea Russia used Chemical Weapons, in time for the next ‘False Flag’ CW ops (real or hoax) that the British founded and funded ‘White Helmets’ mercenary head-choppers’ PR outfit organised in Syria.

          • michael norton

            Paul, yes, the timing was all about the Russkies winning in Syria, Salisbury was a last hurrah for a chemical hatchet job of the Russkies.

      • Villanelle

        Craig also said the two suspects couldn’t have come through the gates at Gatwick at the same time and they weren’t actually in the UK at all.

        • Goose

          Craig sometimes goes off on tangents I don’t think are sensible.

          The Gatwick arrival questions and questioning who these Russians were always silly.

          Even were this story false in part, the security services wouldn’t be so sloppy as to pick too random Russian tourists.

    • Tatyana

      I am, Villanelle.
      If only Sergey Skripal suddenly and unexplainably died in first year or two after he was swapped. You know, that type of death, like heart attack during your usual morning fitness, or falling out of the window, or perhaps you remember the guy who was found dead in his travel bag and somehow it was attributes to his sexual play with his gay partner. Something of this kind.
      Gosh, even simple death of rat poison would do.
      Not the absurd story about FSB trying to kill an ex-spy with secret warfare in rural England, near the fence of Porton Down, with the most experienced Army Nurse rushing to help and brave British doctors successfully treating Novichok poisoning. So successfully, that Yulia was able to read and write two languages, using complex grammar constructions… She even didn’t stumble on foreign words, reciting long text in front of cameras and her facial expressions are all relevant, healthy and telling of good self-possession.
      So… NO, I’m not convinced.

      • Villanelle

        You hit the nail on the head “FSB trying to kill an ex-spy with secret warfare in rural England,” What message would that send to other “traitors”?
        Thanks for that, you’ve convinced me even more!

        • Tatyana

          Do you think that the traitors are so stupid, that they need some special message? Oh, it is really funny 🙂

          The main point why I’m not convinced is the “motive” presented
          “Putin sends message, he wants to give us a knee-jerk”
          Just as stupid as everything about this story. UK must engage better experts on Russia, your knowledge is outdated.

          • Tatyana

            Couldn’t they invent something better?
            Eg. After 8 years Skripal cured his amnesia and was ready to give out some dirty Putin’s secret and Julia was to carry evidence to Hague.

          • Tatyana

            I can imagine a place, where ” Putin ‘s message” is recognised as a true motive. But I’m afraid it is offensive.

          • Mammoth

            Villanelle has asked a silly question but provided no evidence for his/her/its belief in some “official” version of events which somehow involves Russian guilt. The simple fact is that there is no evidence for any Russian state involvement in the disappearance of the Skripals. As for their alleged poisoning – all samples went through Porton Down, a UK government agency – so there is no independent chain of custody. Just as with the OPCW “investigation” of the alleged Khan Sheykhoun CW “attack” in Syria where all samples were supplied through terrorists and their White Helmets associates. And OPCW itself refused to visit the Syrian airbase even when invited and guaranteed security for such a visit.
            Russian visitors Petrov and Boshirov (there is no evidence that these are false identities) were in Salisbury on 3 and 4 March 2018 either as tourists or for some other purpose, but the police have been unable to link them in any way with the Skripals.
            Craig Murray and others have pointed out innumerable logical impossibilities – not just inconsistencies – in official and media reports.
            There is no case for Russia to answer. Russia needs no defence. The simple answer to Villanelle is that after all the official obfuscation by UK government and intelligence agencies, there is NOTHING that would now convince me of Russian guilt.

          • Deb O'Nair

            Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 15:10 “I am an observer from without.”

            Continually posting (albeit nothing) can hardly be described as observing.

      • Baron

        Tatyana @ 14.02 on April 17:

        You and the others trying to have an argument with Vilanelle are wasting your time, whoever this person is, it’s not worth your spending time and effort to convince him, he’s a common stooge, someone implanted to disrupt the thread, someone who should be ignored. He can of course be genuinely brainless, in need of urgent medical help, but then it’s up to the NHS to deal with him.

    • Proof

      As in any criminal case the Russian perpetrators with his Russian security services card proven to have done it.
      No, some Russians walking around Salisbury presumably walk by hacking don’t prove anything.
      And no, Bellingcat “showing” old pictures of Russian security members saying this were them as shown on Russian TV does not mean anything.
      I am not even sure the two Russians shown on Russian TV were the two Russians shown on Salisbury CCTV.

    • SA

      Villanelle
      You ask a question which is difficult to answer because of the way it is worded. Of course we would consider any feasible evidence provided that it holds water, that the government narrative is true. But since there have been volumes written already about why the evidence presented is incongruous, it is a very clever ploy from you to ask this question because the answer is already out there anyway. Now the most serious aspect that the government’s story does not hold water is the simple fact that in concert all of the MSM with very few exceptions tried to ask pertinent questions. It’s the dog that did not bark scenario that is the giveaway.

    • Ray Raven

      No, I ain’t going to waste my time.
      Go figure it out for yourself why any logically thinking sane person does not believe the crappe gushing forth from the UK governent and its apparatchiks (ie. you and your cohorts in the no-integrity lacking initiative organisation).

      • michael norton

        Does any body believe the crappe gushing forth from Macron, he is going to keep his troops in Syria and keep Syria on its toes, so it stops nerve gassing its own people with barrel bombs.

    • Grhm

      The way honest people proceed is as follows:
      Firstly, we assemble the known facts, and then secondly we invent an explanation that’s consistent with those facts.
      Villanelle evidently goes about things differently.
      The question asked, in paraphrase, is:
      “The explanation is that the KGB tried and failed to kill Skripal. What facts can we invent that would be consistent with that explanation?”
      This is revealing, I feel.

    • Node

      Villanelle : Is someone willing to explain what evidence would convince them that the Russian security services attempted, and failed to kill Sergei Skripal?

      The Skripals themselves describing the events of that day without contradicting the government version.

    • Steven Bowles

      How about for starters some evidence that the attack actually took place using a ‘Novichok’. Oh and by the way that term was created by the USA to refer to a large family of new agents and is a collective term like sport – which one was it? Oh and also while you are at it, how is it possible that a gel on a door handle outside has absolutely zero impurities in it after 2 weeks. No dust, pollen or pollution after 2 weeks outdoors?

    • Igor P.P.

      I think I’d settle for some CCTV footage of the suspects actually going to/from the Skripal’s house and a presser with Skripals where they are asked questions and fully corroborate the official account of events. Am I asking for too much?

    • Reg

      1st the UK authorities following OPCW guidelines on how to deal with an alleged chemical attack.
      The UK authorities calling in OPCW inspectors as soon as it is suspected a chemical agent was involved, allowing a chain of evidence.
      Sharing evidence with Russia as is required by OPCW guidelines.
      Not accusing Russia before the police have finished their investigation.
      The UK not being caught repeatedly telling lies undermining any credibility they might have, Boris Johnson, and repeated lies about Russia being the only possible source.
      Having a credible theory of the case.
      Two alleged highly trained assassins arriving by train and making their escape via a Sunday train from Salisbury is not credible.
      Why poison a doorknob in broad daylight and not steal a car and do this overnight without identification and be in the air bound for Russia when the poisoning occurs?
      Images or a credible eye witness of a person in broad daylight dressed in a full NBC suit apply a suspected nerve agent to the door handle.
      Credible evidence that the Skripols returned to their residence after leaving 1st thing in the morning, driving two blocks away does no count.
      It is not credible that a former spy did not have CCTV at his property, where is it?
      The UK not destroying the forensic evidence including the house roof (why only the roof) the pets and the one poor victim.
      A full timeline of where the Skripols were at all times during the day that could of been constructed by CCTV and eye witnesses.
      A reconstruction and crimewatch program as a public appeal to recreate this timeline with an appeal for all those within the vicinity to come forward as witnesses and to eliminate them from enquires, this would of identified the two Russian tourists to be identified much earlier. The lack of this approach indicated the UK authorities did not want to find the truth in this matter.
      That the supposed identification of the two suspects as GRU agents to be identified by an agency more credible than Belingcat.
      Their being some/any credible evidence that the Russians were involved
      Finding Russians in the vicinity months after the event without establishing contact is not evidence.
      How long do the police normally take to identify suspects in CCTV footage in attempted/actual murder investigations, particularly as the resources devoted to this case would foreshorten the time taken to trawl CCTV images and would of started with recent visitors from Russia on a visa? I would suggest weeks, not months from previous investigations.
      Particularly as all Russian visiting would be on record having visas.
      But you already know this and are just being dishonest and are just spreading UK government propaganda.

  • Goose

    With the MSM in the UK as it is (dominated by the authoritarian right), I don’t think they’d care to report even if this was simply ‘spy games’.

    With the exception of Peter Hitchens(on the right himself) no one in the MSM wants to go near this. A climate of fear pervades and anyone asking even the most reasonable, basic; obvious questions is shouted down by authoritarians from all political sides as a Putin stooge. This assumption that you don’t believe X , you must favour Y, is absurd.

      • Goose

        Where is the usual inquisitive, investigative reporting in print or on TV, into this case?

        All we get is people with ‘connections’ to the security establishment, speaking with eerie music playing and spooky background images on Newsnight. As if just to reinforce the narrative rather than question.

          • Goose

            Mark Urban’s reports on this case.

            Eerie music for the introductory reports, then studio backdrops showing Spectre-like graphical databases and pictures of suspects, stuff scrolling in the background to add legitimacy.

            Newsnight frequently uses things like background music to convey a sense of dread in reports. Newsnight, with its hawkish guests and right-wing commentariat is the most untrustworthy output on UK TV imo.

          • Xavi

            I find that disrespectful to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, recently named aa the most regular guest in Newsnight history and a man whose insights have proved stunningly prescient on every major UK foreign policy adventure of the past generation.

          • Northern

            So you don’t rely on the media for your news, but you’ve miraculously arrived at the same conclusion as the majority of them without their services. You ask Goose for examples of eerie music on newsnight, and when he then specifies the one in question, you just dismiss it because it’s on the BBC?

            You’re just a bad faith troll who keeps moving the goal posts.

    • John2o2o

      “Authoritarian”? Er, yes. “Right”? Not so yes.

      Not sure the Guardian would agree with you calling them the “Right”.

  • Republicofscotland

    The whole Skripal affair is a British dead duck.

    Charlie Rowley has even met with a Russian ambassador, asking him for help as the British government have kept him in the dark over the death of Dawn Sturgess, and the matter as a whole.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/455757-novichok-rowley-meets-ambassador/

    It amounts to a web of lies and deceit, a Gordian knot that even Alexander couldn’t cut through.

    • Northern

      Even Charlie’s meeting with the ambassador was spun though. I saw several information light reports on that in UK media, attempting to portray the meeting as a result of Russian stonewalling, not British.

        • Northern

          So you’re on here resolutely defending a long discredited position that you yourself don’t believe? Pfft, try harder.

  • Charles Bostock

    This must be Craig’s n th post on the Skripal affair and it still gets the Murrayistas leaping up and down with excitement, spewing forth theories, vituperations, banal geopolitical comments and above all, hot air.

    Craig certainly knows how to push the right buttons and when to push them. Must be his Office training.

    • Conall Boyle

      As a ‘Murrayista’ I must say I do roll around with mirth every time Craig posts. I have no theories, banal geopolitics, only total incredulity at the official narrative. It is so hilarious, and yet they go on straight-faced putting it out. You Bostock, seem to be happy to accept the bizarre facts and somehow feel they prove something. Vilanelle just keeps popping up squeaking at some minor point or other.

      There is a gigantic smell over the Salisbury incident, but it is not true that ALL the media just suck it up. One or two brave souls like Mary Djevsky ask simple basic journalistic questions and gets a pile of ordure poured over her for her trouble. The rest seem cowed into silence. Why does the establishment fear such questions?

    • John2o2o

      Please do enlighten me on your wisdom Charles. I come here often and quite often I say things that Craig might not like. I like the opportunity to voice my opinions here.

      If you have anything sensible to offer on why I have to believe the “official narrative” and why I (a graduate chemist) am not in any way qualified to be skeptical about it please do tell.

  • Vinnie Pooh

    Yeah, my eyes almost popped out of my head as I read it in the news. Direct brazen manipulation of your boss, who happens to be a commander in chief of a nuclear power. And no, I don’t hear any howls about treason and conspiracy from across the pond.

  • Robyn

    Rob Slane (blogmire.com) and his intrepid band of commenters are also poring over this dead duck story today. Somewhere on Rob’s page is reference to the parents of the duck-feeding boys being told, two weeks after the event, to burn the children’s clothes. To save myself time, I’m paste in here my comment on that aspect of the official script which I pasted under Rob’s article.

    So, two weeks after the duck feed, the parents were instructed to burn the boys’ clothes. It seems like an extreme measure given that everyone else in Salisbury was advised just to launder any clothes under suspicion of contamination. Luckily for the boys and their family and community (if not the nation), the parents remembered exactly which clothes the boys had been wearing. Even more luckily, neither the boys nor their duck-feeding clothes had come into contact with anyone or anything in the intervening fortnight. It’s a miracle.

      • Villanelle

        Have you ever had any experience of Chemotherapy? The same guidance is given to those undergoing such treatments. Even down to using Biological washing powder for laundry. The reason? Chemotherapy drugs are absorbed and excreted through the skin and most are based on chemical weapons. You might want to check for yourself, but a nerve agent is likely to have a low evaporation point so will only leave traces behind.

          • Andyoldlabour

            John2o2o

            Indeed, a bizarre comment from a bizarre poster.
            Vil doesn’t seem to trust any media sources, so I wonder where Vil gets their information?

  • Villanelle

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain what WOULD CONVINCE them of the UK Govt version. It seems the answer is nothing, keep hypothesising…..

    • Andyoldlabour

      Villanelle

      Why would anyone want to be convinced of a story which has more holes than a string vest?

          • Villanelle

            nevermind – or you are so blinkered & entrenched that you will never accept any other version of events? Would a wikileaks release convince you?

        • Ellenalliv

          A good start would be: Testimony from the affected individuals that corroborates the government line, a scientific explanation of the delivery method that fits with the understood and published properties of the nerve agent, credible evidence of the point and time of delivery that fits in with the timeline of the suspects’ and victims’ movements.

        • Ray Raven

          Coz you sound and behave like a spoilt child whining and crying that the present they received is not good enuff.
          Go figure for yourself.

    • Goose

      People aren’t as unreasonable or as unpersuadable as you’re suggest. Most people here seem to be intelligent, reasonable people. Theonly people who bring aggro here tend to be those who are dismissive of Craig’s questions.

      No one can be ‘forced’ to believe anything. Scepticism is healthy in any society, so why do those insisting we believe the official narrative get so damn aggressive in interviews? They are betraying their own doubts?

      • Villanelle

        Goose I believe we have trigger points that allows us to filter out the crap, for some it’s the MSM for some it’s just the Daily Mail but for some they don’t seem to have any level at all. What would convince you? A WIkileaks release?

        • Goose

          Craig and others here only want the truth, I guess.

          cue : You can’t handle the truth!

          Literally, that may only be a film line but I’d wager it encapsulates perfectly the mentality of some..

    • pretzelattack

      evidence of what it was, how it was introduced, and why it didn’t kill the policeman or the pets would be one starting point.

      • Strange

        And why the “world’s most deadly poison” killed one weakened woman with full exposure but noone else. It is a strange effectiveness for a “military grade” nerve agent.

        • Villanelle

          I would speculate that it has a low evaporation point, like perfume. So after it is applied to the skin the body heat evaporates it?
          Who would that have to come from for you to believe it?

          • SA

            Let’s ask you what exactly do you find convincing about the government narrative?
            Next

          • Andyoldlabour

            Villanelle

            We have been told by many/various sources, that the Novichok was applied in gel form to the Skripal’s door furniture.
            Gel does not evaporate.
            If the Novichock had in fact been applied by an atomiser spray, then there would have been no need to wear protective clothing and cordon off large areas of Salisbury because it would have evaporated.
            Your serve Villanelle.

          • Villanelle

            The fact it is backed up by the OPCW of which Russia is a member, the fact at every release of information the Russian state has had to back track. For example that isn’t real CCTV pictures at Gatwick, they never travelled to the UK at all, we have no records of them visiting and then pow, they end up admitting they were wrong.

          • Northern

            Having a ‘low evaporation point’ isn’t exactly a desirable quality in a weapons grade nerve agent, is it?

          • pete

            Re “low evaporation point”
            Yes Villanelle, that’s it, why didn’t anyone think of that before, thank goodness you have cleared that up, it explains everything. We can all rest easy now.

          • Northern

            Your own link provides the answer to that question, if you were actually processing it rather than selectively picking out the bits which support the government narrative.

            The whole point of chemical weapons is to cause as much death, injury and incapacity as possible amongst the enemy, with the added bonus of it severely limiting or reducing their ability to operate in the affected area. So given what we know from the government’s narrative of alleged Russian application to the doorknob – why would you chose an agent which burns off at atmospheric temperatures if it’s known that there could be several hours between application and contact with the intended victim?

            None of which adequately explains all of the other inconsistencies in the properties of this agent, either?

            How were the samples tested by the OPCW of such high purity so long after the event? How do you tie this up with agent failing to kill the apparent targets? According to chemists, a minute dosage of this substance is enough to kill at such high purity?

          • Igor P.P.

            The Russian state did not at any point deny that B&P travelled to the UK. The timestamped Gatwick pictures show B & P exiting the plane via different corridors in about the same location at exactly the same second. The very low probablility of this and the lack of an explanation led many commenters (in Russia and abroad) to suspect that the pictures or timestamps were doctored. None of those commenters were affiliated with the state.

    • SA

      How about a press conference with the Skripals being interviewed in public? That would convince me.

      • Villanelle

        SA Now we’re getting somewhere. SO when they both are interviewed on the TV (any particular chanel or interviewer) you won’t claim duress or bribery?

    • sc

      Why not list the solid evidence that you think we have had? It doesn’t seem enough to be sure of anything to me.

      I can well believe that the UK and the Russian Government (and maybe others) know more than they have made public about what happened.

      They could have said ‘we have secret intelligence that we can’t tell you’ … which one may or may not believe, but can’t really argue with. But instead there was immediate jumping to conclusions, only the Russians could have done it, only the Russians could have had a motive, only the Russians could possibly possess a chemical that Soviet scientists were working on many years ago. None of which sounded at all likely. And all of which were later found to be doubtful or simply wrong claims.

      A case brought openly to court and argued by experts with actual evidence produced might convince me.

      • Villanelle

        sc – Well done, so you would believe a UK court? The OPCW have established that the source of the Novichok is from USSR stocks. Would this be accepted in your court?

        • nevermind

          no they have not, they talked of a ‘novichok type agent’ and are chiming mostly with the countries who keep it alive.
          facts must be that when Russia stopped producing this agent, yonks ago, Porton Down picked up this freely available and published recipe for their own dastardly aims.
          Those who are still peeing in the wind with this pathetic plot should realise that the evaporation rate of urine, just as water, will cool you down, but leave a stench for all to smell.

        • sc

          Any such claims would be tested properly I should hope. Not half made up and spread around social media. We have lawyers, expert witnesses and courts for good reason.

          If it was shown to be from USSR stocks from a couple of decades ago (which I’m not sure is actually correct) that would not prove it was Russian now. Lots has happened ….

        • Mammoth

          The OPCW have established no such thing. And the fact is that the USSR laboratory (in Uzbekistan) was dismantled by the USA, so even if that were the origin of poison allegedly used on the Skripals, this says nothing about who might have used it. If anything it points the finger at a US agency as the perpetrator. Or the US’s NATO ally, the UK, whose own chemical warfare facility is at Porton Down near Salisbury, and is known to have a close working relationship with US government agencies

    • Bill Marsh

      What would convince you that the UK’s govt’s version of events is incorrect?

    • andygringo

      Perhaps it would be better, Villanelle, if you could let everyone else know which parts of the “UK Govt. version”, you find most compelling. Which pieces of evidence supplied by the UK Govt. do you find the most convincing?
      Bearing in mind that this evidence is brought to you by Intelligence agencies and politicians with a track record of lying and dissembling, it is surely incumbent on any seeker of truth to treat with scepticism anything put out by known liars.
      Do you believe that Saddam had WMD?
      How about Syria? Have these same intelligence agencies and government officials, who you believe without question now, been truthful and consistent throughout the aggression against Syria?
      I suspect, based on your half arsed attempts on this thread to whitewash the UK government, that you would literally believe anything you’re told as long as it came from official sources.
      It was pointed out to you earlier in the thread that you are way out of your depth on this forum. I second that.
      If you really want to know more about the holes in the official version, which I doubt, then the archives on here as well as Moon of Alabama and the excellent Blogmire would help to fill in the obvious gaps in your knowledge. It would also stop you asking stupid questions and looking foolish.

    • Conall Boyle

      What would convince me? Even the slightest effort by HMG to produce credible explanations for the many lacunae that have been spotted in their narrative. Of course their point-blank refusal to do so doesn’t prove they have something to hide. I often feel that with devious cunning they deliberately let dodgy narratives out into the public domain, then sit back and watch ‘the usual suspects’ run around in frustration. Thank goodness we have RT to point out the truth.

    • Adrian Parsons

      A public meeting televised live and lasting as long as it takes (hold it near a hotel) featuring everyone involved that is still alive, a brace of State prosecutors putting their case and an audience of organic chemists, telecoms experts, investigative journalists and others who have studied the case, the whole shebang guarded by the SAS if necessary. No one leaves until every contradiction in the “official version” is cleared up.

      Fresh air has a way of dispersing bullshit.

    • A.C.Doyle

      >> Villanelle
      >> April 17, 2019 at 14:22

      “I’m still waiting for someone to explain what WOULD CONVINCE them of the UK Govt version. It seems the answer is nothing, keep hypothesising…..”

      If the highest ranking military WMD trained nurse of the Russian army was shown to be present at the park bench scene, instead of the British one, I would find that convincing evidence of a Russian involvement.

  • King of Welsh Noir

    A lot of people take the piss out of the ‘How to poison door knobs’ manual, but through my connections in the security services I have managed to get hold of a copy.

    I translated it using Google translate.

    Here is a section on the special protective Hazmat suits that the two agents would obviously have worn to perform the job.

    It’s quite a long and complicated procedure because it is very hard to doff the suit afterwards without contaminating yourself.

    First, you need a buddy to help you, and a mirror, a tent and and chlorine solution.

    No doubt they carried these in the small knapsack one of them was wearing.

    It takes half an hour and this is a small fraction of the necessary procedure:

    Engage the trained observer.
    Disinfect outer gloves.
    Remove outer apron.
    Disinfect outer gloves
    Remove and discard outer gloves
    Inspect and disinfect inner gloves
    Remove face shield
    Disinfect inner gloves
    Remove surgical hood
    Disinfect inner gloves
    Remove the coverall
    Disinfect inner gloves
    Remove boot covers
    Change inner gloves
    Remove the N95 respirator
    Disinfect the new inner gloves
    Disinfect your shoes
    Disinfect inner gloves
    Remove and discard inner gloves
    Perform hand hygiene
    Examine body for contaminants
    Exit the doffing area
    Take a shower.
    Go and feed ducks

    For videos showing the procedure can be found here:

    https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/ppe-training/n95respirator_coveralls/doffing_12.html

    After reading the manual I have tremendous respect for the assassins: to do all that in broad daylight on a Sunday morning in Salisbury without being spotted.

    Clearly they were real pros. So no more laughing please.

    • Andyoldlabour

      King of Welsh Noir

      I see no reason why they couldn’t have performed those tasks without being spotted, causing alarm.

      Sarcasm alert.

    • Tatyana

      Ah, King of Welsh Noir, don’t you know these are all unnecessary procedures with our New Enhanced Premium Baby Wipes!

    • giyane

      You have to do all that every time you pick up the Guardian? I knew it was toxic but…
      What about if you read it online?

  • S

    lol. That’s the correct Oxford English Dictionary spelling of the word “organizations”. Arguably the correct spelling wherever you live.

  • John Goss

    “Possibly the Guardian and New York Times are inventing utter drivel, as in the Manafort meeting Assange story. That would in itself be worrying. ”

    To my mind they have been doing it for years. It is getting worse. Rusbridger, although he admitted to being controlled, was a real editor in comparison to Katherine Viner. There is no moral compass anymore. Yet there are still readers who have been reading it for years who think it is the same radical organ it was when known as the Manchester Guardian.

  • Bill Boggia

    It sounds pretty damed easy to persuade a president to do something – holy shit.

    • John2o2o

      Well this one anyway. If the story is true. I am convinced that Trump is little more than a braindead neocon patsy.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Bill Boggia April 17, 2019 at 15:53
      Maybe Haspel took along some of her persuasive instruments from her time in Thailand….

  • John Goss

    Perhaps more important than the Stephen Davies letter is the diagnosis that fentanyl was the poison involved – quite a strong opoid. But it was quite clear from the start – as far as the medical profession is concerned – that there was no evidence of a nerve agent. Novichok is a word circulated by the west to point the finger at Russia. It means newcomer. This morning I joined a Russian website. Under my name it said Novichok.

    https://johnplatinumgoss.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/fentanyl-poisoned-the-skripals-back-to-basics/

  • Alexander

    Villanelle is a great WUM – much better than many of the horrors on the BBC Sport HYS, where I sometimes lurk. Her question – what would make people believe that the Russians tried and failed to poison the Skripals with novichok – is I think a serious one and maybe deserves a serious answer rather than a brush-off. (It is quite possible that the government is aware of the awful damage done to its standing here and abroad by recounting what appear to be a farrago of ill-thought-out lies.)

    So my answer would be that someone would have to, for a start, tell the full unvarnished story, explaining away the endless inconsistencies in the government’s various versions and at the same time let us hear what the other players in the drama, such as the Skripals, have to say. Can you please arrange this, Villanelle?

    I have quoted here before Peter Fleming’s (ex SOE) maxim -“It is impossible, at least highly dangerous, to tell a lie until you know what the truth is going to be”.

    PS Villanelle – you are not Mrs C Bostock by any chance?

    • Ray Raven

      I thought the same as you with regard to your postscript statement.
      Very similar MO (asking stupid questions that they should be able to answer themselves).

    • WJ

      Too bad there’s not an established legal process in the Western world for adjudicating these claims. I am thinking of a venue where each side could openly present its case on the basis of whatever evidence each is able to supply, could ask questions of the other side, etc., and would agree to abide by whatever decision the citizens appointed by lot to administer this venue would decide.

      No idea how something like this hypothetical structure or institution might be brought about, but it would seem helpful to have in cases like these, no?

    • Keith

      “PS Villanelle – you are not Mrs C Bostock by any chance?”

      I’d guess the character behind “Bostock” is a batchelor 🙂

  • Goose

    It’s sad situation that a relatively obscure web/blog site like this is the only place where questions, literally millions have asked, are raised.

    We now read of the DCMS proposals: “Internet sites could be fined or blocked if they fail to tackle “online harms”, under new government plans.”

    Misinformation is listed as a potential harm. But who defines what is ‘misinformation’?

    Can expect this site to be on any list. The fact certain elites can’t even tolerate discussion on relatively obscure sites, shows how seriously messed up things really have become

    • pete

      Re blocking sites
      I don’t really see how this could work, if this site became a distributed mode Peer to Peer communication network, see: https://www.1e.com/news-insights/blogs/peer-to-peer-content-distribution-options/
      On such a site information is held in BranchCache and is available to all with access to the site, information is not stored centrally but on local sites, available as long as someone has their pc/laptop switched on. How would you know who to fine if you did not know where the information came from? How would you track this if the communications were encrypted?

      • Goose

        Plus, Craig is on Twitter. He’d be the first to challenge such a thing.

        But sites like this are the canary in the coal mine in terms of creeping authoritarianism.

        The UK isn’t in a good place at the mo. It’s always been bad regarding its culture of SSC – surveillance, secrecy and censorship. But it’s getting worse and I don’t think Corbyn has the intellectual capacity, or energy to really turn the tide. Labour need very radical constitutional / democratic reform plans in the manifesto to stand a chance and even then would the right-wing PLP support that?

        Scottish independence looks like the only hope.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I take this discussion back to my original point, which to my amazement was published (unfortunately the joke wasn’t) Tony_0pmoc
    April 17, 2019 at 11:44…which starts…

    “The Government and the media, have not been telling the whole truth for a long time. Sometimes they blatantly lie.”

    Many people posting here, quite obviously still believe most of what is published in the mainstream media. Most people I know, rarely lie, and when they do, its pretty obvious. yet some people I know, are quite obviously compulsive liars. they are addicted to it, but unfortunately do not have exceedingly good memories, to remember all their lies. I never trust a word such people say any more, unless I know they are telling the truth, which sometimes they do.

    Same girl?

    Just Believe – The Magic of Novichok – Before Novichok – After Novichok

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/images6/novichokbeforeafter2.jpg

    Tony

    • Goose

      But they don’t need good memories when the media don’t raise inconsistencies that arise some time later.

      ‘We are the United States of Amnesia, which is encouraged by a media that has no desire to tell us the truth about anything, serving their corporate masters who have other plans to dominate us.’ – Gore Vidal

      Some ask, why the obsession with the MSM, but they are all we’ve got holding power to account. Especially here in the UK with no written constitution. The reason powerful people give for being against the codified rules of a written constitution, is it’d restrict their room to act . But in fact, you really do need a set of ‘codified’ rules – a line that EVERYONE is afraid of crossing.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Goose April 17, 2019 at 17:13
        ‘…a line that EVERYONE is afraid of crossing.’
        No such line exists these days, thanks to the bought or controlled ‘MSM’.
        All’s fair, as long as the rich and powerful do it.

        • Goose

          The reason why we need a written constitution is because it’s not clear where power and responsibility reside in the UK.

          The security services seem to have free rein so politicians can claim plausible deniability.

          Look at the to and froing over historical accusations of UK involvement in torture, with Straw and Blair basically accusing Mi6 of going rogue. Both insist they never authorised torture in TV interviews last year (Straw on radio , Blair on Newsnight); they claim they never signed the documents, despite their signatures being on said documents. The whole situation is a mess and many MPs have called for a judge-led inquiry , both Blair and Straw have stated they are happy to cooperate. And yet…

          Theresa May however, has other ideas; the govt missed its own deadline \to respond last year and the whole thing seems to have been forgotten.

          • Paul H

            Exactly, Goose. If T May excels at one thing, it’s keeping her head down, avoiding controversy, and stifling troubling enquiries (ok maybe that’s three things). Grenfell, historic sex abuse…

          • Robyn

            Goose – I have just read Ian Cobain’s ‘Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture’, Portobello Books, 2012. It left me in no doubt that Blair and Straw (and many of their predecessors going back to WWII) knew exactly what was going on when it came to torture.

    • Wren

      Tony
      My daughter is a professional make artist and you wouldn’t believe how a bit of slap skillfully applied and a new hairdo can transform someones appearance.

  • Tom

    Off topic but interesting that it was Corbyn’s house targeted by the climate change protesters today but none of the Tories. The Fake Left, the useful idiots and their Deep State controllers strike again.

    • Ian

      Nothing fake about Extinction Rebellion. The best thing that has happened politically for a very long time.

      • N_

        There are 8 million people in Britain who are black, Asian, or of “mixed race”. Are any of them taking part in the Extinction Rebellion street protests in London? All the photos I’ve seen of the protests so far show no black or Asian faces at all. Why? That’s a serious question. So is “Why weren’t the protestors kettled?”

        One banner said there are 12 years left to “save the Earth”. Out of interest, what is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ current predicted date for the end of the world? I know they’ve changed it several times and once it was 1975. In some circles 2012 was pushed for a bit too with reference to the Mayans.

        • Borncynical

          “…so far show no black or Asian faces at all.”

          I wonder if Jon Snow on Channel 4 has publicly made this observation! 🙂

    • Charles Bostock

      It beats me how you can support the two individuals you characterise as “real protesters” unless you are just a mindless yobbo.

      What is the justification for defacing a statue with paint? If you feel you have to make your case against Winston Churchill (although I don’t quite see the relevance to today, but never mind), walk up and down in front of it with a poster containing your message. Splattering paint on public statues is just hooliganism and putting up two fingers to the general public (some of whose council tax will have to go towards the cleaning afterwards). I hope he had to pay damages as well as getting the month in gaol.

      And swimming in front of the Oxford and Cambridge boats, with the intention – one imagines – of disrupting the boat race? One can just about justify protesters invading the rugger or cricket pitch during a game with a South African team in the days of apartheid, but a protest against “elitism”? How is elitism “encapsulated” in the boat race and what is “genuine” about that particular protest as opposed to other protests. Again, I suggest that any normal, healthy-minded person would just fond this another example of mindless vandalism. If I had been the beak, I would have given him 180 hours of community service in addition to the six months in gaol.

      How can anyone hold these two idiots up as examples to follow?

      (And let no one start on about the suffragettes and make themselves even more laughable.)

      • N_

        @Charles – Well by your logic either I must be a mindless yobbo or there is a serious problem with your outlook then. The suffragettes are an EXCELLENT example to reference when one is making the case for the legitimacy of violence in some circumstances. (Not all circumstances of course – nobody is arguing that violence is justified whenever somebody feels like it.) Argument won. But go on – laugh away.

        Sylvia Pankhurst was the finest chairman of the council of people’s commissars that Britain never had – expelled from the WSPU, expelled from the CP, highly respected by working class people in East London where she lived for many years, and a woman who stood up to Lenin (a man who had probably never related to a working class person as an equal in his whole life).

    • N_

      The followers of the sideways Dagaz rune are said to be planning to shut Heathrow airport tomorrow, on Good Friday. (Perhaps they’ve chosen Good Friday so as to install their rune in the place of the Christian cross in people’s minds?) But no fear! They apologise for the inconvenience caused to travellers! “There is a deep remorse for those whose holiday and family plans will be disrupted tomorrow. It is not our intention to cause further separation. However, the aviation industry needs to be targeted and we are all aware of the deep, structural change that needs to come.

      If they are allowed to shut Heathrow airport even for one hour, we are in unprecedented territory. Over the decades, those involved in real struggles – strikes, anti-war movements, campaigns against welfare cuts, vivisection, police racism, and so on – would have loved to have carried out such an action. Are we to believe that a bunch of posh “extinction” types, enjoying the military skills of Alexander Suvorov and impressive counterintelligence strength, are capable of running rings around the London police’s Territorial Support Group and MI5?

      Reminder that their stated demands include the following: that the government

      * must declare an emergency and work with “other institutions” to “communicate the urgency”
      * must create and then obey the decisions of a “citizens’ assembly” on “climate and ecological justice”

      • N_

        Their stated demands are here, lest anyone think I am quoting out of context.

        Which “other institutions”? (@Ian – if you think there’s nothing fake about them, have you any idea what institutions they have in mind?)

        As for a “citizens assembly” – a job for Zac Goldsmith heading up its executive, maybe Tony Juniper as an advisor, and perhaps its first session could be opened by the mad crown prince?

  • NaN

    One person’s “Conspiracy Theory” is another person’s “Narrative”. It is your perception.

    Skripal is a part of the puzzle.

  • Jones

    more drivel from sycophant puppets that proves the US and UK is run by imbeciles who take the public for gullible idiots, anyone who believes a word they say is just that. Wishing Julian Assange well in his upcoming court appearance, it’s a sick world that allows crooks to lock up brave and courageous lamplighters like Assange and Manning, their integrity shines brightly over the dung heap trying to silence them.

  • John2o2o

    My understanding is that they were Norwegian Blue ducks.

    Staged? I would think so. Wonder what the CIA called this operation?

  • Rob

    That the official Skripal story is bogus should be clear to anyone with eyes, ears and the barest minimum of intellectual honesty. What is needed to send the story to its final resting place and raise a more interesting story is information on the whereabouts of the Skripals to this day. Their disappearance smells like month-old fish, and the best bet is that some highly placed people in the British Foreign Office and intelligence community have something very embarrassing to hide. Frankly, I am surprised that nothing has been leaked on this score.

    • michael norton

      When the person who was home secretary for six years, then prime minister for a couple of years, steps down from her current role towards oblivion, new people can take up the baton.
      New people will be able to ask new questions.
      1) where are the Skripals?
      2) why was all this fabricated?
      3) who put all this twaddle in place?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ michael norton April 17, 2019 at 19:39
        Only if the ‘new people’ are Jeremy Corbyn and Co.

    • Goose

      I doubt very much any harm has come to them, they are either innocent victims or went along with ‘spy games ‘ as Trump called it. But clearly someone doesn’t want them giving any unscripted or unsupervised interviews were all the variables can’t be controlled.

      Most likely probably resettled somewhere now with new identities: US, Canada, NZ , Australia. Could be anywhere, take yer pick.

      The unquestioning MSM, pretending as if they never existed, makes you feel like the country has gone to all hell.

  • Alexander

    Villanelle? Villanelle?

    I’m stuck here waiting for your answer to my earlier post. What’s holding you up?

    Whilst you are about it, could you kindly enlighten us as to the main aim of the Skripal “narrative” (Ugh – that word reminds me of A.Campbell).
    Was it
    A) To take Skripal out of circulation before the Steele dossier s**t hit the fan
    B) To connect Russia to “chemical weapons” as part of the Syria deal
    C) To further drive in the wedge between Trump and Russia
    D) To Divert the Attention of the Dopey UK electorate from the Brexit mess
    E) Other

    Please put in correct order of importance.

    It’s just occurred to me that you probably knock off at 1730. You are probably down on the river now the trout season has kicked off. What’s the fishing like around Hermitage?
    Do get back to us tomorrow!

  • remember kronstadt

    Daddy, who is doing some work on the side, gets his daughter to pick up some gear and smuggle it into the country. Unfortunately the bottle leaks and has to be dumped. Embarrassment all round and daughter and dad are sent to their rooms.

  • Villanelle

    Presumably the guardian & independent has a source for this story? I can’t find anything outside of MSM. It’s made up.

    • Dom C

      Agreed.
      ‘The incident is cited as an example of the then deputy CIA director (now director). Gina Haspel.’

      ‘She is said to have…’

      Both these quotes from the Guardian article imply (to me) there is no reliable source. It may not have happened.
      Its an office rumour to big up the Director and piss off the boss. One would assume to piss of the boss you’d actually have to show him a picture of someone pissing on him… and that’s opening up a whole other can of worms.

    • Ken Kenn

      I’ll give you points for trying but nowhere does any report from the OPCWsay that the tests showed Novichok.

      Their references are ‘ toxic chemical ‘ and even Porton Down’s wording ( in the MSM you’ll hate to know ) was similar to – It’s what the government says it is.

      Despite the waffle the above is not a very specific – is it?

      Being as you know a few things answer a few questions please:

      How many doors were at the front of the Skripal house and how many handles ( the MSM keep saying doorknobs) were tested in total?

      Why was Charlies flat only given a cursory clean up with say Cilit Bang and the Skripal house dismantled being as Charlie and Dawn got a massive dose of alleged Novichok?

      What was the actual cause of Dawn’s death, bearing in mind her relatives said the first inquest showed no damage to her internal organs?

      What colour was Yulia’s hair in the Duck feeding ultra clear video(s) and what was Sergei wearing?

      What colour hair did the young woman found on the bench have and what colour hair did the Salisbury Hospital staff notice?

      If the ‘ Toxic Chemical ‘ was extremely deadly Russian Novichok , how is it that no-one else has died or been contaminated ( even slightly ) save three people from the alleged original attack and two later after opening a ‘ shrink wrapped sealed ‘ bottle of what the Authorities say was the same as that ‘ smeared ?’ – ‘ sprayed ‘ on only one door handle.

      If the above is true why didn’t the Zizzis staff suffer from some contamination to or the pub staff who handled the Skripal’s cutlery plates and drinks glasses as well as those who touched the handles of the doors the Skripl’s touched with no bad effects?

      How come the sprayers/sealers didn’t die or fall ill themselves? Hazmat suits in a cul de sac on a Sunday?

      That’s just a few questions for an expert to be going on with.

      • Kempe

        ” nowhere does any report from the OPCWsay that the tests showed Novichok. ”

        From the report:-

        10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and
        biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United
        Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and
        severely injured three people.

        Couldn’t be any clearer could it?

        • Alexander

          “The toxic chemical we received from HMG was the same toxic chemical as HMG told us it would be”.

          Well done, that man!

        • Steven Bowles

          It could be a lot clearer as the UK refer to it as a novichok like substance – NOBODY has said exactly what one it is meant to be and ‘novichok like’ doesn’t actually mean a novichok.
          Using the term novichok is like saying you saw some boys playing sport. Not very helpful information unless you know which sport it was, football or darts?

          • Ken Kenn

            I’m not sure that ‘ The UK ‘ is a particular scientific body so the UK doesn’t say anything.

            It’s dumb piece of rock.

            Like the government that said it might be Novichock of a Russian type.

            Try as they might the government couldn’t get PD to confirm that it was Novichock of any variety.

            The only references I’ve read are to a ‘ toxic chemical ‘ and ‘ poisonings ‘

            Novichock is a type of chemical re- invented by politicians.

          • Borncynical

            Indeed. Fly spray and weedkiller could be described as ‘novichok-like’ substances.

        • Ken Kenn

          Where does it say Novichok?

          Even of a type developed by Russia?

          Do you see the word Novichok?

          The government said it is Novichok.

          The OPCW don’t.

          Do a word search for Novichok in the report.

          It says toxic chemical.

        • Igor P.P.

          Of course, it could be clearer: it could simply name the chemical. In fact, it is exceptionally odd for a scientific report on identification to avoid naming the found chemical, don’t you think?

    • Andyoldlabour

      Villanelle

      It appears that the New York Times was the source, claiming that Haspel had shown Trump pictures of dead ducks and hospitalised children, given to her by the British government. Maybe our “Oh so honest” British government would like to officially back up that claim or deny it, because I think that is a rather large step for Haspel to take.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/us/politics/gina-haspel-trump.html

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/16/trump-novichok-attack-skripal-poisoning-spy-game

  • Peter

    I’m wondering what the purpose of the Guardian article is.

    On the face of it it looks like just another Guardian attempt to besmirch Trump over his putative commitment and connections to Russia and Putin, but equally, it could be read as an, almost surreptitious, attempt to point up that Trump only responded as he did because he was deliberately (?) misinformed/duped by the American (and British?) security services, thereby questioning the aims, motives, methods and narrative of those security services.

    You decide.

    • Ian

      If you read any of the books about behind the scenes at Trump’s WhiteHouse you will find a familiar scenario which corroborates this account, where Trump is easily manipulable by his aides, who know very well how to push his buttons. Bolton, AIPAC, Bannon have all employed this strategy successfully and of course Fox News have a mainstream connection to his brain. So it sounds par for the course. As well as suggesting that Trump wouldn’t have been inclined to agree to the UK’s request without the nonsense pictures, which also rings true to form.
      As for his general conduct, Simon Tisdall’s excoriating account of his preference for his Saudi friend, overriding the American people’s request to get out of the Yemen massacres, is on the ball, and sums up what a clear and present danger he is.

      • giyane

        Ian

        Somehow I don’t think Donald Trump is going to ignore every story in the papers and TV and listen to a professional manipulator from the CIA. More likely he saw an opportunity to talk fake tough on Russia in order to take some of the heat out of Mueller’s investigations, buying time.

        He must know Bolton’s a neo-con nut-case and that the re-launching of dirty wars on South America on the pretext of Russian and Chinese interference is as much of a fatuous waste of time as the MacCarthyian idiocy.

        Russia enters an era in which Western leadership is as unscrutable and bonkers as Stalin’s.
        China enters an era in which having spied on everything western, it now dreads itself being spied on by Western spies.

        Politics is surely not so crude as village one-upmanship, where the loudest and most bombastic talkers get all the admiration from the community, just because they are too lazy or too busy to run the village themselves? Whatever outrageous claim lifts the town’s skirts up ends up with the big gold chain.

        • Ian

          There’s a lot of assumptions and projections of your own there, as well as mischaracterising what is being said about him. there is ample evidence of his manchild attitude – arrogance, bullying, narcissism, naivety, inability to concentrate, laziness and a fundamental lack of intelligence.

          • giyane

            Ian

            I don’t think Trump’s reversing of Obama’s creation and funding Islamic State shows a lack of intelligence or narcissism. He came into office and instead of veni vidi vici as per madame bloodsucker Clinton, he deployed Iran and Syrian Kurds to round them up and disperse them.
            At last someone in the White House grew some nuts and nouse, for a change.
            This report today in the Guardian appears to be not so much about the Scrotals, more about trying to portray Trump as a gullible idiot.

            Just saying.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Giyane;

          Notice that despite whatever has been said, Trump hasn’t started any wars and the existing ones are winding down.

  • Scottish Intelligence Service

    Yet another piece of evidence to confirm what I wrote in the comments sections on here months ago. That the Skripal event was a total Psyop, carried out by the corrupt government. Same as the fabricated terror Psyops at Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester.

    • Spencer Eagle

      It’s just all to messy for a false flag, the British government’s role in this charade was purely opportunistic. I’ve said all along that the daughter brought the agent into the country, in the fake perfume bottle, at the behest of her father. It was intended to be sold or traded to someone, unfortunately for them the fake perfume bottle leaked and they unwittingly came into direct contact with the agent. The traces on the doorknob was passed from one of their hands as they left the house. Later in Salisbury, when they realised they had become unwell, the bottle was discarded.

      • N_

        I suspect they may have been carrying the bottle too. But do you think the following four items are all unconnected with this affair?

        1. The Toxic Dagger chemical warfare exercise (which will have been spied upon by the GRU because that’s their job, and the spying will very probably have involved taking away samples).

        2. The chief nurse of the British army, Alison McCourt, being the first person to give “assistance” to Sergei Skripal at the park bench. (More work needs to be done looking at her experience and responsibilities relating to chemical warfare.)

        3. The murder of Nikolai Glushkov.

        4. The British defence review. (Background: there’s been a lot of faffing about for a few years now, with extensive review work being carried out and then the conclusions getting rejected and new review work being ordered. Yes, this is in the UK of GB and NI, not Burkina Faso. Recently the push has been for a large increase in military spending, and the public relations support work has featured the prospect of a possible war with Russia and to a lesser extent China.)

    • Ian

      Right. So the government murdered its own citizens, including a lot of teenage girls, for some ‘psyops’. FFS, grow up.

      • giyane

        Ian

        The government has cultivated Islamist jihad from the beginning of the 19th century, planning ahead.
        They didn’t sit down and think up how they could massacre teenage girls at a pop concert, because teenage girl pop concerts didn’t happen 200 years ago. They thought up some intensely criminal plan using terror, and then deployed it in the contemporary scenario.

        In the same way they have recently destroyed the Middle East, apparently for no reason, but they have done it in order to deploy this evil at a later date in some long distant future scenario.
        If you don’t understand that reality of Zionist politics, you’ve a lot lot lot to learn pal.

        • Sharp Ears

          The spooky sounding Oxford Research Group gave ‘evidence’ to the Defence Select Committee earlier this year on the subject of ‘Global Islamist Terrorism’. I have been watching a replay.

          The outfit ostensibly works for ‘peace, security and justice issues’. Oh yes!

          ‘Oxford Research Group (ORG) is a London-based charity and think tank at 244-254 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9DA, working on peace, security and justice issues. Its research and dialogue activities are mainly focused on the Middle East, North and West Africa, as well as influencing UK and international security policy.’

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

          They have expertise in remote warfare.

          Who funds their £half a million income? It is registered as a charity.

          Ruth Smeeth is on th Defence Committee btw as well as Johnny Mercer.** The Friends of Israel are well represented.

          ** https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2014/08/johnny-mercer-theres-no-point-in-having-the-finest-armed-forces-in-the-world-if-we-dont-use-them.html. How very nice.

          • N_

            The obvious answer to Tory warmonger Johnny Mercer (army officer and businessman turned expense-fiddling politician) when he says “There’s no point in having the finest armed forces in the world if we don’t use them” is “Disarm then!”

            “There’s no point in my keeping a big axe, a flamethrower and three hand grenades in my kitchen if I don’t use them.”

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Ian April 17, 2019 at 22:42
        Ever hear of Operation Gladio? I suggest you read up on it, as you are very naive if you believe the PTB won’t sacrifice innocents if it suits their plans. False Flag ops (and bald-faced lies) are the favoured way to spark off wars, or to introduce stricter limitations on the people’s freedoms (Patriot Act, stuff like that).

        • Ian

          I have heard of so-called Operation Gladio, which has nothing to do with these allegations. Simply stating that because false flag operations have occurred means that events such as the Manchester bombing must be ‘false flags’ is just conspiracy theory nonsense. Who is the naive one here? All conspiracy theorists affect to pity the ‘naive’ fools who don’t share their evidence-free paranoia.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Ian April 18, 2019 at 00:11
            Do you accept that the Operation Gladio attacks were False Flag operations, murdering innocent European citizens in order to place the blame on the Reds? ‘I have heard of so-called Operation Gladio…’ sounds very much like you are dismissive of the attacks.
            ‘..which has nothing to do with these allegations…’ It has to do with the fact that False Flag ops killing one’s own citizens is not an unknown phenomena, whilst you appear to have believed it was, by your response.
            I am not claiming Manchester was a False Flag, though I may well suspect it was.
            You would be surprised how much evidence many ‘conspiracy theorists’ have to back up their dismissal of government and MSM ‘narratives’.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Ian;

            I think the example of the known false flags here is being used to refute the assertion that the idea of the government murdering its own citizens is too far fetched to even consider.

          • Charles Bostock

            Barbara

            You’re again conflating right and left wing terrorism with what you’re pleased to call “Operation Gladio”. Because Gladio existed (for the purposes you know well – a Soviet invasion) and because there were terrorist movements and attacks during some of the time Gladio existed does not mean that Gladio was behind those movements and attacks. Except for a conspiracy theorist, of course, for whom Reasoning 101 is strongly recommended.

            Your conspiracy theory even breaks down when you consider that there were terrorist attacks by both left wingers and right wingers. According to your logic, Gladio was both a left wing and a right wing conspiracy, although I suppose you would say that Gladio was right wing and the left wing terrorist were just patsies also under Gladio control.

            You should get real.

          • Deb O'Nair

            What is a fact about the Manchester bombing is that the bomber arrived in this country on a Royal Navy ship from Libya and was well known to both MI5 and MI6.

    • giyane

      SIS

      ” The forward youth that would appear Must now forsake his muses dear, Nor in the shadows sing, His numbers languishing. ‘Tis time to leave the books in dust, And oil the unusèd armour’s rust: Removing from the wall The corslet of the hall. So restless Cromwell could not cease In the inglorious arts of peace, But through adventurous war… ” Andrew Marvell

      When America tells the Muslims to make takfir, then make war against Muslims and trash the entire Middle East, they obediently oblige and the whole radius in striking distance of Israel is demolished into the Middle Ages. Then when America tells them to talk peace and truth and rebuild the ruins, they obediently obey orders.

      A few days ago this country was infested with rumours and fear about Brexit. Today everybody’s getting ready for holiday. Northern Ireland’s abattoirs were going to go silent and their cows were all go to die painful deaths of mastitis or be slaughtered in millions of pounds worth of government compensation.
      Same with the Skripals. All we want is for the embarrassment of poodle Tories whipping up anti-Russian fervour to pass this watershed from unbelievable lies to CM’s ” Dead Duck “.
      That duck on the water’s a decoy. Is there anything in life that isn’t fake ?
      I must send off my proposal of marriage letter to Theresa May for sparing us the double whammy of Brexit and Easter.

  • SA

    So we have a new contributor here by the name of Villanelle. This name has nothing to do with villains but is a French term meaning:
    “a pastoral or lyrical poem of nineteen lines, with only two rhymes throughout, and some lines repeated.”

    So there are recurring rhymes or themes. An apparently simple but very open question based on a very non- specific enquiry: what evidence would convince you of a certain occurrence? I can imagine this as a famous punchline in a legal drama or the like.
    A famous barrister just winding up the case of a convicted triple murderer with the line to the judge: “ Your honour, you seem to have made many assumptions in this case, but please tell me what evidence would you require to prove that my client is innocent?”
    Of course in real life the judge would tell the barrister to go where the sun does not shine. How can you ask such a question, repeatedly, then followed by next, when the case and all the evidence have already been discussed?

    I think Alexander is on the right track. Villanelle is an agent provocateur. (S)he dominated this thread by also meticulously at least initially answering almost every single comment by deflection. But contrary to what Alexander says I think he is not CB but is more like our Wikipedia prolific commentator previously featuring here. Who knows whether this is not some form of fishing or phishing by something like the II?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ SA April 18, 2019 at 01:38
      Sounds likely.
      Whatever, rather than ‘Fake News’, it’s ‘Bad News’, IMO, and a total waste of time.

    • Sharp Ears

      He/she with the multiple posts (+70) seems to have disappeared as quickly as their arrival on here.

      btw The name also comes from the Killing Eve TV series. Sick stuff.

  • SA

    maybe Haspel should have added this disclaimer to her video or whatever evidence she presented to the POT ASS:
    “ This video was produced for propaganda purposes. We wish to stress that no actual children or ducks were harmed during the filming”.

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