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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  • Kempe

    ” an article which nobody has sought to refute ”

    The plaintive cry of the lesser spotted conspiracy theorist; you cannot disprove it therefore it must be true! Here comes that teapot again.

    To accept it was staged means accepting the implausible narrative of the Chuckleski Brothers. Not only that but it would require the collusion of the OPCW and why would they risk their integrity for Theresa May?

    • SA

      It is true that facts have never been discussed openly and seriously and questioned in the normal way by the MSM. There is a total lack of critical analysis. You fall into the same trap by calling out host a lesser spotted conspiracy theorist whilst ignoring the larger spotted actual conspiracy by the government. I would have hoped that someone with your analytical power would notice how carefully ambiguity was created as part of both the OPCW and PD reports. A proper scientific report does not keep talking about a toxin, a wide meaning inaccurate term whilst pretending to hide the true name. It is quite clearly a fudge. Remember also that PD is also an accredited part of the OPCW and no doubt were also responsible for handling the agents and data used under the heading of line of custody at least. We also know two other facts about the OPCW. The previous head was removed as the US refused to let him continue and that the current head made some wildly exaggerated claim about the amount of ‘novichok’ found.

    • Igor P.P.

      By their own admission, OPCW does not do the tests, some undisclosed designated labs do.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘A police officer stands guard outside of the home of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury, BritainNew York Times Accidentally Unravels UK Government’s Official Skripal Narrative’:
    Latest from Sputnik: includes pic and reference to Craig’s present blog post.

    ‘…There could be several explanations for this seeming anomaly. To name just some of the most unsettling:

    • Several children were hospitalised, and several ducks did die, and for reasons unclear the British government didn’t inform the public and prevented the children and their parents from revealing they’d been affected, while secretly communicating the fact to other governments in literally graphic detail.
    • Counterfeit and/or misleading images may have been produced by persons unknown to bolster Britain’s case for concerted international action, and further been relayed to Haspel (if not other overseas officials), conning her and Trump into backing its mass-expulsion policy.

    Alternatively of course, perhaps the stirring tale of Haspel converting the reticent President with impactful images is mere gossip, or spin — after all, the article’s authors didn’t discuss the episode with the CIA chief herself, but based their article on interviews “with more than a dozen current and former intelligence officials who have briefed or worked alongside her”….’

    Spells it all out nicely, unlike our MSM.

    • Borncynical

      These points struck me too when I read the NYT article. But more intriguingly I was initially distracted in my thoughts by the (what I presumed to be, satirical) surreal ‘flypaper’ anecdote. Really? Are we supposed to conclude that Haspel is brilliant at her job because she sorted out Trump’s problem with flies? I read it three times looking for the punchline but with no luck. Maybe I missed something or it’s metaphorical, but if it’s meant to be taken seriously then it demonstrates clearly the intellectual standards of the PTB and their advisers in the US. Frightening.

      • Piotr Berman

        A possible if speculative explanation. “Fly” is used metaphorically as a person who tries to get a sexual type of attention, from the perspective of the legitimate subject of the affection of the target individual. In particular, the First Lady may be interested in eliminating the fly problem which is all to real. Ms Haskel heard someone mentioning the problem and offered her advise, and nobody had the heart to explain her that she totally misunderstood.

    • N_

      What’s the story with these children? Did any real or imagined children feature in the “scenarios” and “vignettes” of the Toxic Dagger exercise? (Let’s not all rush to put in FOI requests on that one.)

      One person who would surely have been kept informed about how the exercise was going would have been the US defence attaché in London, whose department is part of the DIA.

      I doubt Trump knows a military exercise from his own left craphole, unless it features “biiiggg” upward-pointing missiles with his name written on them. But unless somebody knows better, the defence attaché as well as keeping informed about the exercise would ALSO have been the normal channel through which photos of “injuries deliberately or accidentally caused to British children by the Russian military using chemical weapons” would wing their way to Trump’s attention.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Shock Files: What Role Did Integrity Initiative Play in Sergei Skripal Affair?’:

    ‘…Sinister Timeline
    One file apparently dating to “early 2015” — “Russian Federation Sanctions” — written by the Institute’s Victor Madeira outlines “potential levers” to achieve Russian “behaviour change”, “peace with Ukraine”, “return [of] Crimea”, “regime change” or “other?”. The suggested “levers” span almost every conceivable area, including “civil society”, “sports”, “finance” and “technology”.
    In the section marked “intelligence”, Madeira suggests simultaneously expelling “every RF [Russian Federation] intelligence officer and air/defense/naval attache from as many countries as possible”. In parentheses, it references ‘Operation Foot’, the expulsion of over 1000 Soviet officials from the UK in September 1971, the largest expulsion of intelligence officials by any government in history.
    The section on sports also suggests “advocating the view [Russia] is unworthy of hosting [sporting] events” — and the section marked “information” recommends the sanctioning of ‘Russian’ media “in West for not complying with regulators’ standards”…..’

    This really is interesting – it shows Integrity Initiative planning “potential levers” to kick out Russian Diplomats (False Flag ops, like Salisbury/Skripals?) as early as 2015, three years before the event.
    Not unlike PNAC, with a ‘New Pearl Harbour’ being required a year before voila! 9/11 occurs!

    ‘…In April that year, Institute for Statecraft chief Chris Donnelly was promoted to Honorary Colonel of SGMI (Specialist Group Military Intelligence), and in October he met with General Sir Richard Barrons. Notes from the meeting don’t make clear who said what, but one despaired that “if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space.”…’

    Yikes!! “if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space.” Sounds like PNAC 2.

  • SA

    Also in answer to Kempe’s post in the previous page, my understanding is that Craig has not indicated in his posts that he knows the truth but merely that the government’s narrative is not convincing and that no direct case of the complicity of the RF in this poisoning has been provided. That does not constitute a conspiracy but a refutation of one.

  • Charles Bostock

    Thank you, Sharp Ears. If you hadn’t told us, I would never have known that the Muller report was being released today.

    The BBC and other MSM hadn’t breathed a word about it !

    • Ian

      It’s not being released. It is being ‘released’. Nothing like some apostrophes to hedge your bets.

      Heavily redacted of course. So all the focus will end up on what was not included. And so the wheels will keep spinning on and on.

  • Oksana Astankova

    Craig, this is extremely disappointing.
    You have stated “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.”. Yet the Guardian article you rely on says nothing of the sort.
    “Trump is reported to have written off the attack” – reported by whom?
    The New York Times – which is supported by “according to two officials familiar with the episode,”
    “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. ” source – no source, it also states as fact “A former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned last year in Britain in a slipshod attack that also sickened children, killed ducks and required careful clean-up.” – Again no source for this either- and we know it’s untrue.

    What is going on Craig? By the look of things this is a check to see if your regular posters will swallow anything you publish. This cobbled-together story of hearsay and conjecture has your usual audience transfixed away from the poor journalism it obviously is.

    More here –

    • J


      “She also showed the president pictures of young children who had been hospitalised as a result of the Salisbury attack, as well as photographs of ducks that had been killed because of the carelessness in handling the deadly nerve agent on the part of the two Russian intelligence operatives alleged to have carried out the attack.
      Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate – sent direct to you
      Read more

      “Mr Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option,” the report said.”

    • uote from the

      I do not understand the point you are making here, but your quote from the NYT, which I have checked, shows a significant difference between that and the Guardian article, which makes no mention that it was the British government that reportedly supplied the pictures to CIA and Gina Haspel. The NYT article did not focus exclusively on the Skripal affair but used it as one example of how Haspel dealt with a sceptical Trump. The Guardian article focuses almost entirely on the Skripal aspects; typical of it. However you look at the coverage it all rather endorses Craig’s conclusion.

    • Brendan

      I can’t speak for Craig but I don’t think that he was endorsing that story. The start of that sentence could be read as a sort of health warning for the story:

      “But today we learn from the Guardian (quoting the New York Times) that (…) ”
      Guardian + NYT = not very reliable news sources.

      Whether it’s true or not, it’s significant that it was published, because it means that either the Brits, or the CIA, or the “paper of record” or some combination of them were telling lies.

  • Hmmm

    Someone misheard and it all spiralled thereafter… Mr President just do it for ducks sake…

  • Hmmm

    Can anyone contact the hospital? That is a HUGE data breach, if true. Photos of patients, let alone children in hospital is simply not allowed. It will need an investigation by the hospital if true.

      • michael norton

        Maybe there was a child hospitalized, the daughter of the chief nurse of the British Army
        was said to have been the first on the crazy scene and that girl was a hero not wearing hamzat suit.

        • John2o2o

          No, there were no children hospitalised. You have no evidence.

          Do you seriously want to tell me that the British Government would not have made the most of an opportunity such as that for anti-Russian propaganda?

          • Andyoldlabour


            Exactly, the harming of just one child would have ensured lasting headlines, and a definite propaganda coup for the government.
            It just didn’t happen, and both the New York Times and Guardian, should be forced to back up their claims about Gina Haspel, particularly the ones about the British government supplying images of dead ducks and hospitalised children.
            Both the US and British governments should make statements about these claims.

  • Duncan

    As others have pointed out, there were a few UK papers leading with articles documenting the duck feed with the three boys and the Skripals.
    The Mirror seems to be the paper breaking the story on the 24th of March. The Sun followed up with an article and pictures, which were the result of an interview with Aiden Cooper’s mother on March 27th, and a resulting publication on March 28th.

    Turning to Trump and the expulsions, this happened on March 26th, so as other Blogmirers have mentioned. Ms Haspel needed to only show the POTUS the media headlines, rather than actual pictures.
    It seems incredible on many fronts.
    1) The duck feed in now erased from the official narrative. Mainly because it makes the door handle dosing impossible.
    2) POTUS and his government expelled the Russians based on children not being exposed to nerve agent, and subsequently not being ill.
    3) Haspel based on her own “crank it up – anti Russian” agenda, would have known by March 25th, that no children were ill, no ducks were killed in the making of this movie.
    Notice the key line on the Mirror article of March 24th.
    “The incident involving the boys, who are believed to have been given the all-clear, was confirmed by Public Health England and described by British officials to US authorities.”
    The incident (the duck feed = jeopardy, Russian recklessness) was described by British officials to US authorities.
    HOWEVER, it seems that the “all clear” part of the message may have been omitted.

    Those of us who are UK citizens really have to be concerned about how our government works and acts.
    I understand that these games are needed to boost defence spending, and we need a bad guy as a target as ISIS and the rest are too nebulous, but do we really need to inch closer to nuclear war because of ducks that did not die?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The Guardian again, this time to confirm that no kiddies or ducks were harmed in the production of this pantomime (hardly necessary).

    So that leaves us with.
    The NYT story was a complete fabrication by journalists not fit to hold the name.
    Torture Queen, Haspel did fabricate false evidence.
    British security services fabricated false evidence.
    The NYT is propagating a false story on instructions (think Manafort in the Equadorian Embassy) to muddy the waters or further an end as yet not revealed to us.

    • michael norton

      If people employed by the State of the U.S.A. deliberately fed false information to deceive the President of the U.S.A. to get the President to take executive action

      would that not be treason?

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        If the NYT story is essentially true and Trump finds out he was played, then yes, he is likely to go ballistic. Haspel is likely to find herself on the wrong end of a waterboarding.
        Unfortunately, Trump’s attention is presently consumed on another matter.
        As reluctant as I am to give Trump credit for anything, he is 100% correct to be asking (in his incoherent manner) for an investigation into the investigation (or at least the actions that led up to the investigation). If (big if) the NYT story is accurate, my best guess is that someone (or entity) is trying to throw Trump off the scent and Haspel has been chosen as the tethered goat.

        • Brendan

          “… he is likely to go ballistic.”

          … especially if he also finds out that the Skripal case is connected with the Steele dossier (which is quite likely, considering all the connections between Skripal and Steele as well the fact that the British authorities are definitely covering something up in their investigation).

          Trump has tweeted a few times about how British spooks and their associates were involved in the Russiagate campaign against him. He won’t be happy if he finds out he was tricked into helping those same people.

        • Precipice

          Could it be that the purpose of the Skripal affair was to get Trump to act against his judgement and against the Russians ? Job wise, far safer executing the story off US soil, if caught in the act or discovered in any subsequent investigation.

          • John2o2o

            Too elaborate!

            This is not about America. I understand that Americans think everything is about them, but I assure you that this is not the case.

          • Igor P.P.

            I also think the US is behind it, though not necessarily for this reason. It is hard to believe that Russian killers or British fabricators did such poor job. But imagine someone with immunity and trust of HMG, but limited control over everything else in the UK, and everything falls into place.

      • uncle tungsten

        More likely it would be ‘a way of life’. That is the main problem in the USA, it seems to be doing the enlightenment in reverse for the past century. Witnessing all the USA crimes against humanity (including their own people) throughout my days so far, I can only express dismay at the effectiveness of their propaganda, and we live in an age of broad communications channels.

        The USA has perfected that art of BS beyond all rational expectation. Mind you they are closely followed by a few others in all parts of the globe regardless of race or religious affinity.

    • Brendan

      Again, the Guardian doesn’t mention the NYT’s claim that the source of the pictures was the ‘British government’ and ‘British officials’ (see my comment in page 1 about the previous Guardian article). That’s a fairly important detail to omit.

    • John2o2o

      Of course the story is bullshit!

      The British government would have loved it if they could say the Russian state had harmed children.

      You don’t have to believe everything you read in the newspapers. (Surely I do not have to say that on this forum?!)

  • Paul Barbara

    Why doesn’t one of you who is a Tweeter Tweet the Orange Buffoon and ask him if he is aware no children were hospitalised, and no ducks died?
    And always keep in mind the ‘Big Lies’, like the Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbour a ‘surprise’, Kuwaiti Incubator Babies lie, Iraqi WMD etc. Lies come easy to War Criminals.

    • Tatyana

      I think that Mr. Trump is not welcome to be a president by nearly the half of the country. Also, I think he is not welcomed by the majority of the state’s powers. I can easily imagine someone saying “you’re newcomer, Mr. Trump, you’re unexperienced, there are certain rules of the game and we will make you obey, this way or another”.
      Mr. Trump to my understanding in fact does not fit into the position. I think, one needs to be a high-function strong self-control schizophrenic, to successfully lead a country. Paranoid to some extent, trusting nobody’s opinion but facts.
      Mr. Trump is too decent a person to play this game. He is naive and he is manipulated.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tatyana April 18, 2019 at 13:07
        ‘…Mr. Trump is too decent a person to play this game…’
        Trump, decent? I know you post some jokes, but that is scraping the barrel.
        Have you heard how he claimed to ‘seduce’ women? Grabbing them by the ‘whatsit’.
        Here is a tale of him from way back in 1989:
        ‘Keith Richards on having Donald Trump as a promoter: ‘I pulled out my trusty blade, stuck it in the table and said ‘You’ve got to get rid of this man!’:
        He has launched more killer drones than any other president, and has vetoed a Congress and Senate proposal to US assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen.
        He has authorised missile attacks on Syria on the pretext of CW False Flag attacks/hoaxes by the West’s proxy mercenary head-choppers and their PR outfit, the White Helmets.
        Decent that tw*t ain’t.

        • Paul Barbara

          Should have read:’…has vetoed a Congress and Senate proposal to STOP US assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen…’

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Tatyana April 18, 2019 at 14:30
            Glad we agree on the Orange Buffoon (but the ‘Hildabeast’ Clinton would have been worse).
            I rate Putin as a better leader than any Western country has, or has had, for donkey’s years.
            I just hope the Russians have more like him for when he’s gone (Putin’s car in head-on ‘accident’ – accident my a**, more likely the car that crossed the middle of the road and hit Putin’s car was taken over by a Boston Brakes controller from a following car). Like MH 370 was taken over and landed in Diego Garcia (not from a following car, but from Boeing’s
            Uninterruptible Autopilot)
            But then, I would say that, wouldn’t I?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Republicofscotland April 18, 2019 at 14:57
            The exponential growth of drone warfare was laid out in PNAC in 2000. Without an absolute earthquake in American politics (a virtually nonexistent possibility) it will continue to expand.

      • Goose

        Lots of senior people political and state were clearly dreading a Trump presidency, but he appears to be so easily manipulated and distracted their fears were at least, in certain respects, ill-founded. The greatest problem the so-called ‘Deep state’ will have with Trump I imagine, will be the fact he’s embarrassing the US on the world stage (just his Tweets alone) and fraying relationships with old allies.
        I’d guess the most sensitive intelligence is being kept from Trump, due to fears he’ll blurt something out in casual conversation to a foreign leader, or tweet something. And he’s probably not inquisitive or clued-up enough to realise the machinations going on behind the scenes. He was after all, a game show host and doesn’t have the political creed.

        Trump goes on about the ‘Deep State’ undermining him regularly on twitter, but then somehow ends up surrounded by Pompeo and Bolton, it’d be difficult to imagine two bigger defenders of the secretive ‘deep state’.

        Of the realistic 2020 candidates, a Bernie Sanders or possibly an Elizabeth Warren presidency would be far scarier to the ‘Deep State’, because these are fully clued-up, intelligent people who’ll bring the highest ethics and accountability.

  • Charles Bostock

    I myself think that the government finds itself in a win-win position with this affair.

    Either Russia is guilty as accused, in which case people will have been reminded that the present régime is almost as nasty as that of the former Soviet Union.

    Or the UK government has made it all up, or has hi-jacked something fishy that was going on to produce the present narrative. If this were the case, it is to be congratulated for the success of its “dirty trick”. After all, Mr Putin’s Russia has played or attempted to play a string of dirty tricks on other countries(Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, interference in other countries’ elections – including financing Mme Le Pen’s Front National at the last presidential election…) and it would now have got a taste of its own medicine.

    Let’s face it, what’s squce for the goose is sauce for the gander and liberal democracies have to fight dirty against their dirty enemies.

    • Ian

      A feeble, convoluted and rather desperate attempt at an apologia for something you don’t even know the truth of. Sad effort. Do try harder if you want to grovel for the government.

      • Charles Bostock

        I love it when the sad, the mad and the bad set themselves up as judges 🙂 Gamma minus !

        • Ian

          You’re consulting the mirror again. So you don’t have anything to base your vacuous assertions on, but resort to more feeble efforts at ridicule. talking of gammon..

    • Northern

      I don’t think most people would accept the premise that tit for tat moral relativism is a sound attitude to base your foreign policy around.

    • Alexander

      “Or has hi-jacked something fishy that was going on to produce the present narrative”…… is that a hint?

      A brave “E” for effort, I reckon.

      What on earth has happened to Villanelle? Has she been given the day off?

      • Charles Bostock

        He/she might have the day off but you, dear Alexander, remain glued to your stool(s).

        • Alexander

          Yes – indeed – good thinking – I am off to the pub.
          Dirty tricks, eh?
          Who would have guessed it!

          • Charles Bostock

            Your “comment” is as opaque as the Skripal affair. I would advise an immediate change of concern, dear Alexander.

    • Charles Bostock

      Interesting reactions to the suggestion that the UK might be as successful at dirty tricks as the country they hero worship.

  • mark golding

    ‘The other possibility is that the security services produced fake photographs of hospitalised children and slaughtered some ducks, in order to convince Donald Trump.’ The “shabbiest of tricks,” (Ghouta) (Douma) fake images exposed by Craig; the alleged 26 August 2013 Aleppo playground napalm bomb incident (Laura Kuenssberg’s) exposed.

    Fake photographs; fake news; fake coups; fake wars, these are the products of the intelligence services and indeed further from certain military intelligence sources the Skripal Nova chuckle theatre was/is fake.

    Thus we can remind ourselves of such fakery, fabrication: ‘The disconnect between perception and reality is clearly indicative of the distorted way in which an organisation like the national state broadcaster under-report the subtle forms of ‘hidden’ systemic corruption that is embedded in the very fabric of the British state, camouflaged by legislation and cushioned by ‘gentlemen’s agreements’. – journalist Roberto Saviano

    Edward Snowden: – tells us whistle-blowers are reporters and reporters are journalists.

    Extraditing the founder of WikiLeaks is an attempt by the US to intimidate anyone who exposes its crimes. The British public must resist the extradition by a ‘General Strike’ if necessary. Right now the screams are deafening from the ‘lost’ children murdered in an illegal Iraq war, where the precursor lies were exposed by Dr. David Kelly who sacrificed his existence. The insistent and dire cries from families ‘lost’ in Syria demand our attention.

    We are not deaf and blind.

    • Goose

      You can just imagine the prison guards talking : “You see him over there *pointing at Assange*, that’s him who’s in for telling the truth.”

    • Charles Bostock

      Yes, Golding, there should be a General Strike ; Are you going to organise it?

      • giyane

        Big threat the zero hours-ers threaten to do zero hours. Thatcher woz ere.
        Weni weewee wiki

  • Gary Weglarz

    The Skripnal saga feels very much like simply yet another variation on the NATO/CIA “Operation Gladio” activities from the Cold War days. An intelligence operation from the word “go,” with the official story being simply a complete fabrication.

    • David

      ‘Skripnal’ saga= strategy of tension, stir-things-up, blame the external foe, (the wrong foe) = 1, True.

      Now you’ll have to take this on trust, as I cannot validate this with a simple URL, but I have met a British Gladio

    • Goose

      The reporting restrictions and general secrecy around this. The weird disappearance of the Skripals – Yulia obviously felt it important to contact a relative, expressing a hope to be reunited, then to go silent for 13 months?

      I mean, if it were as presented, everyone involved , journos and those investigating would be intensely relaxed. Instead everyone is tense as hell, acting if acting as if the roof could fall in at any moment.

    • John2o2o

      A “lack of intelligence” operation I would suggest, given the incredulity of it all.

  • John Goss

    One of the disturbing aspects of Gina Haspel’s lies about the dead ducks et al just helps to demonstrate what a wicked woman she is, that’s wicked in the old sense. Her reputation for torturing captured individuals is on its own even more disgusting. Here is just one example.

    Even the BBC opened its mouth in this.

    The important issue here is not about any dead ducks but about the dead Skripals..

    • Goose

      Wonder if she’s got a picture of Dar Adal on the wall?

      Little Homeland F. Murray Abraham reference there , no offence meant.

    • Goose

      The Skripals will be alive & well in all likelihood.

      Just resettled with new identities and stringent conditions attached, basically akin to NDA + SA with knobs on. Sergei was driving around in a BMW and had a house provided, before all this remember.

      They are either victims or willing participants, depending on what one believes.

    • Charles Bostock


      Have you ever considered emigrating from a UK which is sliding fast into fascism to the Russia Federation, where liberty is greater and dissent tolerated? After all, you wouldn’t be competing for a job, you speak Russian, why, you even have a close relationship with a Russian lady soulmate and have entered the Russian blogger scene. And HM govt would still pay you your OAPension (not index-linked, admittedly). And as icing on the cake you could become acquainted personally with Mr Snowden, who would surely tell you lots of interesting things you could then blog about. What’s not to like?

    • John2o2o

      Well quite, one would hope they are still alive, but if so, where on earth are they?

      • Blissex

        «one would hope they are still alive, but if so, where on earth are they?»
        Most likely in a secret prison. Otherwise they would have been paraded in public press conferences crying warm tears about horrible Putin trying to kill them. The story and their disappearance “is compatible with” them being involved in some dirty deals/smuggling behind the back of the english security services, and thus being imprisoned.

  • Charles Bostock

    The previous thread has lost all its puff … and is dying. The Murrayistas have signaled their virtue, given their various wisdoms and nostrums a good airing, gone along to Belmarsh to demonstrate (not) and got something off their chests…….and have now moved on – or back – to the Skripals.

    And with a new post from Murray, they’ll be doing exactly the same about en entrely different subject.

    The dogs bark and the caravan moves on….. 😉

    • giyane

      Just because vacuous lies never change the course of history does not mean that a good airing of truth has not changed Assange’s fate.

      Truth is not morally equivalent to virtual signalling . Zeta eta theta? Omega minus for your mega whoppers, you troll of the morning dew.

    • Garth Carthy


      If the Skripal and the Assange cases were straightforward, and indeed, if the Government and media were straightforward there would be no need to keep discussing these issues.
      Of course, people like you and your pals on the right would prefer us ‘lefties’ to keep quiet and mind our own business: Tough, that’s not going to happen.
      You right wing people keep criticising the left for ‘virtue signalling’ but you lot wouldn’t know what virtues were if they stared you in the face.

      • Goose

        Many on the right favour a secretive police state. It’s not hard for authoritarians to recruit more authoritarians.

        Seriously, I know people who think everything has gone ‘too soft’ and we should be hanging and flogging and police should beat people with truncheons for minor things like showing bad manners. Lots of people grew up in very disciplinarian environments, esp those who were at boarding schools, or are from military backgrounds. They think society is going to hell because people have too much liberty.

        Those aren’t my views but I know lots of people who hold those views.

        • John2o2o

          Many on the Left do too, Goose. In fact, I would say that they (you) are generally worse than their Right wing counterparts.

          Before you start accusing me, I do not personally ascribe to the “Left” or “Right”. I am anti-war.

          • Goose

            Depends how you define ‘left’.

            I don’t consider the Blairite wing of Labour ‘left’ in any sense, I mean Jack ‘boots’ Straw and Jacqui Smith? Or corporate warhawk Pelosi, Schumer wing of the Democratic party as very progressive. Corbyn doesn’t excite me, but under FPTP you’re forced to choose between the lesser evil. And with Corbyn you do at least know where he stands.

            I’m no Marxist tho, I consider myself a libertarian socialist because I don’t believe in a centrally planned state, I’m a federalist and a social libertarian.

          • Charles Bostock

            “And with Corbyn you know where he stands” – are you sure about that? Taking various aspects of the Brexit imbroglio as an example, I’d say it was (and is) rather difficult to know exactly where he stands.

      • Charles Bostock

        Garth Carth

        Nothing against normal, sane, healthy-minded Lefties, it’s the sort of Leftie ravers who gather on sites like this that I object to. Remember the clown who wrote that Churchill was responsible for “hundreds of millions of deaths” and those other clowns who denied the Soviet Terror of the 1930s and 40s?

  • Rick

    Why has the media not interviewed Dr Stephen Davies of Salisbury Hospital? Surely his testimony is of great importance. Why is he silent on the issue since, surely the media would be all over him like a rash? …… Very disquieting.

  • michael norton

    It emerged this week ( January 2019) that the first person to give first aid to the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia—poisoned in still unexplained events in Salisbury last March—was the most senior nurse in the British Army, Alison McCourt.

    This adds a fresh layer to the ever-changing account cooked up by the British government and intelligence agencies, who immediately blamed Russia for the poisoning without providing any concrete information.
    It was known that a “nurse” did intervene, but hardly any details were made available. The Times reported last May, almost two months after the poisoning, “that the first person to respond to the Skripals when they passed out was an off-duty army nurse, who had worked on the ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. The nurse, a commissioned officer who has asked to remain anonymous, treated them before the emergency services arrived, and was vomited on but is not thought to have suffered novichok poisoning.”

    Virtually no other details were provided!

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Because Salisbury is a military town it is entirely plausible that the Chief Nurse should live and shop there. Its about the only plausible bit of the whole story.

  • Dom C

    I may be wrong (I don’t keep a Skripal scrapbook) but the first person on the scene was the daughter of the Army Nurse (the young girl won a bravery award). I think that’s slightly less of a coincidence than the way it’s been framed above. Not only does it make sense that the daughter of an army nurse would have the guts to step in but she’d obviously tell her mum.

    Obviously, I’m not expecting any rational feedback but, just in case there are some visitors looking in, I’d like them to know that not all Craig’s followers are conspiracy touting nut jobs.

    • Ken Kenn

      I read that.

      Also I read that the young woman phoned her mum first – no report of her phoning an ambulance though.

      No conspiracy there but the ambulance would be first – mum next.

      They apparently were both in Salisbury Centre on the Sunday.

      A lot of people seem to become involved initially or eventually.

    • John2o2o

      I don’t keep a Skripal scrapbook either Mr Dom.

      Yes, but I think it perfectly healthy to question why the daughter of the chief nurse of the British Army just happened to be passing with mum in tow.

      I have no (serious) theory about what happened. (Plenty of humorous ones). I just don’t believe my government.

      Rational enough for you smarty pants?

    • Charles Bostock

      Dom C

      I’ve never thought that all of Murray’s readers and commenters are conspiracy nuts. Some are, and of those, some are seriously professional (eg Paul Barrabas) and ohers are amateurs. Then there are the fellow travelers, so to speak ; fairly weak-willed people whom it is easy to influence. Anf finally there is the grown-up minority – of whom you are one – who get their thrills and mental satisfaction in other, more constructive and intelligent ways.

      (Cue for “Ian” – “vacuous”, “feeble”, “convoluted”, “sad”, etc, etc …)

  • tom smythe

    Note the dates. The never-hospitalized kids and their helicopter mom, the bread, the dead swan and the later dead ducks were never in play. And all that was well known at the time and widely reported. The odd part to me was the NYTimes source adding seemingly excessive detail about the photos’ UK source (MI5) providing plausible deniability cover in advance for the naive Haspel who blindly trusted them (oh sure) .

    Gina Haspel was CIA Station Chief in London in 2008-2011 and again from 2014-2017. Indded, “the CIA’s former head of its analysis directorate, Mike Morell, and former CIA director, Mike Hayden, agreed that Haspel had done “some of the agency’s best work against the Russians,” as Morell put it.

    Published by The Spire FM News Team at 5:47am 20th March 2018. (Updated at 6:06am 20th March 2018)

    There’s reassurance over a dead swan found in Salisbury after fears on social media it could be linked to the nerve agent attack. The male bird was found near Five Rivers Leisure Centre on March 4th, the same day that former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned on a bench in the city.

    Government officials removed the bird’s body but DEFRA have confirmed to Spire FM that the swan’s death “was not connected to the incident.” It’s understood bird flu is a possible cause of death.

    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been keeping a close eye on the wildlife. “Wildlife in the area been closely monitored and there have been no unusual reported deaths.” Meanwhile the swan’s partner was found injured in the Maltings last week. The female mate is being treated for an eye injury at the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

    Meeting of Salisbury Area Board, Thursday, 27th September, 2018 7.00 pm (Item 26.)

    Salisbury – The good news is all City centre sites had now been handed back clean and were getting back to normal.
    Amesbury – Amesbury Baptist Church had been returned to its owners. The clean-up was underway at Boots pharmacy in Stonehenge Walk and at Charlie Rowley’s home in Muggleton Road. The barricades along the river would come down on Sunday and those at Zizi in a few weeks.

    There had been some reports of dead ducks, these ducks were taken away for analysis and all cleared as the cause identified as a bacterial problem.

  • Mary Pau!

    In the report I just read, saying there were no dead ducks or sick children in Salisbury as a result of the Novichok incident, no mention was made as to how the ducks or children might have been contaminated. (By helping the Skripals feed bread to the ducks in a local park. On the day of the Skripals collapse. )

    In fact the duck feeding incident is still not included in the official account of the Skripals movements that day, despite reports of it being on CCTV footage. It only seems to have surfaced because the children’s parents took their account to the press direct and has never been officially acknowledged by the authorities. So you get the absurd situation of the authorities denying ducks or children were poisoned without any explanation how this might have occurred..

    The video of the two Russians looking in the coin shop window seems to have slipped through the official net in the same way.

    • michael norton

      Hello Mary Paul,
      it is possible that Abigail, daughter of Alison was briefly hospitalized.
      However we were not told of their presence untill January this year, which, some might think, astonishing.

      • John2o2o

        Or possibly not.

        Do you have evidence for this suggestion Michael or are you just speculating?

      • Andyoldlabour

        michael norton

        That is pure speculation Michael, because there has never been any mention of anyone bar the Skripals and the police officer being hospitalised.

        “The 16-year-old thought Mr Skripal had suffered a heart attack and alerted her mother Alison, who is an Army colonel and chief nursing officer, and they went to administer first aid.”

        So, both the 16 year old girl and her mother, the chief nursing officer were at the scene.

        • N_

          This is absolutely classic spin: when a person’s action is obviously highly suspicious, spin is created to say that they were doing something special for a family occasion (children’s birthdays and wedding anniversaries are often used), or in this case that they were shopping with their daughter. Make the surrounding circumstances sound innocent and give people bits of story to remember that denote normal family life and niceness. “Explain” irrelevant aspects in order to misdirect from what is a complete GIVEAWAY if focused on. Absolutely classic.

          A further “nice touch” in this case is that it was supposedly the daughter who noticed the ill Russian on the bench. Mum was probably in Holland and Barrett’s considering whether to buy cashews or yoghurt-coated raisins and wouldn’t have got involved – oh no sirree! – had it not been for her daughter rushing and saying “Mumsy! There’s a poor fellow covered in vomit on a bench. Do come and help!”

          What a load of crap!

          It wouldn’t surprise me if the colonel’s daughter wasn’t anywhere near that park bench.

          • N_

            Meanwhile, since Colonel McCourt and Colonel Skripal shared the same rank, there was no need for either of them to salute.

          • Tatyana

            I don’t know if this infantile behavior is normal for British teenagers. Here children would scream for help to adults in the street and phone emergency.
            Then pehaps they would want to run to their mommy or daddy to share the news. 16 years!

  • uncle tungsten

    This may be laundering the president for his gullible electorate as he is to embark on reelection next year. Yet another swamp creature he can slay to be true to his supporters.

    This may be exactly what it is reported as in an endeavour to keep recycling old stories by the Integrity Initiative stable of trusted stenographers. The timing on the heels of the ‘russia did it’ report revealing the ignorance of the Barr/Mueller gang of turds.

    This keeps from the public memory the fact that absolutely no action has been taken against every one of the Clintons and their foundation for their multiple national security breaches and their extortion racket while HRC was Secretary of State.

    I regret that once again the grauniad gets a mention and a link. Its like passing round used toilet paper for a second time. Poor etiquette. But thanks Craig its a good reminder of the absurdity of perfidious Albion.

    This keeps any blame from the current President and even allows him to continue on dragging us all into war.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ uncle tungsten April 19, 2019 at 00:03
      Agreed. They (PTB) love putting it out in plain sight – we can do this, we can do that, and you silly twats can’t do nothing about it.
      We put a corrupt moron in as President – what the f*ck you gonna do about it? He’s OK by us, he does what we order (he may be stupid, but he ain’t so stupid to cross us).

  • SA

    “Trump is said to have been reluctant at first to expel Russian diplomats following the attack in Salisbury last year, viewing the poisoning of the former Moscow agent Sergei Skripal as “part of legitimate spy games”.

    From the Guardian article in the disclaimer that no children or ducks were harmed during the filming of this propaganda. This refutation by the Guardian article serves to get the RSPCA and other agencies off the backs of the secret service in case serious investigations ensue.
    But to be more serious what seems to have been missed by everyone is the admission by Trump, the POTUS, the most powerful leader of the world’s most powerful and destructive empire known to man is that thie poisoning was part of the usual spy games, an admission that the US practices these games widely and therefore poisoning a traitor was not really something to get excited about.
    It is also the same scenario we had that Trump was convinced to to bomb Syria when he was shown videos of fake poisoned civilians and children and pushed the button. This is very dangerous because if the spy agencies can produce pictures of Putin having children or maybe even ducks, for breakfast, then POTUS may be tempted to push nuclear button, no further questions asked.

    • SA

      But on a more serious note, the scripts regarding the Skripal incident runs parallel with the script on Syria. The fake video, Saving Syria’s children, filmed by the BBC and more recent White Helmet constructs about Syria poison gas attacks are obviously more elaborate versions. Of course the purpose of both was to demonise the Syrian Government and even more so , Putin. The Russiagate construct was therefore an insurance policy that Trump, an unknown quantity at the time with regards to attitude to Russia, should be made to toe the line and in fact this has always been the case with POTUSes ever since Kennedy was murdered. Those who think that a change of POTUS changes US foreign policy are naive to say the least.

      • michael norton

        you have it right.
        The Skripal Affair goes in lock-step with the Syrian “Civil” War.


    • Sharp Ears

      That’s what I keep asking. 🙂

      Where are the so called investigative journalists?

      • Ian

        How exactly do you propose investigative journalists tackle the wall of silence? Don’t you think they have tried and are still trying? They can’t just magic up what you demand at the snap of your fingers.

        • Xavi

          “Don’t you think they have tried and are still trying?”

          There is scant reason to believe so. Nobody on tv or in the newspapers has been demanding to know what’s happened to the Skripals or suggesting that the approved narrative is any way bogus. That’s despite the British media claiming lessons would be learned after the bogus narratives that wrecked Iraq and Libya — and the fact Russia is the world’s second largest nuclear power. If anything, the media has become even more craven in its service of power and is even more hawkish in its attitude to approved enemies than it was before the Iraq and Libya debacles.

        • Republicofscotland


          Press freedom in the UK has tumbled down the scale. Britain is now seven places higher on the PFI (Press Freedom Index) than it was last year reaching a staggering 33rd position, one of the worst in Western Europe.

          British press freedom now sits behind that of Jamaica, Ghana, Latvia, Surinam, South Africa, and even Spain, which is currently holding a show trial.

          Britain’s “Special” partner in the world the USA, has also fallen down the scales of press freedom to a whopping 48th place. The USA’s other partner in crime Israel stand at number 88 on the scale, Niger, Haiti and Sierra Leone, have more press freedom than Israel.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Republicofscotland April 19, 2019 at 10:49
            That really surprises me about Isr^el being 88th. I have read some remarkably honest articles in Haaretz and some other Isr^eli papers.

          • Republicofscotland


            I have to agree with you on that, Haaretz is pretty fair in my opinion on most subjects.

        • Sharp Ears

          @ 10.07
          Can’t believe the gullibility of some on here.

          The MSM narrative is being swallowed whole.

          • Ian

            You couldn’t be more wrong, such is your presumptuous, one man band nature. The whole thing is clearly a farce, but how exactly do you suggest anybody will get answers? The inteliigence services have a very good record of completely silence on these matters, which we have seen many times in similar cases. Going around endlessly, recycling all the same known inconsistencies, speculating wildly on all sorts of crackpot theories, playing amateur sleuth on social media – we’ve heard it all, there is nothing new except a rather amusing tale of how Trump was fed some comic book nonsense.
            You seem to think that these magic investigative journalists can just do all the work to satisfy your armchair questions.
            Perhaps you would be better employed on subjects far more pressing than a one year old murder mystery, Like reading the work of the excellent real investigative journalist Lyra McKee who was murdered yesterday, a brave, young principled writer who dug into stuff many people would rather not know about.
            Instead of making bland, unsupported assumptions.

          • Charles Bostock

            That murder – occurring by the way before Brxit and the imposition of a hard border – shows that the murderous IRA terrorists have not gone away. How naive of people to think that the Good Friday Agreement would magic those terrorists away! And the mainstream Sinn Fein politicians are devious, venal bastards.

          • Charles Bostock

            On a point of information and in case of future use, “channelling” is spelled with two ‘n’ s.

          • Republicofscotland


            Whilst the henious murder of Lyra McKee is unforgivable, no solid evidence of who committed the foul deed is yet available. Even the vociferous British state mouthpiece the BBC, is reporting it as “most likely” and not definitely.

          • Charles Bostock

            No thanks, RoS. We know your tricks ; if it is finally shown beyond doubt that the IRA (or dissident elements of the IRA) were responsible, you would nevertheless immediately say it’s a government lie and a false flag. Or else engage in some of your usual whataboutery.

          • Republicofscotland

            ” if it is finally shown beyond doubt ”

            By that Charles, I presume you mean the BBC conveys the confirmation from the PSNI. Both bastions of truthfulness and honesty.

          • Iain Stewart

            It seems more likely the miss-spelled word was in fact “challenging” which would make more sense, taking the context and personalities into account.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        The s-=called investigative journalists are just repeating the crsp they are told to say, with odd exceptions who get fired, die strange deaths or get assassinated.

        I consider myself an investigative journalist. I was once a reporter for a daily newspaper until I discovered it was unwilling to get to the bottom, of a serious criminal conspiracy in Raleigh,North Carolina.

        Thought academe a better place to do it until my research got alleged experts there to threat my work as trash, and my ultimate employer calling me an extremist for trying to get to the bottom of covert government, especially in the USA, and penalized my salary and reputation so much that I ultimately quit.

        It’s a mean, tough world out there.

      • Tatyana

        What about simple translating? Do they report that October 2018 Russia tried to conclude an agreement with the US on non-admission of nuclear war, but did not receive any response?
        Do they report that European Court on Human Rights has classified the lawsuit, denying access to the proceedings to the public, prosecutors and their lawyers? The suit of the relatives of MH17 victims, in which the Ukrainian authorities are accused of criminal negligence?
        Do they report about Greg Craig? Who is chief Obama’s lawyer, took money from an ukrainian oligarch?

    • John Goss

      I’ve been trying to find information on Dr Stephen Dukes who appears to be an anaesthetist was on the Skripal case a week after father and daughter were brought into Salisbury hospital. He says “when we first were aware this was a nerve agent we were expecting them not to survive”. Dukes of course was interviewed by none other than the establishment’s own Mark Urban whose connection with the Skripals is well-known the course of the interview and editing by the BBC Newsnight team would be well choreographed.

      Since they went in with Fentanyl poisoning if a nerve agent was involved it must have been administered in the hospital.

      To coin a cliche if this is not part of the ruse I’ll plait sawdust.

        • Ingwe

          James Charles, Consultants in charge of intensive care are generally anaesthetists.

          • John Goss

            Nobody is questioning his qualifications or ability. However, if he was brought in and told the hospital was dealing with a nerve agent he did not make the diagnosis and like so many others has been gulled by the farce. Fentanyl poisoned the Skripals. Any other poison, if there was one, was administered after admission.

      • Charles Bostock

        Why are you ‘trying to find information’ on that doctor? Would you like it if some stranger were ‘trying to find some information’ on you? You have no status in this affair, so stop behaving like a Stasi or KGB investigator.

          • Charles Bostock

            And often complining about the state snooping into ordinary people’s business and private lives, and here you go, doing the same yoursel AND EVEN encouraging others to do the same (cf you at 12:26).

        • Iain Stewart

          Charles, you seem to have overlooked the fact that John Goss is precisely one of the very same serious investigative journalists whose efforts are being sought plaintively on this very page. We are privileged that he should share with us here his serious investigative journalistic methods, which you shamelessly imply are those of a mere nosey parker.

    • James Charles

      “Staff at Salisbury district hospital have described the extraordinary situation they faced when the Skripals were brought in for emergency care after being found unconscious on a bench in the town after their attempted assassination on 4 March. . . .
      On admission, the medical team suspected both were experiencing an opioid overdose, but that diagnosis quickly changed to a nerve agent poisoning.”
      ‘Quickly changed?
      “ The Times published a letter from Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust) on the 16th March. ‘Sir, further to your report (‘Poison Exposure Leaves Nearly 40 needing Treatment’), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.’ ”

      • John Goss

        Precisely James Charles. It would be good if people on here could do homework on Dr Stephen J Jukes. This whole business stinks to high heaven.

        • Charles Bostock

          A Britain with people of your ilk in charge would be full of people “investigating” other people. I remember you once advocated (on here) the control of the press on political lines.

          • Charles Bostock

            You lie. You advocated forcing the press to give the other side of the story when it wrote something you considered politically unfair. Someone took you up about it at the time.

      • John Goss

        What this “quickly changed” narrative says is an insult to the professionals at Salisbury Hospital, as though they could not recognise fentanyl poisoning when they saw it. These professionals, including Stephen Davies, an obviously dedicated consultant who wished to spare panic in Accident & Emergency.

        The establishment’s story reeks. It is no longer news. All the evidence has been destroyed: park benches, pets, The Skripals’ former roof and no doubt the Skripals themselves. We must not let this drop even though it is no longer news. Like the Dr David Kelly murder it will cease to be of public interest, because those who control the media, will determine what the public gets to hear. Their God is money, but their souls are as dark as the abyss.

  • John Aspray

    Maybe they were Aylesbury ducks and ‘The Donald (duck)’ confused the name with Salisbury.

  • Andyoldlabour

    This article from the Times, on the Witshire Police Federation website, says that sergeant Nick Bailey was wearing police issue gloves, and that there was a worry that he could have contaminated the police station on his return.

    “According to the source there is a concern that Mr Bailey could have unwittingly contaminated the Wiltshire police offices when he returned to the station to file a report. Two parts of the Bourne Hill building are closed as part of the decontamination operation.”

    This is a direct contradiction of some later reports which state he and the other officers were wearing Hazmat suits.

    “That night, Det Sgt Bailey and two colleagues were sent to their home, in a quiet suburb. Clad in full forensic suits, they were tasked with making sure there were no other casualties.”

    Bearing in mind the relative scarcity of casualties, this from the above link.

    “Investigators now say the bottle contained enough Novichok to potentially kill thousands of people.”

    • John Goss

      Yes, it has been a farcical construct of our intelligence services. Secret services, of most countries, contain some of the best academic achievers. Not one of them could write a believable novel or play. Their narratives and scripts are beyond belief.

      People like Pablo Miller and Christopher Steele should be brought to account. I believe that because Sergei Skripal fed them false information regarding the “golden showers” dossier they chose to construct a false-flag to silence Skripal and at the same time vilify Russia. Yulia Skripal was collateral damage. That everybody with a brain can see through this did not occur to them.

      • Andyoldlabour

        John Goss

        The picture could become even more blurred when we add the name of Mark Urban, who served in the Tank Regiment with Pablo Miller.
        If we regard “The establishment” as an entity comprising – government, security services, state media, all working in a co-ordinated (sometimes out of sync as in this case) way to push a certain agenda, then that is a mighty, multi headed beast to take on.

      • Rowan Berkeley

        @JohnGoss: How about this? Sergei stole something from Porton Down, where he was a familiar visitor, and was going to hand it to Boshirov & Petrov if Yulia, having scouted out the location several days in advance, signalled them an all-clear for the pick-up. However, she smelled a rat and signalled danger so they turned round and left. Then, frustrated of his primary prey the GRU men, Pablo vengefully dosed the Skripals and killed them.

        • Tatyana

          Rowan, my idea is very close to yours.
          I think that Sergey posessed some very important secret. Julia could be used as a means to deliver the evidence, so she was stopped too.

          The outmost danger was the chance that the secret could get to Kremlin, that is why Russia was accused and diplomats (spies. I’m not naive to think that all diplomats are really simple diplomats) were expelled. Russians are cut off any information and from any investigation.

          Hence, I conclude that the secret is very easy to discover, a tiny bit if info can give it out.

          Chemical weapons appeared in the story as an improvisation, that is why it is so badly invented. Someone just decided to use the situation for “profit” in Syria.

          Perhaps, Mr. Murray’s guess about Steel’s dossier is correct. I’m not sure yet.

        • J

          So, corrupt politicians being played by an intelligence service gone rogue, press and politicians unwilling or unable to bring them to account because they’re all pretty laissez faire themselves and also because the eavesdroppers are blackmailing them directly if and when they step out of line. Plus powerful corporations will pull sponsorship and donations if they do.

      • John2o2o

        I think the purpose of all of the “information” that has been provided by the MSM about this matter in the past year could be to encourage people to come up with theories about what happened.

        There are so many theories now that it is often impossible to entangle what we know from that is simply theory. For example, the possible involvement of Skripal with Steele. Is this just a theory or is there some hard evidence about this? Because I don’t know.

        I am not criticising you or anyone else for theorising about this matter. That’s natural and I have done it myself. But I think it is important to acknowledge just how little about what happened a year ago we really do actually know.

        Bashirov and Petrov – agents or scapegoats? Pablo Miller? Ducks? Rowley? Poison in perfume bottles? The Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army first on the scene. These are all things reported by the MSM.

        I’m not sure I believe any of it.

        I think we can say that Yulia and her father were poisoned. Perhaps Bailey also. I think Fentanyl (as was originally reported) is a more likely agent than nerve gas (as such agents used to be called).

        I’m not sure we really know much else.

  • Edward

    When do the Skripals get to speak to the public without the presence of a British government minder?

    • John Goss

      The Skripals will never get to speak to the public. I guess they have, like their guinea pigs, been incinerated at Porton Down.

    • John Goss

      That’s right. I must have been getting confused with motorcycle racing legend Jeff Dukes. Or the dead Dukes in Salisbury Duke pond. Thanks for the correction.

      From what I can see though he works at a private hospital which does all kinds of body reconstructions and cosmetic stuff.

      • Ken Kenn

        That will annoy Charles.

        A cosmetic Surgeon and body reconstructions and nothing much about lungs or pneumology which would be a very important
        requirement when dealing with breathing problems.

        Perhaps he does hair dying too?

        Interesting that as you say things changed ” quickly” and that would be after PD poked its nose in ‘ advised ‘ and ‘ helped ‘
        no doubt.

        • John A

          Mayve Dukes/Jukes created Julia’s ‘tracheostomy’ scar, the one a normal woman would be keen to cover with a scarf or similar when interviewed, not have it on proud display?

    • John Goss

      Sharp Ears in the BBC interview Jukes is interviewed by Mark Urban who served with Pablo Miller. It is another BBC construct.

      • Sharp Ears

        Yes. I meant to put in an Urban warning. :). Haven’t seen or heard him lately.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Thanks for the clarification, SE. It just shows again that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, even if they are belatdly small ones.

    • Baron

      The doctor’s lying, Sharp Ears, there was never ever any Novichok or an agent of similar potency anywhere in the public domain n the UK. If it were not the case, a nerve agent identical to the risks Novichok carries, was used, there would be scores of dead people including the boys feeding the ducks, the city of Salisbury would be closed down, fully decontaminated, or probably raised to the ground, the West wouldn’t be expelling few diplomats, it would be in war wit Russia.

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