Cynicism and Warmongering 515

The BBC plumbed the depths of hypocrisy in dressing up the final episode of the Salisbury Poisonings as a homage to Dawn Sturgess while systematically lying about the facts of her death, yet again to cover up the implausibility of the official narrative.

As I noted yesterday, the BBC drama appeared to show Charlie Rowley fishing the perfume bottle out of the charity bin at least two months ahead of when this really occurred, to make it more plausible that it had been dropped in there after the alleged attack on the Skripals. The question of how it had managed to sit in a charity bin for three months, when that bin was emptied regularly, was thus dodged.

The next alteration of a timeline by the BBC is just as crucial. The BBC had the discovery of the perfume bottle containing novichok happening before Sturgess’s death, whereas in fact the perfume bottle was not “discovered” until 11 July 2018, three days after Dawn’s death. The extraordinary thing about this is that the police had been searching Rowley’s flat intensively for “novichok” for over a week before coming across a perfume bottle sitting on the kitchen counter. As they were specifically looking for a phial of liquid, you would have thought that might have caught the eye somewhat sooner.

The final episode was more open in its attempts to provoke Russophobia than previous episodes, with images of Putin, Russia, and Boshirov and Petrov appearing. It is of course the case that the military, security service and arms manufacturing complex needs Russophobia to justify sucking away so much of our national wealth. So we should not be surprised this kind of propaganda is produced. We should also realise that those in the service of the elites that benefit from the political system will do everything they can to maintain the propaganda. It is possible to understand all of that, and still be very disappointed that so very many ordinary people fall for it. The sad fact is, propaganda works, and always has.

It is worth reminding ourselves that the Skripal incident was a propaganda initiative from day 1. The role of the Integrity Initiative and its Skripal group – in which the BBC was very much included – puts this BBC propaganda piece in its proper perspective.

I do not know what happened in Salisbury. I know that the British government story makes no sense whatsoever, and I know that the Russian government has not told us the truth about the identities of Boshirov and Petrov, otherwise their true identities would have been firmly documented and reported by now. What the Russians were doing remains a mystery, with possibilities ranging from assassination through liaison to extraction. What the British government was doing is equally murky, and whether the Skripals are willingly a part of MI6’s plans is by no means clear. Sergei’s continuing work for MI6 and his relationship with Pablo Miller are evidently key, while I suspect that Sergei’s role in Christopher Steele’s baroque, fabricated dossier on Donald Trump is probably the motive for the action.

The prosecutions of Julian Assange and Alex Salmond, and subsequently of myself, have stood in the way of my declared intention to make a documentary about the Skripal case, while the money you have so kindly contributed to my legal defence fund is almost as much as I needed to raise for the film. Attempting to counter the propaganda of the state while the state employs its legal mechanisms to drain your energy and resources is not easy. That is of course the standard lot of dissidents around the globe. It will not stop us.


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515 thoughts on “Cynicism and Warmongering

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  • Mary

    Having done his duty, Sir Simon McDonald, FCO Permanent Secretary, is to retire ostensibly because of the FCO/DfID merger. He’s only 59.

    Foreign Office boss Sir Simon McDonald to step down early after department merger plan
    PM Boris Johnson is said to have told him the new government office “needs a new permanent secretary from its start”.

    ‘What’s the (real) story Morning Glory?’

  • John Goss

    Yesterday Tatyana posted a link to a Daily Mail article from Mark Urban containing extracts from his book (I nearly wrote novel) about Sergei Skripal. The article mentions two British agents under pseudonyms, Stephen Bagnall and Richard Jones. One of them, presumably Jones, is Pablo (Paul) Miller (de Hidalgo etc) but I could be wrong. I’ve not read Urban’s book so I would welcome enlightenment on this. Spooks need not add their twopenn’orth. Some time back I put together this chronology regarding Pablo Miller’s role in the Skripal affair.

    • Tatyana

      John, do you remember the yesterdays link to the video with Boshirov and Petrov? I read out funny comments, and looked into the account of a joker for more jokes, but surprisingly it was not at all funny.
      You know a little about the situation in Ukraine, maybe you will be interested in it
      It also coincides with some facts from the Putin’s review on WW2, I shared the link yesterday

      • Anna I.

        Tatiana, I read Putin essay with great interest. My take away is that today international sytuation is very much similar to events that took World to War 2.
        He asking for World Leaders to meet and discuss and resolve All issues in diplomatic dialogue before is too late.
        I prey and hope that this will happen.

          • wonky

            Hegel was, and I don’t say this lightly, a friggin tosser, who caused more problems than he solved. Some “philosopher”..
            I hope him and Macciavelli are enjoying their infernal jacuzzi together.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tatyana June 19, 2020 at 14:31
        Pity that clip is not more widely shown in the West – then Joe Public can decide just who are the real Demons, Russians or our ‘politicians’ who back those Fascist thugs.

      • John Goss

        Tatyana, Right Sector, especially about the time of the video you linked (2015) were holding lots of fascist lamp-lit marches throughout Western Ukraine (mostly in Kiev). I’m not sure whether this is still going on under the new presidency. It is definitely not funny.

        • Tatyana

          I know that nationalist parties of the Ukraine united into one block to participate in the latest parliament elections. I do really hope they don’t get close to law-making.

        • Tatyana

          Also, I’m really worried by the abscence of any statements from ukrainian government about it, well, they should do something. Prohibit such activities, condemn it, I don’t know, do something with it. They can’t ignore it.

          Those young men and those children grow up and then what? What do they do today? What will they do tomorrow?

          • John Goss

            It is worrying. Ukraine seems to be particularly nationalistic and right wing. It disturbed me to see pictures of young girls marching and chanting right-wing slogans when they are hardly old enough to have an independent opinion. It reminded me of the Hitler youth movement! Now that is disturbing.

            Zelensky has only been in office a year. He is not another Poroshenko, thank God. The far right has not gone away. Whether he can control them is integral to Ukraine’s future development. I’m sure ordinary Ukrainians have had enough of the war the US gave them.

          • Tatyana

            Thanks for returning here, John.
            You say ‘reminded me of Hitler youth movement’ – I’d like to drive your attention to the beginning of the video, the boys are marching and shouting exactly ‘Hitler Jugend’ at av. 0.50 and 3.50
            The girls were chanting ‘ziga-zaga’ , and ‘ziga’ is russian slang for ‘zig heil’.

            That’s not ‘reminding’, that is that.

          • glenn_uk

            JG: “ It disturbed me to see pictures of young girls marching and chanting right-wing slogans when they are hardly old enough to have an independent opinion

            It disturbs me when I see decent old socialists, who surely should know better, parroting the far-right slogans of disinformation when it comes to very genuine global pandemics, too.

            Such as one John Goss, a very useful – err- individual – of the far right and big bosses who wants everyone to pretend it’s business as usual, get back to work, and ignore the pandemic that chiefly kills fronts line workers, minorities, and the most poorly paid in society.

          • King of Welsh Noir


            I remember a time long ago when you used to debate intelligently but now you appear to have turned into a slogan bot.

            Look at this from your response to John Goss:

            ‘Old socialists’
            ‘far right’ (again)


            When you get to the meat and potatoes of your post, you say:

            ‘…the pandemic that chiefly kills fronts line workers, minorities, and the most poorly paid in society.’


            According to NHS figures of hospital deaths in England, over 90% of death have been over the age of 60.


            And for people under 60, without pre-existing conditions, there have been 294 deaths.

            294. From the beginning of the ‘pandemic’.

            Do you think that is a lot? 294?

          • Clark

            294 since March is about three per day. That’s three, perfectly healthy people, in their prime, per day. With around 8.5% of the population having been infected so far, the potential is around three thousand deaths of perfectly healthy people in their prime.

            John likes to use Belarus as his example of a country with a good approach to covid-19. Belarus has suppressed death figures, so John likes to quote them. Belarus has expelled Russian journalists for reporting the much higher numbers of deaths:


            Wednesday’s report on Channel One alleged that Belarussians mistrust their country’s official Covid-19 infection numbers (19,255) and death count (112). In the video report, Channel One correspondent Alexei Kruchinin visits a cemetery in the Belarussian town of Stolbtsy and describes “an abundance of fresh graves.”

            In Belarus, the football fans are coordinating on social media to stay away from football matches to protect themselves and each other from infection:


            “We are aware that someone is lying to us, and because of the difficult epidemical situation in the country we will stop attending the home and away matches of our team,” Neman fanatics were quoted as saying on Belarusian sports portal

            “This is not an easy decision, it is difficult for us to leave the team without support, but now the most important thing is the health of our people. We call on all fan movements of Belarus to do the same.

            “Let’s stay at home, reduce the risks of spreading coronavirus, protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

            Al Jazeera reports on bloggers carrying the real news in Belarus:


            Belarusian bloggers: Breaking the media mould

            What do you do if you are from Belarus and want to learn about the pandemic? You have a president, Alexander Lukashenko, who has long refused to accept the existence of COVID-19, let alone that it was killing people. Your mainstream news outlets are no good to you – the president brought them to heel long ago and they are telling people to get on with life as normal. So you go online – YouTube, Telegram – where bloggers are doing the job of journalists. Engaging young audiences, giving them the data they need right now and making President Lukashenko nervous, since he has an election coming up. The Listening Post’s Johanna Hoes reports on Belarus’s bloggers, the kind of work they do and the impact they are having in a country where political change has been a long time in coming.


            Stepan Svyatlou – Founder, NEXTA
            Andrei Bastunets – Chair, Belarusian Association of Journalists
            Ekaterina Andreeva – Reporter, Belsat TV

          • glenn_uk

            OK, KoWN – you have a problem with the terms I use. In particular you list

            KoWN : “‘Old socialists’
            ‘far right’ (again)


            Nothing wrong with old socialists as far as I’m concerned, I plan to be one. My Dad was certainly one. Have you got a problem with that term?

            Anyway – let’s see the rest of your complaint, and compare it to John’s words to which I was replying.

            I said “Parroting”, John said “Chanting”.
            I said “Far right”, John said “nationalistic and right wing”.
            I said “Slogans”, John said err… “slogans”.
            I said “disinformation”, John said ” chanting right-wing slogans”.
            I said “far right” (again), John said “right wing” (again).

            But your problems are all with me. I’m guilty of being a “slogan bot” while John most certainly is above any reproach. Uh huh. Must be due to my sheer lack of intelligence, or could it actually be that you have a disagreement about Covid-19?

            Either you’re lazy or prejudiced, KoWN. Too lazy to notice I was more or less echoing John’s terms, or too biased to criticise both sides for failing your high standards of literary eloquence.

        • Piotr+Berman

          John Goss
          June 21, 2020 at 22:26
          It is worrying. Ukraine seems to be particularly nationalistic and right wing. …
          Zelensky has only been in office a year. He is not another Poroshenko, thank God. The far right has not gone away.
          It seem that Zelensky is another Poroshenko. The issue of extreme nationalism in Ukraine is complex, but the extremist operate like Frei Korps in the aftermath of of WWI, not particularly united or organized, but useful to kill
          — or beat up — opponents of the “moderate governments”, like Social Democrats in those days. They can be also hired for small jobs that involve intimidation or worse. The current government seems to protect and use them.

    • ET

      Well, John, I didn’t realise you had your own site. I hope you don’t mind if I take a look. I can already see I am likely to be largely in agreement with a lot of what is there.

  • Aidworker1

    I’m not a very prolific tweeter (and don’t tweet under this name) but is anyone finding their tweets being deleted instantly?

    Mine are mainly about Palestine??

    • Goose

      Twitter is notoriously inconsistent and opaque in its moderation policies. Craig has raised his qualms about what’s going on. This reported today :

      “Katie Hopkins, who has been repeatedly retweeted by US president Donald Trump, gained more than 1.1 million followers on the site before her suspension, which came hours after she had complained she had lost her blue tick “verified” status.

      In a statement a spokesperson for the social media firm said: “Keeping Twitter safe is a top priority for us – abuse and hateful conduct have no place on our service and we will continue to take action when our rules are broken. – Independent
      Can’t stand Hopkins or her views, but as Noam Chomsky famously said : ‘If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.’ Which itself is a variation on, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

      … We are at a point in time, where one tweet can destroy someone’s entire career.

      I don’t agree with no-platforming either. These centrist media folk and centrist students use virtue signalling simply to mask what are really intolerant and censorial attitudes.

        • Stephen Ambartzakis

          As Churchill said “Everyone is in favour of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s ide of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage”. I give you
          Katy Hopkins
          Lauren Southern
          Ezra Levant
          Stefan Molneux
          Ron Unz
          Etc, Etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
          PS All considered to be right of centre, all de-platformed making your comment risible

  • Doug Scorgie

    Spencer Eagle
    June 19, 2020 at 11:07
    “The idea that Charlie Rowley fished the perfume out of a charity bin is fiction.”
    I agree with that Spencer Eagle but My theory on the Skripals mystery is based on the proposition that there was
    no Novichok involved at all.
    This would mean that neither Yulia or the Russian agents brought it with then into the UK.
    The Skripals were not poisoned by Novichok.
    Charlie Rowley did not find a Novichok infused perfume bottle anywhere.
    The Skripals may have been acting.
    Dawn Sturgess died of a drug overdose.
    Charlie Rowley did not come into contact with Novichok.
    DC Baily did not come into contact with Novichok nor his family.
    The perfume bottle found by the forensic team in the flat was planted there by someone.

    • Spencer Eagle

      It’s an interesting proposition that there was no nerve agent, the presence of the army’s most experienced biological warfare nurse at the park bench scene lends some credence to a part exercise/part scam. I’m puzzled as to why the Skripal’s house was demolished and sent to landfill along with several police cars but the house in which Rowley and Sturges were poisoned didn’t require such measures, especially in light of a large amount of ‘perfume’ having been in the property for some while.

      • Tatyana

        the army’s most experienced biological warfare nurse

        Actually, I think that of all the people who were near the Skripals when they simultaneously collapsed, she might have been the most likely performer. Experienced in handling such substances, I mean.

      • John A

        Or maybe Bailey was tracking the Skripals and sprayed them with some short acting irritant but non lethal spray to temporarily disable them and got some on his clothes. Chief nurse was there to make sure Plod Bailey didnt overdo it. The fact that both Skripals collapsed simultaneously suggests it happened at or near the bench. And also explain why not cctv footage has been released of the bench area.

        • Goose

          If it were an agreed plan or even if the Skripals weren’t aware , isn’t it more likely they’d to taken something in a drink at Zizzi’s eg. GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate) maybe slipped in their drink (as it’s tasteless) then go sit on the bench outside waiting for it to kick in or have to sit down it having kicked in..

          GHB is a colorless, tasteless liquid that’s dropped into an unsuspecting victim’s drink often as a prelude to rape.

          Quote : Salisbury’s main shopping area The Maltings in the city centre – where Russian former spy and his daughter were found unconscious. – Telegraph

          Note. unconscious. If you were a spook isn’t that the approach you’d take? another aspect is how Ghb clouds the victim’s memory.

          • Goose

            To add… whether they(Skripals) agreed or were unsuspecting victims, Sergei Skripal had been useful to western intelligence, therefore there is no suggestion they’d want to seriously harm him, and certainly not kill him.

            And supporting this idea is the fact they’ve been given new lives and identities since, extraordinary lengths taken to shield them from giving interviews , all at huge cost too, presumably, shows Sergei was highly valued.

            The bench is a short distance from Zizzi’s – The British Government slapped a D-notice on all reporting in the British media of the handler and his connection to Mr Skripal , but CNN had already named him.

        • Goose

          @John A

          Highly unlikely the Skripals were sprayed in public, with some ‘temporary disabling spray’. If such a spray exists(?) that really would be a crackpot plan when they’ve got access to the couple ‘for a drink’ in the moments prior. Given the risk of been seen and the vagarities of blustery English weather(it may blow back on the person administering it). Not to mention the ruckus and noise from the victims’ distress, and how would Sergei collapse safely?

          If this was all planned at least credit the spooks with the ability to carry it out in the most sensible way.

          • John A

            It had to be something immediate. Father and daughter are different weights, ages, gender etc., both collapsed at the same time which goes against slipping some mickey finn in their drinks, and also the assumption that both would finish their drinks. I have no idea, just throwing it out there. Why not the hypothesis that the Skripals had arranged a rendez-vous at that bench? Don’t forget pa Skripal was allegedly angry the service was slow in Zizzis. They arrive at the bench, expecting to see either some Russian or other contact, Bailey arrives, they are off their guard and he spray them. They collapse. Sunday afternoon, cold, rainy/snowy weather, who cares if it was all captured on cctv, none of the footage has been released, any innocent passers by would have been ushered away ‘nothing to see here,’ flash of badge of authority. It is all speculation. All we can say with certainty is that the official version and the BBC remake are nonsense.

          • Goose

            @John A

            Not so. “It takes from 10 minutes to an hour for GHB or GBL to take effect.”

            Possible scenario: The Skripals have their drink or ‘toast’ with Sergei’s handler, who then makes his excuses and they all leave, walk the roughly half mile distance to the bench, feel unsteady as the GHB kicks in, sit down, collapse – both “found unconscious”, as the newspapers reported.

            Quote : “Don’t forget pa Skripal was allegedly angry the service was slow in Zizzis.”

            That could indicate either one or both knew and were willing participants. The clock was ticking on the now ingested drink.

          • Goose

            Adding to the ‘willing participant(s)’ theory is how their phones were switched off in the morning, and the lack of any CCTV proof of a return home.

          • John A

            Until we hear from the Skripals themselves or some whistleblower, we will never know. But I suspect that will never be allowed and therefore they have been permanently silenced.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      “The Skripals may have been acting.”
      An oft overlooked fragment is the leaked / hacked (?), source lab report from the Swiss laboratory, identifying both Novichok and BZ. BZ being an American synthesised, non-lethal chemical weapon (think LSD in aerosol form). The OPCW stated that their sample acquisition team added / spiked the Skripal’s blood samples with BZ for “quality assurance reasons”. With such politically sensitive material, this explanation is farcical.
      Yes, the Skripals may have agreed to being “Buzzed” (colloquial term for being dosed with BZ), particularly if the most senior nurse in the British Army was on site by prearrangement.
      Just a thought.

      • Coldish

        Vivian O’B: thank you for reminding us of this anomaly in the official story. As you point out, BZ (3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate) is a temporarily incapacitating but non-lethal chemical weapon and has been used in military action. The idea that either Porton Down or the OPCW should routinely add BZ to important samples of a suspected chemical weapon before analysis is indeed very strange. So did the samples already contain BZ when they were taken in Salisbury?

        BZ’s properties are well-established, as reported by Robert Windrem on NBC News back in 2003:

        “…updated 10/24/2003 10:35:26 AM ET
        BZ gas was developed by the United States Army at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland during the 1950s as a military agent. It later was believed to have capability as a crowd control agent. There are no known detectors for its presence in either indoor or outdoor environments.
        Although chemically based, its use or possession is not specifically prohibited by the Chemical Warfare Convention [CWC] unless produced in certain quantities.
        BZ is a stable white crystalline powder that is only slightly soluble in water. It is described by the U.S. Army as a “central nervous system depressant.” It can “disrupt the high integrative functions of memory, problem solving, attention, and comprehension. A relatively high dose produces toxic delirium, destroying the individual’s ability to perform any military task.”
        The Army’s field manuals describe the effect: “mild peripheral effects of BZ occur within 1 hour and maximal central effects occur after about 4 hours lasting 24 to 48 hours, with a peak at 8 to 10 hours,” indicating that Russian forces may have deployed the gas several hours before the attack.
        First symptoms include dizziness, ataxia (a loss of motor control), vomiting, dry mouth, blurred vision, confusion, sedation leading to stupor, progressing to random unpredictable behavior with delusions and hallucination within 12 or more hours. The U.S. Army believed the most important single medical consideration is the possibility of heat stroke.
        The U.S. Army ultimately abandoned its use because of its unpredictability on the battlefield.”

        Interesting that it takes 1 to 4 hours after administration to take effect.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          My money says the samples were spiked with BZ before they entered the OPCW chain of custody. While the spooks occupying OPCW Head office (ref. ex-British “Diplomat”, Bob Fairweather) will put down in their reports whatever the CIA tells them to, the “troops in the field” cannot be trusted to do their masters bidding (as proven by the Douma fiasco).

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Doh! Wrong way round. The samples weren’t spiked with BZ. The samples will have contained BZ and were spiked with Novichok.

          • Goose

            @Vivian O’Blivion

            Do you remember the OPCW slip-up on the amount :

            The Skripals were poisoned with a dose of liquid nerve agent as large as 50-100 grams, the director general of the international chemical weapons watchdog has told the New York Times.

            It was also said to be of incredible purity 98.3%… amazing what a door handle can yield – the same door those police officers were stood next to guarding the house, in the days following with no protective gear on.

            The OPCW had to later withdraw Ahmet Üzümcü’s assertion about the quantity of novichok used in the Skripal poisoning.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Vivian O’Blivion June 20, 2020 at 10:21
        Still begs the question, why would Sergei not at least talk to his 90-odd year old mother, and Yulia not talk to her beloved grandmother whom she had cared for while in Russia? Just to let her know that they were OK, before she died (she is likely still alive, but at around 90, for how much longer? And now with Covid to take into consideration)?

  • Monster

    I read somewhere, perhaps John Goss knows, a complete takedown of the perfume story. The perfume was mailed to Yulia from a friend in Moscow whom she would recognise from the address. The postal stamp was probably fixed by MI6 in Moscow. The idea was that they thought she was an agent courier doing something unpleasant and decided on a warning shot. The perfume was never contained novichok but something else. Father Skripal saw the package, rumbled it in an instant and on his next walk in the park, dumped it unopened in the litter bin. I don’t know what the thinking was behind it, but it was stupid enough for MI6 (and didn’t involve urine).

    • Tatyana

      Impossible. One can’t ship perfume by mail. All international mail, in fact all air mail is checked through x-ray check. The packages are returned back to the sender marrked “item is prohibited for shipment”.

      • pete

        Re One can’t ship perfume by (air) mail

        Its true, presumably because perfume is a volatile liquid, it isn’t mentioned specifically in the restricted list by USPS: see
        but since it is a volatile liquid oil mixed with alcohol I presume it would be included.

        I not only agree with Craig’s view on the BBC’s Salisbury psychodrama but this seems to be part of an anti Russian theme. Do a search on “BBC Putin Documentary.” for a lot more of the same type of stuff being passed off as history.

      • Goose

        I think some posters are just throwing wild, offbeat ideas into the mix to make this blog seem like it’s the home of crackpot ideas.

        In the UK, many of our mainstream newspapers have attempted to paint Craig and others as ‘ cranks’ ,because he and those others ask the questions they(as major investigative newspapers) should be asking, but are too cowardly to do so.

        Way I view their attention and often visceral dislike of Craig is; If there were no truth in anything he writes, they wouldn’t give a fcuk about him or his blog.

        • Tatyana

          They discredit this site in a different way too, spreading gossip about the author.

          For instance, one day long ago I brought Mr. Murray’s argument when discussing on another site, my interlocutor commented rather rudely that the argument was stupid and everyone knew that Mr. Murray was losing his mental abilities. (*I’m sorry*) The assumption that ordinary people do not go into details, I think.

          That is a very silly statement, given that bipolarity is an imbalance of emotions and doesn’t affect the intellect.

          • Goose

            The fact that people are making an effort trying to discredit Craig, shows he’s probably close to the truth… on this and lots of things.

            ‘Conspiracy theorist’ or more recently , ‘Crank’, is used by our MSM to discredit anyone who is skeptical of the official narrative. It’s an attempt to discredit and silence, as nobody wants to be bracketed with the likes of Alex Jones and the David Ickes of this world.

            If authorities don’t like social media conjecture around what happened in Salisbury, then they should fill in the many holes in the official narrative and explain the many improbable aspects to this case; allow the Skripals to speak freely.

            This is an open, democratic country we are constantly told by these very same people, indeed, they make a huge virtue out how we are so different to oppressive states like China, Russia yet seek to silence critics and slap D-notices on the media as if the internet doesn’t reach beyond the UK’s borders?

        • Shatnersrug

          They mention David Ike, what? Once a year and only really to laugh at him and yet Craig gets almost daily abuse. That says something quite clear there. The problem is this heavy handedness has pushed more towards Craig and away from the mainstream.

          It’s interesting that to me it appears, the more analytical of the old Guardian Readers – those the guardian hopes to influence, have all but completely stopped sourcing their news from the G.

          • Goose

            At the the risk of fawning.

            Craig’s one of the most decent, reasonable, fair-minded people around. His objection to torture and willingness to take a career damaging stand, in opposition to that, makes him a giant compared to his many critics. Not afraid to be wrong, and admit he’s wrong and correct things. Always willing to debate those with opposing views. If Britain had more MPs who were inquisitive like Craig, it’d be much better, kinder, more transparent country.

            Only a criminal, fearing exposure, could possibly take a dislike to the man.

            The idea foreign policy and intel work requires a ‘puppy stomping’ mentality and vicious people with a ‘you couldn’t handle the truth!’ attitude, is completely wrong. That’s a choice.

  • Mary

    The CBRN School is based 5 miles north of Salisbury at Winterbourne Gunner. Handy.

    The Defence CBRN School is the instructional element of the DCBRNC. Its mission is to deliver the UK’s tri-service CBRN Defence Training for Operations on land.

    The Defence Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Centre (DCBRNC) designs and runs courses that qualify individuals of all 3 services for operational, training and staff CBRN defence appointments.

    DCBRNC is located at Winterbourne Gunner, about 5 km north-east of Salisbury, Wiltshire, on the southern edge of Salisbury Plain.’

    The surrounding area is packed with military installations.

    The River Winterbourne has its source as a little stream in Dorset. A beautiful part of the English countryside. Shame that it is polluted with these military connections.

    In praise of DCRBN by a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
    UK Defence (247) – Defence CBRN Training – Centre of Excellence

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      Lots of winterburns in chalk country with stronger water flows in the traditional winters, so not the Dorset one in this case, but thanks for all your sleuthing.

  • Mary

    A 1 hour talk on Wikileaks on the Assange case and Collateral murder (recording)

    It starts with that horrifying footage taken by the helicopter gunship that mowed down Iraqi people. Sorry no earlier info. I only came across it a little earlier on Craig’s Twitter.

    · 3h
    Live in an Hour 1pm BST | 8am EDT | 10PM AEST
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    • Goose

      Reported today in guardian : The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has not met since before the general election in December – its longest break since it was established in 1994

      How these MPs can claim we have strong parliamentary oversight of the intel agencies in the UK is a mystery?

      The agencies themselves boast about how they are enabled by legislation. But that legislation usually stemmed from one line in a manifesto, has any candidate or party ever run openly for office, stating clearly they are going to reduce privacy or limit freedom? Would they win office if they did?

      To say they operate under a democratic mandate is wholly misleading.

      • Goose

        My point being that if oversight were up to scratch and we had more transparency, Assange, WikiLeaks and similar wouldn’t be needed.

        Our main UK oversight body not sitting for over seven months is a disgrace.

        • Mary

          Theresa Villiers has been removed from it. We’re back to chlorinated chicken.

          ‘Theresa Villiers axed from intelligence committee for disloyalty
          Theresa Villiers defied the Tory whip over a ban on the importing of chlorinated chicken in any US trade deal
          June 20 2020,
          Boris Johnson has delayed the formation of parliament’s intelligence watchdog after removing a provisional member for disloyalty.

          The government has been questioned over why the intelligence and security select committee has yet to be reconvened more than six months after the election. Other committees that scrutinise departments have been working for months.

          Its formation has been delayed after Theresa Villiers, the former environment secretary, was barred from joining after defying the Tory whip in a vote on food standards.

          Ms Villiers, who was one of the prime minister’s appointments to the panel, was blocked after she rebelled to vote for an amendment that would have banned the import of chlorinated chicken in any trade deal with the United States.

          Membership etc on here

          • Goose

            Yes , I read that. Johnson and Cummings can be extraordinarily petty.

            Another example is how the govt are currently boycotting Newsnight and Channel 4 news

            Last year, they boycotted Radio 4’s Today programme over election ‘bias’ against Tories. It’s laughable, because Newsnight presenters and Radio 4 couldn’t be any more pro-Tory if they tried in the run-up to the last erlection.

            Nick Robinson
            Emma Barnett
            Emily Maitlis
            Mark Urban
            Kirsty Wark

            Does anyone associate these names with opposition to the Tories?

            On the ISC. They’ve made Chris Grayling Chair ffs! from an oversight perspective, a worse pick for that role can’t imagine. Dominic Grieve was infinitely better. Talk about marking your own homework.

      • N_

        @Goose “The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has not met since before the general election in December – its longest break since it was established in 1994 How these MPs can claim we have strong parliamentary oversight of the intel agencies in the UK is a mystery?

        There is also the specific matter of the non-publication of the “Russia report”. Publication requires that the said committee exists, in order that it can give the okay. The report includes a consideration of apparent Russian state interference in the Brexit referendum.

        Is there no normal procedure that won’t be put aside to keep Eugenics Cummings in the heart of Downing Street? There are shades of…ooh…say “Lord” Mountbatten… here. I imagine there are at least some senior spooks and security officials both in London and in the US who don’t like it one bit.

        As for “theories” about the Skripals, I rarely read any that don’t refer to Nikolai Glushkov.

        • Goose

          Re: Nikolai Glushkov

          You reckon his death is linked to the Skripals and Petrov and Boshirov in some way? The Wall Street Journal reported Glushkov told friends he was about to reveal Aeroflot Russian Airlines as a front for the Russian Security services in his upcoming trial. Glushkov was the one time finance director of said flagship airline.

          It is strange how little coverage his murder(by strangulation) got, compared to the alleged attempted, failed assassination on the Skripals, it’s as though someone wanted little publicity. It happened in the same month too, roughly a week after the Skripals in March.

          Another Russian, Boris Berezovsky was found dead in strange circumstances too. The history of ultra rich Russian oligarchs getting involved in the murky world of UK spooks and MI6 espionage, while trying to remain friends with people in Moscow, never goes well.

  • Stewart Dredge

    The almost surreal events in Bow is surely the most damning evidence against the “official” narrative.
    I can’t help thinking the role of the two Russians was, primarily, to be the suspects.
    Getting drunk, calling in a prostitute, making so much of a racket their fellow guests nearly called the police as well as ensuring that there were traces of “the most toxic substance known to man” in the hotel room is not what we’d expect from two highly-trained Russian government assassins.
    Neither is wandering around Salisbury making sure they are caught on all these CCTV cameras.
    Even their interviewers on RT after the event were almost in hysterics at their sightseeing story.
    However, it’s hard to believe the UK government poisoned them either. Surely getting old Sergei pissed and drowning him in the Avon would have been the easier alternative. In fact, I find the Novichok angle is the most confusing element of this whole story.

    • Bramble

      The “novichok” angle is the one that allows the Russia-phobia button to be pushed. Whatever really happened (and I recall the Home Secretary of the time initially telling the House to wait for more facts to emerge and not to jump to conclusions, which they were clearly panting to do), the opportunity was seized and shortly after Johnson was in full war-monger mode hurling accusations at Mr Putin.

  • John Goss

    One of the things I said from the start of the Skripal affair was that if there was any evidence of the use of Novichok (or any other nerve agent) Salisbury would have immediately have gone into lockdown. That has become very clear since they closed down the country for a virus!

    • N_

      Possibly there would have been a wider security area, yes, especially if further use by an opponent was anticipated, but “any evidence” of the use of a nerve agent is a very low bar and chemical weapons (and radiological weapons such as polonium) are very different from biological ones.

  • Tony worrall

    Wow, this really does stir controversy. Taking a step back looking at it. Sergei was an ‘ex’ Russian agent but possibly still with MI6 involved with the Trump dossier with someone the establishment wanted to exercise from the story. The involvement of the British in the dossier was highly embarrassing. Sergei knew this and was possibly wanting to make capital out of it. Mark Urban also knew this, as he was in frequent contact with Sergei, together with the secret services wanted to silence Sergei. Kill him? No too obvious. Get his daughter to have a serious chat (it’s involving his family). Daughter pops over to convince dad not to squeal. Lots of talks over drinks and meals (gets dad irritated by all accounts). The heart to heart comes to nothing later in the night. The watching team is alerted. Sergei needs to be removed, and quickly. Last chance in the park. The decision is taken and by whatever means, the couple (the daughter had to go and well, she knows too much), they are rendered unconscious. Does it matter how? Obviously it wasn’t a deadly nerve gas. They didn’t want to kill people (as was shown). Operatives were there quickly to whisk the couple to their hiding places, mostly out of communication (especially in Sergeis case – he couldn’t squeal now). Job done. Now just blur the lines with a fake Novichok story (whatever that was, nobody really seemed to know). The rest of the story is pure obfuscation, designed to make people like you and me go round in circles. The establishment are stupid? No. They achieved their objective.

    However, as discussed before, some nosy people in the free press kept asking if the nerve agent was so deadly as our top politicians kept saying (and they never lie) why no deaths. So, the later perfume bottle story was made up. This was so badly handled that the story became farce to anyone who cared to investigate it (unlike the MSM). This story really doesn’t matter and is a red herring as was novichok. It’s pointless to waste time on it.

    Similarly, the Russians. I strongly suspect the spy couple in town on poison day were there because they knew Sergei’s daughter was having a meeting with her ex spy dad. Spies tend to spy on one another. I also strongly suspect British spies knew the Russian spies were there and they too were keeping an eye on one another. We pay the British spy establishment billions to keep tabs on people. It’s what they do.

    All this circles back to the Trump dossier. If what I said above is true, what secret was it that Sergei had to tell?

    • bevin

      “…what secret was it that Sergei had to tell?”
      Something that is not a secret now and, except among the fans of second rate gossip of the sort that Christopher Steele sells, was a ‘nothingburger’ then too.
      Too much money and too much time being spent on trivialities -from removing roofs and burning vehicles and cancelling coroners’ courts to constructing these immensely complicated, and culturally debilitating, cover stories- whose human consequences are immense: deaths, suffering, and the employment of dozens of public servants from the Cabinet Secretary to the UN Ambassador to the NHS orderlies.
      In the end it is simply a loyalty test- anyone who does not want to offend the Establishment will pretend to swallow the foul tasting rubbish it insists all must consume.

      • N_

        I don’t buy the idea it had much to do with the Steele dossier either.

        For one thing, there doesn’t seem to have been much identifiably US involvement, unless we think US-based interests were content to contract out most of their fieldwork to Brits and Russians.

    • Stonky

      “All this circles back to the Trump dossier. If what I said above is true, what secret was it that Sergei had to tell?”

      I really don’t think it’s very complicated. The “Trump dossier” must have seemed a wizard wheeze at the time. A no-risk strategy for the UK to ingratiate itself with the incoming POTUS and demonstrate that we continue to be the US’s ever-reliable poodle. And an opportunity to poke that horrid Donald Trump in the eye at the same time! And who better than Pablo, Christopher and Sergei to cobble together something with a robust smell of intel credibility about it! Those Brits, eh! What a piece of work! Following the anointing, it’s all firm handshakes and warm chuckles in the Oval Office…Trebles all round!

      Fast forward a few months and the wizard wheeze is suddenly starting to look like the stupidest idea anybody ever had. That idiotic clown Clinton has only gone and lost the unlosable election. Queasy smirks as we imagine a whey-faced Teresa May trembling in the Oval Office as she begs Trump for a post-Brexit trade deal, while he taps his fingers on a pile of papers on his desk and wonders whether we could start with a deal on trade in dossiers…

      At that point Sergei mutates from the hero of the hour to a complete liability, and he knows it. He could cause untold damage to Britain’s interests, and he knows it. He needs to be got rid of, and he knows it. He’s desperately looking for a bolthole, but unfortunately communications channels that he thought were secure turn out not to be – ironically, perhaps partly as a result of his own previous “loyal service”.

      MI6 know exactly what is going on, and they’re just waiting to spring their own little trap…

      • James

        Stonky – yes, this does make some sense. But then – why did they poison Skripal with fentanyl – and then `rescue’ them rather than get some of the real stuff (Novichok) into them and make sure they were dead?

        I’m convinced that somehow MI6 lured the two Russian stooges Semmit and Drawers over – just so that they would be present in the right place at the right time.

        Is there any evidence that Christopher Steele is still alive? How about Pablo Miller? Is there any evidence that Sergei and Yulia Skripal are still alive?

        • Stonky

          We’ve no idea what happened in the park James – who was poisoned with what, if anything. It’s even possible that the couple in the park weren’t Sergei and Yulia – that they had already been spirited away. That would be one good reason for not allowing any CCTV footage into the public domain. And MI6 may have needed Sergei alive as they were obviously looking for something, hence the need to dismantle his house.

          I’m pretty sure that the two stooges were lured over. They may well have had – and indeed conducted – business with Sergei, but it’s obvious that MI6 had tabs on them all the way.

          The only two things I’m absolutely sure of are (1) not a single line of the official narrative makes any sense and (2) none of it is true.

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            I agree we shouldn’t speculate too much.

            Just a thought though: could Skripal have been holding some sort of “collateral” that would be extremely embarrassing or damaging to the Powers That Be?

            It has often crossed my mind that Skripal might have been planning a return to Russia. In this case he might have been offering them something interesting enough to forget about him selling out his colleagues and country. He might even have begun to feel unsafe in the UK, but not because “Putin’s going to get me”.

          • James Charles


            Do you know if V.V.P. ever ‘enquires’ as to the ‘fate’ of the Skirpals?

            And, if not, why not?

          • Tatyana

            Hi, James Charles.
            Putin’s position on Skripal is in his interview with Oliver Stone, June 2019. I found a transcript on the Kremlin’s website

            Oliver Stone: What happened to Skripal? Where is he?
            Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. He is a spy, he hides all the time.
            OS: There were talks he would return to Russia, that he had some kind of information.
            VP: Yes, I was told that he wants to write a paper, to ask to return.
            OS: They said that he was going to return here and provide some information to the press.
            VP: I doubt it. He has already ‘left the stage’*. What information could he have?
            OS: Then, who poisoned him? They say that the British intelligence services could do this because they did not want him to return to Russia.
            VP: Honestly, I don’t really believe in that. I don’t believe.
            OS: But that would be logical. Do you disagree?
            VP: If they wanted to poison him, they would do that.
            OS: But who then did it?
            VP: In fact, in current position it’s not that difficult to do this. Sure. I don’t know, a milligram perhaps is enough. He was in their hands, that was not at all difficult.
            No, something is wrong here. Maybe just a scandal was needed.
            OS: I think everything is much more complicated. You know, I believe in conspiracy theory.
            VP: I do not believe it.
            OS: But I believe.
            VP: You shouldn’t. Take care of yourself.

            * left the stage – Putin uses ‘вышел из обоймы’. Russian idiom describing a cartrige ejected out of the gun’s cage after the shot.

          • James Charles

            Thanks for that.
            It appears that ‘enquires’ are not made, and no ‘reason’ is given?

          • Tatyana

            Why the hell would Putin be interested in Skripal?
            Putin is the president, the diplomatic scandal is the trouble for the country, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working for this, it’s Lavrov’s responsibility.
            Relatives may be personally interested, so, Victoria made efforts, involving the help of lawyers and consulates.
            Putin is no Skripal’s friend. For him personally, Skripal is of no value. Do you think Putin would make an effort to find out the fate of Skripal? For God’s sake, he despises him. He clearly explained this in an interview in 2018.

            ” I see that some information sources, your colleagues, are pushing the idea that Mr. Skripal is somewhat like a human rights activist. He is just a spy. Traitor to the motherland. Do you understand? There is such a thing as a “traitor to the homeland.” Here he is – one of them. He’s just a scumbag. That’s all.
            Listen, if they say that we poisoned Skripal, well … you want to say that we poisoned some crazy person there? I sometimes look at what is happening around this case and I am simply surprised!
            Some men arrived and began to poison homeless people there in the UK. What is this nonsense? What is it? It is assumed that they work in cleaning, or what?
            No need to poison there. This Skripal is a traitor, as I said. He was caught, he was punished, served a total of five years in prison, we released him and that’s it. Doing between the security services, it did not appear yesterday, right? As you know, espionage as well as prostitution is one of the most important professions in the world.”

          • Goose


            Many throw the Occam’s razor principle at those who question the official line.

            But using that very same principle, the convoluted plot to kill him using dangerous substance ‘Novichok’ and the incredible risks to those in contact with it, makes little sense either. If a state wanted him dead how did he [Sergei] ever survive his Russian prison sentence?

            People in the UK press who accuse Craig of conjecture and promoting conspiracies, are quick to promote their own conjecture that, “Putin wanted to send a message” and “shooting him or strangling him i.e., the usual methods of easy assassination, wouldn’t have sent that “scary” message.

          • James Charles

            I did say Skirpals.
            It appears that ‘enquires’ are not made, and no ‘reason’ is given?

          • Tatyana

            I’m sorry, your question was
            “Do you know if V.V.P. ever ‘enquires’ as to the ‘fate’ of the Skirpals?”
            that’s why I answered about Putin’s position.

            If you mean Do you know if Russia ever ‘enquires’ as to the ‘fate’ of the Skirpals?
            then look, Russian Prosecutor Office ‘enquired’ in March and April, also, Russian Foreign Offfice forwarded over 80 ‘enquires’

            All requests are declined by the UK.

        • David

          @James any evidence Steele is alive?
          It depends which country you search in!
          Let’s break-out of UK media bubble with a targeted {Google/”slurp” search} “Steele” (About 18600 results, impressive coverage, from one website) answer = Yes, Steele lives…

          (Search terms used)

          Found a complete thread, with much detail:
          With this source, one of many (embarrassing to uk) reports in the last month

          Back to UK media bubble, compare “Slurp” on a reasonable, fast-moving, web based UK newspaper – evening standard (About 1620 results, many from 2017)

          (Search terms used)

          In the past month, SFA – nothing, even though there were court cases etc, Steele is missing!

          I smell Steele D-notices, DASM, Agency briefings to UK bought-Media, or whatever else is a reasonable story? As for Pablo Miller, Slurp simply links (me at least) to OGH, although an outwith Slurp-bubble, using Russki-slurp, gets quite a few more sources

      • George

        The Steele dossier reminds oh the Hitler fairies which the times was taken in my years ok. Another financial scam.

  • ewan

    Skřipat , past tense Skřipal, means ‘to squeak’ in Czech. Also, in phrases, ‘ not going smoothly’ or ‘gnashing one’s teeth’

    • Tatyana

      Skripal is ukrainian word for ‘a violinist’, derived from ‘skripka’ – ‘a violin’, the root is ‘skrip’ in modern slav languages means ‘to creak, to squeak’.

          • ewan

            Thank you Tatyana – down in the underground.

            Do you think they took Skripals to Pluk? Or maybe they were imprisoned on a dead planet by Alphans – Kju

          • Tatyana

            Well, I am inclined to believe that Skripal knew what he was doing and consciously took part in the performance. I also think that he used Julia “blindly”, she did not know what she was doing. I believe that Skripal did not like Russia and did not approve of his daughter’s desire to live there. Then, having played this show, he and Julia settled in some previously prepared place, quite possibly in Spain.

            Among many assumptions, I have such a theory:
            Skripal and MI6 pretend that an employee of the US embassy, ​​where Julia worked, leakes some extremely valuable information and evidence. They make the Russians aware that Julia will transfer this information and evidence to Sergey during her visit to Britain. The Russians arrive in Salisbury to spy on Skripals and to figure out who is the receiver. But at this moment, “Novichok Poisoning” happens. Thus, the Russians become “Skripal poisoners” and the topic of chemical weapons in Russia and Syria arises.
            It makes a perfect pretext for military operations, and most importantly, an excellent pretext for America to maintain military in the Middle East, moreover, to urge all Western countries to unite in the war there. Porton Down gets its good money, military companies get good money, Mrs. May’s husband gets his fair bonus from Lockheed Martin. Good profit at little expence for everyone, except Russia.

      • Spencer Eagle

        In the UK a violin is often referred to as a fiddle, the other use of the term ‘fiddle’ describes an act of defrauding, cheating, or falsifying, how apt for Skripal.

  • Deb O'Nair

    Sergei Skripal was *most likely* a compromised triple agent and the UK fabricated the Salisbury incident for various geopolitical gains, particularly in Syria in the short term and against Putin in the longer term.

  • Red Corvair

    I don’t think I’m the only one who would be ready, whenever it is possible for you of course, to contribute in a fundraising for the financing of an independent documentary on this sordid Skripals affair, which would clearly show the facts as they are, and expose the publicly financed BBC, The Guardian and such corrupt outlets for what they are: despicable propagandists and servants of causes and interests that don’t benefit the public at all, on the contrary.

  • SayLess

    Have there been any videos that review or critique the documentary? I’ve not found any yet, and don’t have a BBC licence, so can’t watch it at source.

  • Tom74

    Just a thought, but maybe the unbelievable narrative of the drama is deliberate? The idea would be to get people talking about the ‘absurdities’ of the Skipral case to take the heat off present political matters, such as the coronavirus narrative, which is as full of holes as a colander.
    This suits the British government no end. The gullible and the flag-wavers will believe the government’s Skipral narrative. how ever ridiculous. while the skeptics will argue among themselves over their own pet theories while not being in possession of most – or any – of the facts.
    If we’re honest, this has been what’s been happening here for a week. With no commentators agreeing on what really happened and no theory offered above the line, we’re no further forward.

    • John Goss

      Though I never watched it myself Tom74 I think the bulk of comments have been unfavourable both for the drama and the real life drama and I don’t see much conjecture. With the other business “as full of holes as a colander” there has certainly been conjecture and the country is divided. Thankfully the essence of that has been drained through the colander holes and some are starting to see the light.

    • Giyane


      The only explanation I can see for the chaos is Bojo Birdsnest . You’re so busy looking at the hair thst the deceit written all over his face passes you by.
      Fact is Bojo is up to his eyeballs in Putin politics and collaborates with him on many fronts , carving up the Middle East between then like good old Empire2 bullingdon boys prononced with a strong Slavic slur.

      It is 100% essential for their joint criminal enterprises that the general public believe the Russians are our enemies. And the Chinese.
      It is of course 100% essential as well that this truth does not get aired on here. At least not before CM’s fit-up. And Tories themselves are itching to know what Bojo’s mayoral links with Russia and Turkey really are.

  • Assange Tells the Truth

    Skimming through the appallingly insulting and profoundly ignorant comments of British and American hate-filled bile on an article in Daily Mail about Julian Assange and his children makes one realise how utterly uncivilised and intellectually challenged are the two nations of warmongers. I am revolted by these people. They each have a long history of murder, torture, lies and criminal activity. Justice for Assange !

    • Robert

      I am a member of Liberty. I’ve emailed them twice and written once asking whether they have an opinion on the Assange case. Answer came there none.

      • Spencer Eagle

        Don’t waste your time, Liberty has and always will be a shill organisation, it only exists to give the illusion of oversight and scrutiny to government excesses

        • David

          I guess that around 5% of the staff members of any organisation that “has power”, is covertly a secret squirrel.
          That’s a lower-bound, based on personal experience, some orgs obviously have a much higher percentage of controlled members, often in high policy control. That’s after all what total information control, full-take telecoms, all retained telecommunications data etc. is needed for.(1)

          Public Domain: DARPA 2002 vision, with Law Enforcement ‘subverted’ all in the sense of external hobgoblins….whilst it’s ‘highly likely’ that judges, journo’s, anyone is captured being naughty, ends up how one of the Fat Ladies described Anthony Charles Lyndon B. as being ‘not prosecuted’ – just signed-on; her allegations, it makes sense, but does it defend the realm in the way we are told?

    • Goose

      Can’t make sense of the Trump administration’s aggressive approach towards Assange. Assange is the one person capable of proving the whole Russian collusion nonsense is and was just that.

      The intel community’s hatred of Assange and WikiLeaks is understandable, he and WikiLeaks are a thorn in their side. But vast majority of western liberal/centrist hatred for Assange stems from the belief he somehow worked with Russia to put Trump into power.

      Forgive my ignorance, for not following this case as closely as many here have. I do think his continuing incarceration is a travesty btw.

      But there is an element to this that’s puzzling : It was widely reported someone offered a pardon to Assange on behalf of US President Donald Trump. It was reported all Assange had to do was state categorically Russia wasn’t involved in passing WikiLeaks the leaked Democratic Party emails. Assange already denies Russia was involved, but apparently wouldn’t take the offer? Why?

      • Bayard

        Possibly because this “It was widely reported someone offered a pardon to Assange on behalf of US President Donald Trump. ” isn’t true?

        • Goose

          Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence agency.” So maybe that explains the thinking.

          There is definitely an attempt underway to control everything: control the politicians; control the media and have zero accountability and it didn’t start under Trump. It goes almost without saying, but these agencies are hugely overreaching, if to operate, they feel the need to subvert our institutions, judiciary, values and hard won rights. Just what are they fighting to protect at that point?

  • Marmite

    So ridiculously middle-class and dim-witted as usual. But you need to understand how the bourgeois groupies think, I suppose.

    Enablers and collaborators? Surely she is writing about herself and The Guardian, and all the other bloody, spineless, two-faced, pseudo journalists out there.

    I don’t mind Trump-bashing, but surely it needs to be done from a informed position rather than one of middle-class hypocrisy.

    • David

      Wikispooks, when checked, show that most comments about Harding being MI6 seem to originate on Craig Murray’s blog….,far be it frim me to downplay that tradition.

      I haven’t had the time/energy to Steele myself for their Long Read, just seeing their trail blurb was enough to inspire a comment!

      The unmasking of the Salisbury poisoning suspects by online investigative journalists was an embarrassment for Vladimir Putin. Luke Harding relates the gripping story of how the killers’ (1)analogue spying techniques were hopelessly inadequate in the digital age – a “chain of stupidity”, one former agent says – and what it tells us about Russia’s wider, chaos-ridden decline….

      (1)”Long Story” big picture of the “GRU” ‘noisy’ double

      decline?, surely wishful thinking there Mr.Integrity?

      ….Brexit, could still plausibly be shown one-day to have been a Putin-nudge; Russia does a lot of dangerous spookery, but very subtly. The sanctions alone reversed any “decline”, as they pushed the pivot to China & home Rus manufacturing. The external funded jihadist etc overthrow attempt on sovereign Syria, failed, and allowed Russia to show its military “decline”….. “Phil Space” , (continued page 94)

      • John Jesus Angleton

        Could Mr Harding please explain to me how ensuring the election of Donald Trump and winning the brexit refeendum shows the inadequacies of Russia’s spying agencies?

        Decline? Controlling the USA and crippling Europe looks to me a better result than having 3 agents in place as leaders of western democracies (Harold Wilson, Willi Brandt and Olaf Palme).

          • David

            seems there’s a big NATO/OTAN zoom teleconference starting tomorrow, perhaps the Skripal Porton-Panto & MI6 articles in the Grauniad is to give our PM something positive to say?

            it’s bound to be an interesting NATO/OTAN what with Fr**** and Tu**** (1) recently shooting etc at each-others frigates over supporting different factions in the Libya mess, maybe I’m wrong!

            (1) identities redacted to avoid embarrassing NATO members, if that’s possible?

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      What a laugh. A complete crock of excrement.

      As I am not fond of the smell of diarrhea, I only skimmed this short work of fiction.

      One thing did make me laugh.

      They {the two Russians} were professional spies, and so lacked media experience.

      Doesn’t everyone know that the first required skill of a professional spy is to be able to lie without blinking an eye (literally) and maintain a cover story and facade at all times?

      • Goose

        Not just Harding, but at least two others named as linked to the Integrity Initiative.

        How can their investigative reporters feel comfortable with these people lugging in, reporting back to spooks?

        Matt Kennard in a tweet revealed:

        ‘Guardian’s deputy editor @paul__johnson joined state censorship D-Notice committee (run by MOD) after Snowden revelations in sop to British spooks. In board minutes, they thank him for being “instrumental in re-establishing links” between UK mil/intel and Guardian. Explains a lot’

        Maybe there is some quid pro quo with the intel agencies whereby they give the guardian stories, like throwing a dog a bone? Seems certain that the intel story averse guardian, under Viner, almost certainly wouldn’t reveal the Snowden stuff if presented with similar cache of documents again. Nearly everyone associated with that story has been replaced, or left, Glenn Greenwald is especially missed.

        It’s interesting because when the Snowden stuff broke, staff reported crews of workmen turning up outside the guardian HQs (both UK and US) for unscheduled road maintenance; outside the homes of reporters too. If agencies can go to these lengths, it’d be silly to believe they can’t try to take control of a pesky newspaper.

    • Ort

      A Tory MP described Bellingcat as a truly remarkable group of digital detectives.

      Even to an observer in the US, it’s refreshing to learn that a Tory MP made an honest, accurate statement.

      Bellingcat is “a truly remarkable group of digital detectives”, exactly as the Ministry of Silly Walks is a truly remarkable group of civil servants.

  • Wikikettle

    Another very brave show by George Galloway on MOATS on Sunday evening. He gave a rare platform to the survivors of the attack on US spy ship Liberty. Why LBJ ordered the jets to return to the carrier. The cover up and failed attempt to kill everyone on board and hide what the ship has witnessed.

  • Wikikettle

    If our security services were so good, why did they not warn Prince Andrew about Maxwell and Epstein, and all the other blackmailed movers and shakers ? Austin Powers more than James Bond as George says.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      MI5/6 may well have warned Andrew Windsor. We don’t know. The “Prince” thought he was untouchable. And it seems likely that Epstein and Maxwell were collaborating with if not working for Israeli intelligence of some kind. So perhaps they even thought Andrew’s “friendship” with Epstein would actually help a “friendly” intelligence service by giving Epstein greater respectability.

      Andrew also continued his “friendship” even after Epstein was convicted. This is was the moment when many of Epstein’s “friends” dumped him. I suppose Mr. A. Windsor is just not too bright upstairs or perhaps those young girls were just too irresistible.

      • David

        As UK webspace is regularly cleaned of anything ‘helpful’/’informative’ I’ll have to resort to a well-connected belgian source, I’ll name this mole “euObserver” – a newspaper that I rarely read, with Javascript on anyway, to see what they parenthetically think about Randy Andy & his alleged Kids…. (DailyMail passim)

        Evidence of sex with minors was “the strongest form of kompromat [compromising material]” that a hostile intelligence service could wish for, one of the former spy-catchers said

        finish it off with a similar sourced-news about a couple of apparently *real* russian collaborators, in belgium, in OTAN, with full access to all COSMIC secrets , Eh Luke?, “analogue-idiots?” – or “crypto so good that GCHQ/NSA couldn’t decrypt?” which is true?

        I worry about GRU more than NSA….
        ….but mostly just defend my data from Google

  • Jm

    Luke Harding this morning with a lengthy piece bolstering the official narrative in the Grauniad.

    I wont post a link because….Luke Harding and the Grauniad.

    Trebles all round.

  • Altered States

    I see the Guardian today has an article entitled “The unmasking of the Salisbury poisoning suspects by a new digital journalism outfit was an embarrassment for Putin – and evidence that Russian spies are not what they once were”:

    The author is Luke Harding, who Craig Murray has previously identified as an “MI6 mouthpiece”:

    Mark Curtis has done a great investigative piece on the Guardian’s close links to British intelligence: “The Guardian, Britain’s leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the ‘security state’, according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists”:

    • Ken Kenn

      I read the article.

      The main takeaway I think was that it’s alright for NATO (the US) to bomb on behalf of the Syrian ‘ Rebels ‘
      but not fair/alright for the Russians to bomb or supply the Libyan military to bomb back.

      This has been US military policy for a long time.

      We bomb you – you can’t bomb us as it’s not fair because ‘ we ‘ are democracies.

      Being as Luke is great on gleaning info and videos – has he or Bellingcat got any pictures/videos of these fiendish ( but hapless ) Russian spies creeping up behind the Skripals in Salisbury Town Centre and doing the deed?

      Or were the Russian pair hanging around to see if what they did worked?

      Oh – hang on a minute this is where the door(s?)come in.

      They have footage alright and they aren’t showing it for a reason.

      Not even Luke can get a Luke in.

      • Tatyana

        When Johnson caught this virus, I felt certain feelings, thus I had to admit that I am a malicious woman.

        Now, when they discuss these two “Russian assassins”, and bring out the details about ordering a prostitute in the hotel, it shakes all my ideas about my own moral stature, because I am too curious whether it was a female prostitute or a male prostitute.

        I believe, that in order to maintain the chastity of Russian housewives, the story of Boshirov and Petrov should not be covered in the media! For God’s sake! Does anyone know details?

  • Border Bus

    BBC- Lets have a close up of Pablo, Christopher and Mark – just so we know who we are up against.
    You are on our side?

  • Giyane

    My tea is being ruined by the BBC filling already tedious news slots with Thatcherite think tanks and droning yanks navelgazing very slowly as if they only found it yesterday as a result of lockdown boredom.

    Now there is a BBC insider talkIng about the BBC.
    It’s a slow silly season when summer holidays start in March and end in next March. Having said that I did a one day experimental day’s work, and the customer refused to open the windows.
    So apparently the repetition has not been repeated often enough or slowly enough for the message to sink in.
    Skripalgate is the new news substitute . Pure synthesised drama. Thank God , it’s time for the weather. At least that changes occasionally.
    Oh no , back to bojo’s Tiny Tots nursery rhymes again..

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