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Sun04Mar MI6 Russian Sergei Skripal, Salisbury nerve agent?
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject: Sun04Mar MI6 Russian Sergei Skripal, Salisbury nerve agent? Reply with quote

The Sun - disinfo. source of choice - is saying its not a nerve agent
UK chemical weapons central, is Porton Down

Russian spy: Police seek to identify nerve agent source
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43326734

32 minutes ago - Counter-terrorism officers are working to uncover the origin of the nerve agent used in the attempted murder of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury.

The pair were found unconscious and are critically ill in hospital, along with a police officer who went to their aid.

A source told BBC News the chemical used on Sunday was likely to be rarer than Sarin or VX nerve agents.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd is expected to make a statement in the Commons.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Ms Rudd said the police officer remained in a very serious condition but was "talking and engaging" so she was "optimistic" for him.

Police said government scientists had identified the nerve agent used, but would not make that information public at this stage.

The source familiar with the investigation told the BBC it was likely to be rarer than the Sarin gas thought to have been used in Syria and in an attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.

And it was said not to be VX - the nerve agent used to kill the half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Malaysia last year.

Russian spy: What we know so far
The 'quintessentially English' home of a Russian spy
Sergei Skripal and the 14 deaths under scrutiny
What now for UK-Russia relations?

Col Skripal, 66, was convicted of passing secrets to MI6 but given refuge in the UK in 2010 as part of a "spy swap".

It is known that he and his 33-year-old daughter had visited the Bishop's Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury before they were found collapsed on a bench near the Maltings shopping centre.

A witness, who saw the pair at the restaurant, told the BBC Mr Skripal was acting "very strange" and was "very agitated".

"He seemed to lose his temper... and he just started screaming at the top of his voice, he wanted his bill and he wanted to go."

Police have yet to say if they know how and where the poison was administered.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: "This is being treated as a major incident involving attempted murder, by administration of a nerve agent.

"Having established that a nerve agent is the cause of the symptoms... I can also confirm that we believe that the two people who became unwell were targeted specifically."

He added: "Our role now of course is to establish who is behind this and why they carried out this act."

Nerve agents are highly toxic chemicals that stop the nervous system working and shut down bodily functions.

They normally enter the body through the mouth or nose, but can also be absorbed through the eyes or skin.

Mr Rowley said there was no evidence of a widespread health risk to the public.

Police said they wanted to speak to anyone who was in the centre of Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.

They are particularly keen to hear from people who ate at Zizzi or drank in the Bishop's Mill pub between 13:00 and 16:00 GMT.

Both sites remain closed to the public.

There is also a cordon in place outside Mr Skripal's Salisbury home and part of a business park in nearby Amesbury.

Hundreds of detectives, forensic officers, analysts and intelligence officers are working on the case, which has drawn comparison with the killing of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006.

A public inquiry concluded his death was probably carried out with the approval of President Putin. [utter rubbish of course, just more cheap Russia bashing]

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told MPs on Tuesday that the UK would respond "robustly" to any evidence of Russian "state responsibility" in the Skripal case.

Russia has insisted it has "no information" about what could have led to the incident, but is open to co-operating with British police if requested.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said foreign media had used the case as part of an anti-Russian campaign.

Who is Sergei Skripal?
Image caption Col Skripal, 66, had been living in Salisbury after being released by Russia in 2010

Colonel Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer, was jailed for 13 years by Russia in 2006.

He was convicted of passing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe to the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

In July 2010, he was one of four prisoners released by Moscow in exchange for 10 Russian spies arrested by the FBI.

After a Cold War-style spy swap at Austria's Vienna airport, Col Skripal moved to Salisbury, where he kept a low profile for eight years.

http://s20.onlinevideoconverter.com/download?file=c2g6h7b1j9c2a0b1.mp3

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Last edited by TonyGosling on Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:11 am; edited 2 times in total
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this real, or theatre?
'Another Russian spy, like Litvinenko, that Putin has poisoned in the UK'?

Salisbury poisoning: Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, daughter Yulia and first police officer on scene are 'all in comas'
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/salisbury-poisoning-exrussian-spy-s ergei-skripal-daughter-yulia-and-first-policeman-on-scene-all-in-a3784 441.html

Poisoned spy, daughter and first PC on scene are 'all in comas'

Poisoned former spy Sergei Skripal, his daughter and the first police officer on the scene are all in comas, according to reports.

The ex-Russian army colonel, who sold secrets to MI5, was targeted by a nerve agent in what is feared to be an assassination attempt orchestrated by the Kremlin.

Mr Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.

Sky News reported they are both in comas in intensive care, along with the police officer who first arrived following calls from concerned members of the public.

A Whitehall source told The Times: “The feeling is that [Sergei Skripal] is not going to make it out of this.

“I think it could be more positive [for Yulia]. They are hopeful that she might be able to pull through.”

The police officer’s condition is believed to be less severe than the other two victims.

It comes as counter-terror police work to unravel what appears to be a sophisticated chemical weapon plot.

It remains unclear who is responsible for poisoning the pair, but the attack has stoked tensions between Britain and Russia amid suspicions of state responsibility.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons about the incident on Thursday.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of counter-terrorism policing, revealed on Wednesday that the incident was being treated as attempted murder and the pair had been "targeted specifically".
[spyne2a.jpg]
An investigator in protective gear after the alleged poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal (PA)

He declined to specify the nerve agent or how it was administered.

He said: "Having established that a nerve agent was the cause of the symptoms, leading us to treat this as attempted murder, I can also confirm that we believe the two people who originally became unwell were targeted specifically.

"Our role now of course is to establish who is behind this and why they carried out this act."

Hundreds of detectives, forensic officers and analysts are working on the case, which has drawn comparisons to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko on British soil in 2006.
New pictures show Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal on CCTV days before falling critically ill

Nerve agents, which are chemical weapons, have been used in assassinations and attacks in war zones in recent years.

Kim Jong Un's half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed at an international airport in Malaysia last year in an attack using a nerve agent known as VX.

Another well-known nerve agent, sarin gas, killed more than 90 people in a rebel-held area in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, drawing international condemnation of the Bashar Assad regime.
[an142866876police-inside-a-.jpg]
Police inside a Zizzi restaurant near to where the pair were discovered in Salisbury (PA)

Access to such toxins are tightly regulated, meaning the Salisbury plot would have taken considerable planning to execute.

Mr Rowley reiterated his appeal for anyone who was in Salisbury city centre on Sunday to come forward to help with the "missing pieces" in the case.

Read more

CCTV shows poisoned Russian spy buying sausages and scratchcards

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, said the incident posed a "low risk" to the public and advised that all the sites the par were known to have visited had been "secured".

Public Health England later confirmed it had contacted all first responders who had attended the scene.

Russia have denied responsibility for the attack, which comes seven years after Mr Skripal was released from the country as part of a spy swap with the US.

He had been convicted in his home country in 2006 for passing state secrets to MI6.
Boris Johnson threatens fresh Russia sanctions if Kremlin responsible for Sergei Skripal 'poisoning'

The investigation has triggered a diplomatic row and prompted crisis talks in Whitehall but Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police must respond to "evidence, not to rumour".

It comes as police extended the cordons in Salisbury city centre, and also sealed off part of a business park in nearby Amesbury.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in nearby Porton Down, which has state-of-the-art equipment to look for trace amounts of substances, is believed to have been involved in examining the substance.

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http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One article suggests his behaviour was strange in the restaurant so why would the first police officer on the scene , some time and distance also be affected and noone else in the restaurant or close by... is it transferred by touch??

First i heard a policeman was affected was the same time as the nerve gas was being reported identified.

The guys in chemical suits were very quickly on the scene...possibly suggesting prior knowledge or possibly suspected when identity of spy was known

Quote:
" The nerve agent needs to be ingested, inhaled or to penetrate through the skin, so it usually requires the person delivering it to get very close to the people they are targeting"


Quote:
Dr Andrea Sella, professor of inorganic chemistry at University College London, said because of the extreme toxicity of the nerve agents it would be "very dangerous" to the person who delivered the poisoning.........You would need to be very close to these chemicals to be affected by them.


bit more news

Quote:
Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people on the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting. She had also lost control of her bodily functions.

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal's face or body.

The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, but added that she "feels fine".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43337962
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you expect us to believe a DETECTIVE SERGEANT, not a PC, was the first called to the scene?

Sergei Skripal: Police officer poisoned by 'very rare' nerve agent named as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/russian-spy-poisoning-polic e-officer-nerve-agent-salisbury-hospital-amber-rudd-sergei-skripal-a82 45261.html
Home Secretary attacks 'brazen and reckless act...attempted murder in the most cruel and public way'

Lizzie Dearden, Samuel Osborne @lizziedearden 9 hours ago


The Independent Online
Russian TV anchor says it is 'rare that traitors live'

21 people treated following Russia spy poisoning, police say
A police officer who was poisoned by a nerve agent in the attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter is sitting up and talking in hospital as the hunt continues for the culprits.

He was named as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, amid hopes he will make a full recovery.

DS Bailey was given a formal commendation by Wiltshire Police in 2016 for his work putting a serial rapist who targeted victims over four decades behind bars.


Investigators hunting network over nerve agent attack on Russian spy
Sergei Skripal was in ‘regular contact with Russian embassy’
Police confirm nerve agent was used on former Russian spy and daughter
Kier Pritchard, the force's temporary Chief Constable, said the officer was missed by his colleagues but should be “back on his feet and back at work very soon”.

After visiting DS Bailey in the intensive care unit, where his wife was by his bedside, the officer said: “I've known Nick for many years, he's a great character, he's a huge presence in Wiltshire Police - well liked, well loved, a massively dedicated officer.

“He's well, he's sat up. He is not the Nick that I know but of course he's receiving a high level of treatment.”

DS Bailey, who joined Wiltshire Police in 2002, was given a formal commendation in 2016 for his work putting a serial rapist who targeted victims over four decades behind bars.

T/Chief Constable Pritchard said he was “massively proud” of the officer and all his staff for their response, which will be the subject of a church service at St Thomas's, in Salisbury city centre next month.

“We’ve had multiple officers involved, there’s been a total of 21 people including the main two index patients…a number of those have been through the hospital treatment process,” the officer added.

“They’re having blood tests, they’ve having treatment, support and advice provided.”


READ MORE
21 people treated following Russia spy poisoning, police say
Security sources told The Independent several people are believed to be behind the assassination attempt in Salisbury, and are likely to be “either present or past state-sponsored actors”.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in intensive care in hospital and authorities have not said whether they can recover.

Amber Rudd told the House of Commons both remain unconscious, in a critical but stable condition.

“The officer was one of the first responders on Sunday, acting selflessly to help others,” the Home Secretary said. “The latest update from the hospital is that the officer remains serious but stable and is conscious, talking and engaging.”

Ms Rudd said the nerve agent used was “very rare” but declined to name the precise chemical and emphasised that the risk to the public was low.

“Samples from the victims have been tested by experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down,” she added, referring to the secretive military facility where nerve agents have been developed and tested over decades of controversial research.

“That forensic analysis has revealed the presence of a nerve agent and the incident is therefore being treated as attempted murder.

skripal-scene.jpg
(PA)
“It is highly likely the police officer has been exposed to the same nerve agent.”

Downing Street said Theresa May was being kept updated by officials on developments in the case and has sent her personal thanks to police.

“It’s clear that this was an appalling and reckless crime and the public will rightly want those responsible to be identified and held to account,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.


READ MORE
Boris Johnson warns Russia after apparent poisoning of former MI6 spy
“But it is important that we avoid speculation and allow police and others to rigorously establish the full facts. As the Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary have made clear, our response to those found to be responsible will be robust.”

Suspicion has turned to the Russian government, which jailed Mr Skripal for “treason” in 2006, or former spies he betrayed while working for MI6 during his time a colonel in the GRU military intelligence service.

He was given refuge in Britain after being exchanged in 2010 for Russian agents caught in the West as part of a Cold War-style swap in Vienna.

Mr Skripal appears to have lived a quiet life in a semi-detached home in Salisbury, but a former associate, Valery Morozov, believes he had not completely retired from espionage.

front-sergei-skripal.jpg
(AP)
“Every month [he was] going to the Russian embassy to meet military intelligence officers,” he told Channel 4 News, claiming that that the former double agent was keeping “dangerous” company.

The Russian Embassy said they were not aware of any meetings and denied any involvement by its security services.

Ms Rudd declined to say whether she regarded Russia as responsible for the attack but said the Government will put a plan in place to respond when the culprit is identified, adding that there was “nothing soft about the UK’s response”.

“The use of a nerve agent on UK soil is a brazen and reckless act,” she told MPs.

“This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way – people are right to want to know who to hold to account.

“But we are to be rigorous in this investigation we must avoid speculation and allow police to continue their investigation.

“We will respond in a robust and appropriate matter once we ascertain who is responsible.”

The attack in Salisbury may prompt further action following on from the Government’s Criminal Finances Act, which was inspired by the US’s Magnitsky Act.

yulia-skripal.jpg
Yulia Skripal, who was poisoned along with her father, Sergei Skripal (Facebook)
In measures introduced last year, it allowed the assets of international human rights violators to be frozen, and powers could be strengthened by the Sanctions Bill, which is currently going through committees in the Houses of Parliament.

Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, said Russia was becoming an “ever-greater threat”, citing its “aggressive stance” in Eastern Europe and alleged support for separatists in Ukraine.

“Russia’s changing the way they actually fight and raise the level of conflict,” he added. “We are seeing this in the north Atlantic as well, the amount of submarines that are operating, there’s a 10-fold increase in the last seven years.

“Russia’s being assertive, Russia’s being more aggressive, and we have to change the way that we deal with it because we can’t be in a situation in these areas of conflict where we are being pushed around by another nation.”

Mr Williamson also declined to say whether he held Russia responsible for the attack in Salisbury, saying: “What’s happened is absolutely disgusting and it is so important we give the police the space and opportunity to do a proper and thorough investigation.”

Hundreds of detectives, forensic specialists, analysts and intelligence officers working around the clock on the case, police said.

They are examining CCTV and building a detailed timeline of events, while specialist officers in protective clothing continue investigations and decontamination activity at cordoned off areas of Salisbury.

The work is expected to take several days, while police appeal for witnesses who were in and around the city centre on Sunday afternoon to come forward.

Mr Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre at around 4.15pm.

UK news in pictures
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They had eaten at a nearby Zizzi restaurant and gone for a drink at The Mill pub, with both establishments still cordoned off.

Chemical weapons experts told The Independent that the nerve agent could have been administered in a variety of ways, including in their food or drink, and in the form of a spray or liquid.

Sarin has been used globally in both liquid and gas forms, while the even stronger nerve agent VX – developed in the British military’s secretive Porton Down facility – was used to assassinate Kim Jong-un’s brother last year.

Dr Jennifer Cole, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, said anyone manufacturing nerve agents needs advanced chemical knowledge and some form of laboratory.

“With something that dangerous you need to know exactly what you’re doing, particularly so that you don’t get it on yourself,” she told The Independent.

“It wouldn’t be difficult to manufacture in the UK – it wouldn’t have to be imported.”

Dr Cole said that when nerve agents are absorbed through the skin or inhaled, they are very fast-acting.

“The fact that there doesn’t seem to have been anyone with them when they collapsed could point to it being ingested - the need to digest would slow the reaction and give whoever administered it chance to get away,” she added.

Antidotes do exist to several nerve agents but their effectiveness relies on them being administered immediately to counteract their rapid effect on the nervous system.

More about: Sergei SkripalAmber RuddSalisburyReuse content

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:30 pm    Post subject: Russian agent has a nerve? Reply with quote

One question. How on Earth would a trained, state assassin administer the nerve agent without getting himself killed?

Was it sprayed on Skripal by some aerosol and it blew on his daughter?

How did the assassin do it without wearing a Hazmat suit?

How come it hasn't killed anyone? Why go to the trouble of using a nerve agent if it didn't actually kill anyone?

I heard Skripal and his daughter was found slumped on a bench. Now, we're told they were votimiting. WHich is it?

The story doesn't add up.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:37 pm    Post subject: Why Russia? Reply with quote

Two reasons for the anti-Russian hysteria.

1. Russia paid off its debts to the West at around 2007 and the West therefore lost its leverage against it.

According to a House of Commons inquiry -
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmfaff/51/5105 .htm
12. Notwithstanding elements of continuity, in several respects the Russian stance which has emerged in 2007 represents an important change compared to the late Yeltsin and early Putin periods. Dr Pravda told us that that Russian foreign policy had entered a "new [?] phase" in 2007.[12] For one thing, according to Dr Pravda, "Rather than responding to Western moves, as has been its tendency for most of the post-Soviet period, Moscow [now] wants to play a more proactive part in setting the international agenda."[13] Moreover, Russia now feels that it has the resources and the legitimacy to take such a proactive global role. According to Dr Allison, Russia's chairmanship of the G8 in 2006 "reinforced [Russia's] perception" of itself "as a leader in its own right".[14] Russia also now locates its new foreign policy thinking in an analysis of a changing global environment. Dr Pravda told us that "It is a good time to look at Russian foreign policy, because the Russians themselves are taking stock of how best to capitalise on shifts in the international system and on Russia's own assets".[15]

Whereas in 1998 Russia defaulted on its foreign debts, triggering turmoil in international financial markets, it has now repaid its borrowings such that public debt to non-residents fell from $147 billion in 2000 to $49 billion in 2006, equivalent to only around 5% of GDP. Moreover, only $9.3 billion of this was owed to the international financial institutions, and only $0.6 billion to the Paris Club of foreign governments.[18] Professor Hanson put the implication starkly: Russia's previous debts "gave Western governments some leverage over Moscow. That leverage has now gone."[19] We do not think this reality is always understood or acknowledged by some key players in the West, including the Government.

2. Russia is playing a lead role in BRICS, alongside China, in challenging the US dollar as the global currency.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How bonkers is Russian spy nerve gassed in Salisbury story?
CID Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was first on the scene?
Was he straight CID or Special Branch (MI5)?
Had any contact whatever with UK Chemical Weapons store and research centre at Porton Down, ten minutes drive from the scene of the crime?
Was he an expert in pre-cognitive crime like cops in the film Minority Report? - lol


Police officer Nick Bailey injured in Salisbury nerve agent attack named

Police officer injured in Salisbury nerve agent attack on Russian spy is hero cop who caged serial rapist for 14 years
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sergeant-nick-bailey-confirmed-w iltshire-12151723

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after he went to the aid of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal


By Rachel Bishop
16:34, 8 MAR 2018UPDATED19:50, 8 MAR 2018

Former Prime Minister Ted Heath would have faced police interview over alleged rape of 11-year-old boy
CCTV: 'EX-RUSSIAN SPY' AND MYSTERY BLONDE SPOTTED BEFORE 'POISONING'

The police officer injured in the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal has been named as a hero cop who put a serial rapist behind bars.

Wiltshire Police Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after he went to the aid of the Russian ex-spy who had been targeted with a nerve agent.

Today DS Bailey was 'sitting up and talking' from his hospital bed as detectives race to discover who was responsible for the attack which left the officer, Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia Skripal, 33 seriously ill.

DS Bailey was recognised for outstanding police work in December 2016, after he put a rapist behind bars for more than 14 years, reports The Salisbury Journal.

For two years he pursued a case against Arthur Bonner, who sexually assaulted multiple victims over four decades between the early 1970s and 2014.

Hero Wiltshire police officer Nick Bailey

Poisoned ex-Russian spy and daughter raise toast at Zizzi restaurant where they ate before being found on bench
In a statement released by police tonight, Temporary Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "I have visited Nick in hospital this afternoon and I can confirm that he is conscious, talking and engaging with people.

"Of course, he still remains in a serious, but stable, condition, but I am deeply relieved to have visited him and spoken with him in person.

"I have also met with Nick's family and relayed our deep concern for their welfare.

"We have all been deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support from staff, public and around the country - we are very grateful for this.

"I would like to reassure you all that Nick is receiving medical intervention and care from highly specialist medical practitioners experienced in these matters.

Skripal was a double agent for MI6 (Image: Reuters)

Conspiracy theories after spy poisoning


Sergei Skripal's daughter poisoned


Was Russian spy poisoned with polonium?


Who is Serfei Skripal?
"Nick is a hugely popular member of staff and all our thoughts are with him. The welfare of all of my officers and staff is of paramount importance to me.

"As announced by the Counter Terrorism Network yesterday, it has been ascertained that the substance involved was some form of nerve agent.

"Officers who were first on the scene displayed selfless commitment to their jobs as they tried their very best to help these two people - unaware of what they were dealing with.

"At the time of the first emergency calls no one knew what developments this investigation would take and I would like to commend all officers, staff and volunteers who respond to emergency calls, every day, never knowing what is around the corner as they keep our communities safe.

Witlshire Police tweeted their thanks to the public after messages poured in for the popular cop, who joined Wiltshire Police in 2002.


Skripal was convicted in 2006 of passing state secrets to MI6 before being given refuge in the UK as part of a spy swap (Image: Reuters)

The force wrote: "A heartfelt thank you from everyone at Wiltshire Police for your kind messages and support, particularly for our officer currently in hospital.

"They are really appreciated and we are touched by the level of care and concern we are receiving. Thank you."

DS Bailey was one of the first at the scene on Sunday and found the pair slumped on a park bench in The Maltings.

The policeman was rushed to hospital in a serious condition but wasn't taken to intensive care following the attack, in which a nerve agent, described by Home Secretary Amber Rudd as "very rare", was used in an attempt on the lives of Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal.

Ms Rudd said the use of a chemical weapon on UK soil was a "brazen and reckless act" and the Government stood ready to act as a clearer picture emerged.

Counter-terror police are working to unravel what is now feared to be a sophisticated chemical weapon plot amid heightened tensions between Britain and the Kremlin but they have not yet revealed what type of nerve agent was used.

Skripal was seen shopping for scratchcards and milk a week before he was poisoned (Image: Ebru Ozturk)
READ MORE
Russian Spy Poisoned

Conspiracy theories after spy poisoning

Sergei Skripal's daughter poisoned

Was Russian spy poisoned with polonium?

Who is Serfei Skripal?
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Russian spy, daughter and first police officer on scene are all in comas after Salisbury poisoning
Reports have suggested detectives are looking into a number of theories, including whether the Skripals were sprayed with a toxin in an aerosol canister, whether they ate contaminated food or drink or whether Ms Skripal had unwittingly brought the poison with her in a package from Russia.

The police cordon outside Mr Skripal's home was widened on Thursday following a flurry of activity.

A large blue forensic tent was erected on the street as more police and incident support vehicles arrived from South Western Ambulance Service.

Officers extended the cordon to seal off the whole of Christie Miller Road, although residents and their vehicles are allowed to come and go.

Counter-terror police took over the investigation on Tuesday, due to the "unusual circumstances and the specialist expertise" of the officers, although it is not being treated as a terrorist incident.

Police searching Skripal's home in Salisbury, Wiltshire (Image: ROWAN GRIFFITHS)
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of counter-terrorism policing, revealed on Wednesday that the incident was being treated as attempted murder and Mr Skripal and his daughter had been "targeted specifically".

Scotland Yard said scientific tests carried out by Government experts have identified the specific nerve agent, but have not released details of what it was or how it was administered.

Hundreds of detectives, forensic officers and analysts are working on the case, and police are appealing for anyone who was in Salisbury city centre on Sunday to come forward to help with the "missing pieces".

CCTV footage from a camera at Snap Fitness 24/7 gym emerged showing a man and a woman walking in the area moments before the pair were found on Sunday night, after Mr Skripal was seen acting strangely in Zizzi.

An eyewitness said: "He started screaming. He just didn't look right."

It remains unclear who is responsible for the poisoning, but the attack has stoked tensions between Britain and Russia amid suspicions of state responsibility.

Outside his home (Image: Daily Mirror)
READ MORE
Graves of former Russian spy's wife and son cordoned off as police probe nerve agent poisoning
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went on the offensive in the House of Commons about the "disturbing incident", noting that this case had "echoes" of the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who was fatally poisoned in London in 2006.

The Russian embassy said it was "completely untrue" to suggest the country's special services were involved and criticised Mr Johnson for speaking "in such a manner as if the investigation was already over".

The Government called a meeting of its emergency committee Cobra on Wednesday, chaired by Ms Rudd. She has said police must respond to "evidence, not to rumour".

Mr Skripal was a double agent and was convicted in 2006 of passing state secrets to MI6 before being given refuge in the UK as part of a spy swap.

The former colonel in Russian military intelligence was sentenced to 13 years in prison, and was among four convicts who were given pardons and one of two sent to Britain in 2010 in a deal that was said at the time to be the largest exchange since the Cold War.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson said: "This is an unprecedented situation, and I'm very proud of the way in which Wiltshire Police have handled themselves since this occurred on Sunday.

"The way in which they have worked alongside our partners and the Counter Terrorism Policing Network is commendable.

"My thoughts and prayers continue to be with Nick who is still receiving treatment in hospital and his family. I am pleased to hear from the Chief Constable that he was sitting up and talking today.

"It shines a light on the fact that day in and day out our officers, staff and volunteers put themselves in harm's way in order to keep the public safe.

"In the past few days they have worked an incredible amount of hours and together with our partners we are committed to ensuring the safety of the public in Salisbury and Wiltshire."

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

180 'specialist military' deployed to Salisbury?
Again no mention of the fact that these specialists are BASED just ten minutes drive outside Salisbury

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If only David Kelly hadn't been bumped off... he'd be able to describe the Russian capability for chemical and biological weaponary (having previously destroyed the soviet capability). Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Skripal Incident-Another Anti-Russian Provocation
Column: Politics Region: Europe
https://journal-neo.org/2018/03/09/the-skripal-incident-another-anti-r ussian-provocation/

The British government is talking war with Russia over a mysterious incident that is claimed to have taken place on Sunday March 4, just a few kilometres from the secrecy shrouded British biological and chemical warfare research and development facility at Porton Down in Wiltshire. I say claimed since we have very little information confirming what exactly took place outside of government statements and we have seen no photographs of the alleged victims in their hospital beds to convince us that the alleged victims did fall ill and are being treated. However, let us assume that the incident as described did take place.

The mystery consists in the fact that the victims, former Russian colonel of military intelligence, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, were not under any known threat from Russia. Skripal was charged and convicted in Russia in 2006 of being an asset of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and handing over secret information to the British. He was jailed, but in a spy swap in 2010 was pardoned and allowed to leave Russia for Vienna, then Britain, where he has been living ever since. Why he was pardoned is difficult to determine, unless it was necessary legally to effect the swap with the British. In any even the Russians had washed their hands of him but it seems the British had other uses for him, as their expendable man for a provocation against Russia.

The facts as the British government states them are that Skripal and his daughter, visiting from Russia, met for lunch in Salisbury, the town outside of which Porton Down is located. The purpose of the daughter’s visit is not known. According to ever changing media accounts witnesses in a restaurant reported that Skripal appeared to be agitated and angry and left in that state with his daughter following. Agitated and angry about what we do not know.

Half an hour later it is said that the two of them were found slumped over on a public bench. Some early media accounts state that it was thought they had taken too much fentanyl and were vomiting and that their illness may have been self-induced. But very quickly the British government claimed that they had been poisoned by some chemical or nerve agent and immediately cast the blame on Russia though the investigation had just begun. The incident was immediately taken out of the hands of the local police and handed over to the Counter-Terrorism Police, formerly known as Special Branch, though the government refused to call it a terrorist incident. A meeting of the British government high-level emergency committee, Cobra, was called. Why this was done for what appears to be an assault or attempted murder or a self-induced accident is a good question. But the answer lies in the immediate propaganda campaign mounted in the British press against Russia.

On Thursday the 8th of March the British government claimed that they had identified a “nerve agent” as the substance used. Yet the BBC quotes on the same day a woman physician who attended at the scene saying that she found Mrs. Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench vomiting and fitting. She had lost control of her bodily functions. The physician, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved the daughter into the recovery position and opened her airways as others tended to her father. The doctor stated that the she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on her face or body and that though she had been worried she would be affected by a nerve agent so far she “feels fine.”

Yet, the British media published on Thursday a photograph of a police officer who they say attended the scene and who they claim was made ill and placed in intensive care but is now stable and recovering. The two stories do not add up, as it would seem the doctor was in closer physical contact with the two victims than the police officer yet the doctor has suffered no symptoms at all.

The Guardian quoted Andrei Lugovoi, another former Russian agent, accused of Litvinenko’s murder by the British as stating that Skripal had been pardoned in Russia so no one from there is after him. ““I don’t rule out that this is another provocation by British. Whatever happens on British territory, they start yelling: ‘He was killed, he was hung, he was poisoned!’ and that Russia is to blame for everything. This is to their advantage.” Igor Sutyagin, yet another Russian traitor flown to Russia in 2010 in an exchange of spies-also said, “I don’t think that Mr. Skripal would be targeted, because he was pardoned.”

To add to the mystery the British government refuses to name the alleged nerve agent. To create more drama the British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, stated that it was not Sarin or VX but something “very rare.” I think we can expect that they will choose the right dramatic moment to name something and state that only Russian labs can make it. That is their modus operandi. They certainly do not want to state that VX was involved since VX was developed in 1952 at Porton Down near the sight of the incident; for that would lead to necessary investigations into security at that facility and whether personnel there were involved. However, despite the fact that Porton Down is in the business of manufacturing chemical warfare agents including nerve agents and that logic would dictate that the Porton Down authorities would be barred from being investigators into a case in which they could be involved the British government immediately assigned Porton Down to identify the substance that might have been used.

That the Russians may be correct that this incident is another NATO arranged provocation must be seriously considered. Despite the fact there is no evidence whatsoever that Russia had anything to do with this incident, the British government was quick to label Russia as the villain of the piece and the mass media dutifully acted in lock step and put out the word. Boris Johnson called Russia a “malign and disruptive force’ and made threats about pulling the UK out of the World Cup to be held in Russia this year. The attempts by the NATO alliance to throw Russia out of the Olympics on trumped up doping charges were largely successful and now we see another attempt to disrupt a sports event that is important to world football fans and to Russia. Johnson added that Britain would act “robustly’ of Moscow is found to be involved.

The Russian embassy in London stated the allegations of Russian involvement are untrue and that the “script of yet another anti-Russian campaign has already been written.” It seems so and the script has some pages to run yet. One has to wonder what the role of the British intelligence services is in this for the BBC also reports that Skripal still kept the company of British intelligence agents. So one has to ask, for what reason? What was his continuing role as an asset of MI6? What was their role on that day?

But that line of inquiry will not be followed. All the British media are linking this incident to the case of Alexander Litvinenko, another Russian who was supposedly poisoned with radioactive tea. Evidence that cronies of his were involved were ignored in favour the line that Russia was behind it though no evidence has ever been put forward to support that claim. They are also making the claim that this “very rare” substance must be from a state military stockpile, so the statements to come from the British government can be predicted.

This incident has echoes of the case of Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian dissident killed in London in 1978 by a ricin pellet injected into his leg by means of an umbrella it was said, though it was no doubt done with an air pistol. That murder was quickly blamed on the KGB and Bulgarian government agents but there is evidence that in fact the murder was arranged by MI6 as was the murder of media magnate Robert Maxwell in 1991, who had documents relating to the Markov murder in his possession, according sources such as Richard Cottrell in his book Gladio and accounts by former British intelligence agent Gordon Logan.

The Skripal incident also brings to mind the death of Dr. David Kelly in 2003 whose mysterious death in woods near his home, was officially attributed to “suicide.” He is thought by many to have been assassinated by the British secret services and CIA to keep him from revealing secrets about the war in Iraq. He worked at Porton Down as head of microbiology.

He in turn is connected to other scientists at Porton Down who have died under questionable circumstances, for instance, Dr. Richard Holmes, whose body was found in the same woods as Dr. Kelly, in 2012, two days after going for a walk, and one month after resigning from Porton Down, and to Vladimir Pasechnik’s death in November 2001, another Russian defector, who allegedly died of a stroke. His death was not announced until a month later and by British intelligence. Dr. Kelly had been involved in his debriefing when he left Russia.

Sir Edward Leigh, a member of the Parliamentary Defence Committee, in the British Parliament stated, “the circumstantial evidence against Russia is very strong. Who else would have the motive and the means?” The answer to that of course is that the British government has the motive and the means. What would Russia benefit from harming a has-been like Skripal and causing all this fuss? None. What benefit does Britain have and NATO? The answer again is provided by Sir Richard who went on to state “The only way to preserve peace is through strength,” carefully echoing Trump’s foreign policy. He continued, “and if Russia is behind this, this is a brazen act of war, of humiliating our country and defence is the first duty and spending 2% of the budget on defence is not enough.” There is the motive right there. To justify an increase on defence spending and to hit Russia yet again with propaganda warfare to justify NATO’s continuing aggression against Russia.

Russia has volunteered to cooperate in the “investigation” but to what end? The script is already written, the drama will unfold, the consequences will flow and they will lead not to peace and cooperation but to more hostility and war.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theresa May under pressure to issue strong measures against Russia over poisoning of former spy
DESPITE NO EVIDENCE PUTIN INVOLVED!
MPs and widow of murdered dissident Alexander Litvinenko demand tougher stance against Vladimir Putin, ahead of National Security Council meeting on Monday
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-national-sec urity-council-sergei-skripal-russia-retaliation-poisoning-boris-johnso n-a8250966.html

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NERVE GAS?
#WMD?
But none of the three people 'exposed to it' has died? Does anyone spot a hole, the size of a Cheltenham doughnut, in this
#Skripol story? Antidote to anti-Russia #propaganda

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBu1LzU2uWk
on @PressTV

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Britain's Toxic Agenda for Russian Media
https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201803131062476123-britain-toxic-ag enda-for-russian-media/
COLUMNISTS
13.03.2018 Finian Cunningham
Relations between Britain and Russia have become so toxic now that anyone working with Russian news media is liable to be condemned as a stooge or traitor.
Senior Labour party member John McDonnell, the shadow finance minister, has conceded this week that fellow opposition politicians "may be banned from appearing on Russian news media" following the furore over allegations that Moscow carried out an assassination attempt in Britain last week.

READ MORE: Moscow Urges UK to Probe Ex-'Spy' Skripal's Case Before Blaming Russia — Reports

Other reports have called on Britain's state media regulator, Ofcom, to cancel the broadcast license for Russian government-owned news outlet RT. That move is being touted as "appropriate retaliation" for Moscow's alleged involvement in the apparent poison attack on Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter.

The pair have been hospitalized following an incident in their adopted home town of Salisbury on March 4, in which it appears they were exposed to a lethal nerve agent. Disgraced Russian agent Sergei Skripal had been living in the southern England town for the past eight years following his exile to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy exchange.

After much fevered speculation in British media, the Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May followed up this week by telling lawmakers in the House of Commons that "it was highly likely Russia was responsible".

Officials in protective suits check their equipment before repositioning the forensic tent, covering the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found, in the centre of Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018
© REUTERS/ PETER NICHOLLS
Russia Destroyed Stocks of Nerve Agent UK Claimed Was Used to Kill Ex-Spy - Senator
The main incriminating factor cited is that the poisonous substance has been supposedly identified by British authorities as "novichok" — a Soviet-made nerve agent, similar to VX and other weaponized organophosphate compounds.
Moscow has categorically denied any involvement in the apparent murder bid on the Skripals. Russia's Foreign Ministry has derided May's parliamentary address as "a circus show".

Let's back up a moment. May's claims of "highly likely" are eerily reminiscent of American and British "high confidence" about weapons of mass destruction allegedly in Iraq and Syria; or American and British "high confidence" about alleged Russian meddling in elections. It seems to be always a case of assertion-without-evidence which is either eventually disproven, as with WMDs in Iraq, or reliant on endless repetition by dutiful news media.

READ MORE: Lavrov: UK Rejects Russia's Demand on Granting Access to Skripal Case Docs

As for the British prime minister's supposed "smoking syringe" implicating Moscow because of an alleged Soviet military-grade nerve agent "novichok", that depends on the word of British military intelligence. How do we know novichok was actually used? It could have been any number of highly-toxic related organophosphate chemicals.

Even if novichok was deployed to injure the Skripals that is far from proof of any Russian connection. We can be sure Britain and other Western states have also developed their own stocks of novichok. How easy it would be to use the chemical as an apparent fingerprint framing the Kremlin, in the same way that the CIA and NSA can leave digital fingerprints framing enemies for seeming cyber-attacks.

Police officers stand outside the house of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal who was found critically ill Sunday following exposure to an unknown substance in Salisbury, England, Tuesday, March 6, 2018
© AP PHOTO/ FRANK AUGSTEIN
Putin on Skripal Case: UK Should Sort It Out Itself, Then We Will Talk
The official British position implicating Russia over the Salisbury poisoning is tenuous, to say the least. But what is astounding is how the British are toxifying relations with Russia based on no objective evidence.
When Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stood up in parliament this week to reply to Theresa May's speech, he was roundly vilified by Tory lawmakers and sections of the British media because he did not "condemn" Russia over the Salisbury incident.

This is the toxic war-like climate that has been engendered in Britain owing to relentless Russophobia whipped up by politicians and lynch-mob media mentality.

Russia is found "guilty" without any facts, based upon a ludicrous theory of revenge against a has-been spy who had been living undisturbed in England for eight years. We are expected to believe that Moscow would order his assassination with an identifiable Soviet-era chemical weapon on the eve of its own presidential elections.

What's much more plausible is that the British authorities staged the event as a propaganda stunt to frame and further demonize Russia. Theresa May probably hasn't a clue that she is being manipulated by her own secret services, as are other British politicians media.

Police officers stand outside a pub near to where former Russian inteligence officer Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious after they had been exposed to an unknown substance, in Salisbury, Britain, March 7, 2018
© REUTERS/ TOBY MELVILLE
The Skripal Mystery - Supposition Masquerading as Fact
May claims that the latest incident comes "against a backdrop of well-established Russian state aggression". One could far more reasonably argue "a backdrop of British and Western Russophobia".
There are many possible reasons for why British state forces would want to polarize international relations even more than they already are with Russia.

Notably, the poisoning incident has led to calls for greater military build-up by NATO forces on Russia's borders. That's an obvious win for the British military-industrial complex.

Another factor is that Britain seems to be using the latest debacle as a way to further damage European relations with Russia, demanding that Germany and France show "solidarity" by condemning Moscow. This could be related to European energy geopolitics in which London and Washington have a shared interest in sabotaging the soon-to-be-completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.

READ MORE: UK Media Manipulates Facts Calling Skripal 'Russian Agent' — Russian Embassy

But one other tangible outcome is the way that Russian news media are being targeted with even more venom. On the back of sensational claims that Russia "carried out a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil", the climate is now conducive to censoring "Kremlin-backed news organizations" like RT and Sputnik.

Police officers stand guard outside the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018
© REUTERS/ PETER NICHOLLS
UK Media Manipulates Facts Calling Skripal 'Russian Agent' - Russian Embassy
As mentioned above, senior Labour figures like John McDonnell, who is normally strongly independent-minded, are obligingly calling for fellow members of their party to stop appearing on RT.
This Orwellian-like Russophobia is creating a situation in which anyone working with Russian news media is prone to be labeled traitorous. Former British politicians like George Galloway and Alex Salmond who have gone on to host programs for RT will, we can be sure, be subjected to intense pressure to quit.

A sign of how hysterical the Russophobia has become is a call this week in British media for Manchester United manager José Mourinho to renege on his recent deal with RT as a football pundit during this summer's World Cup tournament.

The same intimidatory atmosphere applies to all public figures and journalists who associate with Russian news media. It's a global witch-hunt orchestrated to silence dissenting views. Working with Russian news media is now tantamount to taking a poison pill.

Russian channels like RT and Sputnik have brought a refreshingly critical perspective to many international events.

READ MORE: Russian Senator Exposes Double Standard as 'EU Media More Engaged in Propaganda'

When American, British and other European politicians decry "Russian meddling in elections" what they are really vexed about is the Russian news media performing a legitimate and laudable function of properly informing the public. Denigrating Russian media as "Kremlin-sponsored influence campaigns" is a desperate attempt by Western states to shut down critical voices.

The poisoning incident of Sergei Skripal and his daughter is conveniently having a broadside toxic impact on relations with Russia for any number of ulterior objectives for the British authorities.

One objective that seems to be clearly emerging is the way in which the Russophobia is being used to incriminate Russian news media and anyone who might associate with them. That's partly a reflection of how successful Russian news media have become in exposing Western governments' crimes.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russian to Judgement 215
13 Mar, 2018 in Uncategorized by craig
Craig Murray
Historian, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/russian-to-judgement/

The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s now assure you Russian “novochok” nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil. As with the Iraqi WMD dossier, it is essential to comb the evidence very finely. A vital missing word from Theresa May’s statement yesterday was “only”. She did not state that the nerve agent used was manufactured ONLY by Russia. She rather stated this group of nerve agents had been “developed by” Russia. Antibiotics were first developed by a Scotsman, but that is not evidence that all antibiotics are today administered by Scots.

The “novochok” group of nerve agents – a very loose term simply for a collection of new nerve agents the Soviet Union were developing fifty years ago – will almost certainly have been analysed and reproduced by Porton Down. That is entirely what Porton Down is there for. It used to make chemical and biological weapons as weapons, and today it still does make them in small quantities in order to research defences and antidotes. After the fall of the Soviet Union Russian chemists made a lot of information available on these nerve agents. And one country which has always manufactured very similar persistent nerve agents is Israel. This Foreign Policy magazine (a very establishment US publication) article on Israel‘s chemical and biological weapon capability is very interesting indeed. I will return to Israel later in this article.

Incidentally, novachok is not a specific substance but a class of new nerve agents. Sources agree they were designed to be persistent, and of an order of magnitude stronger than sarin or VX. That is rather hard to square with the fact that thankfully nobody has died and those possibly in contact just have to wash their clothes.

From Putin’s point of view, to assassinate Skripal now seems to have very little motivation. If the Russians have waited eight years to do this, they could have waited until after their World Cup. The Russians have never killed a swapped spy before. Just as diplomats, British and otherwise, are the most ardent upholders of the principle of diplomatic immunity, so security service personnel everywhere are the least likely to wish to destroy a system which can be a key aspect of their own personal security; quite literally spy swaps are their “Get Out of Jail Free” card. You don’t undermine that system – probably terminally – without very good reason.

It is worth noting that the “wicked” Russians gave Skripal a far lighter jail sentence than an American equivalent would have received. If a member of US Military Intelligence had sold, for cash to the Russians, the names of hundreds of US agents and officers operating abroad, the Americans would at the very least jail the person for life, and I strongly suspect would execute them. Skripal just received a jail sentence of 18 years, which is hard to square with the narrative of implacable vindictiveness against him. If the Russians had wanted to make an example, that was the time.

It is much more probable that the reason for this assassination attempt refers to something recent or current, than to spying twenty years ago. Were I the British police, I would inquire very closely into Orbis Intelligence.

There is no doubt that Skripal was feeding secrets to MI6 at the time that Christopher Steele was an MI6 officer in Moscow, and at the the time that Pablo Miller, another member of Orbis Intelligence, was also an MI6 officer in Russia and directly recruiting agents. It is widely reported on the web and in US media that it was Miller who first recruited Skripal. My own ex-MI6 sources tell me that is not quite true as Skripal was “walk-in”, but that Miller certainly was involved in running Skripal for a while. Sadly Pablo Miller’s LinkedIn profile has recently been deleted, but it is again widely alleged on the web that it showed him as a consultant for Orbis Intelligence and a consultant to the FCO and – wait for it – with an address in Salisbury. If anyone can recover that Linkedin entry do get in touch, though British Government agencies will have been active in the internet scrubbing.

It was of course Christopher Steele and Orbis Intelligence who produced for the Clinton camp the sensationalist dossier on Trump links with Russia – including the story of Trump paying to be urinated on by Russian prostitutes – that is a key part of the “Russiagate” affair gripping the US political classes. The extraordinary thing about this is that the Orbis dossier is obvious nonsense which anybody with a professional background can completely demolish, as I did here. Steele’s motive was, like Skripal’s in selling his secrets, cash pure and simple. Steele is a charlatan who knocked up a series of allegations that are either wildly improbable, or would need a high level source access he could not possibly get in today’s Russia, or both. He told the Democrats what they wish to hear and his audience – who had and still have no motivation to look at it critically – paid him highly for it.

I do not know for certain that Pablo Miller helped knock together the Steele dossier on Trump, but it seems very probable given he also served for MI6 in Russia and was working for Orbis. And it seems to me even more probable that Sergei Skripal contributed to the Orbis Intelligence dossier on Trump. Steele and Miller cannot go into Russia and run sources any more, and never would have had access as good as their dossier claims, even in their MI6 days. The dossier was knocked up for huge wodges of cash from whatever they could cobble together. Who better to lend a little corroborative verisimilitude in these circumstances than their old source Skripal?

Skripal was at hand in the UK, and allegedly even close to Miller in Salisbury. He could add in the proper acronym for a Russian committee here or the name of a Russian official there, to make it seem like Steele was providing hard intelligence. Indeed, Skripal’s outdated knowledge might explain some of the dossier’s more glaring errors.

But the problem with double agents like Skripal, who give intelligence for money, is that they can easily become triple agents and you never know when a better offer is going to come along. When Steele produced his dodgy dossier, he had no idea it would ever become so prominent and subject to so much scrutiny. Steele is fortunate in that the US Establishment is strongly motivated not to scrutinise his work closely as their one aim is to “get” Trump. But with the stakes very high, having a very loose cannon as one of the dossier’s authors might be most inconvenient both for Orbis and for the Clinton camp.

If I was the police, I would look closely at Orbis Intelligence.

To return to Israel. Israel has the nerve agents. Israel has Mossad which is extremely skilled at foreign assassinations. Theresa May claimed Russian propensity to assassinate abroad as a specific reason to believe Russia did it. Well Mossad has an even greater propensity to assassinate abroad. And while I am struggling to see a Russian motive for damaging its own international reputation so grieviously, Israel has a clear motivation for damaging the Russian reputation so grieviously. Russian action in Syria has undermined the Israeli position in Syria and Lebanon in a fundamental way, and Israel has every motive for damaging Russia’s international position by an attack aiming to leave the blame on Russia.

Both the Orbis and Israeli theories are speculations. But they are no more a speculation, and no more a conspiracy theory, than the idea that Vladimir Putin secretly sent agents to Salisbury to attack Skripal with a secret nerve agent. I can see absolutely no reason to believe that is a more valid speculation than the others at this point.

I am alarmed by the security, spying and armaments industries’ frenetic efforts to stoke Russophobia and heat up the new cold war. I am especially alarmed at the stream of cold war warrior “experts” dominating the news cycles. I write as someone who believes that agents of the Russian state did assassinate Litvinenko, and that the Russian security services carried out at least some of the apartment bombings that provided the pretext for the brutal assault on Chechnya. I believe the Russian occupation of Crimea and parts of Georgia is illegal. On the other hand, in Syria Russia has saved the Middle East from domination by a new wave of US and Saudi sponsored extreme jihadists.

The naive view of the world as “goodies” and “baddies”, with our own ruling class as the good guys, is for the birds. I witnessed personally in Uzbekistan the willingness of the UK and US security services to accept and validate intelligence they knew to be false in order to pursue their policy objectives. We should be extremely sceptical of their current anti-Russian narrative. There are many possible suspects in this attack.

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215 thoughts on “Russian to Judgement”
« Previous 1 2 3 4

Reply ↓
John Lowe
March 13, 2018 at 19:15
Excellent blog. I have been asking on twitter for the proof. As there is no way you can trust WM. The US being quite on this speaks volumes and provides more back up to your questioning Isralie involvement


Reply ↓
Resident Dissident
March 13, 2018 at 19:20
Well they are quiet now Trump has sacked Tillerson on Twitter, after Tillerson supported the UK.


Reply ↓
Thomas Mellman
March 13, 2018 at 19:18
You said in “The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II” that Trump’s lawyer Cohen has produced his passport to show he was not in Praq. The Czech Republic is a member of the Schengen agreement – no passport check is made or passport stamped. If he was in Europe at the time in question, it would be disingenuous to suggest that a passport was proof any anything.


Reply ↓
craig Post author
March 13, 2018 at 20:18
He is an american. It would have been stamped as he entered the Schengen area.


Reply ↓
Bob Apposite
March 13, 2018 at 20:36
The guy who used a shell company and pseudonyms to pay off Stormy Daniels?

Yeah, he’d never do anything deceptive.


Reply ↓
Velofello
March 13, 2018 at 19:22
Question. Why does the UK hold supplies of nerve gas? Does Ireland,Iceland, Denmark, Norway Sweden etc. hold supplies too?

But then I do recall the UK poisoning an island in Scotland with anthrax, why?And then was there something mentioned recently of the UK trying out mustard gas on darker skins? And I met an ex-soldier who attended the nuclear explosion at Christmas Island, “put on these sunglasses lads to shield you from the brightness”.

Theresa May’s precious United Kingdom.


Reply ↓
Thomas Mellman
March 13, 2018 at 19:23
You said in “The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II” that Trump’s lawyer Cohen has produced his passport to show he was not in Praq. The Czech Republic is a member of the Schengen agreement – no European passport check is made or passport stamped. If he was in Europe at the time in question, it would be disingenuous to suggest that a passport was proof any anything.


Reply ↓
Freddy
March 13, 2018 at 20:19
He is a US citizen.
The US is not a member of the Schengen Agreement, thus his passport would be stamped if he crossed the Czech Republic border.
No stamp – no border crossing of a Schengen Agreement country, period.


Reply ↓
Helen Watson
March 13, 2018 at 19:34
Very informative and interesting article. Thank you. Let’s hope many people read it.


Reply ↓
Freddy
March 13, 2018 at 19:40
“The “novochok” group of nerve agents – a very loose term simply for a collection of new nerve agents the Soviet Union were developing fifty years ago – will almost certainly have been analysed and reproduced by Porton Down.”

It certainly was. Not just analysed, but also re-produced in at least two countries.
A ex-Soviet scientist in charge of development of the “Novichok” group of agents was arrested and tried for (surprise, surprise) treason in Russia in 1992, he sold formulas (and related technical documentation) of the “Novichok” group of agent and other secret chemical agents to “foreign intelligent services” (guess who), but was later released from prison and “relocated” to the US where he is currently living. He is actively involved in a Russian political anti-government movement (again, what a surprise) “Putin Must Go”.
Please meet Vil Mirzayanov, the man who sold Novichok to the West.
From Russia with gas, so to speak.


Reply ↓
Freddy
March 13, 2018 at 20:01
And by the way, speaking of something that the author could be familiar with:

“The United States and Uzbekistan have quietly negotiated and are expected to sign a bilateral agreement today to provide American aid in dismantling and decontaminating one of the former Soviet Union’s largest chemical weapons testing facilities, according to Defense Department and Uzbek officials.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon informed Congress that it intends to spend up to $6 million under its Cooperative Threat Reduction program to demilitarize the so-called Chemical Research Institute, in Nukus, Uzbekistan. Soviet defectors and American officials say the Nukus plant was the major research and testing site for a new class of secret, highly lethal chemical weapons called ”Novichok,” which in Russian means ”new guy.”” – NYT, 1999

Would that be hard to believe that they got a complete technical documentation and plenty of Novichok “sample material” from that facility (?)


Reply ↓
Terence A Dunn
March 13, 2018 at 19:45
I have seen at first hand , the false attacks that a Government , even of good reputation , are capable of carrying out , ergo an attack by Israeli or British Secret Services is well within credibility !


Reply ↓
John Goss
March 13, 2018 at 19:52
Apologies if this blog article by a Salisbury man has appeared before. It is more sensible than anything from Westminster.

http://www.theblogmire.com/sergei-skripal-salisbury-and-the-dangerousl y-hysterical-response-of-the-british-government/


Reply ↓
MikeH
March 13, 2018 at 20:15
Perhaps the Maybot is in such a mess that she considers this a good opportunity for a virtual Falklands moment – she seems to have copied Thatcher in every other way from the pearl necklace onwards, so why not solve her problems with a bit of ‘Empire Strikes Back’.
Too many other synchronicities and possible conspiracy theories suggest themselves: mine would be that Skripal, having failed to retire (as swapped double agents are expected to do) and worked again for MI6, would still be ‘dispensable’ as a useful stooge and therefore a perfect person to bump off and pin on the Russians as revenge; given also the extreme media language coming from all quarters, never mind the bile coming from Bojo and May’s new defence minister, then it would be equally useful to bump off the daughter too to show what ‘nasties’ the Russians really are. All would be good populist media fodder ripe for the Right who want their empire back.

The fact the victims haven’t died, and the rather odd reports concerning the one and only police officer contaminated, could also be tied in with Porton Down being only a few miles away, where, as Craig indirectly implies, they might even have the antidote! : give the victims all a small amount to keep them alive but not talking, then bide your time for maximum media effect and when the ‘virtual Falklands’ victory over Russia (threatened cyber-warfare?) occurs, miraculously save the girl and then the father; our gallant security services could then not even be accused of sacrificing their own agents in the name of the ‘greater good’. It would be perfect to see Le Carré write the fictional version, since it all fits so neatly with the scenarios of global security services he usually portrays.

So please have a go and write your own conspiracy theories – the government’s portrayal is so improbable, you could invent more coherent theories by the thousand … but in reality the Russians are the least likely ones to have done this, and I would go with Craig’s Mossad speculation which fits all the geopolitical circumstances of the current situation: especially when May and ‘Ben Nitay’ are both in such a tight corner right now and can’t find any other way out, other than bellicose posturing to divert people’s attention …


Reply ↓
N_
March 13, 2018 at 20:41
I dearly hope that all three victims of the Salisbury attack make a full recovery, but I fear that what will happen is that their deaths, one by one, will be announced at what for the British rulers are the most opportune moments. They are cards that can be played.


Reply ↓
John Huber
March 13, 2018 at 20:23
Thank you for your insightful blog. Whether one believes the Crimea referendum to join Russia is legitimate or not, I think most would agree that the USA backed revolutionaries are Russian hating neo-nazis. They would make life absolutely miserable for the predominately ethnic Russian population living in Crimea. By joining Russia, Crimea’s human rights have a much better chance of being protected. I find the Western mainstream media hypocritical in accepting a violent overthrow of a democratically elected government and at the same time rejecting the will of the majority in a publicly held referendum.


Reply ↓
Jacqueline Ann Russell
March 13, 2018 at 20:34
Thank you for this enlightenment.I find it hard to get a balance of opinion.I feel there is much more to the nerve agent attack than we know yet or will ,indeed ever be made party to.I’m not sure where the extreme anti Russia rhetoric will lead us to ; don’t see the angle yet!


Reply ↓
N_
March 13, 2018 at 20:34
If Britain, i.e. the British state, cyberattacks Russia, and admits what it’s doing, I do not see how the two states can maintain ambassadorial relations. Cyberspace is the fifth domain of warfare. This is so even, as is extremely likely, Britain’s attack fizzles out without achieving its military objective.

And all because the * in MI6 recruited some * from the GRU?

And then he got caught. Then they swapped him, and housed him in a British army town – but they still couldn’t protect him. That’s two total *. Something went wrong on the playing fields of Marlborough, did it, Alex Younger? Or was it in the snotnosed Scots Guards? Because your organisation haven’t half been made to look a bunch of incompetent dickheads.

What would Britain attack? Government networks? Hospitals? Banks? Television stations? Internet services? Airports? Road transport systems? Water systems? Are they going to spread satirical images depicting Putin wearing a dress? Or looking like a Tsar? And they’re going to do that around the time of an election when Putin is about to gain, or has just gained, more than 60% of the voteshare against opponents who have each won less than 10%?

The British objective is what?


Reply ↓
Mark Cato
March 13, 2018 at 20:48
Thank You.
I too am struggling to understand why Russia would do this a this time. There is absolutely no apparent reason and hotting up the cold war makes no sense for them.
The only possible reason, I speculate, is that there may be potential double agents within the Russian security services and this was a warning to them. However to use a nerve agent that had such risks to the wider population and the effect, if their guilt was proved, that this would have on diplomatic issues around the world where Russia is active is a price far higher than the ‘warning’ is worth paying. Putin may have questionable policies and play by his own rules, but he is not a fool by any stretch of the imagination.
Assassinations have always been part of the spy game, though not as much as spy fiction would have us believe, but they are usually much more covert than this very public event.
Another question that this raises is what benefit does it have to Russia ‘games’ in international politics? IF Russia is meddling as much as it is claimed in the politics of Western countries why would they carry out an action that would strengthen the RW and anti-Russian party in Britain. Why, and they would know this, do something that would draw a response ( a very measured and sensible one) from Corbyn that will allow the anti-Corbyn press to play the “can’t be trusted with our National Security” because he does not talk aggressively. Why would Russia want to jeopardise the possibility of having someone who does understand real diplomacy and negotiation as opposed to the Tories hot air and ‘righteous’ indignation, that solves nothing and creates bigger problems? Again, the benefits (if any) of eliminating a spy who is no longer active at the real risk of raising the temperature in the Cold War makes no sense.
In all things the question has to start with who benefits the most. If there is no palpable benefit to Putin then the only reason he would be guilty is if he was ‘mad’ – which he is not.


Reply ↓
March 13, 2018 at 21:05
Hey British people: Do you know that Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated that the Skripal poisoning was not an incident but a “colossal international provocation”

With reference to the British ultimatum she said “one does not give 24 hours notice to a nuclear power”

But you have done just that – and you can bet that the Russians are locked and loaded. So it is time for you to shut your mouths and concentrate on things that you are actually allowed to do – like arrest and subsequently deport 25 year old American women who express views that you do not like.

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If false flag could we be looking at an excuse to stay in Europe and ditch Brexit or at least start sowing fear of how we need to stay in EU for our safety. Russia being the only nearest nation to the EU that we could be fearful of ,militarily.

I suppose the poisoning could have been accidental if he was carrying it for some other intended target.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russia: Theresa May's comments on Salisbury spy a 'circus show'
As the PM says it is "highly likely" Russia was behind the Salisbury poisonings, Moscow calls her words a "provocation".
18:38, UK, Tuesday 13 March 2018
https://news.sky.com/story/russia-theresa-mays-comments-on-salisbury-s py-a-circus-show-11287517

The Kremlin denies an involvement in poisoning Sergei Skripal
By Andy Hayes, News Reporter

Russia has branded Theresa May's suggestion that Moscow was probably behind the Salisbury poisonings as a "circus show".

Updating MPs, the Prime Minister said it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for what happened.

But Moscow hit back, claiming Mrs May's statement was "another political information campaign based on a provocation".

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said there had been a "circus show in the British parliament".

And Moscow added, cryptically: "Before making up new fairy tales, let the British disclose how the Litvinenko case ended."

Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006.

His widow, Marina, says Britain appears unable to protect those seeking political asylum in the UK.

:: Corbyn infuriates Labour MPs with Russia response

preview image
Video:
PM: Russia 'highly likely' to be behind spy poisoning
Later on Monday, Moscow's foreign ministry said that any British threats to boycott the World Cup, being held in Russia in the summer, would "fan anti-Russian hysteria, complicate relations between our countries and (be a) blow to world sport".

The poison used to target former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was from the Russian-made nerve agent group novichok, Mrs May said.

But its use does not necessarily mean Russia was to blame, a former Kremlin adviser told Sky News.

Alexander Nekrasoff said it was "possessed by about 16 countries in their laboratories".

"Why do I know this?" he added. "Because that's how the antidote is developed."

Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal
Image:
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain critically ill
He also claimed that the Porton Down military research facility near Salisbury possessed novichok - again in order to develop an antidote.

Mr Nekrasoff described Mr Skripal as being of "no interest to the Kremlin", and said people in some of the other countries allegedly in possession of novichok "want to damage Russia".

Vladimir Dzhabarov, a deputy head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, said the claim of Russian involvement was "nonsense".

It would not make sense to attack an ex-spy "whom no one needed", he added.

Bags of evidence at the back of Sergei Skripal's house in Salisbury
Image:
Bags of evidence at the back of Sergei Skripal's house in Salisbury
Mr Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, have been in a critical condition in hospital since being found unconscious in Salisbury on Sunday 4 March.

Mrs May said their poisonings took place "against a backdrop of a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression".

More from Salisbury spy

LIVE: Salisbury spy poisoning 'a warning to the world'
Salisbury spy poisoning: UK deadline for Russian response passes in stalemate
Public faces 'low risk' after chemical attack, health officials insist
Vladimir Putin won't take kindly to having a gun held to his head
LIVE: UK's deadline for Russia has passed
Have your say: Should England boycott the World Cup?
Britain was ready to take "much more extensive measures" against Russia than in the past, she added.

Russia has been given until the end of Tuesday to respond.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Righto, Putin is testing us, Corbyn is appeasing Putin?
Russia is poking the UK, over Ukraine, cyberattacks on Baltic states.
Russia military killing civilians in Syria

This is turning into a coordinated push for more money for NATO, & military funding here in UK

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russian double agent for British intelligence (now there's an oxymoron!),
caught
tried
and jailed in Russia.
Serves his time
released
Settles in UK.

Russians kill him 20 years later.

And this is believable/credible!?

thanks
Louise Williamson
https://www.facebook.com/louise.williamson.1069

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What You Are NOT being Told About Russian Spy Sergei Skripal
http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/not-told-russian-spy-sergei-s kripal/

By Ex British Ambassador Craig Murray: There is a major difference between Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal, which is not being reflected in the media. Litvinenko was a good man who attempted to expose abuses of power within Russia, in defence of the rights of Russians. Skripal is a traitor who sold the identities of Russian agents abroad to the UK, in exchange for hard cash. This may very well have caused the deaths of some of those Russian agents operating in conflict zones. If this is indeed a poisoning, there are a great many people who may want Mr Skripal dead – nor in this murky world should we overlook the fact that he must have known interesting things about his MI6 handlers. “Litvinenko II” is rather too pat and obvious, and could be a false flag set-up.

I certainly hope that Skripal, his companion, and anybody else affected, recover fully from whatever has attacked them. But I moved long ago past a world view where my country are the “goodies” and Russians are the “baddies”, and instead I reached an understanding that those in power oppress the people, universally. The idea that the elaborate spy games between world intelligence agencies are a battle between right and wrong, is for the story books. They are all wrong, all part of a system where power over people is controlled for the benefit of the wealthy, and battles are over hard resources, whichever “side” you are on.





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Nerve agents including Sarin and VX are manufactured by the British Government in Porton Down, just 8 miles from where Sergei Skripal was attacked. The official British government story is that these nerve agents are only manufactured “To help develop effective medical countermeasures and to test systems”.

The UK media universally accepted that the production of polonium by Russia was conclusive evidence that Vladimir Putin was personally responsible for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. In the case of Skripal, po-faced articles like this hilarious one in the Guardian speculate about where the nerve agent could possibly have come from – while totally failing to mention the fact that incident took place only eight miles from the largest stock of nerve agent in western Europe.



“The investigation comprises multiple strands. Among them is whether there is any more of the nerve agent in the UK, and where it came from.

Chemical weapons experts said it was almost impossible to make nerve agents without training. “This needs expertise and a special place to make it or you will kill yourself. It’s only a small amount, but you don’t make this in your kitchen,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer at the UK’s chemical, biological and nuclear regiment, said: “This is pretty significant. Nerve agents such as sarin and VX need to be made in a laboratory. It is not an insufficient task. Not even the so-called Islamic State could do it.”


Falling over themselves in the rush to ramp up the Russophobia, the Guardian quotes



“One former senior Foreign Office adviser suggested the Kremlin was taking advantage of the UK’s lack of allies in the US and EU. He said the British government was in a “weaker position” than in 2006 when two Kremlin assassins poisoned the former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko with a radioactive cup of tea.

The adviser said the use of nerve agent suggested a state operation…”


It certainly does. But the elephant in the room is – which state?

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Revealed: 100 safety breaches at UK labs handling potentially deadly diseases
Blunders led to live anthrax being posted from one lab and holes being found in isolation suits at a facility handling Ebola-infected animals
Ian Sample Ian Sample, science editor @iansample
Thu 4 Dec 2014 12.31 GMT First published on Thu 4 Dec 2014 11.36 GMT
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/dec/04/-sp-100-safety-breache s-uk-labs-potentially-deadly-diseases

High-security laboratories that handle the most dangerous viruses and bacteria have reported more than 100 accidents or near-misses to safety regulators in the past five years, official reports reveal.

One blunder led to live anthrax being sent from a government facility to unsuspecting labs across the UK, a mistake that exposed other scientists to the disease. Another caused the failure of an air handling system that helped contain foot and mouth disease at a large animal lab.

Wear and tear also caused problems and potentially put researchers in danger. At a top security Ministry of Defence lab, tears were found in isolation suits at a facility handling animals infected with the Ebola virus.

Reports obtained by the Guardian from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that more than 70 incidents at government, university and hospital labs were serious enough to investigate. Many led to enforcement letters, or crown prohibition notices (CPN), ordering labs to shut until improvements were made. Some were so serious they ended in legal action.

Anthrax cells.
Anthrax cells. Photograph: Alamy
Prof Richard Ebright, a US biosafety expert at Rutgers University in New Jersey, who reviewed the reports for the Guardian, said that, taken together, they revealed failures in procedures, infrastructure, training and safety culture at some British labs.

Alarmed at a run of incidents at facilities that work on animal diseases, Ebright asked: “Does British agriculture have a death wish?”

The figures amount to one investigation every three weeks at secure laboratories that are designed to carry out research on pathogens that can cause serious illness and spread into the community. Some of the organisms are lethal and have no vaccines or treatments.


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Many of the incidents were one-off, almost inevitable human mistakes, such as spillages of infectious bugs. Others were down to old equipment and safety clothing. The most serious accidents arose from chains of mistakes that happened one after the other, and were often only discovered later.

The reports compiled by the HSE describe at least 116 incidents and 75 completed investigations since April 2010 at laboratories where the most dangerous organisms are handled. Other investigations are under way, but the HSE cannot disclose details of those in case they lead to legal action. All of the investigations were prompted by reports from lab managers who are obliged by law to tell the HSE when an accident or near-miss happens at their facility.

Backstory
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, Surrey.
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, Surrey. Photograph: Rex Features
Some of the most worrisome incidents happened at the Surrey-based Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), renamed the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in October. In one case, scientists were handling anthrax when something went badly wrong. They meant to send harmless samples, killed by heat, to nearby AHVLA labs and others in York and Belfast. But somehow the tubes got mixed up. Instead of sending out dead material, the anthrax they sent was live and dangerous.

The staff who made the mistake were safe enough. They worked in a high-security lab built to contain lethal agents. But some of those who received the bugs did not. In Belfast, the anthrax was handled in a higher containment lab, meaning those staff were safe. In York, the samples were never opened. But at another AHVLA site, scientists opened the tubes in a less secure lab and got to work on the open bench. The incident at the AHVLA is one of the more serious biological accidents that has happened in the UK in recent years. But it was far from being the only one.

Human error
The HSE documents cast light on the endless ways that safety can be undermined at UK high-containment labs, where crucial research takes place into dangerous infections. Poor management, inadequate training, inappropriate procedures, equipment failures, human error and plain bad luck all come into play. Some incidents cannot be avoided. Humans will always make mistakes. Equipment will always break. But others are more troubling and result from multiple safety breaches, rather than single mistakes.

The anthrax incident at the AHVLA happened in May 2012 and drew an immediate CPN. That shut the lab so no more live anthrax could be sent out. The timing was ironic. The government had spent months stockpiling anthrax vaccines in case terrorists released the bug at the London Olympics. Now one of their own labs had put people at risk.

The HSE investigation found that two unsuspecting staff at the AHVLA were exposed to the deadly bug, though both had been vaccinated and neither fell ill. The incident received little attention. In the agency’s 2012-13 annual report, one line refers to the clampdown. It states: “CPN – labelling and tracking of biological materials inadequate – now resolved”.

American blunder
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Atlanta security lapse was a wakeup call.
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Atlanta security lapse was a wakeup call. Photograph: Johnny Clark/AP
The AHVLA incident bears a close similarity to a blunder in June that received global attention. Scientists in a high-security lab at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, failed to kill batches of anthrax bacteria properly and sent them to other labs. Tom Frieden, the head of the CDC, told a House oversight committee that the incident was a “wake-up call”. Tim Murphy, the Republican chair, was unimpressed: “It was a potentially very dangerous failure,” he said.

The AHVLA has made dangerous slips before. Last year, the lab received a crown censure for nine safety lapses that exposed staff to live Mycobacterium bovis, an organism that causes TB in cattle but can cause serious illness and even death in humans.

Over a two-year period, from 2009 to 2011, 3,700 samples were sent from one AHVLA lab to another without managers knowing the organisms were still viable. Minutes of the crown censure hearing reveal an alarming picture. Staff had been given the wrong equipment to destroy the bacteria and were not trained in the right procedure. Management had failed to act when staff raised concerns. One person later tested positive for the infection.

Expert analysis
Ebright, who testified to the House committee over the CDC anthrax incident, was struck by the similar failings at labs in the UK and the US. “The incidents at the AHVLA should really not occur. They involved not one error, but a whole chain of errors, and they are all essentially unforgiveable,” he said. “They reflect the most elementary lapses and they are potentially very serious. To see them happening like that suggests there is a deep problem.”

Colourised scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles.
Colourised scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles. Photograph: Alamy
Prof Brian Spratt, an infectious disease specialist at Imperial College, London, echoed Ebright’s concerns. Sending out bovine TB, an organism that can infect people, posed a clear risk of infection, he said. “Sending anthrax to other labs incorrectly, believing it to be inactivated, is also clearly very serious with a real possibility of infection of recipient laboratory workers,” he told the Guardian. “What strikes me is that accidents do happen even in the best facilities, often due to operator error, or unrecognised breakdowns in containment measures.”

UK labs that study infectious organisms are rated by their containment level (CL). The higher the level, the more barriers there are to prevent the escape of pathogens. If one fails, the next should ensure there is no danger. CL1 and CL2 labs work on fairly benign bugs. More dangerous pathogens, such as those that cause anthrax, the plague and rabies, can be handled in secure CL3 labs. The most dangerous and often exotic organisms, such as Ebola, Marburg and Lassa viruses must be handled in CL4 labs. These bugs can kill, spread easily, and are often untreatable. The reports obtained from the HSE deal with incidents at CL3 and CL4 labs.

British labs
Britain has about 600 CL3 labs. Nine sites, all in south-east England, are home to CL4 labs, including the National Institute for Medical Research, which studies pandemic and avian flu, and the Ministry of Defence’s Porton Down lab, which studies Ebola and other pathogens that could be used as biological weapons.

The Institute for Animal Health (IAH), renamed the Pirbright Institute in 2012, was handed eight enforcement letters since April 2010, more than any other single facility.
The Institute for Animal Health (IAH), renamed the Pirbright Institute in 2012, has been handed eight enforcement letters since April 2010, more than any other single facility. Photograph: Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters
The HSE documents reveal that one high-security lab, the Pirbright Institute (formerly the Institute for Animal Health), has been handed eight enforcement letters since April 2010. The Surrey lab is a world-class centre for animal virus surveillance. It studies foot and mouth disease, bluetongue, rinderpest and other infections. But it has a tainted reputation: the 2007 foot and mouth outbreak was traced to a leak from Pirbright’s drains. Scientists at the lab worked on the outbreak strain, but the virus was made in huge volumes by Merial, a vaccine manufacturer at the site.

In the wake of the outbreak, the Commons science and technology committee held an inquiry into biosecurity at UK research labs. Their report, published in 2008, stated: “It is critical such an incident does not happen again.” But near-misses are common at Pirbright.

In April, Pirbright managers pleaded guilty to eight breaches of safety legislation around foot and mouth experiments. The incidents happened in November 2012 and January 2013 when a ventilation system used to keep the lab at negative pressure – to prevent viruses escaping – was modified. The system failed, as did an alarm that should have warned staff of the danger. No virus escaped in the incident.

More incidents followed. The HSE investigated at least four more times at Pirbright since the lapses that led to their prosecution. Some were fairly minor, including the spillage of foot and mouth virus outside a safety cabinet. But in February, the lab had another problem with air circulation in a facility for cattle with foot and mouth disease. This time, high winds knocked the system out for two-and-a-half hours.

Spratt, who in 2007 wrote an independent review for government on biosafety at UK labs that handle foot and mouth, said the malfunctioning of the ventilation system could have been dangerous. “The air handling incident in the large-animal facility at Pirbright is potentially serious as, if foot and mouth disease virus from infected livestock was released outside the facility, exposure of livestock on neighbouring farms is a real possibility,” he said.

In January, scientists at Pirbright will move into new labs, the result of more than £100m refurbishment at the site. That could solve many of the problems the facility has had with failing equipment. But Ebright still has concerns. Some Pirbright incidents point to bad practice and moving labs will not change that, he said. More seriously, he questions whether Pirbright should still be allowed to work on the foot and mouth disease virus. “Is there an economic case that offsets the risk posed by their work, particularly with their sorry record of safety? To my mind, the answer is no,” he said.

Pirbright argues that major benefits come from its research. A statement from the lab said it played a crucial role in controlling and eliminating viral diseases of farm animals and viruses that can spread from animals to humans. Scientists there played a major role in eradicating rinderpest, saving African countries £1bn a year. Its work will lead to safer and cheaper foot and mouth vaccines, and greater understanding of bluetongue virus, which it helped eradicate from the UK in 2007, saving £500m a year, the statement said.

On Pirbright’s prosecution, the statement conceded that the lab “acknowledged its weaknesses in the area of activity involved and has reviewed and reformed its operational processes to ensure an incident such as this could not happen again”.

It continued: “The institute operates in a highly regulated and complex environment. Staff are actively encouraged to report incidents internally to allow us to learn lessons and improve. Any spills or leaks, or issues affecting the multiple and layered biosecurity systems, are reported to the regulators and classified by them as a dangerous occurrence. The reporting of such an incident does not mean there is any risk of release of virus to the environment as there are multiple layers of containment to ensure this does not happen,”

Solutions
The problems at the AHVLA, now the APHA, may be tougher to solve though. “As long as the management remains, the same problems will recur,” Ebright said. “You either close the facility, redirect it or rebuild it, starting with new management. It’s not the managers who send out putatively inactivated anthrax, but they have allowed that to happen. There has to be accountability all the way to the top.”

A researcher analyses viral and bacterial contamination at the MoD's Porton Down lab in Wiltshire
A researcher analyses viral and bacterial contamination at the MoD’s Porton Down lab in Wiltshire. Photograph: Martin Argles/Guardian
Labs that report the most incidents may not be the most lax. One factor that affects the number of reports – and investigations – is how professional staff are at reporting near-misses. A culture of blame makes people hide their mistakes and crucial lessons go unlearned.

Tom Inglesby, director of health security at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said: “It’s very important that scientists are not punished for reporting accidents or near-accidents. That kind of punitive response will create pressures to not report. In other safety cultures, like airline safety, pilots are punished if they do not report near-misses, but not when they do report.”

The HSE investigated two incidents at the MoD’s Porton Down lab near Salisbury last year. They both involved splits in isolation suits. One was at a facility housing marmosets infected with Ebola virus. The tears were reported and the damaged parts replaced. “You will get tears in safety suits. People will spill things. Those kinds of accidents are unavoidable. If they are immediately corrected and reported, the people should be rewarded. They certainly shouldn’t be punished,” said Ebright. “That’s how the system should work.”

Richard Daniels, head of the HSE’s biological agents unit, said the safety of UK labs was good, if not perfect. He said the regulator urged lab directors to focus on their vulnerabilities and to improve safety by bringing in fresh measures to assess how well their staff were trained, and how well their equipment was maintained. “With the likes of large organisations, Pirbright, APHA and others, we expect leadership to come from the top, because that sets the culture and the expectations below it. The danger is that if you don’t look at these things proactively, complacency can perhaps affect an organisation, because you haven’t got anything to tell you that things are going awry,” he said.

Inglesby said: “Every lab system, whether university, government or private sector, should make it absolutely clear to its scientists that laboratory safety is a top priority and should be built in to every practice, not an add on, or a checkbox.”

A BIS spokesperson said: “We take any breach of security and safety procedures in animal disease testing facilities very seriously. In these instances, there was no risk to the public and no viruses were released. Health and safety procedures at Pirbright have been strengthened and the BBSRC [Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council] have invested millions of pounds into facilities including the National Virology Centre, which boasts a brand new state-of-the-art high laboratory facility. An independent review was commissioned to promote the development of robust, effective systems and work practices at Pirbright and ensure public safety”.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which funded the AHVLA and now the APHA, said on Thursday afternoon:“UK animal disease laboratories are nationally and internationally recognised for their expertise, playing a crucial role in the swift diagnosis of notifiable disease, as shown in the recent avian flu outbreak. As with any laboratory, improvements in procedures are continually made and we always follow HSE advice.”

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doubts about “Novichoks”
http://syriapropagandamedia.org/doubts-about-novichoks

Doubts about “Novichoks”
The following briefing note is developed from ongoing research and investigation into the use of chemical and biological weapons during the 2011-present war in Syria conducted by members of the Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda. The note reflects work in progress. However, the substantive questions raised need answering, especially given the seriousness of the political crisis that is now developing. We welcome comments and corrections.

Authors: Professor Paul McKeigue and Professor Piers Robinson (piers.robinson@sheffield.ac.uk/+447764763350)

Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda (syriapropagandamedia.org).

Novichoks and the Salisbury poisonings
In the House of Commons on 12 March the Prime Minister stated that:

It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. It is part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichok. Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so, Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the Government have concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The Prime Minister said if there is no “credible response” by the end of Tuesday 12 March, the UK would conclude there has been an “unlawful use of force” by Moscow.

Summary of key issues that need to be addressed

1) There are reasons to doubt that these compounds are military grade nerve agents or that a Russian “Novichok” programme ever existed. If they were potentially usable as chemical weapons, people on the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board who were in a position to know the properties of these compounds would have recommended that they be added to the list of Scheduled Chemicals. They have never been added.

2) Synthesis at bench scale of organic chemicals such as the purported “Novichoks” is within the capability of a modern chemistry laboratory. Porton Down itself must have been able to synthesize these compounds in order to develop tests for them. The detection of such a compound does not establish Russian origin.


Details
(1) Doubts about the history of the “Novichok” Programme
The history of the alleged “Novichok” programme remains unclear. The original source for the story that a new class of organophosphate compounds was developed as chemical weapons under the name Novichok in the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s is from Vil Mirzayanov, a defector in the 1990s. Mirzayanov described the chemical structures of these compounds and stated that the toxicity of an agent named Novichuk-5 “under optimal conditions exceeds the effectiveness of VX by five to eight times”. Mirzayanov alleged that Russian testing and production had continued after signing the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993.

However, a review by Dr Robin Black, who was until recently head of the detection laboratory at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Porton Down), emphasizes that there is no independent confirmation of Mirzayanov’s claims about the chemical properties of these compounds:

In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)

The OPCW’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) appeared to doubt the existence of “Novichoks”, and did not advise that the compounds described by Mirzayanov, or their precursors, should be designated as Scheduled Chemicals that should be controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention:-

[The SAB] emphasised that the definition of toxic chemicals in the Convention would cover all potential candidate chemicals that might be utilised as chemical weapons. Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to “Novichoks”. The name “Novichok” is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of “Novichoks”. (OPCW, 2013)

The Scientific Advisory Board included Dr Black, and several other heads of national chemical defence laboratories in western countries. These labs would have presumably made their own evaluation of Mirzayanov’s claims and specifically would have done their own experiments to determine if compounds with the structures that he described were of military grade toxicity. Such studies can be done quickly and efficiently in vitro using methods developed for drug discovery (combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening). It is reasonable to assume that if these labs had found that these compounds were potentially usable as chemical weapons, the Scientific Advisory Board would have recommended adding them to the list of Scheduled Chemicals as the Chemical Weapons Convention requires.

Until independent confirmation of Mirzayanov’s claims about the toxicity of these compounds is available, and there is an adequate explanation of why the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board did not recommend that the compounds purported to be “Novichoks” and their precursors be designated as scheduled chemicals, it is reasonable to question whether these compounds are military grade nerve agents, or that a Russian “Novichok” programme ever actually existed.

(2) Who Could Have Synthesized the ‘Novichok’ Compounds?
The Prime Minister stated that:

There are, therefore, only two plausible explanations for what happened in Salisbury on 4 March: either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country; or the Russian Government lost control of their potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.

However, Mirzayanov originally claimed that the Novichok agents were easy to synthesize:-

One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides. (Mirzayanov, 1995).

Soviet scientists had published many papers in the open literature on the chemistry of such compounds for possible use as insecticides. Mirzayanov claimed that “this research program was premised on the ability to hide the production of precursor chemicals under the guise of legitimate commercial chemical production of agricultural chemicals”.

As the structures of these compounds have been described, any organic chemist with a modern lab would be able to synthesize bench scale quantities of such a compound. Indeed, Porton Down must have been able to synthesize these compounds in order to develop tests for them. It is therefore misleading to assert that only Russia could have produced such compounds.



References

Vil S. Mirzayanov, “Dismantling the Soviet/Russian Chemical Weapons Complex: An Insider’s View,” in Amy E. Smithson, Dr. Vil S. Mirzayanov, Gen Roland Lajoie, and Michael Krepon, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects, Stimson Report No. 17, October 1995, p. 21. https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/105521/Report17.pdf

OPCW: Report of the Scientific Advisory Board on developments in science and technology for the Third Review Conference 27 March 2013. https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/CSP/RC-3/en/rc3wp01_e_.pdf

Robin Black. (2016) Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents. Royal Society of Chemistry. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/chapter/bk9781849739696-00001/978-1-849 73-969-6

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

by email wrote:
John Lough and James Sherr

-

ref your report today:-

https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/skripal-attack-test-uk




The Skripal Attack Is a Test for the UK

-

Therein you have started off by saying:-

.......

There can be little doubt that the Russian government is behind the attempted assassination of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

While there were the typical official denials, the Russian state has ways of communicating its innocence to foreign governments. In this case, it has not done so.

-

There is another possibility.

Namely that the whole gas attack is being stage managed by the backroom boys at Tory Party HQ so as to be a media distraction away from Brexit ..at least until after the Easter recess.

-

The Government of Theresa May lost its overall majority in Parliament at the last General election.

Now that the DUP seem to be lining-up with the EU and against the Tory Government in Parliament, there is a risk of the Tory Government losing a vote in Parliament, and with the Party being split collapsing for all time.

-

Alternatively if Theresa May stands down quietly forthwith at the start of the Easter recess and a hard line Brexiteer like Jacob Rees-Mogg MP takes over the leadership, then he can get the support of Tory MPs for the survival of the Party - regardless.

He can rule out there needing to be a second referendum.

-

One must not forget how in 1962, when the Tory Party was being torn apart by Profumo scandal,it was only saved by the media being distracted of the Great Train Robbery.

It allowed Harold Macmillan to quit quietly and Alec Douglas Home takeover as the new Prime Minister..

-

This time also during the brief gap during the handover from Theresa May to Jacob , the assets of the WMD arms dealer John Bredenkamp can be quietly unfrozen.

He has many creditors within the Tory Party

Countries on his customer list are also hostile to Israel, Russia and China.

The UBS bullion bond copied below carries a reference number of June 2012.

ie when the cash value of the Gold to which John Bredenkamp holds title was the stated £89.7 million pounds sterling....[1]

-

Incidentally , North Korea tested an ex-USAF plutonium warhead on 9th Oct 2006 by making it fizzle.

The total number of type W69 warheads that went astray in the wake of a largely unreported and catastrophic event with a B52 bomber could have been a maximum number of eight.

John Bredenkamp's Rhodesian mob were able to come by many of them.

-

To begin to get onto that wavelength you could watch the DVD ......The Sum of All Fears.

-



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Porton Down: Investigation 'now looking into 45 deaths'
By Chris Gray Tuesday 1 August 2000 23:00 BST0 comments
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/porton-down-investig ation-now-looking-into-45-deaths-710762.html

The Independent Online
Police investigating chemical warfare tests at a Ministry of Defence research centre in Wiltshire are now thought to be examining at least 45 deaths.

Police investigating chemical warfare tests at a Ministry of Defence research centre in Wiltshire are now thought to be examining at least 45 deaths.

Their inquiry initially focused on the death of Ronald Maddison, who died in 1953 after he was exposed to the nerve gas sarin B in trials at the Porton Down centre. Wiltshire Police are believed to be looking at another 45 cases where relatives claim death was caused by the tests.

The force would not confirm a figure last night but did say that relatives had made a series of allegations. Some Wiltshire Police sources were quoted as saying the inquiry could eventually include 70 deaths as a result of the complaints.

The investigation began after former servicemen, who were among about 20,000 workers tested at Porton Down over the past 80 years, alleged they were tricked into volunteering for dangerous chemical warfare tests in the Fifties and Sixties.

Many believe they suffered respiratory illnesses, skin diseases, heart and lung problems and poor eyesight because of the tests. If their complaints are upheld, the MoD faces multi-million-pound compensation claims.

One of the most serious allegations centres on Maddison, who died aged 20 after liquid sarin was applied to his arm. The death certificate for Maddison, of Consett, Co Durham says he died from asphyxia. The coroner's report into his death has never been released. Maddison's representatives allege that scientists wanted to see how long the chemical took to seep through battle dress.

Wiltshire Police's investigation was originally expected to finish last month but last night a force spokesman said it had "some way to run" and was not expected to end before the end of the year.

The spokesman said that confirming the number of deaths under investigation was not helpful because it led to relatives contacting the inquiry team to see if their case was included, which took time away from working on the inquiry.

Wiltshire Police have asked the Home Office for help in meeting the bill for the inquiry, which was standing at £340,000 last month, with running costs at £40,000 a month.

Yesterday, five new officers seconded from the Army, Navy and Air Force's own police services joined the investigators. The team, headed by a detective superintendent, already included two MoD police officers, six detectives, four constables and two support staff. Crown Prosecution Service lawyers and Home Office staff also advise the team. The Metropolitan Police has reviewed the case and said it needed further investigation and resources but the Home Office rarely gives special assistance payments.

As part of the inquiry, detectives have travelled to the United States. The Pentagon agreed to pay compensation to members of its armed forces whose health was affected by similar nerve gas experiments carried out there.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote




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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Chemical Weapons Defense Centre at Porto Down to be built costing £48M.. Now would they have got away with that in normal circumstances...? Public opinion on their side following spy and daughter poisoning.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43405686

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) Porton Down has acknowledged in publications it has never seen any Russian “novichoks”. The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information such as impurities that can safely attribute this substance to Russia.
2) Until now, neither Porton Down nor the world’s experts at the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were convinced “Novichoks” even exist.
3) The UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW.
4) “Novichoks” were specifically designed to be able to be manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench. The Americans dismantled and studied the facility that allegedly developed them. It is completely untrue only the Russians could make them, if anybody can.
5) The “Novichok” programme was in Uzbekistan not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam 331
14 Mar, 2018 in Uncategorized by craig | View Comments
As recently as 2016 Dr Robin Black, Head of the Detection Laboratory at the UK’s only chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, a former colleague of Dr David Kelly, published in an extremely prestigious scientific journal that the evidence for the existence of Novichoks was scant and their composition unknown.

In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)
Robin Black. (2016) Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents. Royal Society of Chemistry

Yet now, the British Government is claiming to be able instantly to identify a substance which its only biological weapons research centre has never seen before and was unsure of its existence. Worse, it claims to be able not only to identify it, but to pinpoint its origin. Given Dr Black’s publication, it is plain that claim cannot be true.

The world’s international chemical weapons experts share Dr Black’s opinion. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a UN body based in the Hague. In 2013 this was the report of its Scientific Advisory Board, which included US, French, German and Russian government representatives and on which Dr Black was the UK representative:

[The SAB] emphasised that the definition of toxic chemicals in the Convention would cover all potential candidate chemicals that might be utilised as chemical weapons. Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to “Novichoks”. The name “Novichok” is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of “Novichoks”. (OPCW, 2013)
OPCW: Report of the Scientific Advisory Board on developments in science and technology for the Third Review Conference 27 March 2013

Indeed the OPCW was so sceptical of the viability of “novichoks” that it decided – with US and UK agreement – not to add them nor their alleged precursors to its banned list. In short, the scientific community broadly accepts Mirzayanov was working on “novichoks” but doubts he succeeded.

Given that the OPCW has taken the view the evidence for the existence of “Novichoks” is dubious, if the UK actually has a sample of one it is extremely important the UK presents that sample to the OPCW. Indeed the UK has a binding treaty obligation to present that sample to OPCW. Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.

Yet Britain refuses to submit it to the OPCW.

Why?

A second part of May’s accusation is that “Novichoks” could only be made in certain military installations. But that is also demonstrably untrue. If they exist at all, Novichoks were allegedly designed to be able to be made at bench level in any commercial chemical facility – that was a major point of them. The only real evidence for the existence of Novichoks was the testimony of the ex-Soviet scientist Mizayanov. And this is what Mirzayanov actually wrote.

One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides.
Vil S. Mirzayanov, “Dismantling the Soviet/Russian Chemical Weapons Complex: An Insider’s View,” in Amy E. Smithson, Dr. Vil S. Mirzayanov, Gen Roland Lajoie, and Michael Krepon, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects, Stimson Report No. 17, October 1995, p. 21.

It is a scientific impossibility for Porton Down to have been able to test for Russian novichoks if they have never possessed a Russian sample to compare them to. They can analyse a sample as conforming to a Mirzayanov formula, but as he published those to the world twenty years ago, that is no proof of Russian origin. If Porton Down can synthesise it, so can many others, not just the Russians.

And finally – Mirzayanov is an Uzbek name and the novichok programme, assuming it existed, was in the Soviet Union but far away from modern Russia, at Nukus in modern Uzbekistan. I have visited the Nukus chemical weapons site myself. It was dismantled and made safe and all the stocks destroyed and the equipment removed by the American government, as I recall finishing while I was Ambassador there. There has in fact never been any evidence that any “novichok” ever existed in Russia itself.

To summarise: [above]

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerve Agent recipe available for $30.

"State Secrets: An Insider's Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program"
by Vil S Mirzayanov

includes the recipe to create the nerve agent.

Available for $8.99 for kindle

https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/14 32725661
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Russian Ambassador to the UK is giving an interview now to RT's Anastasia Churkina about the chemical-poisoning of a former Russian spy allegations being made by PM Theresa May and the British government against Russia and President Putin.

The Main Points:
It is obvious the charges by the UK against Russia about this "poisoning" incident are false, and expose a deeper strategy of deceit to obtain political objectives. the British government is refusing to answer any questions, provide any material, invite international scientific inspections, and have tried to emotionally hyperventilate this fake story into a nightmare reality. Why? The Globalist UK-EU-US-SOROS types are desperate to ignite a war in order to hide in its flames. The "psychological operation" seems to be attempting to achieve the following objectives:

1) the political-career stabilization of the establishment Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been slipping into madness and oblivion since BREXIT;

2) the demonization of Russia as an easy enemy that distracts the public away from the slow destruction of civil liberties and rights and freedoms by the rising police state;

3) the cultivation and preparation of the public mind to be receptive to increased domination and control by the government;

4) the expansion of the "chemical weapon" narrative as a potential threat against "New York", as claimed by US UN Rep Nikki Haley, as well as other UK-US-NATO members;

5) the potential "suspension" of the BREXIT and European Union break-up using this incident as a "call to reverse course and re-integrate the European Union with Britain and France as a matter of "continental security against Russia";

6) the manipulation of American President Donald Trump to buy in and partner in the lie, and participate in the political war as a pre-text for the military one brewing;

7) justify increased military movement of weapons into Ukraine, Syria, and Yemen to try and counter Russia-Iran's success in the Syrian war against Wahhabi-Saudi-Israeli terrorists pushing ISIS/AL NUSRA to try and destabilize Syrian President Bashar Assad;

8) The blow back will be a separation of the thinking people from the mindless idiots in society, and an increase in social distrust and hostility towards the politicians and media and government institutions fomenting instability and the destruction of personal civil liberty through manufactured national hysteria. Essentially they've cried wolf far too many times to be given any respect by truthful citizens.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Of A Type Developed By Liars 226
16 Mar, 2018 in Uncategorized by craig
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/of-a-type-developed-by -liars/

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.
When the same extremely careful phrasing is never deviated from, you know it is the result of a very delicate Whitehall compromise. My FCO source, like me, remembers the extreme pressure put on FCO staff and other civil servants to sign off the dirty dossier on Iraqi WMD, some of which pressure I recount in my memoir Murder in Samarkand. She volunteered the comparison to what is happening now, particularly at Porton Down, with no prompting from me.

Separately I have written to the media office at OPCW to ask them to confirm that there has never been any physical evidence of the existence of Russian Novichoks, and the programme of inspection and destruction of Russian chemical weapons was completed last year.

Did you know these interesting facts?

OPCW inspectors have had full access to all known Russian chemical weapons facilities for over a decade – including those identified by the “Novichok” alleged whistleblower Mirzayanov – and last year OPCW inspectors completed the destruction of the last of 40,000 tonnes of Russian chemical weapons

By contrast the programme of destruction of US chemical weapons stocks still has five years to run

Israel has extensive stocks of chemical weapons but has always refused to declare any of them to the OPCW. Israel is not a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention nor a member of the OPCW. Israel signed in 1993 but refused to ratify as this would mean inspection and destruction of its chemical weapons. Israel undoubtedly has as much technical capacity as any state to synthesise “Novichoks”.

Until this week, the near universal belief among chemical weapons experts, and the official position of the OPCW, was that “Novichoks” were at most a theoretical research programme which the Russians had never succeeded in actually synthesising and manufacturing. That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.

Porton Down is still not certain it is the Russians who have apparently synthesised a “Novichok”. Hence “Of a type developed by Russia”. Note developed, not made, produced or manufactured.

It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

UPDATE

This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UK's claims questioned: doubts voiced about source of Salisbury novichok
Ewen MacAskill
Ceremony to mark the destruction of Russia’s stock of chemical weapons was held last November
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/15/uks-claims-questioned- doubts-emerge-about-source-of-salisburys-novichok

Theresa May with Wiltshire police’s chief constable, Kier Pritchard, in Salisbury on Thursday.

Theresa May with Wiltshire police’s chief constable, Kier Pritchard, in Salisbury on Thursday. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
It was a historic moment largely ignored at the time by most of the world’s media and might have remained so but for the attack in Salisbury. At a ceremony last November at the headquarters of the world body responsible for the elimination of chemical weapons in The Hague, a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the destruction of the last of Russia’s stockpiles.

Gen Ahmet Üzümcü, the director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which works closely with the UN, was fulsome in his praise. “This is a major achievement,” he said. The 192-member body had seemingly overseen and verified the destruction of Russia’s entire stock of chemical weapons, all 39,967 metric tons.

The question now is whether all of Russia’s chemical weapons were destroyed and accounted for. Theresa May – having identified the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack as novichok, developed in Russia – told the Commons on Wednesday that Russia had offered no explanation as to why it had “an undeclared chemical weapons programme in contravention of international law”. Jeremy Corbyn introduced a sceptical note, questioning whether there was any evidence as to the location of its production.

The exchanges provoked a debate echoing the one that preceded the 2003 invasion of Iraq over whether UN weapons inspectors had overseen the destruction of all the weapons of mass destruction in the country or whether Saddam Hussein had retained secret hidden caches.

On social media, there were arguments that the novichok could have come from some part of the former Soviet Union other than Russia, such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan or Ukraine, or some non-state group, maybe criminals.

The years following the fall of the Berlin Wall were chaotic, with chemical weapons laboratories and storage sites across the Soviet Union abandoned by staff who were no longer being paid. Security was almost non-existent, leaving the sites at the mercy of criminal gangs or disenchanted staff looking to supplement their income.

“Could somebody have smuggled something out?” Amy Smithson, a US-based biological and chemical weapons expert, said to Reuters. “I certainly wouldn’t rule that possibility out, especially a small amount and particularly in view of how lax the security was at Russian chemical facilities in the early 1990s.”

It took almost a decade before order was restored, in part through stockpiles being transferred to Russia from other parts of the former Soviet Union and in part through help from US and other western experts.

Novichok was developed at a laboratory complex in Shikhany, in central Russia, according to a British weapons expert, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, and a Russian chemist involved in the chemical weapons programme, Vil Mirzayanov, who later defected to the US. Mirzayanov said the novichok was tested at Nukus, in Uzbekistan.

The former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who visited the site at Nukus, said it had been dismantled with US help. He is among those advocating scepticism about the UK placing blame on Russia.

In a blog post, he wrote: “The same people who assured you Saddam Hussein had WMDs now assure you Russian ‘novichok’ nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil.”

A Russian lawyer, Boris Kuznetsov, told Reuters he was offering to pass to the British authorities a file he said might be relevant to the Salisbury case. It details an incident when poison hidden in a phone receiver killed a Russian banker and his secretary in 1995. The poison came from an employee at the state chemical facility who sold it through intermediaries – in an ampule placed in a presentation case – to help reduce his debts.

The UK government case rests not just on its argument that novichok was developed in Russia, but what it says is past form, a record of Russian state-sponsored assassination of former spies.

Murray, in a phone interview, is undeterred, determined to challenge the government line, in spite of having been subjected to a level of abuse on social media he had not experienced before.

“There is no evidence it was Russia. I am not ruling out that it could be Russia, though I don’t see the motive. I want to see where the evidence lies,” Murray said. “Anyone who expresses scepticism is seen as an enemy of the state.”

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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