Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 31, 2018

Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats To Suppress 'Novichok' Discussions

While the last act of the 'Novichok' drama, the seasonally appropriate resurrection of the Skripals, proceeds, some additional details of the history of 'Novichok' nerve agents come to light.

Details on 'Novichok' nerve agents were published in a 2007 book by Vil Mirzayanaov, a Soviet scientist offered asylum in the United States.

After the publication the U.S. and the UK actively suppressed international discussions about the book and the 'Novichok' chemical weapon agents. Documents from the U.S. State Department published by Wikileaks show that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton directed her diplomats to not talk about Novichok and to play down the matter should it arise in chemical weapon control talks.


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The so called 'Novichok' group of nerve agents were developed in the 1970s and 80s by Pyotr Kirpichev and Vladimir Uglev under a Soviet program codenamed 'Foilant'.

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Later on the development group handed the project off to Professor Leonid Rink for further developments of the substances into binary agents which would make them usable as military weapons. But the Soviet Union broke down and stopped paying its scientists. Rink secretly produced a small dosage of one of the Novichok agents and sold it to a Latvian mafia contact. In 1995 the poison was used to kill a Russian mobster kingpin/banker and his secretary in Moscow. Rink produced several more doses and sold them. Their whereabouts are unknown but such substances are supposedly unstable and they will likely have lost their effect.

Another scientist at those laboratories, the chemical analyst Vil Mirzayanov was tasked with detecting environmental and security leaks from the laboratories. He knew of the 'Foliant' program and the developed 'Novichok' agents. In the early 1990s he blew the whistle about them, was harassed by the state and in 1996 was allowed to go to the United States. There he spilled his beans (pdf) and told the U.S. whatever he knew.

In 1997 the Russian Federation and other states of the former Soviet Union joined the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroyed their chemical weapon stocks and production facilities. One production and test facility for the 'Novichok' agents was in Nukus, Uzbekistan. In 1999 the U.S. helped to dismantle that facility. It surely acquired additional knowledge about everything that was produced there.

In 2008 Mirzayanov published a book about his story and the chemical agents developed under the 'Foilant' program. The book included the chemical formulas of the agents.


1, 2

Today Mirzayanov lives in a million dollar home in Princeton, New Jersey.

The book created new interest in the international community of chemical weapon scientists. People involved with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were highly interested in this. Was there really a new '4th generation' of chemical weapons that could be easily made from freely available industrial precursors? Naturally the U.S. diplomats involved in the arms control efforts and in the OPCW were asked about this.

U.S. State Department documents published by Wikileaks provide that the U.S. and the UK tried to suppress any discussion of the book. (A big thank you to Stephen McIntyre of Climate Audit who found these cables.)

From these U.S. State Department cables we learn of several meetings in March and April 2009, shortly after Mirzayanov's 'Novichok' book came out, where the issue was discussed. U.S. diplomats at The Hague asked the CIA, the National Security Council and the State Department how to react to questions about Mirzayanov's book:

CWC: INQUIRIES IN THE HAGUE ABOUT MIRZAYANOV "STATE SECRETS" BOOK

2. (S) On March 25, in a private conversation, Canadian delegate asked U.S. and UK Delreps whether they had heard of the Mirzayanov book "State Secrets: An Insider's View of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program." Canadian Rep added that Mirzayanov now appeared on YouTube. UK Rep acknowledged she had heard of it, but said this was the first time she had heard of "novichoks" and thought the entire discussion was best left to experts in capital. U.S. Delrep indicated a lack of familiarity with the subject matter and indicated no interest in pursuing the discussion further.

3. (S) On March 4, Delrep met with U.S. Rep to the OPCW Data Validation Group. In addition to a routine report on the activities of the Validation Group the week of March 2, U.S. Rep informed Delrep that representatives of several countries (Finland, Netherlands, UK) had begun discussing the Mirzayanov book on the margins of the meeting. All participants in the discussion seemed to be simply gauging the level of awareness; these same individuals also expressed some doubt as to the credibility/accuracy of the information in the book. U.S. Rep to the Validation Group confirmed that no other members of the group took part in or were listening to this conversation.

4. (S) Del Note: U.S. Del understands from OSD that the UK Ministry of Defense has spoken to its counterparts in the Netherlands and Finland, apprised them of the conversation, and asked each country to provide guidance to its del members not/not to raise this issue in the future. End Note.

(The (S) denote these paragraphs as "Secret".)

On March 2 delegates from Finland, the Netherlands and the UK discussed the book. Afterwards the UK Ministry of Defense asked the other governments to "shut the f*** up" about it. In a March 25 meeting a Canadian delegate came up with questions about the book. The U.S. and the UK delegate played dumb. The U.S. delegate then asks how to handle the issue in future meetings:

5. (S) Action Request: As the implications of this book for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) are likely to come up at future OPCW meetings (particularly technical meetings like the upcoming Scientific Advisory Board meeting 30 March - 1 April 2009), Del requests guidance as to how this issue is to be handled if raised by others. U.S. members of OPCW technical advisory bodies do not necessarily have contact with the U.S. delegation during their time in The Hague; guidance will need to be provided directly to these individuals.

The requested guidance came in a message from the State Department on April 3:

AUSTRALIA GROUP: GUIDANCE FOR INFORMAL INTERSESSIONAL MEETING IN LONDON, APRIL 6-7, 2009

(The Australia Group is an informal U.S. led group of 'western' countries which harmonizes export controls of materials related to weapons of mass destruction.)

1. (U) This message provides guidance for the U.S. delegation to the Australia Group's informal intersessional meeting in London on April 6-7, 2009.

The guidance lists five "objectives" for the meeting. The fifth one is:

-- Avoid any substantive discussion of the Mirazayanov book "State Secrets: An Insider's View of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program" or so-called 'Fourth Generation Agents.'

Further down it details:

7. (C) If AG participants raise the issue of Vils Mirazayonov's book "State Secrets: An Insider's View of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program," the Del should:

-- Report any instances in which the book is raised.

-- Not/not start or provoke conversations about the book or engage substantively if it comes up in conversation.

-- Express a lack of familiarity with the issue.

-- Quietly discourage substantive discussions by suggesting that the issue is 'best left to experts in capitals.'

CLINTON

The follow-up U.S. delegation report after the meeting of the Australia Group does not mention 'Novichok' or the book. The issue was kept off the table.

The above is not the only involvement of "CLINTON" in the 'Novichok' and Skripal affair. The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign paid the British company Orbis to create the 'dirty dossier' about Trump and his alleged connections to Russia. Christopher Steele, a former(?) MI6 agent, and his former(?) MI6 colleague Pablo Miller wrote the dossier, claiming that its information came from Russian sources. Pablo Miller was the MI6 agent who had recruited Sergej Skripal as a spy for the UK. Miller lives in Salisbury where Sergej Skripal lives and where he and his daughter were allegedly attacked with a 'Novichok' nerve agent. Miller was a friend of Sergej Skripal and regularly met him. It is quite possible that some of the shoddy rumors in the Steele dossier were sourced from Skripal or from his daughter Yulia. The incident in Salisbury could well be related to the dossier or other dubiously alleged campaign issues.

It is intriguing that the U.S. and the UK tried to downplay any discussion of 'Novichoks' and the book. Why did they do so?

Until 2016 the OPCW's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) as well as scientists at the UK weapon laboratory in Porton Down sowed doubts about the very existence of 'Novichoks'. We fell for this when we asked if 'Novichocks' exist at all. Until late 2016 the OPCW did not list the substances and their precursors. This was no oversight but intent.  Active U.S. suppression efforts against any mentioning of 'Novichoks' in the OPCW already occurred in 2006:

7. (C) Drawing on the points provided in reftel, del rep met with delegates from the UK (Mark Matthews), Switzerland (Ruth flint), Austria (Hans Schramml) and Czech Republic (Jitka Brodska) to discuss the recent ill-considered comments made by Scientific Advisory Board Chairman Matousek to the Western Group. All of the delegates appreciated the clarification that the U.S. did not develop or weaponize NGA, including "Novichoks." They also agreed with the U.S. that it is a bad idea to have a discussion on whether to add NGAs to the CWC Schedules of Chemicals. Finally, they all also stated that they had not heard of any interest by any delegation in pursuing such an effort, and the issue has not/not resurfaced in WEOG.

Jiri Matousek, a Czech scientist leading the SAB, was told to shut up. A U.S. diplomat contacted the Czech government and later reported his success. The headline of his cable is telling: MTAG: CZECHS MUZZLE ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN ON NEXT GENERATION AGENTS.

It is clear now that the professed ignorance of the OPCW about 'Novichocks' was a consequences of U.S. and British pressure to discourage any discussion of the issue.

In 2016 a group of Iranian scientists synthesized five 'Novichok' substances. It devised ways to detect them. The results were published and added to the OPCW database.

The British government insinuates that Russia is the only country that could make 'Novichok' agents and must therefore have attacked the Skripals. This is obviously nonsense. The U.S. and the UK were deeply involved in the 'Novichok' issue. They certainly tried and succeeded to re-create these substances. After the formulas of the nerve agents were published by Mirzayanov the U.S. and the UK suppressed discussion of the issue. The OPCW professed to know nothing about them. Only after Iranian scientists independently re-created the agents and published about them were they added to the OPCW database.

Three questions come to mind which the U.S. and British government should be pressed to answer:

  • Why did the Clinton State Department and the British government suppress international talks about the 'Novichok' agents?
  • Why did they try, successfully it seems, to keep the issue out of the OPCW's Scientific Advisory Board?
  • Why were the substances kept out of the OPCW database until independent Iranian scientists finally re-created them?
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Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the Skripal case:

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Sidenote:

There is another Wikileaks document that mentions Vil Mirzanayov. It includes (point 20) the translation of a December 2009 report by the Russian daily paper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, owned by the Berezovsky Media Group, about U.S. attempts to split the tiny Republic of Tatarstan from the Russian Federation. With less than four million inhabitants Tatarstan in the Volga region is a rather irrelevant sub-state of Russia. But even president Obama was involved in the scheme and in October 2009 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Tatar capital Kazan. Vil Mirazayanov played a prominent role in the rather stupid game:

As though in confirmation, the so called "government of Tatarstan in exile" was formed in the United States in December 2008. It is headed by US citizen Vil Mirzayanov, a Russian scientist granted political asylum in the United States. Along with Mirzayanov himself, the alleged government includes two Germans and a Turk. This self-proclaimed government already appealed to the UN to recognize independence of Tatarstan in the manner sovereignty of Kosovo, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia had been.

Vil Mirzayanaov signed the bombastic Declaration of Independence of Tatarstan. But as far as I can tell nothing significant came out of the 'Independent Tatarstan' project. In 2014 the U.S. and Turkey used groups of jihadist Tatars they had trained in their unsuccessful attempts to gain control of Crimea. These issues could be related.

Posted by b on March 31, 2018 at 07:19 AM | Permalink

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I can just imagine Vil Mirzayanov as Tatarstan's equivalent of Mustafa Dzhemilev for Crimea, and in spirit is just as small as Dzhemilev is physically.

That both the would-be independent Tatarstan and the new Crimea (controlled by Crimean Tatars) stayed stuck on their starting blocks surely indicates that in both territories most Tatars and Crimean Tatars respectively didn't support those projects.

Possibly the projects could be related if Turkey originally had been behind both of them and had been using the same strategies and trying to link the projects. Apart from that, I do not think the Tatars of Tatarstan and the Crimean Tatars have much in common; or, with regard to language and religion, they have as much common with each other as the English and Germans do.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 31, 2018 7:48:24 AM | 1

Very curious now as to where the UK government is going with this Aeroflot aircraft search, flagrantly disregarding international law and diplomacy. Now Russia is saying we'll search all your planes if that's how you want to play. It's clear the Ukraine/Syria situation and now more in the spotlight the World Cup in Russia is driving London mad and most likely Washington is getting behind that madness. Even before the 'nerve agent attack' there were letters and phone calls made to FIFA, from the likes of neo-cons, McCain for one, saying the World Cup should not be allowed there, it 'will give Russia prestige and better optics on the world stage'.

It's a multi-pronged effort all this getting back at Russia. The griping and whinging and accusations with 'measures' are set to increase, they will pull something(Ukraine?) or try to during the cup as they did with Sochi 2014.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Mar 31, 2018 7:50:49 AM | 2

At one point I started thinking that the point of this whole theater production choreographed and scripted by the US and UK (and maybe a third party) was to implicate Iran, by starting off to allege Russia was the culprit.

Russia would then defend itself by, among other things, soon bring up Iranian research on this type of nerve agent, which then would implicate Iran, while at the same time force a Russian condemnation of Iran, and consequently cause a military option against Iran to a) have a seemingly clear cause and motive, and b) carry at least some support or justification (and maybe even obligation vis a vis the OPCW), or at least no opposition, from Russia.

Would have been a brilliant plan. Luckily the UK and the US are governed by incompetent clowns.

Still, keeping in mind 'Cui Bono?', some setup like this is still possible.

Posted by: bjd | Mar 31, 2018 8:13:02 AM | 3

Why where the substances kept out of the OPCW database until independent Iranian scientists finally re-created them?

The more interesting question is what motivated Iranian scientists to recreate Novichok for the OPCW database?

Because Iran realised it was a tool for assassinations?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 8:28:25 AM | 4

And the plot thickens. The internet of things, i.e.: almost instant fact finding, exposure to the truth, at least as we believe it to be, denies hiding today vs 20 years ago. I read The UNZ Review Digest of March 30, 2018 today, especially one by the Saker. Real or ???

Posted by: Eugene | Mar 31, 2018 8:37:40 AM | 5

"Later on the development group handed the project off to Professor Leonid Rink for further developments of the substances into binary agents which would make them usable as military weapons. But the Soviet Union broke down and stopped paying its scientists. Rink secretly produced a small dosage of one of the Novichok agents and sold it to a Latvian mafia contact. In 1995 the poison was used to kill a Russian mobster kingpin/banker and his secretary in Moscow. "

Do we know who investigated the murder of said mobster and how it came in the open that it was a 'novichok' class agent? Was it Russian authorities/police?

Posted by: bjd | Mar 31, 2018 8:40:50 AM | 6

@bjd - check the interview with Rink linked in Russian and as machine translation in this piece. Yes, Russian cops investigated and Russian scientist confirmed the issue. Don't know exactly how it came out but it has long been public knowledge that chemical weapons stuff was involved.

Posted by: b | Mar 31, 2018 8:45:36 AM | 7

The US has recruited Porton Down as a contractor in its outsourced CW/BW research program. The deal is worth $70 million.
Porton Down has conducted CW agent dispersal tests on unwitting members of the public on London Underground. It has also commissioned research in how to improve dispersal of fine dry powders (eg military grade anthrax spores). This all seems to be more offense related than defense (eg antidotes, etc).

http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/03/28/revealed-pentagons-70-million-chemical-biological-program-at-porton-down-in-uk/

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 31, 2018 8:46:58 AM | 8

"the seasonally appropriate resurrection of the Skripals"

Maybe they have been give a dose of atropine at last. It breaks the block on the nervous system created by the nerve agent. Perhaps the cop was given it much earlier.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 31, 2018 8:48:47 AM | 9

He says HT Richard Compton, that's me, guys! I found that info on this very interesting article:

That is simply their business,” says an initiate. „The properties of all potential toxins are investigated.” A chemist like Julian Perry Robinson assumes this. „For years, it was only about two things: novichoks and peptides”, he said in an interview with this newspaper in 2014. In February 2006, the then chairman of the scientific advisory board of the OPCW, the Czech Jiri Matousek, said it plainly: in Edgewood, novichoks are being developed.

It appears from ‘secret’ classified telegrams (WikiLeaks: Cablegate) that the Americans have made sure that he would not dare to say that again.
(cable links here: https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06PRAGUE319_a.html and here: https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE32931_a.html noticed it is signed by CLINTON!)

The article itself by Karel Knip on March 21st which revealed that is very interesting and well worth a read:

https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2018/03/21/unknown-newcomer-novichok-was-long-known-a1596490

My take was that they were trying to avoid information getting into Terrorist hands as it is relatively easy to make and inexpewnsive as well as being deadly (in some cases :)) But, it could be for other reasons, that’s open to conjecture.

Posted by: Billy Bostickson | Mar 31, 2018 9:04:33 AM | 10

10

No, they were trying to avoid controls by OPCW.

b. your link on related US election matters is pretty good - it is mainly on British Conservative Party collusion with Russian capital, SCL and Cambridge Analytica posing the interesting question why Cameron started the referendum on BREXIT in the first place and why May keeps insisting on it.

It includes the information that according to sources (presumably ORBIS) Skripal was working on links between Cambridge Analytica, Canadian AIGQ, SCL and the Petersburg Internet Research Agency.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 9:16:18 AM | 11

@2-Gravatomic ---

The UK has been quite brazen about flaunting 500 years of jurisprudence (innocent until...) and multiple international rules/laws and customs.

In my view this is Imperial behavior. The AngloZionist/Wahhabi Empire coming out into the open. No need to bother hiding behind "democracy" any more no need to honor "the rule of law" except to disgrace it.

Invasions and belligerence, aggression against all opponents - open demand for "Global full spectrum domination." nothing will stand in the way - starve millions in Yemen so what its nothing to the willingness to slaughter in the tens of millions to achieve regime change in Moscow and Peking.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Mar 31, 2018 9:23:43 AM | 12

add to 11

Actually, most of the information in the links is bound to come from Steele's ORBIS.

Like Prighozin meeting Robert Mercer during the Trump campaign.

Two sides of transatlantic "elites" are fighting it out.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 9:23:57 AM | 13

You beat me to it b, though I have been looking through Wikileaks and have some more, sorry for the wall of text that follows, hope some of it is useful-

US did not want "Novichoks." discussed by OPCW, rejected accusation by Scientific Advisory Board Chairman Jiri Matousek of developing and weaponizing them.

06THEHAGUE450

“7. (C) Drawing on the points provided in reftel, del rep met with delegates from the UK (Mark Matthews), Switzerland (Ruth flint), Austria (Hans Schramml) and Czech Republic (Jitka Brodska) to discuss the recent ill-considered comments made by Scientific Advisory Board Chairman Matousek to the Western Group. All of the delegates appreciated the clarification that the U.S. did not develop or weaponize NGA, including "Novichoks." They also agreed with the U.S. that it is a bad idea to have a discussion on whether to add NGAs to the CWC Schedules of Chemicals. Finally, they all also stated that they had not heard of any interest by any delegation in pursuing such an effort, and the issue has not/not resurfaced in WEOG. “

Attack on Nordstream by Mirzayanov

658231_russia-100208- references Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty article (A CIA front) link

"Vil Mirzayanov told RFE/RL that a Swedish report about the Soviet military's dumping "reflects the reality of that time." He said dumping to get rid of toxic materials and to hide illegal chemical weapons "was a common practice at that time."

“Officials deny that the two alleged sites where dumping took place are near the location of the planned Nord Stream gas-pipeline project. Mirzayanov said "if the pipeline would go through that area, it would be a catastrophe “

Johnson's russia list

“Some ideologists of the Tatar national movement announced then that Tatarstan had never been so close to sovereignty yet. ...

“The Republic of Tatarstan produces approximately 30 mln tonnes of crude oil per year, which is 6.7% of the Russia’s total. “

[massively shortened - b]

Posted by: TJ | Mar 31, 2018 9:40:24 AM | 14


The
It took a long time before the 2001 US anthrax attacks were solved. (The initial attribution was totally wrong.) The ultimate explanation was that an anthrax scientist (Bruce Ivins) was worried that funding for his research would be cut back. A similar motive cannot be excluded out of hand for Skripals, especially given proximity of Porton Downs. Already, there has been a huge infusion of cash into Porton Downs, as there was into anthrax research after Ivins' attack. A quote from https://www.wcpo.com/news/our-community/from-the-vault/from-the-vault-local-scientists-hatred-for-uc-sorority-led-to-national-panic-terror-attack.

FBI Director at the time, Robert Mueller -- yes, that Robert Mueller -- said Ivins’ livelihood was in jeopardy when the Department of Defense wanted to end anthrax vaccinations because of side effects later called “Gulf War Syndrome.” And when the U.S. was attacked on Sept. 11, Ivins capitalized on the paralyzing fear sweeping the nation.

“The anthrax vaccine program to which he had devoted his entire career was failing,” according to the “Amerithrax” report from the Justice Department. “Short of some major breakthrough or intervention, he feared that the vaccine research program was going to be discontinued.”

After the anthrax attacks in 2001, however, Ivins’ program experienced a rebirth.

Posted by: Steve McIntyre | Mar 31, 2018 9:47:15 AM | 15

Holy cow! They denied its existence until the Iranian's "rediscovered" it in 2016 , but according to b, denied it just recently again! Lies,lies and brazen lies! They knew all about this stuff from at least 2009, have probably made samples of it as might the Iranians.... This is really mind-blowing, I wonder why the Iranians, were not chosen as scapegoats? .. Because the Russians could blow the lid on the whole story, and prove it was lies? I wonder what the next revelation will be ?
Well definitely the Skripals were never hit with this shit or it could have been old stuff, would it work? Well if you want to make a hit, use a 20year old volatile nerve agent, I think not.
Very intriguing development indeed.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Mar 31, 2018 9:49:00 AM | 16

Posted by: Gravatomic | Mar 31, 2018 7:50:49 AM | 2

It is for show. They are expelling diplomats and searching planes "to protect the UK from ‘organized crime & harmful substances" to pretend they are doing something whilst they clearly intend to do nothing.

The BREXIT plan involves London as a tax haven for corrupt money from all over the world.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 9:52:18 AM | 17

@somebody 17

But it is a taxhaven for corrupt money already!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Mar 31, 2018 9:59:23 AM | 18

18

That is the problem.

EU blacklist names 17 tax havens

Of the jurisdictions with links to the UK – Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, along with Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man – have been placed on a so-called “grey list” who have committed to reform their tax structures to ensure, for example, that firms are not simply using their 0% corporate tax rates to shield their profits.

It is understood the British government tried and failed to ensure those jurisdictions would not be screened by the EU’s tax experts but was overruled.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 10:04:03 AM | 19

Billy Bostickson - thanks looking into that and may update my story.

Steve McIntyre |- Bruce Ivins wasn't the guy who spread Anthrax. I read a lot about the case against him and it was all bullshit. But the FBI succeeded to drive him into suicide. It then claimed that he was the culprit.

Posted by: b | Mar 31, 2018 10:12:57 AM | 20

I have been wondering what is the relevance of several articles commenting that this Russian scientist living in the U.S. has a 1 million dollar residence; which by the way would indicate substantially even more income as maintenance on such a domicile and all the related expenses would be quite substantial. So where is he getting his filthy lucre ? I think that is indirectly answered here with reference to the forming of a government in exile headed by Mirzayanov, no doubt CIA agents are using the basement and maybe a few bedrooms of this mansion, LOL.

Posted by: che | Mar 31, 2018 10:28:12 AM | 21

Maybe I did not reas your article carefully enough, but I can not find you mentioning that you already wrote about this in In Moa February 02, 2011 The hat tip goes to Stephen McIntyre.

Posted by: Fran | Mar 31, 2018 10:38:38 AM | 22

Vil S. Mirzayanov has written a fulsome history of Novichok, including his arrest and imprisonment as a whistleblower here (pp. 21-33)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31, 2018 10:42:42 AM | 23

I guess the wikileaks documents is why Assange's internet was cut off and no visitors allowed to see him. Also explains the odd post on 'novichuck' by the Canadian over at the other blog.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 31, 2018 10:45:30 AM | 24

Trump is not the only madman, the media is just as insane. Did anyone see the Vice article condemning Trump for not condemning Putin, after Putin in response to the US expelling 60 Russian diplomats expelling 60 US diplomats? It is like the US press is incapable of understanding the laws of cause and effect in regards to the actions of the US. Putin expelled the 60 US diplomats because the US expelled Russian diplomats first. How can the US government and media elites not expect a response by Russia for expelling its diplomats?

Posted by: MusicalE | Mar 31, 2018 10:54:47 AM | 25

B, I suggest you remove the link to the thelondoneconomic.com article as it is so crammed full with blatent misinformation and bullshit that the entire article is too suspect.

Posted by: BM | Mar 31, 2018 11:22:19 AM | 26

So what threat is the US using that caused Macron to turn so quickly, Ecuador to suddenly cut off all communication to Assange, European countries to expel Russian diplomats and a few other things that has happened.
Makes me wonder if the US neo-cons and the anglo elite are about to go for broke. Perhaps try and pull a blatant coup in the US or start a major war or both.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 31, 2018 11:27:30 AM | 27


Don't know if this is known - a few days ago someone posted a screenshot fro Russian TV on Twitter, with a formula supposed to be Novichok

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DZJcpN8XcAA9icn.jpg

Dennis Rohrbaugh seems to be the name of the developer.

Posted by: mk | Mar 31, 2018 11:33:02 AM | 28

The US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals are doubling down into a much more dangerous stage of confrontation with the coalescing multifarious East.

They thought that using nazis and fascists to take control of Ukraine would break Russia. They thought that breaking apart Syria would open the way to Iran. They thought that threatening to annihilate would break North Korea. They threaten China with trade wars. But with each attack the East coalesces further and gains more strength.

The US led West is probing to find the weak link to break apart the East to thereby pick up the pieces. The West projects its internal disintegration onto the rest of the world.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Mar 31, 2018 11:56:52 AM | 29

Mirzanayov uploaded novichok fomulas are not terrorist weapons on youtube Mar. 1, 2009. this was likely the "Canadian delegate" reference.

Some people in Washington adviced me not include Novichok formulas in my book State Secrets: An Insider's Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program because they could be used by terrorists. I'm explaning that this argument out of touch. Novichok chemical agents cannot be produced by any terrorists because of insurmontable difficulties of their production without highly educated personell, scientists and engineers. This argument is prventing to put Novichok agents under the Control of Chemical Weapons Convention.

Posted by: annie | Mar 31, 2018 12:06:14 PM | 30

One reason for hushing up Mirzayanov's book is, as Russia has already noted, it provides a blueprint for terrorists to design CW nerve agents--it abets terrorism--which is against the law. And that begs the question, why hasn't Mirzayanov been arrested along with the publisher? Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying USG was responsible for financing the book's publication, but I can't find the link to that currently.

IMO, USG wanted no novichok sample in OPCW database as it wanted to use it without being caught. IMO, Iran did its work as a result of the Zionist's murders of Iranian scientists. The cables present an excellent example of the ways USG is able to frame issues in order to cover up its international transgressions and illegalities--yet further proof as if more were needed proving it most certainly is the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31, 2018 12:17:03 PM | 31

AA @29--

You'll enjoy this Global Times editorial calling for further solidarity and courage to stand up to the Paper Tiger:

"The West is only a small fraction of the world and is nowhere near the global representative it once thought it was. The silenced minorities within the international community need to realize this and prove just how deep their understanding is of such a realization by proving it to the world through action."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31, 2018 12:24:16 PM | 32

annie @30--

His defense will not hold up in court for as we've seen terrorists can and do produce such substances and use them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31, 2018 12:26:44 PM | 33

b,
I take your point about the anthrax case and read Greenwald's retrospective.">http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/03/journalism/index.html">retrospective.

I agree that he raises serious questions. However, if anything, that supports my larger point (on which we obviously agree) that the explanation of Skripal poisoning may not emerge for some time and that rush judgements may be wrong. If anthrax is still unresolved, then we may not know Skripal answer for some time either.

Posted by: Steve McIntyre | Mar 31, 2018 12:27:10 PM | 34

Posted by: BM | Mar 31, 2018 11:22:19 AM | 26

:-))

information from Orbis.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 12:41:02 PM | 35

"Rink produced several more doses and sold them. Their whereabouts are unknown but such substances are supposedly unstable, and they will likely have lost their effect."
In order to make the otherwise fishy theory brought forward by the Brits stronger one could assume such a degraded dose was used. Would that be a possible explanation for the week and delayed effect?

Posted by: Pnyx | Mar 31, 2018 12:50:23 PM | 36

b comments that the case against Ivins (yes, made by Mueller, that Mueller) was all bullshit. At the time I too looked into the case that they had against him. What was completely wrong was that Ivins had prepared the Anthrax spores in his personal lab. I too read the FBI report that described the equipment in that lab. Having experience in this field, I found it was very close to impossible for him to have prepared the samples that were used in the anthrax attacks. However, the facilities at Fort Dietrick do have that capacity. If Ivins used those facilities it would not have been possible for him to use them without accomplices or at the least without witnesses to his use of those facilities.

That is what the Mueller report covered up at the very least. It remains quite possible that Ivins was not involved at all.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 31, 2018 12:55:28 PM | 37

fascinating.. thanks b and to the many posters with many additional insights..

seems to me the usa/uk were hoping to manipulate the opcw, like they try to do with the un and etc... that is a disturbing conclusion to your questions at the bottom, but i doubt very much the usa/uk will be pressured to provide answers to your questions either way..

and, it does raise the question of wikileaks - assange... what kind of international pressure- ie - usa/uk (and the crony countries following them) is equador being put under at this time with regard to assange?

Posted by: james | Mar 31, 2018 1:05:31 PM | 38

36 It is possible that the effect was weak because it was only on their hands - the door knob - and not in their faces.

Eating in the restaurant might have brought the stuff into their system.

This here is an account of the attack in Malaysia on Kim Yong Un's brother by VX - into his face.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 1:13:42 PM | 39

mk @| Mar 31, 2018 11:33:02 AM | 28

That screenshoy is an image of a US Edgewood Arsenal entry in the OPCW CWA database. Entry was made and posted but was later removed for reasons unknown. The Russians noted the entry and its later removal.
The OPCW database is intended to be an additive record of all CWA.

Posted by: Sushi | Mar 31, 2018 1:37:47 PM | 40

Earlier in the month, he was paraded in the UK media as an example of Russian exiles in fear for their lives. The UK tabloids are running this story about the exiles going into hiding in Europe from MI6.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/russian-businessman-on-vladimir-putin-12238329

Posted by: Les | Mar 31, 2018 1:45:15 PM | 41

I wondered why the OPCW did not add "Novichok" because it never had been synthesized. Vil himself said it was tested on dogs in Uzbekistan. This explains it.

So, why would the US and the UK not want the new guy on the block be known?


1998. I believe Vil Mirzayanov had come to the US before 1998.

"The fact is that back in 1998 when we looked through another version of the spectral library, which was published by the National Bureau of Standards of the United States (NBS), we found a substance there that we found interesting since it was an organophosphorus substance. And we realized that it must have a strong lethal effect. Now it turns out that, judging by the name of this substance, it was just the same nerve agent, A-234," Igor Rybalchenko said."

"The most interesting detail in this story is in the following versions of the database, which usually only expand, they are constantly replenished, more and more substances, we did not find this record. And I can't explain where is it now," the Russian military chemist said."

https://sputniknews.com/world/201803251062885016-a-234-skripal-poisoning-us/

1999. The US and Uzbekistan sign bilateral agreement:

"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."

https://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/25/world/us-and-uzbeks-agree-on-chemical-arms-plant-cleanup.html

Seems Vil gave the US the recipe and US forked out 6 million USD to get additional intelligence. Then, radio silence.

+++

From the start, the Salisbury incident and the warnings by Russia over potential false flags involving chemical weapons in East Ghouta seemed to be linked to me, like accusing your enemy of what you yourself are doing; at the minimum, discredit Russia, at the maximum, be able to claim Russia planted evidence.

A bird carried this into my inbox today.

https://cont.ws/@adeptdao/899795

Posted by: BX | Mar 31, 2018 1:49:29 PM | 42

@Fran @22 - lol - yes, indeed. I wrote about that cable seven years ago and didn't remember it.

Funny, but happens all the time. Me googling up stuff on the Internet and finding an old MoA piece with all the info I had forgotten about.

Posted by: b | Mar 31, 2018 1:57:35 PM | 43

. . .Eating in the restaurant might have brought the stuff into their system. 36, 39
from Scientific American
Nerve agents are bioavailable from the gut - that is, they can absorb into the body after being eaten. That route of delivery isn’t well studied, but is consistent with the slightly slower onset of symptoms in Sergei and Julia Skripal. In comparison, nerve agents administered via aerosol or spray are effective very quickly—Kim Jong-Nam died shortly after facial exposure to nerve agent VX in a Malaysian airport. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31, 2018 1:58:46 PM | 44

41

It sounds as if MI6 tries to make Russian businessmen confess if they are for or against Putin.

So some people are very serious about this new cold war.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 2:36:29 PM | 45

B. and others have already noted that the official conclusion that Bruce Ivins committed suicide is, in a word, bogus.

But I can't resist adding the piquant detail that the authorities claimed that he killed himself with an overdose of Tylenol with codeine. Despite the presence of some codeine, Tylenol is a truly odd choice for suicide. It is potentially toxic, and overdoses cause liver damage that can be eventually fatal-- but overdoses are reportedly painful to endure, and are by no means sure to be fatal.

We're expected to believe that Ivins was so distraught and irrational that he "chose" this means because he wanted to "sleep", and was either oblivious or indifferent to the above-cited drawbacks.

Yet, Ivins was a microbiologist, vaccinologist, and senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. He presumably had, or could easily acquire, an understanding of the effects of Tylenol-- and he had a laboratory full of ultra-lethal toxins to boot. Yet when the moment of truth came, he reached for a bottle of... Tylenol?

It's déjà vu all over again. How many "other ones" do Western authorities think we have to pull?

Posted by: Ort | Mar 31, 2018 2:46:44 PM | 46

Not for credits but for context of events and political coherences it should be noticed, that two of the cables, in particular that of Clinton, had been mentioned in a limited hangout by science journalist Karel Knip for nrc.nl march 21. :
https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2018/03/21/unknown-newcomer-novichok-was-long-known-a1596490

Knip, like former OPCW secretary Dr. Trapp 6 days later:
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/former-opcw-official-no-conclusive-proof-of-russian-complicity-in-salisbury-attack-1ae3749ba38e
claim, the secrecy was held to "prevent proliferation" (sic!).
The article cites a EU-funded report of Oct. 2017 which says about the preparations of Russias joining of CWC '94 to '97:

... the US did not address its concerns about Russia’s undeclared Novichok capability through the OPCW: “The US decided to address these concerns through bilateral channels, rather than directly engaging formal OPCW mechanisms.” (p. 19)
Trapp added:
Bilateral meetings between the US and Russia did provide confirmation of the programme, however, in the context of the Wyoming Agreement and the Bilateral Destruction Agreement. The latter “never entered into force but the data exchanges and some site visits and clarification meetings were conducted between the two countries,” said Dr Trapp.
(emphasis is mine) The above mentioned Dutch report is about Syria. This leaves the impression, there had been hints at a possible false-flag-operation by US - services (or its closest ally) with "novichok".


Posted by: TomGard | Mar 31, 2018 2:51:43 PM | 47

@TomGard

"The above mentioned Dutch report is about Syria."

It's not clear to me -- which report do you mean? The newspaper article certainly is not about Syria.
Do you have a reference or a url to said 'Dutch report'?

Thanks.

Posted by: bjd | Mar 31, 2018 3:13:32 PM | 48

@bjd: here it is:

https://www.clingendael.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Clingendael_Report_Chemical_Weapons_Challenges_Ahead_2017.pdf

(didn't fully read it)

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 31, 2018 3:19:19 PM | 49

Re: Tartarstan

One wonders if somewhere out near Dulles Airport in a remote warehouse are objects related to "Independent Tartarstan"; a new constitution, military uniforms, designs for a crest and motto ("Crimea is Ours!"), etc.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Mar 31, 2018 3:27:57 PM | 50

That's just another conspiracy theory, something I would expect from a guilty trying to deflect. It is all contained in this "They
(US & UK) certainly tried and succeeded to re-create these substances."

Posted by: murgen | Mar 31, 2018 3:35:53 PM | 51

The plot thickens with the French Connection:

https://www.rt.com/news/422871-russia-questions-uk-skripal-case/

Posted by: cdvision | Mar 31, 2018 3:39:27 PM | 52

With less than four million inhabitants Tatarstan in the Volga region is a rather irrelevant sub-state of Russia.

As aviation nerds would point out, Tartarstan is a major hub of Russia's aerospace and technological expertize, for example its famous Kazan Aviation Factory:

http://www.tupolev.ru/en/kaf_spgorbunov

And that's not all. As much as I hate to use wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazan#Economy


Kazan is one of the largest industrial and financial centers of Russia, and a leading city of the Volga economic region in construction and accumulated investment.[24] City's Gross Regional Product had reached 380 billion rubles in 2011.(RUS) Казань побила рекорд по инвестициям

Total banking capital of Kazan banks is third in Russia.[citation needed] The main industries of the city are: mechanical engineering, chemical, petrochemical, light and food industries. An innovative economy is represented by the largest IT-park in Russia which is one of the largest of its kind among Eastern Europe science parks.[25][26] Kazan ranks 174th (highest in Russia) in Mercer’s Worldwide Quality of Living Survey.[27]
-

If I recall correctly, Tartarstan negotiated a special agreement with Moscow that was supposed to last ten years (?) before it was up for renewal but I've seen neither hide nor hair about this being renewed. I suspect that it still has a special deal, hence the silence.

Posted by: et Al | Mar 31, 2018 3:45:54 PM | 53

The Muscovite capture of Kazan figures prominently in Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible. Memorable Prokofiev music.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 31, 2018 3:55:55 PM | 54

Russian Foreign Ministry has published a list of 14 questions regarding the "Fabricated Skripal Case" and another 10 aimed at France. Furthermore, "UK Hiding Info on Skripal Case Hints at Likely Intel Involvement. Clearly, Russia's upped its rhetoric and gone on the offensive.

And since much is tied together: "Syrian resistance groups have started their campaign to assassinate every single western soldier occupying Syria illegally. Resistance in its purest form. American, British and French militaries got the message. Leaders/field commanders of the YPG/SDF will also be targeted."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31, 2018 3:56:25 PM | 55

Very interesting twist--that governments would have been denying the existence of Foilant agents precisely because they were having success in developing new weapons along those lines. Also interesting is the new "14 Questions" reported by RT, the Duran, etc.:
1. Why has Russia been denied the right of consular access to the two Russian citizens, who came to harm on British territory?

2. What specific antidotes and in what form were the victims injected with? How did such antidotes come into the possession of British doctors at the scene of the incident?

3. On what grounds was France involved in technical cooperation in the investigation of the incident, in which Russian citizens were injured?

4. Did the UK notify the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) of France’s involvement in the investigation of the Salisbury incident?

5. What does France have to do with the incident, involving two Russian citizens in the UK?

6. What rules of UK procedural legislation allow for the involvement of a foreign state in an internal investigation?

READ MORE: Skripal case becomes even weirder

7. What evidence was handed over to France to be studied and for the investigation to be conducted?

8. Were the French experts present during the sampling of biomaterial from Sergey and Yulia Skripal?

9. Was the study of biomaterials from Sergey and Yulia Skripal conducted by the French experts and, if so, in which specific laboratories?

10. Does the UK have the materials involved in the investigation carried out by France?

11. Have the results of the French investigation been presented to the OPCW Technical Secretariat?

12. Based on what attributes was the alleged “Russian origin” of the substance used in Salisbury established?

13. Does the UK have control samples of the chemical warfare agent, which British representatives refer to as “Novichok”?

14. Have the samples of a chemical warfare agent of the same type as “Novichok” (in accordance to British terminology) or its analogues been developed in the UK?

Not only are many of the questions very good ones, and ones that have been raised in this bar, but what is up with the sudden appearance of so many questions about France. Obviously the Russians know something, just wonder what it is.

Posted by: J Swift | Mar 31, 2018 3:56:28 PM | 56

@ et Al with the info about Tartarstan...thanks

It sounds like maybe they have a better deal going with Russia than California has with the US.......

On the posting subject I don't have anything to add to the myriad of information, knowledge and speculation about this obviously concocted event. This is grist for soap operas for decades.....if we last that long.

And yes, I have thought Clinton II a war criminal since her "We came, we saw, he died!" speech.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 31, 2018 4:02:40 PM | 57

I have been waiting for someone to point this out; perhaps they have and I've missed it: If two people are exposed simultaneously to a toxin, what are the odds that they would both be rendered unconscious and violently ill at the same time, or within a two or three minute period, two to four hours later? Talk amongst yourselves. NOBTS

Posted by: nationofsheep | Mar 31, 2018 4:07:04 PM | 58

idf sniper kill shots in semite childrens heads and hearts
yesterday
bullets fired from across a border
a slaughter a ritual
words that will soon be deleted

and all the talk is of psy op
soros funders Ordered b To Suppress oded yinon Discussions


only antisemites talk
of israel
another day corbyn sacks someone says sorry again
drafts in eddie the eagle of stand up zionist man izzard

years ago the father of the house tam dyall said tory blair was surrounded by zionist adviser
even gerald kaufmann was a critic both got cooked and kelleyed
snuffed out

zion capture completed

Posted by: semen cohen | Mar 31, 2018 4:07:51 PM | 59

@ J.Swift 56

That's simple. We know, the french government at first strongly objected to the british demands but toppled over within hours. How could this be achieved? My answer: by proving to french experts, that Porton Down actually has a decent batch of "Novichok" - agents and could use it against France at will.
Seems, as if Moscow has some details about that.

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 31, 2018 4:09:51 PM | 60

If only we could go back to the original John Thaw/ Kevin Whatley Inspector Morse team of a quarter century ago:

The old Jaguar sways around a corner. Where are we going Lewis?
Salisbury, Sir. Special assignment. Poisoning.
Ah yes, Salisbury Steak, I always got indigestion from it myself.
No Sir, Russian spies and some kind of nerve agent.
Hm... Have they cordoned off the crime scene?
No sir, as yet they haven't defined a crime scene.
Odd. How about suspects?
No sir, there are no suspects and they haven't looked for any.
Who's the lead investigator?
No investigation is being conducted sir. Well they are looking over the front door of the victim's house carefully, especially the knob. And they have his BMW in custody.
Despicable! Bloody German cars, that is! Hm... Any data back from the coroner yet?
Actually no sir, nobody seems to have died. Two people have disappeared and are said to be sick.
Disappeared? Let me guess, an old man and a young woman, probably said to be related. Starting to sound like a bloody soap opera.
Both in hospital, we hear.
Ah, closer to prime time anyway.
What does pathology say? Stomach contents? Blood tests?
Nothing available yet sir.
When did this happen?
Nearly a moth ago sir.
Morse turns to Lewis. What's going on with CID in Salisbury? No crime scene, no detective, no suspects, two people claimed to be sick. Russians you say? What is their Embassy doing?
Nothing sir, our PM kicked them out of the country.
So what do we know?
A father and daughter are said to have been found on a park bench unconscious in late afternoon in near freezing temperatures.
Poison, you say. So they were removed from a park bench unconscious by an ambulance crew wearing chemical protective suits. Have all of the surfaces involved, especially victim clothing, been tested for residues? Do we have transcripts from interviews of the ambulance crew?
Negative to all of that sir. One strange thing though. All of this happened within a few miles of the UK's main chemical weapons research station, and there was a simulated chemical weapon attack being conducted at the same time in Salisbury. Oh, and there was a TV program running an episode with a similar theme, in a three part series bracketing the incident.
Lewis, be a good chap and pull over right here if you don't mind. This whole discussion gives me a sudden terrible thirst and that pub up there has the best deal on a pint with fish and chips.
Right you are sir. Fade to opera, one of the many poisoning scenes in the repertoire.
Voice of Morse in the background. Just one thing Lewis, I've been meaning to ask you for a long time. Why do they call it the UK? It's not a kingdom, it's a Queendom and has been for what, at least my life time?
Right you are sir, but what with British accents and all, it might be confusing. Queendom sounds a bit like that rubber thingy that you put on your pee pee for sex.
Speak for yourself Lewis.

Dot dot dot dash dash. The theme music rings out in Morse code. How I miss John Thaw.

Posted by: mireille | Mar 31, 2018 4:10:32 PM | 61

@TomGard (49)

Thank you!

Posted by: bjd | Mar 31, 2018 4:16:24 PM | 62

In 2014 the U.S. and Turkey used groups of jihadist Tatars they had trained in their unsuccessful attempts to gain control of Crimea. These issues could be related.

The jihadists (Hizb ut-Tahrir) were Crimean Tatars, not Tatars. These are two entirely different groups. The Crimean Tatar language is much closer to Turkish than to Tatar. Ethnically, they are also quite different. It is common to find Tatars with blond hair and blue eyes, something you will never find among Crimean Tatars. Most Crimean Tatars—about 2 million—live in Turkey, while only 200,000 live in Crimea. The only relation between Tatars and Crimean Tatars is that both have been chosen as attack vectors against Russia (along with North Caucasus peoples and Bashkirs).

Posted by: S | Mar 31, 2018 4:19:03 PM | 63

I would add to Et Al's comment @ 53 that Tatarstan's prosperity (in relation to the rest of the Russian Federation) and leadership in industry and science may have an interesting historical basis. During the 19th century the Volga Tatars (in the area of current Tatarstan) began a reformist Islamic movement known as Jadidism which emphasised mass education and acquiring scientific knowledge. This movement was starting to spread to other Muslim communities in the Russian empire and to the Ottoman empire by the early 20th century. Jadidism may still be an inspiration for Tatar communities in the Russian Federation today.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jadid

Posted by: Jen | Mar 31, 2018 4:56:18 PM | 64

@ J.Swift with the question"...but what is up with the sudden appearance of so many questions about France....."

I expect is it because France is now sending troops to Syria to take the place of US ones...see ZH link below

France To Send Military Forces To Syria As Trump Prepares To Withdraw; Turkey Furious


The international cabal of families that own Western global private finance and the governments of all those countries siding with the UK on this false flag are pulling strings fairly hard these days it seems. It would be a shame if some of those strings broke soon.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 31, 2018 4:59:10 PM | 65

Re: Crimean Tatars vs "real Tatars".

The extermination of Tatars is one of the major points of the secret history of Temuchin a.k.a. Chingis Khan. It was a tribe/nation with a Mongolic language living in todays Chinese North-East, a.k.a. Manchuria. Apparently the massacre was incomplete and the tribesmen became something like personal property of the descendants of Chingis Khan that ruled over Golden Horde, i.e. the Mongol holdings in east Europe, west Siberia and part of Kazakhstan.

As a result, most of nomadic (and settled) tribes that had forced allegiance to Golden Horde got Tatar aristocracy and adopted "Tatar" ethnic name, shared by tribes of upper/middle Volga (former Volga Bulgaria, now Tatarstan), lower Volga - Astrakhan Tatars, western Siberia - Sibir Tatars, northern Caucasus - Nogay Tatars, and Crimea. These tribes spoke languages from the same sub-family of Turkic languages. Crimean Tatars had close political and commercial relation with Ottoman Turkey for more than 300 years, so their vocabulary and other language features got strongly influenced by the dominant country.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 31, 2018 4:59:17 PM | 66

2. What specific antidotes and in what form were the victims injected with? How did such antidotes come into the possession of British doctors at the scene of the incident?
nerve agent treatment:
Treatment can include the rapid administration of atropine. This blocks the effects of acetylcholine accumulation by occupying the same receptors and reverses some symptoms, but has little effect on skeletal muscle. The rule of thumb is to maintain dosing of atropine (at intervals) until the heart rate is over 90 beats per minute. Administration may be necessary for a significant period.

Drugs known as oximes can also be used as an antidote. These restore enzyme activity and, crucially, skeletal muscle function. But oximes tend to be specific for certain types of nerve agent and it is unclear which would work with the specific Novichok agent as there is little information in the public domain about them or their effective treatments. Faced with this dilemma, the clinicians treating the Skripals and Bailey would have had to have made a choice.

A third drug used in nerve agent poisoning is diazepam, which can prevent any dangerous convulsions which might occur. Regrettably, however, evidence indicates that severe nerve agent poisoning can cause long-term irreversible changes in brain function. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31, 2018 5:12:22 PM | 67

It surprises me that France has kept forces out this long, given the history.
google: The San Remo Conference of April 1920, where the nature of the mandates was decided jointly by Britain and France, granting France the mandate for Syria and Lebanon, and Great Britain the mandate for Palestine and Iraq, was a turning point in the history of the Middle East.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31, 2018 5:15:12 PM | 68

@67 link here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31, 2018 5:22:20 PM | 69

russia is asking 14 questions to the uk on the skripal case... 9 of them involve france directly... rt news link here..

Posted by: james | Mar 31, 2018 5:26:29 PM | 70

To psychohistorian @57:

I, too, felt rather sickened by the the war-witch You-Know-Her's gleeful reaction to the savage mob murder/sodomy of Libyan Leader Moammar Gaddafi. As an ex-patriot expatriate and retired Vietnam veteran, I could do nothing about the soulless, psychopathic Special Snowflake (other than vote for someone else every time a ballot came within range), but I could vent a bit in vitriolic verse:

A Glib Giddy Ghoul / Goldwater's Girl
(Venimus. Vidimus. Et Mortuus Est)

"We came. We saw. He died," she cackled,
This chicken hen hawking her bile,
Amused at the bleeding and shackled
Gaddafi upon whom would pile
Jihadists with red hatred spackled,
And all so Dame Clinton could smile.

Or, alternatively:

On hearing of Gaddafi's savage murder
She smiled and joked: "We came. We saw. He died."
Apparently, she thought that those who heard her
Would share her chickenhenish war-slut pride.

She campaigned in her youth for Bomber Barry
Goldwater, who from Arizona came;
Who made his money ripping off the natives
On reservations where he staked his claim.

Our You-Know-Her worked hard for Bomber Barry
Who swore that if elected he would kill
Vietnamese who found us less than scary
In numbers that would break their iron will.

A pantsuit with no principles or vision
Just raw ambition: naked, stark, and vain.
If peace might happen, war is her decision.
Goldwater's Girl is just a John McCain.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2015

A disgusting specimen of "humanity" and richly deserving of the oblivion which history has no-doubt reserved for ... you know ... her.

Posted by: Michael Murry | Mar 31, 2018 5:33:05 PM | 71

Maybe I'm technically off-topic in regard to today's MOA post, I tend to regard any MOA Skripal post to be part of a continuing discussion.
It seems to me that what one might call "synchrony of affect" would be such an obvious contradiction to "doorknob” or any other delayed reaction thesis that it would have been covered, and probably has been, by now somewhere in the Skripal thread.
In case it hasn't, here's the obvious:
Apparently both Skripals were stricken almost simultaneously within a few minutes of appearing perfectly fine on CCTV. The latest UK theory has it that they both touched a doorknob a number of hours earlier! a woman in her 30s and a man twice her age both succumbed to a poison on that doorknob within a minute or two of each other - several hundred minutes later!
Engineering a toxin capable of producing that effect must've been incredibly complex; probably the product of a brilliant mind, Boris Johnson’s perhaps.
My top three picks are 1: Bad clams in the Risotto 2: Aerosol in the face in front of the bench 3. All fake, staged by the white helmets.

Posted by: nationofsheep | Mar 31, 2018 5:33:53 PM | 72

mirellie @61--

Thanks for that! I easily envisioned Morse and Lewis having that exchange. One op/ed writer employed Poirot and Hastings, but not quite as critically.

I think it likely the Skripal's attacker(s) are the same that killed the dissenting doctor and the wikileaker, along with many more not as noticed. The English speaking world had killed far more--several exponential factors more--than all other nations combined, and they haven't been stopped yet.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31, 2018 5:40:43 PM | 73

Why "not/not" doubled here?

> each country to provide guidance to its del members not/not to raise this issue in the future.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 31, 2018 5:47:28 PM | 74

MusicalE:
Vice News is worse than just hipster pablum. With huge investments from Rupert Murdoch, Viacom and Time/Warner, and produced by rabid Zionist Islamaphobe Bill Mahher, it’s a very dangerous sort of propaganda organ since it pretends to be “alternative news.” It’s one example of that sort of propaganda designed for people who’ve come to realize the MSM is BS.


Mint Press did a bit of an expose in 2016.


Max Blumenthal’s podcast, “Moderate Rebels” interviewed Robbie Martin about it recently.


Here’s a transcript of that interview if you prefer.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 31, 2018 5:53:55 PM | 75

After keeping the chemicals developed in the soviet union buried for so long, to the extent of ensuring OPCW did not look into or list it, why blow it just on the Skripals just to kick a few diplomats out? The Skripal operation is more like an operation to get it in the public eye and associated with Russia before the main event. I suspect the main event was Ghouta and has been foiled, perhaps by discovering the chemicals or the sacking of Tillerson or both.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 31, 2018 5:58:52 PM | 76

b @20. Thanks for setting the record straight on the UNSOLVED Anthrax terrorist attack in the US. FBI Director Mueller testified to Congress that Saddam Hussein was responsible! That was Mueller's role in selling the "intelligence" to invade Iraq. Once it became known that the anthrax came from the US Army, he tried to pin it on an innocent man and then closed and buried the case.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 31, 2018 5:59:27 PM | 77

@bjd (6)

Do we know who investigated the murder of said mobster and how it came in the open that it was a 'novichok' class agent? Was it Russian authorities/police?

Yes, Russian state agencies investigated. Three agencies gave chemical analysis evidence to the Kivelidi case: The Forensic Institute of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, The Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and even the State Research Institute for Organic Chemistry & Technology itself (that is, the body who the nerve agents' creators supposedly worked for). All agreed that the substance uncovered in Kivelidi's phone was "a highly toxic organophosphate compound of a kind used in the production of chemical weapons". As far as I can tell, though, only Mirzayanov categorised the compound later as a "Novichok". The term didn't appear in the original case, I don't think. It was, however, determined that the dose consisted of a 5mm droplet that worked immediately and killed Kivelidi within a few days, and his secretary even sooner.

The theories of high-profile lawyer Boris Kuznetsov are interesting in this case. He represented Khutsishvili, the man finally charged with Kivelidi and his secretary's murder (but released early). Kuznetsov's principal idea seems to be that Leonard Rink was offered a deal by the FSB. Rink is known only to have served a one year sentence for producing and selling nerve agents on the black market (supposedly 8-9 ampules). He was used as evidence against Khutsishvili, essentially incriminating himself as supplier of the nerve agent through an intermediary, only for charges against him for other sales and trafficking of poisons to expire years later without prosecution. Rink got off scot free in the end.

Kuznetsov, who has fled Russia (one of his highest profile cases was representing the families of the submariners killed in the Kursk fiasco), reckons the true recipient of Rink's leaked nerve agents were rogue FSB, with Khutsishvili the fall guy. An interesting minor character in the Kivelidi case was Kivelidi's bodyguard - whose first day at work was the day of his client's poisoning, and who quit the very next day. And who, Kuznetsov alleges, turned out to be a former KGB officer in the same division as Lugovoi, the man later at the centre of the Litvinenko poisoning case.
God only knows...

I've taken this information from several Kuznetsov interviews in the Russian press and a review of the Kivelidi case court documents from Novaya Gazeta (which describes at one point the period of onset for that category of poison as 0.5 to 5 hours).

Posted by: Crndbeef | Mar 31, 2018 6:00:26 PM | 78

b@7 - The claim about the banker murdered with a novichok-like substance (which is what bjd@6 was asking about) is in the link you provided for the Soviet scientist Vladimir Uglev, not in the link to the machine-translation of the Leonid Rink interview.

Unfortunately all the article had to say about this was in the following paragraph (which doesn't fully answer bjd's questions):
"One of these substances was used to poison the banker, Ivan Kivelidi and his secretary in 1995. A cotton ball, soaked in this agent, was rubbed over the microphone in the handset of Kivelidi’s telephone. That specific dose was developed by my group, where we produced all of the chemical agents, and each dose which we developed was given its own complete physical-chemical passport. It was therefore not difficult to determine who had prepared that dose and when it was developed. Naturally, the investigators also suspected me. I was questioned several times about this incident."

Posted by: hojo | Mar 31, 2018 6:02:36 PM | 79

Commenters @ 9, 36 and 39: Simplest explanation may be that no nerve gas agent of any kind (Novichok or otherwise) was used.

Whatever affected the Skripals initially could have been food poisoning or a reaction to having something put in their drinks. We do not know if the Skripals were acting on their own while visiting the cemetery, eating at Zizzi's Restaurant in Salisbury, having drinks at The Mill (or Mill's) and then walking to the park bench at Maltings shopping pall where they were later found unconscious. The fact that the table at Zizzi's where the two ate has been taken away and apparently is now incinerated should arouse suspicion. Suppose there was a third person at the table with them?

There is that photo (from a source which an Australian-based MoA commenter - BTW not me - posits may be connected to Cambridge Analytica) of the Skripals which MoA put up on a recent post, said photo having been taken on the day the Skripals were found poisoned. The photo shows a reflection of someone in the mirror behind the Skripals with a camera.

After being hospitalised, the Skripals could have been kept under heavy sedation even after the initial poisoning episode passed.

As far as is known, skin contact with a nerve gas agent is just as deadly as ingesting it through the lungs. There is the case of a young RAF engineer, Ronald Maddison, who volunteered for a trial back in the 1950s conducted by British authorities at the Porton Down laboratory. He was told the trial was to test a flu vaccine. During the trial two drops of sarin were dropped onto his skin. He died nearly straight away.

I should think if atropine is applied to the nervous system a week or two after the initial exposure to complete the enzyme chain reactions that enable normal breathing, that's being a bit tardy. The nerve gas works by disrupting the enzyme actions, causing muscles that control breathing to remain contracted and in effect become paralysed. The person dies from asphyxiation caused by this paralysis. That's my understanding anyway - I'm not a physician.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 31, 2018 6:30:12 PM | 80

@71 That's a great point. Given their difference in weight, Sergei and Julia could not have possibly collapsed in sync 7 hours after touching the door knob. The only explanation for such a perfectly simultaneous onset of symptoms — if they were poisoned at all — is something happening to them shortly before they collapsed.

Posted by: S | Mar 31, 2018 6:48:13 PM | 81

This short Twitter thread focuses on Uk's motive for attack on Skripals. East Ghouta's liberation has seen the capture of several UK/NATO special ops personnel: "#UK's persecution of Russia" has to do w/ serious, underreported development in #Syria that occurred shortly before #Salisbury." A Russian analyst named Satanovsky is being cited; perhaps Yevgeny Satanovsky of Moscow's Middle East Institute. The scenario's certainly plausible.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31, 2018 6:55:30 PM | 82

How many self proclaimed chosen died recently ?

Palestinians : last 50 days : 585 children dead,last days : 18 dead,1400 wounded.

but word deletion needed because of antisemitism
the sniper kills mean nothing
after all they are only the children of a hated and mocked christ.

2 psy operatives playing sick and we get near ww2

Posted by: simple simon | Mar 31, 2018 6:58:07 PM | 83

Now Russian Foreign Ministry also asks 10 questions to France directly.

www.translate.ru -> http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3150139

I found no ready-made english translation yet

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 31, 2018 7:01:49 PM | 84

@83 arioch... see the link i posted @70...

Posted by: james | Mar 31, 2018 7:14:38 PM | 85

Posted by: S | Mar 31, 2018 6:48:13 PM | 80

I doubt the nervous system is influenced by weight.

This here is OPCW

The route for entering the body is of importance for the period required for the nerve agent to start having effect. It also influences the symptoms developed and, to some extent, the sequence of the different symptoms. Generally, the poisoning works faster when the agent is absorbed through the respiratory system than via other routes. This is because the lungs contain numerous blood vessels and the inhaled nerve agent can therefore rapidly diffuse into the blood circulation and thus reach the target organs. Among these organs, the respiratory system is one of the most important. If a person is exposed to a high concentration of nerve agent, e.g., 200 mg sarin/m3 (see table) death may occur within a couple of minutes.

Poisoning takes longer when the nerve agent enters the body through the skin. Nerve agents are more or less fat-soluble and can penetrate the outer layers of the skin. However, it takes some time before the poison reaches the deeper blood vessels. Consequently, the first symptoms do not occur until 20-30 minutes after the initial exposure but subsequently the poisoning process may be rapid if the total dose of nerve agent is high. The toxic effect of nerve agents depends on them becoming bound to an enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, and thereby inhibit this vital enzyme's normal biological activity in the cholinergic nervous system.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2018 7:21:27 PM | 86

@Arioch (83)

Google Translate:

Questions of the Russian Party to France on the fabricated UK against Russia "The Case of the Violins"

618-31-03-2018

On March 31, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Paris sent a note to the French Foreign Ministry with a list of questions to the French side on the "trick of the Skrypals" trumped up against Russia:

1. On what basis was France involved in technical cooperation in the UK investigation of the Salisbury incident?

2. Did France send an official notification to the OPCW on the connection to technical cooperation in the investigation of the Salisbury incident?

3. What evidence was transferred to France by the UK in the framework of technical cooperation?

4. Did the French specialists attend the sampling of the biomaterial from Sergei and Yulia Skripaly?

5. Was the study of French biomaterials by Sergey and Yulia Skripaly conducted by French specialists? If so, in which laboratory?

6. On the basis of what signs did the French experts conclude that a combatant poisonous substance such as "Newbie" (in British terminology) or its analogues was used?

7. What expertise does France have in the field of studying warfare agents of this type or its analogues?

8. On the basis of what signs (markers) did the French specialists establish the "Russian character" of the origin of the substance used in Salisbury?

9. Does France have control samples of the combatant poison agent "Rookie" (in British terminology) or its analogues?

10. Have any samples of a chemical warfare agent of this type or its analogues been developed in France, if so, for what purposes?

Posted by: bjd | Mar 31, 2018 7:27:57 PM | 87

The French Connection has suddenly become more central, not just with the Skripals, but also Syria:

https://southfront.org/turksih-media-says-french-troops-deployed-at-5-military-bases-in-northern-syria/

I read elsewhere that US and UK special forces have been captured, maybe related to Ghouta or thereabouts. There may be a few frogs in that mix as well.

Judging by the Russian reactions of late, they now have the full story. All will be revealed once the fog of Western propaganda subsides.

Posted by: cdvision | Mar 31, 2018 7:31:28 PM | 88

@81 karlof1

Thank you. This is opportune. Not for the first time I'm extremely grateful for your reading list and the time you devote to scanning it.

The motive for all this nonsense now makes sense. There has been unreported (because secret) activity by Russia against the west, and this is why they're half crazy right now. I had been thinking for a few days now that Russia would soon start exacting justice in quiet ways in various theaters. Apparently this has already been going on.

Ah, Russia, I love you most when I have no idea what you're up to! That's when you're the most formidable.

~~

For Britain and France to collaborate - not in itself an easy thing, I think - in an attempt to salvage their ownership of Syria suggests the last gasp of the dying aristocracy that many have thought (perhaps wrongly) were already dead.

This seems very much of a piece with the naked aggression of the empire as it dies. All pretense of democracy is cast aside now - the emperor has no clothes, and he knows we see this, so why pretend any longer to be attired?

I will add my thought that all this IS war, not a prelude to war. Much is happening below the waterline, and some explosions erupt to the surface. But when they surface, we can glimpse their shape. And Europe's is fucked. Totally fucked. These people have no business fighting wars of any kind, at any depth.

And the US looks scarcely any better. They're all coming up with stupid shit, and getting beaten at every turn. This is the best they can do. Of course more will come, and some of it may even work, but most of it will fail, and none of it will ever be forgotten in the deep memory of Russia. Does anyone think that the UK can avoid answering those 14-26 questions? Oh, they'll answer, one way or another.

My money's on Russia.

~~

@61 mireille

Thank you for your Morse screenplay. I devoured every word.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 31, 2018 7:34:17 PM | 89

The British 4 page doc of 'proof of Russian involment (maybe someone can putthe 4 page power point up) included this fabrication of History which unfortunatly occurs all too often. The British claim Russia invaded Georgia. Many US politicians including the soon to be departed General McCmaster and his replacement (Bolton) state the same. However a European report found that it was Georgia which started the war. For final proof among all this liars we can go to Head Horse Herself Condoleezza Rice the Sec of State which in her published memoirs states that it WAS GEORGIA and Georgian President Saakashvili which started the war.
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/condoleezza-rice-warned-georgian-leader-on-war-with-russia/248560/

It's a joke is it not when Who started a war can not be adjudicated truthfully.

Posted by: col from oz | Mar 31, 2018 7:34:34 PM | 90

@bjd #86

Just a genera advice from a native Russian speaker, i still suggest you first trying dedicated language-specialized engine like ProMT/Stylus (my link of www.translate.ru) before stohastic engines like Google/Bing

The latter have much better vocabularies but are deaf on nuances and are affected by holywars on hot topics (to the extend of calling white black), so they better serve to clear places that dedicated engine failed at.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 31, 2018 7:45:30 PM | 91

@james #84 - i so those "14 questions to London"

What i brought in were "10 quesitons to Paris" - a thing correlated, but different

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 31, 2018 7:46:46 PM | 92

Just for comparison of the engines.

http://www.translate.ru/site/auto/ru-en/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mid.ru%2Fru%2Fforeign_policy%2Fnews%2F-%2Fasset_publisher%2FcKNonkJE02Bw%2Fcontent%2Fid%2F3150139

Granted, the dry official style of diplomatic notes is perhaps not one where the nuancing of live language matters. It is also funny how both engines failed at legalese "Case of Teh Skripals", though in different ways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Questions of the Russian Side to France on the "business by Skripalya" fabricated by Great Britain against Russia

618-31-03-2018

On March 31 the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Paris sent to foreign policy department of France a note with the list of questions to the French party on the "business by Skripalya" fabricated against Russia:
1. On what basis France was involved in technical cooperation in investigation of incident by Great Britain in Salisbury?
2. Whether France sent the formal notice to OPCW on connection to technical cooperation in investigation of incident in Salisbury?
3. What proofs were transferred to France by Great Britain within rendering technical cooperation?
4. Whether there were French experts at a biomaterial intake at Sergey and Yulia Skripaley?
5. Whether research by the French experts of biomaterials of Sergey and Yulia Skripaley, if yes, that in what laboratory was conducted?
6. On the basis of what signs the French experts drew a conclusion on use of fighting toxic agent like "Beginner" (on the British terminology) or its analogs?
7. What expert knowledge France in the field of studying of fighting toxic agents of this type or its analogs has?
8. On the basis of what signs (markers) the French experts established "the Russian character" of an origin of the substance applied in Salisbury?
9. Whether there are for France control approved samples of fighting Beginner toxic agent (on the British terminology) or its analogs?
10. Whether samples of fighting toxic agent of this type or its analogs in France, if yes, that in what purposes were developed?

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 31, 2018 7:50:12 PM | 93

Grieved @88--

Rumors of captured NATO SpecOp troops greatly increased at the very end of February, but all I've seen is one photo of one Brit. It seems we've been treated to a small leak thus the thread. Ziad at SyrPers wrote in his latest about several being captured and hoped those captured won't be let off this time. Since they've been advising the terrorists in the commission of their crimes, Canthama wants them tried for War Crimes--I agree!

Here's an interesting item about the recent Korea/China developments in the run-up to the Kim/Trump meet.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31, 2018 8:13:46 PM | 94

@93
Korea meets Salisbury!
China will join North Korea in offering denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in return for removal of US troops. They won't be needed any longer! (As if they ever were needed.) And Russia, which shares a small border with North Korea, will be fully on board, an even closer ally of China thanks to the US friendship with loser UK. Two against one, it isn't fair.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31, 2018 8:49:18 PM | 95

karlofi1. I've read of captures/deaths of US/UK/Israeli Special Ops in Syria multiple times, but never an "official" acknowledgement from any side. I expect at least some of these stories are true, which tells me that no one is being completely honest publicly about what's going on there.

Further down that Twitter feed you posted I saw this photo of The deadly doorknob dated 7 March.

https://twitter.com/MSuchkov_ALM

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 31, 2018 9:02:09 PM | 96

"The Case of the Violins"

skripki is the Russian word for violin, it has plural form

It is a bit of mystery why "of Skripals" = Skripalyev was deconstructed as the same as "of violins" = skripok. However, Google translate has the following method: remove grammatical endings and what remains, translate verbatim, if multiple possibilities exist, pick one at random. If everything fails, leave a word untranslated. This leads to such feats of translatory:

Bishops flood blood about their expensive fury

In the original, "flood" is a verb, 3rd person singular, present tense, so it has to be bloods that flood, not the bishops who are many. Bloods flood someone = that someone is very irritated. So bishops were very irritated, and the reason was "expensive fury". Fury (pronounced foo-ry) is plural of fura, a horse driven cart for transporting bulky stuff, say, hay, but in popular slang it means a car, the topic of an article with cited title was a reaction of higher clergy to papal order not to use luxury vehicles. For some reason Google did not find the word in its dictionary. Last comment: "their" was a lucky guess by Google, because the original is randomly translated as her, his, mine, their, our, yours -- what it really means is belonging to the subject.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 31, 2018 9:29:04 PM | 97

@ Daniel 95
It's doubtful that all special ops "casualties" (Pentagonese for deaths) are reported, but the latest was reported.
DOD Identifies Army Casualty . . .The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar, 36, of Austin, Texas, died March 30 in Manbij, Syria as a result of injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his patrol. The incident is under investigation. Dunbar was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Ft Bragg, North Carolina. . .here

What a waste. Unfortunately (like school shootings) this sort of activity might catch on with the locals.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31, 2018 9:38:16 PM | 98

@95 Daniel

Forgive this technical note - when citing a post on social media, the date of the post is always the permalink.

Every single post made on every social media has its own unique and permanent link. If you mouse over the "date/time/how long ago" display on any post or tweet you'll see that it's a link. This is the permanent link to the post.

The display of the time since it was made changes every minute or so, but on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or probably all of them the underlying link to that changing time display is always the same.

This, the door retweeted by Suchkov was tweeted on March 30 by D'aramitz at this link: Novichok is the nerve agent you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite.

It's actually a screenshot of the original tweet by Karen Gardner, and the permalink for that tweet is thus lost, you'd have to click through to her feed to scroll down and find it.

Sorry to seem pedantic, but since we're dealing with forensic evidence I thought it would be useful to mention this. I note that it's not common knowledge that the permalink for a social media post is always its date and I thought this knowledge was worth spreading.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 31, 2018 9:46:17 PM | 99

Grieved. If you look at that screen shot of Karen Gardner's Tweet, you'll see the date March 7, 2018 at the bottom. I suppose there could be some image manipulation going on, but otherwise, it provides a "no later than" date for the photo.

So, within 3 days of the "poisoning," the deadly doorknob was not protected.

Don, yes a UK and a US solder were both just acknowledged as killed in Syria. There have been multiple reports of captures and sometimes mass deaths of US/UK/Israeli fighters/advisors over the years, which were never acknowledged, and that's what I meant to reference.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 31, 2018 10:31:09 PM | 100

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