Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 21, 2018

Russian Scientists Explain 'Novichok' - High Time For Britain To Come Clean (Updated)

A week ago we asked if 'Novichok' poisons are real. The answer is now in: It is 'yes' and 'no'. Several Russian scientist now say that they once researched and developed lethal poisons but they assert that other countries can and have copied these. 'Novichok', they say,  is a just western propaganda invention. They see the British accusations as a cynical plot against Russia. The people who push the 'Novichok' accusations have political and commercial interests.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May insinuated that the British-Russian double agent Sergej Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who collapsed on March 4 on a public bench in Salisbury, were affected by a 'Russian' nerve agent:

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.

Theresa May's claims are highly questionable. 

Maria Zakharova, spokeswomen of the Russian Foreign Ministry: "'Novichok' has never been used
in the USSR or in Russia as something related to the chemical weapon research" - bigger

A highly potent nerve agent would hurt anyone who comes in contact with it. But the BBC reported that a doctor who administered first aid to the collapsed Yulia Skripal for 30 minutes was not affected at all. Another doctor, Steven Davies who heads the emergence room of the Salisbury District Hospital, wrote in a letter the London Times:

"... no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only been ever been three patients with significant poisoning."

The name 'Novichok' comes from a book written by Vil Mirzanyanov, a 1990s immigrant to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union. It describes his work at Soviet chemical weapon laboratories and lists the chemical formulas of a new group of lethal substances.

AFP interviewed the author of the 'Novichok' book about the Salisbury incident:

Mirzayanov, speaking at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, said he is convinced Russia carried it out as a way of intimidating opponents of President Vladimir Putin.
The only other possibility, he said, would be that someone used the formulas in his book to make such a weapon.

"Russia did it", says Mirzanyanov, "OR SOMEONE WHO READ MY BOOK".

1, 2

A 'Novichok' nerve agent plays a role in the current season of the British-American spy drama Strike Back which broadcasts on British TV. Theresa May might have watched this clip (vid) from the series. Is it a source of her allegations?

The Russian government rejects the British allegations and demands evidence which Britain has not provided. Russia joined the Chemical Weapon Convention in 1997. By 2017 it had destroyed all its chemical weapons and chemical weapon production facilities. Under the convention only very limited amounts of chemical weapon agents are allowed to be held in certified laboratories for defense research and testing purposes. The U.S. has such laboratories at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, the British lab is in Porton Down, a few miles from Salisbury. The Russian lab is in Shikhany in the southern Saratov Oblast. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) audits these laboratories and their declared stocks "down to the milligram level".

The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry and famous high heels folk dancer (vid) Maria Zakharova explains in a TV interview (vid, English subtitles) that 'Novichok' was not and is not the name of any Soviet or Russian program. The word was introduced in the "west" simply because it sounded Russian.

Western media claimed that Vil Miranzayanov is the developer of the 'Novichok' chemicals. It turns out that this is not the case. Interviews with two retired Russian chemists, both published only yesterday, tell the real story. The Russia news agency RIA Novostni talked with Professor Leonid Rink (machine translation):

Did you have anything to do with creating what the British authorities call the "Novice"?

- Yes. This was the basis of my doctoral dissertation.

At that time I worked in Shikhany, in the branch of GosNIIOKhT (State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, during Soviet times was engaged in the development of chemical weapons), was a leading researcher and head of the laboratory.

Professor Rink says that:

  • 'Novichok' or 'novice' was never used as a program name. New Soviet formulas had alphanumeric codes.
  • Several new nerve agents were developed in Shikhany in the 1970s and 80s.
  • These new substances can cause immediate deadly reactions when applied to humans.
  • Vil Mirzayanov was head of the chromatographer group, chemists who deals with the separation and analysis of various mixtures of substances. He was responsible for environmental control and not a developer of any new substances.

The Associated Press summarizes other parts of the interview with Professor Rink:

Rink told Russia’s state RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday that Britain and other western nations easily could have synthesized the nerve agent after chemical expert Vil Mirzayanov emigrated to the United States and revealed the formula.

Echoing Russian government statements, Rink says it wouldn’t make sense for Moscow to poison Sergei Skripal, a military intelligence officer who spied for Britain, because he was a used asset “drained” by both Russia and Britain.

He claims Britain’s use of the name Novichok for the nerve agent is intended to convince the public that Russia is to blame.

The English-Russian magazine The Bell interviews another Russian scientists involved in the issue:

The Bell was able to find and speak with Vladimir Uglev, one of the scientists who was involved in developing the nerve agent referred to as “Novichok”. [...] Vladimir Uglev, formerly a scientist with Volsk branch of GOSNIIOKHT (“State Scientific-Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology”), which developed and tested production of new lethal substances since 1972, spoke for the first time about his work as early as the 1990s. He left the institute in 1994 and is now retired.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists that there was no research nor development of any substance called “Novichok”, not in Russia, nor in the USSR. Is that true?

– In order to make it easier to understand the subject matter, I will not use the name “Novichok” which has is now commonly used by everyone to describe those four substances which were conditionally assigned to me to develop over a period of several years. Three of these substances are part of the “Foliant” program, which was led by Pyotr Kirpichev, a scientist with GOSNIIOKHT (State Scientific-Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology). The first substance of a new class of organophosphorous chemical agents, I will call it “A-1972”, was developed by Kirpichev in 1972. In 1976, I developed two substances: “B-1976” and “C-1976”. The fourth substance, “D-1980”, was developed by Kirpichev in the early 1980s. All of these substances fall under the group referred to as “Novichkov”, but that name wasn’t given to the substances by GOSNIIOKHT.

All four chemical agents are “FOS” or organophosphorous compounds which have a nerve paralyzing effect, but they differ in their precursors, how they were discovered and in their usage as agents of chemical warfare.

The four substances were developed by Pyotr Kirpichev and Vladimir Uglev. These substances were not readily usable by the military as they could not be safely transported and used in the field like binary chemical weapons can. Once synthesized they were extremely dangerous. Professor Leonid Rink, working later in a different group, tackled the problem but did not succeed. Uglev confirms that Vil Miranzayanov was not involved in the development at all. His group was responsible for chemical analysis and for environmental control around the laboratory.

Vladimir Uglev, via The Bell - bigger

Vladimir Uglev, like Renk and Miranzayanov, notes that these agents "of a type developed by Russia" can now be produced by any sufficiently equipped laboratory, including private ones.

Uglev mentions a criminal use of one of the agents in the 1990s:

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.

Journalist Mark Ames, who worked in Moscow at that time, remarks:

This muddles the narrative a bit —"novichok" used in 1995 Moscow mafia poison hit on top mobster Ivan Kivelidi. So:
1) novichok [is] in mob hands too
2) used during reign of #1 Mobfather Boris Yeltsin, Washington's vassal

Uglev further notes that blood samples from the Salisbury victims, which Moscow demands but Britain has not handed over, can show what agent (if any) were involved and "where the specific dose was produced and by whom."

A new article in the New Scientists confirms the claims by the Russian scientists that the 'Novichok' agents which may have affected the Skripals may have been produced elsewhere:

Weapons experts have told New Scientist that a number of countries legally created small amounts of Novichok after it was revealed in 1992 and a production method was later published.

In 2016 Iranian scientists, in cooperation with the OPCW, published production and detection methods for such agents. It is likely that the various government labs secretly re-developed and produced these chemicals for their own purposes even prior to the Iranian publication.

[UPDATE] In an interview with Deutsche Welle British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson admits that Porton Down had (illegal?)  'Novichok' agents when the incident in Salisbury happened:

DW: You argue that the source of this nerve agent, Novichok, is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of it?

Boris Johnson: Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory …

DW: So they have the samples …

Boris Johnson: They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, "Are you sure?" And he said there's no doubt.

But Porton Down did not agree with the British government to claim that the supposed nerve agent was "made by Russia." It only agreed to the compromise formulation "of a type developed by Russia" i.e. it could have been made anywhere. [End Update]

The claims by the British government that a. the Skripals were affected by a nerve agent and that b. Russia was involved in the Skripal incident because it has some exclusive access to these agents seem both baseless. Unless there is significant further evidence the British incrimination of Russia looks like a cynical plot invented for political and/or commercial purposes.

As usual in the military-industrial complex the people who push such scares, are the ones who profit from them.

The British Morning Star points to one former British military intelligence officer, Colonel (rtd) Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, as a common protagonist in the Skripal case, in the claims of Syrian chemical weapon use and in commercial interests around chemical weapon defense:

Quoted daily by multiple media outlets on the Skripal case, de Bretton-Gordon has become a very public expert, relied upon for unbiased comment and analysis by the British and foreign media on chemical weapon threats from Salisbury to Syria.

He is a former assistant director of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Land Forces with the Ministry of Defence. Before that de Bretton-Gordon was commanding officer of Britain’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment and Nato’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion.

While his CBRN background is often mentioned, his military intelligence links are rarely referred to publicly.

Long before the Salisbury event, de Bretton-Gordon was urging greater government expenditure on chemical protection counter-measures and equipment.
de Bretton-Gordon is managing director CBRN of Avon Protection Systems, based in Melksham, Wiltshire.
In 2017, the company made £50m from its US military contracts and a further £63.3m from other “protection and defence” revenue.

The former(?) army intelligence officer is also deeply involved in the "moderate rebels" chemical weapon scams in Syria:

On April 29 2014, the [Daily Telegraph] reported that it “obtained soil samples collected from sites of chemical attacks inside Syria by Dr Ahmad — a medic whose real identity cannot be revealed for his own protection — who had previously received training in sample collection by western chemical weapons experts.

“Mr de Bretton-Gordon, a British chemical weapons expert and director of Secure Bio, a private company, was one of the trainers.”

And who carried out the tests? None other than de Bretton-Gordon himself.

The "White Helmets" propaganda group in Syria was founded and is run by the former(?) British army intelligence officer James Le Mesurier with British and U.S. government money. His former(?) colleague de Bretton-Gordon is running the parallel Syria chemical weapon scam. Both profit from their government financed operations.

Other British agents involved in the Skripal case are Pablo Miller who recruited Skripal for the MI6. He was a friend of Skripal, also lived in Salisbury and worked for Christopher Steele, the former(?) MI6 agent who produced the 'dirty dossier' about Donald Trump for the Clinton campaign. Both are involved with Russian mafia emigres in Britain like Boris Berezovski and the deceased Alexander Litvinenko who's father says that he was killed by an MI6 or CIA guy.

While the British government blamed the Russians just a week after the incident in Salisbury happened it now seems interested in delaying any further investigations. It took more than two weeks after the incident for the British government to invite the OPCW to help with the case. The head of the OPCW says it will take another three weeks for the organization to analyze the samples the British laboratory now handed over. The British police requires several months to find out what happened to the Skripals.

How could the British government be sure of "Russian" involvement within a week and even expel Russian diplomats when the primary chemical experts on the issue will need three weeks for their first analyses and the British police predicts a several months long investigation?

The Russian scientist and their government have explained their history and position in relation to 'Novichoks' and the Skripal incident. It is high time now for the British government, its scientists at Porton Down and its greedy mafia of former(?) British intelligence officer and their criminal Russian emigres to come clean about their own roles in it.


Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the Skripal case:

Posted by b on March 21, 2018 at 12:37 UTC | Permalink

next page »

don't confuse them with facts!

Posted by: mischi | Mar 21 2018 13:00 utc | 1

How could the British government be sure of "Russian" involvement within a week when the primary chemical experts on the issue will need three weeks for their first analyses and the police predicts a several months long investigation?

Because they're hard out lying- their political lives depended on it.

Nice work, mate.

Posted by: ramparts | Mar 21 2018 13:10 utc | 2

Thank you, b, for including the commercial possibilities when writing about the military/intelligence escapades perpetrated by the US and it's minions. Few others in the media ever look at these incidents from an economic point of view, yet we live in a world where Markets are worshiped as the Prime Mover.

Cui Bono? always seems to be a useful approach in determining motives and connections.

Posted by: John Zelnicker | Mar 21 2018 13:35 utc | 3

And oops... here is Hamish de Bretton-Gordon prophesying on BBC in 16 February 2018:

”In the new "Cold War" with Russia, Nato must be prepared for chemical weapon usage.
Though Russia and the US have destroyed their chemical stocks, they still maintain the capability to produce new ones, and there is speculation that research has been done on new super chemicals many times more potent than nerve agents like Sarin and VX.

All have seen how effective chemical weapons have been in Syria and Iraq, especially in fighting in built-up areas, and if there is conflict between East and West we must now assume that chemical weapons will be used.

This sadly being the case, quite apart from the very real threat of terrorist use, anywhere any time, Nato needs to re-invest in its chemical defence capabilities and be prepared to fight in this "dirty" environment - or we could quickly be rolled over by a concerted attack from the East.

Posted by: Jormaaja | Mar 21 2018 13:37 utc | 4

B, you are mean. You are denying Theresa May her Margaret Thatcher moment where she gets to stand up in Parliament and make a momentous speech about the United Kingdom standing tall on behalf of the world.

Why make a reference ... 'since WW2', even Hitler never used chemical weapons, wouldn't a reference to WW1 have been more appropriate? Oh yeah, by invoking WW2 you can make a rather obvious parallel between Putin and Hitler. Go for it Theresa May, hell always has room for more liars, especially self-righteous ones.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 21 2018 13:45 utc | 5

Thanks b. I think UK was relying on full US support to push the Novichok scam through, which was not forthcoming. The brits will most likely end with some egg on their faces, but I doubt the MSM will let the public know that NoviChok was a term coined by a ex-soviet scientist, perhaps to sell a book, after he moved to the US.
In general the western public will continue think the Russians researched and produced this deadly stuff called Novichok and were lying about doing so. Perception management.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2018 13:56 utc | 6

An excellent analysis as seems to be almost always the case here. As always, Canada plays devil's little helper. FM Chrystia Freeland proposed a motion condemning Russia which passed unanimously. As was the case when Canada bombed Libya. No proof necessary...

Liberal MPs to Urge Trudeau to Push Magnitsky-Style Laws at G-7 Summit

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 21 2018 13:59 utc | 7

Establishing that Porton Down probably lied about having analyzed traces of the fragmentation (!) products of the allegedly used poison raises other questions. Why did they choose such a thorny path? Why didn't they use ricin against the background of the poisoning of Georgi Markov by a secret service of a Warsaw Pact country? Why not botulinum? Both are by no means traceable to an origin and this enhances a suspicion against FSB or GRU based on the identity of the victims.

A manifest thesis, often brought about, those typical assassination weapons were dismissed because they are useless in a bigger follow-up incident. It is often assumed the use of "novichok" was meant either as precursor or threat with a false flag attack in Syria, but that is against logic. DoS annonced to hold Russia responsible for a weopons grade chemical attack in Syria months ago, also hinting at bringing it to the ICC. They could have used, or can use VX to mimic a "russian" attack in Syria.

But with the EU it's different! Perpetrators in Porton Down and within the British Government had to assume, that they might have to go an "extra mile" in implicating Russia in a chemical attack on the European Continent to deny the EU the loophole of accounting it to "Sarin" and "ISIS".

The preliminary result: A lightning fast postponement of Brexit for 9 month to the end of 2019, to british conditions afaik. Brussels denied them to the UK fiercly even around 8 days before.
It's not all about Russia - at least not directly.

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 21 2018 14:09 utc | 8

The British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson now admits that Porton Down (illegally?) had 'Novichok' agents BEFORE the incident happened.

Deutsche Welle: You argue that the source of this nerve agent, Novichok, is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of it?

BJ: Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory …

DW: So they have the samples …

BJ: They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, "Are you sure?" And he said there's no doubt.

No doubt = "of a type developed by Russia" NOT= "made by Russia"!

I updated the piece above with the BJ quotes.

Posted by: b | Mar 21 2018 14:29 utc | 9

@ b | 9

Not illegally, as one Prof Alastair Hay pointed out yesterday
He is right, I read it up in the CWC statutes.

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 21 2018 14:55 utc | 10

@ b, btw.: You did an excellent summary.

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 21 2018 14:58 utc | 11

So a non lethal dose of nerve agent, as would be possible with a handling error, a trace from an imperfect seal perhaps of a small sample, happens within a few miles of a facility, the only facility in Britain, that has quantities of that particular nerve agent on hand. If you can believe Boris Johnson. One victim is connected to the false flag 'chemical attacks' occurring in Syria.
I wonder how good security really is at Porton Down?

Posted by: Phillip O'Reilly | Mar 21 2018 14:59 utc | 12

"Novichok” is not the name of the CW, but the code name of a KGB disinformation operation -- per Andrey Lazarchuk here (at end of Shamir post)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 21 2018 15:02 utc | 13

If I remember Miss Zakharova correctly, Skripal was not a double agent but was simply a UK spook that got caught and imprisoned.

As an aside I watched the video of her dancing in high heals. That was great! Unlike American counterparts she appears to have a real life.
Good for her, Good for Russia.

Posted by: ken | Mar 21 2018 15:04 utc | 14

The moron speaks again:

Timing of Salisbury attack is linked to Russian election – Boris Johnson (WATCH LIVE@RT)

Posted by: Anon | Mar 21 2018 15:21 utc | 15

If the stuff is from Porton Down and they know it, that would explain the desparate disinformation going on.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2018 15:36 utc | 16

Great ongoing coverage of this trumped up situation.

I believe that this event was suppose to be another war igniting spark that is fizzling out. Maybe the approach is to overwhelm folks with a multitude of "could be" situations with Russian names until ignition and blast off. If they get ignition then they can bury all the fake scaffold leading to the spark.

I keep hoping for a flip by one of he slimeball insiders to tell the world how the puppeteers of our world keep the play of empire in motion. Then maybe some eyes will open.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 21 2018 15:37 utc | 17

From b's link to the Boris the clown interview.
"I think, in the first instance, if I may respectfully say to the Kremlin detectives, we will trust to the technical experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Let's see what their assessment is. That's the proper procedure that the UK has to follow under the Chemical Weapons Treaty. And, you know, I just have to say that I find the Russian position about what has happened to this Novichok increasingly bizarre."

When Russia were asking for evidence and pushing for an OPCW investigation, this was just stalling according to the brits. When the Uk gave their evidence to OPCW, they had no blood test results, no documented data of traces of poison or any other tests.

Relying purely on propaganda to push it through, perhaps relying on bigger things happening in Syria to pull attention away and prevent any serious investigation taking place.

Boris and May seem to be no more than extremely enthusiastic cannon fodder in this game, now having to see the narrative through on their own.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2018 15:53 utc | 18

this is not the time for questions
this is the time for us as a nation and world community to come together
and show putin new hitler that he can no longer be allowed into the un group of civilisation nations.
new hitler assad as well must be removed before he ruins any more of the oded yinon lands.
shirley this is the time for the world to make a stand for freedumb here hare here.
you are with us in londonistan or you are with the evil doer ones who will not bend to the will of the empire of the city of london.
although the square mile of london is a foreign land in legal terms not part of team uk
we do need to use the services of the army navy and air farce

ratruns,oil stealing drugs and humans for live organ dealings cannot be allowed to suffer because of putin new hitler.
these vital industry are needed now more than ever

support bullinngdon bloater friend of nat and mayday mayday
chicken town needs you goyim more than ever

Posted by: simon | Mar 21 2018 15:55 utc | 19

Great insight on May's duplicity from voltairenet:

Posted by: turk 151 | Mar 21 2018 15:56 utc | 20

"Vil Mirzayanov was head of the chromatographer group, chemists who deals with the separation and analysis of various mixtures of substances. He was responsible for environmental control and not a developer of any new substances."

This seems to impinge on Mirzayanov's credibility as he said he was one of the developers of the agent. Neil Clark muses about how the famous fictional detective Poirot would investigate this alleged crime. A very strongly worded statement issued jointly by Russia's Foreign and Defense Ministries declares:

"either the British authorities are unable to protect from a terrorist attack on their territory or staged the attack themselves.

"Russia owes nothing and can bear no responsibility for the actions or lack of actions on British soil."

The "attack" on the Skripals is described as a "gross folly" by Russia and as a hoax by numerous writers and others like myself. The more the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals try to smear Russia, the more their credibility diminishes. Combined with the Cambridge Analytica revelations, the plan to demonize Russia has grossly failed as the real demons get revealed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2018 15:59 utc | 21

The more the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals try to smear Russia, the more their credibility diminishes. Combined with the Cambridge Analytica revelations, the plan to demonize Russia has grossly failed as the real demons get revealed.

you sir are a big bully and probably a new new hitler but you can be ree deem deamed
all that is needed is for you to believe in gchq,mi6,mi5 and bbc
we cannot stop jerusalem being builded help us lay the bricks mr karlof

Posted by: simon | Mar 21 2018 16:08 utc | 22

Posted by: turk 151 | Mar 21, 2018 11:56:33 AM | 20

Thierry Meyssan's article blew me away:

"Bypassing the official diplomatic channels, Russian Chief of Staff General Valeri Guerassimov contacted his US counterpart General Joseph Dunford to inform him of his fear of a false flag chemical attack in Ghouta. Dunford took this information vey seriously, and alerted US Defense Secretary General Jim Mattis, who referred the matter to President Donald Trump. In view of the Russian insistence that this piece of foul play was being prepared without the knowledge of the Pentagon, the White House asked the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, to identify those responsible for the conspiracy."..

"We do not know the result of this internal enquiry, but President Trump acquired the conviction that his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was implicated. The Secretary of State was immediately asked to interrupt his official journey in Africa and return to Washington."..

"[Tillerson was replaced by Mike Pompeo, ex-Director of the CIA, who, the night before, had confirmed the authenticity of the Russian information transmitted by General Dunford."

Posted by: Fecund Stench | Mar 21 2018 16:20 utc | 23

Don Bacon @13 linked to a piece at UNZ Revue and the note by Andrey Lazarchuk at the bottom of the article which is interesting.
According to that, Mirzayanov was Identified as a leak early on, and then used to transmit false information. It is noticeable that Mirzayanov Used a letter plus three digits for the designation code of the chemicals, whereas the scientist that actually worked on developing new compounds uses a letter plus four digits for the designation codes.
the compounds Mirzayanov has in his book, A-232 and so forth, were most likely genuine compounds that had been discarded by the soviet scientists, given a new designation code and a name for the group and fed to Mirzayan.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2018 16:24 utc | 24

Elijah Magnier also had a good day:

In the last two years, in every single Syrian brigade or division, Russian special forces have been present, coordinating military operations on the ground and all air strikes...

The main control and command base is also led by Russian generals in connection with the military operations room in Moscow. This is where planning, information gathering and attack orders are given to the forces operating in Syria...

This is why the Russian generals have met with the YPG Kurdish leaders on several occasions, to communicate Damascus's will to control the Afrin enclave on the condition that the Kurds hand over the administration and all the weapons in possession of the YPG...

The Syrian Kurds wanted to believe - like the Iraqi Kurds - that the international community would play a positive role in protecting Afrin and that they would not be betrayed...

Russia and Damascus understood from the contacts between Afrin and al-Hasaka that the YPG leaders would have preferred to abandon Afrin to Turkey rather than hand it over to Damascus...

The Kurds have managed to face a single possibility: to migrate where the American forces are present and where they can offer protection to the occupying forces in the north-east of Syria...

Moscow has sided with Ankara, giving Turkey another chance to stand among the superpower's allies and managed to make a serious step forward with one of the largest NATO members...

[T]he speed of the battle led by Syria and Russia, has offered the government of Damascus an obvious victory over the jihadists in the Ghouta, expected in the coming weeks...

The Kurds of Afrin, not convinced to remain under the government of Damascus, have left the territory that is not their property to Turkey and used their people as human shields...

Erdogan is an indispensable actor that Moscow needs to stop the war in Syria.

Posted by: Fecund Stench | Mar 21 2018 16:25 utc | 25

The UK will never come clean on their disinformation campaign. They are petty and stupid to think the UK is and can be kept somehow 'great'. They are actually the evidence of the decline of the UK.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Mar 21 2018 16:27 utc | 26

Further to my post @24. Have UK used some discarded soviet chemical compounds that has been used in a cold war disinformation operation to poison the Skripols and the policeman?

If this is the case, Russia would have the old soviet records of the disinformation operation ready to rock and roll. Maybe the Brits may have walked into a trap?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2018 16:42 utc | 27

thanks b... great overview and especially the last half of your post where this kind of info never gets discussed.. pointing out that the messengers are also profiting from what they are saying is necessary and critical to be able to put the comments in perspective...
shills everyone of them - Colonel (rtd) Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, James Le Mesurier, and especially boris the idiot johnson..

my favourite question in the comments today so far..

"I wonder how good security really is at Porton Down?

Posted by: Phillip O'Reilly | Mar 21, 2018 10:59:18 AM | 12"

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 16:49 utc | 28

Blocks for Boris has invoked Hitler w/regard to the world cup. The ugliness seems to have no limits. Perhaps this was the intended target.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 21 2018 16:51 utc | 29

Bloviator for Boris

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 21 2018 16:53 utc | 30

@ the pessimist.. it shows one how low britian has sunk on the world stage... from former empire to clear has been...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 16:54 utc | 31

According to the interview with Prof. Rink, a "military grade formulation" does not follow from the public data disclosed by Vadim Miranzayanov, because beside the main compound it is necessary to have "auxiliary ingredients", and Miranzayanov did not have access to the complete formulations, he had a technical role in the development of "main components". Therefore full chromatography of samples would disclose if the chemist working for the perpetrator(s) had a knowledge of the full formulation or not. There is also an explanation how word "novichok" was used, and indeed, it was used.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 21 2018 16:54 utc | 32

fu*@!ng autocorrect :P

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 21 2018 16:54 utc | 33

@23 Fecund Stench.. the folks over at emptywheel are very slow to figure that out... i guess the russian/trump hatefest must continue in at a number of blogs that used to be intelligent and insightful...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 17:04 utc | 34

Posted by: james | Mar 21, 2018 1:04:38 PM | 34

So sad watching what's happened to Marcy.

Posted by: Fecund Stench | Mar 21 2018 17:15 utc | 35

„In 2016 Iranian scientists, in cooperation with the OPCW, published production and detection methods for such agents. It is likely that the various government labs secretly re-developed and produced these chemicals for their own purposes even prior to the Iranian publication.“

THERE IS NO SOLID EVIDENCE for this „Iranian Publication“. (The visible source is Craig Murray.)

It appears that MoA, too has fallen for this probable canard, which was filtered thru and spread (unwittingly) by Craig Murray to make it appear „credible“.

Ryan De Vooght-Johnson the stated „author“ of this article is not a research-scientist but (was) the „commissioning editor“ for a magazine called „Bioanalysis“, published (among many others) by a company called Future Science Ltd. based in the north of London. (Part of the „Future Science Group“)

BIOANALYSIS specialises in „Biomedicine“ and „Drug R&D“ (including analytical research about Doping) not exactly „nerve agents“. (They do know about mass spectrometry, though)

Ryan De Vooght-Johnson apparently no longer works for the FSG, since a search for his name brought only results in the archives from 2013. As a „comissioning editor“ he selected the articles which also included „sponsored“ articles. So was he paid to publish this?

There is something very fishy about this article (what Iranian source?) and every time I open the website it starts to flash continually (is this just happening to me?) so it is impossible to read the whole thing. I managed to make a screenshot (from the top half) and zoomed in. (To me at least) this looks like a cut and paste job…there are some strange dots above the headline)

I asked Press TV to comment (could they deny of verify the claim?) but received no answer so far.

Moreover THERE IS NO MENTION of this alleged „Iranian“ breakthrough on the OPCW website and Murray’s claim (expressed in the headline „Iranian chemists identify chemical warfare agents“ clashes with this statement published by RT on March 16:

There is no record of the Novichok group of nerve agents having been declared by a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention,” the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a press release on Friday.

The funny thing is, there is also no record of this „press-release“ on the OPCW website. In fact, the search-term „Novichok“ yields no result at all. This is all very strange, to say the least.

Seen in a geopolitical context, this „revelation“ might have been planted with Craig Murray (who spread it to refute the claim that „Novichoks“ must be „Russian“) in order to smear Iran – by insinuating they are developing „chemical weapons“ in violation of the CWC (now that JPCOA is being discarded by Trump, they need new political amunition…).

I have reached the conclusion that all this „novichok“-saga is a Red Herring. We ought so concentrate more on the WHY, not he HOW (as with „9/11“).

A SHOCKING TALE OF THREE CITIES (Washington, Salisbury, Damascus)

In Salisbury, England two people are found „slumped“, allegedly „poisoned“ with an NA on a park-bench. HMG issues wild accusations against Russia. Days later the US Secretary of State is being fired. Meanwhile the SAA and their Russian allies are gaining more and more control over „rebel-held“ Ghouta. Three different stories…? Not really.

Here is the article which connects the dots perfectly: (and it is much more important than the „Cambridge Analytics“ stuff…) (read also the article about the „rebels“ in Ghouta)

Other Sources:

Posted by: Cassandra | Mar 21 2018 17:18 utc | 36

(I am sorry about the formatting ... I hate this HTML-stuff..)
Anyway, the important link is this. Please do read it...

Posted by: Cassandra | Mar 21 2018 17:23 utc | 37

Cassandra, your post is nealy unredable the way it is, but I also looked into Ryan De Vooght-Johnson.
I found his bio. Lives in UK and writes for science journals.

TomGard came up with a separate document in one of the earlier novichok threads and it does look like Iran has worked with OPCW on these chemicals and has published its research.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2018 17:26 utc | 38

OT;Trump says congratulations to Putin on victory in Russian election.Good.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 21 2018 17:31 utc | 39


The information is correct. Published in 'Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry'.
It's not been taken down (yet). Doing so now would be futile, anyways.
Here's the link:

Posted by: Hmpf | Mar 21 2018 17:33 utc | 40

@37 cassandra.. i have read the article, but nowhere in the article do i see any refutation of the article that both b and criag murray linked to on iranian chemists identify russia chemical agents... what am i missing? thanks...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 17:33 utc | 41

@41 James

You do understand we are just talking about chemicals here? There are no biological DNA signatures as in the Anthrax attacks in the US yonks ago, which were directly attributable to US bio-warfare?

Anyone can dope chemicals with Deuterium. Anyone with any access to heavy water.

Posted by: Ant. | Mar 21 2018 18:08 utc | 42

Thanks for the advance notice of the Anthem that will surely replace God Save The Fucking Queen.

So Miranzayanov was the janitor!

There is still one honest public employee in the UK:
"no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury.."

Boris Johnson is a living example of what Aneurin Bevan meant when he described Conservatives as 'lower than vermin.'

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2018 18:14 utc | 43

Thanks to commenters for the Meyssan link at

Helpful context to widen the Skripal poisoning. Why do I keep hearing "the facts were being fixed around the policy" by Richard Dearlove back in 02 as the US ramped on to Invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 21 2018 18:23 utc | 44

The empire always shouts loudest and accuses it's enemies of what it actually engages in itself. This all seems very simple. A lot of very embarrassing stuff is/will be found in E Gouta and the empire is attempting to muddy the waters before it fully emerges.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Mar 21 2018 18:36 utc | 45

Craig Murrays site got taken down in huge DDoS, now back up, story here -

Posted by: TJ | Mar 21 2018 18:46 utc | 46

Salisbury, Skripal and Novichok: A Local View
by Lesley Docksey / March 20th, 2018

Posted by: ex-SA | Mar 21 2018 18:58 utc | 47

@ 34 & 35
And Marcy at emptywheel still has that stupid lawyer bmaz. (The evidence follows.)

Grodon says: March 21, 2018
“Condemn Putin for trying to kill Sergei Skripal”
– Independent analysis is just being started now, so there’s no “evidence” – unless you still believe in Colin Powell’s anthrax vial prop and Tony Blair’s various lies in the run up to Iraq 2. . . .etc.

bmaz March 21
Well, this is basically a load of crap. perhaps you don’t have a clue what the word “evidence” means. Your statement might – might – have value if you used the term “conclusive proof”, but saying there is no evidence is absurd. The official UK government statement on the matter is “evidence”. The fact that US specialists consulted concur is “evidence”. The statement by the formerly Russian scientist who developed and perfected the Novichok line of nerve agents saying that, while other countries could theoretically produce Novichok, only Russia would be able to produce the refined product used on the Scribal. That is “evidence” too. . .This matter doesn’t have dick shit to do with Powell and his UN presentation. Also, you are aware of medical privacy laws, are you not? Or are you as uninformed on those, and the national security reasons for not relating their conditions, as you are on the meaning of “evidence”? . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 21 2018 18:59 utc | 48

@ John Gilberts | Mar 21, 2018 9:59:30 AM | 7

Quote: "As always, Canada plays devil's little helper."

Watching Trudeau being sworn-in as Canada's 23rd Prime Minister is all one needs to see to understand why Canada is the perma-lackey it is known as today.

Video of Canada's PM being sworn in

"So help me God"... Lol

Posted by: Juan Moment | Mar 21 2018 19:05 utc | 49

someone mentioned d notice
and craigs place went dark
not sure what it means
but they seem to be words that activate clean up crews.

i must say within 10 mins
funny that
it took mr blobbies and teletubbies hazmat army 6 days to get from porton down to salsbury
a mile a day by my rekoning

i think someone mentioned bell pottinger,serco,g4s,cambridge spooky analistica as well
but i may b wong

Posted by: simnn | Mar 21 2018 19:13 utc | 50

@49 don.. i admire grodon for even trying... only a matter of time and he will be banned.. that is what happens to anyone at emptywheel who tries to challenge the russia/trump hatefest or bmaz... bmaz gives a very bad name to lawyers with even half a brain..

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 19:15 utc | 51

@FS 35
So sad watching what's happened to Marcy.
Yes, I once had a whole lot of respect for her. Now she's reduced to writing pap like this nothingburger for the NY Times.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 21 2018 19:17 utc | 52

@43 ant... yes, i do understand that.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 19:17 utc | 53

Grodon says: March 21, 2018
“Condemn Putin for trying to kill Sergei Skripal”
[...] no “evidence” – unless you still believe in Colin Powell’s anthrax vial prop and Tony Blair’s various lies in the run up to Iraq 2. . . .etc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 21, 2018 2:59:11 PM | 49

This is a bit weak point. It is easy to imagine a decision to let Colin Powell spout lies: the steely gaze, the sonorous baritone voice, the posture of an honest man, this guy could sell the worst piece of junk if he were a car salesman (which is basically what he did). But using Boris Johnson who is widely perceived to be one of the least believable characters of them all? Who would be insane enough to do that?

Such a person would be so dumb that is hard to imagine what she would not do. Like making a promise, on the eve of key elections, to evict Altzheimer patients from their homes? Making an impression of Marie Antoinette during the campaign? Basing her campaign on personality, overlooking that she does not have any? Wait, she did all of that. Perhaps some people who follow British news know some actual cases when Lady Theresa behaved intelligently?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 21 2018 19:18 utc | 54

1. Poisoning of the Skripals -- 'Russian nerve agent'.
2. Blame the Kremlin -- "...directed by Putin"
3. Russian diplomats told to leave.
4. OPCW finally gets samples.
5. Ukrainian-Canadian FM (with a neo-nazi grandfather) calls on EU to impose 'a Magnitsky Act'
6.OPCW dutifully reports the substance to be a nerve agent likely to have been made in Russia.
7. Britain to the EU - "...act of war - deserves serious sanctions"
8. Extensive new sanctions against Russia imposed by EU countries (but not all)
9. Brit campaign to boycott The World Cup -- which of the qualifying countries will go along with this one at the risk of infuriating their populaces?

Posted by: chet380 | Mar 21 2018 19:26 utc | 55

May's hard Evidence! thin as as a bowl of heavily watered down Brit gruel I say!

Ah...but actual proof, well...

Some people gonna call you up
Tell you something that you already know
Sane people go crazy on you
Say ''No man, that was not
The deal we made
I got to, I got to, I got to''
Faith is an island in the setting sun
But proof, yes
Proof is the bottom line for everyone" -P. Simon

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Mar 21 2018 19:37 utc | 56

@Cassandra - where did you pick up that nonsense in ³36

Could you please give a link to it?

Posted by: b | Mar 21 2018 19:51 utc | 57

I have the impression that the British claim is dying. There's no new news, even on the state of health of the victims. Even the cop affected, said to be conscious, could say something, but doesn't. May doesn't want more sanctions.

I suppose there will be an attempt to revive it, and we'll have to wait and see what that is.

It is a British claim, not more widely choreographed, as you can see from Trump's initially doubtful reaction. What the EU thinks is not different; they support their allies, but not more.

This afternoon, the Foreign Secretary, Johnson, lashed out with an accusation that Putin is like Hitler, in a parliamentary committee. OK in answer to a question, but he said enough to show he believes it. (Johnson doesn't believe anything, he just says what he thinks will help him). I don't think it went down well.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 21 2018 20:39 utc | 58

So when a washed-up double agent was stricken with something from somewhere, an MI6 flunky tasked with trying to prop up the failing May government who was binge watching “Strike Back” hit upon characterizing the event as an attempted assassination by a nerve agent (gasp!!), non-lethal only because the victims weren’t beautiful babies, and one that had to have been from Putin’s pantry because it sounded so damn Russian, especially the way the Soviet air-conditioner repairman Miranzayanov pronounced it and it was from a category originally developed 40-some years ago by the USSR—

only to find out that Portuguese boy scouts are the only state or non-state actors known for sure to not have any,
the entire lab used in original research was packed up and shipped to the US,
explaining how one can be sure this substance was used without having undeclared (illegal) quantities of the weapon in Britain, clearly not made by the USSR, is awkward,
they can’t permit real Russian experts access to the patients because no nerve agent would turn up,
and they can’t doctor the samples because damnitall the Ruskies forensically tagged all their real samples….whew!!

Am I missing anything?

Posted by: J Swift | Mar 21 2018 20:39 utc | 59

In the Voltaire article, it's interesting that with an impending CIA false flag in Ghouta Syria, Moscow was uncomforable with State (Huntsman and Tillerson) and went (successfully, it's said) to the Pentagon. "Moscow decided to bypass the usual diplomatic channels."
Apparently this led to Tillerson's firing, and Ambassador Huntsman (ex-chairman, Atlantic Council) might be next. The two also shared a deep belief of Russia's involvement in the election.
So, if this is to be believed, on this matter:
>The CIA was closer to State than to Defense in a big way.
>CIA chief Pompeo (nominated to replace Tillerson) sided with the Pentagon against the CIA.
>All those generals might be a force for good. (slap me now)

Well nobody thought the Trump presidency would be orthodox.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 21 2018 20:47 utc | 60

Watch for some media diversion soon. Remember that stupid ALS water bucket challenge in 2014 after they couldnt pin MH17 on Russia? Incidently, according to Wael: « The Russian counter threats to strike back dashed out the #US plans to strike #Syria, Syrian Air Defense Forces are no longer on the highest alert. The shadow of war is no longer present. »


Posted by: Lozion | Mar 21 2018 20:51 utc | 61

The Porton Down scientists have examined a specimen related to the Skirpal incident and found it to be a Novichok nerve agent 'of a type developed by Russia'.

Is there any legally sound evidence with a full custody audit trail that this specimen is actually the same agent that was used to poison the Skirpals and the policeman?

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 21 2018 20:52 utc | 62

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 21, 2018 4:47:57 PM | 60

I think Elijah Magnier's previously cited article indicates the reason Russia has such good intel: they are embedded in the SAA.

Posted by: Fec | Mar 21 2018 20:57 utc | 63

@62 anonymous... may and boris the idiot got drunk on vodka, 'of a type developed in russia' and were thought everyone in the court of public opinion would go along with them on this one...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 21:03 utc | 64

karlof1 @ 21 said:" The more the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals try to smear Russia, the more their credibility diminishes. Combined with the Cambridge Analytica revelations, the plan to demonize Russia has grossly failed as the real demons get revealed."

Absolutely, now, if some of the idiots STILL pushing the "Russia is evil" can grab a clue, perhaps the masses in the U$A might be moved in another direction.

Posted by: ben | Mar 21 2018 21:06 utc | 65

To Phillip O'Reilly @ 12 who asked: "I wonder how good security really is at Porton Down?"

Answer: Security is about as good as the UK Ministry of Defence's budget will allow. As of January 2018, the MoD was staring at a spending gap of £20 billion in its budget.

If the armed forces have to pull their weight and restrain their spending by giving up naval, air and land bases, Porton Down will have to tighten its collective belt as well.

J Swift @ 59: You're missing the title to your most recent novel ... try "Gulliver's New Navigations among the Lilliputians", in which Gulliver ends up being shipwrecked again and finds that he has passed through a wormhole that is a time-machine to Britain in the 2010s.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2018 21:11 utc | 66

Anonymous @ 62: The Porton Down boffins should have tested the specimen for radioactivity. Or at least turned off the lights in the lab to see if it glows green in the dark.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2018 21:14 utc | 67

@60 have been wondering for some time how Mattis affected policy in Syria (for the better)over the time of Trump's presidency, with possibility the Pentagon took over from State "thinking" at that point . . . (e.g. jihadist funding changed radically; their big unemployment problem as result; we would need to imagine a very different Syria at this time if Hillary had won). In the Iraq War Mattis seemed to be one of the more savvy involved versus the clueless Wolfowitz-Bremer-Rumsfeld group.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 21 2018 21:28 utc | 68

Of course the British police will require several months to find out what actually happened to the Skripals. They have to refer the matter to the British Treasury who will decide the level of funding needed to outsource the work to forensic researchers in India or Iran. Those countries, because their research is of a higher standard than what obtains in Britain.


Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2018 21:29 utc | 69

@60 again: I thought this following interesting related to the point you make:

But aware that the US ambassador, Jon Huntsman Jr, is the director of Caterpillar, the company which had supplied tunneling materials to the jihadists so that they could build their fortifications, Moscow decided to bypass the usual diplomatic channels.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 21 2018 21:42 utc | 70

@Jen 66.

[quietly pleased someone got it]

Posted by: J Swift | Mar 21 2018 22:03 utc | 71

I made a mistake an visited the New War Times(i.e The New York Times). The U.S. media are such hypocrites. They say that Russia's media is state-sponsored propaganda, but the u.S. media is no better. I read Thomas Friedman's latest column, and if you replace Putin with Saddam, it is almost like it is 2001 again. It is really scary, I feel that the U.S. public is being prepped for war. I fear warning people, because I fear being labeled as a traitorous Putinbot.

Posted by: MusicalE | Mar 21 2018 22:15 utc | 72

advance apologies if someone in this long stream of comments has mentioned this already, but this rubbish is not all that surprising:

5 hrs ago from crig murray on twitter: “Massive Attack on This Blog - We are experiencing a Denial of Service Attack on a massive scale. Our extremely experienced tech team - who are serious professionals who come from major IT players - have never defended an attack this big on which someone (is spending real resources. The attack is not over, but our various levels of defence and diversion are currently holding.”

Posted by: wendy davis | Mar 21 2018 22:41 utc | 73

Why are they not dead, and the officer too? Super deadly poison? Why was the doctor not affected?

Where are the victims now? What hospital? Who is treating them? What is their condition today? Who has access to them? Russian officials are kept from seeing their own citizens wounded in the UK against international law on what grounds?

Just askin'

Posted by: Babyl-on | Mar 21 2018 23:06 utc | 74

The Japanese FM does not support the UK at all:

TOKYO, March 21. /TASS/. The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono stressed, calling for establishing facts in the investigation into the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
"I believe the use of chemical weapons in the light of the poisoning of former staff member of the Main Intelligence Directorate in the UK is unacceptable. The facts need to be verified in this case," Kono said, noting that he exchanged views on this case with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.


Posted by: Anon | Mar 21 2018 23:13 utc | 75

Very detailed but rather Miranzayanov favourable analysis of the history and background to Novichok. Quite different to b above.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 21 2018 23:22 utc | 76

b -- this post goes so far beyond brilliant reporting that there are no words to describe it. You have made a gift of sanity to humans everywhere. I hope that this accomplishment is recognized and appreciated by all. If so, you will have changed history. Well done!

Posted by: mireille | Mar 21 2018 23:36 utc | 77

Couple of recent pieces that point to an imminent attack from several sides…Where's b on this?

US Planning a Terrorist False Flag Chemical Attack to Justify Bombing Syria: Russia Says It Will Respond

US training Syria militants for false flag chemical attack as basis for airstrikes – Russian MoD

Posted by: ninel | Mar 21 2018 23:50 utc | 78

@74: plus (sorry don't have link) a Russian chem-tech said yesterday if the Russians had done it they would be dead.

Even today they were poisoned in their homes is held to, after which they could drive to a pub and a meal (for which they waited 20 minutes) then out to a park bench . . . succumbing almost three hours later.

I'm looking forward to an accurate timeline of what happened and when it happened.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 21 2018 23:53 utc | 79

Thank you b and all contributers. This is one great community to share ideas with. I am firmly of the belief that this venomous drivel by May and her UK parrots is:

1: another gas pipeline inspired madness as NordStream 2 approaches implementation. This is supported by the voltairnet report (especially the sacking of Tillerson). The oil, coal, nuclear lobbies are desperate to profit from gas to EU and that is not going to happen from Russian gas pipelines.

2: the UK is the homeland of Christopher Steele who assembled the Trump smut dossier. That was done with the connivance of MI6 and the UK conservative party in support of Hillary Clinton and against Trump. ie The UK not Russia set out to interfere in the USA elections and have been exposed.

More dust in the eyes is needed. So kill 2 birds with one stone as they say at Porton Down and voila, a poisoned traitor and daughter are found dying.

As the afghanistan people discovered more than a century ago, you can't trust any British envoy.

The amusing part of this tale is how the UK suckered Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN. The shame and embarassment that yankees must be feeling after they even had a war of independence from these lying, treacherous tory fools. Trump needs to reassign Haley to the new embassy in the arctic circle.

Posted by: flamingo | Mar 22 2018 0:16 utc | 80

Shamir's Unz Review article cited and linked by Don Bacon @13 which I relink here provides some explosive material at its conclusion that none of the Unz commentators addressed, which I found rather odd given its importance. IMO, the Brits have made a massive mistake, a grave error, that they are now very much aware of--their hoax has blown up in their faces, and there's no way out other than sweeping the entire affair down the memory hole or under the rug. And with the advent of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the entire government's shifted to damage control.

Truth is always stranger than fiction!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2018 0:20 utc | 81

@80 flamingo

Good call. I think Nikki Haley is definitely in Tillerson mode.

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 22 2018 0:22 utc | 82

Got to say it would be a bit of a mind fuck for an honest scientist at Porton Down to be instructed to lie.

Of course the Developed Vetting Process kinda gets the right people in those positions where they actually believe not telling the truth is their duty when circumstances require it.

But there will be some that it doesn't fit easily with and the example of David Kelly will help as a salutary warning to anyone considering reflecting on the morals and ethics of a situation. But their job, when all is said and done, involves extending the science of humans' ability to kill other humans in more novel, ingenious and grotesque ways.

Once they come to terms with that they must accept what they are, and lying is a very minor blemish on what their souls have become.

But Doc Davies unabashed and vibrant (could also read naive and stupid) did speak out.

No retraction, no correction from the Doc himself, the NHS trust, Public Health England (PHE) or any other government authority says to me he told it as it was; nobody in Salisbury was poisoned by nerve agent (weaponised or otherwise)

Which ties in with Putin's observations - that stuff doesn't make you unwell, it kills you - and Mrs May' passing on of PHE advice;

"as Public Health England has made clear, the risk to public health is low."

whilst reassuring us in the same statement that;

"It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent"

Just so Mrs May and PHE are clear; A Dissipated, Weaponised Nerve Agent in the air and on surfaces in the Streets of Salisbury (or anywhere else) Is FUCKING DANGEROUS - BIG TIMEY

Porton Down employees might get away with lying, Blair did get away with lying but it will be interesting how Mrs May is going to explain this one.

Posted by: Peter B | Mar 22 2018 0:34 utc | 83

Porton Down is okay financially. They earned it!
news report:
Britain will invest 48 million pounds in a new chemical warfare defence centre at its Porton Down military research laboratory, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Thursday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 22 2018 0:40 utc | 84

@76 JohninMK

Yes, very interesting article on background/history of novichok and the various reasons for keeping it secret. Perhaps most important point to note is the following:

"Probably all major laboratories that conduct research on poison gas, such as ‘Porton Down’ in England, Edgewood in the US and the Dutch TNO, have already synthesized novichoks a long time ago."

Posted by: Madeira | Mar 22 2018 0:54 utc | 85


Why do you call Wolfowitz, Bremmer and Rumsfeld clueless? Has it occurred to you they knew exactly what they were doing – the destruction of Iraq – and got away with it?

Posted by: Castellio | Mar 22 2018 1:16 utc | 86

Don 60 re Huntsman
"our mutual friend Elliott Higgins" works for the Atlantic council,that's when he not ginning up (original) false Ghouta chemical attack and falsifying and photo shopping evidence on the MH17 (which was carried out by Ukraine.)

Posted by: col from OZ | Mar 22 2018 1:38 utc | 87

I cannot understand why so many commenters assume that a toxic agent had anything to do with this obvious false flag charade. I wonder if Skripal or his daughter were actually sick at all, or merely doing a crisis acting job. Curious that they have been spirited away from anyone who might assess their condition. And the notoriously deadly nerve agent apparently did not do it's job on them. Because there was no nerve agent involved. Now after a long lapse of time some concocted nerve agent may be produced to back up the whole scam. Meanwhile Scripal and daughter will be held away from prying eyes in "protective custody".

Posted by: mike k | Mar 22 2018 1:45 utc | 88

Yulia Skripol facebook

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 22 2018 2:01 utc | 89

Yes, Meyssan as always has the best intel about the real stuff behind the scenes.

B's reporting has recently been also stellar. Thanks!

Uk has always been behind every US aggression, not the other way round.

Besides read Myron Fagan...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 22 2018 2:24 utc | 90

It would be good for reporters to track down family of the Scripals as to what they know and have been told - that is an avenue that no-one has mentioned.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 22 2018 2:24 utc | 91

. . . reporters to track down family of the Scripols
But. . .most reporters these days mainly occupy themselves as government stenographers, and they become ex-reporters if they decline.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 22 2018 2:46 utc | 92

what is your peoples beef
the right hon boris bloater cannot be clearor

Boris Johnson: They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, "Are you sure?" And he said there's no doubt

he asked the guy himselves already he asked the guy and the guy answered
the guy that answered was an expert an expert guy in these matters boris could also have asked a girl but he prefers guys.
he asked him
what more do you want.
diplomasee whatever way you spell it speaks volumns
boris is unique in these regards being able to go to 13 on the control button

who nose by the end like jimmy savilles bloater boris could go all the way to 33 degree
my life already

we should let this matter lie now eye say

Posted by: simnn | Mar 22 2018 2:47 utc | 93

Actually, there is zero evidence that anything happened at all.

Posted by: blues | Mar 22 2018 2:50 utc | 94

The US and EU are wandering away from the UK script on Russia. Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Trump have both undermined Theresa May's attempt at a united front against the Kremlin, as both men congratulated the president on his successful re-election.
news report:
A message from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker congratulating Vladimir Putin on his reelection as Russian president was called “shameful” and “nauseating” by British Conservatives.
Ashley Fox, a Tory MEP, said on Tuesday that it was remiss of Juncker not to have mentioned the poisoning of a Russian former spy and his daughter in Salisbury, southern England.
To congratulate Vladimir Putin on his election victory without referring to the clear ballot-rigging that took place is bad enough. But his failure to mention Russia’s responsibility for a military nerve agent attack on innocent people in my constituency is nauseating,” said Fox, according to the Guardian.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 22 2018 3:15 utc | 95

@95 Mr Fox needs to rein his accusations in a bit. I happen to know several of his innocent constituents and they are starting to find him nauseating.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 22 2018 3:28 utc | 96

Perhaps Ashley Fox will lose some of his adoration of the EU give that its president is “shameful” and “nauseating?”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 22 2018 3:53 utc | 97

@97 It's interesting to see how the Salisbury thing ties in with Brexit negotiations. Clearly the Tories are in disarray and probably pinning their hopes on a strongly worded anti Russian statement from the OPCW. They may be out of luck.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 22 2018 4:06 utc | 98

@Don Bacon

Glad to see you still posting truth on the net.. i miss your posts in SNAFU , and sadly the admin blocked many posters who posted facts and now become a rabid sinophobic site who spouted racist anti chinese blogposts..

would love to see you posts there again

Posted by: Bun Lu | Mar 22 2018 4:43 utc | 99

Reuters describe OPCW inspectors beginning work "at the scene of the nerve agent attack."

"The inspectors were seen arriving at the Mill pub in Salisbury."

The Mill pub?

Posted by: jayc | Mar 22 2018 5:12 utc | 100

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