Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 12, 2018

Theresa May's "45 Minutes" Moment

Today the British government made some dubious assertions about Saddam's chemical weapons the poisoning of its double agent Sergej Skripal.


The British Prime Minister Theresa May claimed (saved tweet) in Parliament that:

  • Sergej Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.
  • The nerve agent was part of a group of agents known as 'Novichok'.
  • Russia has previously produced the agent and would still be capable of doing so.
  • Russia has a record of conducting state sponsored assassinations.
  • The British government assesses that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets.
  • The British government concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergej and Yulia Skripal.

May went on to claim that:

  • This was either a direct act by the Russian State against the United Kingdom or
  • the Russian government lost control of the nerve agent and let it fall into the hands of others.

I find all of the above claims not only dubious but laughable. Here are some facts:

Novichok, 'newcomers' in English, are a zoo of chemical warfare agents that were developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s. Some of the 'newcomers' are said to be highly toxic.


The existence of these chemical agents was disclosed in 1992. Russia joined the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction in 1997. It has since (unlike the U.S.) destroyed all left over stocks from the Soviet Union's chemical weapon program. It does not produce chemical weapons.

These agents and their formulas are not an exclusively Russian knowledge or product:

One of the key manufacturing sites was the Soviet State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT) in Nukus, Uzbekistan. Small, experimental batches of the weapons may have been tested on the nearby Ustyurt plateau. It may also have been tested in a research centre in Krasnoarmeysk near Moscow. Since its independence in 1991, Uzbekistan has been working with the government of the United States to dismantle and decontaminate the sites where the Novichok agents and other chemical weapons were tested and developed.

The formulas for the various Novichok agents are not a Russian secret. The U.S. and the UK surely know how to make these. The agents are said to be made from simply components used in civil industrial processes. (To qualify any agent as "military grade" is by the way nonsense. Many chemical agents used in civil process are also incredibly deadly.) The Porton Down chemical weapon laboratory of the British military is only some 8 miles away from Salisbury where the Skripals were allegedly poisoned.  The British government claims that Porton Down identified the agent allegedly used on the Skripals. The laboratory is surely also capable of producing such stuff, just like similar laboratories in other countries are able to do.

Now lets counter May's claims:

  • Novichok agents are claimed to be up to 10 times as toxic as VX. One drop of VX can kill a person. If the Skripals were poisoned with such an highly effective agent how come they are still alive?
  • The Soviet Union, not Russia, developed such agents. The main work was done in Uzbekistan. The U.S. helped to dismantled the laboratory.
  • Russia is likely able to re-produce such agents but so are many, many other countries.
  • What is Russia's "record of state sponsored assassinations"? The British investigation which claimed that "Russia" was somehow involved in the death of MI6 agent Litvinenko is highly dubious. I am not aware of any other cases. There is a long standing protocol to never bother spies that have been exchanged in a spy-swap.
  • If Russia sees "some defectors" as legitimate targets why does it not immediately kill them? Skripal was living openly in the UK since 2010. Why would Russia kill him at all and why now?

Given the above it is absurd to conclude that it is "highly likely" that Russia was responsible. If someone is run-over by a BMW is it"highly likely" that the German government is responsible for it?

The real likeliness for that is just as high as the likeliness that Saddam could hit the UK with a chemical weapon missile within 45 minutes. That was a fraudulent claim another British government once made.

May's claims today are just as believable as the all nonsense Tony Blair said about Saddam or as the show U.S. Secretary of State Powell delivered in front of the UN Security Council.

via @Propagandaschau - bigger

More likely is an involvement of Skripal in the Steele dossier and the CIA/MI6 operation against Donald Trump. Was he assailed because he threatened to talk about it?

Posted by b on March 12, 2018 at 19:41 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Lester | Mar 13, 2018 6:50:11 AM | 92

"...China is PROHIBITED from using gold as money or backing the yuan with gold..."

Where did you get this info from?

Posted by: Ian | Mar 13 2018 12:22 utc | 101

harrylaw | Mar 13, 2018 7:58:42 AM | 100
The US/UK are rogue states, Putin must hit back hard to any further illegal actions against them or their allies in Syria.

That is my fervant hope; there does come a time...
Possibly now, or near now, tomarrow?
We'll see...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 13 2018 12:52 utc | 102

Ian | Mar 13, 2018 8:22:58 AM | 101

Lester is posting rubbish.
The SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) is gold based; all currencies convertable to gold in any international trade for oil, gas, or anything else.
Lester is a loon/troll...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 13 2018 12:58 utc | 103

Here something much more nasty and urgent Police should take care, instead James Bond playing.
An horrible pedophile ring.

Posted by: y | Mar 13 2018 13:14 utc | 104

Breaking: President Donald Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo
Another neocon in power sigh.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13 2018 13:16 utc | 105

lol it gets worse:

New CIA chief - a torturer under Bush admin!

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13 2018 13:19 utc | 106

At least nice to see Tillerson on the way out. Who actually controls CentCom could prove pretty crucial in the upcoming days and weeks.


Nice update b, thanks.

I think Tillerson is more in line with the deep state than Trump. Tillerson went pretty rabid pretty fast.

Who controls CentCom is a good question.

Posted by: financial matters | October 05, 2017 at 10:29 AM

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 13 2018 13:33 utc | 107

Ian @101

You can read about it here. It's public knowledge BUT never mentioned in MSM:

Posted by: Lester | Mar 13 2018 13:40 utc | 108

V. Arnold @103

Ad hominem.

Please peruse above link and learn about what the IMF imposes on member states. Even Ron Paul knows about it. (But never mentioned any of this when he was questioning Greenspan or Bernanke, as far as I know.)

Posted by: Lester | Mar 13 2018 13:45 utc | 109

The IMF is just part of the neoliberal system that needs to be transcended. It has definitely done more harm than good. Not that I'm a gold bug, but there are many ways to move past US dollar hegemony.

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 13 2018 13:53 utc | 110

@V. Arnold

As for the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE). Unlike the propaganda expounded on the internet, the SGE is largely a PAPER market whose primary purpose is not the exchange of physical gold for paper currencies, but only to mimic or approximate the price of gold un-discovered at the much larger COMEX market, thereby backstopping and spuriously confirming the fraudulent precious metals prices advertised (sic) by the COMEX (or the LME for that matter. This is a widely suppressed matter. You can get a glimpse of it here:

Posted by: Lester | Mar 13 2018 13:57 utc | 111

With Tillerson joining May's lynch mob, May gave Russia an ultimatum. Now Tillerson is out. I wonder if Trump intends to leave May and the brits swinging in the breeze?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 14:12 utc | 112

Given the critical injury sustained by a Russian national, Yulia, if the Russians suspect the involvement of Christopher Steele and/or Pablo Miller - or even if they don't, they should issue an international red notice arrest warrant for Christopher Steele on suspicion of attempted (or actual) murder.

That would really throw the cat amongst the pigeons and highlight this link between Skripal-Steele and the discredited Trump dossier.

Posted by: Julian | Mar 13 2018 14:21 utc | 113

The refusal of Britain to the official note of Russia on ensuring access of Russian experts to a poisonous substance indicates, that official London is not interested in an objective investigation of this case. Period.

Posted by: Ilya | Mar 13 2018 14:27 utc | 114

Peter Au

Uh, if anything we will hear more anti-russian speech from US government.
Look up Pompeo if you somehow believe he is better than Tillerson. Dead wrong!

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13 2018 14:28 utc | 115

Re: Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 13, 2018 7:29:40 AM | 97

I wouldn't bet on that this time.
I think the U.S. is going to find out Russia's (Putin's) limit.
Russia has said they will respond if its military personnel are hit; that I'd bet on...

Actually I rather doubt Putin will respond militarily unless there is substantial escalation - substantial - which I'm not discounting - but it really will have to be substantial.

Why throw away all the years of hard work of biding one's time for the chance to enjoy a successful Football World Cup due to be held 3 months time unless absolutely forced to?

I can't see it unless there comes an outrageous provocation - and I reckon the first step would be calling a meeting of the UN Security Council to state Russia's position.

What is Putin waiting for?

Russian Presidential Election - Run & Won - soon out of the way.
PetroYuan - March 26 - 2 more weeks.
World Cup - successfully hosted.
Pipelines - Turkstream/ Nord Stream 2/ Additional pipeline to China - due to be done by end of next year - 2020 - I believe this is also the timeline the crazy NeoCons are working towards in their escalation - they have to get something started by mid 2019... At the latest.

Posted by: Julian | Mar 13 2018 14:30 utc | 116

Re: Posted by: Ilya | Mar 13, 2018 10:27:11 AM | 114

The refusal of Britain to the official note of Russia on ensuring access of Russian experts to a poisonous substance indicates, that official London is not interested in an objective investigation of this case. Period.

Great point.

Reminds me of those MH17 Black Boxes that Russia inexplicably allowed to go to the UK - did they not make copies first? It appears not as surely they would have released those recordings by now - could they not extract the recordings from the Black Boxes? If they could and they handed them over to the Brits - that was idiotic, if they had no capability at the time to extract the recordings from the Black Boxes that is sadly pathetic and they should have held the Black Boxes until they could themselves extract the recordings.

But yes - this whole episode reminds me of those MH17 Black Boxes - why have WE NEVER HEARD THEM?

Simple - because they completely discredit the "official" BS story.

Posted by: Julian | Mar 13 2018 14:35 utc | 117


I’d like to remember you of Pushkin’s tale entitled « the fisherman and the golden fish » ( The fisherman’s wife is the illustration of a person who can’t be satisfied and is asking always more and more. From a poor woman with a broken trough the golden fish makes her a tsarin, and now she want to be the queen of the sea. What did the golden fish did? He accepted all along the woman’s exigences. He could have stopped her at any time and told her "enough is enough". No. He said nothing. And at the end he said nothing, too. He makes no fuss, he just disappears. But he took back all the gifts he made to her.
Don’t you think Putin is simply a very Russian character?

Posted by: claudeS | Mar 13 2018 14:56 utc | 118

@105 anon
" President Donald Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo"

in 3, 2, 1......"Real men go to Iran."

Posted by: pantaraxia | Mar 13 2018 15:05 utc | 119

Posted by: Julian | Mar 13, 2018 10:30:24 AM | 116
(What is Putin waiting for?)

I can answer that.
He's waiting for the cowardly dumbass Yankees to do something so unbelievably stupid that when he finally reacts, the result will make their panic-stricken exit from Vietnam look like a Victory Parade...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13 2018 15:15 utc | 120

The neo-cons want to attack Syria and Russia. Trump wants to attack Iran and be friends with Russia..?
The fabrication of the Steele dossier to be used against Trump contracted out to the brits, or possibly initiated by them? UK wants to keep the Iran deal.
Perhaps all these clowns will be too busy arguing over who to attack to actually attack anyone?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 15:32 utc | 121

ClaudS @118

No sir,

I think Putin could have finished this war a long time ago and is thus responsible for the rape, torture and murder of countless human beings.

As I explained above,

Putin is just another crypto-Zionist errand boy for the zionist bankers of the West.

Posted by: Lester | Mar 13 2018 15:32 utc | 122

This article from Reuters is what I think the recent propaganda effort by US/UK and Macron's red line is about. Not sure if Tillerson's sacking/replacement will change things.

" Russia said on Tuesday it had information that the United States planned to bomb the government quarter in Damascus on an invented pretext, and said it would respond militarily if it felt Russian lives were threatened by such an attack.

Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia’s General Staff, said Moscow had information that rebels in the enclave of eastern Ghouta were planning to fake a chemical weapons attack against civilians and blame it on the Syrian army.

He said the United States intended to use the fake attack as a pretext to bomb the government quarter in nearby Damascus where he said Russian military advisers, Russian military police and Russian ceasefire monitors were based.

“In the event of a threat to the lives of our servicemen, Russia’s armed forces will take retaliatory measures against the missiles and launchers used,” Gerasimov said in a statement. "

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 16:16 utc | 123

Multiple laughs on "military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia."

Perhaps there is a "military grade", good for ammo shells etc. and "intelligence grade" optimized for assassinations, and Skripals survived because of a mixup. If so, it was a non-Russian assassin.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 13 2018 16:57 utc | 124

@ lester - i see it as claudes does @118... no need to reply.. you've said your piece and it's falling on deaf ears....

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2018 17:49 utc | 125

@ #124.
Paveway nailed the spontaneous British Idiocy with this:

MILITARY grade? Well then, Mrs. Prime Minister... that's pretty God damn serious then. Because everyone knows the Russian CONSUMER-grade nerve agents are crap. I think they sell them on Amazon (Free shipping with Amazon Prime).
Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 12, 2018 4:41:58 PM | 10

and Lavrov rubbed her nose in Jacques Chirac's "(s)he missed a wonderful opportunity to shut up" with this..

"Russia won’t respond to UK ultimatum until samples of alleged chemical weapon received."

Ms May is almost as bad at pretending to be a bloke as she is at pretending to be a woman.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13 2018 18:13 utc | 126

The sloppiness (21 people affected) of the action against Skripal and his daughter suggests haste, which suggests he had already revealed something to her.

Posted by: Reda | Mar 13 2018 18:23 utc | 127

Gerasimov statement translated in english

the word used is Not launchers but carriers...

Posted by: Charles Michael | Mar 13 2018 19:04 utc | 128

By some amazing coincidence there is an Executive Meeting of the OPCW from today, 13th March to the 16th in The Hague.

RussianEmbassyNL Verified account @rusembassynl 8h8 hours ago

Ambassador Shulgin at the #opcw: we urge our British colleagues to reserve their propagandistic ardency to the internal audience. Here at the specialized organization like the OPCW everything should be based on the facts and only on the facts.

Interesting to follow at

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 13 2018 20:12 utc | 129

@71/84 charles and @80 yeah, right... plausible... hard to know, but entirely plausible..

@128 charles.. thanks...

key quote "He stressed that there are Russian military officials in Damascus in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities, and "in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles."

@ 129 john mk and others... i would draw your attention to yoffas comment with link @59.. i am reposting it below as i think it is very relevant..


I think the underlying assumption of your post - that a Novichok programme existed - is open to serious doubt.

The only source for the story of a Soviet/Russian programme to develop a new class of military nerve agents codenamed Novichoks is a defector in the 1990s named Vil Mirzayanov. He claimed that one of these compounds was 5 to 8 times more toxic than VX and that production of these compounds had continued after the Chemical Weapons Convention came into effect. He explained the many publications in the open literature by Soviet chemists on compounds with similar structures as a deception to provide cover for secret research on other more toxic compounds, and gave structures for these compounds.

A review of chemical warfare agents in 2016 ( by Robin Black, who had just retired as head of the detection lab at Porton Down, states that there is no independent confirmation of Mirzayanov's claims about the chemical properties of Novichok compounds.

The report of the OPCW's Scientific Advisory Board's meeting in April 2013 made a similar statement, and did not recommend adding these compounds or their precursors to the list of scheduled chemicals banned or restricted under the CWC. The members of the scientific advisory board included people who, like Black, were heads of western chemical defence labs. These labs would almost surely have undertaken experimental tests of Mirzayanov's claims about the toxicity of these compounds. So if members of the scientific advisory board who were in a position to know the results of these experiments did not recommend adding these compounds to the list of scheduled chemicals, we can reasonably infer that they were not found to be military grade nerve agents.

The British government is now demanding that Russia make a full disclosure of its Novichok programme by Tuesday evening. A Russian denial that such a programme existed will be taken as proof of guilt.

Posted by: yoffa | Mar 12, 2018 9:04:40 PM | 59"

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2018 20:29 utc | 130

He was not ex-KGB.

He was ex-military intelligence.

A few years back I was immersed in reading non-fiction books about cold war intelligence and read in two different books that all recruits to Soviet military intelligence had to watch a short film showing what had been done to one traitor. He was strapped down and fed–slowly–into a furnace, feet first. Presumably the film included a sound track.

How did we learn about the film? From defectors or even from still-loyal Soviet military intelligence people who explained to western would-be recruiters why they were wasting their time.

This killing may have been ordered by the heads of military intelligence (with or without Putin’s approval) as a message to current employees. After all, he had betrayed his colleagues and seemed to have escaped any serious punishment.

Posted by: JamesG | Mar 13 2018 20:35 utc | 131

Yoffa may well be correct as to the status of the nerve agent but just in case it isn't here is a link to chapter and verse on it. It may of course be fiction. Apparently been on the web for years.

Given that Vil Mirzayanov openly published the Novichok formula in 2008 and now apparently resides in the USA, should the UK not summon the US Ambassador too?

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 13 2018 20:43 utc | 132

@ john - what gives the lie to it all is the quote from the book written in 2016 by "Robin Black, who had just retired as head of the detection lab at Porton Down, states that there is no independent confirmation of Mirzayanov's claims about the chemical properties of Novichok compounds." to me it is entirely probable they would have tried to recreate the tests and results that were published via vil mirzayanov from 1993 and have a much clearer idea on it all, then they are letting on.. i think the irony that porton down is just down the road from where this event happened, or that any connection between skripal and steele is being ignored, casts a long shadow over just who was trying to get rid of someone while framing the other.... it smells like a set up designed by m16, but i could be wrong.. the fact they are wanting to ramp up war, while ignoring proper protocol here - by engaging the opcw says a lot as i see it.. i am guessing if they gave it to the opcw - the results would be inconclusive and we would be back to square one - conjecture, but nothing more...

@131 jamesG.. only problem is why now, and why a few kilometers down the road from porton down - the state of the art uk facility where they are dealing with this 24/7? too many questions to come to any firm conclusion, but hey - that doesn't play to the warmongers, hollywood, or most western politicians...

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2018 20:58 utc | 133

UK plan a cyberattack on Russia?

What the hell is wrong with these people? WW2 wasnt enough?

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13 2018 21:12 utc | 134


I think the question of “Why now?” Is a good one but the close location of Portion Down is irrelevant. He lived near Porton Downs for years without concern and anyone employing chemicals from Porton Downs would not need to do so in close proximity to the facility.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2018 21:24 utc | 135

@135 jr... thanks.. i am not so quick to think it is irrelevant, this coincidence... but i get your point..

there is a good overview up in an article at rt right now - now.. a few choice quotes, but one really has to read the whole article..

"Anton Utkin, a Russian chemist who worked as a UN inspector in Iraq and developed technologies to destroy Russia’s chemical weapons, says it’s unclear “how they [Britain] could establish that it was produced in Russia.” He said that anyone familiar with the technology could have produced it. “You can’t find out who manufactured the chemical weapon – the content of the substance will be fully identical while using the same method,” he said. “There is no way to establish with full accuracy that a chemical comes from this or that country.”

"Russian officials say the timing of the allegations is particularly notable. “Presidential elections are looming in Russia, and the country is accused of committing every mortal sin,” Sergey Stepashin, former FSB director, told Interfax. “Tell me, which idiot in Russia could carry out such [an attack]? Where is the logic [in that]?”

He asserted that the story could have been “a primitive provocation by British intelligence services,” and noted that Moscow and London signed a 1998 agreement on mutual investigations in high-profile cases. “So, hand the files over to us and let us probe the crime together,” the former intelligence chief said."

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2018 21:30 utc | 136


Great info. What do you suppose are the chances that Western media will call out the rush to judgement as demonstrated by ignoring long-established investigative procedures?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2018 21:38 utc | 137

"This killing may have been ordered by the heads of military intelligence (with or without Putin’s approval) as a message to current employees. After all, he had betrayed his colleagues and seemed to have escaped any serious punishment."

According to Valery Morozov, another former Russian intelligence officer who now lives in exile in Britain, Skripal was still working with Russian military intelligence

“You have a Russian military intelligence officer working in the Russian diplomatic service, living after retirement in the U.K. working in cybersecurity and every month going to the [Russian] embassy to meet military intelligence officers,” Morozov told Channel 4 News.

Posted by: pantaraxia | Mar 13 2018 22:13 utc | 138

@ 137 jr.. thanks.. last question - zero...

@138 problem here is there is no conclusive way to point the finger in only one direction.. in this case - the guy was a double agent... it could be in either parties interest to get rid of him, which leads right back to the important question - still unanswered- what was skripals role in the steele dossier? no one mentions this... it is a 2 way street here... either the uk or russia might have been interested in removing him... without greater info - which we are very unlikely to get - it is all conjecture and nothing more at this point... it might remain this way indefinitely too.. it is no grounds for the shit may is tossing though, which leads me to suspect this was the intent here, so - i continue to lean to the side that says m16 is behind this...

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2018 22:20 utc | 139

See Looks like Mattis is the grown up in the room

Pat Lang's sobering last para:
I think that Pompeo's nomination and his eventual confirmation brings the world closer to a US-Russia war. If that happens it will be difficult if not impossible to keep the war from escalating toward the use of nuclear weapons. Israel wants war, a wrecking war with Iran. Israel wants the US to win that war for Israel. IMO Israel would be wrecked in such a war whatever the outcome. This is an August, 1914 moment. pl

Posted by: carrie_f | Mar 13 2018 22:51 utc | 140

Bbc spining the positive about fb in the 1st part
However when it comes to interference, the vocab they use about fb's activities is revealing

Posted by: Mina | Mar 13 2018 23:20 utc | 141

craig murrays latest on this topic - Russian to Judgement good title and a good read...

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

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2018 23:37 utc | 142

blog post on this from a guy who lives in salisbury... Sergei Skripal, Salisbury and the Dangerously Hysterical Response of the British Government

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 0:04 utc | 143

This is from Russia's statement at the OPCW meeting today. Can't argue with it.

Our British colleagues should save their propaganda fervour and slogans for their unenlightened domestic audience, where perhaps they will have some effect. Here, within the walls of a specialised international organisation, such as the OPCW, one must use facts and nothing but the facts. Stop fomenting hysteria, go ahead and officially formalise your request to begin consultations with us in order to clarify the situation. A fair warning, we will require material evidence of the alleged Russian trace in this high-profile case. Britain’s allegations that they have everything, and their world-famous scientists have irrefutable data, but they will not give us anything, will not be taken into account. For us, this will mean that London has nothing substantial to show, and all its loud accusations are nothing but fiction and another instance of the dirty information war being waged on Russia. Sooner or later, they will have to be held accountable for their lies.

Full at

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 14 2018 0:19 utc | 144

@Carrie 140
Pompeo has a wonderful CV, but not one that qualifies him to be Secretary of State. He will now be pairing up with General McMaster, the similarly unqualified National Security Advisor, with similar hawkish views. Mattis will be sidelined, but he shouldn't have any overall responsibility for foreign policy anyhow. Haley has given the signal that the US will move (further) in and on Syria, for starters.
We should expect that a country losing its grip would resort to force. But there are other players in that game, who increasingly have a voice (and a stick).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 14 2018 0:19 utc | 145

Like UK should care about the fate of a double-crossing spook at a time when so many innocent people are needlessly losing their lives.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 14 2018 0:31 utc | 146

Once known, both USA and UK would surely figure out how to produce it, probably also try to produce an antidote.
mauisurfer | Mar 12, 2018 7:31:28 PM | 49

I am not so sure. The purpose of chemical weapons, like explosive weapons, incineration weapons etc. is to kill quickly. You should not survive more than a minute or so. In the case of a sublethal dose, I guess what passes for "antidote" is some generic treatment common to a family of toxic molecules.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14 2018 3:31 utc | 147

>>> Reda | Mar 13, 2018 2:23:28 PM | 127

The sloppiness (21 people affected) of the action against Skripal and his daughter suggests haste, which suggests he had already revealed something to her.

The lying Atlanticist poodles at the Guardian may have claimed that 21 people were "treated" but the Wiltshire Police merely stated that 21 people were assessed and found to have been unaffected (i.e., they weren't treated). So this alleged amazingly potent nerve agent is nothing but a crock of shit.
The only reason that I would remotely believe the Russians killing Skripal is if Skripal had returned to being a spy and he'd been involved in some action perhaps involving MI-6 that resulted in the murder of a Russian citizen. More likely, I reckon that Skripal père decided to off himself and take Skripal fille with him, involuntarily or otherwise.#
Now that it's been so heavily politicized, we won't know the truth for fifty years or so, regardless of what the Wiltshire Police actually find.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 14 2018 4:25 utc | 148

I highly recommend watching this interview with Paul Barril from 2016:

Top French Intel Boss Reveals Operation Beluga: US-UK Plot to Discredit Putin and Destabilize Russia

“Russia has nothing to do with [the murder of Litvinenko]. The case was fabricated from the beginning. Polonium was chosen as the poison because due to its production in Russia it would implicate Russia. The objective of the whole operation was to discredit president Putin and the FSB. It was done because Russia is blocking US interests around the world, especially in Syria. It was an attempt to weaken Putin’s hold on power, to destabilize Russia."

Posted by: integer | Mar 14 2018 4:53 utc | 149

@149 ghostship quote.. "So this alleged amazingly potent nerve agent is nothing but a crock of shit." i agree, but people are fooled easily..

@150 integer... thanks.. the guy seems legit.. here is an article on this from 2016..
Boris Berezovsky and browder worked together according to him.. that makes sense... browder is the guy largely responsible for the magnitssky act becoming a reality...

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 5:18 utc | 150

I also recommend checking this out:

EXCLUSIVE: Russian TV: Bill Browder is CIA agent, recruited Navalny.

Posted by: integer | Mar 14 2018 5:44 utc | 151

@152 integer.. that sounds about right.. will check it out.. thanks..

here is john helmers post on this topic... worth reading!

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 5:52 utc | 152

More on Browder:

International Fraudster and Bolshevik Family Heir William Browder to Lobby for More Russia Sanctions

Nataliya Veselnitskaya makes an appearance 8 mins and 14 seconds into this video.

Interestingly, and contrary to the claims made by the corporate media, Veselnitskaya asserts that the reason she arranged the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. was to warn the Trump campaign about Browder:

FULL INTERVIEW: I met with Trump Jr. to Warn Him About Crooked Bill Browder – Russian Lawyer

Posted by: integer | Mar 14 2018 6:42 utc | 153

All the elaborate the spy-novel stuff suggests that Russia is NOT involved.

Theresa still hasn't told us what the mystery compound is. Why not? According to Theresa, the Russians know what happened. So why not tell us?

The entire rigmarole in the UK - invoking the Russian code name "Novichok" for a set of compounds known in the West since at least since the 1990s, etc. suggests that Russia is NOT the culprit.

What's more, Russia's foreign intelligence agencies could easily (1) stage an accident or otherwise quietly assassinate Skripal in any number of ways and/or (2) use chemicals or methods that would be attributed to other countries.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 14 2018 8:54 utc | 154

@133 - James

Mirzayanov's components and formulas have been at least plausible for the professional audience, Robin Black included. So, in the 2016 paper, Black has testified, that Porton Down had designed a nerve agent with a soviet / russian "signature", taken from Morzayanov's data, whatever the effectiveness and operability of this substance might have been.

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 14 2018 11:12 utc | 155

And just in the US the UK is now led by the deep state that apparently seek war with the russians.

They will start by expelling 23 diplomats which of course will be met with the same irrational act in russia most likely.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 14 2018 12:48 utc | 156

Deep state in charge, just like in the US, UK start a war by expelling 23 diplomats apparently.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 14 2018 12:51 utc | 157

I wonder if May government went too far. If true, the following may lead to a political fallout:

NYT: Several residents [of the town where Skripal lives] claimed that swans and ducks that passed police cordons on the Avon River had been put down to prevent the spread of contamination. The police did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

If the English have anything like a short fuse, it is animal welfare. A slaughter innocent and uncontaminated swans and ducks may raise public ire.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14 2018 13:18 utc | 158

Posted by: Lester | Mar 13, 2018 7:54:03 AM | 99


Interesting juxtaposition. All appear to be against the Globalists.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 14 2018 13:34 utc | 159

Given the same nerve agent is produced at Porton Down and a number of other locations throughout the world is there solid evidence that points towards Russia. How many other persons and countries had the motive to orchestrate the poisoning and why this particular nerve agent. More facts please before I can make a judgement!

Posted by: Peter Walker | Mar 14 2018 13:37 utc | 160

@157 good point. In fact I suspect the British public may not care too much about the odd Russian spook getting bumped spite of Boris Johnsons outrage. But killing swans is definitely a red line.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 14 2018 14:30 utc | 161

The UK escalates the pressure on Putin with the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats within a week and the termination of any high-level contact. The only possible Russian answer in order not to lose face would be to expel the UK ambassador in Moscow. But it will not happen. The Kremlin seems to have been completely wrong-footed. This case may represent the most glaring failure of Russian intelligence in the last few years. The removal of all operatives in the UK would have been inevitable in any case.

Posted by: buenaventura | Mar 14 2018 14:33 utc | 162

Lose face? Thats called "not responding to provocations", deep state in UK seek war and conflict with Russia, why should Russia respond to that? Makes no sense.

Assange: UK Foreign Office Gears Up for Propaganda War Against Russia

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 14 2018 14:50 utc | 163


You comment makes no sense, why would Russia take the bait of these provocations? Let alone in the absent of proof that Russian gov. is behind it?

Posted by: Anonymouss | Mar 14 2018 14:53 utc | 164

Expelling diplomats means nothing in large-power strategic politics. Russia continues to succeed where it counts.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 14 2018 14:53 utc | 165

Assange: UK Foreign Office Gears Up for Propaganda War Against Russia

Posted by: Anonymouss | Mar 14 2018 15:01 utc | 166

Caution: the Irish may have anti-English bias. But the author claims very long expertise, and having more brains that Theresa May is a very low bar indeed.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14 2018 15:13 utc | 167

An opinion:

Theresa May has provided, by her ministership in the Mother of All Parliaments, the best example of very danger and disadvantage of such form of governance. P.M. May has brought discredit and disgrace upon the British people and should stand as reason to abandon the system altogether. Britain needs to be made a peoples republic without doubt; corruption is now too cancerous in the monarchy to be continued and no interest is evident that self-correction will be effective. Listening to today's parliament session is hearing the braying of ill-informed, ill-considered, self-serving herd of political ne'er-do-wells and publicity seeking frauds. Sad.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 14 2018 16:13 utc | 168

@ 165 Piotr Berman | Mar 14, 2018 11:13:56 AM

The Irish Times is as hard-right (for Ireland) as The Telegraph is in Britain, the voice of the establishment (in Ireland having an 'O' prefix to the patronymic identity instead for establishment). Not a institution to rock boats, should such statement appear, it is usually safe to consider it to be trustworthy; still a lot of information held about where skeletons are buried by the folks in Westminster. Ireland (Republic) on the isle of long memories.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 14 2018 16:50 utc | 169

To Formerly T-Bear | Mar 14, 2018 12:13:03 PM | 166

I do not believe that ANY form of government can guarantee "adequate outcomes". "People's republic" is basically a dictatorship of the "avantgarde", and any group of individuals, large or small, at occasion is selfish and stupid. If anything, it is a credit to UK system that May's government hangs by their nails, and Labour with Corbyn has good chances to cobble the next government -- the need for change is percolating through.

It is possible that the plot to implicate Russians in a "chemical attack" has Corbyn as the prime target, because the "conventional thinkers" have an opinion that his "soft" approach to the national security is his largest weakness.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14 2018 16:53 utc | 170

@ Piotr Berman | Mar 14, 2018 12:53:16 PM | 168

Try: "People's Republic" to be saying 'Something Else'. Whatever that will be, knowing The Federalist Papers should be the mandatory prerequisite for formulation. Sorry you took that comment literally, whatever form of governance will have the same characteristics as those provided by history - social structures are effectively genetic to the species - hard fact; get over it.

As far as Jeremy Corbyn performed today, only he and few others had any grasp of what law required and were hooted down for their efforts. The rest of the Commons were infants lost to the run of themselves - a kindergarten shows more maturity. Someone lately referred to William Golding's The Lord of the Flies; That was the impression given today by those in control of the Mother of All Parliaments. Shameful.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 14 2018 17:39 utc | 171

@ 168 piotr... obviously corbyn is not the prime target! the usa/uk have been ramping up this demonizing of russia for a number of years.. this is just the latest in a long line of provocations... they might catch corbyn saying something and hope to fry him on it, but that is not the prime reason.... these folks serving the empire are a sick bunch - whether they be politicians or scribes for the msm... it is really pathetic...

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 18:20 utc | 172

article today from craig murray who is also following this closely...

The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 18:31 utc | 173

craigs article circles right back to yoffas post @59 from one or two days ago..

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 18:33 utc | 174

key quote from craigs article

" Indeed the UK has a binding treaty obligation to present that sample to OPCW. Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.

Yet Britain refuses to submit it to the OPCW.


Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 18:35 utc | 175

James @ 173 "key quote from Craig"

I object and propose this quote:

"As Dr Black has revealed Porton Down had never seen any Russian novichok, they cannot have a test for it unless they synthesised some themselves to develop the tests. And if they can synthesise it, so can many others, not just the Russians."

Why should Craig Murray, why should we believe every word of Black, who was tasked with design and production of WMD's for, of course, "defensive purposes"? Wouldn't it have been a neglect of duty, hadn't Porton Down tried to reproduce the stuff based on Mirzayanov's data? And wouldn't it amount to "treason" hadn't he kept quiet about it in case of succeed?

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 14 2018 18:58 utc | 176

@ 174 supplement

My point is twofold.
First, since Porton Down refuses to submit a sample or at least a spectrogram, the assignment of the stuff to Russia is a deception whether Black 2016 did lie or not. If Black did lie, than Porton Down has exactly one reason, not to reveal the stuff, namely that Russia could tell and perhaps even prove by it's archives, that they've been send a derivate that is just similar to the original soviet production.

Second: If Porton Down has the stuff, it can now be used again and again as a false flag-agent, since NATO endorsed Britains assertions.

Posted by: TomGard | Mar 14 2018 19:55 utc | 177

@ tomgard... yes - i agree with you and neglected to bring that up! it is a really valid and central part to this story too... there is no question in my mind porton down reproduced this stuff... that mr. black is not really telling the full story is no surprise.. there is probably a code of silence on much of the work they do at pd... i suspect though that black knows this story is b.s.

i really don't think this is going anywhere, but the damage has already been done... many simpletons in the world believe yet again, that russia is a monster... the msm and politicians of the west have succeeded in stooping to a very low level and remaining stuck their..

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 20:30 utc | 178

@b: you state the principle site of Novichok production during Soviet times was in Uzbekistan. That does not seem to be true, as stated by Russia itself:

The nerve agent Novichok was developed and produced in Shikhany, home of a military research establishment in central Russia, according to a chemical weapons expert. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon said the information was contained in a report submitted several years ago by Russia to the international body that monitors chemical weapons, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Source: https://www.theguardian.COM/world/2018/mar/14/nerve-agent-novichok-produced-russia-site-expert

Posted by: Paranam Kid | Mar 15 2018 7:27 utc | 179

Why not link direct to the "report submitted several years ago by Russia"? Perhaps you should rename yourself Fuckwit Kid if you believe the guardian.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 15 2018 8:11 utc | 180

UK cannot give a designation code nor even a scientific description of the chemical's make up they say Portland Down identified. The narrative is bullshit from start to finish.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 15 2018 8:17 utc | 181

Theresa, May I?

The reigning Queen of Dissemblistan.

Milking the cow for future deceit artists.

Future English Deceit Artists, of course.

Posted by: FSFF | Mar 28 2018 0:16 utc | 182

Viktoria Skripal is angry for being denied visa.
She has been upset by the fact fhat Yulia was
given no privacy to talk — and in the background she
could hear somebidy talking to her. Yulia was herself
when talking about her health, and confident about
being fine. But she was insecure when her cousin
said ghat she woul come right away after she got visa.
Yulia did not think she would get it. Now Viktoria has
sent a letter to May, asking her to help with visa, an
inarticulate and naive tekst she shared with the press.

She is making talk show rounds in a genuine disbelief
that a close relative would be denied visit and the help
she can give them once relesed home.

Posted by: Bianca | Apr 8 2018 21:18 utc | 183

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