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April 04, 2018

"It's The Cover-Up" - UK Foreign Office Deletes Tweet, Posts False Transcript, Issues New Lies

It's Not The Crime, It's The Cover-Up:

When a scandal breaks, the discovery of an attempt to cover up is often regarded as even more reprehensible than the original deeds.

The British government is trying to cover-up the lies it made with its false allegations against Russia. The cover-up necessitates new lies some of which we expose below.

Yesterday the head of the British chemical weapon laboratory in Porton Down stated that the laboratory can not establish that the poison used in the alleged 'Novichok' attack in Salisbury was produced by Russia. This was a severe blow to the British government allegations of Russian involvement in the poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal.

Now the British government tries to hide that it said that the poison used in the Salisbury was 'produced in Russia' and that Porton down had proved that to be the case. The government aligned media are helping to stuff the government lies down the memory hole.

We all need to make sure that the new lies get exposed and that the attempts to change the record fail.

Yesterday the British Foreign Office deleted this from its Twitter account:


The March 22 tweet was part of a now interrupted thread which summarized a briefing on the UK government's response to the Salisbury incident given by the British Ambassador to Russia, Dr Laurie Bristow, to the international diplomatic community in Moscow.

After the silent scrubbing of the record was publicly questioned the Foreign Office admitted that it deleted the tweet:

After it emerged on Wednesday that the tweet had been deleted, the Foreign Office said the post was removed because it "did not accurately report" the words of Laurie Bristow, the UK's ambassador to Russia, which the tweet was supposed to be quoting.

Hmm - fool me once ...

All the tweets in the thread used quotation marks, but none was a literal reproduction of the ambassador's briefing. Only one of the tweets was deleted.  A look at the transcript and video of the briefing shows that all the tweets, including the deleted one, "accurately reported" the speech. The cover-up of the false statement the ambassador made thus includes at least one new lie.

The original tweet said "Analysis by world-leading experts at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade Novichok nerve agent produced in Russia. .."

The transcript of the briefing in Moscow - "exactly as it was delivered" - is (still) available at the Foreign Office website.


The ambassador, reading from a prepared script, recapitulates the event and, according to the posted transcript, then says:

Four days later the analysts at Porton Down, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in the UK, established and made clear that this was a military-grade chemical weapon. One of the Novichok series; a nerve agent as I said produced in Russia. Porton Down is an Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons accredited and designated laboratory.
First, there is no doubt that the weapon used in the attack was the military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok series. This has been confirmed by specialists, our specialists. An Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission is in the UK now to independently confirm this analysis.

There is also no doubt that Novichok was produced in Russia by the Russian state.

The last line in the -"exactly as it was delivered" - transcript is false. Here is my transcription from a short Foreign Office video of the briefing (saved copy) which includes the uncut passage of the last two paragraphs quoted above:

... there is no doubt that the weapon used in the attack was the military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok series. This has been confirmed by specialists, our specialists. On Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission is in the UK now to independently confirm this analysis.

There is also no doubt that the Novichok was produced in Russia by the Russian state.

The written "exactly as it was delivered" transcript of the briefing says "... that Novichok was produced ...". At 0:20 in the video I clearly hear the ambassador saying "... that the Novichok was produced ...". A tiny but very important difference.

The person who put the official captions on the official Foreign Office video agrees with what I hear and transcribed.


The ambassador referred to "the Novichok", the Novichok he specifically mentioned earlier in the speech. The Novichok that he said had been detected by Porton Down. The transcript on the Foreign Office website leaves out the definite article "the". It makes it look as if the ambassador referred to some unspecified batch of the substance.

The deleted tweet was a faithful rendition of what the ambassador said, it "accurately reported" it. The transcript the Foreign office posted on its website is false. The ambassador clearly accused Russia of having produced the very batch that Porton Down analyzed.

Three days earlier Bristow's boss, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, made the same false claim (vid at 5:32) in an interview with DW.

Porton Down has now said that it made no such claim. The ambassador's claim was false. The Foreign Office attempt to cover this up by deleting its tweet and by posting a not-so-exact transcript only amplifies the falsehood of the original claims.

The briefing continued to emphasize the "produced in Russia" meme. The phrase occurs four times.

Russia’s claims that Novichok could have been produced elsewhere have no credibility. We have no information to indicate that this agent could have been produced anywhere else except in Russia. So we have no doubt that the nerve agent was produced in Russia.
So the fact that the Novichok was produced in Russia, the fact that Russia has a history of state-sponsored assassinations, and the fact that Russia has responded with the usual playbook of disinformation and denial left us with no choice but to conclude that this amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom.

The Foreign Office may want to claim that all the above uses of "produced in Russia" were only references to decades old research and development in the Soviet Union, not to the "Skripal" case. The highlighted details shows that this is not the case. Any listener to the briefing surely got the impression that the UK ambassador was talking about the specific batch analysed by Porton Down.

It highlighted paragraph of Ambassador Bristow's briefing includes several other lies. 'Novichok' agents can and have been produced in other countries than Russia.

In 2016 five nerve agents of the 'Novichok' series were synthesized by Iranian scientists in cooperation with the OPCW. Details of their production process were published. In 1998 the US Army’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center produced and catalogued 'Novichok' agents. It added the data for the substances to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Mass Spectral Library. The data was later removed and U.S. diplomats were ordered to suppress all international discussion about 'Novichok' agents.

The U.S. military chemical weapon laboratories work in close cooperation with Porton Down. Porton Down continues to receive tens of millions of U.S. military research money for its chemical weapon experiments including tests on animals. The UK government surely knew that 'Novichok' agents can and have been produced by other actors than Russia.

British and U.S. media aligned with the ongoing anti-Russia campaign now downplay the earlier claims of the British government.

BBC Radio 4 news at 6:31am today made this comical effort:

"... Russia requested the meeting to address the UK government's suggestion that it was behind the poisoning ..."

The British government did not make a mere "suggestion". Its ambassador and other officials stated outright that Russia was the culprit:

"... the fact that the Novichok was produced in Russia .. left us with no choice but to conclude... "

The New York Times today also uses the "suggestion" wording (one wonders who 'suggested' that):

The British authorities have blamed Russia for the March 4 poisoning, with Foreign Minister Boris Johnson suggesting it was “overwhelmingly likely” that President Vladimir V. Putin had ordered the attack.

On March 16, when the NYT first wrote about Johnson's claims against Russia, it surely did not convey that they were only 'suggestive':

Mr. Johnson’s remarks were a significant escalation in the dispute between London and Moscow, directly linking the Russian leader to the poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury.

The British Prime Minster herself went way further than just 'suggesting' that Russia was guilty:

[T]he Government have concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Based on that 'conclusion' the British government threw out 23 Russian diplomats from their embassy in London. There was nothing 'suggestive' with that.

Off-Guardian points out that another tactic to divert from the earlier false claims is to now declare Russia guilty of not cooperating with the investigation:

The UK’s flagrant hysteria of the last weeks, the war cries and spittle-flecked abuse is all being airbrushed away and being replaced with the idea the UK simply requested Russian co-operation and Russia refused – preferring to make nasty insinuations instead.

To claim that Russia did not cooperate is another lie told to cover up for the now debunked ones. The Chemical Weapons Convention, which Britain and Russia have signed, dictates the procedures that must be taken when chemical weapon allegations are made. They foresee the involvement of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

It was the British government that rejected the involvement of the OPCW in the investigation. It only agreed to do so after Russia insisted on it:

[Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov] added that a case of alleged use of chemical weapons should be handled through the proper channel, being the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – of which both Russia and Britain are members.

“As soon as the rumors came up that the poisoning of Skripal involved a Russia-produced agent, which almost the entire English leadership has been fanning up, we sent an official request for access to this compound so that our experts could test it in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention [CWC],” Lavrov said. So far the request has been ignored by the British side, he added.

The request from the British government to the OPCW was sent on March 14, ten days after the incident happened, two days after the Prime Minister made her "highly likely" claims against Russia and one day after Lavrov publicly insisted on OPCW involvement.

It is obviously the British government which at first rejected OPCW involvement and not the Kremlin.

The OPCW is by statute a technical agency, not a court. It will release a technical assessment of the involved agent and not a judgment on responsibility or guilt.

The attempted cover-up by the Foreign Office of the lies the British government spread about the case has already failed. To play down the original strong claims against Russia as mere 'suggestions' is comical. Allegations that Russia was or is holding up a serious international investigation are also false. It was Britain which at first rejected the CWC and OPCW involvement.

The fact that the British government even makes these attempts must be seen as acknowledgement that it has no case and lied in it its official statements to the global public. It now covers its trail with more lies.

What else is the British government lying about?

Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the Skripal case:

Posted by b on April 4, 2018 at 20:18 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Another excellent and critically important piece from MoA. We are indebted.

Posted by: HD | Apr 4 2018 20:30 utc | 1

What else is the British government lying about?

I think that the better question is what are they not lying about?

Maybe the British will now come out and say that they are only suggesting that the Russian diplomats leave because of the suggested poison incident.

What a farce!!!

As an American I am somewhat happy to see another circus act to challenge the one proffered by our current government leaders.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 4 2018 20:39 utc | 2

I hope this discredits the British government narrative of this event, but I doubt that it will.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Apr 4 2018 20:39 utc | 3

There is also no doubt that the Novichok was produced in Russia by the Russian state

That's another lie. It was not. It was being developed in Uzbekistan by the Soviet Union. When the USSR collapsed, whatever stuff was left in the Usbek Nukus facility was removed and "destroyed" by the USA.


Posted by: Lea | Apr 4 2018 20:40 utc | 4

Maybe also it was at the origin of the creation and spreading of the The RussiaGate hoax/Mueller investigation
Tahks b for all the great work you do. It's very difficult to counter the new "micro communication compaigns" were are witnessing daily coming from the MSM, but every whisper of critical thinking is beneficial so as to avoid a general poisoning ;-) Keep up with the really very good work. Thanks .A

Posted by: A | Apr 4 2018 20:45 utc | 5

thanks b... it is indeed a cover up, and that is a better way to describe it...they are caught lying essentially... will they apologize? i very much doubt it.. will there be any accountability of the lead politicians pushing these lies - theresa may and boris johnson? highly unlikely... although, if they are not held to account, we continue to be in trouble here.. these folks are carrying water for who? certainly not for the ordinary person...

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2018 20:50 utc | 6

Amb to Russia criticizing the gov a couple of weeks before election is reminiscent of same practice back in 2011 Syria
Did it fail miserably? The whole point seems to push the "concurrent gov" to commit a mistake.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 4 2018 21:02 utc | 7

I posted the following on a earlier b blog, but since this "news" story continues, it seems appropriate to repeat.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
~ Edward Bernays, "Propaganda," 1928

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out."
~ Karl Rove

And yet, here we are, almost a century after Edward Bernays wrote a book on how the masses are manipulated, and more than a decade after "Bush's Brain" mocked us, here we are "judiciously studying" Empire's past action.

Meanwhile, Empire is acting, and "the masses" are acting and reacting across the globe. And almost no one knows who pulls the strings, let alone are we organizing to overturn their rule.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 4 2018 21:03 utc | 8

The Guardian is claiming that Johnson wasn’t lying, he was merely “inaccurate” and to suggest otherwise is falling into the Kremlin’s trap. Even worse, the paper claims, the Russians are seeking to “discredit” Britain at the UN Security Council by insisting on a meeting to review these “inaccuracies.”

I wonder if the intense pressure placed on EU members and others to accept the British “assessment” and expell Russian diplomats was done knowing this whole thing would fall apart as it has, and was a means to ensure reaction to British deceit would thus be muted.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 4 2018 21:03 utc | 9

Michael Weddington @3:

No doubts the British government has lost all credibility on the World stage.   The noise they're making is to distract the citizenry from noticing it.

OT: There's a rumor that the Rothschilds was forced to sell a significant asset (forgot what it was). Maybe they need more funds for future shenanigans?

Posted by: Ian | Apr 4 2018 21:07 utc | 10

The real thing is that the Britons were "highly likely" those who first used chemical weapons in European soil before WWII....

Sir Winston Churchill convinced the UK to use chemical weapons against Russian Bolsheviks in 1917 for a month. He also wanted to use them against rebellious Indian tribes. "I am strongly convinced to use poisonous gas against uncivilized tribes"

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Apr 4 2018 21:11 utc | 11

Unfortunately, Perfidious Albion still has supporters:

Posted by: Lavrenty | Apr 4 2018 21:14 utc | 12

Excellent and thanks.
For more information and aspects you can't do better than check out Craig Murray.
Several very interesting articles today - as the story develops.

Posted by: Emily | Apr 4 2018 21:19 utc | 13

....and what happens when the Russians finally sue in the British courts for consular access to their injured nationals ( at least one of them is a Russian resident)....will it be refused and on what grounds?....what if what she has to say is significantly off script?....she is sitting up in bed talking and eating and presumably watching TV....BoJo has straight out lied, as I suspected and the whole affair is a botched false flag that has shrivelled under the weight of internet scrutiny. not scrutiny by the poodle press of Great Britain....there is only one British politician who comes out of this with any credit, Jeremy Corbin...the rest are lying scum who should have been cleared out after the expenses scam. Arlene Foster and the DUP should put this pack of hyenas out of their misery by withdrawing her votes...

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Apr 4 2018 21:30 utc | 14

@ 11 Fatima Manoubia | Apr 4, 2018 5:11:23 PM

You might look into the history of British activities in Iraq to control their Iraqi oil supply during both WW I (and WW II). IIRC the Iraqis became unhappy enough to rebel against British hegemony and the British obligingly bombed the rebels back to the stone age then, it seems poison gas was used. It may be necessary to investigate local and regional histories for an accurate recounting but it has appeared in recent western writings as well, but well hidden. Several times the British were handed their 'better parts' by the Iraqis then, and left full cemeteries behind. The Royal Navy was oil fuelled from the conversion from steam beginning about the turn of the 20th century requiring dependable fuel supplies - something not to mess with, Perfidious Albion becomes Furious Albion about then.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 4 2018 21:43 utc | 15

I repeat my analysis: UK is HIGHLY LIKELY the culprit with whatever poison was used. (We don't even have verifiable proof of what ails the victims.)

UK has proven itself the culprit by its preponderance of Lies. Lying from the start, lying along the way, lying in the face of science and proof of their lies.

UK has motive. It clearly hates Russia and Putin.

UK has much to hide but does it amateurishly.

UK is the criminal, responsible for the poisoning.

Why? Because it is Highly Likely they are lying about everything and can't get out of the tar pit of lies.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 4 2018 21:51 utc | 16

Thanks for your great work... again b.

Every UK TV website (ITV, Channel 4, Sky) except the BBC headlined the Porton Down story today. The BBC hid the story under a small item with the heading “Russia offer on poison probe “perverse.” Some anger on social media and online comments sections appeared to pressure the corporation to gradually increase the exposure of the story until by the mid-afternoon it had substituted the previous headline “Man, 78, held in burglar murder probe”, but the corporation still kept the same headline connecting Russia with the word perverse. Meanwhile, Channel 4 went with the perfectly good “Did Boris Johnson lie about Porton Down’s evidence against Russia?” ITV took a blander line, but still okay: “FCO deletes tweet amid confusion over Russia nerve link.” I refuse to look at Sky.

The BBC died in 1987 when the excellent Director General Alistair Milne was sacked by Chairman Marmaduke Hussey (what a name!) and Victor Rothschild (yes, that name again) and told to leave the building forthwith without being told the reasons. Milne’s son, Seamus, the best journalist at the Guardian for years is now working with Jeremy Corbyn in a media related capacity.

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 4 2018 21:55 utc | 18

@9 jayc... i like what off guardian calls the guardian now - ORWELL HQ..

in reference to the link from the uk house of commons hansard march 12th theresa may had given herself a bit of wiggle room here.."There are, therefore, only two plausible explanations for what happened in Salisbury on 4 March: either this was ​a direct act by the Russian state against our country; or the Russian Government lost control of their potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others."

bottom line... it was a clear attempt at framing russia and it is backfiring on them...

what i find amazing is that over this series of lies and suggestions the uk/usa has successfully gotten rid of the diplomats from a number of countries in a tit for tat punishment of the idea of any international diplomacy.. that falls on the uk, i am afraid and it is based on lies... there is no way they will take any of it back either, i am quite sure of... there will be no apology either is my guess... slandering russia is considered normal at this point and it really is deplorable by a deplorable group of nations, unrepentant of what they have done here on the world stage...

the msm can try to airbrush this all they want.. it isn't going to work.. this event will be remembered for a very long time..

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2018 21:55 utc | 19

>>>> Fatima Manoubia | Apr 4, 2018 5:11:23 PM | 11

The real thing is that the Britons were "highly likely" those who first used chemical weapons in European soil before WWII....

What rubbish. Except for some possible use by the Germans on the Eastern Front, chemical weapons were not intentionally deployed in Europe in World War 2 because both sides feared the response from the other.
The Japanese used chemical weapons against other Asians but not against the forces of any western country because they feared the response from those countries.
However, in World War 1 both sides used chemical weapons on a regular basis. The French used tear gas, not a chemical weapon under the CWC, first, but the first use of an actual chemical weapon, chlorine, was by the Germans at the Second Battle of Ypres on 22 April, 1915, when the Germans attacked French, Canadian and Algerian troops with chlorine gas.

As for Churchill, throughout most of his life he was a pillock who made many stupid suggestions.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 4 2018 22:03 utc | 20

The much predicted SAA action against forces in S. Syria & Golan has not materialized. I suggested that the next target would be the pocket near Homs. This, plus a concerted effort against East Qalamoun reflects a SAA focus on securing its' logistics over geographic control.

Given the Trump-eting about withdrawal, I would anticipate that the next bloc of targets will be in the region of Deir Ezzour where ISIS has made a series of significant attacks. Syria will want to make double sure its' oil and gas fields in that region do not get destroyed again now that refurbishing has started.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 4 2018 22:05 utc | 21

It's Johnson who is deepest in the shit because he broke with the agreed wording "....poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia". Theresa May stuck with the definition provided by Porton Down. So perhaps this was a plot to finish off Boris Johnson's aspiration to become prime minister.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 4 2018 22:14 utc | 22

Since the OPCW is jumping on the 'military grade' bandwagon, why don't they compare the agent to the ones catalogued at Porton Down?

Test Porton Down samples ...

1. It produces 'military grade' everything.

2. It's close to the attack. Why not check the closest facility? The Brits could always claim that it was stolen by Russian agents.

3. There looks to be tremendous variations in these class of nerve agents. A match at the molecular level would be as good as DNA. If nothing else, proving that it did NOT come from Porton Down would at least eliminate that possibility.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 4 2018 22:18 utc | 23

Not sure this has been posted, didn't read it all yet seems relevant to the discussion here.
If posted already sorry B.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Apr 4 2018 22:20 utc | 24

Last year not only the centenary of the October Revolution was celebrated, but also two other momentous centenaries, the Sykes-Picot Treaty and the Balfour Declaration, to understand imperialism and the history of the Middle East in the last century.

It is a redundancy to say that it is not possible to understand the most recent events in the Middle East without these three phenomena. The Sykes-Picot Treaty was secretly signed May 16, 1916 and the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917, just five days before the October Revolution.

The Sykes-Picot Treaty is the division of the Ottoman Empire, that is, of the Middle East, after its defeat in the First World War by the winning powers, Great Britain and France fundamentally.

The Balfour Declaration is a 122-word typewritten letter directed by Arthur James Balfour to Rothschild, without any official condition.

Unlike the Treaty, which had a general character, the letter establishes the foundations of British hegemony from 1920 to 1948 on a part of the Middle East, Palestine, whose consequences should be widely known because it is counted by hundreds of millions of deaths, only for now

British imperialism sought to turn the Middle East and Palestine into a stronghold en route to the "jewel of the Crown", India, protecting the Suez Canal. The design of the Middle East borders, which emerge then, including the destruction of Palestine, has that goal.

The geographical borders are accompanied by the religious ones. Imperialism not only promotes the different Wahhabi derivatives (Takfirists, Salafis) but also their symmetrical Jews: Zionism.

Its victims, then, are not only Arabs or Muslims, but the Jews themselves. Among others, it is Herzl and the Zionists who promote anti-Semitism to carry out their own political projects, which are those of imperialism.(...)

(...)100 years ago, the strategic nature of oil was derived from the decision taken by the British Admiralty at the beginning of the 20th century to convert the naval vessels of the Navy, which until then had been fueled by coal, to gasoil.

In front of the Admiralty, in 1911 Churchill believed that the British decline, which was economic and political, could have a technical remedy in the change of propulsion engines. The empire depended on the navy and, in turn, the navy depended on new engines, which Germany did not yet have.

But on the islands there was no oil and in July 1913 Churchill declared in the House of Commons with crystal clarity:

"Without oil, England will no longer receive corn, cotton or any other material necessary for the functioning of its economy.

"The Admiralty must be able to control the oil at source; It must be able to extract, refine and transport the oil. In short, the British Empire will be oil or it will be nothing. "

Oil, then, has never been an end in itself in the Middle East, nor a form of capitalist profit, but an instrument of hegemony, which is military.

The United States took good note. From 1925 he launched his main oil companies and after the Second World War signed with King Ibn Saud the so-called Pact of Quincy (February 14, 1945).

The American companies obtained the exploitation of the largest hydrocarbon reserves in the world in exchange for the protection of a Bedouin dynasty that had no legitimacy to claim the management of the sacred places of Islam, which are Mecca and Medina.

The founding pact of modern Saudi Arabia is based on a coup d'état whose foundations were laid by the British Intelligence Service.(...)

(...)The 300,000 Arabs who fought in the ranks of the Ottoman army during the First World War remained loyal to the Empire; those who joined imperialism and their lackey Hussein were an insignificant minority, a few thousand deserters willing to confront other Arabs. Quite the opposite of the Hollywood version of Lawrence of Arabia.

In his memoirs, Lawrence himself acknowledged:

"I understood that if we won the war, the promises made to the Arabs would be a wet paper. If I had been an honest counselor, I should have sent my men home instead of letting them risk their lives in these dubious stories.

"But was not Arab enthusiasm our best asset in the war in the Middle East? That's why I told my fellow wrestlers that England fulfilled the letter and spirit of its promises. They fought bravely confident in it. For me, far from being proud of what we were doing together, I never stopped feeling a bitter embarrassment. "

But Rome does not pay traitors. London soon forgot about the Hashemites and little by little turned to the Saudis, who were even more submissive. One deception followed another and so did the betrayals.

All what remained was to silence the uncomfortable witnesses, such as the famous Lawrence of Arabia who in 1935 had an opportune "accident" that silenced him forever. It is impossible not to suspect the murderous hand of the British Intelligence Service.

'The British Empire will be oil or it will be nothing'

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Apr 4 2018 22:24 utc | 25


Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 4 2018 22:24 utc | 26

@ 23

When I first saw it I thought it was beautiful wording: “of a type developed by Russia.” That’s the English at their best; insinuating but not demonstrably lying. But I disagree with the plot against Johnson argument. Johnson is very useful for May because he is prone to lie and to exaggerate and get caught out and yet be a bit like “Teflon” Tony Blair. He can absorb the flak that would otherwise turn on May, a much more insecure person. This story or the “play” as they say in Wall Street, is much, much bigger than that

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 4 2018 22:29 utc | 27

The Brits are digging a hole to China in their effort to somehow hide their deeds. But too many excellent citizen investigators are on the hunt and they won't give up now that they have the perpetrators on the run. Given the grossness and number of lies, when will a No Confidence vote finally occur? I wonder if Muscovites will march on the UK Embassy, surround it and torment those inside by laughing at them?

Kudos b!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2018 22:31 utc | 28

This coverup is critical. May and Johnson are desperate to save face. Can't strong arm "allies" for their support which ended up expelling over 100 Russian diplomats and just say OOOOPs, we misspoke. In fact Mr. Putin has said he wants no apologies.

My comment on the previous post was OPCW has waffled, avoiding their regulations. Now we read Boris quadruples down. The clown should zip up:

Look this vote today..." Russia has also asked for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday. It wants to discuss a letter sent by Prime Minister Theresa May to the Council that said it was "highly likely" Moscow was behind the nerve agent attack in Wiltshire last month.

Russia has lost a bid to be included in the international chemical watchdog's investigation into the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Fifteen countries voted against the proposal, while six voted for it and 17 abstained.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called it a "ludicrous proposal" designed to "undermine" the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

He said: "Russia has had one goal in mind since the attempted murders on UK soil through the use of a military-grade chemical weapon - to obscure the truth and confuse the public.

"The international community has yet again seen through these tactics and robustly defeated Russia's attempts today to derail the proper international process."[.]

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 4 2018 22:32 utc | 29

Formerly T-Bear @ 15: The decision to convert RN warships from coal to oil was made by none other than Winston Churchill himself when he was First Lord of the Admiralty (1911 - 1915). This decision forced Britain to secure oil reserves (by buying up most of the stock in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, the forerunner of BP, which owned oil assets what was then called Persia) in the event of a war. From this, the entire history of the world and of Iran and the Middle East in particular was transformed.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 4 2018 22:36 utc | 30

Here comes the UK fighting out of its corner with it looks like the good old 'we know who dunnit but we'd have to kill you if we told you' defence of their position.

This is claimed to be the front page of the Times Thursday, tomorrow morning.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 4 2018 22:48 utc | 31

@ Fatima 26

Who is the source you are quoting? I am assuming you are quoting because the English constructions used are typical of early 20 century English.

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 4 2018 22:54 utc | 32

@ 31 Jen | Apr 4, 2018 6:36:49 PM

A good history of the Persian petroleum development is found in Peter Frankopan The Silk Roads: A New History of the World ISBN 978-1-4088-3997-3 (there is a softcover version also but no ISBN at hand) in the latter chapters of the book before the book devolves into apologetics for Duhmerican hegemony in its final chapters. Once petroleum had been discovered in (then) Persia, further fields were found in Iraq IIRC about Mosul which satisfied British needs allowing the large American companies to explore and develop those fields in Saudi Arabia. Frankopan does a far better report of the history than I would be able and be entirely credible in doing so. It is history not found in western textbooks but should be.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 4 2018 22:59 utc | 33

Thanks for another excellent post b.

I thought this was lies from the start - the UK, US and some EU countries are colluding on this.
My concern is where is it all leading ?

Posted by: James lake | Apr 4 2018 23:01 utc | 34

@ 34
How can you recommend a book that "devolves into apologetics for Duhmerican hegemony in its final chapters?"

Much better would be William Engdahl's works, especially "A Century of War" which deals with the oil issue among many others. Or Pepe Escobar: GLOBALISTAN :How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War.

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 4 2018 23:10 utc | 35

As usual, an excellent article. Well done.

Posted by: Kaiama | Apr 4 2018 23:10 utc | 36

What has perplexed me over the years is why someone in the national media in the US or Britain has not revealed the communication channel between the intelligence agencies and their respective point of contact(s) within just one national media outlet. The narratives get disseminated very first. How does this happen? Does anyone know?

Posted by: simjam | Apr 4 2018 23:11 utc | 37

JohninMK @32

That is indeed on the online copy of The Times. If you read the wording carefully, its clear its just propaganda not fact.

On the one hand they have "identified" the Russian lab; but on the other hand they are "not 100% sure".

More bullshit aimed at the low IQ low attention span people.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 4 2018 23:15 utc | 38

@Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 4, 2018 6:54:08 PM | 33

Guys, you are so funny, some of you....really...

Look, dear, the source I was quoting from is the article in Spanish linked below. Of course, that article is linking below two sources as well, see below.
The early 20th century English, I fear, is my particular style of translating things into English with the unvaluable help of an online translator.....but that is the most cumplimentary oppinion I have received so far, one grumpy woman who was a regular at Fort Russ told me once that my English was uninteligible, and Pat Lang´s minions just decided that I was an illiterate, uneducated deplorable and "absolute beginner" just have made my day/night....

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Apr 4 2018 23:29 utc | 40

@ 37 Lochearn | Apr 4, 2018 7:10:06 PM

I can commend the book as the thesis is world development over several millennium, Duhmerican hegemony began shortly after WW II, a flash in the pan and not a well digested or considered occurrence at that, as the book shows; historians should stick to history, not propaganda freshly minted. YMMV I would add, Frankopan's careful handling of detail, not too much, not too little makes for convincing reading and space for correction without causing major dislocation of thesis.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 4 2018 23:29 utc | 41

"When a scandal breaks, the discovery of an attempt to cover up is often regarded as even more reprehensible than the original deeds."

Of course, because it confirms intent.

Posted by: Kami | Apr 4 2018 23:38 utc | 42

Why does the potential source never land on Israel, which has never signed off on chemical weapon international agreements? If Iran could make novichoks under international supervision, for sure Israel did without international supervision.

This incident has generated so much confusion and chaos which the even the marginally competent UK gov't/spy-system should have been able to see coming. No, this has Mossad written all over it.
"By way of deception shall thou shall wage war". Their motto...

It is certain that even if the UK/US/NATO/5-Eyes NOW knows Mossad did it, NO WAY would anyone try to throw Nuttyyahoo and the Zionists under the media bus. All the UK politicos and media types are afraid of being "Kelly'd".

Posted by: A P | Apr 4 2018 23:42 utc | 43

@ 42 Hi Fatima,

I like your translation... But who did you take it from?

I was trying to draw you out. As an old Spanish to English translator I spotted the following

"The United States took good note. From 1925 he launched his main oil companies and after the Second World War signed with King Ibn Saud the so-called Pact of Quincy (February 14, 1945)."

Only a non-native would write "he" for the United States and "his" instead of it and "its."

Sorry about that.

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 4 2018 23:43 utc | 44

How to initiate a cover-up:-

Convince the media to bury the story
Preemptively distribute false information
Claim faulty memory
Claim the critic has no proof
Attack the critic's motive
Attack the critic's character
Prevent the discovery of evidence
Destroy or alter the evidence
Make discovery of evidence difficult
Create misleading names of individuals and companies to hide funding
Lie or commit perjury
Block or delay investigations
Issue restraining orders
Claim executive privilege

Posted by: Kami | Apr 4 2018 23:47 utc | 45

"At the OPCW at The Hague today:

Only six of the 41 members voted in favour of the Russian draft decision proposing the joint UK/Russian investigation. 15 voted against, including the UK, 17 abstained, 2 were absent, and one was not entitled to vote.

Only 13 signed up to Russia’s statement, according to Russia. There are 192 States Parties, any of whom could have decided to sign up."

So, to recap, only 15 of 41 members voted in regards to the Russian position. Six of those fifteen voted with Russia.

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 5 2018 0:15 utc | 46

I've been saying this all along, but in terms of motive the UK is right up there with actors like the Ukraine who really want to stick it to Russia. The main result (other than complete diplomatic failure and embarrassment on the world's stage) of this event has been the preserving of May's formerly very weak hold on the PM position. By rallying everyone around the Union Jack and uniting all Tories and a lot of Labour behind her, she saved her own butt, at least for now.

So if one wants to talk motive, the UK should not be exempt from suspicion.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Apr 5 2018 0:18 utc | 47

Conspiracy theories and tin-foil hats appear openly in Washington. Not to be confused with the theory that putting Novichok *gas* on doorhandles isn't also Putin's calling card per the NYT.

"Vladimir Putin timed the Salisbury poisoning to boost his support in the Russian election, one of America’s top intelligence officials has suggested.

Dan Coats, the US director of national intelligence, told The Telegraph that Mr Putin wanted to appear the “strongman” and “bad guy” before the vote.

He said the Russian president was pushing “very hard” to get re-elected with as high a vote share as possible. The election took place a fortnight after the Salisbury attack.
Mr Coats also said America would take more action against Russia over its disruptive recent behaviour, though did not detail what measures are being planned.

Mr Coats, who co-ordinates the work of 17 separate US intelligence agencies, was speaking at a briefing held by the Defence Writers Group, part of George Washington University."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 5 2018 0:19 utc | 48


les7 @22:

Looks like the Deep State have overridden Trump's decision.    White House Signals U.S. Will Stay in Syria After Trump Calls for Quick Exit

Posted by: Ian | Apr 5 2018 0:25 utc | 49

Pathogen security in the CIS countries is poor at best. Although there are no BSL-4 (and only a handful of BSL-3) labs there don't assume security would match the potential dangers, the Guards are on a few hundred dollars a month and are likely easily bribed.

The Asset tracking of Pathogens are handled by Software that hardly inspired confidence (might have changed recently or at least since I was there but doubt it as it would take some years to organize between all the countries).

Doubtful if CIS originated but Ukraine however would definitely be a big suspect.

You can be sure though the narrative has already been set as Russia as the fall guy with zero evidence.

Posted by: Lenka.Penka | Apr 5 2018 0:31 utc | 50

DaffyDuct @ 50: No, 21 out of 41 OPCW members (or just over 50% of those entitled to vote) voted. In most organisations, just having over 50% turning up to a meeting is not even a quorum. Any business transacted when you don't have a quorum (such as a vote on an issue like a joint UK/Russian investigation of the Skripal poisoning incident) should be considered null and void.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 5 2018 0:39 utc | 51

Simjam @ 39: You can always assume that at each major newspaper in the US or the UK at least, there is always an employee there who can't write or even spell properly to save his/her life, who should have been taken gently by the hand into a focus room and told s/he has no talent to be a writer or reporter, and yet still remains on the payroll writing rubbish or, worse, promoted to a senior position s/he does not deserve. This employee also enjoys a life-style far in excess of what his/her salary can afford.

This person is the contact person.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 5 2018 0:54 utc | 52

@46 lochearn.. i think fatima is spanish, so she possibly did the translation herself..

Posted by: james | Apr 5 2018 1:18 utc | 53

@Fatima, gracias por el nuevo sitio en español!

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 5 2018 1:28 utc | 54

A little old in the stream, but informative:

Sir Michael Fallon: "We need to deploy faster truth."

And they weren't fast enough??

"One obvious way in which to reinforce the security of what continues to be our continent is to help to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, which means — even as we leave the European Union — supporting the fledgling European energy market."

Ah, it's bizness - carry on!

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 5 2018 1:32 utc | 55

A P @45
Your suspicion is justifiable. This entire matter has to do with domestic politics in the UK, where the Establishment is obsessed by two issues. The first is Brexit. It is a mistake to believe that there are deep divisions in the political caste over this, what neither wants is democracy a possible but unlikely consequence of withdrawal from rule by Brussells. That leads us to the other matter, the main one: the possibility of a left wing Labour government ready to campaign against neo-liberalism. From the first the object in view at Salisbury was to split Labour-with Corbyn being portrayed as unpatriotic- and to divide Corbyn's supporters by misrepresenting his responses to HMG's charges.
In this Corbyn's enemies have always been allied with the Israeli Embassy which has publicly admitted to having a million pounds to spend to bring down Corbyn.
How many other politicians in Europe or North America have criticised the massacre in Gaza? Israel will do anything to squash the faint hope of a socialist anti-war government in 'the west.
Understandably many observers discount the seriousness of Corbyn's commitment to a real peace in the middle east, Israel however takes him very seriously-seriously enough to produce Novichoks and use them, especially in the UK where its agents have free rein.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 5 2018 2:07 utc | 56

Thank you, b. Fantastic job.

The entire Tory government should resign in disgrace. After that, Corbyn should step down as Labor leader and turn the job over to someone with the same stated policies but a backbone to match them.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | Apr 5 2018 2:58 utc | 57

RT has Browder's tweet and Russian embassy response:
Bill Browder‏Verified account @Billbrowder · Apr 3 Bill Browder Retweeted Jelger Groeneveld

Being against the Magnitsky Act is often a career ruining position. @ministerBlok should study what happened to former Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion for vociferously blocking Magnitsky in Canada. This is an issue where morality sweeps away realpolitik w/o apology

Posted by: spudski | Apr 5 2018 2:59 utc | 58

I am reposting from ny previous post.
Fellow posters,

IMHO there is a probable link between the Skripal incident and the fate of Nordstream 2.
The interested parties would be Ukraine, to consolidate their position as a ¨partenaire obligé¨,
The US to prevent the new pipeline from becoming a reality and therefore condemning Europe
to the obliged use of US LNG, to prevent Russia from spreading its ¨tentacles¨ to both Asia
and Europe making Russia a very important strategic partner in both theaters which in turn
reduces the relevance of the US and it's lapdog, "la perfide Albion" and its City Masters.

The Merkel Govt was to be prevented from signing the Nordstream deal and the ever so naive
Baltic Sates were to be given incentives to scuttle the deal.

So, the Skripal incident was concocted in order to accuse Russia of spreading the Plague on
British soil!

Were it not for recent events that undermined the credibility of the US and British Establishments,
or if its execution had been less shoddy, even Merkel would have jumped on the bandwagon.

But in failing to prove a motive, the case unraveled on the question of "cui bono".

And herein lies the crux of the matter. Motive could not be alleged. and the whole plot failed.

Merkel did sign the agreement making Nordstream2 a reality. She will now use all her persuasion
to convince the Baltic States to do the same on behalf of the German People and the prosperity
of all Europeans. So Europe will not freeze i winter.

America will be "great " again within its borders.

England's elites will still prevail at home, amongst the subjects of her Majesty, indentured servants
that worship the hand that whips their backs.

Europe will disentangle herself from the manipulations of the City, and survive; the US will free herself
from the tentacles of her elite or perish with the human race, if reason does not overcome greed.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 4, 2018 9:10:38 PM | 146

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 5 2018 3:04 utc | 59

I was wondering what this revelation might do to the EU's view of what happened. Then RT gave us this (snippets):

Willy Wimmer, who held the VP position with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) assembly from 1994 to 2000, and who had previously served as state secretary to Germany’s defense minister:

“And that is why I think as long as the British don’t behave in a proper, legal, international way, I think we all should believe that this is another British lie, at least to go for war against Russia,”

Posted by: Palloy | Apr 5 2018 3:33 utc | 60

@ CarlD | 65

Skripal or not Skripal, US was strong-arming Germany to cancel Nordstream 2 for a long time now. Usually quite an obedient puddle, but in this case Germany wouldnt lose hundreds of billions for US interests. More so than Turkey, which goes back and forth on its stream (maybe not this time, but who knows).

Posted by: Harry | Apr 5 2018 3:34 utc | 61

Posted by: Jen | Apr 4, 2018 8:54:27 PM | 57

What I do know is that in every newsroom in amerika, england and beyond contains many more than one 'journalist' drawing at least two salaries, One from the media employer and at least one other salary from their national intelligence service and often one more from a foreign intelligence gang. In the english speaking world that is almost always amerikan or englander intelligence, occasionally even both.
The wishes of the traitor's national intelligence service are nearly always subsumed by the demands of the foreign service.
Examples of this are legion in the english speaking countries I have worked in. When stories 'get out' it is in spite of the best efforts of these censors, never because of them.
Everyone in the news & current affairs 'industry' prefers to ignore this reality as they pose around the joint alleging themselves to be of the 'fourth estate' and essential factor in democracy rather than the primary impediment to the flow of information which they actually are.

Media contact people are minnows who are irrelevant. If a journo stumbles onto an important snippet, the give-ups in the newsroom inform their paymasters instantly to ensure the news story is turned to a more favourable angle or if that cannot be done, squashed like a bug.
Working for spies is really good money and requires fuck all actual work, just a willingness to sell your soul.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 5 2018 3:38 utc | 62

"What else is the British government lying about?"
Sorry, b, but who cares?
See the comments of the BBC, Guardian-and-the-like readers.
Do the English people care?
Do the European people care?
Do the American people care?
It matters only that Russia is guilty of such "attack" (regardless of anything)
It matters only that Russia overthrew the MH-17 (regardless of anything).
It matters only that next week a new false flag will be launched against Russia and the Western PEOPLE will believe in it (regardless of anything).
WWIII is inevitable, in spite of everything Russia can do.
And, yes, the Western people want it!
There is no way out.

Posted by: Freewheel Diode | Apr 5 2018 3:38 utc | 63

Thanks for staying on this b.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 5 2018 4:03 utc | 64

#64 - "Being against the Magnitsky Act is often a career ruining position. @ministerBlok should study what happened to former Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion for vociferously blocking Magnitsky in Canada. This is an issue where morality sweeps away realpolitik w/o apology"

Speaking of Canada, news reports today feature the Prime Minister explaining the reasons for expulsions of Russian diplomats:

"The Prime Minister cited efforts in March, 2017, by Russians to raise questions about Ms. Freeland’s maternal Ukrainian grandfather’s role as chief editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland that vilified Jews during the Second World War. Ms. Freeland’s family history has become a target for Russian forces seeking to discredit one of Canada’s highest- placed defenders of Ukraine...There are multiple ways in which Russia uses cyber, social media and propaganda to sway public opinion, to try and push a pro-Russia narrative...Last week, The Globe and Mail reported that three of the four Russian intelligence operatives expelled from Canada were conducting cyberactivities out of the Montreal consulate aimed at discrediting the World Anti-Doping Agency and spreading disinformation about Canada and its closest allies."

Posted by: jayc | Apr 5 2018 4:15 utc | 65

Spudski @64

Can you link us to more specific information about Dion and the Magnitsky Act? Yes, I know how to use search engines, but if there is a specific interpretation or set of facts that you think important I would be grateful.

Posted by: Castellio | Apr 5 2018 5:03 utc | 66

@71, yes, I don't think CBC has an internet connection - they interviewed the fraudster as an expert on Russia on CBC NW or whatever the fuck it's been rebranded lately.

Re Freeland, shameless - it was her LIES about what Chomiak DID that was the issue. I guess those lies are our values and are not to be challenged.

Posted by: spudski | Apr 5 2018 5:04 utc | 67

The British used to be experts at this kind of trickery. Almost never caught, not like the clumsy Yanks, screwing everything up, regardless of cost. What's happened to MI6? Using unpaid interns to save budget?

Posted by: J Garbo | Apr 5 2018 5:16 utc | 68

Did Boris lie ineptly? Perhaps he did not take a course on proper statesmanship, with an obligatory quiz "How to lie like a true statesman". Or he took that course, but like the majority of students, he cleansed his mind of "unnecessary knowledge" shortly afterwards.

Boris is a fabulist, he created an engaging scene that was utterly memorable and convincing, how he was assured by the marvelous scientists at Porton Down that the poison was "military grade" and totally, absolutely, definitely made in Russia. Then he gazed deeply into their eyes and asked: but are you so sure that you would stake the life of your beloved wife and children on that? Etc.

This is a perfect strategy if you are selling a car, a piece of real estate etc., and if you get the customer to sign the deal, you are doing fine, and if you do not, you can just try your patter with another mark. This is not, repeat, not, the way of a statesman.

A fine example of the species is Barak Obama. I recall the tragedy when hundreds of people succumbed to chemical poison in Duma near Damascus. There were reports that there are more than four hundred victims, then the French "established" that there were more than seven hundred, and then Obama made a speech: Assad regime killed more than fourteen hundreds of "their own people", so he requested that Congress authorizes him to wage war. And why did he know about it? Intelligence. Of course, it is secret how they know it. And while I do not believe Obama on those claims, nobody was in the position to call him a liar, like Porton Down scientists who could get together and jot a missive that dear Boris altered the facts on the issue.

Diplomatically this is a tempest in a teapot. Her Majesty Government belatedly falls back to "assessment of the totality of sources" of which Porton Down was only one. So who would you believe: us or Russia? Professionals like Obama would do that from the start, but May and company are a bit slow and dense. But once enough governments followed the suit you create "preponderance of probabilities". But domestically, disloyal reckless opposition transformed into sage and competent opposition, with definite lack of sagacity in PM office, FM office and Defense. And the chances that Merkel will be cowed into renouncing North Stream again seem remote.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 5 2018 5:18 utc | 69

Another view of the Skripal story from M Suchkov twitter feed. To long to post translation here.
"Amazing perspective from a French general on who may be behind Skripal Case. The reasoning is not flawless but some interesting questions"

SKRIPAL case and UK charge: FREE OPINION of General DELAWARDE.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 5 2018 5:42 utc | 70

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 4, 2018 11:04:57 PM | 65

Europe's gas links to Russia were built despite the cold war. Nixon did not mind.

Economy beats ideology - always. You don't have to be a Marxist for this.

There is no way Germany intends to be dependent on Ukrainian waylayers. Russia has never used gas for political blackmail.

I do think this whole "blame Russia" stuff is closely linked to Ukraine, from Clintons closeness to Ukraine and their oligarchs. The only people interested in this cold war are in Ukraine and the Baltics and that is hardly profitable or sustainable.

Britain is in it by their privatised spies, their diplomatic power, But they do not have a post Brexit business model that does not relie on money invested by shady sources.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 5 2018 5:46 utc | 71

Only CW event in European theater was when the Germans bombed ships in Bari Italy. One ship was loaded with CW shells was hit. Over 80 seamen died of CW exposure.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 5 2018 5:48 utc | 72

Haha, such a comedy of errors. Makes you wonder.

It's the perfect way to discredit the Tory guvnas and thereby ending Brexit.

Posted by: MadMaxII | Apr 5 2018 7:47 utc | 73

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 5, 2018 1:18:37 AM | 70

They can't just fall back on "intelligence" in Britain because of the Iraq war. Contrary to the US there was actually an inquiry on how they could get it so wrong on the weapons of mass destruction.

I wonder what they told European allies, as there were two stages, one where European (and US) support was very weak, a second when the important countries came round to back Britain. I wonder if Boris Johnson's Deutsche Welle interview when he was tripped into lying was part of that process. I also wonder what went on in the BREXIT negotiations with this background.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 5 2018 9:09 utc | 75

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Apr 4, 2018 7:29:07 PM | 42

I don't see anything "early 20th century" about the English - it is just excellent quality and solid traditional English, clear, effective, and without the degenerate zombie slang that tends to permeate 21st century English. Excellent translation, hats off! Erm ... I suspect you type your comments rather more quickly though (but never mind, your meaning is clear)!

Posted by: BM | Apr 5 2018 10:11 utc | 76

Only a non-native would write "he" for the United States and "his" instead of it and "its."
Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 4, 2018 7:43:21 PM | 44

Yes, I did notice the "he" come to that. But I disagree with the it/its - I would say she/her is traditionally more usual for countries,. It/its would not fit into the style of the translation.

Posted by: BM | Apr 5 2018 10:20 utc | 77

It is important to eemember that a political elite's skill at deception is directly proportional to their hunger for power and inversely proportional to the length of time they have been in office. Boris, may and the crew of derp faced tory deceivers have consistently been in power since the early 1970's apart from a couple of shortish stints under rightist labour govts. This has meant that success has been more about a tory pols ability to rise via climbing up the backs of his/her colleagues, than it has been about displaying superior governance than the other mob. Add to that the inexplicable (if yer a tory or a labourite neolib) success of Mr Corbyn, whose only claim to fame (ditto) is his articulation of policy prescriptions that 'the experts' have claimed have been dead in the water electorally for 30+ years.

The arseholes who populate the traditional nexus are gobsmacked, lack the creative strategies to deliver what their masters demand, and their masters have become hysterical bordering on psychosis at the contemplation of what could happen should 'someone like Corbyn' supported by a reborn humanist membership of the parliamentary labour party, gain power. The ramifications could extend far beyond england.
It was this pressure from Boris, Fox and the string pullers on may which caused her to buy into the crazy "It was the russkies wot done it guv" bullshit three days after the Salisbury incident. May's attempt at reboot via an allegedly new improved brexit had just gone down like a cup of cold sick, even though the other 27 euro governments had made a conscious effort not to gloat to their own voters at how the englanders had backed down on every issue - they will save that up for their domestic elections. Someone, prolly Liam Fox, explained to the europols that the other 27 all being cock a hoop over any deal, makes it impossible to sell that deal to the little englanders.

It is that fear of Mr Corbyn which is behind the universal englander media support for the Novichok madness. It could even be a primary driver for those eurogovts which have supported the insanity of blaming Russia.

Sure most of em don't need england as much as england needs them, but even Germany & France support something they would never usually have a bar of because they know that the ability of both governments (eg Remember French state-owned railroad SNCF holds huge chunks of england's private corporation owned railway equity) plus their industries ( and BMW owns the biggest 'british' car manufacturing facilities in england) are being questioned by their bosses as to WTF.
Add to that the creeping realisation amongst neolib, usual right-wing and the new fascist regimes which have taken hold in central europe, that if Corbyn wins government and makes a decent fist of it, the 'disease' of voters expecting politicians to place the needs of citizens ahead of the needs of the elites, will spread.

So for the moment they are backing "it was Russia, gov".
Yeah it probably won't last well not so unified, but now they have committed to this idiocy, they have to hang in for a while.

Incidentally may's initial reluctance could indicate that either the plan to off Skirpal was conceived right down the pecking order, or it was as I suspect some sort of accident, the details of which cannot be allowed to become public as it would reveal albion's egregious perfidy for all to see.

The causitive factor in the Skirpal incident is not Skirpal's former job as a traitor, it is Porton Downs' proximity to Salisbury.
The reason Porton Downs name is so embedded in the public consciousness is that some time in the late 1950's or the 1960's Porton Downs idiots really screwed up and loosed a cloud of anthrax spores across the countryside. Millions of quid were lost when thousands of farm animals had to be destroyed. I would have liked to have given a date or even better a link but finding pre-internet 'embarrassments' is tough nowadays. I only remember it from news reports growing up.

Porton Down's offsider in the WMD game Pirbright caused an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2007, once again millions of pounds worth of farm animals had to be destroyed. IIRC, the englanders blamed the scary 'other' - French people in France for that one initially.

Lastly anyone who has the stomach to study exactly how screwed criminal investigations become once politicians push their sticky beaks into the investigation demanding that results conform to specified criteria, should probably take a gander at the is amerikan pbs frontline doco on the anthrax arse cover of september 2001.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 5 2018 11:29 utc | 78

Posted by: somebody | Apr 5, 2018 5:09:44 AM | 76
I wonder what they told European allies, as there were two stages, one where European (and US) support was very weak, a second when the important countries came round to back Britain. I wonder if Boris Johnson's Deutsche Welle interview when he was tripped into lying was part of that process. I also wonder what went on in the BREXIT negotiations with this background.

Interesting question. It reminds me of Corbyn's statement in Westminster ending with something like "... since the novichok was made in Russia". It was a bit startling because that was before Johnson's lie, during the "of a type developed by Russia" phase. Corbyn is a privy counsellor and entitled to receive top secret briefings. I suspect that in his briefings was a definitive statement from the intelligence agencies - perhaps targetting him directly - that the novichok had been definitively identified as coming from Russia. Any such claim would be top secret, therefore Corbyn would not be entitled to comment on it publicly as such. If he did not believe that claim, his apparently aquiescing statement (but only partly aquiescing because he deflected its weight to the more plausible Russian mafia scenario and away from the Russian state) would be a brilliant way to entice that secret out into the open for public examination. If he thereby induced Johnson to make his infamous lie in public then that ploy succeeded brilliantly.

Posted by: BM | Apr 5 2018 11:39 utc | 79

@ Debsisdead 79

I believe there still is an island somewhere , where they loosed anthrax, you still can go there.

Posted by: PutinBot | Apr 5 2018 11:43 utc | 80

@ Ian, 50 There is the easy way and the hard way. I think Trump is more in line with natural forces than the deep state which seems in similar hot water domestically.

The Syrian People’s Resistance group claimed their forces carried out an attack on a U.S. base in rural Al-Raqqa tonight.


Syrians from Hasakah prefer to join Syrian Army amid growing disillusionment with US-backed forces






Posted by: financial matters | Apr 5 2018 11:43 utc | 81

Off-Guardian points out that another tactic to divert from the earlier false claims is to now declare Russia guilty of not cooperating with the investigation:

The UK’s flagrant hysteria of the last weeks, the war cries and spittle-flecked abuse is all being airbrushed away and being replaced with the idea the UK simply requested Russian co-operation and Russia refused – preferring to make nasty insinuations instead.

The SAME old propaganda tactics from Western MSM to try to whitewash itself when get exposed for liying to the public.

When CNN/BBC/NYT & Co got caught by broardcasting to the whole world the videos & photos of Nepalese police beating exile Tibetan demontrators in Nepal as Chinese police beating Tibetans in Lhasa in March 2008 Tibet Riot, the Truth and Lies 3/4, 2008, what did MSM say to justify its flat-out lies and flagrant deceits?

Instead of admitting and apologising for their propoganda "mistakes", CNN/BBC/NYT & Co put the blame on China for being not cooperating, although in fact there were dozens of foreign travelers and even a journalist from Economist who were at Lhasa at that time writing and videotaping what really was happening in Lhasa: a riot.

The Tibetan thugs burnt down shops and killed 18 innocent people including Tibetans who worked in the shops,injured 382 plus 242 policemen. The overseas Tibetans attacked Chinese Embassies/Consulates in France, UK, Autralia, Netherlands, Belgium and US in a coordinated manner with trainings from CIA. But the MSM would just spin it into another freedom-fighting story just like in Syria.

Same tactics and same tools/MSM.

Posted by: mali | Apr 5 2018 11:49 utc | 82

likklemore @ 29

Russia has lost a bid to be included in the international chemical watchdog's investigation into the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Fifteen countries voted against the proposal, while six voted for it and 17 abstained.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called it a "ludicrous proposal" designed to "undermine" the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation ...

This just shows how dominant US/UK and their lackeys are in running the international organizations.

Since the head of Porton Down made clear that it has not identified the source(s) of nerve agent, UK government may now have to use/push OPCW to draw some conclusion that fits in the narrative from Boris Johnson and May.

Be alert.

Posted by: mali | Apr 5 2018 11:58 utc | 83

Posted by: BM | Apr 5, 2018 7:39:33 AM | 80

There is also Britain not included in the Ukraine negotiations, but the Normandy format (France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia) reinvoked by Merkel.

This here is Theresa May offering "both through our bilateral security and defence co-operation but also in other ways" to Poroshenko. And this here is Poroshenko discussing UN deployment with May.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 5 2018 12:16 utc | 84

Posted on Craig Murray's site.
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Just on Global News via ClassicFM radio 1.00pm, Yulia Skripal’s cousin says she has spoken to her niece, she is now recovered, well enough to leave hospital and intends to discharge herself shortly while her father has also nearly recovered and is currently ‘just sleeping’

Don't make deadly nerve agent as they used to - do they?.

Posted by: Emily | Apr 5 2018 13:09 utc | 85

Russia has lost a bid to be included in the international chemical watchdog's investigation
Not a problem. The OPCW wants to maintain its neutrality and any charges that any country affected their decision.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 5 2018 13:24 utc | 86

The OPCW may want to avoid the recent situation where the joint UN/OPCW committee found Syria guilty of a Sarin attack, since the UN is controlled by the US. The OPCW director has made it clear that its duty is to identify substance and not origin.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 5 2018 13:30 utc | 87

A simple question:

Why would Russian use a poison that would so easily be traced back to them (esp with Porton Down in spitting distance)? Wouldn't they have been more likely to have used a VX type so the finger could be pointed at Porton Down where there's lots of VX to be had? And why use a nerve agent at all? Surely a simple "home accident" could easily be arranged. To send a message? But that's hardly credible given the timing - election and world cup.

Posted by: Mike | Apr 5 2018 13:31 utc | 88

Statement issued on behalf of Yulia Skripal

“I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily. I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received.

“I have many people to thank for my recovery and would especially like to mention the people of Salisbury that came to my aid when my father and I were incapacitated. Further than that, I would like to thank the staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their care and professionalism.

“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence.”

Posted by: arbetet | Apr 5 2018 13:58 utc | 89

Statement issued byon behalf of Yulia Skripal

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 5 2018 14:10 utc | 90

Two people are poisoned, carry on for several hours, and then are found collapsed on a park bench.
What are the odds that the poison would take effect at exactly the same time on both people?
Isn’t it more probable that one person would pass out first and the other person would call for help
At that point?

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 5 2018 14:58 utc | 91

The heir to Yulia Skripal's 150,000 pounds, which she inherited from her dead brother, wants to pay a visit.

"[W]hen a Russian citizen dies, History begins again at zero – his or her property is divided equally between all the children, whatever the wishes of the deceased may have been."

Posted by: Fec | Apr 5 2018 15:08 utc | 92

Now that there is confirmation that both Skripals are perfectly fine, indicating a badly botched hit by the professional and deadly Russian secret services, and the scientists saying there is no way to prove the poison was from Russia, how can blame even minimally be put on Russia now? Or is that question irrelevant, since the story has already served its purpose of extending and deepening the Russophobia and Putin-fear mongering in the West?

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 5 2018 15:15 utc | 93

Yulia to her relative Viktoria, on the phone:
“Everything’s OK. He’s resting now, he’s sleeping. Everyone’s health is OK. No one has had any irreversible [harm]. I’m being discharged soon." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 5 2018 15:38 utc | 94

sorry to be off topic, but the Saker website seems to be down . . . DOS?

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 5 2018 15:58 utc | 95

I persist in thinking there is something accidental, botched or ‘mysterious’ at work in the Skirpal attack. Russia had no interest in such an affair, so ‘they’ probably didn’t do it, everyone says. The Brits do have several motives (distract from Brexit, May as strong leader, GB as the ‘leader’ against Russia, other..), but with the *inevitable* unravelling taking place, the May Gvmt. looks very foolish, has damaged its reputation. The ‘solidarity’ expressed by other EU countries > diplo expulsions was half-hearted at best, and strictly framed in terms of ‘solidarity,’ not more. Bad.

A true, aiming for success, false flag would be better organised, but - I tell myself! don’t underestimate the crass stupidity of ppl like T. May and Boris. Then I read that Aitkenhead, the Head of Porton Down, was until Dec. 2017 a Sales Manager for Motorola (link) - so yeah no 'sense' can be expected.

A spy-vs-spy revenge (Russ Mafia) against Sergey I still consider possible, but botched. They would not kill the daughter, that is dishonorable. We have not been informed about what if anything Sergey was doing in England, Salisbury, etc. which is curious. Yulia as prime victim doesn’t work (just shoot her and goodbye), and the killing of the pair in a family affair seems completely outlandish.

The flash point of this ‘attack’ is the method used or as it is claimed to be. The victims pale in comparison to the means. The whiff of random victim(s), a demonstration, an accident, incompetent louts messing about, is really quite strong. The victims haven’t died yet > supposed efficiency in causing instant death…? The one part of the causal chain (Novichok? administered how? when?) of interest is muddied up, swept under the carpet.

That May and Boris would jump on exploiting a mysterious attack against some ex-Russ-spy and his daughter (family! pix!) seems totally natural ... enthusiastic opportunists, say, manipulating their minions, and jumping on a self-created bandwagon. They give the impression of being totally clueless. I don’t think they were complicit in organising this in any way. (Not that they aren’t evil, another story.)

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 5 2018 16:01 utc | 96

Craig Murray's latest notes this from the alleged conversation between Yulia and Viktoria:

"Yulia replies “nobody will give you a visa”. Viktoria then tells Yulia that if she is asked if she wants Viktoria to visit, she should say yes. Yulia’s reply to this is along the lines of “that will not happen in this situation”, meaning she would not be allowed by the British to see Viktoria. I apologise my Russian is very rusty for a Kremlinbot, and someone might give a better translation, but this key response from Yulia is missing from all the transcripts I have seen."

As the remainder of his article suggests, the cover-up's been doubled-down on yet again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 5 2018 16:08 utc | 97

I believe bevin @57 provides the best explanation of the dynamics involved. Mossad botched the hit and Tory government must divert any gaze towards its relations with the Zionists. Perhaps the attempt was meant to be botched as the affair seems to serve the purpose even better.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 5 2018 16:14 utc | 98

@spudski... good commentary and info... thanks..

@64 jayc.. regarding that globe and mail article.. thanks for that... trudeau is such a lousy political leader.. he's another embarrassment to us canucks, caught here lying, or at minimum exaggerating... the story on crystia freelands family roots is something that no one at any of the canuck media will touch with a 100 foot pole... the fact they even went so far as to print this article is fascinating, as they are kind of letting the cat out of the bag.. john helmer has been covering this since january 2017 for anyone who wants to know more about what the g and m story avoids discussing... here is a link to john helmers site with a search for freeland..

@88 don bacon quote "The OPCW director has made it clear that its duty is to identify substance and not origin." good to know.. we are back to square one then..

@94 george lane... good question and totally relevant..

@97 noirette... what did you think of peter au's suggestion that this was supposed to line up with a false flag chemical attack in east ghouta that never got off the ground? the idea being that these 2 events would happen close to one another and be used as the excuse for a bombing campaign from the west on assad's damascus hq's.. well - it is a pretty reasonable theory, but it never got off the ground given the success of syria/russia and etc in tearing apart the moderate headchoppers elevated plans for freedumb, lol...

Posted by: james | Apr 5 2018 16:28 utc | 99

Gary Aitkenhead should urgently seek political asylum in Russia, before he meets the fate of David Kelly.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Apr 5 2018 16:36 utc | 100

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