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April 15, 2018

Were the Skripals 'Buzzed', 'Novi-shocked' Or Neither? - May Has Some 'Splaining' To Do

Updated below

The Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, threw a bombshell at the British assertions that the collapse of the British secret agent Sergej Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4 in Salisbury was caused by a 'Novichok' nerve agent 'of a type developed by Russia'. (See our older pieces, linked below, for a detailed documentation of the case.)

  • The Skripal poisoning happened on March 4.
  • Eye witnesses described the Skripals as disoriented and probably hallucinating. The emergency personal suspected Fentanyl influence.
  • A few days later the British government claimed that the Skripals had been affected by a chemical agent from the 'Novichok' series which they attributed to Russia. It insinuated that the Skripals might die soon.
  • A doctor of the emergency center at the Salisbury District Hospital publicly asserted that none of its patients was victim of a 'nerve agent'.
  • On March 14, after much pressure from Russia, Britain finally invited the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to analyze the blood of the victims and to take environmental samples.
  • The OPCW arrived on March 19 and took specimen on the following days. It also received a share of the samples taken earlier by the British chemical weapon laboratory in Porton Down, which is only some 10 miles away from Salisbury.
  • The OPCW split the various samples it had in a certified laboratory in the Netherlands and then distributed them to several other certified laboratories for analysis.
  • One of those laboratories was the highly regarded Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland which is part of the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection and fully certified.
  • On April 12 the OPCW published a public version of the result of the analyses it had received from its laboratories.
  • A more extensive confidential version was given to the state members that make up the OPCW.

During a public speech yesterday Lavrov stated of the OPCW report:

[A] detailed and fairly substantial confidential version was distributed to the OPCW members only. In that report, in accordance with the OPCW way of conduct, the chemical composition of the agent presented by the British was confirmed, and the analysis of samples, as the report states, was taken by the OPCW experts themselves. It contains no names, Novichok or any other. The report only gives the chemical formula, which, according to our experts, points to an agent that had been developed in many countries and does not present any particular secret.

After receiving that report Russia was tipped off by the Spiez Laboratory or someone else that the OPCW report did not include the full results of its analysis.

According to Lavrov this is what the Spiez Laboratory originally sent to the OPCW:

“Following our analysis, the samples indicate traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursor which are second category chemical weapons. BZ is a nerve toxic agent, which temporarily disables a person. The psycho toxic effect is achieved within 30 to 60 minutes after its use and lasts for up to four days. This composition was in operational service in the armies of the US, the UK and other NATO countries. The Soviet Union and Russia neither designed nor stored such chemical agents. Also, the samples indicate the presence of type A-234 nerve agent in its virgin state and also products of its degradation.

The "presence of type A-234 nerve agent", an agent of the so called 'Novichok' series, in its "virgin state", or as the OPCW stated in "high purity", points to later addition to the sample. The 'Novichok' agents are not stable. They tend to fall rapidly apart. Their presence in "virgin state" in a sample which was taken 15 days after the Skripal incident happened is inexplicable. A scientist of the former Russian chemical weapon program who worked with similar agents, Leonid Rink, says that if the Skripals had really been exposed to such high purity A-234 nerve agent, they would be dead.

The whole case, the symptoms shown by the Skripals and their recuperation, makes way more sense if they were 'buzzed', i.e. poisoned with the BZ hallucinogenic agent, than if they were 'novi-shocked' with a highly toxic nerve agent.

The Spiez Laboratory responded by not denying Lavrov's claims:

Spiez Laboratory @SpiezLab - 19:49 UTC - 14 Apr 2018

Only OPCW can comment this assertion. But we can repeat what we stated 10 days ago: We have no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock. PD - like Spiez - is a designated lab of the OPCW. The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings. #Skipal

Science Direct has several excerpts of reports about BZ. The basics:

Agent 15 is also called compound 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, BZ, or “Buzz.” It is a powerful chemical warfare agent. As one of the most potent psychoactive chemical agents, only a small amount of BZ is needed to produce complete incapacitation. When used as an aerosol, BZ is absorbed through the respiratory system (it has no odor). It can also be absorbed through the skin or the digestive system. It takes approximately 1 h for BZ to take effect, and the symptoms of exposure include confusion, tremors, stupor, hallucinations, and coma that can last for more than 2 days.

BZ is a psycho agent 25 times stronger than LSD. It was developed by the U.S. military as an incapacitating agent. At least 50 tons were produced and filled into weapon delivery systems. It was allegedly tested on U.S. soldiers in Vietnam:

Working with the CIA the Department of Defense gave hallucinogenic drugs to thousands of "volunteer" soldiers in the 1950's and 1960's. In addition to LSD, the Army also tested quinuclidinyl benzilate, a hallucinogen code-named BZ. Many of these tests were conducted under the so-called MKULTRA program, established to counter perceived Soviet and Chinese advances in brainwashing techniques. Between 1953 and 1964, the program consisted of 149 projects involving drug testing and other studies on unwitting human subjects. Although many human subjects were not informed or protected, Dr. Gottlieb defended those actions by stating "...harsh as it may seem in retrospect, it was felt that in an issue where national survival might be concerned, such a procedure and such a risk was a reasonable one to take."

This is what the military tried to achieve with BZ and other psycho agents.

BZ (and LSD) turned out to be impractical as battlefield weapons.

According to British parliament records BZ was also produced and tested, allegedly on unknowing civilians, by the British chemical weapon laboratory Porton Down.

The Russian Foreign Minister asserts that the OPCW suppressed the details of the Spiez Laboratory report:

Nothing is said whatsoever about a BZ agent in the final report that the OPCW experts presented to its Executive Council. In this connection we address the OPCW a question about why the information, that I have just read out loud and which reflects the findings of the specialists from the city of Spiez, was withheld altogether in the final document. If the OPCW would reject and deny the very fact that the Spiez laboratory was engaged, it will be very interesting to listen to their explanations.

The current Director-General of the OPCW is the Turkish carrier diplomat Ahmed Üzümcü who earlier served as the Turkish Permanent Representative to NATO.

I have no theory how the BZ or the A-234 made it into the OPCW samples or if the Skripals were really influenced by either of these poisons  or are victims of simple shellfish poisoning. Your guess is a good as mine.

But the story the British government has so far told is full of holes and discrepancies and makes absolutely no sense at all. The suppression of the Spiez Laboratory report by the OPCW is a serious breach of its procedures.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May, and the OPCW, have some 'splainin' to do.


The OPCW responded to Russian question about the BZ and high rate of A-234 in the Spiez Laboratory probe and report.

OPCW said today that it was a control probe to test the laboratory. Such probes are regularly slipped under the real probes to make sure that the laboratories the OPCW uses are able to do their job and do not manipulate their results.

That explanation is reasonable.

I guess we can close the BZ theories and go back to food poisoning as the most likely cause of the Skripals' illness.


OPCW Chief Rejects Russia Claim of 2nd Salisbury Nerve Agent

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu told a meeting Wednesday of the organization's Executive Council that a BZ precursor known as 3Q, "was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures."

He added "it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW team in Salisbury."

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the Skripal case:

March 8 - Poisioned British-Russian Double-Agent Has Links To Clinton Campaign
March 12 - Theresa May's "45 Minutes" Moment
March 14 - Are 'Novichok' Poisons Real? - May's Claims Fall Apart
March 16 - The British Government's 'Novichok' Drama Was Written By Whom?
March 18 - NHS Doctor: "No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury"
March 21 - Russian Scientists Explain 'Novichok' - High Time For Britain To Come Clean (Updated)
March 29 - Last Act Of 'Novichok' Drama Revealed - "The Skripals' Resurrection"
March 31 - Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats To Suppress 'Novichok' Discussions
April 3 - Operation Hades Blamed Russia - A Model For The 'Novichok' Claims?
April 4 - It's The Cover-Up" - UK Foreign Office Deletes Tweet, Posts False Transcript, Issues New Lies
April 5 - Novi-Fog™ In Fleet Street - Truth Cut Off
April 6 - The Best Explanation For The Skripal Drama Is Still ... Food Poisoning
April 7 - A Very British Farce
April 12 - New Developments In The Skripal Drama - Police Statement, OPCW Report Release

Posted by b on April 15, 2018 at 13:35 UTC | Permalink


Looks like someone really REALLY wants a hot war with Russia.
I dont get why WW3 is so alluring.

Posted by: Charles M | Apr 15 2018 13:39 utc | 1

Is there any reason to call for investigation when you have corrupt oragans like OPCW that are as biased as any other western statehood on Russia? Russia working in 110% and get like 5% back if lucky.

Charles M

After years of hatred against Russia, WW3 seems pretty logical for the same brainwashed people that type the propaganda and those who reads it. Daily. This racism sooner or later leads to war, and extermination.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 15 2018 13:45 utc | 2

A possible explanation for the apparent divergences between the OPCW report and the Russian claims of what the Swiss lab found:

1. The UK requests Porton Down to confirm the presence of A-234 (motivated no doubt by its “secret intelligence” that the Russians for 10 years had been building up a “small stockpile” for such purposes).

2. Porton Down confirms the presence of A-234. Whether or not it carried out additional tests to determine the presence of other possible toxic agents is uncertain.

3. The UK refuses to provide sample(s) to Russia, arguing that the “exchange of information and consultations” called for by Article IX of the Chemical Weapons Convention does not mean that they need to provide evidence to the “guilty party”.

4. After much prodding by the Russians, the UK belatedly agrees to request “technical assistance” from the OPCW to confirm its findings. The precise form this request took is confidential, but one might surmise that it would have been: Please confirm the presence of the toxic substance A-234 which we have identified in the samples (with the understood message “no need to waste time and resources looking for other toxic substances”).

5. As per its standard protocol, the OPCW sent out the samples to various “partner” laboratories, of which one was the Spiez laboratory in Switzerland, which is the government “ABC” lab (atomic, biological, chemical). They are asked to confirm (only) the presence of A-234.

6. For an unknown reason, the Spiez Laboratory exceeds its mandate and not conly confirms the presence of A-234 but also traces of 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate, better known by its NATO code name BZ. The Spiez Laboratory sends its report to the OPCW.

7. The OPCW issues 2 reports (one private, the other confidential) on 12 April. In response to the specific request made by the UK, the OPCW truthfully confirms that the “toxic chemical identified by the United Kingdom” was indeed A-234. The formula for this “toxic chemical” was (apparently) provided in the confidential report.

8.The OPCW also provides the additional information that “this toxic chemical [i.e. A-234] was of high purity”. And for those without the necessary scientific background to digest this statement, it helpfully adds that this technical conclusion was based on ” the almost complete absence of impurities”.

9. As the OPCW had not been asked to confirm the presence of any toxic chemical other than A-234, it naturally did not take into account the superfluous discovery by the Spiez Laboratory of traces of BZ.

10. The Russians obtain access to the Spiez Laboratory report — from a “whistleblower” at the lab or the OPCW, or by “hacking”.

Entirely implausible?

Posted by: Madeira | Apr 15 2018 13:45 utc | 3

"The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings." !!! I think they are saying "The standards in verification are so rigid that you can trust our findings" (i.e. BZ as well as A-234 in virgin *and* (!) degradation* stage. See also my comments to your previous post (towards the end of the list of comments).

Posted by: BX | Apr 15 2018 13:56 utc | 4

great investigative work - thanks. The Brit state keeping Julia Skirpal incommunicado surely adds to the likely guilt

Posted by: JakeS | Apr 15 2018 13:57 utc | 5

Norm 2.0

Posted by: CD Waller | Apr 15 2018 14:01 utc | 6

I believe you got the "virgin" state wrong. What this refers to is the state of the substance *before* drug metabolism, i.e. before the substance reacts to any great degree chemically within the body and "degrades". Spiez found A-234 prior to metabolism (virgin) and after metabolism (degradation) which might point to two separate points in time when these substances started reacting with chemicals within the body (yes, lastly, it all comes down to chemistry). Drug metabolism is why drug effects last only a limited time. When the substance is metabolized (degraded) its specific effects disappear. Here is the Wikipedia entry which is sufficient to give a general impression.

Posted by: BX | Apr 15 2018 14:08 utc | 7

US and UK media will unlikely report it now, they are too busy driving the war machine, however the drip drip of evidence coupled with increasing memories of the Iraq dodgy dossier will eventually break through.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 15 2018 14:11 utc | 8

Also, thank you for this vital information: "The current Director-General of the OPCW is the Turkish carrier diplomat Ahmed Üzümcü who earlier served as the Turkish Permanent Representative to NATO." This, to me, this goes a long way understanding recent reports of the OPCW DG regarding the 2 labs that were bombed. My, the puzzle is coming together!

Posted by: BX | Apr 15 2018 14:13 utc | 9

I am sorry for the many comments but it is not possible to edit comments or reply to them... "virgin state" is not the same as "high purity". The OPCW report does not echo the Spiez results when talking about "high purity" but London, just in more sophisticated way (i.e. not saying "military grade").

Posted by: BX | Apr 15 2018 14:17 utc | 10

Did Spiez also do a DNA identification to ensure the TRACE metabolized samples actually came from the Skirpals, with no other DNA/chemical indicators which might indicate purposeful contamination or reformulation?

Where did the "virgin" samples come from? The doorknob the Skirpals had not touched for longer than it takes for BZ to show symptoms?

The chain of custody for all these samples should be 100% airtight, or all analysis is fatally flawed.

This still reeks of a Mossad attack/disinfo operation, there are simply too many "flaws" in this to be unintentional.

"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Posted by: A P | Apr 15 2018 14:23 utc | 11

We don't know if OPCW found A-234 in the samples they took, or only in the ones that they were given by the British, which could easily have been tampered with.

(Note that there are numerous posts pertaining to this subject on the previous thread.)

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15 2018 14:33 utc | 12

It is not only the current a Director-General who is a NATO-man, the PR women of OPCW was also on NATO payroll. Almost all international bodies are revolving doors for the Western paid personnel. Nobody does a truly honest job if they want the next appointment and advancement. Does anybody still remember the Brazilian Sergio de Mello? He revolved till he got blown up in Iraq.

Ultimately, it all comes down to unlimited printing of US$, used as confetti or in pallet loads to pay for corruption of everything. Through US$ petro and reserve currency status the nations are paying to be taken advantage off by global bankers of US, UK and Israel, including Russia and China. But do not tell me that organisations in the West are corrupt. Please show me just one which is not.

Posted by: Kiza | Apr 15 2018 14:34 utc | 13

I wondered why the Skripals were said to be suffering from "hallucinations". I assumed that really meant they were just saying things that Airstrip One didn't like during their recovery, but apparently there was a pharmacological reason!

The 30-60 minute time frame for BZ also switches the focus back to the restaurant (Zizzi's?), and whoever they may have met there. Weren't the original reports that Sergei was acting erratically (hallucinations?) by the time he left the restaurant?

Posted by: Jesrad | Apr 15 2018 14:34 utc | 14

If the Swiss laboratory got the facts right as presented by Lavrov, many things come out quite naturally, it seems to me. Here is my guess:

1. the Skripals were poisoned with this BZ stuff, not Novichok.
Q1: Who did it?

2. Novichok was added to the blood probes that were analysed by Porton Down and the OPCW labs, after these probes were taken. The Skripals never came into contact with Novichok themselves.
Q2: Who did the manipulation?

3. This means that in fact nobody wanted to kill the Skripals. It was a PR stunt from the very start in order to demonize Russia. Whether the Skripals conspire or not, is an open and quite irrelevant question.
Q3: Who planned it?

4. The answer to Q3 can only lie in Britain: It was the British intelligence services - presumably under government supervision. Who else would have opportunity, motive and benefit of all this?

5. This also answers the question about the policeman who also showed symptoms: he was the guy who "poisoned" the Skripals with BX. He might just not have been careful enough, which is understanable if he is told that the stuff is not so dangerous. This answers Q1.

6. With respect to Q2, I very much hope that this was done in Porton Down, using their own samples of Novichok, because otherwise this dangerous stuff must have been transported from somewhere, risking, for instance, killing plane passengers etc., if something went wrong. I don't think that secret service people are willing to risk their own and the lifes of innocent people just for such a PR stunt. They surely reduced risks to anybody to a minimum.

Posted by: Ralf | Apr 15 2018 14:38 utc | 15

@Posted by: Madeira | Apr 15, 2018 9:45:53 AM | 3

Entirely implausible?

Totally implausible, since, in sight of the development of events which have derived from the unsubstantiated accusation against Russia, it sounds quite weird that the OPCW, a supposedly independent international organism, would have ommited such a determinant information for, not only discharge the Russians of responsability, but also to apply a reasonable doubt about the responsability of many other states which right now have got dividens from the Skripal hoax by using it as an alibi to strikes Syria with missiles and remain illegaly in the country indefinitely.

I find totally weird as well that the OPCW did not disclose the totality of the analisis result, in spite of what the UK could have requested concretely from them, since they are not there to only hear the demands of the UK, but also from Russia, as part charged and also a memeber and sucriptor of the OPCW charter, the more when this country has been blamed without the opportune investigation of the facts.

As historical facts have already proven, the long hand of Bolton in the OPCW is obvious, and we have that he just landed in the DoS....That every European official is blackmailed by the US as a norm, so that favouring its geopolitial goals, even at the price of harming most the countries of the Euroepan officials blackmailed, is already of public domain as well....

Posted by: From the resistance trench with love | Apr 15 2018 14:38 utc | 16

Justa n aside but des anyone remember the film Jacobs Ladder?
BZ was a key part of the story.

Posted by: adamski | Apr 15 2018 14:39 utc | 17

b - Sorry to nitpick, but "infection" occurs with something that can reproduce itself in its host, e.g., a virus. Better to say that the Skripals were poisoned by a chemical agent.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15 2018 14:40 utc | 18

I know this is off-topic, but there is some preliminary info leaking that the US/UK/French had planned a larger number of missiles (perhaps as many as 300?), but thought better of it when Russian aircraft and missile radars "lit up" the Zio-cons ships/planes shortly after their launching the 103 US missiles. Perhaps the UK/French were tasked with a second round of hitting targets that MIGHT have had Russia protection and decided discretion was the better part of valour as the US Tomahawks were decimated. If the S150/200's were getting a 70% destruction rate, the US-terror-cover "alliance" figured out the Russians using S300/400's and other latest-tech air/defense systems would be best left untested.

Posted by: A P | Apr 15 2018 14:44 utc | 19

And the answer to "who did it?" points squarely at Mossad. The UK spies/gov't were obviously caught flat-footed, had no idea it was going to happen, no internal script on which lies they had hard info about, relying on external "trusted sources".

"By deception thou shalt do war" Mossad's motto.

Posted by: A P | Apr 15 2018 14:49 utc | 20

Ok. Ahmed Üzümcü is a former nato representative. This is interesting. What about the rest of the OPCW people? What about the OPCW teams inspecting Douma? Have they any non poodle nationality members? Does anybody know that?

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 15 2018 15:03 utc | 21

"And the answer to "who did it?" points squarely at Mossad."

If they were poisoned with Novichoks from the beginning then I could see Mossad. But if this BZ toxin then it MI6 because they would want to ensure the Skripals, their agents, and any civilians didn't die and only they would be able to uphold the PR narrative that it was Novichoks by controlling the samples and where they are tested.

Posted by: blah | Apr 15 2018 15:05 utc | 22

One group that could testify on Lavrov's claim is the personnel of Salisbury Hospital. Dr. Blanshard said that they consulted with experts in the whole world to improve the recovery of Julia Skripal. Certainly they can say if it was a BZ treatment or a Novichok treatment.

This looks like a Chessmate für May&co.

Posted by: mk | Apr 15 2018 15:08 utc | 23

The Novichok narrative was on designed to hold up for a short time. The Ghouta CW attack should have occurred at peak Novichok, drawing attention away, but was waylaid.
A-234 - there are many highly toxic chemical compounds but only few are developed as Chemical weapons. Many of the compounds have properties that make them unsuitable for deployment as CW's. A-234 compound and perhaps all of the compounds in the Russian scientists book may well have properties that make it/them unsuited to either assassination or as a WMD so a substitute was used.
Magnier has a new piece out which helps tie in the larger play that the Novichok narrative was part of.
The larger play failed and now the Russians are hunting down the Brits and taking apart their narrative.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 15:12 utc | 24

The picture of the Skripals was taken in the restaurant on that same day? or not, with the reflection in the mirror. With the new time frame for onset of drug reaction doesn't he become a "person of interest"?, this strange guy in the mirror?

Posted by: mwm | Apr 15 2018 15:16 utc | 25

This is wild, I know:

Who said anyone was poisoned?

Find anyone that can claim it please. Find any that saw them suffering from poison.
Just do this please... Can you ?

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 15 2018 15:17 utc | 26

@farm ecologist - you are right - I changed that to affected (which is what I meant).

Posted by: b | Apr 15 2018 15:17 utc | 27

The missiles that targeted the chem warfare,they had a germ agent?hohohohoho.
The israelis doing it all.mossad.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 15 2018 15:20 utc | 28

The official UK government's position was set out when it applied to the court in order to allow the taking of blood samples for the OPCW:

"The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent."

If it had been a "Novichock class nerve agent" they would have left it at that, so we can reasonably conclude that it was a "closely related agent".

But closely related in what sense, nobody is saying. This is a typical lawyer’s manipulation of language and the criteria of the comparison are deliberately omitted. People naturally assume that it is closely related in a chemical sense but these are lawyers and the the meaning of the words is whatever they want it to be.

So how could a so-called “Novichok” be “closely related” to BZ? Well, one plausible explanation could be that the lawyers are actually saying they’re both chemical agents designed to incapcitate. The phrase “closely related to” doesn’t have to be anything to do with the chemical composition. Nobody lied but their “truth” is designed to give a completely misleading impression. That’s lawyers for you.

It also allows the OPCW to agree with the UK government's position without actually lying.

Posted by: Bayleaf | Apr 15 2018 15:20 utc | 29

Salisbury False Flag
It is said that 11 UK/US officers 'handlers' of the moderate terrorists have been captured in a tunnel in East Ghouta (hmm, mayby). However, the US/UK bellicose rhetoric,two false flags and a Cruise missile show seem to fit the picture.
Russian FM Lavrov says the poison used in Salisbury on the Skripal's was not a Novachoc (VX type - fatal) but the toxin BZ (narcotic, hallucinogenic) and it is definitely US/UK (Hoffman-LaRosch developed in 1951).

A consultant (Davis) at the Salisbury hospital wrote a letter to the Times saying, "there are no patients suffering from nerve agents and only 3 who are poisoned". (fact, I saw the Times letter).
Wikipedia describes the effects of BZ and they exactly fit the delayed, narcotic hallucinogenic effect of BX (30mins to 4 hours post exposure). The physiological effects of BZ and VX differ markedly, which is how doctor Davis knew – he is 8 miles from the Porton Down chemical warfare plant and was therefore 'clued up'. Patients have recovered and VX etc. kills, stops muscle action, not a poison as such).
In the Independent (today, Comments under the Lavrov story, Sunday 15th) a bathroom fitter (Ollie Field) says he saw the Skripal's on the bench and thought they were 'whacked out' on heroin.
Douma False Flag.
The Russians have in their pocket (filmed I believe) a notable at the Douma (only) hospital (can't remember who) that has described the White Helmets filming as; a bomb destroyed the top floor of the hospital and the film crew moved bodies and kids to the basement and doused them with hoses and sprayed them with Ventolin (asthma inhaler – blue). This provided the film used to justify the Cruise missile attack Fri 13th. 2018.
The Russians have rumbled the Douma false flag and the OECD chemical weapons investigators are on their way to the Douma hospital (basement) to find no chemicals, they report in a few weeks.
Lavrov has said that the British ordered the Douma rebels to make a chemical warfare White Helmets type movie fast, in desperation, since the Russians/SAA forces attack was moving fast and they could obtain support bombing. The whole of East Ghouta has been taken by the SAA.
A decent video exposure on TV, or even a simple web search, completely debunks the 'White Helmets' that filmed the fake gas attack in the Douma hospital in East Ghouta. Re. my earlier email.
May didn't wait (in panic) for parliament approval and went ahead with military action (8 of our missiles wasted at £6.3M).
The 11 'handlers' (said to be officers) are not in the hands of the Russians (who have swopped theirs for ours previously) but are held by the SAA and could well have have spilled the beans. If they are paraded (filmed) and spill the beans things will get ugly for May et al.

Posted by: Eric Bloodaxe | Apr 15 2018 15:22 utc | 30

mwm 25

It is an old photo. I have seen photos of the inside of Salisbury Zizzi which has a very different interior decoration style. Zizzi's also do not have tableclothes and set tables. Empty table are always bare.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 15:29 utc | 31

The chain of custody for all these samples should be 100% airtight, or all analysis is fatally flawed.
Posted by: A P | Apr 15, 2018 10:23:09 AM | 11

I can confirm that the chain of custody was 100% watertight, no worries there. Custody was 100% under iFUKUS control from the moment of contamination of the victims/environment until the completion of all tests and the publication of final reports. That is why the samples were spiked with fresh A-234.

Posted by: BM | Apr 15 2018 15:42 utc | 32

Eric Bloodaxe 30

Two medics from the Douma hospital have been interviewed on video. I ran onto the videos a day or so back, but cannot find them at the moment.
A bombed building colapsed and caught fire, trapping people in the basement who died of smoke and dust inhalation and asphyxiation. some wounded were taken to the hospital, some with injuries, others needed treatment only for smoke and dust inhalation. This is when the film crew rushed in shouted chemicals and told everyone to douse themselves with water,
There are two videos of the dead. One I think is actually taken where the people died. The frothing around the mouth and other discharges look genuine. These victims were then moved to a different place and videoed to make the 'CW' attack seem more widespread. This is the second video where bodies are obviously dumped and some shaving cream applied.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 15:54 utc | 33

@16 "The long hand of Bolton"

I've posted the following deep in the previous thread, so here for those who missed it:

As to the OPCW making "political decisions", The Intercept had an interesting piece by Mehdi Hasan recently, about a certain John Bolton.

In 2001, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell had penned a letter to [OPCW head José] Bustani, thanking him for his “very impressive” work. By March 2002, however, Bolton — then serving as under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs — arrived in person at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to issue a warning to the organization’s chief. And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn’t mince words. “Cheney wants you out,” Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. “We can’t accept your management style.”

Bolton continued, according to Bustani’s recollections: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

There was a pause.

“We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

Posted by: CE | Apr 15 2018 16:38 utc | 34

It could be that 103 missiles were fired to test how well the (unused) Russian and Syrian ABMs work.

It is a wonder how the UK intelligence people managed to cloak the in hospital care of the Skripals and the unseen discharge of Yulia. Is there not a single hospital employee who will come forward, albeit anonymously, to shed light on what happened inside?

Russian General Rudskoy said that several airfields also were targets, none of which were hit, and that of the 103 two thirds were shot down by Syrian ABMs. For the American generals to claim none were hit takes a lot of nerve and shows how tightly the MSM is controlled and compliant.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 15 2018 16:48 utc | 35

I know this is crazy but read on.......

No matter what being said or agreed behind closed doors between the US and Russia before the missiles strike in Syria, more US sanctions and back stabbing continue.

Putin never learns. You cannot trust Washington regardless Dem or Repug adm. Putin will go down in Russia Federation history as Boris Yeltsin2. Putin last two ace cards - RD-180 engine and Soyuz spacecraft. Putin give Trump Ultimatum - complete withdrew US troops, support for Syrian's Kurd and Daesh within 45hrs and executive order removes all Sanction on Russia Federation, or no more RD-180 and immediately stop Soyuz spacecraft to ISS.

Let face it sooner or later space contractors; SpaceX and others will replace Soyuz if and when they are 100% reliable spacecrafts ferrying supplies or human to ISS.

Trump never dare to boxed Xi Jinping into a corner, cuz he knows what Xi can and will do besides kick Ivanka Trump out of China. Xi Jinping can be as brutal as Mao Zedong.

Posted by: OJS | Apr 15 2018 16:55 utc | 36

Peter AU 1 33
The video of the two medics at the Douma hospital you can find at Voltaire Network, but they are in French. Hope you can understand French?

Posted by: willem friso | Apr 15 2018 16:58 utc | 37

The important part about the presence of unmetabolised A-234 in the samples is that it proves incontrovertably that the analysis was faked implicate the UK's claims. (By 'analysis' here I specifically mean the entire process from the taking of the samples up until the provision of the final report; the existence of the leak from Spiez implies that one or more chemists were doing their job honestly and therefore objected to the fabrications in the final published reports - indeed there could have been many people involved who were acting entirely honestly - but at some critical stage within the chain of custody the process was faked).

There are however two possibilities:
a) The samples taken by OPCW were deliberately spiked with a mixture of high purity virgin A-234 with metabolic derivatives (and/or non-metabolic disintegration products from the virgin A-234 since it is chemically not very stable??) AFTER the blood samples were taken from the Skripals.
b) The Skripals were injected with A-234 shortly (probably very few minutes) before the OPCW experts arrived to take the samples.

Lavrov's statement seems to imply that the blood samples contained both virgin i.e. unreacted A-234, and metabolic by-products of A-234 (i.e. chemicals produced by A-234 as it is broken down by the human body). The implications of that are very important - according to one expert comment I read somewhere (I can't remember where), these metabolic by-products would have to be in plausible proportions, which would be very difficult to mix in the test-tube (that expert cited a sports doping case where the analyst spiked the sample with pure un-metabilised doping drug from a laboratory sample, and was later convicted because he got it wrong). Maybe these certified OPCW labs are capable of mixing virgin A-234 and metabolic products in plausible proportions, but that sounds like "rocket science" to me, i.e. it is a very serious endeavour in itself. That implies that possibility (b) has to be taken seriously.

Even if the A-234 by-products were not metabolic by-products but simply the products of disintegration of A-234 through intrisic chemical instability (i.e. without biological activity) that would also have important implications - such faking would be vastly easier to accomplish but (it seems to me) would imply gross negligence on the part of the analysts unless the lack of METABOLIC by-products was spotted and explicitly drawn attention to as evidence of faking. According to reports, A-234 is metabolised quite rapidly, so the metabolic by-products should be produced very quickly and not much unreacted A-234 should remain.

In a previous comment I have already asserted that the phone call to Viktoria Skripal was faked from the British side by digitally altering the voice characteristics of another person (i.e. not Yulia Skripal) - the British have this capability and I have personally experienced it. To my mind the artificial police-managed statements allegedly made by Yulia Skripal, the denial of visa to Viktoria etc imply that she was by that time already irreversably incabable of making a statement by herself - i.e. either she was dead, or 'preserved' in a coma under life support.

I also think that the BZ was more likely administered by aerosol in the park - quite possibly by the mystery so-called "policeman" (actually from Porton Down or MI6?) - and the restaurant may well have been a decoy, otherwise the response latency for Sergei and Yulia would have been more divergent. That should be visible on cctv, but of course that will never come out. If the BZ was weaponised as an aerosol it would be absorbed very quickly, and the two victims would be affected at the same time.

* Disclaimer * - I am not an expert! Just an "armchair commenter". I hope "Old Microbiologist" will respond, as he obviously has detailed experience in this field.

Posted by: BM | Apr 15 2018 16:59 utc | 38

@Peter AU 33

One of the Douma hospital medic interviews can be seen here, starting at about minute 1:36

Ahmet Uzumcu, head of the OPCW, was also turkish envoy to israel, and also counsul in aleppo,syriaÜzümcü

Posted by: anon | Apr 15 2018 17:36 utc | 39

It's getting clear to me now. There are 1980's hold overs on both sides of the pond in the CIA, MI6, and bureaucracies in both govts who believe that Trump / May are the new Reagan / Thatcher, destined to destroy Russia a second time. Now all they need is another Pope.

BTW I liked Reagan and the Pope (he lived long enough to condemn the Iraq war). Reagan knew how to keep the deep state in line but after we won the Cold War they took over the amateurs starting with Clinton.

So the deep state is unleashing hell on earth because they want to finish off Russia to achieve world domination.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 15 2018 17:54 utc | 40

During a brief moment when I was viewing CNN yesterday (Alex Witt was playing bad cop most of the time, making sure Russia was suitably demeaned and excoriated for its evil ways) --but, iirc and I may not have done*, someone asked why the FUKUS would endanger people by blowing up locations the US stated they absolutely KNEW held chemical weapons and precursors. The reply was that the Pentagon was certain that since the locations were not in heavily populated areas that the breezes would disperse the poisons safely.

I somehow cannot believe anyone believes that, but, hey...true believers. Lies to get the West unto yet another illegal war.

*Hhmmm, maybe I heard that in response to questioning at the Pentagon briefing.

On the little broadcast news I caught, mostly there was chest thumping that the West's missiles so completely bested the Russian anti-missile equipment. Not a hair on their chinny-chin-chins (OK, West's missiles don't have hairs, but they are telling fairy tales) were even touched, according to the reporting based on Pentagon pronouncments.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 15 2018 18:13 utc | 41

OPCW "splainin to do"
It may be that the current OPCW head, like the last one, has children whose locations are known to John Bolton.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 15 2018 18:21 utc | 42

The UN has been fully weoponized by the US and it's sock puppet partners in the west. The western powers completely ignore the UN charter while demanding absolute power through the UNSC. It is time for both Russia and China to leave the UN which will lead to a cascade of other countries leaving. It will also end any lingering belief in the legitimacy of the UN.

Some thing like the UN is needed but like the League of Nations before it, the past due date was long ago. It is time for a new organization to arise that takes into account the fact that the vast majority of the world lives in Asia and acknowledges the complete irrelevance of the General Assemble vs the power of the UNSC was a big mistake for the world as it was intended to be by the US.

If Russia and China proposed an organization that would give India, Pakistan, Latin America & Africa an actual stake in decisions as opposed to just being the victims as they are now, and the rest of the world a say rather than just an arbitrary security council, I think they would jump at it. With the vast majority of the world on board I think most of the Western states would eventually join. The US would never deem to join any thing where they don't have control. But they completely ignore the UN Charter & international law, contribute fewer peace keepers than Canada and don't pay their bills any way.

Party's over boys. Time to move on.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Apr 15 2018 18:23 utc | 43

@ Bart Hansen:
You're right it's remarkable that the garrulous, ghoulish UK press has turned up no sensationalistic stories (fake or true) at all.

Not clear who anyone would come forward to... in fact perhaps scores have come forward. News blackout seems almost total.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 15 2018 18:32 utc | 44
says the latency can amount to several hours so I wonder if it can be made to match with the 'door handle' theory {or is that more than a claim}.

"it is currently used as a pharmacological tool (a muscarinic antagonist known as QNB)"

So BZ is over 50 years old ,commercially available, and it can point to hm, anyone. Not even some bigger player with access to advanced laboratory.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 15 2018 18:36 utc | 45

@ BraveNewWord comment 45

Point well made. Although Russia and China have gone part way--SCO, etc--it may be the moment to go big--an alternative to the UN, along the lines you've described. This might include the possibility of imposing tariffs on rogue states, as concerns the resolutions of such groups as the alt-UN climate convention, chemical weapons conventions, and an alt-WTO that can impose a financial transfer tax on all foreign exchange transactions so that the organization can be financing, and not have to go begging to Hegemon. Neutral or rotating sites (not NYC). etc. etc.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 15 2018 18:44 utc | 46

Strike_Back:_Retribution ( a ten-part British-American action television series )

According to the script:
Episode 6: ----> The novichiok is fake however...

Hmmmmm. Someone should check out that lab in Pripyat, Ukraine .

Posted by: Laninya | Apr 15 2018 19:17 utc | 48

I thought the statement from the Swiss Spietz lab, as read by Lavrov, contained a passage that sounded odd, out of place:

I will now be quoting what they sent to the OPCW in their report. You understand that this is a translation from a foreign language but I will read it in Russian, quote: “Following our analysis, the samples indicate traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursor which are second category chemical weapons. BZ is a nerve toxic agent, which temporarily disables a person. The psycho toxic effect is achieved within 30 to 60 minutes after its use and lasts for up to four days. This composition was in operational service in the armies of the US, the UK and other NATO countries. The Soviet Union and Russia neither designed nor stored such chemical agents. Also, the samples indicate the presence of type A-234 nerve agent in its virgin state and also products of its degradation.” End of quote.

I was under the impression OPCW Labs (and OPCW itself) were only empowered to discover and reveal "if a chemical substance(s) was used and if so, what?" Isn't that why Porton Down has steadfastly refused to say "Russian/made in Russia" re the Salisbury A-234?

Lavrov states he is reading in Russian something translated from another language. However it seems unlikely that the sentences emboldened would cause any problems in translation? Perhaps it's a little Lavrov 'embroidery' to see who bites and how they bite?

Posted by: Carrie | Apr 15 2018 19:19 utc | 49

I believe I was given BZ in 1968 because I refused to falsely testify against somebody the FBI wanted to convict. On a beach at the Md Assateague State Park a conservatively dressed couple (the guy had short hair - odd for a druggie in '68) said they had a groovy new drug called a peace pill. I inhaled in the 60s - had taken LSD and psilocybin. I was game for a new drug + young and dumb. I had hitch hiked there with my girlfriend whom I had fallen in love with when taking psilocybin. 30 to 60 minutes later I was unable to stand up and was hallucinating about eternity. Several hours later I was able to walk and talk (babbling about witches and warlocks) but still hallucinating. In the next week I broke up with her, quit the band I was in, quit my job. Decided to leave Baltimore and got arrested. It took me years to get my previous mental health and competency back. I have later read that around Altamont (the descending into violence rock concert with the Stones) many rock concerts had incidents of bad drugs being given out.

Posted by: gepay | Apr 15 2018 19:28 utc | 50

thanks b.. i am particularly interested in what larvov has to say and the info he is in possession of...

@12 farm ecologist.. thanks for that bit of clarity on all this..

@13 kiza... thanks for your post as well.. that is how i see it too..

@24 peter.. i continue to see it the way you are framing it here as well... it was a double pronged game plan that went awry..

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 19:31 utc | 51

Re: why hospital workers and others have not said anything about the Skripals' situation in a long time, it's very likely everyone, including patients and witnesses from Salisbury have been made to sign nondisclosure agreements. At least that's what happens in Brit series shown on Masterpiece Theatre.

Also, DS Nick Bailey may have been sent to the house to get him exposed to whatever the chem agent was, part of being a way to draw attention away from the main site of exposure? BZ may explain the rather interesting description Bailey's written statement included: this line, and only this one, which described any physical or mental reactions he felt from his ordeal:

I "People ask me how I am feeling - but there are really no words to explain how I feel right now. Surreal is the word that keeps cropping up - and it really has been completely surreal."

Surreal hallucinations?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 15 2018 19:32 utc | 52

@ gepay... interesting story... i was never as adventurous! i could never understand the willingness of peers to drop acid and etc..

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 19:33 utc | 53

@52 jawbone.. that is how i read all that too.. complete enforced silence of anyone involved with the skripal event... talk about democracy!!

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 19:34 utc | 54

Obviously Russia was correct in the BZ claim, the response by OPCW is disgraceful - apparently they are now in panic mode trying to come up with a explanation for BZ findings, apparently you cant trust organs like this today, totally biased.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 15 2018 19:36 utc | 55

@48 Laninya

Also the series was only 10 episodes and supposed to end last year, it was then split into 2 5 episode chucks so the series could end this year, much closer in time and memory to the Salisbury incident.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 15 2018 19:43 utc | 56

I read this chapter at another place last night and my head just swelled up with a song I learned as a child in Canada and I rearranged and typed it in their comments.

"And Theresa May rolled her wheel barrow, through streets wide and narrow, crying cockles and mussels alive, alive O."

The tune is perfect for the feelings that swept over me and the situation of a street fish monger peddling her wares truthfully or not seems to capture the huge pickle she has put herself into.

Posted by: Foggy World | Apr 15 2018 19:46 utc | 57

"I have no theory how the BZ or the A-234 made it into the OPCW samples or if the Skripals were really influenced by either of these poisons or are victims of simple shellfish poisoning. Your guess is a good as mine."

A-234 (Novichok) is an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor, that causes uncontrolled muscle contraction, and hence vomiting and convulsions. BZ is a paralytic agent, like botulinus toxin, that causes paralysis and, hence, in severe cases death by asphyxiation. Thus, A-234 and BZ are antagonists, meaning that one would be a logical thereapeutic treatment for poisoning by the other. There is no mystery therefore that both would be found in the Skripal blood samples. The question that remains unanswered is which was the poison an which the prescribed therapeutic agent.

cf Novichok: Russia's Antidote to Seafood Poisoning

3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate: Updated

Posted by: CanSpeccy | Apr 15 2018 20:05 utc | 58

Using BZ would also explain why they keep Skripals out of any media - a simple question from some journalist like "what did you feel" may lead to them mentioning hallucinations which immediately throws Novichok bull out of the window.

Posted by: dewn | Apr 15 2018 20:43 utc | 59

CanSpeccy @58

While technically A-234 and BZ would be expected to cancel out each others' toxic effects, at least to some extent, A-234 would never be used therapeutically, and I'm pretty sure BZ also has no recognized medicinal uses (although it's a good experimental tool). I expect that any physician administering them to humans would lose his or her license, at a very minimum. In both cases, safer antidotes exist.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15 2018 20:56 utc | 60

Carrie@49 - When the OPCW sends teams to Syria on Fact Finding missions, the teams are given rather bizarre and restrictive mandates. The one you cite was from previous fact-finding mission.

The Porton Down analysis confirmation (collecting samples and distributing to OPCW labs) was in response to a technical assistance request by the UK delegation to the OPCW - something all OPCW members are allowed to do. We only know in general about what UK asked, not the specifics. The details of that request are unrelated to the mandate of the Fact Finding teams you cited.

The exact request made by the UK delegation is confidential. We can only guess what they asked by what they said in public. Likewise, we can only guess the details of those analysis by what the UK, the OPCW and Spiez lab said publicly. The lab can say whatever they want to the OPCW as part of their analysis. The OPCW has been usurped and is no longer impartial (my opinion, not legal fact). They insulate uncomfortable findings from the public with their bureaucracy and rules of confidentiality.

The OPCW members themselves could change that, but that would require a majority of the 192 members to agree on something. It's like expecting the government to un-corrupt itself after it has been usurped. There's simply too much at stake for the smaller nations (foreign aid, military assistance, lives of children in New York, etc.) to fix the OPCW machine.

Lavrov is saying there was a whistleblower who wanted to make known what was in the Spies Lab report. Their motivation was because they knew the OPCW was (or already did) cover up the BZ findings. Of course the OPCW shouldn't have covered that up from it's member states and those member states should object and demand the full report, but they never will. And for the exact same reasons they can't and will never fix the usurped machine itself.

What's most interesting is that, if the whistleblower/Lavrov claim about the Spiez Lab report is true,

1) It's solid proof of sample spiking. That would be the impossibly pure, un-degraded something-like-A-234 from blood, urine or tissue taken two weeks after the fact, and in quantities that would have absolutely killed the Skripals given what was still there after two weeks. Any reasonable lab would interpret that finding as such.

2) The BZ findings explain the Skripals initial condition, and implicate the US/UK/NATO who developed and weaponized it. The USSR never had BZ weapons or worked with BZ - that was the west.

Spiez Lab, to it's credit, knows exactly what kind of deception is going on. They apparently had no intention of weasel-wording their analysis or impugning their lab's credibility. IF they put those words in their analysis for the OPCW, then it was a kind of "In your face, LIARS" jab. The lab's lawyers would have approved - don't drag Spiez into your world domination schemes. The OPCW filtered that out in their public report, and have the same dilemma as any government agency confronted with whistleblower claims.

In the unusual and rare event that the Spiez analysis ever sees the light of day, the OPCW will be made to be the fall guy with much fanfare. Not the US or UK, who will just have to wait to see the results of an independent investigation into the matter. Five years at least - these things take time. For now, just deny something nobody is allowed to prove.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15 2018 21:21 utc | 61

Going out on a serious limb here.

But things start to make sense when you think of all the things that have occurred in the last few weeks.

The Russians warned of impending chemical weapons event in Syria, then the Skripals are found. This makes me wonder. Like father, like daughter? Were they blackmailed or willing participants? Was Yulia a mule for MI6 with her visit to her father as the cover for the operation? Was she tasked with transporting chemical weapons on behalf a looming Syria operation, of weapons produced at Porton Down? Having a Russian national manage to transit the material via certain points internationally, MI-6/FBI/CIA can then use her own itinerary to show how it originated from Russia. The same way Mueller and the FBI set up fake terrorist plots so they could get public convictions for the plotters the FBI created.

So what went wrong? Maybe the precursors were stored incorrectly. Maybe they mixed in a way that ended up not killing them. That's how they were able to "save" the Skripals in hospital, because they could tell the ER exactly what the agent was. If Novichok is so deadly, and since they didn't die, to me, that seems as plausible as anything else. I'm no expert in chemistry, so I'm not even sure it's possible for the two of them to become ill in this way.

Then, we had the Saudi Clown Prince all over Europe, and finally in Paris. We know MBS is the main benefactor for Jaesh al-Islam. SA could have been the coordinator to make the pieces fall into line. Getting Jaesh and the White Helmets ready to receive a gif from Porton Down. Dump the chemical weapon in a place, get some bodies to film, then wait for international teams to arrive to "discover" samples of A-234. The Jihadis in Syria have done this before in 2013.

One has to admit, if there was a gas attack in Syria, and it turned out to be A-234 Novichok, think of how that would have been such a bonanza for Trump, May, Macron, and the Saudi Clown Prince! But if the Skripals ended up incapacitated, it could explain why the scrambling of the staged international sh*tshow at the UN and the earnestness of the FUKUS reaction in all this. In desperation, they went back to the barrel bomb gambit, a substitute for what they had hoped to do, so then they can go straight into the airstrike.

Why do I think this? Makes sense that Yulia doesn't want to go back to Russia and why the British/Yanks are keeping her incommunicado. Maybe the Kremlin wants here back, for something more than just being a Russian national and why the MI-6/CIA won't let her go.

Speaking of which, it's possible the Russians, behind closed doors suspect this and played their cards well. This might help to explain why the reaction by the Russians was so muted for the strikes in Syria.

All of this is speculation, right up there with the thermite people, of course, but that's what everyone is trading in right now, including Paris, London and Washington.

Posted by: PW | Apr 16 2018 1:34 utc | 62

If we assume - for arguments sake, if nothing else - that Lavrov's information is accurate then the Russians have played their hand in a masterly fashion.

After all, the only way Lavrov can have this information is if the Russians have an intelligence asset in place.

But where, exactly?

Because of the manner in which this information is released nobody knows if that asset is inside the Spiez labs (i.e. where the report originated) or at the OPCW (i.e. where the report was received and then censored).

So this puts everyone in a very difficult position because they don't know how much more information Lavrov has up his sleeve.

After all, if the source is at Spiez Labs then Lavrov is out of ammo, so to speak. The OPCW can claim that the BZ information was not confirmed by the other two labs and, therefore, it is right and proper that it be left out. Lavrov would be in no position to dispute that even if it were a flat-out lie.

But if the source is inside the OPCW then Lavrov may well have all three lab reports, in which case the OPCW would be falling into a trap of its own making if it tries to lie its way out of this. Lavrov would be able to cut them to ribbons by carefully releasing more info.

That, at least in my opinion, is why the Spiez is being so circumspect, and why the OPCW is doing a very good impersonation of a rabbit caught in headlights i.e. until they know where the source of this leak is they can't even begin to rough-up a cover-up.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 16 2018 1:36 utc | 63

@61 paveway.. thanks so much for articulating all that.. it makes sense and how it appears to me, but i have neither the understanding or words to put it down, as you have here.. thank you..

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2018 1:37 utc | 64

@62 pw... peter au has suggested a theory that the skripal affair and the chem false flag in ghouta are connected.. one was to be orchestrated with the other in such a way to get a green light to attack syria.. unfortunately it got mucked up and the attack has only come after much deception coming from the UK in particular and france and usa to a lesser extent, has been highlighted... your theory kind of fits with peters, but is a bit more elaborate... either way - yes - plausible..

@63 yeah, right... yes - how much does lavrov have here? hard to know, but none of the data needed to challenge the west gets any coverage in the western msm - of that you can be sure..

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2018 1:42 utc | 65

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 5:21:47 PM | 61

It is interesting how the "very pure" stuff everybody agrees on is spun in different ways.

"Very pure" was interpreted as meaning "can only have been produced by a state".

But thinking about it - of course it is unlikely to have been found "pure" in a sample taken from the environment. Russian scientists including Mirzayanov seem to unite on not possible to have been found if Novichok on 19th with rain etc.

2 labs had the samples taken from environment, 2 labs had blood samples.
Hardly anything will have been found in the blood samples.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 16 2018 2:13 utc | 66

this tells one all they need to know about the usa or the uks role in chemical weapon attacks..

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2018 2:16 utc | 67

Altho some may have had to sign Non Disclosures, it is difficult to understand why MI5 would even bother since undoubtedly many staff would refuse at from MI5's point of view totally un-necessary since post the consultant's letter to the Times the Home Office announced that any further leaks by staff would result in prosecution under the englander official secrets act. This a particularly nasty piece of legislation that is an act of parliament dating back to part 1 of the 20th century euro war. Some people are asked to sign it but that is more about intimidation than legality since it applies to all public sector employees, contractors and consultants regardless.

I remember being made to sign it by HR ('personnel' in those days)after getting a telco techie job as a kid in the bad old days when Aoteraoa public servants were bound by the kiwi version (they now have the privacy act which is meant to be about freedom of information but is actually used by every govt agency spokesperson to hide their mistakes regardless giving out details of medical treatment is one of the big no-nos rightly so too, a nurse in Aotearoa only just missed out on getting slotted up for a good spell when she told a student's family at home in India that their daughter had dropped in to the public hospital where she worked for a termination. The girl copped big damages by kiwi standards).

Anyway england, as soon as the Home Secretary mumbled about the OS Act everybody including the media who can also be tossed into the slammer for the rest of their naturals for printing something that is covered by the Act, shut right up. Most especially the original doctor.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 16 2018 2:34 utc | 68

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 5:21:47 PM | 61

PavewayIV thanks, as always I appreciate your thorough analysis.

...and in quantities that would have absolutely killed the Skripals given what was still there after two weeks...

Indeed, and if A-234 is as strong as reported, it's likely any traces around the Skripals would have killed the first responders too.

No doubt related to Lavrov's disclosure: this morning (and yesterday in the Sunday Times) nearly every national UK paper is running a front page version of this story: "Russia launches cyber war on UK with 'dirty tricks' campaign as PM to face Commons over Syria strikes" (taken from The Daily Telegraph). This meme is so widespread (BBC Radio 4 also) that, in itself, it looks like a co-ordinated attempt at scaremongering and misinformation.

It's designed to make people think that anything they read online that is contrary to the official FUKUS narrative about Russia/Syria can be given the term 'dirty trick' and dismissed. And by conflating the Skripal story with Syria (remember the messages about 'package delivered' picked up by '4-Eyes' in Cypress?) then anything Russia says about the Skripal affair is suspect and "not worthy of your consideration, dear reader".

I see that The Sun newspaper is now running with this news in it's online version:

RUSSIA and Syria have blocked chemical inspectors from investigating the site of a brutal chemical attack in Douma, Syria, reports claim.

Russia may even have compromised the site of the April 7 gas attack, according to Ahmet Uzumcu, Director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

"It’s our concern they may have tampered with it to thwart the fact finding investigation," Mr Uzumcu is quoted as saying by NBC's Bill Neely.

Also see yesterday's important report by Elijah J Magnier. Ties stuff together.

Folks, in seeking out and highlighting the truth we going to have our work cut out for us here! [See “have your work cut out (for you)”

Posted by: Carrie | Apr 16 2018 10:59 utc | 69

This is one of the few if only 'miracle recovery' situations in which the victims did not sit down for interviews. I imagine once they have been groomed enough they will sit down for an interview with a trusted news organization.

Posted by: qualtrough | Apr 16 2018 11:12 utc | 70

@Debsisdead 68

"post the consultant's letter to the Times the Home Office announced that any further leaks by staff would result in prosecution under the englander official secrets act."

May I ask for a reference ? Google doesn't help me. Thanks by advance.

Posted by: Inquirer | Apr 16 2018 12:37 utc | 71

BZ is not a hallucinogenic compound. It is a nerve agent with an usually high ratio of lethal dose to symptomatic dose (~400:1). That means the key symptoms of nerve agent poisoning can be induced by exposure to low levels of agent way below the levels needed to kill someone. That would protect the attacker as well as not immediately killing the victims.

There was no audited chain of custody for the first samples so traces on Novichok could have been introduced between the taking of the samples (presumably by a phlebotomist at the hospital) and its arrival at Porton Down.

The only publicly announced CCTV footage (from a private camera) showed the Skripals en route from Zizzis to the park bench where they were found. The footage also showed a blonde haired women leaving the shop(?) hosting the private CCTV camera some minutes after the Skripals and following the same route. There are claims that she appeared to be carrying a face mask. She was listed as a person of interest by the local police, but there was no followup once the presence of nerve agent was made public.

This was all before Bailey came down with symptoms. This poisoning was presumably an unexpected complicating event for those running the false flag. From local media sources, it appears that he drove himself to Salisbury hospital early Monday morning (5 March probably before 10:00 am some 18 hours after the attack). The hospital entrance and his car were subsequently sealed off and decontaminated. It would be interesting to know the temporal relationship between his arrival and the knowledge that a nerve agent was used.

The false flaggers were then presented with a problem of explaining Bailey's delayed symptoms. The explanation would have to exclude the possibility of him being poisoned at the same time as the Skripals to avoid anyone regarding him as an eyewitness. An unidentified police officer turned up at the Skripal's house (mentioned in local media) around 5pm on Sunday shortly after the attack. The seems to have provided the false flaggers with a plausible (to them) source of poisoning, namely the door handle.

How did Bailey actually become contaminated? He was described as an early emergency services responder (local media). If he was first on the scene, one plausible explanation is that he was exposed to low amounts of BZ aerosal as one of the Skripals vomitted in his presence. We know from the nature of BZ that even low levels are capable of inducing symptoms, probably slowly progressive at those exposure levels. Local media photos of the hazmat crews show them putting a pile of sawdust/fine sand onto the ground adjacent to the bench, then scooping it up and putting it into an impermeable container which was then sealed for disposal. This supports the vomitting hypothesis, which was also observed by later passers by.

My hypothesis for events: The Skripals were exposed to an aerosol spray of low dose BZ sprayed into their faces by an unknown person (possibly the blonde woman) whilst sitting at the bench. Bailey was unintentionally contaminated by a similar lower level aerosol of BZ as he attended the vomitting Skripal. The desired story of pure Novichok poisoning could not be explained unless Bailey received a higher dose at a later time from a source that the Skripals were plausibly in contact with - hence the door handle hypothesis. The door handle hypothesis would also allow the false flaggers to direct attention away from the possiblity that the Skripals were attacked at the bench. The trail of the attacker (clearly part of the false flag team) could then be closed off and covered up.

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 16 2018 17:29 utc | 72

So now Skripal himself ok, God what a pathetic circus UK have put on.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 16 2018 17:55 utc | 73

A-234 according to Mirzayanov and A-234 according to Hoenig have different structures. Mirzayanov claims that a number of weaker agents developed as part of the Foliant program were published in the open literature as organophosphate pesticides, in order to disguise the secret nerve agent program as legitimate pesticide research. So, it was made to be pesticides. And it can be produced as a number of different pesticides everywhere in the world.

Posted by: irena | Apr 16 2018 19:18 utc | 74

Corroboration for Douma attack - no gas

Posted by: Kaima | Apr 16 2018 22:00 utc | 75

Entirely implausible?

Posted by: Madeira | Apr 15, 2018 9:45:53 AM | 3

and From the resistance trench with love | Apr 15, 2018 10:38:12 AM | 16

The Spiez lab is a NATO lab. Even though Switzerland is "neutral", it is an associate member of NATO under the NATO Peace Partnership.

Spiez has been involved in serious falsifications of analysis results for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)'s work on the use of uranium and depleted uranium weapons.

E.g. the water samples that the UNEP took from missile craters in south Lebanon after the Israeli assault in August 2006 revealed low enriched uranium, which is what myself and two other independent researchers, Dai Williams and Dr Chris Busby, had found there. (Our samples were analyzed at Harwell in the United Kingdom.) However, what was announced in the preliminary report by the UNEP was NO radiation found.

We confronted the UNEP (Henrik Slotte, head of the Post-Conflict Intervention Unit, and Mario Buger, the technical officer), and they admitted that the water samples that they had taken from the craters had been carefully filtered before being tested. Under pressure from us, Burger returned, took more samples and had them tested properly, at Spiez. He also found low enriched uranium.

In the printed version of the report, there is no mention of this radiation, but in the technical charts appended to the report, published only on the UNEP website, the isotopic ratio was given, clearly demonstrating low enriched uranium. In the end, the technical charts were deleted from the website.

Mario Burger was "on loan" from the Spiez lab, who was paying his salary. He was/is attached to the Swiss military, which runs the lab in collaboration with NATO.

Go figure...

Further, it is just such missiles, with uranium and/or depleted uranium warheads, that were being tested last weekend in Syria. The German newspaper Die Welt carried some discussion about weapons testing, but no mention of uranium of depleted uranium warheads. The only other place I saw anything about it was in an article on Consortium News, citing the discussion in Die Welt.

The warheads are made of depleted uranium (given away free to arms manufacturers as nuclear waste), but, after the uproar about the Gulf War Illness (which is, essentially, radiation poisoning in most cases), there was a major effort to hush up the danger of these weapons. So, the depleted uranium has often been mixed with enriched uranium from decommissioned warheads, to approximate the natural isotopic ratio. Thus, if any sampling and testing is done after an attack, it can be claimed that the missile turned up natural uranium in the ground. However, recreating the exact natural ration is virtually impossible, however close it may be. Hence, in Lebanon, it was low enriched uranium.

The warheads (typically one ton, in a bunker buster) burns at +/-6,000° C., incinerating EVERYTHING just like a nuclear blast would, but very localized and without that inconvenient mushroom-shaped cloud. Tomahawks, among others, often carry them.

However, afterward, there is then one ton of microscopic uranium particles, whose shape makes them particularly apt to be air-borne, in spite of the the density of the metal (surface to mass ratio like that of a dead leave). They are also photosensitive, which means that, on the ground, they rise into the air when exposed to light, especially direct sunlight.

A single, invisible uranium particle whose diameter is 2.5 microns, or one ten-thousandth of an inch, is respirable. A depleted uranium particle of this dimension is estimated to consist of 210 billion atoms of the uranium isotope U238. Lodged in the lung, it irradiates a sphere of 200-300 cells permanently.

[email protected]

Posted by: Robet James Parsons | Apr 16 2018 22:57 utc | 76


In my opinion, the release of the real report to the Russians was the work of a whistle-blower, for the Spiez lab has highly trained people who take great pride in the generally impeccable quality of the lab's work and its repuration for such. Many of them would have been appalled that their lab was party to some sort of deception.

This would also explain why they went ahead and analyzed the samples for things other than just what might have been requested, although I am inclined to believe that they were requested to analyze for everything. This would only heighten the indination of those who did the work upon discovering that an incomplete -- distorted -- report on thorough (gündlich) work had been sent to one of the states parties to the Convention that had a right to know everything.

Posted by: Robet James Parsons | Apr 16 2018 23:06 utc | 77

Lavrov expressed similar doubts about the independence of the international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysian airliner MH17 in 2014, after floating many alternative "theories".

"Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says there are a lot of questions regarding the investigation into the downed MH17 Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine, adding that it is not independent, not comprehensive and not truly international."

The Joint Investigation Team, consisting of the Netherlands, Malaysia, Ukraine, Belgium and Australia, concluded that MH17 was shot down by a Russian missile under the control of Donbas separatists. The Russian government continues to deny this.

Posted by: Tranquillus | Apr 17 2018 12:09 utc | 78

My FB feed now has commercial media forwarding UK gov't claim that the Salisbury nerve agent was "delivered in liquid form", FWIW. So -- what (if anything) is that worth?

Posted by: jalp | Apr 17 2018 13:47 utc | 79

@ Tranquillus | 78

Lavrov was right then, and he's right now.

The "Joint Investigation Team" is actually "The Fix Is In Team". The official title is just for show, to make infoganda that impresses the ignorant, complacent, and submissive.

It's exactly like the Big Lie that "17 intelligence agencies separately concluded that Russians meddled in US elections".

Posted by: Ort | Apr 17 2018 18:44 utc | 80

The OPCW responded to Russian question about the BZ and high rate of A-234 in the Spiez laboratory probe and report.

OPCW said today that it was a control probe to test the laboratory. Such probes are regularly slipped under the real probes to make sure that the laboratories the OPCW uses are able to do their job and do not manipulate their results.

That explanation is reasonable.

I guess we can close the BZ theories and go back to food poisoning as the most likely cause of the Skripals' illness.

OPCW Chief Rejects Russia Claim of 2nd Salisbury Nerve Agent

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu told a meeting Wednesday of the organization's Executive Council that a BZ precursor known as 3Q, "was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures."

He added "it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW team in Salisbury."

Posted by: b | Apr 18 2018 16:35 utc | 81

@ 81 b | Apr 18, 2018 12:35:57 PM

The problem with food poisoning is you have two people, different ages, weights, constitutions and metabolisms eating different quantities of food and both falling ill at the same time some time afterward. Highly improbable that. What remains that is reasonable is a false event to which a hastily constructed narrative has been concocted and applied. More likely, an ingestion of contaminated drug, e.g. laced cocaine that would affect both simultaneously occurred just before they were found on the park bench in dire condition. This condition allowed the hospital to establish a drug induced coma which lasted until all traces of the original drug ingestion cleared their systems; note how the recoveries of the three 'victims' followed their individual exposure to the incapacitating drug. All present have been silenced through the fabulous state secrets act and are not likely to divulge anything for quite some time. This has false flag writ large all over it. Why? you may ask. The reply: It is elementary dear Watson, it is the dogs that did not bark, none of the proffered scenarios could quite cover all the aspects convincingly. What would be convincing that Scripal, rather than being a double agent was only a MI6 agent, and MI6 lost confidence and control over their agent and were about to be exposed as source of DNC allegations of vote manipulations in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and the political cesspit of investigations that followed. Scripal's utilitarian usefulness was at an end with only one final contribution to be made as a vehicle to disrupt international relations with Russia. Just another dog which barked loud and clear.

The only reason neither Porton Down and the OPCW could not find the source of the proffered samples was everyone knew Porton Down was the source and this alone prevented any further investigation along those lines. The body message given by the head of Porton Down concerning those samples demonstrated the same body language as Tony Blair over the Iraq invasion and subsequent justifications - look at the eyes while watching both performances, the tell-tale is there.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 19 2018 9:46 utc | 82

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