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March 05, 2020

Where Are The Skripals?

Two years ago, on March 4 2018, Sergei Skripal a British-Russian double agent and his daughter Julia were poisoned in the streets of Salisbury, England. The British government accused Russia of an attempt to kill the Skripals with a nerve agent.

We followed (see below) the strange story as it developed and found that the official UK government version of it made absolutely no sense. Many of the assertions made by the British government did not withstand any scrutiny. The story was also inconsistent with a later incident in the nearby Amesbury during which Dawn Strugess allegedly died of contact with a similar substance as the one that supposedly poisoned the Skripals.

Since the incident happened neither Sergei Skripal nor his daughter have been allowed to talk to the public. They have simply vanished. The British government is preventing them from reaching out to their family, the media and anyone else. Where are they?

John Helmer, who writes at Dances with Bears, has send me his book about the case. Its title is the answer to my question: Skripal in Prison.

It is most likely that Sergei Skripal was trying to go back to Russia. Skripal may well have been a source for the debunked Steele dossier and was probably willing to talk about it. But whatever his plans were the British government found it necessary to prevent him from executing them. It created an elaborate false story and fed it to the global media. The mainstream media swallowed it up without even the slightest sign of critical thinking.

That is the reason why Rob Slane of The Blogmire, John Helmer and I have all extensively written about the case. We know that the British government and the mainstream media are lying about it and we have all developed our own theories of what really happened and about the whys and hows.

John Helmer's book is a collection of his blog posts on the case with a new indroduction and additional chapters. This already makes it a valuable reference for anyone who wants to recap the story as it developed.

Helmer also adds two important and new factual points. He had requested information from various British authorities about the pending legal procedures around the cases. He finds that there is no evidence of any official legal investigation or court case that could bring light into the issue. This is astonishing as the British procedures seem to demand a further inquest.

There is also no evidence for the existence of the announced arrest warrant against the two Russian citizens which the British government has accused of being involved in the case.

Helmer's book has 327 pages including a quite useful index. It has a number of pictures and reproductions of official statements on the issue and includes many useful links to original sources. The book can be purchased as paperback or in electronic form.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the Skripal case:

Mar 8 2018 - Poisoned British-Russian Double-Agent Has Links To Clinton Campaign
Mar 12 2018 - Theresa May's "45 Minutes" Moment
Mar 14 2018 - Are 'Novichok' Poisons Real? - May's Claims Fall Apart
Mar 16 2018 - The British Government's 'Novichok' Drama Was Written By Whom?
Mar 18 2018 - NHS Doctor: "No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury"
Mar 21 2018 - Russian Scientists Explain 'Novichok' - High Time For Britain To Come Clean (Updated)
Mar 29 2018 - Last Act Of 'Novichok' Drama Revealed - "The Skripals' Resurrection"
Mar 31 2018 - Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats To Suppress 'Novichok' Discussions
Apr 3 2018 - Operation Hades Blamed Russia - A Model For The 'Novichok' Claims?
Apr 4 2018 - It's The Cover-Up" - UK Foreign Office Deletes Tweet, Posts False Transcript, Issues New Lies
Apr 5 2018 - Novi-Fog™ In Fleet Street - Truth Cut Off
Apr 6 2018 - The Best Explanation For The Skripal Drama Is Still ... Food Poisoning
Apr 7 2018 - A Very British Farce
Apr 12 2018 - New Developments In The Skripal Drama - Police Statement, OPCW Report Release
Apr 15 2018 - Were the Skripals 'Buzzed', 'Novi-shocked' Or Neither? - May Has Some 'Splaining' To Do
Apr 28 2018 - The Silence Of The Skripals - Government Blocks Press Reports - Media Change The Record
May 4 2018 - Media Use Disinformation To Accuse Russia Of Spreading Such
July 4 2018 - British Government Peddles Warmed Over Novichok Muck
Sep 5 2018 - The Strange Timestamp In The New Novichok 'Evidence' - UPDATED
Sep 16 2018 - The MoA Week In Review - Secret Bio-weapons - Skripals - OT 2018-47
Sep 27 2018 - British Intelligence Throws More Novi-Fog™ To Hide The Holes In Its Skripal File
Jan 9 2019 - Stuff To Read: Integrity Initiative, Skripal, Kaspersky ...
Jan 19 2019 - Coincidence? - Chief Nurse Of British Army Was First To Arrive At Novichoked Skripal Scene
Apr 16 2019 - CIA Director Used Fake Skripal Incident Photos To Manipulate Trump
Jun 6 2019 - Odd NYT 'Correction' Exculpates British Government And CIA From Manipulating Trump Over Skripal Novichok Incident
Jul 20 2019 - Putin Confirms: Sergei Skripal Wanted To Go Back To Russia

Posted by b on March 5, 2020 at 17:33 UTC | Permalink


They have been disappeared without any explanation. It would be astonishing if we didn't already know how corrupt the US and British government have become.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Mar 5 2020 17:47 utc | 1

With respect to the following statement:

The mainstream media swallowed it up without even the slightest sign of critical thinking.

The mainstream media's function is to accept and legitimize the official narrative no matter how inane it is, not to provide any sort of critical analysis. Across the board, the media's job is to convince a gullible and captive population that their ruling class is not holding the hostage and denying their freedom...without exception. This is why so many of us congregate here; it's like a breath of air after having your head held under water for too long.

Think of the Wizard of Oz on steroids, and that's the world we live in...only far, far darker.

Posted by: information_agent | Mar 5 2020 17:51 utc | 2

Excellent article, thank you:)

Earlier this morning I watched this:

"Andrey Vadjra: About the Coma Patients at the Service of Her Majesty"

It's a good documentary focusing on the elusive "novichok". I believe I got the link from a recent OFFGuardian comment section? I don't remember. Having followed MOA during the entire Skripal incident, most of what is in the documentary was already spoken of here. Still it's worth the 38 minutes of your time to watch it:)

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 5 2020 17:55 utc | 3

Perhaps the Skripals have in fact returned to Russia and the two Russians aren't being pusued as part of the same deal. Sergei has served his time there and is still a Russian citizen so the Russian government would have no objection to having him back. They would keep quit about the details if there is a deal or just because they have nothing in particular to say about it and nobody has asked.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Mar 5 2020 18:32 utc | 4

Here is an essay from about a year ago, that I found to be as believable as anything I had read on the Skripal's. The conclusion is that they were poisoned by MI6. I doubt very much that they are free anywhere but under a house arrest at an 'undisclosed location'. I certainly feel sorry for Yulia Skripal.

The Alternative Skripal Narrative
February 17, 2019
by Michael Antony for The Saker Blog

Posted by: SteveK9 | Mar 5 2020 18:45 utc | 5

What happened to the Skripals indicates just how much freedom and the Rule of Law actually exists within the UK, upon which we can append Assange's saga. And what of the Russians? Are they silent in the matter of their citizen Julia Skripal, seemingly kidnapped and disappeared by the UK government? I recall The Prisoner; seems it was far more realistic than many would like to believe.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 5 2020 18:53 utc | 6

Clearly Julia Skripal is fulfilling her dream of living in seclusion in a foreign country surrounded by British security agents. She’s just having too much fun to find time to call her family.

Well, it’s “highly likely”, anyway. God help her.

Posted by: David G | Mar 5 2020 19:16 utc | 7

Still no coroner’s inquest for Dawn Sturgess, the one fatality. The law carries no force. Darkness and decay and the secret state hold illimitable dominion over all.

Posted by: David G | Mar 5 2020 19:26 utc | 8

But whatever his plans were the British government found it necessary to prevent him from executing them.

I try to avoid indulging in vacuous speculation about the Skripals.

When bloggers, e.g. Craig Murray, published Skripal-related posts arising from Skripal-related events or reports over the years (!), comments threads boiled over with enthusiastic and often impassioned theories and convictions about the truth of the matter.

It's a natural response, but the threads read like transcripts from meetings of aspiring writers of mysteries and espionage thrillers; it can be fun to build intricate houses of cards, using whatever circular or dubious information is at hand.

Despite that sanctimonious disclaimer, I'm not above having speculation thrust upon me. Since B.'s post induced a mild relapse of Skripal Fever, I'll venture to guess-- albeit presently without the benefit of Helmer's superior knowledge and insight-- that at least Skripal the Elder, and probably both of them, are no longer among the living.

Except for a few fragmentary reports of the Skripals contacting relatives, and/or Yulia's brief staged, controlled appearances after the first set of wheels fell off the official cover-up, the Skripals have effectively vanished from the face of the Earth.

There have been rumors that they might have been sent to a kind of indefinite detention in a US airbase, or even secretly relocated to the US in "Witness Protection Program" mode. Or even that they were allowed to return to Russia, pursuant to a secret agreement between UK and Russian authorities. I dismiss the latter speculation, because it seems unlikely that Russia would belatedly enter into a clandestine quid pro quo which amounts to the Russian government both condoning and participating in a clandestine military/intelligence operation that promoted and exacerbated virulent Russophobia.

Anyway, my thinking is that if the Skripals' role as pawns in a state-security apparatus plot was fulfilled, there is no obvious reason why they would still be considered "assets". On the contrary, their disappearance seems to reinforce the prospect that post-"poisoning", they are liabilities to the UK (etc.) government(s).

So the idea that they are being given the "Man in the Iron Mask" treatment, or have been bundled off to the US incognito, or quietly sent back home to a complicit Russia, to live happily (and secretly) ever after, seems improbable. Why risk the possibility that they could be found, and either expose hitherto-concealed truths or offer some scripted preposterous account of their incapacitation and subsequent whereabouts?

Likewise, why imprison them? True, the UK government is presently demonstrating its enthusiasm for subjecting political prisoners to slow death by sadistic incarceration-- but this is a public spectacle to teach future would-be Enemies of the State a lesson. Surely relatively solitary indefinite detention, whether in some UK/US "black site" or "house arrest", would not occur as a kind of reprieve, or act of mercy.

Better, I should think, that the troublesome Skripals be gotten rid of entirely, leaving the public and the would-be "bloodhounds" of the mass-media trotting about in perplexed circles. To paraphrase the quoted bit: What's to prevent the British government from executing them, i.e. the Skripals?

I'd be thrilled to be wrong, and see one or more Skripal burst into the spotlight to tell us all they know. But I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Ort | Mar 5 2020 19:44 utc | 9

b: Where Are The Skripals?

A better question is: Why the Skripals?

I agree that it likely had something to do with the "dirty dossier". But attempting to get dirt on a political opponent is nothing new. So what would cause the establishment to secret him (and his daughter) away so completely?

I can think of only a few things:

  • Skripal knows that CIA/MI6 were involved in the dossier - and possibly of Gina Haspel's involvement (it wasn't just requested by a political campaign);
  • Skripal knows that the dossier was MEANT to have false info;
  • Skripal knows that Trump was meant to win (as surmised from #1 and #2) so that Russiagate (a new McCarthyism) would be initiated;

    Why capture and secret away the Skripals except to protect CIA-installed Trump, not CIA-asset Hillary? (The head of MI-6 has already resigned over the whole affair so they aren't protecting him either.) Hillary (and Bill) is a discredited, unethical political has-been. It would be easy to throw her under the bus.

Why did Trump nominate Gina Haspel as CIA Director? She was tainted by scandal and she was publicly supported by his supposed arch-nemesis John Brennan.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 5 2020 20:14 utc | 10

I,too, suppose that the Skripals are dead. Alive they are a huge liability. The unwashed are never to know why they were targeted, and what actually happened, and who was complicit.

It is "highly likely" we will ever find out what happened to them.

What is extraordinary to me is that they have vanished from the public mind and sphere as effectively as they have actually physically vanished.

Does the current PM, Boris Johnson, know what happened to them? Is he in the dark?
Who knows anything? The Queen?

No signals.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 5 2020 20:56 utc | 11

@10 Jackrabbit The moment I read of a Russian ex-spook being poisoned in Salisbury my first thought was of the Trump dossier. The timing was just too coincidental, and the likelihood of Steele still having easy access to people inside Russia too fanciful, for this to be anything other than an attempted hit on Steele's real source.

As for WHY Sergei deserved whacking, well, that's obvious: Steele was never "ex"MI6, which meant that his dossier was a direct attempt by MI6 to interfere with the US Elections. You can't whack your own field agent - bad form, hey, what? - but you can take out the people he has recruited.

People like Sergei Skripal.

What clinches it for me is a different question: WHY Yulia?

Ol' Sergei lived alone. A Russian hit-team could simply walk up to the house at any time, knock on the door, and then pop a bullet in him when he answered that knock. Yet they decided that the hit should take place at the ONLY time when he had someone staying with him.

When did that ever get smart?

If it was the Russians then they could have just waited a day more until Yulia returned to Moscow, then whack the old coot.

But if it was MI6 then they couldn't wait: Yulia must have carried a message with her that set up a meeting with those two Russians. It was now or never - before that contact was made - and it had to take out both Sergei and Yulia.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 5 2020 21:01 utc | 12

@10 Jackrabbit
It's an interesting theory that Trump was picked to become Hillary, but most of the evidence points to Hillary being the anointed one, not to mention that picking Trump to win is a very risky way to win the presidency. As for nominating Bloody Gina, Trump has a history of sucking up to thugs and choosing employees who then work against him. The Skripals are a great example of a story being shoved down the memory hole. What's extraordinary in this case is that the Skripals themselves have been shoved down it too.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Mar 5 2020 21:25 utc | 13

Really?? 11

I meant: It is highly likely we will NEVER find out what happened to them.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 5 2020 21:25 utc | 14

Best case scenario is they are hanging out with Ghislane Maxwell, but I suspect she is above their pay grade. Probably they are being held in some sort of permanently drugged state, similar to the end of the movie Brazil.

Posted by: Roy G | Mar 5 2020 22:13 utc | 15

Karlof, nice call on The Prisoner. Very nice call. Perhaps one of two TV programmes in Britain in the 60s to approach the heights of the music here in that decade. And how very apposite - an ex-spy 'disappeared' because of what he knew.

Though, sadly, I suspect, along with others here, that they are dead.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Mar 5 2020 22:48 utc | 16

@13 "but most of the evidence points to Hillary being the anointed one, not to mention that picking Trump to win is a very risky way to win the presidency"

The best theory I have heard is that Hillary was anointed by the CIA and the neocons (but I repeat myself).

This horrified the military, who love all that money and don't mind a fight against tribes armed with bolt-action rifles, but who were horrified at the prospect that Hillary would provoke a full-on war with Russia and/or China.

So they gambled on Trump and won, much to everyone's surprise.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 5 2020 22:52 utc | 17

Yes, for sure Skripal was going to trade his part in the Steele dossier for a ticket back to Russia. The airing of his involvement in the dossier would have devastated US/UK relations under Trump.

Posted by: Ruth | Mar 5 2020 23:05 utc | 18

Only thing that seems certain is that the pair were NOT poisoned with industrial grade nerve agents. One person suggested that had some sort of shell fish poisoning which can mimic mimic a nerve agent. Maybe after than a set of fortuitous events that allowed the UK to force EU/US to expel Russian diplomats in a propaganda coup. I suspect that tragically the couple will never be seen again.

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 5 2020 23:06 utc | 19

If Skripal was part of the Steele Dossier the Durham will know by know, and it will be part of a spectacular anti-Democrat attack this summer. Trump has only one more election he can win, and need hold nothing back.
I read somewhere that there has been an inquiry into Steele's sources and one key source did state he thought the report was largely baseless. No name - could have been Skripal. But of course most of the dossier was written by Nellie Ohr at GPS Fusion, not by Steele, who simply added some dubious credibility.

I know quite a few people who are absolutely convinced that Russia did MH17 (it logical apparently). I know no one who is willing to state they believe the official version on Skripal.
I think the announcements being in parliament (where everyone knows parliamentary privilege means a minister can't be charged for a blatant lie) and by Teresa May, left everyone sceptical.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Mar 6 2020 0:30 utc | 20

I got the idea from following Helmer and associated threads down the rabbit hole that Skirpal was attempting to repatriate with treasure...inside dope on bio-warfare projects of empire...what, Helmer asks, is it that both father and daughter must never be heard to say?

The girl was the agent facilitating the deal. MI6 twigged...

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Gregg McElroy, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft February 20th, 2020 @ 34 + minutes in...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 6 2020 0:42 utc | 21

I read one report that the lab that OPWC used in Switzerland (I could remember wrong) found traces of the drug BZ along with fresh traces of Novichok after I think weeks. I don't know anything about the symptoms of Novichok but I do know the symptoms of BZ. I had hitchhiked to the beach with my girlfriend. while there this collegiate dress (clean cut) looking couple asked if I wanted a "peace pill". If this harmless looking couple had taken it, I thought it was probably harmless like ecstasy mostly turned out to be.
It came on after about a 1/2 an hour. Although really intense the first part was not to bad as I perceived a sense of eternity in the sound of the ocean. But I couldn't walk. It got worse. I had psychotic visions. I babbled. The effects lasted about a week in which I broke up with my girlfriend. I quit the band I was in. I was arrested. It took years to become relatively sane again.
I had made an enemy of the FBI by not falsely testifying against someone I had never met. This was 1968.

Posted by: gepayt | Mar 6 2020 0:58 utc | 22

Yeah, Right @17

This horrified the military ... who were horrified at the prospect that Hillary would provoke a full-on war with Russia and/or China.

So they gambled on Trump and won ...

I suggest you re-think and consider 1) what you were led to believe, 2) what we've learned in hindesight, 3) what the Deep State priorities are.

Some thoughts:

- Hillary would've followed the same Deep State playbook that Trump as. She would be no better or worse. But we've been led to believe that she would've started WWIII.

- Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, GWBush, Obama ... they were all CIA assets / deeply connected to CIA. But we are supposed to believe that Trump is different? Some have cited Trump's first casino purchase (which is claimed to have been the place that CIA once laundered money), his company's work with FBI counter-intelligence, and his connection to the Clintons as an example that Trump is also connected to FBI/CIA. Alternatively: do they have Epstein sex tapes showing Trump with underage women?

- The new McCarthyism came via Russiagate. Did that "just happen" or was it planned? If you think that it was planned, then Trump was the 'chosen one'. For those that don't live in America: we saw Russiagate allegations on nightly news several times a week for months.

There's much more but I don't have the time to go into it all right now. You can use the moa archives or my blog to see more of what I've written on the subject.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 6 2020 1:24 utc | 23

The story of Skripals is unusually filled with boring mysteries. Is you know, media specializes in interesting stories, boring stories do not get published. Sorry, we need to put food on the table of our family.

Literally, nothing makes sense. Why the cat of Mr. Sripal was (a) kept starving for two weeks (b) taken to Porton Downs (c) destroyed once there. The British, to a larger degree than other nations, are obsessed with the welfare of furry creatures and even hedgehog (hart to pet, but looking cute). Why they starved old Max? Why they destroyed him?

The roof of Skripal's home was replaced. It is even hard to make any theory, although someone proposed that the old Skripal had a huge stash of Novichok in the attic. He used a bit of it to spread on the door handle and thus poison some guests who were expected but inconvenient, but the guests did not come.


My private speculation was that Max was used for an experiments, in a lab like Porton Downs they keep doing tests of lethality, of antidotes etc. That would be also a logical end for Skripals, but the life rarely follows logic.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 6 2020 1:27 utc | 24

Helmer's book first chapter can be read for free at amazon - he covers some of the matters y'all have spoken of. The big question is what could they know that's so hot?

(I expect a physical copy anytime)

Posted by: Walter | Mar 6 2020 1:35 utc | 25

thanks b... i admire john helmer and really appreciate all the work he does here, as i do you!

Posted by: james | Mar 6 2020 2:16 utc | 26

@22 gepay... what a story! thanks for sharing... the cia and friends sure like using people like guinea pigs don't they?

Posted by: james | Mar 6 2020 2:18 utc | 27

One fascinating sub stories of Skipal affair was NYT version how DT got ballistic and ordered expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and reduction of the allowed number of those diplomats. According to that tail, the main character of the tale, Gina Haspel, head of CIA and an operator with long and wide experience, a lot of which related to torturing people, convinced the reluctant POTUS.

Initially, DT was unimpressed. "So they killed their defecting spy. Isn'i it normal? [hypothtical: What would you do, Gina, if one of your spies defected? Gina reflexively makes a gesture with a finger sliding on her throat]. But Gina quickly explained that this was not a normal situation, and spread photographies of dead ducks and sick children to explain the horror of Novichock.

That lead to chuckles, articles in English media that no children got sick and no dead duck got observed, and some corrections In NYT that Gina did not claim that dead duck were photographed in Salisbury etc. It is still mysterious. DT is on the record as quite resistant to the charm of children or anyone who is a youthfully looking slim female. Did Gina use picks of sick I would also doubt if he is fond of ducks, on golf course they are rather annoying. You try to focus before striking a ball and you are startled with 'qua qua' behind you etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 6 2020 4:53 utc | 28

If he and his father were NOT recruited by 1 [or more] covert agencee, that would be dereliction of duty. Utterly unthinkable; an inverted Occam's Razor.

Damn! We didn't think of it.
Golly, we forgot.
We don't operate that way.
He slipped thru the cracks.
I thought he already worked for you.
We really, really tried.
He was not approachable; wouldn't answer the phone.
Never called us back.
He wouldn't listen.
He was too stupid; wasn't worth the effort.
There was nothing he could do for us.
We could not offer him anything, or help his business dealings, to hook him to serve us and thereby control him. Besides, he's a nitwit.

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 6 2020 5:22 utc | 29

I would be interested to know what sort of prison the Skripals are being held in. There was evidence that when the Reuters journalist interviewed Julia Skripal in May 2018, just after both Skripals had arisen from the dead Lazarus-style before the Easter celebration, the interview took place at USAF Fairford.

John Helmer himself discussed the evidence from the Reuters video that Julia Skripal was being held at USAF Fairford. There has been BTL discussion about the USAF Fairford evidence at Rob Slane's The Blogmire on various Skripal-related articles.

I've decided to buy a copy of the book at Amazon.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 6 2020 5:24 utc | 30

I am not referring to Skripal, but rather Jackrabbit at 20:14 UTC.
Deliberately obtuse, here.

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 6 2020 5:28 utc | 31

It doesn't really matter whether the Skripals are dead or alive or were poisoned or not, or by whom. What matters is that turned the Skripal fairytale into a Who Dunnit by treating it as Top Secret Stuff and lying about it.

The reason this should alarm everyone in the West's Mock Democracies is that it reinforces the presumptuously false & disingenuous 'right' of Western governments to ignore the Will of The People who elected and pay them.

If your government is lying to you and conducting its affairs behind a veil of secrecy then it's Not Your government. It's taking orders from entities other than the people it is studiously ignoring/ lying to.

It's foolish to believe that a government which is acting in your best interests needs to lie to you about any thing - especially the Top Secret Stuff about the West's (fake) enemies-of-convenience.

Western "Democracy" is broken. One way to fix it would be for The People to get very angry and insist that liars be dragged into court and prosecuted. Refusal to do so will be tantamount to a confession, thereby making the task all the more urgent.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 6 2020 6:15 utc | 32

While I'm certain that the Skirpals were not poisoned by Russia (chiefly because there is no logical reason for them to have done so). Sergei was far from the only former soviet operative who 'doubled' in the Yeltsin years; a time when the actual Russian government was committing 101 treasons a day, so that it was always arguable that if an agent betrayed a traitorous administratiion, surely he/she was being a patriot, nevertheless there is one huge flaw in the englanders did it, scenario.

That is WTF didn't they die? None of the current problems around the Skirpals, especially 'where are they?' would be an issue if they had both been topped which is an act england has been inflicting on types a lot more innocent than the Skirpals, for more than a thousand years.
Sure the 1st 36 hours or so at Salisbury hospital were 'problematic', before MI5 got their agents in place (an essential with england's main biologic & chemical warefare division less than 10 kilometers down the road from Salisbury) on the job so to speak, but that was days before Julia recovered consciousness and months before Sergei did, so why didn't they just top 'em?

My best guess is that it was a division of amerikan intelligence services who were loyal to DJT who poisoned them (a branch of military intelligence because at that time DJT had a mob of former generals on his staff) and they didn't want dead Skirpals because they wanted to get to the bottom of the Steele dossier via a bit of the old 'enhanced interrogation'.
Otherwise not topping 'em, just doesn't make sense.

For a long time I hazarded that Nick the greasy cop who also got poisoned was the MI5 thug duty officer on call that weekend. He was the deux ex machina wielding the nerve gas and he was told at short notice to use any means necessary to stop Julia & Sergei from escaping, but then, why weren't they topped? makes no sense for that either.

More evidence is required before we can ascertain for sure, if it was amerika, england israel or a real gangster mob who knocked them over.
However there is enough nonsense been spouted by so many, that the Russians cannot possibly be fingered.

Posted by: A User | Mar 6 2020 6:46 utc | 33

They are dead, of course. The fact that Pablo Miller, Steele's business partner, was Skripal's handler AND ALSO LIVED IN SALISBURY gives the story away.

IMO Skripal, not being too big a fool, rapidly realised that he had become a dangerous liability to his MI6 friends when he saw the impact that the dossier (which Steele, Miller and Skripal had cooked up between them) had on the the US election.

When Trump unexpectedly won the election (thanks to Israel), it was game over. Ditto the Brexit vote - which meant that the boot was on the other foot when the feckless UK PM, Teresa May, was forced to go to Trump with a begging bowl for a trade deal. It became essential to cover the tracks.

Yulia came over voluntarily to act as a human shield for Skripal while he left the country. The two Russian goons (portrayed by the Russians as two gay lovers on holiday) were involved in this - probably as minders. But MI6 was watching it all and pounced. The perfume which killed Dawn Sturgess was a 'gift' for Yulia from MI6, probably via an acquaintance. Skripal realised the danger and told her to chuck it - with unfortunate results. Or it may have been an MI6 prop to bolster the official fairy tale. Either way, it originated with MI6.

So where does that leave the Skripals? ......Dead. Dead indeed.

Posted by: Cornelius Pipe | Mar 6 2020 10:59 utc | 34

One thing that often isn't mentioned is that the UK lost a lot of credibility over this nonsense. While everyone except the UK and the US replaced a Russian diplomat or two the UK story wasn't accepted and still isn't.

Why the UK would push a nonsensical story that not even its European allies could believe in (the US doesn't matter because they're always eager to be dumb) might be a more interesting question than anything to do with Skripal & daughter.

On pure speculation one possibility is that it was all a very badly failed attempt at entrapment of "some Russians" known to visit the UK & Salisbury and who would be portrayed as and "proven" to be Russians spies. This was then to be used politically to pressure Russia on "the European front" and as an alibi to support aggressiveness in Ukraine. In this scenario the Skripals probably didn't intend to defect back to Russia and might not have known about anything at all but were chosen out of convenience and fitting into the story as an imaginary Russian motive.

This fits with other Russians being poisoned and dying in the UK; it's the same ploy and it had sort of worked before.

Anyway, only a possibility.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 6 2020 11:00 utc | 35

I have read that in the late 40's - early 50's the west operated experimental units near Frankfurt that did chem/bio on nazi and DP's...Frank Olson's murder, it said, was to keep him quiet about it - after he "saw god" as a consequence of LSD and, like JFK, "changing" walking away from the not-good. No subject, of course, could be permitted to leave in a viable condition.

And yes, good call on the TV series "The Prisoner"...prologue or plan of just an artistic statement about the nature of the war that never seems to end.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 6 2020 12:35 utc | 36

One thing that often isn't mentioned is that the UK lost a lot of credibility over this nonsense. While everyone except the UK and the US replaced a Russian diplomat or two the UK story wasn't accepted and still isn't.

Why the UK would push a nonsensical story that not even its European allies could believe in (the US doesn't matter because they're always eager to be dumb) might be a more interesting question than anything to do with Skripal & daughter.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 6 2020 11:00 utc | 35

I am not totally sure. Official statement and "responsible media" resolutely condemned Russia, supported bereaved UK, rejected conspiracy theories, doubts about the official versions in social media were watched and reported as the sinister Russian influence etc. It reminds me an old Italian movie, "Investigation of the Citizen Beyond any Suspicion". The citizen, head of homicide investigation of Rome police department, murders a prostitute and drop a number of clues on the scene. His underlings investigate, making a huge effort to ignore all those clues. Full success.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 6 2020 15:56 utc | 37

Footnote: Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto,

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 6 2020 16:01 utc | 38

Indeed a good question> "Why the UK would push a nonsensical story that not even its European allies could believe in". This goes with the question of what did they know? The answer to one may reveal the other.

several thoughts

Well, an obvious fairytale lie, which the official story is, since it lacks continuity and ignores fact, sends a negative message to Satrapies, and indeed individuals, everywhere "we can do this to anybody - think about it". Maybe one part of the plan was to intimidate others by making such a fubar hit. What was the message at Dallas?

Another possibility, one that works with the above reasoning, is that they, MI6/CIA whatever, knew S had something very hot for his Country and wanted to go home, and the kid knew about a buncha amateurs hatched a stupid plan to create the affair - right down to misc en scene - a stupid plan always has "singularities" contradictions, these are bad, but get patched up by lies on lies and deception and appeals to emotion.

Is there a subtle signal Wally senses or speculates here? Does the scene, the "gun on the wall", tell us the plot? Is it a Message from E to R, I and C > "we're entirely willing and planning to use chemical weapons on you - this is a threat"'s the misc en scene, the poisons (BZ obviously). There's plenty of evidence about the stuff at Porton Down, ( Helmer and his links, for starters)

Is typical style of Empire to create complexity when none is necessary, because it camouflages the identity of the primary force.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 6 2020 16:18 utc | 39

Helmer himself writes Yulia’s interview (May 23, 2018) was done at an airbase in Gloustershire owned by the ministry of Defense and controlled by the USAF. Corner of Maine Street and Alaska avenue - base parkland. I believe this as there is plenty of detail in the vid. to actually identify the place. (see also Ort.) A search on *Helmer Skripal Alaska Avenue* brings it up. (From here the site is marked not secure and opening anything on the page redirects to…places one doesn’t want to go to.) (Going further down, Jen mentions the same..)

Naturally the interview (by Reuters, not the BBC, which Helmer also points out) was meant to show that Yulia is fine, she is being helped and protected by the British. (She looks lovely in the vid. The dress and hair is very Brit in my eyes.) -- Not a single pic. / report about Sergei is to be had after his leaving hospital, setting aside the info. given by Yulia to Veronika by phone.

Obviously, it was too soon for Y. to vanish. Some xtra and good news had to be given out, as she was in the care of the Brits. It worked, of course, for the larger public. Thereafter, as soon as possible, the whole Skripal affair was shoved under the carpet, never to be mentioned again. It was just too! dreadfully embarassing, a complete balls-up, or cock-up, to use Brit vocab.

My interpretation is that the events including Dawn and Charlie, Nick Bailey, and perhaps another young man who died (not reported on, other story) were some kind of weird lowish-level plot gone wrong, or a horribly badly botched intel. op. (I favor the second, because of the helicopter present in the parking lot. A sort of intermediary is possible, where ‘upper types’ manipulate the likes of Dawn with small sums..)

The whole affair was covered up via the ludicrous Novichok tale, based on the urge to opportunistically exploit and paste on *Russia3x!*, as Sergei had been a Russian double-agent. The other possibility was crazy rogue actors (drug trade, fancy poisoners by fentanyl, vengeful X or Y, mad scientist, etc.) of course not profitable in power or dollar terms.

Connecting all this to the Steele dossier is seductive but I don’t see points that convince me. Imho only on the ground investigations, which could still be done, will help to unravel the story. Bottom-up, rather than top-down.

No investigation was carried out, all was obfuscated, hidden, supressed …. simutaneously the events were used in the standard scare-monger way to terrify ppl and make them subservient, while ‘terror handling’ specialists, contractors and hangers on at a low level made big profits.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 6 2020 17:32 utc | 40

Cornelius Pipe @ 34

This narrative sounds very possible.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 6 2020 20:01 utc | 41

@23 Perhaps re-read what I put down in that post, Jackrabbit.

There can be only one "anointed by the CIA" candidate in an election, and does anyone really doubt that this person was Hillary Clinton? The CIA isn't going to "anoint" all of the candidates: they will pick the one they like best and say "that's our (wo)man".

Yet she lost. Someone else won.

All I'm suggesting is that this Someone Else got over the line because an institution in the USA that is at least as powerful as the CIA decided to back this other person or - at the very least - to stymie the CIA's backing of Hillary.

I've suggested who that institution is: the Pentagon
I've suggested why that institution got involved: they DON'T want to go to war with Russia.

Look, this is very simple: Trump won against everyone's expectations, and ever since the CIA, the FBI, and various other assembled reptiles of the US intelligence agencies have had it in for him.

Hence Russia-gate.
Hence Ukraine-gate.

All of that hysteria has simply washed over you, has it?
I mean, where have you been for the last four years?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 7 2020 3:53 utc | 42

Reading Helmer's tome. Devastating. On ice for silence and what else?

Wally recalls that Hess was murdered in Berlin, presumably to keep his mouth shut.

And Seth R...similarly. And Hastings, and possibly Hunter Thompson, also Mary Meyers and Miss Monroe and so on to the multitudes of corpses.

But so far zero evidence Skirpals are dead...

This seems to imply that SIS or "their bosses" (is US base, "Airstrip One") want to use them or are using them currently.

Captivating book. Perhaps I will jot down a review later on, an addendum to my next report from Anoxia.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 7 2020 13:51 utc | 43

Helmer is a journalist with an agenda, so he adds stories and interpretations to his findings. Nevertheless, the link given by b shows genuine puzzles. I checked what is routinely done to poisoning victims:
Medical staff may also want to know:

the person's age and estimated weight
whether they have any existing medical conditions
whether they're taking any medication (if you know)
The container the substance came in will help give medical staff a clear idea of what it is. If you don't know what caused the poisoning, blood tests may be needed to identify the cause.

In other case, if the medical staff does not know the poison, blood test is routine. Tests on unconcious emergency patients that are necessary for the therapy are routine, agreement of the appointed guardian etc. is needed only if the test is requested to be revealed to third parties, i.e. not for the purpose of the therapy. The first two parties, patients and the medical staff are in the loop, otherwise treatment of emergency patients would be delayed to the detriment of the patients.

Unless the symptoms were pointing to a known substance without a doubt, blood samples would be taken quickly and analyzed. Routine analysis would reveal lack of substances that are usual in poisoning cases. I guess that normal hospital tests reveal substances from some list with chemical reactions, To find a substance "not on the list" you need mass spectroscopy, and this is not a hospital procedure according to my top hit in the web search

article title: Mass spectrometry in medicine: a technology for the future?

A research hospital would have mass spectroscopy lab, some biomedical investigation require it, although other assays are much more frequent. It seems that it is a bit pricy.

Question: were symptoms of Skripals, including their response to the therapy, closely matching a typical substance?

If yes, it begs the second question, how the hospital and authorities noticed that this is not a typical known substance. The reports were of symptoms similar to fentanyl . " Fentanyl overdose cases may necessitate the use of naloxone, which is a medication that blocks opioid receptors and can quickly stop some of the dangerous opioid overdose effects". It seems that it would be clear within hours of naxolone is helping or not.

What I am trying to say is that blood samples were collected from Skripals within 24 hours, perhaps quickly after they got admitted. A court proceeding, say, in-absentia trial of Russian suspects, would have defense asking to analyze the residue of the first blood samples that were collected to match with environmental samples collected from restaurant table, park bench, door handle etc. The crown should analyze the samples already, and informed allies and perhaps even the public about the results.

Question: is there ANY known substance that matches Skripal's symptoms, delay of action by ca. 3 hours, then death, minor disorientation or profound fentanyl-like symptoms (I added symptoms of other victims). Synchronicity of symptoms of father and daughter that had very different age, weight, health status is enormously puzzling. Needless to say, it is not a feature useful in a theatre of military actions, potentially attractive to assassin, but assassin prefer reliable ways.

However, one can find quite a few reports of INEFFECTIVE attempts of assassination by poisoning attributed to Russians.

Question: what is wrong with Russian assassins?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2020 17:17 utc | 44

Yeah, Right @42

Yeah, she was "anointed" in 2008 too. But she didn't win.

I've explained my POV many times here at moa and on my website. To summarize:

  • Plans changed in 2014 when it became clear that the Russian-Chinese alliance was a real threat. The Deep State realized that they needed a nationalist that could rally the country and the military - not a pantsuit elitist with lots of baggage who is despised by so many. But Hillary was great as foil for Trump.
  • In his August 2014 WSJ Op-Ed, Kissinger essentially laid out Trump's MAGA campaign: to confront the challenge from Russia and China, USA would rekindle the spirit that had made it great.
  • No seasoned candidate with lots of resources and supposedly so desireous to make history as the first women president as the first women President of USA would have made the mistakes that Hillary made: taking the black vote for granted; snubbing and insulting progressives; calling whites "deplorables"; not campaigning in the three states that she KNEW would decide the election; etc.

  • Initiating a new McCarthyism was a strategic move by the Deep State and that was 'set up' to happen after Trump was elected.
  • Trump is not an "outsider" or a populist, but the media really, really wants us to thing he is.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 8 2020 17:42 utc | 45

@ Walter
Wally recalls that Hess was murdered in Berlin, presumably to keep his mouth shut.

C'mon Wally, Hess was the only prisoner in Spandau and cost the German government a buttload of money. It was also some prime real estate. He was pretty old already in any case. Lets just agree that it was an assisted suicide.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 8 2020 18:16 utc | 46

. A beautiful Chinese saying from more than two millennia ago: "See hart - say horse": The story goes that i senior minister in an old kingdom wished to find out who in his entourage were too independent-minded. So, one day on an excursion with the king into the royal hunting park, the minister spotted some female deer ("harts") and said: "Look at those fine small fouls (small horses). Some courtiers protested that those animals were deer, not horses. Those underlings that protested did not last long, whilst those egreeing that what they saw were small and slim young horses were promoted. -- Isn't this how the britons who "never will be slaves" breed their yes-men & yes-wemen?

Posted by: Ou Si (區司) | Mar 9 2020 16:19 utc | 47

Ou Si (區司) @47

That is called "cancel culture" in the West these days.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2020 16:46 utc | 48

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 8 2020 18:16 utc | 46

So why keep him in that prison for so long if he was just a nothing burger ? A guy who willingly flew to Britain on "some unknown" mission.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 9 2020 17:08 utc | 49

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