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Thread: The Skripal Poisoning - A Very Deep British Affair

  1. #11

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    Before I forget again, I want to point out that the police investigation was turned over to the control of Special Branch (now know as the Counterterrorism Unit) within a day or so. Special Branch is, as I've pointed out before Britain's political police who work very closely with the intelligence and security services (particularly the latter, in fact).

    I think it also important to note here that, as the Russian Ambassador to London said yesterday (and a Russian spokesman had said over a week ago too) that the Skripal case has been classified. In fact, he mentioned that four cases of Russian killed in London remain classified and that Russia have been refused access to all and any files or data on each of these. Besides the Skripal's case, those of Berezovsky, Litvinenko and Perepilichnyy's deaths are all classified. All worked for British intelligence.

    I mentioned above the death by nerve toxin of Ivan Kevelidi in 1995 at the hands of one of the Mafiya's. In a Moon of Alabama post 2 days ago, it was reported that the nerve agent that killed him was a Novichok, as reported by journalist, Mark Ames (see here, here and also here). Application of the nerve toxin was via a cotton ball that had been duly soaked in the toxin being swabbed over the rim of Kivelidi's phone mouthpiece. It was a mob hit not a state sanctioned assassination.

    There is, at least, some sort of evidence now available - although spartan and wholly contradictory to what BoJo has been frothing about. Following the government's application to Judge, Mr Peter Willimas for permission to extract more blood from the Skripal's to provide samples to the OSCW, as both patients/victims remain unconscious and the therefore a judge has to grant permission

    See: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-cont...r-20180322.pdf for the long version). For the shorter version see Craig Murray's latest: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archi...egorical-liar/

    Murray points out that the existing tests by Porton Down using prior blood samples of the Skripal prove that Boris Johnson is a liar. He is. The following is the principal past of his short post drawn from the judgement:


    The Evidence
    16. The evidence in support of the application is contained within the applications
    themselves (in particular the Forms COP 3) and the witness statements.
    17. I consider the following to be the relevant parts of the evidence. I shall identify the
    witnesses only by their role and shall summarise the essential elements of their
    evidence.
    i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst
    Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the
    findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples
    tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.

    The emphasis is mine. This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a “Novichok”, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a “Novichok” that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a “closely related agent” could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.
    It strikes me that the word formulation a "closely related agent" is another government contrivance of the ilk: "of a type developed by Russia", but I'll leave Craig Murray to ask that question as he has reliable sources in Porton Down and elsewhere to do that.

    And finally, for you Pete, the Gareth Williams - folded into a sport bag assassination - does seem to be part of this ongoing story - at least according to elements in US intelligence who apparently have been leaking information to Buzzfeed. I'm going to link one of a series of six articles, but caution readers against the bile and rhetoric of those articles. There very clearly was an agenda to get London to stamp down hard on Russians in London and join the US propaganda effort against Putin. As journalism goes, I found the Buzzfeed series really very distasteful - but what's new. Our media publishing inflammatory propaganda is the world we now live in.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  2. #12

    Default FWIW

    Not one word on his symptoms - objectively from doctors or subjectively from Bailey....very strange. Also, hard to believe not one friend or relative of the Skripals has inquired about them at the hospital, if I read this strange article correctly.

    Police officer poisoned in Sergei Skripal attack leaves hospital



    DS Nick Bailey describes ‘surreal’ experience of exposure to nerve agent in Salisbury



    Steven Morris

    Nick Bailey called his experience ‘surreal’.Photograph: Wiltshire PoliceThe police officer injured in the nerve agent attack on the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, has been discharged from hospital.
    DS Nick Bailey called his own experience “surreal” but added: “I want people to focus on the investigation – not the police officer who was unfortunate enough to be caught up in it.”
    He continued: “I understand why there is attention on me, but all I have done is represent every police officer who goes out there every day and puts their life at risk.”
    His wife, Sarah, said: “Nick doesn’t like the term hero, but he has always been a hero to me and our children.
    “This has quite simply been the most traumatic event of our life and it feels like our world has been turned upside down in a really short space of time.”
    DS Bailey said: “We are just taking each day as it comes at the moment. I recognise that ‘normal’ life for me will probably never be the same, and Sarah and I now need to focus on finding a new normal for us and for our children.”
    While Bailey was able to leave hospital, more details of the Skripals’ condition emerged in a court of protection judgment giving permission for blood to be taken from father and daughter to be analysed by inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
    It emerged in the judgment from Mr Justice Williams that both the Skripals remained “heavily sedated”. The judgment added: “The precise effect of their exposure on their long-term health remains unclear, albeit medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree.”
    Williams said Sergei Skripal was unable to communicate in any way and his daughter could not communicate in any meaningful way. He added: “It is not possible to say when or to what extent Mr or Ms Skripal may regain capacity. Both are currently in a physically stable condition which is not expected to change in the immediate or near future.
    “They are both being treated on the basis that they would wish to be kept alive and to achieve optimal recovery and the treatment currently being given is aimed to achieve that. The hospital has not been approached by anyone known to the patients to inquire of their welfare.”

    Salisbury NHS foundation trust said 48 people had sought advice from the hospital. All had been assessed and given health advice.

    The chief constable of Wiltshire police, Kier Pritchard, read out the Baileys’ statements outside Salisbury district hospital.

    Bailey, who was one of the officers involved in the initial response when the Skripals collapsed on 4 March in Salisbury city centre, said in his statement: “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.”
    He paid tribute to hospital staff who had nursed him, but also the wider public: “One thing that has lifted me throughout the last few weeks has been the public support the police service has received during this incident.

    “All the stories of community spirit – from the local businesses providing food and hot drinks to the officers standing for endless hours on the cordons, to the members of the public just showing their support for our work – have been quite simply overwhelming to hear about.”

    Bailey added: “As I have begun to feel better, I have become aware of the widespread and enormous attention this whole incident has attracted. I find this really overwhelming. I am just a normal person with a normal life.”

    Pritchard said the experience must have been “terrifying” for Bailey, adding: “Whilst most of the world has been fixated on the incident and the investigation, Nick has had to undergo significant medical treatment which has undoubtedly been very daunting for him, and for his family.”
    and this is another bizarre story....for if it were a nerve poison, especially of the Novichuk class, the effects would be within less than a minute - more likely in seconds - so looking at items in their home when they were found on a park bench is very odd - unless it was NOT a nerve poison or they are thinking that the Skripal's were storing nerve poison in their home and somehow by accident self-inflicted themselves. With a nerve poison of the Novichuk class if the touched it or were exposed to it when they were leaving the restaurant, they were lucky to make it to the bench they were found on! The effects are THAT fast! The one used on the half-brother of N. Korean head honcho, after the two women combined the two single chemicals to create the binary agent it was about 3-5 minutes until he was incapacitated. That one is a little strange too...as the second woman to wipe her hands on his face would also have the binary compound on her hands. The women said they were told to wash their hands immediately, but these chemicals move in through the skin almost immediately and into the blood stream....yet both women survived without ill effects.

    Door handles and computer keyboards are among the items at the home of Sergei Skripal that are being examined by investigators as they work to establish where and how the nerve agent attack on the Russian former spy took place.
    Skripal’s red-brick house in Salisbury remains cordoned off almost three weeks after he and his daughter, Yulia, collapsed in the city centre.
    An investigator was seen at the house with a list headed “swabs”. It appeared to indicate that spots the Skripals were likely to have touched were being looked at in particular. The front door, patio door and keyboards were all listed.
    On Friday afternoon, investigators in protective clothing were wrapping up the bench where the Skripals collapsed.
    Counter-terrorism officials have given no details of how the Skripals may have come into contact with the nerve agent, which has been identified as a novichok.

    There was speculation it could have been placed on the door handles of Skripal’s BMW or in the car’s ventilation system. Another suggestion is that Yulia Skripal, who arrived in the UK on a flight from Russia the day before she and her father collapsed, may have brought it into the country.
    Last edited by Peter Lemkin; 03-23-2018 at 03:11 PM.
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  3. #13

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    and this is another bizarre story....for if it were a nerve poison, especially of the Novichuk class, the effects would be within less than a minute - more likely in seconds - so looking at items in their home when they were found on a park bench is very odd - unless it was NOT a nerve poison or they are thinking that the Skripal's were storing nerve poison in their home and somehow by accident self-inflicted themselves. With a nerve poison of the Novichuk class if the touched it or were exposed to it when they were leaving the restaurant, they were lucky to make it to the bench they were found on! The effects are THAT fast! The one used on the half-brother of N. Korean head honcho, after the two women combined the two single chemicals to create the binary agent it was about 3-5 minutes until he was incapacitated. That one is a little strange too...as the second woman to wipe her hands on his face would also have the binary compound on her hands. The women said they were told to wash their hands immediately, but these chemicals move in through the skin almost immediately and into the blood stream....yet both women survived without ill effects.
    Not too mention the photos of the police officers standing behind their crime scene yellow tape watching the investigators in their scary hunchback outfits as if the yellow tape makes them safe from something this dangerous.
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

  4. Default

    A very early Brit tv news report stated Skripal was involved in the Steele Dossier. I tend to think exactly this sort of early & often singular news report can be valid, a 'reveal' subsequently jumped-on.
    [SIZE=1]Martin Luther King - "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Albert Camus - "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion".
    Douglas MacArthur — "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."
    Albert Camus - "Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear."[/SIZE]

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Barwell View Post
    A very early Brit tv news report stated Skripal was involved in the Steele Dossier. I tend to think exactly this sort of early & often singular news report can be valid, a 'reveal' subsequently jumped-on.
    Skripal was recruited by Pablo Miller of MI6, who worked for Christopher Steele and later worked for him again in his private firm Orbis (Miller and or others quickly tried to erase the information from his Twitter account once the Skripal story broke). Miller remains a friend of Skripal and.... ta da.... lives in Salisbury.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  6. #16

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    I'm a cynical bugger and due to this I always am inclined to think the worse, more often than not anyway.

    In the case of the Skripal poisoning, an early thought was that Theresa McCain was in serious trouble over Brexit with headlines bombarding her relentlessly. Then along came the Skripal's and for three weeks almost wall-to-wall coverage of that story with Brexit relegated to a barely noticed second place.

    Following her recent meetings with the EU and the Brexit transitional agreement - and the EU's agreement to adopt her curious language that it is "highly likely" that Russia is to blame for the alleged Novichok attack, the Skripal affair gets barely a passing mention today.

    Cynical, as I said. But it's another working hypothesis for this affair. But I have another also, namely deflection, because the Skripal's have certainly been poisoned with something very nasty and blaming Russia might be the easy way out of something far larger and far more murkier. Apparently almost every one of the 14 suspicious deaths of Russians in the UK over past years have been directly or indirectly connected to Boris Berezovsky. I find that astonishing. In the last analysis I can't shake the sense that these deaths are connected to London's Russian emigre community - and since these fine fellows have paid (sorry, "donated to") the Conservative Party the odd few million quid in the last few years, the last thing the government would want to do is highlight that their beholden to a bunch of crooked mafiosi. Better to blame the ever-green nassy ol' Putin.

    But that's just me. Cynical as I say.

    Below an article from Off Guardian that discusses the blood test and Craig Murray's highlighting of the words "closely related agent". The article carries this para:

    "If the words “closely related agent” refer merely to the presence of an organophosphate nerve agent in the Skripals’ bodies this is distortion of a truly criminal nature."

    Well not truly criminal perhaps, but I note that "truly lying" in a staggering and guiltless manner is simply standard operating procedure for many of the self-enriching jar specimens who somehow manage to pass as ordinary humans in the Mother of all Parliaments.

    Skripal case: “closely related agent” claim closely examined

    The “Approved Judgement” issued yesterday by Mr Justice Williams ruling in the case of the Skripals in the High Court contains a disturbing admission of deception on the part of the May government

    As Craig Murray has already observed, the wording in the Approved Judgement issued by Mr Justice May on March 22, makes it clear the UK government’s claim, first made on March 8, to have conclusively identified the alleged “nerve agent” as being an indicator of Russian state involvement, is a lie. This is what the Judgement says:
    i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.
    Murray correctly points out that the emphasised words (his emphasis) categorically show the UK has, at best, made only a very general identification of the agent involved as being “related” to what it terms “novichok.”
    This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a “Novichok”, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a “Novichok” that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a “closely related agent” could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.
    This constitutes irrefutable evidence that the government have been straight out lying – to Parliament, to the EU, to NATO, to the United Nations, and above all to the people – about their degree of certainty of the origin of the attack….As the government has sought to whip up jingoistic hysteria in advance of forthcoming local elections, the scale of the lie has daily increased.
    This is absolutely true, as we’ll show below.
    WHAT DO THE WORDS “CLOSELY RELATED AGENT” ACTUALLY MEAN?

    Organophosphates?
    In theory the words “closely related agent” could mean as little as the fact they have identified an organophosphate type of nerve agent, of which the alleged “novichoks” are a – heretofore theoretical – class.

    The two main organophosphate nerve agents in common use, Sarin and VX and their cousins, are what is known as the “G-series
    the G-series of organophosphate nerve agents, developed in Germany
    and V-series
    The V-series of organophosphate nerve agents developed in the UK
    None of these are “novichoks”. They were NOT developed in Russia, but in Germany and the UK respectively.
    The presence of G-series or V-series organophosphate nerve agents in the Skripals’ bodies would have zero implications of Russian involvement. In fact, given that Russia’s “declared chemical weapon stockpiles” were certified to have been eliminated by the OPCW in 2017, they should probably be seen as one of the less likely sources for a known nerve agent, behind countries such as the United States, who, unlike Russia, still have officially recognised stocks of organophosphate nerve agents.
    If the words “closely related agent” refer merely to the presence of an organophosphate nerve agent in the Skripals’ bodies this is distortion of a truly criminal nature.
    The only non-dishonest usage of the words “closely related agent” in this context would mean they have isolated some form of hitherto unknown compound that has a chemical structure more similar to “novichoks” than to Sarin, VX or their close relatives. But would even this truly point exclusively to Russia in the way claimed by Boris Johnson?
    novichoks?
    Novichoks, or the “N-series” are a “new” class of organophosphate nerve agents. Unlike the G-series and V-series, they were developed by the Soviet Union in the middle 20th century. Until they were synthesised by Iran in 2016 (under OPCW observation) these so-called “N-series” poisons were known as only as a theory and widely regarded as unpromising for future research.

    Let’s assume the highly non-specific wording in the High Court ruling to indicate that “N-series” (novichok) type substances have been detected in the Skripals’ bodies.
    This still does in no way determine Russian involvement. Since their alleged original development in the Soviet Union last century, the theoretical structure of these “novichoks” has been freely available information, obtainable through Amazon, and it’s therefore more than possible they have been synthesised in any number of facilities around the world beside Iran.
    Some undeclared “marker”?
    Even if we go one step further in the benefit of the doubt and accept there is some undeclared marker that permits scientists at Porton Down, at incredibly short notice, to perfectly identify this agent as being of Russian manufacture, even that unlikely eventuality would fall short of the kind of proof of Russian state involvement that Boris Johnson and others in the UK government have been proclaiming. Before being justified in accusing a sovereign government of direct involvement one would have to rule out the possibility that such an agent had been illegally acquired by non-state agencies. This would be a lengthy process involving the OPCW and other international bodies.

    As we all know, the UK made no attempt to do even this basic amount of investigation, and certainly couldn’t have conducted and concluded such an investigation in less than four days.
    In short, the ruling cited above, even if read in the most improbably forgiving way possible, shows the UK government does not have the information to warrant any of the claims it has so far made about Russian state involvement in the alleged poisoning of the Skripals. It shows the UK government is currently guilty of lying to Parliament, to the British people, and to the world.
    And that isn’t even taking into consideration the statement of Stephen Davies, the Salisbury Hospital consultant who claimed in a letter to the Times that “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.” If those words are literally true and not a result of careless writing, the lie is astronomically greater than anyone is yet suggesting

    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  7. #17

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    Today's Guardian carries an article that discusses what was posted here a day or two earlier - and which I've generally known about for almost 3 weeks and posted elsewhere at least a week ago. probably longer.

    We now live in a world where ordinary people like you and I do the deep research and publish their findings on those blogs and forums that our masters and betters like to denigrate as "fake news" sites --- and nick and twist it to suit propaganda aims and all without giving credit to the source of their theft, in this case The Bell.

    From The Independent:

    Nerve agent was used in 1995 murder, claims former Soviet scientist

    Vladimir Uglev, developer of Soviet-era chemical weapons, contradicts Russian denials at existence of novichok nerve agents



    Andrew Roth in Moscow
    Fri 23 Mar 2018 18.33 GMTLast modified on Fri 23 Mar 2018 22.00 GMT





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    Russian soldiers check metal containers with toxic agents at a chemical weapons storage site in the Saratov region in 2000. Photograph: APA developer of Soviet-era nerve agents related to the one used against former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia has told the Guardian that a similar poison was used in the murder of a Russian businessman in the 1990s.
    The remarks by Vladimir Uglev, a Soviet chemical weapons scientist, contradict official Russian denials that the country had any chemical weapons programme tied to the name novichok, with the formal codename foliant.

    ‘It’s got me’ – lonely death of Soviet scientist poisoned by novichok




    Read more



    “If you’re asking who made the substances that poisoned the Skripals, his name and his country, it’s possible it was made by my hands,” Uglev wrote to the Guardian. “But we’re unlikely to find out about that, at least according to the information I have at the moment.”

    Uglev is one of three Russian scientists to confirm the existence of the top secret chemical weapons programme since the Salisbury attack. His remarks were sent to a handful of journalists on Friday, and he answered follow up questions for the Guardian.
    Uglev on Friday said he had been questioned by police immediately after the grisly 1995 murders of banker Ivan Kivelidi and his secretary in an apparent poisoning, and recognised a nerve agent synthesised by his own working group at a closed state laboratory near the Volga river.




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    Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin attends the funeral of Ivan Kivelidi in 1995. Photograph: Reuters“Immediately after Kivelidi’s telephone was analysed, the investigator in my case asked me a number of questions as the substance was synthesised in our group,” Uglev wrote to journalists. He first went public on Wednesday.
    Court documents first reported by Reuters and later published by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta said that a member of Uglev’s lab, Leonid Rink, had been jailed briefly after admitting to selling a small amount of a deadly nerve agent developed under Russia’s so-called foliant programme.
    That programme has become famous in the west in recent days as novichok, identified by British authorities as the Soviet-era nerve agent used in Salisbury earlier this month.

    The likely sale of the nerve agent to a criminal group in the 1990s will raise questions about Theresa May’s assurances that only a state could have ordered the attack on Skripal.
    I hink it needs to at least be pointed out that in 1995 the Soviet Union was deceased, and that Novichok programme had been researched during the Soviet era in what is now Uzbekistan - which is no longer a part of the Russian Federation. To my knowledge only one nation worked with Uzbekistan to eradicate their CB Warfare programme and that was the USA.

    So, besides the mafia, the US also had access to any Novichok research available. This doesn't in my opinion, translate to imply, as the Guardian has done saying that it "contradict[s] official Russian denials that the country had any chemical weapons programme tied to the name novichok, with the formal codename foliant."

    This comment is utter knee-jerk propagandistic balls in my opinion. "What country" was the Guardian's Andrew Roth speaking of? Russia? Or the Soviet Union? For me he's doing what so many continue to do and conflate the two nations.

    Of course one couldn't expect a mere broadsheet newspaper to delve and investigate this matter deeply (after all it takes at least a couple of minutes on Google).

    But at least The Guardian, after pointing the mandatory finger at Russia, reaches the obvious conclusion in the last para that the fact destroys Theresa May's tosh statement that only Russia can be blamed.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  8. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    I'm a cynical bugger and due to this I always am inclined to think the worse, more often than not anyway.

    In the case of the Skripal poisoning, an early thought was that Theresa McCain was in serious trouble over Brexit with headlines bombarding her relentlessly. Then along came the Skripal's and for three weeks almost wall-to-wall coverage of that story with Brexit relegated to a barely noticed second place.

    Following her recent meetings with the EU and the Brexit transitional agreement - and the EU's agreement to adopt her curious language that it is "highly likely" that Russia is to blame for the alleged Novichok attack, the Skripal affair gets barely a passing mention today.

    Cynical, as I said. But it's another working hypothesis for this affair. But I have another also, namely deflection, because the Skripal's have certainly been poisoned with something very nasty and blaming Russia might be the easy way out of something far larger and far more murkier. Apparently almost every one of the 14 suspicious deaths of Russians in the UK over past years have been directly or indirectly connected to Boris Berezovsky. I find that astonishing. In the last analysis I can't shake the sense that these deaths are connected to London's Russian emigre community - and since these fine fellows have paid (sorry, "donated to") the Conservative Party the odd few million quid in the last few years, the last thing the government would want to do is highlight that their beholden to a bunch of crooked mafiosi. Better to blame the ever-green nassy ol' Putin.

    But that's just me. Cynical as I say.

    Below an article from Off Guardian that discusses the blood test and Craig Murray's highlighting of the words "closely related agent". The article carries this para:

    "If the words “closely related agent” refer merely to the presence of an organophosphate nerve agent in the Skripals’ bodies this is distortion of a truly criminal nature."

    Well not truly criminal perhaps, but I note that "truly lying" in a staggering and guiltless manner is simply standard operating procedure for many of the self-enriching jar specimens who somehow manage to pass as ordinary humans in the Mother of all Parliaments.

    Skripal case: “closely related agent” claim closely examined

    The “Approved Judgement” issued yesterday by Mr Justice Williams ruling in the case of the Skripals in the High Court contains a disturbing admission of deception on the part of the May government

    As Craig Murray has already observed, the wording in the Approved Judgement issued by Mr Justice May on March 22, makes it clear the UK government’s claim, first made on March 8, to have conclusively identified the alleged “nerve agent” as being an indicator of Russian state involvement, is a lie. This is what the Judgement says:
    i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.
    Murray correctly points out that the emphasised words (his emphasis) categorically show the UK has, at best, made only a very general identification of the agent involved as being “related” to what it terms “novichok.”
    This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a “Novichok”, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a “Novichok” that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a “closely related agent” could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.
    This constitutes irrefutable evidence that the government have been straight out lying – to Parliament, to the EU, to NATO, to the United Nations, and above all to the people – about their degree of certainty of the origin of the attack….As the government has sought to whip up jingoistic hysteria in advance of forthcoming local elections, the scale of the lie has daily increased.
    This is absolutely true, as we’ll show below.
    WHAT DO THE WORDS “CLOSELY RELATED AGENT” ACTUALLY MEAN?

    Organophosphates?
    In theory the words “closely related agent” could mean as little as the fact they have identified an organophosphate type of nerve agent, of which the alleged “novichoks” are a – heretofore theoretical – class.

    The two main organophosphate nerve agents in common use, Sarin and VX and their cousins, are what is known as the “G-series
    the G-series of organophosphate nerve agents, developed in Germany
    and V-series
    The V-series of organophosphate nerve agents developed in the UK
    None of these are “novichoks”. They were NOT developed in Russia, but in Germany and the UK respectively.
    The presence of G-series or V-series organophosphate nerve agents in the Skripals’ bodies would have zero implications of Russian involvement. In fact, given that Russia’s “declared chemical weapon stockpiles” were certified to have been eliminated by the OPCW in 2017, they should probably be seen as one of the less likely sources for a known nerve agent, behind countries such as the United States, who, unlike Russia, still have officially recognised stocks of organophosphate nerve agents.
    If the words “closely related agent” refer merely to the presence of an organophosphate nerve agent in the Skripals’ bodies this is distortion of a truly criminal nature.
    The only non-dishonest usage of the words “closely related agent” in this context would mean they have isolated some form of hitherto unknown compound that has a chemical structure more similar to “novichoks” than to Sarin, VX or their close relatives. But would even this truly point exclusively to Russia in the way claimed by Boris Johnson?
    novichoks?
    Novichoks, or the “N-series” are a “new” class of organophosphate nerve agents. Unlike the G-series and V-series, they were developed by the Soviet Union in the middle 20th century. Until they were synthesised by Iran in 2016 (under OPCW observation) these so-called “N-series” poisons were known as only as a theory and widely regarded as unpromising for future research.

    Let’s assume the highly non-specific wording in the High Court ruling to indicate that “N-series” (novichok) type substances have been detected in the Skripals’ bodies.
    This still does in no way determine Russian involvement. Since their alleged original development in the Soviet Union last century, the theoretical structure of these “novichoks” has been freely available information, obtainable through Amazon, and it’s therefore more than possible they have been synthesised in any number of facilities around the world beside Iran.
    Some undeclared “marker”?
    Even if we go one step further in the benefit of the doubt and accept there is some undeclared marker that permits scientists at Porton Down, at incredibly short notice, to perfectly identify this agent as being of Russian manufacture, even that unlikely eventuality would fall short of the kind of proof of Russian state involvement that Boris Johnson and others in the UK government have been proclaiming. Before being justified in accusing a sovereign government of direct involvement one would have to rule out the possibility that such an agent had been illegally acquired by non-state agencies. This would be a lengthy process involving the OPCW and other international bodies.

    As we all know, the UK made no attempt to do even this basic amount of investigation, and certainly couldn’t have conducted and concluded such an investigation in less than four days.
    In short, the ruling cited above, even if read in the most improbably forgiving way possible, shows the UK government does not have the information to warrant any of the claims it has so far made about Russian state involvement in the alleged poisoning of the Skripals. It shows the UK government is currently guilty of lying to Parliament, to the British people, and to the world.
    And that isn’t even taking into consideration the statement of Stephen Davies, the Salisbury Hospital consultant who claimed in a letter to the Times that “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.” If those words are literally true and not a result of careless writing, the lie is astronomically greater than anyone is yet suggesting

    Just to be perfectly accurate 'closely related' would include many commercial and home-approved insecticides and related anti-'vermin' agents - they too are organophosphates with very little difference in chemistry from the G series and only one more small step from the V series. There may well be others beyond the V series that are secret, and only known to national chemical warfare organizations and their sister intelligence agencies - about 15 countries have their own labs and many others just buy and store that made/sold by others....despite the UN treaty [which DID likely get rid of LARGE stockpiles - but not small amounts or the chemicals ready to produce any given agent on demand, as needed.

    I just realized I have a textbook on Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents [recent] and it covers Novichuk agents too....to much info to cut and paste here...but here are general organophosphate symptoms:

    1.7.3 Signs and Symptoms
    1.7.3.1 Vapors/Aerosols
    Pinpointing of pupils (miosis) and extreme nasal discharge (rhinorrhea) may be the first
    indications of exposure. Miosis usually indicates exposure to vapors or aerosols unless the
    individual has had liquid agent in or around their eyes. The casualty may also experience
    difficulty in breathing with a feeling of shortness of breath or tightness of the chest. In
    cases of exposure to high-vapor concentrations, the gastrointestinal tract may be affected
    producing vomiting, urination, or defecation. Inhalation of lethal amounts of nerve agent
    can cause loss of consciousness and convulsions in as little as 30 seconds, followed by
    cessation of breathing and flaccid paralysis after several more minutes.
    In contrast to either the G-series orV-series agents, the observable signs and symptoms of
    exposure to the GV-series agents are more insidious and tend to be very mild and transient.
    Even convulsions occurring just prior to death are usually milder than with G-series or
    V-series agents.
    1.7.3.2 Liquids/Solids
    General signs and symptoms of small to moderate exposure include localized sweating,
    nausea, vomiting, involuntary urination/defecation, and a feeling of weakness. The casualty
    may also experience difficulty in breathing with a feeling of shortness of breath or
    tightness of the chest. Vomiting and uncontrolled urination/defecation generally indicates
    an exposure to liquid or solid agent and not just agent vapors. Miosis usually does not occur
    unless the individual has had agent in or around their eyes. Exposure to a large amount of
    agent causes copious secretions, loss of consciousness, convulsions progressing into flaccid
    paralysis, and cessation of breathing.
    In contrast to either the G-series or V-series agents, the observable signs and symptoms
    of exposure to the GV-series agents are more insidious and tend to be very mild and
    transient. Even convulsions occurring just prior to death are usually milder. In addition,
    the progression of typical signs and symptoms of exposure to cholinesterase inhibiting
    substances may be atypical.

    Decontaminate the casualty ensuring that all nerve agents have been removed. If nerve
    agents have gotten into the eyes, irrigate the eyes with water or 0.9% saline solution
    for at least 15 minutes. Irrigate open wounds with water or 0.9% saline solution for at
    least 10 minutes. However, do not delay treatment if thorough decontamination cannot be
    undertaken immediately.
    Once the casualty has been decontaminated, including the removal of foreign matter
    from wounds, medical personnel do not need to wear a chemical-protective mask.
    Ventilate the patient. There may be an increase in airway resistance due to constriction
    of the airway and the presence of secretions. If breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. As
    soon as possible administer of atropine alone or in combination with pralidoxime chloride
    (2-PAMCl) or other appropriate oxime. Diazepam may be required to prevent or control
    severe convulsions. If diazepam is not administered within 40-minutes postexposure, then
    its effectiveness at controlling seizures is minimal.
    Over time, the nerve agent enzyme complex undergoes an irreversible biochemical
    decomposition known as aging. After aging occurs, the nerve agent molecule can no longer
    be removed fromthe enzyme by treatment with an oxime. The rate of aging is dependent on
    the chemical structure of the specific nerve agent and ranges fromseveral minutes to several
    days. Soman (C01-A003) ages in about 2 minutes, making treatment for exposure to this particular
    agent difficult. The former Soviet Union is reported to have developed other agents
    that age rapidly, but the specific agents have not been identified in unclassified literature.

    -----
    If the UN group will name the exact agent, this text will give pages and pages of details on its properties and action, decontamination, antidotes - if any, etc.
    Last edited by Peter Lemkin; 03-24-2018 at 03:50 PM.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  9. #19

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    Thanks for that Pete. Basically, you're saying what I and many others - including Craig Murray - conclude from that sly form of words "closely related agent" that this could almost be anything in the organophosphate class. The British governments "Russia-did-it" is shown to have no scientific foundation, based on what they have said in the court and published to date.

    I also think that Putin's comments that had it been a military grade Novichok, as Theresa May claimed, both Skripal's would be dead in minutes - and many other, if not all, of those other diners in Zizzi restaurant. But, of course, no one will pay the slightest heed to what the Russians say. That's the world we now live in.

    Meanwhile, I note the following article in the Indy, which reports a friend, Vladimir Timoshkov, that Sergei Skripal told him in 2012 (yes, 6 years ago) that he had written to Putin to ask permission to return to Russia. I mention this curiosity because a friend of Boris Berezovsky reported years ago that he too had written to Putin asking exactly the same thing and expected a positive answer.

    I really can't get my head around what meaning, if anything, this has. I just note it.

    I also note that when I conducted research into the killing of Alexander Perepilichnyy in Surrey, the media coverage was pretty much identical to what we have witnessed in the Skripal case, albeit far less low-key. But it was the identical Russia and Putin did it meme, as, in fact, with Litvienenko. But in the case of Berezovsky's death it was ruled a suicide (here). BUt then we have this portrait of Berezovsky by the Indy (here) which paints a somewhat different picture.

    Not least though, in 2015, Sergei Sokolov, Berezovsky's head of security, told the Daily Mail that that Berezovsky was about to hand evidence to Putin that revealed a coup plot to overthrow him and that "Western security services" killed the oligarch to prevent that dossier getting into Putin's hands (here). Sokolov goes on to say in this article that Berezovsky had the very best round the clock security and full CCTV at his Mansion in Surrey. But on the night he was suicided all the security guards disappeared and the CCTV was switched off. Sokolov went on to claim that some of these security men had been recruited by MI6 and the CIA. It's worth reading the linked article in full.

    Anyway, below is the Indy article that reports that Skripal had asked to return to Russia:

    Poisoned spy Sergei Skripal asked Putin for pardon so he could return to Russia, friend claims

    ‘Many people shunned him. His classmates felt he had betrayed the Motherland,’ says Vladimir Timoshkov




    • Saturday 24 March 2018 09:30 GMT

    Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal had written to Vladimir Putin asking if he could return to his home country before he was poisoned in Salisbury, a friend has said.

    The former Russian intelligence officer, who came to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy swap, regretted being a double agent and wanted to be pardoned so he could visit his family in Russia, Vladimir Timoshkov told the BBC.

    Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in a critical condition after they were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok on 4 March.

    The 66-year-old had been accused of working for MI6 over several years, in particular disclosing the names of several dozen Russian agents working in Europe.
    He was sentenced to 13 years in a high-security prison in August 2006, before being freed in the 2010 deal which saw 10 Russian sleeper agents expelled from the United States.

    According to Mr Timoshkov, his friend, who he had known since school, Mr Skripal did not see himself as a traitor as he had sworn an oath to the Soviet Union.
    “Many people shunned him. His classmates felt he had betrayed the Motherland,” he said.


    • READ MORE


    “In 2012 he called me. We spoke for about half an hour. He called me from London. He denied he was a traitor... [he told me] he wrote to Vladimir Putin asking to be fully pardoned and to be allowed to visit Russia. His mother, brother and other relatives were [in Russia].”

    The Kremlin later issued a denial that any such letter was sent to the Russian President.

    The attempted assassination sparked a diplomatic crisis between Russia and Britain, which has been supported by its allies in apportioning blame to the Kremlin.

    At least six countries in Europe are understood to be considering the expulsion of Russian spies after the EU took the lead and announced it would recall its ambassador to Moscow.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  10. #20

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    According to the "Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst" - who appeared as a witness in the court hearing the request for further bloof to be drawn from both the Skripal's - the prior blood samples were "analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The Samples tested positive for a Novichok class nerve agent or a closely related agent".

    As the Blogger says, "no source for the nerve agent was was reported by the judge. No Russian culpability was hinted in the judgement".

    There's no way in the world the PD analyst could be coerced into lying in court on behalf of HMG given the unpleasant arguments that have already taken place between PD principals and governments Mandarin's in this regard.

    So, you're right Pete.

    From John Helmer.net

    THE SKRIPAL CASE GOES TO COURT FOR THE FIRST TIME – NEW UNCERTAINTIES FOR THE BRITISH AND RUSSIAN GOVERNMENTS



    By John Helmer, Moscow
    British High Court Justice David Williams has issued the first court adjudication of evidence presented by the British Government of what happened to Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal when they succumbed to poisoning in Salisbury on March 4. Following three days of closed-door hearings this week in London, the judge issued a ruling for publication yesterday.
    This allows the commencement of a process of evidence-gathering and testing by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) under international treaty procedures and rules for the admissibility of evidence. The new court-ordered safeguards respond to the criticism issued in an official aide-memoire from the Russian Foreign Ministry on March 21. In that document, the Russian Government criticized the British Government for failing to secure “the chain of custody [of blood sample and poison evidence] up to all the OPCW requirements when evidence was collected”.
    The process ordered by Justice Williams yesterday will not only assure the independence of OPCW evidence-gathering. By DNA testing of the fresh blood samples to be taken by the OPCW and matched against the original blood samples taken by British investigators to the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Russian suspicion of evidence tampering will be addressed.
    In a dramatic disclosure defying explanation, Williams has now revealed that lawyers representing the Skripals and witnesses from the Salisbury Hospital and the British Government told the court there has been no approach from any Russian family member, any Russian government agency, or a lawyer acting for them to seek access to the Skripals or their medical records.
    According to the hospital witness, “the hospital has not been approached by anyone known to the patients to enquire of their welfare. The hospital know little about either patient or what they might have wished. Independent Mental Capacity Advocates have been appointed by the Trust to assist with best interests decisions on clinical matters.”
    Representing the Skripals, Vikram Sachdeva QC told the judge “that in this case at present it did not appear practicable or appropriate to seek the views of others who might be interested in the welfare of Mr Skripal (his mother perhaps) or Ms Skripal (perhaps a fiancé).”
    Justice Williams, 53, was a barrister and Queen’s Counsel (QC) specializing in family law and the protection of children, until his appointment to the family division of the High Court, and its special Court of Protection last October. This court hears applications relating to individuals who, the court website explains, “can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (they ‘lack mental capacity’).”
    The hospital’s testimony appears to contradict the declaration from the Foreign Ministry in Moscow that “the United Kingdom is … still denying, without any explanation, Russian officials’ consular access to Yulia Skripal envisaged by the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. For more than two weeks now, we have not been able to credibly ascertain what happened to our citizen and what condition she is actually in.”

    Left: Justice David Williams; right, Vikram Sachdeva QC.
    The Skripal court case was initiated by lawyers acting for the Skripals, the Salisbury hospital and the British Government through the Secretary of State for the Home Department; they were acting in concert. The Russian Government was not consulted or informed in advance. The judge ruled that “the Russian consular authorities will be made aware of these proceedings because [after] this judgment will be published”. Read the 18-page judgement here.
    Five witnesses appeared in court to give evidence. They included a doctor treating the Skripals, as well as Porton Down scientists who analysed blood samples from the Skripals to identify the poison; together with officials from the Home Office and the Foreign Office. No police investigator appeared. Documentary evidence was also presented, containing “sensitive material including material deriving from the OPCW”. Hearings were held on March 20, 21, and 22 and Williams issued his judgement at the end of the third day.

    The judge summarized the evidence of a witness he identified as a “Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst”. This source testified that “blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.” No source for the nerve agent was reported by the judge. No Russian culpability was hinted in the judgement. For allegations of Russian manufacture and Kremlin culpability in the nerve agent attack by Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, read this.
    After ruling that the Skripals lack the capacity to give their consent for fresh blood testing and for the disclosure of their medical records to the OPCW, Williams concluded “there may be some potential medical benefit in the tests being conducted by the OPCW in that they may identify some matter which sheds further light on the nature of the agent involved and thus the treatment that might be administered. I understand that the Secretary of State reposes complete confidence in the results of the tests carried out by Porton Down but I believe both that Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal would wish for the further analysis (and so s.4(6)(c) would be engaged) but that also objectively there is benefit in the expertise of the OPCW also being brought to bear even if the possibility of them uncovering something useful from a medical perspective may be slight.”
    “Those matters therefore support the conclusion that it is in the best interests of Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal to have further blood samples taken and for their medical records to be disclosed.”
    Williams also acknowledged that the OPCW might come to a different conclusion from the British Government. Accordingly, he said it was in the best interests of the Skripals that the blood sampling, DNA matching, and opening of the medical records should be allowed. “I am satisfied that an inquiry such as the OPCW will conduct which might verify Porton Down’s conclusion, might elaborate or clarify them or might reach a different conclusion is something they [the Skripals] would wish be conducted and they would want to assist in that by providing samples.”

    OPCW headquarters in The Hague. The organization’s website can be opened here.
    The Skripals, the judge added, “would be likely to want to support the work of the international body set up by international law knowing that its processes are unimpeachable, it is entirely independent, that the results of its enquiry would potentially be beneficial to the criminal investigation, confirming the nature of the attack and the substance used; assistance in bringing to justice those responsible; identifying those who carried out the attack. They would want to support the UK Government in taking steps on the international plane to hold those responsible to account.”
    The absence of all Russian participation in this week’s London proceeding was ignored by the judge. Nor did he attempt to explain it in his ruling. “Given the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS [National Health Service] Trust by any family member, the absence of any evidence of any family in the UK and the limited evidence as to the possible existence of family members in Russia I accept that it is neither practicable nor appropriate in the special context of this case to consult with any relatives of Mr Skripal or Ms Skripal who might fall into the category identified in s.4(7)(b) of the Act.”
    This reference to the statute can be read here. Section 4(7)(b) requires the judge deciding the best interests of an incapacitated person to take into account the views of “anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in his welfare.” Williams claimed this section applies to “relatives”. The statute doesn’t say so.
    The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in London say they qualify. The Russians also say that for two weeks following the March 4 attack on the Skripals – that’s more than two weeks before Williams opened his first court hearing – they made this explicit to the Home Office. There is no sign the Russian Embassy engaged British lawyers to surmount the Home Office obstacles by presenting their case in court. Russian intelligence agents in London appear not to have known about the Court of Protection proceeding.
    Sachdeva was asked this morning if he was aware of efforts by other London lawyers to represent the interests of the Skripals and the Russian Government; for details of the Habeas Corpus procedure, read this.
    Sachdeva was also asked to explain the apparent contradiction between what he claimed in court and the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow: “the United Kingdom is … still denying, without any explanation, Russian officials’ consular access to Yulia Skripal envisaged by the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. For more than two weeks now, we have not been able to credibly ascertain what happened to our citizen and what condition she is actually in.”
    Sachdeva refused telephone and email requests to reply.
    PS, I need to add that this blog has clearly been expressly created to represent the Russian side of the Skripal case. This is the only article on the site.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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