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Skripal poisoning: a false flag ?

Iraq WDM story on a new level but with the same players? Skripals poisoning as MI5/Mi6 "witness protection" operation due to possible Skripal role in creating Steele dossier. 

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." (Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio )

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Introduction

  Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 11) stipulates that "everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty" - one of the core principles of modern society

SKRIPALMANIA by Patrick Armstrong

1. It’s obvious nonsense brought to you by proven liars.
2. The point of propaganda is to leave an impression after the details have been forgotten.
3. To get involved in discussing the minutiae of the story is to help the propagandists’ aims.
4. Therefore treat it as a badly constructed story that is failing to convince.
5. Do this by analyzing the comments on the news stories which (at least the ones I’ve looked at) show that people are skeptical.
6. Also mock the meanderings of the story: At the restaurant! In the car! On the doorstep! Incredibly lethal but strangely ineffective. Miraculous recovery of daughter. Baby wipes as effective protection. Reminiscent of White Helmets and their flip flops, rubber gloves and paper masks; but, come to think of it, it’s the same authors in both stories. Who, after so many lies, are becoming overconfident and sloppy.

It’s a startlingly incompetent theatrical production and should be responded to with contemptuous mockery.

Sic Semper Tyrannis, Mar 29, 2018

The working hypos this now is that Skripals were not poisoned but took voluntarily the substance called BS (We Can Actively Assume That Skripal Was Poisoned by The British Government -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net.) as a part of false flag operation by MI5/Mi6. Which was, in essence, a devious plan to conduct "witness protection" operation due to possible Skripal role in creating Steele dossier.  So let's keep watching this extremely interesting and educational event as each month open new angles on  views on this operation. 

Poor Russians, who attempted to contact Skripal to get some information on his role in creating Steele's dossier were framed as poisoners.  That's why British intelligence services are considered one of the best, if not the best in the world. What a devious plan ! And although execution was not perfect and partially botched, the British with their famous "stiff jaw" persistence in view of unpleasant fact drove it to the logical conclusion and almost succeeded in inflicting new sanctions on Russia from EU.  Russia proved hapless dealing with this devious plan and behaved like a dear in headlights.  That suspected foil play but can't prove anything. 

Britain authorities later injected other substance -- Novichok -- in samples supplied to international team of experts. The substance was injected in original form and was detected in original form despite that more then two weeks  period since the "poisoning".

There are multiple signs that "something is rotten in  the Kingdom of Demark" in case of Skripal poisoning. Among the most obvious signs are:

Here is more or less plausible scenario:

Petrel , 30 March 2018 at 03:34 PM

The overall story given us is that Julia Skripal journeys to her father -- a convicted and released British agent-- from Russia to Salisbury. The following morning they visit her mother's grave north of town, drive to an Italian eatery in downtown Salisbury (all caught on security cameras) and walk past more security cameras through a public passageway to a downtown, riverside park. They sit down on a park bench and 15 - 20 minutes later pass out. A patrolling policeman tries to rouse them, calls Emergency Services and has them transported to hospital. Another policeman, a detective, is sent to the Skripal house and immediately falls ill. (So the mystery poison takes 4 hours to affect the Skripals and 15-30 minutes to affect the detective.)

Before any blood tests are done, the UK Prime Minister denounces Russia for using a Soviet researched, but never manufactured nerve agent, with a name invented by a BBC TV thriller-series 5 month earlier. The following day, the chief medical doctor of the Salisbury hospital denies that the Skripals and the detective were treated for any nerve agent. Meanwhile the Russians demanded that the British abide by a signed anti-chemical weapon convention and turn over whatever blood or other evidence backing the claim to an international agency. The Russians also demand Consular access to Julia Skripal, still a Russian citizen.

A month later, the British grant permission for the relevant International chemical watchdog to search for evidence. By now whatever evidence lay around the Skripals in their house, car, cemetery, restaurant and in their blood is long-gone history. (Since the Skripals have been heavily sedated for the period, we and they don't know what else has been injected into them since they passed out.)

My personal theory is that Skripal, a British double-agent, agreed to ingest poison, something like Valium, after he and his daughter had lunch. They moved to the park bench and waited for the material to render them unconscious, as the Skripal house was somehow poisoned, awaiting the detective's arrival.

What Prime Minister May et al did not know about was the existence of a Chemical Weapons Treaty, an agency in Belgium to enforce the Treaty and a protocol to follow. Russia invoking the Treaty caught them flat-footed, hence the hysterical behavior and statements by the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and a month-long delay before the international agency was allowed access to the still comatose Skripals.

Notes:

As the UK government  have a history of desperate measures to cling to power, as well as history of experimenting on humans (they killed one parson by injecting him with sarin) this whole incident & investigation has a clear sign of false flag operating which would primary not secondary hypothesis

For a private person without any access to intelligence agencies information it is impossible to know exactly what happened in Salisbury actually and who poisoned Sergey Skripal and his daughter. But it is possible to weigh the data from open sources and assess the probability of the scenario outlined above.

Who had the opportunity, who had the motive, who eventually benefited from the incident. The answer is the USA and GB. Who has the technical capabilities to use this pretty unique poison (if there was any poison, and this is not a hoax by British government, which converted ordinary food of narcotics poisoning into full scale false flag operation)

If we assume that there was a poison which many states including Russia, the UK, the US, France, Iran, researched, then we need to assume that any research provide possibility of leaking tiny amount of substance to black market and/or into the hands of some non-state actors.

The argument "poison was developed in Russia" looks extremely weak. "Kalashnikov" was also developed in Russia. A lot of killing in the USA are done using its numerous copycats produced in many countries. And a revolver was developed in the USA. But nobody in his sound mind blames Russia for any killing in which Kalashnikov was used, or the USA for any killing using the revolver. 

In the case of "Novichok", as strange tool for killing somebody as it represents, monopoly of production does not exists and distribution can be very wide as they can be synthesized in tiny one man laboratories.  It supposedly kills instantly. This against strengthen version the BS was used and Novichok was injected in the sample later to implicate Russia.

Cue Bono

The classic Roman jurisprudence question "Who benefits" is an important, though not a defining principle. People sometimes do bad things without any explicit profit for them. But usually politicians act rationally --  they set themselves some goals and deliberately try to stage events that help to achieve them. People prone to impulsive, aimless antics can hardly gain political power and hold it.  Here we instantly see tremendous benefits for the May's government of Skripal case. Even neoliberal press recognizes that this is the case (although they try their best to swipe this question under the carpet).

Russia is trying to lift or ease EU sanctions, is preparing for the world Cup, is negotiating on hydrocarbon supplies to Europe and – if you believe the Western press – is making huge lobbying efforts to destroy the anti-Russian front created by Obama administration.

Why they stage an even which will obviously cause a sharp aggravation of relations and will give a trump card in the hands of the supporters of the "more sanctions" policy towards Moscow -- the US neocons.  This is like the situation with Bashar al-Assad, who supposedly (if we believe Western governments and MSM) undertook a chemical attack at a time when military luck was firmly on his side and his opponents had a desperate need for Western intervention.

So what May government is trying to do is to persuade us that Putin not just tried to kill Skripal (and for some reason his daughter, although she is 91 Russian citizen and (2) she is innocent), a person long ago released and who was swapped for Russian spies (so his killing can make further swaps more difficult). Yet this talented politician according to neoliberal MSM ordered to do it the most scandalous, dirty and extremely dangerous for public way possible.  Of course Britain has a training exercise at this time with an interesting name "TOXIC DAGGER" but this has nothing to do with the case.  Pure coincidence.

So there was no attempt to try to discover if Skripal, for example, tried to commit suicide, or some his business partners or former victim decided to extract revenge on him, or somebody wanted to silence him because of the information he got in great Britain and could communicate to Russian government via his daughter (for example, about Steele dossier).

That is, Russia is blamed for the fact that it is simultaneously trying to move politicians and Western public opinion to its side through propaganda, lobbying and support of certain political forces in Europe – and in parallel to these efforts commits a reckless assassination attempt, which, of course, should set Europe against it.

When the enemies of the globalist elite commit some sort of art crime at exactly the moment when it is least profitable for them, one probably can guess who it the puppeteer. And we have opportunity to see this plot in Assad chemical weapon cases,  Litvinenko case, MH17 case and Yushchenko poisoning case. All unresolved. and all blamed on Russia.

If opponents of globalization combine some inhuman rationality, incredible sophistication, and supernatural ability to control events -- attributed to them by Western MSM and at the same time with sudden bouts of stupidity.

More often than not, people and countries act in their own interests. Therefore, although the principle of "who benefits" does not give us absolute confidence, it is a significant extra weight on one cup of the scales.

When, for example, I read on Twitter from Michael McFaul that the poisoning of the Skripals should lead to the strengthening of sanctions and to avoid them, the Russian business should condemn the activities of its government, first of all, Russia's actions in Syria, I understand that he is just salivating from this opportunity "to overthrow Putin". When I read the headline in The Guardian in which they claim that this incident will "Unite Europe" (despite GB Brexit) I instantly realize that for some highly influential political forces like May government or Us neocons poisoning of Skripals was indeed very, very useful.

Brexit is a great disappointment to many influential people in Britain, and in Syria western supported and trained jihadists has never been able to turn in in to  an "inspiring example for freedom fighters around the world," like they did with Iraq and Libya. That also a disappointment for even larger number of very  influential people.

So if we raise the question about who had the motives – the political elite of Britain and the United States (at least, neocon part of it) definitely has huge. Of course, this is not a strict proof. But it points in a certain direction.

The British intelligence community not so long ago (in 2003) falsified the report about chemical weapons of Saddam Hussein to provide a pretext for war with Iraq. David Kelly, who told reporters about the fact of falsification, was found in the woods and died from acute blood loss. Officially, it's considered suicide. Falsification of data in order to unleash war is a real, proven practice of the government of this democratic country.  As well as silencing whistleblowers.

While hundreds of Britons have lost their lives in the Iraq war, no one has been held responsible for the forgery – and we can be sure he will never. And Kelly's death will still be suicide. And of course, British politicians had then, have now and will always exhort radiant self-righteousness.  just look at Boris Johnson or Tony Blair then.  In the British political context, launching a bloody war under a falsified pretext is much less wrong than, say, writing a way too playful text message to a colleague. The second will absolutely destroy career and reputation of the person (as, for example, happened to Kevin Hopkins), the first – will allow to remain the influential and respected politician (look at Tony Blair).  All this, strictly speaking, does not prove that the poisoning was organized directly by the British authorities. But they had the opportunity, had strong motives, and had (as they do now) reason to believe that this will not entail any unpleasant consequences for them. So scales tips here quite strongly.

Will the investigation will lead to the truth? Well, sometimes unlikely things happen. But usually in such cases this is highly unlikely. Everything conveniently is covered with blanket secrecy and that's extremely convenient for staging false flag poisoning in which British secret services  became real masters (not that they do not have such skills in the past; look at Zinoviev letter) . As investigations from the very beginning highly politicized. On March 7 it already has an objective, clearly defined by the political leadership. That means that from the outset, without any reservations, it was established who is guilty. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the initial hypotheses will be  carefully preserved and all contradicting evidence will be buried.  Is that some whistleblower betray a state secret, he/he will face the situation in which Dr. Kelly has found himself. So the organizers of the poisoning are safe – and, excuse me for this cliché, the truth will be burying six feet deep That, however, not would prevent us assess various plausible hypothesis. We can't know exactly what happened. But we know that normally people and governments act in their self-interest.

No realistic timeline exists

As both Skripal and his daughter carry a cell phone (probably expensive, as Skripal drove BMW and Yulia came from Moscow and worked for foreign companies were an upscale smartphone is a viewed as a norm ;-) all movements of this couple probably could be traced with absolute accuracy via GPS data from the phones (and you bet that such data were collected for both by appropriate British agencies). So all their movements  should be completely known  and timeline should be available. This is not the case. Looks like nothing substantial was published or I was unable to find it.

Available timelines suggest that initial poisoning took around half an hour to incapacitate them if we assume that they were poisoned at the Zizzi restaurant, which is not typical for a nerve gas. Also nobody else in the restaurant was affected so the only way such a fit can be dome is via food or drink which is strange method of application of poisoness gas which is designed to be dispersed and act via air or skin contact.

But MSM do not ask such questions. They just propagate official talking points. Which also change with time.

Typical time from poisoning to death for VX type gas is a minute or two. Here we are talking about hours (in case the poisoness liquid or grease was applied to the door knob --  the most recent version of the story -- full three hours 12:55 -- 16:00 or later). That does not look plausible, even if we accept that some idiot decided to bring such a dangerous substance into what is a national security state with immense number of cameras and use it against the person who lost any significance other that a scapegoat for some provocation.

Mark Hirst‏ @Documark · Mar 29

"#Skripal was poisoned in his car... No it was from a handbag.... No it was his front door...."
Who's running this "investigation"? The Keystone Cops?
Where is the nationwide manhunt for the real perpetrators?
Where is the obligatory CCTV in the most surveilled state on earth?

Here is timeline extended from the initial short  BBC timeline ( http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43315636   )

If we assume that they were poisoned at Zizzi with fentanyl or something similar they survived for more then an hour, which is not atypical in cases of narcotics overdose. Moreover Skripal lost emotional control at the restaurant which can be  because he has "fixed time" appointment  and it was in jeopardy (that suggests staged poisoning) or because he was a narcoaddict (he suffered from chronic pain) who wants to take his fix and can't. That does not explain why the daughter was also affected, though.

Here is also another timeline from

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/no-patients-have-experienced-symptoms-of-nerve-agent-poisoning-in-salisbury.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b8d2e3cc6c970c

@25 peter.. I found this sequence of events timing from somewhere else - can't remember.. it seems they visiting the pub before the restaurant...

Skripal nerve-gas assassination definitely has multiple common elements with the “Litvinenko polonium murder” and the “Yushchenko dioxin poisoning“. The fact that neither nerve-gas, nor polonium nor dioxin are in any way effective murder weapons does not matter in the least: a simple drive-by shooting, street-stabbing or, better, any “accident” is both easier to arrange and impossible to trace.

Fancy assassination methods are used when access to the target is very hard or impossible (as was the case with Ibn al-Khattab, whose assassination the Russians were more than happy to take credit for; this might also have been the case with the death of Yasser Arafat). But the best way of murdering somebody is to simply make the body disappear, making any subsequent investigation almost impossible.

Finally, you can always subcontract the assassination to somebody else like, for example, when the CIA tried and failed, to murder Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussain Fadlallah by subcontracting his bombing to its local “Christian” allies, killing over 80 innocent people in the process.

Skripal case: assassination attempt without an assassin

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
 (Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio )

In this case like in case on MH17 and Litvinenko poisoning Western MSM try to deceive public. No question about it. We do not know much about this assassination (if there was an assassination, which also is not given; can be completely staged event), but those tiny bits of information that we have suggest the MSM are deceiving us and treat us as idiots, who are incapable of independent thinking. 

UK financed/affiliated "White Helmets" have been routinely and regularly producing  'chemical weapons false flags' for years in Syria.

Theresa May accusations implies that the British authorities have both a control sample (to determine if the quantities found would be lethal) and samples from a few different labs to confirm that the fingerprint was from lab A not lab B for example. How did they got those ? But the whole hypotheses that a nerve gas was used is very weak even within the framework that is known from published information.  There are several questions that need to answered:

Of course we will never know preside answers on most of those question, but the list itself suggests that "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." (Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio )

From a very scant information available the most plausible hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation which probably proceeded in two steps (with the first step not necessary accomplished by those who run the second step; it can be two different groups).

  1. Skripal visited police some time before the incident and stated that he fears for his life.  that can be an initial step for the propagation  for a stage incident or a real concerns.
     
  2. While being in the restaurant Skripal he lost emotional control.  may be he has to be at the bench at specific time and this schedule was in jeopardy.  Or he  sense some danger and wanted to leave the place (in this case why wait for the food). Or he  needed a fetanyl or some other narcotic fix (in this  case why daughter was affected too)
     
  3. A pretty plausible explanation of the  know facts for the case is that there were two different  poisons. First some poison like Fentanyl was mixed into food or drinks or taken by Skripals themselves either as masked as some other medication, or as a part of narcoaddict fix. This explains why nobody in the restaurant was affected (any military nerve gas would kill everybody in the room, so this hypothesis that the gar was "administered" in the restaurant is not very plausible; if it would be administered before that, for example in the car as the US MSM push, Skripal would never get to the restaurant and probably level get out of the car iether). That's  why the doctor who treated Skripal daughter for 30 min was not poisoned. So Skripal daughter hands and body was clean of both Fentanyl (which is highly toxic) and any nerve gas absorbed in the closing (which is deadly).  Fentanyl  is known for previous use in assassinations (for example by Israel). It killed more than 21K people in the USA in 2016

    Yulia recently lost a lot of weight which can suggest that she is on drags too. The initial reports put this hypothesis

    The two were urgently taken to hospital and in critical condition. They are supposed to have had contact with an unknown poisonous substance. According to unconfirmed information it is fentanyl. Two police officers were also hospitalized after they went to the scene of the incident.

    First responders can be affected by fentanyl too: Norwalk Reflector Norwalk officer rushed to ER after fentanyl poisoning

    A Norwalk police officers recently was rushed to the emergency room after experiencing what is believed to have been narcotic poisoning following an arrest at Wal-Mart.

    One of the scariest situation for first-responders is the possibility of drug poisoning from lethal substances such as fentanyl or carfentanil.

    Both drugs can be absorbed through the skin on contact, making them dangerous for medical and law enforcement responders to care for the increasing number of overdose patients. For non-drug users, coming into contact with even the smallest amount of either could be deadly since fentanyl is about 50 times stronger than heroin and carfentanil is considered to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine

    The incident resulted in a man’s arrest, but not before he gave officers a difficult time.

    “We arrested a guy out at Wal-Mart and (the officer) had to wrestle him around for a few minutes to get the cuffs on him,” Light said.

    Shortly after the incident, Light said, the officer said he “felt strange.” His heart rate elevated and his lips went numb. The officer was rushed to the Fisher-Titus Medical Center emergency room.

    “We’re pretty sure it was fentanyl poisoning that caused it,” Light said. “We think the possible fentanyl was on either his hands or his wrists.”
     

  4. On the second stage, which occurred when Skripals were already hospitalized a nerve agent was planted in several places, including home, somebody decided that this can be  tuned into a major attack of Russia and the false flag operation started. That's probably why the police investigator who visited Skripal home became the first victim of poisons gas.  This false flag poison plats could be performed by personnel in full protection gear, who arrived to those places.
     
  5. NHS Doctor: "No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury"
     
  6. Reaction of British authorities was pretty interesting. Especially speed. Scripals were  found unconscious March 4 around 4PM on the bench near the restaurant.  But already on March 5 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says Britain will "respond appropriately and robustly" if evidence emerges of Russia's involvement in Skripal's suspected poisoning. Of course Boris Johnson is a comic figure as the top diplomat and does not belong even to the second league in this area, but he is a long time politician and as such is not completely stupid. So there was probably a call from Washington, DC that forced this premature reaction.  Mar 21 - Russian Scientists Explain 'Novichok' - High Time For Britain To Come Clean (Updated)

    The British government is milking the incident to push Russophobia and to divert from its failure in the Brexit negotiations and all its other problems. But the diversion will only succeed so long. The NHS doctor as well as court testimony by scientists from Proton Down contradict the claims made by the British government. Let's hope that the British opposition picks up on that.

Poisoning of "opponent of the regime" provides ideal conditions for a false flag operation as the cloud of secrecy can be used to subvert the investigation and pursue the agenda with the complete impunity. The government can essentially decree the "truth" in such cases. It also provides tremendous propaganda effect.

And British are not shy from experimenting on humans with poison gases either. It took 50 years for Porton Down chemical research centre to come clean on poisoning a British soldier with Sarin telling him it was a flu test. Poor fella. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1476722/Porton-Down-unlawful-killing-verdict-opens-gates-to-claims.html

Only this sequence of events can explain what the doctor who treated the daughter for 30 min and first responders suffered no consequences.

Poisoning of the "opponent of the regime" is a known British tactics first demonstrated in full glory in Litvinenko case ("Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story", http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/arafat-and-litvinenko-an-interesting-turn-to-a-mysterious-story /.)

The first step can also be plot by some group connected with William Browder of Magnitsky death fame (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25190975), Berezovsky associates or some other "Russian mafia in London" groups. The fact that Skripal has such an expensive car suggests that he was participating in some business dealings, probably as a part of some London-based exiles group. UK government is not know for extreme generosity toward such people as Skripal.

The question arise why the UK government went this path. It well might be the USA pressure (like in case of Iraq invasion) or internal considerations that such step will be beneficial to the May government survival. Or both.

My impression is that his is just a first (and somewhat clumsy executed) step in multi step gambit in which Scripals were just sacrificial lamps. Pawns is a bigger game.

The next steps might be related to Would Cup and/or confiscation of assets of Russian oligarchs in London to put pressure on Putin and possibly initiate with their hands a "regime change" in Russia.

Was everything staged with Skripals as hired actors?

Both Skripals badly needed money.  Older Skripal might be involved in some criminal or semi-criminal activity with other Russian emigrants as it often happens in London with those who expected to live a plush  life in GB and then found that founds they can get can't provide this standard of living.

without evidence to the contrary we must assume mi5 were responsible, or skripal somehow got hold of a poison and mishandled it.

there are also comments that the whole thing look like state provocation from the beginning to the end and there were not any gas or poisoning at all.

mike k , Mar 21, 2018 9:45:34 PM | 88

I cannot understand why so many commenters assume that a toxic agent had anything to do with this obvious false flag charade. I wonder if Skripal or his daughter were actually sick at all, or merely doing a crisis acting job.

Curious that they have been spirited away from anyone who might assess their condition. And the notoriously deadly nerve agent apparently did not do it's job on them. Because there was no nerve agent involved. Now after a long lapse of time some concocted nerve agent may be produced to back up the whole scam.

Meanwhile Skripal and daughter will be held away from prying eyes in "protective custody".

CUE BONO question is the key question in Skripal matter

Why such a strange and dangerous method of killing was chosen and why anybody wants to eliminate old, used man who does not have any valuable information or contacts

There is plenty of common crime in the UK and to get somebody to rob and stab Skripal would have probably been the easiest version. That’s assuming that the Russians had any reason to want him dead, which they self-evidently didn’t.

Mar 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

likbez, March 16, 2018 at 3:48 am GMT

@Kiza

Kiza,

Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked (by a Russian sounding chemical weapon Novichok), and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism (https://www.craigmurray.org.uk - Craig Murray has been most viciously attacked for not accepting the official story without any evidence) and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Göring

That's a perfectly applicable variation of the famous quote.

The most plausible goal of the whole "Operation Skripal" was poisoning UK-Russia relations and hopefully bringing the US and EU to impose new round of sanctions on Russia. In this sense it reminds Litvinenko case (which brought huge propaganda benefits to the UK and the hysteria lasted several months, if memory does not fail me).

BTW exiled Russian oligarchs like Khodorkovski ( https://www.voltairenet.org/article168007.html ) also could easily stage such a false flag operation using their interconnections with both Russia and Israel.

One thing I can't understand in "Operation Skripal" is how such an assassination (if we assume that this is an assassination) was accomplished.

The gas (if it really exists, which is yet another question) supposedly is really deadly. If this was not gas but some substance infused with this agent (which would be extremely strange and risky method), you need to get it into the drinks, which means 100% chances of your detection.

Moreover in case of the gas the difficulties look insurmountable -- to get it to the victim you need to mix components and shortly after spray it from a short distance, hoping the you mixed them correctly. The place where Skripals were found unconscious is a really bad place for such an exercise as there probably several cameras which record the events on the bench.

Unless it was the daughter who did this (in this case authorities have definitely all the necessary evidence of the crime committed) chances of an attacker to survive such an attack are slim, and changes not being recorded on one or more camera are virtually non existent.

If there was a human assassin, he/she risks to be immediately dead or severely injured as even in minimal concentrations such a gas reliably kills a person within two minutes or so. Antidote might help to survive, but how effective it is depends on the dose you can get.

If some robotic disperser was used, then it will be found as unlike in case of an explosive device the activation does no destroy it.

Also unclear why target the daughter, unless we are dealing with some botched amateur false flag operation in best traditions of ISIS Syria false flag operations.

Moreover, Skripals spent around an hour on a bench in a comatose state and were helped by a doctor who was not affected in any way. See timeline at

http://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-sergei-skripal-timeline-2018-3#march-3-240-pm-skripals-33-year-old-daughter-yulia-arrives-in-the-uk-via-london-heathrow-airport-relatives-said-she-was-visiting-from-moscow-17

But later a policeman was affected. Very strange.

So IMHO it looks like assassination without an assassin. There are some absurd statements that the poison was spiked in their drinks either in the pub or at the restaurant:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5742909/sergei-skripal-spy-russian-assassin-poison-hit-pub/

One possible scenario is that Skripal and his daughter were narcoaddicts and did it to themselves The initial reports (see, for example, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5733372/ex-russian-spy-sergei-skripal-poisoned-salisbury-feared-life-cops/ ) suggested traces of the opiate fentanyl -- a synthetic toxin many times stronger than heroin -- had been detected at the scene.

Later their collapse was used to stage a false flag operation, when in fact there was no any gas involved, and at this point, a grandiose propaganda show with the decontamination of the area started.

30 questions which will never the answered by neoliberal MSM

30 Questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case

Mar 27, 2018 | www.theblogmire.com

There are a lot of issues around the case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal which, at the time of writing, are very unclear and rather odd. There may well be good and innocent explanations for some or even all of them. Then again there may not. This is why it is crucial for questions to be asked where, as yet, there are either no answers or deeply unsatisfactory ones.

Some people will assume that this is conspiracy theory territory. It is not that, for the simple reason that I have no credible theory -- conspiracy or otherwise -- to explain all the details of the incident in Salisbury from start to finish, and I am not attempting to forward one. I have no idea who was behind this incident, and I continue to keep an open mind to a good many possible explanations.

However, there are a number of oddities in the official narrative, which do demand answers and clarifications. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist or a defender of the Russian state to see this. You just need a healthy skepticism, "of a type developed by all inquiring minds!"

Below are 30 of the most important questions regarding the case and the British Government's response, which are currently either wholly unanswered, or which require clarification.


1. Why have there been no updates on the condition of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the public domain since the first week of the investigation?

2. Are they still alive?

3. If so, what is their current condition and what symptoms are they displaying?

4. In a recent letter to The Times , Stephen Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, wrote the following:

"Sir, Further to your report ("Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment", Mar 14) may I clarify that no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning."

His claim that " no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury" is remarkably odd, as it appears to flatly contradict the official narrative. Was this a slip of the pen, or was it his intention to communicate precisely this -- that no patients have been poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury?

5. It has been said that the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey were poisoned by "a military grade nerve agent". According to some claims, the type referred to could be anywhere between five and eight times more toxic than VX nerve agent. Given that just 10mg of VX is reckoned to be the median lethal dose , it seems likely that the particular type mentioned in the Skripal case should have killed them instantly. Is there an explanation as to how or why this did not happen?

6. Although reports suggested the involvement of some sort of nerve agent fairly soon after the incident, it was almost a week before Public Health England issued advice to those who had visited The Mill pub or the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on the day that the Skripals fell ill. Why the delay and did this pose a danger to the public?

7. In their advice, Public Health England stated that people who had visited those places, where traces of a military grade nerve agent had apparently been found, should wash their clothes and:

"Wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes and dispose of the wipes in the bin (ordinary domestic waste disposal)."

Are baby wipes acknowledged to be an effective and safe method of dealing with objects that may potentially have been contaminated with "military grade nerve agent", especially of a type 5-8 times more deadly than VX?

8. Initial reports suggested that Detective Sergeant Bailey became ill after coming into contact with the substance after attending the Skripals on the bench they were seated on in The Maltings in Salisbury. Subsequent claims, however, first aired by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Ian Blair on 9 th March , said that he came into contact with the substance at Sergei Skripal's house in Christie Miller Road. Reports since then have been highly ambiguous about what should be an easily verifiable fact. Which is the correct account?

9. The government have claimed that the poison used was "a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia ". The phrase "of a type developed by Russia" says nothing whatsoever about whether the substance used in the Salisbury case was produced or manufactured in Russia. Can the government confirm that its scientists at Porton Down have established that the substance that poisoned the Skripals and DS Bailey was actually produced or manufactured in Russia?

10. The former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has claimed that sources within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have told him that scientists at Porton Down would not agree to a statement about the place of origin of the substance , because they were not able to establish this. According to Mr. Murray, only under much pressure from the Government did they end up agreeing to the compromise wording, "of a type developed by Russia", which has subsequently been used in all official statements on the matter. Can the FCO, in plain and unambiguous English, categorically refute Mr. Murray's claims that pressure was put on Porton Down scientists to agree to a form of words and that in the end a much-diluted version was agreed?

11. On the occasion that the FCO did attempt to refute Mr. Murray's claims , the wording they used included a straightforward repetition of the same phrase – "of a type developed by Russia". Is the FCO willing and able to go beyond this and confirm that the substance was not only "of a type developed by Russia", but that it was "produced" or "manufactured" in Russia?

12. Why did the British Government issue a 36-hour ultimatum to the Russian Government to come up with an explanation, but then refuse their request to share the evidence that allegedly pointed to their culpability (there could have been no danger of their tampering with it, since Porton Down would have retained their own sample)?

13. How is it possible for a state (or indeed any person or entity) that has been accused of something, to defend themselves against an accusation if they are refused access to evidence that apparently points to their guilt?

14. Is this not a clear case of the reversal of the presumption of innocence and of due process?

15. Furthermore, why did the British Government issue an ultimatum to the Russian Government, in contravention of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) rules governing such matters, to which both Britain and Russia are signatories, and which are clearly set out in Article 9, Paragraph ii of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?

16. Given that the investigation, which has been described by the man leading it as being "an extremely challenging investigation" and as having "a number of unique and complex issues", and given that many of the facts of the case are not yet known, such as when, where and how the substance was administered, how is it possible for the British Government to point the finger of blame with such certainty?

17. Furthermore, by doing so, haven't they both politicized and prejudiced the investigation?

18. Why did the British Government feel the need to come forward with an accusation little more than a week into the investigation, rather than waiting for its completion?

19. On the Andrew Marr Show on 18 th March, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, stated the following:

"And I might just say in response to Mr. Chizhov's point about Russian stockpiles of chemical weapons. We actually had evidence within the last ten years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but it has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok."

Where has this intelligence come from and has it been properly verified?

20. If this intelligence was known before 27 th September 2017 – the date that the OPCW issued a statement declaring the completion of the destruction of all 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by the Russian Federation – why did Britain not inform the OPCW of its own intelligence which apparently contradicts this claim, which they would have had a legal obligation to do?

21. If this intelligence was known after 27 th September 2017, why did Britain not inform the OPCW of this "new" information, which it was legally obliged to do, since it allegedly shows that Russia had been lying to the OPCW and had been carrying out a clandestine chemical weapons programme?

22. Also on the Andrew Marr show, Mr. Johnson made the following claim after a question of whether he was "absolutely sure" that the substance used to poison the Skripals was a "Novichok":

"Obviously to the best of our knowledge this is a Russian-made nerve agent that falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia, and just to get back to the point about the international reaction which is so fascinating."

Is the phrase "to the best of our knowledge" an adequate response to Mr. Marr's request of him being "absolutely sure"?

23. Is this a good enough legal basis from which to accuse another state and to impose punitive measures on it, or is more certainty needed before such an accusation can be made?

24. After hedging his words with the phrase, "to the best of our knowledge", Mr. Johnson then went beyond previous Government claims that the substance was "of a type developed in Russia", saying that it was "Russian-made". Have the scientists at Porton Down been able to establish that it was indeed "Russian-made", or was this a case of Mr. Johnson straying off-message?

25. He also went beyond the previous claim that the substance was "of a type developed in Russia" by saying that the substance involved in the Skripal case "falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia "? Firstly, is Mr. Johnson able to provide evidence that this category of chemical weapons was ever successfully synthesized in Russia, especially in the light of the OPCW's Scientific Advisory Board stating as recently as 2013, that it has "insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of 'Novichoks ' "?

26. As Craig Murray has again pointed out , since its 2013 statement, the OPCW has worked (legally) with Iranian scientists who have successfully synthesized these chemical weapons. Was Mr. Johnson aware that the category of "Novichok" chemical weapons had been synthesized elsewhere when he stated that this category of chemical weapons is "made only by Russia"?

27. Does the fact that Iranian scientists were able to synthesize this class of chemical weapons suggest that other states have the capabilities to do likewise?

28. Is the British Government aware that the main plant involved in attempts to synthesize Novichoks in the 1970s and 1980s was based not in Russia, but in Nukus in Uzbekistan?

29. Does the fact that the US Department of Defense decontaminated and dismantled the Nukus site, under an agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan , make it at least theoretically possible that substances or secrets held within that plant could have been carried out of the country and even back to the United States?

30. The connection between Sergei Skripal's MI6 recruiter, Pablo Miller , who also happens to live in Salisbury, and Christopher Steele, the author of the so-called "Trump Dossier", has been well established , as has the fact that Mr. Skripal and Mr. Miller regularly met together in the City . Is this connection of any interest to the investigation into the incident in Salisbury?


If there are any journalists with integrity and inquisitive minds still living in this country, I would be grateful if they could begin doing their job and research the answers to these sorts of questions by asking the appropriate people and authorities.


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Old News ;-)

[Jun 19, 2019] The Warm War Russiamania at the Boiling Point by Jim Kavanagh

Notable quotes:
"... Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible. ..."
"... Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. ..."
"... "War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war." ..."
"... Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy." ..."
"... The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted. ..."
Apr 02, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Is it war yet?

Yes, in too many respects.

It's a relentless economic, diplomatic, and ideological war, spiced with (so far) just a dash of military war, and the strong scent of more to come.

I mean war with Russia, of course, although Russia is the point target for a constellation of emerging adversaries the US is desperate to entame before any one or combination of them becomes too strong to defeat. These include countries like Iran and China, which are developing forces capable of resisting American military aggression against their own territory and on a regional level, and have shown quite too much uppitiness about staying in their previously-assigned geopolitical cages.

But Russia is the only country that has put its military forces in the way of a U.S. program of regime change -- indirectly in Ukraine, where Russia would not get out of the way, and directly in Syria, where Russia actively got in the way. So Russia is the focus of attack, the prime target for an exemplary comeuppance.

Is it, then, a new Cold War, even more dangerous than the old one, as Stephen F. Cohen says ?

That terminology was apt even a few months ago, but the speed, ferocity, and coordination of the West/NATO's reaction to the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals, as well as the formation of a War Cabinet in Washington, indicates to me that we've moved to another level of aggression.

It's beyond Cold. Call it the Warm War. And the temperature's rising.

The Nerve of Them

There are two underlying presumptions that, combined, make present situation more dangerous than a Cold War.

One is the presumption of guilt -- or, more precisely, the presumption that the presumption of Russian guilt can always be made, and made to stick in the Western mind.

The confected furor over the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals demonstrates this dramatically.

Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible.

False certainty is the ultimate fake news. It is just not true that, as she says: "There is no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state is culpable." This falsity of this statement has been demonstrated by a slew of sources -- including the developers of the alleged "Novichok" agent themselves, a thorough analysis by a former UN inspector in Iraq who worked on the destruction of chemical weapons, establishment Western scientific outlets like New Scientist (" Other countries could have made 'Russian' nerve agent "), and the British government's own mealy-mouthed, effective-but-unacknowledged disavowal of that conclusion. In its own words, The British government found: "a nerve agent or related compound," " of a type developed by Russia." So, it's absolutely, positively, certainly, without a doubt, Russian-government-produced "Novichok" .or something else.

Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. It's a

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lErlHLCNM_s?autoplay=0list=WL

It boggles the -- or at least, my -- mind how, in the face of all this, anyone could take seriously her ultimatum, ignoring the procedures of the Chemical Weapons Convention , gave Russia 24 hours to "explain" -- i.e., confess and beg forgiveness for -- this alleged crime.

Indeed, it's noteworthy that France initially, and rather sharply, refused to assume Russian guilt, with a government spokesman saying, "We don't do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven, then the time will come for decisions to be made." But the whip was cracked -- and surely not by the weak hand of Whitehall -- demanding EU/NATO unity in the condemnation of Russia. So, in an extraordinary show of discipline that could only be ordered and orchestrated by the imperial center, France joined the United States and 20 other countries in the largest mass expulsion of Russian diplomats ever.

Western governments and their compliant media have mandated that Russian government guilt for the " first offensive use of a nerve agent " in Europe since World War II is to be taken as flat fact. Anyone -- like Jeremy Corbyn or Craig Murray -- who dares to interrupt the "Sentence first! Verdict afterwards!" chorus to ask for, uh, evidence, is treated to a storm of obloquy .

At this point, Western accusers don't seem to care how blatantly unfounded, if not ludicrous, an accusation is. The presumption of Russian guilt, along with the shaming of anyone who questions it, has become an unquestionable standard of Western/American political and media discourse.

Old Cold War McCarthyism has become new Warm War fantasy politics.

Helled in Contempt

This declaration of diplomatic war over the Skripal incident is the culmination of an ongoing drumbeat of ideological warfare, demonizing Russia and Putin personally in the most predictable and inflammatory terms.

For the past couple of years, we've been told by Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Boris Johnson that Putin is the new Hitler. That's a particularly galling analogy for the Russians. Soviet Russia, after all, was Hitler's main enemy, that defeated the Nazi army at the cost of 20+ million of its people -- while the British Royal Family was not un-smitten with the charms of Hitlerian fascism , and British footballers had a poignant moment in 1938 Berlin saluting the Fuhre.:

"War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war."

Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy."

Which is strange, because, since the Taliban emerged from the American-jihadi war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and the Taliban and Russia have "enduring enmity" towards each other, as Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network puts it . Furthermore, the sixteen-year-long American war against the Taliban has depended on Russia allowing the U.S. to move supplies through its territory, and being "the principal source of fuel for the alliance's needs in Afghanistan."

So the general has to admit that this alleged Russian "destabilising activity" is a new thing: "This activity really picked up in the last 18 to 24 months When you look at the timing it roughly correlates to when things started to heat up in Syria. So it's interesting to note the timing of the whole thing."

Yes, it is.

The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted.

This is not a serious framework for respectful international relations between two sovereign nations. It's downright childish. It paints everyone, including the party trying to impose it, into an impossible corner. Is Russia ever going to abandon Crimea, confess that it shot down the Malaysian jet, tricked us into electing Donald Trump, murdered the Skripals, is secretly arming the Taliban, et. al .? Is the U.S. ever going to say: "Never mind"? What's the next step? It's the predicament of the bully.

This is not, either, an approach that really seeks to address any of the "crimes" charged. As Victoria Nuland (a Clintonite John Bolton) put it on NPR, it's about, "sending a message" to Russia. Well, as Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov said , with this latest mass expulsion of diplomats, the United States is, "Destroying what little remained of US-Russian ties." He got the message.

All of this looks like a coordinated campaign that began in response to Russia's interruption of American regime-change projects in Ukraine and especially Syria, that was harmonized -- over the last 18 to 24 months -- with various elite and popular motifs of discontent over the 2016 election, and that has reached a crescendo in the last few weeks with ubiquitous and unconstrained " enemization " [1] of Russia. It's hard to describe it as anything other than war propaganda -- manufacturing the citizenry's consent for a military confrontation.

Destroying the possibility of normal, non-conflictual, state-to-state relations and constituting Russia as "the enemy" is exactly what this campaign is about. That is its "message" and its effect -- for the American people as much as for the Russia government. The heightened danger, I think, is that Russia, which has for a long time been reluctant to accept that America wasn't interested in "partnership", has now heard and understood this message, while the American people have only heard but do not understand it.

It's hard to see where this can go that doesn't involve military conflict. This is especially the case with the appointments of Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and John Bolton -- a veritable murderers' row that many see as the core of a Trump War Cabinet. Bolton, who does not need Senate confirmation, is a particularly dangerous fanatic, who tried to get the Israelis to attack Iran before even they wanted to, and has promised regime change in Iran by 2019. As mentioned, he considers that Russia has already given him a " casus belli. " Even the staid New York Times warns that, with these appointments, "the odds of taking military action will rise dramatically."

The second presumption in the American mindset today makes military confrontation more likely than it was during the Cold War: Not only is there a presumption of guilt, there is a presumption of weakness . The presumption of guilt is something the American imperial managers are confident they can induce and maintain in the Western world; the presumption of weakness is one they -- or, I fear, too many of them -- have all-too blithely internalized.

This is an aspect of the American self-image among policymakers whose careers matured in a post-Soviet world. During the Cold War, Americans held themselves in check by the assumption, that, militarily, the Soviet Union was a peer adversary, a country that could and would defend certain territories and interests against direct American military aggression -- "spheres of interest" that should not be attacked. The fundamental antagonism was managed with grudging mutual respect.

There was, after all, a shared recent history of alliance against fascism. And there was an awareness that the Soviet Union, in however distorted a way, both represented the possibility of a post-capitalist future and supported post-colonial national liberation movements, which gave it considerable stature in the world.

American leadership might have hated the Soviet Union, but it was not contemptuous of it. No American leader would have called the Soviet Union, as John McCain called Russia, just "a gas station masquerading as a country." And no senior American or British leader would have told the Soviet Union what British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told Russia last week: to "go away and shut up."

This is a discourse that assumes its own righteousness, authority, and superior power, even as it betrays its own weakness. It's the discourse of a frustrated child. Or bully. Russia isn't shutting up and going away, and the British are not -- and know they're not -- going to make it. But they may think the Big Daddy backing them up can and will. And daddy may think so himself.

Like all bullies, the people enmeshed in this arrogant discourse don't seem to understand that it is not frightening Russia. It's only insulting the country, and leading it to conclude that there is indeed nothing remaining of productive, non-conflictual, US-Russian "partnership" ties. The post-Skripal worldwide diplomatic expulsions, which seem deliberately and desperately excessive, may have finally convinced Russia that there is no longer any use trying. Those who should be frightened of this are the American people.

The enemy of my enemy is me.

The United States is only succeeding in turning itself into an enemy for Russians. Americans would do well to understand how thoroughly their hypocritical and contemptuous stance has alienated the Russian people and strengthened Vladimir Putin's leadership -- as many of Putin's critics warned them it would. The fantasy of stoking a "liberal" movement in Russia that will install some nouveau-Yeltsin-ish figure is dissipated in the cold light of a 77% election day. Putin is widely and firmly supported in Russia because he represents the resistance to any such scheme.

Americans who want to understand that dynamic, and what America itself has wrought in Russia, should heed the passion, anger, and disappointment in this statement about Putin's election from a self-described "liberal" (using the word, I think, in the intellectual tradition, not the American political, sense), Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT TV (errors in translation by another person):

Essentially, the West should be horrified not because 76% of Russians voted for Putin, but because this elections have demonstrated that 95% of Russia's population supports conservative-patriotic, communist and nationalist ideas. That means that liberal ideas are barely surviving among measly 5% of population.

And that's your fault, my Western friends. It was you who pushed us into "Russians never surrender" mode

[W]ith all your injustice and cruelty, inquisitorial hypocrisy and lies you forced us to stop respecting you. You and your so called "values."

We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer.

We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you.

For that you only have yourself to blame.

In meantime, you've pushed us to rally around your enemy. Immediately, after you declared him an enemy, we united around him .

It was you who imposed an opposition between patriotism and liberalism. Although, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive notions. This false dilemma, created by you, made us to chose patriotism.

Even though, many of us are really liberals, myself included.

Get cleaned up, now. You don't have much time left.

In fact, the whole "uprising"/color revolution strategy throughout the world is over. It's been fatally discredited by its own purported successes. Everybody in the Middle East has seen how that worked out for Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and the Russians have seen how it worked out for Ukraine and for Russia itself . In neither Russia nor Iran (nor anywhere else of importance) are the Americans, with their sanctions and their NGOs and their cookies ,going to stoke a popular uprising that turns a country into a fractured client of the Washington Consensus. More fantasy politics.

The old new world Washington wants won't be born without a military midwife. The U.S. wants a compliant Russia ( and "international community") back, and it thinks it can force it into being.

Fear Knot

Consider this quote from The Saker , a defense analyst who was born in Switzerland to a Russian military family, "studied Russian and Soviet military affairs all [his] life," and lived for 20 years in the United States. He's been one of the sharpest analysts of Russia and Syria over the last few years. This was his take a year ago, after Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria's Al Shayrat airfield -- another instant punishment for an absolutely, positively, proven-in-a day, chemical crime:

For one thing, there is no US policy on anything.

The Russians expressed their total disgust and outrage at this attack and openly began saying that the Americans were "недоговороспособны". What that word means is literally "not-agreement-capable" or unable to make and then abide by an agreement. While polite, this expression is also extremely strong as it implies not so much a deliberate deception as the lack of the very ability to make a deal and abide by it. But to say that a nuclear world superpower is "not-agreement-capable" is a terrible and extreme diagnostic.

This means that the Russians have basically given up on the notion of having an adult, sober and mentally sane partner to have a dialog with.

In all my years of training and work as a military analyst I have always had to assume that everybody involved was what we called a "rational actor". The Soviets sure where. As were the Americans.

Not only do I find the Trump administration "not agreement-capable", I find it completely detached from reality. Delusional in other words.

Alas, just like Obama before him, Trump seems to think that he can win a game of nuclear chicken against Russia. But he can't. Let me be clear here: if pushed into a corner the Russian will fight, even if that means nuclear war.

There is a reason for this American delusion. The present generation of American leadership was spoiled and addled by the blissful post-Soviet decades of American impunity.

The problem is not exactly that the U.S. wants full-on war with Russia, it's that America does not fear it. [2]

Why should it? It hasn't had to for twenty years during which the US assumed it could bully Russia to stay out of its imperial way anywhere it wanted to intervene.

After the Soviet Union broke up (and only because the Soviet Union disappeared) the United States was free to use its military power with impunity. For some time, the U.S. had its drunken stooge, Yeltsin, running Russia and keeping it out of America's military way. There was nary a peep when Bill Clinton effectively conferred on NATO (meaning the U.S. itself) the authority to decide what military interventions were necessary and legitimate. For about twenty years -- from the Yugoslavia through the Libya intervention -- no nation had the military power or politico-diplomatic will to resist this.

But that situation has changed. Even the Pentagon recognizes that the American Empire is in a "post-primacy" phase -- certainly "fraying," and maybe even "collapsing." The world has seen America's social and economic strength dissipate, and its pretense of legitimacy disappear entirely. The world has seen American military overreach everywhere while winning nothing of stable value anywhere. Sixteen years, and the mighty U.S. Army cannot defeat the Taliban. Now, that's Russia's fault!

Meanwhile, a number of countries in key areas have gained the military confidence and political will to refuse the presumptions of American arrogance -- China in the Pacific, Iran in the Middle East, and Russia in Europe and, surprisingly, the Middle East as well. In a familiar pattern, America's resultant anxiety about waning power increases its compensatory aggression. And, as mentioned, since it was Russia that most effectively demonstrated that new military confidence, it's Russia that has to be dealt with first.

The incessant wave of sanctions and expulsions is the bully in the schoolyard clenching his fist to scare the new kid away. OK, everyone's got the message now. Unclench or punch?

Let's be clear about who is the world's bully. As is evident to any half-conscious person, Russia is not going to attack the United States or Europe. Russia doesn't have scores of military bases, combat ships and aircraft up on America's borders. It doesn't have almost a thousand military bases around the world. Russia does not have the military forces to rampage around the world as America does, and it doesn't want or need to. That's not because of Russia's or Vladimir Putin's pacifism, but because Russia, as presently situated in the political economy of the world, has nothing to gain from it.

Nor does Russia need some huge troll-farm offensive to "destabilize" and sow division in Western Europe and the United States. Inequality, austerity, waves of immigrants from regime-change wars, and trigger-happy cops are doing a fine job of that. Russia isn't responsible for American problems with Black Lives Matter or with the Taliban.

All of this is fantasy politics.

It's the United States, with its fraying empire, that has a problem requiring military aggression. What other tools does the U.S. have left to put the upstarts, Russia first, back in their places?

It must be hard for folks who have had their way with country after country for twenty years not to think they can push Russia out of the way with some really, really scary threats, or maybe one or two "bloody nose" punches. Some finite number of discrete little escalations. There's already been some shoving -- that cruise missile attack, Turkey's downing of a Russian jet, American attacks on Russian personnel (ostensibly private mercenaries) in Syria -- and, look, Ma, no big war. But sometimes you learn the hard way the truth of the reverse Mike Tyson rule: "Everyone has a game plan until they smack the other guy in the face."

Consider one concrete risk of escalation that every informed observer is, and every American should be, aware of.

The place where the United States and Russia are literally, geographically, closest to confrontation is Syria. As mentioned, the U.S. and its NATO ally, Turkey, have already attacked and killed Russians in Syria, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have a far larger military force than Russia in Syria and the surrounding area. On the other hand, Russia has made very effective use of its forces, including what Reuters calls "advanced cruise missiles" launched from planes, ships , and submarines that hit ISIS targets with high precision from 1000 kilometers.

Russia is also operating in accordance with international law, while the U.S. is not. Russia is fighting with Syria for the defeat of jihadi forces and the unification of the Syrian state. The United States is fighting with its jihadi clients for the overthrow of the Syrian government and the division of the country. Russia intervened in Syria after Obama announced that the U.S. would attack Syrian army troops, effectively declaring war. If neither side accepts defeat and goes home, it is quite possible there will be some direct confrontation over this. In fact, it's hard to imagine that there won't.

A couple of weeks ago Syria and Russia said the U.S. was planning a major offensive against the Syrian government, including bombing the government quarter in Damascus. Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia's General Staff, warned: "In the event of a threat to the lives of our servicemen, Russia's armed forces will take retaliatory measures against the missiles and launchers used." In this context, "launchers" means American ships in the Mediterranean.

Also a couple of weeks ago, Russia announced a number of new, highly-advanced weapons systems. There's discussion about whether some of the yet-to-be-deployed weapons announced may or may not be a bluff, but one that has already been deployed, called Dagger ( Kinzhal, not the missiles mentioned above), is an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile that files at 5-7,000 miles per hour, with a range of 1200 miles. Analyst Andrei Martyanov claims that: "no modern or perspective air-defense system deployed today by any NATO fleet can intercept even a single missile with such characteristics. A salvo of 5-6 such missiles guarantees the destruction of any Carrier Battle Group or any other surface group, for that matter." Air-launched. From anywhere.

The U.S. attack has not (yet) happened, for whatever reason (Sputnik reporter Suliman Mulhem, citing "a military monitor," claims that's because of the Russian warnings). Great. But given the current state of America's anxiously aggressive "post-primacy" policy -- including the Russiamania, the Zionist-driven need to destroy Syria and Iran, and the War Cabinet -- how unlikely is that the U.S. will, in the near future, make some such attack on some such target that Russia considers crucial to defend?

And Syria is just one theater where, unless one side accepts defeat and goes home, military conflict with Russia is highly likely. Is Russia going to abandon the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass if they're attacked by fascist Kiev forces backed by the U.S.? Is it going to sit back and watch passively if American and Israeli forces attack Iran? Which one is going to give up and accept a loss: John Bolton or Vladimir Putin?

Which brings us to the pointed question: What will the U.S. do if Russia sinks an American ship? How many steps before that goes full-scale, even nuclear? Or maybe American planners (and you, dear reader) are absolutely, positively sure that will never happen, because the U.S. has cool weapons, too, and a lot more of them, and the Russians will probably lose all their ships in the Mediterranean immediately, if not something worse, and they'll put up with anything rather than go one more step. The Russians, like everybody, must know the Americans always win.

Happy with that, are we? Snug in our homeland rug? 'Cause Russians won't fight, but the Taliban will.

This is exactly what is meant by Americans not fearing war with Russia (or war in general for that matter). Nothing but contempt.

The Skripal opera, directed by the United States, with the whole of Europe and the entire Western media apparatus singing in harmony, makes it clear that the American producers have no speaking role for Russia in their staging of the world. And that contempt makes war much more likely. Here's The Saker again, on how dangerous the isolation the U.S. and its European clients are so carelessly imposing on Russia and themselves is for everybody:

Right now they are expelling Russian diplomats en mass e and they are feeling very strong and manly.

The truth is that this is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg. In reality, crucial expert-level consultations, which are so vitally important between nuclear superpowers, have all but stopped a long time ago. We are down to top level telephone calls. That kind of stuff happens when two sides are about to go to war. For many months now Russia and NATO have made preparations for war in Europe. Very rapidly the real action will be left to the USA and Russia. Thus any conflict will go nuclear very fast. And, for the first time in history, the USA will be hit very, very hard, not only in Europe, the Middle-East or Asia, but also on the continental US.

Mass diplomatic expulsions, economic warfare, lockstep propaganda, no interest whatsoever in respectfully addressing or hearing from the other side. What we've been seeing over the past few months is the "kind of stuff that happens when two sides are about to go to war."

The less Americans fear war, the less they respect the possibility of it, the more likely they are to get it.

Ready or Not

The Saker makes a diptych of a point that gets to the heart of the matter. We'd do well to read and think on it carefully:

1/ The Russians are afraid of war. The Americans are not.

2/ The Russians are ready for war. The Americans are not.

Russia is afraid of war. More than twenty million Soviet citizens were killed in WWII, about half of them civilians. That was more than twenty times the number of Americans and British casualties combined. The entire country was devastated. Millions died in the 872-day siege of Leningrad alone, including Vladimir Putin's brother. The city's population was decimated by disease and starvation, with some reduced to cannibalism. Wikileaks calls it "one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history [and] possibly the costliest in casualties." Another million-plus died in the nine-month siege of Stalingrad.

Every Russian knows this history. Millions of Russian families have suffered from it. Of course, there was mythification of the struggle and its heroes, but the Russians, viscerally, know war and know it can happen to them . They do not want to go through it again. They will do almost anything to avoid it. Russians are not flippant about war. They fear it. They respect it.

The Americans are not (afraid of war). Americans have never experienced anything remotely as devastating as this. About 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War, 150 years ago. (And we're still entangled in that!) The American mainland has not been attacked by a significant military force since the War of 1812. Since then, the worst attacks on American territory are two one-off incidents (Pearl Harbor and 9/11), separated by seventy years, totaling about six-thousand casualties. These are the iconic moments of America Under Siege.

For the American populace, wars are "over there," fought by a small group of Americans who go away and either come back or don't. The death, destruction, and aroma of warfare -- which the United States visits on people around the world incessantly -- is unseen and unexperienced at home. Americans do not, cannot, believe, in any but the most abstract intellectual sense, that war can happen here , to them. For the general populace, talk of war is just more political background noise, Morgan Freeman competing for attention with Stormy Daniels and the Kardashians.

Americans are supremely insouciant about war: They threaten countries with it incessantly, the government routinely sells it with lies, and the political parties promote it opportunistically to defeat their opponents -- and nobody cares. For Americans, war is part of a game. They do not fear it. They do not respect it.

The Russians are ready for war. The Nazi onslaught was defeated -- in Soviet Russia, by Soviet Citizens and the Red Army -- because the mass of people stood and fought together for a victory they understood was important. They could not have withstood horrific sieges and defeated the Nazis any other way. Russians understand, in other words, that war is a crisis of death and destruction visited on the whole of society, which can only be won by a massive and difficult effort grounded in social solidarity. If the Russians feel they have to fight, if they feel besieged, they know they will have to stand together, take the hits that come, and fight to the finish. They will not again permit war to be brought to their cities while their attacker stays snug. There will be a world of hurt. They will develop and use any weapon they can. And their toughest weapon is not a hypersonic missile; it's that solidarity, implied by that 77%. (Did you read that Simonyan statement?) They may not be seeking it, but, insofar as anybody can be, they are ready to fight.

Americans are not (ready for war): Americans experience the horror of wars as a series of discrete tragedies visited upon families of fallen soldiers, reported in human-interest vignettes at the end of the nightly news. Individual tragedies, not a social disaster.

It's hard to imagine the social devastation of war in any case, but American culture wants no part of thinking about that concretely. The social imagination of war is deflected into fantastic scenarios of a super-hero universe or a zombie apocalypse. The alien death-ray may blow up the Empire State Building, but the hero and his family (now including his or her gender-ambivalent teenager, and, of course, the dog) will survive and triumph. Cartoon villains, cartoon heroes, and a cartoon society.

One reason for this, we have to recognize, is the victory of the Thatcherite/libertarian-capitalist "no such thing as society" ideology. Congratulations, Ayn Rand, there is no such thing as American society now. It's every incipient entrepreneur for him or herself. This does not a comradely, fighting band of brothers and sisters make.

Furthermore, though America is constantly at war, nobody understands the purpose of it. That's because the real purpose can never be explained, and must be hidden behind some facile abstraction -- "democracy," "our freedoms," etc. This kind of discourse can get some of the people motivated for some of the time, but it loses its charm the minute someone gets smacked in the face.

Once they take a moment, everybody can see that there is nobody with an army threatening to attack and destroy the United States, and if they take a few moments, everybody can see how phony the "democracy and freedom" stuff is and remember how often they've been lied to before. There's just too much information out there. (Which is why the Imperial High Command wants to control the internet.) Why the hell am I fighting? What in hell are we fighting for? These are questions everybody will ask after, and too many people are now asking before, they get smacked in the face.

This lack of social understanding and lack of political support translates into the impossibility of fighting a major, sustained war that requires taking heavy casualties -- even "over there," but certainly in the snug. American culture might be all gung-ho about Seal Team Six kicking ass, but the minute American homes start blowing up and American bodies start falling, Hoo-hah becomes Uh-oh , and it's going to be Outta here .

Americans are ready for Hoo-hah and the Shark Tank and the Zombie Apocalypse. They are not ready for war.

You Get What You Play For

"Russiagate," which started quite banally in the presidential campaign as a Democratic arrow to take down Trump, is now Russiamania -- a battery of weapons wielded by various sectors of the state, aimed at an array of targets deemed even potentially resistant to imperial militarism. Trump himself -- still, and for as long as he's deemed unreliable -- is targeted by a legal prosecution of infinite reach (whose likeliest threat is to take him down for something that has nothing to do with Russia). Russia itself is now targeted in full force by economic, diplomatic, ideological -- and, tentatively, military -- weapons of the state. Perhaps most importantly, American and European people, especially dissidents, are targeted by a unified media barrage that attacks any expression of radical critique, anything that "sows division" -- from Black Lives Matter, to the Sanders campaign, to "But other countries could have made it" -- as Russian treachery.

The stunning success of that last offensive is crucial to making a war more likely, and must be fought. To increase the risk of war with a nuclear power in order to score points against Donald Trump or Jill Stein -- well, only those who neither respect, fear, nor are ready for war would do such a stupid and dangerous thing.

It's impossible to predict with certainty whether, when, or with whom a major hot war will be started. The same chaotic disarray and impulsiveness of the Trump administration that increases the danger of war might also work to prevent it. John Bolton may be fired before he trims his moustache. But it's a pressure-cooker, and the temperature has spiked drastically.

In a previous essay , I said that Venezuela was a likely first target for military attack, precisely because it would make for an easy victory that didn't risk military confrontation with Russia. That's still a good possibility. As we saw with Iraq Wars 1 (which helped to end the "Vietnam Syndrome") and 2 (which somewhat resurrected it), the imperial high command needs to inure the American public with a virtually American-casualty-free victory and in order to lure them into taking on a war that's going to hurt.

But the new War Cabinet may be pumped for the main event -- an attack on Iran. Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton are all rabid proponents of regime-change in Iran. We can be certain that the Iran nuclear deal will be scrapped, and everyone will work hard to implement the secret agreement the Trump administration already has with Israel to "to deal with Iran's nuclear drive, its missile programs and its other threatening activities" -- or, as Trump himself expresses it: "cripple the [Iranian] regime and bring it to collapse." (That agreement, by the way, was negotiated and signed by the previous, supposedly not-so-belligerent National Security Advisor, H. R. McMaster.)

Still, as I also said in the previous essay, an attack on Iran means the Americans must either make sure Russia doesn't get in the way or make clear that they don't care if it does. So, threatening moves -- not excluding probing military moves -- against Russia will increase, whether Russia is the preferred direct target or not.

The siege is on.

Americans who want to continue playing with this fire would do well to pay some respectful attention to the target whose face they want to smack. Russia did not boast or brag or threaten or Hoo-Hah about sending military forces to Syria. When it was deemed necessary -- when the United States declared its intention to attack the Syrian Army -- it just did it. And American10-dimensional-chess players have been squirming around trying to deal with the implications of that ever since. They're working hard on finding the right mix of threats, bluffs, sanctions, expulsions, "Shut up and go away!" insults, military forces on the border, and "bloody nose" attacks to force a capitulation. They should be listening to their target, who has not tired of asking for a "partnership," who has clearly stated what his country would do in reaction to previous moves (e.g., the abrogation of the ABM Treaty and stationing of ABM bases in Eastern Europe), whose country and family have suffered from wartime devastation Americans cannot imagine, who therefore respects, fears, and is ready for war in ways Americans are not, and who is not playing their game:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9QxWYIAtCMU

Notes.

[1] Ironically, given current drivers of Russiamania, this is a reference to remarks by Janet Napolitano. " The Enemization of Everything or an American Story of Empathy & Healing? "

[2] Though it's ridiculous that it needs to be said: I'm not talking here about the phony fear engendered by the media presentation of the "strongman," "brutal dictator" Vladimir Putin. This is part and parcel of comic-book politics -- conjuring a super-villain, who, we all know, is destined to be defeated. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jim Kavanagh

Jim Kavanagh edits The Polemicist .

[Jun 14, 2019] By this stage I wonder if all Skripals neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes June 9, 2019 at 11:24 pm

A real shame that Dr David Kelly took his own life. I'm sure he'd have been able to shed light on the latest news from Wiltshire:

https://www.rt.com/uk/461463-novichok-bb-skripal-house/

By this stage I wonder if all the neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks from hither and yon. Who else would tolerate the nonsense they've been subjected to without reaching out to their learned friends? Good luck with putting a house on the market with that circus going on.

Moscow Exile June 10, 2019 at 3:29 am
Such stringent measures would surely not be taken by HM govt and British security if they had no evidence that those evil Russians had attempted to kill the Skripals with Novichok.

Stands ter reason, don't it?

Mark Chapman June 10, 2019 at 8:15 am
The whole premise just becomes more and more ridiculous – the house is now completely shrouded in tarpaulins, the roof has been removed, it has undergone extensive 'decontamination' – all, all of it obviously for show, for the yokels, because for weeks afterward police personnel guarded the residence while standing just feet away from the door handle which was supposedly the locus of infection. No chemical-warfare protection whatsoever was apparent; they didn't even wear gloves unless it was cold.

They might at least have made up some story that the Deadly Door Handle had been replaced, or even the entire door. Because everyone who went in or out of that house, and there must have been many, touched that door handle, at least some of them with their bare hand. And what ever became of the intrepid detective, Nick what's-his-name? Wasn't the state going to buy his home as well, even though he had scarcely been in it and had gone more or less straight to the hospital after being 'infected'? Only to make a miraculous and complete recovery in days, and then drop off the public radar?

Stupidity abounds. Yet the press just can't let it go, and let it mercifully drop out of sight. It would just be too embarrassing to tacitly admit the British government made it up from start to finish, the entire operation. If the Skripals actually were poisoned with something, and not just acting a role for the British government, then that part must have been HM-government-supplied as well, because nobody who has any experience with police procedure is going to believe they had a culprit and a complete history of the crime in only a couple of hours after its discovery, and a foreign state was responsible.

Murdock June 11, 2019 at 8:14 am
I don't want to be an alarmist but if I had to guess I would say our good friend Officer Nick is probably partying it up with Sergei, Yulia, and their pets in Hades.
Mark Chapman June 11, 2019 at 8:43 am
You never know. He sort of dropped out of the public eye, and of all of them he seemed to be the one whose story would be picked apart first, although all of them were improbable. And I'm sure many, many were interested in interviewing him and questioning him further.

He was released from hospital with no apparent ill effects more than a year ago, on March 23rd, 2018. According to the Telegraph , here,

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/15/police-officer-nick-bailey-returns-active-duty-10-months-salisbury/

he returned to active duty the beginning of 2019, but the story has his Chief confirming this, it is not Bailey himself. That same story remembers that Dawn Sturgess "fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack on the Skripals and then discarded." But the perfume bottle described as having been 'used in the attack on the Skripals' was brand-new and still in its store packaging, not to any appearance unusual except for that weird plastic aerator fastened to the bottle. Which, now that I think of it, was supposed to have been not attached to the bottle at all; Charlie Rowley's tale was that he broke the bottle trying to get the applicator on it, which is how he was exposed. But he still gave it to his paramour as a gift, and she was still apparently able to use it to spray herself.

Anyway, so far as I can make out, DS Nick Bailey returned to duty with his former police department last winter, and since then not a peep has been heard from him. The Skripals are still incognito, and Sergei has never been seen again since going into hospital.

Bailey's parents apparently threw a wobbler when the Beeb decided to run a two-part television drama on the attacks, which would doubtless reinforce and reconfirm the government line although it is meant to showcase the quiet courage and resourcefulness of 'ordinary heroes'.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17673661.parents-of-ds-nick-bailey-hit-out-at-bbc-over-novichok-drama/

No statement from Bailey himself. Meanwhile, he is scheduled to lead off a charity walk for the local hospital on July 7th. So we will see.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17697751.detective-sergeant-nick-bailey-to-start-stars-appeal-walk-for-wards/

[Jun 06, 2019] Odd NYT 'Correction' Exculpates British Government And CIA From Manipulating Trump Over Skripal Novichok Incident

Notable quotes:
"... Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF. ..."
"... And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners? ..."
"... A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons". ..."
"... Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon. ..."
"... Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have? ..."
"... The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets. ..."
"... More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication. ..."
"... In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation. ..."
"... both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker ..."
"... At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. ..."
"... Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak. ..."
"... CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control. ..."
"... If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway. ..."
"... What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit! ..."
"... I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times. ..."
"... Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia. ..."
Jun 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

A piece in the New York Times showed how in March 2018 Trump was manipulated by the CIA and MI6 into expelling 60 Russian diplomats. Eight weeks after it was published the New York Times 'corrects' that narrative and exculpates the CIA and MI6 of that manipulation. Its explanation for the correction makes little sense.

On April 16 the New York Times published a report by Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman about the relation between CIA Director Gina Haspal and President Donald Trump.

Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen.

The piece described a scene in the White House shortly after the contentious Skripal/Novichok incident in Britain. It originally said (emphasis added):

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The 60 Russian diplomats were expelled on March 26 2018. Other countries only expelled a handful of diplomats over the Skripal incident. On April 15 2018 the Washington Post reported that Trump was furious about this:

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on. The President, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
...
Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions. 'There were curse words,' the official said, 'a lot of curse words.

In that context the 2019 NYT report about Haspel showing Trump dead duck pictures provided by the Brits made sense. Trump was, as he himself claimed, manipulated into the large expulsion.

The NYT report created some waves. On April 18 2019 the Guardian headlined:

No children or ducks harmed by novichok, say health officials
Wiltshire council clarification follows claims Donald Trump was shown images to contrary

The report of the dead duck pictures in the New York Times was a problem for the CIA and the British government. Not only did it say that they manipulated Trump by providing him with false pictures, but the non-dead ducks also demonstrated that the official narrative of the allegedly poisoning of the Skripals has some huge holes. As Rob Slane of the BlogMire noted :

In addition to the extraordinary nature of this revelation, there is also a huge irony here. Along with many others, I have long felt that the duck feed is one of the many achilles heels of the whole story we've been presented with about what happened in Salisbury on 4th March 2018. And the reason for this is precisely because if it were true, there would indeed have been dead ducks and sick children .

According to the official story, Mr Skripal and his daughter became contaminated with "Novichok" by touching the handle of his front door at some point between 13:00 and 13:30 that afternoon. A few minutes later (13:45), they were filmed on CCTV camera feeding ducks, and handing bread to three local boys, one of whom ate a piece . After this they went to Zizzis, where they apparently so contaminated the table they sat at, that it had to be incinerated.

You see the problem? According to the official story, ducks should have died. According to the official story children should have become contaminated and ended up in hospital. Yet as it happens, no ducks died, and no boys got sick (all that happened was that the boys' parents were contacted two weeks later by police, the boys were sent for tests, and they were given the all clear).

After the NYT story was published the CIA and the British government had to remove the problematic narrative from the record. Yesterday they finally succeeded. Nearly eight weeks after the original publishing of the White House scene the NYT recanted and issued a correction (emphasis. added):

Correction: June 5, 2019

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the photos that Gina Haspel showed to President Trump during a discussion about responding to the nerve agent attack in Britain on a former Russian intelligence officer. Ms. Haspel displayed pictures illustrating the consequences of nerve agent attacks, not images specific to the chemical attack in Britain. This correction was delayed because of the time needed for research.

The original paragraphs quoted above were changed into this:

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel tried to demonstrate the dangers of using a nerve agent like Novichok in a populated area. Ms. Haspel showed pictures from other nerve agent attacks that showed their effects on people.

The British government had told Trump administration officials about early intelligence reports that said children were sickened and ducks were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The information was based on early reporting, and Trump administration officials had requested more details about the children and ducks, a person familiar with the intelligence said, though Ms. Haspel did not present that information to the president. After this article was published, local health officials in Britain said that no children were harmed.

So instead of pictures of dead ducks in Salisbury the CIA director showed pictures of some random dead ducks or hospitalized children or whatever to illustrate the effects consequences of nerve agent incidents?

That the children were taken to hospital but unharmed was already reported in British media on March 24 2018, before the Russian diplomats were expelled, not only after the NYT piece was published in April 2019.

Yesterday the author of the NYT piece, Julian E. Barnes, turned to Twitter to issue a lengthy 'apology':

Julian E. Barnes @julianbarnes - 14:52 utc - 5 Jun 2019

I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong. Here is the correction: 1/9

[...]

The intelligence about the ducks and children were based on an early intelligence report, according to people familiar with the matter. The intelligence was presented to the US in an effort to share all that was known, not to deceive the Trump administration. 7/9

This correction was delayed because conducting the research to figure out what I got wrong, how I got it wrong and what was the correct information took time. 8/9

I regret the error and offer my apology. I strive to get information right the first time. That is what subscribers pay for. But when I get something wrong, I fix it. 9/9

Barnes covers national security and intelligence issues for the Times Washington bureau. His job depends on good access to 'sources' in those circles.

It is remarkable that the CIA spokesperson never came out to deny the original NYT report. There was zero visible push back against its narrative. It is also remarkable that the correction comes just as Trump is on a state visit in Britain.

The original report was sourced on 'people briefed on the conversation'. The corrected version is also based on 'people briefed on the conversation' but adds 'a person familiar with the intelligence'. Do the originally cited 'people' now tell a different story? Are we to trust a single 'person familiar with the intelligence' more than those multiple 'people'? What kind of 'research' did the reporter do to correct what he then and now claims was told to him by 'people'? Why did this 'research' take eight weeks?

That the 'paper of the record' now corrects said 'record' solves a big problem for Gina Haspel, the CIA/MI6 and the British government. They can no longer be accused of manipulating Trump (even as we can be quite sure that such manipulations happen all the time).

In the end it is for the reader to decide if the original report makes more sense than the corrected one.

---
This is a Moon of Alabama fundraising week. Please consider to support our work .

Posted by b on June 6, 2019 at 06:12 AM | Permalink


ADKC , Jun 6, 2019 7:14:50 AM | 2
Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF.
John Doe , Jun 6, 2019 7:26:00 AM | 3
Rob Slane, June 5, 2019: The New York Times Tries to Get Itself Out of the Duckgate Hole Using a Spade
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 7:32:17 AM | 4
Surely the time and effort Julian Barnes needed to check what information he had got wrong and how he got it wrong should not have been as major as he makes out. Animals dying and children falling sick to a toxin that could have killed them are incidents that should have stuck out like sore thumbs and warranted careful checks with different and independent sources before reporting that Gina Haspel apparently showed the US President pictures of dead ducks and sick boys in Salisbury.

No wonder Barnes got such a roasting on Twitter after making his abject apology.

And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners?

John Smith , Jun 6, 2019 7:48:46 AM | 6
J'Accuse News @NewsAccuse:

During years I researched articles published in @nytimes we fact-checked BEFORE publication. Here it comes AFTER bloggers, officials et al point out fatal flaws. That no children were poisoned, and no ducks killed, by #novichok in #Salisbury + was known in Spring 2018. #propaganda

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8WfKNPUwAAGGWT.jpg

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM | 8
A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons".

Except in the Barnes construction it wasn't a quotation, or anything like a phrasing that made clear that the Pentagon source was guessing, not stating, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This was NOT corrected.

Eric Schmitt was the other NY Times "reporter" who signed the article.

Here's the article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/world/middleeast/us-military-plans-iran.html

And here's what the two liars reported, pretending that an Iranian nuclear weapons program is a real thing, first paragraph:

"Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated
military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the
Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on
nuclear weapons, administration officials said."

So Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon.

ger , Jun 6, 2019 8:44:10 AM | 9
Barnes provides the truth then provides a lie about the truth....par for the course at NYT. (Remember Judith Miller?) A fake news organization spreading fake news with revised fake news.
joanna , Jun 6, 2019 9:01:26 AM | 10
can't really get excited by the fact that not everything in this type of creative writing is taken serious. Did anyone expect otherwise?

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

It's pretty obvious that his/their narrative necessarily must be cobbled together by a lot of sources. Some by phone. Those may not even share the same idea what image of the president or Haspel they should convey. I always wonder with this type of newspaper reporting. Maybe both writers should write novels.

Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have?

SharonM , Jun 6, 2019 9:08:20 AM | 11
Superb analysis! Been coming here for 11 years now, and I just have to say that "b" is the best propaganda analyst in the English language. He is the sturdiest anchor in these stormy seas:)
AriusArmenian , Jun 6, 2019 9:42:07 AM | 12
The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets.

Sarcasm is just about the last pleasure one can get from watching the horrific antics of these morons.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 10:07:19 AM | 13
More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication.

Perhaps, the liason can see what this fool types in real time. Who knows?

As the story of the dead ducks and sick children unraveled and fell apart, a sloppy patch up had to be made. Now its fixed. Like a Boeing 737 MAX.

librul , Jun 6, 2019 10:09:17 AM | 14
BoTh vErSioNs of the story (I checked with the "Wayback Machine") still include this paragraph (6th paragraph of story):

Unusually for a president, Mr. Trump has publicly rejected not
only intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they have gathered.
And that has created a perilous situation for the C.I.A.

As usual for the NYT, they did not publicly reject the intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they had gathered. That, of course, would have created a perilous situation for the NYT.

Gary Weglarz , Jun 6, 2019 10:30:32 AM | 16
As the saying goes: "if it looks like a false-flag, walks like a false-flag, and talks like a false-flag, it just might be a "duck."

In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation.

Harry Law , Jun 6, 2019 10:36:53 AM | 17
"I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong". It was only when I found the horses head next to me in bed when I woke up, that I realized what a stupid mistake I had made.
aspnaz , Jun 6, 2019 11:04:23 AM | 20
Gina Haspel has to be as dumb and incompetent as I suspected: someone is paying good money to make her look like an ordinary sociopath, not a depraved tart who sucked cock to climb to the head of the organisation.
Noirette , Jun 6, 2019 11:31:31 AM | 22
Slane is ++ on the Skirpals. One 'fact' that emerged early on, made public by Slane, is that the proposed 'official' time-line ( > press, Gvmt between the lines) of the Skripal movements - trivial as in a town, drinkies, lunch, feeding ducks, etc. -- was never reported correctly, obfuscated.

Idk the reasons, but it is a vital point.
___________________________________

Trump, we see, is treated like the zombie public, flashed random photos, sold tearful narratives about babies, children, recall incubator babies, horrific bio-weapons threats...

The PTB loathes him, Pres. are supposed to be complicit like Obama - or at least keep their resistance toned down, be ready to compromise. .. Obama objected to, and refused to act on, at least two engineered / fake Syria chem. 'attacks.' (Just looked on Goog and can't find links to support.)

The only EU figure who stated there is no evidence that the Russkies novichoked Sergei and Yulia was Macron, afaik. He didn't get the memo in time (the Elysée is inefficient, lots of screw-ups there) but soon caught up! and expelled the minimum. -- I have heard, hush hush, one in F was a receptionist - gofer (an excellent + extremely highly paid position) who is now at the Emb. in Washington! Most likely merely emblematic story (see telephone game) .. but telling.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 6, 2019 11:52:33 AM | 24
I like this story. It makes Trump look like a naif which wouldn't bother President Teflon in the least. On the other hand, both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker. I'm hoping she said "cross my heart and hope to die" when he queried her advice...
Zachary Smith , Jun 6, 2019 12:01:15 PM | 25
@ Jay | Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM @8
So Julian Barnes is a well established liar.

I'm glad I checked to see if anyone had mentioned this hack's article about Russia restarting nuclear testing. Using his name as one search item I tried a number of current issues. Like the fellows at local intersections holding up signs "will work for money", Barnes might as well have a tattoo saying "I'll write anything if the price is right. That it took so long to come up with a half-assed "explanation" shows he's not the brightest bulb in the lamp. I suppose people whose jobs consist of slightly re-writing Deep State dictation don't have to be especially clever.

PrairieBear , Jun 6, 2019 12:25:01 PM | 26
That "apology" by Barnes is completely nonsensical. How would you know that there was something wrong with your story, that there was an error in it, without knowing what it was? If the CIA, various bloggers, commenters, etc., alerted him to the errors, it's unlikely they would say, "There's something wrong in this story but I'm not going to say what it is. You'll have to re-research they whole thing to figure it out." I don't think that's how people usually point out errors.
bevin , Jun 6, 2019 12:34:34 PM | 27
"Which narrative is unraveling and which is gathering momentum?"psychohistorian@19

One thing that seems to be unravelling is the tight political cartel that controls Foreign Policy in the UK.

If it does unravel and Labour turns to an independent foreign policy while it reverses the disaster of 'austerity' and neo-liberalism, cases such as that of Assange and the Skripal affair, both products of extremists within the Establishment who regard themselves as privileged members of the DC Beltway, are going to be re-opened.

At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. And this at a time when the UK is falling apart and its population teeters on the brink of economic disaster. It has fallen into this delusion over the years as it has been able to offer the CIA services which it is afraid to initiate itself. Hence, most recently, the entire Russiagate nonsense which has British fingerprints all over it. Hence too the new aggressiveness in DC towards Assange. Hence the disappearance, without explanation, of the Skripals.
goldhoarder , Jun 6, 2019 12:44:22 PM | 28
Julian Barnes is like Winston Smith without the intellectual curiosity. He quote happily goes about his work. lol. What is the matter with you people? You are supposed to embrace the new narrative!

From wikidpeida... A memory hole is any mechanism for the alteration or disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts or other records, such as from a website or other archive, particularly as part of an attempt to give the impression that something never happened.[1][2] The concept was first popularized by George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Party's Ministry of Truth systematically re-created all potentially embarrassing historical documents, in effect, re-writing all of history to match the often-changing state propaganda. These changes were complete and undetectable.

frances , Jun 6, 2019 12:48:13 PM | 30
I think the"Why now?" answer was Trump is in the UK and asking questions, lots of questions, can't have that.
james , Jun 6, 2019 12:49:34 PM | 31
@37 bevin... maybe they will do with assange what they have done with the skripals... the uk is more then pathetic at this point in time.. craig murray had more to say on the assange case yesterday - A Swedish Court Injects Some Sense
bjd , Jun 6, 2019 1:32:38 PM | 32
Julian E. Barnes' humble confession (a self-incrimination) sounds like one made in a Gulag.
failure of imaginati , Jun 6, 2019 2:23:10 PM | 35
Further down the memory hole is the side tale of the daughter of Brutish Army Chief Nurse helping Skirpals and getting an award without contaminating the news. Was the girl's father Pablo Miller,(of Orbis Dossier MFG) and a pal of Skirpal? There's debunk in their poor narrative. The public has a photogenic memory.
lysias , Jun 6, 2019 2:28:23 PM | 36
Speaking of MI6, Julian Barnes is a very English-looking name. Do we know anything about his biography?
tuyzentfloot , Jun 6, 2019 2:56:36 PM | 37
There are 2 Julian Barneses (at the very least!), one is an English writer, the other has mostly been writing for the WSJ ( https://www.wsj.com/news/author/julian-e.-barnes) but since recently again for the NYTimes .
fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 3:10:32 PM | 38
30

Trump is a drug-addled, brain-damaged, hollowed-out shell of the dull con man he once was.

But, he perceives himself to be a brilliant mastermind - a stable genius. So, he might indeed, be prone to making inquiries (generally these would induce the toadies around him to stifle their laughter).

It makes sense that he might ask, while in GB, about the Skirpal incident, since he pulled 60 people from their posts and he remembered the fantasy he was lead to believe about sick children and dead ducks.

The fact that he overreacted without sufficient evidence, may have inspired a tiny amount of self-reflection simply because it may have embarrassed him to have been caught on his back foot. He was lead to believe that his contemporaries intended to react in equal measure. They did not. Therefore - he was "fooled" or tricked.

This is the only way to embarrass the buffoon. That is to have someone fool him personally. And to make him look stupid.

He doesn't mind that he is a fat oaf, a greed head and a pig, but that is the stuff of his own doing. He is comfortable in this. Money is the end-all, etc.

He bought Mar A Lago, making it his own club, because the Palm Beach Club and its elite snobs would not let him join.

Trump was betrayed by Gina Haskell, the CIA and the NYT.

What is he gonna do about it?

joebattista , Jun 6, 2019 3:22:02 PM | 40
All of Western media has been compromised by the CIA and friends since at least the 50s. Remember what late CIA director William Casey said in 1981; "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false".
They 'CIA' controls every talking head you can name. Believe no one. Sad isn't it.
William Gruff , Jun 6, 2019 3:56:52 PM | 41
Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak.

Of course, there is also the incentive provided by just having to take the story their CIA "friend" gives them, edit it a little to fit their employer's style guidelines, and then submit it as their own. A whole day's worth of work and they can have it finished in half an hour. What's not to like about that?

Peter AU 1 , Jun 6, 2019 4:11:22 PM | 42
40

CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 4:45:29 PM | 43
41

If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway.

The self-important "journalists" are controlled and in fact, they are flattered by their special relationships with informants and the owner/managers. After one has sucked his or her way to the upper level, kissing up and kicking down... Laziness is a bonus.

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 4:47:28 PM | 44
@Zachary Smith:

Barnes' CV has US News and World Report on it. That's big spewer of lies, especially over the last 25 years.

Ghost Ship , Jun 6, 2019 5:35:07 PM | 46
I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong.

What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit!

wagelaborer , Jun 6, 2019 5:40:19 PM | 47
Every day when I turn on my computer, I am enticed with offers to "see how the Brady Bunch kids look today" or "what do the stars of the 80s look like today?". Apparently, there is quite a demand for updates on celebrities and their current well being. So why would Julian Barnes do an article about the Skirpals without showing us how they look today? And just where are they living? Enquiring minds want to know!

I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times.

Featherless , Jun 6, 2019 5:49:29 PM | 48
Whatever happened with the Skripals since ? It's like they fell off the face of the planet.
John Sanguinetti , Jun 6, 2019 6:37:46 PM | 50
Could this be referred to as a good old fashioned SNAFU ?
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:44:26 PM | 51
SteveK9 @ 49:

Using ducks is easier. Gina Haspel could always ask one of the bottom-feeding subordinates to nip down the road to one of those Chinese BBQ shops and photograph the display of roast ducks hanging in the shop window . The photos can be uploaded and altered to remove the background of the chef and the cashier and then the actual ducks can be altered or colored appropriately before the pictures are sent to Haspel. Anyone looking at the altered pictures would never guess their actual provenance.

:-)

I'm not sure where Haspel can find hippos or any other large animals that might topple on top of someone (with dire consequences) were s/he to apply a whiff of nerve agent.

Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:49:22 PM | 52
SteveK9 @ 49:

Oops the link @ 51 isn't working so I'd better link to this instead.

El Cid , Jun 6, 2019 8:10:06 PM | 53
Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia.
uncle tungsten , Jun 6, 2019 8:12:21 PM | 54
Thanks b for a good laugh at Barnes and Goldman's expense. I note Goldman is silent and I guess that is because he would likely get his apology wrong and contradict Barnes BS.
  • Here's my profile of Gina Haspal: war criminal
  • Here's my profile of Julian Barnes: Fwit and BShitter
  • Here's my profile of Adam Goldman: Fwit and BShitter.

[Jun 01, 2019] Grenfell, Windrush Skripal -- Theresa May's Tainted Legacy by Johanna Ross

Notable quotes:
"... However, Williamson was not alone in his anti-Russian stance. It was under May's leadership that the controversial government-funded Integrity Initiative program really began to flourish. Designed to "counteract Russian propaganda" it instead deceptively engaged in spreading disinformation about Russia and even the UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by hiring journalists, academics and commentators who would all sing from the same hymn sheet when it came to discourse about Russia in the press. ..."
"... What was most chilling about the revelations in the Integrity Initiative hacked documents was the extent to which policy makers within the inner workings of the establishment are apparently obsessed about an imminent "Russian threat" and are prepared to go to considerable lengths to persuade the British population of this. ..."
"... Even more unnerving was the discussion that there was need for some event to be staged in order to heighten the U.K. population's awareness of a Russian threat. The timing was uncanny: this was not long before the poisoning took place of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, which has, along with multiple discrepancies in the British narrative, led some analysts to ask whether the whole incident was indeed orchestrated by British secret services. ..."
"... Staged or not, May's handling of the Skripal incident left much to be desired. Even her experience of handling the Litvinenko affair as home secretary hadn't taught her a great deal. Before any concrete evidence was produced to implicate the Russian government in the poisoning, May was already issuing ultimatums to the Russian president. Her infamous phrase that the government concluded it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the poisoning even entered itself into the Russian vocabulary and became something of a household joke in Russia. ..."
"... So what can we expect from the next prime minister of the not-so-Great Britain? Whoever it is has their work cut out not only to unite the Conservative party, but the country. In terms of improving relations with Russia -- as long as the Tories remain in power, and the "deep state" or civil service continues to push its aggressive anti-Russian agenda -- , we are unlikely to see any significant change in policy. ..."
"... The UK under May has continued to serve as a “coalition partner” in the US-Saudi-Israeli Axis engineered and perpetuated dirty war against the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies. Let’s not forget Theresa May’s well practiced phrase, “like the United States, we believe”: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39591476 . May has consistently believed US claims about the April 2017 Khan Shaykhoun incident, the April 2018 Douma incident, and other alleged chemical “attacks” in Syria. ..."
"... The UK under May also has remained the base for two leading disinformation operations supporting the the assault against Syrian government: Rami Abdulrahman’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Eliot Higgins’ Bellingcat. ..."
"... As of 31 March 2018, the British government had provided £38.4m in funding to the Al Qaeda allied White Helmets propaganda organization. In April 2018 the Trump administration suspended funding of the White Helmets. The US had provided more than $33 million to support the group since 2013. ..."
"... The British government remains a primary funder of the White Helmets propaganda organization. Posing as an impartial rescue force, the White Helmets work exclusively side-by-side armed militants including US State Department, UN, and EU designated foreign terrorist organizations. Their primary function is not “rescuing” anyone, but to manage a public relations campaign aimed at swaying public and political opinion, leveraging “humanitarian” sympathy worldwide ..."
"... In November 2016, video showed two White Helmets members staging a rescue operation for the Mannequin Challenge meme. In May 2017, video showed White Helmets members removing a man’s body following his execution by armed militants in Daraa. In June 2017, a member of the White Helmets was suspended indefinitely for assisting armed militants in the burial of mutilated corpses of Syrian government soldiers. ..."
"... Apropos, the last two paras about the Civil Service in Britain; Up until the last 2 decades or so, some of the brightest and best talents entered the Civil Service, good pay, good career prospects and good pension. Then this was hollowed out, everything ‘public sector’ was vilified and privatized and starved of funding. ..."
"... The race to the bottom is keenly contested. ..."
"... Without Russian money they are certainly not the world’s 6th largest economy and it appears that unless they want to side with China against the USA which is improbable, no impossible, they will lose Chinese Capital as well after Brexit. ..."
"... And again, a Mr. Jim Mellon a for real billionaire, several times over I should think, the same guy who carpetbagged Russia after the collapse of the CCCP. His gleanings were called “privatization”… of poor mother Russia. ..."
"... The US has it’s own deep state problem of civil servants, especially alphabet soup agencies who are accustomed to operating in the dark and think that they, not the political appointees make policy ..."
Jun 01, 2019 | consortiumnews.com


InfoRos

UK Prime Minister Theresa May's political career officially ended in tears last Friday, as the woman who declared that she would provide "strong and stable" leadership when she came to power three years ago, but who proved in the end to be not quite so strong or stable as she broke down in front of the press outside 10 Downing Street.

She had in fact, arguably one of the most disastrous records of a UK prime minister to date. A total of 50 cabinet resignations since she took office , far more than any of her recent predecessors; together with scandals such as the Grenfell Tower disaster , Windrush scandal , hostile environment policy and record levels of homelessness and poverty. And that's not to mention her inability to deliver Brexit, which effectively led to her demise.

Indeed however tempting it may be to feel sorry for May -- she has been surrounded by political vultures all vying for her position for months now -- one is minded of the words of British political commentator Owen Jones who, when asked recently if he felt sorry for the prime minister, noted that May's tears were simply those of self-pity and were absent at times when they would have been appropriate, such as in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed 72 lives.

'Permanent Crisis'

One may be inclined to think that if she was so unsuccessful on the domestic front, then perhaps in the area of foreign policy May could have had a better record. No such luck. We only have to look at the considerable deterioration in relations with Russia to understand that under her leadership, Britain's standing in the world has diminished. Prominent British journalist Patrick Cockburn has even gone as far to say that Britain is now "entering a period of permanent crisis not seen since the 17th century."

But arguably back in the 17th century the U.K. was more competent in the art of diplomacy than it is now. May's defense minister, Gavin Williamson, with his comment that Russia should "go away and shut up" epitomized the extraordinary lack of finesse and savoir-faire the May government had when dealing with Russia.

His bellicose tone unfortunately went hand-in-hand with a completely misplaced notion of Russia presenting to the UK some kind of genuine threat, as he argued earlier this year that the UK had to "enhance its lethality" against such well-resourced states, as opposed to concentrating its energies on Islamic terror groups. He was then accused by fellow politicians of "sabre-rattling" in what were widely seen as misguided and provocative statements.

However, Williamson was not alone in his anti-Russian stance. It was under May's leadership that the controversial government-funded Integrity Initiative program really began to flourish. Designed to "counteract Russian propaganda" it instead deceptively engaged in spreading disinformation about Russia and even the UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by hiring journalists, academics and commentators who would all sing from the same hymn sheet when it came to discourse about Russia in the press.

What was most chilling about the revelations in the Integrity Initiative hacked documents was the extent to which policy makers within the inner workings of the establishment are apparently obsessed about an imminent "Russian threat" and are prepared to go to considerable lengths to persuade the British population of this.

May with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hangzhou, China, 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

Uncanny Timing

Even more unnerving was the discussion that there was need for some event to be staged in order to heighten the U.K. population's awareness of a Russian threat. The timing was uncanny: this was not long before the poisoning took place of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, which has, along with multiple discrepancies in the British narrative, led some analysts to ask whether the whole incident was indeed orchestrated by British secret services.

Staged or not, May's handling of the Skripal incident left much to be desired. Even her experience of handling the Litvinenko affair as home secretary hadn't taught her a great deal. Before any concrete evidence was produced to implicate the Russian government in the poisoning, May was already issuing ultimatums to the Russian president. Her infamous phrase that the government concluded it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the poisoning even entered itself into the Russian vocabulary and became something of a household joke in Russia.

The decision to publicly accuse another state of attempting murder on British soil with evidence that only amounted to "a nerve agent of a type produced by Russia," was utterly reckless, not only deeply harming relations with Russia, but undermining the credibility of the U.K. as a whole. And despite it being an attempt to bolster the PM's position at a time when desperately needed to generate support for her upcoming Brexit white paper – this itself, given a delayed Brexit and divided country, proved fruitless.

So what can we expect from the next prime minister of the not-so-Great Britain? Whoever it is has their work cut out not only to unite the Conservative party, but the country. In terms of improving relations with Russia -- as long as the Tories remain in power, and the "deep state" or civil service continues to push its aggressive anti-Russian agenda -- , we are unlikely to see any significant change in policy.

One could hope that a certain Boris Johnson, himself named after a Russian émigré, and the leading candidate to replace May, could seek to build bridges in this regard, but his record on the Skripal case leaves room for doubt. The PM is after all a figurehead, and the UK civil service remains a driving force of policy-making.

As former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair once said: "You cannot underestimate how much they [the civil service] believe it's their job to actually run the country and to resist the changes put forward by people they dismiss as 'here today, gone tomorrow' politicians. They genuinely see themselves as the true guardians of the national interest, and think that their job is simply to wear you down and wait you out." Says it all really .

This article originally appeared on InfoRos .

Johanna Ross is a freelance journalist based in the United Kingdom.

Tags: Brexit Johanna Ross Russia Russia-gate Sergei Skripal Theresa May Tony Blair


one , May 31, 2019 at 15:41

As one reads this article it is primarily remarkably how closely it resembles America’s past, present and future. Of course, England has long been known as Washington’s lap dog. Unsurprisingly, what we seem to be best at is sales and PR. The UK is far from the only “ally” we have that has followed us off the cliff.

And as the various publics look down and see the snake pit into which our style of “democracy” and Winners Take All capitalism actually means they want out. Unfortunately, the winners and our leaders have taken all already, including not only the money, but the power. The shameful scams of NATO and politicizing the EU turned out to be new ways to suck the lifeblood out of the earths “Others,” both in our countries and in the “Others” in Africa, Asia, and everything above and below our borders.

So how do we get out of this? We don’t. Every empire from Cyrus To Babylon, Alexander’s to The Pharaohs’ and Heraclius, the Spanish, Portuguese, and British have collapsed in the dust and led to long periods of darkness, inhabited by The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse.

If you look around us, still mostly living in luxury unknown to the ancient non-winners, all of the signs are there. In the multiple-party system in most of “free” Europe or our Two-party system there’s but decline. Boris won’t save England and none of the truly potentially electable quacks in our Democrats list are going to get us out of this. Clinton didn’t, Obama didn’t and what’s up won’t. No one but Tulsi Gabbard even talks about or has a foreign policy beyond being for peace and plenty for all. Sure. Dumb.

I hate to sound gloomy-doomy, because I’m not. I’m a writer and a writer is an observer. Watching all of this, including my own 2008 economic demise, is fascinating. Gabbard isn’t going to be elected. We’ll get our own Mrs. May maybe, or more Trump, Bolt-on or the fat guy who will initiate some wars that we’ll win like we did with Vietnam and Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. ad nauseum. I’m not saying be dumb; I’m saying be realistic, analytical, interested, and vocal, but come the collapse, be physically and psychologically prepared (everything that Hillary wasn’t, for example.)

Abe , May 31, 2019 at 12:51

The UK under May has continued to serve as a “coalition partner” in the US-Saudi-Israeli Axis engineered and perpetuated dirty war against the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies. Let’s not forget Theresa May’s well practiced phrase, “like the United States, we believe”: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39591476 . May has consistently believed US claims about the April 2017 Khan Shaykhoun incident, the April 2018 Douma incident, and other alleged chemical “attacks” in Syria.

The UK under May also has remained the base for two leading disinformation operations supporting the the assault against Syrian government: Rami Abdulrahman’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Eliot Higgins’ Bellingcat.

As of 31 March 2018, the British government had provided £38.4m in funding to the Al Qaeda allied White Helmets propaganda organization. In April 2018 the Trump administration suspended funding of the White Helmets. The US had provided more than $33 million to support the group since 2013.

The British government remains a primary funder of the White Helmets propaganda organization. Posing as an impartial rescue force, the White Helmets work exclusively side-by-side armed militants including US State Department, UN, and EU designated foreign terrorist organizations. Their primary function is not “rescuing” anyone, but to manage a public relations campaign aimed at swaying public and political opinion, leveraging “humanitarian” sympathy worldwide.

As of 31 March 2018, the British government had provided £38.4m in funding to the White Helmets. In April 2018 the Trump administration suspended funding of the White Helmets. The US had provided more than $33 million to support the group since 2013.

In November 2016, video showed two White Helmets members staging a rescue operation for the Mannequin Challenge meme. In May 2017, video showed White Helmets members removing a man’s body following his execution by armed militants in Daraa. In June 2017, a member of the White Helmets was suspended indefinitely for assisting armed militants in the burial of mutilated corpses of Syrian government soldiers.

On the night of 21 July 2018, Israel allowed 422 people – 98 White Helmet volunteers and their family members – to cross the Israeli annexed Syrian Golan Heights and into Jordan. A Syrian government official condemned the evacuation of White Helmets as a “criminal operation” that had revealed “the terrorist nature” of the group. In September 2018, the UK granted asylum to about 100 White Helmet staff and relatives that had been evacuated to Jordan.

AnneR , May 31, 2019 at 09:22

Good Riddance to very Bad Rubbish (mind you that also applies to the whole of the Tory lot plus the Blairites).

Yes May’s government has much to make amends for – and not just for and to the survivors of Grenfell Towers, the Windrush Generation families, but also to: the Yemenis, the Chagossians, the Syrians. It would have behooved her to have a smaller wardrobe and a larger, effective compassion for those the (imperialist) British have done over numerous times up to and including today. Even small gestures of real compassion, of real recognition of the ugliness of Britian’s imperial past wrongdoings by way of simple apology are apparently beyond her and her government (including the Civil Service).

As for Britain’s “standing” – it is about bloody time that this small island off the western Eurasian coast put up and shut up and retired. Why on earth should it have any *standing*? What *good* has it ever done? (And I ask this as someone born there, whose father was in the army helping to maintain the Raj – much to my much later disgust, though, disgracefully, not his.)

Bob of Bonsall , May 31, 2019 at 05:11

To be fair, and as much as it pains me to do so, I must point out that the Grenfell tragedy and Windrush fiasco were as much due to Labour decisions as they were to Tory incompetence.

John A , May 31, 2019 at 03:01

Apropos, the last two paras about the Civil Service in Britain; Up until the last 2 decades or so, some of the brightest and best talents entered the Civil Service, good pay, good career prospects and good pension. Then this was hollowed out, everything ‘public sector’ was vilified and privatized and starved of funding.

For these reasons, most of the ‘brightest and best’ now shun the Civil Service for a career in casino banking and similar avenues instead. The calibre of Civil Service advice has nose-dived accordingly.

As with everything else in Britain post Thatcher, everything is for sale, get rich quick, plod along with little or no pay increases and less and less job security, or starve homeless on the streets are the options available these days.

Zhu , May 31, 2019 at 04:51

Sounds like the USA!

Douglas Turnbull , May 30, 2019 at 22:20

The continuing barbaric capitalist nightmare and its sad psychopathic 1% and the destructive antics of its sycophants...

Tom Kath , May 30, 2019 at 20:13

“Something rotten” is not restricted to the state of Denmark, Britain, or USA. It is not even restricted to the “West”, so we must seek more fundamentally for the source of this world’s abject immoral disgustingness. The race to the bottom is keenly contested.

KiwiAntz , May 30, 2019 at 20:09

At last, for the long suffering Brits? The Maybot has finally danced her “Robotic Dance” off the World scene to the cheers & high fives of most of the British people, who have thoroughly had a gutsful of her duplicitous behaviour & disastrous mishandling of Brexit!

And the article lists her shameful record during the period she was Prime Minister, especially the Glenfell Tower tragedy & her pathetic response along with the criminal culpability of the disgusting Conservative Tory Party & its role in this travesty?

Their murderous Policies & austerity directly led to this disgrace? So its good riddance to a contemptible woman, a abject failure & a loser who was good for absolutely nothing except walking on stages & doing really bad dance moves!

LJ , May 30, 2019 at 18:39

She was all the Tories could come up with to keep Corbyn out of the office of Prime Minister. There should certainly have been a General Election after David Cameron crashed the ship of state with Brexit.

Boris Johnson would certainly complete that job so someone else will have to play dartboard until the next election. Despite what the Guardian and BBC and the rest say. And in spite of the Zionist attack on Corbyn he will be Prime Minister. Long Overdue. Britain is Great no more.

Without Russian money they are certainly not the world’s 6th largest economy and it appears that unless they want to side with China against the USA which is improbable, no impossible, they will lose Chinese Capital as well after Brexit.

Good. I hope Scotland votes for Independence. Wales should as well. Britain deserves to go to hell after their history as an Empire. London is 41% foreign born. Just who are they anyway? The British? We here in the USA, or rather younger people here in the USA should take a good look at what happens over the next 5 years there and put it your memory banks.

elmerfudzie , May 30, 2019 at 17:37

Tainted tenure indeed! No one asks the right questions anymore. For example, where did all that Brexit cash come from? As I commented previously at CONSORTIUMNEWS and it is redacted here; “The Panama Papers signaled a need for radical change(s) in the EU banking laws. Hiding money, legit or not from, fair and open taxation, has become increasingly difficult for the upper crust….”

The BREXIT cash originated, no surprise folks, from a Gibraltar based firm, where a Mr Arron Banks (big bucks Banks) a guy with money to burn, with corporate holdings in the Isle of Man and too, one of his buddies, an Alan Kentish of the STM group specializing in, oh you’ll love this, offshore wealth preservation! LOL

And again, a Mr. Jim Mellon a for real billionaire, several times over I should think, the same guy who carpetbagged Russia after the collapse of the CCCP. His gleanings were called “privatization”… of poor mother Russia. Well, to make a long story short, Mr Kentish, the original pro-BREXITeer was arrested in Gibraltar under the UK’s Crime Act for such suspicious money funneling(s). My oh my Ms May, what strange political bedfellows you seem to have!

Jeff Harrison , May 30, 2019 at 17:37

Here today, gone to lunch as the late Douglas Adams put it. The US has it’s own deep state problem of civil servants, especially alphabet soup agencies who are accustomed to operating in the dark and think that they, not the political appointees make policy. Their thinking is bolstered by Congresses who stonewall and delay approving personnel for leadership positions in the civil service.

[May 31, 2019] Comments on Official Response by OPCW to the Engineering Assessment on Douma

OPSW proved to be a gang of a despicable, completely bought by the USA bottomfeeders. Looks like they are now a part of "Intergity Initiative"
At this point credibility of the USA and UK experts on the topic is not zero, it is negative: they systematically generate false flags.
Truth be told after Skripals affair the level of credibility of the UK government and expects is far below zero in any case. This is just a gang of despicable warmongers.
Notable quotes:
"... If SST readers are confused by OPCW's constantly shifting explanations for why the Final Report on the Douma incident excluded the Engineering Assessment, they're not the only ones. ..."
"... Unfortunately for whoever thought up this defence, it is explicitly contradicted by both the Interim Report (published last July) and the Final Report, which state that the objective of the engineering studies was to evaluate how the cylinders arrived in position. ..."
May 29, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Comments on official response to the release of the Engineering Assessment of the Douma cylinders Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason, Piers Robinson

Members of Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media 1 Introduction

This post comments on the response to our release of the Executive Summary of the Engineering Assessment of the Douma cylinders on 13 May 2018. All emphases in quoted passages are added by us. After OPCW had confirmed the document to be genuine, the story was covered extensively by Russian media.

An informed commentary by Professor Hiroyuki Aoyama in Tokyo has been published on Yahoo News's Japanese site. The only coverage in western corporate media has been by Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday , Robert Fisk in the Independent and Tucker Carlson on Fox .

Other journalists who have been in touch with us have told us that their stories were spiked by editors. As expected, the story has reached much larger numbers through websites and videos that have disseminated it.

2 OPCW's response to the release of the document

2.1 Official response

In an email dated 11 May and shown to us, Deepti Choubey, the head of OPCW Public Affairs, wrote:

Thank you for reaching out to us. It is exclusively through the Fact-Finding Mission, set up in 2014, that the OPCW establishes facts surrounding allegations of use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic. On 1 March 2019, the OPCW has issued its final and only valid official report, signed by the Director-General, regarding the incident that took place in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic, on 7 April 2018. The document you shared with us is not part of any of the material produced by the FFM. The individual mentioned in the document has never been a member of the FFM .

A subsequent email on 16 May stated:

The OPCW establishes facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic through the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), which was set up in 2014. The OPCW Technical Secretariat reaffirms that the FFM complies with established methodologies and practices to ensure the integrity of its findings. The FFM takes into account all available, relevant, and reliable information and analysis within the scope of its mandate to determine its findings. Per standard practice, the FFM draws expertise from different divisions across the Technical Secretariat as needed. All information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic, on 7 April 2018. On 1 March 2019, the OPCW issued its final report on this incident, signed by the Director-General.

Per OPCW rules and regulations, and in order to ensure the privacy, safety, and security of personnel, the OPCW does not provide information about individual staff members of the Technical Secretariat. Pursuant to its established policies and practices, the OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. At this time, there is no further public information on this matter and the OPCW is unable to accommodate requests for interviews.

This was taken as confirmation that the document was genuine.

2.2 Unofficial briefings

Following OPCW's confirmation on 16 May that the document we had released was genuine, two individuals in the UK whose communications have supported UK government policy on Syria favoring regime change – Professor Scott Lucas of Birmingham University, and the former Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker – began reporting that they had inside information on how the Engineering Assessment had been excluded from the Final Report.

2.2.1 Lucas

On 16 May Lucas reported that:

Henderson was writing what was, in effect, a dissenting assessment from that of most of the OPCW's team and consultant experts. His findings were considered but were a minority opinion as final report was written.

He followed this with a remarkably indiscreet tweet asserting that "I know how OPCW review process was conducted and what place Henderson's assessment had in it." When challenged to explain his connection to OPCW, Lucas did not answer. Hitchens reported on 24 May that OPCW Public Affairs had refused to comment on whether Lucas was receiving authorised briefings from OPCW.

2.2.2 Whitaker

Whitaker was at first more circumspect about his sources, reporting on 16 May that:

One story circulating in the chemical weapons community (though not confirmed) is that Henderson had wanted to join the FFM and got rebuffed but was then given permission to do some investigating on the sidelines of the FFM.

Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat extended Whitaker's version with:

This reporting by @Brian_Whit on the leaked Douma report that the conspiracy theorists and chemical weapon denialists are so excited about is consistent with what I'm hearing . Looks like they all got played by a disgruntled OPCW employee.

In an article posted on 24 May, Whitaker was more explicit in reporting the spin of "an informed source" on the Engineering Assessment.

an informed source has now shed some light on it. The key point here is the FFM's terms of reference. Its basic role was to establish facts about the alleged attack, and it was not allowed to apportion blame -- that is the job of the OPCW's newly-created Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). Although the FFM determined that the cylinders were probably dropped from the air, the published report (in line with its mandate) omitted any mention of the obvious implication that they had been dropped by regime aircraft. According to the informed source, when Henderson's assessment was reviewed there were concerns that it came too close to attributing responsibility, and thus fell outside the scope of the FFM's mandate. Whether or not that was the right decision, there was no doubt that Henderson's assessment did fall within the mandate of the new Investigation and Identification Team. For that reason, according to the source, he was advised to pass it to the IIT instead -- and he did so.

Unless this account was entirely fabricated, it could only have come from someone with close knowledge of how the Final Report had been prepared. A subsequent tweet from Whitaker on 25 May, presumably channelling the same source, confirmed that "Henderson and others" had been in Douma:

Henderson and others did go to Douma to provide temporary support to the FFM, but they were not official members of the FFM.

2.3 What the channelling of off-the-record briefings tells us

It is likely that (at least on this occasion) Lucas and Whitaker are telling the truth, and that they have been briefed by someone with close knowledge of how the FFM Final Report was prepared. If these briefings had not been authorised, OPCW Public Affairs could easily have responded to Hitchens's question with a standard statement reiterating that "there is no further public information on this matter" and that this extended to off-the-record briefings. We would expect OPCW press officers to be reluctant to issue further statements that could subsequently be shown to be false.

Like cellular biologists who perturb a complex system and measure its outputs, we can infer from these observations the existence of a pathway. This pathway connects the production of OPCW reports on alleged chemical attacks in Syria with a network of communicators in the UK who in different ways have promoted the cause of regime change in Syria since 2012. It is evident that Lucas and Whitaker are output nodes of this pathway. From August 2012, Whitaker as the Guardian's Middle East editor promoted Higgins from obscure beginnings as a blogger to become a widely-cited source on the Syrian conflict. Whitaker was the first journalist to devote an article to attacking the Working Group, in February 2018 when its only collective output had been a brief blog post.

It is of course possible that OPCW management for some procedural reason was unable to provide further information on the record, and sought to disseminate an accurate version of events via off-the-record briefings. But the choice of such highly partisan commentators as Lucas and Whitaker as channels inevitably calls into question the good faith of whoever provided these briefings, and undermines any remaining pretence to impartiality on the part of OPCW management.

2.4 Discrepancies between versions of OPCW's response

An established method in investigative journalism is to compare official versions and to infer from discrepancies what they are trying to hide. On 11 May OPCW Public Affairs stated that "The document you shared with us is not part of any of the material produced by the FFM. The individual mentioned in the document has never been a member of the FFM". After we pointed out that these two statements were provably false – the external collaboration on the engineering assessment of the Douma cylinders must have been authorised by OPCW, and Henderson could hardly have been in Damascus on a tourist visa – they were not repeated on the record. By 16 May OPCW Public Affairs had formulated a new policy: "Per OPCW rules and regulations the OPCW does not provide information about individual staff members of the Technical Secretariat." A more subtle version of Henderson's role was then channelled through Lucas and Whitaker: "minority opinion", "on the sidelines" and elaborated by Higgins as "disgruntled OPCW employee"'. Between 16 May and 25 May the story channelled through Whitaker changed from "Henderson had wanted to join the FFM and got rebuffed but was then given permission to do some investigating on the sidelines of the FFM." to admitting that "Henderson and others" were in Douma "to provide temporary support to the FFM".

On 24 May Whitaker's informed source admits that "Henderson's assessment was reviewed" for the Final Report, no longer attempting to maintain that the Engineering Assessment was not part of the FFM's process. If we strip away the flannel from this latest story, it appears to be accurate. The "informed source" tells us that the Engineering Assessment was excluded from the Final Report not because its technical analysis had been rebutted, but because the conclusion that the cylinders had been placed in position rather than dropped from the air would necessarily have attributed responsibility for the incident to the opposition .

The argument that the mandate of the FFM prevented it from endorsing the Engineering Assessment's conclusion is easily refuted as a matter of logic. Announcing the release of the Final Report, OPCW stated that "The FFM's mandate is to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria." In Douma this could be reduced to deciding between two alternatives: (1) the gas cylinders were dropped from the air, implying that they were used as chemical weapons; (2) the cylinders were placed in position, implying that the incident was staged and that no chemical attack had occurred. Although to conclude that alternative (2) was correct would implicate the opposition, this would not be attribution of blame for a chemical attack but rather a determination that chemical weapons had not been used.

Clearly a verdict that the alleged chemical attack had been staged would have been unacceptable to the French government, which had joined in the US-led missile attack on 14 April 2018. We can surmise that the Chief of Cabinet of OPCW, Sébastien Braha, who (according to his Linkedin profile ) is still in post as a French diplomat, would have been in a difficult position if he had allowed the FFM to release a report that reached this conclusion. He would be in an even more difficult position if he were to allow the newly-established Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which also reports to him, to overturn the conclusions of the Final Report and report that the alleged chemical attack was staged. Even if Braha's failure to update his online profile with the date of leaving his diplomatic post is an oversight, this would still be a conflict of interest based on the OECD definition of what "a reasonable person, knowing the relevant facts, would conclude". As we have noted, OPCW appears to have no arrangements for managing conflicts of interest. Until the governance and working practices of OPCW are radically reformed, it is hard to see how neutral observers can have confidence in the impartiality of the FFM or the IIT.

3 Government responses to an alleged chlorine attack on 19 May 3.1 Reports of the alleged attack

Possible allusions to the release of the Engineering Assessment on 13 May can be discerned in government responses to a report of an alleged chlorine attack in Idlib on 19 May. The earliest report , mentioning three missiles or shells loaded with chlorine was from an Arabic-language website named ebaa.news at 11.01 am Syrian time. The location was given as Kubina Hill in Kabbana village, on the border with Lattakia. At 12.46 am Syrian time Hamish de Bretton-Gordon (HdBG) tweeted

Appears to be a chlorine attack from Regime artillery shells in Jose Al Shugour village - 4 casualties being evacuated for treatment

"Jose Al Shugour village" is presumably the town of Jisr Al-Shughour. Rami Abdulrahman's Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on 22 May that four fighters were treated in hospital after they "suffocated in the intense and violent shelling by the regime forces, within caves and trenches" but did not endorse the claims of a chlorine attack, noting that the source of this story was "the Media platform of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham". The story was elaborated in a Fox News report on 23 May that quoted a "Dr Ahmad" from Idlib, who reported that he had treated the casualties. Fox News also quoted Nidal Shikhani of the Chemical Violations Documentation Centre Syria (CVDCS).

A possible match for the identity of "Dr Ahmad" is Dr Ahmad al-Dbis, quoted by Reuters on 4 May 2019 as Safety and Security Manager for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM), describing airstrikes on Idlib and northern Hama. Since 2016 both HdBG and the CBRN Task Force that he set up in 2013 have been affiliated to UOSSM. A report from 2014 quotes a "Dr Ahmad" described as a medic trained by HdBG for the CBRN Task Force. CVDCS is an NGO that has worked closely with the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission since 2015 to provide purported eyewitnesses for interview in Syria, originally established in 2012 as the Office of Documentation of the Chemical File in Syria , and later registered in Brussels as a non-profit company named Same Justice. This company never complied with the legal requirement to file accounts, and went into liquidation on 27 February 2019.

The ebaa.news site appears to be closely linked to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), frequently quoting HTS spokesmen and sometimes reporting exclusive stories obtained from HTS. On 31 May 2018 HTS was designated by the US Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The Coordinator for Counterterrorism noted that this designation "serves notice that the United States is not fooled by this al-Qa'ida affiliate's attempt to rebrand itself." In conclusion, the provenance of this story of a chemical attack on 19 May is dubious, and the extent to which the sources are independent of one another is not clear.

3.2 UK response

On 22 May John Woodcock MP asked at Prime Minister's Questions :

British experts are this morning investigating a suspected chlorine attack by al-Assad in Idlib. If it is proved, will she lead the international response against the return of this indiscriminate evil?

As expected, the Prime Minister gave a bellicose answer, but made no reference to OPCW.

We of course acted in Syria, with France and the United States, when we saw chemical weapons being used there. We are in close contact with the United States and are monitoring the situation closely, and if any use of chemical weapons is confirmed, we will respond appropriately.

Woodcock's "British experts" appear to have included HdBG, who had suggested in a tweet the day before that Woodcock should ask the Prime Minister about Idlib, though not about a chemical attack. In a subsequent tweet Woodcock stated that his experts were "on the ground in Syria".

3.3 French response

The daily press from the French foreign ministry on 22 May responded to a question on the alleged chemical attack on 19 May with:

We have noted with concern these allegations which must be investigated. We have full confidence in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons .

3.4 US response

A press statement from State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus on 21 May dealt with the alleged chemical attack two days earlier:

Unfortunately, we continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria on the morning of May 19, 2019. We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately.

She mentioned a " continuing disinformation campaign " to "create the false narrative that others are to blame for chemical weapons attacks that the Assad regime itself is conducting". The following day Mr James Jeffrey, the State Department's special representative to Syria, testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that "So far we cannot confirm [the reports of chemical weapons use] but we're watching it". The New York Times reported this to be a "carefully worded recalibration" of the announcement by Morgan Ortagus the day before, and that American military officials had "expressed surprise over the State Department's strong statement". 4 Comparison of the Engineering Assessment with the published Final Report

A comparison of the Engineering Assessment and the Final Report have been reported in outline form by McIntyre . As Larson has noted , there are indications in the Final Report that whoever drafted it had access to an earlier version of the Engineering Assessment (the released version dated 27 February 2019 is marked Rev 1) and was attempting to rebut it without overtly mentioning it. For instance the Engineering Assessment lists five points supporting the opinion of experts that the crater at location 2 had been created by a the explosion of a mortar round or artillery rocket rather than an impact from a falling object. These points included:

"an (unusually elevated, but possible) fragmentation pattern on upper walls"

"(whilst it was observed that a fire had been created in the corner of the room) black scorching on the crater underside and ceiling."

The Final Report states falsely that a fragmentation pattern, visible in open-source images, was absent:

The FFM analysed the damage on the rooftop terrace and below the crater in order to determine if it had been created by an explosive device. However, this hypothesis is unlikely given the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristic of an explosion that may have created the crater and the damage surrounding it.

This is followed by a paragraph that notes the blackening of the ceiling and attributes it to the fire set in the room. The Final Report's allusion to the possibility of an explosive device, with mention of fragmentation pattern and the setting of a fire in the room appears to be an attempt to explain away the argument made in the Engineering Assessment.

We note that several of the key findings of the Engineering Assessment are based only on examination of the cylinders. For instance the Engineering Assessment reports that the cylinder at Location 2 bears no markings that would be consistent with the frame with fins (lying on the balcony) ever having been attached to it, let alone the markings that would be expected if the frame had been stripped off by impact. The Final Report records that the Syrian government insisted on retaining custody of the cylinders for criminal investigation purposes. Accordingly:

On 4 June, FFM team members tagged and sealed the cylinders from Locations 2 and 4, and documented the procedure.

A useful way to take forward the investigation of the Douma incident would now be for the Syrian government to invite an international team of neutral experts to examine the cylinders, to assess whether the observations support the findings of the Engineering Assessment or the conclusions of the published FFM Final Report, and to publish their findings in a form that allows peer review and reproducibility of results from data. The next step would be a criminal investigation of this incident, focusing on where, how and by whom were the 35 victims seen in images at Location 2 killed.

Posted at 02:37 AM in government , History , Syria , The Military Art , weapons | Permalink

Castellio , 29 May 2019 at 12:05 PM

Thank you for pursuing this issue in depth and with rigour.

Paul McKeigue , 29 May 2019 at 12:05 PM

If SST readers are confused by OPCW's constantly shifting explanations for why the Final Report on the Douma incident excluded the Engineering Assessment, they're not the only ones.

Yesterday OPCW released its official response (dated 21 May) to Russian criticisms (dated 26 April) of the Final Report of the Fact-Finding Mission on the Douma incident. In this response OPCW made, officially and on the record, the same argument as that made by Whitaker's "informed source: that to assess how the cylinders arrived in their positions was outside the mandate of the FFM.

Unfortunately for whoever thought up this defence, it is explicitly contradicted by both the Interim Report (published last July) and the Final Report, which state that the objective of the engineering studies was to evaluate how the cylinders arrived in position.

Peter Hitchens is on the case, and has listed these contradictions and requested an explanation from OPCW.

https://t.co/siF2D4yita

[May 26, 2019] Theresa May must answer for Novichok false flag operation

May 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Call me Al , 2 hours ago link

Good, Good and Good.

Whilst you are at it, prove that the Skripal poison / Novichok case was a fascicle fake and blame Theresa May categorically, show proof, throw her in prison and throw away the key.

[May 26, 2019] May Ends In June by W Stephen Gilbert

It is unclear whether May really wanted to implement Brexit deal but at least she negotiated several EU offers. It was UK Parliament that rejects the offers.
I think May claim to fame might be not her failure in Brexit negotiation, but orchestration of infamous Skripals poisoning false flag and the bout of Russophobia, as well as her attempt to interfere with the 2016 elections in the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... History will not be kind to Theresa May. By the standards she forthrightly set herself at the outset of her premiership, she has been a dismal failure. ..."
"... she became, in George Osborne's devastating phrase, "a dead woman walking". ..."
"... a political nonentity of such crushing mediocrity and insignificance that even when standing in direct sunlight she casts no shadow. A third-rate office manager elevated light years beyond her intellectual capacity, professional capabilities and pay grade. A national embarrassment and global laughing stock ..."
"... When May was elected Tory leader and hence prime minister, the field of choice was notable for its lightweight uniformity. ..."
"... the quality of leadership of the party has been modest at best for years. Among Tory leaders since the war, only Margaret Thatcher has managed to catch the climate of her time and impose her personality on a discernible period, however much one may deplore that climate and that period. ..."
"... What is striking about Conservative politics is that those who wish to hold onto power and wealth for their own class and who have the ambition and talent and imagination to make a difference do not go into politics. They become entrepreneurs, traders, speculators. There is too much regulation and self-abnegation in politics for such people. Look back over the leadership of the Tory party and you get to Harold Macmillan before you encounter anyone who came from a (brief) career in business. ..."
"... We are now told that she is "a patriot" – the last refuge of a political scoundrel – and that she has "tried her best", which was clearly grossly inadequate to the task ..."
"... The wars are over for Britain. Become a global reliable trading nation that honors contracts and business ties, the very elements that made Britain Great. It sure has not been the Wars especially the poodle wars. You laugh at May's tears and under performance but you may as well be looking at yourselves. ..."
"... Why should Britain be holding Venezuela Gold on behalf of Donald Trump? There is no yield in this, there is no value but a soiled reputation as an unreliable trader. Banks in Britain should be honest dealers not playing politics with contracts. ..."
"... It's not clear that all MI5/MI6 operatives are remainers. I suspect they are as divided as everyone else. The gang who attacked Trump simply did it because it was business and not personal. They even outsourced to Steele because they thought it might be cheaper. Outsourcing is perceived as cool in government circles and makes people feel good about themselves. It's the deep state offering value for money. ..."
"... May has done precisely what she was tasked to do by the Establishment: First to "negotiate" a Withdrawal deal that "Only the loser of a major war would agree to" after wasting two years, then do everything else possible to delay Brexit as long as possible and water it down to the point that the UK would even with a "delivered Brexit" still essentially be bound to the EU indefinitely. ..."
"... The final irony here is that it is ultimately only Parliament's duplicity and treachery, in spite of the fact that Parliament desperately wanted to ensure the UK "Remain", which has prevented her and the Globalists from achieving their goals through what they believed to be a process of "subtle subterfuge". ..."
"... She will indeed go down in history as a footnote of no significance or perhaps as the PM who showed the greatest betrayal of the British people on behalf of the Establishment ..."
May 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by W Stephen Gilbert via Off-Guardian.org,

History will not be kind to Theresa May. By the standards she forthrightly set herself at the outset of her premiership, she has been a dismal failure. She proposed that, contrary to most impartial expectation, she would be a socially liberal prime minister who would strive to relieve the economic pressure on the poorest members of British society (the briefly famous "just about managing"), but the only small concessions towards the relief of poverty that have been wrung from her government have done nothing to reduce the incidence of homelessness, food banks and wage rates that undershoot the demands made by private landlords, services starved of funds and price rises.

And that's without even mentioning Brexit.

Following the self-inflicted disaster of the 2017 general election, in which May utterly failed to project herself with any conviction as "strong and stable", she became, in George Osborne's devastating phrase, "a dead woman walking".

That campaign was the most complacent, least effective ever fought by a major political party in Britain, and the only explanation for the media's astonishment at the result can be that editors and columnists had so convinced themselves that they had rendered Jeremy Corbyn, in their description of choice, "unelectable" that they could see no outcome other than a thumping Tory victory. What they could not see was that Corbyn is an inspired and inspiring campaigner, while May is as dull as ditchwater.

The social media commentator Aidan Daley summed her up admirably: "Mayvis: a political nonentity of such crushing mediocrity and insignificance that even when standing in direct sunlight she casts no shadow. A third-rate office manager elevated light years beyond her intellectual capacity, professional capabilities and pay grade. A national embarrassment and global laughing stock ".

This unsparing but unarguable buttonholing raises a historical problem for the Conservative Party that shows no sign of quick resolution. When May was elected Tory leader and hence prime minister, the field of choice was notable for its lightweight uniformity. Given the length of her cabinet experience, May clearly outshone her rivals, if not in charisma (a quality conspicuously lacking from the field). But the quality of leadership of the party has been modest at best for years. Among Tory leaders since the war, only Margaret Thatcher has managed to catch the climate of her time and impose her personality on a discernible period, however much one may deplore that climate and that period.

What is striking about Conservative politics is that those who wish to hold onto power and wealth for their own class and who have the ambition and talent and imagination to make a difference do not go into politics. They become entrepreneurs, traders, speculators. There is too much regulation and self-abnegation in politics for such people. Look back over the leadership of the Tory party and you get to Harold Macmillan before you encounter anyone who came from a (brief) career in business.

Comparing May with Thatcher and Macmillan is instructive.

May has failed to create any sort of arresting public persona for herself. Aside from the tiresome bromide "Brexit means Brexit", she has turned no phrase that immediately summons her to mind. Who could essay her political philosophy, other than hanging on grimly against insuperable odds and paying heed to no advice?

She has no imagination, no resourcefulness, no wit and no management skills. When pressed, she retreats to prepared responses, regardless of their irrelevance to the question in hand. We are now told that she is "a patriot" – the last refuge of a political scoundrel – and that she has "tried her best", which was clearly grossly inadequate to the task .

The mainstream media will be eternally grateful to her for betraying emotion at the end of her resignation statement, thereby providing the "human interest" angle that cements the moment in history and will be trotted out in every story about the May premiership for ever after, much like Thatcher's tear-stained face in the back of the limo as it pulled away from Downing Street for the last time. Whether this emotion sits appropriately with the "dignity" that her admirers are rushing to credit to her is a question for others to ponder.

Attention now turns to her successor. Vast though the field is, it is again notable for its lightweight nature. Smart money will be on Rory Stewart, already a media darling and a politician unusually capable of sounding thoughtful and candid. He also has the advantage of having led a colourful pre-politics life, thereby bringing instincts to his politics from beyond the confines of career consultants and spads. But most speculation centres on Boris Johnson, despite the high level of suspicion that he generates among Tory MPs. He is said to be enthusiastically supported at the grassroots.

In this as in other aspects, he brings to mind Donald Trump. If Rory Stewart would offer a safe pair of hands, Johnson would suggest a Trump-like level of gaffes and embarrassments, thrills and spills.


CashMcCall , 5 hours ago link

Britain's Chief problem is that it has become a US poodle for nothing. Essentially insolvent and small Britain indulges in middle East Wars and US Sanctions and Boycotts. What do they get in return? Nothing at all.

This is a giant hangover from WWII. It wasn't enough that WWII destroyed Britain, the US had to take advantage of it in the Anglo American loan and Bretton Woods.

Anyone that has studied WWII knows it was the Russians that killed Germany, not the US and most certainly not Britain, though cracking the Enigma was certainly useful. But it was Brute force of the Russians a KURSK that laid waste to Germany.

The US came out of the War essentially unscathed. Britain was bombed out rubble. The US took full advantage with hard terms in their Anglo American Loan.

The relationship of the US to Britain is more like Abusive parent to abused child. It is anything but equals. The US only calls on Britain for British Intelligence, or military support to do something stupid like engage in the Iraq war. The poodle does as told.

ARM was founded in Britain. Now sold to Softbank in Japan. It was the INTEL giant killer. Had Britain not been a poodle to the US, this one company would have been a driving force in 5G. But the Abusive parent, essentially told the Brits who could and could not associate with ARM. Now in an even more abused poodle Japan, the world's most emasculated nation. Brits take their marching order from Donald Trump a bloody moron.

The Tide is out on the British Empire. It is irrelevant at this point what happens with Brexit. Stall long enough and nobody will care. Instead of branching out and leading in 5G, they are following their abused parent into the dark ages.

Britain should be making its own deals with China while the US is foundering under Turmp. Some businesses are such as Rolls Royce that is offering a Rolls Royce jet engine plant to forward China's local and narrowbody jets. Britain can come in and be a reliable partner with Huawei and get access to the largest markets in global history China and Asia. Instead the Gov. wants the UK to be just a US poodle lucky to get a few scraps.

Protectionism can NEVER work in Britain. The Isles NEED TRADE. They cannot survive without out it. Yet here they are with their brilliant engineering taking orders from Donald Trump the idiots idiot.

May was just a symptom of the Poodle problem. Do as told, show no spine and live in the shadow of the USA abuser parent. That is why NO PM in the UK casts a shadow. They are under the oppressive shadow of the US. Taking orders, Killing off British soldiers for nothing.

The wars are over for Britain. Become a global reliable trading nation that honors contracts and business ties, the very elements that made Britain Great. It sure has not been the Wars especially the poodle wars. You laugh at May's tears and under performance but you may as well be looking at yourselves.

Brexit under the shadow of the USA just strengthens the choke chain in Trump's insane hand. You become dependent on an unreliable country with the most unreliable administration in US History. As they do now, they dictate where you may trade and to whom you may sell your products... and you go along with it like an obedient abused child seeking approval of the Parent Abuser.

Get some spine and break ties with the USA that are carrying you into the abyss. Why should Britain be holding Venezuela Gold on behalf of Donald Trump? There is no yield in this, there is no value but a soiled reputation as an unreliable trader. Banks in Britain should be honest dealers not playing politics with contracts. Every country in the world is looking at this British poodle conduct. No country wants to deal with a poodle that refuses to return assets or that weaponizes Trade. You are cutting your throats for any future global investment FOR NOTHING!

caesium , 5 hours ago link

It's not clear that all MI5/MI6 operatives are remainers. I suspect they are as divided as everyone else. The gang who attacked Trump simply did it because it was business and not personal. They even outsourced to Steele because they thought it might be cheaper. Outsourcing is perceived as cool in government circles and makes people feel good about themselves. It's the deep state offering value for money.

GreatUncle , 6 hours ago link

May achieved what she set out to do being a BREMAINER from the outset.

To block, stall and prevent at all costs BREXIT.

As a BREXIT supporter thank you May because you created a new party in the process as an alternative to the fake" Conservative BREXIT party" and the EU Labour Custom Union slaves". I swear Labour = Democrats in the US and their belief in social slavery to them.

When can we get them EU election figures ... as this is going to be such fun if the BREXIT party manages to achieve an overwhelming vote it is like a 2nd referendum on the previous referendum. ... Fingers crossed here though because you just know MI5 / MI6 and all the other mercenaries are going to be ballot stuffing like **** and with no exit polls to prevent the electoral fraud they will be carrying out on the orders of their paymasters.

philipat , 7 hours ago link

Spare the tears, **** you got exactly what you deserved for your betrayal of British democracy whilst constantly lying and pretending to support both UK AND US values.

May has done precisely what she was tasked to do by the Establishment: First to "negotiate" a Withdrawal deal that "Only the loser of a major war would agree to" after wasting two years, then do everything else possible to delay Brexit as long as possible and water it down to the point that the UK would even with a "delivered Brexit" still essentially be bound to the EU indefinitely.

The final irony here is that it is ultimately only Parliament's duplicity and treachery, in spite of the fact that Parliament desperately wanted to ensure the UK "Remain", which has prevented her and the Globalists from achieving their goals through what they believed to be a process of "subtle subterfuge".

The ONLY way forward now is a "Hard" Brexit because Parliament has rejected everything else, it is still the legal default position which does NOT legally require approval by Parliament and it restores the negotiating position with the EU that May deliberately pissed away over two years. And the lesson here to other countries wanting to get out of the clutches of Brussels is this; If you want to leave the EU, JUST LEAVE. Let the Bureaucrats work out the details later; they aren't that important.

She will indeed go down in history as a footnote of no significance or perhaps as the PM who showed the greatest betrayal of the British people on behalf of the Establishment

**** off and go away to enjoy the corrupt benefits of your service to the Globalists until you RIP.

Dr. Acula , 8 hours ago link

May fits in with the other Prime Ministers of the Paedoph Isles:

"Rules which bar sex offenders from working with children are 'unfair' and even convicted paedophiles should have the right to adopt, a leading legal academic has said."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/8201521/Sex-offenders-including-paedophiles-should-be-allowed-to-adopt-Theresa-May-told.html

"UK Government Under Gordon Brown Urged Police not to Investigate Muslim Child Rape Gangs"

https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/3239461

[May 24, 2019] Theresa May Cries As She Announces June 7 Resignation

Scripals's poisoning connected Prime Minister soon will be gone for good.
Novichok has lasting effects on British PM ;-) Now it will be much easier to investigate her role in spying on Trump, British government role in creation of Steele dossier, and in launching neo-McCarthyism campaign against Russia (aka Russiagate).
Notable quotes:
"... During her tumultuous tenure as PM, May survived two no-confidence votes. ..."
"... Crying May. What a Loser. Plus, she may have well co-conspired against Trump. ..."
May 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

May, the second - but certainly not the last - female prime minister in the UK, will abandon her supremely unpopular withdrawal agreement instead of trying to force it through the Commons for the fourth time. May's decision to call for a fourth vote on the withdrawal agreement, this time packaging it in a bill that could have opened to door to a second confirmatory referendum, was more than her fellow conservatives could tolerate. One of her top cabinet ministers resigned and Graham Brady, the leader of the Tory backbenchers, effectively forced May out by rounding up the votes for a rule change that would have allowed MPs to oust her.

During her tumultuous tenure as PM, May survived two no-confidence votes.

Though May will stay on as caretaker until a new leader can be chosen, the race to succeed May begins now...odds are that a 'Brexiteer' will fill the role. Whatever happens, the contest should take a few weeks, and afterwards May will be on her way back to Maidenhead.

"It is and will always remain a deep regret for me that I was not able to deliver Brexit...I was not able to reach a consensus...that job will now fall to my successor," May said.

Between now and May's resignation, May still has work to do: President Trump will travel to the UK for a state visit, while Europe will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

It's fitting that May touted the virtues of her moderate approach to governance during her resignation speech, considering that her attempts to chart a middle path through Brexit ended up alienating hard-core Brexiteers and remainers alike. Her fate was effectively sealed nearly two years ago, after she called for a general election that cost the Tories their majority in Parliament and emboldened Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The pound's reaction was relatively muted, as May's decision to step down had been telegraphed well in advance.


CheapBastard , 18 minutes ago link

Crying May. What a Loser. Plus, she may have well co-conspired against Trump.

They should lock her up in the Tower.

keep the bastards honest , 39 minutes ago link

She didn't cry for syrians when she declared bombing Syria and using the firm her husband is involved in,. They made billion, and she didn't cry over her makeover afterwards new hair clothes and big jewels and cuddles with her husband in the media.

bluecollartrader , 45 minutes ago link

She and John Boehner should start a therapy group.

There's no crying in politics.

HRClinton , 27 minutes ago link

The plan was Merkel, May and Hillary.

That's a hell of a bullet we just dodged.

Riiiight. Instead, 10,000 Pentagram "Monitors" will be dodging bullets and bombs in the ME.

"(Bibi,) you'll be so tired of winning" - Candidate Trump

Why, you didn't think that he was talking about America's Main Street, did you? Sucker !

HRClinton , 16 minutes ago link

Many women in esteemed positions are just affirmative action or window dressing to placate the masses with supposed maternal love but they end up being wicked as heck.

Perhaps, but it's worse than that:

They are part of the Divide & Conquer strategy, while (((Global-lusts))) are plundering the Wealth Of Nations and taking over the real reigns of power.

Americants are easily distracted or fooled.

ps. "...wicked as heck." Wicked? Heck? What's up with the careful avoidance of "cuss words"? It's ok, you're safe... No "ladies or preachers" (bitches or scammers) nearby. And the Tylers or NSA won't rat you out.

[May 19, 2019] Intel agencies of the UK and US are guilty of fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing fake analysis and operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Couple of factors not mentioned. one is Israel and the other is more sinister still and tied to the conclusions to be drawn from the Mueller report.

it may be true that Skripal helped Steele with some elements of the dossier compiled by Steele, via SKripals handler Pablo Miller. It may be true that Skripal went "stir crazy" and an attempt was made to silence him and his daughter - permanently, because they simply cold not be trusted. a similar motivation could be drawn up against Russia - with the two Russians visiting Salisbury used as diversionary "stool pigeons". It may be true that the "poisoning" was self inflicted and was in fact a murder/suicide attempt as a result of depression along the ines "what's the point of it all".

what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers.

what ought to be apparent is

- the same tactics used by the special prosecutor to investigate the "Russia collusion" smoke screen erected by the howler monkeys in the US intel agencies (aided and abetter by howler monkeys in UK intel agencies) to stymie the US executive branch (Trump) are likely to be used by the the UK government and some more as well - in true Le Carre fashion, but with much dumber and less principled actors than Smiley's people.

these tactics prevented (and continue to prevent) investigation and prosecution of heinous corruption within the obama administration of the previous 8 years - these howler monkey intelligence agency tactics include(d) entrapment, honeypots, racketeering, blackmail, de facto kidnapping (in the case of Skripals), bribery, wire fraud, unauthorized wire-tapping, breach of authorized intel agency activities (like the FBI operating overseas and the CIA operating domestically in the US, false and unverified claims in FISA warrants, NSA providing unauthorized information to the CIA and FBI etc)

- given the howler monkey activities of the alphabet soup, it is not beyond the imagination to draw parallels with the CIA's reporting and analysis of situations on the ground wherever they operate to provide intel ahead of military activity. the DOD has already proved complicit by hiring Halper (for hundreds of thousands of dollars) to assist with the entrapment of Trump operative Papadopoulos. Mifsud is likely a CIA, not a Russian, asset.

- given that we have ample evidence of the howler monkeys in the alphabet soup seeking to facilitate a coup against a sitting US president, it is certainly plausible that - as with the US goverment sponsoring the mujaheedin, isis and al qaeda in afghanistan to fight the russians in late 80's early 90's, Iraq yellow cake and WMD - that the howler monkeys paid the white helmets to ovethrow assad and foment civil war in Syria - thus causing the migration of some 5 million syrians into europe, iraq, turkey, jordan, turkey and lebanon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Helmets_(Syrian_Civil_War)

so , the case is that howler monkey activity in intel agencies of the UK and US (add (F)rance to get FUKUS) are guilty of the manufacture of human conflict by fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing shitty analysis (howler monkeys are only good at swinging in trees and flinging ****) and generally operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity.

this can only be brought into sharp relief if howler monkey activities were instead shown to be powers for good rather than the geo-political risks that persist in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and so on and so forth.

Never mind how much past conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and so on relied on evidence and analysis thrown at us by the howler monkeys in the tree tops, how much of what we we are doing now is a fabrication causing needless suffering by civilian (not politicians or military engaged in conflict) populations?

the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people.

there are equivalents of strzok, page, ohr right throughout the US and UK government "machines" operating overseas. think about that. crimes exposed by Barr et al in the US - against a sitting president - are replicated wherever howler monkeys operate overseas as well.

[May 19, 2019] Teresa May has been the common denominator in many of the sick things happening in the UK

Notable quotes:
"... Things have indeed moved on since the Skripal affair, not at least in terms of the prime minister Teresa May. It must now be clear to even the most dimwitted that she is a lunatic of note. This is obviously not something that has only come as a response to Brexit. However Brexit has shown her up as an utter idiot. ..."
"... Only a person of this caliper might be able to make any sense of the Skripal affair, and even if it makes perfect sense in her diseased mind, ..."
"... Teresa May has been the common denominator in many of the sick things happening in the UK, ..."
"... "And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn't mince words. "Cheney wants you out," Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. "We can't accept your management style." ..."
"... Bolton continued, according to Bustani's recollections: "You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don't comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you." ..."
"... There was a pause. "We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York."" ..."
"... The Brits have gone nuts. Maybe it is Karma for all the centuries of bad actions towards the rest of the world. Now that their DS manipulation is being exposed, what else are they going to do? Try to influence Putin? ..."
"... I don't think they've gone nuts. I think the UK is the center of the globalist cabal, and the cabal is on the back foot and getting desperate. 6 hours ago And the more desperate they are the more dangerous they become. And the Satanic head of this globalist cabal are the Rothschilds, who belong to the powerful Chabad Lubavitch cult, and who "made the modern banking system and the Fed that made Zionism, the world wars, the European Union, and so on." ..."
"... Between 2003 and 2013 "the Jared Khushner family foundation donated a total of $342,500 to various institutions and projects associated with the movement... in addition the Donald J Trump Foundation has donated $11,550 to three Chabad institutions." -- Kushners Belong to Jewish Supremacist Doomsday Group (that prophesies WWIII after which the Jews will rule). ..."
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

[May 19, 2019] The OPCW, Douma, The Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East. ..."
"... Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense. ..."
"... A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time. ..."
"... The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation. ..."
"... The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know. ..."
"... The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect. ..."
"... Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later). ..."
"... The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all. ..."
"... She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day. ..."
"... If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East. ..."
"... So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility? ..."
"... This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first. ..."
"... If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this. ..."
"... But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval. ..."
"... The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end. ..."
"... Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever. ..."
"... In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran. ..."
"... The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Off-Guardian.org,

In view of the latest revelations from the leaked report, which seem to prove that at least some elements of the Douma "chemical attack" were entirely staged, we want to take look back at the chaotic events of Spring 2018.

The following is an extract from an article by Catte originally published April 14th last year, which takes on a greater weight in light of certain evidence – not only that the Douma attack was faked, but that the OPCW is compromised.

You can read the whole article here .

* * *

PRIMARILY UK INITIATIVE?

The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.

Since at least 2001 and the launch of the "War on Terror" the US has led the way in finding or creating facile excuses to fight oil wars and hegemonic wars and proxy wars in the region. But this time the dynamics look a little different.

This time it really looks as if the UK has been setting the pace of the "response".

The fact (as stated above) that Mattis was apparently telegraphing his own private doubts a)about the verifiability of the attacks, and b)about the dangers of a military response suggests he was a far from enthusiastic partaker in this adventure.

Trump's attitude is harder to gauge. His tweets veered wildly between unhinged threats and apparent efforts at conciliation. But he must have known he would lose (and seemingly has lost) a great part of his natural voter base (who elected him on a no-more-war mandate) by an act of open aggression that threatened confrontation with Russia on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense.

A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time.

You can see why Mattis and others in the administration might be reluctant to take part in the false flag/punitive air strike narrative if they saw nothing currently to be gained to repay the risk. They may have preferred to wait for developments and plan for a more productive way of playing the R2P card in the future.

The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation.

The UK govt and media on the other hand has been much more homogeneous in advocating for action. No doubts of the type expressed by Mattis have been heard from the lips of an UK government minister. Even May, a cowardly PM, has been (under how much pressure?) voicing sterling certitude in public that action HAD to be taken.

Couple this with the – as yet unverified – claims by Russia of direct UK involvement in arranging the Douma "attack", and the claims by Syria that the perps are in their custody, and a tentative storyline emerges. It's possible this time there were other considerations in the mix beside the usual need to "be seen to do something" and Trump's perpetual requirement to appease the liberal Russiagaters and lunatic warmongers at home. Maybe this time it was also about helping the UK out of a sticky problem.

THE SKRIPAL CONSIDERATION

Probably the only thing we can all broadly agree on about the Skripal narrative is that it manifestly did not go according to plan. However it was intended to play out, it wasn't this way. Since some time in mid to late March it's been clear the entire thing has become little more than an exercise in damage-limitation, leak-plugging and general containment.

The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know.

The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect.

  1. It lied again and again about the information Porton Down had given it
  2. Its lawyers all but lied to Mr Justice Robinson about whether or not the Skripals had relatives in Russia in an unscrupulous attempt to maintain total control of them, or at least of the narrative.
  3. It is not publishing the OPCW report on the chemical analyses, and the summary of that report reads like an exercise in allusion and weasel-wording. Even the name of the "toxic substance" found in the Skripals' blood is omitted, and the only thing tying it to the UK government's public claims of "novichok" is association by inference and proximity.

Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later).

None of the alleged victims of this alleged attack has been seen in public even in passing since the event. There is no film or photographs of DS Bailey leaving the hospital, no film or photographs of his wife or family members doing the same. No interviews with Bailey, no interviews with his wife, family, distant relatives, work colleagues.

The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all.

She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day.

Very little of this bizarre, self-defeating, embarrassing, hysterical story makes any sense other than as a random narrative, snaking wildly in response to events the narrative-makers can't completely control.

Why? What went wrong? Why has the UK government got itself into this mess? And how much did the Douma "gas attack" and subsequent drive for a concerted western "response" have to do with trying to fix that?

IS THIS WHAT HAPPENED?

If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East.

So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?

Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?

Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?

So, did they push on with the now virtually useless "chemical attack", botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied "response" to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?

This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.

It would explain why the US has been less than enthused by the idea of reprisals. Because while killing Syrians to further geo-strategic interests is not a problem, killing Syrians (and risking escalation with Russia) in order to rescue an embarrassed UK government is less appealing.

And it would explain why the "reprisals" when they came were so half-hearted.

If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this.

This is very bad.

But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval.

This is a major issue. She and her government should resign. But it's unlikely that will happen.

So what next? There is a sense this is a watershed for many of the parties involved and for the citizens of the countries drawn into this.

Will the usual suspects try to avoid paying for their crimes and misadventures by more rhetoric, more false flags, more "reprisals"? Or will this signal some other change in direction?

We'll all know soon enough.

* * *

Back to today...

...and while things have moved on, we're still puzzling over all the same issues.

All these questions stand, and are important, but more important than all of that is the lesson: They tried it before, and just because it didn't work doesn't mean they won't try it again.

Last spring, the Western powers showed they will deploy a false flag if they need too, for domestic or international motives. And they have the motives right now.

The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end.

Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever.

Britain had the most to gain, of all NATO countries, and that is still true. We don't know what they might do.

This time they might even receive greater support from France this time around – since Macron is facing a revolution at home and would kill (possibly literally) for a nice international distraction.

In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran.

That's not to say Syria is safe, far from it. They are always just one carefully place false-flag away from all-out war. Last year, Mattis (or whoever) decided war with Syria was not an option – that it was too risky or complicated. That might not happen next time.

Clearly, the US hasn't totally seen sense in terms of stoking conflict with Russia – as seen by the decision to pull out of the INF Treaty late last year. And further demonstrated by their attempts to overthrow Russia's ally Nicolas Maduro. Another ripe candidate for a false flag.

The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media.

But because recognising what they were trying to do last time , is the best defense when they try it again next time .

[May 11, 2019] CIA Paid $100,000 To Shadowy Russian For Dirt on Trump, Including Sex Video by Chuck Ross

Highly recommended!
This "shadowy Russian" might well be Sergey Skripal. This suggests that Steele dossier was CIA operation with British MI6 as transfer mechanism and Steele as a cover. And implicates Brennan. So this is next level of leaks after "Stormy Daniel"...
Another NYT leak out of a set of well coordinated leans from anonymous intelligence officials ;-) Poor Melania...
Notable quotes:
"... But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times. ..."
"... If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries. ..."
"... More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what. ..."
"... Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down. ..."
"... the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy ..."
"... How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind ..."
"... You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS? ..."
"... "U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds. ..."
"... Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it... ..."
"... Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us. ..."
"... 'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot. ..."
"... i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump. ..."
"... Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth." ..."
"... And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works ..."
"... So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw? ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Chuck Ross of Daily Caller

When they said "Russian collusion", few expected it to be between the CIA and a "shadowy Russian operative." And yet, according to a blockbuster NYT report, that's precisely what happened.

* * *

The CIA paid $100,000 last year to a Russian operative who claimed to have derogatory information about President Trump, including a video tape of the Republican engaged with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. If the video showed Trump, it would support claims made in the infamous Steele dossier, the salacious opposition research report financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times.

American spies made contact with the Russia early in 2017 after he offered to sell the Trump material along with cyber hacking tools that were stolen from the NSA that year, according to The Times. U.S. intelligence officials told The Times they were so desperate to retrieve those tools that they negotiated with the operative for months despite several red flags, including indications that he was working in concert with Russian intelligence.

Another red flag was the Russian's financial request. He initially sought $10 million for the information but dropped the asking price to $1 million.

After months of negotiations, American spies handed over $100,000 in cash in a brief case to the Russian during a meeting in Berlin in September.

The operative also offered documents and emails that purported to implicate other Trump associates, including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But The Times viewed the documents and reported that they were mostly information that is already in the public domain.

The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers, showed the video purported to be Trump to a Berlin-based American businessman who served as his intermediary to the CIA. But according to the Times, the footage and the location of the viewing raised questions about its authenticity.

The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. The Russian also showed the video to his American partner at the Russian embassy in Berlin, a sign that the operative had ties to Russian intelligence.

The Russian stonewalled the production of the cyber tools, and U.S. officials eventually cut ties, according to The Times. After the payout in Berlin, the man provided information about Trump and his associates of questionable veracity.

The Americans gave him an ultimatum earlier in 2018 to either play ball, leave Western Europe, or face criminal charges. He left, according to The Times, which interviewed U.S. officials, the American intermediary and the Russian for its article.

The Times' U.S. sources -- who appear to paint the American side in a positive light -- said that they were reluctant to purchase information because they did not want to be seen buying dirt on the president.

The officials also expressed concern that the Russian operative was planting disinformation on behalf of the Russian government. U.S. officials were worried that the Russian government has sought to sow discord between U.S. intelligence agencies and Trump. The revelation that the CIA purchased dirt on him would likely do the trick.

The Times report also has other new details.

Four other Russians with ties to the spy world have surfaced over the past year offering to sell dirt on Trump that closely mirrors allegations made in the dossier, according to the article. But officials have reason to believe that some of sellers have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

The Times also provides new details on Cody Shearer, a notorious operative close to the Clintons. Shearer was recently revealed to have shopped around a so-called "second dossier" prior to the campaign which mirrored the sex allegations of the Steele report.

According to The Times, he has criss-crossed Europe over the past six months in an attempt to find video footage of Trump from the Moscow hotel room. Shearer claimed to have information from the FSB, Russia's spy service, that a video existed of Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

He shared a memo making the allegations with his friend and fellow Clinton fixer, Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal in turn passed the memo to his friend, Jonathan Winer, a Department of State official. Winer then gave the information to Steele who provided it to the FBI in October 2016.

Steele also provided information to Winer, who wrote up a two-page memo that was circulated within the State Department.

Trump has denied allegations that he used prostitutes in Moscow. He has called the dossier a "hoax" and "crap."

* * *

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that "according to the @nytimes, a Russian sold phony secrets on "Trump" to the U.S. Asking price was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time. I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out - DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Of course, if Trump really wants to "drain the swamp", any such decision would have originate with him. Tags Politics Commercial Banks

InjectTheVenom -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

DRAIN. THE. SWAMP.

Billy the Poet -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:04 PM Permalink

Release the pee pee video now! No one pee peed in the $100,000 video in question. The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. And how can anyone be more fascinated by the prospect of pee pee than by the fact that US intelligence agencies were buying bad information from extremely shady foreigners in an attempt to overthrow the President of the United States?

caconhma -> Billy the Poet Feb 10, 2018 12:42 PM Permalink

Trump is the swamp. If zio-Banking Mafia did not have enough dirt of Trump, he would not be elected.

gatorengineer -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

Trump is starting to assume that the people are dumber than Obowel did. Earth to Don, you sir have the drain pump, you sir have surrounded yourself with Swamp creatures.... You sir are.............

Arrowflinger -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:18 PM Permalink

According to this, the Russians stole the hacking tools needed to cut through the Swamp levee, which were developed by the NSA, and now the CIA cannot buy them back. Now, since the USA wanted its Swamp, the Russians are more than happy to let the USA drown in its swamp.

What a country!

gatorengineer -> Arrowflinger Feb 10, 2018 1:06 PM Permalink

Anyone have a link for the Qanon posts. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks since he left 8chan where he was posting. I don't want the Youtube BS, I just want the link... anyone got one. Its strangely not googleable... LOLZ.

El Oregonian -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:53 AM Permalink

If you think that the CIA is a U.S. intelligence agency working on the best interests of the United States, you better wake up and smell the treason. They only work for the best interests of themselves.

Bula_Vinaka -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:10 PM Permalink

They are parasites and nothing more.

BurningFuld -> Bula_Vinaka Feb 10, 2018 12:40 PM Permalink

Here is a question. Why does the CIA not come out and clear the air re: Trump?

I mean they were even paying people to come up with dirt. He is now your president and the country is a fucking mess. Should the CIA not come out and say we tried but we got nothing? They do have the ability to fix all this Trump shit and yet crickets.

Ahmeexnal -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:03 PM Permalink

CIA is the covert dirty dealing arm of the VATICAN.

MarshalJimDuncan -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

ooohh... they release this questionable information for all to hear and paid a lot of money for it too. this fucking government is a joke

Posa -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:56 PM Permalink

And the best interests of clients. The CIA started out is the muscle for the Dulles Brothers clients who were being booted out of various countries they were super-exploiting. The Agency hasn't looked back since.

Alfred -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:59 PM Permalink

Seems wrong to call them 'intelligence' agencies. There must be a more descriptive name we can use... Anyone?

Guitarilla -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 12:35 PM Permalink

Nobody got whizzed on. That lurid fantasy came soley out of the head of Hillary Clinton, given to Blumenthal, passed around and made to look like it came from Russia.

DownWithYogaPants -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

CIA killed Kennedy. This pretty much removes all doubt. They are willing to do anything.

Killtruck -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:51 PM Permalink

"Oswald killed Kennedy. That's it."

It IS remarkable the stuff people believe when all logic goes against it. Like Oswald firing magic bullets from an old Italian Carcano...and jet fuel melting steel beams...and a building collapsing through the path of greatest resistance into its own footprint after NOT being hit by an airplane...and Kennedy being shot from behind, but his head snapping backwards from the impact...and Oswald picking the worst possible shooting location, but in front of Kennedy were two intersecting highways going in any direction...and terrorist passports floating gently down from the sky.

It sure is remarkable.
#letsroll

possible band name
OswaldandtheMagicBullets

Able Ape -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:57 PM Permalink

What was Oswald's reason to kill JFK? And yeah, he picked the very building he worked at to commit the crime. He wasn't THAT stupid!...

Posa -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

RFK and Nixon knew immediately the assassination of JFK was a CIA hit job because they had CHAIRED those hit squad operations themselves for Cuban Operations. They saw the CIA- Cuban hit squad fingerprints all over the kill. RFK had personally fired Wm Harvey, Dulles' chief of assassinations. However, RFK was silenced because he and Jack had been tag-teaming Marilyn Monroe.

The reason JFK was killed was a) his openly stated determination to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces so they could no longer operate as a dangerous, renegade private army; and b) in the Spring of '63 JFK delivered his famous American U address calling for the end of the Cold War...

Oswald was always a patsie... the WC documents how his rifle was inoperable... scope needed parts just to be be sited and take aim... even after parts installed the rifle attributed to Oswald remained highly inaccurate... Military sharpshooters couldn't even hit stationary targets reliably.

mobius8curve -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

If there is a video you can be sure it was manufactured using these tools:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_Nx404VLzw

Lawlessness is arising exponentially:

https://sumofthyword.com/2017/01/18/the-mystery-of-lawlessness/

oDumbo -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:19 PM Permalink

Drain the swamp! Townsquare justice for Odumbo and Hitlery! George Soros to bathe in the Amazon River with 1 million Piranha Fish until it completely disappears. Drain the evil Dumorat swamp. Drain the banana republic CIA and FBI. Our tax dollars and constitution did not pay for this shit.

Kelley -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:34 PM Permalink

With today's technology, the CIA is most likely working on a fake video for you right now. They might release it on Vimeo or Netflix to cover the costs and give themselves plausible deniability. To add a finishing touch they will make a fake video of Julian Assange claiming he is releasing it. You'll be in hog heaven. Which is where folks like you go just before being slaughtered by your owners and turned into spam.

shovelhead -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:55 PM Permalink

10 Million...

1 million...

Ok, How about $9.99

algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

Move along. Nothing to see here ...

DosZap -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:40 AM Permalink

What a load of camel dung, if there was a sex tape of Trump w/Russian hookers, it would have been out while he was RUNNING for the job, FAKE NEWS.

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

silvermail -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:55 AM Permalink

I propose impeachment to any US president for eating, drinking and visiting toilets!

TheWholeYearInn Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

What's the difference between prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room, or prostitutes in the FBI/DOJ?

Global Hunter -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

I can't confirm price, so I will go with hotter (can't really confirm that either but Slavic chicks usually seem hot to me).

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

turkey george palmer -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:09 PM Permalink

Fuckin eh right. That's probably the closest thing .

A Sentinel -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:21 PM Permalink

Damn good point. And the dates are off too. A 6+/- month zh article about the dark web had the nsa software downloadable long before 2017.

Gee. Why would someone date that hack into 2017? What was different between 2016 and 2017?

SMH Trying to figure that out.

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

Winston Churchill -> buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 12:02 PM Permalink

More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what.

Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down.

H-O-W Feb 10, 2018 11:46 AM Permalink

The more we learn,

The more it looks like the Russians set this up perfectly.

  • Set Hillary up.
  • Set Obama up.
  • Set the DNC up.
  • Set the media up.

They know these scumbags better than we do!

buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 11:48 AM Permalink

the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy.

Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

Good point in the last sentence. If someone is going to "drain the swamp" it is going to have to be the president of the United States. I think I'm correct that he can fire anyone that works in the executive department for cause. He can also order investigations or hire people who will launch real investigations.

Mr. President, if you want to "drain the swamp," drain it.

P.S. You can start with an audit of The Fed.

desertboy -> Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

That last sentence assumes a rather critical fantasy.

Anunnaki -> Thordoom Feb 10, 2018 12:24 PM Permalink

The Tripod of Evil

  1. Deep State
  2. Presstitutes
  3. Corporate Democrats
Dre4dwolf Feb 10, 2018 12:11 PM Permalink

If there was a video it would of been leaked during the election, they have nothing that sticks on the guy.

All the evidence thus far states

Obama Hillary the FBI, DNC, CIA all spied on Trump and colluded with foreign governments (U.K. , Ukraine , Russia) to try and dig up dirt to use against Trump (and they more or less failed).

They turned over every rock they could, look at that stupid hot-mic video in the bus, how many hours of video did they have to go through to dig up that crumb? they went back searching through 30+ years of content and thats all they could come up with.... some locker room talk lol

People have to just face it.

Your government was and still is corrupt and its a weaponized system of control, Your government colluded with the enemy in a desperate attempt to stop Trump from becoming president. Your government started a sham "Russia investigation" to cover up its own crimes. Your government applied a different standard of justice to the clintons than it would have to you or anyone else.

To date ZERO evidence has been brought forward that Trump or anyone in his campaign did anything wrong, and the only people that have done anything wrong so far were picked by "the swamp" to fill positions..... all the others fell into petty perjury Traps on meaningless topics and insignificant factoids.

Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind buying this and thus, Obama and Hillary?

navy62802 -> Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS?

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

Isn't it lovely to find out that your money and mine is being used by government agents to give us the government they want?

It's sort of like a thug robbing you and using part of your money to pay another thug to rough you up from time time to time if you ask any questions with the thugs believing it's for our own good.

Thanks, Hillary, for looking out for us. You and your best buds are the best. Such bighearted givers! Meanwhile, give our regards to your partner in slime Obama, although it must pain you to have been bested by 'Beavis' who thinks so much of himself to balance out how little he impresses anyone who knows him.

desertboy Feb 10, 2018 12:20 PM Permalink

"U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds.

Consuelo Feb 10, 2018 12:22 PM Permalink

Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it...

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

As taxpayers can we sue the CIA for misusing our funds? Pretty sure that buying sex videos for commercial release isn't part of the CIA's lawful mandate even at bargain prices.

indaknow Feb 10, 2018 1:13 PM Permalink

Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us.

It's not going to work.

hooligan2009 Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

my sauces tell me that pink pussyhat wearing hollywood types have been called in because they have a doppelganger for trump and access to 30,000 sexually abused victims that can act as Russian prostitutes for just ten bucks each. snapchat has a trump emoji that can be transplanted onto any porn video star - male or female - thus confirming that trump is a serial (serious?) user of ladies of the night

my sauces also tell me that the CIA offers a reward of 100,000 bucks (or 10 BTC) for every photo-shopped (snap-shopped or porn-shopped) material.

of course, the CIA already owns many many porn movie studios and films, but it would prefer third "party" movies - not from epstein's island where its operatives choose to rela with a pizza.

the CIA "pink" budget for such movies is limited to just 5,000 clips or 5 billion of taxpayers funds, whichever is the higher.

awesome sauce hey?

MusicIsYou Feb 10, 2018 1:14 PM Permalink

For only $100,000 that's all? Now I know it's probably not true.

Robert A. Heinlein Feb 10, 2018 1:17 PM Permalink

'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot.

hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:33 PM Permalink

i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump.

i call bullshit.

RKae -> hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:47 PM Permalink

Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth."

And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works.

Quantify Feb 10, 2018 1:38 PM Permalink

The CIA is at the head of the shadow government.

RKae Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw?

I mean if they're so concerned about Trump and a couple of hookers... Better put some ice on that, CIA.

vofreason Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

You all are so ridiculous and fooled with your "drain the swamp" bs. It's a great idea but Trump doing it is a joke, I mean just look at who he has hired, what's wrong with you all are you blind?!!

He can't even fill 1/3 of the government positions he's supposed to and the ones he has have no business holding the positions given to them and are so incompetent, downright criminal or just personally horrendous humans that they can't stay in office more than a few months. All their blatant and moronically concocted lies are backing them into corners every day that they just try and lie out of again. America is over if we really have gotten to the point that a group like Trump's has support, it's just astonishing.

[May 08, 2019] Obama Spied on Other Republicans and Democrats As Well by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program. ..."
"... One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely. ..."
"... I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. ..."
"... Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant. ..."
"... That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, ..."
"... Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ..."
"... Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking " ..."
"... I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported. ..."
"... Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive: ..."
"... I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government? ..."
"... Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution. ..."
"... Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front. ..."
"... So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal. ..."
May 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Do not focus on July 2016 as the so-called start of the counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump. That is a lie. We know, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, that the FBI had signed up Christopher Steele as a Confidential Human Source (aka CHS) by February of 2016. It is incumbent on Attorney General Barr to examine the contact reports filed by Steele's FBI handler (those reports are known as FD-1023s). He also, as I have noted in a previous post, needs to look at the FD-1023s for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. But these will only tell a small part of the story. There is a massive intelligence side to this story.

The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program.

One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely.

This initial phase of intelligence collection produced a great volume of intelligence that allowed analysts to identify key personnel and the people they were communicating with overseas. You don't have to have access to intelligence information to understand this. For example, you simply have to ask the question, "how did George Papadopoulos get on the radar." I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. We also know that Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Donald Trump and an FBI informant since December 1998 (he was signed up by Andrew Weismann), initiated the proposal to do a Trump Tower in Moscow. Don't take my word for it, that's what Robert Mueller reported:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant.

By December of 2015, the Hillary Campaign decided to use the Russian angle on Donald Trump. Thanks to Wikileaks we have Campaign Manager John Podesta's email exchange in December 2015 with Democratic operative Brent Budowsky:

" That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, " Budowski replies, later adding: " Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ."

The program to slaughter Donald Trump using Russia as the hatchet was already underway. This was more the opposition research. This was the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence assets to attack political opponents. Hillary had covered the opposition research angle in London by hiring a firm comprised of former MI6 assets-- Hakluyt: there was a second, even more powerful and mysterious opposition research and intelligence firm lurking about with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign for president against Donald Trump.

Meet London-based Hakluyt & Co. , founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums. . . .

Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking "

I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported.

Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive:

But it can be revealed Mr. Downer has still been attending client conferences and gatherings of the group, including a client cocktail soirée at the Orangery at Kensington Palace a few months ago.

His attendance at that event is understood to have come days after he also attended a two-day country retreat at the invitation of the group, which has been involved in a number of corporate spy scandals in recent times.

Much remains to be uncovered in this plot. But this much is certain--there is an extensive documentary record, including TOP SECRET intelligence reports (SIGINT and HUMINT) and emails and phone calls that will show there was a concerted covert action operation mounted against Donald Trump and his campaign. Those documents will tell the story. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

Posted at 05:33 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink | Comments (9)


turcopolier , 07 May 2019 at 09:53 AM

Having watched interviews of Papadopoulos on TeeVee I would say that this creature would be easy to manipulate. His ego is so enormous that a minimal effort would be required.
blue peacock said in reply to turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 11:19 AM
Col. Lang

I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government?

David Habakkuk -> blue peacock... , 07 May 2019 at 01:31 PM
bp,

The guts of the matter was well expressed by Judge T.S. Ellis when he made the distinction between different results which can be expected from exerting pressures on witnesses: they may 'sing' - which is, commonly, in the interests of justice - but, there again, they may 'compose', which is not.

Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution.

Alcatraz, perhaps?

blue peacock said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 08 May 2019 at 12:17 AM
David,

Yes, indeed, many a composition have been elicited by prosecutors in criminal cases. The issue is there is no penalty for prosecutorial misconduct while the advancement points ratchet up with each conviction. The incentives are aligned perfectly for the "institution" to run rough shod on ordinary Americans. Only those wealthy enough to fight the unlimited funds of the government have a chance. But of course in matters relating to national security there is the added twist of state secrets that protects government malfeasance.

I don't know how the national security state we continue to build ever gets rolled back. A small victory would be for Trump to declassify all documents and communications relating to the multifaceted spying on his campaign and as Larry so eloquently writes to frame him as a Manchurian Candidate. At least the public will learn about what their grandchildren are paying for. But it seems that Trump prefers tweeting to taking any kind of action. Not that it would matter much as half the country will still believe that Trump deserves it until the tables are turned on their team. While most Americans will say to use Ben Hunt's phrasing Yay! Constitution. Yay! Liberty. they sure don't care as the state oligarchy tighten their chokehold.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/things-fall-apart-pt-1/

akaPatience -> turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 05:27 PM
Yes, he seems young and ambitious enough to be easy (and willing) prey. Having been involved in some local political campaigns though, I've observed that more and more than before, young people like him are hyper-concerned with networking. Papadopoulos' ego aside, of course he and many people who sign on hope to make self-serving connections. Not only that, it's also been my observation that casual sexual hook-ups go with the territory, and not only among young, single guys like him. I have to say I've been shocked a few times by how risky and cavalier some liaisons have been that've come to my attention, considering "public figures" are involved. No doubt that's why a "honeypot" was dispatched to try to help entrap Papadopoulos.
Rick Merlotti , 07 May 2019 at 12:14 PM
Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front.
O'Shawnessey , 07 May 2019 at 02:44 PM
So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal.
sandra adie , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
Papadopolos was very young hence the nativity getting sucked in. The ego helped for sure. Probably exciting to be part of something important probably for the first time since he started working for Trump campaign
akaPatience , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
One thing that's always concerned me about Larry's informative and insightful essays on these matters is how can we be assured that the IC documentation mentioned has been filled out honestly and accurately -- or that the forms even still exist and haven't been conveniently "lost" or surreptitiously destroyed?

[Apr 22, 2019] Decades long image of MI6. Apparently MI6 it is not populated with the high IQ, highly educated professionals any more. They average intelligence careerists who cannot play on international stage. In case of Skripals poisoning the script is poor, directing mediocre, inconsistencies and deep holes in story negate logics

Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Darko Fius, 1 month ago

Decades long "image" of London's spy school fall spectacularly apart, apparently it is not populated with the high IQ, highly educated brass any more, average intelligence however cannot play on international stage, script is poor, directing mediocre, inconsistencies and deep holes in story negate logics...

it is time that London joins Washington, hand in hand, like lowers to seek fortunes elsewhere, the prey is still to be found in oligarchs of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and the like places with spineless political caricatures.

Go London go...there is no fortune for you in EU...and by now you stench of your morals and ethics reaches shores of smallest island on GMT+12 time scale.

[Apr 22, 2019] Zacharova On the "Dead Cat" Strategy West Now Relies on Absurdist Bait and Switch Tactics!

Mar 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Subscribe to Vesti News https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8M...

It's been a year since the Salisbury incident. We still don't have the investigative conclusion. We don't know who's responsible and how exactly the Skripals were poisoned or if they were even poisoned at all. But international relations sure were poisoned. It appears that our ambassador to Britain, the esteemed Alexander Yakovenko is a spy decorated with military medals.


Leon Allan Davis , 1 month ago

Why don't the Russians just lay out the facts of the story as told by the British? The Brits story is so stupid it makes zero sense... According to the British media Skripal and his daughter came into contact with "military grade" Novichok nerve agent and both survived... Even though they said a tiny drop can be fatal... The poor woman who did die was a homeless drug addict. Supposedly, her boyfriend found a bottle of "perfume" in a "perfume box" that was in a trash receptacle. The boyfriend retrieved it from the waste bin and gave it to to the unfortunate woman. She died. According to the British government, Russian spies put the Novichok in the perfume bottle and planted the bottle in the trash bin so the boyfriend would find it... Personally, I blame the death of the homeless woman on a "false flag" operation run by British intelligence. Someone had to die. Why not an "expendable"? Meanwhile, the Skripals remain under house arrest, cut off from the outside world... And no one in the British media has asked to talk to them. No one.

08x840234 , 1 month ago

The British story about the Skripals is falling apart. First we were told an off duty police officer found them. Then we are told that an off duty nurse helped the police officer. Then it was the off duty nurse that found them and was helped by the police officer. Then it was the daughter of the off duty nurse that found them. Then the off duty nurse turned out to be Britain's highest ranking female military medic. Then we are told the police officer never attended them and had been sent to their house the following day. This week the local TV news channel (BBC Points West) interviewed a woman that said SHE was the first one to find the Skripals who were alone on the bench frothing at the mouth. She claims she walked over and was going to phone an ambulance when a female police officer arrived. Then the female police officer was interviewed and stated she was driving her police van and was the first on scene after someone had phoned them for help. She also stated that although she didn't know what was wrong with the Skripals, she thought the vomit on the ground was suspicious and requested a Hazmat team in full protective gear to remove the vomit.

anirudh mathur , 1 month ago

Happy women day Mrs zakharhova

Kostas K , 1 month ago

Maria is an intelligent in a very high level, fiery and articulate. The British political system would trade at least half of their politicians for one of her.

KnightInShiningASMR , 1 month ago

Vladimir,can you find out if England has just set up Ireland by sending someone there and having them post flammable packages back to England? The addresses were so vague that they should have alerted someone in the postal service,especially since England is on high alert for terror attacks.That says to me that the government knew they were coming.ISIS would claim responsibility for a silent fart in a packed room.No-one in Ireland has claimed responsibility for the packages,probably because it's "highly likely" that England has set up Ireland.If the Brits are found to be behind it,like black people and Israeli's have been caught out spraying racist graffiti against themselves,Salisbury will be even more questionable.Elliot Abrams shipped arms in "aid" convoys,so now no-one believes the aid to Venezuela isn't hiding weapons.What have the filthy Brits been caught doing in recent years that would make them look guilty like Elliot Abrams?

Terry Bromley , 1 month ago

Terry F Bromley, Brilliant, Maria Zacharova just smashing we look after her

johnrb88 , 1 month ago

Maria Zacharova may be simply too decent a human being to realise that the west is run by a mafia-like cabal that cares not a jot for their own peoples, let alone those in foreign realms. She looks for logical explanations that might account for actions, but needs to face the reality that monumental greed and corruption have hollowed out all corridors of power in western governments. Any semblance of an unbiased independent media went extinct a long time ago, replaced by well placed operatives from the intelligence agencies, who manage a vast array of pseudo "journalists". The western puppet regimes are simply useful idiots who obey instructions, they sell themselves for money and privilege. In other words, traitors to the people who put them in office. Those public officials and politicians who perhaps had a shred of integrity get eliminated, or compromised by indiscretions that are held over them, or by simple intimidation tactics -- the classic "carrot and stick" method. Russians lifted themselves from the disastrous days of "perestroika" and have restored their nation to near normalcy. The west may at some point do the same, but it will take a complete collapse of their present totalitarian regimes to start the healing, if it is to happen. With each passing day, the zombification of the masses continues, let us hope it has not already got to the stage where a return to a better world becomes unattainable.

István Vicze , 1 month ago (edited)

Mrs Spokeswoman really nailed it: US & UK resort to this Dead Cat tactics everyday now. That was the Case with Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria & now Venezuela. However, they only manage to bait in their "Allies" (better said Vassals)- and then they fail to deliver since Syria. Russian Intervention & People waking up to their Lies makes their Case less and less credible. The paralel Universe they are creating inside their brainwashing Media is fading away. And that makes them the more dangerous...

twaters57 , 1 month ago

It's sad when the only real news people in the US can get is from the Russian media. The west is financially and morally bankrupt. Thank you Zacharova and Russia for telling the truth about the evil deeds of the west. Median approval of U.S. leadership across 134 countries and areas stands at a new low of 30%, according to a new Gallup report. Maybe the tide is finally turning and the evil deeds of the west will be exposed.

Bob Mitchell , 1 month ago

I think the underlying cause of all the UK anti-Russia carry ons goes right back to the damage you did to them during the Crimean War...you bloodied their nose and they have never forgiven you...silly buggers! 💥💥💥🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

Robin Wood , 1 month ago (edited)

The Roman-Israeli Brits are born liars, but liars will always fall apart because their stories never add up. I suspect that the Skripals were never even poisoned but paid by the British to confirm the lie. The Western politicians have become so corrupt that you cannot believe a word coming from their lying mouths. Over the decades they have become so confident that everybody would swallow their reckless lies that they don't even care what they say and what they do without thinking or caring about the consequences of their actions.

Nico Montinola , 1 month ago

Amazing how slick & classy the Russians are nowadays. I think US and US industrial standards are still higher but Russia has improved a lot!

kee yong loh , 1 month ago

To UK & US: Please show some respect for world ordinary people. We are not stupid. We are intelligent & also kind compassionate human beings. U're insulting our intelligence!

Robert Tony , 1 month ago

I think they have completely lost the plot, relying on stupidity and arrogance to achieve the least amount possible in the messiest most insane way possible. Seriously, the publicly state the reality, conduct regime change operations, to get US troops into and country and then charge 150% of cost of that occupation, protection, straight out of a Mafioso playback, only their blind arrogance and ignorance, make that kind of public stance possible. Any government that signs onto it, traitors to their own people, selling out to an foreign occupation, using Americans forces to sustain autocratic control of that country, those citizens paying for the bullets Americans will use to kill them, should they try to end the occupation. The more forces required to quell the public, the more they bill the occupied country and the MORE PROFITABLE IT BECOMES, utter insanity. Only utterly blind stupidity could make that public statement possible, beyond something you would expect from a backward third world country and some despot drunk on power, nope, this from the USA, the not home of freedom, the not home of justice and clearly the not home of democracy, the best people killers on the planet, ready to back militarily any despot it puts in charge, at the expense of their victims. Any sane country would hide this embarrassment, nope the US proud.

· doubleplusgood · ʞɐǝdsʞɔnp · , 1 month ago

Imagine a parallel universe where Maria is the British Prime Minister. The British politicians are not in her league. She is notionally just a spokeswoman, in Britain we don't have such free speaking spokesmen. It seems everything said in Britain has to be a lie. So refreshing and much more intellectually engaging to have the truth. There is the small matter of appearance, nobody in British politics now or ever is dressed as well as Maria. Or this show's host. I also like it how Maria has her notes on her phone.

[Apr 19, 2019] Some nuances of Chief nurse story

Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Apr 19, 2019 9:01:53 AM | link

@5

@5 I had listed some curious incidences of "training exercises" including a bioterrorism training exercise that happened in New York three
days before 9/11.

I am adding to my own personal notes another bioterrorism training exercise that happened just prior to the highly suspicious Skripal poisoning.

-------

Add to the list, "Toxic Dagger", a biological/chemical training exercise held
just prior to the Skripal poisoning. Toxic Dagger is the largest annual British army
biological/chemical training exercise.

"Completing the training and exercising against these scenarios provides
a challenging programme for the Royal Marines to demonstrate their proficiency in
the methods to detect, assess and mitigate a CBRN threat."

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/a-very-strange-coincidence-exercise-toxic-dagger-on-the-eve-of-skripal-poisoning/

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/01/20/coincidence-chief-nurse-of-british-army-was-first-to-arrive-at-novichoked-skripal-scene/

The first person to discover the Skripals was the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army (whose experience includes deployment to Sierre Leone to help fight Ebola).

"An experienced officer, highly connected, who is also known for handling highly infectious patients?"

The nurse claimed later that it was actually her daughter that was with her that detected and assessed the Skripal scenario.

The daughter was 16 at the time and we presume the Lifesaver Award she received would be a feather in her cap useful for her imminent application for admission to a university. Wonder if Lori Loughlin had thought of using such an angle?

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 19, 2019 10:57:38 AM | link

Btw on the Skripal thing does that nurse also run over to every "spice" zombie she sees in public? Anyone in a puddle of their own partly digested booze? Does she go hunting under bridges for heroin addicts and glue sniffers? Does she check on everyone sleeping on a bench or in some doorway? It is England after all.

Weird hobby she's got and with her kid in tow too :P

(Yes I'm being facetious about a bullshit narrative straight out of the 1950ies).

[Apr 18, 2019] It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga

British propaganda is clearly as close to neofascist propaganda as one can get... British neocons are even closer to neofascists then the US neocons. And British security services are closer to the Third Reich security services then any other.
Skripals is a such a grandiose false flag operation that Gellen (of operation Gladio fame) probably would be amazed and humbled.
Notable quotes:
"... The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story.... ..."
"... If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously. ..."
"... Oh dear oh dear.. It appears the UK may be denying there were any poor ducks involved... https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984 ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 17, 2019 2:19:31 PM | link

It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.

Undaunted, Kit Klarenberg provides further Skripal update in an extensively detailed article that moves him to conclude:

"The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story....

"If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously."

Klarenberg's tweet response to Haynes is devastating:

"Difficult to verify your version of events given it involves nameless officials. Knowing you're often used by security services to peddle propaganda seemed a reasonable assumption they'd urged you to backtrack your earlier advocacy as story detonates official #Skripal narrative."

It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.

S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 3:34:15 PM | link

Oh dear oh dear.. It appears the UK may be denying there were any poor ducks involved...https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984

[Apr 18, 2019] The result of Yeltsin neoliberal mafia rule was the largest after 1941-1945 kill off of Russians in modern history: Yeltsin plus Harvard Business School being responsible for many more deaths than even the intoxicated propagandist Robert Conquest ever dreamed of.

Notable quotes:
"... Skripal was just one more effort to tighten sanctions against Putin's allies in the Russian oligarchy and isolate Trump from foreign policy initiatives not approved by the Deep State. ..."
"... The significance of the NY Times story, then, is that, inadvertently it reinforces the reality that in the matter of Russiagate and Trump all roads lead to London, the Tory Establishment, which has been living off US-Russian tensions for seventy years and security agencies doing what the CIA cannot do for itself. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Apr 17, 2019 9:13:07 AM | link

Craig Murray has a piece on this today. There is nothing very new in what he writes but he sees the significance of this story, which is not about ducks or children or Donald Trump's personality but a concerted and thorough campaign, carried out largely by British state actors, to deepen the 'west's' isolation of Russia.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

The real story of both the Cold War and the continually recurring propaganda stories about the "millions" of "victims of communism" is that the Soviet Union was manipulated throughout its history by capitalist control over the international economy. Like a demonic organist capitalist governments pulled out all the stops to control the moods and the policies of a state that the Bolsheviks never did get to rule.

In the end the Politburo gave in and did what the 'west' had always been wanted which is to hand over the country, lock, stock and population to the cannibals of capital.

The result being what was probably, after the 1930-45 war, the largest kill off of Russians in modern history: Yeltsin plus Harvard Business School being responsible for many more deaths than even the intoxicated propagandist Robert Conquest ever dreamed of.

It is that total control over Russia, through the manipulation of its economy, and the direction of its capitalists, that is behind the long series of sanctions, which are being added to every day: their purpose is to re-invent Yeltsinism, re-empower the Fifth Column in the Kremlin, and, in a stroke, re-establish the inevitable and eternal hegemony of the Washington centered Empire.

In this work the assistance of the 'cousins'in MI6 and GCHQ, plus the entire British military establishment has been crucial in a period in which the subservience of POTUS to the Deep State was, thanks to the underestimation of his electoral chances, very much in question. During a period in which Trump had to be tamed and brought under control the UK Establishment's assistance in coming up with a series of highly publicised interventions was crucia l.

Lysias points out that Haspel had acted as the CIA's Head of Station in London in 2016. It was in London that the entire "Russiagate" nonsense was put together, with British based actors continually prodding Congress, the media and the Democrats to act on revelations regarding Papadopolous, Mifsud, Stefan Halper.

Skripal was just one more effort to tighten sanctions against Putin's allies in the Russian oligarchy and isolate Trump from foreign policy initiatives not approved by the Deep State. The significance of the NY Times story, then, is that, inadvertently it reinforces the reality that in the matter of Russiagate and Trump all roads lead to London, the Tory Establishment, which has been living off US-Russian tensions for seventy years and security agencies doing what the CIA cannot do for itself.

[Apr 18, 2019] It might well be that Trump might was deliberately misinformed/duped by the American and British security services

Apr 18, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

Peter , April 17, 2019 at 21:15

I'm wondering what the purpose of the Guardian article is.

On the face of it it looks like just another Guardian attempt to besmirch Trump over his putative commitment and connections to Russia and Putin, but equally, it could be read as an, almost surreptitious, attempt to point up that Trump only responded as he did because he was deliberately (?) misinformed/duped by the American (and British?) security services, thereby questioning the aims, motives, methods and narrative of those security services.

You decide.

Ian , April 17, 2019 at 21:49

If you read any of the books about behind the scenes at Trump's WhiteHouse you will find a familiar scenario which corroborates this account, where Trump is easily manipulable by his aides, who know very well how to push his buttons. Bolton, AIPAC, Bannon have all employed this strategy successfully and of course Fox News have a mainstream connection to his brain. So it sounds par for the course. As well as suggesting that Trump wouldn't have been inclined to agree to the UK's request without the nonsense pictures, which also rings true to form.
As for his general conduct, Simon Tisdall's excoriating account of his preference for his Saudi friend, overriding the American people's request to get out of the Yemen massacres, is on the ball, and sums up what a clear and present danger he is.

giyane , April 17, 2019 at 22:17

Ian

Somehow I don't think Donald Trump is going to ignore every story in the papers and TV and listen to a professional manipulator from the CIA. More likely he saw an opportunity to talk fake tough on Russia in order to take some of the heat out of Mueller's investigations, buying time.

He must know Bolton's a neo-con nut-case and that the re-launching of dirty wars on South America on the pretext of Russian and Chinese interference is as much of a fatuous waste of time as the MacCarthyian idiocy.

Russia enters an era in which Western leadership is as unscrutable and bonkers as Stalin's.
China enters an era in which having spied on everything western, it now dreads itself being spied on by Western spies.

Politics is surely not so crude as village one-upmanship, where the loudest and most bombastic talkers get all the admiration from the community, just because they are too lazy or too busy to run the village themselves? Whatever outrageous claim lifts the town's skirts up ends up with the big gold chain.

Ian , April 17, 2019 at 22:40

There's a lot of assumptions and projections of your own there, as well as mischaracterising what is being said about him. there is ample evidence of his manchild attitude – arrogance, bullying, narcissism, naivety, inability to concentrate, laziness and a fundamental lack of intelligence.

giyane , April 17, 2019 at 22:58

Ian

I don't think Trump's reversing of Obama's creation and funding Islamic State shows a lack of intelligence or narcissism. He came into office and instead of veni vidi vici as per madame bloodsucker Clinton, he deployed Iran and Syrian Kurds to round them up and disperse them.
At last someone in the White House grew some nuts and nouse, for a change.
This report today in the Guardian appears to be not so much about the Scrotals, more about trying to portray Trump as a gullible idiot.

Just saying.

Scottish Intelligence Service , April 17, 2019 at 22:09

Yet another piece of evidence to confirm what I wrote in the comments sections on here months ago. That the Skripal event was a total Psyop, carried out by the corrupt government. Same as the fabricated terror Psyops at Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester.

Paul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 23:21

@ Ian April 17, 2019 at 22:42
Ever hear of Operation Gladio? I suggest you read up on it, as you are very naive if you believe the PTB won't sacrifice innocents if it suits their plans. False Flag ops (and bald-faced lies) are the favoured way to spark off wars, or to introduce stricter limitations on the people's freedoms (Patriot Act, stuff like that).

Paul Barbara , April 18, 2019 at 01:45

@ Ian April 18, 2019 at 00:11
Do you accept that the Operation Gladio attacks were False Flag operations, murdering innocent European citizens in order to place the blame on the Reds? 'I have heard of so-called Operation Gladio ' sounds very much like you are dismissive of the attacks.
'..which has nothing to do with these allegations ' It has to do with the fact that False Flag ops killing one's own citizens is not an unknown phenomena, whilst you appear to have believed it was, by your response.
I am not claiming Manchester was a False Flag, though I may well suspect it was.
You would be surprised how much evidence many 'conspiracy theorists' have to back up their dismissal of government and MSM 'narratives'.

SA , April 18, 2019 at 01:38

So we have a new contributor here by the name of Villanelle. This name has nothing to do with villains but is a French term meaning:
"a pastoral or lyrical poem of nineteen lines, with only two rhymes throughout, and some lines repeated."

-- –
[ Mod: "Villanelle" is merely the latest incarnation of a serial sockpuppeteer who comments under different names in nearly every thread. Craig has been kept informed. ]
-- –

So there are recurring rhymes or themes. An apparently simple but very open question based on a very non- specific enquiry: what evidence would convince you of a certain occurrence? I can imagine this as a famous punchline in a legal drama or the like.

A famous barrister just winding up the case of a convicted triple murderer with the line to the judge: " Your honour, you seem to have made many assumptions in this case, but please tell me what evidence would you require to prove that my client is innocent?"

Of course in real life the judge would tell the barrister to go where the sun does not shine. How can you ask such a question, repeatedly, then followed by next, when the case and all the evidence have already been discussed?

I think Alexander is on the right track. Villanelle is an agent provocateur. (S)he dominated this thread by also meticulously at least initially answering almost every single comment by deflection. But contrary to what Alexander says I think he is not CB but is more like our Wikipedia prolific commentator previously featuring here. Who knows whether this is not some form of fishing or phishing by something like the II?

[Apr 18, 2019] The Official Skripal Story is a Dead Duck by Craig Murray

Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

Paul Barbara , April 18, 2019 at 02:27

'A police officer stands guard outside of the home of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury, BritainNew York Times Accidentally Unravels UK Government's Official Skripal Narrative':

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201904171074227109-skripal-ducks-children-nyt-usa-britain/

Latest from Sputnik: includes pic and reference to Craig's present blog post. ' There could be several explanations for this seeming anomaly. To name just some of the most unsettling:

Several children were hospitalised, and several ducks did die, and for reasons unclear the British government didn't inform the public and prevented the children and their parents from revealing they'd been affected, while secretly communicating the fact to other governments in literally graphic detail.

Counterfeit and/or misleading images may have been produced by persons unknown to bolster Britain's case for concerted international action, and further been relayed to Haspel (if not other overseas officials), conning her and Trump into backing its mass-expulsion policy.

Alternatively of course, perhaps the stirring tale of Haspel converting the reticent President with impactful images is mere gossip, or spin -- after all, the article's authors didn't discuss the episode with the CIA chief herself, but based their article on interviews "with more than a dozen current and former intelligence officials who have briefed or worked alongside her" .'

Spells it all out nicely, unlike our MSM.

Villanelle , April 17, 2019 at 13:27

Is someone willing to explain what evidence would convince them that the Russian security services attempted, and failed to kill Sergei Skripal?

Paul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 13:34

@ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 13:27
A hell of a lot more than the load of BS narrative served up by HMG in lieu of any evidence.
But I'll give you a question, as you appear to have swallowed HMG hogwash hook, line and sinker: Can you explain why neither Sergei nor Yulia have contacted their nonagenarian respective mother/grandmother for months, though she has begged HMG to allow contact?
Given that Sergei used to phone her every week or two, and that Yulia was her loving carer?

Northern , April 17, 2019 at 13:42

Is this not somewhat putting the cart before the horse? Last I was aware it was up to those making the accusation to prove their case. If you read the articles relating to the Skirpal case on here, you would see that most of the evidence put forward for this being a Russian assassination attempt has been widely discredited and comes from sources with dubious links to British security services. So something beyond speculation would be a start.

If I was to indulge in such speculation, I'd say it looks most likely to me on the back of what I've read that Sergei was attempting to return to Russia with some kind of information or material, and this whole affair was an ill planned and on the fly attempt to stop Sergei, and pin the blame on the Ruskies as a nice bonus.

David , April 17, 2019 at 13:46

yes, good question.

howsabout, say , a widely respected and trusted Foreign Minister, standing up in the mother of all parliaments and saying "I, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, will immediately instigate a full and integral inquiry upon my own initiative and once all the facts are established, following institutional statecraft, we will then make a considered response to whichever agency bounced the UK into this mess"

see references:

"Serial liar Boris Johnson caught lying again?" Kevin Maguire, an editor at Daily Mirror,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/04/britains-boris-johnson-accused-of-misleading-public-over-skripal-poisoning-evidence/

https://www.theblogmire.com/boris-johnsons-statements-analysed-by-experts-and-found-to-contain-traces-of-the-ministry-grade-swerve-agent-govichock/

David , April 17, 2019 at 13:46

yes, good question.

howsabout, say , a widely respected and trusted Foreign Minister, standing up in the mother of all parliaments and saying "I, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, will immediately instigate a full and integral inquiry upon my own initiative and once all the facts are established, following institutional statecraft, we will then make a considered response to whichever agency bounced the UK into this mess"

see references:

"Serial liar Boris Johnson caught lying again?" Kevin Maguire, an editor at Daily Mirror,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/04/britains-boris-johnson-accused-of-misleading-public-over-skripal-poisoning-evidence/

https://www.theblogmire.com/boris-johnsons-statements-analysed-by-experts-and-found-to-contain-traces-of-the-ministry-grade-swerve-agent-govichock/

Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 14:16

Villanelle

We have had so many contradictory stories from the media and government, that there is definitely something very wrong.
The Guardian has made no attempt to contradict the concocted story that ducks died and "sickened" children had to be hospitalised – it just didn't happen, it was "fake news" spread by the muderous gina Haspel.
Johnson told us that only Russia could have produced Novichok, which was a complete lie.
The policeman who was contaminated, was originally supposed to be one of the first on the scene, then he visited the Skripal's house, supposedly wearing police isswue gloves, which later turned out to be a full Hazchem suit.
He was put in isolation in hospital, with doctors and nurses wearing Hazchem suits, yet his wife and daughter were not required to wear them.
The two boys feeding the ducks in the park were not hurt, no ducks died from the Skripal contaminated bread fed to them.
When did the Skripals get poisoned?
Was it when they left the house – how did they manage to walk around for hours before collapsing? That is definitely not how military grade nerve agents work.
Where are the Skripals now?

Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 14:30

Villanelle

Here is the back up.

""One moment you'd have a nurse coming in with a sandwich for you dressed top to bottom in protective gear," he said,

However, they might be "closely followed" by his wife and children, who were "allowed to just walk in".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46290989

Villanelle, you have just come on here spouting pro government rubbish, and yet you seem to have no idea how much this case has been researched by Craig and the posters on here.

Paul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 15:04

@ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 13:57
If as many contend it is a UK False Flag set-up, no evidence on earth would convince me that the Russians were responsible, because they weren't.
But the real question should be: what evidence is there for the government narratives (plural because they change with the weather)? To portray some one or group as guilty of a crime, it is normal to provide evidence. Maybe old fashioned, but things work better that way.
But of course, the UK has form: it went to war in Afghanistan without proof, just on Uncle Sam's say-so.
It bombed Syria over Chemical Weapon 'allegations', with no proof.
It attacked Iraq over alleged Chemical Weapons.
And it bombed Libya over false allegations.
So, yep, HMG has 'form' at fomenting false 'casus belli'.

James2 , April 17, 2019 at 13:49

The first question is why would the Russians attempt to kill this man – and his daughter?

I have not heard a convincing reason for this.

-He was let go years ago from prison – so he was of no concern to them. In fact no one knew who this guy was on the Russian side.

– the daughter was living in Russia and visiting regularly her father / why attack her in the UK?

The whole story is built on stereotypes of malevolent Russians attacking someone because that's what they do. It's actually a very racist idea.

The Russians were accused within 24hours – this in itself was suspect

Goose , April 17, 2019 at 14:00

Craig's listed various inconsistencies

·When did the Skripals return home to actually touch the door? Earliest door could've been coated around 12 noon. No cctv of their car returning and timeline is off.
· Why did they both fall ill later that afternoon at precisely same moment despite different body compositions?
·The fact the potential assassins walked up the street in broad daylight unconcerned about any CCTV, why did Sergei's house have no CCTV.
·The method – insanely risky given Skripal wasn't hiding, living at that address under his real name with no CCTV.
·The fact that for days after these events police stood outside, right next to the door in question with no protective clothing, this despite an officer apparently falling ill after 'forcing entry' – no sign of forced entry on that door.
· Why did Charlie Rowley and his brother insist in TV interviews he broke the bottle spilled a quantity on his hands and then wash it off? He even talked of its 'oily' consistency and its smell. A google search shows all the MSM reported the bottled 'splintered' into pieces. It's reported the sample handed to the OPCW was 98.3% pure.
· Ţhe fact both Skripals have all but vanished despite Yulia feeling the need to phone her cousin during her 'situation'.

There are many other inconsistencies.

If these are answered satisfactorily, I guess Craig and all other querying folk will be convinced.

Paul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 15:19

@ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 14:09
The following should teach you all you need to know about the OPCW – it is afraid to deal honestly in cases which go against the Western (US) narrative:
'Was UK paying White Helmets to produce Syria 'chemical weapon' PR as cover for Jaish Al Islam?':
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/454205-uk-paying-white-helmets-syria-jaish/ ?
And in my estimation, Syria was what was behind the Salisbury Saga. The UK wanted to get across to the public the idea Russia used Chemical Weapons, in time for the next 'False Flag' CW ops (real or hoax) that the British founded and funded 'White Helmets' mercenary head-choppers' PR outfit organised in Syria.

Tatyana , April 17, 2019 at 14:02

I am, Villanelle.
If only Sergey Skripal suddenly and unexplainably died in first year or two after he was swapped. You know, that type of death, like heart attack during your usual morning fitness, or falling out of the window, or perhaps you remember the guy who was found dead in his travel bag and somehow it was attributes to his sexual play with his gay partner. Something of this kind.
Gosh, even simple death of rat poison would do.
Not the absurd story about FSB trying to kill an ex-spy with secret warfare in rural England, near the fence of Porton Down, with the most experienced Army Nurse rushing to help and brave British doctors successfully treating Novichok poisoning. So successfully, that Yulia was able to read and write two languages, using complex grammar constructions She even didn't stumble on foreign words, reciting long text in front of cameras and her facial expressions are all relevant, healthy and telling of good self-possession.
So NO, I'm not convinced.

Mammoth , April 17, 2019 at 17:57

Villanelle has asked a silly question but provided no evidence for his/her/its belief in some "official" version of events which somehow involves Russian guilt. The simple fact is that there is no evidence for any Russian state involvement in the disappearance of the Skripals. As for their alleged poisoning – all samples went through Porton Down, a UK government agency – so there is no independent chain of custody. Just as with the OPCW "investigation" of the alleged Khan Sheykhoun CW "attack" in Syria where all samples were supplied through terrorists and their White Helmets associates. And OPCW itself refused to visit the Syrian airbase even when invited and guaranteed security for such a visit.
Russian visitors Petrov and Boshirov (there is no evidence that these are false identities) were in Salisbury on 3 and 4 March 2018 either as tourists or for some other purpose, but the police have been unable to link them in any way with the Skripals.
Craig Murray and others have pointed out innumerable logical impossibilities – not just inconsistencies – in official and media reports.
There is no case for Russia to answer. Russia needs no defence. The simple answer to Villanelle is that after all the official obfuscation by UK government and intelligence agencies, there is NOTHING that would now convince me of Russian guilt.

Grhm , April 17, 2019 at 20:20

The way honest people proceed is as follows:
Firstly, we assemble the known facts, and then secondly we invent an explanation that's consistent with those facts.
Villanelle evidently goes about things differently.
The question asked, in paraphrase, is:
"The explanation is that the KGB tried and failed to kill Skripal. What facts can we invent that would be consistent with that explanation?"
This is revealing, I feel.

Republicofscotland , April 17, 2019 at 13:39

The whole Skripal affair is a British dead duck.

Charlie Rowley has even met with a Russian ambassador, asking him for help as the British government have kept him in the dark over the death of Dawn Sturgess, and the matter as a whole.

https://www.rt.com/uk/455757-novichok-rowley-meets-ambassador/

It amounts to a web of lies and deceit, a Gordian knot that even Alexander couldn't cut through.

Northern , April 17, 2019 at 13:45

Even Charlie's meeting with the ambassador was spun though. I saw several information light reports on that in UK media, attempting to portray the meeting as a result of Russian stonewalling, not British.

Conall Boyle , April 17, 2019 at 17:45

As a 'Murrayista' I must say I do roll around with mirth every time Craig posts. I have no theories, banal geopolitics, only total incredulity at the official narrative. It is so hilarious, and yet they go on straight-faced putting it out. You Bostock, seem to be happy to accept the bizarre facts and somehow feel they prove something. Vilanelle just keeps popping up squeaking at some minor point or other.

There is a gigantic smell over the Salisbury incident, but it is not true that ALL the media just suck it up. One or two brave souls like Mary Djevsky ask simple basic journalistic questions and gets a pile of ordure poured over her for her trouble. The rest seem cowed into silence. Why does the establishment fear such questions?

[Apr 18, 2019] Ducks story is another British establishment brazen lie

Notable quotes:
"... The security services seem to have free rein so politicians can claim plausible deniability. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

Robyn , April 17, 2019 at 14:13

Rob Slane (blogmire.com) and his intrepid band of commenters are also poring over this dead duck story today. Somewhere on Rob's page is reference to the parents of the duck-feeding boys being told, two weeks after the event, to burn the children's clothes. To save myself time, I'm paste in here my comment on that aspect of the official script which I pasted under Rob's article.

So, two weeks after the duck feed, the parents were instructed to burn the boys' clothes. It seems like an extreme measure given that everyone else in Salisbury was advised just to launder any clothes under suspicion of contamination. Luckily for the boys and their family and community (if not the nation), the parents remembered exactly which clothes the boys had been wearing. Even more luckily, neither the boys nor their duck-feeding clothes had come into contact with anyone or anything in the intervening fortnight. It's a miracle.

Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 14:24

Robyn

This from 12th March 2018. Salisbury residents told to wash their clothes and use antiseptic wipes – you couldn't make it up!

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/11/salisbury-public-warned-wash-clothes-nerve-agent-attack/

Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 15:13

Villanelle

We have been told by many/various sources, that the Novichok was applied in gel form to the Skripal's door furniture.
Gel does not evaporate.
If the Novichock had in fact been applied by an atomiser spray, then there would have been no need to wear protective clothing and cordon off large areas of Salisbury because it would have evaporated.
Your serve Villanelle.

Northern , April 17, 2019 at 16:26

Your own link provides the answer to that question, if you were actually processing it rather than selectively picking out the bits which support the government narrative.

The whole point of chemical weapons is to cause as much death, injury and incapacity as possible amongst the enemy, with the added bonus of it severely limiting or reducing their ability to operate in the affected area. So given what we know from the government's narrative of alleged Russian application to the doorknob – why would you chose an agent which burns off at atmospheric temperatures if it's known that there could be several hours between application and contact with the intended victim?

None of which adequately explains all of the other inconsistencies in the properties of this agent, either?

How were the samples tested by the OPCW of such high purity so long after the event? How do you tie this up with agent failing to kill the apparent targets? According to chemists, a minute dosage of this substance is enough to kill at such high purity?

John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 18:11

What, the Fentanyl?

andygringo , April 17, 2019 at 17:30

Perhaps it would be better, Villanelle, if you could let everyone else know which parts of the "UK Govt. version", you find most compelling. Which pieces of evidence supplied by the UK Govt. do you find the most convincing?
Bearing in mind that this evidence is brought to you by Intelligence agencies and politicians with a track record of lying and dissembling, it is surely incumbent on any seeker of truth to treat with scepticism anything put out by known liars.
Do you believe that Saddam had WMD?
How about Syria? Have these same intelligence agencies and government officials, who you believe without question now, been truthful and consistent throughout the aggression against Syria?
I suspect, based on your half arsed attempts on this thread to whitewash the UK government, that you would literally believe anything you're told as long as it came from official sources.
It was pointed out to you earlier in the thread that you are way out of your depth on this forum. I second that.
If you really want to know more about the holes in the official version, which I doubt, then the archives on here as well as Moon of Alabama and the excellent Blogmire would help to fill in the obvious gaps in your knowledge. It would also stop you asking stupid questions and looking foolish.

Conall Boyle , April 17, 2019 at 17:56

What would convince me? Even the slightest effort by HMG to produce credible explanations for the many lacunae that have been spotted in their narrative. Of course their point-blank refusal to do so doesn't prove they have something to hide. I often feel that with devious cunning they deliberately let dodgy narratives out into the public domain, then sit back and watch 'the usual suspects' run around in frustration. Thank goodness we have RT to point out the truth.

King of Welsh Noir , April 17, 2019 at 14:55

A lot of people take the piss out of the 'How to poison door knobs' manual, but through my connections in the security services I have managed to get hold of a copy.

I translated it using Google translate.

Here is a section on the special protective Hazmat suits that the two agents would obviously have worn to perform the job.

It's quite a long and complicated procedure because it is very hard to doff the suit afterwards without contaminating yourself.

First, you need a buddy to help you, and a mirror, a tent and and chlorine solution.

No doubt they carried these in the small knapsack one of them was wearing.

It takes half an hour and this is a small fraction of the necessary procedure:

Engage the trained observer.
Disinfect outer gloves.
Remove outer apron.
Disinfect outer gloves
Remove and discard outer gloves
Inspect and disinfect inner gloves
Remove face shield
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove surgical hood
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove the coverall
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove boot covers
Change inner gloves
Remove the N95 respirator
Disinfect the new inner gloves
Disinfect your shoes
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove and discard inner gloves
Perform hand hygiene
Examine body for contaminants
Exit the doffing area
Take a shower.
Go and feed ducks

For videos showing the procedure can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/ppe-training/n95respirator_coveralls/doffing_12.html

After reading the manual I have tremendous respect for the assassins: to do all that in broad daylight on a Sunday morning in Salisbury without being spotted.

Clearly they were real pros. So no more laughing please.

Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 15:15

King of Welsh Noir

I see no reason why they couldn't have performed those tasks without being spotted, causing alarm.

Sarcasm alert.

Tatyana , April 17, 2019 at 18:34

Ah, King of Welsh Noir, don't you know these are all unnecessary procedures with our New Enhanced Premium Baby Wipes!

John Goss , April 17, 2019 at 15:28

"Possibly the Guardian and New York Times are inventing utter drivel, as in the Manafort meeting Assange story. That would in itself be worrying. "

To my mind they have been doing it for years. It is getting worse. Rusbridger, although he admitted to being controlled, was a real editor in comparison to Katherine Viner. There is no moral compass anymore. Yet there are still readers who have been reading it for years who think it is the same radical organ it was when known as the Manchester Guardian.

John Goss , April 17, 2019 at 15:55

Perhaps more important than the Stephen Davies letter is the diagnosis that fentanyl was the poison involved – quite a strong opoid. But it was quite clear from the start – as far as the medical profession is concerned – that there was no evidence of a nerve agent. Novichok is a word circulated by the west to point the finger at Russia. It means newcomer. This morning I joined a Russian website. Under my name it said Novichok.

https://johnplatinumgoss.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/fentanyl-poisoned-the-skripals-back-to-basics/

WJ , April 17, 2019 at 17:18

Too bad there's not an established legal process in the Western world for adjudicating these claims. I am thinking of a venue where each side could openly present its case on the basis of whatever evidence each is able to supply, could ask questions of the other side, etc., and would agree to abide by whatever decision the citizens appointed by lot to administer this venue would decide.

No idea how something like this hypothetical structure or institution might be brought about, but it would seem helpful to have in cases like these, no?

Tony_0pmoc , April 17, 2019 at 17:00

I take this discussion back to my original point, which to my amazement was published (unfortunately the joke wasn't) Tony_0pmoc
April 17, 2019 at 11:44 which starts

"The Government and the media, have not been telling the whole truth for a long time. Sometimes they blatantly lie."

Many people posting here, quite obviously still believe most of what is published in the mainstream media. Most people I know, rarely lie, and when they do, its pretty obvious. yet some people I know, are quite obviously compulsive liars. they are addicted to it, but unfortunately do not have exceedingly good memories, to remember all their lies. I never trust a word such people say any more, unless I know they are telling the truth, which sometimes they do.

Same girl?

Just Believe – The Magic of Novichok – Before Novichok – After Novichok

https://www.moonofalabama.org/images6/novichokbeforeafter2.jpg

Goose , April 17, 2019 at 17:13

But they don't need good memories when the media don't raise inconsistencies that arise some time later.

'We are the United States of Amnesia, which is encouraged by a media that has no desire to tell us the truth about anything, serving their corporate masters who have other plans to dominate us.' – Gore Vidal

Some ask, why the obsession with the MSM, but they are all we've got holding power to account. Especially here in the UK with no written constitution. The reason powerful people give for being against the codified rules of a written constitution, is it'd restrict their room to act . But in fact, you really do need a set of 'codified' rules – a line that EVERYONE is afraid of crossing.

Goose , April 17, 2019 at 18:44

The reason why we need a written constitution is because it's not clear where power and responsibility reside in the UK.

The security services seem to have free rein so politicians can claim plausible deniability.

Look at the to and froing over historical accusations of UK involvement in torture, with Straw and Blair basically accusing Mi6 of going rogue. Both insist they never authorised torture in TV interviews last year (Straw on radio , Blair on Newsnight); they claim they never signed the documents, despite their signatures being on said documents. The whole situation is a mess and many MPs have called for a judge-led inquiry , both Blair and Straw have stated they are happy to cooperate. And yet

Theresa May however, has other ideas; the govt missed its own deadline \to respond last year and the whole thing seems to have been forgotten.

Jones , April 17, 2019 at 17:56

more drivel from sycophant puppets that proves the US and UK is run by imbeciles who take the public for gullible idiots, anyone who believes a word they say is just that. Wishing Julian Assange well in his upcoming court appearance, it's a sick world that allows crooks to lock up brave and courageous lamplighters like Assange and Manning, their integrity shines brightly over the dung heap trying to silence them.

John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 18:07

My understanding is that they were Norwegian Blue ducks.

Staged? I would think so. Wonder what the CIA called this operation?

Tatyana , April 17, 2019 at 18:47

I think " Operation Bollywood" or "Indian Cinema"
* enjoy this .gif video
https://m.pikabu.ru/story/besposhchadnoe_indiyskoe_kino_6646578

John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:39

Tatyana, thank you, my joke was a reference to a famous piece of humorous drama from UK television called the "Dead Parrot Sketch".

It's very silly – just like the whole idea of poisoned ducks! You may be able to watch it here:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xoh8j

Rob , April 17, 2019 at 18:25

That the official Skripal story is bogus should be clear to anyone with eyes, ears and the barest minimum of intellectual honesty. What is needed to send the story to its final resting place and raise a more interesting story is information on the whereabouts of the Skripals to this day. Their disappearance smells like month-old fish, and the best bet is that some highly placed people in the British Foreign Office and intelligence community have something very embarrassing to hide. Frankly, I am surprised that nothing has been leaked on this score.

michael norton , April 17, 2019 at 19:39

When the person who was home secretary for six years, then prime minister for a couple of years, steps down from her current role towards oblivion, new people can take up the baton.
New people will be able to ask new questions.
1) where are the Skripals?
2) why was all this fabricated?
3) who put all this twaddle in place?

Goose , April 17, 2019 at 20:15

I doubt very much any harm has come to them, they are either innocent victims or went along with 'spy games ' as Trump called it. But clearly someone doesn't want them giving any unscripted or unsupervised interviews were all the variables can't be controlled.

Most likely probably resettled somewhere now with new identities: US, Canada, NZ , Australia. Could be anywhere, take yer pick.

The unquestioning MSM, pretending as if they never existed, makes you feel like the country has gone to all hell.

Alexander , April 17, 2019 at 18:31

Villanelle? Villanelle?

I'm stuck here waiting for your answer to my earlier post. What's holding you up?

Whilst you are about it, could you kindly enlighten us as to the main aim of the Skripal "narrative" (Ugh – that word reminds me of A.Campbell).
Was it
A) To take Skripal out of circulation before the Steele dossier s**t hit the fan
B) To connect Russia to "chemical weapons" as part of the Syria deal
C) To further drive in the wedge between Trump and Russia
D) To Divert the Attention of the Dopey UK electorate from the Brexit mess
E) Other

Please put in correct order of importance.

It's just occurred to me that you probably knock off at 1730. You are probably down on the river now the trout season has kicked off. What's the fishing like around Hermitage?
Do get back to us tomorrow!

Dom C , April 17, 2019 at 22:14

Agreed.
'The incident is cited as an example of the then deputy CIA director (now director). Gina Haspel.'

'She is said to have '

Both these quotes from the Guardian article imply (to me) there is no reliable source. It may not have happened.
Its an office rumour to big up the Director and piss off the boss. One would assume to piss of the boss you'd actually have to show him a picture of someone pissing on him and that's opening up a whole other can of worms.

Ken Kenn , April 17, 2019 at 22:48

I'll give you points for trying but nowhere does any report from the OPCWsay that the tests showed Novichok.

Their references are ' toxic chemical ' and even Porton Down's wording ( in the MSM you'll hate to know ) was similar to – It's what the government says it is.

Despite the waffle the above is not a very specific – is it?

Being as you know a few things answer a few questions please:

How many doors were at the front of the Skripal house and how many handles ( the MSM keep saying doorknobs) were tested in total?

Why was Charlies flat only given a cursory clean up with say Cilit Bang and the Skripal house dismantled being as Charlie and Dawn got a massive dose of alleged Novichok?

What was the actual cause of Dawn's death, bearing in mind her relatives said the first inquest showed no damage to her internal organs?

What colour was Yulia's hair in the Duck feeding ultra clear video(s) and what was Sergei wearing?

What colour hair did the young woman found on the bench have and what colour hair did the Salisbury Hospital staff notice?

If the ' Toxic Chemical ' was extremely deadly Russian Novichok , how is it that no-one else has died or been contaminated ( even slightly ) save three people from the alleged original attack and two later after opening a ' shrink wrapped sealed ' bottle of what the Authorities say was the same as that ' smeared ?' – ' sprayed ' on only one door handle.

If the above is true why didn't the Zizzis staff suffer from some contamination to or the pub staff who handled the Skripal's cutlery plates and drinks glasses as well as those who touched the handles of the doors the Skripl's touched with no bad effects?

How come the sprayers/sealers didn't die or fall ill themselves? Hazmat suits in a cul de sac on a Sunday?

That's just a few questions for an expert to be going on with.

[Apr 18, 2019] Advice to Haspel as for brazen manipulation of her boss, who happens to be a commander in chief of a nuclear power. She was waterboarding Trump with the stream of lies

Apr 18, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

SA , April 18, 2019 at 01:45

maybe Haspel should have added this disclaimer to her video or whatever evidence she presented to the POT ASS:

" This video was produced for propaganda purposes. We wish to stress that no actual children or ducks were harmed during the filming".

[Apr 17, 2019] Gina Haspel the CIA torturer extraordinaire

Notable quotes:
"... The idea that Trump was kidded along in this way with photos of suffering children is similar to that which allegedly persuaded him to bomb Syria (along with the UK and France) after the more recent also alleged Douma chemical weapons attacks. So who actually was telling him porkies and why or is this just another myth to prove Trump's crassness – in which case there is no need to make anything up. ..."
"... Trump doesn't give a toss about suffering children or suffering anyone else, so it's not likely that he was persuaded by the kind of argument that runs from injured children to the need for US diplomatic action. ..."
"... Trump forgets he lies in minutes. He'd not heard about Julian Assange? If I was reporter I would have played him his words from my laptop and ask: Mr President is this you or a fake President? ..."
"... Actually he is a fake President as most US Presidents are. The man's a dunce. I thought after George W Bush US Presidents couldn't get any worse but know history hits us up the backside with a banjo yet again. ..."
Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

Sharp Ears , April 17, 2019 at 12:06

Gina Haspel the CIA torturer extraordinaire.

Q. Where are the Skripals?

Crispa , April 17, 2019 at 12:07

I took note when I read that on the Guardian website late last night. What struck me was the treatment of the statement as if it could be true, but in more than one way.

The idea that Trump was kidded along in this way with photos of suffering children is similar to that which allegedly persuaded him to bomb Syria (along with the UK and France) after the more recent also alleged Douma chemical weapons attacks. So who actually was telling him porkies and why or is this just another myth to prove Trump's crassness – in which case there is no need to make anything up.

Even if the story is true, the article accepts it as fact and in no way qualifies it, which is just plain misrepresentation as Craig points out.

The reference to the two Russian operatives at that time is certainly a give away one way and another – but nothing in the article to highlight that inconsistency.

Strange timing too for the appearance of the article too. No doubt there will be a response from the Russian Embassy.

N_ , April 17, 2019 at 12:34

Trump brings together stupidity, narcissistic mental illness and obnoxiousness such that when an official has to deal with him their attitude must surely be to tell the moron whatever gets him to do what they want as soon as possible, so they don't have to spend any more time than necessary in a room with him.

He lies all the time – the guy can't stop lying – nobody wants to spend time with a person like that – even his wife can't stand the sight of him – and it doesn't matter what it is that you tell him or show him.

Trump doesn't give a toss about suffering children or suffering anyone else, so it's not likely that he was persuaded by the kind of argument that runs from injured children to the need for US diplomatic action.

The question is who was behind the anti-Russian side of the Skripal story and why. Not much progress will be made without looking at the British defence review and the huge increase in military spending that warfare interests have moved Gavin Williamson's lips to call for.

N_ , April 17, 2019 at 12:23

"(E)xtremely clear CCTV footage of the duck feeding"? So there are fixed cameras watching where the ducks swim in Queen Elizabeth's Park in Salisbury, are there? Because I haven't been able to find even some lamp posts they might be secured to. ( Some images .) Which is not to say the Skripals weren't photographed. And how's the Nikolai Glushkov inquest going?

Ken Kenn , April 17, 2019 at 13:40

Trump forgets he lies in minutes. He'd not heard about Julian Assange? If I was reporter I would have played him his words from my laptop and ask: Mr President is this you or a fake President?

Actually he is a fake President as most US Presidents are. The man's a dunce. I thought after George W Bush US Presidents couldn't get any worse but know history hits us up the backside with a banjo yet again.

Simple really: Show the video of the Skripal actively feeding the ducks – blank the kids faces and we'll be able to see them in all of their pre poisoned glory.

All this has been done before by the MS – The London Bridge attackers – 7/7 and so on.

So why not show the video? Because it shows something(s) which they want to hide. I have my views as to why, as do others but once you start lying you have to develop a good memory and ' British Intelligence ' is a misnomer.

It's quackery.

Phil , April 17, 2019 at 15:01

Rob Slane from the Blogmire interviewed the mother of the children who fed the ducks and she said she was shown "extremely clear CCTV footage".

Nicholas Kollerstrom , April 17, 2019 at 12:26

Let us not for one moment forget: Yulia musty be alive somewhere. I reckon they did in Sergei – serve him right for being a double (or triple) agent – but Yulia must still be around. She TOLD US in her video she was fine and getting better.

Thank god for Craig Murray and the Off-Guardian, they have preserved our sanity over this mad story, this maddest of British Intel cockups.

N_ , April 17, 2019 at 12:37

@Nicholas – I'd advise delaying the conclusion that it was a cockup, except in the sense that in most military and intelligence operations something cocks up – until we hear what happens with British military spending plans.

Gerard Hobley , April 17, 2019 at 12:27

Someone said to me on Twitter that confirmation of Novichock was from a Mass Spec of the nerve agent bound to some enzyme (probably acetyl cholinesterase). Is this really the official line? If so it's rubbish. Whoever made such a claim was clearly no chemist. Acetyl Cholinesterase weighs about 66700 Daltons and the nerve agent weighed, say between 200 and 400 daltons. Firstly a mass spectrum of the protein would be that of the protein plus or minus anything upto about 300 water molecules Which makes the mass (69400 +/- 2700) and a multitude of other possible ions or other factors bound to it. The error in the mass of the protein clearly exceeds the mass of the nerve agent. Given that, because of the blinding uncertainties as to what species are actually hitting the detector in the mass spectrometer, no-one anywhere attempts to study ligands bound to proteins by mass spec and certainly not one of this size, why would they do it in this case?

John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:21

They make it up Gerard.

Unfortunately most people are not chemists and therefore lack the required knowledge to be skeptical about such claims.

Casual Observer , April 17, 2019 at 12:45

Apply the smell test ?

The CIA Director tells outright lies to her boss, who as a result approves a stern national rebuke.

In a cartoon version of life where Dick Dastardly gets to be an intelligence supremo, and a total dummy gets to be President, this would be highly likely. Needless to say, to believe such a scenario would exist in the real world requires a massive suspension of logic.

More likely there's something coming down the track that requires Haspel, and or the CIA, to be discredited prior to its becoming visible to the public ?

Northern , April 17, 2019 at 13:29

What could possibly be coming down the track that isn't comparable to what we already know about Haspel and the CIA though?

If you can straight faced maintain support for an admitted and documented human rights abuser who heads a non accountable government spy agency that has been extra judicially torturing, assassinating and over throwing any who stands in its way for 70 years; what on earth could be about to come out that's suddenly going to convince our bought and paid for media, and by extension the general public, that these monsters have been discredited?

Brendan , April 17, 2019 at 13:04

UK spooks are switching to damage limitation mode, with the help of the Deborah Haynes of Sky and II:

"Update: UK security sources say they're unaware of children hospitalised because of #novichok or wildlife killed in #Skripal attack. May have been a photo of a dead swan though not evidence swan was killed by #Novichok. If that's true, I wonder what these images used by CIA were! "

https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984

John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:22

lies?

Goose , April 17, 2019 at 13:12

I'm not a conspiracy theorist –
I'm a conspiracy analyst.

Gore Vidal

[Apr 17, 2019] There is a lot of money in those ducks.

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

john , Apr 17, 2019 7:10:14 AM | link

Kiza says:

Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline

well, Dmitry Orlov, for one, is doing yeoman service. from his latest :

Then society breaks down. And only then, after all that, do people finally realize that the problem was inside their heads all along (cultural collapse). Quickly adopting a better, more right-thinking culture is, of course, a good idea. An alternative is to go through a Dark Age followed by an extended period of mindless slaughter

somebody , Apr 17, 2019 8:28:38 AM | link

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | 25

The New York Times article is too tongue in cheek for carelessness (of course the CIA director is NOT manipulating Trump ...). They had sent two reporters to Salisbury and indeed Russia to get impressions on the ground - that means money. And somehow their interest was very much if the British government story sticks or not .

"Others fret about the ducks that used to gather on the Avon River near where the Skripals collapsed, saying they must have been quietly culled. (Mr. Dean, the City Council head, says they simply migrated downstream.) Others wonder why some places the Skripals went on the day of the poisoning, but not others, were cordoned off for safety reasons."

So somehow ducks are a running feature in the New York Times reporting.

It might be simply connected to this though

Tycoon Deripaska Sues U.S. Over Sanctions

When Deripaska was hit with sanctions in April, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) alleged that he and other rich and influential Russian oligarchs were profiting off their ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and from the state's "malign activity" around the world.

The lawsuit questions whether Treasury can really back up those claims. It asks the court to order OFAC to hand over evidence and other records and remove Deripaska from the sanctions list.

and this here

US said to have prepared new Russia sanctions for UK attack

The White House has received a long-awaited package of new sanctions on Russia, intended to punish the Kremlin for a 2018 nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K.

U.S. officials at the State and Treasury departments have vetted the sanctions and are awaiting approval from the White House to issue them, according to two people familiar with the matter who discussed the internal deliberations on condition of anonymity.

There is a lot of money in those ducks.

[Apr 17, 2019] Don't forget the UK government minister told us (with a straight face!) that we've captured a special, secret Russian manual, which details just how to apply poison to door handles

Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

glenn_nl , April 17, 2019 at 10:43

Don't forget – a government minister told us (with a straight face!) that we've captured a special, secret Russian manual, which details just how to apply poison to door handles. Doubtless these spies had their own copy to refer to, in order to get the job done right.

[Apr 17, 2019] Coincidentally there was the joint Sky/US drama series 'Strike Back' broadcast in November 2017 featuring an attack by a Russian with 'Novichok'. But which came first? Fiction or 'reality'? Think about it.

Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

Stubbs , April 17, 2019 at 10:29

It was a dead duck from the moment they said the poison was on the door handle, which is just stupid. The official narrative has been a catalogue of stupidities aimed at political goals. Those who've taken it up are invested in the goals.
If anyone cared what had happened, the first point of enquiry would've been the guinea pigs, the clue is in the name.

OBTW Who was responsible for the clean up of Salisbury, after which Dawn Sturgess met her end ??

Villanelle , April 17, 2019 at 10:40

I would recommend to watch a drama series called "Killing Eve". It was written, produced and released before the Skripal saga. There is a scene where a deadly poison is administered on a door handle. Clearly it isn't as far fetched as you suggest.

Borncynical , April 17, 2019 at 11:22

Villanelle

Coincidentally (?) there was also the joint Sky/US drama series 'Strike Back' broadcast in November 2017 featuring an attack by a Russian with 'Novichok'. But which came first? Fiction or 'reality'? Think about it.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201804111063448533-tv-spy-fiction-helped-sell-salisbury-poisoning

[Apr 17, 2019] If you had watched Skripal's saga you might have noticed something: The UK s propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.

Notable quotes:
"... The Steele dossier is British, Orbis intelligence = British, Institute for statecraft / Integrity Initiative = British, Skripal defection. Location, evidence, statements = British, the list goes on and on. ..."
"... The UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. ..."
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 9:48:02 AM | link

@75

The Steele dossier is British, Orbis intelligence = British, Institute for statecraft / Integrity Initiative = British, Skripal defection. Location, evidence, statements = British, the list goes on and on.

You'd think someone might have noticed something of a trend by now.

Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:07:57 AM | link

They just don't bother anymore, the level of double black psy-ops and gaslighting is a mine field of disinformation. That's what you get when Washington - Obama, gives the green light to propagandizing their people. It's escalated, like we haven't noticed, under Trump despite his pathetic attempts at assuring folks it's fake news.
Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:20:02 AM | link
The UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. I watched about 10 minutes of a documentary about Easter Island, as an example, and it was revisionist to the nth degree. Just absolute rubbish insinuating that white European travelers destroyed the Island. This is what British kids are now being marinated in, "He who controls the past"

[Apr 17, 2019] Never underestimate the CIA by Nancy O'Brien Simpson

"Many in the USA have come to realize this stealth organization does not work on the behalf of the USA but rather to its own ends."
CIA probably was involved in Skripals false flag operation as well. Because the behaviour of Theresa May suggest that she from the very beginning was sure about the USA full and unconditional support and putting pressure on EU allies. Then now we know that Gina Haspel, who was also involved in Steele dossier and handled most oversees assets involved in entrapment of Trump, misled Trump and pervaded him to expel 80 Russian diplomats.
Notable quotes:
"... Then there is 9/11. This one also has a USA government narrative that defies logic. This time it is so blatant and egregious that an organization called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" was founded by Richard Gage, an architect with vast experience in steel structured buildings and fire. The organization demands on official investigation by Congress into exactly how the buildings came down. ..."
"... According to a statement reported by the BBC , Loose Change film producer Dylan Avery thinks the destruction of the building was suspicious because it housed some unusual tenants, including a clandestine CIA office on the 25th floor, an outpost of the U.S. Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York City's emergency command center." Wikipedia ..."
"... So now we have Prime Minister, Teresa May, accusing Putin and Russia of the May 4 nerve agent attack of Sergei V. Skripal (66) and his daughter, Yulia (33), in Salibury, England. Both are in critical condition after being found unconscious on a bench outside The Maltings Shopping Center in Salibury. As we all know Russia is the new Antichrist. The harbinger of all evil. The enemy we all must view with the utmost fear and loathing. Daily, the MSM in USA recoils as they report story after story of Russia meddling in our elections, shaking the very foundations of our democracy. ..."
"... Let's get this straight. Mr. Skripal was convicted of high treason in Russia in 2004. He was not tortured, killed or murdered, rather he was allowed to settle in Britain after a spy swap in 2010. Sounds pretty friendly to me, considering that Putin is portrayed as a sadistic monster out to settle scores with those who cross him, by the Western media. ..."
"... So, why now? Why this attempted assassination now? This is the question, dear reader. Why attempt to assassinate Mr. Skripal now? He was convicted of high treason 14 years ago. He has been in England for eight years. Russia knew at this point he was no threat to them with no new secrets to betray. What would be gained at this point by assassinating the man? ..."
"... None. However, if the CIA took him out, or paid unscrupulous foreign mercenaries to take him out, much could be gained. The narrative of big bad Putin, in his big bad Russia, would be reinforced. Now, not only is he meddling in elections, getting the dastardly Trump elected, he is using nerve gas to take out enemies on foreign soil. My god, what will be next? ..."
"... "If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used," said Haley. "They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council." CNN Politics ..."
Mar 18, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com

Many in the USA have come to realize this stealth organization does not work on the behalf of the USA but rather to its own ends. And, in this realization, comes a jaded view of both the CIA and the government it represents.

This realization may have begun with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Warren Commission, a congressional investigation was convened. The commission concluded there was a single lone shooter, a fringe outcast, Lee Harvey Oswald who acted alone in the assassination of the president. Many felt, in light of the facts, that the Warren Commission was a cover up of what really went down on November 22, 1963, in Houston, Texas.

In 1976, the Congress reopened the Kennedy investigation. They created The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy (and Martin Luther King Jr.).

The HSCA completed its investigation in 1978 and determined the Warren Commission was faulty and there was more than one shooter and there was indeed a conspiracy to kill the president. So much for the official narrative of the Warren Commission.

Why the Warren Commission cover up back then that even the Congress in 1976 (HSCA) reported was bogus? One theory April 25, 1966, The New York Times wrote, "And, President Kennedy, as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came home to him, said to one of the highest officials of his Administration, that he wanted to splinter the C.I.A. in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."

Kennedy was no fan of the Director of the C.I.A. Allen Dulles or his agency, and in the autumn of 1961 he purged the C.I.A. of Dulles and his entourage. This included Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and and Deputy Director Charles Cabell. You do not mess with Allen Dulles and the C.I A. Let's leave it at that. Kennedy was dead within two years.

Then there is 9/11. This one also has a USA government narrative that defies logic. This time it is so blatant and egregious that an organization called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" was founded by Richard Gage, an architect with vast experience in steel structured buildings and fire. The organization demands on official investigation by Congress into exactly how the buildings came down.

By December 2014, over 2,300 architectural and engineering professionals had signed a petition for this investigation. If one looks at controlled demolitions and how the buildings actually came down it is obvious the collapse was not due to an airplane flying into the buildings, but rather a controlled demolition. 2,300 architects and engineers with verified credentials all testify that the narrative of the government is patently false and scientifically implausible if not impossible.

At about nine a.m. the Twin Towers are crashed into and collapse. At about five twenty p.m. that same day, Building Seven collapses. No planes fly into Building 7, it just collapses. Again, the videos show a controlled demolition.

There are various theories as to why 7 WTC was taken down. Theories range from 7 WTC being the operation center for the demolition of the Twin Towers to more nefarious motives. "

According to a statement reported by the BBC , Loose Change film producer Dylan Avery thinks the destruction of the building was suspicious because it housed some unusual tenants, including a clandestine CIA office on the 25th floor, an outpost of the U.S. Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York City's emergency command center." Wikipedia

What is important to remember is that NO STEEL FRAME HIGH RISE HAS EVER TOTALLY COLLAPSED DUE TO FIRE.

These are but two examples of hundreds where we have been mislead by the official narrative of the government and its MSM news. Remember the Trump Dossier that was leaked and printed as fact? Or, the death of Seth Rich, a "botched" robbery? Or, the list of 200 news outlets in the USA that were Russian Propaganda fronts? All reported as fact by the New York Times and Washington Post. All fake news by the MSM fed to an unsuspecting American people.

So now we have Prime Minister, Teresa May, accusing Putin and Russia of the May 4 nerve agent attack of Sergei V. Skripal (66) and his daughter, Yulia (33), in Salibury, England. Both are in critical condition after being found unconscious on a bench outside The Maltings Shopping Center in Salibury. As we all know Russia is the new Antichrist. The harbinger of all evil. The enemy we all must view with the utmost fear and loathing. Daily, the MSM in USA recoils as they report story after story of Russia meddling in our elections, shaking the very foundations of our democracy.

Let's get this straight. Mr. Skripal was convicted of high treason in Russia in 2004. He was not tortured, killed or murdered, rather he was allowed to settle in Britain after a spy swap in 2010. Sounds pretty friendly to me, considering that Putin is portrayed as a sadistic monster out to settle scores with those who cross him, by the Western media.

Teresa May called the act "reckless" and "indiscriminate", and basically said Putin put innocent English bystanders at risk. She upped the ante by dismissing 23 Russian diplomats, the largest such expulsion in thirty years.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused May of grandstanding in her response to the incident. Russian news agency Interfax reported that The Kremlin denies involvement in the nerve agent poisoning, insisting one motive was to complicate Russia's hosting of the World Cup this summer. Ah, dear Kremin, the motive was much deeper than the World Cup games, which were only a bonus to the attack.

So, why now? Why this attempted assassination now? This is the question, dear reader. Why attempt to assassinate Mr. Skripal now? He was convicted of high treason 14 years ago. He has been in England for eight years. Russia knew at this point he was no threat to them with no new secrets to betray. What would be gained at this point by assassinating the man?

None. However, if the CIA took him out, or paid unscrupulous foreign mercenaries to take him out, much could be gained. The narrative of big bad Putin, in his big bad Russia, would be reinforced. Now, not only is he meddling in elections, getting the dastardly Trump elected, he is using nerve gas to take out enemies on foreign soil. My god, what will be next?

Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the UN tells us, "The United States of America believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent," Haley said in her remarks at a UN Security Council emergency session, blasting the Russian government for flouting international law.

"If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used," said Haley. "They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council." CNN Politics

The USA needs an enemy to foment fear to justify it's astronomical defense budget. It just loves a good cold war. However, now that Russia is no longer a pinko commie nation to be demonized, and is indeed a capitalist democracy, we have to resurrect a new straw man to hate.

It is remarkable the degree to which the liberal left has bought into this industrial-military-complex narrative. The USA always has to be bombing someone, droning someone or napalming someone to keep the monies flowing into the defense budget. Take a look at our spending compared to Russia or other nations.

Alas, it is certainly not out of the question that the CIA was behind the attack. After this amount of time Mr. Putin had nothing to gain in assassinating Mr. Skripal and his daughter. In fact, he had a lot to lose. The CIA? They had a lot to gain, and nothing to lose. Never underestimate the CIA and its brilliance in setting the narrative for its agenda. And, never underestimate Mr. Putin in his resolve not to become their lapdog.

Ms. Simpson was a radio personality in New York. She was a staff writer for The Liberty Report. A PBS documentary was done on her activism for human rights. She is a psychotherapist and political commentator.

[Apr 17, 2019] A bridge from fiction to reality

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Koen , Apr 16, 2019 6:13:59 PM | link

B, here's a remarkable fact: The Skripal Novichok perfume bottle assassination story is is eerily similar to episode 2 of BBC show 'Killing Eve' where an assassin uses a perfume bottle to kill her target and where later an innocent person accidentally dies after coming into contact with said perfume bottle.

The episode aired around a month after the Skripal attack but well before the other 2 people fell ill and the perfume bottle theory emerged.

[Apr 16, 2019] CIA Director Used Fake Skripal Incident Photos To Manipulate Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene: ..."
"... Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose: ..."
"... Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives. ..."
"... Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option. ..."
"... If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked. ..."
"... The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him: ..."
"... The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. ..."
"... The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men. ..."
"... The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead. ..."
"... It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing. ..."
"... Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter. ..."
"... Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss. ..."
"... Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War. ..."
"... after integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative.. ..."
"... once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible. ..."
"... Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians. ..."
"... The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both. ..."
"... Haspel will not be fired. ..."
"... It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). .. ..."
"... The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

An ass kissing portrait of Gina Haspel, torture queen and director of the CIA, reveals that she lied to Trump to push for more aggression against Russia.

In March 2018 the British government asserted, without providing any evidence, that the alleged 'Novichok' poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal was the fault of Russia. It urged its allies to expel Russian officials from their countries.

The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene:
President Trump seemed distracted in March as his aides briefed him at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the administration's plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies.

The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies -- part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

"We'll match their numbers," Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. "We're not taking the lead. We're matching."

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.

The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.

The expulsion marked a turn in the Trump administration's relation with Russia:

The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration's increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

The past month, in particular, has marked a major turning point in the administration's stance, according to senior administration officials. There have been mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, sanctions on oligarchs that have bled billions of dollars from Russia's already weak economy and, for the first time, a presidential tweet that criticized Putin by name for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose:

Last March, top national security officials gathered inside the White House to discuss with Mr. Trump how to respond to the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent.

London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical.
...
During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.

The Skripal case was widely covered and we followed it diligently (scroll down). There were no reports of any children affected by 'Novichok' nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.

They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill . No duck died. (The duck feeding episode also disproves the claim that the Skripals were poisoned by touching a door handle.)

If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked.

The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him:

The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.

Co-workers and friends of Ms. Haspel push back on any notion that she is manipulating the president. She is instead trying to get him to listen and to protect the agency, according to former intelligence officials who know her.

The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game:

Ms. Haspel won the trust of Mr. Pompeo, however, and has stayed loyal to him. As a result, Mr. Trump sees Ms. Haspel as an extension of Mr. Pompeo, a view that has helped protect her, current and former intelligence officials said.

Posted by b on April 16, 2019 at 08:37 AM | Permalink


Russ , Apr 16, 2019 9:02:41 AM | link

I don't see how it's possible to manipulate someone (and especially the US president) into doing something they don't want to do with lies like the ones described here. On the contrary presidents, CEOs etc. favor the staffers who tell them the kind of lies they want to hear in order to reinforce what they wanted to do in the first place.

I've never seen any reason to alter my first position on Trump, that like any other president he does what he wants to do.

Jerry , Apr 16, 2019 9:14:30 AM | link
The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men.

The joke 7in the final scene Robert Redford tells See Eye A man Cliff Robertson that he gave all the evidence to the NY Times. What a joke. The NY Times and the Wash Post are the mouthpieces for the SEE Eye A. The AP news sources most of their stories from those two papers and other lackey See Eye A newspapers.

One final criticism in moon's story. The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead.

manny , Apr 16, 2019 9:15:16 AM | link
Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director

After this, she got the top job, so what is the real lesson here? Sociopathic liars get promoted....or you can tell the truth, try to be honorable and fade into obscurity.. In a nest of psychos, you have to really be depraved to become the top psycho...

Nuke it for orbit, it's the only way to be sure...

Sally Snyder , Apr 16, 2019 9:35:40 AM | link
Here is an article that looks at whether nations around the world regard the United States or Russia as the greater threat to their nation:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/03/which-is-greater-threat-russia-or.html

It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing.

donkeytale , Apr 16, 2019 9:40:06 AM | link
b

Backing up Russ's point, when will you realise the "buck stops" on Trump's desk for any and all departments he oversees, which are run by his appointees? Trump is dedicated to creating a neoconservative foreign policy melded to a neoliberal economic policy favouring his corporate fascist sponsors. Recently, you've been all over the Assange indictment, Trump's relationship with Nuttyahoo and the related rollback of JCPOA. Is this what you want to see continued into a second term?

There is much evidence to show Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference.

They haven't got there quite yet but once the judiciary is controlled by GOP ideologues it's game over. And McConnell is dedicating his life to make that the reality ASAP.

Meanwhile back at the ranch we are dedicated to knocking down any and all potential opposition to this GOP hostile takeover for some reason I've yet to fathom.

BM , Apr 16, 2019 9:42:46 AM | link
Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game[Pompeo]

Hopefully yes to all four propositions. Why am I sceptical though (except conceivably the first)?

Mataman , Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM | link
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. He's the first POTUS in decades I believe to not even pretend to like dogs by having an official White House dog and every policy his Administration can take against animals, they have taken. I'm not even sure I buy the spin that he cared about dead kids either. And NYT readers know this about him, so I don't understand what the point of peddling this fiction is other than to paint Torture Queen in some kind of good light (and we KNOW that she certainly doesn't care about dead anything).
the pair , Apr 16, 2019 10:08:18 AM | link
another example of trump's stupidity and pathological inability to think for himself. he gets his views from fox and his policy from bolton. his equally vapid daughter and kushner whine to him about sooper sad syria pictures they saw in a sponsored link while googling for new tmz gossip.

even worse that this is the twat in charge of one of russiagate's main instigating "deep state" agencies. he spent the entirety of his presidency railing against their various lies then takes this wankery at face value. it's just like the "chinese soldiers in venezuela"; if those pictures were legit they'd have been splattered over every front page and permanently attached to screeching cnn and msnbc segments demanding trump "finally get tough" on "putin's russia".

my only surprise is that she didn't tell him about british babies ripped from incubators and dipped in anthrax powder.
the nyt shilling for a soCIopAth? not that surprising.

Twiki , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:11 AM | link

The consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury hospital wrote to The Times, shortly after the Skripal incident. His choice of words was odd, and some have said they indicate no novichok poisoning occurred. Leaving that to one side, his letter certainly puts paid to the idea that more than three people (the Skripals and the policeman, DCI Bailey) were poisoned. https://www.onaquietday.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DocSaysNoNerveAgentInSalisbury.jpg
bjd , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:51 AM | link
" the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, "

There was no attack on the Skripals. or on anyone else. The Russophobia in whose context it falls, is of a higher order, in which a fabricated narrative of a Skripal-like attack had an important function. The Skripals were perfectly happy to lend their name to the fabrication, and are living happily, probably in New Zealand.

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 10:59:48 AM | link
The Daily Beast article that b linked to describes how many serious, well-informed people felt that Haspel was unsuitable to lead the CIA. Even more strange and troubling was that Haspel was supported by Trump's nemesis, John Brennan.

Despite all that, MAGA Trump still nominated her. Any notion that Trump is at odds with, or "manipulated" by, Haspel, Bolton, or Pompeo is just propaganda. We've seen such reporting before (esp. wrt Bolton) and Trump has taken no action.

Babyl-on , Apr 16, 2019 11:04:28 AM | link
I see that Trump derangement is alive and well here at MoA. Commenters talk as if Trump is the first president stupid enough to be manipulated by the security agencies and shadow government sometimes referred to as a "deep state". People don't have to be historians or look back to Rome, just read the books about how the great general who "won WWII" was used by the oligarchy which had full control of US foreign policy throughout Eisenhower's term in office.

Works produced after WWII, C. Wright Mills, The Power elite was written in 1956,The Brothers and The Divil's Chessboard each about the Dulles Brothers and how they operated US foreign policy for the interests of the oligarchy, and the work Peter Phillips, GIANTS: The Global Power Elite and the work of David Rothkopf which thoroughly describes the feudal system under which the Western cultures are ruled.
The US government is a pantomime it is a show it has no power.

How many here can honestly say they understand that the US dollar itself and the ENTIRE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM is privately owned. Why do you think the "banks were bailed out"? because the banks were in power not the government. The US is 22 trillion in debt - the oligarchy is the creditor - take over the US gov. and you have a powerless pile of debt.

Around 6,000 people control 85% of global assets until that changes nothing will change. The oligarchy won virtually all the mines and control the price of all basic commodities necessary for modern life, the internet, oil of course and more.

What is failing and what has failed over and over for 500 years is Western Civilization and its three "great religions" which preach obedience, oppression, domination by a one god suffocating mythology.

But the oligarchy doesn't own just the basic commodities, it owns the religions and it owns the drugs and all illegal trade as well.

Western "civilization" is really nothing more than one vast feudal kingdom, with royal courts in DC, Tel Aviv and Ryiadh. Wheather there is a god or not, religion is made of flesh and blood not miracles. No Rabbi or Priest or Imam claims visitations by god to instruct them on doctrine - they are flesh and blood and they want power so they behave like sycophants to the money they need to expand their power...all for the good souls under their care.

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 11:16:08 AM | link
Correction @13 Trump's supposed nemesis. Trump has brought several friends and associates of his enemies into his Administration:
  • VP Pence: John McCain's buddy
  • Bolton: a neocon (neocons were "Never Trump", remember?)
  • Wm Barr: close with Mueller
  • Haspel: Brennan's gal at CIA
And Trump himself was close to the Clintons.
lysias , Apr 16, 2019 12:00:59 PM | link
Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter.
Jose Garcia , Apr 16, 2019 12:08:01 PM | link
What can we expect from a tv personality who became a US president? A man who ran with an advertisement worthy of a business man like him, "Make America Great Again." How does he go about doing it? Giving more money to the military industrial-Congressional complex, even though we are really flat broke. Using aggressive tactics used by Wall Street in hostile company takeovers to really intimidate other nations. And hire and place those he really agrees with in important positions who really reflect his true feelings. I'm sure when he spoke with Haspel before offering her the job, he brought up the topic of torture and agreed with her on its use on terrorists.
Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 12:24:11 PM | link
lysias @18: conspired to stop Trump's candidacy

I think there's a reasonable case to be made that they conspired not to stop Trump but to further speculation of Trump's "collusion" with Russia (what would later be known as Russiagate). The "collusion" and "Russia meddled" accusations are what fueled the new McCarthyism.

juliania , Apr 16, 2019 12:28:54 PM | link
I'll just add to Jerry's comment at #3 that the final line in the movie "Day of the Condor" is something like "But will they print it?" which really spoke to the message of the film in its entirety. The condor being an endangered bird for whom the hero is named, and the beginning outrage being the brutal murder of book lovers researching useable plot details for the 'company'makes this message current and applicable to what we see in the Skripal case. And instead of librarians, we now have online commenters, a doughty breed, and we have Assange.

Instead of 'Will they print it?' I am wondering 'Will they make another movie about it?'

"Day of the Condor: Part Two." Some Day.

Ross , Apr 16, 2019 12:41:17 PM | link
Remind me, where is Yulia Skripal these days? Well and truly 'disappeared' it seems. The mask is off. the snarling face of the beast is there for all to see.
Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 12:49:37 PM | link
What a total waste of an article discussing a story published in NYT or WaPo.

b, the World has divided itself into those who consume alternative media such as this and stupidos who consume MSM. There is nothing in-between that you are attempting to discuss and dissect here. NYT = cognitive value zero.

Fake News not worth one millisecond of our time, not even to decode what the regime wants us to know, we know all that already. Personally, I am only interested in the new methods of domestic repression, what is next after the warning of Assange arrest, future rendition and torture. The Deep Stare appears to be coming out into open, will it soon get rid of the whole faux democracy construct and just use iron fist to rule? It already impose its will as the rule of law. All of the Western block is heading in this direction.

jayc , Apr 16, 2019 1:00:38 PM | link
Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss.
Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | link
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. Mataman | Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM

This assumes that Trump would primarily care about the ducks (and children) when he approved a massive expulsion, rather that his image and "ah, in that case it would look bad if we do not do something really decisive".

In any case, I was thinking why NYT would disclose something like that. The point is that readers of Craig Murray (not so few, but mostly Scottish nationalists who are also leftist and have scant possibilities and/or inclination to vote in USA) and MoonOfAlabama would quickly catch a dead fish here, but 99.9% of the public is blissfully unaware of any incongruences in the "established" Skripal narrative.

Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:22:03 PM | link
BTW, it is possible that the journalist who scribbled fresh yarn obtained from CIA did it earnestly. Journalists do not necessarily follow stories that they cover -- scribbling from given notes does not require overtaxing the precious attention span that can be devoted to more vital cognitive challenges. I am lazy to find the link, but while checking for news on Venezuela, I stumbled on a piece from Express, a British tabloid, where Guaido was named a "figurehead of the oposition" supported by "450 Western countries". My interpretation was that more literate journalists were moved for to more compelling stories as Venezuela went to the back burner.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:11 PM | link
Yes, indeed, the Skripal Affair is one of the obviously contrived stunts we've seen. Just outrageous in its execution. On a par with the US having a man who didn't even run for president of Venezuela swear himself in and then pressure everyone to accept him as president.

Interesting, I had no idea Gina Haspel - aka, The Queen of Blood - played a role. I thought it was all original dirty work by Britain's Theresa May. Boy, I hope people are through with the false notion that if women just get into leadership, the world will become a better gentler place.

Here's some interesting background:

Noirette , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:44 PM | link
Macron was (afaik?) the only EU 'leader' who was quoted in the MSM as bruiting re. the Skripal affair a message like:

.. no culpability in the part of Russia has been evidenced .. for now...

I suppose he was enjoined to shut his gob right quick (have been reading about brexit so brit eng) as nothing more in that line was heard.

Hooo, the EU expelled a lot of Russ. diplomats, obeying the USuk, which certainly created some major upsets on the ground.

Some were expelled, went into other jobs, other places, but then others arrived, etc. The MSM has not made any counts - lists - of names numbers - etc. of R diplos on the job - anywhere. As some left and then others arrived.

Once more, this was mostly a symbolic move, if extremely nasty, insulting, and disruptive.

Theresa May's speech re. Novichok, Independent 14 March 2018:

.. on Monday I set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Novichok: a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with their record of conducting state sponsored assassinations – including against former intelligence officers whom they regard as legitimate targets – the UK Government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act. ..

https://ind.pn/2XcAIk4

Cost her a consequent amount of political capital. - Everyone knows the Skripal story is BS.

semiconscious , Apr 16, 2019 1:31:34 PM | link
@25 & @26:

imo, the media has, once again, simply taken its lead from trump himself, & started making things up completely. & you're absolutely correct in pointing out that, much like trump's true believers, the msm's targeted audience never even notices...

karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 1:53:44 PM | link
Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War.
james , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:20 PM | link
after integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative..

what i didn't know is what @18 lysias pointed out.."Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter." ditto jr's speculation @20 too...

so gaspel shows trump some cheap propaganda that she got from who??

my main problem with b's post - i tend to see it like kiza @23) is maintaining the idea trump isn't in on all of this.. the thought trump is being duped by his underlings.. if he was and it mattered, he would get rid of them.. the fact he doesn't says to me, he is in on it - get russia, being the 24/7 game plan of the west here still..

c1ue , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | link
Please stop listening to idiot libertarians and their "US is flat broke" meme. The reality is that: so long as Americans transact in dollars, the United States government can tax anytime it feels like by issuing new dollars via the Fed.

Equally, so long as 60% of the world's trade is conducted in dollars, this is tens to hundreds of billions of dollars of additional taxation surface area. The MMT people - I don't agree 100% with everything they say, but they do understand the actual operation of fiat currency.

The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy.

Michael Droy , Apr 16, 2019 2:12:37 PM | link
Well this could be Syria, not Salisbury!

I doubt Haspel knew the ducks were fake - she was probably just given stuff to pass up the chain. It is a lot like John Kerry who was shown convincing satellite data of the BUK launch that hit MH17 - but no one could be bothered to pass on even the launch site coordinates to the JIT. I'm sure this stuff goes on all the time, and of course, once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible.

Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians.

bjd , Apr 16, 2019 2:25:23 PM | link
The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both.
fastfreddy , Apr 16, 2019 2:48:31 PM | link
Haspel will not be fired.
Russ , Apr 16, 2019 3:02:51 PM | link
@c1ue | Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | 32

"The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy."

The useful idiocy is most surprising among US farmers. In the 19th century they broadly understood that fiat money was good for chronic low-wealth debtors like themselves, while hard money was bad and a gold standard lethal. This was the basis of the Populist movement. Nothing has changed financially, but today's farmers, and the low-wealth debtor class in general, seem more likely to be goldbuggers than to have any knowledge of economics or of their own political history.

karlof1 36

Once a faction becomes submerged in the Mammon theocracy and becomes nothing but mercenary nihilists, thinking is no longer necessary or desirable, except to come up with attractive, pseudo-plausible lies.

This certainly characterizes "the right" (including liberals), but they have no monopoly on it. By now "the left" is nearly as thoughtless and instrumental on behalf of Mammon, except to the extent that a few people are starting to really grapple with what it means to have an intrinsically ecocidal and therefore suicidal civilization. That's really the only thought frontier left, all else has been engulfed in Mammon, productionism, scientism and technocracy.

snake , Apr 16, 2019 3:29:24 PM | link
@7 ..Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference. https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/04/15/593529/Ecuadoran-president-sold-off-Assangeto-America-Ron-Paul

I remind that Mussolini wasted his legislature.. 1 balmy after noon @ a roadside spot. it made his government stronger.?

It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). ..

The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Everyone in the government is covering for the behaviors of someone else in government, the MSM has raised the price of a pencil to just under a million, stock markets are bags of hot thin air, and everyone in side and outside of the centers of power at all levels of government have lied thru their teeth so much that their teeth are melting from the continuous flow of hot deceitful air.

Corrupt is now the only qualification for political office, trigger happy screwball the only qualification for the police and the military and . making progress is like trying to conduct a panty raid at a female nudist camp.

John Anthony La Pietra , Apr 16, 2019 3:47:03 PM | link
https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0073802/quotes?ref_=m_tt_trv_qu

Higgins: Hey, Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk, but how far if they don't print it?

Joe Turner: They'll print it.

Higgins: How do you know?

[Apr 12, 2019] Skripal, the Russkies and Bellingcat

The fact that Glenn Greenwald proved to be a despicable pressitute cast a long shadow of Snowden and Assange.
Notable quotes:
"... Not mentioned by any of the major news media is the fact that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (sic), renowned for its interference in foreign elections, funding terrorists and overthrowing governments the US doesn't approve of. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | investigatingimperialism.wordpress.com
September 27, 2018 September 27, 2018 27 September 2018 -- Investigating Imperialism

I smell a rat!

A quick comment about the two Russian alleged assassins, exposed, we are told by the 'investigative' Website, Bellingcat. Not mentioned by any of the major news media is the fact that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (sic), renowned for its interference in foreign elections, funding terrorists and overthrowing governments the US doesn't approve of.

Media Lens picked up on this awhile back in reference to another Western financed outfit, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), funded by the UK Foreign Office. I've also expanded this by quoting from Media Lens' other article that deals with Western-funded disinfo, ' Douma: Part 1 – Deception In Plain Sight':

Liberal corporate journalists and politicians have been impressed by the fact that SOHR and White Helmets claims have been supported by ostensibly forensic analysis supplied by the Bellingcat website, which publishes 'citizen journalist' investigations. As we noted in a recent alert, Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is funded by the US government and is 'a notorious vehicle for US soft power'. – ' The Syrian Observatory – Funded By The Foreign Office ', Media Lens, June 4 2018

It's worth quoting more of the Media Lens article as it exposes the nature of Western so-called lefties and their attachment to Western (funded) propaganda outfits:

In the New Statesman, Paul Mason offered a typically nonsensical argument, linking to the anti-Assad website, Bellingcat:

'Despite the availability of public sources showing it is likely that a regime Mi-8 helicopter dropped a gas container onto a specific building, there are well-meaning people prepared to share the opinion that this was a "false flag", staged by jihadis, to pull the West into the war. The fact that so many people are prepared to clutch at false flag theories is, for Western democracies, a sign of how effective Vladimir Putin's global strategy has been.'

Thus, echoing Freedland's reference to 'denialists and conspiracists', sceptics can only be idiot victims of Putin's propaganda. US media analyst Adam Johnson of FAIR accurately described Mason's piece as a 'mess', adding :

'I love this thing where nominal leftists run the propaganda ball for bombing a country 99 yards then stop at the one yard and insist they don't support scoring goals, that they in fact oppose war.'

Surprisingly, the Bellingcat website, which publishes the findings of 'citizen journalist' investigations, appears to be taken seriously by some very high-profile progressives.

In the Independent, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas also mentioned the Syrian army 'Mi-8' helicopters. Why? Because she had read the same Bellingcat blog as Mason, to which she linked:

'From the evidence we've seen so far it appears that the latest chemical attack was likely by Mi-8 helicopters, probably from the forces of Syria's murderous President Assad.'

On Democracy Now!, journalist Glenn Greenwald said of Douma:

'I think that it's -- the evidence is quite overwhelming that the perpetrators of this chemical weapons attack, as well as previous ones, is the Assad government '

This was an astonishing comment. After receiving fierce challenges (not from us), Greenwald partially retracted, tweeting :

'It's live TV. Something [sic – sometimes] you say things less than ideally. I think the most likely perpetrator of this attack is Syrian Govt.'

We wrote to Greenwald asking what had persuaded him of Assad's 'likely' responsibility for Douma. (Twitter, April 10, direct message)

The first piece of evidence he sent us (April 12) was the Bellingcat blog mentioning Syrian government helicopters cited by Mason and Lucas. Greenwald also sent us a report from Reuters, as well as a piece from 2017, obviously prior to the alleged Douma event.

This was thin evidence indeed for the claim made. In our discussion with him, Greenwald then completely retracted his claim (Twitter, April 12, direct message) that there was evidence of Syrian government involvement in the alleged attack. [My emph. WB] – ' Douma: Part 1 – Deception In Plain Sight'

[Apr 12, 2019] The "non-diplomatic" scandal characteristic for our times of lawless deciders

Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:53 pm GMT

@Dmitry The "non-diplomatic" scandal characteristic for our times of lawless deciders, with the UK leading the charge: https://www.hannenabintuherland.com/news/update-on-the-sergei-skripal-poisoning-and-the-conspicuously-many-unanswered-questions-dr-tim-hayward-herland-report/
"The Sergej Skripal case never reached beyond allegations. The media now dead silent," Dr. Tim Hayward – Herland Report

[Apr 12, 2019] Briefing Note: Update on the Salisbury poisonings

Notable quotes:
"... Then on 29 March, Salisbury District Hospital unexpectedly said that "Yulia Skripal is improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition." She was even "conscious and talking" at that stage, according to the BBC. ..."
"... A few days later, she was able to phone Viktoria, who said she sounded perfectedly normal, and a few days after that, Yulia was discharged from hospital. Around that time too, the hospital announced that Sergei's condition also improved rapidly. ..."
"... The whole thing was staged, and the script written months beforehand. ..."
"... Bizarrely, however, one day before Yulia's rapid recovery was announced, the British police presented a new version of events which begins with skin contact. This is the door handle story, where the Skripals first made contact with Novichok at the front door of Sergei's house. ..."
"... This breifing proceeds on the premise that the Skripal's were exposed to A-234. I can not see that this has been established beyond reasonable doubt. ..."
"... And hasn't it been suggested in many places, including the article above, that Skripal's apparent connection with the Steele Dossier could be a motive for some western spooks to want to silence him? ..."
"... So the revelation of Sergei Skripal's trips to Prague and Estonia actually supports the evidence for his connection with the dossier. However, they have been presented in the media as the opposite – as a motive for the Kremlin to try to kill him. ..."
"... These latest media reports smell a lot like damage limitation. What do you do if you cannot stop an embarrassing fact from being revealed? The best action is to spin it to completely change its significance, so that it shifts the blame onto your enemy ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | timhayward.wordpress.com

timhayward The following briefing note is developed by academics researching the use of chemical and biological weapons during the 2011-present war in Syria. The note reflects work in progress. However, the substantive questions raised need answering, especially given the seriousness of the political situation in the Middle East and UK-Russian relations. The authors welcome comments and corrections.

Authors: Professor Paul McKeigue (University of Edinburgh), Professor David Miller (University of Bath) and Professor Piers Robinson (University of Sheffield)

For correspondence: piers.robinson@sheffield.ac.uk /+447764763350 ; Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda ( syriapropagandamedia.org ).

Key points What was the agent used?

An early report that the hospital was dealing with poisoning caused by an opiate such as fentanyl was most likely based on the initial working diagnosis. Signs of organophosphate poisoning – constricted pupils, vomiting, reduced consciousness and reduced breathing – could easily be mistaken for opiate overdose, usually a more likely diagnosis. OPCW has stated that the BZ detected by the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection in one of the samples sent by OPCW was not from Salisbury but was in a control sample .

The Russian ambassador reported that on 12 March the Foreign Secretary had told him that the nerve agent used against Mr and Ms Skripal had been identified as A-234. The OPCW report issued on 12 April did not identify the agent but stated that they had confirmed the identification made by the UK and that this identification had been included in the confidential report provided to "States parties". On 14 April the Russian Foreign Minister stated that A-234 had been reported by the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection that was one of the four accredited labs used by OPCW to analyse the Salisbury samples.

Based on public reports, a ChemSpider record for A-234 has been created which assigns it the IUPAC name ethyl [(1E)-1-(diethylamino)ethylidene] phosphoramidofluoridate. Its predicted vapour pressure is very low indicating that it is predicted to be non-volatile. No information on its stability is available. The OPCW director Uzumcu stated in a newspaper interview that the agent "seems to be very persistent," and "not affected by weather conditions". This was confirmed the next day by an OPCW press statement that: "the chemical substance found was of high purity, persistent and resistant to weather conditions". Ian Boyd, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was reported to have stated: "The chemical does not degrade quickly. You can assume it is not much different now from the day it was distributed". No experimental studies of the stability of A-234 have been reported.

Who could have produced A-234 in bench-scale quantities?

It is no longer seriously disputed that, as noted in our earlier briefing , any well equipped university lab can synthesize and purify such chemicals at bench scale. OPCW r eported that the agent (presumably A-234) was of high purity with "almost complete absence of impurities". This suggests that it was from a batch that had been synthesized for research, rather than for assassination purposes where it would be unnecessary to purify the agent.

Uzumcu stated in an interview with the New York Times that he had been told by UK officials that 50-100 grams of the agent was used.

"For research activities or protection you would need, for instance, five to 10 grams or so, but even in Salisbury it looks like they may have used more than that. Without knowing the exact quantity, I am told it may be 50, 100 grams or so, which goes beyond research activities for protection"

OPCW quickly contradicted this in a statement that "OPCW would not be able to estimate or determine the amount of the nerve agent that was used in Salisbury on 4 March 2018. The quantity should probably be characterized in milligrams".

Who has studied A-234 or similar compounds?

Bench-scale research on the toxicity of agents that might be used in chemical warfare is entirely legitimate under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and does not have to be declared to OPCW.

Russia

Since our last briefing note , more material from the investigation of the Kivelidi poisoning has been published by Novaya Gazeta, updating the earlier article published on 22 March . The second article includes an image of the mass spectrometry profile of the sample recovered from the telephone handset, which matches that submitted by Edgewood to the NIST98 mass spectrometry database. The Russian experts who commented on the original result appear not to have had access to the mass spectrometry profile of A-234, and to have incorrectly reconstructed the structure from a best guess, based on the mass-charge ratios of the fragments, as something like the GV agent (both agents have molecular mass 224 daltons, and a 58-dalton fragment). This establishes that Russia had synthesized this compound at bench scale by the mid 1990s, but does not confirm that it was ever developed for military use as alleged by Mirzayanov.

US

A 1997 newspaper article refers to a secret US army intelligence report referring to Russian development of A-232 and its "ethyl analog" A-234, indicating that the designation of these compounds and their structures was known to the US by this time. As noted in our last briefing note, the Edgewood lab submitted a mass spectrometry profile for A-234 to the public database NIST98, which was current from 1998 to 2001.

A patent application submitted by a US government lab in 2008 mentions "Novichoks", but examination shows that the structures given for these compounds were the dihaloformaldoxime structures previously published as supposed "Novichoks", not the phosphoramidofluoridates published by Mirzayanov later in 2008. This does not indicate that the applicants were studying these compounds – most likely they included them to make their patent as broad as possible.

Iran and Czechia

A study from Iran published in 2016 reported synthesis for research purposes of a compound similar to A-234, differing from it only by the presence of methyl instead of ethyl groups. In an interview with Czech television , President Zeman stated that in November 2017 the related compound designated A-230 was studied at the Brno Military Research Institute.

Other labs

The director of Porton Down has declined to comment on whether Porton Down has stocks of A-234 for research purposes. The OPCW labs that identified A-234 in the specimens from Salisbury were most likely matching it against a mass spectrometry profile in OPCW's Central Analytical Database.

What is known of the toxicity of A-234?

No data on the toxicity of A-234 are available in the public domain. The printout of the entry in the NIST 98 database appears to cross-reference an entry in the database RTECS ( Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances) but no entry for this compound now exists in RTECS.

Why was the structure of A-234 revealed?

The structure of A-234 was revealed in a book by Vil S Mirzayanov in 2008, some 13 years after he had emigrated to the US with the story of a secret programme to develop chemical weapons of a class named "Novichoks". During 2008-2009 the US government, with an active part for the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was encouraging the development of a separatist movement in Tatarstan. As part of this, Mirzayanov was declared head of a Tatar government-in-exile in December 2008. The publication of his book may thus have been part of an effort to build up Mirzayanov's status as a dissident. His role in this operation may explain why subsequent discussion of his book by OPCW delegates was closely monitored (and discouraged) by the US State Department . Mirzayanov's involvement in this operation undermines his credibility as an independent whistleblower.

When and where were the Skripals exposed to A-234?

A summary of the different versions on which journalists were apparently briefed by security sources was given by the Russian embassy:-

– The Skripals could be sprayed with poison by attackers in the street (Daily Mail, 6 March, source: "Anti-terror police").

– The nerve agent could be planted in one of the personal items in Yulia Skripal's suitcase before she left Moscow for London. According to this theory the toxin was impregnated in an item of clothing or cosmetics or else in a gift that was opened in the house of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, meaning Yulia Skripal was deliberately targeted to get at her father (The Telegraph, 15 March, source: "Senior sources in the intelligence agencies").

– The nerve agent could be planted in the air conditioner of the car of Skripals (Daily Mail, 19 March, source: "Security expert Philip Ingram").

– The Skripals could be poisoned through buckwheat that Yulia Skripal had asked her friend to buy and bring for her father, because she had forgotten to pick up the grocery gifts herself (The Sun, 1 April, source: "British investigators").

On 28 March the police announced that "at this point in our investigation, we believe the Skripals first came into contact with the nerve agent from their front door".

Although it is possible that a nerve agent could be prepared in a formulation that would be absorbed only slowly through the skin, it is implausible that two individuals exposed through contact with the front door would have received doses that caused them to collapse suddenly and so nearly simultaneously that neither had time to call for help, at least three hours later. It is more likely that they were attacked shortly before they were found collapsed on the park bench.

Sergei Skripal's link with Orbis: possible motive for murder

In the first few days after the poisoning there were media reports that Sergei Skripal had been in regular contact with his MI6 handler, whose Linked-In profile had stated that he was a consultant for Orbis Business Intelligence. On 7 March this profile was deleted and a Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice was issued to caution journalists against disclosing the identity of this consultant. However at Skripal's trial in 2007 his MI6 handler had been identified as Pablo Miller , and the link between Skripal and Miller had been described in detail by Russian opposition media on 6 March.

This link between Skripal and Orbis may be relevant to the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, the founder of Orbis, containing derogatory information on Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia. This dossier had been used by the FBI to apply for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court order authorizing surveillance of Trump's campaign. By early 2018 the unravelling of this story was creating serious difficulties for Steele and for those he had worked with. These difficulties included a referral for criminal investigation by two US Senators , a libel case in the US against the publisher of the dossier which had led to a court ruling that Steele should be questioned in an English court, and a libel case in England against Orbis and Steele. It is not difficult to postulate a situation in which the potential for damage to US-UK relations could have provided a motive for actors on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure that Sergei Skripal would not be available to give evidence.

The UK government's position

This was summarized in a letter from the National Security Adviser , Sir Mark Sedwill to the NATO Secretary-General on 13 April 2018. Sedwill's letter made several assertions that were substantiated only by "intelligence":

Appearing before the House of Commons Defence Committee on 1 May, Sedwill (11:39) extolled the government's reaction to the Salisbury incident as "an example of the Fusion Doctrine in practice". The Fusion Doctrine brings other government departments under the National Security Council with "the introduction of senior officials as senior responsible owners to deliver each of the NSC's priorities".

Sedwill's involvement in the preparation of the now widely discredited dossier 'Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction' , released in September 2002, calls into question his credibility in making these uncorroborated assertions. The UK government's case as set out by Sedwill is based on asserting that "only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and motive for the attack on the Skripals". Each of these points is open to serious criticism:-

Acknowledgements

We thank Professor Rudy Richardson of the University of Michigan for advice on the toxicology of nerve agents.

LittleOldMe says: January 22, 2019 at 12:29 pm
Awesome journalism. The kind we sourly lack in the msm. But I guess they are all "bought and paid for" This whole story has looked like a farce from the start, especially in the msm. Like they were making it up while they were going along Sounded like: ( https://www.crisis-solutions.com/ ) Who do exactly that sort of thing.

My question is: Is it even likely that two people will touch the same door handle, either on their way in or out of the house? Two people and two door handles (inside and outside).

When you leave together, only ONE person will touch the outside door handle, when closing the door, usually the last one to leave, right?

Just my 2 cents

;Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:05 pm
The authors say " there are no known nerve agents that cause onset of symptoms delayed by several hours, "

A publication from 2009 contradicts this, but it seems to suggest that the onset is gradual rather than sudden:

"Even a lethal drop may require 30 minutes, rather than seconds, to manifest clinically, and a small, nonlethal drop may develop symptoms over 18 hours."

"Nerve Agents", Jonathan Newmark, in Clinical Neurotoxicology https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/organophosphate-insecticides

This delayed reaction still does not explain the unbelievable timeline of the symptoms in the official British version of the Skripal case. As the authors point out, that version is unlikely to be true, as it would mean that the two victims collapsed suddenly and almost simultaneously after a long delay.

It is all the more unlikely, as Yulia should have collapsed later than Sergei, due to the difference in the skin layers in men and women. Because the subcutaneous layer is thicker in women, the nerve agent's transit time is longer, according to Newmark's piece.

Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm
Those comments by Newmark refer to absorption of nerve agent through the skin. This is in contrast to what he says about inhalation of a large amount of vapour:

"In a vapor challenge of sufficient magnitude, perhaps 0.5 LCt50 or higher, the sequence of symptoms can be so fast as to seem clinically simultaneous. Many patients have been described who, after a large vapor challenge, lost consciousness, seized, and developed all of the other symptoms essentially within seconds of exposure."

This sudden attack due to vapour appears very consistent with the Skripals' inability to call for help when they collapsed.

Furthermore, for more than three weeks after the incident, the only methods of poisoning that were taken seriously involved the inhalation of nerve agent. First, it was supposed to have been sprayed on the Skripals in the park. Later, it was believed that Novichok in powder form had been placed in the ventilation system of Sergei's car.

Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:08 pm
As well as the rapid onset of symptoms of vapour inhalation, Newmark also describes its possible long term effects, which he contrasts with those resulting from skin contact:

"Vapor nerve casualties, if removed from the source of contamination, or masked, and treated aggressively, either die or improve rapidly. Humans metabolize a circulating nerve agent quickly if it does not kill them. No depot effect is observed with vapor casualties. The situation is quite different with the patient who gets a drop of liquid nerve agent on the skin."

The most important part of that section is "Vapor nerve casualties either die or improve rapidly." This is consistent with the prognosis for the Skripals both before and after their recovery.

For three weeks, Sergei and Yulia were given little chance of recovery. On Monday 26 March, Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament "Sadly, late last week doctors indicated that their condition is unlikely to change in the near future and that they may never recover fully."

In the two days after that, others – who were close to the Skripals – put it more bluntly.
Viktoria Skripal, who is Sergei's niece and Yulia's cousin, told the BBC that there was "maybe 1 percent of hope" and that they had "a very small chance of survival".

Ross Cassidy, a close friend and former neighbour of Sergei, told Sky News: "We've already been told they will be severely mentally impaired and I don't think they would want that. I think death would probably be merciful."

Then on 29 March, Salisbury District Hospital unexpectedly said that "Yulia Skripal is improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition." She was even "conscious and talking" at that stage, according to the BBC.

A few days later, she was able to phone Viktoria, who said she sounded perfectedly normal, and a few days after that, Yulia was discharged from hospital. Around that time too, the hospital announced that Sergei's condition also improved rapidly.

All of this indicates a much greater likelihood that Yulia and Sergei were poisoned by means of inhalation than skin contact. Not only that, but the doctors treating them, and the UK authorities, must have believed that too.

Allan Howard says: May 12, 2018 at 10:37 pm

The whole thing was staged, and the script written months beforehand.
Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm
Bizarrely, however, one day before Yulia's rapid recovery was announced, the British police presented a new version of events which begins with skin contact. This is the door handle story, where the Skripals first made contact with Novichok at the front door of Sergei's house.

This version gives the impression that the investigators had not noticed the Novichok on the front door during the weeks of intensive investigation by hundreds of officers! This is in spite of the fact that it was known that their colleague, Detective Nick Bailey, had been to the house before he suffered from the effects of the nerve agent.

The unexpected announcements of both the door handle story and Yulia's rapid recovery within a day of one another, three weeks after the incident, appears to be a remarkable coincidence in timing.

It reminds us of another such example that was already mentioned – the Skripals' collapse at almost the same time, hours after touching the Novichok. That's part of the same unbelievable door handle theory.

This is just speculation, but the timing of the shift in narrative indicates that the UK authorities were afraid of what Yulia might reveal. Now that she was "conscious and talking", she might even be able to help to identify the attackers.

Because of this, they may have wanted to discredit what she might say about what she noticed in the centre of Salisbury on the day of the poisoning. By moving the crime scene to Sergei's house, the police could dismiss any such statements by Yulia as irrelevant, or maybe as the result of hallucination caused by the nerve agent.

Brendan says: May 13, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Just a summary of some facts about the Skripal case that might point to the means of poisoning. These all indicate that it was not by skin contact, but much more likely by inhalation, or possibly ingestion. The first two facts match what the literature says about nerve agent vapour:
  • – Rapid (instead of gradual) onset of the poison's effects in both victims at the same time.
  • – Grim prognosis, followed by rapid improvement ("Vapor nerve casualties either die or improve rapidly").
  • – The investigators' belief for weeks that the poison was either in aerosol or powder form or was added to food. (we can see these scenarios both in the leaks to the media and in the focus of investigation in Salisbury town centre).
  • – In contrast, the apparent complete lack of belief for weeks in the door handle theory, which involves skin contact.
  • – The strange timing of the first mention of this version. It was presented – almost as a fact – after three and a half weeks of intensive investigation, approximately on the day of Yulia's unexpected recovery.

Neil says: May 11, 2018 at 9:25 pm

This breifing proceeds on the premise that the Skripal's were exposed to A-234. I can not see that this has been established beyond reasonable doubt.

If the information referred to by Segei Lavrov is reliable, it must pertain to environmental samples and not biomedical samples. Presumably A-234 is a fast acting nerve paralyzing agent, it would therefore seem incongruous that the Skripals could have had any significant exposure to it but be recovering fully (apparently).

Not least if they were exposed to it and then initially assessed and treated for fentanyl exposure.

Neil says: May 13, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Swiss express their incomprehension at the purported lab report obtained by Russian foreign ministry: https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-58/en/58th_Meeting_of_the_Executive_Council_Statement_delivered_by_Ms._Nadine_Olivieri_Lozano_Deputy_Permanent_Representative_of_Switzerland_to_the_OPCW.pdf
Neil says: May 13, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Presumably they did identify A-234, but finding it in environmental samples need not imply the Skripals were exposed to it.

Pingback:

The Salisbury Poisonings. What Was the Agent Used? Who Could Have Produced It? When and Where were the Skripals Exposed? | williambowles.info

democritus460 says: May 14, 2018 at 5:36 pm

And how prescient of the MD of UK CBRN respirator-maker, Avon Protection, to write a piece on the BBC pretty much predicting a chemical attack on a NATO member, possibly involving 'new super chemicals many times more potent than nerve agents like Sarin and VX', just days before the Salisbury incident

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43074956

Allan Howard says: May 15, 2018 at 6:08 pm
And several weeks before the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria the Russians were warning that a false flag attack was being planned:

https://www.rt.com/news/421589-us-preparing-syria-provocations-airstrikes/

Brendan says: May 16, 2018 at 10:37 am
The latest story is that the Kremlin targeted Sergei Skripal because he travelled to Prague and Estonia in order to provide security officers with information on Russian espionage.

But wait isn't Estonia the place where another Salisbury resident, Skripal's alleged handler, Pablo Miller was based for years as an MI6 agent?

And wasn't Prague the location of a meeting between Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen and Russian officials, as alleged in the Steele Dossier?

And wasn't that meeting – just a couple of months after Skripal's trip to Estonia in 2016 – monitored by the Estonian secret service, according to Newsweek?

And hasn't it been suggested in many places, including the article above, that Skripal's apparent connection with the Steele Dossier could be a motive for some western spooks to want to silence him?

So the revelation of Sergei Skripal's trips to Prague and Estonia actually supports the evidence for his connection with the dossier. However, they have been presented in the media as the opposite – as a motive for the Kremlin to try to kill him.

These latest media reports smell a lot like damage limitation. What do you do if you cannot stop an embarrassing fact from being revealed? The best action is to spin it to completely change its significance, so that it shifts the blame onto your enemy.

Adrian Kent. says: July 11, 2018 at 3:52 pm
HI Tim,

Full marks for your work here – are there any updates coming in the light of recent events?

The way you've gone about this is particularly impressive and useful – posing questions and answering them as and when you can.

This stands in rather stark contrast to a few of the more prominent 'company-liners' on twitter.

I've had a diverting, but not entirely fruitful, few exchanges with @dankaszeta on the subject of Novichok persistence and the delayed, simultaneous, rapid onset story (to my mind the most obvious flaw in the Governments yarn). In April he was happy enough to state that all OP chemicals degrade in the presence of water as it suited him in his, ahem, Myth Busting piece for politics.co.uk.

Now, however, it's all actually rather persistent and down to viscosity and all that. I fully understand how it might be were it enclosed in a vial or syringe or something, but it all looked a bit like he was having his cake and eating it when he'd used the hydrolysis argument to explain why the Skripals weren't killed (or why, I assume PC Bailey wasn't either).

Philip Ingrm (@PhilipIngMBE) chimed in on a recent thread – informing me that the persistence was why they (I'm assuming he meant the Russians) decided to use Novichoks.

When it came to the delayed collapse story he told me that this was answered in his, Kaszeta's or Hamish DBG's threads. It's a tactic that certainly Kaszeta has deployed more than once – feign weariness when questions get tricky and then refer people to tweets they're too busy or tired to dig out themselves.

I told Ingram that I thought this was a little lame and pointed him to this site by way of example of good practice.

The upshot?

Dan Kaszeta blocked me.

[Mar 24, 2019] The accountability that must follow Mueller's report

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections. ..."
"... At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this. ..."
"... I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy. ..."
"... It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further. ..."
"... They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. ..."
"... Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal. ..."
"... The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue; ..."
"... Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law. ..."
"... It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.) ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
  1. President Trump was not indicted, nor did Mueller recommend an indictment against him for collusion or obstruction.
  2. There were no major disagreements between Mueller and his managers at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  3. The Russians who tried to interfere in the 2016 election were exposed and charged -- but no American was charged with any effort to conspire with Moscow and hijack the election.
  4. While nearly three dozen people were charged , including a few close to the president or who worked for his campaign, no one in proximity to the president was formally charged with colluding with Russia. Most, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn or campaign adviser George Papadopoulos , were charged with process crimes or felonies unrelated to the main case, as in Paul Manafort 's secretive, multimillion-dollar foreign lobbying spree through Ukraine.

*********

Such omissions are so glaring as to constitute defrauding a federal court. And each and every participant to those omissions needs to be brought to justice.

An upcoming DOJ inspector general's report should trigger the beginning of that accountability in a court of law, and President Trump can assist the effort by declassifying all evidence of wrongdoing by FBI, CIA and DOJ officials. " The Hill

------------

Pilgrims, the seditious conspiracy to depose the elected president of the United States for conspiracy to commit treason with the Government of the Russian Federation has been defeated.

The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections.

At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this.

The leftist press is already discounting the results of Mueller's investigation while gloating over how long the Democratic held House of Representatives can continue to search through Trump's life trying to find criminality.

AG Barr should stand Mueller up next to him at a press conference to make clear the results of his report and to answer questions about it. After that the prosecutions should begin. pl

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/435394-the-wisdom-of-trumps-lawyers-and-the-accountability-that-must-follow

Posted at 09:00 AM in government , Justice , Politics | Permalink | 20 Comments


David Habakkuk , 14 hours ago

I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy.

It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further.

The argument that declassification of relevant documentation would harm the intelligence relationship between the U.S. and U.K. has clearly been made with great emphasis from this side.

In fact, it is pure bollocks. A serious investigation on your side, which could lead to the kind of clean-out which should have happened when the scale of the corruption of intelligence in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq became clear, might pave the way for us to reconstruct reasonably functional intelligence services.

Doing this on both sides of the Atlantic might pave the way for a reconstruction of an intelligence relationship which was actually beneficial to both countries, as in recent years it patently has not been.

Whether there is a realistic prospect of people on your side opening the cans of worms on ours, as well as your own, of course remains a moot point.

English Outsider -> David Habakkuk , 12 hours ago
Mr Habakkuk,

I'm glad the Steele affair has been examined at the American end -

"They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. "

What about the UK end? We're fussing over some little local difficulties in the UK at the moment and at our end the questions still remain - Who in the UK authorised it and how high did it go?

Mark Logan -> David Habakkuk , 9 hours ago

The problem with criminal prosecution is one must cite a Brit or US law which was violated. The only ones in US law that I am aware of stipulate that the plotting must be by means of violence, "by force". All this appears to me to be only the propagation of rumors.
English Outsider -> Mark Logan , 6 hours ago
I think it might be more the investigation of the propagation of rumours. Think back to that election campaign, and to the period before the inauguration.

Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal.

With respect it is not propagating rumours to ask how that happened. As for my own interest in the affair, it is not propagating rumours to ask how a senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer comes to be mixed up in it all. I suppose I started to look on it as rather more than a prank or a few cogs slipping when that senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer got whisked away to a safe house. We're a penny pinching lot over here and we don't run to that sort of thing for nothing.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 6 hours ago
Ex?
Mad_Max22 , 11 hours ago
An investigation could certainly be predicated on the reasonable suspicion that Steele, et al, conspired to defraud the United States, in this case a purposeful and knowing smear of a candidate for office; also, another potential violation could be lying to the FBI, T 18 USC 1001.

The problem, as I see it, is sorting out the malignant from the merely incompetent. As I've argued many times, the dossier should have been dismissed from the outset as a pile of garbage, empty of actionable content, because the ultimate sources could not be vetted: the information could not be said to be either credible or reliable. The information was acted on by screening it behind the reliabilty and credibility, so called, of Steele. So it would be necessary to show that Steele knew that the information, point by point, was false. This could be difficult. Steele's first line of defense would be that he threw everything that he heard from anyone at all into the mix in the expectation that the "professionals" would figure it out.

Yes, they were all partisan, Steele, his sources, his bosses, the so called professionals, and their partisanship would be easy to prove; and yes, almost assuredly their partisanship contributed, perhaps even explained, their defective judgement as to how to handle the scurrilous information, especially on the part of the so called professionals, but proving they actually knew the materials to be false would be difficult.

They couldn't know that it was false because they had no ability to run down the sources. The professionals would defend themselves by saying they had no ability to vet the sources but the information represented such a serious security threat that they had no alternative but to try to vet the information by launching the investigation against the targets. This puts the cart before the horse, represents an astonishing lack of judgement, especially considering the "exalted" positions in the Intel Community the people exercising the bad judgement occupied, but there it is - "we thought we were doing the right thing."

Perhaps this defense could be overcome by demonstrating that people at such high and important heights of government could not possible be so stupid... maybe.

And of course we have the orchestrated leaks to various media, the orchestrated unmaskings, all of which kept the media frenzy fired up. All in all, it was the greatest political dirty trick ever attempted in American Politics, and did devastating damage to both domestic tranquility and national security. Trump survived, but the damage done is incalculable.

So It pains me greatly to think that the reckoning will likely have to be political rather than criminal because the malice that can be demonstrated is so admixed and even overshadowed by incompetence and judgement flaws; and even a political reckoning given the state of the country is so uncertain.

I hope that I am wrong and that some kind of prosecution can be fashioned because of the sheer enormity of violence that was done to our electoral system, surpassing by far the chickenshit case Mueller brought against the Russian troll farm; but I fear that I am right. It hurts to think that so much damage can be caused by scheming little political weasels and that they all may well walk away scot free; and even be lionized by their political confreres as having tried to do the right thing. This is the state of American politics today!!!

Eric Newhill , 12 hours ago
I see that some of the midgets on horseback are saying that they will bring Mueller before congress to explain himself. Their knight in shining armor has failed to return with the holy grail. A couple even suggested that perhaps Mueller has been influenced by the Russians or somehow intimated by Trump.

The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue;

and that + all the crazy Marxism (social and economic), bad immigration policy and Green New Deal is going to doom the Democrats in 2020. They look like they are jumping off a final sake fueled banzai charge. Maybe they think the best defense is a good offense re; the prosecutions that should happen. What is the chance that Mueller will pass *all* he has learned to help get the criminal cases under way?

robt willmann , 3 hours ago
seesee2468,

On 13 July 2018, when announcing the indictment of 12 Russian military officers by the Mueller group for "conspiring to interfere" in the 2016 presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein admitted that no "interference" actually happened. In this video of his announcement, starting at 5 minutes, 52 seconds into it and ending at the 6 minute, 5 second mark, he says--

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result."

https://www.c-span.org/vide...

Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law.

However, I am concerned that the new attorney general, William Barr, will not do so based on his past associations and work. I hope I am wrong about that, but I am not optimistic.

Divadab Newton , 10 hours ago
It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.)

I'm wrestling with the idea that 'twas ever thus and now with the internet its workings are revealed to a "lay" audience with no connection to the dark arts of the spy business. But I am curious, with the good Colonel's indulgence, if the new tools of the trade have made things which should be secret not possible to be kept secret?

Walrus , 13 hours ago
Amen to the prosecutions. If there is seen to be no accountability for this fraud then we are seriously damaging what's left of democracy. Who, in their right mind, is going to publicly support and assist a political candidate who is not "Swamp approved" if they face the threat of thereby triggering their own, and their family's destruction by the judicial system?

I suggest that even a pardon is not enough for those entrapped in this mess. There needs to be restitution.

To put that another way, in my opinion, "birther" allegations could be passed off as political tactics. Nobody got hurt. It is just good luck that Russiagate hasn't resulted in suicide or worse - so far.

ugluk2 , 3 hours ago
Matt Taibbi on how the press has destroyed its credibility.

https://taibbi.substack.com...

Taras77 , 8 hours ago
I certainly agree that consequences must be brought to bear: lying politicians without a shred of evidence, nor did they offer any for their lies; press for their utter and complete malfeasance and corruption without a shred of evidence, the doj/fbi corrupted and coup plotting officials,and finally the shame to all who shrieked about "evil" putin, russia the aggressor, etc. It has set our discourse back decades, forced any critics of this insanity into the shadows, and completely killed any attempt at normal diplomacy between nations.

I noted one astute writer as equating this russiagate insanity to the lies surrounding wmd and the destruction of iraq. Close. The damage from this criminality is incalculable!

Will the shrillest of all in the press lose their jobs? Nah, not a chance. Prob get raise or promotion.Will the brennans, clintons, clappers, et al do the perp walk. Nah, not a chance. High paid lawyers will tie the courts up for years if not decades.

And america has the institutional memory of a gnat. And of course, the question is as to high up did this criminality go? I personally do not believe it is a question-it is obvious to me. The major question for me is how high up the prosecution, if any, will go.

MP98 , 12 hours ago
Problem is...who's going to do the prosecuting? The DOJ - protector of the swamp - has become thoroughly corrupted as an arm of the Democrat-media party. Should (can) Trump appoint a special prosecutor as far as possible from the DOJ?
Greco , 12 hours ago
The president might use this and any Republican-led prosecutions as leverage to work out deals that will allow him to achieve his agenda. I think he'll need to given how the Democrats intend to use their house majority to launch investigations and hearings to find something, anything to howl about and impede his agenda.
Fred W , 12 hours ago
Still need to see the full report. I hope it is releasable. Otherwise the conspiracy theories or leaks will never let up. The article cited is a partisan opinion piece, not a news report. It accepts the fallback stance that yes, crimes were committed but collusion by Trump was not among them. This actually seems possible if only in light of the chaotic condition of the campaign.

That said, I would not be surprised to find collusion discounted. Not that the Russians didn't interfere. That would be entirely in character. But I don't know any reason for supposing that they would have a better understanding of American political dynamics than the Americans who make good livings being the best in that arena. The Russians seem to have been doing the same things as numerous other players. They shouldn't have been in that game, but there is no strong reason for according them Superman status. Their strongest feature seems to have been sheer quantity. Outrage over their actions often seems to flow from a poor grasp of the real nature of normal political process.

Fred -> Fred W , 4 hours ago
"The Russians seem to have been doing the same things..."

Multiple members of the FBI and DOJ seem to have been interfering in the 2016 Presidential election. How many other federal and state elections did they interfere with?

seesee2468 -> Fred W , 6 hours ago
Can you cite a single piece of hard evidence, not simply allegation, that proves the Russians interfered in the 2016 election? If so, please cite it, since I know of none. Thank you.
Pat Lang Mod -> seesee2468 , 6 hours ago
I cannot.
peter hodges , 12 hours ago
Nothing will happen. In fact, the way things have been going, Trump will make Mueller the next AG.

[Mar 20, 2019] Bruce Ohr, Liar or Moron by Larry C Johnson

Credibility of the US government and Justice system was greatly undermined, if not destroyed by the Russiagate. Inability to investigate more plausible election interference by British an, Saudi and Israeli actors by Mueller paints him as a despicable political operative working for Clintons, not an independent Prosecutor, who diligently investigate the foreign interference in elections.
The role of Rosenstein is the role of co-conspirator in a plot to deprive Trump of the Presidency or, at least, for force him to pursue the Deep State foreign policy, which is totally bankrupt policy. And they succeeded in this. Trump wet kiss with neocons was probably the part of the deal.
Notable quotes:
"... When even Trump who was the victim of the machinations cares only to tweet witch hunt, why would anyone expect that any of those involved in the attempted "coup" would be held to account? ..."
"... I wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a business cont