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NeoMcCartyism as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism

Election of Trump is the sign of crisis of neoliberal ideology and decadence of US elite; warmongering neocon Hillary was the establishment candidate that was rejected by votes and which represented a grave threat to the US national security

A case study of state-fuelled paranoia designed to provide a smoke screen over crisis of neoliberalism in the USA which led to Trump victory.

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Nation under attack meme Steele dossier Putin-did-it fiasco
Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of suppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry US and British media are servants of security apparatus Anti Trump Hysteria in MSM Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections? Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Trump vs. Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Color revolutions "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Frustrated underachievers
Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia History of American False Flag Operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians PeterStrzok and Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe James Comey role in preventing election of Sanders
Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Doublespeak Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Demonization of Putin Cold War II Predator state Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Diplomacy by deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Introduction

  It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

Jacob G. Hornberger, December 15, 2016

We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.

Walter Lippmann

"Trump is somewhat less thrilled with tilting with Russia for the American empire which is as moral as Nero's Rome." And that annoys neocons, including a part of CIA, Pentagon, and a large part of State Department. Dumping Kristol's PNAC crowd will definitely strengthen the republic. But it is not an easy teas as all those national security parasites are well entrenched in Washington, DC. The classic question is "Who, whom ?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who,_whom%3F

Economist's View   comment

"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."

Gilbert Doctorow

 

While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade)  in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere. It might well be a symptom of the USA society getting  a dangerous political auto-immune disease.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia symbolizes the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending that the level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is a sign of decadence of elite and profound weakness of neoliberal ideology.  As Professor Cohen noted this is a real threat to the USA national security:

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

This is  the sign the  US elite is losing the battle of ideas can't find solutions to the US problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status (as well as 18 intelligence agencies), and that's really not enough anymore. So fueling paranoia is a defensive  move, that allow to shift the focus to "external enemy" and rally the nation under the flag.

Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. " can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

That why the Russian threat argument is not only popular, but became one of the main "themes" within the MSM and the American political establishment. This witch  hunt is encouraged by foreign governments who, for reasons of self-interest, want to see Washington embroiled in the confrontation (Israel as well as Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian nationalists comes to mind). The result is the construction of the new peril, a process similar to re-construction (actually more realistic, as technology of propaganda improved since 50th) of Red Menace.

This process which  we will call neo-McCarthyism has its own logic and rules.  Red scare was actually greatly beneficial to the USA in 50th as along with crushing of dissent it helped to kept cannibalistic instinct of the US elite in check.  The fear of the USSR prevented looting of middle class  till 1980th. In other word the mere existence of the USSR on the world scene suppressed cannibalistic instinct of the US elite for more than a half the century. That why the post-war period as a the real gold-age period for the US middle class an population in general.  Cannibalistic instincts of the US elite returned only after the collapse of the USSR.  Fueled by ascendance of neoliberalism.

The analogy of "Russiagate" with McCarthy witch hunt in very strong indeed but is incomplete. Here in addition to the attempt to crush the opposition to neoliberal globalization painting tit as Russian stooges and suppress disappointment with neoliberalism by rallying that nation around the flag, there is a distinct smell of color revolution against President Trump.  There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and  after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his  administration the Special Prosecutor.

Like in any color revolution the hysteria in MSM plays very important role in demonizing Russian and by extension the current administration. Similar to "Red Menace" witch hunt  opposing to neoliberalism ideas are perceived as a cancer spreading around the globe, undermining the legitimacy of Western values and political systems.  That's why we see frantic attempt to raise anti-Russian sentiments in the USA to this level of nation-wide paranoia ("Russians under  every bed" level) too. To fake it as the "battle of ideas (BTW Russia is just another neoliberal state; it just wants to be less dependent for Washington, not a pitiful vassal like Western Europeans countries) and make it "strategic" confrontation. Russian policies are distorted to the level which make them a caricature completely detached  from the reality. And the assumption the the US President can unilaterally change the USA foreign policy actually is an insult to intelligence.

Under the cover of this hysteria Washington is trying to adopt a long term diplomatic and military strategy of containing Russia; to forge new alliances which might slow down or prevent ascendance of the economic block of Russia and China (with Iran, turkey and India as possible members). And like in  in Orwell 1984 novel to prepare the American people for a never ending struggle of "good and evil".

Neo-McCarthyism undermines the USA security

The problem with the USA neoliberal elite  and neoliberal MSM is that the last thing US neoliberals are interested in  is how the world outside the bubble of "full spectrum dominance" they inhabit after 1980 operates, and their absolutely contempt for 'deplorables', be they Russian, British, Arab or American. This can lead to political misjudgements like invasion of Libya,  and support of jihadists to partition Syria. 

The whole situation with Russia, including but not limited her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people. And this represent a strong empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this neoliberal/neocon  "full spectrum dominance" bubble. Which makes them a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards selling the security of the USA and  balancing on the edge of nuclear war for 20 silver coins for themselves and their  families. Many of the them look like (and most probably are) little men, drunkards, henpecked husbands, or civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives or present to be a stong men in the yeys of thier  mistresses.  Do you think they sit like monks balancing right against wrong in such tricky subject as relations with Russia ? No. Thier approach is simplistick and wrong "Russia is an aurotirarisnce state" so  "Carnage should be destroyed." And they are playing this game for their petty and selfish motive.  Steele dossier attests that in the USA there is a fully formed and influences caste of "national security parasites." The caste that is deeply interested in keeping the heat in Russiagate as it brings them money, influence as well as personal security in their lucrative positions in State Department,  US papers or TV channels at the expense of security of the USA as a country.

The US and British neoliberal MSM now have fallen below any journalistic standard. It is prudent to view them as evil propaganda tools used by rogue elements in the US and British intelligence agencies. They do not have their own opinions. Puppets. All of them.  And as somebody aptly said those overzealous "journalists" like Rachel Madcow  or "analysts" like Max Boot "should be demoted to painting houses, instead of painting Russia black".

That might be just my old age problem, that  that's how I see it ;-)

And as far as I cal tell most of those people are badly educated  by  European standards (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold), they are deeply provincial, and often clueless Mayberry Machiavellians. They actually enjoy their "confirmation bias"  toward Russia (which to me is a modern form of anti-Semitism, displacement of hatred to Jews if you wish, which is so common among Irish Catholics ;-). In a simple human terms I would call them ignorant snobs. That is why this neoliberal academic-political-media "environment" prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with. Thus is classic "Chalabi Moment" reproduced with a quite different, nuclear armed  country and as such much more dangerous.

In case of Iraq it was and  still is a tragedy (that cost life of million or more of Iraqis), but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years -- they simply have no idea what they are dealing with.  Those guy know how to fight. But they are  briefed by "sources" such as Russian fugitives in London (who buy this way their non-extradition to Russia for their crimes) and are happy to get the confirmation of their biases.  Also they have information form fringe urban Russian fifth column, especially feminists and lesbians (Masha Gessen is a good example here; although even she has now reservations about Russiagate) 

Again, the level of "Russian Studies" in the Anglophone world in general and in the USA in particular is appalling. And this dismal level represents a  "clear and present danger"  since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can completely annihilate the USA. And dramatically increases the  danger of a disastrous military confrontation which can easily slide into full scale nuclear war. they are constantly baiting and humiliating Russia, which so far (to be fare to Putin) did not bite the bait. But a more stupid and more nationalistic person can come to power after Putin, kind of Russian Trump.   And then what ?

I would say that US military brass on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms.  Current trends in the USA foreign policy (and they are not new) are so  worrisome that, paradoxically, the US military are my only hope.

Some notes on history of the present Neo-McCarthysim compaign

The key reason for this propaganda campaign is that Putin stance on international relations (multi-polar world) is in conflict that neoliberals/neocons idea of the USA full spectrum domination. Also the alliance of China  and Russia represents  geo-political thereat to the neoliberal empire led by USA. And Russia is a weaker link is this fledging alliance with stronger and more numerous fifth column (which in China is much weaker outside Hong Cong). Also Russia is less nationalistic then China and has traditionally strong pro-Europeian faction of the elite which can be used as the fifth column. So logically this is a country which can be attached first. 

Subduing, of better, dismembering of Russia, also cuts an important source of hydrocarbons to China and fully encircles China. And  the idea to appropriate Russian hydrocarbons was the idea fix of the Us neoliberal elite since Clinton. And during "Drunken Yeltsin" presidency they almost succeeded (Khodorkovsky was on the wedge of selling his holdings to the USA when he was arrested), but them this success was partially reversed with the ascendance of Putin. So this McCarthyism campaign and Putin demonization has a stamp on it "Nothing personal, only business."

The problem with such a policy which is consistent for all administration starting with Bush II (probably the first in a long string of former CIA operatives who became the USA presidents) is that Russia is a nuclear armed state and such tactics literally means balancing on the edge of nuclear war. 

The campaign started in late 2013 and early 2014 around the time of Sochi Olympics. After Maydan color revolution in Ukraine Russia was hit with sanctions for not obeying Washington dictat and geo-political interests. But that was only a start. At this time full scale campaign for demonization of President Putin and  successfully associating him with the word "thug" started . In three year this campaign brought pretty amazing result:  over 80% of population is now completely brainwashed and view Putin as evil kleptocrat, who should be deposed by all means possible. While in reality he is just a very moderate Russian nationalist and  pretty talented and reserved politician  who avoids open confrontation with the USA despite constant and un-relenting bating.  This demonization of Putin is one of the most visible successes of neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA and GB (to lesser extent in France and Germany, as well) 

The next wave stated in 2016. First with the accusation that Kremlin  hacked Hillary Clinton bathroom  server and then it  reached full speed with the attempt to blame DNC hacks on Russians (which now looks like false flag operation by Crowdstrike to to present internal leak as a Russian hack)

The third wave which reached really hysterical pitch started with the election of Trump as "insurance policy" to prevent his cabinet from implementing any measure that can hurt neoliberal globalization and neocon foreign policy.

They are constantly developing new containment policies, new doctrines. The side effect of all this frantic activities is feeding of MIC as well as a group of people, who we call "national security parasites".  This new cadre of Russophobes are recruited mostly from neocons ( "dirty scoundrels of Washington" ) and neoliberal (Clinton) wing of Democratic  Party. There is also a large strata of politicians, who more than willing to exploit this opportunity to feed military industrial complex, such as Senator McCain.  In any case they now constitute the dominant faction of the US elite and dominate the USA foreign policy. So this is another iteration of "Carnage needs to be destroyed" hysteria with a specific for Washington set of cheerleaders and "experts."

Since around  late November 2017 there is some oppostion to this neo-McCarthyism wave. Opposition is much weaker and compaign still proceed at full speed, but certain  elements of Republican Party now oppose this witch hunt, if for purely partisan reasons. And that was clearly demonstrated by recent hearings of the Capitol Hill, especially Rosenstein testimony  before  House Judiciary Committee called over concern about possible bias of Mueller investigation (surprise, surprise).

Who was behind ne "Red Perl" hysteria

The central role in the creation of the new "Red  peril" is played by US intelligence agencies. They word using time tested patterns of war propaganda. Demonization of the enemy is the task number one in this  game. The fueling of this hysteria  usually starts with mysterious "sources" and unnamed "intelligence officials" who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic cybersecurity threats and retired CIA brass like Michael Morell, John O. Brennan, supported by several other figures from the US intelligence community like old Cold War warrior James Clapper and  neocons in Pentagon such as Ashton Carter (neocons were extremely well represented in Obama administration, starting with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State):

3 Dec 2014 18:41
Ashton Carter was one of the most extreme of the neocon hawks in the upper levels of the Bush Admin. His specific assignment was to ensure there could never be a "peer competitor" by throwing money at the bleeding cutting edge of weapons technology.

Along the way, he was one of only two senior people openly advocated for a pre-emptive attack on N. Korea. Even Bush thought that was too much, and even Cheney did not support it, but Carter pushed it. One can wonder how a neocon, wife of a leading neocon, came to be in charge in Ukraine, to declaim "f-the-EU" and boast of spending billions to promote this second color revolution, giving cookies to open Nazis along the way.

However, now with Carter we see that the neocons have captured the policy part of the Obama Admin -- it wasn't an accident, it was design that we did that, and now will go back into Iraq, attack Syria, and attack Iran.

Anti-Russia stories are instantly get the front coverage in NYT, WaPo and other prominent neoliberal publications as well as neoliberal channels sympathetic to Democrats (CNN, MSNBC, CBS). Journalists then search for the people named by those leaks. This part of media (which remains under control of 5 corporation and CIA) forms an informal coalition with the sources within the US intelligence agances and plays important role in fueling color revolution against President Trump.

This process actually was very similar to creation of Green Peril  after the collapse of the USSR, which proved to be self-fulfilling prophecy and culminated in 9/11 (see, for example, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/green-peril-creating-islamic-fundamentalist-threat The "Green Peril": Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat By Leon T. Hadar August 27, 1992)

In addition, think tanks launch another "frontal propaganda attack" producing all kind of position papers, op-ed pieces, interviews, and such which adds momentum to the official spin. Their publication is followed by congressional hearings, policy conferences, and public press briefings. A governmental policy debate ensues, producing studies, working papers, and eventually doctrines and policies that become part of the media's spin. The new villain is now ready to be integrated into the popular culture to help to mobilize public support for a new crusade. In the case of the Russian threat this process has been under way for more then a year. The current anti-Russian witch hunt in the media was started by Hillary campaign in early 2016 as a smoke screen to shadow weakness of their candidate.

The Democratic Party nomenklatura is embarked on a massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign. No to "break up the banks", no to "free public college", no to "Medicare for all", no campaign funding reform. Now it reached the intensity of a new "Red Scare" hysteria of McCarthyism years. What is interesting is the propaganda behaves exactly like brainwashing in high demand cult -- they do not care if it is true of not -- they just force feed you with it until you internalize it (which is the definition of being brainwashed). 

MSM role in the witch hunt

Official narrative dominates MSM and is endlessly repeated (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propaganda-still-works/):

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.

The current “Russian hacking” hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative (the substance of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This, however, is not a problem, because it isn’t intended to be believed … it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.

If Russian hackers did not exist, it would be necessary for the CIA to invent them via some kind of false operation.  As long as the neoliberal empire's geopolitical agenda of putting Russia in its place is thereby advanced, the truth of the allegations is irrelevant. And they skillfully played the fact that nobody wants any foreign power influencing a US election. But along with Russia there were definitely other players with strong interest in particular outcome and wast capabilities in this area. For example, Israel, GB, KSA, Iran, China, Pakistan, and India. To name just a few. They probably should be investigated with the same vigor (How the Israel Lobby Works - The Unz Review):

norman ravitch June 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm GMT
The unholy alliance of Evangelicals and Zionists dominates our foreign policy in the Middle East. The first group has fantastic notions from the Books of Revelations and Daniel about the coming war between good and evil. The second group, whose ideology is based on integral nationalism which easily metasthesizes into Fascism, cares nothing about US interests.

It is not the first time that groups in American favor anti-American policies in favor of another country; think only of pro-IRA politicians in the Northeast, beginning with Congressman Peter King. But it is time to reject the irrationality of Evangelicals and Zionists and strive for an American foreign policy. Israel should be no more no less important to us than, say, Finland.

laurais says: June 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm GMT

We hear constantly of the power of the so-called Jewish Lobby, but no one ever explains how and why the Lobby has dome to have such power.

If this Lobby weren’t useful to interests that transcend and ultimately have little to do with Jewish/Israeli interests, few politicians would pay the Lobby any mind. Geopolitically, Israel is a useful tool of global elites. If the Israeli government were to make serious peace overtures to the Palestinian factions and if these factions were to respond favorably, any peace effort would be nipped in the bud by those who have a strong interest in keeping these entities from cooperating with one another. Many Israelis know this. In fact, their alternative media shout it from the rooftops.

How the Israel Lobby Works | Council for the National Interest says: June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm GMT 

[…] The major organizations that comprise the Israel Lobby are well known: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and Christians United For Israel (CUFI). All are well known, benefiting from large budgets and staffs. They are extremely effective, having excellent access to politicians and the media to promote their points of view, and are, as a group, regular visitors to the White House. AIPAC is without doubt the most powerful lobby in the United States that is focused on a foreign policy issue. […] 

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order (the US led global neoliberal empire, which is way resembles the dream of Trotsky about "World Revolution" which would create "World Communist State"). And it is not the first time they use intelligence agencies as their propaganda machine. The fake news chant is just an addition to the anti-Russian BS. The goal like with original McCarthyism is to delegitimize any voice other than neocon war mongers (original McCarthyism also probably served as a smoke screen to hide large influx of specialists from Nazi Germany in the US. switch the public attention to "communists infiltrators"; communism as an ideology was dead after 1945, when soviet solders saw the standard of living of common folks in "capitalist" Central and Western Europe; it took another 45 years for it to collapse this quasi-religious society aka theocrathy called the USSR ). 

Yellowcake was probably the most well know recent case of fake news propagated by US government, the company of mass disinformation of American people for nefarious ends.  If involved  a prominent US neocon Michael Ledeen (the author of Ledeen doctrine "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business"):

Yellowcake forgery allegations[edit]

Main article: Niger uranium forgeries

According to a September 2004 article by Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris in Washington Monthly:[10]

"The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians."
... ... ...
Regarding the "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq, in 2002 Ledeen criticized the views of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, writing:[12]
He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror."
One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.
That's our mission in the war against terror.

This whole "Russian hacking" storyline looks so infantile that it is demeaning to the dignity of the United States.  If would be especially funny if this Russiagate operation was hatched in CIA, or Israel or some other state, as a false flag. another question here is: "Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia, or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide?" What was the role of the USA in Russia presidential elections of 2011-2012 after which Ambassador McFaul left the country and NED was expelled?

Field Marshall Montgomery said that the first rule of war is "Don't march on Moscow". But those who rule America ignore the wise. Russia is a peaceful and friendly nation, but its elite does although converted to neoliberalism does not want vassal status (and Russia briefly was the vassal of the USA  under Yeltsin.)

We had the Russian hacking accusations for for over a year ( stemming mainly from Hillary campaign operatives),  but in 2017 they reached fervent pitch.  The globalists and Democratic Party nomenklatura launched massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues to save Clinton clan skin after election fiasco. This campaign is designed to distract the population and specifically democratic electorate away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign and prevent shedding Clinton nomenklarura to the dustbin of history. Clinton clan want to preserver their power over Democratic Party at all costs, even war with Russia is a the right price for them. 

During Hillary campaign those accusations served as a shrewd deflection maneuver which helped to swipe her "private email server" and "DNC corruption scandal" under the carpet. "Look, its Russians, who brought you those news. They are evil. Dismiss them" was the message.

Now this is amplified by the reaction of neocon lobby and other "national security parasites" (the  fastest growing part of the US military industrial complex with annual budget over 66 billions) to the new, less comfortable for them, political reality. In which some of their current lucrative positions in national security establishment and as MIC lobbyists might no longer be available.  thee are jointed the gorwing part of the US elite which directly depends on the existence of global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  The fear (proved to be unfounded, like it was the case with Obama ;-) initially was that this "change we can believe in", if implemented by Trump, also signifies career end of many prominent neocons such as Victoria Nuland in State Department, or Ashton B. Carter  in Pentagon.

In both cases this is a smoke screen to distract voters from the real problems facing the neoliberalism in USA and the rejection of neoliberal globalization by the US population. The rejection of Hillary is tied to the fact that the American people are finally becoming sick and tired of rampant militarism (aka New American Militarism, as Professor Bacevich called it) with the costs in people lives and treasure.  In this sense for some in Washington, the new Cold War looks like a viable solution of problems that the USA faces now. Nothing personal, just business, Mr. Putin (The Unz Review):

In our recent history, however, the most dangerous moment of all may have been one of next to no fears, only of expectations for the glories of an all-American world. I’m thinking of the years TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, returns to today, the ones after the Berlin Wall was first breeched and the Soviet Union, that “evil empire” of Cold War fame, simply vanished, leaving behind only… well, us.

That was the moment when the political and intellectual elite who had fought the Cold War and the corporate elite, including the warrior corporations of the military-industrial complex who had risen to power and fortune inside it, were suddenly staggered to discover that there seemed to be no one left to oppose them, nothing to stop them from doing their damnedest.

They no longer support the neocon attempt to create global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  They want to solve domestic problems first and especially the problem of unemployment, which became rampant under neoliberalism. While "Obama recovery created some jobs", it produced mostly McJobs in the service sector as well as "perma-temp" --  contractor jobs without benefits and health insurance within the USA, while continuing shipping previous highly paid permanent jobs to other countries. this is how IT was outsourced (with disastrous results, which are swiped under the carpet as the top brass does not care about negative consequences,  as long as annual bonuses increase or at least stay the same). 

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population

The real problem that the country faces is that neoliberalism (aka Trotskyism for the rich) after around 40 years of world dominance, like Bolshevism previously,  had run its course. Ideology was discredited by events of 2008 but neoliberal state is still strong (but without viable ideology it is like a zombie, equally bloodthirsty and dangerous).

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population.  the election of Trump signifies among other thing, that people reject status quo.  May we need be to restore major parts of New Deal (neo New Deal).   After 2008, neoliberal rationality is suspect and there is a strong blowback against continuation of neoliberal globalization which demonstrated itself in Brexitelection of Trump, and Renzi defeat in Italian referendum, which is huge win for EuroSkeptics.  This disillusionment with the neoliberalism is very deep for at least lower 80% of the US population.

There is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact, unless NSA did it when the hack occurred due to multiple levels of indirection via zombie computers in various countries. There are botnets, which are definitely assessable to many hackers with thousands, if not millions of computers in them.

All those insinuations that are published are really low level rumors reflecting the agenda of interested parties, as well as attempts to deceive gullible public. They do not look convincing and many security professionals provided devastating critique of their content and implied methodology (mainly IP space based).

Unless you understand that there is a larger agenda behind all this propaganda campaign, this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians looks strange,  as if other pretty capable players (including some agencies in the USA and Israel, the supposed countries of origin for Flame and Stuxnet).

Moreover Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people, including probably some people within NSA. 

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak and was refute by research by Intelligence  professionals for sanity.  The death of one of DNC staffer also was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case. There was no open investigation whether the death was connected with the leaks of DNC emails to Wikileaks, but Seth Rich was definitely was in position to be a source the leak.

The fact the DNC computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to create a secure (even by weak standards of NIST guidelines)  infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a regular non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If someone is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to shade unpleasant facts revealed, Among them the fact that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO (National Endowment for Democracy - NED ) was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this activity.

McCarthyism as political auto-immune disease

Each state has the right to defend itself from attempt to destabilize it, especially by external forces, which can guide internal fifth column (in case of neoliberal it is neoliberal fifth column and the type of government destabilization used is known as color revolutions). In a typical color revolution scenario their are set of efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the government.  The USA was one of the first recognizing this threat at time fascism was such a danger, with enacting Sedition act and Foreign Agents Registration Act.

But like with human body sometime immune system starts to dysfunction. That's why we have allergies and auto-immune diseases. In those case the immune system attacks and kills healthy cells.  I view McCarthyism as modern political auto-immune disease.  In no way a skeptical view of the US neoliberal society and critique of neoliberalism, even a sharp one,  is equivalent to pro-Russian propaganda. 

Also Russia as a target is suspect, unless we subscribe to neocon agenda.  Russia is just another Westernized neoliberal society.  They watch the same Hollywood junk and US citizens ;-).  Major western propaganda channels like BCC are freely available in Russia for anybody to view. They are not jammed, like in days of the USSR (which actually only increased their popularity).  Unlike KSA they do not behead over 100 people a year and prohibit woman to drive. And KSA is considered to be an ally. 

All it does is weakly resist attempts to convert it into Washington vassal. In no way it challenges neoliberalism as a social system. Putin brought Russia in WTO and Medvedev government is hell-bent of privatization of state assets. The fact that they do not want to feed NYC financial sharks is of secondary importance.

Rumors as improvised news and a symptom of loss of trust in establishment and official communication channels

Fake news is modern day rumors spread via Internet. The rise of rumors (aka "improvised news") signify a dramatic fall in the trust to the establishment and official channel of distribution of information. This phenomenon is well known for anybody who studying Brezhnev's rule in the USSR.   Tamotsu Shibutani pioneered the study of this sociological phenomenon in his book Improvised News A Sociological Study of Rumor - Tamotsu Shibutani (1966).  Here is the TOC:

1. ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF RUMOR I

2. THE FAILURE OF FORMAL NEWS CHANNELS 31

3. PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH DELIBERATION 63

4. SUGGESTIBILITY AND BEHAVIORAL CONTAGION 95

5. THE FORMATION OF POPULAR BELIEFS

6. A SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OF RUMOR

7. THE POLITICAL MANIPULATION OF RUMOR

Later this pioneering study was continued in a (much weaker) book The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter by By Gary Alan Fine, Bill Ellis (2010)

Far from mere idle tales, rumors are a valuable window into our anxieties and fears. Rumors let us talk as a community about some very inflammatory issues--issues that may be embarrassing or disturbing to discuss-allowing us to act as if we are talking about real events, not personal beliefs. We can air our hidden fears and desires without claiming these attitudes as our own.

Contemporary rumors can provide us with important information about the fears and pressures of globalization that the US population now experiences. According to Fine&Ellix there are several connected with neoliberal globalization themes that emerge over and over again:

I would add to it persistent rumors about sexual perversion of the elite, including pedophilia (for example, "pizzagate").  Rumors, which in view of existing conviction in "Lolita express" case, are not completely without substance.

Various rumors tell us how Americans react to perceived global threats, how much they trust their own government (9/11 and especially the sub-story of  "Collapse of Building 7" are pretty telling examples here), how they interpret covert CIA actions that became known (Operation Mockingbird, JFK assasination) and deception that cost the US so dearly (Iraq WMD scare). And most importantly how they interpret decimation of the "New Deal" and the new, much less charitable to lower 90% of population neoliberal society in which they are now forced to live. As "New Deal" society is almost completely dismantled with Medicare and Social Security being two major leftovers, which are under attack from neoliberals and constant attempts to privatize them.

In their book authors argue that rumors also reflect our anxieties and fears about contact with foreign cultures -- whether we believe foreign competition to be poisoning the domestic economy or that foreign immigration to be eroding American values. That's why immigration theme was so hot in the recent Presidential elections.

The dramatic collapse of Hillary Clinton campaign that had led to the election of Trump led to attempt to erect a post-election smokescreen of this historic defeat of neoliberal establishment candidate supported by the leadership both parties in Congress and all major MSM.  And instead of analyzing the problems facing the US society, the problems which led to the election of Trump, Democrats and Obama administration decided to play  "Russians are coming" smoke screen.  

With the concentration of DNC leak and Podesta email hack (the latter is due to the blunder, committed by Podesta  himself, who make a blunder and essentially provided his password to attackers on the plate. In reality, the real issue with DNC leaks is the fact that Sanders campaign was sabotaged by crooks in DNC. 

Those who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics. They might also and ask themselves a simple question:  "Do they have any moral right to to be sp indignant about supposed (not proved, but supposed)  foreign interference in the US elections, if such an interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy?"

Those who wipe up Russian hacking hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics, including, but not limited to JFK assassination  

While Russia represents an obstacle on the path of establishing global neoliberal empire led by the USA, it is not a threat. Unlike the USSR it just another neoliberal society and Putin can be  viewed as "soft globalist", not as isolationalist. He does want to work with Western nation, but on more equal terms then the USA and EU prefer.  He does not want Russia to became EU protectorate, or the USA vassal (as it was under drunkard Yeltsin). The latter is unacceptable for the US neoliberal elite which is hell-bent on world domination.  Many positions in the Russian government  are occupied by staunch, even by the USA standard, neoliberals, determined to conduct the privatizing of government property and government companies, cutting social services to the bones, and generally adhering to the postulates of Washington consensus as much as Chicago boys in the past.

Relations with Russia deteriorated after the USA launched in best Trotskyites style of (World Communist Revolution) the "Great World Neoliberal Revolution", a series of  "color revolutions" (starting with attack on Serbia) initiating "regime change" for  "not neoliberal enough" governments of countries with natural resources, or of some geopolitical value. All this under the smoke screen promoting the democracy, as it it exist in the USA (which became a typical oligarchic republic (a democracy but only for the top 1% or 10%, who are the only one able to select the candidate from two major parties), with two party system undistinguishable in its major aspects from Soviet one party system; see  Two Party System as Polyarchy )   Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. They definitely have a lot of dirt of Hillary, and, especially, Clinton Foundation,  probably much more then on Trump. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):

likbez -> pgl... , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 07:43 PM
Paradoxically Pravda in old times did have real insights into the US political system and for this reason was widely read by specialists. Especially materials published by the Institute of the USA and Canada -- a powerful Russian think tank somewhat similar to the Council on Foreign Relations.

As for your remark I think for many people in the USA Russophobia is just displaced Anti-Semitism.

JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions."

Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.

But I actually disagree with JohnH. First of all Putin does not need to interfere in a way like the USA did [in Russian Presidential elections] in 2011-2012. It would be a waist of resources as both candidates are probably equally bad for Russia (and it is the "deep state" which actually dictate the US foreign policy, not POTUS.)

The US political system is already the can of worms and the deterioration of neoliberal society this time created almost revolutionary situation in Marxists terms, when Repug elite was not able to control the nomination. Democratic establishment still did OK and managed to squash the rebellion, but here the level of degeneration demonstrated itself in the selection of the candidate.

Taking into account the level of dysfunction of the US political system, I am not so sure the Trump is preferable to Hillary for Russians. I would say he is more unpredictable and more dangerous. The main danger of Hillary is Syria war escalation, but the same is true for Trump who can turn into the second John McCain on a dime.

Also the difference between two should not be exaggerated. Both are puppets of the forces the brought them to the current level and in their POTUS role will need to be subservient to the "deep state". Or at least to take into account its existence and power. And that makes them more of prisoners of the position they want so much.

Trump probably to lesser extent then Hillary, but he also can't ignore the deep state. Both require the support of Republican Congress for major legislative initiatives. And it would be very hostile to Hillary. Which is a major advantage for Russians, as this excludes the possibility of some very stupid moves.

Again, IMHO in no way any of them will control the US foreign policy. In this area the deep state is in charge since Allen Dulles and those who try to deviate too much might end as badly as JFK. I think Obama understood this very well and did not try to rock the boat. And there are people who will promptly explain this to Trump in a way that he understands.

In other words, neither of them will escape the limit on their power that "deep state" enforces. And that virtually guarantee the continuity of the foreign policy, with just slight tactical variations.

So why Russians should prefer one to another? You can elect a dog as POTUS and the foreign policy of the USA will be virtually the same as with Hillary or Trump.

In internal policy Trump looks more dangerous and more willing to experiment, while Hillary is definitely a "status quo" candidate. The last thing Russians needs is the US stock market crush. So from the point of internal economic policy Hillary is also preferable.

A lot of pundits stress the danger of war with Russia, and that might be true as women in high political position try to outdo men in hawkishness. But here Hillary jingoism probably will be tightly controlled by the "deep state". Hillary definitely tried to be "More Catholic then the Pope" in this area while being the Secretary of State. That did not end well for her and she might learn the lesson.

But if you think about the amount of "compromat" (Russian term ;-) on Hillary and Bill that Russians may well already collected, in "normal circumstances" she might be a preferable counterpart for Russians. As in "devil that we know". Both Lavrov and Putin met Hillary. Medvedev was burned by Hillary. Taking into account the level of greed Hillary displayed during her career, I would be worried what Russians have on her , as well as on Bill "transgressions" and RICO-style actions of Clinton Foundation.

And taking into account the level of disgust amount the government officials with Hillary (and this is not limited to Secret Service) , new leaks are quite possible, which might further complicate her position as POTUS.

In worst case, the first year (or two) leaks will continue. Especially if damaging DNC leaks were the work of some disgruntled person within the USA intelligence and not of some foreign hacker group. That might be a plus for Russians as such a constant distraction might limit her possibility to make some stupid move in Syria. Or not.

As you know personal emails boxes for all major Web mail providers are just one click away for NSA analysts. So "Snowden II" hypothesis might have the right to exist.

Also it is quite probably that impeachment process for Hillary will start soon after her election. In the House Republicans have enough votes to try it. That also might be a plus for s for both Russia and China. Trump is extremely jingoistic as for Iran, and that might be another area were Hillary is preferable to Russians and Chinese over Trump.

Also do not discount her health problems. She does have some serious neurological disease, which eventually might kill her. How fast she will deteriorate is not known but in a year or two the current symptoms might become more pronounced. If Bill have STD (and sometime he looks like a person with HIV; http://joeforamerica.com/2016/07/bill-clinton-aids/) that further complicates that picture (this is just a rumor, but he really looks bad).

I think that all those factors make her an equal, or even preferable candidate for such states as Russia and China.

This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has a completely corrupted election process within each party, like a typical banana republic. That what  Wikileak revelations proved. In his post Is Russia our enemy?  Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:

The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States.  What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.

We should all sober up.

The anti-Russian theme has  been such an most important in Hillary presidential campaign that the subsequent full-scale anti-Russian hysteria after her defeat is not surprising. 
Hillary always preferred to join ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016) and neocon are afraid of losing some power and lucrative, well paid positions. Look how easily Robert Kagan defected to Democratic Party. Several important US Departments such as Department of State, Department of Defense, and CIA are staffed mainly with neocons:. They will fight the idea of normalization of relations with Russia until better end:

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
 

While Congress now is trying to create "ministry of Truth", the fearmonring that the US MSM are now propagating is a variation of the well known McCarthyism theme  "The Russians are Coming".  And can be legitimately called Neo-McCartyism.  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC hack or DNC leak ?

As for DNC hack (or was it a leak ?) there is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact. All those insinuations that are published are really low level crap, attempts to deceive gullible public. I do not understand this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians, as if other pretty capable players (including some in the USA) do not exist and do not have any motivation to look closely into DNC files. Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people.

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak. The death of one of DNC staffer was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case.

likbez said in reply to im1dc... , December 18, 2016 at 07:15 PM

Can you please explain to me why you are thinking that this was a hack, not a leak by an insider?

One DNC staffer, 27-year-old Seth Rich, the DNC’s director of voter expansion, was killed around this time in pretty strange circumstances. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/12/democratic-national-committee-staffer-shot-and-killed-in-washington.html

Former British Ambassador and current Wikileaks operative Craig Murray recently said he has met the person who leaked DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and they aren’t Russian.

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-wikileaks-figure-says-insider-russia-hack/

Or it can come from a dissident within the US agency that did have access to all emails.

Do you remember such a person as Edward Snowden ? It might be very educational for you to read his opinion about this case:

While he is highly critical of Wikileaks, he suggests that without NSA coming forward with hard data obtained via special program that uncover multiple levels of indirection, those charges are just propaganda and insinuations. And BTW after the fact it is usually impossible to discover who obtained the information, as they use multiple levels of indirection and Russia might be just one of those indirection levels. Use of Russian IP-space or Russian IPS might be just an attempt to create a false trail and to implicate a wrong party.

As in any complex case you should not jump to conclusions so easily.

The fact the DNS computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to created a viable (according to NIST guidelines) secure infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending  over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If somebody is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to hide under this smokescreen very unpleasant facts revealed -- that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this.

DNC and Clinton pushed the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  See DNC emails leak

Technical analysis of this "hack" (which can well be, and probably is a "leak") provided by MSM is by-and-large idiotic, entry level nonsense. The fact that hacking case are complex and fuzzy makes them perfect smokescreen -- powerful tools for deflecting attention from a read content of messages revealed as well as the most plausible source to Russians. Such scapegoating achieve two goals: unite the population swiping important differences under the carpet and an accepting inferior candidate in the name of "unity" in the face of powerful and ruthless enemy, and deflecting unpleased questions revealed by email as enemy propaganda.

BTW stories about Russian codepage used, ec are very suspect. In such cases the originator might deside to use to provide a direct the investigation in the wrong direction. also many countries on the globe such as Germany, Israel, GB and USA has a large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in IT industry (and by extension in corresponding part of three letter agencies).

When the USA (or Israel) opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a powerful blowback. Now it start coming: those days it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary.  Not very difficult, but impossible.

To say nothing about stock systems that DNC and Hillary used (as if they have not money to harden them to the level recommended by at least NIST guidelines). They also did not have adequate intrusion alarm system and restricted IP space for clients (client of such systems should exist only on VPN).

Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and probably their foreign "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history of malware.  And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They means that  methods of this level of complexity became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as stock Microsoft software installation with semi-competent IT staff using Microsoft Exchange based email system on public network: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ ). As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign also tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? "As life exceeds satire, one can Wikileaks later produced large parts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic 

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN during this Presidential compaisn were essentially the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash scandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard. see more

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.

What the USA really needs is international observers on the next Presidential elections. Instead the US Congress adopted  S. 3274 “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”  which essentially create the US variant of the USSR "Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation". As if NED, USAID, State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity ("Solidarity Center") are not enough (Soft Power Democracy-Promotion and U.S. NGOs - Council on Foreign Relations)

That suggests that the US lawmakers at last realized that promoted by them color revolution techniques practiced by the USA on xUSSR and other countries may come home  to roost but reacted to this threat the way that bureaucracy typically react to such things -- creating a new organization (in this case the USSR style Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation)  that should address this issue:

114th CONGRESS
2d Session S. 3274

To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 14, 2016 Mr. Portman (for himself and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,  

SECTION 1. Short title. 

This Act may be cited as the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”.

SEC. 2. Center for information analysis and response.

(a) Establishment.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response (in this section referred to as the “Center”). The purposes of the Center are— (1) to coordinate the sharing among government agencies of information on foreign government information warfare efforts, including information provided by recipients of information access fund grants awarded using funds made available under subsection (e) and from other sources, subject to the appropriate classification guidelines;

(2) to establish a process for integrating information on foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts into national strategy; and

(3) to develop, plan, and synchronize interagency activities to expose and counter foreign information operations directed against United States national security interests and advance narratives that support United States allies and interests.

(b) Functions.—The Center shall carry out the following functions:

(1) Integrating interagency efforts to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies, subject to appropriate regulations governing the dissemination of classified information and programs.

(2) Analyzing relevant information from United States Government agencies, allied nations, think-tanks, academic institutions, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.

(3) Developing and disseminating thematic narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners in order to safeguard United States allies and interests.

(4) Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.

(5) Facilitating the use of a wide range of information-related technologies and techniques to counter foreign disinformation by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.

(6) Identifying gaps in United States capabilities in areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(7) Identifying the countries and populations most susceptible to foreign government propaganda and disinformation.

(8) Administering and expending funds made available pursuant to subsection (e).

(9) Coordinating with allied and partner nations, particularly those frequently targeted by foreign disinformation operations, and international organizations and entities such as the NATO Center of Excellence on Strategic Communications, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the European External Action Service Task Force on Strategic Communications, in order to amplify the Center’s efforts and avoid duplication.

(c) Interagency manager.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to designate an official of the United States Government to lead an interagency team and to manage the Center. The President shall delegate to the manager of the Center responsibility for and presumptive authority to direct and coordinate the activities and operations of all departments, agencies, and elements of the United States Government in so far as their support is required to ensure the successful implementation of a strategy approved by the President for accomplishing the mission. The official so designated shall be serving in a position in the executive branch by appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(2) INTERAGENCY STEERING COMMITTEE.—

(A) COMPOSITION.—The Interagency Manager shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Manager on the operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by each of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors .

(B) MEETINGS.—The Interagency Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 3 months.

(C) PARTICIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE.—The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall not compromise the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations. Other Federal agencies may be invited to participate in the Center and Steering Committee at the discretion of the Interagency Manager.

(3) SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY.—

(A) LIMITATION ON SCOPE.—The delegated responsibility and authority provided pursuant to paragraph (1) may not extend beyond the requirements for successful implementation of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph.

(B) APPEAL OF EXECUTION OF ACTIVITIES.—The head of any department, agency, or other element of the United States Government may appeal to the President a requirement or direction by the official designated pursuant to paragraph (1) for activities otherwise in support of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph if such head determines that there is a compelling case that executing such activities would do undue harm to other missions of national importance to the United States.

(4) TARGETED FOREIGN AUDIENCES.— (A) IN GENERAL.—The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the team described in paragraph (1) from engaging in any form of communication or medium, either directly or indirectly, or coordinating with any other department or agency of the United States Government, a State government, or any other public or private organization or institution because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to activities or communications of the team under this subsection, or based on a presumption of such exposure.

(d) Staff.— (1) COMPENSATION.—The President may fix the compensation of the manager of the Center and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(2) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Center without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(3) PROCUREMENT OF TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES.—The President may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(e) Funds.—Of amounts authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense and identified as undistributed fuel cost savings, up to $250,000,000 may be available for purposes of carrying out this section and the grant program established under section 3. Once obligated, such funds shall remain available for such purposes until expended.

SEC. 3. Information access funds.

(a) Grants and contracts of financial support.—The Center may provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes: (1) To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.

(2) To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.

(3) To analyze tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign government information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda.

(4) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partners.

(b) Funding availability and limitations.—All organizations that apply to receive funds under this section must undergo a vetting process in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure their bona fides, capability, and experience, and their compatibility with United States interests and objectives.

SEC. 4. Inclusion in Department of State education and cultural exchange programs of foreign students and community leaders from countries and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation. The President shall ensure that when the Secretary of State is selecting participants for United States educational and cultural exchange programs, the Secretary of State gives special consideration to students and community leaders from populations and countries the Secretary deems vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

SEC. 5. Reports.

(a) In general.—Not later than one year after the establishment of the Center, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report evaluating the success of the Center in fulfilling the purposes for which it was authorized and outlining steps to improve any areas of deficiency.

(b) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means— (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 6. Termination of center and steering committee. The Center for Information Analysis and Response and the interagency team established under section 2(c) shall terminate 15 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. Rule of construction regarding relationship to intelligence authorities and activities. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding or modifying any existing authorities governing the collection, sharing, and implementation of intelligence programs and activities or existing regulations governing the sharing of classified information and programs.


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NeoMcCartyism 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

[Apr 23, 2018] Democrat-pushed Mueller SPECTACLE continues to oppress the United States by Seraphim Hanisch

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are incredulous, one might suppose. They cannot seem to get over the fact that President Trump is simply not like they are. After all, their party rigged their own primary in 2016 to make sure that Hillary Rodham Clinton was to be the nominee. The Party threw their very popular candidate, Bernie Sanders, completely under the bus. Of course, he also opted to join them, despite his own campaign rhetoric being in stark contradiction with much of what Hillary's campaign was about. ..."
"... The suit's flamboyant charges made headlines, but that only served to obscure the real meaning. Namely, that top Dems are giving up their fantasies that special counsel Robert Mueller will deliver them from political purgatory by getting the goods on Trump. ..."
"... The trashy suit is their way of trying to keep impeachment and Russia, Russia, Russia alive for the midterms in case Mueller's probe comes up empty. ..."
Apr 23, 2018 | theduran.com

Recent move by Democrat Party to sue Trump, Russia and Wikileaks symptomatic as President Trump's campaign shows up clean

The Democrats are incredulous, one might suppose. They cannot seem to get over the fact that President Trump is simply not like they are. After all, their party rigged their own primary in 2016 to make sure that Hillary Rodham Clinton was to be the nominee. The Party threw their very popular candidate, Bernie Sanders, completely under the bus. Of course, he also opted to join them, despite his own campaign rhetoric being in stark contradiction with much of what Hillary's campaign was about.

The only thing they shared in common was a (D) by their name as candidate.

In Michael Goodwin's piece in the New York Post ,, the reason for the Democrat despair is given: Mueller is simply not finding anything wrong with President Trump's election campaign, no signs of collusion with Russian agencies or anything else. Mueller's bizarre and unbridled investigation is reeling along from person to person, looking for something but coming up empty save for minor process crimes which are themselves largely driven into existence by Mueller's questioning, a.k.a. interrogation techniques.

Says Goodwin:

In a move that reeks of desperation, the DNC filed a civil suit Friday against President Trump's campaign, Russia and WikiLeaks , alleging a vast (right wing!) conspiracy to tip the election to Trump.

The suit's flamboyant charges made headlines, but that only served to obscure the real meaning. Namely, that top Dems are giving up their fantasies that special counsel Robert Mueller will deliver them from political purgatory by getting the goods on Trump.

The trashy suit is their way of trying to keep impeachment and Russia, Russia, Russia alive for the midterms in case Mueller's probe comes up empty.

Truth be told, party leaders are right to be disheartened by setbacks in the War against Trump. For the second time, the president was told he is not a target of Mueller, this time by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy assistant attorney general who created Mueller.

While Trump could still become a target, the odds of that happening decline by the day.

... ... ...

[Apr 23, 2018] Is this the Salisbury poisonings Timeline from Mirror

Apr 23, 2018 | mirror.co.uk

Timeline

[Apr 23, 2018] The Tony Blair Rule: The Truth Takes 15 Years to Come Out, Skripal Countdown Starts Now - Simonyan

Highly recommended!
Yes 15 years s about right for false flag operations.
Apr 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

I just posted a link to a Vesti clip at the end of the previous thread, because it seems so relevant to b's message about the western crackdown on free speech in this information war. This open thread is coming so close on the heels of that wonderful article, that I want to double-post here as well as there.

Margarita Simonyan of RT says how she's trying to talk, not to power but to common people, because there are those among the common people who do speak up and who really do shape public opinion - not governments. She cited Roger Waters as an example, who was speaking at a concert and telling the truth about the White Helmets.

She said, someone has to read in order to speak. And someone has to write so someone can read:


The Tony Blair Rule: The Truth Takes 15 Years to Come Out, Skripal Countdown Starts Now - Simonyan

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 22, 2018 9:53:58 PM | 54

[Apr 23, 2018] Sentence First, Verdict After

See BBC interview . One really good sarcasm from Lavrov. Sergey Lavrov comperating UK beahviour with the famous Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland episode in order to describe the new western 'weird logic' of 'Sentence First, Verdict After' has to be watched repeatedly by all...what a masterful HardTalk show...exposing the new bench mark in western international discourse.
Sergey Lavrov: No, I said "highly likely" as a new invention of the British diplomacy to describe why they punish people – because these people are highly likely guilty, like in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - when he described a trial. And when they discovered that the jury could be engaged, then the King said "Let's ask the jury" and the Queen shouted "No jury! Sentence first – verdict afterwards." That's the logic of "highly likely".
Question: Have you got one shred, shred of evidence to suggest British intelligence tried to kill Sergei Skripal?
Sergey Lavrov: There is an old Roman criteria "who is to benefit". The UK is grossly benefiting from the provocations both in Syria and in the United Kingdom itself.
Sergey Lavrov: That's a problem. First, the A-234 agent in highly pure form in high concentration is already raising suspicions.
Question: It came from Russia. In the former Soviet Union, you invented that.
Sergey Lavrov: Stephen, you are not factual. You may be hard talking, but you are not listening. This chemical substance indeed was invented in the Soviet Union, then one the inventors fled to the United States and made the formula public. And if you want to check before raising the issue, please do so, the United States patented this formula; and it was formally taken by United States special services or the army, I don't remember. But A-234 is a very light, I mean, it seriously damages a person, kills him of her, but it evaporates very fast; and the sample taken two weeks after the event cannot, according to our scientists, contain very high concentration.
Notable quotes:
"... 'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first -- verdict afterwards.' ..."
Apr 23, 2018 | adelaide.edu.au

'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first -- verdict afterwards.'

'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'

'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.

'I won't!' said Alice.

'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

'Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) 'You're nothing but a pack of cards!'

[Apr 22, 2018] The Final Nail in the Russian Collusion Conspiracy Theory Coffin Comes at a Price by by Nathan McDonald

In no way MSM will drop "Russiagate" theme. They are way too invested in it. Douma attack changes nothing at all, contary to the author claims.
Notable quotes:
"... the Russian Conspiracy Theory -- rammed down the throats of everyone around the globe since Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States -- has finally been laid to rest. ..."
"... Russia may or may not act, but it is rather unlikely that they will -- at least in the short term -- as the full combined might of the West is still an overwhelming force that no one nation can contend with. Russia knows this, and they are not stupid. But this is not to say that things cannot, nor will not, change in the future. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the chatter of Russian collusion, via the corrupt and dying MSM has petered out, as even those suffering from an extreme case of brainwashing find it hard to comprehend how a puppet can so easily slap its master across the face and get away with it. ..."
"... If President Trump was truly a puppet of Vladimir Putin -- or at least once was -- then parties in the know would have promptly released the evidence, destroying Trump in the process. The reason why it hasn't happened is simply because the evidence doesn't exist. ..."
"... Hilariously, it is the MSM who cry wolf about fake news and conspiracy theories, while at the same time, pushing their own half-truths, fake news and conspiracy theories. ..."
"... It is sad to see how far the "guardians of the truth" have fallen and how decadent the MSM has become. They are so greedy and corrupt that they have pushed us towards a path that places the West on the precipice of war with a global, nuclear power. ..."
"... The Demorats need impeachment to fire up their base and get their cash. They filed a lawsuit to generate propaganda points for the MSM to wallow in. ..."
"... The Main Stain Media are still pushing the Russia Narrative every chance they get, as a side show now, a little jab here a little jab there not really attached to anything. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Written by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money News

Well, it came at a risk. It came at a gamble.

But the Russian Conspiracy Theory -- rammed down the throats of everyone around the globe since Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States -- has finally been laid to rest.

With a resounding boom as the missiles landed in Syria, the hopes and dreams of the MSM proving that President Trump is simply a Russian puppet were shattered in one swift tactical strike.These strikes came at a great risk, as they hit key Syrian assets -- assets that President Putin and his Russian forces vowed to protect. Acting together with its joint allies , Britain and France, the United States struck out against Syria for what the Western Intelligence community claims were chemical attacks against the Syrian civilian population, orchestrated by its own government.

Whether or not these claims are true is debatable (and highly suspect) but regardless, the chips have fallen, and we are now in a precarious position as the West once again plunges itself, ham-fisted, back into the cold war era.

Russian leaders have vowed that there will be consequences for these acts against an ally they have sworn to protect. Yet to this date, no retaliation has seemed to occur.

Russia may or may not act, but it is rather unlikely that they will -- at least in the short term -- as the full combined might of the West is still an overwhelming force that no one nation can contend with. Russia knows this, and they are not stupid. But this is not to say that things cannot, nor will not, change in the future.

Still, this has come at a cost. Russia has once again been forced into further isolation, as its Western peers condemn their actions and threaten them with even more trade sanctions. Pushed to the point of desperation, who knows what actions they will take in the coming years?

Meanwhile, the chatter of Russian collusion, via the corrupt and dying MSM has petered out, as even those suffering from an extreme case of brainwashing find it hard to comprehend how a puppet can so easily slap its master across the face and get away with it.

If President Trump was truly a puppet of Vladimir Putin -- or at least once was -- then parties in the know would have promptly released the evidence, destroying Trump in the process. The reason why it hasn't happened is simply because the evidence doesn't exist.

Hilariously, it is the MSM who cry wolf about fake news and conspiracy theories, while at the same time, pushing their own half-truths, fake news and conspiracy theories.

It is sad to see how far the "guardians of the truth" have fallen and how decadent the MSM has become. They are so greedy and corrupt that they have pushed us towards a path that places the West on the precipice of war with a global, nuclear power.

The final nail in the Russian collusion coffin has been put in place, but at what cost?

Only time will tell.

Itinerant -> New_Meat • Sat, 04/21/2018 - 18:51 Permalink

A dumb article: The Russians have not vowed anything. As Lavrov has stated publicly, "there will be consequences" is a factual observation, not a vow to revenge anything. Revenge does not help. It is not the way Putin thinks -- Putin thinks in terms of interests and the trade off between risks/costs and benefits.

Arctic Frost -> Frilton Miedman • Sun, 04/22/2018 - 11:28 Permalink

"With 4 indictments, 2 guilty pleas, not sure how anyone thinks it's over. AS for the Syria attack. . . "

Four indictments that have NOTHING to do with Trump colluding with Russia and are SOLEY upon the people indicted. Two guilty pleas for "lying" which your side is advocating that lying is no longer an issue we should care about.

AS FOR SYRIA: Interesting you put the Syria strike on Putin when it was obviously led by Britain and France or are we now to believe they along with Trump are Putin puppets too? However, you do seem to be FINALLY admitting your "NGO"'s are nothing but state sponsored shams intent on manipulating the world wide masses to believe their propaganda. After all it was YOUR people who claimed there was a supposed chemical attack and demanded retaliation.

Keep spinning in circles, as the dog who chases his tail is in a world all of his own making.

Reaper • Sat, 04/21/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

BS. The neo-cons know the strike was deliberately ineffective. The Demorats need impeachment to fire up their base and get their cash. They filed a lawsuit to generate propaganda points for the MSM to wallow in.

JailBanksters • Sat, 04/21/2018 - 09:59 Permalink

The Main Stain Media are still pushing the Russia Narrative every chance they get, as a side show now, a little jab here a little jab there not really attached to anything.

We haven't seen anything like this since the Russians were accused of hacking the Federal Election, over to you Bob.

Well that's right Jim, and now for something completely different.

Written by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money News

[Apr 22, 2018] The Investigative Committee of Russia has published a video covering the information it has collected so far while investigating the Skripal case

Notable quotes:
"... Elena Skripal has granted a power of attorney to Viktoria Skripal allowing her to represent Elena's interests in Russia and the UK (shown in the video at 4:43). That means that the UK government is not allowing a legal representative of Sergei's mother to visit him. ..."
Apr 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

S | Apr 22, 2018 2:44:33 PM | 18

The Investigative Committee of Russia has published a video covering the information it has collected so far while investigating the Skripal case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D6Z_yGEFSY (in Russian). Three interesting tidbits stand out:

1:40–2:10 Yulia's movements have been traced from the moment she got into a Moscow taxi to the moment she boarded the plane to London. Taxi driver's identity has been established, as well as the identities of all passengers who traveled on the same flight as Yulia; none of them have experienced any health issues. The video shows CCTV footage of Yulia going through the airport.

4:20–5:10 The British claimed that Skripals had no relatives to represent their interests. This claim allowed the authorities to obtain the court permission to take blood samples from unconscious Skripals. However, it was found that Skripals had two relatives living in Yaroslavl oblast: 89-year old mother of Sergei Skripal, Elena Skripal, and his niece, Viktoria Skripal. We already know that. Here's what's new: on April 5, Elena Skripal has granted a power of attorney to Viktoria Skripal allowing her to represent Elena's interests in Russia and the UK (shown in the video at 4:43). That means that the UK government is not allowing a legal representative of Sergei's mother to visit him.

7:29–8:21 According to Viktor Holstov, the head of the Center for Analytical Research on Conventions for the Prohibition of Chemical and Biological Weapons at the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, a 2009 US patent evaluating possible antidotes to organophosphorous agents states that the antidotes to nerve agents such as sarin and VX are ineffective against Novichok-class agents. To arrive at such a conclusion, obviously, Novichok-class agents had to be synthesized in the U.S.

[Apr 21, 2018] Eight fundamental British lies over the Skripal attack.

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Apr 19, 2018 1:07:42 PM | 74

Here we have a translated transcript of Shulgin's testimony at OPCW's Hague HQ where he points out the 8 fundamental British lies over the Skripal attack. He prefaces his remarks thusly:

"I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, "A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes".

"This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth.

"The United Kingdom has entered this slippery path. We can clearly see all of this on the example of the "Skripal case" fabricated by the British authorities, this poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign, taken up by a group of countries, and the finalized unprecedented expulsion of diplomats under a far-fetched pretext. Please, do not try to pass this group for the international community – it is far from that."


Bakerpete , Apr 19, 2018 9:55:05 PM | 138

A good statement.

http://thesaker.is/statement-of-a-shulgin-at-the-opcw-ec/

anti_republocrat , Apr 19, 2018 11:40:19 PM | 145
@ the pessimist | Apr 19, 2018 1:05:37 AM | 1

Not sure when Shulgin gave his statement, but today's briefing by Zacharova is even more impressive and revealing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8cjrgPc4Ew&feature=youtu.be&t=2026

It seems that BZ was detected not only by Spiez, but also by a lab in the Netherlands. The explanation given is that BZ was added to the specimens in order to validate the competence of the contracted labs. Furthermore, they attempted to explain away the existence of pristine Novichok in the specimens in a dosage that would have been fatal, thus confirming that the Spiez lab did indeed find such pristine Novichok. You can't make this sh*t up.

Oh, what a tangled web! The wonder is not so much that MI5/MI6 would perpetrate such a false flag, but that they would be so utterly incompetent about it.

anti_republocrat , Apr 19, 2018 11:47:20 PM | 147
@anti_republocrat | Apr 19, 2018 11:40:19 PM | 144

Clarification: The reference to "pristine" Novichok is that Spiez found the toxic agent in a non-degraded form that could not have survived either within the human body or in a collected specimen. They thought it was a contamination. My opinion is that it was added by the British before delivering the specimens, just to be sure the contracted labs would detect it. Also, the fact they claimed to have deliberately contaminated the specimens with BZ is a clear indication it could just as easily be that the BZ was there from the beginning and the actual contamination was with the agent from the Novichok family. Zakharova called it "weird." I'll say!

WJ , Apr 20, 2018 12:08:28 AM | 148
PavewayIV @143,
Funny you should mention a "preemptive protective attack." The Bush preemption doctrine must not have been found suitably effective for domestic propagandist purposes; as since then, if I am not mistaken, the preferred move has been to engineer an actual "event" that the US is forced to "respond" to. The WMD bombast fit the preemption doctrine. The relatively more modest "chemical attack" has the advantage of being easily produced whenever necessary. I think this development signals an advance in the rhetoric of propaganda between Bush II and Obama. Perhaps the PR folks judged Americans to be finally more stupid than malicious as a group. Optimistically put.

anti_republocrat @146

I believe there were four samples (2 bio, 2 enviro); I think it is likely that the 2 bio samples are the ones with BZ in the control. Why? Pure coincidence, procedure, unrelated to anything, etc. Or because the Skripals, and not their doorknob, were poisoned with BZ.

[Apr 21, 2018] It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

Notable quotes:
"... It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

wheelbarrow1 , 13 Apr 2018 14:37

Why is the prime minister of the United Kinkdom on the phone discussing whether or not to bomb a Sovereign country with the highly unstable, Donald Trump?

Can she not make up her own mind? Either she thinks it's the right thing to do or it isn't. Hopefully, the person on the other end of the phone was not Trump but someone with at least half a brain.

Proof, let's have some proof. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. Russia is saying it's all a put up job, show us your facts. We are saying, don't be silly, we're British and besides, you may have done this sort of thing before.

It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next.

Part of the Great British act's of bravery and heroism in the second world war is the part played by women agents who were parachuted into France and helped organize local resistance groups. Odette Hallowes, Noor Inayat Khan and Violette Szabo are just a few of the many names but they are the best known. What is not generally know is that many agents when undergoing their training in the UK, were given information about the 'D' day landings, the approx time and place. They were then dropped into France into the hands of the waiting German army who captured and tortured and often executed them.

The double agent, who Winston Churchill met and fully approved of the plan was Henri Dericourt, an officer in the German army and our man on the ground in France. Dericourt organized the time and place for the drop off of the incoming agents, then told the Germans. The information about the 'D' day invasion time and place was false. The British fed the agents (only a small number) into German hands knowing they would be captured and the false information tortured out of them.

Source :- 'A Quiet Courage' Liane Jones.

It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

I_Wear_Socks , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
From The Guardian articles today that I have read on Syria, it makes absolutely clear that if you in any way question the narrative forwarded here, that you are a stupid conspiracy theorist in line with Richard Spencer and other far-right, American nutcases.

A more traditional form of argument to incline people to their way of thinking would be facts. But social pressure to conform and not be a conspiratorial idiot in line with the far-right obviously work better for most of their readers. My only surprise it that position hasn't been linked with Brexit.

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
Did anyone see the massive canister that was shown on TV repeatedly that was supposed to have been air-dropped and smashed through the window of a house, landed on a bed and failed to go off.

The bed was in remarkable condition with just a few ruffled bedclothes considering it had been hit with a metal object weighing god knows what and dropped from a great height.

MartinSilenus -> ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
"More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate"

The Defoliant Agent Orange was used to kill jungles, resulting in light getting through to the dark jungle floors & a massive amount of low bush regrowing, making the finding of Vietcong fighters even harder!

It was sprayed even on American troops, it is a horrible stuff. Still compared to Chlorine poison gas, let alone nerve gases, it is much less terrible. Though the long term effects are pretty horrible.

"Some 45 million liters of the poisoned spray was Agent Orange, which contains the toxic compound dioxin"
http://theconversation.com/agent-orange-exposed-how-u-s-chemical-warfare-in-vietnam-unleashed-a-slow-moving-disaster-84572

120Daze , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
Who needs facts when you've got opinions? Non more hypocritical than the British. Its what you get when you lie and distort though a willing press, you get found out and then nobody believes anything you say.anymore. The white helmets are a western funded and founded organisation, they are NOT independent they are NOT volunteers, The UK the US and the Dutch fund them to the tune of over $40 million. They are a propaganda dispensing outlet. The press shouldn't report anything they release because it is utterly unable to substantiate ANY of it, there hasn't been a western journalist in these areas for over 4 years so why do the press expect us to believe anything they print? Combine this with the worst and most incompetent Govt this country has seen for decades and all you have is a massive distraction from massive domestic troubles which the same govt has no answers too.
LiviaDrusilla -> Bangorstu , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
LOL are you having a larf?

The same organisation that receives millions of quid in funding from USAID?

Whose 'executive director' used to work for USAID?

Who have campaigned for 'no fly zones' (ie US bombing)?

Who are affiliated to the Iranian terrorist group MEK?

Who only happen to run hospitals in 'rebel' held areas?

You have a strange idea of 'politically neutral'. Your 'NGO' are fighting for an Islamist state. Enjoy them.

Dominique2 , 13 Apr 2018 14:32
https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons

""I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes," [Winston Churchill] declared in one secret memorandum."

The current condemnation by the international community and international law is good and needs enforcement. But no virtue signalling where there is none.

CaptTroyTempest -> StoneRoses , 13 Apr 2018 14:27
But we're still awaiting evidence that a chemical attack has been carried out in Douma, aren't we? And if an attack was carried out, by whom. But before these essential points are verified, you feel that a targeted military response is justified. Are you equally keen for some targeted military response for the use of chemical weapons, namely white phosphorus, in Palestine by the Israaeli military? Unlike Douma, the use of these chemical weapons in the occupied territories by the IDF's personnel is well documented. But we haven't attacked them yet. Funny that.
CMYKilla , 13 Apr 2018 14:26
Instead of "chemicals" why not just firebomb them - you know like we did to entire cities full of women and children in WW2?

Hamburg 27 July 1943 - 46,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Kassel 22 October 1943 - 9,000 civilians killed 24,000 houses destroyed in a firestorm
Darmstadt 11 September 1944 - 8,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Dresden 13/14th February - 25,000 civilians killed in a firestorm

Obviously we were fighting Nazism and hadn't actually been invaded - and he is fighting Wahhabism and has had major cities overrun...

Maybe if Assad burnt people to death rather than gassing them we would make a statue of him outside Westminster like the one of Bomber Harris?

Tom1982 , 13 Apr 2018 14:24
Remember the tearful Kuwaiti nurse with her heartrending story of Iraqi troops tipping premature babies out of their incubators after the invasion in 1990? The story was published in pretty much every major Western newspaper, massively increased public support for military intervention............................and turned out to be total bullshit.

Is it too much too ask that we try a bit of collective critical thinking and wait for hard evidence before blundering into a military conflict with Assad; and potentially Putin?

BlutoTheBruto , 13 Apr 2018 14:21
Didn't General Mattis quietly admit at there was no evidence for the alleged Sarin attacks last year by Assad?

http://www.newsweek.com/now-mattis-admits-there-was-no-evidence-assad-using-poison-gas-his-people-801542

Hmmmm.... call me skeptical for not believing it this time around.

AwkwardSquad , 13 Apr 2018 14:19
Well, this is the sort of stuff that the Israelis would be gagging for. They want Assad neutralised and they are assisting ISIS terrorists on the Golan Heights. They tend to their wounded and send them back across the border to fight Assad. What better than to drag the Americans, Brits and French into the ring to finish him off. Job done eh?

Are you sure you are not promoting an Israeli agenda here Jonathan?

Incidentantally what did we in the west do when the Iraqis were gassing the Iranians with nerve agents in the marshes of southern Iraq during the Iran Iraq War? Did we intervene then? No, we didn't we allowed it to happen.

I say stay out it.

dannymega -> fripouille , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Come on frip, you have to admit there was absolutely no motive for Assad's forces to carry out this attack. Why do you think the Guardian and other main stream media outlets are not even considering the possibility the Jihadi rebels staged it to trigger western intervention? I know, I know.. it's all evil Assad killing his own people for no other reason than he likes butchering people... blah blah. The regime change agenda against Syria has been derailed, no amount of false flag attacks can change the facts on the ground.
Preshous , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Tucker Carlson of Fox News has it nailed down....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M28aYkLRlm0
ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:16
More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate vast swathes of Vietnam and in the full knowledge it would be have a catastrophic effect on the health of the inhabitants of those area, Vietnam has by far the highest incidence of liver cancer on the planet.

Then more recently we have the deadly depleted uranium from US shells that innocent Iraqis are inhaling as shrill voices denounce Assad.

CodeNameTwiglet , 13 Apr 2018 14:15
The Syrian people are heroically resisting and defeating western imperialism. This "civil war" has been nothing but a war for Syrian resources waged by western proxies. So now, In desperation borne out of their impending defeat, the imperialists have staged a chemical attack in a last throw of the dice to gain popular support for an escalation in military intervention. Like military interventions of the past, it is being justified in the name of humanitarian intervention. But if we have a brief browse of history we can see that US & UK governments have brought only death, misery and destruction on the populations it was supposedly helping. Hands off Syria.

[Apr 21, 2018] In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 13:27

In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Not as hilarious as breathlessly closing a children's playground near the Skripal's days after the event for "contamination checks" even though it had been raining in the days in between (the narrative was presumably the dastardly Russian agents planned to kill a few innocent kids for good measure).

[Apr 20, 2018] Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

dumbwaiter -> Kevin Watson, 13 Apr 2018 15:50

I'm going to post a comment by another user posted yesterday as he said it far more eloquently than I could

R Reddington InterestedReader2 1d ago

Your just another armchair warrior.

So you think going to war is a good idea well you first then and dont forget your flack jacket and rifle.

The media onslaught has moved past the attack in Salisbury by a "weapon of mass destruction" (quoting Theresa May) which could only be Russian, except that was untrue, and was extremely deadly, except that was untrue too. It now focuses on an attack by chemical weapons in Douma which "could only be" by the Russian-backed Assad regime, except there is no evidence of that either, and indeed neutral verified evidence from Douma is non-existent. The combination of the two events is supposed to have the British population revved up by jingoism, and indeed does have Tony Blair and assorted Tories revved up, to attack Syria and potentially to enter conflict with Russia in Syria.

The "Russian" attack in Salisbury is supposed to negate the "not our war" argument, particularly as a British policeman was unwell for a while. Precisely what is meant to negate the "why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power" argument, I do not know.

Saudi Arabia has naturally offered facilities to support the UK, US and France in their attempt to turn the military tide in Syria in favour of the Saudi sponsored jihadists whom Assad had come close to defeating. That the Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

I am not a fan of Assad any more than I was a fan of Saddam Hussein. But the public now understand that wars for regime change in Muslim lands have disastrous effects in dead and maimed adults and children and in destroyed infrastructure; our attacks unleash huge refugee waves and directly cause terrorist attacks here at home. There is no purpose in a military attack on Syria other than to attempt to help the jihadists overthrow Assad. There is a reckless disregard for evidence base on the pretexts for all this. Indeed, the more the evidence is scrutinised, the dodgier it seems. Finally there is a massive difference between mainstream media narrative around these events and a deeply sceptical public, as shown in social media and in comments sections of corporate media websites.

The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without Security Council authorisation, any such action is illegal in any event. It is worth noting that the many commentators who attempt to portray Russia's veto of a Syria resolution as invalid, fail to note that last week, in two separate 14 against 1 votes, the USA vetoed security council resolutions condemning Israeli killings of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.

The lesson the neo-cons learnt from the Iraq war is not that it was disastrous. It was only disastrous for the dead and maimed Iraqis, our own dead and maimed servicemen, and those whose country was returned to medievalism. It was a great success for the neo-cons, they made loads of money on armaments and oil. The lesson the neo-cons learned was not to give the public in the West any time to mount and organise opposition. Hence the destruction of Libya was predicated on an entirely false "we have 48 hours to prevent the massacre of the population of Benghazi" narrative. Similarly this latest orchestrated "crisis" is being followed through into military action at a blistering pace, as the four horsemen sweep by, scything down reason and justice on the way.

[Apr 19, 2018] Imran Awan's Father Transferred USB Drive To Ex-Head Of Pakistani Intel Agency Zero Hedge

Apr 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The father of Imran Awan - a longtime IT aide from Pakistan who made "unauthorized access" to the House computer network - reportedly transferred a USB drive to the former head of a Pakistani intelligence agency , alleges the father's ex-business partner, Rashid Minhas.

Imran Awan and wife Hina Alvi

Minhas told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) - which traveled to Pakistan to interview those involved - that Haji Ashraf Awan, Imran Awan's father, had been giving information to Rehman Malik - former head of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and current senator. Malik was appointed to Interior Minister in early 2008, only to step down in 2013 after he lost a Supreme Court hearing over holding dual UK citizenship.

Minhas told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Imran Awan's father, Haji Ashraf Awan, was giving data to Pakistani official Rehman Malik, and that Imran bragged he had the power to " change the U.S. president. "

Asked for how he knew this, he said that on one occasion in 2008 when a "USB [was] given to Rehman Malik by Imran's father, my brother Abdul Razzaq was with his father ." - DCNF

"After Imran's father deliver (sic) USB to Rehman Malik, four Pakistani [government intelligence] agents were with his father 24-hour on duty to protect him," he said - however Minhas did not say what was on the USB.

[insert: Foreign_Secretary_in_Pakistan_(4727720266).jpg ]

British Foreign Secretary William Hague (left), Rehman Malik

The House watchdog, Inspector General Michael Ptasienski, charged in September 30, 2016 that data was being siphoned off of the House Network by the Awans as recently as two months before the US presidential election.

The Awan family had virtually unlimited access to Democratic House members' computers, including classified information.

Nearly Imran's entire immediate family was on the House payroll working as IT aides to one-fifth of House Democrats , and he began working for the House in 2004. The inspector general, Michael Ptasienski, testified this month that " system administrators hold the 'keys to the kingdom' meaning they can create accounts, grant access, view, download, update, or delete almost any electronic information within an office. Because of this high-level access, a rogue system administrator could inflict considerable damage ." - DCNF

https://www.youtube.com/embed/x6I2ikJIzjU

According to Minhas - "Imran Awan said to me directly these words: ' See how I control White House on my fingertip ' He say he can fire the prime minister or change the U.S. president," Minhas said. " Why the claiming big stuff, I [didn't] understand 'till now ."

" I was Imran father's partner in Pakistan, " Minhas said, in two land deals in Pakistan so big that they are often referred to as "towns." In 2009, both men were accused of fraud , and Haji was arrested but then released after Imran flew to Pakistan , "allegedly exerting pressure on the local police through the ministry as well as the department concerned," according to local news. Minhas and multiple alleged victims in Pakistan also told TheDCNF Imran exerted political influence in Pakistan to extricate his father from the case . - DCNF

Minhas is currently sitting in US federal prison for fraud, and the Daily Caller says they can not confirm whether Minhas' claims about the USB is true. That said, Minhas says that neither the DOJ nor the FBI ever interviewed him about the Awans , which is odd considering that he's available and connected to Imran Awan.

He is also one of many people with past relationships with the Awans who have said they believe they are aggressive opportunists who will do anything for money . And parts of Minhas's story correlate with observations elsewhere. Haji's wife, Samina Gilani -- Imran's stepmother -- said in court documents that Imran used his IT skills to wiretap her as a means of exerting pressure on her.

Haji would frequently boast that Imran's position gave him political leverage, numerous Pakistani residents told TheDCNF. " My son own White House in D.C. ," he would say, according to Minhas. " I am kingmaker ."

Senator Malik has denied any relationship with the parties reportedly involved, saying "I am hearing their names for the first time. I am in public and people always do name-dropping."

Imran Awan's attorney Chris Gowen says Minhas's claims are "completely and totally false."

The Awans were banned from the congressional network on Feb 2, 2017 by House Seargant-At-Arms, Paul Irving - after the IG report concluded that the Awans had been making "unauthorized access" to House servers. The Awans were logging in using Congressional members' personal usernames , as well as breaching servers for members they did not work for. After several members fired them, the Awans continued to access their data , says the IG.

The behavior mirrored a "classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization," and "steps are being taken [by the Awans] to conceal their activity," reads the report.

Shortly before the 2016 election, the House Democratic Caucus server was breached by Awan - who authorities believe secretly moved all the data of over 12 House members' offices onto the caucus server.

The server may have been " used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information, " an IG presentation said. The Awans logged into it 27 times a day, far more than any other computer they administered .

Imran's most forceful advocate and longtime employer is Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who led the DNC until she resigned following a hack that exposed committee emails. Wikileaks published those emails, and they show that DNC staff summoned Imran when they needed her password . - DCNF

Shortly after the IG report came out, the House Democratic Caucus server - which the Awans were funneling data onto, was physically stolen according to three government officials. During the same period of time, the Awans were shedding assets at a rapid pace.

In January 2017 they took out a loan intended for home improvement, falsely claimed a medical emergency in order to cash out their House retirement account, and wired $300,000 overseas , according to an FBI affidavit. - DCNF

The FBI arrested Imran Awan at Dulles Airport in July 2017 while trying to flee to Pakistan with a wiped cell phone and a resume that listed a Queens, NY address. Imran and his wife, Hina Alvi, were indicted last August on charges of bank fraud - which prosecutors contend was hastened after the Awans had likely learned that authorities were closing in on them for various other activities .

That said, neither Imran nor Hina have been charged over the unauthorized access concluded by the House's own Inspector General, after reviewing server logs. Three other suspects, Jamal and Abid Awan, and Rao Abbas, have faced no charges whatsoever.

[Apr 19, 2018] I was one of Jeff Sessions' biggest supporters, complained loudly when Trump wanted to fire him. Now I wish I hadn't.

Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [119] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 2:08 am GMT

The Zioncons have got Trump by the balls through their pitbull Robert Mueller and poodle Rod Rosenstein. I despise Alan Dershowitz as he is a major Zionist but I agree with him when he said Jeff Sessions needs to unrecuse himself, fire Mueller and Rosenstein. Trump's hands are tied. If he fires any of these 3 clowns, both the DNC and GOP will immediately try to impeach him. It's time for Jeff Sessions to grow a pair, unrecuse himself, fire the pitbull and the poodle, and start immediate investigation into Mueller, Rosenstein and their collusion with Clinton on Uranium One.

I was one of Jeff Sessions' biggest supporters, complained loudly when Trump wanted to fire him. Now I wish I hadn't. Trump was right and should've fired him. He's easily the weakest, most worthless AG. The biggest case is swirling around him threatening to kill off everything that Trump wanted to do, and he's doing absolutely nothing to help the man who hired him.

[Apr 19, 2018] Theresa May ties with military-industrial complex

Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [107] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 1:47 am GMT

@S. N.

UK PM's husband's Capital Group is largest shareholder in BAE, shares soar since Syrian airstrikes: https://www.rt.com/uk/424392-may-husbands-capital-group/

"Philip May, husband of the UK prime minister, works for a company that is the largest shareholder in arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, whose share price has soared since the recent airstrikes in Syria.
The company, Capital Group, is also the second-largest shareholder in Lockheed Martin -- a US military arms firm that supplies weapons systems, aircraft and logistical support. Its shares have also rocketed since the missile strikes last week. . . ."

h/t http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/real-reporting-on-syria-by-publius-tacitus.html

annamaria , April 19, 2018 at 2:14 am GMT
@Philip Owen

We have got it: Philip Owen believes religiously in the words of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Gavin Willaimson. And, of course, Blair is a paragon of honesty for Philip Owen.

What are you doing here, on the Unz Review? -- This is not a ziocon stink-tank source of (dis)information, and this is not the ziocons-controlled MSM's presstitutes' haven.

You make yourself ridiculous by parroting the MSM "wisdom." Your frustration over the impending defeat of "moderate" terrorists in Syria affects your reason and amplifies your rabid hatred of Russia. Don't expect any sympathy for your "victimhood" on this site.

This is the reality: "Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program at Porton Down," by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva – https://southfront.org/salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-reveals-70-million-pentagon-program-porton/

"Porton Down is just one of the Pentagon-funded military laboratories in 25 countries across the world, where the US Army produces and tests man-made viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN convention . These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
The Pentagon-funded military facilities are not under the direct control of the host state as the US military and civilian personnel is working under diplomatic cover. The local governments are prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the foreign military program running on their own territory."
– All statements in this article are sourced, unlike the pronouncement of the miserable puppets Blair, May, Johnson, and Willaimson.

[Apr 18, 2018] Douma Chemical Attack False Flag Operation EXPOSED!

Looks like people were bombed and the shelter became full of dust and smoke. That led to some suffocations. Later this was played as chemical attack.
The scenario is classic. Put artillery near residential houses and mercilessly shell residential building on government side killing civilians. Wait for return fire which produce its own set of victims. Stage the false flag operation based on return fire victims and the fact that civilians suffered.
Apr 18, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Annie , 15 hours ago (edited)

Thanks for this video. I have had a gut-full of the west and it's lies to take over countries in the Middle East. It's making me sick. What's happening on a daily basis to the people of Palestine and Syria are war crimes, pure and simple.

The country I live in, Australia, is not on the side of the good guys. We were not on the right side in Libya and Iraq either. I'm so sick of this shit. This is all so the US and their creepy allies, including the head-choppin' Saudis, can put a pipeline through Syria to Europe to compete with Russia and so they can use Syria as a jumping off point to invade Iran. Poor Iran.

The CIA threw out their Democratically elected leader and installed a Dictator who they kept in place for 48 years, using the Shah's brutal secret police. The US hates the Iranians for chucking the puppet out. Iran had every right to do so. God knows how they must feel being under constant threat. Israel have been assassinating their citizens for years and launched the Stuxnet virus (with help from the US) to attack their infrastructure, accidentally infecting the world, including Australia at the time. Thanks to them, every group in the world now has the code for that virus. They modified the code and released it again behind Obama's back.

Israel's illegal nukes can't reach Iran but they will definitely use them against Iran if they can get into Syria to use it as a base for attack. Then what happens to the world? Israel have demonstrated clearly, their disinterest in Human Rights. The only people on the planet they care about are Israelis. Damn Israel and damn the US. Macron is a wanna-be Napoleon and Theresa May is Thatcher- Lite. Both of them are sucking on the tail-pipe of that clown, Trump and are keeping the world in a state of perpetual war. Hands off Syria, wankers!

madex4u , 6 hours ago

The western media has covered up so much lies about Syria and Iraq that only few still brainwashed people believe their fake news

M.K. Styllinski , 9 hours ago (edited)

Aside from this video, there is now overwhelming evidence confirming that this was yet another false flag chemical attack designed to demonise Assad. This isn't the first time. Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, the Balkans - all suffered a similar fate designed to hoodwink the public in supporting war and resource grab.

it was only a couple of years ago that Assad and Russia were subjected to the same scenario and proven to be utterly false. How long must we swallow these crimes? History is replete with the same state-sponsored crimes against populations. Governments are not acting in our best interests and never have.

Therefore, there is absolutely no excuse for people to believe the utter bullshit spread around the mainstream media which excels in poor journalism and is determined to push this disgusting propaganda on behalf of their respective governments and intel agencies.

Until the public is prepared to comprehend that such false flag attacks are a long used formula by US-NATO for carving up the Middle East then it will continue with impunity. I hope everyone shares this video on social media in order to counter lazy thinking and the obvious lies that characterize what passes for news.

ameen ayob , 3 hours ago

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

[Apr 18, 2018] The Rape of Russia, an Interview with F. William Engdahl (Audio)

Notable quotes:
"... What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could. ..."
"... And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. ..."
"... And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. ..."
"... They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control. ..."
"... Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. ..."
"... So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. ..."
"... In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

The Rape of Russia (full transcript)

Lars Schall: Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am now connected with F. William Engdahl, who has written a new book, Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance. Hi William.

F. William Engdahl: Hello, Lars. Good to be with you again.

LS: Great to have you with us. And first off, let me read something to you and our audience that was written by the economist Dean Baker earlier this month.

As a long-term columnist at the NYT, Thomas Friedman apparently never feels the need to know anything about the topics on which he writes. This explains his sarcastic speculation that Putin could be a CIA agent since he has done so much to hurt Russia.

For all his authoritarian tendencies, it is likely that most Russians think primarily about Putin's impact on the economy, just as is typically the case among voters in the United States. On that front, Putin has a very good record.

According to data from the IMF Russia's economy had plunged in the 1990s under the Yeltsin presidency. When Putin took over in 1998, per capita income in the country had shrunk by more than 40 percent from its 1990 level. This is a far sharper downturn than the United States saw in the Great Depression. Since Putin took power its per capita income has risen by more than 115 percent, an average annual growth rate of more than 3.9 percent.

While this growth has been very unequal, that was also the case even as Russia's economy was collapsing under Yeltsin. The typical Russian has done hugely better in the last two decades under Putin than they did in the period when Yeltsin was in power.

For this reason, there are probably few Russians who would have sympathy for Friedman's speculation about Putin's ties to the CIA. The same would not be the case for Boris Yeltsin.

Now, I think this is a good starting point for our discussion William because in your book, you have a chapter entitled The Rape of Russia, the CIA's Yeltsin Coup d'état. Why do you talk about rape related to Russia?

FWE: What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could.

And what you just read from Mr. Friedman is of course horse rubbish but the real CIA asset of this whole collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s was in fact Boris Yeltsin and the so called Yeltsin Family, the Yeltsin Mafia. And in my book, the Manifest Destiny book I document and detail at great lengths the relation of a handful of KGB very, very senior persons who worked with the Bush Senior old boys CIA networks in the West and their banks to create a group of oligarchs around Yeltsin, you know the famous Russian oligarchs, well, The New York Times and other Western Media portrayed them as Russian Mafia. They were kind of mafia but the real point was that they were a CIA-run mafia. They were run by the West. They betrayed their own country, their own people and literally stole billions and billions and billions of dollars of assets. And that's the reason for the title in that chapter.

LS: And Boris Yeltsin was very essential for this.

FWE: He was the key figure. He had been selected as a regional governor and brought into Moscow and a certain point Gorbachev saw him as a rising star and someone that could help with a little bit more liberal image as [unclear] was – the Russian economy was running into serious trouble in the '80s, the Star Wars of Reagan, the Nicaragua and above all the war in Afghanistan which is a CIA project with the Mujahideen, that took 10 years long that was bleeding the Soviet economy, the Soviet Union's Vietnam, as Brzezinski used to call it.

And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. You remember, I'm sure many people remember the picture of Boris Yeltsin standing there courageously on top of a Soviet tank in front of the Russian White House or Soviet House, the Supreme Soviet building and reading a speech defying Gorbachev and so forth. Well, that was a KGB CIA-engineered coup d'état in June 1991. And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. And he later joined the [#inaudible 00:06:40-0#] oil and to this day he's still a member of the State Duma giving him prosecution immunity.

So, some of these people are still around after some 23, 25 years and incredibly enough but others of them have died off, have been killed, or murdered or whatever. But the operation that was done with Yeltsin, this corrupt KGB network working with the CIA financed Yeltsin's the silent seat of the presidency of the Russian Federation. And once they had their man in controlling the Russian Federation which is the largest of the former Soviet Union, the Socialist Republic, they were able to engineer through the international monetary fund that was mandated to oversee the transformation of the Soviet economy.

They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control.

LS: But those assets were sold to a price that was rather ridiculous.

FWE: Someone estimated that that gets into the whole coupon privatisation that was set up under Yeltsin in the '90s. The coupon privatisation issued one coupon to every single Russian man, woman and child 140 million in total. And the value of those coupons was such someone estimated that the totality of Russian Soviet's Fed assets or Russian Federation assets now was equal to the value of the stock at that point of General Electric Company on the New York Stock Exchange. I mean that's just laughable. Russia had financial bankruptcy because the shock therapy, the Jeffrey Sachs and others from Harvard and elsewhere brought in, George Soros and his pals. That created bankrupt companies that couldn't stand on their own and suddenly they had no, no resources. But the assets, the assets on the ground, the nickel, the aluminium, the uranium that Hillary Clinton knows more than a little bit about them, all of these were estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. And this is what the Bush operation aimed at. And they used NGOs, they used the National Endowment for Democracy, they used, George Soros' Open Society Foundation and so forth to bring this about.

LS: You've mentioned already the coup d'etat attempt of August 1991. Highly important for things to come was something that took place in early 1991 and that was the theft of the Soviet gold. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The, under the Soviet Union, this is a very crucial point about the transition that Washington forced on the Russian Federation because Yeltsin was, I think as long as he was well-supplied with vodka he didn't protest very much. But under the Soviet system and the Russian Federation took this over, there was a state bank, not a private central bank like the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank today but a state bank that was an entity of the Russian State apparatus and that was called the Gosbank. And a man named Viktor Gerashchenko was the chairman of Gosbank at the time of Yeltsin's early start in 1991.

And Gerashchenko made a speech around that time in November of '91 to the Russian Duma or the parliament such as it was and said, "I have to report to you ladies and gentlemen that of perhaps 3,000 tons of Gosbank state-owned gold reserves, we have an estimated less than 400 tons that we can account for." And then he had to go to tell, shock members of parliament that he had no idea what happened to the missing gold, which of course was a lie. And Gerashchenko had created right after 1989 to prepare this coup d'etat coup, which was the CIA and Bush's old boys, he had created something called [unclear] on the Channel Islands in the Island of Jersey to handle the Russian foreign currency reserves.

And the Jersey was exempt from European supervision, so this was a perfect place to hide money, dirty money or stolen money and they managed something like $37 billion between 1993 and 1998. The Gerashchenko and the Gosbank even went to the lengths of hiring a New York Financial Detective firm called the Financial CIA back then called Jules Kroll Associate. And they were told to track the Soviet gold, find out what happened to it and something like $14 billion of communist party assets that were missing as well. And the Cruel which was tied with the CIA linked AIG Insurance Group Hank Greenberg whom you remember from the 2008 to the bail out of Henry Paulson.

LS: Yes.

FEW: The Kroll Associates after a few months announced that they had no results in the attempt to find the missing Soviet Gosbank gold. Then to add insult to injury, the IMF came in and rewrote the constitution of the Russian Federation under Yeltsin and took the power of money creation just like the Federal Reserve took the power of money creation from the congress in 1913. They took the power of money creation from the state and created the Russian Federation Central Bank, the Russian Central Bank and gave it a mandate for two things. One, to control inflation and the other to create currency stability.

Now, in Russia that day that meant stability of the ruble against the US dollar. So it effectively hammer-locked the Russian money creation into the US dollar. And unfortunately that constitution amendment holds until the present day. It's one of the difficulties that Vladimir Putin has been having to try to persuade the Independent Central Bank to lower interest rates more rapidly as inflation is simply managed as a problem in Russia in the last two years.

So, they looted the gold so that there would be no stability to the ruble. If you don't have any gold-backing, then western investors are going to lack confidence which is sort of what happened. And then they began working with very select western bankers to get their money out of Russia.

LS: And instrumental to get money out of Russia were Valmet and Riggs. Can you tell us please about some crucial personnel that was employed there at Valmet and Riggs?

FWE: Valmet Riggs was kind of a fusion of a Swiss bank and Riggs Bank of Washington D. C. And Riggs Bank, this is really quite a fascinating and very little discussed aspect of the reign of Russia back in the '90s.

So you have something called Riggs Bank in Washington and they were set up decades earlier since the 1960s CIA Bay of Pigs operation, they were known as the CIA tied bank. They invested the assets of people like Marcos of the Philippines until when he was close to the CIA. And there was a former NATO Ambassador named Alton Keel and in 1989 when the Soviet KGB generals and they had a group of protégés called the 'Kids' by George Bush Senior. The protégés were in their 30s and a couple of them were in their 40s but rather young. And they were the ones who were nominated to become the oligarchs, the frontal men for taking these state assets the aluminium, the oil assets and other things and looting the Russian Federation.

And Alton Keel just as the Russians were setting up men at a bank for the oligarchs to funnel their stolen assets, de facto stolen assets, Keel went from NATO and the National Security Council to become a head of international banking of Riggs Bank in Washington and its deputy chairman.

Now, it gets even more interesting because the international banking group of Riggs included a new entity that had been created called Riggs Valmet SA in Switzerland, and Riggs Valmet was set up by a man named Jonathan J. Bush, a private banker, who just happened to be the brother of George Herbert Walker Bush. So, Bush brother and Alton Keel set up Riggs Valmet, there was a money laundering apparatus in Geneva and Riggs then through their help bought the major share in Geneva Valmet to create Riggs Valmet.

So, you have the brother of the president of the United States up to his eyeballs in this whole Yeltsin CIA money laundering operation. And then Jonathan Bush was created CEO of something called Riggs Investment in Connecticut where he lived and at that point the looting and taking of the dollar assets out of Russia was just unstoppable. It was in the billions and tens of billions of dollars.

LS: William, there is one guy who was working closely with those people and he was working on Wall Street but later on he was personally recruited by George Tenet then the Director of CIA to become the number three at the CIA, and this is Alvin Bernard "Buzzy" Krongard.

FWE: Yes. We meet "Buzzy" Krongard at Bankers Trust, which bought up Alex Brown, and Krongard became vice chairman of Bankers Trust along with another charming character named Carter Beese. And at the time of the 1998 collapse of the ruble, Krongard was formally made, as you've pointed out, number three, the executive director at the CIA under George Tenet. So, it's a CIA network from beginning to end, from the banking side to you know the direct CIA side. You have Carter Beast, you have "Buzzy" Krongard, Jonathan Bush and Alton Keel and they were the ones working with Valmet as the Riggs Valmet Bank in Geneva to pull this money out through shell companies.

And the oligarchs, this is an interesting part of this whole thing that you know right now Theresa May and the foreign secretary Boris Johnson in the UK are accusing Putin of murdering almost everybody since the birth of Jesus Christ. And one of them was the person who had been the trusted bodyguard of one of the oligarchs living in London Boris Berezovsky.

And Berezovsky was one of the dirtiest of these oligarchs. He'd financed the Ukrainian Colour Revolution back in 2003, 2004 as a revenge against Putin because he at first thought Putin could be bought like Yeltsin and suddenly he realized that he was up against the faction of nationalists within of what had been the KGB but wanted to stabilise and preserve Russia as a functioning nation today. And so Mikhail Khodorkovskyi, Roman Abramovich, who is listed on the sanctions list yesterday, and Berezovsky were some of the leading oligarchs that were created by this Bush operation.

LS: And to jumpstart all of this, we have to talk about something that is well, that is stranger than fiction and that is something called for example "Yamashita's Gold". If our audience is interested in this, they could for example look for an article written by Chalmers Johnson, the famous Asian expert, The Looting of Asia, which was published at the London Review of Books on the 20 th of November of 2003 because then they can find something on this topic of Yamashita's gold on an instant basis in the internet ( https://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmers-johnson/the-looting-of-asia ). I think this is just fair

FWE: Yeah.

LS: because no one really is aware of this whole story. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The Yamashita Gold story is one of the, as you've said really incredible stories of post-World War II. During the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial Family looted the gold of occupied Arch of China, they looted the gold of all the parts of Asia that they had conquered.

LS: Basically from 1895 to 1945.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And because they had no guarantee that Japan was going to win the war, the emperor ordered the gold to be hidden away in, mostly in the Philippines as far as we know and literally untold tons of gold were buried so deep underground in tunnels around the Philippines and the people who dug the tunnels in many cases were later shot you know so that they couldn't tell. But Marcos who was a CIA asset initially, the dictator of the Philippines through much of the '70s and into the '80s, yeah through the '70, Ferdinand Marcos somehow came upon some of this gold. So, the Japanese looted war body was buried in the early '40s before the end of the war on orders of Emperor Hirohito should they lose the war.

And at some point in the 1970s, Marcos discovered some of the sites where Hirohito's soldiers had buried the gold and the gold was stolen from China, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia and other countries occupied by the Japanese forces. And Marcos, and I think this is the major reason the CIA dumped him, got a little bit greedy and took that gold and started selling it under the market through selective secret Swiss banks. But he used the CIA asset, the Saudi billionaire named Adnan Khashoggi to help them get the gold under the market. And what he didn't realise was that Khashoggi would double cross him. He got a better deal from Bush Senior and the old boys.

LS: We have to say Khashoggi is a figure who is involved for example in B.C.C.I. and in Iran-Contra.

FWE: Back in the '70s he was involved in everything dirty that Bush and the CIA were involved in. B.C.C.I. Bank, the money laundering bank of the CIA, the arms deals, Khashoggi was a huge arms dealer during the Iran and Iraq war the CIA was feeding. He was involved in almost every dirty thing the CIA was doing.

LS: He was aware of this gold.

FWE: Supposedly he was helping Marcos to sell the gold out of the market. So he was not only aware of it, he was right in the middle of it. But then once Marcos was tackled by the CIA Bush got rid of Marcos in 1986. Then someone named Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Armitage and Khashoggi began to work with someone in Canada to create something called – Peter Munk was his name, a rather dubious businessman there – to found something called Barrick Gold of Canada and later it went on to become the world's largest gold mining company.

But Barrick Gold, all available evidence is that buried gold was used to melt down the – I don't want to get too much into the details of this but basically to melt down the Emperor Hirohito's gold that had been discovered by Marcos in the Philippines, to melt it down and use that as collateral for derivatives that would be the collateral used to take over the Russian Federation assets.

LS: The money was basically transformed into bank loans into Russia so that the would-become oligarch people could buy up those assets

FWE: Yes, exactly. So, Yegor Gaidar, the economic privatisation adviser of Yeltsin and his sidekick Anatoly Chubais privatisation had kind of guided this whole process together with Jeffrey Sachs and a group from Harvard University. #00:28:37-8#

LS: Yeah. Let us talk about this. This is known as Harvard Shock Therapy.

FEW: Well, the Jeffrey Sachs Shock Therapy, but the Harvard shock therapy is – well, what happened, the next phase of this incredible story and it's important to keep all this in mind, this is one reason that I wrote the book because of what was clear after the CIA coup d'etat of 2014 in Ukraine and all the sanctions against Putin's Russia and so forth, that if you don't understand what really happened in the '90s, the deep-seated hatred there is on these neoconservatives around Washington and their think tanks as well as, the US political establishment for Putin's Russia and the nationalism behind group Russia. You can't make much sense out of what's going on today with all these incredible lies and accusations against Russia for every crime under the book.

So, what happened is the, as I mentioned the IMF, the International Monetary Fund which had done a beautiful job for Washington in terms of, and George Soros and others in terms of looting the assets of the dead economies of Latin America, Yugoslavia, Poland and others during the oil crisis in the 1970s. The IMF was used and a group of economists around Jeffrey Sachs, a young professor at Harvard University then to impose what Sachs called shock therapy.

And the idea was that Sachs convinced Yeltsin, let prices rise through western market prices and this will increase the supply of goods, you know the stores had a paucity of goods back in the Soviet Times and get rid of trade barriers so foreign commodities could flow in to fill the shelves of Russian stores. The problem was that was a lie. The shops had been full. Okay, you could say it wasn't Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Fried Perdue Chickens or whatever, but they were full of Russian food products until November of '91 when Yeltsin announced that the exact date on December 31 st of 1991, that price controls would be suddenly lifted. So, shop owners immediately hid their goods and waited for December 31 st . So, suddenly the shops were empty and rationing was imposed and so forth. It's just unbelievable.

So, into this, this was Jeffrey Sachs on shock therapy and a group of Harvard University under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for International Development, a group of, among other things later documented CIA agents set up shop in Moscow and worked with Yeltsin's economic team Gaidar and Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais and themselves got in on the thunder the Russian East Harvard economist working. Now we have a transition in '93 through the Clinton Administration and there former Harvard professor and former World Bank Chief Economist Lawrence Summers became the deputy secretary of treasury responsible for the looting of Russia, effective and responsible for the gold economic transition in the Russian Federation.

And all of the key actors were named by Summers and they were all involved in the privatisation of Russia. They were all from this Harvard Mafia. For example of David Lipton, a former consulting partner of the Jeffrey Sachs, became deputy assistant secretary of treasure for former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and Sachs himself was named Director of Harvard HIID that oversaw the looting of Russia through the voucher privatisation and so forth. And they got grants from the USAID, AID works very closely with the CIA in different parts of the world, this is documented. And so it was really a tight-knit cabal around Lawrence Summers that oversaw this complete theft through these pieces of paper called privatisation coupons.

And what you had was the economic situation under Yeltsin had become so severe I mean people literally they had no jobs because of the freeing up of prices, they could afford to buy little or nothing. So, most people, millions of Russians sold their privatisation vouchers on the street corners to the highest bidder. And of course the would-be oligarchs were the ones with hard currency dollars that they could buy these things up as you pointed out earlier when we talked about them. So, they had credits from their friends in the West, the Riggs Valmet and so forth to buy up these vouchers and therefore they were able when the cost came up, were able to simply steal the property titles, the ownership titles of some of the most valuable investor assets and mineral assets in the world.

LS: And we can talk about this as a classical case of leveraged buyout – even though it was a covered leveraged buyout, if it was?

FEW: Well, you could call it a leveraged buyout. I know Anne Williamson has used that term, the earlier descriptions of it. I think it was simply legalised theft, leveraged buyout gives it too much dignity. That was a term that was quite popular in the financial world back in the '80s and the early '90s. But whatever name you want to give it, it was certainly not a conventional leveraged buyout, it was bizarre in every sense of the word.

LS: An influential figure in this was mentioned by you already, George Soros. And in 1994, as you point out in your book, he was described with the following words from The Guardian in London, "Soros extraordinary role not only as the world's most successful investor but now possibly fantastically as the senior most powerful foreign influence in the whole of the former Soviet Empire, it tricks more suspicion than curiosity." What was he doing back then in Russia?

FWE: Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. And in 1993 already the opposition inside what was left of Russia when the old communist party was in the Duma and so forth and the population generally was such that the opposition threatened to get out of hand and Yeltsin was forced to agree to hold a national referendum on the entire privatisation. So, this was in April of '93 and the referendum that was given to the population had four questions, yes or no. Do you support Yeltsin? Yes or no? Do you support Yeltsin's economic policy? Yes or no? Do you want early election for president? Yes or no? And do you want early elections for parliament? Yes or no?

So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. And so the media campaign and by this time most of the national media had been bought up by the oligarchs around Yeltsin so they were able to exercise undue influence. So they barely squeak through and got a yes to the privatisation scheme that Harvard, Jeffrey Sachs and George Soros and others had going on. And then of course Soros' company himself benefitted enormously from this privatisation just a little bit later when the auctions took place.

LS: A figure that connects yesterday with today is Vladimir Putin who came to international attention first in 1998, the same year when the ruble crisis took place.

FWE: This was 1999 and in August '98 you had the collapse of the ruble. This was part of the Bush "Operation Hammer's" original design. You had a huge scam going on in the GKO Russian Bond market where the interest rates were just unbelievably high. So, you had all sorts of hot money coming in, making profits and pulling it up including Soros Fund, quantum fund and so forth.

And finally, Yeltsin was getting near the end of his ability to hold this thing together. And he appointed in August '99, he appointed a young former KGB officer who served during the Cold War in East Germany named Vladimir Putin. And briefly Putin had been a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg and briefly had been the head of the successor to the KGB called FSB and the oligarchs around Putin, I've heard various Russian accounts have had this happen but Berezovsky, Brzezinski and other, the Yeltsin oligarchs thought they could take this young guy Putin and do business with him and you know that he was young and had no political base.

So, at that point Putin gave the ultimatum to Yeltsin, resign or face serious consequences and it turned out that Putin which has later been confirmed was the spokesperson for a nationalist faction within the intelligence community, a patriotic faction, call it what you want but Russian nationalist. And so Yeltsin was told, "If you resign and just get out of politics, we'll leave you alone." So he took the offer and ran. And before he did that he named Vladimir Putin as acting president until elections in March the following year.

So, Putin then came into power and called a meeting as it were of the most powerful oligarchs who had made staggering fortunes at the expense of Russia and he called them creators of a corrupt state through insider dealings and began criminal prosecution against oligarchs like Vladimir Gusinsky and Media-Most, a financial group led by Vladimir Potanin who is in the newspaper today and soon left an oil company controlled by a Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky. So, at that point Putin began the uphill battle of trying to stabilise Russia as a functioning economy. And the recent re-election of Putin indicates that the Russian people by and large support that effort of Putin's.

LS: Meanwhile he also had to react to something new that was taking place then and that was NATO was marching east.

FWE: The negotiations and this is, has been confirmed by former US Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock and that was the negotiations between the Bush administration in 1991 Germany and Gorbachev included a solemn guarantee as Jack Matlock, Ambassador Matlock who was in Moscow in '87 until '91 in this period. He said that we gave a categorical assurance to Gorbachev when the Soviet Union still existed that if United Germany was able to stay in NATO, NATO would not move eastward. So, of course that pledge like so many pledges of Washington under Bush successor governance was honoured in the breach and the newly created National Endowment for Democracy that I write about quite a bit in the Manifest Destiny.

You had, Vin Weber was the chairman of the NED at that time and he took US taxpayer money through the NED to supposedly bring democracy into former communist states. Then Weber was also a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neocon think tank which really shaped the personnel of George W. Bush in the year 2000 and 2001. And Vin Weber was also a lobbyist for the largest military industrial conglomerate of the US Lockheed Martin.

So, he was instrumental together with another military industrial Lockheed Martin, former Vice President for Strategy named Bruce Jackson, Bruce P. Jackson to promote back democracy in former communist countries including Russia. And they started the process of expanding NATO to the east in strict violation of the pledges that had been given back in the early '90s. So, by 2003, they had begun this whole expansion of NATO into Poland, into Hungary, all the former communist countries.

LS: And the countries at the Baltic Sea.

FWE: So, at the Baltic Sea right on the doorstep of the Russian Federation, and Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and so forth. And you began to see a very definite NATO encirclement of Russia. And then in 2003-2004, the National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros' Foundation, the whole arm of the fake democracy NGOs of Washington, began to create the so called Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and also the Rose Revolution in Georgia next door. And if you look at a map, if you bring a pro NATO government into power in Ukraine, this they did under Viktor Gerashchenko in 2004, then you're presenting a pretty formidable military threat to the national security of Russia.

Now, at that time 2003, Russia was in no shape to do much more than feebly protest as loud as they could but of course they were ignored. Then you had something quite dramatic in 2006, the end of 2006. The George W. Bush administration Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defence back then announced that they were installing ballistic missile defence now I'll get to that in a minute but it's anything but defensive. In Poland, in the Czech Republic and that those anti-missile defence installations which included missiles would be aimed at a rogue nuclear attack from Iran.

In early 2007, Vladimir Putin personally came as president of Russia Federation to the Munich Security Conference, the International Security Conference held here in Munich Germany and gave a speech which really defines the security position of Russia right up to the present date. He said of course this is not aimed at Iran or North Korea as Washington says. That's a lie. It's like taking your right arm to scratch your left ear we say in Russian. It's aimed at Russia. And we consider this intolerable as a threat to our national security and we will be forced to respond.

LS: And it is aimed at Russia as a first strike possibility.

FWE: Yeah. Well, the point about the missile defence is I – in connection with the book, I interviewed, in an earlier book I wrote, I interviewed Colonel Robert Bowman who had been briefly the head of Ronald Reagan's Star Wars or missile defence programme. And became a very, very severe critic of the Bush administration's reckless policies withdrawing from the antiballistic missile ABM Treaty and so forth, said that missile defence is the missing link to Nuclear Primacy. First strike capability.

And that's something that Pentagon planners had been opting for since the 1950s. And he said, "If you can block the counterattack from your opponent and you then have this possibility to make a first strike and wipe them out because they can't simultaneously fire an effective counterstrike." So, that in a nutshell destroys the whole cold war doctrine of mutual and sure destruction that kept nuclear options off the table up until that time. And the Russians understand military strategy rather well I would say. And said, "This is simply intolerable. We have to respond and we will respond but in our own way and you will see."

LS: And the Russians have reacted.

B: The Russians have reacted, and if we can go for a minute up until the present

LS: Please

FEW: On March 1st Putin gave an address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow televised to the nation. The beginning part of the speech, his annual speech there, was about the Russian economy and plans for the future. This was shortly before the Russian elections that overwhelmingly gave him a new term. But the crucial part of that speech to the Federal Assembly was Russia's military technologies and this is as he put it. He referred to that 2007 speech in Munich and he said, "We said at that time that Russia would have to reply and since the expansion of NATO to the east which really to be honest that's – see there is no reason after 1991 or certainly after 2000 for the existence of NATO other than the reason given when NATO was created by the first secretary general of NATO to keep the Russians out the Germans down and the Americans in."

But Putin's speech talked about nuclear primacy and the Russian response and he outlined the military are the developments that they had quietly brought online since Washington tore up, unilaterally tore up the ABM Treaty in 2002/2003. So he outlined an awesome array of missiles, hypersonic low flying stealth missiles carrying nuclear warheads, unpredictable trajectories, invisible against perspective missile defence and air defence systems, unmanned submersible vehicles to great depth that could go many times higher than the speed of submarines cutting edge torpedoes just and commentators in the West like CNN. They said, "Oh, this is just bluff and so forth."

People who know Russian military technology and the intensity of the kind of research and development that's focused on defending the nation confirm that this is no joke. Hypersonic aircraft five times the speed of sound, that's hypersonic and they have something called the [unclear] which goes 10 times mark 10 and as Putin described it, "This missile flying 10 times faster than sound can manoeuvre in all phases of the flight trajectory, overcome all prospective and aircraft county missile defences in a range of 2000 kilometres."

He outlined about six or seven of these I would call them not even cutting edge, bleeding edge military technology and as The Saker commented in his blogpost after the speech, it's indeed set marching game over for the empire. There's no more military option against Russia.

This all is to make a point that the entire history up until now, these fake accusations of Putin would have an interest or Russia would have an interest to meddle with the US elections when you have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to accuse Putin and Russia of international violations of law by allowing a referendum to take place in Crimea after the CIA coup d'etat in Kiev and now it's come out from actual mercenary snipers that were brought in from Georgia under [#inaudible 00:55:08-0#] umbrella that they were paid by the CIA or promised to be paid by cut outs to the CIA to create the Maidan Square February 2014 chaos that led to the collapse of the government and the coup d'etat.

So, you know, this is not Russia is the arch Evel Knievel looking for a fight every corner of the world. It's not Russia doing bad things in Syria. It's Russia trying to stop a NATO and Saudi and other embedded destruction of the Middle East and create some kind of peace and stability. And anyone modest to take the slightest bit of care and follow this, they can read a running commentary on my website williamengdahl.com but not only there, it's all over the place. You realise that the fake media is the media that dominates and is guided by NATO public relations strategy in the West and it's not the so called critical media that's being sanctioned and censored right now.

LS: Let's talk further about the present, William, by closing one circle of our interview. As we've discussed the Russian gold vaults were empty since the early 1990s. This has changed since basically the financial crisis broke out in 2007, 2008, 2009. Since then the Russian Central Bank is buying gold like basically no other nation in a very rapid tempo.

FWE: Since the financial crisis and especially since the opposition of sanctions after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, it's been the policy of the Russian Central Bank and the Russian Federation to buy as much gold for reserves of the ruble as they can get their hands on. And they are now I think number five or number six in the world in terms of gold reserves and correct me if I'm wrong but just slightly behind the people's republic of China which has also been vigorously adding gold towards Central Bank reserves for the yuan.

So, what Russia is doing is creating a buffer gold, by the way in my view has never ceased being an object of value to stand behind currencies. If you have currencies like the dollar after all this 1971 when Nixon took the dollar off the bread and wood, gold exchange [unclear], then if you have a military you might or manipulate the oil price petrodollar and so forth, you can create money if you have the reserve currency you can create money without them. So what the Russia is doing is creating a security in terms of its currency and now that security is probably going to be tested by the economic warfare division of the US Treasury in these new sanctions.

But Russia is merging together with China. Interestingly enough after 2014 when the CIA coup d'etat Ukraine took place, Putin responded not by getting bogged down in the destructive war inside the Eastern Ukraine but he responded by turning east, strengthening his relationships with China, with the new president of China then Xi Jinping bringing the Asian economic Union which Russia is the leading economy in, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Armenia and others, bringing that in a coherence with Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative One Belt, One Road to link the infrastructure, the energy pipelines, the high-speed rail networks, the deep water ports and so forth to create a Eurasian, some people call it the land bridge but it's an economic space in Eurasia that would have the majority of the world's population, would have every raw material resource that the world needs including rare earth metals that China is world's leading supplier of at the moment.

And Russia has vast oil and gas reserves and military technology, civilian technology, an educated labour force that is probably one of the finest in the world and scientific country and so forth. And independent of the bankrupt economies of Britain and the United States and very rapidly of the European Union where this banking crisis has, since the crisis of 2008 has just been swept under the rug but it's ready to explode on a moment's notice. So, you have a depth loaded western NATO world. Let's call it a NATO world, a world of the NATO member countries and you have Russia together, which by the way, Russia has unbelievably small

LS: Debt.

FWE: National debt.

LS: Yes.

FWE: Something like 13 to 17% of the gross domestic product.

LS: And now they have this huge stock of gold relative to very little sovereign debt. It's almost ideal.

FWE: Yes, and that's by design. That is by Putin's intention to create this independence. And one thing, I am very often in Russia, have a very, very dear special friends in Russia over the years, the first time I was there was 1994. That was a vastly different, that was in the middle of the Yeltsin and the insanity. The Russians are very not only proud people but they are very determined and they protect their existence and have done that I would say for well over 1000 years going back to the great schism between the Western church in Rome and the Eastern Church in 1054. I think that was a pivotal date in modern history, the division there.

But certainly the Russians have gone through two World Wars and the rape of Russia under Yeltsin, unbelievable trials and tribulations and they are not shying away from defending their existence. That's something I think the west or certainly Washington with these neocons really doesn't have a sense of.

LS: One thing that I would like to ask you about as my final question is the following. You are a renowned expert for the geopolitics and the history of oil. And since this month we have a future's contract in Shanghai, denominated in yuan for oil and we also hear that the Chinese are planning to price oil that they import in yuan which is safe for this buying of oil internationally via yuan, Russia would be the candidate number one as the exporter?

FWE: Definitely. Most definitely and Russia and China are connecting their financial markets ever closer. The Russian government is the in the process sometime this year of issuing Russian bonds denominated new Chinese yuan. The announcing of the petrol yuan, the oil futures contracts being sold in Shanghai, ultimately it won't happen overnight but it's certainly off to a positive start in the marketing acceptance. That has the basis for taking oil sales.

Let's step back a moment to the 1970s and I document this at length in two of my books, Myths, Lies and Oil Wars and A Century of War. In the early 1970s when Nixon took the dollar off of gold, the dollar relative to the German mark and the Japanese yen dropped like a stone, something like 40% over a period of five or six months. And in order to stop that because the New York Banks were hurting quite a bit from that, there was a oil price shock that was orchestrated. I won't go into the details it's documented quite extensively in those two books of mine.

LS: And Sheikh Yamani had said something about this, too.

FWE: Yes. He invited me after reading my book to his annual energy retreat in London in 2000, September 2000. And then called me to a private dinner discussion at his home outside of London to talk about what I wrote about in the book. And he later went on CNN on an interview and mentioned my book by name. In the written transcript it's in there and in the television version they spliced it out so that you couldn't realise that it'd been in there. But Sheikh Yamani told me you are the first journalist or the first person outside of myself that writes correctly what happened with that oil shock. And that was manipulated by among others Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State and by a group in the Atlantic establishment called the Bilderberg meeting in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden back in May of that period before the Yom Kippur War.

In any case, the US circles around Rockefeller, who at that point was the chairman of the board of USA Incorporated, I would say. They had engineered a 400% price rise in oil and to make sure that Germany and Japan and other countries wouldn't make deals to buy oil in German mark but keep the dollar demand high and the dollar value high. They send a delegation from the US Treasury to sign an agreement with the Saudi Arabian monetary agency for a new relationship taking surplus Saudi petrodollars or OPEC petrodollars and buying US government debt.

LS: Yeah, and outside of the normal auction to privileged conditions.

FWE: Yes. In return, Washington agreed to give the Saudis tens and billions of dollars of defence equipment.

LS: Yeah, and Saudi Arabia would use its status as a swing producer in OPEC that it would only accept dollars as a pricing for oil.

FEW: And the quid pro quo was after 1975, this was formalised that Saudis would as swing producer in OPEC guarantee that OPEC sold its oil only in dollars and that held up until the time of Saddam Hussein during the sanctions shortly before the US invasion and Saddam Hussein began buying oil through a French bank denominated in Euros and not in dollars.

LS: And he made a plus, he made a net plus because he did sell his oil in Euro.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And so this, what that has done up until the present is prop up the US dollars despite the fact that the internal industrial economy import activity of the United States went down the tubes over the past 40 years since the taking the dollar off of gold and the, putting of English dollars for the world economy. So, the idea than China and Russia would trade in energy and that other economies would begin to sell oil to China, Iran for example is a prime candidate in the petro yuan not in petrodollars, this began slowly like acid drops begins to erode the reserve currency status of the US dollar. And if that goes, it's end game for the US as a financial global power.

LS: We have to make clear to our audience. The fact that you have to buy oil in dollar makes sure that you need dollar, that you acquire dollar in order to buy oil.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And so if this mechanism goes, well then the US has a problem because the dollars that are floating around internationally would find their way back into the homeland of the US.

FWE: Well, the other thing is that in order to sell now you have under this wonderful Trumponomics as I call it, you have projections that the US annual government deficit, shortage of tax income from tax outgo, spending outgo will by 2020 exceed one trillion dollars a year for every year as far as the eye can see. And by end of 2020, 2028 I think was figured by the congressional budget office, the US public debt is estimated to be well over $33 trillion, it's 20 now, 38 maybe, it's just out of control. So, if the ability of the US dollar to command use in the world economy is severely undermined, you're going to have to raise interest rates so high to sell this debt and it just becomes dysfunctional.

LS: Yes, but you have already in the last few years interest rates payments on this already existing that of per annum $400 billion.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And if interest rates go up

FWE: Yeah and that was under zero interest rates, but now, you know, if they have to put up interest rates to five, six, seven, 8% like it was in the 1980s. the whole thing just blows up sky high.

LS: And so coming back to gold, gold has the advantage relative to bonds or shares or the US dollar or other Fiat currencies that there is no counterparty risk. If you have the gold in physical form, there is no counterparty risk.

FWE: Right.

LS: So would you say that gold will be one of the ultimate winners of the ongoing financial crisis when it goes into full gear?

FWE: Well, it's documented that J. P. Morgan, Chase and other select banks with this collusion of the Federal Reserve have been artificially depressing the price of gold for years. Every time there's a new financial crisis, they intervene and keep gold within a very tight range. At a certain point that's not going to work anymore and then some people estimate to follow the gold markets much more than I do but it could quickly go up to $10,000 an ounce or even beyond that.

Be that as it may, gold as you point out has no counterparty risk and it's a historic store of value. It's one of the beautiful commodities out there and it has a special – the other just being special significance economically and historically, the other thing is that China is the number one mining producer of gold in the world today, not South Africa. South Africa has fallen far behind

LS: Yeah, and Russia is number three.

FWE: Russia is number three.

LS: And a lot of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are producers or are buying gold.

FWE: At the rail connections of the circle of the China Belt Road Initiative in part are aiming to go in the areas where there are known gold reserves but no infrastructure during the Soviet era to bring that gold down to market. So, we have an extremely fascinating prospect, not just for China and Russia, for the world really to build up instead of tear down, destroy and burn and bankrupt which is the only policy that Washington seems able to follow these days.

LS: Yeah. To sum it up with a famous Chinese proverb. "May you live in interesting times" – you and all the others.

FWE: We certainly do.

LS: Okay. great. Thank you very much, William, for this interview.

FWE: Thank you, Lars.


Omega a day ago ,

Two things:

1. Operation Hammer:

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union.

Those resources would subsequently be turned over to international bankers and corporations. On November 1, 2001, the second operative in the Bush regime, President George W. Bush, issued Executive Order 13233 on the basis of "national security" and concealed the records of past presidents, especially his father's spurious activities during 1990 and 1991.

http://www.conspiracyarchiv...

2. Why can't Putin touch Yeltsinist oligarchs:

Yeltsin's oligarchs remained as rich as they were; Yeltsin's family still possesses immense riches. And Putin does not dare to touch them. He goes hat in hand to open a Yeltsin's Memorial Centre; he is courteous with Yeltsin's widow and daughter. Putin's establishment cautiously avoided celebration, or even mention of the Revolution centenary, in keeping with Yeltsin's anticommunism. This is the Deal.

https://www.unz.com/ishamir...

Fraser a day ago ,

Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable.

Guy Fraser a day ago ,

The rise has been astounding and all because they have a leader that can't be bought , not corrupt and loves his country. That is why he literally was swept in in the last election. The Western leaders will not admit it but I am sure they are terribly envious .

Tommy Jensen a day ago ,

Very good article to bring to RI also.

It open eyes on how the West political elite are a criminal rotten cancer syndicate and Georg Bush Sr. shows up to be even worse than the disgusting profile he already has in media and Georg Soros bad reputation gets confirmed.

No police or court are available to take this out. We only have John Connor or The One to count on.
Choice is the problem now. We will have to make a choice.

Play Hide
Nicole Temple a day ago ,

The photo of Yeltsin and Clinton that accompanies this article should remind readers of this story:

https://viableopposition.bl...

There is something rotten in Washington and it has been in existence for decades.

Guy a day ago ,

Great interview .William Engdahl is a very knowledgeable person. I have read a few of his books. Superb in my view.

Jimi Thompson a day ago ,

Quite a few unknown tidbits for me in all of this... very eye-opening even for someone that is aware of the games being played at the higher levels.

To imagine all of what remains unknown, including many of the players, leaves much to the imagination.

[Apr 18, 2018] Macron Napoleonic complex

Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

In the space of a few days Macron has:

Inadequacy much? How needy for recognition is this guy?

CHUCKMAN 9 hours ago ,

France used to produce some pretty fine leaders, but lately, it's like a different place.

Hollande was the most ridiculous, gutless thing we ever saw. He was laughably pompous and ineffective and dishonest and even cowardly, vis a vis the US.

Macron probably ranks second worst. He's making a mess of France, he's blubbering all kinds of nonsense about the EU, he's busy putting troops in Syria against all international law, he is not liked by the people, and he is virtually a French doormat for America.

Sarkozy showed the odd bit of promise, but he was largely talk with no worthy efforts. And he was immensely corrupt. Imagine taking 20 million euros from Qaddafi and then participating in the scheme to kill him? Or the case of the senile woman who was France's wealthiest woman, from whom he took many millions for his campaigns, doing so in private without other members of the family or strict legal supervision.

Hard to see the same country we saw in de Gaulle's time and that of his immediate successors.

Muriel Kuri 8 hours ago ,

'I am an equal of Putin' - well, he's right in a way - they're both leaders of a country. Beyond that, there is NO comparison. Maybe he admires Putin - which is good, if he tries to emulate him, even better because Putin, after all, is one of the few great current leaders of the world. Macron has a very long way to go, but with many years experience, if he gets the chance, MAY become a better leader than some, but never will be the match of Putin.

[Apr 18, 2018] More on the Skripal/Douma false flag connection

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Neve | Apr 16, 2018 3:52:13 PM | 2

Two great links at OffG

"The Skripal event and the Douma "gas attack" – two acts in the same drama?"
http://off-guardian.org/2018/04/14/the-skripal-event-and-the-douma-gas-attack-two-acts-in-the-same-drama/


"More on the Skripal/Douma false flag connection"
http://off-guardian.org/2018/04/15/46325/

[Apr 17, 2018] Who are top officials at OPCW and can we expect unparciality?

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, and if A-234 is as strong as reported, it's likely any traces around the Skripals would have killed the first responders too. ..."
Apr 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

anon , Apr 15, 2018 1:36:09 PM | 39

@Peter AU 33

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

https://www.rt.com/news/424047-russian-mod-syria-statement/

Ahmet Uzumcu, head of the OPCW, was also Turkish envoy to Israel, and also counsel in aleppo, syria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmet_Üzümcü

Carrie , Apr 16, 2018 6:59:57 AM | 69
Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 5:21:47 PM | 61

PavewayIV thanks, as always I appreciate your thorough analysis.

...and in quantities that would have absolutely killed the Skripals given what was still there after two weeks...
Indeed, and if A-234 is as strong as reported, it's likely any traces around the Skripals would have killed the first responders too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Apr 17, 2018] Were the Skripals 'Buzzed', 'Novi-shocked' Or Neither - May Has Some 'Splaining' To Do

Notable quotes:
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Did Spiez also do a DNA identification to ensure the TRACE metabolized samples actually came from the Skirpals, with no other DNA/chemical indicators which might indicate purposeful contamination or reformulation? Where did the "virgin" samples come from? The doorknob the Skirpals had not touched for longer than it takes for BZ to show symptoms? The chain of custody for all these samples should be 100% airtight, or all analysis is fatally flawed. ..."
"... This still reeks of a Mossad attack/disinfo operation, there are simply too many "flaws" in this to be unintentional. ..."
"... It is not only the current a Director-General who is a NATO-man, the PR women of OPCW was also on NATO payroll. Almost all international bodies are revolving doors for the Western paid personnel. Nobody does a truly honest job if they want the next appointment and advancement. Does anybody still remember the Brazilian Sergio de Mello? He revolved till he got blown up in Iraq. ..."
"... Ok. Ahmed Üzümcü is a former nato representative. This is interesting. What about the rest of the OPCW people? What about the OPCW teams inspecting Douma? Have they any non poodle nationality members? Does anybody know that? ..."
"... I can confirm that the chain of custody was 100% watertight, no worries there. Custody was 100% under iFUKUS control from the moment of contamination of the victims/environment until the completion of all tests and the publication of final reports. That is why the samples were spiked with fresh A-234. ..."
"... During a brief moment when I was viewing CNN yesterday (Alex Witt was playing bad cop most of the time, making sure Russia was suitably demeaned and excoriated for its evil ways) --but, iirc and I may not have done*, someone asked why the FUKUS would endanger people by blowing up locations the US stated they absolutely KNEW held chemical weapons and precursors. The reply was that the Pentagon was certain that since the locations were not in heavily populated areas that the breezes would disperse the poisons safely. ..."
"... The UN has been fully weoponized by the US and it's sock puppet partners in the west. The western powers completely ignore the UN charter while demanding absolute power through the UNSC. It is time for both Russia and China to leave the UN which will lead to a cascade of other countries leaving. It will also end any lingering belief in the legitimacy of the UN. ..."
"... Re: why hospital workers and others have not said anything about the Skripals' situation in a long time, it's very likely everyone, including patients and witnesses from Salisbury have been made to sign nondisclosure agreements. At least that's what happens in Brit series shown on Masterpiece Theatre. ..."
"... Also, DS Nick Bailey may have been sent to the house to get him exposed to whatever the chem agent was, part of being a way to draw attention away from the main site of exposure? BZ may explain the rather interesting description Bailey's written statement included: this line, and only this one, which described any physical or mental reactions he felt from his ordeal: ..."
"... Indeed, and if A-234 is as strong as reported, it's likely any traces around the Skripals would have killed the first responders too. ..."
"... Also see yesterday's important report by Elijah J Magnier. Ties stuff together. Folks, in seeking out and highlighting the truth we going to have our work cut out for us here! [See "have your work cut out (for you)" ..."
"... This is one of the few if only 'miracle recovery' situations in which the victims did not sit down for interviews. I imagine once they have been groomed enough they will sit down for an interview with a trusted news organization. ..."
"... The Spiez lab is a NATO lab. Even though Switzerland is "neutral", it is an associate member of NATO under the NATO Peace Partnership. Spiez has been involved in serious falsifications of analysis results for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)'s work on the use of uranium and depleted uranium weapons. ..."
"... In my opinion, the release of the real report to the Russians was the work of a whistle-blower, for the Spiez lab has highly trained people who take great pride in the generally impeccable quality of the lab's work and its repuration for such. Many of them would have been appalled that their lab was party to some sort of deception. ..."
"... Lavrov was right then, and he's right now. The "Joint Investigation Team" is actually "The Fix Is In Team". The official title is just for show, to make infoganda that impresses the ignorant, complacent, and submissive. It's exactly like the Big Lie that "17 intelligence agencies separately concluded that Russians meddled in US elections". ..."
Apr 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

---
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the Skripal case:

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

Posted by b on April 15, 2018 at 09:35 AM | Permalink

Comments


Charles M , Apr 15, 2018 9:39:35 AM | 1

Looks like someone really REALLY wants a hot war with Russia. I dont get why WW3 is so alluring.
Anon , Apr 15, 2018 9:45:47 AM | 2
Is there any reason to call for investigation when you have corrupt organs like OPCW that are as biased as any other western statehood on Russia? Russia working in 110% and get like 5% back if lucky.

Charles M

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

Madeira , Apr 15, 2018 9:45:53 AM | 3
A possible explanation for the apparent divergences between the OPCW report and the Russian claims of what the Swiss lab found:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entirely implausible?

BX , Apr 15, 2018 9:56:01 AM | 4
"The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings." !!! I think they are saying "The standards in verification are so rigid that you can trust our findings" (i.e. BZ as well as A-234 in virgin *and* (!) degradation* stage. See also my comments to your previous post (towards the end of the list of comments).
JakeS , Apr 15, 2018 9:57:47 AM | 5
great investigative work - thanks. The Brit state keeping Julia Skirpal incommunicado surely adds to the likely guilt
BX , Apr 15, 2018 10:08:48 AM | 7
I believe you got the "virgin" state wrong. What this refers to is the state of the substance *before* drug metabolism, i.e. before the substance reacts to any great degree chemically within the body and "degrades". Spiez found A-234 prior to metabolism (virgin) and after metabolism (degradation) which might point to two separate points in time when these substances started reacting with chemicals within the body (yes, lastly, it all comes down to chemistry). Drug metabolism is why drug effects last only a limited time. When the substance is metabolized (degraded) its specific effects disappear. Here is the Wikipedia entry which is sufficient to give a general impression. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_metabolism
Bill , Apr 15, 2018 10:11:21 AM | 8
US and UK media will unlikely report it now, they are too busy driving the war machine, however the drip drip of evidence coupled with increasing memories of the Iraq dodgy dossier will eventually break through.
BX , Apr 15, 2018 10:13:18 AM | 9
Also, thank you for this vital information: "The current Director-General of the OPCW is the Turkish carrier diplomat Ahmed Üzümcü who earlier served as the Turkish Permanent Representative to NATO." This, to me, this goes a long way understanding recent reports of the OPCW DG regarding the 2 labs that were bombed. My, the puzzle is coming together!
BX , Apr 15, 2018 10:17:04 AM | 10
I am sorry for the many comments but it is not possible to edit comments or reply to them... "virgin state" is not the same as "high purity". The OPCW report does not echo the Spiez results when talking about "high purity" but London, just in more sophisticated way (i.e. not saying "military grade").
A P , Apr 15, 2018 10:23:09 AM | 11
Did Spiez also do a DNA identification to ensure the TRACE metabolized samples actually came from the Skirpals, with no other DNA/chemical indicators which might indicate purposeful contamination or reformulation? Where did the "virgin" samples come from? The doorknob the Skirpals had not touched for longer than it takes for BZ to show symptoms? The chain of custody for all these samples should be 100% airtight, or all analysis is fatally flawed.

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

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

farm ecologist , Apr 15, 2018 10:33:01 AM | 12
We don't know if OPCW found A-234 in the samples they took, or only in the ones that they were given by the British, which could easily have been tampered with.

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

Kiza , Apr 15, 2018 10:34:19 AM | 13
It is not only the current a Director-General who is a NATO-man, the PR women of OPCW was also on NATO payroll. Almost all international bodies are revolving doors for the Western paid personnel. Nobody does a truly honest job if they want the next appointment and advancement. Does anybody still remember the Brazilian Sergio de Mello? He revolved till he got blown up in Iraq.

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

Jesrad , Apr 15, 2018 10:34:45 AM | 14
I wondered why the Skripals were said to be suffering from "hallucinations". I assumed that really meant they were just saying things that Airstrip One didn't like during their recovery, but apparently there was a pharmacological reason!

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

Ralf , Apr 15, 2018 10:38:04 AM | 15
If the Swiss laboratory got the facts right as presented by Lavrov, many things come out quite naturally, it seems to me. Here is my guess:

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the resistance trench with love , Apr 15, 2018 10:38:12 AM | 16
@Posted by: Madeira | Apr 15, 2018 9:45:53 AM | 3
Entirely implausible?

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

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

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

adamski , Apr 15, 2018 10:39:10 AM | 17
Justa n aside but des anyone remember the film Jacobs Ladder? BZ was a key part of the story.
A P , Apr 15, 2018 10:49:36 AM | 20
And the answer to "who did it?" points squarely at Mossad. The UK spies/gov't were obviously caught flat-footed, had no idea it was going to happen, no internal script on which lies they had hard info about, relying on external "trusted sources".

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

Pnyx , Apr 15, 2018 11:03:33 AM | 21
Ok. Ahmed Üzümcü is a former nato representative. This is interesting. What about the rest of the OPCW people? What about the OPCW teams inspecting Douma? Have they any non poodle nationality members? Does anybody know that?
blah , Apr 15, 2018 11:05:22 AM | 22
"And the answer to "who did it?" points squarely at Mossad."

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

mk , Apr 15, 2018 11:08:44 AM | 23
One group that could testify on Lavrov's claim is the personnel of Salisbury Hospital. Dr. Blanshard said that they consulted with experts in the whole world to improve the recovery of Julia Skripal. Certainly they can say if it was a BZ treatment or a Novichok treatment.

This looks like a Chessmate für May&co.

Peter AU 1 , Apr 15, 2018 11:12:24 AM | 24
The Novichok narrative was on designed to hold up for a short time. The Ghouta CW attack should have occurred at peak Novichok, drawing attention away, but was waylaid.

A-234 - there are many highly toxic chemical compounds but only few are developed as Chemical weapons. Many of the compounds have properties that make them unsuitable for deployment as CW's. A-234 compound and perhaps all of the compounds in the Russian scientists book may well have properties that make it/them unsuited to either assassination or as a WMD so a substitute was used.

Magnier has a new piece out which helps tie in the larger play that the Novichok narrative was part of. The larger play failed and now the Russians are hunting down the Brits and taking apart their narrative.

mwm , Apr 15, 2018 11:16:14 AM | 25
The picture of the Skripals was taken in the restaurant on that same day? or not, with the reflection in the mirror. With the new time frame for onset of drug reaction doesn't he become a "person of interest"?, this strange guy in the mirror?
Den Lille Abe , Apr 15, 2018 11:17:12 AM | 26
This is wild, I know: Who said anyone was poisoned?

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

dahoit , Apr 15, 2018 11:20:42 AM | 28
The missiles that targeted the chem warfare,they had a germ agent?hohohohoho.
The israelis doing it all.mossad.
Bayleaf , Apr 15, 2018 11:20:42 AM | 29
The official UK government's position was set out when it applied to the court in order to allow the taking of blood samples for the OPCW:

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Bloodaxe , Apr 15, 2018 11:22:31 AM | 30
Salisbury False Flag

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

A consultant (Davis) at the Salisbury hospital wrote a letter to the Times saying, "there are no patients suffering from nerve agents and only 3 who are poisoned". (fact, I saw the Times letter).

Wikipedia describes the effects of BZ and they exactly fit the delayed, narcotic hallucinogenic effect of BX (30mins to 4 hours post exposure). The physiological effects of BZ and VX differ markedly, which is how doctor Davis knew – he is 8 miles from the Porton Down chemical warfare plant and was therefore 'clued up'. Patients have recovered and VX etc. kills, stops muscle action, not a poison as such).

In the Independent (today, Comments under the Lavrov story, Sunday 15th) a bathroom fitter (Ollie Field) says he saw the Skripal's on the bench and thought they were 'whacked out' on heroin.

Douma False Flag.

The Russians have in their pocket (filmed I believe) a notable at the Douma (only) hospital (can't remember who) that has described the White Helmets filming as; a bomb destroyed the top floor of the hospital and the film crew moved bodies and kids to the basement and doused them with hoses and sprayed them with Ventolin (asthma inhaler – blue). This provided the film used to justify the Cruise missile attack Fri 13th. 2018.

The Russians have rumbled the Douma false flag and the OECD chemical weapons investigators are on their way to the Douma hospital (basement) to find no chemicals, they report in a few weeks.

Lavrov has said that the British ordered the Douma rebels to make a chemical warfare White Helmets type movie fast, in desperation, since the Russians/SAA forces attack was moving fast and they could obtain support bombing. The whole of East Ghouta has been taken by the SAA.

A decent video exposure on TV, or even a simple web search, completely debunks the 'White Helmets' that filmed the fake gas attack in the Douma hospital in East Ghouta. Re. my earlier email.

May didn't wait (in panic) for parliament approval and went ahead with military action (8 of our missiles wasted at £6.3M).
The 11 'handlers' (said to be officers) are not in the hands of the Russians (who have swopped theirs for ours previously) but are held by the SAA and could well have have spilled the beans. If they are paraded (filmed) and spill the beans things will get ugly for May et al.

Peter AU 1 , Apr 15, 2018 11:29:56 AM | 31
mwm 25

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

BM , Apr 15, 2018 11:42:42 AM | 32
The chain of custody for all these samples should be 100% airtight, or all analysis is fatally flawed.
Posted by: A P | Apr 15, 2018 10:23:09 AM | 11

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

willem friso , Apr 15, 2018 12:58:22 PM | 37
Peter AU 1 33
The video of the two medics at the Douma hospital you can find at Voltaire Network, but they are in French. Hope you can understand French?
BM , Apr 15, 2018 12:59:11 PM | 38
The important part about the presence of unmetabolised A-234 in the samples is that it proves incontrovertably that the analysis was faked implicate the UK's claims. (By 'analysis' here I specifically mean the entire process from the taking of the samples up until the provision of the final report; the existence of the leak from Spiez implies that one or more chemists were doing their job honestly and therefore objected to the fabrications in the final published reports - indeed there could have been many people involved who were acting entirely honestly - but at some critical stage within the chain of custody the process was faked).

There are however two possibilities:

a) The samples taken by OPCW were deliberately spiked with a mixture of high purity virgin A-234 with metabolic derivatives (and/or non-metabolic disintegration products from the virgin A-234 since it is chemically not very stable??) AFTER the blood samples were taken from the Skripals.

b) The Skripals were injected with A-234 shortly (probably very few minutes) before the OPCW experts arrived to take the samples.

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

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

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

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

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

Christian Chuba , Apr 15, 2018 1:54:57 PM | 40
It's getting clear to me now. There are 1980's hold overs on both sides of the pond in the CIA, MI6, and bureaucracies in both govts who believe that Trump / May are the new Reagan / Thatcher, destined to destroy Russia a second time. Now all they need is another Pope.

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

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

jawbone , Apr 15, 2018 2:13:56 PM | 41
During a brief moment when I was viewing CNN yesterday (Alex Witt was playing bad cop most of the time, making sure Russia was suitably demeaned and excoriated for its evil ways) --but, iirc and I may not have done*, someone asked why the FUKUS would endanger people by blowing up locations the US stated they absolutely KNEW held chemical weapons and precursors. The reply was that the Pentagon was certain that since the locations were not in heavily populated areas that the breezes would disperse the poisons safely.

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

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

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

Paul , Apr 15, 2018 2:21:52 PM | 42
OPCW "splainin to do"
It may be that the current OPCW head, like the last one, has children whose locations are known to John Bolton.
BraveNewWorld , Apr 15, 2018 2:23:19 PM | 43
The UN has been fully weoponized by the US and it's sock puppet partners in the west. The western powers completely ignore the UN charter while demanding absolute power through the UNSC. It is time for both Russia and China to leave the UN which will lead to a cascade of other countries leaving. It will also end any lingering belief in the legitimacy of the UN.

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

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

Party's over boys. Time to move on.

Paul , Apr 15, 2018 2:32:16 PM | 44
@ Bart Hansen:
You're right it's remarkable that the garrulous, ghoulish UK press has turned up no sensationalistic stories (fake or true) at all.

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

Tuyzentfloot , Apr 15, 2018 2:36:10 PM | 45
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201480/
says the latency can amount to several hours so I wonder if it can be made to match with the 'door handle' theory {or is that more than a claim}.
"it is currently used as a pharmacological tool (a muscarinic antagonist known as QNB)"
So BZ is over 50 years old, commercially available, and it can point to hm, anyone. Not even some bigger player with access to advanced laboratory.
Paul , Apr 15, 2018 2:44:19 PM | 46
@ BraveNewWord comment 45

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

mali , Apr 15, 2018 2:44:31 PM | 47
: CNN journalist confirmed defintely CW used in Duma by sniffing a child's backpack somewhere in Northern #Syria on April 14

How low can MSM presstitutes go?

Laninya , Apr 15, 2018 3:17:24 PM | 48
Strike_Back:_Retribution ( a ten-part British-American action television series )
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_Back:_Retribution

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

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

Carrie , Apr 15, 2018 3:19:16 PM | 49
I thought the statement from the Swiss Spietz lab, as read by Lavrov , contained a passage that sounded odd, out of place:
I will now be quoting what they sent to the OPCW in their report. You understand that this is a translation from a foreign language but I will read it in Russian, quote: "Following our analysis, the samples indicate traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursor which are second category chemical weapons. BZ is a nerve toxic agent, which temporarily disables a person. The psycho toxic effect is achieved within 30 to 60 minutes after its use and lasts for up to four days. This composition was in operational service in the armies of the US, the UK and other NATO countries. The Soviet Union and Russia neither designed nor stored such chemical agents. Also, the samples indicate the presence of type A-234 nerve agent in its virgin state and also products of its degradation." End of quote.

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

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

james , Apr 15, 2018 3:31:54 PM | 51
thanks b.. i am particularly interested in what larvov has to say and the info he is in possession of...

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

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

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

jawbone , Apr 15, 2018 3:32:28 PM | 52
Re: why hospital workers and others have not said anything about the Skripals' situation in a long time, it's very likely everyone, including patients and witnesses from Salisbury have been made to sign nondisclosure agreements. At least that's what happens in Brit series shown on Masterpiece Theatre.

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

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

Surreal hallucinations?

james , Apr 15, 2018 3:34:50 PM | 54
@52 jawbone.. that is how i read all that too.. complete enforced silence of anyone involved with the skripal event... talk about democracy!!
Anon , Apr 15, 2018 3:36:14 PM | 55
Obviously Russia was correct in the BZ claim, the response by OPCW is disgraceful - apparently they are now in panic mode trying to come up with a explanation for BZ findings, apparently you cant trust organs like this today, totally biased.
TJ , Apr 15, 2018 3:43:13 PM | 56
@48 Laninya

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

Foggy World , Apr 15, 2018 3:46:10 PM | 57
I read this chapter at another place last night and my head just swelled up with a song I learned as a child in Canada and I rearranged and typed it in their comments.

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

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

CanSpeccy , Apr 15, 2018 4:05:06 PM | 58
"I have no theory how the BZ or the A-234 made it into the OPCW samples or if the Skripals were really influenced by either of these poisons or are victims of simple shellfish poisoning. Your guess is a good as mine."

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

dewn , Apr 15, 2018 4:43:28 PM | 59
Using BZ would also explain why they keep Skripals out of any media - a simple question from some journalist like "what did you feel" may lead to them mentioning hallucinations which immediately throws Novichok bull out of the window.
farm ecologist , Apr 15, 2018 4:56:08 PM | 60
CanSpeccy @58

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

PavewayIV , Apr 15, 2018 5:21:47 PM | 61
Carrie@49 - When the OPCW sends teams to Syria on Fact Finding missions, the teams are given rather bizarre and restrictive mandates. The one you cite was from previous fact-finding mission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PW , Apr 15, 2018 9:34:37 PM | 62
Going out on a serious limb here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, Right , Apr 15, 2018 9:36:05 PM | 63
If we assume - for arguments sake, if nothing else - that Lavrov's information is accurate then the Russians have played their hand in a masterly fashion.

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

But where, exactly?

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

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

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

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

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

somebody , Apr 15, 2018 10:13:21 PM | 66
Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 5:21:47 PM | 61

It is interesting how the "very pure" stuff everybody agrees on is spun in different ways. "Very pure" was interpreted as meaning "can only have been produced by a state". But thinking about it - of course it is unlikely to have been found "pure" in a sample taken from the environment. Russian scientists including Mirzayanov seem to unite on not possible to have been found if Novichok on 19th with rain etc.

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

james , Apr 15, 2018 10:16:46 PM | 67
this tells one all they need to know about the usa or the uks role in chemical weapon attacks..
Debsisdead , Apr 15, 2018 10:34:02 PM | 68
Althouth some may have had to sign Non Disclosures, it is difficult to understand why MI5 would even bother since undoubtedly many staff would refuse at from MI5's point of view totally un-necessary since post the consultant's letter to the Times the Home Office announced that any further leaks by staff would result in prosecution under the englander official secrets act .

This a particularly nasty piece of legislation that is an act of parliament dating back to part 1 of the 20th century euro war. Some people are asked to sign it but that is more about intimidation than legality since it applies to all public sector employees, contractors and consultants regardless.

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

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

Carrie , Apr 16, 2018 6:59:57 AM | 69
Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 5:21:47 PM | 61

PavewayIV thanks, as always I appreciate your thorough analysis.

...and in quantities that would have absolutely killed the Skripals given what was still there after two weeks...
Indeed, and if A-234 is as strong as reported, it's likely any traces around the Skripals would have killed the first responders too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see yesterday's important report by Elijah J Magnier. Ties stuff together. Folks, in seeking out and highlighting the truth we going to have our work cut out for us here! [See "have your work cut out (for you)"

qualtrough , Apr 16, 2018 7:12:27 AM | 70
This is one of the few if only 'miracle recovery' situations in which the victims did not sit down for interviews. I imagine once they have been groomed enough they will sit down for an interview with a trusted news organization.
Yonatan , Apr 16, 2018 1:29:48 PM | 72
BZ is not a hallucinogenic compound. It is a nerve agent with an unusual high ratio of lethal dose to symptomatic dose (~400:1). That means the key symptoms of nerve agent poisoning can be induced by exposure to low levels of agent way below the levels needed to kill someone. That would protect the attacker as well as not immediately killing the victims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anon , Apr 16, 2018 1:55:48 PM | 73
So now Skripal himself is ok, God what a pathetic circus UK have put on.
irena , Apr 16, 2018 3:18:46 PM | 74
A-234 according to Mirzayanov and A-234 according to Hoenig have different structures. Mirzayanov claims that a number of weaker agents developed as part of the Foliant program were published in the open literature as organophosphate pesticides, in order to disguise the secret nerve agent program as legitimate pesticide research. So, it was made to be pesticides. And it can be produced as a number of different pesticides everywhere in the world.
Kaima , Apr 16, 2018 6:00:37 PM | 75
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

Corroboration for Douma attack - no gas

Robet James Parsons , Apr 16, 2018 6:57:37 PM | 76
Entirely implausible?

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

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

The Spiez lab is a NATO lab. Even though Switzerland is "neutral", it is an associate member of NATO under the NATO Peace Partnership. Spiez has been involved in serious falsifications of analysis results for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)'s work on the use of uranium and depleted uranium weapons.

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

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

... ... ...

Robet James Parsons , Apr 16, 2018 7:06:42 PM | 77
POST SCRIPTVM

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

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

Tranquillus , Apr 17, 2018 8:09:57 AM | 78
Lavrov expressed similar doubts about the independence of the international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysian airliner MH17 in 2014, after floating many alternative "theories".

"Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says there are a lot of questions regarding the investigation into the downed MH17 Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine, adding that it is not independent, not comprehensive and not truly international."
https://www.rt.com/news/311691-lavrov-mh17-malaysia-asean/

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

jalp , Apr 17, 2018 9:47:41 AM | 79
My FB feed now has commercial media forwarding UK gov't claim that the Salisbury nerve agent was "delivered in liquid form", FWIW. So -- what (if anything) is that worth?
Ort , Apr 17, 2018 2:44:15 PM | 80
@ Tranquillus | 78
_________________________________

Lavrov was right then, and he's right now. The "Joint Investigation Team" is actually "The Fix Is In Team". The official title is just for show, to make infoganda that impresses the ignorant, complacent, and submissive. It's exactly like the Big Lie that "17 intelligence agencies separately concluded that Russians meddled in US elections".

[Apr 16, 2018] But what neither the British Government nor the OPCW have, to the present, acknowledged is that blood samples from the Skripal's contained two nerve agents, A-234, aka Novichok, plus 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate, aka BZ or Buzz.

Apr 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

CanSpeccy , Website April 16, 2018 at 6:15 pm GMT

The technical ability of Porton Down to identify a chemical has never been in doubt, and the only "finding of the United Kingdom " the OPCW has confirmed is the identity of the chemical.

But what neither the British Government nor the OPCW have, to the present, acknowledged is that blood samples from the Skripal's contained two nerve agents, A-234, aka Novichok, plus 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate, aka BZ or Buzz.

Novichok is a convulsant (which acts by preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, with the result that muscles go into full contraction, hence the symptoms of convulsions, vomiting, etc.), whereas BZ is a paralytic agent (which acts by binding to acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction without activating them, thereby preventing muscle contraction, hence the symptoms of paralysis and ultimately death by asphyxiation).

Thus, BZ will serve as an antidote to Novichok poisoning, wheras Novichok will serve as an antidote to BZ poisoning. So the presence of Novichok in the Skipal blood samples is not conclusive evidence that Novichok was the poison, rather than the antidote, as I have discussed here: 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate: The Antidote to Novichok , and here: Novichok: Russia's Antidote to Seafood Poisoning .

[Apr 16, 2018] Tracing the Rush to War by Craig Murray

Notable quotes:
"... And in the later articles posted here, he writes: "That puts Saudi Arabia (and its client jihadists), Saudi Arabia's close ally Israel, the UK and the USA all in the frame in having a powerful motive in inculcating anti-Russian sentiment prior to planned conflict with Russia in Syria. Any of them could have attacked the Skripals." ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

I have never ruled out the possibility that Russia is responsible for the attack in Salisbury, amongst other possibilities. But I do rule out the possibility that Assad is dropping chemical weapons in Ghouta. In this extraordinary war, where Saudi-funded jihadist head choppers have Israeli air support and US and UK military "advisers", every time the Syrian army is about to take complete control of a major jihadist enclave, at the last moment when victory is in their grasp, the Syrian Army allegedly attacks children with chemical weapons, for no military reason at all. We have been fed this narrative again and again and again.

We then face a propaganda onslaught from neo-con politicians, think tanks and "charities" urging a great rain of Western bombs and missiles, and are accused of callousness towards suffering children if we demur. This despite the certain knowledge that Western military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have had consequences which remain to this day utterly disastrous.

I fear that the massive orchestration of Russophobia over the last two years is intended to prepare public opinion for a wider military conflict centred on the Middle East, but likely to spread, and that we are approaching that endgame. The dislocation of the political and media class from the general population is such, that the levers for people of goodwill to prevent this are, as with Iraq, extremely few as politicians quake in the face of media jingoism. These feel like extremely dangerous times.


Ronald Thomas West , Website April 16, 2018 at 4:58 am GMT

Precisely what is meant to negate the "why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power" argument, I do not know

Well, Craig, you could try bringing some heat here:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/15/what-can-be-known-vs-what-will-be-known/

^ It beats singing to the choir

ValmMond , April 16, 2018 at 5:08 am GMT
I stopped reading at:

"I have never ruled out the possibility that Russia is responsible for the attack in Salisbury"

Time for timid half-truths is over. If by now you haven't identified the Skripal affair as the joint UK/US production it is, Act I of the AngloZionist war on Syria, Russia and humanity, your analysis isn't worth the pixels it's written on. There is zero doubt. Case closed. Especially after this:

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/04/15/swiss-governmental-lab-identifies-the-substance-used-on-the-skripal-case-as-being-linked-to-the-nato/

I wish you realize that appeals to skepticism and lines like "I'm not fan of Putin/Assad" get you nowhere. You are facing a brutal, fact-twisting, intellect-insulting, lying, propaganda machine. Any concession you make to their "arguments" comes with the smell of blood. They'll mock your "moderate" views and will try to make you look weak and foolish as Sky-news did. You can't be only half-brave, half-informed and half-right. And why engage those shameless liars if not to destroy completely their blatant lies?

Wally , April 16, 2018 at 5:44 am GMT
BREAKING: British-US Toxin, Not Novichok used in Salisbury Attack

https://principia-scientific.org/breaking-british-us-toxin-not-novichok-used-in-salisbury-attack/

Swiss lab says 'BZ toxin' used in Salisbury, not produced in Russia, was in US & UK service

jilles dykstra , April 16, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
Who pulls the strings ?

When Hungary prepared democratically laws to stop Soros meddling in Hungary Soros phoned Brussels, spoke to Juncker and Tusk, the next day Timmermans tried to intimidate the Hungarian government.

Just now there have been Hungarian elections, anti migration and anti Soros Orban was elected.

European parliament member Sargenti now wants to take Hungary's voting right in the EU away.

Sargenti is on the 231 member list that seem to be followers of Soros.

As Jimmy Carter once said 'those that want war do not expect that they themselves are going to be hurt'.

That in the next world war anyone will be more than hurt, killed, the war mongers do not understand, cannot believe.

Randal , April 16, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT
@ZummaZero

Please, why don't you mention the other possibilities, instead of "the Russian one"?

Bit harsh to criticise Craig Murray on that score. I see your point, and it would be a valid point to raise with an establishment journo who has been generally an effective part of the anti-Russia propaganda campaign, but Murray has discussed the other options on many occasions (and been the brunt of some pretty harsh establishment bullying in response).

In this case, it can safely be regarded as just efficient writing.

Vojkan , April 16, 2018 at 11:12 am GMT
Even if Assad did use gas, which he obviously didn't, who the heck are the Americans, the British, and the French to lecture anyone on morality, given that they unlike Assad did practice chemical warfare, and killed uncounted millions around the globe with "conventional" means in order to loot them, and to "punish" Assad as the bankster with an Oedipus complex Macron put it?
Tsar Nicholas , April 16, 2018 at 11:21 am GMT
@ValmMond

I think you are being unfair.

Mr Murray lost his job because he stood up for the right thing in 2004 and he has been abused ever since. His sanity has been called into question ever since he suggested the British government weren't telling the truth. His brief period in an instiuttion after Blair sacked him has been brought up more than once.

I suspect Craig's position of apparent open-mindedness has arisen from a lengthy Sky News TV interview with the appalling Kay Burley. He was careful in an eighteen minute segment not to give cause for Burley to label him as a Putin bot. He was most careful not to take the focus off the weakness in the British government's position and I think that was correct.

As soon as you see the tissue of lies emanating from London the innocence of Moscow follows naturally. Mr Murray was correct not to allow himself to be provoked by Kay Burley and she was visibly annoyed by her failure.

Sky News tried to bury the confrontation but somebody recorded it and you can find the interview at craigmurray.org

TT , April 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT

The ever excellent Campaign Against the Arms Trade is back in the English High Court again today in its continuing attempts to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It is against UK law to sell arms to a country which is likely to use them in breach of international humanitarian law , and that Saudi Arabia consistently and regularly uses British weapons to bomb schools, hospitals and civilians is indisputable.

Why didn't the High Court ban arm sales to UK army, which is using them in breach of international humanitarian law, consistently & regularly since its colonial era, in Vietnam & Korea wars, Blair's Iraq WMD illegal war, Cameron's illegal Libya bombing, and now May's illegal attack to Syria.

Saudi arabia Yemen's war pale in comparison to UK long history of atrocities. What a British hypocrite law enacted in a kangaroo judicial system? A country of government infested with shameless warmonger liars & paedophiles, yet popularly elected by its people. What a great Anglosaxon-West civilization & glorious demoncrapcy system to be spread around the world for easy subversion & regime change.

Proven guilty Iraq war criminal Tony Blair is walking free, repeating his same lies again to push for illegal Syria attack. Yet not a single war protest from UK people. Touch a LBGT issue or Trumps visit, British will gone hysteria protest in London, oh what a great nation. World Capital of paedophiles, war criminals & pathological liars.

How can God save the Queen that connive criminals, with stolen wealth soaking with innocents blood.

EliteCommInc. , April 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm GMT
I appreciated the frame you provided. That's a very serious charge against Great Britain -- sadly, I found it a somewhat compelling and disconcerting.

I suspect that in all of this there are fears that it's a response to enemies without as opposed to enemies from within. I have no idea where this notion comes from -- that states can act as authority for UN missions without the consent of the UN. Great Britain's press here sounds very much like the legal gymnastic of the US to invade Iraq and has much weight -- I agree.

The chaos in Libya, Syria, the Ukraine is the direct result of US and EU manipulation. I just don't know how to support "wrongness" on so many levels and consider myself a person of integrity. The humanitarian crisis in all of the regions is exacerbated by our own violations of law and foreign policy best practices.

Pale hobo , April 16, 2018 at 4:10 pm GMT
Not a bad article, but superficial. Does not address the why question and the huge ideological difference between Russia and the 'West' which leads to war.
Zumbuddi , April 16, 2018 at 4:21 pm GMT
@ValmMond

Agree. Resisting lying provocation to war should be done with what ZUSA terms "moral clarity." Said another way, No Quarter, No Mercy. If the need is felt to characterize Assad, the only things that needs be said are that he is the legitimate leader of a sovereign nation, and that attempts to topple him, by ZUSA & Anglos, are in direct violation of United Nations charter.

Greg Bacon , Website April 16, 2018 at 5:02 pm GMT

I have never ruled out the possibility that Russia is responsible for the attack in Salisbury, amongst other possibilities.

And I have never ruled out the word which can not be spoken, that ISRAEL was behind both attacks, to justify getting their US/UK/French lackeys to do in Syria what they can not without taking losses, attacking Syrian cities with cruise missiles.

Poisoned toothpaste and exploding phones: New book chronicles Israel's '2,700' assassination operations

Poisoned toothpaste that takes a month to end its target's life. Armed drones. Exploding mobile phones. Spare tyres with remote-control bombs. Assassinating enemy scientists and discovering the secret lovers of Muslim clerics.

A new book chronicles these techniques and asserts that Israel has carried out at least 2,700 assassination operations in its 70 years of existence. While many failed, they add up to far more than any other western country, the book says.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mossad-assassinations-israel-foreign-operations-arafat-book-shin-bet-ronan-bergman-interviews-a8181391.ht

The main beneficiary of the recent cruise missile attacks against Syria is Israel, so let's be honest and see what happens.

From an April 2003 Haaretz article:

The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible.

This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/white-man-s-burden-1.14110

Mike P , April 16, 2018 at 7:37 pm GMT
@James Brown

So, aside from selling weapons to Syria and Iran – and thus, giving up control over those weapons – what exactly should Putin have done to continue receiving your approval? Start WW3?

Another question: if this is just a staged play of good cop, bad cop – why does the puppet master behind the scenes not advance the plot? Why the need for silly diversions into the bucolic English countryside, and for embarrassing cameos by French boy princes?

Mike P , April 16, 2018 at 8:36 pm GMT
@Stonehands

Not sure where you are from, but some countries – particularly those that have experienced it at home – consider war a serious business, not quite the same as a bar brawl in Dodge City.

Anon [425] Disclaimer , Website April 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm GMT
Western Media are turning into a Laughing Gas attack.
paul23 , April 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm GMT
I keep hearing that the Qatar – Europe pipeline is the source of the Syria War, what I cant understand if their so desperate for this why does it need to go through Syria, theres`s other ways like across SA and up the red sea?
Antiwar7 , April 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm GMT
@ZummaZero

In Murray's first post on the Skripal story, he lists other possible suspects as Orbis Intelligence (who produced the Steele dossier) and the state of Israel:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/russian-to-judgement/

And in the later articles posted here, he writes: "That puts Saudi Arabia (and its client jihadists), Saudi Arabia's close ally Israel, the UK and the USA all in the frame in having a powerful motive in inculcating anti-Russian sentiment prior to planned conflict with Russia in Syria. Any of them could have attacked the Skripals."

SolontoCroesus , April 16, 2018 at 9:16 pm GMT
@Sean

The West would simply like him to meet his obligations and stop gassing people as there is an international agreement against killing people that way. Why can't he just stick to the normal use of high explosives to blast them to pieces?

Why can't he just stick to the normal use of high explosives to blast them to pieces?

Because that process is still under Israeli patent protection??

ValmMond , April 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm GMT
@Stonehands

Didn't he and various generals plainly state that retaliation would be swift and immediately delivered to any such platform?

Yes, if Russian military assets in Syria are targeted or hit. The US strike was the warfare equivalent of a plate smashing fit thrown by a hysterical tranny. Just a loud demonstration of impotence and fishing for attention. It's better handled unanswered. Now, if the tranny decides to go in a full abuser mode, Putin may seriously mess up her makeup.

[Apr 16, 2018] British Propaganda and Disinformation An Imperial and Colonial Tradition by Wayne MADSEN

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... For decades, a little-known section of the British Foreign Office – the Information Research Department (IRD) – carried out propaganda campaigns using the international media as its platform on behalf of MI-6. Years before Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir became targets for Western destabilization and "regime change." IRD and its associates at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and in the newsrooms and editorial offices of Fleet Street broadsheets, tabloids, wire services, and magazines, particularly "The Daily Telegraph," "The Times," "Financial Times," Reuters, "The Guardian," and "The Economist," ran media smear campaigns against a number of leaders considered to be leftists, communists, or FTs (fellow travelers). ..."
"... After the Cold War, this same propaganda operation took aim at Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Somalia's Mohamad Farrah Aidid, and Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Today, it is Assad's, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's, and Catalonian independence leader Carles Puigdemont's turn to be in the Anglo-American state propaganda gunsights. Even Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, long a darling of the Western media and such propaganda moguls as George Soros, is now being targeted for Western visa bans and sanctions over the situation with Muslim Rohingya insurgents in Rakhine State. ..."
"... Through IRD-MI-6-Central Intelligence Agency joint propaganda operations, many British journalists received payments, knowingly or unknowingly, from the CIA via a front in London called Forum World Features (FWF), owned by John Hay Whitney, publisher of the "New York Herald Tribune" and a former US ambassador to London. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

When it comes to creating bogus news stories and advancing false narratives, the British intelligence services have few peers. In fact, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) has led the way for its American "cousins" and Britain's Commonwealth partners – from Canada and Australia to India and Malaysia – in the dark art of spreading falsehoods as truths. Recently, the world has witnessed such MI-6 subterfuge in news stories alleging that Russia carried out a novichok nerve agent attack against a Russian émigré and his daughter in Salisbury, England. This propaganda barrage was quickly followed by yet another – the latest in a series of similar fabrications – alleging the Syrian government attacked civilians in Douma, outside of Damascus, with chemical weapons.

It should come as no surprise that American news networks rely on British correspondents stationed in northern Syria and Beirut as their primary sources. MI-6 has historically relied on non-official cover (NOC) agents masquerading primarily as journalists, but also humanitarian aid workers, Church of England clerics, international bankers, and hotel managers, to carry out propaganda tasks. These NOCs are situated in positions where they can promulgate British government disinformation to unsuspecting actual journalists and diplomats.

For decades, a little-known section of the British Foreign Office – the Information Research Department (IRD) – carried out propaganda campaigns using the international media as its platform on behalf of MI-6. Years before Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir became targets for Western destabilization and "regime change." IRD and its associates at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and in the newsrooms and editorial offices of Fleet Street broadsheets, tabloids, wire services, and magazines, particularly "The Daily Telegraph," "The Times," "Financial Times," Reuters, "The Guardian," and "The Economist," ran media smear campaigns against a number of leaders considered to be leftists, communists, or FTs (fellow travelers).

These leaders included Indonesia's President Sukarno, North Korean leader (and grandfather of Pyongyang's present leader) Kim Il-Sung, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Cyprus's Archbishop Makarios, Cuba's Fidel Castro, Chile's Salvador Allende, British Guiana's Cheddi Jagan, Grenada's Maurice Bishop, Jamaica's Michael Manley, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Guinea's Sekou Toure, Burkina Faso's Thomas Sankara, Australia's Gough Whitlam, New Zealand's David Lange, Cambodia's Norodom Sihanouk, Malta's Dom Mintoff, Vanuatu's Father Walter Lini, and Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah.

After the Cold War, this same propaganda operation took aim at Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Somalia's Mohamad Farrah Aidid, and Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Today, it is Assad's, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's, and Catalonian independence leader Carles Puigdemont's turn to be in the Anglo-American state propaganda gunsights. Even Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, long a darling of the Western media and such propaganda moguls as George Soros, is now being targeted for Western visa bans and sanctions over the situation with Muslim Rohingya insurgents in Rakhine State.

Through IRD-MI-6-Central Intelligence Agency joint propaganda operations, many British journalists received payments, knowingly or unknowingly, from the CIA via a front in London called Forum World Features (FWF), owned by John Hay Whitney, publisher of the "New York Herald Tribune" and a former US ambassador to London.

It is not a stretch to believe that similar and even more formal relationships exist today between US and British intelligence and so-called British "journalists" reporting from such war zones as Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and the Gaza Strip, as well as from much-ballyhooed nerve agent attack locations as Salisbury, England.

No sooner had recent news reports started to emerge from Douma about a Syrian chlorine gas and sarin agent attack that killed between 40 to 70 civilians, British reporters in the Middle East and London began echoing verbatim statements from the Syrian "White Helmets" and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In actuality, the White Helmets – claimed by Western media to be civilian defense first-responders but are Islamist activists connected to jihadist radical groups funded by Saudi Arabia – are believed to have staged the chemical attack in Douma by entering the municipality's hospital and dowsing patients with buckets of water, video cameras at the ready. The White Helmets distributed their videos to the global news media, with the BBC and Rupert Murdoch's Sky News providing a British imprimatur to the propaganda campaign asserting that Assad carried out another "barrel bomb" chemical attack against "his own people." And, as always, the MI-6 financed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad news front claimed to be operated by a Syrian expatriate and British national named Rami Abdel Rahman from his clothing shop in Coventry, England, began providing second-sourcing for the White Helmet's chemical attack claims.

With President Trump bringing more and more neo-conservatives, discredited from their massive anti-Iraq propaganda operations during the Bush-Cheney era, into his own administration, the world is witnessing the prolongation of the "Trump Doctrine."

The Trump Doctrine can best be explained as follows: A nation will be subject to a US military attack depending on whether Trump is facing a severe political or sex scandal at home.

Such was the case in April 2017, when Trump ordered a cruise missile attack on the joint Syrian-Russian airbase at Shayrat, Syria. Trump was still reeling from the resignation of his National Security Adviser, Lt. General Michael Flynn, in February over the mixing of his private consulting business with his official White House duties. Trump needed a diversion and the false accusation that Assad used sarin gas on the village of Khan Sheikoun on April 4, 2017, provided the necessary pabulum for the war-hungry media.

The most recent cruise missile attack was to divert the public's attention away from Trump's personal attorney being raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a sex scandal involving Trump and a porn actress, and a "tell-all" book by Trump's fired FBI director, James Comey.

Although these two scandals provided opportunities for the neo-cons to test Trump with false flag operations in Syria, they were not the first time such actions had been carried out. In 2013, the Syrian government was blamed for a similar chemical attack on civilians in Ghouta. That year, Syrian rebels, supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, admitted to the Associated Press reporter on the ground in Syria that they had been given banned chemical weapons by Saudi Arabia, but that the weapons canisters exploded after improper handling by the rebels. Immediately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian rebel organizations operating out of Turkey claimed that Assad had used chemical-laden barrel bombs on "his own people." However, Turkish, American, and Lebanese sources confirmed that it was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that had badly bungled a false flag sarin nerve agent attack on Ghouta.

Few Western media outlets were concerned about a March 19, 2013, sarin nerve agent by the Bashair al-Nasr Brigade rebel group linked to the US- and British-backed Free Syrian Army. The rebels used a "Bashair-3" unguided projectile, containing the deadly sarin agent, on civilians in Khan al-Assal, outside Aleppo. At least 27 civilians were killed, and scores of others injured in the attack. The Syrian Kurds also reported the use of chemical weapons on them during the same time frame by Syrian rebel groups backed by the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. The usual propaganda operations – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Doctors Without Borders, the BBC, CNN, and Sky News – were all silent about these attacks.

In 2013, April 2017, and April 2018, the Western media echo chamber blared out all the same talking points: "Assad killing his own people," "Syrian weapons of mass destruction," and the "mass murder of women and children." Western news networks featured videos of dead women and children, while paid propagandists, known as "contributors" to corporate news networks – all having links to the military-intelligence complex – demanded action be taken against Assad.

Trump, now being advised by the notorious neocon war hawk John Bolton, the new National Security Adviser, began referring to Assad as an "animal" and a "monster." Bolton, along with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby, helped craft similar language against Saddam Hussein prior to the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was not coincidental that Trump – at the urging of Bolton and other neocons – gave a full pardon to Libby on the very same day he ordered the cruise missile attack on Damascus and other targets in Syria. Libby was convicted in 2005 of perjury and illegally disclosing national security information.

The world is being asked to take, at face value, the word of patented liars like Trump, Bolton, and other neocons who are now busy joining the Trump administration at breakneck speed. The corporate media unabashedly acts as though it never lied about the reasons given by the United States and Britain for going to war in Iraq and Libya. Why should anyone believe them now?

Tags: UK al-Assad Propaganda

Wayne MADSEN Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club

[Apr 16, 2018] Trump Hits Russia With New Sanctions Over Syria Gas Attack

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Occams_Razor_Trader Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

Lindsey Graham with tits. Those who want war never have to fight it!

FBaggins -> Occams_Razor_Trader Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:33 Permalink

I Am a Syrian Living in Syria: "It was Never a Revolution nor a Civil War. The Terrorists are sent by your Government"

American People, Please Help Us

by Mark Taliano

https://www.globalresearch.ca/i-am-a-syrian-living-in-syria-it-was-neve

Adolph.H. -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:34 Permalink

It would be legitimate to wonder if the U.S. MIC will stealthily add to the long list of sanctimonious sanctions the interdiction for any western vassal state to buy the vastly superior Russian weapon systems in a not so distant future. One can feel it coming. Needless to say this kind of short sighted vision will be the straw that will break the camel's back.

These sanctions are ultimately going to hurt more the USA than Russia because little by little countries are leaving the American sphere of influence for the more balanced and reasonable Eurasian one. Nobody wants to stay with a maniac like Nikki or a fool like trump...

The Americans will be begging to be integrated once they hit the bottom.

[Apr 16, 2018] Skripal and Yulia were poisoned by non-lethal toxin made in Britain, Russian foreign minister claims

Apr 16, 2018 | dailymail.co.uk

The Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, claims former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned by a non-lethal chemical made in Britain and the US.

Mr Lavrov says the pair were not attacked with novichock but instead with BZ - a toxin never developed in Russia - which a laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland, found.

'This formulation was in the inventory of the United States, Britain and other Nato states,' Mr Lavrov said.

[Apr 15, 2018] We know this empire is destined to eat itself up due to greed and hubris. My only concern is how long that will take.

Notable quotes:
"... This is very clear path toward a confrontation with Russia. America is not going to stop . Russia continues to be punished because does not leave Syria and does not bow to America. ..."
Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

serotonindumptruck -> Janet smeller Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:44 Permalink

Russia knows that this diplomatic, economic, and military aggression will never stop. These military strikes and economic sanctions from the West represent the death throes of a dying empire. A dying empire is like a gravely wounded, cornered animal.

This is an extremely dangerous animal, because it is willing to arbitrarily kill anyone and anything before it dies.


serotonindumptruck -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

I still believe that the USA and its European allies will be the first to use nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping no doubt recognize the grave circumstances, and they are using the utmost restraint to avoid the provision of a military pretext that the West/USA is seeking in their effort to greatly escalate hostilities.

GoinFawr -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:07 Permalink

" I still believe that the USA ... will be the first to use nuclear weapons . "

Eg. Nagasaki and Hiroshima

dirty fingernails -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

The US will only use nukes to secure their dominance. The people in change aren't beholden to any country or continent being filthy rich and/or dual citizens. So the plan is to deny the US an excuse to use nukes while cutting the empire off at the knees.

Otherwise, I agree it'll be a NATO country that nukes first. That's part of the desire to make smaller nukes. "Small" nukes are seen as a way to nuke but not start a global exchange. Fucking insane people gambling with all higher life forms.

Chupacabra-322 -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:38 Permalink

"Small Nuke."

You make it sound like she's just "a little pregnant."

dirty fingernails -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:01 Permalink

Russia will tolerate it as long as possible. The delay only weakens the US and allies. All have serious issues domestically and even alliances are strained. Don't interrupt when your enemy is making a mistake

serotonindumptruck -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:22 Permalink

That is certainly some excellent Sun Tzu advice.

However, Sun Tzu never calculated criminal insanity into his logical strategems.

When your enemy refuses to concede defeat, and is willing to suicide the entire world in their obstinance, the only winning move is not to play.

Pernicious Gol -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:48 Permalink

He did talk about that.

dirty fingernails -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:50 Permalink

True, but look around us. There is no need to nuke cities and military targets in the US. Shut down the electrical grid and the population would lose it in a matter of hours. Within days it would be chaos on so many levels that it would take a long time to recover. We really are our own worst enemies because we are so fractured and polarized of the stupidest shit.

serotonindumptruck -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:01 Permalink

If limited global depopulation is the ultimate goal, then yes, the USA will suffer the most due to the prevalence of firearms and the general hostility that is clearly evident within its citizenry.

That's obviously not the main objective for the warmongers and neocons in DC.

The ultimate objective is global dominance, and the complete and total subjugation of humanity.

Like I said, criminal insanity is the paradigm that rules the West.

Sid Davis -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

Cornered animal; that sounds like Trumps modus operandi. Notice that anyone who criticizes him gets lambasted with personal attacks instead of a reasoned response.

We need a President who understands freedom and who is a reasonable person, neither of which traits are possessed by Trump. He didn't win the election on his own qualification but on Hillary's lack of qualification. This speaks to the point, "The lesser of two evils is still evil".

Cosmicserpent -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

We won't hit bottom without taking everyone with us. The Republic was lost when JFK was assassinated.

spyware-free -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:43 Permalink

This will work out about as good as Obama "isolating" Russia. Nothing more than a ziocon jerkfest.

khnum -> I woke up Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:51 Permalink

That proposition plus a ban on all US agricultural produce is currently being put up in their parliament

veritas semper -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

This is very clear path toward a confrontation with Russia. America is not going to stop . Russia continues to be punished because does not leave Syria and does not bow to America.

This recent American fiasco in Syria is just the opening overture. In May we have the moving of American embassy to Jerusalem and the unilateral withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal. I think we will not reach the end of the year without a big war : America is losing power and needs it.

Jumanji1959 -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

Actually the terrorists were sent by Israel and more specifically, the Mossad, who trained them. Israel wants to expand its territory by committing a GENOCIDE.

keep the basta -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

The chemical weapons organisation in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria found NO chemical weapons at the site the USA UK And FR bombed for that. The only chemical weapons are those found in the tunnels in East Ghouta after Syria bussed the militant occupiers away. The 40 tons of chemicals have manufactuer names, serial numbers and addresses eg Porton Down Salisbury.

Occams_Razor_Trader -> Occams_Razor_Trader Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

Cui Bono? Trump says he's going to pull out of Syria -- Things never looked better for Assad -- and he gets the bright idea, to turn the world against him by gassing gassing his own people? I'm not buying it. I-F-F (Israeli False Flag)

[Apr 15, 2018] Trump s in deep over his head. It was an open question whether he posed any genuine obstacle to neocons, but it seems more clear now that, one way or another, he has been brought more tightly under their control.

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

JohninMK -> Lumberjack Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

The sanctions will no doubt apply to the supplier of that high tech stuff in that chemical lab that the SAA discovered last month in Ghouta.

Just remembered, it was US made and sold through Saudi.

Lore -> JohninMK Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:14 Permalink

Trump's in deep over his head. It was an open question whether he posed any genuine obstacle to the pathocracy, but it seems more clear now that, one way or another, he has been brought more tightly under their control. THAT, much more than any individual false-flags or other deceptions or wrongs, should be cause for the rational world to fear. The psychopaths are still on the march, and Trump is at least paying lip service to their chicanery. The further out on a limb he goes, the more reluctant and then helpless he will be to backtrack as pathology becomes more extreme and events escalate under their own momentum. With markets looking more precarious than ever, how long will it be before the psychopaths commit more and bigger false flags?

JohninMK -> Lore Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:54 Permalink

Forgot to say that theses sanctions are downright embarrassing.

So we illegally attack a different country, that country's ally doesn't respond to our act of aggression, and we're now slapping sanctions on that country... for not responding to our attack? Not only sanctions but sanctions on products that both parties actually know aren't there. Unless the US is sanctioning the supply chain of swimming pool and industrial/domestic cleaning agents based on chlorine.

Brilliant just the way to get an agreement from them next time.

dirty fingernails -> JohninMK Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

They don't want any agreements except submission. Anything less is unacceptable.

veritas semper -> Lore Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:04 Permalink

Trump had 1 BILLION $ in debt to the chosen banks ; maybe this can point toward whether or not he was part of the deep state from the beginning ? But ,does it matter any longer ?

the phantom -> chumbawamba Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

Sanctions... act of war. Dropping bombs on a sovereign country (without UN approval even)... act of war. Insulting foreign leaders and creating false flags to justify your illegal actions... act of war. Don't be fooled into thinking that just b/c Russia did not respond to the US actions, that "nothing happened". War has started, this is just the beginning.

If you think otherwise, you are a fool.

r0mulus -> Whoa Dammit Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:41 Permalink

Here we go again- the ever-plotting West trying to create reality on the fly -- attempting to make the alleged chemical weapons attack into a fait accompli, painting the tape of reality with the shadow-puppets of the operation mockingbird-controlled, corporate (MIC) media!

Any good reason we shouldn't just start calling the 5(+1)-eyez media environment the Oceania State News Network (OSNN) right now?

veritas semper -> r0mulus Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:16 Permalink

America starts the war on Syria, by financing, training, paying the terrorists . America builds military bases there.

And Syria , with help from her allies , still wins the war.

America asks her remaining terrorists there to plan, execute a false flag . As a casus belli.

America attacks , the coalition is small .

Syria stuns the world with her courage and old Soviet era air defense . The aftermath for America is embarrassing .

America gives sanctions to Syria because Syria defended herself , to Russia because Russia still doesn't bow .

Iran is next .

In May we will have further escalation.

[Apr 15, 2018] Haley announced new sanctions on the base of false flag Douma operation

Apr 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anon , Apr 15, 2018 11:48:39 AM | 16

Putin: Further Western Strikes in Syria Contrary to Int'l Law Will Lead to Chaos https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804151063585034-syria-actions-violations-chaos/

Haley responds: US to Impose Sanctions on Russia Over Support of Assad - Envoy to UN https://sputniknews.com/us/201804151063584536-haley-us-troops-syria/

Best wore if Haley catch a brain stroke, that would save peace.

[Apr 15, 2018] BZ has a history. Lavrov has a strong point

Apr 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

AmsterJam | Apr 14, 2018 6:51:22 PM | 113

BZ has a history. Lavrov has a strong point

1. Psychochemical weapons:

[2009 Wikipedia cached page] https://web.archive.org/web/20120927170325/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychochemical_weapon#cite_note-11 ">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychochemical_weapon#cite_note-11">https://web.archive.org/web/20120927170325/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychochemical_weapon#cite_note-11

"The Iraqi weapon. The existence of a BZ-related compound, called Agent-15, in Iraq's arsenals was revealed in 1998 . Apparently, Iraq possessed large quantities of the agent since the 1980s. A document found by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in 1995 contained a brief reference to this agent and subsequent assessment of relevant scientific and other background material indicated the size of the stockpile. Soldiers of 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart Georgia found facilities used for the production of these weapons. The facilities had been closed for several years before the invasion as dust almost a half inch thick was noted on everything. Records books of personnel who had entered the buildings and other project related equipment looked as though everything had been stopped suddenly and it did not appear that the research had ever progressed to a state of actual production ".

And from this [2014 Wikipedia cached page]: https://web.archive.org/web/20140618215854/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychochemical_weapon ">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychochemical_weapon">https://web.archive.org/web/20140618215854/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychochemical_weapon " Britain was also investigating the possible weaponization of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and BZ (3-quinuclidinyl benzilate) as nonlethal battlefield drug-weapons Hungarian researcher Lajos Rosza wrote that records of Hungary's State Defense Council meetings from 1962 to 1978 suggest that the Warsaw Pact forum had considered a psychochemical agent such as Methylamphetamine as a possible weapon .. The United States eventually weaponized the chemical BZ for delivery in the M43 BZ cluster bomb until stocks were destroyed in 1989 ."

2. Zanders JP: CW Agent Factsheet - Agent-15: https://web.archive.org/web/20070613005906/http://www.sipri.org/contents/expcon/agent15.html ">http://www.sipri.org/contents/expcon/agent15.html">https://web.archive.org/web/20070613005906/http://www.sipri.org/contents/expcon/agent15.html ) "Little information is publicly known about Agent-15, except that it is closely related to BZ. The understanding of its physiological effects is based on studies with the latter agent. The existence of Agent-15 in Iraq's arsenals was revealed by the British Secretary of State George Robertson in a statement to the House of Commons on 9 February 1998. According to the statement, Iraq may have possessed large quantities of the agent since the 1980s. A document found by the UN Special Commission on Iraq ( UNSCOM ) in August 1995 contained a brief reference to Agent-15 and subsequent assessment of relevant scientific and other background material indicated the size of the stockpile."

3.. '3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate': https://web.archive.org/web/20090423142234/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-quinuclidinyl_benzilate ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-quinuclidinyl_benzilate">https://web.archive.org/web/20090423142234/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-quinuclidinyl_benzilate

"In February 1998, the British Ministry of Defence released an intelligence report that accused Iraq of having stockpiled large amounts of a glycolate anticholinergic incapacitating agent known as Agent 15.[citation needed] Agent 15 is an alleged Iraqi incapacitating agent that is likely to be chemically either identical to BZ or closely related to it. Agent 15 was reportedly stockpiled in large quantities prior to and during the Persian Gulf War. The combination of anticholinergic PNS and CNS effects aids in the diagnosis of patients exposed to these agents. Also in 1998, there were allegations that elements of the Yugoslav People's Army used incapacitating agents against fleeing Bosnian refugees during Srebrenica massacre in 1995 that caused hallucinations and irrational behavior. Physical evidence of BZ use in Bosnia is unsupported, however."

And from the current 2018 Wikipedia page on '3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate': "The U.S. Army tested BZ as well as other "psycho-chemical" agents on human subjects at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland from 1955 to 1975 , according to declassified documents."

'NUFF SAID !!

cj , Apr 14, 2018 7:00:45 PM | 115
Hi Paul,

the BZ was probably in the food at the restaurant (Zizzi) and they may have gotten a huge dose, it very potent. This would account for the delay -- restaurant to park bench, needs to be absorbed through the GI tract.

I don't believe the doorknob scenario-- I think you would have to have several milligrams of nerve agent in a skin permeable solvent DMSO or DMF plus gelling agent to make it stick and then it would have to be wet to transfer onto the skin and then get absorbed. First, the target might notice the handle is sticky and wash his/her hands in which case you get no effect if its done in a minute or so and the water is alkaline as it is in England. Then, assuming the gel isn't noticed the transfer would be pretty inefficient as the agent has to be absorbed from a small surface area through the keratin of the skin. If you got things just right, applied the novichok in a nice anhydrous solvent and no rain got in it and someone touched it before the solvent evaporated, then you might be able to give a lethal dose. Having said that, if you absorbed say 0.1mg or so the effects would be pretty immediate collapse in 15 mins or so. So in my opinion the doorknob scenario is rubbish-- if you could get it to work the Skripal that touched the handle would have collapsed before getting near the restaurant.

So I think that there are way too many variables that would need to be optimized to get a nice transfer. But if you managed to achieve this feat the target would be very sick in about 10 mins or so.

The way to use a nerve agent is to aerosolize it, then its easy to get 1-2mg into the lungs and onto the mucosa where it is absorbed very fast (Kim's brother), the transfer through the skin is much more difficult. So my bet is BZ in the food--a huge dose, hence the consulatant's letter saying its not an nerve agent. It's an anti-cholinergic (like atropin), not an anti-cholinesterase (nerve gas).

somebody , Apr 14, 2018 7:10:09 PM | 117
Posted by: frankthomas | Apr 14, 2018 6:36:20 PM | 104

It does matter as the politicians doing this need to get reelected.

It does not seem to have worked for Theresa May , I doubt it worked for Trump.

Paul , Apr 14, 2018 7:37:34 PM | 122
@ Paveway IV--the BZ / Novichok rundown was helpful. Thank you. Not sure that it exhausts it, but how could it...
Paul , Apr 14, 2018 8:11:01 PM | 129
@ Paveway IV -- comment 98 Paveway, I'm not sure whether you've seen Sushi's instalments in the "Curious Incident" series at the Saker, but perhaps you'd consider looking at the most recent one, instalment 8, and then examining the hypothetical narrative below.

Sushi, A superb instalment on a stellar "Curious Incident" series.

I am trying to construct a narrative that accounts for what we have plausible reason to infer, but which does not rely on any official interlocutors (except perhaps Boris Johnson, who may not be able to help himself) clearly lying.

First question--and I imagine you might cover this in your next instalment: Am I correct in thinking that BZ and any of the Novichok / Foliant series are simply not similar enough to be covered by Porton Down's public description of the substance "in question" as being: a) a Novichok b) or from that class of nerve agent c) or a closely related compound

BZ isn't a), isn't b) a nerve agent at all and c) is not closely related to any of the family of compounds that could be in any way considered a Novichok.

Inferences: 1) So, if the finding was actually BZ, when the OPCW confirms the UK's findings, the OPCW is not confirming any of the statements made along lines a), b) or c).

The OPCW, then, is not i) confirming that the substance is of a "type developed by Russia" and so it would seem are either, instead ii) confirming something the Salisbury medical personnel have been quoted as saying, or iii) confirming the findings of some other entity that can be plausibly glossed as having official ("UK") findings, or iv) are confirming UK findings not made public.

Which is to say that all along there have been at least two substances in play, and a bit of a bait and switch game, in which "it" is presumed to be specified but the descriptions are referring to another substance.

For example, the bait is Novichoks, etc. But when we think they are referring to a substance whose metabolites are found in the Skripals' biophysical samples, that substance may actually be bench-grade or lab-grade BZ. Some other sample--taken from a park bench, door knob, restaurant, cemetary headstone, or car ventilation system, may have been tested as containing highly pure (Porton Down lab-grade) A-234, for example.

Each time we think they are talking about one, they are talking about another, and we never really pause to re-examine which "it" they are referring to.

Not technically a lie, except perhaps what might initially seem like an "innocent" exaggeration--"weapons-grade" but actually this, as you note, is a big giveaway. The substance for which the OPCW is confirming the UK findings, is not weapons grade, but as they say, virtually without impurities. You are the only source I am aware of who has emphasized that weapons-grade is not, as the lay person might suppose, highly pure but is in fact marked by certain impurities from a full-scale production run and perhaps additionally to introduce changes of viscosity, etc.

Is any of this making sense, and does anything seem factually incorrect here?

Thirdeye , Apr 14, 2018 8:24:31 PM | 133
Russia announced today that the S-300 long-range air defense system would be provided to the Syrian air defenses. That would be a game-changer in terms of both detection and range. Israel is sure to be displeased because it puts Israeli and Lebanese airspace within range. S-300 radar could also be data-linked with the S-120 and S-200 systems. The increased risk to Israeli missions over Syria would be immense. IMO that counts as a "very serious consequence" of the raid. Russia had withheld that system as long as part of a bargaining strategy with FUKUS. After their display of malice and treachery, the lid on defensive aid to SYAAF has been removed.

Report from Southfront states that the cruise missiles had their targeting jammed by Russian EW, i.e. they were mostly wounded ducks by the time they reached Damascus. Syrian air defense was mostly preventing random ground strikes by off-target missiles, in addition to getting valuable training. That would explain something I observed in videos of the shootdowns, that a lot of the targets were on a high arc. That's not my understanding of how cruise missiles are supposed to be flying in the target area.

les7 , Apr 14, 2018 8:30:18 PM | 134
b

What I learned in many years of travel is that politicians in most of they world are profoundly aware of the long game. In NA (sorry Mexico) they seldom think past the next poll and never past the next round of elections. Sadly, it seems many commentators here reflect the same conclusion when they cannot see the long game that must be played to allow the empire to collapse. There will be thrashing about as the beast gets hyped with its' own version of weaponized LSD (MSM fear-mongering) and inevitably there will be casualties. No amount of showdown force will help while the beast is thrashing - it is impossible to constrain a person in the middle of a fit - and the patience to allow the episode to pass is exemplary. and necessary if we are to have a future with hope.

Putin and Xi are playing the long game, with profound grief it is Syria that bears the brunt of the thrashing. May it end quickly

Piotr Berman , Apr 14, 2018 8:45:02 PM | 136
BZ matches some known facts:

a. non-lethal but incapacitating b. hard to make a lethal overdose - safe for incapacitations, Skripals could get high dose to be incapacitated for many days, but suffer no permanent damage that was described for victims of "novichok" accidents -- like malfunction of the lab hood. c. delayed action d. very durable when spread on surfaces, water resistant -- English rain would not be a problem, and it would be detectable weeks after.

It is manifestly not an assassination weapon, but it could be considered to incapacitate terrorists or defenders in bunkers or tunnels, a ship crew etc., together with hostages, civilians etc.

PavewayIV , Apr 15, 2018 12:01:02 AM | 147
Paul@129 - Old Microbiologist and others are really the ones to ask but AFIK, a BZ molecule and FOLIANT nerve agents are entirely unrelated animals in a chemical sense. The only commonality comes when you consider them under the CWC's "certain toxic chemicals and their precursors" schedules. The OPCW considers certain incapacitating agents, including BZ, as potential chemical weapons. BZ is listed as a Schedule 2 Toxic Chemical. 'Novichoks' would be the higher risk/no non-CW use Schedule 1 list.

As far as the UK and OPCW parties playing deception by substitution or deception by omission in their public statements? I think that's exactly what Lavrov is hinting at. The UK is implying that only one chemical toxin - a nerve agent - was found and is being discussed. In hindsight, the odd use of 'military grade' might just mean 'weaponized'. In the case of BZ, the powder has to be micronized (ground up in a jet mill) to some ridiculously tiny size - like a micron - to travel deep into the lungs, but not so tiny that it is immediately exhaled. I imagine the purity can only be figured out by having enough undegraded substance to analyze. That's nearly impossible with a nerve agent with a half-life of hours. BZ has a half-life of weeks.

No idea if the two can be/were used together or separately or why they would even do that. The mere presence of both is what's interesting.

If they found both Novichok-whatever AND BZ, then the whole 'Made in Russia' claim falls apart. It doesn't mean the UK or US absolutely made it either, but sort of levels off the playing field. The fact that they are trying to keep everything about BZ secret means they were clearly being deceptive in order to blame Russia based on just the 'Novichok' part.

Now whether Lavrov's suggestion of BZ is accurate or whether the OPCW or UK will ever reveal the secret details remains to be seen.

Emily Dickinson , Apr 15, 2018 12:18:28 AM | 148
The official statement from the Russian Embassy to the UK:

https://www.rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/6486

The Russians explicitly state that the Swiss specialists found an "A-234 type" nerve agent in the samples, along with the BZ. The "A-234" is suspicious because it is a volatile substance, but was found in its "initial state (pure form and high concentration)" as well as with products of its decomposition. BZ better fits what happened to the Skripals. A-234 would not have remained in a pure state for so long -- and would have quickly killed the Skripals.

This makes the Spiez Labs statement sound even more extraordinarily coy than it did in the first place. It doesn't say that Spiez found a "Novichok"; it says Spiez trusts that Portdon Down did.

This seems to come down -- yet again -- to that word "Novichok." My reading: Spiez found, along with the BZ, an A-234-like compound, but did not want to get into a public argument about whether or not it was the precise compound developed long ago by the Soviet Union and loosely identified by some as one of the "Novichoks" (newcomers).

PavewayIV , Apr 15, 2018 12:19:41 AM | 150
The NYT's Best-Sellers lists undoubtedly includes one of my old favorites: The US Army's Medical Management of Chemical Casualties Handbook. Just the thing to curl up with before nodding off in your medically-induced coma.

Here's the 14 pages on BZ, but none of you are allowed to read it - unless you voted for Trump.

Don Bacon , Apr 15, 2018 12:25:58 AM | 151
There is no novichok. from the files.... In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, 'Novichoks' (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the 'Foliant' programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)
Don Bacon , Apr 15, 2018 12:27:07 AM | 152
...and we know that Mirzayanov was fed false information.

[Apr 14, 2018] Poison Gas Weapon Of Choice For "False News"

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Peter Koenig via The Saker, ..."
"... But when such poison gas attacks are mere false flags, or by the new term, "false news", and are used to provoke war, perhaps an all annihilating war, then humanity has turned to what it never should have become – a lowly-lowly herd of brainless zombies. ..."
"... And the saga continues. The saga to drum up war. That's the purpose of it all. Nothing else – Russia, the evil nation, led by an evil leader, must be subdued and conquered. ..."
"... a totally and unprofessionally staged event. As Russian military quickly discovered and reported. ..."
"... The western aggressors, who seek a reason to mass bomb Syria into even more rubble, causing even more death and destitution ..."
"... the US economy is based on war, is based on weapon manufacturing and international banking which finances weapon manufacturing and the exploitation of mineral resources coveted by weapon manufacturing. ..."
"... But, please, do take all your fakeness, from money, to lies, to hypocrisy and more lies and coercion and sanctions and blackmail with you – never to surface again. And give peace a chance – for those who survive your (almost) terminal assault on humanity. ..."
Apr 14, 2018 | thesaker.is

Authored by Peter Koenig via The Saker,

Poison gas is not only deadly, it often provokes a slow suffocating death. That, perpetrated on innocent children, is particularly cruel.

But when such poison gas attacks are mere false flags, or by the new term, "false news", and are used to provoke war, perhaps an all annihilating war, then humanity has turned to what it never should have become – a lowly-lowly herd of brainless zombies.

Is that what we have become – brainless, greedy, selfish beings, no sense of solidarity, no respect for other beings; I am not even talking about humans, but any living being.

Poison gas, the weapon of choice for fear.

Poisoning in Salisbury of the former Russian double-agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, visiting her dad from Moscow. Poisoning with a nerve gas, called Novichok that was allegedly made in Russia. In the meantime, we know that nerve gas made in the former Soviet Union, now non-existent in Russia, was military grade and deadly. The gas used for the alleged attack was not deadly. We also know by now that the UK – all of their highest officials, from PM May down the ladder, lied so miserably that they will have a hard time recovering. It will backfire. Unlike the foreign secretary, Johnson boy pretended their secret bio-gas / bio-weapon laboratory Porton Down, just 13 km down the road from Salisbury, where the pair was allegedly found unconscious on a park bench, assured him the gas was made in Russia. Alas, the laboratories chief chemists testified later to the media that they could not be sure that the substance was made in Russia. No, of course not.

In fact, Porton Down, working in close collaboration with the CIA, is a highly sophisticated chemical warfare facility that can easily make the gas themselves – at the grades they please, deadly or not so deadly, if it should serve a "false news" purpose – which this did.

Were father and daughter indeed poisoned? – This is a legitimate question. Who has seen them since the alleged poisoning occurred on 28 March? – They disappeared from the public eye. Apparently, they are both recovering, Yulia having been released from hospital a few days ago, but has not been seen by anyone in public, nor been able to talk to the media, lest she could say "something" the public is not allowed to know. Her father is also recovering and may be released soon – released from where? – Is this all a farce?

An aunt talked to Yulia from Moscow, where she noticed that Yulia was not free to talk. The aunt wanted to visit her niece in the UK but was obviously denied a visa.

Where are father and daughter? – Washington has "offered" them a new home and new identity in the US, to avoid further poisoning attempts how ridiculous! A blind man or woman must see that this is another farce, or more correctly, an outright abduction. The two won't have a chance to resist. They are just taken away – not to talk anymore to anyone ever. – That's the way the story goes. The lies are protected, and the "Russia did it" syndrome will prevail – prevail in the dumb folded public, in the herd of pigs that we all have become, as Goebbels would say.

And the saga continues. The saga to drum up war. That's the purpose of it all. Nothing else – Russia, the evil nation, led by an evil leader, must be subdued and conquered. But the empire needs the public for their support. And the empire is almost there. It disposes of a vicious media corporate army – that lies flagrantly about anything that money can buy. It's like spitting in the face of the world, and nobody seems to care, or worse, even to notice.

* * *

On the other side of the Mediterranean is Syria. A vast and noble country, Syria, with a leader who truly loves his people and country, a leader who has despite a foreign induced war – not civil war – a proxy war, instigated and funded by Washington and its vassal allies in Europe and the Middle East; Syria, a highly educated socialist country that has shared the benefit of her resources, free education, free medical services, free basic infrastructure, with her people. This Syria must fall. Such strength cannot be tolerated by the all-dominating west. Like Iraq and Libya, also socialist countries once-upon-a-time, and like Syria, secular Muslim nations, sharing their countries wealth with the people, such countries must fall.

According to Pentagon planners and those Zion-neofascist thinktanks that designed the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), as the chief instrument of US foreign policy, we know since Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied commander and Chief of NATO in Europe (1997-2000) talked to Democracy Now in 2007, saying that within 5 years seven countries must fall, one of them is Syria.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/r8FhZnFZ6TY

Since 2011, the Syrian people have been bombarded by US and NATO and Saudi funded terrorists, causing tens of thousands of deaths, and millions of refugees. Now, even more blatantly, US bases are vying to occupying the northern third of Syria, totally illegally, but nobody says beep. Not even the UN.

The recent fake gas attack on Douma outside of Damascus, has allegedly killed 80 to 120 people, mostly women and children.

Of course, that sells best in the propaganda theatre – women and children. Strangely, like last time the infamous White Helmets discovered the gas victims, including a gas canister-like bomb laying on a bed, having been shot through the roof of a house a totally and unprofessionally staged event. As Russian military quickly discovered and reported. They called on an independent investigation, one that could not be bought and corrupted by Washington. President Assad invited a team of investigators to inspect the scene.

Instead of heeding this invitation, Trump, the bully, calls Mr. Assad an "animal" and a "monster", twittering his brainless aggressions throughout the world. Tell you what, Mr. Trump, Bashar al-Assad is a far better human being than you are a monster. You and your dark handlers don't even deserve being called human. Mr. Assad has regard and respect for his people, attempts to protect them and has so far succeeded with the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, recovering the last bits of Syrian territory from the terrorist, except of course, the northern part, where the chief terrorist and the world's only rogue state has itself installed, the US of A. – Why in the world would Mr. Assad choose to gas his own people? Especially, when he is winning the war? – People, ask yourself, cui bono (who benefits?) and the answer is simple: The western aggressors, who seek a reason to mass bomb Syria into even more rubble, causing even more death and destitution . That's who.

While you, Donald, and those monsters that direct you from behind the scenes, have no, but absolutely no respect for your people, for any people on this globe, for that matter, not even for your kind, for your greed-no-end kind of elite, as you bring the world to the brink of an all-destructive, all killing annihilating war.

Since the other fake event, 9/11, we are, of course, already in a "soft version" of WWIII, but that's not enough, the United States needs a hard war, so badly it doesn't shy away from destroying itself. That's how blinded your own propaganda has made you Americans, you generals, you corporate "leaders" (sic-sic) – and all you Congress puppets. That is the sheer truth. You better read this and wake up. Otherwise your dead sentence is hastened by your own greed and ignorance.

Both Russia and the US drafted a Security Council Resolution – which of course are both not approved, with Nikki Haley lambasting Russia, accusing them of being responsible for the countless deaths in Syria – pointing again to the children and women, making up the majority. Again, it sells best in the world of psychological propaganda, while evil Nikki Haley knows very well who has caused all these deaths by the millions, destitution and refugees by the millions, tens of millions throughout the Middle East and the world – her own country, directly or through NATO, the European puppets allies and proxy wars, paid and funded by Washington and by elbow-twisting her vassals.

On 9 April – UNSC – while Nikki Haley, repeats and over-repeats her lies and fake accusations, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Vassily Nebenzia, listens. And then in a twenty-minute statement of sheer intelligence, he dismantles all the lies, and lays bare the truth, about all the fakeness being played out internationally. The depth with which he addresses the assembly is concise and so brilliant, none of his UK, French and German counterparts could have ever come close to a statement of this magnitude and excellence. Even Ms. Haley can't help glancing over ever-so often to Vassily Nebenzia, as he speaks . Her eyes reveal some kind of hidden admiration for what he says. – After all, she can't be as dumb as she is paid for to look and sound.

By now anybody who dares not just reading and listening to the mainstream presstitute "fake news", but has the courage to dig into the truth news, RT, TeleSur, CGTN, PressTV – and a few others, or websites like Global Research, The Saker Blog, ICH, NEO, Greanville Post CounterCurrent, Dissident Voice and many other trustworthy sources – knows about the lies and the only, but the very only purpose these false flags cum false news serve: Provoking a war with Russia, subjugating and dividing Syria, and the Middle East and becoming the hegemonic masters of the universe.

For the simple reason, and hardly anybody talks or writes about it – the US economy is based on war, is based on weapon manufacturing and international banking which finances weapon manufacturing and the exploitation of mineral resources coveted by weapon manufacturing.

The entire war industry with all its associated civil services and industries, of banking, electronics, aviation, mining . makes up more than half of the US GDP – but of course, it's never broken down that way. The chosen people will control the world. Well, they do already – financially at least the western part of our globe. But it's not enough. They will not stop, before they burry themselves in their own-dug graves, or rather in one massive mass-grave. But, please, do take all your fakeness, from money, to lies, to hypocrisy and more lies and coercion and sanctions and blackmail with you – never to surface again. And give peace a chance – for those who survive your (almost) terminal assault on humanity.

[Apr 14, 2018] It might be that elder Skripal was being surveilled by FSB cause working with MI6 and Ukrainian regime. So Russian might have information both about hism and MI5/MI6 actions

Apr 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 13, 2018 5:20:47 PM | 17

Thorvid @9--

Yes, shouting match must end.

Can't recall where I read this info, but elder Skripal was being surveilled by FSB cause working with MI6 and Ukrainian regime. So, he was being watched, but just how closely? Perhaps to the point where Russia knows UK's lying. In other words, Mr. Skripal remains in employ of MI6.

Laguerre , Apr 13, 2018 5:39:27 PM | 24
Will Russia be able to prove its claim of British involvement? If so could it free Yulia Scripal?
No way that Yulia Skripal is going to be released. Too dangerous. Absolutely everyone who was directly involved has been taken off-line, and not allowed to speak. The doctor who wrote the letter to the Times, the personnel of the hospital who treated the victims, the cop, and the Skripals themselves. No public word from any. It's a big effort by the authorities, which shows how sensitive they are.
Thorvid , Apr 13, 2018 5:53:45 PM | 29
karlof1 @17--

That would make scene and tie in with a couple of things i read/saw in the early days, sadly also can't recall where. That Mr Skripal was meeting regularly with MI6/5 handlers and was giving lectures to the military, which of course may explain why he is living in British military heartland.

[Apr 13, 2018] No, the FBI's Michael Cohen Raid Did Not Violate Attorney-Client Privilege by Bruce Fein

Notable quotes:
"... Cohen acknowledged that he paid porn star "Stormy Daniels" $130,000 two weeks before the 2016 election in exchange for her staying silent about her 2006 affair with Trump. No one pays for silence unless there is something to hide. The payment was made 10 years after the alleged dalliance. ..."
"... The obvious purpose was to influence the outcome of the election by concealing damaging information about Mr. Trump's character. That made Mr. Cohen's payment an undisclosed campaign "contribution" to Mr. Trump vastly exceeding the individual statutory limit of $2,700. ..."
"... Maybe you should have picked an example where the defendant wasn't acquitted. It's easy to see how an expansive definition of the term "campaign contribution" could be dangerous. ..."
Apr 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

So what of these charges against Cohen and could they really hurt the president?

Federal election laws define a campaign contribution as "anything of value given to influence a Federal election." It is common knowledge that Mr. Cohen acknowledged that he paid porn star "Stormy Daniels" $130,000 two weeks before the 2016 election in exchange for her staying silent about her 2006 affair with Trump. No one pays for silence unless there is something to hide. The payment was made 10 years after the alleged dalliance.

The obvious purpose was to influence the outcome of the election by concealing damaging information about Mr. Trump's character. That made Mr. Cohen's payment an undisclosed campaign "contribution" to Mr. Trump vastly exceeding the individual statutory limit of $2,700.

Similarly, Democrat John Edwards was prosecuted (later acquitted) for soliciting and spending nearly $1 million in his 2008 presidential campaign to conceal his affair with Rielle Hunter, so this is not a crime normally brushed under the rug. The public record also establishes probable cause to believe Cohen was behind the payment of $150,000 to Playboy Bunny Karen McDougall to kill her story about a protracted extramarital relationship with Mr. Trump that could have torpedoed his presidential ambitions. The question remains, of course, how much this will implicate and hurt Trump, who has denied the affair with Daniels and any other "wrongdoing." Cohen said he paid Daniels out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by Trump or the campaign.

JK April 13, 2018 at 1:52 pm

John Edwards was acquited on one charge and a mistrial on five others w/o retrial. So there was no conviction there, these actions are not business as usual, and the DOJ lesson from that case should have been to cease such abusive prosecutorial misconduct, not to repeat it. These examples show why campaign finance restrictions are an unconstitutional burden on freedom of association. Trump is a rich man, so could afford to pay the hush money if he believed it necessary without it being a crime. As it appears, Cohen believed it important to pay w/o asking Trump, thinking he's helping a friend. Now what of Edwards? Maybe Edwards couldn't afford to pay hush money, so he needed and solicited help from friends. By making it a crime for friends to help him, the law favors rich candidates like Trump that can afford to do things others can't without breaking the law.

There is zero chance of a jury conviction here, so DOJ shouldn't have pursued it given the incendiary effect of conducting raids on someone's attorney. Furthermore, there's zero chance of Muller getting jury convictions on the pile of horse manure prosecutions he's pursuing. The only convictions Muller is getting is from people buckling under the fiduciary extortion inherent in his tactics and copping a plea even though a jury would never convict them.

curri , says: April 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm
So who do we believe, Dershowitz or Fein?

Similarly, Democrat John Edwards was prosecuted for soliciting and spending nearly $1 million in his 2008 presidential campaign to conceal his affair with Rielle Hunter, so this is not a crime normally brushed under the rug.

Maybe you should have picked an example where the defendant wasn't acquitted. It's easy to see how an expansive definition of the term "campaign contribution" could be dangerous.

[Apr 13, 2018] OPCW Confirms Salisbury Poisoning, Can't Say Where Poison Came From by Jason Ditz

Apr 12, 2018 | news.antiwar.com

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed that the Skirpals were poisoned with a specific "toxic chemical," as alleged by the British government. Both public statement and classified version, however, decline to offer any specific theories on the origin of the poison.

That's a problem for Britain, which has been blaming the Russian government for the poisoning since long before testing began. They identified the poison as Novichuk, and concluded it was Russia's fault, despite there being other nations with access to the chemical.

British officials were quick to claim the OPCW report as vindication, since the classified version reportedly contained the chemical formula for the poison. Yet without any evidence on where it came from, they're really no better off than before.

The Skirpal poisonings were used by the British government to take major diplomatic measures against Russia. Russia has denied anything to do with the incident, and offered to help investigate. Britain has spurned that offer and continued to blame them.

[Apr 11, 2018] History repeats itself. An investigation motivated by some alleged abuse deploys drift nets, finds nothing so it changes the focus to the sexual history of the target.

Apr 11, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman | Apr 11, 2018 10:28:34 AM | 76

Re: the fate of Trump.

History repeats itself. An investigation motivated by some alleged abuse deploys drift nets, finds nothing so it changes the focus to the sexual history of the target. Hush money for consensual sex is legal as far as I know -- I do not know the law, but it became known and studiously ignored by the special prosecutor. So he tries to discover any possible past deal that is somehow illegal, and recorded as illegal? A bit of a fat chance.

[Apr 11, 2018] The Skriptal caper looks like kindergarten stuff compared to that 1965 genocide.

Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

denk , April 11, 2018 at 3:35 am GMT

Regarding fukus shenanigans,
How could we omit the CIA/MI6 'greatest hit ', the 1965 genocide of 3M Indonesians 'leftists suspects' ,
The mother of all regime changes ???

The Skriptal caper looks like kindergarten stuff compared to that 1965 genocide.

fukus orchestrated that bloodbath to remove prez Sukarno cuZ he's pro Beijing.
MI6 planted disinfo in HK media about an imminent China sponsored coup , supported by ethnic Chinese fifth columns.
CIA planted 'evidence' of Chinese supplied arms , to be conveniently 'discovered' by Indon police
. [1]
That devious plot provoked a bloodbath by jihadists death squads against the PKI communists members and ethnic Chinese indons.

CIA whistle blower, John Mcgehee,

The Indonesian covert action of 1965, reported by Ralph McGehee, who was in that area division, and had documents on his desk, in his custody about that operation. He said that one of the documents concluded that this was a model operation that should be copied elsewhere in the world. Not only did it eliminate the effective communist party (Indonesian communist party), it also eliminated the entire segment of the population that tended to support the communist party – the ethnic Chinese, Indonesian Chinese. And the CIA's report put the number of dead at 800,000 killed. And that was one covert action. We're talking about 1 to 3 million people killed in these things.

[2]

[1]
U.S. officials were particularly interested in linking the September 30th plotters to Beijing. They helped to spread stories about China's alleged involvement and reported on caches of weapons purportedly "discovered" by the Indonesian army with the hammer and sickle conveniently stamped on them. "

We have bonanza chance to nail chicoms on disastrous events in Indonesia ," Green wrote the State Department. He urged a "continuation [of] covert propaganda" as one of the "best means of spreading [the] idea of chicom complicity

https://monthlyreview.org/2015/12/01/the-united-states-and-the-19651966-mass-murders-in-indonesia/

[2]

http://www.whale.to/b/stockwell1.html

'Company ' veterans are so proud of that CIA'S greatest hit,
they still reminiscent fondly over it around the water cooler, until this very day.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

[Apr 11, 2018] This unscrupulous false flag op, crying foul and smearing the innocent for the crime they committed relentlessly is a special signature of the British/Anglo culture and trait.

Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Joe Wong , April 11, 2018 at 12:37 am GMT

@Anonymous

Your decrying confirms that the British has done something wrong and they did poison Skripals in Salisbury England. This unscrupulous false flag op, crying foul and smearing the innocent for the crime they committed relentlessly is a special signature of the British/Anglo culture and trait. The following history provides the evidence the above is not allegation but fact.

Nov 24, 1784, a British gunner on the ship "Lady Hughes" fired cannon against Chinese law and killed two Chinese in Guangzhou. The British refused to hand over the gunner to the Chinese authority for trail and called up few hundred armed sailors to stop the Chinese authority from searching the perpetrator in the British warehouses and living compound.

Anyhow the British was outwitted and the perpetrator was tried by the Chinese, convicted and executed in according to the Chinese law; during that time the British law also gave death penalty for the same crime.

The British had been trampling other people's sovereignty and law like India with impunity for a couple of hundreds of years already by then. Never a British was tried and punished for the crimes, murder or not, they committed since they supplanted the Spanish. British viewed themselves above all human beings and not bound by any other people's law. The execution of the gunner made the British Council of Supercargos feel humiliated and devastated as well as being impotent and incompetent in the eyes of their superiors in London and their peers (other Europeans) in Guangzhou.

In order to cover their crimes and failures, the megalomaniac British decried Chinese legal system was barbaric and sanguinary relentlessly like Anonymous[338] is doing here to Russia. All the Europeans jumped on the British mudslinging bandwagon for the effort to gain extraterritoriality in China, so they could steal, loot, plunder, etc. Chinese wealth with impunity like Elizabeth I's Sea Dogs. Soon after the "Lady Hughes" incident the view that entire Chinese legal system was barbaric and sanguinary or there is no law in China become the dominant representation of China ever since.

The British then engineered Opium Wars for the vengeance of their "Lady Hughes" humiliation, and set to destroy the last nation denying their piracy and other unscrupulous deeds on the moral high ground. If history can be any guidance, the Anglo is not going to stop at smearing Russia; more vicious plot is going to come.

[Apr 11, 2018] The toxin involved in classic shellfish poisoning is a naturally occurring neurotoxin, Saxitoxin, which agent remains toxic even after boiling or steaming, exactly the food preparation techniques likely to be employed in preparing shellfish for consumption. This is, indeed, what makes it so pernicious.

Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

JerseyJeffersonian , April 11, 2018 at 12:00 am GMT

@Simon in London

Bernhard over at his blog, Moon of Alabama, is advocating for the poisoning being real, but being traceable to shellfish poisoning. The Skripals had a shellfish dish at a local restaurant about 40 minutes prior to their discovery on the park bench. While very serious, and potentially fatal, if addressed with respiratory and cardiac support in a timely fashion, this poisoning is survivable.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/the-best-explanation-for-the-skripal-drama-is-food-poisoning.html

The toxin involved in classic shellfish poisoning is a naturally occurring neurotoxin, Saxitoxin, which agent remains toxic even after boiling or steaming, exactly the food preparation techniques likely to be employed in preparing shellfish for consumption. This is, indeed, what makes it so pernicious.

That the Brits, primed for lies in aid of the Hate On The Rooskies campaign, lit on their story is unsurprising. Of course, the denial of the authorities at the hospital that anyone , the Skripals and the supposedly affected policeman, was suffering from exposure to a chemical weapon, along with the refusal of Porton Down officials to lend credence to the hoo haw that this was surely traceable to Novichok series chemical agents identifiably produced by the Russians kind of shot some holes in the big lies.

Anyway, cast an eye at the post at Moon of Alabama. Bernhard is pretty damn good at winnowing facts from the chaff of propaganda, and when he makes a mistake, he openly confesses it instead of doubling down on a falsehood.

[Apr 11, 2018] Liars Lying About Nearly Everything by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing have been rejected by the British government in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within 100 yards. ..."
"... It does look rather like those Syrian chemical weapon attacks that happen whenever the rebels are about to be defeated. ..."
"... Actually, I think that in the end Russia has to thank the British for sending a great message to her traitors and gangsters. ..."
Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Moving along to the present, we have Prime Minister Theresa May. May has been in serious trouble, politically speaking. After losses suffered in the recent parliamentary elections, she is clinging to power and is increasingly unpopular even within her own Conservative Party. So what do you do when you are in trouble at home? You create a foreign crisis that you have to deal with. If you are someone as venal as former American President and bottom feeder Bill Clinton you accomplish that end by firing off a few cruise missiles at a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan and at some mud huts in Afghanistan. If you are Theresa May, you up the ante considerably, coming up with a powerful enemy who is threatening you, enabling you to appear both resolute and strong in confronting a formidable foe. That is precisely what we have been seeing over the past month relating to the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

There is quite a bit that is odd about the Skripal case. Even the increasingly neoconnish Guardian newspaper has conceded that "the British case [against Russia] has so far relied more heavily in public on circumstantial evidence and secret intelligence." And secret intelligence, so called, has all too often been the last refuge of a scoundrel whenever a government is selling snake oil to the public. In this case, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson rushed to judgement on Russia less than forty-eight hours after the Skripals were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury England, too soon for any chemical analysis of the alleged poisoning to have taken place.

Theresa May addressed Parliament shortly thereafter to blame the Kremlin and demand a Russian official response to the event in 36 hours, even though she had to prevaricate significantly, saying that the apparent poisoning was "very likely" caused by a made-in-Russia nerve agent referred to by its generic name Novichok. She nevertheless rallied the backbenchers in Parliament, who responded with a lot of hearty "Hear! Hear!" endorsements. When Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn attempted to slow the express train down by suggesting that it might be wise to wait in see what the police investigation uncovered, he was hooted down. The British media was soon on board with a vengeance, spreading the government line that such a highly sensitive operation would require the approval of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin himself. The expulsion of Russian diplomats soon followed.

One of the strangest aspects of the Skripal case is what is going on now that daughter Yulia will soon be out of the hospital and Sergei is no longer in critical condition. A cousin Viktoria Skripal has offered to fly in from Moscow to provide support for her family, but it is believed that she will not be able to receive a visa from the British. Russian television aired a recording of a phone call between the two cousins in which Yulia said that she was disoriented but improving and that neither she nor her father had suffered permanent damage from the poisoning. The call ended abruptly and Viktoria Skripal believes that it was scripted by the British government on a controlled phone line.

Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing have been rejected by the British government in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within 100 yards. As the latest British account of the location of the alleged poison places it on the door handle of the Scripals' residence, the timetable element is also unconvincing. That means that the two would have spent three hours, including a stop at a pub and lunch, before succumbing on a park bench. Military grade nerve agents kill instantly.

A request to have the testing done by the politically neutral Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is in progress, but there is little enthusiasm from the British side, which does not want a Russian observer to participate in the process. The May government has already established its own narrative and certainly would have plenty to hide if the whole affair turns out to be fabricated. And fabricated it might have been as the nerve agent, if it actually exists, could have been manufactured almost anywhere.

The head of Britain's own chemical weapons facility Porton Down has contradicted claims made by May, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, and British Ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow. The lab's Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead has testified that he does not know if the nerve agent was actually produced in Russia, a not surprising observation as the chemical formula was revealed to the public in a scientific paper in 1992 and there are an estimated twenty countries capable of producing it. There are also possible stocks of Novichok remaining in independent countries that once were part of the Soviet Union, to include Russia's enemy du jour Ukraine, while a false flag operation by the British themselves, the CIA or Mossad, is not unthinkable.

The resort to official Orwellian govspeak by the British is remarkable throughout the process, but is particularly painful reading regarding the treatment of the Skripals' pets, two guinea pigs and a cat. A spokesman for the Department of the Environment reported that "The property in Wiltshire was sealed as part of the police investigation. When a vet was able to access the property, two guinea pigs had sadly died. A cat was also found in a distressed state and a decision was taken by a veterinary surgeon to euthanize the animal to alleviate its suffering. This decision was taken in the best interests of the animal and its welfare."

So the presence of squadrons of technicians and cops in the residence did not permit anyone to take a minute to feed the cat and guinea pigs. And the cat was killed as a purely humanitarian gesture – it's "best interest" was apparently to die. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Finally, the best argument against the British government's evasions about what took place in Salisbury on March 4 th remains the question of motive. So the British would have one believe that Vladimir Putin personally ordered the killing of a former British double agent who had been released from a Kremlin prison in a spy swap and who was no longer capable of doing any damage to Russia. He did that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World Cup in the summer, an event that he would want to go smoothly. So he deliberately shot himself in the foot on both counts, allegedly because he wanted to send a message to traitors and also because just can't help himself since he is a vindictive KGB type whose impulses are pure evil. Does that make sense to the reader? It doesn't to me.
Mulegino1 , April 10, 2018 at 4:49 am GMT

A great man once wrote that the "big lie" had a force of credulity among the broad masses, as the latter were wont to engage in lying about minor quotidian matters of little or no significance while the big lies were engaged in by the mainstream press, dominated by the usual tribal suspects...
Reactionary Utopian , April 10, 2018 at 4:57 am GMT

Does that make sense to the reader?

No, it doesn't.

But here's something else I don't quite understand:

To be sure, President Donald Trump has been exceptional in that he has followed through on some of the promises he made in his campaign, insisting periodically that he has to do what he said he would do. Unfortunately, those choices he has made to demonstrate his accountability to his supporters have been terrible, including moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, threatening to end the Iran nuclear agreement and building a wall along the Mexican border.

Now, Trump is a sense-free random number generator, I will fully agree. But you list three "choices he has made" that you describe as "terrible:" the US embassy move to Jerusalem, the threats against Iran, and "building a wall along the Mexican border." The first two Trump has done, and I agree that "terrible" is the right word to describe them. The third thing -- the border wall -- he hasn't done. And had he done so, it wouldn't have been "terrible" it would have been the obvious and sensible thing to do. I think he clearly isn't serious about building the wall, as far as one can discern the intentions of so random an individual. But your list presents three items in parallel, with one item being quite unlike the others.

Z-man , April 10, 2018 at 5:05 am GMT
Logic escapes the rabid Neocons, anti Christian Russia crowd and their paid henchmen, or henchgirls , the likes of Linda Graham. (Grin) Unfortunatley the now feckless Trump is going to go along with this British yarn and the Neocon wish of destroying Syria.

BTW as of this post your site has still not recovered from the cyber attack it had today.

Corvinus , April 10, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
"So the British would have one believe that Vladimir Putin personally ordered the killing of a former British double agent who had been released from a Kremlin prison in a spy swap and who was no longer capable of doing any damage to Russia. He did that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World Cup in the summer, an event that he would want to go smoothly. So he deliberately shot himself in the foot on both counts, allegedly because he wanted to send a message to traitors and also because just can't help himself since he is a vindictive KGB type whose impulses are pure evil. Does that make sense to the reader?"

Absolutely. Under the Putin regime, the body count of his enemies has grown. He put the "de Thirty-four Russian journalists in the last decade just somehow "died". Occam's Razor applies here.

Consider also that Putin played a major role in the Russian "Deep State".

windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/04/russia-has-deep-state-too-and-putin-has.html

Jon Baptist , April 10, 2018 at 5:27 am GMT
It makes complete sense if one simply looks at the British Establishment's prior behavior of intentionally starting world wars at the order of the Society of the Elect. It's all in the CFR's archives. Their guilt in starting WW1 is emphatically admitted and documented in roughly the first 200 pages of the following book. http://www.carrollquigley.net/pdf/Tragedy_and_Hope.pdf
Who is in the Society of the Elect? Read the back pages of http://www.carrollquigley.net/pdf/The_Anglo-American_Establishment.pdf
Anonymous [280] Disclaimer , April 10, 2018 at 5:33 am GMT
It's surreal to watch such staggering levels of dishonest incompetence among our globalist "elites".

This is worrying. Nobody is that stupid so it's more like they don't care about credibility going forward. Like it won't matter.

Kiza , April 10, 2018 at 5:40 am GMT
We have moved way beyond the Skripals case now. Simply put, if US shoots in Syria, Russia will shoot back this time, yes back at US. USS Donald Duck has been placed as a bait to be sent to the bottom of Mediterrenain sea by the Russians, similar to Arizona et al at Pearl Harbour.

Many dissenter websites are currently under attack by the cyber forces of the Western regimes and Israel, one of them being this one. Another site under attack is my favorite johnhelmer.com. In addition to saying that he is under attack, the current message from John is:
WHEN THE RULE OF LAW WAS DESTROYED IN SALISBURY, LONDON AND THE HAGUE, AND THE RULE OF FRAUD DECLARED IN WASHINGTON, THAT LEAVES ONLY THE RULE OF FORCE IN THE WORLD. THE STAVKA MET IN MOSCOW ON GOOD FRIDAY AND IS READY. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY "THE GRAVEST CONSEQUENCES". THIS MEANS ONE AMERICAN SHOT AT A RUSSIAN SOLDIER, THEN WE ARE AT WAR. NOT INFOWAR, NOT CYBERWAR, NOT ECONOMIC WAR, NOT PROXY WAR. WORLD WAR.

The West is utterly bankrupt, morally as well as financially and we are experiencing the Western remedial plan and actions – war!

annamaria , April 10, 2018 at 5:52 am GMT
"In 2016 an official British government inquiry determined that Bush and Blair had indeed together rushed to war. The Global Establishment has nevertheless rewarded Tony Blair for his loyalty with Clintonesque generosity. He has enjoyed a number of well-paid sinecures and is now worth in excess of $100 million."
– The character of Blair and the Establishment is well established: Blair is a major war criminal supported by the major war profiteers. His children and grandchildren are a progeny of a horrible criminal.
What is truly amazing is the complacency of the Roman Catholic Church that still has not excommunicated and anathematized the mass murderer. Blair should be haunted and hunted for his crimes against humanity.
With age, Blair's face has become expressively evil. His wife Theresa Cara "Cherie" Blair shows the same acute ugliness coming from her rotten soul of a war profiteer.
Blanco Watts , April 10, 2018 at 6:34 am GMT
The UK is governed by the same Neo-liberal psychotic cabal that runs the US, Israel and France.
quasi_verbatim , April 10, 2018 at 7:01 am GMT
The Skripals are to be disappeared. Their home, the pub and the restaurant are to be demolished. This is a Tarantino cleanup. Move on.
JR , April 10, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
Keep in mind how long ago all this is: Skripal was recruited around 1990 and arrested in 2004. Guess that the Russian attitude towards Skripal took the chaos of the 90′s as mitigating circumstances into account.

Skripal served his sentence of only 13 years till 2010 when he was pardoned and given the option to leave. Russia did not revoke Skripal's citizenship. The UK issued Skripal a passport too. On arrival in the UK Skripak was extensively debriefed by UK intelligence services. Skripal has lived for 8 years in the UK now.

And now out of the blue this incident nicely dovetailing with May ratcheted up anti Russia language only a few months before this false flag incident and the rapidly failing traction of the Steele/Orbis/MI6 instigated Russia collusion story on the basis of that fake Trump Dossier. By the way Orbis affiliated Steele and Miller have been among Skripal's handlers.

Realist , April 10, 2018 at 7:50 am GMT
Why anybody would believe anything Western governments say is beyond me.