One Year On – The Truth About The Manchester Bombing Scorpion

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The Saker

May 22, 2018

 

by Nick for The Saker Blog

“Terrorism is like a scorpion; it can unexpectedly sting you at any time”. Among the Western nations to discover the bitter truth of Bashar al Assad’s 2013 warning was Britain, when a Libyan suicide bomber killed 22 people attending a pop concert in Manchester. But while the UK media covered the May 22nd first anniversary of the massacre, not a single mainstream outlet so much as hinted at the fact that the attack was intimately linked to the attempt by the Cameron regime to use Jihadi terror as a weapon of foreign policy.

The truth emerged during the trial last December of Mohammed Abdullah, a Libyan national living in Manchester who was jailed for ten years for belonging to ISIS/Daesh.

Press coverage of the trial confirmed that Abdullah and his friends joined the terror group after fighting in Libya in 2011. But the same mainstream media carefully avoided the fact that the Manchester terror cell to which Abdullah, and his close friend Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, belonged was formed as a direct result of the British government and security services trying to use radical Muslims as weapons to achieve ‘regime change’ in Libya.

The Daily Mail was among the media outlets that reported on the conviction of Mohammed Abdallah:

“Footage has emerged of the jihadi linked to the Manchester Arena bomber fighting with militants in Libya before he tried to become an ISIS sniper.

“Mohammed Abdallah and his brother Abdalraouf were at the centre of a Manchester-based terror network which included Salman Abedi, who killed 22 at the Ariana Grande concert earlier this year.

“As unemployed former drug dealer Abdallah was jailed for 10 years today, footage showed him and his brother during a spell they spent in Libya fighting along militants in the country’s civil war.

“The brothers, who grew up in Manchester had dual Libyan nationality, joined the ‘Tripoli Brigade’ when the North African country fell apart in 2011.”

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Hold it right there! Because the Tripoli Brigade was not some random bunch of Jihadi crazies. It was a part of the so-called National Liberation Army, the umbrella force organised to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. The NLA was the ground-force backed by none other than David Cameron, who turned the RAF into the air arm of the Islamist rebellion.

It was founded, organised and led by Mahdi al-Harati, a Libyan-Irish citizen. It was armed by the CIA, through the American puppet regime in Qatar. The brigade included officers who had lived most of their lives in English speaking countries including Ireland, Canada, UK and the US.

An article in Ireland’s Sunday World drew attention to relations between Mahdi al-Harati and an unnamed US intelligence agency.

According to the article on November 6, 2011, €200,000 in cash was stolen from al-Harati’s Dublin house a month previously.

The Sunday World reported that a criminal gang working the area found two envelopes stuffed with €500 notes during a raid on the al-Harati’s family home, October 6.

The article, apparently relying on police sources, stated that al-Harati, who has been a Dublin resident employed as an Arabic teacher for 20 years, claimed, when contacted by police, that the stolen cash was “given to him by an American intelligence agency.”

Image result for mahdi al harati cia

The article continued, “Astonished officers made contact with Mahdi al-Harati who told them that he had travelled to France, the United States and Qatar the previous month and that representatives of an American intelligence agency had given him a significant amount of money to help in the efforts to defeat Gaddafi. He said he left two envelopes with his wife in case he was killed and took the rest of the cash with him when he went back to Libya.”

When Abdallah’s brother was shot and paralysed from the waist down, he was flown back to Britain to get NHS treatment. But the UK’s aid for the rebels went far beyond the ‘health tourism’ we’ve all come to expect in Soft Touch Britain.

Middle Eastern Eye blew the whistle on what really happened on 25th May 2017, in a major investigation entitled ‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK government sent British-Libyans to fight Gadaffi. This included the following revelations:

“One British citizen with a Libyan background who was placed on a control order – effectively house arrest – because of fears that he would join militant groups in Iraq said he was “shocked” that he was able to travel to Libya in 2011 shortly after his control order was lifted.

“‘I was allowed to go, no questions asked,’ said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

“He said he had met several other British-Libyans in London who also had control orders lifted in 2011 as the war against Gaddafi intensified, with the UK, France and the US carrying out air strikes and deploying special forces soldiers in support of the rebels.

“‘They didn’t have passports, they were looking for fakes or a way to smuggle themselves across,’ said the source.

“But within days of their control orders being lifted, British authorities returned their passports, he said.

“‘These were old school LIFG guys, they [the British authorities] knew what they were doing,’ he said, referring to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an anti-Gaddafi Islamist militant group formed in 1990 by Libyan veterans of the fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

“Belal Younis, another British citizen who went to Libya, described how he was stopped under ‘Schedule 7’ counter-terrorism powers on his return to the UK after a visit to the country in early 2011. Schedule 7 allows police and immigration officials to detain and question any person passing through border controls at ports and airports to determine whether they are involved in terrorism.He said he was subsequently asked by an intelligence officer from MI5, the UK’s domestic security agency: “Are you willing to go into battle?

“‘While I took time to find an answer he turned and told me the British government have no problem with people fighting against Gaddafi,’ he told MEE.

As he was travelling back to Libya in May 2011 he was approached by two counter-terrorism police officers in the departure lounge who told him that if he was going to fight he would be committing a crime.

But after providing them with the name and phone number of the MI5 officer he had spoken to previously, and following a quick phone call to him, he was waved through.

“As he waited to board the plane, he said the same MI5 officer called him to tell him that he had ‘sorted it out’.”

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The victims of David Cameron’s scorpion nest in Manchester

The Manchester Bomber’s own father first came to Britain with the help of the security services as a leading member of the LIFG. And the December 2017 trial confirmed that his close friend Mohammed Abdallah was a fighter with the Tripoli Brigade – David Cameron’s allies and “boots on the ground” in the war on Libya.

So we see that the terrorist cell which murdered 22 innocent people in Manchester were not a group who slipped in and out of Britain to wage terrorist war without anyone noticing. Rather, they were part of a terror gang deliberately encouraged and aided and abetted by the British political elite and intelligence services.

They were yet another example of the way in which Britain and key allies, including the USA, Israel and France, have continually treated Wahhabi-inspired terrorists as pet scorpions which they can drop down other people’s shirts in the hope that they will do their dirty work for them.

The Manchester bombing was a terrible and classic example of the accuracy of President Assad’s warning against this wickedly cynical policy. One year on, with defeated Daesh fighters using every possible route to try to escape final annihilation by the Syrian Army by slipping into Western Europe, the resulting danger is now worse than ever.

The West no longer even knows where its scorpions are. Its short-sighted political and media elites need to check their own boots!

 

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TAKE TWO MINUTES TO LISTEN TO ROGER WATERS ON THE WHITE HELMETS AND DOUMA CW HOAX

In Gaza

Salisbury hospital becomes secret rendition center for Yulia #Skripal

Source

By John Helmer, Moscow

Salisbury Hospital’s chief administrator and chief doctor refuse to say they are holding consent forms signed by Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal. Without those forms, and proof the hospital has obtained them from the Skripals since they regained consciousness last week, the hospital is making claims about their privacy which are improper, according to the practice rules of the British National Health Service, and unlawful violations of their human rights, according to British and European law.

Late on April 4, Cara Charles-Barks, the Salisbury Hospital chief executive, said by email: “Due to patient confidentiality, the [Salisbury Hospital] Trust is not able to enter into further correspondence about the clinical care of patients.” This was her reply to the request that she confirm her hospital’s standard practice for communication between patients and their next of kin; and the particular next-of-kin arrangements which the Skripals have agreed with Salisbury Hospital.  For details of that story, read this.


Left – Cara Charles-Barks; right – Dr Christine Blanshard.

On Friday afternoon, April 6, following Yulia Skripal’s telephone call to her cousin in Moscow, Victoria Skripal, the Salisbury Hospital’s medical director and chief doctor, Christine Blanshard,  issued a new claim about the medical care and condition of the Skripals. Click to open.

Blanshard reported that both Skripals remained under her supervision in the hospital. As of Friday afternoon, they had not left for the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, as the Rupert Murdoch media began reporting on Saturday evening.

That report  cited “a senior Whitehall figure” for the claim that “intelligence officials at MI6 have had discussions with their counterparts in the CIA about resettling the victims of the Salisbury poisoning. ‘They will be offered new identities’…. ‘There’s a preference for them to be resettled in a five-eyes nation [US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand] because their case would have huge security implications’.”

This claim has not been repeated by British state radio or any other publication. Reuters said it had tried to verify the claim, but “Britain’s Foreign Office had no immediate comment on the report.”

The hospital director corroborated Yulia Skripal’s remark in her telephone conversation with Victoria Skripal that her father was “recovering…He’s resting now, having a sleep. Everyone’s health is fine.” Blanshard also confirmed that Yulia Skripal had recovered her power of speech. “Yulia has asked for privacy,” Blanshard added in her statement, “while she continues to get better – something I’d like to urge the media to respect.”

Yulia had told her cousin the day before: “I’ll be discharged soon.” On Friday afternoon, according to the hospital medical director,  “she can look forward to the day when she is well enough to leave the hospital. Any speculation on when that date will be is just that – speculation.”

On the same day, the UK Home Office in London issued a statement that Victoria Skripal’s visa application to visit Salisbury Hospital was rejected on the ground that “ it did not comply with the immigration rules.” This confirmed Yulia’s remark in the telephone call: “Vika, no-one will give you a visa.”

The hospital statement by Blanshard did not claim that Yulia Skripal was medically incapable of making the telephone-call to her cousin, nor is the hospital denying the call took place from its premises.   According to the hospital website, Blanshard is “the [Salisbury Hospital] Trust’s Caldicott Guardian and is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of patient information, allowing it to be shared with other organisations or individuals only when it is lawful and ethical to do so.”

The British law which applies to patients in hospitals, as well to their communication with next of kin, is the Human Rights Act of 1998. Here it is in full.  This statute gives legal effect in the British courts to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  When Blanshard made her claims about Yulia Skripal’s privacy and consent, she is required to comply with Article 8(1) and (2).

If she is falsifying what Yulia Skripal has said, or if she has failed to get Skripal’s consent “in accordance with the law”, Blanshard can be called to account for her actions in court, according to this statute.

She is also required to comply with the rules of the “Caldicott Guardian”, as referred to in the hospital website’s description of Blanshard’s duties.  The Caldicott Guardian is the official role required to be assigned at every hospital by the British Health Ministry and the National Health Service since the adoption of the Report on the Review of Patient-Identifiable Information; that was issued in December 1997 by a committee of officials chaired by Dame Fiona Caldicott; for the full report, click. The report’s intention was to protect patient confidentiality;  and also to ensure that “the sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law.” Blanshard was, still is, the Salisbury Hospital’s official responsible for the lawfulness of patient information and consent.

This is how the Caldicott Committee set down Blanshard’s duties in general, and the Skripal case in particular:

For a brief summary of the Caldicott principles, read this.

To verify what the Salisbury Hospital authorities are claiming about Yulia Skripal’s wishes and the lawfulness of her reported consent, Chief Executive Charles-Barks and Medical Director Blanshard (along with their spokesmen Patrick Butler and Paul Russell) were asked by email on Saturday morning two questions.

________________________________________

To: “Patrick Butler” <Patrick.Butler@salisbury.nhs.uk>

Cc: “Cara Charles-Barks” <Cara.Charles-Barks@salisbury.nhs.uk>; “Paul Russell (PP Manager)” <Paul.Russell@salisbury.nhs.uk>; “Christine Blanshard” <Christine.Blanshard@salisbury.nhs.uk>

Sent: 07/04/2018 11:20:25

Subject: Request for proof of Yulia Skripal’s consent

Dear Ms Charles-Barks and Dr Blanshard:

Your last line in your email to me of April 4 was changed by Dr Blanshard’s sudden decision to issue a statement on Friday afternoon confirming that Mr Sergei Skripal is no longer unconscious.  I refer to this release: https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/2018/04/06/updates-on-the-salisbury-incident-6/

Ms Yulia Skripal had confirmed this, as you know, a day and a half earlier in her Thursday morning conversation with her cousin, Ms Victoria Skripal. You have added to the evidence dispelling media speculation that the call was not a genuine one, and I am most grateful for your contribution.

May I refer you to Dr Blanshard’s  claim in the Friday  statement — “Yulia has asked for privacy while she continues to get better”. The Metropolitan Police statement quotes Ms Skripal as saying “I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence.”

Two requests, please:

— it is universal hospital policy that patients sign consent forms relating to care, to contact with next of kin, and to privacy. You were referring to this when you said in your statement — “Yulia has asked”.  Do you have these signed consents from Ms Skripal, and if you do, I request you prove it.

— I have highlighted two word forms in the Metropolitan Police quotation of Ms Skripal’s remarks. These cannot be translations from the Russian language we know Ms Skripal uses. They are also English idioms which she cannot form herself. Do you as the responsible physician have evidence that Ms Skripal’s exposure to the purported nerve agent has improved her English beyond the level she exercised prior to March 4.

I invite you to respond promptly.

In the event that you do not answer the questions, I am obliged to remind you, as before, that you will be reported as refusing to answer.

Yours sincerely,

Dr John Helmer

_______________________________________________________________________________

By press time, Salisbury Hospital refuses to produce evidence of lawful consent.

Was the Alleged #Skripal Poisoning Incident an Elaborate Hoax?

Was the Alleged Skripal Poisoning Incident an Elaborate Hoax?

By Stephen Lendman,

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: 

stephenlendman.org 

(Home – Stephen Lendman). 

Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Was whatever happened on March 4 to father and daughter Skripal something other than what the official narrative reported?

Did anything at all happen? Were the Skripals poisoned or ill for another reason? Did Britain conceal the truth about the whole ugly business – a scheme to frame Russia for what it had nothing to do with?

When inflammatory headlines unquestionably support the official narrative, bet on disinformation and Big Lies substituting for truth-telling.

Russia was framed for perhaps what never happened – at least not as officially claimed.

On March 31, Fort Russ reported that Yulia Skripal, Sergey’s daughter, “visited her ‘Vkontakte’ (social media) page…on the morning of March 7” – three days after the alleged poisoning incident.

The official narrative claimed she and her father were in a coma, poisoned by a deadly military-grade nerve agent.

It’s possible someone else hacked into her site, but for what reason, surely not UK or US operatives, wanting no information conflicting with the official narrative getting out.

If hacking occurred, forensic analysis could determine it, nothing suggesting it so far.

On March 29, Salisbury District Hospital Dr. Christine Blanshard explained Yulia’s condition improved markedly. She’s “conscious and talking,” no longer in critical condition.

Was she ever as ill as officially reported, or if so, what is the hospital’s diagnosis? Will Sergey Skripal’s condition be reported improved ahead, recovering steadily?

Clearly, whatever may have affected them wasn’t a military-grade nerve agent.

They and other Salisbury residents they had contact with would have been dead in minutes if poisoned by something this deadly.

A few obvious lessons can be drawn from the above information.

Never accept official narratives at face value on most everything – including major media reports. Most often they’re meant to deceive, not accurately explain things.

The alleged Skripal incident is the latest US/UK political assault on Russia – public enemy number one in Washington and London.

Almost surely more provocative shoes will drop ahead, likely more serious, the trend heading in this direction.

If Washington could pull off the elaborate mother of all 9/11 false flags, most Americans still believing the official Big Lie, staging the Skripal affair by the US and Britain would be simple by comparison.

Escalating US/UK-led hostility toward Russia heads things perilously toward East/West confrontation – the ominous risk of nuclear war.

That’s the scary reality ahead if madness defining US policy isn’t curbed.

We Can Actively Assume That #Skripal Was Poisoned by The British Government

We Can Actively Assume That Skripal Was Poisoned by The British Government – Joe Quinn

uk media skripal

 By now anyone with an opinion on the Skripal poisoning has already decided if they believe the official narrative or not. Still, the event and the ongoing media coverage around it presents an opportunity to understand more than we might think.

The British government claim is that a “military-grade nerve agent”, one of a group of nerve agents supposedly called ‘novichok’ (which simply means ‘newcomer’), was used by Russia on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. They reach the conclusion that Russia is to blame because, they claim, the nerve agent used is “of a type developed by Russia.”

Russian daily newspaper Kommersant recently released a 6-page document they claim constitutes the British government’s official case against Russia. They summed up the ‘evidence’ as follows:

UK briefing Novichok

  • Military-grade Novichok nerve agent positively identified at the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, an OPCW-accredited and designated laboratory
  • Novichok is a group of agents developed only by Russia and not declared under the CWC
  • A violation of the fundamental prohibition on the use of chemical weapons (Art. 1 CWC)
  • First offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War
  • We are without doubt that Russia is responsible. No country bar Russia has combined capability, intent and motive. There is no plausible alternative explanation
  • As of Sunday 18 March, we count over thirty parallel lines of Russian disinformation

Note the 2nd point, that “Novichok is a group of agents developed only by Russia and not declared under the CWC.”

In 2016, Iranian scientists synthesized five ‘Novichok’ agents and the data was added to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ Central Analytical Database (OCAD).

In an interview with AFP, the former Russian scientist who participated in the development of “Novichok” in Russia in the 70s and 80s, Vil Mirzayanov, stated that if Russia was not responsible for the poisoning:

“The only other possibility would be that someone used the formulas in my book to make such a weapon.

Mirzayanov’s book, published in 2008, contains the formulas he alleges can be used to create “Novichoks”. In 1995, he explained that “the chemical components or precursors” of Novichok are “ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides.”

So the British government claim that this type of nerve agent can only be Russian, and was only developed by Russia, is demonstrably false. In fact, in her statement to the House of Commons on 12th March 2018, British Prime Minister Theresa May contradicted that claim when she said:

“It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. This is part of a group of nerve agents known as ‘Novichok’. Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down.

In the world of nerve agents, in order to positively identify a sample, you must have your own sample for comparison and positive identification.

In a judgement at the British High Court on 22nd March on whether to allow blood samples to be taken from Sergei and Yulia Skripal for examination by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), evidence submitted by the Porton Down laboratory to the court (Section 17 i) stated:

“Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.

Again, Porton Down must have had a sample of the alleged nerve agent used to poison Skripal and his daughter. That can mean only one of two things: that Porton Down obtained the nerve agent from some other party, or manufactured it on site. Porton Down is, after all, in the business of producing chemical weapons (ostensibly to test them on anti-chemical weapon equipment).

Note also that the wording used in the quote above includes the possibility that the agent used on Skripal was not even ‘Novichok’ but rather a “related compound” or something “closely related.” So even Theresa May’s statement that the British MoD had “positively identified” ‘Novichok’ seems false.

In an interview with German Deutsch Welle, bumbling UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was directly asked if scientists at Porton Down had samples of ‘Novichok’, to which he replied:

They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said there’s no doubt.”

So the only thing we can presume to be 100% certain of in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter is that the nerve agent used was in stock at Porton Down, 8 miles from the site of the poisoning.

In the 5th point in the British government 6-page ‘dossier’, the British establishment claims:

“We are without doubt that Russia is responsible. No country bar Russia has combined capability, intent and motive. There is no plausible alternative.”

We know that other countries have the capability. Claiming to have no doubt about someone’s intent is nonsense. So we’re left with motive. Did Russia have a motive to poison Skripal and his daughter? Motives for a course of action are intrinsically linked to the result of the action. The obvious and predictable result of using a nerve agent that was originally developed in Russia in the 1970s to poison a former Russian spy living in the UK and working for British intelligence is that Russia would be blamed and universally condemned for it. So if Russia was motivated to further downgrade its reputation on the international stage, then sure, Russia had motivation to poison Skripal and his daughter.

The problem is that there is no evidence that Russia desires to damage its own reputation in this way. Is there evidence that anyone else has such motivation? For those that have been paying attention to world affairs over the past 6 or 7 years, I’ll presume that you don’t need me to answer that one.

So when we remove the unfounded and contradictory claims around the Skripal poisoning, the actual facts of the case are rather limited:

  • Skripal lived in Salisbury, England, and had been working for MI5 for 8 years. It is reasonable to assume that he may, therefore, have had access to sensitive material, possibly useful to foreign governments, including Russia. As such, he may have posed an ‘intelligence threat’ if he returned to Russia.
  • According to a close friend, Skripal had recently decided that he wanted to go back to live in Russia and petitioned the Russian government to that end.
  • Not long thereafter, Skripal was poisoned with a substance that was in stock at a British Ministry of Defense facility, 8 miles from where he was living.
  • The British government blamed Russia for his poisoning. This accusation must be seen in the context of a years-long anglo-American black propaganda campaign designed to marginalize Russia and thereby limit its ability to effectively assert itself as a globally influential player.

I’ve heard people make the argument that any investigations of what really happened in Salisbury can only ever be guesswork, that we can never be 100% sure. Of course, that’s true to a degree, especially when dealing with evidence which may be held back from public disclosure because of reasons of “national security”. But such people tend to use this line of thinking simply to avoid taking a position, because taking a position scares some people, especially if it is not the official position. It’s also not very realistic or practical. If we were to hold all statements and claims to the same level of proof, our court systems would become obsolete. Rarely is there enough evidence to find a criminal guilty with a 100% degree of certainty. That’s why courts hold the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” and allow for circumstantial evidence.

Insistence on absolute proof fails to recognize that, as humans, we don’t navigate our lives and make decisions on the basis of 100% proof. Instead, we use something akin to ‘past form’. For example, if I intend to take the train at 9.15am from platform 1 in the morning, I cannot be 100% certain that the train will be there at 9.15am, or that it will be there at all that day. Instead, I actively assume that it will be there based on the circumstantial evidence I have accrued through repeated observations that when I go there at that time the train is there. You could even say that the train is very likely to be there because it has the means, motive and opportunity.

That’s how we go about our daily lives, at least. But in cases of guilt and innocence we probably need a higher standard. Many suspects may have means, motive and opportunity at the same time. That doesn’t mean they’re all guilty. And a history of similar crimes does not necessarily mean that a suspect is guilty of one particular crime. So what to do in a case like the Skripal poisoning? The only thing we can do is compare competing hypotheses and the degrees to which they are consistent with all the facts available. In other words, which scenario is more likely given the known facts?

In answering the question of who poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter, we lack 100% proof that the British government (or some element thereof) was responsible for the attack, just as we lack 100% proof that the Russian government was responsible. In fact, the evidence and reasoning provided by the British government does not actually support the Russian hypothesis over competing hypotheses, because we would see the same evidence if the attack were carried out in order to frame Russia. If evidence applies equally to two or more competing hypotheses, naturally that evidence cannot be used to support one hypothesis over the other, which is precisely what the British government is doing.

In contrast, the British government’s apparent access to the precise nerve agents in question, close to where Skripal lives, their full access to Skripal himself, their past form in fabricating evidence of chemical weapons usage by other states, and their clear intent to wage a vicious and underhanded demonization campaign against Russia, all combine to allow us to actively assume that the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter was the work of the British government itself. Is it beyond a reasonable doubt? Perhaps not, but it is currently the only hypothesis that makes sense given the evidence available. And until more evidence is made available, it is the only reasonable conclusion to make.

Avatar

Joe Quinn (Profile)

Joe Quinn is the co-author of 9/11: The Ultimate Truth (with Laura Knight-Jadczyk, 2006) and Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks (with Niall Bradley, 2014), and the host of Sott.net’s The Sott Report Videos and co-host of the ‘Behind the Headlines’ radio show on the Sott Radio Network.

An established web-based essayist and print author, Quinn has been writing incisive editorials for Sott.net for over 10 years. His articles have appeared on many alternative news sites and he has been interviewed on several internet radio shows and has also appeared on Iranian Press TV. His articles can also be found on his personal blog JoeQuinn.net.

May’s #Skripal nonsense

 

A Curious Incident Part IV

by Sushi for the Saker Blog — March 26, 2018

Part I may be found here: https://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident/
Part II may be found here: https://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-ii/
Part III may be found here: https://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-iii/
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Sherlock Holmes

Theresa May and the Dodgy Statement to Parliament

On Monday March 12th 2018 Theresa May rose in the House of Commons and made the following statement:
“It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.”
How did May know this to be true?
On March 14th, the Times published a letter from Stephen Davies, Consultant in emergency medicine with the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Davies asserted “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury” and directly contradicted the assertion the Prime Minister made to the House of Commons.
Davies is a clinician directly involved in the treatment of the 3 poisoning victims. These three are understood to be Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Bailey. As a physician, Davies has a duty of care imposed upon him in law. This duty requires him to at all time act in the best interests of a patient under his care.
If you deliver medical treatment, you have the responsibility to ensure the injury diagnosis is correct, that the treatment delivered is appropriate to the diagnosis, and that you do no harm to your patient.
On Monday, May tells the world the poison was a nerve agent.
On Wednesday, the treating physician publicly states: “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.”
How is it possible for May to know more than the treating physician?
On March 20th, 2018 the Russian web publication “The Bell” published an interview with Vladimir Uglev, one of the Russian scientists who was actively engaged in the research and development of the nerve agent May named as “Novichok.”
Uglev states the nerve agents were not known by the name “Novichok” but were part of a nerve agent research program called “FOLIANT.”
Uglev also declares that the nerve agents researched as part of “FOLIANT” actually bore the following names: “B-1976,” “C-1976,” or “D-1980.”
Where did May learn the name “Novichok” when this was not a name used by the scientists who were actively engaged in the Soviet research upon these nerve agents?
“Novichok” is the name of the nerve agent used in an episode of the television show “Strike Back.” This episode was televised one month before the Skripal attack. Uglev worked on the “FOLIANT” program “from 1972 until 1988.” The USSR was formally dissolved by the The Belavezha Accords on December 8th, 1991. Russia, was not therefore a party to the FOLIANT program.
The implication is that May and Johnson are accusing Russia of undertaking an attack using chemical nerve agents named and popularized by a TV show, a show which provides a plot line for an attack similar to the Skripal attack.
On February 13 2017 the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur International Airport using a nerve agent of a type developed by the UK. Under International law nerve agents are classed as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). When will May take responsibility for this indiscriminate and reckless attack? It is well known this nerve agent was first produced in the UK in 1952 and it was later militarized at DSTL Porton Down.
There exist only two plausible explanations: 1) Either this was a direct act by the UK against North Korea, or 2) the UK government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to fall into the hands of others. May has 24 hours to deliver an explanation to the world.
The question of how it is possible for May to demonstrate such absolute confidence with regards to the identification of the toxin becomes more acute when one learns the background to the USSR chemical weapons program and its research into nerve agents.
In 1959 the US successfully initiated a deception program. This program employed a fake double agent who was used to feed false and misleading “chickenfeed” to the USSR.
This deception program continued up until 1982. When running such a deception operation you must provide some genuine information to establish the validity of the false agent. Once you have gained the trust of the very suspicious opposition, you can then start to feed the opponent a mix of true and false information. The goal is to cause the opponent to waste scarce resources in creating a defence for a weapons system that does not exist, or to devote even more resources in an attempt to duplicate a weapon, or a process, known to be a technical dead end. Operation Shocker sought to convince the USSR of US advances in nerve agent research culminating in the US development of an entirely new, and highly lethal, agent named “GJ.”
In a twist worthy of John le Carré, the USSR accepted the truth of the deception program and commenced research intended to duplicate the presumed American advance in nerve agents. This Soviet research program was named “FOLIANT” and, unknown to the Americans, the USSR was able to make technical advances which resulted in a new class of nerve agents. These new agents were named “B-1976,” “C-1976,” or “D-1980.” The Soviet scientists were convinced they were mirroring US advances.
The USSR then turned around and commenced their own deception program against the Americans. The human conduit for this deceptive information is believed to be Vil Mirzayanov.
Mirzayanov was arrested for treason but the case collapsed when it was discovered “the real state secret revealed by Fyodorov and Mirzayanov was that generals had lied — and were still lying — to both the international community and their fellow citizens.”
Mirzayanov later migrated to the US where he wrote a book, available on Amazon, in which he described what he knew of the USSR nerve agent research program. Mirzayanov’s book included a large number of formulas for Novichok nerve agents. According to Uglev the formulas published by Mirzayanov are inaccurate and do not represent the work in FOLIANT.
This assertion by Uglev makes some degree of sense. Few states are able to master all the technologies required to construct a competitive jet fighter, or main battle tank. But almost anyone with a basic chemical knowledge can attempt the synthesis of a highly lethal nerve agent (it is highly unlikely they would be able to do so safely).
Proof of this thesis is found in the sarin attacks conducted in the Tokyo subway system, and the assassination of the brother in law of Kim Jong-Un by a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by the UK.
We are left with a question – Given this wilderness of mirrors, of endless deception, ruse, and counter deception, how is it possible for May to be certain of the toxin used in the Skripal attack? And how can May be so sure of who actually produced that toxic agent?

Methods of Detection

There are two primary methods of detecting a chemical agent. The first method is to locate chemical residue from the attack such as the VX of a type developed by the UK found contaminating the clothing of one of the Kim Jong-Un attackers.
This trace evidence is then subject to CGMS analysis which produces a “signature” or “fingerprint” of the agent used. Once this is obtained it may be matched against a database of known chemical agents to determine its provenance.
Problems may arise. VX and other organophosphates are subject to degradation. Weather conditions may accelerate this degradation. VX is a persistent agent meaning it is intended to remain active for a period of 2 to 3 days after application. Other nerve agents are much more volatile and will evaporate, or degrade, within a period of hours. High volatility may be of military significance as it permits a nerve agent attack on a position that your own troops can then storm and occupy with limited risk of exposure to any residual nerve agent.
Another fingerprint problem arises. The FOLIATE program agents were only produced in the amounts required for research. Mirzayanov, and others, report the destruction of these research stocks via incineration around the time of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. If the research materials were destroyed then there would be no sample available for fingerprinting.
Nerve agents degrade over time at approximately 2% a year with this rate of degradation accelerating as the decomposition by-products accumulate. So even if a sample of Soviet agent from 1988 was obtained, the chemical signature may be inaccurate, incomplete, or incorrect. How then can May be so definite about the nerve agent used in the Skripal attack?
As Uglev reports, the FOLIANT research resulted in the creation of hundreds of toxic agents and derivatives of those agents. Most had no military value and were therefore discarded. So how can May be so definite about the nerve agent used against Skripal?
The OPCW signature for the “Novichok” agents was produced by Iran under OPCW supervision for the express purpose of adding this agent to the OPCW database of agent signatures. But what formula did the Iranians follow? And was it an Uglev formula, a Mirzayanov formula, or some other formula? This is not a frivolous question as the following graphic illustrates:

Curious incident1

The question therefore remains – how can May be so certain of the identification of the agent used in the Skripal attack?

curious incident2

Click to enlarge

 Which one is correct Ms May? Apologies if I begin to sound like a broken record. But I think somebody needs to ask May how she knows what she claims to know. The Guardian has not asked. The BBC has not asked. Jeff Bezo’s paper has not asked. More problems arise because the OPCW signature was derived from the Iranian synthesis of the Novichok nerve agent and the Iranian formula for Novichoc looks like this:

curious incident3

All I can remember of organic chemistry was Laurel. She was intoxicating. But somebody needs to ask May which is the correct formula. After all, May is the one attempting to invoke NATO article 5. It is May who has described the Skripal incident as an unlawful attack on the territory of the UK. In International law that is grounds for war. So it is not just the citizens of the UK who should demand an answer. The global public should also demand May explain how she knows the VX used in the Malaysia attack was of a type developed in the UK. Oops. Wrong agent. Wrong incident. After a while they all look the same. Who you gonna call? Bill Murray?
The second method of identification is through the analysis of blood serum, or other human tissue, in search of the metabolites of the agent. At present the Skripals are being kept under heavy sedation. The medical reason for this is to permit their bodies time to complete the metabolic removal of the agent (given the toxin’s mode of operation this may prove to be impossible).
This mode of analysis can be extremely accurate. But there are still problems. Imagine the following.
A person eats an apple. You want to know where it came from. You analyse blood, or other human tissue, for the metabolic byproducts produced by an apple. You find what you are looking for. Aha! Now you know! Apple!!!
But was this apple a Fuji? A McIntosh? Gala, Granny Smith, or Red Delicious? These are all apples but they vary in their taste and chemical composition. And, once you determine the exact genus of apple, you are faced with a further problem. Did this apple originate in the Yakima Valley, or the Annapolis Valley? Did it come from Shandong? Maule in Chile? Or from Trentino in Italy? If you are going to invoke NATO Article 5 do you not think it imperative to determine the precise provenance of the apple. Maybe it came from Islington North?

The Skripal Attack Setting

The Image A is an overhead view of the Market walk area. The Market Walk is a covered passageway that leads from Castle Street, though a shopping arcade to a bridge over a portion of the Avon River. Once across the bridge, a small jog to the right will take you to the bench on which the Skripals were found incapacitated at 1600 on Sunday March 4th, 2018.

Salisbury. Click to enlarge

Salisbury. Click to enlarge

The Zizzi restaurant, the place of the Skripals last meal, is contained inside a rectangular red frame. The couple would have walked south along Castle and then entered the Market Walk shopping arcade. This passageway is highlighted in grey.

curious incident5 cctv

The Skripals captured on CCTC. Click to enlarge

Image B

Image B was taken by a CCTV camera within the arcade. The Skripals are shown walking west along the north wall of the arcade. They both look up toward the camera location. The time stamp shows that in less than 13 minutes their life will be dramatically altered.

curious incident6

Image C

Google street-view contains imagery taken from within the arcade. At the approximate position of the small red circle superimposed on the Market Walk in Image A, there is a shop entrance. Adjacent to the door is what appears to be the image of a Hasselblad camera. The other shops on the South side are a fitness studio, and a stationary store. The only store stocked with high value products, items easy to carry and sell, appears to be the camera store. Immediately above the camera store entrance is a black fixture. This black fixture is believed to contain the CCTV camera used to capture the image of the Skripals shown in Image B.
Image C is an interior image of the arcade. The camera store would be hard left. The Skripals walked on the right along the line of coloured pavers. Ahead is the arcade exit and a footbridge over the Avon. Image D shows the view after exiting the arcade. The route taken by the Skripals bends to the right around the G&T store toward what appear to be tent canopies just past the large tree.

curious incident7

Image D

curious incident8

Image E

Image E shows the G&T store on the left and the open park area to the North. The red vertical arrow points down toward the approximate position of the bench upon which the Skripals were found at 1600. The young woman who first discovered them reported they were so incapacitated that she did not feel she could do anything to help them.
Thirteen minutes earlier, the CCTV capture shows the Skripals striding purposefully forward. They both appear to be alert and untroubled, sufficiently alert that they notice, and look up toward, the CCTV camera location. By the time they reached the area of the park bench they were incapacitated and on the verge of death.
What occurred in those 13 minutes?

Skripal Attack Conjecture

The Market Walk is a pedestrian tunnel. This presents four problems for an attacker. If you attack within the tunnel, you have only two available exits. If someone wants to stop you, it is possible for them to trap you by closing off one, or both ends.
Second, the tunnel blocks visibility to the area beyond the exit on each end. The attacker has no way of knowing if a police cruiser has just stopped adjacent on Castle Street.
The third problem is critical. Go buy an aerosol can of orange spray paint, change into a clean white shirt, stand three feet from a wall, hold up the aerosol can and spray an imagined target. When you later examine your shirt sleeve and shirt front you will find it speckled with orange pigment. If you laid out sheets of white paper and returned a few hours after spraying you will find the white sheets also exhibit trace amounts of orange pigment. If the orange pigment was actually a military grade toxin like VX then congratulations – you have just killed yourself.
An attack within the still air of the arcade presents a similar problem. Any sprayed powder, or liquid, creates a toxic cloud of blowback which endangers the attacker.
To safely conduct the attack would necessitate the attacker(s) wearing breathing apparatus. You may have noticed from the news coverage that people wearing breathing apparatus have a distinct look about them. It is extremely difficult to run for any distance wearing BA gear; believe me, I have tested this fact. Blowback contamination requires the attackers to quickly change their clothing. If they do not they will be poisoned by the same toxin applied to the Skripals.
The fourth and final problem is the fact the arcade contains a CCTV camera. Image B shows distortion. This distortion is due to the fact the image was created using a fisheye lens, one which covers a field of view of 180 degrees and therefore shows both the east and west approaches to the store entrance. Any attacker would survey potential attack sites in advance and identify the presence of CCTV equipment. Such sites would either be avoided, or the CCTV disabled.
May makes the claim the Skripals were attacked with a military grade nerve agent of a type developed in Russia. This is the same as declaring the death of Kim Jong-nam on 13 February 2017 was due to a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by the UK. According to May’s logic the world should impose sanctions on the UK and withdraw all diplomatic representation.
It is believed the Skripals exited the arcade tunnel and crossed the bridge before the attack. Whereas the arcade tunnel previously presented obstacles to the attackers, it now offers benefits. The bridge and tunnel combination serves to channel and restrict all foot traffic coming from the East. The jog turn past the G&T shop obscures visibility from the South. Images taken on the day of attack show a light rain appears to be falling. This would ensure few pedestrians in the park to the North.
It is suspected that two attackers approached from the West walking toward the Skripals. As they came within range they pulled out aerosol guns and sprayed their victims. The toxic spray would have flooded the Skripals eyes. Unable to see, they made for the nearest seating, which was the park bench. The eyes represent a point of entry into the body. The mucous around the eye, and they eye itself, is an immediate conduit to the bloodstream.
The attackers continued on, walking as if nothing at all had happened. Only a few seconds would have been required to make the attack and, if you find yourself suddenly blinded, you put your hands to your eyes and try to move yourself to a place of refuge such as the adjacent park bench. You don’t cry out. You are too busy tending to your eyes. You are in cognitive shock with no true understanding of what just occurred.
In the first media reports of the attack, when the incident was still under local police control, there was a request for public assistance to locate a couple seen walking in the area at the time of the attack. Once control of the case passed to the Met Terrorist Investigation team, this request was no longer made.
There has been limited coverage of the people who first responded to the scene. The first person to discover the Skripals was a woman who reportedly found them to be so incapacitated she believed herself unable to render any assistance. This women is believed to be the person who first notified the police. Detective Bailey was likely nearby on patrol. He heard the police radio broadcast and he immediately responded. There were other persons reported to be present on scene but no names, or identification, or interviews, can be found. MSM reporting does indicate that a passing physician placed Yulia Skripal in the recovery position.

Further Conjecture

What follows is further conjecture. It is likely the toxin utilized was a liquid agent based on organophosphate chemistry. It was discharged as a stream, or jet, from an engineered applicator something like a very sophisticated water pistol. Two targets, two applicators, two streams. The streams splashed against the face of each target and washed into his and her eyes blinding the victim. The toxin is fast acting. Ten times more lethal than VX. Within the space of scant seconds you are vomiting and experiencing muscle seizures. You lose control of your faculties. You are no longer able to cry out. Your muscles cease to operate under voluntary control. You are unable to rise from the bench and stand, your chest muscles are beginning to experience tightness and seizure activity and you are beginning to have great difficulty breathing. You defecate and urinate but are completely unaware of this. You have not had sufficient time to come to a conscious understanding of what has befallen you before all of your cognitive functions are impaired. Unconsciousness quickly follows.
The ideal toxic agent would be highly volatile in addition to being fast acting. Target knock down occurs within seconds of toxin application as opposed to the minutes available under a VX attack. This high degree of volatility means the excess agent would immediately begin to degrade and disperse, eliminating any trace evidence of the applied toxin. The intent is to ensure the knockdown and immediate incapacitation of the target, with a lessened possibility of secondary collateral attacks such as affected first responder Detective Bailey. It is likely some of the persons who first responded to the scene were confederates to the attackers, persons with the responsibility to clean up the incident site, prevent injury to others, and ensure any residual trace evidence was wiped away, or otherwise neutralized. These good Samaritans vanished and have never been interviewed by the Guardian, or the BBC, or any other major “news” outlet. Which is a little surprising considering the British press is known to pay top dollar for stories which can be headlined “I was present at the opening shot of WWIII.”
And Theresa May knows exactly the toxic agent utilized in the attack.
What else does she know?
And why does no one ask her the question?
How does she know what she claims to know?
In memory of David Christopher Kelly, CMG (14 May 1944 – 17 July 2003)
-30-

Source

The ‘#Skripal poisoning’: Lies Can Lead To War

Source

The ‘Skripal poisoning’: Lies Can Lead To War

Both US and UK experts do not think that the alleged Russian nerve agent used in the alleged Skripal poisoning even exists. Perhaps this is why the British government will not agree to any tests and can supply no evidence.

Notice that the governments of the US, UK, France, and Germany did not require any evidence to decide that the Russian government used military-grade nerve gas to attack two people on an English park bench and a UK policeman. It makes no sense. There is no Russian motive.

The motive lies in the West. It is the latest orchestration in the ongoing demonization of Russia. The demonization is a huge boost to the power and profit of the military/security complex and prevents President Trump from normalizing relations. The military/security’s budget and power require a major enemy, and Russia is the designated enemy and will not be allowed to escape that assigned role.

The false accusations against Russia are damaging the Western countries that make and support the accusations. There has never any evidence provided for any of the accusations. Consider them: the Malaysian airliner, Crimea, the polonium poisoning of a Russian in the UK, Putin’s alleged intention to restore the Soviet Empire, Russiagate and the stealing of the US presidential election, other charges of election theft or interference. The current Skripal poisoning. Accusations abound, but never any evidence. Eventually even insouciant Western peoples begin to wonder about the transformation of evidence-free accusations into truth.

What do leaders and peoples of the few independent and sovereign countries think when they see a signed condemnation of Russia for poisoning a long-retired UK double-agent without a scrap of evidence by the political heads of the four major Western countries? What do the Chinese think? The Iranians? The Indians? We know that the Russians are beginning to think that they are being set up by demonization for invasion, as was Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Yemen, and the attempt on Iran. It is finally dawning on Russia that all these accusations are not some kind of mistake that diplomacy can straighten out, but, instead, the setting up of Russia for military attack.

This is a reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous impression for the West to give Russia. Some commentators, who understand the falsity of the Skripal accusation, explain, in my view incorrectly, that UK prime minister May orchestrated the charge in order to divert attention from her Brexit difficulties. Others say, incorrectly, that it is an effort to turn the Russian election against Putin. Some have concluded that Skripal was involved in the fake “Steele dossier,” and was silenced by Western intelligence, whether UK or US.

Even an astute observer such as Moon of Alabama has been confused by these explanations. Nevertheless I recommend his article “Are ‘Novichok’ Poisons Real? – May’s Claims Fall Apart”, which obviously was written prior to the French President, German Chancellor, and President Trump’s endorsement of UK prime minister May’s unsupported charges. The article shows that both US and UK experts do not think that the alleged Russian nerve agent used in the alleged poisoning even exists.

Perhaps this is why the British government will not agree to any tests and can supply no evidence.

This article was originally published at PaulCraigRoberts.org on March 15, 2018

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