UK’s Russia Narrative: A Verdict in Search of a Crime

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is on increasingly shaky ground when it comes to his bombastic accusations against Russia in the Skripal case, comments Caitlin Johnstone

By Caitlin Johnstone  

caitlinjohnstone.com

Two weeks ago, the Right Honourable Boris Johnson was asked by a German journalist how the UK government could be so very certain so very early on that the Kremlin was behind the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury.

“When I look at the evidence, the people from Porton Down, the laboratory, they were absolutely categorical,” Johnson replied. “I asked the guy myself, I said: ‘Are you sure?’ And he said: ‘There’s no doubt.’ So we have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken.”

The “action that we have taken” include the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom, a cold war escalation in which they were joined by many allied governments around the world in the largest collective ejection of Russian diplomats in world history. It would also include Johnson’s personal campaign to unite the EU behind a more aggressive stance against Russia.

As we discussed this week, the narrative about the Skripal poisoning has been in a constant state of change, with the means by which the nerve agent was administered shifting from Yulia Skripal’s suitcase tothe air vents in their car to weaponized miniature drone to  the family’s car door handle to the front door of the house to Sergei Skripal’s favorite Russian cereal. Since the forensics of the case are clearly all over the map, and despite this glaring fact the UK government still insists that the poisoning was most certainly inflicted by Russia, the only remaining forensics which could possibly implicate the Kremlin to such a high degree of confidence would necessarily have to be evidence found within the nerve agent itself.

And until a few hours ago Johnson’s comments actually backed this up; he didn’t cite the dodgy crime scene forensics as reason for the government’s certainty, he cited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down. He said they had found evidence within the compound which with “no doubt” implicated the Russian government.

Johnson: A personal campaign to unite the EU against Russia.

Only problem with that? It’s bullshit.

Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the aforementioned Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, has told Sky News in a scandalous new report that while his laboratory has been able to learn the chemical composition of the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals, none of the work they have done has succeeded in identifying its source.

The DSTL Twitter account has hastened to inform the public that, in direct contradiction to Boris Johnson’s claims, it has never been its job to identify the source of the nerve agent, and that its identification of the compound has formed only one part of the government’s conclusions. The Sky News report backs this up with a statement from a government spokesperson who asserts that “This is only one part of the intelligence picture” on the Skripal poisoning, adding the following:

“As the Prime Minister has set out in a number of statements to the Commons since 12 March, this includes our knowledge that within the last decade, Russia has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents – probably for assassination – and as part of this programme has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks.

“Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views former intelligence officers as targets.

“It is our assessment that Russia was responsible for this brazen and reckless act and, as the international community agrees, there is no other plausible explanation.”

But what does that mean? It means that there are no crime scene forensics implicating the Russian government as evidenced by how ridiculously all-over-the-place the narrative about how the poisoning occurred is, and there are no laboratory forensics proving a connection to the Russian government. According to the spokesperson’s statement, that leaves only the say-so of British intelligence agencies.

And of course it does. It always boils down to blind faith in shady intelligence agencies. Fifteen years after the Iraq invasion and we’re still being asked to blindly accept on faith the word of imperialist intelligence agencies. Sometimes I wonder why they even bother trying to make up excuses for their war agendas anymore. At this point they could just say “Yeah we’re going to work with our allies to sanction Russia off from the world stage because we need them out of the way and want to avoid a direct military confrontation due to their nuclear weapons.” At least it would be less insulting.

Also interesting is Aitkenhead’s denial of Russia’s assertion that the nerve agent could have come from Porton Down, not because the laboratory doesn’t have such weapons in its possession but because the laboratory has “the highest levels of security and controls.” Which to me sounds an awful lot like an admission that they have the same nerve agent that was used upon the Skripals in their possession.

This all comes on the back of new revelations that the US government has for years been working to hush public discussion of the novichok nerve agent, with Hillary Clinton herself ordering diplomats to downplay the issue should it arise in chemical weapon control talks.

So to recap, an accusation for which there is no evidence has been used to manufacture support for new escalations against Russia, a longtime rival of the western empire. We have been given ample evidence that the Skripal poisoning is being used to advance a preexisting agenda, and no evidence at all to the contrary. It is a verdict in search of a crime. A war in search of an excuse.

We’re being lied to. Again. Just like we were fifteen years ago. Don’t believe Boris Johnson. Don’t believe opaque and unaccountable intelligence agencies with an extensive history of deceit and depravity. Spread truth and remain loudly skeptical. If they’re going to drag us into a third and final world war, the least we can do is make it difficult for them.

 

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. This article was re-published with permission.

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154 comments for “UK’s Russia Narrative: A Verdict in Search of a Crime

  1. Nick Realdini
    April 11, 2018 at 8:44 am

    One of the best report I’ve seen so far on this subject. Thank you Caitlin

  2. polistra
    April 11, 2018 at 6:56 am

    The latest statement from the UK government leads to the simplest interpretation of all. The government says that the Skripals are “not normal” and “permanently damaged”, which means that anything the Skripals say can be discounted as insane.

    So the simplest narrative is: The Skripals were getting ready to say something unfashionable. MI6 drugged them, captured them, then sedated them for a few days.

    It’s a new use of an old Stalinist trick. After certifying the heretic to be insane, and showing “evidence” of how he became insane, there’s no need for expensive and troublesome imprisonment or execution. No matter how loudly he tries to tell the truth, all respectable and responsible people will treat his words as false and crazy.

  3. Pam Ryan
    April 9, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    They fucking want war.

  4. Antipropo
    April 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    As another writer has pointed out, the latest version of how the “military grade nerve agent”-as an aside, what would a domestic grade nerve agent be used for?- was administered was from being smeared on the door handle of the alleged victims home. The problem there is that CCTV footage shows the pair moving around the town for FOUR HOURS after leaving the house. That’s a pretty crappy “military grade nerve agent”!! Then the detective who attended the now unconscious couple was supposedly IMMEDIATELY affected by second hand contact with the same stuff! This fantastic tale cannot stand intelligent scrutiny.

  5. Ld Elon
    April 8, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Honourable >?
    WHAT!!!?
    Don’t you mean dishonourable.

  6. April 8, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Caitlin Johnstone has written as concise and devastating a piece on the Skripal case as I have read anywhere. It cuts through, as she puts it, all the bullshit that inundates us everyday. Her final paragraph should be pasted on every billboard, shouted from every rooftop, echoed around the world until we all understand what is at stake.

  7. Mild-ly - Facetious
    April 8, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Meanwhile, as we EXCEPTIONALIST (Euro-Americans) quibble over Spy vs. Spy intrigue, OTHER World leaders seek cooperation in the RESTORATION of SANITY and SANCTITY in regions destroyed by US/NATO Military/Industrial Complex – Regime Change WARS OF DESTRUCTION… .

    ()

    And now it’s time to rebuild

    From the start, Syria was a Pipelineistan war. A key target was to ditch the prospect of a $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline — a memorandum of understanding was signed in 2011 — and replace it with a Qatar to Turkey pipeline via a regime-changed Syria.

    Qatar and the House of Saud ended up certified geopolitical losers in Syria. The Saudi blockade of Qatar failed miserably. The new equation reveals Qatar — supported by Oman and Kuwait — getting closer to Iran and even closer to Turkey.

    Ankara operates the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in Qatar. Iran and Qatar are deepening cooperation in South Pars — the largest gas field on the planet. Stranger things have happened than foreseeing a pipeline finally being completed in the near future, carrying Iran-Qatar gas and transiting through Turkey, even as Russia and China remain actively involved in the Qatari gas industry.

    With the prospect of Syrian reconstruction finally at hand, Beijing will turbo-charge its plans to turn Syria into a key Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) node.

    On the Russian front, Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has confirmed that energy giants Lukoil and Gazprom Neft are already focused on rebuilding — and developing — Syria’s badly damaged energy infrastructure, following a cooperation roadmap signed last February.

    The Russian companies have been invited to upgrade the Baniyas refinery and to build a new refinery in partnership with Iran and Venezuela. Damascus and Moscow will launch a direct shipping line to facilitate trade and set up a bank controlled by their own central banks.

    According to Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, nearly US$1 billion worth of agreements on energy, trade and finance have already been signed. Previously, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad promised that nations which helped Syria fight terrorism “have the right to be at the forefront” of those restoring the country’s economy.

    That means, essentially, Russia, Iran and China. It remains to be seen what role — if any — will be played by Erdogan’s new Ottomanism.

    https://www.opednews.com/articles/From-Ankara-to-Moscow-Eur-by-Pepe-Escobar-Energy_Eurasian-Union_Iran_Pipeline-180406-107.html

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      April 8, 2018 at 10:57 am
    • Dave P.
      April 8, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      ” . . . From the start, Syria was a Pipelineistan war. . . .”

      Yes, This is true to some extent. However, there are much bigger strategic reasons behind the West’s drive for a regime change in Syria. Their goal is total global dominance; pipelineistan is a just a minor component in it. As long as Russia under Yeltsin was like a semi-colony of The West, they were happy. As soon as Russia started asserting it’s sovereignty after Putin’s 2007 speech at Munich Security Conference, it became the enemy.

  8. Dave
    April 8, 2018 at 10:08 am

    In search of a crime??? You are delusional since there WAS a crime!

  9. DaveJoe
    April 8, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Instead of “UK’s Russian Narrative” I’d call it “West’s Russian Narrative”. 28 countries, by expelling Russian diplomats, including such that I used to respect (Noway, Germany, etc.) have become complicit.

  10. John A
    April 8, 2018 at 3:10 am

    Something else that is interesting is that when the CEO of Porton Down, the British chemicals research centre, admitted that they could not identify the source of the so-called Novichok, the mainstream media did not report this for several hours. When they finally did, they did this in concert, pretty much all with the same storyline. It is almost as though they were children waiting to be told what to say by their MI6/CIA masters and then repeat it parrot like.

  11. Taras 77
    April 7, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Provided below is a link to a site in Russian which contains information in English on a US patent on Novichok. I have no idea if the information is authentic but I believe the site is reliable, but obviously with a bias. The text indicates that novichok is extremely deadly and very volitile i.e. short lived.
    Based on this and other information I have read, I do not see how this could be novichok which was used against the victims. Perhaps someone with a solid background in chemical weapons could take a look to determine if there are obvious issues with this information.

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/ (patent is no longer at the top of site so it is necessary to scroll down)

    • Realist
      April 8, 2018 at 6:00 am

      I have no background in chemical weapons but I did work, back in the 60’s & 70’s, with the organo-fluorophosphate diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP), a potent inhibitor of acetylcholine esterase, thereby blocking transmission of nerve signals across the synapse. It was initially developed as a nerve agent but was shown to be useful in binding the catalytic site on various hydrolytic enzymes. If you Google DFP, you will see the similarity to the reported structures for the various examples of novichoks in the paper you cite. Let me just say, whenever I used the stuff I was always on my guard and alert to making potential mistakes which could be fatal. The lab later switched to the safer phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) for the same purposes.

      Although it is claimed that anyone with a chemistry degree can easily make such compounds, the reality is that, assuming you could legally acquire the precursors in these days of enhanced vigilance and legal restrictions, you would NOT want to manufacture such stuff on your kitchen table or in your garage. You would want the most effective containment facilities that money could buy, meaning a first rate government, academic, medical or corporate lab. I suspect that even the agents released in the Middle East, aside from primitive chlorine gas, are probably synthesized in such labs before being distributed to suicidal grunts on the ground. That said, there is really scant evidence that the purported attacks actually involved such genuine agents, as Prof. Theodore Postol of MIT opined after his investigation. More likely, the incidents were either faked by the White Helmets or were accidental exposure to commercial insecticides (dangerous enough because they are also organophosphate inhibitors of acetylcholine esterase).

      • Taras 77
        April 8, 2018 at 4:19 pm

        Thanks very much for your reply, Realist.

        As a followup, I found this US site with what appears to be an identical patent information.

        http://www.freepatentsonline.com/9132135.pdf

      • Dave P.
        April 8, 2018 at 11:04 pm

        Very informative comments, Realist.

  12. KiwiAntz
    April 7, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    This is just another staged, false flag event, created by the UK & American intelligence agencies to discredit Russia, on the eve of their election & to poison public opinion & sabotage Russia’s hosting of the Soccer World Cup? The only thing missing in this scenario is the fake “white helmets” which they substituted with these idiots in chemical suits? And this wasn’t poisoning by a nerve agent, (the so called Novichek which was originally designed & made in America, not Russia)? Why, because if it was this nerve agent, the Skipals & everyone else who came in contact would have died in minutes & not survived this? Theresa May & the UK Govt faked the attack to provide a security excuse to cancel the Brexit leave vote & to also distract attention on their massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia & its immoral war in Yemen? Notice the rush not to have Russia involved in any investigation as they know it’s fake, already their shaky accusations that Russia did it can’t be proved as the source can’t be verified! But who needs proof, Russia is guilty until they can prove their innocence in a warped reversal of the rule of legal law, that states innocence until proven guilty? And now, at this moment, they have staged another false flag sarin poison gas attack in East Gouta to provide the excuse for America & it’s lackey the UK, to attack Assad & initiate its long running Syria regime change policy? The only way this nonsense is going to stop is for Russia to give Iran, Syria & Nth Korea Nuclear weapons & ICBM’s missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching the US & UK & Europe! This is the only way to stop these lunatics in America, UK & Europe from invading & destroying their Middle East & Asian Countries, as these bullies & cowards won’t dare attack a nuclear capable Country! Russia is already being demonised over everything so give them something to really stew over!

    • Dave P.
      April 8, 2018 at 3:10 am

      For the Nations of the West, there is no such thing as International Law exists any more. These false flag events – all staged or sponsored by these Nations – are becoming common place. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, first decline and disregard, and gradually resulting in complete abandonment of international law by these Nations. In the very near future, I don’t think, United Nations body will exist in its current form.

      Overwhelming majority of the populations of U.S., U.K., and other Nations of the West have been completely brain washed. I see it in my own home. For some of us it is painful to see these cities in the ME completely destroyed, millions killed, and millions more wandering as refugees with their homes and livelihood destroyed. Yet there are no voices raised in the Nations of the West for inflicting this carnage on the weak Nations.

      The path is open for the Nations of the West to recolonize again – politically and economically – the Middle East, African, and Asian Countries – and South American Continent too. The history is back where it was about four or five centuries ago. Russia is in the way. Of course they want to make Russia a colony too. World Soccer Cup is still more than two months away. It seems like that they, the West, will do everything to sabotage it.

    • Realist
      April 8, 2018 at 5:10 am

      Yes, apparently Washington is again providing nerve agents to the White Helmets to kill civilians and frame Assad and Putin. The Syrian army and Russia had uncovered the evidence weeks ago and predicted this very false flag attack. Uncle Sam and his White Helmeted assassins never fail to deliver appalling atrocities to keep this war going even when their nefarious plans are uncovered.

      Excerpt from today’s Sputnik News: “Earlier, Syrian government troops discovered a clandestine plant in Eastern Ghouta that was used by the terrorists to produce military-grade agents, local media reported.
      A week before the discovery, Syrian authorities have sent more than 100 letters to the UN Security Council confirming that terrorist groups own chemical substances that they use against civilians.”

      Well, of course the terrorists have chemical weapons. Assad turned them over to the Americans in a futile deal to de-escalate the war. And, naturally, Washington blames Russia when the latter’s predictions based on evidence comes to pass. What’s amazing is how often Washington goes to the well on the poison gas scare. It’s been their reliable old standby ever since they encouraged Saddam to war against Iran (and sold him Sarin). Apparently, Americans never tire of the same old pablum.

      • April 8, 2018 at 11:51 am

        The people behind the planning, engineering and implementation of these historically-proven false flag events – the latest now in East Ghouta – are ruthless, mass-murdering criminals. This includes U.S. President Donald Trump, who, according to the deceptive military plan, lied a week ago in saying that U.S. forces were leaving Syria “very soon”.. They must become strenuously opposed at each and every turn, and to the maximum extent humanly possible. Whatever it takes, these war criminals absolutely must become stopped!

      • ThomasGilroy
        April 8, 2018 at 2:32 pm

        Yes, apparently Washington is again providing nerve agents to the White Helmets to kill civilians and frame Assad and Putin. The [reliably honest] Syrian army and [reliably honest] Russia had uncovered the evidence weeks ago and predicted this very false flag attack.

        my insert in brackets

        I would be interested in reviewing your sources on that Realist.

        • Realist
          April 8, 2018 at 6:16 pm

          Either they turned out to be right, Gilroy, or both sides are blowing smoke. What’s the track record been on establishing the veracity of anything said by the White Helmets or the White House on the matter? That’s right, zilch.

          • ThomasGilroy
            April 8, 2018 at 10:47 pm

            What’s the track record been on establishing the veracity of anything said by the White Helmets or the White House on the matter? That’s right, zilch.

            The OPCW and UN working on the chemical attack at Khan Shiekhoun agreed with the White House. Even then, that is not what I asked for. You said the White House was providing nerve agents to the White Helmets to frame Assad. I am interested in your source on that. I am also aware that it makes more sense that the “rebels” would conduct a false flag. None the less, it has not been proven – and the use of chemical weapons by Assad is by no means out of the realm of possibility (even in the attack yesterday).

          • Realist
            April 9, 2018 at 12:56 am

            Consider it the British standard of proof, Gilroy, adopted (or enforced) by their American handlers–you know, the guys who don’t need no steenkin badges, ever. Or do you insist on double standards? Fine.

            All Syrian chemical weapons were turned over to the Americans four years ago, who were supposed to have destroyed them. Where’s the proof of that? The Russians destroyed the last of their chemical weapons earlier this year. The United States, also obliged to do so under treaty, has not yet conformed. The only military power with the means and motive to safely manufacture and distribute such agents into the Middle East remains Washington or one of its vassal states like Israel. (Russia has the means but certainly no sane motive. They have been conservative and cautious on every other issue in this war, why would they subvert all their efforts to pursue such a disastrous course? Answer: someone else is behind it, and no one else makes a move without the orders or approval of Washington, and you know it.)

            A rag-tag band of rebels cannot safely synthesize the stuff on a kitchen table or in a camel tent and expect to survive. It is simply too dangerous, toxic, volatile and difficult to contain. If manufactured in country, at the least some professional chemists must have been supplied with precursors and state-of-the-art containment facilities. Even Saddam Hussein did not master the synthesis of VX and relied on supplies from Washington. Only the CIA, IDF or similar entity can set that up in a raging war zone. It’s just like the MANPADS that the rebels suddenly acquired. The source of manufacture was Washington and only an idiot would assume that Washington had no role in their distribution.

            Russia and Syria claimed to have discovered stockpiles of chemical weapons in captured parts of Ghouta, along with huge caches of other weapons all manufactured by Washington or Israel. I cited that report from Sputnik News elsewhere. Maybe they did or maybe they didn’t recover such agents. (It could have been a warning to Washington not to try the same ruse yet again.) If they weren’t destroyed by the Russians or Syrians, I should like to see the actual evidence shared with OPCW with its provenance demonstrated (though the OPCW certainly does NOT appear unbiased if it again reflexively accepted Washington’s unfounded allegations of a chemical attack).

            As matters stand now, Russia claims that “No chemical weapons were used in the vicinity of the city of Douma in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, and all accusations against the Syrian government troops are fake, the Russian reconciliation center for Syria said on Sunday.” (Sputnik News). Perhaps the purported agents have been mere imaginary props used by both sides in a propaganda war, just as happened in the case debunked by Prof. Theodore Postol of MIT. Trump obviously doesn’t know the difference and has once again gone off the deep end–accusing Assad and Putin of more specious war crimes–raising the risk of imminent total war. This is madness, and I blame the United States in entirety for starting this conflagration and propagating it at every turn. To any sensible unbiased person, it certainly is out of the realm of possibility that Assad and Putin would methodically destroy their own credibility when they are inches from the goal line, at least in Southern Syria. How many times are the American people going to be fooled by their government and their media using the same ruse which is trotted out every time the American-created terrorists are on the verge of a huge final defeat?

          • Realist
            April 9, 2018 at 3:33 am

            Here is what the Russians found in that rebel “laboratory” in Ghouta. Lots of photos included.

            http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/04/08/syria-the-egregious-western-media-chemical-weapon-fraud-in-eastern-ghouta/

            Doesn’t look possible to safely make any “nerve agents” in that dump. Rather, it looks like the place is dedicated to making explosives and incendiaries, like white phosphorous and napalm (a gelatinous mix of flaming gasoline, benzene and polystyrene). Napalm can be delivered using good old fashioned flame-throwers, and, in fact, was the chemical weapon used against the civilian victims.

            The government forces were correct, they did find a chemical weapon (though not a nerve agent, but an old American favorite) stockpiled in a rebel location which was later used against the civilian population and for which they and the Russkies are now being blamed by Washington. Nothing ever changes. Every act of the terrorists is ascribed to the diabolical Assad and Putin, and neither American citizens nor NATO governments question the sequence of events or their cause and effect. Either the Big Lie or fear of deviating from it has been exquisitely perfected in this new millennium.

          • Realist
            April 9, 2018 at 3:38 am

            This endless “moderation” is damned tiresome. Whose side are you on, CN? How can we have a functional conversation when my entries are interrupted for sometimes a couple of days before appearing?

          • ThomasGilroy
            April 9, 2018 at 6:30 am

            Thanks for your reply. I found the Sputnik report (from one of your previous posts). The Sputnik report doesn’t mention Israel – just Saudi Arabia and “western” countries. The report mentions Chlorine and other toxic chemicals, but without any identification. The report also mentions “produce” military grade agents so apparently, the chemicals are allegedly produced (mixed?) at this site. Sarin would be difficult to produce at a small facility in East Ghouta, but chlorine seems more realistic.

            As I mentioned previously, the “rebels” have a greater motive to stage a false flag attack than Assad has to use chemical weapons. That doesn’t absolve Assad of the charge however. One of the major problems for Assad has been the identification of the sarin used in several attacks (like East Ghouta in 2013) as coming from his stockpile i.e., same chemical signature. I seriously doubt that the US or Israel is supplying chemical weapons to the fighters in East Ghouta, but the “rebels” could have smuggled chlorine into East Ghouta.

          • Realist
            April 9, 2018 at 4:28 pm

            Why would you “doubt” that the US or Israel may have been smuggling chemical weapons to the rebels when each of several such false flags clearly served as a pretext for Washington to attack Assad’s forces or to reverse announced plans to withdraw American forces from the conflict? The timing of such stimulus and response has perfectly coincided on every such occasion. (Read Moon of Alabama’s exquisite timeline of several such events.) If you believe the United States because it is honest and honorable and takes only the moral path, you are deluded. My country has been lying to me on matters of war and peace since the Korean War and the creation of Israel. (And, it was confabulating pretexts for wars in many other instances long before I was born.)

            Washington’s spooks don’t have to be supplying agent directly from its own stockpiles, in fact, it would be using substitutes from other available sources for the reasons you mentioned. If it does have the signature of Assad’s own stockpiles, I submit they were purloined by American special ops when turned over to the US military for destruction in ships off Syria’s coast.

            According to the Arms Control Association, there are 16 nations that have or had stockpiles of chemical weapons. Several of these, including Syria, Libya and Iraq nominally destroyed their stocks under international supervision. “On September 27, 2017, the OPCW announced that Russia completed destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal” (ACA fact sheet). However, there may well be canisters of vintage agents from these and other countries for sale by rogue arms merchants and nation state intelligence agencies who want to foment war and chaos in the world.

            There are also several states still very much in the business of manufacturing this highly desired commodity, including Egypt and Sudan (among the “baddies”) and, for which the “moderate rebels” will pay good money. Several of America’s allies are also suspected of manufacturing or still stockpiling such agents, though they deny it. The UK obviously does, though their name oddly doesn’t appear among other suspects like S.Korea, Japan, Israel or Taiwan.

            Albania had a chemical weapons program and, although they claim it was dismantled in 2007, its radical appendage of intrigue and organised crime–Kosovo–seems a prime suspect as a source if Washington really wants its Daesh operatives to pull off another false flag to trigger an American strike against Assad’s army. Washington does not have to hand-deliver agent from its own stocks at Fort Detrick to ensure that this vicious cycle continues. It is well-known operating procedure of the intelligence agencies and special ops forces to make their actions look like the dirty work of someone else.

          • Gregory Herr
            April 9, 2018 at 6:12 pm

            In response to Gilroy, 6:30 a.m.

            http://www.jordantimes.com/opinion/michael-jansen/sarin-investigations-refutations-and-vested-interests

            Turns out the “signature” or “identification” of the sarin purportedly used in 2013 is not “a major problem for Assad” at all.

        • Gregory Herr
          April 8, 2018 at 7:55 pm

          The people of Aleppo, Homs, and the eastern suburbs of Damascus who have been freed by the Syrian Army of the vile terrorist mercenaries (you know, the groups the White Helmets embed with) could give you an idea of what’s been going on in Syria Gilroy.

          Why do you think these “attacks” take place in terrorist held territory? Why would the Syrian Army think or feel a need to use chemical weapons? They (and Assad) would not have the general support of the Syrian people over these past 7 years had they been reckless with civilians.

          The other two false flag chemical “attacks” (2013 & 2017) are shown to be risible ruses and this latest “version” of the “evil Assad and his Russian cohorts” is no less preposterous.

          • Realist
            April 9, 2018 at 1:18 am

            Apparently, someone is attacking the Syrian airbase in Homs with missiles. The Pentagon denies it is their doing. Israel refuses to comment. (Sputnik News) How they are itching for war.

            I sure hope that Trump doesn’t reflexively attack Syrian government assets again, but he is raving like a maniac again and, based on the allegations made during the evening news, the American people probably expect it, as we have been told that Assad is gassing his own people yet again. That one trick pony still works like a charm. Facts are irrelevant when we live in the Matrix.

            I need to find a new planet to live on.

          • Realist
            April 9, 2018 at 1:29 am

            Could be France attacking the Syrian base. They were just invited in by Trump to defend the Kurds and, reportedly, Macron and Trump had a phone conversation agreeing that Assad and Syria needed to be held accountable for the latest chemical weapons attack in Ghouta. Macron is having illusions of military grandeur, having forgotten any lessons learned by Sarkozy.

          • Gregory Herr
            April 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm

            My sentiments as well Realist. Sure hope cooler heads prevail.

  13. April 7, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    If Yulia Skripal were any other ordinary patient who has spent 30-days in hospital, she would be given a telephone to call her family and friends with unlimited freedom, to anywhere on Earth, following a normal medical practice proven to accelerate the healing process. Perhaps Yulia Skripal prefers to communicate with loved ones through the internet, so offering her a laptop with unlimited freedom would help lift her spirits and speed her back to health. Allowing Yulia Skripal to contact or message her family and friends through a video camera recording can be accomplished in just one minute, and represents another beneficial-for-healing action most medical professionals understand works very well. Every man and woman in the world understands spending time sitting bedside with hospitalized family or friends is the standard, basic and automatic action beneficial for the patient’s healing.

    • John A
      April 8, 2018 at 3:14 am

      Pets are also known to aid healing. Maybe bringing in her cat or guinea pigs would cheer her up?

      Oh wait, the guinea pigs died of thirst in the sealed house and the cat was euthenased by a vet. Despite the fact that the police were informed there were pets inside. Their bodies wre then cremated rather than dissected to check for any possible chemicals in their systems.
      Pause for more thought?

  14. Brewer
    April 7, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Those who create this sort of disinformation campaign do not much care if a minority of analysts can shoot great holes in the narrative. They do not care what you and I think so long as the “Russia did it” headline is implanted in the unquestioning (probably 90%) mind.
    Note how the Litvinenko, Anna Politkovskaya and Boris Nemtsov deaths have been used as fuel for the “Putin did it” fire in this Skripal affair. This despite the fact that those other cases have long been debunked or at least largely discredited.
    The propagandist’s art does not concern itself with fact or truth, it merely aims at creating a majority opinion in the first response to headlines then, when the true facts emerge they are relegated to the back pages.

  15. Drew Hunkins
    April 7, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Off topic:

    The Dept of Homeland Security recently announced that it will begin to collect a database of “media influencers”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

    If I were a prominent dissident or anti-war, anti-Wall St, anti-Zionist journalist, commentator, scholar, activist, or intellectual I’d be deeply, deeply saddened if I did not make the cut to get on Homeland Security’s “media influencers” list.

    One wonders if they will put at the top of the list folks like Judith Miller, Haim Saban and Sheldon Adeleson who certainly influence the media far beyond anything a Noam Chomsky, Robert Parry or Caitlin Johnstone ever have.

  16. ThomasGilroy
    April 7, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Ms. Johnstone

    Also interesting is Aitkenhead’s denial of Russia’s assertion that the nerve agent could have come from Porton Down, not because the laboratory doesn’t have such weapons in its possession but because the laboratory has “the highest levels of security and controls.” Which to me sounds an awful lot like an admission that they have the same nerve agent that was used upon the Skripals in their possession

    So the same laboratory that admits publically they cannot identify the source of the Novichok actually supplied the Novichok for the attempted murder of Skripal? Of course that is totally absurd.

    1. This is the second attempted murder of a double agent by Russia on British soil. Litvinenko was given a polonium 210 sandwich which killed him over a three week period in 2006. The accused murderers reside in Russia and Putin will not extradite them. Additionally (as reported by British media), Puitn threatened Skripal when he was traded to Britain for Russian spies.

    Putin made the threat the year Skripal, who was jailed for passing Russian state secrets to British intelligence in exchange for $100,000 (£72,000), was granted asylum in Britain after a spy exchange between Russia and the US.

    “Traitors will kick the bucket,” Putin says in the video. “Trust me. These people betrayed their friends, their brothers in arms. Whatever they got in exchange for it, those thirty pieces silver they were given, they will choke on them.”

    Shortly after Skripal and his daughter were poisoned, the New York Times reported on the state operated Channel one in Russia:

    soon after news of the nerve gas attack in Salisbury broke, the evening news host on the state-controlled?Channel One gave voice to what, under Mr. Putin, is the Russian state’s view of traitors.

    “I don’t wish death on anyone, but for purely educational purposes, I have a warning for anyone who dreams of such a career,” the newscaster Kirill Kleimenov told viewers. “The profession of a traitor is one of the most dangerous in the world.”

    So this was a loud and clear message to potential intelligence “traitors” that you are not safe anywhere.

    2. Does anyone truly believe that murdering double agents from Russia is a good idea for the future of inducing Russia agents to defect? The idea that the Britsih or any western country would murder a Russian double agent just to embarrass or throw more sanctions on Russia is winging out BS because they really have no reasonable explanation. Russia continues to provide additional reasons for sanctions all on their own. They certainly don’t need help from the west!

    3. Russia has a history of assassinations of political opponents and journalists that don’t tow the party line – like the six journalists from Novaya Gazeta murdered during the Putin tenure. Then there was the murder of Boris Nemtsov who exposed the Russian war effort in Ukraine including the downing of MH17 and the invasions of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine by the military. Has even one RT or Sputnik journalist been assassinated?

    Russia has a foreign policy strategy of lie and deny. Everything points toward Russia being behind the attempted murder of Skripal and his daughter – and that is without any of the intelligence that the British government used to convince her allies which is likely substantial.

    • ThomasGilroy
      April 7, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      3. (continued from above post) Denis Voronenkov – a former MP in Russia and a prominent Kremlin critic – was gunned down in Ukraine in broad daylight in 2017. There is a pattern of murder almost impossible to deny carried out by the Russian mafia state under the direction of the ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin. Even an ostrich with his head buried in the sand can see that.

    • Gregory Herr
      April 9, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Ms. Johnstone did not say nor imply that Porton Down “actually supplied the Novichok for the attempted murder of Skripal”. Her discussion centered upon the lack of crime scene forensics and jumping to conclusions without evidence.
      The Aitkenhead denial of Russia’s assertion that the nerve agent could have come from Porton Down by referencing “the highest levels of security and control” rather than simply stating that Porton Down never possessed such samples does beg the question of possession, does it not? What is absurd is for you to put words in Ms. Johnstone’s mouth so that you could say she is being absurd. And the really absurd thing…which is the main point of the article…is that Russia is being blamed (once again) for some “very bad thing” without the slightest bit of forensic evidence and within a counterintuitive “narrative” (more absurdity).

  17. Realist
    April 7, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    There is still no evidence that the Skripals were poisoned by a “military grade” nerve agent. If they WERE, they’d be dead… on the day they contacted the stuff. People have been killed or rendered living vegetables by exposure to commercial pesticides like Vikane or methyl bromide, intended to kill insects not humans. Ask the high profile pest control companies about the lawsuits they have lost for accidentally killing unwitting residents with such agents (there was a famous case in the Virgin Islands just a couple of years ago). The Skripal’s not only didn’t die, they have apparently recovered all their motor and mental faculties. The victims of accidental poisonings by agents intended to kill roaches should have been so lucky as they wait for years to die in a permanent vegetative state. Besides “accidental” contamination with pesticides, what toxins may the pair have consumed recently in their diets? Were no such contingencies even vaguely contemplated by the British brain trust? Notice, that we don’t even have to speculate on an actual murder attempt having been made by the British intelligence service (or other state actors) or by one of the outed double agents whom Sergei Skripal betrayed years ago acting independent of any government in order to throw cold water on Downing Street’s knee-jerk slander of Vladimir Putin and the Russian state.

    As others have belatedly said, what of the pets? I don’t just mention them for humanitarian reasons, which IS a valid point, but as potential pieces of evidence in any REAL attempt to identify whatever chemical agent affected the Skripal’s. To reiterate, if it were a genuine “military grade” nerve agent, the animals should have been killed around the time the Skripal’s were dosed (assuming their home was purposely contaminated with the substance), especially since the LD50 for a cat or hamster is orders of magnitude lower than for a human. But, even if not immediately lethal, the animals should have been studied as evidence to see if any of the putative agent had entered their bodies, as might be expected for a volatile substance within a confined space, just as in any fumigation. The agencies not only willfully ignored this critical evidence, but according to reports, they destroyed it through incineration, in the case of the cat. If the fragile little hamsters really died days later of dehydration and not immediately from respiratory arrest, that sure doesn’t square with Boris Johnson’s ravings on the day of the “crime.” So far we can’t even say WHAT poisoned the Skripal’s let alone WHO might have done so and for what motive. There is a lot more one could say on the matter, but NONE of it redounds to the UK’s credit.

    • David G
      April 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      All good points, Realist.

      I’ve certainly wondered about some more mundane organophosphate being involved, rather than the hyperexotic Novichok. Of course, if that’s the case then the Porton Down boffins will have to do a climb down on the one thing they have unambiguously determined – a thing at the heart of their supposed expertise.

      But then nothing else in what we know (or what we think we know) fits in with the “military grade nerve agent” scenario.

      I for one am sincerely trying to view this case from the official Whitehall/BBC perspective – not so much because I can envision ever actually believing it, as because I’m endeavoring to figure out whether it can survive at all, or if it’s instead headed for a spectacular, scandalous implosion, as I suggested in an earlier comment.

      I give great credit to the British establishment’s ability to orchestrate prolonged, smothering, decorous cover-ups. They’re a lot better at it than their U.S. counterparts, who more often rely (usually successfully) on public amnesia and distractions from the world of show biz. But I’m beginning to think they may really have worked their way out on a ledge with this one, with no way back and a long way to fall.

      • Realist
        April 7, 2018 at 4:30 pm

        Certainly, in the interests of good science and competent law enforcement, the British government owes the world a look at the original spectrographs of all the samples from the Skripals’ body tissue, from the alleged sources of contact with the agent (car, door, interior of house, etc), and from the standard of the purported purified “novichok” used for comparison, along with an explanation of who synthesized the standard and how the British laboratory came to be in possession of it if they did not make it. Especial care should be directed at whether or not the unknown samples vary from the standard, in what way and to what degree, because too perfect a match may suggest that the substances are one and the same, i.e., planted. One might reasonably expect the ratios of unreacted precursors or side products to subtly differ if made in totally different venues from different source materials using different equipment, even if the same lab protocol has nominally been followed. Of course, the Brits have now had plenty of time to “dry lab” a cover-up–though they’d still rather not show us anything that can be objectively analysed. Why is the West never forthcoming with the data (the actual evidence) be it the downing of the airliner over Ukraine, the purported “hacking” of an election by Russia, or now this?

        • David G
          April 11, 2018 at 4:02 pm

          Hey, it finally showed up!

          Indeed, these Russia-bugbear stories would go very differently if the accusations were held to rational standards of proof.

      • Realist
        April 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm

        …and I gave you a thoroughly reasonable response, but it was sent to moderation. So, like the international public expecting a timely response from her majesty’s secret service, you’ll just have to wait.

        • David G
          April 7, 2018 at 7:19 pm

          Ha! Well, I expect I’ll see it sooner than that. Something to look forward to.

          • Realist
            April 8, 2018 at 11:28 pm

            Waiting two days now for my remarks not at all at variance with the original piece. They were just a plea for good science and competent law enforcement. No provocative words that I can see, Zachary. Just another case of moderation in all things.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 7, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      There is still no evidence that the Skripals were poisoned by a “military grade” nerve agent. If they WERE, they’d be dead… on the day they contacted the stuff.

      From what I’ve read through the years, the part I bolded ought to be corrected to “in the same hour”.

      I looked over your post quite carefully, and concluded the word “virgin” was the only term which might possibly have triggered the “moderation”. It wasn’t, and I’m in the dark about the issue as much as you.

    • Jake G
      April 8, 2018 at 6:35 am

      If they really lied, and its so easily proven, then I would be very afraid as a Skripal now. But they probably dont even know what happened yet and will believe anything they are being told. Sounds more like they are treated like prisoners.

  18. April 7, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Didn’t the British hang Nathan Hale?

  19. April 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    April 7, 2018
    An Excuse to Start a War?

    Are they looking for an excuse to start a war?
    The warmongering criminals, hear them roar
    Russia did this and Russia is always doing that
    The western war criminals, accusations fall flat

    They are the ones that plotted a number of wars
    Iraq, Libya, Syria are the “work” of these bloody whores
    Millions are dead, and their countries destroyed
    And the western war criminals are of ethics, devoid

    Now they are encircling Russia with nuclear missiles
    Is it any wonder that Russia is starting to bristle?
    The war criminals are making allegations and trying to provoke
    Do they want the world to explode and go up in smoke?

    Do they think Russia will tolerate their propaganda and lies?
    Will their machinations bring hellfire down from the skies?
    Are the war criminals drunk with power, blood, and gore?
    Do these mad bastards, and criminals, want a Nuclear War?…

    [much more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2018/04/an-excuse-to-start-war.html

    • mike k
      April 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      You’ve summed it up masterfully Stephen – as usual.

      • April 7, 2018 at 3:42 pm

        thanks mike k.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 7, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      “Do these mad bastards, and criminals, want a Nuclear War?…”
      Actually Stephen J. I think they do,..

      • April 7, 2018 at 3:44 pm

        i concur, Bob Van Noy, imbeciles and war criminals rule. they think their bunkers will save them!

  20. Lolita
    April 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    ONE Canadian journalist has guts to call the Freeland affair for what it is, ONE: his name is Thomas Walkom.
    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/04/05/why-did-canada-expel-four-russian-diplomats-because-they-told-the-truth.html
    Thank you sir!

    Backgrounder: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/09/another-russia-fake-news-red-herring/

  21. T.J
    April 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    It is clear that the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal is unlikely to serve Russian interests, whereas the exploitation of this event is clearly advantageous to Britain. I don’t believe the British establishment ever operated on principle or integrity. The infamous WMD lies is evidence of that.The British empire has been duplicitous in its actions almost everywhere it has operated its so-called “democratic principals”. It prided itself on “good governance “ but that required covering its tracks so that the true story is never revealed. Mostly their dark deeds are hidden in the archives. In the case of Kenya, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) after decades of consistent denial and considerable pressure, suddenly discovered a cache of secret files at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire, a repository of more than 8,000 files from 37 former colonies. Some of the documents related to the Kenyan Emergency. These documents provided evidence of widespread and systemic abuse. The FCO response was demonstrably hypothetical. They stated “we believe there should be a debate about the past. It is an enduring feature of democracy that we are willing to learn from our history”. There is real doubt that the FCO is genuine, as they continue to conceal documents to avoid embarrassment and reputational risk. Even so, many of the British empire’s most sensitive documents were destroyed mostly by incineration. Throughout it colonies files relating to systemic torture, murder and rape were removed from the colonial archives. The files found in Hanslope Park were probably the least embarrassing.
    Even though much of the evidence, relating to Kenya, was destroyed, Caroline Elkins Professor of History at Harvard University, researching what she believed to be good colonial governance in Kenya, instead uncovered a systematic campaign of brutality during the Kenyan Emergency. She collected “hundreds of oral testimonies and integrated them with remaining archival evidence to challenge entrenched views of British imperialism”. Considering their past history of deceit and lies, it is difficult to believe that their narrative, on current events, is credible.

  22. Jeff
    April 7, 2018 at 11:52 am

    The old colonial powers have become even more brazen in their quest to retain some of their old control over their old colonies. It should be intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers that “the West” (really the US, GB, France, and Germany) and their NATO lackeys have the fix on and will try to put the screws to any nation that doesn’t toe their line. We’ll have to see how far they get.

  23. David G
    April 7, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Can the official narrative here escape total collapse? And in a way that even the BBC might have to give it some coverage?

    In the Malysian airliner shoot-down and Syrian chemical attacks, the locations were remote enough, and the facts complicated enough, that the Western state-media apparatus could count on the official version sticking in the public mind no matter how many holes people like Robert Parry poked in it.

    But I don’t see how the U.K. state can keep this Humpty Dumpty from smashing to bits in front of everybody.

    And while the favored strategy when the factual going gets tough is usually to just go silent and move on, in this case the complicit, oligarchic media will be hard pressed to simply drop the subject and expect everyone to forget about it.

  24. April 7, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Perhaps a wicked witch planted a poisoned apple at the restaurant….I’ve heard she operates out of 10 Downing Street.

  25. Charles Watkins
    April 7, 2018 at 10:27 am

    It is hard to imagine that a spymaster like Putin would order something like this. Not only does it appear to implicate Russia, it hurts his ability to recruit spies — assurance that they will be ransomed is an important factor in getting someone to take risky assignments. This is something he understands very well.

    So one effect of this incident would be to undermine Russia’s participation in some high-profile spy swap, one that might require approval by higher powers. In a politicized environment, those approvals might become more difficult. So my question is whether there is some high profile spy swap being foiled. Is there someone held in Russia that the British leadership does not want back in the UK? Or do the Brits have some Russian spy that some faction does not want to return to the Russians?

  26. Al Pinto
    April 7, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Caitlin forgot to mention…

    Novichok formula is out in the open, anyone with chemistry background could make it and the substance cannot be traced back to the person, entity, or country.

    https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/1432725661/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520920301&sr=8-1&keywords=vil+mirzayanov

    It’s only $30, or so with shipping…

    You don’t have to believe me, this is what the author stated on his Facebook page, dated 03.12.18 at 2:48pm, translated from Russian:

    “Theresa May said that ‘Novichok’ has been used in the assassination attempt on Skripal. Its chemical formula has been published only in my book,”

    Source: https://www.facebook.com/vil.mirzayanov

    Novichok is not on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons controlled list, just like most fertilizers don’t show up there. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has stated complete destruction of Russian Federation chemical weapons in 2017. These efforts had been “helped” by both the US and British companies.

    Since the composition of the Novichok depends on the person mixing the two compounds, there are always minor variation in the chemical composite of the final product. It would be interesting to know, if the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory sample matched exactly the one that had been used on the former spy. And if it came from the same batch Britain, Russia and the US could have the Novichok in their labs.

    • Piotr Berman
      April 9, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      I think that it is not that each person will have a different variation, but each batch in “artisanal production”, i.e. on a lab bench rather than in an industrial production line. Thus the source cannot be determined from chemical analysis. I think that there is no other way but some forensics about the culprit.

      There was some tall tale in an English newspaper attributed to sources in HMG that the poison was applied in gel form to the door handle when Skripals were out, and when they returned at 11 am (from a cemetary?) they got into contact with poison that had a very sophisticated formulation, 4 hour delay in action, allowing the perpetrators to flee England (perhaps by driving to the coast and embarking a boat that subsequently encountered Russian submarine, this is MINE detail). I rather doubt that four hour delay can be programmed into a chemical that is fast-acting by nature, I read about delivery systems that have delayed action, but a gel would be pretty unreliable concerning the timing. Some fastidious people, like my ex, would wash hands after returning home, some wash hands every time before eating etc. If the gel delays the release it can be washed off, if it does not, then the poison had unheard off property — action of absorbed chemical that is delayed by a very specific amount of time that does not depend on does or health status. Slow acting poisons are typically poisons that are applied over a period of time before the lethal dose is absorbed, either give no symptoms or confusing symptoms.

      Even if possible, it is hard to imagine a similar chemical formula.

  27. April 7, 2018 at 10:10 am

    War criminal birds of a feather bomb and kill together.
    —————————————————————-
    March 30, 2018
    “Solidarity among War Criminals”

    “Because of the nerve poison attack, NATO also imposed punitive measures against Russia. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that seven employees of the Russian NATO representation would be deprived of accreditation. In addition, the Russian delegation will be limited to 20 of the current 30 employees. The NATO countries had already condemned the attack on Skripal earlier this month and expressed their solidarity with Great Britain….” 29.03.2018

    It must have been very heartening for the war gangs and war criminals of NATO [1] to see the solidarity of their members all voicing their criticism of Russia despite there being no proof that Russia was behind this attack in Salisbury, England. Oh well, to paraphrase an old saying, “war criminal birds of a feather always stick or fly, bomb, and kill together.”

    Their frenzy of solidarity was a sight to see, war criminals, torturers, child killers, trainers and supporters of terrorists, murderers, killers of civilians, assassins, killers of children with drones, suppliers of arms to head chopping dictators, and on and on goes the list that these heinous hypocrites with fancy titles [2] are culpable of….
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2018/03/solidarity-among-war-criminals.html

  28. April 7, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I believe the real criminals reside in the West, and are murderers of millions.
    —————————————————————-
    March 27, 2018
    “The Self Righteous War Criminals That Murdered Millions”

    Countries have been destroyed by these murdering self righteous war criminal hypocrites (past and presently) in positions of power, and the corporate media has ignored the killing of millions by these reprobates. Instead, we are expected to believe that an “attempted murder” was committed in Salisbury, England and that Russia is to blame, despite there being no proof. One has to ask, what are these western war criminals up to? As mentioned earlier, they are responsible for the deaths of millions of people, in wars that they planned. [1] They are the diabolical destroyers of a number of countries. [2]
    Therefore, based on the evidence that these corrupt villains planned and plotted numerous wars, why would anyone with any intelligence, believe the heinous hypocrisy emanating from their lying lips? Still, their treachery is covered up by the propaganda pushers in the corporate media. [3]…
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2018/03/the-self-righteous-war-criminals-that.html

  29. April 7, 2018 at 9:51 am

    You so belong here, darlin’, to help beef up the legacy of Robert Parry. Welcome welcome welcome.

  30. Tannenhouser
    April 7, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Pretty sure I saw the title of this SA in a comment thread at MoA, the author didn’t give credit so maybe I’m wrong.

  31. incontinent reader
    April 7, 2018 at 9:00 am

    See also the superb analysis by John Helmer at: http://johnhelmer.net/the-empire-strikes-backwards/#more-18987, and those by Craig Murray at his website, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk, and UK Column News at: https://www.ukcolumn.org

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 7, 2018 at 10:31 am

      Thank you incontinent reader, I especially recommend the ending of the Column News.

      “In closing, I must of course express the fervent wish that we avoid a third world war and reiterate the fine patriotism of the overwhelming majority of British intelligence officers at all agencies. To any current staff of the intelligence agencies, I would say: Don’t take a single larger-than-life colleague’s or senior’s word for anything pertinent to your quarries. Above all, learn — outside work — enough of our history and constitution to be able to work conscientiously and lawfully, which is a very different kettle of fish from observing mere “legalities”.” ALEX THOMSON

    • incontinent reader
      April 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

      I forgot to add that Moon of Alabama (MoA) and The Saker are other excellent sources at: http://www.moonofalabama.org and thesaker.is
      And, of course, go to the Russian MFA website and the Russian Embassy in the UK websites – http://www.mid.ru and http://www.rusemb.org.uk – to see Russia’s response and the questions it has raised.

      My fear is that just as the MH-17 and Khan Sheikoun investigations have been corrupted by U.K. interference, the same may happen here.

      • incontinent reader
        April 7, 2018 at 2:22 pm

        Saker’s site is: http://thesaker.is And, I’m sorry for having omitted mention of Alexander Mercouris’ excellent commentary at THE DURAN

  32. Bob Van Noy
    April 7, 2018 at 8:32 am

    “We’re being lied to. Again”

    Excellent perception Caitlin it looks like the entire process is “flipping” at this moment. The best analysis, I think is at OffGuardian right now. Another elaborate False Flag…

    https://off-guardian.org/2018/04/07/the-rapidly-evolving-skripal-story-evidence-of-the-destruction-of-an-anglo-american-plan/

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 7, 2018 at 8:38 am
      • Skip Scott
        April 7, 2018 at 2:15 pm

        Thanks for the links Bob. Both are excellent.

      • Dave P.
        April 8, 2018 at 12:46 am

        Bob, there is very informative interview of Jose Bustani, first elected Director General of OPCW on RT today. I put the link in my earlier comments but it is still in moderation after several hours. I will add the link below in separate comments.

      • Dave P.
        April 8, 2018 at 12:48 am

        The link to Jose Bustani’s interview on RT today:

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

  33. Babyl-on
    April 7, 2018 at 8:07 am

    AngloZionist/Wahhabi Empire – ONLY GOAL = “Global full spectrum domination” The empire is in full attack mode against the remaining areas of the globe where it does not dominate militarily and where the Western oligarchs do not yet maintain monopoly market control. It is all about the ruthless ideology of Calvin/Mohamed/yhwh – the slaughter of the innocents to appease a vengeful god and rid the world of evil. Their only morality is – obey us or burn in hell.

    • Sam F
      April 7, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Yes, the amoral US does have excessive far-flung bases, but it is not really attacking China or India, and is primarily making trouble for Russia to keep it out of Syria. Apparently the zionist ex-Russian oligarchs are happy to make trouble for Russia anywhere, with any doddering Russia-hating Brzezinskiites they can revive, and there are no doubt “full dominance” aspirations in our tyrant class. But the politicians are focused on the bribery sources, as you note, the zionist/wahhabi sources, whose goals are primarily dominance in the Mideast.

  34. Skip Scott
    April 7, 2018 at 7:42 am

    Another great article from Caitlin Johnstone. I’m really glad she has been included here at CN. She doesn’t just speak truth to power, she yells it from the rooftops! Our only hope for peace is to shed light on the propaganda spewing from the MSM and show them to be the lying lapdogs for the MIC and Wall St. that they are.

  35. mike k
    April 7, 2018 at 7:34 am

    This has been a totally sloppy, obvious false flag charade from A to Z. Various analysts have examined it from numerous angles, and it does not hold water in any way. The “authorities” are exposing themselves more and more as the complete liars they have always been. The problem is that the larger public is so sound asleep that they do not realize they are being conned again, and again, and again…….

    • mellieb
      April 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Oh, they realize it, all right. They can’t handle it, so they’re ignoring it in the hopes that it will all go away.

      That’s not going to happen.

  36. Martin - Swedish citizen
    April 7, 2018 at 7:18 am

    According to the BBC, Mr Foggo of the UK “told the emergency OPCW meeting that the UK had blamed Russia based on:
    * the identification of the nerve agent used
    * knowledge that Russia “has produced this agent and remains capable of doing so”
    * Russia’s record of conducting state sponsored assassinations
    * The assessment that Russia “views defectors as suitable targets for assassination””

    That’s apparently it. How can Russian guilt be inferred from this?

    • David G
      April 7, 2018 at 10:47 am

      “At the Hague meeting, UK acting representative John Foggo had said the victim of a chemical weapons’ attack was not required to work with the ‘likely perpetrator’.” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43648343

      *Foggo*, no less!

      Perhaps a cousin of CIA fraudster and black-site impresario Dusty Foggo: https://theintercept.com/2015/01/12/dusty-foggo-scott-horton/

      The Anglo-American imperium always seems to have a Foggo on hand to keep things foggy.

    • David G
      April 7, 2018 at 11:02 am

      You’re forgetting the door handle, Martin!

      The Brits have gotten hold of a secret Russian manual that says door handles are the Kremlin’s special patented way of bumping people off, so it just had to be them.

      And Boris must be really devoted to that method, since this was an external door handle and it was raining heavily in Salisbury that day. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/knobs-and-knockers/

      • David G
        April 7, 2018 at 11:56 am

        My writing “Boris” there was a slip: I meant “Vladimir” – he whose nefarious fingers are stuck in every good Englishman’s pie.

        But actually Boris fits just fine in this case.

        • Piotr Berman
          April 9, 2018 at 3:42 pm

          There is also Boris Badenov, partner of Natasha Fatale.

      • john wilson
        April 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm

        Plus david G, 25 days of people coming and going in and out of the house. I presume they used the door knob?handle to get in and out. by now any trace of poison would be well rubbed off as I said above, those touching the door should be affected, but they aren’t.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        April 7, 2018 at 2:50 pm

        Indeed, David G, but then, so did foggy Foggo. :)

  37. Bruce
    April 7, 2018 at 7:15 am

    I’m not sure its even been established that a nerve agent was used to poison the skiprals. The fact they both survived suggests it wasn’t used. I’m sure a “sample” of something was obtained from their front door….weeks after the attack. I’m sure the skiprals will be kept in hospital for a while, until all traces of what they were actually poisoned with has left their system.

    • john wilson
      April 7, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Bruce: there have been hundreds of goings and comings from the house of these two people, so anything on the door said to be found 25 days later is a lie. It would have been long rubbed off by now and if it wasn’t, how come none of the many people in and out of there were not affected? The real flaw in this farce is the policeman, because as yet, there isn’t any credible reason given for his contamination. He couldn’t of got from the pair themselves because they were both well and truly handled by a member of the public who alerted the emergency services, the ambulance crew and numerous doctors and nurses and none of them were affected. The policeman was OK when he left the hospital to go to the house of the Skripal’s and merely went there to inform possible relatives of the problem. He may have touched the door knob but if he did he should be just as affected as the Skripals himself. However, he was in hospital for just a few days and was then discharged in full uniform looking a picture of health. The saying “I smell a rat” comes to mind and in this case the rat is the size of a horse!!!

  38. James
    April 7, 2018 at 5:54 am

    This is a fine piece of writing. You stick to the facts and you ask the appropriate questions.

    From the beginning I felt this whole story did not stack up – they announced within 24 hours it was the Russians!!!

    The Media in the UK has just been engaged in supporting the government lies. No questioning of the official story has taken place.

    The bbc did not even report on the issue of Boris Johnson’s lies- until the day after and then they said he misspoke or they couldn’t be sure he did lie.

    Then they switched the story to an attack on Jeremy Corbyn the labour leader.

    Some Europeans, Australia, Canada who supported this mess are s disgrace – I quite wrongly expected common sense from them.

    The USA just use any excuse to attack Russia.

    The countries in the EU that didn’t go along with this – are honourable indeed

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      April 7, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Indeed it is a disgrace, not least on the part of the Swedish government, which allegedly pushed the decision in the EU to collectively eject the Russian diplomats. The Swedish government by its action disregards the rule of law and principle of passing judgement only when guilt is proven. They set aside the very fundamental principles that are otherwise considered the essence of democracy; they also establish a precedent, and hurt the value of the Swedish voice in international issues. It remains of course to be seen who is actually responsible and who committed this crime, and perhaps we will never know or it will never be known.

      • Piotr Berman
        April 7, 2018 at 11:09 am

        Sweden has past achievements to keep up with. After years of indefatigable search for Russian submarines they found one wreck from 1915. The treatment of Assange raises question about what “rule of law” means in Sweden. Seems like the country never really got over the debacle at Poltava. (Russia also deprived Sweden of Livonia that was heavily taxed by Swedish kings so gentry there became enthusiastic follower of tsars and Finland.)

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          April 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm

          Well, the atmosphere has changed lot since 2014, for the worse.
          I don’t fully agree about the subs. Probably, the Baltic teemed with subs from both alliances. There was the Russian whiskey on the rocks incident, but there were rumours about NATO subs as well. Some called them budget subs.
          About Assange, I agree it is strange, and about Poltava, you are right.

    • Tannenhouser
      April 7, 2018 at 9:07 am

      And the attacks on Chrystia Freelands Nazi sympathizer heritage has been blamed on expelled Russians by JT in Canada.

      • Abe
        April 8, 2018 at 12:28 am

        Chrystia Freelands’s maternal grandfather, Mykhailo Khomiak (Anglicized as Michael Chomiak), was the editor-in-chief of a Ukrainian-language pro-Nazi newspaper called Krakivs’ki visti launched in Kraków in occupied Poland during World War II, with exposure orchestrated by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels himself.

        The facts about Nazi collaborator Michael Chomiak were confirmed by the University of Alberta historian and Chomiak’s son-in-law, Professor John-Paul Himka.
        http://nationalpost.com/opinion/colby-cosh-of-course-its-news-that-freelands-grampa-was-a-nazi-collaborator-even-if-the-russians-are-spreading-it

        Freeland and others claimed the news regarding her grandfather’s connection to Nazism was merely “Russian disinformation”.

  39. Brendan
    April 7, 2018 at 5:33 am

    I’m afraid this article is already out of date, since there are more bizarre new developments every day.
    Yesterday we were told:

    – Sergei Skripal is improving rapidly. That’s another miraculous recovery from an attack with a lethal nerve agent, just like his daughter Yulia a week earlier. Her condition has improved enough that she was able to phone her Russian cousin Victoria.

    – Victoria has been denied a visa to the UK, even though she’s obviously very close to Yulia and has been expressing concern about her for weeks.

    – Sergei’s pets (two guinea pigs and a cat) have died, but not from any nerve agent – the investigators just sealed off the house and left them there for several days. The police apparently didn’t think about the pets’ welfare or that they might provide useful forensic evidence (or more likely, they did think that and were afraid of what it might reveal !)

    – British Intelligence claims that it’s got its hands on a Russian manual that instructs agents how to smear nerve agent on door handles (the alleged method for poisoning the Skripals). It also claim to know the location of the Russian laboratory that manufactures Novichok.

    So in the space of about a day, the narrative changed far more than even the article says.

    Almost everything new that we find out about this case – but not from the mass media – shows that the British state is constantly trying to hide information and spread disinformation about it.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 7, 2018 at 10:57 am

      You’re right – the story is evolving quickly. But I believe the key parts of the author’s essay involve the incompetence and dishonesty of the British government. This morning at the Moon of Alabama site I was treated to this headline:

      “The Best Explanation For The Skripal Drama Is Still … Food Poisoning”

      A friend of this blog, Tore, sent us his considerations which we publish below. He suggest that shellfish poisoning, which is caused by a neurotoxin known as Saxitoxin or STX, is the real culprit of the Skripal incident. He explains how this would fit to the observable behavior of the British government and other participants in the drama. In my view his theory has significant merit.

      Who would have guessed that food poisons have been “miliitarized”? Not me, though looking back that would be an obvious thing to do. That the Skripals – despite their different sex, age, and body masses were afflicted at the same time has always suggested to me that their poisonings happened at the same time.

      So putting on the tinfoil hait: Maybe killing them was never the objective, but to generate this whole uproar was the aim all along. Somebody in the restaurant puts a precisely measured dose of an agent into the food of each. NOT a lethal amount, but enough to make them very ill. Under this scenario the policeman was simply taken to a safe place (even an isolated hospital room!) and put on ice for a plausible amount of time until his “recovery”.

      Allowing the Russians (or anybody else) access to their blood work would have been a definite “No-No”, no matter what, for it would have told stories the Brits didn’t want uncovered.

      The government of the UK looks more and more like perfect asses with every passing day – that’s the only “fact” I’m quite sure about.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 7, 2018 at 11:54 pm

      Because none of this makes any sense to me, I’m really open to conspiracy theories. At the zerohedge site I found one.

      I don’t know enough about British politics to understand the guy’s explanation, but basically he is saying the Skripal affair was a big theater show to overturn the May government by the REAL Powers That Be. Quoting now: “In short, this was a coup attempt”.

      He believes May and Johnson were told whopping lies about events by people they had reason to trust, and now that both Skripals are on the way to recovery, May & Company are being hung out to dry as laughingstocks. The last part is spot on, to be sure. Perhaps somebody familiar with the current UK situation can remark whether or not the little piece holds together.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 9, 2018 at 11:46 am

      At the RT site I ran into yet another possible motive for this affair. It seems the UK is protecting dozens of Russian thieves, and the sums involved are about $10 billion dollars. The Russians have been demanding both the people and the money, but the headline says they’ll now settle for return of the stolen money.

      “Russia to Britain: ‘You can keep the criminals, but return the money'”

      Another reason to add to the list of why destroying UK-Russian relations might be seen as a great idea in some quarters.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 9, 2018 at 11:47 am
    • KiwiAntz
      April 10, 2018 at 10:27 pm

      Qiute correct, not since Jesus brought back Lazarus from the grave, has their been such a miraculous recovery Such as happened to the Skripals from a supposed lethal dose of nerve agent called TheresaMaychok?

  40. john wilson
    April 7, 2018 at 5:07 am

    Perhaps in all this farce the real question is being shunned or ignored, because whoever actually was responsible for this chemical attack (if it really was a weapons grade chemical) is surely an enemy of Britain. This crime was carried out KNOWING that it would cause chaos in the political establishment and put Britain at serious odds with Russia. One can argue that it was Russia inspired, our own secret organisations, or the CIA or whatever, but the deed was carried out by an individual here in the UK and to date no one seems to be looking for this individual. An attack on people in the UK with weapons grade chemical weapons must surely cause the police to have a massive man hunt, but to date they don’t seem to be looking for anyone.

    • Antonia
      April 7, 2018 at 5:51 am

      John.The whole thing is too odd. But I think we shall soon see and hear Theresa May announce that there will be no Brexit from Europe.But the severely damage to this country’s standing in the World Stage.

      It is a shame!TM as an MP was a decent person who cared for her constituents, but in the cabinet and as prime minster she is totally out of depth. She trusts too many rogues and is definitely not a good at judging the characters of those who surround her.

      Obviously Mrs May has not read the Chilcot Report about the Iraq War which is several volumes long. If she has not she still can buy for herself a shorten version. I am sure the House of Common’s Library will possess both versions.

    • Doppler
      April 7, 2018 at 11:24 am

      If the authorities preemptively announce a culprit, and then fail to conduct a thorough, unbiased investigation, while misrepresenting the initial evidence, then an independent investigator must be appointed, with access to everything, to deliver a full report, so the public can judge for itself, rather than be expected to rely on discredited and apparently biased state actors. If a false flag, odds are, only a handful participated in it, and very few people know what happened. Question everyone involved in the investigation, the decision to accuse Russia prematurely, and those with access to Britain’s stores of the agent. How was that decision arrived at so preemptively? Why? Enhance the level of comparison of the agents involved, looking for traces in any water or other component that might point to or away from various sources. Review all security camera footage at or near the various sites where the agent was supposedly found, and investigate every lead. Question the victims to identify current reasons to attack them, and their recent activities, contacts. Etc., etc., etc. Get an explanation from Secretary Clinton as to why she was advising her State Department to “play dumb” in response to any inquiries about US development of the nerve agent.

    • mike k
      April 7, 2018 at 11:36 am

      They are not looking for the perpetrator because they are the perpetrator.

    • SteveK9
      April 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      The opposite actually, this is a distraction from Brexit, a way to attack Corbyn, a way to influence other NATO members. If this were a state action, the state is almost certainly Britain, the US, or perhaps Ukraine. It’s more likely they ate some bad shellfish.

    • Dave P.
      April 8, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      John W. – They are not looking for any one from day one because, as George Galloway put it, they already knew who did it. We are living in strange Orwellian World now. It looks real, but it is not.

  41. Annie
    April 7, 2018 at 5:04 am

    What seems so obvious is that if Russia wanted to assassinate Sergei Skripal why would they use a nerve agent that could be connected to them in any way. Why would they attempt to kill him and his daughter who have been living in the UK for years, and at a time when tensions between Russia the US and it’s allies are at an all time high? Not only is there no conclusive proof that Russia was involved in carrying out this crime, but it would be totally counterproductive for them to do so. Not to mention the latest news is both father and daughter are on the mend. I can only assume the US, the UK and the rest of them simply are playing on Russia is evil, and expect people to buy their story the way they pushed their lies about the evil Saddam Hussein, and Gaddafi who supposedly was committing genocide against his own people, another lie.

    • john wilson
      April 7, 2018 at 5:18 am

      This just might be a softening up of we stupid British to prepare us for a large chemical false flag attack in Syria, Annie. You can see by the way the members of both parties in parliament sucked up to liar Mrs May in this affair that persuading them to join the Yanks and go for an all out attack on Syria would be a walk over. The Russians and the Syrian government have found laboratories for producing chemical weapons in the areas they are now clearing of the west’s terrorist pals, so its clear that chemical attacks were planned and are most likely still in preparation.

      • Annie
        April 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        John,
        When I was reading this article Syria did come to mind. I was thinking how quickly people in the US, UK and elsewhere accepted that Assad used chemical weapons based on no conclusive evidence, and therefore would be equally accepting that Russia tried to assassinate Sergei Skripal and his daughter, based solely on their say so. In America as elsewhere black and white thinking is encouraged, or splitting as they call it in psychology, where we are trained to view a country, or a person, and in this case Russia and Putin as bad, and America as good. We don’t encourage people to develop a dichotomous view of both positive and negative qualities to create a cohesive, realistic view of things, and so we get away with murder. Hopefully no more gas attacks in Syria, but who knows.

        • CitizenOne
          April 7, 2018 at 11:06 pm

          The deception reigns supreme.

          Instant verdict in the Syrian gas attack.

          Instant verdict in the Skirpal poisoning.

          Instant World Wide acceptance by corporate news outfits around the World.

          Instant blaming of Russia for the 2016 election even though the Brits have surpassed the Ruskies with Cambridge Analytica influencing the election by the hands of a pro Trump Billionaire Robert Mercer.

          Instant acceptance that Iran was scared of Reagan which is why they released the hostages to the minute that Reagan was sworn in as president.

          Instant acceptance that the Tonkin Gulf Crisis was precipitated by North Vietnamese aggression.

          There never has been anyone in the media to hold the candle flame to the feet of liars in our government or other Anglo Saxon governments.

          There is also silence on the real reasons for war. No talk about the self interest of the MIC and no coverage how the conservatives have locked up the election process with dark money, gerrymandering, voter ID laws, outright lies about millions of illegal voters, black box electronic voting and the influence our allies have had on election influencing.

          If you think Mueller will investigate any of these things you will be disappointed.

          Consider all of this the “Schooling of Trump” and how he will either play the game or be confronted with a myriad of foreign emergencies coming from the US and Britain which will be amplified in the western press in a rush to judgement to pin the blame on Russia.

          They have a vast industrial complex that requires enemies to justify its existence.

          The MIC and the handmaiden main stream journalism which passes for “news” in this country all conspire to uphold the fake instant prearranged narratives that lead to international tensions and create strife and discord with our former cold war enemy.

          Every day we are bombarded with the BS coming from official Washington and the “free” press.

          Of course there is no evidence of Russian guilt in the Skirpal poisoning. Just as there is no evidence they played anything other than a bit part compared to the other major foreign influences in the last election.

          There is no probability that Robert Mercer will be called to explain how he funded Cambridge Analytica or how his influence and wealth created a giant foreign influence on the last election. All eyes remain firmly fixed on the Russians which serves their purpose to drive increases in our national military budget.

          Meanwhile the Brits act as if they have something to hide by not allowing the accused to see the evidence of their guilt which has already taken its toll with global ejections of Russian diplomats and sanctions by the US and Britain.

          The “schooling of Trump” has achieved its primary objective of ousting all diplomats in Trump’s cabinet and their replacement with Neocon War Hawks who will stoke further proxy wars with Iran.

          Trump’s loose lips in agreeing to meet with North Korea have set off alarm bells in the MIC and are behind the latest emergencies with Russia and China.

          There is no better way to keep North Korea on the Public Enemy #1 list than to threaten China.

          Come on insanely wealthy MIC. Enough is enough.

        • Tom F
          April 8, 2018 at 4:22 pm

          The predicted false flag gas attacks in Syria have just happened, bang on cue.

        • KiwiAntz
          April 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm

          Annie, your last post stated that your sick of this, whatever that means & leaving the site? But it would be a mistake to do so as most people who make comments on this site, do so out of sheer frustration & exasperation because we know that something is seriously wrong with our Govts & Leaders who seem to be hellbent in leading us into the next World War? And these cowardly lunatics don’t fight the wars they start, its the ordinary person like us who paid the price for their idiocy? Your thoughtful comments are appreciated & I encourage you to remain, we all need to vent our anger at this situation & get the word out to others! Don’t get offended by comments here, this is our only place to voice a opinion, however offensive it maybe to some people, but at least we are talking & not buying into the propagandist nonsense people are being brainwashed with? Most citizens are asleep & in ignorance but we are awake to the truth thanks to Consortium News & the views of the readers here!

      • Dave P.
        April 7, 2018 at 5:58 pm

        John Wilson, Annie –

        Today on RT there is this interview with Jose Bustani, first elected Director General of OPCW, about this Skirpal case. The interview is a must watch.

        The Link is:

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

    • Rob
      April 7, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Once the official narrative has been planted in the public’s mind and has taken root, it can be almost impossible to uproot it, even with strong logic and facts. Most people prefer to follow “trusted” authorities rather than make the mental and psychological effort that skepticism requires. Have we not seen the same dynamic in the matter of Russia deciding the 2016 U.S. election? There is little, if any, hard evidence, yet most Americans accept it as flat fact.

      • mike k
        April 7, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Sad but true. ‘It is easier to fool people, than it is to tell them they have been fooled.” (Mark Twain)

      • john wilson
        April 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm

        So Rob, are we here on CN some kind of freaks? Why is it we can see what’s going on but people with possibly better education than we have can’t see it. I can understand that people who only read tabloids and watch the BBC being brainwashed, but surely people who read the broad sheets can’t be completely brain dead.

        • Sam F
          April 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm

          H.L. Mencken said (approx.) that “The average man avoids truth [because] it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn’t pay.” Oligarchy can rely upon a combination of fearmongering and mass media repetition of nonsense and exclusion of criticism. They also rely upon suppression of dialogue in the primary workplace venues of discourse, and threats to employment security. And of course oligarchy has the rewards that support the duopoly racketeers and their supporters. Most know that the path to wealth and power is adoption of the very rationales that enslave them. Their social contract does not extend to taking unusual risks for others.

        • Lois Gagnon
          April 7, 2018 at 4:20 pm

          There are people posting to other sites that see this for what it is. Shad has posted quite a few links in this post to keep you busy for a while. The comments have a few more.

          https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Teresa-May-Skripal-Aff-by-shad-williams-Skripal-Poisoning_West-Coast-9-11-Lie-180407-219.html

    • SteveK9
      April 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Annie, you are giving this way too much credit. The Skripals decided that they that should both shut the door to Sergei’s house, so that they could both contact the ‘Novichok’ smeared on the door handle (never mind the rainstorm all day). Then they went for a drive, over to a restaurant (where they ate shellfish by the way), and 4 hours after leaving the house they collapsed on a park bench, while taking a walk. So the ‘military-grade’ nerve poison, far more deadly than VX takes 4 hours to work and rather than killing the victims they are now both recovering and, according to Julia, with no permanent damage. This is only a part of the absurdity of this story (like all the anti-Russia propaganda). It’s not even worthy of the 3 minutes it took me to write this.

      • irina
        April 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm

        Here’s an interesting take on the shellfish angle, and how PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning)
        is actually considered a ‘nerve agent’ (because of its effects) :

        https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/65059/the-best-explanation-for-the-skripal-drama-is-still–food.html

        The ‘nerve agent on the door handle’ story makes zero sense since that was hours before they collapsed.

      • KiwiAntz
        April 10, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        News flash? Its been confirmed that the Skripals were poisoned, not by Novichok & the Russians, but by terrible british cuisine with a dodgy dish of mushy peas & faggots past, their expiry date, as the likely reason for their mysterious illness? With this new development, the English have now reversed their demonisation of Russia & BoJo has now stated that it will now allow Russians to get their Maggie Thatcher, neoliberal, economic dose of austerity & also their TV of fixes of those quality english shows such as Coronation Street, Eastenders & that beacon of truthfulness, the BBC? And yes I’m being sarcastic here as the Poms are so ridiculous concerning this fakestream false flag attack it’s an embarrassment?

    • ranney
      April 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      Annie, I think your point about using a nerve agent that is connected to Russia as a non-starter is an excellent one.
      I’m also wondering why we haven’t heard anything from the two victims. The news is that both are going to survive; and the daughter is actually feeling fine, though her father is still sick. There has been no explanation from them of what happened or how they came to be found on a park bench when traces of the agent were found on their front door. How come the UK media has not been allowed to talk to them? What is the government hiding?
      I wonder how long the government can keep the Skripals under wraps. At this point, given the lies, evasions and half truths, will anyone believe father and daughter after all this time for preparation and coaching?

    • Hank
      April 8, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      Millions of Americans are dumb enough to believe it all! The CIA has done a great job of infiltrating the media and brainwashing America for a VERY long time now. The only thing that may prevent a major war will be the people who have educated themselves enough to know lies from truths. And the biggest thing Americans can realize is the massive conflict of interest of the media that they get their “information” from. It’s like a trial where there are only prosecuting attorneys and no defense for cross examination! Liberty and justice for all? Not when there are no defense attorneys!

  42. john wilson
    April 7, 2018 at 4:52 am

    The first sentence of this piece is incorrect. It describes the idiot Johnson as Honourable because this man is anything but honourable. As has been said many tines elsewhere, he’s a liar. One only has to look at his face to see insincerity written all over his face to see what an absolute slime ball this halfwit is.

    • Annie
      April 7, 2018 at 5:18 am

      Perhaps Ms. Johnstone was being a bit facetious.You forgot to mention that Trumpish hairdo he sports which alone makes you wonder about his decision capabilities.

    • jose
      April 7, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Good insides on Mr. Johnson; I would like to add the following: “In evidence to Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on March 21 Johnson “compared Russia’s hosting of the 2018 Football International tournament to Hitler’s notorious Berlin Olympics in 1936.” On March 6 he stated that “Russia is in many respects a malign and disruptive force,” ” I could go on and on but it would be distasteful and insulting to the reader.

    • Piotr Berman
      April 7, 2018 at 10:57 am

      I think that a judge or a government minister is Honorable, and a clergyman is Venerable, at it has nothing to do with their morals. Thus Honorable Mr. Johnson may fail to be honorable.

      • Piotr Berman
        April 7, 2018 at 11:29 am

        Upon further checking, UK has a very, very elaborate system of addressing, and besides Honourable (e.g. former Maids of Honour) there are also Right Honourable (members of Parliament) and Most Honourable (members of the Privy Council, and that includes Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson).

        • Annie
          April 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm

          I doubt if Ms Johnstone was being politically correct in referring to him as the Right Honourable Boris Johnson, when he is so Wrong.
          “When I look at the evidence, the people from Porton Down, the laboratory, they were absolutely categorical,” Johnson replied. “I asked the guy myself, I said: ‘Are you sure?’ And he said: ‘There’s no doubt.’ So we have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken.”

          • Annie
            April 8, 2018 at 3:05 am

            I’m sick of this, and I’m out of here. You just lost someone who has been fairly generous in support of this site. No more!

    • John A
      April 8, 2018 at 2:33 am

      Boris Johnson, as with all senior politicians in Britain, is a member of the so-called Privy Council, a secretive body, historically to provide advice, or counsel, to the sovereign, ie king or queen, of Britain. All members are entitled to be addressed as the Right Honourable. More mumbo jumbo kneebending and undemocratic crap in Britain.
      So the author is correct to use this title, even though BoJo is despicable and the least honourable person imaginable – both in his public and privat life, a serial adulterer, amonghts other sins.

    • Tom F
      April 8, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      Honourable is a courtesy title, only of common use in the UK parliament. Of course Johnson is far from honourable but its use in this article almost certainly has a strong element of intended irony.

    • Hank
      April 8, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Is not lying to their constituents a high crime against the state, especially when those lies are geared to implement a deadly and destructive war? If these liars are NOT brought to justice, it only shows that these “civilized” nations trying to “civilize” the rest of the world are just lawless political mafias disguised as “governments”! If a political figure makes an accusation he should be immediately required to back up his or her claim with relevant and proven facts! If they can’t, they should be tried for defrauding the people.

    • Hermann Kloeti
      April 9, 2018 at 9:53 am

      RIGHT HONOURABLE is a title – but with people such as Boris Johnson thus honoured decent Brits ought to return their “medals” to the country’s Royal Highness……

  43. Eugen Hartescu
    April 7, 2018 at 4:37 am

    Is clear for unbiased minds that this murder attempt is setup to smear again Russia/Putin.This action, like all gas attack in Syria are preparing the mind of ordinary people to accept /not rise against to an economical/political war with Russia.That is clear and the article demonstrate this.What is not so obvious, and the peoples of USA/NATO countries are not aware, is lies in Putin discourse of March this year when hi enumerate the actions over Russia and his allies that will lead to a nuclear war. Better for everyone to search and read the discourse from a state Russian source or one not truncated or even worst with explanation from a biased entity. I have no special desire to love Russia but as I am living no fare away from a AEGIS USA/NATO base I feel a lot unsure.After all the Russian were a good commercial partners and the West is a dubious one once he sent to my country second hand/ quality merchandise. This article have to be an “wake up” loud yield to people with normal common sense.

    • jose
      April 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

      You make good points in your post. I would like to quote from author Michael Hudson about this article: “The basis of Western law is a presumption of innocence and reliance on evidence. No judgment without evidence is supposed to be given.” Think about it for a second; Does it not mean that a person or country (Russia) is innocent until proven guilty? I would submit to you that this is “A verdict in search of a crime” just like the title suggests.

    • Sam F
      April 7, 2018 at 11:11 am

      The article well traces the Skripal incident to the motive to attack Russia. We need to examine that motive.

      The US/UK do not attack China or India at all, beyond trade spats with China. Russia nowhere confronts the US, there is zero evidence of any involvement of Russia anywhere beyond its border zone, and not even any real trade competition compared with India and China. Except in Syria.

      The US/UK have no legitimate interest in Syria or the Mideast beyond oil supply, and we have always bought oil wherever we please like everyone else, none of whom try to seize oil there. If we wanted to steal oil we would have attacked the weak KSA; and we got no free oil when we attacked Iraq. The only US “interest” in the Mideast that demands militarism is Israel, to block the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon front against their land thefts.

      The primary concern with Russia and Syria is Israel. KSA was recruited to supply campaign bribes to the Dems, to attack Syria with terrorists because it is majority Sunni with a secular government. The US military involvement in the Mideast is due entirely to zionism.

      • MA
        April 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm

        100% correct analysis.

      • Sam F
        April 8, 2018 at 7:56 am

        Thanks, MA, I will add an analysis of zionism in the US from another post:

        The zionists cannot admit that they are essentially fascist in reaction to fascism long ago, just as the bully produces more bullies by example and defensive response. All groups have their tyrants, creating threats to the group so as to demand power as false protectors, and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. If Israel had been founded in an isolated area without land theft, or if it had made peace instead of warmongering, its zionist tyrants would have no support and would be gone, and they know it.

        No other nationality to my knowledge has found ways to feed foreign aid from the US back to bribe politicians for more foreign aid and all kinds of favors. The decisive factors are zionist control of mass media and elections, zionist control of protestant fundamentalism, and increasing zionist control of secret agencies and other fake new sources.

        The idea that a group deserves special privileges because some of their ancestors were persecuted, although there are no surviving victims of WWII among the Jews, and no special privilege is accorded to other classes of victims, is zionist propaganda. Like all tyrant classes, zionist opportunists seek money and power from their kind, and when they gain power they must steal the land and resources of others by aggressive wars, to distribute to their followers. They could not be more hypocritical, as for them money=power=virtue and no one has rights but themselves.

        Their fake “anti-semitism” attacks are pure nonsense. Semites includes both Arabs and Jews; I have never met an anti-Jewish person; and no other group demands a unique word to describe their opponents, and claims the right to define it. No one has a right to an empire anywhere, least of all in the Mideast, where everyone’s ancestors had an empire in the million years of human migration from SE Africa.

        Zionist propaganda is trash. They have destroyed democracy in the US. Israel should be abolished.

        • Piotr Berman
          April 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm

          “The zionists cannot admit that they are essentially fascist in reaction to fascism long ago…”

          I guess Zionists should get more credit. There are at least three main strains of Zionism: initially, the dominant one was “socialist” that was distinctly “national” “socialist”, meaning that it had high role for collective enterprise, state own enterprise, social welfare etc. very much targeted to the preferred national/religious group. The second strain, Revisionism (Likud and the off-shoots) that is dominant now was very much inspired by the original Italian fascism, and the first strain viewed the second strain as fascist, while the Revisionist were openly nostalgic about the good Mussolini from the period before Pact of Steel. E.g. their youth movement Betar had summer camps in Italy courtesy of the Fascist government. Zionists do not stress that, but it is not exactly hidden. The third strain is religious-messianic, Modern Orthodox Judaism, these folks are perennial coalition members of Revisionists. Due to their effort Israel is partially a theocracy.

          I do not feel that “anti-anti-semitism” is fake because Semites include Arabs (and few others). The ordinary usage is about the Jews. However, it conflates “old anti-Semitism” which is xenophobic etc. and “new anti-Semitism” which opposes either existence of Israel as “inherently racist and colonial project”, or the actual current policies of Israel. Like Boris Johnson was stressing, “I have nothing against Russian people” but he is very opposed to the current government. Zionists claim that there is no distinction between opposition to their state and “hatred of Jews” because the state represent the collective will of the Jewish people, and British pro-Israeli organization agree with that.

          Distinction or not, criticism of policies of Israel or Russia (or Saudi Arabia) does not imply shameful hostility to Jews, Russians or Arabs even if sometimes it goes together. E.g. recently a high American official claimed that political meddling is in Russian genes. That is rather shameful, and the fact that “Russians genes” do not exists makes it additionally stupid. One could wonder which strain that contributed to Russian genetics is so conducive to meddling: Khazarian, paleo-Slavic, Viking, Ugro-finnic, Tatar, or Mongolic (somehow much derided by Russia haters).

          • Sam F
            April 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm

            Interesting detail on the varieties of zionism. Current usage refers to policies intended to benefit either Israel or Jewish people at unfair expense to others, so the usage is fair. But in view of your zionism distinctions of socialist vs fascist-revisionist allied with messianic-theocratic, the latter two emphasizing Israel and ethnicity are perhaps most within the modern usage.

            While “anti-anti-semitism” may not be fake, the correct term is “anti-Jewish” vs. the accusations of “anti-semitism” which are almost always fake because applied to people who do not have prejudice against Jewish people. It is a false accusation of ethnic/religious prejudice to cover up the ethnic/religious prejudice of zionists (classes 2 and 3). It is true that members of a visually-distinct group see a lot more prejudice than others, and may over-generalize.

            True that there are other anti-Russians such as the Brzezinskiites and antiquarians of the cold war, especially from Eastern Europe, but most of those in the US are simply deluded by xenophobic hate-mongering in the mass media and propaganda of that era. That is primarily zionist (class 2-3) propaganda.

        • Brad Owen
          April 9, 2018 at 4:44 am

          In EIR searchbox, look up Anglo-Dutch Liberal Financial system (a transference of Venetian Black Nobility operations to Amsterdam/City of London/Wall Street); Neo-feudalism and the Crusades, and Black Nobility, to get at the real culprits. The Neofeudalism article describes the principle reason for the crusades (organized by the Black Nobility of Venice) was to destroy the rising of any modern secular state in the Middle East, exactly what the Syria/Libya wars were about, what Arab Spring is about, what the Iran “revolution” was about, what Erdogan is about. It’s sort of like how the Democratic Party is obsessed with identity politics in order to ignore the very real conflict between the blue collar working classes, and the white collar Mangerial classes(wherein hide the Oligarchs), regardless of the identity of these classes respective members. RFK, and MLK knew this distinction, and were killed for pointing it out.

    • April 7, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      OT but of concern to many here…

      Sputnik reporting State Dept Address declares a chemical attack in Duma, and declaring Russia responsible…

      no joke…

      https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804081063327616-state-department-douma-killed/

      regards

      D

    • April 7, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Try to limit yourself to the facts. The title is quite self explanatory as far as the media and the political environment didn’t learn to much from the Iraq war and Syria and not to forget the 9/11 remains of the terrorists passports after a fire that melted steel beams ! Probably Putin have had enough already from the western countries,blaming Russia becoming a leitmotiv present in every action regarding situations where this country is involved. As a matter fact Russia should be one of the strongest US ally considering a multitude of factors.

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