by Michael Antony for The Saker Blog
The recent titbit fed to us by Bellingcat (reputedly close to MI6) that a third Russian agent was booked on the flight from Heathrow to Moscow on the night of 4th March 2018 — the flight taken by the two alleged GRU officers filmed in Salisbury — but didn’t show up for it, has pointed to a possible solution to the baffling Skripal puzzle. What if the third man, or perhaps the man who was supposed to take his place, was by then lying in Salisbury Hospital in a coma from opiate poisoning? What if Sergei Skripal was a triple agent trying to escape back to Russia to tell the world the truth about the Steele Dossier, which he had helped to concoct as a scurrilous, obscene joke and which had unexpectedly become the new bible of the insane war party in Washington?
This is the alternative narrative I will set out in detail here so that the reader can judge whether it forms a more plausible and coherent story than the mishmash of improbabilities, absurdities and contradictions served up by the British police and MI6. Of course in the absence of all the facts we must sometimes use imaginative reconstruction to fill in the gaps, but the point is to see how many thorny problems, raised by the facts we do have, can be solved by this narrative and cannot be solved by the official one.
It is not necessary to decide whether Skripal was a triple agent from the start (that is, a plant sent across in a spy swap, a classic Cold War way of infiltrating the enemy) or whether he became a triple agent when he realized how important this grotesque Steele Dossier had become and how much the Russians would pay him to come back and demolish it. What evidence there is (his phone call in 2012 to his old school friend, Vladimir Timoshkov, whose account of it three weeks after the poisoning gained widespread UK media coverage) suggests he started out as a purely mercenary traitor. Disillusioned by the collapse of the USSR into a gangster capitalist state run by Yeltsin’s mafia cronies, he decided he might as well profit from it by selling the corpse of what had once been his country to the highest bidder. The Russians didn’t seem to think of him as much more than a common criminal (only worth a moderate 13-year sentence, instead of the death penalty he would have got in the USA for betraying 300 agents) or they wouldn’t have let him survive six years in their prison. Perhaps when they exchanged him in the spy swap they gave him a wink and said: “Since you’re just a money-grubbing whore, any time you want to come back with some interesting stuff learned from working for MI6, let us know and we’ll discuss the price.”
He soon got to learn that interesting stuff when he was sent to Salisbury, the home town of his MI6 recruiter and handler, Pablo Miller. Miller had recruited him in Spain in 1995 and later handled him from Estonia, when he was posted there as a diplomat. It is a little too much to believe Skripal’s move to Salisbury was a coincidence. The two men became friends again, met regularly in the pub, and there is every reason to think Miller resumed his role as handler. Miller was now working for Christopher Steele, his old boss at MI6, in his private intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, based in Mayfair. This is one of the private intelligence-gathering outfits run by ex-spies of the kind Litvinenko used to work for. Just as Litvinenko got Lugovoy (his accused assassin) to help him out with due diligence reports on Russian businessmen because of his more up-to-date information, so Miller would have used Skripal in the same way. His help became vital when Steele got the commission from the Democratic Party to dig up Russian dirt on Donald Trump, and they had to invent some GRU set-up of the Donald with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. Miller, the old Russia hand, would have done a good part of the work on this dossier and would have needed all the authentic detail his Russian agent could provide. Perhaps it was Skripal who came up with the scenario of Trump getting prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obamas had slept in, which hidden cameras filmed. He must at least have given it his imprimatur as a typical GRU blackmail ploy to turn somebody into an asset. And that obscene fiction, the core of the Steele Dossier, became the basis of the neo-con legend that Trump was a Russian stooge — the insane underpinning of the whole mad Mueller probe into “Russian collusion”.
When Sergei the mercenary realized the vast importance this farcical, obscene Steele Dossier had taken on, that it was gospel truth for the whole anti-Trump, anti-Russia war party in Washington, he began to see how much it might be worth to the Russian state to blow it sky-high. If he were to describe on a prime-time Russian talk-show how he invented these obscene details over a beer with Miller and Steele in a pub, it would not only have all of Russia rolling on the floor with laughter. Heads would roll in Washington. The neo-con war party would become a laughing-stock. MI6 would be run out of town. Steele might face FBI perjury charges. The CIA might have its budget cut. Trump would be able to talk to Putin again. And the rewards for Sergei might be considerable. Not only seeing his 90-year old mother again, but perhaps even a swanky villa with a sea-view in Crimea or Sochi instead of that dank, shabby row-house in darkest Salisbury.
Was it Sergei who broached this subject to Yulia on one of her visits to Britain, or was she recruited by the GRU to put it to him? My bet is the latter, since after the poisoning her cousin Viktoria claimed Yulia’s new boyfriend and his mother both worked for the Russian secret services (before disappearing from view.) With all of Sergei’s communications monitored by MI6, the only way he had of talking to the GRU was through his daughter, living back in Russia again but able to visit Britain. Through her he must have managed to negotiate a deal for his return. Somehow MI6 got wind of their plans — perhaps Yulia, not a trained spy, was a bit naive or careless about listening devices. Steele became convinced they had made an escape plan for Sergei, to be carried out next time she visited Salisbury.
The thing that proves this was a British crime not a Russian one is the fact that Yulia was a prime target. The Russians had no motive to eliminate her, but if they had, they could have done it in Russia with a simple road accident with no questions asked. Only the British had to do it in Britain, since they didn’t have the resources in place to do it in Russia. And if she was not a prime target but collateral damage, why was Sergei not attacked when he was alone? Why wait for her to visit him? The fact they were both targeted the day after she arrived in Britain puts MI6’s signature all over it. She was a danger to MI6 because she knew of Sergei’s plan to return to Russia and trash the Steele Dossier, and she had to be stopped from revealing this to the world when he was killed. Silencing her at the same time was just as important to MI6 as silencing him.
To imagine that Putin would have ordered the assassination of an old double agent whom he had held for six years in prison (with ample opportunities to arrange his death) and then pardoned and swapped in a spy swap (part of the rules of the spying game on which his own life had been based), a week before the Russian elections and three months before the Football World Cup in Russia, which he hoped would lead to Russia’s re-acceptance into the community of nations, makes no sense. It carried only huge risks for a negligible benefit, and Putin does not take pointless risks, as his consistent prudence in Syria, even when his forces have been attacked, has shown. Compare the enormous gains this crime brought Britain. This assassination (as it was meant to be) gave MI6 a perfect opportunity to frame the Russians and incite a new anti-Russia frenzy to sabotage their celebratory Football World Cup (compared by the British Foreign Secretary to Hitler’s Olympics.) It would also show the EU Britain’s value as an anti-Putin cheerleader, bringing Europe and Britain together in an anti-Russia hate-week to distract from their Brexit quarrel, and uniting a fractious parliament behind a floundering leader. With any luck it would derail the Nordstream2 gas pipeline, a priority target for the US neo-con plan to ruin Russia’s economy, overthrow the regime and break up the country — goals MI6 fully shared, as their propaganda wing, the Integrity Initiative, has since made clear. In fact MI6’s plans to work for the total isolation and economic ruin of Russia, including sporting bans and ending cultural exchanges, date from 2015 and were leaked recently by Anonymous. The enormous preponderance of motivation on the British side, as well as the low risk in carrying out such a crime on their own turf with a grovelling press, a brainwashed public and tame police, point clearly to MI6 as the perpetrators.
Steele probably turned to his CIA friends for suggestions on how to frame Russia. They came up with novichok. This nerve agent invented by a Soviet chemist who later moved to the US and published the formula could be pinned on Russia as a uniquely Russian “chemical weapon.” Never mind that any decent laboratory could produce it, as a chemistry professor at Cornell has testified. Never mind that the British-invented nerve agent VX had been used to assassinate Kim Yong-Un’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur Airport without Malaysia screaming that Britain must have done it. Russia is different. Hysterical hatred can be instantly incited against Russia by the MI6-controlled media and MI6-brainwashed politicians. Anyone who doubts Russia’s guilt can be vilified as a Putin stooge. Whether the novichok was sent over from the US by courier or produced at Porton Down is not important. What is important is that MI6’s attempt to kill the Skripals with novichok failed disastrously.
Let’s take the famous Nina Ricci perfume bottle, laced with novichok, which was found in a rubbish bin or charity bin by a homeless man and given weeks later to his woman friend, who tragically died after spraying it on her wrist. The police/MI6 narrative is that this perfume bottle was used to transport the novichok from Russia in the baggage of one of the alleged GRU men caught on CCTV in Salisbury. The novichok was then sprayed on the door handle of the Skripals’ house. The assassins then callously threw away the bottle (which they knew contained enough novichok to kill more people) in a dustbin or charity bin, demonstrating their indifference to loss of life as well as their indifference to leaving clues all over the place. There are problems with this narrative.
The homeless man claimed he had found the perfume bottle still in its box sealed in cellophane, proof it was not reopened after it had been laced with novichok and professionally repackaged. The bottle could not therefore have been used (as claimed) to spray the novichok on the doorknob, or the cellophane seal would have been broken. Assassins far from home don’t usually carry around cellophane-wrapping machines to repackage opened perfume bottles, especially when they are just going to chuck them in the bin. Nor would they take the risk, having fitted the separate spray nozzle onto the bottle and sprayed the doorknob, of disassembling it again to put it back in the box, knowing that a drop on their skin would kill them. And where would they perform this delicate operation? On the street? This poisoned perfume bottle was therefore never reopened, never used and it affected nobody until it ended up in the hands of the homeless man. So who or what was it intended for?
Ladies’ perfume bottles are normally intended for women. How many women are there in this story? Only one. The only possible explanation for the existence of this unopened, unused bottle of perfume laced with novichok is that it was a poisoned gift meant for Yulia Skripal. Why didn’t she open it? Because she had a spy father who took one look at it and said: “Don’t touch it!”
So here is the alternative narrative. MI6 had the bright idea of putting novichok in a Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sending it as a birthday present to Yulia Skripal at her father’s house. Her birthday was on 17th March, but the present was probably delivered on the 3rd, the day she arrived, so as to nip their escape plan in the bud. It was meant to seem like a present from her family or boyfriend. No doubt the parcel had Russian stamps on it, designed to frame the Russian state when the Skripals were found dead in their house with an open perfume bottle in Yulia’s hands. Unfortunately for MI6, Sergei took one look at this Nina Ricci perfume bottle and his spy instincts smelled danger. He refused to open it, but instead went for a long walk with it and put it in a rubbish bin or charity bin half-way across town. There it was found by the homeless man and given to his woman friend, a victim of MI6’s murderous callousness. Even after MI6 knew it had gone missing, they did not warn the public to beware of picking up a Nina Ricci perfume bottle because they didn’t want to give themselves away as the assassins.
The failure of the perfume bottle to kill the Skripals must have alarmed MI6. They followed the pair around Salisbury the next day. Where did they go? We can’t be sure since we have not been given all the CCTV footage. But let us engage in some more imaginative reconstruction to cover the gaps. The Skripals’ car made some unexplained journeys towards the outskirts of the town. The two alleged GRU men caught on Salisbury’s CCTV walked in some unexplained directions, with not a scrap of evidence they came within half a kilometre of the Skripals’ home. What if the two unexplained journeys intersected? Not necessarily in time but in place. What if they met at that hoary cliché of spy stories, the dead drop, the discreet delivery point for a package? The hole-in-a-garden-wall just big enough to hide something? A Mossad spy, commenting on the British police narrative, said that no GRU assassination team would ever have flown direct from Russia using Russian passports. But a support team delivering a package? Why not? What did they risk?
Now what would the GRU need to deliver to Sergei Skripal to help him escape from Britain back to Russia? Clearly, a passport. MI6, once they suspected his loyalty, would have put him on an airport watch list. He would need a passport in a false name to get out, and perhaps a flight ticket to Moscow in the same name so he wouldn’t need to make an internet booking, easily spied on. But the passport could not be blank. It needed a UK visa and entry stamp. So the third Russian agent who Bellingcat now tells us didn’t show up for the flight back to Moscow must have intended his seat to be taken by Sergei Skripal, who would use the passport and visa which he had flown in with a few days before (delivered to Sergei by his two colleagues at the dead drop that day.) Either Sergei and the third man bore a sufficient physical resemblance or passport photos were switched by an expert forger in London. Unfortunately, though Sergei now had a usable passport, he was hit before he made it to the flight.
MI6, after the failure of the perfume bottle attempt, knew they had to act fast to stop the Skripals driving to the airport. Once they observed the package delivery at the dead drop, they would have guessed it was a passport. There was now no chance of using novichok. The Skripals were unlikely to return home and pack a bag, so they had to be knocked out in a public place. Using novichok and risking the lives of dozens of other people was too much even for MI6. So they decided to spray them in the street with an opiate like Fentanyl, and later on to add novichok to the blood samples they sent to Porton Down for analysis (without of course any controlled chain of custody except their own.)
We know that the Skipals were knocked out with an opiate and not a nerve agent because of a simple incident — in fact, a slip-up. The first person on the scene when the Skripals collapsed on their bench was an army nurse, the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army, Colonel Alison McCourt, accompanied by her teenage daughter, Abigail. Does anyone believe she was there by chance and was not part of the MI6 team following the Skripals about and looking for an opportunity to drug them discreetly? Now Colonel McCourt had long experience both with Ebola in Sierra Leone and with the danger of chemical weapons during her service in Iraq, where protection against nerve agents was a priority. She knew the enormous precautions required in approaching a victim of a nerve agent attack. Yet Colonel McCourt encouraged her daughter to rush over to the collapsed Skripals and begin administering first aid to them, something very dangerous if a nerve agent had been used. She later even recommended Abigail for a medal for heroism for her action, which is why it got into the papers. How did Colonel McCourt know that a nerve agent had not been used on the Skripals, unless she was part of the team that had sprayed them with an opiate? Would she have allowed her daughter to touch the Skipals unless she was sure there was no nerve agent present? This is what is known as a smoking gun.
There has been extraordinary silence in the mainstream media about the fact that none of the first responders or the Salisbury Hospital staff were in any way affected by the deadliest nerve agent known to man, even though no precautions were taken against it for at least two days. The nurses assumed they were dealing with an opiate overdose. When the blood test results came back from Porton Down showing novichok present in the blood samples, the hazmat suits were donned and the hospital allegedly went into panic mode. We can assume most of this was a charade. Sergeant Bailey, allegedly contaminated with novichok though the police can’t decide where, recounts in the Panorama BBC film shown in November that the nurses who cared for him wore full hazmat suits, but his wife and children wandered in to see him wearing no protection at all. Clearly the nurses were engaging in an MI6-mandated charade but couldn’t bear to impose it on his family because they knew there was no novichok present. Bailey, no doubt also drugged by an opiate, had been selected as a fake British victim to stir up more indignation against Russia, and to add further fake proof that novichok had been used, which the total absence of contamination of first responders might cast doubt on. As part of this charade, all the poor man’s furniture and belongings were destroyed by the heartless brutes of MI6, which he recounts in tears, in order to incite more irrational hatred of Russia — which the British public, the most brainwashed on earth, came up with on cue.
Of course the failure of the perfume bottle assassination attempt, and the need to switch drugs and use an opiate instead of novichok, left MI6 and the police with the task of explaining how the phantom novichok was administered. The farcical story they finally came up with, that it was sprayed on the Skripals’ front door handle with the perfume bottle, has convinced nobody except the brainwashed masses. Even the clownish Foreign Secretary’s story that MI6 had shown him a Russian spy handbook which described how their spies had recently been practising putting novichok on door handles (a technical skill obviously requiring weeks of training and about to be unleashed en masse against Britain’s unsuspecting doorknobs) but unfortunately he couldn’t produce this handbook as it was classified, left people howling with laughter. It was worthy of a Monty Python sketch, something the Russians, who are great fans of British comedy, must have appreciated.
The idea that assassins could walk up to the front door of a terraced house in broad daylight, a door with clear glass panels in the middle and on both sides of it, so that anyone outside is visible from the hallway, and spray the doorknob with novichok while the Skripals were inside and their car was in the driveway, is simply not believable. These professional assassins did not even have a car or even bicycles to make a getaway if seen. And the two police versions of what time the attackers did this, first of all at 9.15 before the Skripals left home and then at 1.30 (after the police revised their timeline to fit the train schedule of the two Russians caught on CCTV) would both have left many hours’ delay before this deadly nerve agent took effect at 4.15 that afternoon.
We are asked to believe that two people of very different size, a man of 66 and a girl half that age, fell unconscious at the exact same moment either seven hours or three hours after being poisoned with a deadly “military grade” nerve agent. Why this delayed effect? Would this be useful in a battlefield chemical weapon — let’s leave the enemy active for several hours? And how to get a simultaneous collapse many hours later? No explanation. And if novichok was used to attack the Skripals, why was Abigail McCourt not affected when she gave them first aid and why did her highly trained army nurse mother allow her to touch victims of a deadly nerve agent?
The intelligent people who work in Salisbury Hospital cannot possibly be dupes to this grotesque deception, riddled with impossibilities. They are therefore accomplices and criminally responsible. I believe many of the hospital staff suspected MI6 was staging this whole thing but went along with it because of the high level of Cold War, anti-Russian brainwashing of the British population. They saw it as an exciting spy game they were taking part in with their wonderful secret services who had Won the War and Saved the World. It was a question of loyalty to Britain to defend this criminal lie. They must have suspected the Skripals’ blood samples had been laced afterwards with novichok. Perhaps the OPCW did too, since they claimed the traces of novichok were “very pure”. Was that a hint it had never been through any human body? One can sympathize with the Russians for trying to hack the laboratory computers to find out if any of the experts had expressed doubts to each other or suspicions the OPCW had set this up. Since they knew they were victims of a shameless NATO conspiracy to frame them, all they could do was try to expose it by any means they had.
The Russians’ patience and calm in the face of this campaign of lies and hate have been almost saint-like. If the West is not wiped out by the nuclear war they are constantly pushing for with Russia, then one day Britain and all the other NATO vassal states which wrongfully expelled droves of Russian diplomats will have to make Russia an abject apology and pay compensation for the misery caused the Russian people by their illegal sanctions. Is it too much to hope that some people at Salisbury Hospital or in the local police who know the truth will have the courage sooner or later to come forward and expose this vile warmongering deception, and the totalitarian media manipulation by the sinister forces that secretly govern Britain? Do they spare a thought for the Skripals and the state they are in right now — held incommunicado without any charge against them, not represented by any lawyer, and unable to communicate with their family or the public? Surely they are not fooled by that scripted video? Where are the human rights campaigners protesting against this totalitarian sequestration? What world are they living in? Has it not occurred to them that in the era of MI6’s proven involvement in torture, whether in Guantanamo, Abu Graib, black sites or extraordinary rendition to places where people can be tortured to death, Yulia Skripal might be listening every night to her father whimpering in the next cell as the voice goes on repeating: “You Ruskie bastard, tell us when you started lying to us.”
The official narrative about the Skripals has been shot full of holes by various dissident commentators in the alternative media. That always begs the question: well, so what really happened? The above alternative narrative, combining both the known facts and speculations to cover the gaps where the facts are still missing, should allow the reader to judge its overall plausibility, compared to the official one. To prove an alternative narrative to the criminal’s story, a prosecutor does not need to establish every single event in the chain, many of which will remain unknown. He only needs to prove that certain key events in the criminal’s narrative are contrary to the known facts, and that these facts are compatible with the alternative narrative. The key facts in this case are the state of the Nina Ricci perfume bottle, clearly never opened after it was laced with novichok and repackaged, and therefore never used to spray novichok anywhere; the impossibility of a deadly nerve agent having a three hour delay in its effects and then affecting two very different people at the same moment; the unlikelihood of a senior army nurse allowing her daughter to touch victims of a nerve agent; the unlikelihood novichok was used (rather than an opiate), given the lack of any effect on the first responders, and the fact Sergeant Bailey’s children were allowed to approach him without wearing hazmat suits, which the nurses, however, wore.
Put those basic problems in the official narrative together with the speed with which the UK government blamed Russia for this event, when there was no more link between Russia and novichok than between Britain and the use of British-invented VX nerve agent to assassinate Kim Yong Un’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur airport. No nerve agent whose formula has been published is the monopoly of any nation, nor does its use incriminate any nation. This rush to judgment reveals a premeditated plan by Britain to use this event to sabotage Russia’s Football World Cup (which they compared to Hitler’s Olympics) as part of a long-term British goal to isolate, discredit and economically ruin Russia. The need for MI6 to prevent Skripal exposing the Steele Dossier, produced by Skripal’s MI6 handlers, since it would show the degree of Britain’s cynical interference in the American election to discredit Trump and destroy any rapprochement with Russia, formed the motive for MI6 to commit murder, for which it has a considerable reputation. Combining the two things, killing the Skripals and crucifying Russia for it, was no doubt seen as a great coup by MI6. It was seen as even more ingenious to follow up this alleged “chemical weapons” attack on British soil with the fake chemical attack at Douma staged by the White Helmets, founded and financed by MI6. This was aimed at relaunching the war to overthrow Assad and dismantle Syria, giving the Americans and the Israelis its oil fields, and allowing Qatari gas to be piped to Europe to replace Russian gas. All of these fit Britain’s and NATO’s known strategic goals. The speed of the knee-jerk response of NATO countries in expelling Russian diplomats, without any debate or demand for evidence in any parliament, raises the suspicion that this was planned not by MI6 alone but jointly with the CIA and other NATO secret services, which largely control supposedly democratic governments.
The continued NATO harassment, sanctions and campaigns of lies and false accusations against Russia, including the blatant war rhetoric of the British Defence Secretary, do not bode well for the future. For the US to tear up nuclear arms treaties and then blame Russia is beyond shameful: it is destroying all possibility of negotiations to avert war. The Kerch Strait incident staged by the puppet regime in Kiev, sending gunboats into the Kerch Strait without observing the 2003 Protocol requiring them to notify in advance the Port of Kerch (a protocol observed by the dozens of ships that go through the Strait peacefully every day) was clearly part of a NATO plan to set up a major naval clash in the Black Sea. That clash (followed by an attempt to recapture Crimea or at least blow up its magnificent bridge, a reproach to a man who cannot even build a wall) may be expected in coming months, perhaps as a distraction from Brexit or a way of derailing it. NATO, in short, is on a clear trajectory towards war with Russia, which their deluded worldview convinces them they can win. Their initial use of Russia as a scapegoat and bogeyman to unite the NATO vassals against a common threat, keeping Europe in subjection to America, has got out of hand, and is heading, under the impetus of hysterical rhetoric, towards actual war. Unless decent people unite to stop this escalation then the nuclear catastrophe will occur. Exposing the barefaced lie of the Skripal false flag attack may be a step towards averting that global cataclysm.
Michael Antony is a writer based in Switzerland, and his next book, about the coming nuclear war, is called Requiem for America. He has a blog, [email protected]
I doubt it was even novichok. Fentanyl more like. We only have MI6 and porton downs word for it and anything sent to the independent lab in Switzerland could easily have come from porton down also. We have no proof the sealed bottle contained novichok either.
I think this version of events is plausible but, if it is so, then why don’t the Russians just spill the beans? Just come out with it, show their evidence and show up the British and Americans for who they are? It would utterly humiliate the US country, its security services, congress the idiotic Mueller ‘investigstion’ and thats before we even get to the farcical Brits (it would absolutely end Theresa Mays career and premiership overnight) leading to an election and a labour govt who would be far more amenable to Russias sovereignty and to trade. There are a lot of pros and not many cons to opening this can of worms for Putin.
This version of events certainly doesnt bode well for the Skirpals though, if MI6 know he was going to do a runner and Julia knew, what is ever going to happen to them?
There is the distinct possibility that you have the wrong verb tense in that last sentence.
Only MI6 knows what was used against the Skripal’s. However, that is basically unimportant, including the real status of Colonel Skripal (double or triple agent). The point is that the Skripal’s were sacrificed in an absurd false flag which no government in the world believes. In fact this is one of the most foolish things I have seen in my entire life. Russia was to hold presidential elections and also the World Cup. All of a sudden we have the Skripal incident, as if Putin wanted this right before the two events. Why ? So that he could be vilified ? So that he could lose the elections ? So that the World Cup be cancelled ? Where is the logic in this ? What is also hilarious is that those two Russian “spies” brought the military nerve gas in their luggage, hoping it would not be discovered. What person of average intelligence would do something so incredibly stupid ? And yes, the author is correct. MI6 and others want to see the Russian economy ruined and the country broken up. As the late political economist Lyndon LaRouche stated, the only thing that can save the US dollar is the breakup of Russia and the plunder of Siberia and the Caspian region. Well, too late for that. And MI6 and their pals in the CIA ? We shall get more of the same from them, as they are incapable of accepting reality. They still hope to subvert Russia. A few years back descendants of the Romanov royal family started returning to Russia from the West and settling in Crimea, obviously trying to prove their patriotism. I smiled when I read that. It’s obvious what was happening. Since Western intelligence agencies could not overthrow Putin, they are now preparing for the post-Putin period, by planting political Trojan horses. Too late for that also. Somebody should have told them that there are Romanov descendants living in Russia. According to rumors coming from the Russian Orthodox Church, a candidate has apparently been picked.
The incapacitating agent used was identified by the OPCW as BZ by its breakdown products in the blood samples taken some three weeks after the event, whilst they made a point of calling the Novichok ‘fresh’. — Is how I read it.
The chief of the OPCW laboratory stated that a sample with BZ was prepared by the lab as a control and submitted to the Spiez lab along with the supposed Skripal samples.
I recall that the language of the Spiez report was that one sample was a “neat” or nearly neat sample of a Novichok-class agent. I presume that this was a sample of what was in the perfume bottle submitted separately. It couldn’t have been in any sample of the Skripals’ blood. As one wit stated in some comment on ZeroHedge I think: Novichok, the agent that doesn’t kill you but makes you famours.”
A definitely more plausible explanation than the official one. Great effort! Now as with all ‘whodunits’ some holes need poking to advance to the conclusion:
The OPCW said the door handle swab was ‘very pure’, an impossibility after 4 weeks and exposure to snow and rain. Nerve agents need to break down otherwise invaders can’t themselves take over the territory safely. They also found traces of BZ knockout gas. End of Russian Novichok involvment right there. Case dismissed.
It’s also unlikely that this ‘novichok’ in a perfume bottle would retain potency and for many weeks stay uncovered by anything else or not get taken to the dump. At the very least MI6 would ensure that all garbage within a reasonable radius would be disposed of as soon as possible once that failure was noticed. On Sergei’s part he would have had far better ways of disposing of it and it would be naiive to think, given his profession, that he would not have been immediately suspicious of this ‘gift’. So why even try it? The risk of post office failure or accidental breakage and mass casualty is another contra-indication. Too risky.
Given all the druggies and muggings that occur ‘naturally’ there’s better ways of disposing of people precisely and openly and many ways of the same but by quiet ‘disappearance’. I don’t think there ever was any novichok involved until after the ‘hit’.
Another conjecture is that this was all cooked up by Mossad as revenge for the Steele dossier used against their client -Trump- and to embarrass both MI6 and Russia with the absurdities that MI6 et al were forced into making to try and salvage this fiasco.
Truly, I am not sure how much of this saga I can handle. Official narrative was revealed long ago.
Give it a few years to settle and it can come back as a ‘Major Motion Picture’ -or at least a TV series. Where Russia is concerned one can’t have too many ‘Novichoks’. All manner of twists, treachery and ‘villainy’ are possible -as long as they all point to the Kremlin.
Actually I’d be surprised if MI6’s BBC state propaganda broadcaster have not already created such a script ready to boost the russophobia to its ‘proper ‘ level should it ever begin to flag.
Elizabeth May could even have a cameo appearance.
S75, I agree; there is a limit to the pleasure of watching a tinsel butterfly of anti-Russian propaganda broken on the wheel of Logic — however skilfully.
As a shock to nobody, the CIA and MI6 are full of some of the world’s most incompetent, evil, criminals. Prior to jumping on Russian Novichok conspiracy theory, they should have realized that the New York Times had reported that the U.S. governmemt was overseering the Novichok site. The problem with these imbeciles is that they assume that everyone is as incompetent and stupid as they are!
Ego, corruption and incompetency always gets them in the end!
This is a plausible hypothesis. But….
Given the situation we are in now – chaos in the US with most of the establishment trying to derail Trump, and Trump himself in a state of maniacal confusion, and the country hopelessly split; and chaos in the UK with the Government repeatedly down-voted and in turmoil over BREXIT; and victory in Syria for Syria/Russia/Iran; and, not least, the informed people of the world laughing their heads off at the official Skripal narrative, and now dis-believing anything the MSM say. Well, you have to conclude this is a masterful Russian intelligence operation.
The months of delay between the Skripal incident and the second poisoning, of the members of England’s massively burgeoning underclass of unpersons, is also suspect. In what world, even England, are rubbish bins and charity bins not emptied for months? The perfume bottle was obviously deposited in the bin not long before it was found, and the MI6 clowns, like the rest of the English ruling class, are imbeciles (eg BloJo, Williamson, Fox, Rees-Mogg, May etc ad nauseam)who forgot to unwrap the bottle.
Precisely, and I seriously doubt that Novichok was ever near anything except those lab samples.
If anything at all the perfume contained something like carfentanyl and Dawn Sturgess, who died, was likely either set up deliberately or allowed to overdose herself with her usual recreational drug habit. The red-herring perfume bottle set up contained just perfume but was removed afterwards to be salted with Novichok. Perhaps even that was unnecessary as only the test swab sent had to be doctored.
I doubt whomever took the pictures of the box and perfume was hazmat suited. These are the types of little details that might bubble up over time.
Since Sturgess was cremated (hope they were wearing hazmat suits and had good filters) any evidence is lost. How convenient.
Contrasting with the first picture, here we see (second picture) a properly suited policeman and his chair next to the deadly WMD Novichok bin:
Good question. In the US, there are frequently big “rubbish bins” that are used/hired by cities/developers when cleaning up huge construction projects that typically sit around for weeks (months?) on end. These are often the targets of “dumpster divers”. The dumpster diver angle of this case is a big question mark, perhaps J. le Carre or Mrs. Marpole could enlighten us on the matter.
One wonders if removing the roof of the house absurdity was to find some secret documentation or usb or other secret information eg microdot that Skripal had hidden up there……
JJ, c’etait fait pour epater les bourgois.
The suggestions made in this article are quite plausible. But still the sheer incompetence and arrogance is nauseating. I do not have high hopes that the *public* will pick this up. Even White Helmets, helping ‘nerve gas victims’ with their bare hands was broadcasted without people starting to laugh – everyone with just basic military training knows that’s a hoax.
These events must be seen in a broader perspective. The British are desperate to regain some of their former imperialistic ‘greatness’. ‘It’s all part of the plan’ said The Joker, but the real jokers are in charge. And it’s not even a plan, it’s a project. Project ‘Global Britain’. The British goal was to demonize Russia, even planning to have them expelled from the UNSC.
In 2018 Thierry Meyssan has written a nice article about this: https://www.voltairenet.org/article200375.html . (Especially the sarcastic last sentence is beautiful). So far it didn’t work out well. But some day they will overplay their hands, like trying to sabotage the Kerch bridge, and have their troops arrested and jailed for piracy.
Just like Assange is held hostage in an embassy, the Skripals are held hostage as well. It is hard to believe, that a young woman with a house, a job and a boyfriend in Russia suddenly wants to stay in the UK. Someday they will simply… disappear, I’m afraid.
The mysterious disappearance of Sergei and Yulia Skripal has certainly already occurred, unless anyone anywhere has uncovered evidence to the contrary.
No, my friend , the Joker did Not say it was all part of the plan. He only asked the question; Do I look like a guy who plans?
Apparently, these guys Never had a clue.
“…the point is to see how many thorny problems, raised by the facts we do have, can be solved by this narrative and cannot be solved by the official one”.
Actually there is no “official narrative”. Trying to assemble the many official statements, and to reconcile them with media reports and witness testimony, is utterly impossible. It would be like trying to build a house with onion skins.
I concluded shortly after the beginning of the Skripal comic opera that the only safe conclusion anyone could possible reach was that the British government was lying – cynically, wickedly, deliberately, and on an industrial scale.
Moreover, it seemed quite unperturbed by the obvious unbelievability of its stories. Either it believed that the British people (and others) are so stupid that they do believe them; or that the British people are so cynical that they just don’t care; or they positively wanted to see how the public would react to such an obvious stream of nonsensical lies.
The whole thing powerfully confirms Caitlin Johnstone’s preceptive thesis that most people are completely impervious to facts, and are interested only in stories (“narratives”). https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/02/04/dissidents-must-understand-the-difference-between-fact-and-narrative/
In the Skripal case, this means that most British civilians have bought unconditionally into the “Russia is wicked” story, and cannot even perceive any facts that do not support it.
Never under estimate the British Publics capacity for bone headed stupidity, for decades many have voted for policies against their own interests,the outlook isn’t good,the herd have been brainwashed.
Western publics are 50% of below median intelligence-many well below. They are relentlessly brainwashed by a 100% propagandistic fakestream media that slavishly follows the US Imperial and neo-liberal capitalist line in all topics that relate to the parasitic oligarchic elites’ power. The presstitutes practise 100% Groupthink, with virtually no deviations. Badthink and Thought Crime, if it ever is ventilated, brings swift and lasting retribution.
Western politicians lie much of the time, and even being exposed as liars is simply ignored. The chutzpah is psychopathic, but they have role models who have practised it for millennia. Here in Austfalia, NO stories appear regarding China, Iran, Russia, Corbyn, Venezuela, Zimbabwe etc, that are not negative, often viciously, hysterically and racially so. The Palestinians are unpersons who have ceased to exist save as ‘terrorists’ and any who dare support them are ‘antisemites’, who are vilified and intimidated with practised frenzy. And at the centre of this edifice of lying, hypocrisy and brainwashing is the Murdoch cancer, whose organs ceaselessly peddle lies, hate and fear-mongering, and character assassination, with unending vendettas, often prosecuted even decades after the victim has died, a specialty. It is said that a fish rots from the head, but Austfalia is rapidly decomposing from its fundamental orifice, with neoplastic excrement both poisoning and polluting the cosmos, and toxifying the doomed host as well.
Having concluded nearly a year ago that the British government was lying on a quite unbelievable scale and with almost unprecedented shamelessness, I had thought it impossible to come up with a reasonably credible narrative.
But Mr Antony’s explanation works for me. I can’t see any flaws in it.
As some other comments have stated, the main reason why most ordinary people could not bring themselves to accept Mr Antony’s version is that they could not bear the thought that their government is criminally wicked.
Which reminds me powerfully of this:
“The great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil … therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big”.
– Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1971; original version 1925), Vol. 1, chapter 10, p.231
The only point which stays open with this theory – Did Skripal become a hit-target, because he wanted to change sides – or did he want to change sides, because he smelled the plans for him to be “Litvinnenko-ed” soon.
I favor the latter somehow
The English elite beleived they were so superior, they can make the rest of the world fall for their increasingly bizarre and fascisistic plots. It failed massively and the EU buisness communinty is now overwhelmingly pro Russian/Chinese and anti Anglo-American. The planned war against Iran and Venezuela failed because the Germany big finance that Anglo rely on didnt support it.
On the topic of English arrogance and neo imperialism- China scrapped plans for Brexit trade agreement after Minster of Terrorism Williamson said the South China Sea was not Chinese, and the Royal Navy would send a ship there, although they dont have any functioning planes or long range missiles. Honda and Nissan are closing their factories in UK and opening them in EU. And 1 in 5 of English live in total poverty and rely on charity food supplies, according to their own statistics. The UK will see a level of poverty in europe only rivalled only by Ukraine, Moldova and Kosovo.
According to Sputnik, Japan almost cut off trade talks as well after a insulting agressive letter from UK, and said the UK will get a much worse deal than the EU-Japan deal. Only fellow money launderers Switzerland and the Faroe Islands have signed deals so far! No one else wants to deal with the British Empire, the first Empire was a tradgedy, the second will be a comedy. UK will have even less trade agreements than North Korea, which at least has free trade with China and Cuba. Spanish Navy is taking control of Gibraltar by using its UN rights to seal off the waters around the coasts, and after Brexit they can close the land border completely and airspace above , meaning UK must give the Colony back unless they want all their colonists to starve. We Europeans are sick of English and American ruling this continent like they ruled India. EU Elections will put pro Eurasian parties in power and we can stop these illegal Anglo sanctions.
And the Zionazis and their Blairite stooges are moving inexorably to destroy the threat of Corbyn and the Labour Party ending the neo-liberal reign of terror against the bottom 70 or 80% of the UK populace. Their campaign of vicious, filthy and entirely fraudulent accusations of the new ‘Supreme Crime’, ‘antisemitism’, aided and abetted by the entire fakestream media lie-machine, particularly the vicious Zionazi shite-rag, the Guardian, has entered its final stage, with the defection of seven treacherous individuals, Zionazi and Sabbat Goy alike. Cleverly the traitors have left the bulk of the Fifth Columnists inside Labour, to keep poisoning the Party from within, while the external Quislings ramp up their propaganda work for the state to which the owe their prime, if not sole, loyalty, Israel, and that anti-human system, capitalism, that Milton Friedman observed long ago, is ‘..good for the Jews’. But, of course, Friedman did not mean ALL the Jews, but just the gilded elites that control almost all ‘Jewish’ institutions and stand-over gangs.
Interestingly enough, 200 UK Jewish worthies wrote a letter to the Guardian sewer defending Corbyn against the entirely fraudulent accusations of ‘antisemitism’. Naturally no prominent mention of the letter was made on the rag’s news pages, and it will now be consigned to the ‘self-hating Jews’ Memory Hole, whereas, of course, a letter from 200 Zionazi fanatic haters denouncing Corbyn would have been front-page, with shrieking. It is vital to remember that not all Jews in the UK, by any means, are hate-crazed Zionazi liars, although it does appear that the ranks of Jewish ‘elite’ organs are more or less uniformly deranged. Needless to say, the Zionazis, and particularly the Sabbat Goyim at the Guardian are, as required, 1000% poisonous and deranged in their hatred, hypocrisy and mendacity, as it is here, in Austfailia, too.
There have been dozens of good articles summarizing all the contradictions and official b/s, but few proposed an air-tight plausible narrative. Bravo Mr. Antony, thank you for the excellent work, this piece is an instant non-msm classic.
Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the appearance of the Russian flag on the Salisbury Cathedral
Question: How would you comment on the reports by the British media that on Sunday morning someone hoisted a Russian flag on the scaffolding around the Salisbury Cathedral?
Answer: We saw these reports, but we do not have any official information on them. If the reports of hoisting a Russian flag are true, then it all looks to us like a well-staged provocation.
Everybody is aware that after almost a year the British side has failed to present any substantial evidence of Russian involvement in the incident and has classified the case, whilst simply ignoring the numerous requests from the Embassy. For this reason we consider the appearance of the Russian flag on the Cathedral to be yet another clumsy attempt to associate Russia with the sad events that took place in Salisbury last March.
The possibility exists that a rational explanation may be correct. The possibility does not exist that an irrational explanation may be correct.
I appreciate this possible, logical and rational explanation. At the least, it must be bringing my understanding of this issue closer to the truth.
From the beginning when you could see Miller in the mirror when he took the picture in the Pub, I thought this was why the Skripals were poisoned.
Why did Miller take the picture in the pub?
What was that supposed to prove? I mean, in terms of a conspiracy to kill the Skripalsj?
Wasn’t one of the theories that the Skripals were poisoned by pizza:
Was that pizza served at the pub?
Someone in a previous discussion last spring (I don’t remember whether it may have been on this blog or another) posted information including photographs that the person in the mirror was much likelier to be a different friend of Sergei Skripal – not Pablo Miller. If my vague memory serves, there was specific evidence that this person had met the Skripals on the day of Julia’s arrival (Mar 3), which is also the date of the photograph. And why would the British authorities choose to release this one photo when they would likely have been concerned NOT to release anything that would draw attention to Pablo Miller?
Nice torrough argumented alternative.
I agree most jurnos are sloppy, I always say “thank god they are not professionals, otherwise they will leave black mark on the profession”.
Everyone is saying the two alleged GRU agent flew from Moscow, funny no one bothered to check if there were direct flights from Moscow that day – I did, the only flights from Russia were from St. Petersburg.
More sloppy work, like all of the other cover-ups. Nothing new, really – just ordinary idiots being given the power by the sheeple and no one complains. That is how it has been and that is how it will be, until the end of days…
The “two alleged GRU agents” admitted that they flew from Russia and visited Salisbury on consecutive days on or about the time the British claim. There is no dispute about these details.
The case rests around these two individuals – did they give a plausible account of why they were at Salisbury on those particular days? Do they have a plausible history that goes back to childhood, are they real or made up aliases?
For me it is not a big deal if the Russians tried to kill the Skripals, as Putin said he was a sumbag and a traitor. If I was GRU and asked to shoot him I would gladly accept the job.
The down side to this operation is that it was botched – Skripral was not killed and the two Russian “tourists” gave a strong connection back to Russia and therefore Putin had to expend a lot of political capital defending it.
You propose an operation, said it failed and then accuse the Russians of defending it.
You are confused about links from whom to what.
You also obviously did not read the article or if you did, you failed utterly to comprehend it.
In other words, your comment is silly.
You might want to reread the article.
By the way Putin did not expend a scintilla of political capital defending anything.
The British have pissed their trousers over and over with this preposterous claptrap they keep manipulating.
It’s a botched Mi6 operation and propaganda blowup.
Like Douma sarin gas attack.
In the ‘tradecraft’, it is called bullsh*t. And the sh*t is all over Vauxhall Cross, not the Kremlin.
You ought to see if Porky in Kiev has an opening. He likes people who believe ‘10,000 Russian military are in Donbass’. You might fit in the Communications messaging for that bozo, also. You fell for the British crappola.
The article is a little too “Tinfoil Hat” for me to be interested in. The only thing I get from the article, is that the author and all that might agree with the article, believe that the “two tourists” caught on cctv by the British are in fact GRU agents.
So with that knowledge, whats the chance of it being Mi6 that botched operation?…not good. Just like Jim Carreys chances of going out with the girl in Dumb & Dumber, were 1 in a million. So like him you should be happy there is a chance.
If you are not interested in the article then why are you writing lengthy illogical ‘non sequitur’ nonsensical comments? Just believe the official version and you will be happy as will the GCSB and partners.
This is a good effort Michael.
I’m sure you’re right about the reasons why Skripal became ‘problematic’. What must have seemed like a wizard wheeze – “Hey everybody! Let’s ingratiate ourselves with the incoming POTUS by smearing her opponent with a dodgy dossier!” – must have looked a lot less clever when events of November 2016 didn’t go at all according to plan, and suddenly we’re sitting across a table from the target of the dossier, begging for trade scraps in the leadup to Brexit…
At that point Skripal would transform from being the hero of the hour to a potential source of leaks that could be, very, as I’ve said above, ‘problematic’. And you might just want to get him out of the way.
But on the Occam’s razor principle, the ‘perfume as a gift to Yulia’ hypothesis is unnecessarily complex and fraught with as many potential pitfalls as the imaginary Russian plot. It’s just not plausible. Why go to all that trouble with a plan that could go so wrong in so many ways, when all you need to do is walk past two people on a park bench and spray them with something?
There are much simpler explanations for the perfume bottle:
1. We need a couple of new victims to keep the “Chemical Vlad is evil” pot simmering.
2. Who doesn’t count for much in the overall scheme of things? Jakeys and junkies.
3. Who rakes in charity bins? Jakeys and junkies.
4. If you put what looks like a brand new unopened package of expensive perfume in a charity bin, who would be most likely to find it? Jakeys and junkies.
5. Fine. Let’s do that.
The fact that the ‘Novichok perfume’ didn’t appear until June suggests that it might have been necessary to ‘seed’ the charity bin more than once before it was found.
This would also explain why the Russian ‘assassins’ have been charged with the attempted murder of the Skripals, but not with the actual murder of Dawn, who actually died, even though there is supposedly a direct evidence link from the ‘Novichok’ in the perfume bottle to traces of ‘Novichok’ found in the assassins’ hotel room.
In the unlikely event of the assassins ever finding themselves on trial, some lawyer could find themselves asking – however reluctantly – inconvenient questions about the location of charity bins in Salisbury, and the emptying schedules for charity bins in Salisbury. And it might then become very difficult to explain how a perfume bottle full of Novichok that was put in a bin by the assassins at the beginning of March was still there in June…
“The fact that the ‘Novichok perfume’ didn’t appear until June suggests that it might have been necessary to ‘seed’ the charity bin more than once before it was found.”
If multiple perfume bottles with Novichok were thrown into charity bins and were not found by an individual,
it seems possible that the bottles would have ended up crushed in a landfill somehwere and the nerve agent would have escaped into the e nvironment and killed someone or some animal or something.
Not sure how “charity bins” are handled in the UK. Or, actually, what “charityh bins” are. Are these dumpsters and the name charity bin is a sarcastic nickname?
There never was any nerve agent in the perfume bottle. More like carfentanyl or nothing but perfume; the fentanyl overdose being easy to precipitate to a drug addict by other means. The perfume bottle was a red herring to distract everyone and connect to the Skripals. Unfortunately they (MI6) forgot to open it, making it difficult to connect to the Skripal BZ knockout gassing.
Just in case you’re still looking for a reply.
A charity bin is a dumpster outside (usually the back) of a charity shop. They use it to dispose of stuff they haven’t been able to sell, or stuff from donations that they don’t think they’ll be able to sell. Alcoholics, junkies and homeless people regularly rake through these bins hoping to find something usable/saleable.
As Conjecture says, there never was any ‘nerve agent’. Our security services are callous, but they’re not completely stupid. The idea would have been to create a couple of new ‘victims’ not to cause mass deaths.
Thanks for this, great food for thought!
I think that you have done well with this scenario. It does explain a lot of inconsistencies especially with the behaviour of the British Parliament. Again, I would think that the initial work done by MI5 in setting up this psy-ops would have been fairly competent, but once the wheels fell off, that’s when the professionalism went out the window, or the door so to speak.
What was new to me and extremely interesting was the scent bottle. I do not have a time line of these events, but for me the timing of the ‘finding’ of the bottle does not match the initial affair, so it has to link up something else. If I recall it took about six months for the entry into the UK of the GRU officers to be announced, and I would thus link the scent bottle to that announcement rather than the initial event.
I am a bit surprised though by the lack of comments by Mulga as this type of work was within his forte before his retirement, but Mulga had always insisted there was no such thing as MI6 as he preferred to call them by their official name of SIS.
It would appear that maybe the Brits are not as gullible as the House of lords would prefer. An example is this poll claiming that millenials are baffled by changing a lightbulb, or boiling an egg. I’m calling BS on this poll. I’m calling BS on all polls actually! Roger Waters has a pretty strong following. The polls are nothing but an establishments effort to exert peer pressure to conform to what ever their position is, formally referred to as consensus bias, because they realized that ” expert” bias has lost any and all credibility.
Excellent post. The word “Orwellian” simply doesn’t do justice to this ongoing theatre of the absurd post-reality passion play MI6 has been up to their neck in. Western oligarchy fomenting baseless inane fear of Russia and all things Russian. Somehow this seems so familiar, where could I possibly have heard that theme before?
Shucks, so it wasn’t food poisoning at the Zizzi restaurant after all….
I;m a bit surprised that Mr Antony supposes that the two Skripals are still alive. A new, improved Yulia appeared at her post-Novichok press conference, hair parted on the other side, which most people reckon wasn’t her.
The ‘Novichek’ beauty product (Salisbury KGB edition) can be seen here courtesy of that superb site ‘Moon of Alabama’.
The Russian text subscript is ‘before’ and ‘after’. For all those credulous MSM masses it’s obvious that Novichok is clearly an unparalleled beauty enhancing product.
Furher down there is another picture ‘Just believe! The magic of Novichok’ .
In the ‘after’ pictures the hair is long and covering the ears. Ear shapes are very defining and obvious so are difficult to duplicate -irrelevant of course if concealed by hair.
Let’s be logical. If MI5/6 wanted the Skripals dead then they would have died in the initial attack. Once the victims survived that attack and were later released from hospital, no matter where they were ‘confined’ they must be kept alive just in case they are needed to be used again later, such as in a ‘trial’ or court.
If the Skripals do in fact vanish then just exactly how would Her Majesty’s government explain that to the friends and relatives not only in Russia but within Europe. It is far more likely that both Skripals are guests in one of H.M. gaols similarly to J.E.W, was deported back to Jamaica for Rachel North’s story.
As to whether the Skripals are still alive, only MI6 knows. I assume that when Sergei’s death is announced (from the long-term effects of novichok, of course), it will be timed in order to launch another round of sanctions and warmongering propaganda against Russia at a moment that serves MI6’s purposes. It is always a useful distraction from (or means of derailing) Brexit, a way of painting Corbyn as a Putin puppet on the eve of an election, or a preparation for a new US/Ukrainian provocation in the Black Sea. Perhaps they will use it in another push to derail Nord Stream2 or even to remove Russia from the UN Security Council. It is impossible to predict how they will use it, but use it they will. The tame media will unleash howls of anti-Russian indignation, editorials will be written about how this abomination of Russian murders in the streets of Salisbury must be stopped, and the politicians will jump to the tune they have themselves ordered. Of course Skripal’s body will be cremated and no autopsy will be done except by their experts. And none of the mainstream media will ask a single question.
And… no one is confused by the fact that two highly professional killer took a uncorked bottle with an extremely dangerous reagent and threw it only after more than 11 km! from the place of attempt and not only remained alive, but also nobody heard about the injured taxi driver, or passengers of public transport?
Excellent narrative Michael.The military nurse proposing her daughter for an honour seems to be an appalling lack of discretion in this carefully constructed clusterxxxx. Was this scripted; or why couldn’t she keep her mouth shut? There’s no benefit for MI6 to have this information, however trivial, in the public domain. And, again, the Russian flag on Salisbury cathedral is such as crass, and desperate, move to remind Salisbury citizens of MI6’s monstrous false flag.
Skripal seems to be in his death throes, but Yulia, supposedly the main target, has enjoyed good health. There is a rumour on Russian social media that she is pregnant, albeit discounted by many. But it would be a good exit strategy for her to expire during a difficult pregnancy. According a retired civil servant, while car crashes and brutal beatings were MI5 favourites, MI6 prefers natural causes, such as injection of cancer cells, suicide by hanging, drowning etc.
I don’t trust the officials narrative but there are too many holes in this alternative story. I will not list all of them but what anyone fails to explain is how the perfume bottle filled with the lethal Novichok ended in the other part of the town, far away from Scripal house? Even if the GRU agents have poisoned Scripal why throwing the bottle so far away nearby a charity bin? The bottle also have been with cellophane and unused. Scripal who is experienced spy also wouldn’t throw a bottle filled with Novichok just like that in a public place.
The only people that can thrown so light – Sergei and Yulia are kept away from the public.
There’s allways one question that bothers me: What about the GRU? Is there nothing in their vaults to put the Brits on notice? Pictures of Gavin Williamson in pink panties? Of Theresa May in bed with Jeremy Corbyn? Some skeletons in the City’s closets? Anything.?
Not bad. Though there are a few flaws to the narrative. I think the main one is the concept that Fentanyl is relatively safe and therefore explains the lack of first responder casualties. Fentanyl is very strong and the lethal dose is similar in amount to a nerve agent, just a few milligrams.
As the Skripals apparently survived the “attack” and Yulia appears unharmed it suggests either no attack or a different agent was used. Maybe another opiate, a different method of administration which is very controlled, like a tablet, or something much safer, like BZ.
Also I suspect that the intent was not to kill the Skripals.
The other major flaw is:
Hey, Sergei was given a nice house in the historic city of Salisbury. You know it is a favoured tourist destination for the discerning Russian. :)
Tin foil hat territory this. Tell me, why should the Russians care about the Steele Dossier and seek to undermine it ? The dossier (quite likely produced with the active assistance of the FSB) is doing what it was supposed to do, undermine confidence in US democracy and government. Why would the Russians want to support Trump ? He’s economically worse for them that Clinton would have been (her administration would quite probably have inhibited fracking and thus reduced US oil & gas production which is the key to world oil prices at present); Trump allowed the transfer of lethal weapons to Ukraine, he’s threatened to abrogate the intermediate range nuclear weapons treaty (largely because and as far as we can tell truthfully because the Russians are not observing it themselves) – he’s no friend to Russia.
So the whole premise comes tumbling down.
The “Novichok” theory, at least as it has so far been articulated in Britain has gaping flaws, but it is at least as believable as this mish-mash of speculation.
Apparently you haven’t heard about Russia-gate in the US, or Fusion GPS, or BBC Media Action, or the shelling of citizens in Donbass for four odd years. Yes, the rooskies would pull all this crap to stop Trump, who frustrates them. Right. Would you like a drink?
You’re the one obsessing about tin-foil hats. Can you tell us why we need one?
I’ve seen (at least) M. Antony, UK Media/Integrity Initiatives, the US MSM, and you. Mrs. Marpole and Hercule Poirot have sat out the round. Your premise/mish-mash is IMO the weakest of the lot.
Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning placing Sergey and Yulia Skripal on a missing person list
Question: How would you comment on the media reports suggesting that Sergey Skripal’s mother has officially requested Russian law enforcement agencies to record her son and granddaughter as missing and initiate a missing person investigation? According to the British side, the UK agencies have not received any official notice from the Russian authorities with regard to placing the Skripals on a missing person list.
Answer: We fully understand the natural concern of Elena Skripal with what has happened to her relatives. The situation is exacerbated by a lack of access to the Russian citizens in violation of international law and the bilateral 1965 Consular Convention. In this case we are unable to officially state that Sergey and Yulia are still alive. We are disturbed by the recent media leaks concerning the worsening health of Sergey Skripal, whose track has been lost since the incident on 4 March 2018. As for Yulia, she was seen only once in May 2018 in a video address which was obviously pre-written by the British secret services. All this indicates that both our nationals are being isolated.
We would like to remind that since the very beginning the competent Russian authorities have turned to the British side via official channels, requesting legal assistance and proposing to establish joint investigation on the Salisbury incident. However, ignoring the norms of international law, the British authorities have denied both the request and the proposal. The Embassy has sent dozens of Notes Verbales and letters to the FCO, the Home Office and the police which were also left unanswered.
Taking into account all the facts, concern of Sergei and Yulia’s family as well as their appeal to the Russian law enforcement agencies seems to be fully justified.”
Where are the hordes of liberal human rights campaigners protesting the illegal sequestration without trial of Sergei and Yulia Skripal? This embassy statement makes clear that the family, and notably Sergei’s mother, have been allowed no contact with Sergei since 4th March, when the alleged poisoning took place. And yet reports indicate that Sergei had telephone conversations with his mother at least once a week prior to that. In what way can Sergei talking to his 91-year old mother on the phone be regarded as a risk to his security? The only possible risk is to MI6’s and the British police’s lying narrative, which Sergei might refute. It is time the Russian government became a bit more assertive and demanded the family’s access by phone to these illegally sequestrated Russian nationals. “Let Sergei talk to his mother ” should become a campaign slogan. Perhaps a Facebook hashtag. Far from being masters of propaganda, as the Western MSM pretends, the Russian government is rather bad at getting its views across. It needs a proper communication department. Instead of getting its new missiles into Western headlines, it should get the constant demand for Sergei’s mother’s telephone access to her son in the headlines. Its ambassador should raise the question in the UN at every meeting. Russia’s passivity and lack of vigorous campaigning is allowing MI6 to get away with murder.
And here’s a VERY alternative narrative:
Excellent! That’s quite an achievment and a fine example of what satirical humour so close to truth can accomplish.
‘The Third Man’!
Cue zither playing the Harry Lime theme!
Now I understand. Thank you for this analysis.
So Sergei Skripal was to play The Third Man on the flight back to Russia! It all falls into place.
But MI6 got to him by, in some way which we are not privy to, luring the Skripals into Queen Elizabeth Gardens where they were attacked. One would expect, in austerity Britain, that a humble (and unpaid) PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) would have come to their aid, but no! It was a detective-sergeant! Well, well! “‘Ello, ‘ello,’ello. What we got ‘ere, then? An obvious case of Novichok poisoning! Can spot these a mile off. Better get an off-duty nurse to take a look at ’em. — ‘Ere’s an off-duty nurse now.. Colonel Allison McCourt. She’ll do.. British Army’s Chief Nursing Officer!” (Row of forty medals on her chest – Big chest! Saved a thousand Zulu’s from Ebola in the West! No Jest, she’s the best!).
We know that Yulia Skripal’s VK page was accessed on the 7th March at 6:35am. I saw that on the Internet and I visited that page and saved it to my PC.
My thought at the time was that Yulia was not in the Novichok-induced coma that Boris Johnson would have us believe and that she hadn’t been able to resist the lure of social media… But now I see that it was our people who accessed the page and changed Yulia’s profile picture from the slightly over-weight Yulia pictured in the pub with her dad, to the new, younger, slimmer Yulia brought out in front of the BBC’s camera a couple of weeks later. The profile picture is against the same type of country background as used in the BBC video.
I am very sceptical that a fake Nina Ricci Perfume bottle would survive for over 3 months in a charity bin in Salisbury. If it was outside in the town centre it would have been emptied long before that. in any case it was a long cold snowy and wet spring. in the outset it languished in the bin for all that time, it would have been very bedraggled at the end of it. cellophane is not waterproof. It would scarcely be the sort of thing you give your girlfriend as a special present. It seems much more likely it was dumped shortly before it was found by Charlie Rowley. So who dumped it and why?
I had a different theory, that the Skripal affair was a “false flag operation” intended to hide S. Skripal when the Muller prosecution fails and the Trump people start to prosecute the prosecutors. Then Skripal could be an inconvenient witness for the fictions of the Still report. So MI6 decided to hide him from the new prosecutors, and arranged his disappearance! The version in this article explains some facts, which my version could not explain, so it is better, although the idea has the same root – MI6 organized the affair and blamed the Russians.