Skripal

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blackcat

antony green psephologist esqu
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ripped this from my Facebook food feed by ex-mandarin Tony Kevin who gets a script from (warning for TLDR):

David McIlwain
( not a Facebook user) of latest evidence in the Skripal case, which remains the linchpin of so much ongoing British and US Russophobia - which, I am sad to say, has infected much of Australia’s political and media class also, by dint of constant unquestioning repetition of easily disprovable lies:

The Poison Paradox by David McIlwain

NOVICHOK! It just won’t go away – even though it was never there! The Sun reports that twenty vehicles that “came into contact with the killer substance” have now been dismantled and buried in a toxic waste site. Suspend not disbelief yet – at the thought of scrappies in Hazmat suits cutting up police cars. Such Alice in Wonderland deception was nicely detailed by Rob Slane in his latest dissection of the Skripal hoax, pointing specifically at the crucial flaws in the “door-handle theory”.

Slane systematically destroys the UK government’s assertion that the Skripals’ door-handle was the “source of the poisoning”, but without quite following through with the argument – that there was no such poisoning with Novichok at all, - as has been well established from other details of the event.

In fact, as the UK government rests its whole case for Novichok poisoning on that door-handle, and rests its whole case against Russia on its supposed responsibility for smearing the nerve agent on it, the cutting of this Achilles Heel could bring down the whole rotten edifice, just as it felled the great hero of the Trojan War; concentrating our “cyber-warfare” on this weakest point must be our priority.

As I’ve written before about the Skripal poisoning, once it is accepted that it really was a hoax – a cleverly constructed piece of political theatre contrived by the UK government to further its strategic objectives against Russia – some other questions immediately present themselves. It is not simply a case of Russia not being responsible; without Russia there is no Novichok and no case.

Chief of these questions is who knew that this was an “operation”- or conspiracy? Straight away we are confronted with a paradox, as thousands of people directly or indirectly involved in the months-long Salisbury drama must be divided into two groups – those who deceived and those who were deceived.

It’s probably safe to say that those at either extreme of this division may be assumed to belong to these two groups – which may be called the “Porton Down” group and the “Salisbury Citizens” group, belonging to the deceivers and the deceived respectively.

(It is fundamental of course to accept that the story of Novichok was not true – that Novichok was not present in the Salisbury environment nor responsible for the condition of any of its supposed five victims. While this truth may not yet be acceptable to the UK public or media, and may in fact never be acceptable to them, it has been established beyond a shadow of doubt to be the case, and could be easily proven in a fair court. Some “new” confirming evidence has also come to light which I will detail shortly.)

Taking it that Porton Down was the centre of operations for “Operation Nina” as I have called it, we must first dismiss any suggestion that this was a “rogue operation”, pursued by some faction of the intelligence services without the knowledge of others or of Government leaders. The readiness – or rather unseemly haste – with which Theresa May took up the false case against Russia despite its extraordinarily provocative and dangerous consequences denies her any alibi or claim of innocence. Besides, it dovetailed too nicely with her own agenda and that of the UK state to have been a rogue operation.

But it must follow that other leading officials and agents of the state were also fully cognisant of the Operation. Had they not been then serious problems of credibility would have immediately stood in the way, as experienced and knowledgeable staff from Porton Down could not have been taken in by the conflicting and incredible nonsense foisted on to the general public. That some may have been reluctantly complicit and remain in fear of David Kelly’s fate does however seem likely.

In questioning whether this knowledge that the Operation was “theatre” extended to all those unidentified operators in Hazmat and Green-bottle suits, the situation becomes more complicated. These men were obliged to go through some particularly stupid and difficult operations dressed in their colourful encumbrances – motivated by the belief that they were really dealing with a mortal hazard and playing their part in “protecting National Security”. Would they not though have asked the questions that we asked, and particularly

“why did the Skripals not die if this stuff is so toxic?”

Or did they know they were just performing for the cameras – so to speak – but then also know that they were collectively involved in a massive and criminal deception, not just of the general public but of other civil servants and members of the various services? At what point for such personnel would moral integrity prevail over duty to “Queen and Country”, if at all?

There are only those two alternatives.

Yet more difficult is the same question applied to the police and emergency services and hospital staff, because the consequences of either option are severe. It is simply impossible to believe that so many ordinary and honest government employees could have all been complicit in this deception, and kept it secret. But the alternative is that they were all deceived by their own government, or by those within their ranks who were “in the room”.

It should be remembered in this discussion that at no point has the UK government given the slightest indication of going soft on its Novichok campaign – quite the opposite. Apparently to gain maximum advantage from the dirty operation, they have drip fed new misinformation to the press over six months, reviving and restating the first lies while creating new ones, and then finally “exposing” the “GRU” culprits and their magic poison perfume bottle.
The more potential whistle-blowers and dissenters there were in the ranks, the harder it would be to keep the lid on their lies.

As I mentioned earlier, some new information has come to light which provides more evidence on the nature of the poison applied to the Skripals, as well as giving us very useful extra insight into the experience of the staff at Salisbury District Hospital who came into contact with them – literally.

This information is from the horse’s mouth, in a BBC Newsnight report by Mark Urban of May 30th. Urban went to Salisbury District Hospital around this time, and apparently – though we never see him nor hear his questions – interviewed staff and executives about their treatment of the Skripals and the incident.

There is nothing to suggest that any of these staff disbelieve the “official” story, and the testimony of doctors and nurses is particularly credible I think. While the information they provide about the Skripals’ “surprisingly fast” recovery is significant, the most interesting details concern the first two days following their admission on Sunday afternoon, March 4th.

The Sister in charge of Radnor ward Intensive Care Unit, Sarah Clark describes the situation:

–“at that point – the evening – we were led to believe that they had taken an overdose – obviously there was no indication of nerve agent poisoning. They were needing support with their breathing, and support with their cardio-vascular system.”

While Sister Clark likely means that no-one had indicated nerve agent poisoning was a possibility, it is quite clear that there was no sign of any specific symptoms of such a toxin in the two unidentified victims either. These symptoms are described in the interview with Intensive Care Consultant Dr Stephen Jukes – but he appears to be talking about the typical symptoms that the Skripals would have been expected to show rather than those he had actually observed.

Talk of symptoms is anyway fairly academic for such a toxic substance as A 234 Novichok or VX, as paralysis and death will occur within ten minutes of exposure to a – minuscule – lethal dose. Except in the case of minor accidental contamination, the chief diagnostic symptom of nerve agent exposure is death.

These initial observations obviously cast serious doubt on the subsequent assertions that the Skripals and Detective Inspector Bailey – admitted to hospital on Tuesday 6th March – were suffering the effects of a nerve agent. Had the staff known more, or been told more by the “international experts” who were called in to supervise the Skripals’ treatment, they would surely have also doubted the “nerve agent” theory that conflicted so drastically with their own observations and experience, described by Sister Sarah Clark:

“I did have concerns, because obviously when they first came in there was no indication that it was a nerve agent, and therefore we take our normal protection when any patient comes in but would not at that point have taken any extra precautions in terms of protecting ourselves.”

But what she reveals here is crucial to the case – the various staff involved in the admission, triage and treatment of the incapacitated Skripals took only “normal protection” measures, yet reported no side effects from secondary exposure to the toxin. She “had concerns” over this inadvertent exposure, so would have been over-cautious had any staff reported symptoms.

In addition, the record from these first 48 hours indicates that no appropriate treatment was given for nerve agent poisoning; the chance of a real victim of such a toxin surviving even a sub-lethal dose without any antidote is ZERO.

So what of the “surprisingly rapid” recovery, that happened apparently as a result of the use of “untested drugs” prescribed by Porton Down experts? Newsnight again:

Dr Murray – “you don’t know the way the agent might act – how long to reach its peak, how long it will last, and the longer term effects of these things, people would have no experience of.”

Mark Urban: “It’s clear that from the outset, experts from nearby Porton Down played a central role in advising the team. After a couple of weeks there were gradual but distinct signs of progress.

The exact timing of that, and details of drugs given, remain matters of medical confidentiality.”

Dr Jukes: “We were all exceptionally surprised, pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the recovery happened, at such a pace, and something we can’t easily explain.”

It would be “exceptionally surprising” if the Skripal’s rapid recovery following the Porton Down boffins’ special treatment was the only thing Salisbury Hospital Staff found difficult to explain. That the Skripals didn’t die and then recovered from the Novichok attack is something they would surely have found impossible to explain – unless someone was to tell them the truth.

But then they might look for an explanation for something far more incomprehensible – how they, and millions of ordinary honest and well-intentioned people could be so completely and criminally deceived by their own elected government?

David Macilwain, 9th October 2018​


yo, Ratts of Tobruk you weakwilled charlatan, where are you. The African theatre about to heat up post-Benzhagi, get the pied-noir ready.

@Ratts_of_Tobruk or Ratts of Tobruk or @RattsOfTobruk
 

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smokingjacket

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As I’ve written before about the Skripal poisoning, once it is accepted that it really was a hoax – a cleverly constructed piece of political theatre contrived by the UK government to further its strategic objectives against Russia – some other questions immediately present themselves. It is not simply a case of Russia not being responsible; without Russia there is no Novichok and no case.
I was willing to entertain the possibility that it was a Russian mafia hit, not the Russian state (arguable that the former would act without clearance from the latter anyway) but what about two high level GRU officers being at the scene of the crime failed to convince you?

Occams razor moi friend. It's much more likely the Russian's tried to kill a rat than the British doing a false flag poisoning on one of their high value defectors to achieve some unclear strategic objective.
 

blackcat

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I was willing to entertain the possibility that it was a Russian mafia hit, not the Russian state (arguable that the former would act without clearance from the latter anyway) but what about two high level GRU officers being at the scene of the crime failed to convince you?

Occams razor moi friend. It's much more likely the Russian's tried to kill a rat than the British doing a false flag poisoning on one of their high value defectors to achieve some unclear strategic objective.
Semour Hersh said to Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept that Skripal (his sources told him) was giving mail* to MI5 on the Belgravia oligarchs, or Belgravia mafia... that is the London Toorak suburb where you need your 20mill GBP as buy in to the table. All the Russian expats are there from Yeltsin.

Sy left it open-ended to connect the dots yourself.

*Sy is not always right, just usually he is. And when he is wrong, it is in hindsight as conditions and contingencies have altered, like Iran and Dick Cheney. It was the British economist Keynes not Winston Churchill that said that aphorism about when conditions change I change my mind

medusala meds your need to help out our friend Chief, he of unmatched wisdom here
 

smokingjacket

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Semour Hersh said to Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept that Skripal (his sources told him) was giving mail* to MI5 on the Belgravia oligarchs, or Belgravia mafia... that is the London Toorak suburb where you need your 20mill GBP as buy in to the table. All the Russian expats are there from Yeltsin.

Sy left it open-ended to connect the dots yourself.

*Sy is not always right, just usually he is. And when he is wrong, it is in hindsight as conditions and contingencies have altered, like Iran and Dick Cheney. It was the British economist Keynes not Winston Churchill that said that aphorism about when conditions change I change my mind

medusala meds your need to help out our friend Chief, he of unmatched wisdom here
Exactly,
All of those Belgravia oligarchs have links to the Russian state and the underworld. Skripal was the rumoured key informant for Interpol/Spanish investigations into the various Vory that have set up camp in Spain as a smuggling hub. That's why it was always an absurd argument, you know that Skripal was some out of touch hack, why would the Russians want him gone, it makes no sense - and so on.

Yes, before anyone says it, The Jamestown Foundation have an agenda, they're all ex-NATO, ex-anti-Soviet spook types, but this is a good quick wrap of the issues.
At this point it would be premature to make any far-reaching conclusions. Yet, even if a fraction of the materials presented by Spanish prosecutors turns out to be correct, this will, once again, demonstrate not only the corrupt nature of Russian political elites but also testify to the scale of ties between Russian criminal (and political) circles located in Russia and Russian mafia structures abroad. Given Western economic sanctions (actual and potential), this channel could be activated to avoid or diminish the potential impact of the United States and/or European Union’s economic sanctions directed against Russian elites.
https://jamestown.org/program/trial-decade-spain-declares-war-russian-organized-crime/

The authorities soon discovered that Petrov was indeed a former boxer — and reputedly a high-ranking figure in one of Russia’s most powerful criminal organizations, the Tambovskaya. In Spain alone, he had amassed at least $50 million in properties and businesses. Beyond his island refuge, he was said to control a global network of legitimate and illicit activities, ranging from jewelry stores and extortion rings to the gray-market sale of Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets. But even the scope of Petrov’s enterprises did not prepare Spanish investigators for what they heard when they began to listen in on his telephone calls.

At one point, Petrov called a senior justice official in Moscow to complain that a Russian shipyard had fallen behind on construction of a new yacht Petrov had ordered. According to a confidential Spanish report of the conversation, the Russian official promised to go see the shipbuilder with some of “his boys,” and show him “a lot of affection.” Days later, another Spanish wiretap caught two of Petrov’s associates laughing about how agents of the Russian security forces had left the shipbuilder terrified. The yacht was back on schedule.
https://www.propublica.org/article/fighting-russian-mafia-networks-in-spain

Rather than merely living an isolated life in retirement, Mr. Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, continued to provide briefings to spies in the Czech Republic and Estonia, according to European officials. Now, it appears he was also active in Spain.

The revelation adds another striking parallel between Mr. Skripal and another former Russian intelligence operative, Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London in 2006 after being poisoned by a radioactive isotope, polonium 210. The Spanish authorities have acknowledged enlisting Mr. Litvinenko in a campaign against Russian organized crime figures in Spain.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/world/europe/skripal-poison-russia-spy-spain.html

19 February, 2018: The Spanish get the trial of 17 of the Russian gangsters underway.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43112443

4 March, 2018: Skripal poisoning.

19 October, 2018: All defendants in a case the Spanish government and intelligence services had been working on, building intelligence on, since 2008 are acquitted the grounds that:
The National Criminal Court found insufficient proof that the Russians' investments in Spain involved the proceeds of organised crime.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45907655

Doesn't feel right. Three options of pure speculation:
1. The gangsters called in a Kremlin hit on the right targets and the case fell apart when the other witnesses/informants got spooked.
2. The money men gave up someone pretty significant, maybe like an associated group but from a different ethnicity and less ties to the Russian state making them more disposable. Oh hey, what do you know? 5 June 2018:

Spanish police said they captured seven key members of the Armenian faction of a Russian organized crime group described as Europe’s most dangerous gang.

Police in Madrid said about 130 members of the Vory V Zakone crime group have been arrested in Spain and France after more than 70 properties were raided, uncovering evidence of criminal activities including drug-trafficking, money laundering, extortion and illegal activity around sports betting, Spanish police commissioner Marcos Frias said in a press conference on Thursday in Madrid.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...apture-key-members-of-russia-s-thieves-in-law
3. Maybe 1. made the Spanish more likely to do a deal on 2.?

I guess the point is, the only reasonable interpretation for dismissing the Russian state being involved was if it could be pinned on an organised crime hit, for which there's plenty of alleged motive. But since the reveal of the GRU agents in Salisbury even the Russian media have stopped denying it. It's not clear at the punter level whether the GRU was acting to help the crims on trial with very high level ties to the Russian government or vice versa if the Spanish were planning on expanding the investigation into Russian government corruption, but at this stage there's enough evidence and motive established to assume that this was another example of the Russian state-underworld "deep state" axis that Mark Galleotti has written extensively about.
 

blackcat

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smokingjacket #Belgraviamafia

nice triple story Victorians tho, you need about 30mill GBP buy-in to that high-roller table £ £ £ £ £ for the three-story.


meds got the three-story in Belgravia, ensconsed with the Belgravian set.
medusala

#Belgravia_set
 

smokingjacket

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smokingjacket #Belgraviamafia

nice triple story Victorians tho, you need about 30mill GBP buy-in to that high-roller table £ £ £ £ £ for the three-story.


meds got the three-story in Belgravia, ensconsed with the Belgravian set.
medusala

#Belgravia_set
The London high end market has come off a lot from where it was 5 years ago but one of the funniest news stories I've ever read was around 2013, the traditional London elite with +200m fortunes bemoaning Belgravia and Chelsea being 'gentrified' by an influx of Russian and Arab billionaires.
 

blackcat

antony green psephologist esqu
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The London high end market has come off a lot from where it was 5 years ago but one of the funniest news stories I've ever read was around 2013, the traditional London elite with +200m fortunes bemoaning Belgravia and Chelsea being 'gentrified' by an influx of Russian and Arab billionaires.
i liked it when canadian conrad black would throw his parties and everyone would dress as 17th century french aristocrats or voltaire and rousseau and then black got in strife with manhattan securities law and the only russian we had invited was boris berezovsky. i saw him actually in balaclava recently well 30 months ago, about 50 months after he had topped himself in his notting hill pied-à-terre. nice bloke, just in the corner getting a reach-around from a female barista. i really love urban dictionary, mature discourse for the intellectual set https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=reacharound now you need to invite roman abramovich and his fifth wife to the parties
 
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