Skripal ambulance
© Unknown
This past week (4 March 2019) saw the first anniversary of the incident in Salisbury England where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia became ill in a public space in the centre of town. Within a very short time (12th March) and before evidence could possibly have been adduced, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May was making a statement in the House of Commons attributing blame to Russia. 

The then foreign secretary Boris Johnson had already (6 March) drawn parallels with the Litvinenko death in 2006. On 12 March (before May's statement) Johnson went further and said that the substance responsible for the Skripal's illness had been identified as "A234" and that accordingly, in the British assessment "it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack." 

In the succeeding 12 months the British have not deviated from that view. This is despite a wealth of evidence contradicting that assessment, and a multiple of variations of the official story that have emerged. The British have also ignored the manifest impossibilities of many of their arguments, and the emergence of other, far more plausible explanations. 

It is not the purpose of this article to document the constantly changing and absurd features of the British argument. That has been comprehensively documented elsewhere, for example in the excellent analyses of Rob Slane on his website

For a detailed chronology of events presented in a dispassionate manner, the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom has produced a report: Salisbury: Unanswered Questions

Another feature is the extraordinary degree of overlap between the scenarios being acted out in Salisbury and London, and many of the personnel involved, and of the activities of an organisation whose existence has only recently been disclosed, the Integrity Initiative and its parent body the Institute for Statecraft. One of the common elements between the personnel is in the formation of the so-called Steele Dossier that sought to discredit US President Trump with a catalogue of scurrilous accusations 

It is sufficient in this context to mention only one Pablo Miller, a neighbour and friend of Sergei Skripal and a business associate of Christopher Steele, alleged author of the above-mentioned dossier. Miller and Steele were also Skripal's handlers when Skripal was betraying his country as a double agent. Skripal was convicted, imprisoned, and subsequently released as part of a spy swap, after which he "retired" to the United Kingdom. 

What is especially interesting, is that shortly after the Skripals were hospitalized, the UK government issued a "D" Notice, the effect of which was to prevent the publication of Miller's name in the UK media. There has never been a convincing explanation for this censorship. 

Neither has Miller's name appeared in the Australian media and in particular with any reference to his involvement with Skripal, either in Russia or the UK. That is only part of the utter failure of the mainstream media to ask even the most basic and obvious questions about this case. Instead there has been a charade of either repeating the UK government view, disinformation at best, or producing a series of bizarre stories that are grounded in nothing more than the febrile imaginations of various journalists. 

There are two aspects of the case that I wish to briefly focus upon. Again, there has been almost no coverage of these points in the mainstream media. 

The first point is the question of international law. The Skripal case provides a perfect illustration of the disjunction between the professed adherence to the "rule of law" or "rules based international order" repeated ad nauseam by the UK and its western allies including Australia, and the actual behaviour of those countries when it suits their national interest to ignore legal obligations. 

The latest example of the UK doing exactly that was its announced intention to ignore the International Court of Justice ruling over its shameful maltreatment of the Chagos Islanders. 

The relevant international law in the Skripal case is first and foremost the obligations of State parties under the 1963 Convention on Consular Relations. Article 36 of that Convention (to which both Russia and the United Kingdom are parties) provides that consular officials "shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State." 

A later Convention, the USSR-UK Consular Convention of 1965 provides for similar rights, and Article 30 of that Convention defines a "national" as any person the "sending State recognises as its national". That includes Ms Skripal, a Russian national, and Mr Skripal who has joint British and Russian nationality. 

The British have refused consular access to the Skripals. This blatant breach of international law is apparently not worthy of mention in the western mainstream media. 

A similar rebuff was given to Russian officials who sought information about the attack upon the Skripals under the terms of the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. 

Russia's repeated requests under this Convention were denied, with the UK Home Office advising the Russian authorities that the decision to not cooperate "was taken at the highest political level." As the victims are Russian nationals, and the alleged perpetrators are also Russian nationals, the British refusal sends an explicit message that they are not interested in solving the crime. 

As Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov commented, "the gist of the British rhetoric is that they are not obliged to prove anything to anyone." A perusal of the British government statements in the past 12 months abundantly confirms the accuracy of Mr Lavrov's statement. 

The decision has obviously been made "at the highest political level" and following the Integrity Initiative script that more mileage in the propaganda war can be made by non-cooperation. In this they have the willing complicity of the western mainstream media. 

The second point relates to the evident kidnapping of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. With the exception of a scripted appearance by Yulia, they have not been publicly seen or heard from since the release from Salisbury Hospital 11 months ago. There is no legal justification for them being so confined. Yulia in particular has expressed a wish to return to Russia and has obviously nothing to fear from doing so. 

If they could give a public account of what happened, many of the unanswered questions could be clarified. If, as seems overwhelmingly likely, they were disabled with fentanyl in the Salisbury public centre, (with the most senior British Army nurse, Colonel McCourt just happening to be nearby with her equally convenient expertise in biological warfare) it would explain not only their symptoms but more importantly, their survival. 

The overwhelming scientific evidence says if they were in fact the subject of an A234 nerve agent attack, they would have been dead within minutes, let alone surviving multiple hours from the absurd proposition of smeared door handles. (See Slane op cit for a definitive rebuttal of this and the other absurdities). 

The kidnapping of the Skripals (and no other word is appropriate) violates both the law and the human rights of the two individuals on multiple levels. The overwhelming inference to be drawn from the known facts (not the nonsensical UK official version parroted by the mainstream media) is that the Skripals were the victims of a geopolitical power play. This strategy, again according to the Integrity Initiative script, was aimed at discrediting the Russian state in general and its president in particular.

The other victims in this sorry saga are the general public. The mainstream media has failed miserably, yet again, to perform its task of investigation, skeptical questioning of absurdities and irregularities, and keeping the public properly informed. Such dereliction of duty carries a longer-term price.

About the Author:
James O'Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".

Bellingcat: The website behind the Skripal revelation - BBC News

Eliot Higgins, the founder of BellingcatImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionBritish journalist Eliot Higgins founded Bellingcat in 2014

The apparent unmasking of a Russian man accused of the Salisbury poisoning has made headlines around the world, but for many the source of the revelation may still be unfamiliar.
Bellingcata website which describes itself as "the home of online investigations", published the bombshell piece on Wednesday.
It said that one of the suspects was not a civilian on a sightseeing trip, the explanation put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin, but rather a highly-decorated military officer named Anatoliy Chepiga.
British officials haven't commented, but the BBC understands there is no dispute over the identification. Russia has dismissed the claim as "groundless".
The website behind the story was founded in 2014 by British journalist Eliot Higgins, with the help of a crowd-funding campaign.
At the time of its creation, he was a lone blogger known as Brown Moses who was operating out of his living room in Leicester.
He had been made redundant from his job as an administrative and finance worker for a group that housed refugees and, in 2013, he began to focus on his blog full-time.
Despite having no formal journalism training or experience, he quickly gained a reputation in the relatively new field of open-source, citizen journalism, in which people analyse publicly available materials to uncover new facts about major stories.
His focus was conflict zones, primarily in the Middle East, and he initially looked into the use of chemical weapons in Syria by examining videos and pictures online.

Eliot Higgins, known as 'Brown Moses', talks about his analysis of the Syria conflict in 2013

"I just enjoyed doing it so much and I was getting more and people reading it," he tells the BBC.
"I saw more and more people who were doing their own kind of open-source investigation and more people who were becoming interested in it."
He saw an opportunity to build something bigger than his blog, and decided to try to raise funds for Bellingcat through the funding site Kickstarter.
The name comes from the idiom 'to bell the cat', which means to take on a dangerous task.
In a post announcing the creation of Bellingcat, Mr Higgins said the website would have two main objectives.
Firstly, "[bringing] together a group of writers and activists who through using open source tools have transformed journalism" and, secondly, "[attracting] others to come and learn how to use these same tools".
The latter has been an ever-present feature on the site, which has a dedicated section that offers advice and information to budding citizen journalists.
"I intended the website originally as a place to have guides and case studies for people who could then learn how to do it themselves," he says.
"On the other side, I wanted our own investigations, and a place where people could share what they found interesting and post their own findings."

In this file photo taken on September 09, 2014 shows part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was brought down over eastern Ukraine as conflict raged on the ground

In the past few years, the website has been behind a number of high-profile investigations that have received widespread media coverage.
It spearheaded an examination of the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which came down over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board. The West and Ukraine say pro-Russian rebels shot down the flight, while Moscow has repeatedly blamed Ukrainian forces.
It linked personnel from the 2nd Battalion of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade to the tragedy following an open-source investigation.
Bellingcat said it then submitted all uncensored names and supporting evidence to the Dutch investigators, who are continuing their criminal inquiry into the disaster.
Last year, Mr Higgins told the website Motherboard about the important role social media played in that investigation. "We had photographs shared online, people discussing the photographs, people tweeting about it," he said.
"It created ripples, and what we try to do is identify them, and understand them in the context of all the other material. That gives us a very solid case."
Other notable Bellingcat investigations have looked into the bombing of hospitals in Aleppo, Mexican drug lords and the war in Iraq. All of these hinged on using publicly available information to uncover new facts.
Its work on the Skripal poisoning involved using some similar methods.

Anatoliy Chepiga and Ruslan BoshirovImage copyrightBELLINGCAT / RUSSIA TODAY
Image captionBellingcat released a photo of the man it says is Anatoliy Chepiga (left), while Russia Today named him as Ruslan Boshirov (right)

Bellingcat says its investigators searched images on several online search engines, browsed photos of a military academy yearbook, searched specific terms online and scoured leaked Russian databases.
It then obtained extracts from the passport file of Anatoliy Chepiga, which contained a photograph that strongly resembled the Salisbury suspect originally named as Ruslan Boshirov.
"The Skripal story has been a coalition of people from different backgrounds working together," Mr Higgins says. "To be able to build that community and be part of that is something I'm proud of."
He says the reaction to the investigation has been satisfying. It's been really nice to actually see a Bellingcat story make such an impact [in the UK]", he says.

Presentational white space

The website has been criticised by Russia - which has disputed the Skripal investigation and publicly questioned whether Bellingcat is an arm of the UK government.
But Mr Higgins often responds to these allegations directly on social media and is relaxed about it.
"We're used to getting [criticism] both from the social media public and the Russian government itself," he says. "It would be more surprising if they didn't react to our pieces!"
Despite what he describes as "day-to-day internet drama", the website has continued to grow. Mr Higgins says its funding comes from crowd-funded donations and workshops he holds on open-source investigations.
There has also been a flurry of donations from the public following the release of the Skripal investigations.
"Up until about a year ago, we were mostly volunteers and I had three or four people working with me," he says. "Over the last year we have expanded to 10 members of staff plus a translation team and our volunteers. So we've expanded quite significantly."
He is now aiming at expanding Bellingcat's work.
"We're focusing on a few key areas, we're looking at Yemen and Libya as areas to expand into so we're involved in a couple of projects there," he says.
"Everyone here is motivated because they enjoy the process rather than focusing on a particular topic," he adds. "They enjoy the process of doing an investigation and finding out stuff and making discoveries."
"I think that's the biggest motivating factor and why they enjoy it."

Saturday, 15 September 2018

‘3rd suspect’ in Skripal poisoning saga may have stayed in UK + British Critic of the Skripal Poisoning Arrested + SALISBURY RUSSIAN SPIES: IS THIS REAL? + Now its murder: woman dies after contact with Novichok VIDEOS

To be continued? ‘3rd suspect’ in Skripal poisoning saga may have stayed in UK, report claims

To be continued? ‘3rd suspect’ in Skripal poisoning saga may have stayed in UK, report claims
A third Russian suspect the UK says was implicated in targeting the Skripals may have remained in the country, a Telegraph report has said, adding fresh intrigue to the never-ending poisoning controversy.
The suspect, identified as Sergey Fedotov, had allegedly traveled to the UK on the same day Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, the Telegraph reports. He was slated to leave the country on the same flight as two other suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, but has suddenly aborted the ‘escape plan’, raising the prospect of him remaining in the UK at least for some time after, according to unnamed sources.
ALSO ON RT.COMBellingcat claims second Salisbury suspect also received Russia’s highest award
“It is not clear why Fedotov did not board the flight. But at the last minute he checked himself and his bags off it,” the sources maintained, adding, “he could still have been running around Britain.”
The third suspect’s real identity remains unclear as does his role in the Salisbury incident. The revelation seems to contradict what the newspaper reported last October, when it said“the third man” left the UK on March 4, 2018 with Petrov and Boshirov.

According to the Telegraph report, the 45-year-old Fedotov was using a passport to enter the UK that differed by only a few digits from the travel documents used by Petrov and Boshirov.
The Russian Embassy in the UK denounced the Telegraph’s latest claim, suggesting it could have been launched by British secret services. They are “trying to keep the Skripal poisoning story afloat by initiating targeted leaks based upon ‘informed sources’” to distract public attention from Brexit, the diplomatic mission claimed. 
British authorities say the former double agent and his daughter were targeted by the Russian intelligence in a failed assassination plot. They maintain the Skripals were hit by a weapons-grade nerve agent called ‘Novichok’ that was smuggled into the country. London was prompt to pin the blame on Moscow, accusing it of ordering a targeted assassination of the former double agent.
ALSO ON RT.COMDouble agent Skripal & daughter have ‘not spoken to family in Russia since poisoning’ – niece to RT
Russia denied the UK's allegations, insisting there was no need to target the retired officer. It offered its assistance in investigating the incident, but to no avail. As the story unfolded, a number of coincidences popped up. 
For instance, a British military lab that studies chemical weapons also just happens to be located near Salisbury. The victims of the poison collapsed at the same time, hours after allegedly coming into contact with the substance on the door handle of Skripal’s front door. While the first responder turned out to be Britain’s most senior military nurse.
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British Critic of the Skripal Poisoning Arrested for Appearing on RT

Op-Ed by Kurt Nimmo
The UK government is now targeting critics of the fake chemical attack in Salisbury it has attributed to the Russians with zero evidence.
Most recent example, Dr. Chris Busby, a British retired nuclear scientist. His home in Bideford, Devon was raided after cops responding to a domestic argument reported feeling sick after visiting the residence.
Later, it was reported, these supposedly stricken officers felt fine.
Busby was arrested and detained under the explosives act.

I believe the “concern for a woman’s safety” and the reportedly sickened cops are phony as the Skripal poisoning itself. Dr. Busby was targeted for his criticism of the government response to the Skripal affair. He has also criticized the United States for using depleted uranium.
Busby was raided, arrested, and his home sealed off not because he posed a threat to a woman—or because the authorities claim there is a dangerous lab in the home—but because he has appeared on RT and elsewhere expressing a belief the Skripal affair is a false flag.
From The Sun:
Dr Busby is used as an “expert” by the Kremlin-backed RT channel – formerly Russia Today – which today broadcast a staggering interview with suspected Salisbury hitmen Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.
The website headline reads: “COP POISON PROBE Police taken ill with ‘chemical poisoning’ after raid on home of British nuclear expert who appears on Russia Today.” The Independent ran a similar headline.
Obviously, this raid was planned well beforehand, and the alleged argument was nothing more than excuse to get inside the home and frame Busby—not for posing a risk to the public, or building explosives, but because he criticized the government, not on Facebook or his own website, but on RT, which is licensed by the Russian government and is falsely and absurdly accused of working with Vladimir Putin to flip an election in the United States.
The raid and arrest send a strong message: criticism of the state, especially in regard to the Skripals, will not be tolerated. Busby will be made an example. The British authorities will come up with some cock and bull story about the retired scientist, convict him of some crime, and throw him in the hoosegow, probably for life. Mr. Busby is in his 70s.
Kurt Nimmo is the editor of Another Day in the Empire, where this article first appeared. He is the former lead editor and writer of Donate to ADE Here.


Published on 6 Sep 2018
Did these 2 characters really commit this crime whereby one innocent citizen died, or is this just another media campaign to blacken Putin's name? 06 Sept. 2018


Murray: Novichok, Rowley and the ‘Silence of the (Media) Whores’

At long last, the British government’s latest ‘Novichok victim’ appears for a touching and emotional interview. 45 year-old Charlie Rowley was finally let off the security services leash just enough to squeeze out a new official version of how he and his now deceased partner managed to find themselves in the middle of what ITV and the government-media complex insist is ‘Another Russia WMD Attack on UK Soil’.
Clearly looking like a man speaking under duress, substance abuse addict Rowley claims to have somehow found a batch of the deadliest nerve agent known to man, Novichok, laying somewhere (he can’t remember exactly where) on the side of the road disguised as an unopened bottle of perfume in Amesbury, Wiltshire on 30 June. He then proceeds to bring his newfound gift home to his partner Dawn Sturgess, but not before opening it up and spilling the world’s deadliest nerve agent all over his hands – but no fear, he simply washes it off under a standard household tap, which ITV makes a big point of – how this relatively trivial domestic action “saved Rowley’s life” (bringing it all home, well done team). Apparently, his partner Sturgess wasn’t so lucky after spraying herself with the “odorless perfume”.
Previously, authorities were peddling the official story that Rowley and Sturgess had got their dose of Novichok from a “used cigarette butt” laying on the side of road (no we’re not joking, they really said that). So now, according to this dim tale being promulgated by a desperate government and its media operatives, Rowley found a perfume bottle, boxed and sealed, which was laying on the side of the road for 4 months – left there by Russian assassins from the attempted ‘hit’ on the Skripals?
Verdict: As crime novel plots go, this would not pass muster for a made-for-TV B soap. 
From the onset, this media road-show was custom-made for dissemination in a mainstream gutter press who, like the US and UK governments, seems as keen as ever to drum-up any xenophobic hate it can against Russia, and features canned tabloid money lines like this one – targeting the lowest common denominator, courtesy of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship propaganda rag, The Sun:
Drug addict Charlie has blasted Russian spies for killing girlfriend Dawn Sturgess, saying: “I’ll never get over what happened.”
The government appears to have tied themselves into a knot of its own making, further compounding a runway narrative that just keeps getting more and more ridiculous by the day. Clearly, someone somewhere made a fatal judgement call by convincing his or her establishment teammates this pig could somehow fly in middle England, leading to another perhaps more profound question: exactly whose bright idea was it to float this Novichok conspiracy in the first place?
Read as former British diplomat and political expert
 Craig Murray further exposes the rank deception shamelessly being perpetrated by the government-media complex…
The mainstream media are making almost no effort today to fit Charlie Rowley’s account of his poisoning into the already ludicrous conspiracy theory being peddled by the government and intelligence agencies.
ITV News gamely inserted the phrase “poisoned by a Russian nerve agent” into their exclusive interview with Charlie Rowley, an interview in which they managed to ask no penetrating questions whatsoever, and of which they only broadcast heavily edited parts. Their own website contains this comment by their journalist Rupert Evelyn:
He said it was unopened, the box it was in was sealed, and that they had to use a knife in order to cut through it.
“That raises the question: if it wasn’t used, is this the only Novichok that exists in this city? And was it the same Novichok used to attack Sergei and Yulia Skripal?
But the information about opening the packet with a knife is not in the linked interview. What Rowley does say in the interview is that the box was still sealed in its cellophane. Presumably it was the cellophane he slit open with a knife.

Novichok survivors’ Yulia and Sergie Skripal, currently being held at a secret government safe house.
So how can this fit in to the official government account? Presumably the claim is that Russian agents secretly visited the Skripal house, sprayed novichok on the door handle from this perfume bottle, and then, at an unknown.
location, disassembled the nozzle from the bottle (Mr Rowley said he had to insert it), then repackaged and re-cellophaned the bottle prior to simply leaving it to be discovered somewhere – presumably somewhere indoors as it still looked new – by Mr Rowley four months later. However it had not been found by anyone else in the interim four months of police, military and security service search.
Frankly, the case for this being the bottle allegedly used to coat the Skripals’ door handle looks wildly improbable. But then the entire government story already looked wildly improbable anyway – to the extent that I literally do not know a single person, even among my more right wing family and friends, who believes it. The reaction of the media, who had shamelessly been promoting the entirely evidence free “the Russians did it” narrative, to Mr Rowley’s extremely awkward piece of news has been to shove it as far as possible down the news agenda and make no real effort to reconcile it.
By his own account, Mr Rowley is not a reliable witness, his memory affected by the “Novichok”. It is not unreasonable to conjecture there may also be other reasons why he is vague about where and how he came into possession of this package of perfume.
The perfume bottle is now in the hands of the Police. Is it not rather strange that they have not published photos of it, to see if it jogs the memory of a member of the public who saw it somewhere in the last four months, or saw somebody with it? The “perpetrators” know what it looks like and already know the police have it, so that would not give away any dangerous information. You might believe the lockdown of the story and control of the narrative is more important to the authorities than solving the crime, which we should not forget is now murder.
Read more at Craig Murray’s blog.
Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.
READ MORE SKRIPAL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Skripal Files
Monday, 9 July 2018
NOW IT'S MURDER: "U.K. woman dies after exposure to Novichok, the same nerve agent used in Skripal attack" + SHRIMPTON ON THE NOVICHOK HYPE - VIDEOs