the Skripals in deep dark badger holes: the newest psyop

‘Salisbury poisoning unleashed Russian bogeyman … but where are the Skripals 2 years on?’, Simon Rite,, March 4, 2020

“It’s exactly two years to the day since the Russian spy and his daughter were novichoked in Salisbury, and we’ve still not seen hide nor hair of them.

Former double agent Sergei has been completely off-grid, while Yulia Skripal was seen in a highly staged video in 2018, filmed in an anonymous but pleasant leafy glade shortly after recovering from her poisoning ordeal; but, apart from that, there have been no statements or updates about them at all.”

“The most recent piece of ‘information’, and I use that term loosely, to leak out about their whereabouts came this weekend from Britain’s Mail on Sunday, courtesy of a source which became ubiquitous throughout the Skripal saga, the reliably unreliable “security insiders.”  It’s always amazing how willing these apparent insiders are to release top-level secrets to the home of the “sidebar of shame.” 

The latest speculation from ‘security insiders’ is that the Skripals are hoping to head for a new life down under in Australia after “effectively living under house arrest since the attack.”  This means either those insiders are the leakiest spies in the world, or the Skripals are going to be nowhere near Australia anytime soon.”

‘Sergei and Yulia Skripal are ‘desperate to start a new life in Australia’ following two years in an MI6 safe house after surviving a novichok poisoning attack’,, March 7, 2020

“Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who have spent two years in an MI6 safe house after surviving a novichok poisoning attack – want to start a new life Down Under, according to security insiders.” [snip]

“They were found unconscious on a park bench on March 4, 2018, after Russian agents smeared the deadly chemical on the door-handle of Mr Skripal’s home.

The pair were rushed to hospital and put in induced comas to prevent the poison damaging their organs. Yulia left hospital in April that year and was taken by police to a secret location where she has been guarded by British intelligence agents ever since. Her father had sufficiently recovered by the following month to join her in hiding.

Mr Skripal, a former double agent who arrived in the UK as part of a spy-swap deal between Britain and Russia in 2010, and his daughter would apparently be offered new identities in another country and would still receive protection, say sources.”

John Helmer has a bit of fun with his title and image: ‘Sergei and Yulia Skripal ”Desperate” and “Under House Arrest” in England – Last British Convicts for Transportation to Australia’, March 1, 2020, but his report is in deadly earnest.

“In the history of the British criminal law, the Skripals are the only targets of a crime who have not been allowed to testify in public nor communicate with their kin; Sergei Skripal was last heard of in a telephone call to his mother’s house on June 26, 2019; Yulia Skripal on July 18, 2018. The British authorities have yet to produce in court evidence of the crime, the weapon, the crime scene, or even the arrest warrants allegedly issued by the Crown Prosecution Service for the culprits.”

[The book (Helmer’s), Skripal in Prison, just published, provides the full story.]

“Sources in the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the organisation in charge of witness protection in that country, indicate there is “no verification that the [London] article is correct.” The Australian Minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, to whom the AFP reports, refuses to say whether the Skripals have visited Australia, or whether there has been any discussion with the British Government on relocation to Australia and protection for the Skripals. Nicole Chant, confirming her role as Dutton’s spokesman and agreeing to follow up on the London press report, said by telephone: “I don’t want to be referred to in any article.” [snip]

This is not the first time claims like these have been published in the British press only to be denied officially.  A BBC reporter named Mark Urban was briefed by MI6 to deny them. “There had been suggestions from Downing Street, while the Skripals were in hospital,  that they might well end up in America or another English-speaking country, and be given new identities. Neither of them, I hear, particularly liked this idea.” [snip]

“From time to time the British authorities issue press leaks or official statements intended to counter reports that Sergei and Yulia Skripal are in prison, or that Sergei may have died since he was last heard on a telephone call to his mother’s home on June 26, 2019.

Last month, the British Ambassador in Moscow, Deborah Bronnert, told Kommersant: “Of course they are alive. I can’t tell you where they are, because we respect the right of people to make their own decisions. Both the government and the police will always be guided by the wishes of individuals.”  Bronnert refused to answer a question about whether the Skripals remain in the UK.”

Now Rob Slane is simply pissed as purple in his ‘The Salisbury Poisonings Two Years On: A Riddle, Wrapped in a Cover Up, Inside a Hoax’,, March 3, 2020 at the lies, deceptions, inanities, ‘coincidences’, lack of actual evidence, especially CCTV footage,  still afoot; it’s hard to know what to feature.  But to wet your whistle:

“The fact is that two of the many Russians who were in Salisbury on 3rd and 4th March, and who were charged with the incident — Petrov and Boshirov — have never been charged with the subsequent incident in Amesbury. This is very important. If the British authorities’ case against the two men in Salisbury is to be believed, there must be a clear link between them and the second case in Amesbury. And yet it is impossible to reasonably connect the two cases based on the British authorities’ explanation of the Salisbury event. Unless, that is, you believe that the two suspects were carrying a cellophane-wrapping machine with them with which to wrap the bottle of lethal nerve agent they had apparently just used before dumping it in a bin. But nobody could be daft enough to believe that, could they? Which leads to the question: if the cases cannot be linked using the British authorities’ explanation of the first incident — which they can’t (hence the reason the two men have not been charged for the second) — then how can we accept their explanation for the first? The answer is that we cannot, and for a whole host of reasons, as I hope to show in a moment.” [snip]

“But talking of holes, let’s now set this all in the context of the entire story presented by The Met and the Government. I mentioned above the number of absurd, implausible and sometimes downright impossible things that one has to believe to accept their account. Below, I’ve recounted 40 of the most glaring…”

  1.  That WDNA, which was allegedly sprayed on a door handle, somehow managed to spread to the roof of the house, meaning that it had to be replaced.”

One commenter below Slane’s lengthy epistle steers readers to: ‘Two Years Later: The Skripal Case Is Weirder Than Ever’, Matthew Ehret,, March 6, 2020, (from strategic-culture. org, mainly referencing John Helmer’s book)

What was the role of the Ministry of Defense’s Porton Down chemical laboratories in this bizarre story? The lab itself was located just a few miles from the crime scene, and the first responder on the scene was an off-duty Colonel named Alison McCourt who happened to be shopping nearby and rushed to the scene. Helmer describes how Col. McCourt is head of nursing for the British Army and Senior Health Advisor which connects her closely to the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down which also happened to have held a major chemical warfare exercise named Toxic Dagger in the area just two weeks earlier. Are these things nothing but coincidences?” [snip]

“Helmer goes onto make the point that the overarching dynamic shaping the events of the Skripal/Novichok affair are guided by the collapsing western empire which has been working tirelessly to surround Russia with a ballistic missile shield while sabotaging all efforts by genuine patriots in the west from establishing positive alliances with Russia.”

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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CB's picture

Edit: Sorry about this I hadn't fully read your report which also has this link. It immediately reminded me of this one when I started reading yours. Mea Culpa.


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wendy davis's picture


and thank you for your excerpts of slane's pissed purple & extensive rant; i'd only pulled a few when i'd linked to it in the OP. ; )

no apologies necessary, i'd just reckoned you might be a somewhat crap reader like i am, lol. feel free to put your excerpts in again.

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wendy davis's picture

might have written something up, but he's been in the gallery again...for the trial of a bloke named Alex Salmond, and seems to have received a contempt of court charge by the judge for some sort of excited utterance. i'd checked MoA on twitter (nothing as far as i could tell), but bingling just now i see i'd missed it:

Where Are The Skripals?, march 5, 2020, along with his lengthy oeuvre on the evolving story. this i'd plum forgotten:

"It is most likely that Sergei Skripal was trying to go back to Russia. Skripal may well have been a source for the debunked Steele dossier and was probably willing to talk about it. But whatever his plans were the British government found it necessary to prevent him from executing them. It created an elaborate false story and fed it to the global media. The mainstream media swallowed it up without even the slightest sign of critical thinking."

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

It always rang false to me.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

ad thru some quirk of fate or design, i can't get the blogmire to boot up again, although i've finally found a workaround. meanwhile, i'd checked the twittersphere on #skripals, and found some diamonds, some rust.

5 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

access the blogmire, and finally find this repubished at the ron paul institute, i tried once again...and it booted up.

slane's entire 40 points:

That two men put themselves and everyone on their flight in jeopardy, by boarding a plane with at least one, possibly two, bottles of the World’s Deadliest Nerve Agent (WDNA) in their luggage. ​(ABSURD)

That the two suspects dropped an unused package of the WDNA in a bin somewhere, whilst taking the used bottle of nerve agent back to Moscow with them. ​(ABSURD)

Or alternatively, that they only had one package of WDNA with them, but brought a cellophane wrapping machine to Salisbury to wrap the used box up in, before discarding it. ​(ABSURD)

That the two men sprayed WDNA in an open space, without wearing any protective clothing. ​(ABSURD)

That after they had done this, rather than legging it, they decided to spend an hour in the city centre window-shopping and taking pictures. ​(ABSURD)

That Mr Skripal and his daughter both somehow managed to touch the door handle of his front door on their way out (try it with someone next time you exit your house).​ (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That despite being contaminated with WDNA, they showed no effects for hours afterwards​. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That when they did show effects hours later, it was at precisely the same time, despite their very different heights, weights and metabolisms. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That despite being contaminated with WDNA, they went into town, fed ducks, went for a meal, then went to a pub for a drink.​ (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That despite having hands contaminated with WDNA, Mr Skripal handed a piece of bread to a local boy who ate it without becoming contaminated. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That despite having hands that were contaminated with WDNA, Mr Skripal somehow managed to contaminate the table in Zizzis, but not the door or door handle on the way in. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That despite having hands that were contaminated with WDNA, Mr Skripal somehow managed not to contaminate the manager of Zizzis when he shook hands with him (confirmed to me by a local source). (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That after becoming extremely aggressive in Zizzis, which some assume was the effects of poisoning with WDNA​, Mr Skripal wolfed down a plate of seafood risotto before sauntering over to the pub for a drink. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That no CCTV of Mr Skripal or his daughter on 4th March could be shown to the public to jog their memories, because of something called “National Security”. (ABSURD)

That no CCTV could be shown of The Maltings, on the grounds of National Security, even though according to the official story no crime took place there. (ABSURD)

That the Russian couple who were filmed on CCTV camera at 15:47 in Market Walk (confirmed by a reliable source in the comment section on this blog), were not in any way connected with the case. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That the only CCTV the public were allowed to see of this pair was an absurd, blurred, fuzzy image taken second hand on a mobile phone, when they could have shown crystal clear footage from the CCTV camera at the other end of Market Walk. (ABSURD)

That the Skripals were somehow in Zizzis at the same time that they were actually in the Mill pub (The Met’s timeline shows them to have been in Zizzis from 14:20 and 15:35, which is demonstrably untrue). (IMPOSSIBLE)

That the Metropolitan Police are unable to put out correct timelines. (IMPLAUSIBLE)
That WDNA deteriorated so much after an hour on a door handle, that it was too weak to kill the Skripals. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That this same WDNA, which allegedly deteriorated in an hour, was then found three weeks later after exposure to the elements and after being touched by many human hands, to be in a state of “high purity, persistent and weather resistant”. (IMPOSSIBLE)

That WDNA, which was allegedly sprayed on a door handle, somehow managed to spread to the roof of the house, meaning that it had to be replaced. (IMPOSSIBLE)

Yet that same WDNA, 2mg of which is apparently enough to kill a person (according to BBC Panorama), and which causes whole roofs to have to be replaced and cars to be destroyed, can be cleansed by members of the public using baby wipes. (ABSURD)

That the police cars which attended the Maltings needed to be destroyed, yet the ones that attended Mr Skripal’s house, where the poison was apparently most concentrated, did not. (ABSURD)

That Detective Sergeant Nicholas Bailey managed to be a first responder at the bench when the two Russians were on it, at the same time as not being at the bench when the two Russians were on it. (IMPOSSIBLE)

That Mr Bailey entered Mr Skripal’s house via the back door, because he couldn’t open the front door; but also managed to enter the house via the front door because he was able to open it. (IMPOSSIBLE)

That he was wearing a forensic suit to enter the house of someone who had apparently overdosed in a park on Fentanyl. (ABSURD)

That he managed to get contaminated by WDNA despite wearing a forensic suit. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That the numerous police officers not wearing forensic suits, who went in and out of the house on 4th and 5th March, did not become contaminated by WDNA, even though it was allegedly found to be most concentrated there three weeks later, and in a state of “high purity”. (IMPOSSIBLE)

That the police somehow managed to miss all four of Mr Skripal’s pets (two cats and two guinea pigs), so leaving them to starve to death. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That an air ambulance was called for what looked like a drug overdose on a park bench, when a land ambulance can get to the hospital just as quickly, if not quicker given where the helicopter had to land. (ABSURD)

That the chief nurse of the British Army just happened to be shopping near the bench when the two Russians were on it. (ABSURD)

That there just happened to be two Porton Down trained doctors at Salisbury District Hospital. (ABSURD)

That despite The Met, the Government and the media referring to the substance used as “Novichok”, in their only official statement to a court of law, Porton Down were unable to confirm this, instead referring to it as “a nerve agent or related compound” and “a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.” (ABSURD)

That Porton Down were able to identify a substance within 36 hours that apparently no other country on earth makes, has made, or can make. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That “Novichok” can only be made in Russia, despite variants of it having been synthesised or stocked in numerous countries including Czechia, Sweden, Germany, Iran, the US, and Britain (Boris Johnson having unwittingly confirmed this when he blurted out that they had samples of it at Porton Down). (IMPOSSIBLE)

That after she and her father were allegedly poisoned by the Russian state, Yulia Skripal said she wanted to return there. (ABSURD)

That Mr Skripal and his daughter have never been seen together since — not even in a single photo. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

That nothing has ever been heard from Mr Skripal since (national security won’t wash – his daughter was able to appear in a video). (ABSURD)

That Salisbury had its first case of Fentanyl poisoning on the same day, at the same time, and in the same shopping centre apparently involving another couple. (IMPLAUSIBLE)

and of course there's much, much more...

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@wendy davis
I've been accessing it with Foxfire for almost two years without any problem

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wendy davis's picture


i finally did get it to boot up, but after finding his lengthy piece republished at the ron paul institute. it may have been just due to a system overload, but yes, i tried IE, firefox, (my usual browser), as well as chrome.

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Roy Blakeley's picture

@wendy davis Here is a link to an Offguardian piece that lays UK governments stories and allows them to collapse under the weight of their own absurdities.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

from the #Skripals on twitter, and thank you.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

accidentally in a bingle inquiry for something else, the promo said it was tagged with 'pablo miller', but as far as i can see/remember, miller wasn't mentioned until the comments. some said that he IS the photographer behind the skripals in the pub.

when i'd read b's thoughts i'd clipped, i'd flashed the name Pablo Miller, bingled again and this was the into i'd found:

Jan 19, 2019 • Pablo Miller, the MI6 agent who recruited, handled and befriended Sergei Skripal, also worked for Orbis Ltd. Orbis is the company of the 'former' MI6 agent Christopher Steele who was paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign to write the 'Dirty Dossier' about alleged Trump connections to Moscow. Soon after the Skripal incident happened, the British ...

i can go get the link again, but it likely matters little by now.

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CB's picture

if their stories ring true or even pass the smell test. They know the government mouth pieces have their talking points in hand and a compliant media primed and ready to catapult the propaganda right to the dumbed-down punters that have been trained like fucking seals to accept their codswallop at face value.

At the end of the day these fuckers must be having quite a guffaw over a few pints at the rank ignorance and stupidity of 70% of the population.

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wendy davis's picture


Zakharova said on the march 6th:

#Zakharova "We strongly condemn any attempts by #London to hold #Moscow responsible for the #Salisbury events. We insist on a professional, objective and impartial inquiry into the incident, and reaffirm readiness for substantive cooperation."

but when theresa may, claim that it was 'likely the russians who did it', it's so easy to twist the facts to fit the belief. how many russian diplomats did she expel/sanction whatever?

which i guess what i'd liked about john helmer's belief via matthew ehret according to his book:

“Helmer goes onto make the point that the overarching dynamic shaping the events of the Skripal/Novichok affair are guided by the collapsing western empire which has been working tirelessly to surround Russia with a ballistic missile shield while sabotaging all efforts by genuine patriots in the west from establishing positive alliances with Russia.”

shoot, i don't even know by now if it had been novichock to begin with. but so many baloney theories, including some of the photos i still have in my media files. "we found novichock in a bog in the ___ pubic gardens!"...with attendant claims as to 'why', speaking to your:

...catapult(ing) the propaganda right to the dumbed-down punters that have been trained like fucking seals to accept their codswallop at face value.

nah, they don't have to pass the smell test, and it was bellingcat (crowd-sourced online journalists) who'd identified Petrov and Boshirov.

but at least some wags had a hella lot of fun with it all: Novichok Vodka:

i expect we'll hear from reliable sources again next march, won't we? maybe they'll be in...brazil?

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Alligator Ed's picture

@CB Only 70% of the population is ignorant?! In the words of an esteemed medical practitioner: "never underestimate human stupidity".

A valentine's day present to my sweetie. For some reason she didn't open it.

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

your sweetie the Novichok Board Game, then:

The depths of bad taste: ‘Novichok’ board game on sale in Russia; jan. 2019, voxpoliticalonline

Bad taste: The board game takes players through the cities allegedly visited by the GRU agents on their way to commit the Salisbury Novichok poisonings.

and the witty bit i'd referenced earlier from rob slane:

How about this: Yes, they were in Salisbury on a mission from the Russian state, but no it was not an assassination attempt — not unless Vladimir Putin has taken to employing muppets to carry out highly sensitive and dangerous missions of the Russian state. But seriously, does he strike you as someone who would tend to give the most highly sensitive missions to a couple of pot-smoking, prostitute-cavorting, picture-snapping, CCTV-friendly, window-shopping dudes? Hardly!
Yet they were almost certainly doing something there other than tourism, as they claimed, and my guess is that it was connected to where they went on the Saturday 3rd March, which The Met laughably tried to tell us was a reconnaissance mission to check out Mr Skripal’s house. A reconnaissance mission? Ha ha! Reminder: this is Salisbury, not Afghanistan or Idlib. You can walk about unhindered, unmolested, and you can even locate 47 Christie Miller Road using Google Maps. So why would they have needed to do reconnaissance on a house that they allegedly walked up to in broad daylight the following day?

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Roy Blakeley's picture

is a bit like Moon of Alabama's. Note that Sergei was in no way anti-Russian. He was, however, greedy. Note, also that Sergei and Yulia drove out of Salisbury the morning of their "poisoning" and turned their cell phones off (or removed batteries) so that they could not be tracked. Also one can reasonably ask why Sergei would settle in Salisbury, the nearest town of any size to Porton Down, the center of UK chemical and biological warfare (an 8 minute drive away). My guess is that Sergei had information of some sort that was of value to Russia and that the plan was for Yulia to relay that information to the two Russian Cathedral enthusiasts, who were, in fact Russian intelligence agents. Their subsequent appearance in an interview on RT (where they were made to appear to be gay lovers) was probably Putin's way of humiliating them for a botched assignment. The poisoning, or whatever incapacitated the Skripals, was carried out by UK agents. Note that the most senior nurse in the British Army just happened to be walking by when the Skripals fell ill. The Novichok story was a convenient anti-Russian fabrication. Sergei and Yulia are probably detained somewhere, and the story about moving to Australia is pure BS. I know this is highly speculative, but it is at least more plausible and internally coherent that the UK government's story.

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@Roy Blakeley
The Met/MI-5/6 backed away from the speculation that the Skripals went anywhere in the morning of 4 Mar 2018 and dropped the claim that their phones were turned off. Their narrative now stands that the Skripals were home when the two Russians smeared the front door with the deadly poison. Ludicrous but by then the Met/ had put out so much garbage that the public no longer cared if any of it passed any smell test.

IMHO you're correct that Sergei was greedy, but that was interwoven with a high need to be a big shot; something he wasn't in Russia or the UK.

Rob Slane has done good work on this and has been very careful not to speculate as to what actually happened and why. Wise on his part because every hypothetical narrative that others have come up with have gaping holes and major dots that don't connect, and there are almost no reliable and verifiable facts in the public domain.

I suspect a much more pedestrian tale that HMG exploited to the max even as it made the Met and SPD look like Keystone Kops and the NHS co-conspirators. No Novichok. No GU assassins. Just an old, washed up former double agent that was of no use to anyone.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

and i admit i'm too weary to analyze any holes in it, or go find rob slane's counter-theory beginning with 'even if they were on some assignment...', which was altogether hilarious.

we had a guest for dinner, and he brought news that a friend has late stage cancer...again.

but la luna bella is almost full, and she looks oh, so lovely rising above the clouds over menefee mountain.

thanks, roy.

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wendy davis's picture

and ‘How Integrity Initiative's 'Counterfeit Expert' Perpetuated Novichok Narrative’, kit klarenberg,, july, 2019

“By 7 March, it'd been established the pair had been contaminated by a nerve agent, confirmation merely triggering yet further frenzied theorizing — much of it unscientific — on what precise variety had struck the pair. Could it have been VX for instance, first synthesized in the 1950s at Porton Down, the UK's secretive and controversial chemical and biological weapons testing centre situated a mere eight kilometres from Salisbury?
A day later, security consultant Dan Kaszeta offered an alternative explanation — writing for controversial website Bellingcat, he suggested the agent may have been 'novichok'.
"The Soviet Union developed a new series of nerve agents in the 1970s and 1980s. The exact nature of these so-called novichok agents is still debated and the information on them varies a bit depending on what source you are looking at…some novichok agents of interest include A230 and A232," Kaszeta said.
Due to Kaszeta's amazingly fortuitous insight, he would become a central figure in media reporting on the Skripals, a go-to 'independent chemical weapons expert' quoted in a great many articles and reports.

At no point however did Kaszeta disclose his intimate relationship with the Integrity Initiative, a shadowy military intelligence outfit funded by the British state and NATO — and moreover, an organization that specifically sought to systematically shape media reporting on, and Whitehall's response to, the Salisbury incident from day one.”

you may remember that bellingcat held classes in NYC for the fearless investigative journalists at...The Intercept. can we offer them some applause, please? ; )

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MI6 & BBC Reveal Operation Mincepie

I mostly haven't followed Helmer on the Skripal incident because to me he wasn't adding anything new or of significant import. In this one he's highlighting an aspect that was known and not difficult to piece together and nailing down another aspect that some surmised but evidence for it was lacking.

The latter first:

“These were vulnerable patients,” Jukes explained to Urban. But according to Urban this was after the recovery had begun. “They needed some form of advocate. We could not allow things to happen to them without their consent.” The implication of this witness is clear. The High Court hearing to permit additional blood sampling by court order – a hearing which took place between March 20 and 22, 2018 – occurred after the Skripals were conscious, recovering, and talking. [emp added]

However, according to the published High Court judgement dated March 22, 2018, the hospital witness testified (on oath) differently:
[Treating consultant testimony]

That testimony is completely false, except for the identity of the two patients (and some people believe that isn't even true).

On the other aspect, MI5/6 was indeed in charge by 7:30-8:00 am on Monday 5 Mar 2018 and was instrumental in the Major Incident Declaration at 11:00-11:30 am that morning. It's also plausible that a MI5/6 medical team took over shortly after that and the SDH staff that appeared on camera were only reporting on camera what they had been told about the patients and not their actual treatment of the patients.

There were two potential lines official lines of communication from "the incident" to MI5/6 that landed there 4 Mar evening. One has been acknowledged in writing by SDH (Salisbury District Hospital). As evidence that makes it more solid, but it may well be a CYA total fabrication. The claim is that the patients weren't responding to standard opioid overdose treatment on Sunday evening, SDH medical contacted NHS poison control, and NHS poison control contacted the Met counter-terroism desk. MI5/6 is co-located with the MET counter-terrorism operation. A slow Sunday evening could have gotten more attention than usual. What makes this a weak link is that patient identification would not normally be included from such an inquiry. OTOH, the CT office may have required SDH add this disclosure.

The second line was from WPD (Wiltshire Police). It was disclosed long after the incident that the entry of Sergei Skripal's name into the Met database immediately brought up a "Do Not Stop" response. (Some people are puzzled over how SDH and WPD knew the identity of Sergei Skripal so quickly. As if he wouldn't have had identification in his pocket or told emergency responders because by all accounts, he was conscious at the point.) That computer entry would have set off an alarm that would have passed quickly to the MI5/6 desk. They then had a good eight hours to begin getting their ducks in a row, including confiscating all the Sunday afternoon Salisbury CCTV recordings.

Not to be overlooked is that at approximately 1:00 pm Monday 5 Mar on the House floor Boris Johnson was proclaiming that Putin/Russia attacked Skripal.

HMG officials have been concocting a narrative on the fly since the evening of 4 Mar. And it shows as they stumble over claims that conflict with each other and claims that can't possibly be true. In addition to silencing anyone with any information that can contradict the alleged official facts.

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wendy davis's picture


and for your ability to re-interpret, add to, text and videos, i assume. there's almost to much me to begin to absorb right now, and especially to listen to the videos.

the title is actually (all caps, arrgh): ‘MI6 & BBC REVEAL OPERATION MINCEPIE – SKRIPAL BLOOD-TESTS AT SALISBURY HOSPITAL FAILED TO SHOW NERVE AGENT UNTIL PORTON DOWN ADDED IT FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO ANNOUNCE’, which is quite telling to me, albeit you'd known it (or surmised it) already. i hadn't.

obviously it's another chapter or so from his book, and yes Twiki @timtron2020 is busy on the issue.

'Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity' -- McLuhan. Dad, Labour Party member, Skripal case obsessive.
Brighton, England

i'll wade thru more later, but i will add this juicy tidbit that i keep forgetting to bring:

Porton Down 'leading the way' in developing Coronavirus vaccine’, feb. 5, 2020, salisbury journal (backed by an extra £20 million.) what could go wrong? ; )

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wendy davis's picture

links, and on the sidebar of one bbc one, i'd found: Salisbury poisoning: Russia 'targeted' Yulia Skripal email’, 13 April 2018,

Sir Mark's letter to Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is the first time the UK government has claimed to have specific information that the Russians were interested in the Skripal family.

"We have information indicating Russian intelligence service interest in the Skripals dating back at least as far as 2013," he said.

"Email accounts belonging to Yulia Skripal were targeted by GRU cyber specialists," he said, referring to Russia's foreign military intelligence agency.

wow x 3.

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@wendy davis reading everything that's out there on this incident because something near 99% is propaganda, idle (and almost exclusively fact free) speculation, misinformation and/or poorly interpreted information, etc. I focused on this within a couple of days of the "incident," primarily because I scoffed at the Putin/Russia done did it claim and was once again called a Putin/Russia puppet; so, following this story seemed a better use of my time than hanging out with Clintonistas.

The primary basic information hasn't changed in two years, unless one falls for HMG's attempts to rewrite that. Begin with who is Sergei Skripal.

A former GRU agent. Assigned to Malta for some period of time. No earlier than 1987 but possibly up to three years later. Left Malta sometime between 1991 and 1994. Assigned to Madrid in 1994. Returned to Moscow in 1996, ostensibly due to diabetes, and worked in the GRU Moscow main office until retiring in 1999 (or 2000). Secured an office job with the Moscow government (an old military buddy was mayor of Moscow at that time).

Reportedly, he became a double agent for the UK during his Madrid stint and continued in that capacity until 2004 when he was busted. Almost everybody believes that he was recruited and handled by Pablo Miller. (Because the UK has only one such spy at MI-6, a rather ludicrous proposition imho.) Craig Murray -- who does have contacts that would know -- claim that he was a "walk-in" and thus, not recruited. However, Murray accepts but doesn't cite tips that Miller was Skripal's handler. My take is that "walk-in" is correct (Miller wasn't in Spain during the relevant time period) and Miller was never his direct handler for the simple reason that Russia had busted Miller in Latvia in 1999 and therefore, would have been on their radar from that point on even as Skripal wasn't. Also doubt Skripal would have been handled out of Latvia in the late 1990s and not come under suspicion by Russian authorities.

What Skripal did was pass the identities of GRU agents to the UK. My guess is only the few that he knew while he was in Spain. Once back in Moscow, he gained access to the GRU "telephone book." He led MI-6 to believe that he was passing along information as it came his way. When he'd actually snatched the database before retiring and was selling it bit by bit. (Urban claims in his book that Skripal told him that, but Russian authorities knew that before Skripal was convicted and MI-6 likely suspected that because in the later years Skripal's information was out-dated.) Skripal passed the information on foreign travels -- usually Spain (had a bogus Spanish wine importing biz) but could have used other locations.

Skripal was busted by a Spanish double agent for Russia. (That only came to light years later when Spain busted that agent.) Skripal was mocked in the Russian press as the Louis Vuitton spy -- he liked western status symbols of wealth. Skripal cut some sort of deal with the prosecutors because he'd used his wife as a courier on one or more occasions and she would have been charged if not for the deal. He was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years (a few years less than the prosecutors had requested) with credit for time served since his arrest 12/94. He would have been released in 2019 if not paroled earlier.

MI-6 didn't know exactly what Skripal had disclosed after his arrest, but did know that its fake rock communication system went down with Skripal's arrest. Best guess would be disclosing the identity(ies) of his MI-6 contacts. Russia alluded to Skirpal saying that it was Miller; another reason why I reject that it was Millar. Nothing further on this point has ever been disclosed by UK or Russian authorities.

2010 - US busts a bunch of alleged Russian spies. The Obama administration didn't want the hassle of trying those individuals with weak cases and the Putin administration preferred that they would be returned to Russia. So, they made a deal for a "spy" swap. This is where it gets unique. Russia had no westerners incarcerated for spying with which to swap (or none that were worth swapping for those Russians in US custody). Here's the deal that was made. Ten Russians from the US and four Russians from Russia, two of whom had been charged with spying for the UK. A real head scratcher among those that follow such things.

Presumably as part of the deal, Skripal was pardoned before leaving Russia. Also, and again presumably, the UK requested the inclusion of Skripal in what was a US-Russia spy swap. Over a few months, Skripal was debriefed and interrogated in the UK. Then housed in Salisbury and his wife and at some point his daughter were allowed to join him. Reportedly, his son had lived in England prior to that, but exactly when and where has never been reported. Once Sergei was in Salisbury, his son was free to come and go (where again not reported other than he lived in Moscow for at least the last couple of years of his life - dod July 2017). Sergei purchased his Christie Miller Rd house Jan 2012. His wife died that October and his daughter was residing with them at that time. Yulia reportedly had one job in the UK in 2013 and returned to Moscow after that, variously reported as 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Why Salisbury? Endless speculation on that. My guess is that it was enough out of the way to initially keep tabs on Skripal in a rented safe house, and after that he and his wife felt comfortable there. Craig Murray has pointed out that by convention within the worldwide spy community, it's forever "hands off" any swapped spy for all parties. That convention may not extend to subsequent spying, illegal, or nefarious activities by the swapped spy, but what clandestine operation would hire such an individual?

This is where I totally depart from almost all those that have considered this matter. Sergei was a known liar to both MI6 and GU and not some super-sleuth. Whatever his skill set had been as a GRU agent, it was outdated as is GRU which became G.U. in 2010. His former GRU colleague (including his son's former father-in-law and Sergei's best friend) cut off all contact with him when he was arrested. He reportedly traveled abroad and attended spy conferences; if so, there were no objections from either the UK or RU. Beyond that, and I tend to doubt that it was true, his life in the UK was a blank, as would be expected for a former double-agent in exile.

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