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Porton Down not able to identify chemical used on Russian ex-spy

Well-placed sources inside the British Foreign Office have confirmed that Porton Down scientists were not able to identify the nerve agent as being of Russian manufacture, and are angry about the political pressure from inside the government to lie about the poison being Russian.

Published: March 17, 2018, 9:47 am

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    “Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation ‘of a type developed by Russia’ after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation,” Craig Murray noted. “Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.”

    The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was tellingly used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC as well as in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany.

    OPCW inspectors have had full access to all known Russian chemical weapons facilities for over a decade and last year OPCW inspectors completed the destruction of all Russian chemical weapons while the US still hold stocks of chemical weapons.

    Israel too holds extensive amounts of chemical weapons but has refused to declare their stockpiles to the OPCW. It is not a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention nor a member of the OPCW. Israel signed in 1993 but refused to ratify the treaty as this would mean inspection and destruction of its chemical arsenal.

    The Wall Street Journal quoted Ralf Trapp, a France-based consultant on the control of chemical and biological weapons: “The chemical formula has been publicized and we know from publications from then-Czechoslovakia that they had worked on similar agents for defense in the 1980s,” he said. “I’m sure other countries with developed programs would have as well.”

    That publicity led its chemical structure to be leaked, making it readily available for reproduction elsewhere, according to Trapp. “The understanding at the time was that even though Russia was working on it and developing it, they didn’t actually stockpile Novichok agents or precursors,” said Trapp.

    The dangerous escalation between Western powers and Russia come in the wake of President Vladimir’s announcement on 1 March that ended US nuclear primacy.

    Not only Sergei Skripal and his his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned by a “nerve gas” but also a British police officer, now “stable and conscious”, Wiltshire’s chief constable said.

    According to reports the officer was either poisoned at Skripal’s house, or at the bench where the Skripal’s collapsed in public. But strangely a doctor and others who administered first aid were not affected at all. The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, but added that she now “feels fine”.

    No masks? British investigators at the ‘poison’ scene

    The mystery has deepened since the British government decided to dispatch investigators in obviously unnecessary maximum protection gear. These investigators appear in most cases next to firefighters without protective masks.

    In yet another escalation, the Trump administration on Thursday publicly blamed the Russian government for a campaign of “cyber attacks” two years ago that targeted the US power grid, Reuters reported.

    The allegations, however, stem from accusations issued by the Obama Administration, and they have long since been discredited. The report is actually a whitepaper on how hacking in general works, with scant mention of what Russia is even alleged to have done.

    Rather than an attack on the US electrical grid, it represented a single computer which wasn’t attached to the grid system getting infected with malware.

    But according to the US security alert from Thursday, however, “Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple US critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing”.

    The announcement coincided with the US Treasury Department decision to sanction 19 Russians and five groups, including Moscow’s intelligence services in the wake of Britain’s hysterical condemnations against Russia.

    In an even stranger coincidence, the British government’s charges echoed the current seasons of the British-American spy drama Strike Back. Nina Byzantina tweeted the summaries of recent episodes which showed an uncanny similarity to current events.

    Episode 50 ran in the U.K on November 21 2017 and in the US on February 23 2018:

    Meanwhile, General Lázsló shuts down Section 20, forcing Donovan to work in secret. She discovers that Zaryn is in fact Karim Markov, a Russian scientist who allegedly killed his colleagues with Novichok, a nerve agent they invented.

    Episodes 51 ran in the U.K on November 28 2017 and in the US on March 2 2018:

    Section 20 track Berisovich’s meth lab in Turov where Markov is making more Novichok and destroy it, though Berisovich escapes with Markov.

    Senior British politicians continued their buffoonery with Boris Johnson directly blaming the Russian president for the poison attack: “Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin and with his decision – and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision – to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since World War II.”

    Johnson’s claim of Putin’s personal involvement was another example of the over-the-top rhetoric by UK officials.

    Former boss at British electronic spy agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, suggested on Radio 4’s flagship Today programme that because the poisoning had been “a state-run operation or that Russia had lost control of a chemical weapons agent” that Russia was a rogue state, much like North Korea.

    Reprisals should work to “contain Russia”, he said, and show it what the consequences of acting as a “rogue nation” would be.

    Sergey Mikheev, top political expert, told Russian Vesti News: “The fact that the UK and the US share the opinion that Russia basically posts a chemical weapon threat to practically the entire world is truly incredibly disturbing.” Mikheev said Russia was obviously being framed as a rogue state.

    Through a former officer now a Moscow journalist, GRU has leaked an informal report suggesting that Skripal, a specialist in explosives and mine detection during his military career, may have been handling the nerve agent in a business deal which by accident went wrong.

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