The Skripal Poisoning Case And The Questions It Leaves Unanswered

s the Skripal poisoning saga, and the questions arising from it, have emerged gradually over the past three months, this article will begin with a timeline showing the evolution of the Skripal poisoning story before analyzing the conflicting claims at the core of the narrative. This writer will provide commentary on the overall incident and its place in the manufacturing of diffuse, widespread anti-Russian hysteria.

Timeline

March 2018
3rd Yulia Skripal, a Russian citizen from Moscow (and the daughter of Sergei Skripal), travels to visit Sergei at his Salisbury UK home, arriving at Heathrow airport at 2:40pm.
4th The Skripals are found unconscious on a bench and admitted to Salisbury Hospital.
5th News breaks of a major poisoning incident at Salisbury Hospital in the UK. Initial reports suggest that a suspected Fentanyl poisoning had taken place, but as more details emerge over the 24 hours, the cause is increasingly reported to have been caused by a nerve agent. Several in the press speculate regarding Russian culpability.
7th Police issue a statement confirming that it was a suspected nerve agent attack, and that they are treating the case as an attempted murder.

First DSMA (D-Notice) is issued to the press, essentially resulting in government suppression of coverage of the Skripal incident.

8th A CNN article covers the fact that the FSB had become aware that MI6’s Pablo Miller was Skripal’s handler in the UK. The article doesn’t mention that Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller were both connected through Orbis Intelligence.
9th Over 100 military personnel are deployed to Salisbury.
12th Theresa May tells the House of Commons that a nerve agent used to poison the Skripals was of a type developed by Russia and that the government had concluded it “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the poisoning.

Media report the incident as a poisoning using an agent of Russian origin. Sarah Huckabee Sanders condemns the attack and expresses support on behalf of the White House, while France’s Emmanuel Macron is contacted, condemns the attack and offers support. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also issues a statement saying he had “full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack”.

Moon of Alabama publishes an article dismantling Theresa May’s nonsense.

13th Consortium News publishes an article by James O’Neil titled “The Strange Case of the Russian Spy Poisoning” which details Sergei Skripal’s history in relation to former MI6 agents Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller.

The Russian government issues a diplomatic note to the UK government denying state involvement in the Skripal incident. Russia demands the UK comply with the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

14th Theresa May tells MPs that the UK would expel 23 Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal incident, declaring it to be an: “unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the UK.” The Russian Embassy responds, stating that the expulsion is “unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted.”

Britain asks the international chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, (OPCW) to verify its findings.

Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, publishes an article titled “The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam,” which discredits the notion that a Novichok agent would inherently come from Russia. Murray revealed that the Novichok program was actually invented in Uzbekistan and was inherited by America rather than Russia. Murray also relates that the method of production for Novichoks was published 20 years ago and that the UK won’t have a sample to be able to test for the origin (through impurities, etc).

Jeremy Corbyn calls for calm and to wait for evidence, and is then scolded by politicians and press for having a reasoned attitude rather than the seemingly infectious anti-Russian hysteria of his detractors.

A second DMSA (D-Notice) is issued to press, once again forbidding reporting in the UK on the Skripal incident.

15th Craig Murray posts another article, this time highlighting efforts to target him on social media. Murray discusses the manner in which a troll had strategically tweeted so as to create a barrage of condescending bluster and information that, in part, appears as though it came from Wikipedia, but doesn’t actually counter the key assertions made by Murray.

Following a telephone call between French President Emmanuel Macron and the UK’s Theresa May, France backs the UK’s conclusion that Russia was behind the Skripal incident. Leaders of Britain, the US, Germany and France issue a joint statement blaming Russia for the Salisbury poison attack. The four allies urge Moscow to provide “full and complete disclosure” of its Novichok nerve agent program to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

It is reported that UK Defense Secretary (and child appointed to a position of inappropriate responsibility), Gavin Williamson’s response to Russia’s protestations is: “Go Away and Shut up

The UK expels 23 Russian diplomats and/or intelligence agents, simultaneously announcing other measures against Russia.

UK intelligence agencies claim the substance used to poison the Skripals was placed in Yulia Skripal’s luggage prior to departure, which is later contradicted.

16th Craig Murray reports that a source at Porton Down has confirmed they are unable to identify the origin of the nerve agent. Murray also shares significant facts that the mainstream media seem to be completely oblivious to, including the following:

“OPCW inspectors have had full access to all known Russian chemical weapons facilities for over a decade – including those identified by the “Novichok” alleged whistleblower Mirzayanov – and last year OPCW inspectors completed the destruction of the last of 40,000 tonnes of Russian chemical weapons. By contrast, the programme of destruction of US chemical weapons stocks still has five years to run”.

Murray also points out that, in contrast, Israel signed on to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 but refused to ratify as it would mean inspection and destruction of their chemical weapons.

An article is published on WikiSpooks covering how Sergei Skripal, Pablo Miller and Christopher Steele will have previously worked together, suggesting the potential involvement of Skripal with the efforts to produce the dossier.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is: “overwhelmingly likely” that the Skripal poisoning was ordered directly by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

17th Craig Murray publishes another article, titled: “First Recorded Successful Novichok Synthesis was in 2016 – By Iran, in Cooperation with the OPCW“, demonstrating that Novichoks are not exclusive to Russia. He cites an article that covered the study and was published on January 1, 2017.

Russia expels 23 British diplomats.

22nd Det Sgt Nick Bailey, who fell ill after attending the incident, is discharged from hospital.

Porton Down scientists gather samples from a door handle at the Skripal home.

Justice David Williams gives permission for blood samples to be taken from the victims.

27th Spiez Lab in Switzerland release their report to the OPCW.
28th Detectives say they believe the pair were poisoned with a nerve agent via contact with Mr Skripal’s front door handle.
29th Yulia Skripal said to no longer be in a critical condition.
April 2018
3rd The Guardian reports that Porton Down experts could not identify the source of Novichok used (confirming what Murray had stated two weeks earlier).
9th Yulia is released from hospital and taken to a secure location.
12th The OPCW releases their report on the matter.
14th Russia’s Lavrov goes public regarding Spiez Lab findings, citing their report he explains that Spiez Lab, in one of the samples tested, found elements indicating the presence of a substance used by US, UK and NATO allies (BZ Toxin), a substance Lavrov says Russia does not produce. He also points out that the purity of the sample of the A-234 Novichok agent was so high that it should have easily killed Skripal.
15th Spiez Lab defers all inquiries to the OPCW.
18th Spiez Lab tweets statement of Switzerland that rebukes Lavrov’s wording (for not being in keeping with the report) but not the fundamental claims that were made.

The OPCW states that the presence of the BZ Toxin precursor cited by Lavrov was actually in a control sample, writing:

“But at a meeting of the OPCW executive in The Hague, the Russian claim was refuted by OPCW officials, who said explained that BZ had been used in the control sample, not the sample itself. It is also a breach of OPCW procedures to identify a laboratory involved in a test.”

22nd A story emerges, suggesting the attack may have been carried out by a former FSB officer, an assertion based on allegations made by Boris Karpichkov. Karpichkov claims to be on the same FSB ‘hit list’ as the Skripals, a list we are asked to accept blindly, with no evidence provided to support its existence.
May 2018

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