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ORAC
6th Mar 2018, 06:52
Papers in the UK all have front page stories on Sergei Skripal and woman found poisoned in Salisbury town centre. Woman reported as either his daughter or son’s partner.

General round-up in POLITICO (https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/politico-london-playbook-new-cold-war-dd-in-the-hotseat-cams-lobbying-ban/). What shocked me was the Buzzfeed linked story reporting 14 additional Russian connected murders in the UK which have, few whatever reason, been covered up or ignored by the police.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/from-russia-with-blood-14-suspected-hits-on-british-soil

VP959
6th Mar 2018, 07:06
Papers in the UK all have front page stories on Sergei Skripal and woman found poisoned in Salisbury town centre. Woman reported as either his daughter or son’s partner.

General round-up in POLITICO (https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/politico-london-playbook-new-cold-war-dd-in-the-hotseat-cams-lobbying-ban/). What shocked me was the Buzzfeed linked story reporting 14 additional Russian connected murders in the UK which have, few whatever reason, been covered up or ignored by the police.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/from-russia-with-blood-14-suspected-hits-on-british-soil

Close to home for me, as we've eaten in the same place these two did a few times, including the week before last.

No hard evidence yet, but there seem to me to be two probable causes.

There has been mention of Fentanyl, and locally the neighbourhood policing people have been warning that this may hit the streets in this area soon. However, Sergei Skripal was not a known user, AFAIK, although his wife died not that long ago.

The other possibility is that this was an attempt on his life by the FSB. There are a lot of Russians around here; you can't walk through Salisbury on a busy day without hearing people talking the language. Clearly there may well also be an interest in the fact that the HQ of the UK defence research organisation, and many of it's most sensitive labs, are a stones throw away at Porton (just 6 miles from this incident).

My money is on them having eaten food in Zizzi's that had been tampered with, by person or persons unknown. If that turns out to be the case, then I don't think we need to look very hard for a probable culprit, do we?

Andy_S
6th Mar 2018, 07:12
My money is on them having eaten food in Zizzi's that had been tampered with, by person or persons unknown. If that turns out to be the case, then I don't think we need to look very hard for a probable culprit, do we?

No, we don't. But I can guarantee the normal PPRuNe suspects will appear pretty soon to pour cold water on any suggestion of Russian government culpability.

Sallyann1234
6th Mar 2018, 10:10
The Russians haven't wasted any time in denying any knowledge...

Russian spy: Russia 'has no information' on Sergei Skripal collapse - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43297638)

Tankertrashnav
6th Mar 2018, 10:30
Sallyann - may I remind m'learned friend of that well known quote by Miss Mandy Rice -Davies ...?

ORAC
6th Mar 2018, 10:57
Woman now confirmed as his daughter.

One of the members of the emergency services who attended to them, presumably from the ambulance service, has now also been admitted to hospital.

Sallyann1234
6th Mar 2018, 11:00
Sallyann - may I remind m'learned friend of that well known quote by Miss Mandy Rice -Davies ...?

Absolutely, sorry if it wasn't clear but that was my inference - they were very quick to deny. As if they were prepared for the questions.

Hussar 54
6th Mar 2018, 11:08
Russians, eh ?

Absolutely nothing surprises me when Russians are involved - both private gangsters or State gangsters.

VP959
6th Mar 2018, 11:13
Woman now confirmed as his daughter.

One of the members of the emergency services who attended to them, presumably from the ambulance service, has now also been admitted to hospital.

This suggests that whatever the substance/toxin was, it was easily able to be transferred from the victims to the emergency service personnel attending.

Lots of unanswered questions, but it's looking like a substance that may have been quick to deploy, fairly fast acting, and persistent enough to be transferred to others some time later.

That casts some doubt on the possibility of contaminated food or drink, perhaps, unless the emergency worker came in direct contact with the reported vomit at the scene. Given that most (all?) emergency personnel wear gloves etc, it seems a bit of a puzzle as to how any effective transfer might have occurred. It also suggests that the substance may well have been very highly toxic.

All told this is looking less and less likely to have been an accident, drug abuse or whatever, as the number of people able to obtain, and have the technical knowledge to use, highly toxic materials, such as seem to have been used in this case (based on the limited understanding we have from the media) is pretty small.

The use of targeted highly toxic substances against individuals in the UK is pretty rare. My understanding from talking to former colleagues who work not far from me is that delivering any highly toxic substance effectively is potentially very difficult, and not knowledge that an ordinary criminal is likely to have, or even be aware of. The risk to those delivering the substance is often as great as that to the intended victim, unless they are particularly well-trained.

VP959
6th Mar 2018, 11:38
Would you write, or under-write or re-insure, a life policy on a traitor like Skripal?

Neither would I.

Did anyone expect SIS to protect him?




Given where he was living, and the fact that he was often around town with no apparent protection officer, I doubt he had any protection at all here in the UK. I live very close by, and tend to be reasonably observant (comes from years of having to look under your car every day, and watch every one around you when out and about) yet have seen no indication at all that there was any sort of increased police presence, and have been told (unofficially) there there were no SIS resources deployed in this area related to this individual.

It could as easily have been a very well-trained and organised criminal attempt to kill these two as an overtly sponsored state activity. I rather suspect the former, if only to give a particular government a degree of plausible deniability. I think they learned a lot from the aftermath of the Alexander Litvinenko affair, and made subsequent alleged state-sponsored assassinations on UK soil not only more deniable, but better hidden as deaths by other causes than murder.

clareprop
6th Mar 2018, 11:58
Buzzfeed linked story reporting 14 additional Russian connected murders in the UK which have, few whatever reason, been covered up or ignored by the police.

In full speculation mode, I'm pretty much convinced we have not had the true story of the 'Putney Bridge Pusher'. Clearly seen by cameras, initial blame on someone else with details leaked to the press - fortunately he had a cast-iron alibi which was so obviously correct one wonders why the Police even bothered to try and accuse him. Nothing heard since of either victim or perpetrator.
Odd to say the least.

VP959
6th Mar 2018, 14:17
Interestingly, the police have handed this to the counter terrorism people, and it's been reported that two of the police officers that attended were treated for minor injuries, including itching eyes and wheezing. One of the emergency service personnel remains in hospital, along with Sergie and Yulia Skripal.

That suggests that the substance, whatever it was, was volatile to some degree.

My gut feeling is that it may well be some form of nerve agent, one that could be relatively safely deployed, which itself poses lots of further questions if true, as effectively and safely (in terms of not endangering the person or persons administering it) deploying any agent is very far from being easy; it's probably one of the hardest issues to overcome if trying to use a substance like this for this kind of purpose.

VX is too toxic, I think, for this sort of incident, plus it's pretty persistent, so the area wouldn't have been cleaned as quickly and re-opened to the public, and it's quickly and easily detected by those nearby with ready access to the kit. Sarin or soman may be a possibility, but I'm wondering if it may turn out to be some agent that we don't yet know of. Quite a few countries have the capability to develop novel agents, including some who may officially say that they don't do this.

BehindBlueEyes
6th Mar 2018, 15:40
I have connections to one of the nurses in Salisbury A&E who attended this gentleman when he was first brought in. She has asked the powers that be whether she should be concerned and they’ve told her that they honestly don’t know...

Krystal n chips
6th Mar 2018, 15:59
Close to home for me, as we've eaten in the same place these two did a few times, including the week before last.

No hard evidence yet, but there seem to me to be two probable causes.

There has been mention of Fentanyl, and locally the neighbourhood policing people have been warning that this may hit the streets in this area soon. However, Sergei Skripal was not a known user, AFAIK, although his wife died not that long ago.

The other possibility is that this was an attempt on his life by the FSB. There are a lot of Russians around here; you can't walk through Salisbury on a busy day without hearing people talking the language. Clearly there may well also be an interest in the fact that the HQ of the UK defence research organisation, and many of it's most sensitive labs, are a stones throw away at Porton (just 6 miles from this incident).

My money is on them having eaten food in Zizzi's that had been tampered with, by person or persons unknown. If that turns out to be the case, then I don't think we need to look very hard for a probable culprit, do we?

As we know, R & N invariably solves accidents and incidents long before the AAIB / NTSB get involved

So it's nice to see JB now emulating this same level of self promotional expertise, thus saving the counter-terrorism branch all the hard work, and, dispensing with the need for a toxicology report at the same time.

I've been through Cheadle Hulme station quite a lot over the years, scene of a serious rail accident some years ago and I always pause for breath crossing Colwich Junction.....bit close to home that.

And as for being observant, looking under cars in particular, in my sheltered life I have met three people who were familiar with this form of terrorist attack ( they were the good goys I should add ) and who explained how easy it was for those planting the device to ensure they wouldn't be discovered. Sadly, they proved to be very effective.

Porton Down is 6 miles away it seems, as the crow flies or by road?, but, no matter. When was the last time the establishment was infiltrated and any of the contents removed ?....inspired guesses only please.

Dan_Brown
7th Mar 2018, 10:59
The Govenment and media response to this "outrage" has the wiff of hypocrisy. They weren't even British.

A UK citizen was bumped off in Paris in the late '90's in a state sponsored hit.

It's known as house keeping, tieing up loose ends, or putting one's house in order.

ORAC
7th Mar 2018, 11:14
It's known as house keeping, tieing up loose ends, or putting one's house in order. More like the drug cartels. First we'll come for your family - then we'll come for you......

Salisbury ‘hit’ on Sergei Skripal would rewrite the rules of espionage (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/salisbury-hit-on-sergei-skripal-would-rewrite-the-rules-of-espionage-6t89w9v9c)

If Russia is proved to be behind the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia it would mark a new high in hostilities with Britain and would be the first known case of the Kremlin trying to kill an agent exchanged in a spy swap. It would also be the first time that Moscow had harmed the child of a target since the son of Leon Trotsky was murdered in Stalin’s great purge.

Hunting down a spy who has been exchanged with an opponent for one of your own is a violation of the unspoken rules of spycraft which require that perceived traitors are allowed to live their life in safety once they have been pardoned as part of the swap, according to sources linked to the intelligence world. In 2010 when Dmitry Medvedev was president he pardoned Mr Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who was convicted of spying for MI6, during an exchange with the US, which comprised four western agents swapped for ten Russians...... Going after Mr Skripal.... would cast doubt over future spy swaps as Britain and its allies could no longer be sure their returned agents would be safe.

Deliberately targeting Mr Skripal, a former army colonel, and his daughter “would be a clear message to us: the informal guidelines long governing these matters no longer apply, and the proverbial [gloves] are well and truly off”, a source said on condition of anonymity. “If this is what’s happening, it’s highly provocative. It suggests Putin is sending us a message.” A second source thought it feasible that Putin would rip up the rulebook when it came to spy etiquette before elections this month. “Such a departure seems entirely imaginable, given the extent to which the Soviet approach is overlaid by a gangster mindset amongst the current occupants of the Kremlin, if Putin judged it in his interests,” the source said.

Yuri Felshtinsky, who wrote Blowing up Russia with Alexander Litvinenko, said the Russian state had not attacked the children of its former targets since Trotsky. “If proven this is a different level altogether. Previously the FSB would never touch the children. Family is the precious thing. Now [future defectors] know that they are responsible not only for their own life but also that of their children.”

During the Cold War the CIA, MI6 and the KGB had an unwritten code that if caught spying an agent would be expelled not tortured or killed. Even defectors to the West were not put on an instant hit list. There are numerous examples in which the KGB was known to have tracked down defectors to their new homes but without carrying through with an assassination. There was also a secret hotline set up between the CIA and the KGB, called the Gavrilov channel, enabling the two services to discuss urgent matters while continuing to spy against each other.

The channel was used in 1984 when the CIA appealed to the KGB for help in uncovering the fate of William Buckley, the US intelligence agency’s chief of station in Beirut who had been kidnapped by jihadists. The KGB agreed to help but Buckley died in captivity in 1985. The professional courtesies of the espionage game have also changed radically since Mr Putin, a former KGB colonel, took charge.

Early deaths of Russian spy’s wife and son to be investigated (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/early-deaths-of-russian-spy-sergei-skripal-s-wife-and-son-to-be-investigated-2w0kspknj)

The deaths of Sergei Skripal’s wife and son will be considered as part of Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism investigation, The Times understands. Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, had suffered a series of bereavements before the incident on Sunday in which they were left critically ill in a suspected poisoning.

Mr Skripal, who was jailed in Russia for passing secrets to MI6 before being pardoned in 2010, had been struggling since the death of his son Alexander, 44, last year in St Petersburg. The family’s cleaner said yesterday that he died from liver failure while on holiday. He is thought to have been in Russia and the death was not investigated there. Mr Skripal’s wife, Liudmila, died aged 59 in 2012, two years after Mr Skripal was one of four Russians sent to Britain in the largest spy swap since the Cold War. Her death certificate stated the cause as disseminated endometrial carcinoma....... A source said last night: “Their deaths and how they came about will now come into the scope of the investigation.”....

The BBC also reported that Mr Skripal’s older brother had died in the past two years.....

DaveReidUK
7th Mar 2018, 11:39
Sergei Skripal was not a known user [of Fentanyl] AFAIK, although his wife died not that long ago.

Do you know something we don't ?

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 12:08
Do you know something we don't ?

Some, given my former last employer is literally just up the road and is involved (not that they are releasing anything), but soon after the first reports were released there was a flood of suggestions (probably originating from social media) that Fentanyl had been involved. This seems odd, as it doesn't tally with the symptoms at all, or the timescale or the apparent transmission to others treating them.

What we know (from the media, mainly, so view that as you will):

1. Sergei and Yulia Skripal were seen on CCTV literally 2 to 3 minutes away from where they were found, apparently well and walking towards The Maltings.

2. They appeared to collapse on a bench in The Maltings, right next to the path they were walking on.

3. There are reports that one, perhaps both, vomited at the scene.

4. There are reports that Sergei Skripal had his arm fixed up in the air.

5. Emergency services personnel who attended were affected, one still being in hospital, two were discharged having suffered what were reported as symptoms of itching eyes, shortness of breath and wheezing.

What can we reasonable eliminate?

1. Any substance that was ingested or injected, or any natural illness - none would have been transmitted very quickly to emergency personnel.

2. Any relatively non-volatile or oily substance, for example something like VX, that is very slow to evaporate, especially in cool weather, as whatever it was affected at least three emergency personnel that we know of from reporting.

What does that leave us with as the most likely possibility?

That a substance was used in relatively close proximity to these two people, that incapacitated them fairly quickly, that was volatile enough to have been inhaled/reached the mucus membranes of some emergency staff dealing with them.

We can also conclude that what it wasn't was reasonably quickly identified, as the clean up and decon was quick and used mainly water, which rules out quite a lot of not water soluble/degradable substances. My guess is that they knew quickly that it was not a persistent agent, like VX.

The reported symptoms, plus the way the area was quickly decontaminated and much of it opened again to the public, suggests something like sarin, or a related agent, like soman, or even an agent we're unfamiliar with.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin

DaveReidUK
7th Mar 2018, 12:17
It was the reference to his wife, in the same sentence, that I was curious about.

Was Fentanyl implicated in her death?

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 12:33
It was the reference to his wife, in the same sentence, that I was curious about.

Was Fentanyl implicated in her death?

Her death is the one amongst his close family deaths that can be reasonably well attributed to a natural cause - she is reported to have died of cancer in 2012, and there seems to be little doubt that this is correct.

His son died last year during a visit to St Petersburg, of "natural causes". His older brother also died 2 years ago, also of "natural causes".

I think the Fentanyl thing was a rumour that spread very quickly locally, for reason or reasons unknown. I doubt that Fentanyl had anything to do with it - it simply doesn't fit the "facts" as we know them at this stage.

There are equally reports of thallium as the agent, but that tends to be a slow and often cumulative poison, and not one that would be easily transmitted to the emergency personnel so very quickly, nor would it have been decontaminated so quickly, especially as that bench is close to the river. My own view is that this is yet another red herring.

My money is it being caused by a pretty volatile agent that was directed at the couple, inhaled and perhaps remained on their clothing for a short time until it evaporated. It also seems to have been fairly toxic, but nowhere near as toxic as something like VX, as all those affected are still alive (as I write this).

Ex Cargo Clown
7th Mar 2018, 13:06
As we know, R & N invariably solves accidents and incidents long before the AAIB / NTSB get involved

So it's nice to see JB now emulating this same level of self promotional expertise, thus saving the counter-terrorism branch all the hard work, and, dispensing with the need for a toxicology report at the same time.

I've been through Cheadle Hulme station quite a lot over the years, scene of a serious rail accident some years ago and I always pause for breath crossing Colwich Junction.....bit close to home that.

And as for being observant, looking under cars in particular, in my sheltered life I have met three people who were familiar with this form of terrorist attack ( they were the good goys I should add ) and who explained how easy it was for those planting the device to ensure they wouldn't be discovered. Sadly, they proved to be very effective.

Porton Down is 6 miles away it seems, as the crow flies or by road?, but, no matter. When was the last time the establishment was infiltrated and any of the contents removed ?....inspired guesses only please.

K&C what serious accident at Cheadle Hulme. Considering I live within a ten minute walk to the station, I think I might have heard about it.

wiggy
7th Mar 2018, 13:17
K&C what serious accident at Cheadle Hulme. Considering I live within a ten minute walk to the station, I think I might have heard about it.

A quick Google leads you to multiple accounts of a very serious rail accident at Cheadle Hulme 50 years ago ... perhap that is what KnC is referring to.

Ex Cargo Clown
7th Mar 2018, 13:42
A quick Google leads you to multiple accounts of a very serious rail accident at Cheadle Hulme 50 years ago ... perhap that is what KnC is referring to.

50 years ago lol. Bit before my time. Back to the poison thing, can think of a few nasty inorganic ones that are very volatile, can't see it being a nasty organic one. Unless they were on a suicide mission, only one I can think of is sarin. This is coming from a chemist who's dealt with lots of nasties

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 14:04
50 years ago lol. Bit before my time. Back to the poison thing, can think of a few nasty inorganic ones that are very volatile, can't see it being a nasty organic one. Unless they were on a suicide mission, only one I can think of is sarin. This is coming from a chemist who's dealt with lots of nasties

My view too, or something closely related and with similar characteristics, like soman (and I was also a chemist, in my first career).

The puzzle is how the agent was dispensed. It's not easy to deliver agents like this effectively at all, despite the fear mongers who suggest otherwise.

My guess is that something like a small directed aerosol, or perhaps something that one or other of them was carrying, that had been tampered with, may have been the delivery system. I can think of a few fairly easy ways to make a seemingly innocuous device into a very localised delivery system, perhaps one that may have been unthinkingly operated by the victims themselves. This fits with the ongoing closure of the pub and restaurant, as they may be suspected locations where such a device was swapped/passed to the victims, somehow.

WingNut60
7th Mar 2018, 14:16
If it was VX that stopped 'lil Fat Wun Jnr in KL, then this event seems to be very similar.
Whatever was used in KL didn't kill the two girls either.

....(and I was also a chemist, in my first career).


As my good friend Howard often says, "I'm a chemist, not a f...ing pharmacist."

Lonewolf_50
7th Mar 2018, 14:32
For those interested in an analysis of some Russian and Soviet ideas on the spy-versus-spy game, and how it is played, this article about what happened to Alexander Perepilichny (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/the-poison-flower/508736/)may be of interest, and may be related to this incident. (Or not)

Let me say that the son and brother both dying of 'natural causes' raises an eyebrow of doubt, but I have insufficient information to comment further.

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 14:47
If it was VX that stopped 'lil Fat Wun Jnr in KL, then this event seems to be very similar.
Whatever was used in KL didn't kill the two girls either.


VX is both very toxic, but most importantly, it's persistent and not very volatile in cold weather. It doesn't fit with the very quick and simple decontamination process used, either. It also doesn't fit with what seems like inhalation by emergency service personnel (it's primarily a skin contact agent, but can be inhaled if vaporised).

The two girls in the other case were wearing rubber gloves, and in all probability the VX concentration in the cloth/sponges they were using only needed to be tiny. Because it was rubbed directly on the skin of the face of the victim, it was highly effective, but it's notable that neither of these girls inhaled any agent themselves (because VX isn't that volatile, so would have stayed pretty much on the cloths/sponges and their gloves).

On the other hand, sarin, and related agents like soman, are nowhere near as toxic as VX, but they are fairly volatile and can be fairly easily decontaminated with water/detergent.

Lonewolf_50
7th Mar 2018, 14:48
Sarin dispensed from an aerosol can, VP?

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 14:52
Let me say that the son and brother both dying of 'natural causes' raises an eyebrow of doubt, but I have insufficient information to comment further.

The son is reported to have collapsed and died in St Petersburg of sudden, acute liver failure. Whilst I understand that liver failure has a fairly high incidence in Russia, it seems odd for someone that, based on what's been reported, doesn't seem to have had a history of liver disease, to die suddenly in this way.

It also seems to be a bit of a coincidence that his daughter had come to visit him now to commemorate the anniversary of her brother's death.

Sallyann1234
7th Mar 2018, 14:56
Sarin dispensed from an aerosol can, VP?
Surely for a proper PPRune analysis we need the local METAR? :E

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 15:17
Sarin dispensed from an aerosol can, VP?


It would work, but it's a bit obvious, plus it poses a risk to the person, or persons, using the can.

One option that would fit the circumstances, and the areas of investigation (which seems to be two places the victims were known to have visited shortly before they fell ill) is that something was placed somewhere like the daughters large red handbag, that then released an aerosol some time later, by an unknown mechanism.

There's a long time between the victims first being seen falling ill on the seat (around 13:30) and the emergency services attending (around 16:15). This is another pointer to the agent not being something as fast-acting and toxic as VX, IMHO. It could also point to the agent not having deployed as well as intended, perhaps because they were in an open area, where there was almost certainly a breeze (I know the are around The Maltings well, and walk past the seat they collapsed on at least a couple of times a week).

Curious Pax
7th Mar 2018, 16:02
Out of curiosity, what is the prognosis for people attacked with sarin? Is it like the Litvinenko Polonium attack, where death is just a matter of time, or if they have survived for 4 days does that mean recovery is likely?

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 16:18
People have survived Sarin attacks, very few have survived VX attacks.

The current news has confirmed that it was probably a nerve agent, and my best guess is that it was sarin, or one of the closely related agents, like soman, or perhaps something new, but similar, that we haven't seen used before.

Given the fact that this was very close to a place with a plethora of chemical agent monitors, I would also guess that they had a good idea of what the possible agent was within 30 minutes, as I can't believe that someone didn't sweep the immediate area with a CAM as one of the initial actions. They would need to do that in order to inform them of an effective decontamination procedure (that varies with the type of agent, and they were seen locally using water and detergent sprays, which is consistent with sarin, soman etc).

ORAC
7th Mar 2018, 16:24
Prognosis after survival and treatment is full recovery. Though so little is known there may be long term neurological effects.

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mmg/mmg.asp?id=523&tid=93

Medical Management Guidelines for Nerve Agents: Tabun (GA); Sarin (GB); Soman (GD); and VX

Potential Sequelae

CNS effects such as fatigue, irritability, nervousness and impairment of memory may persist for as long as 6 weeks after recovery from acute effects. Although exposure to some organophosphate compounds may cause a delayed mixed sensory-motor peripheral neuropathy, there are no reports of this condition among humans exposed to nerve agents.

Follow-up

Patients who have severe exposure should be evaluated for persistent CNS sequelae. Patients should be advised to avoid organophosphate insecticide exposure until sequential RBC cholinesterase activity (measured at weekly to monthly intervals) has stabilized in the normal range, a process that may take 3 to 4 months after severe poisoning

BehindBlueEyes
7th Mar 2018, 16:34
Investigators believe former Russian spy was poisoned with nerve agent | Salisbury Journal (http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16071432.Investigators_believe_former_Russian_spy_was_poison ed_with_nerve_agent/)

Emergency services in protective suits at Salisbury ambulance station | Salisbury Journal (http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16071415.BREAKING__Emergency_services_in_protective_suits_en ter_Salisbury_ambulance_station/)

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 16:41
The police have now confirmed that this was a deliberate attack using an unnamed nerve agent. Sadly they are now also reporting that the police officer that is being treated is now also seriously ill, which suggests he/she had a significant exposure.

They aren't naming the nerve agent, but I think the information that has been released by the Assistant Commissioner is sufficient for there to be little doubt as to which state was behind it. Whether it was an action carried out by FSB personnel acting with, or without, official sanction is really neither here nor there, as Russian law allows the assassination of Russian nationals on foreign soil, and has done since just before the assassination of Alexander Litvenenko.

The fact that a British police officer was also caught up in this attack ups the political stakes, I believe, and may make it harder for politicians to ignore this attempted assassination, as they have done in the past.

Krystal n chips
7th Mar 2018, 17:07
A quick Google leads you to multiple accounts of a very serious rail accident at Cheadle Hulme 50 years ago ... perhap that is what KnC is referring to.

wiggy, that's correct. There was also a certain irony in years to come in my life.

And now, back to tomorrows Mail headlines...

"Pilots website solves spy poison mystery in hours ! " " We demand to know what kept authorities waiting ! "

Thankfully, there may be some good news here.

Leaving aside Boris, with all the gravitas he can muster ( which isn't a lot in the best of circumstances ) threatening punishment towards Russia...is he thinking of emigrating there perhaps ?.... the tabloids are mortified that Ingurlund may not be going to the World Cup !...this could be a blessing in disguise however, as we will be spared the " the lads give it a 120 percenter / we are gutted /" etc etc, from the established list of excuses as they are eliminated early in the competition.

What is far more intriguing however, is, with such detailed forensic and deductive skills coming to the fore, there was nothing in response to time spent with two national broadcasters and the policies concerning tax which emerged a short time ago.

" Curiouser and curiouser " .......said Alice.

DaveReidUK
7th Mar 2018, 17:13
Whether it was an action carried out by FSB personnel acting with, or without, official sanction is really neither here nor there

I think that distinction may turn out to be more than hair-splitting.

Up to now, there have been unwritten rules that pretty well all states involved in the spy business have observed:

a) Former agents who have been exchanged in spy swaps are considered to be off-limits and can normally expect to die in their beds

b) Even when an agent, or former agent, is considered a legitimate target for assassination, his/her family is left alone.

Both of those conventions have been broken. If the Russian state was responsible, all future bets are off.

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 17:44
I think that distinction may turn out to be more than hair-splitting.

Up to now, there have been unwritten rules that pretty well all states involved in the spy business have observed:

a) Former agents who have been exchanged in spy swaps are considered to be off-limits and can normally expect to die in their beds

b) Even when an agent, or former agent, is considered a legitimate target for assassination, his/her family is left alone.

Both of those conventions have been broken. If the Russian state was responsible, all future bets are off.

Possibly, but not long before they assassinated Alexander Litvinenko the Russians changed their laws to make it legal for them to kill their own citizens in other countries, I believe.

What seems to be incredible is that we've sat by and allowed them to do this, by failing to take any robust action whenever an attack like this has occurred on our soil.

With this attack also involving a British police officer, then my thoughts were that it would make it a lot harder for the politicians to just sweep it under the carpet.

For example, in the case of the "suicide" Dr Matthew Puncher they concluded that he'd somehow managed to kill himself using two different knives: https://www.buzzfeed.com/janebradley/scientist-who-helped-connect-litvinenkos-murder-to-the?utm_term=.fkz7kEZWD#.prLRmN6ZW

Chronus
7th Mar 2018, 19:04
Mrs Chronus and I we are rather fond of Endeavour. If my memory serves me right, the last episode we watched was all about a Russian spy cell headed by a an Oxford prof. With the help of our intellectual plod DS Morse, our James Bond types did a proper clean up job. This latest hoo haa might be yet greater inspiration to our screen writers to produce more heroes who are ever watchful of our well being in our Potemkin Villages. For there to be heroes there must be greater causes.

ORAC
7th Mar 2018, 20:22
Confirmed as a nerve agent attack. Both Scripal and daughter, along with the p9liceman first on the scene, now reported as being in coma state.

VP959
7th Mar 2018, 20:42
Confirmed as a nerve agent attack. Both Scripal and daughter, along with the p9liceman first on the scene, now reported as being in coma state.

Might be an induced coma. If they are on respirators, because the muscles controlling breathing have have stopped working from the agent, then the chances are they've may have induced a coma to allow him/them to be intubated more easily.

Recovery will be pretty slow, as it takes a long time for the body to restore normal nerve activity,

The more positive news is that they've all survived for three days, which is a generally good sign. Had it been a major exposure to something like sarin then death would have been within a few hours, tens of hours at most. Had it been something like VX, then death would have been in minutes, perhaps a few hours at most.

It's looking more and more likely that the agent was probably sarin, soman or something very similar, and it also seems that the delivery method wasn't as effective as their attackers may have hoped. All nerve agents are potentially difficult to effectively deploy, and the cool weather and breeze on Sunday afternoon here may well have made a significant difference, in their favour.

Fingers crossed that they all recover quickly. May take some time though.

ORAC
8th Mar 2018, 05:48
The Times:

“Mr Skripal was said last night to be in an extremely critical condition and sources indicated that they feared he would die. “The feeling is that he is not going to make it out of this,” a Whitehall source said. “I think it could be more positive [for Yulia]. They are hopeful that she might be able to pull through.”

A second source said that Mr Skripal’s situation was complicated by existing health conditions and also, potentially, because he suffered greater exposure to the agent. The police officer’s condition is thought to be less severe than the two other patients.”......

Krystal n chips
8th Mar 2018, 05:55
C4 News devoted three reports to this incident last night.

However, it's the interview with the former Ambassador which is possibly the most pertinent based on his experience and current position.

Factual commentary generally is.

https://www.channel4.com/news/sir-andrew-wood-putin-probably-didnt-order-sergei-skripal-poisoning

ORAC
8th Mar 2018, 06:52
“Will no rid me of this meddlesome priest”.....

VP959
8th Mar 2018, 07:20
Seems like VX has been ruled out, so that also rules out cyclosarin, as it's similar in terms of persistence and low volatility.

That really just leaves tabun, soman, sarin, one of the novichok agents, or possibly something completely new and unknown. The symptoms, reported timescale and the serious effect on the police officer a considerable time after the attack, really leaves just sarin, soman or perhaps one of the novichok agents. I know very little about the latter, and little has ever been made public about them, but if this was supposed to be a covert operation then using one of them doesn't seem to make much sense, as they are exclusively Russian made compounds, as far as I know.

Mind you, I don't think there's a lot of real doubt about the state behind this, even if it may turn out (if we ever get enough evidence) to be just a personal grudge by some people, or perhaps one person, within the FSB. The latter seems as likely as something that was actively state sponsored, but my view is that there would almost certainly have to have been state involvement in order to both obtain the agent and package it in an effective deployment system.

I doubt we'll ever get any solid proof as to who was really behind it, though, even if we have a mountain of circumstantial evidence that points in a certain direction.

ORAC
8th Mar 2018, 07:49
This isn’t like the early days after the fall of the USSR when anarchy resulted in lax control. Under The present regime everything is tightly controlled.

If it is confirmed as being a Russian originated nerve agent, then Putin and the Kremlin own the problem. The buck, or the rouble, stops at the top....

jolihokistix
8th Mar 2018, 07:56
Read "Putin's Memoirs, the Director's Cut".
(Available not anytime soon in bookshops near you.)

VP959
8th Mar 2018, 08:04
This isn’t like the early days after the fall of the USSR when anarchy resulted in lax control. Under The present regime everything is tightly controlled.

If it is confirmed as being a Russian originated nerve agent, then Putin and the Kremlin own the problem. The buck, or the rouble, stops at the top....

I agree, and it'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

If it turns out to be sarin or, perhaps, more likely soman (based on what's been released today), then the Russians do have some "plausible deniability", as these were not specifically Russian agents, and in theory several states could have the capability to make them, and devise a delivery system.

If it turns out to be one of the novichok agents, then the Russian state loses even that thin veneer of "plausible deniability".

Based on the news that's been released, it looks like Sergei Skripal is in a bad way, in part due to his age and perhaps some other conditions that are complicating his condition. The good news is that, although seriously ill, the police officer is apparently talking and giving as much information as he can. If he can remember any smell around the area that may well have been enough to narrow down the possible agent, by possibly allowing early elimination of some agents that either have a distinctive odour, or no odour at all.

For example, sarin has no odour, soman does, and it's quite distinctive, I know very little about the novichok agents, other than they are supposedly more toxic than VX, and am not in a position now to find out more. Thinking well outside the box there are also some naturally occurring nerve agents around, although they are both hard to obtain and handle and even harder to deliver. Quite a few animal venoms are powerful neurotoxins, but few are either volatile or very effective by inhalation. There are also organophosphate pesticides that could possibly be turned into moderately effective agents, although personally I'm not convinced they are toxic enough to produce symptoms so quickly.

G-CPTN
8th Mar 2018, 08:05
BBC report that the policeman is 'awake and talking'.

NutLoose
8th Mar 2018, 09:00
Russian spy: Police seek to identify nerve agent source - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43326734)

Amber Rudd said there was "nothing soft" about the UK's response.
She told Radio 4's Today: "Let me be clear, we are absolutely robust about any crimes committed on these streets of the UK."
Gunboats up the Volga? or a stiff letter and tea no biscuits chat with their ambassador.... Hmmmm difficult one that.

And as for the we are absolutely robust about any crimes committed on these streets of the UK Please..... do you think she really believes the horsecrock she is spouting?

I think using a detectable substance like nerve agent was not just sending a message to these unfortunates, but to those that may be considering it at home, after all, they will have much better concealed methods available, it was more a statement by using nerve agents not readily available and to make sure there is no doubt the state was involved to all of those that may be thinking of doing similar.

Sallyann1234
8th Mar 2018, 09:26
Let's be honest about this.
There is absolutely no effective response that we can take to punish Putin for this.
He has done it before, and he will do it again as and when he chooses.

VP959
8th Mar 2018, 09:27
I think using a detectable substance like nerve agent was not just sending a message to these unfortunates, but to those that may be considering it at home, after all, they will have much better concealed methods available, it was more a statement by using nerve agents not readily available and to make sure there is no doubt the state was involved to all of those that may be thinking of doing similar.


I think you're spot on.

There's also the point that the Russian people seem to generally support strong and powerful leadership, and many see acts like this as being indicative of a strong and powerful leader. With Putin about to be re-elected, this could well be a message to all those that may be seeking to oppose him that opposition will not be tolerated, and there will be nowhere to hide if they cause displeasure.

Right now it feels a bit like being back in the Cold War era, with some of the things that are going on. Given the massive scale of cyber attacks and interference we are beginning to find I suspect that we're gradually seeing a change in the way major nation states engage in conflict, one that has shifted away from conventional warfare and moved to a mix of cyber warfare plus covert assassination squads.

Curious Pax
8th Mar 2018, 09:31
Let's be honest about this.
There is absolutely no effective response that we can take to punish Putin for this.


We could refuse to let him have one of these new trade deals that everyone is lining up to sign. That would teach the b*gger not to mess with Blighty!

Andy_S
8th Mar 2018, 10:10
I think using a detectable substance like nerve agent was not just sending a message to these unfortunates, but to those that may be considering it at home, after all, they will have much better concealed methods available, it was more a statement by using nerve agents not readily available and to make sure there is no doubt the state was involved to all of those that may be thinking of doing similar.

My thoughts as well.

If the Russian leadership wanted him dead, it could have been done much more accurately and discretely.

Whoever approved the hit on Skripal wanted his demise to be very public.

crewmeal
8th Mar 2018, 10:12
On a slightly different note last Sunday's Endeavour had a similar story about Russian espionage. How ironic was that! On a positive note the policeman involved seems to be coming round.

https://news.sky.com/story/live-poisoned-salisbury-cop-talking-and-engaging-11280674

sitigeltfel
8th Mar 2018, 11:05
Let's be honest about this.
There is absolutely no effective response that we can take to punish Putin for this.

There is plenty that can be done to send a signal to him.

Expell the ambassador and all diplomatic staff.

Close the embassy and any missions.

Deport any Russian citizens deemed to be hostile to the UK and it interests.

Stop direct flights between the UK and Russia.

Sieze the bank accounts of Russians with links to Putin.

If the EU wants to show a united front against the thug on their borders, they can take similar actions. I wouldn't hold my breath though.

Andy_S
8th Mar 2018, 11:18
Let's be honest about this.
There is absolutely no effective response that we can take to punish Putin for this.
He has done it before, and he will do it again as and when he chooses.

I agree that we can’t force him to stop. But I don’t agree that there’s nothing we can do.

We can lobby the EU and the US to strengthen the existing economic sanctions. We can restrict travel by Russian citizens to the UK. And don’t a lot of Vlad’s cronies have property and other assets in the UK? I wonder how they would feel if they no longer had access to those?

We are talking, here, about a murderous regime that treats the laws of other countries with contempt. That carries out state sanctioned or facilitated assassinations on foreign soil with zero regard for safety and well-being of ordinary members of the public who are unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Are we to simply shrug our shoulders and accept this?

Widger
8th Mar 2018, 11:22
Let's be honest about this.
There is absolutely no effective response that we can take to punish Putin for this.
He has done it before, and he will do it again as and when he chooses.

Every Russian child being educated in Western Universities and Public Schools is expelled.

That would then exert extreme pressure on Putin from those around him.

Go for the families!

VP959
8th Mar 2018, 11:39
One big problem we have is that we have welcomed Russian oligarchs to this country with open arms, turned a blind eye to the lawlessness that many are inclined to and just taken the money. A large part of the reason property in London is so expensive is because we've encouraged very wealthy people to come and live there, including a fair few Russians who have felt safer here than in their own country.

Frankly I don't think there is a damned (legal) thing we can do that will have any effect whatsoever on Putin or those that work for him, or seek his favour. Sanctions will hurt our allies more than Russia - countries like Germany are pretty much dependent on Russian energy supplies, for example.

My personal view is that we need to take some lessons from Russia, adapt to the way the world is changing and fight what looks to be Cold War II using similar methods to those that Russia is using. We could be pretty damned good at cyber warfare if we had the will, for example, but from what I've seen there is no political appetite for doing something like this.

It'll be interesting to see how the hacking community react, as I suspect their amassed capabilities might well exceed those of even Russia if they decided that things had gone far enough.

Sallyann1234
8th Mar 2018, 11:47
There is plenty that can be done to send a signal to him.
Do you think Putin gives the proverbial about 'signals' ?
Anything we do will either be ignored, or start a tit-for-tat reaction as has happened before with sending back diplomats.
Not forgetting that he has the ultimate sanction of turning off the gas tap.
It's bloody annoying of course, but Putin is untouchable both within and without Russia.

VP959
8th Mar 2018, 11:54
Do you think Putin gives the proverbial about 'signals' ?
Anything we do will either be ignored, or start a tit-for-tat reaction as has happened before with sending back diplomats.
Not forgetting that he has the ultimate sanction of turning off the gas tap.
It's bloody annoying of course, but Putin is untouchable both within and without Russia.

Absolutely spot on, in my view.

I seriously miss the fact that this forum does not have a "like" function at times.

Dan_Brown
8th Mar 2018, 11:58
Once a spook, always a spook. Looking over their shoulders until the day they die.

Remember that spook who was found stuffed in a carryall, zipped up,in the bath of his London flat? That was a nasty case of suicide if ever there was.

Like organised crime, as in state crime, you don't have a peaceful retirement.

Andy_S
8th Mar 2018, 11:58
Not forgetting that he has the ultimate sanction of turning off the gas tap.

True. But winter is almost over, and if he did turn off the gas then he is going to lose a great deal of revenue in foreign currencies.

Wyler
8th Mar 2018, 13:27
Spot on.
He is untouchable and does not give a hoot about anything we will do.
Our Foreign Secretary, the worlds highest paid children's entertainer, is a joke. Our PM is a great administrator but a leader, definitely not.
Gove, Fox, Hammond? Give me strength.
We are a tiny liberal Island off the coast of Europe. We turned a blind eye to the Russian money and bad behaviour. We have very little clout and bugger all leadership.
We reap what we sow.

Hussar 54
8th Mar 2018, 13:54
This about Russia and the gas....Absolutely true.

The whole of Western Europe would grind to a halt in just a couple of weeks.

That's why the EU and individual Governments have done nothing about Putin's actions in Ukraine - he has us all over a barrel, knows it, and so we are where we are and likely to stay here for decades to come as Germany and others close down their nuclear and coal power stations.

And VP's comments about Russians in the UK....It isn't just the UK.

There was a time not so long ago that if you went into the ' better ' restaurants in Nice or Monaco, the menus were inevetibly printed in French on one side, English on the other side.

These days, the ' other side ' is inevitably printed in Russian.

And even in our little part of the world, the best hotel / restaurant ( a room in July / August about € 1,200 per night, dinner about € 125 per person ) has been Russian owned for about 10 years now, while the owner has a private yacht only fractionally smaller than a cross channel car ferry.

Russians, eh ?

Lonewolf_50
8th Mar 2018, 14:30
This about Russia and the gas....Absolutely true.

The whole of Western Europe would grind to a halt in just a couple of weeks.
I think the Saudis and the Qatari folks and even the Americans would love to start selling/shipping Natural Gas to Europe. Yeah, the price would go up, but there is gas available if the Russians turn the handle to off. It just get trickier to manage ...

@PitchPoller
1. Conspiracy theories don't help this discussion.
2. The other possible culprit, which is Russian organized crime (or other organized crime) and not a Russian government op do seem to be getting less attention. I don't think those can be ruled out...

VP959
8th Mar 2018, 14:33
Can we rule out this having been a false flag operation?

Who gets the most propaganda value out of the atrocity? Us? Or them?

Yes, almost certainly, as if it was, then it was far, far too clumsy, especially as it posed a very significant risk to ordinary British citizens and members of the emergency services. The location chosen was ludicrous for a "false flag" operation - I walk through that way from the car park, through The Maltings to the town centre very regularly, and it's often quite a crowded area.

Even if we ignore the largest stockpile of nerve agents in the whole of Western Europe being located just a few miles up the road from the crime scene, it is remarkable how rapidly, almost instantaneous actually, the clean-up squad moved in the obliterate all evidence from the locus of the crime. That strongly suggests, at the very least, a high level of preparedness and probably some level of prior knowledge of the event within the SS and perhaps the SIS.

The only stockpiles there are only there waiting to be incinerated and are internationally inspected at random dates and times to make sure that they remain untouched, except for the incineration process (which is very slow, unfortunately).

I'm near-certain that people equipped with CAMs would have been on-scene as part of the second response, and the decon procedures are practised and well-understood for all likely agents. At a guess, the place you refer to (with which I'm pretty familiar) has around 1 or 2 "white powder events" every week. These are alerts requiring immediate response because a suspicious substance has been found, anything from the idiot selling rusty tins marked "Zyklon B" as a joke at a car boot sale in Essex, to packages that anyone has reported as a possible toxic threat. 99% of these are false alarms, but the response is the same and very, very well practised.

In this instance no decon would have started until there was information available. It's right next to the river (literally feet away from it) and so no one would have risked washing a potentially non-volatile or oily agent with water and detergent, and especially not bleach. There are specific decon procedures for each category of agent, and everything we saw reported indicated an agent that could be decomposed safely with an aqueous solution.

The response we saw was one that I would hope we would see anywhere, not just close to a certain research lab, or even closer to the Defence CBRN Training Centre, which is equally well equipped to deal with this.

The government has been ramping up the Russophobia campaign to an extraordinary extent in recent years, despite the fact that there has never been any attempt by Russia to invade or attack Britain at any time in recorded history. The only existential threat to the SS and the SIS budget, known as the 'secret vote', is the absence, not the presence, of any real threat from Russia.

I'd be wary of jumping to a conclusion that the FSB or the GRU did something that was so clearly against the best interests of their beloved Rodina. In the 'Great Game' the gentlemen upstairs of that building near Vauxhall Bridge are usually three or four chess moves ahead of the opposition - and even further ahead of the spectators.

I agree we need to use caution, and gather evidence before reaching any conclusion, but frankly there is so much evidence becoming available about known Russian interference in other states, that it seems perfectly reasonable to speculate that they may be involved in this act.

Ian Corrigible
8th Mar 2018, 15:47
The UK clearly signaled its position to Moscow four years ago:

"Not support, for now, trade sanctions … or close London's financial centre to Russians."

https://i.imgur.com/rHZQ9SC.jpg (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/uk-seeks-russia-harm-city-london-document)

Not surprising the FSB/GRU feels it has carte blanche to perform such operations when there's little risk of financial blowback.

KelvinD
8th Mar 2018, 17:00
The UK signalled its position a bit earlier than that, when the Home Secretary refused and fought tooth and nail against a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. Eventually, the widow of Litvinenko had to take the Home Secretary to the High Court to get that inquiry.
The Home Secretary's name? Theresa May.

DaveReidUK
8th Mar 2018, 18:01
BBC News now reporting that 21 people are being treated for suspected effects of whatever-it-was, including an unspecified number of policemen.

Chronus
8th Mar 2018, 19:03
VP959 says:

"For example, sarin has no odour, soman does, and it's quite distinctive, I know very little about the novichok agents, other than they are supposedly more toxic than VX, and am not in a position now to find out more. Thinking well outside the box there are also some naturally occurring nerve agents around, although they are both hard to obtain and handle and even harder to deliver. Quite a few animal venoms are powerful neurotoxins, but few are either volatile or very effective by inhalation. There are also organophosphate pesticides that could possibly be turned into moderately effective agents, although personally I'm not convinced they are toxic enough to produce symptoms so quickly."

I know less than him about all these agents and things, but the one thing I do know is that whatever it was, it certainly is the best stink bomb I have come to hear about for a very long time. The shit is going in every direction of the compass and a long distance, fast. Let`s hope none of it slapshes back whilst we are screaming and shouting with mouths wide open.

G-CPTN
8th Mar 2018, 20:50
Can you still buy stink bombs?
As a youngster we bought glass globes about the size of a tanner filled with an oily liquid which we dropped from the balcony of the upper tier of the cinema - they broke after the fall and 'raised a stink'.

Sorry about the thread drift, but it all came drifting back - the stink was horrible.

NutLoose
8th Mar 2018, 22:14
Police are now praising the bravery of the injured policeman, sorry if this sounds harsh, but what bravery? He has in all honesty probably simply responded to a call of two people acting strangely on a bench, no bravery in that action as such, now if he was acting on the call that they were or had been attacked or subjected to a nerve agent attack then yes I could understand it. Sorry if that sounds harsh and I wish him a rapid and full recovery.

BBC News now reporting that 21 people are being treated for suspected effects of whatever-it-was, including an unspecified number of policemen.

I can totally understand that, it can take a minute amount to come into contact with and you are dead, and we are talking pin head droplets.

I also thought some of the scenes of people wearing respirators but then dressed in what looked like simple "DNA" paper over suits as being rather under protected when they had realised there was a problem, though not as much as the original responders.

KelvinD
8th Mar 2018, 22:27
All this learned discussion makes me hanker for the good old days:
"The symptoms of nerve gas poisoning are loss of control of bowel and bladder functions, accompanied by an impending sense of doom. The treatment is simple, a huge overdose of atropine. You can then be taken to hospital for treatment for atropine overdose". Those were the days! And almost all lectures contained the phrase "a feeling of impending doom". It amused me that the powers that be decided NBC suits would have a syringe of atropine sewn into the thigh section so that in case of nerve agent attack, the soldier could just bang his thigh with a fist and inject himself. The reason they gave for having the syringe a part of the kit, rather than a separate kit was they feared the average squaddy would waste too much time debating whether or not to stick that nasty needle in his own flesh but they wouldn't be too bothered about banging an invisible needle into invisible flesh!

WingNut60
8th Mar 2018, 22:31
...... so that in case of nerve agent attack, the soldier could just bang his thigh with a fist and inject himself......

I'd be a bit concerned about "banging my thigh" inadvertently while avoiding incoming fire.

NutLoose
8th Mar 2018, 22:37
That's why we got the autojet which had the needle hidden in a tube, it would only protrude when the tube was placed against the skin and the plunger on the other end hit... Out of sight out of mind and if I remember correctly it replaced what was like a miniature toothpaste tube with a needle on instead of the cap that you would stick in yourself and then squeeze / roll the tube up.

NutLoose
8th Mar 2018, 22:42
Here you go

https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/antidote_nerveagents.htm

NutLoose
8th Mar 2018, 22:54
Tube version was like this, hence why they hid the needle

WW2 Atropine Syrette ? - CRAIG PICKRALL FIELD & PERSONAL GEAR SECTION - U.S. Militaria Forum (http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/153988-ww2-atropine-syrette/)

fitliker
8th Mar 2018, 23:24
Another supposedly retired spy with open contacts with his previous employers , has an artistically inspired exit.
The thought and imagination that has gone into the deaths of these spies is intriguing.
So long as they continue to be extremely targeted and surgical ,we should not be concerned .
Who killed these spies and traitors ?
Who killed Trotsky ?
Who killed Rasputin ?
The skill and artistry of the killers sends a more frightening message . Most mob hits are quiet disappearances ,occasionally they will use dramatic violence in a spectacular death, Roman style.
Who ever wanted them dead could have just done the deed and walked away.
What was the message being conveyed by the methods of death ?
Probably obvious to those in that business.
The message when an arms dealer is attempting to sell stolen nuclear weapons finds himself receiving a nuclear death, is crystal clear.
What the latest spy did to get this treatment may soon be known as he may make a recovery and sign a book deal or film deal.
I doubt any serious assassin's would have screwed up the dosage and will do their best to avoid the embarrassment of wearing these mistakes on their cloaks.
Sharper dagger next time.

galaxy flyer
9th Mar 2018, 00:18
Assuming the forensics back up the circumstancel evidence of Russian involvement, can the UK just continue to have their sovereignty violated as Russians, some under HMG protection or citizenship, get assassinated on city streets? Yes, it’d be hard to impose real sanctions, but surely this cannot continue. Send the children home, close the Embassy, freeze accounts if Putin’s friends who have known banking relationships in London.

Litvinenko was pretty well proven by the evidence, it was presented to the Russians and Scotland Yard was stonewalled and shown the door.

Edit: a little research and need to update that the UK is not alone in being the stage for Russian “wetwork”. Mikhail Lesin, founder of RT, appears to hav3 been murdered in DC at a hotel paid for by the DOJ the day before an FBI interview. That ain’t the only murder, either.

GF

fitliker
9th Mar 2018, 01:19
Probably proven :)
The inclusion of the word 'probably' in the final accusation left the door open as it was based on circumstantial evidence . Intent was never proven.


The demise of the promoter of the worlds biggest gun Dr. Bull came from the barrel of one of the worlds smallest guns a 22 caliber . Irony or Poetry or Occupational Hazard ?

galaxy flyer
9th Mar 2018, 02:39
.22 Short can be very silent—the ideal assassination weapon, despite all th3 hullabaloo about ARs.

GF

galaxy flyer
9th Mar 2018, 03:11
35 years ago today, Ronald Reagan used “evil empire” to describe the Soviet Union. Today, after multiple assassinations, inside and outside Russia; after Putin and his associates brag about a new generation of nuclear weapons; they are the once and future evil empire. How long will this Cold War go on for?

GF

piperboy84
9th Mar 2018, 03:57
Was reading in the paper an extensive list of either Russian nationals or Russian connected individuals who were all either spies, fixers, moneymen, former mini and major oligarchs, “real estate developers” or money launderers that have all met with an untimely end by either poisoning, chucked out of high rise windows or in front of trains, hanged or in car or aircraft accudents. The paper asked “Who killed them?” To be honest I don’t really care, I think a more relevant question is who and why were these scallywags allowed into the country in the first place? Let the criminal bar stewards off each other in Moscow not here.

sitigeltfel
9th Mar 2018, 05:53
Labours John McDonnell has just said on ITV that "due process" should be used when pursuing anyone involved in the poisoning. This is the man who called for Tory minister Esther McVey to be lynched.
The interviewer, Kate Garraway, married to "Dolly" Draper the ex Labour lobbyist and activist, forgot to take him up on that.
I wonder why?

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 07:02
The perpetrators of attacks like this WANT the whole world to believe them to be seriously scary people, with the obvious backing of a large and capable state.

To some extent it doesn't matter whether or not the victims die, it's all about getting a loud message out globally that these people are totally ruthless and lack any form of moral judgment.

I suspect it's no coincidence that Putin is about to be re-elected, either, and this is as likely to be a maverick operation by well-supported allies of Putin, who want to prove that they will do whatever he says, as a true state sponsored action.

What we seem to be facing is a new form of what amounts to a terrorist threat, or even a new type of war. Our people and governments are being increasingly influenced by subtle and not-so-subtle cyber warfare, with the opinions of our peoples being shaped by social media that is being influenced by the agenda and covert activities of those from other states.

Putting out a message that the people behind this are equally capable of walking amongst us, wreaking what could easily have been horrible deaths, and getting away scot-free, is just another branch of this new war.

I walk past that bench in The Maltings once or twice a week, and I doubt I'm ever going to be able to walk past it again without thinking about what happened there. That could easily be a part of our enemies agenda - pure terrorism, nothing less.

Ethel the Aardvark
9th Mar 2018, 07:21
When Mossad assasinated https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_al-Mabhouh. in 2010 using Australian passports. Australian now foreign minister commented that all foreign spy agiencies do that sort of thing.
Different method this time I guess

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 07:41
When Mossad assasinated https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_al-Mabhouh. in 2010 using Australian passports. Australian now foreign minister commented that all foreign spy agiencies do that sort of thing.
Different method this time I guess

Interestingly, the activities of Mossad, and in particular it's pretty ruthless assassinations outside Israeli territory, gave it a pretty fearsome reputation, and one that has convinced a lot of people that Israel is not a state to be messed with.

I personally think the spy thing is being over-blown here. Any knowledge that Sergei Skripal had and passed on has long since been superseded by events. I remember being told on a course once that any knowledge a captured individual had was pretty much worthless to an enemy after 24 hours.

My own view is that this was all about making a very public point, nothing more. The state behind it wanted the whole world to know that they could do something like this at will, and that they did not feel bound by any of the self-imposed rules that most Western states have adopted. It's about propaganda - making people fearful of the state that is most probably behind it, and reminding them that they are totally ruthless - much as Mossad did for Israel years ago.

ORAC
9th Mar 2018, 08:00
Spy mystery: Traitors are not safe on British soil, says Russia (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sergei-skripal-traitors-are-not-safe-on-british-soil-says-russia-skripal-putin-poison-57dmcndzz)

Russian state television, a mouthpiece of the Kremlin, has warned “traitors” not to settle in Britain because of the risk of being killed. Kirill Kleymenov, a prominent presenter, predicted death and disease for those who betrayed Russia in a broadcast about the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter in Salisbury.....

Kleymenov, the presenter for Channel One’s Vremya news programme, delivered a stark message on Wednesday to anyone caught spying for the UK. “I sympathise with any suffering and certainly do not rejoice in it; what’s more, I don’t wish death on anyone,” he said. “But purely for educational purposes, for those who dream about such a career, I’d like to issue a caution. The profession of traitor is a lot more dangerous than that of a drug courier. It’s very rare that those who choose it live out their days in peace and serenity. Alcoholism and drug addiction, stress, grave nervous disorders and depression are the inevitable professional illnesses of the traitor. And as a consequence, heart attacks, strokes, car accidents and suicide, after all.”

In language that seemed designed to sound like a threat, Kleymenov, 45, added that it was especially unwise to flee to London. “Whatever the reasons, whether you’re a professional traitor to the motherland or you just hate your country in your free time, I repeat, no matter, don’t go to England,” he said. “Something is not right there. Maybe the climate. But in recent years there have been too many strange incidents with a harsh outcome. People get hanged, poisoned, they die in helicopter crashes and fall out of windows in industrial quantities.”

It is thought that Mr Kleymenov was referring to the deaths of Russian oligarchs who had sought sanctuary in England and their British friends. Boris Berezovsky was found hanged at his home in March 2013 and Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the FSB secret service, was killed with polonium-210 in November 2006. Stephen Curtis, a tax lawyer who was an associate of the exiled Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, died when his plane crashed in mysterious circumstances in 2004 and Scot Young, an associate of Mr Curtis, fell to his death from his London penthouse in 2014. Johnny Elichaoff, another associate of the two men, died after falling from the roof of Whiteleys shopping centre in west London in 2014.

Yury Filatov, the Russian ambassador to Ireland, said the Skripal case showed that Britain could not protect people harboured in its lands, but added there was no evidence of Russian involvement. He told the BBC: “My own conclusion would be that for some reason the British territories are very dangerous for certain types of people.”

The claim was taken in Whitehall as confirmation of a deliberate Kremlin strategy......

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 08:34
The claim was taken in Whitehall as confirmation of a deliberate Kremlin strategy......

As if we didn't know that this has been an official Kremlin strategy since at least 2006. I don't know how long the list is of potentially suspicious state-sponsored, or state-assisted, deaths in the UK - the press are reporting up to 14, but I'll lay money that there are probably more.

Most of the time the perpetrators, including those who assassinated Alexander Litvinenko, try and make the deaths seem accidental, natural or unexplained. It was pure luck that someone happened to accidentally pick up on the Polonium 206 trace in Litvinenko's case, and there was a very good chance that if they hadn't, his death would have been put down to some other cause.

This is upping the stakes though, by choosing to hit targets in a busy area, with a pretty significant risk of collateral death or injury. There must have been thousands of opportunities to try and kill Sergei Skripal covertly in the years he's been living here in Salisbury, including ways that may have appeared natural (like the death of his son from the onset of sudden acute liver failure).

Sallyann1234
9th Mar 2018, 08:48
As if we didn't know that this has been an official Kremlin strategy since at least 2006.
Or even 1940, with the removal of Leon Trotsky.

ORAC
9th Mar 2018, 08:55
This is upping the stakes though, by choosing to hit targets in a busy area, with a pretty significant risk of collateral death or injury 21 people now receiving medical treatment....

Wyler
9th Mar 2018, 10:01
Incorrect according to the latest news.
That number includes everyone who said they were in the area or phoned the emergency services to ask if they needed to see a Doctor.
The 'actual' number receiving treatment is 3.

KelvinD
9th Mar 2018, 10:06
Let's be honest: Who cares?
It is well known this bloke was busy selling out his colleagues, presumably making a decent living out of that, and was caught.
If I was a family member or close colleague of one of those sold out by Mr. Skripal, my comment would be something along the lines of "what goes around, comes around".

Dan_Brown
9th Mar 2018, 10:53
Let's be honest: Who cares?
It is well known this bloke was busy selling out his colleagues, presumably making a decent living out of that, and was caught.
If I was a family member or close colleague of one of those sold out by Mr. Skripal, my comment would be something along the lines of "what goes around, comes around".

My sentiments entirely. It's my view it's treason.

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 11:03
Let's be honest: Who cares?
It is well known this bloke was busy selling out his colleagues, presumably making a decent living out of that, and was caught.
If I was a family member or close colleague of one of those sold out by Mr. Skripal, my comment would be something along the lines of "what goes around, comes around".


I think the point here is that he was caught, sentenced, served time in a Russian prison and was then exchanged and released as a free man, to settle in the UK. He's lived here for several years, and may have settled in Salisbury because there are a fair few Russian-speakers here (may be because there are several language schools here).

As far as Russia was concerned (officially) he'd served his time and they had got back several of their own agents in exchange. His daughter is not known to have been involved in any anti-state activity, neither was his son, to on the face of it they are/were innocent of any crime too. The police officer that attended and is now in hospital was also innocent of anything other than doing his duty.

As mentioned before, I walk from the car park past that bench where they were found, into the city centre a couple of times a week usually, as do many hundreds of other people. Any of us could have found ourselves innocent victims of this type of attack. Nerve agents are hard to deploy accurately and indiscriminate. To imply that such an attack in a busy city centre area was justified because of the past occupation of one of the victims is plain crass.

If someone wanted to murder him, they could easily have done so in his home, with little or no risk to anyone else. The fact that they chose not to suggests they wanted to send a message, and didn't give a damn about anyone else who got hurt. That's no different in my mind to an extremist bombing a train.

NutLoose
9th Mar 2018, 11:12
It seems the military have been called into help with the clean up, seems a bit late in the day to call in the "experts" in dealing with it.

Andy_S
9th Mar 2018, 11:16
Let's be honest: Who cares?

Well I care. I care a great deal.

I care that a foreign power may be engaged in a campaign of targeted assassination on British soil, in violation of both our own laws and longstanding international protocol, against those who have upset it.

And I care that that the methods used have recklessly endangered members of the public and emergency services

My sentiments entirely. It's my view it's treason.

And he got caught, and imprisoned. I don't have any issue with that. But when the Russian government subsequently agreed to exchange him, the rules of engagement changed.

ORAC
9th Mar 2018, 11:19
Wyler. The press say 21 treated. And it’s the Grauniad- o it must be true.....

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/08/russian-spy-attack-inquiry-widens-as-rudd-condemns-brazen-act-sergei-skripal

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 11:51
It seems the military have been called into help with the clean up, seems a bit late in the day to call in the "experts" in dealing with it.

My understanding is that some exceptionally good experts were on the ground as a part of the second response, as soon as there was suspicion that a toxic agent was involved.

I can assure you that they would have been a heck of a lot more expert than the military in dealing with this initially, where gathering and preserving evidence would have been as important as decon. I worked with these people for the last few years of my career, before retiring, and was exceptionally impressed by their competence. I've also worked with the military for almost my entire career, and frankly I know who I would prefer to be first responders and decision makers on the ground in the early hours of an incident like this. Much as I have the greatest admiration for our military, this is not a routine situation for them, whereas it is for those that attended the scene and dealt with the immediate risk.

KelvinD
9th Mar 2018, 12:05
AndyS: I am not talking about Russian (or any other) government involvement. I am merely suggesting that, if I was a family member or close colleague of those betrayed by him I would have no sympathy at all. Given that, why could this not have been carried out by someone affected by his previous antics?
If it is proved that the Russian government is involved, then I would join in the condemnation.
Re the involvement of HM Forces; isn't this a an indirect condemnation of how various governments here have allowed the forces to run down? Not so long ago, the area around Salisbury was thick with various units, all of which would have had their own NBC experts. How many thousands were deployed at places such as Bulford and Lark Hill?

JulieAndrews
9th Mar 2018, 12:30
Not sure why there is a debate -surely we all know by now that ex-spies are never safe from reprisal and public demonstrations of why it’s bad for your health to turn traitor?
The UK has never been able to stop such incidents, as with other ‘open’ nations.
The fact that there is nothing to deter nations from acting like they do within our borders is another discussion - as with all things - you get what you pay for.
The political ‘expertise’ in Parliament has deteriorated almost as quickly as the Empire but politicians still act like we had an Empire/influence.
It is strange to note that despite this greatly reduced responsibility and remit we have more MPs and a larger political infrastructure ......

NutLoose
9th Mar 2018, 12:36
My understanding is that some exceptionally good experts were on the ground as a part of the second response, as soon as there was suspicion that a toxic agent was involved.

I can assure you that they would have been a heck of a lot more expert than the military in dealing with this initially, where gathering and preserving evidence would have been as important as decon. I worked with these people for the last few years of my career, before retiring, and was exceptionally impressed by their competence. I've also worked with the military for almost my entire career, and frankly I know who I would prefer to be first responders and decision makers on the ground in the early hours of an incident like this. Much as I have the greatest admiration for our military, this is not a routine situation for them, whereas it is for those that attended the scene and dealt with the immediate risk.

I understand that, but the military will have more expertise than the Police they are called in to assist in the clean up, it just seems strange they have not been there sooner. Its ok having experts on the ground, but one would have thought having a core of qualified service personnel working under them would be more advantageous than having a team of probably less qualified police, that was the point I was making.

Bee Rexit
9th Mar 2018, 12:51
It is now being suggested that all 3 were poisoned at Skripal's home. With the policeman to be the first attending the house on Sunday evening after the couple were found in the town centre. Does it change the agent type to something slower acting?

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 12:56
I understand that, but the military will have more expertise than the Police they are called in to assist in the clean up, it just seems strange they have not been there sooner. Its ok having experts on the ground, but one would have thought having a core of qualified service personnel working under them would be more advantageous than having a team of probably less qualified police, that was the point I was making.

It wasn't just police on the ground as soon as the likely threat was identified, or other emergency service personnel, it was some experts, that knew a heck of a lot more about the the likely risk that anyone in the military.

That's not in any way a criticism of our military - it's simply that this was, initially, well outside the scope of their training - particularly the ID and evidence gathering.

The military are very, very good at dealing with the aftermath of a nerve agent attack, decontamination on a large scale and the sealing, handling and transport of big, potentially contaminated, items.

Fliegenmong
9th Mar 2018, 12:58
Alll valid points VP

Interestingly enough Jnr Fliegs had a mate over tonight....someone he's watched over for years......taken care of and mentored I suppose.....bless him...but Maxy was here tonight extolling how fabulous Russia is...to the extent that he was saying "Mum said communism wasn't so bad" ....I despair.....love this kid...spirited lil guy.....but having been born in Australia....wants to move to Russia!!!

FFS!!!

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 13:06
It is now being suggested that all 3 were poisoned at Skripal's home. With the policeman to be the first attending the house on Sunday evening after the couple were found in the town centre. Does it change the agent type to something slower acting?

If true, then yes, it does, although there are virtually none that I know of that have such a long delay between exposure and onset of symptoms. If true, it would rule out pretty much all the commonly known nerve agents, and narrow the list down to just a handful that haven't been (as far as I know) weaponised, at least in recent decades.

I can think of a few agents that might fit possibly the bill, but information on some is either not readily available (for example, the novichok agents, produced by the former Soviet Union around 30 years ago as supposedly "undetectable) agents) or classified.

There's a pretty wide range of other organophosphate compounds that have a broadly similar range of effects, and it may well be that the exact agent used in this case may never be publicly released - I think there's a pretty good reason for the government being aware of the exact agent but not making it public. Not sure what that is, but it may, in part, be an attempt to limit the anti-Russia feeling that's clearly building in some parts of the media.

Bee Rexit
9th Mar 2018, 13:08
Thanks VP,
You also have to wonder what caused the other 18 people to become "ill", mass hysteria?

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 13:10
Re the involvement of HM Forces; isn't this a an indirect condemnation of how various governments here have allowed the forces to run down? Not so long ago, the area around Salisbury was thick with various units, all of which would have had their own NBC experts. How many thousands were deployed at places such as Bulford and Lark Hill?

Don't forget that one of the world's leading research establishments in this field is 6 miles away, plus the Defence CBRN Training Centre is about 5 miles away. Also, plus the HQ of the army (Land Command) is now in Andover, about 12 miles away, and there has been a massive expansion of troop numbers to Salisbury Plain, with the relocation of so many units to the area (including much of what used to be the BAOR).

NutLoose
9th Mar 2018, 14:03
The military are very, very good at dealing with the aftermath of a never agent attack, decontamination on a large scale and the sealing, handling and transport of big, potentially contaminated, items. Which is what they have come in to do, And which it appears the police were dealing with prior.

In statement, Scotland Yard said: "The Counter Terrorism Policing Network has requested assistance from the military to remove a number of vehicles and objects from the scene in Salisbury town centre as they have the necessary capability and expertise.https://news.sky.com/story/live-home-secretary-at-spy-poisoning-scene-11281991

which reads as the police do not, which I why I stated it seems strange they were not involved earlier.

The Times newspaper has reported that police are investigating whether Mr Skripal's daughter, who was visiting from Moscow, could have inadvertently brought the nerve agent into the UK as a gift.
Some nerve agents are capable of being dispersed as aerosols, although the authorities have not yet identified the poison nor said how they believe it was administered.


That would make sense, no third person involved then, swop her gift out with something more sinister.

G-CPTN
9th Mar 2018, 14:23
What is the relative timing of the couple's meal in the café and their collapse on the bench?

If the police officer was 'affected' at their dwelling (?) did the couple return there between the café and the bench?

Guessing (as has been suggested) that the daughter might have (inadvertently) brought the 'poison' with her, at what stage did she unveil her surprise?

In Danish, 'gift' is their word for poison.

k3k3
9th Mar 2018, 15:11
In German too.

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 15:14
Which is what they have come in to do, And which it appears the police were dealing with prior.


Not sure the police were doing any decon at all, from the images I've seen in the media.

The stages of this event would have been treating the casualties, isolating and preserving potential crime scene or scenes to both protect the public and preserve evidence, determining the cause, by calling in experts as required to identify the agent and assess the risk (it's outside the police areas of expertise, I'm sure).

The latter would have absolutely certainly have included a call to what's known colloquially as the "white powder event hotline", which would have resulted in suitably equipped subject matter experts being on scene, probably within half an hour, given the close proximity of the establishment that provides this service (there's a 24/7 duty officer there, to deal with exactly this sort of event).

Initial local decontamination would have been primarily limited to only that needed to ensure public safety, and no more, as there would have been a pressing need to acquire as much evidence as possible, something that could take days.

What we're now seeing is the big decon that's needed to ensure all the cordoned off areas, vehicles and big items are made safe, and clearly that's something the military are very good at - for the NBRC trained personnel this is their bread-and-butter day job.

From the images we've seen and the reports so far, it looks like a text-book operation. Calling the specialist services of the military in earlier would have meant them hanging around waiting to be called in to do what they do best, whilst the people who had the skills in examining, collecting and identifying evidence did their stuff first.

barry lloyd
9th Mar 2018, 15:55
I have been reading the postings here with great interest, particularly those of VP 959. I have also spent a little time researching what solid information there is about the story so far. I cannot comment on the act itself, because I know no more than what has been written.

Skripal, after he had been convicted of high treason in Russia, was given a 15-year sentence in 2004, some reports indicate in a hard-labour camp. These still exist in Russia, as do closed cities. His sentence was reduced to 13 years on appeal, taking into account that he had health problems and had ‘co-operated’ with the authorities. He was released in 2010 as part of an exchange deal involving the so called ‘Illegals Program’ where a number of Russian spies rounded up in North America were exchanged for four Russians imprisoned for spying, of whom Skripal was one. The swap included the infamous Anna Chapman, aka Anna Kuschenko, who had been arrested in Washington and asked if she could return to the UK rather than Russia, but was refused. Beware aviation content! Anna Chapman briefly worked for NetJets in London and was married to a Brit – hence the British surname. The exchange took place in Vienna, Skripal having been pardoned by Dmitry Medvedev, who was President of Russia between 2008 -12.

At the time, the UK government specifically asked for Skripal to be part of the deal. He moved to the UK, and bought a house in the Salisbury area, as we now know. I am curious to know where someone who had been imprisoned in Russia for six years would find the £250k+ that he would need to buy the house he is living in, but maybe he was a careful saver when he was a double agent. He would hardly be eligible for a mortgage. The UK government has refused to say whether he has a British passport, so I think we can reasonably assume that he has.

On Channel 4 News (UK) a few nights ago, they interviewed a former friend and colleague of his, who had also been brought to the UK in a spy swap. His name is Valery Morozov and he lives in London. He said that he had met Skripal on a number of occasions in recent times, but had stopped the contact because he was aware that he was visiting the Russian Embassy and meeting military intelligence officers. It is also known that Skripal was a member of at least one social club in the Salisbury area. The SIS must have been aware of all this activity and wondered whether he had gone rogue.

From a personal perspective as one who has been visiting Russia for both business and pleasure since the early 1970s, the choice of Salisbury as a residence for a Russian spy seems a very strange one. It is, as we know, close to Porton Down and indeed Boscombe Down and Andover and those who were involved in his resettlement would obviously have been well aware of this. I note that VP 950 mentions that he hears a lot of Russian spoken locally, which I find both surprising and worrying. In Russia, Salisbury would still be a ‘closed city’.

I have friends there of 25 years standing, who even now will only speak occasionally and cautiously about politics. None of them like Putin, but see little alternative and are, surprisingly perhaps, afraid of a return to the days of that ‘drunken oaf Yeltsin’ as one of them described him. It was during these times that the oligarchs (whom they also detest), made all their money out of the Russian people and they resent this deeply.

It is easy and politically correct at present to demonise Russia. Clearly there is much which is wrong at present including 14 unexplained deaths in the UK which have Russian connections, but I believe we are often simply too quick to point the finger at Russia, because it sells newspapers and fills air time. However, I doubt very much if we shall ever know the full details, as was the case with the ‘spy in the bag’ killing of Gareth Williams, for example.

Krystal n chips
9th Mar 2018, 16:08
Don't forget that one of the world's leading research establishments in this field is 6 miles away,the Defence CBRN Training Centre is about 5 miles away, plus the HQ of the army is now in Andover, about 12 miles away, and there is a massive expansion of troop numbers to Salisbury Plain, with the relocation of so many units to the area (including much of what used to be the BOAR).

Would that be the wild or farmed species ?.....tried boar a few times, bit rich, but very tasty. Met a few in real life as well...... both the four legged and two legged species.

That said, " Zizzi " have a branch in Stafford, with a bench outside and..near to a river ( albeit the Sow isn't really one of the more dappling streams, but, the ducks seem to like it ) and near a car park.

When I walked past there yesterday, and today, armed with the deductive analysis on here, I immediately went into full counter terrorist / CBRN defensive mode....you never know, these factors could be the missing link in this investigation and where they could strike next in the UK.

And, on the outskirts of Stafford, there are a lot of units who relocated from.... B.A.O.R. ( as wuz ).

Napoleon Solo lives on here on JB !

Although it does beg the question as to why such expertise should be engaged in multi national media activities and with extensive opportunities to engage in leisure pursuits which require a considerable amount of time.....when so embarked upon as they say in maritime parlance.

VP959
9th Mar 2018, 17:26
The Times newspaper has reported that police are investigating whether Mr Skripal's daughter, who was visiting from Moscow, could have inadvertently brought the nerve agent into the UK as a gift.
Some nerve agents are capable of being dispersed as aerosols, although the authorities have not yet identified the poison nor said how they believe it was administered.


That would make sense, no third person involved then, swop her gift out with something more sinister.

Makes sense in that it fits with the scenario as we know it reasonably well, and also fits with the wide area of coverage. My wife reported that the activity at the cemetery where his wife and son are buried has significantly increased this afternoon, and there was a big convoy driving into the Defence CBRN Centre at Winterbourne Gunner as I came home.

It looks as if they suspect there may be traces of the agent in several locations not directly associated with the area where the two fell ill.

That pretty much rules out any of the very high toxicity agents, and strengthens the argument that this was not one of the "usual suspects", like VX or sarin, and probably rules out tabun and maybe soman. I'm seeing a friend over the weekend, that used to be on the duty officer roster when working, and will ask her if she's any ideas. She's retired from the place now, like me, so won't be privy to what's actually happening, but unlike me she dealt with a fair few hotline calls over the years, so has a lot more experience in this stuff (I was just a manager by the time I started working there, not doing any science at all).

Krystal n chips
10th Mar 2018, 08:07
Lets leave aside the correlation between reports in every media outlet which bear an uncanny resemblance to some on JB for the moment and look at the deeper issues here.

There are Russian communities in London / S.East ( so who could really blame him for moving to a more civilised part of the UK ) Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow ( and we can only ponder what secrets Loch Long retains, it being formerly used for torpedo testing, not forgetting when I was in Arrochar on holiday last year I saw several convoy's of Dutch Mil go past, one even swerved round a large puddle which would have drenched me and waved to me, which is more than the British would have done, and I politely waved back in thanks, being the gentleman that I am ) so Scotland's pretty well infiltrated and there's an outpost in Cardiff as well.

If the Russian language is so predominant in Salisbury, will the TOC's serving the station now be required to have multi-lingual signs and announcements on their trains ?....and will visitors require a Russian - English translation handbook?

And of course, when the Mail starts including local Dacha prices in their reports, matters really will be put into perspective.

Finally, and correct me if I'm wrong here, but, ( and I accept the strategy of "hiding in plain sight " may possibly have a relevance ) I always thought the basis of being covert was not to, um, draw attention to yourself.

All we need now to complete the ( JB ) saga is for the "Flying Scotsman" to steam through .....well we all know the story of " The 39 Steps" .....because the plot lines of that were equally tenuous.

G-CPTN
10th Mar 2018, 08:35
be required to have multi-lingual signs and announcements on their trains ?

In the 1970s, there was a railway crossing in Bedfordshire that had warning signs in Italian (and only Italian) because of the local brickworks workforce being Italians. The local newspaper carried adverts and articles in Italian and Bedford itself had several excellent 'genuine' Italian restaurants as well as a Consulate.

Italians in Bedford (https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/jan/23/britishidentity.features113).

Bedford's Italian question (http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/immig_emig/england/beds_herts_bucks/).

VP959
10th Mar 2018, 09:04
There's not so many of a single non-British nationality in Salisbury to warrant changing any signs, unlike places like Swindon. When I worked at Shrivenham is was notable that many of the signs and shops in Swindon were Polish. There was even a Polish language newspaper, IIRC.

Here we have a handful of "English as a foreign language" schools, that seem to attract a lot of Russians and Eastern Europeans. One or two of them are pretty up-market, which may possibly explain why we seem to have a fair few Russians around - they may well be used by the families of some of the wealthy Russians that have moved to the UK over the past decade or so.

G-CPTN
10th Mar 2018, 09:19
Here we have a handful of "English as a foreign language" schools, that seem to attract a lot of Russians and Eastern Europeans. One or two of them are pretty up-market, which may possibly explain why we seem to have a fair few Russians around - they may well be used by the families of some of the wealthy Russians that have moved to the UK over the past decade or so.

You mean like Finishing Schools?

VP959
10th Mar 2018, 09:26
You mean like Finishing Schools?

In my own view, yes, but probably with an emphasis on British customs and our way of life, as well as just learning the more detailed aspects of language and pronunciation.

Groups of students from these schools are a common sight around the town, not only practising English in shops etc, but also absorbing a lot of English history I think, which may well be why these schools are based in a pre-medieval city. The copy of the Magna Carta we have here was like a magnet for many of these groups when it was put on display, for example.

sitigeltfel
10th Mar 2018, 11:32
You mean like Finishing Schools?

They probably have "Finishing them off" schools in Russia.

chopper2004
10th Mar 2018, 12:17
They probably have "Finishing them off" schools in Russia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQUBjoGm1ls

VP959
10th Mar 2018, 12:39
Anyone see the programme on BBC Two last night about Putin : https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09vb7m3/putin-the-new-tsar ?

Ignoring all the bias against the man, it was quite interesting in many ways. One scene sticks in my memory, though, as being a pretty good illustration of his character, I think.

He had a meeting with Angele Merkel, who he already knew to have a fear of dogs. The meeting was arranged in the common media format, with Putin in a chair to the right of a fireplace, leaning back, relaxed, and smiling, and Angele Merkel in a chair to the left, looking extremely uncomfortable, as Putin had arranged for a very large black dog to walk into the room, simply because he knew it would intimidate her. The scene is from around 43 minutes in to the programme, but here's a still from it:


https://s18.postimg.org/wrcvrrh3t/Putin_and_Merkel.jpg

chopper2004
10th Mar 2018, 12:49
Hope all victims make a speedy recovery for starters... the whole situation reminds one of a Hollywood thriller, sadly its happening right now, real crime, real victims.

Hazmat clad personnel around a grave , CBRN specialists thrown in the mix reminds me of a Ken McClure medical thriller series with his hero Home Office medical investigator (ex SF doctor) Stephen Dunbar. In this case its Wildcard -starts off working lass dies and contaminates all around..leading to major ourbreak in UK/ cities isolated, troops out , in CBRN, Hazmat suits. Turns out she shagged some MP who had a valve transplant (pvalve came from pig with signs of ebola from dodgy Anglo US medical company which has murky secrets). All cities quarantined...and said MP laughingly is blaming the deceased medics involved for the cause ...our hero Dr Dunbarsaves the day solves mystery / saves the day clad in Hazmat suit armed with autopsy instruments working in a Swedish armed forces provided CBRN tent over a nuns grave (one of the earlier victims not to have gone through crem) for the evidence. Final showdown is research facility and then the US Ambassador turning up at No 10 begging the PM not to bring the company to trial because it could upset anglo us relations. PM tells ambassador to get stuffed and has enough of the UK public being used as experiments unwittingly.

It could be a lot worse with Salisbury being completely on lockdown with a scenario out of Outbreak or Steven Seagal flick The Patriot.

Or the authorities decided to exhume both graves and head to the local incinerator .....to protect the public health?

cheers

VP959
10th Mar 2018, 13:25
Be interesting if they decide to exhume the body of his son, to see whether the cause of death, acute liver failure (according to the Russians) turns out to be natural or induced. I suspect the latter may well be the case, but whether or not there is any way to tell after all this time is debatable.

I've had some interesting snippets of info on possible agents. Rumour locally has it that VX, sarin and tabun have been ruled out, soman seems unlikely, and that VG or one of the less toxic novichok agents may be in the frame. All have been made by Russia at some time, and may well still be made by them, as there has long been a suspicion that they never closed their chemical weapons programme right down. VG looks interesting as it's less toxic than some of the others, and can have a long onset of symptoms time, from what I've been told. Nothing much is known (or at least publicly available) on the novichok range of agents, but VG would have a greater degree of plausible deniability, as it was originally developed as a pesticide outside of Russia.

Sallyann1234
10th Mar 2018, 13:50
Be interesting if they decide to exhume the body of his son, to see whether the cause of death, acute liver failure (according to the Russians) turns out to be natural or induced. I suspect the latter may well be the case, but whether or not there is any way to tell after all this time is debatable.
It is reported that his son was cremated. Only the ashes are buried there.

VP959
10th Mar 2018, 13:52
It is reported that his son was cremated. Only the ashes are buried there.

That puts paid to that idea then!

CloudHound
10th Mar 2018, 14:24
Wasn't a relative killed in a car crash in Russia?

barry lloyd
10th Mar 2018, 14:50
Wasn't a relative killed in a car crash in Russia?

His son was reported as dying in St Petersburg last year following liver failure.

Krystal n chips
10th Mar 2018, 15:37
Be interesting if they decide to exhume the body of his son, to see whether the cause of death, acute liver failure (according to the Russians) turns out to be natural or induced. I suspect the latter may well be the case.

I've had some interesting snippets of info on possible agents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXn2QVipK2o

chevvron
10th Mar 2018, 15:45
It is reported that his son was cremated. Only the ashes are buried there.

Yeah but what did they mix with the ashes before sending them here?

fitliker
10th Mar 2018, 16:02
How effective are those yellow telly tubby suits ?
Do they have different colours for different threats or is it just yellow laa laa telly tubby suits for all hazards ?
Might be dangerous if small children thought that the telly tubbies were playing in their street ?

VP959
10th Mar 2018, 16:43
How effective are those yellow telly tubby suits ?
Do they have different colours for different threats or is it just yellow laa laa telly tubby suits for all hazards ?
Might be dangerous if small children thought that the telly tubbies were playing in their street ?

Very effective, as long as the decontamination and doffing procedure is followed to the letter. This kit is far more effective than standard military-type CBRN kit, for example, especially where the agent is unknown, as was the case with this agent initially. It also has the advantage that pretty strong decon agents can be used on the outside of the suit whilst it's being worn, if the need arises (for example in the threat is biological, and can be eliminated by a strong biocide)

The only significant risk is in decontaminating and doffing the thing, which is not at all easy and makes donning and doffing the military kit look like a doddle by comparison.

fitliker
10th Mar 2018, 22:25
Never had the pleasure of the charcoal lined noddy suit. I can only imagine what it must be like after a week wearing one while running around on Gruniard Island , those would not be tears of Joy :)

Lantern10
11th Mar 2018, 03:08
I found this interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=179&v=kIMfe7syMBY

G-CPTN
11th Mar 2018, 14:22
Radioactive substances can be detected with a Geiger counter (I have read of searches of beaches finding single, tiny, particles), but how do you detect chemical contaminants?

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 14:54
Radioactive substances can be detected with a Geiger counter (I have read of searches of beaches finding single, tiny, particles), but how do you detect chemical contaminants?

Most of the known ones can be detected by a hand-held Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM), a standard bit of kit that's been widely used for years. We also have mobile field labs that can be quickly deployed and used to do a more detailed analysis, if needed.

Identifying the agent isn't hard using conventional analysis techniques, it's really the high risk they may pose that influences the identification method used, as it slows down sample collection and analysis if conventional analysis kit is used.

In this case there was no early indication that this was a chemical agent attack, as far as the first responders were concerned, and that almost certainly led to the police officer being contaminated. As far as the first on the scene were concerned, two people had collapsed on a bench in a public area, the sort of thing that may not be that uncommon - for example people having had too much to drink at lunch and sitting down.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the location - close to both Porton Down and the defence CBRN training centre, may possibly have raised awareness that it was a possible chemical agent attack. There are a lot of people in the area who either have worked at either of those places, or still work there, and who live in and around Salisbury. Inevitably Porton Down, with it's incinerator stack that can be seen for miles around, is pretty well known locally, even if people don't know what exactly goes on there. Salisbury only has a population of around 40,000, and Porton Down alone employs well over 1000 people

The reports I've read indicate that two of the first members of the public to attend to the victims were medically trained, a doctor and a nurse. It may well be that they had some peripheral knowledge of the way nerve agents work, and that may been passed on as a possibility, I don't know.

This is also a farming area, with pretty much every farmer being fully aware of the risks posed by organophosphates, and most nerve agents are the same class of compound. AFAIK, organophosphate based insecticides are banned, but there will be a lot of the local population who remember them being in widespread use, both as sprays and sheep dip, and the consequent harmful effects on some farm workers.

I strongly suspect that one reason that the victims are still alive may well be because there is a wealth of local knowledge here on chemical agents and the symptoms they can produce, and that may well have led to them being given an appropriate treatment relatively early. Whether that treatment was given early enough to save their lives has yet to be seen, but even with prompt treatment recovery can take months, and may leave some permanent disability, particularly if breathing had been restricted for any length of time, as may well have been the case here.

Just a spotter
11th Mar 2018, 14:59
Wouldn't a nerve agent be considered a Weapon of Mass Destruction?

If there is State agency proven, would deploying a WMD be considered an act of war?

Suppose their State was suspected and it was a North Korean who was attacked, or an Iranian, or Palestinian, or perhaps a UK citizen who was an outspoken critic of militant Islam and a link could be “shown” to a specific group in a specific geography.

Might the response be different?

JAS

G-CPTN
11th Mar 2018, 15:04
Most of the known ones can be detected by a hand-held Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM), a standard bit of kit that's been widely used for years.

Many thanks.

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 15:12
Many thanks.

This is what the UK version looks like - other allies use very similar bits of kit:

https://s18.postimg.org/mqvim2o2x/CAM.jpg

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 15:55
Wouldn't a nerve agent be considered a Weapon of Mass Destruction?

Yes, AFAIK.


If there is State agency proven, would deploying a WMD be considered an act of war?

Again yes, provided that there was proof that a state was behind the attack (might be very hard to prove this, though, even if we may strongly suspect it).

Suppose their State was suspected and it was a North Korean who was attacked, or an Iranian, or Palestinian, or perhaps a UK citizen who was an outspoken critic of militant Islam and a link could be “shown” to a specific group in a specific geography.

Might the response be different?

JAS

Not sure. I think a great deal would depend on the realistic possibility of identifying, beyond doubt, that a state was behind it, plus there may well be an element of having to demonstrate that such an attack was intended as a provocation for a wider scale conflict.

Questions like "was this attack aimed at a specific individual, or individuals, or was this attack aimed at the UK as a state?" would need to be asked and answered.

In the past we've had both types of attack that have triggered large scale wars. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand led to tensions that ultimately started WWI, so is an example where a single assassination started a major world conflict, but would the assassination of an individual who was very much less prominent in international affairs have the same impact?

My view is that this is primarily a criminal matter, albeit one with international political ramifications. Attempted murder of anyone on UK soil should be treated in much the same way, even if, as in this case, the choice of weapon was one that was potentially indiscriminate.

I doubt this really falls into the category of international terrorism, despite the police force that it now dealing with it, as there doesn't seem to have been an element of deliberately causing terror in the UK, despite the choice of weapon. In many respects it's no worse than the kids going around on mopeds spraying people with acid or bleach.

WingNut60
11th Mar 2018, 16:13
Yes, AFAIK.

Again yes, provided that there was proof that a state was behind the attack (might be very hard to prove this, though, even if we may strongly suspect it).


Yet when the French government sank the Rainbow Warrior in Aukland harbour there was nary a mention of either terrorism or act of war, despite being caught in flagrante delicto.

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 16:28
Yet when the French government sank the Rainbow Warrior in Aukland harbour there was nary a mention of either terrorism or act of war, despite being caught in flagrante delicto.

Equally, when it was pretty much proven beyond much doubt that Alexander Litvinenko was murdered by Russian nationals on British soil, almost certainly with direct instructions from the Russian state at the highest level, no effective action was ever taken.

If the UK was to take unilateral action against Russia for acts like this, then some of our European allies would not be happy. Russia has the power to disable countries like Germany overnight if it wishes to, and have a massive impact across much of Europe, including the UK. All it has to do is turn the gas off. It could stand the loss in revenue for a short time, and it would send a very clear message that no one should even think about taking any action against anything that Russia decides to do.

Andy_S
11th Mar 2018, 17:28
If the UK was to take unilateral action against Russia for acts like this, then some of our European allies would not be happy. Russia has the power to disable countries like Germany overnight......

If the UK were to take unilateral action against Russia, why would Russia disable Germany? Wouldn't that be, ultimately, self defeating. Not only night it unite otherwise disinterested states against Russia, it would be a big wake up call for all affected. I.e. Russia cannot be relied on when it comes to our energy security, so lets make sure we have a Plan B

It could stand the loss in revenue for a short time.

But a long term loss of hard currency would hurt.......

BehindBlueEyes
11th Mar 2018, 18:18
Russian spy: Salisbury diners told to wash possessions - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43362673)

Whaaat??



“Clothes which cannot be washed, for example if they need dry cleaning, should be double bagged in plastic until further notice”

Really?

‘Dame Sally said after "rigorous scientific analysis" there was some concern that prolonged exposure over weeks and months could cause health problems but it was "not a subject for panic".’

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 18:46
Russian spy: Salisbury diners told to wash possessions - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43362673)

Whaaat??



“Clothes which cannot be washed, for example if they need dry cleaning, should be double bagged in plastic until further notice”

Really?

‘Dame Sally said after "rigorous scientific analysis" there was some concern that prolonged exposure over weeks and months could cause health problems but it was "not a subject for panic".’

Points to the agent being a fairly persistent organophosphate based compound, I think, and the government are probably playing it ultra-safe because some of these can be cumulative toxins and harmful at pretty low levels, especially to very young children or those who are pregnant.

My best guess now is that it might have been VG, as that's far less toxic than VX, is pretty rare (I'm not sure anyone ever seriously weaponised it apart from NK, and possibly Russia) and it fits with the information that's gradually leaking out about persistence and slow'ish onset of symptoms. It's also not a primarily Russian-only agent, but was originally developed as a pesticide. NK is thought to have large stockpiles of VG, so if it turns out to be this then it neatly switches the focus away from Russia...............

Sallyann1234
11th Mar 2018, 19:50
What interest would NK have in assassinating a Russian/British spy?

Effluent Man
11th Mar 2018, 20:26
To put Putin in the frame and thereby cause trouble?

stagger
11th Mar 2018, 20:41
Wouldn't a nerve agent be considered a Weapon of Mass Destruction?

If there is State agency proven, would deploying a WMD be considered an act of war?

Suppose their State was suspected and it was a North Korean who was attacked, or an Iranian, or Palestinian, or perhaps a UK citizen who was an outspoken critic of militant Islam and a link could be “shown” to a specific group in a specific geography.

Might the response be different?

JAS

Things are only considered "acts of war" by a government, if they are perpetrated by a nation or group of people that the government is prepared to have a war with.

So if the agent came from...

North Korea = not "an act of war" since they've got nukes.

Iran = would be an "act of war" since they haven't got nukes yet.

Non-state Islamist group - definitely an "act of war" even if the ensuing war focuses on the wrong group.

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 21:12
What interest would NK have in assassinating a Russian/British spy?

None, AFAICS, but they are the only country I know of with stockpiles of VG. I think it's very likely that Russia also has all the V agents available, including VG, and it wouldn't surprise me to find that Syria has VG, along with other V agents, sarin, soman etc, either (probably acquired from one of their allies, as I'm not sure just how good the Syrian manufacturing capability is).

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 21:18
To put Putin in the frame and thereby cause trouble?

More likely to be someone with a personal vendetta against "traitors to the Russian Federation" in my view, probably motivated by anything from just hatred of traitors to a desire to be seen as a patriot, Given the massive amount of organised crime in Russia, it's possible that there may even have been a criminal motive - we really have no idea as to what the possible motive may have been, all we can be reasonably sure of is that the perpetrator(s) wanted this to be an act that attracted a massive amount of publicity, the rest is really just speculation.

Cpt_Pugwash
11th Mar 2018, 21:32
QUOTE=VP959;10080223]Points to the agent being a fairly persistent organophosphate based compound, I think, and the government are probably playing it ultra-safe because some of these can be cumulative toxins and harmful at pretty low levels, especially to very young children or those who are pregnant.
QUOTE]

If it is the case that it is persistent, it fits with the estimate of 500 people who may have been exposed between mid-day Sunday and late Monday evening and are now being advised to wash their clothing. That also suggests it is transmissable.
Now some of those may be Salisbury residents who walked or drove home, or used buses or taxis. Others may be visitors, who may have driven home or used trains.

Does it mean that the potential is there for large scale and wide-spread contamination, albeit at a very small level?

stagger
11th Mar 2018, 21:55
In many respects it's no worse than the kids going around on mopeds spraying people with acid or bleach.

Aside from the fact that it was almost certainly intended to kill, is much more likely to be fatal - and has the potential to kill dozens of other people aside from the intended target.

Bit like trying to compare throwing a grenade at someone with throwing a brick at them.

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 22:08
QUOTE=VP959;10080223]Points to the agent being a fairly persistent organophosphate based compound, I think, and the government are probably playing it ultra-safe because some of these can be cumulative toxins and harmful at pretty low levels, especially to very young children or those who are pregnant.
QUOTE]

If it is the case that it is persistent, it fits with the estimate of 500 people who may have been exposed between mid-day Sunday and late Monday evening and are now being advised to wash their clothing. That also suggests it is transmissable.
Now some of those may be Salisbury residents who walked or drove home, or used buses or taxis. Others may be visitors, who may have driven home or used trains.

Does it mean that the potential is there for large scale and wide-spread contamination, albeit at a very small level?

Yes, it does, but to put this in perspective, if it is something like VG then the risk is extremely low, as the dilution as it spreads makes is less hazardous with every layer of transmission. As before, I suspect the government are being ultra cautious with this suggestion, as there have been no reports at all of anyone being affected by this agent in the days following this attack.

A good example might be someone that uses a highly toxic substance, say rat poison, washes their hands, changes their clothing and then shakes hands with someone. The chances are some of the toxin might still be detectable on the person he shook hands with, and when that person shakes hands with someone else there will be a further diluted transfer.

Would such a scenario pose a hazard? Just possibly

Would that hazard be significant? almost certainly not, but that's no good reason not to recommend that everyone wash they hands, just to be sure.

VP959
11th Mar 2018, 22:19
Aside from the fact that it was almost certainly intended to kill, is much more likely to be fatal - and has the potential to kill dozens of other people aside from the intended target.

Bit like trying to compare throwing a grenade at someone with throwing a brick at them.

As we don't know the agent yet, and as no one has yet died, even the targeted victims, then it hardly compares with throwing a grenade, does it?

We're guessing as to what the agent was, and guessing how toxic it was. Some nerve agents are nowhere near as toxic as others, so until we know for sure what was used, it's hard to make a reasonable comparison.

As a crazy example, a kilo bag of ordinary castor oil beans contains enough toxin to kill at least 2000 people, maybe as many as 4000. That doesn't stop people growing castor oil plants as houseplants, nor does it stop us extracting castor oil and using it for a wide range of purposes, nor does it stop us using castor beans for food and animal feed, after heating them to destroy the toxin.

chevvron
12th Mar 2018, 04:48
Latest episode of 'Silent Witness' shown on UK Freeview Ch 20 at midnight dealt with 3 murders including one which involved a nerve agent administered by a Russian assassin and the network of agents who carried them out.
Co-incidence I wonder, or did the programme planners deliberately put that episode on?
I assume it was a repeat as it was made in 2007 I think; difficult to see as they speed up the end credits so you can't read them.

bakerpictures
12th Mar 2018, 10:02
I've read that Skripal was flown by Air Ambulance (and on Wiltshire Air Ambulance's site it does state that at 16.19 on 4th March it participated with a "Patient fitting, land assisted to hospital") but only 2 days later it appears to be back in service.

They appear to have only a one aircraft, a Bell 429 so presume that it was immediately taken offline and decontaminated as were other nearby vehicles.

How do you decontaminate an aircraft like a Bell - or, given the delayed change of mind for calling in the military and sealing off the restaurant and pub many days later, does anyone know if this was actually done efficiently, or not?

ericsson16
12th Mar 2018, 10:08
The obscuring or embellishing of the truth of a situation with misleading or irrelevant information.Not talking about the Russians either.

ATNotts
12th Mar 2018, 10:21
More likely to be someone with a personal vendetta against "traitors to the Russian Federation" in my view, probably motivated by anything from just hatred of traitors to a desire to be seen as a patriot, Given the massive amount of organised crime in Russia, it's possible that there may even have been a criminal motive - we really have no idea as to what the possible motive may have been, all we can be reasonably sure of is that the perpetrator(s) wanted this to be an act that attracted a massive amount of publicity, the rest is really just speculation.

Problem is that within a matter of a couple of hours of the incident the UK press, with absolutely no attempt from the UK government to curb them, had concluded that the Russians, no less the head-honcho was guilty of murder most fowl on the streets of Salisbury.

There still seems to be not a shred of evidence in the public domain that pins the blame on either the President of Russia, nor the Russian State. It is certainly possible that organised crime could be responsible. I recall there were problems in securing all the nuclear material that was sloshing around the from Soviet Union following it's fall, and it appear perfectly possible to me that this chemical agent, whatever it turns out to be, to have been secured by the crossing of pals with several million rouble.

Does the UK government have some sort of policy agenda to rile Russia? I can't see why it would, other than the MoD and Foreign Office have been persisting with cold war policies for many years, as though nothing had happened. Presently, with us divorcing from our major trading partner, I'd have imagined we'd need all the potential friends we can muster, however shady - and after all we're quite happy to deal with Saudi Arabia - and China for that matter.

There appears to me to be more than meets the eye here, but doubt that I'll be around when the papers are released under the 30 years rule to find out.

ORAC
12th Mar 2018, 11:12
There still seems to be not a shred of evidence in the public domain that pins the blame on either the President of Russia, nor the Russian State. The attack used. Nerve agent which would not be available to anyone but the state or one of its agencies. Within 24 hours the Russian state TV Channel was making mocking allusions to the attack, within 48 hours the Russian foreign minister was doing the same.

Positive evidence is not needed in a criminal case, circumstantial evidence, if strong enough, will suffice.

Given the proven trail of Russian involvement in such attacks, up to poisoning the Ukrainian President and the attempted assassination of the Montenegrin prime minister; together with the passing of a law authorising the “extra-judicial killing” of their enemies anywhere outside Russia and the on-record threats to do the same by Putin, along with the lack of anyone else with a credible motive - little additional circumstantial evidence would be needed in a court.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I wouldn’t insist on DNA evidence to prove it is a duck....

VP959
12th Mar 2018, 11:35
From a purely technical standpoint, and only looking at the chemistry and facilities needed to manufacture an agent of this type, there are many possible contenders. In essence, this stuff is chemically very similar to many pesticides, if it's one of the agents I think it may be. So any state capable of manufacturing and analysing such compounds, could, in theory, have supplied this agent.

Officially, because of international controls on the production of chemical and biological warfare agents, plus a very tough compliance inspection regime, we might assume that only two, possibly three, states have the technical capability to do this, but that would be a false assumption. Dozens of states have the capability, but only two or three are known, or strongly suspected, to have used this capability in recent years. Even my last place of employment has a licence to make limited quantities of any chemical agent, for example, as does its US counterpart at Fort Detrick, I believe.

The question then really comes down to state moral standards and judgement, as well as the effectiveness of state control. Russia has the technical capability, may well have significantly lower moral standards when it comes to the limited use of such materiel, but does have pretty tight state control. NK has both the technical capability and known stockpiles of agents, and has significantly lower moral standards than Russia, I suspect, but it lacks a motive in this case, and given recent overtures towards starting negotiations it would seem foolhardy to put itself in the frame. Syria may have stockpiles of some agents, and a limited manufacturing capability, but I strongly suspect it may have received a great deal of help from one of its allies to obtain this limited capability, and, like NK, it lacks any motive.

In the absence of any credible alternative, I would say that it seems perfectly fair and reasonable to cast the spotlight on the Russian Federation. They have a long track record of dealing with those they see as enemies of their state by violent, often very public, means. Sometimes they try for plausible deniability, sometimes they deliberately try to be provocative by effectively poking two fingers at their accusers and just saying "prove it", knowing that absolute proof may be extremely hard to obtain.

I agree with ORAC's final sentence above:

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I wouldn’t insist on DNA evidence to prove it is a duck.... "

Jetex_Jim
12th Mar 2018, 11:45
Of course, I don't like to mention the topic that shall not be mentioned but, with May and Johnson both discussing sanctions against Russia, don’t occasions like this remind us that our ability to coordinate international sanctions will be greatly weakened by Brexit?


https://www.ft.com/content/3f783f7e-2544-11e8-b27e-cc62a39d57a0

ORAC
12th Mar 2018, 12:34
Alternatively you could claim they are greater. Inside the EU the UK is unable to introduce any economic sanctions against the EU rules, which would vetoed by one or more of those currently wanting others deals, such as gas pipelines, with Russia. Foreign policy is similarly constrained.

Jetex_Jim
12th Mar 2018, 12:41
Alternatively you could claim they are greater. Inside the EU the UK is unable to introduce any economic sanctions against the EU rules, which would vetoed by one or more of those currently wanting others deals, such as gas pipelines, with Russia. Foreign policy is similarly constrained.


You could claim that but likely you'd be wrong. The EU already has sanctions in force against Russia.
https://www.rferl.org/a/eu-extends-sanctions-russians-pro-russia-separatists/29094095.html



BRUSSELS -- The European Union on 12 March officially prolonged its asset freezes and visa bans against 150 Russian officials and Russia-backed Ukrainian separatists.
The six-month extension also continues sanctions against 38 entities.


And many other countries.


https://www.sanctionsmap.eu/#/main

Krystal n chips
12th Mar 2018, 12:54
Of course, I don't like to mention the topic that shall not be mentioned but, with May and Johnson both discussing sanctions against Russia, don’t occasions like this remind us that our ability to coordinate international sanctions will be greatly weakened by Brexit?


https://www.ft.com/content/3f783f7e-2544-11e8-b27e-cc62a39d57a0

Very true, however, possibly there are reasons a little closer to home as they say which may be having some bearing.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/11/litvinenko-widow-warns-tories-over-russian-donations

I'm sure we all recall the JB banshee's strident calls regarding a mere £500k to be returned recently, thus we await a suitable, if not even more stupendous cacophony for the £825k to be returned...

And I'm still perplexed as a to why COBRA sat....the case has long been solved on here after all.

But, and there's always a but, it appears Putin's grandfather was a chef for Uncle Joe no less...and a restaurant was mentioned in connection with this attack....so there's the obvious ( albeit overlooked on JB until now ) connection as to the means of delivery !

Thankfully, we have professionals who aren't inclined, being professionals, to twaddle to the world as to their expertise when called on.

"Now, for those who don't know " as one memorable post started, and we were non the wiser thereafter, and as this is, as we know, a bit close to home, then here's the opportunity to grace the pages of the Guardian.....

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/12/have-you-been-affected-by-the-events-in-salisbury

NutLoose
12th Mar 2018, 13:04
Table for four please Maitre d'

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-23d20a839373988f7dcda9c0b30b3150-chttps://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwikttGB7ObZAhWMaxQKHXarC90QjRwIBg&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.quora.com%2FNuclear-war-is-inevitable-Would-it-be-wise-to-buy-an-NBC-suit-and-a-gas-mask&psig=AOvVaw3_DmosUT9RxSctBnNobmla&ust=1520946116069842

MungoP
12th Mar 2018, 13:10
Anyone watching the Beeb doc on Putin cannot have missed the parallels between his rise and that of Adolf Hitler.

fitliker
12th Mar 2018, 13:20
If only , the evidence was as strong as the accusations. We might be closer to the Truth.
With out evidence , pointing fingers is futile.
We may think we know, but we may never know , What we do not know.
To close your mind to the possibility that truly dark forces may use the incident of their making to get the War they seek to entertain themselves.
In other news; small indigenous females are an endangered species in Telford.
Most of the Chemicals used in Chemical warfare can be made in just about any University Chemistry Laboratory. Same goes for biologicals as well .
The one loose lead that points to someone planning an exit after the deed is the reported jamming of the Police radios shortly after. Not the Modus Operandi of amateurs .
A mistake or coincidence that requires technical capabilities that are not common. It might also suggest a level of coordination that is one step up from the amateur thugs at the FSB. More of a circus trick to keep civilians safe.

Andy_S
12th Mar 2018, 13:23
Anyone watching the Beeb doc on Putin cannot have missed the parallels between his rise and that of Adolf Hitler.

Absolutely. And like Hitler, far too many people who ought to know better think he's a great leader with admirable qualities.

VP959
12th Mar 2018, 13:31
Absolutely. And like Hitler, far too many people who ought to know better think he's a great leader with admirable qualities.

For those in the UK that can use the BBC iPlayer, I posted a link to that documentary earlier, and it's worth posting again, as it was pretty revealing when it came to looking at some aspects of the way he went from a pretty poor and fairly junior, KGB employee, to President: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09vb7m3/putin-the-new-tsar

It also gave some insight into the way he thinks and operates. The conclusion I reached was that he wasn't an idealist, but is largely motivated by wealth and power. IIRC, that documentary described him as the head of the largest mafia organisation in the world, or something along those lines.

Krystal n chips
12th Mar 2018, 13:35
Anyone watching the Beeb doc on Putin cannot have missed the parallels between his rise and that of Adolf Hitler.

Mungers !

Such a delight to read your diversification from causing carnage on the road to matters of national importance .

Now, being a natural thicko, I did miss the parallels on the otherwise very interesting programme, possibly because I found the views and opinions as to egos along with their development and manifestation thereafter, remarkably definitive of well, so many I can think of.

Obviously only in the real world and not on here, less this be misconstrued .....perish the thought !.

However, while you are here, there's one burning question please, and I apologise for the slight thread diversion, but, it's one of those questions which really does need answering.

Last time, you mentioned a blowtorch and pliers .....how is the new plumbing business developing ?.....and have you now expanded your tool kit to include a GS screwdriver, hide faced hammer, mole grips, swan necks, and.... a large adjustable spanner ( plus bodge tape ).

Barksdale Boy
12th Mar 2018, 13:50
It seems to me that we should start fracking extensively as soon as possible.

Sallyann1234
12th Mar 2018, 14:25
Absolutely. And like Hitler, far too many people who ought to know better think he's a great leader with admirable qualities.
And Putin has already had his anschluss.

barry lloyd
12th Mar 2018, 14:52
It seems to me that we should start fracking extensively as soon as possible.

Of the gas we import from Russia, what percentage does it form of our overall imports do you think?

VP959
12th Mar 2018, 17:11
So now we know it was was definitely a novichok agent (something I speculated about in this post: https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/606204-sergei-skripal-3.html#post10076639) which makes it certainly a Russian based attack, as only Russia has ever produced agents of this type, which it did with the aim of creating agents that were not detectable by the West.

KelvinD
12th Mar 2018, 17:26
Nice to hear Mrs May state the product was a "military grade" nerve gas. So that rules out the common or garden grade or those products available at your local Co-op. Do tell, Mrs May; what is the alternative to "military grade" in terms of nerve gas?
If the Russians are indeed involved in this, we have to conclude their FSB are as thick as two short planks. They could have offed this bloke with a lump of lead between the ears and Wiltshire Police would still be running round wondering if it was a robbery gone wrong.

VP959
12th Mar 2018, 17:33
There are lots of "non-military grade" nerve agents, so it was essential that she made this distinction, to ram the message home.

For example, take a look back at the effects of many old organophosphate insecticides. These are all nerve agents, as is common or garden fly spray.

The only country in the world that has produced the novichok agents is Russia, in a programme started during the Cold War, as a way of trying to circumvent the definition of nerve agents in international law (they failed, thanks to some very good research here in the West).

wtsmg
12th Mar 2018, 17:36
If the Russians are indeed involved in this, we have to conclude their FSB are as thick as two short planks.

I disagree. Same reason they are so brazen with the US election interference scandal. They do things out in the open to try and send a message.

ORAC
12th Mar 2018, 18:04
Very interesting use of words. An attack against the UK by Russia. No oligarchs getting the blame for this one, action will have to be aimed at the Russian state, she has directly accused Russia of conducting a chemical warfare attack upon the UK. What would be a proportional response?

BBC:

“The PM said the government concluded it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the Salisbury attack. Russia's ambassador has been asked to explain whether it was "direct action" by the state or due to it "losing control" of its nerve agent stock.

Mrs May said Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had told the ambassador Moscow must provide "full and complete disclosure" of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by the end of Tuesday.

"Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom." In that event, she said she would return to the Commons on Wednesday "and set out the full range of measures that we will take in response".......

Effluent Man
12th Mar 2018, 18:15
An opportunity exists to gain something from this. Withdraw the England team from the World Cup and avoid a humiliating elimination by some footballing minnow, as per.

fitliker
12th Mar 2018, 18:17
So what ?
Highly likely , may and probably are all weak words that are part of a bed wetters vocabulary. Strange that a police force that could not find a bus load of pedeophiles if it was parked outside a primary school in Telford or Rotherham expects any credibility when making accusations that are based on pure speculation .


My guess would be that a third party who wants to see a decline in the relationship between Russia and the West is the villain in this case.
Who else has agents that are travelling freely between Russia and the UK ?


The truth is out there :)

Krystal n chips
12th Mar 2018, 18:26
An opportunity exists to gain something from this. Withdraw the England team from the World Cup and avoid a humiliating elimination by some footballing minnow, as per.

Excuse me ! That, Sah, is plagiarism ! ( see post #37 ) but, I would accept an out of court settlement in the form of food and / or alcohol .

But not in Salisbury.....

MungoP
12th Mar 2018, 18:35
They do things out in the open to try and send a message.

That was my first thought.. This way we all know who did it.. nothing can be proved and a message has been sent to any other dissenters.

Sallyann1234
12th Mar 2018, 18:37
My guess would be that a third party who wants to see a decline in the relationship between Russia and the West is the villain in this case.
Who else has agents that are travelling freely between Russia and the UK ?
Would you like to extend your guess to include who this third party might be, and how they might have gained access to this highly sensitive military weapon?

VP959
12th Mar 2018, 18:41
Very interesting use of words. An attack against the UK by Russia. No oligarchs getting the blame for this one, action will have to be aimed at the Russian state, she has directly accused Russia of conducting a chemical warfare attack upon the UK. What would be a proportional response?

BBC:

“The PM said the government concluded it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the Salisbury attack. Russia's ambassador has been asked to explain whether it was "direct action" by the state or due to it "losing control" of its nerve agent stock.

Mrs May said Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had told the ambassador Moscow must provide "full and complete disclosure" of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by the end of Tuesday.

"Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom." In that event, she said she would return to the Commons on Wednesday "and set out the full range of measures that we will take in response".......

Given that the attack used an agent that has only ever been produced by the Russian state, we can either conclude that the perpetrators assumed we didn't know the signatures of the novichok agents, or that they deliberately chose to use one of these agents so that the whole world knew who was behind them.

I can't believe for a moment that they didn't know the the UK and US had the signatures for the novichok agents, as they had to know about some of the defectors from the former Soviet Union that had some of this knowledge and passed it on back in the Cold War.

The only other two alternatives seem to be:

1. An unknown rogue group acquired some of this agent from a Russian source somehow, learned how to carry and deploy it from these same Russian source, then used it in this attack, or;

2. The Russian state knew full well that we would identify the agent as being a Russian-only produced one and that they wanted the world to know that they can do whatever they wish to do.

fitliker
12th Mar 2018, 18:43
It would be just a guess ,but about as accurate as some of the accusations based on secret reports . Who would gain the most from a strategic war in Europe ?
Who has been placing their tanks and missiles on Russia's borders ?
Which country has engaged in the majority of illegal secret wars since WW2 ?


Name them ,not on a public forum as that would be suicide. Asking who is not healthy either :)


Someone ought to keep Boris in the loop , Why would he be requesting information already known to people on this forum ? unless he is being played by some in his party to look sillier than usual .

G-CPTN
12th Mar 2018, 18:43
Would you like to extend your guess to include how they might have gained access to this highly sensitive military weapon?

and how they determined the appropriate dose and method of delivery?

fitliker
12th Mar 2018, 18:51
If they got the dosage correct , the spy would be dead.
Someone made a few mistakes in this tangled web ,so it should be easier to get to the truth for those with the intent to find the truth and not get played again by another foreign spy service with a history of starting Goose Fights.

Effluent Man
12th Mar 2018, 18:58
Excuse me ! That, Sah, is plagiarism ! ( see post #37 ) but, I would accept an out of court settlement in the form of food and / or alcohol .

But not in Salisbury.....

Certainly unintentional, I blame my recent three week enforced absence, I didn't bother reading through the whole thread.

sitigeltfel
12th Mar 2018, 19:05
A Russian football hooligan who battered an English supporter almost to death in June 2016 has appeared in front of magistrates in Marseille. He had been arrested on an international warrant at Munich airport on the 22nd of February while heading to a match at Bilbao.
The prosecution are requesting a 30 year jail sentence.

Let's see how that plays out!

BruisedCrab
12th Mar 2018, 19:09
It would be just a guess ,but about as accurate as some of the accusations based on secret reports . Who would gain the most from a strategic war in Europe ?
Who has been placing their tanks and missiles on Russia's borders ?
Which country has engaged in the majority of illegal secret wars since WW2 ?


Name them ,not on a public forum as that would be suicide. Asking who is not healthy either :)


Someone ought to keep Boris in the loop , Why would he be requesting information already known to people on this forum ? unless he is being played by some in his party to look sillier than usual .

Da Kamarad

VP959
12th Mar 2018, 19:11
If they got the dosage correct , the spy would be dead.
Someone made a few mistakes in this tangled web ,so it should be easier to get to the truth for those with the intent to find the truth and not get played again by another foreign spy service with a history of starting Goose Fights.


It's extremely difficult to accurately and effectively deploy chemical weapons. The chances of getting it wrong far exceed the chances of getting it right in a scenario like this.

Apart from the humanitarian concerns, it's one reason why chemical agents have only ever been deployed relatively infrequently over the years.

Trying to surreptitiously "spike" food or drink, given the tiny amounts of agent needed (and they would only have wanted to use tiny amounts to avoid the perpetrators killing themselves) would have been very challenging, and it would have been very easy to fail to deliver an adequate dose.

It seems that the perpetrators may not have opted to use a conventional delivery method, either, which would have made their task a lot harder. Had the agent been delivered as a fine aerosol, so that it could be inhaled or contact skin and mucous membranes, then it would almost certainly have been far more effective, but from what we know from reported news, this wasn't the chosen delivery method.

Personally I think this had far more to do with just sending a message that Russia, or some people in Russia, can do as they wish, anywhere in the world, than it did with trying to kill a 66 year old pardoned traitor.

G-CPTN
12th Mar 2018, 20:17
The would-be assassins must have known that the chemicals would be traceable - or did they imagine that the death of the target (singular) would not be investigated?

Effluent Man
12th Mar 2018, 20:28
I'm sceptical about the case against Putin. I remember the Greville Wynne affair back in the sixties. Our government swore blind he was an innocent businessman. Later revealed to be a spy as they claimed. I don't not believe nuthin!

tartare
12th Mar 2018, 23:16
A third party?
Someone's been reading too much Le Carre.
Occam's Razor.
It was Vladimir.
Seize a few oligarchs assets and/or Knightsbridge pads... and get Cheltenham fired up to cyber attack the [email protected] I say...

NutLoose
12th Mar 2018, 23:38
Also seize Putins assets that I believe haven't been done before.

I do wonder if one reason they survived is the amount used was a deliberate attempt to hide its use and also from the fear of mass casualties / deaths if a larger amount was used, which would be seen as a chemical attack on the UK and as such an act of war.

racedo
13th Mar 2018, 00:12
Given that the attack used an agent that has only ever been produced by the Russian state,


That is bit I have issues with.................

Porton Down has received millions over the years to study and develop "chemical weapons and antidotes" to them.
This has been the claim by HMG for decades to justify its existence.

It would be strange that they never have seen this before.

Timing is strange as Russian Presidential Election happening and Putin is odds on to win so no benefit gained by killing someone whom they happy to let go a number of years ago.

Not like it was a secret where he lived within spy community and they could have killed him years ago............ why now unless something else is at play.

Russia has clearly not pleased the west by refusing to go along with regime change in Syria.
Even today US UN Ambassador Haley is claiming US may attack Syria without UN support for the poor people of Eastern Ghouta............. strange as the media appears to be showing civilians overjoyed with Syrian Army liberating them and IS/AQ/FSA etc being destroyed. Where was US when people being held there ?

There are attempts to start a new Cold War which is strange because if West won the Cold War then why are they spending billions in starting another one.

racedo
13th Mar 2018, 00:18
The would-be assassins must have known that the chemicals would be traceable - or did they imagine that the death of the target (singular) would not be investigated?

Which is why its to :mad: obvious.

Cops taking a week to tell people................ right, I don't believe that one either but put the story out there with media running behind it and guess what you have.

A call to war.

fitliker
13th Mar 2018, 03:16
A small of bit of googling and you will find that the former Soviet factory in Uzbekistan that made that particular chemical weapon was cleansed of its stockpiles by the same clowns that were responsible for the missing/stolen Ukranian nukes being offered for sale in the tea houses of London .
Occam's Razor has it uses , but the dark and sleazy world of illegal criminal arms dealers has effects that can cause more than just the death of one Princess. Just being in a car with the nephew of an arms dealer can get you killed in Paris. Not really simple even those responsible for the safety and security of the Future Kings mother did not see that one coming.

How is that investigation going ? You think they would have found the white fiat Uno by now. Years later and have they given up ?


If the same lying idiots ,that sexed up the WMD files so we could go to war in Iraq are anywhere near this file we are doomed and I am off to check my supplies in my bunker :)


I think there is a knock at the door :)

pax britanica
13th Mar 2018, 03:27
From today's papers ' May gives Putin ultimatum' most delusional statement ever?

WingNut60
13th Mar 2018, 04:08
From today's papers ' May gives Putin ultimatum' most delusional statement ever?

I'm gonna huff and I'm gonna puff .........repeat until audience dissipates.

Krystal n chips
13th Mar 2018, 04:58
From today's papers ' May gives Putin ultimatum' most delusional statement ever?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgsAOQ0D0ag


* JB War Cabinet to convene with immediate effect !

* First communique expected shortly after midnight !

* Sales of trilby hats, starched collars and pipes set to soar !

* Lib Dems announce "once in a lifetime power grab opportunity !" with imminent collapse of Tory Gov't !

* UK Special Forces shock troops ( Millwall and Ingurlund Regiments ) mobilised !

* Putin reported to have had 15 hours undisturbed sleep !

* Guardian readers to face immediate internment as "Fifth Columnist " sympathisers !

* Mail reports "scenes of joy and jubilation ! " from readership at prospect of forthcoming war ! Special 196 page supplement to be published tomorrow !

* Sun publishes BIG map to show readers where Russia is !

* Express headlines " EXCLUSIVE !! "Beast from the East " was Putin distraction plan" !

* BBC expresses "growing concerns " over planned 7 day / 24 hrs coverage of Royal Wedding if situation escalates !

With acknowledgement ( and apologies ) to "Private Eye" ......( you're not really showing enough gravitas and respect here are you ! Ed. )

MungoP
13th Mar 2018, 07:50
Guardian readers to face immediate internment as "Fifth Columnist " sympathisers !

All for that.

K&C rumoured to be new spokesman for Putin.

ORAC
13th Mar 2018, 08:08
I don’t know, Racedo gives him a good run for his money. His justification for the Russian/Syrian use of napalm and chemical weapons against Ghouta is particularly cringeworthy. The idea of the inhabitants lining up to throw flowers in the path of their “liberators” is so far away from reality it really deserves to win a fiction award.

BlankBox
13th Mar 2018, 08:20
https://i.imgur.com/RG1oLTc.png

ATNotts
13th Mar 2018, 08:40
Throughout history politicians / leaders have used conflict (war) to bolster their flagging popularity, and / or to deflect attention away from other matters that may be going badly.

Mrs. May and her government ticks both those boxes with her precarious majority, and the "matter that we'd better not mention".

From what we are being told, the nerve agent can only have originated from the former Soviet Union, where, as I understand it, it was developed. Whether it was sourced from Russia, or another former USSR state, we don't know, and whether it was use by the state or organised crime isn't clear - largely because neither the UK or the Russian governments have declared either way. Mrs. May was however careful to give Russia that way out (criminal rather than state use) if they want to take it.

How about the possibility that it was his daughter who arrived from Russia who had been paid by person or persons unknown to deploy the agent, without having been informed of exactly what it was, or it's dire consequences? I wonder if the police and UK intelligence are looking at that line of enquiry.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 08:45
That is bit I have issues with.................

Porton Down has received millions over the years to study and develop "chemical weapons and antidotes" to them.
This has been the claim by HMG for decades to justify its existence.

It would be strange that they never have seen this before.

Timing is strange as Russian Presidential Election happening and Putin is odds on to win so no benefit gained by killing someone whom they happy to let go a number of years ago.

Not like it was a secret where he lived within spy community and they could have killed him years ago............ why now unless something else is at play.

Russia has clearly not pleased the west by refusing to go along with regime change in Syria.
Even today US UN Ambassador Haley is claiming US may attack Syria without UN support for the poor people of Eastern Ghouta............. strange as the media appears to be showing civilians overjoyed with Syrian Army liberating them and IS/AQ/FSA etc being destroyed. Where was US when people being held there ?

There are attempts to start a new Cold War which is strange because if West won the Cold War then why are they spending billions in starting another one.


Porton had the signatures for the novichok agents. That's how it was detected and identified so quickly.

You do not need samples of the agent to identify it, in fact any organisation would avoid holding agents like this if at all possible, for a host of reasons, apart from the obvious ones of regulatory inspections and legislation. All you need is the signature to positively identify it, so that's all you hold.

The only stocks of chemical and biological agents stored at Porton are awaiting incineration. The incinerator runs all the time, but it's a slow job, as recovered weapons from all around the world are sent to Porton for disposal and at best they might be able to incinerate one, perhaps two, a day.

There was a TV documentary a while ago showing the freezing, X-ray checks, cutting, and incineration process, which illustrated how long it takes.

Effluent Man
13th Mar 2018, 08:57
Just glancing through the more recent posts it seems pretty clear to me that the majority view on this is that it wasn't Putin and that this is just a pathetic attempt to exploit something done by a third party by a beleaguered administration. At least it's kept that which cannot speak it's name out of the headlines for a week and a half.

ATNotts
13th Mar 2018, 09:03
At least it's kept that which cannot speak it's name out of the headlines for a week and a half.

And as I mentioned above, I imagine nobody is happier about that than Mrs. May!!

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 09:10
Just glancing through the more recent posts it seems pretty clear to me that the majority view on this is that it wasn't Putin and that this is just a pathetic attempt to exploit something done by a third party by a beleaguered administration. At least it's kept that which cannot speak it's name out of the headlines for a week and a half.

Name a third party that could get it's hands on an agent only ever manufactured by the Russian state, and which the Russian state has consistently denied knowledge of for over 30 years?

I know for a fact that no other state has manufactured any of the novichok agents, and I strongly suspect that only two Western states know their signatures.

So, if this particular novichok agent didn't come from the Russian state, where did it come from, and how did both it, and enough information to allow it to be safely dispensed, transported and deployed against a target in a public place, come from?

This stuff is bloody tricky to handle, dispense, transport and deploy. No backroom lab could do it, and the risks to those undertaking the attack would be massive, unless they had the training and equipment needed to do it without harm to themselves, especially as it seems that they did this covertly.

Whilst the idea of some crazy individual doing this may seem, on the surface, like an option, my view is that this just could not happen - the individual would almost certainly accidentally kill themself long before getting to the area of the attack.

Fitter2
13th Mar 2018, 10:00
Whereas to take part in Russian trolling misinformation just needs lots of mostly unskilled manpower....

ORAC
13th Mar 2018, 10:04
Interesting how many are coming out of the closet and trying to divert blame away from Putin and Russia. Their cyber operations are obviously working overtime, someone back in Moscow must be worried.

As an aside, for all the attempt to mock the USA above, the Secretary of State, Tillerson, has come out in support of the UK and has gone even further than May in blaming Russia (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/13/nerve-agent-attack-clearly-came-from-russia-says-us-rex-tillerson).

“A nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter “clearly came from Russia” and will have consequences, the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said, as Theresa May gave Russia till midnight on Tuesday to explain the poisoning in Salisbury. Tillerson’s remarks went even further than the prime minister’s comments to the House of Commons on Monday, where she said it was “highly likely” Russia was behind the attack, which used the military-grade Novichok nerve agent produced by Russia.”

I will take the opinion of an expert on the significance of the use of a chemical weapon and the level of response required, and one published in the Grauniad - so KnC must believe it to be true.....

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/12/salisbury-mp-convinced-residents-are-safe-from-nerve-agent

....”The UK was blindsided by the Salisbury attack, he said. “There are not many people around with current and deep experience of things like this. I also think this is symptomatic of the fact that chemical weapons have become the norm. We haven’t done anything about the use of chemical weapons in Syria and Iran. Now we’re paying the price.”

“If [the Russian president Vladimir] Putin is responsible, he probably doesn’t think anything’s going to happen because we haven’t done anything about chemical weapon use in Syria and Iran. We must reimpose the taboo, the red line, on the issue of chemical weapons, otherwise every dictator, despot, rogue state and terrorist is going to use this stuff.”.......

Sallyann1234
13th Mar 2018, 10:14
At least it's kept that which cannot speak it's name out of the headlines for a week and a half.
I can't imagine what you are referring to.

But getting back to the main subject, it is comforting to know that as a respected member of the EU we can expect their full support in responding to the Russians.

Sallyann1234
13th Mar 2018, 10:19
One thing I have not seen mentioned is the prognosis for the three victims.

Is the nerve damage permanent, or can their bodies regenerate the necessary tissues?

And will the lack of oxygen when their breathing was inhibited have caused irreversible brain damage?

Just a spotter
13th Mar 2018, 10:29
If it is proven to be a Russian State actor, the I wonder just how stiff the UK response will be, given the reliance (and I use the word advisedly) of certain high profile and important sectors of the UK economy on cash flows (of varying provenance) from that country and some other questionable states.


From The Independet, March 2017
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury has vowed that the Government will crack down on money laundering practices, after several of the UK's biggest banks were accused of processing money from a Russian scam, believed to involve up to $80bn (£65bn).UK to crack down on bank money laundering after reports of £65bn Russian scam, City minister says | The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-banks-russia-money-laundering-hsbc-barclays-coutts-65-billion-rbs-royal-bank-of-scotland-queen-a7640861.html)


(Haven't seem much action in this regard)


iNews, January 2018
The reality to which Browder refers is the stealthy corruption of European institutions through a criminal alliance of the Russian state and its mafia agencies. In London these gangs have already gained an icy grip on international financial networks where they are supported by biddable lawyers and greedy business consultants. Light touch regulation and a desperate imperative to keep the City of London at the heart of Europe’s money markets, have also helped to smoothe their passage.https://inews.co.uk/news/world/russian-crime-london-mcmafia/


The Guardian, March 2017
The ingenious scheme has its origins in Russia. Put simply, it was a way for Kremlin insiders and other well-known Russians to shift cash abroad.
[...]
This is not done on a small scale; according to a study by Deutsche Bank, £138bn has flowed into the UK in recent years. A “considerable chunk” of that came from Russia – whose economy is overrun by organised crime.
Money-laundering schemes are extremely lucrative, scrapped over by rival groups within the Kremlin’s ruling power structures.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/20/how-dirty-money-from-russia-flooded-into-the-uk-and-where-it-went


There's no shortage of evidence to support the claim that questionable cash from Russia (and elsewhere) is pumping the property and financial markets in London.

The question with regard to this particular action is, in a Brexit-Iminent world, just how willing will the uK government be to challange a status quo which enriches its main economic engine.

JAS

barry lloyd
13th Mar 2018, 10:29
One thing I have not seen mentioned is the prognosis for the three victims.

Is the nerve damage permanent, or can their bodies regenerate the necessary tissues?

And will the lack of oxygen when their breathing was inhibited have caused irreversible brain damage?

The prognosis does not look good, especially given the father has (undefined) health problems already.

from wiki:

The agents may cause lasting nerve damage, resulting in permanent disablement of victims, according to Russian scientists.[23] Their effect on humans was demonstrated by the accidental exposure of Andrei Zheleznyakov, one of the scientists involved in their development, to the residue of an unspecified Novichok agent while working in a Moscow laboratory in May 1987. He was critically injured and took ten days to recover consciousness after the incident. He lost the ability to walk and was treated at a secret clinic in Leningrad for three months afterwards. The agent caused permanent harm, with effects that included "chronic weakness in his arms, a toxic hepatitis that gave rise to cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, spells of severe depression, and an inability to read or concentrate that left him totally disabled and unable to work." He never recovered and died in July 1992 after five years of deteriorating health.[24]

Andy_S
13th Mar 2018, 10:38
Throughout history politicians / leaders have used conflict (war) to bolster their flagging popularity, and / or to deflect attention away from other matters that may be going badly.

Mrs. May and her government ticks both those boxes with her precarious majority, and the "matter that we'd better not mention".

Sorry. I can't imagine anything LESS likely to bolster May and her governments popularity than provoking conflict with a foreign government.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 10:53
One thing I have not seen mentioned is the prognosis for the three victims.

Is the nerve damage permanent, or can their bodies regenerate the necessary tissues?

And will the lack of oxygen when their breathing was inhibited have caused irreversible brain damage?

It takes time for the body to both eliminate the agent and to regenerate the chemical messengers that have been disrupted by the agent, often many weeks or months before this aspect of any attack is fully overcome.

The more serious risk is that, because the nerve pathways controlling autonomous actions, like breathing, may have been been disrupted, the victims may suffer long-term injury as a consequence of sustained oxygen deficit.

The agents rarely cause permanent tissue damage, and there are around 100 different novichok agents, so any published information may be unreliable, as we don't know the specific agent, but prolonged hypoxia may well do more damage than the agent itself. We have no way of knowing how severe this may be for any of them. There have been reported cases of exposure to similar compounds over a prolonged period causing some peripheral nerve damage, but very little is known about the novichok agents specifically, other than their signatures, so I would guess that the medical teams are adopting treatment protocols that are broadly similar to those used for other organophosphate based agents.

pax britanica
13th Mar 2018, 13:22
And throughout our imperial and cold war history we never ever bumped off anyone inconvenient. Of course not we are hypocrites oops sorry I meant we are British

charliegolf
13th Mar 2018, 13:25
And throughout our imperial and cold war history we never ever bumped off anyone inconvenient. Of course not we are hypocrites oops sorry I meant we are British

And 'specially not on 31 Aug 97, neither:E

CG

BlankBox
13th Mar 2018, 13:25
Interesting how many are coming out of the closet and trying to divert blame away from Putin and Russia. Their cyber operations are obviously working overtime, someone back in Moscow must be worried.

As an aside, for all the attempt to mock the USA above, the Secretary of State, Tillerson, has come out in support of the UK and has gone even further than May in blaming Russia (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/13/nerve-agent-attack-clearly-came-from-russia-says-us-rex-tillerson).


...Tillerson now gone bye-bye...so your point is? :p

Sallyann1234
13th Mar 2018, 13:34
Russia will not respond to May's ultimatum.

https://www.rt.com/news/421126-lavrov-response-uk-skripal/

charliegolf
13th Mar 2018, 13:37
On sanctions/responses, lots of talking heads are talking about 'Britain' boycotting the World Cup- am I the only one who thinks the the other 31 countries will ignore any calls to pull out or have a different venue?

CG

Andy_S
13th Mar 2018, 13:44
It is the fact he was murdered using a chemical weapon in a town centre with the associated risk and collateral damage that is the issue.

That and the fact that by agreeing to swap him, we could reasonably expect that the Russian government would leave him alone. As has previously been accepted protocol. (Although I don't think he's dead yet).


I doubt Russia would care, imaging how much they would save on policing if the English football fans weren't there.

I think it's their own fans they should be worrying about.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 14:08
If an individual, or state, wished to simply murder Sergei Skripal, then why try to do so in such a dramatic fashion, one that was bound to attract world-wide publicity?

A simple murder would have been far less risky for the perpetrator, would have achieved the desired objective, may well have remained unsolved, and would barely warrant more than a small headline in the Salisbury Journal.

The only conclusion I can reach is that the perpetrator, or those sponsoring him/her/them, wanted the maximum amount of media exposure possible. Using an obscure method, that can only possibly have originated from a single state, and which posed very significant risks to both those around the victims and to the perpetrator(s) must have been chosen for a very good reason, and the only reason I can think of is they wanted a massive amount of global publicity, and that this desire outweighed all of the other risks.

Stan Woolley
13th Mar 2018, 14:10
https://twitter.com/craigmurrayorg/status/973489377417494528?s=21

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 14:13
https://twitter.com/craigmurrayorg/status/973489377417494528?s=21

Not the same people at all.

AFAIK, no one at either DSTL Porton Down, or from the nearby Defence CBRN Centre at Winterbourne Gunner, had anything at all to do with Blair's dodgy dossier. That was cobbled up by someone in SIS, using some very imaginative material that I believe may have come from a student paper.

galaxy flyer
13th Mar 2018, 14:44
Murder is easy to accomplish, it’s a suicide that’s hard. See Roberto Calvi under Blackfriers bridge, for example. This murder like Litinvenko’s was done in this manner as a public warning.

GF

Stan Woolley
13th Mar 2018, 15:28
Not the same people at all.

Are you deliberately missing the point?

Were any ‘difficult’ questions asked or answered before rushing to this conclusion? Such as:

Has any other agency access to such agents?
Why now?
Who benefits?
Do you blindly believe this government?
Do you believe in false flag events?
Etc

BruisedCrab
13th Mar 2018, 16:07
Are you deliberately missing the point?

Were any ‘difficult’ questions asked or answered before rushing to this conclusion? Such as:

Has any other agency access to such agents?
Why now?
Who benefits?
Do you blindly believe this government?
Do you believe in false flag events?
Etc

Da comrade Stanski

Buster15
13th Mar 2018, 16:21
If an individual, or state, wished to simply murder Sergei Skripal, then why try to do so in such a dramatic fashion, one that was bound to attract world-wide publicity?

and the only reason I can think of is they wanted a massive amount of global publicity, and that this desire outweighed all of the other risks.

Of course. The clear intention was to send a message that no one is outside their reach.
As many have said a simple murder would not have the same effect.
It is therefore vital that our government ensures that we get an international response. A response that covers a wide range of issues and not a simple tit for tat expulsion of officials.
Hit Putins supporters where it most hurts, in their pockets by seizing assets and bank accounts.

Bee Rexit
13th Mar 2018, 16:28
Another Russian and "Enemy of Putin" found dead in London.

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/13/russian-exile-nikolai-glushkov-found-dead-at-his-london-home

Sallyann1234
13th Mar 2018, 16:52
If this report is correct, there seems little hope for the victims:

https://news.sky.com/story/spy-poisoning-novichok-inventor-says-hundreds-could-be-at-risk-for-years-11287880

G-CPTN
13th Mar 2018, 16:56
Counter-terror police investigate 'unexplained' death of Russian (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43385998).

Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead at his London home (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/13/russian-exile-nikolai-glushkov-found-dead-at-his-london-home).

It is reported that there were signs of strangulation on his neck.

He noted that a large number of Russian exiles including Berezovsky, and Berezovsky’s close friend Alexander Litvinenko, had died under mysterious circumstances. “Boris was strangled. Either he did it himself or with the help of someone. [But] I don’t believe it was suicide,” Glushkov said.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 16:57
Are you deliberately missing the point?

Were any ‘difficult’ questions asked or answered before rushing to this conclusion? Such as:

Has any other agency access to such agents?
Why now?
Who benefits?
Do you blindly believe this government?
Do you believe in false flag events?
Etc

No, but as some may have guessed, my last place of work was there, so I know pretty much what was and what was not done.

The analysis of this agent that it matched the signature of a novichok agent was done there, the dodgy dossier was not at all, it had nothing at all to do with any of my former colleagues, to the best of my knowledge.

At the time there was as much informal chatter in the corridors there about how dodgy the dossier was as there was anywhere else.

Yes, I do believe in false flag actions, but more importantly I know and trust my former colleagues and they simply would not get involved in stuff like that. Don't forget that one of them, on detachment to the FCO, took his own life because he felt deeply unhappy with the way the government of the day had misled people over the dodgy dossier, and had spoken out against it.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 17:08
If this report is correct, there seems little hope for the victims:

https://news.sky.com/story/spy-poisoning-novichok-inventor-says-hundreds-could-be-at-risk-for-years-11287880

It's taking the extreme case of the most persistent and potent agent out of a class of around 80 to 100 different agents that were developed under the novichok programme. The exact agents that make up the whole novichok range are known, but the information has, as far as I know, never been put into the public domain.

The most toxic is believed to be more toxic than VX, but, that is extremely unlikely to have been the particular novichok agent used, as it would kill in minute doses in seconds or minutes.

If you look at the range of compounds that generally fall into the broad category of being nerve agents, they include many banned pesticides, for example, some of which are know to be very persistent and to present a hazard from prolonged exposure. Perhaps the best known example is organophosphate sheep deep, which used to widely used for decades until the long term toxic effects were fully understood. Even many years after it's use was stopped, there are still hundreds of people affected by it.

The simple answer may well be that only those who worked on this Russian programme in the 1980's and 90's may have real information on the effects of every one of the agents in this group, as that's the only country that developed, tested and manufactured them.

G-CPTN
13th Mar 2018, 17:10
Don't forget that one of them, on detachment to the FCO, took his own life.

The Mandy Rice Davies response applies here . . .

Sorry, I meant the Francis Urquhart response (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kelly_(weapons_expert)#Fatality_of_ulnar_artery_cuts) of course.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 17:16
The Mandy Rice Davies response applies here . . .

Sorry, I meant the Francis Urquhart response of course.

I have no faith in any MP or minister, or even the PM, telling us the truth, but I do have the utmost faith in the honesty of my former colleagues. It is they who have identified the agent, and I very much doubt that they are lying on behalf of the government, in fact I am sure that they would fight tooth and nail to make sure that the government was told the facts, not some made up fantasy.

G-CPTN
13th Mar 2018, 17:31
I have no faith in any MP or minister, or even the PM, telling us the truth, but I do have the utmost faith in the honesty of my former colleagues. It is they who have identified the agent, and I very much doubt that they are lying on behalf of the government, in fact I am sure that they would fight tooth and nail to make sure that the government was told the facts, not some made up fantasy.

I wasn't questioning the veracity of your former colleagues, but the conclusion about the cause of death of David Kelly.

In different circumstances, such a death might have been attributed to the Russians (though I concede that there was no reason for the Russians to be concerned about DK - merely the current conjecture about the suicides of Russian émigrés).

Stan Woolley
13th Mar 2018, 17:34
. Don't forget that one of them, on detachment to the FCO, took his own life because he felt deeply unhappy with the way the government of the day had misled people over the dodgy dossier, and had spoken out against it.

With all due respect, doesn’t that implore us to answer the questions that need to be asked before acting. Or as I suspect, are some questions more likely to produce answers that deflect certain people from the answers they’d prefer.

When it comes to trust, I’m tight fisted.

David Kelly was obviously a man with a conscience.

Just a spotter
13th Mar 2018, 18:08
Trump goes on the record ...

Yeah, as soon as we get the facts straight. And we're going to be speaking with the British today. We're speaking with Theresa May today. And as soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be.

From about 3.20 on the video

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/03/13/trump_will_take_it_as_fact_if_theresa_may_tells_me_russians_ are_behind_uk_spy_poisoning.html

JAS

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 18:19
I wasn't questioning the veracity of your former colleagues, but the conclusion about the cause of death of David Kelly.

In different circumstances, such a death might have been attributed to the Russians (though I concede that there was no reason for the Russians to be concerned about DK - merely the current conjecture about the suicides of Russian émigrés).

I met him briefly, and knew his line manager fairly well. Knowing some of the background, I'm personally convinced that the conspiracy theories about his death are just that, conspiracy theories. He'd been unhappy about other things for some time, had a long running dispute with HR over his grade, and was generally not in the best frame of mind even before the events that led to him taking his own life.

No one I spoke to that knew him well was surprised at what he'd done, most seemed to have the view that there was more they, or others that knew him, could have done to help him, but they failed.

If you want some insight into some of the background, the testimonies given at the Hutton Enquiry by his line manager at Porton, and his real HR manager (not the misleading stuff from the FCO) give a good view about some of the internal battles he'd been fighting with management. There was added tension because he'd been seconded to the FCO for far too long, and he was under pressure to come back to his owning establishment, for reasons associated with his own physical and mental health as much as anything else. This was something he didn't want to do.

All told I'm convinced that he was already under a lot of stress, was not in the best of health, and being used as a scapegoat when he was named as Gilligan's source was just more than he could take.

MungoP
13th Mar 2018, 18:22
After the fall of the criminal dictatorship that was communism Russia had the opportunity to become part of the free world and all that it offers with democratic elections. Instead it has continued its history of a thousand years of brutal dictatorships. The people have only ever known servitude to powerful rulers and have no concept of or wish to embrace a free democracy. They seem to respect an all powerful ruler and consider that Putin gives them self respect on the world stage..
Another parallel with Hitler between the wars.

G-CPTN
13th Mar 2018, 18:26
All told I'm convinced that he was already under a lot of stress, was not in the best of health, and being used as a scapegoat when he was named as Gilligan's source was just more than he could take.

I bow to your (as usual) superior knowledge.

I remain impressed by your contributions to this (and other) thread(s).

Having (understandably) retired, your contribution to your previous employers (not just the most recent) must be missed.

racedo
13th Mar 2018, 18:47
Porton had the signatures for the novichok agents. That's how it was detected and identified so quickly.

You do not need samples of the agent to identify it, in fact any organisation would avoid holding agents like this if at all possible, for a host of reasons, apart from the obvious ones of regulatory inspections and legislation. All you need is the signature to positively identify it, so that's all you hold.



Really so who are all these people allowed to go in and inspect ?

As for Legislation? ................ govt is quite happy to "interpret" legislation in whatever way it see's fit.

The catch all of needed for National Security allows them to do what they want.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 18:52
I bow to your (as usual) superior knowledge.

I remain impressed by your contributions to this (and other) thread(s).

Having (understandably) retired, your contribution to your previous employers (not just the most recent) must be missed.

Thanks, but I rather think they were glad to get rid of me in the end!

I was too "old school", believed that as a member of the Scientific Civil Service (which is what I'd joined as a young graduate) I had a public duty to seek the truth and tell it, and that that public duty should supersede any shenanigans by politicians. Those coming along after me tended not to think the same way

I was too outspoken, managed to seriously annoy at least two ministers, had momentary infamy as the first person to use the F word in a meeting with the MOD's Chief Scientific Advisor (because he deserved it in my view) and was subsequently told that I'd just made "a career-limiting statement" by one of those wielding power within Whitehall. The funny thing was that a certain, rather outspoken, former Permanent Secretary, who retired in 2007, told me he thought I'd done exactly the right thing by speaking my mind. He remarked that it had never done him any harm, IIRC, and he was widely reported for using the same word several times in 2001.

Sadly there is little room for honour, decency and truthfulness in modern government, IMHO, that all started to slip away when "sound bites" came to dominate politics.

My boss retired a short time later, another person who had no time for people who were less than 100% open and honest.

racedo
13th Mar 2018, 18:54
No, but as some may have guessed, my last place of work was there, so I know pretty much what was and what was not done.

The analysis of this agent that it matched the signature of a novichok agent was done there, the dodgy dossier was not at all, it had nothing at all to do with any of my former colleagues, to the best of my knowledge.

At the time there was as much informal chatter in the corridors there about how dodgy the dossier was as there was anywhere else.

Yes, I do believe in false flag actions, but more importantly I know and trust my former colleagues and they simply would not get involved in stuff like that. Don't forget that one of them, on detachment to the FCO, took his own life because he felt deeply unhappy with the way the government of the day had misled people over the dodgy dossier, and had spoken out against it.

Nobody questioning your ex colleagues, however what cannot be proven is that someone with a completely different agenda was willing to do something to gain advantage from it.

VP959
13th Mar 2018, 19:00
Really so who are all these people allowed to go in and inspect ?

As for Legislation? ................ govt is quite happy to "interpret" legislation in whatever way it see's fit.

The catch all of needed for National Security allows them to do what they want.

AFAIK, the novichok agents were never subject to international random control inspections and were only ever held within Russia. They may not have even been listed on the international list of agreed chemical warfare agents, I don't know enough about them to say whether they were or not.

The international inspections of all the listed chemical and biological agents (and nuclear too, although I never worked in that area) are pretty tough. if you're responsible for an establishment or lab you don't know when the team will arrive until just before they walk in, you don't know what nationalities will be in the team, you don't know what they will ask to inspect, you just have an obligation to show them anything that they ask to see - there are no doors closed to inspection teams.