Aletho News


Fact Checking Newsbud’s “Syria Under Siege” Video

corbettreport | Mar 29, 2018

James fact checks Newsbud’s recent “Syria Under Siege” video and comes to some unfortunate conclusions.


March 29, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Film Review, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

On eve of rally, Israel threatens to kill Hamas leaders

MEMO | March 29, 2018

Israel on Thursday threatened to assassinate top Hamas leaders in the event of any major “escalations” during mass demonstrations planned for Friday in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

“We will not allow Hamas leaders to continue to hide in Gaza while women and children are sent to the border fence,” Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adaree tweeted.

Adaree’s warning comes only one day before planned demonstrations during which Palestinian protesters plan to converge en masse on the Gaza Strip’s roughly 45-kilometer eastern border with Israel.

“If necessary, we will respond — near the fence and inside the Gaza Strip — against those promoting violent demonstrations: the military wing of Hamas,” Adaree said.

All major Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, have endorsed the planned rally, in which thousands of Gazans are expected to participate.

According to organizers, the demonstration — dubbed the “Great Return March” — is to be entirely peaceful in nature.

Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant, however, said: “If the situation on the Gaza border escalates, the assassination of Hamas leaders is an option that remains on the table.”

Speaking to Israel’s Walla news website, he added: “In times of conflict, everything is allowed.”

The planned rallies are intended to pressure Israel to lift its decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip and reaffirm the Palestinians’ right to return to their ancestral homes in historical Palestine.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has suffered a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has gutted its economy and deprived its more than two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The UN disregard for Palestinians’ right of return colludes with Israeli violence

Thousands of internally displaced Palestinians take part in the March of Return [File photo]
By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 29, 2018

The Palestinian “Great March of Return” has exposed the frailty of Israel’s fabricated narratives, yet once again the international community prefers to speak about “sides” in the conflict. As the planned march draws nearer, the Jerusalem Post reported that UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, has urged “all sides to exercise restraint and to take the necessary steps to avoid a violent escalation.”

Palestinians have already insisted repeatedly that the march is a form of non-violent protest stemming from a legitimate right to go back to the land from which the nascent Israeli state drove them out at gunpoint. Nevertheless, the Times of Israel reported yesterday that more than 100 snipers have been deployed along the border with the Gaza Strip “to deal with a Palestinian march expected to begin on Friday…” Officers will “authorise them to open fire if… Israeli lives are in danger.” Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot clarified this further: “The orders are to use a lot of force.”

Israeli media outlets have supported the state’s premeditated violence by framing the Palestinian protest as a violent act even before it has taken place, and thus justified in advance what they deem to be a necessarily violent response. However, they are not alone in promoting narratives of denial with regard to Israel’s colonial violence. The UN’s absence of any assertiveness when it comes to holding Israel accountable for its crimes is becoming a core component of the colonial entity’s ability to act with total impunity. Nowhere is this more evident than in its patronising attitude towards the Palestinian right of return.

Israel National News published an op-ed earlier this week which described the planned protest as the “latest innovation” with the immediate objective of Palestinians participating in the march “to get killed themselves”, simply in order to “delegitimise Israel”. The op-ed provides the most dissociated overviews of the Nakba, which the author describes as “the date in 1948 on which Ben Gurion declared the state of Israel and five Arab states invaded it.” Needless to say, the article also seeks to disavow the displacement, dispossession and ethnic cleansing which transformed Palestinians into perpetual refugees.

Israel’s widespread denial of the Palestinian right of return necessitates this manipulation of the indigenous population’s history. It also allows Eizenkot to justify targeting Palestinians with sniper fire for “marching into our territory.” Yet the international community’s refusal to support the perfectly legitimate right of return speaks volumes about the UN’s collusion with Israel. It is also proof that the UN never intended that the right should ever be implemented, even though it was made a condition of Israel’s membership of the international organisation. The only possibility lies in the hands of the Palestinian people, who have the power to move away, at least intellectually, from the impositions disguised as UN resolutions.

The Palestinian Great March of Return should thus prompt some thinking. Despite seeking to abide by UN resolutions, Palestinians have found themselves tethered to cycles of dispossession, which shows that the international agenda is deeply flawed and corrupted. The international response to this non-violent protest has not singled out Israeli plans to murder Palestinians at the border of their own land for condemnation; rather, the UN has chosen a discourse which insists on equivalence between the protagonists when it is clear to all and sundry that there is none. A colonial power with one of the best-equipped armed forces in the world — including nuclear weapons — is imposing its will on a colonised population which seeks to return to its own land and reverse the permanent refugee status which has become synonymous with the Palestinians.

Since Israel and the UN have already chosen their violent narratives, we are justified in asking why the latter’s intent is to maintain the political coercion that created the Palestinian refugee problem in the first place and face its own accountability for the transformation of the legitimate right to return into a dangerous game with limited options. The Palestinians, meanwhile, can either submit and stay permanently displaced, or stand up for their rights and be killed by acts of premeditated violence by Israel, with which the UN is colluding.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook Blocks Hezbollah’s Electoral page for Second Time

Al-Manar | March 29, 2018

Facebook on Wednesday blocked Hezbollah’s electoral page for the second time within 24 hours.

“Facebook administration has blocked our page for the second time within 24 hours,” ‘Nahmi Wa Nabni’ (We Defend, Establish), the official name of Hezbollah’s campaign on social media said in a statement.

‘Nahmi Wa Nabni’ is tasked with displaying some of Hezbollah’s achievements ahead of the parliamentary elections on May 6, 2018.

Earlier on Tuesday, Facebook blocked the first page established by ‘Nahmi Wa Nabni’. The newly-created page was rapidly re-followed by resistance supporters. But it seems that the high following records of a pro-resistance page did not please the Facebook administration.

In its Wednesday statement, ‘Nahmi Wa Nabni’ vowed to go ahead with its electoral campaign on social media, especially on Facebook platform.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 2 Comments

‘UK makes light sabers, Russia makes Novichok,’ Johnson brags – but what about Saudi weapons sales?

RT | March 29, 2018

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson bragged about the UK’s cultural influence, claiming its “arsenals” carried the “power of imagination.” The bold statement came from a principle facilitator of civilian deaths in Yemen.

Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet in London, Johnson had a message to deliver: despite withdrawing from the EU, Britain remains a global team player and a stalwart defender of the ideals-based rule of law. Unlike Russia, which he described as a bad actor in all too many regards, Britain is apparently a bastion of commerce, science and culture.

“We have the most vibrant and dynamic cultural scene, with one venue – the British Museum – attracting more visitors than 10 whole European countries that it would not be tactful to name tonight,” Johnson said.

The jibe’s targets were quite apparent, since earlier in his speech Johnson had named every nation that backed the UK in its drive to expel Russian diplomats over the Skripal poisoning affair – “the full roll of honor,” he called it. He didn’t mention that the absentees in the list probably didn’t have the opportunities to plunder their foreign colonies for decades to fill their museums, unlike Britain.

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is seen by the UK government as a closed case, with Russia the undisputed culprit – despite the police probe being in the early stages. London pushed for an unprecedentedly large expulsion of Russian diplomats, with the US accounting for the biggest chunk of people kicked out.

Johnson’s cultural superiority bragging continued, when he cited “an astonishing fact that both of the two highest grossing movies in the world last year was either shot or produced in this country: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Star Wars.’”

“And that tells you all you need to know about the difference between modern Britain and the government of Vladimir Putin. They make Novichok, we make light sabers,” the foreign secretary said, referring to the nerve agent reportedly used in the poisoning.

“I tell you that the arsenals of this country and of our friends are not stocked with poison but with something vastly more powerful: the power of imagination and creativity and innovation that comes with living in a free society, of a kind you see all around you today,” Johnson added.

There are many countries that have experienced firsthand the power of British “imagination and creativity,” including Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen in this century alone. But not the kind Johnson spoke about. Just last month, the foreign secretary and the cabinet he is part of were welcoming Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman as he visited the country.

READ MORE: 3 years of Yemen bloodbath marked by US & UK arms deals with Saudis

Riyadh is among the biggest buyers of British arms, including bombs, which it uses to hit all sorts of targets in Yemen. The strikes include civilian factories, marketplaces and funeral ceremonies, which has been harschly condemned by rights groups. While brushing off responsibility for some of the cases entirely, the Saudis tend to write off others as errors or unavoidable collateral damage, so the British government doesn’t seem to be particularly bothered that UK weapons kill civilians in Yemen.

Johnson praised the UK-manufactured light sabers, which make a “mysterious buzz” to inspire children and help the country stand against Russia in a company of “admirers and friends.” Somehow the arsenals it sells to Saudi Arabia, fueling the kingdom’s three-year bloodbath in Yemen, didn’t make their way into the speech.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Moscow calls for meeting of OPCW on April 2 over ex-spy Skripal poisoning

RT | March 29, 2018

Moscow is calling for a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) on April 2 to have “an honest conversation” on the Skripal case, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, said.

Moscow suggested convening a meeting of the OPCW executive council on April 2, where it will bring up all questions, Lavrov said adding that if “our Western partners” dodge this, then it will be further “evidence” that everything that’s happened is a “provocation.”

The FM again refuted Britain’s accusations against Russia over poisoning the former double agent, saying that “never before have we witnessed such mockery of international law.”

According to Lavrov, Britain has no interest in establishing the truth in the Skripal case.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

20 More Questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case

By Rob Slane | The BlogMire | March 27, 2018

To my knowledge, none of the questions I wrote in my previous piece – 30 questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case – has been answered satisfactorily, at least not in the public domain. Yet despite the fact that these legitimate questions have not yet been answered, and many important facts surrounding the case are still unknown, the case has given rise to a serious international crisis, with the extraordinary expulsion of Russian diplomats across many EU countries and particularly the United States on March 26th.

This is a moment to stop and pause. A man and his daughter were poisoned in the City of Salisbury on 4th March. Yet despite the fact that investigators do not yet appear to know how they were poisoned, when they were poisoned, or where they were poisoned, a number of Western nations have used the incident as a pretext for the co-ordinated expulsion of diplomats on a scale not witnessed even during the height of the Cold War. These are clearly very abnormal and very dangerous times.

I pointed out in my previous piece that it is not my intention to advance some sort of conspiracy theory on this blog. It remains the case that I simply don’t have any holistic theory — “conspiracy” or otherwise — for who carried this out, and I continue to retain an open mind. But since the Government of my country has rushed to judgement without many of the facts of the case being established, and since this has led to the biggest deterioration in relations between nuclear-armed nations since the Cuban Missile Crisis, it seems to me that it is more important than ever to keep asking questions in the hope that answers will come.

And so, for what it’s worth, here are 20 more important questions that I think that journalists ought to be asking regarding this case:

1. Have the police yet identified any suspects in the case?

2. If so, is there any evidence connecting them to the Russian Government?

3. If not, how is it possible to determine culpability, as the British Government has done?

4. In her statement to the House of Commons on 12th March 2018, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May stated the following:

“It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. This is part of a group of nerve agents known as ‘Novichok’. Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down” [my emphasis added].

In the judgement at the High Court on 22nd March on whether to allow blood samples to be taken from Sergei and Yulia Skripal for examination by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), evidence submitted by Porton Down to the court (Section 17 i) stated the following:

“Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent” [my emphasis added].

So the Prime Minister said that Porton Down had positively identified the substance as a Novichok nerve agent. The statement from Porton Down says that their tests indicated that it was a Novichok agent or closely related agent. Are these two statements saying exactly the same thing?

5. Why were the phrases “related compound” and “closely related agent” added to the statement given by Porton Down, and is this an indication that the scientists were not 100% sure that the substance was a “Novichok” nerve agent?

6. Why were these phrases left out of the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons?

7. Why did the Prime Minister choose to use the word “Novichok” in her speech, rather than the word Foliant, which is the actual name of the programme initiated by the Soviet Union when attempting to develop a new class of chemical weapons in the 1970s and 1980s?

8. When asked in an interview with Deutsche Welle how scientists at Porton Down had found out so quickly that the nerve agent was of the “Novichok” class of chemical weapons, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, was asked whether Porton Down possesses samples of it. Here is how he replied:

They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said there’s no doubt” [My emphasis].

If Mr Johnson’s statement is correct, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down has samples of “Novichok” in its possession, where did they come from?

9. Were they produced at Porton Down?

10. How long have they had them?

11. Why has the DSTL not registered possession of these substances with the OPCW, which it is legally obliged to do under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?

12. Does this admission by Mr Johnson not indicate that “Novichoks” can be made in any advanced chemical weapons facility, as indeed they were under the auspices of the OPCW in Iran in 2016?

13. If so, how can the Government be sure that the substance used to poison Mr Skripal and his daughter was made in or produced by Russia?

14. In her statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday 14th March, the British Prime Minister stated that there were only two plausible explanations for poisoning of Mr Skripal and his daughter:

“Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or conceivably, the Russian government could have lost control of a military-grade nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.”

Other than the actual substance used, is there any hard evidence that led the Government to conclude these as being the only two plausible scenarios?

15. On March 26th, a number of countries expelled Russian diplomats in an apparent response to the incident in Salisbury. Yet at this time, the OPCW had not yet investigated the case, nor analysed blood samples. Why was the clearly co-ordinated decision to expel diplomats taken before the OPCW’s investigation had concluded?

16. Has this not put huge pressure on the OPCW to come up with “the right” conclusion?

17. It is reckoned that the OPCW’s investigation into the substance used will take at least three weeks to complete, whereas it took Porton Down less than a week to analyse it. What accounts for this difference?

18. Will the OPCW be using the samples of “Novichok” that Boris Johnson says are held at Porton Down to compare with the blood samples of Mr Skripal and his daughter?

19. If not, on what basis will this comparison be made, since the first known synthesis of a “Novichok” was made by Iran in 2016?

20. If the OPCW discovers that the substance is indeed a “Novichok”, will this be sufficient evidence with which to establish who carried out the attack on the Skripals or — given that other countries clearly have the capability to produce such substances — would more evidence be needed?

March 29, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

What to Expect from the ‘Second Most Dangerous Man in Washington’

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 29.03.2018

It is fairly simple to understand what the appointment of John Bolton as the Trump Administration’s National Security Advisor is all about. First of all, as there is no congressional approval or confirmation process involved, the announcement made last week, which is being criticized from all sides, is not really subject to debate. Bolton is the new Advisor and will serve at the will of the president. One might note, however, that he is the third Advisor in fourteen months, so the position itself has in practice turned out to be a death sentence for those who have been bold enough to seek it.

Bolton is in place because his belligerent worldview coordinates very well with and validates that of the president, though it remains to be seen if that will translate into action. Trump’s harsh rhetoric has so far not produced a new war, though there are plenty of threats being flung about regarding Iran and North Korea, and there have been some unfortunate incidents in Syria and with Russia. But so far Donald Trump has, if anything, been more moderate than Hillary Clinton would likely have been.

John Bolton has been praised by some in the media in the false belief that he represents a “bad cop” in the administration who will free up Trump to act as the “good cop” in dealing with world problems. That is a fanciful analysis as the Administration is already well represented in “bad cops” in UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Another argument is that the White House sorely needs a shake-up of the National Security Council, which Bolton will head, because it is not aggressive enough in supporting US interests. It is a ridiculous argument as Bolton has never represented actual US interests. His guiding principle is that Washington should bomb everyone who is even remotely a threat and if someone is not a threat and merely an irritant, bomb them anyway.

Bolton’s appointment was based on good chemistry with Trump, who knows virtually nothing about what is going on in the world, but it also derives from demands made by the president’s major financial backer, Israeli-American casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has funded various ventures launched by Bolton and is his patron. For Adelson, US foreign policy is all about Israel, a reality that is reflected in those who are expressing their enthusiasm for the Bolton appointment: Israel’s government, the Israel Lobby in the United States, and the media that reflexively supports anything that is perceived as being beneficial for the Jewish state.

Bolton, described as “the most abrasive American diplomat of the twenty-first century,” is a frequent contributor to the media, so his views on what must be done are pretty well defined. It can be expected that he will continue to support any and all efforts to end the nuclear agreement with Iran and bring about regime change, to include support of the totalitarian terrorist-cult Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK), which has for many years been paying him to speak at their rallies. To reduce Iranian regional influence, he favors “reconstructing” Iraq and Syria.

John Bolton also believes that Russia’s alleged interference in American elections was an “act of war.” He thinks that negotiations with enemies are useless and recommends preemptive attacks by US forces to end the actual or potential weapons of mass destruction threat coming from North Korea and Iran. He further believes that the United Nations is a dangerous anachronism and that leadership of the entire world, when necessary, should be exercised by the United States based solely on American interests.

Not surprisingly, Bolton is hardcore pro-Israeli and has been associated with virulent Islamophobes like Pamela Geller. He wants to end the problem posed by potential Palestinian statehood, which he describes as a ploy to strangle Israel, by allowing Jordan to take control of some bits of the West Bank, Egypt to resume control of Gaza, and the Israelis to absorb what is left for its settlers.

Conservative columnist George Will describes Bolton as the “second most dangerous man in Washington,” the most dangerous being his boss. The New York Times in a lead editorial observes that “There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump has made… indulging his worst nationalistic instincts.”

I would add that Bolton is particularly dangerous because he is a well-educated ideologue who sounds credible. He is, unfortunately, exactly the type of advisor that an ignorant president would find convincing. Therein lies the danger.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook fails to remove Corbyn death threat as it ‘doesn’t go against standards’

RT | March 29, 2018

Facebook has refused to take down a post calling for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to be assassinated. The threat was posted on a Tory-supporting Facebook page, Evolve Politics reports.

The post from the page ‘Conservative memes for Tory Teens’ reads: “I think we should order hits on Russia’s spies,” before going on to say “let’s start with Jeremy Corbyn.”

Evolve Politics signaled the post to Facebook, which got back to them with a generic message saying the post does not contravene its ‘Community Standards.’

The post had already been reported to the police and the social media giant, but was not removed. When one user commented that the post had been reported to authorities, one administrator dismissively said: “It was just a joke, chill.”

He then added: “Why do you hate freedom of speech?” – to which the original commentator said: “Free speech is great as long as it is not advocating violence. When it does advocate violence it breaks the law. Anyway must be nearly your bedtime. Nite nite.”

One of the administrators then told the news outlet that he had mental health issues, and that the page had helped him through. He added he would be taking the page down due to “threats” directed at him, his family and fellow Tories.

“Hay yeah I would like to say that this fb page as it lasted really helped with my depression, I have been struggling with it for a while and this page really helped me, I was a big fan of politics and enjoyed taking part, unfortunately due to threats to myself, my family and Torys [sic] in general I am taking down my meme page, idk what I’ll do now, maybe I’ll find happiness maybe I won’t and do something stupid, but that doesn’t matter does it? As long as you got a kick out of it that all that matters, especially from a page run by 1 person posting crappy memes with no where near 1000 followers but I’m glad u think it’s a big deal.“

Facebook is still to reply to Evolve Politics request for comment over whether it is an accepted policy to keep posts which carry a menace to politicians.


Top barrister claims to have ‘unambiguous’ confirmation that BBC codes negative Corbyn messages

March 29, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 2 Comments

Why did UK court say “limited evidence” Skripals have relatives while cousin interviewed in UK media?

Why did the UK Home Office make no attempt to contact the Skripals’ relatives in Russia? Why does High Court judgment imply they may not even exist when they have appeared on UK TV? More bizarreness in this already very bizarre case

By Catte | OffGuardian | March 28, 2018

Viktoria Skripal, Sergey’s niece, interviewed by the BBC March 28 2018

The Skripal case has been a strange one, even by current standards. The persistent lack of basic information that extends way beyond anything that could seem to be justified by security considerations. The conflicting accounts, the unprecedented government and media hysteria, the complete rejection of due process, and the demands for international reprisals against a sovereign country based on absurdly scant and inadequate evidence continue to be as baffling as they are dangerous.

We’ve already covered the absence of evidence and the various lies and/or misconceptions or confusions on the part of the UK government, including some of the further puzzles, raised by the High Court judgment made by Mr Justice Williams on March 22, about how much it currently knows about the alleged “nerve agent”

But there are other glaring oddnesses in Williams’ Judgment as well.

One, discussed today by James O’Neill, is the contradiction between Russia’s claims to have tried to make contact with the Skripals through formal channels and having been denied or evaded by the UK, and the UK claim to have received no such requests.

Another, related to the above, is the question of the Skripals’ relatives in Russia. This is what the Judgment says about this:

“… Neither Mr Skripal nor Ms Skripal appear to have relatives in the UK although they appear to have some relatives in Russia. The SSHD have not sought to make contact with them. Discussions have taken place with the OPCW TS about precisely what enquiries they wish to undertake. In summary the main issues are


“… Given the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS Trust by any family member, the absence of any evidence of any family in the UK and the limited evidence as to the possible existence of family members in Russia I accept that it is neither practicable nor appropriate in the special context of this case to consult with any relatives of Mr Skripal or Ms Skripal who might fall into the category identified in s.4(7)(b) of the Act.

Firstly, these statements seem to contradict each other and themselves. Do the Skripals “appear” to have relatives in Russia, or is evidence for this so “limited” it can be safely ignored? How can such a basic question be subject to such misty uncertainty?

But odder than that is the fact these allegedly theoretical and possibly non-existent or distant relatives consist of at least one niece/cousin and a mother/grandmother. Second and first degree relatives respectively.

And one of them has been interviewed by at least two different UK news outlets.

Viktoria Skripal, allegedly niece of Sergey and cousin to Yulia was interviewed by the Sun on March 14, one week before the court judgment, and again by the BBC today.

These interviews suggest this particular relative is pretty real, and not very hard to locate. If the Sun could find her on March 14, it’s hard to see how she could still be a mere thought experiment and “limited” theory for the Home Office eight days later.

So, since the implication in the judgment that these (very close) relatives are quasi hypothetical is obviously untrue, why has the Home Secretary (SSHD) not “sought to make contact with” the Skripals’ mother/grandmother and niece/cousin?

Is it because they don’t “fall into the category identified in s.4(7)(b) of the Act”

No. The “Act” being referred to is the 2005 Mental Capacity Act. S.4(7)(b) stipulates that before determining what is in an incapacitated person’s “best interests”, the person ruling (in this case Mr Justice Williams) must:

take into account, if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them, the views of anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in his welfare

Had Mr Justice Williams not been informed that one of these relatives was so “practicable” to consult she’d recently been featured in the Murdoch press? Surely, if he knew how easy to locate they were, his judgment would have reflected the assumption a mother/grandmother, niece/cousin would at very least be “interested” in the “welfare” of Yulia and Sergey?

Do such close and easily contactable relatives really warrant being passed over simply because of “the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS Trust by any member of the family”?

I mean look, these people are in Russia. It’s possible – shocking – they don’t speak English. It’s possible they aren’t clear how to get in contact directly with a rural hospital in Wiltshire. It’s possible they tried but failed.

Would it hurt someone at the Home Office to get on the phone and check things out before assuming they just don’t care and taking the matter to court?

What’s more, far from being indifferent, Viktoria tells her interviewer she is worried about her uncle and cousin and is anxious to get information:

“I would just like to know how [Yulia and Sergey] are. Where they are.“

“If you were offered the chance to go the the UK would you go?”

“Yes, yes”

If this is the case, can we take it as pretty unlikely the Skripals have really made no attempt to contact the UK about their family members?

And, if you look at the wording again:

Given the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS Trust by any family member

It doesn’t actually say no contact has been made does it? It says no contact has been made with the NHS trust. This leaves the undeclared possibility there has been contact made by the Skripals with other departments of the UK state. This would broadly dovetail with claims made by the Russian foreign ministry, which, until at least March 19, has maintained its attempts to gain access to or information about the Skripals have been stonewalled.

If the Skripals have tried to gain information, either directly or through their embassy or consulate, why aren’t they being given any? Why aren’t they being consulted about the medical interventions being performed? Why has Viktoria been told so little since the poisoning, that she tells the BBC she still holds out a fanciful hope the victims may not even be Julia and Sergey?

Altogether, it seems this part of the official narrative is as confused and as hard to reconcile with reality as the clearly unwarranted claims about “novichoks.”

NOTE: The Guardian’s version of the BBC interview with Viktoria is shockingly deceptive. It omits all mention of the main point of the interview – that Viktoria is desperate for information and has received none – and contrives through this omission, and its headline (“Sergey and Yulia Skripal have slim chance of survival says niece”) to give the absolutely opposite impression – that Viktoria has been well informed, may even have seen her relatives and is predicting their small chance of survival from first hand observation. Even in the Guardian’s recent history of poor ethical choices and lies by omission, this is egregious in the extreme.

March 29, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , | 4 Comments