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Former Israeli spy chief: Iran’s energy sector, ‘next 9/11 in cyber’

Press TV – June 18, 2018

Former chief of an Israeli spy service unit has said that the first cyber target in any future conflict with Iran should be its energy infrastructure.

Speaking at a major cyber conference in Israel, former Unit 8200 chief Ehud Schnerosen referred to the energy sector as a “major pillar economy, state’s cardiovascular system.”

“We should not attack water, food, healthcare on ethical grounds, and should not attack banks because of the potential butterfly effect,” he said. “The next 9/11 in cyber will be energy sector.”

Israel is widely believed to be behind a cyber attack on the Iranian nuclear energy program in 2011.

The Washington Post reported in June 2012 that US spy services and Israel’s military had worked together to launch the Stuxnet computer virus against a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran. It was the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery.

Since Stuxnet’s discovery in 2010, security researchers have uncovered a handful of other sophisticated pieces of computer code they believe were developed by the US and Israel in tandem to engage in espionage and warfare.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the weekend that Israel would strike against Iranian efforts to entrench itself militarily throughout Syria, and not only along the Syrian border with the occupied Palestinian territories.

“First of all, Iran needs to withdraw from all of Syria,” he told the weekly cabinet meeting.

“Second, we will take action – and are already taking action – against efforts to establish a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria, both close to the border and deep inside Syria. We will act against these efforts anywhere in Syria.”

Diplomatic officials said that Netanyahu raises the issue of Iranian activity in Syria in all his conversations with foreign leaders.

June 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

White Helmets: A tool for ‘regime change’ in Syria that’s too important to stop funding?

RT | June 16, 2018

Washington’s decision to resume funding for White Helmets after a brief freeze highlights how important the controversial group is for the US-promoted regime-change agenda, journalists and Syrian conflict observers have told RT.

“The Pentagon planners have probably finally realized just how important the White Helmets are to the regime change operation,” Mike Raddie, co-editor of BSNews and an anti-war activist, told RT. “The fact that they have been so successful in proving fake imagery and fake evidence… just means that they can be relied upon whenever there is a need for a pretext for another missile attack or even a full-scale invasion.”

The anti-war activist recalled how the so-called Syria Civil Defence units, better known as the White Helmets, have been instrumental in the justification of the US strikes on Syria in April of 2017, and the trilateral strikes by the UK, France, and the US in April 2018.

The strikes, Raddie stressed, were all conducted as a hasty ‘retaliation’ against the Syrian government at times when the international community was horrified by fresh footage of alleged chemical incidents, conveniently provided by the likes of the White Helmets.

Calling the self-styled volunteer organization a clearly “belligerent party” with links to al-Qaeda terrorists, Raddie noted that the supposedly patriotic grassroots group has been actively calling for a “no-fly zone, which obviously means full invasion.” Thus, he believes, the State Department decided to release some $6.6mn in previously frozen funding for the group, just in case another pretext for a strike against Syria or a similar intervention is needed.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Beeley, an independent investigative journalist who has recently visited Syria, believes Washington never really intended to cut off the group’s funding. “The funding freeze largely was a fake funding freeze,” Beeley told RT. “The funding freeze, in my opinion, was actually a way to secure further and more diverse funding for the White Helmets.”

The investigative journalist pointed out that in April, after the US announced the freeze, Raed Al Saleh, Head of the Syria Civil Defence, the White Helmets, came to the US to receive an award at the Sedona Forum 2018, hosted by the McCain Institute for International Leadership. That event was attended by US top leadership, including Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, and John Mattis, Secretary of Defense.

While nothing official was announced, following that meeting the White Helmets were allegedly awarded contracts with Turkey and Qatar, Beeley said. Furthermore, she noted that British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to maintain and even increase the funding for the White Helmets. “The British government has directly financed the White Helmets to the tune of almost 39 million pounds,” according to Beeley.

While the money is allegedly intended for the group to carry out its humanitarian work on the ground, Beeley, who has recently returned from East Aleppo and East Ghouta, says she could not find a single person to confirm that the White Helmets actually rescued civilians.

“I’ve heard that the White Helmets were there to work as agents for the terrorist groups, to help them when they are under attack by the Syrian Arab Army and their allies,” she stressed. Thus Beeley “strongly disputed” the State Department’s claims that the group saved some “100,000 lives” in Syria and has demanded proof to support that assertion.

Read more:

US Special Forces helping FSA plot chemical attack to trigger strikes on Syria forces – Russian MoD

June 16, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , | Leave a comment

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 5 – An Educated Guess

By Rob ASlane | The Blog Mire | June 14, 2018

I want in this piece to start joining some dots together on this case, using some of the facts, clues and suppositions that I have set out in the previous parts. I said at the end of Part 4 that there would be one more piece. That has turned out to be wishful thinking on my part, and there will in fact be a further article after this one. In this piece, I want to propose a theory — or maybe educated guess is a better term — for what I think may have happened on 4th March. Then I will need one final piece to show why I think this theory helps to explain a number of other events and incidents connected with the story. Think of that final part as tying up some loose ends.

So what of the theory?

Back in Part 2, I made the claim that two of the most important clues in the whole Skripal case are:

  1. The people who were seen on CCTV walking through the Market Walk towards The Maltings at 15:47 who were very clearly not Sergei and Yulia Skripal
  2. The red bag that one of them was carrying

These clues are very important, because one of the first witnesses on the scene, Freya Church, testified that she saw a red bag at Yulia Skripal’s feet. In addition, we know that a red bag was placed in an evidence bag and taken away from the scene.

Of course, it could be that the red bag seen near the bench was not the same red bag carried by the person walking through The Maltings. Then again, large red bags like that are not exactly very common (walk around a town and see how many you spot). If the people and the bag have been ruled out, I haven’t heard anything to that effect in the media. Rather, they have been quietly forgotten about in the midst of a lot of nonsense about door handles and deadly nerve agents that don’t kill. This itself raises suspicions, and it is therefore entirely reasonable to suppose that these two people are important, and that the red bag seen on CCTV is the same one seen next to the bench.

There is also something else quite odd about those people, which at first glance you may not have spotted. Although the footage is not very clear, and I wouldn’t want to be dogmatic about this, I believe that a careful look at the two people shows that they are both wearing gloves. This would not be especially remarkable, given that it was fairly cold that day, but what is odd is that the gloves they are wearing are white. Certainly, their hands appear to be far whiter than their faces. Why is this strange? As I said in Part 2, although I’m not 100% sure of the sex of the person nearest the camera (looks like a woman to me, but others disagree), I am very, very sure that the person furthest from the camera is male. And as you are probably aware, men don’t tend to wear white gloves. Of course, there may not be any importance in this, but it does seem to add to the already large mountain of intrigue in the case.

Anyway, 10-15 minutes or so before these two people walked through the Market Walk, Sergei and Yulia Skripal left Zizzis restaurant. They did so after Mr Skripal became extremely agitated, demanding the bill at the same time as the main course, which he ate (the food that is, not the bill). However, this was not down to his being physically unwell, or showing signs of suffering any effects of poisoning, as the fact that he ate the lunch shows quite clearly. As I argued in Part 3, the most likely reason for his agitation and obvious desire to leave as quickly as possible was that he had an appointment to keep – one that he was perhaps nervous about, but one that he could not afford to miss.

Let’s now construct a timeline of the events that followed:

15:35 – Sergei Skripal and Yulia leave Zizzis. They make their way to The Maltings, presumably along Market Walk (although strangely there is no CCTV footage of this), a walk of about two minutes or so.

15:37 – When they got to The Maltings, they appear not to have gone straight to the bench, but to the Avon Playground (approximately 50 yards from the bench), where they spent some time feeding ducks. They presumably then went over to the bench, a few minutes after this.

15:47 – The mysterious pair, one of whom is carrying a red bag, are seen on CCTV walking through Market Walk in the direction of The Maltings.

16:03 – One of the first witnesses to the scene, Freya Church, who was working in the nearby Snap Fitness, leaves work at 16:00 or thereabouts, and sees the Skripals on the bench at approximately 16:03. According to her account, they were already “out of it”, which suggests that they had been poisoned some minutes previously. She noted that there was a red bag on the floor next to Yulia’s feet.

16:15 – Emergency services are called and the pair are taken to Salisbury District Hospital, Yulia by helicopter and Sergei by ambulance. Upon admittance, the hospital believed that the pair had overdosed on Fentanyl, and treated this as an opioid poisoning for at least 24 hours after the incident.

Later that evening – Police remove the red bag, and it has never been heard of or mentioned in connection with the story since.

Assuming that the red bag seen next to Yulia Skripal is the same as the one carried by the person nearest the camera in the Market Walk – who was not Yulia Skripal – we can begin to make some educated guesses as to what happened in those crucial minutes, from 15:47 to 16:03.

In Part 4 of this series, I made the case that there is a strong possibility that Sergei Skripal, not Christopher Steele, was the author of the Trump Dossier. Certainly, the connections between Steele and Skripal make that plausible, as does some of the material contained therein, as does the fact that Russia experts, such as Paul Gregory and Craig Murray, are convinced that the Dossier was written by a Russian “trained in the KGB tradition.”

My (hopefully educated) guess is therefore that Mr Skripal, who knew much about the origins, the contents and the falsehoods of the Dossier, was hoping to be paid off to keep quiet about it. Furthermore, my guess is that he was due to meet someone for this purpose at the park bench in The Maltings at about 3:45pm on 4th March (NB. even if the theory about the money is wide of the mark, I would still say that the rest of the clues tend to suggest that he was due to meet someone at the park bench).

Why meet on the park bench and why drag Yulia along with him? In both instances, as an insurance policy. Meeting out in public, albeit at a time on a Sunday afternoon when few people would be about, would perhaps be “safer” than meeting at home. Taking Yulia along with him would also add another layer of “safety”. Even so, if my supposition is anywhere close to the truth, Mr Skripal would have been apprehensive about the rendezvous, hence his agitation in the restaurant.

According to this scenario, the people seen walking along Market Walk at 15:47 approached the bench. This would have been about 15:48. Perhaps a few words were exchanged, or perhaps the bag was simply put down on the floor, and the pair who had delivered it walked away.

My guess is that over the next few minutes, both Sergei Skripal and Yulia looked into the bag where, amongst other things, there was some kind of toxic substance (which may explain the reason for the white gloves). What was the substance? First let’s say what it was not. It was not a lethal nerve agent, 5-8 times more deadly than VX. If it had been a lethal nerve agent, 5-8 times more deadly than VX, then they would either have died over the next few minutes, or they would have been hospitalised and suffered irreparable damage to their nervous system. Since neither of these things happened, it is safe to say that whatever the substance was, it was not A-234. Indeed, it defies logic, reason and all common sense to maintain that it was.

What was it? It is impossible to say for sure, but given the fact that they were fairly quickly incapacitated, yet suffered no long lasting and irreparable damage, what we are probably looking at is some kind of non-lethal incapacitating nerve agent. For the point was not to kill Mr Skripal – that would have inevitably led to a whole can of worms being opened about who he was and what he was doing – but to incapacitate him and hospitalise him for a time, with a substance that looked like it could be some kind of opioid poisoning, in order to send him a message.

Can we say more? I think so. The hospital treated the case as that of a Fentanyl poisoning for at least 24 hours. The reason for this can only have been because the symptoms exhibited were roughly consistent with the effects of poisoning by Fentanyl. What were those symptoms? Let’s turn to the testimony of various witnesses to the scene, all of which largely agree with one another (I have highlighted those bits that I see as most crucial in pointing to possible substances):

He was doing some strange hand movements, looking up to the sky. I felt anxious, I felt like I should step in, but to be honest they looked so out of it that I thought even if I did step in, I wasn’t sure how I could help. So I just left them. But it looked like they’d been taking something quite strong” – Freya Church.

“It was like her body was dead. Her legs were really stiff… you know when animals die, they have rigor mortis. Both her legs came together when people pulled (her), and when she was on the floor her eyes were just completely white. They were wide open but just white and frothing at the mouth. Then the man went stiff: his arms stopped moving, but he’s still looking dead straight”Jamie Paine.

“He was quite smartly dressed. He had his palms up to the sky as if he was shrugging and was staring at the building in front of him. He had a woman sat next to him on the bench who was slumped on his shoulder. He was staring dead straight. He was conscious but it was like he was frozen and slightly rocking back and forward’ – Georgia Pridham.

“The paramedics seemed to be struggling to keep the two people conscious. The man was sitting staring into space in a catatonic state” – Graham Mulcock.

“I saw quite a lot of commotion – there were two people sat on the bench and there was a security guard there. They put her on the ground in the recovery position, and she was shaking like she was having a seizure. It was a bit manic. There were a lot of people crowded round them. It was raining, people had umbrellas and were putting them over them” – Destiny Reynolds.

Okay, so what do we have?

♦  Firstly, we can say that it is a substance that possibly causes hallucinations (“out of it” “staring at the building” “palms up to the sky

♦  Secondly, it also causes contraction of the pupils (“her eyes were completely white”)

♦  Thirdly, it seems to cause something like stupor (“he was staring dead straight”, “like he was frozen” “catatonic state”)

♦  Fourthly, it can cause tremors (“rocking back and forth” – see here for details on tremors, the effects of which include an unintentional, rhythmic muscle movement involving to-and-fro movements

♦  Fifthly, it can cause shaking and seizures (she was shaking like she was having a seizure)

♦  Sixthly, it can cause frothing at the mouth (which can be caused by seizures or pulmonary edema — fluid accumulation in the tissue and air spaces of the lungs)

There are a number of substances that fit these descriptions reasonably well. For instance, there is Carfentanil, which is an analogue of Fentanyl, only much stronger. Here is a description of some of its symptoms:

“Carfentanil has rapid onset [following IM administration] in animal patients, and is metabolized by the liver and excreted in the bile or by the kidneys … Signs and symptoms of exposure are consistent with opioid toxicity and include pinpoint pupils, respiratory depression, and depressed mental status. Other signs and symptoms include dizziness, lethargy, sedation, nausea, vomiting, shallow or absent breathing, cold clammy skin, weak pulse, loss of consciousness, and cardiovascular collapse secondary to hypoxia and death” – Lust et al. (2011).

Another possibility is 3-Quinuclidinyl-Benzilate (or BZ):

“Depending on the dose and time postexposure, a number of CNS [Central Nervous System] effects may manifest. Restlessness, apprehension, abnormal speech, confusion, agitation, tremor, picking movements, ataxia, stupor, and coma are described. Hallucinations are prominent, and they may be benign, entertaining, or terrifying to the patient experiencing them. Exposed patients may have conversations with hallucinated figures, and/or they may misidentify persons they typically know well. Simple tasks typically performed well by the exposed person may become difficult. Motor coordination, perception, cognition, and new memory formation are altered as CNS muscarinic receptors are inhibited” – Holstege CP and Baylor M; CBRNE – Incapacitating Agents, 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate. (May 24, 2006)

Let me clarify that I am not saying that it was either of these substances that was used to poison the Skripals. However, it is abundantly clear that the behaviour they exhibited, as described by various witnesses, far more closely matches the descriptions of the effects of substances like Carfentanil and BZ than it does A-234.

And so the sum and substance of this theory is as follows:

  • That Sergei Skripal had arranged to meet someone at around 3:45pm at the park bench in The Maltings.
  • That this was something to do with his involvement in and possible authorship of the so-called Trump Dossier.
  • That the people he met were the same people who were spotted on a CCTV camera in Market Walk at 3:47.
  • That the red bag that one of them was carrying is the same red bag that was seen by witnesses at the bench.
  • That it was in this bag that some sort of incapacitating substance had been placed.
  • That both Sergei and Yulia Skripal became incapacitated after looking inside the bag.
  • That the bag was later taken away, and probably subsequently destroyed.

Of course, if this theory has any credibility, it does raise one huge question. How did we go from Mr Skripal being targeted with an incapacitating substance, to wild and wholly absurd claims of him being targeted with the most deadly nerve agent known to man? The answer to that, I believe, is that it all went a bit wrong, there was a panic, and in that panic a cover up of frankly bizarre proportions. In the final piece, I will be explaining how I think it went wrong, and then tying up some loose ends to show how I think the theory I have advanced is backed up by some of the subsequent occurrences connected to this very strange case.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

When, Where, and How Will the Empire Strike Back?

By James George JATRAS | Strategic Culture Foundation | 09.06.2018

In any analysis of contemporary international politics it pays to be cautiously pessimistic. As the default mode one can generally expect that any way in which things can go wrong to threaten the peace and security of the planet, they will. Anticipation of improvement is a chump’s bet.

That’s why the analyst’s gut instinct rebels at any indication that things overall may be moving in a positive direction, however haltingly or indirectly. But consider:

  • Europe’s anti-Russia sanctions: American pressure on Europe with respect to trade with Iran, added to Trump’s new tariffs, feeds resentment across Europe, especially in powerful Germany, which especially objects to Washington’s threatening sanctions on companies participating in Nord Stream 2. It may be too soon to guess how soon the EU will pull the plug on anti-Russian sanctions, but there’s something in the air when even the likes of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker can say that “Russia-bashing has to be brought to an end.”  Italy’s voice will be key.

At the epicenter of each one of these earthshaking developments is one man: Donald Trump.

It would be inaccurate to say that these are even moves of the US government, of which Trump is only in partial control. With the permanent government – not to mention some of his own appointees – seeking to undermine him at every step, Trump seems to be resorting to the one tool he has at his personal disposal: disruption.

Let’s remember that, especially in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, those who voted for Trump wanted something radically different from business as usual. They voted for him because they wanted a bull in a china shop, a wrecking ball, a human hand grenade, a big “FU” to the system.

Maybe that’s what we got.

To be sure, none of the foregoing itemized developments is dispositive. But taken together they point to a remarkable confluence of good omens, at least from the point of view of those who wanted to shake up, even shatter, the cozy arrangements that have guided the so-called “liberal global order.”

But those whose careers and privileges, and in some cases their freedom and even lives, depend on perpetuating that order will not go gentle into that good night. They are getting nervous. This means in particular the elements of the US-UK special services, their Democratic and GOP Never-Trump fellow travelers, the Trump-hating fake news media, and the bureaucratic nonentities in Brussels (not only at the European Commission but at NATO headquarters).

If past is prologue, the Empire will strike back – hard and dirty.

One is reminded of the past seven years of war in Syria, where every time the US indicated a willingness to disengage, or when Syrian forces had made major military gains, then – BAM! – a chemical weapons attack immediately and without evidence is attributed to government forces, followed by renewed cries of “Assad is killing his own people! Assad must go!” (This is a ploy that goes back at least to the Bosnian war of the 1990s. Every time a negotiated ceasefire seemed to be taking shape, another “Serb mortar attack” on civilians took place, leading to calls for NATO military action.)

The question is not “if” there will be a provocation, rather it’s one of when, where and how. While it’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future, it’s nonetheless possible to anticipate some possibilities:

  • FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia (June 14 to July 15): Given the huge expense and effort Russia has put into the World Cup as a favorable showcase to the world, it will be a tempting target. Let’s remember that the unconstitutional ouster of Ukraine’s elected government took place as Putin’s attention was presumably distracted by his pride and joy, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The 2008 attack by Georgia’s then-president, Mikheil Saakashvili, on South Ossetia, was launched while the world’s eyes were focused on the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Both initiatives led to a strong counteraction by Moscow, leading in turn to worsened relations between Russia and the west – including Russia’s suspension from the G8 in 2014. (Though in the fevered imagination of western Russophobes, Putin was the one using the games as a cover, not the other way around.) A provocation could be directed against the FIFA events themselves – perhaps a terrorist attack by ISIS operatives reportedly being ferried out of the Middle East to Russia – or something elsewhere timed to coincide with matches being played all over Russia.
  • Ukraine: Regarding President Petro Poroshenko’s actions, everything must be put into the context of upcoming presidential elections in 2019. Poroshenko has to find a way to get into a runoff, presumably against Yulia Tymoshenko. The most beneficial thing he could do would be somehow to pull a rabbit out of his hat and achieve a peace deal in the Donbas. But chances of that are slim to none, as it would require flexibility from Kiev that Poroshenko can’t afford to show lest he be accused of being a Russian puppet. Conversely, he can up the ante with the Russians and hope the West will line up behind him. Perhaps the recent fake news murder fiasco regarding the still very much alive Arkady Babchenko was to have been one such ploy but it misfired. But there are other options, such as a provocation along the line of control in the Donbas (the newly delivered US Javelin missiles are handy, as is the Dutch MH17 report), maybe a covert attack on the Kerch bridge, as well as other less obvious possibilities.
  • Incident between NATO and Russian forcesNATO forces are stepping up provocative maneuvers on Russia’s doorstep in the Baltic and Black seas – purely to deter Moscow’s aggression, mind you. An incident could occur as any time, either by accident or on purpose. Either way, it would be the hostile Russians’ fault for putting their country so close to our bases and the venues of our military exercises.
  • Assassination: One of Putin’s well-known predilections is for killing, or at least attempting to kill, anyone who might displease him. Or like Assad with his chemical weapons, maybe Putin kills just for the sheer, malicious fun of it. The list of victims is long: Babchenko (except, not), the two Skripals (except, not them either), political opponents like Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Yushenkov, muckraking journalists like Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova, former chekist Aleksandr Litvinenko, RT network founder Mikhail Lesin, crusading lawyers like Stanislav Markelov and Sergei Magnitsky, oligarch Boris Berezovsky, and so on. A well-timed rub out of a suitably visible figure would have a salubrious impact on any annoying moves towards east-west rapprochement. No evidence is needed – the mere identity of the victim would be irrefutable proof of Putin’s guilt.

Regarding the last item, assassination, it should always be kept in mind that in the end the man threatening to upset the apple cart of the liberal global order isn’t Putin – it’s Trump. That suggests an ultimate solution that might become tempting if The Donald’s continued functioning at higher than room temperature becomes just too much to endure.

As Joseph Stalin is reputed to have remarked, “Death solves all problems. No man, no problem.” Trump, who for many powerful people is quite a problem indeed, has been recklessly compared to Jean-Marie Le Pen, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin – even to Hitler and Mussolini. In an American context, to Andrew Jackson, Huey Long, and George Wallace. Let’s note that each of those three Americans was the target of assassination. Jackson (someone Trump is known to admire) survived by a failure of his attacker’s pistols, hailed by some at the time as miraculous. “The Kingfish” was killed. Wallace was crippled for life.

There is reason to think that Trump is well aware of the fate of the last American president who so threatened the habitual order of things and the entrenched, ruthless establishment that profits so mightily from it. He has repeatedly indicated his interest in releasing the full file on Jack Kennedy’s assassination, then backed off from it for undisclosed reasons. The shooting death of the president’s brother Robert Kennedy, who had he been elected president in 1968 would have had the opportunity to reopen the investigation into his brother’s murder, is back in the news with Robert Kennedy, Jr., expressing doubt about the official conclusion that his father was killed by Sirhan Sirhan.

If anyone thinks there is any length to which Trump’s enemies will not go, think again.

June 9, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 3 – The Agitated Mr Skripal

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | June 4, 2018

In Part 1 of this series, I stated why I believe the official narrative on the Skripal case does not appear to hold water. Firstly, the nerve agent A-234 (Novichok) can and has been produced outside Russia, in a number of places, thus disproving the claim that it must have come from Russia. Secondly, the fact that the effects experienced by the Skripals — four hours of moving freely around Salisbury, followed by no irreparable damage — do not remotely fit what the scientific literature says about that substance — almost instantaneous death or a short life with irreparable damage to the central nervous system –, makes it highly unlikely that they were indeed poisoned by it. Indeed, the burden of proof is on those making the claims to show how and why the scientific literature was wrong.

Then in Part 2, I mentioned four aspects of the case, which are undoubtedly significant, but which seem to have been ignored or forgotten. I ended that piece by saying that I hoped to discuss what I consider to be an even bigger aspect of the case; something that may well begin to join some dots together.

And this is what I intend to do in this piece. However, before I do, I should start by saying that what I am about to say is speculative. That is not to say that it is not based on facts. It is. It is based on witness testimony that appeared very early on in the case — three days after the poisoning — and which I deem to be credible since it appeared before the case became completely politicised, which is sadly what subsequently happened. I am then using that testimony to construct what I consider to be the best explanation for what the witness described. And so it is very much a theory. One based on facts, but a theory nevertheless. As such it is of course open to challenge.

Let me begin by quoting a significant chunk of the particular witness testimony, which appeared in the Daily Mail on 7th March. I have highlighted what I consider to be the most revealing bits, and then at the end I will explain why I think they are important and what — in my opinion — they most likely imply:

“Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, left his neat, red brick £350,000 semi detached in Salisbury and made their way to Zizzi in the city centre, less than two miles away. The restaurant, in Castle Street, was busy when they arrived, but they declined the seats offered to them at the front, instead selecting ones at the back, close to the kitchen.

They began with a starter of garlic bread to share followed by two glasses of white wine. They ordered from the menu, choosing the 600 calorie risotto pesce with king prawns, mussels and squid rings in a tomato, chilli and white wine sauce.

But within minutes Mr Skripal had become angry, a witness said. ‘I think he was swearing in Russian,’ said the man, who did not want to be named. ‘She was just sitting there quietly, and didn’t really say anything. They were both smartly dressed, she was in a black coat. They were speaking to each other in Russian.’ He said Mr Skripal appeared annoyed that their main course had taken 20 minutes to arrive – and appeared in a hurry to leave.

‘He was going absolutely crazy, I didn’t understand it and I couldn’t understand him. They had not been seen for a little while by the front of house staff, but I think it was more than that. He just wanted his food and to go. He was just shouting and losing his temper. I would have asked him to leave. He just said I want my food and my bill”. ‘The waiter took him the bill at the same time as the main course, which was unusual. I don’t think they paid all of the bill. I think they were given a discount because he was so angry and agitated. He had to wait about 20 minutes for his main course. I think it was easier for the staff just to give him money to leave as he was so angry. They were sitting by themselves at the back of the restaurant but I think people were pleased when they left. They were only there for about 45 minutes. It was a quick lunch. He just wanted to get out of there. She was silent, perhaps embarrassed.’

He added: ‘He didn’t seem to have to wait long for his food. I noticed him first because they were sitting by themselves, and because he was an older man with a younger woman, and because he was losing his temper. ‘He didn’t seem ill physically, but perhaps mentally ill with the way he was shouting.’

The witness said other than appearing angry, there was no sign that either of them were ill.

‘They weren’t poisoned at Zizzi. I saw the chef prepare the food,’ he said. ‘No one could have sneaked in and added anything to his food there, the kitchen is open. The drinks are made at the bar which is by the door, but I think it is unlikely. No one could get to him.’”

So why is this all so significant?

There are a number of things:

In good health
In the first place, it shows that at the time they were in the restaurant, neither Mr Skripal or Yulia Skripal were displaying any signs of being physically unwell. On the contrary, the witness testifies to the fact that Mr Skripal did not seem at all physically ill, and he also stated that Yulia sat there calmly and quietly.

No signs of any poisoning
Secondly, it shows that at that time, neither of them appeared to be showing any symptoms whatsoever of having already been poisoned. On the contrary, the fact that they ordered and then ate their food is a very strong indication that they hadn’t. If Mr Skripal’s agitated state could be explained by a prior poisoning — by the deadliest nerve agent known to man remember — how likely would it be that he would have felt well enough to order and consume his dish of risotto pesce with king prawns, mussels and squid rings in a tomato, chilli and white wine sauce. Not the kind of food that someone feeling dodgy is likely to wolf down, as he appears to have done.

The agitation must therefore be explained by something else
Thirdly, the obvious conclusion suggested by the two points above is this: Mr Skripal’s agitation had nothing whatsoever to do with him feeling the effects of having already been poisoned. Rather, it was because of something else entirely.

Of course this leads to the question of what it was that caused his agitation. Here we must take the facts, and begin to make suppositions based on them.

The witness’s testimony of Mr Skripal’s behaviour makes it abundantly clear that he was very much in a hurry to leave. And as stated above, this agitation and hurry can have had nothing whatsoever to do with feeling physically unwell from the effects of poisoning, since he displayed no such signs and because he went ahead and ate his food – very quickly it would seem.

Now tell me: if you saw someone in a restaurant getting in a hissy fit over a relatively short wait for his food, angrily demanding that he be served, asking for the bill to be brought at the same time as the main course, wolfing the food down, and generally looking like he was in a hurry to leave, what would you conclude? My guess is that you would conclude that the person was in a hurry because they needed to get somewhere by a certain time. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

And so it seems to me from Mr Skripal’s behaviour, plus the witness’s impression, that there is a startlingly simple and obvious explanation for what was going on at Zizzis that afternoon: Mr Skripal was in a hurry to eat and to leave, not because he was unwell, not because he was suffering any physical effects of being poisoned by A-234 some four hours previous, but because he needed to be somewhere to meet with someone at a certain time. And where did he have to get to in such a hurry? Why, the park bench in The Maltings, sometime between 3:45 and 4:00pm.

I hear an objection. When I ran this supposition past a friend, they replied by saying that although it all sounds very plausible, how do we know that Mr Skripal was not just generally mentally ill? After all, the witness says that although Mr Skripal didn’t seem physically ill, he was “perhaps mentally ill with the way he was shouting.”

To this, I would respond as follows: firstly, it is well known that he was a frequent visitor to Zizzis, and had this been his normal sort of behaviour, it is likely that he would have exhibited it before and been prevented from entering. But secondly, and far more crucially, is the behaviour of his daughter. According to the witness, she just sat there and said nothing. She made no attempt to calm him down in front of the staff and other diners. Had he been mentally ill, it is likely that she would have made some attempt to explain his behaviour apologetically to the staff. Yet she does not, which suggests that she was well aware of the reason for his agitation, and – like him – just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.

And so I submit that the most plausible explanation for Mr Skripal’s agitation, and his seeming hurry to leave, was that he wanted to eat quickly, in order to get to The Maltings, where he had a pre-arranged rendezvous at the now infamous bench.

In the following part, I hope to join some more dots together, this time asking why he might have had a meeting at the bench.

June 4, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 2 – Four “Invisible” Clues

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | June 2, 2018

Having stated in Part 1 why I believe the official story does not hold water, I want in this piece to take a look at four important aspects of the case. However, what is particularly remarkable about them is not so much the aspects themselves, but rather the fact that they seem to have been either:

  1. Ignored altogether or
  2. Quietly forgotten

Yet in each instance they are clearly significant aspects, and so the fact that they are being ignored or forgotten, together with the official story being implausible, only goes to arouse suspicions that they may be crucial pointers to what really happened on 4th March.

Below are four of what I would consider the most important aspects that fit into this category:

The Invisible Mr Miller

Three days after the Salisbury incident, the Daily Telegraph published an article which included the following details:

“A security consultant who has worked for the company that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump was close to the Russian double agent poisoned last weekend, it has been claimed. The consultant, who The Telegraph is declining to identify, lived close to Col Skripal and is understood to have known him for some time. Col Skripal, who is in intensive care and fighting for his life after an assassination attempt on Sunday, was recruited by MI6 when he worked for the British embassy in Estonia, according to the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency.”

The security consultant, whom the Daily Telegraph declined to identify, was not only the man who recruited Mr Skripal for MI6 in 1995, but was also his “handler” in Salisbury (which was presumably the reason that Mr Skripal was settled there).

We also know a number of other interesting facts: That the two men met regularly in a restaurant in the City; that Mr Skripal was still working for British Intelligence; and that the company that the handler was working for was Orbis Business Intelligence, the private firm owned by the ex-MI6 officer, Christopher Steele, who is said to have “authored” the so-called “Trump Dossier”.

This is obviously all highly relevant to the case. And yet just a day after that piece appeared in The Daily Telegraph (and perhaps because of it), the British Government slapped a D-notice on all reporting in the British media of the handler and his connection to Mr Skripal. This included not naming him, but of course D-Notices only apply to domestic media, and in any case by that time CNN had in fact named him as Pablo Miller.

All of the information above is out there in public. And yet the British Government has banned the media from discussing it further. That is indeed very odd, not least of which because the media could, if they so wished, easily use the connections between Mr Skripal, Mr Miller and Mr Steele as a reason to bolster the official narrative (I’m not saying that it would be credible, but it doesn’t take too much of a leap of the imagination to see the headlines appearing in the compliant media: “Did Putin want Skripal dead because he knew too much about the Trump/Russia collusion?”).

Yet, the fact that there is radio silence on these connections is bound to raise questions as to their significance, and whether they point to another motive entirely behind this case.

The Invisible People From the Market Walk

In the first few days after the poisoning, much was made of two people who were seen walking through the Market Walk, in the direction of the bench where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned. According to the CCTV camera, this was at 15:47 on 4th March, which was approximately 16 minutes before one witness said she saw them collapsed on the park bench.

Many reports at first claimed that this pair, seen on the image at the top of this piece, were the Skripals. Yet although the image and the brief footage is not particularly clear, what is clear is that this most certainly was not Sergei and Yulia Skripal. I am not 100% sure whether the person nearest the camera is a male or female. He/she looks very clearly female to me, but I know some people who have disagreed with this and are convinced by the way that he/she walks and his/her build, that it is a man. Yet one thing is for sure: whoever this person is, it is not Yulia Skripal.

Of course, these two may not be important to the case at all. Yet given the next point below, I’d say that at the very least they are “persons of interest”. And yet, so far as I know, there was no ongoing call for information about who they might be, and certainly no national manhunt. If they have been found and eliminated from enquiries, the media, which had published pictures of them, had a duty to inform the public of this in a satisfactory way. Yet to my knowledge, they did not do so, but instead went very quiet about them. Indeed, if you type in some combination of CCTV, Skripals, Market Walk into a search engine, you are unlikely to find any references to them in the media after about 10th March. One might be tempted to think that their very existence has been quietly “forgotten”.

The Invisible Red Bag

In the CCTV footage mentioned above, the person nearest the camera, who is not Yulia Skripal, is seen carrying a red bag. This is very interesting for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, one of the witnesses had this to say about the female she saw on the bench:

“She was slumped over on the man’s shoulder. To be honest, I thought they might be homeless but they were perhaps better dressed. I just thought this is weird, especially as she was clearly quite a bit younger than him. She had a red bag at her feet.”

Secondly, that witness testimony is confirmed by a rather long-range photograph which appeared in a number of places. In the Evening Standard, it is accompanied by the following caption:

“Police put a red bag inside a police evidence bag immediately after the nerve agent attack on a Russian spy. Officers previously issued CCTV of a woman clutching a red bag.”

The red bag is therefore a very significant piece of evidence. It was taken away by police, and the media have not mentioned it since. What was in it? Have we been told? Or has it been quietly incinerated?


The Invisible Mr Bailey

Another person who is a key part of the case, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, seems also to have disappeared. He was released from hospital on 22nd March, and a statement put out in his name included the following request:

“I do understand and appreciate the attention on this incident, but I would ask people to put themselves in my shoes. I want to respectfully ask the media for privacy for me and my family at this time and for no intrusion into my private life, so that my family and I can try to come to terms with what has happened.”

That seems entirely reasonable. Had I been in the same situation, I wouldn’t have wanted the media intruding.

However, this was well over two months ago, and since then we have heard nothing from Mr Bailey. We’ve heard from Yulia Skripal, whose condition was clearly much worse than his, and who also requested that her privacy be respected in the statement released on her behalf. But we’ve heard nothing from Mr Bailey.

Part of the reason that this is so curious is that there is one vital piece of the case that has never been properly explained. Where was he actually poisoned?

All initial reports claimed that he was poisoned at the park bench in The Maltings. Then in a radio interview on 9th March, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Ian Blair, stated that he was actually poisoned at Mr Skripal’s house. That might have been the end of the matter, were it not for the fact that subsequent reports then swung backwards and forwards between the bench and the house as the place of poisoning.

Why couldn’t they get the story straight? I mean, it must be one of the easiest parts of the whole case to establish. I’m sure that GPS tracking could throw up an answer. Or alternatively, couldn’t we just hear from Mr Bailey himself? How difficult would that be? Yet the fact that we haven’t heard, and that the issue has not been settled, is surely very odd indeed.

Personally, I find it strange that he would have been called to the incident at The Maltings. He is a member of Wiltshire Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and for the first 24 hours there was no suspicion of a crime having taken place, it being thought that the pair on the bench had overdosed on Fentanyl. Then again, I find Lord Blair’s claim, that he was poisoned at the house, equally unconvincing. Again, why would a member of CID have gone to the house of someone who was suspected of having overdosed on a park bench on Fentanyl? A third scenario, that he was at both places, is of course even more unlikely.

So how does one process this? Given that Detective Sergeant Bailey has not been interviewed by the media to confirm where, when and how he was poisoned; given the fact that the authorities and the media appear unable or unwilling to confirm this most straightforward of facts; and given that neither The Maltings or Mr Skripal’s house seem to be wholly plausible, both for the reason given above, but also because this raises the question of why others were not poisoned at those locations, I would submit that the most reasonable view to take – until evidence confirms otherwise – is that Detective Sergeant Bailey was poisoned neither at the bench nor the house, but somewhere else altogether.

These are all important aspects of the case. Yet I am convinced that there is another even bigger aspect, which begins to join the dots together. I hope to discuss this in Part 3.


Some of my previous pieces on the Skripal Case:

♦  30 Questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case
♦  20 More Questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case
♦  The Skripal Case: 20 New Questions That Journalists Might Like to Start Asking
♦  The Lady and the Curiously Absent Suspect — Yet Another 20 Questions on the Skripal Case
♦  The Slowly Building Anger in the UK at the Government’s Handling of the Skripal Case
♦  The Three Most Important Aspects of the Skripal Case so Far … and Where They Might be Pointing
♦  A Bucketful of Novichok
♦  What Would Sherlock Holmes Have Made of the Government’s Explanation of the Case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

June 2, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 1 – An Official Story That Doesn’t Hold Water

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | June 1, 2018

I have asked a lot of questions in relation to the Skripal case and many, if not most, are still unanswered. However, I want in this piece to go further than asking questions, and to start to join a few dots together. There is much to say, and rather than doing it in one long piece, which only three people will have the attention span to sit through, I want to do it over a number of articles. Probably four or five. We shall see.

When I say that I am hoping to join some dots together, please note that what I am not attempting to do is state anything conclusively. Rather, I am simply advancing a theory, based on what I have observed so far, and I do so in the full knowledge that there may well be things I have missed, facts which I am as yet unaware of, and other facts which are still to be revealed. These things may well blow any theory I advance apart.

But before I get to that, there is a question that must first be asked: Why is a theory needed in the first place? It’s not as if there isn’t an official one out there. Indeed there is. In which case, why the need for another theory to explain what happened?

The reason is that the official story, put forward by the British Government, is wholly lacking in credibility. It has actually come as a surprise to me just how many people there are out there who don’t buy the official story. Anecdotally, I would say that those looking at the official narrative and wondering how on earth it stacks up includes many who would perhaps not normally question the official line on things.

And so attempting to come up with another theory of what happened has nothing to do with advancing what is usually called a “conspiracy theory”. If the claims of the official story did match the facts, then advancing an entirely different theory could well be seen as a conspiracy theory. But since the claims made by the British Government and in the compliant media do not stack up, this is simply a case of seeking an alternative theory that tries to make more sense of the known facts.

But what is it about the Government story that makes it lack credibility? There are a number of things, but let’s just keep this simple. Let’s begin by looking at what it alleges. This can best be summed up by the words of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in the statement she made to the House of Commons on 14th March 2018:

“Mr Speaker, on Monday I set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Novichok: a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with their record of conducting state sponsored assassinations – including against former intelligence officers whom they regard as legitimate targets – the UK government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act. And there were only two plausible explanations.

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.”

Leaving aside Mrs May’s allegations for a moment, any impartial observer would immediately notice something odd about this. Her statement was made on 14th March. This was just 10 days since the Skripals were poisoned. At that time, the investigation had hardly begun, and had not yet established any of the following basic facts:

  • Where the Skripals were poisoned
  • When the Skripals were poisoned
  • How they were poisoned
  • Who it was that poisoned them.

In other words, she reached conclusions before the establishing of facts, and it goes without saying that this is the very opposite of a rational approach. Indeed, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle warned us through his most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes:

“It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

But what of her actual claims? The statement that Russia has a record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations is entirely irrelevant to establishing guilt in this case. Past behaviour can be useful evidence to support a case, but guilt must always be proved on the basis of the facts and evidence in the case at hand, and on them alone. Anything else is simply dangerous and wrong.

Which means that the Government’s case essentially relies on just two parts:

  1. That Mr Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, along with Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, were poisoned by the military grade nerve agent, A-234 (one of the so-called “Novichok” nerve agents).
  2. That because this substance was developed in Russia (actually the Soviet Union), it therefore must have originated from that country.

However, both of these apparent facts are demonstrably untrue.

To take the second point first, it has now been proven beyond any doubt whatsoever that a number of other countries have either produced the substance, or know how to produce it. The Czech Government has admitted producing a small quantity of the closely related substance, A-230; Iran has produced Novichok, which it registered with the OPCW; The German Intelligence Agency, BND, was given the formula back in the 1990s, and they shared it with a number of other NATO countries, including the US and UK. The Edgewood Chemical and Biological Defense Command in Maryland, USA, recorded the formula back in 1998.

What is more, as the Moon of Alabama website points out, David Collum, Professor of Organic Chemistry at Cornell University has not only stated that his students could create the substance, but he actually got them to do an experiment to make it. According to the results, 15 out of 16 students did so successfully!

All of which means that the claim that the poison must have come from Russia is demonstrably untrue.

But if analysis of that second claim shows the British Government’s theory to be somewhat dodgy, scrutiny of the first shows it to be entirely false. Given the toxicity of A-234, being around 5-8 times more toxic than VX (some reports state it as being 10 times more toxic), had the Skripals come into contact with it on the door handle of Mr Skripal’s house, as is alleged, one of two things would have occurred:

a) They would either have died within a few minutes of coming into contact with it or

b) In the remote possibility that they had survived, they would have suffered for the rest of their short lives from irreparable damage to their central nervous system, with a number of chronic health issues, such as cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, and epilepsy (see here for details of what I understand to be the only known survivor of poisoning by this substance, Andrei Zheleznyakov).

What they would not have done is spent the next four hours swanning around Salisbury, going for a drink and then for a meal in a restaurant. What they would not have done is to exhibit symptoms closer to having been poisoned by a hallucinogenic than a military grade nerve agent. And they most certainly would not have collapsed at exactly the same time as each other, four hours later, after showing no previous signs of illness in the restaurant.

Yet as it is, not only are the Skripals and D.S. Bailey still alive, but none have suffered irreparable damage to their nervous system. In fact, in her conversation with her cousin, Viktoria, on 5th April, Yulia Skripal specifically made mention that “everyone’s health is fine, there are no irreparable things“.

Given that this is so, it is entirely rational to come to the following conclusion:

The claim that Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal and D.S. Bailey were poisoned by A-234, which is one of the most deadly nerve agents known to man, and which either kills or leaves its victims with irreparable damage, is demonstrably untrue.

Having dealt with the official story, I want in Part 2 to deal with what I believe to be some of the most interesting clues in this case, each of which is being ignored or swept under the carpet.


Some of my previous pieces on the Skripal Case:

♦  30 Questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case
♦  20 More Questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case
♦  The Skripal Case: 20 New Questions That Journalists Might Like to Start Asking
♦  The Lady and the Curiously Absent Suspect — Yet Another 20 Questions on the Skripal Case
♦  The Slowly Building Anger in the UK at the Government’s Handling of the Skripal Case
♦  The Three Most Important Aspects of the Skripal Case so Far … and Where They Might be Pointing
♦  A Bucketful of Novichok
♦  What Would Sherlock Holmes Have Made of the Government’s Explanation of the Case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

June 2, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

Sinister Choreography of the MH17 Probe to Smear Russia

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 31.05.2018

The Dutch-led probe into the 2014 Malaysian airliner disaster has the hallmarks of a psychological operation to frame-up Russia and to justify further sanctions and aggression from the NATO powers.

The so-called Joint Investigation Team (JIT) released an update last Thursday on its ongoing probe into the MH17 air disaster over Eastern Ukraine, in which all 298 people onboard were killed. The JIT’s latest release moves the accusation of culpability closer to Russia, with the team claiming that an anti-aircraft Buk missile, which allegedly shot down the plane, was brought into Ukraine by Russia’s 53rd Brigade based in Kursk, southwest Russia.

Then on Friday, the day after the high-profile JIT presentation, a news report compiled by US-based McClatchy News and UK-based self-styled online investigative website Bellingcat was published claiming to have identified a senior Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer as being involved in the transport of the missile system.

The Russian GRU officer is named as Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. The report includes a photograph of the named man, who is said to have at least one residential address in Moscow and who used the call sign “Orion”. Tellingly, the McClatchy report claims that news of identifying the Russian military officer was not known by the JIT when it made its presentation the day before. But McClatchy reported that the Dutch-led investigators now want to arraign “Orion”.

Over the weekend, the Dutch, Australian and British governments upped the ante by formally accusing Russia, and demanding that Moscow pay financial compensation to families of the crash victims. Most of those onboard the doomed MH17 were Dutch, Malaysian and Australian nationals.

What we are seeing here is a choreographed sequence trying to give the public impression that developments in the probe are taking a natural course based on “evidence” imputing blame to Russia. The same technique of media psychological operation can be seen in the Skripal poisoning affair in which Moscow is blamed for trying to assassinate a former spy in England. Allegations, purported evidence, and then sanctions (expulsion of Russian diplomats) all follow a choreographed sequence.

On the MH17 incident, Russia has vehemently denied any involvement in the passenger plane’s downing. Moscow says its own investigation into the incident points to the Kiev regime’s armed forces as being responsible, possibly using their stock of Soviet-era Buk anti-aircraft missiles. Significantly, Russia’s investigative results have been spurned by the JIT, while Moscow’s offers of contributing to the probe have been rebuffed. As in the Skripal affair, where the British authorities have also refused Russia’s offers of joint investigation, or Russia’s ability to independently verify the supposedly incriminating data.

In a dramatic twist, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that the missile casing displayed by the Dutch investigators bore features dating the weapon to 1986 when Ukraine was a Soviet Republic. The Russian military said that all such Buk models were replaced by its forces in 2011. Therefore, the alleged offensive weapon presented by the JIT last week could not have come from Russian forces. Besides, Moscow denies that any of its brigades crossed into Ukrainian territory.

The JIT, which includes investigators from Holland, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia and – invidiously – Ukrainian secret services, openly acknowledged in its presentation last week that it is cooperating with the Britain-based Bellingcat website. The latter is cited for its analysis of videos purporting to show the transport of a Russian military Buk convoy through Eastern Ukraine at around the time of the airliner being shot down. Those videos have already been exposed as fabrications.

Now it seems rather strange that the JIT was reported by McClatchy as not knowing of Bellingcat’s next “scoop” published the following day in which it claims to identify a Russian military officer, named as Oleg Ivannikov or Orion, for being involved in coordinating the transport of the Buk convoy, which the JIT says came from the 53rd Brigade in Russia’s Kursk.

The JIT and Bellingcat have collaborated in a previous update to its MH17 probe, in 2016, when the dubious videos were presented as purportedly showing the Buk convoy traversing Eastern Ukraine back to Russia. Bellingcat was cited again in the JIT’s update last Thursday.

That raises the question of why the information claiming to identify the Russian military officer was not available to JIT, even though the latter has worked closely with Bellingcat before? It was the next day when the McClatchy-Bellingcat news report came out, seemingly separate to the JIT presentation.

The sequence suggests a concerted effort to “build” a public perception that “clues” into the cause of the air crash and the incrimination of Russia are being assembled in an independent manner. When, in reality, the sequence is actually a deliberately orchestrated media campaign, to more effectively smear Russia.

Bellingcat’s media activities indicate that it is not the supposed “independent online investigative website” it claims to be. During the Syrian war, it has helped to peddle claims that videos sourced from the White Helmets are “authentic” when in fact there is strong evidence that the White Helmets have been fabricating videos of atrocities on behalf of NATO-sponsored terrorists in order to smear the Syrian government and its Russian ally.

For the Dutch-led JIT to associate with Bellingcat as a source of “evidence” is a matter of grave concern as to the probe’s professional credibility.

Moreover, what is also fatally damaging to the MH17 probe is that the Ukrainian secret services (SBU) under the control of the Western-backed Kiev regime, which came to power in the NATO-backed February 2014 coup d’état, is the source for much of the so-called evidence implicating Russia or the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine for shooting down the MH17 airliner.

The dubious videos cited by the JIT and Bellingcat were sourced from the SBU. Those videos were purportedly posted on social media at the time of the plane crash by anonymous members of the public. The Russian government has dismissed those videos as fake.

The latest claims by McClatchy and Bellingcat of identifying a Russian military officer are based on allegations that mobile phone intercepts are attributable to the man named as Orion. Bellingcat appears to have expended a lot of effort trawling through digital phone books to identify the individual. The report also relies on embellishment of Orion’s alleged secret military career in Ukraine and South Ossetia by way of lending a sense of credibility and sinister innuendo.

However, the bottom line is that McClatchy and Bellingcat both admit that they are relying on the Ukrainian secret services for their phone intercepts, as they had previously for the videos of the alleged Russian Buk convoy.

The SBU and its Kiev masters have an obvious axe to grind against Moscow. Their partisan position, not to say potential liability for the air crash, thus makes the JIT and subsequent Western media reporting highly suspect.

Such close involvement of a Western media outlet (McClatchy ) with a fake news engine (Bellingcat ) and Ukrainian state intelligence is indicative of coordinated public psychological operation to smear Russia.

The prompt responses from Western governments calling for criminal proceedings against Moscow are further indication that the whole effort is an orchestrated campaign to frame-up Russia.

May 31, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

MH-17 Probe Follows Frame-Up Process of Skripal Poisoning

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 28.05.2018

The latest report by a Dutch-led investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner in 2014 casting blame on Russia for the disaster follows the same reprehensible flouting of due process as the Skripal poison affair.

No credible evidence is ever presented. The charges leveled against Russia largely rely on assertion and innuendo. And despite the grave implications for the accused, Russia is not permitted to access the investigation file independently to form an adequate defense against the claims.

This is far from the standard of due legal process. Ironically, by Western governments that claim to be paragons of law and jurisprudence. It is more akin to an inquisition where guilt is presumed from the outset, and where the prosecution is tilted heavily in favor of the accusers.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has released updated conclusions to its nearly-four-long probe into the airline disaster. On July 17, 2014, Malaysian MH-17 crashed while transiting airspace over eastern Ukraine on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people onboard were killed. Most of the victims were Dutch, Malaysian and Australian nationals.

A plausible explanation for the downing is that the aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile. The big question is who fired the missile since the Ukrainian region was the scene of intense fighting between Western-backed Kiev regime forces and pro-Russian rebels.

Western news media and governments immediately sought to blame Russian-backed rebels for the carnage. By dubious extension, President Vladimir Putin was vilified in some media coverage as being personally responsible for the deaths.

Russia has vehemently denied having any involvement in the incident. Indeed, Moscow has said it believes Kiev’s armed forces may have fired the missile.

The rebels in the Donbas region again this week reiterated that they were not responsible since they did not possess any such high-altitude anti-aircraft weapon systems.

The JIT probe previously reported that the weapon was a Soviet-made Buk missile. This week, the investigators dramatically upped the ante by charging that the missile came from a Russian anti-aircraft brigade based in Kursk, southwest Russia. The Dutch-led team claim that the 53rd Brigade transported the Buk system over the border into Ukraine. They claim that the convoy returned to Russia shortly after the downing of the airliner. The Dutch team leave the possibility open that the weapon may have been fired by another party, but the implication is Russian culpability.

Like the Skripal affair involving the alleged poisoning of a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in England on March 4, the MH-17 case has been prejudiced from the outset by wild allegations of Russia’s guilt.

Within days of the purported poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury, the British government accused Russia of carrying out an assassination plot. There has never been any verifiable evidence presented by the British authorities to substantiate their sensational claims. The trick seems to be to railroad through a guilty verdict before any due process is allowed to take place.

Likewise in the case of the MH-17 disaster. Russia or Russia-backed militants have been labelled as guilty from the beginning. All proceedings thereafter seem to be solely for the purpose of “proving” the foregone conclusion.

A further similarity in this inquisitorial process is that Russian investigators have been excluded from multilateral fact-finding. The Dutch-led JIT is heavily reliant on NATO secret intelligence. More disturbing is that the Kiev regime, which should be treated as one of the suspect parties, has been allowed to contribute to the report findings. That is an incredible bias given the enormous incentive for Kiev and its NATO supporters to inculpate Russia or the pro-Russian rebels.

Responding to the report this week, President Putin quite correctly stated that Russia cannot acknowledge the charges because it has constantly been denied fair access to the investigation files. The Russian president said, however, that Russia was willing to participate in an open and transparent probe.

Again, this is analogous to the Skripal affair. Moscow has repeatedly offered to carry out a joint investigation and contribute to an elucidation of what really happened to the former spy and his adult daughter. But the British authorities have continually refused to include Russian investigators.

As for the lack of hard evidence, the British have based their tendentious allegations against Russia largely on the alleged detection of a Soviet-era chemical weapon. In the MH-17 case, the Dutch-led investigators are implicating Russia based on the alleged claim that the missile was a Soviet-made Buk system. That’s very elastic extrapolation.

The Kiev regime forces are in possession of Buk missiles dating back to when Ukraine was a Soviet Republic before 1991. It is entirely plausible that its forces could have fired the weapon that doomed the airliner.

Indeed, Russian military said this week that video images presented by the Dutch police of the alleged Buk missile’s casing indicate that the model is dated to the pre-1991 period. If that is the case, then one wonders why a top-notch, modern Russian defense brigade would be toting relatively old missiles if it were involved, as the JIT report claims.

Russia’s defense ministry said: “One of the arguments the investigators used to back up their charges the Russian military might have been involved in the tragedy was a fragment of the Buk missile’s engine demonstrated at a news conference. The serial number unambiguously indicates that the engine was manufactured in the Soviet Union back in 1986.”

As well as the unprecedented exclusion of Russia’s participation into what was an international disaster on its border, the JIT also omitted potentially crucial data such as radar and air-traffic communications, according to Moscow. The JIT also did not investigate why the Kiev authorities who had operating control over the aviation routes allowed the ill-fated airline to traverse what was at the time a hot war zone.

The Washington Post reported: “The investigators Thursday offered only open-source video and photographic evidence to support their conclusion that the missile came from a Russian military anti-aircraft system. Portions of the evidence already had been reported by the Bellingcat research group. But the international investigative team said that its findings stood independently and that it possessed additional information to buttress its conclusions that it would announce only in eventual courtroom proceedings.”

That is a startling admission. “Open-source videos” of an alleged Buk convoy hardly constitute credible evidence to support the severe claims being made against Russia.

The mention too of using Bellingcat as a source is also deeply troubling. This self-styled “expert group” of amateur sleuths based in England, run by Eliot Higgins, has been notoriously collaborating with Western military intelligence to frame-up Syrian state forces and Russia over alleged atrocities. It specializes in peddling fake videos as used by the terrorist affiliate, the White Helmets. Anything that Bellingcat puts its name to should be treated with derision, not deference as the Dutch prosecutors have done.

Note too how the JIT claims to have “additional information” that it says it will present in a future courtroom. That’s not acceptable. It is making very grave allegations and innuendo against Russia in the present based on flimsy videos.

Furthermore, the Dutch and Australian governments are leaping ahead with threats of bringing criminal charges against the Russian government and demanding Moscow pay financial compensation to the crash victims’ families.

Such reckless adversarial positions are setting up a new geopolitical conflict with Russia based on prejudice and hearsay. Following the 2014 air crash, the US and Europe imposed a raft of economic sanctions on Russia, without any substantiation. The precedent has been set for even more sanctions following this week’s JIT report.

Just like the Skripal affair which resulted in 150 Russian diplomats being expelled by dozens of countries merely on the back of British assertions, Western governments and media are again finding Moscow guilty over the MH-17 tragedy, without any evidence or due process.

The same can be said with regard to a whole host of anti-Russia media campaigns: alleged electoral interference in Western states; alleged Olympic sports doping, alleged cyberattacks; alleged aggression against Europe; alleged violations in Syria; and so on and so on.

There is no due process here. The only process taking place is one of extreme, unrelenting provocation towards Russia.

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Draft Version of Scotland Yard’s Statement on Behalf of Sergei Skripal

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | May 25, 2018

Warning: It is “highly likely” that this statement contains traces of satire.

“I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 18th May, more than two months after being poisoned by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia.

Like my daughter Yulia, I find myself in a new and unique set of circumstances than the ones I faced before the 4th March, when I was poisoned by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia.

I am now spending the time of my convalescence seeking to come to terms with my prospects, and looking forward to a future without trepidation, despite having being poisoned by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia.

I would like to take this opportunity to correct a number of erroneous stories that have been circulating on the worldwide web, especially on a number of sites devoted to the propagation of conspiracy theories.

The first is in respect to my alleged connections with my former MI6 handler, who also happens to live in Salisbury, and with whom I was in the habit of frequenting one of the City’s establishments for the consumption of certain comestibles and beverages. I would like to assure those attempting to make these links that there is no credibility in them whatsoever, and that they should desist from making them. We were merely old friends who happened to share a passion for gardening, backgammon, and Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2014 Réserve Des Oliviers. Any connection between this relationship and my poisoning — by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia — is entirely without foundation.

I would also like to address those who claim that I am being held against my will and denied my rights. I want to clarify that this supposition is very wide of the mark and bears no relation to the actualité. On the contrary, I have the freedom to go wherever I wish, naturally within the bounds of the beautiful location in which I currently reside, and I would also want to reassure everyone that I have full access to friends, family, and information. I am free to call my mother at anytime, and I may well do this, when I judge that it will not be prejudicial to my continued recovery. All such talk of disappearance or abduction is arrant nonsense.

I have been assigned specially trained officers who have helped to take care of all my needs and who have explained the details of the painstaking investigative processes that are being undertaken to establish how I and my daughter were poisoned by a military grade nerve agent — of a type developed by Russia — on the door handle of my abode. They have also explained that the substance must have been carefully designed to take effect on the two of us at precisely the same time, some four hours after its administration, and after we had visited a public house and a restaurant in the City. They have also been very helpful in explaining how it was nothing short of a miracle that Yulia and I recovered from what I understand is ordinarily the most deadly of substances, with no irreparable damage.

I wish to make clear that I have been given the names and email addresses of staff at the Russian Embassy in London, and naturally I am perfectly free to contact them at any time, should I wish to avail myself of their services. However, at this particular juncture, whilst I am simply overwhelmed by their abundant kindness in attempting to contact me, I would like them know that I do not wish to speak to them or see them, and I would ask them to kindly desist from all their efforts to pressure the British Government into granting access to me.

Although I feel perfectly safe and secure at my new location, which understandably cannot be disclosed, I do not yet feel able to face the media to give a full interview, although it is the deepest desire of my heart to one day do so. Until such time, I want to make it abundantly clear that nobody speaks for me or on my behalf, except of course the fully trained and highly professional officers of Scotland Yard, whom I have authorised to speak and release statements on my behalf.

Any suggestion that this statement was written by them without my knowledge, or that it was written by me whilst under duress, is — to coin a popular English idiom — manufactured from whole cloth. I would ask that, out of respect for my privacy, people desist from asking any further questions in this respect.

I want to end by thanking the British Prime Minister, Mrs May, and her colleague, Mr Johnson, who I understand acted swiftly, decisively and — I might add — courageously in dealing with the political ramifications of the poisoning, by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia. Their actions in attributing culpability so swiftly are highly commendable and a demonstration of their undoubted bravery, their commitment to upholding the rule of law, and of course their remarkable fitness to lead in their respective ministerial positions.

I hope very much to be able to return to Russia one day, but in the short term, I look forward to being reunited with my pet cat and two guinea pigs, which I understand are being well looked after at an undisclosed location.”

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

Russia ‘absolutely’ rejects Dutch & Aussie accusations it’s responsible for MH17 downing

RT | May 25, 2018

Moscow has rejected any involvement in the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine after the Netherlands and Australia declared Russia “responsible” for the deployment of a BUK missile system that downed the jet in 2014.

Moscow neither accepts nor trusts the results of an international investigation into the MH17 crash as it was not allowed to take part in it, according to the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“Of course, without being able to be a full participant, Russia does not know to what extent the results of this work can be trusted,” he said.

Peskov echoed the position of the Russian president Vladimir Putin who earlier said that, although Ukraine was included in the probe, Russia was barred from participating in establishing the truth.

Asked if he can confirm that Russia vehemently denies any involvement in the MH17 downing, Peskov replied “absolutely.”

Earlier on Friday, Amsterdam and Canberra said Russia is “responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17” following a Thursday press conference of the Dutch-led International Investigation Team (JIT). The latter concluded that a BUK missile system from a Russian 53rd brigade was transported to eastern Ukraine and used to down the passenger plane with more than 300 people onboard. The system was then said to have returned to Russia.

“The [Dutch] government is now taking the next step by formally holding Russia accountable,” Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok said in a statement. However, the Russian military earlier said that not a single weapons system crossed the border.

MH17 tragedy may be used to achieve political goals – Lavrov

The country’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that Moscow would not reject closer cooperation on the MH17 probe, but only if the data it provides is included as well. He also compared the case with the Skripal scandal, in which London made groundless allegations and pinned the blame on Moscow, but failed to provide any proof.

“If our partners have decided to speculate on this case, when it comes to the most serious human tragedy, the death of hundreds of people, to achieve their political goals, I leave it on their conscience,” Lavrov said.

Despite the JIT claiming that it conducted a separate probe, it did not move any further than the British investigative group Bellingcat – some reports of which came under fire and were refuted by Russian activists. Among other flaws in the earlier Bellingcat claims was the assertion that the Ukrainian Army had no Buk systems in the conflict area. However, in a countering statement, Russian activists presented reports from the Ukrainian media itself showing Buk missiles in the area prior to the downing of the plane.

Bellingcat’s online investigations have previously raised questions regarding their accuracy. After the group’s founder, Eliot Higgins, published one of his reports on Syria, he was asked to discuss his findings with prominent MIT physicist Theodore Postol. However, the blogger declined the debate and insulted the scientist, triggering an avalanche of criticism on Twitter.

The allegation that the missile belonged to the Russian military had earlier been debunked by the Buk manufacturer, Almaz-Antey. Its real-time experiment showed that the projectile which hit MH17 (Boeing 777) was from an earlier generation and is no longer in service with the Russian military. It was found that the plane was likely shot down using an old 9M38 missile, not the newer type 9M38M1 with distinct butterfly-shaped metal fragments, which were allegedly recovered by the Dutch Safety Board.

Moreover, Almaz-Antey’s findings, which analyzed the angle from which the projectiles entered the cockpit of the ill-fated flight, showed that the most probable location of the launch site could be only on Kiev-controlled territory. Untampered Russian radar data provided by Moscow led to similar conclusions.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Ukrainian forces kept around 20 Buk systems, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The military also stressed that Moscow has not supplied any new missiles to Ukraine since then.

Read more:

Accusations and threats, but where are the facts? – Russia challenges West on truth

May 25, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Time for UK to Apologize to Moscow for Accusations Over Skripal Case – Embassy

Sputnik – 25.05.2018

The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Friday it was time for the UK side to apologize to Russia for accusations over the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, as no evidence was provided by London to substantiate its claims of Moscow’s involvement during the three months which passed since the incident.

“Time has come for British authorities to apologize to Russia for the hollow accusations accompanied by an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign, to give answers to all the questions and requests officially sent to the British side on this matter, to engage with Russian law enforcement agencies that have opened the criminal case regarding the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal, and to stop isolating the two Russian citizens,” the embassy’s press release read.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged to stop speculations on the so-called Skripal case and conduct a joint objective investigation instead.

“We need to either carry out a joint objective and thorough investigation, or simply stop talking on this topic, because it does not lead to anything but a deterioration of relations,” he said.

Putin also questioned the alleged fact of poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter by a military-grade nerve agent.

“I’m not a specialist in chemical warfare agents, but as far as I can imagine, if a warfare agent is used, the victims of this attack die on the spot, almost immediately. But nothing happened in this case. Skripal himself and his daughter are alive, and have been discharged from the hospital. His daughter looks quite alright, everyone is alive and well,” the president stressed.

On May 1, UK National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill told the UK lower house defense committee that no suspects had been identified in the March’s attack on the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

Analysis by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of the Salisbury incident confirmed the UK findings related to the nature of the chemical used in the poisoning, but did not include any information that would help the UK government substantiate claims about Russian involvement in the incident.

The United Kingdom and its allies have blamed Russia for an alleged role in the poisoning despite presenting no proof. Over a hundred Russian diplomats have since been expelled from these countries in solidarity with London and to put pressure on Moscow, which denies any involvement.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments