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MI6 knew that terror-suspect was tortured into giving false Iraq-Al-Qaeda info – report

RT | November 7, 2018

UK ministers relied on questions from a tortured terror suspect to make their case for the Iraq War, the Middle East Eye (MEE) has claimed. British spies fed questions to the suspect even though they knew of his mistreatment.

According to redacted documents, seen by the MEE, an MI6 officer knew that Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi was placed inside a sealed coffin by the CIA at a US-run Afghanistan based prison. Al-Libi – alive inside the coffin – was then taken, aboard a truck, to an aircraft that was to fly to Egypt.

The MI6 officer and his colleagues reported the incident to their department’s London HQ, stating that they “were tempted to speak out” on behalf of al-Libi, but failed to do so, adding: “The event reinforced the uneasy feeling of operating in a legal wilderness.”

Once al-Libi was in Egypt, a country with a well-documented history of human rights abuses, both MI6 and MI5 fed questions to the detainee, receiving reports from his Egyptian interrogators.

Al-Libi, under torture, told his jailers that Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda had links to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. The claim was cited as fact by US President George W. Bush as he made the case for war.

Upon being returned to the CIA, al-Libi stated that he had lied to avoid further torture. By that point the US, along with the UK, had already invaded Iraq.

As well as Bush, al-Libi’s false information was cited by then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell in his infamous speech advocating for war at the UN Security Council on February 5 2003. On the same day, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told parliament there were “unquestionably” links between Al-Qaeda and Iraq.

“There is evidence of such links. Exactly how far they go is uncertain. However… there is intelligence coming through to us the entire time about this,” Blair said.

The US had been keen to link Iraq to Al-Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In evidence disclosed to the Chilcot Inquiry, Bush had raised the issue in a phone call with Blair, who is said to have replied that he couldn’t accept it without seeing compelling evidence.

READ MORE:

British govt urged to come clean on ‘links to torture’ after Iraq invasion

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Britain is More of a Fake State than Anything Else

By Grete Mautner – New Eastern Outlook – 11.10.2018

Blatant lies have been a feature of the British political system for a long while. Whitehall’s tried and tested ways of manipulating the general public are used to distract attention from crucial topics. But what’s even more curious is that inside the Whitehall bunkers where they come up with their own definitions for such manipulations, there is even a term for this kind of propaganda. They call it a ‘term of art’.

That would hardly be a surprise if one is to recall that modern British oligarchies have grown out of yesterday’s slave owners and high seas pirates, for whom deception was nothing but a tool of their trade. We must not forget that millions of people died in the wars unleashed by the United Kingdom. One can recall that only a handful of native Tasmanians escaped being slaughtered by the English in the 19th century. In less that two decades of British military presence in Bengal, the population of the region had decreased by almost 20 million people – which constitutes more than a half of the indigenous population of the region. The absolute majority of wars Anglo-Saxons unleashed over the course of the last two centuries began with a provocation and then were sold to the UK population together with an extensive amount of military hysteria in the media.

And it doesn’t seem that things have changed much in the ways that London operates on the international stage, as it carries on voicing its dubious accusations against Moscow for its alleged involvement in the Salisbury incident. Previously, it would try to prevent British sports fans from traveling to Russia to attend FIFA World Cup 2018 by claiming that it was a terrible and dangerous place to visit. For sure, those accusations were proven wrong by those fans who dared to make a trip but no apologies was offered to Russia by London.

But why bother with presenting facts before voicing any actual accusations, if the Telegraph could as well announce that the chief executive of BP was poisoned in a plot believed to have been orchestrated by the Russian security services.

To provide this publication with some air of credibility, the media would present “revelations” made by the former employee of BP Illya Zaslavsky, who announced that Russian elites wanted to remove Bob Dudley from the position of group chief executive of BP by “slow poisoning” him with foods. The only problem with Zaslavsky’s claims is that Dudley himself is perfectly healthy and he keeps working in close cooperation with Russia. As a matter of fact, after visiting Moscow last February, Dudley described his contacts with Russia’s Rosneft as exceptional, in spite of the aggravation of geopolitical tensions in the world.

In its bid to provide British citizens with even more fake information, the Guardian would in turn run an article full of allegations that Moscow was somehow discussing with representatives of Julian Assange its assistance in his escape plan. However, these claims haven’t been confirmed by anyone just as well.

However, British media sources are not the only ones who are engaged in disinformation campaigns, as British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt has recently told the Sky News that he he had a “tough” discussion with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the margins of a United Nations summit in New York. According to Hunt, he hinted to Lavrov that there’s a high chance of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the UK, while adding that Moscow would pay a high diplomatic price for its alleged wrongdoings. The only problem with those claims is that there was no direct meeting between Lavrov and Hunt during the recent UN Summit in New York, which was officially confirmed by the Russian foreign ministry.

But should we be surprised by the obsession of British elites with all things fake, if The Queen Elizabeth II has a fake hand waving machine for when her arm gets tired at royal engagements. So it must be of little surprise to anyone that to support its lies the British government employs thousands of people directly in propaganda and related activities to distort and deceive.

But, frankly, if you’re going to start wars using fake pretexts you could as well fight it with fake weapons. Thus, the British-made ADE 651 tool, that London urges others to use to scan personal belongings of jihadists must be allegedly helping explosives specialists to detect all sorts of explosives and precious metals from a fairly long distance using a telescopic antenna. However, it’s unlikely that the actual device has any electronic boards inside it – at the very best, its an imitation of a scanner. But this did not prevent Britain from pushing this product on the international market at a price tag of 60 thousand dollars a pop. The government of Iraq, in particular, has acquired more than 1,500 units of ADE 651 for the needs of its federal police and the military, since those bodies are engaged in heavy counter-terrorist activities at all times. ADE 651 is the brainchild of the British company ATSC, and its inventor James McCormick is currently serving ten years in prison. To make the matters worse, militants of various terrorist organizations are aware of the properties of this British know-how and keep mocking Iraqi law enforcement agencies for the acquisition of this device.

As it’s been recently reported by a professor of sociology at the University of Bath and ESRC, David Miller, the UK office for national statistics, for 2017, show that the number of people who work in “communication” in central government departments, executive agencies and non departmental public bodies, totals 3,450. It is clear that these figures are an underestimate for a variety of reasons. For example the 490 employed in the ministry of defence seems not to cover the media people in the armed services themselves. In 2007, for example, the total ministry of defence complement was reported as as over 1,000, but this “excludes many military personnel involved in communications work”.

Also not in the figures – as the ONS has confirmed – are the unknown numbers that work for the intelligence agencies. Both MI5 and MI6 most likely have sizable staff groups working on propaganda, whether ‘communication’ is in their formal job title or not. The contemporary period is indeed one in which many more people than in the previous two decades are more confident about existing outside the ‘filter bubble’ conjured up by the government, the spooks and the mainstream media.

Grete Mautner is an independent researcher and journalist from Germany.

October 11, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime

By John Wight | RT | October 8, 2018

An intelligence service given free rein to commit ‘serious crimes’ in its own country is an intelligence service that is the enemy of its people.

The quite astounding revelation that Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5, has enjoyed this very freedom for decades has only just been made public at a special tribunal in London, set up to investigate the country’s intelligence services at the behest of a coalition of human rights groups, alleging a pattern of illegality up to and including collusion in murder.

The hitherto MI5 covert policy sanctioning its agents to commit and/or solicit serious crimes, as and when adjudged provident, is known as the Third Direction. This codename has been crafted, it would appear, by someone with a penchant for all things James Bond within an agency whose average operative is more likely to be 5’6” and balding with a paunch and bad teeth than any kind of lantern-jawed 007.

The Pat Finucane Centre, one of the aforementioned human rights groups involved in bringing about this tribunal investigation (Investigatory Powers Tribunal, to give it its Sunday name) into the nefarious activities of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, issued a damning statement in response to the further revelation that former Prime Minister David Cameron introduced oversight guidelines with regard to the MI5 covert third direction policy back in 2012.

Cameron’s decision to do so, the group claims, was far from nobly taken:

“It can be no coincidence that Prime Minister David Cameron issued new guidelines, however flawed, on oversight of MI5 just two weeks before publication of the De Silva report into the murder of Pat Finucane. The PM was clearly alive to the alarming evidence which was about to emerge of the involvement of the Security Service in the murder. To date no-one within a state agency has been held accountable. The latest revelations make the case for an independent inquiry all the more compelling.”

Pat Finucane, a Belfast Catholic, plied his trade as a human rights lawyer at a time when the right to be fully human was denied the minority Catholic community of the small and enduring outpost of British colonialism in the north east corner of Ireland, otherwise known as Northern Ireland. He was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989, back when the decades-long conflict euphemistically referred to as the Troubles still raged, claiming victims both innocent and not on all sides.

Unlike the vast majority of those killed and murdered in the course of this brutal conflict, Finucane’s murder sparked a long and hard fought struggle for justice by surviving family members, friends and campaigners. They allege – rather convincingly, it should be said – that it was carried out with the active collusion of MI5.

Stepping back and casting a wider view over this terrain, the criminal activities of Britain’s intelligence services constitute more than enough material for a book of considerable heft. How fortunate then that just such a book has already been written.

In his ‘Dead Men Talking: Collusion, Cover Up and Murder in Northern Ireland’s Dirty War’, author Nicholas Davies “provides information on a number of the killings [during the Troubles], which were authorized at the highest level of MI5 and the British government.”

But over and above the crimes of MI5 in Ireland, what else have those doughty defenders of the realm been up to over the years? After all, what is the use of having a license to engage in serious criminal activity, including murder and, presumably, torture, if you’re not prepared to use (abuse) it? It begs the question of how many high profile deaths attributed to suicide, natural causes, and accident down through the years have been the fruits of MI5 at work?

And what about the possibility of MI5’s involvement in, dare we use the term, false flag operations?

As someone who abhors the premise of conspiracy theory on principle, the fact that more and more are turning to its warm embrace as an intellectual reflex against what is politely described as the ‘official narrative’ of events, well this is no surprise when we learn of the egregious machinations of Western intelligence agencies such as Britain’s MI5.

What we are bound to state, doing so without fear of contradiction, is this particular revelation opens up a veritable Pandora’s Box of grim possibilities when it comes to the potential crimes committed by Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, ensuring that a full and vigorous investigation and public inquiry is now both necessary and urgent.

If any such investigation is to be taken seriously, however, it must include in its remit the power to investigate all possible links between Britain’s intelligence community and organisations such as, let’s see, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group?

The deafening UK mainstream media and political class silence over the trail connecting 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, leaves a lingering stench of intrigue that will not out. The work of investigative journalist Mark Curtis on this sordid relationship is unsurpassed.

As Curtis writes, “The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments.”

In the same report he arrives at a conclusion both damning and chilling: “The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives. Whitehall also saw Qatar as a proxy to provide boots on the ground in Libya in 2011, even as it empowered hardline Islamist groups.”

Finally: “Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May – who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi [Muammar Gaddafi] – clearly have serious questions to answer. We believe an independent public enquiry is urgently needed.”

In words that echo down to us from ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal taunts our complacency with a question most simple and pertinent: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”  Who will guard the guards themselves?

Edward R Murrow puts it rather more bluntly: “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”

Sooner or later, people in Britain are going to have to wake up to who the real enemy is.

Read more:

‘Murder, torture, sexual assault’ – MI5 & informants authorized to commit crimes in UK, court hears

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 4 Comments

‘Murder, torture, sexual assault’ – MI5 & informants authorized to commit crimes in UK, court hears

RT | October 5, 2018

MI5 informants have been granted legal cover to commit crimes within the UK that may include murder, a tribunal into British security services’ alleged criminality has heard.

The policy, allegedly in place since the early 1990s, would potentially allow the Security Service to authorize participation in “murder, torture, sexual assault or other grave criminality” if they believed it was in the public interest, claimed Ben Jaffey QC, representing an alliance of human rights groups.

Speaking to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), Thursday, Jaffey, argued that the practice has enabled British security services to conceal widespread illegal activity from both agents and informants within the UK.

Known within intelligence circles as ‘the third direction,’ the policy was acknowledged for the first time in a British court when Jaffrey’s clients, including Privacy International and Reprieve, claimed that the practice was unlawful on human rights grounds.

It had earlier been revealed that British intelligence agents, namely MI6, were allowed to commit crime overseas. Thursday’s hearing was the first time authorized criminality from the security services within Britain had been claimed.

MI5’s policy would be illegal if it breaches human rights, such as the ban on the use of torture, Jaffey told the secretive IPT tribunal.

“This is a case where the agencies are able to self-grant themselves a practical immunity from the criminal law,” Jaffrey argued.

The policy would have been in place when MI5 agents were active in Northern Ireland, which in the early 90s was still witnessing The Troubles, a low-level sectarian war.

The UK government’s official guidelines state that there is no immunity from prosecution for agents who participate in criminality. Despite this, Jaffrey said that police and prosecutors were unaware of the details of the crime due to the secrecy of the policy.

The revelation is the latest embarrassment for the government during the IPT tribunal, a similar policy – the so-called ‘James Bond clause’ – was exposed earlier in the proceedings.

Following the hearing, Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said: “We want to know if it’s government policy to let MI5 agents get away with serious crimes such as torture and murder.” She urged the government, if this is their policy, to “inform MPs and the public, and open the policy to legal and parliamentary scrutiny.”

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

Urban’s Tale Clears Away Some of the Smoke and Mirrors in Salisbury

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | October 3, 2018

There’s enough smoke and mirrors in the Salisbury poisonings to make the Magic Circle blush. It is impossible for the public to understand what happened, and who did what to whom, not only because the details don’t add up, but because many of the so-called “facts” that have been released are suspicious in and of themselves. Whichever aspect of the case we look at to try to make sense, we can never quite be sure that we are not going down a rabbit trail, since the “facts” we base our case on may in fact not be facts at all.

What we can do, though, is to keep looking at the official claims. The investigators of the case obviously have access to information that ordinary members of the public don’t have, and they have made an accusation. But the big question is whether the claims and the accusation they have made stand up to scrutiny – not just to the “facts” that have been given out, but also to logic and to reason.

It is important to begin by defining exactly what the claim is. There are essentially two branches.

The first comes from the British Government, who have declared the Russian State to be responsible for an attempted assassination of Mr Skripal on 4th March (to begin with they hedged their bets between direct responsibility and indirect responsibility, but later statements are more explicit about direct responsibility). In making this claim, because they are not in a court of law, but rather in a Parliament full of remarkably incurious folk, they have been able to able to come up with vague and airy statements about the case, all of which may well be enough to satisfy the incuriosity of that particular audience and their chums in the media, but which are unlikely to satisfy the minds of the more discerning.

The second branch comes from the Metropolitan Police. It is by far the more important of the two, since it is the specific claim of those paid to investigate the case, and is therefore the one upon which the Government’s claim ultimately rests (it is, however, worth reminding ourselves that in the Alice in Wonderland times we now find ourselves in, the Government’s claim came prior to the investigation, not after it, which as anyone acquainted with logic, reason and justice will tell you, is precisely the wrong way around).

To understand The Met’s central claim, however, we must first hack our way through much smoke and navigate our way around many mirrors. So let’s do that by first establishing what the claim is not:

It is not that the Russian state was behind the poisoning (although the Metropolitan Police statement of 5th September does repeats the claim made by the Prime Minister on 14th March, it does so only as a prelude to what is then said about the two suspects, and is not central to its claim about those men).

It is not that Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov are GU Intelligence Officers.

It is not that Ruslan Boshirov is in reality Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga.

All these are peripheral to the central claim made by the Metropolitan Police, and in many ways just smokes and mirrors. The Metropolitan Police’s central claim can be succinctly said to be the following:

“That between 12:10pm and 13:30 on 4th March 2018, the two men named as suspects – Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov – went to the house of Sergei Skripal at 47 Christie Miller Road, Salisbury, on foot, and there applied a high purity, military grade nerve agent to the handle of the front door in an attempt to assassinate Mr Skripal.”

Now, astute readers will realise that the Metropolitan Police has mentioned nothing about the timing that I have stated: 12:10 – 13:30. Nevertheless, that this is what their claim entails is an incontrovertible fact taken from two pieces of information:

a) The image released by the Met of the two men on the Wilton Road at 11:58 (ten minutes after another image showing them arriving at Salisbury train station), which is a little over 5 minutes walk from 47 Christie Miller Road.

b) That Mr Skripal’s car was seen on CCTV driving away from his house at 13:33, towards the town, never to return.

In other words, the claims that the Government first made back in March, when there were still various conflicting claims as to where and how the poisoning took place, have now been distilled into a very particular location — the door handle of 47 Christie Miller Road — and a very specific timeframe — 1 hour and 20 minutes.

To put that into Cluedo terminology, the Metropolitan Police have made an accusation, and it is as follows:

“We believe it was Boshirov and Petrov (perhaps not their real names), at the door handle of Christie Miller Road, with the Novichok, between 12:10 and 13:30.”

The whole of the Government accusations from March onwards are now indelibly connected with this claim, and its truth or otherwise.

Now, the first thing to say about the claim is that the information released by the Met so far has not proven this claim at all. The images showing the two men coming into the UK do not prove the claim. The images of the two men walking around Salisbury do not prove the claim (in fact, they tend to do the opposite, since the idea that two apparently highly trained intelligence officers would not only carry out their deed under cover of daylight, walking together at all times, but would then spend almost two hours traipsing around town are frankly not very credible). The image showing the two men on the Wilton Road does not prove the claim, since it is some 600 yards from the alleged crime scene.

It may all be enough to convince the nation’s MPs, but it ought not be enough to convince anyone still committed to reason and logic.

However, comments in a new book by the BBC reporter, Mark Urban, reveal a couple of things that are of crucial interest in light of the claim. Here is the first:

“Urban discovered that Skripal spent much of his day watching Russia’s Channel One, a pro-Kremlin state broadcaster. He adopted ‘the Kremlin line in many matters’, the journalist writes, ‘even while sitting in his MI6-purchased house’, especially over Moscow’s fraught relations with Ukraine.”

The key part I want to draw your attention to is that, according to Urban, Mr Skripal’s house was “MI6-purchased.” This may come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention, but it does at least clear away some of the smokes and mirrors. So the house that Mr Skripal lived in, and the one that he was apparently targeted in, was owned by MI6. And the reason for this, as the British media seem to have belatedly discovered, is that Mr Skripal was still working for MI6.

Mr Urban also says this:

“The people closest to him [Sergei] were probably what he called his ‘Team’ — the officers from MI5 and MI6 who looked after his welfare. He spoke about them with affection and had a special mobile phone that went directly to their duty officer.”

Hopefully, you’re beginning to get the picture. Sergei Skripal was not only active for MI6, and not only lived in a house which was purchased by MI6 but – according to Mr Urban – he had MI5 and MI6 officers assigned to protect him, as well as a direct line should he need to get in contact. As an aside, would it be cheeky to enquire whether this particular phone was one of the ones that was allegedly made untraceable on 4th March?

Given what Mr Urban says about the house, the phone and the protection, let me ask a few simple questions:

  1. How conceivable is it that the house did not have some kind of security measures in place, including CCTV cameras?
  2. How conceivable is it that Russian intelligence wouldn’t have assumed that Mr Skripal’s house would have had some kind of security measures in place, including CCTV cameras covering the front door?
  3. How conceivable is it that Russian intelligence would have chosen a method of assassination that was not only highly untargeted, but which was practically guaranteed to result in the filming of the assassins committing the crime?

To discerning persons, the answer to all three questions is quite obvious, though perhaps not to the nation’s MPs or media.

But let’s just suspend reason and logic for a moment, and imagine that despite the extremely high probability that Russian intelligence would have assumed Mr Skripal’s house to be well protected, and the absurdly low probability that they would then have chosen this particular method of assassination, they had still carried out the attack in the way the Met claims. What would it mean?

It would mean that there has been a massive failure on the part of British intelligence to protect one of their own assets in his own house — a house which they owned, and which should therefore have been made safe. In which case, why are there no questions being asked about this failure in the House of Commons? Or do we already know the reason for that.

Let me spell it out even more clearly. There only three options here:

Option 1: Mr Skripal’s MI6-bought house did indeed have the kind of security measures you would expect it to have had, given that Mr Skripal was actively working for British Intelligence. In which case, if the central claim of the Metropolitan Police is true, there must be CCTV footage of the two suspects, applying “high purity, military grade nerve agent” to the door handle.

Option 2: Mr Skripal’s MI6-bought house didn’t have the kind of security measures one would expect it to have had, given that Mr Skripal was actively working for British Intelligence. In which case, if the central claim of the Metropolitan Police is true, does this not constitute a failure of security of the highest order?

Option 3: Mr Skripal’s MI6-bought house may or may not have had the kind of security measures you would expect it to have – but it’s all neither here nor there because the door handle assassination claim is untrue.

The discerning amongst you will make your own minds up as to which of these possible scenarios is correct.

October 3, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Extraordinary and Deliberate Lies from the Guardian

By Craig Murray | September 23, 2018

I am just back from a family funeral – one of a succession – and a combination of circumstances had left me feeling pretty down lately, and not blogging much. But I have to drag myself to the keyboard to denounce a quite extraordinary set of deliberate lies published in the Guardian about a Russian plot to spring Julian Assange last December.

I was closely involved with Julian and with Fidel Narvaez of the Ecuadorean Embassy at the end of last year in discussing possible future destinations for Julian. It is not only the case that Russia did not figure in those plans, it is a fact that Julian directly ruled out the possibility of going to Russia as undesirable. Fidel Narvaez told the Guardian that there was no truth in their story, but the Guardian has instead chosen to run with “four anonymous sources” – about which sources it tells you no more than that.

I have no idea who the Guardian’s “anonymous sources” are, but I know 100% for certain that the entire story of a Russian plot to extract Julian from the Embassy last Christmas Eve is a complete and utter fabrication. I strongly suspect that, as usual, MI6 tool Luke Harding’s “anonymous sources” are in fact the UK security services, and this piece is entirely black propaganda produced by MI6.

It is very serious indeed when a newspaper like the Guardian prints a tissue of deliberate lies in order to spread fake news on behalf of the security services. I cannot find words eloquent enough to express the depth of my contempt for Harding and Katherine Viner, who have betrayed completely the values of journalism. The aim of the piece is evidently to add a further layer to the fake news of Wikileaks’ (non-existent) relationship to Russia as part of the “Hillary didn’t really lose” narrative. I am, frankly, rather shocked.

September 23, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 7 Comments

British Collusion and Criminality

By Margaret Kimberly | Black Agenda Report | July 11, 2018

Most people believe that Donald Trump owes his presidency to Russian activity because they have been told this repeatedly for the past two years. There was indeed high level collusion taking place in the 2016 presidential campaign but it wasn’t carried out by Trump. It was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee who acted in concert with intelligence assets in the United States and in the United Kingdom. The British government continues to manufacture false flag incidents, force international agencies to do its bidding, and push for regime change in Syria. Having failed to defeat Trump, they kept up the campaign to cover their tracks, escape blame for Hillary Clinton’s failure, and maintain the foreign policy status quo.

A law firm retained by the Democratic National Committee paid for the opposition research undertaken by former MI6 agent, Christopher Steele. Steele produced a dossier alleging that Trump was compromised by the Russian government and shopped it to the FBI, CIA, influential journalists and politicians like Senator John McCain. The dossier was used to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant against Trump aide Carter Page but the DNC connection was not disclosed to the judge.

Steele isn’t the only British spook in the story. A man named Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, is a business partner of Stefan Halper, a CIA asset who also spied on Donald Trump. Halper had contacts with Page and George Papadopoulos, two men now under indictment by Robert Mueller’s special investigation. The lesser lights of the Trump team were no match for seasoned professionals who get protection from the New York Times. The Times calls Halper “an FBI informant” and tries to claim that is somehow different from being a spy.

While Russia is vilified at every turn the British government conducts very public and very shady business which could conceivably impact both countries. The case of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal has the British government’s finger prints all over it. There is no reason for Russia to poison a former spy whom they had swapped eight years earlier. The only logical conclusion is that the act was carried out with the goal of embarrassing Vladimir Putin and creating a possible pretext for war. The Skripal case was soon followed by questionable reporting of yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria which resulted in a short lived United States, British and French attack on that country.

It is the British who use lies and trickery to sway public opinion into supporting a wider war in Syria. Three months after the Skripals were attacked another pair of Britons are said to have been poisoned with Novichok, a chemical weapon originally produced by Russia but which now can be made anywhere. One of the victims died and the claims of Russian involvement have suddenly become much more dangerous.

This second poisoning took place less than one week after the UK pressured the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to take on the role of judge and juror. No longer will the OPCW just determine if chemical weapons have been used, but they will also be tasked with assigning blame, too. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson proudly stated, “The U.K. has led the diplomatic efforts to secure this action.”

Collusion continues not between Trump and Russians, but between intelligence agencies, the media and American politicians with hidden agendas. While the public are fed a steady diet of tales of an unfree press in Russia, it is the British press which has been censored by its government. A Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice (D Notice) has been issued which prevents them from reporting fully on the Skripal case. Most Americans are unaware that the British government may prevent the media from reporting on any subject or person they choose. The person being protected now may be a man named Pablo Miller.

Miller was Skripal’s MI6 handler and was also employed at Christopher Steele’s firm Orbis. Miller and Steele may have involved Skripal in writing the anti-Trump dossier. While Americans are given endless misinformation making Russia look like the foreign interloper in their nation’s affairs it is actually the British deep state that is well connected to American media and politicians.

The Russiagate purveyors constantly say, “Connect the dots.” If there are any dots to connect they run from the DNC to former MI6 spies to CIA assets to Russian double agents to American intelligence to alleged chemical weapons attacks used to justify war or to stop the upcoming Trump and Putin summit. It is all being used to further the now obligatory anti-Russian propaganda that is pervasive on both sides of the Atlantic.

Anti-Russia sentiment has been stoked for two years straight and with expert precision. Any counter narratives have been obscured with equal precision. Honest discourse is now nearly impossible and the likelihood of public support for anything up to and including hot war between nuclear powers has increased. The world is a more dangerous place but not because of Russia. As always the United States and its allies are the cause of turmoil. This time they may have created dangers that they are unable to contain.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. Ms. Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

July 11, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

British government involved in torture, report found

MEMO | June 28, 2018

The British government’s involvement in torture and rendition is “beyond doubt” the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) said today. The parliamentary committee, which oversee the work of the intelligence machinery of the UK, revealed the true scale of the UK government’s involvement in torture and rendition since the war on terror was launched by US President George Bush in 2001.

It is one of the most damning indictments ever of UK intelligence. Torture and rendition, according to the ISC, were much more widespread than previously reported. The ISC rejected the intelligence agencies’ defence and said that the cases were not just “isolated incidents”.

A litany of cases of concern was highlighted in two reports by the USC. One report deals with the mistreatment and rendition of detainees between 2001 and 2010, while the other considers current issues.

It said that in 232 cases UK personnel continued to supply questions or intelligence to other services despite knowledge or suspicion of mistreatment. In 198 cases UK personnel received intelligence from liaison services and knew that the detainees had been mistreated or at least should have suspected mistreatment.

Committee chairman, Conservative MP Dominic Grieve said: “In our view the UK tolerated actions, and took others, that we regard as inexcusable.” In three individual cases the MI6 or MI5 even made or offered to make a financial contribution to others to conduct a rendition operation. In 28 cases, the agencies suggested, planned or agreed to rendition operations proposed by others. In a further 22 cases, MI6 or MI5 provided intelligence to enable a rendition operation to take place. In 23 cases they failed to take action to prevent rendition.

Rendering or rendition involves sending a person from one country to another for imprisonment and interrogation, by methods such as torture, which would be illegal in the country doing the rendering. Prisoners were taken to prisons known as black sites scattered around the globe in some of the most brutal regimes to interrogate and torture prisoners. US intelligence agencies used the process of “extraordinary rendition” to send terror suspects for interrogation by security officials in other countries, where they have no legal protection or rights under American law.

“That the US, and others, were mistreating detainees is beyond doubt, as is the fact that the agencies and defence intelligence were aware of this at an early point,” the report says. “The same is true of rendition: there was no attempt to identify the risks involved and formulate the UK’s response. The report said that there was no understanding in HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] of rendition and no clear policy – or even recognition of the need for one.”

Grieve, said that the committee had reluctantly decided to bring the inquiry to a premature end because it had been denied access to key intelligence individuals by the prime minister. “It is difficult to comprehend how those at the top of the office did not recognise the pattern of mistreatment by the US,” he continued. Grieve also said that had the inquiry continued, the committee would have called the then home secretary, David Blunkett, and the previous foreign secretary, Jack Straw, to explain what they understood to be the situation at the time and why a briefing was not requested.

The committee also said that they wanted to interview the MI6 officers involved but the government had “denied [us] access to those individuals.”

Craig Murray, a former British diplomat, who gave “key evidence” to the ISC said in a Facebook post that he is the only senior British civil servant to enter a written protest of the torture policy but was sacked as a result.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 4 – The Dodgy Dossier

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | June 7, 2018

So far in this series of pieces, I have attempted to demonstrate why I believe the official story of the poisoning of the Skripals doesn’t add up (Part 1). I have then pointed to some of the most significant pieces of the jigsaw, which have either been largely ignored or quietly forgotten (Part 2). And I then went on in Part 3 to show what I believe to be perhaps the key to the whole case; that Mr Skripal became agitated in Zizzis restaurant, not because he was physically unwell and suffering from the effects of poisoning hours earlier, but rather because he had an appointment to keep.

But before coming on to propose a theory of what may have happened, I need to first present a theory of why it might have happened. I emphasise the word theory, because that is all it is — neither more nor less. And of course, it could be well wide of the mark. Make of it what you will!

In a recent blog, Craig Murray, the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, linked to a very interesting piece by Paul Gregory that appeared in Forbes in January 2017. Mr Gregory is Professor of Economics at Houston University, and research fellow at both the Hoover Institution and the German Institute for Economic Research, and he also has extensive knowledge about Russia and the Soviet Union. Here’s what he had to say about the so-called Trump Dossier, just a few days after it was published by Buzzfeed :

“As someone who has worked for more than a decade with the microfilm collection of Soviet documents in the Hoover Institution Archives, I can say that the dossier itself was compiled by a Russian, whose command of English is far from perfect and who follows the KGB (now FSB) practice of writing intelligence reports, in particular the practice of capitalizing all names for easy reference. It was written, in my opinion, not by an ex-British intelligence officer but by a Russian trained in the KGB tradition [my emphasis].”

Now, we know that there is a link between the apparent author of the Trump Dossier, Christopher Steele and Mr Skripal’s MI6 recruiter and handler, Pablo Miller. And we know that Miller and Skripal met regularly. Not only this, but we also know that there is a direct link between Steele and Skripal dating back to the late 1990s, early 2000s. There is, then, a clear link between the man credited (if that be the right word) with writing the Dossier, and a certain ex-Russian intelligence officer, who would have been trained in the KGB tradition (he was actually in the GRU), living in Salisbury. In fact, the Daily Telegraph helpfully pointed out this connection a day before the Government slapped a D-notice on reporting on the issue.

But is there another clue? I think there is. By itself, it would mean nothing, but it is an interesting possibility in connection with what I have just stated.

According to the Czech magazine, Respekt, Mr Skripal had links with Czech Intelligence. This included a meeting in Prague back in 2012, but there were also subsequent meetings where Czech Intelligence officers came to meet with him in Britain. We are not told when or where this took place, suffice it to say that there was an ongoing connection.

If we then turn to the Trump Dossier itself, we find this in the sections dated August and October 2016:

“Kremlin insider reports TRUMP lawyer COHEN’s secret meeting/s with Kremlin officials in August 2016 was/were held in Prague.

We reported previously (2016/135 and /136) on secret meeting/s held in Prague, Czech Republic in August 2016 between then Republican presidential candidate Donald TRUMP’s representative, Michael COHEN and his interlocutors from the Kremlin working under cover of Russian NGO Rossotrudnichestvo…

Speaking to a compatriot and friend on 19 October 2016, a Kremlin insider provided further details of reported clandestine meeting/s between Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP’s lawyer Michael COHEN and Kremlin representatives in August 2016. Although the communication between them had to be cryptic for security reasons, the Kremlin insider clearly indicated to his/ her friend that the reported contact/s took place in Prague, Czech Republic.”

Mr Cohen has of course vehemently denied this claim, saying that he has never been to Prague. Whether he has or hasn’t is not for me to say, but it is in any case irrelevant to the point I am making. That point is this: Sergei Skripal had what looks like extensive connections with Czech Intelligence, and claims – whether true or false –, which presumably came from Czech sources, are found in the Trump Dossier.

Putting these three things together – the Steele/Miller/Skripal connection; the Czech claims in the Dossier; and the emphatic claim made by Paul Gregory that the Dossier itself was compiled by a Russian “trained in the KGB tradition” – then you can begin to see where this might be pointing.

Now, you’d think from the way the BBC and others have reported on Mr Skripal that he was just some old chap enjoying his retirement in the quiet city of Salisbury, where he was in the habit of frequenting local restaurants and pottering about in his garden. Yet his continued work for British Intelligence, which saw him travelling to the Czech Republic and Estonia in 2016 to meet with intelligence officers, paints a somewhat different picture. Also, remember this is a man who once sold out hundreds of his fellow countrymen in the late 1990s and early 2,000s for filthy lucre. The fact that he continued to work for British Intelligence after being settled in Salisbury suggests not only that there was not what you might call deep repentance, but also presents the possibility that he continued to be lured by the promise of cash.

And so one wonders whether the man who was bought for a price by MI6 back in the 1990s might have still been buyable after he settled in Salisbury. Might Steele, who had been commissioned by Fusion GPS on behalf of the Democrats to put together some dirt on Donald Trump, have asked Skripal to cobble something together? Might Skripal have used his contacts in places like the Czech Republic and Estonia to give it some semblance of credibility? Might Skripal have been swayed by the promise of more money to put together a Dossier full of salacious and unverifiable gossip?

And be in no doubt, the Trump Dossier is a Dodgy Dossier. I write this as someone who thinks that Donald Trump is a walking disaster area, and as someone who has no desire to defend him. Yet the fallaciousness of the Dossier, which has formed the basis of the attempts to smear and possibly impeach him, is clear, as Paul Gregory articulated well in his piece for Forbes:

“The Orbis dossier is fake news … [It] makes as if it knows all the ins-and-outs and comings-and-goings within Putin’s impenetrable Kremlin. It reports information from anonymous ‘trusted compatriots,’ ‘knowledgeable sources,’ ‘former intelligence officers,’ and ‘ministry of foreign affairs officials.’ The report gives a fly-on-the-wall account of just about every conceivable event associated with Donald Trump’s Russian connections … There are two possible explanations for the fly-on-the-wall claims of the Orbis report: Either its author (who is not Mr. Steele) decided to write fiction, or collected enough gossip to fill a 30-page report, or a combination of the two.”

Indeed, the whole thing has all the look and feel of having been written by a firm that wanted a payday, but never in their wildest dreams expected the contents of it to become public knowledge. And they never expected it to be revealed because they never expected Mr Trump to win the 2016 election. In the infinitesimally small chance that he did win, I don’t suppose it even occurred to them that it might be taken seriously by US Intelligence.

And so here is the supposition as to the “why” of this case: The Democrat Party paid Fusion GPS to dig up some dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion GPS contracted this out to British Intelligence, who put them on to Orbis Business Intelligence, a private security firm owned by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele. Steele took the money and farmed the project out to Skripal who, because of his knowledge of Russia and his contacts with intelligence agencies in other countries, could make it sound reasonably plausible, at least to those who were paying for it.

But then – and this like that bit in the Lord or The Rings when it says that the Ring came into the possession of the unlikeliest creature – the Dodgy Dossier somehow found its way into the hands of US Intelligence agencies, and instead of seeing it as the obvious fraud that it was, amazingly they took it seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it became what the then Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strzok, described in a text message to his mistress, Lisa Page, as “an insurance policy” – that is, insurance against the unthinkable happening and Donald Trump becoming President.

But of course the unthinkable did happen. Against all expectations, Mr Trump won, and suddenly that same “insurance policy”, full of salacious gossip and unverifiable information, took on a life of its own, with all of the Beltway talking about it, and then with Buzzfeed eventually releasing it into the public domain. And so what was meant to be a product with enough plausibility to satisfy those paying for it, became the foundation for the attempts to bring down a sitting President.

If the above is correct — and let me reiterate once again that it is simply a theory, not necessarily a fact — then Sergei Skripal, not Christopher Steele, was the main author of the Trump Dossier. If that was the case, isn’t it possible that he might have sought a payment to keep quiet about its origins and the nature of its contents? And isn’t it possible that there might have been others who would seek to keep him quiet by other means?

In the final part of this series, I’ll attempt to propose a theory as to what actually happened on the evening of 4th March in Salisbury.

June 8, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Knobs and Knockers

By Craig Murray | April 5, 2018

What is left of the government’s definitive identification of Russia as the culprit in the Salisbury attack? It is a simple truth that Russia is not the only state that could have made the nerve agent: dozens of them could. It could also have been made by many non-state actors.

Motorola sales agent Gary Aitkenhead – inexplicably since January, Chief Executive of Porton Down chemical weapons establishment – said in his Sky interview that “probably” only a state actor could create the nerve agent. That is to admit the possibility that a non state actor could. David Collum, Professor of Organo-Chemistry at Cornell University, infinitely more qualified than a Motorola salesman, has stated that his senior students could do it. Professor Collum tweeted me this morning.

The key point in his tweet is, of course “if asked”. The state and corporate media has not asked Prof. Collum nor any of the Professors of Organic Chemistry in the UK. There simply is no basic investigative journalism happening around this case.

So given that the weapon itself is not firm evidence it was Russia that did it, what is Boris Johnson’s evidence? It turns out that the British government’s evidence is no more than the technique of smearing nerve agent on the door handle. All of the UK media have been briefed by “security sources” that the UK has a copy of a secret Russian assassin training manual detailing how to put nerve agent on door handles, and that given the nerve agent was found on the Skripals door handle, this is the clinching evidence which convinced NATO allies of Russia’s guilt.

As the Daily Mirror reported in direct quotes of the “security source”:

“It amounts to Russia’s tradecraft manual on applying poison to door handles. It’s the smoking gun. It is strong proof that in the last ten years Russia has researched methods to apply poisons, including by using door handles. The significant detail is that these were the facts that helped persuade allies it could only be Russia that did this.”

Precisely the same government briefing is published by the Daily Mail in a bigger splash here, and reflected in numerous other mainstream propaganda outlets.

Two questions arise. How credible is the British government’s possession of a Russian secret training manual for using novichok agents, and how credible is it that the Skripals were poisoned by their doorknob.

To take the second question first, I see major problems with the notion that the Skripals were poisoned by their doorknob.

The first is this. After what Dame Sally Davis, Chief Medical officer for England, called “rigorous scientific analysis” of the substance used on the Skripals, the government advised those who may have been in contact to wash their clothes and wipe surfaces with warm water and wet wipes. Suspect locations were hosed down by the fire brigade.

But if the substance was in a form that could be washed away, why was it placed on an external door knob? It was in point of fact raining heavily in Salisbury that day, and indeed had been for some time.

Can somebody explain to me the scenario in which two people both touch the exterior door handle in exiting and closing the door? And if it transferred from one to the other, why did it not also transfer to the doctor who gave extensive aid that brought her in close bodily contact, including with fluids?

The second problem is that the Novichok family of nerve agents are instant acting. There is no such thing as a delayed reaction nerve agent. Remember we have been specifically told by Theresa May that this nerve agent is up to ten times more powerful than VX, the Porton Down developed nerve agent that killed Kim’s brother in 15 minutes.

But if it was on the doorknob, the last contact they could possibly have had with the nerve agent was a full three hours before it took effect. Not only that, they were well enough to drive, to walk around a shopping centre, visit a pub, and then – and this is the truly unbelievable bit – their central nervous systems felt in such good fettle, and their digestive systems so in balance, they were able to sit down and eat a full restaurant meal. Only after all that were they – both at precisely the same time despite their substantially different weights – suddenly struck down by the nerve agent, which went from no effects at all, to deadly, on an alarm clock basis.

This narrative simply is not remotely credible. Nerve agents – above all “military grade nerve agents” – were designed as battlefield weapons. They do not leave opponents fighting fit for hours. There is no description in the scientific literature of a nerve agent having this extraordinary time bomb effect. Here another genuine Professor describes their fast action in Scientific American :

Unlike traditional poisons, nerve agents don’t need to be added to food and drink to be effective. They are quite volatile, colourless liquids (except VX, said to resemble engine oil). The concentration in the vapour at room temperature is lethal. The symptoms of poisoning come on quickly, and include chest tightening, difficulty in breathing, and very likely asphyxiation. Associated symptoms include vomiting and massive incontinence. Victims of the Tokyo subway attack were reported to be bringing up blood. Kim Jong-nam died in less than 20 minutes. Eventually, you die either through asphyxiation or cardiac arrest.

If the nerve agent was on the door handle and they touched it, the onset of these symptoms would have occurred before they reached the car. They would certainly have not felt like sitting down to a good lunch two hours later. And they would have been dead three weeks ago. We all pray that Sergei also recovers.

The second part of the extraordinarily happy coincidence of the nerve agent being on the door handle, and the British government having a Russian manual on applying nerve agent to door handles, is whether the manual is real. It strikes me this is improbable – it rings far too much of the kind of intel they had on Iraqi WMD. It also allegedly dates from the last ten years, so Putin’s Russia, not the period of chaos, and the FSB is a pretty tight organisation in this period. MI6 penetration is just not that good.

A key question is of course how long the UK has had this manual, and what was its provenance. Another key question is why Britain failed to produce it to the OPCW – and indeed why it does not publish it now, with any identifying marks of the particular copy excluded, given it has widely publicised its existence and possession of it. If Boris Johnson wants to be believed by us, publish the Russian manual.

We also have to consider whether the FSB really publishes its secret assassination techniques in a manual. I attended, as other senior FCO staff, a number of MI6 training courses. One on explosives handling was at Fort Monckton, not too far from Salisbury. One in a very nondescript London office block was on bugging techniques. I recall seeing rigs set up to drill minute holes in walls, turning very slowly indeed. Many hours to get through the wall but almost no noise or vibration. It was where I learnt the government can listen to you through activating the microphone in your mobile phone, even when your phone is switched off. I recall javelin like directional microphones suspended from ceilings to point at distant targets, and a listening device that worked through a beam of infra-red light, but the target could foil by closing the curtains.

The point is that there were of course no manuals for this stuff, no manuals for any other secret MI6 techniques, and these things are not lightly written down.

I would add to this explanation that I lost all faith in the police investigation when it was taken out of the hands of the local police force and given to the highly politicised Metropolitan Police anti-terror squad. I suspect the explanation of the remarkably convenient (but physically impossible) evidence of the door handle method that precisely fits the “Russian manual” may lie there.

These are some of the problems I have with the official account of events. Boris lied about the certainty of the provenance of the nerve agent, and his fall back evidence is at present highly unconvincing. None of which proves it was not the Russian state that was responsible. But there is no convincing proof that it was, and there are several other possibilities. Eventually the glaring problems with the official narrative might be resolved, but what is plain is that Johnson and May have been premature and grossly irresponsible.

I shall post this evening on Johnson’s final claim, that only the Russians had motive.

Update: I have just listened to the released alleged phone conversation between Yulia Skripal in Salisbury Hospital and her cousin Viktoria, which deepens the mystery further. I should say that in Russian the conversation sounds perfectly natural to me. My concern is after the 30 seconds mark where Viktoria tells Yulia she is applying for a British visa to come and see Yulia.

Yulia replies “nobody will give you a visa”. Viktoria then tells Yulia that if she is asked if she wants Viktoria to visit, she should say yes. Yulia’s reply to this is along the lines of “that will not happen in this situation”, meaning she would not be allowed by the British to see Viktoria. I apologise my Russian is very rusty for a Kremlinbot, and someone might give a better translation, but this key response from Yulia is missing from all the transcripts I have seen.

What is there about Yulia’s situation that makes her feel a meeting between her and her cousin will be prevented by the British government? And why would Yulia believe the British government will not give her cousin a visa in the circumstance of these extreme family illnesses?

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , | 1 Comment

UK intelligence may be complicit in Skripal’s poisoning – ex-FSB head

RT | March 13, 2018

A former FSB director suggested British intelligence agencies may be complicit in the attempt on the life of former double agent Sergei Skripal, adding the incident has actually caused “enormous harm” to Russia.

Nikolay Kovalev, former director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), told RIA Novosti on Tuesday it is mainly the UK and its ally the US who benefit from Skripal’s poisoning. The former military intelligence officer was exposed as a British spy back in the early 2000s.

“It looks like British secret services are complicit in it,” Kovalev went on. “[Defectors] are fully under surveillance … the secret services are monitoring them, they know their whereabouts and schedules. And then you have such strange events happen in a row.”

Kovalev, who led the FSB from 1996 until 1998, said he believes that a series of assassination attempts targeting defectors in the UK makes him think that the British “scapegoat this or that traitor after having utilized him to the maximum extent, and then say the Russians did it.”

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury last week, prompting London to pin the blame on Moscow.

On Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the poisoning was either “a direct act by the Russian state on Britain,” or the Russian government had allowed the alleged nerve agent, ‘Novichok’, to get into the wrong hands.

“The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible,” she said.

Kovalev dismissed the claim, saying the nerve agents could have been stored in any post-Soviet country, including Ukraine.

“Given that [such substances] were stockpiled in former Soviet Union republics – sorry, but Ukrainian involvement can’t be ruled out,” he said.

His assessment has been echoed by another former security official who suggested the nerve agent allegedly used in the attempt on Skripal’s life was produced in the UK. General Vladimir Mikhailov, a former high-ranking FSB officer, told RIA Novosti that if Vil Mirzayanov, a Russian chemical weapons expert who defected to the West in the early 1990s, had disclosed the formula, MI6 “could have synthesized the agent and used it for political purposes.”

March 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

The Skripal Incident-Another Anti-Russian Provocation

By Christopher Black – New Eastern Outlook – 09.03.2018

The British government is talking war with Russia over a mysterious incident that is claimed to have taken place on Sunday March 4, just a few kilometres from the secrecy shrouded British biological and chemical warfare research and development facility at Porton Down in Wiltshire. I say claimed since we have very little information confirming what exactly took place outside of government statements and we have seen no photographs of the alleged victims in their hospital beds to convince us that the alleged victims did fall ill and are being treated. However, let us assume that the incident as described did take place.

The mystery consists in the fact that the victims, former Russian colonel of military intelligence, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, were not under any known threat from Russia. Skripal was charged and convicted in Russia in 2006 of being an asset of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and handing over secret information to the British. He was jailed, but in a spy swap in 2010 was pardoned and allowed to leave Russia for Vienna, then Britain, where he has been living ever since. Why he was pardoned is difficult to determine, unless it was necessary legally to effect the swap with the British. In any even the Russians had washed their hands of him but it seems the British had other uses for him, as their expendable man for a provocation against Russia.

The facts as the British government states them are that Skripal and his daughter, visiting from Russia, met for lunch in Salisbury, the town outside of which Porton Down is located. The purpose of the daughter’s visit is not known. According to ever changing media accounts witnesses in a restaurant reported that Skripal appeared to be agitated and angry and left in that state with his daughter following. Agitated and angry about what we do not know.

Half an hour later it is said that the two of them were found slumped over on a public bench. Some early media accounts state that it was thought they had taken too much fentanyl and were vomiting and that their illness may have been self-induced. But very quickly the British government claimed that they had been poisoned by some chemical or nerve agent and immediately cast the blame on Russia though the investigation had just begun. The incident was immediately taken out of the hands of the local police and handed over to the Counter-Terrorism Police, formerly known as Special Branch, though the government refused to call it a terrorist incident. A meeting of the British government high-level emergency committee, Cobra, was called. Why this was done for what appears to be an assault or attempted murder or a self-induced accident is a good question. But the answer lies in the immediate propaganda campaign mounted in the British press against Russia.

On Thursday the 8th of March the British government claimed that they had identified a “nerve agent” as the substance used. Yet the BBC quotes on the same day a woman physician who attended at the scene saying that she found Mrs. Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench vomiting and fitting. She had lost control of her bodily functions. The physician, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved the daughter into the recovery position and opened her airways as others tended to her father. The doctor stated that the she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on her face or body and that though she had been worried she would be affected by a nerve agent so far she “feels fine.”

Yet, the British media published on Thursday a photograph of a police officer who they say attended the scene and who they claim was made ill and placed in intensive care but is now stable and recovering. The two stories do not add up, as it would seem the doctor was in closer physical contact with the two victims than the police officer yet the doctor has suffered no symptoms at all.

The Guardian quoted Andrei Lugovoi, another former Russian agent, accused of Litvinenko’s murder by the British as stating that Skripal had been pardoned in Russia so no one from there is after him:

“I don’t rule out that this is another provocation by British. Whatever happens on British territory, they start yelling: ‘He was killed, he was hung, he was poisoned!’ and that Russia is to blame for everything. This is to their advantage.” Igor Sutyagin, yet another Russian traitor flown to Russia in 2010 in an exchange of spies-also said, “I don’t think that Mr. Skripal would be targeted, because he was pardoned.”

To add to the mystery the British government refuses to name the alleged nerve agent. To create more drama the British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, stated that it was not Sarin or VX but something “very rare.” I think we can expect that they will choose the right dramatic moment to name something and state that only Russian labs can make it. That is their modus operandi. They certainly do not want to state that VX was involved since VX was developed in 1952 at Porton Down near the sight of the incident; for that would lead to necessary investigations into security at that facility and whether personnel there were involved. However, despite the fact that Porton Down is in the business of manufacturing chemical warfare agents including nerve agents and that logic would dictate that the Porton Down authorities would be barred from being investigators into a case in which they could be involved the British government immediately assigned Porton Down to identify the substance that might have been used.

That the Russians may be correct that this incident is another NATO arranged provocation must be seriously considered. Despite the fact there is no evidence whatsoever that Russia had anything to do with this incident, the British government was quick to label Russia as the villain of the piece and the mass media dutifully acted in lock step and put out the word. Boris Johnson called Russia a “malign and disruptive force’ and made threats about pulling the UK out of the World Cup to be held in Russia this year. The attempts by the NATO alliance to throw Russia out of the Olympics on trumped up doping charges were largely successful and now we see another attempt to disrupt a sports event that is important to world football fans and to Russia. Johnson added that Britain would act “robustly’ of Moscow is found to be involved.

The Russian embassy in London stated the allegations of Russian involvement are untrue and that the “script of yet another anti-Russian campaign has already been written.” It seems so and the script has some pages to run yet. One has to wonder what the role of the British intelligence services is in this for the BBC also reports that Skripal still kept the company of British intelligence agents. So one has to ask, for what reason? What was his continuing role as an asset of MI6? What was their role on that day?

But that line of inquiry will not be followed. All the British media are linking this incident to the case of Alexander Litvinenko, another Russian who was supposedly poisoned with radioactive tea. Evidence that cronies of his were involved were ignored in favour the line that Russia was behind it though no evidence has ever been put forward to support that claim. They are also making the claim that this “very rare” substance must be from a state military stockpile, so the statements to come from the British government can be predicted.

This incident has echoes of the case of Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian dissident killed in London in 1978 by a ricin pellet injected into his leg by means of an umbrella it was said, though it was no doubt done with an air pistol. That murder was quickly blamed on the KGB and Bulgarian government agents but there is evidence that in fact the murder was arranged by MI6 as was the murder of media magnate Robert Maxwell in 1991, who had documents relating to the Markov murder in his possession, according sources such as Richard Cottrell in his book Gladio and accounts by former British intelligence agent Gordon Logan.

The Skripal incident also brings to mind the death of Dr. David Kelly in 2003 whose mysterious death in woods near his home, was officially attributed to “suicide.” He is thought by many to have been assassinated by the British secret services and CIA to keep him from revealing secrets about the war in Iraq. He worked at Porton Down as head of microbiology.

He in turn is connected to other scientists at Porton Down who have died under questionable circumstances, for instance, Dr. Richard Holmes, whose body was found in the same woods as Dr. Kelly, in 2012, two days after going for a walk, and one month after resigning from Porton Down, and to Vladimir Pasechnik’s death in November 2001, another Russian defector, who allegedly died of a stroke. His death was not announced until a month later and by British intelligence. Dr. Kelly had been involved in his debriefing when he left Russia.

Sir Edward Leigh, a member of the Parliamentary Defence Committee, in the British Parliament stated, “the circumstantial evidence against Russia is very strong. Who else would have the motive and the means?” The answer to that of course is that the British government has the motive and the means. What would Russia benefit from harming a has-been like Skripal and causing all this fuss? None. What benefit does Britain have and NATO? The answer again is provided by Sir Richard who went on to state “The only way to preserve peace is through strength,” carefully echoing Trump’s foreign policy. He continued, “and if Russia is behind this, this is a brazen act of war, of humiliating our country and defence is the first duty and spending 2% of the budget on defence is not enough.” There is the motive right there. To justify an increase on defence spending and to hit Russia yet again with propaganda warfare to justify NATO’s continuing aggression against Russia.

Russia has volunteered to cooperate in the “investigation” but to what end? The script is already written, the drama will unfold, the consequences will flow and they will lead not to peace and cooperation but to more hostility and war.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment