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article imageOp-Ed: Russia blamed for two Novichok poisonings but without evidence

By Ken Hanly     Jul 5, 2018 in Politics
Amesbury - Ben Wallace, the U.K. security minister, has claimed that Russia is responsible for the Novichok poisoning of a second couple in Amesbury near Salisbury — where ex-spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned along with his daughter in March of this year.
Russia accused of second poisoning
Wallace has called on Russia to help U.K. authorities keep the people of Britain safe by giving information. The Guardian speaks of the "same military-grade nerve agent" that almost killed Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia.
When asked whether Russia could be responsible Wallace said: “Based on the evidence we had at the time of the Skripal attack, the knowledge they [Russia] had developed Novichok, they had explored assassination programmes in the past, they had motive, form and stated policy, we would still assert to a very high assurance that the Russian state was behind the original attack. The working assumption would be these are victims of the consequences of the previous attack or something else but not that they were directly targeted.
"This [the Skripal incident] was a brazen and reckless attack at the heart of a very peaceful part of the UK. That is part of the anger I feel at the Russian state. They chose to use a very, very toxic, highly dangerous weapon. Novichok in the smallest form can injure thousands of people. The Russian state could put this wrong right. They could tell us what happened, what they did and fill in some of the significant gaps we are trying to pursue. We have said they can come and tell us what happened. I’m waiting for the phone call from the Russian state. The offer is there.”
Russia has denied having anything to do with the Skripal event or the new poisoning; but of course this would be natural and is summarily dismissed. Yet there is no convincing reason given as to why the Russians would have used a poison that would immediately cause them to come under suspicion.
The Alice in Wonderland official narrative about the Skripal event
The official narrative about what happened to the Skripals has all sorts of inconsistencies being as full of holes as Swiss cheese. A recent Digital Journal article list some of the issues as well as having links to numerous critical articles. The issue had gone off the radar of the mainstream media who seem quite uninterested in the fact that neither Yulia or Sergei Skripal who have been out of the hospital for some time have not been available for any real press conference.
George Galloway's op ed in Russia Today is just one of many examples of caustic critiques of the official narrative blaming Russia for the Skripals' poisoning. He starts out with a quote from Alice in Wonderland: "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast". He then points out that to believe the official narrative you would have to believe more than six impossible things.
Galloway points out how incredible is the view that the two were poisoned by contact with Novichok on the doorknob of their house. The time period that the two were able to function normally before being found unconscious is radically inconsistent with the view they were poisoned by Novichok a military grade nerve agent. Galloway notes: "Neither Skripal showed any signs of having been affected in the pub, or wherever else they visited en route to Zizi's, or in the restaurant, or even in the only short piece of CCTV footage seen in the public domain after they had left the restaurant but before they reached the park bench on which they slumped five hours after leaving their doorknob." Reporters have never been able to ask Yulia or Sergei what their view is of what happened. If their story confirmed the official narrative we would have heard that ages ago.
Populace reassured that sites in Skripal case decontaminated
Spokesperson for PM Theresa May said: “The advice from chief medical officer was clear that the risk to the public is low. Equally the chief medical officer was clear that in terms of the sites involved in the Skripal incident they have now been decontaminated.” if that is so then it would seem that the Novichok that poisoned them was not likely a part of the original batch that poisoned the Skripals.
How can the authorities claim the risk is low? Was it low for Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley who were poisoned?
Porton Down laboratory established that the nerve agent was Novichok
Neil Basu claimed on Wednesday that expert scientists in chemical warfare at the Porton Down laboratory that is between Amesbury and Salisbury where the Skripals were poisoned had established that the nerve agent that poisoned the two was Novichok. The poisoning happened Saturday but there were no news reports until four days later.
Basu said: “From initial assessment it was thought that the two patients had fallen ill after using drugs from a potentially contaminated batch. However ... due to concerns over the symptoms the man and woman were displaying, samples from both patients were sent to Porton Down laboratory for analysis. Following the detailed analysis of these samples, we can confirm that the man and woman have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, which has been identified as the same nerve agent that contaminated both Yulia and Sergei Skripal.”
No one has a good explanation of how four people now have been exposed to a military grade nerve agent and none have died. A recent tweet by Ian Wilkie also notes: "This is four (4) victims now that have been exposed to and suffering from a "military grade nerve agent" and not one (1) EMT or medical carer has suffered the slightest ill effect, with ALL treating the four (4) victims (while wearing no protective gear) for opiate intoxication."
There is virtually no evidence of Russia being involved in this second poisoning
In explaining why Russia is to blame for the second incident Wallace refers mostly to the first incident. Of course he gives no real direct evidence even for that event. He says of blaming Russia for the second event: "The working assumption would be these are victims of the consequences of the previous attack or something else but not that they were directly targeted. " The idea seems to be that somehow the Russians left some of the Novichok from the original attack where others could be poisoned I suppose. At most it could be an accident. The authorities know that the Russians have denied having anything to do with the first incident and yet they are asking them to explain a second incident that is supposed to be a consequence of the first. Obviously they are not seriously asking the Russians for information. Note that the UK has steadfastly rejected the Russian offer to be part of the investigation.
Police lied about what had happened
An article by Moon of Alabama notes that people near Rowley's house in Amesbury said that people in protective suits were seen on Saturday evening. A nearby resident Chloe Edwards a 17-year old student said: "We were just eating our dinner and all these emergency vehicles turned up. They were putting on these green suits and we thought it was the gas as our electricity was turned off as well." Another neighbour Lee Ann Brady said: 'I was told on the Saturday around half 6 in the evening that there was a gas leak and to close my windows. Nothing else was ever mentioned to us after that. But I haven't seen any British Gas vans anywhere.' Obviously the authorities knew something serious was up but misinformed the public. Even two days after the incident people were being told that it was a case of contaminated drugs but their actions show that they knew this was incorrect.
There was probably a D-notice issued
Wikipedia describes a D-notice as follows: "A DSMA-Notice (Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice)[1] — formerly a DA-Notice (Defence Advisory Notice), and before that called a Defence Notice (D-Notice) until 1993—is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security. The system is still in use in the United Kingdom."
The Moon of Alabama article argues that the issuance of a D-notice would explain the four day gap before there was any reporting on what had happened. The D-notice now prohibits any explanation of the censoring. Apparently along with D-notices outright lying is to be condoned but it is all for a good cause ultimately, casting blame on Russia.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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