It’s been two years to the day since disgraced former military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, were allegedly found on a park bench in Salisbury, near unconscious and apparently very unwell.
A lot has been said about the unanswered questions revolving around the incident. But, as Off-Guardian’s Kit Knightly writes, perhaps the best way of demonstrating the peculiarity of the alleged situation is to simply relate, in full, the “official version”.
Here it is:
- Sergei Skripal, a Russian military intelligence officer, was found guilty of spying for the UK in 2006, and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
- In 2010 he was released and traded to the United Kingdom as part of a spy swap. Having settled in the UK Sergei lived a quiet and comfortable life of retirement, so far as we know
- Eight years later, in early 2018, with a Presidential election looming and just weeks before Russia was due to host the FIFA World Cup, Vladimir Putin decided to assassinate him for as yet obscure reasons.
- The GU, Russia’s military intelligence unit, dispatched two of their elite officers, who proceeded to fly direct from Moscow under aliases they had allegedly already employed and using Russian passports.
- These alleged assassins carried with them two perfume bottles full of “Novichok”, allegedly one of the deadliest nerve agents ever devised. This would be enough to kill around 800,000 people.
- On arriving in the UK these highly-trained covert agents book a hotel with a CCTV camera on the front door, and the next day, March 3, they travel to Salisbury by train, allegedly to recon the area, then return to London. They are apparently observed by CCTV camera’s the entire time.
- The day following, March 4, they again travel to Salisbury, this time the master assassins walk to Skripal’s house and somehow “smear” the liquid Novichok on the handle of his front door.
- No eye-witness, photograph or piece of CCTV footage has ever been made publicly available to show either of these two men anywhere in the area of Sergei Skripal’s house.
- The whereabouts of the opened bottle of poison have never been established.
- Having applied the poison, the two highly trained assassins do two things before returning to London. 1) They drop their second, unopened, bottle of novichok (presumably enough to kill approx 400,000 people) in a charity donation bin, rather than destroying it or taking it back to Russia. 2) They stop by an antiques store to browse.
- The two assassins leave the country that afternoon, flying direct to Moscow, without knowing if their alleged target is dead, and again making no effort to conceal their origins.
- Despite both handling the poison, and somehow carrying enough of it back to contaminate their hotel room, neither of the men – nor any of the staff, train passengers or passersby who come into contact with them – ever become sick, even though only 0.2mg of Novichok is an allegedly lethal dose.
- Later that afternoon, Sergei and Yulia Skripal are found “almost unconscious”on a park bench in Salisbury town centre. It is claimed this was due to contact with the Novichok smeared on Sergei’s door handle, though reports originally stated neither he nor his daughter had returned to the house, and the timing seems to make it unlikely they did
- The person who found them was the most senior nurse in the British Army (likely in the area as part of Toxic Dagger, the British Military’s landmark chemical weapons training exercise which began Feb 20th and ran on until March 12th).
- The nurse and her family administer “emergency aid” to the two alleged poisoning victims. Neither she nor anyone else on the scene, nor any of the first responders, ever experience any symptoms of nerve agent poisoning. Neither do any of the other people the Skripal’s came into contact with that day.
- DS Nick Bailey, a CID officer is in contact with the Skripals or their home at this time and subsequently becomes ill. It has never been stated how exactly he was exposed. It was initially reported he was a first responder to the scene, but that story was changed and it was later claimed he visited the Skripal hpouse. Despite the alleged lethality of novichok in even very minute doses, Bailey is fit to return home after 18 days.
- Porton Down, the British government’s chemical weapons research centre, is brought in to help identify what chemical – if any – the Skripals/Bailey were exposed to.
- Within a month they release a statement claiming the poison was “a novichok like agent”, but that they could not pinpoint its origin. How they were able to test for a (at the time) theoretical chemical without having a sample to test against, has never been explained.
- Porton Down is 8 minutes away from Salisbury by car.
- Nearly four months later, in late June of 2018, Charlie Rowley finds the unopened perfume bottle a full of novichok (whether he bought it from a charity shop or found it in a bin is unclear, both stories have been reported). Upon using the perfume Rowley’s partner, Dawn Sturgess, falls ill. Later that day Rowley also falls ill. Sturgess dies in hospital two weeks later. But Rowley survives. Making him the fourth person in this narrative to survive exposure to an agent lethal in doses as small as 0.2mg.
- Sergei Skripal and Julia both recovered and allegedly chose to live secluded lives. Sergei has not appeared in public at all since allegedly being found on that park bench. Yulia made one brief press statement. Their current whereabouts are totally unknown. Their family in Russia have apparently been denied all access to them. DS Bailey was initially also keen to maintain his privacy but has subsequently given at least one interview some while after the event.
This is the UK government’s version of what happened. Unvarnished and unsatirised. None of it is disputed, exaggerated or speculative.
If you can see any unanswered questions, logical gaps or peculiar coincidences…you are likely a Russian bot.
In fact, as TheBlogMire’s Rob Slane explains in a fantastic post-mortem, for those who have accepted The Met’s and Government’s account of the case, I am struck by a couple of things.
Firstly, their claims that those who haven’t accepted it are conspiracy theorists is really quite funny when you begin to count the number of absurd, implausible and sometimes downright impossible things that one has to believe to accept that official account (of which more below).
But secondly, I am struck by their remarkable apathy and complacency, given what they claim to believe.
Let me put it this way:
if I truly believed that agents of a foreign power had come to my country and had entered my home city carrying, using and discarding enough deadly nerve agent to kill thousands of people in my neighbourhood, I would not only be livid at that foreign Government; I would be absolutely furious with the British authorities for their pathetic, feeble response.
Two dozen diplomats expelled in response to the use of the (apparently) deadliest nerve agent known to man, which could have wiped out half the population of Salisbury? It’s the equivalent of sentencing an attempted murderer to a £100 fine. Of course, while I accept that a declaration of war in response to such a reckless act would have been a step too far, given that Russia is a nuclear-armed country with a hugely powerful military, I would certainly want a response that was far closer to that than the paltry expelling of a few diplomats.
However, the fact that those who bark the loudest about the alleged use of a nerve agent that could have killed 10,000 people are prepared to accept the expulsion of a few diplomats as an adequate response, suggests that many of them are not nearly as convinced as they make out that a lethal nerve agent was indeed used. Either that or they’re just a bit wet!
Questions, questions, questions. To which there must be answers, answers, answers. Unfortunately, those controlling the narrative are not about to give them any time soon, and they will no doubt continue to perpetuate the absurd, the implausible, and the impossible, rather than coming clean with the truth.
Perhaps it will take a whistleblower to leak the truth. But then who would do such a thing and who would publish it? A man who published secrets about war crimes that the US Government didn’t want revealing, is currently being treated in Belmarsh Prison and Woolwich Crown Court in much the same way that Soviet political dissidents and enemies of the state were treated back in the day. Another man who is tenaciously publishing the truth behind the OPCW’s sham investigation into the Douma chemical incident is smeared and slandered as a charlatan by those who are not fit to lick his shoes.
This is the kind of country we are becoming. This is the kind of society that those behind this riddle, wrapped in a cover up, inside a hoax, are leading us to. A national security state, where the truth is buried underneath an avalanche of deception, and where those who try to honestly get to the bottom of it are labelled enemies of the state, treated shamefully, so that others are deterred from following suit.
It’s not the kind of society I hoped to see when I was growing up. It’s not the kind of society I hoped my children would grow up in. My guess is that it’s not even the kind of society that those who are playing these elaborate games wanted to grow up in. Yet it is what it is, and I am persuaded that those who have brought us to this point have more trouble sleeping than I do.