Skripals Are a Case of Implausible Deniability for the Brits

As more and more outlandish and implausible details of the alleged poisoning of the Skripals by an alleged Russian nerve agent emerge, and the already miniscule possibility that the Kremlin was somehow responsible is reduced to a vanishing point, our focus needs to turn to examining the details of what really happened here. It is all too easy to be drawn into this circus show, which almost seems to be playing with our imaginations.

How for instance could “they” tell that Sergey Skripal had touched his front door with his right hand, while Yulia had touched it with her left, when they were allegedly contaminated with the alleged nerve agent? Is this just to distract us from the inexplicable idea that the Skripals were hit with the most deadly nerve poison known to man, but remained unaffected for two hours?

Russian spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia were poisoned by nerve agent on their front door, police believe

All these details help us to establish is that the whole story is false – but we already knew that within hours of hearing about it; rather this helps us to consolidate our presumption of Russian innocence into certainty.

In fact, while the realisation that agents or states allied to the US/UK, acting with or without their governments’ consent or knowledge confected this scheme to further their interests is shocking enough, it is only the first step in analysing the conspiracy. The important questions that must now be answered are these:

Who was responsible? How long were they planning this? What is their prime motive? In addition we should consider how they intend to manage the contingencies, particularly if the targeted countries do not behave as they predict, or if other unforeseen events force an alteration to their plans.

Most importantly, we should appreciate that those responsible for launching this exceptionally provocative and dangerous conspiracy quite clearly intend to prevail, by whatever means necessary. This may well include further false flag attacks, or “provocations” as Russians call them, so being forewarned is to be forearmed.

Taking the first question – who was responsible – the options have been considered widely by others, with a preference depending on one’s particular prejudices, perhaps more than logical analysis would demand. Oddly it seems, while mainstream observers have no reservation in holding Vladimir Putin directly responsible for ordering “the attack” (we may call it that without specifying other details on which we have no reliable or credible evidence), “pro-Russian” analysts seem reluctant to hold Theresa May or Boris Johnson directly accountable.

Admittedly, were Putin to have ordered this assassination attempt on Skripal, it would only class him as – well, “like Putin”. But to claim that Theresa May and Boris Johnson knowingly collaborated with covert agencies to launch the most dangerous and dirty conspiracy since the “Great Syrian Conspiracy” – or since 9/11 – is a far more serious accusation.

Porton Down did NOT positively ID nerve agent in Skripal case

So this is not a claim that we can make lightly, nor seriously consider except in the absence of any other “plausible explanation”. The question must be – “is it possible that such a well-organised and fiendishly criminal conspiracy could take place under the noses of those leaders without their knowledge?” We might call this “implausible deniability”.

To conclude that this is possible, and that the UK’s leaders have been kept – to some degree at least – in the dark about the plan so that they can speak with the conviction of the ignorant, does not answer this question except to pose another, which is this:

Would a normally intelligent and reasonable person, albeit with a heavy burden of political allegiances and agendas, rush to accuse a foreign state of organising a terrorist attack on their country before there was any conclusive evidence, or even any evidence at all of their responsibility?

Would May or Johnson not have asked – at least privately – the same questions that we have all asked, such as “why on earth would Putin do something like this now?” or “what could Skripal have done or be about to do that would force the FSB to eliminate him?” They might also wonder why Skripal’s assassins chose such a stupid way to fail to kill him – why not simply bump him off with a bullet, after inviting him to somewhere more convenient than a shopping centre?

But of course the most obvious question these hopelessly ill-informed leaders must have asked would be this – why would the Russians try to kill one of their old spies with a novel nerve agent only a few miles from the only place in Europe that would be able to identify it?

It beggars belief! And it gets worse – this was only what May and Johnson needed not to know in the first week.

When blood tests revealed that all the 40 people who had gone to Salisbury hospital believing they may have been suffering from “Novichok” exposure were uncontaminated, a natural reaction should surely have been to gently backtrack, realising that the suspected chemical attack was not very serious, and may even have been due to some other “related agent” – as stated by Porton Down – which wouldn’t implicate Russia.

But far from it – the public alarm was exacerbated by a circus of white and green men with gas masks wrapping up cars and other suspect objects in plastic and taking them away, while the leaders started doubling down on the accusations against the Kremlin. Admittedly this was politically convenient, with the Russo-phobic UK wanting to bad-mouth Putin in the run up to Russian Presidential election. But hardly worth risking a military confrontation with Russia – unless that’s what they wanted.

It might be overlooked here that we are only considering whether Theresa May and Boris Johnson didn’t know what their own intelligence agencies were doing. It is another leap again to consider a situation where those intelligence agencies were also in the dark – as might have been the case if this was an operation devised by the CIA or Mossad without the knowledge of MI5 or MI6.

To consider that possibility – that both the leaders and intelligence services in the UK were only reacting to what they genuinely perceived as a Russian sponsored chemical weapon attack – is however obligatory, as that is what the UK and its allies are implicitly and explicitly claiming.

It must also be true that this claim – of “innocence” by MI5 and MI6 – must be demonstrated before we can conclude that other leaders in Europe and the US and Australia – who received their information from these intelligence services – are equally in the dark about the perpetrators of this crime, and innocent of complicity in it.

Would those agencies – whose record of intelligence gathering and espionage is formidable – not have considered it strange that an ally’s operatives chose to knock off one of their spies in a way that would have framed them as responsible – given the aforementioned proximity of Porton Down? Barring some inexplicable act of sabotage or retribution, only an enemy of the UK could do such a thing, but that of course is the least plausible explanation; Skripal wasn’t their spy.

Sadly in the light of all these options, we must conclude not only that the UK launched this provocation, but that it was a well-planned and coordinated conspiracy directed at Russia in which leaders and senior ministers were complicit.

All this of course is only to affirm the conclusions and statements of the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian intelligence services. (though one only needs a little “intelligence” to do this).

But it is far from the end of the matter. And again we may draw some serious conclusions from the mendacious pronouncements of the UK government, broadcast around the world following the distribution of their “talking points”.

The alleged crimes for which Russia must be punished include other crimes for which it was not responsible, such as “invading Ukraine” (did I miss that?) shooting down MH17 by proxy, and “meddling” in elections, including their own. Given that Russia has already been punished severely for these aberrations, it is hard to believe that the UK and its allies would have conspired once again as a pretext merely for further punishment for the same crimes; there must be some other and far more serious pretext for this scheme.

The idea that this was done for some trivial reason – such as spoiling Putin’s party at the World Cup, or even to stir up dissent against him amongst Russians – would be juvenile, and quite obviously unproductive.

Something far more “Syrious” perhaps, to be equally juvenile? That Russia’s actions in Syria were conspicuously missing from the UK’s initial accusations looks like an attempt to conceal their true agenda.

Is it not significant that the selected tag for the UK operation is “the first use of a chemical weapon in Europe since WW2”? What is the constant refrain we hear from the West and its agents in Syria, other than “Chlorine” attacks, and “Chemical Weapons” being used by the Syrian army against civilians? Is it not more than coincidental that the main source of these stories, of Syria still using Chemical Weapons – and now with Russian assistance – comes from the UK’s very own news and propaganda agency on the ground in Syria – the White Helmets?

Since the Syrian Army launched its campaign to liberate Eastern Ghouta, there has been an incredible propaganda campaign from the MSM here in Australia – and across the Western media – driven by headline video reports every day showing supposed bombing aftermaths in which almost the only people present seem to be White Helmets operatives and young children. News readers now even refer to the White Helmets without having to explain every time that they are “Civil Defence Volunteers”.

And every so often, to jog our memories of the White Helmets’ heroic actions, we are subjected to their “fire-hose porn” from Khan Shaikoun, as they treat the supposed victims of a Sarin attack with their bare hands!

So there is one last clincher in this framing of the real culprits behind the Skripal provocation. To believe that the leaders of the NATO coalition fighting against Syria and Russia did not know what their agents were doing in Salisbury, we must also believe that they don’t know what their White Helmeted agents are doing in Syria!

That for me at least, is a bridge too far.

Originally published: David Macilwain (Russia Insider)


  1. I got as far as:
    ‘All these details help us to establish is that the whole story is false – but we already knew that within hours of hearing about it’
    to realise this is just a rant by someone who knows ‘it’s all a conspiracy, stupid’.


      “Official statements from the UK government claim that the “military grade nerve agent” detected in Salisbury was “part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichoks” that the Russian chemist Vil Mirzayanov alleged had been developed in the Soviet Union in a secret programme. The structures of these compounds, labelled A-230, A-232, A-234, A-242 and A-262, were published by Mirzayanov in a book in 2008, twelve years after he emigrated to the US.

      Other than Mirzayanov’s story, there is no evidence that these compounds were ever synthesized in either the Soviet Union or Russia, or that the “Novichok” programme ever existed. The use of the term “Novichoks” to describe this A-230 series of compounds, which are real chemical structures, is therefore tendentious. An account by another Russian chemist Vladimir Uglev, often cited as corroboration of Mirzayanov’s story, appears on close examination to be about the development of a class of nerve agents denoted GV and which has been studied in several countries including Czechoslovakia and the US.

      The UK government has not revealed the identity of the compound detected in Salisbury, but the Russian ambassador has stated that the Foreign Secretary told him that the compound detected was A-234. They have revealed that the mass spectrometry profile of this compound was submitted to a public database by a researcher in the US Army’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center around 1998, indicating that Edgewood has synthesized and studied this compound.

      There is also evidence that the US government has concealed what it knows about the A-230 series of compounds. Edgewood’s entry for compound A-234 in the public database has been deleted. Furthermore, US diplomatic cables from 2009 show that the US and UK governments sought to discourage discussion of Mirzayanov’s story at the OPCW and the Australia Group (an informal grouping of US-allied countries set up in 1985 to control the export of precursors for chemical weapons).

      It has been suggested that the A-230 series of compounds have a different mode of action to that of classic organophosphates. To ensure that all relevant information is available to the doctors caring for the victims of the Salisbury poisoning, the UK government should without further delay reveal the identity of the compound detected, and should request urgently that all labs that have undertaken toxicity studies on such compounds make their results publicly available.”

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