We recently wrote about the suspected poisoning of one-time Russian spy, Sergei Skripal. Now, a little over a week removed from the breaking news of his discovery, and the developments have been both fast and ambiguous at the same time.
For example, there has been no shortage of commentators and politicians lining up to lay the blame for the attack at the feet of Russian intelligence. And while this is perhaps understandable given past events, there is very little in way of evidence for these claims in the public arena. Meanwhile, advice issued to the public has slowly shifted from “nothing to worry about” to “wash all your possessions!”
What’s more, while there is a strong argument that Russia may be behind the attempts on Sergei Skripal and his daughter’s life, it is not beyond imagination to suggest that they are a convenient scapegoat. Further still, there are some who are beginning to quietly suggest the possibility of the involvement of such agencies as the MI6 and intelligence services closer to home.
Each angle is as compelling as the next one, and while it will likely be years before any kind of “true” picture emerges, it will surely prove to be one that is as complex as it is morbidly interesting. And likely one that will highlight dark opportunism in various ways. Before we look at some of these recent developments, check out the video below. It runs down the basics of the incident of 4th March 2018.
“Highly Likely” Russia Is Responsible!
A small police presence has quietly morphed into scenes akin to martial law. At the time of writing over 500 UK soldiers in the Salisbury area. Furthermore, many parts of the town are essentially locked down, with one person even receiving a four-month prison sentence for breaching a cordoned off area.
The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, would state on 13th March that it was “highly likely” Russia, or at least Russian intelligence, was behind the attacks, which the police are treating as attempted murder. The group of “weapons-grade” nerve agents, Novichok, is responsible for the poisonings – at least according to initial reports. That particular nerve agent group originates from the old Soviet Union.
Furthermore, May would state that should there be “no credible response” by midnight of 13th into the 14th March, then the matter will be classed as “an unlawful use of force against the UK!” Perhaps as a caveat – possibly even for the UK’s own intelligence services depending on what comes to light – she would add that the incident was either “direct action” from Russia against the UK, or Russia had “lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others!”
The use of language is strong, to say the least. You can check out a short speech of Theresa May speaking in the UK House of Commons below.
Re-Investigations And An Increasing War Of Words
There have been many reports since the announcement of the poisonings about the untimely death of Alexander Litvinenko. In light of the information available so far, UK investigators are set to reinvestigate fourteen further deaths. Some of these deaths go back several years and include the Gareth Williams incident.
For their part, Russia denies any connection to the attacks. Furthermore, Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov insisted the UK should make samples of the nerve agent involved available for Russian investigators. Amid calls for Russia Today to have its broadcasting license put under review, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, Maria Zakharova would respond with clarity. She would state that “not a single British media outlet will work in our country if they close Russia Today!”
Former FSB director, Nikolay Kovalev also suggested that British intelligence agencies could be responsible for the attacks in an effort to do “enormous harm” to Russia. Kovalev points out that it is the UK and United States that benefit from recent events. He also points out that any defectors are monitored by the secret services saying, “they know their whereabouts and schedules!” He also speaks of “verbal agreements and unwritten laws, which are followed by the intelligence services all over the world!”
Perhaps Sergei Skripal’s past may provide the answer to the attack. According to ex-British Ambassador, Craig Murray, while Litvinenko was undoubtedly a good man who wished to expose abuses of power, Skripal was a “traitor who sold the identities of Russian agents” for nothing more than “hard cash!” In short, he has a long list of enemies. Given that MI6 will have been more than aware of his “monetary weakness” it is not too much of a stretch to think they realized it would one day be their secrets he was selling.
The Top-Secret Porton Down
The information regarding the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal came to the UK Prime Minister after testing at the nearby Porton Down facility. In fact, to some, it was very conveniently nearby. And what’s more, whether officially or not, nerve agents of some kind almost certainly reside within its walls. It is indeed, if the accounts are true, a place as mysterious as it is deadly.
We have written briefly about the Porton Down facility before. In that case it was the supposed final destination for “live alien cargo”, an account told to UFO investigator, Tony Dodd. The top-secret facility is a hub for chemical and biological research in the UK and has been a source of conspiracies since its inception. And not exclusively ones featuring “guests” of an extra-terrestrial nature.
Dr. David Kelly also worked out of the facility before his untimely death in 2003. When his (then) assistant died mysteriously in 2012 many people looked at the details with a raised eyebrow or two. Although Richard Holmes’ widow would insist her husband had taken his own life after disappearing in the woods nearby, many suspected his death was linked to either the death of Dr. Kelly or the secretive facility itself.
Is it possible that the Salisbury Incident has a connection with the top-secret biochemical facility? While it would seem unlikely that “they” would conduct a move right on their own doorstep, perhaps that was purposeful? Or might some form of the strain have leaked out into the nearby town? Indeed, the increased military presence on the streets does give it a menacing feel. Even lifelong residents state they “don’t know where is safe to go” in a place they have long called home.
Grim History Of Experiments
Porton Down began life in order to combat German use of chlorine gas in the trenches of World War One. During much of the 1920s and 1930s, mustard gas experiments would take place within the facility. These would include thousands of volunteers who would take part in experiments with the substances.
In fact, one particular incident involved the use of a nerve gas in 1953. And it would result in the death of a British serviceman. Ronald Maddison volunteered to test a “new cure” for the common cold. At least that is what the brief said upon him signing up. An hour after sealing the twenty-year-old in the testing chamber, he was dead. Sarin dripped on to his arm. Despite his skin sitting under two layers of cloth, the agent worked its way through the fabric with alacrity. He would spend his final minutes in agony.
By the mid-fifties, with the Second World War a decade past, the facility began to work on defensive weapons. In so doing, they would deplete their stocks of the nerve agents of the previous decades. At least that is the official story.
The video below looks at some of the conspiracies of Porton Down in a little more detail.