In 2003, Prime Minister Tony Blair misled the British people so that he could commit the United Kingdom to an illegal war in Iraq, which cost the lives of 222 Brits and an obscene number of Iraqis (Figure 116.1). It is well documented that Blair’s government leaned on civil servants to produce a dossier stating that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that the UK was potentially under threat. It was a despicable deception, and many believe Blair ought to be investigated for war crimes. As a result, public scepticism about government pronouncements has been ratcheted upward.
Figure 116.1: Mass protest in the UK
Copyright © 2014 Global Research
Something disturbingly similar is happening today. Eight days after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned in a Salisbury park, Prime Minister Theresa May pointed her finger straight at President Vladimir Putin and his Russian government (Figure 116.2). In a single stroke, May claimed that the toxin had been identified as a ‘novichok’, ‘of a type developed by Russia’. Samples from the victims had been analysed at the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, which just happens to be a mere seven miles from Salisbury.
Figure 116.2: Theresa May accuses Russia.
Copyright © 2018 Sky UK
Now, consider the careful wording: ‘of a type developed by Russia’. It does not state explicitly that the toxin was prepared or manufactured in Russia, nor even that it had ever been successfully synthesized at all. Nonetheless, May accused Russia of being responsible for its use and demanded an immediate explanation. Putin refused and was within his rights to do so. May ought to be reminded that innocence is presumed, and that the burden of proof lies entirely with the accuser.
Proof has yet to be established. May has agreed for samples to be given to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a UN agency based in the Netherlands, to whose strict protocols both the UK and Russia have agreed. Until the OPCW’s independent analyses are complete, the facts remain unknown.
‘Novichok’ molecules are quite simple structures (Figure 116.3). As recently as 2016, however, both Porton Down and the OPCW went on record, stating that it was doubtful that ‘novichoks’ had ever been made – by anyone. This is important: if Porton Down has never seen one, let alone one with Russian ‘fingerprints’, how can it be sure that the one it has now was manufactured in Russia? Of course, it cannot, because no comparison is available. Today, a former British Ambassador to (the former Soviet Republic of) Uzbekistan stated, from a Foreign Office source, that scientists at Porton Down have indeed been unable to identify the toxin as being of Russian origin. Further, they resent insidious governmental pressure to make them do so.
Figure 116.3: ‘Novichok’ is Russian for ‘newcomer’.
We seem to have been here before. The UK and the West in general have an overriding, and highly devious, anti-Russian narrative (e.g. Crimea, East Ukraine, Syria etc.). In addition, we must remember that the government has form when it comes to concocting scientific ‘evidence’ to foment conflict with other nations.
A few hours ago, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson stated that it was ‘overwhelmingly likely’ that the toxin had been made and administered by Russia. I dare say the word ‘likely’ would be laughably inadequate for a Crown Court judge; yet Johnson expects it to suffice when, without watertight evidence, accusing a sovereign nation of an extremely serious breach of international law.
Until the OPCW’s investigations are complete, wild accusations are plain stupid.
Facts should come first; conclusions second. This affair stinks to high heaven.
Copyright © 2018 Paul Spradbery