Wednesday, April 4, 2018

UK Backs off Russia Guilty of Nerve Agent Poisoning

Metro, April 4, 2018: The Foreign Office has deleted a tweet blaming Russia for the Salisbury attack after UK scientists announced they had not verified the source of the nerve agent used. The Government had posted a message online that stated the Kremlin was responsible. It said: ‘Analysis by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade Novichok nerve agent produced in Russia.’ But yesterday Gary Aitkenhead, from the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, said the role of his lab was not to work out where the agent came from. He added the Government’s conclusion that it was highly likely to be Russian was based on ‘a number of other sources.’ The Foreign Office confirmed it had taken the tweet down because it had been an inaccurate summary of comments made by the UK’s ambassador to Russia.

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Independent, April 4, 2018:

The inability of Porton Down to ascribe blame to Russia means that intelligence is now the key factor in the accusation against the Kremlin. And such overwhelming dependence on intelligence, most of it unknown to the public, has inevitably led to comparison with the fake intelligence which was used to justify the Iraq invasion.

It is also perhaps inevitable that Mr Johnson would be in the centre of the controversy. In an interview two weeks ago he had stated that Porton Down scientists were “absolutely categorical” that the novichok came from Russia: “I asked the guy myself, I said ‘are you sure?’ And he said ‘there’s no doubt’.”

But “the guy”, Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) at Porton Down, was pretty clear that although the scientists had ascertained the agent was novichok, “we haven’t identified the precise source”.

The foreign secretary’s aides are insisting that he was misunderstood and his words have been taken out of context. But at the same time, the Russian embassy gleefully pointed out, the Foreign Office deleted a tweet from last month saying that Porton Down had established that the novichok used in the attack definitely came from Russia

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It's Not The Crime, It's The Cover-Up:

Moon of Alabama, April 4, 2018: When a scandal breaks, the discovery of an attempt to cover up is often regarded as even more reprehensible than the original deeds.

The British government is trying to cover-up the lies it made with its false allegations against Russia. The cover-up necessitates new lies some of which we expose below.

Yesterday the head of the British chemical weapon laboratory in Porton Down stated that the laboratory can not establish that the poison used in the alleged 'Novichok' attack in Salisbury was produced by Russia. This was a severe blow to the British government allegations of Russian involvement in the poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal.

Now the British government tries to hide that it said that the poison used in the Salisbury was 'produced in Russia' and that Porton down had proved that to be the case. The government aligned media are helping to stuff the government lies down the memory hole.

We all need to make sure that the new lies get exposed and that the attempts to change the record fail.

Yesterday the British Foreign Office deleted this from its Twitter account:

The March 22 tweet was part of a now interrupted thread which summarized a briefing on the UK government's response to the Salisbury incident given by the British Ambassador to Russia, Dr Laurie Bristow, to the international diplomatic community in Moscow.

After the silent scrubbing of the record was publicly questioned the Foreign Office admittedthat it deleted the tweet:
After it emerged on Wednesday that the tweet had been deleted, the Foreign Office said the post was removed because it "did not accurately report" the words of Laurie Bristow, the UK's ambassador to Russia, which the tweet was supposed to be quoting.
Hmm - fool me once ...

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