March 15, 2018
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
The Bizarre Case of the British Spy Poisoning: Another “False Flag” Action aimed at Russia and to Further Globalism and the New World Order?
Once again the virulently Russophobic Neoconservative pundits at Fox News (with the notable exception of Tucker Carlson), plus the leading scribblers at The Weekly Standard (e.g., editor Steve Hayes) and National Review, and Establishment GOP solons in Washington, are miraculously joined at the hip with the newly-converted Russophobic ideological far Left Democrats and Leftist Mainstream Media, in the latest attack on Russia—this time for claimed chemical attacks on a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
I have written in the past about this ironic and fascinating de facto alliance, and I have explained that both the extreme Left and the slightly less left Neocons (who pretend to lead the “conservative movement”), although proceeding from somewhat different premises, have involved interests and profound reasons for this zealous and unbridled hatred of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.
For the far Left, it is largely the narrative they developed leading up to and following the November 2016 election season. It appeared as a set-out plan in print in the detailed, inside view of the Hillary campaign, the book Shattered. But it was a viewpoint that had been in the making for a decade. The far Left that hitherto during the depths of the Cold War had manifested pro-Soviet Union views when the Kremlin was Communist, or at the least, defended Soviet postures and pushed for “peaceful co-existence,” found the new post-Communist and increasingly rightwing, nationalist and anti-globalist Russia a perfect target to blame for everything from Hillary’s unexpected loss to purported “election meddling” that would have caused that loss. For them “collusion between [a nationalist populist] Trump and [a nationalist populist] Putin” seemed logical and a major occasion for their frenzied actions.
For the Neoconservatives, those pilgrims from the Trotskyite Left who found their way into the “conservative movement” beginning in the 1970s, and soon dominated the movement, controlled its publications, and ruled with an iron hand its foundations and think tanks, anti-Russian sentiment was basically ingrained in their DNA. Most of the prominent leaders of Neoconservatism were of Jewish descent, and for them the memory of historic Russian anti-semitism, persecution and the pogroms, was still vivid in their historic memory. It was not just the pre-revolution tsars, but Stalin’s post-war persecution of Russian Communists who were Jewish, the infamous “doctors’ plot,” and other instances of anti-semitic activity that remained fresh and continue to motivate very pointedly their foreign policy positions.
While now professing to be “conservatives,” the Neocons never discarded their basic and essentially Trotskyite internationalism. On the ostensibly “conservative” NationalReviewOnline, a few years back, Neoconservative writer Stephen Schwartz let the cat out of the bag:
“To my last breath, I will defend Trotsky who alone and pursued from country to country and finally laid low in his own blood in a hideously hot house in Mexico City, said no to Soviet coddling to Hitlerism, to the Moscow purges, and to the betrayal of the Spanish Republic, and who had the capacity to admit that he had been wrong about the imposition of a single-party state as well as about the fate of the Jewish people. To my last breath, and without apology. Let the neofascists and Stalinists in their second childhood make of it what they will.” [see Paul Gottfried's commentary on Takimag.com, April 17, 2007]
And a vivid and recent example: in a two hour long interview with Megyn Kelly, held March 1-2 (of which NBC only aired about ten minutes), President Putin, asked about Russian cyberspace meddling in the 2016 election, after answering repeatedly the same question posed by Kelly, in utter frustration finally responded, with palpable sarcasm: “I am telling you for the third time: we have proposed working together on cyberspace issues. But the US refuses to work like this and instead throws 13 Russians to the media. Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked: maybe they have dual citizenship or a Green Card; maybe, the US paid them for this. How can you know that?” [https://russia-insider.com/en/kremlin-publishes-full-megan-kelly-putin-interview-nbc-cut-best-parts-video-transcript/ri22747?ct=t(Russia_Insider_Daily_Headlines11_21_2014)&mc_cid=4406b8e695&mc_eid=4e31a191e0] (The entire interview should be read and digested).
According to the Western press, you would have thought the Russian leader had donned an SS uniform and had re-opened the doors to the gas chambers at Auschwitz! The “conservative” Newsmax headlined the story: “Putin: ‘Maybe Jews,” Others, Behind 2016 Election Meddling.” [https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/russian-president-vladimir-putin-2016-us-presidential-election-election-meddling/2018/03/10/id/847933/?ns_mail_uid=61377180&ns_mail_job=1783208_03102018&s=al&dkt_nbr=01013574eep7] And The Washington Post and leftist Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) immediately swung into action: “It is deeply disturbing to see the Russian president giving new life to classic anti-Semitic stereotypes that have plagued his country for hundreds of years." [http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/ADL-condemns-Putins-suggestion-that-Jews-may-have-meddled-in-US-election-544813]
But it is not just that, not just the memory of historic anti-semitism and its continued power and imagery in Neoconservative thinking. For the Neocons brought with them the zealous internationalism and globalism from their Trotskyite days. And it was a globalism that now infects and shapes modern conservative thinking: instead of old-fashioned America First nationalism, the Neocons, it seemed, never saw a war they did not want to involve American boys in—they zealously pushed international trade and commercial organizations and treaties that potentially compromised American sovereignty—they pushed global “democracy” and “equality” as the dogmatic and undebatable templates everywhere, in every forlorn desert oasis or every faraway jungle across the globe—and at home, they adopted the twin narratives proposed by the farther Left on race and gender, even if they kept up the pretense of debating the more extreme manifestations and consequences of such theories. And lastly, they proceeded to expel and demonize older traditional conservatives who dissented, those who refused to go along with their ideas of internationalism and equality…and sex same marriage and racial pandering.
It is the Neocons, then, who now dominate the punditry on Fox News and whatever intellectual meandering occurs among most Republican lawmakers (and the brain dead utterances of Nikki Haley). And it is the Neocons—joined at the hip with their supposed “shadow boxing” opponents on the far Left—who are frenetically pushing the latest “Russians Did It!” narrative, specifically concerning the supposed chemical poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
But what of this latest incident that has brought the foreign policy, pro-globalist Establishments—both leftist and pseudo-right—in London, Paris, Bonn…and Washington…together to condemn President Putin and Russia? What is the real truth here, and what are the deeper reasons for this most recent attempt to malign the Russians and their president? And, lastly, how does the continued and fevered Russophobic campaign figure in the current debate over the Christopher Steele “dossier” and the effort to prevent the implementation of an America First, nationalist conservative and populist agenda here in the United States and in Europe (where rightwing nationalist—and anti-European Union—political movements are on the rise and are becoming major players and dangers to the Progressivist globalists)?
Strangely, the Brits have refused to allow the accused Russians to see any of the evidence they profess to possess in the Skripal case. In normal cases affecting more than one nation, the accused party is, at the very least, given an opportunity to view and examine the evidence being used to indict it. Prime Minister Theresa May—a full-fledged globalist—has refused to allow Russian authorities to see even the barest “facts” that the Brits say they have. May’s government states that they have consulted “international experts” who have verified the identity of the chemical that was used. However, we have no word of who these experts are or what were the criteria used for their selection, and their reports have not been made public.
In other words, the Russians are being told that they must prove the negative, prove their innocence, but without knowing the details involved in the charges lodged against them…other than a nerve agent—purportedly Novichok—was administered as the poison. Novichok is a nerve agent that Russia produced from 1973 until the early 1980s. And since then, as verified internationally, Russian chemical stores were destroyed. Samples of Novichok continue to exist, however, in Western repositories.
In such cases as the Skripal case, the fundamental question that must be asked is always: Cui bono? To whose benefit is the action? And in this case, even the most obtuse international observer must—or should—acknowledge that the Russians and their president had absolutely nothing to gain from attempting to assassinate Skripal.
In the early 1990s Skripal was recruited by the British as an agent and worked for them until arrested by the Russians in 2004. After serving a prison term in Russia from 2006 until 2010 for his spying, he was exchanged and moved to England where he lived peacefully and without publicity until this year. Why would the Russians—eight years after the end of his prison punishment and eight years after his exchange—wish to employ such an obvious poison, in public view, to take out someone who had ceased to be of any importance or threat to them?
On the other hand, there is very solid and intriguing data—not broadcast, of course, by the hysterical Russophobes on Fox or MSNBC—which can be adduced that Skripal’s attempted assassination had something to do with the Steele Dossier, and, yes, the ongoing campaign to malign and isolate Russia because of its opposition to and disruption of the globalist goals of an evolving international New World Order.
Just as in the case of another “false flag” operation, in Syria back in 2017, where the detailed and comprehensive scientific examination (April 17, 2017) by Theodore A. Postol, Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT [https://www.globalresearch.ca/assessment-of-white-house-intelligence-report-about-nerve-agent-attack-in-khan-shaykhun-syria/5584867] totally disproved the assertion that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad (with Russian support) had gassed the village of Khan Shaykun, this poisoning near Salisbury, England, has all the earmarks of an ideologically sharpened attack, using massaged and incomplete (and potentially compromising) details that might place in doubt, if fully revealed, the accusations.
Again, notice the symmetry: the unhinged Neoconservatives, the Russophobic denizens of the Deep State, the far Left and Democratic Party fanatics all stand united and together. And the Fox pundits now praise…Robert Mueller and his investigation, at least on the “identified culprits”! Even the obscure Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district, black activist Linda Coleman, who claims “the Russians stole my web site,” partakes in this mass hysteria.
There is a diabolical method in this madness: Russia has become the object of their collective hatred. For the dominant Neocons, it’s the fact that Russia will not bow to their demands for liberal democracy and economic subinfeudation, that Russia refuses to sacrifice its national sovereignty to the globalists and their objectives. And thus Fox is featuring—are you prepared for this?—such “experts” as far Leftist journalist Michael Issikoff and staunch Democrat publicist, Doug Schoen, to confirm and bolster their vitriol. And in this they embrace fully the similar aims of the farther Left—to bring down at any cost, including military means, the renaissance of a nationalist and anti-globalist Russia where tradition and religion are far more important today than they are in the decaying West.
British attorney and researcher, James O’Neil, has authored an excellently prepared essay on this topic, exploring the connections between the Skripal case and Christopher Steele, and to whose advantage an assassination would be. You will not see this information reported by the “united front” of Fox News-MSNBC-CNN-The Washington Post-The New York Times. You will not see or read these potentially incriminating questions raised…questions that should be raised and aired for the future of the American nation.
The Strange Case of the Russian Spy Poisoning
By James O’Neill March 13, 2018
Applying the principle of cui bono – who benefits? – to the case of Sergei Skripal might lead investigators away from the Kremlin as the prime suspect and towards Western intelligence agencies, argues James O’Neill.
The suspected nerve agent attack upon former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, which also affected his daughter in the English city of Salisbury last Sunday, has given rise to too much speculation, too much hysteria, and too little analysis or insight. It has provided ammunition for the Russophobic Western media to make accusations that it was another example of Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular disposing of a supposed enemy of the Kremlin.
As with the Mueller investigation into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election there are accusations with varying degrees of wildness, but little or no actual evidence that would get past first base in any independent court of law.
First, what are the known facts, only some of which have been accurately reported in the western mainstream media? The victim (assuming it was a deliberate attack upon him and his daughter) was formerly a Colonel in the Russian military intelligence service (the GRU). This is the largest of the Russian intelligence agencies and, as with its western equivalents, has a wide variety of functions, of which “spying” is only one.
In the early 1990s Skripal was recruited by an MI6 agent Pablo Miller, whom the British media declined to name. Miller was an MI6 agent in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Miller’s main task was recruiting Russians to provide information about their country to the British. An interesting fact, possibly coincidental, was that the MI6 officer under diplomatic cover in Moscow at this time was Christopher Steele. Steele was later to become better known as the principal author of the infamous Trump dossier.
When Steele returned to London, he ran MI6’s Russia desk between the 2006 and 2009. The information that Skripal disclosed would have been given to Steele, first in Moscow and later in London.
Skripal was arrested in 2004. In 2006 he was convicted of treason and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. In 2010 he was released as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Russian spies in U.S. jails. He went to live in the United Kingdom where he has lived in supposed retirement ever since. Another interesting fact, although again possibly coincidental, is that Salisbury, where Skripal lived, is only about 12 kilometres from Porton Down, the U.K.’s principal research centre for nerve agents.
If the Russians had wanted to kill him, they had ample opportunity to do so during the years when he was imprisoned or the eight years he lived in retirement in Salisbury. If they did wish to kill him, it is not a very credible that they would do so very publicly and by a means that could not be bought off the shelf in the local pharmacy. The handling and the administering of these very dangerous substances require professional expertise. The obvious candidates for the attempted murder are therefore government agencies, but which government is the unanswered question.
This is where the facts become thinner, but the interesting connections of Skripal offer scope for some tentative hypotheses. While living in Salisbury, Skripal became friendly, according to a report in the UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph, with none other than the aforementioned Pablo Miller – whom the Telegraph declined to name but has since been identified on the web.
Miller is now working with a British security consultancy named Orbis Business Intelligence. Again according to the Telegraph, Miller’s association with this company has now been removed from Miller’s LinkedIn profile.
The obvious question again is: why do so now?
Orbis is the same private intelligence agency as that of Christopher Steele. It seems more than a mere coincidence that the same three men who had personal and professional links going back to the 1990s should have a continuing association at the same time as the Steele dossier was being compiled and later as the so-called Russiagate inquiry was imploding. Former FBI Director James Comey described the Steele dossier as “salacious and unverified” in a Senate hearing.
The former British ambassador Craig Murray has suggested on his blog that a motive for the attempted murder of Skripal and his daughter was to further promote the anti-Russian hysteria that inflicts the Western media and the body politic.
That is certainly plausible, and it has certainly been one of the consequences, as the abysmal coverage of the ABC among other outlets makes clear. But an alternative hypothesis presents itself in the light of the above facts, and this hypothesis has not even been mentioned, let alone discussed by our major media.
My admittedly speculative hypothesis (but I would argue, not an unreasonable one) is that Skripal was likely involved in the production of the Steele dossier. He was therefore in a position to offer potentially very damaging information into the circumstances of the Steele dossier. As noted above, that particular narrative has not only spectacularly collapsed, but the revelations reflect very badly on, among others, the U.S. intelligence community, the FBI, the Democratic National Committee, the Obama White House and the Clinton campaign.
In any major criminal enquiry one of the basic questions the investigation asks is: who had the means, the motive and the opportunity? Framed in that light, the Russians come a distant fourth behind the other prime suspects; the U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies themselves, and those elements of the deep state that sought to prevent Trump winning, and subsequently to undermine his presidency. The primary motive being ascribed to the Russians is revenge for Skripal’s treachery more than a decade ago.
A second major question asked in any criminal investigation is cui bono – who benefits? It is difficult to perceive a credible argument that Russia is a beneficiary of Skripal’s poisoning.
Further support for the hypothesis that this was a false flag operation comes in this statement that British Prime Minister to Theresa May made to the UK Parliament. The statement was frankly absurd and could only have been made when the intention was to further demonize and punish Russia, rather than any attempt to establish the truth and apply ordinary principles of evidence and factual analysis.
May’s argument is thoroughly deconstructed on the Moon of Alabama website, which pointed out that Russia had destroyed all left over stocks from the Soviet Union’s chemical weapon program and does not currently produce chemical weapons. Further, there are any number of governments capable of carrying out the Salisbury attack. “If someone is run-over by a BMW is it ‘highly likely’ that the German government is responsible for it?” the Moon of Alabama asks.
The obfuscations of the British reinforce in the view that Skripal was dangerous to the anti-Trump forces and the authorities therefore sought to have them removed. There is ample precedent for such actions and those familiar with the “suicide” of Dr. David Kelly will recognize the parallels.
The chances of the truth emerging have become vanishingly small at the same time as a serious conflict with Russia becomes correspondingly greater.
James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst.