they just ♪can’t get enough of that Novichok, Novichok…♪

A new victim’s been discovered!

‘Second officer was poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury incident, police reveal’, telegraph.co.uk, August 15, 2019

“Counter Terrorism Detectives, who are investigating the nerve agent attack in 2018, have confirmed that traces of Novichok have been found in a blood sample which was taken at the time from a second police officer.
The officer from Wiltshire Police, who does not wish to be identified, was involved in the response to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The Telegraph understands the male officer displayed signs at the time of the incident that indicated exposure to a very small amount of Novichok.

He received appropriate medical treatment at the time and returned to duties shortly afterwards.

A police spokesman told the Telegraph the officer was part of the initial response.

Forensic examination of the officer’s blood sample, taken in March 2018, has since been carried out by scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

The forensic test – which uses a different method to that used to assess the clinical effects of nerve agent poisoning – has now given detectives confirmation that traces of Novichok were present.

The officer, the fourth person to be confirmed through forensic testing as a victim of the initial Salisbury attack, has been informed and continues to receive support from Wiltshire Police along with other officers and staff affected by the events in Salisbury and Amesbury last year.”

Well, now that number depends on Gina Haspel’s report about the dead ducks and sick children poisoned by the Novichoked bread the Skripals had been tossing to the ducks, doesn’t it? But Officer Nick Baily was allegedly #5.

“The spokesman said: “some of the other police officers that attended the scene may have been exposed, but it is possible to find forensic traces [of Novichok] in blood that have no health implications at the time”. [snip]

“The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and the US expelled 60 more in retaliation for poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March last year, blaming the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, for the botched assassination attempt.”

From the link above:

‘British authorities are confident they know “everything worth knowing” about the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, including a trail right up to Vladimir Putin.”


“The Russian intelligence agency behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been dismantled in the UK [<Moscow spins webb of lies] and will remain out of action for years to come, according to government sources.

The threat posed by the GRU, which carried out the attempted assassination of Skripal last March, has been severely curtailed as a result of the counter-terror investigation that exposed the agents who carried out the attack.’

“Counter-terror police working with the intelligence services were able to piece together the plot to murder Colonel Skripal, a former GRU officer who had sold secrets to MI6, using CCTV, including footage from the streets close to the Col Skripal’s home in Salisbury, and from passenger flight manifests and immigration data at the time of the attempted hit.”

(with photos of GRU Boris and Natasha)

‘Novichok Sickened 2nd British Officer, Police Say’, August 15, 2019, nytimes.com, Anna Schaverien

“Another officer, Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, became critically ill after going to Mr. Skripal’s home to investigate the attack. Mr. Skripal, a former colonel in Russia’s military intelligence, and his daughter, Yulia, had been found unconscious and slumped on a bench.

Sergeant Bailey, who made contact with the nerve agent through the house’s door handle, made a full recovery. Last Sunday, he ran a marathon to raise money for the intensive-care unit at the hospital where he was treated.

Two other people, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, also suffered high levels of exposure to Novichok as a result of the poisoning. They were accidentally exposed to residue in Amesbury, a town near Salisbury, months after the initial episode.

Both were critically sickened on July 1 when Ms. Sturgess sprayed a substance that she thought was [Nina Ricci l’air du Novichoque]  perfume onto her wrist from a bottle that Mr. Rowley, her boyfriend, had found. Investigators believe the vial was used to transport the Novichok that poisoned the Skripals. Mr. Rowley survived, but Ms. Sturgess died.

In the wake of the attack, tensions escalated to their highest pitch in decades between Britain and Russia, which London blamed for the poisoning. Moscow denied any involvement.” [snip]

“The European Union placed economic sanctions on the two suspects and two senior Russian military intelligence officials in January. And this month President Trump signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Russia over the episode.”

From the Aug. 1 NYT: Mr. Trump has been reluctant to take punitive actions against Russia, instead seeking better relations with Moscow despite its well-documented interference in the 2016 election.

But in recent weeks, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have criticized his administration’s delay in taking what they have called legally mandated action to follow up on sanctions imposed last August.’ [snip]

On Monday, the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a joint letter to the White House threatening new congressional action to force the administration’s hand.

“Failure by the administration to respond to Russia’s unabashed aggression is unacceptable and would necessitate that Congress take corrective action,” wrote the members, Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York, and Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas.

The law provided the administration with numerous sanctions to choose from. The executive order released by the White House on Thursday banned loans or other assistance to Russia by international financial institutions and prohibited most loans from American banks to Russia’s government.”

“They are suspected groundlessly,” the Kremlin’s spokesman told reporters when the European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes on the suspects. “We have still not heard any evidence.”

A year after the poisoning, and after 13,000 hours of cleaning, the British government announced that the decontamination of the former Skripal home was complete. But the investigation into the attack continues.

“There are parts of the picture that we are continuing to piece together,” the Metropolitan Police statement said.”

All of which begs the question: what new sanctions will the US and UK levy on Russia?  Of course we’ll never know where Sergei and Yulia are, will we?

And sure we remember when they raised a new roof because…some of that Novichok gel (or was it a spray?) on the Skripal’s front door knob migrated upstairs into the attic or something…

This may have been my favorite story, though: ‘Public toilet in Salisbury ‘may have been used by Russian agents to prepare deadly Novichok’, themirror.co./uk.com, Aug. 4, 2018

“A public toilet may be where Russian agents mixed deadly Novichok used to try and assassinate ex-spy Sergei Skripal , according to reports.

It is thought Met Police counter terror cops are investigating the likelihood that the assassins smuggled the components to the nerve agent into the country then mixed it in a public toilet in Salisbury.

Forensic teams have discovered low-level contamination in toilets in the city’s Queen Elizabeth Gardens.”

But I’ll turn it over to BBC news: ‘BBC to dramatise Salisbury Novichok poisoning’, 17 May 2019, bbc.com/news

“The new drama is being written by Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn who said in a joint statement: “We feel extremely privileged to be telling this story.

“Extensive, meticulous research is at the heart of how we like to work and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Salisbury who have opened up to us over the past few months and continue to do so.”

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: “The poisonings in Salisbury shocked the nation and had a huge impact on an unsuspecting community.

“This drama will capture the bravery, resilience and personal experience of the local people who faced a situation of unimaginable horror, so close to home.”

Casting for the drama is yet to be announced.”

An historical bonus from the good Ambassador:Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative’, March 7, 2109, Craig Murray, craigmurray.org; a few snippets:

“I still do not know what happened in the Skripal saga, which perhaps might more respectfully be termed the Sturgess saga. I cannot believe the Russian account of Boshirov and Petrov, because if those were their real identities, those identities would have been firmly established and displayed by now. But that does not mean they attempted to kill the Skripals, and there are many key elements to the official British account which are also simply incredible.

Governments play dark games, and a dark game was played out in Salisbury which involved at least the British state, Russian agents (possibly on behalf of the state), Orbis Intelligence and the BBC. Anybody who believes it is simple to identify the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in this situation is a fool. When it comes to state actors and the intelligence services, frequently there are no “good guys”, as I personally witnessed from the inside over torture, extraordinary rendition and the illegal invasion of Iraq. But in the face of a massive media campaign to validate the British government story about the Skripals, here are ten of the things I do not believe in the official account:

3) Nursing Care

The very first person to discover the Skripals ill on a park bench in Salisbury just happened to be the Chief Nurse of the British Army, who chanced to be walking past them on her way back from a birthday party. How lucky was that? The odds are about the same as the chance of my vacuum cleaner breaking down just before James Dyson knocks at my door to ask for directions. There are very few people indeed in the UK trained to give nursing care to victims of chemical weapon attack, and of all the people who might have walked past, it just happened to be the most senior of them!

The government is always trying to get good publicity for its armed forces, and you would think that the heroic role of its off-duty personnel in saving random poisoned Russian double agents they just happened to chance across, would have been proclaimed as a triumph for the British military. Yet it was kept secret for ten months. We were not told about the involvement of Colonel Alison McCourt until January of this year, when it came out by accident. Swollen with maternal pride, Col. McCourt nominated her daughter for an award from the local radio station for her role in helping give first aid to the Skripals, and young Abigail revealed her mother’s identity on local radio – and the fact her mother was there “with her” administering first aid.”

6) Mark Urban/Pablo Miller

The BBC’s “Diplomatic Editor” is a regular conduit for the security services. He fronted much of the BBC’s original coverage of the Skripal story. Yet he concealed from the viewers the fact that he had been in regular contact with Sergei Skripal for months before the alleged poisoning, and had held several meetings with Skripal.

This is extraordinary behaviour. It was the biggest news story in the world, and news organisations, including the BBC, were scrambling to fill in the Skripals’ back story. Yet the journalist who had the inside info on the world’s biggest news story, and was actually reporting on it, kept that knowledge to himself. Why? Urban was not only passing up a career defining opportunity, it was unethical of him to continually report on the story without revealing to the viewers his extensive contacts with Skripal.

The British government had two immediate reactions to the Skripal incident. Within the first 48 hours, it blamed Russia, and it slapped a D(SMA) notice banning all media mention of Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller. By yet another one of those extraordinary coincidences, Miller and Urban know each other well, having both been officers together in the Royal Tank Regiment, of the same rank and joining the Regiment the same year.”

Conclusion

I do not know what happened in Salisbury. Plainly spy games were being played between Russia and the UK, quite likely linked to the Skripals and/or the NATO chemical weapons exercise then taking place on Salisbury Plain yet another one of those astonishing coincidences.”

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

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