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Buddy

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3050 on: March 09, 2018, 04:40:59 PM »
I apparently have been living under a rock this week....and had not seen or heard of this rumor.  And yes....it is an uncorroborated rumor in my mind right now.  But remember.....Nixon recorded himself.  Which....is amazing to me that someone could be that stupid (if you're going to record yourself...DON'T TELL ANYONE).

So before dismissing this "out of hand".....remember what Nixon did:

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/03/so-interesting-rumor

We'll see in coming days/weeks if there is actually any "journalism" that tracks down this scent.... or it turns out to be just a rumor.



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SteveMDFP

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3051 on: March 09, 2018, 05:32:56 PM »


https://crooksandliars.com/2018/03/so-interesting-rumor

We'll see in coming days/weeks if there is actually any "journalism" that tracks down this scent.... or it turns out to be just a rumor.

To enlighten those not inclined to click on the link, it's an unconfirmed, anonymous source that says Mueller has a copy of a signed memorandum of understanding between Trump and agents of Russia.

It is, indeed, hard to believe that Trump would be stupid enough to sign such a document.  But he's shown oceans of stupidity before.  Oceans.

It would absolutely be in the Kremlin's interest to have such a document, for obvious power to blackmail Trump.  So maybe they insisted as a condition for lending help to the campaign.

For what it's worth, I'm skeptical that Russian efforts had much effect.  I more suspect the Mercers+Cambridge Analytica had much greater impact on the late swing to Trump.  For me, the scandal is hardly at all about what Russia did, it's all about our current POTUS's rank corruption.

Neven

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3052 on: March 09, 2018, 10:15:45 PM »
Should I change the thread title to Trumpgate?  ;)

He'd probably like that.
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3053 on: March 10, 2018, 07:38:29 AM »
For what it's worth, I'm skeptical that Russian efforts had much effect.  I more suspect the Mercers+Cambridge Analytica had much greater impact on the late swing to Trump.  For me, the scandal is hardly at all about what Russia did, it's all about our current POTUS's rank corruption.

I don't disagree with you. But I DO think that there is one part of Russian meddling that has so far been underreported : Posting comments on news reports.

We know that IRA opened some 4,000 facebook/twitter accounts. And some of the posts were causing a direct effect, as explained in the Mueller indictment :
https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download

But comments posted by these 4,000 accounts have gone largely unreported.
I recall that IRA employees had a 'quota' of posting some 100 comments per day per person :

https://medium.com/dfrlab/the-russians-who-exposed-russias-trolls-72db132e3cd1

Quote
According to Lvova, each team member had to write around 100 online comments a day, focusing on Russian politics

If that's true, then the approximately 1000 employees at IRA posted 100,000 comments each day. Some 36 million comments per year.

Even if only 10% was directed at the US audience, then IRA employees would have posted 100 comments on the top 100 newly posted news articles in the US market, every day.
In other words, they overwhelmed the comment sections of news articles.

That does not come as a surprise to me, since I've seen plenty such pro-Russian posts about subjects like MH17 and Ukraine since 2014, and against Hillary during the 2016 election cycle.

Not sure if it made a difference for the election, but the math suggest that the Russians did have the numbers to flood the comment sections of news articles in the US and around the world.

And that was just IRA.
Not even counting the numerous other Russian news agencies spreading mis-information around the world.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 07:56:19 AM by Rob Dekker »
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Jim Pettit

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3054 on: March 10, 2018, 03:32:25 PM »
Katha Pollitt at The Nation has a pretty interesting piece about 'Russiagate' skepticism (Let's Get Real About Russiagate - April 2, 2018). In the piece, she responds to the six main arguments against the investigation heard here and elsewhere from people on the Left--"Focusing on Russiagate means neglecting more important things."; "Democrats are concentrating on Russiagate to avoid facing their failures", "If Russia meddled in our elections, it’s nothing we haven’t done in other countries ourselves."; etc.

It's not a long piece, so I won't repeat too much of it here lest I spoil the, er, fun. But I do think her closing sentence is worth consideration:

"If you’re a skeptic, ask yourself what could change your mind. If the answer is "nothing," you may be in for an embarrassing time."

(FWIW, the comments there run from mildly supportive of Pollitt to vitriolic and abusive towards her, most of the latter from the [possibly delusional] Trump-may-not-be-great-but-he's-far-better-than-Hillary crowd.)

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3055 on: March 10, 2018, 04:11:05 PM »
For what it's worth, I'm skeptical that Russian efforts had much effect.  I more suspect the Mercers+Cambridge Analytica had much greater impact on the late swing to Trump.  For me, the scandal is hardly at all about what Russia did, it's all about our current POTUS's rank corruption.
When I first heard of it (early 2016) I found CA quite scary. Meanwhile I heard and I think it's a bit overhyped. (Yet not to be underestimated...)

It seems Facebook and Google also offer good tools. And Russians are world-class programmers. You can bet the IRA has it's own tools on top of the FB and Google tools. (Soviet engineers could make a computer out of shoestrings. I've seen a database designed by an engineer from Samara who had never written a serious program - but his basic-SQL DB was quasi-OO with less than 20 tables. A Kazakh guy I know did matrix multiplication in 7th grade. Etc. Russian (ex USSR) math education humiliates German or British standard, which humiliates American math ed...)

So, methinks the Russians could easily outperform Cambridge Analytica without much effort, and for a tiny fraction of the cost.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3056 on: March 10, 2018, 04:36:47 PM »
As Mueller is legally required to completely investigate Trumpgate, Trump's lawyers attempts to entice Mueller to prematurely end his investigation of Trump's role in Russiagate amounts to obstruction of justice and I believe that Trump's lawyers should be indicted for this offer:

Title: "Trump lawyers seek to offer Mueller an interview in exchange for wrapping up probe: report"

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/377652-trump-lawyers-aim-to-offer-mueller-an-interview-in-exchange-for
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3057 on: March 10, 2018, 04:40:17 PM »
Nunberg is now cooperating, and acknowledges that Russiagate has substance:

Title: "Ex-Trump aide Nunberg reverses: Mueller probe not a 'witch hunt"

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377728-ex-trump-aide-nunberg-says-he-was-grilled-about-trump-staffers-for

Extract: ""No, I don't think it's a witch hunt. There's a lot there, and that's a sad truth," Nunberg told ABC News in an interview broadcast Saturday, a day after he answered a subpoena by Mueller's team to testify before a federal grand jury on his time in the campaign."
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Susan Anderson

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3058 on: March 10, 2018, 07:50:24 PM »
Thanks Neven. I'm waiting for the magazine to arrive (online preceeds it) so I have to take your word for that. Sadly, you don't care for Rachel Maddow, who presents this all and breaks it down in an orderly fashion, connecting the dots of this and other issues brilliantly. What seems clear is that the Clinton organization did not have the benefit of the 1st Steele revelations until later in the process, and this second memo came out later. Steele's interests, as Fusion's Simpson reported, were based on his experience in MI6 and a lifetime of investigation of Russian shenanigans. They were both concerned about the one-sided and ill-founded FBI attacks on Clinton while remaining silent about the Russia-Trump-financial crimes, voter roll hacking (21 states invaded).

The Trump history of financial and sexual misbehavior, money laundering, bullying, over 3500 lawsuits (often with the goal of not paying for work done), racism, connections to the Mafia and then the Russian mob, extend back to his youth. There's one case from the 90s that was not prosecuted which Mueller had in his files.

Limiting the discussion of the Trump underworld to his love of Russian mobbery and style doesn't fill out the big picture, which is of a man wholly devoted to moral absence and the profits therefrom. This calls to mind classic discussion of evil, such as Milton's Paradise Lost ("evil, be thou my good"), Faust, and Virgil's Aeneid (the route to death is easy).

Clinton was never evil, but it was easy to demonize her. As the Clintons got out of debt and acquired wealth and influence, people dismissed the good things they did (they almost achieved peace with North Korea, acted effectively in the Balkans, and their foundation has helped hundreds of millions, including planting trees in Africa) and of course, exaggerated their missteps. Putin hated Hillary because she stood up to him. She was famous for helping women. They used their power and influence for good. This has gone missing in the wholesale condemnations. While it's time to move on, the record of the good things they have done should not be erased; that is also a distortion.

Putin worship is incomprehensible to me.

Susan Anderson

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3059 on: March 10, 2018, 10:21:33 PM »
I wish I had seen this before I wrote all that (or perhaps I don't, since it needed saying), but I seem to have failed to properly describe the timeline, for which this is a direct source. If the link crosses "the Pond" the first 19 minutes of The New Yorker Radio Hour contains an audio interview of Jane Mayer by David Remnick (editor in chief): they are both easy to listen to and  describe the background without projection, covering pros and cons, sourcing and timeframe. I think this is much better than most of the material available. https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/christopher-steele-and-the-russian-dossier-and-a-north-korean-poet

It lacks the pushy affect that some dislike in Maddow, and is as close to original material as most of us will ever get. Please give it a listen if you want to know more about the context, background, and character of the Steele/Fusion investigation. Being audio is convenient for those busy with other things.

For quiet competence, it's hard to beat. It contains dates, and might clear up the confusion there.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3060 on: March 10, 2018, 11:08:46 PM »
Mueller appears to have a source regarding Trump's initial contacts with Russia in 2013:

Title: "In a personal letter, Trump invited Putin to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-a-personal-letter-trump-invited-putin-to-the-2013-miss-universe-pageant/2018/03/09/a3404358-23d2-11e8-a589-763893265565_story.html?utm_term=.cb1dc3a1476d

Extract: "Donald Trump was so eager to have Vladi­mir Putin attend the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow that he wrote a personal letter to the Russian president inviting him to the event, according to multiple people familiar with the document.

At the bottom of the typed letter, Trump scrawled a postscript adding that he looked forward to seeing “beautiful” women during his trip."
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3061 on: March 10, 2018, 11:26:02 PM »
Mueller appears to have a source regarding Trump's initial contacts with Russia in 2013
The letter itself seems to be nothing incriminating. The news here is how close Mueller is getting to Trump.

Seems like very interesting news ahead. (Heck, when will it ever end? I want to relax! :) ) If "Russiagate" wasn't interesting enough, now there's also Emirategate and Malaysiagate. What a swamp!

AbruptSLR

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3062 on: March 11, 2018, 03:46:49 PM »
Seems like very interesting news ahead. (Heck, when will it ever end? I want to relax! :) ) If "Russiagate" wasn't interesting enough, now there's also Emirategate and Malaysiagate. What a swamp!

While Trump may still be hoping for the best, it looks like he is preparing for the worst:

Title: "Trump in talks with Clinton's impeachment lawyer for Russia probe"

https://www.axios.com/trump-in-talks-with-clinton-impeachment-lawyer-for-russia-probe-1520772902-29a21a0f-54a5-4501-a1d1-e16da4ba3c3e.html

Extract: "The details: "Should Mr. Flood come on board, [two sources] said, his main duties would be a day-to-day role helping the president navigate his dealings with the Justice Department," per the Times."
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3063 on: March 12, 2018, 05:02:20 PM »
I think that it is a great idea for Mueller to hold-off on Trump obstruction charges until he has concluded other aspects of his full investigation; as in order to nail Trump he will likely need congressional help that most likely will not occur until after January 2019 assuming a blue wave during the mid-term elections:

Title: "Mueller Weighs Putting Off Trump Obstruction Decision"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-12/mueller-is-said-to-weigh-putting-off-trump-obstruction-decision

Extract: "Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice is said to be close to completion, but he may set it aside while he finishes other key parts of his probe, such as possible collusion and the hacking of Democrats, according to current and former U.S. officials.

That’s because Mueller may calculate that if he tries to bring charges in the obstruction case -- the part that may hit closest to Trump personally -- witnesses may become less cooperative in other parts of the probe, or the president may move to shut it down altogether."
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3064 on: March 12, 2018, 10:30:37 PM »
I am re-posting the following to illustrate that the public has known about Erik Prince's entanglement in Trump-Putin back channel, for going on a year now.  Hopefully, Mueller will be able to connect all of the missing dots:

"The linked article is entitled: “Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel “.  The FBI is looking into this meeting.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/blackwater-founder-held-secret-seychelles-meeting-to-establish-trump-putin-back-channel/2017/04/03/95908a08-1648-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.9967e8dabb36

Extract: “The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.

The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said.”"
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3065 on: March 12, 2018, 10:41:31 PM »
I normally do not provide links to Daily Mail articles, but if the linked exclusive is correct then Mueller will have many leads to pursue to determine whether Erik Prince worked to provide a Trump-Putin back channel:

Title: "EXCLUSIVE: Top Arab spy and prince's conduit to the Kremlin were at the Seychelles meeting between Trump donor Erik Prince and Russian oligarch which Mueller is probing"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5484079/Top-Arab-spy-Seychelles-meeting-probed-Mueller.html#ixzz59ZOcgfdf

Extract: ""The source claims 'Dahlan met with Prince and the Russians several times' in the Maldives."

"Nader has played a part in brokering a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Russia."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3066 on: March 12, 2018, 10:47:40 PM »
It looks like Theresa May is less of a Putin tool than Donald Trump:

Title: "White House won't point finger at Russia on poisoning of ex-spy"

https://www.axios.com/white-house-wont-point-finger-at-russia-on-poisoning-of-ex-spy-cf57898a-5122-4bf8-a429-ee4a0856b8cb.html?source=sidebar

Extract: "Shortly after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her government had "concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible" for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter on U.K. soil, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to point the finger at Russia for the attack:"
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A-Team

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3067 on: March 12, 2018, 11:35:27 PM »
Quote
"White House won't point finger at Russia on poisoning of ex-spy"

I'd be careful where you go with that. The US itself has a long history of assassinations by poison and probably doesn't want Castro brought up again. And let's not forget the weaponized anthrax mailed around by a rogue employee at that Ohio facility. Before lecturing Russia on their sphere of influence, we would first have to disown the Monroe Doctrine.

The UK knows, but hasn't yet disclosed, which of the Novichoks is under discussion - they're a fairly broad class of acetylcholinesterases like the tammelins (sarin, vx etc) -- nor whether it came in with the birthday bouquet or with the 40-minute delay on the rissole.

All of the published structures are easy to make as binaries -- you don't even need a good fume hood -- as the precursors are for sale to anyone from any chemical supply house. Anything in long-term storage can be stolen and sold.

So some sort of false flag operation, not necessary from the adjacent Porton Down chemical warfare unit, might be underway to discredit Putin. Follow-the-money folks have suggested it has to do with stopping the Nord natural gas pipeline. Others note that Skirpal made a whole lot of enemies; his disclosures were very disruptive to Russian national security interests.

Here are some experienced organophosphonate chemists talking about Novichoks at a Science magazine blog ...

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2018/03/08/a-poisoning-in-england-but-which-poison

Quote
I will skip the details but the precursors are in any stockroom of a normal synthetic lab, and it is only two steps to potent organophosphates. And about 4 steps if you want VX, VR or Sarin. The difficult part is to manufacture these agents on a multikilo process scale because of the safety issues, but the chemistry is old and mundane; If you only need a gram of material, with enough time and motivation even a bright undergrad can manage to make these, in the university teaching lab

I don’t think it should be too difficult to avoid accidental poisoning when working with just gram quantity of organophosphate nerve agents – you would use exactly the same technique like when working with atrociously smelly compounds, you would use gloves and thoroughly decontaminate everything before taking it out of the fume hood. Obviously an improvised garage lab would not suffice, and bad working habits would give you something more than just a headache.

Iremember that C&EN article from a decade or two back when James Tour ordered most of the stuff needed to make these toxins from Aldrich and then photographed himself sitting next to enough piles of the stuff to take out an entire country. I wonder if the laws for procurement have changed since then.

But in terms of the Salisbury story, there is something strange. If they were exposed on the park bench to the massive quantities of nerve gas implied, this is consistent with them both immediately collapsing. It’s surprising they have survived (for sarin, time to death after inhalation can be 1-10 minutes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin) and it’s surprising that there wasn’t more collateral damage to the people that treated them and attended at the park bench, from contact/ vapour exposure to residual nerve gas. The week long coma isn’t what you expect from a peripheral effect.
If they were exposed before hand, there are also problems. Slow ons

Instead of VX nerve agent, the Eastern Bloc most common veaponized nerve agent is VR, an isomer of VX. Hence “more rare than VX” at least in the west, but not more difficult to make than VX for one chemist in a normal synthetic lab. My bets would be on VR specifically, because so many Warsaw pact government had it in their arsenals. The stability of VX and VR is excellent, they don’t need a stabiliser unlike Sarin. (The fun part – the manufacture of DIC and DCC coupling agents in the West was made cheap by big orders from military –
because these are the actual stabilizers added to Sarin)

Even Novichok binary is not that hard to make, for a false flag operation or a non-state actor. So it is not a Russian “calling card” like polonium. Careful trace impurity profile analysis and isotope analysis may help to narrow down the source geographically, to the point you can say “this is fully consistent with what we have seen before with material made in Russia” (as opposed to south-east Asia or North America) or “these ethyls look just like being made from corn fermentation-derived ethanol” (as opposed to from ethylene obtained by cracking)et for nerve gases is downright strange. How could they both be exposed hours beforehand, and then both collapse suddenly at the same time ? It’s also that little bit trickier to reconcile with affecting other people.

Oxygen in air has nothing to do with the breakdown of Novichok. Also it looks like there are two classes of Novichok agents. Many of them are moisture sensitive but not dramatically so, they live long enough (persistence time in open environment measured in hours or even days).

Phosgenoxime fluorophosphates is the kind of agents very well suitable for binary (that was reported for weaponized Novichok) and are related to older 90-12 series just as mentioned in the reports. Whereas the phosphoramidine and guanidine class would be more likely the second series described as exceedingly potent if swallowed, fairly water soluble, solid, and some examples of it described as completely water stable.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 02:30:13 AM by A-Team »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3068 on: March 13, 2018, 12:24:11 AM »
What other finding would one expect from a Nunes led committee:

Title: "House Republicans break with intelligence community on Russia"

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/12/politics/house-republicans-russia-conclusions/index.html
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3069 on: March 13, 2018, 12:32:49 AM »
I'd be careful where you go with that.

I guess that we will soon see where the UK goes with this:

Title: "Spy poisoning: How could the UK retaliate against Russia?"

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-43380378

Extract: "UK Prime Minister Theresa May is braced to take "extensive measures" against Russia should it not offer a credible explanation of how an ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned on British soil with a military-grade nerve agent."
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3070 on: March 13, 2018, 02:36:25 AM »
So some sort of false flag operation, not necessary from the adjacent Porton Down chemical warfare unit, might be underway to discredit Putin. Follow-the-money folks have suggested it has to do with stopping the Nord natural gas pipeline. Others note that Skirpal made a whole lot of enemies; his disclosures were very disruptive to Russian national security interests.

Russian conspiracy theories are already abundant on the internet. No need to proliferate them. 

Quote
Here are some experienced organophosphonate chemists talking about novichoks at a Science magazine blog ...

You don't know if they are "experienced organophosphonate chemists". They are just anonymous commenters on a blog.
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3071 on: March 13, 2018, 03:12:56 AM »
Quote
You don't know if they are "experienced organophosphonate chemists"
Actually I do know.

Quote
we will soon see where the UK goes with this
Not very far. They're too entangled after years of accepting massive campaign contributions while cheerfully laundering stolen oligarch money through London real estate and lax regulations, while turning their head away from the last 14 similar murders. GCHQ has bugged and logged every known form of human electronic communication for decades so there are no secrets there.

Skirpal's brother, son and wife had previously died young. Endometrial cancer or was it ICR-191 frameshifts? Liver failure in a non-alcoholic 46-year old? The liver's specialty is detox but it can get overwhelmed.

A meaningful response would involve a NATO proxy since the UK has the per capita GDP of Alabama and no allies since Brexit. NATO is just a US front group whereas the US has other agendas with Russia, such as Exxon-Mobil joint drilling projects in the Kara. I don't expect the EU fall on their sword, not heating homes in a warm Arctic, cold Europe without the Russian natural gas flowing isn't plausible.

What sort of response did the UK make after their brilliant young cryptographer at GCHQ was murdered, after a falling out with MI6, with Gelsemium elegans extract and diphenhydramine?

Quote
After the dead body of an MI6 spy was found locked in a North Face sports bag in the bathtub of his London flat, police said the death was “probably an accident”. Police found no fingerprints or traces of Williams’ DNA on the rim of the tub, on the bag’s zipper, or on the padlock. The key had been placed under the spy’s decomposing body inside the bag. [It's utterly impossible to remove all clonable traces of DNA of visitors to a flat.]

Williams went missing in August 2010, and the security services failed to notify the police when he didn’t turn up for work. After ten days,, his sister raised the alarm with GCHQ, detectives went to his secret service flat in Pimlico – just over the bridge from MI6’s Vauxhall headquarters – and discovered his body.

It was a warm August day, but the heating had been turned up to full blast inside and “the flat was absolutely baking”, Sutton told BuzzFeed News. “I imagine that was done deliberately to try to accelerate decomposition.” The body was so badly decomposed that it was impossible for pathologists to determine whether Williams had certain poisons in his system when he died, his inquest heard.

Williams’ laptop, mobile phone, and other materials were all laid out neatly on a table in the living room. To Sutton, it appeared that someone had “staged” the crime scene – wiping the flat down to remove DNA and fingerprints, removing incriminating evidence, and leaving out decoy items out for the police to find easily. “It was pretty bloody obvious,” he said. “It was too clean. It was too easy. It was all there on a plate for us.”

Even though Williams had been dead for about 10 days by the time his body was found, no one at GCHQ or MI6 had alerted the police – and even when they realized he was missing, both agencies delayed taking action. Williams’ sister had alerted GCHQ that her brother was missing at around 11.30am, Sutton said, but it was not until around 4.30pm that the spy agencies called the police and requested they visit his flat. “What,” Sutton asked, “went on in those missing five hours?” He told other investigators of his concerns about the crime scene, he said, “but people kind of shrugged their shoulders”.

A high-ranking counter-terror detective who helped oversee the investigation into Williams’ death and asked not to be named told BuzzFeed News that he understood the spy had been working on Russian oligarch financial fraud in his final months, and said his death ranked “at the top end of suspiciousness”.

Mr Karpichkov, 56, who claims to have a source high up in Russian intelligence services, told the Daily Mail a Russian double agent working at GCHQ set his sights on recruiting Mr Williams to work for the SVR, formerly known as the KGB. The GCHQ double agent, known as Orion, befriended Mr Williams and introduced him to a third party named Lukas, according to Mr Karpichkov.

At a Las Vegas hacking conference, Mr Williams' drink was allegedly spiked on a night out with Lukas and he passed out. Photographs were then taken of him in bed next to a man and woman and were used in an attempt to force Mr Williams to cooperate, otherwise his friends and family would see them, says Mr Karpichkov.

But the plot to use the photographs for blackmail was unsuccessful, according to Mr Karpichkov, as Mr Williams told Lukas he would expose Orion as a double agent if they persisted with the threat.

Fearing Orion's role as a mole inside GCHQ would be exposed when Williams returned from leave to MI6 the following day, a plan was hatched to deal with the ‘imminent threat’ posed by Williams.

According to Mr Karpichkov, Lukas returned later that evening to Williams’s flat, bringing a bottle of wine and saying he wanted to apologise for the ‘confusion’ about his earlier visit.

But the wine had been spiked with drugs and shortly after he lost consciousness, he was injected inside the ear with a poison mixed with plant extracts and a chemical called diphenhydramine, a fatal compound which breaks down quickly and is difficult to detect.

Mr Karpichkov served in Russian intelligence for more than a decade, reaching the rank of KGB major where he was privy to Kremlin secrets at the highest level.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 03:19:28 AM by A-Team »

TerryM

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3072 on: March 13, 2018, 03:15:41 AM »
Can any one explain why Russia suddenly would want to kill a Russian they'd had in their grasp for years. Why Russia would use a "Russian linked poison", or why poisoning a person in a foreign country is so much worse than a drone attack would be?


This has false flag written all over it.
Terry



« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 03:21:18 AM by TerryM »

A-Team

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3073 on: March 13, 2018, 03:41:58 AM »
Quote
This has false flag written all over it
Whatever it was originally, the UK has certainly captured the narrative and turned it into to a self-serving sob story. They're tripping all over themselves with this story of the local cop no one can verify and his supposed heroic exposure, even as the unscripted passing doctor who administered first aid to the convulsive Yulia suffered no ill effects whatsoever. She could see their symptoms didn't fit a fentanyl-heroin diagnosis: Yulia was airlifted to the hospital while Sergei lay there another hour waiting for an ambulance ride.

A thirteen year sentence for flagrant treason seems like a light sentence in the Russian historical context but there was some value to him in terms of the later spy exchange (which did not seem especially strategic for either side). But what was his priority to the Kremlin in later years when he had long been tapped out and was living openly? There is speculation he had not exactly retired.

Perhaps it is about "sending a message" to other KGB employees who might be thinking of monetizing their inside information. My expectation is that after some more hot air about some soccer game boycott, the news cycle will move on and very little more will emerge.

Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3074 on: March 13, 2018, 03:45:12 AM »
Quote
You don't know if they are "experienced organophosphonate chemists"
Actually I do know.

A-team, I love your work, but this response is just so .... oddly non-scientific.
How do you know ? And which commenter on that blog are you talking about specifically ?
The one named "dearieme" that says: "CIA false flag" ?
Or the one named "milkshaken" who suggests that polonium is a sure Russian “calling card” ?
Or both ?
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3075 on: March 13, 2018, 03:48:54 AM »
Are the structures of Novichok agents known to mortal chemists?

This collection of articles says no:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/novichok-agent
Quote
Future Biological and Chemical Weapons
Robert G. Darling, Erin E. Noste, in Ciottone's Disaster Medicine (Second Edition), 2016
[...]

Only sketchy and unverifiable information is available in the unclassified literature,
[...]

Before too much false flag conspiracy theories boil over, here is what Theresa May claimed:

"Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of its ... nerve agent, and allowed it to get into the hands of others."

Looks very much like Putin has something to explain.

------
BTW VX or Sarin takes some work to produce in seriously lethal quantities, e.g. the Japan weirdo sect story. It is not as easy as A-Team's commenter "milkshaken" says.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 04:01:21 AM by Martin Gisser »

TerryM

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3076 on: March 13, 2018, 03:56:40 AM »
I've seen speculation that he was one of Steele's "sources" and might be facing an American subpoena, and that this may have contributed to the attempted murder.
Perhaps we'll learn more at some point, though I'm not holding my breath.
The furor seems huge for an attempted murder, and I don't believe the Russians have a reputation of missing when they want someone killed.
Terry


Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3077 on: March 13, 2018, 04:01:03 AM »
I've seen speculation ...

A link to what you have "seen", please.
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TerryM

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3078 on: March 13, 2018, 04:04:44 AM »
Are the structures of Novichok agents known to mortal chemists?

This collection of articles says no:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/novichok-agent
Quote
Only sketchy and unverifiable information is available in the unclassified literature,

Before too much false flag conspiracy theories boil over, here is what Theresa May claimed:

"Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of its ... nerve agent, and allowed it to get into the hands of others."

------
BTW VX or Sarin takes some work to produce in seriously lethal quantities, e.g. the Japan weirdo sect story. It is not as easy as A-Team's commenter "milkshaken" says.


I understand that it had been manufactured at one time in Ukraine, and that CIA helped "clean up" the site.
I've no doubt that any number of Nations have enough on hand for such a small application.


Why not wait until someone identifies just what had been used?
Terry

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3079 on: March 13, 2018, 04:07:07 AM »
I've seen speculation ...

A link to what you have "seen", please.


You've refused to go to the site in the past.


Good luck with the rock collection.
Terry

Martin Gisser

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3080 on: March 13, 2018, 04:08:45 AM »
Why not wait until someone identifies just what had been used?
I bet we will never learn more than just "Novichok agent".

Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3081 on: March 13, 2018, 04:09:54 AM »
I understand that it had been manufactured at one time in Ukraine, and that CIA helped "clean up" the site.

A link to what you "understand", please.
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3082 on: March 13, 2018, 04:11:25 AM »
You've refused to go to the site in the past.

Try me.
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A-Team

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3083 on: March 13, 2018, 04:14:56 AM »
Quote
Are the structures of Novichok agents known to mortal chemists?
Sure, they were published years ago by the Russian physical chemist who worked there and are readily available on the internet along with the precursor chemicals and (short) synthetic routes need to make them because there's a lot of common ground with insecticides like malathion that also covalently block the active site serine triad conserved in all bilateran acetylcholinesterases. The first sarin-like 'nerve gas' was made by IG Farben and marketed briefly as an insecticide in the late 1930's.

That said, there are a innumerable possibilities for side groups,. It sounds though like Porton Down had a reference sample in stock to allow direct (subsample) spectral comparison. This would make it rare but still known.

Indeed, there's been talk that the polonium-210 that poisoned Alexander Litvinenko was stolen from a Canadian facility, whereas the conventional account has been reprocessed irradiated bismuth product (from Mayak in Ozerskat, Russia) by the Avangard labs in Sarov. No opinion on that.

Attribution in chemistry is also difficult but entirely different. So far the UK has not identified the specific compound within the Novichok group to any specificity. It's not clear whether they recovered stoichiometric amounts of pure residue or just contaminated traces enough for GC-MS. They could maybe look at non-exchanging hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon isotopes or precursor contaminants. The bottom line there could be someone somewhere sometime in the FedEx serviceable world ordered stuff from Aldrich, not terribly helpful since perps might think to do that too.

Countries like the US that run a lot of domestic false flag operations want to see solid scientific attribution. They know the point was to trigger a hot-headed overreaction before the facts are in (if they ever are).

Quote
Alexander Litvinenko widow: Theresa May 'did nothing' after my ...
https://news.sky.com/.../alexander-litvinenko-widow-pm-did-nothing-after-my-husba...
Mrs Litvinenko believes the UK is unable to protect those offered safety, as she urges a fresh look at other suspicious deaths. 14:44, UK, Sunday 11 March 2018. Alexander Litvinenko died after his tea was laced with polonium in 2006. Image: Alexander Litvinenko died after his tea was laced with polonium in 2006. By Greg ...
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 04:29:26 AM by A-Team »

Martin Gisser

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3084 on: March 13, 2018, 04:19:42 AM »
The bottom line there could be someone somewhere sometime in the FedEx serviceable world ordered stuff from Aldrich,
... and knew the secret formula! (And I suspect someone had a very good lab and wasn't just a mortal organophosphonate chemist. The stuff seems a degree less trivial than VX, Sarin, etc.)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 04:26:15 AM by Martin Gisser »

Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3085 on: March 13, 2018, 04:25:57 AM »
Indeed, there's been talk that the polonium-210 that poisoned Alexander Litvinenko was stolen from a Canadian facility,

A link to the site where that "talk" happened would be nice.

Quote
So far the UK has not identified the specific compound within the Novichok group to any specificity.

The UK seems confident enough that this specific, weapons grade, Novichok was manufactured in Russia, that they go to the level of confronting Russia head-on about it. Doesn't that mean anything to you ?

And you did not answer my questions regarding the commenters that you claim are "experienced organophosphonate chemists" :

Quote
And which commenter on that blog are you talking about specifically ?
The one named "dearieme" that says: "CIA false flag" ?
Or the one named "milkshaken" who suggests that polonium is a sure Russian “calling card” ?
Or both ?
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TerryM

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3086 on: March 13, 2018, 04:26:35 AM »
You've refused to go to the site in the past.

Try me.


Rob
You called me a liar once. Once is enough for me.


When I'm mistaken I apologise after admitting my error. I don't usually converse with people who's arguments hinge on ad hominem attacks - especially when I am the victim.


I've no interest in informing you of anything.
For the second, and last time - - GOODBY


Terry

Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3087 on: March 13, 2018, 04:31:48 AM »
You've refused to go to the site in the past.
Try me.
Rob
You called me a liar once. Once is enough for me.

You have NOTHING, do you, Terry ?
You made up that story that the nerve agent was "manufactured at one time in Ukraine, and that CIA helped "clean up" the site." all out of thin air.
And so did you just fabricate the story that Skripal was "one of Steele's "sources" and might be facing an American subpoena," out of thin air as well.

And I never called you a liar. You made that up too.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 04:41:15 AM by Rob Dekker »
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3088 on: March 13, 2018, 04:33:27 AM »
I understand that it had been manufactured at one time in Ukraine, and that CIA helped "clean up" the site.
I bet this is a lie  :D 

Buddy

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3089 on: March 13, 2018, 04:44:07 AM »
Looks like Comrade Terry continues to be exposed as his onion is unpeeled.

You can expect more like him in the coming weeks and months.

FOX (RT) News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3090 on: March 13, 2018, 04:50:32 AM »
I understand that it had been manufactured at one time in Ukraine, and that CIA helped "clean up" the site.
I bet this is a lie  :D
Don't bet too much  8)
Ouch! According to Wiki the substance was manufactured in Nukus, which is now a part of Uzbekistan, not the Ukraine, and it was there that the US was assisting in the "clean-up".
Terry

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3091 on: March 13, 2018, 05:00:19 AM »
Quote
knew the secret formula!  had a very good lab!  stuff seems a degree less trivial than VX, Sarin. weapons grade!!!
Maybe read the above or do a 5 second google search before posting: no secret formulas here, no harder to make than classics, within the abilities of a undergraduate chem major, maybe having access to a fume hood. The main innovations with Novichoks were the binary formulation (neither component is neurotoxic until mixed) plus the components being too common to stop their commerce and movement. Not rocket science, just chemistry.

There is no such thing as weapon-grade in this context, you have conflated this with plutonium, an altogether different realm of physics. These compounds can be 99% contaminant and still be totally lethal with sub-mg exposures. So far nobody has died, even though the UK was very very slow to get on with the atropine. There do exist non-responding Novichoks and others that age badly but perhaps the exposure here was low or another variant was used. 

I would strongly counsel waiting a week to see what further facts emerge before jumping to conclusions based on meagre unverifiable statements from politicians, especially if you have no scientific background whatsoever in the relevant disciplines. There is plenty of time to fashion an appropriate response later if attribution can be unambiguously assigned.

Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3092 on: March 13, 2018, 05:02:10 AM »
Ouch! According to Wiki the substance was manufactured in Nukus, which is now a part of Uzbekistan, not the Ukraine, and it was there that the US was assisting in the "clean-up".
A link would be nice.
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3093 on: March 13, 2018, 05:18:37 AM »
Quote
knew the secret formula!  had a very good lab!  stuff seems a degree less trivial than VX, Sarin. weapons grade!!!
Maybe read the above or do a 5 second google search before posting: no secret formulas here,
Then please post a link. I only found rough sketches.

Quote
no harder to make than classics, within the abilities of a undergraduate chem major, maybe having access to a fume hood.
Your commenter was commenting on making the classics.

Quote
The main innovations with Novichoks were the binary formulation (neither component is neurotoxic until mixed)
VX can also be made binary. Binary was all the scare in the 1980ies, when Novichok was still officially unknown. (I had standard ABC training at German Bundeswehr 1986/7)

Quote
plus the components being too common to stop their commerce and movement. Not rocket science, just chemistry.
Phosphonate cooking is indeed an old art. And the stuffs have lots of applications. That's why I suspect some of the Novichok agents are not easy to make. This is very likely not chemistry from the 1950ies.

Quote
There is no such thing as weapon-grade in this context, you have conflated this with plutonium
Nope. I didn't waste a thought on nuclear physics here. E.g. for Sarin you need a few liters to be effective.
E.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo#Tokyo_subway_sarin_attack_and_related_incidents


Quote
I would strongly counsel waiting a week to see what further facts emerge before jumping to conclusions based on meagre unverifiable statements from politicians,
... and unknown blog commenters, half digested.

Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3094 on: March 13, 2018, 05:20:13 AM »
Quote
knew the secret formula!  had a very good lab!  stuff seems a degree less trivial than VX, Sarin. weapons grade!!!
Maybe read the above or do a 5 second google search before posting: no secret formulas here, no harder to make than classics, within the abilities of a undergraduate chem major, maybe having access to a fume hood.

A-team, why don't you just post the link to the site that you are referring to ?

And you still did not answer my questions regarding the commenters that you claim are "experienced organophosphonate chemists" :

Quote
And which commenter on that blog are you talking about specifically ?
The one named "dearieme" that says: "CIA false flag" ?
Or the one named "milkshaken" who suggests that polonium is a sure Russian “calling card” ?
Or both ?
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3095 on: March 13, 2018, 06:34:36 AM »
Looks like Comrade Terry continues to be exposed as his onion is unpeeled.

You can expect more like him in the coming weeks and months.

Seems to me there are already more like him on this forum, spreading Russian propaganda and conspiracy theories, and unable to sustain their wild claims with evidence.
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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3096 on: March 13, 2018, 07:14:47 AM »
The wife and I watched a documentary last week about the days after Princess Diana's death. Boring, but the wife was a fan of Diana's, even when she was alive!


What struck me was the level of hysteria that was whipped up in such an incredibly short time.
Apparently the initial reaction was to blame the paparazzi, and the news organizations that paid them so well for Diana's likeness. The media responded by shifting the blame onto the Royal family, and as a result some were fearing an overthrow of the Monarchy. Silent vigils, screaming protestations of undying love, massive mountains of flowers.
The Queen ended up by regaining the love of her subjects and the film ended on a high, if solemn note.


I've witnessed similar outpourings of emotion in the States. Those who cried for Kennedy, even after damning him loudly the week before he died. Those who screamed that we needed to take out Vietnam Now, before all the Asian Domino's fell. The masses who cheered as Bagdad was bombed, and those who suddenly began pouring French wine down the gutter and closed the only good French Restaurant in Las Vegas (damn their eyes).


The media was very much involved in stirring all these, and many more, pots. They weren't so much reporting on the stories as they were whipping up the nation, and incidentally their ratings.


When Russiagate suddenly blared from every "News" channel a similar hysteria suddenly sprang into existence. Obama had teased Romney for claiming that Russia was the enemy in the 2012 campaign, yet by December of 2013 Victoria Nuland was bragging of spending $5B to overthrow the Ukrainian's elected government.


What a huge turn around! And Putin is pictured with horns on "News Magazine" covers for halting the terror campaign before it swept through Crimea. - Oh, he also ended America's dreams of a naval base in the Black Sea.


The election takes place and every MSN poll proves to be totally wrong. Editors, political commentators, national columnists, all with egg on their face. Who's going to pay to watch, listen to, or read pundits that are so out of touch with reality?
Rather than admitting that they were wrong, they announce that Russia colluded secretly with the Trump Team, and together they had stolen the election. It wasn't that the editors were all stupid or uninformed, or even that their pollsters were all wrong. How could they have been expected to be cognisant of a secret conspiracy so powerful that it subverted an American election? It wasn't that they were incompetent, they had all been played by an evil genius. - Goebbels was so right.


And so media driven hysteria. Just as the British media blamed the Queen for their own misdeeds, the American media explained away it's own incompetence by blaming Putin and Trump. In Britain the maddened masses went back to their tea and crumpets when Diana was safely under ground, and the Queen was secure on her throne.
What will it take for the American media to move on to the next Demonic Desecration of Democracy?


Terry


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6947808/


Rob Dekker

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3097 on: March 13, 2018, 07:42:40 AM »
For those of us asking about a motive for the assessination attempt of  Skripal  and his daughter :

Quote
Still, amid denials last week by Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, an anchor on Russia’s state-controlled news broadcast struck a different note, warning Russians not to betray their country. If they do, he said, “Don’t choose Britain as a place to live.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/world/europe/uk-russia-spy-poisoning.html

Could Lavrov be any more clear as to why Putin decided to attempt to kill Skripal ?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 08:06:53 AM by Rob Dekker »
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TerryM

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3098 on: March 13, 2018, 07:43:19 AM »
Looks like Comrade Terry continues to be exposed as his onion is unpeeled.

You can expect more like him in the coming weeks and months.


I've always appreciated your calm scholarly demeanor, the breadth of your vocabulary and the obvious erudition you bring to the thread.
Your eschewing of ad hominem attacks has been an inspiration to all.


Terry ;D

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Re: Russiagate
« Reply #3099 on: March 13, 2018, 09:01:15 AM »
I am appalled, disappointed and generally disgusted by the postings on this thread today.

I will take a holiday from this forum for a bit and have a think.
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