World Affairs

Russia Vindicated? ‘BZ Toxin’ Used In Skripal Poisoning Linked to US, UK and NATO States

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found ‘unconscious’ on a park bench in Salisbury on March 4. This photo was allegedly taken on March 3 in the Zizzi restaurant. Yulia Skripal is now out of hospital and recovering in a hidden location, but her father, although recovering, still remains in hospital as I write.

(Updated: 20 April 2018)

Swiss lab findings now reveal that Sergei Skripal, a Russian who is a former British spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal, were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ.

Dr Andrea Galli, principal investigator at swiss east affairs, wrote the following about the poison used to incapacitate the Skripals:

3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate was developed and weaponized in the 1960s as a new chemical agent for battlefield use as a psychochemical and assigned the NATO code Agent BZ…

According to the report of the Swiss Lab the poison found at Salisbury by OPCW investigators looking into the Skripal affair, there are traces of the toxic agent 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate and traces of A-234 – one of the nerve agents of the novichok group – in its original form and in a concentration that would have killed the Skripals.

However, it didn’t kill the Skripals because of the presence of 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate. Dr Galli explains that “less than 1 mg of BZ takes 30-60 minutes to act and can produce acute brain syndrome, characterized by delirium lasting for 3–5 days, which can be reversed by physostigmine and other anticholinesterases.” He also wrote that…

While nonfatal, agent BZ causes a wide array of potentially incapacitating symptoms in its victims: soldiers can become disoriented or even experience hallucinations, according to a U.S. Army manual from 1963 that can be obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

This seems a likely scenario for the Skripals who ‘miraculously’ survived a supposed military grade toxin that should have killed them instantly. Interestingly, Yulia Skripa was reported to have accessed her Facebook page on March 7 – just three days after she and her father were found unconscious on a park bench. (Of interest here is that Dr. Galli’s article I quoted from above has since been removed from the internet.)

Without any evidence, the British Government accused Russia of attempting to murder the Skripals with a novichok nerve agent, and refused Russia’s request to co-operate with them in an independent and transparent investigation.

The findings from the Swiss state Spiez lab, a world-renowned Swiss government run centre of excellence for WMD forensic analysis, were made available to the OPCW who had requested them to analyse the poison samples provided by the British Government.

Tellingly, the OPCW report left out the above information and now neither confirm nor deny the Swiss lab findings. The official public version of the OPCW report notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity, which means that it had been made under sophisticated laboratory conditions and therefore cannot leave a ‘footprint’ indicating where it was made, which toxic chemicals do when they are produced in bulk. The Russian OPCW representative, Alexander Shulgin, was told that data can be provided only if the UK shows “goodwill” to do so.

Of concern, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, noted that the UK has repeatedly refused to answer questions asked by Moscow about the Skripal case, and will only reveal that they have “secret data” that they cannot share – a practice that has now become standard in the West since the downing of MH17 in Ukraine in 2014. Lavrov stated that Russia also has “an opportunity to receive confidential information,” adding, “and since this information concerns literally life-and-death issues, we will not keep this information secret.”

And so he didn’t. Lavrov revealed the secret during a talk in Moscow to the 26th Assembly of the Council of Foreign and Defense Policy, which was televised live by Euronews on Saturday 14 April.

According to Dr. Galli, an insider with access to the Swiss state Spiez lab confirmed on April 15 that the results that had been given to Lavrov. However, the Swiss lab now states that it can “neither confirm nor deny” Lavrov’s statement on April 14 that agent BZ was used in the Skripals’ poisoning as it is “contractually bound to the OPCW for confidentiality.”

It is not in Russia’s best interest to keep this information secret in light of the deliberate and concerted propaganda attack against them that we all should know by now is the precursor for war, that is, lies told to make the public accept that continued sanctions, and/or a final decision to go to war with Russia is ‘right, just and the moral thing to do’ – just as they did in the lead-up to the 1991 and 2003 wars against Iraq.

Now that the neocons are again in full control of US foreign policy in the Middle East, and a key architect of the Iraqi War, John Bolton (who also wants a war against Syria and North Korea), has entered the White House Administration as Trump’s national security advisor, anything could happen.

Of particular importance, we need to learn what goes on behind the scenes to create the often confusing mayhem in the world that can erupt seemingly out of nowhere. For instance, in 2002 John Bolton, then under secretary of state in the Bush administration, flew to Paris to confront the then head of the OPCW, José Bustani, about his “management style” and told him he had 24 hours to resign. After months of what can only be described as intimidation and bullying, Bustani was ousted in a special session of the 145-nation chemical weapons watchdog despite the fact that he had been unanimously re-elected as its head.

The truth behind Mr Bustani’s ousting was revealed in a New York Times  interview with him in 2013, in which he said that he threatened to become an obstacle to the Bush administration’s plans to invade Iraq. Not only had Mr Bustani told Bush that Iraq’s WMDs were destroyed in the 1990s, after the Persian Gulf war, but inspectors from the agency were making plans to visit Iraq in late January 2002.

“Everybody knew there weren’t any,” he said. “An inspection would make it obvious there were no weapons to destroy. This would completely nullify the decision to invade.”

And so, Bustani had to go.

This is the ugly face of politics behind the scenes. Unfortunately when the political stakes are high the truth may never come out – as often happens. There is still no answer as to who was responsible for downing MH17 in Ukraine on July 7, 2014. The truth will probably never come out on this either, especially as the four countries carrying out the investigation have veto power over what information is released – including Ukraine, which is an obvious suspect. That means all four countries have the right to secrecy if they believe that some of the evidence is damaging to them. Obviously, this is neither a transparent nor an independent investigation.

If you recall, MH17, with the death of nearly 300 people, became an opportunistic political propaganda stunt to demonize Russia, and Putin personally for their deaths, and for the US to take advantage of the indignant outrage over this to push through more sanctions against Russia.

Whenever I hear the baying for blood like that exhibited in the British parliament over the Skripal poisoning, with MPs shouting “shame” at Jeremy Corban for demanding evidence before blaming Russia, followed by Theresa May’s rebuke because he did not take the opportunity to “condemn the culpability of Russia” (like everyone else, apparently), a huge neon sign repeatedly flashes in my head: LIES. LIES. LIES. And then I get a sinking feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. I am reminded of the screaming and jostling lynching mobs in America’s wild west movies that would only become silent after they saw a limp body hanging from a tree. And then I am reminded of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

The baying for blood continued after this when Syrian leader, Bashar Al-Assad, crossed the West’s “red line” by allegedly using chemical weapons on his own people on April 7. Again, there was no evidence of culpability – except for photos and videos of children in distress uploaded to social media, where anyone can create alternative realities – for a price. I guess Assad was not busy enough winning the war against Saudi Arabian-backed terrorists, Jaysh al-Islam, holed up in Eastern Ghouta and using civilians as human shields.

Or was it because of this imminent victory against Jaysh al-Islam that the US, UK, and France had their schadenfreude moment by launching a bomb attack on Syria – before Assad’s innocence could be established? Is it merely a coincidence that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince recently visited the U.S., Britain, and France where multi-billion-dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia were signed? And is it merely a coincidence that Theresa May has a serious conflict of interest in that her husband, Philip May, works for BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers, whose share price soared after the Syrian strike? We may also wonder at this shrill ‘baying for blood’ in light of the double standards at play with arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a country responsible for the disastrous three-year humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and whose secret goal in Syria is to pursue regime change “by all means available.”

Heads of state who act in rash and vociferous ways, who use conjecture instead of hard evidence to back up their claims, are not fit to be leaders in today’s world of nuclear arms. The proof of this was evident in the diplomatic furor created by the rush to judge and punish Russia over the Skripal poisoning – without any evidence other than it was “highly likely” that Russia attempted to murder them because a Russian chemical weapon called “novichok” was used. This lack of fitness to lead also became frighteningly evident in the early hours of April 14, when Theresa May, Donald Trump, and Emmanuel Macron sent warships and planes to attack a sovereign nation for an alleged ‘crime’ before an investigation could be carried out. Not only did they act outside International Law, they didn’t even bother to consult their own governments. Therefore, they cannot be trusted. I would call them rogue leaders who dance to the tune of secret agendas behind the scenes of what is publicly known.

Or watch RT’s report about the Saudi royal’s three-day French tour here.


Secret Cable Spells out Saudi Policy: ‘Overthrow the Syrian Regime, but Play Nice With Russia’

By Tyler Durden, 19 April, 2018
Hours after the overnight US-led missile strikes on Syria, WikiLeaks republished a crucially important diplomatic cable through its official media accounts confirming that Saudi Arabia’s long term strategy in Syria has been to pursue regime change “by all means available.” According to the leaked internal Saudi government document, this is the kingdom’s proposed end-goal even should the United States at any point show “lack of desire” due to the threat of Russian response and possibility of a ‘great power’ confrontation.