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Gulf War Veterans - NOVICHOK a Deadly Deception

by Oui Wed Mar 14th, 2018 at 09:17:55 PM EST

This one British expert is not with us to deter another devious UK cabinet to put blame elsewhere with no evidence ... Dr. David Kelly, chemical warfare expert on Soviet CBW program from Porton Down.

Russia's Dirty Chemical Secret | American Legion Magazine - Dec. 1996 |

Buried in last year's explosive report of Michigan Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. concerning chemical and biological warfare agents was the assertion that Iraq may have acquired chemical agents from the former Soviet Union.

Reigle--who has since retired from the US Senate--and his staff said the agents were developed by the Soviet Union under the name, "NOVICHOK," meaning newcomer.

The Reigle report is just the latest piece of evidence pointing to the Development of a new class of poisons that may have been transferred to Iraq for use against American forces in the Gulf War.

This could explain why the DOD has engaged in what looks like a frantic effort since the war to dismantle the Russian chemical and biological warfare (CBW) program and develop effective defenses against the agents.

More below the fold ...

Vladimir Petrenko is a victim of the Russian CBW program. As a young lieutenant in 1982, he volunteered to test a new chemical warfare suit and was exposed to a poison that the Soviets had been secretly developing since the late 1970s.

Michael Waller, a senior fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council, visited with Petrenko and says his health is deteriorating. At age 34, Petrenko looks 20 years older. He is haggard and gaunt, has a grey beard and is developing serious illnesses that require almost constant treatment.

Novichok has similar effects. It can be toxic like a chemical agent or cause diseases like a biological agent. It can be lethal or debilitating.

Equally frightening, Waller says he was told by Russian scientists who have worked on the Novichok program that the poison affects human genes, causing birth defects and infant illnesses among offsprings.

These weren't the only surprises that greeted Waller as he traveled Russia in 1993 gathering information about Russian military activities that still continue under President Boris Yeltsin. He was also caught off guard when a Russian physician who treated people like Petrenko said their symptoms resembled those of the Americans he had been reading about in the papers--the sick veterans of the Persian Gulf War.

In short, the Russians may have pulled off one of the most spectacular and deadly deceptions in the history of warfare. Waller believes that NOVICHOK may be what Russian extremist Vladimir Zhirinovsky had in mind when he warned that his country has a "secret weapon" capable of destroying the West. Zhirinovsky's party dominates the Russian parliament, and Zhirinovsky has ties to the old Soviet KGB.

Indications that Zhirinovsky's threat was a boast, not a bluff, came when Vil Mirzayanov, a Russian scientist who publicly disclosed the existence of Novichok, was charged with revealing the "state secret." On two occasions, in 1992 and again in 1993, he was arrested by Russian authorities for talking about Novichok.

Mirzayanov's arrests caught the worldwide attention of scientists, including Nobel Laureate Joshua Ledberg of the Rockefeller University in New York, who headed a special Pentagon panel on Gulf War illnesses. He said if the Russians proceeded to prosecute Mirzayanov, "we must conclude that Mirzayanov was telling the truth and a whole new class of deadly binary chemical weapons was created."

However, Mirzayanov was not prosecuted, apparently because of the international attention. But that did nothing to diminish concern that he was telling the truth, the implications OF which are ominous for US national security.  

In past articles, Novichok was dispersed in experiments from a lab in Uzbekistan during the Soviet era, allegedly used in First Gulf War by Saddam Hussain en Cuban leader Fidel Castro was accused of stockpiling Novichok. The Soviet developer Vil Mirzayanov has lived in the United States since the mid 90s. I can blindly state the nerve agent has been duplicated world wide in the so-called research labs of friendly nations. From Fort Detrick, Porton Down, Dutch TNO Lab, and so on ... for "defensive" purpose in limited quantity. Spreading a nerve agent across so many locations in Salisbury doesn't sound to me as a professional hit. It would be difficult to trace the source after all ... WhoDunIt?

Description of Novichok agents

The first description of these agents was provided by Mirzayanov. [8] Dispersed in an ultra-fine powder instead of a gas or a vapor, they have unique qualities. A binary agent was then created that would mimic the same properties but would either be manufactured using materials legal under the CWT [10] or be undetectable by treaty regime inspections. The most potent compounds from this family, novichok-5 and novichok-7, are supposedly around five to eight times more potent than VX.

One of the key manufacturing sites was a chemical research institute in what is now Uzbekistan, and small, experimental batches of the weapons may have been tested on the nearby Ustyurt plateau. [11]

Two broad families of organophosphorus agents have been claimed to be Novichok agents. First are a group of organophosphorus compounds with an attached dihaloformaldoxime group, with the general formula shown below, where R = alkyl, alkoxy, alkylamino or fluorine and X = halogen (F, Cl, Br) or pseudohalogen such as C≡N. These compounds are extensively documented in Soviet literature of the time, but it is unclear whether they are all members of the potent "Novichok" compounds.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

 « click for more info »

Central-Asia: US dismantles chemical weapons | BBC News - Aug. 9, 1999 |

A group of American defence experts have arrived in Uzbekistan to start helping the Uzbeks dismantle and decontaminate one of the former Soviet Union's largest chemical weapons testing facilities.

US officials say the chemical research institute in western Uzbekistan was a major research site for a new generation of secret, highly lethal chemical weapons, known as Novichok.

Congress has allocated up to $6m for the project, after the US signed an agreement on assistance to help dismantle the institute earlier in the year.

According to a senior defector from the Soviet chemical weapons programme, the Soviets used the plant to produce small batches of a lethal new generation of nerve agents called Novichok, or New Boy in Russian. They were designed to escape detection by international inspectors.

Some of these were then tested on the nearby Ustyurt plateau, a forbidding desert west of the Aral Sea, in contravention of treaties Moscow had signed.

Now independent Uzbekistan is only just beginning to learn the legacy it has been left.

The Uzbeks have since worked closely with the Americans, giving them access to sites that in other parts of the Soviet Union are still off limits.

US military scientists and intelligence experts have already visited the nearby island of Vozrozhdeniye in the Aral Sea, which was the Soviet Union's main open air biological testing site and where hundreds of tons of the deadly anthrax bacteria are believed to have been buried.

A mighty wind: Nerve gas, six thousand dead sheep, and Soviet trickery (2014)

VR was developed in the 1950s roughly parallel to the U.S. development of VX.

Given that it is an isomer of VX - that is, it has the same chemical formula but a different molecular structure - VR may have been reverse-engineered from VX.  Vil Mirzayanov, a physical chemist and senior researcher in the Soviet nerve gas program who became a whistleblower shortly after the Cold War - exposing the Novichok program - told David Wise that the Soviet version of VX, called Agent 33, and binary chemical weapons were "developed in response to American programs and Soviet intelligence."  He said that, in the early 1960s, the Soviets obtained VX from the U.S. and had synthesized it in Volgograd by 1963.  "The people who did it got the Lenin Prize," he said.  According to Wise, Soviet intelligence learned the formula for VX itself in 1972, and began full-scale production at Novocheboksarsk that year. [105]

The idea that a Dugway CBW test might go wrong and hurt civilians had certainly occurred to CBW critics.  Robin Clarke, in his exposé We All Fall Down: The Prospect of Biological and Chemical Warfare, noted:

"The idea is that to test a biological weapon satisfactorily will involve detonating the weapon, releasing the biological material over a wide area on a proving-ground - such as the American one in Dugway, Utah - and recording the results on experimental animals set up in the area." [106]

The scientist who leaked Russia's Novichok 'conspiracy' | France24 |

Dissident Soviet scientist Vil Mirzayanov gained notoriety in the 1990s when he blew the cover on Moscow's secret experimentation with Novichok, a binary nerve agent. He had worked for almost three decades in the Soviet Union at the State Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology.

Mirzayanov became involved in Russia's nascent democratic movement and wanted to make his concerns about the chemical weapons programme public.

As a result of his dissident activities, he was fired from the institute. He then decided to write the whistle-blowing article in a Moscow newspaper along with another chemist, Lev Fyodorov. They warned of poor safety standards at the Moscow facility and vast quantities of harmful chemicals stored elsewhere in Russia.

The article led the authorities to prosecute Mirzayanov for divulging state secrets. He was arrested in October 1992 and held for several days in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison, used by the security services.

His case was eventually closed in 1994 after considerable international pressure on the Russian authorities. Mirzayanov has lived in the United States since 1996.

Russia declared in 2017 that it had destroyed all of its chemical weapon stockpile.

Moscow has rejected accusations of involvement in poisoning Skripal.

The CBW Convention Bulletin - July 2009

In  the  USA,  Outskirts  Press  of  Denver, Colorado,  publishes State  Secrets:  An  Insider's  Chronicle  of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program, which is a memoir by  Vil  Mirzayanov  [see  7  Nov  02]  who  had  emigrated  to  the USA from Russia in 1995. As a physical chemist he had joined the  principal  Soviet  chemical-weapons  research  institution, GosNIIOKhT, in 1965 but was dismissed in 1992 for publishing  a  whistleblowing  article.  After  press  interviews  and  another such article a year later that now revealed the existence of novel Soviet nerve agents referred to as 'Novichoks' under development in a programme codenamed Foliant [see 16 Sep 92 and 18 Oct 92], he was charged with unauthorized disclosure of state secrets [see 22 Oct 92]. During the next two and a half years he was either under house arrest or in prison until the charges were finally dropped during a closed trial, an outcome  he  attributes  to  "the  constant  intense  pressure  of  the media,  scientists  all  over  the  world,  statesmen  and  human right[s]  activists".  How  all  this  happened  he  describes  in  his book,  and,  in  the  process,  he  discloses  for  the  first  time  actual  chemical  structures  of  the  novel  agents.  These  include the  phosphonylated  or  phosphorylated  acetamidines  hitherto known in public only as 'A-230' and 'A-232' (or, in binary form, as  'Novichok-5'),  as  well  as  other  novelties.  The  book  has 105  pages  of  annexes  reproducing  numerous  documents, among them translations of evidence used by his prosecutors made  available  to  the  defence  (and  thence  to  supporters  in the  outside  world),  despite  high  security-classification.

Both  in  this  book  and  subsequently,  Dr  Mirzayanov  has continued to portray Novichoks as a deliberate attempt by the Russian  "military  chemical  complex"  to  circumvent  the  1993 Chemical  Weapons  Convention.  As  before,  he  cites  in  evidence the absence of A-232 precursors from the CWC schedules, continuing [see 25 May 94] to disregard the comprehensive  scope  of  the  CWC's  prohibitions  due  to  use  of  the  general purpose criterion, not the control schedules, to define the banned weapons.

What we know about Russia's Novichok nerve agents linked to attack on ex-spy | Chemistry World |

Scientists at Porton Down would have been able to identify the agent, he adds, because the laboratory has been assembling information on potential threats for decades. 'What they will have done is made these chemicals, suspecting they were part of the Soviet or Russian arsenal,' Hay says. Then chemists at Porton Down would have 'assessed their structure and put them into a library of reference material', he adds.

Chemical structure of VX nerve agent

The generic Novichok chemical structure has some similarity to the structure of other nerve agents such as VX, seen here.
Information on Novichoks indicates that the agent used in the Salisbury attack could have been administered as a powder, spray or gas, although no information has been provided so far.

Public Health England has said that there is little risk to the public at large. Nerve agents degrade on contact with water, and the area of Salisbury where the attack took place has been hosed down. People who visited the same restaurant and pub as the Skripals on the day of the attack have been advised to wash their clothing to eliminate any risk of long term exposure.

Porton Down is approximately 8 miles from Salisbury

Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan states Porton Down could not have verified the Novichok fingerprint within days. May's "evidence" likened to the WMDs held by Saddam Hussein.

The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam

I personally do not agree with Craig Murray. I believe the Novichok precursors can be replicated and indeed must have been researched across many nations. It would have been irresponsible if this new 4th generation nerve agent from the Soviet era would not have been studied.

I will look for signs this was a false flag attack which I have lived through a number of times before the onset of another major military conflict. As I have predicted, the Western world was edging towards a conflict with Russia and Israel's nemesis Iran. The Syrian failure by the West has brought both conflicts together. The Tillerson move is part of a more aggressive NSC in Trump's White House. Getting the IC and the Pentagon further infiltrated into decision making of the Oval Office. I'm changing my optimistic outlook to very negative. Especially because so many are fed  US and UK war propaganda for nearly two decades now. North Korea is a distraction, no war on the Korean peninsula.

[Update-1] Dutch representative chairs the United Nations Security Council Ö new FM Stef Blok made a statement this evening itís too early to blame Russia as the evidence is lacking. The Netherlands is one of the more trusted allies of Theresa May and the UK Conservatives. I was indeed surprised. :-)

Interesting article in the Irish Times suggesting that this is more about arguments and feuds within the Russian expat oligarch community than any state engeance

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 14th, 2018 at 10:22:47 PM EST
I'm inclined to think that it was either a Russian gov operation or yet another bit of reckless negligence by the Russian gov (which is what I suspect MH17 was). Suits Putin to have some conflict with the West around election time and suits May very well to have a fight about it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 02:45:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suits Putin to have some conflict with the West around election time


Why the poisoned `traitor' is a winning card for Putin - Politico

But in the "Russia vs. the West" narrative that Putin has cultivated for political gain since returning to the presidency in 2012, May's accusation is just one more page in a story the Russian public has been listening to for years. It's Russia against the West in Ukraine. Russia against the West in Syria. Russia against the U.S. in the 2016 election.
There might be issues that could dent Putin's public support -- Russian casualties in Syria or Ukraine, say, or a stagnating economy -- but accusations that the Kremlin tried to kill a man known to have betrayed Russia is not one of them. If anything, it could be a political winner -- the latest evidence that Putin knows no fear, that the long arm of his security services will reach wherever it wants to eliminate its enemies.

Indeed, Russia seemed to collectively mock May's allegations, turning "highly likely" into a meme, including a video on the foreign ministry's official English-language Twitter feed saying it was "highly likely" Russia had caused snowy weather in the U.K.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 18th, 2018 at 11:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing to be worried about. Thomas Friedman reassures us.
So I've had this thesis for a long time and came here to Hamburger University at McDonald's headquarters to finally test it out. The thesis is this: No two countries that both have a McDonald's have ever fought a war against each other.
Or will McDonald's pull out of the UK after Brexit?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 03:47:26 PM EST
The thesis is this: No two countries that both have a McDonald's have ever fought a war against each other.

This is what passes for a Public Intellectual in the US.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 06:26:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is what passes for a Public Intellectual in the US NYT.

The paper which has been foisting conservatism on america for decades while calling it liberalism. There are one or two staff columnists who aren't neocons, but otherwise it's a GOP house rag.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 07:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a website that had only a one year run, iirc

Today -100:  March 15, 1918: Sinister plot of the day

The determination to investigate the wool situation is due to a perusal of papers belonging to Hugo Schmidt, the New york representative of the Deautsche Bank, who is now interned as an enemy alien. Schmidt was the so-called "pay-master" in this country for Bolo Pacha, now under sentence of death for treason in France.

A wealthy wool merchant of New York and Boston was arrested here on Feb. 25 in connection with the wool hoarding plan. He is to be interned. According to Mr. Becker, this wool merchant was Schmidt's "chief of staff" in matters relating to textiles in this country. It is alleged to have been the intention of the man under arrest and his associated to minimized the effects of a possible British economic embargo against Germany after the war by making it possible for German interests to hoard great stoks of wool which might be sent to Germany when peace was concluded.

CHECKLIST: [ ] means [ ] motive [ ] opportunity [ ] evidence

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has Tory gov determined HOW, WHERE, and WHEN the gas was administered to the Skirpals?

They were found incapacitated on a park bench. The responding officer is reported enervated, presumably by contact with their clothing or flesh. I've missed reports of additional victims despite promotion of "200 witnesses."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 04:03:39 PM EST
What's more, we're told that it's one of the deadliest poisons ever made. And yet they're still alive, without May having to force the Israelis Russians to provide an antidote.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 05:14:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The King of Jordan had more leverage than the Queen ... ehh PM May of Great Britain? What a farce!

Interesting overview ...

Russia Isn't the Only Nation to Assassinate Enemies with Chemical Agents | Tikun Olam |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The King of Jordan had more leverage than the Queen ... ehh PM May of Great Britain? What a farce!

Interesting overview ...

Russia Isn't the Only Nation to Assassinate Enemies with Chemical Agents | Tikun Olam |

Original article written by Will Egelund of the Baltimore Sun in Moscow on September 16, 1992. He had spoken with the two whistleblowers/scientists who were the Soviet developers of the Novichok agent [cached]. There are a number of versions with different lethality. As I understand, once in contact with the substance, your nerve system has been irrevocably damaged. It may take a few years, but a painful death will be your fate. The antidote is known, see my links in article above.

Ex-Soviet scientist says Gorbachev's regime created new nerve gas in '91

The article is not error free, but for a leading story that needed to be published it was more than sufficient.

The bane of "inhumane" weapons and overkill: An overview of increasingly lethal arms and the inadequacy of regulatory controls

Israel's use of lethal nerve agents is not against their morals, ethics and law. It's for "defensive" use in order to exist in an territory filled with adversaries. CBW weapons have always been part of their arsenal for deterrence.

Israel is not a signatory, or party to the NPT, CTBT, BTWC, CWC or MTCR treaties of modern states.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Richard Silverstein (the first link in your post):

As horrible as Putin's murder of ex-KGB spy, Sergei Skripal and his daughter is (I'll explain in a second why I used the term "murder"), Russia is not the only nation that uses chemical agents to assassinate its enemies.
Returning to my opening sentence, if you are relieved to know that the two UK poisoning victims were saved from death-don't be.  I read the story of a Soviet scientist who accidentally inhaled the Novichok nerve agent used in Salisbury, in his research lab .  The man at first saw vivid hallucinations and then passed out.  He received the antidote, but it did not `save' him.  For five years following he suffered from severe depression, and then died.  Make no mistake, this poison is a death sentence.  The victims, even if they survive will face a living hell.  That is why it is imperative that Britain exact a severe punishment on Russia for this heinous act.  It is why it is absolutely shameful that Donald Trump hasn't denounced this attack and its perpetrator in no uncertain terms.  It is why he is not fit to be president (but that's another story).
by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:59:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like I said yesterday, who has the goods on the Trump Empire ...

Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization for documents related to Russia - report

So easy to encapsulate the little man in the White House!

    The dismissal of Rex Tillerson is another loss to diplomacy as Trump now is run by a military-intelligence cabinet of advisors and "experts". Who has the goods on the corruption of the Trump and Kushner Empire? Indeed!

    Iran be warned, in May Trump will stand down on the multilateral nuclear deal with your nation.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:49:54 PM EST
Michael Schmidt, intrepid NYT reporter, is reviving old news. Guardian embellishes Mueller's "escalation" with two stories pulled from another Dem minority report, "Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization for documents related to Russia - report" and Trump Organization 'negotiated with sanctioned Russian bank in 2016'.
But doubts about the veracity of that statement began to emerge last August, when the New York Times published emails from a longtime business associate of Trump called Felix Sater, who boasted that he had lined up financing for a Trump Tower in Moscow with VTB Bank, which is under US sanctions.

I'm feeling kinda Italian-ish now ...

Schmidt ties Minority report list of business records Mueller's subpoena, "delivered in recent weeks," to a specific real estate venture begun in 2015.

[1]The Trump Organization [TTO] has said that it never had real estate holdings in Russia, but witnesses recently interviewed by Mr. Mueller have been asked about a possible real estate deal in Moscow. In 2015, a longtime [2] business associate of Mr. Trump's emailed Mr. Trump's lawyer, [3] Michael Cohen, at his Trump Organization account claiming he had ties to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and said that building a [4] Trump Tower in Moscow would help Mr. Trump's presidential campaign.

Mr. Trump signed a nonbinding "letter of intent" for the project in 2015 and [5] discussed it three times with Mr. Cohen.
Word of the subpoena comes as Mr. Mueller appears to be broadening his investigation to examine the role foreign money may have played in [6] funding Mr. Trump's political activities.

So. Mueller already has 2015 business records from The Trump Organization to compare to wiretap transcripts and deposition testimony of TTO officers (beside Cohen) and FBI and DOJ "witnesses". Is this the means to indict Trump personally? I wish.

Politico embellishes Schmidt's reporting.

But House Intelligence Committee Democrats in a memo issued Tuesday complained that Republicans hadn't given the president's company a close enough examination. The minority lawmakers said a subpoena may be necessary for [7] telephone records between the Trump Organization and Trump to determine whether there had been discussions between Trump Jr. and his father about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

Democrats complained that Republicans have also ignored their requests for interviews [8. DEPOSTITIONS] with Trump Organization officials including attorney Alan Garten and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. They've also have previously requested an interview with Eric Trump, a key adviser from the 2016 campaign.

Ima go out on a limb of federal rules of procedure and evidence: On or about 15 July 2018 Mueller will announce more perjury and FARA indictments of TTO "associates", none of which implicate Trumps personally or substantiate campaign financing by Russian nationals.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 10:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In consideration of the Special Counsel's ongoing investigative equities, the Committee also has deferred [!] interviewing Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos,
but these interviews will be essential to a complete understanding of the issues of collusion and obstruction of justice. To conduct a legitimate investigation, the Committee would need to interview these individuals, whether or not they have reached plea agreements or are the subject of criminal indictments. For example, Mr. Flynn specifically informed the Committee via his attorney on June 7, 2017 that he planned to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination; the Committee did not demand his appearance, as a result. In light of Mr. Flynn's guilty plea, the Committee should revisit his appearance and seek to negotiate his testimony.
The Committee also ought to interview other individuals who may be of investigative interest to the Special Counsel, reportedly such as George Nader and Simona Mangiante.

Open hearings are also an integral component of the Committee's investigation and have allowed the public to hear from FBI Director James Comey (prior to his termination), former CIA Director John Brennan, former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, and senior executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google about key aspects of Russia's active measures campaign. Given the repeated warnings from the Intelligence Community and others that the Russians are seeking to reprise their 2016 operation in this year's midterm elections, the Committee should have held open hearings on election security to clarify the extent of Russia's intrusion into our election systems, highlight vulnerabilities in our elections infrastructure, and identify the technical and other solutions necessary to protect our country. [p3 of 21]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 11:10:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Phone and Other Communication Records: The Trump Organization and Donald Trump Jr. have produced records that redact phone metadata related to communications with specific phone numbers. Based on the timing of these calls, the Committee must determine whether some of these calls may be between Trump Jr. and Donald J. Trump, including calls concerning the Trump Tower meeting. The Committee should therefore request, via compulsory process if necessary, that the Trump Organization disclose to the Committee the phone numbers that have been redacted and produce, if applicable, any other call records between Trump Jr. and Donald J. Trump during key periods during the election and transition, and since the inauguration. [p21 of 21]

The Battle over the Scope of Rule 17(c) Subpoenas
applicability under different standards --Nixon,Tucker, Bowman -- where TTO is third-party to unstated criminal investigation of DJT; admissable evidence --exculpatory and inculpatory evidence; "fishing expeditions"
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure > Rule 17. Subpoena
9-11.120 - Power of a Grand Jury Limited by Its Function.

The grand jury's power, although expansive, is limited by its function toward possible return of an indictment. Costello v. United States, 350 U.S. 359, 362 (1956). Accordingly, the grand jury cannot be used solely to obtain additional evidence against a defendant who has already been indicted. ... Nor can the grand jury be used solely for pre-trial discovery or trial preparation.
 ...  After indictment, the grand jury may be used if its investigation is related to a superseding indictment of additional defendants or additional crimes by an indicted defendant.
9-11.140 - Limitation on Grand Jury Subpoenas
Subpoenas in Federal proceedings, including grand jury proceedings, are governed by Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Grand jury subpoenas may be served at any place within the United States. Under Rule 17(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a failure by a person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon him or her may be deemed a contempt of the court.
28 U.S. Code § 594 - Authority and duties of an independent counsel
(K)Custody of Records of an Independent Counsel.--
(4)Records provided by congress.--Records of an investigation conducted by a committee of the House of Representatives or the Senate which are provided to an independent counsel to assist in an investigation or prosecution conducted by that independent counsel--
(A) shall be maintained as a separate body of records within the records of the independent counsel; and
(B) shall, after the records have been transferred to the Archivist under this chapter, be made available, except as provided in paragraph (3)(B) and (C), in accordance with the rules governing release of the records of the House of Congress that provided the records to the independent counsel.

Subparagraph (B) shall not apply to those records which have been surrendered pursuant to grand jury or court proceedings.

Schiff's posse is playing a dangerous game. Railroading Trump will not end well for anyone.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 at 02:39:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a number of versions with different lethality

So why doesn't the UK government say which was used? From the 2013 report of the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)

Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to "Novichoks". The name "Novichok" is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of "Novichoks".
Has anything changed in the last 5 years? Is there any evidence of their existence that does not derive from Mirzayanov? In short, do they even exist?

I believe the Novichok precursors can be replicated and indeed must have been researched across many nations. It would have been irresponsible if this new 4th generation nerve agent from the Soviet era would not have been studied.Evidence, not belief is needed. If they cannot be replicated, it would not be irresponsible to not study them.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 09:00:01 PM EST
The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of "Novichoks".

I do interpret this text differently and place it in the context of a choice of components not prohibited under the CBW treaties.

This is what I did find for Novichok and the OPCW database of nerve agents ...

It is important to adapt the verification system quickly to changes in science and technology happening in industry and elsewhere. Examples: new chemical technologies and the need to look more closely at certain facilities producing unscheduled discrete organic chemicals (DOC); inclusion of data on non-scheduled risk chemicals into OPCW analytical database. Agents of the Novichok-category are not in the public domain and also are not controlled through the Schedules. The OPCW should be aware of them and be capable of finding them in samples.
[Source: Book Ecological Risks Associated with the Destruction of Chemical Weapons ]

OPCW: Identification of Declarable Activities
Notification of a facility producing Unscheduled Discrete Organic Chemicals


Verifying the Chemical Weapons Ban: Missing Elements - Armscontrol.org

Chemicals of concern that remain outside the schedules include most members of the novichok family of binary nerve gases, which Soviet military chemists invented during the 1970s and 1980s.[5] Also unlisted in Schedule 1 are several chemicals designed to penetrate gas masks, as well as long-lasting incapacitants and "calmative" agents, such as the anesthetic fentanyl and related compounds, which both the United States and Russia have developed under the CWC's exemption for "law enforcement, including domestic riot control."[6] Another set of compounds of concern lies at the frontier of chemistry and biology, including toxins (toxic molecules produced by living organisms) and bioregulators (natural body chemicals that have potent effects on the nervous and immune systems). Only two such biochemical agents--the toxins ricin and saxitoxin--are listed on Schedule 1.

Remember the use of anesthetic fentanyl by the Russian security police during the siege of Chechen terrorists holding hostages in a Moscow theater in October 2002. [Source: The New York Times]


Although the CWC negotiators devised an expedited process for amending the schedules to incorporate new toxic chemicals and precursors, member states have so far declined to use it. One reason for not adding the novichoks and their precursors to the schedules is that the Russian government has refused to acknowledge their development. In addition, several Western countries worry that listing these compounds would disclose their molecular structure and thereby facilitate their acquisition by state proliferators and terrorist groups.

Technological Advances Present Challenge to CWC Verification

Technological developments have also made it easier to conceal the manufacture of novel chemical warfare agents in the guise of legitimate industrial production. For example, some of the novichok nerve agents lack the carbon-phosphorus bond that is the hallmark of classical nerve agents such as sarin and soman, making the newer agents more difficult to identify. Several chemical warfare agents also come in binary formulations, in which two final precursor chemicals are mixed together inside a munition en route to the target and react to produce the lethal agent, which is then dispersed on impact. Because the binary components are relatively nontoxic, they can be manufactured in existing chemical plants for ostensibly legitimate purposes.

Thus for me these "agricultural" agents are real and the binary compound are known across the globe in state sponsored research labs. Thus I must agree with PM Theresa May, a state actor is responsible for any use of Novichok nerve agent. The staging was quite sloppy as many locations have been exposed. My trust in the IC is quite low due the implementation of false flag attacks to start a war or force a political goal.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 at 06:44:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent overview and worthwhile reading ...

Overall View of Chemical and Biochemical Weapons - June 2014   by Vladimir Pitschmann


This article describes a brief history of chemical warfare, which culminated in the signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It describes the current level of chemical weapons and the risk of using them. Furthermore, some traditional technology for the development of chemical weapons, such as increasing toxicity, methods of overcoming chemical protection, research on natural toxins or the introduction of binary technology, has been described. In accordance with many parameters, chemical weapons based on traditional technologies have achieved the limit of their development. There is, however, a big potential of their further development based on the most recent knowledge of modern scientific and technical disciplines, particularly at the boundary of chemistry and biology. The risk is even higher due to the fact that already, today, there is a general acceptance of the development of non-lethal chemical weapons at a technologically higher level. In the future, the chemical arsenal will be based on the accumulation of important information from the fields of chemical, biological and toxin weapons. Data banks obtained in this way will be hardly accessible and the risk of their materialization will persist.

2.5 Chemical Weapons in the Nuclear Age

At the dawn of the 1950s and 1960s, new concepts of conducting "non-lethal" (psychochemical) war was elaborated with the use of psychoactive substances, particularly hallucinogenic glycolates (BZ). In the arsenal of armies, as well as of police and security services, new highly effective irritants arose, which were also employed in military conflicts. The best known example is the mass use of the CS agent in the Vietnam War. American forces concurrently used herbicides on a large scale (particularly based on 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T), the primary purpose of this being the vertical and horizontal control of the vegetation on the battlefield. The mass application of herbicides exerted negative effects on the environment, agriculture and health conditions of the local population [10,11].

In the peak period of the Cold War, the United States developed chemical weapons of the third generation, the principle of which was binary ammunition based on nerve agents (sarin, VX, IVA - intermediate volatility agents). The Soviet Union reacted with an extensive program (code name FOLIANT, NOVICHOK) for the development of new, fourth generation chemical weapons, and the result was a technology for binary ammunition with nerve agents exerting enhanced toxicity.

In the period of the Cold War, chemical weapons were also distributed into countries of the so-called Third World, which considered this technology to be a cheaper alternative to nuclear weapons. The largest advance in this direction was achieved by Iraq, where a chemical arsenal, including more than 3,800 tons of CWA (mustard, tabun, sarin), was accumulated with the help of foreign companies. A major proportion of these stocks were used in the war against Iran and against the local population of Kurds.

[About the author: Vladimir Pitschmann (1958) is a researcher in a company ORITEST in Prague.  He graduated from the Military Academy of Ground Forces in Vyškov, in the field of Military Chemistry in 1983. He completed a study of an external scientific as PhD at Military Academy in the field of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Protection against them in 1993. He habilitated at the University of Defence in Brno in 2006.  He is an author of several books, approximately 60 professional and scientific articles and more than 60 patents and utility designs. He lectures at the Czech Technical University in Prague.]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 at 08:42:38 AM EST
Busy times in London - Police launch murder inquiry over death of Nikolai Glushkov.

UK defence secretary tells Russia 'go away and shut up'

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson urged Russia to "go away" and "shut up" as he unveiled plans for a new chemical weapons "defence centre".

He made the comments as he announced a £48m investment in a facility that will be located at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down.

Scientists at the Wiltshire lab helped identify the nerve agent used to attack ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

Russia said his comments demonstrated his "intellectual impotence".

In a speech on Thursday, Mr Williamson said the "shocking and reckless" attack on Mr Skripal and his daughter illustrated the increasing dangers the UK faced from chemical weapons.

Mr Williamson said there was "no doubt the attack came from Russia".  

Why does the UK need a new facility?

Williamson said that while the UK is well-prepared for chemical, biological and radiological attacks, the evolving nature of threats and the increasing capabilities of potentially hostile countries mean that more research is needed.

He explained: "We know the chemical threat doesn't just come from Russia but from others. We will be strengthening [our] capability by investing £48m in a new chemical weapons defence centre to ensure we maintain our cutting edge in chemical analysis and defence."

Williamson added that as the UK moves towards Brexit, its division from the EU could be viewed as a weakening of the country's defence capabilities by hostile countries. Therefore, by investing in a new chemical weapons defence facility, the UK will aim to retain its competitive advantage in the field of defence.

In addition to the new centre, the defence secretary also announced that thousands of British troops will be vaccinated against anthrax as a precautionary measure. Anthrax is a biological agent which was used in a series of terror attacks in the US in 2001.

Oh yes, anthrax traced to the U.S. Army Labs of Fort Detrick ... culprit was never found and people had died. FEAR!!

FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 at 05:10:02 PM EST
"well-prepared" : and yet foreign intelligence agents seeking asylum in the UK end up dead after debrief. What a coincidence.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 at 05:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Testimony of John Parachini
Policy Analyst at the RAND Washington Office
Before the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information

November 6, 2001

There are at least three possible explanations for the origins of the sophisticated Anthrax contained in the letter sent to Senator Daschle; all of them have heretofore been considered possible, but unlikely.  First, these attacks could be the clandestine act of a state either rolling towards wider conflict or secretly inflicting harm because it believes it can do so without detection and attribution.  Second, a state could have engaged a terrorist group to conduct the attack or provided the material to a sub-national entity for its own purposes.  Third, a terrorist group or individual could have produced this
sophisticated quality of anthrax itself or received assistance from scientists willing to sell their expertise.  All of these three explanations represent a break with the historical precedents.


When it comes to the feasibility of using biological weapons, states are most likely to have the resources, technical capabilities, and organizational capacity to assemble the people, know-how, material, and equipment to produce such weapons and to be able to clandestinely deliver them to valued targets.  Mustering the resources and capabilities to inflict a devastating blow with biological agents has proven to be a formidable task even for states.

RAND policy analist never thought it feasible the anthrax originated from an U.S. Army Lab ... how about that Theresa May!

Anthrax Attacks 'Solved'   by Oui on Aug. 1, 2008

Came across this prophesying diary by Lisa Pease ... how to opinionate the masses:

Obama, Sunstein, Vermeule and "Conspiracy Theories"
How a Liberal Scholar of Conspiracy Theories Became the Subject of a Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory | The New Yorker - Dec. 2017 |
Conspiracy theories thrive online, but their consequences are real | Columbia Journalism Review |

Well done Democrats!

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 at 05:12:09 PM EST
Central-Asia: US dismantles chemical weapons | BBC News - Aug. 9, 1999 |

    A group of American defence experts have arrived in Uzbekistan to start helping the Uzbeks dismantle and decontaminate one of the former Soviet Union's largest chemical weapons testing facilities.

    US officials say the chemical research institute in western Uzbekistan was a major research site for a new generation of secret, highly lethal chemical weapons, known as Novichok.

    Congress has allocated up to $6m for the project, after the US signed an agreement on assistance to help dismantle the institute earlier in the year.

Guaranteed, all CBW research labs of major powers have samples of the deadly variants of this binary agent.

    Dispersed in an ultra-fine powder instead of a gas or a vapor, they have unique qualities. A binary agent was then created that would mimic the same properties but would either be manufactured using materials legal under the CWT or be undetectable by treaty regime inspections. The most potent compounds from this family, novichok-5 and novichok-7, are supposedly around five to eight times more potent than VX.

No useful purpose would be served by Russia to assassinate Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK. None whatsoever in the year of the Football World Cup played in Russia.

Remember Dr. David Kelly, expert in dismantling Soviet CBW plants and his job as member of UNSCOM in Iraq. What was his fate after the lies by Tony Blair and the dodgy dossier of the Iraq War?


Didn't pass the censor - Richard Silverstein's blog Tikun Olam. No matter, some people are hard to convince. From the start of the Syrian conflict, Richard and I have opposite views on the perpetrators and US foreign policy WRT the Arab Spring.

Oui says   

March 15, 2018 at 5:17 AM

[Comment deleted: apparently you didn't believe it when I told commenters to stop this off- topic nonsense. Not to mention that you're repeating arguments I and the media have already debunked.]

His remark "I and the media" is of course quite a weak argument.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 02:31:11 PM EST
Silverstein: I know how you feel. I had an altercation with him over here, where he published what looked to me like a libellous accusation of somebody for the murder of Khdeir. He tried to get me to respond at his site, but I saw no point, since he was the one who posted here. Eventually, when Israel arrested the murderers, they did not include the one he accused here.

Basically, my feeling about Silverstein is that his heart is in the right place, but he isn't as knowledgeable as he would like to appear. He does seem to get a lot of people to use him as a source for unpublished information, but he can't always distinguish real scoops from hoaxes.

One very good example was the "Hannibal directive". I've known about it for ages, maybe from this 2003 Ha'aretz article though I've a feeling I've known about it for much longer

In the summer of 1986, three senior officers met at Northern Command headquarters and drew up one of the most controversial operational orders in the history of the Israel Defense Forces. The three were the head of Northern Command at the time, Major General Yossi Peled, the command's operations officer, Colonel Gabi Ashkenazi (now the deputy chief of staff) and the command's intelligence officer, Colonel Yaakov Amidror, whose last post in the army before retiring was head of the National Defense College. The order they formulated had to do with the rules for opening fire in cases in which soldiers were being abducted: "During an abduction, the major mission is to rescue our soldiers from the abductors even at the price of harming or wounding our soldiers. Light-arms fire is to be used in order to bring the abductors to the ground or to stop them. If the vehicle or the abductors do not stop, single-shot (sniper) fire should be aimed at them, deliberately, in order to hit the abductors, even if this means hitting our soldiers. In any event, everything will be done to stop the vehicle and not allow it to escape."

The IDF computer gave the order a random, though particularly exotic, code name: "Hannibal." Field commanders apprised their soldiers about the underlying meaning of the "Hannibal procedure":

I never believed that "random" bit, and neither does Silverstein. I had assumed these orders were being followed in some subsequent cases, but never thought we would know for sure, without being able to read the minds of the officers involved. So when it suddenly became an issue during the latest Gaza campaign, my question was merely why are people suddenly talking about it (Finkelstein's book gives the most convincing explanation that I've seen). So I went to Silverstein's side, here as quoted by Atzmon, in 2014.
To the uninitiated this will seem a terribly strange, uncivilized, even immoral act. But that's where I learned something I'd never known before about the IDF. There is an unwritten secret regulation written by the IDF High Command, but nowhere codified in writing. Its existence is protected by military censorship. Journalists have rarely written about it. When they have it's usually been in code or by inference.


In my long history of dedication to this subject, I've rarely seen anything that has disturbed me as much.

I give him full credit for being shocked, but having been unaware of it for so long.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 08:53:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OffGuardian | Skripal case: DS Bailey leaves hospital; MSM still spinning casualty figures
It t was announced today [22 MAR] that Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey - allegedly the third victim of the alleged "nerve agent" poisoning in Salisbury, UK - has been released from hospital.

Bailey did not speak to the press, and no photographs or film of him leaving the premises and going home have yet emerged. However Keir Pritchard, Chief Constable for Wiltshire, did appear to the press to read out statements allegedly made by Bailey and his alleged wife, Sarah. You can read Bailey's statement at the end of this piece.

< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 24th, 2018 at 01:30:25 AM EST
AFP | Russia can replace expelled diplomats: US official
"The United States has expelled 48 Russian intelligence officers
These 48 are not legitimate diplomats
but it is not requiring the Russian bilateral mission to reduce its total number of personnel," a State Department official told AFP.

"The Russian government remains free to request accreditation for vacant positions in its bilateral mission. Any requests for new diplomatic accreditation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis."

No US diplomats in Moscow are intelligence officers.
But, the US official said, [RU GOV] has not requested [?] that the headcount at Washington's embassy in Moscow be reduced -- as the Kremlin had done when former US president Barack Obama expelled 35 diplomats in 2016.
Therefore no US diplomats in St Petersburg are intelligence officers.
But this week's diplomatic expulsions [BY RU GOV] were unprecedented in their scale, and the State Department insists that Washington reserves the right to respond to Moscow's "unjustified" expulsions.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Mar 31st, 2018 at 03:44:47 PM EST

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Apr 1st, 2018 at 11:18:51 PM EST
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Apr 7th, 2018 at 02:56:25 PM EST
Did you ever see So I Married an Axe Murderer?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Apr 7th, 2018 at 05:15:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is another account. I don't know anything about the reliability of the source, but it looks reasonable serious.
The UK government has not revealed the identity of the compound detected in Salisbury, but the Russian ambassador has stated that the Foreign Secretary [Johnson!] told him that the compound detected was A-234. Russian experts have revealed that the mass spectrometry profile of this compound was submitted to a public database by a researcher in the US Army's Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center around 1998, indicating that Edgewood has synthesized and studied this compound.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Apr 7th, 2018 at 05:32:43 PM EST
govtribe.com (above), "public" database of DARPA/DTRA international defense contracts; there are more project-specific records, but "browsing" isn't a legitimate query. At least a data analyst begins a search with one or more known projects in mind.

You do not know this unnamed "US military" researcher. That information is irrelevant to your database search. The search to produced measurable forensicology in US DOD possession that informed Johnson --independent of sample one should pressume to verify Skirpals' "poison" etiology. And you don't possess user permissions to duplicate the search or review the records.

Here's the thing: One of many unstated assumptions purveyed by press reporting of this crime investigation is, no NATO member agency experiments or produces organic or inorganic weapons. That claim is implausible on its face. You see what NATO permits you to see: WMD defense against ROW, where, incidentally it quarantines WMD research.

(Just four years ago MSM hastily demonstrated allied military capacity to produce viral cures and vaccines for ebola in Liberia [!] and Sierra Leone [!] based on decades of research, partly conducted in Guinea.)

Tory gov's mistake is to practice in its own yard. Though the political reprecussions will be fleeting. "It's not me!" is the most attractive defense of all in westworld.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Apr 7th, 2018 at 06:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An Extremely Boring Video. Do Not Watch It

My perspective on the interview itself was that the interviewer became aggressive and sarcastic, increasingly shrill as the apparent effort to discredit me was not going well, and resorting eventually to asking about any old extraneous matter but the Skripals. I strongly suspect it was not me being boring, but the strange performance by Kay Burley, which motivated Sky to bury the interview.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 at 01:34:36 AM EST

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