Ultimatums, Evidence, and Threats

Theresa May, who believes every problem can be solved by bullying and threatening the law-abiding citizens of her own country, is finding the approach doesn’t work against nuclear-armed shitlords:

Theresa May is expected to announce a series of measures against Russia after it failed to meet her deadline to explain how a nerve agent was used to poison a former double agent in the UK.

Oh. What does the Head Girl do now? Tell teacher?

Moscow said it would not respond to the UK’s ultimatum until it was given access to the chemical substance used in the attack.

A reasonable request, I think. If the police haul you in and say they’ve found a kitchen knife belonging to you in the chest of a dead man, you are entitled to ask to see the knife rather than simply accept their statement that it’s yours. So if the British government is saying Skripal was attacked using a nerve agent that can only have come from a Russian government source, and is demanding answers, I think it’s reasonable the Russians are given a sample. Sure, the Russians may deny it’s theirs but then you are also free to deny the knife in the dead man’s chest is yours also. Being presented with the evidence is an important part of any system of justice.

Even supposing the Russians aren’t playing games, they have an interest in obtaining a sample. If the Russians have “lost control” of a nerve agent as May herself suggested, they might need a sample to see what lab it came from, or where it was stored. We know that the nerve agent Novichok was developed in the Soviet Union, and the US did everything it could to secure stockpiles of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons when the regime collapsed, but it’s certain some stuff fell into the wrong hands. A load of this Novochik was produced in Uzbekistan, not the most secure country in the world. The assertion that this simply must be a Russian government operation because Novichok was used isn’t very strong, in my opinion. There’s also the question of how secret the formula was. Yes, this agent was developed in the Soviet Union but could it have been copied and produced elsewhere? One way to answer these questions is to show the Russians the substance and ask them. Maybe they’ll lie, or maybe they won’t. But why is Britain reluctant to share a sample with them? What are they afraid of? Nobody is asking these questions, and the government and media seem happy to just gloss over the request as if it’s completely unreasonable.

Given some are talking about invoking NATO’s Article 5, I’m not too sure I want to trust the mere word of a spectacularly dim prime minister heading an incompetent, shambolic government presiding over government departments with a habit of lying. Anyone remember Saddam’s WMDs? I’d like to see a third party – perhaps a neutral government like Norway or Switzerland – take a look at the nerve agent and list every possible source, with as much help from the Russians as they can get. It would do no harm to let the Americans have a look at it, too. Basically, I’m deeply unhappy about the British keeping it to themselves and issuing ultimatums. If they have evidence, it must be displayed for all to see.

So, what will May do? The BBC has some suggestions:

Expel senior diplomats, perhaps even the Russian ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, and known Russian intelligence agents

Okay, and we’ll see some of ours kicked out of Moscow. Standard stuff.

Take some sort of action to bar wealthy Russian oligarchs from accessing their mansions and other luxuries in London, as suggested by Tory MP and House of Commons foreign affairs committee chair Tom Tugendhat. One way this could happen is through the use of Unexplained Wealth Orders, which allow government officials to seize assets including property until they have been properly accounted for

Y’know, there are some of us who were wondering why this was allowed in the first place. I remember when Roman Abramovich first showed up in London and bought Chelsea Football Club. Rather than engage in a sober analysis of where he got the money, the media got all excited about which players he would buy, and nobody in government raised an eyebrow. In fact, the one voice that has consistently asked the British government to not allow dodgy Russians to turn up in London with bags of stolen money and live the high life has been the Russian government.

A boycott of the Fifa World Cup in Russia later this year by officials and dignitaries – a symbolic move that UK allies are unlikely to emulate

Only officials and dignitaries? Would anyone in England even notice?

Pass a British version of the 2012 US Magnitsky act, which punishes Russians involved in corruption and human rights violations with asset freezes and travel bans.

Okay, fair enough. But I suspect once British businessmen start being tossed in Russian prisons for various “violations” this won’t seem like such a good idea.

Taking Russian broadcasters such as RT (formerly Russia Today) off the air – broadcasting regulator Ofcom has said it will “consider the implications for RT’s broadcast licences” after Mrs May speaks on Wednesday.

So we’re going to use what is supposed to be an independent broadcasting regulator as a political weapon. Yes, this is right up Theresa May’s street. And the Russians have their response ready should this happen:

Not a single British media outlet will be working in Russia if London decides to shut down RT broadcasting in the UK, Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said.

This will of course include the BBC, which peddles almost as much ignorant, ill-informed, ruling-class propaganda as RT. It will also include the Moscow bureau of The Times, which is fitting given how often its columnists demand RT is shut down.

But this is my favourite:

A string of deaths on UK soil are to be reinvestigated by the police and MI5 after claims of Russian involvement, Home Secretary Amber Rudd says.

Presumably because they didn’t do a proper job the first time around. What other reason could there be?

The deaths that Buzzfeed identified include those of Boris Berezovsky, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin

Mr Berezovsky was found hanged in his bathroom in 2013. Police said a post-mortem showed no sign of a violent struggle.

I have a pal who is involved in the security of Russian oligarchs in London. He thinks the idea that Berezovsky hanged himself is laughable. It is worth noting that Berezovsky had many enemies, not just Putin. He fought a high-profile court battle with Roman Abramovich  between 2011-12 over who owned the assets they’d both looted in the 1990s, which he lost. Ironically, the Russians frequently complained that by granting Berezovsky political asylum, the British government was sheltering a gangster who ought to be facing criminal charges back home. Like I said a few paragraphs ago, the most consistent critic of dodgy Russians being allowed to set up shop in London with no questions asked is the Russian government.

And what is the threat to re-open the Berezovsky case, exactly? The coroner returned an open verdict, saying:

“I am not saying Mr Berezovsky took his own life, I am not saying Mr Berezovsky was unlawfully killed. What I am saying is that the burden of proof sets such a high standard it is impossible for me to say.”

What Amber Rudd seems to be suggesting is that, if the case is re-opened, the finger will point at Putin. Sorry, but is there something we’re not being told? I was under the impression an inquest into someone’s death in Britain was carried out professionally, thoroughly, and competently and the verdict sincere, but it appears they can be revisited and a different result obtained if it suits the political whim of the current Home Secretary. Now I’d not be the slightest bit surprised if Plod has covered up the murder of Boris Berezovsky for one reason or another, but it would be a spectacular own goal to admit this in the course of accusing Russia of malfeasance.

May’s government really isn’t handling this well at all, and is making Britain look almost as dodgy as Russia.

Share

107 thoughts on “Ultimatums, Evidence, and Threats

  1. I think providing the evidence to anyone who asks for it – including Russia – is a sign of strength

    I understand that if you have complete faith in your evidence and expert analysis of it, then stating that any other fair examination of the evidence will lead to the same conclusion as your own would be a weak signal of the strength of your claim. And allowing such examination would be a far stronger signal of strength. If the Russians were asking for independent examination of the evidence and the UK denied it, then it would cast doubt on how confident the UK government were about their facts. However, they are asking to examine it themselves. In terms of justice, this doesn’t sound an unfair thing to ask for, but there’s little reason to expect it to produce an impartial examination of the facts.

    It would hand over the initiative in setting the narrative and allow the Russian government to “prove” that the UK is lying, which would clearly undermine the strength of the UK government position in terms of information warfare even if it didn’t directly affect the way other governments responded. It would therefore be a stupid thing to do. When you do a stupid thing because someone who stands to benefit from you doing so asks you to do it, you’re demonstrating weakness towards them.

  2. May has shown herself once again to be utterly unfit for the responsibilities vested in her.

    Your post is bang on once again.

    FWIW I still think that in view of Putin’s known propensity to be a corrupt amoral cunt and professional macho man with elections coming up shortly, the smart money is on it being his government behind this.

  3. MBE,

    I get what you’re saying, but “we’re not going to hand over evidence to Russia in support of our rather serious accusation because that would give them the initiative in establishing the narrative” doesn’t sit very well with me.

  4. It would hand over the initiative in setting the narrative and allow the Russian government to “prove” that the UK is lying

    More importantly it would hand over control of the timing to them. They could delay for weeks, or months, claiming their tests were not complete; and having given them the stuff to test you can hardly baulk when they say, ‘We need time to test it properly!’

    They still haven’t admitted shooting down that Malaysian aeroplane, have they? They just refused to co-operate with the investigation and let it drag out until it was no longer news any more. They’re trying the same thing here.

  5. They just refused to co-operate with the investigation and let it drag out until it was no longer news any more.

    That’s because they realised not a single western politician was willing to hold their feet to the fire, and to a man and woman they all wanted this business to quietly go away so they’d not have to take any meaningful decisions.

  6. That’s because they realised not a single western politician was willing to hold their feet to the fire, and to a man and woman they all wanted this business to quietly go away so they’d not have to take any meaningful decisions.

    Yes, and can’t you see that’s exactly what Russia is trying to do here as well?

    Demand the samples; delay for weeks or months; the news cycle moves on; it all goes away.

  7. Meanwhile, everyone in Russia knows the guy was killed for spying, so the message: ‘if you spy, we will get you, don’t think the West can protect you even if you get there’ is sent. Which was the point of the whole exercise.

    Smyert Shpionam

  8. Demand the samples; delay for weeks or months; the news cycle moves on; it all goes away.

    Then it’s up to May’s government to ensure it doesn’t. This is not a valid reason for refusing to share the evidence.

  9. Meanwhile, everyone in Russia knows the guy was killed for spying

    This surprises me, because the Russians I spoke to think it could have been just about anybody who tried to kill him, for a variety of reasons.

  10. This is not a valid reason for refusing to share the evidence.

    Yes. It is. You don’t have to share evidence if they are asking in bad faith and have no intent to actually analyse it. As I said, as soon as those samples get to Russia they will go straight into an incinerator.

    (Or however you dispose of nerve agents — the Russians know better than me)

  11. the Russians I spoke to think it could have been just about anybody who tried to kill him

    And are they more, or less, inclined to spy for the West as a result?

  12. I think she is doing a decent job,if we hand over samples Putin is going to say…its a fair cop gov? no he will deny and obfuscate. I’m good with anything we can do even if it hurts us. I’ve always had some time for Putin given his obvious love of Russia feigned or not but enough is enough.

  13. A lively debate here, and thanks Tim for what is a very interesting blog. First some background info about me. I’m an ex-Army bomb disposal officer and during the late 90’s/early 2000’s I used to work as part of the Home Office response to chemical terrorist attacks. I’m not giving anything away as it’s now common knowledge that the UK has an in-house capability. I just wanted to post three thoughts based on chemical warfare agents (by the way I left a while ago so I am out of date with certain protocols, and I’ve taken that into account).

    OK first we can send the samples to OPCW and have them independently verified. UK, Russian and other scientists can be present. I believe that is what the Russians have asked for, and that does follow international protocol. That should end the debate about giving Russia a sample for them to throw away and drag out the issue.

    Secondly when were on exercise in various locations across the UK, the local constabulary was always in charge, even though the response was 95% military/Porton Down. It’s known as MACP (military aid to the civil power). What would happen is the all specialist resources such as; scientists, bomb disposal, special forces etc,. would effectively be seconded to the local police force. Unless protocols have changed (and if any of you are serving police officers, you’ll know better than I) I find it highly odd that this has a Met Police lead rather than local. Saying that the local plod doesn’t have the specialist capability has never been an issue before, as they would always be given both the specialist capability and the specialist command elements to carry out their job. They of course would report direct to Cobra.

    Thirdly. Remember the Idlib chemical attack in Syria just over a year ago? Well I saw the videos and that was not nerve agent in my opinion. If it was nerve, the first responders who were hosing down the victims whilst wearing jeans and T-shirt would have died. We were told to believe, and our foreign policy was altered based on the ‘fact’ that it was nerve. Bo Jo even claimed it to be nerve agent within hours of the incident – unless he had an intercepted radio transmission of a Syrian pilot saying ‘I’m about to drop nerve agent on the enemy civilians now’ he could not possibly have known what it was within such as short timeframe. Youtube those Idlib videos and compare them to our response in terms of chemical hazard protection, which you actually need when dealing with nerve agent decontamination – i.e. people in SCBA suits who look a bit like telly-tubbies, rather than people in jeans and t-shirts. So somewhere there is a lie that we are being told.

    Now that doesn’t mean that Russia did or didn’t do this. Just my thoughts that I wanted to add to the discussion.

  14. I mean, let’s assume for the moment it wasn’t the Russian government, which is a bit like assuming up is down or black is white or Jeremy Corbyn is suitable to be Prime Minister but whatever. Is there any chance then that the Russian government doesn’t know who is actually to blame?

    I mean, the intersection of people with motive and people with access to this stuff has got to be pretty small (in fact it’s pretty much only the Russian government, but for the sake of argument let’s assume there’s more…). They’ll all be in Russia and they’ll all be pretty shady and pretty powerful, so they’ll all be on Putin’s radar. And it can’t be that hard for an ex-KGB man to go through the list and finger the culprit. Using a bit of the old torture if necessary.

    So if the Russian government hasn’t handed them over already, they’re not going to. So if the hit wasn’t ordered by the Russian government (it was but even if…), then they must be protecting whoever did order it.

    And in neither case are they asking for the evidence in good faith in order to prove their innocence. And so in neither case is there any obligation to provide them with it.

  15. ’May’s government really isn’t handling this well at all, and is making Britain look almost as dodgy as Russia.’

    Is there anything they are handling well then?

  16. “Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of western nations to the alliances that bind us.”

    The Fish Faced Cow actually had the brass neck to insert “the enduring attraction of free and open societies” into that bullshit?

    With politicians both sides of the Atlantic trying to undermine the results of the democratic electoral process? With people being jailed for their political opinions? Binding alliances that take us into foreign wars justified by faked evidence? With US government agencies covertly organising gun running operations into a neighbouring country?
    Can we put “free & open society” into the column headed “To Do”

  17. It is a tangled mess.

    Firstly I’m glad to see Corbin getting it in the neck for any reason. If there was film of Putin stabbing the victims himself and smirking at the camera Agent COB would deny his guilt. Because anything that hurts the UK is what Corbog is all about.

    That said I would like the indignation against the Absolute Turd to be on a solid footing. Not bullshit from the Fish Faced Cow that turns out to be bollocks and leaves Grandpa Death able to claim that he was the only one not having hysterics. I have said many times that the FFC is Agent COB’s greatest asset and the silly bitch is just that.

    It seems clear that the likely nerve agent was stored at a now defunct soviet base in Uzbeckistan. And that in 92/3 the Yanks were asked by the Uzbeks to look after that site to stop dangerous gear falling into rogue hands. Jeez –how funny is that?. So it is highly likely that the Yanks know how to make the nerve agent and/or took some of it during their time in charge of the base.

    Neo-cons would benefit from boosting the “Russia, Russia” anti-Trump hysteria. And would not care about collateral damage so long as nothing came out that fingered them directly.

    Putin down on the EU? It would seem an obscure method of getting back at them and hardly needed when the bastards are doing a lovely job of fucking themselves up.

    As for the hysterical posturing of the FFC I can only see that it is some bungled attempt at doing the Poundstore Iron Lady routine. If it backfires with Putes laughing in her ugly, bovine bad-breathed mug it will only undermine the anti-COB forces even more. She is a stupid bitch trying to punch so far above her arrogant, nannying, authoritarian-if-she-thinks-you-can’t-hit-back weight it would be hilarious if it wasn’t dangerous and tragic. Letting COB in being the source of danger and the potential for absolute tragedy for us all.

    Phrase:Richard Murphy is a turd.

  18. Oh yeah–forgot to say Damian above is right. Samples should have gone to Russia and impartial parties for reports before any bullshit about who might be responsible was even voiced.

    Murph is still a turd.

  19. Samples should have gone to Russia and impartial parties for reports

    There are no ‘impartial parties’. Anyone who concurs with the UK’s findings will be accused by Russia of being part of a US-backed anti-Russia conspiracy. Anyone who doesn’t concur, is lying, presumably on Russia’s behalf.

  20. A string of deaths on UK soil are to be reinvestigated by the police and MI5 after claims of Russian involvement,

    Yeah, Plod would love to shove a load of cold cases on Russia, while ignoring the rapey peasants in our midst.

  21. If you really want to make this into a convoluted mess, do some Googling about Skripal’s connections to the firm employed by Christopher Steele to assemble the infamous prostitutes-pissing-on-the-bed Trump dossier. Check out Pablo Miller, the MI6 agent who recruited Skripal into doubling on the Russians, and with whom Skripal remained friends even as Miller went to work for Orbis Business Intelligence, Steele’s PI firm.

    Skripal may have had a hand in the actual drafting of the dossier, which might provide substantial incentive for someone concerned that the dossier’s roots remain hidden to silence him.

    Heck, this theory seems just as likely to be true as is the one that holds that Skripal, after being held in Russian prison for four years and then living openly in England for eight, was finally murdered in this fashion by Putin using Russia-sourced clearly-identifiable sophisticated chemicals.

    Putin has always been a murderer, but he has always tried to cover his tracks. This killing in broad daylight with Russian CW substances is just too blatant.

  22. Putin has always been a murderer, but he has always tried to cover his tracks

    He didn’t in 2006 when he had Litvinenko killed.

  23. May might try to invoke Article 5? She’s dumber than I realized. First off, it doesn’t even qualify, and even if she could swing it who else might join the fray, the Germans, the Baltic nations? Maybe Iceland and Montenegro will lead the way. A vast number of Americans think Great Britain is a lost cause anyway so it’s extremely doubtful even we would go this far. The only reason anyone went along with the Iraq Excellent Adventure was that they saw it as extremely low risk for them. A war with Russia, has she lost her mind?

  24. He didn’t in 2006 when he had Litvinenko killed.

    Nor when he bumped off David Kelly.

  25. “one voice that has consistently asked the British government to not allow dodgy Russians to turn up in London with bags of stolen money and live the high life has been the Russian government”

    This sounds rather intriguing. Did the Chukotka governor Roman Abramovich question the source of wealth of the businessman Roman Abramovich? Pray do tell more.

  26. Pray do tell more.

    Oh, the Russians have been very selective in who they complain about being allowed to live in London. But they are the only ones complaining, and they have been for a while.

  27. A vast number of Americans think Great Britain is a lost cause anyway so it’s extremely doubtful even we would go this far.

    It certainly doesn’t seem to be generating much interest among Americans on Twitter, except for Anne Applebaum and John McCain who have been agitating for war with Russia since I can remember.

  28. Nor when he bumped off David Kelly

    You’re not suggesting that Litvinenko wasn’t killed by agents acting for Putin (or at the very least, that Putin didn’t approve of and reward his killing), are you?

  29. Anyone remember Saddam’s WMDs?

    Well, except they weren’t lying about that. The “Saddam had no WMDs” thing has been incredibly thoroughly debunked, but lies halfway around the world while the truth is putting its boots on, etc.

  30. The “Saddam had no WMDs” thing has been incredibly thoroughly debunked

    Indeed. But rather than saying “we reckon he has them, he probably has, and we need to know for sure, he’s not playing ball, so we’re going to find out” the British government said “we know Saddam Hussein has WMDs that can hit London in 45 mins”. It’s the dishonesty over the element of certainty that I don’t like, and we’re seeing the same thing here.

  31. What sort of samples could we hand over anyway? It’s not like there’s a bucket of this crap sitting on a table somewhere is it? A sample, absent that in this blokes bloodstream, would be a minute trace, how do you handle it, how do you send it, and most of all, the decontamination teams would have made very sure to destroy any left in public areas to safeguard people.

  32. It’s the dishonesty over the element of certainty that I don’t like, and we’re seeing the same thing here

    Are we? The Iraq information was based on sketchy intelligence gathered form inside a hostile regime.

    This is forensic analysis of a (presumably quite distinctive) substance found at a crime scene in this country.

    It’s entirely possible — likely, even — that the certainty this time is justified in a way that that over Iraq was not.

    But, crucially, the main point is that giving a sample to Russia would in no way change the level of certainty, because we know what will happen if they do: Russia will delay and delay and when they can finally delay no more they will deny it was them.

    You still haven’t answered the question: given you claim that not giving the sample weakens May’s case against Russia, if she did give the sample and, a few months later, Russia said, ‘We’ve analysed it, it wasn’t what you said’ would you consider that to weaken her case or strengthen it?

  33. You still haven’t answered the question:

    That’s because you’re just asking one dumb hypothetical question after another and repeating yourself. You can carry on doing this until your heart’s content, but I’m not going to bother replying, it’s tedious in the extreme.

  34. the Saddam had no WMDs thing has been incredibly thoroughly debunked

    The war was sold on the basis that Iraq had a current, robust WMD program that could threaten the west. Which it certainly did not. The fact that we found a pile of old chem artillery shells lying around is neither here nor there.

  35. What sort of samples could we hand over anyway?

    No idea. If there aren’t any, or it’s not possible, we should say so and explain why.

  36. Jerry C is correct. The Iraq mess was lies from start to finish.

    And as for Litv etc –maybe Bliar had him whacked as well as Kelly. Only half joking.

  37. @Damian,

    Thanks very much for that, on the changes to police jurisdiction and distribution of the nerve agent, more things that may you go hmm………..

    On the Syrian allegations, despite the shrieking of Nikki Haley to the contrary, I think Trump knew it was propaganda and that is why he merely bombed an empty field and told the Russians he was about to in response.

  38. A remarkable new low even for May. An ultimatum by midnight or…
    Gunboat diplomacy without any gunboats.

  39. I’m with Desert Tim on this. Denial is the near certain outcome, but I still think Putin will trace which rogue lab or agency it came from and give them an utter bollocking. Without a cigarette.
    So next time Russia wants to bump someone off either they’ll back off, or it will done more professionally so that there doesn’t have to be the confrontation we have now

  40. “Oh, the Russians have been very selective in who they complain about”

    Well, of course a wholesale ban on Russian dirty money would be preferable, but barring that, refusing to become a tool in Russian gang warfare looks like a sensible approach.

  41. “A remarkable new low even for May. An ultimatum by midnight or…”

    At 0015 BST the Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced the British deadline for the Russian receival of a jolly good spanking from her had expired.

    She said the British ambassador to Moscow had handed a final note to the Russian government this morning saying unless it announced plans to drop their trousers and present for a spanking by midnight, a state of war would exist between the two countries.

    Mrs May continued: “I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and consequently this country is at war with Russia .”

  42. It’s the dishonesty over the element of certainty that I don’t like

    Understood. On this side of the pond, “we reckon he has them, he probably has, and we need to know for sure, he’s not playing ball, so we’re going to find out” was exactly how it was sold; I didn’t realize the UK government was overstating the case so blatantly at the time.

    An ultimatum by midnight or…

    Gaius Popillius Laenas she ain’t.

  43. The comments by Y0kel on politicalbetting.com are always worth a read on anything relating to intelligence. Very little idea who the guy is – he just says he has his sources, though he obviously has some professional history in this stuff – but I have been reading his posts for many years now and he is very much plugged in. Far more signal than noise.

    The comments of MTimT2 are also well-informed from the biological/chemical weapons point of view. He doesn’t hide his real identity but I won’t repeat it here. He had a technical background in the Foreign Office and was a senior bod in UNSCOM (the post-Gulf War inspection regime in Iraq). His comment stream includes quite a lot of US politics, where he now works on biorisk, but the titbits on his specialist subject are far more valuable than reading dozens of amateurs. He also posted some interesting things under his old ID of MTimT.

    From a personal perspective I’m glad that Tim hasn’t installed similar poster-stalking capabilities on this site… but on sites that do, I do find it useful to bookmark people with serious professional expertise on particular issues then go and see what they’ve been saying when something relevant has popped up in the news. PB.com is good for politics, betting, modelling, finance, air travel and a few other bits and bobs, but its comment threads are far too sprawling to follow in full.

  44. Meanwhile, the Grauniad has this to say:

    Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of the now disbanded UK Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear regiment and its Nato equivalent, said Shikhany was the sole location for development and production of novichok, dismissing suggestions that the chemical could be found in other places in the former Soviet Union such as Ukraine and Uzbekistan. “They have no more anywhere else,” he said.

    Bretton-Gordon’s assertion about Shikhany is supported by Vil Mirzayanov, a Russian former chemist who worked on the novichok programme before defecting to the US.

  45. That’s because you’re just asking one dumb hypothetical question after another and repeating yourself

    Hypothetical? Look, Russia can, if supplied with the samples, either admit that they are theirs or deny it.

    They’re obviously not going to admit it, so when they deny it, will you consider May’s case that it was them strengthened or weakened?

  46. They’re obviously not going to admit it, so when they deny it, will you consider May’s case that it was them strengthened or weakened?

    I’ve already answered this: I believe it would strengthen her case considerably.

  47. So… going through the pointless motions to get to the inevitable result that we can all predict with one-hundred-per-cent certainty will strengthen her case?

    Her case which is currently weakened by… not going through the pointless motions even though she and we and everyone knows perfectly well exactly what would happen if she were to do so?

    I am at a loss to explain the logic. Are we just all supposed to pretend that we don’t know what’s going to happen and fake surprise when Russia issues its statement, then? Is it an improv exercise?

  48. S, you seem to be absolutely certain that Russia (government, security services) are responsible and had full knowledge of the attack on Skripal.

    Other than a Russian designed nerve agent has been used, what concrete evidence do you have for your assertions?

Comments are closed.