Sunday, March 18, 2018

Is Putin reponsible for Salisbury?

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Is Putin responsible for the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury?

Probably, but we do not yet have incontrovertible evidence.

The best evidence would be forensic analysis of impurities in the Novichok used in the attack, which would provide a signature of its origin. This has not been forthcoming, either because Porton Down does not have enough material to get an answer, or for some other reason.

That other reason may be because Theresa May seems to like to keep what she know secret (think of the Brexit reports by her own Government), or because if the reasons are made public, it may compromise the safety of our own spies.

All we know is that Russia invented the damn stuff, and holds an amount of it. But so too do a number of other countries, including us. Craig Murray is looking in detail at this aspect of things.

The next line of evidence is that Putin has form. At least nine of his political opponents have died mysteriously, Litvinenko, Khordovski and Berezovski being the best known, with other less familiar names, and also another nine journalists beginning with Politsovkaya. This is a strong pattern, made stronger by the threat that Putin made about his opponents "eating poison" recently.

Then there is the smug, sarcastic, "Prove it!" tone of Russian denials when asked about Salisbury. Innocence would call out a more anxious denial, a roll out of how it could not have been them.

Putin has another flaw, namely his support for Assad and his merciless war in Syria.

So the evidence is pretty circumstantial. If the Government has stronger evidence, they should take Putin to the World Court, the UN's International Court of Justice, and present the evidence. This would take time, but in the time, we could amass more evidence, and the wait, and the court process, would all the time weigh against Putin's character and credibility in the eyes of the world. Legal action can be in addition to any other measures that the Government might want to use. If we believe in the rule of law, we should take this matter to a court of law.

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