NEWS

Snippets of current and historical interest

Was Russian Spy poisoned on orders from theKremlin?

Dateline March 2018 As the hunt continues to identify the nature and origin of the nerve agent used to attack Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, the speculation continues over responsibility for the incident. 

Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has labelled the attack as 'brazen and reckless'. But, in the light of evidence pointing to a deliberate attempt to kill the couple, it was hardly reckless. Rather, it was outright intentional and deliberate. 

The police are examining locations where the couple had been to identify the source of the attack, point Zero. However, by far the most likely method of delivery of the poison was with something that Yulia brought with her from Moscow a couple of days previously. This might have been a package or container, impregnated before departure and opened as or shortly before she and her father sat on the bench in Salisbury.

Currently, police believe that Sergei's home was point Zero, with high traces of nerve agent being found on his front door. That might answer the where, but the who and when still need to be established. As the why, it is difficult to conceive of any other likely suspect than the Russians. And, given his power and control obsession, none of Putin's underlings is likely to have carried out the attack alone. The only other possibility, unlikely in the extreme, is that one of Putin's March election opponents might have carried out the attack to discredit Vlad.

It is worth reflecting on the age-old use of poisons by the Russian Establishment to eliminate opponents and enemies.  For an excellent review of this history, watch the TV documentary, POISONED, which can be found on Youtube. Click on the Poison Pellet to watch.

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MI6 Slush Fund?


Dateline November 2017 The revelation in The Times and elsewhere that, post WW2, MI6 operated a secret bank account at the military bankers, Holt & Co., is interesting, but not surprising. After both WW1 and WW2, the 'Peace Dividend' saw massive cuts in SIS finances. The same concern was felt at Vauxhall Bridge with the end of the Cold War; the Service was saved by the rise in terrorism, rogue states and cyber insecurity.  However, the fact remains that SIS funding is still a secret and that effective oversight is still a matter of trust.

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DRONES SEEN OVER THE WESTERN FRONT

    

Above: The use of drones is nothing new. These are stills from footage of a French WW1 reconnaissance/surveillance drone. Click the green button below to visit the British Pathé website. 

 Comment: History repeats itself?

Whilst SPYSTORY will try to steer clear of anything too controversial, we cannot fail to note that, a century after the First World War, some things seem never to change. The political blunders that led to British involvement in WW1 have found resonance in elements of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War. In both instances, the checks and balances which should restrain the over enthusiasm of political leaders bent on war failed to operate effectively.

The catastrophe of the Dardenelles Campaign is especially brought to mind, with flawed intelligence as to Turkish military assets and capabilities, and no exit strategy, Churchill's crusade brooked no opposition. In Iraq, it was Tony Blair who was on a crusade, with flawed intel from MI6 and misguided support from JIC. The failure to 'win the peace' after WW1 and the shambles of the Treaty of Versailles, leading inexorable to WW2 and the Cold War,  is matched by today's rise in Terrorist activity exacerbated by the Iraq War.