Video excl: second Johnson lie – or worse – emerges from Deutsche Welle interview

johnson lie 2.png

  • Russia remains a feasible source of the toxin used in the Salisbury attack
  • Boris Johnson lied to the UK public that Porton Down had positively identified a source – and the Establishment is pulling out all the stops to cover for him
  • Johnson’s statement in a filmed interview contains either a second lie – or less likely an admission that the UK is in breach of its chemical weapons treaty obligations

The Establishment has been scrambling to cover for Boris Johnson’s lie that the scientists at Porton Down told him ‘categorically’ that their analysis of the Novichok toxin used in Salisbury showed that its source was Russia. Porton Down’s CEO admitted that no source had been identified.

The Foreign Office deleted a tweet that made the same claim and appears to have doctored the transcript of the UK ambassador to Russia making a similar assertion; Ministers have claimed that Johnson was answering a different question than the one that he had been asked.

The BBC even selectively voiced over the question to support ministers’ claim that Johnson was only saying Porton Down told him it was definitely a novichok – and shortly afterward claimed it couldn’t even find the question.

But the lie is there in the interview for anyone who gets to hear it.

However, it’s not the only one. Broadcaster Deutsche Welle‘s interviewer pressed Johnson twice on the issue of whether the UK’s speed in identifying the Novichok compound meant that the UK held samples of the toxin at Porton Down – which would allow it to make a direct comparison.

The first time, Johnson ignored the question – but on the second occasion he confirmed that this was the case:

The interviewer asks for the second time: “So they have the samples?” and Johnson, although off camera for a second, can clearly be heard answering:

They do.

The SKWAWKBOX asked whether the UK had notified the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of its possession of Novichok-family toxin samples. While stating that the details of the declarations of ‘States Parties’ are confidential, the OPCW confirmed:

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“There is no record of the Novichok group of nerve agents having been declared by a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

This leaves two alternatives, assuming the OPCW is answering honestly:

Either the UK does have samples of Novichok-group nerve agents at Porton Down or elsewhere for comparison.

Or Johnson told a second lie to Deutsche Welle.

The latter means – again – that Johnson should resign for a clear breach of the ministerial code. The former means that the UK is in breach of its obligations as an OPCW ‘State Party’.

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  1. In these unstable times we should all be grateful that we are able to rely on the ‘experience and wisdom’ of both the Foreign and the Defense Secretaries to look after the UK’s best interests. Thank goodness we have a ‘strong and stable’ government to keep us safe.

    1. I’m afraid that Poe’s law means that I am unable to determine whether this is sarcastic or whether you are a troll.

      1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes
        “Scare quotes may express that the author is using someone else’s term, similar to preceding a phrase with the expression “so-called”;[5] they may imply skepticism or disagreement, belief that the words are misused, or that the writer intends a meaning opposite to the words enclosed in quotes.”

        Does that Help?

    2. Are you joking? You must be…. wake the fuck up your government is lying to you, you better wake up…

      1. Jose Marques – “Are you joking?”

        YES !
        I would have thought that was obvious, I’m surprised anyone would think otherwise.

  2. How refreshing to have an official body that gives a straight answer to a straight question.

  3. “The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” Charles Baudelaire, 1862

    “The finest trick of the Tories is to persuade you that they are fit to govern.”
    Internal Affairs, 2018

  4. It is a very sad state of affairs. The establishment when pushed into a corner will not give in, regardless of right or wrong. It would bring a government down and that will not be allowed. There will be consequences, which will mean tragedy somewhere. It is hard to forget the demise of such people as Robin Cook or David Kelly. I sincerely hope all potential scapegoats stay safe.

  5. Porton Down having undeclared chemicals, eg samples of Novichok, is OK because the Chemical Weapons Convention allows each state party to keep one tonne of chemical weapons material for “research, medical, pharmaceutical or protective purposes”. I do not believe they have to declare what chemicals, certainly if it is not a listed chemical in the CWC Annexes which the Novichok series is not.

    I’ll look up the detail and post a follow-up later.

    An interesting feature of the CWC is that labs that produce less than 100 grams of CWC chemicals, enough to kill hundreds, do not even have to be declared to the OPCW. The CWC is often mis-understood – it is intended to get rid of the many tens of thousands of tonnes of stockpiled weapon chemicals in the 1990s, not control terrorist level amounts.

    1. … looked up the rules for the “Single small-scale facility” that maintains the one tonne of permitted materials for “research, medical,
      pharmaceutical or protective purposes”. An annual declaration of “Schedule 1 chemicals” (includes the well-known nerve agents & precursors) is required. But the Novichok series is not listed in any of the CWC Schedules, so no explicit declaration seems to be needed.

      Source: CWC Verification Annex, Part V1 C&D (pages 122-124 of the OPCW English version)

      BTW the OPCW Fact Sheets are a good intro to the CWC:


      Re my comment about labs producing less than 100 grams, Fact Sheet 7 confirms:

      “Synthesis of Schedule 1 chemicals for research, medical or pharmaceutical purposes in aggregate amounts of less than 100 grams per year per facility may be carried out in laboratories, which are not subject to any declaration or verification obligations.”

      An important caveat is that lab production must be “for purposes not prohibited by the Convention in amounts justifiable for those purposes”. So if the intent of the production is to kill someone, it becomes unlawful production of a chemical weapon. But as there is no verification activities in these small labs it is hard to see how that is policed, unless another state party were to demand a “challenge inspection” of the undeclared location. No challenge inspection has ever been requested by any state party of the CWC.

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