BBC News’ 10pm programme tonight started with a striking assumption on the part of the BBC:
Within seconds of announcing that the critical illness of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley was caused by exposure to the same Novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal in nearby Salisbury, Hugh Edwards was telling us, as if simply factual, that the Skripals were the victims of a ‘Russian attack’.
Yet neither Porton Down nor the OPCW were able to pinpoint a source for the toxin that poisoned the Skripals and it is now well known that Novichok has been successfully manufactured in other countries.
The BBC is not the only media outlet leaping to assumptions with unseemly haste. Although we were told at the time that Novichok has ‘very limited’ durability outdoors and the UK has experienced both heavy rain and a weeks-long heat-wave, a Murdoch journalist has already concluded that ‘residue’ of the Skripal attack is ‘the most likely explanation’:
The government’s Porton Down chemical weapons research centre, which is analysing the compound, lies almost exactly between Salisbury and Amesbury:
The OPCW identified the Salisbury Novichok as being of an extremely pure grade – more likely to be a laboratory sample than mass-produced, which is why the organisation could not narrow down the likely source of the toxin.
The residents of Pitton could be excused if they’re feeling nervous tonight, in case the Russians target them next.
But why is the BBC, along with other ‘MSM’, already guiding us to a Russian source instead of behaving like journalists and laying out the facts and a range of realistic possible scenarios?
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