Over the last week or so, there’s been an incredible amount of news coverage about the (alleged) ‘attempted assassination’ of an Russian ex-spy in Salisbury.
Today, the news has been full of stuff about how the nerve-agent used ‘points the finger at Moscow’, which just pings all the ‘yeah, but’ bells in my head.
Now, I’m not trying to say “Russia wasn’t involved”, because I simply don’t know. But… this sort of “well it must’ve been them, they’re the ones who made it” ‘evidence’ and hype always makes me a bit twitchy. If you extrapolate that, you might as well say that a car manufacturer must be responsible for every accident on the road, “because they’re the ones who made it”.
I don’t know enough on this one way or the other. But if I were a player on a much larger political stage, and I wanted to (for example) divert public and media attention away from one ongoing political clusterfuck, and point it all somewhere else, I’d be looking at making a Big Bad Enemy that can be blamed for Why You Should Be Afraid. And I’d probably work to either get materials that can be attributed to that Big Bad Enemy, or… well, or just make up all that ‘evidence’. Because of course it’s all ‘top secret’ and ‘in the interests of national security’, so they’re never going to produce that evidence in public anyway.
And it’s impossible to imply that only Russia had access to this stuff. If nothing else, American scientists (and there’s no way there weren’t security/agency personnel in that entourage!) visited and helped decontaminate the plant where the nerve agents in question were being produced. If they were approved for Russian military use (and they were) then those nerve agents would’ve been distributed to army installations and so on. All too easy at that point for them to be ‘mislaid’ and/or sold or stolen to anyone else.
All told, this entire story stinks, and rings very much as “A big boy did it, and ran away!” It’s all just a bit convenient.