Exactly So

Former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow on August 9, 2006. Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent whose mysterious collapse in England sparked concerns of a possible poisoning by Moscow, had been living in Britain since a high-profile spy swap in 2010. (YURI SENATOROV / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow on August 9, 2006. Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent whose mysterious collapse in England sparked concerns of a possible poisoning by Moscow, had been living in Britain since a high-profile spy swap in 2010. (YURI SENATOROV / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Did Vladimir Putin order the nerve agent attack in Britain that seriously injured three?

Perhaps he did. But before pronouncing the Russian president guilty, it would be nice to see some evidence.

Extrajudicial attacks by great powers on real and imagined enemies are not unknown. The U.S. routinely uses drones to assassinate those — whether American citizens or not — whom it deems security threats.

It doesn’t much care if these targets are killed in countries, such as Yemen or Pakistan, with which Washington is nominally at peace.

Israel, too, has used assassination as a tool. In 1997, Israeli agents used phoney Canadian passports in an attempt to assassinate a Hamas official in Jordan.

In 1985, French intelligence agents famously blew up the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior when it was at port in New Zealand, killing one.

The two agents convicted of the crime eventually spent less than two years in jail at a military base in French Polynesia.

In 1988, a British SAS unit assassinated three unarmed IRA members in Gibraltar who were believed to be plotting a terrorist attack.

So it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Russian agents were responsible for the chemical attack in England that put former double agent Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia and a British police officer, in hospital on March 4.

Certainly, this is the position taken by British Prime Minister Theresa May who has said it is “highly likely” that Russia was responsible.

She has been joined in this denunciation by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump, all of whom agreed in a joint communiqué that “there is no other plausible explanation.”

Canada’s Justin Trudeau too has decried Russia’s “likely” involvement.

The leaders’ careful use of the words “likely” and “plausible” reflects the fact that, to date, there is no hard evidence on who was behind the attack.

[…]

See Also:

(1) 9 charts that lay out Russia’s uncertain future — with or without Putin (Ed: The Russian general election is today.)

The Danger Of Backing The Bear Into A Corner:

(2) Events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor

“Responding to Japanese occupation of key airfields in Indochina (July 24) following an agreement between Japan and Vichy France, the U.S. froze Japanese assets on July 26, 1941, and on August 1 established an embargo on oil and gasoline exports to Japan.[11][12] The oil embargo was an especially strong response because oil was Japan’s most crucial import, and more than 80% of Japan’s oil at the time came from the United States.”

Jack’s Note:  We all know what happened next.  To be clear I am no admirer of Vladimir Putin but I have deep concern that in a country with a powerful criminal oligarchy this may have gotten away from him for any number of reasons.  Also I am aware of the Russian election and smell an ulterior motive in all this screaming.  I’m with Walkon on this one and my personal view is to warn everyone to “back off”.  Bears can be very dangerous when cornered.

One WW2 was enough.

(Visited 39 times, 9 visits today)