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4 Apr, 2018 12:28

Skripal scandal resembles Iraqi weapons of mass destruction rhetoric – ex-Pentagon official to RT

Skripal scandal resembles Iraqi weapons of mass destruction rhetoric – ex-Pentagon official to RT

The inability of UK scientists to prove Russia made the nerve agent highlights the glaring lack of facts in the Skripal case, which looks similar to the 2003 build-up to the Iraq War, ex-Pentagon official Michael Maloof says.

The revelations, made by the secretive Porton Down laboratory, are a “significant development” in the Skripal scandal, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof believes, as they’ve again raised the question of bringing in Russian experts on chemical weapons to investigate the incident. Russia has repeatedly urged the UK to allow its experts to participate, but London has so far refused.

“So far the West has turned that request down, which indicates to me that they have something to hide. I think if we are going to have transparency on that, if we want to get to the bottom of it, I think experts both from Russia and the West need to get together and come to a resolution,” Maloof told RT.

He also warned against solely trusting the UK and any other Western intelligence agencies on the matter.

The Skripal scandal, however, looks like part of the broader Western “anti-Russian Crusade,” led primarily by the US, which realized it was losing “strategic positions” to Moscow. Looking at the scandal from such perspective explains the rapid “conclusions” produced by the UK authorities, Maloof said, as well as the international campaign against Russia, prompted by mere allegations.

“The expulsions and allegations are a part of the general Western anti-Russian approach right now, because they’ve gotten nowhere in some stagnant conflicts… And they are being outsmarted strategically, so this is really worrisome in particular to the United States,” Maloof said. “So this is all a part of the larger package. And they are using this Novichok episode to push that agenda.”

“They need to get the facts and not react to emotion and also the so-called intelligence, particularly after the Iraqi WMD assertion that led to the US and UK invasion in 2003, which turned out to be nothing,” Maloof added.

The former Pentagon official said that Western countries condemned Russia before receiving any facts. “They´re still holding on to that ´likely´ approach, rather than showing the public the evidence that [it] came from one destination or another,” Maloof said.

READ MORE: Porton Down revelations: How they affect Skripal case, Russia and Theresa May’s govt

Russian-British relations have recently soured following the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4. Though UK police insist that the probe into the case could take weeks or months, top UK officials swiftly pointed the finger at Russia. London claims that the substance used to poison the Skripals was from the Novichok class of military-grade nerve agents, of Soviet origin.

On Tuesday, scientists at the top-secret army base Porton Down near Salisbury said they were unable to verify that the nerve agent used to poison Skripal came from Russia. 

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