Pat Buchanan on Skripal Case: 'What's Missing Is The Kremlin's Motive For The Crime'

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Mar. 20, 2018

Pat Buchanan says in his latest column that Russia had no motive to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal whereas a "coalition" in Washington DC that "bears an endemic hostility to Russia" and wants to reignite the Cold War to achieve regime change in Moscow does.

Pat Buchanan writes:
Why Russia is the prime suspect is understandable. Novichok was created by Russia’s military decades ago, and Skripal, a former Russian intel officer, betrayed Russian spies to MI6.

But what is missing here is the Kremlin’s motive for the crime.

Skripal was convicted of betraying Russian spies in 2006. He spent four years in prison and was exchanged in 2010 for Russian spies in the U.S. If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?

Why wait until eight years after Skripal had been sent to England? And how would this murder on British soil advance any Russian interest?


Putin is no fool. A veteran intelligence agent, he knows that no rival intel agency such as the CIA or MI6 would trade spies with Russia if the Kremlin were to go about killing them after they have been traded.

“Cui bono?” runs the always relevant Ciceronian question. “Who benefits” from this criminal atrocity?

Certainly, in this case, not Russia, not the Kremlin, not Putin.

All have taken a ceaseless beating in world opinion and Western media since the Skripals were found comatose, near death, on that bench outside a mall in Salisbury.

[...]We are admonished daily that Putin tried to tip the 2016 election to Trump. But if so, why would Putin order a public assassination that would almost compel Trump to postpone his efforts at a rapprochement?

Who, then, are the beneficiaries of this atrocity?

Is it not the coalition—principally in our own capital city—that bears an endemic hostility to Russia and envisions America’s future role as a continuance of its Cold War role of containing and corralling Russia until we can achieve regime change in Moscow?


What should Trump’s posture be? Stand by our British ally but insist privately on a full investigation and convincing proof before taking any irreversible action.

Was this act really ordered by Putin and the Kremlin, who have not only denied it but condemned it?

Or was it the work of rogue agents who desired the consequences that they knew the murder of Skripal would produce—a deeper and more permanent split between Russia and the West?

Only a moron could not have known what the political ramifications of such an atrocity as this would be on U.S.-British-Russian relations.

And before we act on Boris Johnson’s verdict—that Putin ordered it—let us recall:

The Spanish, we learned, did not actually blow up the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, which ignited the Spanish-American War.

The story of North Vietnamese gunboats attacking U.S. destroyers, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and 58,000 dead Americans in Vietnam, proved not to be entirely accurate.

We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.

Some 4,500 U.S. dead and tens of thousands of wounded paid for that rush to judgment. And some of those clamoring for war then are visible in the vanguard of those clamoring for confronting Russia.

Before we set off on Cold War II with Russia—leading perhaps to the shooting war we avoided in Cold War I—let’s try to get this one right.
Who benefits are neocon warmongers who are itching for war with Russia. The unelected deep state 74% of Americans sense are "secretly manipulating or directing" our national policies, even if they don't know all the specifics.

As I said earlier, the best motive the media could come up with for Russia to poison Skripal with a substance that could trace back to them was Putin wanted to manufacture anti-Russian sentiment to portray himself as a persecuted victim before his election (which polls showed he was slated to win with 70% of the vote). As the Guardian said, "Russia under siege is a favourite Kremlin theme."

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