• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

maandag 19 maart 2018

Ahed Tamimi Song

ahed tamimi song with Eng translation

Paul Craig Roberts 254

Finally, Some Good News

Finally, Some Good News
Paul Craig Roberts
Washington’s gratuitous raising of tensions with Russia that we have been witnessing for many years is so reckless and irresponsible that we need some relief from the depression of it all. Perhaps I am grasping at straws, but here are some hopeful developments.
—An establishment journalist, Michael Goodwin, the chief political columnist for the New York Post and a former bureau chief for the New York Times, has blamed the New York Times and Washington Post for the destruction of journalistic standards in the United States. https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/2016-election-demise-journalistic-standards/ 
—James Kallstrom, an Assistant Director of the FBI, told Fox News that high-ranking people throughout the US government coordinated a plot to help Hillary Clinton avoid indictment:
“I think we have ample facts revealed to us during this last year and a half that high-ranking people throughout government, not just the FBI, high-ranking people had a plot to not have Hillary Clinton, you know, indicted. 
“I think it goes right to the top. And it involves that whole [Russiagate] strategy—they were gonna win, nobody would have known any of this stuff, and they just unleashed the intelligence community. Look at the unmaskings. We haven’t heard anything about that yet. Look at the way they violated the rights of all those American citizens.”
—Senator Rand Paul vows to block the appointments of Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel as Secretary of State and Director of the CIA. Read and rejoice:https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/18/politics/rand-paul-mike-pompeo-gina-haspel-cnntv/index.html 
It is possible that the firing of Deputy FBI Director McCabe has opened for public exposure the plot hatched by the CIA, FBI, Departments of Justice and State, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic National Committee to cover up Hillary’s felonies and to falsely accuse Donald Trump of conspiring with Russian President Putin to steal the US presidential election. If Trump doesn’t chicken out, it is possible to put Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Hillary, and many others in prison for their egregious and bold assaut on American democracy and the rule of law. These prosecutions would break the power, of much of it, of the secret national security state, and, thereby, make it possible for Trump to return to his campaign promise to normalize relations with Russia. If these relations are not normalized, war will be the result. But at least now there is a chance. 
—British Ambassador Craig Murray has successfully exposed the deception practiced by the utter corrupt British government in its false allegation that the Russian government used a nerve agent to poison two people on a bench in England. The British government’s scientists have far more integrity than the British government and flatly refused to sanction the government’s claim about the nerve agent. This forced the corrupt May government to use the wording “of a type developed by Russia.”  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49003.htm
Amb. Murray goes on to establish that there is no evidence that Russia ever developed such a nerve agent and that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found no such agent when it oversaw and verified Russia’s destruction of Russian chemical weapons. Amb. Murray reports that the only known synthesis of what is being called “Novichok” occurred in 2016 by Iran in cooperation with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in order to test whether formulas published in a book many years ago could actually produce such an agent. 
Amb. Murray exposes the utterly corrupt presstitutes that comprise the Western media for never once asking the corrupt UK government about its hedge words, “of a type developed by Russia” and for their efforts to silence him with libel and slander.
As important as Amb. Murray’s factually uncontested findings are, the main point is that no laboratory has reported any finding that such a nerve agent was used on Skirpal and his daughter. We don’t even know if any attack occurred on Skirpal. The corrupt British government has provided no evidence of any attack and no evidence of any nerve agent. 
What is the real reason for the British government’s completely obvious blatant lies? 
What is the real reason for the complete failure of the media to investigate and report an alleged event?
How much more evidence does the world need that the Western media is nothing but a collection of liars devoid of all integrity who serve as a Propaganda Ministry for undeclared government agendas? The Skirpal Affair is the final nail in the coffin of the Western media. 

Definitive Proof Russians Pooped in our Hallway

British police find Putin's passport at scene of Salisbury poison attack

Salisbury (dpo) - Last doubts over Russia's guilt in poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal have been eliminated. As the British government announced today, the passport of Russian president Vladimir Putin was found at the scene in Salisbury.
According to Prime Minister Theresa May, the passport was only now found in another search of the scene, as it had been hidden under a fallen leaf.
“Russia has 24 hours to extradite Vladimir Putin for questioning in London”, according to a statement issued by the British government. “Refusal will be taken as admission of guilt.”
fed, ssi, dan; translation: dj

Read the German version HERE

Chris Hedges : Building the Iron Wall


Building the Iron Wall

Mr. Fish / Truthdig
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, along with 18 members of the House of Representatives—15 Republicans and three Democrats—has sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that the Qatari-run Al-Jazeera television network register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The letter was issued after Al-Jazeera said it planned to air a documentary by a reporter who went undercover to look into the Israel lobby in the United States. The action by the senator and the House members follows the decision by the Justice Department to force RT Americato register as a foreign agent and the imposition of algorithms by Facebook, Google and Twitter that steer traffic away from left-wing, anti-war and progressive websites, including Truthdig. It also follows December’s abolition of net neutrality.
The letter asks the Justice Department to investigate “reports that Al Jazeera infiltrated American non-profit organizations.” It says that the “content produced by this network often directly undermines American interests with favorable coverage of U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.”
“American citizens deserve to know whether the information and news media they consume is impartial, or if it is deceptive propaganda pushed by foreign nations,” the letter reads.
The ominous assault on the final redoubts of a free press, through an attempt to brand dissidents, independent journalists and critics of corporate power and imperialism as agents of a foreign power, has begun. FARA, until recently, was a little-used regulation, passed in 1938 to combat Nazi propaganda. The journalists Max Blumenthal and Ali Abunimah do a good job of addressing the issue in this clip on The Real News Network.

Those who challenge the dominant corporate narrative already struggle on the margins of the media landscape. The handful of independent websites and news outlets, including this one, and a few foreign-run networks such as Al-Jazeera and RT America, on which I host a show, “On Contact,” are the few platforms left that examine corporate power and empire, the curtailment of our civil liberties, lethal police violence and the ecocide carried out by the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries, as well as cover the war crimes committed by Israel and the U.S. military in the Middle East. Shutting down these venues would ensure that the critics who speak through them, and oppressed peoples such as the Palestinians, have no voice left.
I witnessed and was at times the victim of black propaganda campaigns when I was a foreign correspondent. False accusations are made anonymously and then amplified by a compliant press. The anonymous site PropOrNot, replicating this tactic, in 2016 published a blacklist of 199 sites that it alleged, with no evidence, “reliably echo Russian propaganda.” More than half of those sites were far-right, conspiracy-driven ones. But about 20 of the sites were progressive, anti-war and left-wing. They included AlterNet, Black Agenda Report, Democracy Now!, Naked Capitalism, Truthdig, Truthout, CounterPunch and the World Socialist Web Site. PropOrNot charged that these sites disseminated “fake news” on behalf of Russia, and the allegations became front-page news in The Washington Post in a story headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during the election, experts say.” Washington Post reporter Craig Timberg wrote in that article that the goal of “a sophisticated Russian propaganda effort,” according to “independent researchers who have tracked the operation,” was “punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy.”
To date, no one has exposed who operates PropOrNot or who is behind the website. But the damage done by this black propaganda campaign and the subsequent announcement by Google and other organizations such as Facebook last April that they had put in filters to elevate “more authoritative content” and marginalize “blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information” have steadily diverted readers away from some sites. The Marxist World Socialist Web Site, for example, has seen its traffic decline by 75 percent. AlterNet’s search traffic is down 71 percent, Consortium News is down 72 percent, and Global Research and Truthdig have seen declines. And the situation appears to be growing worse as the algorithms are refined.
Jeff Bezos, the owner of The Washington Post and the founder and CEO of Amazon, has, like Google and some other major Silicon Valley corporations, close ties with the federal security and surveillance apparatus. Bezos has a $600 million contract with the CIA. The lines separating technology-based entities such as Google and Amazon and the government’s security and surveillance apparatus are often nonexistent. The goal of corporations such as Google and Facebook is profit, not the dissemination of truth. And when truth gets in the way of profit, truth is sacrificed.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Agence France-Presse and CNN have all imposed or benefited from the algorithms or filters—overseen by human “evaluators.” When an internet user types a word in a Google search it is called an “impression” by the industry. These impressions direct the persons making the searches to websites that use the words or address the issues associated with them. Before the algorithms were put in place last April, searches for terms such as “imperialism” or “inequality” directed internet users mostly to left-wing, progressive and anti-war sites. Now they are directed primarily to mainstream sites such as The Washington Post. If you type in “World Socialist Web Site,” which has been hit especially hard by the algorithms, you will be directed to the site—but you have to ask for it by name. Searches for associated words such as “socialist” or “socialism” are unlikely to bring up a list in which the World Socialist Web Site appears near the top.
There are 10,000 “evaluators” at Google, many of them former employees at counterterrorism agencies, who determine the “quality” and veracity of websites. They have downgraded sites such as Truthdig, and with the abolition of net neutrality can further isolate those sites on the internet. The news organizations and corporations imposing and benefiting from this censorship have strong links to the corporate establishment and the Democratic Party. They do not question corporate capitalism, American imperialism or rising social inequality. They dutifully feed the anti-Russia hysteria. An Al-Jazeera report on this censorship begins at 14:07 in this link.
The corporate oligarchs, lacking a valid response to the discrediting of their policies of economic pillage and endless war, have turned to the blunt instrument of censorship and to a new version of red baiting. They do not intend to institute reforms or restore an open society. They do not intend to address the social inequality behind the political insurgencies in the two major political parties and the hatred of the corporate state that spans the political spectrum. They intend to impose a cone of silence and the state-sanctioned uniformity of opinion that characterizes all totalitarian regimes. This is what the use of FARA, the imposition of algorithms and the attempt to blame Trump’s election on Russian interference is about. Critics and investigative journalists who expose the inner workings of corporate power are branded enemies of the state in the service of a foreign power. The corporate-controlled media, meanwhile, presents the salacious, the trivial and the absurd as news while fanning the obsession over Russia. This is one of the most ominous moments in American history. The complicity in this witch hunt by self-identified liberal organizations, including The New York Times and MSNBC, will come back to haunt them. When the voices for truth are erased, they will be next.
The steps to tyranny are always small, incremental and often barely noticed, as Milton Mayer wrote in “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945.” By the time a population wakes up, it is too late. He noted:
But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and the worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and the smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked. If, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the “German Firm” stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.
And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying “Jew swine,” collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you lived in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.
Despots, despite their proclaimed ideological, national and religious differences, speak the same language. Amoral, devoid of empathy and addicted to power and personal enrichment, they are building a world where all who criticize them are silenced, where their populations are rendered compliant by fear, constant surveillance and the loss of basic liberties and where they and their corporate enablers are the undisputed masters.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Qatari government is seeking to improve relations with the Trump administration by forging alliances with right-wing Jewish organizations in the United States. It has promised Jewish leaders, the paper reported, not to air the Al-Jazeera documentary about the Israel lobby. Al-Jazeera in 2016 shut down Al-Jazeera America, which broadcast to U.S. audiences. With no broadcaster in the U.S., the program would have reached few American viewers even if Al-Jazeera had put it on the air.
Haaretz reported that Jewish organizational leaders who have visited Qatar in recent months include Mort Klein of the Zionist Organization of America; Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Jack Rosen of the American Jewish Congress; Rabbi Menachem Genack of the Orthodox Union; Martin Oliner of the Religious Zionists of America; and attorney Alan Dershowitz.
“What these leaders share is that none of them are considered critics of the right-wing Netanyahu government in Israel or the Trump administration in Washington,” Haaretz correspondent Amir Tibon wrote in the newspaper.
The despotism of the United States and the despotism of Israel have found an ally in the despotism of Qatar. Professed beliefs are meaningless. Israel is bonded with the regime in Saudi Arabia and the Christian right in the United States, each of which is virulently anti-Semitic. Dissidents, including Jewish and Israeli dissidents, are attacked as “self-hating Jews” or anti-Semites onlybecause they are dissidents. The word “traitor” or “anti-Semite” has no real meaning. It is used not to describe a reality but to turn someone into a pariah. The iron wall is rising. It will cement into place a global system of corporate totalitarianism, one in which the old vocabulary of human rights and democracy is empty and where any form of defiance means you are an enemy of the state. This totalitarianism is being formed incrementally. It begins by silencing the demonized. It ends by silencing everyone.
“You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand,” Bob Dylan sang in “Ballad of a Thin Man.” “You see somebody naked and you say, ‘Who is that man?’ You try so hard but you don’t understand just what you will say when you get home. Because something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”

Paul Craig Roberts: 'Can Nuclear War Be Avoided?'

Can Nuclear War Be Avoided?

Can Nuclear War Be Avoided?
Paul Craig Roberts
Two factors are driving the world to nuclear war. One is the constant stream of insults, false accusations and broken agreements that the West has been dumping on Russia year after year. The other is Russia’s response, or, perhaps more correctly, the lack thereof.
Articles documenting Washington’s betrayals and provocations of Russia are available online and on my website. There is no point in repeating them here. 
I have pointed out that the Russian government’s factual, diplomatic, and legal responses actually produce more provocations and insults. See, for example, https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/03/17/war-is-on-the-horizon/ Stephen Lendman agrees (http://stephenlendman.org/2018/03/russia-expelling-23-uk-diplomats-way-inadequate/ ) and so does Peter Koenig ( https://thesaker.is/russias-reaction-to-the-insults-of-the-west-is-political-suicide/ ).
Russia has two alternatives to the self-defeating response the government has chosen. One, recommended by Peter Koenig and myself, is to turn her back on the West, cleanse herself of all Western embassies, businesses, media, and NGOs, and cease relying on Western communication systems and bank clearing mechanisms. The West has nothing Russia needs. The West is exhausted and corrupt. The future lies in the East of which Russia is a part. Russia should focus on the partnership with China and relationships in the East and simply stop responding to blatantly false accusations and provocative insults. 
Russia can be part of the West only if Russia surrenders to Washington’s hegemony. One would have thought that by now the Russian government would have figured out that Washington is determined to marginalize and isolate Russia, discredit Russia’s government, dislodge Putin and install a puppet like May, Macron, and Merkel, and failing these efforts to push Russia to the point that her only alternatives are to surrender or go to war.
Did it ever occur to the diplomat Lavrov and low-key Putin that the President of Russia would be called a murderer by a British foreign secretary on the basis of a fabrication created by the British government? 
Are Lavrov and Putin finally getting the message that it is self-defeating to appeal to facts and law when the West has no respect for either and regards recourse to facts and law as signs of weakness and fear?
What is Russia going to do when Lavrov or Putin travel abroad on some diplomatic or state mission and one or the other or both are seized and charged with war crimes or some other fabricated offense? It can’t happen, you say? Yes it can happen. Preparation for such an event is one of the reasons that Washington crafts the portrait of Russia’s President as “the new Hitler.” Pre-emptive arrest and execution are US policy.
For years Washington has been kidnapping Russians in other countries outside US legal jurisdiction (Israel is the only other country to get away with imposing the extra-territoriality of its illegal edicts). Roman Seleznev, son of a member of the Russian Duma, was kidnapped in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean by the US and put on trial in the US for hacking credit cards. Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot was kidnaped by Washington in Liberia and charged with cocaine smuggling, a principle activity of the CIA. Evgeny Buryakov was sentenced for gathering economic intelligence, a routine activity of economists and diplomats. Victor Bout was seized by Washington in Thailand and sentenced for selling weapons to rebels, an “offense” the US has committed throughout the world and is committing today on a large scale in the Middle East. Considering the high frame-up rate of US “justice,” we have no way of knowing if these trials are anything more than show trials to teach Russia the lesson that Russian citizens are safe nowhere.
Russia’s other alternative to the self-defeating one the government has chosen is to hit back hard. Lendman suggests that when US or Israeli attacks on Syria kill Russians, Russia should destroy the bases from which the attacks originated and simply quit worrying about whether the necessary retaliation kills Americans and Israelis. Why are Americans and Israelis more important than Russians and Syrians? Does the Russian government believe the propaganda about Americans being “exceptional and indispensable” and the Israelis being “God’s chosen people?”
Perhaps a better way of showing force would be for Russia to call a meeting of the UN Security Council at which Russia could make a presentation along these lines:
Confront the US and its vassals with the long list of the treaties and agreements broken and ignored by the US and now by the UK.
Confront the US and its vassals with the long list of hostile and unsupported accusations against Russia and the West’s refusal to resolve the issues on a factual, evidential basis.
Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that neither Russia nor the US and its allies believe one word of the accusations which are intended to serve Washington’s hegemony by marginalizing and isolating Russia. 
Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that similar demonizations of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad led to military invasions of their countries. Ask if the US and its vassals are preparing their populations for a military attack on Russia.
Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that the tension between the nuclear superpowers is far higher than during the Cold War of the 20th century and that the lies and mendacity of the US government have completely destroyed Russian trust in Washington. 
Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that during the Cold War there were numerous false warnings of incoming enemy ICBMs, but that as the two governments were working to reduce tensions, neither side believed the warnings, whereas today the situation is far different. In view of the extraordinary hostility displayed toward Russia by the US and its vassals, Russia cannot take a chance that a warning is false. As the US and its vassals are targeted by Russian nuclear forces, the West has the world on a course of destruction. Is this what Washington and its vassals want? Is the choice Washington’s hegemony or death? Ask Washington’s vassals why they support this insane choice.
For so long Americans have laughed at the cartoon picture of the bearded man holding his sign, “The End Is Near,” that Americans probably cannot intelligently respond to a warning no matter who gives it. 
Similarly, Western policymakers are so demented and the presstitute media so corrupt that the response to a Russian approach to the UN as outlined above would be used as proof of the West’s anti-Russian propaganda. The headlines would read: “Russia Threatens the World With Nuclear War.” 
Therefore, it seems that the only alternative is for Russia to turn her back—but not her eyes—on the West and to find her future in the East. 
All indications are that Russia is unwilling to do this. For the Russian government, being a part of the West is more important than life itself. 

Wanneer Breekt De Oorlog Uit?

Intussen hebben de westerse mainstream-media er nauwlettend op toegezien dat Rusland en zijn bondgenoten zijn gedemoniseerd. De vraag is alleen nog: hoe lang duurt het voor een oorlog uitbreekt? 

Putin wins 76.6% of vote with 67% turnout

Vladimir Putin secures record win in Russian presidential election

Putin wins 76.6% of vote with 67% turnout, amid accusations of vote rigging and monitor abuse,

aldus The Guardian van maandag 19 maart 2018.

Final results released on Monday morning showed Putin had won his fourth presidential term with 76.6% of the vote, his highest score ever.
The total number of ballots cast on Sunday for Putin, who has spent 18 years as Russia’s most powerful politician, exceeded 56.2m in overnight counting. That was a record total, even discounting the nearly 1m votes he gained as a result of the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Dit betekent dus dat president Poetin met een hoger opkomstpercentage is herkozen dan president Obama, die in 2012 met een opkomstpercentage van 54.9 procent, ruim 12 procent lager scoorde. In dat jaar stemde 51.4 procent van de 54.9 procent, die in de VS de moeite nam om een stem uit te brengen, op Obama. Dat is dus 21.7 procent lager dan het percentage van 76.6 procent dat op president Poetin stemde. 

Mijn conclusie is dat beide mogendheden even 'democratisch' zijn, en dat de westerse mainstream-opiniemakers propaganda bedrijven wanneer zij Rusland verwijten geen democratie te zijn, maar de VS wel. Trouwens, waarom worden de schatrijken in Rusland 'oligarchen' genoemd, en de schatrijken in de VS niet?

Porton Down – A Gruesome Secretive Past

Porton Down – A Gruesome Secretive Past

16th March 2018 / United Kingdom
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‘Since 1916 more than 25,000 servicemen took part in tests at Porton Down, where scientists developed chemical weapons and protective equipment. It is the longest-running programme of chemical warfare tests on humans in the world.’ (source)

It is home to two UK Government facilities: a site of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) – known for over 100 years as one of the UK’s most secretive and controversial military research facilities, occupying 7,000 acres
The laboratory’s remit was to conduct research and development regarding chemical weapons agents used by the British armed forces in the First World War, such as chlorine, mustard gas, and phosgene.
When the Second World War ended, the advanced state of German technology regarding the organophosphorous nerve agents, such as tabun, sarin and soman, had surprised the Allies, who were eager to capitalise on it. Subsequent research took the newly discovered German nerve agents as a starting point, and eventually VX nerve agent was developed at Porton Down in 1952.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, research and development at Porton Down was aimed at providing Britain with the means to arm itself with a modern nerve agent-based capability and to develop specific means of defence against these agents.Tests were carried out on servicemen to determine the effects of nerve agents on human subjects, with persistent allegations of unethical human experimentation at Porton Down.

In 1942, Gruinard Island, Scotland, was dangerously contaminated with anthrax after a cloud of anthrax spores was deliberately released over the island during a trial.

“From 1945 to 1989, Porton exposed thousands of human “guinea pigs” to nerve gas. It seems probable that Porton has tested more human subjects with nerve gas, for the longest period of time, than any other scientific establishment in the world” – reported The Guardian in 2004.

Two other nations have admitted testing nerve gas on humans, but nowhere on the scale the Britain has: the American military exposed about 1,100 soldiers between 1945 and 1975, and Canada tested a small number before 1968.

Between 1961 and 1966 Mr Nyman, who was employed at the centre, received 19 injections which he was told were immunisations. They included doses of anthrax, smallpox, polio and bubonic plague.

Between 1963 and 1975 the MRE carried out trials in Lyme Bay, Dorset, in which live bacteria were sprayed from a ship to be carried ashore by the wind to simulate an anthrax attack. The bacteria sprayed were the less dangerous Bacillus globigiiand Escherichia coli, but it was later admitted that the bacteria adversely affected some vulnerable people. The town of Weymouth lay downwind of the spraying. When the trials became public knowledge in the late 1990s, Dorset County Council, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Purbeck District Council demanded a Public Inquiry to investigate the experiments. The Government refused.
During the same time period Porton Down were investigated for another 25 deaths that surrounded the use of injecting anthrax, smallpox, polio and bubonic plague into unsuspecting volunteers. For 30 years the government refused any inquiries.

Porton Down has been involved in human testing at various points throughout the Ministry of Defence’s use of the site. Up to 20,000 people took part in various trials from 1949 up to 1989.

Ronald Maddison was 20 when he took part in what he allegedly thought was an experiment to find a cure for the common cold in May 1953. The leading aircraftsman died minutes later and the original inquest – held in private for “reasons of national security” – ruled he died of asphyxia but his fellow servicemen claim he had been exposed to the deadly nerve agent Sarin at the government’s chemical and biological warfare centre in Wiltshire
From 1999 until 2006, it was investigated under Operation Antler. In 2002 a first inquest and (source) in May 2004, a second inquest into the death of Ronald Maddison during testing of the nerve agent sarin commenced after his relatives and their supporters had lobbied for many years, which found his death to have been unlawful.
Most of the work carried out at Porton Down has to date remained secret. Bruce George, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told BBC News on 20 August 1999 that:

“I would not say that the Defence Committee is micro-managing either DERA or Porton Down. We visit it, but, with eleven members of Parliament and five staff covering a labyrinthine department like the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, it would be quite erroneous of me and misleading for me to say that we know everything that’s going on in Porton Down. It’s too big for us to know, and secondly, there are many things happening there that I’m not even certain Ministers are fully aware of, let alone Parliamentarians.”

Different departments at Porton Down use animal experiments in different ways. The Biomedical Sciences department is involved with drug evaluation and efficacy testing including toxicology, pharmacology, physiology, behavioural science, human science, trauma and surgery studies. The Physical Sciences department also uses animals in its ‘Armour Physics’ research.
Like other aspects of research at Porton Down, precise details of animal experiments are generally kept secret. Media reports have suggested they include exposing monkeys to anthrax, draining the blood of pigs and injecting them with E. coli bacteria, and exposing animals to a variety of lethal, toxic nerve agents.

In a separate case in 2000, it was reported that Police were investigating chemical warfare tests at Porton Down and were examining at least 45 deaths. There is no further information as to the outcome of these investigations.

Hundreds of veterans who were subjected to tests at the Porton Down chemical warfare installation were awarded compensation totalling £3m, the defence minister, Derek Twigg, announced back in January 2008.
In a written statement to MPs, Twigg offered the government’s first full apology to the servicemen, saying: “The government sincerely apologises to those who may have been affected.”
The award was welcomed by representatives of the veterans, who say they were tricked into taking part in tests at the Wiltshire facility during the cold war. Many believed they were helping to find a cure for the common cold.
A group of 369 servicemen affected launched legal action against the MoD last March, arguing that tests – including being sent to gas chambers and being exposed to nerve gas, mustard gas and teargas – had left them with health problems ranging from respiratory and skin diseases to cancer and psychological problems.

Eric Gow, chairman of the Porton Down Veterans’ Group, said: “I am just so very sorry and angry that many of our comrades had to die before we reached this point – but I am sure they will be looking down on us today with some degree of satisfaction.”

Just six months ago, Animal-rights campaigners reacted with fury and shock after it emerged the Government’s warfare laboratory tested on almost three times more monkeys than the previous year. Freedom of Information requests found that 2,745 animals – including macaque monkeys, pigs and marmosets – were housed there.