“The issue surrounding the identify [sic] of a former MI6 informer Sergei Skripal is already widely available in the public domain. However, the identifies [sic] of intelligence agency personnel associated with Sergei Skripal are not yet widely available in the public domain.”
D-Notice issued on March 7 2018
May 10 2018 — If you think that “slapping a D-notice” on a story the establishment wants to hide from the public is the stuff of thrillers, spy stories and conspiracy theories, you are in for a shock.
Last month, the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee (DSMA) has issued at least two D-Notices to request the complicity of the UK media over crucial pieces of information related to the Skripal Affair. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
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UPDATE (JUNE 24 2019) — Independent journalist Matt Kennard revealed that Paul Johnson, the Guardian’s deputy editor was personally thanked by the Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice (or D-Notice) committee for integrating the newspaper into the operations of the security services.
Minutes of a December 15 2018 meeting read:
“The Chairman thanked Paul Johnson for his service to the Committee. Paul had joined the Committee in the wake of the Snowden affair and had been instrumental in re-establishing links with the Guardian.”
Luke Harding’s notorious November 2018 fabrication — claiming Assange held meetings with US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort — was published in the Guardian just two weeks after Johnson was thanked for re-establishing links with the MoD.
And on March 8 2018, the same Luke Harding claimed that Pablo Miller had never worked for Orbis in a desperate attempt to hide the obvious link between the Skripal’s affair and the Steele Dossier.
Perhaps, this explains why very few people still trust The Guardian these days.
END of UPDATE
A DSMA-Notice is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security.
On March 4 2018, Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury. The UK government alleges that they were poisoned with a nerve agent — Novichok — produced in Russia.
On March 7, a DSMA-Notice 05 (Personnel and their Families who work in Sensitive Positions) was issued to all UK editors.
A DSMA-Notice 05 inter alia advises editors against the:
“inadvertent disclosure of Sensitive Personnel Information (SPI) that reveals the identity, location or contact details of personnel (and their family members) who have security, intelligence and/or counter-terrorist backgrounds, including members of the UK Security and Intelligence Agencies, MOD and Specials Forces.”
Professor David Miller has written a summary of this story.
“On the evening of 6 March a Russian opposition news outlet Meduza, styling itself ‘Russia’s free press in exile’, published a long piece on Skripal in English.
Citing a variety of online sources including in Russian, some from over a decade old, identifying Pablo Miller as the MI6 agent inside the Estonian embassy who had recruited Sergei Skripal.
By the next afternoon the notice was issued to the mainstream media. Perhaps the misspellings in the DSMA notice -‘identify’ and ‘identifies’ instead, presumably, of ‘identity’ and ‘identities’ – was due to haste in getting it out?
This was followed that evening by a report in the Daily Telegraph published online at 10.24pm. The Telegraph was the first mainstream outlet to discuss – in discreet and decorous terminology – the connection between Skripal and a ‘security consultant’ who is ‘understood to have known him for some time’ and ‘is also based in Salisbury’.
It noted that the paper was ‘declining to identify’ the consultant, and we can only suspect that this was not unconnected to the notice issued earlier that day.
The Telegraph reported that the ‘consultant’ worked at the same company (Orbis Business Intelligence) that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump and Russia – paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Convention.
The consultant was, as we now know, Pablo Miller, who had ‘known’ Skripal in the specific sense that he was his MI6 handler. Some, such as Guardian journalist Luke Harding, have suggested that Miller never worked for Orbis, but this seems to be false.”
On March 14, a second D-Notice was issued.This is most likely the notice referred to in a tweet by Alex Thomson of Channel Four News.
In the aftermath of the Skripal incident, the UK government moved quickly to ‘protect’ the identity of Sergei Skripal as well as the identity of his former MI6 handler Pablo Miller who happens to live near Salisbury.
On March 7, the first D-Notice was issued, but their names had already been revealed.
At the same time, a few journalists planted false information regarding Pablo Miller and Orbis, the private Intel company that became famous because of the infamous dossier Chris Steele compiled on Trump’s Russiagate.
On March 8, Gordon Corera tweeted that his sources were certain that no link exists between Skripal and Orbis or Chris Steele.
On the same day, Luke Harding suggested that Miller never worked for Orbis, which is obviously untrue. Pablo Miller had listed his employment by Orbis Business Intelligence on his LinkedIn profile.
So, this much is certain. The UK government has quickly moved to black out the identity of Pablo Miller and his connections to both Sergei Skripal and Orbis.
In 2017, a D-Notice was already issued against British journalists revealing the identity of the Trump’s Dossier author (Chris Steele).
Multiple British outlets ignored this advice and revealed his name anyway, including BBC News, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.
The use of a D-Notice is not a rare event. But it is not used very frequently either.
I believe that a couple of such notices have been issued annually on average in the UK over the last ten years. And we KNOW that at least three of these notices were issued in connection with the Skripal and Orbis Affair(s?).
UPDATE (May 10 2019) — No one who has looked into the case in any detail can possibly be satisfied that the account given by the UK Government and The Metropolitan Police is correct.
The narrative put out by the Metropolitan Police is not simply questionable, it is plain impossible.
I believe, today more than ever, that this affair is a carefully constructed drama to push Russia in a corner and justify Western foreign policies in various places such as Ukraine, Iran and Syria.
Who really tried to assassinate Sergei Skripal? And why? Frankly, it would not surprise me a bit if we discover one day — 50 years from now? — that a Western Intelligence agency was feeding Skripal with a mix of information and disinformation regarding the alleged Trump-Russia collusion, knowing full well that this report would eventually end up at the FBI.
If true, that agency has played Steele, and therefore the FBI, like a skripka. This story is not over yet. Stay tuned!
The DSMA notices can be found here:
Salisbury Incident — UK Media silenced by D-Notices Over Skripal Affair
One Year Ago — Salisbury Incident : UK Media silenced by D-Notices Over Skripal Affair
One Year Ago — Salisbury Incident : UK Media silenced by D-Notices Over Skripal Affair [UPDATE]