To: Thunder90; Tailgunner Joe; MarMema
I want to know something... Who poisoned Alexander Litvinenko?
Let me ask you what evidence have you examined?
I am not saying or implying that public debate should take place only on the condition of perfect information criminal courts certainly do not operate like this ( if we were to stick to the analogy). The problem is not so much the access to all the facts, but rather whether the available facts merit a given inference. If you have a murder, and a number of different suspects with motives, you can not reach a legitimate conclusion if you simply ignore all but one of them simply because he is black (given media coverage Putin is definitely black) without addressing other suspects, their motives and their alibis you do not have sufficient evidence for legitimately focusing solely on the one you have chosen. And there is no need to speak of interpretations because all interpretations are not equivalent, some interpretations are more coherent and better supported by evidence than others. The level of this support is precisely the issue. But if all of the interpretations, by some fluke, are equally probable, then you withhold judgment, because making an arbitrary choice in such matter is worse then no choice at all.
We certainly must rely on media to get our information, but we can also improve our understanding by doing actual research and reach the information from a variety of sources. More importantly, though, we must not ignore some information and emphasize other simply because it improves our case. When people start taking information and interpreting them as they see fit they end up like Powell pronouncing on the floor of the UN Security Council that Iraq has WMD beyond any doubt. In fact, that whole WMD campaign is a perfect example of the difference between a belief based on evidence and one that arises out of the infamous group-think phenomenon, succumbing to which eventually led New York Times to a public apology. With regards to the equation of the court of law, public debate, and the scientific method it is not so much an equation as a reduction to certain basic rules that govern our acquisition of knowledge. Some of these rules can be found in any introductory text book to Critical Thinking or informal logic:
Fallacy: Ad Hominem fallacy (Putin is KGB he must have done it),
Fallacy: Appeal to Belief (Everybody believes Putin did it, surely it is not a coincidence),
Fallacy: Appeal to Common Practice (Punditry is what media does, therefore it is right),
Fallacy: An Appeal to Emotion (Just look at all these pictures of the sick guy, surely you have no moral right to deny that Putin did it),
Fallacy: The Subjectivist Fallacy (there is no absolute truth, everything is interpretation and mine is that Putin did it),
Fallacy: Ad Baculum, Appeal to Fear (Putin did it because KGB is strangling Kremlin critics),
Fallacy: Bandwagon (if you deny that Putin did it, you are supporting political assassinations)
Fallacy: Begging the Question (if Putin did not do it, experts would not be saying he did it)
Fallacy: Biased Induction or Biased Generalization or Biased Sample ( KGB assassinated in the past, so they did it this time as well),
Fallacy: Ad Ignorantiam or Burden of Proof (Putin did it, prove me wrong),
Fallacy: Post hoc (Putin did it because the victim criticized Putin before the assassination)
Fallacy: Appeal to ignorance (no perfect evidence for any conclusion exists, therefore Putin did it)
Fallacy: Division (Secret Service does it, Putin part of Secret Service, so Putin does it as well)
Now, have you looked at the evidence? What does it tell you?
Who is Boris Berezovsky?
Who gave Litvinenko money to make a film?
Was it Berezovsky who has made repeated public announcements about trying to stage a coup or revolution in Russia against Putin?
Could it be Litvinenko's use to Berezovsky has expired... Especially now that new evidence has uncovered key inconsistencies and falsehoods in Litvinenko's (and Felshtinsky's) books about Russian agencies involvement in the bombings of Moscow apartment blocks in 1999?
Could it be Litvinenko, may therefore have more of a role to play as a martyr for "proving" Russian involvement in his death, than he wills or realizes?
But of course, this theory would have to rest on Litvinenko believing all the stuff that he writes, and therefore genuinely suspecting that the FSB is out to get him...
Why hasn't Berezhovski been killed yet? One would think he would be higher on the hit list than a lowly Lt. Colonel.
If Berezovski gets killed then who will be financing the anti-Putin campaign?
But then you have considered this, haven't you?
In February 2004, journalists were invited to a plush hotel (as it happens, also in Piccadilly), to be regaled with an extraordinary story from a bedraggled Russian MP, who had run against Putin in elections. The MP, Ivan Rybkin, gave a muddled account of being abducted, put on a train, drugged and filmed in compromising positions. It was all, we were told, the doing of Putin and his secret agents.
The truth turned out to be rather different. Rybkin, not for the first time, had been on a bender. He and his supporters abroad had found an ingenious way of "explaining" his absence to his wife and discrediting Putin at the same time. Alas, Rybkin could not keep up the pretense."
In a chess game sometimes a pawn or a bishop needs to be sacrificed to win the game.
posted on 11/22/2006 5:20:08 AM PST
(Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
This whole episode shows how news can be twisted to fit an agenda without the slightest bit of hard evidence to back it up. I have been saying for years here that Putin is more pro-America/West than the Russian electorate, and all of this hostility will only result in a hardening of positions over there. President Ivanov is looking more likely every day.
Right, Putin's awesome, Russia's great, they've got some sweet human rights there. Litvinenko was randomly poisoned by somebody, Anna Politkovskaya was shot on accident, and the other 14 journalists must have died from "natural causes".
Are they paying overtime again?
posted on 11/22/2006 7:42:46 PM PST
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