Skip to comments.From Russia, minus love
Posted on 11/24/2006 5:34:19 PM PST by A. Pole
IMAGINE you were a foreign power that wanted to get rid of a dissident who had set up home in London. Would you (a) push the troublemaker under a bus, (b) have him mown down by a hit-run driver, or (c) arrange for him to be poisoned while eating in a crowded restaurant?
If you wanted to make the death look natural, or just to keep things simple, you would presumably avoid the restaurant scenario. And yet, if many Russia-watchers are to be believed, the country's Federal Security Service (FSB) has carried out just such an assassination.
On November 1, Alexander Litvinenko, a 43-year-old Russian who used to work for the FSB the post-Soviet version of the KGB had breakfast with two Russian men, one a former KGB officer, at the Millennium hotel in Mayfair, then lunch at Itsu, a cheap and cheerful Japanese eatery in London, with an Italian defence consultant, Mario Scaramella. Litvinenko later claimed that Scaramella had shown him
a hit list featuring Litvinenko's name as well as that of murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
By that evening, he was so ill he was taken to hospital. Doctors wasted 10 days trying to treat him for food poisoning. His condition deteriorated hair falling out, difficulty speaking, white blood cells disappearing, unable to eat, even nourishment from a drip causing him to vomit.
It wasn't until earlier this week, after listening to their patient's pleas, that doctors said they were investigating the possibility of poisoning. Initially they suspected thallium, a tasteless, odourless killer used in rat poison until it was banned in the 1970s. By Thursday, however, with Litvinenko's condition deteriorating rapidly, a hospital spokesman said the medical team had ruled out thallium but was still unclear about the cause of his condition. A friend said the former spy had suffered a cardiac arrest and was on an artificial heart support machine. Litvinenko died yesterday, at 8.21am Melbourne time.
Litvinenko's friends in London have been quick to accuse the Kremlin of being behind this poisoning. They say Russia wanted to stop Litvinenko investigating the assassination last month of another high-profile critic of the Russian Government his friend, the campaigning journalist Politkovskaya. They believe the Kremlin was also to blame for Politkovskaya being shot outside her Moscow apartment door.
Polonium-210 [the most recent diagnosis as per poison used] is available in the corner mom and pop stores, one presumes. Barbari sunt, barbarice egit. Not paricularly smart barbari, either.
For the conspiracy theorists: read the Possessed (or Devils) by Dostoevsky, you have such a clumsy murder (of Shatov) explained there.
This might be the real objective of this death. Do you think that Putin is really so stupid as to order something bizarre like that at the time of EU/Russia meeting?
If you wanted the death to be obviously contrived and horrible so as to act as a warning to others, you'd opt for the restaurant scenario. Possibly the author does not remember the "Cold" War. It was always this nasty.
I would presume that one who signs on with the KGB/FSB in the first place knows the way they play. Only in America are 'leakers' feted on the media and given book deals; in the rest of the world, well, Polonium happens.
Werent we led to believe Russia had gone through this amazing transformation to a gentler kinder totalitarinism?
Do you think Putin is innocent here?
I think that he is way too smart to do such thing.
Eh...a public assassination can be a tool of diplomacy if you're of a certain mindset. Per Machiavelli it's best to be loved, but if you can't be loved, then being feared also works.
Exactly. The author obviously doesn't understand the way Russian operatives operate. They'd slit your throat right in front of your Momma, and make polite conversation with her while doing it too.
Machiavelli would not recommend cowardly and idiotic methods. He warned that the worst for the ruler is to be despised.
Do you think that Kennedy gained much by trying to poison Castro?
You cannot argue with paranoiacs.
LOL - I can see that you remember. And after all, what's to stop them? Unless they're caught in the act it's a perfect crime. It is, of course, possible for a somebody to defect and confess publicly, but that's precisely what this sort of action deters. These guys have been playing this game for a very long time and they were always good at it.
Well, no. But if it had looked like an accident, then...well...it would have looked like an accident, if you know what I mean.
You could be right. The Russians could always play chess.
Hey! Who are you calling a paranoiac? Who have you be talking to?
Did my wife talk to you?!?
Not yet:) Here you have real paranoiac thread on FR:
I found out some interesting information today that seems to be missing (what a shocker!) from the mainstream media in both the US and the UK.
1. Russia and the UK were very close to coming to an extradition treaty agreement. This would put the entire Berezovsky gang under and increased risk of deportation to Russia, or having to relocate to another country at the very least.
2. Letvineko just happened to live right next door to Chechen terrorist Zakayev, who like Letvineko is on the payroll of Team Berezovsky. Even the Dr. who came out earlier in the week and claimed Thallium poisoning works directly for Berezovsky.
3. Russian officials seem to have finally noticed the pattern of these things happening when Putin is having meetings at overseas events. Almost every one of these relates to EU meetings. This goes back to the terrorist attacks on the Moscow subway and two aircraft a few years back as well as the Klebnikov, Politskaya and now Letvineko.
I am increasingly convinced that all of these things are linked. Of course I will not defnitively point the finger at Berezovsky, but he certainly has the clearest motive and the highest beneficiary ratio of any actor.
Was Stalin so stupid? This is intimidation. If you cross Putin you die. What is the West going to do about it? Nothing. Putin is not stupid. He is a smart, ruthless dictator.
It's completely plausible as it sends a brutal message to all other dissidents. It's not even the slightest bit out of character for Putin and his toadies.
Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who died Thursday after being poisoned with a radioactive substance, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him "barbaric and ruthless" in a deathbed statement. Several Kremlin critics have fled Russia or been imprisoned during Putin's time in office, and a few, listed below, have been killed or died mysterious deaths.
October 7th, 2006: Journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of the war in Chechnya who exposed human rights abuses by Russian and Kremlin-backed Chechen authorities, is fatally shot in her apartment building. No suspects have been arrested, and Putin has suggested Russians seeking refuge from Russian law enforcement abroad could have been behind it.
Feb. 13th, 2004: Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a former separatist president of Chechnya, is killed when a bomb blows his car apart as he leaves a mosque with his son in Qatar. Russian security services deny involvement, but two Russian intelligence agents are convicted in Qatar and later returned to Russia, where authorities suggest they are set free.
July 3rd, 2003: Yuri Shchekochikhin, a liberal lawmaker and journalist who investigated high-level corruption for Novaya Gazeta, Politkovskaya's newspaper, dies after a brief, mysterious ailment that causes him to loose his hair and suffer severe skin problems. Colleagues claim he was poisoned and that his autopsy was not released to relatives.
April 17th, 2003: Sergei Yushenkov, a liberal lawmaker and vocal critic of Putin, the Federal Security Service and the war in Chechnya, is gunned down in Moscow in a killing colleagues called an attack on democratic ideals. Mikhail Kodanyov, chairman a rival branch of his Liberal Russia party backed by self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky, is convicted ordering the slaying and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Every regime is an adequate reflection of the socially active part of its population. In simplified form the preceding statement is known as "every people deserves its government". A leader of a rats pack cannot be a lion - he can only be a rat. A beast runs a show, for it is a fundamentally beastly show, and no other show is, was, or will be, possible there, barring transcivilizing.
Actually is it out of character. You watch too many Hollywood movies and every foreign leader you do not like looks the same to you - he must be a "second Hitler". Whether Milosevic or Putin or else they are all identical, the same Hollywood cliche.
But the real world is very difference from schematic predicable movies.
It was a message that was effectively delivered. I know you don your kneepads for Putin on a daily basis, but no one should let you get away with passing this lie off.
Hatred is a very toxic passion.
I just about have to equate this whole idea of Putin's "gang" to a playground mentality...
The most popular and Toughest (by appearance) kid is going to rule the roost, until the kids that wnat to be on the monkey bars deside topick a few of those supporters off one by one...
Thus the kids on the monkey bars are going to do the same thing when they see the efforts of those that want to get on, so to speak...
Its almost that elementary when you look at its basic parts, its intelligence, and how it illustrates and demonstrates its ability to maintain its power...
There is really nothing democratic about it...And since its overall might and ability to project power and influence is still right up there with our ability, sure, everyone is going to do the things diplomatically to keep things stable...Its the nature of the beast...
And when wars, and rumor of wars, work alongside deals and pacts with a nieghbor to the south of them, begin to flourish...I'm sure a lot of us will tell the rest of the "head in the sand'ers":
"See, we told you so!"
I'd start looking at whom might come up after Putin's demise to see the true nature of what is to come and what has been driving this situation...(just a thought)
Putin is just the catalyst in this mix...
Mugged and stabbed. No questions asked, stabb him, take wallet. Pure mug gone bad.
people, does anyone watches CSI? Scores of ideas, and noone would link a mureder to Russia.
And Epstein, of course, could be completely wrong, as he did not provide me a shred of evidence to back up his claim. But let's say Epstein knows something we don't know. Who would Litvinenko have been smuggling polonium 210 for (and why)?
I wrote Ed Epstein back for evidence, here's his reply:
What business are 6 nogoodniks doing at a sushi bar other than a deal? Who would use anything so valuable to kill sdmeone when a knife would do the trick.
I wrote Epstein back and asked him what these "nogoodniks would want with polonium 210. If Epstein's suspicion is correct, I was thinking they might be the middle men in a dirty bomb plot. Here's his reply:
polonium 210 is critical to building nukes so it controls chain reaction. The real question is what was an exKGB agent doing in proxinity to it--not who killed him
Any comments on the above three posts???
Forgot to ping you about the above 4 posts. I would be interested to get your take on this--GGG
Anyone familiar with the 300 year old culture of ruthless
Russian genocide knows exactly what Putin is doing.
For instance, read the following from Epstein's site (especially the last part!):
What are Russia's four main contributions to Iran's nuclear program?
Russia, as the prime subcontractor for Iran's nuclear program, is providing:
1) Six nuclear reactors for Iran. Four are at Bushehr and two are at Akhvaz.
2) A uranium-conversion plant at Bushehr that can be used for uranium enrichment.
3) An exemption in the UN resolution on Iran. In its draft resosultion the Russians have exempted materials, equipment, technology" used at Bushehr 1. This exemption will allow Iran to convert the lightly-enriched fuel in the light-water nuclear reactor into weapon-grade 235. It need only remove fuel rods from Bushehr, then extracting their pellets, and feed this enriched uranium into its centrifuges. The centrifuges could then produce weapon-grade U-235 in less than 2 month. (Iran could keep the operation secret by substituting dummy rods for those it removed from the Bushehr reactor.)
4) The reactor-grade uranium for Bushehr 1 (which goes into operation in October 2007.)
Russia may be also making unofficial contributions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) laboratory at Seibersdorf, Austria, ascertained that Iranian centrifuges made indigenously in Iran not imported gear showed traces of on enriched uranium with a purity level of 36 percent U-235. Russia appears to have been the source of this enriched uranium, since the IAEA lab also found a "likely match" between the atomic signatures of the 36% uranium used in Russian submarines and the traces gathered from Iranian centrifuges. Then there is the polonium 210 used to explode the bomb. The AIEA determined that Iran has obtained polonium 210, an isotope. And the likely source is Russia, which uses it (in combination with beryllium) to ensure the chain reaction leading to a nuclear explosion begins at the right time.
See what I mean???
meaningless, all three. If they were mishandling Po-210, then how come that out of all 6 [??] "no-goodniks" only one got it hard and fast - where are all the others, in what hospitals? To handle Po-210 and not get hurt in the process takes training, special equipment and concentrated effort. Here one has a professional assassination job, with the means chosen for the difficulty of tracing [how long did it take them to find out?]. The same means, once identified, drastically narrows the culprits circle.