You know, the main reason I read blogs is to be better informed about what’s going on in my country and around the world.  Most of the time, that’s exactly what blogs deliver, especially ones as wonderful as this one.

But this past week I’ve seen all of my favorite blogs (Americablog and Boo) among others tote the “MSM” line, and it is time to debunk it.

I’m speaking about Aleksandr Litvinenko.
I too am sorry that he died in such excruciating agony and this diary is not meant to spit on his grave.  But the MSM meme that he was poisoned by unnamed Russian agents acting on President Putin’s direct orders to shut him up is categorically ridiculous.

Yes, Mr. Litvinenko was once upon a time a KGB spy.  And Ollie North was at one time a U.S. Marine.  And Pappa George H.W. Bush was the head of the CIA.  And so on and so forth.  Mr. Litvinenko might’ve been a super spy or a mediocre one, but he hadn’t worked for Russian intelligence for over a decade so his previous employment is largely irrelevant.

Mr. Litvinenko has been living in Britain for the last six years and has been the same vocal critic of the Putin administration for all six years, which he survived in extreme comfort and poison-free.  Litvinenko was not a citizen of Britain however – his legal residence was predicated upon his claim of needing asylum from Russia.  According to Mr. Litvinenko, he needed asylum because he is “wrongly” accused of being a “traitor” in Russia, particularly by the FSB.

It was only a couple of weeks before he was “poisoned” that he finally became a British citizen.  Another British citizen is Litvinenko’s close friend, Boris Berezovsky, who is also an outspoken critic of the Putin administration.  

Mr. Litvinenko first gained attention in 1998 when he gave a press conference (in Moscow!) stating that the KGB (FSB) had been ordered to kill Berezovsky.

Let’s review so far:

  • Litvinenko has been an outspoken critic of Putin for 13 years, 7 in Russia and 6 in Britain, all poison-free
  • Litvinenko is a close friend of Berezovsky
  • Litvinenko said the KGB had been ordered to kill Berezovsky yet he remains alive and unharmed to this day

Ok, so you might still be inclined to believe that somehow, Putin’s henchmen still had a reason to kill Litvinenko now, and do it on British soil.

Litvinenko also wrote a book criticizing the Putin administration called “Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within”.  In it, among other things, he accused the Russian government (Putin) of being the real mastermind behind the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings, and not the Chechens, in order to “divert Russia away from the path of democracy”.

This book came out in 2002, meaning Litvinenko had 4 years of living poison-free in Britain even after writing this extremely incendiary book.

Furthermore, Litvinenko was convicted in a Russian court (in absentia) of “abuse of office” and sentenced to 3.5 years of jailtime.  That abuse was faking evidence in an investigation, by the way.  Of course Britain did not extradite him.

But in case you’re inclined to dismiss Russian justice, Litvinenko was arrested in Russia in 1999 and he won his case.  Actually he won 2 court cases before leaving Russia.  Remember, this is a year after he gave the press conference accusing Putin of ordering the KGB (FSB) to murder Berezovsky.  

After the book “Blowing Up Russia” was published, Litvinenko wrote another book called “Gang from Lubyanka” which stated that President Putin was “personally involved in organized crime”, i.e. the Russian mafia.

In 2005, Litvinenko said that Al-Qaeda leaders, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, were being trained by the FSB in Dagestan on Putin’s orders.  

If that’s not enough nuttiness for you, just earlier this year Litvinenko stated that Italian Prime Minister Romani Prodi is a paid agent of Putin’s government.  Litvinenko also said that Prodi has been instructed to “protect ex-KGB agents” who were “involved” in the assassination attempt of the Pope in 1981.

Ok, so maybe you want to believe that Putin finally ordered the execution of Litvinenko after 13 years of unhindered criticizing even despite the fact the KGB never killed a defector on foreign soil, not even in the days of the Soviet Union (with the possible exception of Georgi Markov).

Let’s look at the ridiculousness of this case on its own merits.

The official story is Litvinenko began to feel unwell on November 1 after two meetings.  One meeting was at a sushi restaurant (i.e. raw fish) where he met with an Italian journalist named Mario Scaramella.

The official story is that Scaramella had some kind of secret information on the recent death of Anna Politkovskaya to give Litvinenko.

The other meeting during that day was with two former KGB agents, one named Andrei Lugovoi and the other identified only as “Vladimir”.  Lugovoi is yet another Russian defector given asylum in Britain and was a former bodyguard and longtime friend of: you guessed it, Boris Berezovsky.

So either the journalist with incriminating evidence against Putin “poisoned” Litvinenko or Litvinenko was “poisoned” by a long-time associate and ally.

The official story continues that Litvinenko immediately determined he wasn’t feeling ill because of same bad sushi, but because he had been poisoned by thallium.  Thallium is always described in the official stories as a component of rat poison, but not since the 1970’s.    Since it is tasteless and odorless, it has been used to murder people in the past.

There is an extremely successful antidote to thallium poisoning called prussian blue and Mr. Litvinenko was given prussian blue at the hospital in the form of capsules which he swallowed.  

The problem is that later tests determined Litvinenko had not been poisoned with thallium at all.   As Litvinenko’s story became more widely published, the media (including the BBC) reported that 3 “unidentified objects” were found in his stomach and digestive tract.  Those objects were the prussian blue capsules he had been given by his doctors.

And guess who one of the doctors was who “diagnosed” Litvinenko as being a victim of thallium poisoning? Why it’s John Henry, who “coincidentally” was also one of the doctors who treated Viktor Yushchenko for his “dioxin” poisoning in 2004.

Now the official story is that Litvinenko was poisoned with “precisely the right amount” of polonium 210, a radioactive substance.   According to Wikipedia, polonium 210 is so rare that only 100 grams are produced (in nuclear reactors) worldwide every year.

Furthermore Po-210 has a half-life of just 138 days or 4 months, which means that it decays rather rapidly.  So for someone to poison Litvinenko they would need access to a nuclear reactor and some relatively “fresh” polonium-210.

Polonium 210 is so toxic to human life that the maximum “allowable” dose is 0.03 microcurie, or 6.8 to 10 to the -12th power of a gram.  In other words, an amount so tiny it would make a single crystal of salt look like the New Orleans Superdome.  This is a tiny, tiny, tiny amount, and yet the official story says that Po-210 was found in 3 locations, including Litvinenko’s residence, a hotel and the sushi restaurant.

Therefore the “poisoners” either left micrograms of Polonium-210 in Litvinenko’s residence, a hotel and the sushi restaurant or else it was Litvinenko who was poisoned and himself left the trace amounts as he went to his various meetings.

Therefore, the official story is that a guy who has claimed Putin 1) killed hundreds of Russians in Moscow to provoke a second Chechen War and “divert Russia from democracy” 2) Putin personally ordered the KGB to kill Litvinenko’s close friend Berezovsky 3) Putin is in league with organized crime 4) Putin controls the Italian Prime Minister and 5) that Russia is paying and training top Al-Qaeda leaders got tired of Litvinenko’s criticism after 13 years, 2 books, 2 criminal trials and 6 years of freedom in Britain and decided to “silence” him using extremely small doses of one of the most toxic, radioactive substances on the planet.

Oh yeah, and this poisoning was done either 1) by an Italian journalist who had “dirt” on the Putin government’s “cover-up” of Politskaya’s murder or 2) some of his old ex-KGB buddies, nobody can say which.

As if all that wasn’t dramatic enough, after Litvinenko is dead in his bed, his buddies Goldfarb and Berezovsky produce a “signed statement” supposedly written 3 days earlier which points the finger square at Putin.  Oh yeah, and the radioactivity is not what killed him, but instead he died of a heart attack.

So this whole cockamamie story is being blown up to gigantic proportions as some kind of de facto indictment at Putin’s administration when there is not one single, solitary shred of evidence linking Litvinenko’s poisoning or death to Putin.  None.  The facts simply are that Litvinenko got sick and his friends accuse Putin of being behind it.  There are no other facts.

Putin’s statement on the matter, which you can find here in its original:

ВОПРОС: У меня вопрос к господину Путину и к господину Ванханену. Господин, Путин, после того, как вы прибыли в Хельсинки вчера, было объявлено о смерти Александра Литвиненко в Лондоне. Сегодня было сообщено, что прежде, чем, как он умер, он написал письмо, обвиняя Вас в своей смерти. Что Вы можете сказать по этому поводу? И господин Ванханен, Вы поднимали этот вопрос в разговоре с господином Путиным, и вызывает ли это Вашу обеспокоенност&#

1100;? И связано ли это как-то со смертью Анны Политковской? Спасибо.

В.ПУТИН: Смерть человека – это всегда трагедия. И я приношу свои соболезнования близким господина Литвиненко и его семье. Между тем, насколько мне известно, в медицинском заключении британских врачей нет указаний на то, что это насильственная смерть. Нет этого. Значит, нет и предмета для разговоров подобного рода.

В любом случае мы считаем, что наши британские коллеги, в том числе и из правоохранител&#

1100;ных органов, понимают уровень своей ответственност&#

1080; за обеспечение безопасности тех граждан, которые находятся на их территории. Это в полной мере относится и к гражданам Российской Федерации вне зависимости от их политических взглядов и убеждений, если они оказались на территории Британии. Надеюсь, что британские власти не будут способствовать и раздуванию каких бы то ни было политических скандалов, не имеющих под собой реальных оснований.

Если потребуется, российские власти, в том числе и следственные органы, прокуратура Российской Федерации окажут всю необходимую помощь в расследовании, если такое расследование будет иметь место.

Ну и, наконец, что касается записки, о которой Вы сказали. Если такая записка действительно появилась до кончины господина Литвиненко, то тогда возникает вопрос, почему она не была ранее обнародована при его жизни. А если она появилась после его кончины, после его смерти, то, естественно, какие здесь могут быть комментарии? Те люди, которые сделали это, не господь Бог, а господин Литвиненко, к сожалению, не Лазарь. И очень жаль, что даже такие трагические события, как смерть человека, используют для политических провокаций.

М.ВАНХАНЕН: Его гибель – это трагическое событие, но я не поднимал этот вопрос в обсуждениях сегодня, поскольку в настоящий момент у нас нет подробностей. В Великобритании власти расследуют этот вопрос и сначала они должны завершить свою работу.

I posted it here in Russian simply because I’m tired of the western media only selectively quoting what they want.

Roughly it says that Putin is sorry he’s dead, there’s absolutely no Russian government involvement, that the British authorities should fully investigate the case and that all the accusations are nothing more than political provocation.  And he is exactly right.

You know what? I said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m sorry Mr. Litvinenko died such an excruciating death.  But in life he was a kook and his best friend are thugs and criminals who raped Russia under Yeltsin.  All these Russian exiles have been extremely vocal critics for years out in the open without anything happening to them.

I think people latch onto this story because they want to believe life in Russia is so autocratic and dictatorial now that Putin will do “anything” to shut up his critics.  That there is no free press in Russia and linking Politskovaya’s death to Livinenko somehow “makes sense”.  Well I don’t know who killed Litvinenko or Politkovskaya but I do know there’s not a shred of evidence (you know, FACTS) linking their deaths to agents of the Russian government.

Quite frankly, Berezovsky and his ilk make me sick.  Not only did they openly rob the Russian people under Yeltsin but they are close friends with the neocons in America.  Berezovsky is a close friend of the Bush family and is a business partner in Neil Bush’s Ignite! “education software” company that Barbara (the elder) Bush loves so much, etc etc.

I’ll wait for the medical and law enforcement authorities in Britain to investigate Litvinenko’s death fully.  In the meantime however, let’s turn the anti-Putin rhetoric down a notch, eh?  I realize the man is no saint but let’s criticize him for what he’s actually done not what some loony dissidents have accused him of doing.

Pax

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