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The Litvinenko saga

by Jerome a Paris Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 05:11:55 AM EST

We've had stellar coverage of many angles of the Litvinenko death by Polonium on European Tribune over the past 2 weeks, especially from our Italian members, and I thought it would be useful to try to bring it all in one post. So here are the main posts I could find (put others in the comments if I missed any) for ease of reference:

Spystory Mania: Litvinenko's "Italian Connection" by eternalcityblues (Nov. 19)
Russia denying involvement (European Breakfast, Nov. 21)
More guesswork about source of poisoning (via Migeru and blackhawk, Nov. 23)
Some Italian and Russia/EU context (European Breakfast, Nov. 24)
Did Litvinenko kill himself (European Breakfast, Nov. 25)
kcurie and polonium by kcurie (Nov. 25)
Must-read on Scaramella by de Gondi (Nov. 26)
More news via Fran from the top of the same European Breakfast thread here (Nov. 26)
Reference to an interview of Limarev by de Gondi (Nov. 26)
More on Scaramella being poisoned himself via de Gondi and Fran (Dec. 2)


Display:
Your Nov.24 "Italian" link is broken.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 06:19:20 AM EST


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 06:25:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When linking to comment subthreads, I suggest using URLs such as http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/21/23737/377/12 instead of http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/11/21/23737/377#12

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 06:21:29 AM EST


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 06:28:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is one old comment (June 4!) in the archives where litvinenko is alleged to have claimed that Russia was behind the Mohammed Cartoons.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 06:30:53 AM EST
Oh my. If Litvinenko was this much of a lightweight scam artist, I really wonder for whom and why it was worth more than $20 million to poison him.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 07:13:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's worth $20 million or more is to have the whole saga in the headlines for a long time, with a lot of nasty editorializing against Putin and Russia. If yo'ure an anemy of either (or both), it looks like money well spent.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 07:46:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But even with this (most likely) theory, it still looks stupid. Consider the risks: what if Litvinenko died much faster, and the case would have failed to get traction in time in the media?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 09:58:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds extremely cheap to me. Just imagine what hundreds of millions would do! But wait... wasn't YUKOS alleged to have channelled exactly this order of magnitude sum into cultivating PR agencies, think tanks, and mass media?

Back to Litvinenko - this opinion in The Times is fascinating, especially if you read some of the comments after it: "We still know Putin is a monster, so why bother"?

Is it just me, or is it true that these days the journalists working in Russian departments of many media outlets are required to leave their brains with porters when reporting to the duty? BBC positioning next to each other a link to their own story about a girl who poisoned her mother with the rat poison (thallium), and Berezovsky's statement that "Only secret services have access to thallium", is very high in my list of stupidities. Another is Le Monde's invention of Egor Gaidar meeting with Litvinenko.

Don't get me wrong - it's OK to believe that Russia, Putin, or Russians are the heart of darkness. We all have some ingrained beliefs that form a significant part of our personalities, and parting with them leaves a gaping hole in the soul. It might be safer to keep prejudices intact for personal reasons. It's stupidity which drives me nuts.

by Sargon on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 01:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On Tangent:  Anyone can have my invite:

What: Lecture by Flemming Rose on "Why Publish the Danish Cartoons?"

When: Monday, December 4, 2006 at 7:30 pm

Where: Wittemyer Courtroom, Wolf Law School Building, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Flemming Rose is the Cultural Editor for the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, the person who commissioned and then published the cartoons of Mohammed that became known as the Danish Cartoons. First published September 30, 2005, they created a furor around the world last spring. These dramatic events were caused by one man and one newspaper, with the able assistance of 12 political cartoonists.

http://www.colorado.edu/directories/webmap/map.html?bldg=W-WF

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 08:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, so Mr. Rose got his slot in the US lecture circuit as a reward for stirring up some shit.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 08:52:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is also being "promoted" by the Ayn Rand nuts at the objectivistclub.

http://boc.objectivistclubs.org/

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 09:25:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do the folks here dislike the cartoons? I was mostly indifferent myself.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 03:53:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not all of us did. I think there was some quite intense debate.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 04:27:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Quite?"

Oh, brave irony!

by Nomad on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 05:38:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was able to find the following comment threads mentioning Litvinenko...
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/12/3/02132/5153/16#16 - Litvinenko the blackmailer
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/12/1/04142/9433/67#67 - Litvinenko was poisoned at the Sushi bar
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/30/03228/882/84#84 - Scaramella debunking
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/29/131313/65/3#3 - BA planes scare
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/29/04732/875/61#61 - Litvinenko the smuggler
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/29/04732/875/30#30 - Gaidar also poisoned
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/27/234946/36/12#12 - Breakfast thread
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/24/115955/49/9#9 - An evening thread
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/23/13814/328/33#33 - Litvinenko dies
http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/19/23549/357/9#9 - Thallium hypothesis

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 08:13:12 AM EST
Two weeks after ET... the British press begins to debunk Scaramella...

The Independent: The Litvinenko murder: Scaramella - The Italian Connection (4 December 2006)

He claims to be a professor at a university that has never heard of him, and consultant to a body that has no fixed address. The more we learn about Mario Scaramella the more mysterious his role in the events surrounding the death of Alexander Litvinenko becomes. Peter Popham reports from Rome
Read it all, it's great.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 11:23:17 AM EST
Matt Taibbi - formerly of "the eXile", now working for Rolling Stone magazine, had an article last week that discussed the source of Polonium and the competing theories about who killed Litvinenko. He makes the following interesting point:

That's what's truly scary about the Litvinenko story. Although something very twisted is clearly going on in Russian politics -- most likely a struggle over the 2008 succession that may yet become bloodier, but perhaps something as mundane as a gangland disagreement between political exiles -- the more serious issue is the use of a deadly radioactive material in a Western capital. In virtually every scenario you can imagine the Litvinenko story describes the misuse and misplacing of nuclear material.

He describes three main scenarios involving Igor Sechin and Boris Berezovsky mostly.

In the eXile itself, Kirill Pankratov examines the various conspiracy theories and finds them all wanting, while Eduard Limonov doesn't seem to have many doubts about whodunit: the FSB he says

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Dec 4th, 2006 at 07:10:49 PM EST


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