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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
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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
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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
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