Aug 08 2007
Britain is playing some kind of game over the death of Alexander Litvinenko from exposure to Polonium-210 (Po-210), a highly radioactive substance that is also a key element in nuclear triggers which detonate older design nuclear bombs. Litvinenko was part one of a pair of Berezovsky aides or confidantes who left a trail of Po-210 all over London in October of last years, spreading the dangerous material to Moscow and Hamburg as well (and how knows where else). The other person is Andre Lugovoi, the person being accused of killing Litvinenko through the fantastic assassination theory where the highly expensive, regulated and dangerous Po-210 is used in place of a .22 caliber bullet or some other more stealth method of assassination. Instead of a quick hit the death of Litvinenko was a month’s long, highly visible ordeal. And one thing the assassination theorists never explain is why Lugovoi did not mask the Po-210 with some Thallium to throw off the autopsy?
In any event, after Lugovoi was charged he held a press conference implicating the UK’s intelligence agencies because they had worked with Berezovsky and Lintvinenko as ‘assets’ (not employees) to dig dirt on Russia’s government. The two exiles were an obvious choice for this kind of work. Then, a few weeks ago Berezovsky came out in the UK papers (he is a PR expert) and claimed he had just returned to England after the UK foiled another assassination attempt, this time on him. I discuss the incident here and here, and I had a lot of doubts about it then.
In summary, I found the timing of the news way too pat and I couldn’t understand why the UK let Berezovsky take his usual lead in letting the press in on this breaking news. How is it the UK did not scream this news to the papers to demonstrate support to the whole assassination theory? Why did they not parade this man in front of the media as clear evidence Russia or Russians were on a dangerous killing spree in the UK?
Answer? They let the would be assassin go! Yep, they let they showed the guy the border and sent him packing. Then waited three weeks to let Berezovsky break the news in the media. Now do you think the UK sent a blistering notice to Russia that they had detected another assassination attempt on UK citizens (who were Russian exiles as welll)? Do you think there was a diplomatic uproar where the UK government pulled the Russian ambassador into a meeting and showed them all the material they had on this assassination as way to say “we see your agents or people from your country attempting assassination, look who we just caught”? Answer? No!
So the story is supposed to be a Russian assassin comes to London to kill Berezovsky. Berezovsky is, in moment of incredible coincidence, told of the plot first by his Russian comrades (he is trying to over throw the Russian government since he knows the democratic process will not put someone in power he can work with or control). Of course he shares this with the UK authorities, who a while later note the arrival of the alleged assassin. The UK authorities tell Berezovsky to leave the country and they track this guy. Finally they detain him and deport him. But no news in public or private to the Russians on this matter – until recently.
As I noted in the earlier posts Russia wanted to know who this assassin was. And it seems the UK gave them a bunch of bogus, hazy, incomplete information:
The U.K. has failed to submit evidence that a man accused in late June of planning to assassinate fugitive tycoon Boris Berezovsky is a Russian national, Russia’s ambassador in London said Tuesday.
The documents submitted by the British Foreign Office to the Russian Embassy do not make it clear that the person who allegedly planned to kill businessman Boris Berezovsky is a Russian national,” Yury Fedotov said.
The diplomat said the “distorted” documents failed to specify the person’s citizenship, passport number and other important details, only mentioning Kazakhstan as his birthplace and his current residence as Moscow.
Does anyone believe, in these times of terrorists, the UK did not get the passport number for this fellow? They tracked his entry and knew he entered with a child. No details on citizenship?
If this is true this game is getting pretty ridiculous. We are talking about the movement of a material that can kill with an ammount smaller than a grain of salt. Litvinenko ingested or inhaled (I think it was the latter) tens of a millionth of a gram. Get a bag of sugar and take out one grain – that is probably too much right there. Yet there were three rounds of smuggling of the material through London. And Lugovoi and another Russian named Kovtun (who went to contaminate Hamburg) both suffered near deadly doses as well. So this is not some subject to be played loosely with the public. The media is more interested in an under water flag Russia put up at the North Pole than in understanding the Litvinenko incident. I can think of good reasons to keep details from the public on this. But the cover stories which insult our intelligence and also shake our confidence the authorities have this matter in hand.