More mud and murk than usable information seems to be bubbling up in the media's "investigation" of the death of Alexander Litvinenko : The "spy who came in from the cold " - only to perish of Polonium poisoning.
There have been conflicting reports (sometimes in the same publication !) that Litvinenko was involved in the smuggling of radioactive materials out of one of the former Soviet Union countries-or that he had been revealing the names and methods of those involved.
There are reports of radioactivity being discovered (the media claims it was Polonium 210 , but never clarifies how they know this) in several locations used/frequented by the so-called Russian dissidents. There are other reports - much less stridently voiced-of links between these "dissidents" and Chechen terrorists-and fashionably left-wing Londoners, such as Vanessa Redgrave.
There are even reports of traces of radiation being discovered on airplanes that fly regularly between London and Moscow ; and appeals have been made to previous passengers on these planes to come forward.
Not everyone is convinced this is some sort of "Putin plot" , however. I found these opinions today:
The following opinion piece -attributed to John Weaver-was published via cut and paste on another site , and, as nearly as I can tell , was originally posted on the "Atlantic Free Press" website ,then copied on a Left wing site, then copied elsewhere- so I can't even begin to comment on its veracity. (It sounds like something that MIGHT have been printed in The Guardian originally.)
I'm pretty sure "copying a copy of what may have been a copy of a copy" is not plagiarism !!!
"If I simply stood anywhere near Boris Berezovsky, I’m sure my hair would fall out and my skin would turn yellow.
Alexander Litvinenko is simply the last in a long line of stiffs associated with Boris, a line of corpses that stretches back to the mid-nineties. One died from a mysterious nerve toxin applied to the rim of his coffee cup.
If you want to know about Boris Berezovsky, ask former Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov. Except you can’t, because he was blown away in 2004, shortly after writing up Berezovsky’s bullet-ridden bio, ‘Godfather Of Crime’.
The Litvinenko case is notable for the disinformation spread by the UK’s press, where the ‘facts’ have changed daily. Who makes this stuff up? Why, story and pictures supplied by The Godfather’s PR Firm - one with the sole aim of naming the killer as the Kremlin. Or might that just be a smokescreen for a mafia hit? At the very least, it’s a case of Pottinger calling the kettle black.
The media first linked Litvinenko with the poisoning of Yushchenko. How did that come about? Well, PR just happened to contact John Henry, the toxicologist, to put the Thallium rumour about. Shamefaced John now regrets his diagnosis and admits he was misled about aspects of the case. He stood near Boris and, as the Guardian put it today, got his fingers burned.
The BBC reported radioactive metal objects lodged in Litvinov’s intestines. Source? Potttinger PR. Litvinenko’s doctor subsequently complained about the BBC’s unhelpful speculation. But, who cares about facts as long as Putin gets maligned.
Litvinenko didn’t care much for facts either. He was a loose cannon who would say anything and was paid handsomely by Boris for so doing. A good example of one of Livinenko’s rants is an interview where he blames the London 7/7 bombings on Putin. According to Litvinenko, Yassar Arafat, Saddam and al-Zawahiri are all KGB agents too. Litvinenko would give gullible journalists declassified, old 1970s documents marked ’secret’ to prove his cred. Boris bought him a half a million pound house in London. Good job.
The other political link the media has sought to forge is between Litvinenko and Politovskaya. Well, there is a link, but not the one generally publicised. Shortly before Paul Klebnikov was hit, he was investigating the embezzlement of Russian funds intended for reconstruction in Chechnya - a fatal line of enquiry the investigative Politovskaya was also following,
Litvinenko’s rants were published in the UK Chechen press. An interesting link is between Berezovsky, Litvinenko and Zakayev, the Chechen warlord, is that they were all mysteriously given asylum in the UK as ‘needy human rights cases’. Yeah, right.
Why London needs a coterie of foreign criminals is beyond me, but they appear to have some friends in very high places. Even Zhirinovsky has asked the perfectly reasonable question ‘ why Cherie Blair works in a law firm which is servicing our Russian thugs, Berezovsky included.’
It’s bad enough having Lord Bell influence the media on behalf of the Mafia. Even more disturbing is that Scotland Yard did not investigate the case until several days after the poisoning was reported. Does Boris have friends there too? Not important. By this time Britain’s media had secured a conviction."
Another poster-who chose to remain anonymous- opined:
There was a popular tele-journalist in Moscow back in the late 1990s who ran afoul of mafiosi and had to pay some protection money. Supposedly he had to give the money to Berezovskiy, who was to hand it off to the gangster. Berezovskiy instead went shopping, and the journalist ended up dead.
BAB is also the Russian businessman who invented the salary-less payroll, where employees wouldn't get paid, but had to keep getting salary advances to survive month to month. If they quit, "they'd never work in Moscow again", in addition to losing their back pay. The idea got so popular among Russian businessmen in the mid-1990s that pretty much nobody was getting paid.
BAB paid off Yeltsin through frequent luxury gifts and vacations. He even hired Yeltsin's son-in-law (the husband of Tanya Dyachenko, who pretty much ran the Kremlin during Yeltsin's frequent drunks) to be on the board of the airline Berezovskiy owned at the time, Aeroflot.
His role (along with General Lebed) in ending the first Chechen war was probably the reason he can't safely venture outside. Before he fled, several tapes of BAB talking on the phone with terrorists were aired. I had a lot of transcripts posted here, but when FR went to its new format, lots of history disappeared as well.
I'm amazed that UK decided to give BAB and assorted Chechen terrorists asylum, but the world long ago moved beyond my comprehension."