Saturday, November 25, 2006

Poisened Spy Case Doesn't Make Any Sense

David Seaton's News Links
The Soviet Union collapsed because the Russians couldn't make a decent washing machine or a car anyone would want to drive, not because they couldn't execute an enemy without fuss at the proper time. The death of Litvinenko coinciding with the Helsinki summit was obviously timed to cause Putin maximum embarrassment. Logically you would have to look among his enemies to find anyone who would want to embarrass him. There seem to be interesting links to Yukos and to disgruntled oligarchs in general. The Israeli military web DEBKA’s intelligence sources add that the Russian ex-spy is believed to have been a double agent, who sold trade secrets to different parties in and outside Russia, among them some of the Russian oligarchs living in exile in the West. Livinenko served as a colonel in a Russian Federal Security Services unit which investigated and carried out special operations against businessmen. To pursue this theory, it would be useful to follow the press coverage of the affair. The editorial from the Guardian below keeps a prudent distance from the rush to judgment. DS
A still mysterious death - Leader - The Guardian
Abstract: Russia's argument that a scandal abroad is the last thing that President Putin needs at this moment, holds weight. Why would the Kremlin risk a torrent of western opprobrium by killing an insignificant critic in London? Friends of Litvinenko claim he was investigating the death of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and therefore a threat to the Russian state who also sanctioned her murder. But the leads in the investigation of her murder point away from the Kremlin and towards either the Moscow-backed regime in Chechnya or elements in the Russian army, exposed by her courageous journalism as war criminals. We know that Litvinenko had already shot his bolt, by publishing a book accusing the Kremlin of involvement in the blowing up of apartment blocks in Moscow and Volgodonsk in 1999 which Moscow used to launch a new campaign in Chechnya. That was seven years ago and the truth still has not come out. Those waiting for the truth about the death of a Russian in London might have longer to wait. READ IT ALL

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