Litvinenko Mania Continues

Litvinenko mania continues. A web of personalities, events, investigations, analyses and conspiracy theories has been woven so intricately that it is difficult to make any sense of it all. I think it’s time to consult the tea leaves and chicken bones. Maybe the gods can tells us who killed Alexandr Litvinenko and why. But since the gods don’t seem to be answering their phones, or maybe my tea leaves and chicken bones are a bit too weathered, I suggest a few articles below to catch up (or is it confuse?) those interested (if there is anyone left!) on unfolding details on a story that seems will never die. One thing is for sure in all this mess, Litvinenko was clearly involved in some shady business that is not fitting for a fierce critic or saintly dissident many tried to paint him to be.

When one compares the path the investigation is taking to the original accusations and assumptions that Litvinenko’s death was part of a Kremlin plot, one can’t help wonder what, if anything, Western media knows about Russia. This is why I think what I wrote when the whole affair began still stands: “Litvinenko’s murder has little to do with Litvinenko. He is merely symbolic of a greater fear that many Westerners have of an ascendant Russia. And given the legacy of Cold War thinking about Russia, its ascendancy is cast in familiar, yet thoroughly misguided terms and assumptions.” But I digress . . .

Did the Russian Mafia Kill Alexandr Litvinenko?
by Justin Raimondo

hey’re making a movie about the Litvinenko affair, but if Hollywood hews to the narrative dished out by the British tabloids, then I wouldn’t count on it being a box office hit. After all, the idea that the Kremlin would assassinate such an insignificant “dissident” by poisoning him with $10 million worth of rare polonium – and leaving a radioactive trail a mile wide back to the Kremlin’s doorstep – is so implausible that no one could possibly believe it. Unless, of course, it is presented as “news,” rather than entertainment – two categories that are often indistinguishable from each other, at least in the U.S.

The journalistic lynch mob that jumped on Vladimir Putin, tying him to the alleged murder of Alexander Litvinenko, is wiping egg off its collective face as new evidence comes to light. Not that this crowd needs much in the way of evidence to convince them of the Kremlin’s utter perfidy: in the case of Litvinenko’s bizarre poisoning with a radioactive substance, polonium-210, they didn’t need any. All they had to do was print press releases handed out by Boris Berezovsky’s slick public-relations operation and decry the supposed degeneration of Russian “democracy” from the good old days of Boris Yeltsin, when it was possible to steal entire industries without worrying about going to jail.

To really get a handle on the truth about this mysterious affair, what we have to do is look at what Charles Krauthammer and Max Boot are saying – and then draw the opposite conclusion. The two of them, naturally, accuse Putin of murdering Litvinenko, without – of course – bothering with such mundane details as the extremely odd method of utilizing such an unusual weapon, or what the Kremlin could possibly hope to gain. Their fact-free screeds are all supposition, and both evade the central reality of this case: as the Moscow Times points out, “The common thread linking all the players in Litvinenko’s death is that they have all worked for Berezovsky.”

Poisoned Russian linked to investigation of possible bribes by ex-Yukos official
By Lucy Komisar

Poisoned Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko appears to have been involved in collecting information about Alexei Golubovich, a longtime associate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of the Russian oil company, Yukos. Khodorkovsky is in jail in Russia for tax evasion. Golubovich was a top official of Yukos from 1992 to 2000 and is under house arrest in Italy at the request of Russia which has charged him with fraud and embezzlement.

A woman living in London told the press that she sought out Litvinenko for “book research” and that he told her that he was planning to blackmail some Russian oligarchs who had been targeted by the Russian Federal Security Service because they had looted the country. She did not tell the press that she worked for Golubovich, who fit that description.

The story about the investigation of Golubovich has not been published before.

Litvinenko died in London Nov. 23 from a lethal dose of radioactive polonium-210. He had reportedly been building dossiers on corrupt Russian businessmen.

Leonid Nevzlin Gets Polonium and Mercury
By Nikolai Sergeev

Prosecutor General’s Office announced yesterday that it is investigating a possibility that former co-owner of YUKOS Leonid Nevzlin might be involved in the poisoning of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210, and an assassination attempt against his business partner Dmitry Kovtun in London. The Office claims that investigators established connection between this crime and a certain attempt at poisoning by means of mercury. The Office says that mercury vapors “were found in cars, apartments, country houses, and offices both in Moscow and in London”. It has already created an investigatory group to probe into those crimes. The Office intends to prepare documents soon and to “direct requests for legal help in the criminal cases under investigation to corresponding competent authorities, and to raise the question of extradition of several citizens charged with heavy crimes who are taking refuge abroad”.

The Office’s statements were transmitted to news agencies with “urgent” markings on them. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Premier, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told Kommersant already a week ago that London’s polonium scandal may receive a most sudden continuation. “I admit that if the investigation goes on, — and I hope it will go on, for we are interested in it, — completely unexpected versions might appear, which are not considered now at all,” predicted Ivanov back then.

Apparently, a “new version” appeared after Leonid Nevzlin and his family traveled to the U.S. from Israel on December 24. Two days after their arrival to New Jersey, Interpol’s National Bureau in Russia said that Nevzlin encountered some problems. He was allegedly detained in the airport, but then they let him go, having informed Russian law-enforcement authorities about his current location. Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has been looking for Nevzlin abroad for two years already, due to secret accusations in organizing murders and assassination attempts. However, the Office received refusal to extradite Nevzlin from other countries. The U.S. also refused to give him out last year. Now the secret accusations have been reinforced by secret suspicions.