Nov 26 2006

Litvenenko’s Death Staged As A Political Murder?

Here’s the latest from the police probe:

etectives investigating the death of Alexander Litvinenko were last night examining the possibility that the former spy killed himself to discredit Vladimir Putin.

Increasing concerns over the reliability of the Russian dissident’s death-bed testimony have prompted police to check every detail of Mr Litvinenko’s version of events on 1 November, the day he said he was poisoned.

Litvenenko spent 18 years in the KGB investigating organized crime. Then all of a sudden he ‘defects’ and ends up on the side of one Boris Berezovsky. Berezovsky is a businessman who has supposed ties to the Chechen rebels (interesting since he was born into a Jewish family) which right there makes his opposition to Russia suspect. He has claimed that the Beslan School Massacre was not a Chechen effort but a Putin administration effort. In my book that makes Beresovsky a likely ally of the Chechen rebels. He also seems to be Russia’s version of George Soros – a extremely wealthy man who thinks his money allows hiim to change the world to his warped views.

Livtvenenko ended up allied with Berezovsky and apparently under his financial wing since Litvenenko moved into one of Berezivsky’s London homes. Seems all sorts of really bad people gravitate to London these days. So was Litvenenko the puppet of Berezovsky? Was his PR value running so low that he was better as a great lead in a political who-done-it mystery? The form of the poison tells us a lot. It is rare and it is used in aerospace applications. Not something your average prosecutor or crime inspector m ight know about. But look at Berezovsky’s history:

He [Berezovsky] studied forestry and then applied mathematics, receiving his doctorate in 1983. He later became a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1991 and the chair of a laboratory in its Institute of Control Sciences.

He used his political connections to acquire stakes in state companies including AutoVAZ itself, state airline Aeroflot, and several oil properties that he organized into Sibneft, paying a fraction of the companies’ book values.

It is interesting that the criminal investigator ends up on the side (if not the payroll) of the man he is investigating. So is it possible there is something else going on? Well yes, if we look back at the first article sited we find connections to WMDs:

Meanwhile, nuclear scientists are frantically trying to establish just how radioactive was the dose of polonium-210 that killed Mr Litvinenko. Traces of the material – powerful enough to trigger a nuclear warhead – were found on tables at the Itsu sushi restaurant in Piccadilly, a London hotel, and his home in Muswell Hill.

The phrasing of this is quite illuminating. We have an ex-KGB officer, who is in cahoots with a Russian oligarch who has ties to Chechen rebels found poisoned by material associated with nuclear triggers after meeting in the basement of a Sushi Bar with some people. If not a staged suicide, then it could be a black market activity gone bad. Is there something more dangerous than a radio active substance floating around London?

And if there were not enough conspiracy theories out there, the Bush administration must be bracing for a big one this time. It seems that Berezovsky had been able to squirm his way into a business deal with the younger Bush brother Neal. As my memory recalls, the arrangement was disolved as reporting showed the possible illegal acts of Berezovsky – but to that final outcome I am still investigating.

However this pans out, this will be an interesting event with repurcussions. If this does have to do with nuclear weapons parts then I think the political landscape will be forever altered.

Update: I had not seen this news yet when I wrote this post, but it is clear this story has added the specter of nuclear weapons to this story line:

An investigation was under way last night into Russia’s black market trade in radioactive materials amid concern that significant quantities of polonium 210, the substance that killed former spy Alexander Litvinenko, are being stolen from poorly protected Russian nuclear sites.

As British police drew up a list of witnesses for questioning over the death, experts warned that thefts from nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union were a major problem.

A senior source at the United Nations nuclear inspectorate, the International Atomic Energy Agency, told The Observer he had no doubt that the killing of Litvinenko was an ‘organised operation’ which bore all the hallmarks of a foreign intelligence agency.

This story is taking a very serious turn if blackmarket activities in WMD technologies are a major element of the plot line. Move over Clancy, but this murder may actually be lucky, but deadly, mistake which uncovers a dangerous plot. I am still not buying the assissination angle.

Update: More on Berezovsky here at frontline. It turns out Berezovsky was once on the Russian National Security Council, which would give him access to information on nuclear material sites, security and key players:

Through his close relationship with the longtime chief of staff to Boris Yeltsin, Berezovsky became part of the former president’s inner circle. In 1996, he led Russia’s most powerful tycoons to back Yeltsin’s reelection. Yeltsin appointed Berezovsky deputy secretary of the National Security Council, then secretary of the Organization for Coordinating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS.) In 1999, he won a seat in the State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian parliament), but six months later, amid unrelenting pressure from the new regime of President Vladimir Putin, Berezovksy resigned and soon fled Russia. The Russian Prosecutor General’s office charged Berezovsky in absentia with complicity to fraud, complicity not to return hard currency from abroad, and money laundering.

Given this man’s insatiable greed, that post (emphasis mine) was the perfect place to garner inside information on how the nuclear black market worked, and how to exploit it for personal gain.

One response so far

One Response to “Litvenenko’s Death Staged As A Political Murder?”

  1. Ken says:

    Strata is leaning in the right direction on this one, believe it or not.
    Berezovsky was a citizen of Israel when affiliated with Russian
    national security, and Russia not being America, this caused quite a stir there when revealed.
    Putin is thus far a good man which the Zionists are uneasy about because of his seeking good terms with certain Islamic countries. And William Kristol’s neocons generally supported both Albanian and Bosnian/Kosovar Moslems -and Chechens ,against Serbia and Russia .
    This is usually viewed as an attempted good will trade off to the Moslem world and due to a historic fear of Russian/Orthodox