Nov 29 2006

Litvinenko Fingers Scaramella AND Putin

This story gets more and more bizarre. It seems Putin was not the only man fingered by Litvinenko on his death bed. He also fingered Italian consultant Scaramella who he lunched with at the Sushi Bar and supposedly handed Litvinenko copies of emails with a hit list of names – including the names of Scaramella, Litvinenko and Berezovsky:

ORMER Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko feared he had been poisoned by Italian academic Mario Scaramella, it was revealed yesterday.

Pal Yuri Felshtinsky, who wrote a book with Litvinenko, 43, says the stricken ex-KGB man named the Italian in a deathbed phone call.

He told Felshtinsky, 50, that Scaramella seemed nervous and ate nothing when they met in a London sushi restaurant on November 1, after which the Russian fell ill.

This is a blow to the Putin theory, since it appears Litvinenko may have been grasping at who might have tried to kill him (verses a theory where he was contaminated by nuclear contraband and ingested some of the contamination). Another person claiming it was Putin wrongly fingered the two Russians Litvinenko met with late in the afternoon – well after he was contaminated:

Oleg Gordievsky, the most senior KGB agent to defect to the West, said the use of such a rare substance as polonium-210 indicated that Russian intelligence agencies had to be involved. “The KGB could make polonium and any radioactive material. They have a huge factory for making poison,” he said.

He said the media exposure that Litvinenko’s anti-Putin friends got as the former spy died a slow and painful death instead of being killed quickly was testimony to the bungling abilities of the FSB, and not a sign that the poisoning was engineered by Putin’s opponents.

“It’s a disaster,” he said. “Now the world has a picture of Russia. They know Russia is a country of troglodytes. Now no one wants anything to do with Russia.”

He accused the two Russians whom Litvinenko met at the London hotel of slipping the poison into his tea.

These naive claims which do not even fit the basic facts tell me there is an organized effort by dissidents outside Russia to try and tar Putin. Too bad they aren’t smart enough to think up better conspiracy theories.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Litvinenko Fingers Scaramella AND Putin”

  1. Lizarde1 says:

    Great blog. One question: where’s the rest of the polonium the perp brought into England? I agree that Putin, though he may be a less than upstanding leader, did not order this “hit”. I am however worried along with another poster here that this has wider implications in the WOT. Liz

  2. AJStrata says:

    Thanks Lizarde (been watching your postings at Free Republic). That is my worry too – where is the source of the contamination. This may just be echo of a small portion of contraband Polonium. I want to see if they detect Berrylium (sp?) as well – since the combination of the two is found in early nuclear bomb triggers.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    Just a couple of thoughts.

    The isotope in question here is of relatively short half life and rare in nature.

    First in reality you have to find where the stuff is, mine it, refine it and then you still only have what is a dud on your hands because by virtue of time it has decayed to a stable state. It’s only usefulness is that it is one of many choices of elements than can be used after irradiation in a nuclear reactor to breed the isotopic transforms that enable it to be a trigger at all. Even if you have all the other components to put together a working nuclear device, due to the short half life the trigger would have to be recycled back to the reactor periodically to be refreshed with non natural isotope buildup.

    Since only small amounts are needed for most builders they would look to alternatives that are more readily available rather than an optimized rare element that may only be required for miniaturization or size reduction of a weapon to enable say for example missle packages.

    Due to it’s short half life and being an alpha emitter, it is therefore not a good candidate for a dirty bomb. Once decon teams identified the isotope of concern they could say, well just cordon off the area for 6 months and the problem will go away.

    Also small time wannabe nuke powers don’t really have the leverage that some wish to attach to them. Yes worst case condition, Iran could plunk one or two down on Israel and do major damage if they have a functional weapon, but it surely would not be an optimized one. For the same money they could shower the area with conventional weapons. But even Iran would have to realize if such an attack were undertaken they would be on the receiving end of more nukes then they could ever hope to produce with even more destruction than they were able to accomplish.

    Even a nuke has a blast radius. Yes fallout can travel beyond that area, but still you can’t take out a whole country with nuclear weapons unless you have a lot of them.

    As some have talked about recently, the bigger threat is for example to Europe where immigration on large scale has allowed the construction of a virtual population bomb. All you need to do is wait and you can change the landscape without firing a shot. Just let the demographics work their magic.

  4. AJStrata says:


    You can create it in quantity quickly in particle accerators and reactors. You can bombard one of its neighbor elements (199 I think) and cause it to transform into Polonium 120. You can also derive it from Radium ore.

  5. Ken says:

    Congrata, AJ–you and Buchanan are on the same trajectory
    here, the correct one.