Jan 22 2007

Believing The Unbelievable

See Scaramella addendum at end

Folks are making a lot out of the fact Mario Scaramella, a documented con man who has a history of making up stories as fact, claims he knows something about the location of the Po-210 spill in the Itsu sushi restaurant. The same restaurant where he and Litvinenko met on Nov 1, when the 3rd known ‘consignment’ (as authorities once called the smuggling shipment of Po-210 through London) and where Litvinenko and Kovtun and Lugovoi supposedly met Litvinenko on Oct 16th, when the first consignment shows up on the Po-210 trail. If people need to rely on a lying conman to support the assassination theory so be it. Just don’t expect everyone to do so.

But was really interesting this week is what the news media did not report on. Another Russian exile (this time a KGB spy who defected to the UK and worked for MI6), Gordievsky, claimed he knew (again) who killed Litvinenko. Another friend of Litvinenko (and therefore Berezovsky) claims he knows what police know. He says it is some mystery man caught on airport cameras flying with Kovtun to London on Nov 1 from Hamburg. The news of the companion on the flight is not new. But what is interesting is Gordievsky was sure the man with the poisoned tea was Lugovoi. And he was sure of this BEFORE Litvinenko died and tea cups and contaminated hotel rooms and bars and restaurants and planes and offices and homes and Moscow embassies were all found by police.

Here is Gordievsky in an interview prior to Nov 20th (the date of the article), which is 3 days before Litvinenko dies, and around the time Berezovsky mobilizes his PR army to snap media pictures of Litvinenko and get Goldfarb from New York to be spokesman (and get a deathbed accusation). Note the description of the man Gordviesky accuses with the known details out only this past week:

Gordievsky, a former KGB station head in London, who still refers to the FSB by its former name, insisted that he did not know the identity of the Russian would-be killer. But he assumed that the man was a former associate of Boris Berezovsky, the former oligarch and Yeltsin confidant, who has been granted political asylum in Britain.

“He used to be in Berezovsky’s entourage and was imprisoned in Moscow. Then suddenly he was released, and soon after that he became a businessman and a millionaire. It is all very suspicious. But the KGB has recruited agents in prisons and camps since the 1930s. That is how they work.”

The man came to London, posing as a businessman and a friend. He met Litvinenko at a hotel and put poison in his tea. That was before Litvinenko had lunch at a Japanese restaurant with the Italian he knew as Mario, who had arranged to meet him because he said he had information about the murder of Politkovskaya, a close friend.

Now by this time it is possible the police had done their interview of Litvinenko and these are the details that they had at this early time. And I guess it is possible Gordievsky learned these from police. But more likely the cabal around Litvinenko, hoping to distract from the Po-210 smuggling he seemed to be connected with, were the ones who had solidified a grand story of state assassination. The interesting thing is here, at this time, the description of the killer is of Andrei Lugovoi. He was the millionaire who used to be Berezovsky’s body guard. He was the one jailed for a time for trying to help oligarchs escape Russia. Gordievsky knew the name, but he was not saying. He probably was sending a message to Lugovoi to keep quiet. It was definitely NOT of a Chechen looking man who flew in with Kovtun. That story came out AFTER the police leaked news of the man being seen on camera. Was any of this real?

But he knew about the tea cup and the hotel meeting. How could he be so accurate on the method and not have the person right? If these people were sharp and knew they risked being exposed, they would concoct a ctory that would try and explain the evidence.

The problem with the assassination story is the tea cup itself, it could not have been the vessel for killing Litvinenko and have the Po-210 signs it seems to have. The deadly Litvinenko dose was 10 millionths of a gram of Po-210. Not enough to even warm the tea, let alone leave scarring indications of Po-210 weeks later after washing and possible repeated use. This little amount in the tea would have washed away and left little sign of Po-210. And if disolved in the tea only the Po-210 floating in the liquid a few centimeters from the surface of the cup would interact with the surface.

But that is not what the tea cup shows apparently. We do not have details but we do have simple science and logic. The amount of Po-210 that would not harm you on your hand and could be washed away is not going to leave a long lasting signature, with embedded Po-210, in porcelain. The amount of Po-210 that would leave a signature on porcelain and embed enough material to contaminate a dishwasher, kitchen and kitchen staff would have killed Litvinenko 100-1000 times over. The tea cup is the mistake Litvinenko’s “friends” made in trying to cover up their culpability in all this. They knew a tea cup was used to hold Po-210 in a room in the Millenium Hotel. This was reported by Gordievsky BEFORE Litvinenko died. The same room where Po-210 was dropped and then cleaned up – most likely held in a tea cup until another container could be found. The room in question shows the spot of the spill and the Po-210 on lightswitch, from the hand that picked up the dropped Po-210.

These people had to make up some alibi about why a tea cup had been contaminated, so they claimed it had been the vessel for the poison. But it could not be, it is too contaminated compared to the dose reportedly found in Litvinenko. So they had knowledge of where the Po-210 was going to be found – intimate knowledge. Knowledge from inside the room itself at the time of key events. But their story doesn’t fit the science. Their attempt to explain the hot tea cup failed to understand the different amounts needed to scar porcelain (a gram or so) and kill a person (50 billionths of a gram). It is because these measures are hard for humans to grasp that they made their mistake and exposed their knowledge of what happened in the room. Berezovsky actually blew it by bringing in a PR firm, which specializes in creating fantasy, instead of scientists. He supposedly was one himself – but he too forgot to that the impact of a gram of Po-210 would not look anything like the impact of millionths of a gram. And what about this brand new story coming out (again) to fit the latest revelations by police? One has to wonder if the police have any suspect flying with Kovtun into London from Hamburg, or if this was a test of loyalty and honesty.

Addendum:: I just wanted to add a note about Scaramella’s recent claim that the Po-210 detected at the Itsu sushi restaurant was possibly not detected where he and Litvinenko met on November 1st. He claimed on the BBC’s Panorama show last night the Po-210 was probably located where Litvinenko met with Lugovoi and Kovtun on Oct 16th. This is one of those dumb efforts by a known con man to try and distance himself from scrutiny, to only end up to drawing a lot more attention to himself instead. If Scaramella did not get his own Po-210 poisoning from Litvinenko during that Nov 1 meeting, then he must have been physically present with the material at some other time.

Here is why. Scaramella has the 4th largest internal dose of Po-210 of anyone reported yet. Top of the list is Litvinenko with be 2-10 millionths of a gram (depending on which report you read). That is 50-200 times the theorical lethal dose of 50 billionths of a gram. One thing to remember in all of this is a lethal dose may not be quickly fatal. Litvinenko died after three weeks of his last exposure. A lethal dose could still allow someone to live on for months or years before the damage finally takes its victim. So we must remember a fatal dose does not equate to immediate death (just like a fatal cancer may not kill for months or years).

Second on the list is Kovtun. I believe he too has a fatal dose, just not one which will kill him as fast as it did Litvinenko (obviously, since Kovtun is apparently still alive). Third on the list is Lugovoi and fourth was Scaramella who possibly had a dosage five times what the lethal dose is currently believed to be.

So instead of 50 billionths of a gram he got up to 250 billionths. Five times a small number is still a smal number. What everyone has to understand is this case will redefine what a lethal dose is and how fast that lethality will take its victim. The fifth on the list is Marina LKitvinenko, who is clearly not considered at risk. Just below her, on the same tier, are the 13 people contaminated at the Pine Bar. Marina and her 13 fellow victims where poisoned with non-lethal amounts. They all seem to have come into secondary contact with the Po-210, not a primary exposure.

Clearly Litvinenko, Kovtun and Lugovoi got their doses from being in the room with the spill (who wants to lay odds the contaminated lightswitch has a Po-210 laced fingerprint?). Someone touched the Po-210 and transferred it to the lightswitch. My bet is it was Litvinenko or Kovtun. But Po-210 is an excitable material and atoms start flying aruond rooms when it is exposed to the room. The closer to the material the more Po-210 you will inhale or ingest (or both). This is the three Russians are the most poisoned – they were at ground zero.

So if Scaramella did not get contaminated at the Itsu sushi restaurant – how is it he has a dosage comparible to the three top victims of contamination? Scaramella should have kept his mouth shut – or the reporting on this story is so bad no one knows what is going on with the investigation.

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Believing The Unbelievable”

  1. Carol_Herman says:

    I don’t think the “case is closed.”

    I think the “teacup” could be a MacGuffin. And, I think the dishwasher could have been used to destroy evidence. Washed away. But leaving a lot of hotel staff exposed to danger.

    “Putin did it?” More interesting, would be learning whose brain came up with this idea in the first place? Was it sold to the Saudis? Inside their tent? You’d never know who could get that close. But I’d bet good intelligence gathering agencies have eyes and ears. And, those people, so well imbedded, are kept secret. They never turn up at Langley, for instance. Or at Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv. And, their work is NEVER acknowledged. Especially if they’re successful.

    But, fer shur. Scaramella “heard” of something. And, after he contacted the “russian fella’s,” it was part of Litvinenko’s day job to meet and greet him. Seems the smuggling ring … for surely this is now obvious enough … had no trouble operating out in the open.

    “Out in the open.” Going into hotel rooms. And, even checking in under their own names. Using rooms, not for sex, but for “discussion.” What else?

    Marina, Marina. Oswald’s wife was also named Marina. And, she and her kids by Oswald were not forced to “go back and live in russia.”

    Don’t you need pretty good connections, not to get deported?

  2. Carol_Herman says:

    More on “The Italian Connection” up at Lucianne:

    Prodi slams BBC, ITV over spy claim
    Reuters, by Robin Pomeroy Original Article
    Posted By: Photoonist – 1/23/2007 2:58:15 PM Post Reply
    Istanbul – Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on Tuesday rejected British TV allegations that he had had links to the Soviet KGB and his spokesman said Britain’s two biggest television channels had fallen victim to ”news piracy”. Both the BBC and ITV broadcast programmes on Monday showing video footage of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian state security former operative who was murdered by radiation in London in November, making the claim against Prodi.

  3. Carol_Herman says:

    Prodi slams BBC, ITV over spy claim
    Reuters, by Robin Pomeroy Original Article
    Posted By: Photoonist – 1/23/2007 2:58:15 PM Post Reply
    Istanbul – Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on Tuesday rejected British TV allegations that he had had links to the Soviet KGB and his spokesman said Britain’s two biggest television channels had fallen victim to ”news piracy”. Both the BBC and ITV broadcast programmes on Monday showing video footage of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian state security former operative who was murdered by radiation in London in November, making the claim against Prodi.

  4. copydude says:

    Well spotted Carol.

    We already know that Gordievsky – MI6 – was in on the briefing to the British UKIP party, whose Gerald Batten raised the smear in the European Parliament.

    The Panorama programme makes a connection between the timing of Litvinenko’s death and the smear. It also whitewashes Scaramella of all people. Odd.

    Or maybe not, if you consider that Tony Blair is one of Berlusconi’s big friends . . .

    MI6 is into big-time dirty tricks here, without a doubt.