Monday, December 04, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser

Alexander Litvenenko lived a strange and dangerous life as an investigator for FSB and died even more strangely of radiation poisoning, an as yet unsolved murder in Britain. He had investigated the attempted assasination of post-Soviet oligarch Boris Berezovsky and organized crime. He had, while in Russia, accused the agency of being used for criminal purposes. Lately in England he had been investigating the assasination of journalist journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a critic of Putin.

In October of 2000 after fleeing Russia he attempted to get help from the US embassy in Ankera, Turkey and nobody wanted to deal with the renegade FSB colonel. At about this point in time there was heightened law enforcement interest in the Russian Mafia. After he received official asylum in Britain the French, British, and Americans were apparently disinterested. It seems curious nobody cared.

It seems difficult to question the current Russian slide into authoritarianism or the bad effects of Russian organized crime internationally and yet nobody seemed very interested in Litvenenko. It is true that by now his hands on information was aged and it is certainly possible that he was not the stellar example of whistle-blower integrity, but that has not been publicly or authoritatively asserted. What is known are that radiation traces of the poison are all over the place, that it is increasingly dangerous to be a critic of the Russian government, and that Russia is looking like much less of a friend to the US, despite GWB having looked into Putin's eyes. I can't connect the dots, but Alice sure had it right, "Curiouser and curiouser."

2 comments:

Zak J. said...

Not that poisoning is my bag, but I would offer this tip to whoever did it: if you're going to bump somebody off, especially somebody whose death will attract a competent autopsy, do it with something he could have gotten anywhere--peanut concentrate, botulism, ebola, raw sewage, whatever. But don't use a radioactive isotope that is rigidly controlled and can only be had in a few places on earth. If this FSB did do this, it was damn incompetent.

Chuck Butcher said...

Like I said, curiouser and curiouser...