Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Death Of Alexander Litvinenko, Continued - Weirder And Weirder

Radiation has now been found at 12 different London locations, and two British Airways planes have been grounded at Heathrow Airport after traces of radiation were detected.
As Tim Worstall put it, 'Unless someone started stuffing the polonium 210 into your tea, you'd have got more radiation from simply being on a plane at 30,000 feet than anything else.'
But what we do have now is a health scare; confusion; possibly alarm.
Possibly someone trying to panic the public.
Meanwhile, Yegor Gaidar has been taken ill in Dublin, and David Frum has already started with the insinuations and conspiracy theories.
Except in Gaidar's case, they don't seem to wash...
Call me an appeaser if you like, but I don't feel bullied by Russia- I just want the heating to come on.
"Now former Russian PM Gaidar, another Putin foe, is sick - possibly from some kind of poison. Polonium again? Has Putin launched a micro-nuclear war against his opposition?"
Actually, we now have an advance on $71.00 - according to Life Style Extra, there's a lab that will do you Polonium-210 for 69 bucks plus shipping and handling.
Oddly, its website seems to be down...
Here's another reason why the Russian state probably had nothing to do with Gaidar's illness.
After he got sick at his speaking engagement at Maynooth College, he went to the Russian Embassy in Dublin- and made it out alive.
Here's another reason - according to the Radio Free Europe report linked to directly above,
"Gaidar's daughter Maria told RFE/RL's Russian Service on November 29 that her father did not describe the illness to her as the result of a poisoning. She said that "such conclusions [that he was poisoned] can be drawn from conversation with witnesses, with people who saw him in Dublin [where he suddenly became ill], so such allegations are indeed being made. But I did not hear him make any such allegations." She added that "I am worried and concerned and would not rush to conclusions on this matter. I'm waiting for the medical report and then will be prepared to think about this subject."
So it isn't even clear whether he has been poisoned at all.
Never mind, Sully - if what's left of his hair starts falling out within 2-4 weeks of him getting sick, it's thallium poisoning.
Here's a poser...
According to MosNews,
"Anatoly Chubais, head of Russian power monopoly Unified Energy Systems of Russia doubts that the ailment affecting Russian economist and politician Yegor Gaidar was caused by natural factors...
Chubais said it couldn`t have been a natural disease. He also refuted the version that said Russian special services could be involved in Gaidar’s poisoning. “It is unquestionable for me that a mortal construction of Politkovskaya, Litvinenko and Gaidar, which did not come into being by miracle, would have been exceedingly attractive for supporters of unconstitutional scenarios envisioning a change of power in Russia by force,” Chubais noticed."
Anatoly who?
According to 'Oligarch' he's, well, an oligarch.
According to Wikipedia - well,
"Anatoly Borisovich Chubais... is a Russian politician best known for his role in Russian privatization and the creation of Russian oligarchs. Although the exact amount of his personal wealth (estimated according to rumors at one billion dollars) is not known, he is often considered to be an oligarch himself. The 2004 survey by Price-WaterhouseCoopers and Financial Times named him the world's 54th most respected business leader...
Chubais allegedly gained his personal mostly from non-salary sources through his participation at key executive positions in Yeltsin's government during the time of anarchy that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Chubais is primarily known for his role under Yegor Gaidar as the vice-premier of the Russian Government. Gaidar and Chubais were the principal "young reformers" associated with shock therapy, privatization, and the rise of the Russian oligarchs. Both Gaidar and Chubais are former members of the communist party, and Gaidar was the editor of CPSU journal "Communist". In 1992 under the guidance of Chubais the State Property Committee designed a privatization program, according to which the state property was supposed to be fairly distributed between the citizens. In actuality, ordinary citizens gained pieces of paper ("vouchers") worth of one bottle of vodka, whereas the people at key position in governing structures, their relatives and business associates obtained enormous amounts of wealth."
So without Gaidar and Chubais there would have been no Berezovsky.
Neat.
"From November 1994 through January 1996 he was First Vice-Premier — in charge of economy and finance — in the Government of Viktor Chernomyrdin. During this time, the creation of Russian oligarchs was finalized. Russian oligarchy was formed in late 1995 in the "loans-for-shares" program. In this scheme, a small group of individuals well-connected to government structures were handed valuable pieces of state property in return for cash "loans" (which in many cases were funded by the bank accounts of the state bank) that was cash which had previously gained been by the same people in the government-controlled privatization. One purpose of this operation was to help Boris Yeltsin's re-election...
Although there are rumors that Chubais benefited enormously from the loans-for-shares scheme, the exact amount of his profit is unknown. In 1997, when Chubais served as First Vice-Premier and Minister of Finance for the Russian Federation, it became known that businessman Alexander Smolensky gave Chubais an "interest-free loan" of $3 million around the time that Chubais arranged an auction for Russia's second largest banking network, AgroPromBank, which then went to Alexander Smolensky. Chubais was then implicated in the scandal for a fake book publishing advance from a company tied to Vladimir Potanin's Oneximbank — shortly before Oneximbank won the auction for Svyazinvest. Chubais was removed from the government after that scandal and named chairman of the board of UES, Russia's power generating monopoly. Best known quote from Chubais is "We swindled them" ("Мы их кинули"). Chubais said this when he explained how he managed to squeeze $40 billion in funds from the IMF and other international lending organizations, all of which ended up in the pockets of Yeltsin's circle...
Chubais is one of the most controversial figures in Russian politics as a result of his close involvement in the rigged Russian privatization during the 1990s. The general population tends to see him as a criminal who stole money using his government position, and he is widely hated. He has also been blamed by some for rising utility prices because of his position at UES. Chubais seems to have survived the 2005 Moscow blackout generally blamed on Mosenergo and UES. He also survived an attempt on his life that took place on his way to work in March 2005. Retired Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov was later jailed in connection with the attack, though he continually denied the charges. Despite the widespread allegations, Chubais has never been charged for bribery or corruption."
"Recently tabbed an "oligarch" by Yevgeny Kiselov after shoring up control of UES...After having been a great Kremlin intriguer, is now literally a major regional powerhouse, brokering control of regional industry through judicious turning on and off of energy subsidy faucet...If he ever runs for office, may use famous Calvin Trillin campaign slogan: "Never been indicted"...Snake-charmed entire Western press corps with brandishment of laptop computer...Speaks English; has been spotted in limo outside Night Flight...Destined to work as cafeteria manager in hell, where jello will be on the menu but never on the shelves."
All in all, Chubais sounds like quite an interesting fellow - however, the one comment that jumps right off the page concerning Gaidar's incapacity is,
"It is unquestionable for me that a mortal construction of Politkovskaya, Litvinenko and Gaidar, which did not come into being by miracle, would have been exceedingly attractive for supporters of unconstitutional scenarios envisioning a change of power in Russia by force” .
For the avoidance of doubt, in January 2006 Boris Berezovsky was quoted by Agence France Presse as saying that,
"President Putin violates the constitution... and any violent action on the opposition's part is justified today...That includes taking power by force, which is exactly what I am working on".
On November 21 I wrote,
"At the moment, all cards seem to be on the table. It might be the case that Litvinenko's past as an investigator caught up with him. It might be the case that the Russian state wants him dead.

But given the possible gravity of this situation's international implications, the idea that we are seeing the most dangerous case of wasting police time in English legal history being played out before our eyes cannot be discounted."
On November 22 I wrote,

At the very least his asylum status should be reviewed.

And one must ask - given their closeness to Berezovsky, have Goldfarb, who appears to be an American citizen, Litvinenko, now a British citizen, and Zakayev, like Berezovsky a recipient of the United Kingdom's asylum, all been aware of and perhaps involved in his parapolitical plans?"
On November 28 I asked,
"Upon what 'unrelated matter' could Litvinenko, a relatively unimportant Russian dissident, British citizen and associate (and tenant) of a man who's made clear his desire to bring down a friendly foreign power's democratically elected government by force, have possibly been visiting the offices of the company that won a $100 million contract to guard Iraq's oilfields?And which hires Russians?
One is certain it couldn't be on account of anything which might contravene the strict code of ethics to which Erinys adheres."
"Poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko probably died from a type of leukaemia caused by radioactive polonium, a coroner heard today (Thu).
It also emerged the family of the former KGB colonel have asked for their own pathologist to be present at the autopsy tomorrow, when the precise cause of death should become known.
The inquest into the death was formally opened this morning at St Pancras Coroner's Court, attended by the dissident's friend Alex Goldfarb and lawyers representing Mr Litvinenko's widow, Marina...
Coroner Dr Andrew Reid heard Mr Litvinenko, 43, of Muswell Hill, North London, whose occupation was given as 'journalist', died at University College Hospital on November 23.
Coroner's Officer Alan Pearce told the court how the hospital had first been in touch with him shortly before Mr Litvinenko died, saying he was suffering from either "anaplastic leukaemia or pancytic leukaemia".
Mr Pearce added: "Sadly he subsequently died later that day on November 23."
He continued: "The preliminary cause of death has been supplemented by further investigations. It now appears that Mr Litvinenko was exposed to a radioactive substance known as polonium 210."
This matter is still the subject of police investigation. The level of polonium at this stage appears to have come from a source other than a naturally occurring source and the police are investigating the further circumstances by which Mr Litvinenko was exposed to or was administered this substance, and by whom."
I have received an indication that, subject to these investigations, someone may be charged with a homicide in relation to this death.
"We are still waiting for further investigations, including an autopsy to determine the precise cause of death."
Dr Reid said: "On that basis I have instructed a Home Office pathologist to perform an autopsy on my behalf at the Royal London Hospital's forensic facility tomorrow morning (Fri)."On the basis that someone may be charged with a criminal offence in this matter, and in accordance with Home Office guidelines, it was agreed that an independent pathologist will be present and will provide an independent opinion, should anyone ever be charged."
One awaits the autopsy's outcome with interest.

Order In Court

is now up on The Devil's Kitchen.

A Request To Russian Speaking Readers

Could someone please e-mail me the gist of what this piece says?
I'm getting traffic from Russia, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Libya from it.

International Recruitment Companies And Migration

The famous 'Broadening Our Horizons' conference held by Scotland's Haughty Immigration Tsars' was sponsored by Hudson - an international recruitment company.
The idea that a business whose business is moving people across borders would have any vested commercial interest to serve by promoting migration's 'benefits' is, of course, ridiculous.
However, during the course of researching yesterday's post 'Pray Or Pay' I came across the thoughts of a gentleman named Albert Ellis.
"Mr Brown warned against "the threat of protectionism" and insisted that overall the UK stood to gain from globalisation, "not just because we are among the most stable economies in the world but because we are the most open economy".

Moreover, Britain's "openness extends to embracing new ideas, and new influences".
A stark example of how such openness can help fuel economic growth was provided by a survey published at the CBI conference, which found that skilled migrant workers accounted for 5% of the UK's gross domestic product (GDP).

"The UK is now so heavily dependent on its migrants, that dispensing with them would cost the UK the equivalent of 100 new hospitals and more than 500 new schools, or approximately £54bn," the Harvey Nash/Centre for Economic and Business Research survey said.

"Economic migration has many detractors, but clearly what we are seeing here is unquestionably positive and beneficial to the UK," said Albert Ellis, chief executive, Harvey Nash. "
The Centre for Economic and Business Research is not a think tank, but a private consultancy. It's a business, so presumably it's in business for the purpose of making a profit.
One does not wish to be considered as impugning its staff's professional integrity, the quality of its research or the methods it uses to analyse data in any way whatsoever; however Douglas McWilliams, its CEO, is on the record both on UKIP's website and The Daily Express as having punted Mervyn King's old line from June 2005, that migration has kept down wage inflation, as recently as August 2006.
By just how much it might have kept down wage inflation is now clearly visible.
By just how little it might have helped keep overall inflation down is also now clearly visible.
McWilliams is also on the record as predicting that 'in the global labor market a combination of population growth and spreading literacy will expand the world’s labor force from 600 million, at present, to about 4,000 million in 25 years, with real hourly labor costs in Europe declining by over 1% per year over the same period' - in other words, the global labour arbitrage red in tooth and claw.
PR Newswire's report on the Harvey Nash/CEBR report said,
"New research by professional services and outsourcing company, Harvey Nash, highlights how the UK would lose GBP54.3 billion a year without the assistance of professional and managerial workers from overseas.

The study, conducted jointly with economic think-tank, the Centre for Economic and Business Research and published at this years' CBI Conference, clearly shows that the UK is now heavily dependent on its migrants to the tune of GBP54.3 billion - the figure attributed directly to them in terms of additional value added to the economy. The benefits of inward migration extend not only to plugging skills gaps, but also by the value added by migrants spending their cash in the UK on consumer items - known as the "multiplier effect"...
Albert Ellis, Chief Executive of Harvey Nash said:

"The sheer size of the contribution foreign skilled workers make to the UK economy in purely financial terms is quite unexpected. The UK benefits from migration by more than GBP50 billion each year, a figure expected to grow in the years ahead. Economic migration has many detractors, but clearly what we are seeing here is unquestionably positive and beneficial to the UK as a whole. In fact, the UK could not do without its influx of economic migrants."

He continued, "This trend is positive in so many ways - migrants employed by UK businesses are mainly in the Technology and Financial Services sectors. The skills and knowledge they bring are crucial in driving growth and in many cases innovation in some of our most successful companies. Secondly, migrants indirectly support around 200,000 other jobs by spending their wages in the UK, creating further "multiplier" effects."

"In general, several sectors - the NHS for example - would cease to operate effectively without the help of migrant workers. The NHS takes many thousands of migrants as workers - over 30% of NHS nursing roles are held by recent migrants to the UK. So the effect we are seeing is not a temporary blip - the UK is vastly dependent on its migrants to sustain its steady economic growth and will be for the foreseeable future".

A summary of the research report can be found at www.harveynash.com or at www.cbi.org.uk"
And Albert Ellis has a blog.
I do try to look for these things, but I can't find summary of the research on Harvey Nash's website. However, I did find the thoughts of Albert Ellis -
"...the good news is that the UK is attracting great professional and managerial talent from around the world. As new Harvey Nash/CEBR research reveals, this highly skilled migrant talent in 2005 accounted for an additional 5% of GDP…thats nearly £55 billion! And this is not Polish plumbers or Bulgarian waiters….it’s £55 billion of value generated by highly skilled professional migrant talent."
If anyone finds it there, please let me know, with my apologies to Harvey Nash.
Both sentiments also apply to the CBI - I can't find the summary there either.
In any event, PR Newswire carries 'Key Points of the Research' -
"Current highly-skilled migrants
- There were 636,000 Professional and managerial migrants in the UK in 2005. In 1995, there were 380,000, meaning an increase of 256,000 or 25,500 per year
- Professional and skilled migrant workers represent 2.4% of the UK's labour force
- Over 40% of economic migrants reside in London, contributing GBP13.3 bn to London's economy
- The majority (36.1%) of professional and managerial migrants work in education/health and local/national government sectors
- 2005 saw 36,000 migrants arrive - a 6.1% rise on 2004, with the majority of highly-skilled migrants coming from the EU and EU accession states. Other significant flows came from Asia (9,100) and North America (4,500)
- Migrants produced GBP32 billion worth of output in 2005 or 3% of UK GVA.
- The IT, health and teaching professions were the largest occupation groups to arrive - IT and healthcare are the biggest - in 1995, 2142 software specialists came to the UK. In 2005, the figure increased to 20,900.
Regional Impact
- London is the biggest net receiver of migrants. In 2005, approximately 263,000 of migrants were working in London.
- The South-East is the second biggest absorber of migrants - 97,000 have been attracted to the South East/East of England.
- Schools, hospitals and public administration are the biggest occupational sectors in which migrants are employed
- Regions least affected by migrants are Wales, the North-East and Northern Ireland.
Indirect impact of skilled migrants
- Spending by skilled migrants supports 209,000 jobs in the UK or an extra GBP9.1 billion added to GDP.
- Economic migrants indirectly supported GBP22billion of the UK's output in 2005
- IT, telecommunications and related sectors are a close second, with service industries and financial services as the next biggest sector
- The biggest net contributors in terms of GVA are not in public administration ort healthcare - they are in IT and banking/financial services
Total economic Impact
- The total economic impact of skilled migrant workers in 2005 is estimated to be GBP54.3 billion or equivalent, 5% of domestic output (GVA/GDP)
- Output gains in the transport and communications sector benefits more than any other sector from highly- skilled migrants. They boosted this sector by just over GBP12 billion.
"
All of the arguments to counter such research are contained in 'A Restrictionist's Reply to John Bercow'.
Mentioning how much migrants add to the economy by way of spending is pointless without also mentioning how much they consume in terms of services; schools, healthcare, road usage, housing , etc.
That the majority work in 'education/health and local/national government sectors' is merely an expression of current political priorities, and thus subject to change. All it means is that migrants work in the public sector. Such references do nothing to enhance the economic case for migration per se.
The 'benefits' gained from migrants working in IT must be weighed against the 'losses' incurred as a result of their employment upon indigenous IT experts.
And it is pointless, utterly pointless, to quote migration as having an 'economic impact' of '5% of GDP', without referring to what gain in GDP per capita it might bring.
Harvey Nash is an international recruitment and outsourcing business - and it's against that background that this report really should be read.

Wal-Mart Conservatives

"Wal-Mart is a corporate citizen of the world no more loyal to the land in which it grew than La Raza and the other leftists on Wal-Mart’s dole. The Times fortuitously revealed that libertarians and “conservatives” applaud Wal-Mart’s bankrolling of the ideology that will ultimately destroy us. Most importantly, as with all business partnerships between the ideological and corporate elites, the rest of us have no say in the matter.

Wal-Mart is subsidizing the destruction of America. Libertarians and so-called conservatives support the endeavor. Some of us dare call that treason."
But we're all good 'globalists now', so the end of the world's greatest nation state doesn't matter when weighed against the 'right' of some people to buy their stuff cheaply.
After all the nation state is an outmoded, archaic notion.

Taken For A Ride

The BBC reports that,
"Taxi drivers in Wrexham will face tests of their English language skills, basic arithmetic and knowledge of the area.

Town councillors have backed proposals that anyone applying for a taxi licence must show a command of "basic" written and spoken English.

The move follows licence applications from people who do not speak English.

A growing number of immigrants live in Wrexham, including up to 10,000 Poles - many of whom moved after Poland joined the European Union in 2004.

The council said it was impossible to monitor exactly how many immigrants were in the area."
One might have thought a good idea would have been to put an advert in a local paper asking all migrants in the area to dial an 0800 freephone number between particular hours.
The report continues,
"...it is thought around a quarter of Polish immigrants entering Wales head for Wrexham and neighbouring Flintshire...
Wrexham Council said it had a duty to ensure it only issued taxi licences to "fit and proper" applicants.
It said a command of basic written and spoken English was essential for a driver to "safely and effectively discharge his duties".

A list of 100 questions have been drafted, including: "Where is Mecca Bingo?" and "On which road is Wrexham football ground?"

Applicants will be expected to answer 25 out of 30. "
Paying for Poles to be asked 'Where is Mecca bingo?' in Wrexham...such are the uses to which uncontrolled migration demands that British taxpayer funds be put...
Is there no end to this migration madness?
We have really been taken for a ride.

Some Thoughts On Police Funding

If the Chief Constable of North Wales says his service is short of funds and that he 'can't afford the staff that we've got', then it might be a good idea to ditch the idea of hiring a Polish-speaking officer.
I wonder how much he spends on interpreters - Dumfries & Galloway's interpretation costs have risen 9000% in four years -
"Police interpreter costs in Dumfries and Galloway are almost 90 times higher than they were four years ago.

A total of just £156 was spent on such services in 2002/03 but that rose to some £14,000 in 2005/06.
Police have attributed the rise to an increase in foreign nationals travelling between Northern Ireland and ports at Stranraer and Cairnryan...
Three officers attached to the UK Immigration Service have been stationed at the Police Operational Support Unit at Stranraer..
The spokesman said a large number of the people traced were either failed asylum seekers or people using false documentation. "
Migrants? Without whom the economy would collapse because the British are so lazy and stupid that they can't tie their shoelaces without a foreigner's help? Using false documentation?
Never!

Our Chinese Friends, Who Are Helping Us All Get Rich

They shoot Christians, you know.

Even the slightly odd ones.

'Where Economists Agree'...

the people suffer.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Death Of Alexander Litvinenko, Continued - Part I: Justin Raimondo Has Turned Into Elmer Fudd

Time for a little spleen-venting. A little score-settling.
A little bile.
Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that, although people of great integrity such as Pat Buchanan and Paul Craig Roberts appear on Antiwar.com, its editorial director Justin Raimondo is an individual of low, or no, integrity.
Two things have led me to this conclusion.
It might be a function of my condition - but I can't seem to stop jumping in where I don't have to when I see either point blank lies being told or what I perceive to be concerted propaganda efforts being hoisted on the public.
That was what annoyed me so much about the BBC's propaganda efforts to prevent the deportation of Sakchai Makao.
That is what has annoyed me so much about the death of Alexander Litvinenko.
I didn't know the guy, had never spoken to him - but they were lying about him, and that could not be tolerated.
And these lies had to be addressed not once, but three times.
My thanks for this was - a link.
An e-mail from Raimondo saying 'Thanks for taking otherwise productive time out your life to defend my reputation, Martin', would have been nice - but I guess he's a busy man.
That's the first reason - the second is, well, financial.
Between February 24 2005 and March 14 2006, Antiwar published five original articles of mine (read them now, because after this post they might not be there for long), entitled 'The Gonzocons Live On', 'The High Priest of Empire', 'The Gonzocon Terror Lie', 'Gonzocons Erase History' and 'A Requiem for Gonzoconservatism'.
Shane Cory's payment policy at 'The Washington Dispatch' was quite straightforward - he didn't. That was made clear at the outset, and one was happy to give him copy on that basis.
That was a nice gig. I miss it.
VDare pays, and after it published 'Ireland: Though All The World (Specifically, The Irish PM) Betray Thee' I received a cheque for $100 very promptly afterwards. This became £44.00 after the exchange rate and bank handling charges did their worst, but that's not Peter Brimelow's fault. Peter's a man of his word, and I can say with hand on heart that I've seen the colour of his money.
I cannot say the same of Justin Raimondo.
Antiwar's article submission guidelines make no mention of it having a 'no payment' policy. If they don't pay, then they should at least say so. In the absence of such a statement, one is entitled to believe that one will be paid for work submitted.
I have never received an enquiry from them as to where payment should be sent. I have not been paid for any of these articles.
Of course, I am the sucker here. To be suckered once is bad enough, but five times - folks, I might have been a lawyer and write about economics but I am no businessman.
Nobody gets into blogging or Internet commentary for the money, for sure, but I've got better things to do with my time than write adverts for bubblewrap.
This blog's early posts are scarred with a white box at the top of the page - that was where the Google Ads public service box appeared in the interval between telling them to take it down after they rejected me and my working out how to remove its HTML code manually.
But one's experience with 'Antiwar' means that if anyone were to ask me 'Should I submit to Antiwar?' I would reply 'No, because Raimondo's not good at showing his cash'. He is the editorial director - this is a matter under his control.
It's not just that they published five original articles - they also linked to four 'Washington Dispatch' pieces, 'Faster, Neocons! Kill! Kill!', 'The Blue Bolsheviks', 'The Sons of the Desert Gather Flowers of the Forest' and 'The Fever of Revolution'. Presumably they paid nothing in order to link to those pieces - which means I was providing content not only to 'The Washington Dispatch' but also 'Antiwar' for free.
They were written for TWD readers, not to be vampirised by Antiwar.
Notwithstanding all this, I sent them a very short piece less than two weeks ago, during their fundraising drive, suggesting 'Six Good Reasons to Donate to Antiwar'.
I will admit to an element of pique at none of the links I have submitted to them in relation to the Litvinenko case having been used- but I think I know why they might have sat on the shelf.
I have committed the cardinal sin of criticising Justin Raimondo.
One of Antiwar's great hooks is 'Liars don't link' - and in a critique of the version he told of his Moroccan, ahem, associate's story I wrote,
"However, I'm not altogether sure how verifiable Justin's comment about how the Spanish 'shoot illegal immigrants as they clamber onshore from rickety barges' might be; and very unusually for him, the reference is not supported by a hyperlink."
However, that Raimondo is, in my experience, a graceless tightwad (and hysteric) should not obscure the fact that he set the standard for Internet journalism with his investigation into the alleged poisoning of Victor Yushchenko.
Which is why his effusions on the Litvinenko case show him to be turning into Elmer Fudd.
This one deals with reporting faults covered two days earlier.
But the most Fuddish of all his Litvinenko pieces is today's.
We get to Erinys -
"However, the visit to Erinys/Titon International is a bit harder to explain away as a mundane event.

The dictionary defines Erinys as "an avenging deity; one of the Furies; sometimes, conscience personified," and doesn't that send a bit of a chill down the spine? Alarm bells ought to be going off, at this point, as we learn that Erinys has its roots in the South African apartheid regime's intelligence apparatus, and, in its present incarnation, has links to Ahmed "Hero in Error" Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.

Erinys secured a contract from the Coalition Provisional Authority worth $80 million to protect Iraq's oil infrastructure, and you can see what a good job they've been doing. While this may not be a bargain for American taxpayers, it is a good deal for the INC, practically a guarantee of permanent employment for Chalabi's gang. Erinys employs their top people as legal counsel and uses Chalabi's militia for the strong-arm stuff: 14,000 strong. And you thought the U.S. subsidy to Chalabi & Co. had ended!

Titon International, headed by the same CEO, is variously identified as a "private investigator," and also an agency engaged in "confidential" "computer forensic investigation," whatever that is: their Web site describes them as

"An independent Business Intelligence Company providing a wide range of bespoke security and intelligence services to the commercial world both in the UK and Overseas. All Titon services are necessarily discreet and precisely tailored to the client's requirement – client confidentiality is of paramount importance to us and is always guaranteed."

Titon's graphic symbol, prominently displayed on their Web site, is an iceberg floating in the sea, with the great mass of it underwater and only a few icy peaks jutting through the surface.
We are told that the occasion of Litvinenko's visit to the building housing Erinys and Titon International was to see "a friend," but one wonders if it really was just a social call. Given the short time it took for Litvinenko's poisoning symptoms to manifest themselves, one also wonders just when this visit was made. On the day he was effectively killed, Litvinenko paid a visit to the world headquarters of a major mercenary operation; while this could be a coincidence, somehow I don't think so".
"Upon what 'unrelated matter' could Litvinenko, a relatively unimportant Russian dissident, British citizen and associate (and tenant) of a man who's made clear his desire to bring down a friendly foreign power's democratically elected government by force, have possibly been visiting the offices of the company that won a $100 million contract to guard Iraq's oilfields?
One is certain it couldn't be on account of anything which might contravenes the strict code of ethics to which Erinys adheres."
Indeed.

At the very least his asylum status should be reviewed.

And one must ask - given their closeness to Berezovsky, have Goldfarb, who appears to be an American citizen, Litvinenko, now a British citizen, and Zakayev, like Berezovsky a recipient of the United Kingdom's asylum, all been aware of and perhaps involved in his parapolitical plans?"
As far as Litvinenko's concerned, it looks like we'll never know.
And as far as Justin Raimondo's concerned, maybe Anthony Gancarski had a point.

The Darker Side of Poland

Hmmm -

"Racist groups in Poland are forging links with Neo-Nazis in the UK, a race relations conference has been told.

Immigration and high unemployment had led to an upsurge in racist activity in Poland, said Dr Krystyna Bleszynska, of Warsaw University...
Neo-Nazi groups are outlawed in Poland, as they are in many European countries, but there has been growing concern about skinhead activity linked to football hooliganism.

In July, Polish police working with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down a neo-Nazi website and charged a man suspected of running it...
The website published details of people on its hate list - such as left-wing activists, homosexuals and members of ethnic minorities, police said.

It was operated by the Polish wing of Blood and Honour, an international group which originated in the UK. The site used a US-based server.

Asked about Polish attitudes to migration at a Commission for Racial Equality conference in central London, Dr Bleszynska said Poland was a "cosmopolitan" and "multi-ethnic" society with a strong sense of social justice.

But there were also nationalists on both the right and left who had racist views.

"In Poland, we have certain legal and illegal organisations acting against immigrants on the basis of racism and that's really very sad," Dr Bleszynska told the Commission for Racial Equality conference in central London...
Average unemployment was 16% but it was 25% among young people and immigrants were sometimes seen as "people who will take Polish jobs".

Some Polish migrants in the UK, meanwhile, were being supported in their "unpleasant" behaviour by British nationalist and Neo-Nazi groups, said Dr Bleszynska, who is professor of multicultural education at Warsaw University...
Many Poles were highly qualified and found it easy to find work in the UK, Dr Bleszynska said.
But others, who were less well-educated, sometimes found it difficult to find jobs and were not accustomed to the multiracial nature of British society.

In particular, they found it difficult to understand "positive discrimination," which they viewed simply as "negative discrimination".

In areas such as Ealing, in West London, Polish "ghettos" were forming, Dr Bleszynska claimed, with some young Poles unable to find work but also unable to return home.

"They are ashamed to come back to tell their friends and family, I am sorry I was not successful," she said.

They sometimes faced "very unpleasant behaviour" when competing for jobs with British people, she said, but their behaviour in response was "also not pleasant".

And they were being "supported by British nationalists and Nazi groups," she added.

About 600,000 people have come to work in the UK from eight nations which joined the European Union in 2004, according to official figures, with the majority, about 447,000, coming from Poland. "
Not really the sort of attitudes one wishes to import en masse, one might have thought.
Hat tip - Adam Lawson.

Peter Hitchens On Russia

Food for thought -

"The trouble with the West in this period is that we were obsessed with 'democracy', the mechanism of elections. What we should have tried to bring to Russia is that much more valuable thing, the Rule of Law. But you cannot just proclaim the rule of law, as we ceaselessly proclaim 'democracy in Ukraine. Iraq and all the other places we gleefully interfere in.
It is much more difficult to establish. I learned this if nothing else, from those strange days in Moscow, that law and liberty are the things most worth saving, and that democracy is mainly gaudy wrapping paper. After all, Putin's Russia still has elections. and we can all pretend, if we want to, that it is democratic."

Kirk Elder On Jack McConnell (Again)

A classic from Scotland's Thurber -
"Incidentally, on watching Reporting Scotland, I couldn't help noticing two things. Firstly, the Senior Retainer, Mr McConnell, has developed a new style of public address, with a poetic metre somewhere between that of the Prime Minister and a speak-your-weight machine. He talks as. If he is. Receiving Messages From. The Littlegreenmen In His. Invisible Earpiece.
It is very disturbing.
Secondly, the report on the St Andrew's Day holiday was delivered by a Mr John Knox. A small comfort."

Thoughts For The Day

Scott Adams -

"What one simple problem could you eliminate – let’s say using magic – that would fix virtually every other problem in the world?

You might say that poverty is the biggest single problem. There’s a good argument for that. But I’m reasonably sure that if everyone on the planet suddenly became a billionaire we’d still be fighting over who has the best God. And before long a copy of Windows would cost a billion dollars and Bill Gates would have all the money back. That magical fix wouldn’t last."

Filed Under 'Couldn't Care Less'

Did the BBC think there was any particular reason why its licence-fee payers would be interested in the story of 'repatriated migrant' Alkaly Sarr?
His tough luck in being born in Senegal is precisely that - his tough luck.
He tried to enter Spain illegally, didn't make it and lived to tell the tale.
Case closed.

The Harmondsworth Job

Isn't it odd that there should be a riot at Harmondsworth Detention Centre the very day after the BBC reported that there were concerns about the facility?
And it hadn't made the news for two and a half years beforehand?

Pray Or Pay

Gordon Brown is not fit to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Yesterday, he expressed his deep hatred of this country; and, by extension, of its people.

According to 'The Guardian', Brown addressed the Confederation of British Industry thus -

"Mr Brown called on Britain to become "an evangelist for globalisation", arguing free trade, open markets and flexibility were the preconditions of success in the global economy.

"I want globalisation's children - the coming generation - to enjoy the vastly increased opportunities it brings," Mr Brown told the CBI annual conference."

Globalisation is a policy, not a process - a policy of global labour arbitrage between the First and Third Worlds, with tradable employment moving from the high cost, high value economies of the First to the low cost, low value economies of the Third and mass migration into the First in order to lower wages.

The shipping of seafood landed in Scotland to China and Thailand for processing is an extreme example - but such examples make the game so obvious that any who deny it lay themselves open to the charge of being an economic ignoramus.

British real wages are visibly declining.

Migration is now openly reported as being a factor in the increase in unemployment - something some of us have been shouting about for months.

Globalisation is a policy intended to lead to plutonomy - as far as the United Kingdom and her citizens are concerned it benefits only the very rich.

And we have never been asked to vote upon it.

Any British politician who touts globalisation as having benefits for the United Kingdom can only hate this country, because they do not think, they cannot think, that it should be capable of standing by itself; and also hates its people, for they would make them paupers.

That's all that globalisation holds for us. Lower real wages, higher costs. That's all.

Brown is an aggressive globalist. Immediately before last June's G-8 summit in St.Petersburg he wrote an editorial for 'The Times' decrying 'economic 'patriotism'.

Earlier this month he wrote another editorial for 'The Times', saying,

"Globalisation desperately needs champions, statesmen and business leaders speaking together, to challenge the current descent into protectionism. And a new world trade deal is the most visible signal we can send that anti-globalisation forces of protectionism can and will be routed."

Now we must all be 'evangelists' for this false god of plutocrats; an appropriately sacrilegous metaphor to describe a wholly treacherous policy.

If there is one audience in the United Kingdom who you'd think would lap that message up it would be the CBI, British industry's vehicle for the practice of ethnic identity politics.
After all two years ago its members lapped up the comments of Sir Digby Jones, its then Director General, that,"I have formed the view that if ever there was a country made for globalisation, it is Britain. It is in our DNA."
Jones also said,
"Protectionist voices who think they can stop this - that's cloud cuckoo land...Ensuring people have the skills remains our problem. You have nothing to fear if you skill yourself."
The theory that one can protect oneself from globalisation with 'skills' is a canard.
It was shown to be a canard less than a month after Jones made his remarks.
Anyone who repeats it , including Gordon Brown himself, is a repeater of canards.
If proof of that claim's status as a canard is required, ask the engineer who didn't get hired because Irina Dyke got their job.
They want a bigger slice of the pie.
They want more; and when faced with the idea that some countries prefer strategic businesses to remain in domestic hands, they throw their dummies from the pram like babies.
Tough luck, guys. You reap what you sow.
In such cases, one says 'Bravo' to the Spanish, the French and the Germans.
Globalisation is a god to which Gordon Brown can pray as much as he likes.
What is certain is that for as long as this treacherous, anti-British practice remains government policy, the rest of us will be paying for it.

O Happy Day! The Christophobic, Scotophobic Jihadist Sajad Ahemed Rana Has LOST!

The High Court in Lahore has ruled that Misbah Rana must return to Scotland!
The BBC reports her mother's lawyer as saying,
"This was not a decision about custody. It was a decision on whether Mr Rana had acted improperly by violating the court order made at the Court of Session in Scotland in June last year."

The lawyer added: "Misbah should get a chance at the Court of Session to say who she wants to live with."
By ordering her return, the High Court in Lahore believes he did violate the court order.
Good.
One wonders just how the Muslim bigot and apologist for Misbah's kidnapping Osama Saeed will try to spin this!

They Are Coming For The Bloggers (Continued) - Breaking The Code

Via The Devil's Kitchen, one learns that Tim Toulmin, the director of the Press Complaints Commission, is calling for 'a voluntary code of practice' for bloggers and other Internet sites.
Toulmin's comment that 'on the internet "there are no professional standards, there is no means of redress", is best rebutted by His Satanic Majesty himself -
"We scummy bloggers have this horrible habit of linking directly to our sources and to the data that we quote, which is rather more than many newspapers—especially, and for obvious reasons, the print editions—which, admittedly, can be a little embarrassing for those who are trying to hide things away.
We bloggers regulate ourselves. If a blogger has misrepresented the facts, he or she is veru often taken to task by their own commenters as well as by other bloggers. We nasty, rumour-mongering bloggers sink or swim by our credibility which is, in turn, determined by our reliability on evidence and interpretation. Not something that one can say about, say, Polly Toynbee; why else would there be a blog solely dedicated to exploding her lies and manipulation?
And means of redress? Well, in most cases an email will suffice.
There is something of a difference between the press and bloggers, and it is this: the press have massive financial backing. If someone complains to the MSM, the MSM can afford to ignore them. Even a libel case will not, in most cases, really damage a newpaper.Bloggers don't have those kind of resources. In most cases, the person who complains about what a blogger has written will have far more resources and money that the blogger. In this case, a voluntary code really is not needed."
Indeed. For example, if anyone thinks my pointing out that Toulmin 'comes (from) a newspaper family that founded the Lancashire Evening Post in Preston', then all they need to do is e-mail me and I'll think about editing it off.
"Murdoch has been an advocate of free markets for decades; well, now he’s got one in his backyard, and as time passes and the current non-existent level of Internet regulation continues, it’s a free market that is really going to hurt the corporate interests of anyone who ever borrowed money in order to put on a TV news show.

Although the Internet will have a saturation point, it’s probably nowhere near it yet, a thought which should make the Establishment quake at the prospect of the awesome power of the unleashed cyber-citizen.

This advent of this inter-connected reality has the power not just to change the way news and opinion is delivered; not just to provide other forums for activists; but also to change the very face of the political landscape.

A hyperlink serves no function other than to provide a reader with a choice; click on it or not. Obviously, this enables readers to experiment with information that would not otherwise form part of their regular intellectual diet. The attractions of writers who may have seemed thrilling only a short while ago may soon pall, to be replaced by new gurus.

The harsh reality of the Internet era is that it is not only the mainstream media but also those in government who are petrified of it; the central regulation and flow of information, the very means by which all states keep control, has been truly abolished at precisely the same time that Western governments have reached depths of authoritarianism never before reached in peacetime...
The Internet happened so fast that the political elites have only been able to react to it; the danger for Internet users will come when they want to control it, for the day may come when a politician, tired of the bad press they have received in unfiltered cyber-media, proposes that Internet use be licensed, and if not licensed then registered.

There would be a storm of protest, of course, but ultimately it is in the interests of both the Republicans and the Democrats for the flow of information to be regulated, preferably by them, and if not by them then by others favourable to them and their interests. They are political movements; they exist for no reason other than to seek and hold power. Once in power, the only means that exist of challenging that power lie in the regulated, infrequent and predictable turns of the electoral cycle.

A blogger with a piece of hot news can be read around the world in minutes. This is the biggest challenge the mainstream politicians have ever faced, an unconscionable threat to their interests.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts; and beware of politicians who say they want to protect the public in the aftermath of the very first big story that a blogger gets wrong and which has tragic consequences.

The day of the licensed blogger may not be far behind."
The MSM have as much interest as government in silencing the bloggers.
Don't ever forget it.

Economists At Their Pique

Both Bryan Caplan and Don Boudreaux mourn "the abject deference the public gives to physicists with the stubborn defiance the public gives to economists."
The explanation for this lack of deference is quite simple.
Economics contains no universal absolutes such as E=MCSquared.
E=MCSquared is true at all times and under all circumstances; 'comparative advantage' is not.
And if Caplan and Boudreaux believe that the public have a duty to respect them because of their academic discipline, they should study The Gas Laws more closely.

The Death Of Alexander Litvinenko, Continued - Part II - (Im)Pertinent Comments...

have been posted on the blogs of Edward Lucas and The Beatroot.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Death Of Alexander Litvinenko, Continued - Part I: Is That E-Gor Or Eye-Gor?

Firstly, thanks to Donagh at Dublin Opinion, John Szamosi at the delightfully named Car Tree Duck and the (Russian) 'Genie in a bottle' at 'The Adventures of an Absent-Minded MBA Student', as well as thoe guys in the Russian language 'Live Journal' chatrooms, who've taken the time to read previous posts on this story.

Gasp! Polonium-210 has been found at Boris Berezovsky's office!

The 'Daily Telegraph' notes that,

"Traces of radiation have been found at the offices of the billionaire Russian exile Boris Berezovsky and a security firm which employs the former commander of Britain's special forces.

Polonium 210, the rare radioactive element thought to have killed the former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, has been found at Mr Berezovsky's offices and those of the private security firm Erinys.

Erinys employs Major-General John Holmes, a former commander of the SAS and former director of British Special Forces at its offices in Grosvenor Street, Mayfair.

The company employs 16,000, largely ex-Forces personnel in Iraq to guard oil installations and has connections around the world, including Moscow.

Mr Berezovsky, one of Russia's first "oligarchs" made his wealth in automotives and oil before falling out with President Putin and being granted asylum in Britain.

As police sealed off part of his offices in Down Street, Mayfair, yesterday he was described by a friend as "extremely nervous"...

The friend added: "He is deeply shocked by Alexander Litvinenko's death and fears he could be next.

Police confirmed that radiation had been found at the two addresses but were still unable to explain the sequence of events that led them to the two sites.

A source said: "We are still trying to piece together Litvinenko's movements, who he met and where."...

The Health Protection Agency said it had received 450 calls over the weekend and asked three members of the public who may have come into contact with Mr Litvinenko and are showing possible symptoms of radiation poisoning to take further tests.

The symptoms include sickness, vomiting and bleeding gums. The people involved have been asked to take urine tests.

Forty members of the medical staff at University College Hospital and Barnet General, where Mr Litvinenko was treated, have also been sent for tests after the HPA conducted assessments.

It is understood that close members of Mr Litvinenko's family, including his wife, Marina and 12-year-old son, have also been offered the tests, which can take up to a week....

Erinys said yesterday that Mr Litvinenko had visited its offices on an unrelated matter and it had later called the Metropolitan Police.

Workers at other offices in the block said the premises on the fourth floor have been sealed off since Sunday.

In a statement composed before his death on Thursday, Mr Litvinenko, who had recently become a British citizen, pointed the finger at Mr Putin.

John Reid, the Home Secretary, said the Russian authorities had been asked to provide "all necessary co-operation" with the investigation...

At the weekend the Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain criticised the "very murky murder" of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, an opponent of Mr Putin.

Yesterday Tony Blair's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister and other ministers have repeatedly underlined our concerns about some aspects of human rights in Russia. In terms of this particular case, we have to proceed carefully."

Mr Reid would not confirm that the incident would be discussed when Mr Blair and President Putin meet next week. "To some extent it will depend on developments," he said."

Security firms run by ex-SAS commanders? Visits on unrelated matters?

Murky murders? Just what on Earth is going on?

Upon what 'unrelated matter' could Litvinenko, a relatively unimportant Russian dissident, British citizen and associate (and tenant) of a man who's made clear his desire to bring down a friendly foreign power's democratically elected government by force, have possibly been visiting the offices of the company that won a $100 million contract to guard Iraq's oilfields?

And which hires Russians?

One is certain it couldn't be on account of anything which might contravenes the strict code of ethics to which Erinys adheres.

And if the story broke on November 19, Litvinenko died of polonium-210 poisoning on November 23 and the relevant tests to determine the existence of that toxin can take a week, why was thallium poisoning being shouted as the cause of his illness on November 21?

Surely the tests for polonium poisoning were still ongoing at that point?

Although three people are undergoing tests, the Home Secretary has indicated that there is no cause for general alarm...which may be of little comfort to Mario Scaramella, back in town and ready to answer questions.

What possible dealings could Litvinenko have had with a company like Erinys?

His post mortem, an essential step in the investigation of any sudden death, will be conducted on Friday.

However, a real McGuffin appeared yesterday - in the shape of 'Igor'.

According to 'The Daily Mail',

"A ruthless assassin known as Igor is being hunted over the poison murder of a former Russian spy that yesterday threatened to spark a fully-blown diplomatic row.

The trained killer - part of a group of ex-KGB spies called 'Dignity and Honor' - was named in a document passed to police by Alexander Litvinenko shortly before he lost consciousness and died...

The 46-year-old, a former member of Russia's notorious Spetsnaz special forces, is a key suspect wanted for questioning over the death of the KGB defector, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium 210 - a toxin 250 billion times deadlier than cyanide.

The document was passed to Mr Litvinenko at the sushi restaurant where he is thought to have been slipped a lethal dose of the substance.

The papers reveal that 'Dignity and Honor' are loyalists waging their own Cold War campaign against critics of Russian president Vladimir Putin...

The document is understood to contain an extraordinary hitlist with 43-year-old Mr Litvinenko a prime target...

Igor, whose full identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons, is said to be a judo master who walks with a slight limp after an accident. Slim, muscular and 6ft tall, he speaks perfect English and Portuguese - and has been trained to kill.

Security services and police believe he is in hiding in Italy."

Oh for goodness' sake!

Yes, Litvinenko's death may indeed have been the work of a 'rogue group' of ex-KGB - but who would fund such a group? Are they criminals?

One is almost tempted to ask whether he's known as E-Gor or Eye-Gor...and the theory doesn't seem to hold water anyway...

All these deaths...

Peter Hain was, of course, absolutely correct to describe Anna Politkovskaya's murder as 'murky'. There has been speculation that she might have been the victim of 'a Kremlin power struggle'; while on October 10 Kommersant published a detailed analysis of who might have been responsible -
"Anna Politkovskaya was buried today in Troekurovskoe Cemetery in Moscow. The Novaya gazeta reporter was murdered last Saturday. The investigation of her killing has not gotten far in the two days since then. Investigators are using three main theories – that her killing was the revenge of police who were imprisoned as a result of her investigations, or a conspiracy among the opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, or the revenge of Chechen rebels who went over to the federal side...
Kommersant has learned that three theories about Politkovskaya's killing have been pursued in investigator's meetings leading up to their report to Grin. One of those connects the crime with policemen in Nizhnvartovsk. Politkovskaya, working with the Memorial human rights center, that police from that Siberian city kidnapped, tortured and killed civilians while serving in Chechnya in 2001. After the publication of those findings in Novaya gazeta and other media, a criminal case was initiated against those policemen. One of them, Sergey Lapin, who used the codename Cadet in radio communications, remained at large for a lengthy period but was eventually sentenced to 11 years in prison. This version of events arose after investigators remembered that Lapin had threatened Politkovskaya while on the run. “You have ten days to publish a retraction. Otherwise the policemen you have hired to protect you will be powerless to help,” Lapin told Politkovskaya in one of his e-mail messages. Lapin also told her that he had been trained in a snipers' school and was armed and heading for Moscow. The prosecutor in Nizhnevartovsk charged Lapin with making threats against Politkovskaya's life, but the policeman's father Vadim Lapin told Kommersant that the case was dropped for lack of evidence. “When they killed Politkovskaya, I immediately thought they would think about my son,” the elder Lapin said. Investigators note that, after Lapin's sentencing, several other Nizhnevartovsk policemen were charged, and they also had a motive for revenge against the journalist.
Kommersant has learned that investigators are also discussing the possibility a conspiracy among opponents of Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov. Under that scenario, the journalist's killing was intentionally timed to the Russian president's birthday to undermine his authority, especially in the West. The name of political emigrant Boris Berezovsky was mentioned in that context."
Wow! Boris Berezovsky's name has been (gulp) discussed by (gulp) the Russian authorities in connection with the murder of Anna Politkovskaya?
Who, like Paul Klebnikov, was an American citizen, having been born in New York City?
It continues,
"I am proud that Anna Politkovskaya, especially in the last few years, very often came to me for advice and commentary,” Berezovsky told Kommersant. “He (sic) considered me someone who thought about Russia and like-minded.” Concerning possible suspicions about him, Berezovsky commented that “the regime attributes everything bad that happens in Russia to its enemies, and very often to me.”
The idea that the murder of the journalist was intended to cast suspicion on people associated with Kadyrov is being pursued as well. Several prominent Chechens are being investigated who had been in conflict with the Chechen prime minister or were not interested in supporting him.
Politkovskaya made a number of enemies among influential Chechens because of her publications in Novaya gazeta. “I specially requested and read all, well, let's say almost all of Anna Politkovskaya's material,” Prosecutor of Chechnya Valery Kuznetsov told Kommersant. “Her publications helped me understand what happened in the republic before me,” added Kuznetsov, who has been in his post for just over a year, “and what is happening now. Even we can miss something… The last material of Politkovskaya's that I read was called “Vindictive Collusion.” I want to note that we will check all the facts in that article that are within the purview of our office. We have tried to react quickly and not wait for those observations to be read on high and an order be issued for us to do it.”
When asked if the Chechen prosecutor's office was checking the main hero of almost all of Politkovskaya's reportage, Prime Minister Kadyrov and the forces he controls, which are habitually referred to as “Kadyrovites” (Russian kadyrovtsy), Kuznetsov replied, “Kadyrovites are not specific. It is an ephemeral concept. In general, we always face the main task of checking facts, not persons. After we confirm the facts, we begin to work with people. Among those involved in criminal cases initiated by the republic's prosecutor based on Anna Politkovskaya's material, there are policemen and employees of the security services of the leaders of Chechnya.” As an example, the prosecutor mentioned the beating of interior forces soldiers by Chechen security forces after a car accident. “The let that fact slip by somehow,” Kuznetsov explained. “But, thanks to Politkovskaya, the prosecutor's office turned its attention to it and initiated a case of exceeding authority.”
“I can't say that we agree with all of Politkovskaya's opinions,” Kuznetsov conceded, “but there was undoubtedly a grain of rationality in many of her publications about the actions of Chechen security forces.”
And, like Litvinenko and Klebnikov, had had dealings with Berezovsky...
But with Michael Ledeen channelling James Jesus Angleton, the laughable David Pryce-Jones writing that 'Everyone concurs that the murder serves only the hierarchy ruling in the Kremlin' (not me, boss) and Max Hastings accusing the Russians of murder, one imagines the road through the fog is going to be even harder to follow than at first thought ...
The Booman Tribune has posted a good analysis of the case against Putin so far -
"Therefore, the official story is that a guy who has claimed Putin 1) killed hundreds of Russians in Moscow to provoke a second Chechen War and "divert Russia from democracy" 2) Putin personally ordered the KGB to kill Litvinenko's close friend Berezovsky 3) Putin is in league with organized crime 4) Putin controls the Italian Prime Minister and 5) that Russia is paying and training top Al-Qaeda leaders got tired of Litvinenko's criticism after 13 years, 2 books, 2 criminal trials and 6 years of freedom in Britain and decided to "silence" him using extremely small doses of one of the most toxic, radioactive substances on the planet.

Oh yeah, and this poisoning was done either 1) by an Italian journalist who had "dirt" on the Putin government's "cover-up" of Politskaya's murder or 2) some of his old ex-KGB buddies, nobody can say which.

As if all that wasn't dramatic enough, after Litvinenko is dead in his bed, his buddies Goldfarb and Berezovsky produce a "signed statement" supposedly written 3 days earlier which points the finger square at Putin. Oh yeah, and the radioactivity is not what killed him, but instead he died of a heart attack."
The best analysis of the diagnostic delay comes from John Szamosi, a guy who also knows his chemistry -
"I’ve been admitted to the hospital several times in my life for high blood sugar related to being a Type I diabetic. One of the first things they do is take urine samples to check the level of ketones in my urine. While checking the ketones, they’re also checking for other shit, like drugs (one nurse literally asked my mother when I was 17 if I drank or did drugs because how could I be so stupid). I have no idea how they handle sickness in England, but I would like to believe that they’re able to do a urine test somewhere near as fast as some podunk hospital in Warren County, New Jersey can.

How is it possible that doing a scan for toxic substances, it took until three hours before this man kicked the bucket before they were able to detect Polonium 210? Maybe the British medical workers need to watch their fellow countryman Hugh Laurie in House MD to get an idea of the proper way to diagnose a patient… We do know he was saying he was poisoned with Thallium, and it could be possible that they took him at his word and did not really do an extensive test of his fluids to find out what was actually poisoning him."
And The Copydude compares and contrasts the coverage given to the cases of Litvinenko and Politkovskaya with that of Eduard Limonov.
All three posts are worth reading in full.
The most unintentionally funny comment I've read about the case so far has come from commentor GeorgeD on The Belmont Club -
"There is some speculation that Litivenko was a convert to islam and that his death was a Jihadi suicide. Any comment or substance to this?"
And I'm accused of conspiracy theory...
Boris Berezovsky once described Paul Klebnikov as being 'a bull in a china shop', you know...