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Litvinenko poisoning: a false flag operation?

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It turns out, Britain and Germany for more then a decade withheld some important evidence that points to alternative versions of the death of Litvinenko. Only now information that assassination was probably ordered by Berezovsky, started leaking as some evidence of the guilt of the exiled Russian oligarch was published by Russian Prosecutor Office as a part of Russian reaction to the Skripal case. They pointed on some alarming analogies with the Skripal case and also suggested that the real assassin in case of Litvinenko murder might be Mario Scaramella, who was the most heavily contaminated with polonium out of all surviving participants of the meeting with with Litvinenko that fateful day.

Both case of Skripal and Litvinenko murder that initial case of poisoning (which look like random tragic event -- attempt on Litvinenko life by Berezovsky in case of Litvinenko and poisoning with fish or clams toxins -- Paralytic shellfish poisoning --  in case of Skriplas)  was used as a pretext to launch a false flag operation and devastating anti-Russian propaganda campaign by British authorities, all alternative facts be damned.  With complete impunity because of secrecy vial put on the investigation, which makes this type of false flag operations the most favorite British tactics against Russia (also used in Syria via MI6 infiltrated The White).  In both case Theresa May was an important player.

Cases of Skripal and Litvinenko have so many similarities that they should be  viewed as two instances of the same false flag operations framework

Slightly edited Google translation

Boris Berezovsky was interested in liquidation of the former Lieutenant Colonel of FSB and the employee of the British MI6 Alexander Litvinenko. This version has been long and widely discussed, but on Monday gained weight. Indications of the involvement of fugitive oligarch to murder defector has presented the adviser of the Prosecutor General of Russia Nikolai Atmore at a press conference on Monday.

Moscow decided to remind London of one of the most high-profile murders of the 2000s for the obvious reason: in both the Litvinenko case, as well as the story of the suicide of his patron Berezovsky and the current case of Skripal the anti-Russian Pr comaign was lauched using the same scheme.  "Resonant" death if the dissident of exited criminal, then hasty, crumpled investigation which excules  Russia, followed by huge political pressure to punish Moscow. But a closer look paints a different picture.

In short, the data of the Prosecutor General's office are as follows. The maximum degree of infection with isotopes of polonium-210 (the victim of which, as we know, was Litvinenko) was noticed in the London office of Berezovsky, as well as in the body of Mario Scaramella, an Italian lawyer, with whom Litvinenko met on the day of his poisoning.

On that fateful day, November 1, 2006, Litvinenko first visited Berezovsky's office and than met Scaramella at the restaurant. Only after those two events he met with the Russians Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun (the first was the person whom British justice accused of murdering Litvinenko). Characteristic detail -- restaurants were claimed to be the  place of poisoning of both Litvinenko and Skripal. At least initially (in Skripal case the ridiculous version of "door knob" later surfaced)  This, however, can be considered a coincidence. "Litvinenko's poisoning  could occur... in Berezovsky's office, and as we have multirole reasons to state that  Berezovsky was the most interested party in elimination of Litvinenko", – the adviser to the public Prosecutor declared.

Important fact is that relations  between Litvinenko and his former patron Berezovsky  "has significantly deteriorated" just before Litvinenko death, said Atmore. As former head of Berezovsky security service Litvinenko  could give "incriminating his evidences" on fugitive oligarch. British press mentions this conflic between  Litvinenko and Berezovsky in 2006 wrote the . For example Dailymail interviewed the informant Litvinenko, the businessman Evgeny Limarev. He claimed that during the ill-fated meeting with Scaramella in the London sushi bar Itsu Litvinenko told that he broke all contacts with Boris Abramovich.

Berezovsky also sharply cut down the monthly payments to the former" chief security guard " – instead of 4,5 thousand pounds a month. he began to receive 1,5 thousand.

British law enforcement, investigating the case Litvinenko, ignored all alternative versions, concentrating only on the " hand of the Kremlin." But the fact is that the investigation of this crime 12 years ago involved not only London but also the Prosecutor's office of Hamburg. They investigated Dmitry Kovtun, Lugovoi's business partner and participant of the meeting with Litvinenko, who came to London from Hamburg. That city  brought case of storage and transportation of radioactive substances against Kovtun . The conclusions presented by the Advisor to the Prosecutor General of Russia were not officially announced by the German side. But in 2009, the Hamburg Prosecutor's office dropped all charges against Kovtun, and this can be considered an indirect admission of his innocence.

The British did not respond to Moscow's requests, but they could not ignore the request from Hamburg. former defendant in the British case, now a state Duma Deputy Andrei Lugovoy said that the version voiced by the Russian Prosecutor office looks the most plausible in view of the results fo German investigation. 

The second incident, which serves as an illustration of how London works in such cases to silence the possible source of damaging information, is the story of Berezovsky himself. As you know, the fugitive oligarch received refugee status in 2003. The reason was his statement that there was attempt on his life in the summer of that year. But this attempt was staged, said Atmore. And here is the adviser to the attorney General relied on the Germans, and the British themselves. Both officially recognized that the attack was fake. The representative of the Ministry of internal Affairs Hazel Bliers reported about the termination of the investigation of the attack on Berezovsky due to the lack of objective evidence. This statement was made at the hearings in Parliament  soon after the staged attempt – in 2004.

10 years after obtaining a residence permit in Britain Berezovsky dies. The official version is suicide. But please note that two months before the death the fugitive oligarch wrote to Mr Putin a personal letter. In it, he acknowledged that he had made a lot of mistakes, apologized to the Russian President and asked him to give him the opportunity to return to Russia. Dmitry Peskov recently mentions that existence of Berezovsky's letters. And this is not just "a fiction created by Moscow " – because in March 2013 Forbes reported that the former oligarch said that he lost the meaning of life and would like to return to Russia.

"As soon as Berezovsky, as appears from the press and his statements, decided to try to return to Russia, he dies", – said Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Saak Karapetyan. - "Who benefitted from the fact that Berezovsky did not return to the Russian Federation, and thus did not disclose all the information about actions of British authorities which he possessed/ It is obvious".

By an interesting coincidence Berezovsky's death occurred at the time when the interior Minister of Britain was Theresa May. Before his death May stubbornly rejected Russia's extradition requests about fugitive oligarch. Now as the Prime Minister May has denied requests to participate in the investigation of the Skripal case.

The state office of public Prosecutor of Russia pointed analogies between three false flag episodes – the poisoning of Skripal, "fake" attempt at Berezovsky life and Litvinenko's death. In case of "stage" attempt on Berezovsky life the key figure is another emigrant, Vladimir Terlyuk, who in July 2006 testified to the Russian Prosecutor General's office that Berezovsky, Litvinenko, and another employee of Berezovsky, Alexander Goldfarb tried to coerce him to provide to British authorities the false accusation that he was allegedly an employee of the Russian intelligence services, sent to kill Berezovsky. And it was the letter by Litvinenko and Goldfarb that served as the legal basis of grating asylum in Great Britain to the fugitive Russian oligarch. That's how he managed to obtain refugee status.

While Litvinenko was poisoned about a dozen years after poisoning Skripal, Terlyuk is again afraid for his life, said the Prosecutor's office. In support of this, a note was submitted by the emigrant, which is quoted by RIA "Novosti". Terlyuk could be a suitable object of an attempt on his life with the goal subsequently to blame Russia instead of Skripal.

Exhaustive answers to questions who was the initiator of poisonings of Litvinenko and Skripal (if those cases were really poisonings and not something else). as well as who "suicided" Berezovsky were never given.  And probably will never be given thanks to the efforts of London to politicize those investigation and point to the Russi as the culprit even before the investigation started. But the answer to the classic question "who benefits?"  The key beneficiary looks the same in all three cases.

Alexander Litvinenko Prison Planet Intelligence Agency Wiki FANDOM powered by Wikia

Self Professed CIA agent met with Litvinenko on the day he died. hey had never met before. The last person to meet Alexander Litvinenko before he succumbed to the agonising effects of radioactive poisoning is a self-professed expert in nuclear materials.

International 'security consultant' Mario Scaramella, who joined Litvinenko for the now infamous clandestine meeting in a London sushi bar, headed an organisation which tracked dumped nuclear waste, including Soviet nuclear missiles left over from the Cold War.

Sources revealed last night that renegade Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky had also been checked for radiation. His car, in which he ferried the stricken Litvinenko to hospital, was also tested. It was further disclosed that the tycoon has been interviewed twice by police investigating Litvinenko's death, but not as a suspect.

Prof Scaramella has strongly denied any involvement in the murder and Litvinenko's family, who blame President Putin, say they do not question his loyalty. Having given an interview to The Mail on Sunday earlier in the week, Prof Scaramella yesterday said he was unwilling to say any more because he was 'co-operating with the authorities'. Earlier, he had acknowledged that 'something very strange is going on'.

Our investigations have established that:

Prof Scaramella agreed to meet us in his home city of Naples to respond to allegations circulating on the internet that he was an intelligence agent in the pay of several secret services. Arriving in the lobby of a hotel flanked by two bodyguards, he produced a professional-looking dossier detailing his career.

As the meeting progressed, Prof Scaramella denied he had links to any secret services and became irritated. "You are sounding like the police,' he said. "Do not use this information against me."

Prof Scaramella's knowledge of atomic materials is clear, however. The Mail on Sunday has discovered that in June last year Italian police launched an investigation into an alleged plot to smuggle uranium into the country after being tipped off by Prof Scaramella.

He told officers that the uranium was hidden in a suitcase and had originated from an undisclosed country in the former Soviet Union. Within just 24 hours, police in Rimini made four arrests.

At the time all Prof Scaramella would say was: "I was investigating the activities of former KGB activities in San Marino. " I was also looking into the trafficking of arms from the former Soviet Union and possible links with Italian terrorist groups. During this I was passed a document that said there were former KGB men in San Marino looking at selling nuclear military material.

"I told the police that 10kg of uranium was hidden in a suitcase and on its way to Italy on June 2; and on June 2 the arrests were made and the uranium found. It was enriched uranium 90 per cent capable of making a small atomic bomb. Also an electronic target device was seized."

The uranium plot came a year after Prof Scaramella announced that he had information that 20 nuclear warheads had been lost by a Soviet submarine in the Bay of Naples.

Prof Scaramella told the Mitrokhin Commission, which investigated KGB activities in Italy, that he had been passed the information from Russian intelligence sources.

Scaramella told The Mail on Sunday that his career began in his hometown of Naples, where he qualified as a solicitor in 1995. He set up his own company, and started specialising in environmental law.

In 1996, Prof Scaramella, who is unmarried with two children, says he started work as a professor of environmental law at Externado University in Bogota, Colombia, before moving the following year to the University of Nuestra Senora del Rosario, also in Bogota. At the same time, between 1996 and 2000, he also held a post specialising in environmental crime at the University of Naples.

Between 2000 and 2002, Prof Scaramella was secretary general of a little-known organisation named the Environmental Crime Prevention Programme. The ECPP describes itself as an organisation which 'provides environmental protection and security through technology on a global basis'.

It has offices at the Fucino Space Centre in Italy to deploy 'aerial surveillance to detect environmental crimes in Eastern and Southern Europe'.

On its website, the ECPP described itself as a 'permanent intergovernmental conference' with a secretariat in Naples and rotating presidencies held by countries such as Angola and Samoa.

None of the contact details listed for the organisation on its website work. When Prof Scaramella was asked where the group's head office was he said there wasn't one - you had to contact the general secretary, who currently was a Professor Papadopoulos from California's San Jose university.

A Dr Perikles Papadopoulos - listed as an assistant secretary general of the organisation - could not be reached. And last night, neither the campaign group Greenpeace, nor the Environment Investigation Agency, which campaigns against environmental destruction, could recall working with the organisation.

In 2003 he made the jump from environmental expert to KGB specialist when he was appointed as a consultant to the Mitrokhin commission. It was that work which put him into contact with Litvinenko and led to the sushi lunch, which he says he arranged to discuss a 'death list' which named both him and Litvinenko

Prof Scaramella explained that Professor Papadopoulos was key to his appointment on to the Italian parliamentary commission, facilitating a meeting in London with Italian legal officials setting up the inquiry.

Italy was a nest of CIA and KGB agents during the Cold War: Washington regarded the socialist-leaning country as the West European country most susceptible to influence from Moscow.

Vasili Mitrokhin was a senior archivist for Russia's foreign intelligence service. His records of the period have led to inquiries across the globe, including the UK. One of the conclusions of the Italian inquiry was that the former Soviet Union was behind the assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II in 1981.

Prof Scaramella explained that he had been approached by the commission because his career had given him a passing connection to Russia. "My work involved a lot of Soviet issues - the dumping of radioactive waste, which can be detected from space, and the loss of nuclear devices,' he said.

"I said to them, "I am not an expert on security services, only nuclear waste." But the commission said they wanted people from outside to investigate. So in 2003 I looked at the operations of the KGB and Eastern bloc countries on Italian soil, including the funding of Italian journalists by the KGB."

In 2004, Prof Scaramella also led an investigation on the illegal dumping of waste by the mafia in an Italian lake. Despite being only a civilian environmental consultant, he led two armed police agents to a villa where the suspects lived. They were greeted by a hail of bullets. One mafioso was arrested, and an arms cache seized.

Scaramella also told us that he also found time in 1999 to become a visiting scientist at Stanford University in California, and was made director of a university Nato programme which involved visiting Lithuania.

In 2002, at the same time as he says he was completing his duties for the ECPP, he also started a school of national security in Colombia to train local police. The same year, he says he was also based for four months at Greenwich University in London, again working on environmental law.

It is hard to corroborate details of Scaramella's career.

A spokesman at the University of Naples said last night: "There is no record of a Professor Mario Scaramella working here. He may well have been hired internally as an independent working within one of the faculties but our system has no record of him."

And Dr Maria Scaramella, a namesake at the university, said: "I used to get all this post for him but I could never actually find him. He was supposed to have an office on the third floor but I was never able to find it. He was supposed to have some sort of European funding for research but I never knew exactly what."

A spokesman for Greenwich University also said they had no record of him on its books.

None of the American or Colombian universities responded to messages asking whether Prof Scaramella had worked for them.

Internet discussion forums have buzzed with theories about Prof Scaramella this week - the most damaging claiming that he is a secret service operative with split loyalties who uses a range of political and business interests as a front for his activities. But he insisted: "I have never been to any security service headquarters or met any acting officers."

Prof Scaramella says he struck up an association with Litvinenko during his work for the Mitrokhin Commission, and they had met several times before in the Itsu restaurant to discuss intelligence matters.

He claimed that tip-off from Litvinenko had helped to foil a bizarre assassination attempt last year on Paolo Guzzanti, an Italian senator who headed the Mitrokhin inquiry. It led to the arrest of six Ukrainians who were said to have been trying to smuggle grenades into the country hidden inside hollowed-out Bibles.

"He was my friend - that is why he gave me this,' he said, brandishing a picture of Litvinenko training as a young KGB officer.

Even Prof Scaramella's father, Amedeo, was perplexed about his son's career. "I think it's best you talk to Mario,' he said. "I don't really want to say anything. He divides his time between Naples and Rome and he also spends a lot of time overseas. I don't ask too many questions."

Prof Scaramella said: "I am not willing to say anything else. I am co-operating with the authorities. If you want any information ask Scotland Yard."

The story of Alexander Litvinenko—the former KGB agent contaminated with the radioactive isotope polonium-210 who died in a London hospital insisting that he had been poisoned by agents of Russian President Vladimir Putin—grabbed the world's attention. But what of Mario Scaramella, who met with Litvinenko at the Itsu sushi bar in Piccadilly Circus and was himself diagnosed with the dangerous radioactive substance in his blood? * He is a kind of Rosencrantz or Guildenstern of the Litvinenko tragedy, a minor character who sheds a highly revealing sidelight on the larger drama while also illuminating a different and very Italian tragedy. He is a type that shows up in spy stories—a teller of tall tales and half-truths; part Walter Mitty, part con man, part spy; a person who by virtue of bogus credentials and connections acquires real credentials and real connections. The Italians have a term for people like this that has no exact equivalent in English: millantatore di credito—someone who claims to know a lot more and to have done a lot more than he really does. (It is even a crime in Italy, generally invoked in fraud cases.) Advertisement

Although a baby-faced man of only 36, Scaramella claims to have been recruited several years ago by the CIA to trace relationships between South American narco-traffickers and Russian spy agencies. He has claimed to have been educated in England, Belgium, and France, without saying exactly where. He says he taught at the University of Naples (which says it has no record of him) and at various American universities, including San Jose University (which doesn't exist—though there is a San Jose State University, which says it knows nothing of Scaramella)—and Stanford University. He claims to have been a judge, but this appears to have consisted of an unpaid position as a justice of the peace. The one indisputable element in Scaramella's résumé is that for the last three years he has served as a paid consultant on a commission of the Italian parliament set up by then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2002 to investigate the occult influence of the KGB in Italian life. As newly published wiretaps reveal, the commission quickly degenerated into a dirty-tricks operation to dig up dirt on Berlusconi's political opponents. The commission was named for Vasili Mitrokhin, a former KGB archivist who moved to England in 1984 and claimed to have copied extensive portions of KGB files on its agents and informants operating in the United States and Europe. While British intelligence made a serious effort to document and verify the information that Mitrokhin brought to them, the same care was not taken in Italy. When Silvio Berlusconi took over as prime minister in 2001, he saw the Mitrokhin case as a cudgel with which to beat his political opposition. Berlusconi created the Mitrokhin Commission to investigate KGB infiltration in Italy and handed the direction of it to Paolo Guzzanti, who simultaneously works as a member of parliament for Berlusconi's Forza Italia party and as deputy editor of the Berlusconi family newspaper Il Giornale. Guzzanti's double role is typical of the rampant conflicts of interest of Italy in the era of Berlusconi—who saw nothing wrong with owning half the country's media outlets while running the country. However, the commission failed to provide the rich material that Berlusconi and Guzzanti were hoping for—material to keep the Italian left on the defensive and in opposition for years to come. Mitrokhin's information was very old, and most of the people in his files were dead or retired. "There wasn't much to discover about spies and foreign agents," said Giulio Andreotti, an Italian senator and former prime minister during the Cold War period and himself a conservative member of the Mitrokhin Commission, in a recent interview with La Repubblica. "All the material had been published already in Great Britain, and there was really no reason to do further investigations." As a result, in 2003, Guzzanti hired Scaramella hoping to dig up information of more recent vintage. Of course, this meant going beyond documentary evidence supposedly copied by Mitrokhin from the KGB files, investigating all sorts of ties between Russia and Italian politicians, and refreshing the memories of unemployed or underemployed former spies with nothing to sell other than their stories. The commission's work was so poorly regarded even by many conservatives that not only was it unable to generate a bipartisan report, but Guzzanti ended up issuing a report without the signatures of his fellow commissioners on the center-right. Even after issuing his official report in December of 2004, Guzzanti continued his investigations with Scaramella at his side. But soon enough, Scaramella became a major source of embarrassment. He told Italian authorities that the Russians had planted an antenna on Mount Vesuvius that could activate nuclear missiles that were in a sunken Soviet submarine at the bottom of the Bay of Naples. Investigations found no antenna, and the submarine in question was known to have sunk in the Bay of Biscay. In looking for the mysterious antenna, Scaramella obtained a police escort and got involved in a shootout that he described as an attempt on his life. Investigations proved that Scaramella's bodyguard had done all the shooting, firing 16 bullets into a parked car. Scaramella insisted that he was the target of an assassination squad from Ukraine connected to al-Qaida, and he led police to a truck containing four Ukrainians and an unimpressive stash of arms: two grenades. Scaramella's precise knowledge of the operation attracted suspicion, and he is now under investigation for arms trafficking. He also claimed that Russians were transporting a shipment of uranium across Italy—another claim that didn't pan out. Scaramella's interest in nuclear waste is linked to a business he has set up in the field of environmental security. He lists himself as the "secretary general" of an organization, allegedly connected to the United Nations, known as the Environmental Crime Protection Program, which has been described as little more than a small office in Naples, an "empty box," that gives Scaramella an impressive-sounding title to put on his business card. The ECPP, in turn, could be used to win government contracts for investigating crimes against the environment—hence Scaramella's claims about uranium shipments and nuclear missiles in Italy. Potentially, this was a good fit with his position as consultant to the Mitrokhin Commission, putting him into contact with former Soviet spies who might give him information about hazardous nuclear materials that he could, in turn, use to drum up business for his Environmental Crime Protection Program. Scaramella was interested in what Litvinenko could tell him about the status of Russian nuclear materials and potentially embarrassing material about Italian politicians. We know that he was trying to get the former KGB agent to state that Berlusconi's principal political rival (and current prime minister) Romano Prodi was being groomed as a Soviet spy, but the presence of polonium-210 at their last meeting may have been related to Scaramella's interest in nuclear materials in his environmental security business. British police have not immediately accepted Litvinenko's claim to have been poisoned by Vladmir Putin's secret police. It is possible that Litvinenko may have been trafficking in nuclear materials and accidentally poisoned himself while handling a leaky vial of the radioactive isotope. This would explain why traces of polonium-210 have turned up in different places where Litvinenko went in early November. Scaramella, along with a few others, may have been accidentally exposed in the process. For Scaramella, a man who had been insisting that he was the target of a massive international assassination plot, the polonium episode may have appeared like the fulfillment of his deepest fantasies. He and Guzzanti held press conferences and gave interviews by the dozen about being targets of an international hit squad. (Why Putin would want to kill associates of his good friend and ally Berlusconi, they never explained.) As the criminal investigations into his activities heated up, Scaramella flew to London and announced that he had ingested "five times the lethal dose" of polonium—a fact immediately denied by British doctors. In Rome, Guzzanti told the press that Scaramella had been given a "death sentence." A week later, Scaramella walked out of a London hospital under his own steam, apparently in good health, saying that he had been contaminated accidentally. In the last few days, another KGB agent and sometime source of Scaramella's, Oleg Gordievsky, has come forward, granting a long interview to Rome's La Repubblica in which he revealed that Scaramella persecuted him for two years, trying to get him to make false statements about Prodi and other politicians of the Italian center-left. He referred to Scaramella as a pathological liar and a megalomaniac. At a certain point, he says he e-mailed Guzzanti, insisting that Scaramella was a "mental case" who needed to be reined in. He then contacted MI6 and asked the British security service to get the Italians to cease and desist. Advertisement

The kind of thing that Scaramella was really up to in London has come out in a series of wiretapped phone conversations made in the course of the arms-dealing investigation. Most revealing of all was a series of phone conversations between Scaramella and Guzzanti that took place a month before the Italian national elections this March, in which Prodi narrowly defeated Berlusconi. (Guzzanti and Scaramella have expressed outrage that the conversations of a member of parliament were wiretapped and leaked to the press, but they have not contested the accuracy of the accounts published in the newspapers.) Scaramella tells Guzzanti that he has a former KGB agent who is prepared to go on record saying that the KGB was "cultivating" Romano Prodi as a source. "There is no information that Prodi was a KGB agent, but we can talk about his being 'cultivated,' " Scaramella tells Guzzanti. "Cultivated is enough," Guzzanti says. "It's a lot, but don't imagine we're going to get a statement by whoever saying 'Prodi was an agent.' ... What is undoubtedly true is that the Russians considered Prodi a friend of the Soviet Union." Guzzanti becomes furious: "Friend of the Soviet Union doesn't mean a thing. What do I give a shit about a friend of the Soviet Union? Does that sound like a big news story to you: friend of the Soviet Union? … But 'cultivated' suits me fine." In another conversation, Scaramella insisted that Berlusconi promised him a job at the United Nations after the elections, though Berlusconi has denied even knowing who Scaramella is. But in one of his wiretapped conversations, Guzzanti indicates that he has kept Berlusconi informed about his investigations. "The news made a big impact," Guzzanti told Scaramella. "I told him that the problem with this business is that we need to be able to prove what we're saying, and he, surprising me a bit, said, 'Well, in the meanwhile, we force them to defend themselves.' " What the Litvinenko-Scaramella connection offers—along with a glimpse at the murky world of former Soviet spies—is a picture of Berlusconi's Italy, in which bogus scandals are manufactured in order to distract attention from real scandals (many involving Berlusconi and his associates), a place where a businessman-turned-politician can use one of his journalists to conduct a bogus investigation carried out by a shady con man without the least regard for the truth or lack of truth in whatever dirt they dig up.

A contact and the wife of dead former spy Alexander Litvinenko have both tested positive for polonium-210, the substance found in the Russian's body. Italian Mario Scaramella is not thought to be suffering physical symptoms but the amount found is "likely to be of concern for [his] immediate health".

Mr Litvinenko's wife, Marina, has also been found to have traces of the substance but is not currently ill.

She is reported to be "very slightly contaminated" and is not in hospital.

A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said: "The levels are not significant enough to result in any illness in the short term and the results are reassuring in that any increased risk in the long term is likely to be very small."

Mr Scaramella met Mr Litvinenko at a sushi restaurant, Itsu, in central London on 1 November, the day the former KGB agent fell ill.

The Italian has now been admitted to London's University College Hospital for further tests.

Hospital reassurance

Dr Keith Patterson, of University College Hospital, said: "Tests have detected polonium-210 in Mr Scaramella's body, but at a considerably lower level than Mr Litvinenko.

"He is currently well and shows no symptoms of radiation poisoning. He is receiving further tests over the weekend."

Those present at the examination at the Royal London Hospital, in east London, wore protective clothing to avoid contamination by traces of the polonium-210 isotope. Results may not be available for several days.

The BBC understands Mr Litvinenko's family have been told he will have to be buried in a sealed coffin, and if they wanted to have a cremation they would have to wait 22 years.

Mr Scaramella is involved in an Italian parliamentary inquiry into KGB activity and was sufficiently worried by the contents of an e-mail to ask for advice from Mr Litvinenko.

The e-mail said that he, Mr Litvinenko and an Italian senator, Paolo Guzzanti, were possible targets for assassination.

Friends of Mr Litvinenko believe he was poisoned because of his criticisms of the Putin government.

The Kremlin has denied any suggestion it was involved in any way as "sheer nonsense".

Mr Litvinenko died last week in a London hospital Mr Scaramella was taken to University College Hospital in an ambulance.

A room was also sealed off at Ashdown Park Hotel, in Sussex. It is thought this is in connection with the investigation into Mr Scaramella.

UKIP MEP Gerard Batten, an acquaintance of Mr Scaramella, said he had seemed fine when they last spoke.

"The last time I spoke to him, on Sunday I think, his worry about his own contamination had been allayed - he thought he was ok."

Mr Guzzanti has indicated he fears for his life and is contacting Italian authorities to check if he has been poisoned.

Mr Litvinenko, an ex-KGB officer and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died last week of radiation poisoning attributed to polonium-210.

The investigation into the spy's death has unearthed traces of radiation at 12 locations, including two BA planes.

British Airways is contacting 33,000 passengers from 221 flights, but the airline and the government have stressed any risk to public health low.

On Friday the British Embassy in Moscow said there was no information to suspect any link between Mr Litvinenko's death and former prime minister of Russia Yegor Gaidar, who was taken ill in the Republic of Ireland.

But RTE news reported that the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland is checking the National University of Ireland Maynooth, County Kildare, and the James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin for the presence of polonium.

The university has done its own parallel tests, which it says were negative.

Ten days after Alexander Litvinenko succumbed in a London hospital to poisoning by highly radioactive polonium-210, the mystery surrounding the death of the former Russian agent has merely deepened.

The affair has drawn in the Kremlin and its security services, Russian exiles in Britain, and reports of radioactive traces being found not only in London but on aircraft plying the Moscow route. Only yesterday a Finnair jetliner tested positive in the Russian capital. But in an exotic cast of characters, nobody is more mysterious than Mario Scaramella, the self-styled Italian "professor" who lunched with the Russian defector on the day he was poisoned.

It was at the Itsu sushi bar in Piccadilly, where the two men met at 3pm on 1 November, that the highest levels of polonium-210 radiation have been found. Mr Scaramella says he only drank water, while Mr Litvinenko had miso soup and sushi. Traces of the radioactive substance have also been found in the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, where the defector had tea with Russian associates, including a former colleague in the FSB, the successor service to the KGB, later in the afternoon.

And Mr Scaramella himself has now tested positive for the deadly isotope, and is being treated at University College Hospital, where Mr Litvinenko died. Mr Scaramella is not said to be in danger, but somehow or other he came into contact with the substance.

Mr Litvinenko accused Mr Scaramella of poisoning him from the day he first fell ill: as the Italian told me, his name was all over Russian and Chechen websites as the main suspect in the poisoning of the former FSB agent long before the story hit the British press. Mr Litvinenko retained his suspicion right up to his death. Speaking of the Itsu meeting, he said: "Mario didn't want anything, he gave me the email printouts ... I said to myself, he could have sent these emails by computer. But instead he wanted to come and give them to me in person: why, and why in such a hurry? He was very nervous."

Mr Scaramella told me that he wanted to hand over the emails in person, because their contents were so sensitive. He said that he told the Russian at the restaurant: "You introduced me to [former Russian spy] Yevgeny Limarev, now Limarev has sent me a very strong statement."

The emails, which The Independent on Sunday has seen, stated that " Russian intelligence officers speak more and more about the necessity to use force" against Mr Scaramella and Mr Litvinenko, among others. But Mr Limarev has denied sending the emails, and his name does not appear anywhere in them.

British police have said they do not consider Mr Scaramella a suspect in Mr Litvinenko's death. He flew to London again last week to meet detectives voluntarily, and the two bodyguards keeping an eye on him at University College Hospital are there for his protection. Since being named as Mr Litvinenko's murderer in the Chechen press, he told me, his life has been at risk. "I was told, if you touch Mr Litvinenko, the Chechens will kill you," he said. "The Chechens have identified me as a military target." Mr Litvinenko was a strong supporter of the Chechen cause after defecting to the UK in 2001.

But while Mr Scaramella's problems in Britain may be mostly medical, in Italy last week he found himself at the centre of a criminal investigation. The accusations date from the five years when he was a consultant to the Mitrokhin Commission, an Italian parliamentary body set up in 2001 on the orders of the then Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to investigate the activities of Soviet and post-Soviet spies in Italy.

Mr Scaramella claims to be many things, including a professor at Naples University, an honorary magistrate, and consultant to something called the Environmental Crime Protection Programme (ECPP). But Naples University has not heard of him. The ECPP has no fixed office. The post as magistrate is non-paying. The only job he has had in recent years over which there is no doubt is with the Mitrokhin Commission.

Yet it is this job, which finished before Italy's general election in April, that has now landed him in hot water. On the orders of the public prosecutor of Naples, Mr Scaramella's phone was tapped; last week Italian papers published what were reported to be transcripts of conversations between him and the president of the Mitrokhin Commission, Senator Paolo Guzzanti, a member of Mr Berlusconi's Forza Italia party.

The transcripts allegedly show the two men discussing how Mr Scaramella is to acquire strong enough evidence from Moscow to label Romano Prodi, then the leader of Italy's centre-left opposition, now Prime Minister, a tool of the Russians. Other members of the Prodi government were also said to have been targeted, including the head of the Green Party, Alfonso Scanio, who is now environment minister.

"We can't go so far as to say Prodi is a KGB agent," Mr Scaramella allegedly says at one point. "But we can say that the Russians consider Prodi a friend ..." Mr Guzzanti explodes. "Friend doesn't mean a fucking thing!" he roars. "Are you taking me for a cunt?"

Lawyers for Mr Scaramella and Mr Guzzanti have protested at the bugging, but have not questioned the authenticity of the transcripts. After they appeared, Mr Prodi announced that he would sue "all those who, by words and deeds, have wounded my dignity as a citizen and as a representative of institutions".

Doubts about Mr Scaramella's work for the Mitrokhin Commission are not new. In 2004, opposition members of the commission described his contributions as "barely credible and not at all helpful ... grotesque and mysterious ... " But yesterday Oleg Gordievsky, the most senior Russian agent ever to defect to Britain, said Mr Scaramella's main source for allegations against Mr Prodi was none other than Mr Litivinenko, who came to this country in 2000 and recently became a British citizen.

"I was with Litvinenko when we met members of the UK Independence Party, " Mr Gordievsky told the IoS yesterday. "He told them that a KGB general, Anatoly Trofimov, had said to him: 'Prodi is one of ours.' The UKIP members later repeated the allegation in the European Parliament, when Mr Prodi was head of the European Commission in Brussels."

Mr Gordievsky, who was smuggled to Britain by MI6 after coming under suspicion as a double agent in 1985, said he knew nothing to support the allegations against Mr Prodi. But he was at one with Mr Litvinenko's other associates in accusing the Kremlin of murdering him. "Since July Russia has had a law permitting the FSB to kill people abroad that it doesn't like," he said. "They killed a British citizen on British soil, and they are smearing other people, including me."

The death of the former FSB agent is an undoubted embarrassment to Britain's security services, amid suggestions that they relaxed their guard once he had been in the country for a few years. But one well-connected source claimed the investigation into the affair showed there were wider implications. He speculated that Mr Litvinenko's poisoning could have been an accidental by-product of a terror plot involving radioactive material, and directed against Russia.

But the more the affair is discussed, the murkier it becomes. Nuclear experts insist that only a state would have the resources necessary to produce the polonium-210 used in the killing. One source said that officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had helped investigators identify the Russian reactor where the polonium used to kill Mr Litvinenko was produced. In Russia, the source, added, security is not tight around Russian reactors. There would be plenty of highly qualified but poorly paid scientists with access to the material who could be tempted to obtain it on behalf of a criminal gang in return for money.

All this, however, does not answer the question: who killed Alexander Litvinenko? "All we have is a significant date of 1 November, because that is when Litvinenko became ill," said a Whitehall source. " According to the records, that is the first time that he called an ambulance. "

Scotland Yard is still working round the clock to plot the radiation trail, which appears to have spread not only round parts of England but also the world. Detectives are trying to work their way back to a "clean episode" where there is no radiation contamination. Only then can they establish when and where Mr Litvinenko came to ingest such a huge dose of polonium-210. They have not ruled out murder or suicide, but it is understood officers have ruled out a link between a reported firebomb attack on Mr Litvinenko's London home and his poisoning. His body suffered extreme trauma as a result of the level of radiation it received, but experts hope they can still establish the exact dose that he ingested.

But Whitehall is playing down any suggestion that the contamination of Mr Scaramella makes him a likely suspect. "It is unlikely for a major suspect to return to a crime scene and even more unlikely for them to voluntarily give police a debrief. This is being treated as a suspicious event, not as a murder inquiry," one source said.

Additional reporting by Sophie Goodchild, Raymond Whitaker and Francis Elliott

From Moscow to Rome: Some of Italy's leading figures have crossed Mario Scaramella's path

SILVIO BERLUSCONI

Set up the Mitrokhin Commission, which hired Scaramella as a consultant. The commission has been called a crude attempt to smear Berlusconi's opponents as communists

ROMANO PRODI

Now Prime Minister. Said to be the principal target of attempts to link Italian

politicians with the KGB. Among his accusers, according to another defector, was Alexander Litvinenko

PAOLO GUZZANTI

Senator from Berlusconi's Forza Italia party and head of the Mitrokhin Commission. Phone transcripts allegedly show him using obscenities as he tells Scaramella to find more dirt on Prodi

ALFONSO SCANIO

Now environment minister and another alleged target of political smear campaign. Right, the front page of La Repubblica, carrying leaked transcripts of calls between Guzzanti and Scaramella

THE WIDOW: 'My love for my wife and son knows no bounds'

One of the few people to have remained silent since the death of Alexander Litvinenko is his widow, Marina, despite all the speculation, claims and counter-claims about who poisoned her husband.

Mrs Litvinenko, 44, was at the former KGB agent's bedside when he died on 23 November, and this week she faces the heartbreaking task of burying him in a specially sealed coffin.

In the long term, she also faces the possible impact of having been in close contact with her husband in the weeks leading up to his death. It is understood that she is the "family member" who has tested positive for small amounts of polonium-210, although health protection officials have refused to confirm this.

Mrs Litvinenko stayed with her husband as he lay dying in University College Hospital. The level of polonium-210 she has been exposed to is not thought to be dangerous, but it could increase her risk of cancer.

Those close to Mrs Litvinenko have said she repeatedly claimed that her husband had been deliberately targeted after a meeting with an underworld contact, but that medical staff had ignored her.

One is reported as saying: "She suspected from an early stage that her husband had been poisoned, but the hospital staff weren't taking her seriously. Had they tested for poison earlier, then maybe they could have done something to prevent him getting worse."

A day before his death, Mr Litvinenko paid tribute to her in a whispered statement: "I thank my wife, Marina. My love for her and our son knows no bounds."


At the end of Nanni Moretti's film, Il Caimano (The Cayman), supporters of Silvio Berlusconi stone the magistrates and set fire to the courthouse which has just tried him for corruption. The film, which keeps close to the real events surrounding Berlusconi's time in office, suggests what many people knew long ago; that Italy's ex-prime minister has always viewed himself above the law, and that he has an obsessive fear of "red judges", communists and coglioni (dickheads) intent on bringing him down.

This strategy was most apparent during and after the election campaign in April 2006 when, after a sustained attempt to characterise his centre-left rival Romano Prodi as a stooge of the communist left with his own dodgy business links, he refused to accept the decision of the electorate. Indeed he threatened to make Italy ungovernable and to use every parliamentary loophole available to bring the government down.

On this occasion he has been true to his word. A demonstration in Rome on 2 December 2006 (dubbed by the media "Berlusconi day") saw up to a million demonstrate against the government's new budget and ended with a call from Berlusconi for a recountof the 9-10 Aprilelection. Not for the first time his demand was accommodated by a weak and uncertain political class (there had also been rival claims from two leftwing journalists of cheating in the ballot by Berlusconi's Forza Italia); the senate has now ordered a recount of a selection of the ballots of an election held eight months ago, though most doubt it will find anything substantial.

The strategy of fear that Berlusconi has sustained since the election fits perfectly his populist mode of governing which appeals directly to the people through emotive language, scaremongering and constant claims that powerful interests are conspiring against him.

Also in openDemocracy on the case of Alexander Litvinenko:

Zygmunt Dzieciolowski, "Alexander Litvinenko: the poison of power" (20 November 2006)

A secret conversation

It is only in this context that we can understand the strange case of Mario Scaramella, the self-styled security expert who was with Alexander Litvinenko in the sushi bar in Wardour Street, Piccadilly on that fateful 1 November meeting. We don't know whether Silvio Berlusconi offered Scaramella a job at the United Nations if he found evidence to link Romano Prodi to the KGB as Scaramella has claimed (Berlusconi denies ever having met him).

However we do know that what started out as a case of "dirty tricks" in the KGB has become an issue of "dirty tricks" in Italian politics, reflecting the fear, rancour and culture of illegality that has characterised the Berlusconi years. Indeed, as is now becoming clear, Mario Scaramella shares the same obsessions, attracts the same interest from the magistrates and has a similar murky and mysterious background as that of the former Italian premier.

Scaramella was employed as a security consultant by the Mitrokhin commission set up by Berlusconi in 2002 and disbanded earlier in 2006. This commission, named after the former major of the KGB (Vasili Mitrokhin) who defected to the west from post-Soviet Russia in 1992 with an archive of KGB dealings and contacts, was supposedly set up to investigate links between the KGB and Italian politicians during the cold war. Italy had been in the period the home of western Europe's largest communist party, though it was also increasingly the one most critical of Moscow (and from the mid-1970s, under the leadership of Enrico Berlinguer, openly critical of Soviet policy).

Scaramella's own background is as mysterious as everything else in the Litvinenko case. A man from Naples in his mid-30s, he describes himself as an academic though, as yet, none of the universities to which he claims alignment has confirmed he is, or has been, on their books. He runs his own environmental-crime protection unit, though he himself has been under investigation for smuggling weapons between Italy and Russia, for breaching security rules, for being involved in a waste-disposal scam in Naples and in unsolved cases of stolen uranium. He has even been involved in a shoot-out with members of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia.

Critics suggest that the real purpose of the Mitrokhin commission was to discredit the left and Romano Prodi's leadership. In a telephone conversation between Scaramella and Paolo Guzzanti, the commission's president, on 28 January 2006 (intercepted byCorriere della Sera), Scaramella is overhead telling Guzzanti that Romani Prodi was "cultivated by the KGB", citing the ex-KGB colonel Oleg Gordievsky as his source. Guzzanti responds: "In that case he is our man?" "Yes" is Scaramella's reply. "That's enough. I don't want to know anything else", Guzzanti replies.

These accusations have led the Italian prime minister to respond with legal action. The claims of a politically motivated plot against him look stronger when the role of Scaramella is examined further. In another telephone conversation with a Californian named "Perry" three days earlier on 25 January, an excited Scaramella has some news for his American friend.

He repeats the "evidence" supplied by Gordievsky, only this time Prodi is described as a former "agent of the KGB". He also elaborates on Prodi's supposed role in the KGB, citing a former US intelligence officer Lou Palumbo, who allegedly told him that Prodi was attached to two different KGB departments, the fifth department and Service A (which was responsible for "active measures"). He also tells Perry that he has informed Berlusconi of his findings and that Berlusconi was "organising his [election] campaign on this".

Scaramella then recounts his conversation with Berlusconi, in which he asked the then Italian premier for a job, preferably at Nato or the United Nations. He claims that he was first offered a place in parliament, which he declined because he feared a robust campaign against him after he had made his claims against Prodi public, and that he "preferred a post outside Italy in an international organisation".

The past's shadow

The president of the Mitrokhin commission, Paolo Guzzanti, is a Forza Italia senator and as a journalist has long held a senior position at Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by the Berlusconi family, which has been running the KGB-Italian left story for months. (He is also the father of Sabina Guzzanti, a prominent leftwing comedian whose satirical programme Raiot was removed from the airwaves after protests from the Berlusconi government). In recent days Paolo Guzzanti has defended the role of the commission, denying it had an ulterior political motive and that it was a serious attempt to understand the KGB's links with Italy.

In fact the Mitrokhin commission itself produced no concrete evidence of any links between Italian left wing politicians and the KGB before it was wound up in 2006. It has, however, produced some absurd claims, including the one that the KGB organised the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul in 1981 and the 1978 Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades') murder of Italian prime minister Aldo Moro.

In the last few days Scaramella's chief source of evidence for Prodi's KGB links has spoken out. In an interview with La Repubblica, Oleg Gordievsky flatly denied Scaramella's story, describing Scaramella as "a mental case" and a "filthy liar who wanted to ruin Prodi". Denying that he ever said that Prodi was a KGB agent or had been "cultivated" by Soviet intelligence, (as Scaramella has claimed) Gordievsky recounted how he had been approached by Scaramella three years ago after being recommended by Guzzanti as a reliable and trustworthy member of the commission.

Litvinenko, Scaramella and Gordievsky, the ex-Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and a British MEP met together in a hotel in Regent Street when Litvinenko passed on the view of a former KGB colonel Anatoli Trofimov (assassinated in 2005), that there were many KGB men in Italy and that even Prodi was suspected.

In Gordievsky's view, Litvinenko, for reasons that were unclear (possibly to maintain future contacts) had "decided to say what Scaramella wanted to hear". By this time Scaramella was convinced he had got his man. Bukovsky has also revealed to La Repubblica that Scaramella was obsessed with nailing Prodi, insisting to Bukovsky that he re-examine his evidence, even after the Russian had stated emphatically that he could not find a trace of evidence linking Prodi to the KGB.

There are many unanswered questions in the Litvinenko poisoning. The precise nature of Scaramella's involvement is still unclear. He has claimed that he arranged to meet Litvinenko to discuss threats made on his life by Russian secret-service agents, following the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. He has also said that his life and that of Paolo Guzzanti had been threatened in response to criticism made by the commission. If, from the Russian angle, it is a case worthy of a John Le Carré novel, then it is also true that the deceit, illusions of power and obsessions that have surrounded Scaramella's role in the events, have a depressing resonance with the current state of Italian politics.

Speaking to reporters from his London hospital bed, on the day that he had been cleared of having any trace of Polonium 210 on his body (despite Guzzanti's earlier tearful prediction that he was on the verge of death after having five times the lethal amount), Scaramella defended his role in the commission: "I have only done my job, without prejudice and without any political interest".

SCOTLAND YARD is investigating a suspected plot to assassinate a former Russian spy in Britain by poisoning him with thallium, the deadly metal. Aleksander Litvinenko, who defected to Britain six years ago, is fighting for his life in a London hospital. A toxicology test at Guy's hospital last Thursday confirmed the presence of the odourless, tasteless poison. (...) In an interview last week at his bedside in the cancer ward of Barnet hospital, where he was being treated under a different name, Litvinenko said he believed it was a murder plot to avenge his defection.

"They probably thought I would be dead from heart failure by the third day," he said. "I do feel very bad. I've never felt like this before -- like my life is hanging on the ropes."

Litvinenko claimed political asylum in 2000 and was granted British citizenship last month. One of the highest profile defectors from the FSB, he is on the wanted list in Moscow where he has made powerful enemies with his criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

Last month Litvinenko received an unexpected e-mail from a man he knew as Mario, an acquaintance he had made in Italy. The Italian said he wanted to meet him in London because he had some important information about the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian investigative journalist who was killed in the lift of her Moscow apartment block.

Litvinenko was a friend of Politkovskaya, one of the Kremlin's most powerful critics, particularly over the war in Chechnya.

"We met at Piccadilly Circus," said Litvinenko. "Mario said he wanted to sit down to talk to me, so I suggested we go to a Japanese restaurant nearby.

"I ordered lunch but he ate nothing. He appeared to be very nervous. He handed me a four-page document which he said he wanted me to read right away. It contained a list of names of people, including FSB officers, who were purported to be connected with the journalist's murder.

"The document was an e-mail but it was not an official document. I couldn't understand why he had to come all the way to London to give it to me. He could have e-mailed it to me."

After the meeting the Italian had simply "disappeared", although Litvinenko emphasised that he was not in a position to accuse him of involvement in his poisoning.


According to a report published in the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets ("Moscow Young Communist League Member") Mr Litvinenko is a double agent and recently visited Moscow giving testimonies to Russian police about the murder of an American female journalist of jewish origin in Russia. Menwhile, the FSB is unofficially reported to have killed the woman. According to the FSB report published today in Moskovsky Komsomolets, Mr Litvinenko was poisoned in a London restaurant by a CIA agent, Mario Scaramella, on November 1, 2006, purportedly in connection with his role as a double agent, the role invented by the FSB in this story to descredit Mr Litvinenko.

As earlier reported by the Chechepress news agency, Mario Scaramella is a FSB agent in Italy and a close friend and business partner of the FSB deputy chief Kolmogorov. The Italian visited several time the FSB headquarters in Moscow.

Gerard Batten MEP - 60 second speech to the European Parliament - "Romano Prodi" - Strasbourg 3.4.06 03-04-2006 One of my constituents, Alexander Litvinenko, was formerly a Lieutenant Colonel in the Russian Federation's FSB, the successor to the KGB. Mr Litvinenko's exposure of illegal FSB activities forced him to seek political asylum abroad.

Before deciding on a place of refuge he consulted his friend, General Anatoly Trofimov, a former Deputy Chief of the FSB. General Trofimov reportedly said to Mr Litvinenko, "Don't go to Italy, there are many KGB agents among the politicians: Romano Prodi is our man there."

In February 2006 Mr Litvinenko reported this information to Mario Scaramella of the Guzzanti Commission investigating KGB penetration of Italian politics.

Alexander Litvinenko's father calls his son a traitor The father of murdered Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko has dramatically withdrawn his claims that his son was killed in London on Vladimir Putin's orders, branding his own son a traitor who may have deserved to die. Speaking to Russian state TV in his tiny flat in Italy, Walter Litvinenko, 73, said he deeply regretted accusing the Russian prime minister and FSB security service of involvement in his son's death, saying he hoped to be forgiven and allowed to return to Russia. "Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin), If you are watching this programme, please forgive me for all the slander that I said and wrote about you, for all the hatred I had for you," he told RT, the Kremlin's English-language satellite TV channel. "If only I had known that my son had worked for British intelligence I would not have talked about his death. He could easily have been shot as a double agent. Traitors should be shot." Suggesting his son was involved in a murky espionage world who may have been the author of his own demise, he conceded he could not be 100 per cent sure that he really did work for MI6 however. Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB security service agent and outspoken Kremlin critic, died in London in 2006 after drinking a cup of tea laced with radioactive polonium 210 in a top London hotel.

Speaking at his current home in Italy, a sobbing Valter Litvinenko told Russian TV he wanted back to Russia.

"Forgive me, my Motherland, for God's sake," the 73-year-old said. "Help me, an old man, to return to his country."

Previously, he had blamed his son's death on the government of then Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian investigators claimed that someone had tried and failed to kill Mr Lugovoi in London with the same radioactive poison that ended Mr Litvinenko's life.

"We have opened a new criminal investigation," sources from the office of the Russian investigative committee told local media. "We have opened it in relation to the attempted murder of Lugovoi by people who have yet to be established," they said. "Lugovoi has been classified as a 'victim' in this case." As a serving MP in his native Russia Mr Lugovoi currently enjoys immunity from prosecution but that will run out if he fails to win re-election to the Russian parliament this Sunday. His new status as "a victim" in the case will add a new layer of protection for him however.

The killing had “properly been described as an act of nuclear terrorism on the streets of London” and the inquest should examine whether the killing was a “targeted assassination by an agent of a foreign state on the territory of the United Kingdom,” Ben Emmerson QC for Mrs Litvinenko, told a preliminary hearing at St Pancras coroner’s court. He said that 97 per cent of polonium 210 was produced by a reactor in Russia but the Russian state had “wholly failed in its obligation to launch an independent inquiry.” “It’s not going to happen in Russia and it never will,” he added. “For the family an inquest that doesn’t examine the question [of state involvement] would be an inquest that had failed to inquire fully into the circumstances of his death.” He said the case was of “unprecedented international sensitivity” amid allegations that the government has taken the pressure off Russia in order to ease trade relations. Dr Andrew Reid, the St Pancras coroner, agreed that he would probably widen the scope of the inquest to include such issues and asked the police, MI5 and MI6 to begin an investigation.


His widow, Marina, has been campaigning ever since for a further investigation into claims that he was killed at the behest of the Russian state - and 10 days ago was rewarded when the St Pancras coroner said he would reopen the case and commission a wide-ranging inquiry. She talked to Sally Williams about what this means for herself, her son, and her long search for the truth about her husband's death. Marina Litvinenko sits in a bar of the Strand Palace Hotel, London, and settles down to talk about the past. The past, for her, began at 8.30am on 1 Nov 2006, when she drove her 12-year-old son from their home in Muswell Hill to Kentish Town station so he could catch the train to his school, City of London. At the time, she, her husband Alexander, and their son, Anatoly, were exiled Russians living in London. Her husband was an ex-KGB officer – and an outspoken critic of the Kremlin – and the family fled from the country in 2000. In London, he worked as a consultant for MI5 and MI6 investigating organised crime in Russia. She was the family driver and usually drove him in her Mitsubishi Pinion to the tube station, and to meetings. "I was like his personal assistant," she smiles.

But that morning he was late and she had a date with some friends, so he caught the bus instead. "He had his Oyster card, and later that helped the police to find the bus he took that morning, and it was clean," she says. "There was no trace of polonium." This is significant, because that day, her husband met businessmen Andrey Lugovoi, a former KGB agent, and Dmitry Kovtun in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in London. Mr Lugovoi was later accused of slipping polonium-210 – a radioactive substance – into Litvinenko's green tea. A Kremlin spokesman dismissed the allegation as "sheer nonsense", even suggesting that Litvinenko killed himself with the polonium – either on purpose or by accident – which is why Mrs Litvinenko is so relieved there was no trace on the bus on which her husband travelled. Instead investigators tracked polonium to Mr Lugovoi's hotel room and his plane seat. Nov 1 2006 was in any case a special day for the couple – not only the sixth anniversary of their escape to London, but also the first time they were to celebrate it as the new British citizens they had become three weeks before. With their new citizenship they even had new British names: Maria and Edwin Carter; Anatoly was Anthony. Mrs Litvinenko cooked a special dinner of chicken pancakes. "My mum stayed with us three weeks before and she gave me the recipe and I saw how Sasha [Alexander] enjoyed it," she said. But that night, he felt ill and started vomiting. She worried it was the chicken pancakes, "but then I thought, it can't be, because I don't feel bad." Doctors suspected an autumn bug, but finally - after three days - he was admitted to hospital with breathing problems and a low body temperature. On Nov 20, dramatic pictures of Litvinenko in his hospital bed showed his hair had fallen out. He died three days later from the effects of radiation. He knew he'd been poisoned, says Mrs Litvinenko, but the Health Protection Agency only confirmed the cause - polonium - three hours after he died. From his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of plotting his murder; the Kremlin warned such suggestions could damage relations between London and Moscow. In 2007, the Crown Prosecution Service recommended that Mr Lugovoi be charged with murder; Russia refused British requests for his extradition. Mr Lugovoi is now a Russian MP. But that was the past and almost five years after her husband died, Mrs Litvinenko is in the news again. Last week, much to her amazement, coroner Dr Andrew Reid ruled that she had the right to a reopened inquest and a new and deeper inquiry into the drama of her husband's final weeks. "It was not exactly what we expected," she says, with a wry smile. Neither the government nor the police wanted a full inquiry, she believes. She is sitting with Alex Goldfarb, her Russian co-author of The Death of a Dissident, the story of the affair, and their mood is buoyant, even though the inquest will come with a huge bill to ensure her own concerns are represented. (The inquest into the death of Princess Diana lasted six months; that into 7/7 bombings, five months.) The start date will be next year, and they've spent the morning setting up a bank account into which they'll channel any funds they can raise. Mr Lugovoi has agreed to participate via a video link. "It's unprecedented," says Mr Goldfarb, "Usually when somebody is accused of murder he is either being hunted or he is in jail." At 49, Mrs Litvinenko is gamine and poised – she was a ballroom dancing teacher in Russia and still dances once a week – and although she is polite and friendly, it is clear she has been forced into the spotlight by events and would much rather be at home with her son, now 17 and doing his A-levels. She chats about normal things like schools, her parents (still in Moscow), going to the gym, and how she frets about what to wear, like any woman. But the reality her life is curious beyond words. Her close friends now include detectives from Scotland Yard. "They saw Sasha in the last days, they met him, they interviewed him, they have a personal feeling about him," she says. David Miliband invited her to his office twice when he was foreign secretary, and was "very warm" (her favourite term of praise). And the inquest might expose the world's first ever confirmed act of nuclear terrorism. "How did a can of radioactive material which could kill thousands of people get onto the streets of London?" asks Mr Goldfarb. It may also further jeopardise relations between Russia and England. "I don't like that the case of my husband will be a problem between these two countries," she admits, "but I need to know the truth." She sees herself as an innocent who's fallen into a great international drama, a half-mad world of trade and foreign policy. "I try not to think in a global way," she says, "I am a real woman who lost her real husband and I have a real son who lost his father in a very tragic way." She met Litvinenko at her 31st birthday party in Moscow, introduced by friends. "We joked he was my present." She had never met anyone from the KGB before. "I was amazed – it was as if he wasn't from that world at all. He was so young looking, so easy-going, he didn't smoke, he didn't drink." Both were fitness freaks. "He even pretended to like ball room dancing," she says. "But he wasn't any good. He couldn't understand how real men could dance ballroom." She was pregnant within four months of their first meeting, and they married soon after, in 1994. A turning point came when Litvinenko turned against his KGB bosses, exposing what he said was an order to kill the oligarch, Boris Berezovsky. True or not, the allegation had dire consequences. Litvinenko was imprisoned for seven months in 1999. On his release, he faced new charges and they secretly left the country in 2000. "I didn't want to go, but Sasha said they would put him in prison again and there will be danger for us – he had already received some threats against our son." She reminisces happily about their early years in London, going for walks together, and how she planned to start a dancing school while her husband would teach fencing. "We felt completely safe," she says. Which is why she was so bemused when Litvinenko said he'd been poisoned. "I said it's just nonsense that somebody would try to kill you in England," she recalls, still awestruck by the strangeness of it all. She was first told about the polonium in a phone call from the police just hours after her husband died. It was midnight and she'd just got home, "They said you have 30 minutes to take everything you need and get out of the house." Her home was sealed for six months for decontamination. Mrs Litvinenko was only allowed back in wearing a full body radiation protection suit. "After two months I went into our house and when I saw the kitchen – so important for a woman – everything was still left on the table. The pieces of fruit, like bananas, were black. There were flies, insects, it looked like a horror movie." She and her son stayed with neighbours, and then moved to south west London, where they still live. She sold the family home, by now decontaminated of radiation. "It was a place Sasha loved, but I realised it was not my home any more," she said sadly. Her routine now is ballroom dancing once a week, the gym three times a week, and devoting herself to friends and her son. She has no plans to remarry although she has met someone recently. It's been a surprisingly self-enclosed life. But with the new investigation, she realises this is set to change once again. "The last five years have been very painful, but stable, but now something different starts; something not so stable," she said. "But without this process it will be difficult to say I am ready to move on."

London Times: Oleg Gordievsky, the most senior KGB agent to defect to Britain, said that the attempt to kill Mr Litvinenko had been state-sponsored.

It was carried out by a Russian friend and former colleague who had been recruited secretly in prison by the FSB, the successor to the KGB. The Italian who allegedly put poison in Mr Litvinenko's sushi "had nothing to do with it".

(...)

Mr 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 Mr 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 Mr Litvinenko at a hotel and put poison in his tea. That was before Mr 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 Ms Politkovskaya, a close friend.

"Why should this Italian do it? I know him. He is a solid, respectable man. And Sasha was already feeling unwell before the lunch. He was poisoned before he met the Italian."

Mario Scaramella, a consultant for a commission investigating FSB activities in Italy, was last night reported to be in protective custody "terrified for his life".

Mr 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 Mr 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."

Hmmm, Berezovsky? Berezovsky was mentioned twice here on ET in connection with the murder of Politkovskaya, whom we are told was an associate of Litvinenko. As for cuo bono, theories seem to be, in order of significance: Kadyrov (last Politkovskaya's investigation was into where Chechnya reconstruction money are going); enemies of Kadyrov (as he is the one most likely to benefit); Nevzlyn or Berezovsky (provocation and misguided attempt to create Gongadze-II); "concerned" citizen (Politkovskaya was not an exactly popular journalist); Putin does not come up, primarily because he personally is not threatened at all by Politkovskaya. And also The political theory has it that Politkovskaya's murder was ordered from abroad. We were the first to draw attention to this theory. A similar assumption was expressed by President Putin at a press conference in Dresden on October 10. Developments of this theory have mentioned the names of Boris Berezovsky and Leonid Nevzlin - the most prominent of the individuals Russia is trying to extradite. Both Berezovsky and Nevzlin will probably face extradition attempts for a long time to come, having to prove in foreign courts why they should not be returned to Russia. One of their primary objectives is to portray Russia as a state where people can get shot in the head for their pro-democracy convictions.

OME, Nov 21 (Reuters) - A contact who met Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian ex-spy whose poisoning has sparked accusations of a Kremlin assassination plot, said he showed him an organised crime hit-list earing his name on the day he fell ill. Mario Scaramella, who has helped Italy's parliament investigate Cold War-era Soviet espionage, said he met Litvinenko at a London sushi bar to show him emails from a mutual source warning their lives may be in danger.

The threat came from organised criminals based in St. Petersburg, possibly acting on behalf of Russia's government, Scaramella told Reuters. His source suspected the same criminals killed a Russian journalist last month.

Both dismissed the four-page warning as unfounded, he said, adding they were both accustomed to hearing of possible threats.

"I said Alex, I received an alarm in the last few days from a source that you introduced to me," Scaramella said, speaking to reporters in Rome in English.

"He said: 'It's unbelievable. Don't worry about that'." (...)

Scaramella, who describes himself as a consultant but is also an Italian judge [ huh???? ], refused to speculate who was behind the poisoning. But he said the email warned the threat was from the same criminals who killed Politkovskaya.

It included targets in Britain, Italy and elsewhere, and included the names of at least one Italian senator.


Why Litvinenko is being called a "spy"? NPR today also used "spy". He was working as investigator in Organized Crime Division of FSB (same as FBI investigator in the US context) where he got via the prison guard service. At some point he seemed to realize that his career in FSB was over, as, among other things, he was under Internal Affairs investigation for beating and torture of detainees, warrantless searches and explosive trafficking allegations. That's when he participated in political combination of Berezovsky, who at that time was one of the people effectively running the country. Berezovsky was concerned that some of the branches of the government were not enough under his control and manufactured a scandal that should have brought FSB in line.

Litvinenko and few of his fellow officers called the press conference alledging that his FSB management ordered a hit on Berezovsky. Since then courts recognized his allegations as false, but the end result was that after Berezovsky's talk with Yeltsin Organized Crime Division was disbanded and FSB got a new head (Putin, then little known).

Litvinenko got his 1 million $ for this press conference (as alledged by the officers who participated in this conference with him), was arrested following Internal Affairs investigation results and the moment he was released left for UK, where he got political (???) asylum. Courts eventually recognized him as guilty but free on probation, so at the moment he is not even wanted in Russia.

I really doubt that he was a "friend" of Politkovskaya, and contrary to NPR reporting, Goldfarb is also not a "friend", but a trobleshooter lawer for Berezovsky and also the source of this story and few of the stories below.

BTW, poison and conract hits, real or imagined, keeps poping up quite regulary around Berezovsky.

Allegation of imminent poisoning of Berezovsky by (you guessed it) FSB was one of reasons UK courts decided not to extradite Berezovsky to Russia in 2003; "Evidence" was provided by Litvinenko. I'm wondering how dependant Berezovsky's de-facto immunity from prosecution on what Litvinenko done or knows.

In the same 2003 Berezovsky and Litvinenko "stopped" contract hit on Putin. Alledged would be killers were conviniently some of the same officers that participated with Litvinenko in that press conference back in Russia. They were arrested by UK law enforcement, refused (as I understand, regular in such cases in UK) political asylum and went back to Russia.

Politkovskaya was "poisoned" in 2004, too;

Yushenko was poisoned when Berezovsky became interested in his campaign. 2 years later and Yushenko being the president, the crime (?) still not solved.

Anyone remembers story of presidential run by Ivan Rybkin? The guy was scared to hell, and did not look like it was due to FSB or Putin.


Russian ex-PM has mystery illness

Mr Gaidar was rushed to intensive care after collapsing in Dublin Former Russian acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar is being treated in a Moscow hospital amid rumours about the cause of his mystery illness. Mr Gaidar became violently ill during a visit to Ireland last week, and his daughter Maria told the BBC that doctors believe he was poisoned.

Irish police are investigating the claims, as he recovers in Moscow.

Mr Gaidar, 50, fell ill a day after Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko died of radiation poisoning in London.

 


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Old News ;-)

[Sep 14, 2018] Renowned French security expert Paul Barril revaled the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders

Notable quotes:
"... "Renowned French security expert Paul Barril has let loose a bombshell: the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders." ..."
"... Renowned French security expert Paul Barril, in an interview, alleges that Berezovsky was working closely with MI6 and the CIA to discredit Russia and Putin, and that large sums from these agencies were passing through Berezovsky's hands to be paid to individuals to cooperate in these efforts. Barril says Litvinenko was one of Berezovsky's bag men, who passed funds on to others. ..."
"... "Russia has nothing to do with the murder of Litvinenko. The case was fabricated from the beginning. Polonium was chosen as the poison due to its production in Russia, it would implicate Russia. The objective of the whole operation was to discredit president Putin and the FSB. It was done because Russia is blocking US interests around the world, especially in Syria. It was an attempt to weaken Putin's hold on power, to destabilize Russia." ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.theblogmire.com

Miheila says: August 19, 2018 at 9:39 am

"Polonium was chosen as the poison due to its production in Russia, it would implicate Russia". Exactly. Just as 'Novichok' was allegedly used in Salisbury, due to it allegedly being developed in Russia (Mirzyanov) – even though it wasn't actually used against the Skripals at all. Maybe this element of the hoax was inspired by Beluga's use of polonium in the Litvinenko affair.
Anonymous says: August 20, 2018 at 8:06 am
Miheila, the polonium story always seems crazy to me. It relies on Litvinenko being too mean not to buy his own cup of tea. Hardly a foolproof assassination method.
Anonymous-1 says: August 19, 2018 at 5:20 am
PAGE 4 OF 4
This follows a similar pattern to Alexander Litvinenko. Walter Litvinenko, his father, believes Alex received a second dose of agent whilst in hospital. It was a Worlds Apart interview but is now the subject of an Ofcom complaint. Walter said his suspicions were raised by the secrecy of the British government and the fact that they wouldn't let him see any reports. So he made his own investigations, and from initially thinking it was Russia, he now believes it was the British government. He returned to Russia in fear of his life.

OPERATION BELUGA

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/03/15/operation-beluga-the-plot-to-demonise-putin/

"Renowned French security expert Paul Barril has let loose a bombshell: the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders."

The https://www.opednews.com is wrong link, should be: http://mirastnews.com/2016/03/operation-beluga-a-us-uk-plot-to-discredit-putin-and-destabilize-the-russian-federation.html

Renowned French security expert Paul Barril, in an interview, alleges that Berezovsky was working closely with MI6 and the CIA to discredit Russia and Putin, and that large sums from these agencies were passing through Berezovsky's hands to be paid to individuals to cooperate in these efforts. Barril says Litvinenko was one of Berezovsky's bag men, who passed funds on to others.

"Russia has nothing to do with the murder of Litvinenko. The case was fabricated from the beginning. Polonium was chosen as the poison due to its production in Russia, it would implicate Russia. The objective of the whole operation was to discredit president Putin and the FSB. It was done because Russia is blocking US interests around the world, especially in Syria. It was an attempt to weaken Putin's hold on power, to destabilize Russia."

Barril mentions the outspoken Putin foe, financier William Browder, as being in close cooperation with Berezovsky in the discreditation efforts. He also says he is sure Berezovsky was murdered by his secret service handlers after they realized he was behaving erratically and had to be silenced so that he wouldn't give them away.

[Aug 30, 2018] ALEXANDER GOLDFARB

Aug 30, 2018 | www.theblogmire.com

Liane Theuer says: August 20, 2018 at 9:57 pm

ALEXANDER GOLDFARB

Goldfarb is a big player : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Goldfarb_(biologist)

Alexander Goldfarb is/was a friend of Sergei Skripal, Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Berezovsky and Nikolai Glushkov.

Associated with George Soros :

Goldfarb was among the first group of Russian exiles in New York whom Soros invited to brainstorm his potential Foundation in Russia. In 1991 Goldfarb persuaded Soros to donate $100 million to help former Soviet scientists survive the hardships of the economic shock therapy adopted by the Yeltsin government. From 1992 to 1995, Goldfarb was Director of Operations at Soros' International Science Foundation, with many more Soros projects to follow.

Here is a chronology of Goldfarb's press statements. One gets the impression that he has prompted TM how to argue.

March 6

Quote : Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Mr Goldfarb said:

"The Russian secret services and the regime of Mr Putin had the motive and the opportunity to do this. And they did it before. I mean, it's only natural for any reasonable person to suspect them."

Mr Goldfarb, a close friend of killed dissident Alexander Litvinenko, said he has a theory as to why Russia could be behind the latest alleged poisoning.

The microbiologist and activist said it is not a spy theory but instead a political move.

He said: "It is a political motivation and it has to do with the elections of the President, which will happen in Russia in about ten days from now and the major problem for Putin is the turnout because his main opponent has been barred from participating and he has called for a boycott of the elections.

"So Mr Putin is worried there are few people who come people who are apathetic in Russia so this will be used regardless of whether Putin did it or not.

"He has a way to invigorate his nationalistic and extremely anti-western rhetoric."

Mr Goldfarb said the "majority" of Russians would perceive the "poisoning" as the right thing to do as they view Putin as a leader that can "get his enemies wherever they are across the globe."

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/927751/Russian-spy-poisoned-Salisbury-London-Alexander-Litvinenko-Sergei-Skripal-Putin-spy-swap

March 8

Quote : Former-spy Sergei Skripal, his daughter and a policeman have been poisoned in Salisbury in what is suspected to be a state-sponsored hit.

But it is not the first time this has happened as Alexander Litvinenko, who was former Russian secret service officer who defected to the west, died in November 2006 after he drank tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 at the Millenium Hotel in Mayfair.

His friend Alex Goldfarb appeared on Newsnight to warn that it was the inaction from the UK on the Litvinenko murder which led to the recent suspected attempted assassination.

Mr Goldfarb said: "For 10 years the British Government refused to admit that the Litvinenko murder was a state-sponsored crime and up to the very public inquiry which happened in 2016 they maintained this is just a regular criminal matter.

"The moment an English judge ruled that it was a state-sponsored murder and in all probability ordered by Putin David Cameron went on TV and said, 'we knew it from day one'.

"So they were trying to keep it quiet to not to annoy Putin and they invited other attacks like this.

"If the response now will be the same, only words without any actions, there will be a third and a fourth attempt."

He added: "I would pick the Putin theory because he is the only one who had a motive and an opportunity too and he has been shown beyond any reasonable doubt to be involved in the previous assassination – I mean Litvinenko who was my friend.

"He has a motive. His motive is the elections which are coming in about 10 days and there is a very low turnout expected and he needs to energise his nationalistic, anti-western electorate."

"So, he wants to portray himself as a tough guy who can get his enemies anywhere in the world and who has been presenting himself as the only thing that is protecting Russia and the Russians from the plotting and the scheming of the west."

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/928729/bbc-newsnight-russia-spy-war-bbc-news-Sergei-Skripal-assassination-latest-Putin

March 14 by Luke Harding

Quote : Alex Goldfarb, who knew Glushkov, said he thought his death was highly suspicious. "I think it's fairly clear it wasn't an accident or disease. It's either suicide or strangulation, like with Boris [Berezovsky]," Goldfarb said.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/14/russian-exiles-nikolai-glushkov-death-london-suspicious-friends-claim

March 17 DailyNewsUSA

Quote : Alex Goldfarb, a friend of both men as well as a prominent critic of Russia, insisted Vladimir Putin must have ordered both hits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwpV7n-rLTU

March 18

Quote : Police insist they have discovered no connection between the strangling of former businessman Nikolai Glushkov, 68, at his London home last Monday and the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury a fortnight ago.

But Alex Goldfarb, a friend of both men as well as a prominent critic of Russia, insisted Vladimir Putin must have ordered both hits.

Mr Goldfarb told BBC Radio 4: 'There is no connection in a forensic sense probably, but if you look at the larger picture of politics, I am convinced that no murder of this sort could have happened without the personal approval of Putin or some of his immediate deputies.'

Mr Goldfarb was also close to former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was murdered with radioactive polonium-210 in London, and exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who was found dead at his Surrey home in suspicious circumstances.

'All of these in my view have the common denominator of Mr Putin flexing his muscle,' said Mr Goldfarb, a scientist who lives in New York.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5514213/Murder-Putin-critic-linked-Skripal-nerve-agent-attack.html

[Apr 09, 2018] Skripal Case 'Sounds Like the Story Put Forth About Litvinenko'

Notable quotes:
"... *Mr. Dunkerley is recognized internationally for his research and publications about the 2006 Alexander Litvinenko polonium poisoning. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | sputniknews.com

Sputnik: But in the case of Litvinenko there's a huge study, it was one of the most thorough investigations that was conducted by the British, Sir Robert Owen was in charge of that, although he came to the conclusion that there was sufficient evidence heard in open court to build a strong circumstantial case against the Russian state. Do you see any parallels between the two cases? Many people criticized Britain for giving an inadequate response to the Litvinenko case, do you think that they're compensating for that now?

William Dunkerley: The Litvinenko case, as far as the public description of what happened, was a hoax in my view. There was no factual basis, the coroner's inquest didn't start until around five years after his death and before the inquest opened, the British prosecutor Ken Macdonald had said that he had grave suspicions there was Russian state involvement, grave suspicions is a long way from having a case, so I don't think that anything that transpired with Robert Owen's inquest or inquiry has any legitimacy. He was definitely on a witch hunt looking for Russian state involvement. I was involved with an effort to get that witch hunt called off and had probably 50 interactions between me and the chancellor's office Chris Grayling and then Home Secretary Theresa May, and ultimately got them to come along with the view that I had taken about the case; that Owen was conducting a witch hunt that he wasn't authorized to do. Theresa May reprimanded Owen for that in the end and subsequently Owen agreed to remove the search for Russian culpability from the scope of his inquest. That happened at the end of 2013.

*Mr. Dunkerley is recognized internationally for his research and publications about the 2006 Alexander Litvinenko polonium poisoning.

[Apr 09, 2018] Russian Prosecutor General Threatens to Release May's Secret Correspondence

Apr 09, 2018 | sputniknews.com

Deputy Russian Prosecutor General Saak Karapetyan has addressed the case, surrounding the alleged poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, who reportedly is no longer in critical condition. Russian Prosecutor General has accused Britain of violating international law by classifying Sergei Skripal's, as well as Alexander Litvinenko and Boris Berezovsky cases.

The cases of former intelligence officers Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko, as well as the case of former Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky , have been unfolding under the same scenario, unfounded accusations are followed by the demands for sanctions against Moscow, Karapetyan said Monday.

"The anti-Russian campaign around former officer Skripal and his daughter was unfolded by the UK authorities under a scenario similar to that already used in unfounded accusations against Russia over the alleged attempted murder of Boris Berezovsky in London in 2003 and the circumstances of the death of Alexander Litvinenko in the United Kingdom in November 2006," Karapetyan told a briefing.

The official noted that in all three cases the demands to introduce sanctions against Russia had followed groundless claims of Russia's involvement.

On Berezovsky Case

Berezovsky was granted an asylum even though the UK Interior Ministry didn't find any evidence that there was an assassination attempt on the former Russian businessman, the official noted.

Russia hasn't received any documents, concerning the death of tycoon Berezovsky and its cause, Karapetyan noted, adding that Russia submitted 39 requests to the UK for the period from 2006 to 2011 on Berezovsky.

READ MORE: Skripal Case 'Sounds Like the Story Put Forth About Litvinenko' -- Analyst

Berezovsky was most interested in killing former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006, advisor to Russian Prosecutor General Nikolai Atmonyev said Monday.

"I have every reason to assert that Berezovsky was interested in eliminating Litvinenko at that time," Atmonyev told a briefing.

[Apr 02, 2018] The Litvinenko Conspiracy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In order to try and reinforce the government's speculative arguments, the UK establishment has resurrected the trial-by-media case of another Russian defector, former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who is said to have died after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in his tea at a restaurant in London's Mayfair district in late 2006. ..."
Mar 31, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Litvinenko Conspiracy

It's important to note that as far as public perceptions are concerned, the official Skripal narrative has been built directly on top of the Litvinenko case.

In order to try and reinforce the government's speculative arguments, the UK establishment has resurrected the trial-by-media case of another Russian defector, former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who is said to have died after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in his tea at a restaurant in London's Mayfair district in late 2006.

Despite not having any actual evidence as to who committed the crime, the British authorities and the mainstream media have upheld an almost religious belief that the Russian FSB (formerly KGB), under the command of Vladimir Putin, had ordered the alleged radioactive poisoning of Litvinenko.

The media mythos was reinforced in 2016, when a British Public Inquiry headed by Sir Robert Owen accused senior Russian officials of 'probably having motives to approve the murder' of Litvinenko. Again, this level of guesswork and speculation would never meet the standard of an actual forensic investigation worthy of a real criminal court of law, but so far as apportioning blame to another nation or head of state is concerned -- it seems fair enough for British authorities.

Following the completion of the inquiry, Sir Robert had this to say: "Taking full account of all the evidence and analysis available to me, I find that the FSB operation to kill Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin."

Contrary to consensus reality (popular belief), Owen's inquiry was not at all definitive. Quite the opposite in fact, and in many ways it mirrors how the Skripal case has been presented to the public. Despite offering no evidence of any criminal guilt, Owen's star chamber maintained that Vladimir Putin "probably" approved the operation to assassinate Litvinenko. Is "probably" really enough to assign guilt in a major international crime? When it comes to high crimes of state, the answer seems to be yes .

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova , that UK inquiry was "neither transparent nor public" and was "conducted mostly behind doors, with classified documents and unnamed witnesses contributing to the result "

Zakharova highlighted the fact that two key witnesses in the case -- Litvinenko's chief patron, a UK-based anti-Putin defector billionaire oligarch named Boris Berezovsky, and the owner of Itsu restaurant in London's Mayfair where the incident is said to have taken place, had both suddenly died under dubious circumstances.

The British authorities went on to accuse two Russian men in the Litvineko murder -- businessman Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun. Both have denied the accusations. Despite the lack of any real evidence, the United States Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control blacklisted both Lugovoi and Kovtun, as well as Russian persons Stanislav Gordievsky, Gennady Plaksin and Aleksandr I. Bastrykin -- under the Magnitsky Act , which freezes their assets held in American financial institutions, and bans them from conducting any transactions or traveling to the United States.

Notice the familiar pattern: even if the case is inconclusive, or collapses due to a lack of evidence, the policies remain in place.

Despite all the pomp and circumstance however, Owen's official conspiracy theory failed to sway even Litvinenko's own close family members. While Litvinenko's widow Marina maintains that it was definitely the Russian government who killed her husband, Alexsander's younger brother Maksim Litvinenko, based in Rimini, Italy, believes the British report "ridiculous" to blame the Kremlin for the murder of his brother, stating that he believes British security services had more of a motive to carry out the assassination.

"My father and I are sure that the Russian authorities are not involved. It's all a set-up to put pressure on the Russian government," said Litvinenko to the Mirror newspaper, and that such reasoning can explain why the UK waited almost 10 years to launch the inquiry his brother's death.

Maxim also said that Britain had more reason to kill his brother than the Russians, and believes that blaming Putin for the murder was part of a wider effort to smear Russia. Following the police investigation, Alexander's father Walter Litvinenko, also said that he had regretted blaming Putin and the Russian government for his son's death and did so under intense pressure at the time.

For anyone skeptical of the official proclamations of the British state and the mainstream media on the Litvinenko case, it's worth reading the work of British journalist Will Dunkerly here .

With so many questions hanging over the actually validity of the British state's accusations against Russia, it's somewhat puzzling that British police would say they are still 'looking for similarities' between the Skripal and Litvinenko cases in order to pinpoint a modus operandi.

The admission by the British law enforcement that their investigation may take months before any conclusion can be drawn also begs the question: how could May have been so certain so quick? The answer should be clear by now: she could not have known it was a 'Novichok' agent, no more than she could know the 'Russia did it.'

[Mar 25, 2018] Litvinenko wasn't poisoned by Putin - He was likely smuggling the polonium that killed him -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net

Notable quotes:
"... Weekly Standard ..."
"... Washington Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Mar 25, 2018 | www.sott.net

Litvinenko wasn't poisoned by Putin - He was likely smuggling the polonium that killed him Ryan Dawson
ANC Report
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 22:44 UTC Berezovsky
Boris Berezovsky Save As we all know Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned by polonium, a rare radioactive substance. The main narrative blamed it all on Vladimir Putin of Russia. The rationale rested on little other than because Litvinenko was a Putin critic . This was the quick line in mass media, and it was on all the typical war propaganda channels.

There are many things wrong with the "Putin did it" story. For one, there is no motive , even with Litvinenko being a critic of Russia, he was no threat whatsoever to Putin. The man worked with Chechen terrorists and the Israeli-Russian oligarchs . But assuming that there was a sufficient motive to kill him, think about this: Why would Russia use a very rare, very expensive, and easily traceable radioactive substance to kill him instead of some cheap poison or just shooting him? Why risk smuggling radioactive material into the UK which is an act of war?

Yet that is exactly what the UK/US media would have you believe. They want to say that Putin had someone sneak into the UK with polonium and poison Litvinenko with it. It just isn't plausible. It's actually absurd.

Alexander Litvinenko who was formerly FSB fled to the UK to avoid court prosecution in Russia, worked for a shady Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky. Boris Berezovsky just so happens to be the Israeli-Russian oligarch who lived in London after fleeing the Russian judicial system for a multitude of crimes too long to list. He was on Interpol's most wanted list. Here is the grand prize. After the US and UK press branded Putin with the poisoning despite there being Zero evidence, (something the US is very well known for now) investigators were tracking down the traces of Polonium in the UK. They detected traces of Polonium at Berezovsky's office and residence! Now I do not know about you, but in my place of work, and certainly in my house, I do not have rare radioactive substances. Polonium is not something you just get at the market or pick up by accident walking through the park.

No experienced mob boss like Berezovsky would be dumb enough to murder an underling in such a manner either. Therefore his death was an accident. It was mostly likely it was a botched smuggling operation . Why was he moving such a dangerous substance? Did he need fast cash? Were they planning to create a dirty bomb? Such a "smoky bomb" would turn the Polonium into powder and kill anyone who ingested it.

Traces of Polonium were found on the planes that Litvinenko had been on. So I think we can deduce what happened. He was a mule . The questions remain, why did he have it?, Where did he get it? What was he going to do with it? Why was it in the offices of Berezovsky and Erinsys Ltd (Britain's Blackwater)?

The "Putin did it" smear case has never made sense. First of all, the amount of polonium 210 in play would have cost millions of dollars. That amount is too expensive to purchase and too large to go unnoticed if it were stolen. The only way to obtain such a quantity would be on a well organized black market that had a connection to a nuclear facility. It would certainly help organized crime if the nuclear powered supplier they received the Polonium from was not subjected to international inspections or part of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Such a country, ( Foreign country A ) which denied they even built nuclear weapons for decades, would certainly also deny selling their Polonium byproduct as well.

Comment: Not necessarily . See:


Is it possible to hide that from the press? Yes. The media would ignore this for the same reason the media ignores them stealing nuclear secrets and building hundreds of nuclear weapons in Dimona, then throwing whistle blowers who took pictures of their warheads, in jail.

Litvinenko was in Israel, where he met Leonid Nevzlin the CEO of Yukos shortly before he died. If you wanted to buy/steal radioactive material that would be the place. What was he negotiating with Nevzlin? We learned Alexander had been an informant in a case that led to the arrest of nine Georgian and Russian Mobsters in Spain, including Alexander Gofstein a lawyer for Yukos who apparently was laundering money.

The downfall began when Georgian Mob Boss Zakhar Kalashov was arrested in May 2006. The scam was similar to what the old Five Families of New York had done, when guys like Meyer Lansky took profits from illegal gambling businesses and funneled them into buying up real estate in Florida. In the European case, the mob was taking illegal funds and buying up real estate in Spain as well as making investments into legitimate businesses .

Litivnenko's associates, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi, who both had met with him the day of the poisoning, were also both hospitalized. They left traces of Polonium in Hamburg as they had taken the trip to Germany before meeting Litvinenko. It appears all three were involved in a smuggling operation, but for who?

Short answer: Russian Oligarch Boris Berezovsky's employee Alexander Litvinenko died from over exposure to Polonium in a botched smuggling operation. That is why traces of it were at Boris's house and on the planes Litvinenko was riding to and from Israel. The smear on Putin/Russia using a highly traceable 10 million dollar poison to kill a critic is about as plausible and rational as saying we have "British Intelligence" about Niger.... This transparent bogus lie was a quick and shamelessly sloppy explanation to cover up how and why this man in the UK had a radioactive poison in his body. Polonium only has a half life of 138 days.

Litvinenko had been in Israel to visit Yukos's CEO, just shortly before he died. And it's an open secret that Israel has nuclear weapons, the only place without nuclear safeguard or inspections. Traces of polonium were also on the British Airway planes that Litvinenko took to and from Israel. So they would have the means, location, and the timing fits, but let's just blame Putin, "The New Hitler" as Neocons have dubbed him?

Why the fuss about a conspiracy claiming that Putin put Litvinenko on a hitlist and poisoned him? Well as wacky as that story is, it was probably the best they could come up with on short notice. Boris knew once the police found out how Litvinenko died that there would be a lot of explaining to do. He also knew that if the investigation went forward that they could find more of this Polonium on his properties. So they just claimed the KGB was trying to kill them all.

Some History

This is not the first time that Berezovsky tried to pin a murder on someone else and claim that all the damning evidence pointing to him was a frame . There are the notorious cases (in Russia) of Ivan Litskevich and Vlad Listyev.

Ivan Listkevich was the general director of the Omsk oil refinery, easily the best refinery in Russia. Abramovich and Berezovsky planned to take over the refinery and make it part of Berezovsky's Sibnef (which it now is). Listkevich resisted. Ivan had outside investments from LUKoil (10% of the stock) and CS First Boston. So in no way was he threatened to sink. Omsk was in the best location, had the latest equipment, and was well positioned to continue to soar. They serviced the biggest oil producers in Russia. Naturally Ivan did not want to be swallowed by Sibnef. August 19, 1995 Ivan was found drowned in the Irtysh River. I doubt he went there to swim. Five days later Sibnef (Gazprom) took over . August 24th 1995, using his good buddy Yeltsin, Berezovsky got a Presidential Decree №872, to order a transfer of all the state's share in Omsk as well as 4 other companies to Sibnef. Then in 1996 Boris and Roman privatized Sibnef through a series of Loans-for-Shares' auctions which were a complete scam run through front companies and offshore banks. Yeltsin approved of it.

The case may leave doubts in the mind until one learns about the murder of Vlad Listyev. In 1994 Boris attacked one of his rivals over control of a media outlet. Part of the attack was broadcast all over TV and came to be known as "faces in the snow" as Boris's rival's bodyguard were forced at gun point to lie face down in the snow. Shortly after a 90mph high speed chase and attacking rival Gusinsky's MOST guards and pinning Gusinsky in his own building, Berezovsky would take control of ORT (channel 1) through an illegal non-public "auction" and gain a near media monopoly.

For details on that I recommend reading "God Father of the Kremlin" if you can still find it. It was written by the senior editor of Forbes in Russian who holds a Ph.D in Russian history, Paul Klebnikov. For the record Paul Klebnikov was killed after publishing his book on the Oligarchs , particularly on Boris, who is on the cover. He was shot four times in Moscow while leaving work and then died in the hospital after getting stuck on an elevator.

After the Gusinsky event, Boris had another problem. Vladislav Listyev. Listyev was probably the most popular talk show host in Russia and a TV producer. He was a business partner with Boris but the problem was he was not crooked. As general director of ORT he decided to fix a multi-million dollar leak in the company and indirect way of Boris paying people off in the Mob to do dirty work, as well as paying himself by spending money for ads in other companies owned where he also ran the advertising sales. He had an offer from Sergei Lisovsky to buy up the sector. Negotiations never went through and Vlad had a different idea.

On Feb 20th 1995 Vlad announced that he would break the monopoly of Boris and Sergei . He called for a moratorium on ORT advertising until they could work out ethical standards. As you can imagine that did not make Boris or the rest of the mob happy. Eight days later Boris personally met with "Nikolai", a mafia boss, and handed him a hundred thousand dollars in cash. This was witnessed by two police officers who were monitoring the Mob. Prior to that Boris's lacky Badri offered money to a different gangster but that man was arrested before he could do what was asked of him and he confessed this in jail. On March 1st the day after Berezovsky paid a second Mob Boss, Vlad Listyev was shot in the back at the entrance of his home .

Guilty as sin, with a confession against Badri as well as being personally witnessed by two police, offering another mob boss money, Boris was desperate. He was inches away from being arrested. Boris's TV network was cut out of government subsidies after the police raided it and it was subject to bankruptcy. Fellow media giant and friend Ruppert Murdoch promised to invest in the network and bail him out . How nice. And we all know where Murdoch stands. This relationship might also explain why Fox News and Sky News in the UK were so blatantly cheerleading the "Putin killed Litvinenko" conspiracy story.

But here is the real kicker. It is just as outrageous and far fetched as the Litvinenko poisoning. Boris concocted a story for Yeltsin which was recorded on video tape produced by Irina Lesnevskaya a producer at ORT and a friend of Yeltsin's wife. The tape claimed that it was all a big conspiracy against Berezovsky and that the real culprit (who had no motive other than to frame Boris [apparently able to hire a gun to kill Vlad but not Boris?]) was none other than bitter rival Gusinsky of Most Bank, whom Boris had already tried to kill once.

Yeltsin was paranoid of Gusinsky's political ambitions and Boris knew this. Boris also blamed X-KGB and said Vlad was killed by the MOST group, and not the mob he was witnessed meeting with a week after Vlad was going to break his monopoly. (Sounds like "Iraq moved the nonexistent WMDs to Syria just to make the US look bad." give me a break) Boris claimed to be set up because he was loyal to Yeltsin as was his new media outlet.

Yeltsin, ever a partner in cover ups, not to mention a drunk and a thief, got Boris out of trouble once again by firing the lead investigators in the case, which intimidated others to drop it. There was a huge public outcry. A TV personality had been killed. ORT created a new company called ORT advertising with a monopoly to sell ads on commission no less, and the boss-man chosen was none other than Sergei Lisovsky . Wow, how utterly shameless.

If you can speak Russian or if you can find an English copy of the Boris/Lesnevskaya tape transcript sent to Yeltsin, it's going to make you very angry. It is about as plausible as saying Putin risked an act of war with the UK to kill a critic who worked for both a criminal as well as terrorist.

Who Done It?

So we know what didn't happen. But there still remains a "who done it." The quickest way to get to the bottom of this is to see who is lying the most and loudest, because that is usually who has the most to hide .

Remember Anna Politkovskaya? She was killed on Putin's birthday and the alternative press and the 'mindlessly accepting any conspiracy' types who fell for it, tried to use that circumstantial "evidence" to blame the murder on Putin.

These are the same types that claim Russia bombed its own apartment buildings to start a war with Chechnya omitting the fact that the apartment bombing took place five months after the war has already started, and the "sources" trying to blame the FSB were none other than Boris's lacky Litvinenko and well known plagiarist David Satter, who wrote for the PNAC co-founders' Weekly Standard , which gave the world all the bogus lies about Iraq's WMD and connection to the September 11th attacks. Robert Kagan, the paper's cofounder with William Kristol, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times calling "Speaking of Iraq" which pushes every erroneous prewar scare tactic there was. His wife Victoria Nuland is the same woman who was recorded on the phone saying "F" the EU and openly talking about who would be a good replacement Prime Minister in Ukraine. She chose Arseniy Yatseniuk, who she called "Yatz" and he did become the prime minister of Ukraine a month later after the coup. Everything out of this faction's mouth has been blindly anti-Russian.

There is a huge difference between conspiracy and kookpiracy. Getting away from the outlandish unsubstantiated claims about Anna's death, let's uncover something factual. Anna Politkovskaya was the journalist who had published three different articles on how SOMEONE was testing Polonium on Chechen children . Gee! Where have we seen THAT scenario before? Anna's articles were published in the Novaya Gazeta in 2006 and she was killed October of that same year.

The Washington Post then makes this clever claim. "Leonid Nevzlin, a former Yukos oil company shareholder and Russian exile currently living in Israel, told the Associated Press in late November that Litvinenko had given him a document related to a dossier on criminal charges made by Russian prosecutors against people connected to Yukos. Nevzlin, who is charged by Russian prosecutors with having organized killings, fraud and tax evasion, claimed Litvinenko's inquiries may have provided a motive for his poisoning"

Notice who else is in that Washington Post article (Scaramella) and who was planting the ideas that Putin had killed both Litvinenko and Anna. How crazy is that to use polonium to murder someone...Scaramella is a rotten one. After Anna's lawyer Stanislav Markelov was murdered in 2009 followed by the murder of one of her key informants in Chechnya, Natalia Estemirova the same year, there was a retrial in Anna's case which went to the Supreme Court. Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov stirred up a public disgust when he said about Anna's informant Natalia Estemirova on Radio Liberty "She was a woman...who had never possessed any honor, dignity or conscience."

The prosecution cornered Dmitry Pavliutchenkov a former policeman who in turn confessed Lom-Ali Gaitukayev was who negotiated the contract killing and behind him he suspected Boris Berezovsky . Dmitry was sentenced to 11 years in jail. Five men were found guilty in her murder. Three were the Chechen brothers who had been acquitted in the first trial and they went to prison. Rustam Makhmudov and Lom-Ali Gaitukayev got life sentences in 2014. Berevsovsky had died the year before in March of 2013.

The most troubling thing here is not that mob did something illegal or that the Western press jumped the gun to do a anti-Russian witch hunt. All of that is pretty run of the mill. It's not even that Israel secretly has nukes and is involved with organized crime. Again, image my lack of shock. It's not even the multiple murders that are most troubling. The most troubling part of this story is what the ultimate purpose of that much Polonium was for and why it was in the UK. The potential for a dirty bomb is enormous. With the current climate of ISIS and disgruntled youth in Europe joining the mercenary forces to fight Israel's enemies in Syria and Lebanon, a dirty bomb in the UK is not an unimaginable scenario. Just having such a thing could also hold leverage over politicians there too. The source of the Polonium should have been traced and potential sources should also be subject to inspection.

  1. William Dunkerley on April 30, 2015 12:11 pm The news stream is replete with articles that falsify information in order to vilify Putin. The Arafat polonium poisoning is an example. But according to a March 17, 2015 AP report citing French experts, "Yasser Arafat was NOT poisoned by polonium. Good for AP for exposing that polonium nonsense. It's rare to find these stories debunked in the Western media. The long-running malicious narrative in Litvinenko saga is more the norm. The mainstream story is utterly false and without merit. I documented that in my book "The Phony Litvinenko Murder." Why do people believe all this specious rubbish? Largely it's a result of a phenomenon called "confirmation bias." I explain that process in detail in my book "Ukraine in the Crosshairs." The Ukrainian crisis is just one more example of how Putin's enemies have skillfully taken advantage of confirmation bias to snooker the masses.
    • Ryan Dawson on January 19, 2016 7:49 pm I also debunked the Arafat myth given that there is no way it would survive so long with such a short half life. Would you like your book to go in our library ? I'll read it then maybe we can talk about it.
  2. Mandatum Mandat on February 10, 2016 4:47 am What is your source for the claim that Litvinenko left a radioactive trail after his trip to Israel? Can't find any discusssion of this claim other than your own material.

[Mar 21, 2018] Linking Scripal poisoning with Litvinenko poisoning

Cue bono in both cases points to British government
"... The widow of poisoned former Russian security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko has denied he worked for the British intelligence service MI6, a claim made by Russian businessman Andrey Lugovoy in Moscow last week. ..."
"... The widow of former Russian FSB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko, who was murdered in London in 2006, admitted that her husband cooperated with the British intelligence services MI5 and MI6. ..."
"... The father of late Russian security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko says he pursued a smear campaign against the Russian government out of grief, but changed his mind after Aleksandr's widow revealed his son had been working for British intelligence. ..."
"... It was Berezovsky and Goldfarb. That's it. Goldfarb knows all about atomic energy. How do you think Aleksandr was first infected with Polonium-210? Why do you think this case has been dragging for so long? Why has there been no court case? Because they don't have anything, and if a real court case were to open, it will become apparent who was behind it!" the man said. ..."
"... Aleksandr Goldfarb is the head of Berezovsky's Civil Liberties' Fund. In the weeks prior and after Litvinenko's death he took the role of an unofficial spokesman for the man, putting the blame for the crime on the Kremlin ..."
"... For those keeping score, Boris Berezovsky was later found hanging from the ceiling of his Ascot mansion. ..."
"... There are many things wrong with the "Putin did it" story. For one, there is no motive , even with Litvinenko being a critic of Russia, he was no threat whatsoever to Putin. The man worked with Chechen terrorists and the Israeli-Russian oligarchs . But assuming that there was a sufficient motive to kill him, think about this: Why would Russia use a very rare, very expensive, and easily traceable radioactive substance to kill him instead of some cheap poison or just shooting him? Why risk smuggling radioactive material into the UK which is an act of war? ..."
"... No experienced mob boss like Berezovsky would be dumb enough to murder an underling in such a manner either. Therefore his death was an accident. It was mostly likely it was a botched smuggling operation . Why was he moving such a dangerous substance? Did he need fast cash? Were they planning to create a dirty bomb? Such a "smoky bomb" would turn the Polonium into powder and kill anyone who ingested it. ..."
"... Traces of Polonium were found on the planes that Litvinenko had been on. So I think we can deduce what happened. He was a mule . The questions remain, why did he have it?, Where did he get it? What was he going to do with it? Why was it in the offices of Berezovsky and Erinsys Ltd (Britain's Blackwater)? ..."
"... Litvinenko was in Israel, where he met Leonid Nevzlin the CEO of Yukos shortly before he died. If you wanted to buy/steal radioactive material that would be the place. What was he negotiating with Nevzlin? We learned Alexander had been an informant in a case that led to the arrest of nine Georgian and Russian Mobsters in Spain, including Alexander Gofstein a lawyer for Yukos who apparently was laundering money ..."
"... The British military Radiation and Chemical Warfare Center is just down the road, so they will have had experts on scene pretty rapidly. Latest local rumor is that it's fentanyl, or some derivative thereof. They had to decontaminate A&E and cancel hospital appointments. ..."
"... The local police and medical personnel are on the ball, I used to know a few. Link to local paper - they are quite good too http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/ ..."
"... Another false flag. MI5 poisons prominent russian 'baddies' so they can blame it on Russia. Makes Russian look bad, great for propaganda. ..."
"... Litvinenko said, "Mario Scaramella poised me," from his death bed. Enough said. This has gonnne on too long. WW# is enviable with a rapturous lying press living and believing in a James Bond geo political spy moves. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Scaramella ..."
"... Polonium, mystery substance, blah, blah, blah! These James Bond spy thriller techniques smell more of MI6 or CIA than Russia. MI6 and CIA have always been drama queens. ..."
"... Why do drama queen things when you can Seth Rich or Michael Hastings this couple? ..."
"... These are the real professionals. What, if anything happened here is rank amateur- they should study how its done. http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/BODIES.php#axzz58vFYg ..."
"... the us and uk intelligence services would not allow you to leave when they are finished with you as you become a liability in tough financial times.the UK killed the bastard like they killed litvinenko. ..."
Mar 05, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Shemp 4 Victory -> newmacroman Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:47 Permalink

How many times is ZH going to dredge up the discredited fable about Putin ordering Litvinenko's murder?

First, nobody heard Litvinenko's "deathbed confession" except Alexander Goldfarb, who had a grudge against Putin and who worked with other shady Russian exiles in London like Boris Berezovsky.

Litvinenko's wife changed her story. The 2007 version:

The widow of poisoned former Russian security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko has denied he worked for the British intelligence service MI6, a claim made by Russian businessman Andrey Lugovoy in Moscow last week.

The 2011 version:

The widow of former Russian FSB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko, who was murdered in London in 2006, admitted that her husband cooperated with the British intelligence services MI5 and MI6.

From Litvinenko's father in 2012:

The father of late Russian security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko says he pursued a smear campaign against the Russian government out of grief, but changed his mind after Aleksandr's widow revealed his son had been working for British intelligence.

Litvinenko's father later told Scotland Yard who he thought was responsible:

" It was Berezovsky and Goldfarb. That's it. Goldfarb knows all about atomic energy. How do you think Aleksandr was first infected with Polonium-210? Why do you think this case has been dragging for so long? Why has there been no court case? Because they don't have anything, and if a real court case were to open, it will become apparent who was behind it!" the man said.

Boris Berezovsky is an exiled Russian tycoon, who was found guilty of embezzlement in Russia in an absentia trial. He is currently living in Britain, where he enjoys political asylum.

Berezovsky employed Litvinenko, who took part in numerous campaigns the billionaire waged against the Russian government.

Aleksandr Goldfarb is the head of Berezovsky's Civil Liberties' Fund. In the weeks prior and after Litvinenko's death he took the role of an unofficial spokesman for the man, putting the blame for the crime on the Kremlin .

Lots of loose ends and unanswered questions about Litvinenko point to British intelligence and the Russian/Israeli mafia. Which is why Putin must be blamed.

Oh, and by the way, the ricin-tipped umbrella was a Bulgarian way, not a Russian way.

Conscious Reviver -> Shemp 4 Victory Mon, 03/05/2018 - 19:59 Permalink

Thanks for the details, Shemp. For those keeping score, Boris Berezovsky was later found hanging from the ceiling of his Ascot mansion.

sparksmass -> Shemp 4 Victory Mon, 03/05/2018 - 20:32 Permalink

Berezovsky has been dead since 2013

veritas semper -> PrivetHedge Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:36 Permalink

There are many things wrong with the "Putin did it" story. For one, there is no motive , even with Litvinenko being a critic of Russia, he was no threat whatsoever to Putin. The man worked with Chechen terrorists and the Israeli-Russian oligarchs . But assuming that there was a sufficient motive to kill him, think about this: Why would Russia use a very rare, very expensive, and easily traceable radioactive substance to kill him instead of some cheap poison or just shooting him? Why risk smuggling radioactive material into the UK which is an act of war?

The main thing it is that ANY radioactive substance is traceable to its point of origin.

There is one country which has not signed the nuclear non proliferation treaty and whose radioactive material can nto be traced ,you guessed it:IS>>>RA>>>EL

Alexander Litvinenko who was formerly FSB fled to the UK to avoid court prosecution in Russia, worked for a shady Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky. Boris Berezovsky just so happens to be the Israeli-Russian oligarch who lived in London after fleeing the Russian judicial system for a multitude of crimes too long to list. He was on Interpol's most wanted list. Here is the grand prize. After the US and UK press branded Putin with the poisoning despite there being Zero evidence, (something the US is very well known for now) investigators were tracking down the traces of Polonium in the UK. They detected traces of Polonium at Berezovsky's office and residence! Now I do not know about you, but in my place of work, and certainly in my house, I do not have rare radioactive substances. Polonium is not something you just get at the market or pick up by accident walking through the park.

No experienced mob boss like Berezovsky would be dumb enough to murder an underling in such a manner either. Therefore his death was an accident. It was mostly likely it was a botched smuggling operation . Why was he moving such a dangerous substance? Did he need fast cash? Were they planning to create a dirty bomb? Such a "smoky bomb" would turn the Polonium into powder and kill anyone who ingested it.

Traces of Polonium were found on the planes that Litvinenko had been on. So I think we can deduce what happened. He was a mule . The questions remain, why did he have it?, Where did he get it? What was he going to do with it? Why was it in the offices of Berezovsky and Erinsys Ltd (Britain's Blackwater)?

And here comes the best part:

Litvinenko was in Israel, where he met Leonid Nevzlin the CEO of Yukos shortly before he died. If you wanted to buy/steal radioactive material that would be the place. What was he negotiating with Nevzlin? We learned Alexander had been an informant in a case that led to the arrest of nine Georgian and Russian Mobsters in Spain, including Alexander Gofstein a lawyer for Yukos who apparently was laundering money .

You can read the whole story here . https://www.sott.net/article/310728-Litvinenko-wasnt-poisoned-by-Putin-

A good account here too. http://thesaker.is/the-litvinenko-inquiry-londons-absurd-show-trial/

Litvinenko's father said that Berezovsky killed his son.

newmacroman -> veritas semper Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:49 Permalink

Wasn't Boris suicided by hanging in his London home?

veritas semper -> newmacroman Mon, 03/05/2018 - 19:10 Permalink

Yes. MI5

WillyGroper Mon, 03/05/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

" 33-year-old woman "

again...wink wink

BurningFuld -> WillyGroper Mon, 03/05/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

F E N T A N Y L

serotonindumptruck -> BurningFuld Mon, 03/05/2018 - 17:32 Permalink

Poison has historically been the preferred method of eliminating political opponents.

CRM114 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

The British military Radiation and Chemical Warfare Center is just down the road, so they will have had experts on scene pretty rapidly. Latest local rumor is that it's fentanyl, or some derivative thereof. They had to decontaminate A&E and cancel hospital appointments.

The local police and medical personnel are on the ball, I used to know a few. Link to local paper - they are quite good too http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/

PrivetHedge -> CRM114 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 17:44 Permalink

How convenient. Perhaps they had experts on the scene before there was a problem?

CRM114 -> PrivetHedge Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:01 Permalink

A No to that one. Not these days, anyway. Back in the Cold War though....

Cloud9.5 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 17:30 Permalink

This is tying up loose ends. Those people who brokered the uranium deal need to be sure their insurance policies are paid up.

PrivetHedge Mon, 03/05/2018 - 17:34 Permalink

Another false flag. MI5 poisons prominent russian 'baddies' so they can blame it on Russia. Makes Russian look bad, great for propaganda.

lurker since 2012 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

Have NOT read. This is the oil, everything you heard and seen pure BS. Litvinenko said, "Mario Scaramella poised me," from his death bed. Enough said. This has gonnne on too long. WW# is enviable with a rapturous lying press living and believing in a James Bond geo political spy moves. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Scaramella

ALLRIGHT,

I confess, I poisoned them (with a snickers bar) I am two sheets to the wind with my Make glorious Vodka for my successful job. Please inform Vlad it went well.

SHADEWELL -> lurker since 2012 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:13 Permalink

Laughable propaganda comrade ah yes Wikipedia a totally "reliable" source, in which anyone can "update" posts

And further - as if this hit man would ever implicate Putin fucking idiot. You are correct about this having gone on for too long. When will Putin be charged with that crime as well as the numerous other "suspicious deaths" Very similar to cuntlery body count. I wonder why that is? hmm

lurker since 2012 -> SHADEWELL Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:31 Permalink

As everyone knows Langley write and update all Wiki information. So you use them as the Devils advocate. If they reveal this you can take it as a starting point. ( The 'Company wants to pin it on the Russian/Putin ) as they point out Scaramella wanted to be a CIA spy and had been refused, well o course he helped Whack/poisoned Litvinenko . Might get him his dream job he had been after ALL HIS LIFE. Polonium is easy to source as well as it is used extensive throughout South east Asia as a anti static xxxx on weaving machines involved in Clothing manufacturing.

Don't worry agent Shadewell got it all worked out. Look over their.

SHADEWELL -> lurker since 2012 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 19:31 Permalink

Or his final statement? Cemetery in North London . [32] On 25 November, an article attributed to Litvinenko was published by the Mail on Sunday Online entitled Why I believe Putin wanted me dead... [2] In his last statement he said about Putin:

this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition. You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilised value. You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women. You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people. [33]

Investigation

Koba the Dread Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:49 Permalink

Polonium, mystery substance, blah, blah, blah! These James Bond spy thriller techniques smell more of MI6 or CIA than Russia. MI6 and CIA have always been drama queens.

Why do drama queen things when you can Seth Rich or Michael Hastings this couple?

thebriang Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:51 Permalink

Another case of Clintonosis.

RedBaron616 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 18:53 Permalink

When you sell out your country by giving the names of lots of Russian spies, why would you be surprised to get what you probably deserve? After all, you are a turncoat, a traitor. You can rail at Putin all you want. You knew the risks in selling out your country. Hard to fault Putin for making an example of you for others to note.

mog Mon, 03/05/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

These are the real professionals. What, if anything happened here is rank amateur- they should study how its done. http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/BODIES.php#axzz58vFYg

FGopher Mon, 03/05/2018 - 19:35 Permalink

I wonder if the First Responders who initially were dispatched to what would at first appear to be a drug overdose were also injured by whatever substance was used? The GRU used to tell their recruits: Walk through the door and leave by the chimney.

Davidduke2000 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 20:00 Permalink

the us and uk intelligence services would not allow you to leave when they are finished with you as you become a liability in tough financial times.the UK killed the bastard like they killed litvinenko.

the judge who was in charge of the investigations said"it's PROBABLY the Russians who killed him". I cannot believe a judge would say probably? where is the evidence asshole???

Davidduke2000 Mon, 03/05/2018 - 20:15 Permalink

The brits better not say the Russians did it, because they would have snatched Assange if they were looking for a fight.

[Mar 21, 2018] Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
"... "Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story", http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/arafat-and-litvinenko-an-interesting-turn-to-a-mysterious-story/ ..."
Notable quotes:
"... "Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story", http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/arafat-and-litvinenko-an-interesting-turn-to-a-mysterious-story/ ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Andreas Schlüter | Mar 15, 2018 9:02:38 AM | 84

And a reminder:

"Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story", http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/arafat-and-litvinenko-an-interesting-turn-to-a-mysterious-story/

[Mar 21, 2018] From Litvinenko to Skripal poisoning: the US intelligence agencies as rogue players.

Notable quotes:
"... "Berezovsky's expatriate friends in Britain and Israel included exiled oligarchs who were subjects of Russian arrest warrants. These included Russian-Israeli businessman Leonid Nevzlin, the former chief executive officer of Yukos Oil, who was the subject of a Russian arrest warrant for murder, embezzlement, and tax evasion. Nevzlin, a former head of the Russian Jewish Congress, resided in Tel Aviv under the protection of the Israeli government. Nevzlin's exiled Russian-Israeli comrades included Vladimir Dubov, a major Yukos shareholder, and wanted oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky. The wanted ex-Yukos officials, who are now allied with the expatriate former chief of Yukos and ex-convict, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, have also been linked to wealthy British businessman Jacob Rothschild. ..."
"... "Much more than circumstantial evidence suggests that Berezovsky, Glushkov, and Patarkatsishvili were murdered by exiled opponents of the Russian government, who also happen to be kingpins in the Eurasian-Israeli mafia that uses Britain as a major base of operations. Britain is favored by these criminal syndicates because of the close working relationship they have with British and American intelligence agencies, as well as with Soros, who maintains a residence in London." ..."
Mar 21, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , March 20, 2018 at 3:24 pm

"One thing about the neo-conservatives, who have thoroughly penetrated the Tory government of British Prime Minister Theresa May and, due to the reality television show savant nature of Donald Trump, are rapidly filling as many vacancies in the US administration as possible, is that they are consistent. Neocons, who make no secret of their desire for major military conflagrations, have dusted off an old playbook with regard to the nerve agent poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. The convoluted charges made by the British government bear all the hallmarks of the Polonium-210 radiation poisoning of ex-Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London in 2006.

"In June 2008, the British government conceded that the government of British Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair concocted and exaggerated claims about Russia's involvement in the Litvinenko poisoning in 2006. Apparently, the present government of Mrs. May believes rational people have no memories of what transpired in Britain twelve years ago.

"The British intelligence services, which had their own relationship with Litvinenko, could no longer manage to suppress overwhelming evidence that the poisoning of Litvinenko was the result of a plot by anti-Vladimir Putin criminal syndicates based in Britain, Israel, Ukraine, and Poland to embarrass the Russian government.

"Suspicions about the role of the exiled Russian-Israeli criminal syndicates in the poisoning of Litvinenko, including that which was headed by Litvinenko's friend, wanted Russo-Israeli oligarch Boris Berezovsky, re-surfaced after former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar became violently ill after eating breakfast at a conference he was attending in Dublin, Ireland. Ireland's banking secrecy laws has made it a favorite location for the Eurasian-Israeli Mafia.

"Berezovsky's own suspicious death in March 2013 discovery of Berezovsky's body in his Ascot estate in England suggested that the anti-Russian crime syndicates, which work closely with hedge fund billionaire troublemaker George Soros and the Central Intelligence Agency, eliminated Berezovsky because he was about to reveal the nature of the syndicates to the Russian government. Most media reports coming out of Britain, at the time, claimed that Berezovsky died from natural causes. A few others suggested suicide or murder. Interestingly, Berezovsky had recently received medical treatment in Israel.

"Berezovsky's expatriate friends in Britain and Israel included exiled oligarchs who were subjects of Russian arrest warrants. These included Russian-Israeli businessman Leonid Nevzlin, the former chief executive officer of Yukos Oil, who was the subject of a Russian arrest warrant for murder, embezzlement, and tax evasion. Nevzlin, a former head of the Russian Jewish Congress, resided in Tel Aviv under the protection of the Israeli government. Nevzlin's exiled Russian-Israeli comrades included Vladimir Dubov, a major Yukos shareholder, and wanted oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky. The wanted ex-Yukos officials, who are now allied with the expatriate former chief of Yukos and ex-convict, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, have also been linked to wealthy British businessman Jacob Rothschild.

"Berezovsky ran from exile a major support network for Chechen terrorists. One of their leaders, Ahmed Zakayev, was a close associate of Berezovsky and Litvinenko.

"Just like Litvinenko, Yulia Skripal had her own reported connections to Russian and Western intelligence services, suggesting that she, like Litvinenko, had embarked on a dangerous life as a double or triple agent. Yulia Skripal worked for the 'information center' at the US embassy in Moscow and at the Holiday Inn in Southampton in England. Hotel jobs are a preferred 'non-official cover' position for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6). Until his arrest by Russian authorities, Sergei Skripal was a paid agent for MI-6. In 2010, he was given asylum in Britain after a major spy swap between the United States and Russia.

"The nerve agent reportedly used on Skripal and his daughter was a 'Novichok' ('Newcomer'), one of a series of binary agents allegedly developed in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. These nerve agents were also apparently stockpiled at the British biological and chemical warfare research facility at Porton Down, a mere eight miles from Salisbury, where the Skripals took ill.

"But the existence of Novichok is, itself questionable. Claims about Novichok originally came from Vil Mirzayanov, a Soviet chemical weapons scientist who claimed to have invented Novichok at a facility in the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1994, Mirzayanov fled to the United States, where he came under the control of the CIA. In 2016, Dr. Robin Black, the chief of the Detection Laboratory in Porton Down, published an academic paper that questioned the veracity of Mirzayanov's Novichok claims.

"The poisoning of the Skripals was followed shortly by the death in London of Berezovsky's longtime business colleague and friend Nikolai Glushkov. British police called Glushkov's death 'suspicious,' citing as the cause 'compression to the neck.' Berezovsky died as the result of a hanging, believed by police to be a 'suicide.' Radioactive traces of the Polonium-210 used to poison Litvinenko were traced to Berezovsky's office at 7 Down Street, in London's Mayfair district. In 2008, Badri Patarkatsishvili, Berezovsky's Georgian-Israeli business partner, collapsed and died at his home a mere 15 miles from Berezovsky's English estate. The death of the 52-year old was determined by authorities to be the result of a 'heart attack.'

"Much more than circumstantial evidence suggests that Berezovsky, Glushkov, and Patarkatsishvili were murdered by exiled opponents of the Russian government, who also happen to be kingpins in the Eurasian-Israeli mafia that uses Britain as a major base of operations. Britain is favored by these criminal syndicates because of the close working relationship they have with British and American intelligence agencies, as well as with Soros, who maintains a residence in London."

Déjà Vu with British Poison Allegations Against Russia By Wayne Madsen: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/03/20/deja-vu-with-british-poison-allegations-against-russia.html

[Mar 10, 2018] There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this. ..."
"... Important support for these strategies was provided by the 'StratCom' network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen's Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which produced a report based essentially on a recycling of claims made by the network's members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky. ..."
"... it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep.. ..."
"... I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence". ..."
"... It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate. ..."
"... And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that. ..."
"... Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ..."
"... They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040 ..."
"... In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. ..."
"... State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union ..."
"... About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS ..."
"... No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming. ..."
"... Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons. ..."
"... Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing. ..."
"... Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program. ..."
"... IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war. ..."
"... The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. ..."
"... A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella. ..."
"... Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear. ..."
Mar 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Steele, Shvets, Levinson, Litvinenko and the 'Billion Dollar Don.'

In the light of the suggestion in the Nunes memo that Steele was 'a longtime FBI source' it seems worth sketching out some background, which may also make it easier to see some possible reasons why he 'was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'

There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this.

This agenda has involved hopes for 'régime change' in Russia, whether as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. Also central have been hopes for a further 'rollback' of Russia influence in the post-Soviet space, both in areas now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya.

And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for 'régime change' projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area.

Important support for these strategies was provided by the 'StratCom' network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen's Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which produced a report based essentially on a recycling of claims made by the network's members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky.

The question of what links these had, or did not have, with elements in U.S. intelligence agencies is thus a critical one.

In making some sense of it, the fact that one key figure we know to have been involved in this network was missing at the Inquiry – the former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007 – is important.

Unfortunately, I only recently came across a book on Levinson published in 2016 by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier, which is now hopefully winging its way across the Atlantic. From the accounts of the book I have seen, such as one by Jeff Stein in 'Newsweek', it seems likely that its author did not look at any of the evidence presented at Owen's Inquiry.

(See http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/20/what-really-happened-robert-levinson-cia-iran-454803.html .)

Had he done so, Meier might have discovered that his subject had been, as it were, 'top supporting actor' in the first fumbling attempt by Christopher Steele et al to produce a plausible-sounding scenario as to the background to Litvinenko's death. A Radio 4 programme on 16 December 2006, presented by the veteran BBC presenter Tom Mangold, had been wholly devoted to an account by Shvets, backed up by Levinson. Both of these were, like Litvinenko, supposed to be impartial 'due diligence' operatives.

The notion that any of them might have connections with Western intelligence agencies was not considered. The – publicly available – evidence of the involvement of Shvets, whose surname means 'cobbler' or 'shoemaker' in Ukrainian, in the processing of the tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supposedly recorded by Major Melnychenko, which had played a crucial role in the 2004-5 'Orange Revolution' was not mentioned.

Still less was it mentioned that claims that the – very dangerous – late Soviet Kolchuga system, which made it possible the kind of identification of incoming aircraft which radar had traditionally done, without sending out signals which made the destruction of the facilities doing it possible, had been sold by Kuchma to Iraq had proven spurious.

What Shvets had done had been to take – genuine – audio in which Kuchma had discussed a possible sale, and edit it to suggest a sale had been completed.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

As a former television current affairs producer, I can talk to you of the marvels which London audio editors can produce, very happily. Unfortunately, the days when not all BBC and 'Guardian' journalists were corrupt stenographers for corrupt and incompetent spooks, as Mangold and his like have been for Steele and Levinson, are long gone.

All this has become particularly relevant now, given that Simpson has placed the notorious Jewish Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich and the 'Solntsevskaya Bratva' mafia group centre stage in his accounts not simply of Trump and Manafort, but also of William Browder. For most of the 'Nineties, Levinson had been a, if not the, lead FBI investigator on Mogilevich.

(On this, see the 1999 BBC 'Panorama' programme 'The Billion Dollar Don', also presented by Tom Mangold, which has extensive interviews both with Mogilevich and Levinson at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/events/panorama/transcripts/transcript_06_12_99.txt )

In the months leading up to Levinson's disappearance, a key priority for the advocates of the strategy I have described was to prevent it being totally derailed by the patently catastrophic outcome of the Iraqi adventure.

Compounding the problem was the fact that this had created the 'Shia Crescent', which in turn exacerbated the potential 'existential threat' to Israel posed by the steadily increasing range, accuracy and numbers of missiles available to Hizbullah in hardened positions north of the Litani.

These, obviously, provided both a 'deterrent' for that organisation and Iran, and also a radical threat to the whole notion that somehow Israel could ever be a 'safe haven' for Jews, against the supposedly ineradicable disposition of the 'goyim' sooner or later to, as it were, revert to type. The dreadful thought that Israel might not be necessary had to be resisted at all costs.

What followed from the disaster unleashed by the – Anglo-American – 'own goal' in toppling Saddam was, ironically, a need on the part of key players to 'double down.' Above all, it was necessary for many of those involved to counter suggestions from the Russian side that going around smashing up 'régimes' that one might not like sometimes blew up in one's face.

Even more threatening were suggestions from the Russian side that it was foolish to think one could use jihadists without risking 'blowback', and that there might be an overwhelming common interest in combating Islamic extremism.

Another priority was to counter the pushback in the American 'intelligence community' and military, which was to produce the drastic downgrading of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme in the November 2007 NIE and then the resignation of Admiral William Fallon as head of 'Centcom' the following March.

So in 2005 Shvets came to London. He and his audio editors had another 'bite at the cherry' of the Melnychenko tapes, so that material that did in fact establish that both the SBU and FSB had collaborated with Mogilevich could be employed to make it seem that Putin had a close personal relationship with the mobster.

All kinds of supposedly respectable American and British academics, like Professors Karen Dawisha and Robert Service, have fallen for this, hook, line and sinker. It gives a new meaning to the term 'useful idiot.'

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

In a letter sent in December that year by Litvinenko to the 'Mitrokhin Commission', for which his Italian associate Mario Scaramella was a consultant, this was used in an attempt to demonstrate that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin's personal 'krysha', had attempted to supply a 'mini atomic bomb' – aka 'suitcase nuke' – to Al Qaeda. Shortly after the letter was sent Scaramella departed on a trip to Washington, where he appears to have got access to Aldrich Ames.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

At precisely this time, as Meier explains, Levinson was in the process of being recruited by a lady called Anne Jablonski who then worked as a CIA analyst. It appears that she was furious at the failure of the operational side at the Agency to produce evidence which would have established that Iran did indeed have an ongoing nuclear programme, and she may well have hoped would implicate Russia in supplying materials.

There are grounds to suspect that one of the things that Berezovsky and Shvets were doing was fabricating such 'evidence.' Whether Levinson was involved in such attempts, or genuinely looking for evidence he was convinced must be there, I cannot say. It appears that he fell for a rather elementary entrapment operation – which could well have been organised with the collaboration of Russian intelligence. (People do get fed up with being framed, particular if 'régime change' is the goal.)

It also seems likely that, quite possibly in a different but related entrapment operation, related to propaganda wars in which claims and counter claims about a polonium-beryllium 'initiator' as the crucial missing part which might make a 'suitcase nuke' functional, Litvinenko accidentally ingested fatal quantities of polonium. A good deal of evidence suggests that this may have been at Berezovsky's offices on the night before he was supposedly assassinated.

It was, obviously, important for Steele et al to ensure that nobody looked at the 'StratCom' wars about 'suitcase nukes.' Here, a figure who has played a key role in such wars in relation to Syria plays an interesting minor one in the story.

Some time following the destruction of the case for an immediate war by the November 2007 NIE, a chemical weapons specialist called Dan Kaszeta, who had worked in the White House for twelve years, moved to London.

In 2011, in addition to founding a consultancy called 'Strongpoint Security', he began a writing career with articles in 'CBRNe World.' Later, he would become the conduit through which the notorious 'hexamine hypothesis', supposedly clinching proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the sarin incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, Saraqeb, and Khan Al-Asal, was disseminated.

Having been forced by the threat of a case being opened against them under human rights law into resuming the inquest into Litvinenko's death, in August 2012 the British authorities appointed Sir Robert Owen to conduct it. (There are many honest judges in Britain, but obviously, if one sets out to find someone who will 'cover up' for the incompetence and corruption of people like Steele, as Lord Hutton did before him, you can find them.)

That same month, a piece appeared in 'CBRNe World' with the the strapline: 'Dan Kaszeta looks into the ultimate press story: Suitcase nukes', and the main title 'Carry on or checked bags?' Among the grounds he gives for playing down the scare:

'Some components rely on materials with shelf life. Tritium, for example, is used in many nuclear weapon designs and has a twelve year half-life. Polonium, used in neutron initiators in some earlier types of weapon designs, has a very short halflife. US documents state that every nuclear weapon has "limited life components" that require periodic replacement (do an internet search for nuclear limited life components and you can read for weeks).'

(For this and other articles by Kaszeta, as also his bio, see http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk ')

What Kaszeta has actually described are the reasons why polonium is a perfect 'StratCom' instrument. In terms of scientific plausibility, in fact there were no 'suitcase nukes', and in any case 'initiators' using polonium had been abandoned very early on, in favour of ones which lasted longer.

For 'StratCom' scenarios, as experience with the 'hexamine hypothesis' has proved, scientific plausibility can be irrelevant.

What polonium provides is a means of suggesting that Al Qaeda have in fact got hold of a nuclear device which they could easily smuggle into, say, Rome or New York, or indeed Moscow, but there is a crucial missing component which the FSB is trying to provide to them. By the same token, of course, that missing component could be depicted as one that Berezovsky and Litvinenko are conspiring to suppl to the Chechen insurgents.

In addition, the sole known source of global supply is the Avangard plant at Sarov in Russia, so the substance is naturally suited for 'StratCom' directed against that country, which its intelligence services would – rather naturally – try to make 'boomerang.'

According to Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele is a 'boy scout.' This seems to me quite wrong – but, even if it were true, would you want to unleash a 'boy scout' into these kinds of intrigue?

As it is not clear why Kaszeta introduced his – accurate but irrelevant – point about polonium into an article which was concerned with scientific plausibility, one is left with an interesting question as to whether he cut his teeth on 'StratCom' attempting to ensure that nobody seriously interested in CBRN science followed an obvious lead.

In relation to the question of whether current FBI personnel had been involved in the kind of 'StratCom' exercises, I have been describing, a critical issue is the involvement of Shvets and Levinson in the Alexander Khonanykhine affair back in the 'Nineties, and the latter's use of claims about the Solntsevskaya to prevent the key figure's extradition. But that is a matter for another day.

A corollary of all this is that we cannot – yet at least – be absolutely confident that the account in the Nunes memo, according to which Steele was suspended and then dismissed as an FBI source for what the organisation is reported to define as 'the most serious of violations' – the unauthorised disclosure of a relationship with the organisation – is necessarily wholly accurate.

Who did and did not authorise which disclosures to the media, up to and including the extraordinary decision to have the full dossier, including claims about Aleksej Gubarev and the Alfa oligarchs, in flagrant disregard of the obvious risks of defamation suits, and who may be trying to pass the buck to others, remains I think less than totally clear.

Posted at 03:42 PM in As The Borg Turns , Habakkuk , Russia , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 03 February 2018 at 04:33 PM

thanks david... fascinating overview and conjecture..

it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep..

JohnB , 03 February 2018 at 05:17 PM
David,

Thank you very. As ever you have illuminated a few more things for me. Kaszeta's involvement is interesting. He is someone I am in the middle of researching in relation to Higgins and Bellingcat.

turcopolier , 03 February 2018 at 06:02 PM
james

It is the closest of all international intelligence relationships. It started in WW2. Before that the Brits were though of as a potential enemy. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 03 February 2018 at 06:10 PM
I think the English are using you, they are unsentimental empirical people that only do these that benefit the Number One.
The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
catherine , 03 February 2018 at 06:22 PM
That Newsweek piece about Levinson is very superficial to me.

Re: Levinson

# Who suggested to who 'first' the Iran caper...Anne Jablonski to Levinson or Levinson to Jablonski? It was reported earlier by Meier that in December 2005, when Levinson was pitching Jablonski on projects he might take on when his CIA contract was approved he sent her a lengthy memo about Dawud's potential as an informant.

# Ira Silverman, the Iran hating NBC guy, pitched a Iraq caper to Levinson with Dawud Salahuddin, as his Iran contact and Levinson went to Jablonski with it.

# And what was with Boris Birshstein, a Russian organized crime figure who had fled to Israel and Oleg Deripaska, the "aluminum czar" of Russia whose organized crime contacts have kept him from entering the United States jumping in to help find Levinson? The FBI allowed Deripaska in for two visits in 2009 in exchange for his alleged help in locating Levinson but obviously nothing came of it.

I think there were more little agents/agendas in this than Levinson and Jablonski and US CIA.

Ishmael Zechariah , 03 February 2018 at 06:54 PM
DH,

As usual a wonderful analysis. I admire your insight, integrity and courage. I wish you could write more on why the Borg is so much against Trump, even though they have Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference for them.

I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence".

Be safe.

Ishmael Zechariah

Rd , 03 February 2018 at 07:31 PM
Babak Makkinejad said in reply to turcopolier...

The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
..and US is the one who has been paying for it since 1979!!!

kooshy said in reply to Ishmael Zechariah... , 03 February 2018 at 08:21 PM
IZ
My guess is, that he is unpredictable, instantaneous and therefore can't be consistent and reliable, useful idiot needs to be predictable.
kooshy , 03 February 2018 at 08:43 PM
"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. "

David as usual fascinating work connecting the dots. One question that comes to my mind is about the above point you are making. Is it your understanding or believe that these IC individuals on both side of Atlantic, are pursuing/forcing their (on behalf of the Borg) foreign policy agenda outside of their respected seating governments? If not, why is it that incoming administration cannot stop them? So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

different clue , 03 February 2018 at 08:49 PM
Ishmael Zechariah,

( reply to comment 6),

I am not David Habakkuk, obviously. But I will venture a little opinion anyway. It is not enough that the Borgists get their policy preferences. If it were, then Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference would be enough for them.

It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate.

And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that.

So that is why the Borg cares so much. They view the Trump election as an insurgency, and they view themselves as waging a counterinsurgency, which they dare not lose.

Jack , 03 February 2018 at 08:54 PM
David,

Thanks for your analysis. I always enjoy and learn from your posts. I wish you would post more often.

In my non-expert opinion, the Borg and the media were all in for Hillary. They were convinced that she was gonna win. To curry favor with the Empress who would be certainly crowned after the election they were eager and convinced that their lawlessness would become a badge for promotion and plum positions in her administration. In their conceit, they believed they could kill two birds with one stroke. They could vilify Putin and create the mass hysteria to checkmate him, while at the same time disparage and frame Trump as The Manchurian Candidate to seal their certain electoral victory.

Unfortunately for them voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn't buy their sales pitch despite the overwhelming media barrage from all corners. Even news publications who have only endorsed Republican candidates for President for over a century endorsed her.

Trump's election win caused panic among the political establishment, the media and the Deep State. They were already all-in. Their only choice was to double down and get Trump impeached. Now their conspiracy is beginning to unravel. They are doing everything possible to forestall their Armageddon. Of course they have many allies. This battle is gonna be interesting to watch. Trump is clearly getting many Congressional Republicans on side as his base of Deplorables remains solidly behind him. That is what's befuddling the Borg pundits.

SmoothieX12 -> kooshy... , 03 February 2018 at 09:51 PM
So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. This swamp (Borg, deep state, etc.) still thinks that it can use Cold War 1.0 Playbook and address very real and dangerous American economic issues. They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:10 PM
They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:24 PM
You are right CWII is very much desired and on agenda, but i am not sure of setup, the setup/board has been changed tremendously and IMO benefits the Asian side of Bosphorus, for one thing technology is no longer exclusive, and financial burden is heavier on atlantic side.
catherine said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:21 AM
''Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ''

The locust keep trying and trying, destruction is their life's work.

'1977-1981: Nationalities Working Group Advocates Using Militant Islam Against Soviet Union'

In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. The Islamic populations are regarded as prime targets. Richard Pipes, the father of Daniel Pipes, takes over the leadership of the NWG in 1981. Pipes predicts that with the right encouragement Soviet Muslims will "explode into genocidal fury" against Moscow. According to Richard Cottam, a former CIA official who advised the Carter administration at the time, after the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1978, Brzezinski favored a "de facto alliance with the forces of Islamic resurgence, and with the Republic of Iran." [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 241, 251 - 256]

'November 1978-February 1979: Some US Officials Want to Support Radical Muslims to Contain Soviet Union'

State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union

aleksandar , 04 February 2018 at 04:41 AM
David,

About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS.

Fred said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 08:40 AM
Babak,

"they got US to bail them out during WWII" And how would things have worked out had we not done so?

Fred , 04 February 2018 at 08:46 AM
David,

"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time."

Yes, that is what appears to be just what is coming to light. I wonder just what position Trey Gowdy is going to have since he won't be running for re-election. The rage from the left is palpable. I'm sure the next outraged guy on the left will know how to shoot straighter than the ones who shot up Congressman Scalise or the concert goers at Mandalay Bay.

Anna said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 08:48 AM
"They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with."
-- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.
turcopolier , 04 February 2018 at 08:54 AM
Anna

The powerful are often remarkably ignorant. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> Fred... , 04 February 2018 at 10:08 AM
England preferred NAZI Germany to USSR, this is well known. As to what would have happened, the outcome of the war, in my opinion, did not depend on US participation in the European Theatre. All of Europe would have become USSR satellite or joined USSR.
jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 11:53 AM
"unsentimental empirical people"? Absolutely disagree with you. Now the Iranians, they strike me as a singularity unsentimental people. Just general impressions, mind you.
Kooshy said in reply to catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
Yes, US was the first country to proudly deliver Manpads to be used by "rebels" (Mojahadin later Taleban) against USSR in Afghanistan back in 80s. And, as per the architect of support for the rebels (Zbigniew Brzezinski) very proud of it with no regret. With that in mind, I don't see how western politicians, the western governments and their related proxy war planers, will be regretting, even sadden, once god forbid we see passenger planes with loved ones are shot down taking off or landing at various western airports and other places around the word. Just like how superficialy with crocodile tears in their eyes they acted in aftermath of the terrorist events in various western cities in this past 16 years. Gods knows what will happens to us if the opposite side start to supply his own proxies with lethal anti air weapons. "Proudly", I don't think anybody in west cares or will regret of such an escalation.
Phodges said in reply to turcopolier ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:23 PM
Sir

It seems we are being defeated by Cicero's enemy within. Zion is achieving what no one could hope to achieve by force of arms.

David Habakkuk -> catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 01:17 PM
catherine,

In response to comment 5.

I think it likely that what Meier produces is only a 'limited hangout', and am hoping that when the book arrives it will contain more pointers.

It is important to be clear that one is often dealing with people playing very complicated double games.

An interesting document is the 'Petition for Writ of Habeus Corpus' made on behalf of Khodorkovsky's close associate Alexander Konanykhin back in 1997,when the Immigration and Naturalization Service were – apparently at least – cooperating with Russian attempts to get hold of him. An extract:

'During the immigration hearing FBI SA Robert Levinson, an INS witness, confirmed that in 1992 Petitioner was kidnapped and afterwards pursued by assassins of the Solntsevskaya organized criminal group. This organized criminal group is reportedly the largest and the most influential organized criminal group in Russia, and operates internationally.'

(See http://defiancethebook.com/legal/habeas/petition.htm .)

Note the similarities between the 'StratCom' that Khonanykin and his associates were producing in the 'Nineties, and that which Simpson and his associates have been producing two decades later.

Another useful example is provided by a 2004 item in the 'New American Magazine', reproduced on Konanykhin's website:

'One of those who testified on behalf of Konanykhine was KGB defector Yuri Shvets, who declared: "I have a firsthand knowledge on similar operations conducted by the KGB." Konanykhine had brought trouble on himself, Shvets continued, when he "started bringing charges against people who were involved with him in setting up and running commercial enterprises. They were KGB people secretly smuggling from Russia hundreds of millions of dollars . This is [a] serious case, and I know that KGB ... desperately wants to win this case, and everybody who won't step to their side would face problems."'

(See http://konanykhin.com/news/the-konanykhine-case.html .)

So – 'first hand knowledge', from a Ukrainian nationalist – look at what the Chalupas have been doing, it seems not much has changed.

For a rather different perspective on what Konanykhin had actually been up to, from someone in whose honesty – if not always judgement – I have complete confidence, see the testimony of Karon von Gerhke-Thompson to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services hearings on Russian Money Laundering. In this, she described how she had been approached by him in 1993:

'"Konanykhine alleged that Menatep Bank controlled $1.7bn [£1bn] in assets and investment portfolios of Russia's most prominent political and social elite," she recalled. She said he wanted to move the bank's assets off shore and asked her to help buy foreign passports for its "very, very special clients".

'In her testimony to the committee Ms Von Gerhke-Thompson said she informed the CIA of the deal, and the agency told her that it believed Mr Konanykhine and Mr Khodorkovsky "were engaged in an elaborate money laundering scheme to launder billions of dollars stolen by members of the KGB and high-level government officials".

(For a 'Guardian report, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/sep/23/julianborger ; for the actual testimony, see http://archives-financialservices.house.gov/banking/92299ger.pdf .)

Coming back to Steele's 'StratCom', in July 2008, an item appeared on the 'Newnight' programme of the BBC – which some of us think should by then have been rechristened the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – in which the introduction by the presenter, Jeremy Paxman, read as follows:

'Good evening. The New Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev, was all smiles and warm words when he met Gordon Brown today. He said he was keen to resolve all outstanding difficulties between the two countries. Yada yada yada. Gordon Brown smiled, but he must know what Newsnight can now reveal: that MI5 believes the Russian state was involved in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko by radioactive poisoning. They also believe that without their intervention another London-based Russian, Boris Berezovsky, would have been murdered. Our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, has this exclusive report.'

(For the transcript presented in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, see http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ )

When Urban repeated the claims on his blog, there was a positive eruption from someone using the name 'timelythoughts', about the activities of someone she referred to as 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist' – when I came across this later, it was immediately clear to me that she was Karon von Gerhke, and he was Shvets.

(For the first part of the exchanges of comments, the second apparently having become unavailable, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/markurban/2008/07/litvinenko_killing_had_state_i.html )

She then described a visit by Scaramella to Washington, details of which had already been unearthed by my Italian collaborator, David Loepp. Her claim to have e-mails from Shvets, from the time immediately prior to Litvinenko's death, directly contradicting the testimony he had given, fitted with other evidence I had already unearthed.

Later, we exchanged e-mails over a quite protracted period, and a large amount of material that came into my possession as a result was submitted by me to the Inquest team, with some of it being used in posts on the 'European Tribune' site.

What I never used publicly, because I could only partially corroborate it from the material she provided, was an extraordinary claim about Shvets:

'He was responsible for bringing in a Kremlin initiative that was walked Vice President Cheney's office on a US government quid pro quo with the Kremlin FSB SVR involving the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – a cease and desist on allegations of a politically motivated arrest of Khodorkovsky, violations of rules of law and calls from Russia's expulsion from the G 8 in exchange for favorable posturing of U.S. oil companies on Gazprom's Shtokman project and intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria, all documented in reports I submitted to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and MI6.

'Berezovsky's DS could not be on both sides on that isle. His Kremlin FSB SVR sources had been vetted by the CIA and by the National Security Council. They proved to be as represented. As we would later learn, however, he was on Berezovsky's payroll at same time. The FSB SVR general he was coordinating the Kremlin initiative through was S. R. Subbotin, the same FSB SVR general who was investigating Berezovsky's money laundering operations in Switzerland during the same timeframe. His FSB SVR sources surrounding Putin were higher than any Lugovoy could have ever hoped to affiliate with.

'R. James Woolsey (former CIA DCI), Marshall Miller (former law partner of the late CIA DCI William Colby), who I coordinated the Kremlin initiative through that Berezovsky's DS had brought in were shocked to learn that he was affiliated with Berezovsky and Litvinenko. He was in Berezovsky's inner circle and engaged in vetting Russian business with Litvinenko. He operated Berezovsky's Ukraine website, editing and dubbing the now infamous Kuchma tapes throughout the lead up to the elections in the Ukraine. Berezovsky contributed $41 million to Viktor Yushchenko's campaign, which he used in an attempt to force Yushchenko to reunite with Julia Tymoschenko. It failed but would succeed later after Berezovsky orchestrated a public relations initiative through Alan Goldfarb in the U.S. on behalf of Tymoschenko.'

Having got to know Karon von Gerhke quite well, and also been able to corroborate a great deal of what she told me about many things, and discussed these matters with her, it is absolutely clear to me that she was neither fabricating nor fantasising. What later became apparent, both to her and to me, was that in the 'double game' that Shvets was playing, he had succeeded in fooling her as to the side for which he was working.

It seems likely however that the reason Shvets could do what he did was that quite precisely that many high-up people in the Kremlin and elsewhere were playing a 'double game.' In this, Karon von Gerhke's propensity for indiscretion – of which I, like others, was both beneficiary and victim – could be useful.

An exercise in 'positioning', which could be used to disguise the fact that Shvets was indeed 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist', could be used to make it appear that 'intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria' was actually credible.

This could have been used to try to rescue Cheney, Bush and their associates from the mess they had got into as a result of the failure of the invasion to provide any evidence whatsoever supporting the case which had been made for it. It could also have been used to provide the kind of materials justifying military action against Iran for which Levinson and Jablonski were looking, and for similar action against Syria.

Among reasons for bringing this up now is that we need to make sense of the paradox that Simpson – clearly in collusion with Steele – was using Mogilevich and the 'Solnsetskaya Bratva' both against Manafort and Trump and against Browder.

There are various possible explanations for this. I do not want to succumb to my instinctive prejudice that this may have been another piece of 'positioning', similar to what I think was being done with Shvets, but the hypothesis needs to be considered.

A more general point is that people in Washington and London need to 'wise up' to the kind of world with which they are dealing. This could be done quite enjoyably: reading some of Dashiell Hammett's fictions of the United States in the Prohibition era, or indeed buying DVDs of some of the classics of 'film noir', like 'Out of the Past' (in its British release, 'Build My Gallows High') might be a start.

Very much of the coverage of affairs in the post-Soviet space since 1991 has read rather as though a Dashiell Hammett story had been rewritten by someone specialising in sentimental children's, or romantic, fiction (although, come to think of it, that is really what Brigid O'Shaughnessy does in 'The Maltese Falcon.')

The testimony of Glenn Simpson seems a case in point. The sickly sentimentality of these people does, rather often, make one feel as though one wanted to throw up.

Thomas , 04 February 2018 at 01:24 PM
"They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.}

No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming.

SmoothieX12 -> Anna... , 04 February 2018 at 01:39 PM
- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.

My coming book is precisely about that. Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons.

Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing.

Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program.

james said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 04 February 2018 at 03:01 PM
there seems to be no shortage of money for these blatant propaganda exercises..
Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 04:14 PM
I think the failure of Deciders is nothing new - Fath Ali Shah attacking Russia, or the abject failure of the Deciders in 1914. Europe is still not where she was in 1890.
begob , 04 February 2018 at 05:20 PM
I read the post and responses early on, so forgive me if this point has been addressed in the meantime. If the memo information on non-disclosure of material evidence to the warrant issuing court is accurate, as soon as that information came to the attention of the authorities (clearly some time ago) there was a duty on them (including the judge(s) who issued the warrants) to have the matter brought back before the court toot sweet. If that had happened it would surely be in the public domain, so on the assumption the prosecutors and maybe even the judge didn't see the need to review the matter, even purely on a contempt/ethics basis, the memo information only seems convincing if the FISA system is a total sham. I really doubt that.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 06:20 PM
IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war.

The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. As I remember that wasn't the case at the end of VN war when i first landed here. At that time even though the war was on the other side of the planet and away from homeland, still people, especially young ones in colleges were paying more attention to the cost of war.

spy killer , 04 February 2018 at 06:55 PM
Diana West has uncovered some interesting "Red Threads" (6 part article at dianawest-dot-net) on all the Fusion GPS folks. Seems ole Russian speaking Nellie Ohr got herself a ham radio license recently. Wonder why she would suddenly need one of those? They are all Marxists with potential connections back to Russia.
English Outsider -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 07:23 AM
Been there. I am also a latecomer to SST. You have to read the back numbers. How? My IT expertise dates from the dawn of the internet and was lamentable then but I find Wayback sometimes allows easier searches than the SST search engine. A straight search on google also allows searches with more than one term. This link -

https://twitter.com/pat_lang

- gets you to a chronological list and for recent material is sometimes quicker than fiddling around with search engines. "Categories" on the RH side is useful but then you don't get some very informative comments that cross-refer.

If those sadly elementary procedures fail resort to the nearest infant. There's a blur of fingers on the keyboard and what you want then usually appears. Never ask them how they did it. They get so fed up when you ask them to explain it again.

"Who is David Habakkuk?" That's a quantum computer sited, from internal evidence you pick up from time to time, somewhere in the Greater London area. Cross references like you wouldn't believe and over several fields, so maybe he's two quantum computers.

The "Borg"?. Try Wittgenstein. Likely a prog but you can't be choosy these days. Early on in "Philosophical Investigations" (hope I get this right) he discusses the problem of how you can view as an entity something that has ill-defined or overlapping boundaries. The "Borg" is that "you know it when you see it" sort of thing. A great merit of this site is that the owner and many of the contributors know it from inside.

In general you may regard your new found site as a microcosm of the great battle that is raging in the West. It's a battle between the (probably apocryphal but adequately stated) Roveian view of reality that regards truth as an adjunct to or as a by-product of ideology and Realpolitik and the objective view of reality as something that is damned difficult to get at, and sometimes impossible, but that has a truth in it somewhere that is independent of the views and convictions of the observer. It's a battle that's never going to be won but unless it tilts back closer to common sense it can certainly be lost and the West with it.

jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 08:11 AM
Clearly the Labor Party in the UK preferred the USSR to Nazi Germany. (cepting that short interlude where the Soviets signed the Agreement with Hitler, and the Left Organized Leadership all across Europe, for the most part, lined up with Hitler). But for the most part, Labor was Left.
Elements (the ones that won out in the end) of the Conservative Party loathed both Hitler and Stalin. An element of the Conservative Party was sympathetic, but only up to a certain point, with the Nazis. This ended in 1939, sept.

So I don't think it fair, or accurate, to say 'England prefered the Nazis....and even if it not those things, it certainly not "well known", except to the people who have used the false premise to butter their wounds from supporting Stalin in his Pact with Hitler. Or are inclined to bash the British in general.

Babak Makkinejad -> jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 08:29 AM
All right, perhaps I should have said "The English Government". Google "Litvinov", you may discover how the English Government pushed Stalin to make a deal with Hitler to buy USSR time.
Sid Finster said in reply to Jack... , 05 February 2018 at 10:26 AM
Witness the infamous State Department protest memo calling for more war on Syria.

The State Department employees that signed that memo were sure that HRC would win and that their diligent work in pushing the Deep State agenda would sure be rewarded.

Since entering office, Trump appears to have taken the line that if he gives the Deep State everything it demands, he will be allowed to remain in office, even if he is not allowed to remain in power.

Sid Finster said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 05 February 2018 at 10:31 AM
Explain Marshall Miller's role in this, please. He is someone I know quite well. I also know one of the Chalupas.
begob said in reply to jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 10:56 AM
jonst That's broadly accurate, but specifically Attlee brought the motion of no confidence in Chamberlain, which the conservative appeasers won but which led to Churchill's opportunity. Attlee was essential in cabinet to Churchill's resistance after the retreat of the BEF.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 11:18 AM
FM
What are you doing here? You said you dislike the military. Are you really in the Spanish Basque country? Bilbao maybe? break - David Habakkuk is a private scholar of the Litvinenko murder and Soviet/Russian politics and intelligence affairs. His surname comes from Wales where in the 18th (?) Century the ancestral village were all "chapel" and changed their surnames to Old Testament names. His father was master of one of the Cambridge colleges and David is himself a graduate of Cambridge. pl
Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 11:19 AM
Yes, I am Iranian. All "Babak"s are Iranians - except some obscure ones that are Rus - Babakov.
Anna , 05 February 2018 at 02:07 PM
The hard, blinding truth: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/05/will-conspiracy-trump-american-democracy-go-unpunished/
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations." – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Thomas said in reply to turcopolier ... , 05 February 2018 at 02:08 PM
Colonel,

This troll showed up recently at b's place doing the same accusations. There is group that is running sacred and pulling out all the stops in "info ops" side of the spectrum. The damn fools don't or, most probably, won't get thru their thick heads and even thicker hearts that it is a failed strategy that turns bystanders into their opponents.

Richardstevenhack , 05 February 2018 at 02:36 PM
Here for your edification is the definitive analysis of the GOP memo by Alexander Mercouris over at The Duran.

And it is a masterpriece - and quite long, possibly his longest analysis of anything so far. He buries the counterarguments being passed around by the Democratic opposition and the anti-Trump media.

Mercouris writes on legal affairs alongside his foreign policy stuff and he writes with a lawyer's precision. And in this article he points out that the GOP memo is writter as a legal document - probably by Trey Gowdy - with additional political insertions by Nunes. So it should properly be referred to as the "GOP memo" or the "Gowdy memo", not the Nunes memo."

Why this is important is that the GOP memo is basically written as a defense lawyer would in contesting a case -- this case being the FISA warrant application. Which means its orientation is proving failure to disclose relevant and material information to the FISA court and in some cases rising to the point of contempt of court.

Seriously, read this! The whole thing!

Rampant abuse and possible contempt of Court: what you need to know about the GOP memo
http://theduran.com/rampant-abuse-contempt-court-analysis-gop-memorandum/

blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 03:25 PM
Sen Grassley releases memo heavily redacted by DOJ/FBI.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-05/grassley-graham-blast-fbi-censoring-memo-calling-criminal-probe-trump-dossier

"Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging," Grassley said in a statement after posting a heavily redacted version of the criminal referral that he and GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina sent to the Justice Department last month. " The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn't secret. "

I suppose DOJ/FBI believe that by obstructing, stalling and obfuscating they can buy time and that the Republicans in Congress will get tired of the games and go home. This seems like a pretty straightforward memo, highlighting the discrepancy between Steele's court filings and the FBI's version of Steele's discussions with them. Grassley is pointing out that either Steele or the FBI is lying.

What is interesting is the difference in process and ability between the House & Senate. The House can release their memos on its own, even if not declassified by the Executive, whereas the Senate requires the Executive to declassify it's memos that are based on classified documents.

turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 04:38 PM
FM

We have not had a self declared communist on SST before although LeaNder in her youth may have come close to that exalted status. You might want to read the wiki on me and the CV I have posted on the blog to avoid tedious accusations of this or that. I am thought by some to have some knowledge of the ME so please do not try to lecture me about how much you love the Arabs. I speak their language and have lived with them for a long time. There are people who write to SST who are pro-Trump and some who are anti-Trump. I seek a mixture of views so long as personal insult and invective are eschewed. Personally, I do not belong to a political party and would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Trump is the constitutionally and legally elected president of the United States. Your descriptors with regard to him are, in my opinion, only plausible if seen from the point of view of various kinds of leftist including Marxist-Leninists like you. You sound very smug and self-satisfied but we will see if you can have an open mind at all. pl

Kooshy said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 04:46 PM
Found him, Ali Babacan XVPM, XFM and M of finance. Yes god forbid, if he is a decendent of Ardisher Babakan and another claimant to Iranian throne, which CIA and Soros can jump on.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Babacan MBA from Northeestern
blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 04:55 PM
...would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Aye. Aye. Sir!

+1

That is why some of us believe the Patriot Act and FISA are both unpatriotic and unconstitutional. SCOTUS disagrees with the few of us.

Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 05:03 PM
I do not believe Trump is a misogynists - he stated publicly that he likes beautiful women. I also do not think he is a racist. I think he is the first US leader in many decades who has been willing to publicly talk about US problems. For most other US politicians - they largely live in "the best of all possible worlds".
English Outsider , 05 February 2018 at 06:31 PM
Colonel - sincere apologies if my comment above disrupted the discussion on a fascinating article.

David Habakkuk - I should say that "Quantum Computer" referred solely to the ability to gather and collate great amounts of material. It's an ability I admire. On Steele, you are among other things setting out something that is unfamiliar to me though not to most others here, I imagine, and that is the milieu in which he is or was working as a UK Intelligence operative. That you have also done in previous articles; it doesn't seem to be a particularly savoury milieu. As far as Steele's US activities are concerned, from you I'm not getting the picture of a lone operative, all ties with MI6 neatly severed, working solo in the States on some chance assignment in 2016. I'm getting the picture of someone still very much in the swim and selected because of that.

The only problem with that second picture is the dossier, or the 30% or so of it - what Comey, I think it was, described as "salacious and unverified". Surely that's got to be amateur night. Not something that a practised professional working with other professionals would put his hand to. Does that not support the picture of an ex-operative who's gone off the rails and is fumbling around unsupervised?

The Steele affair touched a nerve. One is always I suppose aware that IC professionals are getting up to all sorts and it doesn't seem improbable that "all sorts" includes political stuff and smear campaigns. But it's not heaps of corpses in Syria or farm boys being sent to certain death in the Ukraine. And even within the UK Intelligence Community and their contractors or whatever they're called, compared with what our IC people have done in the ME or compared with what one fears Hamish de Bretton Gordon might have got himself involved in, Christopher Steele's just a choirboy. Nevertheless there's something deeply repellent about what he did. Whatever your view of Trump there he was, newly elected, obviously wanting to make a go of it, and already faced with difficulties. Then some chancer throws "Golden Showers" in his face and makes his position, not maybe for the insiders but for the general public, that bit more untenable.

So from a UK perspective the question of whether Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK becomes important. If he was truly working solo then that from a UK point of view is regrettable but one of those things. In that case MI6 would just have to tighten up its controls on what ex-operatives get up to, put out the appropriate disclaimers, and that's the end of it as far as the UK is concerned. But if Golden Showers and the rest of it was a "Welcome Mr President" from UK IC professionals as a group then those professionals should be hung drawn and quartered together with whoever set them on.

I've read your article several times now and apart from the fact that much of what you pull together isn't material I'm up on, it doesn't seem to me that you're definitely coming to one conclusion or the other. There are many more facts to come out so perhaps this question is premature, but do you think Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK or was he, at least as far as the UK is concerned, working solo?

kooshy , 05 February 2018 at 07:49 PM
Most Iranian females Named Fatima/ Fatimah after prophet' daughter, call themselves Fati, and if they are of aristocrat type, they are called Bibi Fati Khanam, which is honorable lady Fati and if they are westernized they become Fay or Fifi.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 07:59 PM
EO

Much of your commentary seems directed to David Habakkuk and PT rather than I. I don't think the FBI would have started to pay him until he left UK service. pl

English Outsider , 06 February 2018 at 05:10 AM
Colonel - Further apologies - I should have submitted comment 79 as two items.

Yes, the question about Steele was in response to DH's article. The UK side of the affair is I suppose only a small part of the question you and your Committee are examining but it's a dubious part however one looks at it. Although it's early days yet I was hoping DH, with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the UK intelligence scene, might feel able to cast more light on that UK side.

English Outsider -> Cortes... , 06 February 2018 at 05:53 AM
Cortes - " ... where, exactly, do you expect the great public to look beyond the initial scabrously defamatory storytelling about the "golden showers"? "

I don't think one can expect the public, at least in the UK, to look very far beyond the initial scandal. The investigations and enquiries presently under way in the US are complex and are taking place in a different system. This member of the UK public wouldn't be able to give you a coherent account of those enquiries and I doubt many of my fellows could.

So we have to take on trust, most of us, what we're told. As far as I can tell the underlying theme from the BBC and the media is generally that Trump is subverting the American Justice system in order to ensure his own misdemeanours aren't investigated.

Some of us take that as gospel. Others of us assume that the politicians and the media are untrustworthy and ignore them. I doubt many of us go into much more detail than that. Therefore the original story will stick in our minds.

But for some in the UK there are questions in there as well. How come the UK got mixed up in all this? How much did the UK get mixed up in it?

David Habakkuk -> Sid Finster... , 06 February 2018 at 06:19 AM
Sid Finster,

In response to comment 53.

When I belatedly started looking at the Litvinenko mystery, as a result of a strange email provoked by comments of mine on SST which arrived in my inbox in March 2007 from someone who turned out to be a key protagonist, it was rather obvious that improvised and chaotic 'StratCom' operations had been put into place on both the Russian and British sides to cover up what had happened.

A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella.

When I started delving, I came across some very interesting pieces on Scaramella and related matters posted on the 'European Tribune' website by a Rome-based blogger using the name 'de Gondi' in the period after the story broke.

His actual name is David Loepp, by profession he is an artisan jeweller specialising in ancient and traditional goldsmith techniques, and I already knew and respected his work from his contributions to the transnational internet investigation into the Niger uranium forgeries – an earlier MI6 clusterf**ck.

So in May 2008 I posted a longish piece on that site, setting out the problems with the evidence about the Litvinenko case as I saw them, in the hope of reactivating his interest. This paid off in spades, when he linked to, and translated a key extract from, the request from Italian prosecutors to use wiretaps of conversations with Senator Paolo Guzzanti in connection with their prosecution of Scaramella for 'aggravated calumny.'

The request, which up to not so long ago was freely available on the website of the Italian Senate, was denied, but the extensive summaries of the transcripts provided a lot of material.

(This initial post by me, and later posts by me on that site, are at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/uid:1857/diary. Three posts David Loepp and I produced jointly in December 2012, which have a lot on Scaramella and Shvets, are on his page there, at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/de%20Gondi/diary .)

The extract from the wiretap request which David Loepp posted, which like Litvinenko's letter containing the claims he and Yuri Shvets had concocted about Putin using Mogilevich to attempt to supply Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb' is dated 1 December 2005, contains key pointers to the conspiracy. It concludes:

'A passage on Simon Moghilevic and an agreement between the camorra to search for nuclear weapons lost during the Cold War to be consigned to Bin Laden, a revelation made by the Israeli. According to Scaramella the circle closes: camorra, Moghilevic- Russian mafia- services- nuclear bombs in Naples.'

Subsequent conversations make clear that Scaramella left on 6 December 2005 for Washington, on a trip where he was to meet Shvets. The summary of a report on this to Guzzanti reads:

'12) conversation that took place on number [omissis] on December 18, 2005, at 9:41:51 n. 1426, containing explicit references to the authenticity of the declarations of Alexander Litvinenko acquired by Scaramella, to the trustworthiness of the affirmations made by Scaramella in his reports to the commission and to the meetings Scaramella had with Talik after having denounced them [presumably Talik and his alleged accomplices]. (They can talk with HEIMS thanks to the help of MILLER. SHVEZ says that he had been a companion of CARLOS at the academy; SHVEZ has already made declarations and is willing to continue collaboration. Guzzanti warns that a document in Russian arrived in commission in which the name of SCARAMELLA appears several times, these [sic] say that directives to the contrary had been given to Litvinenko. Scaramella says that he went to the meeting with TALIK in the company of two treasury [police] and a cop, Talik spoke of a person from the Ukrainian GRU who would be willing to talk and a strange Chechen ring in Naples. Assassination attempt against the pope, CASAROLI was a Soviet agent.)'

The summary of a later conversation also refers to 'MILLER':

'conversation that took place on number [omissis] on January 13, 2006, at 11:22:11 n. 2287, containing references to Scaramella's sources in relation to facts referred in the Commission, the means by which they were obtained by Scaramella from declarations made abroad, the role of Litvinenko, also on the occasion of declarations made by third parties and the credibility of the news and theses given by Scaramella to the commission (Scaramella reads a text in English on the relation between the KGB and PRODI. Guzzanti asks if its credibility can be confirmed and if the taped declarations can be backed up; Scaramella answers that there were two testimonies, Lou Palumbo and Alexander (Litvinenko), and that the registration made in London at the beginning of the assignment [Scaramella's?] had been authenticated by a certain BAKER of the FBI. As he translates the text from English, Scaramella notes that the person testifying does not say he knows Prodi but only that he thinks that Prodi ...; all those who worked for the person testifying in Scandinavia said that Prodi was "theirs." The affair in Rimini, Bielli is preparing the battle in Rimini. Meetings with MILLER for the three things that are needed. Polemic about Pollari over the pressure exerted on Gordievski.)'

In the exchanges on my May 2008 post, I mentioned and linked to some extraordinary comments on a crucial article by Edward Jay Epstein, in which Karon von Gerhke claimed that his sceptical account fitted with what her contacts in the British investigation had told her. When that July I came across her equally extraordinary claims in response to the BBC's Mark Urban piece of stenography – which Steele may also have had a hand in organising – I found she was referring to precisely that visit to Washington by Scaramella which had been described in the wiretap request.

As you can perhaps imagine, the fact that 'Miller' had featured in the conversations with Guzzanti both as a key contact, who could introduce Scaramella to Aldrich Ames (which is who 'Heims' clearly is), and with whom there had been meetings about 'the three things that are needed' made me inclined to take seriously what Karon von Gerhke said about his role.

In December 2008, I put up another post on 'European Tribune', putting together the material from David Loepp and that from Karon von Gerhke – but not discussing the references to 'Miller.' As I had hoped, this led to her getting in touch.

Among the material with which she supplied me, which I in turn supplied to the Solicitor to the Inquest, were covers of faxes to John Rizzo, then Acting General Counsel of the CIA. From a fax dated 23 October 2005.

'John: See attached email to Chuck Patrizia. Berezovsky alleges he is in possession of a copy of a classified file given to the CIA by Russia's FSB, which he further alleges the CIA disseminated to British, French, Italian and Israeli intelligence agencies implicating him in business associations with the Mafia and to ties with terrorist organizations. Yuri Shvets was authorised/directed by Berezovsky to raise the issue with Bud McFarlane scheduled for Thursday. McFarlane is unaware the issue will be raised with him.'

From a fax dated 7 November 2005:

'John: I am attaching an email exchange between Yuri Shvets and me re: 1) article he published on his Ukraine website on alleged sale of nuclear choke to Iran, which I reproached him on as having been planted by Berezovsky and 2 the alleged FSB/CIA document file that Berezovsky obtained from Scaramella, which Yuri acknowledges in his e-mail to me. Like extracting wisdom teeth to get him to put anything on paper, especially in an e-mail! [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is the source McFarlane referred Yuri to re: Berezovsky's visa issue. She proposed meeting Berezovsky in London. Alleged it would take a year to clear up USG issues and even then could not guarantee him a visa. She too has access to USG intelligence on Berezovsky. Open book.'

From a fax dated 5 December 2005:

'John. From Mario Scaramella to Yuri Shvets to my ears, the DOJ has authorised Mario Scaramella to interview Aldrich Ames with regard to members of the Italian Intelligence Service agent recruited by Ames for the KGB. Scaramella, as you may recall, is who gave Boris Berezovsky's aide, a former FSB Colonel [LITVINENKO – DH], that alleged document number to the FSB file that the CIA disseminated on Berezovsky – a file that Bud McFarlane's "Madam Visa" [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is alleged is totting off to London for a meeting with Berezovsky, who has agreed to retain her re: his visa issue. Quid pro quo's with Berezovsky and Scaramella on the CIA agent currently facing kidnapping charges for the rendition of the Muslim cleric? Scott Armstrong has a most telling file on Scaramella. Not a single redeeming quality.'

In the course of very extensive exchanges with Karon von Gerhke subsequently, we had some rather acute disagreements. It was unfortunate that her filing was a shambles – a crucial hard disk failed without a backup, and the 'hard copies' appeared to be in a chaotic state.

However, the only occasion when I can recall having reason to believe that was deliberately lying to me was when David Loepp unearthed a cache of documentation including the full Italian text of the letter from Litvinenko containing the 'StratCom' designed to suggest that Putin had attempted to supply a 'mini nuclear bomb' to Al Qaeda. Having been asked to keep this between ourselves for the time being, Karon insisted on immediately sending it to her contacts in Counter Terrorism Command, and then produced bogus justifications.

Time and again, moreover, I found that I could confirm statements that she made – see for example the two posts I put up on the legal battles following the death in February 2008 of Berezovsky's long-term partner Arkadi 'Badri' Patarkatsishvili in June and July 2009, which were based on careful corroboration of what she told me.

(I should also say that I acquired the greatest respect for her courage.)

And while Owen and his team suppressed all the evidence from her, and almost all of that from David Loepp, which I had I provided to them, the dossier about Berezovsky is described in a statement made by Litvinenko in Tel Aviv in April 2006, presented in evidence in the Inquiry.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

Other evidence, moreover, strongly inclines me to believe that there were overtures for a 'quid pro quo', purporting to come from Putin, but that this was a ruse orchestrated by Berezovsky.

Part of the purpose of this would almost certainly have been to supply probably bogus 'evidence' about arms sales in the Yeltsin years to Iraq, Iran and Syria. Moreover, I think there was an article on the second 'Fifth Element' site run by Shvets about the supposed sale of a nuclear 'choke' – whatever that is – to Iran.

The likelihood of the involvement of elements in the FBI in these shenanigans seems to quite high, given what has already emerged about the activities of Levinson. Also relevant may be the fact that the 'declaration' which was part of the attempt to frame Romano Prodi was authenticated, in London, by 'a certain BAKER of the FBI.')

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 09:40 AM
Thank you David Habakkuk. Truly sordid and deplorable. WWIII to be initiated on basis of lies.
Jack , 06 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
David

You may already know this but Steele was a no show in a UK court for a deposition on the libel suit.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/05/christopher-steele-is-no-show-in-london-court-in-civil-case-over-dossier.amp.html

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 01:18 PM
I know something of spectroscopy.

The critical issue here is the provenance of the samples and not the sophistication of the techniques used in the analysis itself or its instrumentation.

The paragraph that you have quoted:

"To figure out signatures based on various synthetic routes and conditions, Chipuk says that the synthetic chemists on his team will make the same chemical threat agent as many as 2,000 times in an ..." reeks of intellectual intimidation - trying to brow-beat any skeptic by the size of one's instrument - as it were."

And then there is a little matter of confidence level in any of the analysis - such things are normally based on prior statistics - which did not and could not exist in this situation.

LeaNder , 07 February 2018 at 09:16 AM
David, it's no doubt interesting to watch how attention on Victor Ivanov in another deficient inquiry on the British Isles, was managed in that inquiry. If I may, since he pops up again in the Steele dossier. You take what's available? Is that all there is to know?

I know its hard to communicate basics if you are deeply into matters. Usually people prefer to opt out. It's getting way too complicated for them to follow. You made me understand this experience. But isn't this (fake) intelligence continuity "via" Yuri Svets what connects your, no harm meant I do understand your obsession with the case, with what we deal with now in the Steele Dossier? Again, one of the most central figures is Ivanov.

Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear.

By the way, babbling mode, I found your Tom Mangold transcription. It felt it wasn't there on the link you gave. I used the date, and other search terms. Maybe I am wrong. Haven't looked at what the judge ruled out of the collection. Yes, cozy session/setting.

According to Google search there are no other links then your articles here:
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf

**********

JAN RICHARD BÆRUG
The Collapsing Wall. Hybrid Journalism.
A Comparative Study of Newspapers and
Magazines in Eight Countries in Europe

Available online. Haven't read it yet, but journalism as hidden public relations transfer belt would be one of my minor obsessions. ...

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 07 February 2018 at 11:23 AM
I wonder too; their command of the English idiom is very au currant - noticed "opt in/opt out" reference? Too American.

They clearly are not native speakers of German.

LeaNder said in reply to kooshy... , 07 February 2018 at 12:30 PM
why California, Kooshy #18? California among other things left this verbal trace, since I once upon time thought a luggage storage in SF might be free/available now: this is my home, lady.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kish_Island#Economy

Tourists from many -- but not all -- foreign nations wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain any visa prior to travel. For those travelers, upon-arrival travel permits are stamped valid for 14 days by Kish officials.

Who are the not all? Can we assume Britain is not one of those?

The German link is different. How about the Iranian?

or isn't this the Kish we are talking about?

LeaNder said in reply to LeaNder... , 07 February 2018 at 01:14 PM
correcting myself #94:

another Ivanov. I struggled with names (...) in Russian crime novels, admittedly. But that's long ago from times Russian crime and Russian money flows and rogues getting hold of its nuclear material surfaced more often in Europe. 90s

I see Sergei seems to share my interest in the literary genre:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Ivanov#Personal

[Feb 08, 2018] Try Googling Riggs Bank – a lot of interesting information emerges, on matters such as their involvement with Prince Bandar. So, what we are dealing with is a joint Anglo-American attempt to create a comprador oligarchy who could loot Russia s raw materials resources

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Not only large elements of the American and British intelligence services, but the 'Borgistas' in both countries, now including large elements of the academic/research apparatus and most of the MSM, really are joined at the hip. ..."
"... A relevant element of such collusion has to do with the creation of the Yeltsin-era Russian oligarchy. On this, a crucial source are interviews given by Christian Michel and Christopher Samuelson, who used to run a company called 'Valmet', to Catherine Belton, then with the 'Moscow Times', later with the 'Financial Times', in the days leading up to the conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in May 2005. ..."
"... On the subject of the competence of MI6, what seems to me a total apposite judgement was provided by the man whom Steele and his associates framed over the death of Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi. ..."
"... 'Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.' ..."
"... Throughout life, I have repeatedly come across a game played on certain kinds of élite Westerners, which, in honor of Kipling, who gave brilliant depictions of it, I call 'fool the stupid Sahib.' Both people from other societies, and their own, often play this game, and the underlying mentality not infrequently involves a combination of a sense of inferiority and contempt for the gullibility of people who are thought of -- commonly with justice -- as not knowing how the world really works, and thus being open to manipulation if one tells them what they want to hear. ..."
"... Irrespective of whether Lugovoi was accurately reporting what Litvinenko said, however, a mass of 'open source' evidence testifies to the extreme credulity with which officials and journalists on both sides of the Atlantic treat claims made by members of the 'StratCom' groups created by the oligarchs whose initial training was done by Valmet. ..."
"... (One good example is provided by the way that Sir Robert Owen and his team took what the surviving members of the Berezovsky group told them on trust. Another is the extraordinary way MSM figures continue to claim made by Khodorkovsky and his associates seriously.) ..."
"... When I discover that John Sipher is a 'former member of the CIA's Clandestine Service', who also worked 'on Russian espionage issues overseas, and in support of FBI counterintelligence investigations domestically,' then his apologetics for Steele seem not only to suggest he may be another 'total retard' -- but to point towards how the Anglo-American collaboration actually worked. (See https://www.politico.eu/article/devin-nunes-donald-trump-the-smearing-of-christopher-steele/ .) ..."
"... Another characteristic of these 'retards' is that they seem unable to get their story straight. In his piece last September defending the dossier, Sipher wrote that 'While in London he worked as the personal handler of the Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko.' Apparently he didn't know that the 'party line' had changed -- that when Steele emerged from hiding in May, his mouthpiece, Luke Harding of the 'Guardian', had explained: 'As head of MI6's Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko's polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said.' ..."
"... The whole situation with Russia, of which, be it her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people, is a monstrous empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this bubble. ..."
"... Most of those people are badly educated (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold) and cultured. In dry scientific language it is called a "confirmation bias", in a simple human one it is called being ignorant snobs, that is why this IC-academic-political-media "environment" in case of Russia prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with, thus Chalabi Moment is being continuously reproduced. ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 08 February 2018 at 09:57 AM

All,

A number of points.

1. Not only large elements of the American and British intelligence services, but the 'Borgistas' in both countries, now including large elements of the academic/research apparatus and most of the MSM, really are joined at the hip.

It is thus an open question how far it is useful to speak of British intelligence intervening in the American election, rather than the American section of the 'Borg' and their partners in crime 'across the pond' colluding in an attempt to mount such an intervention with a greater appearance of 'plausible deniability.'

2. A relevant element of such collusion has to do with the creation of the Yeltsin-era Russian oligarchy. On this, a crucial source are interviews given by Christian Michel and Christopher Samuelson, who used to run a company called 'Valmet', to Catherine Belton, then with the 'Moscow Times', later with the 'Financial Times', in the days leading up to the conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in May 2005.

(See http://mikhail_khodorkovsky_society_two.blogspot.co.uk .)

This describes the education in 'Western banking practices' given to him and his Menatep associates by Michel and Samuelson, starting as early as 1989, and also their crucial involvement with Berezovsky.

We are told by Belton that: 'With the help of British government connections, Valmet had already built up a wealthy clientele that included the ruling family of Dubai.' As to large ambitions which Michel and Samuelson had, she tells us: 'Used to dealing with the riches of Arab leaders, they found Menatep, by comparison still relatively small fry. By 1994, however, Menatep had started moving into all kinds of industries, from chemicals to textiles to metallurgy. But for Valmet, which by that time had already partnered up with one of the oldest banks in the United States, Riggs Bank, and for Menatep, the real prize was oil.'

Try Googling 'Riggs Bank' -- a lot of interesting information emerges, on matters such as their involvement with Prince Bandar. So, what we are dealing with is a joint Anglo-American attempt to create a 'comprador' oligarchy who could loot Russia's raw materials resources.

3. On the subject of the competence of MI6, what seems to me a total apposite judgement was provided by the man whom Steele and his associates framed over the death of Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi.

In the press conference in May 2007 where he responded to the request for his extradition submitted by the Crown Prosecution Service, he claimed that: 'Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.'

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

It seems to me quite likely, although obviously not certain, that this did indeed represent the view of many of the 'StratCom' operators around Berezovsky of people like Steele.

Throughout life, I have repeatedly come across a game played on certain kinds of élite Westerners, which, in honor of Kipling, who gave brilliant depictions of it, I call 'fool the stupid Sahib.' Both people from other societies, and their own, often play this game, and the underlying mentality not infrequently involves a combination of a sense of inferiority and contempt for the gullibility of people who are thought of -- commonly with justice -- as not knowing how the world really works, and thus being open to manipulation if one tells them what they want to hear.

Some fragments of a mass of evidence that this was precisely what Litvinenko did were presented by me in a previous post.

Irrespective of whether Lugovoi was accurately reporting what Litvinenko said, however, a mass of 'open source' evidence testifies to the extreme credulity with which officials and journalists on both sides of the Atlantic treat claims made by members of the 'StratCom' groups created by the oligarchs whose initial training was done by Valmet.

(One good example is provided by the way that Sir Robert Owen and his team took what the surviving members of the Berezovsky group told them on trust. Another is the extraordinary way MSM figures continue to claim made by Khodorkovsky and his associates seriously.)

Accordingly, when I read of anyone treating practically anything that Steele claims as plausible, I try to work out how much of a 'retard' they must be, starting with a baseline of about 50%.

4. In the light of the way that the reliance on the dossier in the FISA applications absent meaningful corroboration is being defended by Comey and others on the basis that Steele was 'considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau', the question is how many people in the FBI must be considered to have a 'retard' rating somewhere over 90%.

When I discover that John Sipher is a 'former member of the CIA's Clandestine Service', who also worked 'on Russian espionage issues overseas, and in support of FBI counterintelligence investigations domestically,' then his apologetics for Steele seem not only to suggest he may be another 'total retard' -- but to point towards how the Anglo-American collaboration actually worked. (See https://www.politico.eu/article/devin-nunes-donald-trump-the-smearing-of-christopher-steele/ .)

5. Another characteristic of these 'retards' is that they seem unable to get their story straight. In his piece last September defending the dossier, Sipher wrote that 'While in London he worked as the personal handler of the Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko.' Apparently he didn't know that the 'party line' had changed -- that when Steele emerged from hiding in May, his mouthpiece, Luke Harding of the 'Guardian', had explained: 'As head of MI6's Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko's polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said.'

(See http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/09/a_lot_of_the_steele_dossier_has_since_been_corroborated.html ; https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/07/former-mi6-agent-christopher-steele-behind-trump-dossier-returns-to-work .)

6. In his attempts to defend the credibility of the dossier, Sipher also explains that its -- supposed -- author was President of the Cambridge Union. Here, two profiles of Steele on the 'MailOnline' site are of interest.

In one a contemporary is quoted:

"'When you took part in politics at the Cambridge Union, it was very spiteful and full of people spreading rumours," he said. "Steele fitted right in. He was very ambitious, ruthless and frankly not a very nice guy."

The other tells us that he born in Aden in 1964, and that his father was in the military, before going on to say that contemporaries recall an 'avowedly Left-wing student with CND credentials', while a book on the Union's history says he was a 'confirmed socialist'.

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4115070/Chris-Whatsit-brilliant-Cambridge-spy-spent-life-battling-KGB-MI6-agent-wife-s-high-heels-stolen-Kremlin-spooks-revealed-Litvinenko-poisoned-Putin-s-thugs.html ; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4115070/Chris-Whatsit-brilliant-Cambridge-spy-spent-life-battling-KGB-MI6-agent-wife-s-high-heels-stolen-Kremlin-spooks-revealed-Litvinenko-poisoned-Putin-s-thugs.html .)

From my own -- undistinguished and mildly irreverent -- Cambridge career, I can testify that there was indeed a certain kind of student politician, whom, if I may mix metaphors, fellow-students were perfectly well aware were going to arse-lick their way up some greasy pole or other in later life.

It was a world with which I came back in contact when, after living abroad and a protracted apprenticeship in print journalism, I accidentally found employment with what was then one of the principal television current affairs programmes in Britain. In the early 'Eighties I overlapped with Peter -- now Lord -- Mandelson, who became one of the principal architects of 'New Labour.'

7. Given that at this time British intelligence agencies were somewhat paranoid about CND, there is a small puzzle as to why on his graduation in 1986 Steele should have been recruited by MI6. In more paranoid moments I wonder whether he did not already have intelligence contacts through his father, and served as a 'stool pigeon' as a student.

But then, people like Sir John Scarlett and Sir Richard Dearlove may simply have concluded that someone with 'form' in smearing rivals at the Union was ideally suited for the kind of organisation they wanted to run.

8. From experience with Mandelson, and others, there are however other relevant things about this type. One is that they commonly love Machiavellian intrigue, and are very good at it, within the worlds they know and understand.

If however they have to try to cope with alien environments, where they do not know the people and where such intrigues are played much more ruthlessly, they are liable to find themselves hopelessly outclassed. (This can happen not simply with the politics of the post-Soviet space and the Middle East, but with some of the murkier undergrowths of local politics in London.)

Another limitation on their understanding is that the last thing they are interested in his how the world outside the bubbles they prefer to inhabit operates, and they commonly have absolutely contempt for 'deplorables', be they Russian, British or American. This can lead to political misjudgements.

9. So it is not really so surprising that, when Berezovsky's 'StratCom' people told them that the Putin 'sistema' really was the 'return of Karla', people like Steele believed everything they said, precisely as Lugovoi brought out.

There is I think every reason to believe that, from first to last, the intrigues in which he has been involved have involved close collusion between them and elements in American intelligence -- including the FBI. As a result, a lot of people on both sides of the Atlantic have repeatedly got into complex undercover contests in the post-Soviet space which ran right out of control, creating a desperate need for cover-ups. A similar pattern applies in relation to the activities of such people in the Middle East.

SmoothieX12 -> David Habakkuk ... , 08 February 2018 at 11:28 AM
Another limitation on their understanding is that the last thing they are interested in his how the world outside the bubbles they prefer to inhabit operates, and they commonly have absolutely contempt for 'deplorables', be they Russian, British or American. This can lead to political misjudgements.

It is not just "can" it very often does. The whole situation with Russia, of which, be it her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people, is a monstrous empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this bubble.

Most of those people are badly educated (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold) and cultured. In dry scientific language it is called a "confirmation bias", in a simple human one it is called being ignorant snobs, that is why this IC-academic-political-media "environment" in case of Russia prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with, thus Chalabi Moment is being continuously reproduced.

In case of Iraq, as an example, it is a tragedy but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years--they simply have no idea what they are dealing with. None. It is expected from people who are briefed by "sources" such as Russian fugitive London Oligarchy or ultra-liberal and fringe urban Russian "tusovka". Again, the level of "Russian Studies" in Anglophone world is appalling. In fact, it is clear and present danger since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can annihilate the United States completely in such a light that it creates a real danger even for a disastrous military confrontation. I would go on a limb here and say that US military on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms. In some sense--it is an exception. But even there, there are some trends (and they are not new) which are very worrisome.

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