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Friday, December 01, 2006

Femme fatale in the Russian spy poisoning case

I'm trying to think of some way to connect the Jim Gibbons scandal with the radioactive poisoning of Russian spy Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko, if only to justify publishing pictures of Chrissy Mazzeo and Ela Malek. Actually, the Sun newspaper does not allow image swiping, so if you want to see the lovely Ela, go here. (Hey, Zontar: Maybe we should put together a 2007 calendar featuring this past year's poster girls of deep politics...?)

Ela Malek, in case you don't know, is the waitress who served Litvinenko that fateful day. Many believe that the poisoning occurred during that meal, although an alternative theory holds that the hit occurred during an earlier meeting over tea with former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar. Gaidar became violently ill later.

One of the intriguing aspects of this case is that the victims are also considered suspects...

(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)

Larisa Alexandrovna is at least ten parsecs ahead of every other blogger in her investigation of this topic. I would note, though, that one school of thought (which Larisa would probably sneer at) ascribes the hit to Poland. No, really: See here. The following paragraphs have a certain interest:
Before Putin moved in to take over Yukos Oil from the Russian criminal syndicates, there were plans to build a Russian-German gas pipeline through Poland. After Poland was taken over by a neo-con team of identical twins Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who serve as President and Prime Minister, respectively, Poland not only began to conduct a witch hunt against ex-Communists but also became a base of operations for the anti-Putin Russian-Israeli exiled gangsters and oligarchs.

Named as Defense Minister was former American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Radek Sikorski, who also happens to be married to Washington Post editorial board member and leading neo-con journalist Anne Applebaum, also a leading critic of Putin (along with a number of so-called "liberals," including Clinton ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke).

After Putin decided, along with former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, to bypass Poland and build the Russo-German pipeline under the Baltic Sea, Sikorski unleashed a barrage against Russia and Germany. He likened the pipeline deal to the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Agreement that carved up Eastern Europe, including Poland, between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Sikorski asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to cancel the pipeline deal but she refused.

We now know that Litvinenko was working on unspecified "energy issues" in London. We also know he has been described as a Russian-Israeli "double agent" and was reported to have transferred classified Russian documents in Yukos to a Russian-Israeli exiled oligarch in Tel Aviv. Double agents are always in danger from the party they are working against.
Those persuaded by this line of thought may cast a suspicious glance toward Ela, who is of Polish descent. Personally, I am certain that she is innocent. She now fears that she too has been exposed to the toxin. In her words:
One of my good friends who regularly served Mr Litvinenko has a weird rash all over her face which won’t go even with antibiotics. She is scared to death — we all are.

And my mum is absolutely panic-stricken. She calls me from Poland every day to make sure I’m still OK. It is awful waiting for the hospital results. I am just praying it will be all right.
Ela insists that the kitchen staff played no role in this affair.

The other suspect would be his lunchtime companion Mario Scaramella, a very spooky fellow "who runs an organisation which tracks nuclear waste." Scaramella, who had his fingers in many different pies, was part of the Mitrokhin Commission which investigated KGB influence in Italy. He is said to have gone into hiding.

Larisa's the go-to writer on this story. I can only add one small observation.

Radioactive poisoning is no new trend in the spy trade. Many years ago, an exceptionally disreputable source told me that an American spook murdered a troublesome broadcaster using a radioactive needle. The needle (I was told) came sheathed in a lead-lined box, rigged to shoot-out its toxic payload at the push of a button. The preferred tactic is to hide the needle within a mattress or chair known to be used habitually by the victim.

I should emphasize that this claim came to me second-hand from a source no-one in his right mind would consider trustworthy. But years after I heard this story, I read a passage in a book describing just such a device. Trouble is, I cannot recall where I read about the lead box weapon. Perhaps one of my readers recalls having encountered the same passage...?

I mention this injector-set business in order to float the notion that the polonium may not have been ingested. Needles can be exceptionally fine, and only a small amount of this substance is lethal. Perhaps it was injected. Perhaps a mere scratch proved deadly.

I wonder if the cops checked the victim's mattress?

Consider the notion. Sleep on it.
Sounds to me like they might have tried a number of different strategies to take out Litvinenko. I continue to read that Polonium has to be ingested to be fatal, though hopefully an actual medical authority will jump in here to tell us whether that's accurate.

...Why is this even being discussed by mainstream media? To me, the idea it's being "reported on" is of suspicious significance.
She's a babe! I certainly hope she stays healthy. I will be posting her photo on my blog--it's easy if you know how.
Jen, I've been giving this more thought, and I think the point you raise in the second paragraph is right on. To me, the key comes down to "What as Litvinenko saying before he died?" and "Who was he working for?" And when I saw that he was pushing the bullshit "KGB shot the Pope" thesis, a disinfo classic concocted by the same neoconsters who brought you the Iraq war -- well. That tells you the story right there.
Joseph, I'd like to hear more about
where you found out about this
needle. Early in the Poppy Bush
administration a distant in-law
of mine started to self-destruct.
He got cranky at work, refused to
attend family gatherings, and
antagonized his wife and everybody
who knew him. He said sitting
caused him great pain and discomfort
so he was completely unable to act
naturally or competently in work or
social situations.

The guy was a narcissistic @$$hole
much enamored of Mae Brussel. I
supposed that his runaway
imagination was bringing him
psychosomatic symptoms, or that God
had a weird sense of humor or that
he'd damaged himself in secret
homosexual doings, because his story
was completely unbelieveable. He'd
claimed that his problem began
suddenly after somebody left a
needle in the seat of his car.
anon 9:42 -- I suspect I may know who you are talking about, if the person you refer to is in any way well-known. Perhaps you can write to me...?
Okay, incidentally, I talked to a relative of mine, also a medical doctor, who told me that Polonium doesn't have to be ingested to be fatal. If injected, it can still be fatal.

His other comment was...a little strange, and has me concerned about how the Litvinenko case is being interpreted publicly. "I think he was smuggling radioactive material to terrorists who were preparing to make a dirty bomb with it." ...egh. My brain hadn't even gone there.
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