Saturday, December 02, 2006

"Rogue Elements"



Fingerprints, fingerprints
Where are you now my fingerprints?
- Leonard Cohen

In Blowing Up Russia, Alexander Litvinenko writes that "Freelance conspiratorial military operations groups consisting of former and current members of special armed forces units and the structures of law enforcement began to be set up in Russia in the 1980s.... [E]ven if it does not always organize the groups in the formal sense of the word, [the FSB] has controlled their activity to a greater or lesser degree from the very beginning."

This is the essence of the case for the "rogue element," that unnamed "intelligence sources" tout as the most likely agent for Litvinenko's poisoning, and possibly Yegor Gaidar's as well. Also, its beauty. Even when a murder weapon can be traced to state actors - the polonium 210 to a Russian nuclear plant or, say, the anthrax to Fort Detrick - the state can deny institutional culpability by claiming its assets acted without consent. And there is even some truth to the claim, but only because a state's intelligence is structurally dissociative: compartmentalized concretions of unadmitted will, providing deniability to the regime while enacting its ugliest measures.

"Rogues" could also charitably describe the "assassination squad" which former intelligence officer Mikhail Trepashkin attests has been set up by the FSB to eliminate enemies abroad. "Rogues" is the "bad apples" argument. It's to say a state is accountable for the crimes of its henchmen only if it first calls "Simon says." And how often does that happen? It's frequently said by many still that it was "rogue elements" within the CIA that were responsible for the assassination of John Kennedy and its subsequent cover-up, and not the CIA itself, even though those rogues have included some of its most senior and celebrated officials. If a new David Kelly investigation ever actually investigates his death, you can expect the trial balloon of "rogue elements" to be floated to relieve the pressure on the institutions of intelligence.

A lot of smart people have said Vladimir Putin didn't benefit by Litvinenko's murder, because he too obviously benefited, making him and his government the perfect frames. But if the government of Russia's a suspect, who's to prosecute? British investigators have preemptively "ruled out any official involvement" by the Russian state, though they go on to say only those with access to state nuclear laboratories could have carried it out. Naturally Britain would provide Putin an out: the damage to relations makes anything less a prohibitive disruption. (Similarly, Putin hasn't blamed Washington for 9/11, though several Russian commanders have publicly expressed disbelief at its account of the attacks.)

No one but his allies in the West can harbour necessary illusions of what Berezovsky may be capable, but neither should we believe Putin a white knight because of his tactical role as a counterweight to the White House. The lesson of 1984 isn't Smile! You're in Eurasia.

Blaming "rogue elements" spares the institutions of state, which is why the institutions breed them. And who could blame them for that?


By the way, Lisa Pease has reposted her groundbreaking original RFK assassination articles as they first appeared in Probe Magazine. (Updated versions can be found in The Assassinations.) If you haven't read them, you can't imagine what you don't know.

62 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been viewing opinions from both sides of this poisoning abyss and must confess that I find the arguments blaming Putin or the exiled Russia livng in England equally compelling. Perhaps this is because I just don't have a feel for the deep politics of Russia. It is always refreshing to read Jeff's take as he always goes beyond the headlines to the "rogue elements' underneath. Re: Lisa Pease; I heard her on Black Op Radio a week ago and she gave tantalizing hints about a book on the RFK assassination that she intends to write 'someday'. If Lisa reads this I hope she will distill it into article form so that all of us can be equally enlightened. I was surprised at her reluctance to share information since I've never seen her as someone waiting to write a book about it for monetary gain.

12/02/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Caryl said...

In my view, the best summary of the Litvinenko poisoning puzzle is from "Xymphora" (Dec 1):

The answers to the Litvinenko poisoning puzzle are falling into place nicely, despite the efforts of the British police to muddy the waters:

1. All the people who met with Litvinenko on the day of his poisoning were associated with anti-Putin forces, and most, if not all, with wanted criminal fugitive Boris Berezovsky.
2. Mario Scaramella, the fellow who met with Litvinenko at the sushi restaurant (in fact, initiated the contact on what may have been a ruse, suggested the meeting, and picked the restaurant), didn’t eat, but just watched Litvinenko eat. He has a dodgy resume, but claims to be an expert on nuclear materials.
3. The Russians have been trying to extradite Boris Berezovsky for years, without success. They have just signed a new agreement with the British which may make extradition requests procedurally easier, something which may have made the oligarchs nervous. Extradition was always technically possible, but was rejected by British courts on the basis that defendants would not get a fair trial in Russia. Suddenly, a wrench is thrown into the works of British-Russian relations. A nuclear attack on British soil! Extradition to Russia suddenly becomes much more difficult.
4. Polonium was detected at the offices of Boris Berezovsky, and at the offices of Erinys, one of the mercenary companies used by the Bush Administration in Iraq. The connection is that Neil Bush is a business partner of Boris Berezovsky. Now the FBI is involved, so the cover-up is getting serious!
5. After finding traces of polonium at places where they shouldn’t have looked, the police confused the issue by searching planes, and basically determined that planes flying all over Europe had had this stuff on board. Therefore, they proved nothing, and unnecessarily alarmed the British public.
6. Litvinenko had been making wild allegations about Putin for years, and was ignored as another crank. Boris Berezovsky was actively looking for another writer to pen another book of anti-Putin slurs. Such a book will certainly sell now! As I’ve already said, Putin had no reason to care about this guy, and certainly no reason to kill him in a way to give any credibility to his allegations. The entire PR campaign, including all the allegations, has been run by Boris Berezovsky’s usual advertising agency, called in by Berezovsky to turn an unknown incident into a cause célèbre. Even the original Thallium-spouting toxicologist was hired by Boris!

You have to remember the context of the fight between Putin and Boris Berezovsky. A group of crooks arranged for Yeltsin to run Russia, and then Yeltsin looked the other way while the oligarchs robbed the country blind. It was the single largest theft in the history of crime. A large part of Putin’s popularity in Russia is based on the fact that he is perceived as standing up for Russia and the Russian people, something almost unheard of in the last thousand years of Russian history. A major part of his reputation is based on his attempts to jail the crooks and recover the stolen assets. Putin has one of the main oligarchs, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in jail, but has been thwarted in his attempts to capture most of them due to the fact that most of them are claiming to be Jews and are hiding in Israel under Israeli protection (part of the habitual Israeli mockery of international law is that it usually won’t extradite Jews, or very rich people who claim to be Jews, which is part of the reason it is such an international organized crime haven). Boris Berezovsky has been sheltered by the British. It is only the oligarchs who have the criminal history, as well as the motive, means and opportunity, to commit this crime.

I note that the Israeli angle to the case is pure DEBKA disinformation intended to cast more slurs on Putin’s righteous recapturing of the oligarch-stolen assets of Yukos (ask yourself, why would DEBKA point a finger towards Israel?). This Cold War nonsense – Cryptome, which usually has exemplary instincts, has been publishing a lot of crap lately! – is going to be the subject of a lawsuit by the defamed Romano Prodi. Finally, the idea that the murder had to do with upcoming revelations about Putin involvement in a dirty war against the Chechens is the height of nonsense. The Russians, who are more hip to conspiracy theory than those decadent progressives in the decadent West (largely because the long-suffering Russian people don’t have the luxury of ignoring the truth because it doesn’t match the color of their political drapes), know all about that stuff, including the idea that the Russian government blew up buildings in Moscow in order to help Putin get elected. Revelations about Putin’s dirty tricks would increase Putin’s popularity in Russia.

I doubt that his crime will ever be solved. The Labour Party, which is in the middle of a scandal involving selling House of Lords seats to rich people for cash loans, is bankrupt (due to the hilarious fact that some of the rich guys, one of whom got arrested rather than a peerage, want their money back!), and presumably can be bought at record low prices. The British police are following the usual corrupt practice of barking up the wrong tree. The one thing the oligarchs have a lot of, due to their raping of the Russian people, is cash.

12/02/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respect 4 JW

The message, it gotta get out.

There's a song you should check out

Seein' thangs by DJ Shadow

Strangely poignant

Strangely perceptive

BTW pplz

knowing what's wrong is one thing

mobilising and doing something about it is something else.

Live long and prosper Jeff.

12/02/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

berezovsky did litvenenko

12/02/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Little Gav said...

I think Rppert did him.

12/02/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"berezovsky did litvenenko"?

No way. It's obviously state terrorist Putin.

After the Lit's book on Putin's state terror, the working together with other Putin enemies, and then the last straw, outing Putin as a pedophile, was perhaps the last straw so to speak for Putin's patience.

12/02/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Haile Selassie said...

No, it was the Jamaican Russian mafia, specifically Ras Putin.

12/02/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Keir said...

You have to read Max Hasting's article in the Guardian- http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,1957728,00.html
It's shades of Kennan all over again!

12/03/2006 12:38:00 AM  
Anonymous starroute said...

And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . .

. . . it turns out Litvinenko was blackmailing everybody in sight.

That certainly expands the suspect list a bit.

12/03/2006 01:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From starroute's link:

"He told me he was going to blackmail or sell sensitive information about all kinds of powerful people, including oligarchs, corrupt officials and sources in the Kremlin,' she said. 'He mentioned a figure of £10,000 that they would pay each time to stop him broadcasting these FSB documents. Litvinenko was short of money and was adamant that he could obtain any files he wanted.'"

Then starroute opines:

"That certainly expands the suspect list a bit."

No: considering the murder weapon was Russian nuclear plant fuel, it fails to seriously expand the suspect list.

Though yes--it does expand the pressure of many different people to push on "Putin's RogueTM* men" to do something about it. (*RogueTM men is a fully owned "freelance conspiratorial military operations group consisting of former and current members of special armed forces" of the FSB. The Russian version of NATO/CIA's Gladio.)

Thus, it probably resembles a Murder on the Orient Express sort of solution, like the Kennedy Assassination(s), where EVERYBODY wanted to off him and encouraged action toward Kennedy's murder, though only around the Bushes a few took them out in 1963 and 1968--and likely in 2000 (Bobby Kennedy, threatening to run in 2000 for the Presidency against Bush; or against Senator Hillary Clinton (Bush Senior associate herself through American LaFarge in selling weapons to Iran in the 1980s). In 2000, the next generation perhaps of the Bushes were called in--perhaps offed by association with George W. Bush. Watch the film. Read more about that 'plane accident' which has more holes in the official story that a Lisa Pease should summarize for us. I've read some Skolnick on that potential 'assassination by airplane' event.

12/03/2006 02:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From kier's link. It does sound sort of Kennan-like, though the tone is entirely different--one of delusion that the Bush/Blair Orwellian total surveillance police state without any rights "Oceania West" stands on principles entirely different than Putin's. Putin's just a Russian neocon, or Bush/Blair is just an American/British Putin. Who killed that British scientist Kelly, after all except Blair? Who repressed from on high the scientific career of the British guy who verified GM potatoes were deadly to rats? Blair both times. Bush has had his hand in disappearing' as many as Putin.

The Berlin Wall did fall, though it was unremarked then how the Soviet Union collapsed on one side about the same time that all pretentions to democracy collapsed on the other side, as state terrorism in the U.S. from 1993 onward only escalated (WTC 1993, Murrah 1995, Ruby Ridge, Waco, WTC 2001)...




Comment

Corruption, violence and vice have triumphed in Putin's Russia

The president may not have personally ordered Litvinenko's murder, but he is overlord of a culture which legitimised it
Max Hastings
Monday November 27, 2006

Guardian

In Moscow shortly after 9/11 a clever Russian academic told me: "Don't believe all that stuff Putin is dishing out about how sorry we all are about what has happened. A lot of people here are thrilled to see the Americans get a kicking."

A few months ago I heard a cluster of diplomats lament the difficulties of doing business with the Russians. "They still see negotiation in the old cold-war way, as a zero-sum game," said one. "If the west wants something, it must be bad for Moscow."

Few of us today want to see the Russians as enemies. We admire their music and literature, sympathise with their appalling history and, a few years ago, delighted in their emergence from the sour, brooding seclusion in which they languished for most of the 20th century.

It is precisely because we feel goodwill towards them that there is something of the bitterness of rejected courtship in our response to their recent behaviour, of which the apparent murder of Alexander Litvinenko is a bleak manifestation.

Why, having tasted freedom and democracy, should they wish to return to the murderous practices of Stalinism? How can they acquiesce in Putin's restoration of tyranny? Here is a nation suddenly granted wealth which might enable its people to become prosperous social democrats like us. [Sounds like standup comedy line to me, where lots of laughter would be heard here, though we continue...]

Instead, to our bewilderment, Russia is institutionalising a state gangster culture which promises repression and ultimate economic failure for itself, fear and alienation from the rest of the world. We hear of few Russians at home or abroad who have achieved wealth through honest toil.

Instead, the tools of success in Putin's universe are corruption, violence, vice and licensed theft on a colossal scale.

"Complex feelings of insecurity, of envy and resentment towards Europe ... define the Russian national consciousness," wrote Orlando Figes, the outstanding British historian of the country.

Underpinning all Putin's dealings with the outside world is a demand for respect, a rage at perceived western condescension. This is shared by his people, in a fashion which goes far to explain why so many support his policies.

Frustration about lack of respect has been woven into Russian foreign policy for centuries, accentuated under communist rule. A Romanian who visited Russia in September 1944 was awed by the hardships accepted by Stalin's people. He noted a blend of arrogance and inferiority complex in their attitudes to the outside world: "They are aware of their great victories but at the same time fear they are not being shown sufficient respect. This upsets them."

Russian responses to western failures of deference have often been indistinguishable from those of the yob on a suburban train who assaults an innocent commuter because he dislikes the way the man looks at him. State violence has been an unembarrassed part of the Russian polity since time immemorial.

There was much hand-wringing in the west earlier this year when Russia's parliament formally endorsed the principle that its government enjoys a right to hunt down state enemies overseas. Moscow dismissed the foreign reaction as bourgeois hypocrisy. Had not President Bush publicly committed the US to a doctrine of preventive war against entire countries which he deems a threat to American security?

It is possible to believe, as I do, that Putin did not personally order the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, while regarding the Russian president as overlord of a culture which legitimised it.

Putin cannot shrug off a simple truth about his society: his friends and supporters walk the streets in safety and wealth; his foes perish in horrible ways, with dismal frequency.

The murder of one Russian journalist critical of his regime might be dismissed as mischance.

The deaths of 20 mock Kremlin protestations of innocence.

The end of the cold war looks more and more like one of those practical jokes the gods play upon mankind.

We rushed to celebrate the fall of the wall, the passing of an era in which east and west threatened each other with nuclear annihilation.

Yet we now perceive that dealing with a Russia rich in energy wealth presents more complex challenges.

It is a notable irony that the RAF will soon get the first of £20bn worth of Typhoon fighters, an idiotic cold-war legacy.

All the participating European governments involved flinched before the diplomatic difficulties and job losses which would have followed cancellation. We are to possess a formidable force of aircraft designed to shoot down Soviet bombers.

It is hard to conceive any scenario in which Moscow will launch bombers against the west. Instead we must confront a defiant new Russia, fortified by possession of a substantial part of the world's oil and gas reserves in an era when energy competition will be critical.

Even if Scotland Yard delivers a report on the Litvinenko death which concludes that the Kremlin was directly responsible, it is hard to see how Tony Blair could respond by ordering the scrambling of Typhoons.

Thus far, the response of European governments to Russian gangsterism and intransigence can either be dignified as temperate or scorned as appeasement.

[British Gangster/warlord] Blair has sought to forge a personal friendship with Putin.

The former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder has been rewarded for his support of Moscow policies with a directorship of Gazprom - the company building a pipeline that will supply gas directly from Russia to Germany.

At the G8 in St Petersburg earlier this year, other world powers sought to treat the Russians as if they were people like us, in the lingering hope that they will become so.

This seems fanciful. At the heart of Putin's policies is a determination to restore the old Soviet Union's might and influence. It is hard to see how these would be exercised towards ends that the west would consider benign.

Though George Bush's follies have debased the coinage of freedom and democracy, these remain noble objectives, never likely to be shared by Moscow. This is a city where taxi drivers see no embarrassment in carrying miniature portraits of Stalin on their dashboards, where the British historian Antony Beevor is denounced because he speaks the truth about Soviet excesses in the second world war.

The Russian archives, which provided such a bonanza for western researchers for more than a decade after they were opened, are now largely closed again.

There is no pretence that this reflects national-security requirements.

It is merely because Putin was disgusted by the revelations which the files yielded to us about the horrors of the Stalinist era.

The collapse of the Soviet Union, which the world perceived as a triumph for freedom, is described by the president himself as the greatest calamity of the 20th century.

Western revulsion from Russian behaviour, including the murder of Litvinenko, merely feeds Russian paranoia. Our hopes that contact with the west will persuade the new Russia to adopt civilised behaviour look threadbare. "We sometimes say that one must be very unlucky to be born in Russia," a melancholy tourist guide said to me in St Petersburg a couple of years back.

The west has no choice save to continue the weary struggle to engage with Moscow. It would be naive, however, to anticipate that freedom and respect for law will triumph any day soon in that tragic, sometimes apparently accursed society.

comment@guardian.co.uk

12/03/2006 02:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like a news desk right now. "This just in.":

And let's remember elsewhere the Mexican Putinocracy under Fox/Calderon, where the official media propaganda of "Mexican democracy moving from a one-party state" looks darn suspiciously like yet another one party state with a different legitimating ideology called 'multi-party politics' (mixed with single party vote fraud, same as U.S.).

The PRI is dead. Long live the PRI, renamed as PAN, thanks to ChoicePoint that aided Bush in Florida in 2000 via Katherine Harris vote roster scrubbing crimes, and was equally caught with illegally holding Mexican vote rosters--though that story quickly evaporated and little was heard of that ever...



The Coup d’Etat in Mexico
As a New Regime Prepares to Seize Control December 1, Promising a New Wave of Repression, the Antidote Is Being Born from Below

By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

November 29, 2006

Of the 159 Mexican citizens rounded up last weekend in the southern state of Oaxaca, accused of various charges related to anti-government protests, 141 have been moved, by helicopter, a twenty-hour drive from their families and homes, to the penitentiary in San José del Rincón, Nayarit.

Although this first wave of detentions was random – anyone unlucky enough to be on public streets and sidewalks where the riot cops stormed – the government classified these prisoners as “dangerous,” justifying their transfer to a prison far away.

Not one of those arrested last weekend has seen nor spoken with a lawyer, a human rights worker, a family member or an independent doctor.

When, on Monday, reporters and Nayarit state legislators drove toward the prison to investigate, agents of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP, in its Spanish initials) intercepted them, threatened them with arrest, and stole the film from the camera of a photojournalist that had documented their presence.

In Oaxaca, federal police, coordinating their operation with the paramilitary squads and pirate radio station of disgraced governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, continue to conduct house-to-house raids searching for the alleged “leaders” of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO, in its Spanish initials). Attorneys, doctors, clergy, journalists, family and human rights officials have likewise been blocked from speaking with the imprisoned or observing their condition in the wake of what eyewitnesses tell Narco News were the violent beatings police inflicted on many during their arrest.

...

http://narconews.com/Issue43/article2398.html

Meanwhile, the actual Mexican revolution may be starting with Obrador as a breakaway elite for nationalist Mexican economic policies against the NAU (North American Union) neocons:

Marcos: “We Are On the Eve of Either a Great Uprising or a Civil War”
Calderón Will Begin to Fall from the Day He Takes Office, Warns the Rebel Leader

By Hermann Bellinghausen
La Jornada

November 24, 2006

Bagdad, Tamaulipas, November 23: December 1, the day that Felipe Calderón takes office, will be “the beginning of the end for a political system that, since the Mexican Revolution, became deformed and began to cheat generation after generation, until this one arrived and said, ‘Enough,’” warned Subcomandante Marcos during a press conference. Calderón, he added, “will begin to fall from his first day.”

He stated, “we are on the eve of either a great uprising or a civil war.” As to the question of who would lead the uprising, he responded, “the people, each one in his or her own place, within a system of mutual support. If we can not succeed in having it happen that way, there will have to be spontaneous uprisings, civil explosions all over, a civil war in which each person is only looking out for his or her own well-being, because the possibility is already there for things to cross that line.” He cited the case of Oaxaca, where “there are no leaders or political bosses; it is the people themselves who have organized. It will be like that across the entire country.”

With respect to the current phase of the Other Campaign, he explained, “after the Zapatistas lifted the veil that was obscuring the reality of indigenous communities in Chiapas, we ventured out to find poverty in the countryside and in the cities, and now we see it on the coast as well. In this country, there is a façade being propped up by the political parties, and recently by Vicente Fox, that says everything is fine.”

In the case of the northern part of the country, he added, it “is chilling” how different reality is from what they say it is: “they say the north supports the PAN, that they love Fox, that everyone lives well. But what we saw was equal to what is happening in the most humble of indigenous communities in the southwest.”

He posited that Oaxaca is “an indicator” of what is happening across the country. “In Nuevo Laredo, they told us that the problem in Tamaulipas is that everyone here is like Ulises Ruiz: the municipal president, the state congress, the governor. There are too many in the mold of Ulises Ruiz and the people are getting tired of it. If there is not a civil and peaceful way out, which is what we propose in the Other Campaign, it will turn into each person finding their own way however they can.”

He continued, “we do not recognize the official president or the legitimate one. What happens at the top does not matter at all to us. What matters is what will arise from below. When we carry out this uprising, we will do away will the entire political class, including those who call themselves the ‘parliamentary leftists.’”

With regard to the violence and power of drug trafficking, he asserted that these provide “another façade,” which affects the northern states more than anything, where the central focus is on security, and not on the situation of poverty that exists. “The conflicts between drug traffickers, or between drug traffickers and security forces, or between drug traffickers and politicians, are overstated, because we know that the politicians are in league with some of the drug cartels. Meanwhile, the fundamental is forgotten; for example, what is happening in Playa Bagdad, Nuevo Laredo or Reynosa, to mention Tamaulipas. These places only make it into the news when there are clashes between groups of criminals, while what is happening to the people who are working and struggling is forgotten.”

http://narconews.com/Issue43/article2382.html

12/03/2006 03:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Oarwell said...

Wow. Will wonders never cease? I opened the New York Times this morning and wondered whether I wasn't looking at RI:

"...Mr. Putin’s entire presidency has been wrapped up in conspiracy theories, starting with his abrupt rise to power as Boris Yeltsin’s successor in 1999. That fall, a series of apartment bombings killed 243 people, fanning popular support for the second war in Chechnya, Russia’s separatist region. From the start, the bombings were viewed with suspicion, especially after the discovery of federal agents planting what turned out to be explosives in the basement of another building. (A training exercise, officials finally said.) In Russian politics, the violence clearly played to the advantage of hard-liners like Mr. Putin.

A vocal adherent of the theory that Russian secret services conspired to bomb their own citizens to bolster the Chechen war effort was Mr. Litvinenko, a former agent of the secret service he accused in a book he jointly wrote, “Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within.” The book was published with the help of Boris A. Berezovsky, the self-exiled tycoon who lives in London and has become Mr. Putin’s fiercest critic (the feeling is, evidently, mutual).

Aleksei A. Venediktov, a radio host and executive editor of Ekho Moskvy, said the failure of the government to investigate the bombings thoroughly has nurtured distrust. In the same way, there are those who believe the authorities know more than they have told about the terrorist school siege in Beslan, in which 332 hostages and rescuers were killed in 2004.

“As long as the public is not informed, conspiracy theories will multiply and grow,” Mr. Venediktov said. “This does not mean there is no conspiracy.”

His theory? It was neither Mr. Putin nor the secret services. In fact, few here believe Russia’s leaders would have been so obvious as to use a radioactive isotope; it was used, instead, so people would think so!

Mr. Venediktov said a death squad working outside of government control killed Mr. Litvinenko to frighten the political elite into insisting that Mr. Putin, stay on for a third term whether he wants to or not. By law he must step down in 2008.

“The people who are behind this murder want to lay the responsibility in the future on Putin,” he said, in order to make him afraid to leave office lest he be prosecuted."

End excerpt...

The headline at 7:36 am Sunday on the NYT webpage was something like "Did Russian Government Blow Up Its Own Apartment Buildings?", but when I just check back at 7:47 am that headline was gone!

Here's the link, now titled "There's a Reason Russians Are Paranoid:"

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/weekinreview/03myers.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Looking at the Times onw, I can't find the article at all!

Big Memory Hole on 43rd Street. Story too provocative to run, for obvious reasons?

12/03/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Oarwell said...

Sorry to be redundant, but here's the entire NYT article, just in case the link also gets deep-sixed (the article had been pulled by 7:50 am Sunday, even with the alternate headline noted above (probably when a Senior Mockingbird editor woke up, spluttered his coffee, and made an immediate call to the office):

------------

THERE'S A REASON RUSSIANS ARE PARANOID

"BEING prone to conspiracy theories, as Russians certainly are, doesn’t mean that someone is not conspiring against them.

That, in essence, has been the response here to the poisoning of Aleksandr V. Litvinenko, the secret agent turned exile in London who died on Nov. 23 — a case that only grew murkier last week with the discovery of radioactive traces aboard three British airplanes and another mysterious illness in Moscow.

Mr. Litvinenko’s slow end, the intrigue of his final healthy days, his deathbed statement accusing President Vladimir V. Putin of culpability (in English, some Russians noted suspiciously) — have nurtured a widely held view here that it was all indeed a conspiracy, only not the one embraced by Mr. Putin’s critics.

It was, from this point of view, not a plot by the Kremlin to silence a critic, but one by its enemies to discredit the Kremlin, the obvious suspects being Mr. Putin’s critics in exile or, of course, President Bush, the Central Intelligence Agency or the West (generally).

Or it could have been a plot by a faction inside the Kremlin to make it look as if a competing faction inside the Kremlin had done it.

“There is too much evidence” to think otherwise, said Stanislav A. Belkovsky, a political scientist here with ties to Mr. Putin’s Kremlin.

Actually, there is not much evidence at all, only questions and suspicions — which is, by the way, equally true of the accusations against Mr. Putin, no matter how fervently his critics believe them.

Every country has its conspiracy theories, of course, and the Spy vs. Spy dramas of the cold war and Hollywood have given life to a fair number of them. But they thrive here in the fertile ground of the Russian imagination as they do in few other places.

The Soviet Union’s leaders obsessed over conspiracies, real and imagined. They also rewrote history so regularly, fabricated so many economic reports extolling progress, covered up so many embarrassments like the Chernobyl disaster that few here ever believed they knew the whole truth about anything. And the absence of truth is where conspiracy theories take root.

This remains so, and Mr. Putin is at least partly to blame. He has stifled the news media, and the day-to-day operation of the Kremlin is again as opaque as it was in Soviet times. And there is the inconvenient fact that the Kremlin’s critics — including a number of journalists — keep dying in circumstances that investigators have yet to solve.

Mr. Putin’s entire presidency has been wrapped up in conspiracy theories, starting with his abrupt rise to power as Boris Yeltsin’s successor in 1999. That fall, a series of apartment bombings killed 243 people, fanning popular support for the second war in Chechnya, Russia’s separatist region. From the start, the bombings were viewed with suspicion, especially after the discovery of federal agents planting what turned out to be explosives in the basement of another building. (A training exercise, officials finally said.) In Russian politics, the violence clearly played to the advantage of hard-liners like Mr. Putin.

A vocal adherent of the theory that Russian secret services conspired to bomb their own citizens to bolster the Chechen war effort was Mr. Litvinenko, a former agent of the secret service he accused in a book he jointly wrote, “Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within.” The book was published with the help of Boris A. Berezovsky, the self-exiled tycoon who lives in London and has become Mr. Putin’s fiercest critic (the feeling is, evidently, mutual).

Aleksei A. Venediktov, a radio host and executive editor of Ekho Moskvy, said the failure of the government to investigate the bombings thoroughly has nurtured distrust. In the same way, there are those who believe the authorities know more than they have told about the terrorist school siege in Beslan, in which 332 hostages and rescuers were killed in 2004.

“As long as the public is not informed, conspiracy theories will multiply and grow,” Mr. Venediktov said. “This does not mean there is no conspiracy.”

His theory? It was neither Mr. Putin nor the secret services. In fact, few here believe Russia’s leaders would have been so obvious as to use a radioactive isotope; it was used, instead, so people would think so!

Mr. Venediktov said a death squad working outside of government control killed Mr. Litvinenko to frighten the political elite into insisting that Mr. Putin, stay on for a third term whether he wants to or not. By law he must step down in 2008.

“The people who are behind this murder want to lay the responsibility in the future on Putin,” he said, in order to make him afraid to leave office lest he be prosecuted.

In the Russian press, where objectivity is as elusive as ever, even darker theories abound, almost always pointing the blame away from Mr. Putin’s Kremlin and back toward his accusers. Izvestia offered four on Thursday. According to one, Mr. Litvinenko was selling radioactive materials on the black market. Another: he and Mr. Berezovsky were making a nuclear bomb to help Chechnya’s separatists.

These theories about Mr. Litvinenko are not just ideas on the fringe. The chairman of the upper house of Parliament, Sergei M. Mironov, noted that the deaths of Mr. Litvinenko and Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who was murdered in October, took place on the eve of trips by Mr. Putin to Europe. “I do not think the coincidence was accidental,” he said.

When news emerged last week that Yegor T. Gaidar, a former prime minister and critic of Mr. Putin’s, had fallen ill a day after Mr. Litvinenko died, an ally of Mr. Gaidar’s, Anatoly B. Chubais, linked it to the deaths of Mr. Litvinenko and Ms. Politkovskaya, but not to Mr. Putin. Mr. Chubais, the head of Russia’s electric company, offered a grand conspiracy theory involving an attempted coup against Mr. Putin.

The logic behind the conspiracies — let alone the facts — can sometimes be hard to fathom, but a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, said that many people in London, exiles and their supporters, were all too ready to believe anything that reflected poorly on Russia. “It is a negative heritage of the old times,” he said.

Pressed, he suggested that “commercial interests” lay behind Mr. Litvinenko’s charges.

Even Mr. Putin himself struck a conspiratorial tone, questioning the origins of Mr. Litvinenko’s last statement. “If such a note really appeared before Mr. Litvinenko’s death, then a question arises: why this note was not made public when he was still alive?”

Was this in the paper edition? Doubt it.

12/03/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Oarwell said...

From Orcinus

THE OTHER KIND OF TERROR

Thursday, November 30, 2006


"Imagine, for a moment, what would have happened if a Muslim extremist with an apparent hatred of the American government had been apprehended in, say, Tennessee, and charged with plotting to blow up Congress with a briefcase bomb.

Do you suppose that the case would then be relegated to the back pages of the local papers? Do you suppose it would go unmentioned by the 101st Keyboard Kommandos in their ever-vigilant search for proof that the War on Terror is right here in our midst?

Of course not. You can be certain Fox News would have splashed the case across its broadcasts, and Michelle Malkin and Little Green Footballs would have been all over it.

Now consider the case of Demetrius "Van" Crocker, who just happens to be a white right-wing extremist:

Demetrius "Van" Crocker of McKenzie, convicted in April of attempting to obtain a chemical weapon and possession of stolen explosives, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday by U.S. District Judge James Todd in Jackson.

Crocker, who told undercover FBI agents of his desire to explode a briefcase bomb while Congress was in session, was found guilty by a jury in about 90 minutes in April.

The 40-year-old farmhand and father of two was convicted of accepting what he thought were ingredients to make Sarin nerve gas and a block of C-4 explosive from undercover agents in October 2004.

The maximum penalty Crocker could have faced for the convictions would have been a life sentence. Todd did order lifetime supervised release for Crocker once he gets out of prison.

In all, Crocker was convicted on five charges: one count of attempted possession of a chemical weapon, one count of inducing another person to acquire a chemical weapon, one count of possession of stolen explosives, one count of possession of explosive material with intent to harm an individual or damage or destroy a building, and one count of possession of an unregistered destructive device.

During the trial, prosecutors introduced video- and audio-taped conversations that Crocker had with undercover agents, laced with profanity, racial slurs and Crocker's open hatred of all things to do with the government.

Of course, this story is not even on the front page of the Jackson paper, so I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any Fox coverage, either."

I guess some terrists are more equal than other terrists.

12/03/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Anonymous antiaristo said...

Jeff,
I don't understand why you are joining the cacophony of noise aimed at Vladimir Putin.
.
This is the sort of company you are keeping.
.
"Putin's poisonous nature is now plain to see

By Patience Wheatcroft
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 03/12/2006"


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/12/03/do0303.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/12/03/ixopinion.html

Isent in this comment, which will not I expect be published.
.
I'd appreciate any thoughts you have.

"There are currently no comments for this entry."

I'm really not surprised.
.
Can I contrast the standard of evidence here, with the standard of evidence for Putin's counterpart in the White House?
.
A couple of years ago George W Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera. He told Mr Blair so, and it is minuted.
.
Those minutes were leaked, very much in the interests of the general public.
.
The leakers were tracked down.
They are currently being prosecuted under the Oficial Secrets Act.
.
In order to protect George W Bush that prosecution is going on in secret.
.
In order to get the job, Margaret Beckett was willing to sign the requisite PII.
.
Jack Straw was sacked because he would not be a party to such an abomination.
.
Yes, Dorothy. Stalinist secret trials DO go on in England. And we thought the Star Chamber had gone!
.
But you go back to your innuendo games.

12/03/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"This is the sort of company you are keeping."

I don't see it that way. I'm not staking out a position based on ideology, I just have my own mind on the matter. And it's subject, of course, to change.

12/03/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...a state's intelligence is structurally dissociative: compartmentalized concretions of unadmitted will, providing deniability to the regime while enacting its ugliest measures."


Another brilliant, well-crafted sentence!

GH

12/03/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Oarwell said...

I just finished watching "An Inconvenient Truth" (and just turned on the AC, but hey, it's Florida).

The neo-con imperialists peddle fear of terrorism, a false fear, as any reasonable person knows. They make use of this fear to restrict civil liberties, to undertake resource wars, and to push invidious political agendas. No doubts there.

Is Gore peddling green fear? Call it a cautionary tale, or an overdue hazard alarm, but the movie is a paranoid's dream. They might as well have called the film "We Are So F***ed!" Despite his cheery platitudes at the end about "having the technological means to fix this," the slides he shows, with all those skywards-leaping asymptotes, argue otherwise. It would seem, taken on face value, that James Lovelock's octagenarian pessimism is closer to the mark.

I still maintain that fear propagates itself, and am deeply suspicious of populist memes sprayed like pesticide on the community vineyards. But I concede that Mr. Gore, although desparate to wheel out his political war wagon for 2008, may be serving a useful function by "changing minds, one by one, until a threshold is reached."

The same thing happened, in just 2 short years, with the lies propagated by the Bushites over Iraq, and continues to happen with the 911 truth movement.

What fears does Mr. Putin conjure with? We know that he urged Blair to muzzle Litvenenko, who seems to be a Russian version of Dylan Avery, Webster Tarpley, and Ruppert, all rolled into one (I'll throw you into that California roll, too, Jeff, if you like). As former member of the Russian intelligence services, he was doing a lot more damage to the orchestrators of the apartment bombings than they would have liked.

But why such a showy murder? Why not a quiet hit on a London side street, or some more obscure poison? Why use polonium, if not to magnify the fear that the bombers felt, and mirror it back onto their enemies?

It's the only reason to use radiation poisoning. They knew it would be detected--they WANTED it to be detected. Beyond that realization lies the mirror wilderness into which no mortal can usefully tread, the minotaur's labyrinth, with no useful string to show us the way out.

As Saint George said, "early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper."

What we do know is that Russian security forces blew up the apartment buildings, in a staged terror operation, just as we know that the Bologna train station bombing was a Gladio event, etc. We know lots, but what we're NOT supposed to think is that American security services do the same thing here.

Because that, we all know, consitutes thoughtcrime.

So whoever murdered Mr. Litvenenko, we can know that he, ultimately, was killed for speaking the truth. And, to again quote my hero, in times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Mr. Gore is correct about one thing: we'll change the world one mind at a time.

12/03/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading Jeff's post and checking out cryptome for the first time... I found 'Temporarily disabled due to abuse by rogue bots.'


...!

12/03/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Anonymous antiaristo said...

Jeff said

"I don't see it that way. I'm not staking out a position based on ideology, I just have my own mind on the matter. And it's subject, of course, to change."

Fair enough.
Have you considered that the matter on your mind is being determined by that cacophony of noise? In other words, it's a safe place to go...

Unlike George Smith, of course.

And how about this for a coincidence?

Litvinenko reportedly received his British citizenship papers on the day of the Politkovskaya murder. All this is beyond weird.
http://www.exile.ru/2006-December-01/toxic_avenger.html

As I never tire of explaining on the RI board, The Queen is Sovereign of the United Kingdom, and UK nationals are subjects rather than citizens.

Under the terms of the Treason Felony Act and the neutralised Human Rights Act it is "legal" for the Sovereign to end the life of any subject she chooses.

12/03/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger ericswan said...

Jeff said...
"This is the sort of company you are keeping."

I don't see it that way. I'm not staking out a position based on ideology, I just have my own mind on the matter. And it's subject, of course, to change.

11:43 AM


Hard to get that train off track when the train is not moving; its the tracks that are moving.

Does anybody really think the rebumblekins got nearly 49% of the popular vote in tha last 60 years? The fix is in and even when they lose they win. Now they can pin their excesses on "them other guys".

Jeff...do you think they consult wiki 2038 to see what needs to be "fixed"?

12/03/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

In The Origins of the Overclass by the late, litvinenko-ed Steve Kangas, we find the summation that led to his death:

The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.

The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA…


It’s a great read, it cost the man his life, it’s followed by an accurate CIA timeline overview of equal measure, A Timeline of CIA Atrocities, and both documents put this whole Putin business in some perspective.

The Russian oligarchs may have raped their country, and while GazProm is to be watched (Big Gav, of recent intervention here at RI, does an excellent job), these guys are minor league. Just as the KGB paled in comparison to the blood-letting of the CIA in their joint operation marketed as the Cold War™, today’s headlines are very nearly entirely scripted by the big boys, just as they always have been.

Oarwell’s references to “Saint George” are the real interesting puzzle: why did They let us in on their playbook? To laugh at our fear, our outrage, our impotence in the face of their immunity? Or was it an effort to seduce us into thinking we could figure out what They were up to?

The only antidote to this serial madness is to accept I.F. Stone’s simple and yet profoundly revealing maxim, “Governments lie,” (about everything--there is no “figuring it out,” only being led down endless, labyrinthine corridors) and then busying yourself with solutions to the mess these bastards have made of the earth in their endless quest for power.

Again, whatever you might think about the Peaker crowd we’ve so roundly (and recently) dissed (and I certainly count myself among their critics) Big Gav’s Peak Energy site stays abreast of the Gladio/Gazpromers and delves into the sunny world of solutions, of what we can do about it (since politics is the deadest end…)

12/03/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Silverfox said...

Just how far are we willing to strain our own credulity and sense of self-importance before we can face the more obvious fact that there are certain inexorable human forces at work that shall remain that way regardless of whatever we say or do?

How many enemies do we really think Litvinenko actually had that had both the means and would have been willing to undertake the undeniable personal risks involved in "executing" him in such a very uniquely pathetic yet entirely "public" fashion?

Who might we say is rightly being warned in no uncertain terms by the kind of "message" his death sends or who would want to "telegraph" such a message so loudly around the globe or simply not care in the slightest if it was?

To be sure any public has no part to play in this regardless of any of its highly melodramatic overtones they may have been exposed to in the process.

They are merely the same old and tired backdrop of confused and innocent bystanders who will unerringly send all the normal authorities desperately scrambling and wasting resources in all the wrong directions to satisfy their own need for some level of comfort about their own safety when there is virtually none to be had at all in circumstances such as these.

Now there are an unlimited number of ways Litvinenko could have been far more easily and satisfactorily disposed of or simply "dissappeared" if that was all that was required...hmmm?

Had he been beaten, stabbed, garotted or shot to death in some darkened alleyway or fallen prey to any number of unfortunate "accidents" or contrived suicides there would have been at least some doubt where even one would have obviously been too many.

Now unless someone is actually caught red-handed there are always going to be doubts and speculation entertained about who could or would have committed any particular crime.

The main point here, however, has far more to do with who or perhaps more precisely "what" actually caused it to be done.

Litvinenko was most assuredly a "dead man" the moment he left Russia and he was doubly dead when he opened his mouth about what he knew far better than most to simply keep quiet about.

Those were the terms of a binding contract he knew quite well would be carried out regardless of whether he sought to try and hide in plain sight or not and so they unfortunately have.

Putin has, of course, simply shrugged this all off. He wouldn't have had any need to specifically order such a death to be sure. It was simply an inevitability that had to be carried out because Litvinenko himself deliberately threw the switch that set those wheels in motion.

As Putin put it "It was a 'passive' death". He might just as well have called it a "mechanical" death. Unfortunate, of course, but neither unexpected nor of any real consequence to either Russia or any of her officials who could all face similar consequences were they to ever behave in the same fashion.

Now the existence of the Russian Secret Service isn't a secret. Neither, I might add, is what it does nor how it does it.

Every Russian citizen is only too well aware of the kind of impersonal fact of life or critical factor of certain death or permanent imprisonment it can represent.

Unlike us, however, the average Russian knows perfectly well that all such matters are never to be divulged or discussed except in the most obtuse or abstract of terms in which certain general gestures and nuances are all that are required to communicate all that is needed to know on their part.

The state, as always, remains superior to any and every kind of interest or idea they might ever have and forgetting it or entertaining any notions to the contrary even for the briefest of instants is nothing short of signing your own death warrant.

Now Britain as well as her progeny Canada and Australia as well as her prodigal child, the US, have all shared a central belief that the individual and the protection of all his inalienable rights as a human being are the central foundation of any reasonable state or nation, most particularly their own. That belief has been a thousand years in the making.

Nebertheless, that concept is still either entirely foreign or new enough to still be suspect to almost all of the rest of this world.

That includes virtually all of Europe where the necessities of the state still remain far more reliable in overruling and disposing of those rights than any citizens or their legal systems have ever been able to protect them.

Litvinenko was simply executed in a style and a manner that befitted his crime of disloyalty and betrayal to the security forces he once was an integral part of; carried out by his former colleagues and what they "unquestionably" represent and personify...the absolute will and reach of the state that they serve.

We are not talking about an Aleksandr Solzhenitysn here or his capacity to both suffer as well as accept, understand, and communicate that suffering beyond any and all further reaches of what caused it.

In his case the Soviet state stood fairly and justly accused, judged and undeniably guilty beyond any doubt in the brutal excesses and mistreatment it inflicted for decades in his case. To simply add more to that shamefull list would have served no usefull purpose and simply letting him go unmolested the only way real way to put an end to its perpetual blundering.

Litvinenko was the very antithesis of Solzhenitsyn. That his fate should have been equally antithetical stands as not so much as a testament to the goals the same state that either wittingly or unwittingly served but the methods they chose as individual human beings by which to serve them.

12/03/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"Have you considered that the matter on your mind is being determined by that cacophony of noise?"

No, because I haven't paid any attention to it.

12/03/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.

"Litvinenko reportedly received his British citizenship papers on the day of the Politkovskaya murder. All this is beyond weird.
http://www.exile.ru/2006-December-01/toxic_avenger.html

As I never tire of explaining on the RI board, The Queen is Sovereign of the United Kingdom, and UK nationals are subjects rather than citizens. Under the terms of the Treason Felony Act and the neutralised Human Rights Act it is "legal" for the Sovereign to end the life of any subject she chooses."


If Brit Queenie's RogueTM men murdered him, symbolically on his first day as 'subject' to her (her MI6) evil royalist whiles, and MI6 did it so ostentatiously to blame Putin, it's a typical British smelly frame: always enjoying the artificial moral high ground while doing the most worldwide to destroy any freedoms and morals behind the scenes.

Though I would hardly put it past Putin to 'contract' out MI6 groups to do it either. They might be willing to oblige for free tokens later in anything they wanted.


2.

How appropriate that Oarwell of all people (Orwell, of down the memory hole fame) 'recaptured' that NYT article. I hope he appreciates the irony in his catch there. Thanks for posting the whole thing. Frankly, it looks like straight plagiarism from Jeff more than anything, with a little additional quote thrown in here and there! Particularly the NYT's 'spy versus spy' reference in its article tacitly links it to Jeff's anchoring image at the top). hee hee

It's only appropriate that it got reposted here--because it was probably born here in the first place, though its life was shorter than a fruit fly.

I bet lots of 'real journalists' (paid ones) are as jealous as hell of Jeff's blog. Instead, they worm through their tortuously redacted Procrustean newsprint, while blogs on their computer screens fly around them like butterflies they are kept from being, cocooned from 9-to-5 in cubicles.

12/03/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Vijay Singh said...

I did notice they introduced a new meme during this whole Litvinenko affair. Human beings as dirty bombs. They reported numerous times on concern over people being exposed to Litvinenko, and thus poisoned by his radioactivity. Whilst that's probably rubbish, that one could be poisoned from being on the same flight as him or eating at the same restaurant while he was present, the general public will never know. So, now the seed has been planted. The terrorists can ingest radioactive substances and mingle in such a way as to poison tens of thousands of people.

It's not the only thing Monarch chose to cart out and leverage with this incident, obviously, but it was something I noticed no one has yet mentioned.

12/03/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So, now the seed has been planted. The terrorists can ingest radioactive substances and mingle in such a way as to poison tens of thousands of people."

Actually, the chance of anyone dying from a 'dirty bomb' is nil. Zero. Injured, only perhpas. Killed. No. Nada. Nyet. Non. See the BBC's documentary The Power of Nightmares.



For comparison, anyone keeping track of this breaking story about another high level linked narcomurder in Tex-Mex-land? Seems to me that the DEA was friends with Santillian instead of really 'investigating' him. Perhaps just wanting to keep tabs on their friendly narcotrafficante....



To see this story with its related links on the The Observer site, go to http://www.observer.co.uk

The House of Death
When 12 bodies were found buried in the garden of a Mexican house, it seemed like a case of drug-linked killings. But the trail led to Washington and a cover-up that went right to the top. David Rose reports from El Paso
David Rose
Sunday December 03 2006
The Observer


Janet Padilla's first inkling that something might be wrong came when she phoned her husband at lunchtime. His mobile phone was switched off.

On 14 January, 2004, Luis had, as usual, left for work at 6am, and when he did not answer the first call Janet made, after taking the children to school, she assumed he was busy. Two weeks later she would learn the truth.

'It was love at first sight for Luis and me, and that's how it stayed, after two years dating at school and eight years of marriage,' says Janet. 'We always spoke a couple of times during the day and he always kept his phone on. So I called my dad, who owns the truckyard where he worked and he told me, "he hasn't been here". I called my in-laws and they hadn't seen him either, and they were already worried because his car was outside their house with the windows open and the keys in the ignition.

He would never normally leave it like that.'



Luis Padilla, 29, father of three, had been kidnapped, driven across the Mexican border from El Paso, Texas, to a house in Ciudad Juarez, the lawless city ruled by drug lords that lies across the Rio Grande.

As his wife tried frantically to locate him, he was being stripped, tortured and buried in a mass grave in the garden - what the people of Juarez call a narco-fossa, a narco-smugglers' tomb.

Just another casualty of Mexico's drug wars?

Perhaps.

But Padilla had no connection with the drugs trade; he seems to have been the victim of a case of mistaken identity. Now, as a result of documents disclosed in three separate court cases, it is becoming clear that his murder, along with at least 11 further brutal killings, at the Juarez 'House of Death', is part of a gruesome scandal, a web of connivance and cover-up stretching from the wild Texas borderland to top Washington officials close to President Bush.

These documents, which form a dossier several inches thick, are the main source for the facts in this article.

They suggest that while the eyes of the world have been largely averted, America's 'war on drugs' has moved to a new phase of cynicism and amorality, in which the loss of human life has lost all importance - especially if the victims are Hispanic.

The US agencies and officials in this saga - all of which refused to comment, citing pending lawsuits - appear to have thought it more important to get information about drugs trafficking than to stop its perpetrators killing people.

The US media have virtually ignored this story.

The Observer is the first newspaper to have spoken to Janet Padilla, and this is the first narrative account to appear in print. The story turns on one extraordinary fact: playing a central role in the House of Death was a US government informant, Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, known as Lalo, who was paid more than $220,000 (110,000 British pounds) by US law enforcement bodies to work as a spy inside the Juarez cartel.

In August 2003 Lalo [the U.S. informant/agent!] bought the quicklime used to dissolve the flesh of the first victim, Mexican lawyer Fernando Reyes, and then helped to kill him; he recorded the murder secretly with a bug supplied by his handlers - agents from the Immigration and Customs Executive (Ice), part of the Department of Homeland Security.

That first killing threw the Ice staff in El Paso into a panic. Their informant had helped to commit first-degree murder, and they feared they would have to end his contract and abort the operations for which he was being used.

But the Department of Justice told them to proceed.

Lalo's cartel bosses told him whenever they were planning another killing, using a grisly codeword - carne asada, 'barbecue'. In the six months after Reyes's death, they used it on many occasions.

Each time, says Lalo, he informed his handlers in Ice. They did not intervene.

El Paso, population 700,000, lies in Texas's far west. It is a V-shaped city almost bisected by the Franklin mountains, lashed by desert winds.

Houston and Dallas are more than 600 miles away.

Much closer, across a guarded fence and the river, here little wider than a stream, is Juarez.

On the western side of the Mexican city are the barrios - dirt streets of ramshackle huts without sanitation, built from discarded wood and tyres, whose inhabitants live in sight of the gleaming offices of downtown El Paso.

Eastern Juarez is very different.

There, in the campestre, the country club district, lie gated developments patrolled by security guards, armoured palaces of marble, with columns, fountains and huge golden domes.

Most of the money comes from drugs.

Los narcos control not only Juarez but the wider [PRI Party solid, I believe] state of Chihuahua, ruling through corruption and fear.

One organisation is paramount - the Juarez cartel led by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes.

The US State Department claims he is responsible for shipping cocaine and marijuana worth billions of dollars a year and protects his business by killing. America is offering a $5m reward for his arrest [because he is cutting into Bush/NSA/CIA narco black budget profits, as mentioned in Hopsicker's Barry and the Boys or another book Into the Buzzsaw.]

His cartel has penetrated Mexican law enforcement at all levels. Like many of its operatives, Lalo began as a policeman - in his case in the Mexican highway police. Having resigned from the force in 1995, he began transporting cocaine by the ton for a gang based in Guadalajara.

Professing disgust at his criminal associates, he started working for the US government in February 2000, supplying information not only to Ice (then known as US Customs) but also the [drug running agency of the U.S., the] Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco, and the FBI.

A few months later, with his [U.S. federal police-drugrunners] handlers' encouragement, he was recruited into the Juarez cartel by Il Ingeniero, the Engineer, one of Fuentes's key lieutenants and a man notorious for acts of savage violence. His real name was Heriberto Santillan-Tabares.

'The money I got from the [federal agencies of the] Americans I invested in business,' says Lalo, 36. 'I had a used-car lot, a furniture store and a cellphone accessory place.'

He settled with his wife and three children on the US side of the border.

'I spoke to my handlers three or four times a day. But when I went across the bridge to Juarez, I had no back-up. I was on my own.'

Lalo claims to have facilitated numerous drug seizures and arrests.

But on 28 June, 2003, his loyalty came under suspicion when he was arrested by the DEA in New Mexico, driving a truck he had brought across the border containing 102lb of marijuana. He had not told his handlers about this shipment and, in accordance with its normal procedures, the DEA 'deactivated' him as a source.

Ice took a different view. Agents in its El Paso office were trying to use Lalo to build a case against Santillan, and to nail a separate cigarette-smuggling investigation. At a meeting with federal prosecutors the week after Lalo's arrest, Ice tried to persuade assistant US attorney Juanita Fielden that, if Lalo were closely monitored, he would continue to be effective. Fielden agreed. She says in an affidavit that she called the New Mexico prosecutor and got him to drop the charges. Lalo was released.


A month later, on 5 August, Santillan asked Lalo to meet him at a cartel safe house at 3633 Calle Parsonieros, in an affluent neighbourhood of Juarez. The Mexican lawyer Reyes would be there too, Santillan said, and with the help of some members of the Juarez judicial police - the local detective force - they were going to kill him.


When Lalo arrived, two [corrupt Mexican] cops were already there. He went out to buy the quicklime and duct tape, and when he returned Santillan turned up with Reyes.

The policemen jumped on the lawyer, beating him and trying to put duct tape over his mouth. Lalo, wearing his hidden wire supplied by Ice, recorded Reyes's desperate pleas for mercy. 'They [the police] asked me to help them get him to the floor,' reads a statement he made later.

'They tried to choke him with an extension cord, but this broke and I gave them a plastic bag and they put it on his head and suffocated him.'

Even then, they were not sure Reyes was dead.

One of the officers took a shovel 'and hit him many times on the head'.

When Lalo returned to El Paso on the day of Reyes's murder and told his Ice employers what had happened they were understandably worried.

They knew that, if they were to continue using Lalo as an informant, they would need high-level authorisation. That afternoon and evening he was debriefed at length by his main handler, Special Agent Raul Bencomo, and his supervisor. Then he was allowed to go back to Juarez - Santillan had given him $2,000 to pay two cartel members to dig Reyes's grave, cover his body with quicklime and bury it.


[What interest would the U.S. agents have in killing a Mexican lawyer Reyes?]

Meanwhile the El Paso Ice office reported the matter to headquarters in Washington.

The information went up the chain of command, eventually reaching America's Deputy Assistant Attorney General, John G. Malcolm. It passed through the office of Johnny Sutton, the US Attorney for Western Texas - a close associate of George W. Bush.

When Bush was Texas governor, Sutton spent five years as his director of criminal justice policy. After Bush [fueled by narcodollars in his campaign] became President, Sutton became legal policy co-ordinator in the White House transition team, working with another Bush Texas colleague, Alberto Gonzalez, the present US Attorney General.


Earlier this year Sutton was appointed chairman of the Attorney General's advisory committee which, says the official website, 'plays a significant role in determining policies and programmes of the department and in carrying out the national goals set by the President and the Attorney General'.

Sutton's position as US Attorney for Western Texas is further evidence of his long friendship with the President - falling into his jurisdiction is Midland, the town where Bush grew up, and Crawford, the site of [horse-fearing New England raised] Bush's beloved [stageshow] ranch.

'Sutton could and should have shut down the case, there and then,' says Bill Weaver, a law professor at the University of Texas at El Paso who has made a detailed study of the affair. 'He could have told Ice and the lawyers "go with what you have, and let's try to bring Santillan to justice". That neither he nor anyone else decided to take that action invites an obvious inference: that because the only people likely to get killed were Mexicans, they thought it didn't much matter.'

In the days after Reyes's death, officials in Texas and Washington held a series of meetings. Finally word came back from headquarters - despite the risk that Lalo might become involved with further murders, Ice could continue to use and pay him as an [infiltrating] informant. And although Santillan had already been caught on tape directing a merciless killing and might well kill again, no attempt would be made to arrest him.

Lalo's statement, made in Dallas in February 2004, is a record of cruelty and violence, the words of a man who thought himself untouchable because of his relationship with Ice. In the months after Washington decided not to move on Santillan, the garden of the house at 3633 Calle Parsonieros began to fill with bodies.

One day in September 2003, 'Santillan called to ask me to bury a guy who had apparently died of a heart attack at the moment he was kidnapped', Lalo's statement says.

'Another execution I remember was on 23 November... Santillan ordered me to have these drug mules meet him in the little Parsonieros house ... Loya [a corrupt police commander] put tape around their heads, but they could still breathe and one of them began to moan loudly, so Loya shot him in the head... but he didn't die immediately.' They were killed because they were careless in their smuggling work.

Then, and on other occasions, Santillan told Lalo in advance he was going to hold a carne asada.

The deposition gives details of 13 murders, [while the U.S. police still refused to budge or act against them] all but one of whose victims were later found buried at Number 3633. Each time Lalo crossed into Mexico his Ice handlers sought and obtained formal clearance from headquarters to allow their source to travel to a foreign country while working for a US agency.

Throughout the period, Lalo says, he continued to talk to his handler Bencomo up to four times a day - usually in person, at the Ice El Paso office.

He says his meetings with Santillan were all covertly recorded, while documents show that Ice had arranged for Lalo's phone to be bugged.

Curtis Compton, Bencomo's Ice supervisor, insisted in an affidavit that it did not know of any murders before they occurred: 'We only learned about the murders through interviews of Lalo after the fact. I acted in good faith that all my actions were legal and proper.' [That kind of defense only works after the first one, instead of possible to claim that after successive multiple murders.]

Lalo's last country clearance was issued on 13 January, 2004. Once again Santillan had called him, asking him to come to Juarez to unlock the Parsonieros house for a carne asada. Next morning Luis Padilla disappeared.

Although the Padillas had attended Socorro high school in El Paso and lived in the US from childhood, both remained Mexican citizens, resident aliens with green-card work permits.

Their children, Luis jnr, Jacqueline and Jasmine, were born in the US. Luis snr was two years ahead of Janet at school and they did not speak to each other until they attended a mutual friend's quinceria, a 15th birthday party.

Janet smiles at the memory: 'I liked everything about Luis straight away. He was silly, funny, a popular guy; he played a lot of sports. He was very religious and I started going to the same church, where he was president of the youth section.'

For their first date he took her to a Mexican restaurant, and then a children's park: 'We just sat there on the swings, talking as if we'd known each other for years.' In 1996, when Janet was 16, they got married. They spent their wedding night in Juarez.

By 4pm on 14 January, Janet was on the point of phoning El Paso police when she received a call from a friend in Juarez. 'She told me, "I've just seen Luis over here. He was with some cops - they were putting him in a truck". I couldn't figure it out. He shouldn't have been in Mexico at all. At 8 o'clock I couldn't stand it any longer and I went over there myself. I went to all the different police stations. Nobody had him. Nobody knew where he was.'

Since they married Janet and Luis had only ever spent a night apart - when Luis junior was born; they had been living in Dallas, but she wanted to give birth in El Paso, in order to be near her family. In the fortnight after his disappearance, Janet and the children stayed with relatives. 'I couldn't go home. I couldn't be on my own. When he was lost, not knowing what had happened drove me crazy. When at last I heard something, at first I felt relief. A lot of people disappear in Juarez and you never know what happened to them.'

On 26 January, Janet got a call. Juarez police told her they had found some bodies. She was to meet them at the city mortuary.

First, she was shown some photographs, but none was of Luis, 'I had to do it in person. I went in there and they had four bodies at that time. There were still ropes around their heads and their eyes were sticking out because they had been suffocated. It was horrible, horrible. One of them had a tattoo, one had silver teeth, another was too fat.'

Janet still did not believe this could have anything to do with Luis. 'He never took drugs and he never drank, beyond the odd beer. He never got into fights. He was still really into the church and he'd just been asked to coach middle-school sports. How could he be narco-fossa?' The police phoned again. This time they asked her to meet them at 3633 Calle Parsonieros. The place looked familiar. 'The hotel where we spent our honeymoon night backed on to the garden.

'I saw his shoes and his jacket. I went into the garden and they were probing the ground with a pole. That's when they found his body.' The police exhumed him, 'but it was hard to ID him because he was so decomposed. I looked at his hands and touched them. The flesh fell off.'

Two other men had been murdered on 14 January, both of them from Juarez.

The next day Santillan told Lalo he had been asked to kill them as a favour for some associates of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes - Santillan had nothing against them personally.

In such circumstances, murderers can make mistakes.

While Santillan and Lalo went on killing, Bencomo, his Ice colleagues and Assistant US Attorney Fielden were assembling their case. In December 2003 Fielden drew up a sealed indictment against Santillan. But although there was already some evidence of his involvement in killings, the indictment was only for trafficking, not murder.

Before they could lure him to America and arrest him, they needed permission from the DoJ. They got it on 15 January, a day after Luis Padilla died. [who would have been the main witness by the way...]

But this did not bring the House of Death killings to an end. Under torture, one of Santillan's victims had revealed the address of Homer Glen McBrayer - a DEA special agent resident in Juarez who operated under diplomatic cover.

At 6pm on 14 January, two men rang his doorbell continuously for 10 minutes. Afraid, his wife phoned him at work. McBrayer rushed home and ushered his wife and daughters into their car. As soon as they left the estate where they lived, they were stopped by a Mexican police car. Two civilian vehicles hemmed McBrayer's car in.

Their occupants got out and waited while McBrayer talked to the cops.

They were Santillan's men.

Having showed his diplomatic passport, McBrayer phoned a DEA colleague, who arrived within minutes. Unwilling, perhaps, to abduct two US agents, a woman and two children on a busy street, the cartel men backed off.

As the standoff unfolded, Santillan twice called Lalo. He asked him to find out what he could about an American called Homer Glen - the corrupt police had not given McBrayer's surname. Santillan, claimed Lalo, said he thought he worked for the tres letras - code for the DEA - and intended to blow up his house.

The McBrayers were lucky to be alive, and the DEA, kept in the dark about the continued use of Lalo after the first murder six months earlier, reacted with fury.

Even as Ice debriefed Lalo, it refused the DEA access to him and to recordings of the events of 14 January. Every principle governing informant handling and inter-agency co-operation appeared to have been flouted, and the Mexican government was not told of the carnage taking place on - and under - its soil.

Ice got Lalo to arrange a meeting with Santillan in El Paso and on 15 January Il Ingeniero was arrested.

Two days later, Ice finally told the Mexicans that the garden at 3633 Calle Parsonieros was a mass grave. After bureaucratic delays, digging began on 23 January. On 18 February, Johnny Sutton filed a new indictment against Santillan, charging him with trafficking and five murders - including those of Reyes and Padilla.

The House Of Death suddenly seemed set to become a major national scandal.

Bill Conroy, a reporter who works for an investigative website, Narconews.com, was about to publish an article about it.
On 24 February, Sandy Gonzalez, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA office in El Paso, one of the most senior and highly decorated Hispanic law enforcement officers in America, wrote to his Ice counterpart, John Gaudioso.

'I am writing to express to you my frustration and outrage at the mishandling of investigation that has resulted in unnecessary loss of human life,' he began, 'and endangered the lives of special agents of the DEA and their immediate families. There is no excuse for the events that culminated during the evening of 14 January... and I have no choice but to hold you responsible.'

Ice, Gonzalez wrote, had gone to 'extreme lengths' to protect an informant who was, in reality, a 'homicidal maniac... this situation is so bizarre that, even as I'm writing to you, it is difficult for me to believe it'.

But Ice and its allies in the DoJ were covering up their actions, helped by the US media - aside from the Dallas Morning News, not one major newspaper or TV network has covered the story.


The first signs came in the response to Gonzalez's letter to Gaudioso - not from Ice, but from Johnny Sutton. He reacted not to the discovery of corpses at Calle Parsonieros, but with concern Gonzalez might talk to the media.

He communicated his fears to a senior official in Washington - Catherine O'Neil, director of the DoJ's Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Describing Gonzalez's letter as 'inflammatory,' she passed on Sutton's fears to the then Attorney General, John Ashcroft, and to Karen Tandy, the head of the DEA, another Texan lawyer.

Tandy was horrified by Gonzalez's letter. 'I apologised to Johnny Sutton last night and he and I agreed on a "no comment" to the press,' she replied on 5 March.

Gonzalez would have no further involvement with the House of Death case and was ordered to report to Washington for 'performance discussions to further address this officially'.

Gonzalez was told that Sutton was 'extremely upset'. Gonzalez, who had enjoyed glittering appraisals throughout his 30-year career [while coddling "murder/informers" which was accepted until the media knew about it, suddenly becomes persona non grata instead of highly approved U.S. agent], was told he would be downgraded [merely for public display].

On 4 May, DEA managers in Washington sent him a letter. It said that, if he quietly retired before 30 June, he would be given a 'positive' reference for future employers.

If he refused, a reference would dwell on his 'lapse'. Gonzalez resigned, and launched a lawsuit - part of which is due to come to court tomorrow.

'I've been written off,' he says.

'They dismiss my complaints, saying I'm just a disgruntled employee. But once they knew about the carne asadas, they were legally and morally obligated to do something. They already had a solid case against Santillan for drugs and murder. What the fuck else did they need? [Hypothesis: obviously DEA was keeping tabs on their other agent-worker narcotrafficante Santillian, and just wanted a multiple way to verify information and dispose of him on their own schedule?] As for the DEA, they held my feet to the fire and joined the cover-up.' He had been neutralised, but there remained the danger that details of Ice's relationship with Lalo would surface at Santillan's trial.

Janet Padilla had also been dealt with.

Ice has no legal responsibility for investigating murder, but after her husband's funeral Lalo's former handler, Bencomo, came calling. 'He told me that he was going to help me find my husband's killers and bring them to justice,' Janet says. 'He said to tell him anything I knew, because he would be in charge of the case. I saw him three or four times, and later I also met Juanita Fielden.'

It did not occur to Janet that she ought to contact the police or other agencies.

[More on hypothesis that DEA's agent was Santillian as well] For Janet, Santillan's indictment for murder was a moment of hope: 'I thought I was going to get justice for Luis.' But on 19 April Sutton announced a deal with Santillan - in return for his pleading guilty to trafficking and acceptance of a 25-year sentence the murder charges were dropped [the very murders that the DEA 'let' occur over and over.] 'All of the murders were committed in Juarez, by Mexican citizens, and all of the victims were citizens of Mexico,' Sutton said.

No one had any further use for Lalo. In August 2004 someone tried to shoot him at an El Paso restaurant - instead killing an innocent bystander. After that, he was taken into protective custody. [DEA cutting all trails to their own criminality:] And then, on 9 May 2005, Ice, the agency that had cherished him, decided that his US visa was irregular and began legal proceedings to deport him to Mexico - without doubt a death sentence.

He is now in a maximum-security jail in the Midwest, fighting his former employers through the courts.

In October The Observer won clearance to visit him with his lawyer, Jodi Goodwin. On the eve of the interview he was abruptly moved to a different facility where officials said a visit was impossible. Goodwin passed on a message: 'I'm not mad, I'm sad and disillusioned. Every time I did a job and brought them information, I was congratulated. Now they want to deliver me to my death.'

'If Congress and the media start to look at this properly, they will be horrified,' Sandy Gonzalez says. 'It needs a special prosecutor, as with the case of Valerie Plame [the CIA agent whose name was leaked to the media when her diplomat husband criticised Bush over Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction]. But Valerie is a nice-looking white person and the victims here are brown. Nobody gives a shit.'

For the three children who lost their father, and their mother, now struggling to make ends meet, it is difficult to cope. 'It's worst at night, when I put them to bed,' Janet Padilla says. 'I guess that's when it hits them. I tell them, "come on you guys, we got to make a prayer. Don't worry. Your daddy's watching you." But you know, it's very hard to make it as a dad as well as a mom.'


Who's who

- Sandy Gonzalez Special Agent in charge of the DEA in El Paso who was forced to resign after complaining about the [bad/illegal] official handling of the House of Death case [only once media threatened to show DEA oversight of multiple murders ongoing without doing anything].

- Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, Believed to lead the Juarez drug cartel. The US has a $5m bounty on his head. [Refusing to work with the Bush family narco-mafia, i.e., independent agent.]

- Heriberto Santillan-Tabares Known as 'the Engineer', he is a key henchman of the Juarez gang and the man who arranged the killings at the House of Death. [and might be a U.S. agent as well, for all the kind treatment he has received, like the dropping of the multiple murder charges that lead back to the DEA itself].

- Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, Known as Lalo, he is a US government informant who worked as a henchman inside the Juarez drug cartel. Now in a maximum-security US jail. [Some thanks from the U.S. to its informers: got jailed in U.S. instead of people spied on, want to ship him to a Mexican jail.]

- Fernando Reyes A Mexican lawyer, murdered at the House of Death. His killing was tape-recorded by Lalo [DEA agent; DEA then did nothing for next 12 murders similarly--Then it gives Santillian free pass on the murders.].

- Johnny Sutton US Attorney for Western Texas and ex-adviser to Bush. Approved indictments against Santillan.[and removed the murder charges as part of the deal--the very thing that was previously claimed to be the 'reason' they were refusing to arrest him earlier with loads of evidence--is quickly forgotten: and the multiple murder charges overseen with the DEA are the first thing dropped instead!].

- Raul Bencomo, The Ice Special Agent who was Lalo's main handler.

12/03/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Raul said...

Take a look at the picture of Chavez on Drudge right now.

12/03/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Raul said...

Nevermind. I typed too soon. That's his thumb sticking up. For a second, I was worried.

12/03/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Burt Bacharach said...

Actually, the chance of anyone dying from a 'dirty bomb' is nil. Zero. Injured, only perhpas. Killed. No. Nada. Nyet. Non. See the BBC's documentary The Power of Nightmares.

Of course. That was Vijay's point. Not that alleged terrorists could actually pull off the stunt, but creating the impression in the public's mind that the terrorists could. The distinction is between perception and reality.

That's why Vijay said:

Whilst that's probably rubbish, that one could be poisoned from being on the same flight as him or eating at the same restaurant while he was present, the general public will never know.

You and I may know, but Joe Blow will opt for the manufactured perception because he/she is too lazy and unable to think critically.

12/04/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Maybe they are using the assassination to spread the dirty human bomb meme, but the message isn't being very tightly policed, if that's the case. NPR's Scott Simon was all over the airwaves talking about being interviewed by Scotland Yard (because he and his family ate lunch twice in the infamous sushi bar, at one which occasions the spooks may have been present) and about how fine he felt. You can listen to it here: NPR Host's Lunch in London Intersects Spy Case, while here's an excerpt:

All Things Considered, November 30, 2006 • NPR's Weekend Edition host Scott Simon was recently in London with his wife and young daughter. During their stay, they ate at the Itsu Sushi restaurant, the infamous site where former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko met with a contact before contracting fatal polonium-210 poisoning.

Traces of the radioactive element have been found at the restaurant. Simon's family has been contacted by Scotland Yard in its investigation. Robert Siegel talks with Simon about the experience.


Or, if you still like the spy game, you might try what Codshit is dishing up on the subject. It's based on peeking into the KGB's secret history, which you can then line up with what "our side" was doing at the same time. Not sure why this guy wants to call himself this name, but here's a sample of his take on this story (he writes about all kinds of weirdnesses that wouldn't seem too far-fetched for a Rigorhead):

Rome-Tel Aviv-Moscow-London Connection to Litvinenko's Murder
by Trowbridge H. Ford

During March 1992, Vasili Mitrokhin, who had spent his last 12 years in the KGB copying its First Chief (Foreign Intelligence) Directorate's files for his own private use while transferring them from the Lubyanka to its new headquarters at Yasenevo, finally made his move with them after eight anxious years of retirement - taking a sample of his cache to the capital of a newly-freed Baltic state in the hope of persuading the British Secret Intelligence Service aka MI6 not only to take the whole lot but also his whole family too. After three more trips to the Baltic capital with much more evidence of what he had to offer the British, he and his family, along with the rest of his archive, made their way safely to the West on November 7th, apparently a most fitting conclusion to the 75th anniversary of the ill-fated Bolshevik Revolution.

12/04/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous chris said...

This whole Litvinenko thing really makes me question why I even bother trying to "find some truth" about world events, the "big picture", government actions/ intentions, etc...What the hell do you do when all arguments make sense?

I don't like to give in to the Putin/Russia did it line of thought, because I think that it ultimately feeds the US defense industry monster. Does admitting that the Russian state/Putin is capable of terrible things really do anything to open up the public's eyes to terrible truths of western governments?

All this stuff does seem like a time-sucking labyrinth...it's strangely addictive, though!!??

12/04/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Oarwell said...

From the They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Dept:

"New York- In a development that has the entire entertainment industry talking, Andrew Lloyd Webber has secured the rights to the Iraq Study Group Report which he plans to turn into an opera. Vice President Dick Cheney will be played by Jon Lovitz."

http://assimilatedpress.blogspot.com/

12/04/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow.

I never thought I would see it. RigInt quiet for a whole day.

Have people reached a painful threshold of knowledge about the corruption of the world where we have stopped asking questions and are now seemingly more quiet, disgusted, and perhaps digesting-- pondering on answers...? :-)

I hope so. The past several comment streams seem to be going that way.

12/05/2006 12:42:00 AM  
Anonymous starroute said...

It seems that in Russia we are watching the the leading edge of what is really a global phenomenon of the withering away of the state -- though in far from any form that Karl Marx would have recognized.

As ordinary politics drowns in a sea of information and is rendered trivial by the irresistible forces of globalization, only two power centers remain intact from the old order.

One is that of the intelligence services -- sometimes on the edge of going rogue, but largely remaining intact and with their own semi-fascist ideology.

The other is that of gangster capitalism -- the oligarchs, as the Russians call them, who are at the very least in league with and perhaps indistinguishable from the so-called Russian-Israeli Mafia.

(I say "so-called" because in light of what I've been reading lately about Berezovsky and his connections, it seems as though the heart of the Mafia is and always was in Russia and Eastern Europe, with Israel as no more than a convenient base camp, offering personal security and certain other advantages.)

The Russian Mafia in turn has strong ties to the Chechen Mafia -- sources vary in their accounts, but as nearly as I can make out, it seems that in the late 80's and early 90's, the Chechens largely took over organized crime operations in Russia, even in Moscow itself, and the Russian Mafia of today grew out of that event. Boris Berezovsky in particular has always worked closely with the Chechens.

These two factions -- the intel guys and the oligarchs/Mafia -- operated together in bringing Putin to power in 1999 and probably in arranging the bombings that year which set off the second Chechen War. (The Chechen Mafia, it seems, are not sincere separatists as they sometimes paint themselves, but are really seeking the sort of chaos that provides a nurturing environment for the drug smuggling and other criminal enterprises.)

However, in 2001 there was a falling out between Putin and the oligarchs, at which point Berezovsky became Putin's greatest critic. The intelligence services are still on Putin's side -- but it's difficult to tell there who's controlling whom. A little blackmail wouldn't seem at all unlikely.

Putting all this together, it seems entirely possible to me that Litvinenko could have been murdered either by (1) Putin, (2) the intel guys operating separately of Putin and for their own motivations, (3) Berezovsky, to discredit Putin, (4) one or more of the other oligarchs, striking against either Putin, Berezovsky, or both at the same time, or (5) the Chechens, for whatever reasons might seem fitting to them.

In any case, the polonium argument doesn't necessary imply state terrorism, given the laxness of controls over radioactive materials in that part of the world. The Chechens, in particular, have been involved in several cases of plutonium smuggling.

There are other complicating factors in the picture -- one being that the Chechens have ties going back to at least 1994 with al Qaeda and Pakistan's ISI, and another that these same Chechens have been enthusiastically supported by the Neocons of the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya, who are still motivated by a lingering after-image of the anti-Soviet fervor with which they started out back in the Vietnam era.

In addition, the oligarchs have their own ties with American free trade ideologues -- both groups being strong supporters of the various "color revolutions," like that in the Ukraine. And the oligarchs have Neocon ties as well -- oligarch Mikhail Chernoy (aka Michael Cherney) and his role in John Loftus's Intelligence Summit being the most prominent example.

(I'm even coming to suspect that the push for war with Iran, in which the Intelligence Summit is deeply involved, has nothing whatsoever to do with American, or even Israeli, interests, but is directed purely towards destabilizing a part of the world with lies directly athwart the major drug routes from Afghanistan to the Europe.)

But these wider connections probably fall outside the specific Russian situation, which appears to be that of a war for control between the intelligence guys and the oligarchs, a war which is due to break out as soon as Putin leaves office. (Whether that takes place in 2008 or is delayed until some indefinite later point still being a matter of contention.)

12/05/2006 02:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Putin Vs. Berezhovsky vs. Litvinenko: an enigma wrapped within a riddle inside a conundrum, with a peanut butter center and a chocolate cookie outside. When Godzilla fights Mothra, do you choose sides? Does it matter who's at fault in the latest skirmish? Or do we wish a plague on both their houses?

12/05/2006 02:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to the various mafias cited by starroute - I see some parallels with the IRA, too... Some who once genuinely believed in Irish self-determination got sucked into a desire for a perpetuation of violence to maintain the influx of money and glory they had become accustomed to.

One Sufi text I've read referred to that sort of thing as an example of "earth-sickness".

12/05/2006 02:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous One,I'm afraid we are all stuck in the land of the self-replicating meme virus. 2007 will be the "Road to Oblivion Tour".The folks around my parts can't take much more pressure,what with no dancing with the stars or American Idiot? The mind shift I think the powers that be are looking for,has come.Think about this meme,last week a high ranking military officer stated the violence has now taken on a "Satanic nature",later.

12/05/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous moviegirl said...

Anyone else pick up on the strangness of the date that this all began?

110106?

Is that one of those strange mirror reflections again?

And his father on CNN today drawing attention to the date -

"They killed him on my birthday?"

12/05/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Toasted Almond Bar said...

What about options 5,6,7,8 and so on and so forth, Starroute? Why do you preclude western rogue elements from this affair?

Who's pushing this story? That's where you will find your culprit, or culprits. Something like this, in this day and age, should have been back page shrift, but instead it's front page, receiving far more scrutiny than it deserves considering all of the other shit that's going down. Sure, you and I know there's much more to it than the headline, but Joe Blow doesn't, and Joe Blow doesn't care what's behind this curtain, or any other curtains for that matter.

I think this story reaching the proportions it did was obviously strategic, and used for many purposes, one of which was to distract from more unsavory issues like how american soldiers in Iraq enjoy the carnage and killing because it beats an ordinary, bland 9 to 5 job that makes you yearn for more thrill. Heard that one on NPR yesterday, straight from one of the horse's mouths, but I never seem to hear it mentioned on the mainstream cable networks.

There's a killer on the road, as the song goes, and it's a road that intersects with our driveways.

12/05/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous starroute said...

Toasted Almond -

Well, one of the reasons the story has gotten so overinflated is that Berezovsky dragged in his PR people early on -- arranging for the martyred, Christ-like photo of Litvinenko that's been prominently displayed, and so forth.

As to why I didn't include Western rogue elements in the list ... partly just a gut feeling that use of exotic poisons is a peculiarly Russian kind of thing. Western black ops seem to go more for mechanical means, like convenient plane crashes, falls from high buildings, or almost-plausible suicides.

Also, considering the cui bono of it, I couldn't come up with any reason the West would *want* Litvinenko dead. Russian politics and Chechen/Russian/Israeli organized crime seem like the two leading possibilities for the why, and neither of those points towards the West getting involved in the sort of micro-management of events that would require taking out a single, previously obscure figure.

12/05/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Vanilla Cone said...

Very well reasoned, Starroute. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's correct. In the spy game, anything's possible. Perhaps it's none of the above. As Chris said earlier, all arguments make sense.

I don't believe the western rogues are indifferent, if that's your implication. Don't you see them benefiting from a Russia divided, i.e. Oligarchs versus Intelligence?

12/05/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

starroute has a very informative and interesting spiel on some background to the current affair of L's murder by polonium. I add some brackets to show the hands moving the Chechen pieces before I comment:

"There are other complicating factors in the picture -- one being that the Chechens have ties going back to at least 1994 with [CIA linked] al Qaeda and [CIA linked] Pakistan's ISI, and another that these same Chechens have been enthusiastically supported by the Neocons of the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya"

I'm glad you mentioned that because I would have--about the Al-CIAda connection into destabilizing Chechnya.

Another rationale left out you might or might not be aware of is that (I think--I'm aghast!--I picked this up from Ruppert bless is warped rabid soul) that Chechnya is the oil pipeline interchange area for all of Russian oil.

So mere 'breakaway' Chechnya pressures--aided from the CIA/neocons outside like all other fake Eastern European 'revolutions' --basically has much larger repercussions than a simple province. It is all Russia under oil energy hostage or seige when we are dealing with Chechnya.

Meanwhile, other CIA fake grassroots revolutions have been surrounding Russia with U.S. client states to destabalize Russian areas. The whole L affair seems like so much more intentional CIA rogue destabilization to me.

I'm not convinced, like "Toasted Almond Bar", that simply because 'we don't see a motive', with our outside looking in view, that that means there can plausibly be none. After all, L. was murdered on his first day as a British citizen (sorry, 'subject'). And he had a whole blackmail network it seems of many people from his ex-files access. Caught between murderous Czar Putin and [insert unknown suspects here.]

It could be another variation of an Agatha Cristie story, the ABC Murders, where among other feints 'A' kills someone he has no motive for killing to throw off the trail to someone else. Any more on the origin of polonium? Really Russian source, how do they know?

related article on Ukraine destabilization from the outside. L's murder could be simply more destabilization of the new Czar Putin, since the CIA already had gotten him surrounded.

Ukraine: US Orwellian 'well planned drama' of IMF/CIA/NED coup as 'grassroots democracy'
Date: 2004.12.02 01:30

Ukraine, perfection of Orwellian "well planned drama" media perception around IMF/CIA/NED coup as a "grass roots democratic reform"; how it's done --- "Among the numerous Western foundations, the Orwellian named National Endowment for Democracy (NED), although not officially part of the CIA, performs an important intelligence function in shaping party politics in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and around the World. NED additionally involved in funding of Venezuelan coup against Chavez. NED was created in 1983, when the CIA was being accused [with truth] of covertly bribing politicians and setting up phony civil society front organizations. According to Allen Weinstein, who was responsible for establishing the NED during the Reagan Administration: "A lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." (Washington Post, Sept. 21, 1991)....

So, I suppose another motive for L's murder as a frame, from the Western side, might merely be the ongoing destabilization of Putin that would be the core policy of the CIA in the area, working from the peripheries toward the inner Russia areas.

(And my apologies to all the CIA reading this who aren't rogue, all the John Stockwell's out there, for I know they exist....If we assume that all the U.S Gov't intel services are Bush supporters first and Constitution supporters second, we can't understand all the leaks that have been strategically going on about Bush corruption.)

An interesting quote from David Shayler, who ratted on British MI6 for operating and paying Al-Queda back in 1995:

"Let there be no doubt that the people of the free world are engaged in a war... In the next few years, we are either going to see the people of the free world rise up against these fascists, now setting the stage for global war, or we are going to see the end of democracy as we know it with martial law the end result." - David Shayler

Part of that rise up will be AGAINST THE OBVIOUS fake terrorist manipulations from "Al-Queda," which was created by the CIA, funded historically by the British MI6, worked with the U.S. Army in Yugoslavian invasions in 1999, worked with the CIA in destabalizing Chechnya, and organized by the Israeli Mossad in the Palestinian territories. The Mossad run Al-Queda cell is the only one ever found. To save Israel from its own self-destructing right wing has been the goal of the Ostrovsky's everywhere as well.

"Al-Queda" is a Western intelligence franchise operation between U.S., U.K., and Israeli right wing fascists in our midst. The second the corporate media pin L's murder on "Al-Queda networks operating with Putin's allowance, to move radiological materials out of Russia" we should see the typical string pullers in action down at Langley.

12/05/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Starroute,
You wrote something that forced me to go retrace my steps from yesterday’s reading (no easy task, as I’m an extreme internet schizophrenic—aside from RI and a handful of valued sites, I pretty much bounce around through new territory everyday) to track down a blog thread which had a surprisingly different take on the things we view through our Western, anti-Bush, anti-elite, Rigorous Supposition Lens. The good news is that I found it; the bad news is that it’s not all in English, but I guess I can translate or at least paraphrase enough of it to make sense for the German-challenged reader. The reason I find this exercise to be instructive is that it’s always a healthy experience to look through someone else’s eyes, especially when the sight afforded is quite different from what your lenses tell you about the world.

Okay, so first I was reading the English version of Spiegel Online, which is running a series of articles that explore some of the results of the German elections that sent Gerhard Schröder packing his carpetbag to cash in (after his ignominious defeat at the hands of Andrea Merkel’s CDU—it was the economy, stupid, with 6,000,000 unemployed Germans and many more without seats at the overcrowded universities, etc) on his “gift” to Putin (calling him a “peerless democrat”) by taking up his new position at Gazprom. What we were largely not told by our ever-vigilant media was that the far right has been making very sizable gains in all the recent elections, but most especially in this last one. By law, if any party receives more than 5% of the vote, they must be accorded some form of representation in the German Bundestag (parliament).

Much gnashing of teeth ensued, with many wondering how such a thing could have happened and others—the other political parties, most notably the left-leaning—debating whether to ban the new Nazi parties altogether, a movement which is fraught with anti-democratic overtones. (Do we have to kill a democracy in order to preserve it?) Well, these other parties got together and announced their strategy, along with the news (to us, at least) of a survey which sought to discover the causes for the successes of the far right and which (the survey) “shocked” the Germans and which should make us all a bit nervous:

The other parties in the state parliament, the CDU, Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the Social Democrats (SPD), the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green Party have agreed to a pact on how to handle the NPD. For example, they have agreed that they will not allow any lengthy debates when NPD members table a motion. Instead, there will be a speaker from the CDU/SPD Grand Coalition followed by a speaker from the opposition, but no further debate. The goal is to pay as little attention as possible to the NPD without excluding it from the political dialogue.

It sounds like a good plan, especially because it forces the parties to admit to having a common goal that is bigger than their respective party interests -- namely the preservation and defense of democracy. This may not be such a bad thing for political parties that have been behaving as if democracy were indestructible and could therefore be readily abused to further their own interests. This behavior may have contributed to the results of the ARD television network's most recent "German Trends" survey, which found that a slim majority of Germans have, for the first time, stated that they are less satisfied or even completely dissatisfied with democracy. Does the NPD's success offer Germans an opportunity to come to their senses?

Germans dissatisfied with Democracy…hmmm. How could that be? The articles run by Spiegel offered a very one-sided “explanation” for this phenomenon. Since most of the Nazi gains have come in the East, they speculate that the sudden absence of the socialist state which, while grey, lifeless, and Stasi-infested, had provided jobs, education, a host of social services & programs and, most importantly, security about these things, created such angst among the Ossies that they naturally turned to the strong-man theory of political governance offered by the aspiring, perspiring little adolfs with their barely concealed swastika flags.

The problem with this analysis is that it conveniently ignores the fact that the prosperous, shiny West of Germany was equally inexperienced with democracy when we set up our colonial operations under the auspices of the Marshall Plan. Yes, the Wirtschaftswunder was golden (the sudden economic “miracle” which made West Germany a model of the promise of capitalism), but was it really a bootstrap-pulling, or maybe just a bit of a propaganda ploy?

To understand how jarring this miracle was, you had to have stood, as I did, in 1985, on the lookout tower at KDW, Kaufhaus des Westens ("Department Store of the West", the showplace department store in West Berlin that flaunted thousand-dollar caviar and mountains of conspicuously golden glitz) looking down on the still bullet-scarred, drab and dreary East Berlin. That tower, and the unnecessary, unsustainable affluence of the American Presence in Germany is what separated East from West, not the tiny, barb-wired, machine gun-manned wall that Reagan implored Mr. Gorbachev to take down.

How many Germans today know that Reinhard Gehlen designed the German CIA (BND), staffed it with Nazi war criminals, and used it to feed the American sponsors bullshit Soviet troop strength estimates so as to justify blowing the peace dividend on the Cold War? Or that Hans Globke, co-worker of Adolf Eichmann and author of the Nuremberg Racial Laws of 1935 which systematically disenfranchised Germany’s Jews, was Konrad Adenauer’s Director of National Security? The Wessies wring their hands over the rise of the new Nazis in the electorate, but they don’t care to dwell on the undercurrent of Nazism that survived the de-Nazification of the Nuremberg Tribunal. The state funeral in 1988 of Josef Strauss, head of the Bavarian State for 30 years, was a solemn occasion—too solemn to mention Strauss’ Nazi history in the war or his life-long connections to Lemnitzer’s Gladio organization and the industrial cartels which ran Germany before, during, and after the war. While it’s true that some Germans knew what Strauss was, just as some Germans resented American imperialism and militarism, most were uncomfortable with these thoughts.

Sleeping dogs, I suppose.

Still, it’s hard to swallow the prognostications of the conveniently forgetful. In response to the articles in der Spiegel (by the way, here they are, in English—well-written, nice accompanying photo essays, etc: GERMANY'S FAR-RIGHT POLITICIANS--Living with the Extremist Plague by Dirk Kurbjuweit; The Friendly Neo-Nazis, by Dominik Cziesche, Gunther Latsch, Conny Neumann, Irina Repke and Steffen Winter; and Racism Warning Has German Hackles Raised), many blogs are raising more than just their hackles. In one of them, and a good one at that, called Statler & Waldorf, in a post titled Die Pest, in Sachsen und anderswo (December 2nd, 2006), the author, Statler, writes a very introspective piece in which he decides that, no, the new Nazi parties can’t be banned, since that would be undemocratic. His comment also field had some interesting ideas, which, unfortunately for those confined to English, are in that other language, such as this:

on 04 Dec 2006 at 6:07 pm Ch. Arm
Uwe hat es richtig angesprochen. Die NPD kann ja gar nicht von der Gesellschaft bekämpft werden, nicht so lange, wie die Gesellschaft viele Ansichten und Einstellungen der NPD (un)wissentlich teilt.
Es kommt eben nur zu der bekloppten “Anti-Rechts” Reaktion sobald die NPD mal wieder zeigt welche Plage sie ist. Bekloppt sind diese Reaktionen deshalb, weil ich sie nicht für aufrichtig halte. Gerade die PDS und die WASG sind der NPD extrem nahe, eigentlich erzielt man z.Z. mit extrmistischem und durchaus anti-amerikanischen, anti-liberalen und stellenweise antisemitischen Wahlprogrammen rund 30 % in den “neuen” Ländern. Sehr bedenklich.
Der Extremismus ist bereits längst wie ein tiefgehender Virus in unserer Gesellschaft eingefressen.
Stellt sich die Frage, was tun? Karies wird einfach weggeschliffen und durch anderes Material ersetzt…und freiheitsliebende Menschen gibt es genügend in Europa, da muss man sich nur mal die baltischen Staaten anschauen!
Hoffentlich erwacht Deutschland bald aus diesem Alptraum und schüttelt diese eigentlichen Fremdkörper der NPD, PDS und so weiter endlich ab.


Which basically says that a previous commenter got it right, that (German) society would never be able to battle the new Nazi parties rising in the Bundestag (primarily in the East) as long as that larger society held so many positions and beliefs in common with these extreme right wing nutcases, in other words, as long as their message resonated on some (or any) level among those of the “free” West of Germany. Common traits of the Nazi parties were described as: "anti-amerikanischen, anti-liberalen und stellenweise (in places) antisemitischen".

The simple unquestioned equation of Nazism with anti-Americanism is extremely revealing in this context—who the hell do they imagine is running this country?! What about the role of capitalism? Even more revealing is this comment:

Das Gegenteil von Sozialismus, auch Nationalsozialismus, ist nicht Demokratie, sondern Freiheit. (The opposite of Socialism, even Nazism, is not Democracy, but Freedom.)

Wow! Could Radio Free Europe have said it any better?

12/05/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Handsome said...

Jeff,

Have you seen this --

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1962643,00.html

Wondering what you think.

12/05/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More interesting L stuff in bold. Snippets come from the Wikipedia article.

Seems that L was spreading aspersions that would fit with L's attempt to pin the Western Intel agency of Al-Queda on Putin, like I expected!

Perhaps L was an 'asset' as they say of British or U.S. Intel after all his previous FSB work.

His motivation of hating Putin would fit right into being used by the West to plant out these stories, which I think is pretty bogus that "Putin had Al-QuedaTM" connections! Give us a break:

In a July 2005 interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, Litvinenko alleged that Ayman al-Zawahiri, along with other al-Qaeda members, was trained by the FSB in Dagestan (a republic neighbouring Chechnya) in 1998.[16][17] With regard to 2005 bombings in London,...

[which were conducted actually instead in real time with high level UK terror drills exactly; so the UK did those of course, and we find L spinning the false story that 'Russia did 7/7 with Al-Queda' in London!]:

...Litvinenko [actually had the audacity to spin this story:] said that KGB and FSB are main promoters of the terrorism worldwide.[18]

hahahaha

L was probably a useful Western intel agent himself to pass this ridiculous one-sided story, with all the US/UK/Mossad groups really running the Al-Queda roadshow. With them damning by aspersion and 'connections we can't reveal publicly' to any flavor of the month enemy of US/UK/Mossad groupies that their favorite enemies are lauded in the corporate press for them as having 'Al-queda connections.'

L did admirably well for the US/UK intel in mistakenly planting or foisting Al-Queda aspersions on Putin that I was unaware of when I wrote the above. This whole background of L's public positions on 7/7, and his attempt to link "Putin and Al-Queda" seem definitely on the angle of destabilizing Russia as the Western motive all along. It has moved from peripheral 'grass roots coups' of Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, etc., and then moving into destabilize the Russian bear and Putin as the main goal.

Moreover, the recent L's Putin pedophile story may be a U.S. CIA disinfo plant, in other words? Or real? Definitely planted by L, though perhaps definitely real, given the 'airplane accident' of the editor soon after.

In July 2006 Litvinenko alleged in an article that Putin was a pedophile.[19] He compared Putin to rapist and serial killer Andrei Chikatilo. He wrote that among people who knew about Putin's pedophilia were Anatoly Trofimov and the editor of the Russian newspaper "Top Secret", Artyom Borovik, who died in a plane crash under suspicious circumstances just a week after trying to publish a paper about this subject.[20]

Borovik's death is INDEED INTERESTING that may show that to be some truthful information after all, though it's the mistakenly innocent painted pro-Western spin of L's work that is subject here.

The irony is that L didn't really die of radiation. He died on Nov. 23, one day after a 'heart attack during hospital visit' on Nov 22. [11-22 for the numerological inclined]:

On November 22, Litvinenko's medical staff at University College Hospital reported he had suffered a "major setback" due to either heart failure or an overnight heart attack; he died the following day.

...

Is that true? Unknown yet:

Litvinenko's postmortem took place on December 1 and has been completed. It has been stated that three physicians attended, including one chosen by the family. The results will take several days to be announced.[31]

So, one day a British 'subject,' then he gets a hospital heart attack.

Another interesting point is that
L was Muslim.

Akhmed Zakayev, the former commander of Chechen fighters who lived next door to Mr Litvinenko and considered him "as a brother"[32], said: "He was read to from the Koran the day before he died and had told his wife and family that he wanted to be buried in accordance with Muslim tradition." [33] Walter Litvinenko, his father, confirmed Litvinenko's Islamic belief later. [34]

Was the L yet another Chechen-linked U.S. Islamic implant/asset? You decide.

Another bit of information that fits with L being part of the neoNazi NATO/Gladio destabalization networks or stepping into them, is revealed by this:

Gerard Batten's allegations against Romano Prodi: In April 2006, a British Member of the European Parliament for London, Gerard Batten (United Kingdom Independence Party), claimed that Litvinenko had said he had been told that Romano Prodi, the Italian centre-left leader (the current Prime Minister of Italy) and former President of the European Commission, had been the KGB's "man in Italy". Batten demanded an inquiry into...[his self-started]... allegations. Batten [alone] told the European Parliament that Litvinenko had been informed by FSB deputy chief, General Anatoly Trofimov (who was shot dead in Moscow in 2005,[22]) [always convenient to source a dead man who can't be asked about veracity of statements] that "Romano Prodi is our man (in Italy)". According to Brussels-based newspaper, the EU Reporter on 3 April 2006, "another high-level source, a former KGB operative in London, has confirmed the story".[23]

oooh....an anonymous confirms a dead man's story! So what. It's all still coming from Batten, EU Parliament's British agent, only. Seems like so much of the typical 1950s-1960s ploy of Gladio networks thinking that anything slightly (and questionably...) Left about democratic government deserves a Nazi crackdown?

Besides, since this story in which L is roped into, as "source," really only comes from a right wing British EU parliamentarian who claims to have ties to L.

How convenient. Are we seeing Gladio speak out once more to destabilize Italy's rejection of international rightwinger CIA P2'ers like Burlusconi?

If CIA-NATO-Nazi groups of Gladio killed PM leftie Moro in the 1970s, and pinned it on the left, do they now they want to ruin leftie Prodi as well?

Romano Prodi (born August 9, 1939) is a centre-left Italian politician. [More center than left though.] Since May 17, 2006, he has served as Prime Minster of Italy following the narrow victory of his l'Unione coalition over the Casa delle Libertà led by Silvio Berlusconi in the April 2006 Italian elections. He was previously Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998 and President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004.

I don't like Prodi's strange connection to the British parapolitical London School of Economics (international/pro-communist totalitarian left wing), or his 'high wierdness' stuff that fingers him as the guy who knew where Moro was after he was kidnapped in the 1970s. Prodi was the 'source' for this story. What kind of Gladio networks does Prodi run in then?!

Prodi used to be a left-wing reformist Christian Democrat and disciple of Beniamino Andreatta, another economist turned politician. During the mid-1970s, he was appointed Minister of Industry in 1978 during Giulio Andreotti's government as technical minister; he held posts on various commissions through the 1980s and early 1990s....On April 2, 1978, Prodi and other members of the faculty of the University of Bologna passed on a tip about a safe house where Aldo Moro, the former Prime Minister kidnapped by the [Gladio right wing steered and infiltrated] Red Brigades, was detained. Bizarrely, Prodi claimed he had been given the tip by the founders of the Christian Democratic Party, contacted from beyond the grave via a séance and a Ouija board. While Prodi thought the word Gradoli referred to a town on the outskirts of Rome, it likely referred to the Roman address of a BR safehouse, located at via Gradoli 96. Later, other Italian members of the European Commission claimed that Prodi had invented this story to conceal the real source of the tip, which they believed to have originated in the Italian extraparliamentary left [or more likely the extraparliamentary right that was running the BR then, i.e., Gladio itself?]. [1]

Er, does Prodi have the Gladio connections as well?

Back to L.

I'm not fighting for Godzilla or Mothra (as so well said above), only that L's whole framework of analysis given the circles he runs in should be looked at equally.

L gets to proselytize anti-Putin stuff from the grave as well. Sort of like the endless Osama videos of not Osama.

Two things have turned up:

How convenient is the supposed "curse you Putin" letter (staged for effect?)---released posthumously on November 24, immediately after his "hospital heart attack" death?

The origin of this strangely dramatic and questionable letter was Litvinenko's friend Alex Goldfarb — who is also the chairman of Boris Berezovsky's Civil Liberties Fund and Berezovsky's lawyer — said Litvinenko had dictated it to him...

You trust Berezovsky's lawyer?! I've got a bridge for you to buy....Could be real, though still could be crafted for effect by both of them as well.

One day later, the "curse you Putin" letter is matched on Nov. 25, by another strange posthumous "curse you Putin" article implanted in the UK's Mail on Sunday, which is claimed to originate from the L as well.

I'm still waiting for the false story that the polonium is spread by "Putin's Al-Queda agents," since L did spread stories that Putin and Al-Queda were involved in 7/7 falsely, for Western agitprop effect when 7/7 is clearly a British state terrorism event.

Was L used, and then thrown away by "hospital heart attack" on his first day of being a British citizen, by Western intel groups?

Or was L used, and then destroyed by Putin who had had enough?

Or any other number of variants?

The point I think is that one should look into L's fellow travelers that do seem to work the British/US intel circuit for Russian destabilization, more than they do anything else. L would fit right in there, and may have served his purpose to his UK controllers, and killed in the hospital, or he may have been killed by Putin via the radiation and it led to the hospital heart attack [hmm...I don't see how that works though.]

The whole polonium thing seems more of an excuse to get him into the hospital, where he dies of a heart attack the first day he is a British 'subject'? What are the odds?

12/05/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Thanks for the great info and the plug, Jeff. You are a fantastic writer and it's always a pleasure to drop in and learn about things in such eloquent terms.

To the poster who said he was surprised to see me withholding info for money - believe me, that's not the point of withholding the info. If I give it away too soon, I can't use it to combat the disinfo I know is coming in the next couple of years. And of course, no publisher will publish a book where the best parts are already online. But BELIEVE ME, there's no money in writing books that tell the truth about these cases, although there seems to be a fair amount to be made with disinformation. If I make money on a book, it would still not make up for the time already invested. You'd be shocked how little authors make, generally.

If the time comes and the moment for a book passes, I'll definitely share what I have. I mean, it's not the kind of stuff that could send people to jail - just broaden the picture and paint in some solid details we've been wondering about for a while, like... oh, don't tempt me!!

I am trying to write something for money though, first, and I assure you it has nothing to do with the Kennedys, and my goal there isn't about the money either, but about the exposure to the topic. But it at least has the potential to pay me to write, and isn't that what you'd wish for me? It's certainly what I wish for myself! ;-)

12/05/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Da Weaz said...

I think you guys on this thread might be well served by seeing the documentary at:

trailsoftears.blogspot.com


It seems like it might help. Some of you seem to be spinning in circles.

Take your time. It might be worth it.

12/05/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

To anonymous (assuming the two longish posts about Litvinenko are from the same person, as they seem to be) -

The more that comes out about Litvinenko, the stranger he seems -- and the stronger his links to non-Russian elements appear. I may have been premature in ruling out a Western agency in his death.

Here's one bit that might be relevant as far as the "color" revolutions go:

http://www.ngowatch.org/articles.php?id=187

NGOs Facing Increasing Hostility Abroad
Washington Times

February 28, 2006

U.S. pro-democracy groups say they are facing increasing -- and increasingly sophisticated -- opposition from authoritarian regimes eager to preserve their grip on power.

"It used to be that groups like ours could fly somewhat under the radar," said Lorne Craner, president of the congressionally funded International Republican Institute (IRI). "That certainly is not the case anymore."

Nongovernmental organizations such as the IRI, its Democratic counterpart the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House, the Open Society Institute (OSI) and their Western European allies insist that their mission is to help countries build the infrastructure of democracy and civil society, not to overthrow governments.

But the prominence that President Bush has given to democratic reforms in his foreign policy and the stunning success of the so-called "color revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan have made the democracy-promoting foundations the targets of sharp new scrutiny. . . .

Russian President Vladimir Putin last month signed a law tightening restrictions on NGO activism and funding, saying he did not mind "financially transparent" NGO activity, but that such groups "cannot be used as a foreign policy instrument by one state on the territory of another."

In practical terms, Mr. Craner said, the new laws make it very difficult for groups like IRI to operate.

"Essentially, it means we can set up a Russian office for IRI, but then the main office here in Washington couldn't fund it," Mr. Craner said.

Despots and semi-authoritarian leaders in other former Soviet states have taken a cue from Mr. Putin.

In Belarus, longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko has severed virtually all ties between domestic democracy groups and foreign NGOs. Kazakhstan's parliament approved two laws restricting links between local and international NGOs.

The Washington-based Freedom House earlier this month was forced to suspend activities in Uzbekistan for six months after losing an appeal against charges that it broke the law by, among other things, providing Uzbek human rights advocates with free Internet access.


Did the law Putin signed last winter trigger something of a push-back from the Western NGO's and their oligarch allies? I have no idea, but I'd like to see some follow-up on its effects.

(It bears mentioning that Freedom House, prominently mentioned in the quote, was the founder of the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya in 1999. Its chairman is James Woolsey -- who seems to show up everywhere that spooky business is underway.)

Another point is that I've found fascinating that Mario Scaramella's Italian friends seem to be peddling the same line of BS that Michael Ledeen was pushing 25 years ago -- that the Soviet Union was behind all Islamic terrorism, and specifically the plot to kill the pope -- so it's striking to see Litvinenko involved in it as well. Can't they think of anything better to do with their time than to bring that particular tune round again on the guitar?

(And the fact that newly-annointed Defense Secretary-to-be Robert Gates was also pushing the Bulgarian Connection in the early 80's may be just one of those cosmic coincidences -- though I wouldn't bet on it.)

12/06/2006 12:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

starroute writes:

"(It bears mentioning that Freedom House, prominently mentioned in the quote, was the founder of the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya in 1999. Its chairman is James Woolsey -- who seems to show up everywhere that spooky business is underway.)"

Woolsey is PNAC'er, the core criminal element of the neocon U.S.:

Robert James Woolsey Jr. (born September 21, 1941) is a foreign policy specialist and former Director of Central Intelligence of the Central Intelligence Agency (February 5, 1993 - January 10, 1995). Woolsey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1941....In 1963 he received his AB from Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa), and in 1965 his MA from Oxford University—where he was a [internationalist British world domination group of] Rhodes Scholar—and an LLB from [equal spook driven suspect on the other side of the Atlantic, at] Yale Law School in 1968. Woolsey is at Yale during the same years as Bonesmen Bush and Kerry.

Woolsey has had an eclectic career. He has been known primarily as a conservative Democrat—hawkish on foreign policy issues but more traditionally Democratic on economic and social issues. A classic Washington insider, Woolsey has held important positions in both Democratic and Republican administrations. His influence has been felt during the Carter, Reagan, Bush (elder), and Clinton administrations.

Woolsey was among the first to point the finger at Iraq in the immediate days following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

During the second Bush administration, he has been strong proponent of the war in Iraq....

...

He is also a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and was one of the signatories to the January 26, 1998, PNAC letter sent to President Clinton that called for the removal of Saddam Hussein.

...

In July 2006 Woolsey called on the US to bomb Syria. [Meanwhile, this great guy is in charge of "democratic NGOs" listed below. Not!]

...

Woolsey attended the September 12-14, 2006, North American Forum entitled the Continental Prosperity in the New Security Environment, held in secret at Banff Springs Hotel, in Banff, Alberta, Canada. [2]. Rumsfeld was there as well.

Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation think tank, has accused Woolsey of both profiting from and promoting the Iraq War[3].


...

See also these treasonous "bomb them into democracy" cabals he's linked to or a member of. They are marked with 'BINGO' if I know they have a crucial 9-11 pre-planning or postplanning for the police state operation.

Woolsey belongs to:

* Project for the New American Century BINGO
* Committee on the Present Danger BINGO
* Committee for the Liberation of Iraq BINGO ["The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) was a non-governmental organization which described itself as a "distinguished group of Americans" who wanted to free Iraq [sic, invade Iraq]....In a news release announcing its formation, the group...[lied through its teeth about its pro-democracy desires.]...It had close links to the [eugenical global police state model of the] Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), important shapers of the Bush administration's foreign policy. The Washington Post reported in November 2002 that "the organization is modeled on a successful lobbying campaign to expand the [Gladio filled] NATO alliance. Members include former secretary of state [and another gray eminence himself] George P. Shultz, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former senator Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.). ... They already have met with Hadley and Bush political adviser Karl Rove. Committee officers and a White House spokesman said Rice, Hadley and Cheney will soon meet with the group." [1]" They have kind of disappeared from the limelight now that everything they said about Iraq is a lie.]

* Coalition for a Democratic Majority ["According to the website Right Web (last updated September 1989), Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM) was formed in 1972 by the late Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson (D-Wash.) who headed the conservative wing of the Democratic Party. Jackson and his coalition favored a strong military and promoted the concept of "peace through [military industrial complex funding]." The CDM has its roots in the [discrediting of multi-party democracy and ethnic equality in the] intellectual movement of neo-conservatism..."

* Foundation for the Defense of Democracies ["The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and [spin called] 'education' on the War on Terrorism. It was founded shortly after the September 11th attacks in 2001. It is one of several neoconservative think tanks in the United States." i.e., more musical chairs BARF of the same people. "Founding members and advisors include prominent (neo)conservatives [or Bush family bagmen] such as Steve Forbes, Jack Kemp, Jeane Kirkpatrick, [Boho Grover] Newt Gingrich, and former CIA director James Woolsey. The group also includes prominent (neocon wing of the) liberals such as Frank Lautenberg, Charles Schumer, Joseph Lieberman [he's a liberal? he introduced unConstitutional "Patriot Act" with another guy] and Donna Brazile ["Brazile and the other aisle's elitist managerialism of Gore: In 1999, Brazile was appointed deputy campaign manager and was later promoted to campaign manager of the 2000 presidential campaign of Vice-President Al Gore, becoming the first African-American woman to manage a major presidential campaign." She won though forgot to figure in Bush vote fraud.]
* Center for Strategic and International Studies BINGO THIS GROUP IS LIKELY THE ORGANIZING THINK TANK FOR U.S. STATE TERRORISM on September 11. Just look at this:

CSIS their staff has a TRIPLE PART in 9-11 pre-planning, post-cover-up actions, and ongoing war profiteering. It's memberships hit all three bells. They are a major spider in this state terror 9-11 web. CSIS is likely the coordinating committee for everything that went down on 9-11.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

1. is a private organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. According to its web site, it has "been dedicated to providing world leaders with strategic insights on — and policy solutions..."

2. ... "one of those ephemeral constellations into which the luminaries of the American political establishment frequently arrange themselves in order to encourage policy to navigate by their lights: Madeleine K. Albright, Harold Brown, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Frank Charles Carlucci III, Warren Christopher, William Sebastian Cohen, Bob Dole, Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger, Stuart Eizenstat, Alexander Haig, Lee H. Hamilton, John Hamre, Sam Nunn, Paul O'Neill, Charles S. Robb, William Roth, and James Rodney Schlesinger. That makes four former Secretaries of State, one former National Security Adviser, two former Secretaries for Defense, a former Secretary of the Treasury, a former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development [the PROMIS fraud and thefts start there; about this see summaries in the books about PROMIS in Bushwhacked by Uri Dobwenko, additionally in the book The Octopus: The Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro; and additionally a fine chapter about PROMIS in From the Wildernesses/Michael Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon], a former Director of the CIA, and three Senators";

3. ... signatories to a May 2003 Declaration proposing that "the states of the European Union, which are among the richest and most powerful states in the world, should invite US government officials to attend their highest-level legislative and policy-making meetings [or else!], in order that these officials can ensure that the Europeans do not pursue policies which are independent of, or disapproved by, the American government."[2]

III. CSIS AND 9-11 CONNECTIONS:

...CSIS of plotting out 9-11 events for their political goals:

[1] are connected to formulating, pre-9-11, what "Homeland Security" would look like.

[2] are connected to all other major suspects/organizations involved in 9-11 war profiteering.

[3] are currently multiple members of the Bush Administration and the neocon members of the previous Clinton who focused on oil, pre-emptive war, and Iraq.


CSIS PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONAL CONTACTS WITH 9-11 EVENTS:

HERE

Back to Woolsey's contacts:

* Freedom House ["It is controlled by a Board of Trustees, which it describes as composed of 'business and labor leaders, former senior government officials, scholars, writers, and journalists'. While some board members were born outside the United States, and many have been affiliated with international groups, all are current residents of the United States. The board is currently chaired by Peter Ackerman. Ackerman took over chairmanship of the board in September of 2005 from James Woolsey. [I.e. Woolsey heading so called Freedom House while wanting to bomb Iraq, then later Syria, and destabalizing Iran as well. The Financial Times has reported that Freedom House is one of several organisations selected by the State Department to receive funding for 'clandestine activities' inside Iran.[5]] Other notable board members include Steve Forbes, Samuel Huntington, Azar Nafisi, Farooq Kathwari, P. J. O'Rourke, Mara Liasson, and Mark Palmer. ....Freedom House is funded by a number of foundations, including Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation ["The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a large and influential foundation with about half a billion US dollars in assets. According to the Bradley Foundation 1998 Annual Report, it gives away more than $30 million per year. ....In the early 1990s the foundation helped support The American Spectator, which at the time was researching damaging material on President Bill Clinton. In the March 1992 issue of the magazine, David Brock called Anita Hill "a bit nutty and a bit slutty", and in January, 1994, it published Brock's article regarding Troopergate and Clinton's alleged extramarital affairs. David Brock later recanted both articles [when likely threatened with death himself because he really touched a common coin of a fake two party drug money funneling reality of Democrats and Republicans--with what he found out--particularly via Mena, Arkansas and Clinton-CIA-cocaine connections to Bush family.]; the Sarah Scaife Foundation [YIKES YIKES] and the Soros Foundation. [YIKES YIKES] It also receives funding from the US Government through the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and the State Department.[11] Around 75% of the income is US federal grants.[4]"]

* Henry Jackson Society BINGO [Neozionist (The "American Likud Party") wing of the neocons Richard Perle was caught treasonously passing information to the Israelis back in the 1970s, when working for Congressman Scoop Jackson's office--No one seemed to mind, Pearle was not arrested for treason when the FBI found out about it. I don't know if there is a relation here...yes, alas there is: "The Henry Jackson Society is a non-partisan society or think tank (with tax-exempt charity status) that aims to promote 'democratic geopolitics'. It is based at Peterhouse, a college of the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. Named after former U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson, a Democrat from Washington state, the society advocates a proactive [and unique, to say the least] approach to the spread of liberal democracy [sic] across the world, including, when necessary, by military intervention...." [bombing people into the Stone Age in the name of the neocons]

* Set America Free Coalition [A coalition of neocon cryptofascists are gonna co-opt the energy choice debate and set you free from oil, America, honest! From Asia Times, typically a great paper as it shows here: "National-security hardliners are also trying to put their own spin on the concepts of energy security and independence. The neo-conservative Center for Security Policy (CSP), headed by Frank Gaffney, working closely with the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), is cosponsoring the "Set America Free" coalition, which brings neo-conservatives together with liberal groups such as the Apollo Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The coalition's slogan: "Cut dependence on foreign oil. Secure America." In addition to Gaffney, other prominent neo-conservatives and conservatives in the Set America Free coalition are Gary Bauer of American Values, Congressman Eliot Engel, former national security adviser Robert McFarlane, Clifford May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), Thomas Neumann of the [sayanim factory spy scandal ridden] Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, James Woolsey of the Committee on the [Ever]Present Danger [of the Useful Boogeyman], and Meyrav Wurmser of the Hudson Institute. Among the advisers to IAGS are Woolsey, McFarlane and Eliot Cohen."]

A lot of these names are dreamed up neocon fronts. And Woolsey appears behind them all in this alphabet soup! As they say, "with friends like these, who needs neocons." Though you can't pull the Woolsey down over the little lamb's eyes forever with this level of personnel recycling.

12/06/2006 04:01:00 AM  
Blogger RobertS said...

The propaganda media's obsessive and prolonged gossip re: Putin/KGB and murdered radioactive L. announces that the highest 'higher immorality' had deemed the murder of L. a worthwhile little publicity move in the game of global dominion. The radioactive part as suggested gives a little boost to essential general terror, but includes various psy-ops side-shows such as giving a minor boost to the Iran-nuclear-phobia ploy. Russia's nationalism and ability to militarily help Iran and Venezuela et al, and Russia's increasing ability to play a part in ending US dollar hegemony, as well as their continued possession of the MAD option, puts Putin in the System's crosshairs. L. as a cuddly mouthy patsy.

Iran has officially been replaced by Russia as the Designated Ominous One. Had the murder been one arranged by the Russian State, the kept media would not have orchestrated such a lot of prolonged attention. It's pure System psyops.

12/06/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some excellent comments, above. Not surprising. This is RI, after all.

The remarks regarding the psy-ops aspect of L's death and the media's coverage of the event ring particularly true to me. It seems obvious that minds are being prepared for future developments. I see this as Act 1.

Two pieces of evidence that might contribute to an appreciation of potential perpetrators and motives:

1. Justin Raimondo writes:

“Russia’s nuclear agency said the country is no longer producing radioactive polonium-210, the substance that killed a former KGB spy in Britain. An unidentified spokesman for the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power in Moscow said Monday that the only facility capable of producing the isotope was closed two years ago, the Novosti news agency reported.

“The spokesman said just 8 grams of polonium-210 have been created from reserve stocks of uranium.

“‘We have supplied it (polonium-210) to U.S. companies, and there were deliveries to British firms. The 8 grams we have produced cannot have disappeared in Russia, but we do not keep track of the material after selling it,’ the source said.”

See also Israel link to poisoned spy

hmmm ...

2. There is little doubt in my mind that the state of the US economy [ie, on the verge of melt-down] is playing a major role in current events. If energy-rich nations continue to follow Saddam Hussein's lead, by "diversifying" their currency reserves -- in other words, dumping the dollar, the US will implode and with it will go the county's ambitions for total dominance.

You'll recall that one of the first things L. Paul Bremer did as head of the Iraqi CPA was to restore the US dollar as sole petroleum trade currency. Iran has announced on and off its intention to create an Oil Bourse that would trade in a variety of currencies. Russia is set to open its energy markets to trade in Euros and the Rouble.

While the US has been spinning its wheels and squandering its resources in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention underwriting the Israeli war-machine, China hasn't wasted a moment, using the opportunity to sign long-term, binding energy agreements with such countries as Venezuela and Iran. Flush with cash, they're ensuring their future energy needs! The Chinese are also reducing their investments in US treasury bonds and have begun diversifying their reserve currencies as well. If that weren't enough to have Washington sweating bullets, there's the growing alliance between China and Russia ...

Given such a context, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the Western Intelligence Mafiosi [CIA, MI6, Mossad] feel compelled to stir up trouble that will implicate Putin, as, silently, cleverly, he has placed himself in a key position to decide the fate of the US and its dollar. It is well known that the US invested $millions trying to put Khodorovsky where Putin is today. Putin found the pretext to put Khodorovsky behind bars! Meanwhile, Berezovsky, the FSB and western investors, all of whom were poised to reap millions, have every reason to want to take Putin down.

No doubt we will be seeing increasing, purportedly inexplicable events, like the offing of L, in an effort to correct 'egregious power imbalances'.

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Whether Vladimir Putin benefited or not is not the real issue, the British could find no real evidence so the benefit if any may have been fortuitous but that alone is not proof that Putin had a hand in the episode or that in fact he bore any malicious feelings towards this man. No evidence, no proof, no discussion.

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