Friday, November 24, 2006

Heads down

Sadly, it looks like the flip of the coin wound up heads down for Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who was investigating the death of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. He was in "serious condition" with a 50-50 chance. He is now dead. It was initially reported that Litvinenko had suffered thallium poisoning, but that now appears not to be the case. It now appears that he received a "major dose" polonium-210. Traces of the substance were found at three locations Litvinenko frequented. British health authorities are calling this event "unprecedented in the UK."

The last words from Litvinenko:
I want to survive, just to show them. The bastards got me but they won't get everybody.
I expect this is true, but they will certainly try.

Before the discovery of polonium-210 in Litvinenko's body, Vladamir Putin said he saw no definitive proof that Litvinenko was the victim of a "violent death" and dismissed the victim's accusations that Putin himself was involved as "sheer nonsense."
[A]s far as I know, in the medical report of British doctors, there is no indication that this was an unnatural death. There is none. That means, there is no reason for discussion of that kind.
Which would tend to indicate that now there is reason for discussion of that kind.

Two days before his death, Litvinenko dictated a statement, which finished,
...You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed.

You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilised value.

You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women.

You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life.

May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people.


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