Suddenly the whole Litvinenko business is looking more like Austin Powers than James Bond.
Aha. â€˜The Trail of Poison Leads To Moscowâ€™ deduced the Spiegel yesterday, as a number of BA flights were grounded. What kind of secret agents leave their dabs everywhere they go? Itâ€™s like sticking up a bank while posing in front of a CCTV camera not wearing a mask.
Back at Londonâ€™s Millenium hotel, traces were found on the floor of a room and on the light switch. A source told the Telegraph, â€˜ . . looks like they dropped the stuff on the floorâ€˜.
For sure the â€˜bungling amateursâ€˜ dropped it all over several aircraft, too. How is this possible? Polonium 210 emits only a few centimetres and wonâ€™t pass through a paper bag. Did they carry a big lump in a string bag? But what do I know. Especially when newspapers quote â€˜Expertsâ€™ and â€˜Security Sourcesâ€™.
Of course, if you read past the sensational headlines, youâ€™ll find itâ€™s all the kind of weasel wording for which the British press is famous. Try this from the BBC.
Experts have SUGGESTED that polonium-210 COULD BE present in locations, including the planes . . â€˜Read through more tales of horror to find this buried at the bottom of a Guardian piece:
While there was no immediate confirmation that polonium 210 is the substance discovered on the BA aircraft, it is widely ASSUMED at the airline that this is the case.Perhaps â€˜vaguely assumedâ€™ is a better choice of words, vague assumptions being the basis of almost everything printed so far. Plus a bunch of wobbly PR handouts.
The most interesting facts, of course, are still those that have been suppressed. Like Litvinenkoâ€™s conversion to Islam, and being read the Koran at his bedside while the PR guys typed up his farewell note. That must have been a worry for the British press, who have been demonising Muslims every day since the Iraq war started. Itâ€™s pobably been a real bigotâ€™s holiday for journalists to slag off Russians instead.
Mind you, Matt Taibbi thinks it was the Russians - but not the ones you first thought of. Heâ€™s also got a hunch that the polonium came from Arzamas-16.
Arzamas-16, formerly known as Sarov. Arzamas-16 is the Los Alamos of Russia, famous nationwide for being home to the Russian bomb. In Arzamas-16 thereâ€™s a factory called â€œAvangard,â€ where the Soviets in the 1950s started industrial production of various radioactive materials.Hmmm. So they didnâ€™t just order their polonium online from the Internet store like everyone else? Oh I forgot, theyâ€™re just bungling amateurs.