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A Press Release by Any Other Name Might Be .. . an Optimized Press Release

  • Date Submitted: 09/26/2013 12:08 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.2 
  • Words: 1905
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A few people who have written about the poisoning death of Aleksander Litvinenko hold the view that since no shred of tangible evidence ... no smoking gun or trail of blood ... leads to the Kremlin door, any insinuation directed at Vladimir Putin is pushing the envelope or paranoid at worst.
While I would refrain from joining the “he dun it” chorus, enough circumstantial collateral has accrued since Putin took power to make suspicions very far from mere supposition. There is in fact very good reason to suspect the hand of the Kremlin in many of these bizarre deaths - and by “hand” I’m not inferring direct action by the way, as in 'hi this is Putin, go whack L!'. A wink or a nod might be all that was required to set the ball rolling, while leaving no track-back to any occupant of higher office. And the head that was nodded didn’t necessarily have to be Putin’s. There might well have been four, five or even six heads nodding down the line, before Sergei Poloniumevski put on his black leather jacket and called his friend the chemist. But to argue without nuance that Putin is off-the-hook - a victim of ill-placed suspicion in the deaths of regime opponents over the past few years, is to risk coming off as extremely naive. There might a 1,000 to 1 chance that he is pure as riven snow, but I'll save my money for the horse races.
In a post beneath I touched on what we do know about Tsar Vlad. We know he has muzzled the press. We also know he has made sweeping legislative changes geared toward centralizing power in the Kremlin (although some of this may indeed have been forced on him by circumstances). We know he used underhanded tactics and a dodgy court to nail Yukos and other players to the wall. We know he dislikes foreign NGO’s and seems to feel threatened by any organization within his domain that he can’t control. Being an ex-KGB Lt Colonel, he doubtless feels uneasy about potential spies functioning under the...

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