News you may have missed #837

Alexander LitvinenkoBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Russian ex-spy ‘would testify’ in Litvinenko inquiry. The 2006 murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has never been solved and remains the subject of conflicting narratives and still-deepening intrigue over who may have killed him and why. Now a key witness, a US-based former Russian spy who worked with Litvinenko in the months leading up to his death, says he is willing to give evidence at a public inquiry. British police considered him such a vital witness that they visited the US three times to persuade him to give evidence at the inquest.
►►Assange reveals GCHQ messages discussing extradition. Authorities at GCHQ, Britain’s eavesdropping agency, face embarrassing revelations about internal correspondence in which WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is discussed, apparently including speculation that he is being framed by Swedish authorities seeking his extradition on rape allegations. The records were revealed by Assange himself in a Sunday night interview with Spanish television. A message from September 2012, apparently says: “They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ. It is definitely a fit-up. Their timings are too convenient right after Cablegate“.
►►North Korean defector accused of spying by his sister. Earlier this year, Yoo Woo-sung, one of the most prominent North Korean defectors living in South Korea, was arrested on charges of espionage. Now court documents have shown that Yoo was arrested after testimony from his sister, who said he had been sent on a mission by North Korea’s secret police to infiltrate the defector community and pass back information about the people he met. The Washington Post reports that defectors from the North are increasingly facing the brunt of this suspicion.
►►Iran hangs two men for spying for Israel and US. Mohammad Heydari was found guilty of passing intelligence on “security issues and national secrets” to Israeli Mossad agents in exchange for cash. Kourosh Ahmadi was convicted of providing intelligence to the CIA, Tehran’s prosecutor’s office said. It is not clear when Heydari and Ahmadi were arrested or where they were tried. Their execution was handed down by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court and confirmed by the Supreme Court, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.

7 Responses to News you may have missed #837

  1. Trying to blame Putin for Litvinenko’s death really strikes me as playing a game of ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ .. insofar as anything credible that has surfaced to now. So bring a jaded ex-Soviet spy over to tell shameless lies (that is what spies are trained to do, after-all) to be certain the finger stays pointed in the western media at the boogyman a.k.a. ‘the usual suspect.’

    But if paying close attention to this story, we also now know Litvinenko’s British ‘handler’ had met him much more recently (closer to his poisoning) than had been initially acknowledged, he’d been surrounded by people with axes to grind like Boris Berezovsky who’d funded Litvinenko’s widow legal push for the Russians killed him theory but Litvinenko had been concurrently working with Spanish authorities on Russian mafia cases and zero attention is given to his expertise on the Afghan heroin pipeline into St Petersburg.

    It was the DGSE suggested to the Americans during the early Soviet Afghan era that heroin is an excellent weapon to undermine rivals and we also know poppy farming skyrocketed in Afghanistan after the western powers became involved. Western intelligence involvement with international narcotics trafficking in Afghanistan is, after-all, old news. Litvinenko and Berezovsky might be buried, this case may never be-

  2. The Independent only heard the rumours and invented all the rest. ‘The Soviet spy’ is Yuri Shvets who some 30 years ago was posted to the KGB Washington station for a brief period. There is no intrigue in this story contrary to what The Independent writes. Shvets helped Litvinenko with an innocent due diligence report for Titon International. And two Scotland Yard teams (not three) visited him in December 2006, not now. It was Alex Goldfarb who asked Shved to testify.

  3. Pete says:

    Thankyou Boris (for the link in Russian…) and Ronald for the anti-US, pro-Moscow viewpoint. In terms of right of reply the KGB then and Russian intelligence now are worse.

    VILNIUS, Lithuania — The dreaded KGB Soviet secret political police is remembered here by thousands of people who visit a special museum designed to help Lithuanians know about the arrests, torture and deportation of their countrymen under Moscow’s rule.

    Vaidotas Nikzentaitas, a teacher who works at the KGB museum, said the building where torture and executions were carried out for some 50 years of communist rule are an important element of national memory.

    “After the Cold War, people knew the KGB from movies as a kind of mafia,” he said in an interview. “They did not know so much about how the KGB was behind the horrors and killing of millions of people in camps.” Some 30,000 Lithuanians were deported to Soviet labor camps, where many died.

    …The most gruesome part of the museum is the execution room, where prisoners were shot twice in the back of the head by a special KGB unit. The bodies were then stacked in piles before being removed secretly by truck to mass graves…” All new to the anti-West moral equivalents?

  4. Thank you Pete, I enjoy getting a ‘rise’ from people who ‘stick to the corporate party line’ so to speak. With my penchant for satire, I had to dial it back (my response) but you are always welcome to read at my page;)

    I’m personally of the philosophy famous for being ignored by the nations that promulgate the name responsible for saying ‘pluck the log from your own eye’ (he had stated a two word epithet prior to making the observation, had he not?)

    So, to answer your accusation, I will mention just a few of ‘our’ foibles that are ongoing:

    USA Attorney General Eric Holder; google ‘death squads, Chiquita, holder, AUC’ and read up on how he’d put together a sweetheart deal shielding identities (and preventing prosecutions for murder) of American corporate executives who’d provided cash and machine guns to a designated terrorist group that went on to murder 4,000 people in Colombia

    FBI Director Robert Mueller; was at the center of damage control and coverup of the BCCI money laundering for CIA narcotics trafficking and gun running related to Iran Contra (not to mention too many other crimes to cover here)

    General Patraeus employing ‘dirty wars’ veteran James Steele to run torture centers in Iraq

    Oh, and lest we forget, a UN Secretary General shot down in Africa (British colonial crime) with eye-witness testimony recently surfacing…

    Just a few salient examples of the Russians have nothing on the western democracies when it comes to perpetrating world class crimes.

  5. Pete says:

    Hi Ronald

    I think we can agree that intelligence agencies are not benevolent societies. A difference between Putin’s re-closing Russia and the open democratic West is awareness or suspicions of real or imagined Western actions can be freely expressed here.

    Too many investigative reporters in Russia have experienced permanent “accidents” or in Litvinenko’s case Death by Isotope for revealing too much about how Putin’s FSB system works :

    “Over the two terms of Mr Putin’s presidency, that “group of FSB operatives” has consolidated its political power and built a new sort of corporate state in the process. Men from the FSB and its sister organisations control the Kremlin, the government, the media and large parts of the economy—as well as the military and security forces. According to research by Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, a quarter of the country’s senior bureaucrats are siloviki—a Russian word meaning, roughly, “power guys”, which includes members of the armed forces and other security services, not just the FSB. The proportion rises to three-quarters if people simply affiliated to the security services are included. These people represent a psychologically homogeneous group, loyal to roots that go back to the Bolsheviks’ first political police, the Cheka. As Mr Putin says repeatedly, “There is no such thing as a former Chekist.””



  6. Hi Pete

    My interest is not upholding Russia’s image, my interest is penetrating the western myopia. If you believe the Economist at face value, you’ve as often as not been fed a slanted version of the so-called ‘facts.’ I used to be an avid reader but in the end, could not stomach having the material ‘interpreted’ for me, I’d like to think for myself. That takes some sorting in any case.

    Here is a link to a quite informative essay on the sophistication of western media bias and its construct.

    Back to my original point (initial comment), there are too many other possibilities to slam dunk Litvinenko’s death on Putin. My professional training tells me that. It could have been MI6, It could have been Russian Mafia, it could have a corporate boardroom. It might have been people doing (or thinking they were doing) Putin a favor. The upshot is, no one really knows (or few people know) except the perpetrators. One thing we DO know is, a lot of people have a political interest in undermining Putin. Do I approve his civil liberties crackdown? No. Nor do I approve the immense propaganda efforts mounted at him. One positive thing Putin has done for the Russian people is claw the country back from the oligarchs that looted Russia under Yeltsen. Maybe his method is not conducive to ‘democratic’ development, but democracy has a problem it has never been able to solve; In any democracy, ethics, self restraint, tolerance and honesty will always play second fiddle to narcissism, avarice, bigotry & persecution, if only because people who play by the rules in any democracy are at a disadvantage to those who easily subvert the rules to their own advantage.

    Certainly we ca freely express *here* (at intelnews) but tell me, how free is media in the USA when not a single (NOT ONE) major print media or national television network picked up the Guardian/BBC Arabic expose of the systematic (organized) torture centers in Iraq and how that was facilitated under the command of David Patraeus? And major criminal players run the FBI and Department of Justice, where impunity and protection is the ongoing rule for the un-prosecuted top tier players in the Bush international crimes spree? And we lecture the Russians on the rule of law in democracy?

    ‘Freedom’ is a relative thing my friend…

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