Introduction — July 22, 2014
Is the Western public being mentally prepared for a new war? It’s a question we need to consider as the timing of this announcement couldn’t be more telling.
As tensions mount with Russia over Ukraine and particularly with the downing of Flight MH17, Britain has found a great way to distract public attention and portray President Putin in the worst light possible.
Why else announce a public inquiry into a murder case whose files had been gathering dust for the past eight-years?
More importantly, it will also help to distract public attention from recent Russian revelations about the downing of MH17. The Western media has been at pains to ignore Russian announcements about how their radars had picked-up and tracked a Ukrainian Su-25 strike jet shadowing Flight MH17.
If we had a genuinely free-press this story would be front-page news across the world. Unfortunately, our media is owned and controlled and as a result it is getting virtually no coverage, at least in the West.
In Russia it is getting plenty of exposure, particularly after senior Russian military commanders held a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday outlining the inconsistencies in the West’s account of the downing of MH17.
In addition to the flight being shadowed by a Ukrainian Su-25, a large group of Ukrainian anti-aircraft systems were deployed on the fringes of rebel held territory shortly before MH17 flew over.
Not only were these weapons within range of Flight MH17’s flight path but among them were Ukrainian BUK anti-aircraft systems
Then, after the Malaysian airlines jet crashed they were promptly moved.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of what was revealed at Tuesday’s press conference is the fact that it is barely getting any coverage in the West. Instead, the Western public is being fed “news” about a reprise of an eight-year-old murder inquest.
If nothing else it will give the Western media ample opportunity to decry Putin but this was already happening before Tuesday’s announcement. In fact only the day before U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal had declared: Putin ‘Has Blood On His Hands‘.
While the Sunday before Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Putin’s decision to lie low in recent days is, “is what a mafia guy does, this is what a goon does. Not a world leader, not someone in a civilized world.”
Is this all really a coincidence?
After all, a civilian plane goes down over disputed territory and even before the bodies have been recovered and the evidence retrieved the Western media and politicians are already pointing the finger of blame at Putin.
It is almost as if the West’s political leaders and media had been instructed to psych the public up and prepare them for war with Russia, while both ignore Russia’s credible counter claims.
UK announces inquiry for Russian spy death
Associated Press — July 22, 2014
The British government announced plans Tuesday for a wide-ranging public inquiry into the mysterious 2006 death of poisoned former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko. The decision, which comes at a time of rising tensions with Russia, is a breakthrough in the much-delayed probe because it means investigators can look into whether the Russian state was involved in Litvinenko’s death.
Here are key facts about the case.
WHO WAS ALEXANDER LITVINENKO?
A former officer in the Russian intelligence service, Litvinenko fell out with the Russian government and became a strong critic of the Kremlin. He came to Britain in 2000 and obtained political asylum.
Litvinenko died in 2006, aged 43, after drinking tea laced with polonium-210 at a London hotel.
WHO KILLED HIM?
That remains a mystery. On his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of responsibility. The former agent’s family believes the Kremlin ordered his killing.
Britain identified the two Russian men who met Litvinenko for tea — ex-KGB agent Alexander Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun — as prime suspects. Both denied responsibility. British prosecutors decided to charge Lugovoi with murder, but Moscow refused to extradite him.
Questions were also raised about whether British security officials could have done anything to prevent the death. Lawyers for Litvinenko’s family said he was working for Britain’s intelligence service, MI6, at the time of his death.
WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG TO INVESTIGATE?
British authorities initially delayed an inquest for years because they believed they could bring criminal prosecutions against the two Russian suspects.
But when the inquest finally began it was riddled with problems because much of the key evidence in the case was deemed too sensitive to disclose to the public. The coroner, Robert Owen, reluctantly accepted a British government request to bar the inquest from considering evidence relating to Russia’s alleged role because of national security concerns. Evidence relating to Litvinenko’s alleged relationship with MI6 was also off the table.
The British government has resisted calls for a full-scale inquiry, but in February the High Court sided with Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, and ruled that the government had to reconsider its decision.
WHAT WILL THE INQUIRY ACHIEVE?
The new inquiry — an independent investigation — aims to “identify where responsibility for the death lies and make appropriate recommendations.” However, it is not a trial and is designed only to establish the facts.
It is expected to overcome previous hurdles because Owen, who will lead it, will have the authority to summon witnesses and documents from the British intelligence services and assess whether evidence suggests Russian state involvement. It is possible some of this evidence will be presented in sessions closed to the public.
Still, it is a key victory for Litvinenko’s widow, who has long argued that only a public inquiry would reveal whether the Russian state was behind his killing.
On Tuesday she said the decision sends a message to the killers that “no matter how strong and powerful you are, truth will win out in the end.”
WHY IS THE CASE IMPORTANT?
The case was a focal point in the souring of British-Russian relations, which turned into an ugly spat with both sides expelling diplomats.
Those lingering political tensions worsened recently as Britain and other Western powers accuse Russia of fomenting unrest in Ukraine and being complicit in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine. Britain, along with France and Germany, has been pushing for harsher sanctions on Russia.