Musings on World events from the perspective of a Social and an Economic Liberal.
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The Indictment of Vladimir Putin
Sir Robert Owen, as expected, has today filed his report into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. The conclusions are stark:
1. I am sure that Mr Litvinenko did not ingest the polonium 210 either by accident or to commit suicide. I am sure, rather, that he was deliberately poisoned by others.
I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun placed the polonium 210 in the teapot at the Pine Bar on 1 November 2006. I am also sure they did this with the intention of poisoning Mr Litvinenko.
I am sure that the two men had made an earlier attempt to poison Mr Litvinenko, also using polonium 210, at the Erinys meeting on 16 October 2006.
I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun knew that they were using a deadly poison (as opposed, for example, to a truth drug or a sleeping draught), and that they intended to kill Mr Litvinenko. I do not believe, however, that they knew precisely what the chemical that they were handling was, or the nature of all its properties.
5. I am sure that Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun were acting on behalf of others when they poisoned Mr Litvinenko.6. When Mr Lugovoy poisoned Mr Litvinenko, it is probable that he did so under the direction of the FSB. I would add that I regard that as a strong probability. I have found that Mr Kovtun also took part in the poisoning. I conclude therefore that he was also acting under FSB direction, possibly indirectly through Mr Lugovoy but probably to his knowledge. 7.
The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin.
What he is saying is that it is beyond reasonable doubt that Alexander Litvinenko- a British Citizen, incidently- was murdered by Lugovoy and Kovtun and that this was very probably done at the direct orders of the Russian government, and specifically the then head of the FSB and Vladimir Putin.
As always Putin, even when a smoking gun is so obvious, will probably deny everything. The problem is that the truth is inexorably coming closer and closer to the Kremlin, and with it comes another step to the allegations made by Litvinenko that Putin so feared.
In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene.
In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…
It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.
A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject.
He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.
He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.
However, all of that is a matter for the American people.
It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…
Security specialists use a variety of ways to address the
risks that they face: and these risk assessments are made in the certain
knowledge that the actors in the system hold only incomplete information.
Although much mocked at the time, Donald Rumsfeld’s categorization of “known
unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”, is now generally recognized as a succinct
summery of his strategic quandaries. By contrast, actors in the financial markets have a more
sanguine assessment of the risks they deal with: they divide them into two
kinds of risk: quantifiable and unquantifiable. Unquantifiable risk is not
generally considered, since there is usually no financial profit that can be
made except from pure supposition. Therefore for the purposes of the financial
markets, any given event is priced relative to its level of probability, that
is to say its quantifiable risk. Depending on the market, higher levels of risk
generally carry higher prices, lower levels generally lower prices. Clearly