A slightly differing version of this article has been picked up and run at the online magazine ‘Russia Insider.’ This edition reflects subsequent updates

Anyone who believes VICE isn’t mainstream news should be aware Rupert Murdoch pushed $70 million of his money into buying a piece of the VICE action (buying his kid a seat on the VICE board of directors.) In a piece worthy of Murdoch’s British tabloid ‘The Sun on Sunday’ the public is treated to a rank psy-ops piece:

The 328-page report said there was a “strong probability” the Russian intelligence agency (FSB) directed two men to poison Litvinenko in London, and that this operation was “probably” sanctioned by then FSB head Nikolai Patrushev and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Yep, trust VICE to roll over for the MI6 murder novel at the snap of a neocon finger, with no critical exam of the wider facts surrounding Alexander Litvinenko’s death. The most remarkable words in the British report blaming the Kremlin and Putin are “probability” and “probably.” Probability and probably are NOT evidence but rather spinning an inescapable admission there is no hard evidence backing the accusations. So it is, the west ups the ante in its demonizing Vladimir Putin with sham report per rank propaganda purposes (recalling the Dutch investigation of MH 17.)

This case has always smelled to high heaven. Former FSB officer Litvinenko had all the wrong friends/trusted all the wrong people. As sloppy as the hit on him was, people the British have an ax to grind with (Russians) are purportedly to blame, but Litvinenko’s MI6 employer should be every bit as suspect as anyone.

Professional standards require intelligence professionals to lie, hide information, or use covert tactics to protect their “cover,” access, sources, and responsibilities. The Central Intelligence Agency [as well, MI6] expects, teaches, encourages, and controls these tactics so that the lies are consistent and supported (“backstopped”). The CIA [as well, MI6] expects intelligence officers to teach others to lie, deceive, steal, launder money, and perform a variety of other activities [such as ‘psy-ops’ or information operations] that would certainly be illegal if practiced in the United States [or Britain]. They call these tactics “tradecraft,” and intelligence officers practice them in all the world’s intelligence services”

A case can be made the preponderance of circumstantial evidence points to the opposite direction of the (heavily influenced by MI6) British report’s conclusion.

More likely Litvinenko’s *truly fatal* mistake was to begin working with Spanish authorities on breaking down the illicit heroin trade at a time when a British ambassador who had been recently fired subsequently penned an essay ‘Britain protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time’ coinciding with revelations both CIA & MI6 had been paying millions in off-record cash to the Karzai government in Kabul (noting Hamid Karzai’s brother, Wali, was both; renting a large compound to the CIA and concurrently playing kingpin in Afghanistan’s heroin trade) .. even as Russia’s anti-heroin efforts are undermined by NATO:


Meanwhile, the British ambassador would appear to have been sent packing for investigating the problem from neighboring Uzbekistan. It is interesting to note his linking the murdered former Russian anti-corruption investigator Alexander Letvinenko to uncovering the Afghan heroin pipeline to St Petersburg… a murder blamed in popular media on Russia with no critical exam whatsoever of Litvinenko’s subsequent MI6 connections in this regard.

A CIA/MI6 joint venture? After, (video, above) the Russians’ high visibility whistle-blowing, there is grudging (and minimal) actions by NATO, busting just a few labs out of hundreds and ONLY those labs it would seem are not under the CIA’s protection. The southwest of Afghanistan is the poppy region where the USA and British military had taken a ‘hands off’ attitude and done little to nothing to address the problem. Any drug interdiction program efforts had been initiated against only THOSE OPUIM FARMERS WHO DO BUSINESS WITH THE TALIBAN, or 15% of the labs and traffickers. As the USA wound down the American military involvement, it is clear the problem had never been honestly addressed.

Again, Litvinenko’s fatal mistake likely had been to concurrently cooperate with Spanish intelligence on Russian mafia, bringing him too close to his expertise on the Afghan heroin pipeline. That MI6 may have been the actual perpetrator of Litvenenko’s murder is almost a certainty, with MI6 having been identified as piling ‘off the record’ cash to the government of Karzai and its known close connections to heroin trafficking. The product can’t be moved to Russia (ultimately via Russian mafia on the St Petersburg end) by the Americans and British without cooperation bought from the Afghans at the source, again recalling Hamid Karzai’s brother, Wali, was both; renting a large compound to the CIA and concurrently playing kingpin in Afghanistan’s heroin trade. So Litvinenko easily could have been killed by his MI6 employer with Putin blamed as a matter of frosting on the intelligence agency hit. May as well get some gain when embarrassing circumstance requires the killing of your own agent. In the close alternative scenario, MI6 had debriefed Litvinenko with an eye to murdering him in the initial plan; when they’d hired the former FSB anti-corruption expert with entirely too much knowledge of the Russian end of the so-called ‘St Petersburg pipeline.’ At the end of the day, it come down to western intelligence complicity in the Afghan heroin trade is old news

“I don’t believe for a second that the Russian authorities were involved. The sentence [report’s findings] is a set-up to provide more bad publicity against the Russian government. The Russians had no reason to want Alexander dead. My brother was not a spy, he was more like a policeman. He was in the FSB but he worked against organised crime, murders, arms trafficking, stuff like that.

“He did not know any state secrets or go on any special missions. It is the Western media that have called him a spy. He [Alexander Litvinenko] had already started to get in touch with old friends and would have gone back [to Russia] in due course. My father and I are sure that the Russian authorities are not involved. It’s all a set-up to put pressure on the Russian government.

“Why else would the court be called to hold this inquiry only after 10 years?”Maxim Litvinenko



some not so clandestine observations by Ronald


Also see: VICE & The CIA