Saturday, November 25, 2006

spy vs. spy

The story about the poisoning in London of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko took a surprising, sinister turn. The surprise isn't that he was poisoned -- it's the substance used to kill him, a highly radioactive isotope known as polonium 210. The British are Not Amused -- they have called in the Russian Ambassador.

The Soviets, oops I mean Russians, aren't copping to the killing, and even say this is a plot to discredit Russia. Tsar Vladimir, aka President Putin, blandly said "As I know, the medical certificate of British doctors does not indicate that he died a violent death. It does not say that. Hence there is no reason for such talk at all." That could be because they haven't done an autopsy yet, out of concern for the safety of the doctors. Polonium 210 is nasty stuff.

I guess it depends on your definition of "violent", eh Vladimir? Polonium 210 isn't something you can buy on-line from your friendly chemistry lab. It is one of the rarest elements on the planet, and is usually only found in government labs. And there is no recorded case of it being used as a poison before.

This safely rules the Syrians out as suspects.


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