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Ground Laid for Con Job in Litvinenko Verdict

Is Great Britain preparing the public to swallow a whopper about Litvinenko's death?

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

January 21 will bring the release of the UK's ruling in the 2006 Litvinenko polonium death mystery. 

Ever since the time of Litvinenko's poisoning and consequent death, UK authorities have been attempting to prove suspicions of Russian culpability. Typical media headlines persistently proclaimed "ex-KGB spy murdered on orders of Putin." Despite the certitude of that allegation, no one has been able to cite any concrete evidence of Russian involvement. Inferences based on unsubstantiated facts and innuendo, yes. Evidence, no.

In early December 2015 a TV broadcast may have dropped a clue to the upcoming verdict. One viewer tweeted "German channel ZDF says Litvinenko was murdered because of revelations about the ties of Putin to organized crime." Then a BBC production titled "Litvinenko's murder: the inside story" was subsequently aired and seen in the US. The program jumps right in with the allegation that Litvinenko's was a "killing with some state involvement."

It's curious that these documentaries are popping up now. There is generally a low level of public interest in the Litvinenko matter. Litvinenko isn't exactly a household name. People know little or nothing about him. And according to data provided by Google Trends, almost no one has been searching for any information about Litvinenko either.

My suspicion is that a move is now afoot to precondition the public for the verdict later this month. 

What could be Britain's motive in doing that? This is a nearly 10-year probe into Litvinenko's death. If it turns out that Putin wasn't behind the death, both the British government and the world media would have a lot of unreliable baloney to back away from.

But consider this: the biased documentaries' content will also constitute an apathetic public's working knowledge of the case. That means any verdict that fits the theme of Russian culpability will unquestioningly sound plausible. It will confirm what they've already heard recently. 

I can understand why Britain may want to stack the deck in this matter. The UK has botched this case from start to finish. I'm not simply shooting off my mouth over this. My analysis comes from years of careful research. It convincingly refutes almost everything you've ever heard from the media about the Litvinenko spy murder case. 

Just months after Litvinenko died, the International Federation of Journalists commissioned me to investigate and analyze the attendant media coverage. That's when I found convincing evidence that the highly hyped mainstream news accounts had no basis in fact. None at all. 

The story was a fraud. I documented that in my report for IFJ. It's titled The Essence of the Alexander Litvinenko Story. I made a peer-reviewed presentation of my findings during IFJ's World Congress. Later, on the fifth anniversary of Litvinenko's death, I expanded and updated that report to publish my book The Phony Litvinenko Murder

But the specious news stories were not the end of the fakery about Litvinenko. More came when the UK opened first a coroner's inquest and then an official inquiry. They both included hearings conducted with the same lack of integrity as the initial news reports. My new book Litvinenko Murder Case Solved documents that sorry tale.

My research doesn't address whether or not the Russian state had any culpability in Litvinenko's death. I don't know whether it did or didn't. My principal point is simply that those who are trying to convince us of Russian involvement have resorted to fabrications, distortions, and lies.

What's more, my writings have documented how the official British proceedings have been absolutely confounded by false stories, hoaxes, collusive connections among officials working on the case, a failure to pursue the matter in accordance with British law, a rogue coroner who refused to rule that the death was even a murder, and finally the high-level political intervention by Prime Minister David Cameron. 

Perhaps that's why we're now seeing the appearance of the so-called documentaries. They have the potential to frame an unsuspecting public's understanding of the case in a way desired by the authorities, facts be damned. 

And that's what I'd call a con job. It certainly looks like the public is being conditioned to swallow a whopper about Litvinenko's death.

So what should we make of the forthcoming UK official report? 

Here's my recommendation: 

--If the report exonerates Russia and Putin, don't believe it. 

--If it squarely places blame on Putin and Russia, don't believe that either. 

The British proceedings have been so bereft of integrity that they don't deserve any sort of serious consideration, one way or another.

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