Friday, March 02, 2007

Polonium 210 - The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Just when you thought it was safe to comment on the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

WASHINGTON - FBI agents say they are assisting police in suburban Washington who are investigating the shooting of a Russian expert — a man who spoke out on "Dateline NBC" last weekend and strongly suggested that remnants of the KGB were responsible for the bizarre poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko.

The Russian expert, Paul Joyal, was shot Thursday night as he got out of his car in front of his house in Adelphi, Md. Investigators in Prince Georges County say a witness claims to have seen two men running away after the shooting. Joyal remains hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the midsection. Authorities have not said whether they've been able to talk to him.

It could have been worse. They could have poured him a cup of tea.

On last weekend's "Dateline," he said of Litvenenko's death: "A message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: 'If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you and we will silence you — in the most horrible way possible.'"

Deja vue all over again. And the action also picked up on the other side of the pond.

In an odd twist, another person who appeared on the "Dateline" broadcast died of a heart attack last month. Reporter Daniel McGrory of the Times of London, who has written about the Litvinenko case, died Feb. 20, before the "Dateline" segment was broadcast. He was 54. His family said he "died suddenly at home." He was a veteran British foreign correspondent who had reported from several war zones. Just before his death, he had been reporting in Pakistan.

When I hear of an "odd twist" I usually think of two women wearing the same dress to an event, or a math whiz flunking an English test. But two people who appear on the same show criticizing former KGB agents suffer death or near death within a short time of each other?

If a dead gazelle shows up in the jaws of a leopard, is that an "odd twist?"

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