Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

Seems Like There’s Still a Place for Bond

Posted by hyperpat on November 30, 2006

The flap over the radiation poisoning of the former Russian spy Litvinenko keeps growing, now with several airplanes showing possible signs of contamination, with shades of James Bondian skullduggery. What is most disturbing about this is that it seems to confirm the rumors that the current Russian government is taking extreme measures to silence any voice of dissent, regardless of how many denials Putin issues. Now back in the days of the Cold War this might have been expected behavior for the USSR government, but seeing it today should splash some very cold water on the idea that Russia is a good place to try and expand your business, will make a good trading partner, is not a military threat, or can handle its internal security and terrorist threats in a reasonable and effective way.

Nor can our government afford to just ignore all of this. The amount of various radioactive materials that is  controlled by the Russian government is very large,  and its clear from the events of the last several years that at least some of this material is subject to pilferage and black market sales. This increases the security risk to the rest of the world by a large amount. If the Russian government cannot abide a free society and dissemination of information about its failures, and is willing to use extreme measures to silence anyone who dares to point out problems, it makes it just that much more difficult for the rest of the world to find out exactly what is going on and to take appropriate control measures.

Seems to me that our own intelligence organizations need to have a greater presence in Russia and better analysis of what is happening over there, as opposed to their current seeming obsession with suspected domestic and middle-east terrorists. And the diplomatic hammer needs to be employed to get the Russian government to do something more positive than just eliminate any sign of opposition to its rule.

3 Responses to “Seems Like There’s Still a Place for Bond”

  1. Peter said

    Yes, I keep shaking my head as it gets worse and worse. I can’t understand why Putin would do this, when obviously suspicion falls sqaurely on his govt.’s shoulders. What were they thinking? Between the reporter being murdered in Moscow – now this. Pat Buchanan wrote an interesting article on how he felt that Putin perhaps is being setup. Some interesting thoughts, but I am not so sure.
    It is easy to forget – I suppose – exactly what Mr. Putin did before taking the helm at Russia. You can take the boy out of the KGB, but you can’t take the KGB out of the boy…
    As Scotland yard uncovers more and more, it will be interesting to see how governments in the West react.

  2. fencer said

    Seems like a really dumb way to poison anybody… afterwards all your actions can be traced by radioactive trails. Although if the perpetrators were smart, they’d climb on planes criss-crossing all over Europe and lay a knot of false radiation trails.

  3. hyperpat said

    More frightening is the idea that ‘someone’ will deliberately contaminate a large number of planes, at a level that will cause a lot of passengers to get ill. Once this stuff starts getting dusted around, it’s hard to get rid of it. Contaminated passengers will make this even worse, as they spread it around as they move about. And it’s not only radioactive, but highly chemically poisonous, to boot.

    Before the days of nuclear reactors, Po-210 was quite rare and it was very difficult to get hold of any sizable quantity. But nowadays it’s all too readily available, and if nothing else this whole incident may be giving certain types of minds ideas.

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