Another "Message" Poisoning
The most recent recipient of the toxic message was former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko who died Thursday in London. It appears he may have died after ingesting alpha particles of Polonium-210.
Before that, it was Ukraine's opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko. In September 2004 he received a dioxin cocktail administered to disfigure and not kill him. Yushchenko went on to be elected President of Ukraine, his photographic images a testament to the reach of Putin and his former KGB cohorts. Long live the message. (Note: The KGB was the international intelligence service of the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union dissolved, the country known as Russia developed its own service known as the Federal Security Service (FSB).)
The most memorable message poisoning may have been the first to get serious public scrutiny. In 1978 Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was killed while waiting at a London bus stop. A man carrying an umbrella appeared to accidentally poke Markov with the umbrella tip. The innocent-appearing accident injected toxic ricin into Markov. Markov died three days later.
At a June 2001 joint press conference with both President Bush and Putin in Brdo Pri Kranju, Slovenia, a reporter addressing President Bush asked about Putin, "...is this a man that Americans can trust?" President Bush responded, "... I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. ..."
That is not a reassuring comment from our President.