Okay, so my question in my last post, "Am I missing something," suggested that the net equation of killing Litvinenko would be a loser for Putin. Well, now for the other side.
I have been a subscriber to Stratfor's free "Geopolitical Intelligence Report" which is periodically emailed to me. In the latest missive, they give an overview of the decline and end of the Soviet Union and events leading to Vlad Putin's presidency.
My takeaway is, there could be an upside for the Putinistas, There are a lot of rogue KGB/FSB types out there. These are desparate times and all (Putin, Berezovsky et al) are desparate men. Putin sees that the West is probing in Georgia and other places and is not about to stop. He holds the energy card for Europe now. He is popular at home. If he has some political capital maybe he knows how to spend it better than George Bush and now may be a time to get away with it. After all, what are we going to do, nuke 'em?
A painfully dying and eventually dead Litvinenko as a signal sent to a lot of people while publicly shedding a few tears may not be without a net upside.
Leaving some amibiguity about Mr. Berezovsky's role in his friends death doesn't hurt. Certainly, this is not all that difficult as the speculation about Mr. Klebnikov on other blogs made clear. I know I'll not be sending my resume off to Mr. B anytime soon.
Berezovsky, Putin, I don't think most Americans appreciate how ruthless people from other societies can be.
There is no link directly to the article so if you wish to read the whole thing, sign up at stratfor.com