The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

I Will Take Your Squealing over Litvinenko’s Assassination Seriously if You Have Criticized Obama’s Drone Assassinations

So, a retired British judge came out with a report saying Putin probably approved the death by radioactive tea of ex-Russian spy Litvinenko. Which means “almost certainly.”

And there is much brouhah.

And I yawn.

Because the difference between killing Litvinenko and the American drone assassination program under Bush and Obama, is that Bush, and especially Obama, have assassinated a LOT more people than Putin has.

No one with sense can take these arguments seriously any more. You cannot claim anything but tribal identity politics when your argument is, “Don’t do what we do.”

Hypocrisy doesn’t even cover it.

A good world requires that we don’t do things that are wrong, even if we think there is some short term advantage to it.  Certainly Putin was wrong, but “killing less people is better than killing more.”


If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Oligarchs & Criminals: Reward and Punishment After the Unmoved Mover


The Day Someone Bombs a Wedding or Funeral in the US…


  1. Peter VE

    Precisely. My tolerance for NPR has dropped rapidly this week, between their endless harping on this report, and their cheerleading for the wonders of the Davos WEF.

  2. It seems pretty bizarre to me that we take seriously a report that Putin “probably” approved the death of Litvinenko. When did conviction by innuendo become the norm? There is, moreover, nothing “probable” about Obama’s various assassinations; he actually brags about them.

  3. V. Arnold

    I think this pretty well covers it;
    Putin ‘Probably Approved’ Murder Of Baby Jesus
    This at;

  4. realitychecker

    I think both forms of assassination are repugnant, but I think murder for personal domestic political advantage (Putin) is infinitely harder to justify than killing innocents as collateral damage on the battlefield (Obama). So, maybe Obama out-ethics Putin by a pubic hair. Yay. 🙁

    However, OTOH, maybe piling up hundreds of innocent collateral damage deaths ultimately and eventually comes to out-weight the evil of one purely political assassination?

    Where are my angels? Where is my pin?

    Maybe we should just kill all the killers, and then see where we are?

    My head aches lol.

  5. @realitychecker
    One must consider that many of Obama’s assassinations have been people who have never actually done anything to the United States, but have merely made some plans that Obama did not like, have expressed hatred of the United States, or have urged others to do bad things to the United States.

    He has, therefor, assassinated people for thought crimes and for speech that offended him.

  6. anonymous coward

    Yawn sleepily seconded. And what do we think the CIA would do with Eddy Snowden if they could get their gore smeared hands on him? He’s alive because he bolted to one of the few spots on the globe where they cannot kill with ease and impunity.

  7. anonymous coward

    Oh yeah, I meant to add: …and I would not count on the CIA forgetting about Snowden just because he’s out of their reach for now, and I wouldn’t bet on him living out a natural lifespan.

  8. Flaser

    I wouldn’t call Putin’s assassination purely political either. Lets not forget that Litvinenko was an ex-FSB officer who not only broke his vows, but was planning to blackmail Russian businessmen and FSB employees to make money. He was also another siloviki’s beatmanman through and through, pretty much Berezovsky agent inside the FSB.

    Here’s an excerpt highlighting his “career”:

    “In fact Litvinenko wasn’t even a “spy.” His background was instead in what are called “convoy troops” — a rather lowly division of the Ministry of Interior concerned with guarding the rail cargo, transportation of prisoners and such. In the early 90’s he was transferred to another division within the same ministry, this time dealing with organized crime. In 1994 in Moscow there was an attempted assassination of Boris Berezovsky — his car was blown up. Berezovsky himself was slightly injured, while his driver was killed (his head was torn off by the explosion), and his bodyguard was badly crippled.

    Litvinenko was among the first police officers who came to the scene and this is how he became acquainted with Berezovsky. Soon they became much closer. And with that fortunate meeting, Litvinenko’s career accelerated. After a while he found himself as the head of the organized crime unit which served as a sort of liaison between the Ministry of Interior and the FSB — hence the often repeated, yet wrong claim in the Western media that Litvinenko was a “spy” and an “FSB agent.” Many of his colleagues considered him instead to be one of Berezovsky’s agents within the security services. ” – Kirill Pankratov, Toxic Avenger?, The Exile, December 1, 2006

    PS.: There’s an annoying paywall on the above site, just hit stop on your browser and the article is readable without any further tricks.

  9. Bill Hicks

    Right on. For me, the same principle applies when discussing Iran’s nuclear program. Unless one demands that the US and its allies also scrap their nukes, then I refuse to their call for Iran to halt its program seriously. After all, only one country has ever used them against another–and it sure wasn’t Russia or China.

  10. jfv

    One must consider that many of Obama’s assassinations have been people who have never actually done anything to the United States, but have merely made some plans that Obama did not like, have expressed hatred of the United States, or have urged others to do bad things to the United States.

    Or who were the innocent teen-aged son of someone who was assassinated in a previous strike.

    Or who were who were in an emergency crew at the scene of a previous strike.

    Or who were just plain lookin’ too furrin’ at the time. (Signature strikes, a form of slow-burning ethnic cleansing and the preponderance of drone strikes to date.)

  11. mc

    Hey, Bill Hicks, are you the Downward Spiral guy? If so, where’d you go?

  12. CJ

    Someone on twitter pointed out along this type of point that the UK government also colluded in the murder of Northern Irish lawyer Pat Finucane in the 1980s. It even revised the public inquiry into their role in his murder to a review in the 2010s.

  13. Ian Welsh

    So, killing a political enemy in a way that kills only him, isn’t morally superior to killing people who may not even be your enemy in a way that often/usually kills innocents at the same time?


    Not that Putin isn’t a mass murderer with little regard for innocents, but this case had no collateral deaths.

  14. dvd

    The \”suicide\” of the D.C. Madam…

    Michael Hastings\’ \”car accident\”…

  15. Ken Hoop

    It is said Putin made a deal with the dual loyalist oligarchs–stay out of politics and you can keep your ill gotten gains. Get in politics on the wrong side and all is fair in love and war.

    Of course the Eurasianists, Dugin, Limonov, the Zyuganov national communists, the “neo Stalinist” Prokhanovs all wish to nationalize the oligarchy completely.

  16. Hell's Bells

    dvd: Don’t forget David Kelly…

  17. Peter*

    These two types of government sanctioned assassination may share a superficial cold bloodedness but the comparability ends there. The US may identify many of their victims but the WOT and Drone Wars are well supported by a majority of Amerikans and they are carried out in a somewhat detached and legalistic manner, they are certainly not moral or ethical.

    Putin’s involvement in the very grotesque slow murder of Litvinenko was a personal and public act of vengeance against a former employee not a State act to secure the homeland from real or imagined threats. Litvinenko was acquitted of any legal charges in Russia before he sought asylum in GB so there were no formal charges he was fleeing or hiding from. He was eliminated for what he had already exposed about Putin’s Russia that was apparently accurate enough to warrant a pot of Polonium tea.

  18. V. Arnold

    January 24, 2016

    Apparently you have information not even available to the judge in recent inquest on Litvinenko’s death.
    Your’s is a veritable word salad of assumptions and opinions not supported by facts.

  19. wendy davis

    Dvd: add Flint, MI. Where does the buck stop?

    It does strike me as odd that the assumption here is that Putin had ordered the assassination, though. Would not Russia have a similar layer of deep state rogue organizations and players as the US?

  20. Hell's Bells

    These two types of government sanctioned assassination may share a superficial cold bloodedness but the comparability ends there.

    And what about Michael Hastings and David Kelly? I see no daylight between this and what happened to them.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén