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View Diary: Russia Report on Arafat Death Inconclusive (32 comments)

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  •  You are invited to leave this discussion as your (0+ / 0-)

    insults are unbecoming as a guest here.

    You have been reported to administration.

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

    by JNEREBEL on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 01:16:36 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps you could suggest (8+ / 0-)

      a reasonable explanation of how Hamas might have stumbled upon some plutonium . . . and gotten it past the Israeli forces that had Arafat more or less under house arrest.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 01:51:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You arbitrarily blame a group that has (10+ / 0-)

      pretty much no ability to do this and I'm being insulting for pointing out it's an absurd idea? I'll see my way out, but you're either incredibly ignorant, which I doubt, or you're being disingenuous. Hamas? Of all people them? No sense.

      •  indeed. If we looked for someone with motive (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lib Dem FoP, Johnny Q, poco

        from within the Palestinians, Abbas would be a much better choice.  Internationally well connected, corrupt, and obviously with the makings of a remarkably pliant puppet.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 02:09:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You are being disingenuous (5+ / 0-)

      The Swiss and this new Russian report both indicate high levels of Plutonium-210 in the samples taken from Arafat's grave, up to 18 or 36 times background level in a rib.

      The Russian report does not absolutely blame Plutonium poisoning as the cause of death because there is not enough proof to be scientifically certain. There is a significant difference between scientific proof (and if you go by the work of Sir Karl Popper, there is no such thing, only the absence of disproof) and the level required in a court of law. Defense arguments in court often challenge scientific evidence as not being absolute; for example DNA evidence is couched in terms of "there is a one in a 500 million chance of another sharing the same profile" which the lawyer will point out means that perhaps 14 other share it so it must have been one of them. A nonsense that deliberately plays on the two interpretations of the word. The Swiss report has just such a caveat which again is being used to somehow claim that Pu-210 was not involved.

      Swiss scientists who conducted tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat’s body have found at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in his remains. The scientists said that they were confident up to an 83 percent level that the late Palestinian leader was poisoned with it, which they said “moderately supports” polonium as the cause of his death.
      The Russian report in which they declare Pu-210 poisoning as a cause of death "unsubstantiated" ends with the comment:
      However, the result of the study may also be connected with the long time, which passed from the moment, when Pu-210 penerated the subject's organism and the time of the study.
      Arafat died on November 11, 2004 and his body was exhumed in November 2012, in excess of 2940 days. Tests for Plutionium 210 poisoning were not carried out at his post mortem because is use as a poison was unknown until the murder of Alexander Litvinenko who fell ill on November 1, 2006. It was only after elevated levels of radioactivity were found on soiled clothing worn by Arafat in hospital was Pu-210 suspected as a cause of death.

      Pu-210 has a half life of a little over 138 days. Even discounting the time from ingestion to death and exhumation to testing, there were 21 half life periods to take account of. By definition, at the end of one half life there is half the amount of radiation left; by the end of the second this reduces to one quarter of the original amount and at the end of the third it is one eighth. Even with the very conservative estimate of 21 half lives the original concentration would have been 1/2097152. So all the teams were trying to find infinitesimal amounts of radioactivity.

      One of the characteristic symptoms of radiation exposure, the loss of hair, did happen to Litvinenko which pointed towards some form of poisoning. Arafat did not display this symptom which the Russian alludes to however the Swiss report confirms that while it is a symptom of radiation exposure, it does not always occur following its ingestion and system poisoning.

      AoT made a perfectly reasonable comment on your theories rather than making an ad-hominem attack on you. Your comment and report are totally unreasonable

      We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 02:56:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Polonium, not plutonium (0+ / 0-)

        Also, nobody here has addressed the question of the relation between "18 times normal" and a potentially lethal dose. It is in fact much less than the LD50 dose of polonium-210, the amount that would be expected to be fatal in 50% of cases (God forbid).

        It could be like the case of Napoleon, who was definitely exposed to arsenic (it remains in his hair) but who seems not to have died from arsenic poisoning. Or maybe not.

        The one thing I know about this case is that almost nobody involved in promoting these ideas actually knows how any of this works.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 03:58:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Typo (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, poco

          You will see I made the error once.

          The problem is the one mentioned. With the short half life and time between probable poisoning and the measuring of samples, it is very difficult to assess what amount of polonium was administered. The Russian report does have some mention of the absorption and excretion - the figure I remember is that only about 10% would be absorbed from food.  

          Digestion or injection is about the only way Polonium-210 can kill. The radioactivity is very easily blocked. A piece of paper will do it, as will a layer of dead skin so handling an amount in, say, a glass phial, presents little danger.

          As I explain below, different parts of the body absorb polonium-210 at different rates, which explains why different levels were observed in different bone samples. I understand that the body was skeletonized so soft tissue samples could not be taken

          We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 06:50:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, it is you who are HR-worthy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Brecht, earlybird

      for Conspiracy-Theory-mongering at the level of an Underpants Gnome Business Plan.

      • No actual evidence for Polonium-210 in Arafat's death
      • ?
      • Hamas!

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 03:51:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excuse me, Mr. Diarist, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      earlybird

      you're still not answering the question.

      If Hamas poisoned Arafat with polonium, then
      (1) how did Hamas get its hands on polonium? and
      (2) how did Hamas get the polonium past the IDF, which was surrounding Arafat's complex?  Are you therefore saying that the IDF was
      (a) too incompetent to prevent the stuff from getting through? or
      (b) so corrupt that it could be paid off to let it through? or
      (c) -- oopsie! -- complicit in Arafat's murder?

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 07:24:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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