Thallium Makes For A Hell Of A Way To Die

[Update: CBS News says the dead spy implicated Putin in his sickness just before his death.]

[Ed. note: Doctors now say it's unlikely Alexander Litvinenko died from Metal Thallium but instead the radioactive Polonium 210. Either way, this man, someone who came up through KGB ranks with Putin who turned into a potent critic and investigator of Kremlin and KGB nefarious activities, died a hellish death. We need more, not less, Litvinenkos and, at the very least, I have to wonder whether whoever killed him didn't at least have the partial goal to silence not just critics but those who uncover excesses of any state.]

So why is Tony Blair's U.K. being so careful with the dead-from-Thallium former KGB colonel's lunch date from around the time the spy got ill? From CBS News:

One of the last people to see former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko before he fell fatally ill is being held under tight security and protection. Meanwhile, five more people were sent to a clinic for radioactive contamination testing.
To protect the lunch date from such poisoning is one thing; to keep that person in a bubble to be sure he/she is never investigated for complicity is an entirely different matter.

I keep wondering about the spy's last case: the one of the Russian Federation journalist who made such a "pest" of herself to Bush and Blair's favored Putin. The one killed herself under highly questionable circumstances just weeks before Litvinenko.

Seems like both Litvinenko and the journalist might have had a great deal more to tell us about Bush's other bestest friend, Vladimir Putin.