Thursday, March 07, 2013

Chavez and conspiracy theories about his death

I asked a comrade who teaches at Harvard Medical School about theories of assassination of Chavez.  He wrote (I cite with his permission):
"In theory, yes, but it would be an impractical approach. That does not mean that someone would not try it.

In theory, carcinogens, agents that cause the initiation of cancer, can be applied as a weapon. Carcinogens are employed in experimental animals to study cancer initiation and progression. However, cancers take a (long) while to develop, and the impact of using a carcinogen cannot be carefully targeted. If applied in large doses, they can cause cancer development in multiple tissues. These uncertainties limit their usefulness as an assassination tool (if it is going to take a few years for someone to die as a consequence of their use, then they would be too blunt of an instrument).

Far more useful and clever to my mind has been the use of Polonium 210 as an assassination tool. It is difficult to detect and decays naturally over time. Arafat was probably assassinated that way.

BTW, Chavez was a heavy smoker, which is a risk factor for cancer. His cancer was reported to be pelvic, although its exact provenance remains unknown. It has been speculated that it could be a bowel cancer.

Of course, a conspiracy theory for Chavez demise has its roots in his targeting by the US early on. The 2002 coup against him was an intrinsic component of the Bush administration quest to control oil producing countries as part of its overall aim for American hegemony in the 21st century. That coup failed, but the invasion of Iraq followed. This month is the 10th anniversary of that catastrophe."
I then asked him if it is possible that the government science of assassination is ahead of civilian medical science, and he wrote:
"Of course there are methods of assassination that must have been developed as part of programatic efforts to improve the practice of assassination. The polonium 210 and the ricin assassinations (most likely KGB and FSB, respectively) and the case of Khaled Mishal (Mossad) most likely reflect such programs. I am sure the Americans have their own. The science of such assassinations is however relies on known properties of the agents involved, not some secret unknown effects that no one in the scientific community knows about."