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News :: International
Yuschenko Partisans "Disappear" Uncooperative Doctor & Poison Ukrainian Politics with Lies
16 Dec 2004
Yuschenko Partisans "Disappear" Uncooperative Doctor & Poison Ukrainian Politics with Lies

December 15, 2004
The Yushchenko 'Poison Plot' Fraud

He's poisoning Ukrainian politics with lies

by Justin Raimondo

The headlines blared: "Doctors Confirm Yushchenko Poison Claim" – and, yes, even I believed it. But, you know what? It's a lie. And now the truth is coming out….

I knew there was something fishy about the whole "Yushchenko-was-poisoned-by-the-bad-guys" narrative, even as I blindly accepted the pronouncement of Dr. Michael Zimpfer, of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna, that tests had "proved" the poisoning hypothesis, and he now considers the "case closed." To begin with, dioxin as a tool of would-be assassins just doesn't make a whole lot of sense: the victim would take far too long to die, and, besides that, not a single case of death-by-dioxin poisoning has ever been recorded. Another suspicious adjunct to this story: Yushchenko declared that he wants to delay the investigation into who poisoned him until after the December 26 election. The ostensible reason for this is Yushchenko's high-mindedness, expressed with the requisite statesman-like gravitas:

"I don't want this factor to influence the election in some way – either as a plus or a minus. This question will require a great deal of time and serious investigation. Let us do it after the election – today is not the moment."

How noble! And, as it turns out, how utterly phony….

Surely, one might assume, a man with a "Dr." in front of his name is a sacred oracle, from whom only truth can spring: and, in any case, Zimpfer was the doctor in charge of the case – right?

Wrong. In news accounts of the Yushchenko "poisoning" mystery, Zimpfer is variously described as the "president" or the "head" of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic, but a better description of his position is "administrative chief." His official title is President of the clinic's Board of Supervisors. The chief medical doctor at the clinic, who supervised and had first-hand knowledge of Yushchenko's case, was Dr. Lothar Wicke. I put that in the past tense because, on December 9, Dr. Wicke resigned. It seems that his skeptical remarks concerning the unproven status of the "poisoning" accusations had proved injurious to his health. At a news conference held just after Yushchenko's first visit to Rudolfinerhaus, Dr. Wicke had accused unnamed individuals not on the medical staff of spreading "medically falsified diagnoses concerning the condition of Mr. Yushchenko." He also pointed to the complete lack of any evidence that the candidate had been poisoned, either deliberately or otherwise. This did not endear him to the Yushchenko crowd.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), a leading German newspaper, and reporter Emil Bobi, of the Austrian magazine Profil, Dr. Wicke received numerous death threats and explicit warnings from the Yushchenko clan. As the FAZ reports [Warning: if you're going to click this link, you'd better be able to read German, and be prepared to pay]:

"Thereafter Yushchenko's people made clear to Wicke that he should not say anything more concerning the affair, since otherwise [as Wicke puts it] 'one would resort to other means against me and the hospital.' Dr. Wicke is also supposed to have received death threats at the time."

The December 10 issue of Le Figaro, a leading French daily, reveals the atmosphere of thuggishness prevailing during Yushchenko's sojourns to Rudolfinerhaus, describing the outbreak of violent scuffles at one October news conference involving "a strange security force with Slavic accents." Yielding to the demand of the Ukrainian parliament, Austrian cops were sent to Rudolfinerhaus to secure Yushchenko's medical files. Profil reports they "practically came to blows with Yushchenko's entourage."

According to Le Figaro, Wicke says Yushchenko angrily berated him for "perhaps having made [Yushchenko] lose the presidential elections." The heat was on, and Dr. Wicke apparently began to wilt: after all, he explained to Le Figaro, "I have a child, you understand." An armed guard was assigned to protect Dr. Wicke by order of the Viennese authorities.

But in the end, Wicke didn't wilt: he refused to give in to demands that he retract his statements. Dr. Zimpfer's response: "Dr. Yushchenko's people will not be happy and will take other measures." Dr. Wicke, rather than face those "other measures," simply resigned. One can hardly blame him.

As a testament to the foresight with which George Orwell wrote about the instant "rewriting" of history, our own unofficial Ministry of Truth has dropped Dr. Wicke down the Memory Hole – the last mention of him in the "mainstream" media that I can find is in a dispatch from the Associated Press that reports the "anonymous" threats against him, and also notes a story in The Times of London citing Dr. Nikolai Korpan, the original source of the poisoning scenario:

"The London newspaper The Times on Wednesday quoted Dr. Nikolai Korpan, the Rudolfinerhaus physician who oversaw Yushchenko's treatment, as saying that Yushchenko had been poisoned and the intention was to kill the candidate. Korpan, appearing at the news conference Wednesday with Zimpfer, said doctors were working on three different poisoning theories, including one involving dioxin.

"All theories being pursued involved poison, he said, adding, however, that 'we don't have any evidence of what caused the illness.'"

The Ukrainian-born Dr. Korpan is not a member of the Rudolfinerhaus staff: according to the FAZ, he was the intended target of Dr. Wicke's charge that someone was "spreading falsified diagnoses." Dr. Korpan, whose statements to The Times were denied by Dr. Zimpfer, is a surgeon, not a specialist, brought in by Yushchenko on the occasion of his first visit to Vienna. In true Orwellian fashion, however, Dr. Wicke has been disappeared, as far as our media is concerned, and Dr. Korpan is now universally referred to as "the physician treating Yushchenko."

So, what ails Viktor Yushchenko? Beneath the cloud of murk hanging over this case, there is doubtless the truth waiting to be found. But given the heavy-handed atmosphere of intimidation and political grandstanding in which the poisoning plot has been "confirmed," what Yushchenko and his Western supporters are telling us is almost certainly not the truth. I am not a doctor, but it seems to me as if the blogger at CodeBlueBlog makes a very good case – here and here – that other factors, including lifestyle issues, may account for the dramatic deterioration of Yushchenko's once handsome face.

In any case, what is clear at this point is that Yushchenko and his supporters are the ones doing the poisoning – by spreading their lies far and wide, and then calling for a delay in the investigation. If Yushchenko wins, you can bet the truth will never come out in a court of law – although some news outlets, albeit not the English-speaking media, are exposing him for the fraud that he is.

I have to add that the real story of how and why this tall tale has been transmuted into truth remains to be told. However, the main movers behind this enormous propaganda campaign are not the usual suspects. Jonathan Steele and Ian Traynor at the Guardian have pointed to the role played by the National Endowment for Democracy, as has U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The British writer John Laughland has underscored the key role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as the double standards employed by "objective" election observers, but the full extent of the Europeans' involvement – especially the Germans – has so far gone undetected, or at least unremarked on, except by John Rosenthal on his excellent blog, Transatlantic Intelligencer. (Also here, and here.) This makes a lot of sense, especially since the EU is now making such a big stink about the perpetrators of the "crime" being "brought to justice." The Ukrainian political crisis is an excellent opportunity for the Euro-crats to extend their frontiers eastward, and they are taking full advantage of it – a form of imperialism that both Kerry-style "progressives" in the U.S. and neoconservatives can join hands in supporting.

I am also indebted to John Rosenthal for his excellent account of the Yushchenko "poisoning" fraud in this detailed post. His politics are apparently quite different from mine, but facts, as Ronald Reagan – and John Adams – used to remind us, are stubborn things, and they trump ideology – at least in my book – every time.

If only that were universally true, but, unfortunately, it isn't. We will no doubt be subjected to another few weeks of mindless MSM propaganda, in which the "official" story will be relentlessly repeated – for the benefit of an international audience as well as Ukrainian voters – until, like Saddam Hussein's fabled nukes and his nonexistent connection to the 9/11 attacks, it will pass into history as a universally accepted urban legend. Yes, facts are stubborn things – but urban myths certainly have their uses.

– Justin Raimondo

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Re: Yuschenko Partisans "Disappear" Uncooperative Doctor & Poison Ukrainian Politics with Lies
16 Dec 2004
LONDON A toxicology expert says Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko (yoo-SHEN'-koh) survived the second-highest level of dioxin poison ever recorded in a human.
Tests this weekend revealed the opposition leader was poisoned. Yushchenko had been hospitalized during the campaign for a mystery illness that left his face ashen and pocked.
Now an expert who examined his blood says tests show his dioxin level was more than six-thousand times higher than normal.
The professor of environmental toxicology at the Free University in Amsterdam is also trying to get a chemical fingerprint of the poison.
He says he's confident they will identify the poison by the end of the week. That could provide clues for the investigation.
Re: Yuschenko Partisans "Disappear" Uncooperative Doctor & Poison Ukrainian Politics with Lies
16 Dec 2004
The Plot Thickens
The Finacial Times
Volodymyr Lytvyn, the speaker of Ukraine's parliament, said on Wednesday that court judges were being pressured to reverse a decision that stripped Volodymyr Satsyuk, deputy chief of the SBU secret police, of parliamentary immunity.

Mr Satsyuk, who is also a member of parliament, hosted a late-night meeting with Viktor Yushchenko, the opposition leader, hours before the latter's poisoning symptoms first appeared in early September. An official investigation into the poisoning of the presidential candidate is under way.
The Kiev city appellate court ruled on Tuesday that Mr Satsyuk should be stripped of his parliamentary status, which had the effect of lifting his immunity to prosecution, on the grounds that members are not allowed to hold other executive positions.
But Leonid Kuchma, the outgoing president, is pushing to restore his immunity, which could block any investigation of his conduct.
Mr Lytvyn, speaking in parliament on Wednesday, said the court's judges were being "pressured" to reverse their ruling, as Mr Kuchma had signed a decree dismissing Mr Satsyuk from his SBU job. Mr Lytvyn said the decree was dated Monday but had come to light only after the court ruling.
Mr Lytvyn's speech provoked outrage from Mr Yushchenko's supporters in parliament, who called for an investigation of the presidential decree.
Mr Yushchenko had met SBU chief Igor Smeshko and Mr Satsyuk at the latter's villa outside Kiev on the night of September 5-6 to discuss the SBU's role in the presidential elections. Mr Yushchenko fell ill the next day and his condition gradually deteriorated until he was flown to the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna three days later.
Mr Kuchma's move to shield his ally follows earlier attempts by his family members to combat allegations that Mr Yushchenko was poisoned. The allegations were confirmed only last weekend when the Rudolfinerhaus clinic said it had found concentrations of dioxin in Mr Yushchenko's blood more than 1,000 times greater than normal levels.
Dr Michael Zimpfer, president of the clinic, said: "As far as I understand, [dioxins] can be produced by almost any laboratory."
Soon after Mr Yushchenko first claimed he had been poisoned, in a speech to parliament on September 21, a team of public relations experts from EuroRSCG, part of the Paris-based Havas Group, arrived in Vienna. The group was headed by Yffic Nouvellon, who had worked with Mr Kuchma's daughter, Elena Franchuk, and her businessman husband, Viktor Pinchuk, on projects in Kiev.
Mr Nouvellon's team arranged a press conference where Rudolfinerhaus's general manager, Lothar Wicke, contradicted the poisoning allegations. Mr Nouvellon also contacted international media, including the Financial Times, offering evidence that Mr Yushchenko had not been poisoned.
Mr Nouvellon did not reveal his connection to Mr Pinchuk, and when confronted about it insisted he did not know Mr Pinchuk and had never been to Kiev.
Dr Zimpfer said he cut the clinic's relationship with Mr Nouvellon's team after Mr Yushchenko had informed him of EuroRSCG's ties to the Kuchma family.
Re: Yuschenko Partisans "Disappear" Uncooperative Doctor & Poison Ukrainian Politics with Lies
16 Dec 2004
Professor Zimpfer: «Dr. Wicke has made an unfounded statement»

Commenting on Dr. Lothar Wicke’s statement made on the ICTV TV channel (when he excluded Victor Yushchenko’s poisoning), the «Rudolfinerhaus» clinic president Dr. Michael Zimpfer has emphasized, «Dr. Wicke is the director of the clinic and is entitled to represent its position. Still he ought to come to an agreement with doctors in charge about all his statements.» «His statement, excluding Yushchenko’s intentional poisoning, was not approved by the doctors in charge of Victor Yushchenko’s case. Besides, it was too early to make such statement without final tests,» Zimpfer has stressed.
He also added that Dr. Wicke had once met with Yushchenko on «administrative issues.»
«Mr. Wicke is a radiologist, and as a specialist he can neither approve nor disprove Yushchenko’s diagnosis,» Dr. has accentuated.