Just last week we were shocked to learn that a secret British inquiry into the death of former Russian secret agent Alexander Litvinenko ten years ago concluded that his demise was "probably" approved by Bad Vlad.
This week the news gets even worse; not only is Putin probably responsible for the death of Litvinenko, he's probably corrupt as well! Yup the tried, tested, and possibly somewhat true fable of Putin's billions is making its annual fly-past!
Here's today's story a year ago at Business Insider; Putin worth $200 billions.
Here's Bloomberg in 2013; Vladimir Putin: the richest man on earth.
And here's The Guardian speculating about Bad Vlad's billions all the way back in 2007!
So why does this old story, notably devoid of any actual facts, reappear on such a regular basis? Easy! It takes the Western news consumer's eye off what's actually going on in the world. Right now Putin is playing a role in two unfolding stories.
In the US, where Putin-phobia is a well-established psychosis, the political establishment is using Putin as a stick with which to beat Donald Trump. Yup, Trump must be nutso 'cause he says he admires Putin. Let's remind the public just what a murderous embezzling whack job this Putin chap is and hopefully they'll come to their senses about Trump. Worth a try at least.
The other story giving our elites a spot of indigestion is the exposure of our dear friend, ally, and NATO partner, the wily Erdogan, as a back-stabbing double-dealing fraud. Since Russia joined the war on ISIS in September, it's become completely obvious that Erdogan's "war on terror" has not been on ISIS at all, but on the Kurds, generally considered "our" most effective anti-ISIS ground forces. That's a story that could shake NATO to its foundations...
Heck, if enough folks ask enough questions, this could throw the entire NATO project into disrepute!
Quick! Let's wave Putin's billions around for a few days to get their minds off the real story.