Ease of Poisoning Ex-Spy Is Scary, Especially in Time of Terror

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You have probably been seeing the confounding, mysterious and widening story of the former Russian spy who recently died of radiation poisoning, and on his deathbed blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Is Putin involved? Who knows?

So far, another man who had lunch with the spy is in the hospital with the same poisoning. Several jetliners have been found to have the poison contamination. Thousands of people who flew on the planes may have been exposed and are being tested. The spy's wife has been contaminated, along with at least one other member of his family. And late Friday the Brits evacuated a hotel that may have been contaminated with the same poison, thought to be a material called polonium.

Doctors say they are dealing with something "unknown to civilian medicine," leaving open the possibility the material is a militarized poison weapon.

So far nobody knows what this is all about, especially not me. But I do take a certain lesson from it.

Let's just say this wasn't a Cold War leftover in which spy is killing spy. Let's say terrorists wanted to sprinkle deadly poison around and create huge havoc. Look at how easy it was.

It started with one lunch involving two guys. One is dead now, and who knows about the other. Airliners have been contaminated and 30,000 people are taking urine tests for exposure. A hotel was evacuated Friday.

People in Russia and Britain were put in jeopardy with the greatest of ease, and nobody knew it was going on until somebody died and doctors discovered the horrible truth about the mysterious agent that killed him and is threatening so many others.

For those who have been willing to let down their guard on terrorism, check out the story of this dead Russian spy and everybody else who is now threatened, and see how comfortable and secure you really feel.

That's My Word.

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