Viktor Bout Whisked Away
On Tuesday morning, 16 November 2010, Viktor Bout’s wife, Alla, received a most disturbing and completely unexpected phone call. She was informed that her husband Viktor was being extradited to the U.S. imminently. This phone call came to her before she was able to prepare and bring Viktor’s vegetarian lunch and visit him in prison, both of which she did routinely on a daily basis. After receiving the horrifying news, according to an article in the Guardian published that same day, “Alla rushed to the prison with his [Bout’s] lawyer when she heard her husband was about to be deported but did not get to see him.”
Alla did not make it in time to say goodbye, her husband Viktor was already whisked away by the Thai commandos to Don Muang airport. Alla Bout would not see her husband Viktor again until five weeks later when they spoke briefly in yet another courtroom during his scheduled court date last Friday 21 January 2011. However, this time it was in a different court in a different country, a New York city Federal court room.
Alla was looking forward to her first scheduled visit with her husband Viktor since last November 16th when he was suddenly extradited from Thailand. In a recent report published on 21 Friday January 2011 by Itar-Tass, Alla Bout said,“A lawyer told me that the prison administration at last gave me a permission to see my husband, she said. The meeting will take place on Monday [January 24] afternoon and will continue for three hours, rather than one hour as envisaged by the law.”
She later mentioned in the same article that “she does not know yet whether her next meeting with her husband will also be three hours long or whether the prison administration offered only one such chance in leniency.” Alla Bout felt that she was granted two extra hours visiting time because their 16- year-old daughter Lisa and Viktor’s 74-year-old mother Raisa would also attend the visit.
Operation Stealth Kidnap
Alla Bout was shocked and surprised by the sudden and unexpected extradition which she refers to as a ‘kidnapping’. It was sudden because the Thai cabinet just made the decision in a secret session hours before Bout was extradited. “The operation was secret,” Alla told Russia Today in a television interview. The decision was unexpected because Viktor Bout’s court case was still pending in the Royal Thai court. According to Lak Nittiwattanawichan, Bout’s Thai lawyer, they filed an appeal which was accepted by the court and they were waiting for a court date to be set for the appeal to be heard. Viktor Bout was as Alla Bout said, “kidnapped” just days before the extradition deadline of 20 November 2010. A previous Thai court ruling had set a deadline of November 20th for Viktor Bout to be extradited to the U.S. or be set free.
Alla Bout told Russia Today during her recent interview on 20 January 2011, “the operation [to send him to the US] was secret. The cabinet ordered the extradition of Viktor Bout, even though the prime minister of Thailand had said that while court proceedings are ongoing, he wouldn’t be extradited…. He was shipped to the United States as if he was just a thing, without his documents and without the Russian embassy being informed. The operation was so quick because it is illegal under Thai law.”
After the secret Thai cabinet meeting took place and the decision was made, Bout was quickly whisked to the airport and placed under DEA custody. According to BBC News, “Within hours of the Thai cabinet’s decision Bout was removed from his prison cell, placed in a bulletproof vest and escorted to a chartered plane by police commandos in balaclavas and combat gear, where he was handed over to DEA agents.”
In the same Russia Today interview mentioned previously, Alla Bout said that her husband Viktor was extradited from Thailand to the United States last year without the proper procedures being followed, so he was in effect kidnapped.
Lak, Viktor’s Thai lawyer told Alla that, “he cannot find a single document signed by the Thai Cabinet on Viktor’s extradition, which should exist according to the Thai government. This means that nobody has signed any documents, no written permission on his extradition has been issued.” Alla then states again in the Russia Today interview that “nobody signed any documents, no written extradition permission was given. So, he was merely kidnapped,” she said.
Coming To America
On the morning of 16 November 2010 the U.S. DEA agents wasted no time in flying Viktor Bout out of Thailand to U.S. soil. Apparently they did not want anything else to go wrong with the case in Thailand than that which had already occurred. The agents were able to get him out of Thailand and into U.S. jurisdiction just days before the deadline that the Thai court set of 20 November 2010. After that date, according to Thai law, Viktor Bout would have been a free man.
Apparently in their haste in bringing Bout to the U.S., the agents did not bother with any formalities or paperwork. Therefore, one can not say that Viktor Bout was actually transferred from Thai custody to U.S. custody, because in reality he is still legally in Thai custody as well as having an open and pending court case in the Royal Thai court.
Alla Bout was not able to talk directly with her husband and had to rely on the Russian consul in New York. It was only through Alexander Otchaynov, the Russian deputy consul that Alla was told about Viktor’s flight from Thailand to America. In an interview on 21 November 2010, in the Bangkok Post, Alla Bout said that the DEA agents tried very hard to get a confession and to cop a plea out of Viktor on his flight to America.
”While on the flight to America, the American guards tried to apply psychological pressure on him, trying to convince him very hard to cooperate with them and to admit something he did not do and did not say,” said Alla Bout.
In the same interview Alla expressed a bit of sarcasm towards the U.S. authorities for them offering political asylum to Viktor and his immediate family because he was being portrayed as such a villain by them.
”In exchange for that [a confession], they promised him political asylum in America and also political asylum for his wife and daughter in America, but he refused. This is especially strange since the Americans maintain that he is such a bad person,” said Alla Bout.
Before Viktor Bout was able to embark on his unplanned, visa-free travel to America on a chartered jet, he first had to suffer humiliation and inhumane treatment. Alla later in the same interview expressed her displeasure at Viktor’s inhumane treatment after he was stripped butt-naked and left that way for some time. Alla Bout said that ”on Tuesday morning, they stripped him naked and they took absolutely everything from him including his shoes and the telephone books with his contacts and the telephone contacts of his lawyers [sic] all of them. They left him naked, absolutely naked. After that, they bought him some dirty sports shoes which do not belong to him. The prison authorities felt sorry for him and they gave him the cheap slippers.”
Before I discuss the allegations waged against Viktor Bout and the lack of evidence, I would first like to talk briefly about jurisdiction. On Tuesday 16 November 2010 shortly after Viktor Bout’s extradition, the Russian foreign ministry expressed their displeasure and questioned the jurisdiction of a trial to be held in America. According to the Guardian, the Russian foreign ministry, “has questioned the U.S. claim of jurisdiction given that he [Bout] is not an American citizen and is not alleged to have committed crimes on U.S. soil.”
Also on the same day in a BBC News report, Sabrina Shroff Viktor Bout’s court appointed lawyer told a federal court in New York City, “that since none of his alleged crimes occurred in the U.S., the U.S. cannot try him.”
As I have stated many times before that Viktor Bout was being held in prison in Thailand illegally, it appears that U.S. federal court appointed attorney Sabrina Shroff agrees with me. In the same BBC News article. Mrs. Shroff also stated that “she will also argue the arrest of Mr Bout in 2008 in Bangkok was illegal under Thai law.”
Andrei Klimov, Vice Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, argues that Bout’s case is not within the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. Klimov told RIA Novosti on 16 November 2010 that:
“He is not a U.S. citizen and has not committed any crimes on the territory of the United States. All the rest is outside the U.S. jurisdiction. Washington has no right to force anyone suspected of wrongdoing to be brought over to the U.S. for trial. Every country has its own courts to try crimes committed on their territory. Second, crimes suspects can stand trial in countries whose citizens they are. Finally, they can be tried by international courts. By the way, Americans do not recognize the jurisdiction of international courts with respect to their own citizens.”
Andrei Klimov also says in a report that appeared in The Christian Science Monitor on the same day that the issue is unlikely to derail US-Russian relations, but says it sets a dangerous precedent.
“Bout is not a citizen of the U.S., nor do the Americans have any evidence of him breaking the law on U.S. soil, so why are they doing this?” he says. “It appears the U.S. is acting like a global prosecutor, and a world judge. But who gives them this power? This looks something like Guantanamo,” where people fall into legal limbo, he says. “The principle is wrong.” says Klimov.
Viktor Bout’s attorney Sabrina Shroff in a BBC News report expressed her concern to his lawyer about the jurisdiction issue. Ms Shroff told U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, that “it’s a manufactured jurisdiction.”
The DEA’s New Mandate
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has become a vast international spy network as shown by U.S. Embassy cables revealed by Wikileaks. The DEA now has 87 offices in 63 countries and close partnerships with governments that distrust the CIA, such as Nicaragua and Venezuela. Many nations are eager to take advantage of the agency’s drug detection and wiretapping technologies as stated by a Public Intelligence article.
According to a Wikileaks cable that was reprinted in the New York Times, “The Drug enforcement Administration has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.”
Well, this would explain why U.S. undercover DEA agents set up or as Wayne Madsen put it, “entrapped” Viktor Bout in Thailand while posing as rebels from the terrorist organization the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC. Just to recap, Bout was arrested in Thailand by U.S. undercover DEA agents posing as a terrorist organization from Columbia.
Here is an important observation that I want to acknowledge, according to a very well-written and informative article titled, Turf Wars in Washigton, which was published last September, Bout never before had any dealings in Latin America before the DEA sting operation where the agents posed as Columbian rebels.
“Interestingly, prior to his bust, Bout had never been involved in Latin American gunrunning, concentrating instead on Africa and Eurasia” as reported in Turf Wars in Washington.
In the article, The Assassination of Viktor Anatoliyevich Bout, I already discussed quite extensively the DEA’s sting operation. I will however talk later in greater detail about the significance and relevance of FARC, which are directly linked to Viktor Bouts charges and allegations.
After the release of the Wikileaks cable it was clearly evident that the DEA had a new mandate and they had expanded far beyond drugs and drug trafficking. What is not clear is the scope of its operations that it is now involved in or the boundaries of its jurisdiction. The DEA and its new expansive outreach of intelligence operations and its border-less jurisdiction is starting to make it look much more like the CIA.
Thanks to the release of the U.S. Embassy cables, we catch an inside glimpse of their expansiveness, their operations as well as their jurisdictions or lack of. According to the Wikileaks cable reprinted in the New York Times, the “cables describe lengthy negotiations over the extradition to the United States of the two notorious arms dealers wanted by the DEA as it reached beyond pure counternarcotics cases: Monzer al-Kassar, a Syrian arrested in Spain, and Viktor Bout.”
The cable in the New York Times also states that, “Both men were charged with agreeing to illegal arms sales to informants posing as weapons buyers for Colombian rebels. Notably, neither man was charged with violating narcotics laws.”
According to an article in Public Intelligence, “The body’s vast network of informants also had on its roll David Headley, an accused in the Mumbai attacks case, who worked as a double agent for the DEA.”
The report in Public Intelligence also said, “Though the cables did not offer large disclosures, they provided an insight into the story of how an entrepreneurial agency operating in the shadows of the FBI has become something more than a drug agency.”
A Wikileaks cable dated from 13 August 2009 published in the Guardian on 1 December 2010 showed and proved that the Viktor Bout extradition was an extremely high value priority for the U.S. government. It also clearly showed how concerned the prosecutors had become about the previous defeat in the Thai court system. So concerned in fact that they urged President Obama to call Thai Prime Minister Abhisit specifically in regards to Viktor Bout. Here is a closer look at a few small excerpts of that Wikileaks cable that appeared in the Guardian.
SUBJECT: NEXT STEPS ON THE VIKTOR BOUT EXTRADITION CASE IN THE WAKE OF LOWER COURT DEFEAT
Discussion of a POTUS[President Of The United States] telcon to PM Abhisit has been under way for some time; they have not spoken in the seven months both have been in office. We suggest that the call be accelerated and that it include a serious discussion of our concerns over the implications of the Bout verdict, as outlined above. We believe POTUS involvement on Bout would have significant effect here.
“…the USG [United States government] had repeatedly underlined the importance of the case, all the way up to the Secretary of State and POTUS [President Of The United States ] levels.”
There are many more interesting examples in the Wikileaks cable but I will just point out several more for the purpose of context. The cable expressed concern by the U.S. that they disagreed with the judges ruling in the Thai court, “In our view, the judge was wrong on both counts.”
The cable also suggested that the Obama administration should contact the Columbian government for support, “We suggest Washington engage the Colombian government …”
The cable also states, “We also suggest exploring whether Colombia would be willing to ask Thailand for Bout’s extradition while he (hopefully) is still in detention during the appeals process.”
This stems from the allegation that Bout was trying to sell weapons to the Columbian rebels aka FARC which is deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. but not by the United Nations.
“Finally, despite the listing by the US and EU of the FARC as a terrorist organization, we understand that the FARC is not listed as such by the UN. A move to have the FARC listed formally by the UN would assist the effort to keep Bout in custody. JOHN”
Also the U.S. Embassy suggested the U.S. government contact Russia in case Bout is found not guilty in the Thai court. “Finally, we recommend consideration of laying down a marker in Moscow about Bout, looking forward to the possibility that Bout may end up back in Russia were the appeal of the Lower Court ruling might not succeed.”
Finally the last example of the cable that I will share, “At the same time, the Embassy [U.S.] recommends the State Department, Attorney General Holder, and the US Mission to the UN in New York engage the Thai Ambassador in Washington and the Thai PermRep in New York in parallel.”
The Wikileaks cable certainty pointed out an awful lot of lobbying by the U.S. Embassy to the governments of Columbia, Thailand and even Russia. As well as within the U.S. government itself all way up to President Obama. This U.S. Embassy cable clearly contradicts the allegations levied against Viktor Bout and highlights a need for a lobbying effort in the absence of any evidence.
Here is the link to Wikileaks cable that appeared in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/220583
Alla Bout already expressed her displeasure in the press about her husband Viktor being stripped butt-naked shortly before he was extradited and whisked away on a charted flight to America. In an article published Saturday by RIA Novosti, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that “they are putting Viktor Bout under intense psychological pressure.”
Ryabkov continued, “this should be ended and he [Bout] should be given a chance to defend himself and communicate, including with his relatives.” Ryabkov went on to tell journalists in Washington that “Bout is being held in isolation.” According to RIA Novosti Bout is allowed one 15-minute telephone call a month, is not allowed to send emails and is being denied a requested vegetarian diet.”
However, an indirect head game and possibly the most damaging thus far was the harassment by U.S. custom and FBI anti-terror agents towards his wife upon her arrival that more than likely, eventually got back to Viktor Bout. After Alla Bout left the airport she spoke to Russia Today, “They have clearly been waiting for us,” she said.
“They turned our luggage upside down and took away all the personal things from my bag.” Alla Bout was not allowed to speak with the Russian consul,“They told me to switch off my cell phone and did not allow me to get in touch with the Russian consul until this interrogation was over,” explains Viktor Bout’s wife. Alla then added,“One person introduced himself as a special anti-terror agent. He said he wanted to talk to me about the purpose of my visit.”
I can only imagine that the only thing worse than being locked in a tiny cell like a caged rat, is being locked in a tiny cell like a caged rat and having your family being harassed and being unable to do anything about it.
According to Alla Bout, “they also asked her questions such as whether or not she knew her husband was a terrorist.” Alla, claims they were “interrogated” for hours and treated like terrorists.
The Media’s Smear Campaign and Their Wild Imagination
In my piece about Viktor Bout that I wrote last September titled, The Assassination of Viktor Anatoliyevich Bout, which discusses who is behind the character assassination of Viktor Bout, I pointed out that Viktor Bout was not a billionaire as stated by the media but in actual fact that he was broke. Alla Bout in a press conference held in Bangkok on Monday 22 November 2010, stated that she is actually in debt.
“Mrs. Bout detailed how the Bout family is actually in debt, having to support her daughter in Russia and herself in Thailand, paying for rent, food, transportation fees, visa fees, and Viktor’s care,” according to Russia Today.
Recently in the Bangkok Post, Alla Bout was quoted as saying, “the U.S. has no evidence against Viktor, otherwise it would have long ago been presented at the Thai court.”
Alla Bout tells The Voice of America on 22 November 2010 that her husband is “the victim of a smear campaign by what she calls ‘unscrupulous United Nations experts’, U.S. officials, and the media.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented in an article that appeared in The Voice of Russia on 16 November 2010:
“Despite the fact that Bout was not found guilty by a Thai court, he was, however, allowed to be extradited to the U.S. I see it as an example of unprecedented political pressure on Thailand’s government and judicial system. Russia will continue to provide Viktor Bout with all necessary support”, Mr. Lavrov said.
“What the U.S. authorities are doing is both ethically and legally incorrect”, says Mr. Alexander Treshchev, a spokesman with the EU Chamber of Lawyers in the same Voice of Russia article.
Professor Rolf Goessner, a German law analyst, shares this view with the Voice of Russia:
“In my opinion, this is legally unjustified. International practice should embrace Russia as well – we need to stick to international norms. That’s why I regard this as a violation of international law.”
On Monday, October 4 2010 in the Honorable Royal Thai court in Bangkok, I was eye to eye and Face to Face with Viktor Bout. In Face to Face with Viktor Bout I talk explicitly and in great detail about the the lack of evidence against him. The only thing that has changed since last October when I wrote that article, is that more laws against Viktor Bout were broken and he was illegally snatched and kidnapped out of the Thai court system while a case was still pending.
Alla Bout tells The Voice of America that “his extradition was illegal because there was still a case against him pending in court here [in Thailand].”
On Friday 21 January 2011, Viktor Bout prepared to attend a pre-trial hearing, his wife Alla told Russia Today that “the allegations are a fabrication to distract the public from its real problems. In fact, Alla Bout refers to her husband Viktor’s allegations as “wild imagination.”
Role Model vs. Case Study
The allegations against Bout are a defamation of character, as well as being scathing and slanderous. Even Douglas Farah, who co-authored a book about Bout said this — “It is important to note, as we do in the book, that much of what Viktor Bout does is, while reprehensible, not illegal.”
“A report by Amnesty International published in the same year [as Lord of War, 2005] accused Mr Bout of being “the most prominent foreign businessman” involved in trafficking arms to UN-embargoed destinations from Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.” as reported by The Sunday Times of London on 6 March 2008. Interesting, no mention of Columbia and they refer to him as a businessman.
Viktor Bout was an opportunist. A hard working and ingenious entrepreneur. He was simply a transporter. Yes he transported everything from oil, coltan (a mineral used in mobile phone production), various other minerals, ostrich eggs, diamonds, troops and yes sometimes even ‘legal’ weapons. I am not saying that he is an angel or a role model but I am saying that what he did was not illegal and does not distract from his accomplishments as a businessman. Viktor was simply earning a living and providing for his family. He had mouths to feed.
I met him and spoke to him face to face inside a courtroom in Bangkok as well as spent time talking and dining with his wife Alla. Viktor, Alla, Kurt Pelda of Deutsche Welle, Thilo Thielke of Der Spiegel, Dimitri Khalezov and I had quite a lengthy discussion for a court room. Luckily for us the judges left the room for quite a long time to deliberate thus enabling us to chat. Viktor from my observation is quite intelligent, well-read, polite and charismatic. I can easily imagine him outside of the court room in a party setting being the center of attention while people in the party gravitate towards him.
If Viktor Bout was properly examined in a truthful and unbiased fashion, I am sure a case study of his career would one day be talked about in text books at Harvard, Yale, The London School of Economics and Wharton. He was the epitome of capitalism. From nothing, Bout, grew a huge international air cargo business that eventually grew into an empire. That was his only crime, being too successful.
Once Bout grew a successful international air cargo empire, with a virtual monopoly in the African continent, then others became envious and thus was born the global jihad against him. I will not speculate as to how much Viktor Bout’s air cargo empire was once worth because I am not sure but perhaps in the billions. Bout built from nothing a extremely successful empire that was an entirely legal entity until he was put out of business by his previous customers, the United States government and the United Nations.
According to The Christian Science Monitor, Viktor Baranets, a military columnist for the Moscow daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, “The Russian reaction to the prosecution of Bout might have been different if the Americans had come to our side and spelled out the case against him,” says Mr. Baranets, who has interviewed Bout and says he appears to have many strong arguments in his own defense.”
He also said that the “US authorities never attempted to cooperate with their Russian counterparts to bring Bout to justice.”
“As it is, we have a lot of questions. Many people in Russia believe that Bout is being framed. Some think that Bout was removed because he’s a competitor of American arms interests, or otherwise crossed them. The case against him contains a lot of strong accusations, but the substance looks thin.” stated Mr. Baranets.
As reported by the Guardian 16 November 2010, “However, part of the Russian criticism of the American charges against Bout stems from the continued U.S. use of him to transport supplies in Iraq as well as contracting with NATO in Afghanistan and the United Nations in Sudan.”
Many air cargo companies left the African continent when it became too hot and dangerous and ripe with bloody civil wars that made it too risky to transport cargo. Bout stayed and gambled and it paid off huge.
If anything, Viktor Bout should be given recognition for his accomplishments as a businessman. But as Face book CEO Mark Zuckerberg encountered, you can not grow a business into a billion dollar company and not make enemies. It is not possible. Zuckerberg was sued by he best friend at the time that his company was growing exponentially.
Another example of a business success story besides that of Bout and Zuckerberg is Robert Johnson. Johnson started with $10,000 from a credit card, not cash but credit and years later eventually sold that media company, BET (Black Entertainment Television) to Viacom for over $1 billion dollars. If you are interested in this story you can read more in The Billion Dollar BET: Robert Johnson and the Inside Story of Black Entertainment Television written by Brett Pulley.
Marc Zuckerberg started Face book with O.P.M. (other peoples money), initially with practically no money of his own and last week the company was valued at $50 billion. Viktor Bout merely filled a gap in an area where there was huge demand and where the law was gray. Viktor Bout was able to operate freely for decades because of the lack of any internationally-binding rules therefore his air cargo business’ were legitimate as well as legal. He built a successful and colossal air cargo empire form scratch, isn’t capitalism and entrepreneurship what America is all about?
Logic and Reason
It is not intelligent to think that if Viktor Bout actually had billions or even millions of dollars, according to the slanderous lies continuously spun out by the media, that he would not spend it to salvage his freedom. Viktor has been stuck in solitary confinement in a tiny cell, in Thailand while several cameras were constantly watching him including one above the toilet, living like a caged rat. Now he is again isolated back in solitary confinement in a foreign country facing life imprisonment.
You do the math. If you were a billionaire would you have Sabrina Shroff represent you? No disrespect to Ms. Shroff but she is a U.S. government court appointed attorney. If it was me facing life imprisonment and I was a billionaire, I would resurrect Johnny Cochran from the grave and have him represent me, no matter what it cost. Actually, according to Daniel Estulin in a recent phone conversation with him, Mrs. Shroff may no longer be representing Viktor Bout. He told me that Alla had been meeting with several other attorneys.
When in Bangkok last October, I saw Alla Bout, Dimitri Khalezov and several of their friends, running around like chickens being chased, photocopying, collating, organizing and stapling documents that supported her husbands case to then be handed out to the press. And paying for this copying and all other legal cost’s with their own money. If Alla Bout was wealthy, which she is not, she would not be be handling a large portion of her husbands legal defense personally. There would have been a huge team of lawyers alongside Lak to defend Viktor.
It is not intelligent. I’ll say it again, it is not intelligent for someone to be extradited for terrorism, accused of killing U.S. nationals and U.S. officers and then offered a deal. Bout was offered a plea bargain while the DEA agents applied psyops on him on the flight to America. They offered a deal not only to Bout but his whole immediate family. According to a Bangkok Post article in November approximately five days after Bout’s extradition, ”While on the flight to America, the American guards tried to apply psychological pressure on him, trying to convince him very hard to cooperate with them and to admit something he did not do and did not say,” Mrs Bout said.
It makes absolutely no sense and goes against human nature and common sense for any DEA agent or any U.S. government official to have any sympathy for him and his family if there was a shred of truth to the accusations. It is not intelligent or logical to think that agents of the U.S. government would offer Viktor Bout and his family a deal if they really believed or had any evidence of the allegations of terrorism and trying to kill Americans charged against Viktor Bout. If there was any real evidence or truth to his allegations, I believe that most law enforcement officials, government employees, military personnel and most American citizens including myself would be happy for him to spend the rest of his life in prison.
In fact, I doubt that Viktor Bout would be alive today if any of the allegations were true but assassinating him quietly does not fit the political agenda nor would it justify the astronomical waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars used for the propaganda, sting operations and legal fees used in the capture and extradition of Viktor Bout. The U.S. taxpayers tab for this political agenda against Bout has been running since the 1990’s and the meter is still ticking.
However, it is logical to understand why the DEA agents where applying such pressure to Bout to make a deal. The charges, are imaginary and fabricated. There is no evidence and never has been. Bout was cleared twice in Thai courts for lack of evidence.
Wayne Madsen and the Blame Game
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen recently did a taped interview on Russia Today. Madsen raises some very interesting points and topics while reiterating many things that I have previously discussed. Madsen mentions how “the Bush administration probably left him [Bout] alone because he was doing business with that administration.”
Madsen also mentions the broader range of the DEA as well as having a new mandate. He states in the Russia Today interview, “The DEA is not only involved in drugs anymore but they have a new mandate. The DEA is now in the intelligence gathering business which is perhaps out of their league. According to Madsen, the new DEA is “operating far beyond it capabilities and its knowledge.”
Wayne Madsen also states that “Viktor Bout was entrapped in Thailand by the DEA.” Madsen goes on to say that “Bout was not really extradited he was renditioned.”
The Russian Foreign Minister, Alla Bout and many others all agree that Thailand is ripe with corruption and it is in bed with the U.S. government including Wayne Madsen. He says that “Thailand is a military dictatorship where the PM is basically a stooge for the U.S. and that Thailand is not a democracy.”
When asked by the interviewer if he thought Bout would receive a fair trial in the U.S., Madsen replied,
“I doubt he is going to get a fair trial here [U.S.]” He then added “If Bout made a movie it would be a blockbuster.”
Wayne Madsen and I diverge slightly on his conclusion on why Viktor Bout was ultimately captured and is now being detained by the U.S. government. Madsen alleges that “Bout was taken off the streets, because he thinks that he knows who is really behind the 9/11 attack.” Thus Madsen believes that the U.S. went after Bout to find out what he knows about 9/11 and its perpetrators.
I believe the claims of the U.S. prosecutors of charging Viktor Bout with terrorism and attempting to sell ballistic missiles, will ultimately be tied into Bout’s allegations thus linking him to 9/11. However, I feel strongly as well as Dimitri Khalezov that Viktor Bout knows absolutely nothing about nor has ever had any connection to 9/11. Dimitri is an expert on the 9/11 topic and is a former Russian nuclear intelligence officer.
Whether or not Viktor Bout has any knowledge of 9/11 or not does not mean that the prosecutors will not attempt to connect him to the events that occurred on that catastrophic day. I will discuss this topic more in the following two sections.
The Auspicious Court Date
On Friday, 21 January 2011 Viktor Bout would finally have his day in court which was already postponed from January 10th. He and his family were eagerly awaiting the pending announcement of his trial date as Viktor had already spent over two and half years in Thai prisons. The judge then announces that his court date will be held on 12 September, 2011.
When I heard Bout’s court date announced, I shook my head. I immediately thought to myself that September 11, 2011, the ten year anniversary of 9/11, has to be a Sunday and that the next business day is Monday the 12th. I was correct. I was thinking that 12 September 2011 could not be a Saturday because then the trial could be held on the previous Friday if they had wanted it to be on the 11th.
In a RIA Novosti article that appeared several days ago, Alla Bout also made reference to that auspicious date. “The trial was set on this date to flaunt the results of U.S. efforts against terror and the costly anti-terrorism campaign pursued by the United States in the past decade. I support a fight against terror, but will not let it be carried out at the expense of my family,” Alla Bout told RIA Novosti in a video linkup from New York.
In a CNN report in November approximately a week after Bout’s extradition, Alla Bout claimed that “the United States had been describing her husband as an alleged “Merchant of Death” for years — and intensified their campaign after the September 11 terrorist attacks.”
“Reading between the lines of the media reports, you can see now a message that’s very clear: we have not got [Osama] bin Laden yet, but we have got Viktor Bout, and that’s the second best,” said Alla Bout.
Last October I wrote an article titled, Face to Face with Viktor Bout: Court Room Conversations. I stated in a slightly semi-flip manner the following statement.
“Next the prosecutors will be blaming Viktor Bout for firing the Granit missile that struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 that was stolen from the Kursk submarine (which was sunk by a collision with the SSN 691 Memphis in August 2000) which in turn caused the U.S. government to panic and then to press the buttons to cause the underground nuclear detonation of World Trade Center 1, World Trade Center 2 and World Trade Center 7; thus blaming Bout for those deaths of Americans that died on that tragic day.”
I then went on to say, “Sounds preposterous, outrageous and far-fetched? Ironically, the latter paragraph has much more truth than the former.”
The former paragraph in the referenced article was referring to the baseless and imaginary charges of terrorism and conspiring to kill Americans filed against Viktor Bout.
“Alla Bout described on last Tuesday as a “political show” the U.S. authorities’ decision to begin a trial against her husband on September 12, a day after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.” via a RIA Novosti report.
The End Game
According to Daniel Estulin, I may have not been too far off base in my claims that Viktor Bout will ultimately be connected with 9/11 as I have just stated in the previous section. In fact, in one of Daniel’s recent Russia Today interviews, he mentions 9/11 specifically. I spoke to Daniel via phone last Tuesday to clarify a few points and ask him a few specific questions about Viktor, Alla and the case in regards to his interview titled, Daniel Estulin: Bout gets life sentence in unfair trial, but end game is Russia.
Daniel Estulin is an award-winning investigative journalist and public speaker. One of the many books that Estulin has written is SHADOW MASTERS which deals with several topics but a large portion of the book is devoted solely to Viktor Bout. Unlike Douglas Farah, co-author of a book titled ‘Merchant of Death’, who admittedly never met or interviewed Bout, Estulin has met and interviewed Bout extensively. According to Estulin, Farah’s book is filled almost entirely with propaganda and lies and says that “the the book’s nickname [the Merchant of Death] for Bout is constantly parroted in the US media.” Estulin goes on to say that Farah has even lied under oath in his testimony in front of the U.S. congress in August of 2008.
Viktor Bout is charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and government officers, conspiracy to use an anti-aircraft missile and conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
According to Daniel Estulin the U.S. public prosecutor’s office entered a court appeal on the 26 August 2009 that states “Bout conspired to provide guided ballistic missiles to FARC.” Estulin told me that the reference to ballistic missiles is extremely significant because it implies that by default they are nuclear capable. Estulin added “FARC=Bout=Ballistic missiles=Nuclear terrorism.”
I just recently found out through International extradition attorney Douglas McNabb that the U.S. federal prison does not have a parole system. Viktor Bout is facing 25 years to life if convicted of all of the alleged charges. This past January 13th Viktor celebrated yet another birthday in prison, now 44 years old, a 25 year sentence is not much different to a life sentence in my opinion.
Daniel Estulin is not optimistic at all about Viktor’s freedom and rights to a fair trial. Estulin says, “The U.S. has been after Bout since the 1990’s. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that he will get a fair trial in America. He will NOT
get a fair trial and will get a life sentence.”
On 6 March 2008 Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand by U.S. DEA agents and Thai police in a well orchestrated sting operation. The quote that splashed headlines world-wide was the phrase “The game is over.” DEA agent Louis Milione according to CBS was asked if Bout said anything, Milione replied, “‘The game is over,’ or something like that.” My guess is that what Bout said was closer to “something like that,” but not in English.
This strange, curious and eventful case of Viktor Bout has been anything but dull. It continues to develop new twists and turns and to throw us a few curve balls. It will be very interesting to see how it unfolds and what new developments will occur. I am intrigued and fascinated by the possibilities that lay ahead for Viktor Bout as well as his fate in this seemingly never ending story.
Additional Articles about Viktor Bout written by me:
The Curious Case of Viktor Bout: Bout’s extradition case has more curves, twists and turns than Penelope Cruz naked
BY: Dimitri Khalezov
The most provocative, prohibited and proven 9/11 book written:
Important information and download links:http://www.dimitri-khalezov-video.com
Download videos and other important files (direct):http://911-truth.net
BY: Daniel Estulin
BY: Brett Pulley