International Man Of Misery Goes To Manhattan


Viktor Bout, the so called “Merchant of Death”, is now in U.S. custody and, if the Russians weren’t already angry enough, now they’re really pissed off.

Accused international arms dealer pleads not guilty

An accused international arms dealer, now in U.S. custody for allegedly agreeing to sell millions of dollars of weapons to a Colombian narco-terrorist organization, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a U.S. courtroom to four counts of terror-related crimes.

Viktor Bout, the alleged dealer, could face life in prison if found guilty, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney said.

The charges he faces are conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals; conspiracy to kill U.S. officers or employees; conspiracy to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile; and conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. In this case, that would be the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC.

And why might the Russians be upset by this?

Viktor Bout: Whose Secrets Does the Alleged Arms Dealer Know?

According to one defense adviser to the Russian government who served in the upper ranks of the KGB throughout the 1980s, Bout knows at least enough to embarrass, if not incriminate, a lot of Russia’s political brass. “Bout’s background is in military intelligence, so he can explain who does what in those structures,” the defense adviser says, asking to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of what he calls “this dirty business.” But such revelations, he adds, would not make for very exciting news, at least not for the CIA. “The much more worrying factor is [Bout’s] knowledge of the arms trade, which is a very gray area. He knows about military stockpiles, and he can explain which of our brother-nations are given access to what kinds of weapons, what kinds of bribes are given for access to these weapons, how international rules are skirted, and so on. On top of that, he has a lot of associates he can name, because you don’t conduct a business like this on your own. Of course this is all very messy.”

See also:
Arms Secret Dealer
Feds: Russian arms suspect not beyond law’s reach
‘Merchant of Death’ wanted clients who killed Americans: feds
Viktor Bout: Capturing “The Merchant of Death”
Russian weapons accused in court
Russia insists Bout given fair trial – FM
Russia demands fair trial for Bout
Bout Has ‘No Secrets’ To ShareRussia: Arms suspect has ‘no military secrets’
Russia: Arms suspect has ‘no military secrets’
Bout told Moscow ‘tried to assassinate him’ – spouse (update 1)
US captors of alleged arms dealer Bout detail Thailand sting
Thai government ordered Bout’s extradition in advance – source
Russia says U.S. offers deal to arms suspect Bout
Accused arms dealer claims U.S. tried to force a confession
Merchant of Death ‘not for sale’

It’s pretty obvious that Bout knows quite a lot about trafficking in Russian/Soviet arms and, given his track record, he’s a very bad actor and life in prison is too lenient a punishment for what he’s done. The Russians should be plenty nervous about what he might say and who he might incriminate. After all, Viktor was trying to sell anti-aircraft missiles, you don’t get those just anywhere, you need serious military and political connections.

But we need to be careful with this prosecution and be ready for blowback.

/There is a heavy price to pay for dealing with Lord of War

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