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

Did The CIA Get Punked By Iran?

Something’s seriously wrong with this picture.

Intrigue, But Few Facts, Surround Iranian Scientist

The case of Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri is what counter-intelligence officers like to call a “wilderness of mirrors.”

Facts are slim.

Depending on which version you read – and there are multiple ones – Amiri was kidnapped by U.S. intelligence agents a year ago while on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, defected to the United States of his own free will, or simply decided to disappear for a while. The confusion was heightened when three different videos surfaced, all featuring a man who appeared to be Amiri, making different claim: that he had been kidnapped, that he was living freely in Arizona, and that he had escaped from U.S. custody.

The mystery deepened Tuesday when he suddenly appeared at the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistan Embassy, saying that he wanted to go home. Iranian media say he was “handed over” to the Interests Section by U.S. officials.

For its part, U.S. officials say he was not kidnapped, not held against his will, not tortured, was living here freely, and has freely chosen to return to Iran,

So how did he get here? What was he doing here? Good questions, but ones U.S. officials are not answering.

Some reports say he defected and was giving the U.S. valuable information about Iran’s nuclear program. But some former intelligence officers say he might have been a false defector.

It has happened before.

See also:
Shahram Amiri: Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mystery Deepens [SYNOPSIS]
Pakistan Embassy Denies Harboring AWOL Iran Nuke Scientist
Shahram Amiri: new twist in mystery of nuclear scientist’s disappearance
Missing Iranian scientist surfaces in Washington
‘Abducted’ Iran scientist surfaces in US
Missing Iranian nuclear scientist turns up in Washington
Who wins propaganda war over Iran scientist?
Amiri’s abduction fresh scandal for US
Scientist Seeks to Return to Iran From U.S., Pakistan Says
Clinton: Iranian Nuclear Defector Is ‘Free To Go’
Profile: Shahram Amiri
Profile: Shahram Amiri, Iranian nuclear physicist who turned up in Washington
Shahram Amiri

Okay, let’s assume that Shahram Amiri is in the process of voluntarilly making his way back to Iran. First of all, if we was a defector, he’d be insane to want to return to Iran. Second, if he was abducted by the CIA and interrogated for a year before he “escaped”, would it be a smart idea to return to Iran? Why would they believe his story? Surely, at a minimum, he’d be subject to some very harsh interrogation, much harsher than any interrogation practiced by the CIA, as the Iranian intelligence agencies attempted to determine, to their satisfaction, whether he was abducted or whether he defected. The fact that the U.S. is insisting that Amiri is free to leave the United States at any time certainly doesn’t help bolster his abduction story.

/the only scenario that makes a whole lot of sense, at least to me, is that Shahram Amiri is a double agent/false defector and he knows that returning to Iran will earn him a hero’s welcome rather than probable torture or death