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Thread: Lord of War: Viktor Bout

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    Council Member jonSlack's Avatar
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    Default Lord of War: Viktor Bout

    Village Voice - Busting the Merchant of War

    On February 6, two representatives from the infamous Colombian left-wing paramilitary and drug-trafficking group FARC arrived at a palatial Renaissance estate in Marbella, Spain. While their compadres squatted in the jungle, the two soaked up the Mediterranean opulence of the place, noticing the pool shaped like a four-leaf clover and the mastiffs that patrolled the grounds each night. Their host, a 62-year-old Syrian named Monzer al-Kassar, a/k/a the "Prince of Marbella," has been known to entertain visitors with lamb and dolmas beneath murals of turbaned African servants. But they hadn't come for the cuisine. They were there to talk about killing Americans.

    For 30 years, Monzer al-Kassar has been linked to some of history's most notorious international arms deals and terrorist atrocities. He has been accused of aiding in the attempted assassination of an Israeli spy; supplying the weapons used in the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro luxury liner; and seeding the Somali and Bosnian civil wars with countless AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. Swiss and Spanish officials have repeatedly tried to prosecute him for murder and money laundering, and a small group of private investigators, in conjunction with the United Nations and such groups as Human Rights Watch, have worked to expose his international network of offshore companies, crooked port officials, and Eastern European arms manufacturers. Each time, Kassar beat the rap and returned to his hacienda on the Spanish coast.
    Interesting article on arm's dealing and how the fedeal government was able to pull off the arrest a well known dealer in Spain.

    One statement from the article did stick out though: "...but the U.S. government only created an elaborate trap to capture him after he meddled in the president's adventure in Iraq." I read that line and thought to myself how completely unnecessary that phrasing was, especially labeling OIF as "the president's adventure." However, I understand that this is the Village Voice so I'm sure that even the movie listings and restuarant reviews have some negative political statements about President Bush. Additionally, statements of that nature are few and far between in the article and therefore do not degrade the overall quality of the piece.

    Since he is also mentioned in the Village Voice article, I tried to link to the peice on Viktor Bout from Foreign Policy a couple months ago but you have to be a subscriber to get to it from their website. If you have access to an archive or a database that carries Foreign Policy the article was titled "The Merchant of Death" and was also a good read.
    "In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    This Frontline piece has a ton of interesting info. Still the best TV around IMO.

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonSlack View Post
    Since he is also mentioned in the Village Voice article, I tried to link to the peice on Viktor Bout from Foreign Policy a couple months ago but you have to be a subscriber to get to it from their website. If you have access to an archive or a database that carries Foreign Policy the article was titled "The Merchant of Death" and was also a good read.
    Thanks for the Voice article. The article you mention is available in PDF at Douglas Farah's website. Two other good Bout articles I keep in my files are:

    Arms and the Man, By Peter Landesman. New York Times, August 17, 2003.
    The Merchant of Death, in Making a Killing: The Business of War by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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    Council Member Tc2642's Avatar
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    Jesus, this bloke seems to be the real life version of the arms dealer Nicholas Cage portrayed in Lord of War, slightly off topic but i'ts an excellent film and well worth watching.

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tc2642 View Post
    Jesus, this bloke seems to be the real life version of the arms dealer Nicholas Cage portrayed in Lord of War, slightly off topic but i'ts an excellent film and well worth watching.
    Bout was the inspiration for Lord of War. They also rented one of his Antonov's to use in the film.

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    This article is about our own "merchant of death" during the cold war: Ernst Werner Glatt. Pretty incredible story. Glatt, a German national, did the CIA and DIA's gun running around the world while amassing a small fortune. According to the article he also was a major source in our foreign material acquisition programs.

    Licensed to Kill: Shadowing our Government's Favorite Arms Dealer, by Ken Silverstein. Harper's, May 2000. (PDF)

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Lord of War Arrested--Again

    Although I never met him, I know Stan and I looked at his A/C

    Russian arms dealer arrested in Thailand

    BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- For years, Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout has made millions of dollars allegedly delivering weapons and ammunition to warlords and militants. Officials believe many of his activities may be illegal, and on Thursday, Thai police announced his arrest.


    Thai police escort Viktor Bout as he arrives at the Crime Suppression Bureau in Bangkok.

    1 of 2 Bout, 41, has made his deliveries to Africa, Asia and the Mideast, using obsolete or surplus Soviet-era cargo planes.

    A formal announcement on his arrest is expected later in the day in New York.

    He was picked up in Bangkok but neither police nor U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Cynthia Brown had details on his arrest.

    "We can confirm he has been arrested in Bangkok, and we congratulate the Thai authorities on making this arrest," Brown said.

    Intelligence agencies around the world have tracked Bout for years. While some of his work has been legitimate, most has not.

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    Don't mind the flemish commentary. The clip shows a armsdelivery for Bemba in 1999. Bemba, in his best takes the journalist a long.

    LINK

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Thanks Ancien


    Watching that was a trip down memory lane...

    Tom

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    Your welcome

    I think it is the same journalist from your boattrip in lake Kivu

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancien View Post
    Your welcome

    I think it is the same journalist from your boattrip in lake Kivu
    Could be :-)

    I was on Belge TV as the US Advisor to the RPA

    Tom

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    I remember something of that newsclip, I think it is patially online somewhere.


    This link shows some of the activities of Bout at the Ostend airport.
    At the bottem of the page there is a list of his airfleet.
    I don't now if the information is correct but it sure gives a vieuw of the complexity.

    regards

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default US charges Russian 'arms dealer'

    Mr Bout denies he is an arms dealer and says he runs a legitimate business

    The US has charged an alleged Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, with four counts of terrorism, saying he tried to sell weapons to Colombia's Farc rebels.

    The US indictment against Mr Bout charges him with conspiring to sell millions of dollars of weapons to the Farc, conspiracy to kill US nationals, conspiracy to kill US military officers, and conspiracy to acquire and use surface-to-air missiles, AFP news agency reported.

    "Viktor Bout has long been considered by the international community as one of the world's most prolific arms traffickers," said US attorney Michael Garcia in New York, announcing the indictment.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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    I want to hear from Vic Bout!!

    What/who are you?

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    Council Member Vic Bout's Avatar
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    Default I been thinking

    that maybe I need to re-invent myself...kinda like Madonna or the artist formerly known as Prince. Never knew my nom de guerre would cause me so much self-induced angst.
    "THIS is my boomstick!"

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    I think Nicolas Cage did a much better job in his 2005 film as Jüri Orlov.

    Vic, is your middle name Vasilevich
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Thai courts say no to US extradition request


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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Bout to go about?

    After months as Thai lawyers and judges engage with the issues this appears: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009...-of-death-rel/

    The title says it all. Well no, if released will Viktor Bout be even more of a threat to the USA?

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    After months as Thai lawyers and judges engage with the issues this appears: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009...-of-death-rel/

    The title says it all. Well no, if released will Viktor Bout be even more of a threat to the USA?

    davidbfpo
    And all this despite Colombian appeals just last month (with far more harsh tones than the USA ever conceived).

    In a 300-page letter from Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez, Bout is described as "a very dangerous illegal arms dealer" and suspected of attempting to sell 100 Russian-made 9K38 Igla man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missiles (NATO code name Grouse missile) to FARC.

    "We would like to draw attention to the on-going legal process in which, as we hope, the [Thai] authorities will not be able to release such an illegal arms dealer as Viktor Bout, who is dangerous to the entire world," the letter read.
    More at the link...
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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