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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:03 PM
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Viktor Bout wanted American pilots killed, jury told
Source: The guardian

The trial of Viktor Bout, the former Soviet officer accused of selling arms to Colombian rebels, opened dramatically with an arsenal of weaponry.

Before he introduced himself to jurors at the US district court in New York on Wednesday, assistant attorney Brendan McGuire stood before them and said: "One hundred surface to air missiles, 20,000 machine guns, 20,000 grenades, 740 mortars, 350 sniper rifles, 10 million rounds of ammunition and five tonnes of C-4 explosives." As Bout, with close-cropped hair and wearing a dark suit, looked on, McGuire told them: "Viktor Bout wanted to provide all of it to a foreign terrorist organisation he believed wanted to kill Americans. He had the experience to do it, he had the expertise to do it, he had the will to do it. He wanted to do it. Why? For the money."

"This is not a complicated case," he told the jury. In fact, he said, it was "relatively straightforward".

Bout, 44, has pleaded not guilty to four conspiracy charges against him. His defence is that he was a businessman who ran an air freight business in conflict zones.

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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:17 PM
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1. Ollie North's Russian twin brother?
Or is he the Russian version of arming al queda?
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Badsam Donating Member (153 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:48 PM
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2. I wonder how many times the USA used him to smuggle weapons
to groups we were supporting of the books? Maybe he was taking Air America private and the CIA was offended?
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BadtotheboneBob Donating Member (219 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. If he did, which I doubt, I'm sure it would come out...
... a Defense Attorney's dream come true. Plus, if he did, he'd be 'sanctioned with extreme prejudice' in the field as a 'rogue' instead of being brought back and prosecuted out in the open.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Bout worked for everybody

A former Soviet military translator, Bout had reportedly made a significant amount of money through his multiple air transport companies shipping cargo mostly in Africa and the Middle East during the 1990s and early 2000s. Just as willing to work for Charles Taylor in Liberia as he was for the United Nations in Sudan and the United States in Iraq, Bout may have facilitated huge arms shipments into various civil wars in Africa with his private air cargo fleets during the 1990s. /

The U.S. government paid a wanted international criminal roughly $60 million to fly supplies into Iraq in support of the war effort, a new book alleges. Intelligence officials have considered arms merchant and international trafficker Viktor Bout one of the greatest threats to U.S. interests, in the same league as al Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden. Interpol has issued a warrant for his arrest; the United Nations Security Council has restricted his travel. Yet from 2003 through at least 2005, Pentagon contractors used air cargo companies known to be connected to Bout to fly an estimated 1,000 supply trips into and out of Iraq, according to "Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible."

It could have been worse, the authors report. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Bout whose arms shipments to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan were believed to have aided al Qaeda pitched the CIA a multi-million dollar proposal to help rout the Taliban from the country and capture Osama bin Laden, according to Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun. Farah is a former reporter for the Washington Post; Braun is a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

The deal never came together. But Bout found business with the United States in 2003, flying supplies into newly-invaded Iraq as a subcontractor to U.S. military contractors, including Fluor and Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), the authors say, citing military flight records as evidence. The flights continued even after President Bush signed an order banning Americans from doing business with Bout or his associates, the authors report.

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BadtotheboneBob Donating Member (219 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Well, then, the trial should be interesting...
... I still wonder why the administration would want to risk having any of his 'involvement' with US concerns brought out at trial. Certainly his defense team will bring all that out. Convoluted, to be sure.
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