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Viktor Bout is Fair Game: In the Midst of the Shadow Wars

Posted: 2011-11-13
From: Mathaba
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George Mapp takes a further look at the Viktor Bout saga. Bout was abducted from Thailand to the USA, circumventing Thai and other laws.


by George Mapp on November 12th, 2011

Hung by the Jury

On Wednesday November 2, 2011 I was on the 8th floor cafeteria of the Federal court house in New York located at 500 Pearl Street. At approximately 1:35pm,  I stood up from the lunch table as Albert Dayan was walking towards me. Viktor Bout's defense lawyer whispered to me, "the jury reached a verdict." Alla Bout was at still at home and she had told me during an earlier phone conversation, that it was "too difficult" for her and her daughter to sit around and wait at the court house.

Alla Bout outside MCC prison before she visit's her husband Viktor.

I immediately grabbed my bag and started to rush to the pay phones to call Alla so that she might have a chance to make it to the verdict reading in time. A tense and nervous looking Albert Dayan said, "don't run  - walk, they told me not to tell anyone, just his family."

Walking swiftly to the pay phones on the 8th floor and while passing Dayan, I asked him, "did you call Alla?" He replied, "I don't know where she is."

At approximately 1:58pm the jury entered the packed court room to read the verdict. There were extra security guards, many journalists, the DEA agents occupied the entire first bench directly in front of mine. The seconds before the verdict were very tense and time seemed to sit still. Then Heather H. Hobson, the jury's appointed forewoman stood up and read the jury's verdict to the court room focusing mostly on the judge until after the third count was read, she stared directly at Viktor Bout before reading out loud the the fourth and final guilty.

I called Alla Bout three times since I heard the jury had reached a verdict. The last time was shortly after the verdict was read to warn her of the media frenzy awaiting her so that she had the option of whether or not to come to the court house. Needless to say she did not come to the Federal court house on that unforgettable day.

The jury in only  approximately 2 hours of deliberations on Tuesday and approximately 3 hours on Wednesday, unanimously found Viktor Bout guilty on all 4 counts of the indictment [entire indictment PDF 37 pgs]. You can see a summary of the indictment from the actual charge sheet on the jury verdict form. The previous day the judge ruled, only after agreement from both attorneys, that the jury was able to take the chargesheets home with them on Tuesday night. The Honorable judge Shira A. Scheindlin told the jury explicitly that they were not to show it anyone including their family and spouses.

Jury forewoman in the Viktor Bout trial Heather H. Hobson.

A New York Times piece titled, Arms Dealer's Own Words Convicted Him, Juror Says ran the day after the verdict. According to the article, jury forewoman, Ms. Heather H. Hobson was very proud of what she did and said that "she felt a sense of pride and accomplishment."

Here is a short excerpt from the article:

When it came time to deliver the verdict, Ms. Hobson paused after reading the first three counts. She turned her gaze away from the judge, and purposefully stared at Mr. Bout. Then she resumed, announcing the final finding of guilt. It was a simple gesture, she said, one that was motivated by respect, not scorn.

Ms. Hobson seemed to put a lot of weight into the DEA informants' testimony according to her own words.

She said, "the informants, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration, had been "very convincing" FARC representatives who had made it clear to Mr. Bout that their whole purpose was to take down U.S. helicopters with U.S. pilots."

Ironically, as a person who sat though the entire trial from the opening statements to the reading of the verdict, I personally thought that was the prosecutors weakest argument. During Carlos Sagastume's cross examination by Albert Dayan, he got Carlos to say on record that it was DEA informant Ricardo that spoke about about killing Americans and not Viktor Bout. In fact, the honorable judge Shira A. Scheindlin was explicit and crystal clear in her directions to the jury in her explanation of the law. There is no conspiracy charge if Viktor Bout was solely found conspiring with DEA agents and / or operatives. It was demonstrated many times by the defense throughout the trial that the DEA informants in operation 'Relentless' were highly paid to pretend, or play a "role" as prosecutor Brendan McGuire repeatedly said. Or as DEA agent William S. Brown said repeatedly while on the stand, it was all part of the "scenario" that they had to create.

An article titled, The $9 MILLION supergrass: How man who helped snare 'Merchant of Death' arms dealer was highest paid informant in history, appeared on 7 November 2011 in the UK's Daily Mail just several days after Ms. Hobson's piece in the NY Times. According to the article in the Daily Mail, Thomas Pasquarello, a former DEA special agent who headed the Bout probe in Thailand, said Mr Sagastume was among the DEA's best informants.

Former DEA Special Operations agent Thomas Pasquarello.

'If you're looking at big fish, you need big bait,' he said. 'That's what guys like Carlos are good at. They're pros at what they do and they have deep connections.'

'Look at Viktor Bout. He wasn't going to fall for a rookie informant. Guys like that could see through a rookie undercover in five minutes,' said Mr Pasquarello, now chief of police in Somerset, Mass.

The media's character assassination of Bout which I wrote about in The Assassination of Viktor Anatoliyevich Bout in September 2010, apparently holds a lot of water. Here is one more excerpt from the previously mentioned NY Times article:

Another thing also became obvious: her [Heather Hobson] knowledge of Mr. Bout was more expansive than she had realized.

"I had seen that terrible Nicolas Cage movie," she said, a reference to the film "Lord of War," which is believed to have been inspired by Mr. Bout, "and I had no idea it was about this guy."

Finally, Ms. Heather Hobson added, "He's a very scary man."

The Spin Doctors

While I am on the topic of character assassination, another interesting article about Viktor Bout caught my eye over the weekend. An Associated Press articled titled, Files Show Convicted Arms Dealer's Libyan Ties written on 5 November 2011 by Stephen Braun. I actually laughed out loud when I read the author's name. In case you are not familiar with the name, Stephen Braun along with co-author Douglas Farah wrote the book titled the "Merchant of Death" which is about Viktor Bout. Before I continue, it is extremely important to understand that neither Braun or Farah have ever met, spoken to nor met Viktor Bout, not even once. Their book is filled with lies, manufactured flow charts and disinformation. It is filled with opinions and hearsay that are completely unsubstantiated and based almost entirely on one persons imagination and invention. According to author and investigative journalist Daniel Estulin, the Lord of War or Merchant of Death was invented in Belgium by Johan Peleman in 1996. For much more about Johan Peleman, read The Making of a Legend: Viktor Bout.

Johan Peleman.

It is entirely possibly that Braun and Farah believed what Johan Peleman said as truth and did not intentionally spread disinformation and lies. However, it is extremely odd to me that they wrote an entire book about a person without a single conversation or interview by them whether by phone, email or in person. Many of my doubts re-emerged when I read the above mentioned article written by Stephen Braun tying Viktor Bout to Gadhafi and Libya just days after Bout's verdict was read. Here are a few excerpts from Braun's article:

"Records found in Moammar Gadhafi's former intelligence headquarters in Tripoli show that British officials apparently warned the Libyan regime in 2003 about its dealings with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was convicted in New York on federal conspiracy charges."

"The documents indicate that Bout had been trying to expand his operations in Libya."

"American officials and allied governments have sent teams of weapons specialists into Libya in recent weeks to scour for loose, Russian-made, anti-aircraft missiles and other dangerous munitions."

"We know there are a lot of conventional weapons floating around Libya now and an important question to pursue is how they got there," said Lee S. Wolosky a former Clinton administration national security deputy who headed U.S. scrutiny of contacts between Bout's network and the Gadhafi regime in 2000. "Viktor Bout's operation in Tripoli would be a good place to start."

If you understand that some of Viktor Bout's charges were conspiring to sell SAM's [Surface-to-air-missiles] specifically Iglas [A Soviet man-portable SAM], anti-aircraft weapons and RPGs [Rocket Propelled Grenades], then it becomes clear that the allegations of  a direct connection to Gadhafi and Libya can have extremely serious and grave ramifications for Viktor Bout.

If you are not starting to see a connection, perhaps this will help. In a February 16, 2002 LA Times article titled, Al Qaeda Linked to Russian Arms Broker, written by Stephen Braun as well as Sebastian Rotella and Judy Pasternak. Once again the name Stephen Braun appears as well as his many references to Johan Peleman in this article. Let us examine a few excerpts. First please note that you will also see the familiar name of  Lee S. Wolosky who Stephen Braun quoted in his 5 November 2012 article tying Bout to the deceased Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Russian S-300 surface to air missile sysytem.

Lee S. Wolosky, a former National Security Council official who headed a U.S. effort to stem Bout's trading, said Ruprah's arrest "is a very significant development in dismantling the Victor Bout organization." Wolosky described it as the "largest arms-trafficking organization in the world."

Belgian investigators have spent the last three years focusing "on money flows associated with Victor Bout through Belgium," Peleman said. Belgian authorities, Peleman said, have examined "thousands of money transfers" flowing from several Bulgarian-based firms and through several African governments through "aviation and handling companies in Belgium that are run by Bout."

"Although U.S. and Belgian interest in Bout's activities predated the Sept. 11 attacks in America, evidence that his far-reaching arms trading empire might have aided Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Afghanistan's now-deposed Taliban government appears to have heightened both nations' investigative efforts."

Usama Bin Laden.

One of the things that struck me as peculiar was that in searching for the above mentioned LA Times article, I did not come by it immediately or easily, in fact it took some time. What I did find quite easily was the exact same article but in a PDF file. It seems that this particular article was intended to be found easily and to be able to be used as a reference. I also came across a time line titled A Complete 911 Timeline, that quite conveniently intertwines the name Viktor Bout, Al-Qaeda and 9/11 quite seamlessly.

Smoke and Mirrors

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, among many others, has stated numerous times in an array of different media that Osama Bin Laden has been dead since 2001. How does he explain Operation Geronimo? Basically to paraphrase him, "it was staged."

Author Chuck Pfarrer who is writing a book about how Operation Geronimo went down has been met with some skepticism. Here is a comment on Time's Battleland blog whose catch phrase is: 'Where military intelligence is not a contradiction in terms'. Here is the link: Squawking SEAL as well as the comment below.

"CNN chum Barbara Starr has the inside skinny on the new book purporting to detail the inside skinny of how the Osama bin Laden raid went down – as told by a former SEAL. Author Chuck Pfarrer claims to have spoken to some Navy SEALs who conducted the raid. It seems his story has more holes in it than the post-raid bin Laden."

Here is just one more article of many on the topic titled Osama Bin Laden Has Been Dead Since December 2001. Here are a couple of excerpts from the referenced article:

During the period 4-14th of July, 2001 (only two months prior to the 9/11-WTC terror attacks), Bin Laden was in the American Hospital in Dubai. According to the United Press International (Oct 31, 2001), Bin Laden underwent kidney surgery and treatment under Dr. Terry Callaway. According to both the French "Le Figaro" & the "Radio France International", Bin Laden was visited by a top US-CIA agent. This report and the one below are further substantiated by CBS anchor Dan Rather, Peter Bergen, investigative journalist Barry Petersen and Prof. Michel Chussodovsky.

More astonishing is the fact that just a day prior to the September 11 attacks, Bin Laden was undergoing treatment in the Military Hospital in Rawalpindi itself (Le Figaro – Jan 28, 2002). So both the Pakistani Military establishment and the ISI as well as the CIA were more than aware of Bin Laden's whereabouts.

Apache attack helicopter.

A bit off the topic but another example of the secrets as well as the lack of intelligence sharing between U.S. agencies and in some cases the outright withholding of info or in worse cases intentional misinforming can be seen clearly in this article titled the CIA's Account of 9/11 Under Attack. The article is dated 16 October 2011 and I highly recommend everyone to read it. For now I will just share one excerpt:

A growing number of former government insiders - all responsible officials who served in a number of federal posts - are now on record as doubting ex-CIA director George Tenet's account of events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Among them are several special agents of the FBI, the former counterterrorism head in the Clinton and Bush administrations, and the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, who told us the CIA chief had been "obviously not forthcoming" in his testimony and had misled the commissioners.

The biggest contradiction that I find in Operation Geronimo, besides that fact I believe that Osama's bin dead, is the completely unbelievable claim that the U.S. military wanted to give him a proper burial at sea. We live in a society where the FBI, NYPD, CIA, DHS, TSA as well as the entire U.S. population is fed anti-Muslim propaganda and taught to stereotype. Suddenly we care about giving him a proper Muslim burial? It would be much more plausible, giving the hideous allegations against the former CIA asset Osama Bin Laden, if his dead body were on public display on the White House lawn as opposed to a secret and swift Muslim burial at sea. It is the modus operandi of the CIA / U.S. government to display such victims to the general public whenever possible, i.e. Malcolm X, J.F.K., Che Guevara, Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi as well as former FARC commanders Raul Reyes and most recently Alfonso Cano. If you want to see for yourself, just enter any of the previous names then add 'dead' after their names and then search under Google images. They do now have a few photos of Osama Bin Laden, whether they are real or fakes created by a Hollywood special effects team is for you to decide.

Video Of Osama Bin Laden's Burial At Sea Leaked [Satire]:

<iframe width="500" height="369" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dOoAkkoW2c0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The DEA's New Mandate

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen did a taped RT television interview last January titled Viktor Bout: Lord of War blame game. Madsen raises some very interesting points and topics, he 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 RT 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."

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen.

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 December 27, 2010 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."

The Birth of DEA Operation Relentless

I first learned about the DEA's covert Special Operations Division or SOD from investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill in his article titled Blackwater's Black Ops that first appeared on September 15, 2010 in The Nation. Scahill in his article quite clearly shows how the DEA's Special Operations Division came into existence and perhaps their new mandate that Wayne Madsen refers to as the DEA's New Madate. As well as perhaps the inception of DEA's Operation 'Relentless' which was to pursue and catch Viktor Bout 'by any means necessary'. Here are some excerpts from Jeremy Scahill's article:

While the network was originally established for use in CIA operations, documents show that Prado [former CIA paramilitary officer Enrique "Ric" Prado] viewed it as potentially valuable to other government agencies. In an e-mail in October 2007 with the subject line "Possible Opportunity in DEA—Read and Delete," Prado wrote to a Total Intelligence executive with a pitch for the Drug Enforcement Administration. That executive was an eighteen-year DEA veteran with extensive government connections who had recently joined the firm. Prado explained that Blackwater had developed "a rapidly growing, worldwide network of folks that can do everything from surveillance to ground truth to disruption operations." He added, "These are all foreign nationals (except for a few cases where US persons are the conduit but no longer 'play' on the street), so deniability is built in and should be a big plus."

The executive wrote back and suggested there "may be an interest" in those services. The executive suggested that "one of the best places to start may be the Special Operations Division, (SOD) which is located in Chantilly, VA," telling Prado the name of the special agent in charge. The SOD is a secretive joint command within the Justice Department, run by the DEA. It serves as the command-and-control center for some of the most sensitive counternarcotics and law enforcement operations conducted by federal forces. The executive also told Prado that US attachés in Mexico; Bogotá, Colombia; and Bangkok, Thailand, would potentially be interested in Prado's network. Whether this network was activated, and for what customers, cannot be confirmed. A former Blackwater employee who worked on the company's CIA program declined to comment on Prado's work for the company, citing its classified status.

Time ran a very interesting and informative article titled, The DEA's Terrorist Hunters in August of this year. The article backs up what Jeremy Scahill first wrote about last year as well as emphasizing the astronomical sums being paid to DEA informants. Here are some excerpts from the Time article:

While few think of the DEA as a counterterrorism organization, since 2007 it has leveraged a little-known federal statute passed in 2006 to conduct sting operations across the globe, netting major figures including arms dealer Monzer al-Kassar and the "Lord of War" Viktor Bout by connecting the suspects to terrorism plots.

DEA agents escorting Bout off the plane after his extradition to the U.S.

That statute effectively created the team within the DEA's multiagency SOD to take on investigations in which drugs and terrorism crossed over, what policy types call a nexus.

Interesting terminology, it said by connecting suspects to terrorism plots perhaps like a sting operation. Oddly, Viktor Bout has never been arrested until March 6th 2008 in Thailand and has never been associated with or accused of terrorism until the DEA's Operation 'Relentless' sting or plot was developed. As it is well documented by airplane registrations, company records, cargo receipts that Viktor Bout had no dealings in Columbia. Africa and parts of Europe are where he did the majority of his air cargo business. In fact, the two witnesses that the prosecutors put on the stand that had met or worked for Bout in the late 1990's were both from Africa and both testified that they had met Viktor Bout in Africa.

DEA Terrorist Hunters

The DEA's Special Operation Division has poured millions of dollars into its covert activities that span across the globe. Besides the huge sums being paid, I am surprised that the question and legality of jurisdiction have not been raised by watch dog and consumer interest groups. Here are a few more excerpts from the Time article mentioned above:

The arrests and prosecutions do not come cheap. Among the expenses the government has incurred in these investigations is compensation for informants. One DEA informant, Patrick "Paddy" McKay, a former pilot with the South African mercenary company Executive Outcomes said he has received $450,000 from the government since 2005. "When I first saw these cases, I found it hard to believe that all these resources were being expended," Merer says.

DEA drug money and weapons.

Similarly, cooperation can be rewarding for nations partnering with DEA investigations. Liberia's narcotics- and law-enforcement-assistance package from the State Department has jumped from $800,000 in 2007 to a requested $17 million for 2011, a more than 2,000% increase.

Just to point out, the Russian pilot Yaroshenko who was caught by the DEA and then extradicted to the U.S. and recently sentenced to 20 years in prison was arrested in Liberia. As I previously mentioned, the question of jurisdiction has not become a hot topic in the mainstream media but it has raised questions from criminal defense attorneys and judges, including the judge that presided over Viktor Bout's trial.

Jamal Yousef is a dual Swedish and Lebanese citizen who  was renditioned by masked members of the DEA's SOD squad  from the streets of Honduras then ferried by helicopter to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba where a Learjet then escorted him to Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., the exact same airport where Viktor Bout first arrived onto U.S. soil. The significance of landing in White Plains is that it by default then creates a legal venue for any court proceedings to take place in The Southern District of New York. One journalist told me the Federal court in Manhattan is nicknamed the DEA's playground and that the prosecutors have never ever lost a terrorism case in The Southern District of New York.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prison camp Delta 1.

Yousef's defense attorney expressed her criticism at the SOD's tactics as well as Viktor Bout's judge in the second excerpt. The following excerpts are from the same Time article previously mentioned:

"The government creates imaginary links to terror organizations to ensnare people who may not actually have any other connection to terrorists," says Melinda Sarafa, a criminal defense attorney who is representing Yousef.Prosecutors in the Bout case faced vocal criticism on this issue not just from the defense, but also the judge.

In Bout's case, he went to a Bangkok hotel to meet with DEA informants who represented themselves as FARC operatives wishing to purchase weapons to be used against Americans. Judge Shira A. Scheindlin accused the government of "bravado" in making its case to prosecute the Russian citizen in the U.S. "There's a long line of cases where we look at the facts of each case," she said. "This one is weak."

Viktor Bout with translations headphones and the honorable judge judge Shira A. Scheindlin on the bench.

I discuss in great detail the topic of manufactured jurisdiction as well as manufactured evidence in my article Imaginary Crimes: The Never Ending Viktor Bout Story as well as give over a dozen examples of the U.S. government exerting pressure on the Thai government to extradite Viktor Bout. I will give just one example from the Wikleaks cable but strongly suggest you read the article cable via the link below:

"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"

Here is the link to Wikileaks cable that appeared in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/220583

Connect the Dots

I have mentioned Osama Bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi, former FARC commanders Raul Reyes and Alfonso Cano as well as SAM's, RPG's and Igla missiles. What could this possibly have to do with with Viktor Bout? It is actually not very complicated but rather simple. A predated and carefully designed media smear campaign as well as a premeditated witch hunt against Viktor Bout that spanned over a decade was then followed by the DEA terrorists hunters mandate to go after Viktor Bout in Operation 'Relentless' via their Special Operations Division. It becomes quite evident when you consider the astronomical sums paid to the informants in DEA Operation 'Relentless' in conjunction with the decade-plus smear campaign and the intentional and blatant character assassination of Viktor Bout.

Moammar Gadhafi and his female bodyguards.

Put in more simple terms, Osama Bin Laden and Alfonso Cano were killed while Viktor Bout was in prison. Raul Reyes was killed just 5 days before Bout was arrested in Thailand but after he had already agreed to meet him in Bangkok. Even if you believe Wayne Madsen that Osama Bin Laden was already dead before Operation Geronimo, that means that the U.S. intelligence agencies had a specific reason to stage his death. Now with U.S. Enemy Number 1 'officially' dead and gone that apparently left Viktor Bout as the new enemy of the state. Conveniently for the U.S. authorities, hired journalists made baseless claims and allegations about Osama Bin Laden and Viktor Bout. As luck would have it approximately 6 months later Moammar Gadhafi was kind enough to leave valuable intelligence in an easy to find location which linked himself and his rogue missiles directly to Viktor Bout.

A NY Times article appeared on March 2, 2008 titled Colombian Forces Kill Senior Guerrilla Commander, Official Says. I have quoted two excerpts from the article:

The death of Raúl Reyes, one of the rebels' highest-ranking commanders, was a severe blow for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which has been waging an insurgency against the government for the last four decades.

The United States, which provides Colombia with more than $600 million a year in military aid, was offering a $5 million reward for the capture of Mr. Reyes, 59, part of the FARC's seven-member secretariat and believed to be a contender to succeed the group's top commander, 77-year-old Manuel Marulanda.

FARC's Alfonso Cano answering journalist's questions in San Vicente, Columbia on February 2, 2001.

Just three days after Bout's verdict was read another FARC commander was killed. The article titled FARC leader Alfonso Cano killed in military raid didn't actually appear until 5 November 2011, the exact same day as Stephen Braun's article linking Viktor Bout to Moammar Gadhafi. As you can see from the quotes below, Columbia's President celebrated the death as a victory, they did however also immediately issue a photograph of Alfonso Cano unlike Osama Bin Laden which the U.S. intel agencies squabbled about in the press whether or not to release photographs.

Friday's killing of Alfonso Cano, a bookish 63-year-old from Bogota's middle class, was celebrated by President Juan Manuel Santos as "the hardest blow to this organization [FARC] in its entire history."

Authorities released a photograph of Cano's head in which his face did not appear disfigured.

Shadow Wars

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen asserts in this RT television interview titled Viktor Bout: Lord of War Blame Game on Jan 21, 2011 that the U.S. wanted Viktor Bout very badly because he knows who was behind 9/11. Wayne Madsen is almost right. The U.S. didn't want Bout so bad because he "knew" who did 9/11 but instead wanted to pin 9/11 on him!

In addition to all the allegations and alleged connections between Viktor Bout and Osama Bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi and his alleged rogue Russian missiles, it is by no mistake that Johan Peleman's UN report that eventually put Viktor Bout out of business and ruined him financially appeared in 2001. It was the same year that 9/11 occurred as well as the year former CIA asset Osam Bin Laden officially became America's number one enemy of the state, at least in the mainstream media. I have taken the following excerpt below from Richard Chichakli's website from a page titled What connects Richard Chichakli to Victor Bout.

Richard has always called Victor a "brother and friend" and he is that to Richard, nothing more and nothing less. What was unique in the friendship of these two men is that after the UN [written by Johan Peleman] published its report about Victor Bout in 2001 and which led to the financial collapse of Victor Bout, almost all of Victor's friends abandoned him except for Richard Chichakli.

The Twin Towers burning on September 11, 2001.

Let's talk more about Osama Bin Laden and 9/11. As many people, especially those who follow alternative and independent news sources as well as those with ties to the the intelligence community know for a fact that Osama Bin Laden was never formally charged with 9/11. Just more smoke and mirrors and diversions to the average American citizen. The article titled Osama Bin Laden never charged for 911 - Inside Job likely is just one of many that discusses this very topic. Here are a couple of excerpts from the previously mentioned article:

Osama Bin Laden was never formally charged, because the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation didn't deliver the necessary evidence to the Department of Justice, which would be the required path in this matter.

"The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11."

Anyone who has followed the The Curious Case of Viktor Bout either in Thailand or New York for that matter must be asking themselves a question: what happened to Michael Belozerosky aka 'Misha' and why was he not arrested? According to the prosecutor's portrayal of DEA Operation 'Relenteless', the DEA agents and informants were obviously not arrested but Viktor Bout and Andrew Smulian were immediately arrested. However, Misha walked out of the DEA sting operation unscathed, hopped into a taxi, proceeded to the airport and then flew home to Russia. Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to hear him testify before us in the Federal court house. We did however get to see a picture of him displayed in the court room, not to sound cruel or judgmental, and to borrow juror Heather Hobson's words in her description of Bout, I thought Misha was very scary looking.

Andrew Smulian and Viktor Bout in Moscow, November 2007 photo taken by Misha.

What was much scarier than the photograph of Misha was how easily he disappeared from the DEA's Special Operations Division and flew back home to Russia, never to be troubled again, while Viktor Bout is facing life in prison in a foreign country. After all, he arrived with Viktor Bout and accompanied him from Russia to Thailand. Andrew Smulian testified to also meeting Misha in Moscow with Viktor Bout in November 2010. How scary he looked is actually irrelevant but the fact that he was untouchable leads me to believe in Dimitri Khalezov's theory that Misha was in fact FSB [Russia's Federal Security Service a branch of the former KGB] working in collaboration with the DEA in Operation 'Relentless'.

I spoke with an acquaintance of mine on the phone today about the mysterious Misha. We both agreed that Misha was not needed by the DEA thus not detained. Just for the sake of convenience we will call this acquaintance anonymous. It is apparent that DEA Operation 'Relentless' was a well thought out intricate plan that spanned over three continents that had very specific objectives and specific ways to execute and achieve those objectives. In fact,one could say that Viktor Bout was treated as a High Value Target (HVT) by the DEA's Special Operations Division empowered by the U.S. Department of Justice in their pursuit of him.

Russian FSB agents.

Anonymous did not buy the FSB theory but they offered in their own words a non-expert and common-sense opinion. Misha was an unknown variable in this very delicate and previously worked out equation. Thus, being an unknown variable would make him dangerous to the DEA's case. In addition to that, anonymous suggested that Misha could only collaborate and empower Viktor Bout's case and by default weaken or even perhaps destroy  the DEA's case. I agree with anonymous on both of these points and both seem very plausible. However, I also think that Misha being FSB doesn't negate anonymous' two points but in fact would add strength to their argument.

Investigative journalist and author of SHADOW MASTERS, Daniel Estulin delivers an extraordinary and captivating exclusive interview with Dimitri Khalezov. Dimitri Khalezov is a former Soviet commissioned officer of the "military unit 46179", otherwise known as "the Special Control Service" of the 12th Chief Directorate of the Defense Ministry of the Soviet Union. Basically in layman's terms, he worked in nuclear intelligence for the Soviet army. In an interview with Dimitri titled Arms Trafficking, Stolen Missiles, Soviet Submarines, Nuclear Detonations and 9/11: Exclusive Interview with Dimitri Khalezov in Bangkok, he links Viktor Bout, former FARC commander Raul Reyes and uranium. The following is an excerpt from Dimitri Khalezov's previously mentioned interview:

Primarily, the Israeli secret services – the Mossad and Sayaret Matkal. They have keen interest in this case, too. It was demonstrated by the unprecedented Sayaret Matkal's involvement in the case of one of the FARC leaders – Raul Reyes and "his" weapon-grade Uranium that was planted by "someone" around his camp in the Ecuadorian jungle. Don't miss this point – Raul Reyes was murdered on March 1, 2008, while Victor Bout was scheduled to be lured to Bangkok on March 4, 2008, in direct connection with the FARC and Uranium affairs, while all legal paperwork that requested the Thais to arrest him has been submitted to the Thai side by the Americans in the last day of February – that is BEFORE the murder of Raul Reyes.

Former FARC commanders Raul Reyes on the left and Alfonso Cano in the center.

In my face-face interview with Dimitri in Bangkok in February of this year titled, Reality is Stranger Than Fiction: Dimitri Khalezov discusses 9/11 with George Mapp in Bangkok was focused primarily on 9/11. However, we did touch on the subject of Viktor Bout. Here is a sample from the previously mentioned interview between Dimitri Khalezov and myself with just a portion of his entire answer.

I know you are very close to Viktor Bout and his family as well as his Thai lawyer Lak. You were also extremely involved in the actual court case in Thailand. Is there any connection to Viktor Bout's extradition to America and 9/11?

Yes, of course. The Americans do not even hide this. They openly state that Viktor Bout is "bad guy" in connection to 9/11. But they do not go into details. However, I will. Viktor is actually wanted in America because the U.S. security officials are gullible enough to believe that Victor has allegedly sold the nuclear-tipped missile that hit the Pentagon on 9/11 to "terrorists". In addition they believe that Viktor also sold several portable mini-nuclear devices (known as "mini-nukes") to the so-called "Al-Qaeda" prior to 9/11, and they also believe that he sold weapon-grade Uranium to various terrorists who used the Uranium to produce home-made nuclear bombs that were used in several acts of nuclear terror – particularly in the infamous mini-nukes3 bombing at El-Nogal, in Bogota, Columbia, in 2003, that was presented to plebes as a "car-bombing".

Dimitri actually goes into much greater detail in his interview with author Daniel Estulin. The full text of Daniel Estulin's interview of Dimtri Khalezov as it relates to Viktor Bout and 9/11 can be found here in a 28 page PDF: http://www.911-truth.net/Victor_Bout/Most_shocking_interview_English.pdf

For anyone interested in the transcripts used in the trial you can find them at the link below. Please keep in mind that these transcripts are only a small sample of all the conversations that took place and these particular segments were cherry-picked by the prosecutors. Albert Dayan in his cross of Ricardo Jardenero got him to admit on the stand that DEA informant Carlos Sagastume had the ability to turn the recording device on and off at will. Viktor Bout – Government Trial Exhibit 1002-T: [PARTICIPANTS: Viktor Bout, Andrew Smulian, Misha Belozerosky, Carlos Sagastume, Mike Snow, Ricardo Jardenero, Unidentified female, and Unidentified male]

Fair Game

"I am proud to have served my country by working at the Central Intelligence Agency. I and my former CIA colleagues trusted our government to protect us as we did our jobs. That a few reckless individuals within the current Administration [Bush] betrayed that trust has been a grave disappointment to every patriotic American.... I feel strongly that those who acted so recklessly, and who acted in such a harmful way, need to answer for their shameful conduct..." ~ Valerie Plame Wilson, July 14, 2006.

Valerie Plame who was a covert CIA operative who did extensive work in the CIA's counterproliferation operations. She began her long career with the CIA sometime in 1985 [the CIA will not release exact dates]. Valerie had served her country first, ahead of her husband and her twins, risking her life on the front lines of terrorism often in foreign countries. Her husband Joseph Wilson, former Ambassador to the United States, wrote an article in the New York Times on July 6, 2003 titled What I Didn't Find in Africa.

Former CIA covert operative and author Valerie Plame Wilson.

Joseph Wilson was standing up for the truth, unfortunately for him, his article directly contradicted the White House, the entire Bush Administration as well as attacking their premise for invading Iraq. After that article was written, many insiders on Capitol Hill and inside the White House considered Valerie Plame as 'Fair Game'. In retaliation for her husband's article members inside the Bush administration 'outed' Valerie Plame on July 14, 2003 Robert Novak intentionally revealed her name as well as saying in a newspaper column that she was a CIA operative.

If a CIA covert operative working for the agency for approximately 18 years can get 'outed' and betrayed by her own government, then what chance does Russian citizen Viktor Bout have? The short answer is slim to none! The State Department, the White House, the Department of Justice, the FBI [did forensic analysis on Bout's laptop], the NSA probably helped with the wiretaps and Google records, more than likely the CIA lent a hand and of course the DEA and their secret Special Operations Division with their highly paid informants all collaborated in DEA Operation 'Relentless'. Not to mention the Thai government that broke international law in their cooperation with the U.S. government in the illegal extradition of Viktor Bout who still had a legal pending court case in the Royal Thai court system. If you believe Dimitri Khalezov's theory about Misha working for the Russian FSB then that would implicate the Russian government at least at the highest levels also conspired against Viktor Bout and collaborated with the Thai and U.S. governments to help catch him.

Viktor and Alla Bout in a Thai court room October 4, 2010.

On Monday 4 October 2010 in a Bangkok, Thailand court room I had several opportunities to speak face-face with Viktor Bout. Late in the afternoon that day, Bout left me, according to him, with a famous Russian saying, translated into English of course because my Russian is slightly better than my Thai. Bout said, "the circus is gone but the clowns still remain." He was referring to the biased, illegal [Thai] court proceedings that have detained him for over two and half years and that have separated him from his wife Alla and their [then] sixteen year old daughter Elizabeth.

I hope to have an opportunity to speak with and interview Viktor Bout directly in the near future as opposed to second-hand via his wife Alla. If so, one of the first questions that I will ask him is what he thought of the entire legal procedure that he had undergone from his extradition through to the verdict. One thing is certain and indisputable: from the Wikileaks cables showing that Viktor Bout was pursued as a high value target as well as lobbying the U.N. to add the FARC as a terrorist organization, the intentional disinformation and lies, all the spin doctoring, all the character assassinations in the media, to the all the resources, time, efforts that the U.S. has expended in their pursuit of him, and that is that Viktor Bout is 'Fair Game'!

Contact Information:

Twitter: Dobroyeutro

[email protected]

SkyPotrol.net

Additional articles, radio and television interviews about Viktor Bout:

Viktor Bout is Fair Game: In the Midst of the Shadow Wars

Viktor Bout Convicted Over Terrorism Charges

Bout's case – America's hidden skeletons

Viktor Bout convicted in 'arms smuggling' case, may get life

Case closed? Final arguments heard in 'Merchant of Death' trial

More DEA Spies and Lies: Opening Statements in the Viktor Bout Trial

Imaginary Crimes: The Never Ending Viktor Bout Story

Face to Face with Viktor Bout: Court Room Conversations

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