Accused Russian Arms Dealer Viktor Bout Extradited to U.S.

November 16, 2010

(ChattahBox U.S. News)—-In an unexpected and swift move, heavily armed Thai officers escorted Viktor Bout—known as the “Merchant of Death”—to a U.S.-bound plane to face charges of selling weapons to terrorists, the U.K. Telegraph reports.

Bout was initially arrested in 2008 following a joint U.S.-Thai operation in which he allegedly offered to sell weapons to American undercover agents posing as Colombian FARC rebels. The arrest took place in Bangkok, and American officials have tried to bring Bout to the U.S. to face charges, but previous attempts to extradite the 43-year-old former Soviet air force officer were stalled.

Bout claims that he was simply a businessman operating an air transport company, and the Russian government has fought his extradition to the U.S. Reports indicate that Bout may have administration backing in Moscow and that Russian officials could fear that Bout’s move to the U.S. might compromise delicate secrets, the Telegraph reports.


2 Responses to “Accused Russian Arms Dealer Viktor Bout Extradited to U.S.”

  1. Nikos Retsos on November 16th, 2010 10:21 am

    Deliverance day has finally come to Viktor Bout, and he is already on-board a U.S. airplane for delivery to the U.S. justice system. And this outcome also marks the hard reality of a declining Russian clout in the global stage. Surely the Thai judicial system was manipulated, but it was always apparent that this case would have been resolved on the basis of the clout the two superpowers, the U.S. and Russia, had on the Thai government. And that is why the Thai cabinet had to make the final decision, even though in typical extraditions such matters are settled between magistrates and middle level officials, and there is no need for a vote in a cabinet. And Russian threats of political repercussions to the Thai government fell flat, as the Thai’s didn’t buy that Russian bluff.

    What happened then? Well, since the 2008 European Conference where then Russian president Vladimir Putin portrayed the U.S. as “a mad man
    going around with a straight razor in his hands, and trying to solve his problems,” and his warning to the U.S. that “its effort to decide all global problems with a ‘diktat’ unilaterally was hopeless,” Russia has caved in, and followed the U.S. diktat against Iran, and on other issues. And Russia did so for a few peanuts, such as the U.S. lifting of sanctions to a few Russian companies, etc. But that Russian caving in has reduced Russia’s clout to just another country also pulled by the nose by the U.S.

    Then came the Vladimir Putin flash factor, Judo and Karate wrestling; riding a horses bare-breasted; speeding on a Ferrari; driving across Siberia and pictured filling with gas a Lada -rather than have someone else on his large security detail do the filling; telling Russian protesters that they will be clubbed on the head with police buttons if they don’t like the way he governs; and on top of that the ultimate disgrace: reporters beaten or killed for criticizing the government, or Russian magnates connected to the government and its multimillion building projects – such as the through the forest highway. And all of the above give the international community the view that Russia is a country governed by an oligarch “as a matter of his own right,” and by controlling the Russian media and the flow of the information to the citizenry. And that all ends up in a decline in the domestic and global respectability – and clout- of the current Russian government. It is unfortunate that in his efforts to cultivate a “superman” image for himself, Vladimir Putin has terribly let Russia down.

    The Viktor Bout extradition, therefore, is the result of that Russian decline, and a U.S. determination to take Viktor Bout out of arms sales business for good! Unfortunately for him, Vladimir Putin has made terrible miscalculations that have placed Russia into a subservient to the U.S. status, and when push came to shove with the Thai government, Russia turned out to be totally cloutless!. And it will be hard for Russia to rise up again as long as Putin is in power. He started as a pitbull, then he took a few treats from the U.S. and turned Russia into a U.S. lap dog! And unless he has any high valued U.S. spies in Russian prisons to trade with the U.S. for Viktor Bout, Bout’s future looks quite bleak! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

  2. Thomas C Bogan on December 5th, 2010 7:52 pm

    I hope Mr Bout beats the charges.
    This is another case of the “world leaders” making a scape goat out of an individual who simply sees the world for what it is.
    He is being blamed for brutal wars in Africa because his planes brought in arms to both sides in most of them ? The same planes were chartered by the UN to bring in Humanitarian aid to the refugee’s.
    Mr. Bout did not produce these weapons . That was done by National industries.
    I find it ironic that some of the same countries now condemning this entrepreneur, who also transported fresh flowers and frozen chickens, are, like France, guilty of supplying nuclear technology to Iran.
    Who is the real criminal here ?
    In the US the number of privately owned guns grows every day, yet the FBI records steadily decreasing rates of violent crime.
    The fault lies with the culture of Africa, not with the supply of arms.
    You do not cut off hands and legs with an AK-47, nor do you rape 70% of a nations women with RPG’s .
    Blame the real culprit, do not scapegoat this man .

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