"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Orwell-- The US is probably moving toward becoming a heavily controlled Rightist state. This blog is an effort to document how that happened.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The US Government and Victor Bout

The Clinton Administration finally got around to blacklisting illegal arms dealer Victor Bout in 2000, but it took three years of investigating because most of his crimes were committed outside the United States. The George W. Bush government has officially put itself on record as wanting end Bout’s career as an arms trader, but it has unofficially used its influence to keep him in business and has even retained his services. Finally, in November, 2004, President Bush signed an executive order forbidding Americans from dealing with people like Bout. The Treasury missed at least three new US-based airlines he owned, and little progress was very slow in processing the paper work to coordinate Treasury’s work with the UN’s international sanctions. In 2006 the UN again put Bout on its embargo list and ordered the assets of the companies the US had named frozen. The UN report listed many of the weapons he moved, but particularly troubling were thousands of landmines. He was soon called the world’s largest arms dealer and Peter Hain, the current leader of the British House of Commons, called him a “merchant of death.” A Treasury document lists thirty of his companies and claims he has the largest private fleet f soviet aircraft in the world. It is said that he has several hundred shell companies to move assets to and out of. one another in an endless shell game.

After September 11, 2001, the State Department told law enforcement they could look at him but not touch. National Security Advisor Condoleessa Rice implored Sharjah (UAE) authorities not to arrest Bout. . Bout was soon flying troops in Afghanistan, and his planes also removed Taliban and Pakistani fighters to Pakistan. His aircraft have also been observed flying patterns consistent with working for the CIA’s rendition program. At one point the State Department asked other agencies not to use his services in Iraq, but it was clear that at least three of his front companies were being employed. At least one was subcontracted by Kellogg, Brown, and Root. Which paid him to refuel US military aircraft. L. Paul “Jerry” Bremer seemed to shower Bout with good contracts. In 2004, his companies made between 140 and 200 flights into Iraq and they were working for various Pentagon agencies as well as Kellogg, Brown, root. The extent of his employment by Great Britain is not known, but two of his planes took off from an RAF base in Oxfordshire between March 6 and 9, 2005. At the same time, two other planes left RAF Base Norton for Kosovo.

While the US continued to denounce him, it quietly persuaded Great Britain and others to lift sanctions on him in 2004., and the US resisted strong French efforts to put Bout out of business. On November 23 of that year, he met with Rice, Richard Armitage, and Porter Goss ostensibly to consider how Gambia’s image in the US could be improved. Through the right-wing ambassador to Gambia, Victor Bout has met many influential Americans. A good source speculates that he had ties to Jack Abramoff and the Italian mafia who killed Abramoff’s disgruntled partner in south Florida, Gus Boulis.

Bout’s brother. Serguei runs Air Bas, which is very active in Iraq. It could be a front company. His businesses seem to be operated out of Texas under the guidance of Richard Chichakli , a nephew of the late president of Syria. Chickakli is a US citizen, had a distinguished army record, and claimed that he was in intelligence work for 18 years. He also claims that the FBI recruited him to help the bin Laden family get out of the country after 9/11. He claims to only be Bout’s accountant. The FBI seized his records and shut down his practice. The UN has placed an embargo on doing business with him. He has moved to Moscow where he dwells in a five story house. The Russians claim he is not there, but he is seen on the streets and sometimes submits to radio interviews. Bout often flies to the UAE, where most of his companies are located. His brother dwells in Islamabad. Though Chickakli was obliged to flee, Le Monde reported in 2004 that his employer enjoys some sort of amnesty due to his services in Iraq and spreading around favors.

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About Me

Sherm spent seven years writing an analytical chronicle of what the Republicans have been up to since the 1970s. It discusses elements in the Republican coalition, their ideologies, strategies, informational and financial resources, and election shenanigans. Abuses of power by the Reagan and G. W. Bush administration and the Republican Congresses are detailed. The New Republican Coalition : Its Rise and Impact, The Seventies to Present (Publish America) can be acquired by calling 301-695-1707. On line, go to http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping. It can also be obtained through the on-line operations of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Do not consider purchasing it if you are looking for something that mirrors the mainstream media!