The Victor Bout File

THE MAKING OF A LEGEND: VIKTOR BOUT

The Victor Bout File Bout1w

The legend of Viktor Bout as ‘Merchant of Death’ and ‘Lord of War’ was created in the period between the years 2000 and 2007, however it also had a pre-history in 1996 – 1999. The following narrative is fully based on open publications including the book by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun ‘Merchant of Death’.

The image of Bout as ‘the biggest international illegal arms dealer in history’ was built by the efforts of very few people who managed to ‘sell’ this story to the mainstream US and international Media, to the UN and to the intelligence agencies of several countries including Belgium, the US and the UK.

The authors of the legend were not driven by any evil intention against their protagonist. On the contrary, in their writings a certain respect for Viktor Bout is often evident. Their intentions were mostly good, the first and foremost among them being an intention to save the world, to protect it from crime and war. But with their good intentions they paved a road to hell. Not for themselves. They paved a road to an individual hell for Russian citizen Viktor Bout.

Viktor Bout, the international arms dealer, was invented in Belgium by Johan Peleman in 1996. Even in the Douglas Farah/Stephen Broun book there is no earlier record of Bout. They say that in the late 1990s the US intelligence community started getting hints about the alleged arms dealer of Eastern European origin named ‘Bout’. Apparently, the book doesn’t say exactly when and where those ‘signals’ originated apart from hinting at telephone intercepts.

However the book by Farah and Braun documents the involvement in the ‘Bout affair’ of Johan Peleman, a philosophy major at a Belgian university, working for his first NGO, as the earliest investigation of Bout, by placing it in the year 1996.

Most probably Peleman, a desk researcher with no investigative background who decided to turn himself into an expert on arms trafficking, got his first hint of Bout from another Belgian NGO based in Ostend, not far from the place where he worked. The local NGO was engaged in a battle against Bout on behalf of local residents who were troubled by the persistent noise of the aircraft taking off and landing at all hours, day and night.

The locals by that time were already badmouthing the ‘Russian Mafia’ for ‘taking over the Ostend airport’. To suppose that ‘crazy Russians’ are lifting weapons to Africa in exchange for ‘blood diamonds’ from war zones was simply natural in that time and place. Belgium had a record of being used and abused by arms and diamond traffickers of all kinds.

The active stance of the local NGOs was also facilitated by certain local business interests, as some individuals and organizations among the Ostend business community were lobbying for the closure of the Ostend airport and creating a golf club on its former territory.

There was nothing wrong about the public pressure and rumors and allegations of arms trafficking by Russian Mafia. These were only good reasons for a thorough investigation. What was wrong there, was the fact that no professional investigators were assigned to find out the truth of the matter. This investigation fell in Peleman’s lap. In the following seven years the Viktor Bout story took him through various obstacles and temporary UN contracts, to a top position in a UN investigative ‘panel of experts’.

There are hints in the Media that Peleman first alerted the Belgian security services of his discovery of an ‘Eastern European international criminal organization based in Ostend and headed by a Russian national’ in 1996. Farah and Braun write that Peleman completed his first ‘organizational charts’ of the ‘Bout organization’ as early as in 1997. Peleman was then doing some work on another NGO project on ‘Blood diamonds’, and that was a blessing for his pursuit of Bout.

Viktor Bout started his work at the Ostend airport in 1995 when most of European heavy-lift air cargo operations were moved there. He helped turn the Ostend airfield into a booming international cargo aviation hub. But Belgian authorities, on the wave of the rumors of arms trafficking and protests by NGOs and local residents of Ostend refused to grant him a resident permit. Bout moved to the UAE, however by 1999 Johan Peleman was already after him in earnest. Also, by then Peleman received his first job with a UN investigative panel of experts as an assistant to one of the panel members. Peleman went to work in the field in Africa with his perception of Bout as head of a huge international arms trafficking network firmly embedded in his mind and psyche.

In the year 2000 the first UN report (S/2000/1225) partly created by Peleman was published and circulated. This report is unusual in the sense that the chapter on illegal arms sales in Angola of the report is totally dedicated to one ‘major Eastern-European arms trafficking network’ called alternatively in the report ‘The Viktor Bout organization’. Later Media reports and documentaries suggest that most of the information incriminating Bout was given to Peleman by a certain defector from UNITA whose name was not revealed in the report. His face was always hidden in documentary interviews in which the 2000 investigation was ‘reenacted’ with Peleman playing the role of the star.

It is interesting to compare the text of the report S/2000/1225 with the text of the US indictment attached to the US extradition request to Thailand for Viktor Bout issued in 2008. The two documents are very similar, with whole portions of the 2000 text repeated verbatim or close enough in 2008. There, in the report of the year 2000 one finds the first mentioning of Viktor Bout’s ‘multiple aliases’ (re: paragraphs 12 – 14 of Facts about Viktor Bout). There are, for the first time of many, the sentences describing the ‘Bout Organization’ as a network ‘capable of moving huge amounts of weapons and money’ around Africa and Middle East. There are charts of the ‘Bout organization’ which, in a slightly amended form, in 2005 appeared as attachments to the US Presidential executive order banning American businesses from entering any dealings with Bout and can be found at the Internet site of the US Treasury Department.

The UN report S/2000/1225 cost Viktor Bout his business. Clients of arms dealers do not care about UN reports which, unlike UN sanctions, are not enforceable. Clients of legitimate businessmen, especially governmental clients, in the same situation vote with their feet. By 2001 Bout sold his business for what he could, and left for Moscow.

He quit the aviation business entirely and stopped going abroad. But the spin machine has already gained such a huge momentum that no one could or wanted or bothered to switch it off.

In 2003 Bout agreed to give an interview to a Western journalist, Peter Landesman who wrote for ‘The New York times’ the famous Bout interview which has been since quoted by everyone in the World Media. It is not necessary to describe at length the merits of that opus which combined Bout’s recorded words with an unrestricted flight of fantasy. One thing worth mentioning is that Landesman, right after the interview was published, wrote a script and sold movie rights for it to Hollywood. Two years later, after a few changes and amendments, the movie ‘Lord of War’ starring Nicholas Cage came out together with the rumor that it is ‘loosely based on the biography of Viktor Bout’.

In 2003, the same year, a new UN report was circulated, with a bigger chapter on Bout now written and edited by Johan Peleman in the capacity of the newly appointed head of a UN investigative team. In that report Bout’s friend, American Richard Chichakli, was named as the chief financial and executive officer of the ‘Bout Empire’. Bout and Chichakli were not business partners. This fact totally escaped the attention of the UN investigators.

In 2005 a US Presidential executive order introduced, without a court hearing, US sanctions against Bout and Chichakli. Bout never had any assets in the US while Chichakli lost everything he owned in America. His property worth over three million US dollars was declared belonging to Bout through Chichakli as proxy, and then frozen.

In 2007 the book by Farah and Braun was published, and the circle of demonization of Viktor Bout completed. In 2008 Bout was arrested in Bangkok.

The legend of the ‘Merchant of Death’ started with the imagination of one man. If he were a writer of adventure novels he would have been immensely successful and harmless to everyone. There could have been a ‘Lord of War’ movie much sooner then, but it would not have had a devastating effect on a life of a Russian family, the family of Viktor Bout.

Unfortunately for Bout, Johan Peleman decided on a career of an NGO and later UN investigator, and he chose Bout to be the key to that career. He never had an ill intention towards Bout, it was ‘just business, nothing personal’. But the problem here seems to be in the fact that Peleman had no previous investigative experience and no academic legal education.

An investigator with an NGO or the UN is an investigator with limited responsibility. NGO findings are not heard in court, and UN reports are not legally binding to law enforcement organizations. A police investigator always knows that his facts must be checked and re-checked again, to avoid a wrongful conviction – and a criminal case filed by a wrongfully accused defendant. An investigative journalist, even without legal training, has to be careful and take precautions against libel or defamation charges. But a UN investigator doesn’t have to think about these matters, so his responsibility is limited if by training and/or previous experience he is not prepared for investigator’s responsibility.

Peleman created a figure of Viktor Bout which has little to do with the real living person. For its convenience and out of prejudice this creature of Peleman’s was adopted by the UN, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, then journalists, then Hollywood, then the White House. They all contributed to the blowing a figure of a living man, with all his talents, achievements and sins, up into an enormous monster which is sentenced by the Thai Appeals court to stand trial in New York in the stead of the real living human.

You can download all the following documents related to Victor Bout’s case. Depending on your browser’s configuration, the files will download inmediately or will ask for you to open it or to save it in your computer.

The Victor Bout File Victor Bout The Merchant of Death Trial

Capítulo 5 de Libro Imperio Invisible /Shadow Masters – Daniel Estulin

DESCARGAR ARCHIVO EN ESPAÑOL PDF

Os dejo con capítulo 5 de la version americana de SHADOW MASTERS y con el Capítulo 5 de Imperio Invisible, que es la edición española del Capítulo sobre Victor Bout, revisado y corregido al máximo con todas las pruebas de Tailandia.

For your Reading pleasure, I am posting chapter 5 of my US book SHADOW MASTERS published by Trine day Press. Please read and spread far and wide. The truth about BOUT must be told. The USG will not lie their way to a conviction.

Chapter 5 Shadow Masters – Daniel Estulin – Download PDF in english here

Daniel Estulin

The Victor Bout File FirmaDanielEstulinblog21


The Victor Bout File Viktor Bout

COURT DOCUMENTS JUST RELEASED TO MEDIA: For those of you NOT following closely: it is stated on the record that these are ONLY portions of the entire cache of DEA recordings, and in many cases ONLY portions of conversations played. Therefore, these are the specific conversations and portions of conversations selected by the prosecutor’s office!

Os dejo con los 89 paginas de documentos que el tribunal estadounidense acaba de sacar a la luz de su juicio. Son conversaciones y supuestas grabaciones de BOUT, agentes incubiertos de la DEA y varios criminales, traficantes de drogas y asesinos que trabajan para la DEA a cambio de reducción de sus condenas.

Daniel Estulin

The Victor Bout File FirmaDanielEstulinblog21

Download PDF here – Descargue Archivo en PDF aquí

4 Comentarios a “The Victor Bout File”

Comentarios (3) Pingbacks (1)
  1. Un día me vendrán a apresar a mí, darán unas razones inventadas y todos direis que una persona como la describen tiene que ir a la cárcel y si sufre mejor…. ¿pero no poneis en tela de juicio nada?!!!!!!!!!! Apurad vuestras mentes, abrid las consciencias, unios a nuestra parte más fuerte que es el AMOR, por favor, el amor está en nuestro espíritu que nadie puede manejar. Un beso.

  2. Una lástima, ya le han juzgado. ¿Donde lo enterrarán para que no hable?

  3. La carta que escribe el mismo Sr. Victor Bout es una preciosidad, una exposición de todo el problema que tiene y muy clarito se defiende de las acusaciones inventadas, no es que yo sea la mejor de las traductoras pero me ha parecido que si yo fuera juez, es la mejor evidencia que mandaria investigar para que nadie contaminara el juicio.

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