Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Arms dealer charged by US AG, caught in Thailand

So. You think it's a bad idea to allow Americans to trade with Columbia duty free, while they already have this privelege? What do you think about the arms that are being sold to FARC to kill Americans and law abiding citizens of Columbia? This all has to do with CAFTA which is being held up in Congress.

I do not understand your reasoning. Maybe you could enlighten me? If our countries could trade with each other on a level playing field, more jobs would stay here because it cost less if the companies stayed here. They would no longer have to pay the duty they have to pay now. This would mean they could hire more people, buy more equipment, etc. with the money saved by not having to fork over big bucks just to sell their goods. BTW, only the big companies are able to do this now. Think about how prosperous it would be for our small and middle sized companies.

Why am I bringing up trade when the topic is weapons being sold to kill Americans? Think about the economy. If we increase our economy, so do they. The better their economy, the better they will be able to protect themselves and us. Here is article from US DOJ.
Indictment: Arms dealer offered weapons to kill Americans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. government has charged an international arms dealer with conspiring to sell a rebel group millions of dollars in weapons "to be used to kill Americans in Colombia," federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Viktor Bout is accused of selling missiles, rockets and other weapons to FARC, a Colombian rebel group.Viktor Bout, who was recently captured in Thailand, had agreed to sell the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) surface-to-air missiles, armor-piercing rocket launchers, "ultralight" airplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other weapons, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.

There was no immediate public response from Bout, who remains in custody in Thailand.

Federal authorities unsealed an indictment charging Bout with four terrorism offenses: conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, conspiracy to kill U.S. officers or employees, conspiracy to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile, and conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

FARC is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Justice Department officials said they are seeking Bout's extradition to the United States. The indictment alleges that Bout made agreements with FARC between November 2007 and March of this year.

In their news release, federal prosecutors said Bout agreed to sell weapons "to two confidential sources" working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who had "represented that they were acquiring these weapons for the FARC, with the specific understanding that the weapons were to be used to attack United States helicopters in Colombia."

The news release also refers to a "covertly recorded meeting in Thailand on March 6, 2008." "With the unsealing of this indictment, we are one step closer to ensuring Bout has delivered his last load of high-powered weaponry and armed his final terrorist," DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Loenhart said in the news release.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey last month singled out Bout as a leading example of a new breed of organized crime leaders who operate across international boundaries to amass wealth without regard to political ideology.

"Viktor Bout has long been considered by the international community as one of the world's most prolific arms traffickers," U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said in the news release Tuesday.

Bout's assets in the United States were frozen in 2004 after he allegedly shipped weapons to Liberia in violation of U.S. government restrictions.
Nice guy, eh? Come on, Senate. Do your job and pass that Free Trade Agreement with Columbia. Can you at least do this? You haven't done much of anything else. God, I can't wait to hear the cries about how we're treating this creep. Yes, politics does make strange bedbellows. What do terrorist and Senators make?

Posts I've trackposted to at Linkfest and other sites: Right Truth: Obama lied, and lied, and lied.., Potbelly Stove: Jimmy's Pals. Digg! Digg!

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