Opinion

Viktor Bout: Biden Administration and the Release of a Dangerous Arms Trafficker

Prisoner Swap

Russia was hot to have Viktor Bout returned. The Biden administration traded him for a basketball star who hates America. In and of itself, that should have been an obvious sign of stupidity, but then, this administration hasn’t had brain one from the beginning.  But who is Viktor Bout and why should anyone care? After all, an American unjustly incarcerated should be released regardless, right? There could be a wider picture. The prisoner swap of Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout may have opened a can of worms so deep that the Biden administration won’t be able to comprehend.

Totalitarian regimes will now see the weakness in our action and are likely planning for more kidnappings and false imprisonments. On top of that, the Biden administration has been on the trail of more gun control legislation since the beginning…but they released one of the world’s biggest arms dealers (you know, big bad guns of every stripe). Kind of hypocritical, don’t you think? Bout has told news media that he “wholeheartedly” supports the war in Ukraine (note: he’s Ukrainian). Probably because knows there is money to be made in it. Of course, Viktor’s attorney is overjoyed and claims the trade was fair and logical.

Viktor Bout was arrested in 2008. In November 2011, Bout was convicted by “a jury in a Manhattan federal court of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and officials, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles, and providing aid to a terrorist organization, and was sentenced to the minimum 25 years’ imprisonment.” Nice guy. No wonder they call him the “Merchant of death.” His arms trade deals killed an untold number of Americans and others. The Biden administration set him free to do it again.

“Putin has just established a new tool for corrupt leaders around the world that can hold Americans hostage because they know, and they will take advantage of the weakness of our policies in America. We’re going soft on criminals, and we’re not being supportive of global security issues. And law enforcement is being put on the side…The Biden administration is pro-gun control every time there’s a shooting. Gun control. Gun control. Now, we just released the biggest trafficker that I’ve ever heard of in the world back to Russia in the middle of a war where they’re killing all these innocent people in Ukraine. How ironic and how disgusting is that?” Former DEA Special Operation Director Derek Maltz who helped capture Bout (Fox)

Bout wasn’t just a thorn in the side of the United States: our own Pentagon paid him millions to do what he did.

Bout dispatched fleets of Cold War-era Soviet cargo planes to some of the most inhospitable corners of the earth, running guns for dictators, including Liberia’s Charles Taylor and Zaire’s Mubuto Sese Seko, as well as rebel leaders in Angola, Sierra Leone and beyond.
…Bout also allegedly trafficked arms for the Taliban, and his aviation services were so vast that the Pentagon contracted one of his companies to deliver goods into Iraq from 2003 to 2005.
U.S. government contractors paid Bout-controlled firms roughly $60 million to fly supplies into Iraq in support of the U.S. war effort, according to a book about Bout called “Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Plans, and the Man Who Makes War Possible,” by reporters Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun.” 

Leaving behind Paul Whelan, a US Marine veteran in favor of a basketball star was unconscionable. But then, this foolish bunch of politicians has never had any real respect for the US Military or their status as true assets to the United States.

The Pentagon has stated they are concerned that Viktor Bout will start up his old business again (ironic, isn’t it since they paid him money). They aren’t the only ones- some African officials were also disappointed that their years of working to curb his nefarious activities are now for nothing if he does return to his former “career.”

A senior defense official is concerned that convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the “Merchant of Death” who was freed Thursday in a prison swap for WNBA star Brittney Griner, could go back to illegally trafficking weapons, thereby fueling deadly conflicts around the world.
“I think there is a concern that he would return to doing the same kind of work that he’s done in the past, a senior Defense official said. Fox

So goody. Biden gave back the LGBTQI+++++ folks back their basketball icon, left a US Marine veteran to rot in a Russian prison, and may have unleashed more world upheaval. Brilliant.

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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