These Bouts Ain’t Made For Walkin’

Certain well-meaning folk have counseled Lunghu to let the Viktor Bout story run its natural(?) course, but that’s easier said than done.   All in all, there’s been little recent substance to the Bout saga anyway, so it’s not as though temptation to comment has been overwhelming.   However, a recent flurry of non-news has swept through the metropolitan media in the past week, so Lunghu is passing it on down the line with minimal editorializing.

The sole mention of the Bout case in U.S. media came in a (March 4th) N Y Times article that spilled a lot of ink emphasizing the purported inadequacy of the vegetarian diet provided for Bout at the MCC.   After complaining that his client was insufficiently nourished, Bout’s attorney petitioned the judge for more time to prepare for trial and was granted an extension to October 11th.   Alla Bout was quoted as telling (Russian) reporters that her husband spent his time in solitary confinement translating Hindi and Farsi texts (presumably into Russian) and rising at 5AM to exercise. Lunghu can relate to that.

Not to be outdone, Russian media also devoted some news coverage to Viktor Bout:  RIA Novosti published two articles within twelve hours on March 10th.   First, Bout was quoted as saying in an interview that his repeated requests to Russian authorities for assistance have never been answered.

“I have not received answers [to any of these requests] yet,” he said, adding that he would be happy to get help from any Russian politician who is sincerely interested in defending the rights of Russian citizens.   [Who wouldn’t?!]

In a second article later that same day, “the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed rumors on Thursday that it is planning to repatriate alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout through a swap deal with the United States.”

“All the variants [in the Russian media] of the so-called swaps are no more than idle speculation,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.  He added that Moscow would help Bout regardless of the charges against him.

… Lukashevich said that Bout had never been a state service official and had never fulfilled any state assignments, that is why “the question about his swap with anybody had never been considered.”

 

Ah, how soon they forget!

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