U.S. offers Russia a prisoner exchange to secure release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, Blinken says

The Tradition

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Apr 23, 2002
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Is the other prisoner we would receive like a total badass? Like a Jason Bourne type. Or is he some nerdy professor type. If we are giving up Merchant of Death we need something more than a female basketball star. At least future considerations included in package

The other guy is a Canadian with American citizenship.

He's described nebulously as a "security officer"....
 

NoleinATL

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Oct 29, 2006
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I dont really care either way, but politically not a terrible move by Biden.
From the date of arrest and incarceration, he has served 58% of his sentence, so he gets an early release of roughly 7 years, assuming he has been a good prisoner and would get out at 85%.

So Biden releases an arms dealer a little early that was going to supply FARC ( who cares, stupid drug war) to get out a WNBA player and a US Marine who had sticky fingers in Iraq and was/is a Trump supporter.

Biden gets to check all kinds of boxes with those to VIP's getting a release

1. sympathetic to AA BB players
2. sympathetic to drug addicts
3. sympathetic to people who hold citizenship in Canada, Ireland, UK, US
4. sympathetic to soldiers who made a mistake
5. sympathetic to Trump supporters
 

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
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I will just say this. If we do this deal, she better goddamn well stand for the anthem of the country that ransomed her in a wildly bad deal, and dutifully play her role as a pr prop in the global competition for national influence.
Did you forget the ;), or is this your vision of America. It's kinda like what goes on in the country that is holding Griner as a political prisoner, and not the ideals of the USA.
 

Aardvark86

HR MVP
Jan 23, 2018
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Did you forget the ;), or is this your vision of America. It's kinda like what goes on in the country that is holding Griner as a political prisoner, and not the ideals of the USA.
no winky whatsoever.

it is in fact my vision for this country that we stand for the proposition that individuals matter. and for someone who's been out in front of dumping on that country, i would hope that seeing that vision in action for her personal benefit (when most others without her public status do not so benefit from it) would cause her to reconsider her position.
 
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KFSuperStar

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Biden WH: Guns are bad. We should outlaw assault rifles.

Biden WH: We should prisoner swap.

Eric Holder: “Today, one of the world’s most prolific arms dealers is being held accountable for his sordid past,”
 

biggreydogs

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Oct 2, 2001
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Nobody has been brainwashed by Republican buzz words and phrases more than you do. You realize you vote for Ivy Leaguers, right? Your party lowers taxes on the elites. You don’t know this yet? Stop falling for the projection.
Stop. Liberal elites are ivy, dc swamp, and Hollywood. You know this and want to believe the common man supports fascism.
 

Bill Doak and 9 others

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This almost - but not quite - seems like a Jesus or Barabbas scenario.

With Jesus being the ‘Murican, WNBA superstar and Barabbas being the ne’er do well, insurrectionist arms dealer.

But also, didn’t Ronny Ray Gun say you’re not supposed to negotiate with terrorists?
 

Finance85

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Oct 22, 2003
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I don't have an issue with Griner at all. She made her choices. I do have an issue with Blinken continuously saying Griner was "wrongfully detained". There's no indication that's true. Unless every American gets this kind of help from the State Department when they are busted for drugs overseas, then it's wrong for Griner to get the attention.
 

abby97

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I dont really care either way, but politically not a terrible move by Biden.
From the date of arrest and incarceration, he has served 58% of his sentence, so he gets an early release of roughly 7 years, assuming he has been a good prisoner and would get out at 85%.

So Biden releases an arms dealer a little early that was going to supply FARC ( who cares, stupid drug war) to get out a WNBA player and a US Marine who had sticky fingers in Iraq and was/is a Trump supporter.

Biden gets to check all kinds of boxes with those to VIP's getting a release

1. sympathetic to AA BB players
2. sympathetic to drug addicts
3. sympathetic to people who hold citizenship in Canada, Ireland, UK, US
4. sympathetic to soldiers who made a mistake
5. sympathetic to Trump supporters
This could be another asinine foreign policy (remember Afghanistan?) move by the Biden administration to release such an evil man and one that would help Russia, our arch enemy, simply for political reasons.

Russia sees Bout as a "high-value asset" and are likely pushing hard for the exchange, according to former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Rebekah Koffler.

"Moscow wants him back because he possesses critical insights that he can share with the GRU, his former agency. Having been in a U.S. prison and interrogated by U.S. officials, he knows what our intelligence requirements are and other information that is valuable for the Russians," Koffler, the author of "Putin's Playbook: Russia's Secret Plan to Defeat America,"

"It would be a big mistake for the U.S. to give up Viktor Bout, as much as one feels compassion for Ms. Griner and Mr. Whelan."
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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Oct 13, 2006
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I think giving up this guys porn stache should be worth a couple extra prisoners...

Viktor_Bout.jpg
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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Sep 16, 2008
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I don't have an issue with Griner at all. She made her choices. I do have an issue with Blinken continuously saying Griner was "wrongfully detained". There's no indication that's true. Unless every American gets this kind of help from the State Department when they are busted for drugs overseas, then it's wrong for Griner to get the attention.

So you really trust that the Russians wouldn't detain a somewhat well known person just to piss us off?

I'm somewhat sympathetic to her though because Russia really just recently appeared as a country you don't really want to go to if you value your safety. It's not like she went to North Korea.

However we really need to drill it through people's skulls "Don't go to these countries, they are not safe, their governments may arrest you on trumped up charges. If you are arrested you will not receive a fair trial. You may be tortured or killed"
 

Finance85

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Oct 22, 2003
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So you really trust that the Russians wouldn't detain a somewhat well known person just to piss us off?

I'm somewhat sympathetic to her though because Russia really just recently appeared as a country you don't really want to go to if you value your safety. It's not like she went to North Korea.

However we really need to drill it through people's skulls "Don't go to these countries, they are not safe, their governments may arrest you on trumped up charges. If you are arrested you will not receive a fair trial. You may be tortured or killed"
She's admitted to having the drugs. We don't know whether that was coerced or not, but she's admitted it. Her main complaints so far have been about language and not understanding her rights, as if she was in the US legal system.

I stand by my post. If new information comes to light, I'll reconsider.
 

NoleinATL

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Oct 29, 2006
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This could be another asinine foreign policy (remember Afghanistan?) move by the Biden administration to release such an evil man and one that would help Russia, our arch enemy, simply for political reasons.

Russia sees Bout as a "high-value asset" and are likely pushing hard for the exchange, according to former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Rebekah Koffler.

"Moscow wants him back because he possesses critical insights that he can share with the GRU, his former agency. Having been in a U.S. prison and interrogated by U.S. officials, he knows what our intelligence requirements are and other information that is valuable for the Russians," Koffler, the author of "Putin's Playbook: Russia's Secret Plan to Defeat America,"

"It would be a big mistake for the U.S. to give up Viktor Bout, as much as one feels compassion for Ms. Griner and Mr. Whelan."

I think Koffler overstates the amount of critical intelligence information Bout could have learned via interrogation and sitting inside Marion.

That said, if Bout has gained this critical information and Koffler is not just trying to sell a book, the Russians will eventually obtain said information as the sentence is only 25 years which he has credit for 14 years served.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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Sep 16, 2008
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She's admitted to having the drugs. We don't know whether that was coerced or not, but she's admitted it. Her main complaints so far have been about language and not understanding her rights, as if she was in the US legal system.

I stand by my post. If new information comes to light, I'll reconsider.

If I felt entirely confident that her confession wasn't coerced I would say we let her serve her sentence.
 

Finance85

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Oct 22, 2003
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If I felt entirely confident that her confession wasn't coerced I would say we let her serve her sentence.
Have you read her statements? I think there's also a video of her luggage being searched. Has she ever said she didn't have the drugs? Has her partner or other family members or agent ever claimed she didn't have drugs? Wasn't the original statement "she forgot they were in her bag"?
 
Mar 11, 2020
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So you really trust that the Russians wouldn't detain a somewhat well known person just to piss us off?

I'm somewhat sympathetic to her though because Russia really just recently appeared as a country you don't really want to go to if you value your safety. It's not like she went to North Korea.

However we really need to drill it through people's skulls "Don't go to these countries, they are not safe, their governments may arrest you on trumped up charges. If you are arrested you will not receive a fair trial. You may be tortured or killed"
"Shitholes"
 

The Tradition

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Apr 23, 2002
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NPR called this a "dirty deal" on All Things Considered today, and further questioned why Russia would even want this guy released. He literally stole Soviet weapons and sold them to whoever would buy them.
 
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PerkyForHerky

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Russian government officials requested that a former colonel from the country’s domestic spy agency who was convicted of murder in Germany last year be added to the US’ proposed swap of a notorious arms dealer for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, multiple sources familiar with the discussions told CNN.
 

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