WNBA's Brittney Griner arrested on drug charges in Russia UPDATE: sentenced to 9 years

barbk

Well-Known Member
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7,646
Brittney Griner is on a plane home. :love:
Meanwhile, we just sent a major arms dealer back to Russia -- a guy who is likely to help the Russians gain even more munitions to use against innocents in Ukraine. How many folks are going to die from this guy's work? How many have already died?

I don't see that as some big win, though I certainly appreciate that it is better for Griner.
 

skatingguy

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12,934
Meanwhile, we just sent a major arms dealer back to Russia -- a guy who is likely to help the Russians gain even more munitions to use against innocents in Ukraine. How many folks are going to die from this guy's work? How many have already died?

I don't see that as some big win, though I certainly appreciate that it is better for Griner.
And you think him being in a US prison stopped his weapons dealing.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, T&M, P&C
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53,811
Meanwhile, we just sent a major arms dealer back to Russia -- a guy who is likely to help the Russians gain even more munitions to use against innocents in Ukraine. How many folks are going to die from this guy's work? How many have already died?

I don't see that as some big win, though I certainly appreciate that it is better for Griner.
They were not going to giver her back for free. They held all the cards. The Biden admin did well to at least get Brittney freed. They had asked for Paul too, but the Russians were not going to give two for one. They knew they could ask for anything and get it. Hopefully there is a way to get Paul soon.

These are American lives. I care about them. Glad to have Brittney back. Next is Paul, and the US will have to pay a high price for him too.
 

barbk

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They were not going to giver her back for free. They held all the cards. The Biden admin did well to at least get Brittney freed. They had asked for Paul too, but the Russians were not going to give two for one. They knew they could ask for anything and get it. Hopefully there is a way to get Paul soon.

These are American lives. I care about them. Glad to have Brittney back. Next is Paul, and the US will have to pay a high price for him too.
I wonder if you will feel the same when his new arms deals result in more deaths of Americans and others? Do deaths of non-Americans count?
 

Evgeniafan

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186
They were not going to giver her back for free. They held all the cards. The Biden admin did well to at least get Brittney freed. They had asked for Paul too, but the Russians were not going to give two for one. They knew they could ask for anything and get it. Hopefully there is a way to get Paul soon.

These are American lives. I care about them. Glad to have Brittney back. Next is Paul, and the US will have to pay a high price for him too.
I feel sad for Paul. Why was Brittney released over Paul? He has been unjustly detained for a much longer time.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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52,299
Meanwhile, we just sent a major arms dealer back to Russia -- a guy who is likely to help the Russians gain even more munitions to use against innocents in Ukraine.
He's not likely though according to the experts I've read. Also, like Russia's state-sponsored doping, it appears that his arms dealing had government support of some sort (even if just people he was bribing). So he would have to rebuild his network with support from people in the government and it's not likely they would give it at this point because he's too well known now.

I'll try to find the articles I read about why it won't happen.

Here's one opinion piece on the subject.
gifted version: https://wapo.st/3uyXGF5 (gifted version)

And Vox's take:
 

barbk

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Meh, I'm of the don't negotiate with terrorists camp. The deal also comes just a few days after the US granted immunity to Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi. MBS was directly involved in the negotiations for Griner's release. See the connection?

I hope that Griner realizes eventually comprehends how much her behavior has cost the US. The era of athletes and celebrities thinking that they're above the law needs to end.
 

MsZem

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As an Israeli who has seen swaps involving over a 1,000 released prisoners - many of whom did unspeakable things - for one person, it's mind-boggling to me that anyone would consider a one-for-one swap a bad deal. Especially since it brought back a vulnerable and essentially blameless American citizen, who'd been imprisoned in horrifying conditions in a hostile country.

Welcome home, Brittney Griner.
 

VALuvsMKwan

Wandering Goy
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8,241
Meh, I'm of the don't negotiate with terrorists camp. The deal also comes just a few days after the US granted immunity to Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi. MBS was directly involved in the negotiations for Griner's release. See the connection?

I hope that Griner realizes eventually comprehends how much her behavior has cost the US. The era of athletes and celebrities thinking that they're above the law needs to end.
Will you be contacting her and her wife directly to express your hope?
 

Debdelilah2

Member
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I feel sad for Paul. Why was Brittney released over Paul? He has been unjustly detained for a much longer time.
Whelan has a criminal history that includes financial corruption and attempted theft from the U.S. government.

“According to court-martial records, Paul Whelan actually received a bad-conduct discharge from the US Marines in 2008 and his rank was reduced to that of corporal when he was found guilty of bouncing checks and the attempted theft of $10,000 during a tour in Iraq.”
https://spyscape.com/article/the-puzzling-story-of-accused-russian-spy-paul-whelan
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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52,299
I hope that Griner realizes eventually comprehends how much her behavior has cost the US.
And what has it cost us?

The only reason Russia wanted Bout is because he knows shit (lots of it). His career as an arms dealer is over. He's going to settle in Russia as a minor hero.

And Griner's behavior was committing the equivalent of a misdemeanor which was trumped up into a 9-year sentence because of the War in Ukraine. And possibly also because Russia thought she was important enough that they could get something for her (which turned out to be correct).

Here's a good take with a lot of information and explains why Bout isn't going to go back to arms dealing.

 

barbk

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7,646
And what has it cost us?

The only reason Russia wanted Bout is because he knows shit (lots of it). His career as an arms dealer is over. He's going to settle in Russia as a minor hero.

And Griner's behavior was committing the equivalent of a misdemeanor which was trumped up into a 9-year sentence because of the War in Ukraine. And possibly also because Russia thought she was important enough that they could get something for her (which turned out to be correct).

Here's a good take with a lot of information and explains why Bout isn't going to go back to arms dealing.

I fully expect that we'll see mor...s. the thousands killed through Bout's deals.
 

barbk

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7,646
So what Griner has "cost" the US is some theoretical outcome that experts think won't happen. :rolleyes:
I notice you didn't answer my question.

And now, "Some family members of U.S. citizens wrongfully detained in China are fuming following Brittney Griner’s release from Russia, saying President Joe Biden isn’t making good on a promise to make freeing their relatives a “personal priority.”"

"Katherine Swidan, whose son Mark was arrested by Chinese police in 2012 for alleged drug trafficking, scans media reports to compile lists of Chinese citizens imprisoned for spying in the United States that she believes could be traded for her son’s freedom. “The Department of Justice needs to find out who we have here that’s important enough that [the Chinese government] want them back,” Swidan said."

...and so it starts.
 

MsZem

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I notice you didn't answer my question.

And now, "Some family members of U.S. citizens wrongfully detained in China are fuming following Brittney Griner’s release from Russia, saying President Joe Biden isn’t making good on a promise to make freeing their relatives a “personal priority.”"
Obviously, POTUS can only do one thing at a time, and both Russia and China work on his schedule :rolleyes:

The Whelan family made a very gracious statement. I hope they, and other families in similar circumstances, will soon have their loved ones home.
 

Rob

Beach Bum
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15,120
Reports are that the Russians wouldn't deal for him at all. The same was true under the Trump administration. I don't know why he is harder to get out.
I read/heard a news show that said Russia sees these deals in terms of parity. There werent giving up someone accused of espionage for an accused arms smuggler/dealer. They would give up a drug smuggler or dealer for an arms smuggler/dealer. This is likely why they accused Brittney of smuggling (up to 10 year sentence) instead of possession (up to 15 day sentence for the amount she had). Also may be why they accused Marc Fogel of both possession and intent to deal drugs to children. The US decided not to play the game and claim Fogel was wrongly detained though - perhaps because of the amount he had and that he intentionally tried to hide it in many places in his luggage; perhaps because he wasn’t famous, but I don’t know. But if you leave aside the fact that Brittney is famous, if any US person is used as a pawn and is given almost 10 years instead of 15 days, I do hope the US would seriously negotiate for release. Fogel got 14 years.

Anyway this report said that if we want Whelan back, we need to catch a Russian spy.
 

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