The Boston Globe editorialized today:
The best chance that American superstar basketball player and Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner has to come home from Russia, where she has been imprisoned on dubious drug charges since February, is if the Biden administration agrees to a prisoner swap with Russia.
But the convicted felon that the Russians apparently want in exchange for releasing Griner is Viktor Bout, the notorious Russian-born arms dealer nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” who is serving a 25-year sentence at a federal prison in Illinois for conspiring to kill Americans and selling weapons to a Colombian guerrilla group.
There is a vast asymmetry between Griner’s alleged crime — she was detained at an airport near Moscow because she apparently had a vape cartridge with hashish oil in her luggage — and Bout’s criminal “career of arming bloody conflicts and supporting rogue regimes across multiple continents,” as federal prosecutors put it. That’s why Biden should push for a 2- or 3-for-1 prisoner swap and include former US Marine Paul Whelan, who has been in a Moscow prison for more than three years on espionage charges, and Marc Fogel, an American teacher arrested last year and sentenced last month to 14 years for cannabis smuggling.
The Biden administration should not stop at anything to secure the release of Griner and other innocent Americans like her caught in Putin’s sinister political games.
I much prefer the perspective of Emmy Griffin in The Patriot Post. Here’s an excerpt from her latest piece:
When athletes go abroad, they are made aware of what is legal and what is not within that country. It seems to us that this is a statement of “you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.” Griner took her hashish oil and vapes to Russia, got caught, and is now paying for it — just like any white, straight guy would.
Read the entire column here.