The Runback: Bad Trades Aren't Just for Baseball
Is a weed-smoking basketball player worth jeopardizing America’s national security?
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News and Politics
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This Map Continues to Drive Me Bonkers: That Highway Map You've Been Seeing on Social Media? Yeah, about that.
The Monday Thought
When it comes to United States foreign policy, it has been a long time since we had an adult at the helm. The U.S. has not had a serious foreign policy program since George W. Bush rode into the sunset in 2009.
After months of internal debate, the Biden administration has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year US prison sentence, as part of a potential deal to secure the release of two Americans held by Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, according to people briefed on the matter.
These sources told CNN that the plan to trade Bout for Whelan and Griner received the backing of President Joe Biden after being under discussion since earlier this year. Biden's support for the swap overrides opposition from the Department of Justice, which is generally against prisoner trades.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that "so far, there is no agreement on this issue."
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that the US presented a "substantial proposal" to Moscow "weeks ago" for Whelan and Griner, who are classified as wrongfully detained.
So to be clear, the Biden administration wants to trade a guy called the "Merchant of Death”, a guy convicted of conspiracy to kill U.S. officials and other weapons crimes, a guy who sold weapons to Hezbollah, FARC, Al-Qaeda, Gaddafi-era Libya, and other bad actors so that we can get back a drug user and a possible Russian-asset gone wrong.
This is absolute madness.
Let’s be clear, Brittney Griner admitted that she brought drugs to wit cannabis oil into Russia. She can claim that it was an accident. She can claim that she was in a rush. She can claim that she never meant to do it. She can complain that she…..wasn’t read her rights? In Russia?
Reuters @ReutersU.S. basketball star Griner says her rights were not read to her when detained in Russia https://t.co/CDCcC6lxIf https://t.co/gmM92TJnQP
But let’s be realistic; trading anybody for Brittney Griner is madness. Brittney Griner is not a national security asset. She may be a political clause by elements of Joe Biden’s base, but there is no national security reason to trade for Brittney Griner.
Now, when you consider what the Biden Administration is proposing to do, it gets even worse. Russia is currently a nation that is unnecessarily and violently invading Ukraine, and likely committing war crimes against the Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian people. What do you think they are going to have Viktor Bout do once he returns to Russian soil? The same thing that he’s always done; traffic weapons illegally on behalf of a rogue nation with an imploding economy.
This trade that the Biden Administration proposes puts the entire world at risk at an already perilous time. Is a weed-smoking basketball player worth jeopardizing America’s national security?