RUSSIA - WNBA star Brittney Griner, Detained @ Sheremetyevo International Airport, 2022 *Guilty*

ilovewings

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Sources tell @CBSNews
that news reports that the US proposed a 2-for-1 swap (Griner & Wheelan / Bout) were incorrect, and that in fact, the US had offered a 2-for-2. The Russians insisted on 1-for-1.

I am glad she was released. Whatever violation she was guilty of, the punishment way exceeded the crime. I hope other prisoners will eventually be released as well.
 

dotr

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''Brittney Griner released by Russia in 1-for-1 prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout, U.S. official says''​

Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who was held for months in Russian prisons on drug charges, was released Thursday in a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to a U.S. official. The one-for-one exchange agreement negotiated with Moscow in recent weeks was given final approval by President Biden within just the last week, according to sources familiar with the deal. The swap, first reported by CBS News, took place on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates.

Five former U.S. officials told CBS News the agreement had been reached as of last Thursday.

A White House official said President Biden was in the Oval Office Thursday morning on the phone, speaking with Griner and her wife, and that Vice President Kamala Harris was also in the room. Per standard procedure for freed U.S. prisoners, Griner was expected to quickly undergo a medical evaluation.

President Biden is expected to speak at 8:30 a.m. Eastern at the White House about the prisoner swap that saw Brittney Griner released. You will be able to watch his remarks live in the player at the top of this page. ''
 

IceIce9

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Sad that Paul Whalan was not included in the swap. He has been imprisoned there for four years.


From the article:

Even so, the fact that the deal was a one-for-one swap was a surprise given that U.S. officials had for months expressed their determination to bring home both Griner and Paul Whelan, a Michigan corporate security executive jailed in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges that his family and the U.S. government has said are baseless.
 

Elley Mae

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I didn’t agree with the sentence for what she had but my goodness she should have known better, the swap, Viktor Bout “Merchant of Death” weapons dealer.

Jmo
 

WingsOverTX

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Victor Bout is an international danger. He’s the kind of guy who shows up at a war with the weapons of destruction.
If the U.S. indeed is considering the deal, does it seem a heavy price to pay to get back two people, both of whom don’t seem to be a great danger to anyone?

It is a moral question. What would you do?
 

sds71

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@stevenportnoy

Vowing not to give up the effort to return Paul Whelan, Biden says Russia is "treating Paul's case differently" than Griner's "for totally illegitimate reasons."


@NickKalmanFN


NEW from the Whelan family: "There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed & for them to go home. The Biden Admin made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, & to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn't going to..”
 
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BetteDavisEyes

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WASHINGTON — WNBA star Brittney Griner is free Thursday after the Biden administration negotiated her release from a Russian penal colony in exchange for an arms dealer, according to a senior administration official.

President Joe Biden signed off on the trade, which took place in the United Arab Emirates, even though it meant leaving behind Paul Whelan, an American corporate security executive who remains jailed in Russia.

"She is safe, she is on a plane, she is on her way home," Biden said in remarks from the White House on Thursday morning. "She will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along."

"I'm proud that today we have made one more family whole," Biden said, adding that he will continue to work to free Whelan. "We’ll keep negotiating for Paul’s relief. I guarantee it."...
 

Dawookie

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Victor Bout is an international danger. He’s the kind of guy who shows up at a war with the weapons of destruction.
If the U.S. indeed is considering the deal, does it seem a heavy price to pay to get back two people, both of whom don’t seem to be a great danger to anyone?

It is a moral question. What would you do?
It's a very heavy price considering that we're holding a Russian hacker in prison that could have been traded. Someone who made a living selling weapons causing an untold number of deaths for someone caught with a small amount of hash oil? Seems like Russia used all the furor over Griner to their advantage and ended up with a very lopsided one for one swap
 

NoseyRecluse

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It's a very heavy price considering that we're holding a Russian hacker in prison that could have been traded. Someone who made a living selling weapons causing an untold number of deaths for someone caught with a small amount of hash oil? Seems like Russia used all the furor over Griner to their advantage and ended up with a very lopsided one for one swap

@stevenportnoy

Vowing not to give up the effort to return Paul Whelan, Biden says Russia is "treating Paul's case differently" than Griner's "for totally illegitimate reasons."


@NickKalmanFN


NEW from the Whelan family: "There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed & for them to go home. The Biden Admin made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, & to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn't going to..”
What a grace-filled family. I am not sure my thoughts would be as charitable.
 

Herat

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The news is reporting Saudi Prince is involved in brokering the deal in exchange for some favors about the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation / lawsuit.

As pleased as I am that top athlete Britany Grier will be back home again, it's very disturbing to see the mechanism to see how this happened.
 

tezi

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The news is reporting Saudi Prince is involved in brokering the deal in exchange for some favors about the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation / lawsuit.

As pleased as I am that top athlete Britany Grier will be back home again, it's very disturbing to see the mechanism to see how this happened.
^^^
Exactly. I will just leave it at that.
 

gitana1

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Sad that Paul Whalan was not included in the swap. He has been imprisoned there for four years.


From the article:

Even so, the fact that the deal was a one-for-one swap was a surprise given that U.S. officials had for months expressed their determination to bring home both Griner and Paul Whelan, a Michigan corporate security executive jailed in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges that his family and the U.S. government has said are baseless.
It’s terrible. This may have been the best chance to get him out. We don’t have much leverage now, after giving Bout up. But the Russians wouldn’t do it. I’m happy at least Griner gets to come home.
 

gitana1

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I didn’t agree with the sentence for what she had but my goodness she should have known better, the swap, Viktor Bout “Merchant of Death” weapons dealer.

Jmo
I don’t think she did anything at all. The Russians wanted another hostage due to our support of Ukraine. In Russia, foreigners are told they have to plead guilty to be considered for a prisoner swap or a lighter sentence.
 

gitana1

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It's a very heavy price considering that we're holding a Russian hacker in prison that could have been traded. Someone who made a living selling weapons causing an untold number of deaths for someone caught with a small amount of hash oil? Seems like Russia used all the furor over Griner to their advantage and ended up with a very lopsided one for one swap
You know that guy had only about 6-7 years left on his sentence? He would’ve gotten out eventually. And he would be unlikely to die in federal prison. But Griner could have easily died in the Russian gulag.

That’s the whole point- the sentence for Griner was cruel and unusual for the crime she pled to (which I don’t believe she committed). She was at risk of death in prison there. It’s not like here.

It was essential she get out. And that’s the only deal Russia would make. The only other option would be to refuse and no one goes home.

Our negotiators have been trying to work a deal for some time. I doubt they’re idiots.
 
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