Here
and
Now

opinions

Brittney Griner's return reignites debate about prisoner swaps

50 Comments
By Humeyra Pamuk and Patricia Zengerle

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

50 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Yes, but they’re not a minority, and more importantly, they’re not Basketball players.

Person A: Discharged from the US military for larceny and charged with espionage in a foreign country.

Person B: Never charged with a crime against her own country, and caught with less than a gram of hemp oil.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Isn't there a couple of Americans being held by Russia that have been there for a much longer time?

Yes, but they’re not a minority, and more importantly, they’re not Basketball players.

BINGO! After saying for several days that "race has nothing to do with this", this poster shows us his real feelings by dropping the race card....

It tells us what we've known all along - the US far right criticizes this release because Griner is Black - they'd prefer she remain locked up in a Russian Gulag...

Which is right in line with the thinking of Mar-A-Lago far-right guest white supremacist Nick Fuentes...and his dinner host...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Former President Trump

This is not about Trump.

Hmmmm.....

On Friday’s edition of America Reports, Roberts asked Pence about a claim by former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton, who said Trump turned down an offer from Russia to exchange Bout for Whelan.

*“John Bolton said that President Trump turned down a swap of Paul Whelan for Viktor Bout two years ago,”** he said. “He told CBS, ‘The possibility of a Bout-for-Whelan trade existed back then, and it wasn’t made,*

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/you-were-vice-president-you-knew-john-roberts-presses-mike-pence-over-claim-trump-turned-down-prisoner-swap-offer/ar-AA156Q3s?cvid=5afbed04e10c4fe9ab4a5effca81a613

So Trump and his supporters criticize Biden for not getting Whelan back, when they had the chance to get him back two years ago they passed....

Pretty much all you need to know about these clear hypocrites...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In fact Viktor was not doing business anymore by the time his arrest when he was being lured by those agents to go to Thai with intense persuasion to discuss fictitious deal, there's no shipment that being caught red handed. His case was build only by using conversation with agent that set him up.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/mar/09/armstrade.internationalcrime

If they can set up Viktor is not that hard other country like Russia can create a set up for any innocent person, doesn't matter who that person is, either basketball player or even ex military like  Paul Whelan.

"I've spoken to a great number of people throughout the Department of Justice at every level. They're frustrated, they're disappointed, they're disenfranchised."

Next time please just stop actual crime, not just entrapment based of fictitious crime.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There is David Welan with several passports imprisoned for espionage and the Russians refuse to release him. Biden negotiated for his release along with Griner.

Another American is in detention for drugs.

Russia was prepared to release Griner for the arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Nothing to do with Griner being black or a basketball player. Everything has to do with her being an American citizen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

bass4funk

   There is David Welan with several passports imprisoned for espionage and the Russians refuse to release him.

> Then no deal should have been made, especially when it comes to one of the worlds most dangerous terrorists.

Trump released 5,000 Taliban terrorists for an agreement they never kept.

You would have preferred no Americans were released?

Not all agree with you.

The family of Paul Whelan backs Griner deal.

His brother, David Whelan, told The Associated Press that their parents spoke with Paul Whelan on Thursday — a much different conversation than their routine calls focused on Whelan’s day-to-day life and updates from the family’s home in Michigan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We can't know if David Whelan was a spy or not. He denied the charges.

Griner had 0.702 grams of cannabis found in her luggage after she landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport. Two cartridges for personal use, which contained 0.252 grams and 0.45 grams of hash oil, totaling 0.702 grams.

9 years imprisonment was excessive for the amount of drugs involved.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bass4funk

Paul Whelan is not an active serviceman. He is a VET who was dishonorably discharged for larceny. So you would support Hunter Biden then?

Trump does not know the same level of respect for troops killed in action.

We don't know if Whelan was a CIA spy or not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bass4funk

Dishonorably discharged VETs like Whelan, are a disgrace to all the other VETs like my father who served and were honorably discharged. Whelan lost his benefits. He was a criminal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bass4funk

>    91% of who?

> The majority of people in Houston and country.

Do you expect anyone to believe that?

Russia was only prepared to release Whelan in exchange for the Russian spy in Germany, Vadim Krasikov. That would be up to the Germans.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Former President Trump appears to have mentioned my brother #PaulWhelan's wrongful detention more in the last 24 hours than he did in the 2 years of his presidency in which Paul was held hostage by #Russia (zero).

I don't suggest he cares now any more than he did then (zero) https://t.co/7lnSF0zJxL

   — David Whelan (@davidpwhelan) December 9, 2022

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bass4funk

Biden/USA does not have the Russian spy Vadim Krasikov which Russia wanted in exchange for Whelan. Vadim Krasikov is imprisoned in Germany.

Viktor Bout having served two-thirds of his time probably would have been released next year.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

*“John Bolton said that President Trump turned down a swap of Paul Whelan for Viktor Bout two years ago,”** he said. “He told CBS, ‘The possibility of a Bout-for-Whelan trade existed back then, and it wasn’t made,***

There must’ve been some kind of reason for him not to engage into that trade-off, at least it wasn’t a celebrity that was exchanged within that process at the time

Yea, he could care less about Whelan - he's just a "loser" like Trump said about all our vets...

So Trump and his supporters criticize Biden for not getting Whelan back,

Yes

When Trump bailed on a Whelan deal....some "deal-maker"....and a clear hypocrite...

when they had the chance to get him back two years ago they passed....

Yes, but It seem like the conditions weren’t right at the time, and Trump wasn’t going to capitulate to Putin for anything, and it’s a tragic that it didn’t work at that time, but he didn’t get rolled over like this president

In other words, he failed and didn't get it done - just like "The Wall"....

Pretty much all you need to know about these clear hypocrites...

Democrats?

The person looking back at you in the mirror....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Biden did not bail on Whelan even though he tried to negotiate for his release. You continue to ignore the fact that Putin wasn't willing to release Whelan for Bout.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In an age where cell phones may be tracked by satellite and the abundance of unmanned systems distributed around the world I would say that if Victor Bout ever ventures outside of Russia again he will end up like any number or AG or IS pukes. He won't even know it's coming.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's weird the right think that this American should have been left to the Russians in an unknown prison.

And they think they have the high ground here. Mmkay...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another interesting angle of this story is this part:

That trade meant a prison release for Viktor Bout, a Russian citizen U.S. authorities have called one of the world's top illegal arms dealers and who was captured after a global manhunt

So, according to 'patriots' selling weapons is one of the worst crimes ever?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

NBC issued a correction.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trump involved himself by speaking about it and failed miserably to have Whelan released when Putin offered him in exchange for Bout.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

David Whelan was arrested in December 2018 when Trump was in office and 24 months before he was defeated in his election. Suppose to be a close pal of Putin who offered the release of Bout for Whelan. Trump refused.

By 2022 Putin wanted the former Russian spy and jailed murderer Vadim Krasikov for Whelan. Beyond the US jurisdiction since he is imprisoned in Germany.

The fact is, and remains so, Griner is an American citizen, and that comes before all else. There are two other detained American but they are not on the illegally detained list like Whelan and Griner were.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bass4funk

I have made several posts showing Putin wanted Vadim Krasikov for Whelan, not Viktor Bout. But Putin was willing to exchange Griner for Bout who probably would have been released next year.

It wasn't enough for you to post that Griner was a minority female basketball player. Now you need to post personal insults too.

"some mediocre women’s basketball player, who broke the law in Russia by doing drugs"

Whelan was also found guilty of spying.

Another American is in prison for drugs and a third was detained for DV.

Biden had no control over the request release of Vadim Krasikov. That would be up to the Germans.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How did Biden bail on something he had no control over? You continue to ignore the facts.

*

*

The Russians, the official said, told the U.S. that they would swap Whelan for Vadim Krasikov, a Russian assassin who is part of the Kremlin's domestic spy organization — and who is being detained in Germany for murder.

Moscow said at the time it wanted "a spy for a spy." The U.S. engaged with the Germans, alerting them to the Russian proposal. Berlin flatly rejected the idea.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russians-wanted-trade-whelan-assassin-001207069.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

wallace and bass4funk, please stop arguing. You're going around in circles, which adds nothing to the discussion. Please move on to other topics.

I did not realize she was being held hostage, I thought she was a drug smuggler

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Viktor Bout served 15 years in detention. Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. Bout had been scheduled for release in August 2029.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump was unable to obtain the release of David Whelan.

Trump has praised his own record amid criticism of the Brittney Griner inmate swap, while the brother of the prisoner and former Marine Paul Whelan slammed the former president for caring "zero."

Paul Whelan's brother, David, responded to Trump's remarks in a tweet saying that the former president cared "zero" for Paul while in office when he and his family unsuccessfully urged the Trump administration to help secure Paul's release.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Isen't there a couple of Americans being held by Russia that have been there for a much longer time?

Why does she get to go home first? Biden probably knows nothing about this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What is the point of spending time and money on a 'global manhunt' if someone is just going to be traded in this manner? They could have just framed some Russians and then swopped them.

If you want leverage with Washington, you need to pick your targets with care. Gangs, governments and random nutters will learn from this and target younger, female Americans in future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia Reportedly Wanted Spy in Germany for Whelan

Russia told U.S. officials they wanted Vadim Krasikov, who used to work as a colonel in Russia's domestic spy agency, to be part of a prisoner exchange involving Whelan and WNBA player Brittney Griner. Krasikov's name was reportedly added to that of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who was ultimately traded by the U.S. on Thursday to secure Griner's release.

As negotiations surrounding the prisoner swap continued, Russia said it would not release Whelan without Krasikov also being released.

From FoxNews

NBC News issues correction after reporting Biden had a 'choice' between Griner or Whelan in the prisoner swap

NBC News said it 'misstated the choice the Biden administration was given over hostages'

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Members of the US far-right cheering on Russia and criticizing the release of an American citizen on a "trumped" up charge....absolutely disgusting...but not unexpected...

If they agree with and admire Putin so much, they ought to pack up and head to Moscow rather than live in Omaha...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

From her looks and voice I'm assuming this wasn't her first "swap".

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

BOMBSHELL report from NBC news that Russia offered the US Griner OR Paul Whelan, citing a senior government official. It was Biden's choice which one to save.

This contradicts Biden's assertion that only Griner was offered.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Trump was unable to obtain the release of David Whelan.

He did get 56 other captive Americans and secured their release. He tried with Whelan, but we know especially now what happened in 2020

Trump has praised his own record amid criticism of the Brittney Griner inmate swap, while the brother of the prisoner and former Marine Paul Whelan slammed the former president for caring "zero.

well, he’s not the president currently and it doesn’t really matter what he thinks he can’t do anything about it, but he can criticize this administration and rightfully so

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Biden did not bail 

He sure did.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There is David Welan with several passports imprisoned for espionage and the Russians refuse to release him.

Then no deal should have been made, especially when it comes to one of the worlds most dangerous terrorists.

Biden negotiated for his release along with Griner.

Then he should have tried another approach in that case, either get both or none at all. Never let your adversary call the shots

Another American is in detention for drugs.

Russia was prepared to release Griner for the arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Which should never have happened.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Person A: Discharged from the US military for larceny and charged with espionage in a foreign country.

This encapsulates everything.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1601132906599964672?s=46&t=zE20eYoXF4VH2mfJoB-lkQ

*Person B: Never charged with a crime against her own country, and caught with less than a gram of hemp oil*.

Still, she knew the rules. No matter what you can’t and should never try to challenge or break any rules of any country when it comes to drugs.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Viktor Bout served 15 years in detention. Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. Bout had been scheduled for release in August 2029.

Well, now thanks to this administration expect nasty s*** to happen and when it does I wouldn’t be surprised if his John Hancock were initialed on it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

91% of who?

The majority of people in Houston and country.

First, there is a difference between an active serviceman and a VET.

Doesn’t matter, no service member should be left behind, in the same way you say, every vote should be counted. All American voices should be heard, all Americans that served, fought and died for the country should never be left behind.

But the point is, Russia does not want to release Whelan.

When you have a weak administration that capitulates and appeases a government like Russia, why would Putin NOT take advantage of that weakness.

Your comment on Griner is racist.

No, it’s not.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Dishonorably discharged VETs like Whelan,

I come from a military family, it doesn’t matter, you never leave a serviceman behind.

Do you expect anyone to believe that? 

Yes!

https://twitter.com/civicscience/status/1600891643959312386?s=46&t=zE20eYoXF4VH2mfJoB-lkQ

https://twitter.com/uiskinduissmart/status/1600952995318997003?s=46&t=zE20eYoXF4VH2mfJoB-lkQ

Russia was only prepared to release Whelan in exchange for the Russian spy in Germany,

Again, when you show weakness and allow the enemy to call the shots and appease and capitulate to their demands, any tyrant would seize the opportunity to use it to their political and strategic advantage. Biden got played yet, again.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

NBC News issues correction after reporting Biden had a 'choice' between Griner or Whelan in the prisoner swap

NBC News said it 'misstated the choice the Biden administration was given over hostages'

Oh, yes. I'm sure it was just a silly "misunderstanding" from the NBC correspondent and not at all the White House making a phone call

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Hmmmm.....

**“John Bolton said that President Trump turned down a swap of Paul Whelan for Viktor Bout two years ago,”** he said. “He told CBS, ‘The possibility of a Bout-for-Whelan trade existed back then, and it wasn’t made,**

There must’ve been some kind of reason for him not to engage into that trade-off, at least it wasn’t a celebrity that was exchanged within that process at the time

So Trump and his supporters criticize Biden for not getting Whelan back,

Yes

when they had the chance to get him back two years ago they passed....

Yes, but It seem like the conditions weren’t right at the time, and Trump wasn’t going to capitulate to Putin for anything, and it’s a tragic that it didn’t work at that time, but he didn’t get rolled over like this president

Pretty much all you need to know about these clear hypocrites...

Democrats?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Trump involved himself by speaking about it and failed miserably to have Whelan released when Putin offered him in exchange for Bout.

OK, so what liberals are trying to say is, Trump should’ve capitulated in a piece left by giving in, no matter what?, Yeah that sounds about right exactly the tactics that liberals would use, not even a little bit surprised.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

David Whelan was arrested in December 2018 when Trump was in office

in while Biden had the chance to negotiate for his release, what did he do? He released her for some mediocre women’s basketball player, who broke the law in Russia by doing drugs, that’s the real question you should be asking, why would he sit there and do a trade for one of the worlds most dangerous terrorist or a basketball player, I want that hates the country. As usual he continues to fail on the international Geo political stage.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yea, he could care less about Whelan

You don’t know me.

When Trump bailed on a Whelan deal....some

Biden bailed on Whelan, you outraged? Yes or No?

In other words, he failed

That is Biden’s legacy.

The person looking back at you in the mirror....

Democrats???

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I have made several posts showing Putin wanted Vadim Krasikov for Whelan, not Viktor Bout.

And yet, you praise the exchange? Why? Unbelievable!

It wasn't enough for you to post that Griner was a minority female basketball player.

She is, is she not?

*"some mediocre women’s basketball player, who broke the law in Russia by doing drugs"*

She broke the law.

Whelan was also found guilty of spying.

Yes, and he’s American servicemen they put his life on the line for this nation, so of course he should get first priority in getting out

Biden had no control over the request

Biden doesn’t have control over anything, so who is running this WH?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Isn't there a couple of Americans being held by Russia that have been there for a much longer time?

Yes, but they’re not a minority, and more importantly, they’re not Basketball players.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

BINGO! After saying for several days that "race has nothing to do with this", this poster shows us his real feelings by dropping the race card....

Not me, this White House.

It tells us what we've known all along - the US far right criticizes this release because Griner is Black - they'd prefer she remain locked up in a Russian Gulag...

No, and the right is not a monolithic group think. I definitely think when it comes to our military they should never be left behind no matter what, that doesn’t mean you forget Griner, but the priority should have definitely been on getting the people that put their lives on the line for the nation.

Which is right in line with the thinking of Mar-A-Lago far-right guest white supremacist Nick Fuentes...and his dinner host..

Get off the Trump talk. This has nothing to do with Trump. Lincoln, try for once and stay focused on the story. I know it’s hard for you, but the current story is the headline.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Trump released 5,000 Taliban terrorists for an agreement they never kept.

At the same time he released over 56 in total during his presidency, can’t get everyone, but he tried. Again, this is not about Trump.

You would have preferred no Americans were released?

When it comes to our servicemen over a basketball player that hates her country and broke the law, in that case, yes.

Not all agree with you.

No, I’m not worried about those.

The family of Paul Whelan backs Griner deal.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/paul-whelan-family-brittney-griner_n_62c6eb61e4b0aa392d3bd004

Good for them.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

We can't know if David Whelan was a spy or not. He denied the charges.

Never leave our military behind.

Griner had 0.702 grams of cannabis found in her luggage

Doesn’t matter the amount, she broke the law-period.

9 years imprisonment was excessive for the amount of drugs involved.

She would have never served that sentence. Even a year, she would have gotten out eventually.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Paul Whelan is not an active serviceman.

He’s still an in-active serviceman

He is a VET who was dishonorably discharged for larceny.

On a Houston TV where Griner grew up, 91% said it was a mistake for Griner to be coming home instead of Whelan. 9% said they were for Griner coming home…we know what 2 groups voted for her. 

We don't know if Whelan was a CIA spy or not.

He was an American serviceman and should have gotten the highest priority over a celeb Basketball player

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites