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readytotaxi
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Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:50 pm

Now I know that morals and politics are not good bedfellows but this one does not sit right with me.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-63905112

Seems that Russia got the better deal here, and what about ex-marine Paul Whelan, he was susposed to part of the deal?
Clearly other things we don't know about.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 3:18 pm

Ridiculous. A thousand children will have to die because we don’t have the maturity to watch a privileged woman do jail time for a crime she committed.

Maybe a good number of the calls for Griner’s release originated from Russia, in order to meet the Russian goal that was ultimately achieved. It would certainly be a good way to pressure a US president.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 3:28 pm

Bout had served 12 years of his 25 year sentence. He would have become eligible for parole soon. His loss is frankly not that great. He won't be returning to his former activities, under Putin's sanctions.

It is a shame that Paul Whelan wasn't included, but it's also clear the Russians weren't willing to consider his release. So need to keep working on that.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 3:46 pm

Republicans now have another issue to bash Biden with. Sorry, but this was a terrible decision, mostly by Democrats to pander to certain voters. This is also an insult to others, including a Marine still captive in Russia and to Ukraine. Putin looks good to his fellow Russians, a win over the USA.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:10 pm

ltbewr wrote:
Republicans now have another issue to bash Biden with. Sorry, but this was a terrible decision, mostly by Democrats to pander to certain voters. This is also an insult to others, including a Marine still captive in Russia and to Ukraine. Putin looks good to his fellow Russians, a win over the USA.


It's become fashionable to label any progress made by the side you don't like, as a PR stunt. So that claim will circulate widely now.

However the choice here was to make the exchange for Griner, or no exchange at all. That's what was on the table. Whelan wasn't offered by the Russians in exchange for Bout, he's not that important to them.
 
SoCalPilot
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:16 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
Republicans now have another issue to bash Biden with. Sorry, but this was a terrible decision, mostly by Democrats to pander to certain voters. This is also an insult to others, including a Marine still captive in Russia and to Ukraine. Putin looks good to his fellow Russians, a win over the USA.


It's become fashionable to label any progress made by the side you don't like, as a PR stunt. So that claim will circulate widely now.

However the choice here was to make the exchange for Griner, or no exchange at all. That's what was on the table. Whelan wasn't offered by the Russians in exchange for Bout, he's not that important to them.

This is the definition of a PR stunt. If Griner wasn't a basketball player, would she still be there? Would we have traded an arms dealer for a normal US citizen?

This is in no way "progress".
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:29 pm

SoCalPilot wrote:
This is the definition of a PR stunt. If Griner wasn't a basketball player, would she still be there? Would we have traded an arms dealer for a normal US citizen?

This is in no way "progress".


Of course it's progress to bring an American home from a Russian prison. You really need to stop and consider your statements more wisely.

The agitated response here, claims to be over the exchange, but is really over progress that is resented, and has to be put down.

Whelan was requested to be in the deal, but was not offered by the Russians. Even Whelan's family understands that, and were gracious enough to welcome the news of Griner's release. While of course being disappointed about Paul.

Which of course they would be, on both counts, as decent people.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:33 pm

SoCalPilot wrote:
Avatar2go wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
Republicans now have another issue to bash Biden with. Sorry, but this was a terrible decision, mostly by Democrats to pander to certain voters. This is also an insult to others, including a Marine still captive in Russia and to Ukraine. Putin looks good to his fellow Russians, a win over the USA.


It's become fashionable to label any progress made by the side you don't like, as a PR stunt. So that claim will circulate widely now.

However the choice here was to make the exchange for Griner, or no exchange at all. That's what was on the table. Whelan wasn't offered by the Russians in exchange for Bout, he's not that important to them.

This is the definition of a PR stunt. If Griner wasn't a basketball player, would she still be there? Would we have traded an arms dealer for a normal US citizen?

This is in no way "progress".


Would she have been detained in Prison for such a long time ,being as foreigner , unless she had trade value to the Russians?
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:39 pm

This was a bad call by the Biden admin. This event and the recent FIFA Qatar beer thread show that people need to educate themselves and respect the laws of the country they intend on visiting.

All this did was give the Fox News prime timers much-needed fodder to bash Biden.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:57 pm

phatfarmlines wrote:
This was a bad call by the Biden admin. This event and the recent FIFA Qatar beer thread show that people need to educate themselves and respect the laws of the country they intend on visiting.

All this did was give the Fox News prime timers much-needed fodder to bash Biden.


Regardless of what Fox hosts think, it is *always* good to help US citizens in politically-motivated trouble abroad.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:58 pm

The psychology in play on this issue is a good demonstration of how messed up the MAGA reasoning process is, and the corruptive influence of conservative media. They are preloaded to hate any progress or achievement of the administration.

In objective terms, what happened is we traded an arms dealer justly imprisoned in the US for 12 years, who had no further value to us and no prospect of returning to his former role, for a basketball player unjustly imprisoned in Russia.

In deriding this, the MAGA's insist that the trade should have been for Paul Whelan instead, even though that option was never on the table. The US pressed for it but the Russians refused.

So the MAGA's would prefer no deal and both Americans remaining in prison, to bringing one home at essentially zero cost. There could be no better example of what has happened to their reasoning.
 
alfa164
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 5:02 pm

SoCalPilot wrote:
This is the definition of a PR stunt. If Griner wasn't a basketball player, would she still be there? Would we have traded an arms dealer for a normal US citizen? This is in no way "progress".


LCDFlight wrote:
Ridiculous. A thousand children will have to die because we don’t have the maturity to watch a privileged woman do jail time for a crime she committed. Maybe a good number of the calls for Griner’s release originated from Russia, in order to meet the Russian goal that was ultimately achieved. It would certainly be a good way to pressure a US president.


America has - for decades - been committed to bring our citizens home. If makes no difference if they play basketball or tiddlywinks; we protect American citizens, and we bring them home.

The same people whining about bringing her home would be whining if we hadn't brought her home. Whining - not basketball, baseball, or football - has become the greatest American sport.


Avatar2go wrote:
Of course it's progress to bring an American home from a Russian prison. You really need to stop and consider your statements more wisely.
The agitated response here, claims to be over the exchange, but is really over progress that is resented, and has to be put down.
Whelan was requested to be in the deal, but was not offered by the Russians. Even Whelan's family understands that, and were gracious enough to welcome the news of Griner's release. While of course being disappointed about Paul. Which of course they would be, on both counts, as decent people.


THIS. We all know the job is not finished - but, at least, this part of the job has been done. Kudos.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 5:39 pm

alfa164 wrote:
America has - for decades - been committed to bring our citizens home. If makes no difference if they play basketball or tiddlywinks; we protect American citizens, and we bring them home.

Provably false. There are plenty of US citizens are in foreign jails for all kinds of offenses.

Not sure what this macho chest beating approach is supposed to help. Biden just pardoned a criminal, and Putin just pardoned a criminal.

You know what they're saying in Russia right now? We bring our people home!

Russia’s Foreign Ministry celebrated Bout’s release in a statement Thursday, saying the arms dealer had “returned to his homeland.”

“Thank God this exchange happened,” Maria Butina, a member of the Russian State Duma, told Russian Defense Ministry media outlet Zvezda. “I am happy, my heart sings. We don’t abandon our own people.”

Ref: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... ru-sechin/

The article points out the more interesting questions are exactly who in the Russian power structure thinks of Bout as one of "their people", and why.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 5:40 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
phatfarmlines wrote:
This was a bad call by the Biden admin. This event and the recent FIFA Qatar beer thread show that people need to educate themselves and respect the laws of the country they intend on visiting.

All this did was give the Fox News prime timers much-needed fodder to bash Biden.


Regardless of what Fox hosts think, it is *always* good to help US citizens in politically-motivated trouble abroad.


Don't ever worry about what a Fox host will say. Their only job is to be decietful and make sure the viewers are fearful, angry, hateful, and adictted to coming back fore more.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 5:47 pm

Revelation wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
America has - for decades - been committed to bring our citizens home. If makes no difference if they play basketball or tiddlywinks; we protect American citizens, and we bring them home.

Provably false. There are plenty of US citizens are in foreign jails for all kinds of offenses.

Not sure what this macho chest beating approach is supposed to help. Biden just pardoned a criminal, and Putin just pardoned a criminal.

You know what they're saying in Russia right now? We bring our people home!

Russia’s Foreign Ministry celebrated Bout’s release in a statement Thursday, saying the arms dealer had “returned to his homeland.”

“Thank God this exchange happened,” Maria Butina, a member of the Russian State Duma, told Russian Defense Ministry media outlet Zvezda. “I am happy, my heart sings. We don’t abandon our own people.”

Ref: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... ru-sechin/

The article points out the more interesting questions are exactly who in the Russian power structure thinks of Bout as one of "their people", and why.


Not sure what the point is here. It's a given that both sides wanted the other person back. And it's a given that the US tries to negotiate to get people back who are imprisoned for political reasons, or in service to the US government.

The reality is that Bout no longer had any real value to the US, and Griner had no value to Russia beyond propaganda. So the deal makes sense to both sides. Each got something they wanted, in return for something they really didn't care about.

Why this is even a source of conflict, evades me. Of course both we and the Russians did this. Duh.
 
stratosphere
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:00 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
Revelation wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
America has - for decades - been committed to bring our citizens home. If makes no difference if they play basketball or tiddlywinks; we protect American citizens, and we bring them home.

Provably false. There are plenty of US citizens are in foreign jails for all kinds of offenses.

Not sure what this macho chest beating approach is supposed to help. Biden just pardoned a criminal, and Putin just pardoned a criminal.

You know what they're saying in Russia right now? We bring our people home!

Russia’s Foreign Ministry celebrated Bout’s release in a statement Thursday, saying the arms dealer had “returned to his homeland.”

“Thank God this exchange happened,” Maria Butina, a member of the Russian State Duma, told Russian Defense Ministry media outlet Zvezda. “I am happy, my heart sings. We don’t abandon our own people.”

Ref: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... ru-sechin/

The article points out the more interesting questions are exactly who in the Russian power structure thinks of Bout as one of "their people", and why.


Not sure what the point is here. It's a given that both sides wanted the other person back. And it's a given that the US tries to negotiate to get people back who are imprisoned for political reasons, or in service to the US government.

The reality is that Bout no longer had any real value to the US, and Griner had no value to Russia beyond propaganda. So the deal makes sense to both sides. Each got something they wanted, in return for something they really didn't care about.

Why this is even a source of conflict, evades me. Of course both we and the Russians did this. Duh.


This isn't the first lopsided bad trade. Biden's former boss Obama freed 5 taliban terrorists for Bowe Bergahl who was himself a traitor. Seems like Biden learned from that. Paul Whelan was never part of the deal in my opinion. The Biden administration threw Whelan in the mix when trying to negotiate for Griner to make it look like they were sincere about getting others out and not just Griner and especially before the midterms. But make no mistake the Biden administration was fully prepared to just except Griner in return for Bout. Whelan is a Marine and has been locked over there since 2018. A soldier who sacrificed for this country and is older and in poor health it looks like. Was passed over for an overhyped WBA player who has distain for this country seems pretty fair to me.
 
art
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:08 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
In objective terms, what happened is we traded an arms dealer justly imprisoned in the US for 12 years, who had no further value to us and no prospect of returning to his former role, for a basketball player unjustly imprisoned in Russia.


Did the arms dealer break US law?
Did the basketball player break Russian law?

How come - in your opinion - imprisonment for the former is just but imprisonment for the latter is unjust?
Last edited by art on Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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zkojq
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:14 pm

Terrible deal. Bout and his dealings brought untold misery to awful parts of the world (and yes so do american arms dealers but that's not the point). He should have served his full sentence at the very least. You can be sure that Russia will give him a new identity asap and as soon as Russia's own need for weapons diminishes, he'll be back to his old work of exporting arms and misery.

As for the outage from MAGA folks; the lady was black, a lesbian and has dreadlocks. So of course they're going to be mad, regardless of who it was that they traded for her. As such I wouldn't read too much into it, despite there being justifiable reason to look skeptically upon this swap.

art wrote:
Did the arms dealer break US law?

America has a lot of laws that they extend globally and use as a means to try and take out competitors (despite the US not allowing jurisdiction for other such laws). In this case though, VB tried to sell anti aircraft systems to agents pretending to be from FARC, a Colombian rebel group and terrorist organization, so he's pretty much bang to rights.
Last edited by zkojq on Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:19 pm

stratosphere wrote:

This isn't the first lopsided bad trade. Biden's former boss Obama freed 5 taliban terrorists for Bowe Bergahl who was himself a traitor. Seems like Biden learned from that. Paul Whelan was never part of the deal in my opinion. The Biden administration threw Whelan in the mix when trying to negotiate for Griner to make it look like they were sincere about getting others out and not just Griner and especially before the midterms. But make no mistake the Biden administration was fully prepared to just except Griner in return for Bout. Whelan is a Marine and has been locked over there since 2018. A soldier who sacrificed for this country and is older and in poor health it looks like. Was passed over for an overhyped WBA player who has distain for this country seems pretty fair to me.


It's not a lopsided bad trade. The very notion of that is an example of the false narrative put out by conservative media. And you and others here have apparently bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

The Russians were very clear that they didn't consider Bout to be worth the trade for Whelan. It was never on the table. To say that it was, is a falsehood meant to form yet another conservative conspiracy theory, around this deal. It's complete nonsense.

The deal was Bout for Griner. The US tried to add Whelan, and in fact has never stopped working for his release. If Whelan could have been done with Bout, it would have been, long ago. It was never on the table.

Really people, disengage from the disinformation feed, dust off your brains, and use them. Your narrative makes no logical or rational sense.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:27 pm

art wrote:

Did the arms dealer break US law?
Did the basketball player break Russian law?

How come - in your opinion - imprisonment for the former is just but imprisonment for the latter is unjust?


Bout got 25 years for engaging in the illegal arms trade for decades. Griner got 9 years for a single instance of possession of a vial of marijuana vaping oil, which she had for medicinal purposes.

Are both violations of the law? Yes.
Are both equivalent crimes? No.
Are both sentences justly commensurate? No.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 7:09 pm

Revelation wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
America has - for decades - been committed to bring our citizens home. If makes no difference if they play basketball or tiddlywinks; we protect American citizens, and we bring them home.

Provably false. There are plenty of US citizens are in foreign jails for all kinds of offenses.

Not sure what this macho chest beating approach is supposed to help. Biden just pardoned a criminal, and Putin just pardoned a criminal.

You know what they're saying in Russia right now? We bring our people home!

Russia’s Foreign Ministry celebrated Bout’s release in a statement Thursday, saying the arms dealer had “returned to his homeland.”

“Thank God this exchange happened,” Maria Butina, a member of the Russian State Duma, told Russian Defense Ministry media outlet Zvezda. “I am happy, my heart sings. We don’t abandon our own people.”

Ref: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... ru-sechin/

The article points out the more interesting questions are exactly who in the Russian power structure thinks of Bout as one of "their people", and why.


We traded a master arms dealer and murderer for a basketball player who smuggled a little bit of CBD oil! It’s hard to even grasp how stupid we are lol.

A powerful step forward and win for Russia.

A lot of the root cause of the Ukraine crisis is that both the US and Europe have been playing checkers for years.
Last edited by LCDFlight on Thu Dec 08, 2022 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 7:09 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
Not sure what the point is here. It's a given that both sides wanted the other person back. And it's a given that the US tries to negotiate to get people back who are imprisoned for political reasons, or in service to the US government.

Holy false equivalence, Batman!

I can see why the US Govt would work hard to bring back anyone who acted in their service, but soldiers, diplomats and spies know they're taking a risk and trade off their judgement that they are doing good vs the risk they may end up dead or in a foreign jail. To equate that to "imprisonment for political means" is to me janky at best.

To say we unconditionally have to bring back any jailed American, which is what the "we bring back our own" slogan suggests, is IMO asking for too much.

Griner was in jail because she was stupid, by her own admission. The best way she could serve her country was to leave the cannabis at home. Was that asking for too much?

Anyone can say their imprisonment in a foreign jail is politically motivated. Where do we draw the line?

And yeah, it was a bad deal, trading an international arms dealer with contacts all around the world for an athlete too dumb to understand you don't bring drugs with you everywhere you go.

If it was up to me, both would still be in jail.

As for Whalen, if the reports in his wiki page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Whel ... y_director) ) are true (if!!!), his actions are pretty hard to rationalize. A Russian with a similar background coming to the US and doing what is being alleged would also raise a lot of suspicions.

Avatar2go wrote:
Bout got 25 years for engaging in the illegal arms trade for decades. Griner got 9 years for a single instance of possession of a vial of marijuana vaping oil, which she had for medicinal purposes.

Are both violations of the law? Yes.
Are both equivalent crimes? No.
Are both sentences justly commensurate? No.

Are you dumb for trying your luck with a foreign justice system? Yes
Should you understand that when you leave the US you are subject to a foreign justice system? Yes
Are we dumb for spending tons of taxpayers resources to rescue every jailed American just because they say their conviction was politically motivated? Yes
 
Redd
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 7:24 pm

What a trade. I'm impressed, and not by Biden.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 7:50 pm

LCDFlight wrote:

We traded a master arms dealer and murderer for a basketball player who smuggled a little bit of CBD oil! It’s hard to even grasp how stupid we are lol.

A powerful step forward and win for Russia.

A lot of the root cause of the Ukraine crisis is that both the US and Europe have been playing checkers for years.


To clarify, we traded a Russian arms dealer who had served 12 years in prison, and would soon be eligible for parole, for an American basketball player who was starting her unjust sentence of 9 years, for a single count of possession of medicinal marijuana oil.

That trade is one most rational people would make in a heartbeat. Russia is welcome to Bout, he won't be able to resume his prior career, and is no longer a threat. He would have been deported on parole.

If Russia wants to claim a propaganda win, that's fine. No one with a functioning brain would see it that way. The West and NATO are not cowering in fear over this.
 
stratosphere
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 8:05 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:

We traded a master arms dealer and murderer for a basketball player who smuggled a little bit of CBD oil! It’s hard to even grasp how stupid we are lol.

A powerful step forward and win for Russia.

A lot of the root cause of the Ukraine crisis is that both the US and Europe have been playing checkers for years.


To clarify, we traded a Russian arms dealer who had served 12 years in prison, and would soon be eligible for parole, for an American basketball player who was starting her unjust sentence of 9 years, for a single count of possession of medicinal marijuana oil.

That trade is one most rational people would make in a heartbeat. Russia is welcome to Bout, he won't be able to resume his prior career, and is no longer a threat. He would have been deported on parole.

If Russia wants to claim a propaganda win, that's fine. No one with a functioning brain would see it that way. The West and NATO are not cowering in fear over this.


There is another American also imprisoned in Russia named Marc Fogel for literally the same offense as Griner. Fogel had more in his possession but it was also prescribed to him much like Griner and he got 14 years where is the justice for him? Maybe because he isn't a Black lesbian basketball star and just a plain old vanilla white guy ? To everyone else Fogel broke their laws and should have known better and got what was coming to him as unfair as the sentence may seem. Griner just checked all the right boxes which is what this administration is all about. You know equity.

https://www.newsy.com/stories/american- ... nistration.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 8:19 pm

stratosphere wrote:

There is another American also imprisoned in Russia named Marc Fogel for literally the same offense as Griner. Fogel had more in his possession but it was also prescribed to him much like Griner and he got 14 years where is the justice for him? Maybe because he isn't a Black lesbian basketball star and just a plain old vanilla white guy ? To everyone else Fogel broke their laws and should have known better and got what was coming to him as unfair as the sentence may seem. Griner just checked all the right boxes which is what this administration is all about. You know equity.

https://www.newsy.com/stories/american- ... nistration.


The critical difference here is that Marc Fogel was not classified by the State Department as wrongfully detained, which is a prerequisite for diplomatic release. Both Griner and Whelan have that designation.

We are not privy to the details of that classification, so I don't know why Fogel did not receive the wrongful designation. It's a good question to ask the State Department, and I'm sure will be asked in the coming days.

This classification follows rules set out in the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage Taking Accountability Act. Congress has asked the State Department to grant Fogel this designation, but that has not happened yet.

It's of note that Fogel's family, like Whelan's, praised the release of Griner, but hope that similar progress can be made for their family members. Again that is a gracious and reasonable response.

https://www.newsweek.com/who-marc-fogel ... er-1765757
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 8:55 pm

Some additional information on this trade. It's emerging that to include Whelan, Russia had demanded the release of Vadim Krasikov, a convicted GRU assassin serving a life sentence in Germany, for murder. It's reported that the German government would not agree to his release.

At the end of July 2022, Russia apparently demanded the extradition of convicted Russians in exchange for the release of two imprisoned US citizens. According to CNN, the Russian government is demanding the release of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who has done 10 years of a 25-year federal prison sentence in the United States and convicted Russian assassin, Vadim Krasikov, who is doing a life sentence in Germany. The US is trying to free US basketball player Brittney Griner, held in Russia on minor drug charges and former US soldier Paul Whelan, also being held in Russia, doing 16 years for espionage.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zelimkh ... s_assassin
 
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Tugger
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 9:06 pm

I believe the statement that applies here is: Those that can achieve something, do; those that can't (or don't), whine about those that do.

Tugg
 
alfa164
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 9:41 pm

Tugger wrote:
I believe the statement that applies here is: Those that can achieve something, do; those that can't (or don't), whine about those that do. Tugg


You, sir, have earned the "Comment of the Day" award!

:trophy:
 
LittleFokker
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 9:45 pm

My thoughts on Brittney Griner are exactly how much more money does the Russian league pay that it's worth the risk of trouble for her to be with that league? I know WNBA pay is not that great, but there are other women's leagues around the world.
 
ACDC8
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 10:36 pm

A high profile arrest and now a prisoner swap? Hmmm, never saw this coming.
 
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NIKV69
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 10:38 pm

I am not a fan of BG but you knew the press sec and VP pushed for this and told Biden to make the deal just to get her home for their own gain. Fine but you should of gave more and got Paul Whelan also. Not a shock. Hopefully she stands for the anthem now.
 
FGITD
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 10:46 pm

LittleFokker wrote:
My thoughts on Brittney Griner are exactly how much more money does the Russian league pay that it's worth the risk of trouble for her to be with that league? I know WNBA pay is not that great, but there are other women's leagues around the world.


From what I’ve found, she was making about $220,000 per year in the WNBA. Not bad at all for playing basketball. But in Russia she was making around $1mil per season, each season being 20 games plus playoffs. So imagine being able to take a few months off your “normal” job to go make 5x your annual salary. The whole drug charge etc is on her, but her reason for being in Russia is as valid as any.

Based on the salary info it becomes hard to call the WNBA her job. Looks more like it was a way to fill the time between her actual money making career.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:06 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
I am not a fan of BG but you knew the press sec and VP pushed for this and told Biden to make the deal just to get her home for their own gain. Fine but you should of gave more and got Paul Whelan also. Not a shock. Hopefully she stands for the anthem now.


See reply 31 and you will no longer be misinformed.
 
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NIKV69
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:34 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
I am not a fan of BG but you knew the press sec and VP pushed for this and told Biden to make the deal just to get her home for their own gain. Fine but you should of gave more and got Paul Whelan also. Not a shock. Hopefully she stands for the anthem now.


See reply 31 and you will no longer be misinformed.


Oh please, I doubt he is only person Russia would have taken. :sarcastic: This was driven by BG’s people and was very self serving.
 
Cadet985
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:48 pm

Wonder if I got arrested in similar circumstances, if POTUS would get me freed?

Probably not; I’m in the wrong demographics.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 12:05 am

NIKV69 wrote:

Oh please, I doubt he is only person Russia would have taken. :sarcastic: This was driven by BG’s people and was very self serving.


Vadim Krasikov was the person Russia thought equivalent in exchange for Paul Whelan. That is the simple truth. If you have evidence to the contrary, you are welcome to post it.

They didn't consider Bout to be equivalent to Whelan. You can argue that's not fair or proportional, but again, that's the truth, and the reality of dealing with the Russians. Of course they are not going to be fair. That should surprise no one.

The important thing here, is we got an American citizen back, from a sentence of 9 years for something that would not even be a crime in most of the US. That, again, is the simple truth.
 
Newark727
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 12:26 am

Cadet985 wrote:
Wonder if I got arrested in similar circumstances, if POTUS would get me freed?

Probably not; I’m in the wrong demographics.


If you got arrested in similar circumstances, I would certainly gripe for a while about whether or not your release was "worth it." You certainly seem to be in the right demographic for that...
 
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seb146
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 1:58 am

Oh no... a freed American... how terrible.... :roll:
 
flyguy89
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 2:47 am

Great…but what about all the Americans currently in American prisons for similar weed related offenses?
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 3:05 am

flyguy89 wrote:
Great…but what about all the Americans currently in American prisons for similar weed related offenses?


Will have to take that one up (again) with the do-nothing Congress.
 
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DIRECTFLT
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:15 am

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout: The ‘Merchant of Death’ swapped for Brittney Griner

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, swapped Thursday for WNBA star Brittney Griner, is widely known abroad as the “Merchant of Death” who fueled some of the world’s worst conflicts.

In Russia, however, he’s seen as a swashbuckling businessman who was unjustly imprisoned after an overly aggressive U.S. sting operation.

The 2005 Nicolas Cage movie “Lord of War” was loosely based on Bout, a former Soviet air force officer who gained fame supposedly by supplying weapons for civil wars in South America, the Middle East and Africa. His clients were said to include Liberia’s Charles Taylor, longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and both sides in Angola’s civil war.

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/2022 ... for-griner

Well, the deal is done. I guess I just want to get on with my life.
 
Newark727
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:21 am

Honestly I'm not sure why Russia wants this guy back - they'd be doing a lot better in Ukraine if all those ex-USSR arms stockpiles hadn't been raided for profit by guys like Bout.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:26 am

flyguy89 wrote:
Great…but what about all the Americans currently in American prisons for similar weed related offenses?


The irony here is that Americans in American prison on cannabis charges, are mostly in states that are governed by the same crowd that is asking this question. How about you answer your own question, by releasing those who have behaved well?
 
flyguy89
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:06 am

Avatar2go wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
Great…but what about all the Americans currently in American prisons for similar weed related offenses?


The irony here is that Americans in American prison on cannabis charges, are mostly in states that are governed by the same crowd that is asking this question. How about you answer your own question, by releasing those who have behaved well?

That...doesn't make sense.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 8:16 am

flyguy89 wrote:
Avatar2go wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
Great…but what about all the Americans currently in American prisons for similar weed related offenses?


The irony here is that Americans in American prison on cannabis charges, are mostly in states that are governed by the same crowd that is asking this question. How about you answer your own question, by releasing those who have behaved well?

That...doesn't make sense.


Makes sense in terms of arrest rates by state. Incarceration rates pretty much track.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states ... possession
 
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Aesma
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 8:26 am

I would have liked Bout to do more jail time.

I don't see this as a great win for Russia though, is there someone on the planet who actually likes arms dealers ? Does it raise the profile of Russia in any way to have blackmailed the US into releasing that guy ?
 
flyguy89
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 8:45 am

Avatar2go wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
Avatar2go wrote:

The irony here is that Americans in American prison on cannabis charges, are mostly in states that are governed by the same crowd that is asking this question. How about you answer your own question, by releasing those who have behaved well?

That...doesn't make sense.


Makes sense in terms of arrest rates by state. Incarceration rates pretty much track.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states ... possession

No, I meant your implication that those asking about the release of other marijuana-related convicts being MAGA/GOP, doesn’t make sense. They’re the crowd most in favor of prohibition and hardline law-and-order enforcement policies.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 9:24 am

Avatar2go wrote:
The important thing here, is we got an American citizen back, from a sentence of 9 years for something that would not even be a crime in most of the US. That, again, is the simple truth.

It would not even have been considered that serious of an offence in Russia in other circumstances. She was given close to the maximum possible punishment for trace amounts of cannabis oil (<1g). Her sentence was politically motivated to strengthen Russia's position in negotiations, far from a fair trial.

This was essentially a hostage / PoW exchange.

It should also serve as a reminder for US and EU citizens to avoid travel to Russia unless they want to risk sharing her fate, much like one is discouraged from travelling to Somalia or North Korea.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 16407
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Re: Russia frees US basketball star in swap with arms dealer Bout

Fri Dec 09, 2022 10:03 am

mxaxai wrote:
Avatar2go wrote:
The important thing here, is we got an American citizen back, from a sentence of 9 years for something that would not even be a crime in most of the US. That, again, is the simple truth.

It would not even have been considered that serious of an offence in Russia in other circumstances. She was given close to the maximum possible punishment for trace amounts of cannabis oil (<1g). Her sentence was politically motivated to strengthen Russia's position in negotiations, far from a fair trial.
This was essentially a hostage / PoW exchange.
It should also serve as a reminder for US and EU citizens to avoid travel to Russia unless they want to risk sharing her fate, much like one is discouraged from travelling to Somalia or North Korea.

The reason why she was in Russia was to make money playing in one of Russia's pro woman's basketball teams. The WNBA pays poorly so Griner was playing in Russia in the WNBA 'off' season. Maybe if the WNBA could pay its players more money, she wouldn't have there in the first place.
You know this prisoner swap is going to be used by Republicans in the 2024 election ads to bash Biden/Harris and any or all Democrats in campaign ads.I am quite sure FoxNews and other RW news/opinion media outlets are going full tilt to bash Biden and Democrats over. It will be seen as and I agree will be one of the biggest political mistakes Pres. Biden will have done as President.

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