WNBA star Brittney Griner released from Russian custody in a high-profile prisoner swap between the U.S. and Moscow

  1. That nickname sounded strangely close to the movie to me. Turns out it was the very same person it was based on.

  2. She did get caught with illegal drugs, it’s not like this wasn’t a legal arrest, she just got the book thrown at her to create chaos in the US. Not like they targeted her to catch her, she was dumb enough to pull that on her own.

  3. Plot twist, they send her back with the vape cartridges. She lands in Texas, they search her bag, and is immediately sentenced to double what the Russians had given her.

  4. Can u imagine how the fbi/dea agents feel? Those guys worked their ass off to get this guy... Apparently it was extremely difficult to get this guy... One known photo of him his entire time selling weapons...

  5. Look, I think that Brittney Griner has been punished very harshly for what is a minor offence. But this trade looks like a very bad deal -- releasing a very, very dangerous man.

  6. This is the guy the movie “Lord of War” is based on. He is extremely dangerous and shows no remorse. It was so great to hear he had finally been imprisoned….And now we gave him back to Russia while they are literally at war with Ukraine, who we are supporting….for a basketball player who has bashed the USA more often than not and was stupid enough to bring drugs into Russia of all places. I hope her anti USA stuff stops now considering the cost of her freedom.

  7. He was going to be released in five years though? And even they’ve said that no one will work with this person anymore since the big part of arms dealing is you know, secrecy? Hard to be a secret when Nicholas cage played you in a movie.

  8. Bout served 14 years in prison, and was due to be released in 6 years on parole. He was sentenced to 25 years, not life. He would have been deported back to Russia anyway upon completion of his sentence, does it really matter that he basically got a 6-year sentence reduction in exchange for an American citizen being freed from a slave labor camp?

  9. US basically just told the world that they can steal US citizens and threaten to torture them and they can get whatever prisoner they want in return, no matter how dangerous they are.

  10. Naw, not any citizen. Paul Whelan, a former marine, has been locked up over there since 2018. Unfortunately, he doesn't fit in any virtue signal categories.

  11. I have to congratulate President Biden. He managed to get virtually everyone to agree on something - that this is an insanely bad trade.

  12. This is supposed to look bad, no way would the agents that worked so hard to secure Bout give him up without a meaningful return, Griner was the high profile name that was put on the sheet to keep everyone from asking questions about who the FBI/CIA agents that were exchanged for Bout were.

  13. this is the best trade we could get, why do you think it took a year? Arms dealer was going to be up for parole soon anyhow

  14. I’m happy for Griner, but think that for an illegal arms trader, we should have gotten Paul Whelan too.

  15. My cousin is currently in the same jail system as Britney was. In Russia. They got him for traveling with a gun. He is a private armed security. He had his hand gun locked, unloaded, packed disclosed and with all the correct paper works to travel with. He was only transferring flight at Moscow. Not actually going there.

  16. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/sister-of-american-detained-in-russia-discusses-his-exclusion-from-proposed-prisoner-swap

  17. The whole world is waiting for Russia to run out of missiles ... and they give them the world's leading clandestine missile dealer? I have some objections here.

  18. The article talks about another american imprisoned for "spying" and said the US has tried to negotiate his release but the Kremlin wants a spy in return and basically it goes like this:

  19. There are 3 others lmao. Just 3. There was a 5th including Griner, a U.S. Marine, who was also exchanged for a prisoner swap a few months ago. But Reddit didn’t really care about that one, because of who knows what reason?

  20. Every other enemy of the USA are probably planning to start arresting minor celebrities to get all their people freed too. They're going to take so much advantage of this American celebrity worship.

  21. No they sent her back to TX where Alex Caruso got arrested for having residue in a grinder, I’m sure he was wrongfully arrested for political purposes in that case too though.

  22. This was my exact thought. The federal government just basically said that it’s fine. She better be in jail when she gets back to the US. If not the appeals courts are gonna have a bad time.

  23. This is just going to make the public hate her when she gets back, and she will be heckled for the rest of her life. It is ridiculous, you wanted to smoke freakin weed and now a guy who is responsible for thousands of deaths is free as a direct consequence. It's like a cartoon honestly

  24. Not sure it's going looked on all that favorably by the public tbh. "Famous Person who broke the rules" traded for an international arms dealer (nicknamed the Merchant of Death ffs), all while thousands of Americans sit in American jails for possession of a "Schedule 1 Narcotic" that is legal in 21 states and medicalized in 39. Lmao. It defies any and all logic.

  25. Funny how this was locked under news because it didn’t get the sympathetic response I’m sure they were looking for.

  26. This is the type of shit that shows the USA is past it. Going into this deal and saying yes... my god. Russia bent them over and then some. Trading a war criminal for a basketball player and no one else... I'd be fuming if I was an American in Russia, everyone there should have come home in exchange for Viktor Bout.

  27. This was 100% a PR/political appearance decision and not a decision in the interest of protecting democratic values. In no world is a celebrity, let alone a B-lister, worth giving up a known arms dealer and terrorist. This is so incredibly short sighted. But it’s exactly what Russia was betting on. We care more about appearance than results.

  28. That's ridiculous. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt people would crucify them for this decision. It's insane to suggest someone thought this would score political points. Everyone has to know it would be the exact opposite.

  29. Except no one liked this except her family and small amount of supporters I guarantee Biden will get blasted by both democrats and Republicans till election day 2024.

  30. How exactly is this going to generate "good PR" for the White House? So far I've seen nothing but outrage over how bad of a trade this was. I won't be surprised if hypocritical Republicans use this as a talking point to bash the Democrat's foreign policy all the way up to the 2024 elections.

  31. I agree with this, however I can’t help but think that the next step Russia was going to pull was going to be one that would not sit well with the American people no matter how we feel about it now. Like if they recorded her being executed or tortured I feel like that would change the narrative against the White House, or at least create enough of a divide in the public to make it an issue. Just what a terrible situation

  32. Even if the arms dealer was set to be released in the next few years anyway? He wasn’t serving a life sentence, why not at least get someone wrongfully detained before we have to let him go anyway? Really can’t understand how angry this makes people.

  33. Imagine being Paul Whelan, sentenced to 16 years in Russia in 2020 for spying but seemingly being pushed down the prisoner swap pecking order by Griner.

  34. I don't know the details but Wikipedia cites reputable sources stating that Whelan boasted about having intimate contact with Russian FSB agents, smuggled money into Russia, was dishonorably discharged from the US military and lied about his academic credentials. If he was a spy, he was probably the worst spy, and it seems unlikely the Russians would really believe him to be a spy. On the other hand, why else would they apprehend somebody who is clearly not a good candidate for a prisoner swap?

  35. Have you ever considered that Pual Whelan was really a spy? Maybe that's why they don't want to release him. If Whelan was just some ordinary guy framed then they would have easily traded him for the arms merchant.

  36. The article talks about Whelan. Apparently Russia wants a spy in exchange but the US claims it doesn't have any spies in its custody and Russia isn't willing to name names.

  37. She'll have a Netflix documentary too. One that I can confidentially say I'll never watch, no matter how bored and out of shows I am.

  38. Can not believe this is true. Russia will probably start imprisoning more foreigners now, particularly U.S citizens - hell why not, clearly the U.S. is willing to trade anyone to get them back.

  39. There should, ideally, be fewer opportunities. The State Department currently has Russia as it's strongest Travel Advisory Level (Do Not Travel), and I'd like to see remain that way until Russia has a real representative government/forever.

  40. This is bullshit, I’m sorry but Griner was an fucking moron for thinking you can travel anywhere with cannabis and think your someone above the law and special. Ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse especially when you go to a country as strict as Russia. Then you got this arms dealer nut who needed to be behind bars. The whole situation is bullshit, if this would of been someone else the US wouldn’t give two shits about them. The only thing this will give Russia is another excuse to nabbed Americans and hold them hostage to get what they want.

  41. Even if one accepted her excuse (hasty / careless packing), it's still incredibly stupid. Travelling to somewhere like Canada or the UK? OK, sure. Not great but they're friendly countries and shit happens. Travelling to somewhere like Russia? No. They're extremely unfriendly and known for harsh punishments for even minor offences.

  42. Basicaly he traded an international arms dealer for the Black/Woman/LGBT+ vote. She had the trifecta. That's the reality of it.

  43. Biden pardon those arrested for cannabis possession on a federal level. Those still in prison is because the state sent them there. It’s up to the state to do that

  44. There are people literally rotting in prison for the same crime in the united states. This is ridiculously stupid and sets an awful precedent.

  45. It’s not like we’re getting back some national hero, we’re getting back a pot smoking basketball player that thinks she’s exempt from the rules. Innocent people are going to die because of this decision.

  46. This trade seems so lopsided that I wonder if some other concession wasn't also given by the Russians. Something neither side wanted to disclose etc. It's a real head-scratcher

  47. Unpopular opinion but I think the valuation is closer than people think because Bout is basically "harmless" to the US itself. His case is more about "justice" and him paying for his crimes. Its naive to think that his share of the illicit gun supplying/trafficking market just disappeared and wasnt just immediately replaced by someone else, or that he's gonna just open up a business tomorrow running guns again. He spent 15 years in prison and likely has more enemies than contacts or resources. Also, he is up for release in 2029, its not like he was sentenced to life. So the US likely did not perceive him as an actual threat, but as a political asset with waning value, and believed that Griner's freedom was worth serving justice on Bout.

  48. Sorry but no. Like honesty take 2 min to make sure you ain’t bringing drugs into a shithole country that hates America.

  49. I mean if they wanted to arrest her they could just say she had drugs and arrest her and there’s nothing she could do about it whether she did or not. You just shouldn’t travel to Russia period, it hasn’t been safe to go there as a western person for a long while and certainly wont be anytime in the near future.

  50. Possibly will go down as one of the worst negotiations in US history. What a disaster all for a PR bite because she’s famous.

  51. I hate to tell you, but Hollywood doesn't set US foreign policy. We absolutely negotiate with terrorists.

  52. …..you are a celeb of color backed by other A-list celebs of color that will send the woke mob after you if you don’t do what they say.

  53. So we traded a sub-par WNBA player that has domestic abuse under her belt for one of the most lethal arms dealers in history.

  54. You’re fucking with me, right? They’re… Omg they’re trading a basketball player for one of the most prolific warlords in the world that likely will help Russian interests. What the fuck.

  55. Putin finally got a win here. And I’m not even anti Biden but this is a horrible trade. An America hating basketball player (dumb enough to do what she did as minor as it is) for the “Lord of War” guy?

  56. So we’re freeing all those people in America did the same shit right? Or does she get special rights cause she plays in a sport nobody watches?

  57. America is weak as fuck. Traded a dangerous man who will kill people for a knuckle headed ball dribbler. Didn’t even try and trade for the god damn US Marine in prison. Insane

  58. Nice trade Biden, two murders for a pot head! What happened to the Marine that is being held? F that guy cause he can’t get Biden any headlines. Come on man, enough of this malarkey.

  59. one brought a vape, the other sold weapons that killed American soldiers. this is the stupidest 1:1 trade of all time

  60. Swapping a no name basketball player, an abusive one at that, for a notorious arms dealer dubbed the "Merchant of Death".

  61. Just remember we've left Paul Whelen, a 52-year-old former U.S. Marine, in Russia since 2018. How's that for supporting our troops?

  62. If nothing else, this disaster has united America's left and right in decrying the preferential treatment the elite recieve in a way I haven't seen in years.

  63. The "Merchant of Death," who was the number 2 most wanted person in the world behind Osama Bin Laden was just released. A lot of innocent people will likely die so that one person could walk free.

  64. Straight up if that was me and I heard who they traded for I would have told them put me back in the cell and re-negotiate the deal, but then again she's a selfish ass so....

  65. Paul Whelan won't be released because he is a convicted spy. The Russians refused to trade for him, probably because they want to swap him for one of their own spies.

  66. Trading an arms dealer for a sports ball player is definitely not about "caring for US citizens". The obvious retort: if we care about US citizens, why can smoking weed make you fail a drug test in a state where the drug is legal, making you lose your job and insurance? Why is it illegal at all if citizens are such high priority? Or is it that corporations dictate what laws pass and we continue to fail to see action so blatantly because the pricks in charge couldn't give less than a single fuck if you know they're fucking you over for profit every single day

  67. Why this is such a monumental fuck up? Because one of the reasons why Russia is having a hard time is all the sanctions that are placed on them they have issues buying/stockpiling weapons. It’s why they want this guy, an arms dealer can get around the sanctions and get them what they need. This trade will directly fuck Ukraine and whoever else down the road.

  68. Russia has issues with advanced modern weapons. Bout was selling AKs and Soviet era missiles from Russian stockpiles

  69. Imagine being the world's most notorious arms dealer and getting released from prison because a WNBA player vaped some THC

  70. Remember in the movie Air Force One when the President, his family, half the cabinet, and countless staffers and media members were taken captive by Russian terrorists? And then the VP and other cabinet members grappled over whether they should trade 1 Russian terrorist for all of them. If they thought that was a bad trade.....how would they feel about this one?

  71. There’s going to be a flurry of interviews, book deals, a biopic and endless harassment from both sides of the spectrum. They’re gonna shove this in our faces for years. Fuck.

  72. Will she have to go through airport security on our way back? If so what are the odds she doesn’t check her bags before

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