Opinion Editorial: Good Trade? Forget a ‘Bout’ it


The following Opinion-Editorial was submitted to Montana 1st News by Paul Johns of Anaconda, MT.

“Yesterday morning, millions of Americans woke up considerably less safe after the prisoner swap carried out by our less-than-competent Commander and Chief Joe Biden. 

Biden tweeted early on Thursday morning that, “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home in reference to WNBA player Brittney Griner. 

For those who don’t know, Griner was caught in a Russian airport with cannabis oil in her luggage. While the amount was small, it is illegal in Russia. Griner pleaded guilty to the charge and was subsequently sentenced to a nine-year prison term. 

The Biden Administration claimed that she was “wrongfully detained” despite her admission to the crime and guilty plea. Either way, the President was hell-bent on bringing her home even if it meant releasing the “Merchant of Death” as Viktor Bout is referred to – the prisoner for whom Biden has swapped Griner. 

Bout was a notorious Russian arms dealer and used multiple companies to smuggle weapons since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He allegedly smuggled weapons from Eastern Europe to several African warlords, dictators in the Middle East and the Colombian FARC, which is a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group funded by kidnap, ransom, illegal mining, extortion and the production and distribution of illegal drugs. In a quote to Yahoo News, Jonathan Winer, a senior official in the State Department during the Clinton Administration said, “In the late 1990s, Bout was the number two target for the United States, after Osama bin Laden.”

During a sting operation in Thailand in 2008, Bout was arrested on terrorism charges by the Thai Police in cooperation with the American authorities and Interpol. In November of 2011, after being extradited to the United States, he was convicted by a jury in Manhattan of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and officials, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles and providing aid to terrorist organizations and was sentenced to 25 years in prison which, if I’m being honest seems quite lenient. 

No questions about it, the “Merchant of Death” is a bad dude. It reminds me of a plot to a James Bond movie, except the movie doesn’t end with the President trading the bad guy for a WNBA player. 

So with all this said, would somebody please check on Joe Biden? Is he aware of what he did? It’s not likely but at least the WNBA will have their star player back. Maybe now that she’s spent time in a truly oppressive country, she’ll respect this one a little more.

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