Prison exchanges and transfers are never entirely satisfactory affairs. In such cases the appropriate measure is the extent of dissatisfaction arising from them. Russian negotiators can count themselves rich in the bargain in the event that American basketball player Brittney Griner is traded for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Two-time Olympic champion Griner was found in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February this year with cartridges for vaping with hashish oil. Her argument is that these are prescriptive. The court was unconvinced and sentenced her to nine years in prison for drug trafficking.
Bott, American authorities and Hollywood influence invested in satanic qualities, where his character Nicolas Cage was given a celluloid form, was convicted in 2011 of four charges, including conspiracy to kill American citizens.
He was arrested in Bangkok three years ago after posing as arms buyers for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and attempting to sell surface-to-air missiles to members of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It was this fact that caused Bode shock and suspicion: a sting operation, the smell of politics. For his part, it was all business.
Most famously, he has been accused of repeating what other powers and institutions have done since decolonization: spreading the murderous glee of arms across the African continent in the 1990s and early 2000s. Throw in claims by US officials that he is a former officer of the Russian military intelligence directorate, the GRU, and that we have a role.
Bot’s efforts were more complicated than just sending weapons. In the 1990s, he started his own air freight company, Air Chess, bought military aircraft, and shipped televisions, refrigerators, furniture, textiles, electronics, and weapons from his base of operations in Sharjah to many countries in conflict. . He was a positive Catholic, gaining his clients from officials in Washington to war criminals like Charles Taylor of Liberia.
Prospects of seeking a transfer involving Baut were already circulating in July, when it was reported that he could be swapped for Paul Whelan, who served a 16-year prison sentence alongside Griner in Russia on espionage charges. Even the original sentencing judge, District Judge Shira Sheindlin, argued that “the situation has changed and it’s a trade-off we have to make.” Bode most likely lost his place in arms smuggling.
Michael Brown, former chief executive of the DEA, expressed his caution on the idea. “Before making this trade, U.S. President Joe Biden needs to remember just how dangerous Bot is — and how damaging his release would be to U.S. national security.”
Russian negotiators, refusing the job offer, drew the line at Whelan, leaving the Biden administration to accept Greiner’s withdrawal while raising questions about the currency of such exchanges.
The air of dissent was certainly palpable from the smokestacks of commentary in America. But given his sentence to “a Russian penal colony for possession of one gram of cannabis oil,” as the CNN report put it, Griner’s return was deemed morally necessary. Butt’s release turned out to be a justified move because of Kreiner’s “blatant capture as a geopolitical pawn ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Russian human rights lawyer Arseniy Levinson also considered the sentence to be political in nature. “She should not have been sentenced to actual imprisonment. And such a severe sentence should not have been imposed, which was only prompted by raising the stakes in the exchange to mock the hostage-taker.
The Griner-Bot exchange has cast an unpleasant mirror on the Biden administration. The failure to secure Whelan’s release led former President Donald Trump to fume that he was “a ‘stupid’ and unpatriotic disgrace to America,” while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was invited It is “a gift to Vladimir Putin” and a threat to “American lives.”
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) argued Trade gave another reason to “impeach” the president. Biden said “Russian terrorist arms dealer, Victor Bott, left a US Marine in a Russian prison and brought home a professional basketball player.”
The sentiment was echoed in enthusiastic fashion by RT editor Margarita Simonyan, who thought of Whelan as a “hero spy” as opposed to Kreiner, “a drug-addicted black lesbian who suffered for vaping hashish”.
While marijuana is legal in 21 US states, it is an embarrassing fact that inmates are serving life sentences for possession of small amounts of the drug. Neuroscientist and drug reform advocate Dr. Carl Hart celebrated Griner’s release, but suggested the need to do more: “Let’s release all drug war political prisoners now.”
Being honest in bot publishing is the easiest thing to do. The arms trade has a more obvious fatality than rich countries’ pet obsession with narcotics or “people-trafficking.” But that ignores the muddy picture of treaties, alliances and understandings that is the international arms market.
Isolating Bot as a cartoonish gangster who put American lives at risk ignores the fact that the United States is the world’s largest arms exporter, putting the lives of citizens around the world at risk. Between 2017 and 2021, the United States accounted for 39 percent of the world’s largest arms transfers. That was twice as much as Russia and almost 10 times more than China sent its customers.
Another painful thing is that one can only become a merchant of death if he has the goods and the desire to buy and use them. As Bode said, if you’re going to prosecute a man like him, you might as well prosecute American arms dealers whose weapons are ultimately used against American citizens. (National Rifle Association, take note.) “They’re more involved than I am!”