US & Russia Exchange Prisoners

This week President Biden announced that he had reached a deal with Russia to exchange Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Brittney Griner. He touted the deal as “a victory for American diplomacy” and “something former president Trump could never have achieved.”

Trump wasted no time in confirming that “I would never have freed one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. He was responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and horrific injuries.” John Bolton, former national security adviser during the Trump Administration and now a dedicated ‘never-Trumper,’ agreed with his old boss’ assessment, saying “there’s a lot of very understandable human emotions here in getting Griner released, but this is a very bad mistake by the Biden administration.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) predicted that “more people will die now that the ‘Merchant of Death’ is no longer behind bars. More terrorists will get more weapons as Bout goes back to work for the Russian government. I also think that more Americans will be unjustly detained in the future because they realize that Joe Biden will give anything in return for any American citizen.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala) Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Ok), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) made similar remarks about the prisoner exchange.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said “the news of Brittney Griner’s release is a welcomed development toward our collective efforts to secure the return of all those wrongfully detained in Russia. Ms. Griner should have been released unconditionally a long time ago. But this swap of prisoners will encourage dictatorial and rogue regimes to take more Americans hostage as bargaining chips.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tx) called the opposition to releasing Bout “harsh. Viktor hasn’t been proven to have killed a single American. All we can say is that the guns he sold to terrorists might have been used to kill Americans. Likewise, the hash that Brittany brought into Russia might have been used to harm Russians. So, in my mind the swap was a fair deal.”

Presidential Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended her boss by pointing out “millions of Americans know and love Brittany. She is a WNBA megastar and an icon for the LGBTQ and BLM communities. Hardly anyone knows who either Paul Whelan or Viktor Bout is. If we had taken Whelan in exchange for Bout no one would’ve cared. Besides, Whelan is a MAGA Republican. We don’t need anymore of those kind in our country. Our only regret is that this trade was not completed before November 8th when it might’ve enabled Democrats to win control of the House.”

Russian media called the deal “a steal. We gave up a basketball player who was stupid enough to bring vape pens with hashish oil into Russia for a tournament, despite the country’s reputation for having some of the strictest drug laws on Earth. We got back one of our nation’s most successful international businessmen. And Saudi Arabia got the US federal lawsuit against Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for his involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi dropped.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin speculated “I think more prisoner exchanges are possible between the two countries. Plenty of American tourists arrive in our country every year. Who knows how many of these people are American spies? We will redouble our efforts to find and arrest them.”

By John Semmens

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