Planes land on U.S. territory each day, however one explicit flight touching down has been hotly anticipated for months and brings with it nice information and treasured cargo: WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was arrested on the Moscow airport in February on a trumped-up cost of bringing unlawful medication into the nation and the way now been launched in a prisoner swap.
Let’s be clear about one thing: Griner was successfully a political prisoner. Her crime — inadvertently packing a few cannabis-oil cartridges, which she had a medical prescription for, into her baggage when touring to Russia — ought to have warranted a warning, perhaps a small superb. In no rational system did it warrant a nine-year time period in a penal colony, an eye-popping sentence even in a rustic as used to carceral punishment as ours.
The identical can’t be stated for the opposite facet of the swap, convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, a person whose illicit companies scattered weapons throughout unstable conflicts in a number of continents, and who possible nonetheless has the contacts and the sources to do harm. It’s factor that Griner was launched, however an indisputably unhealthy one which Bout did too, and the U.S. actually received a uncooked deal.
Little question that the Russians will declare that Bout did nothing unsuitable, however the proof in opposition to him is overwhelming. No case actually needed to be constructed in opposition to Griner, who dedicated one minor infraction and didn’t attempt to obscure it in any respect. Let’s hope this doesn’t give the Russians the concept that they’ll be at liberty to assist themselves to any American customer who they’ll plausibly hit with expenses that’ll keep on with the hope of getting their folks sprung from jail.
Left behind are Individuals like Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who was jailed for what looks as if a bogus espionage cost levied in opposition to him 4 years in the past, and who didn’t profit from the identical public stress marketing campaign that stored the administration’s deal with springing Griner. We should always not overlook about them.