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The fact that Brittney Griner is returning to the United States following a show trial and egregious sentencing in Russia is positive news. The manner in which President Biden’s administration went about freeing her via prisoner swap, however, could be a cause for concern when it comes to America’s safety.
Griner was released from a Russian prison on Thursday in exchange for Viktor Bout. He is known as ‘The Merchant of Death’ and one of the most dangerous people on the planet. Bout was convicted in 2011 for conspiring to sell tens of millions of dollars in weapons to be used against Americans, according to U.S. officials.
In light of the Griner prisoner swap for Bout, Fox News’ Will Cain posed the simple yet frightening question. How much safer are we today as Americans?
“If we’re going to release and give up Viktor Bout we have to understand that we are trading away several things,” Cain explained to his podcast listeners.
“At the top of the list, we’re trading away our security or at least some degree of our security. If we’re putting this man back on the street and perhaps back into business, we’re putting Americans more at risk.”
“Simply by making this trade we are incentivizing bad guys to say ‘hey, want to get one of our ISIS comrades, our Al-Qaeda comrades released from Guantanemo? Take an American hostage and see if you can negotiate an exchange with an administration of that of Joe Biden.”
As Cain notes, the United States got a form of justice in return by getting Griner out of Russia. But at the end of the day her release feels like a public relations move for Biden’s White House.
Retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, meanwhile, is being detained in Russia for four years on espionage charges.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris