Has Biden Just Made it Easier to Free Griner and Whelan?

Have We Just Made it Easier to Free Griner and Whelan
Have We Just Made it Easier to Free Griner and Whelan?

Oleg Deripaska, the oligarch close to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, has just been indicted for violating the U.S. sanctions the Biden Administration imposed on Russia. Among those the U.S. Government has arrested is a dual U.S.-Russian citizen by the name of Olga Shriki. With this arrest, has Biden just made it easier to free Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, two Americans the Russian government has been holdingillegaly?

The supposed trade for two Russians the U.S. Government is holding for breaking U.S. laws has stalled in recent weeks. Maybe this new additional asset, a person who is close to one of Putin’s dear friends, might finally make the trade possible.

The Kremlin has arrested both Griner and Whelan on fake charges. We believe because Putin wants to free Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer the US is holding. Interestingly enough, many in the Justice Department believe we should not trade for him. Who is Viktor Bout? According to the New York Post, “Viktor Bout, an outlaw Russian arms dealer known as “The Merchant of Death”.

Bout is close to the Kremlin’s inner circle. This makes his friends and employees a tad more valuable. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to deal with Putin the way he deals with us. In the most uncivilized and unhinged manner.


Rogue countries with a long record of supporting terror are usually placed on the U.S. sanctions list. In the case of Russia, the U.S. started slapping sanctions against after Putin invaded and annexed the Crimea. In the case of Iran, after it threatened our close ally Israel and in the case of Syria for following the same policies as those of Iran.

Each of these countries has kidnapped Americans to use as bait to lift the U.S. sanctions. It has not worked. And will never work in the future as judged by the Assad regime of Syria holding the journalist Austin Tice for over 10 years. His crime? He was covering the Syrian civil war when the Assad regime abducted him. Assad is demanding that the U.S. lifts all sanctions and normalize relations with the his regime of terror.

The National Security Office attached to the White House is considering adding the expertise necessary to respond to these abductions, and it is about time. The United States must have in place some kind of response that does not only involve sanctioning a country. In the Assad case, maybe the U.S. should prosecute Assad’s in-laws, now living in London, and who have broken many British laws. Once in prison, Assad would have no choice but to return Tice to his eager and waiting parents.

It is unfortunate that we, in the United States, have to sink to the levels of Putin, Assad, and Khamenei to protect our own citizens. We hope that once the White House begins taking seriously the fate of kidnapped Americans, we might find that balance between the ability to free them and our own above-board lawful behavior.

Until then, we have no choice but to capture theirs to trade for our own.

Has Biden Just Made it Easier to Free Griner and Whelan?

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