‘The Merchant Of Death’ For Griner And Whelan: Why The Russian Prisoner Swap Is A Risky Deal

‘The Merchant Of Death’ For Griner And Whelan: Why The Russian Prisoner Swap Is A Risky Deal


In seeking the release of two Americans convicted of crimes in Russia, U.S. officials confirmed this week they’ve proposed a prisoner exchange for Viktor Bout, a notorious arms dealer nicknamed ‘The Merchant of Death.’

Why This Is A Bad Deal

If current negotiations succeed, the U.S. will free a convicted arms smuggler who operated on an international scale for close to two decades in exchange for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, both of whom have arguably exemplified poor behavior on the world stage.

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Griner, 31, is the pro basketball star who pleaded guilty to having hashish oil in her suitcase at a Moscow airport in February. Whelan, 52, a former Marine who traveled to Russia for years, was arrested in 2018 and convicted on espionage charges in a secret

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