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Thread: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

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    Default Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    So I try to be objective on these kinds of things, but this one is tough. I have read hundreds of articles and spent hours and hours looking into her case. Information on Russian law is scarce for sure.

    So I have seen that she had trace amounts of cannabis 0.702 grams and has been detained since February. The charge of possession in Russia for that amount isn't a criminal offense and is punishable by a maximum of 15 days detention. Russia is charging her not with possession, but with smuggling which she faces up to 10 years in prison for. From what I understand of Russian law, the charge of smuggling tends to be reserved for importing large amounts of narcotics with the intent to distribute. The details on this are vague.

    The claim is that she was wrongfully detained in that she wasn't read her rights or provided a translator, which I believe she is entitled to in Russia. There is also some concern that she was held for a long period without being formally charged. Again, some of these details are vague and scarce.

    So the interesting thing about this to me, is that her stance on the National Anthem has a LOT of people who are actually happy that this is happening to her. I see lots of comments of "do the crime, do the time". People who defend her, are also attacked and told that they can feel free to join her. I have read a ton of comments suggesting that Griner hates the US and so this serves her right. I must admit I don't understand the people who get so angry at others who peacefully protest the National Anthem, often with comments of "people died fighting in the service for your freedom so you have to have respect for the flag and national anthem. Anything less means you hate the US."

    She is also a black woman and a lesbian, so that hits some checkboxes.

    Personally, I think if she was a nobody, she would have been home long ago. Russia knows that she is well known and they can leverage her.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    I haven't followed the case closely, but I agree that it is all about Russia using her for leverage. Just looking at the potential prisoner swap just reinforces that view to me.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    It has nothing to do with the law. It has everything to do with political leverage.

    China and Russian playbook - find high value prisoner. Detain them on bullshit charges. Wait for US/Canadian public to pressure the politicians to engage in hostage trade (even though they "never negotiate with terrorists"). They eventually cave like they always do.

    This is what happened in Canada when we arrested the Huawei CFO. This is exactly what will happen in the US - Russia will get back its coveted arms dealer who they've been trying to bring back for years.

    It's a shame that we cave to these kidnapping strategies. At the end of the day votes are what matter unfortunately, not principles.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    It's interesting this has captivated you as it has. I agree there are a lot of influencing factors. My take is it will get sorted out via some sort of quid pro quo.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    I have a couple of points on here:
    - No matter if it was an accident, she was irresponsible for having the vape pod in her bag while travelling through a Russian airport. She likely travels a ton, and it's not a big deal what she did. But when I travel I make sure I have nothing that's remotely illegal. In Canada weed is legal to even travel with domestically. But I remove any trace of it when I fly. It's not worth the headache.
    - There's tons of wrongfully jailed people in America for weed charges. And Brittney Griner hasn't lost sleep over them. Same with any American's detained internationally for weed charges. No one has lost sleep over the strangers in the USA/Internationally that have been wrongfully prosecuted on weed charges.
    - America will waste tons of time and money on her exchange. But won't take any time for other people. No matter how large of an influence her notoriety is to get her arrested/charged, it's helping her after.
    - This was not a legal arrest. Many steps were skipped, she was punished harsher than the crime committed. And is being used as a pawn in the Russian/USA relations.

    It's messed up what's happened to her. But I can't help but think that she's been extremely lucky due to her notoriety no matter how much that has been the reason for the arrest in the first place. If she's back on USA soil, the Russian gov't did exactly what they wanted. Got 2 very bad Russians free for a WNBA player who put herself into the mess.

    But I do think the punishment has nothing to do with the weed vape cartridge she had. Which is totally unfair to her. I hope I am not letting that point get missed. She does not deserve this.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    EDIT: This morning Griner was sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison.

    Agreed with the above, this has nothing to do with Russian criminal law. I have no doubt the aspects of Russian law you quoted are correct, but again this is not a "she had marijuana issue".

    Simply put, Griner is a political prisoner. Russia is at war with the West via proxy in the Ukraine
    and Griner is probably the most high profile American in Russia who could be "grabbed". Whether she had any drugs on her at all or not at this point is moot (seems like she probably did, which was an error but allowed Russia to pounce).

    She is an American who is being held hostage for the purposes of prisoner exchange which unfortunately is an effective tactic for allowing Russia/China to get their people released.
    Another one of Russia's classic plays is to sew divisiveness domestically within the USA, in that regard Griner is the perfect target to hold. As pointed out above, she is not an active protester domestically and not universally liked or admired.
    Thus, any negotiations to have her returned are going to put the President in a domestic political bind on top of the standard "we do not negotiate with terrorists" vs. "we need to get this American home" issues negotiations face.

    No matter what the President does (and that is any President in this spot) he will face backlash, which again is the perfect recipe for Russia's goals.

    I feel incredibly sorry for Griner on an individual level, she "needs" to go to Russia to maximize her earning potential each year. Whether she had some trace amount of weed or not is completely beside the point, it was an excuse to grab her. Now she's stuck in a fight so much bigger than herself and has no option but to play nice with her captors and hope she can be released.
    Whether or not the USA should pay the incredibly high price for Griner's return is an equally tough question. The guy Russia is demanding be released (Viktor Bout - apparently the USA has offered his release) is literally the "Lord of War" and has done an untold amount of damage with his business dealings. There is not legitimate reason he should ever see freedom again, but if that is the cost to return an innocent American then perhaps it must be paid.

    Given the sentence toady I suspect the USA and Russia will agree to a deal shortly and hope Griner can be returned home.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by LawMan View Post
    EDIT: This morning Griner was sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison.

    Agreed with the above, this has nothing to do with Russian criminal law. I have no doubt the aspects of Russian law you quoted are correct, but again this is not a "she had marijuana issue".

    Simply put, Griner is a political prisoner. Russia is at war with the West via proxy in the Ukraine
    and Griner is probably the most high profile American in Russia who could be "grabbed". Whether she had any drugs on her at all or not at this point is moot (seems like she probably did, which was an error but allowed Russia to pounce).

    She is an American who is being held hostage for the purposes of prisoner exchange which unfortunately is an effective tactic for allowing Russia/China to get their people released.
    Another one of Russia's classic plays is to sew divisiveness domestically within the USA, in that regard Griner is the perfect target to hold. As pointed out above, she is not an active protester domestically and not universally liked or admired.
    Thus, any negotiations to have her returned are going to put the President in a domestic political bind on top of the standard "we do not negotiate with terrorists" vs. "we need to get this American home" issues negotiations face.

    No matter what the President does (and that is any President in this spot) he will face backlash, which again is the perfect recipe for Russia's goals.

    I feel incredibly sorry for Griner on an individual level, she "needs" to go to Russia to maximize her earning potential each year. Whether she had some trace amount of weed or not is completely beside the point, it was an excuse to grab her. Now she's stuck in a fight so much bigger than herself and has no option but to play nice with her captors and hope she can be released.
    Whether or not the USA should pay the incredibly high price for Griner's return is an equally tough question. The guy Russia is demanding be released (Viktor Bout - apparently the USA has offered his release) is literally the "Lord of War" and has done an untold amount of damage with his business dealings. There is not legitimate reason he should ever see freedom again, but if that is the cost to return an innocent American then perhaps it must be paid.

    Given the sentence toady I suspect the USA and Russia will agree to a deal shortly and hope Griner can be returned home.
    Great summary.

    It's infuriating to me that the western world continues to give in to these kidnappings. With each successive "trade" we are just laying out a blueprint for the rest of the world on how to get back their terrorists and prisoners.

    If it were me I'd hold the line. **** it, perhaps I'd give them a dose of their own medicine and capture even more of their people in the USA.

    You can't handle the Chinese and Russians with kiddy gloves they will extract a pound of flesh every time.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    The solution might be to stay home. USA and Canada have plenty of opportunities for safe travel. Why go to China, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Somalia, Venezuela…. We have no rights there. And unless we’re as famous as Griner, we’d rot in jail with only our own family caring about it.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Brad View Post
    The solution might be to stay home. USA and Canada have plenty of opportunities for safe travel. Why go to China, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Somalia, Venezuela…. We have no rights there. And unless we’re as famous as Griner, we’d rot in jail with only our own family caring about it.
    I hear what you are saying, but Griner did not go there for travel.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    I read an article in the Atlantic titled "Nine years? Brittney Griner is a political prisoner" and it had this paragraph :

    Griner was arrested just days before the invasion of Ukraine, which is to say that she was grabbed after Putin and his circle had almost certainly made the decision to go to war. She was perfect for the part that the Russians wanted her to play as a possible bargaining chip. She is a prominent American, but not too prominent. She is gay, Black, and covered in tattoos, the kind of defendant for whom the average Russian will have no sympathy. Detaining her for a minor drug charge must have been an easy call for the Russian intelligence services.
    I can totally see it. We are going to trade Whelan and Griner for Bout is what they are thinking? This makes me so sad. Even worse for me, is the people who hate Griner for her protesting of the Anthem who are now gleefully gushing about this. It is such a pathetic and petty way to be.

    Rylant

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    It's staggering how many people I have recently spoken to about this who insist that because she is guilty, that it's not possible for her to be wrongfully detained...

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation?

    getting pinched for a bit of weed is laughable in 2022 .

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