Just Say No

Kids, listen up. DO NOT attempt to smuggle drugs into foreign countries. Stupid actions will earn you stiff penalties, and Uncle Sam is not always going to be able to give you a “get out of jail free” card. This latest prisoner swap with Russia is the equivalent of trading Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” for Scarface. Not a good trade if you ask me, but believe it or not, no one asked me.

By now, we all probably know that Brittney Griner has safely touched down in the land of the free and the home of the brave, arriving at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, Friday morning. I’m glad she’s back; I don’t want to see any Americans locked up in one of Putin’s prisons (Paul Whelan, we haven’t forgotten about you, brother). But she’s lucky. Damn lucky. And I hope she realizes it. And I hope she realizes the price we paid for her youthful indiscretion.

Too High a Price

You’ll almost always see Bout surrounded by heavily armed men; for a good reason, he’s damn dangerous. He is shown here arriving at court for a hearing in Bangkok in 2010. The Thais are taking no chances with him. Image Credit: Nicolas Asfouri/Agence France-Presse

So, who is this Russian Viktor Bout we’ve recently decided to set free? Was he hiding a few joints in his underwear when he touched down at JFK? Hell no. Bout is a big-time international arms dealer. He’s been suspected of supplying arms to both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Last time I checked, thousands of Americans died fighting wars trying to wipe both groups off the face of the Earth. Both groups are still around doing their dirty work, by the way.

Lord of War