Tags: blaineholt | brittneygriner | viktorbout | russia

Blaine Holt to Newsmax: US Had Other Options To Secure Griner's Release

By    |   Saturday, 10 December 2022 11:10 AM EST

Releasing notorious "Merchant of Death" arms dealer Viktor Bout never should have been part of the cost of releasing WNBA star Brittney Griner, and there should have been a two-for-one agreement that would have also brought retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan back to the United States, retired Gen. Blaine Holt said on Newsmax Saturday. 

"We could tomorrow start pumping oil and gas and start flowing it into Europe to strengthen resolve against Russia," Holt, a former deputy U.S. deputy military representative to NATO, told Newsmax's "Wake Up America," noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin "wouldn't want that."

Another option would have been for the United States to start providing longer-range weapons to Ukraine to give it the ability to hit legitimate military targets deep inside Russia, he said. 

"Would that bother Russia?" said Holt. "Yes, it would. Would those be things that could affect the release of those prisoners and get people to the tables? Yes, they could. It doesn't have to be a thug who wants to kill millions of Americans in play, nor an assassin in Germany."

Griner returned to the United States early Friday after being held in Russia for almost 10 months. The prisoner exchange has sparked a political firestorm because the Biden administration failed to win Whelan's freedom, after he has been jailed for almost four years, and because of Bout's release. 

Holt Saturday said Griner's release looks as if the administration has "responded to political sensitivities rather than exacting American strength and leverage to affect the return of both of these illegitimately held people."

Concerns had been heightened after Griner's arrest, as she was an openly gay Black woman being held in a country whose officials have been hostile to the LGBTQ community, and Holt said Saturday, "We don't begrudge Brittney coming home.

"That's wonderful, but how we got there is just more of the never-ending cascade of weaknesses demonstrated," Holt said. "The perils only go up from there as we continue to do this."

Holt also said he thinks the Russian was "sitting in prison, honing his skills," particularly with the millions of dollars in weapons and equipment the United States left behind during the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"He's funded $50 million in weapons to the Taliban alone to go after Americans and he doesn't stop with the military," said Holt. "He's interested in weapons getting into any hands that will kill Americans."

Meanwhile, Holt said he hopes Griner has a "new perspective on life" and what it means to be an American. 

He also agreed with show host Carl Higbee that she should "absolutely" admit that if Bout sells arms to an entity that harms Americans that the deaths came at the price of her freedom. 

"Maybe we'll see a reborn American in her coming and doing positive things in our community," said Holt. 

About NEWSMAX TV:

NEWSMAX is the fastest-growing cable news channel in America!

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsmax-Tv
Releasing arms dealer Viktor Bout never should have been part of the cost of releasing WNBA star Brittney Griner, and there should have been a two-for-one agreement that would have also brought retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan back, retired Gen. Blaine Holt said.
blaineholt, brittneygriner, viktorbout, russia
520
2022-10-10
Saturday, 10 December 2022 11:10 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
 
TOP

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved