The Biden administration should not have exchanged the merchant of death for Brittney Griner.
Negotiating with tyrannical regimes is impractical because it is immoral.
America has now signaled to every thug on the planet that they can kidnap American citizens and get something in exchange.
What should the Biden administration have done? It should have notified Putin, in effect:
If Brittney Griner is not safely back in America within 48 hours we will begin destroying Russia’s computer systems and networks. We will not stop until Brittany is on American soil, in good health. If you harm Brittany, we will kill you, Putin, personally.
We will not say a word of this communication publicly. You may make up any story you like about why you released her.
The choice is yours.
We will not negotiate. You will not hear from us again.
Alas, no American politician today thinks in terms of moral principles. So none would have handled the situation this way.
We will pay for the moral failing.
(Whether Brittney broke a Russian law by “smuggling” hash oil is irrelevant. The possession of a drug does not violate rights, so such a law is illegitimate.)