Who is Viktor Bout? He's an international Russian arms dealer who got caught in a sting operation orchestrated by the DEA (yes, the Drug Enforcement Administration) in Thailand, where he agreed to sell arms to what he believed was the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). Since U.S. officials have labeled FARC a terrorist organization, their sting operation, they claimed, established that Bout conspired to kill Americans. He's now serving a 25-year sentence in a federal penitentiary.
But there is another factor to consider in the DEA's decision to target Bout with a sting operation more than 8,000 miles away from American shores. Given that the U.S. government is the biggest arms dealer in the world (something that many in the U.S. gun-control crowd never object to), it's quite possible that they went after Bout because they didn't like the competition.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to claim that Griner is a "political hostage," notwithstanding the fact that she pled guilty to a violation of Russia's drug laws. At the same time, those same U.S. officials continue to brutally enforce their own vicious drug laws here in the United States, especially against blacks.
It seems to me that if we are going to talk about "political hostages," it's worth revisiting the case of Maria Butina, the Russian woman who U.S. officials targeted during the Trump administration, when the extreme anti-Russia animus was getting into full swing, especially at the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, Congress, and the U.S. mainstream press.