The Biden administration continues to make a mockery of the U.S. in the international community as well as display a disdain for military veterans.
The White House on Thursday announced a one-sided prisoner exchange with the Kremlin in which the U.S. will receive WNBA player Brittney Griner, who was jailed on drug charges, and release the infamous Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as “The Merchant of Death.”
President Joe Biden alerted the nation via Twitter that his administration had procured the freedom of the lesbian basketball star, who disdains the national anthem and said in 2020 that it shouldn’t be played at all before sporting events.
“Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner,” Biden tweeted Thursday morning. “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.”
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
The post included photos of him embracing Griner’s wife, Cherelle, along with Vice President Kamala Harris celebrating the release of the WNBA player, who was arrested at a Russian airport in February and sentenced to nine years in a penal colony in August after pleading guilty to drug smuggling.
Griner had said she “made an honest mistake” when she brought vape cartridges carrying hashish oil into the country.
Her release four months after her sentencing is rightly stirring outrage among Americans who are wondering why Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan — who has been languishing in a Russian prison for the last four years on dubious espionage charges — is still behind bars.
Meet Brittney Griner & Marine Paul Whelan.
Both were convicted in Russian courts on dubious charges.
Both serving multi-year sentences in Russian prison.
Brittney hates America
Paul served America
Guess which one Biden traded a terrorist to free?
Semper fi Paul pic.twitter.com/tuP1R6AZpf
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) December 8, 2022
Biden addressed the issue during his remarks Thursday morning about the prisoner exchange.
“We’ve not forgotten about Paul Whelan, who has been unjustly detained in Russia for years,” the president said. “This was not a choice of which American to bring home.”
“Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s,” he said. “And while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release, we are not giving up. We will never give up.”
“We’ll keep negotiating in good faith for Paul’s release. I guarantee that. I say that to the family: I guarantee you,” Biden said. “And I urge Russia to do the same to ensure that Paul’s health and humane treatment are maintained until we can — are able to bring him home. I don’t want any American to sit wrongfully detained one extra day if we can bring that person home.”
How this administration was able to procure the release of a basketball player who confessed to drug smuggling in less than a year while a veteran who was abducted during a wedding continues to rot in a Russian prison raises more questions than answers.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Whelan said he was discouraged about the turn of events.
“I am greatly disappointed that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four-year anniversary of my arrest is coming up,” he said from the Russian penal colony where he is being held.
While Reuters reported talks about Whelan’s release were ongoing, Russia has proved that it can get away with heavily stacking prisoner exchanges in its favor.
If the Kremlin is able to win the freedom of “The Merchant of Death” — who sold weapons to American enemies such as the Taliban — in exchange for a basketball player, who will it demand for the release of someone like Whelan?
Pray for the Whelan family as they continue to hope for the release of a patriotic family member who didn’t kneel during our national anthem but spent much of his life fighting to honor it.
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