Paul Reen, President Republicans in France
11 Dec 2022
Last Thursday, 8 December, Joe Biden proudly announced from the Oval office that professional women’s basketball player Brittney Griner was freed after 9 months in Russian captivity. With a giddy Kamala Harris in tow, Biden embraced Brittney’s wife with the cameras rolling. Clearly by shocking coincidence, on the same day the Democrat House celebrated the passing of a bill to protect same-sex marriage, even though same-sex marriage is already legal in all 50 states. The political theatre from the Biden Administration never ends.
OK putting political theatre aside for a second, America was truly happy for Brittney who stupidly tried to enter Russia carrying cannabis oil but was held far too long in Russian prisons. She should have been released much earlier. Until, of course, America heard the details of the release. Most of the world now knows that Brittney was part of a 1 for 1 prisoner swap that freed the most notorious, dangerous and Putin’s top priority Russian prisoner, the “Merchant of Death”, Victor Bout. Then it was revealed that Biden had tried to release a 2nd American in exchange for Bout, a decorated Marine Veteran, Paul Whelan, who has been unjustly detained in Russia for nearly 4 years. But Putin refused, so Biden caved and gave up Bout anyway, leaving the Marine behind enemy lines. The most notorious Russian arms dealer, guilty of selling arms to terrorists to kill Americans swapped for an athlete carrying cannabis oil for her own use. Incredible negotiations Biden!
Who is Viktor Bout? According to the New York Times, Viktor Bout has been accused of selling Russian weapons to Al Qaeda, the Taliban and militants in Rwanda as well as ignoring arms embargoes in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Algeria, where he sold weapons to both the government forces and the rebels fighting them. His diabolical actions helped inspire a 2005 film, “Lord of War,” starring Nicolas Cage. He was captured and convicted in 2011 on charges including conspiring to kill Americans and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Russian experts have stated that he is a member of, or at least was in close collaboration with, Russia’s military intelligence agency, the G.R.U. Experts also say that he was the highest-profile Russian in U.S. custody and the prisoner Russia had campaigned the most to have returned. He has now been freed after serving less than half his sentence.
Paul Whelan served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1994 to 2008. While serving in the Marines, he did two deployments to Iraq and rose to the rank of staff sergeant. Whelan was arrested by Russia at a Moscow hotel in 2018. Russia claimed he was carrying out “an espionage operation,” which resulted in his arrest. Whelan’s brother David said Whelan was in Moscow for the wedding of a fellow Marine. He’s been sentenced to 16 years in prison. This the 2nd time that Whelan has been left behind this year. In April he was also a potential Russian prisoner swap but another US Marine, Trevor Reed, imprisoned more recently in 2019, was released instead. Paul’s brother David also says that Paul remains positive that he’ll be released soon and continues to begin every morning by singing the U.S. National Anthem.
Brittney Griner meanwhile has been a very active social warrior since 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protests against perceived police brutality and racial injustice. She has refused to stand for the National Anthem before games, choosing instead to stay in the locker room. “I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our season,” Griner said. “I think we should take that much of a stand. I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem. If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine. It will be all season long, I’ll not be out there. I feel like more are going to probably do the same thing. I can only speak for myself.”
Ridiculous Reactions from Biden Cabinet and Democrats:
Joe Biden: Biden on Thursday was asked after an unrelated speech what he would say to Whelan’s family concerning the shocking developments. His answer was a non-answer, his handlers quickly scurried him away from cameras and inquiring reporters.
John Kirby, Security Council Coordinator for strategic communications: when pressed on the situation Thursday, he insisted that the negotiations for Whelan were still ongoing in what sounded more like a pre-approved White House response.
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary: Although it was earlier reported by ABC that both Griner and Whelan were offered as options for Viktor Bout, Karine Jean Pierre gave her usual dishonest spin stating “This was not a choice for us on which American to bring home. It was a choice between bringing home one American or none”. Adding, “Brittney Griner is an inspiration for LGBTQI+ Americans and Women of Color”.
Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers: She exclaimed over Twitter, “What a great relief!!! Extraordinary news, a basketball star, but also a gay, black woman is released.” She added, “And yes of course we want other prisoners like Paul Whelan released.”
Meanwhile Russia state TV is enjoying mocking Biden’s weakness for choosing an athlete over a Marine and laughing at what this says about Americans priorities. More serious is how Putin and other U.S. adversaries see Biden’s weakness once again after Afghanistan. Will they start kidnapping Americans as bargaining chips? It also brings back memories of another terrible prisoner swap under Obama who released the famous “Taliban Five”, 5 of the worst “GITMO” terrorists, in a swap for US deserter Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in 2014. A pattern of Democrat weakness.
For Griner let’s hope she appreciates the US a little more after seeing what a real totalitarian regime is like. For Paul Whelan let’s pray for his continued strength and patriotism until he is released. The sad truth is Biden’s weakness threatens the security of America and all Americans living abroad.
2024 can’t come fast enough.