If you thought the Biden administration’s habit of backing international criminals was outrageous, get ready for a whole new level of shock and disbelief! Earlier today it was announced that in exchange for professional Women’s National Basketball Association player Brittany Griner, President Biden has agreed to release a death merchant. An individual who makes arms-deals with US enemies and makes millions from weapons used to commit genocide around the world. Unbelievable? Absolutely. But unfortunately it’s true!
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that WNBA star Brittney Griner was released from Russian captivity as part of a prisoner exchange for a notorious Russian arms dealer.
Biden tweeted early Thursday from the White House, where he was joined by Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, “Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home
WMBA player Griner, who was caught with marijuana vaping materials at a Moscow airport in February, was sentenced to nine years in prison in August. Griner was transferred to an infamous Russian penal colony last month. Her arrest occurred while she was in Russia, finishing her season for UMMC Ekaterinburg. Women’s basketball is not as popular in the United States as it is in Europe and Asia, where players can earn much more in the off-season.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. diplomats scrambled to win her release, but their efforts were complicated by Russia’s international isolation. Known as the “Merchant of Death,” Viktor Bout is an international criminal. The United States agreed to swap him for Griner.
As part of the negotiations, the U.S. had hoped to win the release of Paul Whelan, a Michigan man and former Marine jailed in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges the U.S. government has said are unfounded. But sources said the deal was one-for-one.
Biden was asked by a reporter on the status of Whelan’s release, however, Biden did not offer much of an explanation or update.
According to Whelan’s brother, David Welan, the family is pleased Brittney Griner is returning home, but they remain heartbroken about Paul Whelan’s imprisonment.
President Joe Biden’s announcement Thursday that WNBA star Brittney Griner was free in exchange for a notorious Russian arms dealer who has managed to commit atrocities free of repercussions was a move of questionable morality. Even more disturbing is the fact that while the U.S. had hoped to free the wrongfully imprisoned Paul Whelan, Biden has chosen instead to free Griner, an individual with no redeemable value whose sole offence was found with marijuana vaping materials at a Moscow airport – a privileged consequence given her WNBA status. This not only compromises our government’s authority on international affairs but disgraces the grounds upon which justice is held. In light of this, Paul Whelan should have been freed instead of Griner; doing so would have shown the world that we mean business and do not justify any acts that sidestep human rights and dignity.
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