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Tags: bout | cannabis | griner

US-Russia Prisoner Swap Starkly Illustrates Biden's Impotence

paul whelan awaits verdict in moscow russia

Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine accused of espionage and arrested in Russia in December of 2018, stands inside a defendants' cage as he waits to hear his verdict in Moscow - June 15, 2020. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images) 

Michael Dorstewitz By Friday, 09 December 2022 09:30 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

As more details of WNBA player Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian prison emerge, the weakness of President Biden and his administration becomes more apparent.

And with it the differences between Biden and his predecessor are revealed in stark contrast, diminishing confidence in the current administration.

Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February of this year after Russian authorities discovered vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner pleaded guilty, and explained that she’d been prescribed the substance for pain and had inadvertently packed it in her bags.

She was nonetheless sentenced to a nine-year prison term on Aug. 4.

The sentence was upheld two months later.

However, Paul Whelan, a U.S. Marine, is going on his fourth year in Russian captivity his arrest at a Moscow hotel for espionage. Although the charges were much more serious than Griner’s, the evidence against Whelan was essentially nonexistent.

Griner was released in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed the "Merchant of Death" due to his reputation for running cargo planes filled with arms to political hot spots.

He was found guilty of conspiring to sell small arms and surface-to-air missiles that would’ve been used to kill DEA agents abroad.

Newsmax TV host Benny Johnson posted a photo of Griner alongside one of Whelan on Twitter, and made a succinct comparison of the two Russian captives.

"Meet Brittney Griner & Marine Paul Whelan," the host of "The Benny Report" began.

"Both Americans.

"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?" Johnson asked. "Semper fi Paul."

It all prompts one to question the administration’s priorities, which were provided by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and a close Biden ally.

"What a great relief!!!" she tweeted.

"Extraordinary news, a basketball star, but also a gay, black woman is released."

Then she added this afterthought: "And yes of course we want other prisoners like Paul Whelan released."

In addition, despite the administration’s claims to the contrary, there is growing evidence to suggest that the White House was offered either Griner or Whalen.

They chose the America-hating pro athlete.

So the issue wasn’t justice so much as it was identity politics, and Griner checked all the boxes: she’s Black, female, and lesbian — and a basketball star to boot!

Whelan never had a chance.

And in return for this America-hating, lesbian doper, Russia got their international arms dealer, whose crimes were described in an Obama-era Justice Department press release:

"Bout was convicted today of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals; conspiring to kill U.S. officers and employees; conspiring to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles; and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization."

Biden announced Griner’s release Thursday morning (in exchange for the international arms dealer), and then just hours later (irony of ironies), the president spoke at the 10th Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence.

You just can’t make up hypocrisy like that.

But Biden’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t have a clue about deal-making like his predecessor, Donald Trump, who wrote the book on the subject: "The Art of the Deal."

By mid-October 2018 — less than two years in office — Trump negotiated more American hostage releases than Obama did in eight years.

And he did it without releasing a single red cent in U.S. treasure.

"We do not pay ransom in this country," Trump said.

Conversely, former President Obama negotiated for the release of four Americans from Iran in exchange for $400 million — in cash.

Obama also secured the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was later found guilty of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and dishonorably discharged.

He was traded for five senior Taliban commanders.

By the time Trump left the White House he had secured the release of more than 50 American hostages from 22 different countries.

Yesterday, Whelan indicated that he was happy that Griner had been released, but added that "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 this during a phone call with CNN yesterday.

"I was arrested for a crime that never occurred," he added.

"I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here."

The reason he’s still rotting in a remote Russian penal colony for a crime that never happened is pretty clear: he’s not a member of a minority protected class, he’s not gay, he doesn’t hate America, and he’s not a basketball player.

Also the wrong person is sitting in the White House.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The weakness of President Biden and his administration becomes more apparent. And with it the differences between Biden and his predecessor are revealed in stark contrast, diminishing confidence in the current administration.
bout, cannabis, griner
Friday, 09 December 2022 09:30 AM
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