The White House claims it made no decision to release Brittney Greiner in exchange of Viktor Bout, but others have rightfully questioned why Paul Whelan (an ex-Marine who has been held by Russia for over four years on bogus charges) wasn’t released or released first.
CNN’s Van Jones seems able to explain why.
“This is huge. First of all, that’s a decade-defining image when you saw her wife sitting there, Kamala Harris was there, the president is there, such a human image, and yet it just shows this president got it done,” Jones said on Thursday. “He cared enough about this individual person to get her home. It was shocking for young Americans to see an icon like that snatched, locked up, treated like garbage, and nine years, ten years for bringing some cannabis oil, medically prescribed.”
Jones said, “So these images are decade-defining.” Because she is an icon, I can guarantee that young people 10-20 years from now will recall this moment. It is truly, really amazing. People are talking about the other guy. He is so horrible. There are many terrible people around the world. Russia has many of them. It’s unacceptable for a black female icon to be treated as garbage and for America to do nothing about it. People will be proud that something was done.
Paul Whelan has been wrongly held in Russia for the past four years. He’s white and male. The Biden administration cannot exploit his release as they can with a black lesbian. Jones seemed to have no concern for the white man’s plight. The most important thing is that Biden will get a boost in public relations by securing the release of a black lesbian professional basketball player, whom he considers an icon.
Many believe the Biden administration made a decision on who to bring home. Van Jones believes Griner was released because of identity politics, even though he didn’t say so.