I previously wrote about the reactions to Brittney Griner’s return from Russia as a professional basketball player. Paul Whelan, an American held by Russia for four years and sentenced to 16 years in 2020 for doing absolutely nothing, expressed his disappointment that the Biden team failed to do more over the years to free him.
Whelan and his family cannot be too critical of Joe Biden and the effort. They have to rely upon Biden’s efforts, however, failed they may be. They are stuck between two rocks.
Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, was one of the reactions I wrote about. The Democrats’ priorities in this matter were evident from what she had to say.
What a great relief!!! Extraordinary news, a basketball star, but also a gay, black woman is released. And yes of course we want other prisoners like Paul Whelan released.
— Randi Weingarten 🇺🇦🇺🇸💪🏿👩🎓 (@rweingarten) December 8, 2022
Notice the Paul Whelan “oh, by the way,” aside thrown in there. Later she will be able to say that she said it and that she cares.
Weingarten was clear about the priorities, but it was interesting to see White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre outline them in her remarks on the deal.
KJP: “The choice was bring Brittney home or no one. The president will never stop working to secure Paul Whelan’s release. On a personal note, Brittney is an important role model, an inspiration to millions of Americans particularly the LGBTQI+ Americans and women of color” pic.twitter.com/ClbGi6ysbq
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 8, 2022
Jean-Pierre insisted, “The choice was to bring Brittney home or not.” “The president will not stop trying to secure Paul Whelan’s release. Brittney is a role model and an inspiration to millions, especially LGBTQI+ Americans, and women of color.
Griner was also a “best of America” according to her.
It is there, can they make it more clear? Whelan was a Marine but that doesn’t make him the best of America or worthy of inspiration.
Jean-Pierre was pressed by Fox’s Peter Doocy about why Russia seemed to have the better deal.
Peter Doocy clashes with Karine Jean-Pierre over Brittney Griner prisoner swap.
“Why did Russia get such a better deal?” pic.twitter.com/X7umAXbFNb
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 8, 2022
KJP also asked him a question about the relationship between Biden and Twitter, which he refused to answer. Whelan was not also answered by KJP’s response.
Because Biden was willing and able to give Vladimir Putin a pair of cheap pants, the choice was “Brittney” or “no one”. This is called weakness and caving. You bargained for the death of a terrorist. You should have done everything you could to get everyone for him if you were going against the “don’t deal with terrorists” rule. This would have required strength, which is a rare quality in the Biden team.