Douglas Andrews / December 9, 2022

Weak Joe Got Rolled on the Prisoner Swap

Joe Biden’s weakness on the world stage is not only embarrassing — it’s dangerous.

What is it about Joe Biden that causes our geopolitical foes to rub their hands with glee?

It’s many things, we suppose — the dementia, the backslapping, the pathological lying, the delusions of adequacy, the see-through tough-guy act — all rolled up into one big “Kick Me” sign right there on his backside.

So Putin kicked him. Good and hard. And he got Biden to give up one of the world’s most dangerous and deadly men for a woke American who’d be an utter nobody if she weren’t six feet nine inches tall.

Yesterday, Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would release Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, “The Merchant of Death,” who was sentenced in 2011 to 25 years for providing weapons used to kill Americans. And so, in return for cutting this guy loose and returning him to a nation with which we’re in a proxy war, we get Brittney Griner.

Biden’s killer deal notably excluded American Paul Whelan, an Iraq war Marine veteran who has been imprisoned in Russia on completely bogus spying charges since 2018, and Marc Fogel, a Pennsylvania teacher also in Russian custody.

It’s tough being a white male sometimes. In Whelan’s case, it’s doubly tough being a Trump supporter — but we’re certain his politics had nothing to do with the Trump-deranged Biden administration’s decision to leave him behind.

As for the twice-married Griner, who has a domestic violence rap safely in her background, she doesn’t much care for the American flag or the national anthem.

“I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our season,” Griner told AZ Central in 2020. “I think we should take that much of a stand. I don’t mean that in any disrespect to our country,” she said. “My dad was in Vietnam and a law officer for 30 years. I wanted to be a cop before basketball. I do have pride for my country.”

“I’m going to protest regardless,” Griner added. “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.”

Perhaps because of sentiment like this, Griner had become the cause célèbre of just about every leftist pressure group out there. Indeed, when it comes to grievance, she hit the identity trifecta: Not only is she a woman, she’s also black and gay.

In August, when she was sentenced to an admittedly outrageous nine years in prison, film producer Errol Webber — who happens to be black — had this reaction: “Brittney Griner got 9 years in a Russian prison. Oh my … The Race Card failed. The LGBT Card failed. The Sports Star Card failed. Now, you’re begging the country you despise for help. Oh my.”

Joe Biden sees things differently. “She represents … the best about America,” he said at a presser yesterday morning to announce Griner’s release. “Just across the board, everything about her.”

“The best about America,” eh? Apparently, the best things about America are the dope, the domestic violence, the wokeness, and the national anthem-bashing.

Yep, across the board. But as repulsive as Biden’s comments were, they couldn’t hold a rainbow-colored candle to those of his press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, who, as a fellow black lesbian, couldn’t help but gush about Griner’s skin color and sexual preference: “Brittney is more than an athlete, more than an Olympian,” she said. “She is an important role model and inspiration to millions of Americans, particularly the LGBTQI+ Americans and women of color.”

There you have it: Brittney Griner wasn’t just any American; she was a female black lesbian basketball player.

What about Viktor Bout? What about the guy we gave up? That’s the worst part of this deal, far and away. And that’s why Vladimir Putin — the guy who waited until Donald Trump was safely out of office before invading Ukraine — also knew he could roll Joe Biden on a prisoner swap.

Donald Trump likes to bring Americans home as much as anyone, but he wouldn’t cut a deal that involved Bout — because he knew how dangerous he was. It wasn’t just Trump’s opinion, either. Here’s how Trump-hating John Bolton characterized the Griner-for-Bout debacle:

This is not a deal. This is not a swap. This is a surrender. And terrorists and rogue states all around the world will take note of this, and it endangers other Americans in the future who can be grabbed and used as bargaining chips by people who don’t have the same morals and scruples that we do.

There are occasions when you swap spies. Obviously, there are legitimate exchanges of prisoners of war, but this doesn’t even approximate that. The idea that somehow what Brittney Griner did — very foolishly, in my estimate — but that whatever she did compares to Viktor Bout is something that shows just how desperate the administration was to make this deal. And I’m just very worried about the effect it has and the danger that it can put many other Americans in, all around the world.

According to the Justice Department in 2011, “Bout was convicted 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.”

Sounds like a swell guy, no?

“I am greatly disappointed,” said a grimly resolute Whelan, “that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four-year anniversary of my arrest is coming up. I was arrested for a crime that never occurred. … I’m happy that Brittney is going home … but I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.”

That makes two of us, Paul. That makes two of us.

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