Oliver North / December 13, 2022

Bad Decisions From a Floundering President

A black, LGBTQ+ celebrity was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor “The Merchant of Death” Bout.

At a time when it’s hard to imagine how things in America can get worse, it seems President Joe Biden is on a crusade to drive our nation into the abyss.

We learned Thursday Women’s National Basketball Association player Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison after being arrested 10 months ago on drug charges. It’s become almost irrelevant the “reasons” totalitarian regimes use to lock up Americans. What is relevant here is the “negotiated exchange” resulting in her release and return.

A black, LGBTQ+ celebrity was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor “The Merchant of Death” Bout. It’s interesting to note, Griner first made news by kneeling through the playing of our national anthem during WNBA games to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter — a self-professed Marxist organization. Meanwhile, Bout was in a U.S. federal prison for selling arms to groups wanting the weapons to kill Americans. Now, Griner and Bout can return, respectively, to hating America and killing Americans.

A recent Defense News article by Stephen Losey titled “Russia burning through ammunition in Ukraine at ‘extraordinary’ rate” may explain Putin’s urgency to bring Bout home.

The Griner-Bout “exchange” is akin to Biden’s disastrous decision to abandon Americans and our allies in Afghanistan in 2021. It also reminds us how, in 2014, Biden’s mentor and boss, Barack Obama, exchanged American deserter U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban terror leaders. Four of those five are now prominent in Afghanistan’s brutal government. Their role in the deaths of 13 U.S. military personnel and 200 civilians on Aug. 29, 2021, is still unknown.

What we do know is Griner was released while other Americans, Paul Whelan and Marc Fogel among them, remain imprisoned in Russia.

In 2018, Paul Whelan, a U.S. Marine veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, was detained in Russia on specious charges of espionage. Russia offered to trade Whelan for Bout. President Donald Trump rejected the offer to avoid allowing “The Merchant of Death” to resume his murderous pursuits.

Marc Fogel, an Anglo-American school teacher in Moscow, was arrested in August 2021 when entering Russia with 17 grams (about a half-ounce) of cannabis, prescribed in Pennsylvania for chronic pain. Fogel was sentenced to 14 years in a penal colony after conviction for “large-scale drug smuggling.”

The Griner-Fogel cases seem to be similar. Yet, Griner was released after being arrested this Feb. 17. Why?

I know well how very difficult it is to gain the release of Americans held hostage by our nation’s state and non-state adversaries. During the 1980s, that was part of my job on the National Security Council Staff. Because of President Ronald Reagan’s decisive resolve, we often prevailed. But not always. My futile efforts to save CIA officer Bill Buckley from being tortured to death in Beirut will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Some of what I did in those days was certainly controversial. Yet, starting with liberating U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier from Red Brigade terrorists, we succeeded in reuniting numerous American citizens with their loved ones. We developed in our armed forces and intelligence services the means of bringing to justice perpetrators of horrific acts against our countrymen — some of which are still in use today as evidenced by last Sunday’s action in Syria against ISIS.

Unfortunately, “Bad Decisions” are Biden’s strong suit. His open-border policy has enabled millions to invade our nation across our southern frontier. God only knows how many now here intend to do us harm.

Revelations about Biden’s “Bad Decisions” persist. Elon Musk’s Twitter “document dumps” show collusion among government officials, the Biden campaign and “tech sector” officials to suppress conservatives’ free speech.

The most immediate mission for the 118th Congress must be legislative action to protect our homeland and countrymen from adversaries, “foreign and domestic.”


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