Brittney Griner is back in the US after the Biden administration was able to negotiate a prisoner swap with Russia, but was this the right swap?
Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, has been a Russian prisoner for four years. His health has deteriorated, and Whelan and his family are probably losing confidence in the ability of the US government to bring him home.
I am sure many people in the US believe Whelan should have superseded Griner in the order of swapping prisoners. Furthermore, the prisoner we returned to Russia was an arms dealer who sold weapons to anti-US terrorists. Have we enabled him to sell more weapons to terrorists who want to strike at the US?
I wonder if Griner’s popularity and notoriety as a big-time basketball player played into her superseding Whelan in the prisoner swap. Did the Biden administration place importance on her popularity and the impact on the voting public when compared to Whelan’s obscurity?
Whelan was a Marine who was willing to fight and die to defend our country. Griner said she thought the national anthem should not be played prior to her basketball games.
Hopefully, Whelan will be receiving the same US negotiating skills Griner received, and we will see him back in the US very soon.
Former LT, U.S. Navy