By Tom H. Hastings
What could Biden be thinking, trading a mere basketball player for the “Merchant of Death” while leaving a Marine behind?
The Trumpy right is ramping up and up, getting all sanctimonious, about trading the freedom of (as the far right puts it) “a black leftist lesbian celebrity who hated this country” for that of an “ex-Marine.”
So, election denier Daniel Greenfield of the most rightwing fake intelligentsia, what is the worst one of those invective modifiers you attach with such venom to Brittney Griner, a woman who helped win an Olympic Gold Medal for her country, the United States?
The far right is lionizing Paul Whelan, the “ex-Marine.”
Um…he’s an ex-Marine because he well and truly earned a bad conduct discharge for being a scammer, a thief, and a lousy desk jockey supply clerk “Marine.” The military found him thusly, a military appellate court found the same, yet the ultra-right is selling him as some sort of patriotic freedom fighter held behind enemy lines and deserted by his traitorous government. Look it up. Stop dishing out hooey. We are tired of your gaslighting.
Sorry, it is Whelan who has been the proven traitor.
Brittney Griner had a legally prescribed pain med – some hash oil – in her luggage. For that she gets a nine-year sentence in a Putin kangaroo court and a one-way shackled ride to a gulag. She is an athlete, not an arms merchant, not a spy, not anyone who is engaged in political connivance at any level. Bring her home from Putin’s thuggish Russia, even if you have to trade her for some dated arms merchant.
Dated? Yes, many logical and realistic analysts are saying that Viktor Bout will have no chance of reassembling his godawful arms dealership after 14 years of imprisonment, a loss of all his assets, and a notorious and known identity.
Meanwhile, Trump claims, with his usual amount of evidence – none whatsoever – that he would have gotten Whelan released.
Sure, Trump, you were – shudder – president for four loooooong years and you didn’t manage that, but hell yes, you would have today. Gotcha. Biden should have called you for pointers, right?
Maybe he tried, but all your lines were tied up by the myriad court cases proving your fraudulent practices going back and back.
And you claimed you did, in fact, turn down a deal that would have freed Paul Whelan during your presidency. That is typically revealing. Get your stories straight for once.
Most of us see an athlete just trying to play her sport, make a living, and honor her gold medal win for her country as a basically good human being undeserving of rotten treatment from both Putin’s Russia and Trump’s minions.
Brittney, sorry for the way you were treated by the unfair payouts from your pro ball league, from Russian fake “justice,” and now from the MAGAts defaming you with their barking calumny. Welcome home. Really. Welcome. Please focus on the love for you from so many.
Dr. Tom H. Hastings is Coördinator of Conflict Resolution BA/BS degree programs and certificates at Portland State University, PeaceVoice Senior Editor, and on occasion an expert witness for the defense of civil resisters in court.