Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

This Thursday, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez slammed the Biden Administration for participating in a prisoner exchange with the Russians — exchanging WNBA player Brittney Griner for Russian Terrorist Viktor Bout, better known as the “Merchant of Death.”

“This should be a moment of deep reflection for the United States government to recognize we have a serious problem with hostage-taking of Americans. The Russians and other regimes that take American citizens hostage cannot pretend that there is equivalence between the Brittney Griners of the world and people like Viktor Bout, the so-called ‘Merchant of Death.’” Menendez said in a statement.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, and we cannot ignore that releasing Bout back into the world is a deeply disturbing decision,” Menendez added. “We must stop inviting dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans overseas as bargaining chips, and we must try to do better at encouraging American citizens against traveling to places like Russia where they are primary targets for this type of unlawful detention.”

Menendez also offered words of encouragement for imprisoned US Marine Paul Whelan, who was not released by the Russians:


“My heart also goes out to the families of other American citizens in Russian prisons and labor camps, including Paul Whelan. They have my renewed commitment and determination to use the power of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to secure Mr. Whelan’s safe return and to continue fighting for the release of all Russian political prisoners, like Vladimir Kara Murza, and all other unjustly detained Americans.”

While we are not exactly jubilant at Griner’s imprisonment, we cannot agree with the Biden Administrations’ method of freeing her. There is no equivalence between her freedom and the freedom of a terrorist.

Griner is not a great fan of our national anthem, and she is no role model. In the meantime, Marines are heroes of the highest order. They are the few and the proud after all. Whelan should have been the top priority but time after time, the Biden Administration fails to do justice to the men and women in uniform.

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