The trade of WNBA star Brittney Griner for Russian “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout amounts to the best deal of its kind since President Obama traded Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo. As I recall, Obama national security adviser Susan Rice declared that Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction” (before he deserted). Susan Rice is back in the White House working for President Biden. It would be good to get her take on the Griner-Bout deal.
Biden’s deal left former Marine Paul Whelan languishing in a Russian prison on espionage charges. The AP provides the administration’s story on this point in unfiltered form here and The Hill has more along this line here. The swap is a bad deal in more ways than one. The Washington Free Beacon argues that the deal is a disgrace in this editorial. Pending word from Susan Rice, one can only assess it as advantage Putin.
UPDATE: In mentioning Paul Whelan, I forgot about Marc Fogel. Surely he could have been thrown in with Griner for a draft choice to be named later. What did Griner have going for her? She’s black, she hates America, and she’s lgbtq plus one (as KJP helpfully reminded us).