When Is It Okay To Get A Hostage Back From Russia: A Wonkette Flowchart!

As Yr Wonkette noted earlier, the proper reaction to Brittney Griner’s coming back to the USA after being released from a Russian hell prison is to be very glad for her. You can certainly think other things about how that happened, but it’s downright weird and gross to wish she were still imprisoned or somehow to be mad she’s out.

So here’s Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) complaining yesterday that Griner was released instead of Paul Whelan:

Soldiers (and law enforcement) are honored in our society for their willingness to sacrifice themselves for civilians, unless there is a gunman in a school or the soldier is in a foreign prison, in which case it is SOLDIERS FIRST and women and children later if at all. Do non-military even count as “citizens”? No sir, they do not.

We suppose it was somehow almost decent of Crenshaw to acknowledge that it was “likely not a simple ‘choose him or her’ situation,” before proceeding on the assumption that it was, but let’s get that right out of the way: As White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained at yesterday’s press briefing, the Biden administration absolutely would have preferred to have won the release of both Griner and of Whelan, but Russia placed untenable conditions on the release of Whelan — essentially, demanding that the US agree to accept the false Russian claim that Whelan was a spy, which would mean the US would need to trade him for some Russian spy in a US prison.

This was not a choice for us on — of which American to bring home. That was not the choice. It was a choice between bringing home one American or bringing home none.

Even Whelan’s brother said that the family doesn’t “begrudge Ms. Griner her freedom,” because they know these things are complicated and the two cases are very different.


But since the Right has been incredibly pissy about Griner’s release, we’ve prepared this flow chart to indicate when it’s OK and NOT OK for a US president to bring back a hostage from Russia, if the president is a Democrat. Or at least we’re calling it a flow chart; we’re not going to bother making a damn chart and trying to fit it in our weird platform in a format you filthy fuckaducks can actually read.

So here we go!

1: Is the hostage a soldier or Marine?

Yes: Go to #2, patriot!

No: You wanted America to save you, you should have signed up and become a real citizen when you could have. Go to #3

2: Is the soldier or Marine Bowe Bergdahl?

Yes: Sorry, scumbag, you can just go die because Tucker Carlson thinks you’re a traitor.

No: You are a hero, Patriot! Welcome Home!

3: If you are not a soldier, have you ever taken a knee during the national anthem while you played professional sporpsball?

No: You are a hero too! Welcome Home!

Yes: Rot in prison forever, you filthy America-hating lesbian.

3a: When did “lesbian” get thrown into this?

You be quiet, this is OUR quiz, traitor.

4: Could we release 5,000 Taliban prisoners instead of one arms dealer? Fox News probably won’t notice.

Hold on, are we even talking about Russia anymore?

Oh, yeah, never mind, just thinking out loud.

5: If an opportunity to release Paul Whelan had come up before the chance to release Griner, but it required trading someone really unsavory like an arms dealer nicknamed “the Merchant of Death,” would the Right overlook Paul Whelan’s dishonorable discharge for larceny and lesser offenses (which doesn’t at all negate his status as an American citizen in a Russian hellhole) and welcome him home, or would they have instead gone full Bergdahl and condemned Biden for bringing home a Marine who had disgraced the USA?

What the fuck do you think?

6. Wait a minute, it is starting to seem like any time a Democratic president gets a hostage freed, that is bad somehow, and if he doesn’t, that is also bad, and Republicans can literally promise arms to terrorists after claiming they don’t negotiate with terrorists, or not do anything at all and write love letters to dictators beating our college kids to death, and … my head hurts.

Filthy dishonest scumbags can do that to you sometimes. Better luck next flowchart!

[Reuters / White House]

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