Joe Biden left a Marine stranded behind enemy lines.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) December 8, 2022
How could Biden leave Paul Whelan behind when he gave Putin back a notorious criminal known as the "Merchant of Death"?— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 9, 2022
This is a complete slap in the face to the Whelan family.
Really shocking, even for Joe Biden.
I don't buy Biden saying they didn't have a choice to bring U.S. Marine Whelan home.— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) December 9, 2022
When do we start dictating the terms to Putin, the Iranian Regime, terrorists, & our adversaries around the world? pic.twitter.com/iAVn1oLfyD
The answer, at least partially, is that he is a Marine. Not currently, but formerly. After enlisting in the Marines, he rose to the level of staff sergeant, served two tours in Iraq, and later was discharged for bad conduct “after being convicted of several charges related to larceny, according to the records.”
That was in 2008, fourteen years ago, and if the Administration’s negotiators didn’t resemble marks at a poker table, the deal Joe Biden signed off on wouldn’t have been one-sided.
While determined to bring a basketball star home, the Administration should address the plight of other Americans, including doing work important to both the American people and their government.
Marc Fogel taught at the Anglo-American School in Moscow for many years. He was a fantastic teacher. He served his country by helping to educate the children of many American diplomats & military officers in Russia, including my son. He should not die in a Russian prison. https://t.co/o4zLuIFS4Z— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) July 27, 2022
The Washington Post in July reported
“There’s a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that Marc will be left behind,” Jane Fogel said. “It’s terrifying. I would hope that President Biden and especially first lady Jill Biden, who is an educator, realize the importance of including Marc in addition to Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.”
In suburban Pittsburgh, Jane Fogel has been watching the Griner case spool out and wondered whether her husband has been forgotten. Griner’s wife, Cherelle, received a call from the president. The Fogels have been stalled at the mid-functionary level of the U.S. State Department. Speculation about a possible prisoner swap before Blinken’s announcement on Wednesday had earlier trickled into his Russian prison cell, compounding his anxiety.
“That hurt,” Marc Fogel wrote in a letter home referencing the prisoner-exchange reports. “Teachers are at least as important as bballers.”
Surely he jests. He believes teachers are at least as important as basketball players. I believe teachers are at least as important as basketball players.
But whatever the First Lady's professional background, the Biden Administration doesn't believe teachers are at least as important as basketball players. Democrats are partial, as Representative Walz maintains, to celebrities- and being a lesbian and black didn't hurt her. And Republicans are avoiding the opportunity presented to them in promoting the importance of teachers. After all, Foley wasn't a Marine.
So Marc Fogel- and others- languish. They are not stars, and they are not ex-Marines. And, so, they get left behind, unsurprising given the quality of the people we've been electing for years.