Concerning the recent editorial from Bloomberg News on the Biden deal for Brittney Griner (Dec. 13, "President Biden made a bad deal for Brittney Griner"), Paul Whelan, the Marine held in Russia, has a checkered past.
Whelan worked as an administrative clerk and administrative chief and was deployed in the Iraq war in 2004-2006.
He rose to the rank of staff sergeant in December 2004, but a few years later was convicted in special court-martial of attempting to steal more than $10,000 while at Al Assad Airbase in Iraq.
Other related convictions included dereliction of duty, making a false official statement, wrongfully using other people's Social Security numbers and bouncing checks.
He was given a bad-conduct discharge in December 2008 at the rank of private. Whelan's last place of duty was Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California. This is from the Detroit Free Press.
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Former President Donald Trump said he turned down a deal with Russia to release Whelan in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Brittney Griner was selected for her second Olympics in 2021, going undefeated and winning the gold medal as part of Team USA. In my humble opinion, I think the swap was appropriate.
Ken Wilburn, Roanoke