Russia Slaps Innocent US Marine Vet With 16 Years in Labor Camp…Pompeo’s Fighting Back
Russia’s Moscow City Court has sentenced a former US Marine, Paul Whelen, to 16 years in a dank and dingy Russian maximum-security labor camp. Whelen’s arrest and subsequent prosecution received strong condemnation from the United States, but the Rooskies didn’t care.
Whelen was charged with espionage, a crime his family said he is not even in the smallest of ways guilty of. He had merely flown to Moscow to attend the wedding of a friend he had made during his time spent as a Marine.
Whelan was not on a conspiracy-laden James Bond-type spy adventure to infiltrate Putin and his merry band of government thugs. He went to watch his buddy get hitched. Plain and simple. But because he is an American veteran, his visit remained under scrutiny and he had eyes on him at all times.
Just two weeks prior to Whelan’s conviction, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “It is unacceptable that Paul Whelan has been denied necessary medical treatment until his condition became dire.” Whelan has several medical conditions, as many veterans do, that are being ignored and causing his health to rapidly decline.
John Sullivan, US Ambassador to Russian, said in a statement that the retired Marine’s basic rights are being violated.
“We’ve watched while Paul has denied due process, while he’s been denied access to the outside world, to his family and friends, while he’s been denied outside medical care as his health continues to deteriorate, and at every opportunity, we’ve spoken out,” he said. “So little has been done by Russian authorities to ensure Paul’s basic human rights.”
Sullivan followed his initial statement up with: “The Russian government has allowed no evidence — none. All court hearings are being held behind closed doors, in secrecy away from the media, from the public and from me. Away from anyone who might challenge their definition of ‘red-handed.’ There’s been talk of evidence, an allusion to evidence, and even allusions to a discussion of evidence.”
In April, Sullivan made two separate attempts to see Whelan where he was being held by Russian authorities but was denied entry both times. He recently tweeted, “The United States demands that U.S. citizen #PaulWhelan be released immediately. His conviction is a mockery of justice. The world is watching. @mfa Russia.”
Sullivan further stated, “But where is the evidence itself? Hearings are taking place behind closed doors in secrecy. Details of alleged witnesses and alleged evidence appear in the press, but we do not know what is happening behind closed doors. Why so much secrecy?”
To compound matters, the retired marine holds citizenship with Canada and Ireland, as well as the US. While in reality, this is not so abnormal of a thing to do, Russian is viewing Whelan’s entire package as being highly suspicious, when it is in fact, not. His primary citizenship still lies with the country he fought to protect and defend. That country being, America.
Whelan’s brother David said that appeals to the ludicrous court’s verdict are being drawn up by attorneys. He also firmly denounced this entire scenario as being political in nature. His brother did nothing wrong and it remains a mystery why the Russians have unjustifiably targeted him.
“We had hoped that the court might show some independence but, in the end, Russian judges are political, not legal, entities,” David Whelan said in a statement “We look to the U.S. government to immediately take steps to bring Paul home.”
Mike Pompeo is going after Russia hard on this one and he won’t stop until Whelan is once again home safely with his family, where he belongs. He remains critical of the conditions Whelan has been abruptly tossed into and is becoming progressively more aggressive with his demands.
It might be about time to call in the big guns by having President Trump get involved, but for the time being Pompeo continues fighting tooth and nail for Whelan’s immediate release.
This is one of America’s patriotic fighting veterans we’re talking about. He fought for us, and by God, America is going to fight for him. He was going to a wedding…