Prisoner exchanges with foreign adversaries can be dicey propositions. The Biden Administration actually rigged a deal with Russia to exchange a Russian drug dealer for a young American who was in jail on trumped-up charges. Trevor Reed is happy to be home, but he is not happy that fellow Americans were left behind.
“I thought when I found out that it was an exchange that was happening that they had probably exchanged Paul Whelan as well,” Reed, 30, told “Good Morning America” of the fellow veteran who has been held for more than three years in Moscow on trumped-up espionage charges.
“I thought that — that that was wrong. That they got me out and not Paul,” he said, twice saying “sorry” as he paused to control his emotions, including “a really strong feeling of guilt.”
“The United States got me out but they left him there. I can’t describe to you how painful that feeling is,” he continued.
ABC airing a piece with criticism leveled against the Biden Administration is extraordinary in and of itself. However, Americans being left behind in Russia on trumped-up charges when there are options for prisoner exchanges is infuriating.
Reed vowed to now do everything he can to get him out of there.
That should include a swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, whom the Kremlin has floated as a possible exchange for Whelan or Brittney Griner, the US women’s basketball player held in Moscow since February, he told “GMA.”
“Absolutely. Viktor Bout has already been in prison for 15 years,” he said of the so-called “Merchant of Death” serving 25-years for selling 100 surface-to-air missiles to a Colombian terrorist group.
“You’re getting two Americans who are going to have, you know, a huge amount of time left on their sentences for a guy who is getting out soon,” he said.
“I don’t care if it’s 100 Viktor Bouts. They have to get our guys out,” he told “GMA.”
Maybe with some bad publicity, the Biden people will be motivated to make yet another deal.