In the aftermath of the Bradley Manning verdict, it seems attention paid to whistleblowers has yet to reach its pinnacle. From China to Moscow, Edward Snowden continues to turn heads across the international stage as he seeks permanent asylum. How will this all end?
Given the uncertainty of the situation, there is no definite answer as to what will happen to Snowden, but there is no harm in speculating the outcome. Just recently, Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena made public a document exhibiting Russia’s acceptance for temporary asylum for Snowden. Although this protection is only good for a year, the timeframe is favorable for Snowden and his supporters to develop the next move, which more than likely will be gaining full asylum or a safe move to another location.
Assuming the sustained support of Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks community, Snowden will remain well-protected. It is hard to say where Snowden would be without their backing up to this point. Despite the fact that Snowden has been the face of this revolution in recent months, WikiLeaks has remained in the shadows orchestrating essentially the most important moves during this saga. Providing Sarah Harrison, Assange’s closest adviser, as an escort to Snowden, it seems the WikiLeaks circle has an extremely vested interest in the future and well being of the NSA whistleblower.
In spite of President Obama's vow to eradicate the situation, fickle U.S.-Russian relations have severely hindered U.S. attempts to put an end to this controversy. Granting temporary asylum to Snowden has experts claiming that relations are at their lowest point in decades. Alexander Konovalov, president of the Moscow-based Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis, comments that "As long as Snowden is here, we won’t be able to achieve agreement on any bilateral issues." Whether it is vetoing U.S. agendas for Iran’s nuclear program or supplying weapons to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, allowing safe refuge for Snowden seems to be even more devastating to the already-unsteady relationship and is providing cover for Russia to continue opposing the U.S. on the world stage.
It seems that Snowden and his team will be able to safely plan new tactics as long as he is under the umbrella of Wikileaks and terrible U.S.- Russian relations. Even though the future for Snowden is uncertain, it is safe to say that with his multiple layers of protection, he will remain away from U.S. custody for years to come.