Former CIA analyst, whistle-blower, so-called spy and now fugitive, Edward Snowden is learning the harsh reality of life when you oppose your government, especially if that government is the USA. Tuesday there are reports that he has made 21 requests for asylum in various countries around the world, but has retracted the one he made to Russia.
President Putin of Russia came out in support of the USA, no doubt with an eye on trade deals and more. He warned Snowden that asylum in Russia would only be granted if he stopped leaking sensitive information, which has shown the USA is one of the most prolific spying nations in the world. Snowden's response was to withdraw his request for asylum in Russia.
The BBC reports that Snowden's 21 asylum requests included China, France, Ireland, Venezuela, Russia and Norway, which confirmed they had received applications. Russia is now out of the picture though which indicates Edward has no intention of halting the leaks.
The other countries are Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela. Will any country offer Edward asylum?
Wikileaks and British news source the Guardian are working with Snowden, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say they are using him. Whilst the information he continues to leak is eye-opening for the public, many governments will want to silence him, one way or another. He is the one left out in the cold.
It is doubtful even China, a traditional "enemy" of the USA will want to offer refuge to Mr Snowden. These days, as trade deals span the globe, and old political hatreds, it is difficult to separate the west from the east. We are all inextricably linked and, it seems, intend to stay that way.
Russia and China have utilized Snowden's information leaks to best advantage. They have been able to take a verbal side swipe at the USA but when the going gets tough they will be out of the picture.
Snowden's father believes that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is manipulating Snowden from the safety of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, whilst there is no such safe hide-out for his son. The BBC reports that:
The Wikileaks press release said that most of the asylum requests - including to Russia itself - were handed to the Russian consulate at Sheremetyevo airport late on Sunday for delivery to the relevant embassies in Moscow.
The requests were submitted by Sarah Harrison, a British member of the Wikileaks legal team acting as Mr Snowden's representative, the statement added.
But a Kremlin spokesman later said Mr Snowden withdrew the application to Russia because Moscow had said he should give up "anti-American activity".
Edward Snowden has been vilified by some and deemed a hero by others. Was he naive` or vindictive? Did he simply want his moment in the spotlight or was he really so shocked with US spying that he wanted to try to change his country for the better?
His story will become less visible in the days, weeks and maybe months to come unless he returns to the USA. Keeping the Edward Snowden story alive is one way to protect him but government manipulation is already turning citizens against him.
Snowden is a man with no country and increasingly few supporters.