Good news early Wednesday for CIA whistle-blower, American Edward Snowden and his supporters, although by the end of the day it was back to square one.
Edward was reportedly about to receive papers which would allow him to move out of the transit area of the Moscow airport where he has been holed up since he became persona non grata in many parts of the world.
According to a report in the Guardian: "Edward Snowden has been granted documents that will allow him to leave a Moscow airport, according to an airport source. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the former US spy agency contractor was expected to meet his lawyer at Sheremetyevo airport later on Wednesday after lodging a request for temporary asylum in Russia. Immigration officials declined to comment."
Later in the day media sources were reporting that he was going nowhere, at least for now. Russia Today reported "Edward Snowden will have to stay at a Moscow airport for a little longer as his asylum plea is still being reviewed by Russian immigration authorities, according to his lawyer."
Edward blew the lid on spying by the US administration and many European governments. Spying on, in some cases, their own citizens, many leaders have a vested interest in the capture of Snowden. He faces an uncertain future if caught and returned to the USA with many people online already referencing him as "dead man walking".
Kudos to British publication the Guardian for assisting the leaking of Snowden's information. He chose well in selecting the Guardian to leak the information he held. That publication has a long history of standing up for rights and justice. Unlike too many mainstream publications in the UK and beyond it is not in the pockets of a media mogul nor any government. Whilst mainstream media sources fill their news with stories of the latest royal baby the Guardian manages to cover a range of news which needs to be out there.
Edward has few options as far as refuge or asylum goes. Yes certain South American countries have offered him asylum but with the US lobbying world leaders not to offer Edward refuge, and destroying his passport, getting there will be a huge, possibly, insurmountable problem.
It looks like the best option for Mr Snowden now is to take asylum, albeit temporarily in Russia, if offered until he can review his options. The elephant side of the USA has a long memory and Snowden could be hounded now until the day he dies. Getting a safe place to live and continue with his life is a pressing need.
He will of course always run the risk that a future deal between governments which will send him back to the USA. That countries track record with whistle-blowers is not much better than the old iron curtain countries, obviously meaning it is not an option for young Edward.