Eric Holder has issued assurances to the Russian government that Edward Snowden will neither be tortured nor executed by the United States for his alleged crimes. That’s good. Torture is, of course, massively illegal and the previous administration needs to still face the consequences of using it. As for execution, that was never, ever a realistic option, but I’m glad it’s being stated clearly that it won’t happen.
So that said, what reason has Snowden to remain abroad? What reason has any country to grant him asylum? Now is his chance to come back and defend his actions. If they were, as he said, an act of civil disobedience, fine. Let him come and face the consequences of his choice, as others have in the past. If he doesn’t, especially now, in this light of this message from the government, then he remains a cowardly fuck who is more interested in having the story be about him than about what he leaked.