Killing Snowden would serve no objective or provide any operational benefit. The damage has already been done. Now it's more a matter of containment and spin control. (There is a rulebook of sorts in the intelligence community.) So I think assassination is completely off the table at this point.
I'd be inclined to declare the first match a stalemate. But this tournament is far from over.
Snowden's remaining at large, straddles the fence in that his continued freedom is an embarrassment to the Administration - but
- his potential for being granted asylum provides several interesting new opportunities for the Administration down the road. And unless he lands in Russia or China, the Administration is likely to be very confident they can 'collect' him whenever they want. So what ultimately happens with that is largely dependent on whether the Machiavellian or Godfather mindset prevails in Washington over the next several weeks.
I think we're on a "bathroom and refresh your drinks break" right now while the new game board gets set up.
It should start to get interesting once this temporary state of affairs breaks and the next real
move gets played. Because right now, all we're hearing is a lot of gradually cooling bluster and rhetoric.
Stay tuned! New match to start shortly...