Valentine Michael Smith understands humanity after he sees a monkey beat up a smaller monkey, whereupon the little guy finds a yet smaller one to hit. That dynamic appears over and over again, and one current symbolic example is John Kerry, after years of being called insufficiently butch, telling Edward Snowden to "man up."
We are supposed to believe that this display of testicularity, besides being good in itself as all such things are, will force America to consider the problems he is trying to bring to our attention.
Charles Pierce knows better. While Snowden is in Russia, the establishment ignores him. The best bet is that if he came home, the establishment would lock him up indefinitely and continue to ignore him.