I considered the angle you speak of for both Snowden and Assange. The problem with that theory is that were they spinning a tale about these rouge leakers, they are unwittingly romanticizing their plight and perhaps egging on other would-be leakers to come forth...not something I think the regime wants to do. It would be a different story if they held a modern day tribunal or town square hanging that would scare and dissuade the lemmings, but this situation is raising awareness with the sleeping masses about the surveillance state and government criminality and hypocrisy...something the g'ment certainly doesn't want to call attention to. This is a PR nightmare for them and with every passing day they are appearing more like the Soviet KGB and Pravda. One more fallout for the g'ment is that they are losing their hold on their world domination over over contries alegiance and perception of the U.S. Is this the tipping point when the U.S. becomes the outright laughing stock of the world and no one heeds U.S. demands again?