On July 26, Attorney General Eric Holder made promises to Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia via Russia's Justice Minister, Alexander Konovalov. In his open letter, Holder claimed that the United States would not execute Edward Snowden for his alleged crimes.

“The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional death penalty-eligible crimes,” the letter stated. The letter further explains that Snowden does not face torture on American soil prior to his conviction for espionage, because “Torture is unlawful in the United States.”

The Russia government has vowed that it will not turn Snowden over to American authorities. The United States has threatened to cancel several high level diplomatic meetings over the flap. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has called for a boycott of the 2014 Olympics if Snowden is not returned. Some sources have speculated that Obama may cancel his trip to Moscow after the G-20 Summit over Russia's issuance of temporary asylum to the whistle-blower turned world’s most hunted man.

As much as we would like to think that Snowden's human rights stance has made Putin's heart grow three sizes like the Grinch, we know that's not the case. Putin's strongman policies won't see Snowden watching a Pride parade in Red Square from the walls of the Kremlin or employed as a roadie on Pussy Riot's reunion tour.

The absurdity of America promising the Kremlin not to torture or summarily execute Snowden serves no purpose. Although the message was officially addressed to Moscow, the receipt was intended in Brussels and all the other capitals of the European Union (EU).

The message appears to be a public declaration designed to provide European governments with political cover for what may come next. Should Snowden leave Russia and be caught in the EU compliant European allies may now extradite him to the US. Most European countries forbid extradition of persons who would face execution or torture. This also provides their police forces the kind of permission they need to stop aircraft suspected of carrying Snowden.

Chillingly, the open letter provides the political cover necessary for United States intelligence assets to carry out a rendition action on European soil. Although this would be kidnapping, it can now be termed a legal arrest, just one that entirely bypasses the extradition process. The results would be the United States acquiring Snowden without the embarrassment of having intelligence agents convicted of crimes.

A rendition attempt may have already failed in Russia earlier this week. The FBI had cooperated with Snowden's father in an attempt to talk to the whistle-blower in Moscow. Snowden had reached out to his father, but according to sources not named in a recent Washington Post article, no means of their being able to speak directly could be found. Lon Snowden was quoted as saying “I said, ‘Wait a minute, folks, I’m not going to sit on the tarmac to be an emotional tool for you.’”

What the FBI did not say was that no way for the two Snowdens to speak could be established that would allow the younger Snowden to keep his location a secret and not have the FBI listening. This cynical move can only mean that the FBI had intended to use the father to locate and kidnap the son in the middle of the Moscow airport.

As the spying revelations pile up, it’s clear that lines have to be read between, and there is often a secret message within the message.