All the concentrated efforts of the FBI, the CIA, the State Department and other high-level government agencies weren't able to apprehend former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, according to a recent report in the Washington Post.
After disclosing vital and highly classified documents about U.S. government surveillance to journalists and media outlets, Snowden spent time on the run, and -- to the frustration of U.S. authorities -- consistently eluded capture.
The Post report describes frequent meetings among national security personnel to assess their options. Beyond appealing to Russian authorities, the U.S. was stymied.
In meetings convened by White House security adviser Lisa Monaco, there was a persistent hope that Snowden would make a misstep. “The best play for us is him landing in a third country,” Monaco said, according to the Post. Another U.S. official, who requested anonymity, expressed similar sentiments: “We were hoping he was going to be stupid enough to get on some kind of airplane, and then have an ally say: ‘You’re in our airspace. Land.’ ”
Nearly a year later, not much progress has been made. Snowden's current residency in Russia is a disputed subject. While some authorities, like U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, claim "... we know exactly where Snowden is," others are not so sure. According to the Post, when one "U.S. official regularly briefed on the matter" was asked if Snowden's location and circumstances were known to U.S. authorities, he replied, “That’s not our understanding.”