Here are my thoughts, as an american. I've read some of the Ars Technica logs. Smart and stupid, clearly cocky and self-absorbed but he was in his early twenties. His last posts were when he was 25 or 26 years old so I'll Cut him some slack.
Getting hired in order to leak, if you believe him, was a shocking ballsy thing to do. You have to admit this, no matter what you think of him, the man has balls. He had seen Bradley's treatment and he did it anyways. Did he think he could outsmart the U.S government and stay in Honk Kong for a couple of years? maybe. Either way, I think he knew the risks were great, and I really think he believed he was doing his patriotic duty.
Ed screwed up with his choice of Honk Kong. Not only were the "optics" not good, which gave cheap ammo to his enemies, but he didn't fully investigate the extradition process and realize he wasn't safe. He was forced to fly to Russia, making the optics worse, asking help from wikileaks (which he hadn't contacted before, I assume) and unwittingly becoming a PR pawn of Putin and China, to be played to make false equivalencies between human rights in the USA and their countries. Ouch! Even the liberal media lambasted him for that one.
I can't ask him to turn himself in the U.S, and give up internet access, as well as his freedom, for 30 years as punishment. It would be the most noble thing to do, and give him some sympathy in sentencing but seeing how others have been treated, I can't blame him for not trusting this administration not to treat him with cruelty.
If he does carries sensitive documents in his laptop(s), as has been implied by the press, I will be quite annoyed with his stupidity and recklessness. Newspapers are one thing, keeping documents and putting yourself in other government's hands is criminal hubris. I don't think he's that stupid though, everybody knows encryption can be defeated with nail pliers.
So, in conclusion, good intention, balls of steel, but poor exit strategy planning to say the least. He should have had backup plans, and consulted lawyers in Honk Kong before doing anything. We'll see what happens next with Russian and Ecuador...