06/25/2013 12:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Ed Snowden's Rewards Points


At first it appeared to be a paper work snafu that enabled Ed Snowden to avoid being extradited from Hong Kong for espionage. However, soon other troublesome issues started to emerge concerning the Snowden affair. Ed Snowden has ostensibly been doing a lot of economy class traveling. The Times had a nice little chart on the front page of Monday's print edition, showing how Snowden went from Honolulu to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Moscow, and then showing hypothetical routes to Havana and Caracas and Quito ("U.S. Traces Path as N.S.A. Leaker Flees Hong Kong," 6/24/13), but one of the unanswered questions relates to his rewards points situation. The Times reported that despite disclaimers on the part of the Hong Kong authorities, it was the Chinese government who was apparently responsible for enabling Snowden ("China Said to Have Made Call to Let Leader Depart," NYT, 6/23/13). In addition, The Times also reported that Julian Assange "met last week with Ecuador's foreign minister to support Mr. Snowden's asylum request," ("Offering Snowden Aid, WikiLeaks Get Back in the Game," NYT, 6/23/13). In the same article, The Times described how Sarah Harrison, "a British WikiLeaks activist" was with Mr. Snowden "on the Aeroflot airliner that carried him on Sunday from Hong Kong to Moscow." What's most significant however is that neither WikiLeaks, nor any of the countries involved in Snowden's odyssey including the U.S. has dealt with the irksome matter of the rewards points. If you commit espionage in one country, can you receive rewards points on the airline of the country which is offering asylum? Aeroflot does have a bonus program and the question of rewards points for fugitives is a matter that will ultimately have to be dealt with by the ICC at The Hague.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}