Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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. 


  1. jylle benson-gaussJune 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    You point out the great deal of "Spy vs. Spy"-type chasing around over Snowden, a man whose crime is telling the American public the truth. Funny stuff, and at least it keeps them too busy to do any bigger harm.
    Call me old-fashioned, but I consider Snowden a hero. I'm just surprised that so far the most shocking revelation reported about his personal life is that he didn't finish college. God, the guy must be squeaky clean. But wait for it... you know that if there's no real dirt to smear, our government will make some up.
    Seriously, a society gets more of the behaviours it rewards, and less of those it punishes. When truth-tellers are punished, is it any surprise that liars and con artists flourish?

  2. Let’s go back to the video tape, as Warner Wolf used to say. Ok Snowden didn’t finish college, but why? He’s a bright enough fellow. Was it calculus or organic chemistry. His wouldn’t have been the first ship which foundered on those shores. And another question. The original piece dealt with rewards points, but the matter of transfer credits was overlooked. For instance, will Snowden be able to apply any college credits he already earned in the US to his studies in the Ecuadorian or Cuban university systems. Let’s say he took Public Speaking at a university in the states, would those credits be transferrable if he decides to pursue a degree in Havana?


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