Sunday 17 December 2017

Snowden's pole-dancing partner tells of 'devastation' after he fled

Raf Sanchez Washington and Nick Allen Honolulu

Edward Snowden, the bespectacled former CIA computer specialist whose leaks of classified data have rocked the American government, appears to be a grey man.

However, it emerged yesterday that the 29-year-old shared his life with a woman of fiery colour, a vivacious pole-dancer who used her personal blog to detail their Hawaiian life.

Lindsay Mills photographed herself stripped to her underwear and staring at a wooden globe as she described her devastation over her partner's choice to go on the run.

"My world has opened and closed all at once, leaving me lost at sea without a compass," the 28-year-old wrote. "As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I'm reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path. But sometimes life doesn't afford proper goodbyes."

Mr Snowden, the former spy last seen in Hong Kong before going to ground, makes only occasional appearances in the dozens of blog posts, where she refers to him as "E" and her "man of mystery".

SECRETS

Edward Snowden worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency (AP/Guardian)
Edward Snowden worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency (AP/Guardian)

Ms Mills's whereabouts are also unknown and there was no sign of her at the three-bedroom home the pair once rented in Waipahu, a few miles from Pearl Harbour.

They are believed to have moved out on May 1, after Mr Snowden told her he would be away for several weeks but was vague about the reason. He was in fact heading to Hong Kong, a city they once visited together, to expose the secrets of the government he once served.

On June 7, as the leaks began but before Mr Snowden was publicly revealed as their source, Ms Mills described herself as "sick, exhausted and carrying the weight of the world".

Ms Mills's blog, subtitled "Adventures of a world-travelling, pole-dancing superhero", details her interest in aerial dancing and acrobatics and include dozens of self-portraits. The blog appeared to have been taken down and was inaccessible last night.

In one photograph, she and Mr Snowden appear to be laughing under a waterfall. In another, she stands in her underwear over a male friend, who is handcuffed and kneeling in submission, and feeds him a biscuit.

She makes no political references but once posted a picture of a woman in a 'V for Vendetta' mask, a popular symbol among anti-government libertarians. "All they want is our souls," she wrote under the picture.

Ms Mills is not believed to have known of her boyfriend's plans in Hong Kong. In an interview, Mr Snowden told 'The Guardian': "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more."

Mr Snowden said their Hawaiian life was supported by a $200,000 (€150,000) salary he earned working for the defence firm Booz Allen Hamilton, which has close ties to the US government. The company officially sacked him yesterday and appeared to dispute that figure, saying he "had a salary at the rate of $122,000".

The couple met in Maryland and acquaintances said they had seen the two together up to 10 years ago, while Ms Mills was a student at Maryland Institute College of Art.

"Her hair would be dyed pink one day and another colour the next," said a neighbour, adding that she had "Artist" as her personal registration plate.

Ms Mills moved to Japan with her boyfriend when he was posted there in 2009 as a private contractor and may have accompanied him to Switzerland, where he served under diplomatic cover for the CIA.

She wrote that she moved to Hawaii in 2012 to "continue my relationship with E" after he took up the job with Booz Allen Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Google is asking the Obama administration for permission to disclose more details about the US government's demands for emails and other information that people transmit online. Google is trying to debunk reports that it has created a way for the National Security Agency to gain access to large amounts of its users' online communications. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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