A blog authored by Edward Snowden’s girlfriend provides potential answers to several questions about the NSA leaker’s time working for the agency in Hawaii. The blog, which has since been deleted, also indicates Snowden may have enjoyed a final visit with his family before seeking refuge in Hong Kong last month.The Washington Post confirmed Lindsay Mills, a 28-year-old acrobat, pole dancer, and Maryland native, was Snowden’s live-in girlfriend in Honolulu. Mills maintained a journal-like blog that often referred to a companion she named only as “E.” Friends of Mills’ told the Post that “E” was indeed Snowden. On Instagram, Mills wrote that the two were together for eight years.
Since Snowden revealed himself as the source of the revelations about the National Security Agency’s top-secret PRISM surveillance program, there have been a slew of questions about his relationship to the intelligence agency. Snowden has said he worked for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton as an “infrastructure analyst” for the NSA in Hawaii. According to Snowden, he began working for the NSA in 2009 through multiple outside contractors including Booz and Dell. Booz issued a statement over the weekend saying Snowden worked for the company “for less than 3 months” raising questions about whether Snowden began talking to reporters before he arrived at the NSA facility in Hawaii.
On her blog, which was entitled “L’s Journey,” Mills did not reveal details about the nature of Snowden’s occupation. Though she did not say whether he was working for the NSA, Mill described Snowden as working and living in Hawaii as early as March 2012. She moved to Honolulu to join him in April 2012. In a blog post about her first night in Oahu, Mills described her sadness about leaving her home in Maryland to follow Snowden.
“The hotel manager greeted us with fresh pineapple juice and endless suggestions of yummy food spots. He was excited for my move to Hawaii and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t just as excited,” she wrote. “No one seems to understand how I can’t be elated about moving to paradise — what they don’t realize is the fact that I left my paradise on the east coast.”
Mills and Snowden moved from their home in the Waipahu section of Honolulu on May 1. That detail has also raised some eyebrows since the couple made their move just weeks before Snowden left Hawaii and went public with classified information. However, blog posts from Mills indicate Snowden did not depart the island when they left their home. In a post dated March 29 she noted their impending move and said they were relocating “two streets away from our current house.” On April 15, she said, “E and I received the keys to our next abode yesterday.” That post was accompanied by a photo of Mills and a man laying on the floor in an empty apartment (above). It’s not clear whether Snowden is the man in the picture. Real estate agent Kerri Jo Heim told TPM Snowden and Mills had to move May 1 because she was selling the property they rented on behalf of its owners.
Snowden has said he boarded a plane for Hong Kong where he made contact with reporters on May 20. Blog posts written by Mills indicate Snowden may have seen his family in Hawaii a final time before leaving the United States. On May 10, she wrote, “E’s family will be visiting this island at the end of the month.” On May 13, she said “E’s family gets into town” on the “following” week, which began the day Snowden allegedly departed Hawaii.
Mills’ posts do not indicate whether Snowden left before seeing his family. Her final entry before the blog was deleted was posted on Monday, the day after Snowden revealed his identity in an interview with the Guardian.
“You can probably understand why I’ll be refraining from blog posts for awhile. My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass,” she wrote. “At the moment all I can feel is alone. And for the first time in my life I feel strong enough to be on my own. Though I never imagined my hand would be so forced. As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path. The ones I laughed with. The ones I’ve held. The one I’ve grown to love the most. And the ones I never got to bid adieu. But sometimes life doesn’t afford proper goodbyes.”
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