A man who made his living keeping the truth secret was lying to his own boss. Edward Snowden, a Booz Allen Hamilton employee on contract in Hawaii for the U.S. National Security Agency, told his government supervisor he needed “a couple of weeks” off work to treat his epilepsy.
In fact, Snowden, 30, was preparing to board a flight to Hong Kong, where he planned to launch one of the biggest intelligence community leaks in U.S. history. Walking away from a six-figure career as a computer technician with security clearance, he told his girlfriend he would be gone for a few weeks, without elaborating, and caught his plane.
In Hong Kong, Snowden shut himself up in an expensive hotel for three weeks, ordering meals to his room and rarely venturing outdoors. The career spy worried about being spied upon: He lined pillows against the door and spread a red hood over his head and laptop whenever he typed passwords — precautions against eavesdroppers and hidden cameras.
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