Here is the Article by “SCOTT DADICH” About Edward Snowden Publish on wired.com:
“I was in a Russian hotel room, waiting for the biggest photo shoot of my life. My suite’s blackout curtains were drawn, the better to conceal the several hundred thousand dollars worth of high-powered lighting and gear we had brought with us. I sat very still; next to me, Platon, one of the world’s most accomplished and respected photographers, paced back and forth. Patrick Witty, WIRED’s director of photography, stood near the doorway, looking through the peephole at the empty hall. Reflexively, I reached into my left pants pocket for my iPhone, but it wasn’t there. For half a second, my heart fluttered, but then I remembered that I had left the phone at home so it couldn’t be tapped. For the purposes of this trip, I only had an 800-ruble burner, now sitting quietly on the hotel nightstand, its Cyrillic menu unintelligible to me.”
Just a few people on earth knew where I was and why—in Moscow, to sit down with Edward Snowden. It was a secret that required great efforts to keep. I told coworkers and friends that I was traveling to Paris, for “some work.” But the harder part was covering my digital tracks. Snowden himself had shown how illusory our assumption of privacy really is, a lesson we took to heart. That meant avoiding smartphones, encrypting files, holding secret meetings.
SNOWDEN HELD THE FLAG IN HIS HANDS AND DELICATELY UNFOLDED IT. YOU COULD SEE THE GEARS TURNING.
It took nearly a year of work and many months of negotiation to win Snowden’s cooperation. Now the first meeting was just minutes away. I’ve led a lot of cover shoots in my 20 years in magazines: presidents, celebrities, people I’ve admired, and people I’ve reviled. Cowboys and stateswomen. Architects and heroes. But I’d never felt pressure like this.
At 12:15 pm, Snowden knocked on the door of our suite. He had done his homework; he knew Patrick’s title before he had a chance to introduce himself. We motioned for him to join us over on the couch, and I took a seat in an armchair to his left. After the introductions (“Call me Ed”) and a few pleasantries, Platon asked him the question I know we were all thinking: “How are you doing?” It quickly became clear that, as nervous as we all were, Snowden was completely at ease. He described, in vivid detail, how he was feeling, what his days were like. He talked politics and policy, constitutional law, governmental regulation, and personal privacy. He said he was really glad to see us—Americans—and he said he was homesick. He held forth for nearly an hour, meandering from subject to subject but always precise in his vocabulary—quoting statutes and bill numbers, CIA regulations and actions, with what seemed to be total recall.
Eventually we moved into what had been the formal dining room. Platon asked Snowden to sit down on an apple box, a small wooden crate that he had used in his shoots of nearly every world leader alive today, including Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. Platon squatted in front of his subject, as he often does, making himself small and unthreatening. He explained his process very slowly and told Snowden that he’d be asking him to reveal his innermost feelings for the camera. I moved to the back of the room and took in the scene as Platon began to shoot. The two men experimented with a number of poses, angles, and postures, and nearly an hour into shooting it was clear that Snowden was enjoying the process.
Back in New York, Platon had done some shopping at a little bodega near his studio. Now he pulled out a knotted plastic bag with his finds: a black T-shirt with the word SECURITY emblazoned in all-caps on both the front and back; another black T, featuring a giant, screaming eagle with flared talons beneath a patriotic slogan; giant red and blue poster markers; an unlined notepad; American flag patches; and an American flag (actually, the same flag brandished by Pamela Anderson in Platon’s iconic 1998 George magazine cover). Platon spread the items out on the table and asked Snowden if any of the props resonated with him. Snowden laughed and picked up the SECURITY T-shirt. “That’s funny,” he said. “I think it would be fun to wear that.” He went into the bathroom and changed into the shirt, and when he emerged he had his chest puffed out a bit, enjoying the joke of it. We all laughed and Platon shot a few rolls of film.
We returned to the prop table, and Snowden picked up the flag. Platon asked him what he’d do with it in a picture. Snowden held the flag in his hands and delicately unfolded it. You could see the gears turning as he weighed his year in exile against the love of country that motivated him in the first place. He said he was nervous that posing with the flag might anger people but that it meant a lot to him. He said that he loved his country. He cradled the flag and held it close to his heart. Nobody said a word, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. We all sat there for a long moment, studying him. Then Platon yelled, “Don’t move!” He clicked off frame after frame, making tiny adjustments to both the lighting and Snowden’s posture, sometimes asking for him to look into the lens, sometimes just above it. We had our cover.
After that, there wasn’t much else to do. We sat and talked a bit more. Snowden said he didn’t really have anyplace to be, but I could tell the shoot had worn him out—and with good reason. Including a short lunch break, we’d been going for four hours. At that very moment our writer, James Bamford, was on a plane bound for Moscow; he and Snowden would meet a few days later and talk over the course of three more days.
It was time to go. Platon had brought a copy of each of his two books as a gift. Snowden asked for an inscription, and I snapped a picture of the moment. We shook hands, each of us wishing the other luck as we gathered in the foyer. “I hope our paths cross again someday,” Platon said. “I hope I get to see you back at home, in the US.” Snowden looked straight at him as he threw his backpack over his shoulder and said, “You probably won’t.” With that, he closed the door and was gone.
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