I usually try not to make this space too personal, but I am going to full blog on y’all for a few minutes. It has taken me over a week to be able to write this, and I hate how that sounds because it makes me sound weak, but I’m trying to be honest.
I never hid the fact that I was at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6th. I’ve actually gone out of my way to make my story of the alleged insurrection well known among my personal and professional contacts. I have nothing to hide. I did nothing wrong. In fact, I was gassed by the U.S. Government when I was nowhere near violence and without warning. I and thousands of others whose stories were never told. My vocal chords were damaged, according to my doctor. People were trampled, babies and children were gassed, elderly men and women harmed – again without any sort of warning or announcement or riot declaration – by the Capitol Police. Our ideology isn’t approved so our stories don’t matter.
I went to D.C. with hundreds of Coloradans and hundreds of thousands of Americans to protest the obvious fraud in the November 3, 2020 election. We all know it was stolen. Elections – all of them – have been stolen for years, it seems. And we never would have known had a few key states not hastily and sloppily changed their election procedures in violation of their states laws, triggering a mass awakening to the vulnerabilities of our election system. Curiously, the sloppy changes made in other states are consistent, in large part, with current Colorado election law. The “Gold Standard” as they say in Colorado.
So, on April 24th, a group of citizens and experts and legislators got together in Denver to discuss what we know about our election systems – and what we don’t know – and what we can do about it. I presented to the group along with a couple of my colleagues and, despite being short on time, our presentation had an impact. We are still getting follow up calls and inquiries on the meeting, a couple weeks after the event. You can see the presentation on USEIP.org.
So, we gave our presentation and fielded questions and went on our way.
A few days later, I was on a work call, when my husband told me to come downstairs because someone wanted to talk to me. I waved him off, but he looked me in the eyes and said, “It’s the FBI.” And I felt the blood drain out of my body.
Now, pretty much everyone that I know who has been involved in politics, on the right, has either had the FBI show up or is waiting for them to show up. But when it happens for the first time, it catches you off guard. At least it did me. My defenses and fight or flight hormonal response kicked in. I felt super panicky on the inside, and I can feel that anxious rush in my chest right now as I recall the experience.
Because speaking truth in America today means expecting the federal government to show up, my friends and I have discussed the scenario before. The consensus is, “Say nothing.” Not nothing of importance, but nothing at all. Not your name, not anything. Exercise your right to remain silent. If you say nothing, then there is nothing for them to twist. If they can twist a good faith discussion with General Flynn to suit their narrative, they can twist your words to make an example of you locally – if it fits their narrative. So, say nothing. That was my plan for when they showed up.
Well, I failed. When they are at your front door, looking at you in your eyes and questioning you under the banner of “Joint Terrorism Taskforce,” reality collides. I will own that I am not as much of a badass as I thought I was. Vulnerability sucks, but it can lead to growth.
To my credit, I didn’t let them in the house. We spoke on the porch. They asked me basic questions about my travel dates and hotel and whereabouts, and I answered them honestly. The thing to know about Washington D.C. is that every inch of the city is covered in cameras, mass surveillance. My first time back to DC since 2012 was in December of 2020 and, if I can be slightly hyperbolic, it’s basically The Capitol in the Hunger Games or that fully wired Asian city in Westworld Season 3.
When we got to the Baltimore airport in December, our Uber driver was super cool and chatty until we got into the DC city limits. Then his body language changed, and his eyes got shifty, he asked us to pull up our masks well over our noses because if the cameras picked up our non-compliance, then he could get in trouble. Because of how bizarre that was to me, I asked other Uber and Lyft drivers and they all confirmed that it is full mass surveillance all the time. Big Brother is watching.
Back to the guys on my front porch. Turns out, they weren’t federal agents, but local detectives from Douglas and Jefferson counties, working on behalf of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Taskforce (JTTF). When my husband answered the door – no joke, wearing a “Ruby Ridge: I Am the Militia, I Will Not Comply,” t-shirt – they identified themselves as being with the FBI.
I didn’t realize until after the fact that, when I asked them for identification, they gave me business cards instead of showing me badges. Again, I was caught off guard and have several learnings from the experience.
They had pictures too. One of me running down a set of concrete stairs with my bullhorn. I look really angry in that picture, because I had just been gassed by the government. Context matters. I don’t have that picture because it was taken by the mass surveillance, likely from a camera on a light pole or similar in the area.
The other picture was from my Parler account and, to my knowledge, it was the last post I made before they deactivated my account on January 7, 2021, as confirmed – without explanation – by Parler Support.
Anyway, they showed me their pictures. After the basic questions, they started asking questions about who I was with and how we organize. By that time, I had my wits about me and declined to answer most of their questions as it was obvious that they were fishing for information. Again, every single one of my movements is on DC surveillance. I didn’t disguise myself or hide. The FBI, and by extension this JTTF, would have that information. If they had any material reason to talk to me, they would have done it back in January or February when they questioned many of my friends.
So, why now? Well, after the past 14 months, I no longer believe in coincidences. The timing of our USEIP presentation to the Republican Study Committee in proximity to this visit – an obvious fishing expedition – doesn’t feel like a coincidence to me. It feels like intimidation. And it feels like a particular violation that the local sheriff’s office was the one leading the charge. Our local sheriff is our last line of defense against federal overreach, especially in a state like Colorado where the state and federal government are indistinguishable.
Towards the end of our discussion, I asked them, “Am I in trouble?”
“Not at this time.”
There it is.
That response actually triggered my brain to life, and I said, “Wait a second, if I was in trouble, what would I be in trouble for? I didn’t do anything wrong.”
I got some bureaucratic doublespeak in return. “All I can tell you is that I am not planning on charging you with anything at this time,” said the Douglas County Detective, with a little too much emphasis on the “I.” Not sure this guy had that kind of clout one way or the other and methinks not.
As they were leaving, my husband asked them where they parked. Sheepishly, the JeffCo guy said, “Around the block.” Sneaky.
Overall, this was a relatively benign encounter. The were friendly enough and neither my husband nor I felt like they were bad guys. Good guys following orders.
But whose orders?
It seems like every day we hear about the FBI trampling civil liberties. And it’s not just the FBI but the overall weaponization of law enforcement in America and certainly in Colorado. Just last week two officers in Northern Colorado resigned after beating a 73-year old woman with dementia. The Denver Police Department has a strong record of violence against citizens, although you can’t really discern the truth in that fog anymore because Denver is obvious war zone.
Regardless, Americans have the right to be skeptical of law enforcement in the current climate. Not just the right, in fact, but cause. It’s impossible to know who to trust anymore and institutions of government are certainly not to be trusted. The Founders knew this. It’s why they limited them.
So, what was the result of this visit by the Colorado FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce? Let’s see.
My conclusion is that the federal government is using local sheriff’s deputies to harass and intimidate those who are speaking out locally about election integrity. In Colorado, I can name four others in our local movement who have received the same or worse treatment and there are more.
It’s no wonder, given that mainstream conservative politics right now is focused on affecting change at the local level. The opposition is bringing intimidation at the local level.
As to how this impacted me and my family, this is the part I hate because I feels like whining, and others have it way worse than I do. Unfortunately, my story is not uncommon. They are knocking and fishing all over and some of my friends got it worse. The goal is to intimidate, and it worked. Two of my sons were home and watching out the window, so we needed to handle their questions. My youngest has been sleeping on our floor most nights. My oldest is already super anxious over school shooters and bomb threats and oppressive masking and critical race theory, and now he must process the JTTF coming to our home as well. He is 17 – he can understand the implications.
My husband and I swing between anger and depression and fear, and not always in harmony with each other, and neither of us has slept well in the past two weeks. I haven’t been eating well, and I find myself feeling more paranoid. That is the point of course. Trigger your fight or flight and make you choose flight. It’s tempting. I could stop telling the truth about the election and my family would probably sleep better.
But I wouldn’t.
Truth matters. And now that I have had some time to process this, I’m holding pretty steady at anger. I see this for what it is. Government overreach and the weaponization of law enforcement against American citizens to silence the truth.
And that is what I want everyone to know. It’s not just online, with Twitter and Facebook and Amazon. They silenced me online months ago. I didn’t stop then and so they came to my door.
What’s next? How can I find out if I can still fly?