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?
7 thoughts on “We are All Terrorists Now”
What an idiot, there was no fraud, only by the Orange buffoon himself, you people really are that stupid!
Oh, you’re cute. You think this is about Trump. Go get another booster and lock yourself in your home. The grown ups are talking.
Thanks for letting me know
Oligarchy, and Remedies
Those who live under oligarchies are not citizens—because oligarchy validates itself, decides for itself, within itself. It is committed above all to negating a people’s capacity to rule itself.
By Angelo Codevilla
May 3, 2021
What are hundreds of America’s biggest corporations doing as they browbeat the public to abolish the requirement of identification for voting? What are Twitter, Facebook, et al. doing when they prohibit people from sharing facts that are inconvenient to government policy or (and) the Democratic Party? What did banks do when they turned over to the FBI the records of persons who happened to have traveled to D.C. near January 6? And what about all those big retail stores—you know, the ones that the government designated “essential,” the ones that thrived under the lockdowns—what are they doing when they continue to demand that you wear masks on their property regardless of vaccination? What are colleges and universities, even K-12 schools doing when they deprive of opportunities young people who do not fit woke profiles? And what do all of them do when they dismiss complaints that they are violating your Constitutional rights by telling you that they are exercising their own private rights?
Are they simply fronting for the government or, specifically, for the Democratic Party?
What is the Biden Administration doing when it swears disinterest in “vaccine passports” to regulate ordinary people’s access to travel, careers, etc. but works with airlines, theaters, big retailers, and universities to help them impose such passports? Is the government—in practice, the political party that controls the government—fronting for corporations, or do the corporations front for the Party? Do the drug companies influence what the Centers for Disease Control “recommends” regarding pandemic restrictions? Do they influence the Democratic Party, or is it the other way around? Who runs whom?
Understanding what is happening in America begins with dismissing such silly questions. Focus, instead, on the fact that those who rule us in all these matters are essentially the same people. They are interchangeable, with near-identical interests, loves, hates, and tastes. Often, they are friends and colleagues, and are united about coercing whomever is not on their own sociopolitical side. Whether the institutions they control are public or private under our Constitutional system has ceased to matter. These persons are responsible for the sharp diminution in all manner of freedoms we have experienced since at least 2016, and especially since 2020.
What’s an Oligarchy?
Aristotle noticed that governments are run either by one person, by a few, or by the many, and that regardless of how many people rule, they do so either for the general interest or for their own. The American republic was founded in 1776-89 by the people at large, to serve the general interest by mixing the power of sheer numbers with that of states, and with that of a unitary presidency. But over the last century, the increasingly homogeneous set of people who run the republic’s institutions took power out of the hands of the people’s elected representatives pretty much at all levels, and have governed in their own interest rather than in the general population’s. Nobody voted for this, on any level.
On the contrary: the exercise of coercive powers by and for self-selected elites who claim to know better and who validate one another is the very negation of the constitutional republic within which Americans have lived since 1776. It is oligarchy.
In 21st century America, this oligarchy erased the distinction between public and private powers, and replaced it with the distinction between those who are and are not part of the ruling class. The privatization of public power is oligarchy’s essence. Because government is by the ruling class few, and is for that class’s interest, the oligarchs can wield the coercive powers of government without legal limits, as if they were dealing with their own private affairs.
Those who live under oligarchies are not citizens—because oligarchy validates itself, decides for itself, within itself, and because it is committed above all to negating the people’s capacity to rule itself.
Americans struggle to understand what is happening because we still regard ourselves as citizens, and imagine that those who run our republican institutions still respect them to some extent. We see persons whom the ruling class favors committing crimes with impunity, and complain of “a two-tiered justice system.” But this is not mere corruption. We see corporations wielding government powers and complain that power is being franchised to favorites. But these are not mere favorites of the regime. This is the new regime being itself. Such things are not deviations from republican legality. They are the assertion of oligarchic reality. This is oligarchic justice, oligarchic normality. The republic was yesterday. The oligarchy is today.
Conservatives’ congenital mistake is to try conserving something that no longer exists by supporting institutions that now belong to a regime so alien to republican life that it treats attempts at citizenship as crimes against the regime. And so they are. They call today’s American regime “our democracy.” It is “theirs,” all right, but not ours. It is a classic oligarchy.
What’s an Ex-citizen To Do?
First, stop pretending. Begin by rejecting—in heart and mind entirely, and publicly as prudence may dictate—the authority of the oligarchs who now control what used to be our republican institutions. Realize that you enjoy the rights God gave you only to the extent that your fellow ex-citizens recognize them, and that your only hope of continuing enjoyment lies in leaguing with them, on turning your back on the oligarchy and on effectively living republican lives with similarly minded people.
Citizenship is possible only when the many join together in the kind of mixed regime for the general good that our oligarchs rejected. Turning our backs to the oligarchy is possible for the twin purpose of rejecting un-republican rule and as the assertion of a new republican way of life. Citizenship happens when individuals join together under leaders of their choice to achieve common goals, both positive and negative.
Rejection of oligarchy is possible, even easy, if and when large numbers of persons do it together. This goes for ostensibly private corporations as well as for formerly republican institutions now in the oligarchs’ hands. The moment that millions of Americans, whether led by actual state governors in league with one another or by prospective presidents, recognize that Twitter and Facebook are enemy institutions, their power ends. The moment that millions are led to boycott Costco, or Pfizer, their officers are fired. The moment that these millions, so led, refuse the legitimacy of anything coming from Washington, its power ends.
Our oligarchs, having seen how easy it was to cower the majority of Americans to agree to the stupid, self-destructive practices of mask-wearing and lockdowns, having rejoiced in ruining the lives of small numbers of individual dissenters, believing that, under the media’s cover, their threats to crush opponents as white supremacists will forestall serious resistance, fantasize about applying the tools of the war on terror to America’s population.
But no. Their success was due to what remained of the American people’s confidence in them. That is now gone. The oligarchs have the FBI and CIA, and the Pentagon’s generals. But who will risk his pension, never mind his life, for them? Who will risk anything for Kamala Harris, never mind Joseph Biden?
Nor, in 2021, can anybody stop the governors and legislatures of any number of states from leading their peoples in settling what is and is not acceptable to them, how they shall and shall not live—that is, nobody can stop them as they decide to govern themselves.
The American people, divided as they are, cannot purge the oligarchs from what had been republican institutions. But those so minded have full power to defend themselves from them and to leave them to their own devices.
About Angelo Codevilla
Angelo M. Codevilla is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).
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