Excerpt from Patriot: My Journey Through America’s Undeclared Civil War by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D.
Nearly ten years ago, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jaime Zapata were murdered as a result of a botched government conspiracy to push gun control.
At the time, I was a public affairs specialist at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol. I watched the face of Agent Terry flash across the screen; I saw his mother crying; I waited for news of an investigation to play out in the media; none but Sharyl Attkisson, then at CBS, would cover it.
Not long after that, Ambassador Christopher Stevens was slaughtered in Benghazi, Libya. And the official story—“a YouTube video”—was so stupid as to be insulting.
Time went on and the scandals and cover-ups only seemed to multiply.
I started to share my suspicions more broadly, and each time I was quietly reprimanded. “What do you know about it anyway?” was the feeling I got from some people; actually, some were rude enough to speak it aloud.
From others the reaction was: “And when have things ever been any different?”
Still others said, ominously: “Be very careful.”
If there was a missing piece, it was focused, extended, slow-paced research. Several years ago, I began to do just that. And even then, I lacked confidence about what I was doing. What did I know? How was I qualified to think independently?
Shouldn’t I just trust what “they” told me?
Despite my self-doubt, the fear of what others might think of me, and the ridicule I faced at times, something in me said “just keep going.”
Then, about a year ago, I learned about a technology called “Twitter threads.” Basically, this is the use of Twitter to carefully make an argument, one building block at a time, one thought following upon another.
This turned out to be the perfect use of my natural abilities, since I tend to follow one thought down a path and then bring it back to the main point in step by exhaustingly obsessive step.
My abilities became useful when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse Judge (now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh, a Supreme Court nominee, of attacking her decades ago.
I did not believe Dr. Ford. But my method of analysis had nothing to do with her assertion of the events, at least not at first. Rather I began with a very, very close textual analysis of the accusation itself, in the form of her letter to Congress.
The closer I looked, the more the initial document totally fell apart.
It’s funny. Even after a number of years reading this stuff, a part of me wants to believe that “conspiracy theory” can’t possibly be true.
But then I am reminded that there are times when it actually, sadly, has been.
Reading accusations that at times may seem outlandish has not turned me into an automatic believer.
Instead, it has convinced me all the more that we should put aside radicalism, impulsivity, and the emotional need to jump to conclusions.
We can move ourselves forward, but to do it we will need to make a commitment to follow facts and logic wherever they