This is a short statement about the social context in which we research corruption, by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D.
We become aware of corruption in different ways.
- Some are victims of crime.
- Some are born into crime.
- Some are observers of shady situations.
- Some work for people who are corrupt.
- Some experience a mixture of different factors not listed here.
For whatever reason, in whatever way, it is never just a single thing.
I became drawn into researching government corruption when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in 2010 by a rogue operation called Fast & Furious.
There are other things I do not want to mention here.
In the summer of 2016, I became aware, as many of you did, of FBIAnon, the leaked Podesta emails, the Alefantis Instagram, and other things.
Many expressed fear for my safety, including family and friends and colleagues.
On Twitter, Jen Moore reached out to me. She was later murdered.
I put my name out there and I therefore am unable to research every topic I would like to, to the extent that I would like, out of safety concerns. In addition, there are leads that legally cannot be investigated due to content. I am sure it is the same for many of you.
I have experienced squeaking noises on my phone calls, blocked WiFi connections, and what looks like someone taking screenshots on my cellphone while I am doing Periscopes. Broadcasts are either cut or interrupted.
This is repression of my civil liberties. It is not about national security. It is about preventing me from saying things or looking into things that may yield truths people don’t want out there.
I am aware of this and I am grateful for the extent of the freedom that I do have. I just think it should be noted that the boundaries of the conversation are always there — they are mostly unseen — and they affect how much we know, and what is allowed to enter our consciousness.
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.
On October 5, 2017, The New York Times published an in-depth investigation of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, with a focus on his alleged sexual harassment of young women over a period of many years, and “at least” eight settlements reached, presumably at the cost of the victims’ silence.
The alt-right market is a rising force in the American publishing industry, a market that major publishing houses are just starting to tap. With the dawn of 2019 and America’s deep polarization showing no signs of abating, a powerful new memoir speaks to that market.
So I’m in the coffee shop as usual getting my coffee and it is warm-ish and I’m annoyed. The coffee shop is nearby the White House and two men in business suits are sitting and talking to each other. Each one has their own table and they’re talking across the tables, so loud.
This is about the tragic abandonment of due process in an extraordinarily politicized national climate, one which led to a torrent of accusations and counter-accusations that quickly went over the top.