Please give me a follow on Twitter: @Lizseeds0311
And I promise I will be writing more very soon.
Please give me a follow on Twitter: @Lizseeds0311
And I promise I will be writing more very soon.
As a strong advocate of gender equality and women’s rights, I have taken a particular interest in Reality Winner’s plight. I am one of many supporters of Reality and not only have I spoken to other advocates, but I’ve also done some independent research on different aspects of her case in order to understand more. Not quite shocking in the current political times, but the more I learn, the more I am appalled.
I’ve written about Reality’s treatment, and why we should be paying attention. I’ve written about how mainstream media continues to ignore her case, even after reporting on her initial arrest. And I’ve written about how we need to be talking to our government officials and candidates running for office in the upcoming elections about closing the gaps in whistleblower protection laws, and about the use of the Espionage Act against whistleblowers. It would seem that with a case of this magnitude, more people would be paying attention. But due to lack of media coverage, with the exception of various shout outs from big names such as actress Rosie O’Donnell, political Twitter personality Brian Krassentien, whistleblower attorney and Expose Facts founder Jesselyn Radack, and Thomas Drake, Reality and her family mainly gain supporters one tweet at a time, one Facebook post at a time, and one protest march at a time.
Just recently, a billboard appeared in Georgia, advocating for Reality. Many of her supporters thought this could be a turning point in main stream coverage because Magistrate Epps and Judge Hall weren’t happy with the billboard. Supporters took this chance to spotlight Reality’s silencing as her defense team was even being scolded about this billboard, someone else’s First Amendment Right to free speech, that they had nothing to do with. But still, there’s little media coverage, and nothing main stream.
Now that I’ve written a few pieces on Reality, I’m starting to see a bigger picture. When I look at what I have written as a whole about her case there seems to be a common denominator that keeps popping up, and I can no longer ignore it. This pattern I’m seeing is what women are currently fighting back against. A pattern that has gone on for decades, nay, centuries, of men having the upper hand. A pattern of women’s oppression & inequality. You see, sexism hides everywhere, from the darkest corners, to right under our noses. And Reality is feeling the full force of it.
I know I haven’t posted quite a broad range of topics, but I wanted to assure you that more posts on different things are coming. I’ll still be writing about feminism and whistleblower protections, especially pieces on Reality Winner, but I will also be posting some fictional pieces, and stuff on things going on in my life right now that I think you all may find relate-able.
As we get closer to November 2018, many people are thinking about voting out the corrupt representatives who have plagued our government. Candidates and incumbents alike are pushing campaign ads and sending postcards; some are even knocking on doors. If the committed voter numbers in November are anything like the hype we’re hearing, this will be a voter turnout for the history books. And with the political environment being what it is, we can see why.
News that Russia had hacked into our election systems rocked many Americans, and the belief that we, the people, have a patriotic duty to vote, and take our country back, is strong. The feeling of needing to rid our government of the money-hungry representatives who are only in office to line their pockets is overwhelming among any group that talks politics these days. Of course, voting corruption out should be Priority One, but then shouldn’t Priority Two be finding candidates who fit what we want and need as Americans? Are we asking our candidates, who want our votes, everything that we should be asking them? Probably not.
There’s so much going on week to week, and even day to day, that it’s hard to keep up with all the political agendas arising, that we once thought were safe. Because of how busy we are, and how much things change day to day, just because an issue deserves our attention, doesn’t always mean it will receive our attention, and that could be a big mistake in one case. If there’s one issue that deserves our attention and has been overlooked, it would have to be the one that is pertinent to identifying and alerting the proper authorities, including the general public, of illegal, immoral and corrupt activities in order to keep corruption out.
This one issue, that many don’t think about, and has gone largely unspoken, is whistleblower protections. Fraud and corruption run through our government like a snake slithering through high grass. It can be hard for the decent high-level government officials to spot, because it succeeds as it’s concealed right under their noses. Lower-level officials and private citizens, by contrast, sometimes have an advantage of seeing it from the outside, or a bird’s-eye view.
In today’s hustle & bustle of our busy lives, many people don’t take the time, or don’t have the time, to really look into things that don’t directly affect them. Because of that, many people scan the newspaper in the morning, getting the gist of what’s going on, but not knowing the particulars of its contents, let alone in its entirety. If there were a list of articles, topics & cases most widely known for a name, yet most widely unknown in their specifics, the case of Reality Winner would probably be right up there in the top 10.
With the one year anniversary of her arrest coming up in June, and the attention of the actual information (that’s currently public knowledge) that she is accused of leaking with a single document, it’s quite surprising that her case still goes widely unknown. Yes, Reality Winner has an unusual name, and one that many have focused on. But yet what’s not known is that she is a young US Air Force veteran, and ex NSA contractor. She is the whistleblower, or truth teller, that is charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly releasing a document to the online media outlet, The Intercept, showing that Russia was hacking into our US election support companies.
The last sentence of that paragraph alone would have had people up in arms, in the not so distant past. If an announcement was made that Russia was, and has been for years, meddling in our elections, and continues to do so, many people would have taken to the streets. But, with so much going on every damned day, it’s unknown whether we are becoming desensitized to the corruption in our government (on all sides,) or if people really just don’t care. Or maybe, even still, they have a hard time trying to filter through all the bullsh*t and end up buying into it.
This piece is meant to take a second and explain why Reality Winner has such devoted supporters. The thing is, there is a visible division in our country. And unfortunately, that divide is causing people that normally would be supporters of Winner to cut themselves off from the truth about what is going on with her case. From my personal experience, which is admittedly very little, most people that are Trump supporters aren’t going to want to support Winner because of the information in the document itself, and that she’s alleged to have helped expose the Russian hacking while Trump himself was on television saying he believed Putin when he said his country didn’t hack our election support companies. So then it boils down to still not believing that Russia was responsible, or the information isn’t critically thought about and is brushed off under the guise that any form of leaking is a treasonous act.
However, I implore Trump supporters to check into her case, though, because Winner’s supporters aren’t digging in their feet in based only on their political stance, whether they are resisting Donald Trump, or not. And her supporters aren’t trying to claim her innocence either. (Although now that the mainstream media has reported Russia did hack our election and there are Russian indictments in the Mueller investigation, one wonders why the document Winner is accused of releasing is still considered classified. Is it only to keep her silenced in jail?) Her supporters are saying, however, that her treatment has been unfair, and unjust, throughout the past year.
Donald Trump himself said in a tweet, when speaking of Rob Porter’s departure over allegations that he abused his past wives, that every American should be seen as innocent until proven guilty, and that every American deserves their right to a fair trial and due process. (And let’s not forget the right to a speedy trial!) Winner’s supporters agree. Yes, every American does deserve that. Every US Air Force veteran and every NSA contractor, also deserves that. So why isn’t Reality Winner receiving any of it?
It seems as though we’ve gotten used to waking up every morning and seeing some crazy or off the cuff tweet sent out by the man that is supposed to be the leader of the free world, our country. Each day, there’s a quoted tweet, or five, plastered on the television screen while Joe Scarborogh, Joy Reid or Anderson Cooper talk about what an asinine thing it was for a President of these United States to publicly announce. But has anyone sat back and thought about why this is happening?
Donald Trump knows that his tweets are under a watchful eye. Not only by the millions of people on Twitter, but also by the press that has to have something new to report on every day. And Trump knows this. He knows that if he sends out a tweet saying that transgenders are no longer allowed in the military, that a screen shot of that tweet will be up on his television screen hours later. He knows that if he makes an announcement on raising tariffs and that a trade war is a good thing, his face will be on that same television screen.
Trump is a reality TV star first, and acts as such. He knows how to stay in the spotlight, cause drama, and irk people. No matter how much we want to call him out for being insane or not being mentally fit, he’s smart enough to know that he can control what the main stream media (MSM) will report. He even told a journalist, in a one on one interview at Mar-A-Lago, that the media needed him. That they want him to win reelection in 2020. And they’re taking the bait.
Robert Mueller is hot on the Russian investigation, and things are being reported to be spiraling out of control in the White House. Reports of Trump’s aide, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner’s security clearance being revoked, gave the week of Feb 26, 2018 a jump start in MSM. Hope Hicks’ resignation soon followed, with her telling special counsel that she has told “white lies” for Trump in the past. And then, a final report of Trump announcing higher tariffs on steel & aluminum, and potentially sending us into a trade war, made for some interesting news to be reported.
But how many people know who Reality Winner is? She happens to be pretty important in the Russia investigation. She’s the young Air Force veteran that tried to help warn American citizens of Russia’s hacking into our election support companies while Trump continued his praise of Putin saying they didn’t.
On February 27, 2018, a Suppression Hearing was held in the decision making time period before Reality Winner’s actual trial in which she is being charged under the Espionage Act. This was an important hearing because Magistrate Brian Epps will decide whether or not Reality’s confession will be able to be submitted as evidence against her in court.
Magistrate Epps has since asked both the prosecution & defense to submit statements of their arguments and then he will make his decision. This, ultimately, will push back Reality’s trial that is scheduled for this month.
The reason this is so important is because of what happened the day Reality Winner was interrogated by two male FBI agents. This was set up as a sting operation from the beginning. The lead agent said he briefed his team about the case a half mile away from Reality’s apartment, in a school parking lot. Reality was not arrested by the FBI agents, she was arrested by the local police department.
Reality cooperated with the FBI agents, while they blocked the only exit in the tiny, unfinished bedroom in the back of her apartment during the questioning. While a group of nine armed, male FBI agents ransacked her apartment with their search warrant, she even asked if she could tend to her pets’ needs, instead of walking around freely in her own home. And when Reality asked the two agents interrogating her if she was being arrested, knowing there was also a search warrant for her person, but seeing no female agent during the entire exchange, her question went unanswered.
Instead, she was told that she would benefit from cooperating, which she thought she was doing. And, that they would feel much better knowing they didn’t have a serious issue if she was just frustrated with her job. The same tactics that you see on television when a suspect is being interviewed & arrested; the coerciveness, the pressuring, the “we know you did it so you better tell us now.”
There were seven cars outside of Reality’s small Augusta home, all blocking in her vehicle. She had handed over her keys and her cell phone, and even showed the armed agents how to gain access into her phone. None of this made Reality feel as though this was a voluntary interview. She felt that she was being arrested, which she ended up foreshadowing correctly.
This wasn’t Winner’s first pre-trial hearing either. She has been denied pretrial bond multiple times over the course of the last 8 months. And while Winner has gained a lot of support online, her mother & step father, Billie Winners-Davis & Gary Davis, have been the only supporters of Winner to show up at those hearings.
This time was different though. Because of all the support that Winner has gained online, her parents wouldn’t be the only ones in the courtroom this time. Supporters from Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York, came to show Winner and her parents that they are not alone.
My husband, Ryan, & I were two of those supporters. Back in January, there was a call to action online for Reality Winner supporters and I worked with other supporters to try to fill the courtroom. Donations came in to help get supporters to the hearing, and Ryan & I offered to carpool anyone needing a ride. We even picked up a fellow supporter in Philadelphia on our way down to Augusta, GA from upstate NY.
Ryan & I started our trip on Monday, February 26, 2018. We packed our bags & I made a hash tag: #NY2GA4Reality. I wrote the hash tag on my car windows and set the GPS for our 15 hour drive. I made my Twitter update so people could follow our drive down using the hash tag and we were off. We were going to be there for Reality and her parents. We wanted them to know there were people out there like us.