Failed StatesNOTE: Failed States is also the title for my non-fiction novel, and my exhibition at AMOA-Arthouse
The day I was a witness to the shooting at the Capitol by Fausto Cardenas, I met with a reporter, then-editor of the Texas Observer and now Chief Correspondent of Texas for the Associated Press, to continue my research on snipers. He'd been embedded within the US military in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He told me that if I really wanted to understand how government power worked, I would never find the answer within a bureaucracy like the secret service (see The Spy Project ) but by going rogue, as an investigative journalist. After many meetings together, it was decided that I would go with him to Afghanistan to embed with the US Military, as he had, and that he would be my 'fixer', paving my way into the war. I returned to Texas to be trained by CT as an embed, while simultaneously following Fausto's case.
In training, I learned that in Afghanistan, we would drive around in a 'hard car'— an armored vehicle, usually a Mercedes, that invisibly blends into traffic. I thought of my used 1993 Mercedes station wagon back in Brooklyn that my husband and I had bought when our son was born, and immediately wanted to armor it.