Capitol chaos, capital confusion

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Ever more odious news on the events of July 6 continues to seep out from “the Swamp,” each day bringing revelations of the suppression of evidence and misfeasance. Having once been the Washington DC Army National Guard military police liaison to the DC Metropolitan Police I have followed the events of that day quite closely and found media coverage and government pronouncements selective and shallow.

By way of background, I was on the ground with the MP’s during the World Bank demonstrations in Washington a decade or so ago. As that demonstration unfolded a reporter alerted me that demonstrators had gasoline and nail bombs and we needed fire extinguishers if they used them against us. If that had happened all hell would have broken loose, the protestors would have been swept aside and the MPs accused of brutality for defending themselves and enforcing the law. Anti-fa would have achieved its objective – chaos and turning public opinion against law enforcement. At the inaugural four years ago, I witnessed Anti-fa rioting and destroying DC streets while the police looked.  On my way into the inaugural ball an Anti-fa thug threatened to ruin my evening clothes. I told him that that was not a good idea.  He backed off.

Now, in spite of official denials, I am convinced that Anti-fa was in play on January 6. The day before I’d gotten a call from a trusted source saying Antifa was going to infiltrate and cause trouble, a page straight out of Saul Alinsky’s playbook, Rules for Radicals. My speculation is that agent provocateurs took the lead in stirring up anger, getting it going, and then disappeared into the crowd. I also saw Anti-fa instructions for infiltration posted on the web. On television and on the web, I saw men in the black Antifa costume breaking into the Capitol; those attacking the police were using Anti-fa’s attack style, some wearing helmets and backpacks, Anti-fa trademarks.  Police found climbing gear, unusual for Trump apparel, but not unusual for Anti-fa. The fellow swinging from the House gallery and dropping into the speaker’s chair was likewise Antifa garbed and raising his clenched fist in the Anti-fa salute.  A rally goer told an interviewer he heard Anti-fa types planning mayhem whereupon he left the area.

The FBI has denied Anti-fa’s participation, but is this not same FBI that for years denied the existence of the Mafia, persecuted Richard Jewel over the Atlanta bombing, and brushed aside FBI agent John O’Neil’s intelligence of an impending attack on the World Trade Center? PBS’s FRONTLINE exposed the how’s and why’s of the FBI’s 9/11 intelligence failure:

The 9/11 Commission hearings also revealed how the FBI was not capable of functioning as a domestic intelligence service because of limited resources as well as a culture and organization that emphasized a traditional law enforcement approach to counterterrorism. FBI agents were trained to build criminal cases that could be prosecuted. As the 9/11 Commission’s Staff Statement noted, “The Bureau rewarded agents based on statistics reflecting arrests, indictments and prosecutions. As a result, fields such as counterterrorism and counterintelligence, where investigations generally result in fewer prosecutions, were viewed as backwaters.” (FRONTLINE, (April 26, 2004)

In other words, when it comes to ferreting out terrorism the FBI has been underwhelming, yet director Christopher Wray’s congressional testimony is supposed to be taken at face value.

Overall, I cannot think of an act more damaging to Pres. Trump’s cause than what happened at the hands of a relative minority in what was truly a mostly peaceful protest. There is even film of the Capitol Police opening the barriers and then the Capitol doors letting people in and guiding them along the corridors without incident. Could there not have been at least two factions, one peaceful, one violent?

But the “peaceful protest,” the term the media and “progressive” politicians used when Minneapolis, Portland, and New York were being torched and looted at a cost of millions of dollars and in human life was certainly not peaceful. Unlike the January 6 riot, there have been no calls for a Congressional investigation or an FBI investigation, or the arrest and prosecution of the participants.

Our then soon-to-be vice-president started a bail fund to spring rioters from jail, even saying that if the Democrats won the disruption would, and should, continue. Since then, charges have been dropped against many rioters while those arrested for being at the capitol have been transported to Washington and are being held without bail, in solitary, subject to “cruel and unusual” punishments while awaiting trial. Their constitutional rights have evaporated.

Columnist Mark Steyn said that by not stopping the summer riots, or the refusal of Dem politicians to criticize them, the way was open for more disruption as if X can riot and get what he wants, why cannot Y do the same? The storming of the Senate during the Kavanaugh hearings and other transgressions of the Capitol have been quickly forgotten. Yes, January 6 was a riot, but it did not fit the definition of an insurrection, that belongs to BLM and Anti-fa. This summer, as they rioted in front of the White House Anti-fa openly said removing Trump was a near term goal, the overthrow of the government, however, was its main objective.  There were no admonitions from Democrats.

Over 70 million Americans feel that, except for Trump, they are ignored by a political class that does not care about them, in fact, despises them. That Pennsylvania violated its own constitution regarding ballots and other states ignored their own election regulations has been ignored, even by the courts, further inflaming the situation.

Voices dissenting from the progressive narrative are being, silenced by big tech; people who protested peacefully are being fired, arrested, or harassed by the FBI. Free speech –guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitution– is in mortal danger.

This is a powder keg; attacking protestors as traitors, rather than separating rioters from protestors, is almost putting a match to it. Should there be a sense that the arrested will not get a fair trial, or punishment is unjust, you may have a parallel to the Easter Rising. At first the Irish were unsympathetic to the IRA’s seizing the Dublin Post Office. It was being tried by a military tribunal in violation of civil procedure and condemning the rebels to death that turned Irish public opinion in favor of the IRA. We all know what happened then – Ireland went up in the flames of rebellion.

I fear that the stupid and illegal actions of a few will lead to demonizing and disenfranchising almost half the country and encourage a nascent police state. To forestall that, a thorough investigation is needed as is a thorough cross examination of those arrested and that has to include the summer rioters if the country is to have faith in its government. (Note: I read the transcript of Trump’s speech, it called for peaceful protest, not violence.)

Tom Paine’s words still ring true, these indeed are “times that try men’s souls.”

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