Nothing typifies Washington’s overblown sense of its own importance than the reaction to the January 6 protestors. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
Okay, okay, let’s all cool our jets here for a minute. I know we’re all worked up about the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and that’s all well and good. But let’s not let our emotions cloud our vision and let today’s commemorations cause us to forget the real horror we must all remain focused on: the Capitol riot this past January.
It is true that losing nearly 3,000 American lives to weaponized passenger jets was pretty bad, but I think we can all agree that this pales in comparison to the earth-shattering terror we all experienced when watching footage of wingnuts wander aimlessly around the Capitol Building for a few hours.
Serious experts agree.
In a July appearance on MSNBC’s ReidOut with Joy Reid, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd said he felt the Capitol riot was “much worse” than 9/11 and that this is the “most perilous point in time” since the beginning of the American Civil War.
“To me, though there was less loss of life on January 6, January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been,” Dowd said. “I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War.”
Most Americans are worried about things other than January 6, like all of the Biden administration’s serious screw-ups. From PF Whalen at thebluestateconservative.com:
The Democrats are throwing a party, and everyone is invited. And they would very much like all of you to come. They’ve spared no expense. This party is supposed to be the highfalutin shindig against which all future highfalutin shindigs are measured. There’s only one problem. The only ones at their party are a collection of desperate Democrats and few delusional Republicans… and everyone keeps looking at their watch like Joe Biden at a dignified transfer.
The party the Democrats are throwing is the “Select” January 6th Commission, and they want you to embrace the hype and join in with the festivities which actually began over a month ago. Contrary to Democrat talking points, the purpose of their get-together is to highlight the evils of Orange-Man-Bad, aka former President Donald Trump. The only real questions remaining about the Capitol riot on January 6th is 1) what really happened regarding the death of Ashli Babbitt, and 2) how could there have been such a failure in fundamental security by the Capitol Police? Neither of these questions will be answered – at least not by this farce of a commission – because they don’t care about answers, they only care about politics and perception.
So, you say you haven’t heard much about these proceedings? The heroic deeds of that top-notch team of Congressional crusaders have totally missed your radar? Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone.
Worthy news items that have come from the January 6th Commission have been virtually non-existent. Perhaps the biggest story has been House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent decision to name soon-to-be-former three-term Congresswoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as Vice-Chair of the commission. Republicans threw in the towel on Cheney providing any value to anyone long ago, and Democrats continue to work towards holding her up as the model Republican. But Americans are just yawning. Liz Cheney is old news.
The name that was kept secret for months is now public, but not because anyone in the government has any high-borne notions of honesty and transparency. From Monica Showalter at americanthinker.com:
After months of supposed hiding, the Capitol Hill cop who shot unarmed pro-Trump protestor Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol, Lt. Michael Byrd has come out of the woodwork to talk about his shooting, in a softball interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.
Which is weird stuff, given that for months his identity had been concealed, by investigators, Congress, and other supposed watchdogs, on the grounds that revealing it to angry Trump supporters was too dangerous, and whose investigative conclusions excused him from accountability.
Now he’s come out — telling Lester Holt of his great heroics. He doesn’t even need to, having been exonerated repeatedly.
The most likely reason is this lawsuit, and these efforts by Babbitt’s family to get answers:
Babbitt’s family is suing for the identity of the officer to be publicly released but so far that effort has not borne fruit. They are also filing a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the officer didn’t issue a verbal command according to the Washington Examiner.
A lawsuit would concentrate anyone’s mind, even in the name of his agency, making it quite likely that he would think of preparing a defense.
It’s a typical lawyer tactic, when it can be done and a judge doesn’t slap it down, to try to sway public opinion, particularly when a defense is weak
Yesterday I wrote a column in the Hill about the FBI reportedly finding no evidence a planned insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. In a related story, the Capitol Police has now entirely cleared the still unnamed officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt despite her being unarmed. The decision was marked by the same lack of information that characterized an earlier decision from the Justice Department. There is little media coverage of the obvious disconnect in the handling of this shooting and other uses of force against protesters in recent riots. Even law professors are largely silent on the implications of a finding that the shooting of an unarmed protester is justified. Babbitt seems to be treated as “fair game” because she was part of the January 6th riot.
Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was a decorated security forces controller who served multiple Middle East tours from 2004 to 2016
A memo from the commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility simply says “no further action will be taken in this matter” after the officer was exonerated for use of force. However, there are very troubling questions about the shooting, as previously discussed.
Not only was there no claim that Babbitt was believed to be armed, but there were officers directly behind her and in front of her at the time. As I noted earlier, if the officer intended to shoot Babbitt, it would not likely meet the standard for a justified shooting under governing cases like Tennessee v. Garner (1985). If the officer fired blindly or wildly, it would appear to have many of the same negligent elements as the Wright shooting.
I was highly critical of the maddening findings of the Justice Department in the case. In rejecting charges, the Justice Department statement notably does not say that the shooting was clearly justified. Instead, it noted that “prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so ‘willfully.’” It stressed that this element requires a showing of “a bad purpose to disregard the law” and that “evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a harrowing testimony before the January 6th Committee, Capitol Police Officer Lenny Burbo revealed his paralyzing fear as MAGA terrorist insurrectionist racists stormed the Capitol.
“I stood there, paralyzed by fear as I held the door open so people could enter,” said Burbo. “As boomer after boomer entered the facility in an orderly line and began to take selfies, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I literally thought I was going to die.”
When asked why he had politely held the door open for everyone to enter the building unimpeded, he replied that he feared for his life and that one of the larger rioters had come up to him and said “step aside cupcake” in an intimidating voice.
“I knew my only option was to step aside or be drawn and quartered by a throng of evil bad people who voted for Trump and are also racist,” he said as tears welled up in his eyes.
Officer Burbo has been awarded a medal of bravery since even though he opened the door for rioters, he really didn’t want to do it, and his heart was in the right place.
The FBI has issued a warrant for the man who called Officer Burbo a “cupcake” and is asking anyone with information to call Nancy Pelosi’s office immediately.
The old line about how an abridgement of the rights of one of us is an abridgement of the rights of all isn’t a mere rhetorical flourish. Empirically, when governments start running roughshod over the rights of one, a few, or some, they eventually get around to doing it to all. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
The recent felony conviction and eight month prison sentence of January 6th protester Paul Hodgkins is an affront to any notion of justice. It is a political charge and a political verdict by a political court. Every American regardless of political persuasion should be terrified of a court system so beholden to politics instead of justice.
We’ve seen this movie before and it does not end well.
Worse than this miscarriage of justice is the despicable attempt by the prosecutor in the case to label Hodgkins – who has no criminal record and was accused of no violent crime – a “terrorist.”
As journalist Michael Tracey recently wrote, Special Assistant US Attorney Mona Sedky declared Hodgkins a “terrorist” in the court proceedings not for committing any terrorist act, not for any act of violence, not even for imagining a terrorist act.
Sedky wrote in her sentencing memo, “The Government … recognizes that Hodgkins did not personally engage in or espouse violence or property destruction.” She added, “we concede that Mr. Hodgkins is not under the legal definition a domestic terrorist.”
How involved was the FBI with the January 6 raid? It seems clear that they infiltrated the protesters, as they’ve done with many other movements. From Glen Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
Questioning the FBI’s role in 1/6 was maligned by corporate media as deranged. But only ignorance about the FBI or a desire to deceive could produce such a reaction.
The narrative that domestic anti-government extremism is the greatest threat to U.S. national security — the official position of the U.S. security state and the Biden administration — received its most potent boost in October 2020, less than one month before the 2020 presidential election. That was when the F.B.I. and Michigan state officials announced the arrest of thirteen people on terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges, with six of them accused of participating in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who had been a particular target of criticism from President Trump for her advocacy for harsh COVID lockdown measures.
The headlines that followed were dramatic and fear-inducing: “F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” announcedThe New York Times. That same night, ABC Newsbegan its broadcast this way: “Tonight, we take you into a hidden world, a place authorities say gave birth to a violent domestic terror plot in Michigan — foiled by the FBI.”
Democrats and liberal journalists instantly seized on this storyline to spin a pre-election theme that was as extreme as it was predictable. Gov. Whitmer herself blamed Trump, claiming that the plotters “heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry — as a call to action.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) claimed that “the president is a deranged lunatic and he’s inspired white supremacists to violence, the latest of which was a plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer,” adding: “these groups have attempted to KILL many of us in recent years. They are following Trump’s lead.” Vox’s paid television-watcher and video-manipulator, Aaron Rupar, drew this inference: “Trump hasn’t commended the FBI for breaking up Whitmer kidnapping/murder plot because as always he doesn’t want to denounce his base.” Michael Moore called for Trump’s arrest for having incited the kidnapping plot against Gov. Whitmer. One viral tweet from a popular Democratic Party activist similarly declared: “Trump should be arrested for this plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer. There’s no doubt he inspired this terrorism.”
The problem for the January 6 protest prosecutors is that legally, there just isn’t much “there” there. From James Bovard at jimbovard.com:
With the DOJ’s first sentencing, the legal realities are disappointing the left’s lust for blood.
The January 6 Capitol clash may be the gift that keeps on giving to cynics everywhere. In the coming months, Americans will likely see jaw-dropping bureaucratic debacles, stunning abuses by federal prosecutors, and appalling bloodlust by angry Biden supporters. Perhaps the least likely outcome is that the coming train wreck will restore faith in American democracy.
The Justice Department declared last week, “The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Breach will be the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence.” The feds are sorting through “237,000 digital tips, 1 million Parler videos and images comprising 40 terabytes of data scraped from the Internet — roughly equivalent to 10 million photos, 20,000 hours of video, or 50,000 filing cabinets of paper documents,” theWashington Post reported. Investigators are also sorting through “cell tower data for thousands of electronic devices that connected to the Capitol’s interior distributed antenna system,” information provided by phone companies, Google, and other data aggregation companies. The problem will be compounded because many government employees are slow readers.
More than 500 protestors have already been charged in federal court, but their trials will likely be delayed at least until next year. Federal judge John Bates recently warned that evidence snafus could result in judges “going on the warpath.” If judges conclude that the Justice Department is unreasonably keeping January 6 defendants locked up (often in solitary confinement) too long, judicial edicts could unravel prosecutors’ long-term plans.
Federal cases against January 6 protestors are being built on what one savvy electronic evidence consultant called a “Tower of Babel nightmare.” While federal agents gloated at the 300,000 plus tips that poured into the FBI with regards to January 6 protestors, prosecutors are obliged to sift the hairballs and provide each defendant and their lawyers with potentially exculpatory evidence. The biggest data dump on record will likely spur a deluge of inadvertent or intentional withholding of evidence. The Justice Department recently notified defense lawyers that they would have to “build a system to receive the data” the feds delivered. The prosecution is also whining because a federal judge prevented them from relying on a private contractor to organize secret grand jury evidence.
Something important has come out of the so-called insurrection January 6, far more important than the endless propaganda. It has revealed the relationship between the FBI and Antifa, and more would come out if they’d release all the tapes. From John Dietrich at americanthinker.com:
Over two dozen people were killed during the Antifa and BLM protests in 2020. It is routinely reported that “five people died as a result” of the Jan. 6 disturbance. This is a totally accurate statement, however, it is still misleading. Only one of the deceased died as a result of violence. She was actually murdered by a government official. Relating these deaths allows the media to routinely describe Jan. 6 as a “deadly insurrection” as opposed to the “mostly peaceful” protests by Antifa and BLM. Prior to Jan. 6, Trump supporters had held dozens of mass rallies without burning cities or murdering people. This was a major embarrassment for the Deep State. Media coverage of the Jan. 6 event has been largely successful in minimizing that embarrassment. This was a major Deep State coup and the planning and execution of this “insurrection” reveal a disturbing relationship between the government and radical groups. The FBI did not only fail to adequately prevent the disturbance, they appear to have actively facilitated it. The FBI and radical leftists are branches of the Deep State.
The FBI has a history of instigating terrorist plots that they thwart with great fanfare. This is not a conspiracy theory.
The New York Times has reported there have been twenty terrorist plots against the U.S. Three of those plots were real; the other 17 were created — and then stopped — by the FBI.
The Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping case is based on evidence provided by two FBI informants and two undercover agents according to the FBI’s affidavit. As many as twelve informants were used in this case. Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys, was at one time an FBI informant. Several sizable right-wing organizations were involved in the Jan. 6 disturbance. The FBI had infiltrated every one of them and therefore knew exactly what they had planned.
The DC Metropolitan Police also had at least one undercover employee embedded within the pro-Trump crowd. This is not speculation. It is based on court records.
It is preposterous to contend that the FBI did not have operatives in this disturbance as Christopher Wray contends. Journalist Glenn Greenwald commented, “What would be shocking and strange is not if the FBI had embedded informants and other infiltrators in the groups planning the January 6 Capitol riot. What would be shocking and strange—bizarre and inexplicable—is if the FBI did not have those groups under tight control.”
Dig deep into the actual evidence in the cases of the defendants in the January 6 protests and you come up with very little on which to hang major criminal convictions. From Revolver at revolver.news:
This week, the FBI released video footage of their key suspect in the vaunted “pipe bombs planted at DNC and GOP offices” plot from the MAGA Capitol protests of 1/6. Much is riding on this “pipe bomb” plot being legit, because the “armed insurrection” narrative is falling apart without it.
Just last week, the FBI confessed to Congress – and not without prodding from Senator Ron Johnson – that no guns had actually been recovered or confiscated on Capitol grounds. That admission corroborates the thorough review by AmGreatness’s Julie Kelly of more than 200 DOJ charging documents, and whose conclusion went completely unmentioned by either FBI Director Chris Wray or incoming Attorney General Merrick Garland in their fire-and-brimstone assessments of the deadly threat MAGA protesters posed that day.
With the “Guns at Capitol” meme down, only two serious, terroristic plots implicating MAGA on 1/6 remain. One is the “guns & bombs stashed in cars and outside the city” plots, principally related to the Oath Keepers, which has been the subject of an exhaustive forthcoming Revolver News investigation; the other is this eagerly-hyped “pipe bomb” plot.
So this “pipe bomb” plot better be real, and it better be the authentic act of a genuine Trump supporter, or basically all they have left is the strange case of the “Oath Keepers” – and we will tell you in advance that is not looking pretty for The Narrative or the FBI.
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