The Failure to Protect the Capitol
You may have watched the testimony of the security officials who were responsible for protecting our government from radical right wing domestic terrorists on January 6. Their failure and excuses are embarrassing and inexcusable.
We’ll get to the testimony in a bit, but let’s first look at what was released the night before the hearing. You might want to look at this security bulletin. And here’s what ABC News has been reporting over the last 48 hours, “U.S. Capitol Police officials said Wednesday they have ‘obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4’ — the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Donald Trump will return to power.” So, this intelligence claims that the “Three Percenters,” a group that advocates for gun ownership rights and resistance to U.S. federal government is being taken “seriously.” Oh, now they take it seriously.
We should have known that something was up, because early March room rates at the Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue were increased from $500 to more than $800. Something is going on here that could be very dark and sinister. I hesitate to restate this bullshit but we all need to understand what could be in play.
The March 4 theory gained traction after Biden’s inauguration on January 20. QAnon had been predicting that when Trump left office that day, military tribunals would conduct mass arrests of baby-eating Democrats and lock them up. Of course, that didn’t happen and some adherents gave up on this crazy theory. However, other lunatics began pushing a new narrative that Trump would rise again on the nation’s former inauguration date of March 4, which was changed to January 20th by the 20th Amendment.
It’s unlikely that anything will happen today, March 4, but the D.C. National Guard is prepared for any type of protest, demonstration or violent insurrection. The bigger issue is why this is happening. Well, it’s based strictly on Donald Trump’s big lie that the election was stolen from him and that he won by a landslide. Neither point is true.
During the Senate hearings both last week and this week Major General William J. Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified that it took the Department of Defense three hours and nineteen minutes to okay the deployment of his troops against the Capitol Hill insurrectionists on January 6. Walker disclosed that military leaders believed troop deployment would not be “good optics” and could further incite the crowd. So, there you have the ridiculous reasoning for the delay.
Christopher Miller, the acting Secretary of Defense, was not called to testify. I don’t know why but thank God he no longer holds that post. Here’s a tasty tidbit that should tell you all you need to know about Mr. Miller. In December 2020, it was reported that Miller had ordered the Pentagon to postpone forty meetings with the incoming Joe Biden administration. Miller said this was a “mutually agreed-upon holiday pause” with the Biden transition, but Biden’s people said no such agreement had been made. Miller’s decision to halt cooperation with the incoming administration followed Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election, refusals by various Trump administration political appointees to cooperate with Biden’s team and claims of fraud by the Trump administration. Miller is most likely responsible for the slow response by the Department of Defense on January 6 and he should be deposed in any cases brought against the insurrectionists.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we eventually learn that lame duck Trump told Miller to slow walk the deployment of the National Guard that day. Of course, that is just speculation on my part. No one in the former Trump administration will ever be truthful about what really happened. That is who they are, and who they were from the very beginning.
Maybe some future day Mr. Miller will call his local police for help with an incident threatening his life and will then wait three hours and nineteen minutes before local officers come to his aid. Wrong? Yes, but he and others like him need to understand that we depend on them and they should be held accountable when they screw up. What happened on January 6 was a colossal public failure and none of those involved should keep their jobs. We need to get rid of bad players and develop better policies and procedures that are impervious to bureaucratic incompetence.
I get so frustrated when we keep doing the same stupid things over and over. Why don’t we learn from our past failures? I love my country, but I hate government officials who lie and cover their collective asses when something goes wrong. The truth is the only way to make America safe again. Let’s get the SAFE part down before we get hung up on GREAT.
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Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”