The combined Senate hearing today into the origins of the January 6th violent insurrection was compelling television. But it was also a necessary production if for no better reason than because the very format ensured that the facts would become public!
As it became clear today, this bloody insurrection was far worse than anything that the sporadic television coverage from inside the Capitol was able to portray. Because the testimony showed, in graphic detail, things that were not immediately visible on the video coverage.
For instance, the former chief of the Capitol Police stated that while they had trained for a large group with the potential of violence, none of the intelligence prepared them for a coordinated military style assault. His testimony was that the assault had been long planned and coordinated, including electronic communications, climbing gear to use to get to upper floors with presumably softer points of egress, and chemical agents for use on police officers.
There was a terrible lack of coordination of intelligence, the chief of the Capitol police never seeing the January 5th FBI memo from Norfolk Virginia, reporting online traffic strongly suggesting that the mob the next day was focused on a violent insurrection at the Capitol. And the questioning showed that there was a miserable lack of coordination in the chain of command in the Capitol police, saving each individual officer stranded on an island to react on their own.
By far the worst was the revelation of the stunning reticence of the Department of Defense to react to send the National Guard when it was requested by the Capitol police. And if the information turns out to be true, then the waffling was nothing more or less than an act of craven cowardice. Several months ago, the DoD approved the use of National Guard troops to clear Lafayette Square of unarmed, peaceful protesters, so that Trump could trundle over to hold a bible upside down at a church to make a political statement. And they got their dicks slapped down for it. Hard. And as a result, when Capitol police officers were fighting for their very lives, the military suddenly didn’t like the optics of National Guard troops confronting armed protesters. And so they waffled and delayed.
The reason this is so important is because none of this was readily apparent from the fractured footage that was shown on the day of the insurrection. And the Republican party has no interest in the actual facts coming out, since it tears their preposterous defense of an innocent gathering gone wrong to shreds.
Try this one. During Trump’s impeachment trial, his schlock attorneys tried to make great hay out of the fact that the Capitol police were first engaged by protesters 15 minutes before the speech even ended. They called this evidence that Trump’s words couldn’t have had anything to do with incitement. But when you add in the evidence that there was pre planning and coordination among the groups, then it would only make basic tactical sense to send a second vanguard mob to occupy the police before they are at full strength and set in position, and keep them occupied until the main mob arrives.
These hearings will continue, and they must continue. Because, with the Democrats running these committees, actual facts are going to come out, the kind that are shiny and slick enough to make it hard for the GOP to throw shit all over them. And the more we learn, the better we can prepare for the future, and get the fences and barbed wire down from around our beautiful Capitol. The GOP is going to just have to learn to start dealing with facts again.
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