We know that the terrorist attack on the US Capitol was no joke, despite what Tucker Carlson would like us to believe.
We know that at least some of the terrorists who occupied the building and forced Congressional members to barricade themselves inside their offices or hide in bunkers planned on kidnapping and executing Pence and/or various lawmakers, probably starting with Nancy Pelosi.
Now we know that retired General Barry McCaffrey agrees.
The US narrowly avoided having members of Congress and VP Pence violently seized and killed or injured by a criminal mob incited by President Trump. Law Enforcement must use any level of force required to protect our Constitution and its elected leaders. https://t.co/WmxY0BVsw2
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) January 8, 2021
The US narrowly avoided having members of Congress and VP Pence violently seized and killed or injured by a criminal mob incited by President Trump. Law Enforcement must use any level of force required to protect our Constitution and its elected leaders.
Reporter Jonathan Swan wrote in a tweet responding to McCaffrey:
Thank God they didn’t get to him in the Capitol building. Perhaps there are consequences when the President of the United States lies to millions of his supporters telling them the Vice President has the unilateral ability to overturn the result and ensure a second term of Trump. https://t.co/lAWqN1RDgS
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 8, 2021
Thank God they didn’t get to him in the Capitol building. Perhaps there are consequences when the President of the United States lies to millions of his supporters telling them the Vice President has the unilateral ability to overturn the result and ensure a second term of Trump.
Was McCaffrey saying that the Capitol Police, DC Police, and National Guard should have used deadly force against the insurrectionists? You bet your ass. Was Swan saying that Trump incited a mob to smash their way inside the Capitol and kill his vice president? You bet your ass.
Now, thanks to analysis by Slate‘s Dan Kois, we have a better idea of just how lethal the terrorists’ intentions were.
Kois opened his article by saying, “I can’t stop thinking about the zip-tie guys.” He should be. So should we. (Ari Melber spent some time on this topic tonight on MSNBC.) Kois wrote:
Amid the photos that flooded social media during Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol—shirtless jokers in horned helmets, dudes pointing at their nuts, dumbasses carrying away souvenirs—the images of the zip-tie guys were quieter, less exuberant, more chilling. And we’d better not forget what they almost managed to do.
Kois wrote that they weren’t just “cosplaying self-styled patriots” who forced their way into the Capitol, ambled around, broke a few objects, stole a few objects, smeared shit on various surfaces, and bumbled their way out.
Not even. For every idiot wearing a horned Chewbacca outfit, there were ten of them in body armor, carrying guns (yes, quite a few guns, as video evidence shows), and zip-ties. Kois reminded his readers that he isn’t talking about the kind of zip-ties you use to close a loaf of bread. These are called “flex cuffs,” and are made specifically to restrain a person, just like actual handcuffs. You can get a set of ten on Amazon for about the amount you’d spend on lunch.
The terrorists, Kois wrote:
walked through the Senate chamber with a sense of purpose. They were not dressed in silly costumes but kitted out in full paramilitary regalia: helmets, armor, camo, holsters with sidearms. At least one had a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. At least one, unlike nearly every other right-wing rioter photographed that day, wore a mask that obscured his face.
They went in fast and with a purpose. They didn’t stop to piss on walls or pose for selfies with Capitol Police officers. They went straight for the offices of people like Pelosi, and then to the Senate floor. Almist like they had memorized maps of the layout of the building, which are also available online. Jim Clyburn believes they were hunting him, among others, and knew exactly where to find him.
What was that purpose? It wasn’t to pose for photos. It was to use those flex cuffs on someone.
Remember three months ago, when terrorists in Michigan planned to murder Governor Gretchen Whitmer? The terrorists in the Capitol Building had a very similar intent. Kois recalled that, in a group chat, one of the Whitmer would-be assassins debated whether to just shoot her outright — “knock on the door, and when she answers it just cap her” — but decided to kidnap her, take her to a quiet location, and then rape, torture and murder her. Kois added:
Think of that plot, as these men surely did, as a dress rehearsal for what the zip-tie guys wanted to accomplish at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
They brought in flex-cuffs and weapons. They intended to, at the very least, hold people hostage. Did they plan on murdering them? Maybe they planned on dragging them out to the gallows they erected across from the White House. Whatever they had planned, they were very, very serious about it.
For every idiot with a horned helmet, there were ten with military and/or law enforcement experience, who came into the Capitol with an intent and a purpose. Kois wrote:
[T[he long awful course of history reminds us how slippery the slope is from playacting as a strike force to actually behaving as a strike force. Once the zip ties go on, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a “real” terrorist or not.
The terrorists crushed a police officer’s head in with a fire extinguisher. An AP photographer was dragged away and thought he was going to be murdered.
— Danny Gold (@DGisSERIOUS) January 8, 2021
(Remember the “Murder the Media” slogan carved with a knife into a panel inside the Capitol?)
A New York Times photographer was thrown to the floor and thought she was going to be stomped to death.
— Sam Dolnick (@samdolnick) January 8, 2021
“At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them,” she wrote.
This was not just a bunch of role-playing assholes running around mugging for the cellphone cameras. Kois concluded:
If the rioters had been a little quicker through the doors; if senators and representatives hadn’t just moved from their joint session into separate chambers to debate the Arizona challenge and had instead still been packed into one harder-to-evacuate room; if any number of things had happened differently, the three people next in the line of succession for the presidency might have been face to face with those zip-tie guys. And then: Who knows.
I think we do know.
Government Source: "I received an open-source briefing about the siege on the capitol. It's some scary stuff, it was not spontaneous as claimed, all of it was organized & implemented by MAGA supporters and white supremacist groups…" 1/2
— Wajahat "Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic" Ali (@WajahatAli) January 8, 2021
They were armed. They were prepared. They came in with murder on their minds. And we would be damned fools to think this is the last time we’ll see them.