We’re used to firsts in this country, and we had another first in the past 24 hours when it was revealed that the Speaker of the House decided it was prudent to give footage which could compromise national security in present time to the chief propagandist whose viewers attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021. That shows an audacity, or a tone deafness, which is difficult to rival.
Kevin McCarthy gave 41,000 hours of January 6 video exclusively to Tucker Carlson, perhaps at the behest of Marjorie Taylor Greene. At least she’s took credit for it, in her Twitter feed.
The mainstream media has basically been silent since this egregious breach of national security but not Hakeem Jeffries. He went straight into action.
National security experts are going ballistics over this event, and well they should. The footage purportedly discloses patrol routes, screening processes, response times, staging points, evacuation routes, shelter in place locations, many other things. This could truly be disastrous. Marcy Wheeler, Emptywheel Newsletter
And McCarthy provided access to this video to the biggest propagandist for those who attacked the Capitol. Starting almost immediately after some of his viewers attacked the the Capitol, Tucker has been running insanely stupid conspiracy theories, claiming the attack was launched by the Deep State rather than his own viewers and allies. Tucker eventually packaged the propaganda into such a slick propaganda film, it led conservative journalists to leave.
This time around, Tucker might opt for instructing his viewers how to succeed with the next attack rather than lying about the last one.
Depending on the terms via which McCarthy made this footage available, it could also be shared with foreign adversaries. Tucker has long been chummy with Viktor Orbán, and he himself revealed he had been picked up on intercepts seeking a back channel with Russia.
The outcome of this release is hard to measure at this point.
While defendants already have access to any video to their case, when stuff gets released via an alternate channel like this, they often use it to launch new legal challenges and claims of discovery violations. At the very least, this will create new delays and headaches for already overburdened prosecutors.
The security implications, however, are more serious. I did a post in December 2021 showing how video from just one camera over the course of the day — in this case, from the Tunnel through which Joe Biden would walk to be inaugurated weeks later — would reveal where key security cameras were and how to disable them. […]
It’s bad enough that McCarthy made the unilateral decision to release these. It’s bad enough that he decided to release these to someone who, the Dominion lawsuit just revealed, was willing to undermine the democratically elected government of the country for partisan gain.
But McCarthy released them exclusively to Tucker Carlson, meaning they won’t be used to crowdsource more identifications, but will instead be used solely for the purpose of propaganda.
We have yet to get a full accounting for all the commitments McCarthy made to be elected Speaker. But this decision makes clear that he was willing to sell out the country to get the position.
Again I say, and not for the last time, that we have two parties in this country the Democratic party and the anti-democracy party, which is what the MAGA extremists have made it pretty clear that they are. Maybe the GOP should just change its name and call itself the GAP, Grand Autocratic Party, or explain that GOP now means Grovelers of Putin. In all events, we’re getting the gist of where they stand, loud and clear. We’re watching what they do, and their actions speak eloquently about their motivations.
Tomorrow should be a first in the House, where the minority Leader asks the Speaker to explain why he choose to sell out his country in order to gain his political position. The answers should be very interesting.