Nel's New Day

September 12, 2021

Thoughts about 9/11 on Its 20th Anniversary

Yesterday saw no foreign attacks on the 20th anniversary of “9/11,” the date when 19 hijackers, including 15 men from Saudi Arabia, used airplanes to attack the United States, including at New York City’s World Trade Center. Following the death of approximately 3,000 people in the attacks, George W. Bush, appointed to president by five Supreme Court justices after a voting debacle in Florida, started two preemptive wars, one almost immediately in Afghanistan and the second 17 months later in Iraq. Almost 20 years later, the media has been consumed with President Joe Biden ending the Afghanistan conflict and air-lifting over 123,000 people out of the country. For 20 years, the power of 9/11 has loomed over the United States with no need to identify the year. 

After 20 years, the U.S. administration has admitted that domestic terrorism is a far bigger threat to the U.S. than international terrorism: QAnon conspiracy theories and white supremacy, promoted by conservative media such as the Fox network, proliferate throughout the nation with violent attacks. For years, conservatives were convinced that terror came only from outside the country as they ignored the growth of global anti-government extremism, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) protected QAnon believers and white supremacists because they were his voting base.

After a number of mass shootings, the Department of Homeland Security finally admitted the threats of domestic violent extremism, especially white supremacy, at the end of DDT’s term, and the conservatives’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 confirmed their position. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, an expert in the field of polarization and extremism, explains the greater danger of domestic violent extremism: combined of “coherent ideologies,” it lacks the hierarchical organization of jihadi extremism. Run by online youth satire with a “countercultural, edgy resistance,” it uses faux-patriotic language of freedom, constitutional defense, and revolutionary action to grow the illegal militia movement. Participants are people dissatisfied with traditional authority, such as COVID lockdown and mask mandates, and are willing to violently oppose anything they don’t like. They spread disinformation from history, such as Holocaust denial, and from scientific theory, such as racism, through conspiracy theories.

Domestic terrorism moved from fringe to mainstream. People need training “to recognize and resist propaganda, disinformation, and the persuasive tactics of extremist rhetoric” as well as addressing social and political issues driving extremists’ grievances. “The widespread availability of weapons and a lack of effective gun control,” according to Miller-Idriss, has increased the domestic terrorism.

Twenty years ago conservatives hated the Taliban; now they want to emulate the Taliban in taking over the U.S. Domestic dissidents plan a rally on September 18 to celebrate the hundreds of criminals who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to overturn the presidential election. The economy isn’t to blame: many of those involved in the movement have expensive cars and homes—like the St. Louis couple who pointed AR-15 rifles at peaceful protesters walking on the sidewalk in front of their McMansion home. As conservative David Frum, who wrote speeches of fear for George W. Bush’s victorious campaign, observed:  

“If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.”

William Rivers Pitt points out that these former conservatives have even deserted the conservative beliefs. To them, people like John McCain, Mitt Romney, John Boehner, and Bush are left-leaning; now those who call themselves conservatives threaten election and school board officials with physical harm and death if they don’t do exactly what “conservatives” want them to do. “We will find you!” has become the far-right meme screamed at their elected officials. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), once a close friend of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), claims the U.S. will return to the Middle East and attack Afghanistan.

About the changes since 9/11/2001, Jonathan Last wrote this for the conservative Bulwark website:

“We have a minority-rule dynamic that did not exist 20 years ago. We have one political party that is explicitly anti-democratic in that its macro-strategy is no longer winning more votes, but winning by restricting voting and playing games with vote-counting and apportionment. We have some significant chunk of that political party which is nakedly authoritarian. And we have just lived through our government’s first failure at a peaceful transfer of power since the Civil War—a crisis that was serious enough to alarm senior military leaders that a coup might be in process.”

The events of 9/11 caused people in the U.S. to bond with W. Bush and other Republicans coming out on top in their battle against foreigners. Then the GOP stood for national security. Now the party represents what people call “freedom” and individualism, ignoring the common good and public safety while letting hundreds of thousands of people die from politicized anger about a small piece of cloth. Gone is any concern with vigilance and protection while danger from disease is ridiculed as non-existent. DDT hid any threat, silenced people attempting to warn the public, opposed testing, and mocked masks. His political attacks on anyone trying to warn people about COVID’s danger polarized the entire country.

DDT lost his election, but GOP leaders in Congress such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) accuse public health measure as “government control,” a GOP bugaboo. The GOP movement against public health has been far more effective than the 9/11 attack—3,000 deaths then compared to at least 677,000 deaths from COVID in 18 months and the equivalent to 9/11 every two days. The GOP proves it is no longer a party of national security.

Six years before 9/11, people watched domestic terrorism by government-hating extremists when two white U.S. citizens blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing at least 168 people. While the FBI devoted only 20 percent of its counterterrorism agents to domestic terrorism, these homegrown extremists killed more people in the U.S. with more attacks than international terrorists. Yet the terrorist statute doesn’t cover these terrorists with no one of the hundreds of people arrested is charged with terrorism. Even white supremacist Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black people at a Bible study didn’t receive a terrorism charge. Laws since the Oklahoma City bombing target international terrorists but not neo-Nazi groups or other domestic extremists. Social media platforms communicate domestic terrorism, and GOP governors are passing laws to allow posts to incite this violence in the name of protecting conservatism.  

DDT, criticized for spending the day calling a boxing match on 9/11, tried to redeem his self-esteem by repeating lies about 9/11. He “helped” after the attacks and “brought a “big crew” while he was “down there” near the World Trade Center, a claim with no evidence, and he lied about donating to support 9/11 victims. He did make a new claim, that he heard “creaks,” probably the “United States Steel Building … 50 stories tall” and said, “That building is going to come down.” DDT actually got a $150,000 grant for his property near the site, claiming it was “reimbursement” for helping to shelter people at the building. Paperwork shows he really claimed “rent loss,” “cleanup,” and “repairs.”

Striking a pugilistic tone, DDT avoided the Ground Zero official ceremony but briefly appeared In front of first responders at the 17th Precinct station house. He ignored his denigration of the police at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and said: 

“I’ll say it loud. You know, you’re not supposed to say that. We love the blue.”

Others honoring first responders yesterday in their remarks included Biden, VP Kamala Harris, W. Bush, and President Obama.

DDT’s live pay-per-view commentary for the Saturday night boxing match between 58-year-old Evander Holyfield and 44-year-old former UFC lightweight champion Vitor Belfort didn’t take long: Holyfield lost to Belfort’s TKO in the first round. After that event, DDT moved on to speak at the “Rally of Hope,” presented by Unification Church, a cult group often called the “Moonies” with deep ties to the GOP, where he praised the founders for “peace all other the world.” DDT also took credit for improving the security situation in the Korean peninsula and instigating “a policy of unprecedented strength” for the U.S. Jim Stewartson, founder of the anti-disinformation organization The Think Project, wrote on Twitter that the event was “deeply harmful and deceptive.” Former cult members described the group’s indoctrination process. Worshipping while carrying AR-15 rifles, the group has a 40-acre “safe haven” in Texas for “patriots.” 

The FBI released its first document about 9/11 in fewer than ten days after Biden’s executive order to make some files public. The heavily redacted report from April 2016 was about the supporting role from the Saudi Arabian government for the hijackers. Information came from November 2015 interviews. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission Report described little evidence about the link between Saudi Arabia government and the hijackers, but the FBI launched an investigation, Operation Encore, in 2006 for a decade. Watch for the release of more of these documents.

August 29, 2021

Afghanistan: Three More Days

With the deadline to complete withdrawal on August 31, the evacuation brought about 112,000 people in its first two weeks. The 5,400 evacuated U.S. citizens leaves about 350 U.S. citizens still trying to leave the country as of yesterday although some of them may have gotten out. Another 280 wish to stay or haven’t told the State Department their intentions. The U.S. has begun its withdrawal from the airport in Kabul but will continue its operation there “up until the end,” according to Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor. The U.S. destroyed Eagle Base, the last CIA outpost outside the airport, to keep equipment and information from the Taliban.

The U.S. occupied Afghanistan for almost 20 years, compared to the 14 years of the Vietnam conflict. The evacuation from that conflict, 7,500 people, brought out only 1,500 U.S. citizens. Thursday, a suicide bomber from ISIS-K, a terrorist group and enemy of the Taliban, killed 13 U.S. service members, wounded 15 others, and killed approximately 170 others. After the bombing, evacuations continued. President Joe Biden had previously warned the public of attack threats and said there may be more before the evaluation deadline on August 31. 

U.S. military troops conducted an unstaffed airstrike against an ISIS-K planner and may have killed two “high-profile ISIS targets.” Another was wounded. Biden said this airstrike will not be the last and promised to “hunt down” this group that took credit for the attack outside the airport entrance. by one suicide bomber. The Taliban said it arrested two ISIS-K members but didn’t give details.

On the same day of the attack killing almost 200 people, US Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted a video on his Facebook page criticizing the handling of the situation. He has been relieved of command. With no solutions, Republicans—politicians, media pundits, letter-writers, etc.—have criticized Biden for the withdrawal. Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Afghanistan should have no troops; a few days earlier he wanted to keep a military presence and Bagram Air Base. With no evidence, McCarthy claimed the U.S. could have “maintained it safely” with no casualties. McCarthy also lied when he blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for trying to defund the attempt to get more U.S. citizens out of Afghanistan.

The hawks who started the war and those who continued it returned to cable TV, complaining about the withdrawal before the U.S. “won” the war. Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s aide called the withdrawal Biden’s “stain.” John Bolton, who wants regime change around the world, called DDT and Biden “Tweedledee and Tweedledum” in their approaches. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of Afghanistan architect former VP Dick Cheney, said “the catastrophe … did not have to happen.” Neither she nor her ABC interviewer mentioned her father or his part in the “catastrophe.”

DDT’s officials who offered no objections to DDT’s agreement are now bitterly complaining about it. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who negotiated and attended the agreement signing, said this “debacle … will certainly harm America’s credibility with its friends and allies.” Pompeo turned 5,000 Taliban fighters loose from prison, and now he complains about how they “run free and wild.” DDT’s former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who quit a year before DDT’s idea of befriending the Taliban, said about his “surrender agreement,” “The Taliban didn’t defeat us. We defeated ourselves.”

According to DDT’s deal, signed on February 29, 2020, the U.S. and NATO were to release 5,000 Taliban fighters from prison, reduce military members from 14,000 to 8,600 within 100 days, and leave five military bases. The remainder of the troops would be gone within the next nine months. A U.S. inspector general report summarized DDT’s deal:

“The Taliban views the negotiations as a necessary step to ensure the removal of U.S. and other foreign troops under the U.S.-Taliban agreement, but the Taliban likely does not perceive that it has any obligation to make substantive concessions or compromises.”

Ironically, the same Republicans who whine about how Biden has failed to get refugees out of Afghanistan then scream about not wanting any of them in the U.S. Tucker Carlson leads the pack in claiming Democrats want these “criminals” in the U.S. to vote for their party.

DDT made a campaign promise to take the U.S. out of Afghanistan and started withdrawing thousands of troops. His defense secretary Mark Esper was fired after he disagreed with DDT’s actions. Esper now says that DDT’s withdrawals at that time contributed to current problems in Afghanistan. Despite his promises, DDT lost the election, but by the time Biden was inaugurated, only 3,500 service members remained in Afghanistan. With no leverage, Biden decided to pull the rest of the troops from the country. He said his choice was to follow the deal with a short extension of time and get U.S. forces and allies out safely or replace the troops to continue the participation “in another country’s civil conflict.” The Taliban has not attacked the U.S. during Biden’s withdrawal.

Former Secretary of State and senator Hillary Clinton has paid to charter airplanes, rescuing Afghanistan’s vulnerable women and children. In contrast, wealthy mercenary Erik Prince, brother of DDT’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is charging $6,500 for flights out of Afghanistan—per person. He charges extra to get them from their homes to the airport.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) keeps delivering his opinions even without wide-spread social media. A few days before the anniversary of the 9/11 attack that George W. Bush used to make himself important, DDT, who declared he defeated “100%” of ISIS, said on the far-right Hugh Hewitt radio program:

“We took out the founder of ISIS, [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi, and then of course [Iranian military leader Qassem] Soleimani. Now just so you understand, Soleimani is bigger by many, many times than Osama bin Laden. The founder of ISIS is bigger by many, many times—al-Baghdadi—than Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden had one hit…”

DDT went on to say that bin Laden wasn’t a “monster.” Bess Levin pointed out bin Laden’s links to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings killing over 200 people and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole killing 17 U.S. Navy sailors. The “one hit” on 9/11 immediately killed 2,996 people.

Levin also explains how a difficulty in the evacuation came from DDT’s top advisor, Stephen Miller, who slowed down processing of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghan interpreters, embassy staff, and other top targets for Taliban assassination. With Miller, DDT refused to follow congressional mandates for time limits and a senior coordinating official for the SIVs along with DDT’s requirement of the “human resources” employer letter. Miller now says no Afghan refugees should enter the U.S. DDT’s agreement with the Taliban also has no method of enforcement, no denunciation of al-Qaeda terrorists, and no demand for the Taliban to stop attacks against Afghan security forces.

The U.S. could have left Afghanistan almost 20 years ago if George W. Bush had taken the unconditional surrender offer from the Taliban. On December 5, 2001, they said they would disband and disarm with no military force. Bush ignored their offer and attacked the Taliban throughout his two terms. Within ten days of taking office on January 20, 2001, Bush also formalized a decision to preemptively invade Iraq—months before 9/11. The goal was access to Iraqi oil and a pipeline right-of-way through Afghanistan for the Unocal Corporation.

Bush ignored another offer from the Taliban in late 2000 to assassinate or surrender Osama bin Laden after the bombing of the USS Cole. The Bush administration refused the offer four times before 9/11 and a fifth time on 9/16. George W. wanted his “war on terrorism” for the pipeline. On November 27, 2001, Bush ordered his defense department to plan the Iraqi invasion, eleven months before Congress authorized it.

The U.S. has failed in the Middle East. Oil companies from Egypt, Italy, Japan, France, Austria, the UK, Canada, Hungary, India, Norway, Russia, and China dwarf the few from the U.S. The U.S. has no oil pipeline in Afghanistan, which boils with violence. U.S. journalist Anand Gopal tells the story in his 2014 book, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes.

The editors of Commonweal wrote about the “unwinnable war”:

“For Americans, it cost thousands of lives and more than $2 trillion. But the toll for Afghans was far worse: there the war meant not only occupation by a foreign power, but also constant political instability, corruption, drone strikes, civilian deaths, starvation, and displacement… Even Afghans who despise the Taliban may care less about who rules in Kabul than whether they can travel to work, plow a field, or attend a wedding without the constant fear of being shot at or bombed. ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ is heroic, but ‘Give them liberty or give them death’ is obscene.”

In mid-August when the Taliban took over Afghanistan and the withdrawal began, almost two-thirds of people in the U.S. believed the conflict was not worth fighting. Even 57 percent of Republicans saw it as not worthwhile. Another two-thirds of respondents stated the Iraq War that coincided with Afghanistan was a mistake. As usual, however, Republicans in Congress ignore their constituents’ opinions. One of the reasons? Making money from defense contractors’ donations and businesses.

August 27, 2021

Noted Journalist Ezra Klein on the Afghanistan Blame Game

Filed under: War — trp2011 @ 11:45 PM
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“Let’s Not Pretend That the Way We Withdrew from Afghanistan Was the Problem”

Republicans are attempting to use issues of the Afghanistan withdrawal to impeach President Joe Biden–even possibly get him out of his office through the 25th Amendment by declaring him mentally incompetent. Ezra Klein has this thoughtful perspective on the current blame game pointed at Biden. 

In 2005, two of my colleagues at The American Prospect, Sam Rosenfeld and Matt Yglesias, wrote an essay I think about often. It was called “The Incompetence Dodge,” and it argued that American policymakers and pundits routinely try to rescue the reputation of bad ideas by attributing their failure to poor execution. At the time, they were writing about the liberal hawks who were blaming the catastrophe of the Iraq war on the Bush administration’s maladministration rather than rethinking the enterprise in its totality. But the same dynamic suffuses the recriminations over the Afghanistan withdrawal.

To state the obvious: There was no good way to lose Afghanistan to the Taliban. A better withdrawal was possible — and our stingy, chaotic visa process was unforgivable — but so was a worse one. Either way, there was no hope of an end to the war that didn’t reveal our decades of folly, no matter how deeply America’s belief in its own enduring innocence demanded one. That is the reckoning that lies beneath events that are still unfolding, and much of the cable news conversation is a frenzied, bipartisan effort to avoid it.

Focusing on the execution of the withdrawal is giving virtually everyone who insisted we could remake Afghanistan the opportunity to obscure their failures by pretending to believe in the possibility of a graceful departure. It’s also obscuring the true alternative to withdrawal: endless occupation. But what our ignominious exit really reflects is the failure of America’s foreign policy establishment at both prediction and policymaking in Afghanistan.

“The pro-war crowd sees this as a mechanism by which they can absolve themselves of an accounting for the last 20 years,” Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, told me. “Just think about the epic size of this policy failure. Twenty years of training. More than $2 trillion worth of expenditure. For almost nothing. It is heartbreaking to watch these images, but it is equally heartbreaking to think about all of the effort, of lives and money we wasted in pursuit of a goal that was illusory.”

Emma Ashford, a senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, phrased it well: “There’s no denying America is the most powerful country in the world, but what we’ve seen over and over in recent decades is we cannot turn that into the outcomes we want. Whether it’s Afghanistan or Libya or sanctions on Russia and Venezuela, we don’t get the policy outcomes we want, and I think that’s because we overreach — we assume that because we are very powerful, we can achieve things that are unachievable.”

It is worth considering some counterfactuals for how our occupation could have ended. Imagine that the Biden administration, believing the Afghan government hollow, ignored President Ashraf Ghani’s pleas and began rapidly withdrawing personnel and power months ago. The vote of no-confidence ripples through Afghan politics, demoralizing the existing government and emboldening the Taliban. Those who didn’t know which side to choose, who were waiting for a signal of who held power, quickly cut deals with the Taliban. As the last U.S. troops leave, the Taliban overwhelms the country, and the Biden administration is blamed, reasonably, for speeding their victory.

Another possible scenario was suggested to me by Grant Gordon, a political scientist who works on conflict and refugee crises (and is, I should say, an old friend): If the Biden administration had pulled our allies and personnel out more efficiently, that might have unleashed the Taliban to massacre their opposition, as America and the world would have been insulated and perhaps uninterested in the aftermath. There have been revenge killings, but it has not devolved, at least as of yet, into all-out slaughter, and that may be because the American withdrawal has been messy and partial and the Taliban fears re-engagement. “What is clearly a debacle from one angle may actually have generated restraint,” Gordon told me. “Having spent time in places like this, I think people lack a real imagination for how bad these conflicts can get.”

Let me offer one more: Even though few believed Ghani’s government would prevail in our absence, and the Trump administration cut them out of its deal with the Taliban, there’s widespread disappointment that the government we supported collapsed so quickly. Biden has been particularly unsparing in his descriptions of the Afghan Army’s abdication, and I agree with those who say he’s been unfair, underestimating the courage and sacrifice shown by Afghan troops throughout the war. But put that aside: Americans might have felt better seeing our allies in Afghanistan put up a longer fight, even if the Taliban emerged victorious. But would a multiyear civil war have been better for the Afghans caught in the crossfire?

Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, put it simply: “I think there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance, and smart people are struggling with how to rationalize defeat. Because that’s what we have here in Afghanistan — a defeat.”

I will not pretend that I know how we should have left Afghanistan. But neither do a lot of people dominating the airwaves right now. And the confident pronouncements to the contrary over the past two weeks leave me worried that America has learned little. We are still holding not just to the illusion of our control, but to the illusion of our knowledge…

“Look at the countries in which the war on terror has been waged,” Ben Rhodes, who served as a top foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama, told me. “Afghanistan. Iraq. Yemen. Somalia. Libya. Every one of those countries is worse off today in some fashion. The evidentiary basis for the idea that American military intervention leads inexorably to improved material circumstances is simply not there.”

…Initially, the war in Afghanistan was as broadly supported and bipartisan as anything in American politics has ever been. That made it hard to question, and it has made it harder to end. The same is true of the assumptions lying beneath it, and much else in our foreign policy — that America is always a good actor; that we understand enough about the rest of the world, and about ourselves, to remake it in our image; that humanitarianism and militarism are easily grafted together.

The tragedy of humanitarian intervention as a foreign policy philosophy is that it binds our compassion to our delusions of military mastery. We awaken to the suffering of others when we fear those who rule them or hide among them, and in this way our desire for security finds union with our desire for decency. Or we awaken to the suffering of others when they face a massacre of such immediacy that we are forced to confront our passivity and to ask what inaction would mean for our souls and self-image. In both cases, we awaken with a gun in our hands, or perhaps we awaken because we have a gun in our hands.

To many, America’s pretensions of humanitarian motivation were always suspect. There are vicious regimes America does nothing to stop. There are vicious regimes America finances directly. It is callous to suggest that the only suffering we bear responsibility for is the suffering inflicted by our withdrawal. Our wars and drone strikes and tactical raids and the resulting geopolitical chaos directly led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis.

This is the deep lacuna in America’s foreign policy conversation: The American foreign policy establishment obsesses over the harms caused by our absence or withdrawal. But there’s no similar culpability for the harms we commit or that our presence creates. We are much quicker to blame ourselves for what we don’t do than what we do.

My heart breaks for the suffering we will leave behind in Afghanistan. But we do not know how to fix Afghanistan. We failed in that effort so completely that we ended up strengthening the Taliban. We should do all we can to bring American citizens and allies home. But if we truly care about educating girls worldwide, we know how to build schools and finance education. If we truly care about protecting those who fear tyranny, we know how to issue visas and admit refugees. If we truly care about the suffering of others, there is so much we could do. Only 1 percent of the residents of poor countries are vaccinated against the coronavirus. We could change that. More than 400,000 people die from malaria each year. We could change that, too.

“I want America more forward-deployed, but I want it through a massive international financing arm and a massive renewable energy arm,” Senator Murphy told me. “That’s the United States I want to see spread across the world — not the face of America today that’s by and large arms sales, military trainers and brigades.”

The choice we face is not between isolationism and militarism. We are not powerful enough to achieve the unachievable. But we are powerful enough to do far more good, and far less harm, than we do now.

August 17, 2021

Afghanistan–20 Years of Lies, Failure

While Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) was in the White House, he arranged a peace agreement with the Taliban and arranged for 5,000 of their fighters to be released from prison with no involvement from the Afghan government. Now he watches television—as usual—and lambasts President Joe Biden who, DDT said, “ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him.” Four months ago, DDT lauded Biden’s withdrawal plan as “wonderful” and “positive” although he wanted Biden to leave before September 11. Three weeks ago, DDT took credit for the exit at a rally in Ohio.

DDT negotiated a peace treaty with the Taliban and agreed to withdraw all U.S. troops by May 1 if the terrorist group agreed to stop attacking U.S. troops. Afghans were not included in the negotiation, and the Taliban assassinated Afghanistan leaders while not killing any U.S. soldiers until after the deal was signed. Funded by foreign investors, the Taliban took over two-thirds of Afghanistan. 

Almost 20 years ago, the 9/11 hijacking of U.S. jetliners and attacks in the U.S. by a majority of Saudi Arabians, including the Twin Towers, was blamed on al-Qaeda, and the U.S. attacked Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban and kill Osama bin Laden although Bush made little effort to catch the man blamed for the 9/11 attack. The Taliban retreated into rural Afghanistan, and George W. Bush soon declared “Mission Accomplished,” continuing the 20-year-old war in a nation with corrupt, incompetent leadership. Bin Laden and other Taliban leaders settled in Pakistan, and the U.S. refused an unconditional surrender in December 2001. Instead Bush moved toward nation-building in Afghanistan, complete with waste, fraud, and confusion. The Taliban regrouped, and the U.S. ignored Afghan traditions by centralizing the government. U.S. resources then poured into Iraq for a war based on U.S. government lies about “weapons of mass destruction.”

Despite the Osama bin Laden’s killing in 2011 and a timeline to withdraw troops in 2014, Afghan relationships with the U.S. continued to deteriorate especially after U.S. troops maltreatment of Afghans, for example, filming of U.S. Marines urinating on dead Afghans and accusations of Qurans burned at a military base. The Taliban ceased talks after a soldier allegedly shot and killed 17 Afghans, mostly women and children.

An RNC statement from its 2020 campaign, now removed, accused Biden of “a history for pushing for endless wars” and praised DDT for leading historic “peace talks” with the Taliban. DDT’s withdrawal plan, “the best path” for the U.S. was a Fox News commentary on the RNC press release that disappeared. No praise, however, for Biden’s withdrawal which followed DDT’s plan.

A month ago, former Secretary of State and presidential wannabe Mike Pompeo announced he wanted to “applaud” the withdrawal, stating, “I want the Afghans to take up the fight for themselves.” Pompeo took a personal role in DDT’s Taliban deal, directly talking twice with Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban cofounder and Afghanistan’s new de facto leader. Baradar, co-Taliban co-founder in the mid-1990s, was captured in 2010 but released in 2018 at DDT’s request, despite he Afghan’s opposition, so Baradar could lead DDT’s peace agreement, essential the U.S. surrender to the Taliban. In 2020, Baradar was the first Taliban leader to speak directly with a U.S. president when he talked with DDT on the phone after signing the initial agreement.

Pompeo, who tweeted this photo of himself with Baradar, now calls the withdrawal “weak American leadership”; President Joe Biden was essential following DDT’s and Pompeo’s pattern for pulling out of Afghanistan. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace had hard questions for Pompeo, including whether he regretted “pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban.” Pompeo claims Biden should “crush those Taliban” after signing a deal with them. Asked about DDT’s administration “giving the Taliban legitimacy,” the former deal-maker attacked “corrupt” Afghan leaders who only wanted money and claimed he and DDT “never trusted the Taliban.” Now Pompeo calls the Taliban “butchers.”

Republicans cheered George W. Bush’s Afghanistan war and endorsed withdrawal during DDT’s term. In cognitive dissonance, the GOP now condemns Biden, blames his administration for Afghan conditions, supports DDT’s position, and avoids a position on the war.

Biden announced the U.S. military would be withdrawing from Afghanistan five weeks ago; today the Taliban took over the country’s capital, Kabul, after taking over almost every major city in Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan. The U.S. increased the number of service members from 2,500 to over 5,000 in an effort to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghan allies. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen blocked the Taliban from accessing Afghan’s billions of dollars in U.S. bank accounts.

In Afghanistan, 2,448 U.S. military members and personnel have been killed and another 20,722 wounded out of than 775,000 deployed military members. Evaluation of the mission’s cost varies between $1 trillion and $4 trillion with multiple trillions of dollars in the companion war in Iraq. By July 2021, 73 percent of people in the U.S. supported withdrawal. The U.S. began withdrawal, and the Afghan military disappeared, leaving the country to the Taliban.

An Afghanistan veteran, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), opposed the withdrawal but tweeted:

“Do not let my party preten[d] to be outraged by this. Both the [Republicans] and [Democrats] failed here. Time for Americans to put their country over their party.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, GOP QAnon believer from Colorado’s Grand Junction area, tweeted, “The Taliban are the only people building back better.” Tucker Carlson accused the Taliban takeover of its reaction to U.S. “radical gender politics.”  In part of his rant, Carlson complained:   

“Thanks to American-imposed gender quotas, dozens of women ultimately were installed as representatives in Afghan’s parliament. [T]he whole thing was a sham, as always.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) suggested Biden is “paying the Taliban … with weapons, vehicles, Blackhawk helicopters because the Afghan army is handing them over as fast as possible.” She’s right about the Afghans turning over these weapons to the Taliban, but not about that being Biden’s intention. Told that the Afghan was not protecting the country, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), with no evidence, said, “What a bunch of crap!”

While Republicans damn Democrats for not saving Afghan refugees, they bitterly oppose any refugees being brought to the U.S., claiming that the Democrats only want the votes of these “criminals.”

U.S. allies don’t agree with the GOP’s smearing Biden to score points for the next election. The UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace said DDT’s “rushed” deal with the Taliban omitting any involvement from the Afghan government or the international community set up the disaster. Wallace said, “The die was cast when the deal was done by Donald Trump.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg blames Afghan leaders for the government’s collapse because of the refusal to stand up to the Taliban. He follows Biden’s assessment that “what [the U.S.] could not provide [the Afghan forces] was the will to fight for their future.” About 800 NATO civilian personnel are still in Afghanistan for air traffic control and provision of fuel and communication.

Most pundits prefer to write about “who lost Afghanistan,” but Katrina vanden Heuvel addresses how the U.S. got into the seemingly never-ending war. After a few months of defeating al-Qaeda and finding Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush shifted his focus to nation-building to build his importance. Never mind the ignorance of people attempting this effort. Corruption included incompetence, lack of motivation, theft, and drug trade from both U.S. and Afghan military leaders. Every year, inspector generals reported the “war” as a failure. Commanders exaggerated the positive numbers and erased bad ones. Craig Whitlock reported on “explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public” and the distortion of statistics “to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.”

Afghans took bribes to move to the Taliban as soon as the U.S. left gone. After DDT’s deal with the Taliban, Taliban leaders offered money for U.S.-provided weapons and a future of surrenders.  Susannah George writes about the steps leading up to Taliban fighters walking into Kabul, the capital, with no resistance.

Despite the trillions of dollars lost by taxpayers and the ever-ending pain of anyone involved in Afghanistan, stockholders greatly benefited from the 20-year failure. An investment of $10,000 in stock with the U.S. top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001, if consistently reinvested, would now be worth $97,295. These stocks outperformed the stock marked by 58 percent during the past two decades. These contractors are Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. All but Boeing got their money from the U.S. government. 

George W. Bush, who gave the Taliban over $5 million in May 2021, started the 20-year war, and supported torture, gets to view the events in Afghanistan “with deep sadness” and wish Biden, who got stuck with the buck, would move more quickly to evacuate people. DDT, who bragged in June about setting the withdrawal, now calls on Biden to “resign in disgrace.” And Afghanistan diverts the media from climate warming, voting suppression, COVID, and other disasters directly affecting the United States.

January 16, 2021

Far-Right Groups Identified, Need Social Media Platforms

As I looked at the news feeds today, I realized that the media seems calmer during the past few days since Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) lost access to social media platforms. According to an analysis, the proliferation of lies and spreading responses has greatly fallen on these sites. Wildly misleading content about the 2020 election dropped by three-fourths on social media following the bans on DDT after the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Inflammatory hashtags about the attack such as #FightforTrump and #HoldtheLine have fallen over 95 percent. Research indicates high-profile influencers using the disinformation system pushed millions of people to spread the lie about election fraud. Just a few accounts have been the source for these lies: only 20 conservative, pro-DDT Twitter accounts were the original source of 20 percent of retweets lying about voting during the election.

Social media platforms banning DDT and others lying and inciting violence:

Twitter: The platform started putting labels on DDT’s false and violent posts over two months ago but didn’t limit his 88 million followers from viewing or sharing them. It also cut over 70,000 QAnon accounts after January 6. After DDT violated a 12-hour trial lockout after the Capitol attack, Twitter permanently banned his account on January 8 and suspended @POTUS and @TeamTrump for DDT’s attempts to avoid his ban. DDT’s former adviser, Steve Bannon, also lost his Twitter account for declaring Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray should be beheaded. Other DDT associates have also been banned.

Facebook and its photo-sharing service, Instagram: On January 6, the platforms suspended Trump for 24 hours after he expressed love for the mob attacking the Capitol. The next day, CEO Mark Zuckerberg banned DDT from them through the inauguration and indefinitely after that time.

YouTube: DDT’s channel was suspended for at least a week last week, and the platform indefinitely disabled comments from his channel. It also announced it would issue strikes to any channel posting videos with false claims violating the platform’s policies. Permanent removal comes from three strikes within three months.

Parler: Amazon Web Services removed Parler after users glorified the Capitol attack. The social media platform had already been removed from Google and Apple app stores.   QAnon believers and other conspiracy theorists moved to Parler after Twitter banned them because the platform allows anything, including sex trafficking and porno messages. A hacker downloaded all the public messages from the week of January 6 allowing law enforcement to find many of the mob members and instigators at the Capitol attack.

Snapchat: DDT’s account was permanently disabled on January 15.

Bumble, Tinder, and Match: The accounts of Capitol rioters have been banned, and DDT’s account has an “indefinite suspension.

Reddit: r/The Donald and other pro-DDT pages advocating violent threats and misinformation have been banned. Also gone is subreddit r/DonaldTrump, a hub for “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theorists encouraging armed users to go to the U.S. Capitol.

Twitch: The Amazon-owned video service disabled DDT’s channel indefinitely.

TikTok: The platform is removing content violations and redirecting hashtags.

Discord: The Donald is now banned.

Pinterest: Hashtags connected to pro-DDT topics have been limited since the November election.

Stripe: The online handler of payments and transactions will no longer process for DDT’s campaign.

Okta: The manager of user authentication services has terminated Parler’s access to a free trial.

Twilio: The enterprise communications company won’t accept Parler.

LiquidWeb: This cloud and web-hosting company kicked off Oath Keepers, the far-right, self-identified “militia” group of current and former military, police and first responders. The group had told its followers to swarm Washington in “armed, in large groups.”

GoFundMe: Travel fundraising for political events with “risk of violence” has been banned.

Shopify: The Canadian e-commerce platform for online stores banned DDT’s campaign merchandise shop and personal brand.

The solution for seditionists now is Telegram, a Dubai-based chat app, and other services such as MeWe collecting those driven off Parler. Telegram moved from a ranking of 110th to the fifth most-downloaded app in the United States by January 12. When Signal went from 750 to first, its network went down. MeWe rose from below 1,000 to 12; WhatsApp and Messenger have stayed in the top 40 and top 20. An example of a Telegram message after DDT’s video condemning the violence at the Capitol:

“Trump betrayed the patriots by accepting defeat. The only way to save America is war. Full-blown Holy war.”

Far-right groups/symbols:  

Proud Boys: Known for violence and instigating street fights with counterdemonstrators. Garb: black and gold but may change to all black, imitating antifa, and bright orange hats. Founded in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes who separated himself from the organization. Well-known in the Northwest, but DDT raised an awareness of them when DDT told them to “stand by” in his first debate with Joe Biden. 

Hand gesture “OK”: Means “white power” from the W and P formed by the hand. 

Gesture from the Three Percenters, a right-wing anti-government militia group: Outstretched middle, ring, and pinkie fingers to represent the Roman numeral for three, similar to the “OK.” Name comes from myth that only three percent of the population fought against the British.

QAnon: Symbol of Q, representing online conspiracy theory about DDT leading a crusade against a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who encompass a majority of the nation’s elites, including politicians, celebrities, and executives. Their anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ beliefs joined by anti-mask and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, following cryptic messages and instructions from the anonymous person Q.

Oath Keepers: One of the largest self-described militia groups in the United States which recruits law enforcement and active or former military members. Large presence at such high-profile events as the Nevada Bundy ranch uprising and Ferguson (MO) protests.  Founded in 2009. Yellow logo comes from the U.S. Army Ranger tab.

The letters “AF” (America First) surrounded by a circle: Name of podcast hosted by far-right activist Nick Fuentes appearing at Charlottesville (VA) “United the Right” and taunting protesters of George Floyd’s killing. Racist and anti-Semitic followers called “Groypers,” using the smirking Pepe the Frog imagery sometimes depicted in the uniform like that of Hitler’s military security force.

Kekistan flag: A green and black symbol spelling “kek.” Supposedly a parallel between Pepe the Frog and an ancient deity appearing as a man with a frog head mimicking the German Nazi war flag.

A hanging noose/Day of the Rope: Based on the fictional insurrection, “Day of the Rope,” from white supremacist William Luther Pierce’s 1978 novel, The Turner Diaries, in which white supremacists lynch politicians, journalists, and White people in interracial relationships who they call “race traitors.”  Posts on January 6 referencing hangman knots and hanging “traitors” betraying DDT such as Supreme Court justices and lawmakers. Rioters put up a noose outside the Capitol.

Valknot: The “knot of slain,” three interlinked triangles from Nordic culture and heritage, connected to the afterlife and white supremacy Odinism.

VDARE: Red, white, and blue lion imagery connected to the website associated with Virginia Dare, supposedly the first White child born in the New World.

Confederate flag: Most well-known symbol of white supremacy representing Southern heritage and slavery.

The FBI is investigating donations of over $500,000-valued bitcoin from a French account to 22 far-right organizations and people including VDARE, Daily Stormer, and Nick Fuentes. The transfer was made on December 8, four weeks before the failed January 6 coup. Far-right groups have a tradition of dealing with cryptocurrency and crowdfunding, especially since the deadly Charlottesville (VA) rally in August 2017.

Sunday before the inauguration, hate groups have promised to return to D.C. to commit violence. On Saturday, law enforcement arrested a Virginia man at a checkpoint near the Capitol. He had an “unauthorized” inauguration pass, an unregistered loaded gun, and almost 550 rounds of ammunition. He claimed he was working as a security guard and forgot he was carrying the gun. He also denied having any ammunition. His Ford F-150 pickup displayed stickers such as “Assault Life” and “If they come for your guns Give ‘Em your bullets first.” He was booked for carrying a weapon without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and possession of unregistered ammunition.

With little federal support, all 50 state capitols in the nation are preparing for armed attacks on January 20 because of violent threats from seditionists.

Two days ago, acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, the colossal failure in protecting the Capitol on January 6, said he “couldn’t wait” to get out of the job. Yet he’s still sabotaging the government, now ordering the head of NSA Gen. Paul Nakasone to install Michael Ellis as top lawyer at the National Security Agency by 6:00 pm on January 16. Ellis was head counsel to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), master leaker of congressional secrets to DDT; if appointed, Ellis would be a civil servant, not a political appointee, making him harder for a new administration to fire. Nakasone didn’t meet the deadline, and the ball is back in Miller’s court.

Under 80 more hours!

January 12, 2021

Six Days since Mob Attacks Capitol

As thugs stormed the Capitol on January 6, Rep. Lauren Boebert, newly-elected conspiracy theorist from Colorado, tweeted details about the attack in violation of orders to not make any social posts. Her live tweets included the removal of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from the chamber, alerting attackers to her location. Before the mob broke into the Capitol, Beobert announced she was the “voice” of those fighting the police, and her former campaign manager praised the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist hate groups attacking the Capitol. Originally Boebert claimed conservatives weren’t in the mob. The conservative National Review called her tweet, “Today is 1776,” “reckless and incendiary.”

A current member of Congress, Boebert has access to highly classified information with no security clearance, a problem if she, along with other conspiracy theorists such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), decide to indiscriminately reveal what they learn. Until recently, congressional members were considered trustworthy with “allegiance to the U.S. Government and Constitution of the United States at a bare minimum,” as Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) describes the requirement. The maximum penalty for revealing classified information, which requires a two-thirds vote by the House, is expulsion. Concern for clearance, even disqualifying factors, include attempts to overturn a free and fair election, fostering lies to foment insurrection, and stoking a crowd to use force. People who exhibit bad judgment should not be dealing with classified information, according to Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy. Although legal, supporting a vote to overturn an election assists the lie about widespread election fraud, and lawmakers making false congressional and frequently religious messages about combatting fellow lawmakers, who they call corrupt, incite violence.

After congressional members reinforced beliefs in election fraud, they justify their anti-democratic behavior by using vague claims about “voting integrity” or being a “voice” for their constituents’ concerns. Almost all senior GOP members on the Armed Services Committee overseeing national security programs voted to overturn the election, and four Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted for the election’s overturn. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), also on the Armed Services Committee, called on DDT’s crowd at the rally preceding the attempted coup to “fight” against a “godless, amoral, dictatorial, socialist” enemy, meaning his colleagues and the duly elected U.S. president and vice-president. He said:

“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass. Our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes and sometimes their lives to give us, their descendants, an America that is the greatest nation in world history. So I have a question for you. Are you willing to do the same?”

The Voice of America, the government broadcaster designated as an independent agency, has become DDT’s tool with his appointment of loyalist Michael Pack. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expanded the current use of VOA as a propaganda machine by ordering it to broadcast that the U.S. is “the greatest nation in the history of the world and the greatest nation that civilization has ever known.” His message was broadcast throughout the world on 47 foreign language channels, video streams, its website, and social media after a mandatory virus superspreader event for VOA employees.

Pack fired career managers, put in more loyalists, and dictated news coverage by overriding journalists, in opposition to the organization’s guidelines. Amanda Bennett, who resigned as VOA director soon after Pack’s takeover, said the VOA charter isn’t “intended to promote American exceptionalism.” She added, “It was intended to demonstrate the American value of a free press . . . to model one of our best freedoms, see what happens, and how good it is when you have it.” No journalists, including those from VOA, were permitted to ask questions after Pompeo’s speech. He claimed “wokeness, political correctness … points in one direction—authoritarianism.” According to Pompeo, “it’s time that we simply put woke-ism to sleep.” The slang term “wokeness” means attention to important issues, but the far-right has twisted the meaning to criticize people opposing ignorance. With no evidence, Pompeo also announced that Al-Qaeda has its home base in Iran.

On January 1, Pompeo initiated daily tweets claiming the U.S. is “much safer” now than four years ago because of DDT’s foreign policy. He cancelled this week’s trip to Europe because top officials, including Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, would not meet with him. Pompeo’s schedule had no meetings before the cancellation, and allies were “embarrassed” by Pompeo after the January 6 siege on the Capitol. Asselborn called DDT a “criminal” and a “political pyromaniac.” Pompeo also lost a private dinner with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at his private residence before meeting Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes. The EU opposes the U.S. “America First” policy, and Pompeo gave speeches advising countries to tear up the European Union. The rejection does not bode well for Pompeo’s anticipated presidential candidacy in 2024.

In the wake of impending violence this coming weekend leading up to the inauguration on January 20, military leaders issued a condemnation of the Capitol invasion last week. They reminded service members they were to defend the Constitution and reject extremism, sedition, and insurrection. The statement is highly unusual because the military avoid any political stances. The U.S. Army is working with Secret Service to find National Guard members, responsible for the security during the inauguration, who might have far-right extremist views. Additional training is also provided to service members about reporting inappropriate messages to the chain of command.

This reporting shows DDT’s delight in live TV he created with the help of other Republicans on January 6. The photo shows what a broken democracy could be.

The FBI first said it didn’t know anything about the planned siege on the Capitol and then claimed it didn’t report dangers about violence on January 6 because of concerns about “free speech.” Although willing to issue Special Event Bulletins about ISIS or Al-Qaeda terrorists threats, the FBI doesn’t want to exchange information about domestic terrorism. The agency will also put foreign terrorists under surveillance but not domestic terrorists. The FBI had numerous warnings about the possibility of violence, including from police departments, but claimed at first it had no intelligence. Later the bureau changed its positions to say it had some information about possible violence.

The day before the violence at the Capitol, however, an FBI office in Virginia warned about extremists going to Washington to commit violence and “war.” The internal document told of people sharing a map of the facility’s tunnels and rally points for conspirators in a number of states before traveling to Washington. It reported online calls for violence:

“Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

Pantifa is a derogatory term for antifa. The Norfolk FBI shared the information within 45 minutes, including the Washington field office. It was not immediately clear how many law enforcement agencies outside the FBI were told, but the information was briefed to FBI officials at the bureau’s Washington field office the day before the attack, this official said.

Since January 6, law enforcement officials have discussed whether the danger was minimized because most of the involved people were White supporters of DDT. Law enforcement took the position that pro-DDT protesters are not likely to commit violence, overlooking the imminent grave risk. The Pentagon is still calling the mob attack on the Capital a “First Amendment Protest.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), a 75-year-old cancer survivor, tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering on January 6 with lawmakers refusing to wear masks. Attending physician to Congress and the Supreme Court had warned about exposure to someone with the virus. A video shows GOP congressional members refusing masks and sitting close together during the lockdown in barricaded rooms. Despite her fear of the rioters, Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) said she had left a secure location because of dangers in contacting the virus from her maskless GOP colleagues. She was right. At least two other Democrats, Reps. Brad Schneider (IL) and Pramila Jayapal (WA), contacted COVID-19 after Republicans’ refusal to wear masks and maintain social distancing because of political reasons. Rep. Susan Wild said half the hundreds of lawmakers in a lockdown refused to wear masks even if they were offered them. In rejecting a mask, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) explicitly refused to take a mask, saying, “I’m not trying to get political here.”

DDT’s speech openly incited violence, according to 63 percent of the people in the U.S. A majority of voters also think GOP lawmakers especially Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), share responsibility to the mob attack on January 6. Over half the people think DDT should be impeached because of his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and inciting riots. The attack on the Capitol dropped DDT’s approval rating to 33 percent. Sixty percent believe DDT is undermining democracy. Thus far, DDT’s low approval rating is higher than only those for Harry Truman and Richard Nixon at the end of their presidencies since F.D. Roosevelt.

Just one week before the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for U.S. president and vice-president, the day’s death rate from COVID-19 was 4,281–10,379 short of 400,000. New infections on January 12, 2021 were 223,628, three days from a total of 24 million.


January 11, 2021

Backlash to Attempted Insurgency at Capitol

Since last week, the battleship of disaster may be reversing its direction as Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) looks more and more like a sinking ship. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who led the charge to overturn the election on January 6 even after the attempted coup, said, “The president’s language and rhetoric crossed the line, and it was reckless.” Of course, he would benefit in a run for the 2024 presidency if others voted to disqualify DDT. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who also wants to be in the 2024 running, excused rioters because they were “lied to by politicians.” Nothing Rubio said before the travesty tried to counter what he now calls lies, nor did he object to DDT’s incitement to violence on Twitter. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) claimed he had nothing to do with his campaign using the lies about Democrats “stealing the election” for fundraising but didn’t correct the team’s report that he “stands with President Trump.”

The federal government has failed to tell the public about the attempted coup. Washington, D.C.’s mayor Muriel Bowser gave a press conference on January 6, but the federal government stays dark—no official briefings from Capitol Police, DHS, the FBI, White House, etc. Although Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) initially asked if they were Iranians, perpetrators were DDT’s followers, not foreigners, called to violence by the man in the Oval Office after Republicans spent years pushing party members into believing Democrats should be removed from all power by any means.

In a video, Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s former GOP governor, compared the event to Germany’s Kristallnacht, the night of broken windows and glass initiating the Nazis’ “Final Solution” to “exterminate” Jewish people.  He said:

“The mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted. They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy. They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.” 

According to the 14th Amendment, anyone who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States “or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” cannot serve in Congress. Last week, the biggest newspaper in Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) home state called for his expulsion; this week two large Texas newspapers, including one from his hometown, called for dropping Cruz from the Senate. Both editorials in the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle want either his expulsion or resignation because of the part he played in fueling the insurrection at the Capitol with his lies about voter fraud.

Even in the siege’s lockdown, no one talked to Hawley, and Chad Sweet, Cruz’s friend and chair of his 2016 presidential campaign, said Cruz had abetted an “assault on our democracy.” Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) called both of them “complicit in the big lie.” About 7,000 law students and lawyers called for both Hawley and Cruz to be disbarred, especially after Hawley’s gesture of support to the crowd attempt to overturn the election.

The New York State Bar Association is investigating whether to revoke DDT’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s membership after his violent language before his followers stormed the Capitol. According to the association, the blame “lies first and foremost” with DDT, but he “did not act alone.” At the rally with DDT, Giuliani advocated for “trial by combat.” The group’s bylaws prevent any member “who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of any state, territory or possession thereof, or of any political subdivision therein, by force or other illegal means.” Elimination from membership leaves Giuliani able to practice law in his home state of New York unless the grievance committee of the Appellate Division of the state’s court system takes action.

Emily Rainey, head of Army PsyOps at Fort Bragg who led 100 conservatives to Washington, D.C. on January 6 to protest election fraud, had resigned last September but a resignation can take up to six months. She had twice torn down caution tape at a North Carolina playground closed by COVID-19 restrictions. In the military, her responsibility was to use information and misinformation to favorably shape the emotions, decision-making, and actions of foreign adversaries.

The search to identify seditionists at the Capitol on January 6 discovered off-duty members of at least five police departments and fire departments throughout the U.S., including in New York City and Florida, who used their badges to enter the Capitol for the attempted insurgency. Some came from as far away as Seattle.

At least 12 Capitol police officers, perhaps as many as 17 at this time, are suspended or being investigated for their cooperation with the insurgents—taking selfies with them, wearing a MAGA hat, showing them around the building, letting them into the building, etc. Capitol Police officers were reportedly sent home early on January 6 just before the mob onslaught and not recalled to help stop the attack.

Chad Wolf, illegally performing as acting DHS Secretary, has resigned, blaming “ongoing litigation.” His announcement makes the third Cabinet member to leave after the attempted coup. Two days ago, Secretary Chad Wolf called for DDT to condemn the violence at the Capitol, describing the actions of DDT supporters “tragic and sickening.” DDT immediately withdrew Wolf’s nomination to lead the Homeland Security Department. Wolf said he would stay until Biden’s inauguration for an “orderly transition.”

At least 150 large firms—Blue Cross, Marriott, Morgan Stanley, Dow, AT&T, BP, ConocoPhillips, etc.—will not be donating to campaigns for any congressional members voting to overturn the U.S. election.  Others such as Microsoft, Citibank, and Facebook took the easy way out by blocking political donations to members of all parties. Hallmark Cards even asked Hawley and another dissident, Sen. Roger Marshall, (R-KS) to return their contributions. Stripe also stopped processing DDT’s online campaign donations, refusing business with “high risk” businesses including those that “engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence or physical harm to persons or property.”

The CEO of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) resigned because his group made robocalls telling people to come to the Capitol on January 6. Dark money behind RAGA helped organize the attack on the Capitol. Its so-called nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF) was listed as “participating in the March to Save America” along with Stop the Steal, Turning Point Action, Tea Party Patriots, and others. Donors to RAGA include the Koch industries, Walmart, Home Depot, Chevron, the NRA, Monsanto, Exxon, and Fox.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said there are no procedures to bring impeachment to his chamber until after Joe Biden’s inauguration when the Senate reconvenes. In 2004, however, the Senate gave the majority and minority leaders the power to bring back the Senate in a time of emergency if the two leaders agree. Soon-to-be Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is willing so McConnell will be making the decision.

Created by the Mercers who donated big to DDT’s first campaign, Parler, the major communication source of seditionists, may have disappeared, but someone downloaded about 90 percent of its contents—messages videos, users’ location data, even deleted material—passed along during the Capitol siege.  How the hackers succeeded.

According to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, DDT is like Jefferson Davis, the secessionist president of the Confederacy, because DDT “has taken his movement and himself out of the equation of the legitimate governance of the United States of America.” Bernstein added DDT “seceded himself and his movement from who we are as a country. That’s what the meaning of that attack is.” He said DDT’s followers are “in another country … apart from the rest of the United States.”

After five days, at least one conservative media site removed an op-ed denying the sacking of the Capitol. An op-ed on RedState website originally accused the attempted insurrection as exaggeration and distortion with the headline “Enough! There Was No Riot, Insurrection or ‘Storming!'” Retired infantry officer Mike Ford called the insurgents “concerned Americans.” RedState only commented the retracted op-ed had some material that was “incorrect or inappropriate.”

Atlanta-based Cumulus Media and its syndicate Westwood One is blocking conspiracy theories about election fraud on AM talk radio. Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino are among many far-right radio hosts affected by the ban, but Rush Limbaugh is still safe on Premiere networks.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots coach, has refused the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. With the past week, DDT has given the award to three golfers and two dissident congressional members.

My favorite hero story of January 6: While Capitol Police officers opened the gates to let the insurrectionists enter, one Black officer, Eugene Goodman, used himself as bait to lure the white rioters away from the Senate chamber after they chased him up the stairs. Without him, congressional members could have been killed or at least badly wounded. [visual – Eugene Goodman]

DDT is less upset about his impending second impeachment than PGA’s termination of the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. According to the statement, it would be “detrimental” to its “brand.” Expect DDT to sue them. And maybe rage about it tomorrow during his visit to southern Texas tomorrow. Nine more days until the inauguration!

January 10, 2021

GOP Clings to Violence, Lies

For months, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) blocked transition efforts for duly elected President-elect Joe Biden and fomented violence by spreading lies about election rigging in his frantic attempt to retain his seat in the Oval Office. Conservative media and the GOP lawmakers both terrified of him and wanting his approval enabled his illegal activities and evil methods. His threats and fear-mongering came to a head on January 6 in his last-ditch attempt to overturn a U.S. presidential election.

Last Wednesday, white thugs, primarily male, stormed the Capitol primarily male, breaking in windows and forcing doors open. Of five deaths thus far, two of them members of the Capitol Police, the most recent, apparently from suicide, occurred on Saturday. The other four deaths: a Capitol police officer struck with a fire extinguisher by a DDT supporter inside the Capitol; a woman crushed by DDT’s supporters while they tried to take over the Capitol; a 14-year Air Force veteran from San Diego shot by a Capitol police officer while trying to force her way into the area where congressional members were sheltered; a computer programmer suffering a stroke after organizing a bus of DDT’s supporters; and a man dying of a heart attack.

Terrified members of Congress and their staff barricaded themselves inside Capitol rooms with furniture while the mob searched for them, threatened violence against them, and stole their government equipment. Before the joint congressional session on January 6, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who has resigned, assured lawmakers of their safety from the huge crowds. The officers lost control, and desperate lawmakers called to beg for help from the secretary of the Army, the acting AG, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nearby states’ governors, the D.C. mayor, etc. The mob was following DDT’s directions after he called on his “patriots” to wreak violence and overturn the election on January 6.

No arrangement was made for the National Guard to back up the Capitol police, and DDT rejected the idea even after the mob was in the Capitol. Only DDT’s new acting defense secretary, Chris Miller, could mobilize the guard to help lawmakers, and he stalled. Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan, who kept asking for permission to send his state National Guard, was refused for hours. After Sund got around to asking for Guard assistance, none came for hours. Meanwhile, the mob cornered Capitol Police officers and beat them.

The life-threatening crisis for congressional members is now over, but they may still not be safe. Hiding in large groups for several hours on January 6, they may have been exposed to COVID-19 when several GOP legislators refused to take any precautions. Republicans such as Reps. Andy Biggs (AZ), Michael Cloud (TX), Markwayne Mullin (OK), and Scott Perry (PA) refused to wear masks although Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE) offered them to the men. Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS) tested positive that evening, but his spokesman said he wasn’t in that particular lockdown location. Rep. Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann (R-TN) also tested positive after having “contact with another infected Member of Congress, with whom I share a residence in D.C.”

No support from the Pentagon, the acceptance by some GOP leaders for DDT’s incitement to violence, and the possible involvement from insiders to help the mob members is disgusting enough, but DDT’s loyalists at the Pentagon have gone to excess in their protection of DDT. In a slanted timeline, the Pentagon refers to the open sacking of the Capitol and threats to kill congressional members as “First Amendment Protests.” That’s what they called men in tactical gear wandering the House and Senate in search of hostages with others spreading feces on the walls and all attempted a violent takeover of the U.S. government through overturning a legal federal election. [Above left: mob members tear down the U.S. flag to replace it with a DDT flag.] Even in the coverup, however, the Pentagon had to show how long it delayed in trying to save the lives of members of the U.S. Congress on January 6.

Rep. Jim Jordan, well known for his concealing how a University of Ohio athletic doctor sexually abused a large number of Jordan’s wrestlers and other athletes, wants to conceal DDT’s crimes. He maintains impeachment is “not healthy for the nation.” To Jordan—and many other Republicans—sweeping all the crimes under the rug will help “unite” the nation. Their position is that Democrats can unify the United States by accepting anything Republicans want.

On January 8, even self-identified Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR) opposed impeachment and called it a “lynching” of DDT with the GOP excuse of unifying the nation. After Schrader’s statement, one of Oregon’s most important Democratic political consultants dropped him as a client. Mark Wiener, head of Winning Mark, wrote:

“Comparing the impeachment of a treasonous President who encouraged white supremacists to violently storm the Capitol to a ‘lynching’ is shameful and indefensible.”

Schrader continually offends his Democratic constituency (to clarify, he “represents” the district where I live), but he may know he’s gone too far in supporting Republicans. On Saturday, he tweeted:

“This President is a clear and present danger to our country. While I have pushed other remedies for his criminal conduct, impeachment is the tool before us and warranted for his seditious acts. I will be voting yes on impeachment when brought to the House floor.”

To answer Republicans who say that the way to unify the country is to leave DDT unpunished:   

  • 57 percent want DDT immediately removed from office.
  • 70 percent of those who voted for DDT in November oppose the sacking of the Capitol.
  • 70 percent disapprove of his actions leading up to the mob taking over the Capitol. (Only 12 percent approve.)
  • 79 percent describe the mob as “criminals” or “fools.” (Only five percent call them “patriots.”)

A few Republicans have started to oppose DDT’s incitement to violence and the mob storming the capital, but the GOP party clings to their dear leader. Four years ago, DDT installed Ronna McDaniel as his personal chair of the GOP, and Friday, at a luxury Florida resort, she was unchallenged for her unanimous reelection. Eric and Donald Trump Jr’s friend Tommy Hicks Jr kept his co-chair position. All who attended praised DDT and supported the lies about antifa causing the devastation at the Capitol. Resolutions attack the news media and continue the conspiracy about voter fraud. With no mention of DDT inciting violence, the GOP claimed to be the party of law and order. The group preened about adding more minorities to its voting rolls and electing more women to the U.S. House while refusing to find any flaws in the party. DDT’s brief speech by phone and video received loud cheers. Yet VP Mike Pence was absent, and behind the scenes, a California committeewoman said, “Our name is mud.”

Despite the GOP determination to blame the antifa for the Capitol carnage, the FBI reported the followers had no involvement. AP research also disproves the lies of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), other conspiracy theorists, and conservative media. Well-known members of hate groups were identified at the siege, and the FBI is finding more by locating those who are selling stolen government property on the internet.

Several European security officials think DDT had support from U.S. federal agencies in letting the mob into the Capitol. A NATO source summarized the situation:

“The defeated president gives a speech to a group of supporters where he tells them he was robbed of the election, denounces his own administration’s members and party as traitors, and tells his supporters to storm the building where the voting is being held. The supporters, many dressed in military attire and waving revolutionary-style flags, then storm the building where the federal law-enforcement agencies controlled by the current president do not establish a security cordon, and the protesters quickly overwhelm the last line of police. The president then makes a public statement to the supporters attacking the Capitol that he loves them but doesn’t really tell them to stop.

“Today I am briefing my government that we believe with a reasonable level of certainty that Donald Trump attempted a coup that failed when the system did not buckle.”

A French police official questioned why the Capitol Police didn’t coordinate, as it routinely does before big demonstrations, with the federal Secret Service, and Park Police, and local Washington, D.C. law enforcement, sometimes with the National Guard on standby as they did at peaceful Black Live Matter protests. Another question was why the Capitol Police let the mob on the Capitol steps and arrested only 12 people. Police also ignored the crowd charging from DDT’s speech at the Ellipse to the Capitol after he told them to fight, a time when law enforcement could initiate control.

Another source talked about how the chaos helps China, Russia, Turkey and other “mini-dictators”:

“Thank God it didn’t work, because I can’t imagine how hard it would be to sanction the US financial system [diplomatic, military, and trade blockages usually reserved for dictatorships.] The broader damage around the world will be extensive in terms of reputation, and that’s why Putin doesn’t mind at all that Trump lost.”

DDT now says he regrets his promise of a smooth transition and backs down on condemning the violence. Instead, he claims he won’t concede. The mob at the Capitol was “about maintaining white power in America,” and DDT continues to support the goal.

January 7, 2021

Fallout from DDT’s Attempted January 6 Coup in the U.S. Capitol

At 3:45 a.m. on January 7, VP Mike Pence announced Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice-president of the U.S. with 306 Electoral College votes after white supremacist supporters of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) breached the U.S. Capitol and took over the building. DDT received 232 votes. Almost 150 GOP congressional dissidents created havoc by voting to overturn the legal elections in Arizona and Pennsylvania. These are the names of every congressional members voting in favor of overturning a legal presidential election. Only the attempted insurrection stopped their plans from also attacking legal votes in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Five people died, one of them a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and 52 people were arrested in the melee. 

While DDT raged in the White House, aides considered resigning, and senior officials discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him before he can do more damage. According to the constitution, removal requires approval by the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet or the vice-president and a congressional body if they determine he “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) called for invoking the 25th Amendment to ensure “we have a sane captain of the ship” because DDT has become “unmoored not just from his duty or even his oath, but from reality itself.” Former AG Bill Barr, once DDT’s strongest supporter, called DDT’s conduct “a betrayal of his office and supporters” and stated that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”

After Pence made the announcement about the votes, DDT made this statement:

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”

The sort-of concession may come with the help of his small group of other seditionist advisers: chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, personnel director Johnny McEntee, and policy adviser Stephen Miller. Later DDT added, “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20.” He didn’t mention Biden or say he lost, but West Wing staffers have received orders to pack up and move out.  

Democratic leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Minority Leader (soon to be Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer (NY) called for DDT’s immediate removal from office because of his inciting sedition. Pence refused to talk to them. Although praising the action of “many of our Capitol Police,” Pelosi also called for the Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to step down for his failure yesterday; he plans to leave in another nine days—four days before Biden’s inauguration. Sund had turned down National Guard assistance when the mob laid siege to the Capitol. Both House and Senate sergeants at arms resigned.

Almost 100 Democratic congressional members called for DDT’s removal with either impeaching him or invoking the 25th Amendment. The administration officials discussing DDT’s removal didn’t know if “acting” Cabinet members could participate in a vote about it.

Pelosi also asked for a full review of security failures at the executive branch level and the Pentagon’s delay in mobilizing the National Guard. DDT’s press secretary announced DDT had called in the National Guard, but DDT rejected the idea so Pence made the request. House Majority Leader Steny Hogan (D-MD) called Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan for help with the National Guard, but their deployment was delayed almost two hours because Hogan couldn’t get permission from Defense Secretary Chris Miller, a new DDT appointee. Hogan and two other GOP governors, Charlie Baker (MA) and Phil Scott (VT), called for DDT’s removal.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin for Washington, D.C. said DDT may be one of the “actors” investigated to decide if they broke the law after DDT told his followers to “fight like hell” before the insurgence.

DDT’s appointees are considering departing if not actually doing so. Two Cabinet members are gone: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, wife of current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. They cited DDT’s behavior, but they may want to avoid voting on removing DDT from office.

DDT’s appointments who left: Tyler Goodspeed, acting chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who left the White House Council of Economic Advisers with no members, and U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland, Mick Mulvaney, formerly DDT’s chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, who also destroyed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when he was acting director.  

Other departures:

  • Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, formerly White House press secretary.
  • Anna Cristina Niceta, the White House social secretary.
  • Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews.
  • Matt Pottinger, deputy national security adviser.
  • Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council.
  • John Costello, deputy assistant secretary of commerce.

National security adviser Robert C. O’Brien and deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell are considering resignations.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a lead in overturning the presidential election within Congress along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has been severely reproached by the Kansas City Star, his home state’s largest newspaper. According to its headline, Hawley “has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt,” and the editorial describes him as self-interested and dishonest, interested only in furthering his own political career. “Trump did not manage this madness on his own,” editors wrote.

After what Simon and Schuster calls a “deadly insurrection,” the publisher withdrew its offer for a planned book from Hawley. Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth said mentoring Hawley “was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life” and blamed Hawley for sparking the insurrection.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is demanding resignations by Cruz and Hawley for trying to overturn the elections. If they don’t, she asks Senate to expel them. Ocasio-Cortez has been joined by Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to expel House members voting to overturn the election.

After the attempted insurgency and one hour before Congress reconvened to certify electoral votes,  DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani sent a voicemail to newly-installed Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), urging him to “try to just slow it down” by objecting to electoral votes from “numerous states,” perhaps as many as ten, letting DDT’s team have more time to overturn Biden’s legal presidential win. The transcript of the call, reading like a conspiracy plan, was publicized because he mistakenly dialed another person with the message. Earlier in the day, Giuliani called for “trial by combat” at DDT’s rally outside the White House.

U.S. rivals such as China reveled in the attempted coup while allies expressed horror, some of them blaming DDT, and called for upholding democracy in the United States—similar to what the U.S. has done to other countries in the past. Russia ridiculed the U.S. for January 6’s events, and Iran pointed out how weak the U.S. is. 

Far-right media as well as social media are lying about the attempted coup by blaming it on the “antifa” or paid participants. Others blame the visuals of far-right people at the insurrection on evidence-free photoshopping and claiming a tattoo from the video game show Dishonored is the logo of the Communist party. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and QAnon congressional members spread conspiracy theories, and Fox network’s Laura Ingraham told fake news from Washington Times to millions of her followers. XRVision, the facial-recognition company cited in the conservative publication, calls the Washington Times’ reporting “outright false, misleading, and defamatory” and demands a retraction.

Unlike antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters, almost no thugs assaulting the U.S. Capitol wore masks, making identification much easier. The FBI already has over 4,000 tips online with more coming in by phone. Analysis from digital media is being forwarded to agents working the case. Among those who sacked the Capitol is a newly sworn-in West Virginia legislator who live-streamed the entire event. Later he claimed to be “an independent member of the media to film history” and didn’t participate in any “destruction.”

The Capitol’s invaders have been planning the event for weeks, indicated by their ease in navigating the buildings. Some wonder if they had inside help. The FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Security, Pentagon, National Guard, and Joint Task Force knew about the strong possibility of violence after DDT kept telling white supremacists to come of Washington, D.C. on January 6 for a “wild” time. The protection agencies ignored the problems and failed to coordinate, permitting thugs to break into the U.S. Capitol. Because of DDT’s sedition, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has permanently banned DDT from Facebook and Instagram.

This weekend, one of two weekends before he leaves the White House, DDT is going into hiding at Camp David, 70 miles from the White House. The chief of domestic terrorists may spend his time working on his list of pardons, including one for himself.

The situation in Washington is obviously fluid and rapidly changing. Meanwhile, January 7 saw another 4,134 new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. along with 274,190 new infections. Hospitalizations are up at least ten percent to over 132,000 people.

January 6: Domestic Terrorists’ Attempted Coup – ‘ A Day in Infamy’

Filed under: War — trp2011 @ 12:22 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

Today was the most horrific day for the United States since 9/11/01 when 3,000 people were killed by foreign terrorists. Thus far, only one person was directly killed in a domestic insurgency by white supremacists, and three other people died in the vicinity. Yet thousands of domestic terrorists attacked the U.S. Capitol, climbing walls, smashing windows, and crawling into the building to violently destroy the workings of Congress as it proceeded to complete the 2020 election under the guidance of the U.S. Constitution.

Worse than this insurrection that attempts to keep the current occupant of the Oval Office in the White House, he and 153 GOP members of Congress—a majority of Republicans elected to Congress—abetted the violent attack on the nation’s capitol for the first time in 206 years by the British during the War of 1812. Thugs paraded throughout the U.S. Capitol and waved the Confederate flag instead of the flag of the United States. Congressional members who couldn’t be safely removed from the building hid under desks and behind barricaded doors, terrified for their lives.

Many hours of unbelievable scenes from Washington, D.C. show a police force failing to stop white supremacists take over the chambers of Congress and the offices of congressional members, including that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). One elected representative in the U.S. House reported she had called her husband last night last night to tell him where to find her will if she didn’t survive today.

Last summer, Washington police came out in full riot gear against Black Lives Matter, and federal agents physically attacked protesters in Portland (OR) for attempting to set fires outside a federal courthouse. On the steps of the Capitol over two years ago, police arrested 300 people peacefully protesting the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, one of them soon to be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). 

Today, police in Washington opened the gates to let in the insurgents and made few arrests of people who blocked congressional procedures by physically threatening congressional members and driving them out of the Capitol. Inside the building, police took selfies with terrorists; outside, the police passively looked at the people who had committed criminal acts at the Capitol. 

The insurrection could not have come as a surprise. Between January 1 and January 4, QAnon supporters made at least 1,250 posts calling for violence on January 6, which they called “Independence Day,” claiming “politicians…raping and killing children…won’t be able to walk down the street.” Dictator Donald Trump has repeatedly supported QAnon tweets. Instead of blocking the insurrection, he told the insurgents that they should go home but he “loved them” and found them “very special.” He still sits in the White House after his rhetoric caused the insurgency although social media has blocked the video inciting violence.

Dictator Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been blocked for 12 hours because of “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” with the threat of permanent suspension for more violations. Twitter adviser Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Virginia, tweeted, “He has deliberately incited violence, causing mayhem with his lies and threats.” Dictator Donald Trump, who also bragged about being for “law and order,” had tweeted:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

At the inauguration almost exactly four years ago, Dictator Donald Trump excoriated the “American carnage.” His term is ending with the “carnage” he predicted—the legacy for the man labeled the worst president in U.S. history.

As the constitution mandates, the two chambers of Congress returned hours later to debate the GOP to overturn the legal election for Joe Biden on what may have become the worst day in U.S. democracy during more than a century. The challenge to Arizona votes was voted down in the Senate with only six votes because seven of the original 13 had dropped out. Those six Republicans are Ted Cruz (TX), Josh Hawley (MO), Cindy Hyde Smith (MS), John Kennedy (LA.), Roger Marshall (KS), and newly-elected Tommy Tuberville (AL). In the House, 121 Republicans voted to overturn the election; 303 representatives turned down the challenge.

Using the disaster for fundraising, Hawley, thrusting his fist in the air, continued to lead the election overturn attempt which forces more long hours for debate in the Senate and House. After midnight in the early hours of January 7, he supported the challenge to Pennsylvania, skipping over the intended Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada; he could also object to votes from Wisconsin. With little discussion, the Senate voted, losing Kennedy and picking up Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Rick Scott (FL) to overturn the election in Pennsylvania. The House took much longer with much posturing from the overturners and a final vote of at least 138-282. All overturners are Republicans.

When Congress completes its task and confirms the Electoral College vote, they go home, returning on January 19. The “dear leader” remains to further destroy the United States within his next 14 days before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20. And insurgents may return, as they threaten, with “muskets.”

During the insurrection against the U.S. government on January 6, the daily number of COVID-19 deaths hit a new high of 4,100.


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