Were They Traitors or Saviors?
America must get to the bottom of this before these "traitors or saviors" let it happen again, perhaps as soon as next November
So, which was it?
Because of the diligent work by the January 6th Select Committee in the House of Representatives, we’re learning that “stop the steal” was first planned for when Trump lost the 2016 election, except they had to put it on the shelf for four years because he unexpectedly won.
We’re also learning that at least ten members of the House of Representatives, and perhaps a few Senators, were in on at least some of the planning to commit sedition and/or treason by overthrowing a clean and lawful election for president while assassinating the Vice President and Speaker of the House. And they appear to have dragged the wife of a Supreme Court Justice into it all.
What we don’t really know much about is why there was no military or significant police interaction during the more-than-three-hours the building was being ransacked as assassins looked for Pence and Pelosi and a militia group searched room-by-room with meticulous military discipline for the Electoral College ballots.
Did the Pentagon hold back because they were hoping the Vice President and Speaker would be “neutralized” so Trump could declare a state of insurrection or emergency and impose martial law, as his advisor General Flynn appears to have recommended?
Or was it because the Pentagon was afraid that once National Guard troops showed up at the Capitol their presence, in and of itself, would provide Trump with the necessary pretext to declare that state of martial law — and they were working to deny him that opportunity?
Were they traitors or saviors?
Or just bunglers trying to avoid “bad optics,” as General Flynn’s brother asserted when he participated in the phone call to deny immediate deployment of troops?
And, if that was the case, why did the Pentagon repeatedly lie about Flynn’s brother being on the call until that lie no longer held up?
After Senate-confirmed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper refused to follow Trump’s instructions to order troops to shoot at people protesting George Floyd’s murder, Trump broke/ignored the law and replaced him with Christopher Miller, a man Trump believed would take his orders.
Acting Defense Secretary Miller, in the effective role of commander of our entire military just one step below the Commander-in-Chief (on whose behalf he acted), then issued a memo on January 4th (at the bottom of this rant) specifically directing the National Guard:
Not to be issued weapons, ammunition, bayonets, batons, or ballistic protection equipment such as helmets and body armor.
Not to interact physically with protestors, except when necessary in self-defense or defense of others, consistent with the DCNG Rules for the Use of Force.
Not to employ any riot control agents.
Not to share equipment with law enforcement agencies.
Not to use Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets or to conduct ISR or Incident, Awareness, and Assessment activities.
Not to employ helicopters or any other air assets.
Not to conduct searches, seizures, arrests, or other similar direct law enforcement activity.
Not to seek support from any non-DC National Guard units.
The memo and Miller’s somewhat ambiguous and guarded testimony before Congress leaves open a worms-can worth of questions:
Why did the Pentagon refuse for hours to stop or interfere with the first violent and armed attack on the US Capitol and attempted assassination of the Vice President and Speaker of the House in our history (they never even got this close during the Civil War)?
Why were they not prepared when any idiot with a Facebook or Twitter account could see what was going to happen?
Why did they hold back when the attack began that morning near the Washington Monument earlier on the 6th?
Why did they hold back from 1:10 PM when traitors started attacking Capitol Police until after 4 PM when it was clear that Pence and Pelosi had escaped the assassins, five people were dead, the ballots were secured, 140 police were injured so severely they required hospitalization, and the crowd was already dispersing?
Why did the Pentagon first lie about and then take the word of Michael Flynn’s brother that it would be “bad optics” for the military to protect the Capitol and members of Congress?
I don’t have answers to any of these questions, although my speculation at this point is that there were within the Pentagon both patriots and traitors that day.
The dawning realization of the presence of traitors within the Pentagon on January 6th may well be what prompted three retired generals to write an op-ed last week in The Washington Post.
In it, they explicitly warned “it is not outlandish to say a military breakdown could lead to civil war” and argued that “the Defense Department should war-game the next potential post-election insurrection or coup attempt to identify weak spots.”
Given the military’s usual and understandable unwillingness to publicly discuss their business, these questions will probably be the last answered by the time the Committee’s work is done or interrupted by a 2022 Republican takeover of the House.
But with every living former Secretary of Defense writing warning letters as well as these three generals, America must get to the bottom of this before these “traitors or saviors” let it happen again, perhaps as soon as next November.