No doubt some of this is just veteran-of-Active-Duty chauvinism about N.G.’s, but the sight of all those unlucky weekend warriors splayed out across the floor of the Capitol — almost half of them 25 or younger, many maybe not at 100% readiness after whatever training got interrupted through the past plague year, almost all of them preferring to be back on the block or the farm than pulling 12-hour shifts, at least a few potential rogues no doubt identifying with the seditionists, a couple probably too quick on the trigger thanks to either nervousness or bloodthirst — does not fill me with overwhelming confidence about the next week or so.
Here’s the New York Times, Tuesday: “Another Defense Department official said that law enforcement agencies were planning for any number of possible events, some of them horrific. Worst-case scenarios include snipers targeting inauguration dignitaries, ‘suicide-type aircraft’ entering Washington’s restricted airspace and even remote-powered drones attacking the crowd. The officials said they were particularly worried about multiple active-shooter situations flaring up simultaneously.”
Special Forces troops have been called in too, to supplement the Secret Service in preparation for Joe Biden’s swearing-in. But after last Wednesday, which was before all the Boogaloos and Michigan militias and Proud Boys and Aryan Brotherhoods and Oath Keepers and their evangelical buddies jumped to point-to-point encrypted communication on Signal and Telegram with their deployment plans (not just to D.C., but also to state capitols across the map), I don’t think I’ve ever been so convinced that the odds are leaning toward a imminent catastrophe. Hope to heaven I’m wrong, though.
And some white supremacists aren’t even veterans yet! Which would explain the extraordinary statement the military released a few days ago insisting extremism won’t be tolerated in the ranks, after it became clear some off-duty troops participated in last week’s treason.
With any luck, fear of the Uniform Code of Military Justice will make at least a few thugs think twice. But even beyond that, there’s whatever super-spreader event this is creating. I’m sure the soldiers are required to stay masked; not quite so sure that they actually will. And we already know plenty of Republican congresspeople aren’t. Also, guess what? This could all have easily been prevented.
facebook, 14 January 2021