The Capitol, Unguarded?

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

1 comment

  1. via facebook:

    René Spencer Saller
    I feel uneasy, too, but I keep reminding myself that there is nothing I can do. It’s probably not the most reassuring thought, but at least it’s true.

    Tom Lunt
    \I feel relieved.

    René Spencer Saller
    So many white supremacists have infiltrated the police departments all across the country, and many of the cops are also veterans.

    Tom Lunt
    There’s a fair sized contingent of cops who want an excuse to be crooks and get away with it. Something similar with the military; some guys will always be dying to kill. Difference is that we can always put troops somewhere they can live out their fantasies, whereas cops go looking for their kicks.

    Tom Lunt
    Any attempt at an actual civil war will pit these Jr High bullies against the full force of the US Military. It won’t be pretty, but it won’t last long.

    Tim Anderson
    this is my fear. All of those weekend warriors are simply walking into a buzzsaw of their own creation and the pain they will subject their families and communities to will be immense.

    Tom Lunt
    I suspect succession is more likely. Bloodless, at least as long as we’re willing to let them go.

    Jesse Fox Mayshark
    I am seriously hoping for relative calm — I think all those perp walks have probably dented some people’s enthusiasm for confrontation. On the other hand, the ones who actually show up at this point are likely to be looking for trouble. So, yeah. Especially after last week it’s hard to exactly feel serene about it.

    Ronald Hart
    If they are tracking the chatter, I hope they get them before they even step foot in DC.

    Chuck Eddy
    My point is, with so much chatter encrypted now, they may not be.

    Ronald Hart
    I know. Wishful thinking on my part.

    Anthe Rhodes-Liuzzo
    Cel phones, maybe? It’s not like the feds don’t know how to infiltrate, but will they and is there time? I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic.

    Jerry Becker

    Tom Carson
    The Guard’s deployment to Louisville during the Breonna Taylor protests last spring didn’t exactly flood me with confidence they’re up to the task. Basically, they came to town, shot a Black restaurateur and then packed up again. I can’t speak to the overall quality of their training, but they clearly had none in dealing with civic unrest or coordinating with local law enforcement (nobody even knew who was in charge). Not promising.

    Bruce Be Vier
    Hopefully nothing eventful to happen but something likely will. One member gets an order to fire or say he received they can all join in. They have some long history in these scenarios, in Detroit they perferated a bunch of buildings where suspected snipers might be. At Kent State they fired away at unarmed students because someone told someone to start shooting. Anything could happen.

    Jake Alrich
    I just wonder how the congressional enablers can look these guardsmen in the eye after wantonly placing them in harm’s way, regardless of the individual ideology of said weekend warriors.


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