Speaker Pelosi’s farce of a commission to look into the Capitol riot relied on conspiracy kook Russell Honore, whose Twitter feed makes Cher seem moderate.
And it’s not an investigation. It looks like a cover-up.
What’s there to cover up? Let’s start with the request for the National Guard.
Davis, Jordan, Comer and Nunes pointed to claims made by former Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund, that he, on Jan. 4, approached the sergeants at arms to request the assistance of the National Guard. Sund, in a letter to Pelosi last month, said the former Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving said he was concerned about “the optics” and didn’t feel the “intelligence supported it.”
In their letter, the Republicans also pointed to Sund’s Jan. 6 move to notify the Sergeant at Arms of his request for national guard support and said it “took over an hour for his request to be approved because the SAA had to run the request up the chain of command,” saying that chain “undoubtedly included” Pelosi and her “designees.”
Irving is telling another story.
Sund claims he called then-House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving early on in the assault — at 1:09 p.m. to request more help. But Irving says he has no memory of that call and was on the House floor at that time. He told lawmakers he didn’t get a formal request from Sund until after 2 p.m.
Specifically, in his testimony, Irving states…
It has been reported that Chief Sund contacted me to request National Guard support shortly after that at 1:09 p.m. I was in the House Chamber working protocol for the Electoral College Joint Session at that point. I have no memory of a call at 1:09 p.m
Watch the wording. We’re dealing with the capital of lawyerese here and everyone in question has consulted lawyers.
It has been reported. “I have no memory of a call at 1:09 p.m.”.
Irving is claiming no memory of the call. And he emphasizes of a 1:09 call. No memory of a call is not the same thing as saying it didn’t happen. Was it really possible that Irving believes that he could have gotten a call during a crisis calling for National Guard support and he’s not sure if he remembers it?
Falling back on the “formal request” is the typical proceduralism you see in police forces, the military, and some bureaucracies to cover your ass when you don’t want to do something.
If there’s a riot and you need support, you don’t wait for a formal request. You only do that when you’re stalling or don’t want to be on the hook for it.
The “optics” talking point does come up a lot.
Sund and acting D.C. police chief Robert Contee described to senators a conference call that afternoon with senior security personnel during which a top Pentagon official, Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, said he would recommend against deploying the National Guard for fear of the “optics” of armed troops in front of the Capitol. Sund and Contee said they informed Piatt that their officers, already beleaguered and beaten by the mob, were desperate for help.
“Lt. Gen. Piatt then indicated that he was going to run the request up the chain of command at the Pentagon,” recalled Sund who resigned after the riots. “Almost two hours later, we had still not received authorization from the Pentagon to activate the National Guard.”
Contee told lawmakers that he was “literally stunned” by Army officials’ nonchalant responses.
Why would the Pentagon have been worried about the “optics”? The media is happy to avoid addressing that question or to feed the lefty conspiracy theory that President Trump’s loyalists delayed the deployment.
But of course we know why optics would be an issue because during the BLM race riots, efforts to deploy the military were blocked under the guise of “optics”.
The Democrats had insisted that it was inappropriate and fascist to meet a civilian riot with a military force. Russell Honore, Pelosi’s pick to “investigate” the attack had made that same argument during the BLM riots.
Democratic leaders in Congress inveighed Tuesday against what they described as a push by President Trump to use the U.S. military for cracking down on nationwide protests triggered by George Floyd’s death last week in Minneapolis while he was in police custody.
“Violence has no place and violence must be addressed,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told NPR’s All Things Considered. “But there is no reason for the U.S. military to be called out for this.”
“We need to hear from Chairman Milley and Secretary Esper as to exactly how they intend to use the U.S. military trying to deal with this domestic crisis,” U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said on a video conference call. “If the president is basically threatening to use the U.S. military to go in and enforce the law in U.S. cities, that runs the risk of an extreme escalation in violence and of a hugely disruptive practice.”
“The optics of him being in uniform out there might not have been so bad if we didn’t have the president out there talking about going to war with the country and using the military and using overwhelming force,” Smith said of Milley.
There’s your optics.
The military leadership had been beaten over the head throughout the race riots about the bad “optics” and the bad message of deploying troops. Only to have the Democrats flip on a dime after the Capitol riot and do their, “We have always been at war with Eastasia” thing in which there should be no hesitation in deploying troops against civilian protests. There was an obvious delay because of the political messaging that the Democrats had used to protect their rioters.