Much has been said and written about the Capitol Riots on Jan. 6, 2021. There are still many unanswered questions. They are difficult questions because they aren’t questions about what happened, but what didnt happen. Examining such negatives requires a steady gaze, because, well, lots of things don’t happen and it is very easy to get confused or be misled. Here are the big questions as I see them:
- Why didnt the police use force, even when violently attacked? This is so out of character for American police that it is stupefying. When did we ever see US police not respond to violence with ratched up violence? In small and large conflicts as long as anyone can remember, police have never taken this stance. Surely there was a strong order not to attack protesters, even when attacked. Who gave this order and why?
- Why were the protestors not afraid of the police? This was more than some sort of white privilege. Rioters knew they had nothing to fear from police and acted accordingly. They were surely tipped off to the police rules of engagement. By who, and why is the next question. Note that the one act of violent response, the shooting of a woman ignoring police orders, was only a brief shock to the rioters. They did not retreat, not even briefly.
- Why was police equipment not available? We have seen lots of police crowd control particularly in the last year. This bore no resemblance to any other similar crowd control situation.
- Why was backup not called in for four hours? I can’t provide any particular answers or speculation here. Again, I can’t imagine any other police force put in this situation. If the rioters knew the police were barred from using force, and perhaps if the rioters had also promised not to use force, then delays would be acceptable to the people in control. There would be no massive loss of life, particularly police lives.
- Why did President Trump wait four hours to call off the rioters? Once he made his statement, the rioters filed out, almost comically organized and obedient. He was clearly in charge and clearly wanted this event to continue up until this point. Why did he finally decide to pivot after this length of time?
- Why did Senate members still vote to block ratification of the election? Clearly this was the entire goal, to stop ratification of the election and cause chaos. It is also possible the goal was to see key members of the federal government assassinated. There were numerous statements by rioters searching for the number two and three elected officials in the line of succession for the stated purpose of their assassination. This was Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi. People of different parties and with opposing views on nearly everything. It appears non-partisan and aimed squarely at the presidential line of succession.
- Why is there so much resistance in the Republican Party for an investigation? Clearly this is a matter of great national importance. The reaction has been to minimize and deny the events. If congressmens lives were at risk, one would expect them to perhaps want to find out what happened, punish those responsible, and prevent it from happening again. Yet there are no such moves, in fact the moves are in the opposite direction. This leads me to believe that the these representatives never felt they were in any danger, and many have stated as much. It does not seem possible that events on the ground on January 6 led them to believe they were in no danger. My only conclusion is that they had prior assurances that they would not be harmed. This means they had foreknowledge of the events, at least acquiesced in the plan and did not object afterwards. In short, they were also in on this from the beginning.
I am not sure what will come of this, but it is clearly a sort of mock riot, with the same people controlling both sides and setting rules to assure certain outcomes. This is a serious conspiracy and various actors need to be identified and held accountable. I would think in today’s world, given the sort of people involved, this will all unravel. All roads for these sort of shenanigans in this administration seem to lead back to Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Anyway, that is my bet. Of course they would not have done this on their own.