February 2021 Blogs - Steve Baker, The Pragmatic Constitutionalist
February 2021 Blogs
2021-02-24 Who was “Up the Chain” on January 6th?
Who was “Up the Chain” on January 6th?
I’m exceedingly frustrated by remarks being made in this week’s Congressional hearings. Any fair-minded person should be equally nonplussed by the unwillingness of elected officials and bureaucratic nominees to make honest comparisons between last year’s endless BLM riots and the one-day of violence projected against the Capitol Building on January 6th. Many have openly dismissed any equivalence between those “legitimate” frustrations directed at “systemic” racism from American law enforcement, and the “seditious” frustrations against those on Capitol Hill who “systemically” eliminate individual rights, impose excessive regulatory burdens, and confiscate an ever-increasing amount of our labor. Laws which must also be enforced by America’s cops. Laws that demonstrably exacerbate the inequities between all manner of groups, races, and economic classes, but always favor or exempt the elite. Not the “racial elite,” but rather the political elite, of all races.
This cognitive dissonance from power elites in both government and media regarding the aforementioned events have led me to finally coalesce my thoughts on that which took place on January 6th. Specifically, I’ve come to some conclusions — or at least a working theory — about the who, the how, and the why of what took place on Capitol Hill that day. This is a lengthy analysis, not for the “TL;DR” crowd. Grab the beverage of your choice and please allow me to walk you through to my final conclusion.
(For those of you who simply can’t handle a 4,000 word read, I’ll post an audio version on all podcast platforms, shortly.)
Let’s begin with the Senate confirmation hearing of Merrick Garland:
“An attack on a courthouse while in operation, trying to prevent judges from trying cases, that plainly is domestic extremism, domestic terrorism,” Garland said. “An attack simply on a government property at night or under other circumstances is a clear crime, and a serious one, and should be punished.”
Hmmm. An attack at night is “simply” a crime? An attempt to burn down a federal building, while only occupied by law enforcement and night janitors is not domestic terrorism? Does he think we’re not paying attention to his underlying messaging? Only when elected and/or appointed bureaucratic elites occupy those hallowed halls, does an attack by militant extremists qualify as “terrorism?” Or, is he saying only when right-wing antagonists execute an assault on government shrines should they be labeled as terrorists?
As for yesterday’s Congressional hearing on the January 6th attack on the Capitol . . . well, that elicited far greater consternation. As relayed by the Washington Post:
“Sund [ex-Capitol Police Chief] revealed for the first time that an FBI warning of potential violence by pro-Trump supporters reached the Capitol Police the evening before the attack, but was never passed along to leadership.”
“I actually just in the last 24 hours, was informed by the department that they actually had received that report,” Sund said. “It was received by . . . the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is a task force with the FBI. They received it the evening of the 5th, reviewed it and then forwarded over to an official at the intelligence division over at U.S. Capitol Police headquarters.”
“Sund said it went no further up the chain. He did not see it, neither did the House and Senate Sergeants of Arms.”
The FBI document included comments picked up from an online conversation calling for violence:
“Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”
Going back to the multi-city riots beginning on the evening of George Floyd’s death — and I’ve been consistent on this, since — law enforcement had the overwhelming capacity to stop the violence, property damage, fires, injuries and killings in each city where these riots occurred. For some reason, they’ve not had the orders to do so. As a libertarian, I believe there is no liberty without private property, and therefore, lethal force is justified in protecting both life and property, and especially when law enforcement themselves are being assaulted during that process of protecting life and property. The foundational thesis of limited-government, constitutional libertarians is that government has but one moral function: to protect We The People, our stuff, and our liberties from force and fraud.
With that reasoning — and to some of you this will not be a popular statement — only one officer actually did his job on the 6th. The officer who shot Ashli Babbitt. And for that very legitimate reason he will not be charged with a crime. He was actively guarding House members who were being evacuated from that area, against a large group of aggressive insurgents, with unknown capabilities and weapons, from entering the area in which he was charged to protect.
Now, speaking of the weapons used and found in DC on January 6th:
According to CNN, “Some of the weapons that were confiscated had been seen being used inside the US Capitol, including a baseball bat, a fire extinguisher, a wooden club, a spear, crutches, a flagpole, bear spray, mace, chemical irritants, stolen police shields, a wooden beam, a hockey stick, a stun gun, and knives.”
One man was arrested on Capitol grounds with a handgun and 25 rounds of ammunition. Parked blocks away, in a pickup truck, was found an AR-15, a Glock, and 2,500 rounds. Another vehicle was discovered with 11 Molotov cocktails. These were not brought to the Capitol. Esquire Magazine reported that one man brought a crossbow. It’s not clear whether or not he actually carried that to the riot scene.
Were there other firearms carried by Capitol rioters? Maybe. Probably. But, the vast majority of those who participated in violence or simply stood on the sidelines and watched were never searched, so we can never know. Most importantly, is what we know that didn’t happen. No one brandished or used firearms against police officers during the melee. Only one shot was fired, and that was the one that killed Ashli Babbitt.
Virtually all the Capitol Police, Metro Police, and representatives of other law enforcement agencies were armed. They could have stopped this so-called “insurrection” in minutes. Why they didn’t . . . is the question no one is asking.
Let’s examine the sequence of events as testified upon in yesterday’s hearing:
– At about 1 p.m. Sund called Robert J. Contee, the chief of police for Washington, DC, and 100 officers were deployed.
– At 1:09 p.m. Sund called House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger to get permission to deploy the National Guard. He said that the pair told him they would “run it up the chain,” but he didn’t hear back.
– After that Sund called Irving twice more for a follow-up.
– After that Sund called Stenger once more for a follow-up.
– At 2:10 p.m. Sund got approval from Irving to call for National Guard support.
– At 2:26 p.m. Sund joined a call with Pentagon officials and asked them to deploy the National Guard. Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, the director of the Army Staff, is said to have told those on the call that he could not recommend calling in the Guard.
Who, “up the chain,” was blocking or denying Sund’s requests for back up?
I stand my statement in a previous blog that the skirmish line on the Capitol Steps was a ‘rope-a-dope’ move, orchestrated by whoever “up the chain” was making those decisions. Officers could have ended the event an hour earlier, simply by drawing down on the crowd with their weapons and dispersing them under threat of lethal force. I witnessed dozens of police officers being injured and receiving first aid. (Many, who then returned to the violence.) At any time one of those sharp or heavy projectiles thrown from the attackers could have critically injured or killed an officer.
I contend, that after what was over an hour’s worth of violence, in which the aggressors deployed no firearms, the officers received orders to stand down and allow the more violent of the mob to proceed to the building. While we have seen videos of doors and window being broken, we have also seen videos of police officers opening doors from the inside as dozens of armed officers stood aside and watched the crowd enter. Then, and only then, did passive observers of the violence join in line to also enter the building. Once inside, not one of the violent element so much as brandished a firearm. Of the thousands of photographs and videos, no such scene was witnessed. Again, any of the violent actors, and most certainly the dumbstruck tourists, could have been stopped in their tracks had officers produced their weapons. As it happened, before my own eyes, police did not draw their weapons until reports of “shots fired” were received over their radios. (In actuality, the ONE shot fired at Ashli Babbitt.)
It was within moments of that shot heavily armed “ATF Police” entered the scene, also wearing full tactical gear. (Whether they were already on the way, coincidentally arriving immediately after the shooting, or were already positioned nearby or inside is unknown to me.)
While I do not consider myself an “investigative reporter,” my interests and follow-up on this event, for obvious reasons, have remained heightened since January 6th. As such, I’ve had many conversations with highly-connected military and law enforcement personnel. I’ve developed my own theories of how events transpired, based on the following information:
– According to interviews I’ve read with Congressman, some have stated they were informed by their own personal security that a potentially dangerous “event” was likely on the 6th.
– Multiple mainstream media outlets have reported that the FBI, Homeland Security, and The Pentagon had actionable intel on that potential event as far out as two weeks in advance. (Remember, Sund denies this intel was passed along to his department.)
– I personally read a tweet from a Congresswoman, in which she said that at 9:34 a.m. she saw people already gathering at the Capitol Building. (I cannot find that tweet or remember who it was. I’ve searched. I should have made a screenshot.)
– Astonishingly, there was little-to-no police presence at the rally area, itself. While I was not able to access The Ellipse area because of the crushing density of the crowd, the much larger mass of people gathered on the Washington Monument lawn were not accompanied by any visible police presence. My own videos began upon arrival at 9:32 a.m. and continued until I proceeded to the Capitol, (about half-way through Trump’s speech), and not one police officer is ever seen in a single frame of my video. Many who have attended multiple rallies and protests in DC, including January 6th, have also commented upon this same, highly unusual observation. (Where were they? Certainly the President was well attended to, but why was there no visible presence of law enforcement where the largest group of attendees were gathered?)
– Sund requested back-up from the Metro Police at 1 p.m. I saw their arrival, firsthand, shortly thereafter. (Trump did not conclude his speech until 1:11 p.m. I’ve previously well-documented all timelines, and have the video metadata to verify all my assertions.)
– I arrived at the skirmish line at 1:19 p.m., capturing video of the melee until, at 2:15 p.m., the heavily-armed police line suddenly and inexplicably stood aside, moved back, and allowed the mob to approach the now opened, (from the inside), west doors of the Capitol Building. These officers did not act, synchronously, of their own accord. They take commands. . . from “up the chain.” Someone gave the order for them to stand down. They were not “overwhelmed” by “thousands of insurrectionists.” That is the biggest lie of the ongoing narrative. With video evidence I can show no more than 200 people, and probably as few as 100 actively engaging in actual violence and pressing against the police barricades. The several thousand observing the happenings were doing just that: “observing,” and taking cellphone videos, as I’ve also well-documented. It was only at this point that several hundred non-participants in the violence joined in the lines proceeding to the Capitol doors they entered.
– Of additional great interest, is the fact — as I’ve also documented — that many professional photographers, adorned in protective gear and some wearing press badges, were already on the scene upon my arrival. (How did they know? Who told them to be there, and to so prepare themselves for the violence that was to take place?)
(Details of everything I saw that day, up to this point, and afterwards, can be read on my blog, “What I Saw on January 6th in Washington, DC,” dated January 13, 2021.)
– Since that day my conversations with the aforementioned military and law enforcement personnel have revealed to me the very high probability that both ’Special Forces’ operatives and U.S. Marshalls were mixed in with the crowd that entered the Capitol Building. I asked them that question about possible “undercover” professionals because of the five very distinct types of persons I observed in the crowd that day:
1 – antagonists from right-wing militias and extremist groups
2 – antagonists from left-wing Antifa/BLM organizations (See my podcast interview of John Sullivan’s brother, James, who details his brother’s activities that day. https://youtu.be/HDjU2lT2bcY)
3 – peaceful rally participants who entered the building after the police stood down
4 – both credentialed and citizen photo journalists
5 – very obvious, (to me), “professionals,” who were not active in violent or destructive acts, but who were very carefully “keeping a close watch” on everything taking place during the proceedings, with heads on a swivel and eyes constantly darting back-n-forth
Now, to my theory of how and why events transpired:
Irrefutably, the intel of possible violence was known to the highest officials in our government. If the FBI, Homeland Security, and The Pentagon knew, then most certainly Pelosi and McConnell knew . . . and, most likely, President Trump. Every known piece of visible and documented evidence proves that the early breach of outer barricades was allowed to happen. This was accomplished by a small group of people against an armed police force. It did not have to happen. It was allowed to happen . . . from “up the chain.”
The hour-plus skirmish by those early insurgents against police lines was allowed to happen. Police were heavily armed but only “riot control” measures were used against the antagonists. (Tear gas, flash bang grenades, pepper spray, and some rubber bullets.) This did not have to happen. It was allowed to take place until police were ordered to stand down . . . from “up the chain.”
At least two doors — of which I have video — were opened from the inside and several hundred people were allowed to casually stroll into the Capitol Building, during which time dozens of armed police officers stood aside and watched . . . under orders to do so.
The legislative seat of the most powerful nation on the planet was not “breached” by so-called “armed insurrectionists” . . . who never fired a single shot. Using only sticks, poles, bear spray, axe handles, and baseball bats, no more than two hundred violent activists were allowed inside by a security force of at least an equally numbered amount of law enforcement officers possessing far more deadly weapons than those used by the antagonists on the skirmish line. Again . . . this did not have to happen. This was allowed to happen. The ongoing, hyperbolic narrative of “heavily-armed insurrectionists” is utter bullish-t.
I do not believe officials making these decisions were complicit in planning with the violent factions. I know they knew what potential existed and that they carefully orchestrated, by command-and-control actions, each step of the events that transpired. National Guard presence was not wanted on site, too early, so as to not scare off the militant groups and thwart their intentions. Once it was determined the militant factions would not use overtly deadly force, (firearms), they were gradually allowed access to the Capitol grounds, steps, and then the building. Beginning with the breach of outer barricades, followed by the violent skirmish line, and finally access inside the building itself was granted. The presence of riot-geared photographers, with press badges — already on site long before the conclusion of Trump’s speech — was a dead giveaway that “up the chain” officials both knew and had tipped off the media about what was to come.
Despite broken windows and damage to some offices and other Capitol property, it was not until Ashli Babbitt was shot that Capitol and Metro police officers drew their weapons and were then accompanied by much more heavily armed policing agencies. (I saw all this with my own eyes. I have the video.) Tear gas was then deployed inside the building, and with weapons drawn by police the building began to be cleared out. Based upon the firepower of those law enforcement personnel and the utter lack of firepower of those who were allowed inside, Congressional personal and Vice-President Pence were never in any real danger. I also believe the aforementioned Special Forces operatives and U.S. Marshalls were deployed so as to be mixed in with the crowd should the militants actually use firearms or somehow gain direct access to Congressional VIPs. I do not believe their presence was part of some grand conspiracy to gain access to Congressional computers and files, (on Trump’s behalf), but that they were there for the express purpose of “taking care of business” — outside or inside — should actions by the more militant of the mob get lethally out of hand.
I’ve come to the conclusion that in the earliest realization of potential unrest, by the highest of Congressional officials, it was determined they could win a decisive PR victory to ultimately be used in bringing the legislative and executive might of the US government against so-called “right-wing extremists” of every stripe. Indeed, to be able to shape the narrative that not just Trump supporters, but all Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and every individual and/or group professing political beliefs on the right side of the political debate could be labeled as “extremists,” “seditionists,” “insurrectionists,” and ultimately, “domestic terrorists.” Labels earned not only by those who participated in violence and destruction, but also heaped upon those who would use political speech antagonistically against the incoming neo-Marxist presidential administration and new Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
In short, what transpired on January 6th was the largest PR victory, won by progressives, since the stock market collapse of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression. What progressives gained in those following years, by way of the establishment of the New Deal and the birth of our existing welfare state, this day similarly gifted them both the “moral authority” and the “public outcry” REQUIRING them to silence opposition voices and finally justify draconian gun control measures.
We’ve already witnessed the de-platforming of Parler and the deletion of scores of conservative social media accounts, including that of the then President of the United States. Just yesterday, Congressional leaders have called upon cable and satellite TV carriers to drop Fox News, NewsMax, and OAN. To their gun control aims, pay attention to the language and headlines used by mainstream media outlets:
-The Hill: “Police seized alarming number of weapons on Capitol rioters, court documents show”
-CBS: “Arsenal of weapons seized from Capitol riots”
-NBC: “Dozens Arrested for Capitol Riot After Feds Find Guns”
-The Washingtonian: “Guns, Brass Knuckles, Homemade Napalm: Read Some of the Documents From Arrests After the Capitol Riot”
-Vice: “Cops Found This Terrifying Weapons Arsenal in a Pickup at the Capitol Riot”
That last headline is instructive. “Found . . . in a Pickup.” In reality, only one person was arrested with a handgun on Capitol grounds. NONE were used. Yet, gun control legislation now being considered by Congress, and supported by the Biden administration, would instantly criminalize more than 100 million law-abiding Americans who took no part in the January 6th affair and have never used their firearms illegally. While I’m certain the current bill, as written, will never pass, I fear what compromises GOP leadership will make toward a more watered-down version. Even if only 10% of this bill’s proposals become law, it will be devastating to America’s law-abiding gun owners and emasculate our Founder’s intent behind the 2nd Amendment.
With each carefully directed act in the drama that played out on January 6th, 2021, the occupying elites of that federal building on Capitol Hill seized far too much control over the prevailing narrative, and captured an unprecedented amount of political territory in their escalating war against the 1st and 2nd Amendments. Thank god the only weapon fired that day was by law enforcement, otherwise, the 2nd Amendment would most surely now be lost.
Were those calling the shots, “up the chain,” anticipating or hoping for an actual exchange of gunfire between the rioters and police? Were they prepared to sacrifice Capitol Police officers on the altar of tyranny? Did the one Capitol Hill Police officer who died that day not have his life ended in the manner those “up the chain” actually desired? From the bullet of a man who could be tied to The Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys, or some actual “White supremacist” militia?
Will Pelosi and McConnell ever be forced into a position where they must answer those hard questions?
Unfortunately, a couple hundred radical suckers somehow were deluded enough to believe they could “stop the steal,” occupy the Capitol building of the United States, and perhaps take Pelosi and Pence hostage . . . with bear spray and sticks. Were some just leftist radicals, wearing Trump hats as false flags, there to create chaos and foist blame upon the hundreds-of-thousands of “mostly peaceful protestors?” Either way, or both, they were nothing more than useful idiots who in advance of the day projected their violent intentions on social media, using electronic devices monitored by the NSA, and who fell right into a well-anticipated trap. One that will land many of them in federal prison for a lot of years and quite possibly create a prison state for the rest of us. Ultimately, those faux “insurrectionists” got played by political operatives far more savvy than themselves, and 350 million of us will likely pay a heavy price for the actions of a couple hundred fools.
Meanwhile, Pelosi’s “9/11-style Commission” will most certainly be a white-wash of what took place behind the scenes that day — “up the chain” — no matter how loudly and frequently we ask, “What did she know, and when did she know it?”