Wednesday, April 14, 2021


The New York Times reports:
The Capitol Police had clearer advance warnings about the Jan. 6 attack than were previously known, including the potential for violence in which “Congress itself is the target.” But officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to hold off the mob, according to a scathing new report by the agency’s internal investigator.

In a 104-page document, the inspector general, Michael A. Bolton, ... found that the agency’s leaders failed to adequately prepare despite explicit warnings that pro-Trump extremists posed a threat to law enforcement and civilians and that the police used defective protective equipment. He also found that the leaders ordered their Civil Disturbance Unit to refrain from using its most powerful crowd-control tools — like stun grenades — to put down the onslaught....

“Heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including stun grenades, “were not used that day because of orders from leadership,” Mr. Bolton wrote. Officials on duty on Jan. 6 told him that such equipment could have helped the police to “push back the rioters.”
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the report says that the Capitol Police had adequate warning of what was coming and should been able to prevent the Capitol from being breached. On the other hand, do we trust any police agency right now to find the sweet spot where order is maintained without the use of excessive force?

Even if the Capitol Police had used an appropriate amount of force, if that included stun grenades, can you imagine the right-wing reaction -- not just at the time, but even now, and for the foreseeable future? Can you imagine this being done ... not to evil BLM/Antifa commies, but to Real Americans?

We'd have never heard the end of it. We'd have been told that all the rioters we saw on the real January 6 were as meek as lambs and wouldn't have dreamed of destroying property, attacking cops, or threatening to hang the vice president and members of Congress. The cops would be "Nancy Pelosi's fascist goons" now. Every protester who was even slightly injured would be a right-wing media star. And on this alternate January 6, it's likely that more rather than fewer Republicans would have voted to challenge the results of the election. Maybe they all would have, because the suppression of the riot would have become their equivalent of the death of George Floyd, a moment that proved their systematic oppression conclusively.

If you think Republicans feel "canceled" now, imagine if the cops on January 6 had canceled their riot. Even the ones who deigned to acknowledge before January 6 that Biden won the election would be desribing it as one of the great acts of totalitarianism in American history.

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