Insurrection, 2016

(John Hinderaker) The Democrats’ pompous characterization of the mini-riot at the Capitol on January 6 as an “insurrection” is a transparent political ploy. The idea of appointing a “9/11-style” commission to investigate a riot in which no one was killed or seriously injured by the rioters is self-refuting.

….

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, often mentioned as a Democrat Presidential or Vice-Presidential nominee, hailed the vicious rioters, saying: “God bless the protesters.”

That is today’s Democratic Party: the vicious, the violent, the anti-democratic, the bullies. The fascists.

Which looks more like an insurrection? What a handful of Trump supporters, Antifa activists and random nuts with fur hats and horns did on January 6, or what thousands of Democratic Party activists did across the country after Donald Trump was elected in 2016? I would add that I don’t remember a single Democrat Party politician denouncing the violence of 2016. Not one.

Source: Insurrection, 2016

What We Know And Don’t Know About The Events Of January 6th

It takes three days after any event to find out what happened, and 30 days to find out what really happened. The dust storm of information and misinformation takes a while to settle in the perpetually-online United States. The truth lodges in fewer places now. Emigres from the 1970’s Soviet Union advised us that the only real information in Pravda lay between the lines. So it is with the bulk of U.S. media, which doesn’t even try to hide its role as the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party anymore.

After 60 days, what do we, and don’t we, know about the events of January 6th? What we don’t know concerns me. When information that ought to be public isn’t, there’s a reason. It’s seldom good.

We know there was no “insurrection,” “coup,” or “sedition.” Insurrection is an organized rebellion with the intent of toppling a government. A coup d’état, or “coup,” is the seizure of political power by illegal or violent means. Insurrections and coups often involve the military. Always, they involve weaponry. “Sedition” is the act of encouraging them.

No one condones the events of January 6th. I condemn them without equivocation. That said, neither an insurrection nor a coup took place, no matter how often politicians or their media sycophants parrot those words. No attempt was made to topple the government. Not a shot was fired by protesters. Of the hundreds of thousands who rallied, only a handful were arrested for bringing guns (and the FBI didn’t recover any guns at all).

….

We don’t know how many forced their way inside. Charges have been filed against more than three hundred. We were told that would increase by an order of magnitude or more than a thousand. It will not. Because we’ve seen footage, we do know many were allowed into the Capitol calmly by law enforcement. They proceeded between velvet ropes in Statuary Hall, on camera, damaging nothing. They broke no law.

We do know the charges filed against others: trespassing, disrupting an official proceeding (as is done routinely; at the Kavanaugh hearings, roughly every ten minutes), disorderly conduct, and a few cases of destruction of property. Four windows were broken. Some will be charged with assault on officers, a serious crime, routinely ignored of late. At least one may have contributed to the subsequent death of Officer Brian Sicknick, tragically the most recent innocent victim of unrest.

There is, alas, no autopsy or official cause of death for Sicknick. We know he returned to his post after telling his brother he was “fine,” though exposed to pepper spray. His mother Gladys revealed to The Daily Mail, “He wasn’t hit on the head, no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure. We’d love to know what happened.” FBI Director Wray testified on March 2nd that he still couldn’t tell her — or us.

….

Perhaps most of all, I’d like to know why a police officer dealing with unrest could fire a fatal shot at an unarmed woman without consequence. I’d also like to know the officer’s identity. On any other occasion, we would. Police officers tell me that’s often done before they’ve finished the paperwork.

Source: American Thinker

A City Prepares for a Trial

(John Hinderaker) Derek Chauvin goes on trial for murder in the death of George Floyd on March 8. His trial has been separated from that of the other three officers who have been charged; theirs will begin in August. Chauvin is the principal defendant.

….

I believe it was the day after Floyd’s death when Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey publicly questioned the fact that the four police officers were still free men. Why weren’t they already in jail? And Governor Walz has publicly pronounced the officers guilty of “murder.” Meanwhile, though, it has come out that Floyd’s blood contained two or three times a lethal dose of fentanyl. He also showed the classic symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, complaining repeatedly of an inability to breathe and foaming at the mouth. His autopsy revealed that his lungs were heavier than normal, reflecting the accumulation of fluid that occurs with a fentanyl overdose. So it is far from clear that Derek Chauvin murdered anyone, or indeed that the four police officers had anything to do with Floyd’s death, which apparently, based on the evidence now available, was caused by a drug overdose.

But it is much too late for the authorities to acknowledge that their case against Chauvin et al. is far from airtight. They are committed. What we don’t know is whether an impartial jury can be empaneled, and whether any jury will have the courage to return a verdict of not guilty. Everyone in Minneapolis knows that the authorities were not able to defend even the Third Precinct Station House, which was taken over and burned by rioters. Nor were they able to defend a two-mile stretch of Lake Street, or other areas in Minneapolis and St. Paul that were destroyed by mobs. What juror will be willing to count on the authorities to protect his own house from being burned down, if he fails to return the verdict that is demanded by the mob?

Source: A City Prepares for a Trial

More on Officer Sicknick’s death

[NOTE: Please see my previous posts on this subject.]

Here’s a recent interview with Officer Sicknick’s mother. Note that it’s in the British paper The Daily Mail. It’s not unusual for British papers to cover events in the US more thoroughly than our own MSM, and to publish things the left wouldn’t be enthusiastic about here:

The mother of the US Capitol police officer who died following the riot on January 6 believes that her son succumbed to a fatal stroke – that he was not bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher as reported.

Yet more than one month after Officer Brian Sicknick’s death on January 7, she has admitted that they are still in the dark as to what exactly caused that catastrophic episode.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com Gladys Sicknick, 74, was unequivocal in her assertion that Officer Brian Sicknick was not struck on the head and that as far as the family knows her son had a fatal stroke.

She said, ‘He wasn’t hit on the head no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure.

‘We’d love to know what happened.’

Please let that sink in: apparently the family has not been told the results of any autopsy. Has there been an autopsy prior to Officer Sicknick’s cremation? I have never read anything that indicates an answer to that question.

….

Please read the whole thing. You probably know most of it, because it’s been covered on this blog several times since January, but here’s an excerpt:

…January 8, Sicknick’s father, Charles, 81, told Reuters that on January 7, as they rushed from their homes in New Jersey to DC, the family were told that Sicknick had a blood clot on his brain and had suffered a stroke. He was being kept alive on a ventilator but was dead by the time they got there.

Yet these few publicly available facts were bulldozed over by political fervor and it was the unattributed account of a brutal attack, also reported by the Associated Press, that gained traction.

Less than 24 hours after his death, with no autopsy, no confirmation of any sign of blunt trauma, no investigation nor due process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the ‘perpetrators’ of Sicknick’s ‘attack’ to be brought to justice and vowed, ‘We will not forget.’

Despite the family’s earnest desire to the contrary, Sicknick’s death was politicized and seized on as an exemplar of all of the savagery of the pro-Trump mob’s assault on the temple of American democracy.

There’s a helpful timeline at the article, too.

Source: More on Officer Sicknick’s death

The Media Has Been Lying About the Capitol Protests

Look up any story about the storming of the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters, and you will find it described as a “deadly riot” that killed five people.

Worse still, one of the deaths was that a police officer who – the story goes – was killed by rioters after getting hit in the head by a fire extinguisher.

Then there is the story of the protestor who “carried Zip Ties into the Capitol,” which led to accusations that the protestors intended to take hostages.

There have also been endless media descriptions of the event as an “armed insurrection.”

And there were stories claiming that, as Reuters put it, “Capitol rioters meant to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials.”

What is common about all of these media-fed narratives?

Not one of them is true. Not. One.

Let’s take each claim in turn.

The “fact” that five people were killed is false. Only one person is known to have been killed inside the building. She was a protester who was shot at close range by a police officer. (Had she been a minority, there would have been riots in the streets over police brutality.)

….

But what about Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was, we’ve been told repeatedly, killed by a protester who threw a fire extinguisher at him?

….

There’s other evidence to show that the media had it all wrong. ProPublica reports that Sicknick texted his family Wednesday night to say that “he had been pepper-sprayed” (he didn’t say by whom) and “was in good spirits.” CNN later admitted that investigators have been “vexed by a lack of evidence that could prove someone caused his death.” More tellingly, a Capitol Police statement said Sicknick returned to his office after the melee and only later went to the hospital. So what caused his death? Nobody knows, but it clearly wasn’t caused by a hell-bent Trump mob.

Why is this important? As Greenwald explains, “Without Sicknick having his skull bashed in with a fire extinguisher, there were no deaths that day that could be attributed to deliberate violence by pro-Trump protesters.”

The press has recently tried to increase the death count by including suicides that occurred weeks later.

….

That guy who supposedly “carried Zip Ties into the Capitol” (suggesting he intended to take hostages)? Turns out he found them on a table inside the building and grabbed them to keep the police from using them on the protesters.

The “armed insurrection”? There’s been no evidence that anyone carried firearms into the Capitol, except the police.

The report that protesters planned to “capture and assassinate” officials? The Department of Justice says “there is no direct evidence at this point of kill-capture teams and assassinations.”

….

The only reason this story has and continues to be grossly exaggerated by the press and by Democrats (but we repeat ourselves) is to sow fear in the public, portray conservatives as violent extremists, and justify more ferocious attacks on anyone who isn’t a left-wing Democrat.

Which is why the media will never come clean about their role in misleading the public. And why Pelosi’s “truth” commission can be counted on not to tell the truth about any of it.

Source: The Media Has Been Lying About the Capitol Protests

Who were the January 6th rioters?

This article purports to answer a question I’ve been wondering about since January 6: who were the rioters? But there are some curious gaps in the story.

Here’s the general description of the group charged with committing violations at the Capitol that day:

So far, only about 10% of those charged have been found to have ties to organised far right militias or other right-wing extremist groups.

“What we are dealing with here is not merely a mix of right-wing organisations, but a broader mass movement with violence at its core,” wrote Dr Robert Pape, director of the Chicago Project on Security & Threats.

Dr. Pape and the Project are affiliated with the University of Chicago, and I can’t find much about Pape’s politics. But I wondered two things: how he got access to the information on the arrested people, and what were they charged with?

….

I had previously read that there were thousands of people “storming” the Capitol, but this article says 800. That’s a group that could easily have been handled by a proper number of security people on duty, but we already know that despite warnings the security was very light that day.

Here’s how the subjects seem to have been chosen by Pape for study [emphasis mine]:

In recent weeks, our team of more than 20 researchers has been reviewing court documents and media coverage for information on the demographics, socioeconomic traits, and militant-group affiliations (if any) of everyone arrested by the FBI, Capitol Police, and Washington, D.C., police for offenses related to the January 6 insurrection. As of late last week, 235 people fell into that category, and the number is expected to grow.

Of these suspects, 193 have been charged with being inside the Capitol building or with breaking through barriers to enter the Capitol grounds. We focused our research on these 193.

I found the data here as well as here.

So the people in the study were arrested for trespassing and for getting through some type of barrier, although we don’t know how permeable the barriers were or what they did to pass through them (did only some break them, for example, and the rest just followed?). The research does not mention any of them being charged with violence against Capitol Police. Not even broken windows, as far as I can see. Not spraying pepper spray. Those things aren’t listed, although there must be some people at the Capitol that day who were arrested for that sort of thing. But it seems to me that those are the ones who should interest us.

Other all-important data I was looking for wasn’t there either. For example, how many were merely arrested for trespassing? How many for breaking through barricades? Why isn’t that data there? Surely the researchers ought to have discovered those figures.

It appears from the study and the articles that everyone in that building, even if only arrested for trespassing, is assumed to have been intent on violence and trying to overthrow the government. The entire set of conclusions – these insurrectionists were just regular Trump supporters, so be afraid, be very afraid – is based on that idea. But the study doesn’t demonstrate it. It doesn’t even deal with it; it merely assumes it.

Source: Who were the January 6th rioters?

GLENN GREENWALD: The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot.

GLENN GREENWALD: The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot .

One of the most significant of these falsehoods was the tale — endorsed over and over without any caveats by the media for more than a month — that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was murdered by the pro-Trump mob when they beat him to death with a fire extinguisher. That claim was first published by The New York Times on January 8 in an article headlined “Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage.” It cited “two [anonymous] law enforcement officials” to claim that Sicknick died “with the mob rampaging through the halls of Congress” and after he “was struck with a fire extinguisher.”

….

After publication of these two articles, this horrifying story about a pro-Trump mob beating a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher was repeated over and over, by multiple journalists on television, in print, and on social media. It became arguably the single most-emphasized and known story of this event, and understandably so — it was a savage and barbaric act that resulted in the harrowing killing by a pro-Trump mob of a young Capitol police officer.

It took on such importance for a clear reason: Sicknick’s death was the only example the media had of the pro-Trump mob deliberately killing anyone. In a January 11 article detailing the five people who died on the day of the Capitol protest, the New York Times again told the Sicknick story: “Law enforcement officials said he had been ‘physically engaging with protesters’ and was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.”

But none of the other four deaths were at the hands of the protesters: the only other person killed with deliberate violence was a pro-Trump protester, Ashli Babbitt, unarmed when shot in the neck by a police officer at close range.

….

The problem with this story is that it is false in all respects. From the start, there was almost no evidence to substantiate it. The only basis were the two original New York Times articles asserting that this happened based on the claim of anonymous law enforcement officials.

Despite this alleged brutal murder taking place in one of the most surveilled buildings on the planet, filled that day with hundreds of cellphones taping the events, nobody saw video of it. No photographs depicted it. To this day, no autopsy report has been released. No details from any official source have been provided.

Not only was there no reason to believe this happened from the start, the little that was known should have caused doubt. On the same day the Times published its two articles with the “fire extinguisher” story, ProPublica published one that should have raised serious doubts about it.

The outlet interviewed Sicknick’s brother, who said that “Sicknick had texted [the family] Wednesday night to say that while he had been pepper-sprayed, he was in good spirits.” That obviously conflicted with the Times’ story that the mob “overpowered Sicknick” and “struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” after which, “with a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support.”

But no matter. The fire extinguisher story was now a matter of lore. Nobody could question it. And nobody did: until after a February 2 CNN article that asked why nobody has been arrested for what clearly was the most serious crime committed that day: the brutal murder of Officer Sicknick with a fire extinguisher. Though the headline gave no hint of this, the middle of the article provided evidence which essentially declared the original New York Times story false:

In Sicknick’s case, it’s still not known publicly what caused him to collapse the night of the insurrection. Findings from a medical examiner’s review have not yet been released and authorities have not made any announcements about that ongoing process.

According to one law enforcement official, medical examiners did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma, so investigators believe that early reports that he was fatally struck by a fire extinguisher are not true.

The CNN story speculates that perhaps Sicknick inhaled “bear spray,” but like the ProPublica interview with his brother who said he inhaled pepper spray, does not say whether it came from the police or protesters.

….

The fire extinguisher tale was far from the only false or dubious claim that the media caused to circulate about the events that day. In some cases, they continue to circulate them.

In the days after the protest, numerous viral tweets pointed to a photograph of Eric Munchel with zip-ties. The photo was used continually to suggest that he took those zip-ties into the Capitol because of a premeditated plot to detain lawmakers and hold them hostagePolitico described Munchel as “the man who allegedly entered the Senate chamber during the Capitol riot while carrying a taser and zip-tie handcuffs.”

But on January 21, the “zip-tie man’s” own prosecutors admitted none of that was true. He did not take zip-ties with him from home or carry them into the Capitol. Instead, he found them on a table, and took them to prevent their use by the police.

(A second man whose photo with zip-ties later surfaced similarly told Ronan Farrow that he found them on the floor, and the FBI has acknowledged it has no evidence to the contrary).

Just today, PolitiFact purported to “fact-check” a statement from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) made on Monday. Sen. Johnson told a local radio station:

“The fact of the matter is this didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me. I mean armed, when you hear armed, don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask. How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I’m only aware of one, and I’ll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot.

The fact-checking site assigned the Senator its “Pants on Fire” designation for that statement, calling it “ridiculous revisionist history.” But the “fact-checkers” cannot refute a single claim he made. At least from what is known publicly, there is no evidence of a single protester wielding let alone using a firearm inside the Capitol on that day. As indicated, the only person to have been shot was a pro-Trump protester killed by a Capitol police officer, and the only person said to have been killed by the protesters, Officer Sicknick, died under circumstances that are still completely unclear.

One can — and should — condemn the January 6 riot without inflating the threat it posed. And one can — and should — insist on both factual accuracy and sober restraint without standing accused of sympathy for the rioters.

Source: GLENN GREENWALD: The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot. Over …

False Reports From January 6th Continue to Unravel

The legacy media has spent the last week repeating the nonsense that Trump supporters travelled to Washington D.C. last week in a coordinated attempt to overthrow the government. It’s a lie.

On January 13, 2021, The National Pulse called the almost ubiquitous, false reporting about the events at the Capitol on January 6 “The Insurrection Lie.” This was contrary to some other conservative media outlets, such as National Review, which published a piece on January 17 calling the events at the Capitol “impeachable.”

Our view, groundbreaking at the time, has been vindicated in the ensuing month. Tucker Carlson last week called the media’s reporting on the events a “lie.” Following is an update to our coverage based on recent disclosures.

On January 13, we reported:

A Capitol Police officer died of a stroke the day after the riot; but it is not known what may have happened during the melee that would provide a causal connection. His brother stated that he had communicated with the officer after the event: “He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape.” Sometime after the riot, he returned to his division office and collapsed. It has been reported that the Capitol Police initially issued a statement denying that a police officer had died as a result of injuries sustained in the attack. Based on available facts (which may change) it is speculative to say at this time that he was murdered or slain. His family has made a plea that the death not be politicized. 

UpdateThe National Pulse has since reported that early reports Officer Sicknick was hit with a fire extinguisher were false, and the New York Times has backed away from the claim. Revolver has done a deep dive into these events, raising further questions about the cause of death.

Based on available facts, it is reasonable to conclude that Sicknick’s death was not caused by the protest. Nevertheless, against the family’s wishes, the death has been used politically. Sicknick became only the fifth person to receive the distinction of lying in honor at the Capitol Rotunda. Alarmingly, this was done to ritualize the unsupported claim that he was slain by rioters. Democrat House impeachment managers alleged an “armed insurrection” based on the false assertion that Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher. The United States Capitol is surrounded by razor wire and secured by military units on the premise that its previous security was breached by armed insurrectionists who murdered a police officer. 

It is a lie.

Source: False Reports From January 6th Continue to Unravel

The NY Times Retracts the Sicknick Story

In a quiet but stunning correction, the New York Times backed away from its original report that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed by a Trump supporter wielding a fire extinguisher during the January 6 melee at the Capitol building. Shortly after American Greatness published my column Friday that showed how the Times gradually was backpedaling on its January 8 bombshell, the paper posted this caveat:

UPDATE: New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.

The paper continued to revise its story within the body of the original January 8 story: “Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.”

The account of Sicknick’s death was reported as fact, not speculation or rumor. Further, it appears that the anonymous sources were not law enforcement officials but people “close” to the police department—which means they could have been anyone from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to inveterate liar U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to the Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser.

Not only was the Times’ untrue story about Sicknick’s death accepted as fact by every news media organization from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post, political pundits on the NeverTrump Right also regurgitated the narrative that Sicknick was “murdered” as did lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Source: The NY Times Retracts the Sicknick Story

The Media Is Lying About the Deaths at the Capitol

We are told that the DC riot killed five people. Sometimes seven deaths are linked to the riot. But here’s the truth, as far as we’ve been officially told: 
Of seven deaths, two were officers who committed suicide after the riot. We have never been given any evidence or any reason to believe that their suicides had anything to do with the riot. This is simply an assumption that many have made. 
Of the five who died in or shortly after the riot, one was a man with a pre existing condition who suffered a heart attack. Another suffered a stroke at some point that day and died in a hospital. 
One woman collapsed while in a rush of people outside the Capitol and died. We were told she was “trampled to death.” The medical examiner never confirmed that as the cause of death. We have not been given any additional information. 
The fourth civilian death was Ashli Babbitt. She was an unarmed woman shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer inside the Capitol. 
The fifth death was Officer Sicknick. We have been given absolutely no official information about his death at all. The only thing they’re telling us is that he was at the riot and later died. The autopsy results are being withheld. Nobody has been arrested for his murder. 
So of the five deaths linked to the riot, only one — Babbit — can be conclusively considered a death caused by violence during the riot. Only the violence in this case was done by a cop. That is what we know right now. If anyone knows more, they aren’t telling us. 
Does this matter? Yes, because the truth matters. Also because the “deadly riot” characterization is how they’re justifying the military occupation of DC. People died. It’s tragic. But the how and the why really matter. A lot. 

Source: The Media Is Lying About the Deaths at the Capitol