Authors note: I normally wouldn’t say any of this publicly, because I believe in saying what you can prove. I am breaking this rule because of the danger we face in this moment. This piece is solely opinion analysis. But many of you who know me, know that the depth of my experience gives credibility.
I feel that the attack on the Capitol was an operation, that is a tactical action with certain goals and objectives. I believe that the main goal was to undermine the idea of legitimacy of our institutions, but more than that to show that it was actually possible to overrun them.
I believe that this was accomplished by Oathkeepers and other militia groups in the broader mob with military experience. Most of the people on the steps were yahoos but others had experience and tactics to get inside. Whether they had inside help is a question which will need to be answered later. But it doesn’t take away from the point that the attack was well coordinated.
Underscoring all of this is that the Capitol was not taken back my authorities, but gradually given up by the insurgents. They didn’t want to confront the local police and National Guard when they showed up at by 5 pm. Instead they melted away orderly which is why so few were arrested or injured in the take back.
But their point wasn’t to fight, it was to show that an occupation of The Capitol was possible. Of course if they had cornered the VP or the Speaker it would have been a cherry on top, but I don’t believe that was the main goal.
“Why do any of these nuances matter, they wrecked the Capitol” might be your question right now. With insurrection, why does any of this matter? Here’s the answer.
It’s clear that this was just a test run for Inauguration Week. The goal was to show Trumps supporters, and the alphabet soup of conspiracy groups that “if this what a 1,000 people could do imagine what 10K or a 100k could do.” Therefore, it was an event to encourage many more thousands to show up for the main event in order to overwhelm and stop Inauguration.
We know that these groups are organizing on the web. Twitter said so today in their suspension of Trump from the platform. And we know that the same organizing is happening on Parler, which is why Apple is threatening to kick them off and why Google has just done so.
The idea that a large group is set to descend upon the capital during the week of January 17 might also be a reason why Trump is discussing going to Camp David as reported by CNN yesterday.
And it might be why the House is hurrying impeachment. They know that a red storm is on the rise.
The scenario I have discussed here isn’t far fetched based on what’s happened. And if it were to occur with possible simultaneous actions in State Houses at the same time, we would have a potential for disaster.
Of course all of this can be prevented. If we have command authorities ready to do their part, all of this can be disrupted beforehand. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , the 3rd highest Constitutional Officer in the country, couldn’t even get the National Park Police—not to mention the military assets supposedly guarding the capital—to come to her aide. DC’s Mayor and the governors of Virginia and Maryland did that.
The point here is to be prepared or anything, and for all of us as citizens to be ready to do our part. I am particularly thinking about the gains that Black women and queer people in Georgia, in particular, made possible in 2020 by turning that state blue. If protected these gains will mean incredible positive change in 2021.
I could be totally off the mark here and I hope I am. But everything tells me that we are entering a treacherous time which grows more perilous as we approach Inauguration. Be safe, be smart, be aware.