In a White House speech today marking the first anniversary of the riot at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, Vice President Harris stated,
“Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them — where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault. Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars but a place in our collective memory. December 7th, 1941. September 11th, 2001. And January 6th, 2021.”
Here at SOFREP we simply can’t call the events of January 6th an “Insurrection” for the following reason.
One, not a single one of the more than 700 people facing charges for their participation in the events of that day have been charged with the offense of “Rebellion or Insurrection” under 18 U.S. Code 2383 which reads as follows:
“Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Those arrested face a myriad of charges including Theft, Impeding, Resisting, Civil Disorder, Entering a restricted building, Disorderly conduct, Demonstrating inside the Capitol building, Obstructing an official proceeding, etc’, etc’. There are mounds of evidence gleaned from multiple cameras inside the Capitol building, from news cameras and videos taken by the rioters and protestors themselves uploaded to social media that support these charges. If this Justice Department had video or other evidence that supported a charge of Rebellion or Insurrection against any suspect, we believe those charges would have been leveled.
We also note that the riots that took place for months outside federal courthouses, Immigration Enforcement buildings, and other government facilities in cities like Portland and Seattle did not result in any charges of Rebellion or Insurrection being filed. Again, the same kinds of charges leveled against rioters on January 6th were preferred by the government: trespass, assault, impeding, obstructing, etc’ etc’.
We would also set the Way-Back Machine to January 20th, 2017 when President Trump was inaugurated. More than two hundred violent rioters were arrested in Washington D.C. for looting, rioting, and setting fires to businesses, cars, and private property. Six police officers were injured by thrown rocks, bricks, bottles, trashcans, and even Molotov cocktails. Similar riots broke out in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago in seeming coordination with the riot in D.C. Not one of the rioters was charged with Insurrection or Rebellion.
We also point out that none of the protestors in any of the events mentioned above have been charged with Treason or Seditious Conspiracy which are also federal crimes.
The fact is that charges like Rebellion or Insurrection, Seditious Conspiracy or Treason are exceedingly rare in our history, even when we have faced real rebellions like the Civil War in 1861, Shay’s Rebellion in 1786 and John Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal in 1859. There was even a rebellion over a Whiskey tax in 1791(we might have joined the rebels on that one).
To elevate, as VP Harris does, the riot in the Capitol on January 6th to the level of Pearl Harbor or the September 11th attacks is to make those two devasting attacks seem like less to make the riot seem like more. Pearl Harbor sparked our entry into a devasting world war and September 11th resulted in a twenty-year, worldwide war on terrorism. The riot on January 6th shrinks to utter insignificance by comparison.
It is more about the politics of the thing than the truth of it. We think words mean things around here and Insurrection is not the word for what happened that day. “Riot” is an accurate description of not just the event, but the criminal charges that went with it.
Charges that we think meet the crimes committed that day.
Any thinking person watching the events of that day could not rationally believe that the loon with the Buffalo headdress sitting in the Speakers Chair in the House chamber taking selfies was now in charge of the United States Government. Unlike the thousands who died at both Pearl Harbor and on September 11th, only one person on January 6th was killed directly by violence, Ashley Babbit, an Air Force veteran who was shot by a Capitol Police Lieutenant. She was unarmed, not wearing a suicide bomb vest or trying to fly an airliner full of people into the Pentagon. What she did was try to enter a secured area of the Capitol that officers were instructed to defend with the use of deadly force if necessary. That didn’t make her into Osama Bin Laden or Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yammamoto.
Vice President Harris asks in her speech, “I wonder, how will January 6th come to be remembered in the years ahead?”
We think it will be remembered by her party as long as they think it is politically useful for them to recall it. Call us cynical, but if gas was $1.15 a gallon and inflation wasn’t edging towards double digits and COVID was “stopped in its tracks” they wouldn’t be waving the bloody shirt of January 6th to rally their base, which is what the Vice President nakedly tried to do today.
An actual insurrection can be a very serious thing, the Civil War killed upwards of 600,000 people and devastated large parts of the country and the Vice President shouldn’t use the word “insurrection” to sell Americans a piece of legislation that they don’t have the votes to pass in Congress. Passing laws sold as acts of revenge or retribution against your political opponents is not Democracy.
The riot of January 6th will probably be as well remembered as the Kirk-Holder War, the Green Corn Rebellion, or the Battle of Athens, which means barely at all.