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America is controlled by secrecy Threat inflation has become a tool of political repression

It's ridiculous compare the siege of the Capitol to 9/11. Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

It's ridiculous compare the siege of the Capitol to 9/11. Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images


January 8, 2022   6 mins

What does it mean when President Biden declares an event in which four people died, all of them Trump supporters and only one by violence, the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,” and The New York Times marks the anniversary by proclaiming that “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now”? The implication is politics as permanent crisis, which sounds strikingly like a definition of war.

This obvious threat inflation, which should be familiar after September 11, is used by governments and private corporations alike to award themselves more unaccountable power. To work, it relies on the public being cowed by the expertise and authority of institutions that operate in secret. These methods have proved to be highly effective for defending the power of America’s bureaucracies.

The problem with bureaucratised secrecy is what it does to the rest of society. As illusions come to seem real and formal mechanisms of truth-seeking appear blocked off, conspiracies offer themselves as a virtuous alternative. To encourage this in a country that already has a deep, native strain of paranoia and wild truth-seeking is a dangerous gamble.

The elements of fantasy and stagecraft present on January 6, from the costumed pageantry at the storming of the Capitol to the Broadway kitsch at its anniversary commemoration, point to the event’s dual origins in the US security state and the paranoid imagination that is a byproduct of government secrecy run amok.

“Secrecy is an institution of the administrative state that developed during the great conflicts of the twentieth century. It is distinctive primarily in that it is all but unexamined,” the scholar and American statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote toward the end of his long career in public life, when he turned his attention to the power in the shadows.

Moynihan, a Democratic Senator from New York, was known for his polarising work on race, poverty and the breakdown of the American family. But in his final published book, the liberal Cold Warrior delivered a revisionist account of the US conflict with the Soviet Union. Though he never wavered on the righteousness of the anti-Communist cause, Moynihan argued that the effort had been weakened and warped by the growth of a bureaucratic culture of secrecy. He delivered a measured but devastating attack on the underworld of administrative institutions better known today as “the deep state”.

In Secrecy: The American Experience, published in 1999, Moynihan argued that US policy had been systematically distorted by intelligence agency assessments that exaggerated the economic and military power of the Soviet Union. Because the agencies operated in secret, the exaggerations were not only shielded from scrutiny but had the perverse effect of fuelling their own growth. Over time, this process fundamentally transformed the American political system. “Secrecy is a form of regulation,” Moynihan wrote in the book’s opening line. This new form of regulation supervened democratic procedures and transferred power to bureaucracies operating in the shadows of the elected government.

Despite his criticisms, Moynihan maintained that secrecy was “at times legitimate and necessary”. But he observed a typology of secrets in which there were two critical distinctions. The first was between secrets applied to foreign affairs in the interest of national security, and those used domestically to regulate the activities of American citizens. The second, related division was between functional and symbolic secrets.

Influenced by the sociologist Edward Shils’s 1956 book The Torment of American Secrecy, Moynihan elaborated a theory of secrets as social agents in bureaucratic societies. In his introduction to Secrecy, the historian Richard Gid Powers describes the contours of that approach: “Drawing on Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, [Moynihan] saw how he could discuss secrecy as a form of regulation (Weber) that could often take a ritualistic form (Durkheim) in order to stigmatize outsiders and critics (as distinguished from the functional secrecy that seeks simply to keep critical information from the enemy).”

As secrecy expands into a basis of governing power, what is human — to fear the unknown — metastasises into a culture of consuming paranoia and conspiracy. Moynihan was not alone in foreseeing this outcome. The American diplomat George Kennan, another stalwart of the Cold War, expressed his own reservations about the normalisation of espionage as an instrument of policy. “We easily become ourselves the sufferers from these methods of deception,” Kennan warned. “For they inculcate in their authors, as well as their intended victims, unlimited cynicism, causing them to lose all realistic understanding of the relationship, in what they are doing, of ends and means.”

Unlimited cynicism occluding cause and effect for perpetrator as well as victim — who may not be so easy to tell apart — is an apt framework with which to approach the inept fantasy of insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021, in Washington D.C.

For four years, while Donald Trump was President, US intelligence agencies colluded with members of Congress and the media to foment a conspiracy about collusion between Trump and Russia. The claims relied on secret smoking gun evidence that was supposedly in the possession of the proper authorities and would, any day, result in the President and his associates being tried for treason. Of course, this never happened, because what the secrecy concealed was not damning evidence, nor merely the lack of it, but the record showing how Clinton lawyers, ex spies, and current federal agents had, together, manufactured the false collusion narrative. Predictably, the official state-sanctioned conspiracy produced as its mutant offspring the counter-conspiracies of the Right, of which the most notorious was QAnon, a group that would play a leading role in the Capitol riot.

Feeding on the cynicism of his supporters and the brazen interventions of the deep state into the 2020 election — most notably the suppression of reporting on Hunter Biden’s business ties on transparently spurious national security grounds — Trump spent weeks after the vote stoking the fury of his supporters with a manic “stop the steal” campaign that made no distinctions between reasonable questions of electoral interference and ridiculous ones, and showed little concern for the line between protest and mob violence. The day after the riot, the president, realising that he had gone too far, denounced his supporters who had attacked security officers and breached the Capitol building as having “defiled the seat of American democracy”. Not long after, he was back to defending them. At no point did he accept any responsibility for the national humiliation.

While Trump has continued his stop the steal campaign, in terms of both cynicism and impact, it is dwarfed by what his opponents have carried out in the government and press. There is considerable evidence that US security and intelligence agencies had prior knowledge of a planned march on January 6 and were present in some capacity among the groups that breached the Capitol. We know, for instance, that a leader of the Proud Boys, a group that the Wall Street Journal called “key instigators” of the Capitol Riot, spent the past decade as a “prolific” FBI informant.

An investigation by the New York Times based on confidential records and sources found that “federal law enforcement had a far greater visibility into the assault on the Capitol, even as it was taking place, than was previously known”. The Times’ efforts pick up on reporting on the FBI’s role in the riot by the Right-wing news site Revolver, which has focused on Ray Epps, the former president of the Oath Keepers militia movement. Epps, who unlike some 700 other people involved in the riot has never been arrested or charged with a crime, can be seen on video taken at the riot telling people to “go into the Capitol”.

The FBI has a record of hyping up threats and encouraging terrorists plots that it can then bust to justify its mission. Consider an ongoing case involving the plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan. For months the plot was marshalled as evidence of the existential danger posed by Right-wing extremist groups, but those claims have unraveled as it turned out that the FBI had 12 informants inside the organisation accused of planning the crime. The informants “had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception”, reported Buzzfeed. “The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.”

And yet these dubious pseudo-events, which never posed any immediate threat to America’s democracy or its security establishment, are compared to the worst attacks in American history. At the January 6 commemoration last week, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi brought out liberal godhead Lin-Manuel Miranda along with the cast of Hamilton to perform a virtual performance. This moment of supreme kitsch was only scarcely more ridiculous than Vice President Kamala Harris, in her commemorative remarks, comparing the largely symbolic riot to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

The purpose of these gross exaggerations is to demand that Americans forfeit their rights in the name of security and convince the public, or some electorally significant fraction of it, that it is wise and just for the US government to prosecute a counterterrorism campaign against Trump supporters. The project uses the full power of the American security establishment as a get-out-the-vote arm for the Democratic party.

Secrecy, like conspiracy, dulls the impact of reality. Long after they have been exposed, the afterlife of secrets continue to debase the currency of truth. It is notable, for instance, that contrary to the inflamed rhetoric from the White House and prominent Democrats, no charges related to insurrection have been brought against any of the more than 700 defendants charged with participating in the Capitol riot. Instead, the government has mostly pursued a strategy of seeking the harshest sentences possible for trespassing. To one side, this is evidence that no insurrection took place; that even the government doesn’t believe the threat it’s selling. But to the other side it has roughly the opposite meaning, signalling that the US government is soft on Right-wing extremism and that power is working behind the scenes to protect the coup-plotters.

It remains necessary to counter lies with truth, but not sufficient. Until the rule of secrecy itself is ended and power in democracies again becomes visible and accountable, the arms race of paranoia and conspiracy will continue. That way lies ruin.


Jacob Siegel is Senior Writer at Tablet Magazine

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

Quick question, does anyone remember the original narrative? First, Officer Sicknick had his skull caved in with a fire extinguisher, then it turns out he died of a regular stroke and he was not bear sprayed either. Five people were killed in the attack! We later found out the only one killed was an unarmed woman shot by Capitol security and three died of natural causes and one died of a drug overdose. The FBI was caught by surprise, oh wait, no they had informants there the whole time who might have even been involved in the whole thing. The New York Times was even forced to backtrack and admit it. For more fun on that angle look at what the FBI was up during the supposed Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot. Side note, check out some of their “handling” of jihadist terrorist cases during the Bush Administration. There are good reasons why many of those cases were thrown out in court. The rioters were heavily armed with “assault weapons”, no wait, the weapon stories were actually proven false. So far they have not been able to prove anyone had anything more threatening than a pocket knife. Finally, it is rather telling that no one has so far been charged with insurrection or terrorism charges. I don’t know what planet these people are from, but I reserve my right to stop caring about their concerns after I have been blatantly lied to.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt Hindman
john zac
john zac
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Judges will continue to back the lunatics. Jan 6, and the domestic terrorism charge, tells you surveillance will now turn against its own people. No longer can we blame illiterate camel jockeys in Afghanistan. The enemy is no the beer drinking redneck Trump supporter. Some witty Brits better start writing some awesome comedy pretty soon.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  john zac

The Biden administration officially declared the war against Islamists is over, the war now (with the ultra Massive, ‘Patriot Act’ enhanced secret Police forces) is against ‘White Supremacists. And as they do not exist, it really means the war is against Trump Supporters, and even anti-Trump ‘Deplorables’, as in Republican voters.

This, with the Plandemic, proves the Global Elites are out to destroy Democracy, Rule of Law, and thus individual nations by causing internal conflict, political terror, and economic breakdown.

They are right out of a Bond Movie, Schwab, Soros and his cat (Mr Bigglesworth), seem ridiculous, but are in fact forces of evil with tentacles in all the Democrat offices, all Social Media, MSM, Education, Industry, and Finance.

The ‘Mass Formation’ is unloosened, and if it gets going fully we are doomed.

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Prepare for more lies going forward. Prime instigator Ray Epps, who was quietly removed from the FBI’s most wanted list midway through last year, has of course has not been prosecuted (along with several other identifiable rabble-rousing protesters). Now that these inconvenient facts cannot be ignored anymore, the brand new line being pushed by the FBI – and a few super alert “fact-checkers” – is that Epps and others like him did not “enter” the capitol. Only protesters who “entered the capitol” are apparently of interest to the FBI now. So once all the lagging fact-checkers out there have been updated with this explanation we will know for certain that the idea that there were any FBI agent provocateurs in the Jan 6 mob is a wild conspiracy theory. After that, the bulk of our ever-reliable mass media will confirm this as an irrefutable fact. You need a lot of little lies to make the big one work!

Last edited 2 years ago by Art C
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  Art C

I already know about Ray Epps, but I probably should have gone into more detail in my post. As for more lies going forward, I already expect that. How many massive stories have turned out to be a complete load of bulls**t lately? Everything about Russiagate, xenophobic Lab Leak or anything connected St. Fauci really (I don’t have the space or the time to list all of them), Jussie Smollett hate crime, Rittenhouse killed innocent people, CRT does not exist, cancel culture does not exist, there is no political agenda in popular entertainment, Whitmer kidnapping plot thwarted, NSA did not spy on Tucker Carlson, Democrats have always accepted the results of presidential elections, imaginary crime wave, “millions” of unarmed black men are killed by police, no massive nursing home deaths in New York, Andrew Cuomo is a sexual predator (still hate him for the previous item), transitory inflation, neo-yatzee Klansmen hiding behind every bush, Soros catch and release prosecutors do not exist, no one is calling parents domestic terrorists, no crisis at the US border, Covington racists, horse de-wormer hospital crisis, Julian Assange guilty, Edward Snowden Russian agent, fake Hunter Biden laptop, “mostly peaceful protests,” or anything from the US State Department or Pentagon over the last two decades are just a few that come to mind off the top of my head. I hate these people for a reason.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt Hindman
Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Spot on Mr Hindman. Unfortunately it has all got a whole lot worse these last few years. Real journalists who still go around digging out facts to put in front of us so we can make up our own minds are few and far between. Luckily there are a few. But 90% of what is dished up to us is pure, mendacious garbage. Legacy media is dying and has to be ever more outrageous to make a buck. Such a business tends to attract ambitious mediocrities. And it is certainly true that the vast majority of people producing and reporting the stories you describe are not journalists at all. They simply subscribe to a “narrative” which is shoved down the public’s throat as a ready made explanation for an event. For example, ‘The Independent’ newspaper in the UK, which is supposedly a “quality” paper, reported that “Rittenhouse’s victims” were blacks AFTER the trial had taken place! No journalism even needed here: all they had to do was watch the televised trial! As for TV news, the most common formula is a “show” fronted by someone with zero integrity and less regard for facts. People like Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough, Chuck Todd etc. etc. get away with peddling outright lies week after week. These untruths can generally be quickly proven by citing easily verifiable facts (e.g. the Sicknick death, basic facts about the Rittenhouse case, the Covid lab leak etc.). But they seldom are in mass media, except by the much sneered at Fox News. Lying, it seems, is the surest way of making good money in “news”. So for now the show goes on. But you can’t fool all the people all the time.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  Art C

I think one of my favorite moments was watching a bunch of vacant talking heads ask a former CIA spook if the CIA would ever do anything unconstitutional or illegal and treating his “obvious” answer as a statement of fact. What next? Are you are going to ask a former hack general currently on the board of a major defense contractor if one of our current military fusterclucks is going well? Well speak of the devil guess what the next segment is!
The good news is these people are terrified by actual independent journalism. They keep attacking Substack and independent Youtube news channels in an effort to regain control. Problem is no one wants the c**p they are selling anymore.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt Hindman
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Art C

“Only protesters who “entered the capitol” are apparently of interest to the FBI now.”
Excellent observation of the Justice Department under communist lunatic Merrick Garland. Trespassers are now the most dangerous threat to America–but only if they are white.
But are they really trespassers if they are entering “the People’s House?
Perhaps there is a reason that US leaders needed to be so separated from “the people,” much like the Green Zone in Baghdad.

L Walker
L Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I don’t believe the drug overdose death.

L Walker
L Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  L Walker

I don’t believe that’s what she died from.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.
Thomas Sowell

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Thomas always gets it right whatever the subject.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

‘There are no solutions, only tradeoffs’, as Sowell said.

Dr McCullough, Dr Malone, and Professor Mattias Desmet are filling the internet lately, every day new videos, every day they are removed from Youtube and Twitter, Google links vanish, and all of them are canceled from Twitter.

McCullough, the most papers published in Medical research by any living doctor, a research Md, Malone, the founder of mRNA vaccines (he holds the pattent), Desmet, the expert on Mass Formation (psychosis), all are now the global leaders in exposing the Covid response is to bring about some very scary future, and is NOT about health. Vaccine is NOT about health, in fact that 85% of covid deaths were preventable by early treatment, but that was forbidden as it would cause Vaccine hesitancy.

here is a typical video – new ones appear every day – and are removed mostly shortly after. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RX–S5Swg0

Dr Bret Weinstein interviewed all three, and his stature is such they remain – as well as he was careful in the wording…

McCullough says, and can demonstrate, that vaccines have killed more than actual covid has. Malone says the vaccine is criminal to give to children. Try watching these guys. Then try Peter Schiff, or George Gammon to see the destruction of the Global Economy by the money created for this Plandemic – and how is is bankrupting the world, the savers, and almost all ended up in the hands of the super wealthy.

Search these guys – the covid response is the greatest manipulation done to the world since WWII. I suspect the security apparatus will turn on antivax next, as this is the pustch to move money and power to the elites. This is the Tuskagee CDC all over again, but for a much worse purpose.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

This.

threat inflation…is used by governments and private corporations alike to award themselves more unaccountable power. To work, it relies on the public being cowed by the expertise and authority of institutions that operate in secret.

A completely accurate description of how climate alarmism works. It sets out to create bedwetters who then evangelise the same rubbish.

J S
J S
2 years ago

A more pointed analogy to the way Biden et al. are exploiting Jan. 6 would be the Reichstag Fire.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  J S

Horrible to contemplate how close this notion is to truth.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  J S

In a twisted analogy this ‘Great Selfie Riot’ was never insurrection, but the fallowing political witch hunt, show trials, propaganda Blitz, are similar to the beer hall Putch on the side of the Democrats, using this perceived injury to platform their agenda to cement their control. And I like your analogy to the Reichstag fire false flag too –

I watched ‘Peak Prosperity’ a month ago on youtube ( which was allied with ‘Wealthion’ once, both worth watching, Wealthion is very good… when ‘Mattias Desmet on Our Grave Situation’ gave his talk on ‘Mass Formation’ (psychosis) and the Germany comparison always comes up – here it is, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRo-ieBEw-8
Anyone thinking covid in the West 2020 and Wiemar is in for easy companions – which is reasonable as Wiemar gave us Postmodernism and Neo-Marxism via the Frankfurt School….

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

That video was definitely not uplifting! Too many correlations to what’s happening.

Dick Illyes
Dick Illyes
2 years ago

Dilbert creator Scott Adams latest idea is probably his best contribution to civilization if it catches on.
While individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty, government must be considered guilty until proven innocent. It is upon them to provide the information establishing their innocence. 
Government guilty until proven innocent is an idea whose time has come, it is the only solution.

N T
N T
2 years ago

Man, I love Herd.
It’s so rare to get pieces that make you think, and aren’t all leaning in the same direction.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  N T

‘Man, I love Herd.’

Herd?

I suppose it is actually – just a slightly unruly herd, may even have a few goats mixed in, but you are right, sheep mostly, especially the writers, but still – – better than most of the MSM. Like this article was pretty good….

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
2 years ago

This is the most thoughtful important article I read on unHerd or anywhere else. Great journalists are able to articulate what we all know, or should have known, in a way that creates a synthesis without sacrificing the complexity of the subject.
And we have to understand that the tactic of inflating the risk has no ethical limits. If the propaganda campaign is ineffective, the government will resort to more “effective measures”, the recent example is the shortage of monoclonal antibodies created by Biden administration.
Biden administration simply stopped buying and distributing monoclonal antibodies. 
That created the shortage of primary medication used in the hospitals to treat the COVID patients. Now the governments are managing this scarcity by prioritizing treatment based on race, white people are deprioritized. That is the NY state public health policy.
“The state (NY) Department of Health, meanwhile, announced that scarce monoclonal antibody treatments will be allocated to patients based on how many risk factors they have, which include age, vaccine status, medical conditions and — you got it — “nonwhite race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.”  
Of course race is only a tool here. Biden admin does give rats ass about non-whites, or whites or whoever. They are just used as pawns to increase polarization in the society. 
 There was no shortage of monoclonal antibodies until the Biden admin deliberately created it. And people rightly believed that it was an important part of effective cure against COVID. 
So the government had to resort to more direct measures. Increased number of deaths will be very convincing as an argument for mandatory vaccination. 

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrzej Wasniewski
Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

Loved this article, true to UnHerd form. This is the definitive (classically) liberal analysis of the January 6 riot out of the ones that I’ve come across.
As the article points out, the problem isn’t so much this or that policy decision. It’s the culture of secrecy. It’s illiberal and it kills democracy. I fear there’s a significant of risk of suspension of democracy, or some similar event that’ll effectively amount to that result in the coming future in US which will be a major blow to all other democracies of the world.

Last edited 2 years ago by Emre Emre
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

The modern USA Security Complex under Attorney General Merrick Garland is moving in the direction of those under the horrific Totalitarian states of the past and present.

Under the Shah you had SAVAK to keep terror and imprison for wrong thought – then under the Ayatollah you had the ‘Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue Police’ fill the similar roll. This is what the Left Wants, like on Social Media – be correct, or be gone.

Biden said the war against Islamists was over, and now the Vast Security Apparatus will be turned onto the American citizens – very scary indeed!

Lena Bloch
Lena Bloch
2 years ago

The permanent State Of Exception requires secrecy and the “elites” that “govern the choices” of the citizenry that is believed to be stupid and irrational, Bernays-style. American people accept that they are ignorant and dark-minded, in need to guided by “experts”. I was told a few years ago that without governmental secrecy and clandestine activity, the national security will be compromised and the country put under existential threat. Julian Assange is being tortured to death not because he exposed something, but because of his moral attitude that secrecy is criminal. He is dangerous in that he can convince citizens that they need transparency to achieve democracy. Bernays’ directives are the opposite: for true democracy, there must be elites who know what to do and never disclose it to public which must be kept stupid and ignorant to be obedient.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Lena Bloch
Lena Bloch
Lena Bloch
2 years ago

Nope, no Wiki is good enough for who this monster was.
Before WWI, one of America’s leading propagandists for government was Edward Bernays. Bernays openly sought to use social psychology, political persuasion and advertising to construct “necessary illusions” which were fed to the masses as “reality.” Bernays described it as “engineering of consent.” The objective for Bernays was to show government, government schools and government-regulated media outlets how to gain control.
Edward Bernays’ impact was similar to (and built upon) that of America’s most notorious and lasting propagandists for “Military Socialism” and “National Socialism”: Edward Bellamy and Francis Bellamy (author of the “Pledge of Allegiance” in 1892). The early “Pledge of Allegiance” produced America’s stiff-arm salute and robotic chanting to flags in government’s schools, where segregation was imposed by law, and racism was taught as official policy.
Bellamy’s pledge was the origin of the stiff-arm salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party, as shown in the work of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry (author of “Pledge of Allegiance Secrets”).
By 1915, National Socialism in the USA had inspired propagandistic presentations of the American flag posed favorably with a swastika and the phrase “May our glorious flag and this lucky star guide you and keep you wherever you are.”
Another piece of propaganda from the USA bears a swastika and the wording: “Lucky Star – May this emblem protect you well from every bullet, every shell.”
In 1917, Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman helped Woodrow Wilson break his campaign promises and con Americans into WWI. They helped Wilson foment anti-German hate during WWI. Of course, WWI led to WWII and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
Bernays also created the patriotic war slogan “Make the World Safe for Democracy” -a patriotic mantra that many stupid Americans embraced just as they had earlier embraced Bellamy’s “Pledge of Allegiance,” America’s straight-arm gesture, and mechanical chanting to flags in mass and on cue.
Bernays’ books “Crystallizing Public Opinion” (1923) and “Propaganda” (1928) impressed Josef Goebbels, the propaganda minister for the National Socialist German Workers Party. Goebbels relied heavily upon them when Germany mimicked American behavior.
In 1933, Bernays met Karl von Weigand who informed Bernays that Goebbels was using Bernays’ work for Goebbels’ propaganda campaigns fomenting hate, robotic chanting, stiff-arm salutes, the use of government schools, children, and more.
“If I approach the masses with reasoned arguments, they will notunderstand me,” Hitler noted in Mein Kampf, “In the mass meeting, their reasoning power is paralysed. What I say is like an order given under hypnosis.”

Last edited 2 years ago by Lena Bloch
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Lena Bloch

Such an evil person whom I hadn’t even heard of before. Thank you for writing.

Julie Blinde
Julie Blinde
2 years ago

What does it say about US security that a few loonies managed to saunter into The Capitol (whatever that is) ?
Did they think the nice-looking chap with horns might sexually assault them ? Or were they hoping he would ?
I see, so now Putin and Xi must be afraid [NOT]

Last edited 2 years ago by Julie Blinde
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

Thanks for a fair viewpoint in this article. Much, much more has yet to be revealed once the event loses it’s political leverage. I expect books will be written for several years as the truth emerges over time. While some things remain locked away in the archives (50 years for JFK), because of the prosecutions we will learn a lot more about that day; truth has a ability to appear.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

50 years Pfizer has the legal right to lock away their vax data too – They got blanket immunity, and did not even have to show what it was they had made, and how the testing went.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 years ago

I wonder if I’m just getting old. Maybe, I see too much on the Internet.
I’ve never known a time quite like this. Since Brexit and Trump’s election, we seem to be in a world which is nothing like the one I see. Racial tension is on a knife edge, women are violently harassed most times they step out side, if the virus doesn’t get us, climate change will.

It never felt this bad even when the IRA were bombing or the Cold War was in the background. These things had little impact on daily life. Today, we’re fearful of the sack for saying the wrong thing, we’re terrified of a virus to the extent of forcing children to wear masks and be vaccinated against something that won’t harm them. We have to be zero carbon even if it will make no difference with China and India burning loads of coal.

Lena Bloch
Lena Bloch
2 years ago

Yes, it is a show and the reason why the “first-world” people believe this show is because with isolation and difficulty (unaffordable or prohibited) of travel they imagine the whole world to be just like their own. No relativization. This show will ruin the humanity. While there is “zero carbon” for common folk, the Dominant Military Complex is waging meaningless wars on civilians, polluting the Earth and poisoning people like nothing else, no “climate change” can damage Life as much as the military complex does. Yet, it must go on, no matter what, while the same military mafia proclaims “climate emergency” and “pandemic”.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

Those “extremists” in jail for their role in this infamous “attack on democracy” likened by Harris in her most outrageous hyperbole to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, are political prisoners.

Free the Capitol 31!

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

Thanks, Jacob, for your report. Here Stateside, we’ll keep an eye on the developments with your analysis in mind.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
2 years ago

Siegel is a reliable source and has written in years past, what is IMO, the best journalism on what is referred to in the US as the Alt Right. He has viewed that disparate movement as an exaggerated threat for a long time and for good reasons. Many are touched upon in this article. Brits may not know he is a former military intelligence officer who served in Iraq/Afghan. In effect, He is a credible observer. I hope the due process discovery in the Jan 6 trials gets to the truth of the ‘insurrection’ narrative sooner rather than later. It will not otherwise be disclosed by the federal government.

Last edited 2 years ago by rick stubbs
Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

Is it all a bit like the Keep Calm And Carry On signs that are posted around Walmington-On-Sea being painted over in the middle of the night by a Squealer-from-Animal Farm type to Stay Alert And Carry On Accordingly? Such that you then have the heroic Dad’s Army Home Guard outfit on permanent watch, up to high dough, on the look-out for any sign of Jerry? As a result of the subtle ramping up of the threat level that has the Scot, Fraser, pumping out “We’re doooommmed!” and Corporal Jones going into overdrive mimicking a bayonet charge while shouting “Up and at ‘em”? It is, isn’t it?
Nothing in the village would be constructively done with such an imposition of martial orders on routine life. And in America, with the country so polarised, don’t expect classic songs or books or movies to come out. They have not.

No cheer in Walmington-on-sea or in Washington D.C.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

Seven hours later and still no new comment after mine. Have I stunned the Americans into impotence by bringing up the old men of Dad’s Army?

William Clothier
William Clothier
2 years ago

Good article ! Keep it coming pls Unherd

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
2 years ago

Unfortunately this otherwise reasonable article promotes the lie that president Trump didn’t criticize the rioters on January 6.

Jesse Porter
Jesse Porter
2 years ago

Nonsense from first word to last. Spouting idiocy about the cold war and quoting Pat Moynihan, he totally distorts both the role of Communists and Anticommunists. Moynihan used his formidable skill as misdirector to coverup the role of American plutocrats in underwriting the growth of Communism in Russia as well as in Europe and America and elsewhere. At the same time he did his best to undermine any attempts to resist the take over. Moynihan and the plutocrats successfully implanted communist tactics throughout the education system as well as the Democrat Party and much of the Republican.
Examples of Marxist/Communist tactics are the constant stirring up conflict everywhere, destroying culture, attacking religion, infiltrating the entertainment industry and media and reducing news gathering and reporting to monoliths of fabrication. THE rule of secrecy is 1) hide you own agenda, and 2) to distort the doings and sayings of the opposition.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Interesting piece of science fiction, this. Unfortunately it is hard to apply to reality, since Mr Siegel and I do not live on the same planet. The first difference you note is that on his planet, having mobs invade the Capitol, is a normal everyday occurrence that no one needs to worry about.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

A bit of a departure from your usual reasonable position. He didn’t say or imply any such thing, but that the riot has been used to further deligitmise anyone voting for Trump and justify further repressive measures by state security institutions. He was careful as well to put this into a long historical context

The Reichstag arson did happen, but was then crucially used as the proximate excuse for Hitler’s 1933 Enabling Act. More recently there has been attempted military coup in Turkey, which Erdogan has used to massively increase his power.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Note title of article: America is Controlled by Secrecy

Last edited 2 years ago by Lloyd Byler
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I’m afraid Rasmus it is you who is living on an alternate planet. The best way to think about this, especially in terms of whether or not an insurrection took place, is to use a tiny bit of common sense. America is heavily armed. Indeed I believe there are more firearms than citizens! Had a mob really wanted to overthrow Congress they could easily have done so, just as the pitchfork carrying Parisians invaded and brought down the Bastille, or for that matter the East Berliners tore down the Berlin wall. But this didn’t happen on Jan 6, because nobody was armed and none of the protestors were violent. The only violence was committed by a capitol policeman who fatally shot a young woman veteran at point blank range and got away with it without even a reprimand. Further, video clearly shows that the protesters were led into the capitol by police, there was no confrontation within the capitol, damage inside the capitol was minimal at best and limited to literally a couple of broken windows, and from the videos it is quite clear that the capitol police and protestors were amiably chatting and laughing together (including Shaaman man in the well of the chamber). That’s not an insurrection.
Incidentally, the invasion of the capitol office building during the Kavanaugh hearings by angry mobs of female protestors accosting members of the judiciary committee never seems to raise an eyebrow.
Finally, it is worth noting that protestors entered the capitol a full 20 min before Trump even finished his speech, and that it’s a 20 min walk at least from where Trump was giving his speech to the capitol. (And I can fully vouch for the distances involved since I live in the DC area).
Now nobody should condone bad behavior, and no doubt the protest got roudy and out of hand, but to equate what happened to an insurrection just defies all the observed facts and more importantly all common sense.
Interestingly, a recent CBS poll confirms that 76% of the people surveyed agree with the perspective I’ve outlined and don’t buy into the Harris/Pelosi/Democratic party/Elites retelling of the events of Jan 6.
Finally, it is worth noting that had the courts actually done their job and allowed the various cases of fraud to brought and thoroughly examined, rather than simply dismissing them for lack of standing (on the basis that either the cases were brought too late or that the law courts would take too long), it is likely that the results of the election would have been accepted by many more US citizens. Because whether one likes it or not, the fact is that some mighty suspicious and iffy stuff went on with the election, not to mention Biden getting over 80 million votes, some twenty more I believe, than Obama got, without even campaigning and when he did campaign he could only draw a crowd of less than 20 people!

Last edited 2 years ago by Johann Strauss
Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Great mis-type there, btw! Shot at ‘point black range..’. You should license that to your nearest #BLM representative
.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Well, it was not an attempt to take power by force, granted, nor was it tightly organised. It was rather an attempt to intimidate congress into changing the election result. Personally I would find it a serious attempt on democracy to have a mob invade congress loudly demanding to change the winner of the election and boasting that they wanted to hang the vice president and shoot Nancy Pelosi though the head, but then I am not a US citizen. Maybe that kind of thing is considered normal over there. As for being unarmed and relatively low-key, that was probably part of the reason they were so successful. A heavily armed mob would surely have triggered in an armed response, and a horrified reaction from the citizenry.

As for the courts doing their job, I have had that discussion with Saul D. The courts taking on an investigation would have meant 1) admitting (without evidence) that there were serious grounds for doubting the validity of the official result, 2) keeping the election result in limbo maybe for months, 3) bypassing all the normal election procedures. And for what? Trump and his fans would have every reason to capitalize on the election being accepted as failed, refusing to believe anybody who did not give them what they wanted (as they had already refused to believe the republican election watchers who certified the results), insisting ever more loudly that Trump had really won, and trying to use the chaos as an excuse to disregard the election and keep Trump in power. If your reaction to losing the final is to demand an extraordinary replay to get a second chance, why would you abide by the result of the replay?

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Your perspective is really way off base, and I suspect largely influenced by confirmation bias, what you’ve read in the mainstream media, and not being familiar enough with the US.
So let me address all your points. (a) Actually not even that many entered the halls of Congress, and those that did were sure not shouting or doing any sort of intimidation – in fact they were far less intimidating than the large group of women who entered the senate offices and really did shout and try to intimidate the senators during the Kavanaugh hearings, by boxing them in elevators, etc… (b) A heavily armed mob would have triggered no armed response because the police would have been completely overwhelmed, not to say that many of the police were sympathetic to the protestors. In fact Pelosi et al. rejected an offer of by Trump to have National Guard present and a heavier police presence. One could argue that the true instigators were the FBI (who were embedded in the crowd and egged them on) and Pelosi et al. (c) It is far from easy to obtain evidence of sufficient election fraud in a really short period of time. To do that thorough audits would have had to be done and irregularities seriously investigated by the various secretaries of state in the various relevant states – this was not done and indeed those secretaries of state resisted all attempts at investigation, even well after Biden had taken office (see for example the audit in Maricopa county well after January where any attempt at obtaining records and carrying out a full investigation was fought tooth and nail). (d) All doubts about the election could have been avoided if the democrats, various governors and the courts in certain key states had not changed the rules illegally (i.e. against the constitution of these key states). That clearly poses a very big problem. A key to democracy is that the people should believe that the election was fair and not stolen – not that what counts is not who votes but who counts the votes. The US, unlike the UK, has a sordid history of electoral shenanigans (just check out Tamany Hall and the movie the Gangs of New York to get an idea of the sort of things that have happened in the US).
I’ve got no idea whether there were sufficient fraudulent votes to have changed the outcome in the few key relevant states, but the difference in votes in those states was rather small and could easily have been subject to manipulation and fraud. Now, the MSM will say that evidence of fraud in elections is far and few between, but how would anybody know if you don’t look for it and if one doesn’t carry out a proper audit. i.e. the authorities and MSM have taken the position of “see no evil, hear no evil” as that’s the position that suits them. It’s not a question of the counting but determining which ballots were valid (or more accurately ho many ballots were invalid). It doesn’t help when you have supposedly mailed-in ballots with no creases in them (which means they weren’t actually mailed), or ballots with absolutely identical voting marks in them as if they were photocopied (and probably were). It also doesn’t help when in Georgia observers were sent home on account of a water leak, and the moment the observers left the building, counting resumed by taking ballots from stacks of suitcases hidden under the voting desks. Incidentally, in that regard the betting sites were very interesting. At around 1 am, the betting sites were predicting a Trump win, and indeed Trump was leading, but then in the middle of the night, everything was reversed, and what’s worse was clearly associated with suspicious behavior. Now I will say that I never believed the betting sites and I figured that Biden would win as the margin was small. But in general the betting site predictions are usually quite reliable.
The bottom line is that if one wanted to steal the election, it’s the perfect crime to commit because none of the courts will touch it with a barge poll given the very limited time available. And once a new President is sworn in on Jan 20, or more accurately once the electoral college vote is taken in Congress on Jan 6, you effectively have a fait accompli and there’s no way anything can be reversed.
Incidentally, since you mentioned soccer, I can tell you that in American football, calls that are dubious are seriously examined by slow motion video and corrected if wrong in real time. I realize that doesn’t happen in soccer and bad calls are retained (e.g. a goal that never actually crossed the line, a foul in the penalty area that isn’t called; a non-foul in the penalty area that is called a penalty when it shouldn’t have been, etc…).

Last edited 2 years ago by Johann Strauss
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

You are surely right that it would take a long and detailed investigation to prove that there was fraud – and an even longer one to prove that there was not. But then, there is a set of procedures, deadlines etc. that establish how the count should be done, and validated, and when the process must be finished. This is part of the election rules. Once those procedures are done the election is over – it has to be, because otherwise you would have people appealing for years. And once the election is over it is time for both sides to accept the result, no matter how unhappy it makes them. The time to challenge ‘illegal’ voting procedures is in the courts before the election, and the time to set the counting procedures, audit rules etc. is long before even that. Once the match starts it is too late to change the rules.

This is why you cannot come in and demand a whole additional set of audits once the official deadlines are past, and why you cannot keep auditing once the result is final. The result is there, and it stands, and extra audits can no longer change it. They are just an excuse for the losers to refuse to accept the verdict.

Remember Bush v. Gore? That really was close enough that a recount could have flipped the result, and I remember finding it rather noticeable that a republican-majority supreme court should stop the recount before the final decision. But the final decision was theirs, once they made it. They decided Bush had won, they had a right to decide, and at that point the election was done and the complaints ended. Trump v. Biden was the same – the official machinery had followed the rules and given its verdict. Too bad that Trump was not willing to abide by it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You mention Bush vs Gore, but that again was an example of Democrat party shenanigans, inventing votes and only having recounts in those districts where they had something to gain. Had they done a recount of the entire state of Florida that would have been one thing, but they didn’t. Then they proceeded to divine the will of voters with hanging chads which was simply a way of generating votes for the democrat side. So putting an end to that by the SC was a spot on decision.
The situation regarding this past election is more complex. New rules were put into place in democrat run states design to favor the democrats – these were illegally done and appealed, but those appeals didn’t get anywhere on time. So the whole thing was a giant s***t show.
I might also remind you that the Democrats did not accept the results of the 2016 election and put into place what effectively amounted to an attempted coup by accusing Trump et al. of colluding with the Russians and therefore guilty of treason. This was all invented out of thin cloth but it was sufficient to hobble the Trump administration for 4 years. Likewise, the two attempts at impeachment were nothing more than another attempted set of coups, as there was no there there in either instance.
But the critical point is the following. Elections are not like a soccer match. The implications of the results are much broader and far more significant. A key point of maintaining democracy is that the “people” (and by that I mean all of the people) have to believe that the elections were carried out fairly. Otherwise we end up with a situation such as pertained in the Soviet Union where there were elections but what mattered was not how people voted but who counted the votes. i.e. the elections always produced the desired result.
Now, as far as I can tell, the elections in the UK are far more transparent and there are no shenanigans and never have been any. Hence, the “people” will always accept the results.

Last edited 2 years ago by Johann Strauss
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

It gets rather funny when you bring up “hanging chads, “what happened in Ohio?,” “Russian hacking,” “faithless electors,” and “not my president.” I guess questioning the results of presidential elections was not a threat to democracy then.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt Hindman
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

We are never going to agree. Democrats most certainly try to twist the game in their favour, but so do republicans. To match new election rules that favoured democrats (and tried to deal with the pandemic), there is the long republican effort effort to purge voter lists and make voting harder, that may help to prevent fraud, which may or may not be real, but that is known and guaranteed to depress the democratic vote and help republlicans. The two impeachment attempts had a lot of substance to start with, the Trump campaign did get a lot of covert help from (highly likely) Russian sources, and they did meet Russians and talk about what assistance they could get. In the end there was not enough there to get a result, but it all made a lot more sense than the Lewinsky case, or the birther movement. At least impeaching a president for treason is serious; impeaching him for an extra-marital b*****b is not.

But the basic point is that Trumps claim that he won is totally unsubstantiated. A Big Lie, basically. Republican feelings of being cheated do not merit throwing out the normal election procedures in favour of interminable audits, because those feelings were deliberately stoked, and gleefully embraced, by people who wanted to subvert the election result. Democracy means you follow the rules and abide by the result. The democrats have done that, in 2016 and in Bush v. Gore, kicking and screaming maybe, but they have done it. Trump has not.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The collapse of the Russian Collusion narrative that they made up, the legal weight they tried to give the narrative, IDs are needed for just about every facet of American life, showing identification is pretty standard for voting around the world, and the simple fact that democrats did not accept either of Bush’s wins and have been trying to impeach Trump before he ever even took office proves everything you have said false. At this point you are starting to like Rachel Maddow. I recommend reading something from an actual journalist worthy of the title.
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/master-list-of-official-russia-claims

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt Hindman
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Democrats accpted both Bush wins. They conceded they had lost – even if they may not have been happy about it. Trump refused to concede and told his followers the election had been stolen. Not the same thing.

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I am afraid, Mr Fogh, that I simply cannot agree with your statement that Republicans are trying to “make voting harder”. I live (like you, I think) in a very liberal Western European country. I am an immigrant and was only allowed to vote in national elections after I had become a citizen, for which I had to pass certain language & citizenship tests. When I vote now, I, and everyone else who votes, have to present a valid identification document. I simply cannot understand the argument in the US against the Republican attempt to introduce IDs for voting. In fact I would have thought that IDs were a requirement 100 years ago! Not having such a safeguard opens you up to election fraud! How else can you verify that someone is (a) entitled to vote and (b) only votes once?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Art C

IDs are still not required in the UK or Denmark. Neither country feels this is a problem. In fact I’d argue that the ID requirement is a lot more common in countries where having an ID is mandatory in the first place, as is not the case in the UK, Denmark, or the US. The requirement is not necessarily unreasonable, but it does – undoubtedly – make voting harder, and it does – undoubtedly – mostly hurt parties whose voters are more likely to be poor, badly integrated in society, or moving about a lot (like students). I do not claim to have had a balanced input on this, but the MSM/Democrat impression is that voter fraud is non-problem – nobody has presented any convincing evidence that voters without IDs make any substantial difference to election results. That makes it look very suspicious that republicans are so eager to introduce measures that are known to favour them electorally but have not been shown to be in any way necessary.

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You really are on a different planet! No-where does Mr Siegel imply anything of the sort. More importantly, no-one is denying that the capital was swamped by protesters on Jan 6. How could one? Several thousand people were present; and thanks to modern technology we saw it happen with our own eyes. In the context of Mr Siegel’s article, the point is how, and why, did the Jan 6 disturbances occur and whose interests did they serve. There are certainly enough discrepancies requiring explanation. Here’s a single example from the media: why did the bulk of the mass media look the other way when a supposedly reputable news outlet like the New York Times headlined an article about officer Sicknick being bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher? This was a patent lie from day one. All you had to do was ask his family! Instead, multiple other mainstream media outlets subsequently repeated this lie. Regarding the post-disturbance investigation, why do the authorities not just come out & tell the public why certain apparently extremely active protesters are not being prosecuted while others have been detained for almost a year without trial? Why censor social media posts which point this out? Or pull videos from YouTube which show protesters walking peacefully through the building reminding others to “stay inside the ropes”?
We have being told this was a “violent insurrection”. It is possible that this is correct. But by no means certain. Right now, as far as we know, no guns or knives were found on protesters and not a single employee or security officer died on Jan 6 as a result of the protesters’ actions. A commenter above, Mr Hindman, details the 5 deaths which occurred as well as the curious fact that after a year not a single “insurrectionist” has been charged. Thanks to modern technology (again) we are aware of these discrepancies. But they raise disturbing, vexing and yet perfectly valid questions. The authorities and the mass media could set our minds at rest in a flash by simply telling the truth. It’s been a year!
One last point: when categorising fiction it’s always best to pay attention to facts. On this one you might have done better by calling it a mystery.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It was certainly not a normal event nor has there been any such claim. The FBI can find no organized plotters. There were clearly instigators who encouraged people to enter the building, Ray Epps was one who has not been charged and it perhaps is a secret we are not to know. Along the same line are the people with bullhorns urging the crowd to act; again their names are unknown despite considerable interest. The crowd was milling about with some minor skirmishes before the main body arrived. The main body was moving past barriers with warning signage that had been removed by more unnamed people before the main body arrived. At some point tear gas, flash bangs were deployed into the crowd who were just being noisy. Those tactics were ordered by someone, who and why we would like to know. At that point the crowd became a mob which turned into a riot. Grandmothers walking in with barriers removed and doors opened and they are being charged with illegal entry. The rioters walked through statuary hall respecting the rope lines. Meanwhile in other parts violence erupted. Not at all a normal event but not at all an insurrection either.
For those not coerced into taking a plea, discovery should be interesting showing their actions as they await trial nearly three years after the event. The evidence beyond that of some reporters and citizen recorders remains for the public to see; still secret at this point. The full story has yet to be told and won’t be told until it has no further political use. It’s all secret, you see. Nothing about the day was at all ordinary including the stunning lack of security despite warnings.

Alan B
Alan B
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

In fact you live on the same planet. That the insurrection signifies a crisis is not in question. You disagree about what led to this event and what it portends. Clearly you belong to the slice of the electorate which is swayed by this cloak-and-dagger stuff. Well fine; believe whatever lets you sleep at night. But do understand that such disagreements are typical among earthlings, who used to address them through something called “politics”.

Art C
Art C
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan B

Well I live on the same planet. Looks like I missed a lot of stuff!. So it was an insurrection. Thanks for that information. And thank heavens, then, that that violent, dangerous mob with those old grannies in tow didn’t capture the radio station, let alone the air force bases and the nuclear codes! Incredibly lucky, too, that there were no bodies on the government side (perhaps you haven’t heard, but the only possible casualty in this area, officer Sicknick, was actually not beaten to death with a fire extinguisher by the mob as was widely reported; he died of a stroke a day or 2 later and ironically he turned out to be a Trump supporter too). It’s also unfortunate that no weapons were found, the conspiracy has not been uncovered, and all those violent videos from the capitol have gone missing (although a lot of related non-violent videos have been censored online). These are some of the reasons I probably missed the “insurrection” myself. All I heard away from the madding crowd was some level old heads describing the capitol disturbances as an unruly protest egged on by a few hothead thugs. And this corresponded with what I saw with my own eyes.
But apparently I am in “disagreement” with wiser folks who are up to speed on the whole crisis. That’s politics. But I am a reasonable person and it would be ridiculously easy to bring people like me on side. For starters just answer the simplest of all questions: which is why are so many people clearly involved in the protests (yes, Ray Epps et al) have simply been ignored by law enforcement? And why no-one has actually been charged with insurrection or terrorism? Otherwise I shall go away from here feeling my intelligence is being insulted every time I hear the word “insurrection”.