Pat Buchanan: Who Really Imperils the Republic?

Pat Buchanan writes about the January Capitol protests in Who Really Imperils the Republic?

In the “domestic terrorism” at the Capitol, no protester set off a bomb, toppled a statue, or fired a weapon. Of the four who died that day, all were protesters. Ashli Babbitt, 35, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop as she tried to force her way into the Senate chamber. A rioter and law-breaker, yes, but a terrorist who deserved to die?

“That attack, that siege” of the Capitol, FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress, “was criminal behavior, plain and simple, and it was behavior we at the FBI view as domestic terrorism.”

“Domestic terrorism,” said Wray, echoing his boss.

For what had been President-elect Joe Biden’s reaction to the Capitol riot?

“Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple,” said Biden.

Yet, the phrase domestic terrorism conjures up events from our past far graver than a four-hours occupation of the Capitol. Nat Turner’s rebellion. John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry. Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma City.

The near assassination of Harry Truman at Blair House by Puerto Rican nationalists, Nov.1, 1950. The shooting and wounding of five congressmen from the House gallery on March 1, 1954.

The 1974 bombing of New York’s Fraunces Tavern — where Gen. George Washington said farewell to his officers — also the work of Puerto Ricans demanding independence. Four died there and 50 were injured.

Yet, in the “domestic terrorism” at the Capitol, no protester set off a bomb, toppled a statue, or fired a weapon. Of the four who died that day, all were protesters. Ashli Babbitt, 35, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop as she tried to force her way into the Senate chamber.

A rioter and law-breaker, yes, but a terrorist who deserved to die?

Benjamin Phillips, 50, died of a stroke; Kevin Greeson, 55, of a heart attack. Rosanne Boyland, 34, was apparently crushed in the melee.

Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died of a stroke the next day. Media reports that he had been hit with a fire extinguisher proved false. In the two months since Jan. 6, no one has been charged in his death.

Was Wray’s FBI alerted in advance of this impending act of domestic terrorism? Apparently, it was.

Writes The Washington Post: “A… report, prepared by the FBI’s Norfolk field office a day before the riot, … warned of specific appeals for violence, including a call for ‘war’ at the Capitol.”

The report quoted a source urging Donald Trump supporters to go to D.C. “ready to fight.”

“Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent, stop calling this a march or rally or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

What did Wray do with this hair-raising warning? Did he call the D.C. police or Speaker Nancy Pelosi to alert her to what might be coming her way?

No. Wray never saw the Norfolk report. It was not passed up the chain of command to his office until after the riot. It was sent by email to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the D.C. and Capitol Police, posted on a website and mentioned in a command center briefing in D.C.

Nonchalance seems to have been the FBI’s order of the day.

As acting D.C. police chief Robert J. Contee III told Congress, “I would certainly think that something as violent as an insurrection would warrant a phone call.”

One would think so. Explanations are needed.

How can Wray call a breach of the Capitol by a Trump crowd, an “act of domestic terrorism,” when his own subordinates did not regard it as sufficiently serious enough to give him a heads-up?

And is it not hyperbole to use terms like “domestic terrorism,” “armed insurrection,” “coup d’etat,” and “treason” to describe protesters pushing through police lines into the Capitol to disrupt a proceeding?

What is going on here?

The left will not let this go. It is exaggerating and exploiting what happened at the Capitol to paint the right as an ominous threat to American democracy — and itself as the savior of the republic. It seeks to demonize the populist right, cancel its voice, expel it from the public square and redefine it as a conspiracy against America, calling forth new government authority and power to monitor, expose and destroy it.

If assaulting cops and besieging public buildings amounts to domestic terrorism, the rioting, looting, arson and assaults on cops we saw all last summer in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and Louisville from antifa and Black Lives Matter protestors would more than qualify.

Today, Capitol Hill is encircled with high fencing topped by razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops. It looks like the Green Zone in Baghdad. Apparently, the physical barriers and troops are there to protect against attacks by QAnon and white supremacists.

Minneapolis is taking similar precautions to protect the courthouse where ex-cop Derek Chauvin is to be tried for second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

My guess, Minneapolis, not Capitol Hill, is where the action will be this spring, and it will not be Proud Boys keeping the cops busy, but folks who, if they did vote in 2020, voted Democratic.

Crimethinc: Tools and Tactics in the Portland Protests

Ready or not—the war is on.

This article at Crimethinc brings together a lot of other articles and social media thread to show the many tactics used by rioters in Portland, from using shields and umbrellas to lasers, fires, and digital security – Tools and Tactics in the Portland Protests.

Across over two months of protests, demonstrators in Portland have experimented with a variety of tactics and strategies. The clashes in Portland drew international attention starting in mid-June, when footage spread of federal agents in unmarked cars snatching demonstrators off the sidewalks and Donald Trump announced that federal agents would be using this model to intervene in other cities around the United States. After Trump’s announcement, the demonstrations in Portland grew exponentially, drawing thousands each night, until the governor of Oregon declared that federal agents would be withdrawn from the streets. In the following overview, participants in the Portland demonstrations describe some of the tools and tactics they have seen employed there.

Many of these tools work best in combination with each other. As usual, diversity of tactics is key—not just tolerance for different approaches, but thinking about how to combine all of them into a symbiotic whole. Soon, we aim to follow up this cursory review with a more thorough accounting of the full range of street tactics and equipment relevant to today’s demonstrators.

The Portland protests have also produced some new terminology, such as the expression “swoop,” which describes what happens when a reformist with a megaphone makes a power play to hijack a gathering organized by people who want to see the police abolished. As demonstrators expand their notions of what tactics are appropriate in this swiftly polarizing society, we hope they will also expand their visions of what is worth fighting for, adopting horizontal models of organization and learning how to identify and resist power plays.

Table of Contents

Digital Security
Masking and Proper Attire
Riot Ribs, Food Carts, Infrastructure
Leaf Blowers
Umbrellas
Shields
Sports Equipment
Balloons and Bubbles
Lasers
Graffiti
Paint Bombs
Fireworks
Fire
Fence Toppling
De-Arresting
Crowd Movement
Disabling Cameras, Breaking Windows
Legal Support, Jail Support


Digital Security

This thread spells out how to protect your privacy via proper phone safety at demonstrations—before, during, and after the protest. You can find a lot of important information about general security in protest situations here.


Masking and Proper Attire

Wearing a mask is responsible from a medical perspective—in the era of the pandemic—but also for security reasons, to protect your privacy. Nowadays you don’t just have to worry about the police filming and arresting you, but also about far-right internet trolls trying to identify you from video footage.

If demonstrators are dressed appropriately in black bloc fashion, it should be difficult to make out identifying particulars.

Pay attention to detail. Cover your tattoos and other unique traits. Cover your whole face, not just your mouth. There should be no visible logos on your clothes, shoes, or backpack. Read this for more details.


Riot Ribs, Food Carts, Infrastructure

It is really good for morale to have a group of people providing food and other needed resources. Portland protesters have been deeply thankful that Riot Ribs have come out to feed everyone free food. This enables people to stay longer and helps them to feel that it is worth the effort and risk to support the movement that nourishes them.

You can read about Riot Ribs here.

Feds and cops know how important these mutual aid efforts are and intentionally target them in hopes of breaking the will of the demonstrators:

Here you can “before” and “after” shots of the infrastructure one night that federal mercenaries attacked it:

Unfortunately, uniformed officers are not the only danger threatening community infrastructure. In late July, Riot Ribs experienced a coup involving physical violence and intimidation. Wherever money is involved in activism, there is great risk of infighting unless the goals, structures, and expectations have been set very precisely in advance. The original Riot Ribs folks have left town, apparently taking the concept of Riot Ribs on the road to other cities as Revolution Ribs. Someone should write in detail about the rise, fall, and rebirth of Riot Ribs…(continues)

Click here to read the entire story at Crimethinc.