The recent half-assed rebellion


A revolution can be a good thing — after all, this country was founded by one. When that collection of rascals signed the Declaration of Independence, they knew that putting their name on that piece of paper was a deep commitment. They were either going to go through with their grand plan, or it was going to be a damning piece of evidence when King George III put them on trial, and the penalty otherwise was going to be hanging, prison, or at the very least, complete financial ruin. As Ben Franklin said, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” They knew what they were doing, and the stakes were extremely high.

This was not the case in yesterday’s insurrection. Instead we had a mob of Confederate LARPers with no guiding ideology other than QAnon insanity and a philosophy of libertarian selfishness, with no plan for what they wanted to achieve other than to keep a demagogue in office, a demagogue who also happened to be a demonstrably incompetent buffoon who waddled through the last four years doing nothing but wrecking government while enriching himself and his cronies. It was embarrassing. They had no idea what they would do if they “won”, and didn’t even have a clear idea of what “winning” would be. They were just an instance of bumbling chaos.

But like those founding revolutionaries of the US, we know some people who eagerly signed on to that chaos. We know many people who were part of the chickenshit insurrection. Like Donald Trump.

For hours, Trump made little effort to quell the violence he had helped instigate, finally sharing a video at 4:17 p.m. in which he told people to “go home” — while continuing to promote the falsehood that he had won the election.

“We love you,” he told them. “You’re very special.”

And Ted Cruz. And Josh Hawley, who saluted the rioters. And Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, who threatened to challenge the election results. And this man.

And every MAGA-hat wearing, Q-slogan-chanting, gun-toting asshole who thought storming the capitol was a fun way to spend the day. They all signed their name to a commitment to criminal insurrection, without thinking it through. When they yell, “GIVE ME LIBERTY or give me death,” they kind of overlooked the second half of the phrase, which is a conscious expression of their awareness of the moral cost of the steps they have taken.

But no, they all think they can materially aid an insurrection, then the day after they’d just go back to their offices in congress, or back home to their gun clubs and bars, whether they won or lost. This was a weightless rebellion. A joke. A photo op for their Facebook accounts. Or, for the politicians, an opportunity to pander to the mouth-breathing yokels in their home districts, assuming they can get away with any criminal act as long as they’ve got enough idiot constituents to support it.

As Marcus points out, though, there are straightforward legal codes that spell out that conspiracy, sedition, and insurrection are illegal acts with severe penalties.

18 U.S.C. § 2384 – U.S. Code – Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 2384. Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

§2383. Rebellion or insurrection

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

They want to challenge our constitutional government? Fine. But be aware that if they win, there are tremendous obligations to build a new government; if they lose, there is a tremendous personal cost to the rebellion. They gambled. They lost. It’s time to pay the price.

Trump needs to be arrested and tried immediately. His Republican co-conspirators need to lose their seats in the Senate. They all need to spend some time in prison, and never be allowed to run for office ever again.

It’s really that simple. If the Democrats won’t grow a spine and enforce the law, then be prepared for more half-assed rebellions by dumbass conspiracy theorists for year after year.

Comments

  1. says

    There are unfortunately more than a few examples of countries in history that decided after something similar to this to just go on as before and bother to punish those involved (or punish them so lightly that it amounts to a slap on the wrist) and change nothing. That did not end well.

  2. says

    The United States has a tranche of anti-terrorism laws and a place to lock up the terrorists where they can do no harm. Use the laws and send these terrorists to Guantanamo.

  3. hemidactylus says

    It may have been a critter speech on the floor last night but I recall someone bringing up the peaceful transition between Adams and Jefferson being a surprise to world leaders at the time.

    Need I remind everyone that Jefferson was assumed to be in legion with the vast Illuminati conspiracy that fomented the French Revolution? Just like apple pie and baseball, conspiracy theories are an American tradition. Oddly the Illuminati one still has legs (now clawed and scaly). Frickin’ Bavarian freethinkers still haunting our looniest discourse.

  4. davidc1 says

    As rebellions go ,it is up there with adolfs so called Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 .For the next 16 years ,and for a few years while at war they used to mark it by recreating the walk from the beer hall to the Feldherrnhalle ,complete with blood flags .
    They managed to turn the whole sad affair into something that it wasn’t .
    Don’t know how these amurican patriots ,haha will ,spin this .

  5. robro says

    I saw some of Trump’s speech that set off the riot. He said he would walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with them and take back the country with them. Of course, he was no where in sight once his performance was over. Perhaps his bone spurs were acting up. You would think the yokels who invaded the capitol building would realize they had been suckered, but once a fool always a fool.

  6. Allison says

    Can we please not use the “American Revolution” as an example of a revolution?

    The “American Revolution” was hardly a revolution in any reasonable interpretation of the word. There was no overturning of existing power structures — in fact, the “revolution” was negotiated and planned by the existing governments in the Colonies. If anything, it was a confirmation of the existing structures and a defense of the de facto independence from Britain that they’d enjoyed up to that time, so that the elites that had been running things all along could continue doing so.

    It was not a revolution, but a secession, much like the Confederacy.

  7. mnb0 says

    “no plan for what they wanted to achieve other than to keep a demagogue in office”
    So they not only knew exactly what they wanted, they were also focused.
    The best plans always are simple like this one. The next time they might succeed, while the American pseudo-progressives have nothing but displaying their superiority and backing presidential candidates who are just part of the underlying problem.
    Seems to me that those nazis – or rather the leaders behind them – thought this much better through than for instance PZ.

    “there are tremendous obligations to build a new government”
    That didn’t exactly stop Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.

    “It’s time to pay the price.”
    And who’s going to take in that price? PZ? All those planless pseudo-progressives who voted a conservative into the White House who is, if anything, even a greater threat to the rest of the world? Oh wait, my bad – for those pseudo-progressives it’s America first too.
    What a mess. The sad fact is that there is not even a beginning of a plan for structural change. The good news is that there is still some time – Hitler’s first coup d’etat – the Bierkellerputsch of 1923 – was a joke too. Start realizing that supporting conservatives like the warmonger JoeB only makes things worse and there still is a good chance.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Biden may be a useful idiot for the neoliberals in Wall Street, but at least he is adressing climate change. Remember, if the biosphere is destroyed, political ideologies become irrelevant.
    Biden et al will try to make the tiniest changes possible but the appalling failures of the system have been exposed. The old guard is old and must retire soon, the new have a better starting point than, say, 2008 and during the conservative Obama administration.

  9. Stuart Smith says

    “If the Democrats won’t grow a spine and enforce the law, then be prepared for more half-assed rebellions by dumbass conspiracy theorists for year after year.”

    I think you typoed there, should have been “The Democrats won’t grow a spine and enforce the law, so be prepared for more half-assed rebellions by dumbass conspiracy theorists for year after year.”

  10. Artor says

    We should also include among the conspirators people like that cop in the photo, calmly guarding a blank wall while an enemy of the US parades in front of him, in the building he is supposed to be guarding. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment seems clearly appropriate right now. Every Congress man and woman who supported this insurrection should be ejected from office, as they are clearly unqualified to represent Americans.

  11. brightmoon says

    Yes! Trump had his Instagram and Facebook accounts shut down until after he leaves office. Twitter has shut him down temporarily. ( I hope they decide to shut him down permanently) . Even Barr and Pence decided that saving their own asses is better than continuing to support a crazy . I hope trump gets charged with treason or sedition or something. Twenty years in jail sounds ok

  12. garnetstar says

    I have to say, it looked to me that at least one person saw this as a photo-op or a fun outing or a LARP. And that was the woman who was shot.

    Not that I excuse the cop who shot her–a murder charge against him might well stand up in court. But, the police killing people is, sadly, so usual (it was only different because she was white) that it didn’t strike me much as I watched the video of the shooting.

    What suprised me was that the woman didn’t seem to know, or to take seriously, that there was any danger. She seemed to just be, well, having fun. I’ll tell you, if I saw two cops standing there, their bodies braced, their guns drawn and aimed, their arms holding the guns stretched out with guns pointed in my direction, I would certainly know that they meant business, and might do something fatal.

    I guess that, in nearly all of the other videos I’ve seen of police killing people, the victims were POC, and they knew for sure that the police are dangers to their lives.

  13. logicalcat says

    @7

    Ah the ole biden is a warmonger lie that the purity left love to use. Hes not. We know that hes not but hey post your evidence. One of you fools backing up your claims with facts would be a first.

    Nearly immediately after “shock and awe” Biden became an outspoken critic of the war. He approved it after being dupped by Bush into thinking this was an empty threat as a game of political leverage ope ing the doors to more Iraq investigation. But to call that warmongering then I guess Sanders is also a warmonger since he signed that law that allows the presodemt to go to war without congress approv which lead to the Iraq war anyways.

  14. logicalcat says

    @12

    One of the protestors actually said in an article “they are shooting at us. They are supposed to only shoot BLM”.

    A lot of them were genuinely surprised to see the cops against them calling them traitors and such. They not that wrong tho because if the crowd were BLM there would way more ofna show of force thats for sure.

  15. says

    @mnb0

    ““there are tremendous obligations to build a new government”
    That didn’t exactly stop Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.”

    They had ideas and balls.

    Trump has neither.

  16. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Not that I excuse the cop who shot her–a murder charge against him might well stand up in court.

    This was an armed coup attempt. A clown-car version, but it’s still a genuine attempt at an armed coup. They are protecting the congress during confirmation of who is the next president, and they are attacking the congress to change that outcome. That’s an armed coup.

    In almost all cases I’ll be the first to ask “was there some other way besides shooting the suspect, like letting them go and picking them up later?”, but this is a rare exception. This is not murder. This is on the complete other side of the spectrum from murder. This is so far on the other side that the constitution allows for suspending habeus corpus for Christ’s sake.

  17. garnetstar says

    @14, I think that these people are showing that they think that Black people deserve to be killed. And, it’s kind of sad to me that they were so confident in their invulnerability that it did lead to a woman’s death.

    @17, yeah, I know, this is different than the usual police killing of unarmed people who are not currently threatening the police’s lives. This might be justified. It’s that I’ve just seen police get away with murder so often, I just cynically expect these exceptional cases to be the same.

    In other news, the stock market, reacting to violent insurrection and attacks on the government, today reached historic, never-before-seen, highs. Because capitalism, I guess. Who cares what people and the government get up to, big rich companies are the real rulers and no one attacked or threatened them.

  18. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    @17, yeah, I know, this is different than the usual police killing of unarmed people who are not currently threatening the police’s lives. This might be justified. It’s that I’ve just seen police get away with murder so often, I just cynically expect these exceptional cases to be the same.

    No. You misunderstand me. It’s not because they’re threatening police lives. It’s because they’re threatening the lives of all of the congress people, in the congress, in session, and threatening to overthrow the congress. That’s why it’s insurrection, sedition, perhaps US constitution defined treason. I have absolutely no sympathy because I sometimes imagine part of “what if they succeeded?”.

    Against people trying to overthrow the government and install a dictator, the response was incredibly timid. It’s one of those rare times that I think a lot more shots should have been fired. I forgot where I read it, but someone made the comment that a few machine gun nests in proper positions probably could have held them off, and I doubt too many of these idiots would have thrown themselves into that meat grinder after seeing the first few walk in and see what a real proper heavy machine gun like a M2 does to a human body.

    Again, for all these police knew, it was a hair’s breadth between the country as we knew it, and actual Trump dictator for life. In that context, all of the insurrectionists have forfeited whatever rights that they might have had as regular persons against police, and instead they became enemy combatants on an active field of war.

  19. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    I forgot where I read it, but someone made the comment that a few machine gun nests in proper positions probably could have held them off, and I doubt too many of these idiots would have thrown themselves into that meat grinder after seeing the first few walk in and see what a real proper heavy machine gun like a M2 does to a human body.

    You seriously think machine-gunning down the mob was the proper thing to do?

    I mean, sure… after the first swathes were mowed down, their bodies ripped asunder by the real proper heavy machine gun, it is very probable the rest would have probably desisted.

    (But: Dulce et decorum est pro Trumpia mori.)

  20. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    You seriously think machine-gunning down the mob was the proper thing to do?

    A mob that was plausibly trying to kill every congressperson with a “D” after their name, and possibly those “R”s that were not lawful enough to Trump. That mob. While they were in the middle of their coordinated attack on the country’s capital and congresspeople.

    This is how revolutions happen. This is how governments are overthrown and replaced. You do not play around with this.

    Yes. They should have had machine gun nests in the capital, and they should have killed anyone of the insurrections who entered the building with extreme prejudice.

  21. John Morales says

    I’m sure that would have been a most excellent outcome, with no real downside.

    (Sarcasm)

  22. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I don’t think you realize dangerous the situation is. Even after they were attacked personally by a crazy mob, 180 or something congresspeople still voted to overthrow the election and give it to Trump.

    I do not advocate for taking chances when we’re talking about the real immediate overthrow of the US government by fascists.

  23. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Seriously – imagine what happens if they succeeded with some of the bombs that they brought, and managed to kill most of the congress? What happens then? Seriously start to think about it. They’re playing at war and rebellion, and were way too damn close to succeeding. The congress people barely survived by some measures.

  24. Dunc says

    A revolution can be a good thing — after all, this country was founded by one.

    This line of argument would be more convincing if you picked an example that wasn’t an insane omnicidal kaikocracy so hell-bent on world domination that it would rather see the total extinction of all life on Earth than allow anybody anywhere to choose a different path…

  25. PaulBC says

    Instead we had a mob of Confederate LARPers with no guiding ideology other than QAnon insanity and a philosophy of libertarian selfishness…

    Well, they do have the guy with face paint, tattooed chest, and buffalo horns. OK, that’s not a guiding ideology, but try explaining that to them.

    I like the LARP comparison. I had thought something similar and was going to say “cosplay” but LARP is more accurate. If they had any meaningful aim, even something repugnant like delaying the congressional vote, they could have assembled in the Rotunda (for example) and “occupied” Congress. Instead they ran around like maniacs, each doing individual acts of mayhem, forcing the hand of police who might have otherwise been disposed to view it as a standoff.

    Needless to say, there is nothing they could have done to prevent Biden from being inaugurated, but they could have dominated news coverage for days instead of five hours or so.

    But they did not really have anything in mind than “Doing stuff like you do when you’re storming the Capitol.” I have no expertise, but I think even a competently managed LARP would have had more structure to it. It was more like the stereotypical teen house party without the keg.

  26. Stuart Smith says

    @13 Honestly, Bernie isn’t great on foreign policy. Still better than everyone else, but definitely not good. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a superstar chad, and I’m sure he’s way more left in his heart than he can show while getting stuff done in government, but he’s not immune to criticism. Nobody is. Considering people to be above criticism is how you end up a conservative.

    And “Biden has been anti-war ever since the last time his approval was needed for a war” is kind of damning with faint praise. That’s setting aside the ongoing drone-based warfare by the US. Has he committed to any anti-war positions? Is his cabinet free of defense industry lobbyists? You want people to believe he’s anti-war, that burden of proof is squarely on your shoulders.

  27. vucodlak says

    @ GerrardOfTitanServer, #21

    They should have had machine gun nests in the capital, and they should have killed anyone of the insurrections who entered the building with extreme prejudice.

    We don’t need machinegun nests in the Capitol Building, especially since quite a few of the fascist invaders were off-duty cops and military. Put machineguns in there, and they will fall into the wrong hands eventually.

    All that was needed yesterday were a few dozen hardcore antifascists with brass knuckles and clubs. If the complicit/incompetent Capitol Police are incapable of doing their jobs, there are more than enough people who understand the stakes here who’d happily have taken out the trash.

  28. wzrd1 says

    @2, Gary, GITMO isn’t and wasn’t a facility for terrorists, it was designated for terror suspects that were captured abroad to be indefinitely detained without trial. Due process, the conventional wisdumb of the powers that be being, outside the US, no rights and Constitution. The courts corrected such lawless lunacy and restored habeas corpus.
    Domestic terrorists go to any of a few supermax facilities and are literally, even less accessible than a GITMO prisoner is.

    @5, robro, yeah, Trump promised to walk to the hill with the crowd, once they began walking, he jumped into the souped up armored vehicle and went in the opposite direction. He ended up in the situation room, aka the White House bunker, to watch it go down with snacks, heat and comfort.
    BTW, CMPC was reporting tons of organizing chatter wit the violence inclined far right crowd. How interesting that activities reported on in the Presidential Daily Brief was so precisely supported by Trump’s seditious words!

    As for the deceased woman, something that few would’ve noticed if you didn’t work with security technologies is, that was not a window that all are acquainted with, the “glass” was tempered multilayer laminate that’s usually and incorrectly referred to as bulletproof glass. Well, very little is ever completely bulletproof, one defeats such with a bigger bullet or a lot of smaller bullets.
    From the difficulties in bashing it out, looked sufficient to protect against multiple .308/30-06 armor piercing rounds. One door had its glazing remain in place, looked to be 2″ armor pane, enough to defeat a fair number of .50 BMG rounds.
    So, she and her cohorts broke out armored glass, a sizable number of “protestors” were already confirmed armed with small arms, pipe bombs and molotov cocktails. She then attempted to force entry into a sterile area that protected our national leadership.
    I’d have shot her as well, without hesitation and I was never a shoot first if you can talk it out type of leader. Once you shoot, there’s a good chance there will be a battle and well, talking takes a lot less effort and risk.

    The moment that Trump is out of office, regardless of what means is used to accomplish that (removal or waiting for inauguration day), his passport should be seized, a no-travel order initiated and his detention accomplished as soon as enough evidence is presented for a warrant to do so. Beyond other crimes, yesterday was a clear cut case of open sedition.
    Let the court figure out if mens rea was present or not, any reasonable person would agree it was.

    As for each and every person who made unlawful entry or damage to the property, hit the lot with the legal laundry list, plus armed insurrection. Let the courts weed out who is guilty by intent or simply a useful idiot for the insurrectionists.

    As for the LARP crowd, one MLRS rocket with a customized payload would suffice, with trajectory set for post-release landing in the reflecting pool or other safe area.
    The warheads being armed with a minimal pyro charge sufficient to pop a small BANG! flag. Reasonably priced, minimal risk, would get the message across.
    Given that the live cluster warhead had bomblets with a five meter kill zone for the APERS version (antipersonnel).
    It’s never really what you will do that counts, it’s what the other side thinks that you would do that counts.

  29. mistershelden says

    @13

    Ah the ole biden is a warmonger lie that the purity left love to use. Hes not. We know that hes not but hey post your evidence. One of you fools backing up your claims with facts would be a first.

    Seriously??? And calling people fools, too.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20201128080929/https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/17/joe-biden-role-iraq-war

    Quote from the article:

    Biden did vastly more than just vote for the war. Yet his role in bringing about that war remains mostly unknown or misunderstood by the public. When the war was debated and then authorized by the US Congress in 2002, Democrats controlled the Senate and Biden was chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations. Biden himself had enormous influence as chair and argued strongly in favor of the 2002 resolution granting President Bush the authority to invade Iraq.

    “I do not believe this is a rush to war,” Biden said a few days before the vote. “I believe it is a march to peace and security. I believe that failure to overwhelmingly support this resolution is likely to enhance the prospects that war will occur …”

    But he had a power much greater than his own words. He was able to choose all 18 witnesses in the main Senate hearings on Iraq. And he mainly chose people who supported a pro-war position.

  30. logicalcat says

    @23

    I didnt say Biden was anti war. I said Biden is not a warmonger. Thats a huge difference there. The burden isnt on me its on them to show hes a warmonger.

  31. logicalcat says

    @23

    Furthermore this is a common tactic of the purity left. They lie through overstating the severity of things. Biden voting for the Iraq war all of a sudden becomes “Biden supports endless wars” which he doesnt. That lie get debunked so they change the language to “warmonger Biden”. Which is still dishonest.

    No one is anti war. Pretty sure even the most pascofost hippy would agree that WW2 needed to happen to stop Hitler. Thats not in question. But is Biden a warmonger? Lol no. And the onus of the positive claim is on them not me who is the receipient of the negative claim in case you forgot how that works.

  32. logicalcat says

    @31

    Does that make him a warmonger? No. Your kink pretty much says what I already said. That he doesnt think this is a rush to war but a political tool. Your very own quote literaly echoes what I just said. After the “shock and awe” started he quickly realized hes been duped and was a vocal critic of the war. Blame him for stupidly believing in Bushs lie but thats not a “warmonger”.

    And yea your comment makes you a fool. Might as well use the “Biden supports endless wars” lie while youre at it.

  33. Tethys says

    Vucodlak @ 29

    All that was needed yesterday were a few dozen hardcore antifascists with brass knuckles and clubs.

    Perhaps you missed the bit where the rioters are armed, wearing body armor, and in many cases had gas masks and other military grade gear?

    It is not antifas job to fix them by violent beat downs, nor does more violence usually work to cure violent mobs.

    The police force assigned to the Capitol was wholly unprepared for the unprecedented act of a sitting president whipping his minions into a frenzy and sending them to assault the Capitol.
    I’m sure those responsible for providing police protection won’t make that mistake again, and it is actually to their credit IMO that it didn’t escalate into a shoot-out. It’s also proving to be invaluable in finding those police officers who are fascists too, and may have helped facitate the attack.

  34. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I’m sure those responsible for providing police protection won’t make that mistake again, and it is actually to their credit IMO that it didn’t escalate into a shoot-out.

    Again, I just don’t understand this sentiment. There should have been a shoot-out. They should have used extreme force against anyone who gained entry to the building in order to secure the situation as soon as possible. They should not have allowed a large number of people who could have been heavily armed with guns and bombs into the building with a joint session of congress running. Having a bunch of armed people into the capital building to kill the congress – that’show revolutions happen, and we shouldn’t just let anyone, fascist or not, overthrow the government like this. This is an act of war, and the capital police should have responded in kind to preserve our way of life, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating one bit here.

    And again, in almost any other context, regarding a police shooting, I would be the first to ask “couldn’t the police just let the suspect go, to try to apprehend them later, instead of shooting them now?”, but this is a really special case. We’re talking about fascists storming the government building during a joint session of congress. This is super serious shit. With a little more competency, congress could be dead, and we could be in the middle of a civil war, where the only thing standing between us and dictator Trump is a counter-coup by the American military.

  35. logicalcat says

    To be clear becaise people love to mispresent shit. I did not and have not said hes against military action or that he didnt vote for the war. But none of that makes him a warmonger unless you decide to ignore reality before and after the declaration.

    Whats anmoying about purity peftists is that they obfuscate good croticism with dishonest rhetoric. Bush said that voting for this is not an imediate call to military action and diplomancy is still on the table. Biden took him on his word. Thats a stupid move by Biden. Samders is commendable for not falling for such a trap. You could criticize Biden for being an idiot but that’s not enough. No. He needs to be a fucking “warmonger”.

  36. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    We don’t need machinegun nests in the Capitol Building, especially since quite a few of the fascist invaders were off-duty cops and military.

    Perhaps they are not necessary. I was making a rhetorical point that anyone storming the capital building with congress in session should be met with immediate and overwhelming force.

    Put machineguns in there, and they will fall into the wrong hands eventually.

    This is basically arguing against all fortifications and weapons whatsoever because they might fall to the enemy and be useful to the enemy. That argument is clearly complete nonsense.

    All that was needed yesterday were a few dozen hardcore antifascists with brass knuckles and clubs. If the complicit/incompetent Capitol Police are incapable of doing their jobs, there are more than enough people who understand the stakes here who’d happily have taken out the trash.

    This is also tactical nonsense. My point is that there needs to be immediate and overwhelming force to protect the lives of the congress people. We can’t just raise the antifa bat-signal to the sky, and wait around for them to show up to deal with the fascists, because congress could be dead by then. Your plan is a complete non-starter.

    Or maybe you mean that we should have antifa members with brass knuckles in the capital 24-7 — antifa members who are not members of the capital police. This is equally complete nonsense as a plan.

    Most charitably, maybe you mean we should have competent capital police who are able and willing to use immediate and overwhelming force to prevent any takeover of the capital building while congress is in session. On that, I agree full-heartedly.

  37. PaulBC says

    wzrd1@30

    Trump promised to walk to the hill with the crowd, once they began walking, he jumped into the souped up armored vehicle and went in the opposite direction.

    “So long… suckers!” (and SWOOSH! rubber-like vehicle does a quick U-turn and vanishes)

    When I was spending all those hours as a child watching and rewatching Warners Bros. cartoons on UHF, I never imagined how well I was preparing myself to comprehend what “presidency” looks like in the Trump era.

    I once read a debate analysis that said you could figure out the winner once you knew who is Bugs and who is Daffy. I am pretty sure that failed in the specific case and Daffy won. But to understand what is going on during the average day in DC, just identify Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, and Road Runner. On a rare occasion even Pepe Le Pew. Then you’re good to go and prepared to address the day’s happenings.

    Heh, savvier minds than myself could probably leverage this insight into highly paid political consultation.

  38. Tethys says

    There should have been a perimeter and riot troops manning it, but that’s beside the point now.

    Those rioters were also drunk off their asses and the risk of having a shoot out inside congress would have a FAR greater risk of killing an elected official or the civilian personnel.
    Instead, loss of life was limited to a few unfortunate people and the maga looters have managed to hang themselves with their own rope.
    We can clean up damage, we can prosecute criminals, we cannot restore lost lives.

  39. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Those rioters were also drunk off their asses and the risk of having a shoot out inside congress would have a FAR greater risk of killing an elected official or the civilian personnel.

    This is nothing more than a naked argument that it’s a bad idea to use military to defend a point because the military is just as likely to kill themselves or their guards compared to the attacking enemy. It’s also complete nonsense.

    We can clean up damage, we can prosecute criminals, we cannot restore lost lives.

    Again, how do you think revolutions happen? Look at history. Storming the government capital buildings, and kidnapping and killing the country’s leaders. This is how revolutions happen. We cannot bring the congress back to life if they are killed by the attacking fascists. The lives of congress matter. The lives of fascists attacking the capital building with congress inside, by comparison, do not matter. They should be treated as attacking enemy soldiers on the battlefield, because they are, which means that you shoot on sight. They were organized, armed, with the unequivocable goal of overthrowing the government.

    How exactly long do you want to wait before we start shooting fascists who are overthrowing the government? I think we should start shooting them sometime before they kill the congress. Apparently you think we should wait until after the congress is dead before we should shoot the Nazis who are overthrowing the government. Jesus fucking Christ.

  40. vucodlak says

    @ GerrardOfTitanServer, #40

    This is basically arguing against all fortifications and weapons whatsoever because they might fall to the enemy and be useful to the enemy. That argument is clearly complete nonsense.

    No, it’s pointing out that, in this specific situation, most of congress would almost certainly be dead now if we’d followed your advice. Because -and I can’t stress them enough- the police were largely on the side of the fascists, especially in the initial stages of the attack. Even if we didn’t have ironclad video proof of them letting the fuckers in and taking godsdamned selfies with the insurrectionists, we’d know it by the fact that only one fascist was shot.

    This is also tactical nonsense. My point is that there needs to be immediate and overwhelming force to protect the lives of the congress people.

    Please, I’ve met more fascist assgoblins like the ones who raided the Capitol than I care to remember. They’re cowards and bullies. They’re only “brave” when they have both overwhelming numbers and meet no serious resistance. If they had met a sizable group intent on busting their heads, rather than being their buddies, 99% would have cut and run, and the few that remained wouldn’t have been a problem for long. That’s basically what eventually happened- once the FBI’s HRT guys showed up the insurrectionists either left in a hurry or surrendered.

    We can’t just raise the antifa bat-signal to the sky, and wait around for them to show up to deal with the fascists, because congress could be dead by then. Your plan is a complete non-starter.

    You do understand I wasn’t making a serious policy suggestion here, right? I was making the point that the actual problem is that there were too many fascist sympathizers among the people who were supposed to be protecting the Capitol (and in police forces in general), and thus it’s a real bad idea to give them easy access to machineguns. It was never intended to be a “plan” at all.

    I was also pointing out that it’s wholly unnecessary to deploy that kind of firepower, not to mention dangerous. You need to understand that you can’t just set up multiple .50 caliber machineguns on the fly in an office building crowded with innocents without risking killing an awful lot of the people you’re supposed to be protecting.

    tl;dr- The problem is the fascists in the police force, not their lack of firepower. Until the fascist problem is solved, we shouldn’t even think of giving them more firepower. Which, again, wasn’t even necessary in this situation.

  41. Tethys says

    The city police should have responded by starting a bloodbath on the grounds of, and inside congress? With congress present?!

    Just imagine how stupid that would have been, rather than subduing the drunken, well armed mob with riot police so as to minimize ANY deaths.

    There is more to tactics than shooting people. Letting them be caught on camera committing crimes and then charging them is far preferable to providing the fascists with martyrdom.

  42. vucodlak says

    @ GerrardOfTitanServer
    Perhaps I misunderstood you, and you meant machinegun nests outside the Capitol Building. Okay, fine… what about the press who are covering the event? What about the children who are often present at these events? The people in nearby buildings, or across the street, or anywhere nearby? A .50 can travel a long way, and punch through a lot of the standard building materials used in cars and structures. A lot of innocent people would die, and there’s still the problem of the enemy within.

    Now, if you want me to offer serious suggestions (as opposed to what I said at #29) for what to do to prevent something like this from happening again, I’d start with heavy blast doors combined with steel-reinforced concrete walls. At least three different layers, in case it needs to be triggered while they’re inside the building. They’re not going to bash through something like that with a makeshift battering ram. Add robust fire protection systems, steel shutters on all exterior windows, and all the many supplies necessary for surviving a lengthy siege, an emergency broadcast system, and a couple of ways out known only to a very few, heavily-vetted security people.

    You’d still need to weed out most of the fascist sympathizers in your security force to prevent them from just holding the doors open for the insurrectionists. You could partially negate the effects one or two bad actors by requiring multiple authorizations to open the doors after an alert is triggered, but the biggest problem remains fascist sympathizers. I don’t really know how to solve that, but at least my way doesn’t involving giving them more and deadlier weapons.

  43. PaulBC says

    I haven’t been following the “machine gun nest” conversation, though it sounds like a bad idea. They could have secured the Capitol at least as well as they secured the Lincoln Memorial last summer (which was certainly overdone for a peaceful demonstration, and just shows the racist motivations that guide these choices… but on the bright side, it was an effective show of force that did not need to be exercised). The goal is to keep people far enough away that it doesn’t turn into a bloodbath in the first place. It’s obvious that enough people in the Trump crowd believed that they could break and enter the congressional building without serious consequence, and for the most part they were right.

    I saw a presidential visit firsthand in grad school. It was George H. W. Bush in 1990 or so. Secret Service had the whole campus secured. We went up to a window in our building just to take a look out, and (now I’m surprised the window could open at all) a secret service agent spotted us from ground in an instant and waved us to close the window. There are professionals who know how to secure places and protect national politicians from crowds. You might recall we have a history of assassinations in the US, so they have thought long and hard about this for many decades.

    The Capitol was breached because it was not secured properly (for reasons I can’t quite figure out) and because POTUS incited the crowd to rush the building. There is no reason this had to happen, and you could have fixed it without turning it into a bloodbath.

    Note: I am speaking off the cuff but I would be shocked if any national security expert recommended using live fire machine guns in this case.

  44. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Tethys, vucodlak, PaulBC
    I said it before. I’ll say it again. Machine gun fire was a rhetorical device. However, resorting to deadly force as required to keep a mob outside – I am suggesting that quite literally. By contrast, it seems that some people here would prefer letting the mob in to the capital with the congress inside compared to shooting some people. Quoting Tethys above:

    I’m sure those responsible for providing police protection won’t make that mistake again, and it is actually to their credit IMO that it didn’t escalate into a shoot-out.

    I vehemently disagree with this. There is no credit to be given to the capital police. They should be discredited for not properly securing the building. That’s a fuckup. However, after that fuckup, they still had choices available. They still presumably had the choice of shooting people to keep the capital secure. It seems like you’re applauding their choice: the surrender of the capital building with congress inside – as compared to the implied alternative choice of shooting Nazi insurrectionists. I vehemently disagree. If the only options are 1- shoot Nazi insurrectionists or 2- surrender the capital building plus congress, then the choice is clear: Shoot those Nazi insurrectionists.

  45. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    If the only options are 1- shoot Nazi insurrectionists or 2- surrender the capital building plus congress, then the choice is clear: Shoot those Nazi insurrectionists.

    So, what actually eventuated was not an available option?

    (5 dead — order has been restored — charges are pending)

    I said it before. I’ll say it again. Machine gun fire was a rhetorical device.

    Nah. You wanted gobbets of flesh, puddles of gore, pools of blood, shattered corpses..

    Besides, you can hardly walk it back, now.
    @21: “Yes. They should have had machine gun nests in the capital, and they should have killed anyone of the insurrections who entered the building with extreme prejudice.”

    (Rhetorical, eh?)

  46. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    So, what actually eventuated was not an available option?

    (5 dead — order has been restored — charges are pending)

    The plan that the capital police followed could not guarantee that outcome. They got lucky. Congress got lucky that they were evacuated in time. It is grossly irresponsible to rely on this kind of luck and the incompetence of my enemies when we’re discussing an armed coup attempt in progress by fascists on the capital building with congress in session.

    Nah. You wanted gobbets of flesh, puddles of gore, pools of blood, shattered corpses.

    If you believe that you know my beliefs better than I do, and / or that I’m a liar, then I see no point to further communication.

    You have been, and seemingly always will be, an asshole.

  47. John Morales says

    I might be an “asshole”, Gerrard, but I’m not the one advocating for machine-gunning the mob.

    However, resorting to deadly force as required to keep a mob outside – I am suggesting that quite literally.

    I know.

  48. John Morales says

    PS

    The plan that the capital police followed could not guarantee that outcome.

    Yes, there’s a fair bit of speculative analysis about that.

    (You might care to look at the current “political madness” thread; if nothing else, #413)

  49. PaulBC says

    @48

    I vehemently disagree with this. There is no credit to be given to the capital police. They should be discredited for not properly securing the building.

    Maybe it depends on what you mean by “credit.” They got things under control in time for Congress to reconvene and confirm the electoral vote. I count that as a pleasant surprise compared to my predictions Wednesday afternoon (Pacific Time) and acknowledge that the Capitol Police eventually did their job in an effective and professional fashion.

    Yes, they should have secured the building better, but things could also have gone a lot worse, and as Maggie Koerth pointed out:

    While the police response in Washington, D.C., Wednesday may look like a disproportionate lack of force compared with the response to protests this summer, it is very much counter to the expectations of right-wing protesters who have come to perceive police as their allies.

    It’s quite likely that many of these chickenshit insurgents really thought they had the run of the building and were already fantasizing their victory in preventing Biden from ever being certified.

    So I think the Capitol Police should be investigated for poor preparation. Was it incompetence or collusion? But once they addressed the real situation, they did so effectively. One of them lost his life in the process.

    I can imagine things going the other way, and in fact, I believe they would have if the Trumpist crowd had shown even the slightest restraint. We’ve had asinine standoffs in this country (recently Malheur Wildlife Refuge). I grant that the Capitol is a special case, but it probably took the complete lack of discipline on the part of the mob to elicit the response they finally received. If they had acted in a disciplined fashion, issued demands, gave speeches, and the usual crap, it might have gone on for much longer, though probably not long enough to delay the inauguration.

    Machine gun nests, gimme a break. We’re just very lucky that the loss of life was relatively low.

  50. PaulBC says

    I’m not sure whose job it was to protect legislators from harm, but I think they did a perfectly fine job under adverse conditions. As I noted above, our nation’s history has been marked by political assassinations and more than a few close calls. That’s one reason why a little bit of the pearl clutching is disingenuous, as much as this insurrection disgusts me. We’ve always been vulnerable to upheavals through privately enacted violence, and it has changed the course of the nation, most recently with John F. Kennedy and later with Robert Kennedy, who would have been a very strong candidate in 1968. It’s a wonder that Obama made it through two terms and I’m sure there are many security professionals to thank for it.

    So none of this is really unthinkable. The chaos should have been handled better, but they did get the priorities straight.

  51. vucodlak says

    @ GerrardOfTitanServer, #48

    Machine gun fire was a rhetorical device.

    At #40, you accused me of suggesting “tactical nonsense” but, when I point out the flaws in your suggestions…
    From your #19:

    I doubt too many of these idiots would have thrown themselves into that meat grinder after seeing the first few walk in and see what a real proper heavy machine gun like a M2 does to a human body.

    and #21:

    Yes. They should have had machine gun nests in the capital, and they should have killed anyone of the insurrections who entered the building with extreme prejudice.

    …you claim you were only using a rhetorical device. Those seem like pretty specific examples for a rhetorical device, but okay. What, then, is your objection to my comment at #29? My basic point, which I thought was pretty clear, was that it was neither necessary nor desirable to put heavy weapons in the hands of fascists, with side of ‘it’s just a skosh irresponsible to fire wildly into crowds of people, not all of whom were the enemy.’

    But okay. You were merely using a rhetorical device to suggest that lethal force is acceptable in the defense of democracy. Did you see me disagree with that? Did you think “brass knuckles and clubs” was code for “hugs and kisses?” ‘Cause it’s not. Humans have been killing humans with clubs for thousands of years.

    The reason I used “brass knuckles and clubs” in my tongue-in-cheek suggestion is that, if you miss what you’re aiming at with your knuckles, they don’t keep traveling hundreds of meters to punch through the wall of the office building a couple of blocks away and kill some poor schmuck who’s just trying to clear a paper jam on the office copy machine. Bullets, on the other hand…

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with killing Nazis, but I do have a problem with ‘collateral damage,’ i.e. the careless slaughter of civilians. In some cases it may be unavoidable, but this isn’t one of those cases. One of my biggest problems with this bloody country is that we’re way too quick to go all ‘spray it with bullets then blow it up real good!’ It’s a waste, it’s a disgrace, and it makes even more enemies than it kills.

    There are plenty of ways to keep fascist mobs from breaching the Capitol that don’t involve turning the situation into an indiscriminate slaughter, and don’t hand fascists incredibly destructive weapons. That last point is one you’ve repeatedly ignored- so long as there are fascists in the police force, any firepower you give the police you are also giving the fascists. A bad cop wielding a truncheon is less dangerous than a bad cop with an automatic weapon.

  52. PaulBC says

    And I want to add something about protecting legislators. You will often read cynical comments about “congresscritters” and demands to “kick the bums out.” But each of these individuals represents the franchise of over a hundred thousand voters. So you’re not just killing some “politicians” but usurping the votes of their constituents. They are the real assets in the Capitol, even Louie “Gomer” Gohmert, because people voted for him and you don’t get to take their votes away.

    If you can’t do everything in a situation like this, you do protect the sitting elected government. Whoever’s ultimately in charge of that did a bang up job. It is unfortunate their job was made much harder than it needed to be.

    And again, inviting a violent confrontation with weapons of war makes absolutely no sense at this stage. At some point, it’s full-blown war and who knows what happens, but that was not the situation on Wednesday.

  53. Tethys says

    I’m not sure how many metro police are usually stationed at the Capitol building, or how many Capitol police and secret service members are there in addition to the regular city police force.

    From the video it is clear that the police on the barricades were not properly equipped or prepared for a mob attack of somewhere between 3000 and 20,000 people with paramilitary gear. (I am unable to locate a reliable crowd count, but it looked closer to the lower end of that range).

    While it is certainly possible that there are fascist police who were helping the thugs, not shooting said thugs or posing for photos with them is not proof that they were assisting sedition. It’s entirely possible that said police realized they were completely outnumbered and rather cleverly encouraged the invading idiots to document their acts.

  54. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To Everyone
    So, I think many / most people here are ok with punching a Nazi for just being a Nazi by themself, but suddenly you’re not ok with shooting Nazis who are engaged in the overthrow of your government? What the flying fuck? I ask again, if this is not the line, where is it? When do we start shooting Nazi insurrectionists? Do we have to wait until congress is dead before we can start shooting Nazi insurrectionists? No one has attempted to answer these questions yet. If the line is not being armed, in a coordinated mob, on an attack on the capital with the congress in session, then I have no idea where the line could possibly be.

    PaulBC, 53
    They did have the run of most of the building for several hours. The congress were barely evacuated in time. They were armed and armored. They had zip ties. Some of these people clearly had a plan. Take them lightly at your own peril.

    PaulBC, 54
    This is not clutching pearls. It’s that serious. Most of congress almost died, while we have close to half of the population supporting the overthrow of the Democratic process, and a completely amoral sociopath in the white house just waiting for a situation to declare martial law and delay the election. This is the closest call of overthrow of the government in the last 100 years by far. If there is another occasion that is even remotely close to this, it does not occur to me. Even the Cuban nuclear missile crisis wasn’t as dangerous to the continuation of the Republic as this case.

    PaulBC, 56
    Yes, it was a full blown war. The storming of the capital building with congress in session is a full blown war. It’s not just a prelude to revolution. That’s often the end of fighting of a revolution – taking the capital and killing the leaders.

    Whoever’s ultimately in charge of that did a bang up job.

    Fucking bullshit. They got lucky.

    Vucodlak, 55

    That last point is one you’ve repeatedly ignored- so long as there are fascists in the police force, any firepower you give the police you are also giving the fascists. A bad cop wielding a truncheon is less dangerous than a bad cop with an automatic weapon.

    This is a straight-up anarchist talking point. Next you’ll be saying that we should disband the military because there’s a lot of Christian fascists in the air force (and there are).

    Tethys, 57
    Excuses, and moving the goalposts.

    It’s entirely possible that said police realized they were completely outnumbered and rather cleverly encouraged the invading idiots to document their acts.

    This is absolutely mindblowing. Would you seriously entertain that as a defense strategy for the cop taking selfies with the insurrectionists? Or any of the other cops who voluntarily opened the barricades?! I’m beyond the looking glass.

  55. Tethys says

    I am not going to rush to judgement about one police officer, who happened to be surrounded by at least 50 rioters, getting asked to be in selfie. What other choice did that officer have at that point besides to pacify them and wait for the reinforcements to arrive?

    I have heard many people claim that some police were abetting the rioters, and of course some probably did. However, 50 officers were injured and 1 murdered in this attack, so there are also police who are very motivated to find them and root them out. Luckily we now have a great deal of photographic evidence to prosecute those who may have colluded.

    There was a lot happening all at once, and escalating an active mob into a active shoot out within congress would have been suicidal.

    Check some of this MSNBC news video for what the police were dealing with. It’s far worse than looters carrying off the speakers podium, or sitting their ass in Ms Pelosi’s office chair. link

  56. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Check some of this MSNBC news video for what the police were dealing with. It’s far worse than looters carrying off the speakers podium, or sitting their ass in Ms Pelosi’s office chair. link

    I know. Which is precisely why I’m saying that they should have shot any and all on sight who were in the building at least, and probably also those outside in the “no go” area – excepting those who surrendered and those who were clearly retreating.

    There was a lot happening all at once, and escalating an active mob into a active shoot out within congress would have been suicidal.

    This is moving the goalposts. This is not “shooting them would not be morally justified”. (Forget justified, I say required.) Rather, your measly argument is only “shooting them would cause them to be in a worse tactical situation”.

    And to that idea that it would be a tactically bad decision to shoot people, I say bullshit. Barely any shots were fired, but for one of the few shots that I know was fired, it was amazingly effective. The one single shot that I know about killed one Nazi insurrectionist. In addition to stopping one Nazi insurrectionist, it was also amazingly effective at dissuading other Nazi insurrectionists from going through the same barrier.

  57. PaulBC says

    @58

    Fucking bullshit. They got lucky.

    Do you have evidence of this? As I said, I’m not even sure whose job it is to protect Congress, but it looks to me like they did it. I have no idea if they were “lucky” or that they simply realized what was necessary given that an uncontrolled crowd was entering the Capitol. The latter should not have happened, but it seems to me that they responded to it well.

    As for this

    Most of congress almost died, while we have close to half of the population supporting the overthrow of the Democratic process, and a completely amoral sociopath in the white house just waiting for a situation to declare martial law and delay the election.

    You have no evidence at all that “most of congress almost died.” Yes, the guys with the zip-ties were scary and I hope they’re identified and prosecuted, but they were also frustrated in their apparent aim. Secret service is good at what they do. Like I said, I have watched them secure a location. It was 30 years ago, but I don’t see why they’d be any worse now. Congresspersons have been shot. There’s Steve Scalise and Gabby Giffords, but not at the Capitol.

    The handling of the “demonstration” was another thing entirely. That was either a dumpster fire of bad planning or collusion with insurgents. I would like to see it investigated. FiveThirtyEight had a really good analysis of the police response to leftwing and rightwing protests, and the perception. https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/why-police-aggression-is-far-more-pronounced-against-left-leaning-protesters/

    Here’s the thing. The police didn’t even use rubber bullets and teargas to the extent you’d expect. Look at the assholes walking around the Rotunda taking selfies. Why talk about machine guns when the police response did not even make use of nonlethal crowd control to the extent that would absolutely have been done if leftwing protesters attempted to enter the Capitol?

  58. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Do you have evidence of this?

    Just listening to some of the accounts from the reporters inside the Senate when this happened. This was not smooth. There was some panic. It was a close thing.

    The burden of proof is not on me. The burden of proof is entirely on you to say that “no no, nothing to worry about here, everything was perfectly safe”, when the stake of our Republic might be on the line.

    I am not advocating for lethal force off the bat. I am advocating for lethal force as required to hold the building, or at least some sensible perimeter around the congresspeople. I am totally in favor of escalating non-lethal responses, and I’m in favor of using effective tactics, but I am not ok with the fetichism going on in here about how Nazi combatant insurrectionist lives matter during a Nazi insurrection. They don’t. I can’t believe that I even have to argue this here, of all places.

  59. PaulBC says

    I think “Nazi lives matter” if there is a reasonable alternative to killing them. I think in this particular instance there clearly was. Even in WWII, the Geneva convention applied. German POWs were apparently treated quite well in the US.

    In fact, the whole thing could have been prevented if police had simply applied the same precautions they would have applied to any leftwing protest.

  60. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Even in WWII, the Geneva convention applied. German POWs were apparently treated quite well in the US.

    Which is why I made the “surrender” exception very explicit several times. This is basically a strawman of my position. Or a non-sequitir.

    Do you know what they did to Nazi soldiers on the battlefield who were not already surrendering? They shot them. My grandfather shot at Nazis. This is a point of pride here.

    I think “Nazi lives matter” if there is a reasonable alternative to killing them.

    Letting them take over the capital building with the congress inside is not an acceptable alternative. Maybe there’s a third option. With better preparation, there probably would have been a third option. I would like it if the third option was available and taken. However, if the only two options are “kill them all” vs “surrender the capital with congress inside”, then I will go with the “kill them all” option every damn time. If there was a third option of “kill someone of them to force a retreat”, I would take that option every damn time. If there was lesser force that would have worked to maintain a secure and reasonable perimeter around the congress, I would be all for that too.

    We surrendered the capital building and almost large portions of the congress. That is unforgivable and unthinkable. Some of those insurrectionists were determined to kill congress people. It would have only taken a few with guns or bombs to succeed under the cover of the large mob who, charitably, were perhaps mostly unwitting to the mass assassination plot.

  61. Tethys says

    It is absolutely not the polices job to shoot and kill people. Their job is to maintain order, and they were completely outnumbered and outgunned. They are not a military force in a war zone. Those rioters are civilians, and citizens. They have rights even if they are stupid assholes. You don’t mass gun down protestors. Period.
    (Armed people attempting to break through doors are allowable, if there is no danger
    to bystanders)
    It’s a key point behind the BLM movement, that the police are civil servants who are not allowed to just start shooting people.

    Whoever was in charge of that security barricade failed badly and they should be investigated and charged. The rank and file is not to blame. They too should be hopping mad that they were stuck out there facing down a murderous mob with no gas masks or riot gear.

  62. PaulBC says

    @65

    Whoever was in charge of that security barricade failed badly and they should be investigated and charged. The rank and file is not to blame. They too should be hopping mad that they were stuck out there facing down a murderous mob with no gas masks or riot gear.

    I completely agree with this. The only thing I’m less certain of is whether those who made this decision were simply blinded to the possibility of a riot (which would not be the case for a BLM demonstration) or whether there was intentional sabotage with the hope of encouraging an insurrection. I really just don’t know, and that should be investigated. (But the more I read, the more I lean towards the latter view.)

    I think it does a disservice to those who protected members of Congress to say they succeeded by luck alone. They were brought to secure locations in the middle of a conflict (which could have been prevented). Luck can save some of a 535 member legislative body. It does not save 100%, particularly if you claim “Most of congress almost died.”

    Local article about my representative

    Eshoo said she was walking from her office through a tunnel to the House chamber when a mob breached the building. She was headed to the gallery to observe the proceedings, as only those who were speakers were allowed on the floor due to COVID-19 protocols.

    Capitol police came running toward her. “They said, ‘Turn around! Turn around! Go back! Go back!'” she said. She had not been allowed to return to her office in the Cannon Building, one of two buildings that were evacuated, she said, but she was with other people.

    When she came to work, she thought the security seemed “totally inadequate.” There didn’t seem to be many more officers in place than on any other day and she didn’t understand why the perimeter of the Capitol plaza wasn’t closed off, she said. She said she thought perhaps they would add more security protections later in the morning.

    “When I looked at the plaza, I didn’t have a good feeling,” she said. “Why isn’t there a full force out there?’ she said she thought.

    “I think there was totally inadequate preparation for this. … This was a determined, vicious crowd driven by and embracing the lies of the president,” she said.

  63. stroppy says

    Um, just as a point of rhetoric re: “Nazi lives matter.”
    No.
    In the context of BLM, “Nazi Lives Matter” is a corollary to “All Lives Matter.” A very bad one. Remember why?

    What happened a the capitol was very serious. These are adults, many there for the express purpose of spilling blood. The fact that some of them were acting like little JDs trashing a schoolroom after hours doesn’t change the fact. They’re adults, and there are consequences, immediate and far reaching, for joining up with Nazis and putting yourself in harms way in the middle of a melee attacking democracy, even if it’s out of arsed stupidity. Again they are adults and this was not a peaceful protest. The whole situation was problematic for police to be sure, but I’d say that under the circumstances the rioters got off light.

    I’m not shedding any tears over fascist Trumpers at this point. To late for that.

  64. Tethys says

    Denial is a powerful force. It’s probable that some members of the police are (were) also magas. It’s equally probable that they were simply overwhelmed in number, because they never expected that white magas would storm congress. I expect the security forces at the inauguration will be bristling with high tech military troops.

    The video simply doesn’t support the idea that the police were opening security doors to aid the looters. I’m not going to cast aspersions on the lone cop who got his picture taken by a maga, while he was surrounded by gloating looters standing around like they were attending a picnic.

  65. Tethys says

    Nobody said nazi lives matter.

    Citizens who have been lied to and encouraged to commit sedition by Cheeto aren’t actual nazis.

    Stupid and gullible? Yes. Hateful and awful? Absolutely.
    Criminal? It sure looks that way.
    Throw the book at them, prosecute them, make their leaders pay the price of attempting to stage a coup.

    Gunning them down? Hell no. This is not acceptable for any supposed democratic civilization. We solve our differences in courts with laws, not sprays of bullets.

  66. PaulBC says

    stroppy@67

    I’m not shedding any tears over fascist Trumpers at this point. To late for that.

    Nor am I. I still believe that killing is a last resort. In this instance, the violence could have been prevented ahead of time and was not. Given what did happen, I am not criticizing the use of deadly force against Ashli Babbitt. She knew what she had signed up for.

  67. PaulBC says

    There is a vast gulf between “The should have secured the Capitol building.” and “They should have mowed them down like dogs with machine guns.” If the former had been done, we would most likely not even be discussing the latter hypothetically. The breach of the Capitol was entirely preventable.

    Unless you just think we should kill “Nazis” prophylactically whenever we suspect one (and I imagine a few here do), it is preposterous to be talking about how instead of carrying out competent security (which we failed at) we should have left the incompetent security in place and prepared for a bloodbath. That is frankly the stupidest and most immoral idea I have heard, possibly even over all comments I’ve seen on PZ’s blog.

  68. KG says

    There is no credit to be given to the capital police. They should be discredited for not properly securing the building. That’s a fuckup. However, after that fuckup, they still had choices available. They still presumably had the choice of shooting people to keep the capital secure. It seems like you’re applauding their choice: the surrender of the capital building with congress inside – as compared to the implied alternative choice of shooting Nazi insurrectionists. I vehemently disagree. If the only options are 1- shoot Nazi insurrectionists or 2- surrender the capital building plus congress, then the choice is clear: Shoot those Nazi insurrectionists.- GerrardOfTitanServer@48

    Imagine my surprise to find myself agreeing with GOTS! Some of those breaking in carried gas masks. How could anyone know they were not carrying chemical weapons? As far as we know, they weren’t, but some were well-equipped and carrying “flex-cuffs” – presumably in order to take hostages. The guy in the photo is an Air force vet, former Lt. Colonel. Sure, most of the invaders – even the prominent neo-Nazis – could be described as LARPers, but they would act as useful cover for anyone with serious plans to kill or capture members of Congress.

    Incidentally, for anyone arguing with Trumpkins who claim it was all an Antifa false flag operation, here’s a list of those so far identified in places I’ve looked. They include one apparent leftsit, multiple prominent Trumpkins, including neo-Nazis:

    Prominent Far Right: from https://twitter.com/garretkc_oufu/status/1347024506255069184 Garrett Craig
    – Jake Angeli (“Qanon Shaman”)
    – Richard Barnett (“Bigo”)
    – Derrick Evans (newly elected WV House of Delegates, District 19, (R) )
    – Nick Fuentes (Holocaust denier, white nationalist)
    – Tim Gionet (“Baked Alaska”, alt-right neo-Nazi, keynote speaker at Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally)
    – Matthew Heimbach (neo-Nazi, former head of “Traditional Worker Party”, organiser of Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally)
    – Elijah Schaffer (pro-Trump reporter for “The Blaze”)
    – Jon Schaffer (rhythm guitariast and songwriter for Iced Earth)
    – Steve Smith (Keystone Skinheads, also an elected Republican committeeman from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania)
    – Jason Tankersley (founder of the Maryland State Skinheads and associate of the Keystone State Skins)

    Other prominent Far Right:
    Larry Rendall Brock Jr. (Air Force vet, Lt. Col., Trump supporter, election conspiracist; white supremacist according to family and friend)

    Small fry:
    Josiah Colt (34, small business CEO, Covid conspiracy theorist, Trump fan)
    Brad Rukstales (52, CEO of techg company Cogensia – now suspended, donated $12,000 to Trump’s re-election campaign)
    Ashli Babbitt (Trump fan, Qanon idiot, got herself shot dead by police)
    Adam Johnson (Florida resident, pictured holding a lectern)
    “Elizabeth from Knoxville” (whined about being maced while entering Capitol, taking part in what she called a revolution)

    Leftist:
    John Sullivan (founder of “Insurgence USA”, claims to have been documenting events)

  69. stroppy says

    Tethys @ 69

    PaulBC at 63 said
    “I think “Nazi lives matter” if there is a reasonable alternative to killing them.”
    As I said, I was responding as a point of rhetoric. I don’t think he was being malicious, just hasty.

    Also if you think there weren’t Nazis, militia members, and white supremacists leading the charge, you are mistaken. And as far as I can see the distinction between the fools at the front of the line and those at the back is not discrete but part of a continuum, one that was turned into an undifferentiated mass of bodies in a chaotic situation, all of them adults.

    In the situation of the moment, where the rubber hits the road, you want a proportional response. Under the circumstances, I’m interested in the particulars, not broad brush generalities.

    I think my comment at 67 stands the way I wrote it. And just in case it isn’t clear, I did not advocate for a blood bath.

    …..
    If (I said “if”) anyone is feeling blasé about the situation or is distracted by equations of flags with places, I recommend the Political Madness All the Time thread. It’s a pretty good aggregator, and should help keep you properly alarmed.

  70. PaulBC says

    KG@72

    Incidentally, for anyone arguing with Trumpkins who claim it was all an Antifa false flag operation

    This idea is so ludicrous, that it’s probably useless to present facts to people who maintain it. It may serve as a “big lie” and get repeated all over wingnut media. If you have a good suggestion for countering that, I’d like to hear it. I do not believe that simply presenting the above list will persuade anyone who wants to believe the whole thing was plotted by George Soros. I can only guess the counterarguments, but I’m just not feeling imaginative enough right now.

    At least there’s agreement here that it would have been better to secure the Capitol in the first place. Whether I would agree that the police should have done more shooting largely hinges on whether I think they had accomplished the highest priority job of protecting the members of Congress. I don’t really see any evidence that that part was a complete fiasco. Word from my representative is that she was turned back, admittedly in panicked circumstances, and moved to a secure location.

    Are there reports of a House member or Senator running for their lives? Many of these people are old (as we know) and probably not in condition to save themselves Bruce-Willis-style. I see no reason to think that the operation inside the Capitol was carried out as disastrously as the one outside. I may also be fooling myself or showing some “statist” tendencies here, but I really think that the serious security people are good at what they do and are probably much better than I or any commenter here at acting swiftly to protect legislators.

    In fact, I think Capitol Police crowd control skills are also substantial, leading me to view the poor protection of the Capitol as sabotage, not incompetence. They could probably have dispersed the crowd, even psychos with flexcuffs using teargas and rubber bullets.

    It would take a lot of evidence to agree with GerrardOfTitanServer that heavy use of live fire was the appropriate response. That is completely nuts and disproportionate to the actual threat though the intent of the threat was a serious insurrection.

    You don’t kill someone just because they claim they are about to overthrow the government. They need to show credible means of doing so. Once the members of Congress were safe, the insurgents no longer had such means.

  71. Tethys says

    That list of now in custody fascists proves the point I’ve been making.

    Gunning them down isn’t going to discredit their beliefs. It would only lend credence to their fantasies of being persecuted by deep state evil liberals and provide ammunition for the fascists.

    Remember Altamont? That was just a rock concert, and the country was so upset at the violence that it effectively killed the leftist hippy era of the 60s.

  72. PaulBC says

    stroppy@73

    As I said, I was responding as a point of rhetoric. I don’t think he was being malicious, just hasty.

    Uh, you misunderstand. It’s called being ethical, and I stand by my precise words:

    “I think “Nazi lives matter” if there is a reasonable alternative to killing them.”

    We did not have a “Take no prisoners.” policy even for Nazi SS. You could argue that maybe if we’d been more aggressive, Josef Mengele wouldn’t have died an old man in Brazil, and I’m sympathetic to that, but again I ask what is a “reasonable alternative”?

    Human lives matter. The point of the slogan “Black lives matter.” is that so often they are treated as if they do not, which is what makes “All lives matter” such an asinine response. BLM is a statement to emphasize the obvious corollary, and if you disagree, you are literally saying that Black lives do not matter.

    If you are defending yourself, other people, or a nation, there may be no reasonable alternative other than killing someone (assuming you are willing to assert that right or accept it as an onus to protect, which is an argument to have with pacifists; I am not that much of a pacifist, but I’m pretty close). Really it’s irrelevant what you think of the other human life. The key question is one of a reasonable alternative. What is the outcome of not killing them. In some cases you might argue that not killing a Nazi has effects beyond immediate defense questions, such as establishing impunity and encouraging more attacks. I can accept this hypothetically.

    But in this case even if the Capitol had been swarmed by card-carrying uniformed SS doing Hitler salutes, only armed to the same degree as the chickenshit insurgents, there would been better alternatives than mowing them down with machine guns. The fact that these alternatives were not carried out, such as using better crowd control measures, is a serious lapse, not thing fact that we are reluctant to “kill Nazis.”

    This is not a question of being nice to Nazis or caring about them, and as I said, I can’t be bothered to care about Ashli Babbitt. It is a question of adhering to due process and the most basic ethical guidelines.

  73. KG says

    Further to my #72, it occurs to me that some of the intruders were almost certainly carrying, and spraying around, a biological weapon: SARS-CoV-2.

  74. PaulBC says

    @75

    Remember Altamont? That was just a rock concert, and the country was so upset at the violence that it effectively killed the leftist hippy era of the 60s.

    Maybe they’d have done better to have Hell’s Angels guarding the Capitol (no, that is not a serious suggestion or even a point, just something that popped into my head).

    Altamont is an interesting case, because it took a while to sink in that it was a disaster. The one violent death was of Meredith Hunter. There was non-lethal violence. There were other deaths (maybe accident, maybe OD, I would have to look it up again). There were two deaths at Woodstock for that matter. I’m not sure it killed the hippie era, but it did make giant festivals less likely to happen.

    I suspect you’re not saying that the rightwing is going to say “Bummer man, I didn’t sign up for all this negative energy.” Funny, how that works. Not symmetrical at all. I do think some of them may be chickenshit enough to reassess their fever dreams when they realize they might get killed. However, it’s quite a different thing if you start firing indiscriminately.

    In fact, this outcome may have done more for getting the “serious people” on board with the idea that an insurrection happened and the response was proportionate. The next step is to arrest a lot of people. Ringleaders should get stiff prison sentences (and in a just world that includes Trump). It is possible to rehabilitate others through some kind of “Peace and Reconciliation” process without denying the seriousness of the offense. (I am dreaming though. Chances are this just gets forgotten by the next news cycle.)

  75. KG says

    PaulBC@74,

    This idea [that the intruders were “Antifa”] is so ludicrous, that it’s probably useless to present facts to people who maintain it.

    Of course it won’t convince them. They are not the target; onlookers to the argument are.

    Whether I would agree that the police should have done more shooting largely hinges on whether I think they had accomplished the highest priority job of protecting the members of Congress.

    They didn’t: see my #78. The Congresspersons (many of them elderly) had to go back into areas the fascists had occupied, and almost certainly contaminated with SARS-CoV-2.

  76. PaulBC says

    I can’t resist admitting this: I have written time travel fiction based on Partridge Family characters that includes a part set at Altamont. I am not shameless enough to link it here. I just thought it was very funny to see Altamont come up. It’s not something that was in the news a lot, even with a recent anniversary passing.

  77. KG says

    One more prominent member of the Far Right identified among intruders in the Capitol: Nick Ochs (founder of the Hawaii chapter for the Proud Boys).

  78. PaulBC says

    BTW, I mean “Truth and Reconciliation”. Sorry, trying to type too much in a hurry.

  79. stroppy says

    76 PaulBC
    I get what you are saying. I just think that as a point of communication, it could have been better worded sans the elision with BLM. Sounds to my ear like appropriation, but maybe that’s just me.

    I know that “…lives matter” has been referenced in more humorous contexts on this site, which I appreciate, but which after a little reflection seems a little “too soon”– again to my ear.

    That’s all I’m saying. Make sense?

  80. Tethys says

    The Altamont era had other factors. Kidnapping Patricia Hearst. Left wing extremist groups car bombing police. The rise of the black panthers in response to their experience of white terrorists and lynching.

    In all instances, those who use violence lose in the long run. The court of public opinion isn’t based in logic. If the police had started firing into the crowd… just imagine how the fascists would twist those facts.

  81. PaulBC says

    stroppy, I was alluding back to GerrardOTS, who used it first. I would not have brought it into the conversation. It was more: now that you mention it, they do.

  82. PaulBC says

    Specifically @62 “but I am not ok with the fetichism going on in here about how Nazi combatant insurrectionist lives matter during a Nazi insurrection. They don’t.” Sorry if the reference was unclear. I hope that explains it.

  83. PaulBC says

    Tethys, I agree with you on a lot, but the “tactical selfie” theory of police behavior strains credulity. Any police offer appearing voluntarily in a shot with insurgents has some “splainin” to do, preferably in a court of law. If you’re right, they can make that case for themselves.

    The simplest explanation is that they considered Trump supporters allies and considered their invasion of the Capitol to be an acceptable form of expression. While that sounds nuts to me, you don’t have to go far to find rightwing media people espousing this view.

  84. Tethys says

    I certainly hope the FBI will have many questions for selfie cop. It’s entirely possible he was an inside maga.

    He seems rather dumbfounded at the situation, so it might be simple self-preservation on his part. I really can’t think of anything he could have done at that point. The halls were literally mobbed with magas.

    More generally, the police are happy to let criminals provide photo evidence documenting their crimes. It’s much safer than a gun battle.

  85. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    But in this case even if the Capitol had been swarmed by card-carrying uniformed SS doing Hitler salutes, only armed to the same degree as the chickenshit insurgents, there would been better alternatives than mowing them down with machine guns.

    We all agree that there were better alternatives with preparation. The seeming difficulty is that you are going out of your way to argue against gunning them down during an act of revolution, insurrection, an act of war, attacking the capital building with the congress inside, with the implicit admission that it’s better to let them take the building, armed and dangerous, with congress still inside the building on the floor of the senate and house. I still cannot for the life of me figure out why you’re going out of your way to defend the status quo compared to shooting some of them. Shooting some of them to deter the rest is far preferable to what happened. Again, of course, as we all agree, with better preparation, there would be better choices that preserve the safety of congress while using less force against the insurrectionists.

    It would take a lot of evidence to agree with GerrardOfTitanServer that heavy use of live fire was the appropriate response. That is completely nuts and disproportionate to the actual threat though the intent of the threat was a serious insurrection.

    You are still dodging my question, and I ask it again: Where is the ethical line that justifies shooting shooting some Nazi insurrectionists in a mob of thousands of Nazi insurrectionists attacking the capital building with congress inside? Is the line before or after they kill a lot of members of congress in the capital building?

    What kind of evidence do you need? AFAIK, they breached the building with the senate in the floor of the senate, and aides had to borderline physically carry many infirm members of the senate out to save their lives. If that is not the line, then I don’t know where the line is.

    I say again, this is the closest that we’ve come to civil war and revolution in this country in the last 100 years. Prove me wrong. Name me any total situation that came even remotely close to this, keeping in mind the popular support, and State and congressional support, for overthrowing the government and installing the current president, Trump, as dictator. Again, if the line is not fucking here, then where the fuck is it? Do we have to wait until congress is dead and Trump declares as dictator before we shoot Nazi insurrectionists who are immediately engaged in similar levels of combat against the State?

  86. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    PS:

    It would take a lot of evidence to agree with GerrardOfTitanServer that heavy use of live fire was the appropriate response. That is completely nuts and disproportionate to the actual threat though the intent of the threat was a serious insurrection.

    You’re speaking with the benefit of hindsight. That’s one of my big problems with you. AFAIK, because of the way that capital security just rolled over almost entirely, one needed just a few dozen well armed, trained, and organized people hidden in that mob to take out most of congress. Without the benefit of hindsight, during the early stages of the attack, given the limited information known to capital police, it was easily the most dangerous threat to the Republic in the last 100 years.

  87. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    … it was easily the most dangerous threat to the Republic in the last 100 years.

    <snicker>

  88. PaulBC says

    @91

    The seeming difficulty is that you are going out of your way to argue against gunning them down during an act of revolution

    You seem really fixated on the false dichotomy between mowing down people with machine guns and just letting them have their way. There is a great deal of middle ground. In fact, the use of force is problematic. Sometimes you can just crush a rebellion and it’s over. (The Chinese government is surely patting itself on the back for June 4, 1989.) Other times you inflame it.

    The cases in which one side has carried out a massacre without consequences are those in which there’s a huge power imbalance, e.g. Wounded Knee. Now I’m making a pragmatic case, though I think the ethical case is more important. But let’s just ask if your idea would even work. Take some random example like Amritsar Massacre.

    The massacre stirred nationalist feelings across India and had a profound effect on one of the movement’s leaders, Mohandas Gandhi. During World War I, Gandhi had actively supported the British in the hope of winning partial autonomy for India, but after the Amritsar Massacre he became convinced that India should accept nothing less than full independence.

    It’s true that Gandhi was reacting to a massacre of unarmed demonstrators, but that’s not really the point. It was a disproportionate response and one that created new enemies. Do you really think the extent of the “rebellion” is just the people assembled at the Capitol? So what’s next? Do you go around breaking up cells and rounding up dissidents? I mean, honestly, maybe we should be doing that right now. We should certainly be vigilant. But the machine gun idea is entirely counterproductive.

    In the many places around the world where the US has thrown around disproportionate power we’re still dealing with blowback.

    Hell, I might personally be saying “The real threat is the Deep State.” if your machine gun idea happened. I hate the Trumpies, and I hate Nazis in general, but if my own elected government is mowing people down with machine guns when there are clear alternatives, I would have to reassess threats significantly.

    I say again, this is the closest that we’ve come to civil war and revolution in this country in the last 100 years. Prove me wrong. Name me any total situation that came even remotely close to this, keeping in mind the popular support

    The assassination of Lincoln, the assassination of JFK. Other presidential assassinations and attempts. That’s an entire branch of government potential subject to the whim of a lone gunman. These assassinations have changed the course of history, though they have not altered the form of government. Likewise, the failure to protect the lives of some legislators would have altered our sitting government without actually changing the form of government.

    I am just saying, get a grip, man. Your machine gun fantasy is totally nuts and the reason it didn’t happen is because those in charge of protecting Congress, while not as effective as they should have been, actually know their jobs better than you or I do.

  89. PaulBC says

    And yes, I realize that Lincoln’s assassination was more than 100 years ago. However, JFK was a lot more recent and his death had a huge effect. LBJ did enact some of the same policies, so maybe the effect was mitigated. It’s possible that the assassination of Robert Kennedy had a bigger effect. It’s uncertain that he would have won the election, but his presidency would have been very different from Nixon’s. My point is that US history has been shaped by violence throughout, and not just during the Civil War. An attack on the Capitol is different and very significant, but it is not necessarily the worst threat we’ve seen in 100 years. I really doubt it was, to be honest. It is a wakeup call and we need to stay vigilant.

  90. Tethys says

    Gerard

    Where is the ethical line that justifies shooting some rioters in a sea of thousands of rioters attacking the Capitol building

    It was where she attempted to climb through the security door after they broke the security glass out, and ignored the order to halt or be shot.

    Btw, you know who is well known for their liberal application of machine guns to various civilians? Nazis.

  91. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    the assassination of JFK.

    The assassination of JFK was not a threat to the Republic. No one was going to overthrow the constitution.

    These assassinations have changed the course of history, though they have not altered the form of government.

    And thus a non-sequitur to my assertion about a danger to the continuation of our constitutional democratic republic.

    Do you go around breaking up cells and rounding up dissidents? I mean, honestly, maybe we should be doing that right now.

    .

    Hell, I might personally be saying “The real threat is the Deep State.”

    .

    An attack on the Capitol is different and very significant, but it is not necessarily the worst threat we’ve seen in 100 years. I really doubt it was, to be honest. It is a wakeup call and we need to stay vigilant.

    If you think that allowing the federal government to shoot Nazi insurrectionists who are attacking the capital is a worrisome development because of what you explicitly termed to be the “deep state”, then I don’t even.

    You’re beyond the pale. I’m done with you, Nazi sympathizer. You’re not even sure whether we should be trying to locate and break up domestic Nazi terorist cells plotting the overthrow of the government. Jesus fucking Christ. Look in a mirror. I’m sure that there’s plenty of German phrases about Nazi enablers like yourself.

    Tethys

    Did you just compare the victims of the Holocaust to the hypothetical killing of Nazi insurrectionists who are attacking the capital building with the goal of killing the legislature?

    Shame on you.

  92. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    PS:

    Tethys

    Persons currently engaged in a attempted plausible violent overthrow of the government – those people are not civilians. They are enemy combatants. When captured, they become prisoners of war.

  93. John Morales says

    Excuse me for interrupting your frothing, Gerrard, but,

    … the capital building …

    The Capitol — proper name for the building itself.

    “Both capital and capitol are derived from the Latin root caput, meaning “head.” Capital evolved from the words capitālis, “of the head,” and capitāle, “wealth.” Capitol comes from Capitōlium, the name of a temple (dedicated to Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus) that once sat on the smallest of Rome’s seven hills, Capitoline Hill.”

    (I know, it’s always amused me)

    Carry on.

  94. Tethys says

    @gerrard
    This is not an active war zone you dolt. Your repeated insistence that a trumplican incited mob are enemy combatants that deserve mowing down with machine guns is indistinguishable from the paramilitary, gun loving, rhetoric of hate spouted by the neofascists.

  95. Tethys says

    Not to mention that the actual nazis gunned down civilian people of many ethnicities in addition to the genocide of the Jewish people.

  96. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    This is not an active war zone you dolt.

    Yes, it was. An armed mob of thousands attempted to breach the capital with the explicitly stated intent to kill the vice president and many members of congress in order to install someone as president who didn’t win the election. If that doesn’t fit the definition of “active insurrection and rebellion”, then I don’t know what would. If the site of an active armed insurrection and rebellion is not an active war zone, then I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Your repeated insistence that a trumplican incited mob are enemy combatants that deserve mowing down with machine guns is indistinguishable from the paramilitary, gun loving, rhetoric of hate spouted by the neofascists.

    “I want to kill fascists who are in the act of plausibly overthrowing the government. Therefore, I must be a fascist.” — Right.

    Also, I didn’t say “deserve”. This is a strawman, a purposeful misconstrual of my position. I’ve made clear many times that I only said that lethal force is justified, not that it’s required. I’ve been very clear on this point.

    I have also said that lethal force and/or “kill them all” is justifiable if it’s reasonably required to hold the capital building with congress inside against the Nazi insurrectionists. I didn’t say that lethal force is required if the insurrectionists could be dispersed in some other way.

    Not to mention that the actual nazis gunned down civilian people of many ethnicities in addition to the genocide of the Jewish people.

    Yes and? Are you saying I said otherwise? Where is that? Because I used the word “Holocaust”? AFAIK, “Holocaust” includes more than just Jewish victims.

  97. Tethys says

    Yes Gerrard is fixated on shooting people. It’s clearly the only possible choice in his hypothetical trolley problem.

    @John Morales
    Any thoughts on the etymology of Esquilline? I’ve always found it amusing that the Germannic root kaput does not mean head, it means broken.

  98. Tethys says

    Oh dear, I guess I missed all the declarations of war and necessary votes by congress that are required to be at war.

    Also where all those rioting stupid people joined the military and are no longer civilians.

  99. Tethys says

    Thanks, though I looked it up before I asked if you had thoughts on it. :) It’s a very odd word. ety. Unknown though they speculate about holm oaks and such.

  100. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Also where all those rioting stupid people joined the military and are no longer civilians.

    One does not need to be a member of a uniformed military to be an enemy combatant. See: Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

    Oh dear, I guess I missed all the declarations of war and necessary votes by congress that are required to be at war.

    One can have a state of war without an official declaration. We haven’t had an official declaration of war IIRC in a very long time. Since World War 2, right? Also, the president and the executive branch are privileged to use wartime powers during emergencies without a congressional declaration of war, and surely this is a case that should qualify.

    I don’t think you realize how close we came to seeing the whole presidential line of succession tortured and murdered on live television / internet. The president elect. The vice president elect. The speaker of the house. Etc. This crazy armed mob was within a few dozen feet of their targets, and they were only finally stopped by violence – specifically by that one amazing capital police officer who finally decided to shoot one of them. That officer should get the congressional medal of honor for the defense of congress against the insurrection.

  101. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Apologies – I meant the current line of succession, and not the one that will be in place circa Jan 20. Current vice president. Current speaker of the house. Plus the whole congress. With all of those people dead, who is going to stop Trump when he delays the transfer of power? We have to hope for a military counter-coup.

  102. Tethys says

    Luckily congress was saved without sprays of bullets, democracy lives, and that entire argument has already been addressed and dismissed as rubbish.

  103. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Luckily congress was saved without sprays of bullets, democracy lives, and that entire argument has already been addressed and dismissed as rubbish.

    It wasn’t saved by a spray of bullets, but it was saved by a bullet.

  104. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Seriously tethys, what kind of person are you? Some super pacifist who is against shooting Nazis taking over the government? Or are you a Nazi sympathizer like PaulBC who doesn’t even know if we should be hunting down Nazi cells planning another attempt at insurrection?

    Come on. This should be cartoonishly easy case to decide. If you’re not going to shoot a Nazi insurrectionist with the declared intent to kill the congress when they’re actively attacking and within a few dozen feet of the congress, then when would you ever shoot a Nazi? Where is the line? Are you some kind of complete pacifist who would rather live in a Nazi fascist state instead of shooting some Nazis?

  105. Tethys says

    There were multiple points of entry under attack. Congress was secured by a properly equipped police force. It certainly was not saved by that one shot.

  106. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    It certainly was not saved by that one shot.

    Yes, it was. The woman who breached the barrier was shot by an officer of the capital police at one of the final barriers between congress and the attacking insurrectionist force. That shot dissuaded other members of the insurrectionist force from coming through the barrier and attacking the congress. That was a critical and perhaps most significant act that protected the congress – the shooting (and killing) of that one Nazi.

  107. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To Tethys
    What, you think that they were stopped by nice words and not seeing their ally shot and almost instantly killed? They were determined to get to the congress before that shot. After that shot and seeing the woman hit the floor and die almost instantly – they changed their minds, and the attack stopped.

  108. Tethys says

    I saw lines of riot shields, flashbangs, teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets used to non lethally clear the Capitol.

    No idea what alternate reality Gerrard saw, what with nazis and one cop firing one bullet somehow saved America. That sounds like a Bruce Willis movie to me.

  109. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I saw lines of riot shields, flashbangs, teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets used to non lethally clear the Capitol.

    All several hours too late. By that late point, the congress and vice president could be all be dead, and the attackers already gone with a several hour headstart. The cleanup that you talk about happened hours after the fact. The cleanup was just to retake the capital building. It had nothing to do with protecting the congress people. You’re speaking nonsense.

    The singular most important act that protected the congress was that one shot, giving enough time and space for the congress to finally be evacuated from the building.

  110. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    https://theintercept.com/2021/01/07/deconstructed-capitol-inside-the-insurrection/

    Newscaster: Inside the chamber itself it was chaos: agents hastily blocking the doors with furniture to keep the protesters out, officers ready to open fire as a last resort.

    .

    Newscaster: We were just told that there has been teargas in the rotunda, and we’re being instructed to, each of us, get gas masks that are under our seats.

    .

    RG: What were the protesters saying to the cops?

    JF: You know, they were just saying, “We’re here for you,” you know, “Come join us,” “We’re on your side.” You know, “How could you do this to us?” They were saying, “Oh, the criminals are inside the building. We’re not the criminals.” You know, basically, I don’t know, can I curse or —?

    .

    So I went to the bathroom, came back, and about a minute later, you saw cops running to each door and locking the doors really quickly. So they were clearly locking us in the chamber. We were in the chamber for a while. And everyone was just sort of tense, not sure what was going on. But we obviously assumed that some protesters have gotten through.

    You know, at some point, they started banging on the doors, and it was clear that they were right outside of the chamber. So they started barricading things. We don’t know, at this point, if it was gunshots. Everyone thought it was gunshots, and we heard an officer say “gun,” but some of the glass popped out — seemingly like a gun, it sounded like a gun at least — of the door, right to the chamber. And then officers had their guns drawn, it was a pretty tense situation.

    .

    At some point, they made the decision that the House floor was going to get breached or wasn’t safe anymore, which — I’ve always sort of lived under the assumption that the House floor is the safest place you can be. It’s like hermetically sealed, it has its own oxygen supply. But, you know, at some point, they were telling us, “Get the gas masks from under your chair.” They gave us, in the gallery, gas masks with the escape hoods. And it was sort of like you might be wading through tear gas in a moment or so.

    .

    https://www.npr.org/2021/01/07/954384999/timeline-how-one-of-the-darkest-days-in-american-history-unfolded

    2:07 p.m. The mob of Trump supporters breach the steps on the east side of the Capitol.

    .

    2:16 p.m. The first scenes of the rioters inside the building.

    .

    3 p.m. Gunshots heard. Capitol Police shot a woman, who later died. A total of four people in total died related to the events.

    .

    https://www.gq.com/story/wednesday-capitol-attack-summary

    While lawmakers were evacuating, Capitol police were forced to barricade the door to the Senate chamber, and surrounded it with guns drawn to stymie the attempted break-in.

    .

    The insurrectionists made it so deep into the building they managed to infiltrate the Capitol Visitor Center, an underground bunker built into the aftermath of 9/11. “It cost roughly $700 million and has multiple secure rooms and blast-resistant doors,” according to the Washington Post. Police intended to take evacuating senators there as a safe room but the mob was already inside.

    .

    Midway through the insurrection, an ex-Air Force veteran later identified as Ashli E. Babbitt was shot and killed while trying to break into the Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol. After a glass window was broken, men tried to lift Babbitt into the room which prompted Capitol police to shoot. At this point, Capitol police, who initially failed to ask for additional help, were severely overwhelmed and outnumbered.

    .

    Backup finally arrived close to 5pm in the form of D.C. police officers. That larger contingent began clearing the Capitol complex. The group first worked on securing smaller areas like Statuary Hall, where sculptures of historical figures are displayed. Then, led by inspector Robert Glover, who works in the department’s Homeland Security Bureau, the force went through each floor and room to find and expel remaining rioters. “If it wasn’t for Inspector Glover, we would have probably lost both chambers to looting and had a complete overtaking of the building,” an officer told the Post.

    .

    CBS News’s Chip Reid told the New York Times that he was compelled to wear the same protective gear he would don in warzones in Afghanistan and Iraq. “It is so disturbing to have to wear a helmet and flak jacket on the grounds of the United States Capitol,” he said.

  111. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    tl;dr

    The situation was so unbelievably fucked, and we were so much closer to civil war than almost anyone in this thread knows.

  112. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/politics/timeline-rioters-breach-us-capitol-minute-by-minute/65-b3ee849a-d322-4050-bcf7-467dc4622b2e

    Please also see the pictures in the link. See house reps huddled down, hiding behind walls in the chamber that are barely more than knee-high, as insurrectionists close to or directly outside one of the doors of the house floor.

    Then the mob continued their rampage through Statuary Hall towards the House chamber where members of Congress were huddled behind seats and under desks.

    “Shots are being fired inside the Capitol chamber,” Rep. Tom Souzzi (D-NY) recalls. “I checked to make sure that the doors were locked. I checked them. I started to leave the chamber and started to hear ‘pop!, pop!, pop!'”

    Representative Souzzi captured the chaos and confusion on his cell phone.

    “I was just evacuated from the chambers,” Souzzi said in his cell footage. “These are the people who have been detained. I saw dozens of Capitol Police with their guns drawn, trained on the door.”

    That’s when Baranyi said he saw a rioter wearing a flag like a car get shot.

    “A number of police and Secret Service was saying get back, get back, get out of the way, and she didn’t heed the call,” Baranyi said. “And, we kind of raced up to grab people and pull them back. They shot her in the neck.”

    The woman who was fatally shot by U.S. Capitol Police was later identified as 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt. Her husband said his wife was a 12-year veteran of the U.S Air Force.

    “As soon as it happened, obviously, everybody was in a different mood,” Baker said.

    Baker said that most of the rioters near the location where Babbitt was shot decided to leave quickly.

    “I was actually lead out by a young female cop,” Baker said. “And, she said, ‘I’m going to keep you safe, but you’re coming out with me.'”

    .

    It would be nearly three hours after the gates were breached before vans of MPD officers arrived on the south side of the U.S. Capitol. With larger forces, police were finally able to begin clearing the complex.

    Finally, at 8 p.m., Capitol Police declared the building secure.

  113. KG says

    While disavowing GOTS’ absurd accusation that PaulBC is a Nazi sympathiser, he’s basically right: the Capitol Police should have been prepared to shoot anyone trying to enter the building. There was no way to know what was intended – hostage taking, use of chemical weapons, whatever. And as I noted @78, it is almost certain they were bringing a lethal and highly transmissable virus with them. And Babbitt was shot trying to get through what appears to have been the last physical barrier between the Nazi insurrectionists and the Congresspeople in the House Chamber (scroll down to Second (Principle) Floor Plan).

  114. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @122:

    the Capitol Police should have been prepared to shoot anyone trying to enter the building.

    Before and at the time of entry, the cops were vastly outnumbered (yes, they shouldn’t have been). The consequences of opening fire on intruders at that point are highly unpredictable. It may have discouraged the mob, or it may have inflamed them. If you’d been one of the handful of cops facing a crowd entering the building, when would you have opened fire? Would you have waited for an order, or would you have taken it upon yourself?

  115. PaulBC says

    GOTS

    You’re beyond the pale. I’m done with you, Nazi sympathizer.

    The police were prepared to shoot and did shoot one person. I have no gripe with that use of deadly force, nor any sympathy for the victim. But your talk about a “machine gun nest” suggests you are working through a revenge fantasy in your head (which is fine!) rather than proposing a solution to a real problem.

    I am saying they should not have shot widely and indiscriminately, which is what a machine gun response is going to give you.

    While I think the lack of security around the Capitol was unconscionable, I’m glad I don’t live in an alternate universe where you were in charge of the response. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that your intentions are good, but your ideas make no sense and would not have led to a better outcome.

  116. PaulBC says

    John Morales@99 It may amuse you further (from your very safe distance) that my own representative Anna Eshoo called the Capitol “the tabernacle of our democracy.” Religious rhetoric runs pretty strong in our politicians. Maybe it’s worth calling out, but it is so commonplace that I’m not sure there’s much of a point. I appreciate using whatever it takes to emphasize the significance of what happened.

  117. PaulBC says

    GOTS

    I don’t think you realize how close we came to seeing the whole presidential line of succession tortured and murdered on live television / internet. The president elect.

    I don’t think you do either. You are making wild speculations that aren’t informed by any historical precedent. Given that the actual outcome was 100% survival of Congress, one insurgent victim, one police victim, and a few other fatalities, it is hard for me to conclude that this was the “lucky” tail of a distribution that had the overthrow of constitutional government as its mode.

  118. PaulBC says

    KG@122

    And Babbitt was shot trying to get through what appears to have been the last physical barrier between the Nazi insurrectionists and the Congresspeople in the House Chamber (scroll down to Second (Principle) Floor Plan).

    Someone must have considered this the appropriate threshold to start shooting. You can question their judgment, but it at least shows that they there was some decision-making involved.

    I don’t have to say that’s the best possible choice to insist that it is better than turning the Capitol steps into the Odessa steps. Unlike the latter, the attackers of the Capitol were not innocent, but it would still be a disproportionate response (ethically speaking) and would have involved significant blowback (pragmatically speaking).

  119. says

    we were so much closer to civil war than almost anyone in this thread knows.

    I don’t think so.

    A civil war requires a lot more organization, and needs to be much more competently-run. These chucklefucks might have gotten more violent, and might have killed people, but that’s not a civil war and it’s not going to trigger one. Trump and his close supporters have been trying to divide the country in order to perpetrate a take-over but it hasn’t actually been going very well. The “troops” they’ve pulled together are not organized, militarily or ideologically, and are basically running around expressing a mixed bag of political ideologies that don’t necessarily align. If they had experienced great success last Wednesday, what were they going to do? Shoot or hang some people? While remaining surrounded by the entire city of Washington, DC and an increasing police/military presence? Did they think they were going to put a gun to some congresspeople’s heads and scream “write some legislation, or ELSE!?” and that the legislation would mean anything?

    Civil wars require much more planning and deeper divisions, or extremely ambitious individuals in the military and police. Trump was able to compromise a few military and police commanders, it appears, but nowhere near enough for anything but a klutzputsch.

    I’m not saying that they can’t get a bunch of people killed. But a civil war? No. Actually, the whole idea is absurd. Think about Brexit except it’s Texas. Hahahaha. No.

  120. PaulBC says

    Marcus Ranum@128 I agree with that assessment. In fact, an organized group would have had a better idea of how to get major leverage out of seizing the Capitol building. This mob was more like the dog that finally caught the mail truck.

    We were unconscionably ill-prepared and there should be mass firings, reorgs, and criminal charges against Capitol police as appropriate. I agree that we “lucked out” that no individual member of Congress came to harm. I was amazed, to be honest, that they got their act together fast enough to certify the election. I was pretty sure they’d all go take a break while they negotiated a return.

    I don’t think that the overthrow of the Constitution was ever on the table. With a different group of people, maybe, but this was a complete failure as an insurrection. The main mistake I see going forward is forgetting that it was an insurrection.

  121. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To Marcus

    Consider this scenario: The insurrectionists kill the congress and vice president, and then Trump declares that the election was rigged and he really won and that he’ll have a second term. No one is left from the congress or vice presidency to oppose Trump. What happens then? As far as I can tell, civil war.

    I personally think it’ll probably be a really short, and possibly bloodless, civil war, because it’s likely almost all of the leading career generals of the US military will oppose such an action by Trump. However, we’re banking on a counter-coup by the military to stop Trump’s coup. Relying on a military counter-coup is still scary. It could be worse – the military career leadership could back Trump, but that seems to be unlikely.

  122. PaulBC says

    I remember following the Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Peru at the time it was in the news in 1996.

    Suppose the Trump mob had been as well-organized as MRTA and had seized the Capitol in similar fashion and taken hostages. Clearly, it’s a bigger seizure than an embassy of a foreign government, and would not necessarily merit an identical response. There is no doubt that MRTA was a revolutionary group whose “stated goals were to establish a socialist state and rid the country of all imperialist elements.”

    There’s also no doubt they were opposed not only to Fujimori’s government but to the system of government as then constituted in Peru. That’s what a real insurgent group looks like (and they were not the Shining Path, and I am personally more inclined to sympathize with MRTA but I am far away and ignorant and have no business taking a side).

    Fujimori was neither sympathetic to MRTA nor known for his restraint in the use of force. There was a long standoff and eventually the Peruvian military attacked, killing every hostage-taker with very little loss of life among hostages. In all likelihood, they engaged in summary executions. This was not a kinder, gentler response. It was an authoritarian government acting on a plan intended to give the best outcome, and it was viewed with approval by most Peruvians.

    This is just an example of why I find it hard to believe that showing less restraint that Fujimori’s Peru is really the best response to what happened Wednesday. Sorry, GOTS hates Nazis and that’s fine and I hate Nazis too. But the rest is just crazy talk.

  123. KG says

    Before and at the time of entry, the cops were vastly outnumbered (yes, they shouldn’t have been). The consequences of opening fire on intruders at that point are highly unpredictable. It may have discouraged the mob, or it may have inflamed them. If you’d been one of the handful of cops facing a crowd entering the building, when would you have opened fire? Would you have waited for an order, or would you have taken it upon yourself? – Rob Grigjanis@123

    I don’t know what I would have done in such a case. I know what it would have been right to do in that position of responsibility: prevent rioters with unknown weapons and intentions from entering the Capitol building by any means in my power. I note that when one of the Capitol Police did shoot one of the invaders, that put a stop to their attempt to get even nearer the Congresspeople.

    No-one has responded to my points about possible chemical weapons, but we know Putin’s killers are quite prepared to use these abroad. We also know some of the invaders had gas masks. We don’t know none of Putin’s agents were there (or those of Daesh, or Kim Jung-un, or whoever else), we don’t know none of the invaders did have chemical weapons that they did not find occasion to use – or even that they did use, e.g. smearing novichock nerve agents on surfaces. Or scattering anthrax spores. And as I’ve pointed out more than once, we can be almost certain they contaminated places the Congresspeople went back into (without time for a serious cleanup operation) with SARS-CoV-2.

    Someone must have considered this the appropriate threshold to start shooting. You can question their judgment, but it at least shows that they there was some decision-making involved. – PaulBC@127

    It may simply have been a decision by the officer who shot Babbitt. We don’t know, and maybe never will.

  124. PaulBC says

    KG@132

    It may simply have been a decision by the officer who shot Babbitt. We don’t know, and maybe never will.

    I find it hard to believe there was not some kind of contingency plan, as chaotic as the scene was. I also believe it was a better plan than “mowing them down on the steps.” (This may not be anyone’s suggestion, but GerrardOTS hasn’t disavowed it to my satisfaction.)

    I can only guess, but suppose someone had said (a) the highest priority is protecting the constitutional government (b) that government consists of human beings elected to office (c) so we get those human beings to a safe place and (d) resources permitting, we protect the Capitol as a structure.

    This is consistent with what happened. I don’t believe that Congress was saved by “sheer luck.” I have a healthy respect for anyone doing their job, whether it is a plumber, a dentist, or national security. Until proven otherwise, I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re better at it than I am (and I expect them to reciprocate). So while the response was unacceptable, I believe it was probably better than what I could do.

    You can counter that they might have had enough explosive to blow up the building anyway or that they were carrying SARS-CoV-2 (but by that measure the GOP caucus is full of bioterrorists, and who am I to disagree?). There is still a point where you have limit the contingencies you’re willing to address. There’s the old “suitcase nuke” scenario, but even something more realistic could have been a threat to Congress, not just on Wednesday. I know the area around the National Mall. It’s fairly open, though higher security than it used to be. Republican Steve Scalise was shot playing softball. A truly organized effort could identify members of Congress at leisure and launch a synchronized attack like something out of Breaking Bad. How do you prevent that?

    It seems absurd to me to go from a hypothetical disastrous outcome in the face of an actual better outcome and conclude that more live fire should have been used. It’s clear to me and nearly everybody (including those whose job it is) that the Capitol should have been secured in the first place, but it does not follow that barring that, it should have been turned into the scene of a massacre. I hate Nazis (have I said it enough) but I am still happy that the Trump mob was not massacred.

  125. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @132: Your points about possible threats posed by the rioters are valid. My question was, and is; would armed response by a small number of vastly outnumbered police have defused the situation or exacerbated it? In such a dynamic environment, I don’t think the answer is clear. That those with Babbitt were discouraged doesn’t mean others, in other parts of the building, would have been.

  126. PaulBC says

    If GOTS had said “sniper” instead of “machine gun” I might be willing to consider his point (which is not to say I agree). If one of mob were to die suddenly before any of them breached the doors of the Capitol, maybe that would have been enough to turn them back. It would require them to show some awareness of what was happening. Threats over bullhorns would have probably been more efficacious though.

    Positives: Congress was saved and got back to work very fast. Relatively few deaths occurred. Negatives: The Capitol building itself was breached. I’m not going to argue that was not a strong negative. Also, a police officer was murdered by the mob.

    Now imagine an alternative scenario involving enough firepower to kill members of the Trump mob in double digits while they figure out that they’re not getting into the building. But no police die (contrary to facts), Congress is saved (same as happened), the building is not breached (contrary).

    While I get the whole “I hate Nazis and I want to see Nazis die.” point, I do not think the latter would be a better outcome either ethically or in pragmatic terms.

  127. says

    I have seen enough damage done by my country that if some of those protesters had shot congress people I would shrug in apathy. Ds, Rs, I might stare at the Is more closely but it’s the culture that is broken. I would not tell someone else not to mourn but I would not join in.
    Especially if another country managed to goad our own people into doing this. It’s reciprocal. We are vulnerable by our own flaws.

  128. Tethys says

    Just imagine what might have happened if there were hundreds of dead and injured people lying in pools of blood on the steps and inside congress.

    Luckily that did not happen, because those police didn’t just start shooting. They only used deadly force as absolutely necessary. That is exactly what police should do. They are not military. This isn’t a war. It was a crime. I’m fine with the truly violent fascists being charged with sedition, given the death penalty, and spending the rest of their lives awaiting execution.

  129. PaulBC says

    KG@137 That’s interesting, but it seems far afield of what can be controlled by any reasonable security measure. If there had been a threat to the Capitol, even without a breach, it might have been reasonable to move Congress to a secure location. I hope the ones who aren’t idiots continued to be careful about masks and distance. I am happy not to have to leave my house to do my work. Just being in the Capitol on a normal day would be an unacceptable COVID risk to me.

    I’m not exactly sure what GerrardOTS proposes as a plan, but everything I can picture looks like historically excessive responses that even today’s authoritarian governments take as object lessons and avoid.

    None of this means I disagree that Capitol police had the legitimate authority to use lethal force earlier than they actually did. I just don’t think anyone could have predicted the outcome of any course of action to the point that it would obviously have turned out better if the Trump mob had been shot at outside the doors. I strongly believe it would have turned out worse and I’m relieved at the real outcome even if it was more about luck than planning.

  130. KG says

    You can counter that they might have had enough explosive to blow up the building anyway or that they were carrying SARS-CoV-2

    I’ve already pointed out that they could have been armed with nerve gas. In such a case, there would have been no “safe place” within the building.

    It seems absurd to me to go from a hypothetical disastrous outcome in the face of an actual better outcome and conclude that more live fire should have been used. – PaulBC@133

    Why? And it would not necessarily have been more live fire: load-hailer warnings, and the first to attempt entry shot, would likely have sufficed.

    My question was, and is; would armed response by a small number of vastly outnumbered police have defused the situation or exacerbated it? In such a dynamic environment, I don’t think the answer is clear.

    No, but what evidence we have – the result of the single shot that was fired – suggests the former. The invaders seem to have been a large number of what some have called LARPers (with apologies to real LARPers), and probably, a few well-armed and serious terrorists, who would have seized hostages if they could. A few shot at the doors of the building would almost certainly have deterred the former, and left the latter without cover.

  131. KG says

    My first quote@140 is also from PaulBC@133; the third is from Rob Grigjanis@134.

    Tethys@138,
    No-one, except perhaps GOTS, has suggested mowing the rioters down in scores. My view is that invading the building was the point at which lethal force was justified; if you do that in such a situation, when no-one can know what you might be carrying, you’re a potential terrorist. And in further answer to PaulBC@133, the entry-points to a building are precisely where it’s most feasible to apply security measures – searches in normal circumstances, lethal force in the event of potential terrorists trying to force entry.

  132. KG says

    Incidentally, Tethys@138, I’m opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances; once you have someone in secure custody, there’s no moral justification for killing them.

  133. PaulBC says

    KG@140

    I’ve already pointed out that they could have been armed with nerve gas. In such a case, there would have been no “safe place” within the building.

    To repeat my earlier point, on any fine day in DC, someone could be walking around with some putative terrorist WMD whether it’s a “suitcase nuke” (admittedly pretty heavy, but suppose it’s being pushing on a hand-truck disguised as a baby stroller; ya never know) or maybe it is a suitcase full of weaponized anthrax, loaded with enough propellant to cover the Capitol and its surroundings in a lethal cloud.

    I was last on the National Mall a little over three years ago. We came up from the Metro exit and a guy cajoled us into buying a tourist cap, which normally would have been an annoyance but I thought it was a nice souvenir, including the grifty way it was offered. I am not sure what it would take to secure this heavily used commons against the threat of rebellion.

    And we were through all this crap about 20 years ago with “War on Terror” mania. Of course that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, but we’ve had some time to “reexamine our priors.” Real-life security people protect against real-life contingencies. When they miss something big, it’s called a failure of imagination, and that’s a problem, but it doesn’t mean that we need to propose drastic measures against every product of a fevered imagination. We know that some would-be insurgent was carrying flexcuffs and I think a taser. That is certainly scary, but it’s a far cry from WMDs.

  134. says

    I did not express that well in 143. Kayfabe fits as a general human behavior akin to sports, where a negative/unfortunate version of the behavior is war in the case of sports, and pogroms and rumor driven attacks in the case of kayfabe. Neat.

  135. Tethys says

    The lack of preparation, proper security measures, and proper manpower is deeply troubling.

    If I was one of the cops who was being attacked by that mob of magas I would be doing my utmost to get the inside magas heads on a plate. (So to speak).
    It’s certainly not worth the average DC’s cop pay check to be killed by a drunken mob of traitorous fools.

  136. PaulBC says

    KG and don’t take it personally, since we’ve met and I think I know you a little in terms of personality and you’ve stated your politics clearly, but you’re starting to remind me of the “ticking time bomb” apologists for torture from the mid=00s. I mean, I can’t rule out the possibility of Trumpies with nerve gas, but I am not sure it is a statistically significant enough possibility that it really alters the plans.

    I would have to now how secure that “secure location” was to assess if Congress was adequately protected from whatever credible threats were posed by that mob. I unfortunately have to leave it to others to determine what “credible” means. It isn’t going to be resolved on PZ’s blog, and even if it was, they’re not listening (well MAYBE they are but not to take our advice.)

    No-one, except perhaps GOTS, has suggested mowing the rioters down in scores.

    Yes, well my weak thesis is: “Do not mow the Trumpists down in scores with machine guns.” Gerrard seems to think that stating this makes me a Nazi sympathizer. All right then…

  137. PaulBC says

    There are competent authoritarian nations like Singapore where there must be people laughing at the US right now and wondering how we got to be such fuckups. (I am not authoritarian and still I am dumbfounded myself.) I am sure they would have a plan for securing any building that needed security in the first place, but assuming a first level failure, they’d probably have a much better contingency plan that “mowing them down like dogs.” It’s not because they have decided it’s immoral, but that they probably just have some ideas that would work a lot better.

  138. Tethys says

    I’m generally opposed to the death penalty, except for serial killers and rapists. Cops gunning down rioters amounts to an extrajudicial death penalty. It seems highly hypocritical to advocate for gunning them down on the barricade, but not after they’ve been duly tried and convicted.

    I think it is just that these crimes currently do allow for the death penalty because of Barr and traitor trump. I don’t want them executed, but I do want to make them pay a dear price.
    It’s better for them to be tried, convicted, and sentenced to death under those fascist guidelines. Then Biden could commute their sentences as a very public demonstration of the difference between competent democratic leadership, and fascist authoritarians.

  139. PaulBC says

    I would add that none of this alters my prior view of the US as a failed state. If anything, I am very pleasantly surprised that Congress got its act together so fast. It makes me wonder if my judgment was too hasty. But mostly, I see little cause for optimism.

  140. Tethys says

    @Paul

    I too was surprised when congress managed to reconvene and do their job. Too bad it only lasted a day. They should have spent the time in session confirming the results, then removing all legal authority from the ass who instigated it, and censuring those who were still attempting a coup via baseless claims of voter fraud.

  141. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @148:

    you’re starting to remind me of the “ticking time bomb” apologists for torture from the mid=00s. I mean, I can’t rule out the possibility of Trumpies with nerve gas, but I am not sure it is a statistically significant enough possibility that it really alters the plans.

    Tehys @152:

    It seems highly hypocritical to advocate for gunning them down on the barricade, but not after they’ve been duly tried and convicted.

    Nonsense. It was a terrorist attack, in which the probability that at least some of the terrorists had murderous intent was significant.

    To be clear: My point was about the efficacy of an armed response by an undermanned security force, not about the propriety of shooting terrorists.

  142. PaulBC says

    RobG

    Nonsense. It was a terrorist attack, in which the probability that at least some of the terrorists had murderous intent was significant.

    “Murderous intent” is not the same as “carrying a large enough canister of nerve gas to overthrow the constitutional government.”

    I used to live in a Baltimore, not the absolute nicest part, and close to a very seedy section where I sometimes shopped. I have almost certainly walked past people with “murderous intent” though I hope at a safe distance and probably not intent towards me. There is (a) intent to murder (b) means to murder (c) means to carry out the kind of wholesale assassination people are fantasizing about here.

    Yes, it might happen, and if it does I’ll put on my “failure of imagination” dunce cap, but I really don’t think nerve gas was ever on the table.

  143. PaulBC says

    This is an intentional strawman but will anyone disavow what I see as the fevered line of reasoning here.

    The Capitol was surrounded by dangerous Nazis who made it into the Capitol building. At least one of them was observed carrying a taser and flexcuffs. Wholesale killing of Congress would have been an existential threat to constitutional government. For all we know one of them might have been carrying a canister of nerve gas and succeeded in killing half of Congress. Therefore, Capitol police should have had a “machine gun nest” in place and mowed them down in scores on the steps of the Capitol.

    I can start to follow this, but at some point it takes me to a very bad place. If the Trump mob can carry nerve gas, then who knows, maybe that “milkshake” its really filled with hydrochloric acid, maybe that umbrella has a poison tip. I mean, yeah, maybe but what contingencies do we prepare for and what preparations are reasonable?

  144. Tethys says

    Sorry, I am limited to a phone and tiny screen and should have addressed my comment specifically to KGs “I don’t support the death penalty” remark.

    It is hypocrisy to advocate for the police opening fire into a rioting mob, most of whom did not intend to do anything more than shit on the rug, but finding moral high ground in claiming to not support the death penalty for duly tried and convicted fascists who were trying to kill congress people.

  145. PaulBC says

    To be honest, I don’t even see how a Trumpie carrying nerve gas is any more plausible that an appliance truck filled with fake Biden ballots and other kinds of suspicions that drove a lot of this Q-Anon mob. There were certainly people on November 3 with the “intent” for Biden to win no matter what, and “who knows”, if they did not believe the pre-election polling might have taken extreme measures. I mean, it’s in “Who knows?” territory. There’s no reason they might not be running pedophilia rings out of the backrooms of pizzerias.

    I believe the election was held fairly, despite turning out much better than expected for Trump and the down-ballot. I believe that pizzerias are primarily in the business of making pizzas.

    I may be vastly overestimating the difficulty of acquiring a canister of nerve gas sufficient to take out “most of Congress” if the bearer is not immediately shot before getting as far as the Rotunda. If so, shame on me, but this looks like a lot of speculation as well as posturing, again in the same vein as torture apologists, who were so eager to declare just where they’d leave their morals behind if needed, and do a Bruce Willis to save people from a ticking time bomb.

  146. Tethys says

    I think every congress critter who objected should be charged with attempted sedition and held responsible for their obstruction of government and violation of their oath of office. Cruz Hawley. Every rep too.

    The law means something, and should be equally applied to rioters, the subset of rioters with murderous intent, and those who currently hold elected office. Public pressure must be applied on Biden, and all GOP people to do their job to prosecute those crimes or be removed from office and charged with sedition. We have it on tape.

  147. Tethys says

    Approximately 500,000 people participated in the Women’s March of 2017 in DC. They did not believe those election results. I don’t recall any casualties or violence. ( by demonstrators). I do recall there were plenty of police on site to handle those dangerous unarmed people in wheelchairs.

  148. PaulBC says

    @162 They weren’t there to overturn the results either. It’s an entirely different situation, and it was very clearly constitutionally protected free speech (quite a few friends and family of mine attended in “pussy hats”). That was a fine moment for activism, and it consolidated a movement that bore fruit last November.

    I want to be clear that I understand the difference between that and a mob attempting to carry out insurrection like we saw on Wednesday. At this point, I just hope there is more follow through with arrests, and beyond the mob, the higher level decisions that left the Capitol in a vulnerable state. (I am not optimistic though.)

    But as I keep saying, that’s a long way from mowing people down with machine guns, even those with “murderous intent.” I also think the level of the threat, while substantial, is being amplified to argue for tactics that are mostly driven by animosity towards this group. I think our national security apparatus was compromised in this case, but I also think that on the whole they’re better at this than I am, and also probably better than people commenting here.

  149. John Morales says

    Me, I think the idea was to show the solons the will of The People.
    Political theatre, a grand gesture.

    Patriots storm the Capitol and take crooked lawmakers into “custody”.
    “USA! USA!’ is their battle-cry.
    On-side Repubs get encouraged.
    Vacillating Repubs get discouraged.
    Dems get intimidated.

    And Trump gets his way, and the New Republic is born.
    And those who abet him and ride the tide profit thereby.

    Interesting how very insufficient and unprepared the security forces were.
    Interesting how very long it took to get any reinforcements.

    I mean, I’m no conspiracist, but I don’t ignore data, either.

    (Of course, if that was the hope, it backfired — which is a good sign)

  150. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys @162:

    They did not believe those election results.

    Citation? They were protesting Trump’s campaign and expressed views, not the legitimacy of his victory.

    The last few comments from you and PaulBC have been absurd, and this is of a piece with the bad faith bullshit.

  151. Tethys says

    @Rob

    If you are having difficulty parsing my and Paul’s more mocking responses to KG, I imagine you didn’t scroll up far enough to read them agreeing with Gerrard about machine guns and opening fire into the mob on the steps.
    There are multiple detailed ‘enemy combatant’ fantasies involving one man and one bullet scenarios a la Die Hard.

  152. Rob Grigjanis says

    Jesus, this took seconds to find;

    She [Jill Stein] said she never intended for her recount in Wisconsin to change the election results. She said that wasn’t likely anyway.

    “We were doing recounts in order to improve and restore voter confidence,” said Stein.

    Life’s too short to engage further with twits.

  153. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys, I don’t have to scroll up because I’ve been paying attention. But I did go back to get this from KG;

    No-one, except perhaps GOTS, has suggested mowing the rioters down in scores

    Now I’m done. Almost fer shure.

  154. PaulBC says

    RobG@165

    The last few comments from you and PaulBC have been absurd, and this is of a piece with the bad faith bullshit.

    Right, I had the audacity to suggest that a massacre is a suboptimal response to an insurgency even after you realize that you haven’t protected the legislative house as well as you ought to. That is the whole of my thesis.

    You can read into it what you like and call it “bad faith” but it strikes me as a boring and conventional view. I’m not here to win points by emphasizing how much I hate Nazis by offering Rambo fantasies. I thought it was the other side who did that.

  155. PaulBC says

    Since I know KG in another context and he strikes me as a reasonable person, it is hard for me to read this without commenting.

    KG@132

    No-one has responded to my points about possible chemical weapons, but we know Putin’s killers are quite prepared to use these abroad. We also know some of the invaders had gas masks. We don’t know none of Putin’s agents were there (or those of Daesh, or Kim Jung-un, or whoever else), we don’t know none of the invaders did have chemical weapons that they did not find occasion to use – or even that they did use, e.g. smearing novichock nerve agents on surfaces. Or scattering anthrax spores. And as I’ve pointed out more than once, we can be almost certain they contaminated places the Congresspeople went back into (without time for a serious cleanup operation) with SARS-CoV-2.

    I do not know if enemies are afoot wherever I go. They very well may be. But I don’t see any positive evidence to support these claims. While parts of the insurgency were a credible threat such as individuals apparently with the means and intent to take hostages, the above is pure pizza-gate level fantasy. Yes, Putin’s agents do poison people, Daesh kidnaps people and beheads them. Kim Jung-un has murdered people to be sure, but I still want a little more evidence before I would place their agents in the Trump mob. Anything can happen, but that’s also why I want to focus on what has a reasonable likelihood of happening.

    If there is any evidence of nerve agents or bioweapons found in the aftermath of this attack, I’ll eat my words and wonder how I could be so foolish. But as of now, I do not consider those to be credible threats.

  156. John Morales says

    PaulBC:

    Since I know KG in another context

    He’s been commenting here about as long as I have — around a decade and a half.
    Smart dude.

    (Used the handle ‘KnockGoats’ for a while… which was amusing, and the progenitor of his current nym)

  157. PaulBC says

    RobG: Many people did, and still do, consider the election results of 2000 to be invalid, as I’m sure you’re aware, so it’s not an absurd suggestion. I agree that this was not a commonly held belief about the 2016 election and certainly not the motivation behind the Women’s March. I probably should have made that clear in my response (@163) but it seemed tangential to the point that the two events have very little in common, aside from involving a group of people assembled in Washington, DC.

  158. PaulBC says

    John Morales@172 Well as mentioned in another thread, I actually worked for him briefly and met him in person over 20 years ago. I agree he’s very smart and I usually agree with him here. I still think that concerns about Trumpies with nerve agents are not reasonable. I.e. in sufficient quantities to overturn our constitutional system of government. I’m capable of being persuaded otherwise but I need some evidence.

  159. Tethys says

    No idea why Rob is being so cranky about the idea that plenty of liberals did not believe Cheeto won, and gave Jill stein 7.3 million dollars in two days, Believing that it would be used for recounting. Many of those same people did in fact later participate in the Women’s March. Our little FB group went from 200 members to over 200,000 overnight with people who were horrified at a fascist being handed the presidency.

  160. Tethys says

    its also good to contrast the largest protest the U.S. has ever had with the example we witnessed this week.

    A common idea of the magas is that all politicians and politics are exactly the same.
    Thus all the recent efforts to churn up media drama around Hunter Biden.

  161. says

    @Tethys 176
    It looks like some kind bigotry to me. Political bigotry stereotyping politicians as dishonest in order to avoid talking about specific dishonesty. Relatedly there are people who complain about politics in general as if we aren’t all political creatures. Society is all kinds of fucked uo.

  162. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I can start to follow this, but at some point it takes me to a very bad place. If the Trump mob can carry nerve gas, then who knows, maybe that “milkshake” its really filled with hydrochloric acid, maybe that umbrella has a poison tip. I mean, yeah, maybe but what contingencies do we prepare for and what preparations are reasonable?

    A lone person with a poison tip umbrella cannot kill the whole congress.

    A lone person with a flask of hydrochloric acid cannot kill the whole congress.

    As for nerve gas, you speak as though this is not a contingency which they are prepared for. Wrong. They are prepared for it. The house chamber is airtight and has its own oxygen supply. They have contingencies for that.

    What preparations are reasonable? Whatever preparations are required to prevent a dozen coordinated, equipped, and trained assassins from some place like Russia or North Korea from killing the whole congress (excepting the impossible to defend, like ICBMs, and a nuclear bomb in a trailer of a semi truck).

    To be honest, I don’t even see how a Trumpie carrying nerve gas is any more plausible that an appliance truck filled with fake Biden ballots and other kinds of suspicions that drove a lot of this Q-Anon mob.

    You are against speaking with the benefit of hindsight. You didn’t know that as the events were taking place. You didn’t know if Russia had sent a dozen or two highly trained and equipped assassin’s to kill congress, to allow Trump to claim victory and stop the handover of power to Biden, to further destabilize the US. That’s a plausible scenario that could have happened. We know that Russia has killed its enemies on foreign soil. We know that Russia is spending large amounts of time and money to destabilize the US and other western democracies.

    I mean, it’s in “Who knows?” territory.

    Which is why you assume the worst.

    I may be vastly overestimating the difficulty of acquiring a canister of nerve gas sufficient to take out “most of Congress” if the bearer is not immediately shot before getting as far as the Rotunda.

    Read the damn links that I provided. They made it to the doors of the house and/or senate chambers with the house reps and senators still inside. Just a single door and a few dozen guys with guns were standing between these insurrectionists and the whole congress.

    the above is pure pizza-gate level fantasy. Yes, Putin’s agents do poison people, Daesh kidnaps people and beheads them. Kim Jung-un has murdered people to be sure, but I still want a little more evidence before I would place their agents in the Trump mob.

    How could you, or the Capitol Police, possibly be expected to be reliably provided with that sort of evidence before the attack happens, or near enough to the start of the attack? You’re armchair quarterbacking with the benefit of hindsight. These people need to assume the worst, and plan for the worst. If only one door and a couple dozen guys with guns stood between the whole congress and thousands of actively hostile people with god knows what level of training and equipment, then they failed. They miserably failed. There is no good-faith way to interpret this as anything other than a complete and abject failure.

  163. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    As I learn more and more, the more I become convinced that I am right. We’re now discovering some of the traitors had loads of guns next to names of congress people.

    People like PaulBC are beyond the pale for being unsure whether we should try to find and capture Nazi cells plotting another coup attempt. Many people in this thread are sticking their head in the sand, thinking that this is just business as usual.

    I say again, this was the biggest threat to the Republic since the first shots on Fort Sumter, and we haven’t seen National Guard like this in the capitol building also since about the Civil War.

    Those insurrectionist traitors should have been shot as necessary to defend the capitol building as congress. Lesser force should have been used where it would suffice, but if lesser force would not suffice, they should have shot as many as would be necessary to hold the capitol building and protect the congress.

    The idea that we might embolden our adversary by shooting them in the middle of a coup – that’s ludicrous. The idea that we might be better off by surrendering to a Nazi coup because the cops were outnumbered instead of taking the necessary steps to stop the Nazi traitors in the middle of a coup attempt – that’s ludicrous. Take your heads out of the sand people. A third of the country are outright fascists.

    Insert obvious comparisons between this and Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch.

    “Never again.”

  164. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    Lesser force should have been used where it would suffice, but if lesser force would not suffice, they should have shot as many as would be necessary to hold the capitol building and protect the congress.

    But it did suffice, as I noted @49.

    (Still, why let reality inform your rantings?)

  165. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    But it did suffice, as I noted @49.

    No it didn’t. They didn’t hold the building. The congress was in mortal danger. How can you read about what happened, and the new information that continues to come out, and still think “everything is fine” ?!

  166. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    PS:
    Riddle me this. If you think Capitol Police did an ok job right now, then why are there thousands of soldiers with guns and ammo in and around the Capitol building? It seems like others in important positions of power do not agree with your assessment that everything is fine, and that previous security measures were fine.

  167. John Morales says

    Look, it’s quite simple, Gerrard.

    You opined to the effect that X should have been done to prevent outcome Y.

    X was not done, yet Y never eventuated.

    It follows that it was not necessary to do X to prevent Y.

  168. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    It follows that it was not necessary to do X to prevent Y.

    “This one time, I closed my eyes and crossed the street, and I didn’t get hit by a car while crossing. Therefore, it’s not necessary to look both ways before crossing the street.”

  169. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Sorry, hit send early.

    They got lucky.

    Again, the congress thinks that it was acceptable. That’s why they already fired all of the heads of Capitol security, and why they brought in the literal army (national guard), and like thousands of heavily armed soldiers to protect them.

  170. John Morales says

    Gerrard, if you’re gonna paraphrase, at least get it right.
    ‘That one time, I closed my eyes and crossed the street, and I didn’t get hit by a car while crossing. Therefore, in that particular instance, it was not necessary to look both ways before crossing the street.’

  171. John Morales says

    They got lucky.

    Since doing Z resulted in Y not occurring, doing Z was (as is evident after the fact) sufficient to avoid Y. In that particular instance, anyway.

    Again, the congress thinks that it was [not] acceptable.

    As I’ve noted, it is interesting how the various warnings went unheeded. The paucity and unpreparedness of law enforcement. The delays in getting reinforcements.
    And various other items (many of which have been featured in the Political Madness thread).

    And sure, had the law enforcement presence been similar to that present during the BLM protests, what with the numerous cops in full riot gear, the helicopters and so forth, the mob might have been dissuaded earlier. Without necessarily needing to be machine-gunned with, ahem, real proper heavy machine guns.

    (And hey, that might not be sufficient, either. Surely well-packed minefields, swarms of drones with Hellfire missiles, artillery posts, and other things like that would be even better?)

    Anyway. Not being from the USA myself, I have this (to you) weird conceit that the overall medium and longer-term outcomes would have been worse if overwhelming and indiscriminate deadly force had been employed as you O so sincerely advocate.
    I don’t even share your belief that, had a bunch of congresscritters been killed, that would have necessarily ended your Republic.

  172. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Anyway. Not being from the USA myself, I have this (to you) weird conceit that the overall medium and longer-term outcomes would have been worse if overwhelming and indiscriminate deadly force had been employed as you O so sincerely advocate.

    Could you at least not strawman me please?

  173. John Morales says

    To what strawmanning do you refer? I’m taking you quite literally.

    You yourself used the term “overwhelming”, you yourself wanted ma deuce to do the talking. Not exactly a precision weapon, that, especially when used against a packed mob.

    “They should have had machine gun nests in the capital, and they should have killed anyone of the insurrections who entered the building with extreme prejudice.”

    (cf. my #102)

  174. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I walked that back. You read this. You know. You’re lying. And I don’t think that really qualifies as fully indiscriminate violence anyway.

    Can’t you ever not be a dipshit?

  175. Tethys says

    Machine guns are quite specifically designed to mow down people indiscriminately.

    Im glad Gerrard now understands that machine guns would have created carnage. No idea why he keeps insisting on police shooting people preemptively, it being necessary to prevent them from committing crimes. It’s true that passing the barricades was trespassing, but that doesn’t warrant summary execution.

  176. Tethys says

    The FBI has arrested and charged some police, along with the various right wing seditionists who brought guns and bombs and a gallows.

    Few details were given, but I’m sure the completely unprepared police presence that day was deliberate. Several staffers noted it as very odd, considering the security levels of other past events.

  177. stroppy says

    I wasn’t going to bring this up because it’s so fraught, but here goes. It’s a question of evaluating a threat in a confused moment and determining when a situation has crossed a line.

    Two extremes. Let’s say for the sake of argument that at one end of a spectrum you have a pair of lovebird picnickers who are about to accidentally trespass a few feet into a neighbors unused property by a peaceful lake. On the other end you’re in a war zone protecting unarmed civilians (let’s include babies, your mom, and scientists on the verge of solving cancer, climate change, and world hunger) and are you outnumbered by a charging, massive hoard of rabid armed berserkers bent on wiping you out, babies, and all.

    So where on that spectrum does the insurrection fall? Closer to one end or the other? How close is too close? How would you evaluate it, in the moment–without the benefit of hindsight saying with 100% certainty that since it sort of worked out for most of the people, no worries.

  178. KG says

    PaulBC@various,
    To quote myself @141:

    And in further answer to PaulBC@133, the entry-points to a building are precisely where it’s most feasible to apply security measures

    A point you completely ignore. You’re right – you can’t protect against eveything. But you can, and should, try to keep the legislature’s bulding secure. As for nerve gas being difficult to obtain, maybe you’ve forgotten that Russian agents used a nerve agent in an attempt to kill a Russian ex-spy in the UK – and their actions did lead to the death of another person, and more than one being seriously ill, with unknown long-term effects. Other Russian agents tried to kill Alexei Navalny, apparently by smearing such an agent on his underpants! What confidence can we have that no Russian agents were among those invading the Capitol? More conventional nerve gases do not appear (from looking up sarin on Wikipedia) to be particularly difficult to make.

    As for the “ticking bomb” stuff@148, the comparison is ridiculous and indeed, rather offensive. There are excellent reasons for the prohibition on torture to be absolute. There are no good reasons for such an absolute prohibition on killing, in a situation where nothing else will prevent an immediate risk of catastrophe.

    Tethys@152

    It seems highly hypocritical to advocate for gunning them down on the barricade, but not after they’ve been duly tried and convicted.

    Garbage – and dishonest garbage at that, since I did not advocate “gunning them down on the barricade”, but being prepared to shoot those trying to enter the building. I’m interested to know if you think it was wrong to shoot Askli Babbett, who was trying to breach the last physical barrier between the invaders and Congresspeople. But aside from that, there is nothing in the least hypocritical in saying that there may be times you have to kill someone in order to avoid the likelihood of something worse happening, but that when you have them in secure custody, you clearly don’t have to, and there is thus no justification for doing so.

  179. KG says

    If you are having difficulty parsing my and Paul’s more mocking responses to KG, I imagine you didn’t scroll up far enough to read them agreeing with Gerrard about machine guns and opening fire into the mob on the steps. – Tethys@167

    What’s the point oif siuch a stupid lie, that anyone can readily check is a lie?

  180. Tethys says

    @KG

    Way up at 72 you say that you agreed with Gerrards argument.

    At that point his argument was “argylbargle, machine guns. Why weren’t the cops gunning the rioters down?”

    If you do not think gunning people down on the steps was an acceptable tactic, then we are in agreement.

    Accusing me of lying because I pointed out that gunning people down on the steps has the same outcome as capital punishment? I can’t follow that line of logic.

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda arguments recommending more deadly force, after the fact, are not useful. The scenarios involving nazis and one man, one bullet are hyperbolic nonsense, especially in light of the facts of how the police restored order.

  181. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    At that point his argument was “argylbargle, machine guns. Why weren’t the cops gunning the rioters down?”

    Insurrectionist traitors in the act. Not rioters. Please stop minimizing what they did. Please stop giving ammunition to the alt-right by making it easier for them to conflate and equivocate between BLM “rioters” and these insurrectionist traitors.

    Also, this is what I first wrote:

    Against people trying to overthrow the government and install a dictator, the response was incredibly timid. It’s one of those rare times that I think a lot more shots should have been fired. I forgot where I read it, but someone made the comment that a few machine gun nests in proper positions probably could have held them off, and I doubt too many of these idiots would have thrown themselves into that meat grinder after seeing the first few walk in and see what a real proper heavy machine gun like a M2 does to a human body.

    Does that look like I’m saying we should gun down all of the insurrectionists en masse? No. No it is not.

  182. John Morales says

    Gerrard, not just done, but burnt:

    … I doubt too many of these idiots would have thrown themselves into that meat grinder after seeing the first few walk in and see what a real proper heavy machine gun like a M2 does to a human body.

    Does that look like I’m saying we should gun down all of the insurrectionists en masse? No. No it is not.

    Yes, yes it does.

    The mob was packed; this is evident in the videos.

    How many human bodies do you reckon it takes to absorb enough kinetic energy such that a proper heavy machine gun bullet is spent? And the very point of machine guns is their cyclic rate — many hundreds of rounds per minute.

    (BTW, you’re so very concerned about legislators dying, but:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_storming_of_the_United_States_Capitol#State_lawmakers)

  183. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys @199: I wouldn’t necessarily accuse you of lying. I would, at least, accuse you of not reading what is written by someone you are engaging with.

    See KG @141, and me quoting him @169.

    If you want to engage, then fucking read.

  184. Tethys says

    Ok, now Gerrard claims
    “I wasn’t argueing for machine guns, I was merely extolling the democratic process of demonstrating it’s lethal meat grinder effects on a literal rioting mob”. (Paraphrased since I cannot copy paste from people’s comments).

    Im fine with calling them a rioting mob, because nobody likes rioting mobs. I’m not about to stop calling them that simply because they are lying scum who sought to label and project their criminal mindset onto lawful BLM protests.

    Truth is the best antidote for lies.

  185. Tethys says

    Rob. I did read. As you see, Gerrard is still extolling violence and machine guns.

    If I missed something it is due to the difficulty of trying to read long ranting comments in a tiny screen that only shows a few sentences at a time. Chill out.

  186. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys @204: KG wasn’t ranting. If you can’t tell the difference between the people you are engaging with, or have difficulty reading, maybe stop engaging.

    Chill out

    I’ve been chill throughout, ta very much. Why don’t you try being less thick?

  187. says

    [reads thread]
    John, Gerrard @various — you both suck.
    That said, Gerrard has a point. A lethal response, while not ideal, should be an option on the table.
    Where I disagree is the immediacy of said violence.
    I think that de-escalation should be the priority, whenever possible.
    But when you got an armed mob of domestic terrorists literally coming at congress with the intent to do serious harm? I’m moving lethal force into the “regrettable but necessary” category.

    One more thing.
    The machine gun nests are still a NO from me. That’s just overkill.

  188. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I think that de-escalation should be the priority, whenever possible.

    But when you got an armed mob of domestic terrorists literally coming at congress with the intent to do serious harm? I’m moving lethal force into the “regrettable but necessary” category.

    For more emphasis, I mostly agree. However, I don’t go quite that far. It wasn’t a given to me that people needed to die on that day. I’m still open to lesser force initially, especially outside the building, and basing future law enforcement response based on how that goes. It might have been possible to resolve this without anyone dying if Capitol Police were better prepared and more equipped and took stronger steps earlier on, like maybe firing warning shots at the advancing crowd while they were outside the building.

    As you see, Gerrard is still extolling violence and machine guns.

    Yes. Yes I am. I am still extolling violence. I’m not a (complete) pacifist. I believe in some kinds of violence for self defense. I’d rather shoot Nazis than let Nazis overthrow my government. I will extol that choice in that constructed dichotomy all day long. I consider this to be a trivially easy choice to make. I am absolutely sickened that anyone thinks that Nazi insurrectionist lives matter when they’re attacking the congress in the capitol building, with just one barrier remaining, vs an attacking force of thousands of people of unknown training, equipment, and organization.

    Now, where things get slightly more complicated is when we talk about the real world. In the real world scenario, were there other options? As I’ve also already said – many times – yes there were other options with better prep, and they should have had better prep, and with the benefit of hindsight, with those better options, we likely could have avoided death entirely.

    My comments were still in initial reaction to someone upthread saying that it might have been murder when the Capitol Police officer shot and killed that insurrectionist, and in context, I think even considering a murder charge is absurd. That officer is a hero. In that situation, without the benefit of hindsight, shooting the first person to breach one of the final barriers around congress people is absolutely the right thing to do. More broadly, they should have started shooting significantly earlier. But again, ideally, they should have been better prepared so that they could take other actions which – with the benefit of hindsight – we know now would have resulted in seemingly zero deaths.

  189. John Morales says

    WMDKitty, heh. I suck and I blow.

    That said, Gerrard has a point. A lethal response, while not ideal, should be an option on the table.

    But it was not just an option, but an actuality.
    One of the intruders was indeed shot dead.

    (Whatever makes you imagine it was not an option, when it evidently happened?)

    But when you got an armed mob of domestic terrorists literally coming at congress with the intent to do serious harm? I’m moving lethal force into the “regrettable but necessary” category.

    cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_storming_of_the_United_States_Capitol#Prior_intelligence_and_concerns_of_violence
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_storming_of_the_United_States_Capitol#Law_enforcement_response

    (You know the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine”?)

  190. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    PS:

    And the very point of machine guns is their cyclic rate — many hundreds of rounds per minute.

    No. Modern soldier rifles, at least the ones with a full-auto setting, have comparable cyclic rates of fire as the typical heavy machine gun. The purpose of the typical squad machine gun, light machine gun, heavy machine gun, etc., is to sustain that rate of fire for longer periods of time. A typical soldier’s rifle is unable to fire at that cyclic rate for a long period of time because of 1- can’t feed the ammo quickly enough (box vs belt), and 2- the ammo actually weighs a lot and someone has to carry it, and 3- the soldier’s typical rifle is lighter and not as able to deal with the heat of firing so many rounds so quickly. A M16 can fire about as fast as a M2HB over a very short period, but the M16 is going to break after a few hundred rounds being put out of it in a short period of time, whereas the M2HB can stay functioning for a lot more rounds in a short period of time. (Also, the M2 can have its barrel quickly replaced to permit even more rapid firing before the gun system breaks.)

  191. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    Now, where things get slightly more complicated is when we talk about the real world. In the real world scenario, were there other options?

    Sure. A good start would have been to have taken them half as seriously as BLM protests.

    Remember the riot-clad masses? The rubber bullets, the tear gas, the helicopters?
    None of that was present, here. Because… reasons.

    (And they were not besieging the Capitol, nor did they for weeks prior signal they wanted to murder the lawmakers!)

  192. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    No. Modern soldier rifles, at least the ones with a full-auto setting, have comparable cyclic rates of fire as the typical heavy machine gun.

    Right. So, why did you write about machine guns, instead of rifles?

    Ah, never mind, the meat-grinder aspect:
    “… but the M16 is going to break after a few hundred rounds being put out of it in a short period of time, whereas the M2HB can stay functioning for a lot more rounds in a short period of time.”

    (Very enlightened of you)

  193. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John.
    Why did I just write what I did? Because you made a factually incorrect claim. I corrected it.

  194. Tethys says

    Rob @ 204

    Maybe you should mind your own advice.

    KG did in fact state they agreed with Gerrard. Gerrard is still fantasizing about machine guns. 206, 209

    Your initial complaint was about not understanding what Paul and I were on about, when we were mocking the Bruce Willis scenarios previously mentioned. There was also some off topic chat about other violent historical events.

    Still no idea what lies I’ve written. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a thick twit?

  195. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    KG did in fact state they agreed with Gerrard. Gerrard is still fantasizing about machine guns. 206, 209

    I think you meant “207”.

    Also, in 207, I didn’t mention anything about kinds of guns at all. Maybe you should try reading. This seems to be the sort of “lying” that you are being accused of. By me too. I don’t even think that you read it.

  196. John Morales says

    Nah, Gerrard. You thought you corrected it. Not the same thing.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_gun#History

    Anyway, if you actually want proper meat-grinding, a M134 Minigun would be even better.
    Belts go up to 5000 rounds! Up to 6000 rpm!

    The calibre is a bit smaller as is the muzzle velocity compared to the M2, so it wouldn’t go through quite as many people. But still, more dakka!

    PS

    I am still extolling violence. I’m not a (complete) pacifist.

    Um, if you extol violence, you’re not even slightly a pacifist. The opposite, rather.

  197. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John
    No. I remind you of what you wrote:

    … I doubt too many of these idiots would have thrown themselves into that meat grinder after seeing the first few walk in and see what a real proper heavy machine gun like a M2 does to a human body.

    […]

    How many human bodies do you reckon it takes to absorb enough kinetic energy such that a proper heavy machine gun bullet is spent? And the very point of machine guns is their cyclic rate — many hundreds of rounds per minute.

    Here, you explicitly quoted me talking about a “proper heavy machine gun like a M2”. Here, you are explicitly talking about things like belt-fed, crew-served machine guns, and not merely an infantry soldier’s rifle with an automatic rate of fire (which is legally a “machine gun”, but it’s not a “proper heavy machine gun like a M2”). You then said claimed that the purpose of heavy machine guns is a higher cyclic rate of fire with the implied context of current weaponry. This is simply incorrect. Again, to use the M2 and the M16 as examples: the infantry rifle has a cyclic rate of 700 – 950, depending, and the M2 has a cyclic rate of fire of 450 – 575, depending. Again, you were simply wrong.

    Then, it seems like you tried to move the goalposts, and pretended that you were talking about “machine guns” as legally defined in the US as any firearm that shoots more than one bullet with a single bullet press, when previously you were talking about machine guns in the sense of belt-fed, crew-served weapons, including SAWs, LMGs, HMGs, and the like.

    Alternatively, you’re now pretending that you were talking about about the historical reasons for the development and use of early belt-fed crew-served machine guns, but that’s also moving the goalposts because that’s not what you were talking about. You were critiquing my plan involving current military equipment compared to other modern military equipment, and not making some irrelevant point about long-ago history.

    You are being dishonest. Apologize, and stop it already.

    PS: And stop being an asshole while you’re at it. Your comment in 208 is also quite obnoxious. You’re trolling them, just like you’re trolling me. How it is that you haven’t been banned yet is a mystery.

  198. KG says

    Tethys@199,

    <

    blockquote>Way up at 72 you say that you agreed with Gerrards argument.

    At that point his argument was “argylbargle, machine guns.

    I quoted what I agreed with, liar. It said nothing whatever about machine guns.

    Accusing me of lying because I pointed out that gunning people down on the steps has the same outcome as capital punishment? I can’t follow that line of logic.

    And there you go, lying again. I quoted, @198, what I was accusing you of lying about: the claim that I supported “opening fire into the mob on the steps”. And @197 I called your comment @152 “dishonest garbage at that” because it similarly, and again falsely, accused me of advocating “gunning them down on the barricade”.

    Now possibly your earlier untruths could be put down to mere carelessness about whether your accusations were true or not, or inability to read for comprehension but @199 makes clear that you are indeed a malicious liar.

  199. KG says

    Blockquote fail. The first part of #223 should read as follows:

    Way up at 72 you say that you agreed with Gerrards argument.

    At that point his argument was “argylbargle, machine guns.

    I quoted what I agreed with, liar. It said nothing whatever about machine guns.

  200. consciousness razor says

    I am still extolling violence.

    Do we disagree about the meaning of the word “extol”?

    I don’t think it means “regretfully accept the possibility that in some specific circumstances it may be better than the alternatives.”

    If you don’t mean to suggest that you’re glorifying violence or are enthusiastic about its use, then some different vocab would be appropriate.

    I’m not a (complete) pacifist. I believe in some kinds of violence for self defense.

    Pacifists, complete or otherwise, don’t disbelieve in self-defense. What a ridiculous implication.

    We simply want peace, or in other words, we’re opposed to war and other aggressive acts of violence. There’s nothing in that about not defending yourself, if and when that may be necessary.

    I’d rather shoot Nazis than let Nazis overthrow my government.

    What if the government you had which was being overthrown was already a Nazi/fascist one? Or more generally, if you’re not allowed to just assume implicitly that “your government” is decent/acceptable, then what?

    And what if you have some alternatives, besides shooting them, which also prevents an overthrow of your government (whatever it may be like)? There are tons of possible situations like that, while there are only a few extremely specific ones in which it is actually and literally necessary (and can generally be understood as a form of self-defense).

    Now, where things get slightly more complicated is when we talk about the real world. In the real world scenario, were there other options?

    That’s quite a plot twist. You weren’t already talking about the real world?

  201. KG says

    Pacifists, complete or otherwise, don’t disbelieve in self-defense. What a ridiculous implication.

    We simply want peace, or in other words, we’re opposed to war and other aggressive acts of violence. There’s nothing in that about not defending yourself, if and when that may be necessary. – consciousness razor@225

    I don’t think that’s the usual understanding of the term, particularly as regards absolute pacifism (which presumably is much the same as complete pacifism). And probably the archetypal pacifist, Mohandas Gandhi, advocated non-violent resistance to the Nazis. By your definition, I’m possibly a pacifist, but I have never defined myself as such, because I think violence in self-defence or defence of others (up to and including war) is sometimes necessary.

  202. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    consciousness razor

    extol: verb: praise enthusiastically.

    Yes. I praise enthusiastically, without reservation, the killing of Nazi insurrectionists where necessary. I praise it. I praise it with enthusiasm. I do so especially because there are people in here who still think that surrendering the capitol building with congress is preferable to shooting Nazi insurrectionists in the act. I do so because there are people who think that it’s totes ok for PaulBC to say that they’re unsure if we should be trying to find and break up Nazi cells in the US who are planning insurrection.

    What if the government you had which was being overthrown was already a Nazi/fascist one? Or more generally, if you’re not allowed to just assume implicitly that “your government” is decent/acceptable, then what?

    These questions are asinine. They bear no relationship to the topic at hand.

    And what if you have some alternatives, besides shooting them, which also prevents an overthrow of your government (whatever it may be like)?

    I answered this, repeatedly.

    That’s quite a plot twist. You weren’t already talking about the real world?

    I have made my positions clear, repeatedly.

  203. Rob Grigjanis says

    GOTS @227:

    there are people who think that it’s totes ok for PaulBC to say that they’re unsure if we should be trying to find and break up Nazi cells in the US who are planning insurrection.

    I remember you mentioning this a couple of times, but I don’t remember PaulBC saying anything remotely like it. Link? Comment number?

    At any rate, calling him a Nazi sympathizer is beyond the pale. Not the first time you’ve gone over the top.

  204. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    I do so [extol violence] especially because there are people in here who still think that surrendering the capitol building with congress is preferable to shooting Nazi insurrectionists in the act.

    To whom do you attribute this belief? Care to name names?

    (I mean, nobody — and I mean nobody — has ever claimed that)

  205. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Rob,
    See #94, italics same as original

    Do you really think the extent of the “rebellion” is just the people assembled at the Capitol? So what’s next? Do you go around breaking up cells and rounding up dissidents? I mean, honestly, maybe we should be doing that right now.

    I strenuously object to the word “maybe” in that quote. That’s indefensible. I don’t know what that word is doing there. PaulBC has yet to offer a retraction.

    This kind of light-stepping, here of all places, around an actual attempted violence Nazi coup is still shocking to me. I still would have thought that we’re willing to punch Nazis just for being Nazis by themselves that it would have been a slam dunk to shoot Nazis as necessary during the act when they’re assembly in a group, armed, and attacking the capitol building and congress, chanting “Kill Mike Pence”, with a gallows outside, etc etc. (sigh) Emphasis on the phrase “as necessary”, with the particular intended meaning of “as much as is necessary to guarantee the safety of the congress”.

  206. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    Emphasis on the phrase “as necessary”, with the particular intended meaning of “as much as is necessary to guarantee the safety of the congress”.

    Here’s an adage for you: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

    (https://www.newsweek.com/national-guard-inauguration-deployment-4-times-more-number-troops-afghanistan-iraq-1561361)

    PS It’s quite telling how you so conspicuously ignore my #229.

    (You can sure talk the talk, but walking the walk… well)

  207. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John
    You’re a troll. I’m trying to minimize my interactions with you for my own happiness.

  208. Rob Grigjanis says

    GOTS @230: That’s as willfully obtuse as Tethys saying that KG agreed with you about mowing down terrorists on the Capitol steps. Let me help:

    “Rob, you should quit smoking”
    “Yeah, maybe I should”

    You’re just playing the faux outrage game; a childish attempt at points-scoring.

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