Things have really got this bad

People may remember how in 1981 Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was killed, along with eleven others, by one of his own army officers while he was on a reviewing stand during a military parade. It appears that Trump has created such a terrible climate of hate among his cult members that the Pentagon has even considered the possibility that one or more members of the military called up for security duty at the inauguration may try to kill Joe Biden and they are trying to carefully vet them.

There are concerns that some of the very people assigned to protect the city could present a threat to the incoming president and other dignitaries, the Associated Press reported. Their names will be fed through an FBI database for any evidence of connections to investigations or terrorism or other red flags.

Ryan McCarthy, the army secretary, told the AP guard members were receiving training on how to identify potential insider threats, although no hard evidence had come to light.

At least two active-duty service members or national guard members have been arrested in connection with the Capitol assault. Video footage from inside the building suggests some rioters had military training and that there was a significant level of planning and coordination.

This is not such an outlandish possibility since it is reported that many former and current off-duty police and military service members were among those who invaded the Capitol building on January 6th.

Trump has really done a fine job of undermining the democratic traditions of this country. Ever since the election, we wondered whether he would invoke a military coup to stay in power. Now we have to worry about radicalized military personnel carrying out assassinations to avenge what they see as him being wrongfully denied a second term.

As an aside, the US government has criticized the elections last weekend in Uganda where current president Yoweri Museveni claims to have won a sixth term in the office he has occupied since 1986. The US State Department has issued a statement saying, “We are deeply troubled by the many credible reports of security force violence during the pre-election period and election irregularities during the polls.” [My italics-MS]

Statements like this from the US would carry more weight if the president of the US had not spent the last two months saying the US elections were the most fraudulent in history and made us the laughing stock of the world.

But nothing, absolutely nothing, ever stops the US from acting like it is the moral exemplar for the world and lecturing other countries on how they should behave. It is quite an impressive display of chutzpah, when you think about it.


  1. says

    Sadat was one of those historical people and events I was planning to talk about this year.

    I’ve said elsewhere it would be better to have the inauguration behind closed doors. It’s been done at the white house before, so why not now? Better yet, swear in Biden and Harris in different locations, just in case.

    I’ve also said it would be more secure if the entire national guard in DC were Black and People of Colour. It would be far easier than vetting every NG’s background and likely just as certain to weed out the fanatics.

    It’s more likely tomorrow will be a big nothing and not a war zone, the fanatics realizing Cheetolini doesn’t care one whit about them, and the US spends the next decade de-nazifying itself. But the unhinged are always unpredictable.

  2. raven says

    Yesterday was Martin Luther King day.
    He is famous for a lot of things but died by assassination.
    That happens a lot in the USA.

    Security incidents involving Barack Obama -- › wiki › Security_incidents_involving…

    Barack Obama, who was the 44th President of the United States, was involved in multiple security incidents, including several assassination threats and plots, starting from when he became a presidential.

    Obama was the target of multiple assassination plots.
    A xian from Idaho was convicted for shooting at the White House in an attempt to kill Obama.

    They’ve already arrested one guy in Washington DC with a gun and a fake inauguration pass.
    Wherever you have hate speech, you have hate violence.

  3. says

    Yep, things are bad but, hey, let’s not worry at all about so-called progressives and their bad behavior because one study found that “Bernie followers act pretty much the same on Twitter as any other follower.” It would appear that study did compare against Trump followers, to be clear.

    Sorry (not sorry), but that dismissal still really bothers me now 10 months later. If we’re truly progressive then we need to, you know, progress and not pretend everything is fine in our own camp largely because we’re no worse than the other people. As we should have known, the bar is set really low. We shouldn’t be congratulating ourselves for clearing that bar.

    So the next time you hear so-called progressives bemoaning about how “the establishment” has things “rigged” without really providing solid evidence beyond that people in certain positions in the party are friends with each other, think about how bad things have gotten with Trump’s rhetoric and maybe tell such people, if you can do so, to reconsider what they say.

    I suppose the silver lining here is these so-called progressives aren’t necessarily in the military nor police forces nor are they necessarily gun fanatics like those on the right.

    And, to counter strawmanning (such as comments from the likes of “file thirteen” about how people like me who are concerned about some Bernie supporters are “primarily those that hate [Bernie]”, nevermind that I donated around $500 or so to Bernie’s 2016 campaign, some of which is documented here…must have done it because I hate him so much, I guess), I’m not saying our democracy is free of flaws. I’m not saying there aren’t problems with the Democratic party. It’s definitely true, for example, that people with privilege are going to be the ones with the time and money to be involved in the party and they’re probably less likely to be progressive because many won’t want to give up their advantages in society. And so, sure, these people are going to prefer candidates that protect those advantages. But I fail to see how bemoaning about how things are “rigged” is productive. Given what we’re seeing on the right, I easily see how such bemoaning can be counter-productive and potentially dangerous…which is what I’ve been trying to warn people about for like 5 years now.
    (And, “file thirteen,” if you read this, I’m not here looking for an excuse to “trigger” people; I am sincerely concerned about some of the rhetoric some people who call themselves progressive use. I want progressives to win elections and I think we, as supporters of progressive politics, need to be more critical of ourselves if this is to happen. That will include not dismissing criticism and/nor assuming it likely comes from our political opponents.)

  4. file thirteen says

    @Leo #3

    When I wrote that, I was more concerned about the smear campaign against Sanders than I was about excessive rhetoric on the side of Sanders’ most extreme supporters. The term “Bernie Bros” seemed to have well outstripped the meaning you ascribe to it to become a slur encapsulating all Sanders supporters. Was I wrong? (And was I strawmanning -- really?)

  5. mnb0 says

    ” It is quite an impressive display of chutzpah, when you think about it.”
    Don’t worry, outside the USA hardly anybody cares anymore about statements coming from the USA like this one.

  6. lanir says

    I think this is probably overdone. I think the part of the article where it says “no hard evidence had come to light” is indicating this is pretty routine. The big news is the green and red zones. Once you have those, vetting the people you have staffing them is just part of verifying your trust level in your own setup and that’s a necessary component of real security. If you think about it, would it really make sense to do that elaborate setup and then not do rudimentary checks on the people you have staffing them? You’re just kind of hoping for the best at that point. So vetting in this case really feels much more routine than the media is making it out to be. It’s a slow news day between various crises.

    This video goes into more detail about this and should help ease a lot of fears. There are certainly things to be concerned about in the world right now. This probably just doesn’t need to be one of them.

    I’m including some of my info here so you can understand my biases. Some of them will tend to bias me towards more factual assessments, others you may think do the opposite. That’s why I’m telling you this so make up your own mind. My background is in system administration on computer servers. I don’t focus on security specifically but I do have to understand computer security well enough to implement and maintain systems that can be trusted. Physical security is more complex, especially when you’re securing people. I’ve never had to worry that one of my servers will wander outside its safe area because it’s having trouble finding the little boy’s room. It’s common to be vetted before taking a system administraton job because I’m responsible for implementing security. Just like the troops in DC are. The vetting is mostly pretty casual. They’re largely looking for whether something in my background is going to look like an embarrassing oversight if there’s a security breach and a news article is written about it. I might get hired even if I have something like that in my background but my bosses would definitely not want to first hear about it from a reporter asking them why they hired me.

  7. raven says

    12 Guard members removed from Biden inauguration
    by Associated PressTuesday, January 19th 2021

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Twelve U.S. Army National Guard members have been removed from the presidential inauguration security mission after they were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or posted extremist views online, according to two U.S. officials.

    They have already outed and removed 12 National Guard members and the inauguration isn’t until tomorrow.

    There was no threat to President-elect Joe Biden, they said.

    I don’t find this very believable especially after what happened two weeks ago.

    There have been cases of right wingnut thugs impersonating police and National Guard soldiers.
    Of course, there are many cases of right wingnut thugs who actually are…police and National Guard soldiers.

  8. bmiller says

    Raven @ 7: See the ongoing assassination campaign in Afghanistan. The Taliban simply throw on some military-issued khakis, a fake badge or two, and a bomb vest and BOOM! there goes another dozen police officers, soldiers, or school teachers. Allah must be pleased!

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    … in 1981 Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was killed, along with eleven others, by one of his own army officers …

    Four -- but who’s counting?

  10. publicola says

    It’s gonna be a long time before we can claim the moral high ground again, if ever. Anyway, talk’s cheap.

  11. says

    The American establishment may think they can go back to business as usual, but I suspect the rest of the world will be less inclined to follow. It’s going to take a lot of work to restore trust. Honestly, I doubt it’s even possible to achieve in a single term. Everybody is going to wonder who comes after Biden.

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