• QAnon Militia Embed

    July 31, 2021

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Biden, Democracy, Post-Constitution America, Trump


    See if you think this is funny.

    He called himself a QAnon Tier I Ranger SEAL Operator, and had the 17 tabs down one sleeve overflowing with velcro to prove it. “In a situation like this, you, Embed, stick to me and I’ll get you home, brother. Unless the GPS gets us lost again.”

    Behind the wheel of his F-150 looking for parking near the state capitol, I knew he meant it. The eyes, always the eyes. In the backseat was his AR-15 gun with the handle on top, equipped with several dozen accessories from Bass Pro. His personal gear said he was ready, clothing half in arctic-urban-backyard camo, half blaze orange. “I can’t afford this sh*t unless I can get two seasons out of it,” he said. He asked I call him “Mike,” though I found out on Facebook his real name is Michael. His tactical hair gel caught the light as he spoke.

    “The plan goes down like this. If we find free parking we approach from the east. If we have to feed the meter, I come in from the north and the guys coming by city bus will enter east. The radio rang. “Honey, I told you it’ll be after 6pm… I don’t know, get a pizza,” he said in some sort of code.

    “The mission today is simple. Occupy the space in front of the CNN camera crew and dominate the interviews. The CNN crew will ID themselves by removing their heads from their own butts, so watch for the signal. Stay frosty in case we spot Maddow and I call an audible. And bunch up so it looks like there’re more of us.”

     

    Hah, pretty funny, yeah? I made that up. But this is true: Daily Beast published a “scoop” revealing one of the men charged in the January 6 riot had a fully assembled Lego model of the Capitol in his home, which the FBI insinuated was used as a tactical planning tool and thus seized as evidence. It formed part of the prosecution’s argument against bail. The problem is even that wasn’t true; the man merely had the unopened Lego set and the prosecutors lied. “In original detention memoranda, the undersigned stated that law enforcement found a ‘fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set.’ The Lego set was in a box and not fully constructed at the time of the search,” the new filing says. Meanwhile the accused rioter remains in jail. The Lego Capitol set, once sold in the Capitol gift shop, is still available on Amazon.

     

    And this is true and not so funny. Most of the 538 people arrested for the January riot did not commit acts of violence, and face accusations of little more than gussied up trespassing. Many were charged simply with violating a 6 pm curfew imposed that day. Yet almost all have been denied bail and are being held in solitary in Washington, D.C. city jails as a “safety measure.” The result is the accused find themselves in lockdown 23 hours a day before their trials even start.

    In any other context such treatment of innocent people would raise a woke storm. The ACLU claims “prolonged solitary confinement is torture and certainly should not be used as a punitive tool to intimidate or extract cooperation.” Except that it is in what has become a punitive political prosecution. The decision maker on the accused’s jail conditions? Biden’s Attorney General.

    Meanwhile, after six months, the first person was finally tried. She turned out to be a woman who plead to a misdemeanor charge of “parading in the Capitol building” and was given probation. The second prosecution ended with time served on a misdemeanor charge. Next up was a yet-unsentenced plea to “obstructing Congress.” Another trespasser had his bail revoked and was sent to solitary for leaving a voicemail referencing “the size of his genitalia.” In a Zoom hearing, the same fellow “wore sweatpants and ate breakfast on the call,” and in February sent a “vulgar” email where he called an FBI agent “fat necked.” Brownshirt stuff, amiright?

    In another pending case involving no violence or vandalism, prosecutors demanded maximum penalties, stating though “individuals convicted of such behavior may have no criminal history, their beliefs make them unique among criminals in the likelihood of recidivism.” In other words, a thought crime. The single felony conviction out of all of this led to only an 8 month sentence for “obstructing an official proceeding.” Prosecutors had demanded a much greater sentence by claiming the action was a bombastic “assault on democracy.” As a metric, Hitler was sentenced to 5 years in prison following his attempted “beer hall putsch.”

    Only 533 cases more to go to see justice. Rarely have so many resources been used to accomplish so little.

     

    This is also true but not so funny. The day after the Capitol riots, the FBI asked Americans “to step up” and identify people who participated. Not only did friends and relatives rat each other out, but armies of unrelated people jumped at the chance to roleplay Stasi. Even somewhat news organization CNN helped ID people on behalf of the FBI. The NYT published a guide to militia symbols so would-be sleuths could tell their Oathkeepers  from their QAnons. The AP called these citizens “sedition hunters” as America weaponized Kancel Kulture Kids into an e-mob.

    “I put my emotions behind me to do what I thought was right,” said Jackson Reffitt, whose GoFundMe hit $140k after he turned in his own father to the FBI. Himmler’s heart grew three times in size seeing the zeal of ordinary people to get with the pogram.

    Tech found its niche. While the mob was still in the Capitol building multiple groups, including Bellingcat, started to scrape everything posted to build evidence for the FBI. Reddit users created a 12GB tranche of videos. Intelligence X (whose customers are “companies of all sizes and governments”) has 1,300 files. The goal is to crowdsource IDing so no rioter escapes. “If you look at the history and incidents like the 1812 breach of the Capitol as well as the 1933 German Reichstag fire it highlights the need for accurate and original data in historical context,” said Intelligence X’s CEO. Wired reminds us in the context of 1/6 how “Previously, third-party groups archiving video and photo evidence has been crucial in the process of identifying war crimes happening in Syria.” The 1812 breach was by the British Army in time of war. There was no fire, Reichstag or otherwise, on January 6, and no certainly no war crimes.

    Further extending the private sector’s reach into Americans’ civil rights and privacy, the Department of Justice hired a contractor (Deloitte @ $6.1 million) to categorize all this tech-collected data, surrendering the decision of who is prosecutable to private industry. A judge has currently put the project on hold.

    Working the other side of the operation, Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube deleted live streams of the Capitol riot and demonetized the accounts. Twitter went further, tagging Trump’s tweets about the riot with a warning, deactivated most engagement “due to a risk of violence,” all before removing the Trump material completely. For next time, Facebook revealed it has a tool called CrowdTangle which tracks users’ high engagement levels with whatever the hell Facebook thinks is a right-wing media source. The tool is available only to selected academics and journalists, of course.

    And this is not funny at all. The FBI published a manual for citizens to use to report on each other for “displaying a readiness to commit a
    violent act” or even “displaying a mindset oriented toward committing a violent act.” Most of it is recycled from some post-9/11 “How to Spot an Islamic Terrorist Under Your Bed” campaign, making it even more obvious white militia is to be this generation’s jihadi boogie man. Though a jaunty warning reminds many of the FBI’s “indicators” are also constitutionally protected actions, such as owning a gun and criticizing the government, the main point is when in doubt, turn them, Citizen, Your Government will sort them out from inside solitary.

     

    Lot of laffs there. Funny as it is, despite the wishes of Democrats, their FBI, and their MSM, the January 6 riot just was not an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government or change an election. The rioters had absolutely no path to doing that, no mechanism for stopping Joe Biden becoming president. They hardly even qualified as vandals: no fires set, no destruction of priceless paintings or statues, no ransacking of files. They dispersed relatively quickly and simply went home. In contrast, BLM riots took dozens of lives and did millions of dollars in damage across the nation for months.

    The Democrats also have a larger goal in mind, to get people used to working to further political law enforcement, and to become more comfortable with if not demanding of unequal law enforcement as a political tool. So no surprise the Biden administration just unveiled a national strategy to combat “domestic extremism,” calling for ideological screening of government employees for ties to “hate groups.” The plan highlights a shift in the government’s approach to counterterrorism, which for decades prioritized fighting foreign terrorists. Those same tools of war will now be turned inward, on us. And that for sure is not funny.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Earth to Peter,

      Okay, just because Trump’s stupid plan could never overturn the election – he really thought he could convince the DOJ to just say it’s rigged and let Trump’s Repugs do the rest- doesnt change the fact the moron did try to overthrow the government. Sitting on his fat ass in the White House watching his morons break into the Capitol, The Moron in Chief really believed all he had to do was stop Pence from his duty. “They dispersed relatively quickly” is not an excuse. Most terrorists tend to do that.

      07/31/21 4:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      2

      Earth to Rich: You continue to be the best straight man ever, thanks man!

      So in your rebuttal above you cite PVB saying “They dispersed relatively quickly,” and then *you* go on to claim that “is not an excuse. Most terrorists tend to do that.” Now anyone who’s ever crossed swords with, or even *heard* of the Taliban, Al Qaeda or ISIL just might call BS on your comment – in effect claiming that “most terrorists tend to disperse relatively quickly.” The reason groups like the Taliban, AQ or ISIL are so dangerous isn’t because they’re crazy, but because they’re also cunning, clever, patient, heavily armed and – most importantly – willing to DIE for their crazy beliefs. That’s why it took us *years* to find and kill Bin Laden and dismantle AQ, and why the Taliban is still around in Afghanistan, after literally decades of fighting with the Soviets and then us.

      Now let’s take a look at the Capital rioters. They were certainly crazy, no doubt about that. But were they heavily armed? Where are all the gun charges against them, for illegally carrying firearms on Capital grounds? Or how about charges more serious than that – how come they’re seizing Legos from the rioters’ homes instead of explosives? Was it because these “terrorists” were trying to topple the *entire USG* armed with nothing more than American flags, MAGA hats and Viking helmets? Was that their “plan?” My, how cunning, clever and patient of them! And one of them did die after all – after being shot unnecessarily by a Capital Police cop.

      And speaking of their “plan” – their “intent” in legal jargon – where are the charges of treason or insurrection in among all the misdemeanor charges? Surely there’s proof of that out there? Just like there has to be proof that (as you claim) Trump tried “to overthrow the government.” Why are Biden, Pelosi and Schumer sitting on that “proof?” Maybe because (gasp) there isn’t any?! And these morons were just angry rioters (who should indeed be prosecuted fully for their crimes, just like the BLM rioters should have been) vice “terrorists” or part of some elaborate insurrectionist plan? (Not that the lack of proof will keep the Democrats for looking for some until the mid-terms.)

      Now I know you’re a busy guy, so let me help you write your next post. 1. Insinuate I’m a Russian troll, to somehow try to discredit me. 2. Bring up other issues unrelated to PVB’s post and my comments, like Florida’s gun laws or a shooting in Hawaii ten years ago, to try to distract people from the points PVB and I’ve made. 3. And above all, under *no* circumstances discuss the *facts* of the matter – just keep pandering to people’s emotions by continuing to shout “Orange Man bad!” and “The Fascists are coming!”

      Keep the great material coming buddy – you’re a gold mine!

      08/1/21 12:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Joe(Stalin),

      You seem to think being a Russian paid troll is a bad thing. WRONG. I welcome your input here as it saves me having to read RT for Putin’s latest talking points. Let US know how the Putin vaccine disinformation has so fucked your country in failing to control the latest surge of the virus. Also, can you send me photos of the Putin Palace and the Panama banks where he and his oligarchs stash their stolen cash? Can you get your Russian troll roomies to comment here? Peter needs the clicks.

      08/1/21 5:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Beobachter said...

      4

      First they came for the editors, but I didn’t need no stinking editor…

      Oh sure, we all get enraged when some writer we like gets unpersoned, but I seem to be the only person on this benighted prison planet who’s even noticed that ALL the Internet editors have gone AWOL!

      Peter, you’re one of my favorite writers, but the past tense of “plead” is “pleaded” (or “pled”). And the past tense of “lead” is “led”.

      08/2/21 11:55 AM | Comment Link

    • The Ministry of Plenty said...

      5

      @Rich Bauer The prescription phoned in by your (psychiatrist) for (horse tranquilizers) has been filled and is ready for pickup; it has been prepaid by (Joe Biden) and your balance due is zero ($0.00). This medication has been prescribed to treat (psychotic delusions) and may have serious side effects; please read the warning pamphlet enclosed with your medication for details. If you do experience any side effects, please contact (your Party approved doctor) at (the Ministry of Truth) for assistance. You have (infinite) refills. Wishing you good health! – Your local Miniplenty Pharmacy

      08/2/21 3:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      Oh good, another Russian troll. Keep em coming. Peter needs all you guys to comment here.

      08/3/21 11:17 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      7

      Ministry of Plenty. I’ll take a few of Bauer’s horse tranquilizers if he can spare them. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated for insisting the country stay united. I’ll side with Bauer’s view that Trump can still foment even more political conflict. Trump’s boundless skill at acerbating tribal politics is unnerving to me because it blends well with our underlying religious schisms.

      08/3/21 11:40 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      “The Democrats also have a larger goal in mind, to get people used to working to further political law enforcement, and to become more comfortable with if not demanding of unequal law enforcement as a political tool.”

      Yes, And you forgot to mention Hillary Clinton, drunk on the blood of children in the basement of a DC pizza joint is behind it all.

      08/3/21 11:13 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      I’ll be my own proofreader. I left the ex off exacerbate but to atone I offer perhaps a fitting neologism for Trump type behavior- “acerbiticate” (to make bitter). OK, hoping for a chuckle in these grim discussions and interactions. It does get pretty personal here.

      08/4/21 8:32 AM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      10

      Rich – Great job buddy, now you’re parodying yourself! “Everyone who disagrees with me and the DNC is a Russian troll! The Russians are coming, the Fascists are coming! Orange Man bad!!! COVID will kill us all! Get off my lawn you damn kids!” Hilarious!

      John – Was/is Trump crudely divisive? You bet. But how about guys like Bauer and the other DNC hacks who pushed Russiagate for years, and continue to do so now after the Mueller report? Are *they* trying to be inclusive and foster cooperation and compromise? Or how about the folks trying to portray the Capital rioters as “terrorists” while handwaving away the BLM rioters as being “just angry protesters?” Is that sort of hypocrisy inclusive and likely to promote a more unified society? Just because these other people (well except for Bauer) are a little slicker than Trump doesn’t make them any less reprehensible, and in fact makes them even more insidious. As Ilhan Omar said, Obama was able to get away with murder because of his pretty face. But maybe she’s a Russian troll too, right?

      MoP – Horse tranqs, huh? Given how this society is tearing itself apart, I may have to give those a try too!

      08/4/21 10:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      More Q-uestions

      Why have you not addressed the Deep State role in all if this? Obviously it has been tapping Trump’s wires and was well aware this was going to happen AND DID NOTHING! Devious devils, that was the plan, right? Turn public opinion against a bunch of mouth breathers who cant pay their taxes. Hard targets all. Besides tracking these morons by their not so smartphone pings, the Deep State for years has placed tracking devices inside every assault weapon for years. One push of the button and the entire US Air Force Drone Fleet could vaporize every Trumpist and NRA member. Didn’t you watch that Bourne Legacy movie?

      But maybe Peter is in on it. Once a member of the Deep State…

      Just asking Questions.

      08/4/21 3:35 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      12

      Joe- I doubt you can find someone as critical of Barack Obama as I am. I dutifully voted for him in 2008 but quickly realized I had been conned. I abstained in 2012 and also 2016 In 2020 voted for Biden although I consider my return to voting for POTUS as delusional. Right now I’m enjoying the fact that Olympics “banned” Russia plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto Number One for any Russian medal winner. I’d prefer Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man to be played for American winners. OK, off subject but maybe not.

      08/4/21 9:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      13

      Of course I was joking about Hillary drunk on blood. That never happened. But reports about Putin taking baths in blood….hmmm.

      08/5/21 10:23 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      Now THIS is funny:

      Prosecutors responded in a sentencing memo filed Friday requesting that Robert Reeder serve two months in jail, calling his claims “divorced from reality.”

      “The defendant would ask the court to believe that despite being tear gassed and shot with pepper balls, he was simply unaware that entry into the Capitol was prohibited at the time,” prosecutors wrote. “A clear message must be sent to this defendant that he is being held responsible for all of his illegal conduct during the riots. Tellingly, (Reeder) continues to minimize his conduct…as an ‘accidental tourist with a phone trying to document everything.’ … The defendant chose to stand among the crowd and record as they yelled ‘Hang Mike Pence.'”

      Careful Peter, he may be offered a job writing for American Conservative.

      08/6/21 1:59 PM | Comment Link

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