A mob of older people from unfashionable zip codes somehow made it all the way to Washington, D.C., probably by bus. They wandered freely through the Capitol, like it was their building or something. They didn’t have guns, but a lot of them had extremely dangerous ideas. They talked about the Constitution, and something called “their rights.” Some of them made openly seditious claims. They insisted, for example, that the last election was not entirely fair. The whole thing was terrifying. And then, as you’ve been told so often, they committed unspeakable violence. By the time thousands of soldiers arrived to restore order, an unarmed woman, an Air Force veteran, lay dead. To this day, that woman is the one completely verified casualty of the insurrection, the only person whose death we can say definitively was caused by specific events on January 6th. We know how she died.
The funny thing is, you almost never hear that woman’s name. Possibly that’s because she wasn’t a Democratic member of Congress, or even a Joe Biden voter. She was a protestor. Her name was Ashli Babbitt. She was 35.
We still don’t know who shot Ashli Babbitt, or why. No one will tell us. But then, when you’re fighting insurrectionists, you don’t have to explain yourself. You just hyperventilate about QAnon, and then you do whatever you want. When a group of sad, disenfranchised people who have been left out of the modern economy show up at your office, you don’t have to listen to their complaints, not for a second. Why would you? You thought listening to people’s complaints was democracy? No, these people threaten democracy. You can even shoot one of them, if you want, and get away with it. Killing people without explaining yourself is an established part of counterinsurgency. If you don’t believe it, check out what happened in the Second World War.
CHUCK SCHUMER, JAN. 6: President Franklin Roosevelt set aside December 7th, 1941, as a day that will live in infamy. Unfortunately, we can now add January 6th, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy.
January 6th was equivalent to Pearl Harbor, says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer has never really gotten appropriate credit for the grandeur of that statement, considering the fact that we entered the Second World War the day after Pearl Harbor. That war went on for four years. More than 400,000 Americans died. That was the cost of stopping fascism.
We don’t yet know the cost of stopping White supremacist QAnon insurrection, but you can be certain Chuck Schumer is prepared to have you pay whatever it costs. Joe Biden’s Justice Department is on the front lines of this new war.
Until late last month, a man called Michael Sherwin worked for the administration as a prosecutor in Washington. Sherwin bragged that his office rounded up about 400 people who were in or near the Capitol on Jan. 6. You may be wondering if 400 people really committed crimes that day. It depends how you define “crime.” Here’s Michael Sherwin’s definition:
MICHAEL SHERWIN: After the 6th, we had an inauguration on the 20th. So I wanted to ensure, and our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe, that we could charge as many people as possible before the 20th. And it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re like, “If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.” … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.
So now it’s clear. It wasn’t that 400 people broke actual laws. No, their crime, said the federal prosecutor, was “thumbing their noses at the public,” meaning the Democratic Party. It wasn’t “insurrection.” It was showing disrespect to Joe Biden and his enforcers like Michael Sherwin, and that can’t happen.
That’s why Michael Sherwin decided to use “shock and awe” — to teach them a permanent lesson about expressing their political opinions. As Sherwin explained, “the scope and scale of this investigation are really unprecedented, not only in FBI history but probably DOJ history.”
And he may be right. How big and how serious is this investigation into those insurrectionists? So serious that the FBI has stopped investigating other crimes, and not minor crimes.
According to USA Today, “Investigators who typically work cases involving the trafficking of drugs, child pornography and sex have taken calls from rioter’s [sic] angry ex-wives and former girlfriends and employers turned tipsters.”
So, in order to send a message to people with unacceptable political ideas in Washington, D.C., we’re not going after people who sell fentanyl, a drug that has killed more than 100,000 Americans, or child pornographers. They won’t be punished. So who are these people who are being perused in lieu of tracking down fentanyl dealers and child pornographers? Who’s experiencing the Biden administration’s “shock and awe”?
Well, people like Anthony Alfred Griffith of Oklahoma. Griffith didn’t throw fire bombs at a police car. He didn’t loot anything. He didn’t torch a Wendy’s. He did something far worse. According to KFOR-TV:
“Griffith walked into the U.S. Capitol building through the open doors on January 6, telling the agents he did not see any police officers as he entered the building. He then went into a nearby office where he ‘interacted with some individuals’ before exiting the building. However, he reentered the U.S. Capitol Building again a short time later, where he meandered through the hallways and took a few photos.”
For that act of terrorism, Anthony Griffith faces seven years in prison. Prosecutor Michael Sherwin is fine with that. At one point in his interview with “60 Minutes,” Sherwin was asked about bringing sedition charges against the people he arrests, the people who meandered. Sure, he replied. Why not?
SCOTT PELLEY: Sedition occurs when anyone opposes by force the authority of the United States, or by force hinders or delays the execution of any law of the United States … Do you anticipate sedition charges against some of these suspects?
SHERWIN: I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that, Scott.
Meandering is sedition, says Michael Sherwin.
Just for reference, federal prosecutors aren’t supposed to reveal themselves as partisan lunatics on television. Sherwin’s comments were so grotesquely out of line that a federal judge appointed by Barack Obama, Amit Mehta, said he was considering issuing a gag order to make Michael Sherwin be quiet. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the most powerful appellate court in the country — just ordered the DOJ to start distinguishing between actual criminals, and people who walked through open doors inside the Capitol building.
That ruling came after the DOJ tried to convince a judge that two defendants — Lisa Eisenhart and her son, Eric Munchel – should face indefinite detention. Neither Lisa Eisenhart nor her son damaged any property at the Capitol or committed any violence. They just walked in to what we used to refer to as the People’s House.
And yet, somehow Joe Biden’s DOJ convinced a trial judge that Lisa Eisenhart was a “threat to our Republic,” and that her son was a “would-be martyr.” Keep in mind, these are people whose only crime was trespassing in the Capitol. We’re not endorsing that, but some perspective please.
It took a ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to bring some perspective.
“Two individuals who did not engage in any violence and who were not involved in planning or coordinating the activities — seemingly would pose little threat,” the appellate panel wrote. Yeah, seemingly.
But the judges still didn’t release Eric Munchel or Lisa Eisenhart. That’s how much power these prosecutors have. They can keep you in prison even when a three-judge appellate panel concludes there’s no reason for you to be in prison.
That’s probably why prosecutors still haven’t, as of tonight, released a man called Jacob Chansely, otherwise known as the “Chewbacca Guy.” Like Eric Munchel and Lisa Eisenhart, Jacob Chansely isn’t accused of committing any act of violence. He’s not accused of breaking any property. What exactly did he do? We can answer that question. Video shows him walking through the Senate chamber.
“Chewbacca Guy” is still in jail. He’ll be there indefinitely. Before you shrug that off, think about what that’s actually like. You don’t want to think about it.
A number of people arrested on Jan. 6 are still rotting in the D.C. municipal lockup, one of the foulest detention centers in the country. It’s a truly repulsive, mismanaged place. Ask anyone from Washington, D.C. what they would do not to be thrown in the D.C. jail. It’s that bad. Some say they’ve been beaten, not surprisingly, by guards there. Lawyers for one, a man called Ryan Samsel, say he was beaten so badly, he has a skull fracture and is now blind in one eye.
How many Antifa rioters or BLM vandals can say that? Did they lose their eyesight from being beaten in jail? Well, as a group, they didn’t spend much time in jail. Most were spring on bail immediately, which politicians like Kamala Harris helped them pay.
Last summer, for example, authorities released a terrorism suspect in Oklahoma called Eric Christopher Ruffin, after Black Lives Matter posted his $750,000 bond. According to authorities, Ruffin, “encouraged others to burn an Oklahoma County sheriff’s van and an Oklahoma City bail bonds business May 30. The van was destroyed. CJ’s Bail Bonds had $8,850 in damage from broken windows.”
But Eric Christopher Ruffin went home, and he went home for one reason: Unlike the Chewbacca Guy, he didn’t upset the people in charge. He didn’t walk in their “sacred chamber” and talk about “liberty and rights.” He just tried to vaporize some police vehicles, and that’s exactly what our political class wanted him to do. So he’s a hero, he’s fine. He hasn’t lost his eyesight getting a beating in jail.
This kind of thing, unequal treatment under the law, is on stark display across the country right now. We could spend an hour giving you examples, but here are a couple:
On Saturday, police say, a criminal released on “emergency coronavirus bail” stabbed an elderly Asian woman to death in Riverside, California.
The suspect, Darlene Montoya, was in jail for a serious crime — she’d been accused of assault with a deadly weapon. But, is that really as serious as meandering through the Capitol building? No, of course not, it’s not “insurrection.” So, Darlene Montoya got to walk out of jail and find someone else to hurt.
In December, a New York judge released a murder suspect named Jordon Benjamin, just in time for Benjamin to go out and allegedly stab a woman in the stomach. Jordon Benjamin then got out of jail again.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, a judge decided to release four felons who had been convicted of criminal sexual assault, and another 14 people who had committed assault. The judge claimed the coronavirus justified their release. According to prosecutors, one of those felons went out and raped three women at knifepoint.
Why haven’t you read this? No one covers any of this because it happens too often to notice.
Last month, however, one of these murders was caught on video. It was impossible to ignore. Two teenage girls — one 15, and one 13 — carjacked and killed a Pakistani immigrant driver called Mohammad Anwar. He has kids, and was just trying to work, trying to make a buck. As Mohammad Anwar lay dying on the sidewalk, one of the girls complained that the real crisis was she couldn’t find her cellphone.
You kill a guy who’s just trying to work, and then you can’t even be bothered to notice as he dies on the sidewalk because you’re worried about your phone. There’s a big problem with these girls. They’re young, for sure, but they did something awful.
They’re not being treated that way. They got a plea deal. According to news accounts, they’ll be released as soon as they turn 21, if not earlier. There’s a good chance the Chewbacca Guy will spend more time in jail for trespassing than Mohammad Anwar’s killers will spend for murder. That’s not an accident, this disproportionate treatment of crimes. If you’re an autocrat, the biggest threat isn’t people who commit actual violence. You can use that as your shock troops, and the people who run our country actually have.
The biggest threat to you, if you’re an autocrat, is people who mock you, and don’t take you seriously, and sneer at you. You want them in prison, and autocrats are doing just that.