OpSec Shaming Misses the Terrorists for the Forest of Bozos They Hid Behind

It has been amusing reading the affidavits justifying the arrest of the January 6 insurrectionists to see how easy many of them made it for the FBI.

Yesterday’s favorite example is Samuel Camargo. He posted a picture with some kind of trophy stolen from the Capitol building to his Instagram account and a confession that he had been in the riot on Facebook. After some of his associates reported him and then an FBI agent interviewed him, Camargo posted to his Facebook account claiming — notwithstanding the agent’s view that, “Camargo [had become] uncooperative, questioning your affiant’s loyalty to the constitution, and advised the interviewing agent he had no information to provide” — that he had been cleared of any crime related to the insurrection.

It didn’t work out that way.

InfoSec and cyber journalists are beginning to report on it, too. This happens to be one example, though I’m seeing a number of examples.

But while federal law enforcement has significant legal and technical resources at its disposal — like the ability to get warrants to phone or tech companies to see whose phones were in an area at a specific time, for instance — that’s proven unnecessary for a number of people who have been charged so far.

It goes on to review the OpSec failures of nine different coup-conspirators (and Camargo is not one of them).

I get the sense of schadenfreude that the seeming certainty among insurrectionists that they would not only be victorious but their victory celebrations would be risk-free has instead led to their arrests. I’m especially sympathetic to communities of color for whom similar behavior might have gotten them killed.

But with a few exceptions, notably the identification of “zip tie guys” Larry Rendall Brock (by his ex-wife) and Eric Munschel, as well as the identification of Proud Boys member, “Spaz,” as the retired Marine Dominic Pezzola (the latter of whom was arrested with the help of two seeming insider cooperating witnesses), few of the arrests so far have been of the most dangerous insurrectionists.

For example, even though the FBI posted this image of the person suspected of placing bombs at both the RNC and DNC on the day of the attack, there’s no public indication that the FBI has any leads on who it is.

According to former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, the discovery of the bombs distracted his leadership team from the growing riot at a key moment on January 6.

Sund told NPR on Friday that he increasingly believes the insurrection was part of a coordinated, planned attack on the Capitol. Specifically, Sund believes that reports of pipe bombs planted at the headquarter offices of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in southeast Washington were part of an effort to distract police as the violent mob approached the Capitol complex.The Justice Department said it has “no direct evidence of kill or capture teams” but is still looking into what kind of planning there was.

Sund said moments before those reports came through, he was in the operations center for Capitol Police and watching the rally with President Trump at the Ellipse.

“We had the volume up a little bit so I can kind of hear what was going on, listening for anything — anything that was going on down there,” Sund said. Then “we had to turn the volume down to, you know, again, to direct our attention toward the first pipe bomb that was over at the Republican National Committee.”

The FBI has said the first pipe bomb was reported at 1 p.m. ET at the RNC in southeast Washington, followed by a report of a second pipe bomb at the DNC at 1:15 p.m. A suspect in that case has not be identified.

“I think that’s all part of the concerted and coordinated efforts that led to the violent attack,” Sund said. “Those were diversionary tactics to pull resources away from the Hill in advance of that attack. I honestly believe that.”

Likewise, I’ve seen no indication that the FBI has leads on members of a team of men who quietly snaked through the loud mouths on the stairs and into the Capitol in military formation, even though they wore insignia from the Oath Keepers, one of the most closely watched right wing terrorist groups.

As President Donald Trump’s supporters massed outside the Capitol last week and sang the national anthem, a line of men wearing olive-drab helmets and body armor trudged purposefully up the marble stairs in a single-file line, each man holding the jacket collar of the one ahead.

The formation, known as “Ranger File,” is standard operating procedure for a combat team that is “stacking up” to breach a building — instantly recognizable to any U.S. soldier or Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a chilling sign that many at the vanguard of the mob that stormed the seat of American democracy either had military training or were trained by those who did.


A close examination of the group marching up the steps to help breach the Capitol shows they wore military-style patches that read “MILITIA” and “OATHKEEPER.” Others were wearing patches and insignias representing far-right militant groups, including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters and various self-styled state militias.

Thus far, most of the charges involve involve illegal entry and interfering with cops. It would be easy for law enforcement to focus on the chum along with the murderers of Brian Sicknick, while concentrating less closely on the people whose good OpSec has not only allowed them to delay capture, but seems to have succeeded in ensuring the Capitol would be as vulnerable as possible. Worse still, with limitations on resources in the DC District Court — most notably a scarcity of grand jury time because of COVID — the flood of idiots entering the system might delay the pursuit of more dangerous terrorists.

Yes, let’s have our fun. Let’s use the ease with which some have been caught as a way to scare the terrorism tourists from showing up on Inauguration Day or in their state capitals, to say nothing of exposing them to shame in their communities.

But let’s remember that, to a significant extent, the people taking selfies and trophies from the Capitol building were largely the camouflage behind which more dangerous men appear to have hidden.

Update: After I posted on Sunday, the government arrested several more more dangerous people. Most were all still identified via public videos. But working through these networks will likely lead to those who avoided closer video scrutiny.

205 replies
  1. John Forde says:

    I am betting the ‘Ranger file’ people did not carry cell phones. They were (at least from one angle) photoed or videoed as the climbed the steps. Let’s hope the Parler hack/scrape/subpoenas provide good facial IDs.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. There are clearly people who got photos of them close up. Let’s hope the FBI seizes their phones to get the pictures.

    • Retired Journalist says:

      Was clear from the pics that many of those attempting to breach the Capitol were wearing walkie talkies. They knew cell phones would be down and monitored and were prepared.

      • timbo says:

        Were the cellphones down during the riot? Is there a link to any reliable information about that? Seemed to me that the news people mostly had feeds, even inside the Congress chambers, some on cell and some satellite?

        You’d think with the pipe bomb reports that there would have been some disruption of cellservice immediately by Feds… unless their own command and control systems too depend on commercial cell service in DC (wouldn’t be surprised given what we witnessed on the 6th that they were relying on cell to help manage things that day… ugh!)

        Yeah, I’m expecting that the planning on how to handle the inauguration is involving some more sophisticated terrorism counter-measures. Which is also scary as the political situation is so unstable.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        It isn’t so much that cell phones would be down – it’s more that the location of a cell phone (at least a modern one) is always trackable, so if you carried your cell phone into the Capitol that day, you can be found. Besides, with a walkie-talkie everyone in calling range gets the message – no need for dialing a phone number…

    • Hamilton says:

      Several news organizations have tracked down the Ohio Oathkeeper unit seen climbing the stairs… At least several of them have been identified by name.

      • subtropolis says:

        Excellent. I’m curious whether any of them are veterans. Beau of the Fifth Column pointed out that they were all using their right hands. The procedure is to hold on with one’s non-dominant hand. This indicates that they are unlikely to be vets, but had perhaps learned from a vet. (Or movies.)

        • Sandy says:

          I don’t know anything about those individuals, but in Bring the War Home, Kathleen Belew makes a very well-documented case that disaffected ex-military historically are often the leaders of these groups. Her historic review ends in the 1990s but when you look at our recent drawn-out military conflicts of questionable basis and success, and the large numbers of vets, many disabled, returning to poverty, pathetic health care, and disrespect, it makes sense that they would trade in their victimhood and return to violence for another chance at glory in the defense of what they’ve been told is an existential risk to their country.

          • skua says:

            Yes. Trained military have many criminal, terrorist skills to use when disillusioned. GWB/Cheney’s American legacy keeps producing.

      • timbo says:

        Got a reliable source for that info? I couldn’t find anything online that didn’t have some weird robo verify thingy that didn’t work in my browser (which might be a good thing!)…

    • harpie says:

      There’s a concerted effort to ID them since 1/6, including SPAZZO here:

      1:31 PM · Jan 15, 2021

      BREAKING: window-breacher #Spazzo arrested & charged. He is Dominic ‘Spazzo’ Pezzola. […]

      .#Spazzo was a focus of much effort b/c of obvious situational awareness, earpiece & way of moving.
      Reinforced by an apparent Infantry Assault Marine MOS tattoo on his R. bicep. @arawnsley & @bellingcat were esp. tenacious diggers. Many others too!

      • Xboxershorts says:

        I went to the same HS as Spazzo, 20 years earlier though.

        It’s a great school with an excellent reputation for educating leaders.

        It’s pretty clear from his membership in this cult that he didn’t pay much attention.

        • PieIsDamnGood says:

          Most terrorists are well educated and middle class. Demographicly they resemble highly engaged voters. I expect this dude fully absorbed the leadership training at school.

          • Xboxershorts says:

            It’s run by Basilian Fathers, a Catholic group founded on principles of Faith, Education and spreading the Gospels.

            My education there was very much open minded. A Catholic HS with political science courses, in ’77 they taught real world sex education and meaningful business courses and an emphasis on peace and love.

            No, this asshole did not learn insurrection at Aquinas and this kind of education should have precluded him diving head first into a cult.

            • Tony el Tigre says:

              This Catholic run group conditioned him to leap headlong into a cult.

              Catholicism is a cult. A big one but still a cult. Skippy here just jumped to a smaller one.

                • Ravenclaw says:

                  Particularly since many factions within the vast complexity of the Catholic Church advocate for critical thinking and the need to reconcile faith with reason and evidence. Certainly including any organization associated with the name of Thomas Aquinas!

            • Drew says:

              In the 70s Roman Catholicism was at the forefront of progressivism and particularly their education. As a seminarian at a consortium that included several Catholic seminaries, I had a bit of a crisis of conscience as to whether I shouldn’t move over to where real people were working with all manner of folk with real issues. Some of my most admired colleagues are Catholic priests & theologians.
              Starting with the pontificate of John Paul II, there was quite a turn to the right & toward authoritarianism in the Catholic Church. Honestly it took longer to penetrate the educational apparatus, esp those run by the religious orders. I know of some Catholic high schools that still work very hard to instill humane practice & belief in their students. But it’s a hard slog for these educators with bishops, laity & lots of clergy pushing more and more authoritarianism.

              Some schools are totally unrecognizable from what they were in the 1970s, often the opposite as their administrators and then faculties drank the kool-aid of right wing political activism framed as “traditional faithfulness”

              • timbo says:

                Except for the pedophile enablers… plenty of people were still being molested by priests that were coddled by the Catholic Church here in the US at that time. Many of us have friends or ourselves were interacting with those criminal pedophiles, much of it is now in the official law enforcement record but still much of it remains hidden and in the privacy of personal trauma that the US Catholic church hierarchy is still seeking to avoid responsibility for.

                • timbo says:

                  And to put this even more bluntly, a fellow I was in college with, someone who later became a fascist, although I don’t know how far he took it, was one of these abused alter-boys. Last I heard he’d moved to Washington state, still working on his Black Guard manifesto or some such. I’m sure that if he didn’t find some sort of internal peace (he tried to kill himself in college… which is how I learned about the abuse he’d suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church).

    • harpie says:

      Here’s something that JJ MacNab called “a remarkable compilation of videos”

      10:35 AM · Jan 14, 2021

      Attention #SeditionHunters the attack on the western door at the #capitol took place in map grid E4. We now have aninteractive map of uploaded parler videos to search. IF you find something tag it w/ […] [screenshot] [link]

    • Empy says:

      This was not a Rangerfile. This was play acting by a bunch of wannabe team members. The fact that they were joined to the person in front of each other using their right hands is the dead giveaway. The right hand would have been holding a weapon, unless they were all left handed.

  2. viget says:

    My concerns too. Although I suspect the FBI knows more about them than they’ve publically said. After all, the attempt did fail, maybe it was pure luck, or maybe these guys were thwarted and we just haven’t heard about it yet.

    My biggest concern is the resources one. These Yahoo’s will so clog the courts and consume valuable agent and prosecutor time, that they won’t be able to build the more complex cases, let alone present to a GJ.

    • emptywheel says:

      There’s a lot that’s likely going on. SOME of the clowns will make nice informants. For example, they charged Munschel’s mom in a conspiracy with him, which is a good way to set up a 1-2 plea, and Munschel likely knows some of the network. They appear to have some informants in the Proud Boys (another group they were watching closely), and the Proud Boys likely leads right to Trump, via several channels.

      For others, though, it’ll just take more legal process and more sophisticated analysis to get there.

      I’m sure they’re working on it. But the number of easy arrests in no way correlates the the outstanding danger.

      • viget says:

        Yes. I totally agree. I wish someone could force Pompeo to resign before 12 noon on Wednesday, as I have all these Designated Survivor horror plots in my head…..

        But you predicted this Marcy when you moved to Ireland. I hope you’re being careful with masks and such, the UK variant is no joke.

        • emptywheel says:

          Yes, it was quite clear this was where things were heading, especially if Biden won, which I assumed at the time he would.

          • Mitch Neher says:

            Yes, but . . . “They” (whoever ‘they’ are) had to have talked themselves into thinking that there was a non-zero chance of success–or at least a non-unity chance of failure.

            That requires an appeal to the logic of desperation. Which, in turn, requires the desire to avoid some terrible fate far worse than the desperate deeds undertaken for the sake of avoiding that terrible fate.

            So what terrible fate would be far worse than getting caught red-handed having raised, or at least having fomented, insurrection and rebellion against the United States?

            In know, I know, I know. Not yet. Wait a little longer. Okay. Fine. Sorry . . . Never mind.

        • CatinMA says:

          Yes, Designated Survivor scenarios have haunting me too. It’s known that #1 and #2 in the presidential succession (Pence and Pelosi) were on the insurrectionists’ target list. Does anyone know if Grassley (#3, before Pompeo) was on that list too or where he was during the attack?

            • Troutwaxer says:

              Agreed, and I’d go a step further. All of those old-style, anti-progressive, triangulating Clintonistas belong in retirement homes.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              bmaz, I don’t remember you mounting such a sustained attack against any male public figure Pelosi’s age. Going after her (or any politician) for policy/style/competence is always fair; indeed, necessary. But unless you tell us *why* you declare her obsolescent (my inference), your comment reads as the reflexive expression of a prejudice: against the old certainly, and–in context of how you treat Pelosi compared to her male peers–possibly against women. I don’t think that’s you. I hope it’s not who you want to be.

              • bmaz says:

                What a load of crap. You have not been around that long, so perhaps you missed my criticism of, oh, say Bush, Cheney, Addington, McConnell, Durham, McCain, Graham, Sinema, Feinstein (yet another fossilized octogenarian), and a host of others. It is NOT her sex, it is Pelosi’s horrible, and stifling to progress, leadership. If you don’t get that, I cannot help you. To sum up, it is not misogyny, not age, that is forefront, it is horrible policy. Pelosi is part of that, and long has been since she took “impeachment off the table”.

                • Ginevra diBenci says:

                  I have “been around” much longer than I’ve been posting, bmaz. I understand the distinction you are making. Please try to understand mine, which is about the language you use. If calling Feinstein “another fossilized octogenarian”–that is, singling her out of your list for demeaning description–is your response to my comment, I think you missed my point. I wish Feinstein would retire gracefully now. But if I had come to this site as recently as you believe and seen only your recent posts, I would have serious questions about joining the conversation.

      • subtropolis says:

        Roger Stone is apparently a member. He’s pals with Tarrio. But he may have had cutouts between himself and 45. I’m curious about who people like Keith Schiller and Mathew Calamari had been speaking with.

          • P J Evans says:

            Another one of those offshore minority-ownership companies that ultimately turns out to be 100% Trmp owned?

            • Village idiot says:

              Often we complain about the Democrats -they’re weak and spineless; they get nothing done; why don’t they do (the crazy thing I think they should do), etc.

              So on this issue I have to give a shoutout to Dems – I can’t think of something Trump would see less than being forced to assign a beneficial owner for all those shell companies designed especially to hide that information.

              For the life of me I can’t guess why that information shouldn’t be completely public, but even the Government knowing it is an huge leap forward.

  3. !? says:

    Haven’t seen anything on how/why the Secret Service failed so hard in protecting the VP. The terrorist attack has got to be the Secret Service’s biggest fail since Reagan forgot to duck, yet all we get are crickets & tumbleweeds.

    • subtropolis says:

      I must have missed the breaking news that Pence had been killed or injured. Whatever are you talking about?

      If you’re referring to the fact that he’d remained inside the Capitol, there’s a simple explanation: After he was whisked from the room, he refused to leave the building (other leadership were taken to Fort McNair) because his wife and child were still up there.

      • BobCon says:

        The top priority of the Secret Service is not stopping attacks once they happen. It’s keeping the people they protect out of dangerous situations in the first place.

        There is a huge intelligence component to the Secret Service, and that clearly broke down. Obviously there were many other parties to the breakdown, but they unquestionably had the ability to review the Capitol Police plans ahead of time, plus the ability to monitor public chatter.

        It’s fair to ask if they made a very bad assessment of the risks. It is possible they told the Capitol Police and Pence that this was a huge risk and both of them refused to follow recimmendations.

        But I suspect the Secret Service didn’t go nearly as far as they should have to push for a different plan. They have a lot of experience getting this done even in the face of uncooperative partners, including unfriendly foreign governments. It’s part of their charter not to take no for an answer.

        • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

          It seems at the end of his administration, Trump was surrounded by survivors who learned to keep their mouths shut and nod. Including Pence. The communication lines between agencies as well as the oval office must have been in tatters.

          I’m reminded of the doctors surrounding Stalin, fearful to move lest they incur his wrath. Trump’s dysfunction may have contributed towards the ss letting the VP walk into that situation with his family in tow.

          The VP is responsible too, he was delusional to bring his family. It shows no one warned him he might have to quickly flee prior to the event.

        • bmaz says:

          Sure, it was a seminal moment in history, and one that featured their husband and father, why not be there to witness it?

        • timbo says:

          Maybe Pence wasn’t in on it and was a target of the mob? I mean, they were chanting to hang him, right?

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          As bmaz notes, it was a historical moment, and after four years of kayfabe/quasi-sedition from Trump with no consequences to him, my guess is that almost everyone involved thought that this would be the last time he would have to be indulged before flying off in a hissy fit. Congressman Jamie Raskin, who had just buried his son on January 5th, brought his youngest daughter and her husband to the ceremony and they were barricaded in the gallery as the insurrectionists were mobbing the building. Raskin went on to be one of the impeachment managers for the Dems.

          • Eureka says:

            Plus Ayanna Pressley’s husband was there — he caught COVID along with her from the superspreader/ anti-maskers in the safe space.

    • P J Evans says:

      I don’t think it’s their job to *stop* insurrections. Or terrorists. It’s to keep their subject alive and well.

      • skua says:

        AIUI they would aim to never have a charge in a insecure location with a mob of insurrectionists and rioters bearing down on it.
        Maybe Pence certifying those votes was seen as essential by Pence and the risk had to be taken. But that doesn’t explain the presence of wife and daughter. Maybe some “God is my shield” believing was in play either by just Pence or by both parents.

        • timbo says:

          What are you talking about? It is not the job of the Secret Service to tell the folks that they’re protecting that following the Constitution is not convenient. And it certainly wouldn’t be in keeping with their oath.

          • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

            I think a realistic threat assessment would have included the possibility that Pence might need to gtfo on short notice. If Pence was told that, he should not have invited his family.

            If Pence was not told that, the ss failed to assess the risks.

          • skua says:

            If Pence HAD to be there, contrary to Grassley’s public statement*, then Secret Service (theoretically) need to have the venue securable against a mob who’ve been openly planning violence against the activity that Pence is there to preside over. Exposing a VP to unnecessary mortal danger during a critical step in the electoral process with concurrent high levels of social instability, and by so doing risking massive national instability, appears suboptimal. It is their job to keep him alive.

            *”We don’t expect him to be there,” Grassley, 87, initially said of Pence, per Roll Call. As president pro tempore of the Senate, or the second-highest ranking official of the chamber, Grassley suggested he would stand in for Pence.

            • timbo says:

              No. Just stop this nonsense. You might well blame the Secret Service for security failures but it isn’t their job to secure the Capitol Building itself. They were likely caught just as flat-footed as the Capitol Police here… it was the Capitol Police that dropped the ball, not the Secret Service when it came to the securing of the Capitol Building.

              • skua says:

                Never said it was their job to secure.
                Said it was their job to make sure Pence was not in a place which was open to the violent rioters.
                If you see that as nonsense I can live with that.

                • timbo says:

                  Within the context of the Capitol Building it’s nonsense that it is the Secret Service to “secure the Capitol for the Vice President”. Stop with your nonsense. The VP was preforming his Constitutional duties, not hiding from or abetting Twitler.

  4. scory says:

    A million times, yes! I’m overseeing our Federal agency’s response to the SolarWinds cyberespionage incident, and many of my colleagues are still fixated on the initial compromise, not the secondary and tertiary effects of the incident. And when they start asking questions about “who” and “how” they assume that information is easily knowable. They don’t recognize that there are layers to opsec, situational awareness, and intelligence gathering and analysis.

    If we learn anything from this, its that we need more critical and actively engaged people involved in physical and logical security who can see past the distractions and obvious.

    • viget says:

      This. The same could be said about the coronavirus pandemic x10. Too many stunned individuals paralyzed by cognitive dissonance w/ it can’t happen here syndrome, not enough planners willing to see the reality and start taking the bull by the horns.

      Those of us who saw the danger of course were dismissed as Cassandras.

      Maybe the Emptywheel comment section should be in charge of contingency planning and op sec????

      • P J Evans says:

        Remember Trmp defunded and shut down the people who watched for stuff like COVID. I don’t think that was Putin’s request – that was Trmp’s hatred of everything Obama did.

        • coriolis says:

          Strangely enough, just like Boris Johnson and the refusal to participate in the EU’s Early Warning and Response Team.
          Which is unfortunate (to say the least), because they were warned some four years prior that the country was inadequately prepared for the event of a pandemic.

      • John Langston says:

        No shit about being considered a “Cassandra”. I’ve been thrown off a couple auto forums and a motorcycle forum for writing about Covid. And in retrospect, I underestimated the impact of the disease, or I should say underestimated the pure incompetence by the Govt. Actually it was reporting those incremental govt failures that became “political speech” and with it permanent expulsion.

        Predicting in March that the Indy 500 wouldn’t be run with 300k fans on Memorial Day was too much, not even an explanation, just gone. Don’t try telling motorcyclists in Texas that the state’s health and economic policy will fail. Statistics, analysis and years of applying data to situations only seem to infuriate rather than inform.

      • scory says:

        CISA actually been very good through this event in providing and orchestrating the release of information and mitigation strategies. Part of the reason there’s less current public discussion about the who and the how of the cyberespionage is that to do so would compromise our intelligence gathering and cybersecurity forensic, and threat identification and response capabilities.

  5. Fran of the North says:

    There are tactical reasons that ‘picking off’ individual perpetrators in an organized crime unit are unhelpful. Once the perps figure out they’re being hunted, they go to ground and change behaviors, making rounding them up all the more difficult.

    Worse, this group is armed and dangerous. Once alerted, they’ll be in shoot first, talk later mode.

    Op Sec for the good guys should be and hopefully is, no comments, no discernible actions, just radio silence.

    The game plan should be to identify most, if not all, of them. Then assemble overwhelming force and have multiple arrests all at once in the dark of the night when the bad guys are disoriented and at a disadvantage.

    • bmaz says:

      Uh, no, picking off individuals in a criminal conspiracy is exactly how it is done. And they already know the government is coming for them. You have it exactly backwards.

        • bmaz says:

          A lot. Think drug cartels, mafia and militias. This isn’t that new, there is a process and capacity for doing it.

            • Drew says:

              I kind of hope that the OPSEC in the White House is as dumb and incompetent as Trump himself, and that there will be all sorts of documentation waiting to be found and used as soon as Biden takes office.

            • Spencer Dawkins says:

              I keep treasuring the comment I’ve seen a few places that so many of these guys (and gals) had family members and coworkers who were happy to throw them under the bus as soon as the FBI asked for help identifying them …

  6. madwand says:

    I would like to know also what did the “Ranger File” do when they got in the building? Where did they go, did they disperse or act in a group? If they dispersed what did individual members do? Were they armed? Did they carry explosives? All questions needing answers.

    As far as the inauguration is concerned and the possibility of violence, the 20 or 25 K NG troops there, some armed; if that deters armed insurgents into giving up their intentions then that has achieved its purpose for the moment.

    • Ralph H white says:

      It appears to me it is going to take a concerted effort to infiltrate these groups using former sympathizers and government agents willing to work undercover for long periods of time. Most major criminal organizations, radical political movements and governments have been compromised by people willing to do this type of dangerous, long term work. The Israelis are masters of this method.

      • madwand says:

        I would be surprised if authorities hadn’t already infiltrated these groups. That said, as we are finding out with police and apparently some congress critters, it works both ways.

    • subtropolis says:

      My assumption has been that they faded back into the crowd once they learned that the Senate and House members had been whisked away. The wandering yahoos would have made excellent cover.

  7. GKJames says:

    Any news on communications between Pentagon and White House after the former got request from Bowser and Sund for reinforcements?

  8. BobCon says:

    The same thing about camoflage is true to an extent online. With a thousand goofs posturing about the tree of liberty it was easier to talk about mundane operational issues with the same group and look like a member of the crowd.

    The retreat to encrypted apps provides more immediate obscurity, but in other ways it becomes harder to hide and harder to coordinate.

  9. Frank M. says:

    Regarding the photo of the suspected pipe bomber above. Look closely at his feet. It appears to me that he/she is wearing white running shoes with some sort of black strap on overshoes. They look like the have two straps with buckles, kind of like the ones used for traction on icy surfaces. Considering the dry surface, may have been used to hide the sole print of the running shoes? I would run through who purchased similar overshoe things through online (big)sellers recently. Just a thought.

    • subtropolis says:

      The FBI has posted several images of him, including a close-up of his shoe. I’d bet that every field office has been instructed to look out for those shoes among the thousands of images and videos. My guess is that he wouldn’t have joined the Capitol invasion but he might appear (in a different jacket) on the sidelines. Gavin McInnes, for example, was spotted outside the main crowd giving instructions to his troops.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Well, that would be me. I purchased some when I had to do some work on the steep parts of my lot.

      BTW — They are a PITA on hard surfaces — even textured surfaces like a concrete driveway. Running in those things would be like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon.

  10. Garyp says:

    Does the capital building have its own video cameras?

    It seems like that would be a good tool to get the organized groups.

    Is it possible that the FBI would hold back what the know?

    • emptywheel says:

      Yes, there are cameras in the Capitol building and no, I’ve seen little identifiably from those cameras (no need yet, partly, I imagine).

      I suspect the FBI will try to limit what they out in filings to prevent others from understanding the surveillance.

      • BobCon says:

        One purpose of the suspicious tours may have been to let conspirators get a handle on where cameras were and where they might work unwatched.

      • Lawnboy says:

        There are camera systems that would shock you, I used to drop six figures on one zone for industrial process, but the money is all in “Analytics”. Some high end gear will track a face, and hand off to the next camera in the subjects path!

        You get an eye for placement, and when I visited the DC in 2013, I have to say I have never seen so many cameras on roof lines in any other place.

        They got this, trust me.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          lolol.. let’s hope, Lawnboy! The problem is that you have a full-blown mob boss/Russian asset and his consiglieres — the “My Pillow” guy is a perfect nod to “going to the mattresses” — still occupying the White House. Not to mention all the seditionist foot soldiers in Congress trying to hang onto their ill-gotten booty and privileges. Currently, I’m 17 days into my 41st year of residency about 4 blocks from that location, and, while I’ve never been afraid for my or my many friends’ safety during any of this, I do wonder where the country is headed.

          • Lawnboy says:

            We don’t. I do know the gear is there to likely provide many ” Zapruder ” films. Dog only knows, but then we have the phones too.

  11. John Langston says:

    My guess they’ll go after the dangerous ones and the most gullible first. The ones in between will likely be the last, if caught all all. Catching the ring leaders and pulling the roots from their organizations should be first priority and pose the most danger. Those folks that videoed themselves and bragged about are going to have go down, like picking cherries.

    I get a kick of the realtor from Texas that wants a pardon after flying to Washington on a private plane and then breaking into the capitol. She should get a taste of Trump’s 10 year sentence order. Of course, she’ll likely get a slap on the wrist.

    I just wonder if the ring leaders will be sent to GITMO? (irony of ironies)

    • bmaz says:

      No, nobody is going to Gitmo. American citizens cannot be sent to Gitmo. One, Hamdi, was briefly there until they confirmed he was indeed born in the US. He was forced to renounce his American citizenship and deported to Saudi Arabia.

      Frankly, with the exception of the specific folks involved in the death of the Capitol policeman, and maybe a few other particularly violent ones, I don’t think people should get too worked up over what punishment is meted out to the rest as long as it involves at least a nominal felony, a proper fine and at least five years of probation.

      • Montana Voter says:

        There is a virtually unused prison in Hardin Montana, on the edge of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations. Plenty of room to hold them, very inhospitable badlands all around and a not so sympathetic population of Native Americans not in line with their views. It would be good for the economy in Hardin.
        Bring them all in, hold them until the process is completed and prosecute those that survive the Covid they don’t believe in. No need to provide protection or medical care for a hoax, right?

          • Raven Eye says:

            I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m not sure that some folks understand the responsibility that an agency takes on when they place someone into custody. You can point to all kinds of abuse over the centuries, but I think most LEOs these days understand the mechanics and importance of actually protecting someone suspected of a crime.

            Once you get that person to the point you believe they will be in your control, or better yet, will be compliant, handling that person involves protecting them from themselves and from others, and protecting others from them. That’s from time of custody to time of release. Pottery Barn rules. It aint easy.

            • bmaz says:

              Even with best practices (okay, that is rarely the case, but there are protocols), it ain’t easy. What Mr. Langston suggested would be a worst, and horrible, practice.

              • BobCon says:

                From a perspective of pure self interest, one of the lessons of post 9/11 is that sweeping, reactionary imprisonment makes things worse and ruins a lot of opportunities for getting information.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Your last paragraph, in my opinion, is about as bad as those who participated in the insurgency. The teorrists may not “believe” in COVID, but it is real and it kills. to subject anyone to COVID, is like sentencing the insurgents to death.
          . They do not deserve your version of a death penalty. When we lower ourselves to the same level as the insurgents we aren’t much better.

          when you have COVID in a prison, the guards and support staff also will catch the disease

      • John Langston says:

        My suggestion was facetious. But appropriate.

        I’m surprised it was taken seriously. BMAZ must not be a Cleveland fan.

        • John L says:

          Does anyone really think these guys will be treated as if they were black or left wingers? I’m for justice but I think it’s a little early to shed tears for these guys and ensure they get “organic meals” while in custody. No one is taking that GITMO remark seriously.

          I’d hope before anyone is released from incarceration that they at least pass an 8th grade Civics exam or perhaps the Naturalized Citizen exam.

          • bmaz says:

            Nobody is “shedding tears” for them, just being honest about what is appropriate and reasonable. We tend to do that here. YOU made the GITMO remark, and evidenced not one bit of it not being “serious”. And, NO, nobody ever needs to take a “civics exam”, not the “naturalized citizen exam” to be released from incarceration. This is just ludicrous bullshit.

            And, by the way, “John L” don’t think for one second we do not see you sock puppeting with your screen name. You are John Langston, and it is recognized. Do NOT sock puppet in order to propose bullshit.

            • John Langston says:

              Not bullshitting you at all. If you thought I was serious fine. (Hint: I did say irony of ironies)

              If you thought I was sockpocketing, with an initial? really? (I suppose I am at a disadvantage since I don’t know your name.)

              And you’re upset about the civics remark? But I hope they offer some education during incarceration.

              My goodness.

              And you hurt my feelings when Cleveland lost. Kick me when I’m down.

              • bmaz says:

                No, I did not read your initial “irony of ironies comments to be mitigation in the least. And you do not need to know my name to interact appropriately. That is some total backpedaling bullshit. And I don’t give a flying fuck what you real name is, it is irrelevant.

                • e.a.f. says:

                  why would be need to know bmaz’s name. He is recognized on this blog as contributor who uses that name and it is my understanding that he and a few others write articles for this blog. It is we who are guests here who need to be consistent with our names, etc.
                  Mr. Langston, when I read what you had written I thought you were serious. Not joking, no irony, etc. and I commented as such.
                  It isn’t funny to “suggest” people be placed in a situation where they would catch COVID. There are many in this world who have fought long and hard for prison reform and decent health care in prisons..

                  Enough people have died in North American prisons/jails. No one “deserves” to die.

                • John Langston says:

                  What am I back peddling about? I think I can be humorous and provocative at the same time. If you thought I was serious about GITMO, I just wanted to let you know I wasn’t. I totally believe that you took it in a way that I didn’t intend.

                  So far as my comments regarding civics classes while incarcerated, there are lots of rules “like good behavior” and “good time” rules that allow for early release and parole. When some folks don’t know there are three branches of govt, or that courts have the power of judicial review or that 2A means that anyone can open carry an AR-15, there could be merit to the idea. But it’s just a thought.

                  Finally, you call me out on the public internet by name, it can make a person feel a little uneasy.

                  So, I certainly understand how you took what I said and explained myself. I’d hope that you’d give me the same benefit. If you don’t, that won’t hurt my feelings either (but the Browns did).

                  So perhaps we can interact a little more properly? Let’s not resort to name calling and cursing.

                  • bmaz says:

                    “Finally, you call me out on the public internet by name, it can make a person feel a little uneasy.”

                    LOL, it was YOU who posted your name.

                    Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as parole or good time credits in the federal prison (BOP) system.

                    • John Langston says:

                      Now that you’ve had your say and seen mine, do you believe me to be a liar?

                      And BMxx- I did show my name. You called me out by name and then made a deal out of it. I don’t know you, so you have me at a disadvantage. In the future, I won’t make the mistake again.

                      So, all that’s left is just the food fight? No substance, except making me out a liar and calling me an ass.

                      Classy guys!

                      I can easily live with that.

                      PS- thanks for the prison advice.

                    • bmaz says:

                      You wandered in, posted your name, and then bitched about the fact you did. This is not a “food fight”. This is about you being a problem child here (and sock puppeting). Perhaps you should stop that.

                    • John Langston says:

                      BM- I’m not sure why are making such a issue of a single sentence? You’ve personally attacked and cursed me. I’ve done none of that in return. You don’t accept my explanation, well fine. Said and done.

                      I don’t care if you and others want to pile on, you’re just making this silly misunderstanding into a food fight.

                      Perhaps you can bully and browbeat your family and coworkers but it only makes you look weak and silly here.

      • pasha says:

        i heartily agree as to sentencing, no need to make martyrs out of the sheep followers, just make sure they are convicted felons who lose 2nd amendment and voting privileges. this was how president grant broke the back of the klan in south carolina: little actual jail time, but tough enforcement of probation and suspended sentences. violate probation and the whole five year sentence comes down on you. klan activity came to a screeching halt

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          “Klan activity came to a screeching halt.”
          Oh. So we’ll never know who exactly set that cross on fire in our front yard in Raleigh, NC? And all these years we blamed the KKK, just because we saw three dudes wearing ghost costumes clutching a ratty torch. We only got a moment’s glimpse; they ran for their truck after the flames failed to catch hold. My parents assumed the Klan had exported its leaders, with their pointy hoods and most photogenic robes, somewhere more central to their cause, like Alabama. But one point our hapless little gaggle of cross-burners managed to make: the Klan had never been “halted,” just revised out of the American story.

          That summer cicadas climbed sunward after biding their seventeen years of subterranean time. The Klan was blooming all around us into the darkness, as if *but not* from nowhere. The Klan and its descendents are part of our constitution. Whitewashing this through revisionist, “pro-patriot” history simply renders us ignorant and unprepared. We moved North soon after that, only to find them again in Skokie, IL. To quote Amiri Baraka, “As now.”

  12. Tom R. says:

    Are we allowed to hope that the authorities are moving quietly against the dangerous elements, even while the media and the hoi polloi are obsessing over the cosplayers with bad OPSEC?

    It was announced that national-security and public-integrity prosecutors had been assigned to the effort, which would not happen for ordinary trespassing and disorderly-conduct cases.

    • subtropolis says:

      Even after all that we’ve seen these past four years, I have no doubt that there is a quiet effort to understand why certain security decisions were made. That would likely remain quiet for some time yet — certainly until after next Wednesday. But I don’t doubt that it is happening. There is a marked defiance of this so-called administration apparent in Washington. Even the general who directs the NSA is ignoring a direct order from (acting) SecDef Miller to install Nunes minion Michael Ellis as NSA Counsel. (I believe that his attempted appointment was intended to keep an eye on whom NSA might be monitoring inside the US in the run-up to the coup. That information could not be kept from its lead counsel.)

      • bmaz says:

        Keep in mind that while Ellis could potentially get career service protection, that does not mean he cannot be reassigned to NSA Siberia.

        • Raven Eye says:

          If that’s an SES position (I can’t see it as a GS-15), the person can be involuntarily reassigned, however:

          “A career appointee may not be involuntarily reassigned within 120 days after the appointment of the head of an agency, or within 120 days after the appointment of the career appointee’s most immediate supervisor who is a noncareer appointee and who has the authority to make an initial appraisal of the career appointee’s performance…”

          This is just one of many instances of the Trump administration’s “burrowing” operation.

          • P J Evans says:

            Wasn’t Ellis named to that spot in November, and still hasn’t actually taken over? That’s what I seem to recall.

          • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

            Republicans are going to be watching what happens to these burrowed appointments for an opportunity to wail about norms if Biden shitcans them. If Biden refuses to engage in their bad faith concern trolling and throws them out on day one, it would be a clear message that his admin is unwilling to yield to their usual tactics. I hope he does.

            • Raven Eye says:

              Wondering if Trump’s EO that made it easier to “review” the performance of career civil servants would apply in this case. If so, perhaps that’s one that should stay in Biden’s “low priority” stack for a year or so.

              • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

                Even simpler – change the locks on their office, lock their ADO account, and tell them they will be arrested for trespassing if they show up. Biden doesn’t need to pretend to take these bad faith actors with good faith.

                • Troutwaxer says:

                  You call them into an office and someone impressive says, “Here’s the deal. You’re a Trump appointee, so we believe that you’re probably compromised. We can do this one of two ways. The first way is that you can resign. The second way is that we decide that you’re a serious national security issue, and we turn the FBI on you and your associates.”

                  • timbo says:

                    No. You just fire them and then ask them to explain how they are not. If it turns out they’ve destroyed Presidential records in violation of federal law then good luck to them!

        • earthworm says:

          how does an agency protect itself from the moles of a previous, antagonistic administration? would the new administration be able to revoke his security clearance?
          just saw the comments above, which answer the question.

  13. John Forde says:

    BMAZ I am shocked at your leniency. It is a hard question of what punishment is deserved by the lightest transgressions. If the book is thrown at those who violated the capitols security fence, what is the penalty they face? The WaPo ’41 minutes’ video estimated 300 people breached the building. To me, that seems deserving of years in prison. I am worried the party attitude exhibited by insurrection Barbie may not be crushed. Severe punishment is essential and deserved. But of course, no Gitmo. Never Gitmo.

    • PeterS says:

      Many of those 300 watched mainstream news (Fox) and listened to legitimately elected politicians; hardly extreme behaviour. More guilt lies with the conmen than the conned. Aside from the violent thugs, years in prison seems way over the top.

  14. bmaz says:

    Listen, there are guidelines. The most important thing is to take them out of play and leave some sort of mark. And to get pleas so the courts are not overly clogged. For the great majority what I said is plenty sufficient.

    • Nehoa says:

      Agree. I think the main thing is to process as many as possible, but triage the level of punishment/sanctions. Concentrate on the most serious offenses/threats.

    • Ken says:

      Do you think they’re also starting low on the rungs of criminality, JIC Trump tries to issue blanket pardons for all of those who have been charged by the time he leaves office? That way they can make sure the more serious criminals aren’t let off of the hook?

      • Peterr says:

        If Trump wanted to pardon the whole lot, he could do that without regard for who had already been charged and who had not.

        See Jimmy Carter’s pardon of Vietnam War draft dodgers.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Trump won’t want to pardon any of them because he doesn’t care about them. They were a means to what he thought was his own end the insurrection failed. . The American government still stands. Trump may have thought the insurrectionists would be a means to an end and they were, his end. he was once again impeached.

          There is no point in sending some of the insurrectionists to jail for years. Its serves no purpose. (confession: don’t believe in long jail sentences). Any ring leaders, the people who were behind this action, if there are any, might serve sentences, anything more than a couple of years would be useless. Most of them could be placed on probation, community service, sentenced to serve their time at home. Fines, in my opinion favour those with money. they can simply pay them and be back to what they want to do. Those without money wind up in jail.

          It is much more cost effective to negotiate a “settlement” than to go to trial then send people to jail for lengthy periods of time. As it now stands the U.S.A. has if not the highest closest to highest incarceration rate in the world.

          The benefit of “negotiating a settlement” is they may provide information to the government which maybe of value. The justice system can then deal with main players. One of the main players of course was Trump. But there maybe people who organized this, paid plane fares of those travelling to Washington DC, etc. They in my opinion are the real criminals, the rest are simply goats being led to slaughter.

          • timbo says:

            Come back here on the 20th and brag about how right you are. Until then, the rest of us will acknowledge that Trump has been known to pardon known war criminals.

    • Badger Robert says:

      The low level people have to tagged and processed. There are too many to waste prison space for most of them.
      The people that entered the building are in serious trouble.

      • timbo says:

        They have not. Some have been identified, some have been charged after grand jury deliberation, but certainly not a majority of the folks involved in this planned riot. This is an ongoing investigation and will be going on for several weeks and months more. Some people not directly at the Capitol might yet be charged. Folks like Guiliani and Twitler may be charged for incitement and conspiracy even if they weren’t physically present there the hour of the breakin and subsequent attempt to stop our government from the conduct of one of its most important functions.

    • dadidoc1 says:

      I would like them to be barred from possessing a firearm, wearing paramilitary gear, being on their parents cell phone plan, and holding public office.

  15. klynn says:

    Is there a good resource out there discussing what Ellis could be doing?

    This appointment paired with the cyber-attack/hack has my stomach churning.

  16. Molly Pitcher says:

    Something has bothered me since the beginning, normal Secret Service behavior is to immediately remove their protectee to a secure place.

    Why was Trump allowed to hang out at the White House watching the attack on TV?

    Is this the dog that didn’t bark?

    To me the only reason he was not immediately moved to the WH bunker is because they knew he was in no danger from this crowd.

    • P J Evans says:

      They saw that the crowd was at the Capitol, and it’s more than a couple of minutes to get from there to the WH, especially with a crowd.

  17. d4v1d says:

    My surmise is that the FBI or other OpSec agencies actually do have knowledge or leads, but are laying in the weeds until Jan 20 so as not to trigger preemptive pardons.

    • Marinela says:

      Yes, possible. Also, if FBI doesn’t know of some actors, and Trump ends up pardoning them before he leaves office, then it serves to attract FBI attention to them.
      The pardon in this case may not be a good idea.

      Unless Trump can pardon everybody without naming names.
      I hope this type of pardon is not going to work.

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks for the link. Excellent footage to use as evidence.
      Angry people believe fighting in the name of God and Jesus.
      I ask these people, “What would Jesus do?”

    • ducktree says:

      Thanks, IaMissy, and *ugh*; I could only make it to 3:58 of the video before my gorge rose up in my throat and had to stop watching.

      At first, it made me think of the scene in the movie “Cold Mountain” in which the town folk learn that the civil war is at hand a mob starts wilding.

      But then it made me remember the story behind D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation.” When the film or play of this moment in history is written, I recommend the title “Stillbirth of a Nation.”

      • laMissy says:

        My reaction wasn’t dissimilar, but I think it’s my duty to be a witness, so I watched it in pieces.

        If you haven’t read it, historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the history of white nationalism in her post from yesterday: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january-16-2021?r=1cllq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=copy

        My kids were still small when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah building. I remember my knees buckling at the depraved cruelty upon learning that many of the victims were children at the ground floor childcare center. I have no recollection of how I finished the day teaching high school. McVeigh was the first person I thought of when the Marathon was blown up, also on Patriots Day, a holiday here in Boston.

        Trumpism won’t be defeated with his exit from the West Wing; only knowledge will, perhaps, keep us safe.

        • ducktree says:

          Okay, doodie calls ~ I’ll go back and watch in small doses, a la Pasteur. I did share it with a small group for their perspectives,

          • cavenewt says:

            It’s well worth watching the whole thing. And read the associated article by the photographer, it’s excellent.

    • klynn says:

      Ugh. Not an easy viewing. Cruz has some ‘splain’n to do. Actually, he should resign. No statement will work. A statement from him no matter the content will escalate violence either way.

  18. Rapier says:

    I’ve always said that Libertarians are useful idiots for Conservatives but I’ve just realized that far more importantly Conservatives are useful idiots for fascists.

  19. Dan says:

    Do you think the authorities are waiting to move on more dangerous elements until Trump can no longer pardon? Is it more difficult for Trump to pardon someone that isn’t even “known” to have been there? Maybe there is a view in the Bureau that more salacious charges should be held until they have a better chance of sticking?

  20. sct says:

    Long-time listener, first-time caller. When I saw the paramilitary troops, my first thought was a man who’s in the center of all Trump’s biggest messes: Eric Prince. I bet dollars to donuts (or your equivalent favorite breakfast treat) that he and his Blackwater mercenaries played a critical role in this.

  21. Chris.EL says:

    Cable News Network apparently is reporting that Trump is planning 100 pardons for Tuesday. (Narcissism triumphs again.)

    Taking auditions for dudes to do an imitation of Trump after signing all those documents.

    Is selling a pardon illegal? Is there a basis in law?

  22. Rugger9 says:

    The (Failing) NYT is carrying a story that Giuliani, Dowd, et al are monetizing the access to pardons. I can’t imagine DJT hasn’t missed that opportunity to cover his 400 plus million dollar loan hit coming due when even DB has stopped loaning him money.

    How fast can he sharpie?

    • Eureka says:

      Oh, thanks for that update (Pelosi said on 60 Mins last week that a laptop had been stolen from her offices).

      It’s definitely bizarre — and who knows what may have happened. But when Politico says this part:

      A Pelosi aide was not immediately available for comment. It was not clear if a laptop or hard drive was actually stolen.

      I’m surprised they don’t cite Pelosi’s statement on 60 mins

      • Eureka says:

        Quickly scanning the affidavit and checking yt:

        I’d give this story a plausibility tilt if we knew what date the witness started telling the FBI about this stolen laptop part of the story (i.e. was it before Pelosi made that public statement), but they don’t seem to give dates for those initial tip line contacts. However, at least one contact (and possibly the whole laptop- to- Russia story) appears to postdate Pelosi’s interview. [Of course, the FBI might have some of their own video & other evidence on this, left unmentioned. And it could be a genuine story which followed Pelosi’s statement by coincidence or spurring.]

        Dates they do provide:

        [January 10th, Sunday, Pelosi’s 60 Minutes interview aired, not in affidavit]

        January 11th the suspect’s mom calls Harrisburg PA LE for a suspicious person call, mom “assumes” it is the witness [W1] (meanwhile suspect’s not home, but on a video call is observed to be wearing the same coat as in riot video)

        January 12, 16 ITV News youtube videos uploaded* which show, then identify, the suspect as at the Capitol riot

        *the January 12th uploaded ITV News youtube url was provided by witness to FBI (that’s the first date we have for any of this story complaint)

        Immediately *after* the mention of this url the affiant tells us that the witness told FBI about seeing a separate video, provided by mutual friends, of the suspect taking a laptop or hard drive from the Speaker’s office.

        January 15th ITV News gets positive ID of suspect from mom, per mom’s 16th call to Harrisburg LE

        January 16th ITV uploads second video which includes mom ID-ing suspect as present at riot

        January 16th Harrisburg LE talks to suspect’s dad; turns out it was a Daddy & Me excursion (*waves* to ZipTieGuy #1 and his mom) but they weren’t together the whole time

        I also don’t see a date for when the suspect fled, told mom she was going away for a couple weeks (and changed her phone number and deleted her social media accounts).

        *affidavit notes video also published in other formats (does not cite/speculate on other dates/platforms)

      • Eureka says:

        Jeremy Roebuck has a nice piece with the ITV News videos (and warrant) embedded [the briefer, 2nd, 2+ min one is worth a watch, the mom is a real treat too (IMO re her language-expression)].

        He’s also got a tweet with the first acknowledgement from Pelosi’s staff that a laptop was stolen (one used for presentations). This was on the 8th (tweet leads to a Reuters article, too): it had either escaped my attention or sieved-away by the time of Pelosi’s interview, where I though that was news.

        Also, Harrisburg LE spoke to suspect’s dad “on or about” January 16.

        Feds seeking Harrisburg woman accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during Capitol riot

        In addition:

        Williams was/is known under #GreenShirtStairmaster on twitter (by sedition hunters): see hashtag for info about her green shirt / group with which it is associated (gotta run, don’t have the links handy atm).

        • earthworm says:

          throughout the proto-fascist ball of wax runs this incestuous element. the moms/boyz, the “daddy & me” —
          how about trump/ivanka, the duo from uzbekistan, gulnara/islam; stalin/svetlana.
          dont know about berlusconi’s children.
          element of enormous narcissism, seems like.

  23. skua says:

    We’re in territory where calming and re-assuring statements are made aimed at those who want such and don’t engage their ability to think critically.
    And (hopefully) further precautions have been and are being taken in the background.
    On the NG personel who will be present at the inauguration, General Daniel R Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said,
    “If there’s any indication that any of our soldiers or airmen are expressing things that are extremist views, it’s either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately,” he said.

  24. Eureka says:

    On the news Sunday night: the Bidens will be spending their MLK, Jr., Day of Service handing out food at Philabundance in South Philadelphia.

    These are going to be long days/weeks/years of background worry with the extremist +/- nutter brigades activated, and so I don’t want to be fretting over our First Family and other electeds’ every movement, but I wish they had not announced this public appearance in advance.

    Separately (if of a piece with the source of worry), I suspect Trump will issue some very sick pardons Monday for the express purpose of co-opting — contorting — the MLK, Jr. observance.

    • Eureka says:

      ^ well, whether he does it or not, you know Miller’s had the announcement text drafted for such an own the libs humanity occasion

  25. Zinsky says:

    Again, excellent post by emptywheel. In my opinion, it is very important to focus on the hypermilitarization of America since 9-11. This post draws that focus. Too many people have come to equate militarism with patriotism. They aren’t the same thing. Most of the Founders knew that. A society that is always at war is a sick society.

  26. quebecois says:

    I’m pleased to see that the families of those terrorists seem so exasperated with them that they turn them in repeatedly to the different law agencies. Thank you Doctor Emptywheel.

  27. harpie says:

    Baseball Bat-Wielding Far-Right Militiaman Charged Over Capitol Riot
    Robert Gieswein’s now-deleted Facebook page showed him outside Rep. Lauren Boebert’s gun-themed bar, making a sign associated with the Three Percenter militia.
    Adam Rawnsley Updated Jan. 17, 2021 11:10PM / Published Jan. 17, 2021 9:10PM

    […] In an affidavit in support of the criminal charges, the government alleged that Gieswein “appears to be affiliated with the radical militia group known as the Three Percenters,” a militia which is “loosely allied with the Oath Keepers.” […]

    9:00 PM · Jan 17, 2021

    Robert Gieswein of Colorado got picked up. Oath keeper and 3 per center. Been sitting on this for a bit. It’s an important read. [screenshot][link]

    Stood next to SPAZZO in photo. I wonder if he got a reconnaissance tour on 1/5.

    • harpie says:

      Rawnsley has a thread about how they tracked and ID’d him here:

      9:10 PM · Jan 17, 2021

      New from me: Prosecutors have charged an alleged Colorado militia member, Robert Gieswein, which The Daily Beast has been tracking since he appeared in photos of the riot at the Capitol. [THREAD]

      [Note, he has a typo on the photo of Geiswein at Boebert’s bar, which he identifies later in the thread–that was November 2018, NOT 2019.]

  28. namffo says:

    Lt. Col Larry Rendell Brock, A.F. Ret., based on his attire and equipment, was very likely part of the “Ranger file”, or its commander. He is seen in the Rotunda, then in the Senate Chamber, and a short while after that in Pelosi’s office. He moved quickly, and knew exactly where he was going. I believe his object was to take hostages, including ideally Pelosi and Shumer and/or McConnell. A hostage crisis might interrupt the electoral process indefinitely, leading to an existential Constitutional crisis on the 20th, when no elected successor existed and no person was alive or at liberty who was an eligible successor under the Succession Act. Trump would then “volunteer” to be acting President until the crisis was resolved.
    Pence was not a target because he was surrounded by heavily armed agents who were free to use their weapons. And his term ended on Jan 20th, no matter what.
    Col. Brock missed his targets, but only by seconds.
    Note that he was released to home confinement by a Federal Magistrate in Fort Worth, even after the AUSA read to the curt a tweet that Col Brock had sent during the attack: “men with guns need to shoot their way in”. I would expect that Col Brock will be indicted for a host of serious federal felonies once a Grand Jury becomes active in this matter. He has been charged with only minor crimes so far, such as tresspass.

    • skua says:

      I think he got to the Senate chamber pretty early – maybe he knew already the way there.
      Don’t know what else he got up to but he spent some time in the senate chamber trying to get other rioters/insurrectionists to stay out of the President of the Senate’s chair, describing it as sacred, telling others that they were there on an OI (or IO?) – information gathering mission.

      • namffo says:

        New Yorker video, posted 1/18/21, by Luke Modelson. Brock’s exact words were: “Get out of that chair…I agree with you brother, but it’s not ours, it belongs to the Vice President of the US. But he’s not here. It’s not our chair. Look, I love you guys, we’re brothers, we can’t be disrespectful. Look, it’s a PR war, Okay? You have to understand it’s an IO war, we can’t lose an IO war. We’re better than that. It’s information, information operation”
        Brock is then seen handling his cell phone, apparently typing something. Also, holding flex cuffs.
        A moment later Brock moves near some people who are rifling a senator’s desk and looking at documents, and he photographs one document. Then he apparently leaves the chamber, because he is no longer seen there although the video continues for some minutes.

  29. RogueRobot says:

    I am hopeful that evidence is being gathered for arrests AFTER Jan 20. There must be accountability, regardless of what you “believed”

  30. pwrchip says:

    OT: I found this report a tad humorous:
    “Because the role — one of the most senior at NSA — is a civil service position, not a political one, it could prove difficult for the incoming Biden administration to immediately remove Ellis. The new administration could reassign him to serve elsewhere, however.”

    I find it funny bc I posted a quote that bmaz said in one of his comments.

    It’s looks like the TransitionTeam got the message.

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