“Stand Back and Stand By:” The Proud Boys Node of the January 6 Attack

As I and others have reported, a node of three people with ties to the Oath Keepers is, thus far, the first sign of a larger conspiracy charge in the government’s investigation of the January 6 insurrection.

It’s clear the government believes they can get there with the Proud Boys, either in conjunction with or parallel to the Oath Keepers. But they’re not there yet.

I want to lay out what they’ve shown about the Proud Boys operations thus far.

In addition to Enrique Tarrio (who was arrested before the riot for vandalizing a black church in December), the government has identified six people as Proud Boy adherents in affidavits (plus Robert Gieswein, who coordinated with them):

While some of these — notably, Bryan Bentancur, who lied to his parole officer about handing out bibles to excuse a trip to DC that day — were caught incidentally, it’s clear that Biggs and Pezzola were priorities, the former for his leadership role in the group and the latter for his appearance in videos breaking in a window with a police shield.

Between these affidavits, the government has provided evidence that the Proud Boys plan their operations in advance, with this quote from a Joe Biggs interview.

When we set out to do an event, we go alright, what is or main objective? And that’s the first thing we discuss. We take three months to plan an event. And we go, what’s our main objective? And then we plan around that, to achieve that main objective, that goal that we want.

In the case of the January 6 insurrection, that pre-planning involved creating a false flag to blame Antifa. The government showed this in a Tarrio message posted in December.

For example, on December 29, 2020, Tarrio posted a message on the social media site Parler1 about the demonstration planned for January 6, 2021. Among other things, Tarrio announced that the Proud Boys would “turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist… We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will be spread across downtown DC in smaller teams. And who knows….we might dress in all BLACK for the occasion.” I believe the statement about dressing in “all BLACK” is a reference to dressing like the group known as “Antifa,” who the Proud Boys have identified as an enemy of their movement and are often depicted in the media wearing all black to demonstrations.

And the government showed agreement between Tarrio and Biggs with this similar message from Biggs.

On or around the same day, BIGGS posted a similar message to his followers on Parler in which he stated, among other things, “we will not be attending DC in colors. We will be blending in as one of you. You won’t see us. You’ll even think we are you . . .We are going to smell like you, move like you, and look like you. The only thing we’ll do that’s us is think like us! Jan 6th is gonna be epic.” I understand that BIGGS was directing these statements at “Antifa.”

Daniel Goldwyn, texting that day, addressed the claim of a false flag on texts.

The government provided evidence that members of the Proud Boys had followed the false flag plan, with pictures of the men marching through DC “incognito” before the insurrection.

On January 6, 2021, an individual that I have identified as BIGGS and a group of people that hold themselves out as Proud Boys were depicted on the east side of the U.S. Capitol. Consistent with the directive issued by organizers of the Proud Boys, including Tarrio and BIGGS, none of the men pictured are wearing Proud Boys colors of black and yellow, but are instead dressed “incognito.” Indeed, BIGGS, wearing glasses and a dark knit hat, is dressed in a blue and grey plaid shirt.

In Biggs’ affidavit (the most recent of the six), the government also provided evidence of communications between members during the attack.

Your affiant has reviewed additional footage from the events inside the U.S. Capitol. In one image, shown below, Pezzola appears to have what I believe to be an earpiece or communication device in his right ear. In my experience, such a device could be used to receive communications from others in real time. Your affiant also notes that multiple individuals were photographed or depicted on videos with earpieces, including other individuals believed to be associated with the Proud Boys. For instance, in the picture of the Proud Boys referenced above in Paragraph 13, an individual believed to be part of the group is pictured wearing a similar earpiece.

Your affiant has also identified certain Proud Boys at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, who appear to have walkie-talkie style communication devices. For instance, in the picture of the Proud Boys referenced above in Paragraph 13, both BIGGS and the individual next to him have such devices on their chests.

Gabriel Garcia is described as captain by another of the men (though it’s unclear whether thank rank was replicated in the group).

Additionally, on January 8, 2021, the FBI received information from the public regarding a separate subject (“S-1”). S-1 uploaded to Facebook pictures of himself inside of the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. As FBI Agents reviewed the evidence related to that report, they discovered that S-1 posted a status on Facebook tagging GARCIA and calling him “El Capitan.” The caption reads, “El Capitan doing his duty. Gabriel Garcia.” Systems checks reveal that GARCIA is a former captain in the United States Army. GARCIA also uses the handle “Captain” as his display name on the social media platform Telegram

Affidavits provide two different descriptions of Pezzola being among the first to break into the Capitol.

One such video depicts an individual, now identified as Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola, breaking the window of the U.S. Capitol Building with a clear plastic shield at approximately 2:13 p.m.3 Shortly after the glass in the window is broken, an unidentified individual can be heard yelling words to the effect of, “Go, Go, Go!” Several individuals enter the building through the broken window, including Pezzola. A nearby door was opened and a crowd of people began to enter the U.S. Capitol.

This one comes from the Pezzola affidavit.

On January 8, 2021, FBI received a lead depicting publicly available photographs and videos of an unknown individual breaking the window of the U.S. Capitol Building, which is located in Washington, D.C., with a clear plastic shield, and then entering the Capitol building. According to time and date stamps, this occurred on January 6, 2021, at approximately 2:39 p.m.. Below are screen shots from one such video. In the video, soon after the glass in the window is broken, an unidentified individual can be heard yelling words to the effect of, “Go, Go, Go!” The individual with the shield is depicted in the video as entering the Capitol building, while still holding the shield. The screen shot on the left shows the individual breaking the window, and the screen shot on the right, which is taken seconds after the other screenshot, shows his face.

The government has provided some (albeit thus far, scant) evidence that one plan was to target members of Congress, which Garcia calling Pelosi out personally.

Approximately 35 seconds into the video, GARCIA says loudly, “Nancy come out and play.”

There is a witness (who may not be entirely reliable) describing the group to be armed.

W-1 stated that other members of the group talked about things they had done during the day, and they said that anyone they got their hands on they would have killed, including Nancy Pelosi. W-1 further stated that members of this group, which included “Spaz,” said that they would have killed [Vice President] Mike Pence if given the chance. According to W-1, the group said it would be returning on the “20th,” which your affiant takes to mean the Presidential Inauguration scheduled for January 20, 2021, and that they plan to kill every single “m-fer” they can.1 W-1 stated the men said they all had firearms or access to firearms.

In Biggs’ affidavit, the government describes Biggs disclaiming having any advance plan.

On or about January 18, 2021, BIGGS spoke with agents of the FBI after video emerged online of him inside the U.S. Capitol. BIGGS stated, in substance and in part, that he was present in Washington, D.C. for the demonstration on January 6, 2021. BIGGS admitted to entering the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, without forcing entry. BIGGS informed the interviewing agent that the doors of the Capitol were wide open when he made entry into the building. BIGGS denied having any knowledge of any pre-planning of storming the Capitol, and had no idea who planned it.

And in two cases, the government has provided evidence that the group was responding to Trump’s orders.

On November 16, 2020, OCHS made a post to the social media site Parler, in which he forwarded a Tweet by President Trump declaring, “I WON THE ELECTION!” and OCHS stated, “Show this tweet to leftists and say they won’t do shit when he just keeps being president. Don’t say it was stolen or rigged. Just say we’re doing it and they won’t fight back. They are getting scared, and they don’t function when they’re scared.

In Goodwyn’s case, the government shows him adopting Trump’s avatar on Twitter and repeating Trump’s own line from the debate, “Stand back and stand by.”

Again, this is just what’s public two weeks after the attack, and just those whom the government identified as members. There are others (notably John Sullivan, whose brother has not been arrested but who has ties to the group), who would be obvious candidates to flip to learn more about the group, and there are some tangential figures not included here.

This route is one of the most likely ones via which the government will tie the violence to those close to Trump trying to undermine the election and — with Trump’s “Stand back and stand by” comment — possibly even Trump.

Update: Corrected how Pezzola broke in.

Update: Tarrio was also offering to pay for lawyers for people.

Update, 1/26: I’ve added Robert Gieswein to this list, based on this WSJ video showing him involved throughout the day with the Proud Boys.

Update, 1/27: I’ve added Andrew Bennett, who was described as wearing a Proud Boy hat in his affidavit.

180 replies
  1. dadidoc1 says:

    I wonder how many of the “Antifa” members rioting in Portland are actually Proud Boys in disguise. My money is on cross-dressing Proud Boys.

    • flounder says:

      The Black Bloc anarchist shitheads have been around Portland/Seattle/Berkley/etc. for decades doing this type of stuff. No Proud Boys necessary.

        • BobCon says:

          It could well be both to some extent. I think the challenge to infiltration is that the Portland anarchists are pretty paranoid at this point and don’t accept someone showing up out of the blue saying “hey kids, let’s do some crimes.”

          That doesn’t stop people from mimicking them in a separate action, though, and there are a lot of people who don’t want to do the legwork to sort out who is doing what.

          And I also wouldn’t rule out some people who move from radical left to radical right.

        • dadidoc1 says:

          I just get the feeling that Antifa, for the most part, is a creation of the mind of Sean Hannity and his ilk.

        • Philo T says:

          The fact that y’all don’t know the difference between black bloc, anarchists, and antifa is enough to disquify your comments from serious consideration.

          Right wing infiltrators in Portland are outed fairly quickly. While they may be agent provocateurs at actions, they tend not to be involved in any actual planning or get very far into groups.

          There is extensive tracking of right wing efforts by paranoid leftist activists.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol! What a load of bunk. The fact that you posted this kind of bunk up here is beyond “disqualifying”. “Paranoid leftwing activists”??? Double LOL.

        • Philo T says:

          Knowing the law doesn’t qualify you to comment on street activists in a place you’ve never lived. Miss me with your bravado, bmaz.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh, well “miss me” with your holier than thou “black bloc, anarchists, and antifa” phillic bullshit.

        • Philo T says:

          The proud boys thought they could wear black and people would blame antifa because of a right-wing scaremongering conflation of a street protest tactic and antifa.
          When you defend commentators perpetuating the this co fusion, you’re doing the right’s work for them.

          So… maybe don’t do that?

        • bmaz says:

          How about you do not blow poo up our commentary’s rear about the lame “black bloc” “anarchist”, not to mention the effectively non-existent, “Antifa”? How about that? And, as to where I “have never lived”, you do have not a clue where I have been in my life.

        • timbo says:

          There are plenty of folks who identify as “Antifa” in the SF Bay Area. I can’t speak for other parts of the country. If it is a coordinated movement beyond a basic grassroots level around the country, I am not aware of that. But, as a loose amalgamation of local activists, mixed with potential rioters, it does exist IMO. And not just in the SF Bay Area. The fact that Twitler and the right used it as a rallying cry against legitimate BLM and other socially progressive movements was somewhat effective. And I don’t doubt that the Proud Boys would play against the rhetoric of Twitler to blame the left for what the radical right is actually doing on the ground.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. But it is much more of a bogeyman for those purposes than any real organized group. That is my point. When used as a bogeyman, as it is, I just laugh.

        • timbo says:

          Some “people” >are< blaming Antifa for what happened on January 6th. The majority of folks in the US are not fooled by such nonsense though. However, there's a large minority of folks on the right who use "antifa" as a pejorative so as to minimize identification with potential street groups who are anti-fascist by people who are becoming radicalized. The thing is this—if you are keen on disrupting society by riots and mayhem, and you can find a different group to take the blame for it, and make that stick, then you have won a battle of sorts against a potential and/or real political opponent while confusing the folks who might be opposed to your own ideology and illegal behavior if it wasn't cloaked by falseflag operations.

        • ChuckD says:

          Hasn’t it already been established that cell phone location data isn’t out of reach of the law? Seems to me that would be useful.

        • Eureka says:


          *Chef’s kiss*
          Smooches, MFers.

          Tragic and a bit ironic that some of the same tools Bannon et al. sought to exploit in targeting/harvesting magas like geofencing will come back round to bite again.

      • CommentDante says:

        One could always count on the Black Bloc to break windows and throw trash cans in ANY SF protest. They were there on Resistance Day after Trump inauguration. They would pull this trick if there was a demonstration for the Easter Bunny. Reported activity in north west sounds all Back Bloc, but RWNJ’s must hammer away it is ALL ‘antifa’ because Billy Barr has declared antifa as ‘extreme violence’ and international terror group.

    • Amers says:

      I was wondering the same thing. Especially after not-legally-acting Wolf abseiled on to the Portland scene over the summer to draw alot of attention and stir up alot of outrage from mothers. I kept wondering why Trump’s team was making a mess for Wyden’s state.

      • timbo says:

        You kept wondering about it? Why? It was apparent from the get go that Trump was intent on “stopping the breakdown in Democratic cities”. It was also apparent at the time that the Twitler regime was seeing if it could get away with provoking more and more unrest in Portland as part of Trump’s “law-and-order upholder!” broken rhetoric.

    • joel fisher says:

      In Minneapolis, during the George Floyd riots, a bugaloo bois (Oops, I almost capitalized it; don’t want any of these assholes breaking my windows for uppercasing them.) cell was found by law enforcement to be participants in the mayhem. Most notoriously, “Umbrella Man” was videoed breaking windows with a hammer. There were others.

      • timbo says:

        Have they retracted saying it wasn’t the cop that folks IDed for doing that yet? They need to find whomever that was, whether it was that cop or not.

    • greengiant says:

      The big picture is to compare the millions at the women’s marches across the US in 2017 to the few thousand who attacked capitol police.

      Hijack the discussion and ignore the 145 racist congress persons who voted to steal black votes with the violent support of subsidized GOP operatives and bombers.

      Does the GOP use false flags? Doh. Thousands protested the travel ban in January 2017 but the world wide headlines is an unidentified hooded person throwing a punch at a GOP er in Portland.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      dadidoc 1 wrote, “My money is on cross-dressing Proud Boys.”

      It’s not the kilt that makes a man a cross-dresser.

      It’s the panty hose. (And the heels.) And the way the nylon feels against your skin . . . when you shave your legs.

      Don’t take my word for it. Ask Rudy Giuliani. He’ll tell you.

  2. John Federico says:

    I recall that Tarrio posted a photo of himself entering the White House on or around 12/19. Some outlets have reported that it was a routine tour he was on, but that seems fishy, like a too-obvious cover story, given the short time between “standby/stand down,” his visit to the WH, and the rally/riot/insurrection.

    • chicago_bunny says:

      It would be an interesting trail to run down. According to the White House website, “The National Park Service does not schedule White House tours or provide tickets to enter the White House. Public tour requests must be submitted through your Member of Congress. These self-guided tours are generally available Friday and Saturday (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted).”

      If Tarrio really was just there for a tour, there should still be a record of who in Congress gave the approval.

      Link for the text quoted above: https://www.nps.gov/whho/planyourvisit/the-white-house-tour.htm#:~:text=Tours%20are%20scheduled%20on%20a,tour%20is%20free%20of%20charge.

      • pdaly says:

        It would be very interesting to know which Congressman provided the tickets to the Proud Boys. If there is no link to Congress for the source of the WH tickets, it is also possible to obtain tickets directly from the White House.

        Things obviously may have changed since the 1990s when I lived in DC, but I turned to the WH directly when I learned none of my Congressmen’s offices had any available tickets for a tour. At the time, people without tickets could stand in line and hope to be let in on a public tour, but my grandmother was coming to my graduation and would not have been able to handle the summer heat after her recent stroke.

        The Washington Post had just published the newly minted email address of the President so I emailed Bill Clinton directly. To my astonishment I had a message on my answering machine within days from someone from the WH asking, “How many tickets do you want?”

        No doubt Trump has similar ability to find tickets.

    • Rayne says:

      It was December 12 when he posted to Parler,

      Last minute invite to an undisclosed location…


      I’m in awe.


      (embedded link above to the archived post at Wayback Machine. Thank you to whomever has been archiving this stuff as it came out.)

      EDIT: This USAToday story mentions Secret Service doing a background check on every visitor who enters the White House. Have to wonder if Tarrio is standing outside under the porte-cochère of the White House in the photo he posted at Parler because he was waiting for that check to finish. Also wonder if anyone has submitted a FOIA to Secret Service for any publicly-available records about this visit.

      EDIT-2: Couldn’t remember who it was who claimed Tarrio was at the White House as part of a tour. It was Judd Deere according to this US News & World Report piece.

      … “He was on a public White House Christmas tour,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said when asked about Tarrio’s suggestion he was invited. “He did not have a meeting with the president, nor did the White House invite him.” …

      Nice word parsing there. White House didn’t invite him — did someone who doesn’t work at the White House invite him, like Donnie Jr? Didn’t have a meeting with the president — did Tarrio have a meeting with someone else, like Donnie Jr?

      Not like we haven’t seen Donnie Jr as a proxy for his father, like June 9, 2016 at Trump Tower.

      Sure would like to know where Donnie was on December 12, same day as a press release announcing his involvement with some blockchain business. Also same day his dad attended the Army-Navy football game.

      • Peterr says:

        I don’t know what the routine was this past Christmas, but in general, public tours of the White House are done in the morning, not the evening. Also, per the archived Trump WH website, there’s this little nugget (emphasis added):

        President Trump and Mrs. Trump are delighted to take part in the longstanding tradition of welcoming members of the public to tour the White House. To request a White House tour, please contact your Member of Congress.

        Two thoughts:
        (1) This is nice language for the WH to use to deflect from the “we didn’t invite him”.
        (2) I wonder if Paul Gosar was involved with this.

    • PeterS says:

      As regards the Capitol tours, has evidence come to light that people on the 5 January tours organized by members of Congress were back in the Capitol on 6 January?

      I was wondering how normal it is for members of Congress to give such tours when a large number of their constituents are in Washington; I guess there haven’t been many visits in the past year, except perhaps for some dumb anti-mask protests, so maybe early January presented a rare opportunity?

      I  found these comments on other news sites: “It is not uncommon for lawmakers to invite avid supporters on tours of the Capitol” and “members of Congress have been disregarding those (covid) strictures to bring in families and friends for small private tours for months”.

      N.B. I am NOT defending Tarrio or anyone else.

        • dadidoc1 says:

          Could it be that they walked around the metal detectors with the accompanying U.S. Representative saying “They’re with me” to take a guided tour? I can see Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma doing that.

        • MelW says:

          Doesn’t that Capitol have a video system that would have captured anyone walking around the halls of Congress in the days prior to the riot?

        • Stacey says:

          Yes, that’s why the Dems that saw the tour groups sort of noticed these was because they were not going on since the mid summer time frame because of Covid. They stood out to them is what has been reported, because they were rare now.

    • subtropolis says:

      And they’ve made the claim that they’ve had one of their own inside the White House “all along.” I believe that it’s possible that they’ve at least had friendly encounters with someone who worked there. They do seem to have done plenty of hobnobbing in DC.

      My suspicions fall on Jason Miller, fwiw.

  3. DSL says:

    Ok, so…

    – We’re going to go ahead and share our conspiracy on the internet
    – Our clever, proud plans include going ‘incognito’, but we’re also going to go ahead and share our disguise info on the internet
    – This is the one time in history where hiding our faces is encouraged, but we won’t be doing that because of Dear Leader’s feelings
    – We’re all a bunch of middle aged men and women and we’re going to film ourselves, maskless, carrying out our conspiracy, like some teenagers filming themselves at a concert
    – We’re going to post our videos and share our photos using accounts with clear links to the very group we’re pretending not to be. These accounts we’re posting to will have long histories showing direct involvement with the groups we’re pretending not to be affiliated with
    – We plan these things for 3 months.

    Huh. I was really interested to see what would happen when the marks figured out they had been conned. However, I’m not really sure they are capable of that level of understanding/ analysis.

    • blueedredcounty says:

      Well, Jake Angeli seems to be having his lawyer say that he’s feeling duped and betrayed because Trump didn’t give him a pardon. I’m wondering how the verdict is going to go down in that case, because he was aware in advance his behavior was going to require a pardon for breaking federal law.

  4. Joseph Andrews says:

    As much as anybody who reads emptywheel, I want to see the wheels of justice spin…bearing down and even grinding down…on the planners of the insurrection.

    But then I read this:


    …which includes–

    “Remember, the people in the Capitol really believed that they were on a mission to save America, that it was patriotic to smash windows and kill and injure police. Before they can be convinced otherwise, they will have to see some kind of future for themselves in an America run by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and a Democratic Congress.”

    As I write this, I am not optimistic about the future of America. Maybe later this morning I’ll feel better. I hope so.

    But what I haven’t been able to get out of my brain is the thought that if the Jan 6 insurrectionists had dark skin…literally hundreds of them would have been shot dead–and the Proud Boys et al would be grinning from ear to ear.

    Is the pandemic getting the best of me?

    • NickinNJ says:

      Mr. Andrews, no I don’t think you’re sounding like you have pandemic stir craziness. The world has gone mad. Sane people all around have a hard time understanding this absurd era we live in. I feel like we have been living in a Franz Kafka novel for the past 5 years.

      As the Chinese saying goes, may you live in interesting times… interesting times indeed.

      • MB says:

        The day after Trump left, I felt like I had been involuntarily been in a 4-year-long abusive relationship that I couldn’t get away from. Then the abuser abruptly left and suddenly Dr. Fauci is talking directly to the press for 1/2 hour and people in the room are laughing. And the people representing the government on TV actually sound competent and are trying to be truthful.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think there needs to be a distinction between the QAnon true believers and those who plotted to institute a white supremacist fascist state. The former need cult reprogramming. The latter need to be rooted out.

      In between there are people who do need to find a way back to society.

      • BobCon says:

        It’s complicated and requires a lot of compromises due to the numbers involved, but there has to be a path back for the rank and file. We did it for the original Nazis, and while it was flawed in a lot of ways, Germany went on to be a functional democracy. Obviously more is involved, including justice for ring leaders.

        • Joseph Andrews says:

          Most emptywheel readers have probably already seen this:


          I had not…until after I had read the posts immediately above this one.

          All of which begs the question:

          Where exactly does Josh Hawley fit in on the spectrum? Prosecuted? Rooted out? Reprogrammed?

          All of the above!?

          It really is a big deal in MO politics if you are a Republican who has been disowned by John Danforth.

          But if there are no legal consequences for Hawley and his actions…and if he is re-elected to the senate…well that’s why I’m pessimistic this morning.

          [FYI, link to Apple News replaced with direct link to story at Politico to avoid tracking of readers from this site by Apple. /~Rayne]

        • bmaz says:

          I know it is very much an unpopular opinion, but if you think Hawley, Cruz et. al are going to be “prosecuted”, you need to rethink. Again, as earlier, there is the “specific intent” problem, and that is a huge one. There are other issues, such as imminence, as well.

        • PeterS says:

          Ah well, as long as you can promise us that 45 is going to be prosecuted for insurrection AND TREASON…


        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          No treason, but barge-loads of thoroughly corrupt quid pro quos and one, rather large, 4.5-year-old, ongoing seditious conspiracy to end democracy in the US.

        • pasha says:

          i agree as to criminality, but i think both are sufficiently unpopular with their peers as to be vulnerable to censure by the senate. strip them of committee assignments, maybe seniority — iirc it only requires a majority, not the 2/3rds required for removal

        • Peterr says:

          As someone with deep roots in Missouri and who watches the politics carefullly, within the majority of the state GOP, being disowned by John Danforth is a badge of honor. If anything, the state GOP treats him like a dottering grandfather – give him respect in public, but don’t really listen to what he says.

          Hawley is not concerned about losing Danforth’s backing. He’s much more concerned about losing the support of major local businesses like Cerner, Black & Veatch, and Hallmark, as well as major GOP megadonors like David Humphries.

        • Peterr says:

          I have a hunch she may be passing Steve Schmidt and the Lincoln Project folks some Missouri-specific ideas for ads.

          The LP has been putting a lot of money into ads in Missouri right now going after Hawley and Cruz. Not sure it will move the Akin-Republicans, but there are some it will reach. Of course, there are others who just love the raised fist Hawley gave the insurrectionists — they’re the folks who saw it first hand.

        • dadidoc1 says:

          Is Josh Hawley a legal resident of Missouri? Didn’t he use his dad’s home address when he ran for Senate? I’m sure there is nothing to see here, but still.

        • P J Evans says:

          He’s been using his sister’s address in MO for voting, but IIRC changed to the address of the house being built for him (which he wasn’t living in at the time).

        • PieIsDamnGood says:

          Hawley and Cruz are cowards who move with the political winds. If the political incentives change they will stop this bullshit. So we need to deprogram the Q followers or change the structure of elections.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          Hawley and Cruz are lowlifes. Cruz is very smart but very dangerous. He knows exactly what he’s doing by inciting the rubes, and he doesn’t care what happens to them. They may both be intellectually capable but they got pawned by thuggy Trump.

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          My thought, and hope, is that everyone who played their part in the insurrection thought at some point they would succeed (and receive cover and protection from Trump and Co) so they got sloppy here and there in covering their tracks and will be prosecuted now.

        • Stacey says:

          It IS complicated, but also good to remember that this may SEEM like our first round with Hitler-curious circumstances sort of breaking through the All-American delusion of “it can’t happen here”, but it can and already HAD previously in our own civil war. When push came to shove, we didn’t shun or not try to reconcile with the South. We ‘healed’ our rift with the South in a way that allowed them to feel like they hadn’t even lost the damn war, since they never really stopped fighting it! We named our military bases after THEIR heroes in a war against us that they lost! Who DOES that?

          I just feel like our American tendency is not to OVERDUE the forgiveness, you know? We sort of err on the other side of that delicate balance and the Right in this country is well-versed in eventually pulling that tendency out of us!

    • skua says:

      “hundreds of them would have been shot dead”

      The first person I read suggesting significant numbers of dead protestors as a possible goal of those planning the insurection was, asIrememberthings, Dr Emptywheel. Days before the inauguration.

      However the storming was organised and however destructive of America’s self-image it was, that pales compared to the damage to Biden’s so-very-critical-to-avoiding-a-fascist-America Presidency that would have occured if the USCP had panicked and shot down large numbers of protestors. Further investigations may show otherwise but it could be that any future America worth having will have depended totally on the restraint shown by the USCP officers as, and after, they were over-run.

      • Nehoa says:

        Exactly. They made the right calls even at the expense of their own health and lives. My deepest gratitude to those who made the right calls/acted wisely. Things could have been so much worse.

    • DSL says:

      I’m paraphrasing (or possibly stealing from) an old Deadspin or Gawker article that has always stuck with me through these last few years:

      We’re now in a phase where it’s unclear if the new generation of elected GOP Leaders in the US are aware of the Fox News agenda/ grift. Forget QANON, OANN, Newsmax, etc for a second and realize that people like Gaetz, Hawley, Greene, Boebert, Cawthorn and others might actually be Fox News True Believers. That alone is a massive problem IMO. The old guard of McConnell, Gingrich, the millionaire pastors, Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruz all know exactly what Fox is and does. These others? It’s not so clear because they seem to have grown up with that sh*t.

      • PeterS says:

        Yes, and all people who turned up on 6 January had to do in the prior days and weeks was to watch Fox News and listen to their elected leaders. That’s a lot of reprogramming.

      • Rayne says:

        Hmm. I think this assessment fails to take into consideration there’s been a generational shift, incomplete but in process nonetheless. Roger Aisles is dead and gone, taking his animus with him; Rupert Murdoch isn’t long for this world. But his older son Lachlan is a nasty bit of work, and if the younger son’s departure from the family business is any indication, Lachlan’s approach to media is too nasty even for kin.

        • milestogo says:

          Yes. I’m old enough now to see that there’s always a new one to take the place of the departed. It seems the solutions are broadly structural and the fight is in Biden’s words, perennial. While fighting, I continue to hope MLK is correct about the arc of history,

        • Mickquinas says:

          The arc of history bends towards justice when, and because, people choose to bend it thus. Like any other thing that is bent, there is tension in that bending.

        • FL Resister says:

          Have quantum physics applications to human interactions even been extensively studied?
          Outside of say Buddhism? Are humans are after all descended from fish?

        • FL Resister says:

          We’ve listened to economists for years.
          Why not give physicists a chance?
          It is the 21st Century.
          1.21.21 just a couple days ago, in fact.
          Humans as viscous fluids…

        • John Lehman says:

          “ ….hope MLK is correct about the arc of history”…
          Hope so too, his dream has been and is becoming a reality.
          History seems to be filled with stops and starts steadily advancing to a more perfect and just civilization.

        • timbo says:

          Yeah, the Murdochs have been run out of Australia and run out Britain. Sadly, they seem to have entrenched themselves in our country. Ugh.

    • punaise says:

      I posited this on another thread, didn’t get much traction:

      …what do we do about all the knuckleheads who bought Trump’s lies, hook-line-sinker and will continue to be a drag on civil society? Short of rounding them up for re-education camps (uh, no…) what can be done to bring some sanity back to their worlds?

      • Nehoa says:

        Start with Fox News. Drive down the price of their stock and buy them out cheaply. The Murdoch family lives happily ever after and we don’t have to deal with them any more. Many precedents in history for this relatively peaceful/lawful approach. Sulla in the Roman Republic. Paying off the samurai after the Meiji restoration. Most of U.S. corporate M&A since the 1970s.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It would be quite a lift for defense counsel to establish a lack of intent based on the belief that someone thought he had a right to commit vandalism against public property because he was a member of the public. Not when a person of color can do time for smashing a window to steal a toaster or loaf of bread – or for walking past a window smashed by someone else. (The difference between public and private property here is minimal.)

    But the argument is about loyalty and tribal identity, not law, policy, or socially acceptable limits on public behavior. That’s on Republicans and the right generally, who have made loyalty and tribal identity more important than governance. It’s an old story that reinvents itself, illustrated by a look at Jim Crow or the McCarty Era.

    • bmaz says:

      There is quite a bit of difference in between specific and general intent in crimes. Vandalism, theft etc are general intent. But this is also why I think convicting Trump, Rudy, and the rally speakers is going to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt as to specific intent. That is a whole different ball game. Maybe the facts that “could” prove it will come out with time, but I don’t see them yet.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I keep coming back to this Jim Acosta tweet during the insurrection:

        A source close to the White House who is in touch with some of the rioters at the Capitol said it’s the goal of those involved to stay inside the Capitol through the night.

        That raises a bunch of questions that need to be answered.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, it certainly does. So we must wait and see. My point is simply that culpability may be bifurcated here on the issue of intent.

        • milestogo says:

          What I am waiting to see resolved is why Giuliani so badly needed Tuberville to delay the certification (and characteristically called the fricckin wrong Senator). Kill enough Democratic house members and the longshot plot could have fallen into place. They just needed time for that to happen. Crazy, but what else explains the need for delay?

        • PeterS says:

          I note that the voicemail for Tuberville wasn’t “okay, we’re going with plan A”, but instead a fairly detailed and polite request. This suggests that if there was an elaborate plan then Tuberville didn’t know his role in advance. Despite having spoken to Trump earlier IIRC.

        • punaise says:

          By all available evidence Tubes is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, so maybe he just didn’t *get* what he was supposed to do.

        • PeterS says:

          Oh, and perhaps the wish for a delay was a mixture of magical thinking (hoping something would turn up) and a desire for some bullshit PR which would satisfy Trump.

        • BroD says:

          I’m thinking the goal may simply have been disruption purely for the sake of disruption–anything to derail the process.

      • BobCon says:

        I agree that the case against inciters requires a lot of proof, and I think that is why a piece of the response has to be getting people under oath in situations where they may not be charged with a crime — civil suits or congressional investigations, for example. I don’t know if there are any grounds for a prosecutor for opening a case against Boebert, for example, but the House Ethics Committee can and should be demanding her records now.

      • Chris.EL says:

        When bmaz speaks of convicting Trump and Rudy, that is another prosecution *outside* of Trump’s impeachment?

        I was thinking the Senate may “convict” Trump in impeachment to get to voting to have Trump banned from holding public office in future.

        Banning Trump seems paramount to me. McConnell sure appears to *have had enough*!!

        A felony conviction for Rudy disbars him?

        • Rayne says:

          Needs to be made more clear that a Senate trial and conviction (as well as removal of a seated president) are political responses which is not the same as civil or criminal prosecution.

          The threshold for the political response isn’t the same as civil or criminal; if the Senate finds Trump did abuse his office, fail his oath of office, because they agree his actions constituted incitement to insurrection (looking only at the second impeachment’s articles), then they can convict him. There is nothing in the Constitution which says conviction by the Senate must meet the same standards as civil or criminal prosecution and conviction.

        • Chris.EL says:

          Thanks Rayne — good answer!

          If I understand impeachment correctly, the Senate will vote yea or nay and then, a second vote on removal/prohibition?

          Ah well, we will see. **So glad Trump is out**

          I’m sure Trump will try to use this to get the spotlight on himself again. I’d love to see Trump, on camera, testifying under oath! Oh, the squirming!
          Does the fellow incarcerated for three years !!!!!! **without trial** have any avenue for wrongful imprisonment? From Twitter:
          “Lilith Goode
          Replying to
          Kalief Browder stole a backpack at 16, spent 3 yrs at Riker’s Island without trial.

          Riley Williams stole a laptop from Speaker Pelosi’s office and tried to sell it to Russia. She was released to her mother.

          Justice in America is not blind. It sees exactly what it’s doing.” …

        • mass interest says:

          It’s my understanding that the Senate may vote to prevent Trump from assuming public office in the future only if he is convicted on the impeachment article.

          If the Senate acquits Trump on the impeachment article, there will be no motion to prevent future public office.

        • Rayne says:

          Whew, boy, there will be a fight ahead if Trump is convicted but the Senate doesn’t expressly forbid holding office in the future. From Article I, Sect. 3 of the Constitution:

          … The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

          Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

          Note the ‘shall’ and ‘and’. The wording doesn’t suggest to me that disqualification is an option — it, along with removal from office, are the limits of this political punishment.

        • mass interest says:

          Rayne, here’s why I’m confused. This WaPo piece states that there’s a separate vote for the future office issue IF there’s conviction on impeachment:


          “What are the consequences of this second impeachment?
          The consequences are that Trump will go down in history as being the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. Because the Senate will be holding his trial after Trump’s presidency ended on Jan. 20, a conviction can’t remove him from office. Senators could, however, take a separate vote after a conviction to bar Trump from ever holding any federal office again.”

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, of course there is. But if there are 67 votes to convict, there will almost surely be 51 votes to ban from future office.
          This is how the rules are.

        • Rayne says:

          If they’d quoted somebody like Rick Hasen, I’d think that WaPo piece was correct. But they don’t ask a constitution expert as far as I can tell.

          And with some new developments reported this evening. I’m not certain what happens at all when it comes to evidence and witness statements let alone what happens after the Senate votes assuming they convict.

          I suspect Rick Hasen will be asked about all of this soon given this evening’s NYT report.

        • bmaz says:

          “If the Senate acquits Trump on the impeachment article, there will be no motion to prevent future public office.”

          Baloney. There is an alternate path, see 14th Amendment, section 3. Although the impeachment path is the best one.

        • Chris.EL says:

          This excerpt is from a piece by Steve Vladeck published in NY Times January 14, 2021 “Why Trump Can Be Convicted Even as an Ex-President”:

          … “But there is no indication that Mr. Trump plans to resign. His term ends next Wednesday only because Section 1 of the 20th Amendment says so. He is not going willingly. And he has made no secret of his interest in running for president again in 2024. What’s more, under the Former Presidents Act of 1958, he stands to receive significant financial and other tangible benefits, including a handsome annual stipend, funds for offices and a staff, and a pension. But that same statute denies such benefits to a former president who was removed “pursuant to Section 4 of Article II of the Constitution.” So whether Mr. Trump is impeached, convicted and disqualified determines not only whether he could ever again hold federal office but may also bear upon the extent to which federal taxpayers will be subsidizing his activities in the years to come.” …
          That’s the aspect Trump will loathe: denial of money!

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. Steve is not saying anything different. But, since Trump is now a former President, the question is how could he be held to account. It is either impeachment or the 14th. The former is FAR more likely than the latter. Though both appear technically possible. Not sure I’d bet on either one to actually occur. There may be ancillary criminal charges, though state is far more likely than federal. We shall see.

        • skua says:

          This is similar to the freedom that the Senate had in deciding whether Kavanaugh was suitable. A responsible, and available, approach would have been “Do we still have enough confidence to support Kavanaugh after hearing Blaisey-Ford?”. Instead many disgraced themselves, misled Americans, and claimed that some fanciful burden of proof was required before Kavaugh could be rejected.

      • Peterr says:

        Premeditated planning and acts ahead of time — some of them months ahead of time — as Marcy lays out in the post surely move from general intent to specific, especially recon tours of the Capitol. The manner in which folks acted on Jan 6, with radios and walkie talkies to coordinate their actions likewise indicate specific intent.

        The communications ahead of Jan 6 between the insurrectionists and official DC folks (WH and Congress) will be the key in tying these two groups together, and the FBI et al. have not been talking much about what they are finding there.

    • FL Resister says:

      The difference this time is it was all caught on video and we watched it, horrified, unfold.
      We couldn’t understand how they got that far and why it took that long for aid to arrive,
      We watched it happening in real time.
      And what do we find out? General Flynn’s brother, who thinks he’s about to get promoted to a 4-Star general, was on the phone call in the decision room or however these guys got together to discuss the desperate pleas for help from the legislators inside the Capitol.

  6. ItTollsForYou says:

    Considering all this planning and organization, I cannot wrap my head around why they failed to kidnap or kill any members of congress.
    They were in the building, and in contact with people who knew where the members were locked down, and the police force was overwhelmed….what stopped them?
    I thought about the (alleged and unconfirmed) story of the girl stealing Pelosi’s laptop to sell to the Russians, and I wonder if there was an aspect of this that was an espionage operation. Could there have been agents who used the cover of an attempted insurrection to hack into the wifi, plant devices, or steal/download sensitive files?

    This is too conspiratorial for me to give too much thought to, but it would have provided a great opportunity. I just don’t get why these groups did all the planning, successfully breached, and then just…left?

    Someone tell me I’m crazy for even thinking this up

    • dude says:

      Not to make light of your thought, but they had no place to stay, there wasn’t any food and it was getting dark. Small groups of true militants may have come prepared to stay on to fight into the night and complete their “mission”, but when the crowd started peeling off to go home—-why would you stay without the cover and the optics of the crowd?

      • P J Evans says:

        I wonder if the planners even considered that they could be surrounded and have their power and water turned off.

      • Voxxy says:

        I recall hearing some people, in their clips/video and/or social media messages, that they came with ready to eat meals and thinking “why would these people need multiple meals and blankets in their packs?(foil ones I think)” I wish I paid more attention to where I was seeing/hearing this. I’ll be quiet now and go back to lurking and appreciating the informative discussions. Thank you all for your context and everything else over the years.

    • PeterS says:

      Here’s a thought: four or five years ago someone ran (“planned”) to be president, with no expectation of winning. And then was totally unprepared when he gained access to the White House.

    • subtropolis says:

      Many of the useful idiots in the mob appeared directionless once they’d actually entered the complex. As though they couldn’t quite believe that it was really happening.

      Meanwhile, those who appear to have used that mob as cover were perhaps just too late. By the time that they’d reached the House and Senate floors the members had all retreated to safety.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      I think that has to do with the fact that there were several different types running around in there. Most of the insurrectionists didn’t have any specific plans, just went with the emotions stirred up by the inciter-in-chief and his cronies – as well as by the more active seditionists. Those who were executing plans (and I think even this is more than one group, with somewhat distinct plans) were much fewer in number. And the police (not to mention secret service) were not altogether overwhelmed. They had lost control of the public spaces. But if a file of 10-15 real coup d’etat types came marching down a basement corridor and battering open security doors, in combat fatigues, walking pseudo-ranger-file, weapons drawn, there may well have been enough manpower/firepower to cut them down. Anyway, either they didn’t know where exactly to go or they hesitated to take that particular chance. I also think (less confidently) that they had expected more support, maybe even direct instructions from their not-so-fearless leader and were confused by its absence.

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      They were expecting Trump to reveal evidence of everything the Qcult believed. There was supposed to be a Plan for mass executions or arrests of satanic pedophiles and Trump just watched on TV. They went in with faith that further instructions were coming and Trump failed to deliver.

      • Stacey says:

        Yeah, maybe the insurrectionists could talk to the Kurds about how wise it is to partner with Trump for anything.

        “You guys go storm the capital, I’m right behind you!”

    • Peterr says:

      The only real “alleged” part of the story of Pelosi’s laptop is the part about selling it to the Russians.

    • fishmanxxx says:

      Not the slightest bit crazy and the idea of enemy agents infiltrating any one or several of the groups would probably be spycraft 101, wouldn’t you if you were a US agent in Moscow? What a bonus to walk into the Russian government building unimpeded , wearing a mask! A once in a lifetime opportunity!!
      Unbelievable that Pelosi’s laptop was even available!!!!
      Given that the speaker is third in line to the president’s office I assumed that there would be Secret Service available to her. If not why not? If the Trump family gets protection then certainly the speaker should have it also, protecting him/her and the assigned government assets?

      • cavenewt says:

        Unbelievable that Pelosi’s laptop was even available!!!!

        You’re assuming that Pelosi only has one laptop? I’ve read that there are many, some, for instance, only used for creating presentations or other non-sensitive projects. I saw on one video a rioter exclaiming that a laptop had not even been logged out. Since Congress was elsewhere at the time, that’s an indication that it was a staffer’s computer.

        • fishmanxxx says:

          I think you’re missing the message here. Diminishing the laptop to a “presentation laptop” does not take away from the fact that she and her assets appear to have no protection. Really? She was, after Pense, the next president. The point is that the speaker needs additional protection.

        • Stacey says:

          She absolutely DOES have additional protection. I’m not sure why you are under the impression that she does not. I’ve even heard her say in the 60 Minutes interview when asked ‘how afraid were you when these folks were in there yelling your name specifically?’ And her answer was essentially, “well, I have more protection than other members do or than my staff does.” One of however many laptops left in her staff’s office or even HER office when her staff was likely given 2 or 3 seconds notice to amscray is NOT at all the same as assuming SHE does not have extra protection.

        • cavenewt says:

          I think you’re missing the message here. Diminishing the laptop to a “presentation laptop” does not take away from the fact that she and her assets appear to have no protection. Really? She was, after Pense, the next president. The point is that the speaker needs additional protection.

          The laptop was in Pelosi’s office complex, probably being used by a staffer. Pelosi was down in the House chamber doing her thing, and there was protection in the room.

          You’re absolutely right that I’m missing your point. Which is what? That the offices and staffers were unprotected? Yes to that and they’re still trying to figure out why. Nevertheless, the laptop in question appears to not have had sensitive information on it. People keep referring to “Pelosi’s laptop” but I doubt that Pelosi is like the rest of us in that we have one personal laptop we use for our work.

    • Nehoa says:

      Also, even though they were late to the party, a LOT of NG troops showed up. At a minimum they were going to be arrested on the spot. If they resisted, chance of being shot.

  7. subtropolis says:

    I noticed they were incognito, unlike the evening before when they made a big show around DC in their branded kit. I suppose that shows that they aren’t entirely stupid. Overlooking the thousands of cameras in the crowd, notwithstanding.

    One video from the rally cum insurrection appears to show former leader, but maybe not so much, Gavin MacInness giving instruction to other plainclothes PBs as they make their way towards the Capitol.

    • Rayne says:

      If he played any role at all in the insurrection, McInnes needs to be deported if not prosecuted and deported since he is not an American citizen.

      Really need to look at this situation carefully because it could be viewed as foreign interference.

      • MB says:

        Glad somebody brought this up. He’s like Steve Bannon in a way, who was booted from the White House, but still remained quite active from the sidelines…

  8. gmoke says:

    “Approximately 35 seconds into the video, GARCIA says loudly, ‘Nancy come out and play.’”

    Ah, a reference to the Walter Hill film, The Warriors. Was he clinking glass bottles on his fingers as he said it? Interesting that once again these fools are picking the villains of the piece for their pop culture inspirations. Tell me about the Death Star again, Mr Parscale.

  9. Savage Librarian says:

    It’s things like this that sometimes make me wonder if we are living in a simulation (not.) Not being a participant on Twitter, Facebook, or Tik-Tok, I have no idea whether anyone has pointed this out or not. But Trump’s impeachment lawyer shares the same name as a character in a novel by Stephen King:

    “Butch Bowers” | Villains Wiki | Fandom


    It (novel) – Wikipedia – [author Stephen King]

    “In the sewers, Bill performs the “Ritual of Chüd” he learned to face It in the Macroverse where he meets the monster’s antithesis Maturin, an ancient turtle that created the universe (which it vomited up following a stomach-ache), who explains that It can only be defeated during a battle of wills.”

    “Bill enters It’s mind through the ritual and sees the true form of It, a mass of destructive orange lights called the “Deadlights” before Bill defeats the monster with Maturin’s help. After the battle, not knowing if they killed It or not, the Losers get lost in the sewers until they take part in an orgy to bring unity back to the group.[5] The Losers then swear a blood oath to return to Derry should It resurface. Bowers, having lost his sanity by the time he washed out of the sewers into a nearby river, is institutionalized after being blamed for the child murders.”


    • Stacey says:

      Holy Cow, Batman!

      Is that an allegory or what? The turtle and orange references? That’s hysterical! Nice Find!


    What will be interesting to discover is how many insurrectionists’ command-control-communications nets there were. Was each net self-contained? That is, Oath Keepers only, Proud Boys only. Or, was there a central node receiving communications from each net and allowing the nets to coordinate their actions or pass intelligence in real-time?

    It seems to me that that different groups or different cells had different tasks in different parts of the building. Were they all coordinated? Or, were they separate operations, planned separately, and without prior coordination? Did some operations spring up spontaneously, like part of the crowd just decided to do something on-the-go?

    I have thought from the early hour of the insurrection that the large break-in crowd was just to give cover and concealment to the cells that had missions to accomplish.

  11. Raven Eye says:

    It’s difficult to reverse-engineer the planning that went into this “operation”. I won’t (yet) say these domestic terrorists did a lousy job with their planning, but the indicators and results are consistent with a lousy job.

    There seems to be a lot of members in these groups who are all about acquiring the uniforms, equipment, weapons, and badges; and then learning some of the cool-guy stuff like the building entry “stack” and argue over which MREs are the best. But critical elements of their “plan” seem to be missing.

    This quote from the posting is telling: “Show this tweet to leftists and say they won’t do shit when he just keeps being president. Don’t say it was stolen or rigged. Just say we’re doing it and they won’t fight back. They are getting scared, and they don’t function when they’re scared.”

    This would indicate that while there may be some tactical skills organic to the members of the affiliated organizations, there may not be the capability to perform effective operational planning. In the quote above there are assumptions that are unanswered, like assuming that just showing a tweet to “leftists” will cause those leftists to cave.

    Assumptions are kernels of information you need for effective planning. They are the unknowns, but you need those assumptions to start your planning. They are clearly identified when you start drafting the plan. In practice, as you go through your planning process, you replace the assumptions with better information that is as factual as possible. At some point in time, you have to say the plan is done, but there will still be a few remaining assumptions. That’s when a commander has to make the decision to execute or not. Too many assumptions (uncertainty) increases risk.

    Just within the quote, there are many assumptions. What is a leftist? They won’t act as long as Trump is president. None of our forces will say “stolen or rigged” and nobody outside our unit will say it either. There will be a Tweet on hand to show, and we have identified who will do the showing and under what circumstances. The leftists won’t fight back, and there will be no other people/organizations who will fight back. The leftists are getting scared (but there is no assessment of their capabilities when scared). Every affiliated organization will be operating with the same level of preparations that we have.

    And it goes on and on.

    Almost everything I’ve seen from the seditionists is similarly burdened by a load of assumptions that make the plan – such as it is — inadequate to the task. And what was the task? What was the mission, and how would everyone know when it was accomplished? Critical in any good operational plan is, up front, a “Mission” paragraph that tells everyone what is supposed to be accomplished (end state), and how you know when that happens.

    Adding to this, it doesn’t seem like much was done to assess the capabilities and behaviors of affiliated rioters or the mob of terror-tourists that flooded into the Capitol.

    No matter how much mayhem they achieved, and no matter the number of casualties, I can’t see how Trump would have stayed in power (if that was the supposed to be the measurable indicator of mission success).

    If these right-wing terrorist groups continue their efforts with the same level of planning, I can’t see how they will succeed (although, again — what really is the mission then, now, and in the future). One problem for the country is that if they keep trying, more people will get killed and injured should they continue to rely upon “commanders” who aren’t smart enough to see that the “plan” has too many unanswered assumptions. Alternatively, they might be more successful mounting smaller attacks which could be conducted with fewer variables (assumptions), but with less significant objectives.

    The scary thought is that they DID have a lot of these bases covered, but got overwhelmed by an uncontrollable situation.

  12. pdaly says:

    I don’t have a sense of what type of “communication device” they used while storming the U.S. Capitol.
    I did wonder if any of their equipment required FCC registration, however.

    If yes, and if people failed to register, then there are penalties to operating without a license or using for an unauthorized purpose. Some penalties include prison time.
    “Unlicensed radio operation

    Be aware that if you operate a radio transmitter that requires a license, or use a radio that is authorized for only a specific service for an unauthorized service, you may be fined or imprisoned, and/or the equipment may be confiscated.”


    • bmaz says:

      No clue what they used, but there are versions of coms that work off of a proximate cell phone link. That would not require separate registration.

    • P J Evans says:

      I understand that some may have been using “family radio service” talkies. Some of those have a range of a couple of hundred yards, outdoors. (Information is from the mid-80s, so could easily be way wrong.)

    • Rayne says:

      A lot of the insurrectionists were using cell phones loaded with a walkie-talkie app, Zello. Acts like a radio on one’s phone. They could have been using traditional walkie-talkies as well, just a different band than law enforcement uses. Zello on a cell phone would have left a lot of metadata, though.

      • American Abroad says:

        The January 16th episode of On the Media gives some great reporting on Zello (Micael Loewinger) and some of the specific channels he monitored.

      • Stacey says:

        I saw reporting that indicated that ear pieces were seen in many of the black-clothed opps looking dudes. A radio was picked up from the scene later that was the kind a commando wanna be would have on his vest, as well. And then I also saw the Zello stuff and that had someone(s) off site who were performing some organizing or directing function while the operational folks were on site. So yeah, some fairly sophisticated comms efforts were utilized.

      • P J Evans says:

        They’re trying to move to CB and other radio bands, and won’t find it so friendly as they think. (The FCC monitors that stuff. There was a monitoring station just a few miles from where I grew up. It wasn’t a secret.)

    • Raven Eye says:

      Focusing on the radios is fun, but a bit of a diversion.

      The FCC need not initiate their own enforcement action. If the FBI determines that a crime was likely committed and has evidence that radios were used in the commission of that act they and/or the U.S. Attorney can coordinate enforcement with the FCC. This would likely be an additional charge to the main event.

      As for the gear, most likely are the Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios you see in blister backs at Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods – sometimes even camouflaged. Both services share some of the same UHF frequencies and some radios allow use of both services. FRS is license free and GMRS, which can transmit at higher power, is licensed at $70 for ten years. You can even pass text and images with some FRS radios linked via Bluetooth to your smart phone.

      VHF/UHF Ham radios can often be modified to operate across much wider frequency ranges – including all of the public safety, marine, and federal frequencies – by simple physical or software mods. With a little advance work, these groups can find unused frequencies in an area and hang out there.

      You can also buy all kinds of land mobile VHF and UHF radios, new and used, that can be programmed across a fairly wide range of frequencies. State and local governments sell large lots of these as their systems upgrade.

      CB? Not as suitable, but they can be modified to operate in HF frequencies close to the CB channels. (I don’t believe the FCC has proactively monitored CB for years.)

      For using cell phones, one method is peer-to-peer using WiFi or Bluetooth. The limitations are exactly what we experience connecting our phone to a wireless router – the router having better antennas than the phone. Within a small tactical unit that stays fairly close together, this could work, especially if the application allows true duplex (no press-to-talk). Other than the information used to set up the call group and stored on the individual phones, there might be little other metadata since the terminals (cel phones) connect directly to each other, without any central server or account registration. Each of these mini-networked teams would still need comms back to command.

      Zello is different because it requires an internet connection – the phones are not peer-to-peer and there could be plenty of metadata. But where is the hot spot? Using that app would be just plain lousy OPSEC and COMSEC.

      FCC resources are limited and their monitoring is largely focused on interference between different services and users. The powerful terrestrial transmitters for Sirius/XM were an issue some years back.

  13. cavenewt says:

    It must have been pointed out somewhere that one big downside of this whole episode is that future insurrectionists will be much more careful. No live streaming, no proud pictures on Facebook, etc.

    Or, as Dr. emptywheel has written more than once, there were some smarter, more capable low-key insurrectionists with a plan, taking advantage of the LARP and cosplay crowds. I mean, even lower profile than the groups described in this post. Hopefully they can be excavated eventually.

    Even so, this history might guarantee that even the stupid masses will be smarter next time.

  14. P J Evans says:

    Greene’s impeachment resolution has been entered as H.Res.57, and sent to the House Judiciary Committee. No text is available, yet.

    • Nehoa says:

      Just going to go wild. I will bet $5 that there will not be a hearing this year. Don’t want to bankrupt anyone.

  15. Molly Pitcher says:

    The Sunday Night Massacre that almost happened January 3.


    According to the NYT: Donald Trump and a Justice Dept. official plotted to oust the acting attorney general to try to advance baseless election claims, interviews show.

    “‘This account of the department’s final days under his leadership is based on interviews with four former Trump administration officials who asked not to be named because of fear of retaliation.

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results.

    The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark.

    The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed?

    The answer was unanimous. They would resign.”

    • BobCon says:

      The Washington Post has written its confirmation article.

      The Post article adds a bit more emphasis on Cipollone’s role in protecting Rosen, and it would be interesting to know whether Cipollone or Rosen is the source for that bit. The Post article also adds a bit of gloss for Barr, which makes me wonder if he is a source.

  16. skua says:

    I read the OP and comments and then began a “Memo to the next fascist POTUS”. But other than “Solve the Sauron Staffing Dilemma” it went to bloody brutality. So I ditched the memo.
    But the lessons that will be taken from 6 Jan 2021 by any future fascist POTUS or Murdoch-POTUS-puppeteer are there if you want to see them.

  17. Eureka says:

    Bloomberg News reprinted at Inquirer, following on AP reporting from a few days ago:

    Trump campaign paid $2.7 million to organizers of rally that led to U.S. Capitol riot

    Former President Donald Trump’s campaign paid more than $2.7 million to individuals and firms that organized the Jan. 6 rally that led to violent rioters storming the U.S. Capitol, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    The payments, which span Trump’s reelection campaign, show an ongoing financial relationship between the rally’s organizers and Trump’s political operation. They were all made through Nov. 23, the most recent date covered by Federal Election Commission filings, which is before the rally was publicly announced.

    Eight paid Trump campaign officials were named on the permit issued on by the National Park Service for the rally, including Maggie Mulvaney, the niece of Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former chief of staff who resigned his position as special envoy to Northern Ireland after the riots. Maggie Mulvaney was paid $138,000 by the campaign through Nov. 23.

    • Rayne says:

      Eureka, if you’re around, please confirm the email you used with this comment is accurate and working.

      I’m going to snag your timeline content and harpie’s to put into a post, am going to create a Google Drive document for collaboration with all of your timeline in that document.

      I’ll share the document with you and harpie once I’ve confirmed your email works — just say yes or no, don’t share it in comments.


      • Eureka says:

        Yes! And that’s so funny, I avoid email like the plague but have to check now to see if my vax lottery number has come up ;)

        I was just about to add another item to that page, I’ll go ahead, then.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’ve never heard of Bigfoot being seen outside the Pacific Northwest and BC. He’s a cool-weather forest dweller.

      • BobCon says:

        There are legends all over. Florida has the Swamp Ape, there’s the Tennessee Wild Man, Illinois had the Murphysboro Mud Monster….

      • e.a.f. says:

        Big Foot or Sasquatch, is usually found around Harrison Lake, B.C. what he would be doing over some where else is curious. Its not like he/she can take a car, train, etc. The border is closed to non essential travel. It is doubtful Sasquatch would leave the Harrison area and its hot springs at this time of year.

  18. greenbird says:

    thanks for the comments, thinkers.
    so glad the Titanium Trio is present for timely answers.
    oh, let light bring foul ones to full justice.
    we need to pace ourselves for news cascading.

  19. N.E. Brigand says:

    A little off-topic, but since impeachment has come up a number of times in these comments, and bearing in mind Christian Vanderbrouk’s list on Twitter today — showing up conservatives who now claim that it’s unconsititutional for the House to impeach and/or the Senate to try an ex-president — of conservatives who had argued just in the past year that Barack Obama, even though he’s no longer in office, should be impeached (a list which included Matt Gaetz, Tom Fitton, and Donald Trump himself), I’m just observing that about a month ago, some political commentators, reacting to Trump’s pardons of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Charles Kushner, and others, mentioned something I had forgotten or never knew: back in early 2001, there was some talk among Republican lawmakers about impeaching Bill Clinton a second time, post-presidency, in response to his controversial pardon of Marc Rich. Here’s an example:


    So the idea of impeaching an ex-president is not new even among Republicans.

  20. CD54 says:

    I thought Conspiracy was the prosecutor’s best friend — no duty to prove coordination, ANY actions in furtherance of the overall effect of the conspiracy, and even non-criminal actions are sufficient to support and advance the conspiracy.

    Isn’t this just happy hunting for a new DOJ unbeholden to Trump’s minions and willing to charge aggressively?

  21. punaise says:

    Heads up to mods: I changed my email address, so a couple of comments are hung up in moderation. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Comments are closed.