“One if By Land, Two if By Sea:” What We Know of the Oath Keepers’ January 6 Quick Reaction Force

On Twitter yesterday, some folks asked me whether there’s any credibility to the government’s claims that the Oath Keepers had an armed Quick Reaction Force ready to rush to DC in case things devolved to armed battles on January 6.

At first, it appeared that the government might just be unduly crediting the wild boasts of Thomas Caldwell, who spoke repeatedly of arranging such a force in the days leading up to January 6. But over the course of a series of filings, the government has shown that after a sustained discussion about whether Oath Keepers should come armed to DC for the insurrection, it was decided to instead amass guns in (at a minimum) the Ballston, VA Comfort Inn. The evidence thus far submitted shows that multiple participants knew of the stash, called it the QRF, and deposited their own weapons at the stash. The record is less certain about what plans the Oath Keepers had to transport that arsenal to DC, but in a remarkable comment on January 3, Kelly Meggs — who appears to have played a key role in organizing security for Roger Stone, inter-militia negotiations, and The Stack that pushed into the Rotunda on January 6, and who may have paid for two rooms to use for the QRF — suggested two rally points to receive the weapons: “1 if by land North side of Lincoln Memorial 2 if by sea Corner of west basin and Ohio is a water transport landing !!”

This post will pull together the evidence shown to date.

On December 25, according to the Fourth Superseding indictment and other filings, Kelly Meggs noted on Facebook what a lot of other militia members were at the time: guns are prohibited in DC. “We are all staying in DC near the Capitol we are at the Hilton garden inn but I think it’s full. Dc is no guns. So mace and gas masks, some batons. If you have armor that’s good.”

But within days, on December 30, Thomas Caldwell (who is not a member of the Oath Keepers but who coordinated closely with, at least, contingents from Ohio and North Carolina) told Jessica Watkins that an Oath Keeper from North Carolina had committed to serve as the Quick Reaction Force in Virginia — he was aiming to get reservations at the Comfort Inn in Ballston. The idea was he’d bring weapons into Virginia in his truck.

As we speak he is trying to book a room at Comfort Inn Ballston/Arlington because of its close-in location and easy access to downtown because he feels 1) he’s too broken down to be on the ground all day and 2) he is committed to being the quick reaction force anf bringing the tools if something goes to hell. That way the boys don’t have to try to schlep weps on the bus. He’ll bring them in his truck day before

Over the course of that same conversation, Caldwell updated Watkins that the North Carolina Oath Keeper had indeed gotten reservations at the Ballston Comfort Inn. “Just got a text from him he WAS able to book a room in that hotel I recommended which is on Glebe Road in Arlington.”

The next day, Meggs seems to have come to the same understanding. On December 31, he asked someone else if they were bringing weapons to DC. “You guys Gonna carry?” After the other person said, “No,” they weren’t, Meggs explained that the Oath Keepers had a Quick Reaction Force 10 minutes away. “Ok we aren’t either, we have a heavy QRF 10 Min out though.”

The Comfort Inn in Ballston would be a 7-minute drive without traffic.

That same day, December 31, someone offered up to Joshua James assistance from friends close to DC if the Oath Keepers got in trouble. “i have friends not far from DC with a lot of weapons and ammo if you get un trouble i ca. Coordinate help.” James suggested they might not need it on account of the QRF, “That might be helpful, but we have a shitload of QRF on standby with an arsenal.” The next day an Oath Keeper asked James how to get the guns to VA if the Alabaman Oath Keepers were staying in DC. “Hey we told to bring guns and maybe stage them in VA?? But you are showing hotels in DC for Alabama. Are we bring guns or no if so how will that work?” James suggested a farm might still be in play. “Were working on a Farm location Some are bringing long rifles some sidearms… I’m bringing sidearm.” By that point, then, it appears the Oath Keepers had committed to keeping weapons in VA with a QRF. But the logistics of it remained uncertain.

On January 2, Kelly Meggs texted a Leadership Signal chat with those two proposed meeting points for the QRF in DC: the Lincoln Memorial if the bridge was still open, and south of there at Ohio and West Basin if the bridges did get shut. “1 if by land North side of Lincoln Memorial 2 if by sea Corner of west basin and Ohio is a water transport landing !! QRF rally points Water of the bridges get closed.” The next day, Caldwell sent out a text message to a Three Percenter looking for a boat to ferry weapons.

Can’t believe I just thought of this: how many people either in the militia or not (who are still supportive of our efforts to save the Republic) have a boat on a trailer that could handle a Potomac crossing? If we had someone standing by at a dock ramp (one near the Pentagon for sure) we could have our Quick Response Team with the heavy weapons standing by, quickly load them and ferry them across the river to our waiting arms. I’m not talking about a bass boat. Anyone who would be interested in supporting the team this way? I will buy the fuel. More or less be hanging around sipping coffee and maybe scooting on the river a bit and pretending to fish, then if it all went to shit, our guy loads our weps AND Blue Ridge Militia weps and ferries them across. Dude! If we had 2 boats, we could ferry across and never drive into D.C. at all!!!!

But the next day, January 3, Caldwell sent an email with maps to the person in charge of the QRF with the subject line, “NEW MAPS RELATIVE TO HOTEL AND INGRESS FOR QRF,” that seemed to assume he would drive from the hotel to “the target area,” via a route that went nowhere near the Lincoln Memorial. “These maps walk you from the hotel into D.C. and east toward the target area on multiple roads running west to east including M street and P street, two of my favorites . . . .”

Similarly, it remained unsettled whether or not individual participants would contribute their own weapons to the stash. On January 2, for example, Mark Grods asked Joshua James if he should bring weapons to insurrection. “So, I guess I am taking full gear less weapons? Just reading through all the posts. Would rather have it and not need it.” James instructed him to leave his weapons home, because the QRF would have weapons. “Yeah full gear… QRF will have weapons Just leave em home.”

On January 3, Jessica Watkins told Bennie Parker that they didn’t need to bring weapons because the QRF would be there. “We are not bringing firearms. QRF will be our Law Enforcement members of Oathkeepers.”  But then that same day she reversed the instruction. “Weapons are ok now as well. Sorry for the confusion.”

On January 4, Stewart Rhodes made the Oath Keepers’ plan to have a QRF nearby public.

As we have done on all recent DC Ops, we will also have well armed and equipped QRF1 teams on standby, outside DC, in the event of a worst case scenario, where the President calls us up as part of the militia to to assist him inside DC. We don’t expect a need for him to call on us for that at this time, but we stand ready if he does (and we also stand ready to answer the call to serve as militia anytime in the future, and anywhere in our nation, if he does invoke the Insurrection Act).

Both Watkins and Grods appear to have brought their own weapons. On January 4, before she got to the Comfort Inn, Watkins asked the Florida Signal list where to drop weapons off before any operations. “Where can we drop off weapons to the QRF team? I’d like to have the weapons secured prior to the Op tomorrow.” According to Mark Grods’ Information, he “brought firearms to Washington, D.C.” — which may have exposed him to further criminal liability — “and eventually provided them to another individual to store in a Virginia hotel.”

Kenneth Harrelson also appears to have dropped guns at the Ballston Comfort Inn. On the 5th, Harrelson asked for the location of the “QRF hotel.” Kelly Meggs responded by asking for a DM. Three hours later, Harrelson showed up at the Comfort Inn for an hour.

Caldwell, too, appears to have dropped off a weapon to the QRF room, as this surveillance video from mid-afternoon on January 5 suggests (the government alleges he is holding the long sheet-wrapped item).

After Caldwell returned from the Capitol on January 6, the North Carolina Oath Keeper brought a similarly blanket-wrapped long item to Caldwell’s room.

The newly accused alleged Stack participant David Moerschel also appears to have left a gun at the Comfort Inn. Early on January 7, according to his complaint, Moerschel made two comments on the Oath Keepers’ “OK FL DC OP Jan 6″ Signal chat about leaving stuff for others at the QRF — the Ballston Comfort Inn.

“We have your bag, We will leave it with Kane at the QRF. We are en route there now.”

“Anyone else leave anything in the white van? We can leave it for you at QRF.”

Moerschel sent the first text, saying “we are en route” at 6:35AM. Twenty-four minutes later, a person that the government alleges is Moerschel appeared in Comfort Inn surveillance video carting a gun case around.

Kenneth Harrelson got a later start than Moerschel. At 8:55 on January 7, he texted to the Florida Signal chat, asking where his “shit” was at.

So we’re just leaving DC and I would like to know where my shits at since it seems everyone’s gone already.

In response, someone replied,

We are headed out now. Did you leave it [his shit] at Comfort Inn in that room?

Starting twenty minutes later, Harrelson was at the Comfort Inn along with Jason Dolan, with whom Harrelson drove in a rental car.

In Moerschel’s complaint, the North Carolinians alleged to have watched this QRF room while others were at insurrection are described without comment as co-conspirators. None have been charged (at least not publicly). But if and when they are, I imagine we’ll see still more video of weapons being moved around the Ballston Quality Inn.

Again, the precise plan for all these weapons remains unclear. But the government has provided evidence that at least six people already charged (Caldwell, Watkins, Moerschel, Harrelson, Grods, and Dolan) dropped off weapons. Given that Kelly Meggs paid for two hotel rooms there even though he stayed in DC, the implication may be that the same guy planning, “1 if by land, 2 if by sea,” paid for the rooms in question.

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115 replies
  1. rosalind says:

    wow, thanks for connecting the logstical QRF dots like this, ew. and i LOL’d at: “no bass boats!”.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s actually an important point. Bass boats might be plentiful, but they are designed for slow-moving shallow water. The Potomac is neither. They are shallow smallcraft with flat bottoms, which leaves little room for long guns or cases of ammunitiion. Their contents would be obvious to the youngest river police or Coast Guard recruit. But apart from the odd college rower, real tourists wouldn’t care: to them, the Potomac is visual background music. Another nail in the coffin of that defense argument.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          They often have two engines: a pint-sized one for trawling, and a big bruiser to get them to and from fishing spots.

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah. I have been passed by a flying bass boat of some kind when I was doing 60 mph in my ski boat. The nice ones can really move. but always have that electric troller motor for that purpose.

          • Drew says:

            Sometimes even two big motors on some of the boats they use in tournaments on big lakes/reservoirs. (They have the little trolling motor too, but they want to get from one good fishing spot to another as fast as possible)

      • Raven Eye says:

        And…Consider the joy of boating on the Potomac in January. In the tidal areas (Georgetown to Chesapeake Bay) it can get pretty choppy, and icy along the shoreline. Just the presence of a bass boat in that stretch of water in the middle of winter would attract attention. Coast Guard or Maryland State would check out any reports. Even without a load of contraband, they might take the occupants out of the boat and then tow the boat to a safe landing.

        I’ve flat-water kayaked on both tidal and upstream sections of the Potomac — but certainly never in January.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        The whole “if by sea” part was not especially well planned, as evidenced by the writer stating outright that he couldn’t believe he had failed to think of certain elementary things. Most likely the launch site “near the Pentagon” would be the Columbia Marina. The boat ramp on Ohio isn’t actually “in” the Tidal Basin, but it is close by. (I guess they didn’t want to land where the swan boat rentals launch?) One does wonder whether they actually got someone with a real boat to load up on guns and pretend to fish that day. Probably no surveillance footage of the river, alas.

  2. What Constitution? says:

    Though I’d probably feel less queasy and outraged if they had spent this much time and effort scoping out local donut shops to bring along goodies for the other tourists that day.

  3. P J Evans says:

    Okay, so they get across the river with their guns. And they’re still two miles from the Capitol…with no vehicles. Or somewhere on the west edge, with them, and traffic jammed. Did they actually think this through?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      For Trumpistas, your question might answer itself. Perhaps they imagined moving on the Mall in a large wedge, from Abe’s memorial to the West Front. That would require an awful lot of willful ignorance on the part of park service police and security forces, which might be one of those things Trump had in mind when he demanded that those forces “cooperate” with protesters.

    • Bruce says:

      Remember the guys in the golf carts? How many rifles can a golf cart hold? I’m in my 60s but I can still run 2 miles pretty fast if I don’t have to carry a rifle while doing it.

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named ” Bruce” or a variant. This is a second request. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  4. Raven Eye says:

    I’m not sure I understand the river crossing concept — either by boat or by I-66/US-50. Unless they planned on using vehicles to get from the two proposed rally points to the Capitol, it would be a two mile hike.

    There are SO many ways to filter into NW and NE DC by vehicle and get very close to the Capitol. If the last leg of the QRF’s operation was intended to be dismounted, they would be very obvious anywhere in the neighborhoods around the Capitol, but nothing like their exposure during a 2 mile stroll down the Mall.

    The water crossing could have been interesting. Chances are they could have made their landing and off-loaded the weapons, but they would probably have had to abandon the boat(s). I don’t think they factored in the fact that armed response boats (with pintle-mounted machine guns) are stationed about four miles down river.

  5. harpie says:

    Marcy: Given that Kelly Meggs paid for two hotel rooms there even though he stayed in DC, the implication may be that the same guy planning, “1 if by land, 2 if by sea,” paid for the rooms in question.

    Not only that, those rooms Meggs paid for and didn’t use for staying overnight in, were reserved in the name of [the per CALDWELL “weps schlep”ping] PERSON THREE, according to the Grand Theft Golf Cart indictment: https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/press-release/file/1382471/download
    PERSON THREE booked a room for his own [and perhaps other’s] accommodation.

    68. KELLY MEGGS paid for two rooms, each for two people, at the Comfort Inn Ballston from January 5-6, 2021. The rooms were reserved under the name of PERSON THREE.

    69. PERSON THREE paid for one room at the Comfort Inn Ballston from January 5-6, 2021. […]

    • harpie says:

      The QRF person…from the 1/27/21 CALDWELL, CROWL, WATKINS indictment:
      https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/press-release/file/1361086/download

      [p8] CALDWELL [to CROWL] (about two hours later): Talked to [PERSON THREE]. At least one full bus 40+ people coming from N.C. Another group (unclear if Mississippi guys) also a bus. Busses have their own lane 8 on the 14th street bridge so they will be able to get in and out. [PERSON THREE] is driving plus 1 and arriving nite before. As we speak he is trying to book a room at Comfort Inn Ballston/Arlington because of its close-in location and easy access to downtown because he feels 1) he’s too broken down to be on the ground all day and 2) he is committed to being the quick reaction force anf bringing the tools if something goes to hell. That way the boys don’t have to try to schlep weps on the bus. He’ll bring them in his truck day before. […]

      In one of the filings, Caldwell seems to indicate PERSON THREE’s name is Paul.

        • What Constitution? says:

          Nah, he wouldn’t have been smart enough. Paul Manafort? Nah, not the type to get his hands dirty.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            If I’m not mistaken, Manafort’s been really, really quiet of late… it’s almost like he’s smart enough to understand how lucky he got, getting a pardon right before Trump left office, and he’s decided it’s best to lay low and stay out of things…

            Don’t know if that’s true but Paulie does seem to be staying away from the limelight…

            • Silly but True says:

              Stephen Calk’s case is in full swing with apparent Sept start of trial. There’s a bunch of interesting things going on there, allegations of untimely discovery and Brady faults. Government at one time intended to call Manafort as witness against Calk but there is at least one motion requesting in camera review of grand jury transcripts because it’s thought Manafort advised Calk grand jury that position was pushed on merits not quid pro quo.

              I presume that Manafort was lying low lately because of all that.

              • What Constitution? says:

                OK, I’ll fess up — I was just kidding about Manafort. But on a moment’s further reflection, it seems self-evident that these Armed Tourists With A Plan were all so super clever, wouldn’t it make sense that they would adopt elaborate aliases for use in their plots? And if so, well, this super smart Bass Boat Approach involves, wait… one if by land and two if by sea… where have we heard that…. Oh, I know, it’s Paul Revere! So we find the guy who booked a room as Paul Revere and we got him for sure.

                These people need to be mocked — and prosecuted for their crimes. It’s right to track them down, but to attribute anything other than feckless stupidity and malice as motive is giving most of them too much credit. Sure, let’s attack the United States Capitol with the guards’ own shields and our own feces, that’ll show everybody (or at least Josh Hawley). More photos of geniuses free climbing an exterior wall in MAGA hats while their compatriots take the stairs and go past.

                I’d suggest that next time they get a Domino’s robot pizza delivery truck to bring the guns to the Capitol for them — but the pizza trucks are probably believed to be controlled by Hillary from that pizza shop basement where all the pedophiles are.

                Prosecute these people, but the ones who most need prosecution are the ones that knowingly incited this cesspool. The maroons plotting to row AR15s across the Potomac (the Delaware in their dreams?) demonstrate the depths of the depravity — and guards at Buchenwald were properly prosecuted, too — but the leaders are the greater danger.

              • Silly but True says:

                Call’s trial is underway; Scaramucci was fourth witness. Looks like U.S. is not bringing Manafort as witness. Calk might?

      • Leoghann says:

        IIRC, the “too broken down” guy was either Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Alabama, or Doug Smith of North Carolina. Coffman is the one who drove into DC with a bunch of firearms in his pickup, covered by a tarp. He then got lost, and left his truck parked on the street, a few blocks from the Capitol Building.

  6. misteranderson says:

    Pipe bombs & storage of weapons. Trump says “Stand back & stand by.” I wonder if there’s a connection between Trump->Stone->Proud Boys->Oath Keepers-> bombs & weapons storage? Will the Select committee be able to get to the bottom of this? The smartest decision the left made was to stay away from D.C. on 1/6.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I think it will, and there won’t be any grandstanding by Gym Jordan or his ilk to distract from the investigation.

  7. Molly Pitcher says:

    Listening to Marcy right now on “On the Media” on NPR discussing Jessica Watkins and the Oath Keepers. So nice to hear her intelligent voice on the airwaves !!

      • Max404 says:

        Extradordinary broadcast you linked to. Thank you for posting that.

        One thing that struck me was the particular accent or diction of the militia-voices captured from the Zello recordings. They all have that twang, that way of saying the “o” vowel that starts in Maryland and increases as you go south. It is not a classic “southern” accent, the people are from all over, but it is an accent that you do not hear in urban locations. Perhaps better ears than mine can comment on this observation, once you listen to this incredible reporting from Micah Loewinger.

      • Jenny says:

        Thank you for the link. Informative broadcast.

        FRONTLINE – American Insurrection – 4/13/21
        https://www.pbs.org/video/american-insurrection-65qeoo/
        Over the last three years, FRONTLINE has collaborated with ProPublica to investigate the rise of extremism in America. In the aftermath of the assault on the U.S. Capitol, FRONTLINE and ProPublica team up again to examine how far-right groups were emboldened and encouraged by former President Trump and how individuals were radicalized and brought into the political landscape.

  8. J R in WV says:

    We watched the continuous coverage of the insurrection on Jan 6th. Now I don’t recall if it was MSNBC or CNN, very possible we were switching back and forth. Wife was a reporter, and we spent the night of Nixon’s Midnight Massacre when the AG and his Deputies were fired and Bork fired the Special Counsel in a newspaper wire room reading the NYT wire, the AP wire, the UPI wire, etc, etc.

    Back in the day teletype machines had bells that the operator could ring to let a wire editor know an important new story was crossing the wire. A five-bell story was D-Day, President shot, AG fired during a presidential investigation. The teletypes were ringing constantly that night. Because it was Saturday night, no one else was in the newsroom, it was mostly dark and we were alone in the wire room.

    Watching the live TV coverage of an insurrection in Washington DC was obviously far more unbelievable than watching Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre coming over the news wire. Yet we saw it with our own eyes!! Later that night, of course more video was available.

    I would have expected to see thousands of people arrested by now, and jailed awaiting trial, as murder happened in the seat of government that day. Wonder why not so many??? I think the RWNJs need an educational experience about insurrection and treason, to learn about joining the CSA army.

    • bmaz says:

      “I would have expected to see thousands of people arrested by now, and jailed awaiting trial, as murder happened in the seat of government that day. Wonder why not so many??? I think the RWNJs need an educational experience about insurrection and treason, to learn about joining the CSA army.”

      “Thousands” will never be arrested, nor should they be. Perspective needs to be kept.

      The presumption is hard against presumptive detention, in fact, the presumption is hard in favor of some release conditions pre-trial. Few have been convicted yet, and remember, of those that plea or have pleaded, there is no formal conviction until the guilty plea is merged into a formal sentencing.

      Why “not so many”? Are you kidding? In a conspiracy this big it usually takes one or more years to get even to where the case is now, only seven months out. People are off their rockers about the speed and nature of the prosecution of the 1/6 insurrection. It is literally flying along. Sit back and chill out, it is going along just fine.

      Also, great story about the Saturday Night Massacre, that must have been a memorable night. Thank you for relating it.

      • Leoghann says:

        Similar to the effect of the home remodeling shows on HGTV, years worth of lawyer shows on network TV have conditioned people to believe that “justice” happens in a matter of a few days. (Preferably with a dramatic courtroom confession, with or without tearfall.)

        • bmaz says:

          Your giant motion is denied, trial starts tomorrow at 9 am! Unless it was a last second motion in limine, that never happens. But that is TV. Also, all that stuff on CSI never happened, and still does not, except in the most rare of cases.

          • rosalind says:

            when i was tutoring high school seniors in east l.a. for their college application essays, had so many kids express interest in forensics. had to tread v. lightly as i explained that CSI is not reality, and real life is slow and underfunded.

            • bmaz says:

              Yes. It created a problem. The funny thing is the arguments over this, both voir dire and headed into trial, were to stop me from arguing it to say “well, they did not do this, or that, did they?” The obvious answer was no, of course not.

          • P J Evans says:

            I grew up with “Perry Mason” and cop shows – I knew it didn’t work like that, because they were going for Drama. (Jury duty had its moments: one time the defendant came into the courtroom, saw the potential jurors, and changed his plea on the spot.)

            • punaise says:

              I was about to be empaneled on a jury a few years ago. I don’t recall the exact circumstances, but the prosecutor botched the voir dire (I think that’s the term for juror interviews) to the point that it was obvious he had “lost” the room before the trial started. When we returned after a lunch recess the judge announced that charges had been dropped.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            Are you telling me I’ve been misled by the people who make television shows?

          • Leoghann says:

            I’m still looking for that software that allows one to blow up a grainy, blurred surveillance photo x1000, yet makes the result crystal clear enough to read the engraving on a class ring.

            • skua says:

              I have a friend who has made that software into a phone app. But Google won’t let them put lt on Playstore over privacy concerns. So you’ll need to send your credit card details and they’ll send you the .apk
              /scam

              Hopefully everyone recognised this was a con immediately they read that Google was trying to protect peoples’ privacy.

      • gmoke says:

        My understanding is that an estimated 2000 people trespassed on the Capitol that day. But I could be wrong and certainly not all of them were violent, some were just lookie-loos, although all seem to have broken Federal law by being there.

        Incidentally, I was in the courtroom when Louis Nizer nailed Vincent Hartnett, the guy from Red Channels, on the witness stand at the trial of John Henry Faulk in a scene worthy of the best of Perry Mason.

        https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/12/5/278034/-

        Sometimes reality beats even something as bombastic and full of it as “Bull.”

        • gmoke says:

          Turns out the estimate of the number who trespassed on the Capitol is about 800 with a little over 500 currently charged, or so I just heard.

          • emptywheel says:

            I think DOJ hasn’t clarified those numbers. I tried to chase them down a bit ago. Over 500 charged, but ~75 never entered the Capitol or only entered the Tunnel, where the most sustained fighting was.

            Initially they said 800 people entered. I suspect their estimate has increased as they account for more people who didn’t show on the Geofence warrants.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      Agreed. With the maximum sentences possible for the maximum number of crimes they can be charged with. It’s important to remember the Beer Hall Putsch* when we’re thinking about this: Hitler allowed out of jail after serving nine months of a five-year sentence.

      These people who will be released after a six month sentence (with no twenty-year terrorism add-on) will likely be the Himmlers and Eichmans of our destroyed democracy in a few years.

      * The Beer Hall Putsch is very important reading when considering Jan 6th.

      • gmoke says:

        Hitler spent less time in jail for the Beerhall Putsch than EV Debs spent in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for speaking against WWI and the draft. Debs’ incarceration was also longer than USAmerica spent fighting WWI.

        • P J Evans says:

          Friend of my brother got two years for refusing induction. He was still in when Nixon declared the war over. (Three kids: one got an appointment to New London and was USCG for like 20-some years, one argued his draft board into CO status, and one refused induction and did two years.)

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        And Hitler just wasn’t let out early… he received deferential treatment while in ‘prison’… I recall reading once he was never actually in a cell while in Landsburg… that’s where he wrote Mein Kampf, wasn’t it?

        Apparently he lived in a furnished apartment w/in the prison, was freely allowed visitors, and even beer…

  9. harpie says:

    From Marcy’s tweet thread about this post:
    https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1411684564158881796
    9:53 AM · Jul 4, 2021

    […] Incidentally, after the insurrection some Oath Keepers were really pissed that they had trusted Kelly Meggs to play a leadership role in all this.

    Kelly Meggs isn’t a military veteran. He’s a car salesman.

    Here are the texts between Kenneth Harrelson and Stewart Rhodes discussing how unwise it was to put a car salesman in charge of a military assault. [screenshot] [link] […]

    In a comment from February I asked the question:
    https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/02/21/the-new-recruits-on-the-front-line-on-january-6/#comment-883863
    Do we know how long Kelly MEGGS was a member of Oath Keepers?

    It seems to me that ROGER STONE may be at [or near] the bottom of this.

    • harpie says:

      Please note, there was some confusion about the bit at 3] wrt: the TIMING of the Pezzola / Minuta photo.

      I can NOT remember if this is the correct date or not. [UGGGGH]
      I am currently looking for that information.

      added: just found it. DECEMBER is correct:
      https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/02/20/dominic-pezzola-suspects-the-fbis-cooperating-witness-is-the-guy-who-recruited-him-into-the-proud-boys/#comment-883646
      [So the TARRIO / MINUTA conversation on Parler happened around 12/19/20]

      • Rayne says:

        Events on the timeline same day as Tarrio’s WH visit:

        12/12/2020 — General Michael Flynn and Family speak at Jericho March in DC.
        12/12/2020 — 8:47 AM Trump tweets, WE HAVE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT!!! [time stamp subject to confirmation]
        12/12/2020 — approx. 9:00 AM Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio posts a photo (which appears to be taken by someone else) on Parler social media platform.

        Events on the timeline around that conversation:

        12/19/2020 — Trump, Sydney Powell and Mike Flynn meet at WH [NYT].
        “During an appearance on the conservative Newsmax channel this week, Mr. Flynn pushed for Mr. Trump to impose martial law and deploy the military to ‘rerun’ the election. At one point in the meeting on Friday, Mr. Trump asked about that idea. […]”
        12/19/2020 — Trump tweets about the Solar Winds hack.
        [see https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1340666651658899457 ]
        12/20/2020 — Charles Flynn’s elevation to full general from lt. general confirmed by the Senate by voice vote to be Army’s “deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training.”

        Sure think Flynn as well as Stone are entwined though Meggs wouldn’t be linked to Flynn if he picks vets first.

        • harpie says:

          Oh yeah, FLYNN for sure. Here’s a place we were discussing all this:
          https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/02/18/bill-barr-claimed-a-threat-meriting-a-four-subpoena-investigation-didnt-merit-a-sentencing-enhancement/#comment-883303
          [I did finally consolidate all of those additions, but never posted it. It’s quite something to see it all together and in the right order.]

          Speaking of FLYNN:
          https://twitter.com/bradheath/status/1412637108284559364
          12:58 AM · Jul 7, 2021

          Relatives of Mike Flynn say in a new court filing that video of them reciting the QAnon phrase “where we go one we go all” was “not an oath of allegiance to QAnon, or any kind of oath at all. It was a simple, family, July 4 statement of support for each other.”[THREAD]

        • harpie says:

          RAYNE:
          From The Digital General [linked above]

          Raising an Army of “Digital Soldiers”
          Flynn articulated his vision of leveraging digital media to mount a political insurgency at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Veteran’s Day [2016] weekend five years ago.
          In November 2016, less than a week after Trump had been elected president, Flynn spoke at an event hosted by the Young America’s Foundation. A co-founding organizer of the right-wing flagship Conservative Political Action Conference, the YAF has kickstarted the political careers of dozens of well-known Republican Party personalities, including nativist former Trump adviser Stephen Miller. […]

          This is the speech you wrote about [and TRANSCRIBED!] in 2018, here:
          https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/03/30/michael-flynns-revolution/

          • harpie says:

            I feel like I’d like to see a timeline with
            info from this article,
            and taking your great questions in the post into account,
            as well as the timeline of Flynn’s interactions with DOJ,
            to see how it fits with the J6 timeline we’ve been working on.

          • harpie says:

            A little more from the article:

            [blockquote] Previously unreported events following Flynn’s November 2016 “digital soldiers” speech raise questions about his role in the origins of the QAnon movement. Days after he spoke to YAF, when his name was being floated for a high-level job in the Trump administration, a website called resilientpatriot [dot] com was created, according to internet registry files. While Flynn’s name does not appear in domain name records for that site, the registry records for another Flynn-linked website list [email protected] [dot] com as the registrant email; Flynn’s son Michael Flynn Jr. also used the name Resilient Patriot on Twitter. [end blockquote]

          • Rayne says:

            Yup. That speech has haunted me. Flynn knew *exactly* what social media could do as a force magnifier for influence operations.

  10. Amy Battisti-Ashe, Michael Muehe says:

    I love Caldwell’s phrase: “shlep weps” — he’s a Yiddish poet, but don’t know it!

    • P J Evans says:

      Mo Brooks stated in his legal doc that his speech on 1/6 was run past the WH beforehand: they knew what he was going to say and approved.

    • harpie says:

      SM adds:

      To manage expectations… it’s a large volume of updates. Nothing cataclysmic. But with courts closed for the long holiday weekend and with the Feds issuing new details to coincide with 6-month anniversary, it’s just ….. a lot of stuff coming in

  11. Leoghann says:

    To continue about K Meggs, he’s been a car salesman for 30 years or more. In any encounter in that business, a car salesperson’s main job is not to sell the car, it’s to sell themselves. He obviously was able to sell himself to the decision makers in 3%. But sadly (or not), convincing salesmanship isn’t a substitute for military, logistical, or team-building experience.

    • harpie says:

      Practically all of the TOP OF THE HEAP “decision makers” in this entire endeavor are more interested in SHOW than in substance.
      MEGGS is perfect for them.

      • praxEs says:

        Unfortunately, the show IS the substance for some of these folks.

        It looks like an identity game and credits accrue according to performative displays of identification with the smallest, most ‘this is who I am’ identity subgroups(a la Oath Keepers, 3%ers), which are enclosed by ever more superordinate self-categorizations associated with being white, being male (for the men), being racist and overall opposition to anti-government constraints to their freedom. One of these major superordinate categories is standing with Trump.

        Fortunately, the show IS the substance and spontaneous counter-outrage by folks in places like Philadelphia punctures the illusion lurking in their internet-based persuasion campaigns that all the white folks, all the men and all the ‘you can’t tell me what to do’ folks are with them.

        It will be very important, too, that the haters see their beacons in congress extinguished one-by-one as Garland begins to bring serious charges against them, followed by convictions and incarceration in some cases. The removal of high level

        • praxEs says:

          … military leaders like the Flynn brothers will tamp down a good deal of their ardour, too.

  12. RobZ says:

    Kenneth Harrelson texted Stewart Rhodes in apology for not taking over the management of the operation when he “… realized that Kelly didn’t do his due diligence…”.

    So Harrelson thought that Meggs failed to plan properly due to insufficient research on some topic.
    Rhodes replied “My fault. I should have made sure an actual veteran was in charge.”

    I wonder what Meggs failed to research that was so critical.

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