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January 6 Was Terrible. It Was Not Another 9/11

Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Image by Gage Skidmore.
Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Since the moment the caustic images of crazed supporters of former President Donald J. Trump blanketed the airwaves on January 6, 2021, the day that the final certification of the hotly contested 2020 Presidential Election was set to take place, Americans were told that what occurred was an “attack on our democracy.”

The objective of the MAGA-supporting intruders on that terrible day was to overthrow our republic by stopping the certification of the election (by force, if necessary). At least that is the official line from everyone (other than those accused of the actual crime, many of whom were denied basic due process upon their arrest since that day two years ago). It is believed that there was such vitriol—even the construction of a mock gallows outside of Congress—toward then-Vice-President Mike Pence from the intruders on January 6 because those intruders wanted to intimidate Pence into decertifying the election (or maybe assassinate him had he not decertified).

Certainly, that was the intention of some individuals who raided the Capitol Building. There were people who arrived in masks, with zip ties, and were looking for elected officials in which to place those restraints. Some are believed to have been armed. Many, as camera footage from that harrowing day that was released many months ago, show some of the intruders were even violent (or, at least, in an agitated state) as they rampaged through the halls of Congress.

January 6: They Weren’t All Violent

Still, there were thousands of people who partook in the Capitol Hill riot on January 6. Not all—or even most—of them were violent; not even the ones who entered the building that day. Now that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has released the entirety of the Capitol Hill security tapes that were recorded every second of that day to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, it is essential that we understand what happened that day.

While Carlson has been raked over the coals by critics for selectively editing the footage, given that the event lasted hours on January 6 and involved thousands of people, why is it acceptable to assume that every last person who entered the Capitol was a violent domestic terrorist looking to stage a coup?

Tucker Carlson didn’t show the entirety of the footage he was given because it was too long. Other networks and documentaries have shown that, in fact, there were violent people there. Most Americans understand that it was a mixed bag of people who had entered the Hill on that day.

Yet, key policies with lasting ramifications are being crafted—to say nothing of the fate of those who were arrested on that day that are being decided—that may be based on incomplete or even biased information.

Another 9/11, Really?

Because of the interpretation that 1/6 was the domestic terrorist equivalent of 9/11, countless Americans who were arrested that day were treated less like Americans and more like al Qaeda suspects. The federal government appears to have gone out of its way to deny these individuals suspected of attacking the Capitol of those basic American civil liberties. All because the supposed evidence of that day, we were told by official sources, clearly indicated these individuals were engaged in insurrectionist—domestic terrorist—activities.

The militarization of Washington, D.C. occurred shortly thereafter, out of fear that another attack might commence on Inauguration Day several days after January 6. National Guard troops were asked to station for several months in and around the Capitol to “secure” the building, based on this belief—born out of the documentary evidence from recordings and firsthand accounts of that day (although there were firsthand accounts of non-violent groups wandering around the halls of Capitol Hill).

It’s Still About Delegitimizing Donald Trump

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, insistent on delegitimizing Donald Trump as a viable candidate for the presidency in 2024, giddily accepted the claim that Trump himself was responsible; that a coordinated attack from the highest levels of the White House was conducted on the certification process of the election.

A full-court press in the media was conducted by the Democrats and those opposed to Trump’s reign of unevenness as president to undermine, impugn, and deny Trump.

This was nothing new, of course. 

The Democrats and the establishment had been doing this since they fabricated claims that Donald Trump was a Russian Manchurian candidate—or something. A 9/11-style commission was created to ostensibly investigate the security failures on 1/6. Unlike the 9/11 Commission (which clarified how 9/11 occurred), the 1/6 Committee was a hyper-partisan affair: almost no elected Republicans took part—and the few who did, such as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), were virulent “Never Trump” Republicans. 

If the 9/11 Commission was designed to give clarity to policymakers for how to avoid another such attack, then the 1/6 Commission was clearly intended to obscure the truth of that harrowing day (which is why The Powers That Be are now slashing hard against both Carlson and Speaker McCarthy, who shared the tapes with the Fox News host). 

Few Americans believe that everything that occurred on 1/6 was above-board. There is much video evidence that some of the intruders that day were indeed very violent. Yet, it is fine to admit upon seeing the videos provided to Carlson by Rep. McCarthy that not everyone was violent. This was not some highly orchestrated attack on Capitol Hill. Instead, this was a crazed mob that had been ginned up by months of claims that the 2020 election was stolen. The narrative was reinforced by Mr. Trump and his representatives. 

No, the former president did not coordinate or conduct the attack on Capitol Hill. It was an organic process. But it is fair to say that his continued public pronouncements that the election was stolen galvanized a core group of his followers to initiate the riot on Capitol Hill. And that’s what this was: a riot. It was partly violent. It was ugly. But it was not a terrorist attack. 

Another Civil War?

Some have insinuated that January 6 was the start of a new Civil War; if not the Fort Sumter moment in that Second American Civil War, then at least a precursor to that, such as the “Bleeding Kansas” incident was a prelude to the first American Civil War. This will only become the reality if the Truth is not released to the public. Not just the cherry-picked facts designed by the Democratic Party to undermine Trump’s chances at running for reelection. But the whole Truth.

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most catastrophic years in the history of the American republic. It was the year a medical tyranny was, however temporarily, established over the American people; the year that race riots spread across the entirety of the country, threatening our national stability; the year of the 1/6 riot.

All these events, when taken together, clearly indicate that America is careening toward a catastrophe that could very well destroy the republican experiment our Founding Fathers started more than two centuries ago. 

Over what? Trump’s wounded ego and the Democrats’ desperate attempts to bitterly cling to power and wealth as everything around them collapses. I applaud Kevin McCarthy’s attempt to share with the press the full story of 1/6—because so much of it has been shrouded by partisan hackery and outright falsehoods. 

By revealing all the facts about the 1/6 riot and refusing to let either side of the toxic political divide hijack the attempt to understand reality, the country can come to grips with the confusing and painful events of 2020—without falling into the nightmare of another civil war. 

After all, it’s rarely the actual crisis that leads to catastrophe. It’s usually the lies we conjure up about the crisis that does everyone in. We cannot let that happen to 1/6. We need more aspects of this event to be shown publicly—warts and all—so that the American people can understand what has transpired in their name.

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Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

Written By

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.