Fried: Dems Keep the Focus on Jan. 6 While Ignoring Their Own 'Insurrection'
You’ve got to hand it to Democrats: They have a way with words.
Until Jan. 6, 2021, who even considered calling a three-hour riot an “insurrection”? It has been political gold for Democrats, and that is why President Joe Biden invoked the word again in his latest State of the Union speech. Unfortunately, the characterization of a riot as an “insurrection” has had devastating consequences for hundreds of Americans.
If Jan. 6 activities had been classified as a riot, some of the Capitol building trespassers would have been sentenced to a few days in jail or, perhaps, given a monetary fine. I am talking about the protesters who never pushed anyone, punched anyone, or broke anything. However, this was an insurrection! So some of these relatively peaceful protesters may be in prison for years.
These thoughts led me back to another “insurrection” that took place in Washington, D.C., just seven months earlier. You might be wondering, “What insurrection?”
I am talking about the days of violent riots at the White House in late May and early June 2020. In retrospect, those riots must have been an “insurrection,” but we were not smart enough to realize it at the time. Now that we have been educated by Nancy Pelosi, et al., we must look back at the 2020 events with new eyes.
The “I-word” was never used for the May 30-June 1, 2020, attack at the Trump White House. Indeed, the establishment media downplayed the entire event.
As an example, consider this report in The Federalist in which Mollie Hemingway described a "Face the Nation" interview of Attorney General William Barr by anchor Margaret Brennan. According to Hemingway, Brennan repeatedly referred to the events as “peaceful” and removed from the broadcast several comments from Barr that conflicted with her assessment:
“Left out of the interview that aired on CBS on Sunday morning was Barr’s detailed accounting of much of the violent context of that perimeter expansion, including that 'bricks and inflammable liquid' were being thrown at police in Lafayette Square near the White House as rioters 'were trying to get entry' over the fences, the five dozen officers guarding Lafayette Square who were 'lost' the night prior in the violence, and the individuals who at the time of their forced dispersal 'wrestled with the police officers trying to tear their shields from them, in one case, struggling to get one of the police officer’s guns.'"
Barr asserted that the media was lying about the protesters being peaceful, and he also disputed the CBS News claim that Trump ordered the active-duty military (not just the National Guard) to quell the riots.
You may recall that there were three big takeaways from the May-June 2020 disturbances, according to the establishment media:
- Trump was a coward who hid in a bunker for no good reason.
- Trump was a megalomaniac who used military force against his own people.
- These were “peaceful” protests.
A point-by-point comparison
It is clear from the following comparisons that these two “insurrections” were similar in many ways.
The Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection ended after three to four hours. The 2020 White House insurrection lasted about three days, although the most intense activities lasted only a day or two.
Penetration of facilities
Neither insurrection was successful, but Jan. 6 participants managed to penetrate the facilities for a few hours, whereas 2020 White House insurrectionists did not. The difference, however, had nothing to do with effort, determination or weapons.
In each case, the insurrectionists easily pushed past bike racks and other lightweight barriers. However, the White House has a formidable inner fence guarded by very tough and well-trained Secret Service agents. The Capital Police also made a serious effort to guard the Capitol (at least at first). However, they simply did not have the gear, training, barricades or (in some cases) physical fitness needed to do the job.
On Jan. 6, 2021, a Capitol building trespasser, Ashli Babbitt, was shot to death by a policeman in what the medical examiner described as an act of homicide. Contrary to the words of Biden, no policeman was killed on Jan. 6, or afterward. The 2020 White House insurrection involved no police or protester fatalities.
According to Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, “more than 50 U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers were injured.” Later, the Government Accountability Office reported 114 officer injuries, and still later the Pelosi committee claimed the number was about 140. According to a Jan. 11, 2021, report, “at least 10 people were transported to area hospitals.”
During the 2020 riots at the White House, there were “at least 50 Secret Service agents injured, another 49 Park Police in just one day,” according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. Law Enforcement Today reported that 60 Secret Service agents were injured outside of the White House, and “eleven of the officers had to be brought to the hospital.”
At the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, there were reports of multiple weapons, including "a baseball bat, a hockey stick, a rebar, a flagpole, including the American flag, pepper spray, bear spray.” No guns were used.
Weapons used at the 2020 White House insurrection included “bottles and Molotov cocktails” and “rocks, fireworks, bottles, fists, bodily fluids” and “cars ... filled with incendiary material.” No guns were used.
The estimated damages to the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, amounted to $2.7 million. Regarding the White House insurrection, The Daily Wire reported that “St. John’s Church was set on fire and authorities said that they believe that it was intentional.” The Hill reported that “several Secret Service vehicles were damaged.”
I have been facetious. In reality, neither of these events was truly an insurrection because neither was organized and participants were not armed in a meaningful way.
The distinction between a riot and an insurrection is outlined on the website of USLegal, Inc.: “In insurrection there is an organized and armed uprising against authority of operations of government whereas riots and offenses connected with mob violence are simply unlawful acts in disturbance of the peace.” [Emphasis added.]
The Jan. 6 committee tried mightily to find some organized effort behind the riots of that day, but they failed. And weapons such as flagpoles, hockey sticks and bear spray are not meaningful in an attempt to overthrow a superpower, or even in a street fight on the south side of Chicago.
Finally, did anyone go to jail for more than a day or two as a result of participating in the May-June White House violence? What about the people throwing Molotov cocktails? Were they even arrested? Just curious...
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.