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17 Jun, 2021 15:44

Media hushes up report suggesting FBI involvement in Capitol riot, as White House turns anti-terrorism efforts on American people

Media hushes up report suggesting FBI involvement in Capitol riot, as White House turns anti-terrorism efforts on American people

Court filings suggest that FBI operatives were among the mob who stormed the US Capitol in January, and may have set up the riot. With the riot used as justification for new terrorism policy, the media is downplaying the story.

Fox News broadcast possibly the most consequential report in recent cable news history on Tuesday night. Fox host Tucker Carlson alleged that the Capitol Hill riot on January 6 – dubbed an “insurrection,” an “assault on our democracy,” and “domestic terrorism” – may have been, at least partly, an inside job.

Carlson’s claims were first made a day earlier by Revolver News, an upstart right-wing news site. Revolver pored over charging documents against members of the ‘Oath Keepers’ and ‘Proud Boys’ militias who took part in the riots, and discovered that alongside the rioters were dozens of “unindicted co-conspirators.” These co-conspirators (UCCs for short) allegedly committed crimes equal to or greater than those of the militia members, but were kept anonymous in the court documents and not charged.

Some of them allegedly booked and paid for hotel rooms for militia members, others provided transport to Washington DC. They set up communications channels on walkie-talkie-style apps, and used these apps to whip their comrades into a riotous frenzy. “I want to see thousands of normies burn that city to ash today,” one UCC said in a Proud Boys group chat, while another, identified only as “Person 1,” replied, “God let it happen… I will settle with seeing them smash some pigs to dust.”

One alleged member of the Oath Keepers, 65-year-old Thomas Caldwell of Virginia, was charged with conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds – a rap sheet that could see him face 20 years in prison. However, a certain “Person Two” who took part in the exact same actions as Caldwell was not charged. Neither was a “Person Three” who offered Caldwell a hotel room and spoke of bringing explosives to the riot.

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The fact that these individuals have not been named is suspicious, but isn’t conclusive proof of foul play. Co-conspirators often remain anonymous and escape charges if they strike plea deals and inform on their comrades. Yet the first plea deal in the Oath Keepers case was struck in April, three months after the first indictment mentioned UCCs. Altogether, 20 UCCs were mentioned in the Oath Keepers case.

Other reasons for anonymity are “pragmatic considerations and evidentiary concerns,” broad terms that at least in the Caldwell ‘Oath Keepers’ case, don’t add up, given the evidence against “Person Two” is every bit as solid as that against Caldwell.

The FBI has admitted to infiltrating right-wing militias before, and when the country’s attention was focused on the threat of Islamic terrorism rather than white extremism, research suggests that three quarters of would-be jihadist bombers were given the explosives to carry out their attacks by the FBI.

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The militia plot last year to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was orchestrated almost entirely by the FBI. The plotters’ driver and ‘explosives expert’ were both agents, while the militia’s head of security was an undercover informant. At every meeting leading up to the supposed kidnap attempt, an FBI source was present, and out of the five men who drove a van to kidnap Whitmer, three were FBI agents and informants. In a further bizarre coincidence, the FBI agent in charge of the infiltration operation was promoted after the plot was foiled, and given a position in the agency’s Washington DC field office. He now oversees the prosecution of hundreds of Capitol rioters.

Again, none of this proves federal involvement in the events of January 6. It merely suggests the possibility. A bipartisan Senate report blames the riot on “intelligence failures,” and FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate in March that his agency would “do better” to prevent such incidents from taking place in the future. Revolver called for lawmakers to ask Wray three questions in light of the latest report.

In short, the questions are: To what extent were the militia groups present on January 6 infiltrated by federal agencies or their informants? Exactly how many agents or informants were present at the Capitol during the infamous “siege” and what roles did they play? And finally, of all the UCCs referenced in the charging documents, how many worked as confidential informants or undercover operatives for the federal government?

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), a stalwart defender of former President Donald Trump, has already written to Wray asking these exact questions. 

However, the mainstream media has rushed to attack Carlson and Revolver News founder Darren Beattie, calling their claims “baseless” “conspiracy theories” and “propaganda.”

Twitter even posted a warning on Wednesday, reminding users that “federal law does not permit cooperating witnesses or informants to be charged with conspiracy, despite a baseless suggestion by Tucker Carlson.” However, Twitter’s warning makes the exact same argument as Carlson did – that the witnesses or informants were not charged, as they were witnesses or informants.

Whether or not the FBI took part in or partly instigated the riot, the events of January 6 have already been used to drum up support for a new domestic war on terrorism. Hundreds of defendants have been arrested in what prosecutors termed a “shock and awe” campaign. Liberal pundits compared the riot to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, while penning articles calling for a dramatic expansion of the surveillance state and the forcible “re-education” of Donald Trump’s supporters.

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And the Biden administration is on board. A month after Attorney General Merrick Garland told the Senate that “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists... specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” are the nation’s top terrorist threat, the White House released its new domestic terrorism strategy on Wednesday. The strategy promises an extra $100 million for the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department, and also states that the federal government will work closer with social media companies to combat “extremist content,” and “disinformation and misinformation” – nebulous terms used by many to denote content that counters the establishment narrative.

The report also promises funding for all federal agencies to “ensure domestic terrorists are not employed within our military or law enforcement ranks.” Its stated goal is “to prevent individuals who pose domestic terrorism threats from being placed in positions of trust.”

With “domestic terrorist” and “Trump supporter” often conflated by the media and top Democrats, the strategy will likely be seen by the right as an attempt to politically purge the nation’s institutions. Regardless of whether the true extent of alleged federal involvement in the January 6 riot is ever uncovered, Americans will be living with the consequences of that day for years, if not decades, to come.

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