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Was the Riot a Failure of Imagination?

Or just being numb to the threats of violence?

by Eric Holdeman / January 10, 2021

See this article: "Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready."

The rioters did a terrible job of plotting to storm the capital. Their OPSEC (operations security) procedures were non-existent. While journalists studied social media and saw trouble ahead, the intelligence apparatus of the nation, it appears, saw only rhetoric. Language that has dominated right-wing websites and has moved onto the mainstream social media seemed to make them immune to a repeat of old threats. 

Personally, I think all the information was there, but intelligence staff were numb to the threats since they view them every day of the week. What was supposed to be different about Jan. 6?

Many have accused President Trump "and friends" of stirring up the mob to take violent action. But then, the words of the president on Jan. 6 were not that much different than those he has used in the past. The context was certainly different. He was not just posting on Twitter and airing his election grievances (which are false and have been proven false in many courts of law), but speaking before a riled up crowd. In his defense, he is used to speaking to "riled up crowds" that he has personally riled up at his many rallies. His defense could be that he didn't know what he was doing — which could be proven by examining his record over the last four years. 

Jan. 6 was a shameful chapter in American history. The question for us Americans is, what comes next? We are about to start writing the next chapter today. 

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