There was an insurrection, but it wasn’t Trump supporters (Opinion)
It was expected after the mess in DC last week that the NJ legislature couldn't help but get in on the mix. Passing a resolution about the violence at the nation's Capitol building was just another reminder of the uselessness of New Jersey elected officials. No one supports the fact that some people got out of control and in the melee and unarmed young woman was shot dead, despite clear video evidence that she posed no threat. Hearts are grieving for the cops who died shortly after the melee with protesters. That said, the mischaracterization that this was some sort of insurrection is absurd, inaccurate and dangerous.
An insurrection is an armed uprising intended to change or topple the current government. This was not that. First of all, in order for this to rise to the level of sedition and insurrection as many politicians are saying, the focus would be violence against the state, for sedition that violence would have to be organized with an expressed purpose. A protest, protected by the first amendment, which included a million-plus marching on Washington peacefully had the unfortunate component of a few hundred or so people walking through the capitol building with several committing acts of vandalism. Given the evidence already circulating, it is clear to me and many law enforcement experts that the acts simply don't rise to that level.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues is that the Capitol police are seen on video opening gates and literally waving protesters inside. If the cops didn't allow protesters entry, would there have been any violence at all? Plus strange behavior for so-called "rebels" when you can also see people walking through the building and in one case PICKING UP TRASH from waste bins that had been toppled. That is not to say that vandalism and violent acts weren't committed, they were.
But why has the media largely ignored the presence of known BLM/Antifa agitators in the crowd. Why were they there? How much of the violence can be attributed to them? That certainly calls into question the "violent Trump supporter" narrative. Plus the president clearly and explicitly encouraging peaceful protests and asking demonstrators to refrain from violence and stop the actions at the Capitol. Why were the President's videos taken down from social media? Why has the President now been cancelled and censored on all social media platforms? What are the media, tech giants and never-Trump politicians afraid of hearing?
Legal scholars and security experts have agreed over decades that it's very difficult to label an action, even violent actions, as insurrection and sedition. Meeting that legal standard is rare because it is specific and vandalism of public property, even an assault on a police officer simply doesn't mean you jump to that label. Why is the nuance of how we use the words important? Simple. The use of "insurrection and sedition" and blaming the violence on the president, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, gives government the justification to stifle free speech and shut down future peaceful protests. Of course, this seems to only apply to pro-Trump rallies and people who rightfully raise the question about the integrity of the election process.
You have to ask, where were the cries about insurrection when BLM and Antifa rioters were attacking police stations, burning buildings, assaulting police officers and citizens and in one case actually setting up an "autonomous zone" declaring they were no longer a part of the United States?!? People died as a result of the so-called CHAZ riots in Seattle and cops were attacked. This fit the LITERAL definition of insurrection and sedition. Yet, politicians and media talking heads refused to condemn it for the most part. The actions were excused and we were told repeatedly that the protests were "mostly peaceful."
Here's an excerpt from a legal discussion of the term sedition and insurrection including cases where it wasn't used:
Although there are frequent concerns about statements made by media figures, on social media, or even by members of the government itself, there are two aspects of the crime of insurrection and rebellion that tend to limit its use.
The first is that, since insurrection and rebellion is a crime, private citizens do not have standing to file charges against someone. Only the government itself, acting through the Office of the Attorney General, can bring charges.
The second reason that rebellion and insurrection are rarely charged is because of the strength of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protection of free speech. A certain amount of hyperbole is tolerated, where there aren't accompanying overt acts. The general language of the crime also lends itself to interpretation, making prosecutions a chancier proposition.
Where possible, the government tends to level charges that are based more on actions than words. Notorious Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's many armed confrontations with the federal government resulted in a long list of criminal charges, but none for rebellion and insurrection. - FindLaw Staff at https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/rebellion-or-insurrection.html
I was joined by my friend Jonathan Gilliam on the latest episode of my #SpeakingPodcast. He's a former FBI agent, Navy SEAL, counter terrorism expert, author and broadcaster. We discussed everything from what went wrong with the law enforcement response to the protests in DC to the absurdity and danger of the misinformation and conspiracy theories floated by the social media accounts supporting "QANON". We also discussed the three reasons why Trump did not win the election. One of those reasons I've been talking about for months, the failed response to the riots and violence in our cities. Yes, the president should've sent in the troops to restore peace and security to the areas.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.