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Reviews |  The simple remedy for vétherisme January 6

Oh, dammit, you must be mumbling to yourself. Not another baseless conspiracy to disarm! Didn’t we just spend seven months proving in courts and public opinion forums that no significant electoral fraud took place in the presidential election? Now we have to prove that January 6 was not a contemporary COINTELPRO operation or the product of deep anarchists? How long do we have to suffer?

The short answer is “forever”. The human appetite for alternative, and usually wacky, explanations of why events flourished the way they did can never be sated. Oh, you can fight a poisoned fruitcake ideology like QAnon to the point that it can be contained in a 55 gallon barrel and sealed. You can push back one crazy idea after another – Obama’s childbirth, Benghazi, Sandy Hook, the Katrina Dyke breach, Bush’s prescience of 9/11 – a new one will appear to replace it as a target in an arcade. . As long as concerns about an uncertain future persist, people will come up with irrational and inconsistent theories and share them. Some of these people will even be members of Congress. We’ll just have to take care of them.

So journalists like Chris Hayes of MSNBC, The Washington PostAaron Blake, Marshall Cohen of CNN and Christopher Mathias and Ryan J. Reilly of HuffPost did the right thing by providing a swift response this week to refute Carlson’s claim according to the FBI that an “unindicted co-conspirator Described in The January 6 Criminal Charges was an FBI informant who helped plan the assault. This is simply not the case, Cohen wrote. The news article Carlson drew his conclusions on was based on a misunderstanding of the definition of an unindicted co-conspirator. “Federal agents acting within the scope of their duties are never considered unindicted accomplices because, by definition, they do not conspire with so-called villains,” Tulane University law professor Ross told him. Garber.

One unfortunate thing about these rebuttals is that they will “amplify”, as some leftist press critics might say, Carlson’s original garbage. But how catastrophic is it compared to leaving the Carlson chicane unchallenged?

If anything, we should be thankful that the January 6th Truths started their theorizing as soon as they did it before the memories blurred and people started the inevitable process of forgetting exactly what. happened. That the truthful are active now, while the Capitol is still showing its scars, and that we have easy access to the information necessary to refute their theories, gives us a winning chance to push back the Gosarian demagoguery and to set the record straight. . To quote a recent column by Thomas Frank, there is a liberal tendency to throw a tantrum whenever unauthorized voices outside the consensus say things that cannot be removed by a moderator. Instead of banging our heads helplessly on our desks, better take the opportunity presented by Gosar and his ilk to paint a better and more accurate picture of the events of January 6.

Take Gosar’s protest that we don’t know the name of the policeman who shot Babbitt. Surely he knows that the United States Capitol Police are working for Congress and that it is in their power to change the rules that would release Babbitt’s shooter name. Rather than insulting the FBI director about the shooter’s identity, he should persuade his colleagues to make the Capitol Police more transparent. Moreover, if the Gosar team really wants to know more about the conduct of law enforcement on January 6, instead of asking questions to which he obviously knows the real answers, he should turn to a commission of inquiry. of Congress who would investigate all secrets of the riot, not just those that favor its interpretation.

As much as we would like to deny, not all revisionist questions are misguided missiles aimed at the sacred heart of truth. Even actors of bad faith can raise relevant questions. For example, early accounts of the cause of death of U.S. Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick – that he was killed as a result of blunt trauma – have been questioned in many corners and have subsequently been attributed from natural causes by the DC medical examiner. If Democrats are serious about a Congressional riot investigation, they must be prepared to follow where the evidence leads, even if that doesn’t flatter their current views. Why did the authorities miss the warning signs of the violent attack? Why were the forces not mobilized to repel the attack? What role did Trump play in the passive response? Did the militias work together? Was there internal coordination? How can we prevent a similar riot in the future? And more. As Ryan Goodman and Andrew Weissmann write in The Washington Post, the FBI did know enough about the riot that is brewing before the fact, but have not taken action. There are even greater truths to be discovered about January 6, and we should take every opportunity possible to pursue them.

If Republicans are serious about their revisionism, these topics should be at the top of their list of grievances, not vaporous fantasies of how the January 6 riot really was a harmless joy for winter tourists to across the Capitol. Unless the Republicans change colors – big chance of that – we can never expect the current Congress to definitively answer our questions. That leaves it up to the press to sort out January 6’s meaning from nonsense where and when it appears. It can be as dirty and obnoxious as emptying a septic tank one ounce at a time, but it’s the life we ​​journalists have chosen. Ladies and gentlemen, roll out your teaspoons!


I had a neighbor who emptied his septic tank with a bucket into 55 gallon drums. He fell into one of the full drums while jumping up and down on the lid to seal it. Send septic notices to [email protected]. My email alerts watched the January 6 riot on TV. My Twitter diet avoided the day entirely. My RSS feed challenges Congress to investigate.

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