Capitol riot was an attack on “our constitutional democracy”, army leadership says
The army’s civilian chief, officer and enlisted man on Wednesday signed a statement condemning the violation of the United States Capitol last week as an attack on the democratic process and warned soldiers that the military has no role to play in determining election results.
The statement, sent on social media by Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, qualifies the January 6 riot “An attack on the US Congress and our constitutional democracy,” and follows a similar statement by the Joint Chiefs the day before.
But the notable presence of veterans among the rioters who broke into the Capitol, combined with the fact that he kill five, raised the question of whether faster convictions are needed in the future.
“We stand up for the rights of every American and we protect the role of our democratic institutions. We remind all soldiers and civilians to abide by the non-partisan standards of the military, ”read the statement signed by McConville, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Army Sgt. Major Michael Grinston. “Democratic elections are a constitutional right, and the military has no role to play in determining their outcome. “
Although the Capitol riot was contained on the same day, the The FBI warned of armed protests in Washington and in the capitals of all 50 states ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
The number of National Guards deployed to DC could reach 15,000 by the start of next week, and troops providing security around the Capitol complex will be armed with deadly weapons.
General Robert Abrams, commander of US forces on the Korean Peninsula, retweeted the joint chiefs’ statement, adding: “We have been discussing this here in Korea since last Thursday.
“There is no ambiguity about what happened on Capitol Hill – it was an attempted insurgency”, said Abrams, a general officer known for his influence on social networks. “If you are serving in uniform and thought it was something else, I encourage you to sit down and read the constitution that you have sworn to support and defend. There too, no gray area. No room on our team if you are not ready to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreigners AND nationals.
Mike Jason, a retired army colonel who has dissatisfaction expressed with the response time of the Pentagon leaders, these leaders must be “very visible” with an “unequivocal message about what we have all seen, what is acceptable and what we will do about it.”
Jason said that a good example of what is needed can be seen in a video made by the senior Australian military officer four years ago, which squarely addressed sexual assault in that country’s ground service.
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., An Army veteran, praised the clear language of the three Army chiefs on Wednesday. Crow spoke to McCarthy over the weekend and expressed “serious concern” over reports that active and reserve service personnel “were involved in the insurgency” on Capitol Hill.
“This is a time for clear and decisive leadership from the military and law enforcement community,” Crow, who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said on twitter. “To meet the challenge of national terrorism, leaders at all levels must be heard and be proactive. Thank you to the military for leading by example.
Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump overwhelmed police and occupied Capitol Hill during the riot. Crowd chaos followed a speech by the president in which he repeated unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was rigged against him and urged his supporters to “fight like hell”.
The number of veterans who were among the rioters remains unknown, although some notable individuals have been identified.
A retired air force fighter pilot was pictured in zippered handcuffs and in riot gear on Senate floors. An old Chief of Navy SEALThe role of in the crowd is also called into question after a video was recovered of him bragging about the breach and saying he hoped “the message was strong enough”.
Another man named Lonnie coffman, 70, was also arrested and charged after prosecutors said he brought five loaded weapons and 11 Molotov cocktails to DC.
Coffman’s defense attorney Tony Miles said the man served in the army, including a visit to Vietnam. Army officials were unable to verify Coffman’s service, but said his records may be kept at the National Archives. Army Times has filed a request for these documents.
The origins of two homemade bombs found near the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committee in Washington are still under investigation. The FBI offers $ 50,000 reward for more information on these devices, which had igniters and timers.
An Army spokesperson said on Tuesday the service was working with the FBI to determine whether active duty soldiers were involved in the riot, which also killed Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, an Air National Guard veteran who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.
The Army’s 1st Special Forces Command is also investigating whether Captain Emily Rainey, 30, a psychological operations officer based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, acted against regulations during the events of January 6.
Major Dan Lessard, spokesman for 1st Special Forces Command, said Monday it was not clear whether Rainey had broken any laws or regulations, “as the DoD encourages members of the armed forces to comply of the citizenship obligation, as long as their actions are in accordance with DoD policy and do not interfere with the good order and discipline of the service.
“For the moment, there is no indication that other members of the command were present at the Capitol,” added Lessard.
Rainey had been the subject of adverse administrative action for an earlier protest incident and ultimately resigned her commission this fall, even though she was still on active duty during the protest. Rainey said she did not enter the Capitol building and behaved appropriately.
Justice Department officials said they were still reviewing video footage and testimony from the Capitol riots that had not been made public.
Over the past week, the ministry opened hundreds of cases, “and that’s just the tip of the iceberg“Steven D’Antuono, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said on Wednesday.
“People are going to be shocked at some of the egregious conduct that has taken place on Capitol Hill,” Acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin also said on Wednesday. “No resources related to the FBI or the US Attorney’s Office will be untapped to determine whether there was command and control, how it worked and how they carried out these activities.”
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and journalist whose investigations have focused on combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Prior to entering journalism, Kyle served in the US Air Force Special Tactics and was deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.