I don’t know if anyone is really surprised that boxes of what should be public presidential records were secreted out of the White House to Donald Trump’s own property. He has a very long history of attempting to keep his actions secret. Instead of being surprised that he did so—again—we should be asking “What is he hiding?” What, for instance, is lurking in his tax returns that he has worked so hard to keep secret? Who does he owe money to? Who did he owe money to while he was president, and how much of those debts were reduced by means other than simple repayment? How much money did he receive from which foreign countries during his administration?
The ostensible purpose of the current investigations are to see how much he was the impetus for the attack on the Capitol building in January 2021, but I think we should also be asking just how much of an independent actor he was during his presidency, and how much he was indebted to—and acting on behalf of—others.
This Washington Post article is what prompted me today.
Hearing all the blame being heaped on the Capitol Police, I’m starting to think they weren’t so terrible on Wednesday. Yes, they let a mob break in to the building and vandalize it (mind you, it’s a building with more than 500 rooms, and who knows how many different entrances). On the other hand, no member of Congress was injured. Was it a conscious decision to let the building go and focus on the people? Had they stood up to keep the rioters out of the building, it is almost certain there would have been far more deaths, because they would have had to use force, quite probably deadly force, to keep them out.
Was the day a clusterfuck? Definitely. But are the Capitol Police villains? No, I don’t think so. I think they were overwhelmed with insufficient support which should have been called in far in advance. For instance, if the Executive Branch of the government had not exhorted those animals to go take the Congress, perhaps it wouldn’t have happened. And if the Executive Branch had authorized the presence of the National Guard to backstop the Capitol Police, those animals would not have been able to breach the bicycle rack-barricades.
The building can be repaired and cleaned; the dead cannot be brought back.