DC National Guard Commanders Aren't Going To Let Mike Flynn's Brother Pin This Sh*t On Them
Former DC National Guard leaders are coming out swinging against a November 16 Inspector General Report that appeared to exonerate top Army staff and blame the slow deployment of guardsmen to the Capitol on January 6 on DCNG commanders. Politico got its hands on a memo written by Army Colonel Earl G. Matthews summarizing his own recollections of the day and those of Major General (Retired) William J. Walker, U.S. Army, who served as commanding general of the DCNG, and it is blistering.
Matthews begins: "The purpose of this memorandum is to outline and detail the myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis contained in a recent publicly released Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) report of its investigation into the Department of Defense’s actions leading up to and in response to the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol which occurred on 6 January 2021." He then tears into the IG for relying on anonymous, self-serving accounts, full of obvious contradictions, to produce a report "replete with factual inaccuracies, discrepancies and faulty analysis" resting on "demonstrably false testimony or statements."
Walker and Matthews say they begged to deploy the National Guard troops from 2:30 in the afternoon on. According to Walker, who is now the House Sergeant at Arms, the IG Report incorrectly states that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Mayor Muriel Bowser were on that call, but they were not
McCarthy has said he authorized the DCNG to deploy within the hour. But this memo tells a different story, much more like the one Walker told Congress way back in March. It recounts that Mike Flynn's brother Gen. Charles Flynn, who served as deputy chief of staff for operations on Jan. 6, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, the director of Army staff, were against deploying the guard because of "optics," and counseled Walker to have the guardsmen replace DC cops directing traffic so that only DC police would respond to the riot.
LTG Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the D.C. National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time. LTG Piatt stated that the presence of uniformed military personnel could inflame the situation and that the police were best suited to handle the situation. Both LTGs Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good.
Chief Contee then stated that he would inform the Mayor (D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser) that the Army was refusing to send the National Guard to the Capitol and that he would ask her to convene a press conference to make this refusal known. LTG Piatt then asked Chief Contee to please not do this. Piatt stated that the request for Guard presence was not being refused and he had no power to deny or approve the request, only that he would not recommend approval to his civilian leadership. Piatt and Flynn recommended that Contee identify locations away from the Capitol where D.C. National Guard personnel could relieve MPD personnel of traffic duties, allowing more MPD personnel to surge to the Capitol.
Your Wonkette is not qualified to opine on military deployment, but we'd note that the DCNG was in fact trained and equipped to put down a riot. And according to Walker and Matthews, the DCNG guys were kitted out in riot year and ready to leave the Armory on 30 minutes notice from the time of the original 2:30 call. So Walker and Matthews were positively incensed that Flynn and Piatt testified that the DCNG was so incompetent that it needed some Army guys to come and hold their hands and lead them over to the Capitol building.
In his sworn testimony, Flynn claims, a team under his direction of “40 officers and noncommissioned officers, immediately worked to recall the 154 D.C. National Guard personnel from their current missions, reorganize them, reacquaint them, and begin to redeploy them to the Capitol.” Flynn’s sworn statement is so astounding on its face that it defies reason. If it does not constitute the willful and deliberate misleading of Congress, than nothing does. Flynn was referring to 154 D.C. Guardsmen who were already on duty, were trained in civil disturbance response, already had area familiarization with Washington, DC, were properly kitted and were delayed only because of inaction and inertia at the Pentagon. Why would the DCNG need the assistance of “40 officers and noncommisioned officers” from the Army Staff to “organize and acquaint” these Guardsmen?
In fact, the memo states that the DCNG was left sitting in its buses waiting to deploy while Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy developed "a plan" for the guardsmen and got it approved by acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.
Adding insult to injury, the army witnesses allege Walker got his order to deploy at 4:35, but that the order had to be reissued at 5 p.m., during a press conference McCarthy had with DC Mayor Bowser. Walker and Matthews insist they never got any call at 4:35 telling them to move out.
The DoDIG timeline states that at 4:35 PM Secretary McCarthy called MG Walker to inform him that Acting Secretary of Defense Miller had approved the DCNG request to re-mission the DCNG to support the U.S. Capitol Police at the Capitol. MG Walker denies that Secretary McCarthy called him at 4:35PM or that any such discussion took place at that time. As he stated in sworn testimony, MG Walker became aware of the approval to deploy DCNG personnel during a video teleconference with senior Army officials at 5:08 PM. The decision of civilian leadership was conveyed by the CSA, General James McConville. The DoDIG timeline also states the McCarthy had to “reissue” his direction for the DCNG to move to the Capitol at 5PM. This is an outrageous assertion given that Walker would have began deploying DCNG to the Capitol when he first received USCP Chief Steve Sund’s urgent requests if he had been given authority to do so. The notion that MG Walker had to be told twice to deploy forces to the Capitol is as insulting as it is false.
We may never get a full and complete accounting of what went on that terrible day, but Walker and Matthews aren't the first to note glaring discrepancies in the military's version of events. Over at Just Security, editors Kate Brannen and Ryan Goodman noted contradictions and gaps in the record back in May. And, as Matthews points out, the DOD IG appears to have relied on "some of the same 'Army witnesses' who, according to open press reporting, repeatedly and strenuously denied to the press for days that Flynn was even a participant on the 2:30PM conference call which occurred on 6 January."
And so he can hardly be blamed for calling out Flynn and Piatt for alleged "perjured testimony" and describing them as "absolute and unmitigated liars" for their efforts to cast him as incompetent and leave him holding the bag.
It's ugly, whichever way you look at it.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.