Trump DHS Only 30 Minutes Behind Mommyblogs In Assessing What Was Happening At Capitol Jan. 6
Here's another for your file of "ways the Trump administration apparently had its thumbs up its ass on January 6."
Politico reports that Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent the Pentagon a peculiar update at 1:30 p.m. on January 6, around 30 minutes after Trump's herd of feral pigs started busting down the ramparts at the US Capitol. A few minutes later, at 1:40 p.m., an internal Army email that went to leaders at the Defense Department summarized the update from DHS:
"There are no major incidents of illegal activity at this time," read an internal Army email sent to senior leaders at 1:40 p.m. that day, referring to an update the service had just received from DHS's National Operations Center (NOC).
Just a chill day, sounds like! It's not that the update didn't say anything about all the hordes in DC at the time. It just said nothing that was happening was that big of a deal.
The NOC, as its website explains, is supposed be "provid[ing] timely reporting and products ... to support senior-leader decision making." It's supposed to be streamlining all the info for everybody who is somebody in government who needs to know, and needs to know the most up-to-date info right now.
Here's exactly how that 1:30 p.m. update was written that day:
The first item on DHS's 1:30 p.m. update list wasn't even about D.C, according to the Army email; it was about National Guard units deployed in Wisconsin "in anticipation of prosecutorial decision" in the case of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot in the back seven times by a white police officer. The shooting left Blake partially paralyzed and generated national outcry. The DHS update noted that 851 National Guard personnel were ready for "Civil Disturbance Operations" in the wake of a local prosecutor's announcement that he would not bring charges against the officer.
Then the update listed "DC Events Reported to DHS NOC" as its second item.
"In the last 2 hrs - There are no major incidents of illegal activity at this time," the report read.
Then it listed a number of non-issues: A suspicious package at a Metro station near the capitol was "cleared no threat;" a law enforcement agency "determined Proud Boys threatening to shut down the water system in the downtown area not a credible threat;" and "Protestors near 16th & Pennsylvania Ave reportedly with baseball bats; exaggerated report."
It also noted that two buildings in the Capitol Complex were being evacuated because of a bomb threat against the Capitol Hill Club. The report did not note that that club — a hangout for Republican lobbyists and operatives — is next door to the Republican National Committee. A pipe bomb was found there that day.
Seems like maybe they were missing some things.
But wait, maybe we are all just mis-remembering. Did anybody really know what was going on by 1:30 p.m.? Wonkette's liveblog typed that "the fucking psychos are trying to take the Capitol" at 1:26 p.m. that day, but is it possible Trump's DHS just didn't have the same up-to-the-minute info mommyblogs had?
Luckily, Politico provides a tick-tock compiled from various sources, and it starts at 12:52 p.m. with Steven Sund, who was at that time the chief of the Capitol Police, being fully aware the shit was hitting the fan. One minute later, "protesters had breached the Capitol Building's outer perimeter, according to The New York Times." And it goes on from there.
According to a timeline released by the Department of Defense, at 1:26 p.m., just as Wonkette was hitting send on our update about fucking psychos, that was when Capitol Police "ordered the evacuation of the Capitol complex."
At 1:30, that DHS memo went out, and Pentagon leaders got it at 1:40, and it was like "Hey you guys have you ever wondered what the weather is like in Kenosha right now?"
Don't worry, though, because DHS's 2 p.m. update mentioned that the Capitol was locked down.
"US Capitol is reportedly locked down due to multiple attempts to cross police barriers and police injuries," it read, followed by a partially redacted sentence that ended with the phrase "situation continues to develop."
That characterization is a drastic understatement. From 1:30 to 2 p.m., the situation at the Capitol grew far worse. At 1:44 p.m., Trump supporters were climbing the scaffolding outside the building, according to Just Security.
That's a little better. Sounds like DHS was only, what? Thirty minutes behind the mommyblogs? Seems fine.
Politico of course notes that DHS wasn't the Pentagon's only source of information. The mayor of DC and members of Congress and DC Metro Police were all in contact with the people at the Pentagon like Michael Flynn's brother and whoever else was involved in the decision to wait three hours and 19 minutes from the time the request came in to send the National Guard in to save the Capitol.
Thank baby Jesus there were other pathways for that information. Otherwise, the Pentagon might have had to wait ... three hours and 49 MINUTES to send in the National Guard!
Definitely dodged a bullet there.
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