By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News
WASHINGTON — Strain hard to understand the words. It is American being spoken with a new accent.
It comes from the mouths of our neighbors, our law enforcement, our military, our friends. Sometimes our family.
They came to Washington once, honeycombed among hundreds of others thinking they were in the city for a good cause. Those with these new accents had plans, weapons, strategy, and well-placed supporters throughout, their accents brimming with hate and insurrection, of anti-democracy and conspiracy.
On Inauguration Day, they strolled within the crowd, their accents for the moment soft murmurs among those walking just beyond the perimeter. These accents of a resurgent enemy speak in codes of subversion, of hate, of self-glorification, and rabbit-hole conspiracies.
Like many creatures drawn to danger, they hover around the edges in the dark, until the burning of distortion grows to blue heat and en masse feel safe to move.
So Sunday and Monday and Tuesday come brisk and gray and cold, with a tease of a little sun, and they wait. Blocks from the perimeter, trying to blend. Wondering, waiting for the Wednesday Word, some undefined plan to deny the peaceful transfer of power that makes America so special to much of the world – if not some of its own citizens.
More than 25,000 armed National Guard members from all over the nation awaited them. It is as if the military draft had returned, mixing again those from the nation’s neighborhoods and farms for a common purpose, to once again defend democracy.
It is not those gunsels beyond the permitter that were of concern that Wednesday and for the future. It is those that lurk in the ranks, waiting, for their Soldat and the moment.
How many is unclear. And so, with the lack of visible threats on the empty Washington streets, the eyes of the National Guard members from across the nation look at each other, wondering — do I have to worry about him? As they march in columns down Pennsylvania and Constitution and Independence avenues, they wonder which of those with them are in a Fifth Column.
In the air is the wondering, the unsettling, of what police officers may have assisted the insurrectionists, what members of Congress gave the special tours before the Capitol was attacked, who in the ranks may be waiting to hear the accent that says go.
U.S. defense officials were so concerned about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration that they and the FBI increased and accelerated the vetting of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington to protect the president-elect and the inauguration ceremony..
Twelve Guard members, a small sliver of the thousands, were yanked from duty and sent home. Two of them were found to have supremacists ties.
“The question is, is that all of them? Are there others?” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said. “We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this.”
The Pentagon is accelerating efforts to root out for right extremists in its ranks. They are facing a massive task, with the 2.1 million active-duty and reserve troops in the ranks. Some joined to get training to be used when they leave and rejoin extremists groups; others now in are prey to the Devil’s flirtations for when they leave and drift, seeking comradeship.
“We in the Department of Defense are doing everything we can to eliminate extremism,” Garry Reid, the Pentagon’s director for defense intelligence, told reporters last week. Reid, however, was unable to outline specifics and declined to address any aspect of active-duty members’ participation at the Capitol attack.
Pentagon officials said there are solid indications that a still unknown number of veterans are associated with the January 6 insurrection and that “people were showing their C.A.C. cards,” a reference to the identification cards used to enter military installations and the Pentagon.
Yet questions abound as to why the Pentagon — purged of its top leadership after President Trump’s election day loss and run by his loyalists — took hours to respond to requests for more help, or why they downplayed the threat even before January 6.
And the honeycombed accents keep being heard in new places.
For days, the Army told the Washington Post that they were wrong in reporting that Michael Flynn’s brother, Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, was one of the top Army officials in a key January 6 meeting about the Guard’s deployment on the day of the riot. It turns out to be true.
That means one of the leaders who publicly stirred the accents and urged on the insurrection — Michael Flynn — had a brother helping make decisions on how to prepare for the day the attack would occur.
“The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks,” Lloyd Austin, President Biden’s nominee to be defense secretary, said the day before the inauguration.“We can never take our hands off the wheel on this. This has no place in the military of the United States of America.”
The Devil is the one we know. He now has become bold. On the day democracy almost died, his accent was on the tongues of many..
Blocked from downtown and the symbols of democracy some insurrectionists continue to stew in hotels in Virginia. Disillusioned. Deciding. Determined. Fuming and fueled with liquid bravery, accents rising, plans concocted.
Some of the new confederacy — thwarted in getting near the Capitol — took their conspiracy to a pizza parlor in another part of Washington that they insist is a front for child sex ring operation. They were met with loud music and scorn.
Wednesday came with faux sunshine buffeted by cold winds. All was quiet on the fortified front and the new president and the ceremony were untouched and unfazed.
The Capitol area was locked down, the streets were empty and there was no sign of insurrectionists or trouble. The bullies were keeping their powder dry as they realized that— for today — they were outgunned and outnumbered, not the script they need to be brave.
It all offered a sheen of security.
Many breathed a sigh of relief.
The wise knew better.