Okay, okay, let’s all cool our jets here for a minute. I know we’re all worked up about the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and that’s all well and good. But let’s not let our emotions cloud our vision and let today’s commemorations cause us to forget the real horror we must all remain focused on: the Capitol riot this past January.
It is true that losing nearly 3,000 American lives to weaponized passenger jets was pretty bad, but I think we can all agree that this pales in comparison to the earth-shattering terror we all experienced when watching footage of wingnuts wander aimlessly around the Capitol Building for a few hours.
Serious experts agree.
In a July appearance on MSNBC’s ReidOut with Joy Reid, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd said he felt the Capitol riot was “much worse” than 9/11 and that this is the “most perilous point in time” since the beginning of the American Civil War.
“To me, though there was less loss of life on January 6, January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been,” Dowd said. “I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War.”
“I do too,” Reid replied.
The FBI has warned lawmakers that online QAnon conspiracy theorists may carry out more acts of violence as they move from serving as “digital soldiers” to taking action in the real world following the January 6 US Capitol attack. The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy’s more militant followers that they “can no longer ‘trust the plan” set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as “Q,” according to an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN. But the report suggests the failure of QAnon predictions to materialize has not led to followers abandoning the conspiracy. Instead, there’s a belief that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before.
This might lead followers to seek to harm “perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred,” according to the assessment.
“On the day when former president Donald Trump’s most delusional supporters swore he would return to power — and the House suspended its business because of supposed threats to the U.S. Capitol — Washington looked on Thursday morning much the way it has for the past two months,” the Post wrote on Thursday.
“National Guard members armed with M4 rifles braced for rebellion that never came. Razor wire lined miles of steel fencing that went unbreached. Trump remained in Florida, where it was 70 degrees and sunny,” it continued.
“I really expected to see more Trump people or something,” one individual present was quoted as saying. “It’s weird how quiet it is today.”
The overreaction included the National Guard being asked to remain in Washington, DC, for another 60 days, as reported by Breitbart News.
Republican lawmakers have blasted the continued deployment, which to date has cost nearly $500 million in American taxpayer funds.
Twitter has reportedly banned more than 70,000 accounts it claims are linked to the QAnon movement following the events on Capitol Hill last week.
The Hill reports that Twitter has announced that it has banned over 70,000 accounts sharing content relating to the QAnon conspiracy theory on its platform following the protests at Capitol Hill last week. Twitter confirmed in a recent blog post that it has removed the accounts in an effort to “protect the conversation on our service from attempts to incite violence.”
The blog post states: “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon.”
Twitter stated that “many” of the individuals affected by the ban “held multiple accounts” sharing content relating to the QAnon conspiracy theory. The banned accounts were allegedly “engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory.”
Ben Gibson, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in November, was arrested in Louisiana this Wednesday and booked on four counts of child pornography, WGNO reports.
Gibson, who was an active Airman at Barksdale Air Force Base, was a challenger in a four-way race for the U.S. House Dist. 4 Congressional seat and lost to Rep. Mike Johnson, who won re-election. Jared Kutz, 30, of Bossier City was also arrested as a result of the investigation and charged with two counts of pornography.
As Media Matters pointed out in January, Gibson has endorsed the “QAnon” conspiracy theory, using its hashtag multiple times on his Facebook campaign page and other social media accounts. The QAnon cult believes that there’s an underground network of Satanic pedophiles who are being covertly pursued by President Trump
The welding of American politics with social media may be the defining moment of a sea change that is taking place at the very top echelons of power in the United States and the world. In the run-up to the 2020 U.S. elections, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all revealed their inescapable ties to the establishment when they launched an information warfare campaign against their own users and content creators in a bid to shape perceptions and control national discourse on the government’s behalf.
As the most contentious election in living memory drags on days after the vote, itself, the massive purge of profiles and content deemed politically dangerous carried out by the most popular social media platforms just over two weeks before Election Day, went practically unnoticed by everyone other than those who were actually de-platformed and their followers.
In mid-October, Google-owned YouTube and other social media giants purged the accounts of the most popular QAnon channels, spurring a class-action lawsuit against the video streaming platform filed in the Northern District of California later that month.