Not to frighten you or anything ….
The morning news, e.g., Good Morning America, reports militants planning for a “week of siege” leading up to the inauguration.
In the Triad/Bulwark Jonathon V. Last looks ahead to the implications of the January 6th riot. Is it one prelude to more serious conflict?
A couple months ago I linked to a bracing Mike Giglio story about militias in America. He has another great one and I want to talk about it. Here’s his lede:
I spent the last year talking with people from militant groups on the American right and always driving toward the same question: And then what? You’re armed and trained and linked up with your outfit. And then what? You’re ready to stand up to the leftist mob or defend Donald Trump from the inevitable attempt to steal the election. And then what? You’ll fight if you have to. OK, and then what?
I keep pushing down this path because in the end, it leads to war and I want to have a discussion about what that means. Because I hope that behind all the prepping and posturing from that side — and the level 11 hysteria that pervades America generally — we all realize that we’re comfortable and fat and free, and that real war means your house will get wrecked and your kids or your neighbor or the cashier you trade hellos with at your fully stocked supermarket will die. My fear is not that some people somewhere will start a real conflict intentionally, having first grappled with the consequences of that and thought it all through, but that they’ll keep taking that next step toward one without ever understanding what they’re really asking for.
Okay. So far, so bad. But then things take a turn for the even worse:
Not long after Kelly Loeffler announced on the Senate floor that, thanks to the riot, she’d changed her mind about challenging the election result, I received a flurry of texts about it from a Georgia militia leader named Justin Thayer. He’d run “security” at a Loeffler rally over the summer as the Senate’s wealthiest member pandered to pro-gun hard-liners during her failed campaign, but told me defiantly that he’d no longer be backing her.
He was at the Capitol but hadn’t gone inside because of the lack of planning; he said it could easily have turned into “a kill box.”
“So what’s next?”
“Pray and prepare for the 20th.”
“Any plans or just watching the inauguration on TV?”
“We will be there.” …
In October, I was talking with a longtime member of the militant movement who says he’s a veteran of the elite special operations community. This is an older but still formidable man has always been genial with me. We were talking about the upcoming election and his conviction that there would be massive fraud when he changed his tone and veered off into a very dark place. “What ultimately happens is some people stand with Trump and some people stand against the country. Some people stand with the coup, some people stand against the coup, and nobody stands with the law or morality at that point, and that’s where the war begins,” he said. “When we actually get involved, we’re going to kill Democrats, liberals, and communists at a rate that will defy anything that’s occurred in history, and when that happens, we’re going to make sure that it’s done so thoroughly that we don’t ever have to have this argument again. … It’s going to be so ugly and ruthless. … We’re going to go to the homes of the tank operators [who would be called in to put down an insurrection] and kill their wives and their children and nail them to the walls.”
I told him I didn’t believe him. I still don’t believe him. But I’ve been thinking about what he said. And I’ve been calling him since the election with no answer.
This is why the lie is what matters. These militias have been told—not just by Alex Jones, but by the president of the United States, and the Republican minority leader in the House, and hundreds of other “responsible” mainstream figures—that they are the good guys trying to preserve American democracy from an illegal coup.