One of the main problems with the U.S. government is that there’s no way to know exactly what it’s doing because you’re not allowed to know. More than a billion federal documents (a billion!) have been declared classified and that means they’re off limits to you and all other ordinary American citizens who don’t work for the government. You’re not allowed to see them, despite the fact they belong to you. Now, no matter what you may have heard, the point of the system is not to protect the country from foreign adversaries.
Under the Biden administration, we don’t even bother to do that anymore. No, the point of the system is to take power from the voters and the officials they elect and hand that power to the permanent bureaucracy in Washington. It’s infuriating and over time it is dangerous. But for once, we can report some meaningful pushback against this regime of secrecy and deceit. Kevin McCarthy of California became speaker of the House last week, last Friday, and in one of his first big policy changes, he is pledging to let Americans see “all that happened” at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and that means finally releasing the roughly 14,000 hours of surveillance footage from that day that as of tonight remain hidden. Watch this.
HOUSE SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: Yeah, I think the public should see what has happened on that. I’ve watched what Nancy Pelosi did, where she politicized it, where for the first time in the history as a speaker, not allowing the minority to appoint to a committee, to pick and choose. We watched the politicization of this. I think the American public should actually see all what happened instead of a report that’s written for a political basis and I think the answer. We’re looking to that I want to be very thoughtful about it, but yes, I’m engaged to do that.
Well, yeah. After two full years, after a highly publicized and highly politicized congressional committee, after endless grandstanding in the media, after unprecedented political crackdowns, after nearly 1,000 arrests, after all of that, Americans, yes, they do, have a right to know what actually happened on January 6. That’s what Kevin McCarthy said.
Who could argue otherwise? What’s the counter argument? Well, there is one and Democrats have been making it in court and that’s why the footage from that day is still hidden.
Here’s an actual quote from an actual brief filed in an actual federal court by an actual left wing U.S. attorney called Channing Phillips: “National security interest could be harmed by the disclosure of the sealed CCTV videos from the Capitol. Once the capabilities of the U.S. Capitol interior surveillance camera, including its position and whether it pans, tilts or zooms, is disclosed to the public via the release of a single video from that camera, the cat is out of the bag.”
That’s it right there. You can’t know whether the Capitol’s surveillance cameras pan, tilt or zoom. and if you do know, America is in peril. It’s completely absurd. Every human movement in the United States Capitol is recorded by cameras, and you already knew that because the same is true in virtually every public building in the Western Hemisphere. That is not a secret and of course, it’s not the secret the Democrats fear you might learn if you saw the tape. They’re probably a lot more concerned about whether you’ll discover how many law enforcement agents actively helped January 6 protesters enter the building that day. Some of them definitely did. We know that for a fact because we have the tape. Watch.
MARCUS DIPAOLA/TIKTOK: Police are squabbling with protesters. Oh, there we go and they just breached the Capitol again.
So, you saw the barricades come down in front of the Capitol. In some cases, it was not actually the police who took them down. We still don’t know the identity of the people who did. Why don’t we? Well, Julie Kelly has just reported on a remarkable moment in the ongoing trial of a man called Richard Barnett. Barnett is the man photographed with his feet famously on Nancy Pelosi’s desks on January 6.
Under cross-examination for Barnett’s defense earlier this week, a U.S. Capitol Police commander called Carneysha Mendoza admitted that unidentified, but apparently highly-trained agent provocateurs were leading the crowd that day.
Here’s the exchange. The defense attorney asks, “Would it be fair to say that at least some of the leading edges of that crowd,they contained bad people or provocateurs? Is that fair?” Mendoza’s response: “It’s fair.”
Mendoza went on to confirm that these provocateurs were “highly trained, violent people who work together and coordinate together.”
Well, that’s a remarkable admission, but who were these people? Under oath, the director of the FBI has refused to deny that these provocateurs were working with federal law enforcement. Indeed, Christopher Wray of the FBI has refused to confirm or deny that FBI agents dressed as Trump supporters and breached the Capitol. Watch this.
REP. BRIAN HIGGINS: Did you have confidential human sources dressed as Trump supporters inside the Capitol on January 6 prior to the doors being open?
FBI DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER WRAY: Again, I had to be very careful.
HIGGINS: It should be a no. Can you not tell the American people ‘No. We did not have confidential human sources dressed as Trump supporters positioned inside the Capitol?’
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON Gentlemen, time has expired.
WRAY: You should not read anything into my decision not to share information.
THOMPSON: Director Wray. The gentleman’s time has expired.
Well, that’s just completely outrageous. First, it seems very obvious the FBI did have confidential sources dressed as Trump supporters inside the Capitol. but the fact is, we have, as Americans, have an absolute right to know how many FBI agents or informants participated in the January 6 riots. Why can’t we know? There’s no good reason.
FBI Director Christopher Wray wants to keep the surveillance footage hidden so we can’t know. Again, the real secret here is not whether the cameras in the Capitol pan, tilt or zoom. It’s ridiculous. The real secret is what really happened there. So, for two years, the Department of Justice has fought the release of this footage. but still, some of that footage has emerged.
Take a look at this tape. It was obtained by BuzzFeed. It was released only after a federal judge rejected the DOJ’s claim that this particular footage needed to stay secret on “national security grounds.” National security grounds.
The footage covers a 15-minute period on January 6 from 2:25 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. eastern time. Now, that’s right in the middle of the so-called insurrection. For context, 2:26 p.m. is around when Mike Pence, then the vice president, was evacuated from the Capitol. These are images from a surveillance camera at the Senate wing of the complex and they show people calmly walking around, taking pictures. Not much of a riot.
Now, that’s relevant because the DOJ is charging some of the people who enter the Capitol around this time, probably including some of the people in in those frames, with endangering the safety of Mike Pence. They’re saying the Capitol itself was a restricted area because Mike Pence was present, but it does not appear from that footage that it’s true.
Where exactly was Mike Pence at the time? People are doing jail time as a result of assumptions about that question, but the rest of us can’t verify it because the surveillance footage is still classified for national security reasons. We should see it.
That footage might also show when exactly Capitol Police officers began CPR on Rosanne Boyland, one Trump supporter who died that day, and that would be important to know as well for her family and for the rest of us.
We might also learn about why one Capitol Hill police officer on January 6, the man called Khalid Johnson, was wearing a MAGA hat as he seemed to coordinate with some of the protesters. That footage was shot by journalist Ford Fischer. You’re seeing an image of it on your screen right now, and maybe we’ll learn more about the Chewbacca guy, the guy in the Viking hat, and his activities during January 6. He’s the man now serving almost four years behind bars for declining a police officer’s halfhearted request that he take the party elsewhere.
HORNER PROTESTER: Glad to see you guys. You guys are — patriots. Look at this guy. He’s got you covered in blood. God bless him.
OFFICER: You good, sir? You need medical attention?
PROTESTER: I’m good. Thank you. I got shot in the face. I got shot in the face with some kind of plastic bullet.
OFFICER: Any chance I can get you guys to leave the…?
PROTESTOR: We will. I’ve been making sure they ain’t disrespecting the place.
OFFICER: OK. just want to let you guys know this is, like, the sacredest place.
More than half of all murders in the United States are not solved at this point because law enforcement, including federal law enforcement, can’t get its act together sufficient to solve those murders – murders! – and that guy has had his life destroyed and is spending 41 months in prison. Why? Did he do something we’re not aware of?
The surveillance footage would show us and answer that question. But big picture, if you don’t want another January 6, if you want to avoid another riot like that, you’d want as much of the footage to come out as possible. Instead, our government has been using the information blackout it claims as necessary for national security in order to do what they usually do under the cover of classification law and that’s lie to us.
Joe Biden just claimed on camera that right wing insurrectionist racists killed a Capitol police officer called William Evans. William Evans, of course, was murdered at a checkpoint by a supporter of the nation of Islam.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Three months after January 6 while they’re still cordoning off the Capitol because threats to use by the sick insurrectionists continue to be propagated on the Internet. Again, all America saw what happened when Officer Evans was killed defending the checkpoint it had to go through to get up to the Capitol because of these God-awful sick threats.
Evil thrives in secrecy. That used to be obvious to all Americans. We have a right to know and moreover, transparency is the only solution. And it looks like we’re going to get some and that’s thanks to the new speaker, Kevin McCarthy, and to the small group of Republicans who pushed him in that direction.