An email that never reached the heights. That was the only notice that the FBI sent to the Capitol Police the night before Three Kings Day, when the ‘Save America’ demonstration headed towards the legislative palace where the result of the elections was certified by orders of Donald Trump, who he saw in the mob his last chance to cling to power.
Neither Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, nor Sergeants at Arms Paul Irving and Michael Stenger ever saw that email that collected anonymous conversations captured on social media about groups talking about an attack. The night before he reached an officer from the anti-terrorist group, who forwarded him to the intelligence division of the corps.
Stenger, who resigned due to the flagrant security breach that left the Capitol unprotected in the face of “a planned and coordinated attack in several states like nothing he had seen before” in his entire career, declared this Tuesday, lamenting before the senators that the FBI did not I would have picked up the phone to let him know. None of this had come out in the preparation meetings held the previous days, despite the fact that, now it is known, there were many signs that the intelligence did not collect properly. As in the 9/11 attacks, the FBI is in the pillory for having failed to detect and adequately warn about what was brewing.
The Pentagon resisted sending in the National Guard and took more than an hour to authorize the deployment
“We adequately prepared for a massive demonstration with potential for violence, but what happened was a coordinated military-style assault on a Capitol capture, Sund defended himself to the senators. Five people died that day and 140 officers were injured. Two committed suicide in the following days. Some lost eyes, fingers, suffered heart attacks and were dragged down the steps in public lynching. Stenger says he didn’t learn of the FBI report until this past weekend, as he was preparing for the Senate hearing at which he testified Tuesday.
The other sticking point that came to light was the Pentagon’s resistance to sending National Guard troops. Washington DC Police Chief Robert Contee said he was “stunned” that an hour and a half after his men had come to the aid of the Capitol agents, the military commanders of the National Guard and the Army they were lazy during an emergency call in which they were asked to send troops immediately. It would take more than an hour to approve the deployment. Troops did not arrive at the Capitol until dusk, at 5:40 p.m., four and a half hours after the resigned Capitol Police Chief called for help.
Given the obvious lack of military cooperation, as soon as he hung up the phone, the Washington DC Police Chief sought help from all the police forces between Washington and New Jersey. As the capital of the United States was not a state of the Union, but a federal district, only the president had the power to deploy the National Guard, and everyone knows what the commander in chief was doing at that time, who had fed to the masses with lies about an alleged electoral fraud: “His inadmissible conduct did not end when the violence began,” accused the leader of his party in the Senate Mitch McConnell, minutes after acquitting him of the impeachment on an alleged technicality. “I was watching the same live television as the rest of the world and, according to public reports, happily.”
The new attorney general who this Tuesday was facing questioning by senators at his confirmation hearing assured that he will urge the Department of Justice to investigate what happened and purge responsibilities to the top of the chain of command, regardless of who falls. As a candidate for office, Merrick Garland has had the hearing that Republicans denied him these days when Barack Obama nominated him for Supreme Court Justice, but he showed no sign of resentment. On the contrary, the kindness and sense of honor of which he displayed paves the way for him to the position, from which he promises to fight against the domestic terrorism posed by the neo-Nazi militias recruited by Trumpism.