[UPDATE at bottom. Original was published at 5:35 PM EST on 3 March under the headline: “Note: Report that ‘militia’ group is planning attack on U.S. Capitol makes no sense.” – J.E.]
As always, it’s difficult to divine exactly what’s going on. But the important thing that can’t be going on is a foreseen but uninterdicted attempt by an actual, “identified” militia group to actually breach the U.S. Capitol complex.
Although most people understand this, I think, it’s worth briefly going through why this tale has no hope of being true. (Regarding the quick understanding, just ask the obvious question of the Capitol Police: “If you know this, why are you just whining to the public about it?”)
The report is that, as summarized by NPR, “The U.S. Capitol Police says that it is aware of a threat by an identified militia group to breach the Capitol complex on Thursday.”
Quoting a statement from the Capitol Police, NPR reiterates: the USCP “obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”
NPR also says that “The statement is at odds with an advisory sent to members of Congress by the acting House sergeant-at-arms, Timothy Blodgett, this week. Blodgett, who took over after Paul Irving resigned the post in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, said that the significance of the March 4 date ‘has reportedly declined amongst various groups in recent days.’ He added that the Capitol Police had ‘no indication that groups will travel to Washington D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence.’”
Mr. Blodgett’s comment conforms to reason and common sense.
As for the statement from the USCP, three conditions militate decisively against it being true.
One is that there is no way a lightly armed militia force can get near the Capitol complex to attempt a breach. Making any such attempt would require taking down at least a portion of the outer defenses, which would require time performing exposed, visible operations. The initial breach would have to be exploited immediately by a larger force – the assembling and deployment of which would be as noticeable on the Capitol perimeter as the arrival of a tsunami or a plague of locusts.
Is that going to happen in the streets around the Capitol complex? Of course not. Even if the “militia” had somehow taken up residence in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, it could not possibly approach the complex from any direction unnoticed.
Nor is there any such possibility as tunneling or standoff targeting with man-portable mortars, rockets, etc. The latter would require immediate follow-on exploitation of any breach (or distraction) achieved, which again would mean detectably assembling a large force right outside the Capitol complex.
Short of such relatively drastic tactics, there’s no “breaching” of the Capitol. That brings up the second condition, which is that if someone were known to be making breaching plans, the scope of the plans would have to be such that the FBI would already be arresting the planners.
The Metro D.C. Police, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Park Police, and of course the National Guard – all would be aware that they were looking for these people. The NPR report speaks of whether a militia might travel to Washington, D.C. for organized violence, but about 60 seconds’ worth of thought clarifies that if U.S. agencies are alerted to the threat and merely doing their jobs, an “identified militia” can’t possibly insert itself into the District, with a combat load of weapons and equipment, and then deploy without let or hindrance at a time of its choosing.
Conditions one and two point therefore to the third condition. There’s no point in breaching the Capitol complex. The only point, if someone out there had one, would be attacking the Capitol to destroy it. Nothing less than that would have a purpose, because there’s nothing less than that for which a “breach” would work.
Certainly not a breach attempted with nothing but grappling hooks and ropes, sledgehammers, bottle rockets in a van down the street, and maybe some small arms blocks away. The 6 January breach can’t be repeated now.
No one has a purpose for trying it. The “4 March” tale is about the old presidential inauguration date; breaching the Capitol as a sort of hopeless gesture on that day would be deranged – and even if you think militias make deranged plans, see condition two. They’d be under arrest already.
There seem to be people talking on chat boards and other social media about 4 March, and speculating that something is supposed to happen that day. I’m all for keeping an eye on any that are making instigating noises.
But if they have really been making plans, and they’re not arrested before they show up with the first pipe bomb or break out the first wire-cutter, we’ll know with certainty that anything they are found doing on 4 March, they were allowed to do, by law enforcement agencies that claimed in advance to know better.
We’ll also know, if they aren’t found to have an arsenal to rival a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, that they didn’t have any serious plan to begin with.
And that should fatally prejudice our every judgment about what we’re told afterward.
This is an illegitimate tyranny. https://t.co/ThUSatODAU
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) March 4, 2021