Why Not Award Ashli Babbitt’s Killer the Medal of Honor?

What follows describes our oligarchy’s terrible trilemma concerning their narrative of January 6. 

Multiple sourceschiefly the U.S government by its efforts to hide himidentify Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael L. Byrd as the officer who killed Ashli Babbitt as she was attempting to climb through a window to enter the House Speaker’s lobby that day. Were this identification incorrect, the certainty that the correct one is surfacing in secretless D.C. reminds our oligarchy of how hazardous are the foundations on which it set the ruling narrative that it narrowly thwarted the supposed “greatest menace to our democracy since the Civil War”armed, white insurrectionists in the act of overthrowing the U.S. government, by courageous police work and prosecutions.

From Joe Biden to the lowest ranks of the Justice Department and the media, the oligarchy had bet, in the name of national security, it could stonewall for the long run about who exactly did what on January 6. A forlorn bet, especially since the narrative on which the oligarchy rests its right to intimidate its opponents depends so much on affirming the virtuosity of its acts of oppressionforemost of which was shooting and killing Babbitt. But if the killing was a salvific act, why hide the killer? Why not celebrate him? 

Most forthrightly Biden could award Lt. Byrd (or someone else) the Congressional Medal of Honor in a solemn Oval Office ceremony and read the citation to the American people. 

For the citation’s preamble, the White House need only crib statements over the past six months from the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and just about every civil, military, corporate, and media authority figure in the land. Because if the people who assembled around or coursed through the Capitol on January 6 really were an armed mob organized by enemies of the Constitution and about to overthrow it, then stopping them by placing one deadly shot into the person leading the charge was an act of rare skill and courage, deserving honor and thanks. That’s a preamble the American people already know by heart.

Oh, the Facts!

Medal of Honor citations, however, consist of detailed descriptions of the act being celebrated. They detail the enemy, the circumstances, and the danger that the awardee took upon himself to save others. They explain to Americans as well as to the awardee why all of us should ever be proud of him. 

Hence, detail and transparency are essential to the ceremony. Who was the enemy on January 6? Who were the white supremacists, and who organized them? The U.S government has spent countless millions developing databases on white supremacists, whom it officially considers the principal threat to the American people’s security. Surely, it can publish the list it has compiled that shows who endangered what. And if it refuses to do so because those on that list might sue for slander, perhaps that list is not one of facts but of political innuendo. 

But the U.S government does know for a fact that certain organizations were involved, somehow, in planning the showiest parts of what happened January 6. And it knows that because persons who at least took part in deciding what the organizations did and did not doif indeed they did not control those actionswere paid by the FBI and other government agencies. 

The so-called “Proud Boys,” often cited as a “far-Right” organization and said to be somehow responsible for January 6, was led by one Enrique Tarrio, an FBI informant. The so-called Oath Keepers, the group most cited and said by government sources to be most involved in that day’s events, is led by one Stewart Rhodes, another FBI asset. 

In fact, the Justice Department lists some 15 participants in the event against whom it brings no charges, either for “insurrection” or even for trespassing, because these individuals are paid infiltrators. They work for the FBI or other U.S. intelligence agencies. The U.S. government refuses to expose what these persons did because they did it on the government’s behalf. 

Because the government had such a handbig and unpalatable to Americansin the events of January 6, it is now impossible for the U.S. government to detail factually who “the enemy” was on January 6 without indicting itself. 

That is why the Biden Administration’s Justice Department is holding, without bail in solitary confinement, persons whom it unofficially accuses of “insurrection” but, officially, for the most part, can prove only that they trespassed and interfered with official proceedings.

That is because the alleged intent to overthrow the government, if there was such, came from the FBI’s own infiltrators, who are the only witnesses, the only source of testimony, about the supposed intent of the trespassers. That is why the government tries to drag out “investigations” to intimidate and press detainees to agree to some form of self-incrimination, and does all it can to prevent the events of January 6 from coming into the public adversarial judicial proceedings as prescribed by the Constitution and laws. 

Since the government won’t give a credible account about “the enemy” from whom Lt. Byrd (or whomever) saved America on January 6much less tell the transparent truthwhat can it tell us to justify a Medal of Honor? 

Perhaps Ashli Babbitt was leading a company of heavily armed commandos, trained and ready to kill or capture our elected representatives? But there is no evidence that the people behind Ashli knew each other or were armed, and none about their intentions. What about Babbitt herself? Was she armed, as a commando? Or did she look like a fearsome ninja? No, she was unarmed. And, weighing 110 pounds, she would hardly trigger physical fears in females of ordinary sizemuch less in a seasoned male cop, twice her size, armed with a semi automatic Glocknot the standard 9 mm, but the sure-kill .40 caliber kind. 

Clearly, whoever in the White House were to be tasked with writing a Medal Of Honor citation would have a hard time. 

Sooner or later, however, somebody may be handed that job. Why? Because if killing Ashli Babitt was not an honorable deed, then it was cowardly first-degree murder in the service of a lie. Much of the U.S. oligarchy shares responsibility for that crime, because so many of its members have taken part in covering it up. As usual in Washington, the coverup ends up being far more serious and revealing than the crime. Perhaps Attorney General Merrick Garland will recall that one of his predecessors, John Mitchell, spent time in Club Fed for helping to cover up a far lesser crime. 

Between a Rock . . .  

But if honoring Lt. Byrd (or whomever) is impossible, throwing him under the proverbial bus may be the only path to preserving some integrity for the “January 6 insurrection” narrative so important to the oligarchy’s plans to retain power. 

Byrd’s background lends itself to the scheme. Sure, he’s Pelosi’s boy. But it seems colleagues dislike himwhispering to the media that he left a loaded Glock in a men’s room and bragged that his connections would shield him from the consequences. But even if he were a saint, there is no alternative scapegoat for the government’s misdeeds on January 6. 

Yet throwing the scapegoat under the bus is itself problematic if only because, coming so late, after massive stonewalling, it is itself a red flag of a bigger cover up. One so obvious as to be palatable only to the faceless executives at Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Its brazenness might well be too much for this world’s Lester Holts. 

More important, the effective admission that none of January 6’s demonstrators willfully injured anyone, and that the only willful injurer was a government agent, enlivens the question of what all the other government agents involved in that day’s events were doing. Not only the ones who were trying to manipulate organizations that exist largely because of government infiltrators, but also the Capitol Police who physically attacked and egged on peaceful demonstrators. There is a lot of video on that. 

Once the government admits that its most obvious January 6 actor is not worthy of a Medal of Honor, and that it has been covering up something indefensible, by what credible argument can it refuse to release videos of eventsand to provide witnesses under oathabout who ordered whom to do what on January 6? 

All of the above suggests that the narrative of a white supremacist attempted coup on January 6 will tumble on its makers the moment serious persons push.


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About Angelo Codevilla

Angelo M. Codevilla was a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He was professor of international relations at Boston University and the author of several books including To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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