By now it’s clear that federal law enforcement had some degree of infiltration among the crowds gathered at the Capitol on January 6. Intelligence reports released publicly days before the incident indicated “militias” and loosely organized groups of individuals intended to act violently that day. It’s unlikely those reports were based solely on Parler posts.
Based on the available camera footage, it appears that key individuals were leading the assaults on protected points of entry. One prominent militia leader, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, appears to have actively planned and directed individuals both on the day of the incident and in the days leading up to it. Yet he remains a free man. This is in drastic contrast to the dozens of Americans currently being denied due process in a Justice Department prison in our nation’s capital.
Our law enforcement and intelligence community officials need to answer some basic questions—questions that can be answered without “exposing sources or methods” or resorting to excuses about classification.
Normally, the FBI oversees domestic human intelligence operations that pertain to terrorism. This helps keep conflicts between law enforcement and intelligence agencies at a minimum. Human intelligence operations are very sensitive in nature, which in turn has given rise to extensive documentation and oversight.
Congress should subpoena the director of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. field office, the chief of station for the CIA’s national resources office in D.C., the director of the D.C. Joint Terrorism Task Force, the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police and ask them the following questions under oath:
1) How many confidential human sources (CHS), intelligence sources, agents, informants, or undercover law enforcement officers were present at the Capitol on January 6?
2) What role did these sources/agents/undercovers (SAUs) play during the events of the day?
3) How and what did the SAUs report to their controlling officers on January 6 and prior to that day?
4) How many SAUs were in direct contact with individuals currently detained or charged by the Justice Department?
5) How much involvement were SAUs allowed to have in illegal activity on January 6 or prior to that day?
6) Were the SAUs instructed to report threats of imminent danger? How many reported any plans to attack prior to January 6 or attacks in progress that day?
7) Prior to January 6, how many SAUs had infiltrated or were reporting on groups or individuals planning violence against the Capitol?
Congress should also demand that the Capitol Police release all footage from the 6th so the actions of the SAUs may be verified against their own testimony.
Congress should also subpoena all operational documents pertaining to SAUs and their handlers and take testimony under oath to determine how much influence the U.S. government had in the events of January 6.
Candid answers to these questions are vital. Americans have been fed a divisive narrative about January 6 as an “insurrection.” We need to know we can trust our law enforcement and intelligence services.
Our intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies exist to protect the American people. I honorably and proudly served in our intelligence community in the military as green beret and in the CIA as a paramilitary operations officer. To accomplish our mission, we have been afforded a great deal of trust by the American people.
Sadly, many senior leaders in our community have abused this trust in recent years, while the rank-and-file of these organizations risk their lives daily. Therefore, it is essential that we be upfront and transparent with the public about what happened on January 6—and do all we can to discourage activity that might cause us to grow further apart and distrustful of those who are supposed to protect us. Our system of government is built on this trust, it is our duty to safeguard that trust.