January 6 as Distraction from Afghanistan, Other Crises

While Taliban forces rapidly overtook territories across Afghanistan earlier this month, Joe Biden held an overdramatic ceremony at the White House to once again perpetuate phony narratives about the events of January 6. Biden, falsely claiming officers died as a result of the Capitol protest, signed legislation passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal to the United States Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police for their actions that day.

“A mob of extremists and terrorists launched a violent and deadly assault on the people’s house,” Biden said on August 5. “It wasn’t dissent. It wasn’t debate. It wasn’t democracy. It was insurrection. It was riot and mayhem. It was radical and chaotic.”

Ten days later, an actual mob of extremists and terrorists launched an assault to seize the Afghan capital in the most humiliating defeat of American political and military leadership in at least half a century. Biden, reportedly stunned by the success of an actual insurrection on his watch, remained in hiding at Camp David all weekend.

The war in Afghanistan, unlike January 6, has been deadly, costly, and largely futile. Lawmakers of both parties now are asking tough questions about how our exit went so wrong, so quickly. Finger-pointing is happening in all different directions.

The juxtaposition of the two events, however, shows how preposterous the framing of January 6 has been from the start. It also underscores the dangerous consequences of the ruling class’ nonstop fixation on the Capitol protest.

Political, intelligence, law enforcement, and defense leaders have shamefully redirected resources and time from real crises to perpetuate the falsehood that white supremacist domestic terrorists attempted to overthrow “democracy”—whatever that means—and that jihadi-like cells of Trump supporters, not foreign adversaries, pose the most significant threat to the homeland.

For more than seven months, official Washington has been in meltdown mode over the four-hour January 6 disturbance on Capitol Hill. A day doesn’t go by without some uniformed apparatchik—from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to an undercover narcotics cop—reminding the American people that their own countrymen are wannabe terrorists, ready to strike again. 

This unhinged obsession, bolstered on an hourly basis by the national news media, allows those in charge to ignore any number of real national emergencies including rising crime and escalating numbers of illegal immigrants entering the country, to name just a couple. Manufactured outrage about the imminent menace of “domestic terrorism” is fiddling while the country burns.

A second impeachment charade and months of political wrangling over the creation of a January 6 commission preoccupied the focus of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Biden’s top administration officials, rather than keep a collective eye on the ball of what’s happening overseas or in violent cities across the country, have placed retribution for the massive anti-Biden protest on January 6 at the top of their list.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by now-embattled General Mark Milley, released a statement on January 13 to reiterate the Democrats’ script about January 6. “We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events,” the leaders wrote. (One of the “others” was Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran with eight tours of duty abroad, who was killed by a yet to be officially named Capitol police officer. And the deaths of the police officers have since been determined to have been the result of causes unrelated to the protest.) “The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”

Shortly after taking office, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Milley announced a 60-day “stand down” order to identify and root out “extremism” in the ranks of the U.S. military. According to his spokesman, “Austin hosted a meeting with all of the service secretaries and the service chiefs to talk about extremism in the military . . . so that each service, each command, each unit can take the time out to have these needed discussions with the men and women of the force,” John Kirby told reporters on February 3.

FBI Director Christopher Wray in March designated January 6 as an act of “domestic terrorism,” signaling to his department and the rest of Team Biden that any comparison between the Capitol protest and terrorist activity isn’t just political propaganda, but the official government position. His agents continue to hunt down protesters, raid their homes, and arrest trespassers to add more notches to the Democrats’ “insurrection” body count, which now stands at over 550 defendants and climbing each week.

New government slush funds have been created to bolster fears over “domestic terrorism.” Attorney General Merrick Garland repeatedly compares January 6 to the Oklahoma City bombing and his 2022 budget proposal asks for more than $100 million “to address the rising threat of domestic terrorism.”

State and local agencies have been invited to spend at least $77 million to help combat domestic terrorism under a new program authorized by Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s homeland security secretary. “For the first time, I have designated combating domestic violent extremism as a ‘National Priority Area,’” Mayorkas announced in February. “Today the most significant terrorist threat facing the nation comes from lone offenders and small groups of individuals who commit acts of violence motivated by domestic extremist ideological belief.”

In her first official act, Avril Haines, Biden’s director of national intelligence, released a dubious report claiming “domestic violent extremists” are prepared to attack the country in 2021. Haines, who learned all the tricks of the politicized intelligence trade from her former boss, CIA Director John Brennan, warned that “newer sociopolitical developments—such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence—will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year.” Just to make her point unmistakable, Haines included a sketch of the U.S. Capitol building in the document.

The same intelligence community now is under fire for reportedly failing to notify the White House how dire the situation was in Afghanistan. Others insist Biden and his advisors ignored warnings about what could happen. “No, US intelligence did NOT get it wrong on Afghanistan,” Senator Marco Rubio tweeted Monday morning. “The incompetent people in the Biden Administration decided to ignore it in favor of their own wishful thinking.”

But even as Afghanistan started to fall apart, the Biden regime kept pushing more phony narratives about the events of January 6. In June, Milley said he wanted to understand “white rage” and how it prompted the events of January 6. “What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?” Milley asked aloud during a congressional hearing on June 23. “What caused that? I want to find that out.” That same month, Milley and Austin also concluded the risk of terrorists gaining control of Afghanistan was “medium” and at least two years away.

Over the weekend, Milley had to take a brief recess from his “white rage” fact-finding mission to backtrack on his June comments about Afghanistan; he told lawmakers on a call Sunday that a revised assessment on the threat level is forthcoming.

And as Kabul was ready to fall to Taliban insurgents late last week, DHS chief Mayorkas issued another national security bulletin on “domestic violent extremists.” The man who just admitted the border situation is out of control and “unsustainable” as record numbers of illegal immigrants pour into the country warned about U.S. citizens—not untraceable noncitizens breaking U.S. immigration law—who “may contribute to more violence this year.”

Was the catastrophe in Afghanistan avoidable? Probably. Is there any doubt that the unjustified obsession with January 6 and farcical hunt for “domestic terrorists” across the country helped deplete the limited attention span of Washington’s ruling class and set the stage for this tragedy? No.

Plenty of questions will be asked in the aftermath of the rapid fall of Afghanistan. How top officials traded the security and stability of Afghanistan, and by extension, America, to instead promote unfounded fears about white domestic terrorists should be at the top of the list.

About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of ‘Happy Hour podcast with Julie and Liz.’ She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

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