Donald Trump May Be Guilty of Treason in Capitol Hill Putsch
Earlier, I had ruled out Donald Trump from facing treason charges – he did not directly engage in the assault on the Capitol nor gave clear and direct orders to his followers to engage in the assault. It seemed that he was guilty of incitement, but not treason. However, recent revelations have begun to suggest that Trump may, indeed, be guilty of treason after all.
As discussed before, his followers had waged war on the United States by attacking the Capitol to overthrow the United States government and install Trump as a dictator rather than Joe Biden as president, being the constitutionally established winner of the election, taking power on January 20. I didn’t vote for Joe Biden; I’ve never once voted for the winner of the presidential election in my life after having voted in each election since 2000. However, Joe Biden won the general election without any evidence of malfeasance on his part, but rather clear evidence of malfeasance on the part of Trump. This is treason – they became enemies of the United States; and enemies of the United States must be either a state we have declared war upon, who have declared upon us, or who are involved in an insurrection attacking the United States.
However, new information about the response of the National Guard opens the possibility that Donald Trump engaged in treason himself by aiding those who engaged in war against the United States, before the fact, by putting mechanisms into play in order to prevent the military from protecting the country from a specific attack.
It has been reported that the government of the District of Columbia and the Pentagon are at odds as to why the National Guard was not deployed timely to the event. The Pentagon blames DC officials for wanting to appear nonconfrontational and stating that they would not be needing more than a minimal presence in areas such as the subway system; DC blames the Pentagon for not responding when requested. As we all know, given the rhetoric circulating online and the massive push from the President and his close circle to declare the election a fraud, it was ridiculous that the protective presence was so lax, especially as full riot gear was donned by capital police earlier this year when a Black Lives Matter protest took place outside of the Capitol. However, the Pentagon’s response was staggering.
At 1 pm, Trumpers began trying to enter the building and, given their intention, became enemies of the United States. While this was happening, Trump was addressing another contingent of supporters, urging them to go to the Capitol to “stop the steal.” At 1:34 and 1:49 pm, the District contacted the National Guard for backup. The Pentagon agreed to defend the country at 3:04 pm, an hour and a half after the initial request. In this interim, President Trump did not call in the National Guard as would be expected of him, but, rather, Mike Pence pushed the Pentagon to intercede and urged them to act more quickly than they had been. Notably, Trump has been quick to call in the National Guard in the past against left wing and Black Lives Matter protests, but opted not to when an actual attack on the United States happened and it came from his supporters – supporters to whom he personally encouraged to not be weak, but to show strength only hours before. Rather, Trump has been reported by White House staff to have been watching the insurrection with glee, only complaining that his insurrectionist army looked too low class; apparently he would rather they go in wearing suits and ties to a coup.
It was around 1:30 pm when the Capitol police were overrun by the enemy, shortly before DC requested assistance. 3:04 pm before Mike Pence got them to agree to defend our nation, and then 5:04 pm before the National Guard left the base, and 5:40 pm before they arrived at the Capitol.
This is an appalling response time for troops to arrive to defend the nation – just over four hours after it was requested. But, given the nature, it shouldn’t have had to be requested. Troops should have been on standby, ready to move out at a moment’s notice given what was likely to happen – but they were not. So what was the reason for this delay.
Flashback to November and only a week after the election, Donald Trump appointed three loyalists to high ranking military positions – a move that appeared to signal an attempt to forment a coup. Within days, he had appointed a fourth. These civilian leaders were all highly loyal to Trump personally and the New York Times feared they might be capable of bullying the military brass into initiating military operations. In an unprecedented move, several top brass recently warned Trump that using the military to overthrow the election would violate the constitution and law. A question arises as to whether or not these new loyalists were intended to initiate a coup after Trump’s loss and whether or not their influence came into play in delaying the response to the coup attempt this past Wednesday. Any such revelation would make them guilty of treason, as well as Trump if it can be shown that he directed them to do such – it would be aiding the enemy (the insurrectionists). It would also mean sedition – they would have planned out treason. It is entirely possible there was an intention to direct the military to overthrow the lawful government originally, which prompted these top brass, who were feeling pressure, to warn the President.
However, even without this being proven, treason alone can be cited by Trump – who was actively watching the mayhem – opted not to exercise his power to call in the National Guard, especially since he has an established history of doing so in the past. His failure to act can, and should, be seen as a deliberate act in order to aid people who were actively waging war on the United States – to assist him – whom he had just incited shortly before through clumsily placed dog whistles. This has more than two witnesses to his knowledge and chosen inaction, and if they will go on the record they can convict Trump.
Once again, it bears mentioning, that Democrats and top conservative media personalities, such as Rachel Maddow, have foolishly played into Trump’s hands by giving baseless accusations of treason against Trump when he first took office. They claimed loudly that he was guilty of treason because Russia helped him win an election – which ended up consisting of a low budget trolling on social media – without regard to Russia not being an enemy nor that, even if they were, it would require Trump aiding them instead of them aiding Trump. By this massive misstep, they are now afraid to name him guilty of treason once he actually has committed treason. They are the boy that cried wolf and they know that they lack credibility as a wolf has finally appeared. In a sense, they have aided him in his treason – though recklessly, not intentionally, and it does not constitute treason in and of itself.
In direct contradiction to Lindsay Graham, the only way for the nation to heal is to root out the disease that continues to spread its sickness. Adolph Hitler failed to overthrow the German government in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 only to become Fuhrer a decade later. The irrationalism employed by Trump and his forces will only serve to maintain and grow a divide between Americans in the hopes of starting a civil war. One example of a call for this bloody war posted around is quite chillling, bringing memories of Daschau, the first Nazi concentration camp dedicated to their political enemies: socialists, Communists, and anarchists.
With murderous fascists feeling empowered and riled up, the country cannot heal – they must be dealt with on every single front. They must be deplatformed – they do not engage in rational discourse but rather adhere to irrationalism where one rejects an objective truth and writes off all reasoning as post hoc (after the fact) rationalizations of conclusions at which one has already arrived. Those who have engaged in treason or sedition must be punished to the full extent of the law and be placed behind bars. Our schools need to teach critical thinking and how to weigh sources rather than teaching to multiple choice tests. Trump and his cogent followers must be discredited and publicly shamed for their actions. Germany did not heal from Nazism by ignoring the crimes committed, nor can we heal from it by ignoring it.
However, a frightening suggestion is bubbling through Capitol Hill right now: they are considering legislation to target political extremists as domestic terrorists and crush them. However, everything that has happened is already illegal and doesn’t need new definitions of crimes to deal with – with the possible exception of the intentional telling of disinformation. Of course, the threat is right wing extremism that is leading to this – it is right wing extremists that are the number one terror threat in the United States, not extremists on both sides, and being extreme is not necessarily violent. There are extreme pacifists on the left, for example. However, such powers have not only traditionally subscribed to the well debunked horseshoe theory when being created, but have been traditionally been employed more thoroughly on the left rather than the right. In particular, it threatens to see actions taken against anti-fascists who have been the primary defense the United States has against right wing and white supremacist terrorism over the past four years. Trump has salivated to get such a law passed over his tenure.
We need to focus on prosecuting the traitors and those who incited them now with a long term program to fight irrationalism, rather than fighting mere strong political views. We should be revisiting things such as free education from pre-school/head start through doctorates as well educated people are less likely to fall for irrationalism and more likely to be aware of what to look for. We should be making sure that our educational system embraces the liberal arts (which does not mean ideologically liberal) so that people are aware of this. We should be making sure people are relaxed enough and have sufficient incomes so that they aren’t easy targets for irrationalism, but rather have ready minds. Ideally we would remove the extreme excesses caused by capitalism since the ability to propagate such irrationalist propaganda comes from a monied class that has the sort of resources to produce things such as the Q Anon conspiracy, by abolishing capitalism, but Joe Biden clearly will not go there no matter what.
The inequities of capitalism have created this mess. The desire of of the greediest of the super rich to create an easily manipulated worker who cannot think critically but knows just enough to be an effective worker has created easily manipulated members of the working class who have been manipulated by fascist propaganda, immune to facts. The level of inequity neoliberalism has created cannot be defended rationally and so rationalism seems to have been abandoned. The diversion of attention from the source of this inequity, adding up to $50 trillion in excess wealth being taken from the working class from the owners of capital taking a larger share, as workers’ income essentially being frozen for the past 45 years, by scapegoating immigrants or the rise in equity between white workers and nonwhite workers has led to extreme and misdirected violence. The neoliberal program of austerity has left us with a desperate working class clinging for answers but unable to differentiate between effective answers and dangerous missteps. We can set back the clock by making capitalism more liveable à la Bernie Sanders or we can remove the disease altogether, but we cannot move forward by continuing a procorporate agenda that starves workers so that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk can continue to gather more wealth than they can ever hope to use. This inequality killed the American Dream. We cannot defeat fascism by ignoring its root causes. Joe Biden cannot continue renegging on his already muted campaign promises but must instead exceed them and forsake an entire career of being on the wrong side of history.
Featured Image via Al Jazeera. Fair Use.
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