So, now we discover that the civilian administration of the Pentagon forbade the head of the Washington, DC National Guard for initiating any action in the event that the January 6 protests went pear shaped.
It sounds to me like the White House had a lot more foreknowledge of the Capitol Insurrection, and they the manipulated the instruments of the state for foment those actions.
I’m thinking that former Army Secretary McCarthy has got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do:
The commander of the D.C. National Guard said the Pentagon restricted his authority ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, requiring higher-level sign-off to respond that cost time as the events that day spiraled out of control.
Local commanders typically have the power to take military action on their own to save lives or prevent significant property damage in an urgent situation when there isn’t enough time to obtain approval from headquarters.
But Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, said the Pentagon essentially took that power and other authorities away from him ahead of the short-lived insurrection on Jan. 6. That meant he couldn’t immediately roll out troops when he received a panicked phone call from the Capitol Police chief warning that rioters were about to enter the U.S. Capitol.
“All military commanders normally have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions — federal property and life,” Walker said in an interview. “But in this instance I did not have that authority.”
Walker and former Army secretary Ryan D. McCarthy, along with other top officials, briefed the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday behind closed doors about the events, the beginning of what is likely to become a robust congressional inquiry into the preparations for a rally that devolved into a riot at the Capitol, resulting in five people dead and representing a significant security failure.
But the restrictions the Pentagon placed on Walker also contributed to the delay. He needed to wait for approval from McCarthy and acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller before dispatching troops, even though some 40 soldiers were on standby as a quick reaction force. That standby force had been assembled in case the few hundred Guard members deployed that day on the District’s streets to assist police with traffic control and crowd management needed help, Walker said.
McCarthy said he worked hard to ensure authority was pushed back down the chain of command to Walker ahead of the inauguration, during which Walker oversaw the 25,600 troops that came to the District. As for the preparations ahead of Jan. 6, McCarthy said, “It was everyone just being very careful. When you go back to times when we’ve done this, like June, we wanted to make sure we were very careful about the employment — careful about fragmentary orders.”
Had he not been restricted, Walker said he could have dispatched members of the D.C. Guard sooner. Asked how quickly troops could have reached the Capitol, which is two miles from the D.C. Guard headquarters at the Armory, Walker said, “With all deliberate speed — I mean, they’re right down the street.”
Walker recalled how Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who has since resigned, asked him on a call in the run-up to Jan. 6 to have National Guard troops at the ready.
“All he said was, ‘If I call you, will you be able to help?’ ” Walker said. “And I said, ‘Yes, but I need permission. So send a formal request,’ and I never got it, until after the fact.”
The request came, but only at 1:49 p.m. the day of the attempted insurrection. Sund called Walker to say rioters were about to breach the building and the Capitol Police would soon request urgent backup.
“I told him I had to get permission from the secretary of the Army and I would send him all available guardsmen but as soon as I got permission to do so,” Walker said. “I sent a message to the leadership of the Army, letting them know the request that I had received from Chief Sund.”
Permission from the Pentagon to activate the full D.C. Guard wouldn’t come for another hour and fifteen minutes, according to a Defense Department timeline of events, as members of Congress barricaded themselves in their offices and hid from a marauding horde trying to undo the results of the Nov. 3 election. It would take nearly three hours before Miller authorized the D.C. Guard to “re-mission” and help the Capitol Police establish a perimeter around the Capitol.
In an interview with The Post, Sund recalled Army staff director, Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, saying, “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background.”
Piatt, in a statement, initially saidhe didn’t make those remarks or any comments similar to them. Later, he backtracked, saying he didn’t recall citing such concerns but note-takers in the room told him he may have said that. Piatt, who wasn’t in the chain of command, was leading the call while waiting for the Army secretary to receive approval for the full activation of the D.C. Guard from Miller.
Memos obtained by The Post show how tightly the Pentagon restricted Walker ahead of the events.
In a Jan. 5 memo, the Army secretary, who is Walker’s direct superior in the chain of command, prohibited him from deploying the quick reaction force composed of 40 soldiers on his own and said any rollout of that standby group would first require a “concept of operation,” an exceptional requirement given that the force is supposed to respond to emergencies.
McCarthy was also restricted by his superior, Miller. In a Jan. 4 memo, McCarthy was prohibited from deploying D.C. Guard members with weapons, helmets, body armor or riot control agents without defense secretary approval. McCarthy retained the power to deploy the quick reaction force “only as a last resort.”
It’s patently clear that the civilian leadership of the Pentagon, and possibly elements of the uniformed services, intended to hamstring an effective response against a a violent protest against the electoral vote certification.
What needs to be known now is how the White House passed these directives down the chain of command.
It’s important for the impeachment.