There may be diverging perspectives, but to me the most interesting question is the extent to which law enforcement, especially the FBI, was involved in January 6th. I know a lot of people will regard the notion as a conspiracy theory, but there is enough eyebrow raising (something Pelosi knows a little something about) evidence to warrant a more thorough inquiry. And by thorough, I mean an inquiry where the FBI is actually required to answer questions. I understand the argument that the FBI can't endanger its operatives during "ongoing operations" but I fear that excuse can also be used as a very convenient loophole to avoid accountability in instances of malfeasance.

Expand full comment

How about this, to meet in the middle:

1. There should be voter ID as a basic voter security measure.

2. It must be free and easy to get.

3. There must be a paper audit trail to verify votes.

4. Techniques that could compromise the secret ballot (including some kinds of ballot harvesting) should be prohibited.

5. Voting in person in a limited period should be the default, absent unusual circumstances.

6. The authorities must commit sufficient resources to avoid long voting lines.

How hard can this be, for Pete's sake? Regardless of what you think of the 2020 election, we should take measures so that there can be ready verification, a quick tally of the vote so that the winner is announced the same day, and reasonable convenience combined with security,

Expand full comment

Ted Cruz: How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?

Jill Sanborn: Sir, I can't answer that.

Ted Cruz: Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on January 6th?

Jill Sanborn: I can't answer that sir.

Ted Cruz: Did any FBI agents or FBI informants actively encourage and incite crimes of violence on January 6th?

Jill Sanborn: Sir, I can't answer that.

I think that it's fairly cut & dried. The FBI are innocent and there is absolutely nothing to see here. Back to sleep America.

Expand full comment

Italians have a word, "dietrologia," which is the art of detecting the more sinister reason hidden behind an official explanation.

Expand full comment

After watching the peaceful protests of 2020, the Capitol rioters looked like amateurs. Let's face it. This was a pathetic attempt at rioting. None of them were armed with frozen water bottles or fireworks. You have to know that many have guns at home but they didn't bring them. Everyone was easily identifiable with distinct clothing and few masks.

No one set fire to a single dumpster. Not even one! No one was tagging anything. Some were even taking selfies with the Capitol Police! Hello!!? ACAB anyone? Most of them just wandered into the Capitol like it was no big deal. Everyone knows that it is smash and burn time once you get into the building. If they were even remotely organized, they could have set fire to the whole place! They didn't even have a bail fund established. Amateurs!

When I watch a riot, I have certain expectations. Minimum standards of deviance need to be adhered to. It only lasted for 3-4 hours. I expect a riot to persist for at least a week. There are some cats in Portland and Seattle that could teach them a thing or two. I really hope that they think about that next time. I'm definitely not watching the next one unless they get their shit together.

Expand full comment

In the eyes of the media/corporate/big tech complex, one world view is clearly more equal than the other. When a government turns on say, more than 40% of its own people with a constant drumbeat of false narratives, it can't be pretty, no matter where you are on the political spectrum.

Expand full comment
Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Matt Goetz and Marjorie Taylor-the GOP has the worst admin in history dropped into their electoral laps and the best they can promote is an accused sex trafficker and Alex Jones in a skirt?!?!

Expand full comment

In case any of you still misinformation-ally think that anything nefarious happened last January 6th regarding the FBI, the Financial Times is here to set your mind at ease.


"Psy-ops are a crucial weapon in the war against disinformation"

So you see if the Feds were inciting violence it was for the protesters own good.

Maybe the FBI saw that the protesters were overweight & they knew the physical exertion of storming the Bastille would help the crowd burn off some calories.

Maybe the FBI just wanted the protesters to have nice patriotic backgrounds for their selfies since, in the end, that seemed to be the major reason they stormed the Bastille in the 1st place.

Maybe the Feds saw the crowds aimlessly wandering around & were just trying to empower their sightseeing trip with a visit to the Capitol.

In the end we're still left with a mystery. But I'm almost 10% sure it isn't a nefarious mystery.

I mean, it's not like the FBI has a long and storied history inciting violence among dissident groups.


Expand full comment
Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 13, 2022

"The government attacked the people that day."

Bull and shit. MAGAs invaded and attacked the Capitol that day, some in pitiful insurrectional hopes of stopping Congress from certifying Biden as President, others because they liked hurting people and breaking things. Donald Trump committed felony-level dereliction of duty in refusing to stop them. All other versions are a damn lie.

Ashli Babbitt? I'm sorry she's dead. That's not snark, I wish nobody had died or been bloodied that day, including her, and including all the cops with permanent injuries from the mob. But when you willingly join a riot, invade the Capitol, and move to the very front of the battle line, don't be surprised when your life becomes Omaha Beach on D-Day.

That said, absolutely, release the videos. Every pixel. The videos of the Trump Rally, the march, Trump watching the riot on television with glee and instant replays, the invasion of the Capitol, the destruction and injuries within and without, all of it. Release every foot. I will be happy to watch it all, because it will further prove what we already know:

This was a Red Hat Riot whose goal was to stop the vote count.

Expand full comment

I don’t buy the false flag arguments or that the FBI was setting it up. They may have been encouraging some misdeeds but the riot was its own thing. However, I think Matt is spot on that Trump was not acting like someone attempting a coup. Trump believed he’d been cheated and so did many of his followers. And the Dems sure acted guilty and don’t seem to care how obvious they are about it. Just look at that Time Magazine article about “fortifying” the election. They are practically bragging about how they cheated and they know the media will cover for them.

Expand full comment

Good column from Ross Douthat (who i generally don't have much time for) in the NYT about the Walter book How Civil Wars Start.


Questions the plot against Whitmer and the obvious involvement of the FBI.

Some things i really don't get. As much as i loathed George Bush, never did i ever think he had anything to do with planning 9/11. I can't imagine why the FBI would be involved with plan a kidnapping of Whitmer. Wtf would be the intended end game here? Ditto 1/6, if the FBI was involved. Trump lost, and yeah, a lot of people contested it. So let's go for the total overkill? I happen to believe Biden won it as legitimately as any of our elections can be (like i think Trump won '16.) But if Dems wanted to plant a doubt in my mind, FBI involvement in / planning of 1/6 would be the way to do it.

If there's supposedly going to be some sort of civil war (presumably between Rs and Ds), where does that leave the large percentage of the electorate who don't have a team and are disgusted by both parties?

Expand full comment

It’s nice to be able to go to one source to see what both sides are saying and doing—and to feel like I’m being informed without feeling like I’m being manipulated.

Expand full comment

I increasingly suspect that the January 6th riot at the Capitol was a set up designed to do exactly what it did; the rioters making fools of themselves, humiliating their movement, getting arrested, having Trump impeached and spawning a “domestic terrorism” law - that will ultimately be used primarily against the left.  This trap was a fabulous success, accomplishing all those goals. Qui bono?

Expand full comment

With JFK redux a la Oliver Stone back in the news (and on Showtime) one wonders..."how long will this footage be hidden/censored from investigators and the public?" The truth is in the footage. Thousands of demonstrators (tens or hundreds of thousands?) walked to the capitol. How many were involved in "violence?" Who were they? What did the Capitol police do? Note the footage of police armed and in riot gear with semi-auto weapons standing by in the hallways as A. Babbitt was shot and killed. Were the demonstrators "mostly peaceful" like in the summer of 2020? None of these questions are being answered because...

All we are getting is highly politicized chin music from elected officials. So far, the courts have not charged anyone with "insurrection" but I guess we will "find out more" as time goes on. Will this be like the mysteriously missing FBI 302 from the General Flynn indictment? Years of stonewalling, misdirection etc. yet critical documents are suddenly "unavailable" Wonder who has control of the "missing" footage.

Expand full comment

The main stream media could throw some light on the looting and violence in cities where Americans were shot and beaten and threatened and had there position stolen. I listened to WBBM after one of the Chicagos looting and they said it was Facebook orchestrated. Where is the continued reporting on that. Who was prosecuted for those crimes, they had weapons the people o January 6th didn’t.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Taibbi!

Expand full comment