The National Guard’s presence in Washington, D.C., got extended last week when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the Capitol Police’s request for 2,300 troops to remain in place for approximately two months. Americans heard about threats from QAnon devotees on Inauguration Day, during the impeachment trial, and on March 4th. Exactly nothing happened. Perhaps this is why not everyone agrees with the extension for the National Guard:
National Guard Bureau Chief Dan Hokanson had questioned the extension because it was not rooted in specific threats. Instead, it was to give Capitol Police more time to fill staff and training gaps. In a memo obtained by Fox News, Hokanson wrote on March 4:
I am concerned that the continued indefinite nature of this requirement may also impede our ability to man future missions.
Efforts to date have not secured enough volunteers among supporting states to meet the USCP request of 2,280 soldiers, nor Option B of 1,000 soldiers.
Now, the National Guard Association of the United States has released a statement supporting Hokanson’s position. The Association represents active, separated, and retired commissioned and warrant officers of the National Guard and partners with other organizations representing enlisted members.
The response from Major General Michael McGuire, the NGAUS chairman, and retired Brigadier General J. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president, noted that the National Guard met an unprecedented demand in 2020 due to unanticipated domestic disasters as well as continued overseas deployments. They also noted it was increasingly difficult to convince the Guardsmen that Congress needed their continued presence at the Capitol. The statement closed with a call to end the mission:
National Guard soldiers and airmen here in Washington need to return home to their families, civilian employers and regular military obligations. They have completed their mission. They have made us all proud.
It’s time for local law enforcement to take it from here.
Only two publicly known threats remain. One was uncovered by intrepid reporter Dave Weigel at CPAC. Weigel met someone named Ken, who was not wearing a CPAC pass. He was likely one of the 20 or so people outside the hotel trading jabs with some BLM protestors that this commentator observed upon exiting the hotel to take a phone call. Orlando bicycle officers stood on the median between the two groups, and that was about it. They were there for a few hours midday. Meet Ken:
If Ken and his 20 friends show up on the 20th and the Capitol Police require national Guard support to handle it, that would be a statement about the Capitol Police.
The other is a threat advanced by acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman. Here is her warning to Congress on February 25th:
We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6th have stated their desire that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified.
It is possible Chief Pittman doesn’t know this is the exact plot from the pilot episode of the television show Designated Survivor. Internet trolls used pictures from that episode to exaggerate the attacks on the White House and the Capitol by BLM rioters last summer. Forgive the skepticism, but the threat could well be a similar troll. And the chances of Joe Biden doing a live, prime-time State of the Union address are somewhere between slim and none.
QAnon is a dying phenomenon. Anyone who has a family, business, or reputation they value who has followed Q’s nonsense posts carefully calculating his predictions has been sufficiently deterred. Too many others who bought it have been identified, ruined, and have been sitting in jail for two months, some on misdemeanor charges. Oddly, the parsing out of stiff consequences and making an example of people makes others think before acting. If anyone wants to stop the antifa brats in Portland from lighting up the federal courthouse regularly, try sticking a few in jail without bond.
The continued drama of the National Guard protecting the Capitol seems to serve a purpose. We still don’t know why our congressional leaders declined the National Guard support request on January 6th. The actual cause of death for Officer Brian Sicknick has also not been released. Neither has the investigation into the fatal shooting of Ashely Babbitt. If you were cynical, you might suspect Americans are being played.