On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent her fellow Democrats a “Dear Colleague” letter focused on “security, security, security.” She announced that Congress will establish a “9/11-type Commission” to investigate the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, specifically describing the riot as a “domestic terrorist attack.” This announcement will only fuel the Democrats’ push toward launching a domestic “War on Terror” that will likely target conservatives.
“It is clear from the findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened,” Pelosi said of an investigation conducted by retired Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré into the Capitol riot.
“To protect our security, our security, our security, our next step will be to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to ‘investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex… and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region,’” Pelosi announced.
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The speaker couched this announcement in a celebration of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln for Presidents Day. She hailed Washington as “the patriarch of our country” and paraphrased him as having “cautioned against political parties at war with their own government.” She also quoted Lincoln’s warning that “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”
Considering the violent attacks on American heroes like Washington and Lincoln this past summer, it seems heartening to see Pelosi quote these men with such esteem. However, it seems she used their words to bolster the dangerous idea of launching a domestic “War on Terror” that treats conservative ideas as a threat to America’s security.
In recent weeks, Democrats have weaponized the Capitol riot — a truly heinous event in American history — in order to demonize their opposition. Former CIA Director John Brennan warned against an “unholy alliance” including “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, and even libertarians” that “looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas.” These remarks came amid leftist calls for “deprogramming,” “de-Baathification,” “re-educating,” and “reprogramming” the 75 million people who voted for Trump.
Pelosi herself has strained to pin various crimes on former President Donald Trump for the riot. Last month, she accused Trump of being an “accessory” to “murder.” She also suggested that her Republican colleagues who contested the election results may also be “accessories to the crime.”
A mere week into Joe Biden’s presidency, the acting secretary of homeland security issued a domestic terror alert warning that “some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.”
On the campaign trail, Biden said he plans to prioritize passing a law against domestic terrorism. His blatant double standard in vocally condemning the Capitol riots while coddling the antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters who burned cities this past summer does not bode well for a balanced implementation of any terrorism law.
Even Democrat former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has vocally warned against leftists “who are trying to undermine our constitutionally-protected rights and turn our country into a police state with KGB-style surveillance.”
This entire effort seems to constitute a government enforcement of the tactics of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a corrupt smear factory that weaponizes its history in bankrupting the Ku Klux Klan to brand mainstream conservative and Christian groups “hate groups,” placing them on a list with the Klan. This defamation inspired an attempted terrorist attack at the Family Research Council in 2012.
Pelosi’s commitment to a “9/11-style Commission” to investigate the Capitol riot only underscores the suggestion that America has a new ongoing terrorist threat similar to the September 11, 2001, hijackers.
While the January 6 attack on the Capitol rightly shook Americans to their core, it is worlds apart from the September 11 attacks. The Al Qaeda terrorists who knocked down the World Trade Center and crashed into the Pentagon had ties to foreign governments and were motivated by radical Islamist ideology. By contrast, the rioters who broke into the U.S. Capitol did not do so as part of a coordinated effort with an organization and they were motivated by the narrative that Democrats stole the 2020 election from Trump.
While a handful of deaths have been linked to the Capitol riot, only one person died during the actual event. By contrast, the September 11 terror attacks took the lives of 2,977 Americans. Unlike in the case of 9/11, there is no reason to suggest the rioters had any connection to or inspiration from foreign countries or leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, who appears to live rent-free in the heads of Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.
Congress arguably should investigate the riot, but comparisons to 9/11 are chilling. Such rhetoric should remind conservatives that many of America’s institutional elites consider their ideas not just false but dangerous “misinformation.” Increasingly radical Democrats now control Congress, the presidency, and the vast bureaucratic state — and the Obama IRS scandal should remind conservatives that leftists are willing to abuse that power to silence dissent.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.