Response to Capitol Riots

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, I stood at my office window overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue and watched the angry mob make its way from the Ellipse rally to Capitol Hill. Waving Confederate flags and Trump 2020 campaign banners, chanting “Stop the Steal,” “Four More Years,” and “USA, USA, USA,” these fellow Americans were on their way to disrupt a sacred ceremonial rite of transition in which the National Archives plays an important role. Having watched and listened to the charged language of the rally speeches, I was even more concerned as I watched this mob move by. They were on a mission.  

My pride in the work that our Office of the Federal Register does in administering the Electoral College process was very much in my mind as was the role that we all play in defending and supporting the Constitution of the United States every day. And special pride in the role that our Agency plays in the orderly transition of administrations. 

As my attention shifted to the televised Joint Session of Congress called to certify the vote, I was horrified to watch the storming of the Capitol and the increased agitation of the mob still streaming by our building. Not since 1814 have the hallowed halls of Congress been breached and those were foreign troops. Last week, our own countrymen invaded the Capitol.    

 With order restored, at 3:44 on Thursday morning, Congress certified the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. That morning from my office, as the sun warmed the limestone of buildings around us, I was reminded of the words attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the end of the Constitutional Convention when asked “…what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” to which he responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” That day we passed the latest test. 

20 thoughts on “Response to Capitol Riots

    1. Agreed, the theft of our election was a “disgrace”.
      We should remember that every time the Dictator biden* dictates another of his Executive Orders…

      * – biden stated before the election that he stole – that the use of Executive orders is only for Dictators…He self identifies as a Dictator and therefore we should honor his choice every time we refer to him as – “Dictator biden*”

      1. Are you serious?!? Do you even hear yourself justifying an insurrection?!? Wow. Please don’t call ourself a patriot. The election WAS NOT STOLEN. The people spoke. Too bad yours lost – GET.OVER.IT.

  1. Trump has nothing to do with the riot at the U.S. Capitol everybody khows that..That assumption is way LEFTFIELD wouldn’t you say? Unless Trump had a plan put together to send in military officials to recover a device with with enough corrupt activities to put away the bad guys that might be plotting on taking down American(not telling no one untill the right time). Kind of like Obama did when he supposedly had Bin laden shot & killed (i doubt it)…Just a thought though but who knows by Jan. 20th it may take a right turn and the bad guys get LEFT to rot prison with the rest of the pedophiles….I guess time will tell.

  2. What a terrifying time. But in the midst of it, as you say, there were committed government employees who continued to do their jobs.I stayed up until 4am to watch the process play out, and was inspired by them – and you. I am hopeful better times are ahead for our country, but we cannot let our guard down.

    1. Yes, just like there were Brave government employees that spied on, attacked, lied and perjured themselves while attacking President Trump for Five Years.

      But have faith, they ask that we unify and come together…
      We should let them have the same kindness and caring they showed,
      Good and Hard,
      for Four Years.
      “Democrats answer to anything they dislike is increasingly ‘Burn it all down’”

    2. What I find disgustingly terrifying is that elected officials participated in the planning and execution of Jan 6th. We def cannot let our guard down. This can never happen again!!

  3. Part of what was frequently reported on last week was the staffers who thought to remove the election certification results. While I was happy to see that (and wondered if any Archives staff was there since your agency initially receives the results), I also wondered what it would have meant, not just symbolically, if the rioters had destroyed the results because I’d imagine there would have to be scanned copies of the documents, at the very least.

  4. I take issue with your assertion that “Not since 1814 have the hallowed halls of Congress been breached…”

    July 2, 1915, the U.S. Senate reception room was bombed by Eric Muenter

    March 1, 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists shot and injured five members of the House during a debate on immigration.

    March 1, 1971, the Weather Underground bombed the Capitol causing $300,000 in damage

    November 28, 1979, Suzanne Osgood entered Sen. Ted Kennedy’s reception room outside his office. She attacked Secret Service agents with a knife.

    November 7, 1983, a bomb exploded near the Senate Chamber. It had been hidden under a bench and blew the door off Robert C. Byrd’s office and blew a hole in the wall of the Republican cloak room. Damage estimate in 1983 was $250,000. Bomb was placed by the left-wing Resistance Conspiracy. The Armed Resistance Unit (another name used by the same organization as Resistance Conspiracy) mailed a recording to NPR which stated, in part, “We did not choose to kill any of them this time. But their lives are not sacred.”

    July 24, 1998, Russell Eugene Weston, Jr. killed two Capitol police officers when he opened fire at a checkpoint.

    January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner shot Rep. Gabriella Giffords during a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona. While not a breach of the U.S. Capitol, certainly the target of this attack was a member of Congress.

    Sep – Oct, 2011, the Capitol was breached by mail when letters laced with anthrax spores were mailed to 2 Democrat Senators. 31 staff members were infected and 2 USPS workers died from exposure.

    June 14, 2017, while away from the Capitol, U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot while practicing with other Republican members of Congress for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. James Hodgkinson “act of terrorism” was “fueled by rage against Republican legislators” according to the Virginia Attorney General.

    For those who think events of January 6, 2021 were the sole responsibility of President Trump and his Congressional allies, review the record of prior political violence perpetrated by activists (Weather Underground, Resistance Conspiracy, James Hodgkinson), individuals with mental health challenges (Suzanne Osgood, Russell Eugene Weston), and the obsessed (Jared Loughner) that occurred prior to this latest event. Review the tone of the political discourse by politicians and the media after each of those events. After at least the most recent breaches and attacks (2011 forward), media personalities and opinion leaders have called for less toxic political rhetoric. Unfortunately, memories are all too short, and the “truce” doesn’t last if it occurs at all. We see the repeat of the same follies over and over again with increasingly tragic results.

    1. And don’t forget the riots and burning of Washington DC by the Burn, Loot, and Murder Parties that the demoncrats support, fund and approve of through ALL of 2020 and even into 2021…

      “Over 1,000 health professionals sign a letter saying, Don’t shut down protests using CHINA VIRUS concerns as an excuse”

      So their tears and gnashing of teeth at the very few rioters (compared to the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors) ring just a bit hollow…

  5. The Fraud that is the Dictator biden* gets worse every day…”Biden Rescinds Trump Order Banning Chinese Communist Involvement In US Power Grid” –

    * – biden stated before the election that he stole – that the use of Executive orders is only for Dictators…He self identifies as a Dictator and therefore we should honor his choice every time we refer to him – “Dictator biden*”

  6. I was a part of the crowd that walked peacefully to the Capitol. I was not an angry mob nor were those who walked with me. I didn’t even know people were already breaching the capitol building until later that evening when I saw it on the news. That’s how little I saw of the breaching while I was there for over three hours. Ask yourself why would I not know about it? So don’t label everyone as an angry mob going to overturn a sacred event. We were a peaceful gathering hoping our voice would convince many to reconsider and return the electoral votes back to the states in question.

    1. As my mother once told me, “Take a look at the people you surround yourself with. What kind of people are they?” You ARE a part of it regardless of if you entered the building. It’s the same way that protestors in BLM were demonized because of a small group of rioters taking advantage of a situation.
      It’s a rather simple question, do you believe in democracy or not? If your candidate doesn’t win, is it acceptable to storm the capitol? Would it be acceptable if each party decided that’s the solution?
      Stop making excuses, arguing about it and just own that what happened on Jan. 6th should NEVER happen again. That is NOT who we are as Americans. Those that DID participate, should be held accountable. Period, full stop.

  7. Those who fail to learn the lessons of histories Mistakes are Forever DOOMed to repeat them!

    “The American Declaration of Independence did not elicit enthusiasm from everyone in the Dutch Republic once it became known there in August 1776. The stadtholder wrote to the griffier of the States-General, Hendrik Fagel, that it was only “… the parody of the proclamation issued by our forefathers against king Philip II”.

    others were less scornful. Dutch merchants, especially in the Amsterdam Chamber of the moribund WIC, had long chafed against the restrictions the British Navigation Acts imposed on direct trade with the American colonies in revolt. The American Revolution opened new perspectives to unfettered trade, though for the moment primarily on the smuggling route via the WIC colony of Sint Eustatius. That entrepôt soon became an important export port for the supply of the American rebels with Dutch arms.[9] The Amsterdam regenten were particularly interested in opening formal trade negotiations with the Continental Congress; secret diplomacy was soon embarked upon by the pensionaries of a number of mercantile cities, like Engelbert François van Berckel (Amsterdam) and Cornelis de Gijselaar (Dordrecht), behind the back of the stadtholder and the States-General. The French ambassador to the Republic, Vauguyon, arranged contacts with the American ambassador to the French court, Benjamin Franklin, in 1778, which in time led to the sending out of John Adams as American emissary to the Republic. In 1778, there also were secret negotiations between the Amsterdam banker Jean de Neufville and the American agent in Aachen, William Lee. The two concluded a secret agreement on a treaty of amity and commerce between the two Republics, the draft of which was discovered by the British when they intercepted ambassador-to-the-Netherlands-to-be Henry Laurens at sea. They used this as a casus belli for declaring the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War in December 1780 (together with the actions from Dutch territory by the American privateer John Paul Jones, and the planned Dutch accession to the First League of Armed Neutrality).[10]
    The war went disastrously for the Dutch, despite the fact that the Dutch fleet had been enlarged appreciably in the preceding years.[11] but it was scarcely used by the Dutch, with the stadtholder, as Admiral-General, in supreme command. At the start of the war, a number of Dutch warships were surprised by ships of the Royal Navy, who according to the Dutch, sneaked up under a false flag, and when they had approached the unsuspecting Dutchmen (who were not yet aware of the start of the war), ran up their true colors and opened fire. The Dutch ships then struck their colors after firing a single broadside in reply “to satisfy honor.” In this way individual ships, and even a complete squadron, were lost.[Note 6] The British blockaded the Dutch coast without much response from the Dutch fleet. There was one big battle between a Dutch squadron under rear-admiral Johan Zoutman and a British one under vice-admiral Sir Hyde Parker, which ended inconclusively, but on the whole the Dutch fleet remained in port, due to a state of “unreadiness,” according to the Dutch commanders.[12] This lack of activity caused great dissatisfaction among Dutch shippers who wanted convoy protection against the British, and also among the population at large, who felt humiliated by what many saw as “cowardice.” The stadtholder was generally blamed.[13] After a brief wave of euphoria due to Zoutman’s heroics (which were duly exploited in the official propaganda[14]), the navy again earned the disapproval of public opinion because of its inactivity. This only increased after the States-General in 1782 agreed with France on a naval alliance or concert that led to a planned joint action against Great Britain. To that end a Dutch fleet of ten ships of the line would in 1783 be sent to the French port of Brest to join the French fleet there. However, a direct order to set sail was disobeyed by the Dutch naval top with again the excuse of “unreadiness,” but some officers, like vice-admiral Lodewijk van Bylandt, the intended leader of the expedition, let it be known that they did not want to cooperate with the French.[15] This caused a scandal, known as the Brest Affair in which Pieter Paulus, the fiscal (prosecutor) of the Admiralty of Rotterdam was to lead an inquest, but this never resulted in a conviction. But the damage to the reputation of the Dutch navy and the stadtholder as its commander-in-chief in Dutch public opinion was appreciable, and this undermined the regime.[16]
    The stadtholder was not the only one reminded by the American Declaration of Independence of its Dutch equivalent of 1581. Many others saw an analogy between the American Revolution and the Dutch Revolt, and this helped engender much sympathy for the American cause in Dutch public opinion. When John Adams arrived in the Netherlands from Paris in 1780, in search of Dutch loans for the financing of the American struggle, he came armed with a long list of Dutch contacts. At first, however, it was an uphill struggle to interest the Dutch elite.[17] Adams set to work to influence public opinion with the help of a number of those Dutch contacts which he enumerates in a letter to United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs Robert Livingstone of 4 September 1782.[18] He mentions the Amsterdam lawyer Hendrik Calkoen, who was very interested in the American cause, and who posed thirty questions on the matter that Adams answered in a number of letters, that were later bundled and published as an influential pamphlet. Calkoen was keen to again emphasize the analogy between the Dutch and American struggles for independence.[19] He also mentions the Luzac family that published the Gazette de Leyde, an influential newspaper, whose publisher Jean Luzac supported the American cause by publicising the American constitutional debate.[Note 7] The Gazette was the first European newspaper to carry a translation of the Constitution of Massachusetts, principally authored by Adams, on 3 October 1780.[20] In that context Adams also mentions the journalist Antoine Marie Cerisier and his periodical le Politique hollandais.[21] Another propagandist for the American cause, who drew inferences for the Dutch political situation, was the Overijssel maverick nobleman Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol, who had the Declaration of Independence, and other American constitutional documents, translated into Dutch.
    By these propagandistic activities the American and Dutch causes became intertwined in the public’s mind as a model of “republican fraternity”.[22] Adams himself harped on this theme in the “Memorial” he presented to the States-General to obtain acceptance of his credentials as ambassador on 19 April 1781:
    If there was ever among nations a natural alliance, one may be formed between the two republics…The origins of the two Republics are so much alike that the history of the one seems to be but a transcript of the other; so that every Dutchman instructed in the subject must pronounce the American revolution just and necessary or pass censure upon the greatest actions of his immortal ancestors; an action which has been approved and applauded by mankind and justified by the decision of heaven…[23]
    The immediate audience of the “Memorial” may have been sceptical, but elsewhere the document made a great impression.

    The first page of Aan het Volk van Nederland.
    In the night of 25 on 26 September 1781, the anonymous pamphlet Aan het Volk van Nederland (“To the People of the Netherlands”) was distributed in a number of Dutch cities. It was later discovered that it had been written by Adams’ friend Van der Capellen, and that its successful distribution had been organised by François Adriaan van der Kemp. Though the pamphlet was immediately proscribed as seditious by the authorities, it enjoyed a wide circulation.[25]
    “Seditious” it certainly was, as the pamphlet repeatedly exhorted the burghers of the Netherlands to arm themselves and take matters into their own hands. As was usual at the time, the pamphlet contained a romanticized overview of Dutch history, going back to the mythical ancestors of the Dutch people, the Bataven, and taking the Middle Ages and the early history of the Republic in stride. But the perspective was decidedly anti-stadtholderian, and emphasized that the people are the true proprietors, the lords and masters of the country, not the nobles and regenten. The author likens the country to a great company, like the VOC, in which the administrators serve the shareholders.

    …The great that are governing you, the Prince or whoever has any authority in this country, only do this on your behalf. All of their authority derives from you…All men are born free. By nature, no one has any authority over anyone else. Some people may be gifted with a better understanding, a stronger body or greater wealth than others, but this does not in the least entitle the more sensible, stronger or wealthier to govern the less sensible, the weaker and the poorer…In these companies, usually called civil societies, peoples or nations, the members or participants pledge to promote each others’ happiness as much as possible, to protect each other with united force and to maintain each other in an uninterrupted enjoyment of all property, possessions and all inherited and lawfully acquired rights…

    . The author then continues with a diatribe against the stadtholder:
    …There is no freedom and no freedom can exist in a country where one single person has the hereditary command over a large army, appoints and dismisses the country’s regents and keeps them in his power and under his influence, deals with all the offices, and by his influence on the appointments of professors controls the subject matter that is being taught to the country’s youth studying in universities, where the people is kept ignorant, where the people is unarmed and has nothing in the world…
    . Therefore:
    …Anything which is attempted at this time to save our truly almost irretrievably lost fatherland will be in vain, if you, o people of the Netherlands, remain passive bystanders any longer. So do this! Assemble each and everyone in your cities and in the villages in the country. Assemble peacefully and elect from the midst of you a moderate number of good, virtuous, pious men… Send these as your commissioners to the meeting places of the Estates of your Provinces and order them …to make, together with the Estates …a precise inquiry into the reasons for the extreme slowness and weakness with which the protection of this country against a formidable and especially active enemy is being treated …Let your commissioners publicly and openly report to you about their actions from time to time by means of the press…Arm yourselves, all of you, and elect yourselves the ones that must command you. Act with calmness and modesty in all things (like the people of America, where not one drop of blood was shed before the English attacked them in the first place)…”

    The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis by Rembrandt van Rijn
    The first Batavi commander we know of is named Chariovalda, who led a charge across the Vīsurgis (Weser) river against the Cherusci led by Arminius during the campaigns of Germanicus in Germania Transrhenana.[6]
    Tacitus (De origine et situ Germanorum XXIX) described the Batavi as the bravest of the tribes of the area, hardened in the Germanic wars, with cohorts under their own commanders transferred to Britannia. They retained the honour of the ancient association with the Romans, not required to pay tribute or taxes and used by the Romans only for war: “They furnished to the Empire nothing but men and arms”, Tacitus remarked. Well regarded for their skills in horsemanship and swimming—for men and horses could cross the Rhine without losing formation, according to Tacitus. Dio Cassius describes this surprise tactic employed by Aulus Plautius against the “barbarians”—the British Celts— at the battle of the River Medway, 43:
    The barbarians thought that Romans would not be able to cross it without a bridge, and consequently bivouacked in rather careless fashion on the opposite bank; but he sent across a detachment of Germanic tribesmen, who were accustomed to swim easily in full armour across the most turbulent streams. […] Thence the Britons retired to the river Thames at a point near where it empties into the ocean and at flood-tide forms a lake. This they easily crossed because they knew where the firm ground and the easy passages in this region were to be found; but the Romans in attempting to follow them were not so successful. However, the Germans swam across again and some others got over by a bridge a little way up-stream, after which they assailed the barbarians from several sides at once and cut down many of them. (Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 60:20)
    It is uncertain how they were able to accomplish this feat. The late 4th century writer on Roman military affairs Vegetius mentions soldiers using reed rafts, drawn by leather leads, to transport equipment across rivers.[7] But the sources suggest the Batavi were able to swim across rivers actually wearing full armour and weapons. This would only have been possible by the use of some kind of buoyancy device: Ammianus Marcellinus mentions that the Cornuti regiment swam across a river floating on their shields “as on a canoe” (357).[8] Since the shields were wooden, they may have provided sufficient buoyancy
    The Batavi were used to form the bulk of the Emperor’s personal Germanic bodyguard from Augustus to Galba. They also provided a contingent for their indirect successors, the Emperor’s horse guards, the Equites singulares Augusti.
    A Batavian contingent was used in an amphibious assault on Ynys Mon (Anglesey), taking the assembled Druids by surprise, as they were only expecting Roman ships.[9]
    Numerous altars and tombstones of the cohorts of Batavi, dating to the 2nd century and 3rd century, have been found along Hadrian’s Wall, notably at Castlecary and Carrawburgh. As well as in Germany, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania and Austria.

    Under the leadership of their hereditary prince Gaius Julius Civilis, an auxiliary officer in the Imperial Roman army, the Batavi and their allies managed to inflict a series of humiliating defeats on the Roman army, including the destruction of two legions. After these initial successes, a massive Roman army led by the Roman general Quintus Petillius Cerialis eventually defeated the rebels. Following peace talks, the Batavi submitted again to Roman rule, but were forced to accept humiliating terms and a legion stationed permanently on their territory, at Noviomagus (modern day Nijmegen, The Netherlands).

    The year 70 started with the odds favoring the rebels. Two legions were still besieged at Castra Vetera and the rest of the Roman army was not large enough to cope with the revolt. Apart from the Batavian rebellion, the Trevirans and Lingones had declared the independence of Gaul. Julius Sabinus, the rebel emperor, managed to persuade the I Germanica and XVI Gallica to come over to his side. At Castra Vetera the situation was desperate. Food supplies had run out and the besieged legions were eating horses and mules to survive. With no prospect of a relief, the commander of the troops, Munius Lupercus, decided to surrender.
    The legions were promised safe conduct if they left the camp to be sacked by the rebels. All weapons, artillery material, and gold was left to plunder. V Alaudae and XV Primigenia marched out of the camp, but after only a few kilometers they were ambushed by Germanic troops and destroyed. The commander and principal officers were made slaves and given as a present to Veleda, the prophetess who had predicted the rise of the Batavians

    allocated in the Rhine legions. He was aware of Roman military tactics which gave him ideas on how to defeat them. The first action was to set up a decoy and Civilis induced a rebellion outside of Batavia.
    “Let Syria, Asia Minor, and the East, habituated as it is to despotism, submit to slavery… Freedom is a gift bestowed by nature even on the dumb animals. Courage is the peculiar excellence of man, and the Gods help the braver side.” – Gaius Julius Civilis[11]
    The tribe of the Cananefates was living in lands between the Batavians and the North Sea. The inducements used by Civilis to instigate rebellion are not known, but the Cananefates, led by their chief Brinno, attacked several Roman forts, including Traiectum (Utrecht).

    They were a warlike people, skilled horsemen, boatmen and swimmers. They were therefore excellent soldier-material. In return for the unusual privilege of exemption from tributum (direct taxes on land and heads that most peregrini were subject to), they supplied a disproportionate number of recruits

    They also provided most of the emperor Augustus’ elite regiment of Germanic bodyguards (Germani corpore custodes), which continued in existence until AD 68.[2] The Batavi auxilia amounted to about 5,000 men, implying that for the entire Julio-Claudian period, over 50% of all Batavi males reaching military age (16 years) may have enlisted in the auxilia. Thus the Batavi, although just about 0.05% of the total population of the empire in AD 23, supplied about 4% of the total auxilia i.e. 80 times their proportionate share.[citation needed] They were regarded by the Romans as the best and bravest (fortissimi, validissimi) of their auxiliary, and indeed of all their forces.[3] In Roman service, they had perfected a unique technique for swimming across rivers wearing full armour and weapons.[4]
    Gaius Julius Civilis (an adopted Latin name, not his native one) was a hereditary prince of the Batavi and the prefect (commanding officer) of a Batavi cohort. A veteran of 25 years’ distinguished service in the Roman army, he and the 8 Batavi cohorts had played an important role in the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 and the subsequent subjugation of that country (43-66).“ [END/]

    1. My god couldn’t you sum it up in one paragraph? Wtf was all that about? Sorry, boring as hell. What a bunch of wasted space.

  8. Trump cleared from all involvement. This was not an “organized” event. It was the nation enraged over a stolen election, the disastrous results of which are widely apparent at the moment.

    1. Oh my god – can you say delusional?!? Do y’all take drugs?!? That’s some good dope then… BIDEN WON!! Because he’s a WINNER!! He doesn’t have to cheat like someone we know…trump. Don’t be a sore loser.
      It’s un-American!

  9. For those Trumpsters who are suckered in to the belief that Trump won needs to join reality. Trump only does thinks that helps himself, not the suckers that think he wants to help them. Did he try to help the people who attacked the police who’s job it is to protect the politicians. He didn’t care if his own party people got hurt. All he cared about was him staying in power. His personal power is all he cares about. Ask him about all the money he has suckered his backed into giving him. He has kept it all for himself.
    Don’t watch just one news agency. Research other forms of news to get other views then decide which seams right for you. America needs everyone to do this so America can stay strong.

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