Paul Matzko Profile picture
13 Jan, 17 tweets, 4 min read
Based on the latest info I could find, here's why what happened on Jan. 6th was worse than we thought.

It was coordinated. This was not merely a crowd of protestors accidentally incited to storm the Capitol by the intemperance of the President & other speakers at the rally.
Security experts are combing through the online chatter leading up to the rally and have found extremist groups planning violence. People came w/ malice aforethought, thus armored insurrectionists pushing to the front of the crowd, pipe bombs, & so on.…
But it gets worse. The feds seem to be investigating several Republican members of Congress for connections to the organizers of the rally. (The FBI has warned lawmakers in closed door hearings that they may be shocked with what comes out.)
Indeed, at least one member of Congress, Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) alleges that these GOP members gave some of the insurrectionists tours of the Capitol building on January 5th, the day before.…
The implication is that these GOP congressmen used the walkthroughs to familiarize the insurrectionists with the building layout so that they could push into the building and confront their colleagues who were opposed to overturning the electoral ballot count.
Remember, Trump specifically told the protestors to march on the Capitol to "cheer on our brave senators," but then saying that they are "probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you'll never take back our country with weakness."…
"You have to show strength, and you have to be strong." He does mention that they should "peacefully and patriotically" confront Congress once, but also throws out a number of inflammatory metaphors like ending the "assault" and "siege," "fighting" and so on.
It is all but certain that Trump coordinated this march beforehand, perhaps w/ the congressmen now under investigation. After all, he spent the first hour or so of the insurrection calling representatives who were in lockdown because of the insurrectionists HE SENT AT THEM.
Indeed, reports have come out about Trump's glee in the early stages of the riot; Ben Sasse (R-NE) used the words "delighted" & "excited." This was a man who was giddy about the success of a plan coming to fruition.…
Now, I think it unlikely that Trump or his minions planned the physical violence. I think they expected the crowd to surround the capitol, that some would push inside to confront members of congress in their chambers, and they'd make a scene that would look good on cable news.
But when you play with matches, don't be surprised when you get burned.

When the President tells the Proud Boys to "stand back, and stand by" last year, but then calls on all his supporters to come fight for him in DC on Jan 6, they might take him seriously *and* literally.
When the President retweets & encourages QAnon adherents to think of him as the victim of a sinister conspiracy to destroy America, they might take him seriously *and* literally. He told them to come on Jan. 6th, that it "will be wild." And he was correct.…
And these extremists weren't going to just peacefully stand outside the Capitol and shout encouraging slogans. No, they came loaded for bear. It's hard to think of a non-sinister purpose for carrying zip cuffs around the Senate chambers. Image
It's pretty clear that they took Trump literally & seriously in regards to Vice President Pence. "Hang Mike Pence" wasn't just hyperbole for some of those in the Capitol building that day.

In sum, it appears that the president & Republican Congressmen conspired to encourage the invasion of the Capitol building by their most radical followers in order to pressure reluctant colleagues, all in an effort to overturn the president's loss in a legitimate election.
That would be criminal conduct by itself, but the insurrection then spun out of control, resulting in five deaths, dozens of serious injuries, millions of dollars in property damage, and a permanent stain on American democracy.
I should note that there are even *more* disturbing reports out there, but I class them as rumors at this point. Still, if they are even partly accurate, it gets worse.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Paul Matzko

Paul Matzko Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @PMatzko

11 Jan
The fundamental irony of this tweet is that cable news only exists *because* it was given an exemption in the late-70s from FCC rules like the Fairness Doctrine.
Beyond that, the problem with Yang's proposal of a revived Fairness Doctrine is that when it was enforced not only did it fail to achieve the outcomes that he desires, it actually led to the opposite. It is more accurately titled the "Unfairness Doctrine."
What grounds do I have to say that? Simple. I wrote the book on it.

Here's a ~100,000 words on how the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations weaponized the Fairness Doctrine to suppress political dissent.…
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
This is a great question from @HeerJeet and it has very old roots. In my book, I discuss a similar period of anxiety in the 1960s about the possibility of Air Force officers being involved in a coup. Thread.
Given the size of the US military in WW2, afterwards there was a spike in concern that some of these demilitarized veterans would be amenable to radicalization and supportive of insurrection. These fears heightened after the coups in France/Algiers in 1958 and 1961.
This was the peak era of the Cold War, so anti-communist anxiety was layered over top. The Right feared that communist infiltrators in the government would subvert the Republic. The Left feared that anti-communist military officers would launch a preemptive, paranoid coup.
Read 38 tweets
8 Jan
On Wednesday mid-afternoon, I found myself simultaneously alarmed and mildly amused by the events on the Capitol. The first photos that came out were of quixotic, not particularly threatening folks like the QAnon Shaman. Image
It certainly was a bad sign for the state of our politics, but it fit with the "what if Watergate but stupid" view of the Trump regime. It didn't seem particularly sinister, in other words.
But then more photos started coming out, photos that were not amusing in any way. I felt the turn viscerally as my stomach dropped. Maybe for you it was the barricaded Senate chambers. For me it was this photo: Image
Read 13 tweets
7 Jan
I'm going to walk you through several common responses from Republicans to the insurrection yesterday and show why they are incorrect.
- "It wasn't Trump supporters. It was Antifa."

Claims of false flag operations are always tempting because it redirects blame. We all prefer it when *our* side is straightforwardly good and the *other* side does all the bad stuff. It's very natural to want this to be true.
The problem is that it is only rarely correct. Usually, when someone wears MAGA clothing, shouts about their support for Trump, and does so in the company of thousands of other people doing so, they are what they appear.
Read 29 tweets
7 Jan
Trump knows he's going to have to leave office in two weeks. He knew that Pence didn't have the power to reject state electors. So why then would he spread misinformation, undermine our democracy, and incite today's violence?
Because it works whether or not it changes the result. It's a pattern he's followed Trump throughout his term.
He identifies a wedge issue, fans the smoldering embers of that controversy into open flame, and then enjoys the adulation, attention, and donations from the slice of America who falls for the trick. The only way he knows how to lead is via division.
Read 7 tweets
4 Jan
10 former defense secretaries felt the need to assert the military's neutrality in partisan politics. That's disconcerting, sure, but when the coup comes someday, it's not the military you need to worry about the most. Thread.…
Remember, there are 132,000 armed federal agents, most of whom are based around Washington, DC. That's over a quarter of the size of the actual, active-duty US Army, and many of them are military veterans with access to military-grade firepower.…
After all, when Trump needed a paramilitary force to do what the military was reluctant to do--clear peaceful protestors out of Lafayette Park for a photo op--he turned to a mix of forces from the Bureau of Prisons, Park Police, Secret Service, and so on. Image
Read 12 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!