Integrity in question

This week’s opinion is one of the most troubling I’ve had to share in all the years this privilege has been extended to me. Over the course of the past week, virtually every news outlet reported, inquired of, and or investigated the factors concerning what is being listed as a domestic terrorist attack perpetrated upon the nation’s capital.

The incident occurred January 6 when armed assailants were somehow able to breach the perimeters of what has traditionally been among the most heavily secured structures in the United States. Rioters broke into the White House following a “Save America March” at the Ellipse (President’s Park) roughly a mile and-a-half away, held by sitting President Donald Trump. It’s been noted that supporters continued being fed the unfounded rhetoric about how the recent presidential election had been stolen from him. The president maintained that he’d won the election “by a landslide” though President Elect Joe Biden received 7 million more of the popular votes than Trump.

President Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and a number of sitting Congressional members addressed eager cohorts. These anxious advocates were incited and convinced it was possible to force the discontinuation of a session during which the Electoral College sought to certify Joe Biden as the next sitting President.

A call to action had thousands of the President’s followers stoked and more than ready to fight after being told, to “fight like hell” to “take back our country.” Trump ally, Rudy Giuliani, was quoted when he called for a “trial by combat” with supporters encouraged by others close to the administration to capture and kill agents, security personnel, senators. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and even Vice President Pence were also among those to be targeted.

Fortunately, Capitol security was able to evacuate several buildings in the Capitol complex as well as the Senate and House of Representatives chambers where offices were then locked. Nancy Pelosi’s office was looted and vandalized though federal officers drew their handguns to discourage entry to the evacuated offices.

Explosives were located on the Capitol grounds, improvised explosives found in offices for both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee as well as in a nearby vehicle. There were dozens of people who suffered serious injuries beyond the five who died as the result of the event. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick died after being beaten in the head with a fire extinguisher which has prompted federal authorities to launch a murder investigation. Questions were raised as to the President’s loyalty as flags everywhere but the Capital building were flown at half mast in honor of the fallen officer.

One woman who was a member of the rioters attempted to enter the House chamber trough a barricaded door. She was shot by police and later passed away as the result of the injury and three others involved in the turmoil.

Some have questioned the President’s integrity as he’d been slow to respond to the chaos; first declining to allow officers from surrounding states permission in federal jurisdiction and then resisting dispatching the District of Columbia National Guard to help squash the rebellion. As well in question was his eventually posting a video on Twitter praising the rioters as “great patriots” while directing them to “go home in peace” and “we love you.”

Trump held a televised speech during which he committed to a peaceful transition of power. But then, days later, posted a video on his Twitter account (which was ultimately blocked) specifying he regretted having made the statement. The likes of what transpired at our nation’s capital last week has never been witnessed in modern history. To have the person occupying the country’s highest office and charged with upholding the Constitution maliciously carry out such an attack on the American symbol of freedom and interprets as a violation of everything this country represents.

To pose a question or share your opinion, you can reach B. G. Howard at bw3bh@yahoo.com or P. O. Box 8103, Jacksonville, FL 32239.