Capitol Police want the National Guard deployment extended to “protect Congress” for at least two more months. Which is humorous because their ramped up security for yesterday’s “intelligence report that said a militia group was coming” was a waste of taxpayer money. The whole thing ended in a big goose egg (Fox). The deployment was scheduled to end on March 12.
Today, US Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman formally asked the Department of Defense to extend the support provided by the National Guard to remain at the Capitol beyond March 12th.
Wednesday, Acting Chief Pittman testified to the House Legislative Branch Subcommittee that threats to members are up 93% during the first two months of this year compared to last year. The Department takes its mission seriously and will do whatever is necessary to achieve that mission. The USCP is extremely grateful for the Department of Defense and the National Guard support provided since January 6th. We understand the Guard has a tremendous service need back home responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.Capitol Police Statement, March 4th
They say they understand, but they truly do not understand. Amid reports of improper food being served to them, at least one state, Michigan, is not reupping their deployment. The National Guard is made up of “citizen soldiers” who are employed.
The lawmakers are split over the idea, with some GOP and some Democrats on both sides of the issue. Many have called for a briefing by the Capitol Police on why they want to extend the deployment.
“I’m outraged that U.S. Capitol Police have requested to keep the nearly 5,000 National Guardsmen at the Capitol Complex for another two months without presenting clear and specific information. I haven’t been satisfied with any explanation Congress has received at numerous briefings that all these personnel, resources and barbed wire are needed. The Capitol Police have clearly stated that no specific credible threat exists — and what’s more, they haven’t provided the Department of Defense with any of the information needed to justify this request.
“Keeping the Capitol Complex safe — and open to the public, as it has been forever — is a federal civilian law enforcement responsibility. We can and should make improvements to how the Capitol Police protect the building, and there are plenty of options available to us, such as changes to the U.S. Capitol Police force structure, availability of a non-military quick reaction force and mobile fencing.
What this solution should not look like is keeping the National Guardsmen here indefinitely, as has been rumored. This is not their job or their mission—and the image this would paint on the world stage is concerning. I look forward to working with law enforcement agencies and my colleagues to improve Capitol security and get our Guardsmen back home to their families.”Senator Jim Inhofe, R-OK
Other lawmakers exhibited the willingness to leave a “couple hundred” National Guard troops on duty permanently. If you recall, the District of Columbia has its very own National Guard and nobody is talking about them.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the ranking Republican of the Senate Rules Committee, told Capitol Hill pool reporters that he had spoken to Honoré who suggested keeping troops in the area “quite a while longer” than two months, similar to what he claimed was the security plan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks…
…”I do think that some active military police Guard in a more permanent basis near the Capitol could be a good idea for the foreseeable future, principally because they would actually be able to relieve the Capitol Police for some of their duties.”Stripes
Fear is the ‘elephant in the room’ in this situation. Leaving the US Capitol as an armed camp is not just ‘bad optics,’ it’s indicative of overreaction and behavior that is not “American.” Seems more like Venezuela or North Korea?
Featured photo: Screenshot of video released by the DoD showing troops arriving in DC for the Biden Inauguration.
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