“This can mean only one thing,” said Haley Byrd Wilt in response to the news. “The Justice Department is also antifa.”
She was joking but I assume that theory is being kicked around in earnest on Parler this afternoon.
I feel reassured in a way by the conspiracy theory that the terror attack on the Capitol was staged by the far left, never mind that various perps have already been identified as members of the far right. (Some are Republican state legislators.) The best outcome here would be for everyone to say, “That was terrible, full stop,” but we live in a fallen world so many millions of fallen people will find themselves choosing between two explanations. One: “That was terrible but it wasn’t us.” Two: “That was fantastic and it was us.” The first is much better since it denotes shame, at least. There’s still some moral sense left in that one.
I assume Antifa will now blame MAGA agents provocateur disguised in black-bloc gear for the many months of nightly rioting in Portland. Anyway, no, that wasn’t Antifa at the Capitol:
The FBI says there’s no evidence Antifa played any role in the deadly mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
“We have no indication of that, at this time,” said FBI assistant director Steven D’Antuono said at a Friday press briefing.
A day earlier, Michael Sherwin, the acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, also said investigators had not seen evidence of Antifa involvement.
The most well-known chronicler of Antifa degeneracy on the Internet, Andy Ngo, watched the melee and didn’t recognize them either:
“The people occupying the Capitol building do not look like antifa people dressed in Trump gear or Trump costumes,” he said in an interview from England.
“I have seen no evidence that they are able to coordinate a mass infiltration on this scale before, so I’m really skeptical that they would have been able to do it here without any of that information leaking out,” he said.
The Antifa false-flag theory seems to have begun with this now-corrected story at the Washington Times alleging that facial recognition software had identified known Antifa members at the riot. It did not, the Times now admits in a note at the top of the story. But Matt Gaetz, eager to find a scapegoat and let the MAGA droogs who rampaged through the building off the hook, picked it up and mentioned it during his floor speech on Wednesday night. The stupidest part of the theory is the fact that scores of people who were part of the mob chronicled the experience with photos and video for their Trumpy social media accounts. Hardly any wore masks, making them easy to identify — the last thing an agent provocateur would do.
Some were happy to take credit for it:
Meet Jenny Cudd from Midland Texas "WE did break down @SpeakerPelosi's office door and somebody stole her gavel and I took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the camera and that was on Fox News" @FBI pic.twitter.com/3s3aWgOJ9G
— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 8, 2021
Others on the scene are already famous in fringe-right circles, like the “QAnon Shaman” and “Baked Alaska.” WaPo published a story yesterday noting that some businesses have already terminated employees based on footage from in or around the Capitol. One was a lawyer, another the CEO of a marketing data company who’s already issued a groveling apology. A third is a real-estate agent and radio host who flew to D.C. on a private jet to show her devotion to the president.
At least six are Republican state lawmakers. This bright fellow being hauled away by the feds is a delegate in West Virginia. He was identified because he … posted footage of himself inside the Capitol to his own Facebook page:
Another wrinkle in the “it was Antifa” theory is that far-right activists spent weeks on social media publicizing the January 6 rally and calling for some sort of action at the Capitol. Are people really semi-seriously suggesting that the crowd that attended Trump’s rally on Wednesday, cheering wildly before descending on Congress, were … far-left activists? They could have gone after Trump himself but instead were so committed to the false-flag plan that they wrecked Congress in order to frame the purehearts of MAGA?
Is this guy Antifa?
New: Leader of Proud Boys Hawaii chapter Nicholas Ochs (@OchsForHawaii) charged by DOJ with unlawful entry. Affidavit from FBI agent cites this tweet Ochs posted from the Capitol on Wednesday https://t.co/XHt93hpEpv
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) January 8, 2021
The man who was photographed with his feet up in Pelosi’s office was also arrested today in Arkansas, a well-known Antifa hotbed.
The impulse to shift blame to a left-wing scapegoat has created the same choice for the far right today that Islamist groups face when there’s a jihadi terror attack somewhere. Some want to take credit for it and justify it; others, fearing that it’s bad PR for their cause, insist that some shadowy enemy like Mossad is responsible. Same here:
Bryson Gray, a 29-year-old rapper and Donald Trump superfan from North Carolina, wants to make one thing clear: It was a group of the president’s most loyal supporters that rioted in the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, and nobody else. When I spoke with Gray yesterday, he said he had been “too late” to get inside the Capitol itself with the rest of the mob, which broke windows and chanted through the halls of Congress in an ultimately futile attempt to disrupt the confirmation of Joe Biden as president. So he stood outside the building with a crowd and sang the national anthem.
“When I left the Capitol, I actually thought I was going to get on Twitter and see a bunch of support, because it was actually a very beautiful thing,” Gray said. Instead, he was met with a strange message spreading across the site: Trump fans weren’t behind the riots. Instead, it was antifa, the decentralized left-wing group that has become a bogeyman for Republican commentators and politicians, and for President Trump in particular. Many of Gray’s former #StopTheSteal allies had disavowed the insurrection, and a good number of them were using leftist antagonists as their scapegoat. “The first tweet I saw was somebody saying ‘Patriots don’t storm buildings; there were no patriots in the Capitol,’” Gray told me. “I’m like, Uh, that literally makes no sense; what are you talking about?”
Imagine being a MAGA fanatic, breaking into the U.S. Capitol, wrecking the place in protest of Biden’s certification, recording yourself the whole time in hopes of being treated as a glorious hero of the movement, even if it means doing five-to-ten in a federal pen — and having Trump fans across the country turn around and hoot at you that you’re a communist Antifa piece of sh*t.
Feels like just desserts. Like a good ending. Or it would, if this were over. Which it probably isn’t.
I’ll leave you with these videos of Lindsey Graham at the airport today being harassed by people who are definitely Antifa and not some of the many hardcore Trumpers who descended on D.C. this week to “stop the steal.”
A source sends this video of a group of Trump supporters today harassing Sen. Lindsey Graham at Reagan airport and loudly calling him a “traitor” after he publicly broke with Trump earlier this week. pic.twitter.com/XBF8K6DIUD
— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) January 8, 2021