[ Editor’s Note: General Honore’s team stuck to its mission of focusing on increased Capitol security. He ended up with a core group of known generals, several from surrounding states and past National Guard commanders, a kind of National Guard VT of sorts, where people have known each other for a long time.
Honore also had another team providing background information on the riot groups, to which VT contributed, having invested a lot of time on them. We also had information on who has been financially backing the groups, but that was not on his ‘increased Capitol security’ to do list.
Following the money has not gotten much publicity, just drips and drabs. The latest was the Shaman’s bail denial, where one of issues the judge mentioned was that, despite no visible means of support, he had been going to rallies around the country for a year.
The Honore team exposed, delicately, that the Capitol Police had been largely understaffed, something which created a huge overtime bonanza of 720,000 hours in 2020. That alone should stimulate an investigation, but I doubt that it will.
The report exposes that updating training was poor, as more people would have to be pulled off duty for it. VT senses that funding the overtime Christmas stocking was a higher priority. Communications equipment was outdated, and there were virtually no training exercises to team build among the disperate groups.
Also, during the BLM summer riots, we saw the Trump team pull federal forces in from all around the country, including military forces. But on January 6, it seems the Trump team did just the opposite, putting the Capitol in a sleepy state of denial that those security orgs above them would take any responsibility for outside threat preparation.
Congress got riled a bit on the mentioned need for a lot more scanners inside the building to protect from “insider threats”. That was the most aggressive hint that Honore’s group made as to where the next investigators needed to look.
The Pentagon has already been caught hiding that General Flynn’s brother was on the Pentagon emergency call, helping to delay the Guard response to give the rioters more time to snag hostages for what might have been a multi-day drama of holding them prisoner, under the threat of whatever.
From our perspective, it seems no one wanted to bite into that apple now, preferring to leave it to the new incoming Attorney General, which makes sense. Honore had a time table to meet, and we are looking possibly at a multi-year investigation of who all was behind the Capitol attack.
The point would be not to grab a few sacrificial lambs, but pull the whole conspiracy group out by the roots and pour salt on the ground. I have a link below to the full report after the highlights below… Jim W. Dean ]
First published… March 11, 2021
General Honore’s ‘Task Force 1-6 Assessment‘ presented its findings and recommendations on Monday, March 8th in multiple meetings. The 13 page report will be public, but the questions and answers were not. But we will learn more soon.
Beside General Honore, it included the new Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Karen Gibson; retired Lt. Gen Jeff Buchanan, who oversaw the government response in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria; retired Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, former commander of the D.C. National Guard; and Major Gen. Linda Singh, the former head of the Maryland National Guard.
The main proposed fixes include:
- Increasing the size of the Capitol Police force by 854 officers, nearly a third more than the current figure of 1,800. This includes new intelligence analysts, a dedicated Civil Defense Unit and additional bomb detection dogs.
- More equipment, training and funding, including additional body-worn cameras and mounted horse units.
- Mobile fencing to replace the current temporary fencing. The report calls for a “fully integrated system of obstacles, cameras, sensors and alarms.”
- Enhanced screening procedures that require “background checks for identification card holders.”
- Expanding the Dignitary Protection Service and offering police protection and home security protection in lawmakers’ districts.
- Revising the Capitol Police Board to allow the Capitol Police chief to request external law enforcement and National Guard support without board approval during emergencies.
But these processes can often turn out to be the opposite of making sausage. You start with something good, and then make crap out of it.
Honore’s team focussed on the nuts and bolts issues of physical defense and protection. The extended National Guard stay in DC is going to be a permanent one, with constant rotations. While this might seem to weaken things, it is the opposite.
The Full report is here: