I am still angry over the events of January 6th. I am angry at the shameful behavior of Eastern Shore’s Delegate in Congress and others who aided, abetted, and fed this insurrection.
But my greatest outrage is reserved for those who failed to protect Congress and their own employees.
I am referring to the utter failure of the Capitol Police, Pentagon, Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies as well as those politicians and insiders who abetted this mob.
Watching security officers courageously trying to save our leaders from mob violence despite being understaffed, underprepared, and under-armed was heart wrenching.
Why did the Capitol police leadership refuse assistance prior to and during the incident? How could they have ignored the warnings from agencies and watch groups about the impending violence?
Several Capitol police officers report that some insurgents flashed police badges and armed forces IDs to get into the building. There are videos of some security officers inexplicably letting the terrorists in the Capitol building, removing barriers, failing to check for weapons, and escorting rioters through the Capitol. A policeman took selfies. Some terrorists commented that they knew which security officials would help them.
And who can forget watching the rioters jubilantly leaving the Capitol with one even being aided by police walking down the steps? She clearly had no difficulty going up them. These lawbreakers reported that many police wished them well and “were on our side.” The insurgents “high fived” and celebrated their insurrection until two hours after curfew when the police finally required them to leave.
It reminded me of Billy Crystal’s character’s line in The Princess Bride. “Have fun storming the castle.”
Why were these insurgents not arrested as they exited the building?
As Americans, typically our next move is blame and punishment. Sadly, I am not immune.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are hunting down these thugs, which is much more expensive and difficult than had they already been in custody.
Over time any complicity or collusion will be exposed; and patience, not conspiracy theories, is needed. But there is blood on the hands of all of those who failed to protect Congress and their own officers.
The images of the understaffed, vulnerable, undersupplied, courageous officers who risked their lives to protect our democracy are indelibly etched; as are images of those who stood guard over Congress with weapons drawn. The FBI hinted that there will be more information about what these brave officers did during the insurrection.
These officers are the heroes. They are the true patriots.
Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.