Good Day Sky Dancers!
Yesterday sure brought out the history buff in me. I actually had to do some research on the Seditious Conspiracy Act to find out exactly what it was and how it’s been used in the past. Then, I’ve learned more about the filibuster than I thought there was to know including this tidbit from the late great Vice President Hubert Humphrey. The link goes to his original speech and wow, it was a great one! The link goes to the “Senate Floor, Digest of Humphrey Speeches on Civil Rights, March 14 and 16, 1949.” The date is right about the time that the Dixiecrats were beginning to feel uncomfortable in the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, we’re discovering just how neo-confederate the Republican party has become. Yesterday, the House voted on the two Democratic plans to ensure voting rights and access. The stark difference in this vote foreshadows the mess that the Senate Faces.
History shows us how today became the day that the Republican party officially became the party of Jim Crow and White Supremacy. Lincoln would weep.
There were a few left even as the Southern Strategy begin to bear its strange fruit.
But, no more. They realize they can only hold office and the presidency by suppressing the votes of POC and the young.
Voter suppression is totally necessary to the success of the soft coup. Yesterday, there was big news on the hard coup.
The news yesterday sent me down a rabbit to learn about The Seditious Conspiracy Act. The first good explanation I heard was on MSNBC. (Ignore Chuckie Todd.) “Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance breaks down what she calls an “enormously significant step” by the Department of Justice” when they arrested a group of Oath Keepers involved in the January 6 insurrection including the leader of the group.
The Washington Post explains the sedition part of the act at this link.
The charge is defined in the federal criminal code, Section 2384, as an effort by two or more to “conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”
The article also elucidates its infrequent, historical use.
Seditious conspiracy has been used successfully in a handful of cases, most notably against the planner of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Yousef. Most recently, it was used in 2010 against nine members of the far-right Hutaree, a self-styled militia group that the FBI prosecuted in federal court for allegedly planning a violent anti-government revolt. In that case, a judge dismissed the seditious conspiracy charges, saying that prosecutors failed to prove that the group planned to carry out specific attacks.
This is an interesting interview with Elmer’s ex from The Daily Beast.
One day after his arrest on charges of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 riots, the estranged wife of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes went on CNN and called him a “complete sociopath.” Tasha Adams announced joy over his arrest and discussed fears for her family’s safety: “I knew I lived in fear he might show up here. But the… just setting that weight down and knowing we were safe and my kids were safe and my kids’ school doesn’t have to worry, that was a relief I didn’t know existed.” When asked by CNN’s John Berman of what threat she feels Rhodes poses to the country at large, Adams responded “He’s a dangerous man.” She added, “He sees himself as a great leader, he almost has his own mythology of himself and I think he almost made it come true as seeing him self as some sort of figure in history and it sort of happened. He’s a complete sociopath, he does not feel empathy for anyone around him at all.”
Amanda Carpenter at The Bulwark writes this: “Sedition Charges Demolish a Right-Wing Talking Point. Steve Bannon and other Trump defenders had bizarrely contended that Jan. 6th was no big deal because there were no indictments for sedition.” I’m just salivating at the thought that Roger Stone and Steve Bannon might be next up on those sedition charges.
Steve Bannon thought he had a really great point on his podcast last Wednesday—the day before the anniversary of the Jan. 6th insurrection.
The federal government, he noted, led historic investigations against the Communists, the Black Panthers, the Ku Klux Klan, the Weathermen, jihadist terrorists, and others. But the government had failed to bring any major charges against the Jan. 6th rioters:
[Attorney General] Merrick Garland has said . . . this is the largest criminal investigation in the history of the FBI, the largest criminal investigation. . . . I’m talking about the largest criminal investigation. They’ve had big-time investigations before. This is larger than that. They brag about it. I just want to repeat, nobody’s been charged with insurrection. One year after. Nobody’s been charged with sedition.
The takeaway was that the Jan. 6th investigation is just another ginned-up witch hunt, a hoax investigation meant to get Trump, à la impeachment 1.0 and 2.0.
Bannon wasn’t alone in suggesting that the Jan. 6th investigation was a big bust. Also on Wednesday of last week, the Wall Street Journal published a piece by former Assistant Attorney General for the District of Columbia Jeffrey Scott Shapiro titled “Stop Calling It An Insurrection.” He wrote:
The demonstrators who unlawfully entered the Capitol during the Electoral College count were unarmed and had no intention of overthrowing the U.S. constitutional system or engaging in a conspiracy “against the United States, or to defraud the United States.”
Those who violated the law inside the U.S. Capitol should be prosecuted and, if convicted, sentenced accordingly. But dramatizing a riot as an organized, racist, armed insurrection is false reporting and dangerous political gaslighting.
The next night, on the actual anniversary of the Jan. 6th attack, Fox News’s Laura Ingraham made the same point on her broadcast.
How many times have you heard all those buzzwords used in the press just in the last few days? But here’s a question. How many times do words like “insurrection,” “sedition,” or “treason” appear in Biden’s own DOJ indictments against the January 6 rioters? The answer: zero.
Ingraham asked her guest, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a leading question: “The charges stemming from the January 6 riots are actually a big tell, are they not, about what the DOJ actually thinks about this case?” Turley’s reply:
The FBI arrested hundreds. They investigated thousands. And they did not find a conspiracy for insurrection or rebellion. They didn’t charge those crimes. They didn’t charge anything like them. What they found was a protest that had become a riot. And that’s also what the American people see.
The impression here, dear readers, is that because no sedition charges had been brought, there was simply no reason anyone should be worked up about Jan. 6th.
Again, Bannon, the Wall Street Journal, and Fox News all promoted this notion just last week.
But those talking points expired yesterday, when the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment that charged 11 members of the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy and other crimes related to the breach of the Capitol. This is the first time seditious conspiracy has been charged in connection to Jan. 6th cases.
Other suggested reads:
- Madeline Peltz / Media Matters for America: Tucker Carlson repeatedly hosted an Oath Keeper charged with seditious conspiracy
- CNN: In days after January 6, McCarthy said Trump admitted bearing some responsibility for the Capitol attack
- James Pindell / The Boston Globe: A Democrat won a US House seat this week with 79 percent of the vote. Her GOP opponent has not conceded.
- Gillian Brockell / Washington Post: Hey, Virginia lawmakers, the Lincoln-Douglas debates did not involve Frederick Douglass
- Christopher Cadelago / Politico: With Biden’s signature legislation stalled, Democrats stare into political void
All this is history-in-the-making that I would have never thought possible.
Have a good week!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?