The Federalist has this article, which was first published by the Center for Security Policy. The author, J. Michael Waller, is senior analyst for strategy at the Center for Security Policy.
His areas of concentration are propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion. He is a former professor at the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school in Washington, DC. A former instructor with the Naval Postgraduate School, he is an instructor/lecturer at the John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.
In short, he knows of what he speaks. He writes that the “article is a first-person, eyewitness account drafted the night of Jan. 6 and morning of Jan. 7, so it is not affected by other news coverage or information. The only research aids used in this article were photos and videos that I took from my phone.”
Below are excerpts to whet your appetite, followed by the link to the full article. (N.B., I ignored proper formatting to make it more readable.)
The deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol bore the markings of an organized operation planned well in advance of the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.
A small number of cadre appeared to use the cover of a huge rally to stage its attack. Before it began, I saw from my vantage point on the West Front of the Capitol what appeared to be four separate cells or units:
- Plainclothes militants. Militant, aggressive men in Donald Trump and MAGA gear at a front police line at the base of the temporary presidential inaugural platform;
- Agents-provocateurs. Scattered groups of men exhorting the marchers to gather closely and tightly toward the center of the outside of the Capitol building and prevent them from leaving;
- Fake Trump protesters. A few young men wearing Trump or MAGA hats backwards and who did not fit in with the rest of the crowd in terms of their actions and demeanor, whom I presumed to be Antifa or other leftist agitators; and
- Disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. A column of organized, disciplined men, wearing similar but not identical camouflage uniforms and black gear, some with helmets and GoPro cameras or wearing subdued Punisher skull patches.
All of these cells or groups stood out from the very large crowd by their behavior and overall demeanor. However, they did not all appear at the same time. Not until the very end did it appear there was a prearranged plan to storm the Capitol building, and to manipulate the unsuspecting crowd as cover and as a follow-on force.
For such a massive event, police presence was light. District of Columbia police and a small group of DC National Guard had a relaxed demeanor, keeping a professional distance from marchers and other pedestrians, as they usually do. A few police and National Guard gathered around a mobile device to listen to the president make what sounded like rousing comments.
Although the march was in protest of fraud in the 2020 election and people were recounting the president’s energizing speech, the mood of the crowd was positive and festive. Not one appeared angry or incited to riot. Many of the marchers were families with small children; many were elderly, overweight, or just plain tired or frail—traits not typically attributed to the riot-prone. Some said they were police officers from around the country. Many wore pro-police shirts or carried pro-police “Back the Blue” flags.
Among the hundreds and hundreds of flags—perhaps thousands—displayed over the next few hours, I saw only two Confederate battle flags and one white supremacist sign, the latter of which some suspected aloud was a leftist plant. The two flags and one sign, I thought, would feature prominently in news reports to present a false image of the crowd.
A large group of African-American men sported shirts that said “Blacks for Trump.” Figuring that journalists would emphasize the solitary racist sign and Confederate flags, deliberately ignoring the rest, I took note of the fact that many demonstrators were black, Asian, and Latino, with a strong presence of Vietnamese- and Chinese-Americans.
When we crossed into Capitol grounds where the Capitol Police had jurisdiction, no Capitol Police appeared anywhere from what we could see, and I commented on to my companion that it was very strange for there to be no police during a joint session of Congress, with or without a gigantic crowd.
The marchers became denser as greater numbers of people funneled into the paved footpath going up Capitol Hill and the plaza quickly filled up and overflowed onto the lawn. Almost everyone seemed talkative and happy. No police could be seen anywhere.
Then, a contingent of perhaps 30 to 50 Capitol Police emerged at the top of the inaugural platform above the VIP section and worked their way down. They were armed with paintball-type long guns that fired capsules of pepper irritant, teargas launchers, and long guns that I could not identify from my position.
Some out-of-towners wondered why the police were there when they were all pro-police and no Antifa were present. Others said they did see Antifa wearing backward MAGA hats, so the police must have been waiting for them.
Suddenly energy surged from the front of the crowd as the anti-riot police, above on the inaugural platform, visibly tensed up. Some sighted their pepper ball weapons toward the densely packed people. One fired a teargas canister—not at the plainclothes militants at the front line, but into the crowd itself. Then another. Flash grenades went off in the middle of the crowd.
I had seen anti-riot police in action before. They moved with a decisive sense of purpose. Now, the Capitol Police crew seemed confused, as if without a leader or perhaps inadequate rules of engagement. These professionals seemed directionless.
Some clambered up and down the inaugural platform steps. Others milled back and forth at the swearing-in level. Most of the police ended up leaving the surreal scene. Nobody could tell why. No bullhorn or sound system could be heard for the police to communicate with the swelling mass of people.
The tear gas changed the crowd’s demeanor. There was an air of disbelief as people realized that the police whom they supported were firing on them. “What are you doing—we support you,” someone yelled. Tear gas wafted through the crowd, a low-grade irritant, fortunately, as if to send a warning to disperse. But nobody could disperse; some tried to leave the area, but more kept flowing in from Constitution Avenue, making evacuation impossible.
This is when provocateurs turned unsuspecting marchers into an invading mob, blocking exits for people seeking to escape tear gas, funneling and pushing hundreds into a crush toward the Capitol, and endangering children, the frail, and the elderly.