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And so I'll add to the editorial pot three more takeaways - that is to say, the three that most struck me, or shocked me - from the first hearing on the Jan. 6 insurrection against the United States Capitol:
1. The Insurrection Against The U.S. Capitol Was Planned And Coordinated In Advance, With The Proud Boys Ready And Waiting To Spearhead The Attack.
Nick Quested, a journalist who was in the midst of creating a documentary on the Proud Boys, followed a group of Proud Boys on January 6, 2021, to Washington D.C. where it was his understanding that they were going to attend the Donald Trump rally.
Mr. Quested was subpoenaed before the Committee,
And here, in front of the barriers, where there were initially not more than a dozen Capitol Police officers on duty, the Proud Boys waited until the thousands of rallying Trump supporters would be whipped into a mental state of high anger and attack by Donald then commanded by him to march down Pennsylvania Avenue - to where the Proud Boys were waiting - and "Fight like hell."
And it was those angry thousands, fueled by Donald Trump, who launched the Proud Boys' planned insurrection against the Capitol as they followed blindly behind them and gave the assault the thrust and strength of overpowering numbers.
2. There Are Those Who Love Donald Trump Obsessively And Would Do Anything For Him
During the hearing recorded testimony was played from several men who've been charged with or convicted of criminal offenses from their part in the assault on the Capitol. The thread that ran through all of their testimonies was that they did what they did because Donald Trump asked them to.
One man, Eric Barber, circled below,
Another man, Robert Schornack, below,
The words of these two men struck me as the words that would come from an obsessed besotted lover. Or maybe from a child bound by an overwhelming love and duty - as well as an overwhelming desire for parental love - to carry out an unreasonable demand by a tyrannical parent. Or from a religious devotee showing his personal love and devotion to his God by doing whatever his God commanded him.
That these men - and obviously many others in this country - have in their minds this deep personal loving relationship with Donald Trump, as if he were their beloved, their loved parent, their religion, or perhaps an amalgam of all those things, this struck me as so strange. And so terrifying.
3. A Tale Of Two Police Forces
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, in her testimony before the Committee members,
Video was shown of Officer Edwards, in her attempt to hold back the insurrectionists, being knocked down by the mob onto the Capitol steps then pinned beneath a barricade.
Officer Edwards would sustain further injuries that day, and her fall onto the Capitol steps resulted in a traumatic brain injury that has so far prevented her from returning to the Capitol Police Force.
Now, as moving as Officer Edwards' testimony was, still it was a post-hearing observation made by MSNBC commentator Lawrence O'Donnell that struck me as truly perceptive and thought-provoking.
These folks, according to Mr. O'Donnell, were the last police force in the world one would have imagined taking on a violent mob of 2,500 insurrectionists invading the United States Capitol. And yet these police officers did take on the attackers, though, as Caroline Edwards pointed out, she and her fellow officers were not trained for combat, which was what this was. But, as Officer Edwards also pointed out, on this day they were doing their duty to their country. They were protecting Democracy.
Mr. O'Donnell then juxtaposed the brave, heroic response of the Capitol Police to the attacking mob of insurrectionists,