Washington to remain militarized until at least March

Yeah, that place out 'there'. Anything not really Cambodia related should go here.
emm
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Washington to remain militarized until at least March

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Reflecting the Authoritarian Climate, Washington Will Remain Militarized Until At Least March

The idea of troops in U.S. streets for an extended period of time -- an extreme measure even when temporary -- has now become close to a sacred consensus.

Glenn Greenwald
Jan 26, 2021


National Guard soldiers assemble near the U.S Capitol two days after the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, on January 22, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Washington, DC has been continuously militarized beginning the week leading up to Joe Biden’s inauguration, when 20,000 National Guard troops were deployed onto the streets of the nation’s capital. The original justification was that this show of massive force was necessary to secure the inauguration in light of the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

But with the inauguration over and done, those troops remain and are not going anywhere any time soon. Working with federal law enforcement agencies, the National Guard Bureau announced on Monday that between 5,000 and 7,000 troops will remain in Washington until at least mid-March.

The rationale for this extraordinary, sustained domestic military presence has shifted several times, typically from anonymous U.S. law enforcement officials. The original justification — the need to secure the inaugural festivities — is obviously no longer operative.

So the new claim became that the impeachment trial of former President Trump that will take place in the Senate in February necessitated military reinforcements. On Sunday, Politico quoted “four people familiar with the matter” to claim that “Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial poses a security concern that federal law enforcement officials told lawmakers last week requires as many as 5,000 National Guard troops to remain in Washington through mid-March.”

The next day, AP, citing “a U.S. official,” said the ongoing troop deployment was needed due to “ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol.” But the anonymous official acknowledged that “the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility.” Even National Guard troops complained that they “have so far been given no official justifications, threat reports or any explanation for the extended mission — nor have they seen any violence thus far.”

It is hard to overstate what an extreme state of affairs it is to have a sustained military presence in American streets. Prior deployments have been rare, and usually were approved for a limited period and/or in order to quell a very specific, ongoing uprising — to ensure the peaceful segregation of public schools in the South, to respond to the unrest in Detroit and Chicago in the 1960s, or to quell the 1991 Los Angeles riots that erupted after the Rodney King trial.
emm
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Re: Washington to remain militarized until at least March

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DC Guard Chief 'Deeply Troubled' After Nearly 200 Troops Test Positive for COVID-19
When the Mob goes on Holiday to D.C. everyone gets sick
Gina Harkins
Tue, January 26, 2021, 7:19 AM

Coronavirus cases have jumped nearly fivefold over the last 10 days among troops deployed from across the country to the nation's capital, military officials said on Monday.

Almost 200 National Guard members have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, said Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of the District of Columbia National Guard.

"I'm deeply troubled by the number," Walker said. Military.com reported the number of positive cases among Guard members in Washington, D.C. was 43 as of Jan. 15.

All Guard members who test positive are quarantined and won't return to their home states until they're fully recovered, Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said.

"We take every case seriously," he said.

Guard members who've been in close contact with those who test positive are also quarantined, but officials declined to provide the total number affected during a Monday press conference.

In less than three weeks, about 25,000 National Guard members from every state and territory have deployed to Washington, D.C. They were tasked with guarding the U.S. Capitol leading up to and following President Joe Biden's inauguration. Federal leaders requested the backup security after a mob of President Donald Trump supporters busted past U.S. Capitol Police officers on Jan. 6.

At least 120 people have been arrested following the siege. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, were killed that day.

The National Guard presence in Washington will decrease to about 7,000 by the end of the week, Hokanson said, but about 5,000 will remain until at least mid-March.

Medical experts have warned that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot could be what's known as a super-spreader event during the global pandemic. Protesters came to Washington, D.C., for a rally led by Trump, many gathering without wearing face masks or observing social distancing. They then returned to their communities, where they could spread the virus if they were exposed.
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