Nearly 1 in 5 Capitol riot defendants are veterans – National & International News – FRI 22Jan2021

NEMiss.News Many Capitol rioters are military
Nearly 1 in 5 Capitol rioters are current or former members of the military. This may signal a long-overdue reckoning with extremist ideologies among military personnel.


in 5 Capitol riot defendants are veterans. Biden bets on orders for economic relief. Japan denies Olympics “doomed”. That and more below


Nearly 1 in 5 Capitol riot defendants are veterans

An investigation by NPR has found that nearly 1 in 5 defendants arrested so far for their part in the Capitol riots had served in the military. Of the current defendants (more than 140), 27 (20%) are either veterans or current military personnel. This is an exceptionally high proportion, given that only about 7% of all American adults are military veterans.

One of these defendants, Larry Brock, an Air Force veteran, stormed the Capitol in military garb while carrying zip tie handcuffs. Prior to the riot, Brock had posted online, “I see no distinction between a group of Americans seizing power and governing with complete disregard to the Constitution and an invading force of Chinese communists accomplishing the same objective”. He ended the post by quoting part of an oath taken by members of the military: “Against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

Deeper than the riot

The problem of extreme ideologies among military personnel is not a new one and is much more far-reaching than the participants in the Capitol assault. The Oath Keepers, one of the militant extremist groups that spearheaded the attack, has long actively recruited current and former military personnel. In 2019, nearly one-third of active military personnel had observed “examples of white nationalism or ideological-driven racism” among their colleagues in recent months. Experts attribute this prevalence of extremism to the military’s “haphazard” efforts to root out such ideologies among its ranks.

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Biden hopes to bring economic relief with executive orders

President Biden is expected to sign a new raft of executive orders today to do an end-run around Congress and bring immediate economic relief to struggling Americans. These orders take advantage of Biden’s executive power over federal agencies. For example, Biden is ordering the Department of Agriculture to readjust support for families with children who are missing meals. This could result in an extra $100 every two months for families with 3 or more children.

Biden will also direct the Labor Department to begin work on a requirement for federal contractors to pay a minimum of $15 an hour and guarantee emergency leave benefits.

The Treasury Department will also be ordered to speed up delivery of stimulus checks for those who haven’t yet received them. Meanwhile, Biden will also sign an extension of the federal moratorium on evictions through the CDC.

The orders are target to use federal powers to help those that are struggling the most during the pandemic while Congress debates his proposed $1.9 trillion aid package.

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Japan denies reports of impending Olympics cancellation

Recently, The Times (UK) anonymously interviewed high level Japanese and IOC officials who believe that the already-delayed Tokyo Olympic games may be “doomed”. Their assessment was based on still-surging COVID cases in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities. According to the report, officials are seeking a face-saving way to make the announcement. Recent polls show that most Japanese people believe the games should be cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Japanese government has already spent billions readying various cities for the games. The delay from last year has already cost the country dearly, and the losses from a cancellation would be immense. Following the report, both Tokyo and IOC officials have gone on record saying they remain committed to holding the games this summer, which are scheduled for July.

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Biden proposes 5-year extension for Russian nuke treaty

President Biden has offered Russia an extension for a nuclear treaty which will otherwise end in February. The START program is the only remaining nuclear agreement between Moscow and Washington after the Trump administration withdrew from two others. The Trump administration belatedly offered to reopen talks with Russia to extend the START treaty, but Russia rejected the proposed conditions.

Biden’s proposal comes with its own conditions, including an investigation of recent Russian cyber attacks and possible interference in US elections. Nevertheless, Russian diplomats welcomed the offer, but said their agreement to extend the treaty would depend on its details.

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